Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How backward do you have to be to think that Boris Johnson's too contemporary?


Mark referred to this article, written by his old pal Boris Johnson, mayor of London, when he asks why the Supreme Leader is railing against Britain. It's not that Boris is smoking what Helene Cooper is smoking; it's more that the mayor commits the traditional Western political sin of seeing everything through a contemporary frame-of-reference.
Incidentally, Boris's article is as good an example as I've seen of the fact that, underneath the laziness and the foppery, Boris is one of the craftiest political operators ever. In one column, he manages to say how much Tories love Barack Obama's, send out some signals to people who are pissed off about BBC top-slicing ("a vindication of the BBC, and the principle of taxpayer-funded broadcasting"), sound excited about some vaguely defined "new technology" and still keep the Torygraph regulars happy by harping on about the great British Empire that was and how that nasty Jonathon Ross gets paid too much.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

It is not the stupid who voted for this

The facebook status update of a friend of a friend of mine today reads "Congratulations to the people of Burnley for officially becoming the most ignorant in Britain." My sister talks of feeling sick at the news. Actually it's three seats now. Not that many? Well it's three seats more than they had before.
And so, the left wing idealists will begin their chatter about how the people are ignorant and how the strategies of Labour and Tory parties made the wins easy and they will be right. Yet they will be oh so wrong.

Our democracy is imperfect. Yet to the polls I went on Thursday without fear. I had a vote. I used my vote. There was nothing and nobody to stop me from voting. Perhaps most importantly, no one would even consider stopping me from voting. I know how lucky I am.

And with the results of our votes, the people of Britain speak. Because our democracy allows that. I can say what I like, and so can anyone. And so people chose to vote for the BNP. The BNP have a right to those seats. They won them fairly. We should be celebrating the freedom of democracy. For true freedom of speech is in embracing diversity and recognising the variety of opinion.

And maybe the current government have let us down. And maybe the only realistic alternative is led by a tosser that turns our stomach. And maybe there seems no hope for political leadership we actually like right now.

It is not the BNP voters who let down Britain. It is you who did not vote. It is you who let the BNP gain that bit more power. More than you think.

For protesting against the political gravy train through apathy is not protest. It is nothing. Because if you do not vote, those in power need not concern themselves with you.

What we perhaps should have learned from the MP expenses palava, is that if those in power want to gain from it (which is surely what popular opinion believes), then they will want to retain it. And so they need not concern themselves with the opinions of those who do not vote.

If the hearts and minds of the British people are moving right, then the politics of the mainstream will follow. AND THEN WHERE WILL WE BE?

And so I turn to those of you who do not vote. Those of you who see the injustice, the wrong, the hate and sit there and complain that none of your politicians meet your needs, and I see this country ruined because of you. Because our politicians do not set the political agenda, they merely follow it. It is us, each and everyone of us, who sets it.

And you, you have handed over responsibility for your life and your living and your community to these people through doing NOTHING. And then you complain when they don't represent it. BUT YOU TOLD THEM NOTHING. You sat back and gave them everything because you couldn't be bothered to do anything.

If the people of the UK vote over the next 10 or whatever years and the BNP gain more and more ground, then we have to understand it is what the people want. If it's not what you want, then it's time to start saying so now. Because maybe we can't all have exactly what we do want. Maybe we don't even know what it is that we want.
But if we agree that we don't want this, then now is the time to start moving against it.

Friday, June 05, 2009

From the people who brought you "Are you thinking what we're thinking?"...

... comes the idea that the "Conservatives can beat the BNP."

Now, if you're thinking what I'm thinking, it's probably something like: "Well obviously. The Tories are a major political party and the BNP are, well, the BNP."

But Harry Phibbs means something far more subtle than this. He means... well it's not really clear. Mostly he just knows that he has a burning urge reheat the tired fact that the BNP is economically leftwing:

The Conservatives need to get stuck in and expose the BNP as a neo-Nazi outfit. This task can no longer be satisfactorily left to the Socialist Workers party. Voters will understandably dismiss anything coming from that quarter as hysterical abuse – even if in this case it happens to be true.

What Conservatives can add to this critique is something that the left can never admit: Nazism and communism are ideological twins.The BNP is in fact an extreme leftwing outfit. It wishes individual liberty to be sacrificed to state control. It seeks the overthrow of capitalism, and rages against profit and speculators. It wishes to institute a siege economy with protectionism and the nationalisation of foreign-owned companies. In this it is being consistent to its founding inspiration. Hitler nationalised the banks and insurance companies, the economy was rigidly centrally planned, there was an extensive programme of public works, independent schools were banned.
Now that's all true enough, but it seems to me to go against his argument: "The Tories don't like it because they think it's a bit lefty" isn't a devastating condemnation of anything, now, is it? And if BNP supporters are mostly lefties, then surely it's Labour (or indeed the SWP) who should be doing the beating. If you're trying to convince people that the defining feature of the BNP is that they nationalised banks and raged at speculators, you're pretty much doing Nick Griffin's job for him.

Of course, there's a perfectly sound argument the Tories can make against the BNP. It goes something like: "Look, we've written the damn book on nationalism and dog-whistle politics, and we've got a chance of winning an election. Vote for us instead." They've tried going heavy on that, and it didn't do much for them, so now they've dropped it. Which is all well and good, but then why not leave the BNP the hell out of it instead of writing columns in national newspapers talking about how the BNP hate bankers too?

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