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Showing posts from July, 2015

Forgetting the lessons of History

The rise of Jeremy Corbyn in the "polls" for the leadership of the Labour Party is, well, absurd. He is practically the textbook example of the unreconstructed Marxist hard left. A product of the sixties North London Poly, and a long time columnist for the Morning Star, which for younger readers is a comic inspired by Leninism. For goodness sake, even his parents met as peace campaigners during the romantic Socialist defeat of the Spanish Civil War! Yet the fact is that this totally unreconstructed dinosaur, a stalwart of mistaken and lost causes throughout his entire political career still looks better than the three overachieving Oxbridge high-flyers that he is pitted against.
The Labour Party, despite the Social Democrat interlude of Tony Blair, was founded and in important aspects remains a Socialist Party. The battle over Clause IV- which committed Labour to Communist style state ownership of the means of production- may have been won by Blair and his cohorts, but partic…

Osborne sows the political wind

They sow the wind
and reap the whirlwind.
The stalk has no head;
it will produce no flour.
Were it to yield grain,
foreigners would swallow it up.

Hosea 8-6

The first Conservative budget in 19 years is an act of of political hypocrisy so astonishingly blatant that it is hard to know whether to cringe at the opportunism or applaud the cynicism.

George Osborne has the reputation as a masterful political tactician. Certainly he has been a astute observer of the political weather and occasionally he has been something of a rainmaker himself. His first Conservative budget is certainly far stronger from a political point of view that it is from an economic one. Take the Minimum Wage, which for the purposes of politics he re-branded as the "living wage". He portrayed the large increase as a "pay rise for Britain", yet the quid pro quo has been such a sharp reduction of in-work benefits that even such a "pay increase" will leave the working poor worse off. Now don't …

Building a Scottish Liberal Consensus

The 2015 general election has seen a change in direction in the politics of the UK, yet in Scotland the change seems not far short of a revolution. The astonishing advance of the Scottish National Party- taking all but three seats in Scotland, despite failing to gain even a bare majority of the votes cast, still less the total electorate- was certainly one of the most eye-catching aspects of the election result. 

For the more avid nationalists, the general election result is proof that the independence movement has become unstoppable and that Scotland will- despite the hiccough of the 2014 referendum- become independent in pretty short order.

Yet the referendum result is hardly likely to be set aside so easily- not least because the total votes the SNP gained in 2015 is still a lot less even than the number of losing votes for Yes and it is still quite probable that Scotland - faced with a drastic fiscal deficit and dramatically declining North Sea revenue- would reject independence a …