Posts Tagged ‘Labour’

UK PM Theresa May Calls Early Elections

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

This is unexpected (at least to me): UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced a plan to call a snap general election on June 8, despite the ruling Tories already having won an absolute parliamentary majority in 2015.

Her statement:

I have just chaired a meeting of the cabinet, where we agreed that the government should call a general election, to be held on 8 June.

“I want to explain the reasons for that decision, what will happen next and the choice facing the British people when you come to vote in this election.

“Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership, and since I became prime minister the government has delivered precisely that.

“Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, since the referendum we have seen consumer confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs, and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.

“We have also delivered on the mandate that we were handed by the referendum result. Britain is leaving the European Union and there can be no turning back.

“And as we look to the future, the Government has the right plan for negotiating our new relationship with Europe.

“We want a deep and special partnership between a strong and successful European Union and a United Kingdom that is free to chart its own way in the world.

“That means we will regain control of our own money, our own laws and our own borders and we will be free to strike trade deals with old friends and new partners all around the world.

“This is the right approach, and it is in the national interest. But the other political parties oppose it.

“At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. The country is coming together, but Westminster is not.

“In recent weeks Labour has threatened to vote against the final agreement we reach with the European Union. The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill.

“The Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain’s membership of the European Union. And unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.

“Our opponents believe because the government’s majority is so small, that our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change course. They are wrong.

“They underestimate our determination to get the job done and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country.

“Because what they are doing jeopardises the work we must do to prepare for Brexit at home and it weakens the government’s negotiating position in Europe.

“If we do not hold a general election now their political game-playing will continue, and the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most difficult stage in the run-up to the next scheduled election.

“Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country.

“So we need a general election and we need one now, because we have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done while the European Union agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed talks begin.

“I have only recently and reluctantly come to this conclusion. Since I became prime minister I have said that there should be no election until 2020, but now I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I must take.

“And so tomorrow I will move a motion in the House of Commons calling for a general election to be held on 8 June. That motion, as set out by the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, will require a two-thirds majority of the House of Commons.

“So I have a simple challenge to the opposition parties, you have criticised the government’s vision for Brexit, you have challenged our objectives, you have threatened to block the legislation we put before Parliament.

“This is your moment to show you mean it, to show you are not opposing the government for the sake of it, to show that you do not treat politics as a game.

“Let us tomorrow vote for an election, let us put forward our plans for Brexit and our alternative programmes for government and then let the people decide.

“And the decision facing the country will be all about leadership. It will be a choice between strong and stable leadership in the national interest, with me as your prime minister, or weak and unstable coalition government, led by Jeremy Corbyn, propped up by the Liberal Democrats, who want to reopen the divisions of the referendum, and Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.

“Every vote for the Conservatives will make it harder for opposition politicians who want to stop me from getting the job done.

“Every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger when I negotiate for Britain with the prime ministers, presidents and chancellors of the European Union.

“Every vote for the Conservatives means we can stick to our plan for a stronger Britain and take the right long-term decisions for a more secure future.

“It was with reluctance that I decided the country needs this election, but it is with strong conviction that I say it is necessary to secure the strong and stable leadership the country needs to see us through Brexit and beyond.

“So, tomorrow, let the House of Commons vote for an election, let everybody put forward their proposals for Brexit and their programmes for government, and let us remove the risk of uncertainty and instability and continue to give the country the strong and stable leadership it demands.”

A snap election is a bold, risky move for May, but one that could pay off. With none of the post-Brexit vote gloom-and-doom scenarios of the Remain faction having materialized, Brexit’s popularity itself at all-time highs, the economy strong and the unpopular Jeremy Corbyn still leading Labour, May obviously thought now was the time to strike. She might be right: the Tories stand to pick up a lot of support from UKIP now that their raison d’etre is gone, while Scottish National Party looks poised to lock out Labour in the north yet again. But the downside is that if the Tories lose power, she goes down as the shortest serving PM since Bonar Law.

Johnny Rotten Backs Brexit, Trump

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

I’ll take things likely to make liberals heads explode for $200, Alex:

British cultural icon and punk rock godfather John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) has hailed the “joy” of populist, anti-establishment movements across the West.

Mr Lydon backed Brexit, claimed President Donald J. Trump was unfairly smeared by the “left wing” media, and said he wanted to shake “fantastic” Nigel Farage’s hand for taking on elites.

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, the Sex Pistols frontman praised how the former UKIP leader led a flotilla of pro-Brexit fishermen in the so-called “Battle of the Thames” – when they faced off with a group of pro-EU millionaires and celebrities.

“After that up-the-River-Thames argument he had with Bob Geldof, I wanted to shake [Nigel Farage’s] hand because it was silly beyond belief.

“Where do I stand on Brexit? Well, here it goes: the working class have spoke, and I’m one of them, and I’m with them,” he said.

The punk icon also said the unconventional outsider President Trump was a type of punk rock politician who was being unfairly attacked by the media establishment.

He dubbed Mr. Trump “a complicated fellow”, adding: “As one journalist once said to me, is he the political Sex Pistol? In a way.

“What I dislike is the left wing media in America are trying to smear the bloke as a racist, and that’s completely not true.

“There are many, many problems with him as a human being but he’s not that, and there just might be a chance something good will come out of this situation because it terrifies politicians. This is a joy to behold for me.”

When host Piers Morgan described Mr. Trump as “the archetypal anti-establishment figure”, Mr. Lydon said: “Dare I say, a possible friend.”

All this will be quite a shock to American leftists who wore Anarchy in the UK buttons right next to their Mondale-Ferraro buttons back in the 1980s, figuring that punk was cool and anti-establishment and therefore automatically on leftism’s side.

What liberals forget is that punk rock was itself a reaction to the discontents of the mid-1970s Wilson-Callaghan Labour governments of the UK, a period of high unemployment and labor unrest that would culminate (post-Lydon’s exit from the Pistols) in the “Winter of Discontent” that would bring Margaret Thatcher to power.

It’s not like they sang “Bigger Government in the UK,” now is it?

Punk was a rebellion against the establishment, and there are few establishments more entrenched than our political and media elites.

Also note Lydon’s comment that “the working class have spoke, and I’m one of them, and I’m with them.” As I mentioned before, Brexit passed in large measure thanks to a working class who feel that global elites have abandoned them. In theory, the Labour Party should be able to capitalize on such working class resentment, but they can’t, because they’re largely part of that same global elite.

Indeed, from “bitter clingers” to “basket of deplorable,” the defining characteristic of liberal parties in the West today seems to be their open contempt for the working class they once claimed to represent. Who among our nation’s Democratic Party elites could even plausibly claim to be “working class”?

Note also Lydon’s dismissing media claims of Trump being a racist, a stance that will make Social Justice Warriors despise him (assuming they didn’t already).

Lydon is nobody’s idea of a movement conservative, and I sincerely doubt he’ll be cutting campaign commercials for the Tories anytime soon. But he is his own man, and willing to call bullshit on politically correct lies, and that’s good enough for me.

(Hat tip: BigGator5’s Twitter feed.)

John Gray on Brexit

Friday, July 8th, 2016

If you’re not already suffering from Brexit fatigue by now, this John Gray piece in the New Statesmen has more than enough pith and insight to make it worth your time.

A lesson of the past few days is the danger of groupthink. Along with the major international institutions, the assembled might of establishment opinion – in the CBI and TUC, massed legions of economists and a partisan Bank of England – was confident that the existing order here and in Europe would be preserved by promises of unspecified reforms. Until around 2am on the morning of Friday 24 May, the bookies and currency traders followed the playbook that had been given them by the authorities and the pollsters. Then, in a succession of events of a kind that is becoming increasingly common, the script was abruptly torn up. A clear majority of voters had reached to the heart of the situation. Realising that the promises of European reform that had been made were empty, they opted for a sharp shift in direction. The consequences can ­already be observed: rapid political change in Britain and an accelerating process of unravelling in the European Union. The worldwide impact on markets and geopolitics will be long-lasting and profound.

There are sure to be concerted efforts to resist the referendum’s message. The rise of the hydra-headed monster of populism; the diabolical machinations of tabloid newspapers; conflicts of interest between baby boomers and millennials; divisions between the English provinces and Wales on the one hand and Scotland, London and Northern Ireland on the other; Jeremy Corbyn’s lukewarm support for the Remain cause; the buyer’s remorse that has supposedly set in after Remain’s defeat – these already commonplace tales will be recycled incessantly during the coming weeks and months. None of them captures the magnitude of the upheaval that has occurred. When voters inflicted the biggest shock on the establishment since Churchill was ousted in 1945 they signalled the end of an era.

Predictably, there is speculation that Brexit will not happen. If Britain can vote for Brexit, it is being argued, surely anything is possible. But those who think the vote can be overturned or ignored are telling us more about their own state of mind than developments in the real world. Like bedraggled courtiers fleeing Versailles after the French Revolution, they are unable to process the reversal that has occurred. Locked in a psychology of despair, anger and denial, they cannot help believing there will be a restoration of an order they believed was unshakeable.

Snip.

As it is being used today, “populism” is a term of abuse applied by establishment thinkers to people whose lives they have not troubled to understand. A revolt of the masses is under way, but it is one in which those who have shaped policies over the past twenty years are more remote from reality than the ordinary men and women at whom they like to sneer. The interaction of a dysfunctional single currency and destructive austerity policies with the financial crisis has left most of Europe economically stagnant and parts of it blighted with unemployment on a scale unknown since the Thirties. At the same time European institutions have been paralysed by the migrant crisis. Floundering under the weight of problems it cannot solve or that it has even created, the EU has demon­strated beyond reasonable doubt that it lacks the ­capacity for effective action and is incapable of reform. As I suggested in this magazine in last year (“The neo-Georgian prime minister”, 23 October 2015), Europe’s image as a safe option has given way to the realisation that it is a failed experiment. A majority of British voters grasped this fact, which none of our establishments has yet understood.

Skip if you must Gray’s description of leadership fights among the Tories and Labourites, but his summation of the problem facing Labour is admirably succinct:

Leading Labour figures have denied adamantly that the party’s stance on immigration is central to the collapse of its working-class base. It was a complex of issues to do with de-industrialisation, they repeat, that led to mass desertion by Labour voters. There is some force in this, but it is essentially a way of evading an inconvenient truth.

Free movement of labour between countries with vastly different wage levels, working conditions and welfare benefits is a systemic threat to the job opportunities and living standards of Labour’s core supporters. Labour cannot admit this, because that would mean the EU is structured to make social democracy impossible.

Also this:

Corbyn is not alone in passing over this conflict. So do his opponents, and this is one reason why it will be extremely difficult to reverse Labour’s slide. If Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham or David Miliband had been leader, the referendum would still have ended badly for Labour. No doubt the campaign would have been handled better. But the message would have been the same – promises of European reform that European institutions have shown to be worthless. Labour’s heartlands were already melting away. A rerun in the north and Midlands of Labour’s collapse in Scotland is now a distinct possibility. Fear of this disaster is one reason Labour is unlikely to split. With over 40 per cent of the party’s voters opting for Leave, anyone who joined a new “modernising” party would be on a fast lane to oblivion. Only a radical shift from progressive orthodoxies on immigration and the EU can save Labour from swift and terminal decline. It is doubtful whether any future leader could enforce such a shift, as it would be opposed by most Labour MPs and by activists. Yet it is plainly what millions of Labour voters want.

And this:

The contradictions of the world-view shared by progressive thinkers and established elites are becoming acutely evident. There is constant talk about being in a time of unprecedented change. Globalisation is connecting the world as never before; our lives are being continuously transformed by disruptive technologies; old ways of life and hierarchies in society are fast dissolving . . . these are the ruling clichés of the age. What is striking is that they are deployed to prop up a failing ancien régime. Not only in Britain and continental Europe but also in the Unite States, the human costs of a broken form of capitalism have fuelled popular revulsion – a revolt that has produced a mood of hysteria and something like blind panic among bien-pensants who pride themselves on their judicious ­rationality. Brexit will be followed by the end of Western civilisation, they foam, while a Trump presidency would be a planetary catastrophe. A paranoid style of liberalism has emerged that sees disaster and demonic evil at every turn.

And this:

“The new tolerance of anti-Semitism by sections of the left in Britain is an elite pathology: a disorder of the gibbering classes not the masses.”

Read the whole thing.

The Knives Comes Out For Corbyn

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

After Brexit’s passage, Labour MPs decided to take their frustrations out on their own leader:

A motion of no confidence in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been passed by the party’s MPs.

The 172-40 vote, which is not binding, follows resignations from the shadow cabinet and calls on Mr Corbyn to quit.

Mr Corbyn said the ballot had “no constitutional legitimacy” and said he would not “betray” the members who voted for him by resigning.

So the purpose of the vote was, what, essentially? To shame him into resigning? To push him out without having their fingerprints on the knife in his back?

“Dave Sparks, a councillor in Dudley and a former chair of the Local Government Association, warned that if Mr Corbyn stays, Labour will be wiped out.”

Maybe so, but barring a Tory no confidence vote (which, with Cameron’s resignation and an absolute parliamentary majority, would not be in the Tories’ interests) the next general election will not be until 2020, by which standard this leadership move is about three years premature.

It seems to have been a dry run for an actual leadership challenge, but I suspect that Corbyn, in all his loony left glory, is far more popular with Labour voters than anyone the MPs could replace him with.

“The [Scottish National Party], meanwhile, is to ask the Speaker to declare it the official opposition at Westminster, claiming their Westminster leader Angus Robertson has more support than Mr Corbyn.”

In essence, Corbyn is the victim of three things:

  1. Labour’s rage at losing the Brexit vote. It seems that Corbyn is being penalized for not clapping loud enough to keep Tinkerbell alive.

  2. Long-simmering resentment of Corbyn being elected head by the party’s Tony Blair faction. (Some have suggested that it’s meant to distract from the imminent release of the Chilcot Report on the Iraq War. Which would make Corbyn’s attempted ouster an odd “distraction” to launch an entire week before…)
  3. Corbyn has always been more popular with the party’s rank and file than with their MPs.

As disorienting as it is for me to sound like I’m actually defending Corbyn, he isn’t the source of Labour’s ills, and booting him isn’t going to solve them.

Labour, Brexit, and the Left-Wing Revolt Against Global Elites

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Among the more interesting storylines to emerge after the Brexit vote was how Labour blew it. Despite having a leadership far more Europhilic and in favor of transnational statist government than even Tory insiders, Labour’s support of Remain was markedly tepid, starting right at the top with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn:

Less than a month before the historic EU referendum, the team assembled by Cameron to keep Britain in the European Union was worried about wavering Labour voters and frustrated by the opposition leader’s lukewarm support. Remain campaign operatives floated a plan to convince Corbyn to make a public gesture of cross-party unity by appearing in public with the prime minister. Polling showed this would be the “number one” play to reach Labour voters.

Senior staff from the campaign “begged” Corbyn to do a rally with the prime minister, according to a senior source who was close to the Remain campaign. Corbyn wanted nothing to do with the Tory leader, no matter what was at stake. Gordon Brown, the Labour prime minister whom Cameron vanquished in 2010, was sent to plead with Corbyn to change his mind. Corbyn wouldn’t. Senior figures in the Remain camp, who included Cameron’s trusted communications chief Craig Oliver and Jim Messina, President Obama’s campaign guru, were furious.

So to Corbyn, a vote many in Labour leadership regarded as the most important in their lifetime took a backseat to his bitter hatred of even appearing with the Tories. “An old school socialist, the Labour leader had in the past attacked the EU as an undemocratic, corporatist conspiracy that threatened workers’ rights. He never looked the part to save Cameron in a referendum the Conservative leader brought on himself.”

From the same piece:

Hardened by close-run contests in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum and last year’s general election, the strategists running Stronger In decided to follow the playbook that worked in those campaigns, particularly the 2015 Conservative sweep, and focus mainly on economic security.

It failed spectacularly. The depth of public anger over the influx of workers from other EU countries, and more broadly the rejection of political and business elites, was more significant than they had anticipated.

Also this:

Internal polling found just weeks before June 23 one in five Labour voters did not know the party’s position in the referendum. As party aides canvassed voters around the country, they discovered a deep well of concern about immigration.

Labour leadership no doubt found it quite shocking that so many traditional Labour strongholds voted in favor of Brexit. There were also a small but notable number of Labour MPs who supported Brexit. Some hail from those same hinterland locales that voted for Brexit, and thus could be said to actually represent the wishes of their constituents (try to contain your shock).

But Labour MP Kate Hoey represents a constituency smack dab against the south bank of the Themes in central London, an area that voted heavily to Remain. Yet Hoey was an early and notable voice for Brexit:

I’m tired of people thinking that only those on the right of politics are Eurosceptic. This is far from true.

The reputation of the EU has fallen sharply among many on the Left. The sight of the EU establishment imposing unprecedented levels of austerity on Greece was a real wake-up call. This was not a benign political institution guaranteeing social protection and international solidarity, but an unaccountable force bringing crippling pain on a people who cannot hope to repay the loans that are recapitalising their banks.

Meanwhile, the EU is willing to require ever-greater sacrifice to living standards in order to keep the Euro and the wider European “Project” moving forwards. Ever closer Union is what is on the tin – and even if the words are removed to satisfy the Prime Minister, the contents will still be the same.

The Labour Party has traditionally had a sceptical view of the European institutions. From Attlee to Foot, and until the late 1980s, Labour was predominantly Eurosceptic – but then, following three Thatcher victories, many on the Left looked desperately to Europe to block her policies. Wise Labour voices like Peter Shore and Tony Benn, however, argued that democratic faith in the wisdom of the public was a better guarantor than the benevolence of transitory political elites. They have been proved right as the EU is no longer motivated by Jacques Delors’ ‘Social Europe’, but is increasingly out of touch with the needs of its people.

Familiar voices try to scare us into believing that leaving the EU would ruin the UK, but these are the same people who told us that we had to join the Euro or face disaster. We stayed out of the Euro and have therefore been spared much of the chaos of that unsustainable currency – but we still give £7.3 billion net a year of our money to the EU.

How can we protect civil liberties when the EU forces on us unaccountable extraditions through the European Arrest Warrant? How can we ensure the jobs and growth that we need when vital contracts for work go to preferred bidders on the continent and not to British firms? How can we preserve and improve our public services when the Services Directives help force the privatisation of the Royal Mail and EU rules against state aid will make it almost impossible to renationalise the railways? TTIP is a gift to the multi-national corporations. I don’t trust the EU to negotiate on our behalf, and I certainly don’t trust it to be on the side of small businesses or Trade Unions.

The Labour Party is looking at radical policies to tackle the problems in our country. We need to take back real control from the unelected and unaccountable European Commission if we are to have a chance of implementing any of these.

My politics are very far indeed from those of Hoey, but she’s not wrong. Greece’s government may have brought upon the crisis by spending radically more money than they took in even after it became apparent they were going broke, but the EU responded in exactly the way described. It was born as an undemocratic organization, a fact the Euro crisis finally made apparent even to the those on the left, with the decisions of democratically elected officials overruled by unelected bureaucratic elites. And the self-serving agendas of those elites tend to be at odds with the goals of both left and right.

The question isn’t why Hoey supported Brexit, but why so many Labour MPs didn’t.

Other Brexit News:

  • Eight Labour shadow ministers quit.
  • You know who had a good day after the Brexit vote? Nigel Farage. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • “In the end, it came down to the issue of immigration. The British people wanted to reclaim their nation. They wanted their nation to be their nation. They did not want it to turn into Germany. They wanted the hordes of immigrants camped out in Calais to stay in Calais. They had had had enough with British girls being ‘groomed’ by Muslim men.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Instapundit on the Brexit: “A lot of people felt powerless, and the political system not only didn’t address that, but seemed to glory in it.”
  • David Stockman sees Brexit not only as a revolt against the EU, but against the entire world financial elite’s low interest rate regime. “The ECB will soon be embroiled in an existential crisis as the centrifugal forces unleashed by Brexit tear apart the fragile consensus on which Draghi’s lunatic monetary experiments depended.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • As soon as the Brexit vote was announced, the EU announced that they were coming after people’s toasters and tea kettles. (Ditto.)
  • The previous Megan McArdle piece on Brexit was good. This one is even better:

    The inability of those elites to grapple with the rich world’s populist moment was in full display on social media last night. Journalists and academics seemed to feel that they had not made it sufficiently clear that people who oppose open borders are a bunch of racist rubes who couldn’t count to 20 with their shoes on, and hence will believe any daft thing they’re told. Given how badly this strategy had just failed, this seemed a strange time to be doubling down. But perhaps, like the fellow I once saw lose a packet by betting on 17 for 20 straight turns of the roulette wheel, they reasoned that the recent loss actually makes a subsequent victory more likely, since the number has to come up sometime.

    Or perhaps they were just unable to grasp what I noted in a column last week: that nationalism and place still matter, and that elites forget this at their peril. A lot people do not view their country the way some elites do: as though the nation were something like a rental apartment — a nice place to live, but if there are problems, or you just fancy a change, you’ll happily swap it for a new one.

    In many ways, members of the global professional class have started to identify more with each other than they have with the fellow residents of their own countries. Witness the emotional meltdown many American journalists have been having over Brexit….

    A lot of my professional colleagues seemed to, and the dominant tone framed this as a blow against the enlightened “us” and the beautiful world we are building, struck by a plague of morlocks who had crawled out of their hellish subterranean world to attack our impending utopia.

  • I’m always up for a good Morlock reference. And if you haven’t read H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine (which you should, because it’s a great novel), that analogy is more apt than you know. In Wells’ novel, the Morlocks were the underground race that actually ran things, the ones that maintain the machinery the Eloi depended on to live. Just like those inbred redneck freaks from JesusLand (or, to use a UK analogy, those Northern monkeys), the Morlocks are the essential population that keep things running, not the beautiful, useless Eloi.

    LinkSwarm for September 29, 2015

    Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

    Another LinkSwarm. And if you’re live in Austin, don’t forget the meetup/blogshoot on October 10th.

  • Theory: The people flooding into Europe are innocent families of refugees fleeing war. Reality: “young men [heaving] rocks at the authorities and showing up on YouTube videos shouting Allahu Akbar.”
  • “There is something shallow and decadent about a pontiff who prioritizes “climate change” even as every last Christian is driven from the Archeparchy of Mosul. What will they say of such a pope? That he fiddled with the thermostat while Rome burned?”
  • If the illegal alien crisis threatens to collapse the EU, it wasn’t very strong to begin with, was it?
  • Why are liberals in love with radical Islam?

    One theory:

    I increasingly think the Democrat/Muslim union has to do with old-fashioned relativism. Democrats don’t actually believe that women’s rights and gay rights apply to everyone; white people: sure. Arabs? Well, who am I to judge? And Muslims know this.

    When Robby George is just dumbfounded as to why all these Muslims support the party of abortion on demand and gay marriage, the answer seems pretty clear to me: They’re supporting the party of abortion on demand and gay marriage for infidels

    Another:

    I think the issue is more that they see Muslims as a new potential mascot group that they can champion and therefore obtain that cheap sense of moral superiority that comes with riding in like a white knight. I think a lot of liberal attitudes towards minorities aren’t actually based on the good of the minorities, but how good it makes the liberals feel to champion them. Muslims are (as of now) a tiny, insignificant minority. They’re mostly kinda swarthy, so the “it’s racism” meme is easily transferable, and a significant chunk of liberals loathe Christianity.

  • A map of worldwide Islamic State attacks.
  • In the little town of Bethlehem/Things have gotten quite scary/Islamists have gotten out and torched/the local monastery.
  • You might want to hold onto your hate for this shocking revelation: Hillary Clinton lied under oath about her secret e-mail server.
  • And polls show that Vice President Joe Biden is way, way more popular than Clinton.
  • Reminder: Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign started the “birther” movement.
  • Ten times John Boehner caved into liberals.
  • Pacifica radio station institutes socialist democracy and promptly starts to spiral down toward bankruptcy. (Hat tip: Powerline.)
  • Dealing drugs while on the DEA payroll? Automatic firing? Ha! Remember: Obama Administration. 14 day suspension.
  • Cobynite solutions belong in the realm of fantasy.” Keep in mind that I disagree with possibly three-quarters of the writer’s analysis, but still share his conclusion….
  • The World According to Xi Jinping. Sounds like a whole lot of vague platitudes…
  • “German Rheinmetall shows off 80 kilowatt naval combat laser with four 20 kw laser barrels.” Though until they can demonstrate the system through actual field testing, I wouldn’t get too excited.
  • How did I miss the fact that McGruff The Crime Dog is currently doing 16 years for possessing a marijuana grow operation and a grenade launcher?
  • “The left is why they leave the left”

    Friday, September 18th, 2015

    When you start grabbing a third pull quote from a piece is when you realize that it needs a post of its own. Such is the case with this Nick Cohen piece on why Jeremy Corbyn’s election has finally forced him to leave the left. Though centered on UK politics, much of it applies to the social justice warrior/victimhood identity politics left in this country as well.

    The shift of left-wing thought towards movements it would once have denounced as racist, imperialist and fascistic has been building for years. I come from a left-wing family, marched against Margaret Thatcher and was one of the first journalists to denounce New Labour’s embrace of corporate capitalism — and I don’t regret any of it. But slowly, too slowly I am ashamed to say, I began to notice that left-wing politics had turned rancid.

    Snip.

    In 2007 I tried to make amends, and published What’s Left. If they were true to their professed principles, my book argued, modern leftists would search out secular forces in the Muslim world — Iranian and Arab feminists, say, Kurdish socialists or Muslim liberals struggling against reactionary clerics here in Britain — and embrace them as comrades. Instead, they preferred to excuse half the anti-western theocrats and dictators on the planet. As, in their quiet way, did many in the liberal mainstream. Throughout that period, I never heard the BBC demanding of ‘progressives’ how they could call themselves left-wing when they had not a word of comfort for the Iraqi and Afghan liberals al-Qaeda was slaughtering.

    The triumph of Jeremy Corbyn has led to What’s Left sales picking up, and readers acclaiming my alleged prescience. Grateful though I am, I cannot accept the compliment. I never imagined that left-wing politics would get as bad as they have become. I assumed that when the criminally irresponsible Blair flew off in his Learjet, the better angels of the left’s nature would re-assert themselves.

    What a fool I was.

    Snip.

    The fact remains that the Labour party has just endorsed an apologist for Putin’s imperial aggression; a man who did not just appear on the propaganda channel of Russia, which invades its neighbours and persecutes gays, but also of Iran, whose hangmen actually execute gays. Labour’s new leader sees a moral equivalence between 9/11 and the assassination of bin Laden, and associates with every variety of women-hating, queer-bashing, Jew-baiting jihadi, holocaust denier and 9/11 truther. His supporters know it, but they don’t care.

    Snip.

    The half-educated fanatics are in control now. I do not see how in conscience I can stay with their movement or vote for their party. I am not going to pretend the next time I meet Owen Jones or those Labour politicians who serve in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet that we are still members of the same happy family. There are differences that cannot and should not be smoothed over.

    I realise now what I should have known years ago. The causes I most care about — secularism, freedom of speech, universal human rights — are not their causes. Whatever they pretend, when the crunch comes, they will always put sectarian unity first, and find reasons to be elsewhere.

    Read the whole thing.

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

    Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet Freakshow

    Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

    I know I should be talking about Trump or immigration or jihad, but fresh takes just aren’t occurring to me this morning. So instead, let’s just talk about newly minted Labour head Jeremy Corbyn’s freakshow of a shadow cabinet. (For those not conversant with UK political terms, the “shadow cabinet” is the cabinet of the opposition party (in this case Labour) which would (theoretically) take over if the Tories were to lose power over a no-confidence vote; since the Tories currently enjoy an absolute majority, it would take a pretty big political upheaval for this to happen before 2020.) Evidently it was quite difficult for Corbyn to even find Labour MPs willing to take positions in his shadow cabinet.

    A few choice examples:

  • Kerry McCarthy, shadow secretary of agriculture, is a hardcore vegan, and I’m sure her absolute opposition to meat will really help Labour win back not only the British butcher industry, but also the working class white voters that used to be Labour’s largest block of support. She’s also a supporter of homeopathic medicine.
  • The new Shadow Chancellor (finance minister) is John McDonnell, who openly states his desire to overthrow capitalism, wants to nationalize banks, praised the IRA for it’s bomb-setting and killing activity, and has fantasized about traveling back in time to assassinate Margaret Thatcher.
  • Shadow defense secretary Maria Eagle’s biggest issues seem to be gay rights and opposition to mink farming, neither of which tend to weigh heavily in defense policy.
  • Diane Abbott, shadow secretary of state for International Development, once said that “blonde, blue-eyed Finnish girls” at London hospitals were unsuitable as nurses because they had “never met a black person before” and that “white people love playing ‘divide & rule.'”
  • This isn’t just a “let’s have a laugh at the expense of the far left freaks” post (fun though that may be). To a large extent, personnel is policy, and this shows how quickly extreme left-wing/Social Justice Warrior ideas can take root at the center of a major political party if they have enough adherents in the overclass. Right now, there’s no shortage of Democratic Party activist who would love to make veganism the official policy of the United States government, and as Obama appointees have shown, would not let little things like “laws” (or the lack thereof) stand in the way of implementing their extremist policies were they be placed in a position of power.

    It can happen here…

    UK’s Labour Party Swerves Hard Left, Elects Jeremy Corbyn Head

    Saturday, September 12th, 2015

    UK’s Labour Party just just elected hard lefty Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

    How hard lefty? He makes Bernie Sanders look like Bob Dole:

    Nothing should detract from his record as an unreconstructed socialist peacenik. He is stridently anti-American and has declared himself a “friend” of Hamas and Hizbollah. Despite the growing belligerence of Russia, he is inclined to take the UK out of Nato and would scrap Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent. Of particular concern is his critical stance towards the EU. It is now far from certain that Labour will support continued UK membership of the bloc at the forthcoming referendum.

    On domestic policy, he lacks any credibility. He would nationalise Britain’s railways and utilities and remove the private sector from public services. Despite his claim to green credentials, he has pledged in the past to reopen the UK’s coal mines. He toys with forcing the Bank of England to underwrite deficit financing for any purpose, regardless of the effect on inflation. Under Mr Corbyn, Labour will, in the words of one party MP, become a “1980s Trotskyist tribute act.”

    Now the question becomes: Which party replaces Labour as the main opposition to the Tories in 2020, SNP or UKIP?

    What Damon Linker Leaves Out About the Immigration Debate

    Friday, August 28th, 2015

    So Damon Linker has penned a one-eyed-liberal-in-the-land-of-the-blind piece on how cultural elites have brought opposition to immigration (and Donald Trump) upon themselves by their failure to enforce border controls.

    These institutions have been sluggish to respond to this discontent because two (sometimes overlapping) factions of our political and economic elite strongly support high levels of immigration — or at least oppose doing very much to stop it.

    One of the factions — the business class and its neoliberal champions in government, think tanks, and NGOs — believes in a free-flowing international labor market that treats borders as superfluous.

    The other faction — liberal lawyers, activists, intellectuals, journalists, academics, members of the clergy, and (once again) NGO staffers — has a deep-seated moral suspicion of nations and political boundaries in general. Why should an American count for more than a Mexican who crosses the border into the United States? Shouldn’t a refugee fleeing violence in North Africa enjoy full political rights upon setting foot in the European Union? Don’t all human beings deserve to be treated equally under the law? Isn’t opposition to such equality an example of bald-faced racism?

    He’s not entirely mistaken, as these things go, but he’s leaving out one important factor: crass self interest.

    Univeralism is all well and good as an explanation, but it’s crass self-interest that underlies most of the opposition to enforcement of existing immigration laws. Yes, crass self interest from business lobbies who want cheaper labor, but also crass self interest from left wing parties to construct a new electorate more to their liking. Tony Blair’s Labour Party did precisely this in the UK.

    The Democrats believe (probably correctly) that a legalizing a massive influx of illegal aliens from Mexico and points south can help make them a permanent majority party, which is why they continue to support Obama’s unconstitutional and deeply unpopular illegal alien amnesty. It is this crass self interest that is why the Obama Administration refuses to deport illegal aliens who are taking entry level unskilled and manual labor jobs from the poor black and white Americans that used to make up their base. Indeed, for the Democratic Party it’s a twofer: they get a new voter from Mexico and they make an American more dependent on the big government welfare statism that is the bread and butter of their business model.

    Illegal aliens may be bad for America, but they’re good for the Democratic Party. And that’s why Democrats in general, and the Obama Administration in specific, refuse to enforce border controls.