Liberation not Labourism Profile picture
There is no route to a better, fairer society and a sustainable, worthwhile way of life that does not involve making war against the forces of reaction.
17 May
Yeah, I'm not in any great rush to hug anyone. Or talk to anyone at closer than a few yards away. Especially if I don't know them. And I know fewer than 10 people now. Or be in a building for any purpose other than to buy Oatibix flakes and vegan fish fingers, in the quiet hours.
When I had my 1st jab, 8 weeks ago, I had a brief period of "I could do more things in different places". But it passed. I've been to the same 2 market towns, exclusively on foot to the one that's 3 miles away. Mostly on foot, sometimes by train to the one that's 9 miles away.
I'd quite like to go to another town, the next one along, but it will keep. And what I'll probably do is walk out of the centre along the canal, then back and up through some woods. And though I'd quite like to get chips and sit near the narrowboats, I'll probably take sandwiches
Read 5 tweets
15 May
Thank fuck for that, I can go for walk now. Congratulations to Lie Sester, England. Lie Sester has won the Soccer World Series.
8 mile walk in the pissing rain. Which given that I've felt like dogshit all day due to a sleepless night turning over 'events', 'people', 'sadness' and 'anger' in my mind, is possibly something of an achievement. But doesn't feel like one.

Here's a picture of a grave. Image
The real achievement remains that the beer I'm drinking is 0.0% alcohol.

Meaning it won't even help me in tonight's quest for rest.
Read 4 tweets
15 May
Well, my stepfather worked in a big factory with a large workforce in the publicly owned defence industry. So anything that could be exchanged between workers or liberated from the premises either because it was discarded or it learned how to walk.

Bullets, shelves and cheese.
My grandpa's job in the ready to wear suit industry was much more useful in that regard, in that I got clothes tailored for me until my grandfather retired. And this was the early to mid 70s. When I was 7 I dressed like a pimp.
and what these anecdotes from the final years of Social Democracy in Britain illustrate is that in those pre cctv, bar code, tags, surveillance/supervision culture years, people went to work in boring jobs in boring places for years on end but they got stuff as well as wages.
Read 4 tweets
10 May
You know when you wake up and potter about, just musing and things just come into better focus?

When Starmer in his dismal interview on Friday was just bleating "And we have changed ... we have changed"?

The people he was addressing, the only people, were the Wealthy Donors.
He hid away then, he didn't congratulate people who'd had success, wasn't interested in taking criticism or fronting up. The only thing he wanted to be seen to be doing was "restructuring". The only people he wanted to reach ... are corporates and wealthy individuals with funds.
A central part of the Rightist coup was to get funding from Capital. The "exclusive club, leader access" was about that. Now its in panic mode. Hence Mandelson briefing war on union activists. They're speaking to fractions of Capital. Please give us funds, we will be your party.
Read 13 tweets
9 May
if it were possible for the 4 different strands that make up an at best unwieldy coalition of different political beliefs to find a way to get the right kind of candidates with the right messaging for the different places they stand in, without calling each other scum, then ...
(I mean, whisper this, but your actual Liberal Party, although annoying and a nuisance, were actually quite good at saying different things in, say, Truro to what they said in, say, Colne Valley, without necessarily accusing each other of being responsible for all failures ever)
duplicitous & dirty though they were, in the pre bar-chart hubris era the 3rd party was quite good at saying "in this seat the problems are this and our main opponents are responsible for them" rather than "we are awful, you don't trust us and its because our colleagues are evil"
Read 5 tweets
9 May
Re: earlier thread. What is the value of having people babbling, with no challenge put about their account of how central and local government works, who is responsible for what, what happened when, what drove decisions. This the outcome of retail politics and tabloid history.
Yeah, you can tell me I'm being patronising and arrogant about working people. But if this conversation happened in the pub (garden) you'd argue with them. You wouldn't nod, write it down and then splash it all over the media that "people don't think Labour is good for hospitals"
Manufacturing Shit Dissent.
Read 4 tweets
9 May
Tanks on Labour's lawn (yawn)

But its not Milburn's lawn, or Hewitt's, or Alan Johnson's. Or any of the New Labour grandees who helped to "transform" the NHS so that Lansley could "reform" it. Now Johnson can "repair" it with more "Our NHS" as the soundtrack for privatisation.
Do any of these focus groups who say they "don't know what Labour stands for" ever get asked what the phrase "modernise our public services" meant to them during the 90s and 00s? Do they ever get asked if they know what the public private finance initiative is and how it 'works'?
Rhetorical obviously. But I question the value of appointing a pollster as adviser when the output of focus groups is "they don't seem to know what they stand for". If you don't actually have a dialogue where you ask people - "do YOU know what they stand for" what's the use?
Read 8 tweets
8 May
You use occupational classifications to put people into Social Grades in which a customer services adviser in a call centre is C1 and an engineer C2. A self employed electrician is C1 and an electrician who works for the council is C2. Your concept and capture of class is flawed Image
yes "cultural conservatives" and "cultural liberals" are things (they always have been), yes differences between age ranges have patterns, but the "actually politics is not a class thing anymore its all about sundried tomatoes versus meat and two veg" is so glib and shallow.
and commercial organisations whose research is much more prominent in the discourse, are actors. They are performing this role of "independent expert" (as are the screamingly partisan Polprofs) while taking money from whoever they can get it from. They are producing *Narrative*.
Read 4 tweets
8 May
It is instructive that Starmer & his people think Covid means you can't set out what you stand for. Because for them its not about having political convictions and a view of society and the economy. Its about reacting to a short term mediated news cycle and trying to score points
and instead of feeling able & being willing to talk about policies for the State, work, ownership, communities, well being etc, they are forever segmenting society into value types and gauging whether short term advantage can be won by having him ventriloquise focus group outputs
and, this is the massive failure of that weak excuse made for a weak politician leading a feeble party ... Covid is a crisis that has forced us to adjust the way we live and reflect on that. Its a template and an opportunity to consider how we respond to the climate crisis.
Read 4 tweets
8 May
Local election results in my locality are going up and we've got a 20.84% turnout in a safe Labour ward that's in the constituency of the Labour MP who was elected to Westminster on a 20% turnout in a by election during the honeymoon years of Blairism
Edge of city centre ward with electorate of 19,000. 20% turnout.
Leafy outer suburb with electorate of 16,000. 50% turnout.
Party like its 1983. Image
Read 12 tweets
8 May
Maybe that's why they're so obsessed with "listening", cos they think it only happens once a year.

Or ... it says a lot about Keith Labour, that they endorse a model of politics in which they see no obligation to represent ideas and people except at designated points in a cycle Image
hence all the "we can't do anything about anything unless we are in power*, so we have to win power**"

* office
** still just office
"we need to be a party of power not protest".

"Voters said they don't know what the party stands for"
Read 4 tweets
7 May
musing on the fact that de-industrialisation didn't start in 1979 (even if sometimes I make it sound like it did) but as mills, factories and mines were closing there were good public sector jobs in teh townz in Old Haroldian times. But "reform of public services" gave us Capita.
as well as call centres (ht to LRT) New Labour's "modernisation of public services" gave people, for example, new contracts on worse terms, with less holiday, pension rights and protection at work, for doing their work as an electrician with the council, but not for the council
and the whole new public management, compulsory competitive tendering architecture turned a lot of education jobs into spending a hell of a lot of time putting together bids to try to get funding while your colleagues got restructured because their learning centres were closed.
Read 4 tweets
6 May
"the logic I use"
The Progressive Alliance Adult Baby Take Over is Off
Nobody's saying its "the acid test" Femi you fucking dweeb.

They're saying it's yet another phase of the Arrogant Assertion That We Know Best Followed By Refusal to Analyse Long Term Changes and Instead Do Linguistic and Mathematical Contortions Clown Shit.

And here you are.
Read 4 tweets
6 May
Swan and Swallow
It hasn't always been like this, but I only live in moments.
Sometimes it overwhelms
Read 5 tweets
6 May
Happy birthday to Tonty Blair who lost 3,965,731 votes between 1997 and 2005, when he got back into government with 64.8 of the electorate voting against him, 38.6% not voting at all and the Tories winning the popular vote in England.

keywords: origins; of; the; present; crisis
3,304,421 of the 3,965,731 votes Blair lost between 1997 and 2005 were lost in England.

The Tory vote in England in 1997 was 8,780,881
The Tory vote in England in 2005 was 8,116,005

The Tories won the popular vote in England in 2005 with fewer votes than their disaster of 1997
Some day, it will be accepted that the scale of Labour's victory in 1997 was because of a desire to kick out the Tories and specifically to dismantle the work of Thatcherism. And Blair never had any intention of doing the latter. And the loss of 3.9m votes by 2005 reflects that.
Read 4 tweets
5 May
Re OJ Hartlepool vid: Saudi Paul looks permanently panicked, waffling the usual stuff about investing in opportunities for schoolkids to make themselves a future somehow, whereas the Tory/Reform lot are on the front foot talking about investment & construction in the here and now
I mean, its obscene that the party of de-industrialisation, who hammered not just organised labour, but organised work and the structure of communities are now confidently, brazenly talking themselves up as the people who can bring it all back. But they are and its working.
and Labour have thrown away the opportunities of the Green Industrial Revolution narrative to counter that, by going back to "investing in early years to give children the best chance in life", i.e. a sure start for your only option which is entrepreneurship of the self.
Read 5 tweets
4 May
Re: the generation long decline of Labour, post 2001*
a) how close to being 'on the frontlines' are the majority of Labour MPs, especially those who spent 2015-2019 publicly fighting their own party?
b) how 'on the frontlines' were the likes of Mandelson?

* or even post 1997
This is the hollow ring of the "people who neeeeed a Labour government" and "on the doorstep/frontline" crowd. The party *they* represent began in the late 80s and began to die in 2001. A party of middle managers, politics as PR and public choice theory. Narrow, hollow, aloof.
Read 4 tweets
4 May
This is fine for the Today demographic, for people who actually believe it was the worst result since 1935 and that the 29% in 2010 and the 30% and permanent loss of Scottish seats in 2015 can be explained away by changing the subject or repeating the lies that come so easily
It's interesting how they don't even bother throwing in 1983 any more. It's also interesting, though completely unsurprising that the claims about "turning the Labour Party round" are never interrogated by referring to the massive loss of votes over the period 2001 to 2015.
Turnout at the 1997 GE in Hartlepool was 65.6%.
In the 2001 GE it was 55.8%.
In 2005 it was 51.5%

Labour's total vote in the seat was above 24,000 from 1974 until 2001 when it fell to 22,000. in 2005 it fell to 18,000. The only time it has been above 20,000 since then was 2017
Read 4 tweets
4 May
I'm far from convinced by a phone poll of 301 people using landlines only. But I am amused by it. So there's that.
Then again I'm far from convinced by the discourse of asking people every few days "if there was a General Election this week who would you vote for" and then extrapolating recent trends in that remorseless grind to a set of elections where turnout in some places won't hit 30%.
Opinion polling is a blight and has been for 50 years. The distorting effects of constantly doing it and making it a proxy for real dialogue has accelerated massively in the social media era. It's done *to* people, imposed on us to extract only what they think we need to think.
Read 4 tweets
3 May
You are a floating turd in the sewer of Neoliberal subjectivity.

It's the fucking party of *LABOUR*
It's not a company. It doesn't have a CEO doing 'branding' and 'marketing. That's not why the party exists. I absolutely fucking despise people like you. You're a fucking Tory.
This is Blair's legacy. People with "Centre Left" in their bio but their only way of relating to the Labour Party is that it's like a business, no it *is* a business and needs a CEO to do corporate management according business school textbooks. They're all fucking Thatcherites
Read 4 tweets
3 May
I should have gone out for my mandatory long, dutiful and self oppressing walk before it started absolutely shitting down as it is now forecast to for the next 4 hours.
Trouble is I'm tired from walking from 7pm to 10pm yesterday on account of how it took me until 7pm to shake off the effects of going out from 6pm until 9.30pm the previous day. The main effect being it has started to take all day to bully myself into going for another long walk.
It might help if it wasn't 7 degrees outside and that the two nicest days of the year were the 30th and 31st of March, or as I like to think of them absolutely fucking eons ago.
Read 8 tweets