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Tag: Essays

Jeremy Corbyn – A New Hope?

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

On 12th July I paid my £3.00 and registered as a Labour supporter so I could vote for the leader. A week or so earlier Jeremy Corbyn had scraped onto the ballot at the last moment after having just received one over the 35 nominations from fellow Labour MPs that he needed to be included in the race with Liz Kendall, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper. Nobody believed that Corbyn had a chance, he didn’t believe it himself. The three MPs who backed him at the last minute said they did so to broaden the debate. They would let him have his moment as a sop to the party’s left wing and then put him back in his box so they could get on with the proper business of politics, that is, doing and saying whatever would please an electorate whose beliefs were shaped by a mainstream media owned by the corporatocracy.

No one believed he had a chance, not even Jeremy himself, but from the moment he planted his standard an army of supporters, people who were invisible in the party of Blair and Brown and Miliband, gathered around Jeremy and it soon became clear that this would be no token opposition and he wasn’t going to be put back into his box any time soon. Suddenly Jeremy was the only candidate anyone was talking about. The princes of Labour were calling him ‘unelectable’ in tune with the Tories and the Tory media. But then United and other unions gave him their support, Constituency Labour Party organisations (CLPs) and local councillors started backing him. The princes panicked; Chuka Ummuna described the support for Jeremy as the Party “behaving like a petulant child who has been told you can’t have the sweeties in the sweet shop … running around stamping our feet, screaming at the electorate [who had supposedly rejected a Left agenda] when ultimately what we need to do is meet people where they are at, not necessarily where we would want them to be”.

The way Chukka frames this is that he wants the party to ‘box clever’ so they can get back into power but he comes across as a man without moral principles believing that the public has no moral principles and have to be tricked into voting for what’s in their own interest. He talks about warfare and welfare like a Tory and epitomises what I intend when I use the term ‘princes’ (generically to include ‘princesses’ also.) to describe the current leaders of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Tony Blair has also intervened to give the same message as Chuka Ummuna and he is even less convincing:

The problem for the princes is that while they talk about Corbyn he talks about principles and policy. In this friendly interview Afshin Rattansi of the excellent RT programme ‘Going Underground‘ asks Jeremy Corbyn why he has been consistently right on issues where his rivals were wrong:

Corbyn’s interview with Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy was more difficult. Guru-Murthy could hardly be called anything less than rude. I must admit that watching Jeremy lose his temper was, embarrassingly, like looking into a mirror. Jeremy is not much older than I am and I wondered if it was an age thing but I think I might have been like this for a long time so it’s probably just a personality thing. Still, despite Guru-Murthy’s approach Jeremy got his points across and to my mind looked like the rational speaker. Guru-Murthy’s aggressive, quick fire, questioning, though extremely irritating, were easy to bat away and did not challenge Jeremy’s position in any depth:

Although I favour Jeremy I would like to see his positions much more thoroughly tested and I am disappointed that this is not happening. If, as his rivals claim, he is sending the party and the country in the wrong direction then they need to be more explicit on what is wrong with his positions. It’s not enough to say he ‘unelectable’ they need to show why he should be unelectable, they need to show why his principles and policies won’t work. They haven’t come close to doing that in reasoned debate and I can only think it’s because they can’t.

Four Ukrainian Women

These videos of an unnamed townswoman, a baker turned soldier, a singer and a politician, four Ukrainian women give what seems like a very direct insight into what is happening in Ukraine. I very much recommend watching them.

“We’re sick of this war! Our husbands and sons aren’t going anywhere!”

In the town of Velikaya Znamenka a woman seizes the microphone from a Ukrainian Army recruiter come to conscript men to fight against the ‘separatists’ in Donbass. Her speech is epic. It is from the heart:


     

“We’re at home, we know everything around here [government troops] they’ve been led here like lambs to slaughter.”

Ilona Banevich is a militia company commander defending the town of Ilovaysk. She was a baker before government forces destroyed her apartment and she joined the resistance. Now she commands hundreds of men. A natural leader, the role fits her like a glove but it is not a role she sought; as she says the fight came to her. Banevich is featured in the first six minutes of this documentary “The Faces of the Resistance: With Your Own Eyes”:


     

“That’s what the ‘Stop Firing’ message is all about – stop firing at our own people”

Ruslana, Ukranian Eurovision winner and Euromaidan supporter talks to journalists in a TV studio audience about her visit to Donbass and change of heart. She is one of the leaders of the ‘Stop Firing’ campaign calling for an end to the killing:


     

“I don’t think anybody takes them seriously, this gang of marauders, dilettantes, cannibals who are going to come to power now.”

Apparently speaking before the Ukrainian elections in October 2014, nationalist politician Tat’yana Montyan dismisses the gang coming to power as being as corrupt as the previous gang but less competent. The people really in charge are the oligarchs who have always been in charge. She calls the war a scam to steal money:

Niels Harrit: 9/11 Dissenter

On 11 September 2001 four civilian planes were, reportedly, hijacked by nineteen terrorists over the United States. Two of these planes slammed into the Twin Towers New York’s World Trade Centre, another into the Pentagon and the last crashed before reaching a target. The US government concluded that the attack had been coordinated by the Arab terrorist Osama bin Laden who they said was hiding in Afghanistan. This pretext was used to launch a war against Afghanistan and later Iraq. It has continued to be presented as a motivating factor in America’s foreign policy. However many people continue to question the narrative assigning responsibility to Osama bin Laden and the nineteen terrorists. The arguments some of these dissenters present are highly cogent but mainstream politicians and media in the west routinely treat their objections as deluded ramblings determinedly refusing to engage in meaningful dialogue, not withstanding that some of these dissenters include PhD level scientists and engineers and world leaders.

In 2011 Dr Neils Harrit was interviewed by the BBC as part of a documentary series on ‘conspiracy theorists’. Dr Harrit wisely made his own recording so there are no copyright issues over him using it. The video he produced is over two hours long. If you can’t watch the whole thing watch the first 10 to 15 minutes where Harrit outlines the absurdities of the official 9/11 narrative.

Neil Harrit is essentially an expert witness that the BBC interviewer, Michael Rudin, treats as a conspiracy nut trying to conflate his arguments with the genuinely nutty arguments that planes never flew into the Twin Towers. The interviewer is essentially defending the official story and treats Harrit as a ‘hostile witness’. The latter part of the interview is highly technical and I admit that I don’t understand all the technicalities regarding the presence or otherwise of thermite but the interviewer tries to undermine Harrit’s thesis by citing another expert’s dismissal of the thesis without a real discussion of the reasons for this dismissal. Throughout the interview Rudin appears to use the authority and feelings of those who support the official story as a counterweight to Harrit’s analysis. That Dr Harrit manages to keep cool is a testimony to his maturity.

It seems to me that Rudin, though aggressive, sounds somewhat embarrassed at the line of questioning that he is obliged to pursue. He asks Harrit “Do you think you’re taking a personal risk by doing the work you’re doing.?”

Harrit replies, “I have no way back. If you fight you might lose, but if you don’t fight you have lost. I have six grandchildren … our civilisation is at stake. There is no way our civilisation can continue without facing these unsolved questions of 911.” Harrit is of course absolutely right and I admire him for his work and the risk he has taken. He has been faithful to his calling as a scientist. Mainstream journalists like Rudin on the other hand seem to have betrayed their calling and brought their profession into disrepute.

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