Why Hester kept his bonus.

Because it was a contractual obligation. Agreed by Labour and the Tories, even if the signature came from a Labour biro. Like the agreement that we would pour several times our national expenditure into a bank bailout scheme that would do little more than prolongue the crisis and guarantee the bust would be huge. We don’t talk about the banks still being responsible for the creation of our money supply. I would have thought, at some point since 2008 we would have had a conversation about whether that was wise.  But no. Apparently we are still working on the bonus thing. Do you remember Hester telling us we needed to learn there is no such thing as a free lunch?

PS: Added later. I have seen conflicting reports about whether or not it was a contractual obligation.

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Sorry I know was last link…

..but after every such a long time there was a victory. The Lords defeated the proposals to make single parents pay for using the CSA. Again, that unelected hereditary abomination has to act as a check and balance because there is no parlliamentary party functioning.

It doesn’t change things for the tens upon tens of thousands of women who just have been forced out of work. Doesn’t help those who are reducing the deficit by being raped, beaten, controlled. It doesn’t give women back a means of earning their financial autonomy after being trapped for our political parties to kick when they need to detract attention from something else.  But it’s something after a soul destroying year of finding out why it was such a good idea to target working class women first, hardest, and repeatedly. After their careers have been taken, after their ability to pay their bills by working was taken, the domestic violence services that protected them went, someone thought it was probably not nice to charge them for trying to access money from their childs father. See, all is well with the world.

The story so far…

A new blog. The reason? The old one was a waste.

Last year

I started my last blog at the beginning of the ‘anti-cuts movement’.  The politics of dissent has established pathways. Unfortunately they are designed to be walked by people from a white, male dominated, middle class ‘sub culture’ of ‘activism'(aside: which, in an orwellian turn means ‘circle -jerk of similarly inactive narcissists, achieving little but occasional disruption. Convincing each other of what they already know, with occasional bouts of accusing interlopers of being an undercover police officers).

Mainly mingling in fashionable areas of the our great capital or in colonised enclaves of sufficiently deprived yet fashionable areas. You may find them in spots of environmental significance. The left. Wannabe journalists, politicos, and posh kids. This exogenous body have to be sought out.

A working class awakening is desirable,  their plot demands the proles wake up so they can get on with utilising the ensuing political capital. Elitism and misogyny an unquestionable long held  tradition, as is the neo-liberalism at it’s ‘moderate’ heart. To smash the state on the backs of the cause of public sector workers trying to preserve it and the things they built within it. Not the awakening I was looking for. Luckily they’re mainly harmless and come with their own echochamber.

What was happening while I was fannying about with the left?

While I was wasting my time, a more important but disturbing picture became crystal clear. The word ‘cuts’ faded. We are in a democratic crisis, most of the received wisdom which has distorted our political debate for decades just crumbled, our institutions of power globally and nationally are in crisis, and  in the midst of internal power struggles.  Power has to be maintained without the comfort of people’s disbelief being suspended. There is no glorious post-capitalist alternative on the horizon, the flow of global capital is just shifting, and our time is up. We now see globalisation from a new perspective. Geographically the prize Atlantic spot we occupy was just devalued. Australia, with it’s proximity to Asia is becoming Obama and Hilary’s  ‘special’ geo-political spot du jour.

Swathes of the country are fully aware they have no political representation, welfare is being used as a weapon on a unnecessarily dependent working class, and we are heading off a cliff economically, into decline. The days of welfare and social housing being anything other than a tool for punishment and control, gone. We need a knowledge based productive economy, but starved and fractured our education system, and dismantled our industry. We are attached to the US as they enter their latest steps into decline, and we are apparently keen to use our foreign policy to protect their economic interests. Especially if that is at the expense of Europe. Equality for women has been rolled back, unless that woman ‘fails’ to procreate or is independently wealthy. Some political dealing means attacks on disabled people may slow, but that is unlikely and even if the politicians stop being mean, their housing benefiit was already slashed, and so was their care. There are no functioning means available for people to access democracy, and access to the legal system has been shut down.  The tribal screeching that is left of mainstream political discourse, little more than expensive trolling and gaslighting. A summer of riots show that social cohesion is not holding up that well.

What triggered all this?

The inevitable consequence of globalisation was governance devolving down and federalising up. Power devolved down organically, but the financial crisis which should have triggered the checks and balances our democratic institutions offer, didn’t. It turns out they got turned off sometime in 1986, when Wall Street and the City of London merged and were set free. Now patriotism is allegiance to the City. In Europe, the federalisation of power occured, but it doesn’t appear to be very democratic. Nothing is going to stop what is about to happen. Whatever is coming is going to play out on it’s own, And a world full of ‘neoliberalismfuckedmeover’s’ are waiting to deliver a smackdown. The pre-recorded war drums sounding are as familiar as that first brilliant Amy Winehouse album, and capitalism doesn’t appear to be in crisis, it appears to be evolving.

Here

Last year the majority of people around me had a job, and I was the only one who didn’t. Now, I work at home and there is no shortage of daytime visitors, as work everywhere dries up. I remember this point vaguely when I was a kid.  All the protections that existed then have been rolled back, and we haven’t seen the worst of this crisis yet.  I can tell you those who may never work again, and those who probably will. Our kids prepare to work for free at Tesco and Poundland. Neo liberalism has stripped our economy of productivity and  unsuccessfully tried to shatter our communities for my entire lifetime, to serve the sector that is about to blow. We are seeing the final push as everything is shovelled into it in the hope that it will magically be 1986, and not 2012.  Thatchers children grew up watching this happen all over the North. We know it’s protracted, we know which bits you don’t notice, and we know where it ends. It was apparently called ‘managed decline’, but has more often been seen as urban degeneration and blamed on ‘chavs’.

This year

2012 will be known as the year of the enormous ginormous neo-liberal global clusterfuck. So I need to starting off by defying the economy. I have already failed at one business, and I don’t have a career any more, not much to lose and might as well keep trying, there are many around me who can’t. This one is a goer. And there isn’t really much of an alternative. You can’t respond to an economic attack by hanging around with Oxford students offended more bye the heels than the holes in your shoes. Hoping to change a debate where the centrist position is ‘you should have kept your legs shut’, when you have to repeatedly start from there without repeating the word cunt too often. Watching politicos argue vocally over  ideological differences fostered so they can differentiate themselves from their peers and their families.  Becoming a  party tribalist willing to repeat whatever lie your chosen party tells ad infinitum for the greater good, not my bag. Writing is fun, but the pittance it brings alongside copywriting doesn’t make it a long term financial future, and shouting from the source of manufactured dysfunction that you would like it to change seems a frustrating exercise.

Our political system

There is no mysterious disconnect between politicians, the media, and the population. The disconnect is one that is carefully cultivated. Now that the internet is threatening to pierce it, there is considerable unease among those making their livings from it. Our  mainstream media has limited allocated spots for the Oxford and Cambridge left to  represent the chavs, wimmin and token ethnic minorities. It can only accept special interest group competing against special interest group or the poor proving they are deserving.  Tokens are welcome if they can be polite and don’t expect the debate to move on, but party supporters are preferable.

Occupy

Occupy has crystallised the unease that no-one could quantify, and embryonic as it is it cannot be undone. Globally, the idea will evolve and grow,  and exists way beyond the tents. The Arab Spring did not start in Egypt, and was not confined to the Arab region. There is no need for an artificially constructed debate to give what is happening meaning, we all share the same problem, are able to name it, and we are beginning to understand it.

What I’m going to do

Once I have finished setting up what am doing at the moment, I plan to write. A lot.  Knowing full well I can’t change anything at all. So this is a new blog. It isn’t the eighties, this time we can all write. Even if it is only to say we can’t stop you, but we know damn well what you are doing.

I apologise for a year of writing bogged down in left wing politics.  Had I realised that that was, is, and always has been the sole purpose  of it, I would have just stuck with what I was doing in the first place.

So now we get down to business…

Look forward to talking to you.

It occurs to me..

..this entire years blog was a waste. I thought that Labour presented the biggest threat because I underestimated the electorate, I thought they would be our next government, and soon.  Like Ed Miliband did. And that the lefty politics I got bogged down in, was where change would come from. I could have been writing about cabbages for all the relevance it had to anyone else.

Fitting week to end this blog given the completion of Labour’s triangulation on disability, skillfully offered up alongside the message that they weren’t going to reverse any cuts. A statement predicated on the idea that anyone believed they were. Because we are all that dumb. Cue Labour poppet Jones expressing shock and condemnation at this wholly unexpected ‘surrender’, Sunny Hundal pondering why Labour keep repeating the same argument about welfare. Safe to let the word ‘benefits’ on Liberal Conspiracy now that the tragic death of Helen and Mark Mullins luckily coincided with a planned Labour triangulation on disability, and most of the last lot of welfare and social care ‘reforms’ are through safely. Now a master of the triangulation and cover for slashing welfare which drove him to vote Lib Dem. Neither have the abililty to understand the gravity of what has taken place.

Some advice to Labour. If you are going to continue to manufacture the appearance of relevance, you are going to have to increase the hiring pool, Rowenna, Owen and Twundal can’t do it on their own. In a pattern becoming familiar, the only effective opposition to these cuts came from an undemocratic clergy whose christian values are not about bigotry and increasing political influence and from peers sitting in the blue part of that house.

I daresay a few are questioning Miliband’s emphasis on copying the astroturf techniques he imported from the US, common sense should have told him they would lose effectiveness quite quickly. This years Netroots will be quieter without Luke Bozier leading the charge against the cuts, and Telegraph trainee Jennifer Mahoney to send out the right message, not that Ed as our Progressive Champion ever sold. Am guessing quite a few of those progressives will be eyeing up their prospects on the right as polls show Labour have charged headfirst into irrelevance. Dan Hodges can smirk away from the warm offices of the Telegraph as his ex colleagues ponder how to sell the situation.

Watching Labour implode under the gaze of a smart electorate was quite interesting, and I think things are about to get too interesting to be bogged down in ‘what the left are doing’. An education though. Unelectable Labour means a new normal of hung parliaments, austerity, and coalitions. In the context of a global neo liberal clusterfuck. Or Conservative hegemony. Our very own fiscal compact.  Lord Owen is busy plotting himself into relevance with Labour to ‘topple this coalition’, according to today’s Telegraph.. Ir is now apparent that the threads unfolding beyond Westminster are altogether darker than cuts to local libraries, and Westminster offers no viable political solutions to our problems at present. Occupy is reassuring, but none is likely to appear any time soon. Now we need to buckle in and try and weather the coming storms, the left will be too busy to notice. We could be decades away from a real viable political force with a credible economic and social policy alternative. Everything is as it should be. At least everything is a bit clearer than this time last year.

Sorry for break in posting…

..real life in way and all that. Back in a week or so. One final post, then this blog is just about put to bed. Will be moving over to another blogging platform. Not sure which. Not sure when. Soon. Also, thank you for requests, but I can't fit in any writing work on until mid February, is going to take every effort to get final post in here..