Direct democracy, trade unions, parliamentary party.

Direct democracy and grassroots movements are a very important part of UK democracy. A range of the services that UK citizens take for granted, from mental health services, domestic violence services and many aspects of the welfare state come directly from social mo vements. With a social movement you have to identify the location of control. Boycott workfare, DPAC, and the myriad of welfare campaigners who have emerged since austerity began are grassroots movements. They start with the people impacted who need change and create pressure which can then influence trade unions, and parliament. Throughout austerity the Labour left did everything they could to squash grassroots movements. The likes of ‘Dr.Eoin Clarke’, Owen Jones and the people at the core of the People’s Assembly and Netroots served the primary purpose of preventing grassroots activism unless it could be co-opted. Sunny Hundal and Owen Jones faking debates where they tried to undermine Occupy, and Labour Lords trying to subvert Occupy into Labour friendly media message. Labour left existed to prevent grassroots activism and replace it with astroturf which could be centrally controlled. James Schneider’s Peoples Momentum is the natural conclusion to this.

Trade Unions are an essential tension in democracy. We haven’t had functioning trade unions for a long time. UNISON and PCS should be able to effectively offer a critique of the transformation of our benefits system and local authorities under neo liberalism, an effective critique including the gendered aspects of the welfare state and the principles of care economics. They cannot do so because the Trade Unions in the UK are directly occupied by the Labour left. From Mark Serwotka and the rebranded Militant who refuse to allow PCS to do this, to Dave Prentis who sold the austerity that impacted care workers, social services and kids in care and their low paid members. Len McCluskey steals the voice of his workers to manufacture the astroturf we have already described and is currently using that power to destabilise the Labour Party. The Labour Left will not allow the UK to have functioning trade unions because they want the power they can gain from them.

Parliamentary democracy. We vote in general elections. We are a representative democracy. Our MPs work for their constituents and in order to gain the privilege of doing so, they have to gain votes and people have to confer that power on them. The political party who gain the most seats in a general election are invited to form a government, the leader of that party has to be able to command the support of their MPs. Currently the Labour left are trying to assert that they can give parliamentary authority and override constituents and elected representatives. It is not possible to form a government without mandate from voters being given to the leader of a party, who can use that mandate to form a government. Without a parliamentary party in opposition, with the mandate of MPs, the party in government have no opposition. We live in a one party state.

Currently the Labour Left are the barrier to us having trade unions that function, direct democracy that has an impact, and a parliamentary party. This is a problem. This is a very small culture who are creating a very serious distortion in our democracy. We need direct democracy. We need trade unions. We need an opposition party. Until this culture have gone we will have none of these things.

 

 

Dear James Schneider

Hi. You won’t know me. None of my friends went to Winchester, and we tend not to drift to Oxford and Cambridge because that’s what your set do, not mine. I am one of your base. It used to be that to be my democratic representative you had to earn it, I had to vote for you, but a media class emerged who squeezed voters out of the democratic equation and figured out social media allowed the creation of synthetic grassroots movements that could change that. I wanted to let you know I fully understand that your political views have changed, and the poor have gone from objects to be improved by the Tories, to objects improved by your dismantling the Labour Party(our democratic representation.  I understand completely.

Anyway I wanted to let you know that  protest and grassroots movements are the voice of the unheard. Not the voice of ex Winchester schoolboys who figured out that synthetic grassroots movements were a good way to dismantle political parties and gain political power. When you have the front bench of the House of Commons you don’t need protest. And centrally planned protests designed to remove the Leader of the Opposition from the democratic reach of their MPs, which rely on  bullying, abuse, intimidation and threatening elected representatives, are not grassroots movements.

I know you spend a lot of time listening to fairy stories about the last time the hard left faction of the Labour left decided we didnt need to oppose the Tories, but I wanted to fill you in on what the eighties were like for the people who paid for that. It was shit. For a long long time. Until Labour could show the public they were electable, things couldn’t change.

Anyway, this is not 1983. We are in the midst of a national crisis as our position in the world changes, and the political vacuum you are deliberately making worse is going to hurt millions of people. It’s going to be like the austerity you supported, then exploited, but on steroids. People will go hungry. People will lose their kids, their communities, their homes, get ill, die earlier. Because of your background you won’t ever meet these people. It won’t be you who suffers. But am sure the Tories will welcome you back with open arms once you have helped dismantle the Labour Party, and are already very grateful for you leaving them without parliamentary opposition.

Don’t worry about your youthful views. We all change as we get older and mature. BY the time you mature you will have the nice soft cushion your elite education and wealthy family give you and you will never meet the people who pay for yours. Such is life and the class system.

The undeliverable Child Abuse Enquiry

So Justice Lowell Goddard has resigned as Chair of the proposed Child Abuse Enquiry and we should discuss this. Firstly, she was never qualified to carry out such an enquiry. The simple fact is, noone was or is. The nearest thing we had to a person qualified to conduct such an enquiry was Dame Butler Sloss, and she was unsuitable, and too old to start an enquiry of such scope. The fact is this enquiry is and always was undeliverable. The scope of the enquiry was that it would cover a massive time frame, including a period before society even recognised that sexual abuse was a harm, and it covers all institutions in a complex economy. We have NEVER had legislation or systems that could address child abuse, especially not sexual abuse perpetrated by third parties outside a child’s family. Criminal law and the burden of proof ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ cannot address intimate crimes adequately, and we use the burden of proof ‘on balance of probability’ to conduct investigations within families because otherwise we could not protect children. We cannot use that burden of proof with criminal law and acts.

Is best to start with what people want from this enquiry. What they want is an enquiry which provides a few high profile scalps and swift absolution for a crime that needs no cover up. It has never been necessary to cover up or conspire to cover up child abuse. Especially not abuse of children who lived in the Looked After System. The equation is and has always been about weighing up the political weight of the abused with the political weight of the abuser, and it is rare that that equation concludes the child who has been abused should win. Unless the abuser is of a race where it is convenient to believe the child, or poor enough, there has never been a need to cover up the response to child abuse. This is a reflex. The reflex that drives inequality. A reflex that drives our system. And everyone knows it and noone wants to discuss it. This does not just apply to celebrities, pop stars and politicians, but teachers, doctors, social workers, and any number of community members. This is a common crime and one which is hidden in our society by public consent.

Our child protection systems have been beyond broken for a long time, and this was by public consent and public demand. Our political economy for as long as I have been alive has had the demonisation of mothers, poor children, and social workers, at its core and since Baby P, we have removed consideration of social context from child abuse investigations. Our legislation for children applies duties to families, not rights or protection to children, and for several years has been about policing poverty, while our social policy has been about explicitly forcing financial dependence for mothers and forcing them INTO situations that harm them and their children. We have been using adoption to punish mothers who fail to protect their children by leaving abuse and domestic abuse has only recently become a policy goal. Our childrens legislation is long overdue review and has long been inadequate.

The way in which abusers organise to abuse children doesn’t really change, whether that be Rotherham or Parliament, and hasn’t changed for a long long time. This is all in plain sight. MPs with a liking for little boys has long been a popular trope, and the systematic abuse of girls highlighted in Rotherham and Keighley was done in plain sight. NOONE could have objected, and these kids were unabusable by public consent. Anyone who grew up in the care system already knows this. What the public now wants is evidence of a tiny conspiracy of evil people and what the media  wants is an enquiry that doesn’t highlight the role of media democracy in maintaining this situation.

The enquiry parameters were so set so broad that anyone working within child protection immediately knew it was undeliverable and the behaviour of survivor groups and unethical media outlets like Exaro turned this into media witchhunt which obscured the issues at stake. The least important question in this enquiry is the names of a few abusers the public may have heard of, most of the ones they are interested in are dead, senile or too old to be prosecuted. Many of these groups now demanding that we treat suspicions of child abuse as a basis for prosecuting professionals and schools.

There are about 100 staff working on an enquiry which would need that many staff per district, local authority and regional and national oversight. We apparently don’t want a judge who is part of the establishment. Judges who are not part of the establishment are commonly called solicitors. We want someone to head this enquiry who will not challenge survivors groups, who want catharsis and a retribution which cannot be provided by any enquiry. Sexual abuse is a disgusting crime which our law doesn’t have a huge amount of ability to deal with. Alleged perpetrators are innocent till proven guilty and there is rarely enough evidence to prove anyone guilty. The catharsis survivors want is someone to say this happened to you, and most abusers live in denial and the attempt to get this only ever results in reabuse and victims being put on trial. This is understandable but an enquiry cannot provide this.

The person who takes on this role will need the courage to a) redefine parameters of the enquiry to one with an achievable end, a review of existing legislation and systems. b) they will need the courage to take on the media and to explicitly call them into line and to consider the role of media in the erosion of our child protection systems and facilitating the cover up of child abuse and say this enquiry cannot be conducted in the open but has to be conducted mostly behind closed doors. c) they will need the ability to say to survivors groups that this cannot be about you getting catharsis and you may not get what you need from this enquiry if what you need is acknowledgement you were harmed and the ability to publicly name your abuser.

They will need the courage to prevent this being turned into a voyeuristic exercise where everyone gets to salivate over the gory details of child sexual abuse. It will need judges with several areas of expertise, from capacity, child protection, family law and those who understands institutions. It will need several judges and a staff of several hundred, and a Chair with the courage to say the original enquiry was ill advised, badly conceived, and undeliverable and that the issues at stake here are greater than the need for the general public to burn someone at the stake.

 

The difference between Momentum and Militant

This generation is elite brats dining out on fairy tales told by the likes of Jon Lansman and Mark Serwotka. James Schneider’s views while austerity rolled back equality for working class women.

A grassroots movement. Yeah, the grass is green in the world of elite brats entitled to wear ‘the poor’ as a badge.

”The emphasis must not be that “the country is worse now than in 1997″. No one will believe that; I don’t believe that. The emphasis must be placed on how Gordon is reckless and Osborne/Cameron will empower the poor, embolden the middle classes, and create a country that is no longer worse than Ireland or Australia.”

James Meadway. John McDonell’s advisor. The benefits of a constitutional crisis(like brexit?)

This is the mentality we are dealing with McDonell and Corbyn. The covert narcissism of the culture around Corbyn means all accusations are admissions. A constitutional crisis like the brexit vote that triggered their actions is beneficial to these people for their aims. Meadway is ex SWP. Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t want to be in office and doesn’t want to lead a parliamentary Labour Party, he said as much here. But there are benefits to holding the front bench of the house of commons hostage. Not for us. The Labour Party is a tactic. For us it’s just 30 years Tory rule, a political vacuum and a slow drift to irrelevance and instability. For them it’s an opportunity to win some victory for their fantasy left at our expense. Trust fund socialism has always left a trail of destruction in its wake, we are just badges for these people. The austerity that destroyed lives around us, just an opportunity, like Brexit. The fact that they could be tipping a country over the edge, neither here or nor there. Populism a tool. The hope of the people just desperate for change, disposable fuel that will be forgotten tomorrow.jamesmeadway