Imperious clot

This imperious clot;
This superficial bung;
This snotty, snitty puppet
Strung with imitation silk,
In Power, squatting,
Squandering potential
With ignoble speech
And acts beneath all dignity.
This blot; this blight; this block
On common decency –
Prime Monster, he,
With high horse might,
That leads with no integrity.

Post Colonial

If Cecil had rocked up in Calais
he would have been let through –
safe haven is a trophy, too.

[‘Calais crisis: Anger online over reaction to the death of a migrant compared to the killing of Cecil the Lion‘]

Bring it.

Right wing clinging
But the Left wing is singing,
Rising up from the edges,
Marching in on the terraces;
A coiled spring’s innings
Twinning up on the bluff:
Oh, come and have a go
if you think you’re hard enough!

Self-centering

The Centre! The Centre! Everyone thinks s/he knows where it is and none more so than the right-wing political class and its supporters. All opposition to its groupthink is painted as the naive work of upstarts who want to go on some nostalgic trip to another era where it failed to make intellectual arguments that resonated. The prevailing nonsense in Mainstream is that the middle ground has been identified and fixed and that where it has been anchored is correct and reasonable. It’s a given. Job done. Any view; any evidence, experiential, academic or data-sourced that contradicts the groupthink is framed as some regressive, tedious, even dangerous, militant red blight. No wonder people are becoming polarised in their efforts to attack and defend positions.

Groupthink likes to imagine that, because it won the socio-political arguments of thirty, forty years ago, it doesn’t need to win them again. And yet, both tangible and experiential evidence is gradually shifting the collective consciousness to a place of critical mass, where it wants and needs to have the arguments again. Now, not only does this consciousness have a more sophisticated collective with more coherent narratives but it also has that “see, we’ve tried doing it all your way…”

The centre is a point equidistant from the outermost edge(s). Democratically, this implies a place of reconciliation, balance, general consensus, with the potential to expand or shrink its middle by moving, evenly, all ways. The last few decades have seen a steamrollering of consensus without any attention to balance. See how the world wobbles under its asymmetry of power and belief. Move any further to the right and we’ll all fall over the edge. To get back to balance; to find a more representative centre; to reconcile the needs of all people with their individual desires, leftwards is the only shift possible.

What currently passes for commonly accepted socio-economic philosophy in British politics is not the ‘centre ground’. It is merely the core from which crony authority radiates. It’s a self-centre in a bubble. The Right-wing mindset won’t admit quite how much trouble it has caused the world nor how much it, itself, is in but, really, it is just a tatty old flag on a crumbling spire, dying of its own conviction.

Lurching to the Left

“Lurching to the Left” blasts through the megaphone of myopia. The unimaginative, the mischief-makers and the plain selfish hear and attend. With all their might, misanthropic messengers peddle promises of perpetual fruit from a dying tree in an outpost they dare to call ‘the Centre’. These cankers would have you believe that any challenge to established thought is sinister – a direct threat to progress – as though socio-economic fabric is weakened by its weft and requires only their ideological warp.

Apparently it is backward to value socio-economic justice; extreme to desire ethical foreign policies; radical to seek sustainable alternatives. How gauche! How bloody left-field dare it!

This is no lurching to. It is but the understandable, essential and long-overdue recoiling from the arrogance and ignorance of a hardened right. It is an effort to straighten up. People are rejecting the idea that neo-liberal/-imperialist theories of perpetual competition and asymmetrical exploitation of resources and power are in any way civilised when practised.

It’s bad enough that the terrain of common interest has been named for the Left and not simply for basic Humanity but, that the Right clearly enjoys framing political and popular dissent from its groupthink as not just immature and laughable but radical, extreme, even.. And, when the Official Party of Opposition is in a stupor of denial deeper than Peter, what real difference does it make, whether it is Labour’s impotence or lack of will that distances it from so much of the electorate? What the Hell is wrong with them all..?

Perhaps everyone should join the Conservative Party; board its vessel, The Constant Compass and correct its self-righteous settings. It’s £25 to become a standard member. It might be the cheapest way to change course. The way things are shaping up, it might also be the quickest.

What is Labour for?

What is Labour for?
To be an echo chamber
for blame and compromise.
Sheep disguised as sheep,
made weak from the pursuit of power
indivisible now. Purity wears blue.

What does Labour do
But sit at the hob-nailed feet of Moar
in celebration of defeat
and bid its icy hue.
If you can’t beat them…
Make one moron out of two.

What is Labour for?
Transplant co-ordination team
for artificial intelligence.
Middle-men for muddled heads
and curdled hearts;
a stepping stone to Tory parts.

What is Labour for?
History lessons, sport and snark.

 

fa la di da

Go on, then:
Explain to me, again,
You funny sucker,
How there isn’t any money.
I’m prepared to be amused…
Do tell that joke about the ruse
Wrapped in a riddle.
Go on: fiddle me that tune
That goes “impugn fa la di da”
And sing your moxie philodoxy
Of whose means you’re keen
To live within – I need a grin –
Please minstrel up that thing
Where Big Society’s anxieties
Are values and variety –
I’ll try to do the Robot
As you pluck the tired strings.

‘One Nation’ Party

One Nation Party
Sets the scene –
All mean and nasty
Keen and crafty
Has-beens
Flatter
TINA’s platter
All that matters
Imitation
Constant terms
Of poor equation
Size fits all
What sum be done
Installed becomes
One-Party Nation

Labour won’t fill the empty centre

Mainstream socio-economic thought has diverted so far to the Right, these last decades, that the Right actually imagines it holds the Centre Ground. This is a ridiculous conceit, worthy of its own nursery rhyme. That Labour keeps chasing purchase on the same dumb end of the political see-saw means the party is merely adding weight to the lowest end. Labour is convinced that this is the only way to regain electoral credibility but is this because it believes that neo-liberal ideology is truly the best or only option or is it incapable of paying more than lip-service to the widely available evidence to the contrary? Does it even care or has the power of governance become the end, rather than the means..? Well, count me out because, if I’d bought into TINA, I could have just voted Conservative. If I were seeking more Toryfication, I would have.

I live in a time where the centre has shifted so far to the crazy that I’m beginning to wonder if sanity is not, in fact, on some long sabbatical but is dying of neglect in a damp, dark dungeon, somewhere. Observe how, out of 232 Labour MPs, Jeremy Corbyn is the only leadership candidate who openly challenges the socio-economic narrative. The only one… His platform and approach are greeted by mainstream with a mix of mischievous relish and fearful contempt. He is treated by his own party as a distraction and an outlier. They humour him as they do their traditional voters and the wider electorate. So much for ‘listening’. So much for ‘learning the lessons’. Meanwhile, his most ardent fans compensate as though he were some all-encompassing last hope. But a one-man-band who can’t carry the Parliamentary Party with him? This is indication enough, to me, that Labour is not a credible answer.

Jeremy seems a decent enough chap. He speaks common sense analyses and appears to have the courage of his convictions but that does not mean he has managerial acumen and, I know this may be controversial but he doesn’t particularly inspire me, either. I also recognise those traits that attract to him the yesteryear labels and I know that, whether I can disregard his style and temperament or not, his charisma level has already been determined and framed by those that can open doors for him or slam them in his face. We’ve just had a Tory budget comprising several Labour policies so it’s no good kidding ourselves that the messenger is not perceived to be as important as the message, is it, however superficial or expedient that is.

Of course I’m relieved that someone from the left-wing of Labour has at least got a platform upon which to challenge the stale consensus. I hope he manages to reach further than the already converted and helps to shift consciousness in the wider population but I have no faith in his party nor the Media supporting him into leadership, let alone supporting him into leading a government. I don’t even think he’s the best man for the job. He’s just the only one willing enough, at the moment, with a slim chance at it. And that is exactly the rub because that’s the same hold-your-nose, stepping-stone justification for wanting him to win as I applied to voting Labour during the General Election. But Jeremy Corbyn is not the problem. Labour is. The empty centre he exposes is why.

The raging monster that is neoliberal power needs slaying, desperately but Labour looks neither able nor entirely willing. And perhaps it is too late, anyway. After all, Labour has had years to know who they are, what they stand for and where they want to take the country. They’ve had years to construct a narrative the electorate could identify with. They’ve had a whole Parliamentary term in Opposition to establish and refine it. They’ve actually had the same amount of time as everyone else. If they had wanted to keep up, they could have.