What fate awaited Thatcherism? In my teenage years I believed that Thatcherism represented a reboot the British economy needed; an essential modernisation that would re-align our economy with that of the real world. Old certainties and securities would change and, to replace them, we would all become capitalists – a nation of small businessmen & women with responsibilities for our own fates. This would unleash new wave of wealth-creation. These new-found riches would allow the nation to invest in its necessary infrastructure. Markets served society and Government should not interfere unnecessarily. That was the dream that was sold to us. Thirty years later I don’t believe this was naive or wrong – a market-led utopia still has un-tapped potential. But everything is now upside-down. These new “free markets” were captured only by the powerful to the exclusion of everybody else. They would not serve society. Markets worked only for the 1% and became code for whatever rent-seekers could profit from. Continue reading
Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin [1814 – 1876] was, for want of better terminology, a Russian revolutionary. A contemporary of Karl Marx he was born into Russian nobility and started out with a brief career in the Tsar’s army before moving into philosophy. Unlike Marx his ideas on social revolution have largely been forgotten despite his infamous battles with the author of “Das Kapital”. The world we live in is a consequence of a moment in history when Marx manoeuvred Bakunin out of the First International at the 1872 Hague Convention. It could have all been so different for us all if Bakunin had outfoxed his somewhat more Machiavellian opponent. Bakunin was no Communist, he was an Anarchist. Convention has it today that the term “anarchism” is only used in purely pejorative terms. That outcome is a result not only of early terrorist acts (conducted by people who called themselves “anarchists”), but also because both Communism & Capitalism has so tried so hard quash this third option. Yet Anarchism is not necessarily the terrible thing we think it is. It is a utopian philosophy that means “rule by no one”. Continue reading
The British Broadcasting Corporation came into life in October 1922 at the same time as a young Eric Blair [George Orwell] departed for Burma to join the imperial Police Force. That same year Benito Mussolini took power in his infamous “March on Rome” which inspired the Hitler’s 1923 Bavarian Beer Hall Putsch. Hitler was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment at Landsberg Prison where he set about writing Mein Kampf. Hitler wrote glowingly of England and dreamt of a great Germanic anti-Communist alliance with the British Empire. Not only that but he knew our cultures were aligned for he saw British propaganda as a shining example to his young NSDAP disciples. He claimed that Germany lost World War One because the British had better propaganda. Some thirteen year later Orwell was to write “Fascism is coming; probably a slimy Anglicized form of Fascism, with cultured policemen instead of Nazi Gorillas and the lion and the unicorn instead of the swastika.” Continue reading
Wednesday 29th March 2017. A day that will go down in infamy as the day the British Government started the process that leads this once-great nation down the path to becoming a neo-feudal American client state. As despair settles into the educated classes we ask ourselves: is there some teaching department at Eton that specialises in the indoctrination of our next generation leaders? Do boys sit at benches as a wizened professor teaches them to love the British Empire? Do the young students leave class with starry eyed dreams of restoring said Empire to its former glory? Continue reading
Maybe, for your own sanity, you just shouldn’t look up other people’s opinions on the internet. If you are reading this then you may have already made that mistake…. Heck, you already got THIS far so let’s stick together like birds of a feather… It is not often we get to write about a movie, let alone a kid’s cartoon based upon a computer game. I made the mistake of looking this one up on the Internet Movie Database and glanced through the public reviews. What an eye-opener. It is a measure of how much the alt-right has bent reality around their world-view that punters (who support Donald Trump-and-his-ilk in the USA) think this movie speaks for them. No, seriously. Of course to any simpleton this tale of a misfit under-dog rapidly rising to save his people from thieving piggies can be made to fit any situation. It is the fact that these dullards do this using the most inappropriate example just takes my breath away. I was astonished at the utter lack of irony or introspection. Continue reading
In 2006 I started a web site called “the-coming-war” to document my concern that a succession of increasingly Right-wing US Presidents would only lead to one conclusion: a world war. The phrase “the coming war” was lifted from a book written in the 1980s concerning a war between Japan and America. [Today it is more associated with John Pilger’s work “The Coming War on China“.] When I became actively involved with the communitarian post-carbon movement in 2008 I folded that web site into my blog and thought little more about it. Obama replaced Bush and we all breathed a sign of relief. The European Union, China and America finally came together on the Paris Accord on Climate Change and it looked as if my concerns were unnecessary. Then came 2016. We are now firmly on course for a massive period of scary instability in world affairs that we have not seen for 80 years. If you are not terrified by this you either want it to happen or have no idea what is going on.