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The UK needs European Free trade for its Balance of Payments

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/04/2021 - 10:03am in

Although this original post may be a bit aged I came across it for the first time recently and in spite of being not convinced of its core point, nonetheless, it may have something to say on the balance of payments. I have given time to the author before and like him more because he... Read more

Prince Philip Was the Godfather of Anglo-British Nationalism

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 10/04/2021 - 2:20pm in

Prince Philip pulled together TV, tabloids and monarchy. But that won’t work for younger generations – as Harry and Meghan know

We should never have left – but there’s an easy return…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/04/2021 - 6:15am in

I’ve signed the petition to rejoin the EU – because, well, we should never have left*. But we have. Given that; Labour has to be fervently encouraged – and to encourage the electorate – to rejoin the single market and also the customs union. This would be a unilateral UK decision. Then, once we are... Read more

Pipe dreams – ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 07/04/2021 - 3:49am in

Geoff Crocker has written an interesting piece in Prospect Magazine entitled “How the virus could kill off our damaging debt delusions.” Even if I would prefer the word ‘should’ in place of the ‘could’ in the headline, it is still encouraging to see someone else realise that government is borrowing from itself. The pipe dream... Read more

Tory Flag-Waving Now Reaching Reaganite Proportions

Patriotism, someone once said, is the last refuge of the scoundrel. And the Tories have done their best to show how true this is, especially last week when it seemed that they wasted no opportunity to wave the flag. This also led them to generate more synthetic outrage towards the BBC. Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty raised Tory ire when Stayt joked about the relatively small size of the union flag on display during an interview with Matt Hancock or one of the other Tory ministers. This led to howls from the Tory press that the Beeb was sneering at the flag. They weren’t. They were laughing about the Tory’s sheer opportunistic use of it.

It’s no accident that they’ve started waving the flag in the weeks running up to the local elections. Their performance on health, the economy, Brexit and just about everything else has been dire. They’re still trying to privatise the health service by stealth, they insulted the nurses with a 2 per cent pay rise, which is in real terms a cut in their salaries, wages are still frozen, more people are being forced into real, grinding poverty, the queues at the food banks are as long as ever, or longer. The Brexit that Boris has been so desperate to ‘get done’ is spelling disaster for Britain’s manufacturing industry, and businesses dealing with the continent and ordinary Brits wishing to travel abroad are now faced with mountains of paperwork and bureaucracy. Bureaucracy which the Brexiteers blithely assured us wouldn’t happen. Hopefully this year will see us coming out of lockdown and the Coronavirus crisis. We’ve a far higher rate of peeps receiving the vaccine than the EU, but that shouldn’t distract attention from the colossal way the Tories have mismanaged the Covid crisis as a whole. As Mike’s pointed out in one of his articles, Tory bungling and corruption – they gave vital medical contracts to companies owned and run by their friends and supporters, rather than to firms that could actually deliver – that over 100,000 people have died of the disease. One of the good peeps on Twitter has shown how this compares to the numbers killed in some of the genocides and ethnic massacres that have plagued recent decades. And the report, which was supposed to show that Britain isn’t institutionally racist, has been torn to shreds with some of the academics cited claiming they were not properly consulted and seeking to distance themselves from it. And then there are the mass demonstrations up and down the land against their attempts to outlaw any demonstration or protest they don’t like under the guise that it would be a nuisance.

And so, with all this discontent, they’ve fallen back to Thatcher’s tactics of waving the flag at every opportunity. One of the hacks at the Absurder in the 1980s said that Britain had three parties – the patriotic party, who were the Tories, the loony party, which was Labour, and the sensible party, which was the SDP/Liberals. Which showed you the paper’s liberal bias even then. The SDP, Liberals and their successors, the Lib Dems. have sold out utterly, while after four decades of Thatcherism Michael Foot’s Labour party looks far less than loony. But the hack was right about the Tories and patriotism. Thatcher waved the flag as frantically as she could and constantly invoked the spirit of Winston Churchill and World War II. One particularly memorable example of this was the Tory 1987 election broadcast, which featured Spitfires zipping about the sky while an overexcited voice told the world ‘Man was born free’ and concluded ‘It’s great to be great again’.

Here’s another feature of Fascism that’s been adopted by the Tories to add to those on Mike’s checklist. Fascism is an ideology of national rebirth and revival. Thatcher was claiming she was making us great again, just as Donald Trump claimed he was doing for America. Just as Oswald Mosley called one of his wretched books The Greater Britain. And unfortunately, as Zelo Street has also pointed out, Fascists like the Nazis have also used people’s natural loyalty to their flag as a means of generating support for their repulsive regimes. British Fascism was no different. Mosley also made great use of the flag at his rallies, and this tactic was taken over by his successors in the National Front and BNP. This has been an embarrassment to ordinary, non-racist Brits, who simply like the flag. One of my friends at school was a mod. At the time, the union flag and British bulldog formed a large part of mod imagery without meaning that the person was a racist or White supremacist. During one of the art lessons my friend started painting a picture with those two elements – the union flag and bulldog. The teacher came over and politely asked him not to do so, as he was afraid people would like at it and come to the wrong conclusion. This was just after the 1981/2 race riots, so you can understand why. But it is frustrating and infuriating that ordinary expressions of reasonable patriotism or simple pop culture iconography have become suspect due to their appropriation by the Far Right.

But the real excesses of flag-waving were to be seen over the other side of the Pond in Reagan’s America. Reagan was wrecking his country with privatisation and an assault on what the country had in the way of a welfare state, while murdering the people of countries like El Salvador and Nicaragua by supporting Fascist dictators and their death squads. But, like Thatcher, he did everything he could to use the symbols of American nationhood. Like the Stars and Stripes. A Republican party political broadcast in 1984 or thereabouts showed the American flag being raised no less than 37 times. This was so bizarrely excessive that one of the Beeb’s foreign correspondents commented on it. As far as I am aware, no-one took him to task for sneering at it.

This flag-waving is part of the Tories attempts to present themselves as the preservers of British national identity, tradition and pride against the assaults of the left, particularly Black Lives Matter and their attacks on statues. I’m not impressed with the attacks on some of the monuments, like that of Winston Churchill, even though he was a racist. But in Bristol the only statue attacked was that of the slavery and philanthropist Edward Colston. None of the other statues in and around Bristol’s town centre of Edmund Burke, Queen Victoria, Neptune and the sailors who made my city a great port, were touched. And then there was the protest last week against the new school uniform policy at Pimlico Academy in London. This ruled out the wearing of large afro hair styles. So the students started protesting it was racist. The headmaster also raised the union flag, which led the statement from one of the students, Amna Mukhtar, that it weirdly felt like they were being colonised. And then some idiot burnt the flag in protest. The headmaster has now rescinded the school’s uniform code and taken the flag down. Now I gather that one of the Tories is now calling for every school to fly the union flag.

It all reminds me of the comments the late, great comedian Bill Hicks made when Reagan and his supporters were flying the flag and their outrage when a young member of the Communist party burned it. After making jokes about the Reaganite rage and hysteria, Hicks said that he didn’t want anyone to burn the flag, but burning wouldn’t take away freedom, because it’s freedom. Including the freedom to burn the flag.

Quite. And the Tories are wrecking our country and taking away our freedoms while cynically waving the flag.

So when they start spouting about it, use your scepticism and think of Hick’s comment instead. And vote for someone else.

The Big Illusion…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 04/04/2021 - 10:37pm in

Anne Rovan is Europe correspondent for the conservative French newspaper ‘Le Figaro’ and has just tweeted: Only just over a month to go… I have to wonder whether Brexiter Redwood… will get his (in this case eminently reasonable) wish before Barnier spills the beans….... Read more

London Underground Information Board tells it like it is…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 01/04/2021 - 10:02am in

At least somebody tells it like it is. Probably unfortunate that more are not travelling on the Underground…... Read more

Biden is doing the business..

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 01/04/2021 - 8:51am in

The FT has reported that the Biden administration is going to go for a $2tn infrastructure programme in order to reshape and stimulate the US economy. This, it is suggested is: …the biggest public investment programme since the creation of the interstate highway system and the Space Race of the 1960s. And including some green... Read more

‘Global Britain’ is closed

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 30/03/2021 - 8:35am in

I can understand why many will be mystified why I’m showing a picture of Redruth station in 1902: But it (click to enlarge) simply indicates the amount of emigration from Cornwall at the time – though if you see the later photos in the booking hall of Redruth station nowadays the platforms are actually even... Read more

The Nationalist Poison Behind Brexit

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 15/03/2021 - 10:09am in

Tags 

UK, brexit

image/jpeg iconbrexit-boris.jpg

Far from “getting Brexit done”, the pantomime goes on. There are so many issues that both EU and UK want to extend the period of grace before the full treaty is implemented.

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