Conservatism

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The noise of government ‘playing’ us

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 18/01/2021 - 8:37pm in

According to this shameful article by Housing Secretary and three houses Robert Jenrick, who has even now, failed to resolve the cladding crisis caused by the Grenfell Tower fire, nonetheless now he has time, in the middle of this pandemic, to turn his attention to the important matter of statues and streetnames as written up... Read more

Populist Conservatism…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 13/01/2021 - 9:42am in

The Economist is beginning to get the measure of today’s Conservative government. Actually all of the (linked) article is worth reading because it demonstrates how the right wing think tanks are intertwined and influential in the current UK government, but these paragraphs are particularly notable: If Mr Johnson’s classical education did not teach him the... Read more

Conservative reality

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 09/01/2021 - 11:01am in

‘A single market without barriers—visible or invisible—giving you direct and unhindered access to the purchasing power of over 300 million of the world’s wealthiest and most prosperous people. It’s not a dream. It’s for real.’ This is a quote from Margaret Thatcher How far have we fallen – and what utter incompetence has our current... Read more

Far Right Brexiteers Annoyed Boris Gave Award to Bristol Police Chief Who Allowed Attack on Colston Statue

The gravel-voiced anonymous individual behind the website ‘We Got a Problem’ got very annoyed yesterday about one of the peeps Johnson decided to reward in the New Years’ honours. ‘We Got a Problem’ is a pro-Brexit, anti-immigrant channel on YouTube. It views non-White immigrants as a serious threat to traditional British citizens and particularly concentrates on reporting crimes committed by people of colour. Such migrants are reviled in some of the crudest possible terms, which also clearly reveal the party political bias of the faceless man behind the website. One of the epithets he uses for them is ‘imported Labour voters’. This nameless individual was upset because Johnson has, apparently, given an award to the Bristol police chief, who resolutely sat back and did nothing to stop BLM protesters pulling down the statue of Edward Colston and throwing it into the docks. He therefore decided to put up a video expressing his considered disapproval yesterday, 6th January 2021. I’m not going to provide a link to his wretched video. If you want to see it, all you need do is look for it on YouTube.

Now I am very definitely not a fan of Black Lives Matter nor the destruction of public property. But the Bristol copper actually had very good reasons not to intervene. ‘We Got A Problem’s’ video contains a clip from an interview the rozzer gave to the Beeb about his inaction. He states that there’s a lot of context around the statue, and that it was of a historical figure that had been causing Black people angst for years. He was disappointed that people would attack it, but it was very symbolic. The protesters were prepared. It had been pre-planned and they had grappling hooks. The police made a tactical decision not protect the statue in case it provoked further disorder. They decided that the safest thing to do was not protect the statue. What they didn’t want was tension. They couldn’t get to the statue, and once it was torn down the cops decided to allow the attack on the statue to go ahead.

‘We Got A Problem’ takes this as an admission of incompetence by the Bristol copper, calling him a ‘cuck’, a term of abuse used by the Alt-Right. The YouTuber is also upset that while the cop got an honour, that hero of Brexiteers everywhere, Nigel Farage, didn’t. As all Brexit has done is created more chaos, and seems set to create more misery, including food and medicine shortages, the further destruction of British industry, especially manufacturing, and massively increased bureaucracy for trade and foreign travel, Farage doesn’t deserve to get one either. But this is lost on the fanatical Brexiteers like ‘We Got A Problem’, who cling desperately to the belief that somehow Brexit is going to lead to a revival of Britain’s fortunes, ending Black and Asian immigration and propelling us back to a position of world leadership.

As for the lack of action taken by the chief of Bristol’s police, I think he made the right decision. The statue the BLM protesters attacked was of the slaver Edward Colston. Colston was a great philanthropist, using some of the money he made from the trade to endow charities and schools here in the city. But understandably many people, especially Blacks, are upset that he should be so honoured with a statue. There have been demands for it to be removed since the 1980s. One Black woman interviewed on Radio 4 said she felt sick walking past it to work in the morning. However, the statue was retained because when Bristolians were asked whether it should be taken down, the majority were against it.

While ‘We Got A Problem’ presents the attack as a riot, in fact the only thing that was attacked was Colston’s statue. None of the other buildings or monuments were touched. Not the statue of MP and founder of modern Conservatism Edmund Burke, not the statue of Neptune or to the city’s sailors nearby, or of Queen Victoria just up the road by College Green. Nor were any of the shops and businesses in the centre attacked, unlike the riots of 2012. This could have changed, and the attack on the statue become a full-scale riot if the police had tried to intervene. The police chief doesn’t mention it, but I also believe one other factor in his decision not to protect the statue was the issue of racism in the police. One of the causes of the St. Paul’s riots in Bristol in 1981 was the feeling by the Black community there that the police were ‘occupying’ the area. It seems to me that the Bristol cop was worried that an attempt by the police to defend the monument would lead to further accusations of racism and a deterioration in their relations with Bristol’s Black community.

It was only one statue that was pulled down. It has been recovered from the docks, and I think is either now on display or awaiting going on display in one of the Bristol’s museums. No-one was hurt and no other property was damaged. I think four of those responsible for the attack have been identified and charged. Mike in one of his pieces about the incident made it clear that they should have been allowed to go free. I think this would be wrong. While you can sympathise with their reasons, it’s still an attack on public property. Allowing one set of vandals to go unpunished would encourage others to make similar attacks, possibly to monuments to figures much less deserving of such treatment. While I don’t think very many people are genuinely upset about the attack on Colston’s statue, attacks on others, such as that of Winston Churchill, may have caused far more outrage. While it was a good tactical decision not to defend the statue when it was attacked, it’s quite right that the attackers should receive some punishment in order to prevent further, far more controversial attacks, from taking place.

Brexit – where we are

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 29/12/2020 - 9:25am in

This 10 minutes is, to me at least, so good that I really don’t need to add to it: Well worth your time if you wonder about Brexit. We really ought to be able to claim the Brexiters’ misrepresentations under misselling regulations…... Read more

Input legitimacy not output legitimacy…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 24/12/2020 - 8:52am in

There is searing stuff (below) from Meg Russell, Professor of British and Comparative Politics at University College London, and previously on the House of Lords standards committee: I couldn’t agree more: Indeed, even Murdoch’s Times is pretty sniffy (click to enlarge): With Keir Starmer recently speaking about plans for a convention on constitutional change I... Read more

Misleading a nation

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 22/12/2020 - 8:10pm in

In view of my previous post this old French cartoon may be especially apposite: It is striking that on this occasion the barbed wire roll should actually be being held outside the UK – but of course the effect is exactly the same. Constraining the liberty of UK citizens has been labelled as freedom. A... Read more

The problems of financialised ‘shareholder’ democracy

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 18/12/2020 - 9:14am in

I’ve just taken part in an Open Democracy webinar on ‘After the Facts?’ – the truth about fake news. The title refers to the book by one of the speakers, Marcus Gilroy Ware, who lectures at the University of the West of England. The other speaker was Ece Temelkuran, who has her own considerable book... Read more

Reaganland: Public Education and America’s Right Turn

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 18/12/2020 - 12:59am in

In the latest episode of Have You Heard, we talk to Rick Perlstein, author of the monumental new history Reaganland, about America’s ‘right turn’ against public education. As Perlstein recounts, public schools were at the very center of the culture wars of the 1970’s. From parents in the northeast revolting against court-ordered busing to the textbook wars of Kanawha County, West Virginia that culminated in the bombing of the school board offices, 1970’s America was a site of simmering resentment, which was then weaponized by a rising generation of new right activists.

Complete transcript of the episode is here. The financial support of listeners like you keeps this podcast going. Subscribe on Patreon or donate on PayPal.

Jennifer and Jack’s book, A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door, is out and available wherever you buy books!

Have You Heard · #103 Reaganland: Public Education and America’s Right Turn

Social infrastructure is also vital to any recovery plan

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/12/2020 - 7:50am in

This is a letter to the FT from the Progressive Economy Forum (an outfit that our esteemed benefactor, Richard Murphy, has been expelled from – simply because he doesn’t think Quantitative Easing will ever be paid back. Time has actually already told – it’s 12 years and counting that it has not…) UK chancellor Rishi... Read more

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