2017 04 – Newsnotes

Notes On The News

by Gwydion M Williams

 

Terrorism: Discards Won’t be Discarded

Al-Qaeda and Daesh are Islamic, in the same way the Klu Klux Klan was Christian. They draw strength from an extreme interpretation of Islam, just as the Klu Klux Klan stemmed from several White Racist versions of Evangelical Protestantism.

Al-Qaeda and Daesh (Islamic State) are part of Wahhabism, an eighteenth-century movement with a doubtful claim to restore the purity of early Islam. Ibn Saud used it to conquer the huge chunk of Arabia that is now Saudi Arabia, the personal possession of his heirs. Other Arabians, often believers in another version of Islam, are subjects bound to obey.

Saudi Arabia claims to be the real restored and pure Islam. So do the heirs of Ayatollah Khomeini within Shia Islam, with very different beliefs and practices.

Wahhabism is a disputed offshoot of the smallest of four schools of jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. But the enormous wealth generated by oil under sandy wastelands that the Saudi dynasty control has let them push it all over the world.

The Western media should be emphasising the shaky grounds for seeing Al-Qaeda or Daesh as genuinely Islamic. But that would get in the way of two other major policies of the New Right, who own or control most of the media:

  1. Selling enormous quantities of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
  2. Keeping immigrants and poor whites antagonistic to each other, while letting immigration continue to the maximum the society can swallow.

The New Right’s grand purpose is to restore 19th century capitalism, with rights of money overriding human rights. They dreamt of low taxes and a tiny state – but it was only a dream.  Britain in the 19th century averaged a growth rate of 1%, while the USA surged towards 2%. This amazed a world where most economies were static. By modern standards they would be disastrous.

The New Right reality is a large and intrusive state and high taxes. Also ‘Feed the Rich’ policies: corporations legally avoid most taxes and are fed by tax-funded franchises that replaced state enterprises. They also covered the gambling debts of multi-millionaires under the gibberish name ‘Quantitative Easing’.

If the state spends more on the rich, it has to spend less on the rest of us. Hence austerity.  Far too many leftists have accepted it, including Corbyn’s foes within the Labour Party. Ed Miliband lost the last election, because he lacked the courage to denounce Osborne as a silly fantasist for blaming the economic crisis on excessive government spending. Osborne is now marginalised, but Labour’s ‘Timid Tendency’ never dared attack him while the mainstream media defended him. And the society gets damaged.

Why did Adrian Russell Elms become an Islamic extremist called Khalid Masood? Why did he attack a happy crowd who were mostly short-stay tourists? Maybe because they were happy, and he was not.

“He was an outsider as the black child born out of marriage in the 1960s to a teenage white mother in Kent. He seemed to simmer with resentment and anger, which exploded repeatedly throughout his life in violent episodes involving knives. It was a toxic combination that found its most deadly outlet when he embraced Islamic extremism in its most violent form.

“Born in Hainault maternity hospital in Erith, his mother Janet Elms was 17 when she gave birth and brought him up alone, until she met and married Philip Ajao two years later and moved to Tunbridge Wells. His two younger brothers were born in the genteel town, and the family lived in St James Park among big Victorian villas. His mother attended the local church.”[A]

Not exactly Inner-City Ghetto – he might have been less dangerous if it had been. I called the 1987 Brixton Riots ‘Reformist Riots’ by Black Britons who wanted a bigger slice of the cake.[B]  It proved so. But the future terrorist was isolated in mostly-white Sussex, his status uncertain.

The centre-right have continuously implied that non-whites do not belong, even if born here.  And the man smoked cannabis, less predictable than alcohol. Most users are peaceful: some get violent and paranoid. That man got violent after a minor argument and went to prison. Then married a Muslim woman, converted and changed his name.

The New Right’s bright idea of keeping immigrants and poor whites antagonistic does enormous damage to society. Of course they follow Thatcher in believing that society does not exist. Society failing to integrate people who were once quite hopeful is not their fault: it is an inexplicable outbreak of evil.

 

Why Won’t Scotland Obey England?

The last General Election saw the Scottish Tories get less than 15%. They were once a major party there, getting 50% in 1955, 31.4% in 1979.  But once Scots saw what Thatcherism meant, it was downhill all the way. (How ‘Upper London’ Lost Scotland.[C])

Keeping the proud nation of Scotland in a union dominated by its former enemy England was always tricky. But before Thatcher, the Tories managed it.

Before Ed Miliband decided to fight the 2015 General Election as a milder version of post-Thatcher Toryism, Scottish Labour was still strong. Now the Union seems doomed.

Theresa May can’t see what’s wrong:

“The Prime Minister did not rule out granting a second referendum to Scotland but derided the idea…

“‘The tunnel vision that the SNP has shown today is deeply regrettable. It sets Scotland on a course for more uncertainty and division, creating huge uncertainty,’ the PM said.

“‘This is at a time when the Scottish people, the majority of the Scottish people, do not want a second independence referendum.

“‘Instead of playing politics with the future of our country the Scottish government should focus on delivering good government and public services for the people of Scotland. Politics is not a game’…

“Under Section 30 of the Scotland Act the UK Parliament would also have to vote to grant Scotland the powers to hold a second independence referendum.”[D]

The Scottish Nationalists are being un-English. But Scotland is not English. Close enough for the gap to be bridged, but only by people modest enough to see the need.

Having watched Mrs May as Prime Minister, I’ve decided that her calmness and confidence comes from simple lack of imagination. The same ruling-class blind spot that lost first British North America, then Ireland and finally the Indian Subcontinent. Inconvenient views are simply wrong, and need not be taken seriously.

Widespread views must always be taken seriously, even when factually wrong. When it is just an unfamiliar opinion, you need to study it closely.

 

0.1% of Muscovites Can’t Be Wrong!

“Russia’s main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has been arrested at an anti-corruption protest he organised in the capital, Moscow.

“Thousands of people joined rallies nationwide, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev over corruption allegations.

“At least 500 other protesters were detained in the capital and across the country.

“Most of the marches were organised without official permission.

“TV pictures showed demonstrators chanting ‘Down with Putin!’, ‘Russia without Putin!’ and ‘Putin is a thief!’…

“In Moscow, protesters filled Pushkin square and some climbed the monument to poet Alexander Pushkin shouting ‘impeachment’. Turnout was estimated to be between 7,000 and 8,000, according to police.”  (BBC News[E])

Moscow is a city of 15 million. If there were twice as many as the police said, that would be just one in a thousand Muscovites.

Back in 2013, Navalny got an unexpected 27% in the Moscow mayoral election.[F]  But capital cities are mostly much more Globalist than the rest of the country. And whatever support he had then, he has not kept it.

The man also hasn’t got a serious political party. He was once in Yabloko, the main pro-Western party, which got all of 1.99% in the last national elections. Like many others, he then set up on his own, but couldn’t get his party registered. Maybe it had no substance outside of Moscow.

Contrary to what the BBC say, the Russian Communists have always been the main opposition, though sinking with now less than 14%. Putin’s party got more than 50%, and less than half the voters bothered to vote. A large majority are happy to let him carry on as a successful autocrat with a repeated popular mandate to be so.

Russia would be Ukraine without Putin, or someone like him. Had he not consolidated power, Russia might face a similar downward spiral, where each new government is no more honest than the last. Just as useless as the government that sprung from by the First Orange Revolution.

(For those who forget, the First Orange Revolution was against Viktor Yanukovych for allegedly rigging the 2004 Presidential Election.  But the ‘revolting oranges’ made such a mess of ruling that Yanukovych indisputably got elected president in 2010. Continuing Ukraine’s unhappy pattern of violently rejecting whatever it chose last time, he was removed illegally after riots in Kiev in 2014. This Second Orange Revolution broke the fragile Ukrainian constitution by letting an intimidated parliament ignore the carefully-specified impeachment procedures.[G]  It included outright fascists; heirs of men who fought for the Nazis whenever the Nazis would allow it.[H])

 

Dutch ‘Soft Left’ Slump Disastrously

“Rightwing, anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders is this election’s real winner. We seem to be forgetting that his party gained five additional seats in the Dutch parliament. And more importantly: over the past 10 years, Wilders has wrenched most of the other parties toward his position on the fringes – particularly the fiscally conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the culturally conservative Christian Democratic party (CDA), both mainstream parties with widespread support…

“So-called progressive and moderate politicians are currently making pronouncements that would have put them behind bars for inciting hate 30 years ago.”[I]

That was the spin put in the Guardian on the March 2017 Dutch general election. A protest against immigrants who don’t fit in. Against people that the centre-right in Europe and the USA manage both to let in and to drive to extremist views. As one blogger put it:

“Nowhere across Europe was any population asked if they wanted mass immigration, it has always been an unpopular policy, yet every single government has increased it whilst lying in their manifestos that they won’t. We have a situation where the indigenous population are now a minority in many of our capitol and largest cities, and the culture of those cities has changed in accordance.”[J]

As I said last month, the New Right do for Western civilisation what Al Capone did for Valentine’s Day.

Muslims in Europe get hit by a ‘double whammy’. The Centre-Right encourage prejudice against them, to keep the votes of silly white bigots. And assaulted the Arab world in a foolish doomed effort to create docile pro-Western regimes. Predictably, many young Muslims became militant and intolerant:

“How safe is an open, free society that, every year, absorbs hundreds of thousands of immigrants from countries without any tradition of openness or freedom?

“In the Netherlands of the 1980s and 1990s those questions were dismissed as racist or alarmist. But by the 2000s gay men had stopped walking hand in hand in Amsterdam, out of fear of homophobic violence by men of Moroccan descent. Jews took off their yarmulkes. Swimming pools hired guards to protect girls from harassment.”[K]

More accurate to say Moroccans have different standards of what’s acceptable. Telling them they don’t understand openness or freedom is both false and foolish. Saying that they must conform in public to majority standards is much simpler and more reasonable. But liberalism goes through a great pretence of saying that everything is allowed, while trying to crush anything it does not like.  This worked when they were stronger, more successful, and more ruthless. Now it falls apart.

Tolerance gets strained. Extreme solutions become popular. The main news for the British media was defeat for a man hostile to the European Union. No one mentioned that the Dutch Labour Party crashed disastrously. They got between a third and a fifth of the vote since 1946: they now have less than a fifteenth.  5.7%, to be exact.[L]

Dutch Labour (Partij van de Arbeid) followed the Blair / Brown / Ed Miliband path of treating Austerity as a grim necessity, not a conscious ‘Feed the Rich’ choice. And as in Britain, voters who believed them preferred centre-right parties that were whole-hearted about it.

Not all voters. Dutch Labour are now a poor third on the left. They have been replaced by two rival parties with Leninist roots. The Socialist Party transmuted itself into Social Democracy from being the Maoist Communist Party of the Netherlands/Marxist–Leninist, and has being doing well for some years. They got 9.1%, below their best but still respectable. Level with them are Green Left, formed in 1989 by a merger of the Communist Party of the Netherlands, the Pacifist Socialist Party, the Political Party of Radicals and the Evangelical People’s Party.

Between them, the left have 24%, almost twice the 13.1% vote of the Populist Right. Two parties whose members would be quite at home in Corbyn’s Labour Party got 18.2%.  Those closest to the anti-Corby Labour got 5.7%. Who now is unelectable?

 

Martin McGuinness – a Man of Unauthorised Violence

UK citizens rely on the Authorised Violence of the police and military, whether or not they know it or wish it. Irish in Britain accept this. Some join the British military, and even the police.

In Northern Ireland, Roman Catholics were outsiders in what was a Protestant state.  Elections were irrelevant: the policies of the government elected by Mainland Britain were almost always followed by the all-Protestant devolved government. Irish Catholics were not in practice citizens of the state that ruled them.

There was no authorised system of violence that would bring normal politics to Northern Ireland. Unionists ran a system that simply excluded the Roman Catholic minority, as far as they could. That’s why the IRA was organised, built around the tiny residuum left over from the equally unauthorised violence that created an independent Southern Ireland in the 1920s.

Labour and Tories organising in Northern Ireland might have normalised it. We called for it, but it didn’t happen. A small late effort by the Tories got nowhere.

McGuinness made peace because Irish Catholics would henceforth be actual citizens, with no devolved government allowed without them. Got most Republicans to accept that the Authorised Violence of the UK police and military must be tolerated for now.

Thanks to Thatcher’s wanton destruction of huge chunks of British industry, including Belfast’s famous shipyards, the Ulster Protestants identity is fading. The next generation is likely to see a Nationalist majority who could vote themselves into the Irish Republic.

 

Snippets

New Deal survived US Republicans

“Since 1980, [US] Republican leadership has embraced the draconian goal of dismantling the New Deal state…

“But the stark ideology of the Republicans calling for a return to the pro-business government of the 1920s never reflected political reality. The policies Republicans loathed were actually quite popular. So, to garner support for their attack on an activist government, they turned to a mythological narrative that drew on America’s long history of racism and sexism. They won voters not by convincing them of the merits of returning to a world in which businessmen ran the country, but rather by insisting that taxes redistributed wealth from hardworking white people to lazy minorities and feminists who wanted abortions on demand.

“Their narrative was simple. Hardworking white Christian men were under attack by a behemoth government, designed by Democrats, that sucked them dry with high taxes funnelled to poor minorities and grasping women, who, in turn, supported Democrats for the government goodies they provided. This narrative of the individual under attack by an empire – the same storyline that drove the 1977 hit film Star Wars – worked. Voters rallied to Reagan’s attacks on an apocryphal Welfare Queen, a black woman who had become rich by collecting welfare cheques under 80 different names, and thrilled to his promise to protect regular Americans from the taxes that supported such parasites.”[M]

And as in Britain, centre-right governments squeezed the incomes of those ‘hardworking white Christian men’. Talked as if they were against immigration, but allowed as much of it as the society could take without immediate disaster.

***

My Carers Don’t Care

“Care firms have cancelled contracts with 95 UK councils, saying they cannot deliver services for the amount they are being paid, a BBC Panorama investigation has found.

“Some firms said they could not recruit or retain the staff they needed.

“The Local Government Association said it was the result of ‘historic under-funding’ and an ageing population.”[N]

Actions speak louder than words.  Demands for less taxes from the rich speak loudest of all.

***

Obamacare, Republican Snare?

Recently the US Congress, controlled by the Republicans, tried to replace ‘Obamacare’. Too many Republicans rejected the proposed alternative, and it failed.

An accident?  People said that any possible cost-cutting reform would take away medical cover from many people.  Including some who voted for Trump, but might think again if their medical cover suddenly vanished or was unaffordable.

So it didn’t happen. May never happen.

***

Happiness is Broad Capitalist?

I said last month that the West won the Cold War by creating a system of ‘Broad Capitalism’ that had a large role for the state. Once called Mixed Economy or Keynesianism. The left in the 1960s and 1970s unwisely convinced everyone that it was capitalism of a sort. And got muddled as to what sort.

A modern system need not be the Narrow Capitalism favoured by the New Right, and accepted by New Labour

In most of Continental Europe, Broad Capitalism carries on. And makes Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland the top five in the World Happiness Report.[O]

***

Right-Wing Populism Without Putin

In India, hard-line Hindu populism won decisively in India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh.[P]  I’ve not yet heard anyone blame that on Mr Putin.

But you never know what the disintegrating Globalisers will think of next, to explain a run of failures that they cannot account for.

***

Previous Newsnotes can be found at the Labour Affairs website, https://labouraffairsmagazine.com/past-issues/.  And at my own website, https://longrevolution.wordpress.com/newsnotes-historic/.

 

References

[A]              https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/25/khalid-masood-profile-from-popular-teenager-to-isis-inspired-terrorist

[B]              https://gwydionwilliams.com/40-britain/the-brixton-riots-of-1987/

[C]              https://gwydionwilliams.com/newsnotes-historic/2015-newsnotes/newsnotes-2015-05/#_Toc450392931

[D]              http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/scottish-independence-referendum-second-nicola-sturgeon-theresa-may-response-a7627496.html

[E]              http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39398305

[F]              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexei_Navalny

[G]              https://labouraffairsmagazine.com/past-issues/2015-07-magazine/2015-07-ukraine-illegally-removed-its-elected-president/

[H]              https://gwydionwilliams.com/46-globalisation/ukraine-kievs-five-day-war-machine/

[I]               https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/17/dutch-greenleft-party-populism-rightwing-jesse-klaver

[J]               Ibid., comments.

[K]              https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/dutch-politics-tolerance-at-the-end-of-its-tether

[L]              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_general_election,_2017#Results

[M]             https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/26/the-showdown-that-exposed-the-rift-between-republican-ideology-and-reality

[N]              http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39321579

[O]              http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-39325206

[P]              https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/19/uttar-pradesh-yogi-adityanath-hindu-priest-chief-minister

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