Loss of authority is capitalist nonsense…

Mick Hall’s been a long time contributor to Slugger. About six months ago he set up his own blog, and has been merrily (often not so merrily) blogging his own view of the world from the left. Yesterday, he wrote that the demise of societal authority, if it is true at all, is a result of the dominance of Capital over Labour, and the endless grind of ‘getting and spending’. Think previously placid but low earning Dublin bus drivers letting rip at the most trivial communication gap between him and the Spanish migrant worker.

  • One powerful indicator of the modern decline of authority is the invention of the term “anti-social behaviour” to cover what we increasingly see in our neighbourhoods.

    Of course one reason for anti-social behaviour is the attack on traditional 2 parent married family sponsored by the Left over the last 50 years. But I guess it’s easier to blame it all on the capitalists, eh?

  • Just read Mick Hall’s article again and am struck by the sheer envy that some people are wealthier than others. If you took away the vice of jealousy the Left wouldn’t have a lot to stand on.

  • Last post, promise.

    “No where is this better demonstrated than when the London Tube line workers went on strike over issues of public safety. They were portrayed in the media as dinosaurs who have no respect for authority, with their leader Bob Crowe being portrayed as the devil incarnate. Never mind that these striking workers were defending the publics best interest against the callousness of their employers who had refused to make the traveling publics safety their main priority.”

    Crow also of course threatened industrial action (I forget whether it went to a strike) and cried victimisation when someone in his union was disciplined short of dismissal for an unacceptable breach of safety. Which rather discredits the safety point.

  • The Penguin

    Small point, but Mick wants to check his spelling. Hard to take seriously something that carries the most basic of spelling errors.

    On second thoughts, just forget about the spelling. You just couldn’t take seriously this kind of pie-in-the-sky, Marxist-based nonsense no matter how it’s presented.

  • Peadar O’Donnell

    The Penguin:

    ‘You just couldn’t take seriously this kind of pie-in-the-sky, Marxist-based nonsense no matter how it’s presented. ‘

    That’s not an argument just a lame exercise in labelling.

    Most of the reigning neo-cons and neo-liberals were marxist leninists of a time (Hitch, J Reid, A Milburn, E Harris, Aaro, BH Levy et al ad nauseam) and their end-of-history rhetoric is similarly unfalsifiable and suitably apocalyptic – just with the terms inverted and this time on the winning side – which is where they thought they were in the first place.

  • Nestor Makhno

    The Watchman: ‘Of course one reason for anti-social behaviour is the attack on traditional 2 parent married family sponsored by the Left over the last 50 years.’

    What a bizarre thing to say!

    What form has this ‘attack’ taken and who on the left is sponsoring it? (As it seems to me the Left couldn’t sponsor a tea party and get it right).

    The period in question has been dominated by Conservative governments here, and US Republicans in the US. Their right wing policies have been the over-riding influence on our public policy.

    (Or perhaps you would prefer to blame the mythical ‘PC-brigade’ of hapless social workers and primary school teachers marching couples into the divorce courts or down the street to the nearest gay bar?)

    My own tuppence worth – the lack of ‘respect’ is closely linked to the fact that, increasingly, none of us know or have interaction our neighbourhoods. Kids behave when they know Joe Bloggs down the street is going to tell their parents.

    We are ceasing to be part of ‘local communities’. Our social glue is being reduced to the out of town shopping centre, the internet and Burger King. Even the local pub is becoming a place to sit and watch TV.

    What’s the driver for this? A consumer society driven by advanced global capitalism? Errr, actually, maybe Mick is on to something after all.

  • No, Nestor, not bizarre at all actually. And the Right may have been in office in the UK over this period but the Left has been in power. The UK Tories for many years have been at best apathetic to socially conservative concerns, and didn’t contest the assaults by the Left on the family. Now with society in a mess, it is no wonder that the Left won’t face up to what it helped to create.

    Oh and as someone with an insight into the public sector, I have plenty of first hand experience of the PC brigade’s front line.

    I could say more but I’ve got to get back to work and Melanie Phillips and Peter Hitchens have blogs devoted to the subject heaving with examples I don’t have time to mention.

  • I started to read this ‘piece’ but I became overcome with rage that someone who writes so badly and who can’t spell simple words has the temerity to inflict such lengthy shite on the blog-reading public. To find it linked on Slugger is even more shocking.

  • Peadar O’ Donnell

    ‘And the Right may have been in office in the UK over this period but the Left has been in power.’

    That’s why South Yorkshire is just choc-full of well paid coal miners. Not a nuclear submarine to be found anywhere. No money spent on prisons. Clearly time for the left to go.

  • Mark McGregor

    If spelling, grammar and structure were prerequisites for inclusion on Slugger poor old Mick would be excluded ;0)

    (along with me)

  • Mark McGregor

    btw, I was referring to Mick Fealty

  • Jon

    “I could say more but I’ve got to get back to work and Melanie Phillips and Peter Hitchens have blogs devoted to the subject heaving with examples I don’t have time to mention.”

    Citing Melanie Phillips as a source; surely the best way to lose an argument without it even starting properly?

  • Garibaldy

    Attacking someone’s spelling as an excuse to avoid dealing with the issues? Embarassing.

  • George

    “Think previously placid but low earning Dublin bus drivers”

    I’m trying but as hard as I do I just can’t imagine a placid Dublin bus driver.

    As for low earners, 20 years ago your average Dublin bus conductor’s basic wage was over 50% higher than an entry level civil servant but the last two decades of relentless assaults on the unions has probably seen their favoured position completely undermined.

    This all despite the fact that the weekly NBU subscription used to be £17 out of a wage of 160 while the CPSSU sub was £1 out of a basic of £105.

    The bus drivers had a war chest and fought an all-out war with the capitalists in the 80s, not collecting fares, pocketing fares (go aheads), driving the bus with the handbrake on so it breaks down etc.

    But through it all, it was plain to see that the bus drivers and conductors were acting in their own selfish interests, not in the interests of the travelling public, and certainly not in the interests of the Dublin working class as a whole.

    We passengers were just “skulls”, nothing more nothing less. There was nothing worse than to be buried with skulls of a Tuesday.

    The lack of respect for governmental authority was great to see until you realised that these “workers” didn’t give a toss about you either.

    Roll on 20 years and the trade union movement is still more interested in feathering the nest of its own members than the plight of workers as a whole, and most annoyingly, are quite happy to see the rest of us pay for their benefits while we continue to exist with none.

    These buckos are even against the free movement of labour in 2007.

    With friends like these..

  • Rory

    The Watchman et al may wish to delude themselves that somehow societal changes over the last decades have been as a result of an abuse of power by the Left which they never in fact held when the simple truth is that the mode of social organisation has been determined by the means and method of production as has been the case ever since men first socially interacted.

    And what has been the dominant method of production in this time? Step forward, please and take a bow, our old friend International Capitalism! I am surprised that its fawning admirers on here are so reluctant to give it credit where credit is due. So unlike The Watchman to be such a blushing violet.

  • Mick Hall

    “And the Right may have been in office in the UK over this period but the Left has been in power.”

    Watchman

    Oh dear boy what rapier wit, what a devastating refutation of the points I made. In the blog I pointed out the political right whilst in power has attempted to turn reality on its head and set out a number of examples, however never did I hope some rightist would immediately come on slugger and prove my point.

    By the way this has nothing to do with envy as you well know, the reason some of us despise enormous personal wealth and believe it should be discourage by progressive taxation, is because it is made at some else expense and does not benefit society as a whole.

  • The reason why there is no nationalised industry as once there was is that the industries themselves were always going to die off anyway. (Peter Hitchens, a former Trotskyite and labour correspondent, has speculated that this was the intention of the communist entryists in the trade union movement.) Thatcher administered the coup de grace but at some point someone else would have pulled the plug. Those industries died because they were unviable in the real world not because of Thatch the Wicked Witch. South Yorkshire mining was always doomed, even if Scargill’s wretched political strike had succeeded.

    Plenty of Tory politicos, and even her enemies, believe that the Left was beaten by the end of the Thatcher era and that New Labour is Thatcherism-with-a-human-face. I don’t buy into that analysis. Nationalised industry isn’t a prerequisite of an egalitarian society run by a “benevolent” all-powerful state. Under New Labour we have increasing nationalisation of the family, levelling down education through the wretched comprehensive schooling that the IRA/SF Education minister wants to inflict on us, the politicisation of minority groups, an explosion in the public sector, growing surrender to a European Union hostile to Anglo-Saxon free market economics, to name but a few.

    I think these things are more important that Marxist lingo like “means of production” that Rory comes out with and which I don’t think is illuminating. I haven’t read any Marx since Sixth Form and much prefer Andrew Roberts or Niall Ferguson.

    As to envy, can I quote you word for word, Mick?

    “Are we up in arms against the disrespect and contempt this countries millionaires display towards us almost every day, no, not even when we pay our taxes and they do not. Nor when the rich award themselves and their fellow millionaires massive salary hikes or redundancy pay off whilst the average working man must make do with a below inflation wage rises.”

    Sorry, Mick, that sounds a lot like the politics of envy to me, which is why more astute Lefties try to keep their pitchforks hidden so as not to frighten those they intend to tax to the hilt.

    I don’t know why you on the Left are always so hot under the collar when your views are in the driving seat under Comrade Broon.

  • Returning to the subject of this thread, namely loss of authority, one important reason why this has happened, in my opinion, has been the development of a human rights based culture. I know of incidents where policemen have gone inro schools and told quite young children what they can expect in their upbringing. No one wants to see vulnerable children abused in any way, but what the police were doing was undermining parental authority. I know of another instance where a child was sent to his room without his dinner for bad behaviour and the child promptly phoned the police to complain. The police came to the house and had the cheek to tell the parents that their child was entitled to a meal.

    These are anecdotal examples from personal experience but they are sympotomatic of the “benevolent” all-powerful state encroaching into places it has no right to be. One kind of authority is diluted and when all these dilutions are aggregated then we get the society in which we now live where the Vicky Pollard character is so funny because she is so horribly familiar.

  • joeCanuck

    All this started back in the late seventies when Margaret Thatcher stopped the school milk.
    We ended up with a generation of bad tempered kids who grew up with no respect for authority and passed it on to their kids.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Why are right-wingers always the first to shrilly proclaim that society is breaking down then the first to whine about ‘nanny state’ when governments take steps towards rectifying the problems? As for the ‘attack’ on the family by the Left; right-wingers can’t seem to get it into their head that unregulated neo-liberal economics has ripped the heart out of once content working class communities with breadwinners once working in industry forced on to the dole through lack of skills in the competitive market or into low-paid and insecure service sector employment. It is this undermining of the structure of society (which the right denied even existed in the 1980s when they were so enarmoured with individualism and selfishness) that has harmed the family unit and communities, not ‘the Left’. Now our economy is wholly reliant on the financial sector, everyone is living on debt and we produce and export very little worth talking about.
    I hope that The Watchman is joking about Comrade Broon. What sort of comrade serves in a government that limits public sector pay to 2% while ignoring massive City bonues, refuses to pay out on pensions while the government uses our taxes to prop up Northern Rock (a bank in trouble because of a high-risk business model and bosses who made it take on debt that no one would touch for short-term gain), has deregulated the economy and privatised as much as Thatcher and who has introduced internal markets to our National Health Service. New Labour isn’t Thatcherism-with-a-human-face, it’s just Thatcherism. Different party, same policies.

  • Garibaldy

    Much as New Labour are a shower of bollixes, if Cameron wins the next election we’ll find out the difference between New Labour and Thatcherism in a very brutal fashion.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Garibaldy

    I hope we do…..but fear we won’t.

    An end to human rights rubbish and a return to the rights of society, getting rid of corrupt politicians with no regard for the laws they make, proper fiscal management.

    Will it happen? In your dreams.

    Same old Same old

  • Garibaldy

    In your dreams more like Frustrated Democrat 🙂
    And if you think the Tories aren’t corrupt, then you might well be in for a severe shock.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Garibaldy

    I was saying nothing would change, if you would care to look again.

    You indicated it would change not me.

  • Aquifer

    We lack good authority for sure. We distrust the ‘left’, having witnessed the nepotism repression and brutality of elites brought to power by revolutionary violence. We would rather have private property, especially when it is somewhere to sleep, and a degree of freedom even if only expressed as a buying preference. To maintain our relative affluence in a crowded world we may have to work harder, but many of us would not look forward to living on the basic state pension.

    There are real problems around family life. The state pretends that it has no interest in marriage, as expressed in ‘no fault’ divorce. This is a cruel fraud, as stable legal partnerships are great for children, and when these fail, the state often picks up the slack. This flatters state functionaries, from the judges through social workers to welfare clerks, so the family is under siege, with married working parents paying for single ones as well as for their own childcare.

    Economic competition tends to pulverise communities, with long commuting times lessening community and cultural involvements. Natural systems often have ‘redundancy’, extra bits that come into play when the system is disrupted. Extended families can be the same sort of thing, with strength in reserve, but economic migration threatens this. Education can have ‘added value’ that gives people values beyond the economic.

    So do socialists still value education or are they now the people who just happen to know everything already?

    Looking at the ads in the Guardian, they seem to know something about living well.

  • Mick Hall

    Aquifer,

    Good post in which you raise a host of important questions, much to ponder on.

  • Harry Flashman

    *Why are right-wingers always the first to shrilly proclaim that society is breaking down then the first to whine about ‘nanny state’ when governments take steps towards rectifying the problems?*

    Oh that’s easy, because we know damn well that it was the deliberate intention of the Left to undermine “traditional” families in the first place just so that they could intervene and ‘nationalise’ the family, hopefully with the children wards of the state, the father thrown out of his home, the daughters unmarried and with children and dependent on state welfare.

    Believe me, no-fault divorces, secret family tribunals, teenaged single motherhood, “I know my rights!” shrieking feral chavs, abortion on demand, feminised teaching methods all of these were not ideas of the Right, they really weren’t.

    The fact that they were implemented at a time when Thatcher was in office explains what The Watchman meant when he said who was in office but who controlled society. I’ve mentioned it in another post and no one was able to contradict me but what the Left has achieved has been through following Gramsci’s policy of cultural marxism to undermine the “traditional”, “bourgeois” society and the bedrock of that society was the married couple living at home with their children free from state control and allowed to raise their own children as they see fit.

    For those misty eyed romantics who blame the end of the mining industry I say wise up, does anyone seriously believe that even if Tony Benn had been Prime Minister in the 1980’s anyone would still be digging coal in England today? Have you ever met any young man today pining for a time when he could leave school at 14 and go three miles underground to dig coal? And furthermore if the killing off of the nationalised industries was the cause of this breakdown of societal authority why is it universal throughout the UK and Ireland and not simply restricted to the former industrial heartlands of Northern Britain?

    I know blaming the Mad Scratcher for all the problems in the world suits the Left’s agenda but once in a while I wish they’d come forward and admit their own role in the quite deliberate destruction of traditional societal norms.

  • “…right-wingers can’t seem to get it into their head that unregulated neo-liberal economics has ripped the heart out of once content working class communities with breadwinners once working in industry forced on to the dole through lack of skills in the competitive market or into low-paid and insecure service sector employment. It is this undermining of the structure of society (which the right denied even existed in the 1980s when they were so enarmoured with individualism and selfishness) that has harmed the family unit and communities, not ‘the Left’.”

    It’s going to surprise some people but I actually largely agree. I accept that the economic reordering of society in the 1980s, however inevitable it was thanks to decades of economic failure, did damage working class communities that were dependent on the outdated industries. I accept that to some extent we are now reaping that harvest in the social problems that always effect the less well-off the most. I believe that Thatcherism, despite the socially conservative instincts of its heroine, lacked a social dimension. But I also believe that the behaviour of the Left have made such problems far worse.

    I don’t deny there is strong continuity between the Thatcher Government and New Labour. However, I think it’s not so much that Labour is so right wing but that the Tories in government were a bit too left wing and totally failed to stand up to the Left in anything that wasn’t related to economics.

  • Harry Flashman

    Lest we all get it into our heads that as a result of the closure of the coal mines some dark Dickensian night descended upon vast swathes of northern Britain with hollow cheeked, sunken eyed urchins barefoot and in rags begging for scraps of food while their fathers tramped the cobbled streets looking for work. It didn’t happen that way.

    Men made redundant from the mines got extremely handsome redundancy payments many went off and bought pubs in Tenerife, others set up their own businesses but mostly they got jobs in the service sector working as taxi drivers or in Quik Fit or B&Q;whilst their wives worked part time in places like Tescos. Their children went on to work in bright air conditioned call centres or retail parks and those ex-miners will now be looking forward to selling their council houses that Maggie sold them for a pittance twenty years ago and going off to retire to a life of golf and SKY tv on the Costa del Sol.

    You may regret the changeover from heavy industry to the service sector in the 1980’s but for pity’s sake don’t overdo the societal collapse angle of it all, it simply didn’t happen.

    I accept however the Watchman’s point that elements of the Thatcherite reforms might have encouraged a lessening of social harmony but there is a huge difference between this and the Left. The ill effects of Thatcher were unintended and much regretted consequences of perhaps not fully thought through policies, the social destruction caused by the policies of the Left were cold bloodedly calculated, designed and intended to rip apart traditional British, “bourgeois” society and the families therein. That difference is profound.

  • Nestor Makhno

    I really can’t follow the logic of those commenting from the right on this thread. They seem to think that there is some alternative source of power within the state that is forcing a left wing agenda.

    What is it?!

    From the comments above they suggest that it’s not government; we can safely assume it’s not the City of London (not known for its marxism); it’s not the media – dominated by Murdoch in print and other media; not the cowed trade unions. Not New Labour?

    Who??? Where is this secret cabal? And can I join!?

  • Mick Hall

    Nestor Makno [and what a great man he was]

    I agree, it is almost as if the right is consciously trying to shift the blame away from the dreadful mess GW Bush will be leaving the US economy and the world in.

    Supporters of the neo cons on slugger used to sing their praises telling us here what a great job GW has done, now it seems according to them they were never in power, did not invade Iraq and had no hand by deregulating the markets resulting in the mess the US economy is in. It was all the fault of us lefties.

    I find the sleight of hand so cowardly yet so typical when it comes to these shysters.

  • jaffa

    Mick / Acquifer,

    If Aquifer’s right then you’d expect to see a lower divorce rate in countries with lower economic migration / commuting – perhaps Islands.

    And if capitalism disrupts communities (eg the arrival of a superstore on the edge of a town of small family firms for example) you might expect countries with a greater proportion of SME’s in the economy and greater local democracy to have lower divorce rates also.

    Look at these. The UK’s divorce rate is 12.2 per 1000 population.

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=170

    In Iceland it’s 1.8 per 1000!

    http://www.statice.is/Pages/452?itemid=cfa4a2a1-a163-4bb8-b1a4-a0a35a7402c9

    And if you want a control – consider these results from the World Values survey. Iceland seems typical of Nordic countries – a grown up, secular, freely expressing kind of place.

    http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/

    But maybe this ise even more important;

    http://www.crfr.ac.uk/Reports/rb21.pdf

    In Iceland when a child’s born it’s 3 months leave for Mum, 3 months for Dad and another 3 for whichever wants it.

    Most of the divorces I’ve seen have been the result of a negative spiral of rows about childcare, working time and divergent opinions on the roles of mother and father.

    I doubt that the answer is marxist statism – especially as Marx described it as a bourgeois institution created to protect inherited capital (rather than genetic information which you’d have thought a fan of Darwin would get).

    If anything I’d have thought the Green Party and the Vegetarian/Sandle wearer wing of the Liberals advocated policies most similar Iceland’s reality.

    That’s funny – the validation thingy I’ve been given to submit this is “wife 76”!

  • The Dubliner

    Mick Hall, as a side note, is The Blanket defunct? It hasn’t been updated since August. I know they had an appeal for a new computer there as their old one was “on its last legs” – which, I guess, is the same condition are republican socialism. That was an excellent site for insightful, indignant decency, and irreverent analysis on NI politics – your own contributions to it were often outstanding.

    I think your article is closer to advocating anarchy than showing “much less respect for authority and in the process display a bit organized rage.” Anger isn’t a solution; and unless you actually have a plan to resolve the problems you highlight (and the problems they address), then your rage isn’t “organised” at all. You shouldn’t confuse disrespect for authority with holding it to account or conflate different relationships. The people are the boss of the state (in theory), while the employer is the boss of the worker. It is not your role to hold your boss to account: that is a reversal of the actual order (and I don’t recommended the ‘disrespect’ option either). The paradox in your socialism is that it promotes the authority of the state to the detriment of the individual, cancelling out the right of the individual to show any disrespect to the state whatsoever (unless he or she likes Gulags and their necessary equivalents). You must make the state an all-powerful entity, provider of all needs, and defend it from all ideological challenges by expedient means. So, at least you have the right to express your dissent under this imperfect system whereas, under the logical outworking of the alternatives which end the predominance of the democratic and capitalist system, you’ll be even more miserable but expected to suffer in silence. Even the lesser evil to socialism, social democracy, operates to the detriment of the individual.

    To paraphrase Clinton, “It’s the individual, Stupid!” That is the sole entity that must be empowered. A belief in the self-sufficiency, that the individual must provide for his own needs, not the state – for the state is simply a burden on those who generate wealth and not a generator of wealth. And that’s the practical drawback of socialism which you can see in the Irish Labour Party, for example, in their resentful and sullen attitude to FF’s laissez-faire economic policies and the successful economy that resulted from reducing the interference of the state in the affairs of the individual. They are resentful because they know that socialist parties only prosper when the economy does badly, so they have a vested interest in wishing economic and other social misfortune to befall the nation. And isn’t it ironic that people turn to socialists to provide economic success – the people who know absolutely nothing about how to promote industry?

  • Harry Flashman

    *Who??? Where is this secret cabal?*

    There’s damn all secret about them, they are the Left wing apparatchiks that dominate the vast state organisation which now numbers millions of people in the UK whose positions depend on their toeing the accepted political line.

    They are in the teaching profession at all levels from kindergarten all the way up through to the universities, the enormous social and health services are completely controlled by them, they are thoroughly in charge of the BBC and have been for decades, they have recently taken control of the police in the shape of chief constables like Richard Brunstrom and Sir Ian Blair, they now predominate in the judiciary, for woe betide any judge who doesn’t spout the proper received opinions or he won’t see his career advance too far.

    In short throughout almost every aspect of public/state employment which under Gordon Brown has expanded to previously unheard of levels with staggeringly huge amounts of money from the public purse the Left’s agenda is being implemented day in and day out.

    It doesn’t matter that these public bodies become more and more useless the more and more politicised they become, 30 000 people a year in the UK are killed by what should be a thoroughly discredited national health service but instead of investigating such appalling mismanagement the BBC unashamedly propagandises on behalf of “our NHS”. It doesn’t matter that crime is soaring and detection is plummeting so long as police forces, oops sorry “services”, are seen to be meeting their diversity targets. For heaven’s sake even the Fire Brigade, oops again Fire Service, is now being targeted by the Kommissars as firemen, jeez sorry firefighters, are disciplined and sent away to re-education camps for daring to suggest it’s not part of their jobs to promote Gay Pride events.

    That’s who they are, they don’t operate by stealth, they’re carrying out their agendas unashamedly and right in front of us. Stop looking at the smokescreens the Left throws up about media barons or the City, the real power resides in the massed ranks of state employees and they are well and truly indoctrinated and are indoctrinating society and your children at this very moment.

  • Rory

    According to Harry above we on the left have a lot to answer for. Our control of the BBC makes us guilty of the crime of Strictly Come Dancing and the success of Sex and the City clearly demonstrates that fashion footwear designer Jimmy Choo is a secret communist. Since we also control the police, including Sir Ian Blair, and the judiciary I must apologise for the shooting of any civilians on the Underground and fitting up innocents for celebrity murders.

    I don’t know where it all went wrong really. I suppose I must blame it on all that “feminised education” I received in my youth. Clearly I would have been better off if, like Harry presumably, I’d had a good dose of rugger, buggery and the cane in my formative years. Look what a well rounded, fine outstanding member of society it has produced in dear old Harry.

  • Mick Hall

    Jaffa

    When I wrote about Acquifer post I was not agreeing with him, I just thought he raised some interesting points which I believe the left need to deal with, which I intend to do in an article sometime but you seem to have beat me to it.

    Not being a marxist I cannot speak for them, but it seems to me the family, for all its faults has evolved and survived because people seem to like living within them and no one has come up with a better way to exist as a social being.

    Best regards

    Mick

  • Rory, do you think that Sir Ian Blair could possibly be described as an enemy of the Left? Why do you think Red Ken has backed him as he has – it’s because he recognises a fellow traveller when he sees one. And if you think that the BBC is anything other than a leftie haven you have obviously never listened to the Today programme.

    As for rugby, buggery and the cane, I experienced one of those during my schooldays but I’m not saying which.

  • Harry Flashman

    Rory, once again your scintillating humour cuts me to the quick yet once again you refuse to address my main point about the social agenda of the Left.

    Could you just come clean once and admit that a key pillar in the structure of implementing socialism by stealth in the UK was and is the destruction of traditional, bourgeois family and social life?

    It’s not a big thing to admit after all, I mean the Left were once terribly proud of how they were undermining traditional British society and values, it was once regarded as a badge of honour among the Left to do so. I fail to understand why you’re so reticent now to admit this obvious fact.

    No doubt you’ll come bouncing back with another rollicking reminder of the ill affects of modern popular culture (usually heavily sponsored by left wing activists in the media it should be pointed out) and we’ll all have a good laugh but could you just for once come straight out and admit that yes the Left did and still does actively seek to undermine traditional, bourgeois, conservative ideas of family and society?

    I mean it won’t hurt to admit it, it’s not like we haven’t known about it for the past half century but why are you in denial?

  • joeCanuck

    Harry,
    All I can see in your many posts on this theme is a profound sense of paranoia.
    People usually have a motive for what they do.
    Can you explain in depth what you think this left wing conspiracy hopes to gain apart from the rather vague implementing socialism by stealth .

  • Mick Hall

    Dubliner,

    I have been asked not to say to much about the future of the Blanket, I do not mean to be rude, but it is for the editor to make any public statements not I. I appreciate your kind words about some of the stuff I wrote and I too felt it was a worth while project.

    As far as I know, whether the Blanket will remerge in the future or something else will take its place is still to be decided. Although one only has to look at the murder of young Quinn to realize there is still a need for the Blanket or a similar publication.

    As to the other issues you raised, myself I am very much against the State whilst recognizing it is a necessary evil. I am by nature and political inclination an oppositionist, thus whether it be a capitalist state or a socialist state I would like to think I would oppose either. For make no mistake when power is concentrated in a comparatively small number of peoples hands it will be abused, so who ever is in power I see no sign of me getting my redundancy notice.

    All the best

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Yeah, the Today programme is real leftwing… Thought for the Day just oozes leftism.

  • Rory

    Jesus wept! It’s bad enough old Harry thinks that Sir Ian Blair is a tool of the left – now The Watchman believes he is in the pay of Red Ken. The best joke of all is that The Watchman and Harry both probably consider that Red Ken (that’s the Mayor of London, folks) is a dangerous red. Red Skelton the American comedian had more claim to being a serious Marxist than Livingstone.

    Joe McCarthy you should be with us at this time. It would appear that your hour has finally arrived.

    I’m off now to change the grandson’s nappy. I’ll get more sense out of him.

  • Harry Flashman

    Nicely avoided once more Rory, it’s a simple question your failure to answer it over several threads speaks volumes about the veracity of my assertion.

    *Can you explain in depth what you think this left wing conspiracy hopes to gain apart from the rather vague implementing socialism by stealth*

    Control joe, quite simply control, they want to get control of society in their hands, they can work with big corporations or media barons because they don’t threaten their agenda, in just the same way that Murdoch, Google etc will bend over backwards to kiss the Chinese Communist Party’s arse to get the contracts. But if a small Chinese peasant dares to have three children then the full wrath of the state will be brought down on him.

    Socialism is not about economics it is about control of society and if you think I’m paranoid for pointing out the countless ways socialist apparatchiks up and down the UK use their power to enforce their will on the proles that can’t fight back well then I’m afraid you really haven’t been paying attention.

  • joeCanuck

    Well, here’s the thing Harry.
    I could be fairly described as a member of the bourgeoisie. I grew up in a middle of the road apolitical family. I went to university and got my degree. I have worked successfully as an engineer in a number of large companies. I ended my career as a member of management.
    I have always been left wing and haven’t been in the least shy about proclaiming it privately and publicly.
    One of my close friends was (is) the chief union steward at the last place I worked.
    Yet never has anyone whispered anything in my ear about a conspiracy, let alone tried to recruit me into it.
    I might have been an excellent co-conspirator.
    Yet I know nothing about it!
    Perhaps the conspiracy is confined to the UK, even though I was a Professional Union representative there.
    Go figure.

  • Harry Flashman

    Aw for heaven’s sake joe will you drop the “secret conspiracy” stuff already? I have made it abundantly clear that there is no conspiracy, it is not secret, it is open public policy.

    Let me try to explain again; the public sector of the UK is now enormous, it is practically impossible to get by without interacting with it. It is now the policy of the public sector that unless you hold certain left wing views, or more importantly do not object to such views (Ian Blair is not a marxist but he and all public employees now know that unless they are on nodding terms with cultural marxism their careers will meet a dead end) then you can not face advancement in public life in the UK. You will not be eligible for public funding, you will not be allowed to submit for public tender and you will not be employed by the state unless you acquiesce in the furtherance of the Left wing agenda.

    Try working in a government department in the UK and holding mildly conservative opinions, you will immediately become suspect and your career will never progress. Should you profess any sort of reservations about homosexuality, single motherhood, Islam, mass immigration or the myth of Global Warming, not only could you see the loss of your livelihood but believe it or not you could actually face criminal prosecution (opposition to such issues have either been criminalised already or the suggestion has been made that it should be criminalised). This is truly Big Brother thought police stuff and is happening at every level of public life in the UK right now, it is being done out in the open and in plain sight, there is no secret cabal there are no conspiracies it’s all very public.

    Take gay rights for example, the Left couldn’t give a fiddler’s feck about homosexuality, most Lefties I have met have the same mildly bemused attitude to homosexuals that most other people do. However gay rights which was once accepted as tolerance and live and let live, have now become another wedge used by the Left to hammer into the cracks of the last few remaining pillars of conservative society.

    Firemen are disciplined and sent for re-education for suggesting that their personal religious opinions precluded them from attending a Gay Pride parade in uniform, Catholic adoption agencies are forced to close because the implementation of their religious beliefs have been criminalised, even the absurd case last year where an old man who held up an inoffensive religious text at a gay rally was assaulted by several gay activists, the police intervened and arrested the old man, who was the victim of assault, for breach of the peace (I’ll try googling the full story).

    Along the whole range of political thought it is now becoming seriously injurious to your welfare to not subscribe to Left wing mantras even if you don’t actually believe them. It is happening here and now and day in and day out, if you refuse to recognise that reality then so be it but please desist from branding me as some sort of delusional paranoiac for pointing out these facts.

  • The Dubliner

    “I really can’t follow the logic of those commenting from the right on this thread. They seem to think that there is some alternative source of power within the state that is forcing a left wing agenda.” – Nestor Makhno

    For one example, look at the environmental lobby and how that agenda is being manipulated by the left to serve its own ends. The ultimate goal of those who promote a left agenda is to create a centralised state that controls the means of production, forcing out the private sector and replacing it with the state-controlled public sector. That is the essence of socialism. If you are a socialist, then that is your goal.

    One way to accomplish this is to force the state to intervene in the private sector and attempt to regulate it out of existence, stagnating enterprise with proverbial red tape, such that it requires a legal department the size of the state (conveniently enough) to operate the means of production. Now most people understand instinctively that over-regulation is bad for industry, so you have to sell it to them as being unavoidable to advance some greater goal. To this end, the environmental lobby sell it to the people by claiming that the future of the planet is at risk as the direct result of under-regulated capitalist enterprise. In short, if we don’t kill off the ‘selfish’ private sector and replace it with ‘ethical’ state-controlled public sector then we are all headed for mass extinction.

    This is very deliberate propaganda and it all leads one way: to a state that has more and more control over the private sector until it inevitably displaces it with state-controlled production. It is not a coincidence that the Green Party is a socialist party: it is using environmental scaremongering to promote a socialist agenda. It knows that the propaganda is so effective that it can have every citizen sorting rubbish into separate bins thinking they are ‘doing their bit for the environment’ when all they are actually doing is demonstrating how effectively the state can interfere in the affairs of the private citizen with over-regulation and how compliant the brainwashed public can be. This is the wet dream of socialism. The message is “Private business bad. Kills the environment, tries to kill us all. State control good, saves us from ourselves.”

    Anyone of the left has a vested interest in such promotion wherever an opportunity arises, so the ‘cabal’ can be dynamically ad hoc rather than a tightly controlled ‘conspiracy’ even though the initial instigators know exactly what the agenda is and how the method of dissemination works.

  • The Dubliner

    One other point: while we are all busy sorting the packaging that is a by-product of our capitalist consumer society into a plethora of multicoloured bins at the instruction of the state (courtesy of a socialist-orchestrated environmental propaganda campaign to force the state to introduce the regulation) what are we all thinking other than what the propaganda has inoculated into our thought processes, i.e. how bad our capitalist-consumer society is to the environment and isn’t it time we all looked for an alternative to it?

  • Rory

    A small point I know but The Dubliner’s whole silly argument falls flat on the simple acknowledgement of the rapid and escalating denationalisation of formerly state controlled sectors of industry including not just the big boys such as rail, coal and steel but public services such as water, health and education and now increasingly parts of the defence and police forces as well. Ask HM The Queen. They’ve even privatised Buck House which is now largely funded from the admission fees of eager Japanese tourists.

    Sorry to rain on your parade, Dubliner, but it is best to face the truth.

  • Harry Flashman

    Rory it ain’t about nationalised/private industry anymore as well you know, you seem to be stuck in some mid twentieth century timewarp, socialists from China to the UK are perfectly happy to accommodate big business so long as they have control of society.

    Socialists now seek control not of the means of production but of the people themselves. They have chosen to break up the traditional conservative family and social structure and replace it with a society in which they have power over every individual from cradle to grave. Where everything from health, education, housing, employment etc will be doled out by the state in return for the individuals acceptance of the dominance of the socialist state any refusal to accept the socialist hegemony will have very serious consequences indeed.

    In fact socialists are usually delighted to use the assistance of big corporations to assist them in this process, there is no need for the socialists to own the businesses when they own the customers. And when it comes to monitoring us and our thought processes who better than the big corporations like Raytheon who will be delighted to sell the means to establish their Big Brother state to any socialist government like this one who is willing to pay the price?

    As I said earlier it’s not about the economy anymore, the socialists can live with big business, it’s now about seizing control of our families and our minds.

  • Stiofán de Buit

    Harry

    What exactly do they want to do with our families and our minds once they have control of them?

  • Rory

    “…everything from health, education, housing, employment etc will be doled out by the state” Harry Flashman (again).

    Except of course, Harry, as I pointed out to The Dubliner, that it won’t. Health, education and public housing, areas that were formerly under the state umbrella are fast being privatised and as a consequence great swathes of former public employees are made redundant and either rehired by private corporations to do the same job (and more) for greatly reduced pay and poorer conditions. Many other areas of government employment as well are also being hived off to the private sector and this very issue is probably the most contentious of all in employer/employee relationships in the UK in the last twenty years. How can it be possible that you have not been aware of this? You simply invert the known evidence when it conflicts with this absolutely screwball theory, which you mentioned in an earlier post, that “socialism isn’t about economics”. Yeah, and the Pope’s got nothing to do with Catholicism.

    The Communist Party in Britain has been dead for over twenty years, the Labour Party is totally controlled by business interests and the Right; of the smaller “Left” groups the largest, the Socialist Workers’ Party was only ever a tool for undermining the Communist Party and creating disillusionment among young people attracted to socialism and of the myriad other tiny, tiny Left groups the individual members, never mind the groups cannot agree with each other. So who the hell is organising this conspiracy against the traditional family? It sure as hell ain’t me.

    I would be more inclined to blame Henry VIII meself. He started all this undermining of the “traditional” two-parent family way back in the days with his “one husband, six wives, not enough children” shenanigans. Don’t tell me he was a secret communist? Joe McCarthy would accuse people of being “premature anti-Fascists”. The old Fascists were a bit strong on the “traditional family” business, do you think old Joe missed out here by not “naming” Henry?

  • Rory,

    Are you not paying attention? Brown and Balls are already rowing back on Blair’s academy programme, which itself had been watered down by New (or should that be Old?) Labour backbenchers bwefore it was enacted. Everything in the UK points to the state expanding its role in education, whether it be children’s diet or schemes to educate bad parents.

    But the point is that it’s no longer possible for the Left to go back to the old days because the type of economy that allowed for mass state ownership is gone forever. The New Left has turned its attention to the structures of society in order to achieve the egalitarianism that it couldn’t get with state ownership of industry. The obvious starting point is the family. Why don’t you accept that your lot are winning? Why do you think that socialism has no non-economic objectives?

  • Stiofán de Buit

    Why do you think that socialism has no non-economic objectives?

    What are these objectives Watchman? What is the end result that ‘the Left’ is aiming for?

  • Conservatives who haven’t sold out believe that a limited state is there to serve people, socialists believe that people are there to serve a benevolent, all-wise state. So to answer your question as succinctly as possible for someone who wants to clock off for the weekend, Stiofan, the socialism of the modern Left in Britain is about egalitarianism through a strong state by social engineering. That means involvement in areas such as education (levelling down through the comprehensive system) and family policy (deconstruction of the traditional family unit).

  • Rory

    Don’t be daft, Watchman. Conservatives, whatever we may think of them, never sell out. To whom would they sell? The poor? We cannot afford them. And we don’t really have much use for them.

    And the only “people” that “true” Conservatives believe the state is there to serve is themselves and their kind.

    The state in all and any of its manifestations in whatever time and under whatever system remains as it always has – no more and no less than the armed might of the ruling class at any given time.

    In this particular time and place in which I dwell that ruling class is international capitalism which cannot help but be oppressive of my well being and of my humanity and of those which I know and love and many, I suspect, that I do not know, including some like your good self, who seem mightily deluded and confused by those who are more powerful and who have contrived to acquire, by fair means or foul (usually foul), a greater share of the wealth created by others than you less ruthless or more timid mortals so that you hold them and their establishment and dictats in awe.

    In any case why worry? It shall not survive this century and neither, I think, shall I.

    Which is nice. It will not, I think, be a pretty spectacle.

  • Harry Flashman

    *Harry

    What exactly do they want to do with our families and our minds once they have control of them?*

    What a simply absurd question Stiofan, haven’t you read about the history of the twentieth century?

    Socialists seek one thing and one thing only – power, power for themselves, absolute power for themselves. Naive old fools like Rory believe that socialism has something to do with economic equality or who owns what coal mine, it is no such thing; socialism is whatever it takes to get socialists into power, nothing else matters.

    When in power the object of socialist government is to remain in power. To do this they must literally criminalise opposition to their rule, they must downgrade every citizen to the status of a state possession. No aspect of society is too petty to be exempt from their control, everything from introducing laws about what parents may feed their children to what religious beliefs may be acceptable are used to further extend state control into every nook and cranny of our lives.

    Socialists have always been hopeless at running industries or agriculture but they are superb at maintaining control of people’s lives, the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea all proved this. European socialists realised this a long time ago, hence their adoption of the Frankfurt School of “Cultural Marxism”, they are happy to let Tesco run the supermarkets or Mittal run the steel plants as long as they control the people.

    Do you remember Thatcher in the 1980’s, how we were told she was setting up a sinister quasi-fascist police state? Did Thatcher introduce a DNA register which holds the records of millions of British citizens including children, including innocent people? Did Thatcher try to bring in bio-metric id cards that would be needed in order to walk outside our front doors and which could be demanded at any time by policemen? Did Thatcher introduce a policy of a ten year plan to transform the relationship between parents and children to one where parents were to be reduced to the status of supervised guardians whilst the children become the property of the state?

    No she did not but after ten years the true nasty control instinct of socialists down through the ages is coming fully out into the open. Anyone with children should be getting very concerned about where this government is going.

    It is surely no surprise that hundreds of thousands of British people are emigrating annually, as they quietly sell their homes, say good bye to their friends and leave the land that their fathers and grandfathers fought for but which today would be unrecognisable to them.

  • Rory

    “Anyone with children should be getting very concerned about where this government is going.”

    I understand that at least two fathers, Prince Charles, the prince..er.. thingy and Bryan Ferry, the crooner chappie are “utterly appalled”, Harry but not all people with children surely? If you are right aren’t the socialist mummies and daddies quite happy? Shouldn’t Herself and meself start at it again? (“Not on your Nelly!”, sez she! Some bloody socialist she is!)

    ” It is surely no surprise that hundreds of thousands of British people are emigrating annually, as they quietly sell their homes, say good bye to their friends and leave the land that their fathers and grandfathers fought for but which today would be unrecognisable to them.”

    It will come as even less of a surprise, Harry, to learn that tears will by now be trickling down the cheeks of most who have read this – tears of mirth accompanied by howls and shrieks of chortling laughter as we roll about on the floor clutching our stomaches, helplessly pleading, “No more, no more. Mercy! I can’t take no more!”

  • The Dubliner

    “A small point I know but The Dubliner’s whole silly argument falls flat on the simple acknowledgement of the rapid and escalating denationalisation of formerly state controlled sectors of industry…” – Rory

    You’re not too adroit at following an argument, are you?

    “They seem to think that there is some alternative source of power within the state that is forcing a left wing agenda.” – Nestor Makhno

    The argument I made relates to what that “alternative source of power” is, not to what the actual power is. Ergo, it is not refuted by citing the non-leftish actions of the actual power and ignoring the influence of those who successfully promote a “left wing agenda” by stealth (the alternative source of power). The left agenda is successfully promoted by those who don’t have actual power to those who do by disguising it as something else, and appealing to the people over the heads of the actual power thereby forcing the actual power to comply. Hence:

    [i]”For one example, look at the environmental lobby and how that agenda is being manipulated by the left to serve its own ends. The ultimate goal of those who promote a left agenda is to create a centralised state that controls the means of production, forcing out the private sector and replacing it with the state-controlled public sector. That is the essence of socialism. If you are a socialist, then that is your goal.

    One way to accomplish this is to [b]force the state to intervene[/b] in the private sector and attempt to regulate it out of existence, stagnating enterprise with proverbial red tape, such that it requires a legal department the size of the state (conveniently enough) to operate the means of production. Now most people understand instinctively that over-regulation is bad for industry, so [b]you have to sell it to them as being unavoidable to advance some greater goal.[/b] To this end, [b]the environmental lobby sell it to the people by claiming that the future of the planet is at risk as the direct result of under-regulated capitalist enterprise.[/b] In short, if we don’t kill off the ‘selfish’ private sector and replace it with ‘ethical’ state-controlled public sector then we are all headed for mass extinction.

    This is very deliberate propaganda and [b]it all leads one way[/b]: to a state that has more and more control over the private sector until it inevitably displaces it with state-controlled production. It is not a coincidence that the Green Party is a socialist party: [b]it is using environmental scaremongering to promote a socialist agenda.[/b]” [/i]

    By the way, this insidious method of promoting socialism is an apt indicator of the contempt in which socialists hold the public: they seek to subvert the democratic process and introduce their state-controlled utopia sans all debate and choice.

  • The Dubliner

    “Conservatives, whatever we may think of them, never sell out. To whom would they sell? The poor? We cannot afford them. And we don’t really have much use for them.” – Rory

    The ‘poor’ have a lot of use for Ireland’s richest man – 4,500 of them who depend on him directly for their income and the tens of thousands who benefit indirectly through jobs that are dependent on his entrepreneurial flair and through the taxes he pays to the state and the wealth that his manufacturing exports bring into the state. Who would have created those jobs if not Sean Quinn? A socialist committee of The Former Oppressed But Now Just Destitute?

    You really don’t understand the economics of wealth creation at all, do you? All your really want is a greater share of the wealth that others have created, not caring how wealth distribution is impossible without wealth creation or how wealth creation is inseparable from the exceptional talents of a minority (the “ruling class” as you refer to them). In reality, you’re just greedy and you use the label of socialism to disguise the selfish nature of your ambition.

    Equality means only equality of opportunity, not that all are equal. Talent isn’t distributed equally, and neither is wealth. And one of those unequal mix of talents is the intelligence, cunning, strategic vision, ambition, hard work, etc, that is required to be a businessman. Your socialist workers committee won’t find a Bill Gates or a Michael O’Leary to build your enterprises because those folks prosper in the free market (and the rest of society prospers by their flair) because they it is designed to allow each individual reach his full potential. The more goods and services of economic value that society produces, the wealthier it is. And those geniuses will prosper outside of your socialist utopia, your little idyll will sink into backwardness and poverty, as its Committee of the Mediocre will be outclassed by those who rise to the top by their brilliance.

    “In any case why worry? It shall not survive this century and neither, I think, shall I.” – Rory

    Well, if you’re just hanging around looking for once-off windfall via your proposed seizure of the wealth of others, don’t let that dream delay your departure. 😉

  • The Dubliner

    Typo: “And those geniuses will prosper outside of your socialist utopia [i]and[/i] your little idyll will sink into backwardness and poverty, as its Committee of the Mediocre will be outclassed [i]in the global marketplace[/i] by those who rise to the top by their brilliance.”

  • Rory

    “One way to accomplish this is to force the state to intervene in the private sector and attempt to regulate it out of existence, stagnating enterprise with proverbial red tape, such that it requires a legal department the size of the state (conveniently enough) to operate the means of production.

    Thank you, Dubliner. Now I understand what is behind your grievance. It is the stifling bureaucracy introduced by the state (via EEC regulation in this area) the cost of which only large economic units such as multi-nationals are able to absorb and which drives their smaller competitors out of existence. I should be quite peeved too if I were a small to medium sized businessman (I am merely a small to medium sized pensioner alas). And indeed I am unhappy to lose the variegated shopping culture that a multitude of small businesses once provided and detest the heartless anonymity of the malls, the shopping centre and the chain store.

    But you seem totally blind to the reality that the state applies such regulation not to take more power to itself nor to undermine capitalism in any way. It does so as an agent of its (the state’s) boss – international corporate capitalism – whose sole interest it serves. I fear you are like the British defences at Singapore – your guns are all pointed in the wrong direction.
    You say that I “really don’t understand the economics of wealth creation at all” and point to
    the example of “The ‘poor’ (who) have a lot of use for Ireland’s richest man – 4,500 of them who depend on him directly for their income”.

    I understand enough at least to know that it is Sean Quinn who depends for his unwarranted income on the profits created by his workforce and the tens of thousands of others across the world who sweat for pittances to create what he supplies and sells. How else would it be possible for one man to acquire such disgusting amounts of wealth? He could not possibly create it all on his own. He requires many, many others to do the wealth creation while he and his shareholders happily sit back and scoop up the largesse.

    The present apparent (and I would say fleeting) triumph of international capitalism cannot change the basic economic rules it merely magnifies the grotesquerie of their application.

  • Stiofán de Buit

    Harry

    Okay – they want control. I’ve got that bit. But what do they intend to do when they have control – what is their ultimate aim?

    Power for power’s sake? Wealth? Sexual gratification? The destruction of the human race? What is their ultimate goal in all of this?

  • Rory

    “But what do they intend to do when they have control”

    It might be expected that their fear for their “wives and children”, Stiofán, is that, if their improbable nightmare is realised, we would eat them. The sad reality is that they are probably much more afraid that we should say to them, “Hello, how are you? You’re very welcome. Please come in, sit down while I get you all a drink and you can tell us all what you really think about this old world and all that’s in it”. Scary, or what?