Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Song of Trump

My wealth will make you feel better;
the more you hear how rich I am
the more you will love me
the more you will be sure that I am the man
to clean out those who have made you poor.
I will display my gold, come to my tower
see how my suits and shirts conceal the way
my body stores more calories in a day
than you consume in a week;
the bigger I am the better you feel;
you think you are safe in my hands
because I point the finger at wicked people
who steal your wealth
most of whom are poor and foreign;
I identify other rich people who are your enemy,
I say they are an elite
as if I am not and never have been a member of an elite.
I make elite sound dirty even as I flaunt the trappings
of the elite I belong to
because my elite will save you.
Just by walking past my tower
you will feel ten feet tall.
My words about greatness will pump you up
and feel proud to be alive.
At long last you will feel better than someone else.
You will be able to wear me in your heart
like a patriotic pace-maker
and if you're lucky at some not too distant point
I will send you, or one of your children, or any relative
somewhere where they can lock up or deport someone
or go to another country and kill people.
This too will make you feel better
or even great.
Look at my tower.
Feel good.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Thoughts on 'liberal elites'

1. There are elites in society.

2. Very few of them are liberal.

3. Non-liberal elites tend to run the show. 

4.. When people say that they are against the 'liberal elite' we might hope that the media will ask them 
a) if they are against elites in general or just liberal ones 
b) is the person complaining a member of an elite, if so, what kind?

Sunday, 27 November 2016

How to Trump democracy

Marxists have this cynical idea that democracy and capitalism work in such a way that those people in power in democratic countries spend most of their time enacting what the biggest owners of capital want and need. However, part of the illusion of democracy is to make it seem as if people like Osborne (or Blair) are acting out of considered principle for what is best for all of us. This means that what are called politicians' 'business interests' should be kept out of sight, and if and when they appear, they should seem like a bit of a coincidence and nothing whatsoever to do with that politician's decision making.

Then along comes Trump who is a fine representative of one aspect of big business: real estate. He's got a lot of it and he rents it out and/or buys and sells it. However, he is also going to be the president. This is a bit close for how the West is supposed to do things. He should look more selfless than that.

It seems that already even quite right wing people are getting nervous about this. It kind of makes the system look a bit naked. Power + property = capitalism. It's not supposed to look that obvious.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Castro bad, uprisings bad, revolts bad, revolutions bad. Gottit?

The main purpose of British newspapers telling us how terrible uprisings, rebellions, revolts and revolutions have been in the 'Third World' over the last 250 years has been to reassure us that we're right to rule over the natives, we're right to send gunboats in and kill people and right to get raw materials out of those countries at the lowest possible cost - usually through enslaving the people there and/or employing them on the lowest possible rates, and/or getting in 'advisers' who tell the people in those countries that they can't afford to have schools and hospitals.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Tweets on the economy

"We've been cutting wages and the public sector because we made up a heap of crap about the deficit and the media believed us."
'Factories close cos of Jonny foreigner." (What?! If output up, layoffs caused by automation. If output down, caused by underinvestment)

Racist explanations/descriptions no.256: 'Factories closed. White working class suffer.' (What?!Like other colour workers not affected?!)

Reason for crash and austerity was big business can't make super profits from manufacture so 1)they play casino 2) cut wages/services

So media asking what was austerity for really? Wage cuts, public service cuts, benefit cuts, privatisation.

Paul Krugman explained 1)leap in deficit cos of bank loans 2)deficit in the currency-producing UK wasn't a prob 3) austerity wouldn't work

How the media loved it: "Austerity will bring the deficit down!" The deficit was fine and austerity didn't work!

All this sympathy for the 'left behind' and 'just managing' stuff! They were created by govt 'austerity'. Media roasting them for that?Nope.

So,media you must be getting ready to roast Tories for 'austerity' cos it didn't work - apart from making poor people poorer and rich richer

Media got deficit hysteria and spent last 7 years pinning leftish ministers to the wall over it. Now Tories give signal it doesn't matter!

Last nights News explained how 'Labour's' leap in the deficit (2009) was a direct result of loans to banks after the crash.

You know how we had to cut wages and services cos of the deficit? Well, deficit doesn't matter now. (It was a hoax. Had yer!)

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Trump, Farage, Le Pen - what it means

6 mins ·

1. There was a world banking crisis.

2. In the UK, the electorate appeared in part to 'blame Labour' for this. Alternatively, you could say that the Tories, LibDems and the press successfully made it look as if Labour had been incompetent and had thrown 'our' money around.

3. The Tories (and LibDems) decided to 'solve' the problems caused by the banking crisis by cutting working people's and (people on benefits) living standards and cutting back on all forms of public spending.

4.The problems - as measured narrowly by the public deficit - have not been 'solved'. And the unemployment figures have been massaged so that tens of thousands of people have been taken off the unemployment register and listed as 'self-employed' or 'zero contracts'. In fact, many of these people are seriously 'under-employed' but that mass of 'under-employment' is not listed as 'unemployment'. It just disappears.

5. The Tories and the press seem to have in part succeeded in 'blaming' people's low standards of living on migrants, the 'chaos' of the previous Labour government and 'the EU'. This represents three lies. Migrants have not lowered people's living standards, whatever one thinks of the last Labour government it wasn't actually responsible for the banking crisis. and 'the EU' didn't cause that crisis either. The one key act responsible for people's lowered living standards is the government policy of 'austerity'. Just that. 

6. A new scenario has appeared with Brexit, Trump and Le Pen: their line is that it's free trade that is the problem. They have a seemingly radical plan (it talks of 'elites' being got rid of) to throw away free trade agreements between nations within 'blocs' and 'protect' national businesses which they can dress up for the electorate as protecting their jobs. They can ally this with 'keeping out immigrants' as part of that protection. It's all a lie because a) there are some free trade blocs that they will favour; b) protectionism leads to trade wars which result in businesses going to the wall, c) unemployment and serious wage-cutting and public services cutting d) many kinds of racist forms of discrimination in work and civil society are introduced which in the end impact on everyone because working people's rights get eroded and police state methods are introduced.

7. In the present situation, the Tories and LibDems and the press claim - by association - that somehow Labour and/or Corbyn are 'to blame' for the banking crisis, immigration and any old rag-bag of accusations even though some of the time, this radical right approach steals the clothes of left Labour politics talking of the 'people left behind' by the 'elites' and people 'struggling' to get by. 

8. Ultimately, the row between the two wings of right wing politics - protectionism versus free trade is a row between two ideologies neither of which knows how to solve the 'crisis' that world capitalism has got itself into - as expressed at the moment by impossible levels of debt. What they offer are competing ways to deprive the lowest paid and the unpaid of standards of living and public services. 
9. We need Corbyn and McDonnell to carry on making the case for minimum standards of living, defending public services, international agreements between workers on workers' rights, absolute refusal to play the 'national' card (lightly disguised 'race' card in actual fact). What is dangerous about the present situation is that the nationalist and protectionist policies will inevitably lead to serious sabre-rattling between nations and/or 'blocs' which our leaders will call on us to support, claiming that this or that nation is 'bringing us to our knees' or some such. We will have to be alert to the way in which all the personality stuff about people like Trump, Farage and Le Pen obscures what they are doing economically and why whole large chunks of big business is backing them. As ever, it will be about 'solutions' - that is, how can such big business profit in a time of unprecedented world competition, greater demands on raw materials, higher demands than ever world wide for a decent standard of living for workers, (pump-primed by consumerism of course which demands that workers buy goods which don't last long), greater and greater investment needed in 'automation' to make industry less reliant on labour and to keep up with modernisation - and of course with the huge weight of debt affecting regions such that one region tries to sting another as part of doing better in the fight between chunks of big business.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

US election numbers

231,556,622 eligible voters 

25.6% voted Clinton 
25.5% voted Trump 
46.9% didn't vote
Clinton 59,186,057
Trump 59,046,660 

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Trump (and other capitalists) only 'give' jobs, they never take them away. (Amazing!)

In the tiny clips of Trump that I hear on radio and TV, one kind interests me a lot: it's the one where he says that he's going to be bringing jobs and prosperity to workers. This goes right to the core of capitalism as an idea, as opposed to how it actually works as an economic system. The idea is that capitalists like Trump give people jobs. Going with this is the idea that if you don't have a job, it's NOT because a capitalist failed to give you one, it's your fault. It's your fault because 1) you didn't do the right things and/or you're not the right kind of person to be ready for the capitalist to give you a job or 2) socialist liberal sleaze balls (like Hilary Clinton) have created a welfare system that prevents capitalists from giving you a job.

In order to sell these ideas, it's crucial that one part of the process of capitalism is hidden or obscured from the people: capitalists are simply people who will do anything and everything necessary to make money for capitalists. It's not a secret. It's what the system is for. It's not a charity. It's not philanthropy. So, totally openly and legally capitalists go about opening businesses where they can get workers on the lowest possible wages, they can get their materials at the lowest possible price, they can hire buildings and plant at the lowest possible price and they can distribute what they sell at the lowest possible rate.

The result of these imperatives is that they not only open businesses, they also move them and close them.

That's people like Trump. In other words, even if we say they 'provide jobs', then by the very same token, and as part of the very same process, they take them away, they lose them, they vanish them. They go. And yet, mysteriously this part of the process - as an act or deed or decision taken by capitalists - is rarely included in the image of the capitalist as the job-giver, even if the media do tell stories of factory closures.

In order to get away with this 'vanishing', it's vital to keep up the myth of the undeserving, feckless, unqualified work-shy poor, side by side with the image of the bloated welfare system sponging off the poor capitalists who would, if only their hands weren't tied, be rushing to the other side of the tracks, opening factories, running industries.

So it is that someone like Trump, or indeed any spokesperson for the system, keeps up the picture that if you trust him (or them) you will get a job.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Some questions about the 'knowledge-based curriculum'.

I was educated in a system that was ‘knowledge-based’ (I began informal schooling in 1949 (nurseries) formal schooling in 1951 and finished secondary school in 1964.) It was also a system that streamed us in 1956-1957, selected 25% of us to go to a ‘knowledge-based’ school, where we were setted from the age of 13 for Maths and French, and at 14/15, about a third of us left. At 16 over half our year left school. In fact, the knowledge-based curriculum was a means by which a lot of this selection was enabled. The tests and exams tested the knowledge.

People who were not included in the selection, starting with the streaming in year 6 (‘4th year juniors’) the setting, the early school leaving, the non-progression to the sixth form – all got much less or hardly any knowledge-based learning. That was the point. They had showed themselves, it was said, at each of these stages to be less able to cope with it.

This was a long time ago.

Can you say why and how the system is different? There are – and by all accounts there will be more – forms of selection, grading and failing, starting from an early age. Since 2000, my children have been setted in their primary schools from the age of 5. SATs at 7 and 11 – and predictions on how well they will or won’t do, have also been means by which the children are given different curricula. This has followed on into their secondary schools. They’ve all been (and are still) at comprehensives. As we know, many kinds of overt and covert selection is going on. The recent report on headteacher-types that came out of Harvard suggested that the ‘surgeon-type’ heads were able to dump (ie drop from the roll) as much as 25% of their cohort before they took their GCSEs. No one has denied this.

So, how does the knowledge-based curriculum fit on to this ‘substrate’ ie into this system? Where is the empowerment to the disadvantaged? Is the knowledge-based curriculum being used in order to engineer the selection? What happens to those not selected as they progress through the system?

Friday, 4 November 2016

Brexit Day

A hopeful Brexiteer speaks:

"On the day we leave the EU

all the foreigners are going to have to leave
and no foreigners are going to come in
and this will mean
we're all going to earn more
and we're going to have more schools
more hospitals,
and more food
we're all going to live in big houses
because all the rich people are
going to give their money away.
They'll say, 'We've got too much money,
you have it.'

on the day we leave the EU.

There's going to be no more crime
and no more hooligans
and when it comes to deciding on things like
whether criminals can vote
it's going to be us that decides
because we've got this really good system
where your vote doesn't count if
the person you vote for doesn't get in.
That's what it's going to be like

on the day we leave the EU."

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Some Tories' mindset following the vote for Brexit...

Have seen a snippet on twitter of a Tory MP's diary or comment saying that the calculation from some of them was that the Leave vote was intended to be 'close' so that Cameron would have a stronger negotiating hand with the EU. It was never 'intended' that Brexit would win.

If this is true, then there are some quite crazy things going on here in some Tories' mindset:

1. Oh look how clever we are, we can game a referendum.
2. We think we know how people will vote.
3. We think that some of us can swap sides, say things we don't believe in, and it won't matter because we are politicians and no one thinks we're cynical, lying bastards.
4. Because we were so certain of what was going to happen, we have no plans and no ideas about what to do, now it's turned out to be Brexit.
5. We've put three incompetents and chancers in charge of this thing and if it goes wrong we can blame them, and come out shining because shit never sticks to us.
6. We don't know what we're doing but it doesn't matter anyway, because capitalism always wins and it's our job to make sure it does.
7. Vote Tory.
8. Blame Corbyn.
9. Bring back grammar schools.
10. The NHS is safe with us. (snigger).

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The new world order rewrites a famous poem

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door." ????

Never! Not now! and not any more!

The Politician Wakes Up

Today I will tell the people
how people are bad for people.
I will them that when they see people
on the move
they should be afraid.
I will tell them to trust me.
I will tell them to trust me
with money.
I know how good it is.
I will tell the people that money
is good.
I will tell them that I know
how to handle people and money.
I will tell them that
people will be stopped at the border.
Money can move how it wants.
I like it to be known that
people with money are good.
I will not talk about money
moving out.
I know that money moving out
is not good.
I know that money moving out
is bad for people.
But I won’t say that.
I will only talk about people moving
and how bad that is.
People will listen to me
and will like me.
I will become powerful.
And people with money
will say I am good.