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Archive for September, 2009

Superb, important post from Sharpe’s Opinion which spells out some reasons why it is vital that Labour are defeated at the next election. It’s not an advert for the Tories and rightly so. That would diminish the force of its argument.

WTF.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t swear. I don’t rant. That’s my thing. Other bloggers, they rant. I don’t. I don’t write as an outlet for my rage, I just do it because I enjoy it. I keep my cool and try to write calm and collected opinion pieces. So the title of this post, and the rant which follows, I hope shows just how furious I am right now.

Deep in the ancient annals of political blogging history – last May, I think it was – I wrote a post about the BNP which started with what I thought was quite a funny joke:

I know they’re racists. I know they’re fascists and totalitarians. I know they’re liars and frauds. I know they’re criminals. Enough about New Labour, though, I’d like to know what exactly is so scary about the BNP?

I was, of course, lightly mocking the growing number of superficial similarities between Labour policies and BNP ones. “British Jobs For British Workers” being a classic example – a BNP slogan which Gordon Brown took as his own. The Labour Party and the BNP share ideas on a fair range of areas, in fact, particularly their generally redistributive economic stance. It’s oft-noted by better political commenters than I that the BNP tend to do well in strongly Labour areas.

It used to be something we all poked fun at, and pointed out to Labour supporters to get them all irritated. Gradually, though, the joke started to wear thin. Now it’s past its breaking point.

The thing is, what was ‘British Jobs For British Workers’ has now degenerated into the Dickensian idea, also a BNP policy, of sending teenage mothers to ‘poorhouses‘. And to add mocking insult to grievous bodily harm, this bright spark idea is going to be compulsory, according to Ed Balls, not optional as Brown and his media lobby would have us believe.

Seriously. Putting teenage mothers into care for re-education. Is that what we’ve come to? Is that the Britain we live in?

No, it turns out, it’s worse than that. That was yesterday’s news and, whilst anger me it did I have relaxed about it a little bit now1.

Because today we learn (and can we please get this to a wider audience) that somebody in New Labour’s government thinks they can determine somebody’s nationality using their DNA. That out there somewhere there are people with Kenyan DNA and Somali DNA.

Seriously.

I mean, can we take a moment to step back and discuss this a bit further, because I really hate false accusations of racism. It drives me round the bend when people use the word ‘racism’ as an argument ender, or worse as a straw man. That no politician can talk about immigration or multiculturalism without being bombarded with accusations of trying ‘to keep the darkies out’. I don’t care whether you agree with them or not – let them make their argument and challenge it on its own merits, not using some racism straw man. I can’t tell you how much it irritates me.

But this is something different. Because hidden behind the ‘DNA tests for asylum seekers’ story is somebody with a deep-seated misunderstanding of the concept of nationality, and of genetics, and of race. This is somebody who believes that a persons ‘Kenyanness’ is measurable, quantifiable, testable, based on their DNA. Does this same person believe that you can measure ‘Britishness’ by genetics? That there exists some model British DNA, distinct from the DNA of the French, or of the Pakistanis or the Irish or the Germans?

That, in essence, we are all different species to each other, and can be distinguished as such.

I’ve been racking my brains, but I can’t think of any other way to interpret this, or any other logical conclusion to the line of thinking which attempts to separate peoples’ nationalities based on their DNA. Either this is the way they think, and they are indescribably racist, or it isn’t and… Well, what? What else could it possibly be? Presumably, this isn’t a single person making this policy, either, but a committee. Presumably there is an entire working group at the UK Border Agency devoted to solving this ‘Kenyan problem’ and who probably don’t even realise that their natural impulses are walking them straight into Godwin’s nightmare.

And where’s the defence? Where’s the person willing to put forward the Labour Party’s side of this? These measures were announced near enough in silence. It’s almost like the Home Office are embarrassed about this, which I’d believe if I thought they were capable of feeling such human emotions as embarrassment. The only reaction I’ve seen from anyone so far is the one which adorns the top of this post – three simple letters that say all that’s needed.

The dying days of this Labour government are galling enough for those of us who see socialism as an inherently bad thing, who disagree that putting people in boxes will help them understand each other, who don’t think that state intervention in markets makes markets work more effectively, and who don’t think fairness means what Gordon Brown thinks it means. If it’s bad enough for us, how bad must it be for those disillusioned folk who voted for Tony Blair in 2005 and got this?

How bad must it be for those people who had faith in the Labour Party to help the needy and cure the sick. How bad must it be for the honest people who voted for Labour because they thought the Tories were the ‘nasty’ ones? How sick would it make you feel to know that you supported a moderate, centrist Government who promised you front line services, and you ended up with this.

This is a democracy, and we have a choice. Consider it your civic duty to remove your Labour MP from office. From this day forward I advocate voting for anyone who stands a chance of ensuring Labour cannot win another term.

Please. Please God.

Anyone. But. Labour.

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Great Mock The Week

Secret side to Gordon Brown….?

==Update==

And, of course, the public “hero” we all know and hate:

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Just a little slip from Brown on Today, but he has been known unwittingly to speak his mind in the past…

Global financial systems, you can’t control by national action. We can’t in Britain say you charge this salary and we’ll dictate it, when you can go to a tax haven or America and get a completely different form of remuneration. I’ve said all along that what you need are global rules…

That’s what I’ve been saying for ten years and it’s unfortunate that we’ve had to have a crisis to learn that countries like America and like Europe and the rest of the world have to co-operate.”

Aside from the bionic hindsight and barefaced dishonesty of this bit of typical, delusional Brownite spin about the banks that he encouraged to be greedy, since when was Europe a country?

I mean, makes you fink, dunnit.

Hattip: Spectator

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Start of the Peace Process, Downing St, 1993 (where’s Blair, Gordo?)

Brown cited the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) as a Labour success in his shockingly awful conference speech. But, as a commenter in the Guardian has pointed out:

Did I hear right in the speech. Did his list of Labour successes include the Disability Discrimination Act? I am fairly sure that Act was a private members bill passed in 1995. As with all such bills, it required government sympathy – that would be the Tory government…

I think they assume that all progressive legislation must be Labour. So much so that they don’t even check the facts.

Exactly. It was a cross party bill, not some sort of ‘evidence’ of Labour’s moral superiority and ‘progressive’ credentials. It’s just hideous this bilious, vile, tribal hatred of the Tories just for the sake of it. It’s utterly corrosive, anti-democratic and contemptuous of the pluralist ideals this country was built on. But claiming credit where it is not deserved and flies in the face of easily checked facts! I’m sorry, but that’s either pathological, desperate – or both.

Combine this with the wicked untruth Brown uttered in the same speech that Blair (Blair?) began the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Er, no. It was John Major in one of his greatest successes as (elected) Prime Minister, won in the face of stiff opposition from his own party, with the Downing Street Declaration of ’93, the negotiation of the first IRA ceasfire in ’94 and the subsequent Good Friday Agreement of 1998, in which he played a – or even ‘the’ – crucial role, who actually “answered” the Irish Question. In fact, I strongly recall thinking at the time that a still very much wet behind the ears Blair seemed to be muscling in on what was, in fact, Major’s final triumph.

But in the end, that all will be for history to decide, (not Labour – and certainly not Brown!). I think you can see a pattern forming, though, can’t you? This particularly sordid piece of Tory-hating Labour revisionism isn’t all Brown, of course. It started with Blair during his farewell tour in 2007 (remember that assault on our senses!) in his long search for some sort of historical “legacy”. Northern Ireland is Major’s legacy, not Blair’s – and certainly not Labour’s! But Brown’s complete omission of Major, the architect of the Peace Process, from history in his speech spoke volumes about the man’s extraordinary capacity for deceit, among many other things. It’s all the more hypocritical for a man who pretends to be a historian.

The point is that the unravelling of this utterly moribund, dishonest, conference speech is already gathering pace, just a few hours after it was made. And so is the final end of Brown. He is as contemptuous of the the political process and true democracy in Britain as he is deluded about his own significance in the long history of this country. Fifty years from now he will be a footnote tacked on to the end of Blair’s premiership – if he’s lucky. A bit like Alec Douglas-Home (although I’m uncomfortable comparing a decent, honourable, honest party leader like Douglas-Home with a viciously ambitious abuser like Brown) after Macmillan.

He’s very, very close to that rude awakening millions of right-minded, decent (and yes, “hard working”) people that disagree with him, and whom he therefore despises so much, have been looking forward to for so long. Well, it’s been a costly wait in so many ways. But his downfall, quite possibly, will be Britain’s salvation and therefore worth that wait.

Brown: No one’s hero and everybody’s fool.

(PS: Something once said, with typical modesty, by Alec Douglas-Home seems to me to be more applicable to Gordon Brown than to himself.

“There are two problems in my life. The political ones are insoluble and the economic ones are incomprehensible”

Ironically, you can find this in the biography section of Number 10’s own website. I doubt whether Brown has read it. He doesn’t really “do” history. And if he had read it, I doubt it would still be there (too close to home).)

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This massive attack from Alex Massie is the only piece you will ever really need to read to understand just how very bad Brown’s speech litany of lies was.

Gordon Brown Fail.

Gordon Brown’s speech to the Labour party conference this afternoon was, in its way, breathtaking. Breathtakingly shameless, mendacious, confused, contradictory, delusional, dishonest and irresponsible that is. It was also the speech of a Prime Minister resigned to defeat.

Elections are won in the centre, not on the extremes. But Gordon’s speech was designed to appeal to the Labour base, not to Middle Britain. It was, then, designed to shore up existing support, not appeal to floating voters. It was for the left wing of the Labour party, not the Blairite voters who flocked to the party in 1997. Some of them left in 2001, still more stayed at home in 2005. On this evidence many of them will vote Conservative in 2010.

The Prime Minister takes the electorate for fools. But voters appreciate the appalling fiscal position the next government is going to inherit. They know that urgent action is required. But Brown pretended – as politicians are wont to do – that he could promise cakes for all and that everyone would still lose weight. Despite dozens of spending commitments – rhetorical commitments anyway – the deficit will be halvd in four years. The only thing missing was the promise of a free pony to every seven year old girl in Britain.

It was, also, inspired by a misguided analysis that seemed to have been written by Bob Shrum. Brown is for the “hard-working majority” not the “privileged few”. The Tories, by contrast, are heartless toffs who want to put a “cap on aspiration” so that they and their gilded pals can loot the country.

But this too simply shows how politically tone deaf Gordon is. Cameron’s weakest point is his past career in Public Relations, not his privileged upbringing.(Gordon’s upbringing, incidentally, was, in the context of Kirkcaldy also privileged: son of the Manse and fast-tracked through an educational “hot house”. But never mind…)

And, like all desperate politicians, he tried to wrap himself in the flag: Labour is the only properly patriotic party. Shameless and, in this instance, a leaf pilfered from the GOP playbook.

Indeed, this was a speech that might be best seen as a left-wing version of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Like Romney, Brown flip-flopped on a dozen policies he’d previously favoured leaving him in the curious position of, in effect, running against his own past. This, it must be said, is a tactic that rarely convinces.

There was, of course, the usual headline-grabbing nonsense: workhouses for single mothers and a National Family intervention Agency that, given how our bureacracy works, is a guaranteed disaster. But imagine the outcry if a Tory politician called for “Gulags for Slags” or “Wormwood Scrubs for Scrubbers”? Family breakdown is a real issue, but this was a gimmick designed for the sake of gimmickry, not any serious attempt to address a problem. Because addressing it would require a total rethink of tax and welfare policy and, consequently, demand another U-turn.

In other words, this was not in fact a serious speech by a serious politician in serious times. Quite the opposite in fact. It was yet another missed opportunity by a failed Prime Minister whose time is up. We know it and he must know it too. Given the chance to be straight with the electorate, Brown chose to be crooked and, worse still, absurd.

I didn’t really think that Brown could fail to meet my exceedingly low expectations but, by god, he did.

It’s political freefall from here on in for Brown (and Labour). What else could it be after a trainwreck performance like that? They’d better believe it – because he never will!

(Massie’s still completely wrong about Megrahi, though 😉

==Update==
The policy-on-the-hoof proposed by Brown in that speech to bundle bunches of badly behaved teenage single mothers into state-controlled housing, (quickly rebranded “Gulags for Slags” by some wits) was stolen from – wait for it – the BNP, Guido reveals.

I had no idea Brown was a fascist as well as being the most dishonest politician in the history of British politics. Naive of me.

The freefall accelerates – already. The Brownfall that up to this afternoon was dragging along so excruciatingly and so agonisingly is rapidly becoming a blur. Blink, and you might miss it. So keep ’em peeled, fellow bloggers. He’s finally going down.

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Yes, I’ve just sat through the worst list of delusional misrepresentations of history – and everything else – I have ever heard. It was absolutely and utterly sickening in ways I had not imagined even Brown could be.

To cut a long story short, Brown isn’t going anywhere because he is quite definitely certifiable. He is going to ruin the country – and promise absolutely anything – to lie and buy his way to what he thinks will be General Election success. The only trouble is, no one will believe him because no one wants Brown.

What he has done with this speech, by going way, way too far this time with the untruths and the rewriting of history (John Major started the Northern Ireland peace process, Gordo), is provide the Conservatives with more than enough ammunition to blow away this terrible, terrible man once and for all.

The long, long litany of lies that comprised the most dishonest speech in British political history, and provided a complete – if muddled and meandering – summary of his disastrous career, will prove to be Gordon Brown’s political epitaph. Thank God.

==Update==
Here’s a taste. It gets a lot worse (if you can believe that).

==And…==
The Speccy’s Peter Hoskin did a phenomenal realtime ‘fisking’ of it. Worth a gander…

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Comres verdict: Anyone but Gordon.

CON 38%(-2)LAB 23%(-1)LD 23%(+2)

Tomorrow will be painful for Gordon Brown at the make-or-break Labour conference, ahead of his make-or-break speech on Tuesday. A deluge of Sunday bad press, including rumours of his failing health (physical and mental) being stoked-up again by Andrew Marr, has been topped off by two bits of news that will turn the background speculation about how long he can cling on to the job he stole into outright rebellion. One is the latest Comres poll for the Independent, which Mike Smithson has analysed in some detail for us. The second is something from this morning that I think could turn out to be a massive own goal for Brown – he lied to Marr during that God-awful interview, according to Andrew Sparrow of the Graun.

First, the poll: it shows that not only have the Liberals caught up with Labour but that half the population, in theory, believes anyone would do a better job of leading Labour than Brown. But completely catastrophic poll ratings are one thing. Brown is used to them by now and they seem to have little effect on his delusional belief that he can somehow turn things around once he ‘gets his message across’. But this lying about that stupid policy-on-the-hoof legislation for controlling bank bonuses – that’s quite another matter. He said that Britain’s proposals are the ‘toughest in the world’. Patently unsustainable, says Robert Peston right away – the Dutch have strict caps on banker bonuses already, to name but one country. The Dutch rules are therefore tougher than anything Brown is (disingenuously) suggesting. This is just hit the hated bankers/Tories stuff (in the mind of the Left, the two are interchangable) not reasonable reform. Besides, those evil bankers were simply doing what Brown encouraged them to do for a decade, as I said earlier today. See? Dishonesty. It’s the big theme with Brown.

You might well be thinking, “Brown told a big lie and he’s been caught out (again). So what?” Well, it is actually pretty serious not just on its own terms – there was a time when ministers, even Prime Ministers, had to do the honourable thing and resign if they were caught lying about policy, for instance – but because it simply adds more grist to the mill (or further weight to Brown’s millstone, perhaps) that Brown is not being straight with the people, that he is fundamentally a very dishonest man and that whenever he opens his mouth, a question pops straight into people’s minds: what’s he lying to me about this time? That is checkmate for any politician, but especially a so-called leader. It’s time to bow out graciously and head off into the sunset of the American speech-making tour.

If anyone in Labour actually wants to know why they are nosediving in the polls and are about to become the third party in British politics, they need look no further than this morning’s interview. People hate Brown because he keeps on lying to them. They never had the chance to choose him in the first place and they simply don’t want him any more. Unfortunately for Labour, that means people in their eagerness to kick Brown hard and often will kick that party too. They are not learning though, it appears – probably because the parliamentary Labour party itself is populated by dishonourable, equally dishonest jellyfish, perfectly illustrated by the grim Scotland affair. (She still hasn’t resigned, extraordinarily, despite firm evidence now emerging, thanks to Guido, that she’s been lying, too).

So maybe Brown and Labour deserve each other, and the fate that awaits them. Judging by their God-awful, Tory-hating, drab, directionless, unattended conference so far, that’s exactly what what the outcome of all their bluster and all their lies will eventually be.

Good.

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