Monday, 30 January 2017
It turns out that whatever assurance Boris Johnson was given was not worth the paper that it wasn't written on. The Executive Order contains no such assurance, and, this side of being struck down in court, the Executive Order is the law. No American newspaper put Theresa May's visit on the front page. Not one. British influence in the United States is, and has always been, a complete fantasy, believed only by preening British politicians and by Lyndon LaRouche.
But there are other British politicians. They have ploughed a lonely furrow over the last 25 years, opposing the wars of Bill Clinton, George Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. They have ploughed a lonely furrow over the last 20 years, opposing the wars of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May. No one has been more consistently at that plough than the man who is now the Leader of the Labour Party.
His election and re-election have been among their successes, and there have been others besides. The biggest demonstration in British history did not stop the war in Iraq, but technological change made possible the lobbying campaign, organised by the same individuals, that did lead to the Commons defeat of the Cameron Government over Syria. The removal of Tony Blair from the Premiership over the bombing of Lebanon also had its roots in the work of the Stop the War Coalition.
I used to think that that had run its course. But it is now needed even more than it ever was. Organised by the people who had opposed Clinton, Bush, Obama, Blair, Brown and Cameron, and addressed by Jeremy Corbyn, the great demonstration against Trump during his State Visit would be the largest in British history, and it would politicise an entire generation, changing Britain for at least 50 years.
Bring it on.
Sunday, 29 January 2017
Jeremy Corbyn needs to say that he would not attend the banquet for Donald Trump's State Visit, but would instead address the demonstration outside.
He has absolute moral authority, since, unlike many, he opposed Bush, Obama and the Clintons when they did far worse than merely deny visas to the people of Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and other countries besides.
Thursday, 26 January 2017
Not with waterboarding.
If this Government does indeed have an absolute objection to torture, then it is doing a lot better than the Blair Government ever did.
It ought to be funny, but it is not, to see today's fits of the vapours on the part of people who supported George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who would have supported Hillary Clinton, who did so when she was Secretary of State, and who wanted David Miliband to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Their only objection to torture is to the vague suggestion by Donald Trump that he might use it.
Tuesday, 10 January 2017
The first politician to propose a salary cap was David Cameron. But he never did anything about it, while Theresa May shows no sign of doing anything about pay disparity within companies. Time, then, for specific proposals from Jeremy Corbyn. Nothing to be permitted to pay anyone more than 10 times what it paid anyone else, with the entire public sector functioning as a single entity. And no one in the public sector or its contractors to be paid more than the Prime Minister.
More broadly, all that Labour has to do is demand that Mrs May deliver on her own promises or very broad hints. Those include workers’ and consumers’ representation in corporate governance, and shareholders’ control over executive pay. An investment-based Industrial Strategy and infrastructure programme, itself including greatly increased housebuilding. Action against tax avoidance, with a ban on public contracts for tax-avoiding companies. A cap on energy prices. Banning or greatly restricting foreign takeovers.
And an inquiry into Orgreave, which the Government has effectively conceded by producing no better reason not to hold it than the fact that it was a long time ago and the pure assertion that it could not happen today. Then, of course, there is the reversal of the previous cuts to mental health provision, and the considerable expansion of the service beyond that. Plus the retention of the four hour A&E target, since at the very least neither Mrs May nor Jeremy Hunt ever said that they were going to abandon it.