Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Politics Of Farce

The last few days have seen the media falling over itself to be taken in by the idea that there is some kind of difference between the Tories and Liberals, as a result of comments made
by Campo and Clegg. There isn't. They are joined at the hip, as the video below of Clegg's recent comments to Cameron caught on his microphone demonstrate.

In fact, its the fact that there is no difference between the Liberals and Tories illustrated by those comments that makes this manufactured row necessary in the week or so ahead of the Local Elections, in which the Liberals look set to be annihilated, and the Tories to do not much better. On the Andrew Marr show this morning, he asked Simon Highes how the Liberals could continue working with the Tories after his leader had spoken about a "right-wing clique", and talked about the Tories telling lies. Quite easy is the answer.

Before the General Election, the Liberals were frequently talking about the Tories as a right-wing clique, and accusing them of telling lies. It didn't stop them immediately jumping into bed with them at the first sniff of an opportunity to get their grubby hands on a bit of power!
And, if we are talking about telling lies, then the Liberals with their pledge on Tuition Feees, their comments about opposing increases in VAT, their statements about opposing further changes in the NHS, and on, and on, and on have little room in any glass house to be throwing stones.

Clegg is correct, their is a tiny right-wing clique at the centre of British politics. He should know, he is a central part of it, as are the other Liberal Ministers and MP's!!
He is right that the Tories are telling lies, but the most important lies they are telling are not about an issue that is irrelevant to the majority of ordinary British people - i.e. over the rigged chocie between two undemocratic systems of electing M.P.'s, - but over the need for massive cuts in Public Spending, the need for attacks on workers pensions and so on. And, of course, on all those issues, the Liberals as a Capitalist Party, have absolutely no real disagreements with the Tories.

In fact, despite the fact that former Liberal Chief Secretary to the Treeasury, David Laws, told Sky News, last year, that the issue of the deficit had been hyped up, that introducing Cuts early on would be bad for the economy, and so on, as a right-wing, Orange Book Liberal, he was leading the charge in introducing those cuts!

The way, in which normal "democracy" works in Capitalist countries is tht every few years, voters are given the choice of voting for parties whose real political differences are minor. None of them offer any kind of real challenge to the wealth and power of the miniscule number of billionaires, and multi-millionaires who own and control the majority of productive wealth in the country - the real right-wing clique that is ultimately in control - and any Party that did would find itself being vilified and attacked on all sides by the media, and would face a Capital strike by those very same powerful Capitalists to undermine the economy - these are the same people, of course who throw up their hands in horror at the very thought that ordinary working people might strike for a few extra quid in wages or pensions - and ultimately would face the kind of opposition that other left-wing Governments have confronted. In 1973, the Government of Allende in Chile was overthrown by the Chilean Capitalists, and their State apparatus with the assistance of the CIA.
In the 1970's, even Harold Wilson's tame Labour Government provoked sections of the Capitalist establishment to consider a coup. Sections of the Military top brass, along with leading Capitalists considered the idea, and of installing Lord Mountbatten, the Queen's cousin, to act as figurehead. Of course, a look at the list of people coming to the Royal Wedding, shows that the Royal Family are not at all embarassed by the idea of dictatorship, and overriding democracy in the interests of Capital.

But, this spat between the Liberals and the Tories is to reduce that to the level of farce. No one really believes that the day after the local elections it ill not be business as usual between them as they proceed to both wreck the economy with their Cuts, and to undermine ordinary working people's living standards. It is an indication of the paucity of the British media that they act as a channel for such superficial hogwash. But, then this is the same media that is drowning in the cult of celebrity, the epitome of which will be the Royal Wedding itself, where the main topic of conversation will no doubt be whether the celebs at Buckingham Palace have wasted as much money on dresses and bling, as the celebs from Beckingham Palace!
And, of course, the only reason we should give a fuck is that both sets are only able to waste such vast amounts of money, because in one way or another they are spending OUR money. One set gets it given to them out of our taxes, the other out of an effective monopoly over aspects of the entertainment industry. Football was once considered a working man's game, but the only part of it now that fits that description, is in respect of the blokes who assemble in the local parks, and recreation grounds to compete against each other on a Sunday morning. The rest has become just another arena of big business, and profit making. By creating an effective monopoly by astronomical transfer fees, and deals with monopoly satellite TV companies, they are able to pay those fees and ridiculous wages to players - that the real working class blokes who were the founders of the game could not have dreamed of - and thereby build around it, a brand image.
The cult of celebrity in the film and music industry performs the same fucntion. The sooner Internet piracy breaks that monopoly apart the better.

But, that Monopoly that masquerades as competition in the commercial world is precisely reflected in the political world. And just as the lack of real differences between products in the commercial world has to be compensated for by creating artifical differences via branding, and marketing, so that is the case in the political world. The vote over AV is a reflection of that. Is it any wonder no one gives a toss. If we were being offered real alternatives it would be different. Across the Middle East and North Africa tens of thousands of people are demanding a real say in how their countries are run, how they elect their Governments and so on.
Britain says it supports them, yet in Britain ordinary people are being denied that same right! If instead of a monopolised choice between FTP or AV, we had a real debate over democracy in Britain there would be a reason to get involved and take part. Why can we not have a vote on many types of voting that would provide real Proportional Representation? Why can't we have a debate and a vote on scrapping the Monarchy as the epitome of a lack of democracy, as well as on scrapping the House of Lords? Why can't we have a Constitutional Assembly to discuss and propose a written Constitution for Britain? Why Can't we have a vote on which positions such as the top Civil Servants, Military Top Brass and Judges etc. should be elected?

But, they will not open up such a debate and give us the opportunity to vote on these things that could make a real difference, because that would take the control of the political debate out of the hands of the Capitalist politicians and put in the hands of ordinary people. And should the people come up with proposals that might provide a means for curtailing the power of that right-wing clique of Capitalists that control the destiny of the country, they would then have to show the real nature of that power out in the open.

But, if the Capitalist politicians will not give us those rights that is no reason for not taking them. That was what the radical democrat Thomas paine argued.
He said, "Democratic Rights are not granted, but taken." That is what ordinary people in the Middle East and North Africa are doing. We should learn from their lesson. There is no reason that workers on Council estates and in other such communities should not create their own democratic assemblies, perhaps extending existing Tenants and Residents Associations, or even bodies such as Neighourhood Watch schemes, and begin to create their own forms of demcoracy at grass roots level that do not ask for rights to control their neighbourhood from their local Council, but take them.
That same kind of principle and action could be replicated across society, including within the workplace. It is a solid basis upon which to build opposition to, and an alternative to accepting the Cuts being introduced by the Liberal-Tories, and implemented by Local Councils of all political complexions.

Forget about the superficial politics that is hyped up by the Capitalist politicians and their media, and begin to build a real alternative politics, a real alternative democracy that we can control, and that offers real chocies not the sham that is presented at Westminster, and in the local Council Chambers.

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