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Cuts-Baron Laws in Gay Expenses Scandal

Barely 3 weeks into the Smug Alliance, and Chief Axe-Wielder David Laws takes us back to the good old days.
David Laws has resigned from the Coalition Cabinet after revelations that he claimed £40,000 of taxpayers’ money to pay rent to his boyfriend. Too late now to say: One Laws For The Rich... he's gone. And him looking such a natural Tory too. I'l say one thing. The Condems are off to a flying start.
So who will the tories use now to take the flak for the cuts in public services?
The idea was that the tories in general could escape the old Nasty Party image, and the leadership outmanoevre its right-wing by using the nice LibDems as a human shield. Step forward self-made millionaire Slim Laws with his lean and hungry look.
But he now goes into the Guiness Book Of Records as the briefest cabinet post ever.
Who's next?
And who will be the first card-carrying tory to drop a clanger? Who has the most outside business deals which could go wrong?
Peter Tatchell rightly accuses Laws of a lack of solidarity, and of benefiting from the struggle of others. But this is missing the point. In spite of the achievements in taking society out of the 'dark ages' of the fifties, a prominent liberal-democrat still felt too intimidated to reveal his sexuality. He felt career aspirations would be compromised by doing so, presumably. The entire story is a sad reflection on the society we still live in, and on the decrepit culture of the Westminster
political machine. But it also shows that you don't get to be a millionaire by passing by the odd £40,ooo when it's going begging, even if it is taxpayer's money, the same taxpayers you were about to make even poorer.


Symbol Of Brown The Terrible Destroyed

2 weeks in, and the new Lovely Cuddly Condems are bulldozing a protest which stood throughout the reign of Gordon The Terrible, and has arrested the dissenter on unspecified charges. Free at Last! Free at Last!
Apparently, people thought it looked terrible in a place that so many overseas visitors come to. They naturally agree we need the right to peaceful protest but the tents and signs were just ridiculous. If they have to be so tiresome, why can't they go and be ugly somewhere just as ugly and leave respectable people to ignore everything as they always do. Protesting against war is just too inconvenient and too untidy to be allowed. And then there are the property values to consider.
The sensitivities of the genteel classes have always been wheeled out to defend suppressions of all kinds, and their willingness to sacrifice freedom for order is a characteristic of their class and the part it played in the nastier parts of C20th history. But today's Marie Antoinettes must be told to get back to their ornamental cows and pastoral idylls and leave real life to the grownups.
As for tourists, they presumably come just to see such free expressions of dissent. Otherwise, there is nothing in Parliament Square but a shabby patch of clods and trampled turf. For eye of toad and adder to watch, as the poet says.

Stephen Fry and the Schmaltz of Gotterdammerung

Stephen Fry on Wagner. BBC4. 25/5/2010
I don't understand Fry's bewilderment at his admiration for the antisemitic Wagner. He believes that his Jewishness must rebel against anything produced by anyone so genuinely racist. If it doesn't, something is wrong, either with him or with the music he loves, or with his Jewishness and his respect for the Holocaust dead.
But it isn't at all surprising that he should be moved by Wagner, however detestable his racial opinions. Wagner's intensely nostalgic nationalism can be expected to appeal to the rootlessness within Jewish culture. The yearning for a divine homeland in a godless time. It is nationalism calling to Zionism, in the nicest possible way.
Fry also misses the point in blaming the nazis for besmirching the memory of Wagner, so that we only see him through the keyhole of the locked fascist door.
Nazism is in a direct line from the romantic nationalistic re-invention of political mythology during the industrial chaos of the C19th. The reinvention of the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne, and the entire NeoGothic and pantheistic fantasies which swept the newly industrialised world in response to mass-production and the emergence of a dangerous army of discontented, de-skilled, disobedient workers. And anti-semitism was also a natural product of that process.
Fry would like to warn Wagner that his single putrid essay would compromise his memory forever. The converse might also be true. If he had not conformed to the conventional racism, Wagner might never have acquired the respectability and wealthy patrons he did, and we might never have heard of him at all, much, since his greatest works would never have happened.
It is sadly clear that even Stephen Fry has gaps in his education. He might like to consult Orwell's classic text on enjoying the work of the despicable, 'Politics Vs Literature'.


ConDemNation Day 2. Jolly Hockey Sticks.

The trouble for NuLab now is that they are discredited and dis-trousered. Between them ConDem have bought up the electoral stage set, just as NuLab did to the tories all that time ago. Once the liberals are shed in a year or two, the tories only have to employ the right PR company to be in power for ten years, unless Labour can resurrect its ideas and principles. The theory that the party that won this election will never rule again, due to the cuts it will have to enforce, is wild fancy-pants speculation. Most governments are elected by their opponents, not their policies, or even their well-moisturised frontmen.
It really is no good the party whining, from Bigot-Gate it was all over, and even without that monumental stupidity, the best Brown could have hoped for was another day or two in Downing Street.



Clamday 1. Mood of the day: Smugg.
Warm bath of columnist approval - Valiant exploits ahead - Deficit Monster Quest - New Age of co-operation and consensus - Dave Disraeli? Why not Good Queen Bess?
- Evil Crookback Gordon well and truly Martson Moor'd - NuLabour delusion dead.
The lesson of NuLabour is that the markets just won't agree to play nice. That if you mess with them, you will eventually wake up one fine morning-after in the bloodstained bed of a dead hooker.
But the ConDems will soon find out that compromise is not co-operation, which the world is crying out for. And Cameron will soon find that his Big Society is co-operating to survive his cuts in public services, and eventually to get him out of Downing Street as soon as possible.
But at the same time, they won't want to replace him with anything resembling NuLabour. Which again leaves room for a genuine alternative to the current poodle-politics. Whether people choose the dark warm burrow of hatred and fascism, or something which celebrates and enables human potential will be largely a matter of presentation. And the message which needs to be delivered is that those who support the BNP are people making a choice according to their lights, not evil mental-defectives. And that they have exactly the same natural needs and enemies as everyone else in their class. That this is not a war among the working classes, but for genuine social justice, with no utopian lies on either side.
Sadly, at present, there are too many so-called socialists who indulge in this kind of Daily Mail language. Who slip into football terrace tribalism whenever the BNP achieve some squalid gain in a windswept Essex estate. The slogan
All BNP Supporters are Idiots is as divisive and alienating as the BNP could want. It supports their myth that socialism is just another sneering exploitation of the working classes.
What makes them think that Nye Bevan would have stood on the steps of Dagenham town hall and denounced BNP supporters as being too stupid to have the vote? As being beyond the persuasive power of progressive politics.
To fill the political hole of the future, progressive politicians have to reject completely the language and vocabulary of reaction. Politics are a matter of the words used as much as the policies advanced. It is not possible to advance radical policies with fascist rhetoric. Which doesn't mean simply not insulting natural allies who happen to have found themselves supporting the political enemies of their own class. As we saw with Bigotgate. It means having enough confidence in the ideas to express them clearly and unapologeticaly. This was the failure of NuLabour. The only thing they communicated with their daily drizzle of ungrammatic grunts and mumbles was their political emptiness. They abandoned their principles to get market approval, but had nothing to put in their place.
ConDem have something new and shiny to have faith in. A palpable lie. So they sound convincing. It's just a shame that they have nothing to offer but another compromise with market forces, one even more craven than NuLabour's.
So when the next crash happens, will they be able even to repeat Gordon Brown's goalmouth heroics of autumn 2008? Or even match his part in the negotiations to prevent the collapse of the Euro-Zone? His last act in office, taken when he knew he was an ex-prime minister. Bereft of life, resting in peace.
It is interesting that the period of deepest Brown-Hatred was book-ended by two achievements any politician would be proud of, and which may yet be what he is remembered for.
Cameron and Clegg will definitely be remembered for the embraces of today's fragrant opening ceremony. And for their accidental arranged marriage. But unless Clegg is even more of a sycophant to Cameron than Brown was to The City, and prepared to surrender all principles, and work with corpses like David Davis, Duncan-Smith and Michael Howard, the alliance won't have much time to achieve greatness.
It's all hearts and flowers today. But when the looting begins, who will take the blame?
Right through the hard winter, and the long election campaign, and right until yesterday lunchtime, my bird-table was a busy little trattoria for dozens of perky little visitors. Today, nothing. The birds have all gone.



Is one possible twist left in this coiled snake of British history. And would not only destroy the Cameron tilt at fame and fortune, but also put some NewsCorp executives in prison and raise a strom of demand for overseas media magnates to pay their taxes like everyone else.
So let this be a warning to Wapping. We know what you're thinking, but forget it, if there's still time.


Britain Votes for Labour Policy

Whatever happens in today's backstairs deals, there will be an election within 18 months, at the latest. Everyone seems agreed on that.
The key issue of this election was whether to Tame the Deficit with cuts now or cuts in a year's time.
The result of this election was that cuts will be postponed for a year. In fact, everyone might just as well have voted Labour.


Obama Wins British Election

While Blair was operating at the same time as a democrat president in America, he was on the rails. Northen Ireland. Minimum Wage. Kosovo. Sierra Leone - all that. When the warmongering nutter Bush got in it all went pants.
Now it looks like The Shrimp Cameron will be Prime Minister alongside Obama. Another cross-political Special-Relationship era.
But which works best and for who? Conservative America with Social Democrat Britain, or the other way around, or an ideological consensus, as with Clinton and Blair, and Reagan and Thatcher?
What influence will the next 6 years of an Obama administration have on British politics, whoever ends up in Number 10 tomorrow? And how much does Cameron breath a sigh of relief that he isn't having to deal with John McCain?


Too Much Democracy, Says Cameron

In a blatant invitation to Gerrymandering, the tories are planning to cut the number of MP's by at least 50.
They don't explain how MPs will cope with the extra workload, or which section of the electorate will be allocated to which new constituency.
The democratic representation of hundreds of thousands of people, possibly millions, depends on how their consituencies are restructured. It would be a very simple matter for a government to rig the process and create a massive false majority.
It will be interesting to see how this feeding frenzy for votes develops, and which party comes out ahead, and how much it will cost. The backstairs deals and infighting and political resentment should keep the media happy for years.