Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Liars Beware - A summary of some of the porkies in politics in The UK and in Barnet

This is what it has come to. A sea of complete lies. A wall of indignation from those that spout them when challenged. As a dyslexic punk rocker guitarist, I'm reminded of the 1977 Richard Hell track 'Liars beware'.  There are a few of lines from the lyrics that I simply can't get out of my hear right now

"Look out liars and you highlife scum
Who gotta keep your victims poor and dumb, and dumb, and dumb"
"Your motives and your methods are not disguised
By your silk, soap, sex, or your smiling lies, your lies, your lies"

Later on there is the line

"I'm a man with his share of excess nice
But it can't be spared for drooling lice, for lice, for lice"

This pretty much sums up how I'm feeling about the whole thing right now. We are awash with a sea of lies.  Lets start with Boris claiming that the NHS is safe in his hands. This is what he said when it wasn't in his interests to con the general public.

Still believe the NHS is safe.

Then there are the claims that Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party has a Marxist manifesto. I doubt too many people who this terrifies have read the Communist manifesto, but if you have, you would have to conclude that Labour are not particularly Marxist under Corbyn. Lets look at what Marx says

The key polices are
progressive income tax;  -  We already have this to some degree. People at the very bottom pay none, the people at the top pay the highest rate. Corbyn wants to increase this for the top 5%, but not by enough to materially make the super rich less wealthy

Abolition of inheritances and private property - This is not in the Labour manifesto. 
Abolition of child labour; - This is the law in the UK and is agreed by all parties.
Free public education;  - This is the law in the UK, everyone has the right to free education. Labour wants to remove the charitable status of Private schools, which is contentious, but I doubt this will materially affect the education choices of the mega rich, although it may stop a fair number of middle class people using it. A true Marxist regime would simply nationalise all public schools with no compensation at all. This is not proposed.

Nationalisation of the means of transport and communication; Labour has proposed the rather bonkers scheme of creating a free national broadband service. It has no plans to nationalise the private mobile phone companies, which I guess would be a truly Marxist policy. As for Transport, there are plans to nationalise the bus network and take franchises back in house when they expire. This is a long way from British Rail, which built trains and even ran ferries. The truth is that if Labour fully implemented its plans, at the end of its term, we'd have less privatised transport than when Ted Heath was in power, when virtually the whole transport network, including airports and airlines were nationalised.

Centralisation of credit via a national bank; There are plans for a sustainable Investment Board, which is a long way from a single, centrally controlled national bank.

Expansion of publicly owned land - There are few plans to nationalise land. The manifesto says "Land is a public good, but it is not a common asset. In 1979, 20% of land was owned by the public sector. Today, that has halved. Green Belts protect one tenth of our land and offer conservation of some of our natural environment. Introduced by Labour in 1947 to provide access to the countryside, they are threatened by developments. A Labour government will maintain agricultural and rural structural funds but repurpose them to support environmental land management and sustainable methods of food production. We will invest in more county farms to replace those lost, and will work with agricultural organisations to increase access into farming for new entrants." - This is anything but Marxist.

Then there are dodgy opinion polls that set local activists a frothin.

There are three local seats. In two it is pretty clear who to vote for if you want to see the Tories booted out, but you wouldn't guess from what activists are tweeting. Here is what the latest opinion polls state.

The polls also show that in Chipping Barnet Labour and the Tories are neck and neck. In Hendon, the Tories are polling at over 50% with Labour a distant second and the Lib Dems third. I don't personally think Labour can win, but as ever, in Barnet Labour would rather scream at the Lib Dems than actually try and oust the Tories. Back in the 1990's when Labour in Barnet had a sensible pragmatic leader in Alan Williams, deals were done, between Labour and the Lib Dems and the council was won. These days, there is too much doctrinal purity to actually consider putting differences to one side to actually deliver a victory. Shame on them all.

Then there is the UKIP/Brexit party axis. For reasons I can't possibly start to understand, the Brexit Party has committed hari kiri on the basis that it trusts Boris to deliver what they want. How anyone who is sane could trust Boris to do anything, is beyond me. I can 100% guarantee that if Boris gets a big majority the one group of people who will feel most betrayed in three years time are hard core Brexiteers, who will be sold down the line, when the big business interests who back the Tories call in their favours to protect free trade with Europe. Boris has a stark choice. Free Trade with Europe or a dodgy deal with Trump. If you look at how the US has dealt with trading partners in NAFTA etc, he'd have to be a bit dim to go that route. Why has Farage got into bed with Boris? I don't know but it is clear he's not telling the truth.

I am totally sick of all of this lying. I am sick of mock outrage from people who should know better when they are called out. I will do everything I can to get the right result. Unlike some local bloggers, I have not downed tools since the start of the election. Much as the whole thing sickens me, I will continue to urge people to vote for the 'Least worst option' and I will be honest about it. In Hendon we have an MP who tends to go AWOL between elections. He's a nice enough chap on a personal level, but he has done little for our community. The only people I know who speak up for him are Tory activists in public. As a member of the Lib Dems I'd love to see Clareine Enderby oust him. She's local, intelligent and hard working. I feel differently about Mike Freer. He is not a nice person. He used his personal blog to insult me on the basis that I was an armchair critic, cossetted with inherited wealth a few days after my Mother died in 2008. That is not something a decent person does. If Luciana ousts him, I will crack open the champagne and if she doesn't it will be because bone headed local Labour party members were too tied up in party politics to see the bigger picture. If Emma Whysall ousts Theresa Villiers, I will be pleased to see a pro remain sensible person replace a hard line Brexiteer. All three things are possible, but time is running out for people to be grown up. 

I will finish with a few words about 1977, when this track was released. It was the best year of my life. London was full of squats where bands formed and great music was made. The country was in a mess and our infrastructure and public services were crumbling, but for a teenager it was a fun time and we had freedom that seems unimaginable. We could smoke in pubs. We could get into gigs without ID. We could squat in empty property. The buses stopped at midnight, but that never stopped us. We never had a mobile phone to tell our parents where we were and they didn't really care. There was no Youtube or Twitter. or Facebook. If we wanted  to get in touch with our friends, it was 2p in a phonebox. Jim Callaghan was PM and Thatcherism was a pipedream. Whatever anyone thought of Callaghan and Thatcher (both of who I met on the 1979 campaign trail), there was never any doubting of their trustworthiness or their suitability for high office. Much as I miss underage boozing, smoking and hellraising with Richard Hell in his pomp, I'd settle for a political scene where it was not full of lying shysters and people I wouldn't trust to walk the cat.

Rant over

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