Democracy? What Democracy?

news The next few months or years in Britain will be quite interesting.

As in miserabe, painful and divisive kind of interesting. As deep cuts sweep in and austerity bites harder for the average subject, as workers rights are further reduced, we have green energy being put under further threat; there will be an attempt to bulldoze boundary reforms through the commons (which will reduce the number of seats from 650 to 600); a new Snooper’s charter (which will make Britain into a microcosm of George Orwell’s 1984) is being drafted, and an EU referendum stands looming ahead in 2017. All amidst the Scottish question (which threatens to rip the country into two) now that Scotland is clearly SNP. Frankly those who say democracy is alive and well in Britain need their heads carefully examined.

While across the pond in America, a US Appeals Court recently ruled that the mass collection of data by the NSA was illegal (a decision that was validated by a vote in Congress), in the UK, the government thinks the police must be given new sweeping powers??? Apparently just obeying the law is not enough. It seems the Thought Police are about to come out of their preparatory hiding bane, into the open nodes of the computer networks of Britain.

How this is not a war on Civil Liberties and Freedom of Speech is beyond my comprehension.

Lets be honest, you expect that kind of heavy-handed dictatorship from Putin’s Russia, from China’s suited communists, or from the rotund psycho that is currently ruling North Korea. You don’t expect it from someone who claims to genuinely value living in a free country.

But don’t for a moment think the war over personal freedoms is lost. Infact it’s just beginning because to all sensible and clued up folk who can see who the real losers and the real winners are, this hegemony will not be accepted without a fight. People can see what is happening in their neighbourhoods, and they know what the new laws mean. You don’t have to be a genius to know that if these children of Thatcher were in opposition, and another government attempted even half of the current proposed policies, they would be clapping loudly in agreement, knowing that their mission is served. Because such cruel policies benefit them. It benefits the sources of their power and wealth, their wealthy chums, and perpetuates their unequal, repressive class-based agenda. An agenda whose losers are the poor and vulnerable. Robbing innocent people of all dignity, and the little freedoms which remain.

And in the long run, this chicanery can’t possibly be sustainable. Even with a biased and hostile media as is currently the case in Britain, there are too many battles for their onslaught to be completely successful.

But more importantly the human spirit won’t allow them to win. The human spirit may be long-suffering, and capable to withstand long periods of hardship, abuse and neglect, but you can only mess around with it for so long. Within the next 2 – 4 years, a line will be crossed.

The battle over membership of the EU cannot be won for the same reasons Germany cannot ignore Podemo , Syriza and other growing leftist movements across Europe for too long, without harming its interests. In Britain alone we have a growing discontentment among young people with the political classes, and if anything, the May 2015 election validated their fears: That the system is broken and doesn’t work for them. Instead it only works for a tiny minority. At  some point, something will have to give. Either you live in a divided Europe in which resentment and strife will bring about the prospect of war. A Europe rife with strikes, the threat of terrorism and violence. Or you share prosperity…and balance up inequality.

There’s no middle ground.

Maybe some sensible Tories will take a long look at the situation, and the proposed legislation, and vote with their hearts in the House of Commons. That’s not a remote prospect, seeing the Conservative majority is quite slim. But if for whatever reason that doesn’t happen, then pray that God will help you. Because it’s going to get bumpy.

Who should you believe on Afghanistan?

Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan The other day the beeb made a big noise about how the British mission in Afghanistan had been a success. Complete with radio interviews and all sorts of aplomb. In the video on the link (which to me looks more like a promotion of Cameron than a summary report of the war) the Prime Minister of the UK claimed among other things that British forces had achieved the aim of making ‘..sure that this country is no longer a haven for terror and terrorists…’ Shortly after I saw this, on STOP THE WAR COALITION titled ‘How the BBC whitewashed Britain’s disastrous 13 years of war in Afghanistan‘ Yesterday, the New York times published this piece with the title ‘Hour’s Drive Outside Kabul, Taliban Reign’. It all begs the question: who do you believe about Afghanistan, because surely both claims couldn’t possibly be truthful. Or could they? That on one hand the British mission in Afghanistan was a success, yet on the other the Taliban are still in control of signficant areas, barely 35 to 40 miles outside Kabul? And that makes sense. Does that make sense? tagab-kapisaI wonder if the truth even exists here, because with Afghanistan, it seems everything is a mirage (See Tariq Ali’s detailed and quite informative piece on New Left Review here). While everyone sensible will hope that Afghanistan is better today for Afghans than it was prior to the 2001 invasion that was supposed to oust the Taliban,  it’s striking that when pretty much everybody agrees over ISIS; that ISIS are devils, horrible to the core and deserving only of their own wickedness-if not worse, while pretty much everybody agrees that ISIS are not only well-resourced, but well organised, and are in fact controlling sizeable parts of Northern Syria and significant parts of Northern Iraq, yet strangely and despite all the evidence, nobody seems to agree what the real security situation in Afghanistan really is??? Or whether order has in fact been established. It’s scandalous! Surely, journalistic theatre doesn’t surpass such polarised reports. So, it leaves one with only one option as is often the case with these things. That  unless you are on the ground – observing the going-ons with your own eyes, ‘the truth’ about Afghanistan largely depends on who you ask? And that in itself speaks volumes about the real purpose of the whole incursion.