Gordy goes to Washington

[Monday]

Don’t call me Dave
Forget about David Cameron. Okay, he’s trailing in the polls by eight or nine points, his own MPs are mouthing off about him – Graham Brady, who quit the frontbench over Cameron’s stance on grammar schools, for one – and columnist Peter Oborne has raised the possibility that it could be game over for the Tories if Cameron leads them into a fourth consecutive election defeat.

So, the man who was built up by the corporate media now finds himself the subject of ridicule. No ideas, no direction, and no hope. Cameron has an uphill struggle: to convert his party, to beat Brown as a leader. See, Brown has a head start – he’s been crowned without an electoral test. As the current PM, he just has to keep his place at Number Ten, Cameron must prove himself – this is the expectation.

Cameron says he won’t waver, despite criticism he lacks appeal in Midlands and North of England. He is now compromised. If he does another U-turn and obeys the wishes of his party, he looks weak because he swore against it; yet if he soldiers on, more and more detractors will speak against him, and the perception will be of a party in disarray.

The discourse for Cameron is proving that his party has changed. Will Brown be held to his change of relations with US? No, not likely – here we are in realpolitik mode and the media won’t be pressing him on this “change”.

Most unwanted!
We know who Gordy is, don’t we? He tells us often enough. He is change. Well, he doesn’t smile as easily as Blair. He’s a bit awkward, a tad scruffy. It is a change of style, but not substance because nothing has really changed.

No change in relations with the US: we should be grateful for the most powerful empire ever to exist, says Brown. No change in government attitudes towards industrial disputes: the posties – and all other workers – must accept a pay cut to hold off inflation, says Brown. (Presumably he doesn’t want the bosses to accept lower profits and reduced bonuses…)

Why isn’t Brown trailing in the polls? Are they meaningless? How can a man to take over as PM with no election, change only one or two of hundreds of massively unpopular policies, invite generals, coppers, and bosses into government and remain popular?

The answer is, of course, that he is not popular. Remember – these opinion polls are of voters. People who say they will vote in a general election. Not exactly a supermajority of the population; of which, a few thousand are asked to give their opinion. So taking an opinion poll is not the same as taking the pulse of the nation(s).

Severe flooding causing billions of pounds worth of damage to homes and businesses; an ongoing postal strike; deaths and casualties of troops fighting illegal and immoral wars in the Middle East – Brown doesn’t want to talk about this.

No, the flag! The Union flag is Brown’s priority (he’s British, you know!). The butcher’s apron is to be flown all year round from government buildings – but not in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

And terror – Brown is set on doubling the 28 day internment to 56 days, insisting it is needed despite the lack of evidence. It’s partly party political, it lets him out-tough the Tories, but for the most part it serves the interests of the ruling class, who will need such laws on the books should the tide turn on a mass scale.

Right now, Brown’s meeting with George Bush is in the news. What did he mean by “full and frank”? Was he displeased at Bush’s lap of honour in the golf cart? My big talking point is this: considering UK service-personnel are dying in immoral, illegal, and unpopular wars of occupation in the Middle East, what impact will Brown’s commitment to the “special relationship” have on his own reputation?

Independence thirst?
On Scotland, Brown’s abandoned homeland, the head of the Scottish government intends to publish a white paper on an independence referendum within the next two weeks, to mark the SNP’s first hundred days in power.

It won’t be easy to bring forward a referendum: the Scottish Parliament is packed with members of the Westminster parties, and the unionists are dead against giving the Scottish people a say on the future of their nation. If it is true that over a third of MSPs are in favour of independence and that there is not sufficient public support for an independent Scottish state, then the unionists should call Salmond’s bluff and back a referendum wholeheartedly.

Scottish independence is a big deal for socialists in England; we cannot let English national identity become purely defined by feelings of antagonism towards Scotland. The asymmetrical devolution carried out by New Labour is resulting in a resurgence of the English national identity, discrete from that of British “national” identity offered by the ruling class. Socialists should support the Campaign for an English Parliament and socialist bloggers should join the Witanagemot Club.

There is one other factor besides the issue of national self-determination, it must be said. For if it is true that Britain is the most important ally of the US, the world’s number one imperialist power, then it is our duty to break the Union into its component parts, thus weakening Anglo-American imperialism and at the same time fighting for change in the interest of the working class.

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2 Responses to “Gordy goes to Washington”

  1. M Anderson Says:

    “we cannot let English national identity become purely defined by feelings of antagonism towards Scotland.
    The asymmetrical devolution carried out by New Labour is resulting in a resurgence of the English national identity, discrete from that of British “national” identity offered by the ruling class”

    You should know that Englishness is not only defined by antagonism towards scotland! I say should know because I doubt many of you have ever bothered to read much on the subject. That is why you make stupid comments. Statements such as, “we cannot let English national identity become purely defined by feelings of antagonism towards Scotland.
    You should be talking about why English folks have antipathy towards the scots; not trying to blame the victims. In my opinion, asymmetrical devolution is only one reason why the English can’t stand the scots. Back-stabbing doesn’t help either. English people dying because they’re being refused drugs is another.

    “Socialists should support the Campaign for an English Parliament and socialist bloggers should join the Witanagemot Club”

    Well this is because you want to force your agenda. Or is it because you suddenly give a crap about all the wrongs being done to the English nation? I can’t see it being the latter.

    You know, I am quite sick of your type of political fool. You think you can hijack an entire movement and force your agenda. How come you havent backed an English parliament for the downtrodden of England? This issue started years ago. Where were you then?

  2. charliemarks Says:

    I don’t want to force my agenda, I just want other socialists in England to cease their hostility to English civic nationalism, which is the point I was making; I was referring to an ongoing debate at the Socialist Unity blog, as it happens — I should’ve been clearer on this.

    I am not trying to hijack a movement — I do not have the resources or the inclination — I am merely trying to lend my support to the foundation of an English parliament, which is the logical extension of devolution (and not regional assemblies!).

    This issue did start years ago — hundreds of years ago, in fact. I might be late, but what the heck…

    Obviously the English identity does not stem from opposition, but it is becoming defined in opposition to the United Kingdom as a political entity — which is fair enough, I too oppose the British state, but I don’t see the Scottish or the Welsh as enemies.

    I’m not into victim-blaming, there are legitimate greivances — I just don’t want to see them aired in a racist way, I just think that everyone who supports a parliament for England should try to argue the case without resort to abusive language.


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