Labour’s general secretary has objected to a bid by former firebrand councillor Derek Hatton to rejoin the party.
Mr Hatton, the former deputy leader of Liverpool City Council, was thrown out of Labour in 1986 for belonging to the left-wing Militant faction.
The 67-year-old told ITV Granada he had rejoined the party two days after its general election defeat.
“I just felt I should do something,” he said, saying there was now “no difference between the parties”.
However he will need to appeal against the objection, from general secretary Iain McNicol, if he wants to continue with his application.
The Militant Tendency, which emerged from a Trotskyist group called the Revolutionary Socialist League, held key positions in the Liverpool Labour Party as it battled the Conservative Thatcher government in the 1980s.
Archive for the ‘Animal Liberation’ Category
Ipswich is celebrating a real feather in its cap.
It’s today been rated the third happiest place in the country to live.
This was in a survey carried out by the property website ‘Rightmove’.
Picture of typical Ipswich person’s private transport (taken from above link):
Today (Ipswich Star).
The government’s Office of National Statistics has just published its “wellbeing” index for 2015, showing the responses from 165,000 people across the country.
They were asked to summarise how they felt on four different subjects – and to rate their feelings between one and 10.
When asked: “How satisfied are you with your life generally?” The average in rating in Ipswich was 7.14 out of 10 – the fifth lowest in the UK.
But Ipswich has many excellent amenities (next to town centre):
Local MP, Lord Mayor of Ipswich, Minister for Ipswich, Editor of the Ipswich Star, and Patron of Lady’s Lane Shrine for Healing the Sick and Poor, Ben Gummer said he would take the survey with a pinch of salt – especially as it comes out just six weeks after another survey by estate agency Rightmove named Ipswich as the third happiest town in the country.
Mr Gummer added: “I’m certainly trying to do my bit to make the lives of the people of Ipswich more satisfying by working with others to improve the town centre, by keeping up the pressure to improve rail services, and by trying to ensure the Wet Dock crossing is approved.
“But I don’t think anyone should get hung up on this survey!”
Over Stoke Bridge near ‘Planned’ Wet Dock Crossing – convenient for yacht owners:
Mr Gummer is best known nationally for his radical plans to shake up local government,
Ben Gummer, who represents Ipswich, was speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference organised by the 2020 group of Tory MPs.
The group sees itself as a factory for radical political ideas.
He suggested shaking up local government so that councillors solely representing local businesses could be elected to town halls.
Mr Gummer acknowledged the idea “had no hope of getting into a manifesto” but pointed to the City of London, as a model for how his idea works in practice.
Mr Gummer’s private Transport system (Spotted in Rendelsham Forest).
Downing Street has refused to comment on extraordinary allegations made in a new book that David Cameron performed an obscene act with a dead pig and smoked cannabis while he was at Oxford University.
The allegation is that,
His extraordinary suggestion is that the future PM inserted a private part of his anatomy into the animal’s mouth.
I must confess a disagreement with our esteemed colleagues of the Independent when they say that the French media has dismissed these claims.
David Cameron accusé d’avoir mis son sexe dans la bouche d’un cochon mort Créé : 21-09-2015 11:20
Which translates as Daic Cameron is accused of having stuck his knob in the mouth of a dead pig.
VIE ETUDIANTE – Une biographie publiée au Royaume-Uni lève le voile sur la jeunesse du Premier ministre britannique à l’université d’Oxford. Au programme : soirées alcoolisées et rite d’initiation à base de cochon mort…
Meanwhile the attention of international progressives is focused on Kermit’s Fate.
One further point: how Cameron is going to face to House of Commons, or indeed walking down a street, without shouts of ‘Oink oink’ remains to be covered.
Galloway at Recent Rally.
He was once dubbed a ‘firebrand’, was a member of the far-left Militant organisation and was one of Labour’s most controversial figures in the 1980s.
Now, 29 years after he was expelled, the former Deputy Leader of Liverpool City Council, Derek Hatton, is returning to the Labour Party.
In an exclusive interview with ITV Granada’s political programme Party People, 67-year-old Hatton revealed he re-joined the party on the 9th of May, two days after it suffered one of its worst ever electoral defeats, to ‘have one more go at having a say in the way the Labour Party is going’.
He told Party People Presenter Rob McLoughlin:
To some it will be a surprise to see Hatton re-admitted to the Labour Party, given the list of controversies which followed him in his political career and the way his relationship with the party broke down back in 1985.
He was at the centre of one of the great political storms of Thatcher’s Britain when Liverpool Council refused to comply with the Conservative government’s mandate to limit local council spending.
Hatton and the left-wing Labour Council refused to set a legal budget for the 1985/86 year, putting council jobs at risk and causing a financial crisis in the city.
Their rebellion was eventually defeated and at the Labour Party conference Neil Kinnock denounced the ‘grotesque chaos’ of Hatton and the Liverpool City Council before the National Executive Committee suspended the Liverpool district Labour Party and ordered an investigation.
The result was the expulsion of all Militant Tendency members from Labour.
“DEREK HATTON REJOINS LABOUR
Good morning – we’ve got all the reaction this morning to the breaking story that Derek Hatton has applied to rejoin the Labour party.
Derek Hatton has applied to rejoin the Labour Party, having been kicked out of it 29 years ago.
He rejoined – online – the day after Labour’s general election defeat, and told the ECHO he wants to ensure that the party maintains its historical links with the trade unions.
But at 67, Degsy has no desire to seek high office – so he won’t be challenging Joe Anderson, then, in a bid to become Mayor of Liverpool!
He told the ECHO: “I have no intention of being a main player. I have not joined to stand as a politician, I am just giving my opinion.”
Hatton wouldn’t be drawn on Andy Burnham’s bid to be the next Labour leader, saying only: “He’s a great Evertonian.”
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (Tusc) Rainham North candidate Paul Dennis was told he had no votes in the London constituency after they were counted on May 7.
Tusc said it will now petition Medway Council over the result. Mr Dennis says he should have got at least two votes as he claims that both he and his wife voted for him.
A Leftist Trainspotter comments:
The previous victory was held by Les Comités communistes pour l’autogestion who managed the stunning feat in the 18th arrondissement (Paris) in the 1981 French legislative elections.
Meanwhile in a Parallel Universe.
“We are still in the early stages of building a left challenge to Labour. To increase the vote for TUSC among a big swing to the right is a real achievement.”
In some areas the results were more disappointing—particularly where the share of the left vote fell.
Other left candidates also suffered setbacks. Bradford West Respect MP George Galloway lost his seat to Labour. He had won it from Labour in a landslide by-election victory in a 2012 .
But TUSC activists used the campaigns to build the fight against austerity after the election.
Jenny told Socialist Worker, “The point was to build a network of activists on the ground—that’s exactly what we’ve done in Tottenham.
“Even though our support wasn’t reflected in the vote we were very successful in getting out the message that austerity is a con in the interests of the rich.
“Things don’t change in parliament unless there’s a movement on the streets—that’s the next step.”
The task now is to build on the networks established through the campaigning. The result of the election shows the need to fight for a more united left wing alternative.
Jenny said, “We’re going to follow up our campaign with a public meeting on housing and regeneration—and we’ll be having regular meetings around the cuts.
“One thing is clear is—we can’t wait for Labour. There’s no option but to fight.”
The Most Inane Slogan Ever?
Postmodernism was fashionable about thirty years ago.
It was a cluster of artistic, literary, architectural styles and philosophical ideas. These overlapping trends were “characterised by the self-conscious use of earlier styles and conventions, a mixing of different artistic styles and media, and a general distrust of theories.”
Philosophically it was “critical of the foundational assumptions and universalizing tendency of Western philosophy. It emphasizes the importance of power relationships, personalization and discourse in the “construction” of truth and world views.”
Amongst the more directly political themes advanced by theorists associated with the term were;
- Relativism – the idea that not only are there no “foundational” truths, but that political practice should be directed against agencies that seek to work with any.
- An end to “meta-narratives” – to overarching accounts of history, such the Marxism (historical materialism), or the economy (neo-liberalism).
- Support for identity politics: ” The identity of the oppressed group gives rise to a political basis around which they can unite.” Now known as “inter-sectionality”, ” intersections between forms or systems of oppression, domination or discrimination. An example is black feminism, which argues that the experience of being a black woman cannot be understood in terms of being black, and of being a woman, considered independently, but must include the interactions, which frequently reinforce each other.”
- Other forms of localised fights against the dominant power relationships: regionalism, nationalist separatism, defending the rights of religious groups and other species.
Green politics is a political ideology that aims to create an ecologically sustainable society rooted in environmentalism, non-violence, social justice, and grassroots democracy.
It cannot be reduced to postmodernism.
Indeed some of the strands associated with the Greens are described as ‘fundamentalists’ – deep ecology, primitivism.
But the ghost of dead postmodernism lingers over Britain’s Green Party – as it does over the Leninist Left.
As a section of the left backs Lutfur Rahmen – dropping a concern for truth and the ‘meta-narrative’ of class struggle for the local Boss of Tower Hamlets and the ‘community’, not to mention the ‘rights’ of Islamists, the Green party is also undergoing its own ‘post-modernist turn.
- Relativism: Green party leader Natalie Bennett says it should not be a crime to belong to al-Qaeda or Isis.
- Green party candidate is alleged to have claimed the UK is responsible for the formation of Middle-Eastern terror group ISIS during a hustings for North East Hertfordshire.Graham White, who was filling in for the constituency’s candidate Mario May, is said to have shocked the Buntingford crowd with his comments that Britain helped create the extremist group who have committed a swathe of atrocities across Syria and Iraq.Mr White, who is representing Stevenage, said: “We are responsible for IS [Islamic State]. IS were created by the CIA.
- Sexual politics: the Green Party is “open” to the idea of three-person marriages, Natalie Bennett has said. Ms Bennett said she was “open to further conversation and consultation” about the prospect of the state recognising polyamorous relationships.
- Animal rights. Green Party objective: To eliminate the wholesale exploitation of other species, foster understanding of our inter-relationship in the web of life and protect and promote natural habitat.” “The Green Party will endeavour internationally to initiate and develop an Animal Rights Division within the United Nations Organisation.” The Green Party does not define any relationship with animals that involves eating them as “non-exploitation”, nor indeed describe what relationships with non-human species could be that are exploitative. How non-speaking creature can demand their rights is equally not explained.
This list is not at all exhaustive.
But it show that what tends to come out of Green politics is a kind of ‘post-modernist’ strategy. This is a bit by bit accumulation of ideas, as relativism (the idea that people should ‘just do what they want to do – who are you to tell me what to do!) co-exists with very clear messages about what you should do (animal rights), and messages from the Authority of a wide range of groups (speaking ‘Asa’).
Their ideas are a jumble but the drift is clear.
The Green Party values the diversity of ways in which people relate to each other and the natural environment. It seeks a balance between a number of different processes which contribute to human well-being, rather than stressing one at the expense of all others. It refuses to treat any single value, whether freedom, wealth or equality, as a supreme criterion of political success. In an ecological society a wide range of lifestyle choices will be promoted as individuals and communities seek to establish the most appropriate means of implementing sustainability. (Philosophical Basis of the Green Party.)
We reject the view that wealth can be measured solely in monetary units, a view which allows its adherents to think it consists primarily of the results of human labour. This error has caused successive governments to pursue objectives which appear to increase the nation’s wealth while in fact they reduce it. Symbols of wealth, like money, reinforce the error and dominate political decision making. Economic growth is a poor guide to human welfare.
We seek a society in which people are empowered and involved in making the decisions which affect them. We advocate participatory and democratic politics. Leadership should always be accountable, consensus-driven and moral. We reject the hierarchical structure of leaders and followers.
Property laws should permit neither states nor individuals to treat their property in whatever way they choose. Instead they should aim to ensure that all people, where they wish it, have their needs met through access to the land and its resources, while maintaining its quality for future generations. Property laws should therefore impose duties on owners as well as granting rights.
We do not believe that there is only one way to change society, or that we have all the answers. We seek to be part of a wider green movement that works for these principles through a variety of means. We generally support those who use reasonable and non-violent forms of direct action to further just aims.
Imposing ‘duties’ on property owners, however much wealth is “symbolic” does not seem an easy thing to do by “consensus”.
Why is wealth not a ‘life-style choice’ amongst others?
It is hardly worth going further.
The Green Party’s policies that result are an attempt to look at the world as it is and the world as it might be.
As a wish-list, drawn up by (largely) well-meaning people they appeal to the kind of fragmented interest groups typical of ‘post-modern’ politics. In the 1980s and 1990s this was often called the “post-materialist” constituency. Their French electorate is more recently described as “bobos” – bourgeois bohemians.
This political support is inherently unstable – as the rapid shrinking of the French Green (Europe Écologie Les Verts EELV) vote has indicated. This has gone from 16,28% (European elections 2009), 5,46 % (General Election, 2012), 8.95 (Europeans elections 2014) to 2,03% in this year’s regional elections (départmentals). They are on the point of breaking into separate parties, one aligned to the ruling Parti Socialiste, the other to the Front de gauche.
It would be tempting to go into the experience of the British Greens in local government, notably Brighton, where there politics have singularly failed.
But since this will be instantly dismissed as the result of Coalition policies t finish, this is an example of the British Green’s approach.
Citizen’s Income is both universal, and very post-modern: it would be given to all (within a nation state), and post-mdoern – detatched from any relationship to ‘production’ class struggle and history.
The Green party’s flagship economic policy, the £72 a week “citizen’s income”, would hit the poorest hardest unless it was made more complicated by including a means-tested element, the leading advocate of the policy has conceded.
The Citizen’s Income Trust (CIT), which has given advice to the Green party and been repeatedly cited by the Greens, has modelled its scheme and discovered it would mean 35.15% of households would be losers, with many of the biggest losers among the poorest households.