Why the storm and why now?

The sound of axes and knives being sharpened – the fuss about what Ken Livingstone said becoming a media storm about antisemitism in the Labour Party. The Labour leadership accused of not reacting quickly enough.

There we were enjoying the spectacle of the Conservative Party in civil war over Europe, and Labour’s candidate Sadiq Khan was favourite to become London mayor, which might just boost Jeremy Corbyn’s standing as Labour leader. Then the fuss.

Could it be a coincidence that the Tories needed a diversion from their European divisions, and ‘New Labour’ and the Establishment really wanted to discredit Corbyn, and the mayoral elections were nearly upon us?

Who said anything about dead cats being thrown on the table?

Incidentally, according to Wikipedia,  “the Haavara Agreement was an agreement between Nazi Germany and Zionist German Jews signed on 25 August 1933…  designed to enable Jews fleeing anti-Semitic persecution under the new Hitler regime to transfer some portion of their assets to… British Mandatory Palestine.” Now didn’t Ken say something like that? Not very diplomatic, but Ken is Ken.

Featured image of Mummyfied cat (Senckenberg Naturmuseum, Frankfurt, Germany),
courtesy of Hannes Grobe and Wikimedia Commons

What did you expect?

What did you expect when you elected a PR man to be head of the UK government? Government by PR.

David_Cameron_huskyMeaningless slogans that are contradicted by real actions in the opposite direction, for example:

  • “Greenest government ever” – anti-green ministers appointed, moves investment from renewables to fossils and nuclear, green investment bank diluted.
  • “Compassionate conservatism” – reduces benefits to the disabled, more people sleeping rough.
  • “We’re all in it together” – takes from the worst off and gives to the better off, increases inequality, builds insufficient lower-priced housing.
  • “No top down reorganisation of the NHS” – the Lansley top down reorganisation.
  • “The NHS is safe in our hands” – now battling with NHS staff.
  • “7-day NHS” – somehow going to happen without increasing investment.
  • And so on…

Untrue narratives or half-truths propagated to ensure advantage in the polls. Just a couple of examples:

  • “Labour caused the financial crash” – it didn’t; it was bankers and virtually none were punished in any way.
  • “We will save £12 billion (but we won’t yet tell you how)” – now we know – it was by taking money from the weakest in society.

Real problems, such as the care crisis, lack of affordable housing, global warming, gross inequality, the inadequacy of current banking – shunted into the long grass.

That’s not to say the Cameron governments have not done some good things, but put a PR man at the top, and nothing is ever quite what it seems. Of course, he watched Blair closely, and learned…