Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The UK Left Are The Lapdogs Of The Capitalist Elite

The entire post-68 British "left" are paper tigers, running dogs of capitalism. No one's profits are threatened by the SWP or the modern Labour Party.

If they were really a threat to capitalism, they'd be harassed by the State, find it hard to get bank accounts, have vexatious legal actions against them. Laws would be changed to make it harder for them to operate.

Their public sector members would be dismissed. Wealthy individuals would fund groups solely devoted to giving them a hard time - up to and including physical assault.

Members on their way to demonstrations would be 'preventatively' arrested, held until the demo was over, then released.

Now does left-wing politics attract that kind of reaction? Why not, if it's such a threat? In the past left activists were imprisoned, transported, harassed and worse.

To be fair, you do get the occasional building worker who's blacklisted for the hideous offence of putting his fellow-worker's safety before the target date or budget. But you don't find many building workers posting at Dave Osler's or Crooked Timber. The "left" isn't building workers these days - it's college lecturers and students - or even finance types like Chris Dillow or Daniel Davies.

 "It shrouded oft our martyred dead". Not many martyrs these days, to put it mildly.

Instead, the UK left is so cosy in the elite's warm embrace that the majority of their activists come from the public sector, and a disproportionate number from the higher education sector. If they're so dangerous to our rulers, why aren't they all worried about being fired? I don't think Professor Callinicos loses too much sleep on that account.

"The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class"

 The post-68 Left social agenda has almost completely triumphed in the UK - witness Cameron joining Hope Not Hate and campaigning for gay marriage.

At the same time the Left economic agenda has been so utterly defeated that terms and conditions for the average worker are being driven down remorselessly - even as total remuneration for the top few percent accelerates into the distance.

Haven't any of these educated lefties wondered why this might be? So much success in one sphere, so little in another?

Why, it's almost as if there's an inverse relationship between the two!


Ryan said...

The Labour Party was invented by the rich to buy off the working class to discourage them from Communism. Same happened all over Europe after 1917.

On top of that the rich are happy to see Labour extract ever increasing amounts of tax from the working man to channel it towards grandiose plans which the rich profit from without needing to worry about competition from the Chinese et al.

The working man has realised over the generations since the war that the government is never on his side and the best way of achieving progress it to take more control of his/her life away from the government. Hence private home ownership, upskilling, private pensions, private investment has become the means by which ordinary people advance themselves. Always they are heading out of government control.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, you haven't read 1984 obviously

Anonymous said...

"Hence private home ownership, upskilling, private pensions, private investment has become the means by which ordinary people advance themselves"

Ryan - that was the model maybe 1950-2000. We're in a different world now.

Private home ownership is out of reach for the average worker.

Private pensions are shot. All the final salary schemes are closed and the stock market's been flat for 14 years. Factor in charges and see what kind of pension you get.

Private investment ditto. The average worker barely has the means to pay the bills.

Upskilling is the only one of those that's remotely feasible now for Mr Average. And remember, he's Mr Average - he's unlikely to be founding a biotech start-up. Plumbing and electrics are still a pretty good option though!


Ryan said...

"the stock market's been flat for 14 years"

Which is why pensions based on bonds have given a return close to 10%/annnum with lower risk. You really need to talk to a pensions adviser. Or start by taking a look at the data on Trustnet and check if you are appropriately invested.

"The average worker barely has the means to pay the bills". Shouldn'ty have bought that 42" plasma then. The average UK worker is usually either suffering from a "delusion of poverty" (look it up) or has just spent his money unwisely. Like investing in the wrong pension fund. The problem with not being able to rely on the government to take care of you is that some people are simply too dim to take proper care of themselves.

Dan said...

Private home ownership, outside London and a few other places, is not completely out of reach. The fact is, people aren't prepared to save and wait as once they did.

My parents bought their first house in a small Warwickshire village for £3,000 in 1966.

Price to average earnings ratio wise, that self same house recently sold for about the same.

The difference is my parents stuffed it full of second hand furniture and hand me downs from relatives. Our Christmases were round a wallpaper hanger's table. My parents had a three day honeymoon in Castle Combe and my dad had a part time Saturday job washing wagons in Brum to pay for their once a week night at the pub, where he drank a couple of pints at most, as did his peers, and their once every six months night out at a Berni inn.

Now fairly ordinary people want designer furniture, honeymoons (and second and third honeymoons) in Barnados and have spent ten years before they got married pretty much permanently on the piss.

I'm not sure whose fault all of this is, but it's not mine (as a capitalist who still, eccentrically, lives within his means.) Sure, capitalists make and sell the designer furniture, but no-one forces anyone to buy it. Simple minded juvenile idiots, most of them.

Martin said...


You are correct, both of course and as usual.

The adoption of identical economic policies by both left and right to the gain of the rich and the detriment of the poor shows that while leftist ideology might not be dead, in this country it's been thoroughly smashed.

As we have both pointed out separately, those who matter in this country have never reconciled themselves to the existence of any kind of social democracy within it - hence their feral antipathy towards the NHS, as limited a kind of social democracy as you can get. Although they are more than happy to point out the BBC's faults, they couldn't build a BBC if their lives depended on it; but they could smash the one we have in moments.

It was fascinating to see Peter Bone, an aggressively bespectacled Tory MP (I suspect he overcompensates for the Gregory Pecks) who was in the forefront of opposition to gay marriage heartily congratulating Maude in the Commons the day immediately after the GM vote for opposing the trade unions in Whitehall, as if hordes of pike-wielding industrial saboteurs were about to storm the DWP, no doubt intent on burning dwown the building, lynching the ministers, pilfering the petty cash and touching up the tea-lady. I have lost count of the number of times I've seen trade unionists referred to as 'dinosaurs'; seems to me that those who now raise the spectre of large scale industrial action, like Bone, are the dinosaurs.

The role of the British citizen is not to be heard, or to be considered, but to serve. As you long as you do what you're told when you're told for pay you should be grateful to receive, however low, you will be patted on the head. Step out of line and you're dead meat. The very existence of a blogosphere, independent thought independently expressed, is anathema to thse who matter, hence the Hacked Off carve up. In one of his books, I think it's 'Hidden Agendas', Pilger reports that Murdoch has said that one of the main reasons he likes doing business in the UK is that it is the only country in the world where the police will break strikes for employers and see it as part of their duty.

Anonymous said...

I was a communist party member in the 80s as a youth and saw the takeover of the 68s from the old style socialists at first had and I can tell you it was chalk and cheese. I was a 'dinosaur' myself and the moderns appeared like snake oil salesmen. There was a lot of technical sounding language about social dynamics in the 'superstructure' and vague hand gestures. As a true believer I could see they were 'possessed by the father of lies' so to speak. That said, the dinosuaurs themselves were convinced that capitalism was immenently on the way out because it only needed 2 people to run a quarry now not 200. How could it possibly last, eh? I feel the way to understand something important is to see a continuum between farm animals and those in power. A lot of us are nearer the farm animals than we might realise - in terms of power, understanding and intelligence. I might speculate that sometime in the past someone realised there was a lot possibility in treating other humans as farm animals. It might be the basis of civilization. Off topic, can someone explain to me why we did not get immigration from ex-african colonies like Nigeria before the last decade? Nigeria was a colony just like Jamaica.

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Anonymous said...

It's pretty much the same story in New Zealand and Canada.

Gay Marriage, Affirmative Action and and hate speech laws going hand in hand with free trade, GST and privatisation.

Australia is the only Commonwealth country where there is some conscious opposition to the liberal agenda, although house prices have gone crazy their too.

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If they were extremely a threat to free enterprise, they'd be troubled by the State, notice it arduous to induce bank accounts, have plaguy legal actions against them. Laws would be modified to form it tougher for them to control.Their public sector members would be laid-off. loaded people would fund teams exclusively dedicated to giving them a tough time up to and together with physical assault Attendance and absence management software.

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