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March 22, 2018

Comments

Phil

The Macpherson reference is fascinating. The underlying idea, I guess, is that the poor aren't going to be contributing - financially - to the community, so they don't really count as part of the community; if anything they're guests, dependants, liabilities of the community. To protect "the country", then, is to protect the owners of wealth, not the mere consumers. (This also reminded me of that odd phrase "man of substance", with its hidden double meaning - to have no "substance" (property) is implicitly to have no substance, to be insubstantial.) Corbyn represents quite as much a threat to that group and their self-perpetuation as he does to the nation's nuclear 'defences'.

Nicholas Shaxson

"Weebles wobble but they don't fall over." Remember that advert? They don't fall over because the weight is at the base. A top-heavy structure is less 'safe'.

In other words, well said.

From Arse To Elbow

Also worth noting that the reified country has long been associated with the non-urban and therefore with Tory dominance. Our weapons are meant to protect Constable's Haywain (as in Peter Kennard's satirical montage), not an inner-city tower block.

Blissex

Economic news are by convention reported from the point of view of investors and proprietors, and it is thus no surprise to me that "the country" is used as if it meant the “aspirational voters who shop at John Lewis and Waitrose” and their betters.
And the english elites are a network of intermarried friends/enemies who go to the same (fee paying) schools, universities, boardrooms, and seem to consider the servant classes as part of the natural environment, like the birds or the trees, and think that "England" means them.

T May as chairperson of the Conservatives said in 2002:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/oct/07/conservatives2002.conservatives1
«There's a lot we need to do in this party of ours. Our base is too narrow and so, occasionally, are our sympathies. You know what some people call us – the Nasty Party. I know that's unfair. ... We need to reach out to all areas of our society. I want us to be the party that represents the whole of Britain and not merely some mythical place called "Middle England", but the truth is that as our country has become more diverse, our party has remained the same.»

She was out of tune with her party: of course "the country" has not become more diverse, but those who are part of its environment have.

Bill Posters

The Today programme is ritualized theatre. English Kabuki.

What was Yvette Cooper doing on the show? Ostensibly she is there as the chair of the Home Affairs Select Commitee. Cooper's real purpose is to remind the audience the centre right of the labour party still exists and all may not be lost.

Whenever Cooper appears her support for Corbyn must be tested. Justin Webb must ask Cooper whether Corbyn should be leader of the Labour Party. Webb can't ask the question directly and Cooper can't just say Corbyn is hopeless. This is England everyone must be polite.

Your not meant to get any information from this exchange your just supposed to enjoy the performance. For reference Webb, Cooper and Corbyn are about as middle class as each other.

What I need at that time in the morning (especially after a session the night before) is some very loud Motörhead.

Chris

Thanks for that Chris - you put your finger on something I've been struggling to.

During the short period when the PM was trying to reintroduce grammer schools an interviewee on The Today Prog asked how people on sink estates would be able to escape such places without grammer schools. Why sink estates should exist or that some state schools should fail so badly was left unquestioned, it was only the potential solution of selective education for a fortunate few that was debated.

Implicit in the discussion was the assumption that there are those who by some cosmic misfortune were alloted to be born in the wrong class but could, with hard work, seek escape from being merely "in" and become "of" civil society. The poor are among us but not of us.

Andrew Curry

Re MacPherson: that was the division that split the New Model Army’s Putney Debates in 1647.

The radical Thomas Rainborowe: The poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he … I think it’s clear, that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government; and I do think that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict sense to that government that he hath not had a voice to put himself under.

To which Ireton, one of the New Model Army commanders, and therefore a pillar of the Puritan establishment, responded:
“the meanest man in England ought to have [a voice in the election of the government he lives under—but only if he has some local interest]. I say this: that those that have the meanest local interest—that man that hath but forty shillings a year, he hath as great voice in the election of a knight for the shire as he that hath ten thousand a year.”

I.e. that the property interest had to remain. Rainborowe was assassinated the following year.

Transcript here: https://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/putney-debates-iretons-case

Ben Philliskirk

The physical security of the people within the UK would clearly be enhanced under Corbyn.

The security of the abstract entity known as 'the UK', the myth of which depends upon delusions of long-gone power coupled with the dubious ability to still blindly inflict mass destruction overseas, would fortunately be less safe in Corbyn's hands.

Matthew lagden

This is particularly galling because the defence community is profoundly angry with this government for (as they see it) underfunding defence while still posing as the voice of the military industrial complex. They rarely speak out (although retired officers are starting to) and there are real questions about what they are actually defending us from, but there is genuinely a feeling in defence circles that Corbyn wouldn't be any worse because at least his feelings are open. The tories talk strong on defence but have starved it of funding just like every other public service.

Keith

If May and BOJO are to be believed, not that anyone can believe anything they say, it follows from what they have claimed that under the Tory government another country namely Russia has committed an act of war on UK soil. Throwing out 23 oddbods with the automatic retaliation by Russia is a very weak response if this is what has happened. The question should be addressed to the Cabinet. Oddly british and american and european politicians have been slagging off Putin for years and managing to do nothing about him. May be the large amounts of corrupt money from the oligarchs in Russia, flowing west has had something to do with that? A fair proportion going to tory coffers in exchange for a tennis match with BOJO. Where has mogg sent his clients money? To a bank on a list of embargoed businesses. It is fortunate the Labour party is financed by ordinary working people is it not? Our country will be much safer and more moral with its leader as PM.

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