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June 07, 2022

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ltr

This is an exceptional essay.

aragon

Henry the VIII did not have a TV.
The King of England did not have an idiot box, but had to make do with a Jester!

Of course technology has changed dramatically since then (1547).

But some of the idiots with idiot boxes think we can go back to feudalism.

Their is an alternative, and we are aware of it and have the means of communication.

Isn't it strange that the leaders of Russia and China, understand that physical/economic improvements for the m,ass of their populations is necessary for social stability.

After all they are just treading the path trodden by the West.

Yet in the West the equivalents wait for the 'Event' a breakdown of society.

They are withdrawing from social democracy and moving towards the kleptocracy they facilitated in former communist countries.

The high point that was say Sweden has now imported so many people with more regressive social attitudes that they have grenades in the street.

Attacks on pharmacists are apparently due to the failure of the system to meet people expectations.

Concentration of wealth (aka neoliberalism) is a failed economic system worthy of a Banana republic.

It's been said before but welcome to the Banana UK republic.

Neoliberalism only delivers for the rich, and then not indefinitely, falling living standards will trigger populism.

And the Housing plunge protection squad are visibly failing miserably as they continue to try and sustain their bubble.

Bring on the populists, perhaps we can have a new Era of populism (and dump the current sorry crowd of no nothing parasites) .
Unfortunately I have had to live through Neoliberalism.

I want my entertainment too cheap to meter (not to mention energy, which they won't deliver).

"The Punch and Judy show with Boris as Mr Punch and Starmer as the Judy/Policeman does not entertain me.

Don't you love farce?
My fault, I fear.
I thought that you'd want what I want...
Sorry, my dear!
And where are the clowns
Send in the clowns
Don't bother, they're here."

Judy Collins - Send in the Clowns (Song).

Jim

Maybe the British are so used to seeing posh types as 'leaders' they suffer dissonance when they see someone more ordinary. In this sense Labour suffers as much or more from its class roots as does Johnson et al.

This points to two or three strategies, front up someone who looks just about managerial enough to get their feet through No 10 and then demonstrate success. Build on that success and gradually move the public's expectations. Alternatively go for a rather more revolutionary leader on the back of Johnson's failure and dismantle some of the power structures of the rich fairly early.

The first option looks feasible but may upset the more radical members of Labour, would be at risk of 'events' dear boy', would be at risk of a hostile media and pressure from the unions for pay rises. In addition the Tories are likely to leave a scorched earth situation - no money. This suffers from the risk of a one-term swing and a damaged reputation.

THe second route may need to look like the first initially - Trojan Horse style - and then seize the levers of power rather vigourously with a heavy tax till the pips squeak policy. Forcing the construction of houses, hospitals and roads is likely to suffer problems due to building industry opposition as well as the newt carers and the usual media suspects and establishment figures. Steamroller them.

Or for speculatively a seizure of Royal and Ducal lands for public purposes as well as a restructuring of finance and taxation. Something of a Nordic model with some extra vim. Emasculate Eton, Harrow and Winchester etc and force the more fusty Oxbridge colleges to run purely open competitions. This might be a bit much for an ex lawyer to contemplate so leave that for now.

Nanikore

Great post. I agree Labour cannot remove Johnson, only the Tories can do that. But the battle is far from over - so I would not write off Johnson yet. On the one hand he is discredited in the eyes of many, including Royalists, and has to get through a high inflation period which will hit voters in electorally important areas where it counts - in the wallet. On the other hand, like Biden, Johnson could be using the Ukraine conflict and ratcheting it up (instead of putting pressure on both sides to talk) for domestic political ends. Could help Johnson as the Falklands saved Thatcher.

Johnson and the newly empowered nationalistic rightwing, like Trump in America for the Republicans, poses a big problem for small c conservatives in the Tory party.

Dipper

If class explains Johnson attending lockdown parties, what explains Starmer and Gaynor allegedly doing the same?

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