Surprised to see the Left caring about unborn children. Usually they’re just a clump of cells, except when they’re propaganda tools for socialist environmental controls. Then they’re suddenly people with functioning organs, including a beating heart, presumably.
Wait, weren’t we supposed to *stop* having babies because of the environment? I wish they’d make up their minds…
Hey, remember when John Key accused Labour of protecting rapists, and a bunch of their MPs were so offended, they walked out of Parliament? Fun times.
Of course, John Key also failed to act against someone in his party accused of sexual misconduct, at least not until after the 2014 election had been safely won. Had that been made public, he would not have survived the scandal. He is fortunate that the issue was resolved in a way that was helpful to him, and remains sub judice.
In the present, the jumped up Youth MP pretending to be the New Zealand Prime Minister has done the exact same thing – protecting one of her staffers despite multiple serious complaints against him. We all know she knew. It’s obvious that she has lied and misled the New Zealand public, and let down her own activists, of whom she claims to be a feminist champion.
Her position is absolutely untenable. She must resign.
I was going to name the accused man here on my blog. I haven’t chickened out on that, but the information I’ve received has been conflicting, and I can’t verify it yet. Not least because I got two different names supplied to me when I solicited information. It became immediately apparent that these two men shared an almost identical attribute which could see them easily confused with one another. Because of that, I’ve been unable to definitely rule out, or confirm, either man.
The identity of the person, however, is not the important thing, not least because all we have are accusations, and this person cannot be assumed to be guilty. The point is what revealing the name would in turn reveal about Ardern: that this man’s value to the party and its reputation trumped all other concerns, including #metoo in her very own organization. And because of this, she conspired with her staff and colleagues to protect this man at the expense of young women who complained about his behaviour. A complete betrayal.
She must be hounded from office for this. She should not be allowed to survive.
Yesterday was a day of horrible evil. There is no other way to genuinely describe it. A man booked into the Mandalay Hotel in Las Vegas armed with a massive arsenal of weapons, at least some of which appear to be illegal, and mowed down dozens of innocent people at a country music gig.
Faced with such ghastly, unpredictable acts, it is hard to express any sort of response without feeling trite. There is a feeling, especially if we are men, that we want to fight and protect, but also the realization that the deed is done, and nothing will save those people now, at least not in this life. My own response was unashamedly a regression to childish helplessness – I needed my Mummy. That is to say, I needed the Theotokos, my Heavenly Mother and the Mother of God. It was all I could do but to pray “Holy Mother of God, intercede for us, for Las Vegas, and for all who sorrow in this evil, fallen world!”
My response was, and still is, precisely thoughts and prayers. Firstly, a regard for my own sinfulness and evil, and the desire for repentance, for metanoia (a change of mind). Secondly, in my own helplessness before evil, an appeal to one who has successfully triumphed over evil through her Son.
The Left don’t seem to get this, in any way shape or form. Last night, on television, Jimmy Kimmel echoed the sentiments of many when he said “Your thoughts and prayers are insufficient!” On a secular level, he may be right. In a world like that of Stephen Paddock, where the sensual, material and visible world is all there is, where humans are just meat machines instead of divine creatures made in God’s image, where man is the measure of all things and can control things if he just puts his effort into it, thoughts and prayers are useless. But if that is the true world, then there is no difference between Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Paddock. One cares about the lives of the meat machines, the other does not. So what? It is two flipsides of the same secular philosophy. If thoughts and prayers do not matter, then neither do those lives.
Fortunately, neither view is true. Those lives do matter. And so do thoughts and prayers. Which is not to say that there are not practical things that can be done in the material world to stop evil things from happening. But in most cases, you can’t legislate against evil. Evil doesn’t care whether guns are legal or illegal. Evil doesn’t care if you have mental health programmes in place to help people. Evil is bodiless and immaterial, and cannot be stopped by laws, or even “moar gunz”. And in the case of Stephen Paddock, it seems like he planned this pretty thoroughly. He was always going to kill a whole bunch of people. I don’t think the government could have stopped him.
So evil is a spiritual problem. Which means ultimately evil can only be defeated through, yes, thoughts and prayers. Our thoughts (repentance) and prayers are our greatest weapons against evil. It is in the absence of thoughts and prayers that evil comes. The United States is currently in a state of spiritual crisis, which is why evil such as the Las Vegas massacre can so easily occur. That is not to say, as those like Jerry Falwell did, that these shootings happen because people themselves sin or are evil, but rather that there is a vacuum of spiritual life and awareness. Even in Evangelical Protestantism there is now a profound lack of awareness of the image of God in man (that is to say, the incarnation), and an almost Gnostic separation of the material from the spiritual. We need to return to the incarnation as the basis for our lives, to see God’s image in others, and thus be incapable of hatred. We need to return to repentance. We need to return to prayer.
So yes, I enthusiastically, but humbly, offer “thoughts and prayers” for the victims and their families in Las Vegas. And I say to Jimmy Kimmel et. al. that, not only are our thoughts and prayers sufficient, they are the only way we can put a stop to the endless occurrences of senseless massacres. Thoughts and prayers are more than sufficient. They are essential.
I’ve been pondering doing some more blogging now that I’m finally in a place where I have some time to do it. I gave up for a while because it’s a rather narcissistic pastime and I’m trying to rid myself of the trappings of my own ego, which as Bono once sang, is “not really the enemy… it’s like a small child crossing an eight lane highway on a voyage of discovery.” But that does make it distracting from things that should more properly be taking up my time.
Speaking of ego, I googled my own name today, which I don’t think is a bad thing in moderation. I’m blessed to have a namesake now who is actually a college (American) football player and wrestler, so not only does he crowd me out on google, but he’s younger, better looking and more talented than me. All these things are humbling. But apart from regenerating online like some virtual Dr Who, I was astonished to find that I had been talked about! In a conversation between minor WhaleOil contributor Cameron Slater and obscure former Remmers community board member Aaron Bhatnagar no less! This online conversation was revealed by the WhaleDump leaks procured from hacker RawShark, and the relevant section is as follows:
Cameron Slater, 2/20, 5:33am
why is Blair Mulholland supporting this cock
Aaron Bhatnagar, 2/20, 5:34am
Because Blair IS a cock
Cameron Slater, 2/20, 5:34am
never had a job cock
Aaron Bhatnagar, 2/20, 5:34am
were you aware why Blair was zapped by the pre-selection panel for Mt Albert by-election
Cameron Slater, 2/20, 5:34am
Aaron Bhatnagar, 2/20, 5:34am
there you go
Cameron Slater, 2/20, 5:34am
and C&R have zapped him repeatedly
Aaron Bhatnagar, 2/20, 5:34am
Ah, that I didn’t know, but I am not surprised.
Of course, he cost C&R a seat in 2007 with his 1Auckland.com candidacy
might have gotten rid of Fryer 3 years earlier
This just makes me laugh so much. The conversation is from 2011, and refers in the first instance to the then National Party Chairman of the Rodney Electorate Cehill Pienaar, with whom I had briefly served on that committee. Pienaar was skulking around trying to jack up one of his people to be nominated for the seat after Lockwood Smith had decided to go on the List. For this rather unremarkable sin, Slater decided he would “expose” Pienaar for his past as an Afrikaaner nationalist politician in South Africa, because, y’know, the Chairmanship of the Rodney National Party is an extremely powerful position that is clearly a danger to society in the wrong hands! Slater is a common bully and a thug, and this was bullying behaviour, so I called him out on it on his blog. Which makes me a cock, apparently.
Even more humorous is a man who has spent the majority of his adult life living off of insurance and the largesse of faceless donors saying, bewilderingly, that I’ve “never had a job”! One has to remember that these are two men who were born into substantial privilege, and have never had to look too far for capital for whatever they’ve undertaken in life. Neither of them would know what real work is, or how hard it is to make a career for oneself as the son of a teacher from Glenfield by comparison.
The rest of the conversation snippet is regarding my attempt to stand for National in Mt Albert in 2009. I can tell you why I got “zapped” for that, it was because I’d had concurrent membership of ACT until late 2008, which is against National Party rules, and meant my membership of National was not valid for the minimum six months required to be a candidate. At least that was the official reason. I was very frank to the selection panel about any potential “skeletons” in my closet that had possibility for controversy if made public, and point blank told the panel that if the issues I’d raised made me an unfit candidate for National in their eyes then I would accept that decision. I don’t know if any of them blabbed to Slater or Bhatnagar about anything I said. I’m cynical enough to doubt anything I said in that room was genuinely confidential, so it’s entirely possible they are privy to it. But then Slater says:
and C&R have zapped him repeatedly
…which is just Slater talking completely out of his arse. Remember that this is a private conversation between the two of them, and Slater has no apparent reason to lie. But in this case, he is either talking BS and knows it, or he has been fed BS from someone who thought it worthwhile to just make shit up about me. That makes me think he knows jack shit about jack shit. Probably about most things.
I’ve never been a member of Citizens and Ratepayers. Never tried to join them. Never tried to stand for them. Never ever. My association with them is limited to doing some bitchwork for Chris Diack for the 2004 campaign, and that was only because he was paying me. So reading this line just floored me. I think it tells you everything you need to know about Slater, who he is, how he operates, and how reliable whatever he says can be. The only conclusion you can draw is that he just talks BS to make himself look important.
I guess that’s his entire career now. Or maybe not, since most of WhaleOil is now cute cat videos, and the unreadable drivel his wife likes to spout about Islam.
Anyway, that’s what my ego wanted to post about today. And though it looks like it’s me “correcting the record” on something probably nobody else cares about, I did it more to illustrate that Slater just talks a bunch of arse, and you can’t trust anything he says.
The untimely death of David Bowie has made reviewing this album a tough task. It’s hard to stay objective about it, or not see it through the lens of his demise. I’m sort of forced to think back to how I felt about it listening on the weekend before. So what follows is as best an assessment as I can make:
Like The Next Day before it, Bowie is in top form on this one. It’s a four star album. But Blackstar holds almost no musical similarity to its predecessor. While TND definitely had one foot in the nostalgia camp, and plenty of songs that musically wouldn’t have sounded out of place in the Ziggy Stardust era, Blackstar tends to reference very little in Bowie’s past; at a pinch perhaps drawing on some of his nineties work, but only tangentially. Sonically, this is where a new Bowie album should be going – new territory – though in many ways, several of the songs sound much better in the context of the album than they do standing alone.
The two singles – the title track and Lazarus, are the outstanding anchors of the album, and if Bowie had recorded five other tracks of himself farting to pad it out, we’d still be calling this one of his greats. Blackstar – all ten glorious minutes of it – is a creepy, occultic, Byzantine catacomb of a song that showcases all that was loved about him. What dark and uncertain place is Bowie’s soul being dragged off to with his “passport and shoes”? We are forced to ponder a slightly tongue-in-cheek assessment of his career as “a flash in the pan”, finally facing up to “the great I AM”. And Lazarus – could there be a more fitting final single? – a slight and ordinary song when looked at as notes on a page is transformed in the hands of Bowie and Visconti into something truly transcendent. That lonely guitar figure at the start, the mournful saxaphone, the garage band axe-thrash, the heartbreaking lyrics – Lazarus is truly the “Antiheroes”. Instead of telling us that mere mortals can reach immortality “just for one day”, Bowie the immortal now reveals he is all too human, grasping at the last gasp of his fading life.
Quite naturally, the rest of the music struggles to compare to these two giants, and if you had to compare the album with The Next Day song for song, TND probably wins on consistency at least. But there are certainly no bad songs here. Tis a Pity She Was a Whore provides some heft that recalls the music of Black Tie White Noise, though it sounds like the B side it actually is. Its best feature is the simply magical lyric “Man, she punched me like a dude!” Sue, a single Bowie released last year that was probably his finest song in almost twenty years, is here shorn of its big band jazz arrangement in favour of rock guitar riffs that turns it into a drum and bass song, all but destroying everything that made it so engaging and special in the first place. Girl Loves Me, sung in the Polari dialect and musically recalling, of all things, 1994’s Buddha of Suburbia, is proof that Bowie’s more interesting moments are not always necessarily his most magic ones. And the album closes with the two most conventional songs on the album – pleasant enough ballads Dollar Days and I Can’t Give Everything Away, the latter of which is all but a rewrite of the title track to 1987’s stinker album Never Let Me Down! Proof perhaps of Bowie’s enduring sense of humour? Undoubtedly! But there’s nothing boring or skippable here – there’s a real cohesiveness and completeness to this album that makes it worthy of repeated listening.
Blackstar is undoubtedly Bowie’s most adventurous album since 1997’s Earthling, and with its two (for want of a better word) stellar singles, definitely his most rewarding listening experience since that time. It’s a fitting epitaph to the career of one of the twentieth century’s greatest musical artists.
After downloading and listening to Blackstar last week, I remember thinking how marvelous it was that David Bowie was still alive and releasing music. I fantasized about the next ten years, and the sort of new stuff he would put out and give us. I’d planned to write a review of the album for this blog. I was going to do it on Monday.
“Where the f*ck did Monday go?”
These best-laid plans all got shattered when my wife came into the bedroom after I had just woken up on that day and told me the terrible news. This amazing entertainer was no longer with us.
Outside of my faith and my family, I can’t think of a more important presence in my life than the music of David Bowie. And yet, I’m not even 100% sure why. What it might come down to is that he was so utterly subversive. He took songs and genres, and then put little twists on them. He delighted in undermining straight narratives. He took shallow things, and made them deep, or even revealed their depth. Conversely, sometimes he took very serious things and ripped them to shreds.
You can see this in glam rock. Compare a song like T-Rex’s Planet Queen with Bowie’s own Starman. They’re both great songs about aliens coming to earth, but Marc Bolan’s is essentially just a silly story. Not Bowie’s. There’s something darker and more sinister going on, with an alien who’s afraid to “blow our minds” that only “the children” will understand. He would also do the same thing with the music itself, melding different styles and genres. On practically every Bowie album there’s always something musically unexpected – that you wouldn’t normally hear with someone playing a straight bat – from Mike Garson’s bonkers jazz-piano, to Brian Eno’s weird production, right through even to the big band jazz of last year’s single Sue (In a Season of Crime). More than anyone else, he would give you the thrill of the new, tingling in your spine as you heard something unexpected.
In short, Bowie took Lou Reed’s original idea of turning a pop song into art, and took it through the stratosphere into pop megastardom. Pop music isn’t supposed to be like that. It’s supposed to be dumb and shallow so people can dance to it and get laid. Well, people still danced to Bowie and got laid, but even on Let’s Dance, he’s still singing about the apocalypse, and his heart breaking in two as you tremble like a flower in his arms. Bowie was clever and subversive. He invited us all to stop looking at the superficial and dig deeper. Or even, as on Lucy Can’t Dance (a single written to diss Madonna that he chickened out of releasing at the last minute), to look at something “profound” and realise there’s nothing of substance there.
I think this is why I identify with Bowie so much. I’ve never liked the superficial, consumerist, simplistic approach. I want to think, and delve, and dig deeper, and that’s where Bowie and I connected. Because that’s where the real emotions are – not on the surface, but in the depths. More than anyone else, Bowie somehow got to those. And people have written about Bowie’s appeal to the outsider, and yes, that is a big part of it too. Turns out there are a lot of us outsiders. “The music is outside”.
It’s so hard to name favourite bits of work, but I will mention a few. I still think Rebel Rebel is the greatest pop single ever released. The Top of the Pops Starman appearance that made him a star is without peer. Sweet Thing/Candidate from Diamond Dogs has so much drama and pathos you want to cry. StationToStation in its entirety – my favourite album. Low, his most innovative work, and one of the most innovative albums of all time. The video to Boys Keep Swinging. Let’s Dance. Absolute Beginners. The bit in the Tin Machine song I Can’t Read where he rages “Andy, where’s my fifteen minutes?!” Outside, the first Bowie album I ever bought. Dead Man Walking. I’m Afraid of Americans. Strangers When We Meet. Sue. Dang it, there’s too much stuff – so much wonderful stuff! I’ve read a few comments complaining that Bowie lacks real emotion in his work and it was all an act, he was just playing a character. They must have cloth ears – Bowie played those characters to get to the real man (or woman) in all of us. His songs are an excavation of our hearts to find the feels.
So long, David Robert Jones, aka David Bowie. I will be praying for you. Thank you for all that you gave me, and everyone who loves your music. You are truly one of the greatest artists of all time. May your memory be eternal!
These are dark times in the world. Evil and hate and corruption are everywhere. Terrorists shoot up concert halls, blow up aeroplanes and destroy lives. Politicians spew hate and bile, and the internet is a cesspit of anger and destructive language. Meanwhile, even love itself is debased through confusion with sexual gratification. Things that God created as good are corrupted and debased and confused. God, or even goodness, seems far away.
Whatever one believes about God, or theology, or metaphysics, we know that the world is in bad shape. It needs salvation of some sort. There needs to be hope somehow and somewhere. And we know that this hope cannot come from mere humanity – our humanity is what got us into this mess. What we need is divinity, one way or another. We need to reconnect with that part of ourselves that is pure and good and superhuman. We see this idea even in atheist philosophers like Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Rand. But in all these cases of seeking to make gods out mortals, humanity has ended up even less divine and even less human. We are helpless to solve the corruption of the world by ourselves.
It is into this darkness, the Winter Solstice of the world, right when we cannot see or find Him, that God comes. And not just invisibly, or metaphorically, or intellectually, or even merely spiritually, but He takes on human flesh from a human woman, a lowly temple acolyte, and becomes one of us. We cannot be divine, so God becomes human. He becomes a little baby, real, tangible and present in the world as the God-Man. And in doing so, He begins His work to restore the world. Christ is born! He is here! He has arrived! Our saviour has arrived! There is Hope in all the hopelessness of the world!
I believe that this is why Christmas is so universal and so appealing to the world. Of course Easter/Pascha is more important – what could be more important than Christ rising from the dead and defeating death? But there is sorrow there too – Christ must first die. Christmas, however, has no downside – a baby is born, there is peace on earth and goodwill to all men! Anyone can get behind that – Christians, atheists, and anyone else in between.
As Stephen Colbert, for all his faults, once sang, “There are much worse things to believe in.” Christmas is something that can be true for everyone, even if not everyone thinks it’s true.
May everyone be blessed this Holy Nativity!
If you found yourself underwhelmed by that “generous offer”, I have great news! God through His Son Jesus Christ can actually forgive your abortion, AND other sins, ALL THE TIME!
All you have to do is pop along to your local Orthodox Church parish and confess your abortion (and anything else) to the Priest, and not only will Christ forgive your sins, but the Priest will bear witness to His forgiveness by offering you the Holy Mysteries according to your relationship with the Church!
And you don’t have to wait until December for it to happen.
Christ forgives sins by our confession, not by clerical declaration at specific points on a calendar. And thank God for that!
Unfortunately, that makes Kim Davis a criminal, and she is subject to censure by the State. And I’d never suggest that the State not do its job in that regard. But nor can I see how Kim Davis could do anything other than what she has done. I would do exactly the same thing.
Sadly, I’ve seen many good Christians say things like “why doesn’t she just resign?” I’m afraid I vehemently disagree with that option. You might have some case to say that had Davis been elected after Obergefell, and not been honest about her stance, that holding her position is untenable. And certainly in the private sector, I’d argue that if you are someone who doesn’t want, say, gay sex occurring on your property, then maybe you shouldn’t be running a bed and breakfast! But that argument doesn’t hold when it comes to the government. I’ve always said that gay “marriage” in itself is something that is none of our business. There’s no question that a gay couple should have the right to find a church willing to perform a ceremony for them, invite a hundred of their closest friends and make some vows to each other. But when you start asking the government, an institution that I participate in as part of a democratic society, to positively sanction something and certify it, and furthermore, to misrepresent the truth about it against the beliefs of a significant part of the population; that discriminates against the truth, and against me personally, as someone who holds to that truth. You exclude me, and others like me, from even participating. That violates our rights. Why should anyone have to resign over that?
Of course, as a Christian, I don’t have rights. I don’t say that ironically or sarcastically, I really mean it. I should have no expectation of fair treatment from the world at all. Christ certainly never got it. But when you are elected to do a job, and the State quite literally makes the honest and faithful exercise of that job illegal, the correct response is not to let the State get away with it, but stand your ground. In the Book of Acts, the Sanhedrin told the Apostles not to speak about Christ, but none of them resigned. Instead, they said “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Kim Davis, faced with being told not to speak the truth, can do no less.
I’m sure many will take issue with my view of “the truth” and see it as subjective. I’m afraid I do indeed believe in such a thing as objective truth, and moreover, that there are few things in life more basic than the truth of what marriage is. It’s a union between a man and a woman, sure as penises and vaginas fit each other like a jigsaw puzzle. To quote an obscure first century philosopher…
…from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Marriage only exists because we have two different sexes. The State wants us to believe and act otherwise. The State is wrong. We cannot say otherwise, because that way lies madness. And we will take whatever punishment the State deems appropriate for this infraction with gladness.
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, Queen of New Zealand is now the longest reigning British monarch of all time!
O Lord our God arise
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall
Confound their politics
Frustrate their knavish tricks
On Thee our hopes we fix
God save us all
Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour
Long may she reign
May she defend our laws
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen
In a world where Jon Stewart supposedly DESTROYS right wing politicians on a weekly basis, it may seem like hyperbole to say so, but this may be the most eviscerating paragraph I have ever read about a politician:
If I were to approach a person on the street and list off traits like “doesn’t drive,” “needs food prepared,” “needs help with the remote control,” “needs people to bring her beverages,” “has trouble remembering things,” and “doesn’t pay her own bills” about someone anonymously, he wouldn’t think I was referring to a current presidential front-runner in the year 2015. He would think I was referring to his poor nana, whom he had to place in a home because she wouldn’t stop yelling at the lamp and was at risk of accidentally microwaving her dentures.
Hillary Clinton is a very strange woman who has accomplished very little in her life. I’d be gravely concerned if her, or Trump, or Bernie Sanders got elected. Any of those people would be the death of America.
Cameron Slater claims to be a Christian (albeit a Seventh Day Adventist, which barely counts, since they deny the divinity of Christ). If that is so, why does he publish graphics like this on his blog?
David Farrar is an Atheist. I’d far rather read about Farrar’s Atheism than Slater’s Christianity!
Very sad to hear of the passing of one of the old school of National MPs, the North Shore’s George Gair. He was one of the last of the gentlemen politicians, and one of the classical liberals that used to be a strong feature of National’s caucus but these days is in shorter supply. One almost feels as if, with the death of the man, that way of life and way of public discourse is also itself dying. Both shall be greatly missed!
In every town large enough to have two traffic lights there is a bar at the back of which sits the local Donald Trump, nursing his fifth beer and innumerable delusions. Because the actual Donald Trump is wealthy, he can turn himself into an unprecedentedly and incorrigibly vulgar presidential candidate… When, however, Trump decided that his next acquisition would be not another casino but the Republican presidential nomination, he tactically and quickly underwent many conversions of convenience (concerning abortion, health care, funding Democrats, etc.). His makeover demonstrates that he is a counterfeit Republican and no conservative.
I’ve been appalled at the lack of willingness from anyone other than Rand Paul to kick the crap out of Donald Trump. So many blogs, writers and columnist who ought normally to know better have written prevaricatingly about him, as if his nonsense is a genuine Republican voice that should be listened to. I am especially saddened at the silence of Ted Cruz, although I understand why Cruz has been reluctant to criticize him – his brand is entirely anti-establishment, and to go after Trump risks diluting the brand. But even so, if you can’t make a meal out of Trump, how can you possibly beat Clinton or Sanders in the General?! What happened to the days of politicians making the argument?!
In many ways, Trump is the bitter fruit of the dumbing down of the Republican Party, and their inability to make the argument. GOP support now comes from misinformed bar-room rednecks whose political thought consists of occasionally inconsistent slogans crafted on identity politics without any thought given to practicality or policy detail. In that sense, despite actually being an ideological Democrat, Trump is the perfect candidate for the modern GOP. He doesn’t need to be consistent, or actually make sense. He just needs to repeat back the same neanderthal rhetoric that other Republicans have been using, but better.
Someone like Ted Cruz especially should know better. Cruz is a Harvard Law graduate who has argued cases in front of the Supreme Court. Why is it so hard for him to make the argument now? If he really wants to be President, he is going to have to deal with much worse than one eccentric property magnate. Trump is a Democrat pretending to be a Republican, and any politician with rudimentary skills in the art should be able to make mincemeat of such a scenario. Come on Ted! Stomp the crap out of this man and throw his body out the back door!
I’ve been absolutely delighted to see the rise of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, one that parallels that of Bernie Sanders in the US. Both politicians are comically unelectable, and will ensure the Left are out of power in their respective countries for many years.
To see Tony Blair, begging, pleading, offering his firstborn child to party members to stop them voting for Corbyn, is a wonder to behold, and makes me chortle with joy. Whatever you think about Tony Blair, he is a very smart politician who knows how to win elections, and his Guardian article is dead right:
The Labour party is in danger more mortal today than at any point in the over 100 years of its existence. I say this as someone who led the party for 13 years and has been a member for more than 40. The leadership election has turned into something far more significant than who is the next leader. It is now about whether Labour remains a party of government.
…So this is directed to longstanding members and those who have joined but without an agenda. They’re still a majority and they have to exercise leadership now to save the party. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the left, right or centre of the party, whether you used to support me or hate me. But please understand the danger we are in.
The party is walking eyes shut, arms outstretched, over the cliff’s edge to the jagged rocks below. This is not a moment to refrain from disturbing the serenity of the walk on the basis it causes “disunity”. It is a moment for a rugby tackle if that were possible.
This is not the 1980s. This is by many dimensions worse and more life threatening…. What we’re witnessing now is a throwback to that time, but without the stabilisers in place. The big unions, with the exception of the most successful in recent times, USDAW, are in the grip of the hard left. And the people do not have that same old-time loyalty.
If Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader it won’t be a defeat like 1983 or 2015 at the next election. It will mean rout, possibly annihilation. If he wins the leadership, the public will at first be amused, bemused and even intrigued. But as the years roll on, as Tory policies bite and the need for an effective opposition mounts – and oppositions are only effective if they stand a hope of winning – the public mood will turn to anger. They will seek to punish us. They will see themselves as victims not only of the Tory government but of our self-indulgence.
Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t offer anything new. This is literally the most laughable of all the propositions advanced by his camp. Those of us who lived through the turmoil of the 80s know every line of this script. These are policies from the past that were rejected not because they were too principled, but because a majority of the British people thought they didn’t work. And by the way, they were rejected by electorates round the world for the same reasons.
I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of Labour MPs defaulted and formed their own party. I suspect it will be a much larger number than those who defected to form the SDP in the early ’80s.