Home country: England
Member since: Thu Jun 24, 2004, 07:32 AM
Number of posts: 29,620
Home country: England
Member since: Thu Jun 24, 2004, 07:32 AM
Number of posts: 29,620
She may be dead, but her policies are sadly very much alive.
As I posted in the UK forum, with many apologies to Alfred Hayes and the subject of his song, Joe Hill, neither of whom would have cared for Thatcher!:
I dreamt that Thatcher stood right here,
Alive as you and me.
I said, ‘I heard that you were dead!’
‘I never died’, said she.
‘As Osborne cuts the welfare state
And cuts rich people’s tax.
As Hunt sells off the NHS,
You see me with my axe!
Whenever you reward success
By punishing the poor;
When Duncan-Smith strikes at the sick,
You see me even more!
In Cyprus, Greece and Portugal,
In Europe far and wide,
Poor people groan beneath the cuts.
You see I haven’t died!
Obama once had liberal plans.
The Congress told him, ‘No!’
So old age pensions must go down!;
You see – I’ll never go!
From Blair and Bush to Cameron;
From London to D.C.;
Where governments still crush the poor,
You’ll there find Maggie T.!’
Posted by LeftishBrit | Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:27 PM (1 replies)
'The selection of our heroes says more about us than it does the men and women of our history books. Clement Attlee was the reserved, collegiate Prime Minister who brought us the Post War consensus. Margaret Thatcher was the bullish, one woman army Prime Minister who brought us the neoliberal consensus. The latter is in the process of elevation to level of deity, the former all but forgotten....
On the death of Thatcher in April this year, Parliament was recalled and twelve hours of tributes were delivered in the House of Commons and House of Lords. Today was the day of her state funeral in all but name. The funeral received full military honours and was attended by the great and the good from around the world, with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh playing their role in the deification.
On his death of Attlee in October 1967, parliament was not recalled. Instead a few small tributes were made in Parliament a fortnight later, with this small column in the Guardian at the time to attest to it. His family held a small funeral and his ashes were quietly interred in Westminster Abbey. A humble end for a humble man....
...We need to pick better heroes. We must not allow ourselves to fall into a state of national mourning which not only deifies the woman, but elevates her consensus above its human value. The abandonment of the Post War consensus has cost Britain dearly. We are a less equal, less compassionate, more inward looking nation for it.
(Much more at link):
Posted by LeftishBrit | Wed Apr 17, 2013, 06:47 PM (5 replies)
this may be. However, I am somewhat sceptical. Admittedly, I am biased, because I do consider that the willingness to care for and help people who are in need is one of the most important moral virtues in the world (second only to avoiding active harm to others); and the attitude that perhaps upsets me the most is ideological harshness toward vulnerable people; the idea that people ought to be forced to 'stand on their own feet'; that there is a large number of 'undeserving poor'; and that denying them help is a moral good. Fundamentally, I do not so much disapprove of such harshness because I'm a left-winger; I am a left-winger because I disapprove of such harshness.
Of course, I am to some extent accepting the right-wing framing of the argument, by even using the term 'vulnerable people'. The world is not divided into the vulnerable and the invulnerable. Everybody is vulnerable at certain times and on certain issues. Everybody needs help at times. Some people need it more often than others, and/or have fewer resources. But the issue is not one of being charitable to some specific group of the Truly Vulnerable, but of acknowledging that everyone needs help sometimes, and that helping people is a good thing, not a bad thing. In particular, the current Right are inclined to regard the need for government benefits as some form of addiction from which people should be required to go 'cold turkey' (I;ve seen this metaphor used explicitly), rather than as a consequence of unemployment which in its turn is usually due to a reduction in the number of jobs.
Now: there are two issues here. One is whether people who are poor or disabled or ill or unemployed or in a vulnerable position (e.g. currently those affected by the storms) should be helped or whether in most cases it is a moral good to treat them harshly. The other is whether the government is the best source of help. I disagree strongly with people who think that private enterprise is usually better than government in providing help and services - even if I had no previous ideological tendencies that way, my experience has shown me that private enterprise is often very inefficient compared even with indifferent government services - and charitable organizations are great but rarely sufficient. But I do not have the same moral condemnation for people who consider government intrinsically inefficient in providing services, or even who are paranoid about government, as I do for those who think that so-called 'tough love' is good for people in a vulnerable position, and/or that they should be automatically suspected of being fraudulent or undeserving.
In my opinion, anyone who considers that the Right 'offer the most satisfying moral cuisine' either does not really know what the Right proposes; is influenced by paranoia e.g. about government wanting to herd them into death camps, etc.; or, if they really consider the Right's harsh philosophy as in line with theirs, is corrupted by true evil.
To be fair: not everyone who takes a harsh attitude to people in need of help is right-wing, and vice versa. The nastiest person whom I knew personally, who seemed actively to enjoy creating problems for people in vulnerable positions, especially those with illnesses or disabilities, was in fact generally a left-wing voter. But the two do go together more than would be expected by chance.
Posted by LeftishBrit | Tue Oct 30, 2012, 07:09 PM (0 replies)
was Maggie Thatcher calling the poll tax that she was trying to introduce (and which proved her downfall) 'the community charge'. As someone pointed out, that sounded like something that an angry herd of elephants might do.
'Welfare/benefit dependency' = unemployment.
'Culture of dependency' = too many people being poor.
'Weaning people from benefit dependency' = cutting their benefits.
'Trapped on benefits' = poor.
'Compassionate conservative' = right-winger who claims that it's really good for poor or otherwise disadvantaged people to be stomped on.
'Scroungers' = unemployed and especially sick or disabled people.
'Workshy' (see 'scroungers')
'Welfare reform' = cuts.
'Increasing patient choice' = preparing to sell the NHS to the highest bidders.
'Increasing parent choice' = turning schools into businesses
'School business manager' = person, sometimes without teaching experience, placed in charge of helping to turn a school into a business.
Posted by LeftishBrit | Sat May 26, 2012, 05:31 PM (3 replies)
IAIN DUNCAN-SMITH'S SONG OF COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATIVISM
Oh, poverty’s a dreadful thing,
A sorrow and a shame.
It causes so much misery.
Someone must be to blame!
And who’s to blame is very clear.
Of one thing we are sure:
There never could be poverty,
If ‘twas not for the poor!
Some people choose to earn a lot,
And live in mansions fine.
They always eat the best of food
And drink the best of wine.
We’re glad they made this lifestyle choice.
It should be made by more.
Too many cause their own downfall,
By choosing to be poor!
Just think of Labour’s cruelty,
A model to avoid!
They gave too many benefits
To sick or unemployed.
That only reinforced their sin,
And made them do it more.
You just encourage poverty
When you reward the poor!
Oh, poverty’s a dreadful thing,
A scourge throughout the land.
It’s just like an addictive drug.
As such, it should be banned.
It’s really for poor people’s good,
That we’ve big cuts in store.
A big deterrent’s what they need
To make them not be poor!
Posted by LeftishBrit | Thu Feb 23, 2012, 06:06 PM (1 replies)
'Now the lesson for today is about animals. How many animals can we name, that people will start marrying if we tolerate those evil gays? Good, dogs are one. Yes, cats. Elephants - yes, perhaps, but the elephant is a very noble animal; it represents my great party. Turtles, yes, very good. Jellyfish, yes, possibly. No, Mary, we don't talk about dinosaurs; that brings up the whole topic of evolution. No, you don't need to learn about that; it's something very sinful and leftist that a very sinful and leftist man called Darwin invented. It's evil. That's why it's called evil-lution. Penguins? Very good, Peter; penguins are a particularly sinful animal; someone once even wrote a book about gay penguins. That's why God banished them to the South Pole.'
Posted by LeftishBrit | Fri Feb 17, 2012, 05:41 PM (0 replies)
economic issues and public services are absolutely integral to progressivism. You *can* be left-wing on these issues and still be hard-right overall - there are examples from the distorted communism of the likes of Stalin, to some racist but populist groups. But you cannot be hard-right on these issues and be a progressive on most of the others.
In particular, if you oppose a social safety net, then you are fundamentally only in favour of civil liberties for those who can afford them. Living in fear of speaking your mind or acting contrary to custom because the boss may fire you without your having any recourse, and then you will end up starving and freezing in the streets, is no better than, or fundamentally different from, living in fear of speaking your mind or acting contrary to custom because the police might take you to prison.
The point is also that Ron Paul opposes some of the things mentioned for anything but progressive reasons. He doesn't oppose Wall Street bailouts because he thinks that government should be spending money on public services and not on the already-rich bankers; he opposes ANY sort of government bailout of ANYTHING. He would allow the rich to rob the poor even more than they do now; the fact that he would also allow them to rob each other more freely than they do now, and allow those who fail to go to the wall, does not mean that he wants the government to concentrate on helping ordinary citizens. He doesn't want the government to help anyone!
Also, his foreign policy is not more *progressive* than that of other politicians. It is more *isolationist*. This indeed means opposition to the recent wars, and a good thing too! But he also would reject any foreign aid to poor countries - resulting in even more people dying as a result of poverty than do now. He would have been prepared to have allowed the Nazis to take over Europe in WW2, rather than engage in an alliance with the Soviet Union (this is clear from things he's said in a speech available on his own website).
None of this is about partisanship in my case. I'm British. It's not up to me whether anyone does or doesn't vote for President Obama; though obviously I hope he gets re-elected. Nor am I in principle against *ever* voting for third or smaller parties - I've done it several times myself in my country. But the point is that anyone who is fundamentally opposed to social safety nets and public services is by definition a MONSTER OF PURE EVIL, and that even considering such a person as a valid option, or as even comparable to President Obama, is contributing to an attitude that is a real danger to the world. Of course people have the right to vote for whoever they want; but you do NOT have the right to be considered as progressive if you are prepared to let poor and sick people die in the name of the holy free market. Yes, that SHOULD be a progressive litmus test!
Posted by LeftishBrit | Wed Jan 11, 2012, 11:22 AM (0 replies)
Because a fundamental aspect of the RW philosophy is that the strong in society should be allowed to
triumph over the weak.
Mostly in modern society this means allowing the rich to triumph over the poor; but it also includes the attitude that ethnic and social majority groups should be able to triumph over minorities, and a 'Might means Right' attitude to foreign policy.
Also, and related to the above:
(1) A very negative view of human nature: people will only work, behave themselves, be productive, if they are constantly kept in fear of ruin, poverty, or legal punishment. Punishment as such is an obsession with some on the Right. British right-wingers, at least until recently, were obsessed with the need to bring back hanging and flogging (nowadays that kind of right-winger tends to be more preoccupied with hating benefit claimants, and xenophobia against immigrants and the EU). A British Cabinet Minister recently actually said that in order to increase productivity, it is necessary for workers in the public services to be kept in fear of losing their jobs.
(2) The concept that life is a zero-sum game: people can only gain at the expense of someone else. Co-operation is a meaningless concept; competition is everything. One person's happiness means another person's suffering. To prevent suffering is to deny 'opportunity'. Anyone remember Tom Paxton's satire on Reagan-voters, 'A Truly Needy Family of Your Own': 'For success alone is not enough to make a life complete/ It's seeing the other guy fail that makes it all so sweet!'?
(3) A significant number of people can be readily convinced that suffering is intrinsically good for you; the nastier the medicine tastes, the more good it will do!
Posted by LeftishBrit | Wed Jan 11, 2012, 10:47 AM (2 replies)
He supported Thatcher for years and years, and also supported the Iraq war for quite a while.
He's improved a bit but the fact that he could at any time give Paul the time of day is worrying.
Also, I think that people sometimes give the extreme economic right a pass, when they rightly wouldn't give it to warmongers or racists. The extreme economic right kill, through poverty, hunger and the denial of healthcare, just as surely as the warmonger or the terrorist. The extreme economic right generally create a climate that crushes minority groups just as surely as the explicit racist does.
Posted by LeftishBrit | Mon Dec 26, 2011, 04:44 PM (1 replies)
And the difference between 'words' and 'dead bodies' is basically the difference between 'not in power' and 'in power'.
People don't only die in wars. They die from poverty and lack of healthcare. Look up the life expectancy statistics in countries that have Paul's desired lack of public services, social safety nets, and protection against extreme poverty. Look up the life expectancy statistics in the USA, at the beginning of the 20th century, a time to which Paul would clearly like to go back. Yes, medical advances have improved life expectancy, but medical advances are no use to those who are deprived of access to them - and Paul explicitly states that just because someone needs healthcare doesn't mean they are entitled to it.
As regards racial issues, Jim Crow was a lot more than 'words' to people who lived through it; and Paul seems quite happy to reverse laws such as the Voting Rights Act, and leave decisions on racial matters to the states.
But I think that some of the arguments about the level of responsibility that Paul did or didn't have for material in his newsletters have obscured the evil of some of the opinions that he has undoubtedly stated and proudly owns. From his speech 'A Republic if You Can Keep It':
'In truth, the amount of taxes we now pay compared to 100 years ago is shocking. There is little philosophic condemnation by the intellectual community, the political leaders, or the media of this immoral system. This should be a warning sign to all of us that, even in less prosperous times, we can expect high taxes and that our productive economic system will come under attack. Not only have we seen little resistance to the current high tax system, it has become an acceptable notion that this system is moral and is a justified requirement to finance the welfare/warfare state. Propaganda polls are continuously cited claiming that the American people don't want tax reductions. High taxes, except for only short periods of time, are incompatible with liberty and prosperity....
We will, I'm sure, be given the opportunity in the early part of this next century to make a choice between the two. I am certain of my preference.
There was no welfare state in 1900. In the year 2000 we have a huge welfare state, which continues to grow each year. Not that special-interest legislation didn't exist in the 19th Century, but for the most part, it was limited and directed toward moneyed interests--the most egregious example being the railroads.
The modern-day welfare state has steadily grown since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The federal government is now involved in providing health care, houses, unemployment benefits, education, food stamps to millions, plus all kinds of subsidies to every conceivable special-interest group. Welfare is now part of our culture, costing hundreds of billions of dollars every year. It is now thought to be a "right," something one is "entitled" to. Calling it an "entitlement" makes it sound proper and respectable and not based on theft. Anyone who has a need, desire, or demand and can get the politicians' attention will get what he wants, even though it may be at the expense of someone else. Today it is considered morally right and politically correct to promote the welfare state. Any suggestion otherwise is considered political suicide.
The acceptance of the welfare ethic and rejection of the work ethic as the accepted process for improving one's economic conditions are now ingrained in our political institutions. This process was started in earnest in the 1930s, received a big boast in the 1960s, and has continued a steady growth, even through the 1990s, despite some rhetoric in opposition. This public acceptance has occurred in spite of the fact that there is no evidence that welfare is a true help in assisting the needy. Its abject failure around the world where welfarism took the next step into socialism has even a worse record...
With the modern-day interpretation of the general welfare clause, the principle of individual liberty and the doctrine of enumerated powers have been made meaningless. The goal of strictly limiting the power of our national government as was intended by the Constitution is impossible to achieve as long as it is acceptable for Congress to redistribute wealth in an egalitarian welfare state. There's no way that personal liberty will not suffer with every effort to expand or make the welfare state efficient. And the sad part is that the sincere efforts to help people do better economically through welfare programs always fail. Dependency replaces self-reliance while the sense of self worth of the recipient suffers, making for an angry, unhappy, and dissatisfied society. The cost in dollar terms is high, but the cost in terms of liberty is even greater, but generally ignored, and in the long run, there's nothing to show for this sacrifice.
Today, there's no serious effort to challenge welfare as a way of life, and its uncontrolled growth in the next economic downturn is to be expected. Too many citizens now believe they are "entitled" to monetary assistance from the government anytime they need it, and they expect it. Even in times of plenty, the direction has been to continue expanding education, welfare, and retirement benefits. No one asks where the government gets the money to finance the welfare state. Is it morally right to do so? Is it authorized in the Constitution? Does it help anyone in the long run? Who suffers from the policy? Until these questions are seriously asked and correctly answered, we cannot expect the march toward a pervasive welfare state to stop, and we can expect our liberties to be continuously compromised.'
Evil evil evil.
All right-wingers are dangerous monsters!
Posted by LeftishBrit | Mon Dec 26, 2011, 04:31 AM (1 replies)