Why Corbyn’s terrorism speech was a watershed moment

Road To Somewhere Else

By Daniel Margrain

Image result for corbyn terrorism speech pics

This is what Margaret Thatcher, of all people, said in 1985 during a speech to the American Bar Association in relation to terrorism:

“The terrorist uses force because he knows he will never get his way by democratic means…Through calculated savagery, his aim is to induce fear in the hearts of people. And weariness towards resistance……And we must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.”

Starving the terrorists of media publicity was clearly not what PM, Theresa May, had in mind on the steps of Downing Street in the aftermath of the Manchester bombing. In the hours that followed what was clearly a heavily rehearsed and scripted speech that lacked genuine emotion and empathy, May made the decision to present to the public the replacement of thousands of police by uniformed soldiers as part…

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Why Corbyn’s terrorism speech was a watershed moment

Election 2017: Lynton and James

The following is a transcript of a conversation that took place earlier today.

(Disclaimer:  Some, or all, of the transcript may be made-up – probably all.)

Sir Lynton Crosby:  “Oi!  Jimmy!  Have you heard his speech?  Have you seen the polls?  C’mon there cobber, we need some action.  Now!”

James Harding:  “Sir Lynton sir, we are in control of the situation.  Laura, Norman, Nick and Emily are prepped and ready for action.  There is no need to worry I assure you.”

Crosby:  “No need to worry!?  Are you shitting on my barbie there?  Did you hear Corbyn?  The guy was coherent, consistent, intelligent, truthful; he sounded like he knew what he was talking about, knew his history and had a workable plan.  I’m squatting here listening to that strangling my emu.  He’s like the opposite of that dippy drone we’ve got.  We need to get down and grind him.  You understand poshboy?” 

Harding:  “Yes, Sir Lynton, sir.  One of our key men Norman Smith has already used ‘controversial’ randomly to describe Corbyn’s speech.  We feel that sets the right misrepresentation.  We can’t just pile right in.  Also, we need to link in with some ex-Labour bigwigs from Blair’s cabinet.  Our plan of action is mapped out cleverly.”

Crosby:  “Norman Smith?  The guy always looks like he’s just been snubbed in public by his own dog.  He couldn’t even handle that weirdly-dressed jobsworth at the House of Commons who told him he couldn’t film there.  You need to get stuck right in hard and keep it rammed in.  Come at Corbyn from all angles.  Balls to facts.  Bamboozle the public.  Repeat: ‘IRA! Hamas!’  It’s easy.  None of this ‘ooh, it’s controversial.’  Norman Smith?  We need Shane Warne there and you’re giving me Peter Bloody Such.”

Harding:  “Sir Lynton, sir, what we are trying to do is persuade the public against Corbyn by implying that the public are already against him.  It’s a tried and trusted method of directing support to or away from a political view.  Our team is very experienced.  John Humprys has been dong it since the Boer War.”

Crosby:  “Look mate, do you want me to get Rupert to call you?  Is that want you want?  Get it sorted.  Quickly.  Completely.  Sorted.  A lot of my mates in the Virgin Isles have got a lot of untaxed dollars riding on this election.  Slam Corbyn now.  Or, do I have to say ‘charter renewal’ to you again.  Do I?  It made you cry last time.

Harding:  “Yes, Sr Lynton sir, oh, he’s gone.


Election 2017: Lynton and James

Election 2017: Operation Temperer

A day after a terrorist attack on a pop concert in Manchester the prime minister activated Operation Temperer and raised the ‘threat level’ to critical.  

Protecting the elite

The visible effect of her announcement is the presence of soldiers in Downing Street, at the Palace of Westminster and at Buckingham Palace.   That is, the immediate reaction of the Tories to the deaths of children at a pop concert is to rush to protect the elite.  The terrorists who conduct attacks like the one in Manchester target civilians in public areas.  The prime minister and the royal family are already strongly protected by police and military.  It is indicative of the mindset of the Tories that their own safety and that of their associates is elevated way above the safety of civilians.

A pantomime

What are the soldiers doing in Downing Street and at the Palace of Westminster?  The latter building is closed to the public at present and is empty of MPs and lords due to the upcoming election.  So, the soldiers there are protecting an empty building?  In and around Downing Street there are always many police officers including specially trained firearms officers.  The same applies to the royal residencies.

It is clear that the Tories are using the soldiers as photo opportunities to try to give the impression that the government is in control and is acting swiftly and decisively.  The fact that there is next to no specific purpose to the deployment of the soldiers is a fact that the Tories hope the public won’t notice.  The broadcast media is trying to help the Tories as much as it can by repeating the invented narrative that the prime minister is responding strongly (and stably) to the terrorist attack.

Police cuts

Throughout their seven years of destruction the Tories have persistently cut police funding leading to a huge reduction in the number of full-time fully trained officers.  The police federation has repeatedly raised concerns about the cuts but has been treated with disdain by the government.  Earlier this month Home Secretary Amber Rudd received a very negative reception when she spoke at the police federation conference.  The Tories want police officers to be replaced by underpaid untrained private security from G4S or similar.   Even Thatcher, who hated all public employees, never attempted to downgrade the police force.

Operation Temperer, designed by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary, was created specifically because of reductions in police numbers, reductions made by the Tory government.  The Tories knew, and still know, that their dismantling of police forces would require some backup plans at certain times.  Each soldier deployed this week is there precisely because the Tories have reduced the number of full-time police officers.

Election Campaign

Labour have had an excellent election campaign whereas the Tories have been hiding and so the suspension of election campaigning has been useful for the Tories – Suspension helps Tories.  

But, the Tories haven’t suspended their campaign.  In fact, they have done the opposite.  The Tories have finally started their campaign.

“Sir” Lynton Crosby

The prime minister and other cabinet ministers have suddenly popped up all over the place, even in public settings.  Where were they earlier?  However, because the election campaigns are “suspended,” these crafty ministers can still dodge questions about Tory plans in their manifesto and about their previous ineptitude, including questions about Tory policy that led to huge reductions in police numbers.  It is extremely crafty multi-layered manipulation:

  • Opposition parties’ campaigns are suspended so less criticism of Tories
  • Continuous TV coverage of Tories pretending to be in control
  • Tories still dodging questions because of campaign’s suspension

The broadcast media’s complicity in this biased presentation is embarrassingly clear.

Election 2017: Operation Temperer

Election 2017: Suspension of election campaigns after terror attack

The day after the bomb at Manchester Arena Theresa May and her election strategists decided that party campaigns for the general election on June 8th should be suspended.  The other political parties agreed to suspend their respective campaigns; to not do so would have appeared to be insensitive.  No time limit was set for the duration of the suspension.

Two obvious points about the campaign suspension are

  • The Tories have had next to no campaign so far compared to increasingly successful campaigns by Labour, SNP and Plaid Cymru.
  • Although the Tory Party has suspended its campaign the party’s enablers in the media are continuing to campaign on the party’s behalf.

Suspension of campaigns disrupts Labour surge

Intelligent, humane and workable manifesto pledges by Labour have contrasted sharply with the Tories’ woolly vague promises that are speckled with grotesque threats.  Equally, Jeremy Corbyn and his cabinet colleagues have been consistent, clear and personable compared to May and her colleagues’ scripted platitudes, wild contradictions and evasiveness.  

The most recent two weeks of the election campaign have been almost solely a Labour campaign battling gamely against a biased media.  Theresa May has continued her strategy of invisibility – May’s invisibility.  This strategy was chosen because of May’s lack of strength when scrutinised closely and because of the hollowness of the Tories’ manifesto.  Also, the Tories’ election campaign manager Lynton Crosby wanted the media focus to be on Labour and Corbyn with the expectation that criticism of Labour’s policies and its suitability for government would prevail and encourage people to vote Tory as a safe option.  This has backfired as Labour have benefitted hugely from being in focus.

Tory-supporting media is continuing with the Tory election campaign unabated 

The section of the media that is most supportive of the Tories has no intention of being bound by a request for a suspension in electioneering.  The Sun, Mail, Express and Telegraph are continuing with their lies, misrepresentations and inventions.  Indeed, the entirety of the Tory campaign is little changed during the suspension as most of it has been conducted by the media and not by May and her colleagues.  The difference is that, because Labour has suspended its campaign, the Tories’ voice via the media is the only voice being heard.

Additionally, the right-wing media is using the terrorist attack as a tool with which to attack Corbyn.  The false and ludicrous claims about Corbyn’s attitude, statements and actions regarding the Irish Republican Army are being repeated relentlessly because there has been a terrorist attack this week.  For Paul Dacre, Tony Gallagher, etc. dead children are just an opportunity to conduct a dishonest political campaign.  Meanwhile, ghouls at the same newspapers are harassing the Manchester bomb’s victims and their families to try to obtain photos and quotes.

The Tory use of the terrorist attack in Manchester

For the Tories, the usefulness of the election campaign suspension is not the only beneficial consequence of the terrorist attack in Manchester.  

“What’s that, Lynton?”

Alongside the use of the terrorist attack as a political tool for the media to attack Labour – described above – Theresa May is wallowing in the chance to present herself as “decisive” and “in control.”  

Aided by compliant broadcasters, May is making well-timed interjections wherein she makes dramatic proclamations and announces attention-grabbing changes in strategy to tackle the threat of terrorism.  Her objective is to create a public image of herself (and her government) as strong, forthright and effective.  Of course, it is all completely and utterly empty.  Throughout May’s shambolic tenure as Home Secretary even her Tory colleagues noticed that she never actually did much, what she did do she did badly and occasionally she would pop up with a platitude-ridden mini-speech that portended of profundity but actually was ephemeral.  (I said “well-timed” above because the timing of her speech to announce a change to the terror threat level was not random.  It cleverly allowed her speech to take the lead in late-evening TV news and next day newspapers above reports on the beautiful vigil in Manchester earlier on Tuesday evening.)

May’s “decision” to use the military as a supplement to the police is merely an admission that the huge cuts in police numbers over the last seven years have had a noticeable effect.  (May’s successor as Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, was made aware of the cuts’ effect on police morale when she spoke at the police federation conference last week.)  It is clunky posturing, pointless and has no purpose other than attempting, vainly, to massage her weak and wobbly image.

Don’t let the con artist get away with it

The parties who oppose the Tories must not allow themselves to dance to Crosby’s tune.  Theresa May has descended into a clown figure but she is backed by a mob of unethical scoundrels who will glibly exploit the slaughter of young concert goers.

The opposition, particularly the Labour Party, must

  • Reactivate their election campaigns when it suits them, not when it suits the Tories
  • Respond boldly and loudly to media attacks that occur during the campaign suspension
  • Be willing to ridicule the daft posturing of May and her colleagues regarding their anti-terror strategy and policy

Theresa May, and Hammond, Rudd, Fox, Davis, Johnson, etc. have no morality, no integrity and are persistent liars.  They are dim-witted gimps of gangsters.  Nothing is taboo to them in their attempt to con the electorate into voting for its enemies.  All opposition must retain confidence, clear sightedness and not be distracted or sidelined.

Election 2017: Suspension of election campaigns after terror attack

Macron beat Le Pen in the battle of the Con Artists

Emmanuel Macron

Yesterday, centrist conservative Emannuel Macron was elected president of France in a run-off against far-right conservative candidate Marine Le Pen.  

The defeat of Le Pen was welcomed by all who possess any concept of humanity or morality.  (The owner of UKIP,  Arron Banks, is very disappointed with the result: “At least the Germans saved the fuel and the bullets this time around” he exclaimed, a reference to the welcome for Macron from the EU and Angela Merkel.  Similar sentiments were expressed by others in UKIP including Nigel Farage and Michael Heaver.)  

Le Pen Con

Le Pen is, of course, conning the French people.  Like Donald Trump in the USA, she identifies false enemies to distract people from their real enemy: Destructive capitalism.  She encourages extreme nationalism, racial and religious prejudice and promotes division and then uses them as tools to vacuum up electoral support by claiming to be anti-establishment.  This has always been the far-right con and a con-trick that is used by all conservative politicians.  Every right-wing politician, whether extreme or not, exists to be the gimp of financial gangsters.  

Macron Con

Macron is a professional politician entrenched deeply within the political establishment in France.  A servant of international bankers and a former government minister of economy and finance, he invented a ‘new’ political party – En Marche! – as a means to con the French people into thinking that he is an alternative to established political parties; (in France, like most Western democracies, traditional choices at elections are being rejected.)  There is a good account of the creation of Macron as a “politician” here: The invention of Macron.  Macron’s year-long campaign focussed on the false newness of him and his party and was punctuated repeatedly by tired old (dishonest) clichés about hope and vision.  In the run-off against Le Pen his task was easy: All he had to do was state that he disagreed with her.  Macron’s stated politics appear close to those of, say, conservative liberal Nick Clegg and, like Clegg, he will do what he is told by his corporate masters.

The turn-out for the second (run-off) stage of the presidential election was low reflecting the accurate cynicism of many French people.  The relief at the failure of Le Pen is palpable and understandable.  Equally, it is an indictment of the hollowness of modern Western democratic choices that the alternative to her filth is a robotic, platitude-spouting conman who will offer nothing.

In Britain, the gloop of centrist suffocation, including Progress Labour MPs among others, are weeping for a British Macron to emerge to lead a false challenge to Theresa May as she slips further right like a catatonic slug on a child’s slide.  A British Macron would not be a saviour; he or she would be another rusty nail in the coffin of genuine representative politics.

Macron beat Le Pen in the battle of the Con Artists

The Convention: Rallying Cry For Centrist Control

A consequence of universal suffrage is that the people vote for the party, person or option for which they want to vote.  Liberals have always expressed keenness for the right to vote.  However, this keenness is accompanied by a demand that the voters’ choices stay within a very narrow band ranging from centrist liberal conservative to right-of-centre conservative.  That is, the liberals want the voters to choose which group of administrators they would like to manage the exploitative capitalist system.

In Greece, Spain and Iceland the respective electorates voted against such exploitation although in Spain their votes were ignored.  The reaction of the EU to the voters’ choice in Greece was to go into overdrive to ensure the Greek people were fleeced to feed the capitalist financial gangsters, cast as “loan repayments.”  

Elsewhere, right-wing opportunists – all from a conservative background – have conned voters into believing they are different to the elite status quo and have enhanced the conservative blame-game distraction of accusing foreigners of being the cause of all ills.  US president Donald Trump and French presidential candidate Marine LePen promote prejudice and division but so do typical conservative governments.  Economically, Trump and LePen (and Farage, Wilders, etc.) are extreme free-marketeers who are beholden to capitalist exploitation.  The objection that the liberal conservatives have to the further-right gang is that the latter’s promotion of prejudices is expressed too openly and that its behaviour is often uncouth.

The centrists are horrified that voters are making their own choices.  Democracy is supposed to be a con not a real choice about government.  

The Convention

Under the guise of objecting to a far-right takeover the professional liberals have sought solace in one another’s company.  


On May 12th and 13th there is a conference at Westminster Hall, London entitled The Convention.  It is sponsored by The Observer – that is, the Sunday Guardian (see The Guardian: An Obituary).

In the introduction to its Mission Statement The Convention claims it will “hold the debate that is absent from Parliament on the deep impacts of Brexit, and focus on the danger to democratic and liberal values posed by the political crash in the West.  Every registered voter in the UK had the option to vote in the EU referendum and the majority of those who voted chose Brexit.  One can disagree with that choice, but to state that there now exists “danger to democratic and liberal values” as a result of the Brexit victory is stupidly dramatic and an insult to the electorate.  All the political parties have discussed Brexit from a variety of political perspectives so the claim that such parliamentary debate is absent is a blatant lie.  The phrase “political crash” is more melodrama.  Does it mean the election of Trump in the USA? But, Trump’s politics is just typical right-wing Republicanism.  One sentence, meant to be a concise introduction, contains a lie, an insult and clumsy dramatic language.

The Mission Statement continues: “The Convention is the first large-scale event to offer organisations and individuals the chance to hear and take part in crucial debates about the United Kingdom’s future and the populist insurgencies that are sweeping Western democracies.”  The organisers of the conference need to sell it but, given the line-up of speakers – drawn from the centre across to the middle-ground of British politics and overly peopled with Guardian columnists – it is inaccurate to describe any of it as “crucial.”  “Populist insurgencies” is a disgraceful pejorative description of voters’ choices.  In Europe and the USA some people have voted for right-wing candidates and some have voted for socialist candidates.  That is not an insurgency.  There seems to be a theme regarding the selective nature of The Convention’s support for democracy.

The Convention will seek to augment the debate with detailed sessions … on the causes of populism … on politics and the media in the post-truth age.”  The Mission Statement assumes that there is a universally accepted definition of “populism.”  The word, inexplicitly but negatively defined by the users of it, is meant to be a haughty dismissal of politicians and their supporters who do not conform to an elitist status quo.  “Post-truth age” is an invention; apparently, the audacity of people to share ideas and opinions freely is a problem.

The Convention will “ask whether those who voted to leave were aware of the implications of quitting the Single Market, the Customs Union and Euratom.”  So, The Convention is keen to promote the narrative that all future cuts to public services and attacks on workers’ rights and wages should be blamed on leaving the EU rather than on decisions by the UK government..

Divisions that were exposed by last year’s campaign have hardened and there has been little attempt by the main parties to bring people together.”  The latter statement does not apply to Labour but, given the anti-Corbyn stance of the majority of the speakers at The Convention, it is no surprise that he is misrepresented.

The Convention will … seek to reassert democratic and progressive values.”  Really?  Alistair Campbell is one of the speakers; will he reassert democratic and progressive values on the British public as his good friend Tony Blair did in Iraq?

We hope you will join us for two days in May, for this is essentially about what country we want.”  The Mission Statement appears to desire a country where universal suffrage is unwelcome; only the elite “we” can decide.

In Balance at The Convention Henry Porter, one of the organisers of The Convention, repeats the themes of the Mission Statement.  “The Convention on Brexit & the Political Crash is a response to the rapid change in politics that has occurred in the West over the last year.”  What “rapid change?”  Trump is a clown but his political intent matches Republican ideology, LePen and her father have been a feature of French politics for many decades and there is no surprise that a socialist-leaning government was elected in Greece.  In most “western” countries there is a continuity of dull centrist stodge: Canada, Ireland, Germany, etc.  Porter’s “rapid change” is another push-phrase.  Perhaps, he fears a rapid change in the near future?

Porter says that “The Convention will focus on the big challenges to the United Kingdom but also on the threat to democratic and liberal values in the West.”  The choices made by some people in some countries when casting their votes in a democratic election is described as a threat to democracy by Porter.  This is insidious.  The comment “the threat to … liberal values in the West would sit comfortably in an essay produced by the Henry Jackson Society.

We will have all shades of opinion on how Britain goes forward, improves the national discourse and its politics and achieves a fairer society.”  A brief perusal of the list of speakers dispels the claim that all opinions will be heard.  The Convention wants to dictate how political discussion should progress by claiming arrogantly to seek to improve the “national discourse.”  The ambition to want to achieve a “fairer society” is contradicted by the fact that the majority of speakers are virulently anti-socialist.

There is the influence of Russia in Western democracies to consider, the threat posed to traditional media by the post-truth age, and the march of populist insurgencies across Europe.”  Again, people in democracies voting is reduced to a “march of populist insurgencies.”  Porter directly opposes the “post-truth” invention to “traditional media.”  By doing so he reveals a reason why so many professional columnists and talking heads fear a free exchange of ideas: Their profession and their individual necessity is reduced and devalued.  The Democrats in the USA continue to cry that the Russian government influenced the presidential election and similar assertions are being made regarding the presidential election in France.  These complaints insult the voters in both countries and are extremely hypocritical because France, USA, UK, etc. are constantly interfering in elections in other countries around the world.  ‘The Russians are coming!’ is an absurd stance to take and is reminiscent of 1950s USA.

We will not submit to the attacks on free discussion that have chilled the debate in Britain since the vote last year.” Is Porter referring to Tory government legislation that legalises state snooping and hacking?  Is Porter refering to the campaign to persuade social media companies to police what is arbitrarily described as “fake news?”  I assume he isn’t.

We have no respect for the equivalence that gives the same weight to those who support their arguments with empirical evidence and those who simply mouth prejudice and ignorance.”  These two types of “argument” are not opposites, they are not wholly distinct and they are not exhaustive of all possible methods of asserting a political opinion.  Porter describes a false binary polarisation and then demands that one its components – general opinions – should not be trusted.  He wants the right to express an opinion to be for professionals only.

Henry Porter expands on his Russian threat narrative in Why Russia is a European problem.  “The corruption and manipulation that are defining features of Russian political landscape have now begun to play a key part in distorting the democratic processes of the West.”  So, according to Porter, the rancid corruption and manipulation in the UK, France, USA, etc. in government is not the product of capitalist politicians receiving copious donations from financial gamblers and corporate tax-dodgers and is the not the product of newspapers acting entirely in the interests of the same gamblers and tax-dodgers, and the fact that the UK government is full of gimps of financial gangsters and of private healthcare vultures is purely coincidental.  Porter is deliberately excusing the real cause of intrinsically corrupt and destructive governments and instead shifting the blame to the Russian government.  The final two paragraphs of this article are David Ickeish.

The Convention’s speakers’ list, (drawn from the alumni of a variety of private schools – with a few exceptions), has many professional liberals; that is, academics, commentators and lobbyists whose earned wealth stems from pointing at a wrongdoer and declaring “I am better than he.”  A theme in the ideology of most of the speakers is disgust for the choices voters have made in many countries.  This disgust is often expressed as denigration of voters’ capacity to make an intelligent informed decision.  How dare the voters choose to believe the lies of a “populist” when they should, instead, believe the lies of a Clinton, a Macron or a Farron.  

The purpose of the The Convention is to try to devise methods of presentation that can con voters into trusting the haughty liberals.  One method is to offer the public a palliative to distract and appease them.  One of The Convention’s speakers, essayist Timothy Garton Ash, described what he thinks was a successful such palliative in Populists are out to divide us:

A great example is the development of western Europe’s combination of market economy and welfare state after 1945. This model … finally saw off the waves of communism and fascism… But what an ocean of blood, sweat and tears we had to swim through to reach that point.”  

In 1945, as a tactic of control, the capitalist class addressed starvation, homelessness and health – that is, allowed the public to have basic human rights – to ward off a threat of insurrection.  Ash’s description encapsulated the liberal thinking: Keep the masses quiet by giving them the barest essentials.  (Today, the welfare state is being destroyed by the Tories with the assistance of Clegg’s Liberal Democrats for five years and with the assistance of Progress Labour MPs who abstained on a vote in parliament for a welfare destruction bill; the latter group includes Lisa Nandy who is one of the speakers at The Convention.)

Another of The Convention’s speakers is ‘political economist’ and ex-Observer editor Will Hutton.  His day job is to complain about mistakes in capitalist exploitation while simultaneously acting as its apologist.  In Hutton on RBS he positioned capitalism as an uncontrollable entity impervious to human intervention, dismissed a challenge to this entity’s existence and then sugar-coated the entire purpose of the existence of capitalism:

People at large know these issues are fundamental, but business and finance seem distant, difficult-to-understand worlds over which nobody, let alone governments, seem to have much leverage. If you hold with a Corbyn-type philosophy, it is proof positive that the only solution to today’s capitalism is socialist transformation – but it is a view few share. The 20th-century experience of attempted socialist transformations is hardly encouraging. In any case, if you have regular contact with senior business executives, what is impressive is their enthusiasm to build businesses and create value rather than a hunger to exploit their workforce and cut corners.”

The above is obsequious genuflection to the deity of exploitation and is fundamentally dishonest.

The sponsorship by The Observer ensures plenty of Observer/Guardian hacks on the list of speakers.  Goodwin, Harris and Freedland are among a sorry subset of bitter professional trolls who enjoy espousing false narratives about socialism and libelling its proponents.   As mentioned above, Alistair Campbell will speak, presumably for forty-five minutes, and Tory MP and assassin of state education Michael Gove will express several different contradictory opinions, none of them sincere.

Co-organiser of The Convention Mark Choueke declares “voters have yet to be included in this election. That changes now” in Choueke’s unempowered electorate.  This promotional leaflet, written in a condescending style, invents and embellishes a scenario in order to reach a disappointing conclusion.

Voters from a range of backgrounds and political affiliations are staring down the barrel, concerned they don’t know who to vote for” claims Choueke, stupidly.  If every voter knew exactly for whom to vote then there would be no need for any election campaigning.  Time taken to assess the options before making a choice is not “staring down the barrel” or even a “concern.”  Oddly, despite his concern about barrels, Choueke has already decided who to vote for


Your potency as a voter, indeed our democracy is hugely weakened if none of the options on offer appeal to you.”  That is true: There are conservatives, liberal democrat conservatives, Labour led by Corbyn but full of Progress conservatives and the UKIP conservatives.

Imagine any other election in which a politician campaigned for a mandate for the single biggest constitutional upheaval in the country’s history – [Brexit], with no hard evidence as to where it might leave us as a nation. Would you give him or her your vote? Not without some clear visibility of the consequences I imagine.”  Choueke chooses to assume that supporters of Brexit are ignorant.  

People on both sides of last year’s referendum split remain angry. Others are simply exhausted.”  Anger in Britain is a reaction to vicious Tory attacks on the whole of civil society, public services and workers’ rights, attacks that were enabled by Clegg’s Liberal Democrats.  (Nick Clegg is a speaker at The Convention.)

“We saw that in the referendum campaign last year. Let’s not be taken for fools again.”  I might guess that Choueke voted to remain in the EU, so he ascribes the word “foolsto the other seventeen million people.  

The remainder (no pun intended) of his promo leaflet contains melodramatic cries of anguish: “We know nothing.  I know nothing,” “we become yet more disempowered” and pleas for help: “I want proper insight as opposed to pledges,” “an honest, open conversation with all angles represented is badly needed.”  These theatrics lead to the conclusion that “a stunning-looking event called The Convention” is here to cleanse your soul and guide you through life’s treacherous paths.  However, Choueke’s proclamations have all the style, charisma and persuasive aptitude of a 1970s double-glazing salesman.  He ends with a joke: “MPs that actually want to discuss what life after Brexit could mean for real people will be at Central Hall, Westminster in two weeks time.”  I am certain that the Tory MPs speaking at The Conference and the Tory-lite Nick Clegg have neither the knowledge of nor the interest in the lives of “real” people.

Regrets Of Universal Suffrage

The centre of democratic politics has always been a con-trick.  It is conservative and as wedded to capitalist exploitation as any brazenly free-market right-of-centre party.

The centre exists to soak up opposition to capitalist exploitation and ensure that such opposition never manifests itself as a genuine challenge to capitalist control.  The centre stifles.

The centre defines itself as opposed to fascism, dictatorships and far-right politics.  Thus, it requires such far-right threats to exist even if just as an illusion.

As conservatives and as supporters of capitalist exploitation, the centre is wholly opposed to socialism and communism.  It relentlessly attacks any popular tendencies toward socialism.

The Convention is a gathering of professional centrists whose common theme is disgust for the decisions made by voters in democratic countries.  They are unhappy that the con-tricks of the capitalist elite’s gimps are being rejected and, instead, some people are voting for right-wingers who appeal to prejudice and others are voting for left-wingers who identify the real enemy: Financial gangsters.  The circle-jerk of The Convention yearns plaintively for the simple days when voters only had to choose between two cheeks of the same fraudulent arse of capitalist worship.  

Ultimately, The Convention regrets the consequences of universal suffrage.  For The Convention, electoral choice is epitomised by choosing between Clegg and Cameron.

Nick Clegg and David Cameron at Downing Street



The Convention: Rallying Cry For Centrist Control