Saturday, 27 May 2017

Manchester Attack: Blowback is not a "Theory" but a Fact.

'The “blowback theory”, which blames Islamist terrorism directly on western expeditionary warfare, is both facile and irrelevant in this case. By bombing Libya we did not enrage or radicalise young Muslims such as Abedi: we simply gave them space to operate in.'  
Paul Mason, The Guardian.
Blowback does not mean there is necessarily a 'direct' reaction to British foreign policy, in this case the decision to align with Qatari funded rebels to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi in 2011. The addition of the word 'theory' does not mean it is a theory, as it remains a fact that the Gulf States backed rebels, many of them jihadists, against Gaddafi.

Blowback tends too much to be portrayed in conspiratorial terms as the explosive consequences of a foreign policy simply exploding into one's own face instead of having the desired effect 'over there'. But it's best thought of the repatriation of a wave of jihadi violence that was unleashed abroad through networks established 'there' coming 'here'.

Paul Mason makes no mention of the role of the Gulf States when analysing the link British foreign policy and domestic jihadi terrorism. He makes the clear point that Theresa May was Home Secretary when MI5 recruited British Libyans to go and fight. Austerity cuts to policing and the security services might have caused the Manchester Attack.

Mason is right that the attacks on Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is an attempt at deflection away from security and intelligence failures-'they took the eye off the ball'. Corbyn was accused viciously yesterday of 'justifying' and 'excusing' terrorism for very meekly suggesting that there were links between foreign policy and terrorism.

If anything, Corbyn was too lame and muted. In making the claim there are links, he failed to specify how and why this was true, thus not capturing  public attention enough while not forcing the Conservatives on the defensive. Libya was not referenced directly, nor Syria, though it is clear jihadi movements were supported there by Britain's allies.

Mason supported the Libyan intervention and yet bemoans the inevitable consequences while he postures as being an anti-Establishment radical. There is still no hard evidence that David Cameron's use of air power to 'prevent a massacre' did so. He supported the rebels to show support for Qatar and Saudi Arabia in a policy of 'regime change'.

The usual 'damned if we do, damned if we don't' argument over military intervention to assist 'Muslim' causes is facile and irrelevant. The foreign policy of Britain is determined primarily by the Sunni Gulf States and not by London: Britain is a client state that assist them in realising their geopolitical goals where they coincide.

While Cameron made a choice to intervene militarily, the circumstances within which it was made for him was shaped primarily by Qatar back in 2011. It was assumed that Doha's support for 'democratic forces' meant that by assisting in installing democracies with its help, Britain could win back popular Arab Muslim support for 'our values'.

The idea this opening could ever promise that presupposed that Gulf autocracies could really back democracy abroad when they crushed dissent at home. Qatar and the Saudi had long supported jihadists whose commitment to democracy was shallow or a pose under newly formed groups that had learnt the Western commercial art of rebranding.

Stalwart supporters of former LIFG jihadists included none other than Senator John McCain who refereed to Abdel Belhadj and his fighters as 'courageous' ( unlike the 'cowardly' Manchester bomber ), denied their obvious links to Al Qaeda  and extolled them highly as 'Libyan patriots who want to liberate their country'.

Some were mujahedeen vets that fought the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s. McCain never stopped seeing everything in Cold War terms of all dissidents under dictatorships or ranged against them necessarily being staunch democratic heroes. The reality is not to get in the way of the simplistic Good vs Evil scenario.

Though it is not considered good form to openly laud jihadists as 'freedom fighters', as Margaret Thatcher did in the 1980s, it is hardly probable Cameron did not have his own worldview shaped by this dualistic way of thinking. The idea was that if Britain was seen as aligning with democrats against dictators, Islamist militancy would be defused.

The reason was the 'war on terror', which Corbyn witlessly assumed in his speech yesterday had failed in 2017, was actually dropped in 2009. The emphasis under President Obama was to support democratic processes and accept moderate Islamists in power if they won in elections, as happened, at first in Egypt, after the uprising there ousted Mubarak.

As regards Libya, there was never any evidence that if Gaddafi was overthrown that the state would not collapse completely-as it did-or that Islamists were united in regarding the ballot box rather than bombs and bullets as the way forward. The militias were only united in hatred of Gaddafi and jihadi-salafists were prominent in them.
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If there was no plan for what would happen if things went wrong in Libya, then military assistance should not have been given by Britain. The omission by Mason of the role of Qatar in bankrolling rebels, many of whom were former or actual jihadists in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, invalidates the attempt to make narrow political points.

The question is, of course, about why intelligence allowed the Abedis to slip off the radar after MI5 had recruited British Libyans to go and fight in the uprising. Yet further to this, there is a need to  accept that the jihadists affiliated with Al Qaeda were operating in Libya and that the Gulf states were supporting this.

The idea the British national security state had no idea that the rebels on the ground from Benghazi had a large contingent of jihadists amongst them is fantastical. Either they did, in which case the British state turned a blind eye in the wishful hope they could be 'neutralised later, or they did not, in which case they were incompetent.

If the British security services did not know there were Al Qaeda rebels fighting against Gaddafi and that those such as Abedi would potentially be aligned with them, ( Ramadan Abedi had been in the LIFG in the 1990s when he sought asylum in the UK ), then the value of the security cooperation with the Saudis might be challenged.

The weight of the evidence is that the British security state had knowledge of British Libyan connections with Al Qaeda or the potential for them to become radicalised there. They took the risk in 2011, knowing the Gulf States were backing jihadi rebels, because geopolitical and commercial interests trumped domestic security.

Friday, 26 May 2017

The Manchester Attack is Blowback from Libya and Syria.

The hypocrisy of politicians predictably accusing Jeremy Corbyn of being 'crass' or 'insensitive' for mentioning the obvious link between jihadist terror attacks is deeply repellent. The Manchester Attack is clearly blowback from two regions where Britain foreign policy failed catastrophically-Libya and Syria.

The suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was a British born son of a Libyan jihadist given asylum in the early 1990s as a refugee from Gaddafi's regime. He came from a jihadi militant background an, in this sense, was radicalised from birth and not as part of a mysterious process of 'radicalisation' or being targeted online by Islamic State.

Abedi was a 'mule' for other jihadists with bomb making skills that could be at large as part of a network of bomb making experts that learnt their skills and imbibed their ideology in the lands inhabited by Al Qaeda and Islamic State. The ideology and jihadi experience is a consequence of Gulf State backing blowing back to Britain.

Westminster elites would rather not have Saudi Arabia and Qatar mentioned as powers that bankroll Sunni jihadism global in order to advance their geopolitical designs and to divert internal discontent outwards. It is the responsibility, however, to mention that the form of Islam these powers promote has lethal effects elsewhere.

Corbyn could only be criticised if he just appears to suggest that because Britain acted to intervene militarily in majority Muslim lands that there was bound to be an extreme form of protest through jihadism. This has been the argument of certain ideologues in the StWC of which Corbyn was long the chairman.

The Libya Connection-The Manchester Attacks as Blowback.

But the facts are clear. The Abedis were deeply involved in jihadi causes in Libya, ones that were advanced by David Cameron's desire to align with Qatar in using British air power to empower Sunni militia rebel forces against Gaddafi and to overthrow him in 2011. The result was predictable a failed state.

Into the chaos in Libya, ISIS was able to nestle and gain ground. Abedi's father is said to have been a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group back in the 1990s before it became proscribed as an Al Qaeda affiliated jihadi organisation. The former members of that group were part of the rebel side in fighting Gaddafi.

The LIFG was backed by Britain in an attempt to take out Gaddafi in 1996. This was before the 9/11 attacks on New York meant, according to Tony Blair, that 'the rules of the game have changed'. Jihadists went from being potential assets on the global geopolitical chessboard to being an evil to be defeated everywhere in a 'war on terror'.

Between 2001 and around 2009, when David Miliband, the then Foreign Minister, officially dropped the label 'war on terror', Britain colluded with Gaddafi's regime in 'rendering terrorist suspects' and in crushing Islamist activity. However, at some stage between 2009 and 2011, Islamist once more became an asset to be mobilised.

Blair had previously been willing to back dictators where they supported British geopolitical interests. The realignment with Gaddafi in 2003, bringing him from out of the cold as a mad dog and terrorist pariah to being a new rebranded model benign despot, was about him giving up his WMDs in return for not facing Saddam's fate in Iraq.

Blair muscled in to seal a deal that secured BP access to Libya's oil wealth. Domestic Islamist opponents, including the Abedis no doubt, quite evidently saw the repellent double standards of Britain having first supporting them and then dropping their cause once it had got access to the oil wealth they had been excluded from.

The Manchester Attack is clear blowback from Libya, though Corbyn would probably not use that term. What is clear is Qatar financed the rebellion against Gaddafi and Britain was prepared either to overlook its jihadist component in order to advance its geopolitical interests in Libya and to side with the Gulf states in this project.

One reason is that Gaddafi had clearly lost de facto control over Libya with the huge rebellion in the east of the country led by forces from Benghazi in what historically was called Cyrenaica. It was in this region that most of the opposition both to Gaddafi and the Italian colonisers in 1911 had historically been based.

The Syrian Connection as a Blowback Factor.

Another reason, as Patrick Cockburn has argued, is for the commercial and political benefits Britain gets from the alliance with the Gulf states, despite their support for global jihadi groups from Libya to Syria. These include lucrative arms deals and military training programmes and these benefits trump the costs.

Salman Abedi is said to have travelled to Syria. There Al Qaeda affiliated groups were directly supported by Saudi Arabia in order to advance the power of Sunni militias against an Assad that the Conservative Party kept insisting 'must go', despite evidence that it would create another failed state and extend the power of IS.

These are the brutal facts. Commercial interests and multi-billion pound arms deals mean the real source of global jihadi terrorism in states such as Saudi Arabia, which use oil wealth to promote an intolerant Wahhabi version of Islam cannot be publicly mentioned and cannot be accepted and acknowledged.

So when any terrorist attack by jihadists occurs, politicians cannot mention Wahhabi Islam or criticise it and there is waffle about 'extremism'. Extremists are jihadists who attack or threaten to attack the West. But they have the same outlook and ideology of many 'moderate rebels' that served British geopolitical interests in Syria.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Notes on Jeremy Corbyn, Noam Chomsky and National Security Threats.

Noam Chomsky's intervention and approval of Labour under Momentum could well be timely in that as the last month of the General Election campaign as Corbyn makes headway with getting the policy messages across and which raise the possibility of a popular alternative. The need to destroy it with propaganda is coming.

Even words like 'Corbynista' are loaded words as the imply anyone who is for Corbyn as a politician as Labour leader is some sort of Latin American style revolutionary, similar to the 'Chavistas' of Chavez's '21st Century Socialism in Venezuela'. Corbyn's past as firebrand is already saved up as the evil folk demon card to be played.

As Corbyn seems to make some headway, the Tory propaganda machine will move from portraying Corbyn in the last few weeks not merely as an agent of chaos but as a dangerous national security threat : the focus will switch laser like in to zapping Corbyn with the rhetorical equivalent of Drone strikes.

Corbyn will be 'pro-Kremlin stooge', supporter of Hamas and Hizbollah terrorists, apologist for the Soviet Union-or just a communist-and a figure who would talk to ISIS or allow terrorist attacks to happen and remove Britain's defences. The fear card will be played if Corbyn looks as though he might be an alternative.

The Tories have every reason to transform the Brexit Election into a democratic form of coup 'detat, portraying Corbyn as both a threat to Britain's higher national interests and as a sneering enemy within who would both sabotage Britain's position with the EU. weaken its hand and destroy the vital special relationship with the US.

Chomsky is probably aware of Corbyn's potential sacrifice, as it falls in with his idea that big business corporations and money power in fact created a manufactured political consensus that is not to be challenged from outside by grassroots political movements. Corbyn could be a sort of Allende style figure in Chile.

Given that the US probably is not positioning itself for supporting a fascist coup in Britain, as in Chile in 1973, the emphasis would be on the way propaganda conflates a genuine alternative with an enemy within and how the national surveillance and security state could be used to force through a Tory led Brexit.

Even so, as Corbyn subverts and overturns the assumption he was merely a 'lame duck leader', corporate mainstream media is set to act as a pliant tool of the government in spreading the message that a vote for Corbyn is a vote for chaos and the destruction of the United Kingdom itself in the face of the EU.

The right-wing media has already demonised liberal leftists as 'enemies of the people' for insisting on constitutional rulings in the way Brexit bills are passed. Gove is vying for an essential position linking the May government with Murdoch's retake of SKY News: his idea of seamless threats within and without could chime with the times.

As Brexit, a domestic and foreign policy agenda rolled into one, proceeds, the perceived danger of internal factions within and without the Labour Party conspiring to sabotage Brexit by covert means and sinister devious manoeuvring will become a routine staple of tabloid propaganda, led by agents of change like Gove.

Gove has already compared Brexit with the English Reformation of Tudor times when Britain's special path to modernity apart from the European continent was launched. Gove has compared his own role in the Leave campaign and vision of Britain as one, a renewed Protestant repositioning of the UK as a Global Power.

For the Tories as effectively a New National British Party and the Establishment, Corbyn is regarded as an asset that could deliver success by being 'extreme'. Yet the fact he's actually coming across better than expected means that to get the strong and stable government with strong negotiating hand, Corbyn is a threat.

The iron heel approach in Britain would never involve the use of the military for political purposes, unless violent anarchy and violence broke out if Brexit lead to economic chaos and political revolution. This is unlikely. But it could involve May using the security state and spies to assert control over the state against enemies.

 

Notes on Noam Chomsky and Jeremy Corbyn.

Chomsky claimed the future must lie with the left of the party. "The constituency of the Labour party, the new participants, the Momentum group and so on … if there is to be a serious future for the Labour party that is where it is in my opinion" Corbyn's concept of democracy, of extending it down into as many branches of public life outside the party and empowering the people to empower themselves in clearly influenced by Chomsky's idea of decentralised and consensual democracy at each and every level of society. Chomsky is an anarcho-syndicalist.

The problem for Corbyn is that Brexit hangs over his leadership and that of the party. It could be that with the membership in control of selecting leaders, Corbyn is playing a long game beyond the election and would be re-elected if he hold up the Labour vote or even if he does not, as Momentum could shore him up.

Certainly, Theresa May's attempt to ram through an early General Election victory so soon after Brexit are in the manner of an attempt to justify an 'elective dictatorship' through executing a 'shock doctrine' style of campaign in which national interest is at stake and Corbyn's Labour is a threat to the national security.

Despite May's attempt to portray herself as a sort of 1950s school headmistress, strict but patriotic and given to choreographed Battle of Britain style pep talks, she is a British version of the new authoritarian nationalist security and surveillance states shored up by a pliant unfree media and semi-democratic component.

Emerging greyly from within the British Establishment through her time as Home Secretary, the Brexit process could see her using the security state to monitor counter elites without a party for conspiring and plotting by subterfuge and sabotage to undermine first Corbyn in Labour and then to plan blocking any form of Brexit.

Anti-Brexiteers have no party and no democratic means other than launching a bid for leadership within Labour and even, if Corbyn stands again for leadership if he loses the election, to try and launch a coup by dramatically setting up a new party and drawing MPs from a Momentum dominated party.

For Chomsky this would be an attempt at 'deterring democracy', both through trying to overthrow the referendum verdict and in preventing a Labour Party representing people outside the Westminster elites. But it's a consequence of there not being a voting system based on proportional representation, about which Chomsky says nothing.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Failure of Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn's weakness is in his weak base in a PLP that mostly cannot wait for the election to be over to have the next pretext to get shot of him, either to reposition the party purely as a vote winning machine on behalf or monied corporate interests or else to get rid of a lame 'unpatriotic' leader who cannot win affection or respect.

As soon as May wins the election, a civil war and the possibility of a coup in Parliament is possible if Corbyn stands for re-election and cannot be removed because of continued membership support. Indeed, Mandelson and Blair are working with Progress and Lord Sainsbury to form a breakaway Progress Party.

The Deputy leader, Tom Watson, is a key figure in Progress and could be plotting with Blairites to stage an internal party coup. He lurks menacingly behind Corbyn like a thug at every opportunity to try and intimidate him and Corbyn only has rectitude enough to blank out these plotters 'as if' they were not there.

Even so, Corbyn's position is weak and his reaction to internal party dissent, especially from Watson, is to allow it to go on as if it was not there in preparation for the real business of politics that will go on once he can remove him. Corbyn has remained aloof from it, the better to position himself as martyr figure.

Corbyn needed to have stamped his moral authority on the PLP more than he has, using arguments and rhetoric with energy and zeal. All he can manage is flat, cautious statements as well as the Tony Benn style 'collegiate' approach in which divisions, in-fighting and plots is rationalised as 'diversity of opinion'.

Antisemitism Controversy.

The anti-Semitism controversy could have been resolved by clear moral leadership and him taking a position with precision and authority. But Corbyn doesn't believe in that as he naively thinks that getting round a table and talking things through with unsavoury figures is a substitute to setting clear lines of authority.

Hatred for Israeli policy has spilt over into anti-Semitism in certain part the Labour Party movement as they see Israel first as an outpost of US capitalism and imperialism and then 'the Jews' as all powerful in British politics and over Labour as a lobby group. Corbyn, wanting the Muslim vote, remained silent.

Part of the problem is that there is an Israeli lobby wanting to use money power and propaganda to steer the Labour Party towards Blairite norms. Their elegant, suave and ruthless representative in Britain is the emissary Mark Regev. His job to advocate Israel's battle against Hamas as one of the left against Islamofascism.

Corbyn could easily have drawn a distinction between criticism of Israeli state policy in respect of Gaza and the anti-Semitism as expressed by Hamas ideology. He failed to do that because he aligns with the underdog against 'the imperialist power' and retains silences on aspects of the struggle that don't fit the creed.

Bumbling on the Syria Question.

Corbyn does not understand the complexities of Middle East power politics. Ever since the Syrian Civil War broke out, the previous supposed unity of British Muslims 'against imperialism' has been shattered as many actually this time wanted military intervention against Assad for slaughtering Sunni co-religionists.

Corbyn had a problem framing this complicated issue where many British Sunnis were not against intervention in the way they were against Saddam Hussein in 2003. The best he could do was to call for a regional settlement involving all the Great Powers, the right one he stumbled on only through realising the West had already lost.

It was quite obvious that military intervention by the Western Powers to remove Assad would have the same result as it has elsewhere, as in Libya, by at least early 2013. Corbyn was only ever interested in the Syria Question according to what the West did or did not do: everything else was an afterthought.

Opposition to war has to be intelligent and constructive , based on objective knowledge and understanding of the geopolitical stakes for the regional and global powers concerned. Corbyn only ever seems interested in prating about the need for peace without actually understanding how and why wars start or escalate.

Corbyn is not so sharp as he never had to learn how to sharpen complicated issues into a rhetoric that would communicate the dangers of specific foreign policies. He used his backbench position to virtue signal in Parliament and please the crowd outside, the voices of protest and those otherwise ignored outside Westminster.

However, emitting pacific platitudes or anti-war riffs to a crowd does not translate necessarily into an understanding of complicated foreign policy dilemmas. In that sense, Corbyn's simplistic peace propaganda was just a mirror image of the simplistic approach Blair took towards war as an instrument of utopia.

Whereas Blair believed Labour's internationalism meant aligning with the US in wars to liberate people everywhere from the iron grip of dictatorship and terror, Corbyn simply believed the opposite: that dictators only existed as a total consequence of Western foreign policies in the first place and because of war.

Whereas Blair believed that determination to 'do it' in foreign policy was the way to reshape the world, Corbyn believed more in Britain setting a moral example of not doing, not selling weapons abroad, not having a war machine and that if the UK didn't do what it does, if it 'stopped', the world would be made better.

Both positions were shallow. But Blair's was obviously the far more destructive course and so, as the disasters of the Iraq War and even the war in Afghanistan became clear, Corbyn was bound to be seen as having been right all along and so the vacuity and emptiness of his stances seen as constancy of moral purpose and 'authority'.

Exercising authority does not mean regimenting people as Blair did. It would mean, at least, stating a case clearly with precision and sticking to it. Corbyn just doesn't have this ability, he seems always to be emerging later and reacting to events once they have been allowed to go on without him. That's not leadership.

The sluggish reaction to a potential international crisis over Trump's missile strikes in March 2017 made that plain. Corbyn needed to have come out immediately with a position on that. Instead he emerged a day later and reeled out a lame set of wooden platitudes about 'the need for a political settlement'.

This is why Corbyn cannot be imagined as a Prime Minister. He simply lacks quickness of thought and the necessary mental agility. 'Not being Blair' is not enough. A thoughtful leader rather than an impulsive one would be welcome, but not one who treats global power politics like a concerned Islington social worker.

Corbyn's failure is assured on June 8th 2017. His fans will rationalise his failure by pretending it was only due to media manipulation and his demonization and not due to his lack of political skills or the intuition, correct as it happens, that Corbyn is a shifty ideologue interested in the people and peace only as an abstraction.

Corbyn is undoubtedly sincere in hating injustice and hypocrisy. Yet that is always in danger of shading into moral nihilism or the idea that any opposition to Imperial Power means that any form of opposition is politically inevitable unless the root causes of the injustice are ripped up and the cause triumphs.

Corbyn no doubt abjures violence but, having lived a comfortable and sheltered life as middle class radical, he tends to believe naively that violence has causes that can be rationalised according to simplistic politically correct lines. In this sense he is as much a failure as Tony Blair who was quite similar in this sense.

Post-Liberal Brexitland: Money Power and the Security State

'In a recent Times column Michael Gove described May as “post-liberal”. That line about responsibilities to others outweighing our rights as individuals helps to define what Gove meant'.

With Gove it's difficult not see dark ironies in him projecting a 'post-liberal' agenda on to May. May is a dull authoritarian functionary posing as a One Nation Conservative in the tradition, ironically, of Edward Heath in part, of Thatcher as regards 'batting for Britain', and Major, in being 'stable' and greyly banal.

It's difficult to know whether May means a word she says on the 'vision thing' about society being a partnership and a commitment to conserving communities and country against selfish and atomised individualism. It could just be rhetoric to assure voters that the future with be identifiably that of the country inherited.

This does not cohere, as Monbiot points out, with the use of Tudor period statutory instruments to push through global corporate control over resources. Conservatism under May could turn out to be anything but 'conservative' as regards building all over England with new bricky boxes and handing power to developers.

May's wearing of grey, choreographed 'Battle of Britain' pep talks in factories up and down the land positions her as though a head mistress from a school located somewhere in the 1950s, the sort of being that might appear on a Sunday evening murder mystery detective series. It's carefully contrived.

May is actually a calculating authoritarian who saw the chance to create a more powerful national security state and to draw in a pliant media and semi-democratic Westminster model of politics, to recreate the United Kingdom once more as a US satellite power along a British version of Turkey, Russia and the US.

The economic volatility and political discontent ahead could require a surveillance state and widespread use of spies to root out those 'enemies within' plotting to leak secrets to EU in order to sabotage Brexit negotiations. Gove has made himself of use as acting a chief propagandist for the idea of outing plots.

Gove is positioning himself as the key middle man and fixer between the May government and Rupert Murdoch's retaking of control over SKY News. There is set to be a lot of propaganda for and against Brexit as power elites battle to control public opinion once Corbyn has been eliminated by a Blairite Labour coup.

For all the rhetoric of Burkean conservatism, the reality is Britain is dominated by money power and the battle between pro and anti-EU elites in which 'the people' are regarded as a gullible herd to manipulated this way of that by their betters. The Leave verdict solved nothing and the elite conflict will continue.

The idea that politics in Britain is actually that democratic is a myth. Even Corbyn refuses to embrace electoral reform because he is thinking of party and self interest rather than what the country needs. But as Brexit proceeds, electoral reform and protecting the rule of law and liberty is going to become more important.

It is a pity that the times called for an opposition leader who was a real alternative and could only throw up Corbyn. Despite his weakness, there is a need for a grassroots movement to agitate for electoral reform and to reshape the state Britain is in away from the control of unaccountable corporate money power.

Sentiment in Action-Jeremy Corbyn.

'When Corbyn won the Labour leadership election, he told voters: “You don’t have to live without power and without hope. Things can and will change.”'

Nothing will change on June 8 precisely because the manifesto, though it has many good policies, is lead by Corbyn who defines 'sentiment in action'. To propose a radical change for Britain requires a leader who has the ability to change the national conversation through oratory and energy and passion.

Corbyn does not have that. He has rectitude, the idea that he is right, that it's obvious and the policies need only largely talk for themselves. He remains curiously 'anti-political' in his determination 'not to play games', not to attack the Tories while imprinting just why his vision and his policies are efficient and just.

It's largely pointless to try to convince Corbyn fans that such a Labour leader with new policies is both long overdue and yet, when he came, was utterly lame. He remains curiously flat and drained, lacking the energy and wit to carry the day with the policies he has that are popular, such as utility nationalisation.

The fact is that Brexit requires leader and a 'team' that appears to be on the ball and to know what its doing. Corbyn ought to have ruthlessly fired Dianne Abbot for not even knowing basic maths as regards the new police officers it has. She isn't very bright and being 'nice' simply isn't enough to be a leader.

Any response that 'we don't want a shiny con man in a suit like Blair' misses the point. Like it or not, the Opposition leader is a leader and if he isn't seen to be leading his own party with any authority, the electorate isn't going to trust him to be able to represent the national interest at a time of leaving the EU.

Blair was actually an appalling leader who hollowed out his party by filling it with on message clones and replacing party debates with choreography. Corbyn has gone to the other extreme, in posing as a 'not Blair' tribal totem pole for the disaffected with politics to rally around, a gnomic guru figure pointing the way forwards..

The feeling that 'rhis is the man' that has been waited for has led to any criticism of Corbyn being subjected to poisonous invective. In fact, Corbyn fans are quite like the Blairites in seeing their leader as a sort of messiah, though a prophet of the cause of the previously ignored and funnel of the 'real people'.

The uncritical praise for Corbyn is out of an understandable sense of desperation. Yet for all the rhetoric of empowering the ordinary people, some people are more ordinary than others. The basic democratic way to empower people would be to agitate for proportional representation. On that, only silence from Corbyn.

When asked in 2016 about PR voting Corbyn just opined, while effectively ignoring it and not giving a straight answer, "I believe in the wisdom of ordinary people'. He then started talking about the need to extend democracy down to the work place and at every level of society, as though worker's councils were about to form.

It was Corbyn's version of democratic centralism. Refusing to mention PR voting as a goal or to put it forward is not 'empowering' people. It's the one big factor causing falling participation and interest in elections. Putting forward the sorts of alternative policies could help, but PR voting is an essential means better ends.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

All We are Saying is Give Us a Chance: The Failures of Sentimental Progressivism.

Tiny Tim Farron's 'Lib Dem's are flailing around in the political void, trying to pretend as if the Leave verdict has not happened and scrambling around desperately to snatch votes in order to position itself as Britain's third party without actually having much to say or many policies of much appeal or relevance.

The attempt to be the third position party has meant Farron being blokey about town, as Scouse as he can be, verbally jousting a few times with 'real people' as a PR stunt and spending most of his time posing as the nice guy of heart: nearly every news item has Farron in school posing with kids somewhere. It's pathetic.

Legalising pot is an obvious populist attempt to snatch youth votes, though anyone with enough money and a dealer can get cannabis anyway. Farron himself, however, seems to be some sort of alleged Christian; in which case the combination of wish thinking amidst pot smoke would make him appropriately progressive.

The problem is that Corbyn has already inadvertently cornered the political market for soggy half baked progressivism, at least in his foreign policy of 'just give peace a chance'. It's obvious the progressive wars of New Labour failed. But just 'not' doing what Blair and Brown did is a start and not a political end.

Corbyn, in any case, shares Blair's idea that Britain is a Global Player and World Power. He just puts a radical Tony Benn spin on Britain's supposed major role in the world by suggesting that Britain has the duty to set a moral example by promoting peace rather than war, as if Britain was really that important.

Farron, by contrast, positioned himself as being for Trump's missile strikes against Assad while being against Trump. This opened up space for him to be against Assad and for the Special Relationship with the US without actually having to bother understanding the complexities of the Syrian Conflict while Remaining Good.

Corbyn is in a stronger position as he has come out as anti-Trump as a means of hinting that Labour is against having an unconditional Special Relationship and is only against this President. But his wooden platitudes about the need for a political settlement are as obvious as they are superfluous without any deeper analysis.

It's obvious the Syrian conflict needs a political settlement involving all the regional and global players. Corbyn is right on that but needed to have taken on directly opposing arguments from those such as Tom Watson , the Deputy Leader. that the strikes were 'limited and proportional'. He needed to stamp his authority on the debates.

Trump's missile strikes were purest posturing designed to show Saudi Arabia that the US was back to business as usual in aligning with it against its regional enemies. The humanitarian pretext that Assad used chemical weapons remains unproven. Corbyn should have come out immediately with a response but waited a day.

Corbyn's emergence a day later after the missile strikes, merely to repeat a set of lines without much energy or urgency, was one among many examples of his lack of leadership. To an extent, it could be that he has been told to hold back on foreign policy so as to deflect attention away from Tory focus on him as a security threat.

The problem with Corbyn's determination 'not to play politics' and to 'deal only with policies and the issues that matter', is that he appears aloof and unconcerned about attacks on him, incapable of defending himself and turning attacks profitably to use. Many voters pick up on this and sees a leader with no backbone or energy.

Corbyn's manner is too much an attempt to slough off the Tony Blair era and model of highly dynamic leadership. But he has gone too far in the opposite direction with this kitschy form of 'kinder politics' as well as aiming to empower the masses to empower themselves through him, which calls into question what his use as leader is.

Labour is lumbered with the role of trying to be united around policies and presentation that are there 'as if' Brexit was not hanging over Britain. It might be that Corbyn could survive this General Election defeat and reposition the party as a 'real alternative'. After all, the Blairites offer nothing other than reversing Brexit.

Farron is facing obsolescence too as after the Election. Blair and Mandelson are already plotting a Labour Coup or else creating a new Progress Party in league with those such as Nick Clegg which would succeed the Lib Dems and shunt a Corbyn occupied Labour to the side. They are vying to reverse Brexit.

This makes the Election a sort of absurdity, where most of the PLP is simply going through the motions before the next pretext to try and get rid of Corbyn as leader and reposition the party as Anti-Brexit and Farron is affecting to be against an 'extreme version of Brexit' that actually just means he is against Brexit entirely.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

'Fake' Opposition to the UK National Security State.

'Can you remember where you were on 27 May 2007?" Emily asked, after Fallon had brought up Jeremy Corbyn’s associations with the IRA. ...He had been at a celebration party in Syria to commiserate with President Assad over only getting 99% of the vote and to wish him all the best with the genocide of his own country.' Given that the Syrian Uprising and consequent war started in 2011 and not 2007, it is difficult to see how Michael Fallon "celebrated" Assad's victory or that there was , in fact, any "genocide". Assad led a brutal regime, yet one not by any means worse than the Saudi regime that both Tory and Labour value as ally.

There was actually a plan to destabilise Syria and remove Assad going back as far as 2006. By 2009, Obama was in and having a stable Syria was considered part of the necessary regional diplomacy in allowing US to stabilise Iraq and for troops to start withdrawing from that country in the course of 2011

When Assad seemed he was going to 'go', as had Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, and as US troops were already pulling out of Iraq, it seemed too much of an opportunity to waste and one that would please both Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States in having a Sunni state to balance a Shia dominated Iraq and a democracy too.

Much of the British Labour Party's shift against military intervention in the Middle East is as much about 'detoxifying' it from the influence of Tony Blair as striking out on a genuinely new foreign policy. Corbyn's rise as Labour leader is an obvious symptom of the reaction against him . Yet Labour remains "internationalist".

This is supposed to indicate Britain's Labour Party has a history of international solidarity with the suffering and oppressed everywhere. The geopolitical realities of Britain's foreign policy, including the deep centrality of the strategic cooperation with Saudi Arabia and how that has a wider impact, is generally unmentionable.

True, Emily Thornberry has made token criticism of Britain's determination via BAE to supply weapons to the Saudi regime calling for a suspension of sales while it slaughters civilians in Yemen. However, Thornbury made no attack on Fallon's argument that Saudi Arabia was right to wage war on the Houthis in Yemen in 'defence'.

The obvious reason is that Thornberry only wants to raise the human rights issue as regards air raid on Yemen but not to actually criticise the alliance itself or the war in Yemen. It's all about branding Labour as having an "ethical foreign policy" as it was under Robin Cook before '"Blair's War" in Iraq in 2003.

Yet the only basis for Thornberry's criticism of Fallon over meeting Assad is precisely that he is hypocritical, that Assad should have been all the more of an enemy after 2011. Given that overthrowing Assad was a Saudi foreign policy ambition in its proxy war with Iran, it is curious Thornbury supports this but not its other war on Yemen.

In fact, Thornberry is simply playing her part in the Westminster choreography on foreign policy, pretending she is offering a real foreign policy criticism when she believes much the same thing as Fallon does. For it is not clear Thornbury would call for ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia given the jobs in Labour seats it provides.

Moreover, the chance to criticise Fallow for the national security argument for aligning behind Saudi foreign policy was not made. This is despite hard evidence Riyadh has supported Al Qaida affiliated jihadi militants against Assad and in Yemen against its enemies there as part of the proxy wars Britain backs.

Instead, it is much easier to pretend that Thornberry really supports an entirely different foreign policy, one that uses promoting democracy and human rights-"our values"-as a branding device to assert geopolitical, commercial and resource interests against regional and global competitors, interests that fixed ones.

Corbyn might well support a very different foreign policy in so far as he actually has one beyond 'give peace a chance'. But he's been put under wraps so that others can make a supposedly "credible" foreign policy "alternative" to the Tories. But it is the presentation, the "public diplomacy" spin that is the only difference.

Until the actual reality of Britain's foreign policy is discussed, articles such as this are footling and irrelevant, depending on the "narcissism of small differences". Ed Miliband, the previous leader, supported the Libyan disaster in 2011. Labour supported 'Assad must go' and only changed its line by 2013 temporarily.

One reason for Miliband's opposition to joining in with a US attack on Syria was the Iraq and Libya precedents and to take advantage of public opposition. Yet the rise of ISIS caused by Saudi Arabian and Gulf State support for jihadists remains a strictly off limits discussion for Labour because of the lucrative strategic cooperation.

Britain remains trapped in its absurd posture of being a Global Player long since the decline of Britain as a Great Power. As Brexit proceeds, Britain could become all the more a supine and subservient client state of the US and Saudi Arabia because of the BAE arms deals to the energy rich Gulf States as a War with Iran beckons.

Should President Trump shift the US towards a war with Iran to knock out a major Assad client and tilt the balance of power back away from Russia's favour in Syria and the Greater Middle East, Labour ought to be criticising the underlying basis for the unconditional alignment with the US and Saudi Arabia as dangerous.

The reason Labour would not do that is they are still positioning themselves as model willing pupils of the US once Corbyn is defeated, merely criticising the style Trump has and his bad public diplomacy rather than the actual commitment to supporting Gulf State ambitions and the way the proxy war has ramped up terrorist threats.

The Russian Conspiracy Theory as Washington Myth.

President Trump claims he had the 'absolute right' to disclose to Russia's Sergei Lavrov what his critics regard as 'classified information' obtained from allied intelligence sources in co-operation with the global 'Five Eyes' surveillance apparatus. The media and opposition are seeing this as proof of the 'Russian conspiracy'.

The simplest explanation is the best. Trump simply does not know what he is doing, he's learning on the job and his domestic critics are both embittered and frustrated that a reality TV star did better than all the political establishment candidates they threw up to challenge and stop Trump getting into the White House.

It's 'alleged' he gave classified info away on counter-terrorism, information gained from allies in The Middle East. There is a powerful Saudi lobby in US politics that might be worried as he's off to Riyadh soon and there might be hostility to Trump in these quarters. Given Trump's support for the Saudis, it's unlikely.

Trump is incompetent. The Russian conspiracy is just about pretending Russia is to blame for their system being dysfunctional and throwing up a complete cretin as President. They need to frame it as a Russian conspiracy to make the US establishment seem 'credible' compared to Trump the intruder from the outside.

Articles such as this are full of insinuation about 'Trump's collusion with Russia'. This is the necessary myth because the US is branded a 'liberal democracy' ready to spread its values across the globe and was thwarted only when that great champion of democracy against evil dictators known as Hillary Clinton.

Trump was praised when he did a 180 degree spin from stating he would be prepared to work with Russia and Syria wasn't 'our business' to being a staunch interventionist overnight when he used Assad's alleged gas attack as a pretext to upgrade America's bargaining strength by firing missiles at Assad's airbase.

Hillary meanwhile preempted Trump as a sort of deranged shadow president in fantasising maniacally about taking out his entire air force in ways that could have ratcheted up the carnage in the name of 'our values' to an even higher level than it has already. As bad as Trump is, his response could have been far worse.

Trump is not 'Putin's puppet'. This accusation is just a means to position herself more favourably with a US public that is largely naïve about how global power politics works and that wants to believe its foreign policy is more moralised than that of post-Cold War Russia and committed to democracy rather than resource interests.

President Trump has made it more obvious that the US is run at the top by an oligarchy with a controlled democratic component and that is bad for US 'public diplomacy'. This is what makes Trump a threat, he's too stupid to play the public diplomatic game and maintain the pretence upon which US 'credibility' has been based.

Hillary Clinton is very much attached to Saudi lobbyists. The national security state interests that both she, embittered and deranged by her failure as she is, and the rest of the establishment media are concerned to uphold require Trump be made a Putin stooge. For Saudi Arabia is hostile to Putin's Russia.

That is clear where their geopolitical interests clash as over Syria. But Trump, while wanting a 'hard headed' realpolitik relation with Russia, is also very much pro-Saudi to the point he might be swayed into ratcheting up hostilities with Iran. This could happen if he needs to overcompensate for having blurted out secrets to Lavrov.

Trump is clearly incompetent but he is not a 'Russian stooge'. It is just that Russian diplomacy and geopolitics has been more successful than America's in recent years and that was clear under Obama and his failed policies towards Syria, first formulated by none other than Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

Blaming Trump for Russian diplomatic successes is going to be convenient as he can be discredited as a scapegoat for broader US domestic and foreign policy failures, the better to reposition those elites who want a reversion again to business as usual and to cover up their own trail of failed policies and dysfunctional aggression.


NB Update 9,30. The intelligence is now said to have come from Israel.

Friday, 12 May 2017

The Demonisation of Jeremy Corbyn as National Security Threat

“It’s nonsense – we know he wants scrap Trident, abandon our allies and would rather talk to Daesh than strike its barbaric leader. We all want peace, but you can’t take tea with terrorists who order attacks on innocent civilians on our streets.”.

Mike Penning, an armed forces minister, has already emerged from the national security Establishment to fire off propaganda demonising Jeremy Corbyn as a 'national security threat'. The attacks are the rhetorical equivalent of Drone strikes, designed as character assassination designed to snuff out the messenger before any message is credible

Corbyn, as it happens, is anti-American in a  more or less reflexive way, tending to oppose any war Britain has or could join as being one of Imperialism. As a consequence, Corbyn rarely involved himself as any genuine intellectual level with the arguments for or against 'liberal' or 'humanitarian intervention'.

Corbyn was 'anti-war' because war was always and everywhere bad and evil: he was against war and, therefore, he positioned himself with radical, largely London based radicals as champion of their in group righteousness from the backbenches of Parliament in his capacity as MP for Islington, preaching to the converted.

Consequently, opposition to wars mean opposition as a 'stance' and trying to find any facts or evidence that the British state was acting not for the highest of motives but for the basest. The idea of looking at more complicated and nuanced explanation for being drawn into wars in the Middle East, one more disturbing, did not happen.

Opposition to Trident on its own rationale, that it is not of much military use and is just about Britain's absurd status as Global Player, was not made by Corbyn : he would just avoid those grounds for not renewing it and make the usual platitudes about working towards a world of peace in which nuclear weapons would never need to be used.

Penning insinuates Corbyn has said things he has not: not unconditionally following the US into a war in Syria against Assad is not about "abandoning our allies". But so long as Corbyn could be portrayed as advocating that, so long as those allies mean the US and unmentioned others, no arguments further are needed.

These allies include Saudi Arabia, the globe's leading promoter of intolerant Wahhabi Islam which executes people for sorcery and witchcraft and helped bankroll and back with arms the Sunni jihadist militias within the FSA, that helped create the space and opportunity for ISIS to gain ground in Syria and storm into Iraq in 2014.

Corbyn's a flop on foreign policy, preferring to emit banal wooden platitudes about peace and love in a regional context of the Middle East where it's absurd. But he's right in challenging the equally absurd 'national security' pretext used to justify genuflecting before Riyadh on foreign policy. IS is a clone of the Saudi state in many ways.

Of course, nothing much on Saudi Arabia and the creation of the Jihadi threats that menace Britain is going to be discussed in this General Election for reasons of 'national security'. Corbyn would be under pressure just to stick to certain vacuous and populist riffs about the 'need for political settlement' and why peace is good.

The only way of opening up a proper debate would be to start criticising May's government for making Britain's streets unsafe by appeasing radical jihadism in aligning with the Gulf states over Libya and Syria, in the mistaken hope that 'democracy promotion' could be advanced over the geopolitical ambitions of their Arab clients.

The problem is that the Labour grandees who resent Corbyn being there are too firmly and unconditionally aligned with the US, that irrespective of President Trump being a bit politically incorrect, 'security is security, interests are interests'. These include the lucrative arms deals and collusion with the Saudi military and air force.

If Corbyn were to take on these interests and criticise Britain for being directly complicit in the slaughter visited upon Yemen, irrespective of its attempt to take a 'moral stance' on alleged gas attacks by Assad's forces in Syria, the Labour hierarchy, all connected to US funded think-tanks and trained in an Atlanticist doctrines, would conspire against him.

Lacking any real perspective of way of understanding how ISIS came into being, though aware Iraq had something to do with it, the majority of the British people will see Corbyn as 'soft on terrorism', not least as he is associated with a StWC which is seen wrongly as either as naively pacifist or rightly as dominated by shifty ideologues.

After the General Election, when Corbyn is removed, a new Leader will realign with the Correct Position, showing a certain amount of supposed 'independence' in criticising the choreography used to justify aligning shoulder-to-shoulder with the US over Syria. The usual platitudes will be emitted by PM May over Syria and the media will repeat them.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Jeremy Corbyn is a Softline Radical Emerging Triumphant from Below.

Interview a new member, perhaps someone who’s also joined Momentum, and they are outraged by the way they’re characterised: of course they’re not Trots; of course they’re not hardliners; they just want to do politics differently. Guardian
Corbyn is a strategic lodestar of the Labour Party who does not 'lead' in the conventional sense with any member of his. Each and every member is a seeker after truth from experience. They have Corbyn only as a moral exemplar of what they could and might be if empowered to empower themselves from the Centre out.

Corbyn's followers see and hear in Jeremy a model of doing it for themselves right in the here and now, not in some abstract future utopia or in harking back to a lost past. Policies prevail over personalities and unlike Tony Bliar, Corbyn is simply an authentic being in time and space who is not there to 'market himself'.

Corbyn believes in a new form of leadership as a facilitator of the people through policies that enable them to be valued miniature stars in their own right, with the spark of divinity, so to speak, within all. This would produce synergies in which the humanity in mind would together collectively overcome everyday material realities.

Wisdom and true autonomy comes from without Parliament which is full of pantomime actors. Corbyn is completely different, in this sense, because he wants all the people, as far as possible, to become authentic actor-workers in their own right. Revolution becomes a reality docu-soap from below, not scripted by professional manipulators.

Corbyn is leading an Uprising of the Ordinary and the otherwise Ignored from below where he intends to remain. Revolution is not a violent spectacle. It is, on the contrary, a collective process of everyday decision making free from neoliberal manipulators and rapacious outsiders telling wiser insiders how to do things.

In the NHS it means empowering doctors again to do what they do. In education, it means providing resources for the real experts in the classroom to allow the children to find answers to questions without authority oppressing them from above, free from any targets and the pressure to achieve only on paper.

Children ought to play their way in the world. Liberating the spirit within for all is a great concern for Corbyn. He has taken to heart Taoist teachings and knows that as much, if not more, could be achieved by non-doing than by doing, where everything that need not be done or said won't be and where all arises in order naturally.

Corbyn's non-presence hardly implies him hiding. It is part of his strategy to allow May's sinister national security state to demonise him and show the real nature of their power and how insecure they are in attacking him. It's rather like Obi Wan Kenobi says as Evil Darth Vader ( Theesa May ) attacks him, for him to be stronger.

'If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can ever possibly imagine' .

Corbyn is thus not a hardliner, but a softliner, one who acts as a funnel for the people's wisdom and a gnomic guru who shall overcome through Britain's first domestic experiment in total soft power. Hardness and the grim white rigid mask of power belongs to the sinister authoritarian and security state insider, Theresa May.

Corbyn will maybe endure as Leader long after the Election setback. He is not going to go anywhere fast.

The Strategic Genius of Jeremy Corbyn's Long Run Visionary Plan for Britain

Corbyn's tactical genius is clear to those taking a profoundly dialectical approach to the policies of the Leader. By shifting weight from his personality and the emphasis upon winning at any cost on to policies and repositioning the party as a genuine alternative, Corbyn's temporary failure in 2017 could mean eventual success.

Given that a large proportion of the PLP is ranged against the will of the membership in electing Corbyn, the temporary failure of Labour in historically inevitable. Yet by ridding the party of its deadweight Blair era MPs in the election, as they lose their seats right and centre, Corbyn could then take the party left to win.

Corbyn knows he faces a 'challenge of historic proportions' and the frustration with him reflects the fact he is playing a long strategic game. With Theresa May aiming at a hard exit for Britain, Corbyn is ready to sacrifice those who are expendable and have constantly plotted Blairite coups against the members.

When the historically inevitable discontent develops as Brexit proceeds, Corbyn's policies would be able to attract back Labour's core vote away from UKIP and Theresa May's workerist rhetorical conjuring tricks. The people would see through the right wing promises of national British resurrection.

Corbyn always has a vision of History and identifies with it as destiny. He knows that Britain is heading into a revolutionary period and one of radical street protest and agitation to demand ordinary people get a voice once more not only within a Parliament hitherto nothing more than a pantomime theatre but in the workplace.

A democratic long revolution is at hand with Corbyn's strategy clearly well under wraps. The Blairites are daily plotting their coup and Corbyn's low key campaign is designed to keep them paranoid and sweating it out, inviting them to make a hasty and disastrous putsch against both the party and the people.

The Disunited Brexitland: Power Struggles and Enemies Within and Without.

Once more the big missing centrepiece of any strategy to preserve liberal democracy in Britain is the absence of any mention by columnists and leading politicians of the vital need for proportional representation. The existing Westminster model of FPTP and two and a bit parties is both obsolete and dysfunctional.

Nick Cohen is less interested in practical politics that with the usual obsession with fixing and framing what it means to truly be progressive. It's a rehash of What's Left : How Liberals Lost their Way and attempt to use the crisis of the liberal left to berate Corbyn once more as a sinister bearded ideologue.

Much of Cohen's worldview is inverted Trotskyism, a messianic division of politicians into those who are evil sneering renegades and those who are naive and confused in the face of some always ever ready to appear fascist threat. There are always Kremlin plots and enemies within ready to destabilise democracy.

The real thrust of Cohen is that Corbyn is simply not interested in winning an election but in a fantasy version of politics. This is true, of course, but its equally fantasy to claim that the failure of any Progressive Alliance is wholly a consequence of Corbyn opposing some mythically 'hard Brexit'.

Nobody yet knows what exact shape Brexit will take and when many politicians say they oppose a 'hard Brexit' they mean Brexit is hard. They cannot claim they do not accept the referendum verdict in any way whatsoever. So they spin rhetoric around it to position themselves as appealing to the 48% and Leavers.

Without reform of the electoral system there will be constant subterfuge to plot the downfall of May's government and to leak negotiating secrets or work towards the EU in defeating Brexit. The right win mass media and some Tories are bound to use this to shore up nationalism and the idea of enemies within.

This is precisely why only a promise proportional representation by Labour could act as a way of creating a 'Progressive Alliance', but Corbyn is wedded to a woolly minded model of democratic centralism in which he poses as the facilitator in chief of a revolutionary of ordinary people from below against the few.

"Blairites"may well be anyone 'to the right' of Corbyn or, indeed, anyone in Labour who does not value his new form of Leadership as Guiding Prophet of the Ignored. But the fact is that this politics of plotting is the consequence of having two parties that can no longer contain political forces in Britain in 2017.

The next few years of the Brexit process could see anger boil over into destabilisation attempts within Labour and within the country, plots to sabotage Brexit by fair means or foul, street protests and clashes between disenfranchised progressives and mobilised Kippers and assorted nationalists ranged against them.

The only way conflicts could be contained and resolved civilly is through the creation of a mass movement dedicated to electoral Reform, a 21st century version of nineteenth century agitators and the Chartists working from below to force Labour to accept it or create a new party to promote overdue reforms.

The need for reform would grow urgently should the inevitable fall out and conflict within Britain over Brexit result the ramping up of the powers of an authoritarian national security state and compliant media in demonising internal enemies who are in hired traitors taking foreign gold, secret EU financing.

On the other hand, liberal groups and media that cannot accept the Leave verdict will start claiming that UKIP is part of a subversive Kremlin plot backed by covert scheming billionaires who have oligarchical ideas and interests in breaking up the EU the better to advance their financial and media interests.

Brexit is one of those epochal sea changes in history, as important as the English Tudor Reformation in the sixteenth century when Henry VIII sought a divorce from the continent and complete sovereignty over the offshore islands as 'an empire entire unto itself'. Doctrinal wars and propaganda over its future direction are certain.

As then, there will be plots and accusations of treason, power struggles at the top and a massive grabs for power and control over these islands amidst heated polemics and the ever possible breakout of violent rebellion with state coercion and spies vying for information on potential threats within and without.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Britain and the Delayed Appointment with Millennial Revolution

2017 is the centenary of the Russian Revolution. Apart from the spate of new historical interpretations of it, one other feature of this anniversary is going to see Western radicals attempting to rejuvenate the mythos of Revolution, pointing towards Revolution and the possibilities it opened up being relevant now.

China Mieville is one such enthusiast along with Richard "Lenin" Seymour, a blogger in the mould of polemical pamphleteers past, who both saw the return of American Imperialism in the 2000s and the failings of neoliberal capitalism as providing the space and time out of which spectre of revolution could be resurrected.

Mieville starts off badly, however, in trying to retail it to a new audience. For a start, applying the lessons of Revolution to the present would first mean not reinventing it in a propaganda mould. But it's the rebranding of Revolution for the 21st century that's interesting, the way history can be weaponised and mythologised.

'Besides anything else, the socialist uprising in Russia in October 1917 is an extraordinary story'.

It would certain have been if that's what October was. Only it was not. The Bolshevik seizure of power was a coup d'état within the Revolution in which all other socialist and anarchist-or liberal-alternatives were permanently put an end to by Lenin , Stalin and Trotsky. This was achieved by dissolving the Constituent Assembly'.

The usual way of rationalising totalitarian terrorism is to nit pick with authoritative accounts through various crude propaganda projections worthy of cynical commissars. Seumas Milne is a master of this trick. Mieville is as handy at preserving the mythos by pretending 'establishment' accounts are manipulations of truth.

The first standard technique is psychological projection 'The revolution also matters because it was, quite properly, millennial. Its opponents regularly charge socialism with being a religion. The claim, of course, is hypocritical: anti-communism is just as often infused with the cultish fervour of the exorcist. '

Hypocrisy is less a mental vice than Orwellian doublethink. Opponents remain unknown strawmen who are conjured up as 'enemies' of the revolution, the better to allow propaganda to be hammered home that easily blows them apart as demon figures, just as much as real humans were killed for political opposition.

Utopian urges are always dangerous because opponents become enemies of realising heaven brought down to earth and so require banishment before the new world order could be established. The use of concentration camps was integral to Lenin's Bolshevik revolution from the outset in this sense: Stalin just perfected it.

Kundera's Notion of Kitsch and Consumer Versions of Revolution.

Milan Kundera referred to Soviet concentration camps as 'septic tanks' whereby the Communist order could be cleansed of those whose nasty desire to spoil the collective vision of paradise was an offense. The vision Mieville writes of as an inspiration today is not just displaced religion but a form of populist yearning for a kingdom of kitsch.

Kitsch is about creating a space beyond this world, the horizon towards which the people could be together in forging a new kingdom to come that, even if it could never be realised amidst the decay and turmoil of the present, offers a shining vision yonder that could enable up to gear up all our efforts towards realising.

Such utopian longings could result in great artistic achievements. But in politics they tend to create an early political version of the model harnessed by New Labour, with its risible Things Can Only Get Better and the use of Tony Blair as lodestar of the bright new future. Peter Mandelson used his Young Communist experience well.

The Corbyn phenomenon is firmly in this mould, though his model of democratic centralism relies less on the idea of a shallow charismatic and more on the gnomic prophet of a new order that he alone can empower the people from below to 'do it' themselves if only they had enough collective faith in present potential.

This chippy version of a British DIY revolution relies more on a Mr Benn version of 'All Power to the Councils and Ordinary People' set to a background of Billy Bragg's anthem of humility The Milkman of Human Kindness. Even so, it's a sort of mild revolutionary re-enactment compared to the sort of murder spree that Mieville or Seymour crave.

The Prospect of a Revolutionary Lexit.

Part of this yearning for a new millennium is boredom. Politics was so fundamentally boring under the Blair regime, as borne aloft upon the high tide of neoliberal economic globalisation as it once was, that the idea it was inauthentic led frustrated leftists to fester in the revolutionary underground dreaming of a time of more vital political realities.

Fortunately for them, Blair's vision of hastening a new world order bases on exporting liberal democracy by military force-and unifying Afghanistan and oil rich Iraq within it-led to a new form of pseudo-imperialism that was marched by an equally fake 'Stop the War Coalition' led by otherwise redundant revolutionaries.

When Iraq descended into greater bloodshed and the jihadi forces that spawned ISIS were created, the financial crash and consequent economic slump meant a chance for Labour to radicalise and open up membership in such as a way that Corbyn could have the leadership role thrust upon him. Even when he fails in the 2017 election, revolution is in the air.

The reason is that Theresa May's Brexit government could well face economic and so political volatility as the EU disintegrates and the potential for chaos develops apace. Revolutionaries have longed for a 'lexit' that would destroy the capitalist EU cartel and open up new radical alternatives of which Corbyn is but a start.

Jeremy Corbyn's Vision of Democracy Beyond Parliament.

It was reported that some with the Labour Party have thought about promising proportional representation. McDonnell, in the past, has been one of them, and it would be one way of rallying those who are opposed to May's form of Brexit and those who voted Leave out of disillusion with both Labour and the Tories.

Putting forwards proportional representation in the current circumstances would be a defence of democratic representative politics and would offer a future way out of this chaos. It would provide an opportunity for those being disenfranchised by May's Brexit to join to create a mass movement for Reform.

The Westminster system in Britain is wholly dysfunctional in that cannot give representation to entire swathes of the population. May is going to push through Brexit unopposed. It's possible , even if Corbyn goes, that Labour is going to still not promise electoral reform through putting party above national interest.

Blairites will be plotting a leadership coup. That could well lead to the members actually re-electing Corbyn because Corbyn would stand down but always be ready to stand up again if the members demand. That's his technique. He dresses up power hunger by 'general will of the people' manoeuvring.

Corbyn has positioned himself just the funnel for the people's will, prophet of a future utopia where all will count and count on him to count them in. His game is quite clear once understood for what it is. This way he could survive as leader is the reason he is so casual about this election and his chances of losing.

Only PR voting could rally people and as leader of the only party that could bring a practical measure of democratisation to Britain, he simply retains that silence of his. Again, Corbyn is actually putting power before principle while pretending he is all principle in contrast to Blair who was only about power.

Corbyn isn't interested in pre-election promises of electoral reform: his mission is to seize power not to rebrand Britain but to remake it in his imagination as a democratic experiment at every level with worker's democracy everywhere taking root at the people's feet. It's a version of Winstanley's C17th Digger vision updated.

PR is a distraction from a centralised power lunch at the centre so that greater democracy could be bestowed to 'the people' later. The difference is that Corbyn wants to choose to do this by positioning himself as a Bennite 'collegiate' leader and low key opponent of the open leader role that Blair sought.

In fact, the irony is that Corbyn is firmly Blairite in believing in central control and devolving power down even more radically to the individual so that they could work towards the Leader at the centre, having Jeremy as Big Friend, the one who leads by re-education and being kind while others are evil and sinister.

Corbyn's moral example to humanity and warm inclusive politics could mean cold uninclusive sections of 'the people' might themselves be excluded. Power is the power not to lord it over one another but to accept binding people's decisions, motivated by Jeremy as prophet of the ignored out there in Britain and the World over.

Those who don't see how Jeremy is empowering them might need to disempowered so the people's wisdom can prevail. Corbyn is stuck in a radical 1970s Islington time capsule where the power of the imagination and a new world dawning for the saints is arising in the hearts of people everywhere, at least for Momentum.

Corbyn would not want PR as it could effectively sideline him in any 'progressive alliance'. And he believes he is really at one with the people, knowing what they really want is power for him to empower them to empower him to empower them all the more. Corbyn's revolution is one of ever higher love all the way.

Friday, 5 May 2017

The Great Game Over Syria : State of Play May 2017.

Syria is a strategic piece on the Grand Chessboard that is the Middle East. No Great Power has any moral high ground in this sordid struggle for geopolitical supremacy and Putin is simply more logical, though yet still ruthless, in pursuing Russia's interests and those of the Assad client state than the Western Powers.

Having aligned with Assad to defeat Western and Gulf State backed jihadists in east Aleppo, those rebranded, according to use value as 'moderate rebel' assets, Russia is now prepared to negotiate Syria's fate from a position of strategic strength and because Putin realises ending the war in partnership with the US means fewer lives lost.

Putin's advocacy of safe area in Syria's north is an invitation to cooperate through international and transnational agencies and to appear as a humanitarian leader into the deal. Should the US and Britain prioritise the Saudi alliance and scupper Putin's plans, then it would downgrade their position as humanitarian actors.

The purpose of Trump's missile strikes was to shame Russia to the table after the jihadists were crushed by Assad's state and Russian forces. It rebranded Trump as a fearless humanitarian who really cared about dead gassed children who could use that to say 'the US is back' and ready to avenge the east Aleppo humiliation.

The media image of gassed dead children asset was a welcome propaganda coup for the Trump administration. It had seen a danger that the primacy of US vital strategic interests over Syria's fate and as a credible enforcing power for its client Saudi Arabia would be degraded as the Gulf state's geopolitical assets were swept away.

Putin has now found a middle way between the US using humanitarian pretexts as a way to muscle back in to prolonging the war in Syria and getting dragged in to a clash that would benefit none of the Great Powers. Trump is also able to claim his missile strikes helped bring about a peace offer from Putin and honour is satisfied.

How the Great Game over Syria Evolved.

For the Western Powers, the prime interest was squaring circles in aligning behind absolutist Sunni Gulf States and Erdogan's neo-Ottoman strategy of 'Democracy Promotion' after the Arab Revolts of 2011. This is known in the public diplomacy game as 'Democratic Geopolitics' and it means geopolitical ends first, democracy as a means.

As regards Syria, Assad had to go because he stood in the way of Qatar and Turkey's strategy to promote Sunni forces to counter the danger of Shia dominance in Iraq, potentially very much permanently aligned with Iran after US withdrawal in 2011. A Qatar-Turkey gas pipeline had also been planned.

Russia saw its ability to shore up Assad as a means to retain its ability to preserve its stakes in the scramble for oil and gas wealth in the Eastern Mediterranean, discovered in 2010. By blocking the Qatar-Turkey scheme, Russia also wanted to keep its control over east-west energy supplies and not have its importance downgraded.

At first, only having Assad as client to preserve the Russian port of Tarsous and the exclusive right to develop Syria's offshore gas reserves mattered. This naturally infuriated the Turkish based Syrian National Council  and ensured a chorus of shrill denunciation from the Western Powers as deep 'Friends of Syria'.

Russia needed to balance the danger of alienating Turkey through military intervention should Assad be in danger of falling. Relations between Putin and Erdogan have waxed warm and cold according to their calculus of interests in connection to the relative fluctuating fortunes of their players on the ground in Syria

Syria is the cockpit of what is essential a geopolitical struggle, but its a war ratcheted up by the vying for control over resources from the Eastern Mediterranean up through to the Black Sea region. Ukraine is also about the reach of military power, between Russia and NATO, in a resource rich strategic zone.

The resource interests, pipeline routes and geopolitical interests cannot be mentioned openly by any of the Great Powers as their real interests. This is very much a problem of presentation in Western democracies where the public is required to believe various humanitarian fictions as the animating principle of their foreign policy.

Russia's public diplomacy tends to emphasise protecting Orthodox Christians from jihadists; Turkey used protecting fellow Sunnis from an evil Assad despot; the Western powers have chosen to weaponise the usual tired history about Britain and the US prioritising standing up for democracy vs dictatorships.

Of all these pretexts, Russia's is at least slightly less disingenuous and contorted that the West's because there isn't such a vast disproportion between the pathetic rhetoric of 'democracy promotion' and the reality of aligning with states such as Saudi Arabia and its backing of entirely mythical 'moderates' on the battlefield.

There were no 'moderate rebels' after 2013, when the Free Syria Army was hijacked by Gulf backed jihadists. The West's claim was as mendacious as if Thatcher had claimed the Afghan mujahedeen in Afghanistan were more than 'freedom fighters' but actually secular liberal democrats and international minded trade unionists.

The Western Powers have become trapped within an absurdist rhetoric on the one hand and a naïve form of wish thinking on the other that their cause was always more than merely about promoting strategic interests in alignment with Saudi Arabia or Qatar. They also believed democracy promotion would be easy.

The game plan for the Western Powers now is to somehow retain the Assad state while being seen to be credible in getting Assad 'to go'. This way the West could claim it achieved something after pursuing a policy that only helped ratchet up the slaughter long before Russia intervened to protect their blood stained client.

For the truth is Russia was never going to just let Assad 'go' and, after 2013-14, Putin realised he could intervene in order to upgrade Russia's bargaining hand over the fate of Ukraine, through covert backing for pro-Russian militias in the east of the country and his direct incorporation of gas rich Crimea.

Putin's humanitarian safe zone initiative is once more about quid pro quo bargaining over Syria being interconnected with Ukraine. Detaching parts of Syria for the Sunnis would also realign him more  towards the process of repairing relations with Turkey while Germany fears Erdogan's use again of the migrant card.

A Russo-Turkish realignment over Syria would push the Western Powers towards the prospects of bargaining a partition and that would mean Putin could, de facto, get acceptance of the annexation of Crimea and creation of a safe zone in Donbass and even get a deal with the US and Italy over the fate of Libya.

A northern Syria partitioned into demilitarised zones would have humanitarian benefits but also they would lessen Russian fears of a Great Power being able to route a gas pipeline through it and it could be followed by a similar set up for Rojava and Kurdish regions of Syria: complete independence would be out of the question.

Russia could use the fall out from the chemical gas attack as one card in its dealings with Assad, for if he refused to rein in his military to fit in with Russia's Great Power ambitions or to give the US and Britain another pretext to militarily intervene, Russia would drawdown support. Russia made plain its support for Assad is 'not unconditional'

If the Western Powers kept at their failed liberal democracy agenda, then Erdogan and Putin would have every interest in opening the floodgates to more migrants and refugees entering the Balkans and Central Europe, thus further destabilising the EU and leading to hatred for Merkel and Germany to their east and south.

Erdogan, of course, has used the terrorist pretext to ramp up his power base and creation of an illiberal Turkish state with him as strongman. Lectures from Western politicians would have clear consequences over his control over the Turkish border, as well as his ability to play the Islamophobia card.

As the EU fractures and disintegrates, the bargaining hand of strongmen like Putin and Erdogan , though their interests can clash, has increased as their role as east-west energy hubs and regional powers rises. The Western Powers only have their own stupidity, hypocrisy, greed and lack of realism to blame.

Indeed, with Le Pen poised to win the Presidency in France and Britain entering Brexit, the oil and gas dependent states of Europe have every interest in accepting their limitations as Great Powers. They can no longer meddle in the domestic affairs of other states without it affecting them as blowback.

The Need for a New British Political Party

Compelling people to do something that elites believe is good for them, such as compulsory voting, is a bad idea. It reflects Polly Toynbee's despair of those who 'ought' to vote Labour or for 'progressives' not doing so. Better would be a grassroots organisation agitating for a reform of the British Parliament from below and for a new voting system.

The rise of a new Reform Movement to make Parliament more accountable and give voters a real choice is long overdue. May's government is going to become more like an oligarchy entrenched in Parliament, protected by a pliant unfree media and a sinister surveillance and authoritarian national security state that spies on dissenters.

As always Britain would probably copy any move towards greater authoritarianism under President Trump. The free media, whistleblowers and organised opposition to the growing prevalence one party government-as-state is going to be quite possible in Britain as Brexit proceeds and opponents are branded as 'saboteurs' .

There is no reason why Brexit has to mean a diminishment of Britain's long standing democracy and rule of law beneath the claims of national expediency and protecting the national interest from enemies within and without. But the way in which it is proceeding could well provide the pretext for a sinister power putsch.

Eventually, "Remoaners" and 'progressives' are going to have to accept that even if Brexit is irreversible, there needs to be a way of ensuring withdrawal from the EU does not mean the creation of a new UK state that is far more authoritarian that both the one that existed under the EU period and even prior to entry in 1973.

The scale of the potential destruction of Corbyn's Labour could mean, should Momentum and other retain control over it, that it will fragment and split. The strange death of the Labour Party could be matched by a New Liberal Alliance as the main opposition party as the historical raison d'etre of Labour is rapidly vanishing.

May has repositioned the Tories as a new National British party, poised to snatch seats in South Wales and Scotland even. The idea of 'Brexit in peril' could be used to shore up the support for the Tories should political and economic volatility increase as the EU fragments and disintegrates and tensions and conflicts arise.

In such circumstances, the need would be for a new opposition party developed from below by grassroots activism and committed to preserving Britain's traditions of liberty and the rule of law and to agitate for a proper representative democracy and laws to reform corrupt media and the stranglehold of business cartels.

Jeremy Corbyn should Embrace Proportional Representation

Jeremy Corbyn is useless even as a radical leader of Labour. He simply has not got the courage of his convictions to attack Theresa May directly in a vigorous way over Brexit using language that communicates why her vision of it relies on a con-trick that Britain will have an immediate national resurrection.

Corbyn could yet resurrect his leadership by running on a promise of introducing proportional representation as this would hold something out for both the Labour voters who voted Leave out of frustration and those who voted Remain and want the Labour Party to be able to hold May's Brexit negotiations to account.

Freedland fails to mention that Blairite MPs and those groomed by Blair's regime norms are positioning themselves to try and block Brexit by subversive means. This is an inevitable consequence of the FPTP system which can no longer contain and give expression to the plurality of political forces in Britain in 2017.

The upshot of this dysfunctional Westminster model of politics and two and a bit parties is going to be a huge mandate for Theresa May's Tories and the potential for a strange death of Labour Britain through a post-election civil war or progressive alliance coup. Politicians opposed to Brexit are no doubt waiting in the wings.

With May pressing ahead, there will be the danger of leaks of negotiating secrets and attempts by Blairites and dispossessed political elites to undermine Brexit through plots. Spies shall be vying to keep tabs on those who are working to undermine it. With economic volatility and street protests, violence could flare.

Corbyn simply is not interested in electoral reform. When pressed on this in the leadership context with Owen Smith, he opined 'I believe in the wisdom of ordinary people' and went on the outline promoting democracy in the economy, in business, in the community and at each and every level of society and the political system.

If Corbyn dropped the toytown British equivalent of 'All Power to the Soviets' and took on board Cat Smith's recommendations for PR reported today, he could reunite the quarrelling factions and bequeath a more positive legacy both for British democracy and The Labour Party. But no response has been given to it.

At present the movement for electoral reform remains an active concern of a minority. After May's victory a new Reform Movement agitating for PR and reform of Britain's political system needs to be developed. Brexit was a consequence in many ways of the FPTP system and the tendency to deliver huge electoral swings.

The disproportion between the voters and the size of the mandate given to One Party is set to make May's government unassailable other than by counter-elite plots. These could be outed by the emerging authoritarian-national security state and widespread surveillance and use of spies and informants monitoring 'enemies within'.

In addition, Corbyn's systematic destruction as national security threat could provide the template whereby public figures considered saboteurs trying to undermine Brexit are pilloried as 'enemies of the people'. Murdoch is poised to seize control over SKY News and the rest of the media would be compliant in the demonization game.

In the Shadow of Trump: Narcissists Protest the President.

It was a case of so near and yet so far. Donald Trump returned to New York on Thursday night for the first time since his inauguration, yet the closest he could get to his home in Trump Tower was 10 blocks away as the city that made his fortune greeted him with noisy protest.

The president bypassed his Fifth Avenue penthouse, where First Lady Melania and youngest son Barron still live, bound for the USS Intrepid, a decommissioned aircraft carrier on the Hudson river, where he attended a gala to mark the 75th anniversary of a major second world war naval battle. The Guardian, May 5th 2017

If Trump is an embarrassment, he's only marginally more so than the protesters, who true to the tacky showbiz values they deplore in Trump, come out with mind-blowingly dumb slogans as 'Arrest Trump'. It's precisely narcissism that helped elevate Trump to power: the protesters are in the same game very often.

Trump cannot be 'arrested' for not having been charged with any crimes. Dumb slogans like that play into the hands of Trump and his supporters who could claim, with good reason, that they are bad losers and that they prefer winners. 'The resistance' makes it sound as though Trump was actually a total Hitler in power.

'No to travel ban' was a more sensible slogan but, on the whole, protesters come across as narcissists obsessed with the idea "Look at me, look how great I am". It's the same narcissism as Trump, wholly predictable and simply plays up to the stereotype of the tedious 'SJW', a sort of professional camp protester who just likes 'triggering' emotion.

New York is a cosmopolitan city but it's not necessarily any more of a "compassionate city" than London. It's a city of hard bitten commercial and financial dealings and interests of the sort that was behind the very creation of Trump. He's not popular there but he no longer cares as he has 'Middle America' and 'the folks'.

Protesters need to be less melodramatic, less obsessed with themselves and more devoted to appearing as concerned as many are by the national security state and the dangers of Trump's foreign policies. Otherwise they could just come across as an astroturf opposition. They need to connect to Middle America as well.

Naturally, those who point that out these obvious facts and observations would be demonised as 'objectively' pro-Trump. The US education system and media tends towards indoctrination rather than towards open minded free thinking out side the parochial US box. 'Political correctness' needs to go completely.

What's needed is a protest opposition that eschews hyperbole and identity political prancing and draws more towards social and economic issues of equality, attacking elite corruption and the way US politics has become oligarchical and dependent upon political dynasties and the values of branding and advertising.

The failure of anti-Trump protesters is that they come across as spoilt brats rather than a renewed movement for preserving liberties and civil rights against arbitrary power. That's actually what the US needs and it could have to learn the hard way that narcissism and shouting "bigot" ( often meaning heretic ) won't work.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Jeremy Corbyn as National Security Threat: How to Destroy the Opposition.

'This election is, in fact, very important, as it will solidify Tory rule, but it is also devoid of much content. May will be “strong and stable” and Corbyn will have played his part in the revolution that didn’t come'.-The Guardian.

The General Election of 2017 is boring on the face of it but it remains curiously interesting as a sort of detached brain challenging puzzle to be worked out, as might a cryptic crossword or the plot of a detective story or trying to fathom out and break codes. The most interesting part is working out what words and positions really mean.

May just is an intentionally grey cyborg who repeats positions stubbornly over and over again 'strong and stable government' as against 'coalition of chaos' , enlivened with the danger flash word 'Corbyn !'. This reduced the election choice to one of national security because of Brexit and utter fear of the alternative.

May's stubborn cyborg position is calculated to annoy those who would not like her anyway. She  has no, of very little, in the way of a discernable or 'authentic' personality beyond being an imperious, grey and icy Gloriana pose designed to indicate that she has a strategy on Brexit, but also that a New Leader must be ruthless and cold.

The reason is that the era of being 'nice and decent', of really believing in schemes for world improvement and the human rights for all everywhere where Britain can act as a beacon, is over. Bureaucratic callousness is to be the new norm-as is 'we don't care'-when coming to trades deals with dictators or immigration.

With business-as-usual with the Gulf States meaning further destabilisation in that region, Britain is being repositioned by May to be a Great Power that regards everything from pure calculations of profit, gain and loss according to the ruthless pursuit of interests as interests alone, national and individual.

Naturally, in the New Global Great Game for bilateral trade ties and securing resources, Britain needs to maintain the moral high ground by pretending it is primarily interested in its brand on 'Democracy Promotion' and rebranding historic role as a liberating force as regards slavery and so on. This is known as 'public diplomacy'.

So despite what many British people claim, they always like to regard themselves as fair and decent, there is a demand for a leader who does strictly what is necessary for national survival in the new emerging world order of the 21st century. May long wanted a British bill of rights. so the 'weakness' of universalism is over.

Britain is set to follow the new model of authoritarian national government and taking back control as the federal project of the EU fragments and disintegrates. Hard borders, surveillance state, national security. May has positioned herself as that sort of functionary while also having authentic Christian values.

May has realised what Machiavelli taught: the people claim to want a leader who embodies decency and morality but secretly want a leader also of steel who is not going to cave in through weakness and the desire only to be liked. Corbyn, of course, is the alternative, the man of warmth who preaches the need for the opposite.

Corbyn is actually quite a determined intellectual with deeply held anger against hypocrisy, though it's unclear whether his good anger at injustice and cruelty does not shade in part towards a moral nihilism that is prevalent within the leading self appointed spokesmen of the risible Stop the War Coalition.

Corbyn is trying on portraying a 'warmer' style of politics as a brand opposed to May's 'heartless' image but it's destined to fail. The reason is obvious: most people don't want it and, even if many of his policies strike a chord and are popular, Corbyn has to ignore Brexit because his party is not united on its approach.

Corbyn as leader is going to be targeted for a systematic and controlled demolition as the elections proceeds and he is focused on with drone and laser like intensity and taken out as national security threat. Blithely naïve, he believes if he appears as decent, he will escape the accusation of being sinister and anti-British.

Corbyn should make a principled last stand, taking on accusations he 'supports Hamas and Hizbollah' by claiming that far more terrorism is generated by Saudi backing for jihadists in the Middle East and emphasising how the 9/11 Wars generated terrible blowback. He won't do this, though, because he is ultimately a weakling.

Corbyn should really have gone for his radical anti-Establishment position, using his anti-war stances as an asset to be deployed to check in advance the forthcoming attacks. But, alas, 24 hours after the Trump missile strikes, he emerged like he'd been hiding, looking tired and trotting out wooden platitudes about peace and political settlement.

It was that moment it was clear Corbyn has no energy or ability to round on those attacking him as a 'Kremlin stooge'. He still thinks he has all the time in the world to slowly build up a platform and policies over the long term and to ignore 'their demonisation' and panto politics to put forth an alternative vision.

He does not have much time left and his fate is entirely sealed.