Friday, April 02, 2010

Six more informational nuggets

  • Firstly we have the US Publication Socialist Worker, which is commenting on the UK election. "Victories for Respect's Salma Yaqoob in Birmingham and the Green Party's Caroline Lucas in Brighton would be invaluable breakthroughs. Besides providing two new radical voices in Parliament, such victories would make the left appear a more-credible alternative in future elections."

  • Farid Bakht has an interesting piece on immigration and Tower Hamlets. "Bottom line: the main parties have decided to surrender to the bankers agenda, bottle it in dealing with them and instead are going to take it out on the majority of the population. Now, I hate bullfighting. But we all know how it works: wave a read rag in front of the bull and he gores the cloth, not the matador. Immigration is the red rag and we are meant to be diverted."

  • Iain Dale has published his top twenty tips for candidates. They're pretty useful I thought, in particular the last five which can be hard to achieve sometime when you're tired and frazzled. Do I detect the voice of experience in this though? "Your only media focus is local. Ignore Michael Crick. He's not there to help you." Update: Lib Dem Chris Lovell and Labour's Luke Akehurst also have sage advice - all worth reading.

  • On another topic there was an interesting piece in The Guardian musing on the nature of existentialism. Being an existentialist requires being satisfied with the absurd and random nature of events, freeing you to create your own life in circumstances that aren't of your own making." I happen to think that's wrong and much prefer Satre's dictum that "man is condemned to be free". Being satisfied doesn't seem to express the horror of free will to my mind.

  • Darrell Goodliffe writes an excellent reminder to Labour members who are happy with the court decision against the RMT's strike ballot about which side their ideological bread is buttered. "What happened in the courts today is a blow against us all because it’s a blow against democracy. It should appall any democrat who believes in the basics of democracy ie, that majorities have the right to decide their destiny and that a worker has the right to withdraw their labour. Above all it strikes a blow against another fundamental covenant at the heart of a democracy; namely, the neutral status of the law."

  • As you may know people from all over have been buying plots of land near Heathrow to prevent airport expansion.The struggle continues, boosted by events last week, over 73,000 people have already joined the movement and they're having a last push trying to get that over 100,000. Governments be warned - we have Richard Briers!


Rupert Mallin said...

The US 'Socialist Worker' would go for MM's British Election support for both Respect and The Greens. Loose thinking? TUSC becomes the more interesting election 'coalition' because of some union backing. Greens and Respect still have problems with the unions.

Jim Jepps said...

I'm not sure that's true actually Rupert. For example the Greens have more official union backing than TUSC, who don't have any.

London region FBU recently reaffirmed their support for the Greens and threw another cheque our way - and I'd add far more union members will be voting Green than TUSC, just as Green members on the London Assembly have consistently backed union campaigns (particularly those of the FBU, PCS and RMT)

Best of luck to TUSC of course, I'm not putting them down, but TUSC don't have any union backing and union leaders regularly speak at both Green and Respect conferences. (Where we vote on things and conduct the business of democratic organisations which part of the ABCs of working constructively with unions)

Chris Lovell said...

Just noticed this. Thanks for the link to my blog. Not sure my advice has ever been called 'sage' before!

Jim Jepps said...

No problem. It was most sage advice!