Monday, May 09, 2005

Post-Election Notes
I did not get round to writing something about the elections before the event. I did vote, holding my nose while I did so, tactically to punish Labour and in the ward I live in it seems to have worked with Lib Dems ousting Labour. I was also heartened by Galloway's massive win in London. Given the undemocratic system we have, this was a massive win for a very anti-establishment figure who has been hammered relentlessly by the press and smeared left-right-and-center. Sure, he sat down with Saddam, and that sucks, but he did so trying to do something – anything - about the estimated HALF A MILLION Iraq children who were murdered by the sanctions regime. The powers-that-be may think that was a price worth paying, but I don’t and I guess he did not too. I don’t agree with him on everything, far from it, but in these dark days, I guess we have to take the good news where we can find it.

Plus in the Ashley ward the Greens got 22% of the vote. All this occludes the fact that the representative democracy we have is far from democratic. The average is one MP per 144,000 people. How can 1 person represent the views of 144,000 people? Just not possible. It’s a system designed by those in power to perpetuate power in the hands of the few. What do I think about western democracy? To paraphrase Gandi, it would be a good idea.

During the election I got in a row with a gaggle of Labour canvassers in my street and the war, obviously, came up as a topic. Their point was that Labour made good of a bad situation. My point is that we are standing shoulder-to-shoulder (and paying through the nose) for an illegal occupation as part of a geo-strategic policy of resource control that is corrupting us all by association. I have written before about the lack of any morality in the venture:

Seymour Hersh: "I can tell you it was much worse. There are worse photos, worse events....some of the worse things that happened you don't know about.....The women were passing messages out saying 'please come and kill me' because of what's happened, basically what happened is those women who were arrested with young boys, children, the boys were sodomised with the cameras rolling, the worse above all of them is the sound track of the boys shrieking. That your government has...."

Empire Notes: "...other soldier said in January 2004 that troops poured water and smeared mud on the detained 17-year-old son of an Iraqi general and "broke" the general by letting him watch his son shiver in the cold."

And now Robert Fisk adds his voice to all this: "Two years after Mission Accomplished, whatever moral stature the United States could claim at the end of its invasion of Iraq has long ago been squandered in the torture and abuse and deaths at Abu Ghraib. That the symbol of Saddam Hussein's brutality should have been turned by his own enemies into the symbol of their own brutality is a singularly ironic epitaph for the whole Iraq adventure."

Shoulder-to-shoulder to with rapists, child torturers and killers. Nice. The Fisk article in the independent goes on to conclude with a chilling reminder that there exist several detention centers in Iraq where even the Red Cross are not allowed, if such brutality and violence exists where we do know, what the fuck is going on where nobody can see?

That was not the only point that came up in my discussion with the Neo-Labour people. Privatization also came up. Their point was that PFI/PPP and all that were Labors way of investing in social provision without the City getting funny about them increasing borrowing. They were saying this little bit of clever financial jiggery-pokery was their way of doing socialism under the nose of the bankers. What?!! Even if you ignore the fact that this policy fits with the GATS agenda from the World Trade organization, endorsed by Neo-Labour. They were asking me to believe that Tony and his cronies had pulled the wool over the eyes of people like Murdoch, while a lowly foot-solider of the party could be in-on the plan. Cmon people! Murdoch may be many things, but when it comes to money – he knows the score. I asked about the example of Packers Field – the transfer of public land to private hands – how did this fit the hidden social agenda. They said they did not know anything about that example. Funny, that.

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