Posts Tagged ‘FLM’

Danielle La Verite Raises Questions about William Hague

March 2, 2015

In this video, Danielle La Verite makes some interesting points and raises some good questions about the former leader of the Conservatives, William Hague. She notes that unlike Gideon and IDS, Hague is actually properly qualified: he’s got a first in PPE – Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He was also caught committing electoral fraud when he was part of the Oxford Conservative Club. He was found stuffing ballot boxes in order to fix the results in favour of his faction. She notes that he had a lot of directorships, of which he divested himself when he became leader of the Tories, one of which was in JCB. That’s the firm that makes mechanical diggers. She also jokes about how he couldn’t bury the story about him sharing a hotel room with a young, male researcher.

More seriously, she discusses Hague’s statement that he was extremely disheartened by the vote against his motion to invade Syria. She asks if this was because he was disappointed that he couldn’t kill millions more people. She also tackles his statement at the Tory party conference that the majority of people in this country share Tory values. She states, using some extremely colourful language, that he must be mentally challenged if he thought this. And she points out that he is one of the one per cent, the super-rich who exploit everyone else.

Finally, she starts speculating about his possible connections to the paedophiles in parliament. She says she has seen lists of MPs, who are paedos. He isn’t on any of this lists, but she noted that he left government at the same time many of the paedophiles did, and wonders if this is because the parliamentary investigation started coming too close for comfort. Here’s the video below.

Now in all fairness, I don’t think Hague should have ever been accused of being gay, simply because he shared a hotel room with another man. It isn’t remotely uncommon for people away together to share hotel rooms as a way of saving on expenses when they’re not having any kind of sexual relationship.

It’s the same with the suggestion of connections to paedophiles. As it stands, this is just nasty innuendo. On the other hand, given that so many MPs are alleged to have been paedophiles, it is reasonable to ask how much Hague knew about this as head of the Conservative party.

On the other hand, the fact that Hague was caught and prosecuted for electoral fraud when he was just a student, does indicate a complete lack of any sense of fair democratic procedure. It partly explains why the Tories were so eager to copy the Repugs in America and start gerrymandering the rules on electoral registration, so as to disqualify the groups that didn’t vote for them.

As for his zeal in wishing to invade Syria, this was all part of the Arab Spring. It broke out unexpectedly, and the western powers were under pressure to support this supposedly new, democratic uprising by taking military action against the dictators. And Assad is indeed a brutal thug. Innocents were being rounded up, imprisoned and tortured. However, what has emerged against him, the various Islamist groups that have started butchering Christians and sworn to exterminate Assad’s fellow Alawites, as well as liberal Muslims, are far, far worse.

And Hague has certainly been extremely keen from the start to send in the army. He tried to send the SAS into Tripoli in Libya, and they were defeated.

As the rise of Isis has shown, continued occupation by the West under the guise of the War on Terror has actually radicalised and alienated much of the region against us. Isis and the other Islamist factions are brutal, but what is needed is not brutal military action, but an intelligent campaign to win hearts and minds. The actual numbers fighting for Isis is actually very small. Where they have gained the support of local people is in restoring order, including necessities like water and electricity, after the disruption of the war.

Similarly, in Lebanon during the Civil War, Hezbollah partly owed its large following due to the fact that it responded to provide aid during emergencies quicker than the western secular organisations. And the same was true of the FLM in Algeria.

If we wish to combat the militant Islamists, we had actually better start doing something for the people of those countries we’ve invaded and occupied. Instead, western companies have used the invasion to enrich themselves and strip their assets. We do need a military presence in the area, but warmongering alone will just make the situation worse.

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American Fascist Arguments: Capitalism Threatened by Socialism

February 22, 2015

The American Right attacks any kind of state intervention, however mild and beneficial, as ‘Socialism’, which is automatically conflated with Communism. You can see that very clearly in the way Obama has been attacked by Repugs, and especially the Tea Party, as a Communist, simply for supporting the extension of state medical aid. A number of bloggers and political commentators have pointed out that in many respects, Obama is a fairly standard type of American politico, with the usual connections to Wall Street.

When Libertarians are confronted with the fact that their small-state economics don’t actually the work, there’s a tendency for them to argue that this is because there is still some government intervention, which is Socialism. This line of argument goes all the way back to the 1930s. I found this piece of American Fascist argument attacking American industry for becoming ‘socialist’ in Robert Brady’s The Structure of German Fascism:

America, the world’s greatest industrial nation, industrialized itself under private capitalism for use and for profit. .. America’s suffering started only when capitalism took sick. Like a sick horse, the decrepit economic system on the back of which we are now crawling along is not Capitalism himself, but a Capitalism loaded down with Socialism … What have socialistic experiments ever achieved except deficits or failure? … If capitalists and capitalism are blight to humanity, then Egypt should be a happy spot. But the happiest event which has befallen Egypt in many centuries came with the British ‘imperialism’ and ‘capitalism’ which built the Assuan Dam… If capitalism is ‘greed’ and a blight to humanity, then why are the savage and miserable lands which have no capitalism not blessed? … Why is the standard of living of the whole people in any land raised in proportion to the success and development of its capitalistic enterprises? … As Bernard Shaw put it: ‘compulsory labour with death the final punishment, is the keystone of socialism.’… The National Republic, Dec. 1933, under the heading The Failure of Socialism states: ‘Persons socialistically inclined often point to the present world-wide depression as “a failure of the capitalist system” … but the present world-wide breakdown would more properly be charged to a collapse of the socialist system. Every important power in the western world to-day, except in the United States, is under either socialist parliamentary control, or that dictatorship to which socialism leads as in Italy, Poland, Germany and Russia.

Elizabeth Dilling, The Red Network (Caspar co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1934, pp. 92-3).

George Bernard Shaw is a favourite source of quotations for the Right on the brutal nature of Socialism because Shaw had some disgusting, brutal ideas. He was like H.G. Wells and many other members of the chattering classes at the time an enthusiastic supporter of eugenics. There’s a quote by either him or Wells about sending those of unfit heredity to the extermination chamber. These horrific comments today are, it shouldn’t need to be said, as shocking to Socialist as they are to everyone else, and very, very few if any Socialists today share his views. In fact, the opposite is much more likely to be the case.

As for the introduction of capitalism into the Middle East ultimately benefiting the people there, this is highly debatable. Islamist movements like the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the FLM in Algeria, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are partly ultra-traditionalist protests against capitalism. Iran’s Islamic Revolution broke out due to the massive social and economic dislocation produced by the country’s industrialisation. Similarly the introduction of capitalism and modernisation in Egypt under Mehmet Ali had the effect not creating more freedom for the average Egyptian, but of decreasing it. It massively extended the pasha’s power, and led to a massive tax burden on the mass of the Egyptian peasantry to support Mehmet Ali’s reforms.

One of the contributing factors to the Islamic revolution and the outbreak of the civil war in Algeria was the failure of both socialism and capitalism. The Algerian Nationalists had been able to hold to power for decades, following the country’s liberation from France, by supplying economic growth and a rising standard of living. This failed in the 1980s, and the regime began selling off state industries and cutting back. The result was a decline still further in living standards. The FLM gained popular support by appearing to offer a programme that would restore prosperity through the implementation of Islamic law, which was held to be neither capitalist nor socialist. The Islamic regime in Iran is also very strongly anti-socialist, even if over half of the economy is owned by the state and much of the rest of by the bonyads, the Shi’ah charitable foundations.

In short, the above passage shows just how old and a false the arguments about modern capitalism being corrupted by Socialism are. This hasn’t stopped them being repeated ad nauseam despite the plentiful evidence to the contrary.