Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Unlike you, we have no illusions

John Pilger has a rant about the current state of the UK in the Guardian. As usual, his determination that everything bad in the world is all our fault makes it hard to read his piece through to the end, but I found little to disagree with here:

Britain is now a centralised single-ideology state, as secure in the grip of a superpower as any former eastern bloc country. The Whitehall executive has prerogative powers as effective as politburo decrees. Unlike Venezuela, critical issues such as the EU constitution or treaty are denied a referendum, regardless of Blair's "solemn pledge". Thanks largely to a parliament in which a majority of the members cannot bring themselves to denounce the crime in Iraq or even vote for an inquiry, New Labour has added to the statutes a record 3,000 criminal offences: an apparatus of control that undermines the Human Rights Act. In 1977, at the height of the cold war, I interviewed the Charter 77 dissidents in Czechoslovakia. They warned that complacency and silence could destroy liberty and democracy as effectively as tanks. "We're actually better off than you in the west," said a writer, measuring his irony. "Unlike you, we have no illusions."

For those people who still celebrate the virtues and triumphs of liberalism - anti-slavery, women's suffrage, the defence of individual conscience and the right to express it and act upon it - the time for direct action is now. It is time to support those of courage who defy rotten laws to read out in Parliament Square the names of the current, mounting, war dead, and those who identify their government's complicity in "rendition" and its torture, and those who have followed the paper and blood trail of Britain's piratical arms companies. It is time to support the NHS workers who up and down the country are trying to alert us to the destruction of a Labour government's greatest achievement. The list of people stirring is reassuring. The awakening of the rest of us is urgent.

The bit about Czechoslovakia reminds me of Alexei Sayle's line about Albanians laughing at us when we quack on about our free press: "You suckers! At least we know our media's lying to us!"

So, how close are we to Britain's sorry state? Too close for my liking. The recent draconian amendments to the Suppression of Terrorism Act were supported by both main parties, without so much as a peep from right-wing blogs, most of which were far too busy ranting about National's impending inability to sell policies to the highest bidder. Plague, both houses, etc.


dad4justice said...

"reminds me of Alexei Sayle's line"

Helen's got a new beamer motor , Helen's got a regime , Helen's got wooden teeth . Oi Oi Oi .

Ed Snack said...

Jeez you post crap Milt, "Nationals inability to sell policies to the highest bidder", get the little talking point from the 9th floor did we ?

Mark said...

The papers lie to it's readers because they are staffed by lefties who think it's OK to so as long as they push their crap out on to people.

Does it not surprise you that most newspapers are in decline because of the fact.

Psycho Milt said...

Yes I did, Ed. See, it turns out that the fools running the govt are actually so stupid that they pay me to write posts attacking them, as long as I give National the occasional serve as well. You wouldn't credit it, would you?

Mark: your view is so much more plausible than the more conventional one, that newspapers are in decline because of the internet. Why didn't the rest of us think of it?

Dad4Justice: it's a great line, but I believe it was actually the Cockney Rejects. Or was it the Exploited?

KG said...

I remember Helun visiting Tony Blair and coming away saying that Nu-labour was a "model" which she admired greatly.
How close? Very close indeed.

Andrei said...

At least Helen Clark hasn't sold our sovereignty out like the British Labour party has.

Tho I'm sure she would if the opportunity were there.

World big government is on order

Mark said...

I see it as why the internet is more popular.

You read the paper today and it's crap, the news reported in inaccurate or flasified to push a certain point of view.

No actual check of facts and stories are now published with headlines that are not based on reality.

You know go to the internet to find out the true facts.

This is why newspapers are in decline and the internet has become popular.

I mean look at all the crap that is reported about global warming in the paper.

Not based on science or reality with the same peddled out line that the science is settled and man is to blame, or more to the point the US, and Europe.

Bollocks the whole lot and this pass for jouranlism these days.

This use to be what passed as reporting on TV, is now in the printed press.

dad4justice said...

'Ullo John! Gotta New Motor?' .

Ullo Helen!! Gotta New Battery ?

Ullo Peter!! Gotta New Toilet ?

Psycho Milt said...

Dad4justice: you didn't much like it when you were called a paedophile over at the Briefing Room the other day, and yet you turn up here posting insinuations about others' sex lives. Please don't dish it out if you can't take it. I don't want this bullshit on my comments threads.

Psycho Milt said...

"You read the paper today and it's crap, the news reported in inaccurate or flasified to push a certain point of view."

As opposed to when you read the paper... when, exactly? It's always been like that.

"I mean look at all the crap that is reported about global warming in the paper."

You mean the crap sourced from actual scientists with some qualifications in the field, as opposed to the more objective and knowledgable analysis provided by right-wing bloggers? I have no opinion on global warming one way or the other, but in terms of whose findings are more worthy of being reported in the paper, it's really a bit of a no-brainer, surely?

dad4justice said...

I do apologize for any offence Milt and it is great to see we're both Alexis Sayle's fans . I was a huge fan of the young ones and very similar in character at times to Vyvyan. Only joking, really lol, but Rick and Neil remind of the Labour and Green pollies who are demented wallies .

Ullo pompous anarchist and hippie ,Vyvyan Gotta New Nuke in the Kitchen .

Psycho Milt said...

"...Rick and Neil remind of the Labour and Green pollies..."

This is sad but unfortunately true.

My favourite Alexei comment was something along the lines of "I'm sorry I said c*nt! I feel such a twat now."

Ed Snack said...

Yeah Milt, nice little dig, shame it so closely echoed the exact spin put out by H1 and H2. If your irony has to be laid on with a spade, please put the /irony tag afterwards so we know, okay ?

Psycho Milt said...

So? Even Clark must get it right occasionally - stopped clock right twice a day, etc.

Ed Snack said...

Oh, total BS Milt. When the original EFB came out, it had no significant limits on anon donations, and all what you are describing as the "right wing" were against that version. If you were right in your allegations that all the right wants is the ability to buy votes anonymously, surely they would have gone along with that proposal.

One can get pretty cynical about all sides in any political debate, but as far as I can see, ignoring the lunatic fringe, most people are hot under the collar about the EFB for a few genuine reasons:

1. No consultation before, and none after a raft of amendments;
2. It really does restrict third parties excessively, and favours the incumbent government;
3. The requirement to register for almost anything political;
4. Allowing the wholesale plundering of public funds for electioneering, OUTSIDE the limits set that others have to adhere to.

Although all the leftards carry on about buying elections and the EB, that intervention had possibly a negative impact on the election prospects for National, and the Union campaign was easily larger and, for that matter, more effective even though it was basically a totally dishonest scare campaign. There is only one clear example of an election being bought in NZ, and that was Labour's theft and use of $880K in 2005. And far from preventing that, the EFB legalizes exactly the same behaviour again.

That is why so many who are only "not left" in their orientation object to the EFB. And why the mindless chant about "rich pricks buying elections" is such a travesty, a deliberately dishonest campaign to denigrate opponents of the EFB by people without either the honesty or perhaps the intellectual ability to get past the mindless slogans perpetrated by the prime beneficiaries of the EFB, the incumbent government.

And just as a BTW, I can see that some of the most heavily affected organisations by the EFB will be Greenpiece and F&B, neither of whom I would give the time of day to, but whose right none the less to campaign as they choose should be protected. Given GP's heavily politicised campaigns, I can see that they will be restricted to spending $120K for 2008 on all of their campaigns, certainly every piece of publicity that they generate will be scrutinized by someone.