Jacob Rees-Mogg said that the Tory government “absolutely” should “not” act to deal with inequality, that it was not the mission of the government to do so.

That is what I find most difficult to understand about these hard right bastards, even the Nazis had a vision of equality even if it was a perverted one.

The idea that inequality is no priority, that it should just be, this is pure Tory Evil. Its the pushing down of the weakest to keep them there. Its the destruction of life chances. Its the repealing of laws to help them. It is everything that this utter scum Tory government is going full throttle to do.

I cannot conceive of any moral reason how if you rule or govern a country you decide to fuck over half the population.

I was asked by a friend why I did not think Trump was right when he was saying that he was a successful businessman and thus would make a good president. I pointed out that in business you have a closed circuit of employees, but in government you could not fire the poor. You had to help them, which is not business ideology.

These Tories have taken Trump’s idiocy and made of it a mantra for government, that you CAN fire the poor, eject them from the body politic, you can demonise them, destroy their life chances.


And if twats like Rees-Mogg cannot get that through their aristocratic thick heads, then the whole system needs a thorough cleaning out from top to bottom


Winds of Change
5th November 2015

The House of Lords


I am firmly of the opinion that a bi-cameral system is vital to prevent the Commons from being an elected dictatorship, where even a tiny majority means a vicious government can ram through laws which are opposed, under First Past The Post, by the majority of the electorate.

The Lords is the House of Review. This week it reviewed Tax Credits, found the government bill wanting, and rejected it. It is what the Lords is for.

But Tories cry “Constitutional crisis!” and “Unelected house!” not because these are valid counter-arguments but because the current system is the result of tinkering, not revolution. The Lords as it has developed to where it is, radical reform was off the agenda, so we have a halfway house.

What is needed is a Constitutional Convention and a Lords elected by PR List with the regions protected. It will stop being an “unelected” House but will represent the people in a fair and proportional manner.

Tory “reforms” that they threaten will not do this. They aim to hamstring the Lords further to prevent any proper review of their vicious policies.

Inn the light of this, there is only one logical approach for the opposition parties to take in the Lords – and it is the one that the Liberal Democrats are taking: Fight and Oppose, act to cut down and reject as much of the Tory agenda as possible.

It is protest, it is street fighting, it is using the instruments to hand as best you can, while you still have them.

It ought to be something that a Corbyn-led Labour party understands but they don’t seem to be getting the message. Lib Dem Lords voted against several other policies this week to try to protect people but the measures passed anyway – either Labour Lords abstained, or voted with the government?

Labour needs to get its act together. The Tories WILL act to curtail Lords’ powers. SO USE THEM NOW to fight for the people. Resistance against this government IS street fighting, it is manning the barricades.

Winds of Change
29th October 2015


Don’t political strategists read Marx or Mein Kampf?

I can honestly state my absolute astonishment that Labour strategists, and those for other opposition parties, are getting so badly out-manoevred by the Tories, and their right-wing allies in the press.

Marx outlines exactly how this happens in numerous works, not least those dealing with the French revolution of 1848 and the various manoevrings in its aftermath that eventually led to Louis Napoleon’s coup of 1852.

Hitler in Mein Kampf has as his starting point that the Social Democrats do this, do that, succeed in it, and that the Nazis must learn from this, do it and do it better. He then outlines how to do this, including incrementally moving the argument by small steps whilst nobody notices how it is being moved, and the use of language, and invective, in propaganda and in leading a debate.

This is so absolutely what the Tories are doing, that I cannot understand any left-wing strategist who does not understand what they are doing. But these strategists are falling exactly into this right-wing trap, adopting their language and losing the argument form the get-go.

They don’t call them asylum-seekers because that implies they have a right to claim asylum. They call them migrants because that sounds like a huge swathe of humanity, sweeping down on unsuspecting populations.

They don’t call them unemployed because that implies that they have a right to be employed. They call them jobseekers, because that puts the onus on them, makes them sound like shirkers if they haven’t got a job.

They don’t call them disabled, low earners, working poor or people in poverty. They call them benefits-claimants because benefits sounds like something that is given, not earned nor deserved, and claimants makes them sound like takers, not receivers.

And there’s another one – people used to receive benefits, and be benefit recipients, now they claim them and are benefit claimants. Another instance where language has been subtly altered to give a more negative message.

But Labour and other opposition parties fall so easily into this trap, using Tory language whilst trying to defeat Tory lies, without understanding that the use of Tory language undermines, if not destroys, their own arguments.

WIN BACK THE LANGUAGE. Change the words in the debate. Its not enough to win the argument, but it is a good start to preventing one losing it before they’ve started


Winds of Change
10th August 2015

Global Finance and Greece

Banks want money. Debts are assets, but only when they are repaid, or at least repayable. That is why international banking hates Greece. They don’t want to come to an agreed to reduce debt, because it would stop being an asset. They need to see the money coming in, they need to destroy an economy in order to prevent other countries from daring to ask questions.

Surely its their money? If I had 100 million pounds and I leant people a billion, by creating money to lend out, would I be justified in chasing down these debts because its “my money”? Surely 1) it would be seen as bloody stupid on my behalf to lend money to people who haven’t got any to pay back, and 2) if I lend more than I actually have, what the Hell is going on?

But they need their money “back”! Those they lent this level of debt to obviously did not, and will not, and do not, have the money to pay it back – or else they would not have needed such a massive sum!

Syriza have shown that they understand international finance better than bankers do. They understand that Greece is not, and never will be, in a position to pay what they owe. They understand that austerity demands cuts to pay, to pensions and to benefits, but it does not tackle international corporations, and does not look to the dysfunction of a crony capitalism economy. What the ECB demands is cuts to what the state can affect and what the state can affect is not a fucked-up economy, made worse by international banks, but just benefits, pensions and pay. Bankers think this is fine, they can get money this way, but Syriza has fought to show that demands on the ordinary person do not, cannot and should never be the way to repay national debt.

But banks want money. One cannot even say they want “their” money. They want money they made up so as loan to people who did not have the ability to repay and they are ruthless and uncaring. As far as bankers are concerned, the people of Greece can be plunged into poverty, have their lives ruined, thier futures eradicated, as long as the banks get the money they want.

Global international finance is absolutely screwed. It no longer has a relationship to realities and is chasing money in a collapsing system, determined to hoover up as much as it can in a world where its logic no longer works.


Winds of Change
29th June 2015

The Wasteland of Austerity

Austerity, the ECB, bail outs, all of these are symptoms of an anti-civilisation agenda. Its about money, its about corporations, its about profit. Its anti-people, anti-progress, anti-civilisation. The ruling agenda is all about self at the ultimate expense of everyone else. It is the Tory end-game, the Thatcher endgame. It is way beyond Maggie’s wet dream. It is using the collapse of the industrial age to make massive profits for the few, to plunge the rest into hardship, to roll back a century and a half of reforms, to seize the assets of the world whilst they are vulnerable.

Globalisation is not bringing global prosperity, it is creating a chase game for the cheapest semi-developed production economy, abandoning those which get more developed in the chase to the bottom. China’s dominance is due to its fascist political structure (its hardly Communist now!), where the state holds down wages, provides incentives, and swallows up income to invest in raw materials overseas. Without this, China would be abandoned for even cheaper producers, but their leadership is canny, knows that by keeping the global production base it keeps its income, and that by state control it can win an international capitalist game.

Whilst global trade collapses into state monopolies, modern day carpet baggers move in to sweep up the remnants of the old system. State enterprises are sold off to the private sector, national industries are sold to overseas companies, which in turn sell shares to the nouveau rich, the Russians, the Chinese, the Arabs.

What is left behind is a wasteland of austerity.


Winds of Change
29th June 2015

Let’s Win This Battle Together

Owen Jones’ closing words at the anti-austerity march on Saturday resonate with me. It is vital that all those represented there, and other progressive forces, work together to win. As Tim Farron says winning is the priority, for without it there can be no change. But as Tim recognises, and as Jeremy Corbyn epitomises, ditching one’s principles for a short-term victory is not winning, it is surrendering. Winning is to be part of the long-term narrative.

What therefore does winning together entail?


  1. It requires that the joint opposition epitomised by the march stays together, stays focused, stays in touch, reaches out further and grows, hopefully as the mainstream progressive parties elect leaders who will choose to stand united with the people on the front line.


  1. It requires that grassroots organisations, campaigns and battles are co-ordinated, that nobody is left to fight their own battle, or that conversely nobody abandons the overall war to focus on their own problems, dividing the united front and doing the Tories’ job for them.


  1. It requires the progressive political parties to work together at a national level, to put aside their own pride, their own interests and work for the common good. We saw arguably the inverse of this in Northern Ireland where the Ulster Unionists and DUP agreed electoral pacts to see off progressive MPs from the Alliance Party and Sinn Fein. But this shows that it can work, and does work.


  1. All progressive parties must commit to a pledge to introduce Proportional Representation as soon as they are in a position to do so. Tim Farron has said that if he is elected leader of the Liberal Democrats, then PR as a law will be an essential prequisite to entering any future coalition – not a referendum, not a commitment to look into it, but a pledge to table it as one of the first major pieces of legislation. All parties need to agree this.

Point 3. in my opinion is a vital component of 4. and after stating them above, they need to be expanded upon as a unity. Labour has been the largest progressive party in the United Kingdom since the 1920s and it still holds that position, and some within the party will argue that electoral pacts and proportional representation are unnecessary encumberances, and that Labour will always poll well enough to be a major force.

But 2015’s General Election shows that a political party with one quarter of the total electorate’s support, at something like 36% of the votes cast, can win an absolute majority and whilst Labour is the second party in parliament, it is part of a fractured opposition that is watching the Tories destroy the welfare state.

Maybe Labour can win again sometime under FPTP like how in 1997 they came back from 3 defeats, but the country does not have another ten years to wait for them to get their act together. Labour does not represent its MPs, nor does it even represent its members – what Labour has always respresented is the working man, though you would not this if you listened to the leadership campaigns of some of its contenders.

Electoral pacts are the only solution to ensure that the progressive forces win at the next election, whenever that may be. Winning THAT election has never been more vital for the country. Labour must swallow its pride and stand some PPCs down against Liberal Democrats, Greens, Plaid and even the SNP, if they will live up to their belief in PR and reciprocate.

In turn, the Lib Dems must stand down candidates against Labour, against the Greens and against Plaid where that is needed. The Greens must stand down candidates against Labour, the Lib Dems and Plaid, and Plaid must stand down candidates against Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens where that is a necessary option.

One is not looking to change the face of the system, but to swing key marginals in a progressive direction. Where the Liberal Democrats pose the strongest challenge to a Tory incumbent then the other progressive parties must stand their candidates down. This is going to be a challenge, not least because in the wake of #GE2015 the parties are going to need to look at recent polling data, not exclusively the vote in May 2015 where the Lib Dems, in coalition, saw their vote collapse.

There are easily enough seats available for Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens, Plaid and the Alliance Party to pick up enough to overturn a Tory majority in Westminster. What they must do is dare, and having dared what they must then do is stick to their promises. Labour especially needs a leader who puts decency at the heart of what he does, and that man is Jeremy Corbyn.


Winds of Change

Anti Austerity March in London

Though I could not be there, I fully support the unified front against Austerity, and followed closely the march and the speeches made. It was good to see a wide spectrum attending – trade unions, political parties, Socialist Worker, Charlotte Church, Owen Jones, Russell Brand, activists, local groups, and ordinary people.

As a Liberal Democrat I was somewhat concerned I could discern neither a party presence nor any known figure from the party. From Labour, we had Jeremy Corbyn, from the Greens an official contingent featuring both Natalie Bennett and Caroline Lucas, and from Sinn Fein, Martin McGuinness was present.

To a degree, a broad popular movement does not rely on its political party support, but on grassroots movements, but for national representation, and for hope of change it is vital that the political parties are there.

Owen Jones made a strong and powerful speech, and it is this which I wish to blog on, whilst acknowledging interviews that @ChunkyMark (Artist Taxi Driver) did with Charlotte Church, and with Sheila Coleman of UNITE.

Owen spoke about the rights we enjoy today, rights which were not gifted to us by the benevolence of those in power but were won by the struggle and sacrifice of the people. This is a key point – a single march probably won’t achieve anything, but the continuum has always been towards more rights, better conditions, whether it was the early trade unionists fighting for the rights and dignity of the working people, or the chartists fight for democracy, the sufragettes for equal votes, or the marches for equal rights for LGBT people.

Marchers today can rightly be proud at the heritage they now embody, but it is a heritage not just under threat, not just under attack, but one which is facing imminent eradication at the hands of the rich.


As Owen said, and as Charlotte Church and Sheila Coleman also said in their interviews with Mark McGowan, the march is not an end but a beginning, it is a start, where we must go into our communities and organise. We have to reach out to people who have not been reached out, and we have to engage them, because it is their rights, not just those of the people on the march which are being destroyed. It is vital not to just “talk to ourselves” but to spread the message, create local activism, and work together.


I think that’s how Owen ended his speech. If it wasn’t, then it may just as well have been. It was the key aspect of his message, and it is resonates.

The first part – let’s stay together. This is key. Owen showed how the politics of the rich is to set the ordinary person against each other, to convince them that the reason they are losing their rights is because someone else is stealing them. Its the foreigners stealing our jobs! This is absolute nonsense, but it suits the establishment to promote this message to divide the opposition, and by dividing them to rule them.

Let’s fight together – if the various cross-party organisations do not come together to work in unison, then the force of concerted action is lost, as the action becomes divided between many smaller organisations, smaller marches, smaller protests. Grassroots works from bottom up – the local issue will then coalesce with other local issues, to become a regional force, and so on up. But the danger of opposition is that each group can go off on their own, forget about the unity of opposition, fight their own local battles without seeing the larger national picture. It is beholden on the organisers to make sure that these battles form part of a unified opposition to so-called austerity, and to the Tory agenda.

Let’s win this battle together – I am a strong believer both in Proportional Representation and in electoral pacts to achieve the progressive majority under First Past The Post that will allow PR to be passed. With the progressive parties all fighting each other, the vote will be split, the chances of winning will be diminished. Just looking at the Liberal Democrats, there are a dozen seats that could have been won if the other progressive parties had left the field open. The same is true for Labour, for the Greens, and for the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and Sinn Fein (both of whom suffered from the electoral pact between the Ulster Unionists and the DUP, to prove the point).

I will write more on that latter point, but togetherness is vital for victory, and every progressive party needs a leader who is open to working with other parties to achieve this end. Tim Farron is this for the Liberal Democrats and Jeremy Corbyn is this for Labour.


Winds of Change
22nd June 2015

What is Austerity?

Austerity is an illusion. Countries carry high levels of national debt. A country’s economy is a complex beast, it bears little resemblance to a household budget. It is locked into a completely different relationship of power, of debt, and of income.

Austerity is an ideological attack on the poor. The logical countermeasures to deal with a debt in an emergency are to slash a huge budgetary commitment, or to increase the highest gaining tax to get more.

The illogical way is the way that the Tories have adopted is to try to adopt a systemic change for the most widespread low-yield gains. If you can get one hit of a million by taxing one man, or a million hits of one pound by hitting a million people, the Tories will do the latter.

But if we are talking a billion, we are avoiding taxing a thousand millionaires in order to try to hit one million poor people for ten pounds each. And so it escalates.

This is not economics. It is systemic ideological abuse of the poor.

Not only this, but in simple economic terms if a million poor people spend a tenner it will be in their locality, their own town, their own local economy, and it will boost profits, employment and opportunity in that area.

If a thousand millionaires spend a million it is likely to be overseas, on high value goods that Britain does not manufacture. Even if we import them, it is a much reduced fraction that goes to jobs in the UK and thus the local economy.

The net gain may be equal, but the net drain is massively disproportionate. This is expecially true if you consider geographic considerations – these thousand millionaires would be mostly in London, then in other big cities. Taxing them would be a tiny tiny percentage of the economic life of London, a minute fraction of other big cities, not least because as I said the majority throughput on their expenditure would go overseas.

Compare this to the million poor people. If a thousand of them live in one small town, and the government takes a tenner away from each of them, then you have reduced that town’s revenues by ten thousand pounds. Almost all their income was being spent locally, so the net loss is local. Local businesses with diminished takings, local employment stagnating or reduced, local opportunities diminished.

A singularly ideological choice. To destroy local economies where people do not vote Tory rather than to tax one thousandth of the number of rich people who donate money to the Tories. This is not just an ideological attack on the poor. This is corruption at the highest possible level. Punish the poor to spare the rich donor.

It is not just unjust and self-serving, it is not just economically insane, but it is morally evil and it is something that all opposition parties have an absolute moral obligation to stand up against.


Winds of Change
17th June 2015

Dear SNP

Since #GE2015 we have been impressed with the comradery of the SNP MPs in Westminster, and by their generally fantastic maiden speeches. We have laughed as you laughed, over seating, clapping and challenging the yah-boo-sucks mentality of parliament.

But we have become worried. In just 5 weeks, we have become worried. There are two strands to this, one is the co-ordinated social media barrage where multiple MPs’ accounts, each apparently the private domain of its owner, state on social media almost exactly the same thing, as if singing from a hymn sheet not broadcasting their own thoughts.

The second is the ultimately confusing and very swiftly self-defeating war of words, tweets, broadcasts and statements between Labour and the SNP. Nobody really understands who is right, if anyone is right. The SNP say one thing, and blame Labour. Labour often say the same thing, and blame the SNP. Neither of you back the other’s amendments. Or if you say you do, the other says you don’t.

Why don’t Labour and the SNP get together, agree common amendments, take them to the relevant bills and push for them?

By continuing this ragged argument you are simply playing to two narrow fields – one is your own supporters who already support you, the other is the right-wing press who can tar both of you with the brush of chaos.

Sort it out and co-operate. The SNP needs to show its supporters South of Borders that it is capable of working with Labour, not just battling them on territory they both claim. To do the best for Scotland, they need to co-operate at Westminster. On a larger focus, they need to show they are willing to form a progressive alliance for the UK opposition.

If they both keep bickering, claiming the same thing, and ultimately defeating each other, then it will just be to their joint detriment and they only beneficiary will be the Tory press.

Winds of Change
16th June 2015

Tim 2 Lead

I’d never joined a political party before, I’d never seen the point, in fact I’d seen it as a straightjacket imposing a restriction on my ability to vote for the candidate I wanted to.

At the same time, from 1983 to 2013 I had always supported the Liberal Democrats, first in the guise as the SDP, then the Alliance, then the Liberal Democrats. That is true as a timespan, but is not true as a fact. After the formation of the SLD I remained supporting the old SDP, and became increasingly disillusioned with politics, but speeches by ex-SDP members of the Lib Dems at the party conference, broadcast on the BBC, in either 1992 or 1993 (its too long ago to remember) reinvigorated me, and got me behind the united party.

But I never joined it. I always voted for it, but I never saw the point in joining. I don’t join anything, so it wasn’t unique that I didn’t join. But it was how politics was. You supported someone, but you reserved the right to withdraw that support.

I did. In 2014 and in the General Election of 2015 I voted for Plaid Cymru. I am proud of that vote, I like Plaid, respect Leanne Wood, and if I went back in time I would vote for them again.

But in May this year, after the General Election, I became one of over 16000 people to join the Liberal Democrats. Why?

There is only one answer, but it has many facets, and that answer is Tim Farron.

The many facets of that answer include those who welcomed me on Twitter, talked to me about the idea of the #LibDemFightback and who all spoke highly of Tim. I was directed to watch a video from the Liberal Democrat conference in Autumn of last year, and saw what they were saying to me – that Tim Farron was a brave and dedicated liberal, that he understood the issues, that he was not afraid to take them on, and most of all that he was a powerful and impressive speaker.

I was then led to watch Tim’s speech to the Beveridge society, a few months prior in early Summer 2014, and here he expounded on similar themes, showing his range of talents. Once again I was very impressed.

So I joined, but joining is just one action. I am a keen observer, and I watch and see what people say about the issues. I have seen Tim Farron speak on housing, and on diversity, read his views on LGBT issues, on the legalisation of soft drugs, on refugee issues, and on electoral reform. In everything, I have seen a dynamic and intelligent politician, using that word in its factual sense as a person in politics, rather than its derogatory one, as in a liar and a cheat. These are things that Tim is not.

Even more I have been massively impressed by Tim Farron’s willingness to work alongside other progressive groups, whether to fight to preserve the Human Rights Act, to fight for electoral reform, or – and this is important to me – as a general principle.

I have said in a previous blog post that I believe it is imperative that an alliance of progressive parties come into being to block extreme right-wing legislation, to protect the Welfare State, to stand up for the poor, the victimised, the disabled and everyone who does not have a say in their own fate. And I have said that I believe it is vital that this progressive alliance actively work to collapse this Tory government well before they have the chance to impose 5 years of Hell on the country.

It can be easy for an MP, with their generous salary and their expenses, with the knowledge that they have years ahead of them before they need to be challenged in that luxury, to simply speak the words, to make a show of opposition, to forget the real people and fight for ideas and abstracts whilst the everyday man, woman and child suffer increasing hardship.

But I believe that there is a majority of opposition MPs who do not want to do this, who want instead to unite across party lines and defend the vulnerable, and who will be willing to cut short the security of their priveleged existence if by doing so they can bring about an election to rid this country of the Tory scurge.

And I believe that Tim Farron is the man willing to undertake such a powerful and positive leadership for the Liberal Democrats, to work alongside those in other parties who would equally sacrifice a security of tenure built on the suffering of millions, to achieve a No Confidence vote against this Tory government and bring about an election well in advance of 2020.

I have said before that the Fixed Term Parliament Act is a scam, a confidence trick (or a No Confidence trick if you like). No government losing the vote could continue to govern, regardless of whether they lose the vote “enough”. The FTPA is designed to prevent people trying, not to prevent them succeeding.

By joining the Liberal Democrats I am doing a bit more than lending them my vote at an election, I am putting my faith and trust in something, and in someone. That something is both liberalism and social democracy, and someone is Tim Farron.


Winds of Change
9th June 2015