The other Miliband gets it right: People don't like the politics of hate
Red Ed is brainless. Ancient old Marxist class-war stuff was all he could think of. It used to be said that Margaret Thatcher's greatest asset was the British Labour party. They were so far away from normality in their little cloud of hate that they were unelectable. Red Ed went back to that, making him David Cameron's greatest asset
David Miliband tonight ripped into his brother's leadership of the Labour Party in his first interview since last week's disastrous election defeat.
The former foreign secretary said Ed, like Gordon Brown before him, looked like he wanted to take the country 'backwards' and said the election result proved people 'did not want what was being offered'.
He said his younger brother, who resigned as Labour leader on Friday morning, had failed to appeal to the aspirational middle classes and had instead tried to 'divide' the country into the rich and poor.
Mr Miliband's intervention comes after his brother guided Labour to its worst election defeat in almost 30 years – finishing 99 seats behind the Conservatives, with 26 fewer MPs than even Gordon Brown managed in 2010.
Speaking to the BBC in New York - where he works as the head of the refugee charity International Rescue - David said: ‘This election was devastating for the Labour party and every Labour supporter. It’s the result everyone always fears.
‘I think there is absolutely no point in blaming the electorate. Any suggestion that they didn’t "get it" is wrong. They didn’t want what was being offered,
‘I think in both 2010 and in 2015, Gordon and then Ed, allowed themselves to be portrayed as moving backwards from the principles of aspiration and inclusion which are at the absolute heart of any successful progressive political projects.’
His remarks go further than last week, when he posted a short message on Twitter hinting at the scale of the challenge faced by the party in the wake of last week's electoral drubbing.
The former MP for South Shields said the party needed 'deep and honest thinking' about how to repair the damage of his brother Ed's defeat.
But speaking today David – who was beaten by his younger brother to the leadership five years ago - said Labour had abandoned middle class voters who gave Tony Blair his three election victories.
He said: ‘The fundamental principles of an aspirational and inclusive politics is about middle class, working class and upper class.’
The former foreign secretary said Labour needed to ‘embrace people rather than divide them’, adding: ‘We failed to do that in 2010 and in 2015.’
Mr Miliband said he was ‘clearly not a candidate in this leadership election’ because he was not an MP, but said he was now free to contribute more to UK politics because there would no longer be a ‘soap opera’ around his relationship with his brother.
David, who has repeatedly left open the possibility of returning to frontline politics, is the latest in a series of New Labour big beasts to publicly denounce the party's election campaign, after Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson and Alan Johnson warned lurching to the left will not put the party back in power.
Mr Darling said Labour was now in its worst position for more than 20 years after going into the election without an economic policy.
The former Chancellor, who stood down at the election, tore into the strategy of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, claiming they pretended New Labour 'didn't do any good in 13 years, which is absolute rubbish'.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'We were not convincing. We did not have an economic policy. We didn't repudiate the criticisms the Tories were making of when we were in government.
'They were occasions when we almost said we didn't do any good in 13 years, which is absolute rubbish.
'You've got to have confidence about what you did in the past just as the courage to admit where you got things wrong - but we just didn't look compelling and convincing.'
Mr Miliband's entire pitch to voters has been shredded by senior Labour figures in recent days, claiming he was too left-wing, anti-aspiration and too keen to turn his back on Mr Blair, who won three elections.
After publicly backing the former leader during the campaign, his critics have been out in force over the weekend.
Lord Mandelson said Mr Miliband's left-wing, anti-business stance left the party facing a crisis as bad as the dark days of the Eighties when it was humiliated at the polls.
Asked what had been missing from Labour's pitch, the former business secretary said scathingly: 'An economic policy.'
He also condemned Mr Miliband's efforts to differentiate between what he called 'predator' capitalists and 'producer' businesses as 'completely useless'.
He insisted Mr Miliband had made a terrible mistake when he disowned the New Labour agenda which won the party three straight elections.
Mr Blair insisted Labour had to shift direction to show it stood for 'ambition and aspiration'.
Former deputy PM Lord Prescott condemned a 'bloody disastrous' result. 'We fought a presidential-type election based on computers, charts, focus groups and even the American language – 'Hell yes'? Hell no!' Lord Prescott said, ridiculing Mr Miliband's remark about his readiness to enter No10.
A string of other Blairites – including former ministers Lord Reid, Lord Hutton, Alan Milburn, Ben Bradshaw and Pat McFadden – demanded a fundamental rethink. Former health secretary Mr Milburn said: 'This has been a horror show – and it's been a horror show since 2007, not just since 2010. Let us be clear where the root of all this lies.
'You don't ditch your own record, you defend it. You demonstrate economic competence, focus as much on wealth creation as you do on wealth distribution and you build a coalition of support in the country and don't just appeal to your core vote.'
Labour's woes deepened even further today after the Apprentice star Lord Sugar announced that he was quitting the party because of the its 'negative business policies'.
The peer said he had found himself 'losing confidence in the party' under Ed Miliband and had decided before the election that he was going to leave.
In a statement this morning, Lord Sugar claimed the party had abandoned the pro-business stance it had taken under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
He said he had been brought into the party by the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown 'during an era where true enterprise was being supported by the party'.
Lord Sugar said he did not want to 'stick the boot in' to the party but said it had been shifting back to its 'Old Labour' position which had seen it lose election after election throughout the 1980s.
Another multicultural rapist in Britain
A British soldier raped two women and sexually assaulted another while telling one victim: ‘I can do what I want,’ a court heard.
Lance Corporal Lee Busano, 28, overpowered a 29-year- old student in her home after she tried to rebuff his sexual advances.
As she pleaded for him to stop the attack, it was alleged, he likened her to ‘a stripper’.
The court heard that after raping his first victim, physical training inspector Busano laughed at her and then went for a workout at a gym.
Just days later the soldier allegedly attacked another woman, sitting on her and headbutting her in the face a number of times, causing cuts to her nose.
The jury was told the soldier then raped her while telling her: ‘I can do what I want.’
He is accused of sexually assaulting a third woman months later. He climbed on top of her and put his hands up her shorts, dragging her back when she tried to escape, the court heard.
Busano, who is based at Weeton Army Barracks in Lancashire, appeared in the dock at Preston Crown Court wearing his full army uniform. He denied two counts of rape and one of sexual assault.
Timothy Ashmole, prosecuting, told the jury that Busano had raped the first woman in March last year. He said the soldier was able to control his victims ‘not only physically, but verbally and emotionally’.
The court heard the first attack took place when Busano turned up at the woman’s house, she let him in and he tried to kiss her.
Mr Ashmole said: ‘She rebuffed his advances. She made it quite clear she was in a relationship. Not content with what he was hearing, he made his way up the stairs to the bedroom.
‘He tried to kiss her, once again she spurned his advances.’ The court was told Busano then pulled down her knickers as she repeatedly told him to stop, saying: ‘I don’t want to do this.’
Mr Ashmole told the court: ‘She maintained and meant no. The defendant should have stopped. She continued to tell him to stop.
‘She was by this stage physically struggling against him – you see he is a strong, tall, well-built young man.
‘She did at one stage try to strangle him to get him off her and even managed to headbutt him. She said to him, “It’s rape if you do this”.’ In video evidence, the student told the court: ‘I had a dress on. He said I looked like a stripper. He was laughing and joking, quite hyper. He didn’t seem to have had a drink.
‘He was pushing me down, pulling my dress up. I said, “I don’t want to do this”. He is a lot stronger than me. ‘I kept saying, “No means no”. He was trying to push himself on me. I tried to strangle him.
‘I really tried to squeeze as much as I could … I headbutted him. He just laughed, he thinks it’s funny. I was crying as well. I said, “It’s rape if you do this. If you keep trying to do this it’s rape.”’
She added that she had been prescribed diazepam after the attack and told the court: ‘I wish I had killed him when I strangled him. I have cried so much.’
The jury heard Busano carried out his next attack just a week later, and in November last year he allegedly punched a third woman in the face before pushing her down, climbing on top of her and sexually assaulting her.
Only politically correct free expression accepted by lefty writers
PEN International is an organization of writers which cherishes freedom of expression; it boldly state this in its charter.
PEN International promotes literature and freedom of expression and is governed by the PEN Charter and the principles it embodies: unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations.
PEN International is the worlds leading association of writers, working to promote literature and defend freedom of expression around the world. PEN was founded by the British poet, playwright and peace activist C.A. Dawson-Scott, as an international club providing space for writers to share ideas and as a forum, uniting writers irrespective of their culture, language or political opinion. Today PEN International connects an international community of writers from its Secretariat in London, spanning over 100 countries, with 149 PEN Centres worldwide.
Disturbed by the slaughter in Paris, France of writers for Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine that often mocked Mohammed--among others--by Muslims, members of PEN's American Center is planning to honor the magazine with its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award this week.
Eeeek! For many writers of the leftist persuasion there is freedom of expression but, most importantly, politically correct freedom of expression. Honoring Charlie Hebdo violated the basic tenets of the latter and so some writers withdrew from the award celebration and gala dinner with "vehemence" according to Phyllis Chesler, feminist, professor, psychologist and author.
The novelists Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner, and Taiye Salasi have withdrawn from the event which will be held at the American Museum of Natural History. They have done so with great “vehemence.”
This is particularly frightening because we are talking about some very distinguished novelists. Carey won the Man Booker Prize not once but twice (just like Hilary Mantel); Michael Ondaatje also won the Man Booker Prize for The English Patient; Francine Prose has been a President of PEN and is a successful novelist in her own right; she has claimed, in the pages of The Guardian, that the “narrative of the Charlie Hebdo murders—white Europeans killed in their offices by Muslim extremists—is one that feeds neatly into the cultural prejudices that have allowed our government to make so many disastrous mistakes in the Middle East.”
She goes further. While insisting she is in favor of free speech and against censorship, she does not believe that Charlie Hebdo deserves an “award.” She writes:
“The First Amendment guarantees the right of the neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois, but we don’t give them an award.” Shockingly, (at least in my view), she writes that “Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning” are more worthy of such an award.
Prose is a professor at Bard College—where another writer who withdrew at the last moment, Teju Cole, is now a Distinguished Writer in Residence.
Rachel Kushner is a graduate of Berkeley; her first novel, Telex from Cuba, which explores the colonialist roots of the Cuban Revolution, was a finalist for the National Book Award.
Taiye Selasi comes from a very distinguished family and her first novel Ghana Must Go, was hailed as a magnificent debut in all the venues that matter.
None of these writers are lightweights or fools. All are serious leftists and are therefore, “distinguished” prize winners. They are also pro-Islamist and remain at odds with the very Western enterprise that has fostered them so well. (snip)
Update: Now, 145 PEN writers, including the six hosts who have withdrawn have publicly written to PEN protesting the award being given to the survivors of the Charlie Hebdo magazine massacre. Editorials and blog posts are being fired across the bows so to speak of the PEN mother ship.
Unsurprisingly, some left and pro-Palestinian Jews are among the signatories: Deena Metzger, Sarah Schulman, and Deborah Eisenberg to name a few—and then there is Deborah Baker who wrote a biography of an American Jewish woman who converted to Islam, moved to Pakistan, and became a potent voice for radical Islamism.
Actually, this is not shocking at all; Chesler's descriptions of those who withdrew, "all are serious leftists...they are also pro-Islamist and remain at odds with the very Western enterprise that has fostered them so well" describes much of seemingly puzzling leftist behavior. Wracked with guilt over their comfort while others suffer, they hate what supports them but would never move to the societies they theoretically admire from a safe distance.
Salman Rushdie, a Muslim writer from one of those leftist admired societies and had to flee when he dared criticize other Muslims and Islam and is consequently now an assassination target, living with guards said that although Mr. Ondjaate and Mr. Carey were “old friends,” that in this matter they are “horribly wrong.” He further hoped that “if PEN cannot defend and celebrate people who have been murdered for drawing pictures, then frankly, the organization is not worth the name….I hope nobody ever comes after them.”
Oh, what does Rushdie know? He lived in those leftist admired societies before successfully fleeing to find refuge in one of the leftist hated societies. Exploding leftist dreams makes them very angry and more incompetent as they lose their anchors, their foundations. And so they lash out. But they will never leave their hated society.
Running on Empty Is Unsustainable
Baltimore, Baltimore, Baltimore. In the space of a single week we’ve heard every theory, every rationalization, every speculation, good, bad and ugly, about what happened and why. Yet if truth be told, Baltimore is a symbol of something far more unsettling than the painful and largely inaccurate attempt to turn it into a metaphor about the racial divide that besets America. I say largely inaccurate because three of the cops charged in the case are black, including the officer charged with the most serious offense, second degree depraved murder. Yet there is a genuine divide afflicting America. It is the one between those who believe there is an overarching code of morals to which society must adhere, and those who believe in the polar opposite, more familiarly known as anything goes.
Quite simply there are millions of Americans who either don’t know the difference between good and evil, and right and wrong — or simply don’t give a damn. In their universe, life is an ever-evolving series of rationalizations allowing every type of execrable behavior to be justified.
Race and class distinctions are irrelevant. While the looting, stealing and arson occurring in Baltimore are far more overt, the bipartisan effort to bankrupt the nation, or the machinations of corporate and media titans to unjustly enrich themselves and deliberately fan the flames of societal discord, respectively, are just as damaging to the nation — if not more so.
All of it reflects the flowering of two major phenomena: moral relativism and the “everything is a shade of gray” bankruptcy that attends it, and nonjudgmentalism, which is the equally bankrupt anti-intellectual concept that abets it. For decades Americans have been told to “do their own thing” absent the critical corollary that must accompany it in any rational society, as in living with the consequences of one’s own choices, good or bad. Never before in the history of our nation have more Americans been determined to blame their own problems on someone else. And never before have they been so assiduously taught that anything resembling value judgments are tantamount to bigotry, homophobia, misogyny and a host of other epithets designed to do one thing above all else: denigrate traditional American culture and elevate the free-for-all society we are rapidly becoming.
Moreover, any dissent from the free-for-all mindset must be suppressed, even to the point of utter fatuousness. Thus in the case of Baltimore, we are advised that the use of the word “thug” must be discarded, lest those who exploited a legitimate protest to loot, burn and destroy their own neighborhood take umbrage, along with their equally compromised media and political abettors. For those unfamiliar with George Orwell’s “1984,” completely removing certain words from use by the masses was considered a critical element for maintaining control in the totalitarian state that novel portrays.
The bastardization of meaning goes hand in hand with such removal. Thus, for example, a “bum” or a “drug addict” becomes a “homeless” person, removing the stigma of the aforementioned bad choices. An “illegal alien” becomes an “undocumented immigrant,” implying some lack of procedure is the primary culprit, rather than the mockery of law. “Islamic terrorist” becomes “insurgent” lest the true nature of who threaten us engenders discomfort among those who make it up as they go along.
The center isn’t holding. Human beings are quite capable of making excuses for anything, but it is impossible to remain in a “value-free” nonjudgmental state. The brain isn’t hard-wired that way and something will inevitably fill the gap. In modern day America, much of that gap is filled with a series of ongoing distractions, highlighted by the inordinate amount of time people dedicate to their cellphones and computers. That such time competes with human interaction and perhaps far more importantly, quiet introspection, is extremely troubling. But it is nothing new: The term “bread and circuses” has been around since the Roman Empire, when similar distractions were used to obscure the cultural decline. A decline that ultimately led to the downfall of that civilization.
We are heading in the same direction, led by the amoralists who use political correctness as a hammer to suppress anything that threatens their hegemony. Those Americans who refuse to be intimidated are targeted for ostracization by the self-aggrandizers who trumpet their determination not to let society’s clock be “turned back” to the “dark” days that preceded our current state of evolvement.
Where is that so-called evolvement? It’s certainly not evincing itself in a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that shows 96 percent of Americans believe we’re headed for a summer of additional race riots in a reprise of the 1960s, the 60 percent who have no trust in the media, the 73 percent who despise Congress, or the 61 percent who believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Wrong direction? I submit much of the nation is doing little more than marking time, careening from one vapid moment to the next, because the alternative is too painful. What alternative? An honest assessment of ourselves — absent the denial, the rationalizations, the excuses and the host of other roadblocks that make such assessments virtually impossible.
And those assessments become exceedingly difficult in a society where rational thought has given way to emotion. For those familiar with American history, it is exactly that kind of societal flip-flop feared most by our Founding Fathers. It is why they made the process of wholesale change so difficult to achieve, be it with the separation of powers clause in the Constitution, or amending the Constitution itself. Such deliberation stands in stark contrast to our current society, where anyone resisting wholesale change must be denigrated for, among other things, “clinging” to their guns and religion.
Compared to what? Like many Americans, I have my issues with certain aspects of religion, but the current determination by so many to render it anachronistic — when they’re not busy attempting to eliminate it outright — is a fool’s errand. Nature abhors a vacuum, and as I have theorized on previous occasions that vacuum has been filled primarily by lawyers and therapists. Lawyers and therapists who have tossed right and wrong on the ash heap of history in favor of legal and illegal and well and unwell, respectively, in all their nonjudgmental glory. Thus it is no accident we have become the most litigious nation on earth, approximately 61.5 million Americans are afflicted with a mental illness in a given year, or that one-in-five Americans regularly ingest mind-altering drugs prescribed by their doctors.
Perhaps religion isn’t so bad after all. It certainly brings one element to the party that lawyers and therapists do not, namely that each individual is not the center of his own universe, another trend that might explain the avalanche of self-entitlement that arises from the elevation of the self above all. There is little doubt that we have become quite adept at chafing over a number of religion-based restraints, all of which are based on a notion anathema to the terminally self-absorbed, namely that there is something far bigger than the self in control of the universe. And that’s when we’re not jettisoning such restraints entirely, even as we collectively pat ourselves on the back for our aforementioned “evolvement.”
Sorry, but from where I sit, it’s not looking so forward-thinking in a number of places, or among a wide range of people trying to convince us that social utopia is right around the corner, provided we let them do that thinking for us. That such overweening arrogance is taken seriously by anyone, much less millions, is a sign of the times.
Yet I remain hopeful. As the saying goes, it is often calmest right before the storm, and the storm I envision is the one where enough people finally conclude an anything goes society is an incremental journey of increasing self-indulgence leading directly to oblivion. An oblivion where truth, honor, decency and reality itself are put on equal footing with lies, dishonor and unrelenting decadence. One where utter inanity and genuine insight are given equal consideration. Such a level of denial is unsustainable, and I remain a firm believer in the words of Winston Churchill: “Americans will always do the right thing — after exhausting all the alternatives.”
I believe the point of exhaustion is close at hand.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.