Dear Messrs Webb and Lustig…

A response to Robert Webb and Robin Lustig's criticisms of those who choose not to vote, in the wake of Russell Brand's anti-electoral declaration.

Submitted by Rob Ray on November 1, 2013

Thankyou both for your contributions [1][2] to the debating point “should we vote for Labour in the next election.”

As a non-voter, I now feel well and truly told that by sharing Russell Brand’s view on the matter I have entered a grouping of people who are variously daft, dangerous, apathetic, politically flighty, talking through our arses, in favour of gulags and murder, poorly-read and that we just don’t know how lucky we are. How very kind of you to submit such deep and worthy thoughts to the highbrow liberal outlets of the day.

I wonder though were either of you, steeped as you undoubtedly are in the political life of this country, on a picket line at 7am in the morning yesterday? Or at any of the thousands of other picket lines up and down the country that non-voters I know personally have attended week in, week out both in the cause of their own work and in attempts to help save the jobs, or wages, or conditions of others?

Have you felt compelled to stand there patiently explaining to truly apathetic people what a picket line actually does? Have you watched, devastated, as truly daft people have deliberately flouted the democratic decisions of their peers, their friends, their families by walking into work and undermining the very essence of collective action for the sake of a few lousy bob?

Have either of you ever taken a truly dangerous police boot to the knee, or a baton to the face, in the cause of stopping a single one of the outrageous redistributions of wealth from poor to rich that have taken place under murderous governments, both Labour and Tory, in the course of the last 30 years?

No? You mean you haven’t given up hours, weeks, months, years of your time, spent an intimidating percentage of your own capital, risked your very livelihood and freedom for the sake of a hoped-for future you know you probably won’t live to see? Or even just to stop the world from getting any worse?

You haven’t done these things that I see my fellow anarchists do? I know you haven’t. Because I know that for all your fine words about the importance of democracy you, unlike my “apathetic” peers and I, have never actually found yourself having to go to the wire for something truly important.

You sit in your comfortable chair tapping away at your keyboard about the mighty democratic mandate of the people, about the influence of the ballot box, fully in line with and backed by the most powerful forces this island has to offer. You find yourself lauded by your fellow liberals and media pundits, pat yourself on the back and head off for a nice latte.

But you don’t know what it is to join the dots on Labour’s introduction of Workfare and tests for work availability and realise that people are going to die from it, that in one government’s time, maybe two at the outside, you’re going to be stood in the rain outside a jobcentre or a shop trying desperately to build enough momentum to force those bastards to cut it out.

You haven’t the faintest idea about the black fog of despair that descends as a non-voter when you read about Labour’s introduction of a few “minor privatisations” within the NHS and know as sure as eggs is eggs that this is a deliberate wedge designed to soften the service up for a full-on orgy of profitmaking that will ruin countless lives and end more than a few before their time.

And you clearly haven’t remembered your own past, as you are both old enough to have seen a million people stretched through the streets of London, telling a Labour government not to go to war in a land far away on a lie. A big lie. A lie that eventually would lead to the deaths of half a million innocents. A lie told over and over again by the very people you are now asking us to hold our noses and vote for. Not different people, the same fucking ones.

How dare you? How dare you sit there with that smug smirk on your fat wealthy face and tell us we are dangerously apathetic or impractically romantic when you can’t even face up to the fact that you vote for men who were the backroom boys of this murderous campaign done in our name. When you vote for killers who again and again follow the leverage of big money the moment they’ve occupied their comfy seats in the Commons. When you vote for the scum who have wrought such inconceivable damage against the working classes, who have in toffee-nosed accents told people living off nothing “go get a job or we’ll take your benefits you slacker.”

You castigate Brand for ranting about governments not representing him. You call on him and presumably us to “read some fucking Orwell.” I’ve read some fucking Orwell you blithering fool, enough to remember that even this icon of liberality was sharp enough to know of and sympathise with anarchist theory in Homage to Catalonia. Orwell would laugh at you and disavow any connection to your poorly-wrought propaganda for people to vote rather than fight. He would spit on your self-satisfaction you vacuous whelp.

It is not we who are uninformed. It is not we who deny reality. It is not we who pretend that politics for the last 30 years have revolved around who’s sat on the green benches and use that as an excuse to do the sum total of fuck all to contribute to our world and our future because some other bloke will sort it out. That’s you. It’s your casual acceptance and shrug of the shoulders that capitalist representative democracy is the best of a bad lot that has led to the utter destruction of first working class power, then our protections and rights.

You haven’t brought your thunderous disdain down on the hypocrites and charlatans who have lied to us over and over, with sharp suits and sharp smiles and sharp machine minds as they promise “we’ll be different, honest” and then promptly forget we ever existed the day after the election. No, instead you’ve carped and moaned at the millions of disenfranchised who have finally had enough of those liars.

You are the apathetic. You are the problem. It is your politics that must die.

===

2015 update: Rather amusingly, Mr "if you don't vote you get death camps" is now quitting the Labour Party because some people were mean to him on Twitter.

"Robert 'Read some fucking Orwell' Webb

Maybe I'll vote for them. Maybe not.

Yeah Robert, that's the spirit of Orwell. Right There.

Comments

Noah Fence

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on November 1, 2013

Rob Ray

Thanks for this - it has truly made my day. The arrogance of these wittering fucking turds seems to know no bounds, and whilst your well aimed vitriol is extremely unlikely to reach their ears and if they did would no doubt be batted back with their smug, back slapping, smart arse 'wit' a la Have I Got News For You, for me it's a well needed energiser on a day that I don't want to go to work and don't want to spend my evening trying to help my daughter trudge through the soul destroying task of re-establishing her benefits which were stopped when she was admitted to hospital.
These fucking idiots have absolutely no idea what they are on about - they parrot the parliamentary democracy, people died to give you the right to vote, blah blah blah horseshit that has been rammed down our throats for generations without once thinking about what they're saying. Well I think about it every day and am pleased to say I have never once been hypnotised in to taking part in the whole sorry charade in the 30 years I've been eligible.
Great blog.

Serge Forward

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Serge Forward on November 1, 2013

Rob Ray, I think I love you you. Fantastic post :rb: :rb: :rb:

Left Leg

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Left Leg on November 1, 2013

Great post, cheers.

Jason Cortez

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jason Cortez on November 1, 2013

Nice one.

Edward Sexby

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Edward Sexby on November 1, 2013

Nice one, that's made me really happy. Spot on! I've had countless debates over the years with people who call me out when I either don't vote or spoil my ballot paper in protest. You just have to look at the continuity of policy in government over the last thirty years to realize what is going on, and the way in which Reformists - however principled and well intentioned to begin with - end up being co-opted by the system. As an example, check out Aufhaben's article on the health service, a few years back.

In a fit of drunken despair, back in 2005, I was tempted to vote Green, in protest over Iraq. Common (revolutionary) Sense prevailed. Now I read that Darren Johnston, Green member of the London Assembly, moved their motion congratulating the future heir to the throne for sucessfully reproducing. I guess kissing royal arse pays well...

Carly

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Carly on November 1, 2013

Incredible, finally esteemed public figures that are not afraid to tell the real truth. An enormous thank you. Hopefully your peers will be inspired to do the same as it seems you are the pioneers and we need this to gain momentum.

DanT

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by DanT on November 1, 2013

Part of the problem with revolutionary politics is that, while the problem is clearly articulated, the solution is not. In that absence of an honest and forthright *policy* or political platform, revolutionary rhetoric only serves the needs of the establishment. It scares the shit out of ordinary working people (as well as the wealthy, needless to say), and therefore gives a rationale for the surveillance and control grid, and for increasing police violence. This is why state intelligence agencies actually plant agents in anarchist groups (as well as any other gathering of more than two people), to *provoke* a violent, "fuck shit up", "to the barricades!" attitude and methodology. The system needs you. It needs something to push against, and to periodically scare ordinary people with. As long as the fear - and moral terror - of petrol bombs, looting, rape, murder, etc. (revolution) is greater than their fear of greater privatization, higher taxes, or losing benefits, the system is winning. Imagine that this terror (which you feel as hope and exhilaration) were gone: then normals could take to the streets peacefully, and make their voices heard without being drowned out by, or associated with, a call for bloody murder, firey destruction and an end to participatory democracy.

Those on the left must recognize the burden of history that their ideology bears. Of course you have every right to believe and speak what you choose. But 250 million people were killed by their own socialist/communist governments in the 20th century alone. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot - if you're going to have one of these people on your t-shirt, and use their rhetoric and methods of agitation, then you have to explain to the wary working person (who also wants change and accountability) exactly *how* and *why* "this time it will be different." I don't hear that at all from the left. Even when the debate rises above the purely emotional, I hear pure, indignant denial of the horror forced collectivism has wrought on humanity, or I hear "that wasn't *real* socialism/communism/collectivism." Well, you're wearing the t-shirt. You're mouthing the same words. You're walking the same revolutionary path. And behind the call to tear everything down, there is no clear articulation of what would take its place. People like owning things, and being free to engage in commerce. They like being able to earn and save what little they make, and invest it, to choose the work they do, and have the freedom to quit their job or retrain for one of their choosing. And they know that forced collectivism would take that away from them. They've read some history, and they're listening to you, and they understand that gulags and rationing and secret police dragging off dissidents in the middle of the night is what comes after the thrill of "fucking shit up." People like owning property, and they don't like BEING property. They like a reasonable degree of personal intellectual freedom, freedom of assembly; they like contracting freely among themselves in all sorts of ways without the interference of the state. Address those concerns effectively and honestly (if you can), and you will get ordinary people to the barricades. Until then, you serve the roll of a scary political monster for the establishment to point to and say "at least its not as bad as what those lot would do to you."

commieprincess

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by commieprincess on November 1, 2013

DanT,

Have a read of this, it might help address some of your concerns.

http://libcom.org/thought/ideas/libertarian-communism/introduction-to-libertarian-communism.php

sandy_ash

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by sandy_ash on November 1, 2013

DanT,
Hitler was a socialist? News to me!

susanegreen

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by susanegreen on November 1, 2013

Thankyou for expressing so eloquently and informatively how I felt about the Lustig and Webb pieces. I am going to try to ensure that those friends on FB and elsewhere who 'concurred' with Lustig read your piece. One can lead a horse to water etc......

Cooked

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Cooked on November 1, 2013

Rob, that's some precision channeled anger right there!

Against Rich S…

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Against Rich S… on November 1, 2013

an end to participatory democracy.

How can we end something that doesn't yet exist?

Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot

First of all, we're not authoritarian communists. Secondly, one of these things is not like the other.

And what is this nonsense about T-shirts?

Bunion_on_my_foot

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Bunion_on_my_foot on November 1, 2013

I don't get why everyone is so pissy. I read Webb's article and I also watched the Peep Show. Both were marvellous and very funny.

If you do not live in Bangladesh or fourteenth century Shropshire, you should join the Labour Party. An excellent point well made.

PS I loved the joke about Tirstam Hunt's action figure!! The Labour Party wouldn't make Tristram Hunt action figures, that would be silly.

Bunion_on_my_foot

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Bunion_on_my_foot on November 1, 2013

DanT

Those on the left must recognize the burden of history that their ideology bears. Of course you have every right to believe and speak what you choose. But 250 million people were killed by their own socialist/communist governments in the 20th century alone.

Dan, how many people were killed liberal democracies in the 20th century alone? Just wondering if you have a figure handy.

Tian

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Tian on November 1, 2013

Bunion_on_my_foot

DanT

Those on the left must recognize the burden of history that their ideology bears. Of course you have every right to believe and speak what you choose. But 250 million people were killed by their own socialist/communist governments in the 20th century alone.

Dan, how many people were killed liberal democracies in the 20th century alone? Just wondering if you have a figure handy.

I don't think it's worth getting into this kind of slanging match, as it can be interpreted that we're in some way defending these 'leftist' states (I know you weren't in this case, Bunion).

To be absolutely clear: They're all fucking bad. Trying to tar us with the same brush as totalitarian states just ain't going to work.

someoneionceknew

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by someoneionceknew on November 2, 2013

Bravo. Superbly put.

jimsnopes

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jimsnopes on November 2, 2013

Thanks, commieprincess. A great response to DanT's impressively well written but blinkered musings.

beam12

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by beam12 on November 2, 2013

Replying to this blog as it seems a dangerous polarity seems to be developing within some groups about using your vote , I understand the cynicsm of those who think 'whoever wins the government gets in' . I can also see how highminded and partonising it can seem to be hectored about using your vote BUT it's not either /or !!

I can list all the actions I have been involved in over decades from endless demonstations ,squatting ,striking ,pickets lines etc. They are all important as are mass demonsrations ,such as the ones that won Lewisham hospital it's A&E reprieve recently but you need to vote as well!!
Simple example
The working people of the UK threw out Churchill after the war ,we have the NHS It was implemented by government .If you don't vote ,either for the least worse option, or for a minority to show the support such the Green party you are condoning the current government,You are saying you are happy with the bedroom tax ,the selling off of Royal Mail etc.
Protest yes ,sign every good cause going ,good on 38 degrees, Avaaz, the Occupy movement. get up a tree to stop developers .I'm a bit past that now but do not throw away the right that took the peasants revolt ,the Lellevers ,the Diggers ,the Chartists the Suffragettes etc so long to achieve

Serge Forward

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Serge Forward on November 2, 2013

Beam12, while I don't agree with parliamentarism and electoralism, the writer of this blogpost was responding to the view from Webb and Lustig that people who don't vote are apathetic and should read some fucking Orwell (ironically demonstrating that Mr Webb has actually read very little, if any, Orwell). I take your point that many voters are not necessarily apathetic but that's not really the issue here.

Noah Fence

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on November 2, 2013

The working people of the UK threw out Churchill after the war ,we have the NHS It was implemented by government .If you don't vote ,either for the least worse option, or for a minority to show the support such the Green party you are condoning the current government,You are saying you are happy with the bedroom tax ,the selling off of Royal Mail etc.

By not voting you are condoning the current government??? Are you serious? So what are you condoning if you DO vote? Come on, do you really think we should give the whole pathetic business credibility by participating? Even puting the ideological aspect of it to one side what do you really think can be achieved? Casting a vote is like giving a aspirin to an end stage cancer victim.

Rob Ray

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on November 2, 2013

Honestly I really don't care whether you want to vote or not (my examples above were meant more as rebuttal than accusation), that's your prerogative. But don't tell me what I "need" to do and assume I haven't thought about what I'm really saying by not voting, that's the same patronising shit that I'm angry about from Webb and Lustig.

Now actually, Labour tried to introduce the Bedroom Tax in 2001. Ed Miliband himself voted for it in 2007 as part of the Welfare Reform Bill. So I'm going to make a wild leap here, and say that if and when they get into power, despite their rhetoric now, they'll pull a little Clegg on you by not repealing it. And you'll no doubt bitch and moan about that, but here's the thing. You voted for it. You voted to be lied to. Remember it.

They also tried to sell off Royal Mail in 2009 using almost identical plans to the ones which have been done by the Tories. You know what stopped them? Strikes. Lots and lots of industrial action. Not a cross in a box, but direct action which scared off investors.

So in fact, who's saying they're happy with taxing the poor and selling things off here? Me? I didn't vote for those fuckers because I knew they'd do that. It's been the MO of governments red and blue for three decades. I fought them every step of the way and could do so with the clearest of understandings that they did none of this in my name. You on the other hand...

But both of these, tbh, are sideshows because what you're doing is missing the point of not voting, which is legitimacy. These people act out a play in which you are given option A: Get fucked, or option B: get fucked with bells on. There's no option C: not to be fucked at all. And as long as people like you continue to fetishise this state of affairs there never will be an option C because one or the other of A and B always get to say "I'm here because people voted for me."

The political class as a whole doesn't fear voters (hell it doesn't even listen to them, Labour is sharply to the right of the vast bulk of the public on economics), it fears powerful working class movements capable of stopping ministers cold when they try and wring out that little bit extra for themselves and their fellow capitalists. It fears challenges to its primacy as the only allowable arbiter of power.

Don't come on here with your accusations that I'm somehow being blinkered or polarising (on a binary question debate of "should you vote Labour" no less), I read widely and think carefully about the choices I make. More so than you, because I'm not simply going with the rhetorical flow provided for me by almost every mainstream media outlet going.

Oh and honestly you can fuck off citing the likes of the Levellers and the Diggers. They weren't fighting for the right to put a cross against a piece of paper, they were fighting for working class power. A mere cursory look at the trends of 30 years of neoliberal economics regardless of party should be enough to show that one is not synonymous with the other.

Noah Fence

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on November 2, 2013

One thing I am grateful to Robert for is the opportunity to dish out 'Webb, you are a fucking wanker!' instead of being on the receiving end.

Paul Nelson

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Paul Nelson on November 2, 2013

Like the author you seem to be of the opinion that you either vote OR fight. Have you petty-bouregois anarchist simpletons ever grasped the concept that you can do BOTH? Yep, that's right; you can vote AND join picket lines, attend demonstrations, spray paint walls, flyer gigs and housing estates, fly-post bust stops, join Occupy camps, join sabs in the field against badger culls.

I wonder if your multi-millionaire, foppish vagabond pirate spokeman, Russell Brand, the Lidl Will Self, attended any picket lines this week? Now THAT may have made many take him a little more seriously, but I bet he was still in bed wondering if his rape-culture slut-shaming career is in anyway in direct contrast to his calls for social progress?

It is you who sneer and mock those who vote whilst simultaneously denying yourself, and encouraging others to deny themselves, a form of protest and the right of a (small) voice in the parliamentary process.

By all means have no illusions that parliamentary democracy will give us any fundamental change in the power structures in our society but from the formation of the NHS (thanks to Laour) to the attacks of ATOS (opposed by Labour) on the most vulnerable in our society clearly voting can make a erious and very real impact on many lives. But I guess you'll only realise that when you leave your middle-class student politics behind and join the real world.

Paul Nelson

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Paul Nelson on November 2, 2013

I mean, Russell fuckin Brand!!! Really?!?

:wall:

omen

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by omen on November 2, 2013

(Please excuse the poor likenesses, but it was a bit of a rush job. :oops:)

Bunion_on_my_foot

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Bunion_on_my_foot on November 2, 2013

Like the author you seem to be of the opinion that you either vote OR fight. Have you petty-bouregois anarchist simpletons ever grasped the concept that you can do BOTH? Yep, that's right; you can vote AND join picket lines, attend demonstrations, spray paint walls, flyer gigs and housing estates, fly-post bust stops, join Occupy camps, join sabs in the field against badger culls.

Webb's entire argument is that we should all be thankful Britain has not been on the receiving end of a superpower's bloodthirsty quest for world domination. He goes even further and suggests we should vote Labour even if you believe in a host of things they do not support. Lustig claimed the 1994 South African election stopped apartheid and not decades of militant struggle. It is all just total wank and an opportunity for influential twats (Brand included) to advertise themselves for Newsnight/Question Time when the next election is another record low turnout.

Cooked

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Cooked on November 2, 2013

Paul Nelson

I mean, Russell fuckin Brand!!! Really?!?

:wall:

Forget Russel Brand, he's just the mouth that happened to say it on TV.

No one is planning to elect him as a leader (goes without saying no?) or has said anything positive about him beyond him advocating revolution and that you don't vote.

Noah Fence

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on November 2, 2013

Paul Nelson - You may want to read this thread http://libcom.org/blog/russel-brand-revolution-pragmatism-24102013 before judging how much of a spokesperson Mr Brand is considered around these here parts.
Yes, we could do all the things you mention AND vote. We could also do all of those things and dance the funky chicken. A similar level of change could be effected by both options but at least with the latter we would have a good laugh and get some exercise, plus there would be the added bonus of not falling for the con trick that has convinced countless millions that an act of base submission is act of collective power.
Seriously man, get to fuck with your lazy accusations of 'middle class student politics'.

One thing I'll give you though - calling Brand 'the Liidl Will Self'. Now that is funny.

Rubbish Anarchist

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rubbish Anarchist on November 2, 2013

Wonderful article, Rob Ray. Will be tweeting and linking as much as poss.

alexandrite

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by alexandrite on November 2, 2013

I agree & was going to use the meerkat picture! Too slow... awesome! :roll:

Cooked

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Cooked on November 2, 2013

What RB means to me

Le Frigg

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Le Frigg on November 2, 2013

What's a latte?

Chilli Sauce

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on November 2, 2013

Cooked, are you suggesting Brand is the the chatterbox of the internet generation?

Anyway, this piece is amazing, Rob Ray. I've seen it around and Facebook and other sites. The main critical responses seem painfully full of strawmen. Mainly that (a) this blog somehow suggest anarchist support Brand or (b) anarchists somehow believe all people who don't vote do it out of revolutionary principles.

For those who plan to wander on this thread to criticize the piece, fine, criticize away, but please don't use these two terrible strawman (and I'm not even gonna touch "Hitler was a socialist, too.")

Two other final things: One, someone really needs to write a proper critique of that "People died for the right to vote" BS. And, two, as for the old Labour and the NHS, I'm going to leave that one to the old classmate of George Orwell himself, Tory MP Quinton Hogg in 1948:

"Give them reforms or they'll give us revolution."

That's why we have the NHS.

Webby, in my head, this is you now. I hope I never have to change that image:

Noah Fence

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on November 2, 2013

Fuck! Webby unmasked! Fascists and government agents take aim!
Gotta go - once again it's time to bust a move!

Cooked

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Cooked on November 2, 2013

Chilli Sauce

Cooked, are you suggesting Brand is the the chatterbox of the internet generation?

I wish! Any images of pants (uk) or vaginas that pop into yer heads are on you! The shape of the cutout is a pure interpretation of the facial features of RB by the "artist". Not helped by using the following input device.

I do allow for the possibility that RB's amazing sexual aura (yeah right) put my mind in a confused state where I couldn't stop thinking about his pants but my habitual straightness mounted a defence and placed his mouth in the sensitive area so that at a glance I could fool myself that I was still interested in women.

Steven.

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on November 4, 2013

Paul Nelson

Like the author you seem to be of the opinion that you either vote OR fight. Have you petty-bouregois anarchist simpletons ever grasped the concept that you can do BOTH?

By all means have no illusions that parliamentary democracy will give us any fundamental change in the power structures in our society but from the formation of the NHS (thanks to Laour) to the attacks of ATOS (opposed by Labour) on the most vulnerable in our society clearly voting can make a erious and very real impact on many lives. But I guess you'll only realise that when you leave your middle-class student politics behind and join the real world.

hmm as someone who is keen to denounce others as "simpletons" how do you explain your own lack of knowledge of the real world?

The NHS was formed following the recommendations of the Beveridge report, which was approved by the three main parties. All three main parties in the 1945 election pledged to set up the NHS.

And the work capability assessments carried out by Atos were introduced by the Labour Party.

GLOKD

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by GLOKD on November 4, 2013

I'm sorry this article is disingenuous. You can't peddle an anarchist agenda and then complain about a government that is privatising the NHS or reducing welfare spending. Anarchism and neo-liberal capitalism are two cheeks of the same arse. Does our government have flaws, some of which you've highlighted? Yes, of course - but the ambition to completely remove the state is ridiculous given how many people rely upon it. The fact remains that inordinate amount of our wealth are spent educating, caring and housing us: our government is benevolent and generous by any historical or contemporary comparison you could make, something you haven't quite grasped yet.

And before you start on the usual diatribe about me being a stooge for the establishment, who hasn't lifted a finger in aid of anything: I was out protesting when student fees got hiked, when the anarchists hijacked and derailed the movement; I have marched against the cuts; I have been held hostage in many a kettle exercising my right to assembly and free speech. But you need to engage with the political system to change it, revolution and anarchism are not the solutions to apathy, nor are they needed nor wanted.

Rob Ray

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on November 4, 2013

No-one thinks you're a stooge for the Establishment. Uninformed and arrogant, yes but not a stooge. Apart from anything else, a stooge of the Establishment would put significantly more effort into finding out what anarchists actually think before hauling off about the subject.

Try reading a bit around the site, or picking up any of the thousands of books on the subject of Anarchism that exist (reading list here) you might get some idea exactly how badly you've misunderstood where we come from, and why your post comes across as embarrassingly ignorant.

Steven.

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on November 4, 2013

GLOKD

I'm sorry this article is disingenuous. You can't peddle an anarchist agenda and then complain about a government that is privatising the NHS or reducing welfare spending. Anarchism and neo-liberal capitalism are two cheeks of the same arse.

you can only say that if you have absolutely no understanding of anarchism, as explained quite clearly here:
http://libcom.org/blog/%E2%80%98anarchists-are-tories%E2%80%99-other-fairy-tales-01082011

Does our government have flaws, some of which you've highlighted? Yes, of course - but the ambition to completely remove the state is ridiculous given how many people rely upon it. The fact remains that inordinate amount of our wealth are spent educating, caring and housing us: our government is benevolent and generous by any historical or contemporary comparison you could make, something you haven't quite grasped yet.

again, here you betray your lack of understanding. What we consider the essence of a state is the body of armed violence which it controls. See here for a short introduction: http://libcom.org/library/state-introduction

Schools or healthcare systems are not inherently part of the state (are they run by the state across the whole world? Of course not, in many places, including here, they are run by religious groups, voluntary groups, private companies etc).

You also incorrect if you believe that the government is simply benevolently providing social welfare to the population. Partly it is provided because it is necessary for the economy and for capitalist accumulation. For example, businesses need an educated and relatively healthy workforce. And secondly it has been provided as a response to working class struggles. Particularly the mass upheavals and strikes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

And before you start on the usual diatribe about me being a stooge for the establishment, who hasn't lifted a finger in aid of anything:

what "usual diatribe" is this?

Good for you for marching against cuts, etc. But if you think that quietly walking down the road then putting an X in a box every four years is going to stop austerity or do anything to improve the lives of working people then you are sadly mistaken, and understand very little about history.

And as for this, this is nonsense:

I was out protesting when student fees got hiked, when the anarchists hijacked and derailed the movement

anarchists joined the movement (and indeed, help lead it) as affected individuals. It wasn't derailed, it wasn't successful and it fizzled out.

Whereas the Québec student movement on the other hand was successful. Which was essentially because it was much more disruptive, and had much more prolonged and widespread direct action:
http://libcom.org/blog/quebec-important-victory-however-partial-it-may-be-27092012

Phil

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Phil on November 4, 2013

GLOKD

I'm sorry this article is disingenuous. You can't peddle an anarchist agenda and then complain about a government that is privatising the NHS or reducing welfare spending. Anarchism and neo-liberal capitalism are two cheeks of the same arse.

Oh, hi. Welcome to Libcom, a website for libertarian communists.

GLOKD

Does our government have flaws, some of which you've highlighted? Yes, of course - but the ambition to completely remove the state is ridiculous given how many people rely upon it. The fact remains that inordinate amount of our wealth are spent educating, caring and housing us: our government is benevolent and generous by any historical or contemporary comparison you could make, something you haven't quite grasped yet.

Concessions won from the state are not the state. That's like saying that a pay rise or decent terms and conditions won by striking are wage labour.

A bit rich to complain about anarchists hijacking the movement when you clearly don't understand the basic concepts behind the movement. Or anything much at all, really.

Chilli Sauce

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on November 4, 2013

Steven, that was a beautiful post.

ocelot

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on November 5, 2013

"If you want to save the NHS from privatisation, vote Labour... even though they will also privatise the NHS"

Sorry, I missed the bit where it was explained how we were the illogical ones?

GLOKD

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by GLOKD on November 5, 2013

Steven.

GLOKD

I'm sorry this article is disingenuous. You can't peddle an anarchist agenda and then complain about a government that is privatising the NHS or reducing welfare spending. Anarchism and neo-liberal capitalism are two cheeks of the same arse.

you can only say that if you have absolutely no understanding of anarchism, as explained quite clearly here:
http://libcom.org/blog/%E2%80%98anarchists-are-tories%E2%80%99-other-fairy-tales-01082011

Lol, it seems forwarding me to 500 pieces of literature passes for a decent rebuttal on this forum. I had no idea you were so sophisticated. ;)

Steven.

Does our government have flaws, some of which you've highlighted? Yes, of course - but the ambition to completely remove the state is ridiculous given how many people rely upon it. The fact remains that inordinate amount of our wealth are spent educating, caring and housing us: our government is benevolent and generous by any historical or contemporary comparison you could make, something you haven't quite grasped yet.

Schools or healthcare systems are not inherently part of the state (are they run by the state across the whole world? Of course not, in many places, including here, they are run by religious groups, voluntary groups, private companies etc).

Didn't take you long to return to type - first you tell me how poorly I've characterised anarchism and then you trumpet the most base rhetoric around privately provided education. But seriously, do you think private/religious/corporate run schools are desirable? You will have to excuse me if I confuse your views with those of Michael Gove and other anti-state neo-cons more often.

Unfortunately many Tories agree with you, which is leading to the demise of our comprehensive, state-run school system. A similar thing is happening with our national curriculum, which isn't biased by private interests and religious prejudice unlike free schools.

And I see you wisely tip-toed around the NHS on this point. I suppose you have a grand plan to decentralise and privatise that as well? It could be run by crusty eccentrics, elderly volunteers and black bloc anarchists - who needs a state, right?

Steven.

You also incorrect if you believe that the government is simply benevolently providing social welfare to the population. Partly it is provided because it is necessary for the economy and for capitalist accumulation. For example, businesses need an educated and relatively healthy workforce. And secondly it has been provided as a response to working class struggles. Particularly the mass upheavals and strikes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

What part of my original post disagreed with striking as a legitimate form of protest? Taking away your labour is not only a right I fully support but, crucially, an engagement with the political process. Many strikes are undertaken by public sector workers who rely upon the state for gainful employment. And I'm sorry I just don't share your cynicism with the political establishment - most politicians are guided by strong principles of fairness - take John Bercow MP, for example, who conducted the Bercow Report on children with learning disabilities, leading to millions in extra spending. I suppose that was that another conspiracy to improve the efficiency of capitalist machinery? Don't let that paranoia get the better of you, Stevie.

Steven.

And before you start on the usual diatribe about me being a stooge for the establishment, who hasn't lifted a finger in aid of anything:

what "usual diatribe" is this?

See above article.

Steven.

Good for you for marching against cuts, etc. But if you think that quietly walking down the road then putting an X in a box every four years is going to stop austerity or do anything to improve the lives of working people then you are sadly mistaken, and understand very little about history.

Thanks for your approval. Your proven track record of smashing up indiscriminate shops and turning every single media outlet against your cause is truly something I aspire to. I love taking lectures from all you veterans.

Steven.

Whereas the Québec student movement on the other hand was successful. Which was essentially because it was much more disruptive, and had much more prolonged and widespread direct action:

As if you just cited Quebec as a comparable example, next you'll be telling me about Che Guevara. You anarchists are hilarious when you're not appropriating important causes for pointless and unachievable ends.

Lastly, please don't take any confidence from the false security of this forum's consensus. 99.99999% of the population think you're misguided, stupid and ignorant. Don't ever forget that, Stevie.

Picket

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Picket on November 5, 2013

Construing 3 as equal to 500 is a fitting introduction to your post.

GLOKD

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by GLOKD on November 5, 2013

Pikel

Construing 3 as equal to 500 is a fitting introduction to your post.

Rob Ray

Try reading a bit around the site, or picking up any of the thousands of books on the subject of Anarchism that exist (reading list here)

I was killing two birds with one stone, but you weren't to know.

wojtek

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on November 5, 2013

Why be intellectually honest when you can just insult people, rely on strawmen and ignorantly associate social anarchism with neo-liberalism, tedious stereotypes, paranoia and stalinists. Obvious troll is obvious.

Rob Ray

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on November 5, 2013

HOW DARE YOU POINT ME AT BOOKS!!11!

working class …

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by working class … on November 5, 2013

Pointless and unachievable aims?...... Lol, how did your twice a decade vote work our for you?

John Bercow, yeah he is a real diamond... Remember when he was the National Chairman of the Federation of Conservative Students in the 1980's & was peddling the 'Hang Mandela' posters, and calling for 'assisted repatriation' of immigrants?

...and who is Stevie?

Fleur

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fleur on November 5, 2013

This is probably comes from a bit of weariness from doing this, but is there much point in arguing with posters such as GLOKD, who come on the site essentially to troll, argue from a point of ignorance and misunderstanding of what anarchism is, trotting out the usual nonsense of any gains we've achieved being handed out by our benign political leaders, as opposed to things which we fought for and won and utterly refusing to look at a handful of short, easily read documents?
By the way GLOKDie, I live in Québec. Given that you couldn't be bothered to check it out yourself, let me explain in very simple terms: Québec student bodies are organized on vaguely anarchistic lines, with direct democracy (you might want to google that) and direct action, and in 2012 held a student strike in response to a tuition hike. You know what happened, without any political party involvement? The government not only backed down on the tuition hike, they also resigned. Students in Québec do not pay nine grand a year in tuition fees. Anarchists did not "appropriate" the Québec student movement, anarchists allied themselves with it. It might be of benefit to the students of the UK to look to Québec student organizing, we have the lowest tuition fees in North America and a shit ton less than you pay.
If you can't be bothered to get informed, maybe you ought to take this conversation down the pub, I'm sure you'll be able to find like-minded others who subscribe to similar stereotypes, such as the anarchists smashing up shops.

Noah Fence

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on November 5, 2013

GLOKD - What is your reason for posting here? Why are you posting without finding out what Libcom is about? I mean, if you THINK you disagree with our views but want to learn more, then fair enough but you really don't give that impression at all. You are making assumptions and throwing around accusations but it is quite clear that you haven't any idea of what we're about. You seem to think Libcom is inhabited by crusty, dog on a string lifestyle 'anarchists' when even a cursory glance at the forums would show you that these guys are about as popular around here as a fart in a lift.
Seriously man, if you're so enamoured of parliamentary politics go discuss it with likeminded people - surely you would find that more productive and entertaining than spending your evening engaged in futile feather ruffling? Or maybe not...

Edit - FER kind of beat me to it.

Steven.

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on November 5, 2013

GLOKD

Steven.

GLOKD

I'm sorry this article is disingenuous. You can't peddle an anarchist agenda and then complain about a government that is privatising the NHS or reducing welfare spending. Anarchism and neo-liberal capitalism are two cheeks of the same arse.

you can only say that if you have absolutely no understanding of anarchism, as explained quite clearly here:
http://libcom.org/blog/%E2%80%98anarchists-are-tories%E2%80%99-other-fairy-tales-01082011

Lol, it seems forwarding me to 500 pieces of literature passes for a decent rebuttal on this forum. I had no idea you were so sophisticated. ;)

I just pointed out that you knew absolutely nothing of what you were talking about. That link was to a short article, which shouldn't be too taxing, which you could choose to read if you didn't want to be speaking from the perspective of complete ignorance. But I guess you prefer ignorance, so that's fine, you've made your choice.

Steven.

Does our government have flaws, some of which you've highlighted? Yes, of course - but the ambition to completely remove the state is ridiculous given how many people rely upon it. The fact remains that inordinate amount of our wealth are spent educating, caring and housing us: our government is benevolent and generous by any historical or contemporary comparison you could make, something you haven't quite grasped yet.

Schools or healthcare systems are not inherently part of the state (are they run by the state across the whole world? Of course not, in many places, including here, they are run by religious groups, voluntary groups, private companies etc).

Didn't take you long to return to type - first you tell me how poorly I've characterised anarchism and then you trumpet the most base rhetoric around privately provided education. But seriously, do you think private/religious/corporate run schools are desirable? You will have to excuse me if I confuse your views with those of Michael Gove and other anti-state neo-cons more often.

Lolz, so looks like comprehension is not quite your strong point either. The point I made above, is that schools/healthcare/welfare systems etc are not what anarchists mean we talk about the state. What we mean when we talk about the state, which we obviously want abolished, is the centralised force of armed violence.

From misreading that, you have gone off on yet another misinformed rant, saying I support private/corporate schools. Which is particularly stupid when you consider the various anti-privatisation/anti-academy schools etc campaigns many anarchists involved in and which we cover on this site.

Unfortunately many Tories agree with you, which is leading to the demise of our comprehensive, state-run school system. A similar thing is happening with our national curriculum, which isn't biased by private interests and religious prejudice unlike free schools.

what is it, you claim, that "many Tories agree with" me about then?

Unfortunately for you, what you may not realise is that academy schools were actually introduced by the Labour government in 2000.

And I see you wisely tip-toed around the NHS on this point. I suppose you have a grand plan to decentralise and privatise that as well? It could be run by crusty eccentrics, elderly volunteers and black bloc anarchists - who needs a state, right?

you what? It's not anarchists privatising the NHS, it's successive labour and Tory governments. For what it's worth my view is that it would run better not-for-profit but to meet need, run collectively by its workers and patients.

Steven.

You also incorrect if you believe that the government is simply benevolently providing social welfare to the population. Partly it is provided because it is necessary for the economy and for capitalist accumulation. For example, businesses need an educated and relatively healthy workforce. And secondly it has been provided as a response to working class struggles. Particularly the mass upheavals and strikes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

What part of my original post disagreed with striking as a legitimate form of protest? Taking away your labour is not only a right I fully support but, crucially, an engagement with the political process. Many strikes are undertaken by public sector workers who rely upon the state for gainful employment. And I'm sorry I just don't share your cynicism with the political establishment - most politicians are guided by strong principles of fairness - take John Bercow MP, for example, who conducted the Bercow Report on children with learning disabilities, leading to millions in extra spending. I suppose that was that another conspiracy to improve the efficiency of capitalist machinery? Don't let that paranoia get the better of you, Stevie.

where have I said you "disagreed with striking as a legitimate form of protest"? You really seem to be having trouble reading something and understanding what it actually says. Maybe try looking at the words rather than just imagining some stereotype?

I am a public sector worker, as it happens, who works in children's services and am deeply involved in opposition to our services being destroyed.

Steven.

Good for you for marching against cuts, etc. But if you think that quietly walking down the road then putting an X in a box every four years is going to stop austerity or do anything to improve the lives of working people then you are sadly mistaken, and understand very little about history.

Thanks for your approval. Your proven track record of smashing up indiscriminate shops and turning every single media outlet against your cause is truly something I aspire to. I love taking lectures from all you veterans.

what "indiscriminate shops" do you reckon I've smashed up then? As for the media, it is all run by either big capitalist businesses or the state, so they are never going to support a political theory aimed at abolishing both capitalism and the state, so that's something we just going to have to live with.

Steven.

Whereas the Québec student movement on the other hand was successful. Which was essentially because it was much more disruptive, and had much more prolonged and widespread direct action:

As if you just cited Quebec as a comparable example, next you'll be telling me about Che Guevara. You anarchists are hilarious when you're not appropriating important causes for pointless and unachievable ends.

that's a pretty good non sequitur. You were the one who brought up the movement against tuition fees here. You blamed its failure on anarchists. I pointed out a direct comparator to the UK student movement, which was successful because of its largely anarchistic organisational forms and strategies.

I don't see what Che Guevara, a Stalinist idiot, has to do with anything.

Lastly, please don't take any confidence from the false security of this forum's consensus. 99.99999% of the population think you're misguided, stupid and ignorant. Don't ever forget that, Stevie.

you might want to check your maths there. As for what people think, most people disagree with a lot of other people's politics. Especially as a lot of people are in your situation, blindly holding a dislike something without having any idea what it actually is.

I know very well this forum is not representative of the population as a whole, but of course I do live in the world as a whole, and generally actually when you explain what anarchist politics actually mean you find a lot of common ground with most people, who are totally disenfranchised with the political parties and politicians you seem so naïvely fond of.

GLOKD

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by GLOKD on November 6, 2013

Lol, oh Stevie, you've gone and tied yourself in too many knots for this to be an interesting or useful exchange any longer. Allow me start over and cut through some of this bull.

Stevie.

run collectively by its workers and patients.

Funny seeing you go red-in-the-face denying all links between neo-liberalism and anarchism and then, without irony, go onto say the NHS would be better run at a local level by patients and workers. You're beyond parody. Regionalising power, this is precisely what the entire front bench of the Conservative party says. If you think this is preferable to a benevolent, democratic, centralised state, that collects huge tax revenues which it pumps into the NHS, I pity you. Not to mention the huge spending power a centralised government has (see "economies of scale"); the widespread employment it provides and it's regulatory and organisational capacity. How exactly will a patient assess the cost effectiveness of a new cancer drug? All I can say is thank god you're a cringing minority in this country, who are contained to occasional spats of indiscriminate violence and fringe online forums, because you would ruin our public institutions and welfare state.

Also, please elucidate your real views on education so I can pick through them. You've been very unclear about this in your previous posts, I dare say deliberately.

Stevie.

What we mean when we talk about the state, which we obviously want abolished, is the centralised force of armed violence.

White. Noise. We live in one of the freest, least violent countries in the world and have a government that, on the whole, respects our freedom, does not harass us and spends most of its wealth on a broad range of vital public services. The people of Iran laugh at you. Making this government more accountable and improving these services should be our common aim - not abolishing the whole bureaucratic and democratic underpinnings of the system, you fruit. Abolishing the state IS violence because it inevitably catalyses corporate interests, deregulation, regional disparity, religious, cultural and ethnic prejudice.

I also couldn't help but notice that you went on a giant tangent to avoid one of my previous questions, I will repeat here to give you a second bite of the apple:

GLOKD

And I'm sorry I just don't share your cynicism with the political establishment - most politicians are guided by strong principles of fairness - take John Bercow MP, for example, who conducted the Bercow Report on children with learning disabilities, leading to millions in extra spending. I suppose that was that another conspiracy to improve the efficiency of capitalist machinery?

Noah Fence

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on November 6, 2013

Seeing as you seem hellbent on engaging with

a cringing minority in this country, who are contained to occasional spats of indiscriminate violence and fringe online forums

how about answering my post?
Seeing as you are so sure you are right and we're such a bunch of numpties, what the fuck are you doing here?!!! My best guess is you got tired of chasing billy goats over the rickety bridge.

Chilli Sauce

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on November 6, 2013

GLOKD:

Page 16

commieprincess

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by commieprincess on November 6, 2013

GLOKD

We live in one of the freest, least violent countries in the world and have a government that, on the whole, respects our freedom, does not harass us and spends most of its wealth on a broad range of vital public services.

Firstly, even if that were true, are you saying it's perfect and there's no room for improvement? Secondly, even if that were true domestically, are you fucking mental? How many millions of people has the British government killed over the years? Have you heard of colonialism? How about the Iraq war? And that doesn't even scratch the surface.

But, that was even if it was were true, and it's not true. Here's a link documenting the habitual police violence which happens all over the world, including the UK. (I realise you think actual information weakens an argument, but seriously, give it a try)
http://libcom.org/blog/cop-watch-please-contribute-14052012

Not to mention the measures brought in by Labour and carried on by the Tories like the bedroom tax, workfare, throwing disabled people off benefits, making people homeless through cutting off housing allowances etc. People are committing suicide because of these measures.

As for explaining the difference between a private company owning a service and the basic anarchist principle of the abolition of ownership... It's a bit like explaining that red is red and blue is blue. But here goes:

Anarchists don't want services to be run by profit making companies. We think services should be run by the people who use them and the people who work for them. Who has a better idea on how schools should run? The actual education professionals and students who come to school everyday, or some fucking goat-headed Richard Branson wank puddle who's primary motive is profit? As you know, both Labour and the Tories prefer the latter option.

Uncreative

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Uncreative on November 6, 2013

GLOKD

I was killing two birds with one stone, but you weren't to know.

Two birds, or 500 birds?

Mr. Jolly

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mr. Jolly on November 6, 2013

White. Noise. We live in one of the freest, least violent countries in the world and have a government that, on the whole, respects our freedom, does not harass us and spends most of its wealth on a broad range of vital public services.

mmm we are one of the most surveilled populations on the planet. You are confusing 'being free' with freedom of speech. True, freedom of speech has been central to cultural sensibilities since Milton and the appearance of the printing press, that is not the same as freedom, the ability to collectively withdraw ones labour, the right to organise freely in the streets, total control of public spaces, the ability of the police to kill with impunity, and other techniques of state power, does not make a free society...

Serge Forward

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Serge Forward on November 6, 2013

I know it's be nice to newbies and all that but this GLOKD character is just a wind up merchant who has no interest in what any of us say. He/she has already decided what we're about and has no intention of letting a little bit of reading or engaging in meaningful discussion get in the way of a shit argument. What an utter bell end. Chilli linking to The little book of bad arguments is spot on.

Fleur

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fleur on November 6, 2013

Firstly, everything Commie Princess said.

GLOKD
What are you doing here? You did bring this argument to us. Not only do you know absolutely nothing about anarchism, you clearly can't be arsed to look up what it actually is all about. You'd rather pick a fight based on your own misconceptions and some stupid stereotypes. And then you say things like this

Also, please elucidate your real views on education so I can pick through them.

Why don't you just educate yourself on these things, there's hardly a shortage of writing on this site. Or would you prefer someone to spoonfeed it to you? I'm assuming that you're being belligerent and rude, you could just be bloody lazy. This is a comments field on a blog post, not an "educate a hostile neophyte who has no intention of listening" thread.
Do you behave like this IRL, wander into a room, decide you don't like someone and pick a fight? Are you just a seasoned internet troll? Do you log into Mumsnet and tell people they're shit parents or discusscooking.com and tell people their cakes are crap? Was someone calling themselves an anarchist mean to you once? We all have our traumas. I was mugged in Spain once, however I don't imagine that all Spanish people are bag-snatching thieves, because that would be stupid.
Then you're a condescending little twonk

Lol, oh Stevie

It doesn't make you look like a skilled debater, it just makes you look like a prat. Anyway, anyone can drop to that level, so from now on I'm going to call you Pookie.

So Pookie, seeing as you're desperate to engage on one particular thing, possibly because it's easier for you to do a small amount of reading,

most politicians are guided by strong principles of fairness - take John Bercow MP, for example, who conducted the Bercow Report on children with learning disabilities, leading to millions in extra spending.

The State giveth and the State taketh away.
http://www.theguardian.com/education/the-northerner/2013/apr/11/mia-special-educational-needs-nhs-cuts
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9527921/Thousands-of-disabled-children-have-school-support-wrongly-removed-charities-warn.html
And lo, one shining day Saint Bercow, entirely on his own, having not taken into account AT ALL pressure from parents, educational pressure groups, teachers, benevolently decided to grant unto the grateful concessions. Which are incidentally having their funding stripped away. As a parent of a kid with special educational needs, it's on my long list of many reasons why I won't be moving back to the UK. I wouldn't want him in the schools there. This would be the education system, so graciously granted by our betters which is at the bottom of the OECD league tables for education. The likes of Mr Bercow are doing an excellent job, aren't they? I suspect if you let teachers run schools, at the very least they couldn't do as crappy a job of it as the Ministry of Education does.
You seem to be fixated on violence, I'm guessing someone broke some windows on a demo you went on. I could point you to the fact that of all the political ideologies, anarchism has generated the least violence, but you won't believe me or be bothered to check the facts for yourself. In my city we have annual riots, windows are smashed on an epic scale, there's looting, the occasional cop car is torched. This is what happens during the hockey playoffs. Quite clearly, all hockey fans are mindlessly violent. Oh no, because that would be a really stupid extrapolation.
There's more than one kind of violence, there's the one that breaks replaceable glass and then there's the long-term psychological violence of poverty. Like the 80,000 homeless kids who have to live in B&Bs in the UK. Or that one in three Londoners who live in poverty. Or people with disabilities being put through the humiliations of ATOS assessments (a Labour initiative) and benefit sanctions. People losing their homes because of the Bedroom Tax, also something you can thank Labour for.
Not expecting an answer, you've not responded to any other points beyond patronizing Steven with arguments predicated upon ignorance and prejudice. Have you considered taking this over to the Daily Mail?

OneKlart

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by OneKlart on November 6, 2013

Well you learn something new every day, I didn't know you could spell admin: flaming removed G-L-O-K-D.

Seriously Pookie, we get that you can't be bothered to learn about what you're talking about, and that you consider it OK to insult, belittle, and patronise those people who have very patiently and politely tried to point you to resources you could have used to improve your understanding. Everyone reading this thread now understands that you (or at least your online persona) are a boorish, wilfully ignorant snip - so please have the courtesy to snip .

Also, that Book of Bad Arguments is genius, thanks for the link Chilli Sauce!

Steven.

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on November 6, 2013

I'm not going to have time to post a proper response until tomorrow (although Fleur's is excellent), but please can people, like OneKlart please remain polite, thanks.

vicent

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by vicent on November 7, 2013

what about voting for a leaderless party that simply channels the votes from a federation? sort of the lines of the pirate party

Reddebrek

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Reddebrek on November 7, 2013

vicent

what about voting for a leaderless party that simply channels the votes from a federation? sort of the lines of the pirate party

There's no such thing as a leaderless party what you're talking about is a party without a formal leadership. Two problems there, first lets assume this informal party wins enough seats to take control of government, there's nothing to stop well established and charismatic individuals from forming a clique and becoming defacto leaders, which now have control of the state with no real means accountability until the next election.

Or lets further assume this doesn't happen and despite state institutions requiring clear hierarchies from Minister to juniors this informal party is able to remain a collective entity. Then it'd just be a much larger group that makes decisions over and above us.

globeprober

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by globeprober on November 9, 2013

now this here... this is The Stuff.

Noah Fence

9 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noah Fence on March 28, 2015

This thread has just come to mind considering what is heading our way.
I've just inadvertently walked in to my first pre-election spat and its left me feeling angry, insulted and pissed off with myself for allowing it to happen. All it took was a casual comment about keeping my head down and ignoring the whole sorry charade until it was all over and before I knew it, my Labour supporting friend was beside himself with fury! All the old arguments came out about Tories with their cuts, privatisation and warmongering, how people have fought and died for the right to vote and how my anti establishment ranting would change nothing. I got the impression that he thought I was an antisocial animal for even mentioning my lack of respect for this precious jewel of democracy. It's funny how people think that to be anything but reverent about our vote is about as socially acceptable as having a wank in a playground but it's ok for them to pour out wildly inaccurate statements about any suggested alternatives.
Fucking Hell comrades, I wish I could fall asleep and wake up in 6 weeks time. The whole thing is just an embarrassment.