In the wake of Britain’s inconclusive general election, there is much talk of the “national interest”. It’s said that politicians of all parties have to pull together to address the crisis caused by the country’s enlarged fiscal deficit. Specifically, they must agree to a package of deep public spending cuts. Nothing, it is said, is more urgent, more unavoidable. In contrast, it seems climate change can be left perpetually on the backburner — though there is a far greater expert consensus about its dangers than those of a large deficit.
Right, who knows a way of making “Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition, out out out!” scan properly? Events haven’t been made easier by the news coverage, which involved reporters telling us: “Oh my God, it’s historic, and the two of them look so lovely together, and they’re in the garden, ooohhh, I haven't cried so much since I last saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s."
As Tiger Woods returns to golf, not all his affairs are salacious headlines. In Dubai, the Tiger Woods Golf Course is costing $100 million to build. Dubai relies on cheap Third World labour, as do certain consumer brands that have helped make Woods a billionaire. Nike workers in Thailand wrote to Woods, expressing their “utmost respect for your skill and perseverance as an athlete” but pointing out that they would need to work 72,000 years “to receive what you will earn from [your Nike] contract”.
For the first time ever, a member of the British Green Party, Caroline Lucas, was elected to parliament in the May 6 general elections. Printed below is a May 7 statement from GreenParty.org.uk * * * Greens all over Britain were celebrating this morning as the news was announced that party leader Caroline Lucas had won the Brighton Pavilion seat.
‘Perish the Privileged Orders’: A Socialist History of the Chartist Movement By Mark O’Brien New Clarion Press Revised Edition 2009, 119 pages Review by Alex Miller If you believed the corporate media, you might think that the greatest threats to parliamentary democracy in a country like Britain have come from Kaiser Wilhelm’s armies in World War I or — today — from Al Qaeda and Islamic jihadists. In fact, the greatest enemies of representative democracy in Britain over the centuries have been the British ruling classes themselves.
Everyone Can be a Hero By J. R. Birch Inside Outsider Publications, 2010, 293 pages
In The Iron Heel, Jack London used a narrative from the future to present the dystopian and utopian possibilities that existed in his time. Everyone Can be a Hero, a new independently published book for older children and teenagers, uses a similar device.
Staring at the vast military history section in the airport shop, I had a choice: the derring-do of psychopaths or scholarly tomes with their illicit devotion to the cult of organised killing. There was nothing I recognised from reporting war. Nothing on the spectacle of children’s limbs hanging in trees and nothing on the burden of shit in your trousers. War is a good read. War is fun. More war please.
Over the last few years it’s become one of our quaint English traditions that on any day following the announcement of immigration figures, certain newspapers display headlines such as “TEN MILLION OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT POLES TO SWARM INTO BRITAIN LIKE PLUMBING LOCUSTS!!! And they plan to BUGGER OUR KITTENS!!!”
A new left alliance has formed in Britain to stand in the European Union elections set for June 4.