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Boris win a boost for Cameron – I don’t think so

Posted on 5 May 2012 | 11:05am

It is remarkable how slowly the media moves from a pre-ordained narrative that turns out to be wrong.

Boris Johnson having failed to win anything like the support being predicted for him, the win over Ken Livingstone is being seen both as a big step towards Boris being the next Tory leader, and a rare shaft of light for David Cameron on an otherwise dark day. It is hard for both of these views to be right. I think both may be wrong.

Yes, Boris out performed his party just as Ken under performed his. But even with major organisational support and a hugely biased media, he could persuade only 17 percent of Londoners to vote for him. I sensed in his victory speech that even he realises the act is wearing a bit thin. It is also an act that doesn’t travel north, and an act that finds little favour with serious business people like some of those involved in delivering the Olympics who whilst respecting the Mayor’s media skills despair at his inability to master decision making processes.

Should he step up to a really major leadership role, he would need far deeper skills than those shown thus far.

As for the boost to Cameron element of the equation, that too seems more muddy than clear. They do not get on personally. Boris tends to imbibe his own good publicity. He will begin to believe the line that Cameron is out of his depth and that only he could fill the gap. He could quite quickly become a destabilising force in a Party currently destabilising itself enough without him.

As for the ‘two posh boys who don’t know the price of milk’ (that one is sticking with all the force of Anne Widdecombe’s ‘something of the night’ re Howard) it is remarkable that Boris can turn his poshness to his advantage whereas they can’t.

One of the reasons is that their jobs matter more than his so people expect more. As I said on Newsnight last night when we talk about a politician’s CV we mean Competence, Values and Vision. If you have all three clear and in good working order, all should be good.

For Cameron, the vision has never been clear, the values have been made all too clear by the cuts, the tax cut for the rich, the NHS bill and so much more. As for competence, oh dear.

It is possible to get buy with one out of CVV having a bad spell. When all three are knackered it is time to worry.

  • Great piece, I agree but the punch line sucks! “It is possible to get buy with one out of CVV having a bad spell”????

  • Nice piece… but the punch line sucks!

  • ZintinW4

    All the result means for Cameron is he has something else to worry about. Boris will continue to be popular in London for not obvious reason other than he is a bit daft. In that respect he is the political equivalent of Paul Gascgoine. Outside of the M25 ring I suspect his appeal is less valuable. He may be liked in London but in Liverpool, Leeds or Llanelli? I think not. He is not a Prime Minister even if he may be deluded into thinking he is.

    Cameron’s omnishambolic spring will continue into the summer. The tensions in the coalition will increase and the Bullingdon boys will be caught between a rock and a hard place, neither able to please the Tory grassroots or their coalition partners.

    This gives Labour an opportunity to really start to articulate a vision of what a Labour Government will do with power if we win. It’s still a big ‘if’ though. Much more work to be done yet.

  • Michele

    Paddy Ashdown has claimed that a coalescence achievement is that this week some people (I think he said 25% ) would have opened their paypackets this week (I suppose he means monthly-paid) and found £130 more in them.

    Does anyone know where this figure might come from?

  • Michele

    Paddy Ashdown has also just smart-rrrrsed to Hilary Benn words to the effect of ……… When you’re in debt stop borrowing.

    Would anyone from the coalescence like to describe what they would have inherited in terms of population’s health, infrastructure, industry and homeless families if the banks had not been propped up, if most of the western world’s hadn’t been? 

    Paddy Ashdown used to be admirable.

  • Jefferson

    All day yesterday the commentators, and Tories particularly, were saying what a disaster it was for Labour to choose the unelectable Livingstone as their candidate for Mayor. Yet the ‘unelectable’ Livingstone was neck and neck until the end with the supposedly highly electable, loveable Boris.

  • Howysmith

    So, its a 2-speed UK? with “Bullingdon London” v the rest of us?  Provided Labour get David Miliband back in a senior capacity, they might stand a chance in 2015?

  • CB

    Think its safe to say that deep down, Cameron will be more relieved having seen Boris just manage to scrape through ahead of Livingstone instead of giving him the good kicking that all were expecting. In my opinion Labour would have been better off if Boris had had a resounding win because then all those in the Tory Party that are not happy with the way things are going would have seen a ready made replacement for an ever more unpopular Cameron. Someone who if given the chance of leadership of their party would start to implement the far right wing policies that most in the Tory Party are now starting to cry out for. A strong and ready in waiting Boris would force Cameron to move further to the right in order to pacify those calling for his replacement which in turn would drive a wedge between the Tories and the Lib Dems and it would just be a matter of time before the coalition started to self destruct. All Labour would have to do would be to quietly sit back and with a half decent leader come out at the next election as easy winners. Because Boris failed to get the overwhelming win that was expected though Cameron can now probably sleep easier in his bed knowing he’s safe. I’m still not convinced about Miliband as leader of Labour either. I think it was more of an all round good night for Labour due to the fact that people weren’t happy with the coalition and wanted to make that point in no uncertain terms rather than being happy with an opposition party and leader that is ready and in the electorates opinion more than capable of running the show. If Blair or even Brown were back at the helm of Labour now then i’ve no doubt at all that the Labour Party would be looking forward to another landslide victory in three years time.

  • Epictrader

    Have been thinking what good news Cameron has in his favour. The only thing I came up with was his potential to right his wrongs over the next 3 years. But his government is inherently incompetent and shoddy, an example of its incumbents arrogance and laziness.

  • Olli Issakainen

    Boris wins, London loses.
    Problems for David Cameron too. The Tories now think that only Boris can win elections for them.
    But Thatcherism with posh accent is not a vote winner!
    David Cameron thinks that government is about taking credit for everything and blame for nothing.
    Mr Cameron has modelled himself on Tony Blair, but he is not Mr Blair.
    Mr Cameron has short attention span on domestic issues, and it shows.
    He should pay attention to policy formation from consulting to implementation.
    But he has had no executive experience. Civil service must be led.
    It is only excuses, excuses and more excuses from the incompetent PM.
    He tried to turn the tide using his “charisma” on TV, but this no longer works. Style is not enough – you also need substance.
    Ed Miliband has a clear vision: RESPONSIBLE CAPITALISM based on FAIRNESS.
    By distributing wealth more equally the economy starts growing again as there is private demand.
    Cameron and Osborne supported by Mervyn King of the BoE do not know how to fix economy.
    CBI nows says that budget deficit will rise.
    Government borrowing will rise as slower growth takes its toll on TAX REVENUES!
    Mervyn King claims that the Bank of England is not to blame for crisis.
    It was Sir Mervyn who persuaded Nick Clegg to believe that Britain was like Greece and huge public sector cuts were needed.
    Sir Mervyn has backed plan A of Osborne. He has been too political.
    Mervyn King (a member of Rothschilds´ Bilderberg Group) is due to retire next year.
    According to Jeremy Warner of the Telegraph Goldman Sachs is to take over the Bank of England too. Well, Mr Warner is a bit late as it took over the BoE a long time ago.
    Jim O´Neill, chairman of Rothschilds´ Goldman Sachs, is said to be the next governor of the BoE.
    Anyway, if the next governor does not have a direct link to Rothschilds, I promise to run through Blackburn in my Burnley FC replica shirt…
    Sir Evelyn de Rothschild was photographed with the Olympic torch last year.
    Lighted torch is a classic symbol.
    Zionism is a term to describe support of state of Israel – it should not be mistaken to meaning Jews.
    1916 Rothschilds and Warburgs were involved with the Balfour Declaration.
    Within Zionism there are fringe groups which want to create one-world government.
    Zion also means “New Jerusalem”.
    Beijing Olympics logo also had the word “ZION” on it. So it is not an accident that London logo has it too including the dot.
    Illuminati was founded in 1776 by Mayer Amschel Rothschild. It was later banned, but surfaced again as it had infiltrated freemasonry.
    Illuminati is using 2012 London Olympics as part of its global unification strategy.
    Will London 2012 establish New Jerusalem, Zion of the logo?
    2012 Olympic medal has a lot of occult symbols.
    Greek goddes Nike is in the picture. Nike means victory. Rothschilds own Nike, Inc.
    There is the common occult symbol of owl, Minerva. The man with the sword represents antichrist.
    False prophet can also be seen. At the back there is a snake.
    The Olympic medal represents rebirth of world.
    Order of the Garter is the parent organisation of worldwide freemasonry.
    Duke of Kent is a member of Order of the Garter. He is current Grand Master of the Masonic United Grand Lodge of England, a governing body of freemasonry in England and Wales.
    Prince Michael of Kent is Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons and Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex.

  • DM

    Sadly I disagree, Alastair. I think Johnson v Livingstone is much more indicative of what Labour and Ed Milliband will face at the next election than any of the other local results.
    Livingstone isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but his personal standing and base of support was still much more solid in London than Milliband’s is nationally, and yet he’s twice lost against someone in a personality contest in which his opponent has had a head start because of the obvious media bias.
    So in that sense it is very good news for Cameron – because that’s what he’ll benefit from come the next election. Millband’s very much in the mould of earnest Labour leaders who’ll be undermined at every turn. If a streetfighter like Livingstonee can be seen off, it doesn’t bode well for someone like Ed who will have the whole machinary of the Tory press working against him in the same way Neil Kinnock and others did.

    With that in mind, Labour need to sharpen up and quickly, or they’ll be picked off easily. The rise of social media and decline in the traditional press is a real opportunity and something we need to pounce on. I felt Livingstone’s campaign was poor in that respect and, given the daily bile against him in the free Standard, if ever there was a campaign that needed to be creative it was his.

    Definitely lessons to be learned for Labour in terms of the national picture.

  • Richard

    How strange that you decided to go negative on the Tories today and not extol the virtues of the wonderboy that is Red Leader! Um, why not?
    Surely he led a magnificent team of driven, focussed  communicators all of whom set out their alternative vision with profound  policies for a future of milk and honey. That will be why the Tories were nearly wiped off the map, lost the London mayoralty and are in total disarray.

    The Tories ARE a shambles, and their decision making and delivery since 2010 have been dreadful. But their core 30% of the electorate remains intact and a time like this if you are all pleased with 37% you are sadly deluded.

    Wake up, Al, and do the Party the favour of telling the truth.

  • reaguns

    I agree with Alastairs line that its difficult for both those positions to be true.

    I suppose the question is, did Boris win because of his personality, was that what put him ahead of his party, or his policy, which is a lot more conservative than Cameron.

    I suspect it was the former, I doubt if non-politicos even know he is more conservative than Cameron.

    The only evidence to support it being policy is that the “conservatives” lost many votes nationwide to the much more conservative Ukip. Perhaps the ukipers nationwide are not happy backing cameron, but the ukipers in london are happy backing Johnson. I doubt it, I think there are simply less ukipers in London.

  • reaguns

    Like your ID if it relates to ‘the’ Jefferson.

    Its true yesterday proved Livingstone is not unelectable. I would have thought two terms as Mayor and his electoral success over his career would prove that too. I must admit I did get the genuine sense that he was gutted at not winning, whereas I doubt whether Johnson would have been similarly gutted if he’d lost. Perhaps Ken’s heart really was more in it.

  • reaguns

    Michele I didn’t see the interview, asking a genuine question. Say we accept for now that the banks had to be bailed out, I don’t, but say we start from there. Can’t one be in favour of bailing the banks out, even borrowing to do it at that time, but be in favour of not borrowing more at this point 4 years later?

    (That may not be the context of your or Ashdown’s words, I only have this post to go on so have made assumptions.)

  • reaguns

    Is it to do with paying less tax due to the increase in the tax free allowance? Thought that would be less than £130 though, less than £100 even, isn’t it about 900 divided by 12.

    If he said some then he is being very woolly.

  • Matt

    The fact that Boris’s schtick would play poorly outside London is obvious now you point it out. Whilst everyone’s getting carried away about his future PM potential, this fact has escaped their attention.  Perhaps Boris gets perceived appeal amongst commentators because he has decent Londonist credentials: his old constituency is only a few miles out of the M25, he can regularly be seen weaving through London streets on his bike, and what could be more media-metropolitan than a Times column..?

  • michael

    i   found   a  princely  £20  more   in  my   april pay packet

  • Chris lancashire

    Must be awful for you – having to live in Tory run London.

  • mightymark

    ………..but still far enough behind to contrasts markedly with the success of Labour generally. The party needs to learn the lesson of that – particularly that sectarianism and playing fof communities against each other is NOT the way to go.

  • Dave Simons

    Cameron needn’t worry too much about Boris. All he has to do is buy a bottle of peroxide.

  • Michele

     You;’ve got it, you’ve finally got it.

  • Michele

     It was a radio programme, probably the precursor to Question Time. 
    It’s available on Listen Again:
    You can scroll along if you don’t want to listen to it all.

    I have a project for you:
    Given the situation 2007 onwards, if Govt had not bailed out the banks, if the Tories had inherited the  disaster that would have followed, just where would we be now?
    Treat it like any other scenario, as objectively as possible.
    Pretend a capable economist would be marking you.
    WT* would the Tories have had to play with in 2010  and where would Clegg et al be?

  • Michele

    Ken won a higher percentage of the votes this week than he did in 2008.

    Candidate          Boris Johnson     Ken Livingstone
    Percentage         51.53%               48.47%

    Candidate          Boris Johnson     Ken Livingstone     
    Percentage        53.17%                46.73%

    I hope he has a happy retirement (despite wishing it wasn’t happening).

  • Michele

     I think there is more than one viewpoint re who is playing off whom.

    Some British people are so much against fellow (?)  British people feeling happy to engage with Muslims (oh my) that they will use any tactic at all that will act like Jif down the loo.  Shame.

  • Michele

      ….. run?
    What has Boris done?
    Ignore the bikes, forgive him that failure, look at all else.

  • Michele

     The numbers show that Ken was beaten by the nasty accusations emanating from the years-old lies spewed out by the hungover and overslept disorganised Gilligan.
    I’m so glad I’m not his Mum ….. imagine that f*s !!

    I find myself as amazed as I was 8+yrs ago that such a bone idler can have the effect he has had but I suppose it’s simply a product of our willingness to be led by media moguls and reactors like Humphrys and Liddle. 
    Some of us make the right choice re who’s OK, some don’t.

  • Ehtch

    Had a good night in the Kings last night, Alun and me – thanks Robbie, our mein host. Ponted out me here to Robbie, Alastair – he was amused in his disinterested beligerent way, as he does. Alun’s Lerpwl lost, but my Scarlets following won, but didn’t manage to get into the playofffs, but we’ll both cope with it, in our own personal ways.

    Think the political map of Britain and hopefully NI has had a siesmic shift for the better. Think Queenie in her sixtieth year reign will be satisfied how her subjects have conducted themselves last two days. On her throne, she can only view, as we all play our games, running around, to her sometime view, inane.

    Good to be alive at times. I am even happy that Boris just got back in – got to have a tory politician as mayor for London with the Olympics, am I not right? maybe need debating….

  • Olli Issakainen

    Ed Miliband has been an MP since 2005. He served in Cabinet 2007-10. Cameron had no such experience. Ed has PPE from Corpus Christi, Oxford. Master of Economics from London School of Economics. He has been TV journalist, Labour party researcher and visiting scholar at Harvard University teaching economics! Ed has been chairman of HM Treasury Council of Economic Advisors. Ed Miliband is intelligent, honest and has good manners. He has a clear plan, RESPONSIBLE CAPITALISM, to get the economy moving again. The Tories will make a huge mistake if they underestimate Ed Miliband. Same things were said about Mrs T in her early career. Ed Miliband will be of right age when the next election comes. He is much more qualified to be the PM than David Cameron was. What people, of course, mean when they say that Ed Miliband is not competent enough to be the prime minister, is that he does not look in their opinion like a rock star on TV. Well, I guess Winston Churchill and FDR would not have looked good, but they were great leaders at the time of crisis.  

  • Dave Simons

    There are no wonder boys or Red Leaders outside your mind. I doubt if anyone on this blog has mistaken the Labour electoral success for a major swing towards Labour with Ed as leader. ‘Protest vote’ against the Coalition is a more credible explanation. Labour has a lot of thinking and rethinking to do before it becomes electorable. Wake up, Richard – don’t tell us how to suck eggs!

  • Ehtch

    BORIS! down boy,

    What were we talking about again?

    : )

  • Ehtch

    what did I tell you Boris, down boy, get down,

    can’t take him anywhere, SIT!

  • mightymark

    Why hide behind this crypticism – spit it out – say what you mean.

  • Ehtch

    Who thinks Catherine is hot, also?

    Sorry Wills, it has got to be said. When you become the mainman, Wills, a gong towards me will be graciously accepted, lick-lick.

    I am fifty at the moment, in some sort of good health, at the moment, but I am getting older, getting more knackered day into each day, so don’t hold back that gong, to pin on my bony old chest, of mine, Catherine.

  • Richard

    Olli, Olli, Olli!
    The Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent?
    In your bigoted view from afar, it obviously seems that these guys run the UK. They do not. Neither does Round Table!

  • Michele

     Hi both
    I think he must have been thinking of those right under, like a hair’s breadth away from the ceiling for lowest rate tax.

    Or putting it another way, not by any means the very worst off (nor those losing WTC).

    Re 25%?  I don’t have a clue where he pulled that from but hey, it was Paddy Ashdown so it must be true, surely?  Same programme link I’ve placed above (or below, depending on your Sort).

  • Michele

     What’s cryptic in relation to my post?

    First para is plain enough isn’t it?
    Question mark in my second should suggest that sometimes our fellow Britons (whether they started out as  French or American or Spanish or Chinese etc etc etc – got the picture?) are not necessarily our choice of fellow human. 
    The subjects are nationality and  personality, nothing more.

    It’s not always going to be about you, I’m sorry to disappoint you.  

  • Ehtch

    Since Wills Sea King going well out to sea in music, help from my old mates, Will Gregory and prydferth bach iawn Alison Goldfrapp – helped develope this SAR Seaking search and rescue flight control system when worked with Smiths-Newmark, New Addington, Croydon, and we did a fucking good job! so there!

    Will and Alison, as you do, Wills on the connective stick, don’t forget to press that go around, and the sea-state up and down filter, press above the saving, and let copter do it’s thing Wills, auto-controlled perfectly developed. Alison and Will Gregory, going marching out to sea far to save, in blind storms,

  • Ehtch

    Met Alison in Middlesex Poly Trent park, and explained my RAF experiences to her, and she put it in a song, and said in her video “Huw and me, a friendly machine”, my name, reaching the stars. Yes, I have got around, met many interesting people, and still do, ey Alastair? Alison ws really sweet, but there we go, hit and miss, again Huw.

  • Ehtch

    love to have a fox/renard and call him Boris, but, life is not like that, is it?

  • michael

    who  is   ed’s press  secretary does  anyone  know  !!

  • mightymark

    I rather hoped you would let me know what you thought the various viewpoints were.

    “sometimes our fellow Britons (whether they started out as French or American or Spanish or Chinese etc etc etc – got the picture?) are not necessarily our choice of fellow human. ”

    Why? What is wrong with them. I have always found these peoples to be very congienial. Are you a racist?

  • Michele

     Oh hang on, could you have wanted me to spit out the Thing Gilligan’s name again?

    There …. I spat it at you.

  • mightymark

    Maybe  Richard we should be grateful he spared us the Bilderberger group, Elvis still being alive (wnd working in a chip shop), the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (though was perhaps implicit) and the numerous looney conspiracies surrounding the Deaths of President Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. 

    Give him time though!

  • Richard

    The traditional Labour pedigree, born by malice out of envy, was for many years discarded and the New Labour years followed.
    The return to class snears, attacks on breeding and education, mark a return to the old values, and the march to electoral oblivion which will follow. A high proportion of the responses on here are in the same vein.
    So little is written about alternative policies. The negative campaigning of Hague and other Conservatives during the Blair years got them nowhere.
    Sucking eggs?  Has the Labour Party ever been good at learning from the mistakes of the past?
    QV Was Ken honestly the man for the job in London for 2012? Honestly?
    No, he has been detached from the Party for decades, and has been dodgy, damaged goods : finally his tax affairs showed his true colours.

  • reaguns

    You can call me Blue Peter from now on, ie I have a “here’s one I made earlier” response as I have been through study and debate on this many times. There is not much need for theorizing as we have past examples to go on in different countries, but I’ll stick to the theory as this post will be long enough.

    A few things to get out of the way first:
    – The policy aim should be to protect the people, the ordinary depositors, not to protect the bankers, in fact we should be seeking a system that punished them if possible.
    – Ideally we would have had a different banking system in the first place (I can tell you my recommendation for that too (not mine, just the one I like best.)) I do accept that given that we had the system we had, and that the crash arrived, it was an extremely difficult situation for Brown and Bush.

    There are many ways we could have tackled it, and numerous possible outcomes, but I’ll suggest three broad ones.

    1. We could have let the banks go bust, kept government out of it, let market forces rip and have capitalist creative destruction run riot. This would have been bad, but nowhere near as bad as people think. (Ideally you wouldn’t run this 100% capitalist solution given that we had been running an approximately 50% socialist economy for the past 100 years.)
    The bankers would have been hurt, and hurt bad. Many banks would have went bust. Many bankers would have been sacked. Many would never work in banking again. Many types of banking would never have been used again. Good banks would have ate up bad banks, leaner smaller safer banks would have arisen from the ashes. In a 100% capitalist economy this would have had terrible effects. This is where a bit of useful socialism comes in. Thanks to deposit insurance, which Brown raised from 35000 to 50000, most citizens in Britain would not have been hurt at all. The poor would not have been hurt. So this is where the faux-socialists leave the argument, because they realise brown only really saved anyone with 35 to 50k in cash – ie middle class. Most middle class people with more money than that would have the sense to invest it in different institutions (35k per institution). The only people who would have got hurt would have been the rich, or the occasional middle class person who keeps more than 50k in one institution. Gordon could have increased this to 100k. However, as Gordon knows, this would at least have carried a risk of the government paying out a lot of deposit insurance, and he figured it was cheaper to bail out the banks. The banks know this is the case, which is why the banks know while we have deposit insurance, they will always be bailed out by government, and we have a classic moral hazard. They know when they win they win, when they lose they get bailed out by the taxpayer. It is not capitalism at all. Capitalism would rip the shirts off those scum. Hence capitalism is what we need to deliver upon them. But in a way that protects the ordinary depositor. More on this in a minute.

    2. We could have wound down parts of institutions in trouble, writing off bad parts, keeping the healthy assets, protecting all depositors (all of their cash) and only burning bondholders, speculators, shareholders, workers in non viable parts of the banks. We would then have been able to carry on with virtually no disruption, we would have had a far smaller deficit and been able to grow more, or indeed with this improved position we could have afforded some stimulus if required. There have been full proposals put forward on how this could have worked, one of them was put forward by a leftist think tank but the idea was endorsed by John Redwood, and as I’m sure Olli can tell us – he worked for Rothschilds and is probably the foremost banking expert in parliament.

    3. We could have did what we did, but then carried out proper reform of the banks (rather than the vickers whitewash) of which there have been numerous proposals put forward by Mervyn King and others – a return to TSBs and mutuals, or forcing banks to offer 100% backed, safe accounts which cannot be lent out (my favourite idea), and most importantly of all – because in this system we spared the capitalists from capitalism, from the punishment they would have received under capitalism – we would have to deliver different punishment to them, and put the likes of Fred Goodwin and many Goldman Sachs people and so on in jail. Thats what Reagan did after S&L.

    Whatever option we chose, we need to put in reforms and punishment, to make sure the government is never forced to bail out a bank ever again. I would have a rule whereby any prime minister who does it gets shot. Well ok, where he must step down from office.

    As for what would happen, in 3 we would be as we are now, but with more assurance that the crisis wouldn’t happen again. With 2 we would be in considerably better shape than we are in now. With 1, growth would be surging in this country, just as it has in every country, and every time in history, that has ever tried this. You can quite easily compare growth rates between countries who bailed out their banks and countries who didn’t even in 2008.

  • mightymark

    Sorry Mich –
    I’m not not one of your metro sophisticates. I have heard of Mr Gilligan. I
    seem to recall he was very popular with the Labour Left when he was writing
    about something called the “dodgy dossier” but obviously the atmosphere has cooled
    so much now that he gets called “the Thing” – ouch! I believe he said
    some nasty things about Ken during the campaign – though I probably said much
    worse. I wasn’t aware however that he offered any novel interpretations on the
    communi/sectarian aspect which is what we were (at least I thought so) talking

    Do feel free
    to enlighten me if I’m wrong about this.

  • Richard

    Sorry MightyMark lad, Bilderberg did get a mention.
    Please Olli we do have one national institution for whom you are ideally suited.
    Google DAVID ICKE or DAVI DICKE as we know him over here! He is your sort of chap.

  • Michele

     Nope, they were merely WORDS thrown in as examples of anyone at all that might have taken British naturalisation but be individuals who, for one reason or another to do with their personality we don’t like.
    You evidently don’t like everybody yourself, what sort of discrimination do you own up to?  NB: No need to mention Ken, it’s plain as day that he’s been an easy target for you and Gilli/EDL/ES et al.

  • Michele

     At least Richard had the courtesy to address his post to the person he is talking about …. get it?
    You failed to get an it elsewhere. 

  • Michele

     ‘One I prepared earlier’ is hardly the MTO that I requested.

    I’m not sure the FSA for private savers cost the Govt as much as you seem to think.

    So, to press on, if Govt had let the banks themselves go bust (while FSA ensured private savers with less than £35k per account were compensated) where would we have been late ’07 till early ’10? 
    Banks bust, all their employees out on the street, nobody chasing mortgage payments, nobody rescinding repossessions, bit of a free for all?
    Where would we have been reaguns?
    Baseball bat time?

  • Michele

     Where do you buy your stereotypes?
    It’s a long time since a Labour supporter needed to feel malice or envy about anyone, So long ago I really don’t know anyone that does IRL.

    What’s the point?
    There is no malice or envy involved in objectivity.
    Would I want to change places with Dave’s ma …. LOL. 
    Nope, I prefer a real reason to feel pride.

    Labour is about levelling up; how long till it sinks in for you?  Do you imagine any here envy you?   LOL echos.

    Regretting the fact that dumbo incompetents reach high places due to their contacts has nothing to do with envy, it’s pure objectivity.

  • reaguns

    Did you see Sunday Politics today? What did you think of Neil’s question to Ed Balls on this – he asked if Ken was the right candidate, he said couldn’t Alan Johnson have walked this home for Labour.

  • Michele

     Something else for you reaguns, from someone you rightly have a very high opinion of:

  • mightymark

    OK – I think I get the secoind paragraph (the first is as clear as mud)..

    No – I admit it – BIG BIG MEA CULPA-I don’t like everybody. Theres a bloke down the road been pi***ng me of for years.

    As for discrimination someone said I was very disciminating once. It was in a discussion on art and I think it was a compliment.

  • Michele

     addition to :
    ” ……. that might have taken British naturalisation …… ”
    which, when read WITH the original post
    ” ……. our fellow Britons (whether they started out …..”

    That results,  ‘mark’, in fellow Britons being equals, born British or naturalised, likeable or unlikeable, still equals (along with those of – and staying – any other nationality).

    No presumption has been made about yours btw.

  • Michele

     Ugh, I spoke too soon.

    A utube for you to fight over who’s to  be boss

  • Dave Simons

     Oh dear what utter rubbish! Malice and envy? You must believe the right wing tabloids!  What about fairness and justice? Can’t you stomach them in relation to Labour supporters? Have you met any? And how funny to be talking about ‘the traditional Labour pedigree’ and then carping about attacks on breeding’!
    Yes Ken certainly was a better person for the job in London in 2012 than Boris, and unfortunately it came down to that alternative. I suspect that when Boris announced policies for which he had a post-election ‘mandate’, a lot of people who voted for him might have regretted it. Ken had a bad press, which you lapped up with relish and Boris had a good press which you equally lapped up with relish.
    Yes Labour can and has learned from its mistakes as anyone familiar with Labour history will testify. Hopefully it will continue to learn from its mistakes, but that won’t mean aligning itself with chronically disgruntled malcontents like you.

  • mightymark


    Answering your most recent post (at 11.25 Monday) here to avoid skinny message (if that isn’t sizeist!!!).

    I think – and given the turgidity of you posts, I’m putting myself on the line here – you are asking whether I believe people are equal. That is a question as I am sure you are aware, about which vast philosphical and other tomes have been written. It seems clear that people are not equal, e.g. in wealth or ability. If they were the left would be largely rendered redundant. So as a matter of fact in these and similar respects people are not in fact equal.

    Turning from the descriptive to the prescriptive, do I think people should have equal rights. opportunites etc ? – most certainly, and I would be truly surprised if I had said anything that would suggest I thought otherwise.

    I also support collective rights (wellfare etc) including just by way of example, that of a people to define itself without busy bodies coming in to tell them that if they genuinely believe they constitute a people, the busy bodies know better.

  • Michele

     Were they trying to flog you something?

  • reaguns

    I’ll agree with you on this one Olli. Ed is smart, anyone who says otherwise is deluded, and it probably explains why they attack him from other angles instead. I also wish that how someone looks and presents themselves mattered less to voters.

    It reminds me of a quote from, believe it or not, Thatcher about Clement Attlee: “He was a serious man and a patriot. Quite contrary to the general tendency of politicians in the 1990s, he was all substance and no show.” 

  • reaguns

    A couple more thoughts, Ed is attacked for looking geeky, well who cares but as Alan Johnson says if these things matter, Ed looks pretty good in a suit anyway.

    The other thing he is attacked for is oratory. Ok he is no Churchill, but who is? And I believe Churchill would tell you that it was his strategy and the resolve of the armed forces that won the war, not his speeches.

    It reminds me on Lincoln at Gettysburg “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.”

    In other words, just as Alastair, and indeed Ed Balls have said, its about actions not words.

  • reaguns

    It doesn’t work like that Michele. Neither banking, business, nor law works that way. There have been plenty of examples of banks being allowed to go bust, and of crises happening without government intervention.

    The most important principle, you’ll probably kick yourself as I’m sure you know this really, is that when a bank goes bust, its liabilities may be liquidised but its assets will always be bought by someone else. This can be done in a heartbeat. Even if not, administration companies can take over the running of a bank in the meantime. So the staff can be kept on and so forth, cash machines can keep working.

    As you know, if you have 10k in cash in one bank, and owe 10k on a credit card to another (or even the same bank) if those banks go bust, your 10k savings are gone, but you still owe your 10k debt. Someone else will have bought that debt. Likewise with your other examples, mortgages etc.

    We would be in a position like Iceland in 2008 (I expect the EU to nuke Iceland anytime soon as their growth out of the crisis is so much better than anyone in the EU), or New Zealand when they let their banks go, or the Americans at any time when they let their banks go in the old days (before the great depression) and there are many other examples.

    A better example is good old blighty, who never suffered such crisis due to the way she ran her banks for over 100 years.

    So the answer is if we had taken that option (1 in my example) we would have had a short sharp shock recession (there is no way out of a debt crisis other than a recession, the only choice is short or long and we chose long) and then we would have been back in growth within 6 months, and we would have enjoyed probably 3% growth for the past 5 years. Ah if only.

    Any of my 1-3 options would be better than what we did though.

    And the most irritating aspect of what we did is when people call it capitalism.

  • reaguns

    Great article, you’re right I’m a huge fan.

    Just to add one thing to that article, though Gillian Tett thinks that Brown and the American government were complacent bungling idiots, which they were, and then was pleasantly surprised at the bailout package (I don’t agree with her on everything lol) she, and other great economists who predicted the crash such as Nouriel Roubini, stated that an important part of any such deal must be punishment of those who got us into the mess, and reforms so it didn’t happen again. So I think you’ll find she is now scathing of the overall ‘solution’. She agrees with me that capitalism only works if people have fear, fear of loss, fear of losing their money and jobs. This is market discipline. If you interfere and save bankers from this discipline then you must discipline them in other ways or this will happen all over again, and it will.

    Look at that experience she has though, so much wisdom already – when she is 60 years old we better be doing everything she tells us on the economy!

  • mightymark

    Richard – thanks. I see now that I overlloked Bilderberg.

    I hadn’t had the stomach to look at Icke’s site previously and didn’t stay lomng though I did noitce that the lunatic pushes the lie that anti Zionism (as against criticism of Israel) is not anti Semitic.

    PS Loved the video from  Mich. Took me back…….

  • Richard

    What does the phrase “in reply to…..” mean, Michelle? Some would say it means that the new poster is talking to the named previous poster. Your pointless tirade about addressing posts is pathetic.
    You have become the self styled traffic warden on here: stick to the politics.

  • Michele

     Got me wrong there Mark.  I wouldn’t dream of asking whether you regard humans as all being equal.
    You displayed your credentials a few days ago and there’s no going back.

  • Michele

    Your assumption (or pretence) that the banks’ new owners would honour the extant employees and regard them as ‘assets’ (with all their rights and seniority and pension responsibilities) is nonsense.

    GB and AD ‘saving the world’s banks’ was rescue, this lot just has to get busy getting back what was lent (ie: something the banks do seem to be treating as owned assets, imagine their behaviour if we did the same re loans).

  • Michele

    Plughole widener:
    Yes and the very useful part of her background is the awareness she’s got of poverty and the need for economic solutions to be holistic and taking their effect on people into account, not simply smartrrrrs numerical tricks.  Not many banking people like her.

    I disagree with her using the word ‘bumbling’; it’s simply wise after the event, something we can’t help being … the arrival on our streets early 21C by US and Icelandic banks and the availability to everyone of such capitalist purchases as ‘buy to let’ mortgages over the net if not at street level were not stoppable.

    When asking a hypothetical question a time capsule would be handy to put the respondent in to.  Do you remember that Friday when NR went to the wall?  Can you imagine what the people at the backs of those queues with their still un-filled carrier bags would have done over the weekend if they’d not been reminded of the guarantees?

    How about the hundreds of people leaving Lehman’s Canary Wharf building with their cardboard boxes …. hours after Dubbya had appeared on TV with nothing at all to suggest re their futures.  There was a brilliant two-parter on BBC2 about his useless panic.

    You’ve used the benefit of hindsight, not put yourself in the moment.  In other words you’ve cheated (although as I’m no economist I’d not have known whether different responses would have been any more honest).

  • Anonymous

    Oh no no no no no I was not talking about the employees as assets. I am not Chuka Umuna on question time, I do not regard all people as assets. Many are liabilities, and certainly many bankers are. Under my plan a lot of bankers would have lost their jobs, no doubt about it.

    This depends which of my proposals you are talking about of course. Under option 2 or 3 most staff would have been retained except for those put in jail by option 3, or those in written off or sold off parts of the business.

    In my most radical option 1, a lot of people would have lost their jobs.

    Even doing what Brown did, for the bailed out banks he should have demanded at least a 20% pay cut across the board. If they talked about contracts he should have allowed them to go bust and liquidate contracts, just a legal nicetie, only to start the next day on the same terms but minus 20%.

  • Anonymous

    Of course, contrary to popular belief, bankers should despise economists, particularly capitalist economists! As I’ve said the most infuriating part of the corporatist bailout system is when people call it capitalism. There are no bailouts in capitalism. Period. Once there is a bailout, its something else. So whatever the crisis was, it was most definitely not a crisis of capitalism.

    Buy to let mortgages are not capitalist. Government assistance for homebuyers, here but mainly in the US, is not capitalism. Under capitalism, only people with good jobs could get mortgages and they would need to pay a large deposit and relatively high interest rates. What would be the terrible result of this system? The same result we’ve had everywhere its been tried – lower house prices. It used to be you could buy a house and pay it off in 5 years. But then government started subsidising house buying and now we have giant house prices. A socialist government failure again.

    Thats why I like capitalism – it delivers low prices to the ordinary people, and harsh discipline to the well off.

    The things you are talking about with Gillian are important, but not strictly speaking economics. It is not the job of economics to worry about social or political things. But most ‘economists’ today do that. Strictly speaking economics is about getting more productivity and less work. When we do things to create more work, we might think that a good thing but its not economics its something else.

    Those at northern rock need not worry unless they had more than 35k with that institution. Being a capitalist, I only care about poor people – screw anyone with over 35k, they are big enough to look after themselves and invest their money sensibly.

    And from a capitalist viewpoint there is no problem whatsoever with institutions going bust, in fact capitalism cannot function properly without it. Capitalism must liquidate malinvestment and wreak ‘Creative Destruction’ on weak businesses. If Lehman bet on ninja mortgage CDOs or whatever else then it deserved to go bust. The Lehman spivs would think twice about betting the farm if the consequences of their bad decisions were visited upon them personally.

    Most of believe in Jeffersonian democracy, ie putting power as close to the individual people as possible. I believe in Jeffersonian economics – putting the consequences of bad decisions as close to the people who made those decisions as possible.

  • Michele

     Nope, didn’t see it, don’t often even think of TV till well past 9pm.

    I don’t actually care what A Neil thinks about KL, you seem to think he’s totally non-partisan but I don’t.  I’m sure he’s very pleased with the outcome; he might genuinely like most of his invitees, that does not mean he prefers their politics.

    I doubt he benefitted much from Ken’s mayoral terms so I also doubt that he’s aware of how much changed for people now described by that popular ‘hard working’ label. 
    As has been posted by an.other recently, BJ also got to cut the ribbons on many projects set in motion by KL.

    I’ve got a queasy feeling btw at the moment about the new bid for Battersea Power Station by CFC coming so soon after Crossrail’s confirmation – another Labour initiation recently confirmed by coalescence and BJ.   Why now re CFC?  Fulham Broadway area is hell on earth on home match game days, we hardly need Vauxhall to be stymied by similar events.  BPS is a wonderful edifice that has to be preserved and respected, the nearby dogs and cats rescue service has been able to afford to expand in recent years …. there are beautiful old gasometers and gorgeous Battersea Park.  Its prestige should be preserved for a wide spectrum of people, not a narrow one.  it’s almost as revolting to think about as the consortium that recently tried to commercialise Crystal Palace Park (also claiming they had altruistic reason …. taking the Eagles home ….. oh yeah).

  • Michele

     I was reminded today about RBS and the process underway of it being taken over by Santander … those loans from Govt ?

  • mightymark

    I suppose calling someone else racist must be the last resort for a deperate antisemite on a left wing blog.


  • mightymark

    “Has the Labour Party ever been good at learning from the mistakes of the past?”
    Yes at times. When it rejected Marxism in the 1910s-20s in favour of Parliamentarianism (see Papa Millband’s book on the subject), pacifism in the 1930’s-40’s, unilateralism in the 1960’s and the whole damned baleful legacy of Anthony Wedgewood Benn under Tony Blair.

    I think what happened over Livingstone was a combination of the usual leftist recidivism that usually occurs when Labour loses or is about to lose an election,  the fact that the selection occured (I think) close to the more important election of a new Party leader (also quite possibly a wrong choice) and the failure of a figure of national stature to come forward as an alternative candidate – this the result in part of our heavilly Westminster centralised system.

    Labour only has itself to blame for having run (whatever any past glories there may have ben) a truly abysmal candidate and one who as well past his sell by date – I voted for Oona King so they can’t blame me!

  • Michele

    I don’t know how many Londoners swallowed and obeyed Jonathan Freedland’s columnful of propaganda against Ken Livingstone in the nationally-published Guardian in the few days before our little local  election last week.

    This staggeringly frighteningly intellectual man isn’t very impressed by JF (not in relation to that little local election btw, he has much wider cares).

  • Anonymous

    I guessed that by Alan Johnson, Neil meant “a likeable labour person” ie it could have been Oona King or anyone, or that their had been speculation that AJ might run.

    Regarding Neil being non-partisan, no I believe he has private views, I know what some of them used be when he was independent, and I reckon I can guess many of them now, but I think just like at the Sunday Times, he takes great pride in separating news from opinion, or separating his political views from the questions he asks. He tears apart people from both sides of the fence.

    I am currently reading his book (from about 1996). He was broadly speaking a Tory then, though his views fluctuated quite widely.

    – He went from being considered a Thatcherite to being refused access to her for 10 years

    – He did not agree with monetarist economics (ie Thatchers)

    – He supported some Keynesian stimulus measures

    – At the same time he believed in Reagan/German style supply side measures

    – This position was too nuanced and unique for the rest of the media to understand

    – He believed that Clement Attlee should have nationalised public schools in 1945, as they are one of the main vehicles for entrenching class priveleges

    – He thought that if Margaret Thatcher really believed in property owning democracies then she should give the council houses to the tenants (though he thought the cheap prices she sold them at were the next best thing.)

    – He thought Reagan was vastly underestimate by the British (he was)

    – He did not share Rupert Murdoch and Margaret Thatchers right wing views

    So he has views but I think he keeps them to himself. He is brilliant at the counterargument, ie in the same way that lawyers are trained to be able to argue any position, he does this brilliantly in interviews.

  • Dave Simons

     So after all that I and Michele said on a previous blog, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic. Thank you for your great, if not mighty,  attentiveness. Here’s a definition of Semitic:
    ‘The term Semite means a member of any of various ancient and modern Semitic-speaking peoples originating in southwestern Asia, including; Akkadians (Assyrians and Babylonians), Eblaites, Ugarites, Canaanites, Phoenicians (including Carthaginians), Hebrews (Israelites, Judeans and Samaritans), Ahlamu, Arameans, Chaldeans, Amorites, Moabites, Edomites, Hyksos, Arabs, Nabateans, Maganites, Shebans, Sutu, Ubarites, Dilmunites, Maltese, Mandaeans, Sabians, Syriacs, Mhallami, Amalekites and Ethiopian Semites.’
    Sorry, Mighty, the Hebrews don’t have the monopoly – Arabs too are Semitic. I suggest that there’s a place for you in Ian Dury’s backing group. How are the Mighty fallen!

  • Michele

     Seems to me its actually the last resort for someone that can’t simply accept that it’s their personality that is disliked.  You don’t like me either, big deal.  I’m not about to blame that on my being of a race you find useful to hang your woes on. 

    Have I called you racist?  I’m not sure I have but don’t mind if so.  I read your phobic rants about another Semite group, don’t they make you prejudiced?  It all gets a bit turgid and pathetic.  Grow up and accept that not being liked CAN be about one’s individual personality, stop blaming your lineage for what is about your very self.

  • Michele

     I’ve got to go out but a couple of quick thingies:

    – do you know what buy to let means?  I can’t believe you don’t so I also can’t believe you meant what you posted.

    – the Beeb is often accused of being leftie which is a bit of a joke when looking at all the dynasties within it.  It has handed most of its HoC reportage and daily comment to one person, someone with a past. 
    I don’t think A. Neil’s personal technique is as politically balanced as you seem to but given your uber-rightism …… !  
    He shares the sofas and chairs out but that’s where the equal treatment ends.  I don’t like the way so many guests on ‘This Week’ are toyed with like poodles (or the way some actually roll over to be tickled). 

    Re NR, it’s all very well to yatter (another nod to Yonks for the English) about the guarantees that people ‘should’ have known they had. 
    That’s OK for those that know and believe. 
    For them it was their cash which the bank could have run out of on that Friday afternoon and can you imagine what their anguish would have been over the weekend if they had no faith in guarantees when the media was all screaming that the money itself was disappearing? 
    There were people running around with wads of cash in carrier bags thinking no other bank was any safer.

    This is your problem reaguns and why Tett is so much more preferable as an economist.  She at least pays homage to the fact that economics doesn’t exist just as and about itself.  It can’t just be about the numbers.  It has to serve people, it needs people, it can’t treat people as disposables to save its own credibility. 
    It would not even exist without people. 
    The people that use economics just to create bonuses for themselves should be the disposables (even though we do need them …… sigh).

  • Michele

     Yes I know that ‘in reply to’ addresses a post’s content to someone else’s post BUT when the post is written ABOUT that addressee it becomes something else.

    Get with it Richard.
    After all, you’re the one that spent weeks recently deploring other people’s spelling or grammar or comprehension skills.  Oh but hang on a mo ….. you were ‘abouting’ there too; silly me.

  • Michele

     PS: Obviously   ‘abouting’ is only cowardly and disgusting when it’s ridiculing or criticising to a third party.

    PPS:  My book ‘Manners According to Me’ will be out soon.

  • reaguns

    Given my uber rightism, yeah right! I believe in capitalism… guess what so do Ed Balls, Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and Tony Blair. On crime I’m right wing. But not on other matters. Its just as Andrew Neil said, because I don’t accept 100% either side of the argument and believe some leftist and some rightish views, extremists call me left or right compared to them because they can’t understand the nuances of my position! I am 100% opposed to workfare, how many “uber-rightists” can you say that about?

    While I am comparing myself to famous people, yes of course Gillian Tett is preferable to me, otherwise I’d be writing for the FT and she’d be commenting on this blog!

    Buy to let and all the other shenanigans we had could not have happened to the extent we did with capitalist policies. Instead we had the anti-capitalist artificially low interest rates which fuelled all that behaviour.

    Of course Neil is biased (though not in the ways people think) but I think he separates his views from his analysis – he will rip apart the keynesian views of a labour person, then rip apart the views of a tory from a keynesian perspective, on the same show while they are on the same sofa.

    Re NR yes you are right people would have been scared anyway and try to move their money.

    My point is that economics is about working out how to get more production from the same resources, or get the same production with less resources. If you then want to change course so that you need more resources in the short term or whatever to keep people in work, fine, but productivity will suffer. You may choose jobs over productivity and thats fine. What people shouldn’t do is what politicians do when they pretend that every policy they have will bring productivity and jobs – it doesn’t always work that way.

  • mightymark

    The term
    “Antisemitism” refers to:

    or practices directed against the interests, legal rights, religious practices
    or lives of Jews”.

    Dictionary of Modern Thought – 1988 -author, DC Watt Professor of International
    History – London University)

    to or prejudice against Jews” (Concise Oxford Dictionary 1990)

    gives the following definiton in express contradiction to what you say

    “Antisemitism refers specifically to prejudice against Jews alone and in general,despite the fact that
    there are other speakers of Semitic languages (e.g.
    Arabs,Ethiopians, or Assyrians) and that not
    all Jews speak a Semitic language.”

    Try Googling the term and the
    only references that came up on the first pages at least, of my search related
    to Jews.

    Now I have only gone to
    trouble of correcting yet another of your errors of fact (they are piling up
    aren’t they?) is because it is wrong of you to mislead others. Frankly I don’t
    care if you want to go and make a fool of yourself. It is true of course that
    there are other “semitic” peoples than Jews but the term “anti semitic” has
    clearly come to refer solely to prejudice against Jews.

    I am quite happy for you to
    refer to “hatred of Jews” to describe your views if you wish

    On the basis of what happened last time I corrected
    you I suppose I should expect another of your “not playing any more” type responses.
    I can live with that. I am also aware that this sort of denialism is another ruse
    (I suspect you are perfectly well aware of the facts above) used by of Anti Zionists
    to derail criticism of them and also to further delegitimise Jews and Jewish
    concerns, the better they foolishly hope to delegitimize Israel. Such behaviour
    of course almost defines racism and so is itself antisemitic  – or Jew hating – whichever you prefer.

  • mightymark

    Well now this is interesting. Dave has helpfully provided us above with a list of semitic peoples:

    “Akkadians (Assyrians and Babylonians), Eblaites, Ugarites, Canaanites, Phoenicians (including Carthaginians), Hebrews (Israelites, Judeans and Samaritans), Ahlamu, Arameans, Chaldeans, Amorites, Moabites, Edomites, Hyksos, Arabs, Nabateans, Maganites, Shebans, Sutu, Ubarites, Dilmunites, Maltese, Mandaeans, Sabians, Syriacs, Mhallami, Amalekites and Ethiopian Semites.’

    I am unclear against which of these my allegedly “phobic rants” were
     directed. Perhaps you can help?

    Now,  let me see if I can help you. You clearly have a problem. It goes well beyond that of most other anti Zionists I have known. It is a  big, big problem with Jews.   At each juncture you find it necesary to belittle Jews – at one point on a previous thread you even had a mini spat with Dave to talk down Jewish influence within Marxism. Yes – you talk up the IJV but that is a bit like the way the BNP try to buddy up to the Sikhs to cover their hatred of Muslims and others.  I think you should seek help as I suspect you are not happy.

    Rabbi Lionel Blue once told a story about a man who his father found wandering the streets of London making anti semitic rants. Lionel says his father invited him home and gave him a cup of tea. He discovered that the man was basically unhappy about all sorts of other things – not just Jews.

    Michele – I do hope you can find someone to help you too. I think – I hope – that you are a better person than you seem here.

  • mightymark

    See response in new box.

  • Gilliebc

    Apparently not 🙂

  • Gilliebc

    Mark, why do you continue to look for trouble in the form of anti-semitism or racism where there is none?

  • Michele

     I don’t think you have grasped the nuance that people are trying to get across to you Mark.

    The word ‘Semite’ in the name of the crime of anti-Semitism has been usurped as if owned by just one group from that race.  In fact although they don’t realise it, Islamophobes are also being anti-Semitic as it is a religion originated by people of Semitic race/language/original territory.

    The word ‘defamation’ has also been usurped as if owned by the naming of the Anti-Defamation League which only functions to point out to us any defamation against Jewish people.  It does nada, zilch, narfink on behalf of other people that get defamed, it therefore needs a more precise name. 

    Tell me who you empathise with Mark in addition to fellow Jews (like Gbc I halt before typing that name as it’s been so abused as if an insult but I’m also aware you might criticise my frequent use of ‘Jewish people’ as if I’m cosmeticising something that doesn’t need it – and shouldn’t).
    Do you empathise with Aryan women forced to breed with Aryan men they weren’t in relationships with?
    Do you empathise with people who did not have the ultimate sentence placed on them in the death camps but lived forever after with the visions of those places?
    Do you empathise with Muslims subjected to the Islamophobia you displayed here last week?  A few days after the July 7th bombings, when LU started moving its trains again, I was in one and could not work out which person in my carriage had the most reason to be scared …. the indigenous passengers or the young girl in the hijab (she it was that everyone was looking at sideways if not directly).

    You’re a bit clumsy with your distortion Mark and I’ll probably be clumsy with my rejection of it. 
    My comment to DS was reminding him (and he pointed out to me that he didn’t need it) that the Jews that felt the way he’d described about Israel were not the only ones, there were/are  Jews of all types that do not approve of its actions. 
    There was no relegation at all to do with Marxism and the influence Jews have had in it. 
    You need to be less disingenuous with your ‘critiques’, you do yourself no favours with such specious crap. 

    Funny that you should mention the BNP. 
    Almost three years ago, shortly after Lee Barnes (he’s got a degree you know !!) had appeared on Moral Maze, I looked up the organisation’s constitution as I couldn’t believe what he’d quoted. 
    Sure enough, there it was in black and white, their ‘revised’ ambition was for the UK to reach a state in just a few decades where every single member of the population was from Anglo-Saxon/Caucasian lineage.  It wasn’t pointed out anywhere that that would also exclude Jewish people (whether from mid-east stock or the descendants of the ‘married-in’), it was not something they were being as overt about as their other/main prejudices against Black, Asian and Muslim people (their mix between colour, race and religion saves them too many words).  
    I set up as many IDs as I could on as many blogs and forums as I could and made a post on each of them to point out that although they were not saying so this constitution meant that the BNP was also anti-Jew. 
    In most cases I got huge disagreement, people saying ‘what nonsense’, eventually someone on about my 20th new membership responded ‘That’s OK, that’s why ‘we’ gave them Israel isn’t it?’. 
    So I know there is anti-Semitism against Jews Mark but I think you’re pretty pathetic for throwing it around where it does not belong.
    I don’t like YOU, I don’t like YOUR exploitative way (your own phobia  was shown last week to be not very different re Muslims to that of the hateful idiot just described). 
    There is nothing forcing me to like you because others of your RELIGION have been punished, you cannot ride on their backs. 
    I am also not about to like you because others of your RACE (which includes many other tongues and origins of Semitic nationality and religion) have endured prejudice.

    Please don’t ride on Rabbi Blue’s back either, I’m sure you’re not equal to him in any way at all and suspect he’d be embarrassed at you exploiting him.. 

  • Michele

     Have tried remembering my exact words of that last post Mark and am wondering if I’ve left you with the exploitative chance to accuse me of opening all those IDs in order to urge people to vote BNP (as opposed to apprising them, if they were planning to, of what was covert).
    Don’t waste your time pet.  If we were on a faster blog that’s revealed immediately we could have a humdinger like so many on more raucous platforms but we aren’t.

    You might also want to check out the BNP’s present  constitution, I haven’t done so since seeing it was revised once the JC also published its covert content.

  • Michele

     You seem to have taken offence about ‘uber-rightism’ and reeled off what you must think are its opposites.  You also haven’t clocked my empathy with fellow lefties that work in or believe in * capitalism (you know the adjective denoted by the asterisk I hope).
    I don’t see your opposition to workfare as proving anything about you except that you describe it wrongly.  It is not slavery, it is not nazism it is not fascism.  It’s not fair and it’s of more help to unscrupulous employers than the hapless claimants but it is not about life or death.    I’m afraid I don’t see your ‘position’ on it as anything like nuance, it’s hysteria and perhaps the people that you think don’t understand your ‘position’ are just more polite than I am.
    As to your definition of economics (as you see them) … along with your defence of / support for no minimum wage.  People should matter more to you than they do; I don’t think G Tett can be of the same opinion.  Can I ask if you’ve visited a third world country?

  • Dave Simons

     ‘I am quite happy for you to
    refer to “hatred of Jews” to describe your views if you wish’.
    Absolutely baffled as to where that quotation came from but frankly if I were you I’d seek professional counselling. There is such a thing as delusions of grandeur and your posts reek of it. Sorry – ‘not playing anymore’ – waste of time and space!

  • Ehtch

    This week, I have been listening to a lot of Parralox, I think I like them, from Oz, Melbourne, not quite Dame Hilda Everidge, but has a bit of the same sort of humour of Barry Humphries in it.

    What did I tell you Boris, you cultural heathen? Wouldn’t know art even if it rode one of his bicycles. What?

  • mightymark


    It is clear
    from my recent post to Dave what is meant by Anti Semitism –  you may of course remain in denial of you
    wish. There has been no “usurpation” of the term unless you claim that that it
    is by Jews. That would itself be an anti Semitic claim as it is not true (indeed it has been suggested that the term was first used by anti Semites)  and also because one of the main themes of
    anti Semitism is indeed the claim that Jews seek “exclusivity” which is what
    you are alleging when you say they have usurped the term.

    I have no doubt
    either that (modern) anti Semites would dearly like to rob the term of its
    meaning as unlike their 19thC forbears they have to obfuscate their feelings. Here
    is one such attempt:

    are also being anti-Semitic as it is a religion originated by people of Semitic
    race/language/original territory”

    Which Is just silly – not because
    Islamophobia doesn’t exist (sadly it does) but because virtually all the world’s
    monotheistic faiths originate in semitic territory etc. On that basis anti
    Christian feeling would also be anti-Semitic – or indeed similar feeling
    against any of the smaller faiths that originated in the Middle East.

     I am increasingly bewildered by your
    obsession with the ADL. I had never been particularly interested in this
    American organisation but curiosity having got the better of me I decided to
    look at is website, What I found does not confirm your view of it. Its
    headlines include the following.

    “The alleged members of a
    white supremacist group arrested in Osceola County last weekend are part of
    what civil rights organizations say is a loosely organized but extremely
    violent nationwide racist organization. Most Central Floridians
    may have never heard of the American Front before police raided their fortified
    rural compound last week in Osceola County. But Mark Pitcavage of the
    Anti-Defamation League says the group has been on their radar screen for a
    number of years.
    “They are one of a handful of what we consider hardcore, racist skinhead
    groups,” says Pitcavage. “

    On the recent election of neo Nazis in Greese:

    “In a
    letter to President Karolos Papoulias, ADL urged him to send a strong, clear
    message to the people of Greece that the neo-Nazi party’s ideology will not be
    tolerated in Greek democracy.”

    Not a mention
    of Jews at all in either of these articles (unless you think only Jews have
    anything to worry about from these developments).

    None here either:


    “The vote effectively legitimizes
    discrimination against North Carolinians who seek the same rights as married
    men and women. The principle of equal treatment means that same-sex couples
    should be entitled to all the rights, protections and benefits of civil
    marriage. While religious communities should be able to decide for themselves
    what relationships they will recognize, discrimination on the basis of sexual
    orientation is as ugly as any other form of discrimination and has no place in
    American society.”


    So to be clear, on an issue whereat least  more orthodox Jews (like
    conservatives of other faiths too) hold contrary views on this subject (gay marriage), the ADL
    puts itself  firmly on the side of
    secular tolerance.

    There is also
    a reference on its website to the Interfaith Coalition on Mosques which they
    say is:

    “Working as the national Interfaith Coalition On
    Mosques (ICOM) under the sponsorship of the Anti-Defamation League, our purpose
    is to assist Muslim communities who are being denied permission to build mosques
    in their neighborhoods.”

    So I
    think an apology for defaming the Anti Defamation League is called for, don’t
    you? You have jumped to conclusions about this group too – obviously because it
    is a Jewish one, (other of course, than the saintly IJV) further confirming
    your ugly prejudices. As I say above allegations of Jewish exclusivity have of
    course long been part of the stock in trade of anti-semites. The evidence
    against you is piling up.

    since you ask with whom I sympathise I would say by way of example that I have
    no difficulty in putting myself firmly on the side of the ADL in all these matters.

    Finally I
    note you refer in your post to

    “your own phobia [was] shown last week
    to be not very different re Muslims to that of the hateful idiot just

    I think it is about time you put up or
    shut up about this. Direct quotes please – with my reples if any.

  • mightymark

    ……….yup, bang on time (though not for the first time here) the old “over excitable Jew” train pulls into the station.

  • reaguns

    My point re the people vs economics is that I believe you work out the economics first and then you make the sociology calculations afterwards. Ie you might have decided to subsidise certain areas or industries to mitigate some economic pain, thats fine, but you should acknowledge you are doing so for sociological reasons, ie out of kindness, not out of economic reasons. Politicians pretend they can make the seesaw rise at both ends, they can’t. They do almost everything for political, not economic reasons, ie they do it to get votes. If politicians had a choice of two factories in an area, one which would employ 200 people and make 40 million pounds per year or one which would employ 300 people and make 30 million pounds per year, the economic choice would be to go with the first option, but for political or sociological reasons they would often go with the second.

    Yes I’ve been to 3rd world countries, do you want a list? How about starting with Cuba. All of them need capitalism, democracy and most of all: the rule of law.

    I haven’t reeled off the opposites of uber rightism – only workfare did I reel off. But here is one – I believe Ireland and Greece should default. Thats what the hard or “uber” right believes too. Ie the right of the american republican party (rather than the leftish bush or romney), ukip, and the tory right. So I must be uber right? Er… except that its also what Sinn Fein, the Irish Socialist Party, and the Icelandic lefties believe too, ie the hard left. Only the centrists believe in forcing the poor people to pay for bankers failures.

    Re * no I don’t know what it means in that context.

    Re minimum wage it is precisely because I care about people that I believe we should drop it. You can either have more people in work on lower wages (no minimum wage) or fewer people in work on higher wages. You cannot have both. People can support workfare but they do not get to pretend to be angels for doing so as Blair, Brown and Campbell pretend – minimum wage keeps people on the dole.

  • Michele

     I’m on my way out Mark but I think you need to really look at the ADL in more detail.  
    A link will do, such as this one:
    No need to stretch pages with C&P full of embedded line feeds …. no mockery implied, have done the same myself.

    I’m very glad if the ADL really has widened its brief and now takes on ALL sorts of discrimination; I haven’t looked at it recently as I found it had gone to verbal  extremes not much different from its enemies.
    Did you search the word ‘Palestine’ there?

    When all that people imagine anyone else takes in to account about them is their religion they’re denying their responsibility as individuals in a whole world aren’t they? 
    You’ve not managed to offend me, even by accusing me of having no relationships with Jewish people. 
    Such kneejerk artist-ism has been proven to work re KL after all (or does that deserve being elevated to the category of political assassination?).

  • mightymark

    One further thought;

    I was wondering how you sqare this:

    “Please don’t ride on Rabbi Blue’s back either, I’m sure you’re not equal to him in any way at all”.

    with this of the other day:

    “we’re all only equal to others.”

    Actually I’m sure I am not Rabbi Blue’s equal in wit or erudtion. Moreover he is a believer – though one who has had periods of extreme doubt – whereas I am at best a reverend agnostic.

  • mightymark

    “You’ve not managed to offend me, even by accusing me of having no relationships with Jewish people. Such kneejerk artist-ism has been proven to work re KL after all (or does that deserve being elevated to the category of political assassination?).”

    Not sure I did so accuse you. As for Ken I think the problem was precisely that he did have such relationships -and opportunities for many more – but he blew them – didn’t he? 

    Yes the ADL is pro Israel and I know you have problems acknowledging the commitment of most Jews to that state but if you can take the blinkers off here, if only momentarilly, you will find I think that the page you have linked to shows an admirable organisation based on one section of a wider US community (I wonder how far you have considered the American context here) actively reaching out to all sections of the community to fight bigotry and hate.

    Quite why anyone would want to damn an organsiation like that simply because it doesn’t agree with every dot and comma of their own individual beliefs is utterly beyond me.

  • Michele

     If you put words in to other people’s mouths often enough do you eventually come to believe they said them and/or kid associates that they did Mark?
    It’s discriminatory itself to accuse people wrongly.

    I’m sure you’d like to change this thread’s topic to be the one of your own choice but here goes with an attempt to get back to the mis-informing and/or idiotic media and away from the thread being owned. 

    So ……. distorted content.
    This happens to be an example of defamation of our host. 
    I’m never sure whether it’s better not to know about these things, being slagged off when there’s little right of reply (especially in a week when Toady had a go but ‘apologised’).
    R4 commissions work from a production company which’s serials are categorised as comedy but are some of the lamest over-worked wordplay in one of their series while in another they seem to have a different reason for being than fun.
    After being surprised by something broadcast earlier in the week I found it on iPlayer to make sure I’d not mis-heard, wondering if so many in the production chain could really be so crass and thick? 
    Surely R4 producers/directors/commissioning agents/Auntie Tom Cobley and all would not allow something to be broadcast that’s not only spiteful about a particular person for the sheer sake of it but its splatter could be offensive/insulting to so many (and relates to several recent threads)?

    I’m sure its target has become so used to idiotic ‘artists’ like this but also truly amazed that material that could so easily offend other listeners as well could be broadcast in the station’s early evening ‘comedy’ slot. 
    What makes people collude?  Do they see scripts before signing up or do they get caught up and in after doing so?
    What is said in a live speech discussion programme is one thing, what is prepared and played and edited and put out later …… WT* ?


    Male 1 – People like their heroes to be sensitive, it makes them more
    human.  Look at the autobiography by Lord Campbell of Spin, one of
    the most despised of the former king’s advisers.  He wrote about how he felt depressed.
    Male 2 – The man’s a whining child.

    Male 1 – Yes but it made people feel sympathy for him and now they’ve
    forgotten his duplicitous Machiavellian
    dealings and taken him back in to their hearts plus he’s sold more books.

    Male 2 – So what you’re saying is if I write like a woman then people
    will respect me more and buy my book?

    The Castle

    Written by Kim Fuller & Paul Alexander
    Produced & directed by David Tyler

  • Michele

     Didn’t need another dissertation reaguns.

    Soooo, been to third world countries and you still believe in people being employed for as little as possible or not being employed at all because the buying community can withhold business with them, take it where their own profit will be biggest? 

    I’m not sure Cuba is third world btw (or at least not to those who aren’t in awe of the CIA of old).

  • Michele

     Greece is not in the pickle it’s in only  because of its (and the world’s) bankers.
    It’s there because it has never been efficient at collecting tax and didn’t have the courage to trim its spending to its income. 

    However, BFN

  • Michele

    * take your pick, responsible, sensible, balanced.

    Never ever greedy butch matcho pseudo or uber.

  • reaguns


  • reaguns

    Oh Cuba is 3rd world alright. Its not as bad as an african country in famine, but its bad.

    As I keep saying, you can’t often make the seasaw rise at both ends. You usually have to choose between more people being in employment on worse conditions, or less people being in employment on better conditions.

    There are a few exceptions, Reagan managed to create millions upon millions of jobs, and increase average wages (yet he kept minimum wage down despite opposition)
    as well as creating greater productivity at the same time – but its very hard to find an example after him.

  • Michele

    I’m sure ‘our’ repartee is boring for most Mark but you do seem excited by threatening me with what KL has been tortured by.  
    In his case it was total political assassination, in my case you just want to smother me.  Dare I suggest you dream on?
    Your livid red-faced accusing posts are hard to trace all of.  
    Like me you have somehow managed to acquire more than one cache here on AC’s blog.
    I did so too – despite always posting from the same IPA and email address, I think I mis-typed my name once and perhaps you did something similar.
    Another anomoly is that a post from you on Labour List is linked here (no problem, it’s been handy to quote from).

    Where are we in your head?  
    Do you feel that you have some power over me?  Rights to restrict my freedom of speech?  
    I’m against the political movement of Zionism, something totally discrete from the religion of Judaism.
    Sort it out in your head that Zionism (b. 1860s AD) is a recent movement, born long after Judaism (b. 3000+yrs ago).
    Why else do Orthodox Jews disagree with it and the trouble that has come to ex-Palestine because of its terrorism of the late 19C/early 20C?
    Zionism is NOT a part of Judaism, it is a materialist/territorial add-on that some Jews choose to support despite it not being an inate or core or ancient part of the religion (except via Abraham’s dehydrated visions).
    Are the most-true Jews the descendents of the stalwart people that stayed in Israel (despite all the battles there under the Roman Christians and Islam) or are they the descendents of those that left?
    If the latter do they really have the right to impose their resentment on the stalwarts?

    Get it out of your head that because I am not Jewish this is none of my business.  
    It’s all affecting our world.
    Like anyone else I can make a judgement about one group’s behaviour to another and the similarity (despite differentials in names and detail) to what happened 70+yrs ago.
    I have the right to compare one type of prejudice with another.
    You have asked me how I square my opinion that we are all equal while finding it laughable that you should latch yourself on to Rabbi Lionel Blue.
    We start off born equal.  
    We evolve how we choose to (including those that allow themselves to be coerced).  
    Rabbi Blue is a Reform Jew and a pacifist, his choice has not been to endorse Zionism.  
    That’s why I can’t regard you as anything like him whether you’re both Jewish and whether you’re both Reform or not.
    Rabbi Blue believes everyone is entitled to their PoV; hence some people’s non-coerced states compared with others’.


    Within the demand about what you claimed as a contradiction on my part can I ask you about your own?
    Your posts :
    ……..”Oona King has actually made some virulently anti Israel remarks.
    Whether she stoops to the depths of being anti Zionist –  which is objectively anti semitic (it denies the Jews and only the Jews a national right) I don’t know.”…….

    vs :
    ….. “I voted for Oona King so they can’t blame me!”……

    I’ve got nothing against Ms King and don’t wish to deny her anyone’s vote but I find two such posts weird.
    Perhaps you were being sarcastic in one or changed your mind or came to your senses before the other?
    Let me remind you again that her being anti-Zionist (ie: anti- something that is purely POLITICAL and relatively undeveloped compared to the root it claims) is anti-Semitic (a reminder that it predates Zionism by 3000+ yrs).  
    Your trying to meld them is disloyal to the religion, it’s a choice that was never needed earlier and discounts other people’s/humans’ rights to a PoV.


    Your post
    …….. “Let’s begin by turning again to the IJV and to your view of the Jews as only a religion”……..
    along with your other :
    …….. ” about “Zionist Israel” (spat out I am sure, with as much hatred as you can manage) – as if there could be some other kind – in what must be the fairly faint hope that if you can undermine the ideology you can undermine Israel.
    But of course there”s the problem – you don’t want an improved Israel – you want NO Israel………………”

    Nope, got me wrong again Mark.
    I do want an improved situation.
    We need something combining the two peoples, most of us wish it was possible.
    But didn’t 000s of Jewish people move to the territory following the UN Mandate and its projection for a new status-quo and then disobey it?
    Are you suggesting they moved while not agreeing with that mandate and if so were they disingenuous or were some being exploited ?


    Your post
    ………. “Your strategy is clearly to delegitimize Israel which is a mainly secular expression of the Jews, i.e.the Jews as a people as well as a religion – so first, delegitimize the Jews as a people.  So we are treated to the endless silly tautologies about “Zionist Israel” (spat out I am sure, with as much hatred as you can manage)

     Refer to the above.


    Your silly post :
    ………… “I have heard of Mr Gilligan. I seem to recall he was very popular with the Labour Left when he was writing about something called the “dodgy dossier” but obviously the atmosphere has cooled so much now that he gets called “the Thing” – ouch! I believe he said some nasty things about Ken during the campaign – though I probably said much worse.

    Why try to be cute Mark?  
    It doesn’t wash.  
    You’re in Gilli’s cohort, subliminally or as a subserviant little member in a lazy disorganised drunk’s thrall that is based on nothing more than prejudice.
    He had no script,  he was booked for an interview just-post 6am, he spoke off-the-cuff, he gave Today something to wake it up.  Listening to those news headlines every single hour for weeks on end was literally painful.
    I don’t know for sure who used the phrase ‘sex-up’ first; I might feel differently to the way I do if it was not the sloth Gilligan and if the circumstances were as slothful as he was and is.


    Your post :

    ……… “the Soldier (who is Zionist)” …….

    Nope Mark, he (or she) is a conscript.
    Soldiers in Israel, male and female, are conscripted, that does not make them Zionist.  
    It simply means they were most likely born there and forced to join up and follow orders. 
    Does their obedience remind you of anything?
    They are under orders, following orders, not allowed to think for themselves, not allowed to think outside orders from Zionists.
    Heard about the rabid rabbi that was chucked out and the conscripts that hated him so much they formed an association?


    Your post :
    ” ……  that makes him shamelessly woo one community (“Beacon of Islam” – “it is my mission to make peole see Islam as peaceful”, fascist cleric hugging etc) and doing so at the expense of anither community at whom he gets in just enough “digs” to convince (he hopes) the more favoured (i.e. larger) community that he is onside without putting himsel so far on the wrong side of the racist line that Miliband has to call him out for it.
    Lets ignore – becaus it probably no odds to you – the hurt that this strategy causes the Jewish community,”…………

    I don’t see why anyone that is adult (and old enough to vote) should feel ‘hurt’ because someone regards another religion as equal to theirs (if they even have one). 

    It’s all so competitive; if one religionist choooses to read one book while another chooses another, what’s to get so jealous about?
    Who invented this contest and who’s pauing its price?
    Live and etc……
    I don’t owe you anything, why should a Muslim?

  • Michele

    Mark ………..
    “On that basis anti Christian feeling would also be anti-Semitic –  ”

    Althugh the bloke Jesus that added  ‘Christ’ on to his name was based in the mid-East he was mostly rejected by the locals.
    The Christian school of thought, the societies that chose to believe in him and his claimed status emanated from the Roman Empire. 
    Whether any eastern European/mid Eastern versions of Christianity can be called Semite isn’t something I care to be bothered about.

    Looking up the meaning of the word ‘Semite’ is dead easy.
    Make allowance for the vagaries of the past when people had less access to info than ‘we’ have now
    and less of it was lined up with other vagaries.


    Semite, Person speaking one of a group of related languages, presumably derived from a common language, Semitic (see Semitic languages).
    The term came to include Arabs, Akkadians, Canaanites, some Ethiopians, and Aramaean tribes including Hebrews.
    Semitic tribes migrated from the Arabian Peninsula, beginning c. 2500 bc, to the Mediterranean coast, Mesopotamia, and the Nile River delta.
    In Phoenicia, they became seafarers.
    In Mesopotamia, they blended with the civilization of Sumer.
    The Hebrews settled at last with other Semites in Palestine.

    Absorbed the last line Mark?

  • Michele

     DURRRRRR, correction:
    Let me remind you again that her being anti-Zionist (ie: anti-something
    that is purely political and relatively undeveloped compared to the
    root it claims) is

  • Michele

     I’m replying here instead of to your post itself as that would be letter to a line.

    You must have chosen to ignore why Cuba has been so poor for the last 50yrs. 
    Always looking out for an excuse for the economists vs the politicians ….

    Why do you suppose CIA-driven US imposed a total embargo?  What effect do you suppose that has had on Cuba?  No trade in or out with its biggest neighbour 1960 till now.
    Cuba has only been defined as 3rd world by paranoid CIA-believers.  At least Obama has finally lifted the trade bans.  obtw ….