Why I won’t be out protesting Donald Trump’s State Visit

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We are told protesting against Donald Trump’s state visit should be the biggest protest this country has ever seen, but why? Is Donald Trump’s visit the most important issue facing the people of this country? The answer is of course no, Trump is not more important than the dismantling of the NHS, the homeless epidemic, the Windrush scandal, Grenfell, the death caused by cuts, and a million and one other problems which are caused by our own government.

Donald Trump is a slimeball, a scumbag and an all round cunt, but what makes him so special? Is his brand of sexism worse than the fact austerity disproportionately attacks women? Or is his racism worse than the racism that gave us the windrush scandal? Is his neocon geopolitical war hard-on worse than Obama’s, or May’s?

Donald Trump is not the problem, the system is the problem – Trump is a symptom of that system, but what do we hope to achieve by protesting his visit? Is his visit worse than the other dictators and all round shit bags this country has hosted throughout the years?

Will protesting against Trump home the homeless on our streets, or put food in the bellies of those starving and struggling to survive?

Solidarity to the poor brothers and sisters of America fighting against Trump and all that he stands for, but we are locked in a life and death battle of our own, and instead of making that the biggest protest we have ever seen, instead of going after the system which allows men like Trump to thrive, we want to make it all about Trump.

We could remove Trump tomorrow, and it would not change a thing for this country (Or America), people will still be struggling, people will still be starving and we would still be ruled by a elite that doesn’t give a shit about us!

Go along, be a good liberal, give yourself a pat on the back and think you are opposing Trump’s bigotry, but don’t fool yourself in to thinking that the things Trump stand for, and the system he represents are not already normal here.

It is easy to get indignant and kick up a fuss about an issue that relatively will not impact you, but there are a lot of issues facing us which are far more important, and which warrant the biggest protest this country has ever.

Why are we not organising to make May resign? We should be organising to change this country, we should be organising to help the downtrodden and oppressed in our country, right now. Not wasting our time with hollow and empty gesture politics, which will serve little to no practical purpose to the people kicked in to the dirt by our government.

So no, I won’t go out to protest Trump’s visit, not because I agree or want to endorse his politics, but because I think we should be going after the system, corruption and the poverty which is all too real for the people of this country (and America).

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How can we be a civilised society while allowing homelessness to fester?

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Homelessness is all our problem, it is an issue that effects us all. Whether directly through being on the streets ourselves, or indirectly through the society which we call our own.

You would think a problem of this magnitude would require a society wide effort to solve. Yet time and again we have been left wanting, and for those suffering this societal blight, it just isn’t good enough.

Make no mistake homelessness is a dirty stain on our society, we can not call ourselves civilised while we have people struggling for the basic necessities of survival, we cannot call ourselves a civilised society and turn a blind eye to the suffering of those we see on the streets every day.

I wish I could say I was shocked at the news by Crisis which reported that homelessness is set to reach over half a million by 2041, but the writing has been on the wall for a long time. The government has failed, is failing, and will continue to fail when it comes to homelessness, and it can be for only one reason – they simply don’t care enough. Time and again charities and community groups are picking up the slack, frantically trying to put a plaster on a problem that has been festering for too long.

It is extremely hard to get accurate data on homelessness, it wouldn’t be surprising if this number was a rather conservative estimate. Regardless of the exact figures the trajectory is clear – homelessness is going to continue to rise. We can and do need to do more, it is an indictment of the failure of our society.

It is easy to think it could not happen to me, or it is not my problem but eight million people are only a pay day away from being on the street and unless you have a crystal ball that can see the future, you don’t know what is around the corner.

It is clear the government will not act on this issue, not unless we force them. There should be national outrage over this, our governments continue to fail the people in their care yet again.

How many groups of people can the Tories betray, how many people in our society have to be cruel victims of their heartless policies before enough is enough? One person suffering on the streets is too many and one thing is abundantly clear, if we do not take action now, hundreds of thousands of people are going to be suffering in the future.

Labour Civil War? This Is A War Of Ideology

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What is happening within the Labour party is much bigger than Corbyn, it’s much bigger than the Labour Party. Within Labour we are witnessing a break down of the Thatcherite consensus which has dominated the Labour party since the days of Blair and New Labour, alongside this we are witnessing a backlash against Neoliberal ideology and Thatcherism in wider society. Corbyn is the figurehead, or the representative of this change and his opponents in and outside the Labour party believe the maxim “cut the head of the snake” but the paradigm shift that is occurring cannot be stopped so easily.

When Thatcher got elected, many said she couldn’t do it, when she became PM, people didn’t believe it. Yet since then, we have seen a huge shift in the political consensus to the right, in fact the One Nation Tory ideology that Thatcher effectively destroyed became irrelevant. She managed to shift our politics so far to the right that people even buy the lie that left wing politics can never win an election (if you repeat a lie often enough…). This has been the generally accepted view since the eighties, coincidently there was a huge back lash against this shift to the right, sadly ending in the defeat for the left. The war however is far from over, and we are now witnessing a realignment, politics much like a pendulum is swinging back the way it came.

The establishment political, media and business have joined together in an evil triumvirate of ideological power to try and preserve the system that has enriched them, or as Chomsky puts to “manufacture consent”. They do not want the change that is coming, hence their alliance in shutting Corbyn down. They are going with the old narrative that left is unelectable, they are fighting back to protect neoliberal ideology. The power of Thatcherism is waning, and the confidence of the public in the establishment is breaking down. The media is losing its power to the internet, and the rising tide in anti-establishment sentiment because of the banking crisis, the expenses scandal, cash for questions, corrupt tax dodging business practices, all of these have crept up on neoliberalism, slowly but surely eroding peoples confidence in business as usual, in the generally held paradigm espoused by the establishment.

In a post Blair world the Blairites have become the dinosaurs, they have become the fossils, an insult so readily dished out at socialists and the like for just not “modernising.” In a scandal ridden world, where the new norm has become corruption, in a world after the expenses scandal, the bankers crash of 2008, and the ever widening income gap, their ideas and arguments seem alien to our generation. We are the products of the failure of neoliberal ideology, and we are open to something else, we haven’t lived in a world where socialism, or left wing politics has been in the mainstream.

It has been over thirty years since a left wing alternative was put to the electorate, in fact since the Thatcher years we have had an unbroken line of Thatcherism, Neoliberalism at the heart of our government it festering like a poison at the heart of our politics. Many people alive today myself included have never been presented with typical left wing arguments, they have become the ‘new’, they have become fresh, because neoliberal has become stale, and we have not been offered a credible choice for decades. This isn’t just happening here in the UK, it is happening all over the west, look at Sanders in America, and the agents of neoliberalism are becoming ever more desperate and dangerous, because it is happening on the flip side too, look at Trump and Farage.

People are crying out for change, we have had the occupy movement, we have had waves of protests, and unrest around this country and the wider world, the political landscape has shifted vastly, the rise of the SNP, the shadow of UKIP and Brexit. In a world where so much has changed since the Blair years, how can people think “business as usual” can win the day? This belief completely flies in the face of the problems the Labour party was facing prior to Corbyn becoming leader, it completely removes the party from its recent history and the context of where it finds it self.

Thus the ideological war which many believed to be over, the end of history, the fall of the Berlin Wall, has come out of no where to frighten the establishment inside and outside the Labour party. They have completely and utterly closed ranks in order to conserve the ideological consensus they have worked at over the last thirty years. If a left wing leader does win a general election, the narratives they have built up to protect neoliberal ideology will come crashing down. They lose justification for their arguments, and it is they who will be pushed into retreat. We are witnessing the desperate lashing out of its advocates, whether they are being directly pushed by their ideology or on a more subconscious level, because they are in a fight for their survival. If they lose within the Labour Party, an opposing ideology will start being presented in the chamber, if they lose a GE, a new ideology will start drafting policy.

While the Labour party is the main focus of this war of ideas, it is only one battlefield, and on a wider level what happened with Corbyn’s election is just a wider indicator of the paradigm shift which is happening to the wider public. So even if Corbyn is toppled, even if they put a neoliberal business as usual stooge in, they cannot stop the march of history, it has become too big now. So whether it happens inside or outside the Labour party, a big change is coming, and it is one that is going to realign our politics. We can either ride that wave and fight to create the kind of world we want to see, or we can get dragged along by it.

Famine of the Soul

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That emptiness you feel eating away at your soul
Is the suffering that the world feels
The pain and wounds inflicted on one effects us all
We’re all connected we’re all one under the Sun
You know something is wrong but you don’t know what
You can feel it right now eating away at your gut
Your heartaches and you’re not sure why
Sometimes you just want to break down and cry
Its due to the injustice that we take
Its because its our future that is at stake
The planet society its all reaching melting point
So enough of being a defeatist repeating
Whats the fucking point?
The lines that connect us might be invisible
But its this system that is indefensible
And I aint talking about a grand cosmic shift
All that is needed is for you not to take this shit
They brainwash us to think this is how it must be
But look into your heart we were all born free

What are we hoping for?

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What are we building? What are we fighting for? I’m no longer sure. It seems to me that the left has become the most complex and convoluted system for lobbying the government that has ever existed.

While communities have come under prolonged and sustained attack, completely ripped apart for generations now, it looks to me that we are arguing over what kind of biscuits to bring to the revolution, and lets not get started on the tea, or we will be here till tea time.

Where is the vision? The ambition? The hope and the passion? Where is the strategy in acting as a glorified lobby group?

This week we witnessed the Greek people vote oxi (no to me and you) to austerity, and from the response you would think they had just smashed the capitalist hegemony of the globe. I think it is great that they did mind you but I don’t want to look for Greece to hope, I want to look to the left in the UK to provide my people with hope.

What are we doing? Arguing over austerity and like Canute trying to turn back the tide, or in our case convince the Tory party or the Labour party to change course? To take pity on us poor peasants and allow us to have a little bit more of the harvest next year? Or to find a heart and stop sending us to our deaths with a stroke of their pens?

In the meantime how insignificant are the left becoming? Take Left Unity for example, the party I am involved with – it is trying to emulate and act like a traditional party. Like it stands any chance of beating these guys at their own game, like it is in any position to even contemplate taking them on at their own game.

If Left Unity is to survive it needs to stop trying to be a traditional party, it needs to rip apart the rule book on what a political party is, and create something new, something new and inspiring that the people of the country can believe in and get behind!

All I am seeing is more of the same, and more of the same has got us into this mess in the first place. We know the fight to change society and the face of this country is a long one, but what are we doing to bring about that goal? A campaign here, a petition there and a march on the odd occasion.

Yes these things sometimes do have the desired effect, our masters change their course and we gain a small victory with which we may build something a little better or bigger in the future. Or people pack their things up and go home, it is all the same.

We have been operating that way for generations, and it clearly is not hitting the mark anymore. It may have had an effect in the 20th century, but we are not in the 20th century anymore. We need to adapt, we need to grow and we need to stop flogging a dead horse.

I do not have all the answers, I do not even know all the problems but please just try to think outside the box, stop trying to do what you’ve always done because it is what you’ve always done. We need to change, we need to stop pushing blame onto everything else and accept our responsibility in the downfall of the left.

We need to take stock of where we are, re-evaluate where we want to be and actually come up with something worth while. I don’t want to be in a focus group, I do not want to just be a lobbyist to whatever overlord we have that year. I want to be part of something fresh and new, new not just in name but in structure, outlook, strategy – something we can actually call revolutionary.

By revolutionary I am not saying we take out the pitch forks and storm Buckingham Palace, but something the left have completely lost the ability to do and that is talk to people on a level, talk with people, not down to them, not preaching to them but with them.

By revolutionary I’m talking about our outlook, how we conduct ourselves, what we consider to be political action. This linear form of politics is getting us no where, it isn’t even fit for this day and age.

We can hold a rally of 250,000 people and you can all pat yourselves on the back and say that it is a movement now, but rallies don’t make movements, at a rally what are you doing? Standing still listening to someone tell you something. Then you can go home, you may have learnt something but what has changed in your community? Unless you live in London, not a damn deal.

We need to be building up resistance, we need to be building up networks and be engaged in activities which are empowering to communities and empowering to ourselves, this has to be creative and it has to be local.

All political activity and the voice of opposition against these unjust, unfair and immoral acts are great but what purpose are they serving in the long run? What are we doing outside and around that which truly is creating a movement, truly is doing something beneficial to the cause?

There is this hollow shell in the place of communities up and down the country, what are we doing to solve that problem? The left is a husk, it must be great for academics that love boring meetings and arguing the finer points of the events of the Russian revolution, but what else?

Surely there has to be more to what we are doing than this? Surely there is something we are missing? Otherwise, if this is all there is, if this is as good as it gets? We may as well pack our bags and give the revolution a miss, the weather will be shit and it’s not like it’s going to be on the tele anyway.

How long are we going to be defined by which punches the government are throwing at us and which ones we are quick enough to dodge? These negative reactive campaigns which are ultimately not providing hope, not creating positivity, not rolling out change within communities. I do not want to survive anymore, where the best I can hope for is if we manage to bloody the governments nose once in a while.

We need to build something, we need to create something, we need to thrive.

Food Crime Today, Thought Crime Tomorrow.

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The rising tide of food theft in Northampton an ocean that is on the rise across this whole country, is something our leaders should be completely ashamed of and if they were acting for the benefit of the poor and needy, no doubt they would be.

The Chronicle and Echo (Northampton Local Paper) publishes the details of the court, in an effort to name and shame criminals, to bring some form of justice or maybe because we all just missed the good old fashion medieval stocks.

So I was surprised, saddened and shocked to see the developments of our times, a man fined £70 for stealing MILK and CEREAL.

If someone, a HUMAN BEING gets to the point that they are forced to steal to eat, the response of any civilised society and any decent human being would be to tackle the problems causing it in the first place, hunger, poverty and of course politicians.

Our response, and this tells any watching alien civilisation just how doomed we are, our response is to fine them and give them a criminal record. Would our government, our high towered overlords prefer that these people just starve to death or lie down and die?

This is appalling and disgusting and I have read similar reports across the whole country. We are criminalising the poor and those suffering the effects of poverty, while the causes are left to fester like a cancer at the centre of our society and ultimately while those responsible for that environment live in luxury, this is a gross injustice and one that should make you feel angry.

The one saving grace and I doubt something you will see reported in the Chron (Chronicle and Echo) was the response by the people of Northampton and beyond. On the same day this was reported Bianca Todd from CCY (Community Court Yard) put a shout out on Facebook to raise money to not only pay off the court fine but provide food for the individual, which was met with great kindness and empathy.

What logic leads our law makers to the conclusion that those struggling to survive and those struggling to make ends meet, even those that are homeless should be fined for acts which take place directly because of that poverty. If you have no money, how can you pay a fine? If you cannot afford basic essentials and basic human needs, then how is a fine going to help that situation?

We live in a society where the poor feel the full force of the law, yet the wealthy can use that wealth to not only influence the law but to hide from it as well. How many bankers have gone to jail for their part in destroying the UK economy in 2008? How many people suffering from poverty have gone to jail as a direct consequence of their actions?

This has to stop, we need to act.

Left Unity and the election

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Let me start this blog by saying well done to everyone that had the courage and nerve to put themselves forward in local or national elections for Left Unity, while the results may have not reflected the hard work and dedication you showed, you deserve praise for having the balls to put your head above the parapet.

This article however is not going to be kind on Left Unity and its involvement in the elections, for they were an absolute disaster. Some of us within the party argue, albiet unsuccessfully at the folly of rushing into national and in some cases local election politics, when so much had yet to be achieved.

I personally argued for a local election focus, as if any network or fight back is going to be waged against this system, it will start at the bottom of communities.

Left Unity however first and foremost sought to be a social movement, it sought to ride the wave or if need be create the wave that would turn the tide in the battle for that which communities the length and breadth of the country hold dear.

Which is why many of us myself included, were distraught at the direction and turn Left Unity had started to take, it changed course dramatically and begun sailing straight towards the rocky waters of electoral politics without a care in the world for the direction of the political winds.

The forces of political nature were therefore harsh and unforgiving as socialists shamed themselves yet again in England in an utter massacre. As we rounded up to take part in our bi-decade self-flegellation that sees us humiliated and shamed.

This experiment has been an expensive failure, and a harsh lesson for Left Unity to learn, with members dropping out and abandoning us because of our performance, or in some cases the despair at not seeing the change and breath of fresh air we had hoped the party to be, materalise in any meaningful way.

What is done cannot be undone and it is how we seek to get out of the hole that we blindly and willingly dug ourselves into that will define the next five years for us.

How long will we keep doing the same old things and expecting fresh and new results? We want to build a successful party, we want to or at least I am fighting to improve communities because I don’t want people to starve, I don’t want people to be forced to live in shame, I don’t want my friends to go cold in the winter.

Yet I am dismayed at the complete and utter disconnect that the left keeps showing with the communities of this land, we keep doing failed and destructive methods and then hope or try to define and exclaim our failures as something else, we pass the buck without examining our own responsibility within those failures: That has to stop now.

I will tell you why we failed, we are not trusted – the people of the country don’t trust us, that can be for a million reasons, of course the mainstream media barrage against our ideas and figures is a major part but we ourselves have done little to earn their trust.

The London activist bubble, and hardened and great comrades up and down the country, many of whom I respect fo their services to the movement have got locked into a paradigm which is no longer beneficial to the left movement, the strategy no longer serves us. This can be seen in our falling power and popularity, and general standing – the trend is not good for the left.

Left Unity a party that is fighting for the many, fighting for the majority yet it is manned by a skeleton crew – why is that? Why are we irrelevant? in an age of such despair, why are we not a beacon of hope? Why are we not cutting through the forces of austerity with our sword of socialism? Why are people up and down the country not singing our praises as we stand shoulder to shoulder with them against the full brunt of this capitalist onslaught?

The common thread of community struggle, the glue that holds society together and creates an effective network for people to organise and resist attempts to attack and destroy the things we hold dear, has been eroded and destroyed over successive generations. Now we must work to rebuild these lost links and remember that which is being forgotten and lost.

Most importantly we have to earn the peoples trust and we are not going to do that with words, only with actions will the people be emboldened to fight, only through actions will people have the courage to stand against austerity and only in the fires of action will the weapons against this system be forged.

Another debate, another protest, another time – these methods do have their place, and must be used, they serve a purpose. We are not however doing what needs to be done around these, we need to get into communities and fight against austerity not with words but deeds!

Starving to death? Well people should know that Left Unity will not let you starve to death, it will feed your family – it will keep you alive. Freezing to death? Well people should know that Left Unity will not let you freeze because of a cold heartless government – it will keep you warm.

All we are hearing is words, we need to change the direction and outlook we have on what political activity means. We talk the talk, we talk tough – yet ultimately it falls on deaf ears because we are not walking their walk. You can talk about austerity from your heated home, your lovely three bedroom house, but to someone who has hunger in their belly, they want more than inspiring words.

There is merit in standing in elections, however we invested 18 or so thousands of pounds in our election effort, in a time when people are starving to death, thousands of people dying because of planned austerity measures, planned poverty – this investment should of gone on people, not polls.

We invested so much, for what return? What gain did we get on our investment? Very little. We could of showed solidarity with the people of this country, we could of begun a program to fight austerity in this country, instead we chose the tried and failed route of electoral politics first, and ultimately we are now going to pay the price – I only hope the price is not the most cruellest one to pay, that of our own demise.

Elections have their time and place, they serve a purpose – local elections are cost effective ways of campaigning and highlighting an issue within local communities and building links within local communities. Local must come first if we are to have any hope of achieving anything, it has to start at the bottom – we have to start at the bottom,.

Even if you go down the electoral strategy route, there was no strategic planning in placing candidates all over the place, diffusing our limited resources and isolating our many skirmishes and battles. If elections were a war, we spread our armies too thin and then paid the ultimate price – defeat.

There is hope for the future, there is hope for Left Unity but we have to get our priorities straight, we have to change – the left has to adapt and change to meet the current needs of the people. We need to be backing up our intellect with our actions, one without the other is meaningless.

In the end we need to not only say we want change, we need to display what change means, we need to showcase socialism, we need to put socialism into action, as the saying goes “socialism, the radical idea of sharing” – It is time socialism is taken to the streets!