Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A day of two anniversaries

Reading: The Times, local paper, Guardian and Independent websites, BBC News website, "Comment is Free" blogs of various bloggers, some pages of Finnegans Wake.
Listening: The Smiths, local radio.
Viewing: BBC News, Sky News, some of the Championship play off game before the lights went out!

Today is the anniversary of two important events in this part of the world, whose importance is still with us today. The first is the anniversary of the Restoration of The Monarchy with Charles II in 1660 about which I will say little more at this time than to publish this link -

The second anniversary is of VE Day, the military defeat of Nazi Germany and its' allies in Europe. Something that gives special pause for thought after descendents of the East London heroes of the blitz just voted the far right political descendents of the Nazis onto their local council in large enough numbers to make them the "official opposition". An interesting take on this can be found in the blog of Jeremy Seabrook, who contrasts the successes of the Greens with those of the far right in the recent English local elections and takes the view that they represent positive/progressive and negative/destructive responses to the real questions of globalisation and scarcity that the main parties continue to try and dodge.

"Comment is Free" is the Guardian's weblog sevice for the "Great and the Good", and has an interesting selection of the commentariat, left and right. Amongst them are fellow Greens, Caroline Lucas and Peter Tatchell -

The new Home Secretary's outburst about those he perceives as conspiring against his Great Leader (once a Stalinist..........) is very revealing, and gives food for thought. The Blairites now see ANY criticism or competition, even from only very slightly to the left of them, as tantamount to treachery and a political death wish. Reid's comments were directed not just at the "usual suspects" of the Socialist Campaign Group, but at the reforming social-democrats of the Compass group, and even the long term Blairite fellow travellers of the Brownite faction. However, anyone who actually looks at the detail of what Brown says, especially when he is addressing the "business community", can see that there is a political hairsbreadth between him and Blair. The main difference appears to be over presentation - Brown wants to talk the old language more and be seen to nod at union concerns internally in the party, whilst the more dogmatic Blairites simply want to marginalise those unions and other elements that do not capitulate completely to the neoliberal agenda. The Blairite position that "There Is No Alternative" (to bowing and scraping to every demand of finance capital and Washington) is of course the same as that of Thatcher. Current events are eerily familiar to those of us who were around to witness Thatcher's final weeks and months. Is there a "Dead Sheep", (as Howe was nicknamed) out there to challenge Blair?



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