Coffee House

The People’s Assembly is sound and fury signifying nothing

27 March 2013

3:26 PM

27 March 2013

3:26 PM

Haven’t you heard? Today is the official launch of the People’s Assembly, a grassroots movement to amplify ‘progressive opinion’ in the public square. Think Arab Spring, but for Brits who don’t have quite as much to rage about. It’s being launched by Owen Jones, Mark Steel, Caroline Lucas, and other such luminaries. The main thrust of their campaign seems to be against cuts. ‘It’s springtime for opposition to the nightmare of austerity,’ says Jones, deftly combining metaphors. ‘The People’s Assembly offers the one thing missing from British politics: Hope.’

Hope and change! Springtime! Who doesn’t want that? The trouble is, I’m not so sure that actual people agree with the People’s Assembly’s founding premise. Polls often show that the British accept the need to tackle the deficit and reduce the debt – and I doubt that is because, as the People’s Assembly founders would suggest, they have been brainwashed by right-wing propaganda. It’s more common sense. People can also see that the government, for all its talk about tough decisions, hasn’t done nearly enough to restore sanity to the public purse. There has been no “shock-and-awe” offensive against the state, even if government cuts have indeed been more painful for some groups than others.


We already have an anti-austerity movement, UK Uncut, but they have all but fizzled out.* Why the sudden clamour for more cuts anger on the Left? It’s frustration, at heart. Conditions for a revival seem perfect: the Left faces a weak, unpopular and failing Con-Lib government. The economy is in a coma and more cuts are – we’re told – coming. And yet Ed Miliband’s party ‘offers no coherent alternative,’ to use Owen Jones’s phrase. So the Left is turning on itself, as Dan Hodges notes. The old guard – the Ken Loaches and Polly Toynbees – want a Ukip of the Left, a party that pushes Labour away from centre. Meanwhile, young radicals like Owen Jones want to bring back popular left-wing dissent. But they are all muddling their own anger at the failure of the Left with the public’s hostility towards the political and media class in general. They don’t see that they are part of the problem.

It’s all noise and signalling, sound and fury signifying nothing. The Left never really eats itself anyway. Lefties in this country are far more tribal than righties, which is one of the reasons nobody uses the word righties. They’ll agonise over the way forward but eventually agree that anything is better than more George Osborne and come together.

* The good folks of UK Uncut have pointed out to me that they are not fizzling out. They are running a bold campaign called “How to Evict a Millionaire.” Not my cup of tea, exactly, but preferable to a bunch of prominent media figures pretending to represent people on the margins.


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Show comments
  • Michael Thompson

    How can anybody aspire to anything when they are trapped on means tested welfare benefits at the bottom of the ladder ?. Thatcher and her cronie supporters have a lot to answer for.

  • Michael Thompson

    Christ Lancaster, are you a Tory ?

  • Michael Thompson

    Our people are being thrown on the dole just like Thatcher did in the 80’s, yet the silence from the BBC is deafening.

  • dabdab

    “Polls often show that people accept the need to tackle the deficit and reduce the debt –
    and I doubt that is because, as the People’s Assembly founders would
    suggest, they have been brainwashed by right-wing propaganda.There has been no “shock-and-awe” offensive against the state, even if government cuts have indeed been more painful for some groups than others”.

    There may not have been brainwashing about needing cuts, there certainly has been when it comes to where those cuts should be made. Interesting that the GOovt are not willing to have an audit on how these cuts are having an impact simply because they’d be too difficult to measure. There may not have been shock and awe for you, but are you really telling me that you think there hasn’t been for all those who are really feeling the cuts, you obviously aren’t one of them. I’m sure there was enough shock and awe for the family whose family member starved himself to death because of the fear of losing his ESA , so he would no longer be a burden, along with the hundreds of others who have taken their lives, rather than face a life of penury.

    I don’t know about the politics or relevance of this People’s Assembly but what alternatives do we have? You know what? We just feel we need someone to speak for us as we are unable to get up and march, You tell me what are we to do, don’t blame us if we hang onto every little glimmer of light, anything and anyone who seems to show they care about what’s happening to someone other than themselves.

  • David Jamesson

    What planet are you Spectator types inhabiting? Get out of your big cars and talk to real people for a change.

    • darwins beard

      Yes “talk” I wonder how long it will take before the long haired types end up defacing more property, defacing war memorials and if that doesn’t work they can always riot and then blame the police for violence as per usual and you wonder why the public never support bowel “movements” of this pseudo communist type.

      Different Crap “Causes” same damn faces every time.

    • Sue Ward

      I live in a former mining village and my husband is a lorry driver. Is that ‘real’ enough for you?

    • Colonel Mustard

      I prefer walking my retriever in the Home Counties to big cars, you muppet.

      • telemachus

        Got you

  • pearlsandoysters

    i guess that all sorts of grass-roots movements are bound to fizzle out, once they do not have any significant bearing on decision-making process. May be due to the fact that the current “economic rules”, which are human invention, are positioned as iron-clad maxims of the laws of physics. It might have been positively funny but for complete obsession with “exact knowledge”. Economics of to-day has become something akin to metaphysics and is so-self assured that all alternative or challenging viewpoints are brushed under the carpet. Even if there are some noises, it might take something akin to “scientific revolution” to overhaul the current arrangements.

  • dalai guevara

    How are the sales figures of John Lewis’s ‘keep calm and carry on’ kitchen range doing? That’s my indicator for what’s happnin’ in the country.

  • Jane McLoughlin

    Sound and fury, signifying nothing? Isn’t that Boris Johnson?

    • Framer

      More Falstaff to Cameron’s Henry.

  • Daniel Maris

    To be fair, I had the old fashioned idea that companies paid their taxes until UK Uncut staged their demos. Sometimes, when the media fails, we rely on protest groups to get the message across.

    • Andy

      I suppose you’ve been on a demo outside the offices of that Fascist rag The Guardian ??

  • darwins beard

    More champagne socialists like Owen Jones making noise about things the don’t understand as the vast majority of these middle class yuppie spawn undergrads have never had a job and decide to condescend to actual workers saying they know whats best for us as we are clearly not intelligent enough to make our own decisions.

    We should all be thankful for these brave expensively educated plastic activists standing up to our democratically elected Government after all we are all to stupid and lazy to not take part in the “revolution”.

  • dunbar22

    It’s good to see Owen Jones is getting a reaction from a certain section of society, for a while it appeared he was being ignored; maybe in the hope he’d go away? I regard this as evidence Owen is closing in on something, he’s finally being seen as a threat. I’m reminded of the Gandhi quote: “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win”. Good luck Owen.

    • Andy

      Ah Owen Jones. The Owen Jones I’ve heard of was the son of a Welsh furrier and a renowned pattern designer. Now this one I had to look up.

      Let me see. . . . Son of a local authority worker and IT lecturer. Considers himself ‘fourth generation socialist’, which suggests intelligence is not a strong family trait. Mind he has a degree and a master’s degree, which is not a good sign. Was a trade union lobbyist and then a parliamentary researcher for the Labour Party, so we have yet another one who has never had a job, nor done anything useful. I do wish some of these people would actually grow up.

      • dunbar22

        “… then they ridicule you…”. Andy, I see we’re only at stage two. Think I’ll wait for stage three, I expect that’ll be less dull.

        • O M

          Owen Jones in the same sentence as Ghandi? I knew Ghandi, and Owen, you’re no Ghandi….

          • dunbar22

            Paraphrasing liberal politicians? There’s hope for you yet…

        • darwins beard

          Personally Owen doesnt need to be ridiculed he’s quite capable of making an idiot of himself through his own shoddy journalism, its his pathetic fawning crowd of unshakable followers that deserve the ridicule, after all as Obi Wan said “whos more of a fool the fool or the fool who follows him?”

          Good luck with the revolution Comrade, I’ll be watching it on my Telly x

          • dunbar22

            Still at the ridicule stage? No one seems prepared to challenge Owen on the issues he’s raised; where’s the conservative fighting spirit? By the way, Obi Wan is a fictional character, those words were penned by George Lucas, I guess reality isn’t your strong point.

            • darwins beard

              I see humor is lost on the far left. like many people I dont think Owen Jones is in any position to dictate to a democratically elected government how to handle debt.

              Its not debatable whether the countries broke or not and the fact people like you are too short sighted to see you are only helping Jones further his own career by jumping on this years “right on” band wagon, shows how misguided the die hard evergreen leftist members of this whining pathetic movement are.

              So thank you for proving my point for me.

              • dunbar22

                You seem to forget the Conservatives failed to win a majority in the general election; their policies have no mandate from the people of the United Kingdom. The Conservative’s approach to debt is rack up more of it in order to cut services to the most vulnerable. Shouldn’t we be using that borrowed money to fund an economic growth strategy? Also, I didn’t realise Owen was in a position to “dictate” anything; he’s merely a journalist voicing an opinion, I’m not sure how agreeing with him helps his career?

                I’m sorry If you thought Star Wars was real.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Ha ha! That weasel Labour lie. They had a mandate from the 10,726,614 and 36.1% who voted for them which was more than any other party. They received more than 7% of the vote than Labour but only got 48 more seats, whereas Labour in 2005 with a measly 2.8% more of the vote got 157 more seats.

                  The system is unbalanced in favour of Labour but when they lose an election fair and square their activists, like you, believe that they should still have some divine right to rule and spend their time undermining the legitimate government by any means, fair or foul, including trolling on websites like this.

                • dunbar22

                  I’m sorry to break this to you: the Conservatives failed to win a majority, that’s why they are in a coalition. The people of the United Kingdom did not give the Conservatives a mandate. And, since when has voicing an opposition to policies that are attacking the most vulnerable in society, and damaging the fabric of the country, been “undermining… legitimate government”? Do you know how democracy works?

                  You erect a curious Strawman argument with your “Devine Right” claim; I’m guessing you believe Star Wars is real, too?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  But of course you would have to say that. Yes, I know how democracy works and I know how militant socialism works to undermine it whilst professing to represent it. Look at the photo in the header. Do you think that lot represent democracy and any kind of democratic mandate? Look at the chalked slogans.

                  As for Star Wars what was that you said about ridicule? Hmm. Hypocrisy never a strong point with militant socialists of the Owen Jones kind.

                • dunbar22

                  Are you accusing Owen and The Peoples’ Assembly of revolutionary intent, and you regard them as an antidemocratic movement? On what basis?

                  I understand Star Wars is a serious issue, I apologies for pointing out it’s a work of fiction; it’s obviously central to your personal beliefs. May the force be with you… always.

                • darwins beard

                  So what your actually saying is that Tories cut all welfare, all of it, from “the most vulnerable” because it would be a bit of a laugh and would put them in good stead for the next election? All while lighting their expensive cigars with burning fifty pound notes or a dirty proletariat’s wooden crutch they nicked from an orphanage, in the old boys club before counting their money in the corner ?

                  The main point I have made is that it doesn’t mater whether its a anti-war march, anti drone march, free palestine march, anti guantanamo demo, anti austerity demo its the same mix of yoga loving tree-huggers, spotty pseudo intellectuals and cultural self haters with their Karl Marx answer to all of the world ills and “your too right wing to get it” attitude that puts normal, real people off listening to them and you have consistently proved this over and over so can you please troll New statesman for a bit x

                • dunbar22

                  The Tories are cutting welfare for ideological reasons, they have a commitment to “rolling back the State”, I’m surprised you don’t know this.

                  “Austerity” measures are being funded by increased borrowing; this is necessary because Government cuts in a weak economy reduces economic output; which means less tax revenue, more unemployment, and higher welfare costs. The Tories know they can’t win an election with the economy in this state, so, they are embarking on a series of massive infrastructure investments. Once the economic benefits of the investments are felt in the wider economy, they will claim this is evidence their “austerity” measures are working. They will use this to justify further “austerity” measures; thus enabling their continued ideological assault on the State.

                  The People’s Assembly is simply advocating a stop to the cuts in welfare for the most vulnerable people. The money the Government is currently borrowing, to effectively shrink the economy, should be used as part of an economic growth strategy. Advocates of this approach include sixty three leading economists:

                • darwins beard

                  “The main point I have made is that it doesn’t mater whether its a anti-war march, anti drone march, free palestine march, anti guantanamo demo, anti austerity demo its the same mix of yoga loving tree-huggers, spotty pseudo intellectuals and cultural self haters with their Karl Marx answer to all of the world ills and “your too right wing to get it” attitude that puts normal, real people off listening to them and you have consistently proved this over and over so can you please troll New statesman for a bit x ”

                  Thats a yes then

                  give our money to those who dont generate any and that will grow the economy, well if that what the peoples assembly is all about good luck to you but I’ll keep mine under my mattress for now.

                • dunbar22

                  Who said anything about “giving” money? Do you know what “investment” means?

                  I think I need to start at the beginning and point out: economics is not a zero-sum game. I also need to point out, the “wealth creators” (I think you mean businesses, corporations, investment funds) are currently sitting on around a trillion pounds of uninvested money; this is because there is no demand in the economy. It would be irrational for a private company to invest now, they are waiting for people to start spending again. Unfortunately, private debt levels are still too high, consumers can’t afford to spend, hence the lack of demand. This is where Government is needed to plug the gap and support the economy until private debt is low enough to trigger a consumer led recovery. This is the approach taken by the USA, they’ve had four years of straight economic growth as a result. Here in the UK we’re on the verge of a triple dip recession.

                  In the opinion of sixty three leading economists, and the global credit ratings agencies, borrowing money to cut services to the most vulnerable is not a sound economic policy. The money the Government is currently borrowing should be invested in a growth strategy.

                  If you have a better idea, let us know.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Well said.

            • Colonel Mustard

              The ridiculous stage is believing that an immature journalist who peddles mostly hatred and class war of the most inanely simplistic kind has something to offer a deeply troubled country rapidly polarising into hostile identity group factions each determined that their perspective and agenda must prevail absolutely over everyone else by any means possible foul or fair.

              Arab “springs” have brought nothing but strife, violence and more hatred. If you and your comrades think that’s the answer for Britain then I feel sorry for you but sorrier for Britain. And when push comes to shove, pal, don’t expect all the guys who know how to fight to be on your side.

              • dunbar22

                I see you’ve progressed to the fighting talk stage… like clockwork. I hadn’t considered the fear Owen’s opinions would inspire; I guess you genuinely feel you have something to lose if the Government stopped using borrowed money to cut services to the vulnerable and, instead, used the borrowed money to grow the economy?

                The “Arab springs”, you pooh-pooh, have ushered an unprecedented wave of democracy across a swath of former dictatorships. I can only infer you preferred the dictators? To suggest Owen is urging anything similar is disingenuous, at best. He is merely voicing the opinion that Government needs to change its so called “austerity” policies. It really is that simple. There’s no need to threaten violence.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You should learn to distinguish between “fighting talk” and concerns about our present politics leading to actual fighting. I’m not afeared of Owen Jones or the likes of you. I’ve watched 45 years of that sort of arrant nonsense gradually eroding everything good in this country and replacing it with absolute bollocks. My reaction is sadness.

                  And I’m not pooh-poohing Arab “springs” but merely observing their results. An “unprecedented wave of democracy”? Complete tosh. It is revolution and revolution always brings misery before it brings stability. Don’t confuse my misgivings about Arab “springs” with support of the regimes that preceded them, however much your fevered socialist mind might like to make that connection.

                • dunbar22

                  You clearly evoked the spector of violence; although, I appreciate you’ve withdrawn from that position. Also, I’m glad to hear you’re not really frightened. So, your emotional reaction was driven by sadness. Sadness that in your 45 years we’ve had nearly 25 years of Conservative rule that has apparently failed to stop the “good” being “replaced” with the “absolute bollocks”. Care to tell me what the “good” was, and what “replaced “it? And, why is it now “absolute bollocks”?

                  Are you disputing the fact democratic institutions, and ideals, have been established in the former dictatorships of North Africa? You also suggest revolution isn’t justified because it “always brings misery”? Is that not tacit support for the dictatorships that preceded them? Your position also implies you imagine the Peoples’ Assembly is a revolutionary movement; do you really believe this?

                • Andrew Tucker

                  So, you saw Thatcher tear the social fabric of this country to shreds and move the political consensus to the far-right, removing Labour as any kind of alternative.

                  This oligarchy, this inverted totalitarianism, neoliberal, self-centred, anarcho-capitalistic, me me me culture has all been created and nurtured by the right.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  “I see you’ve progressed to the fighting talk stage…”


                  Your be-masked buddies busily destroying and stealing property were doing far more than just “talk”, lad. There would be a response to that violence, eventually. And no sense disclaiming your responsibility for the violence that initiated it.

                • dunbar22

                  The People’s Assembly hasn’t held a single meeting; how has it managed to steal and destroy property, exactly?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Is that anything like “Sinn Fein isn’t the IRA”, lad?

                  Take a look at your be-masked buddies in that photograph, beavering away at property destruction and any other violence that tickles their fancy. And remember that, before you accuse others of violence. .

                • dunbar22

                  Are you suggesting the People’s Assembly has a paramilitary wing? Chuckle…

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Hey, you tell me, lad. You’re the guy accusing others of violence, and I’m just pointing out that your be-masked criminal buddies are the ones here caught violently smashing, stealing and destroying.

                • dunbar22

                  You’re the one who made the suggestion, the burden of proof is on you. I see logic isn’t your strong point, either.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Your be-masked criminal buddies’ demonstrated violence isn’t a “suggestion”, lad.

                  Scroll up and have a look at them in action.

                  Remember that, as you yammer about others’ alleged violence.

    • Colonel Mustard

      A “certain section of society”. Come now, as Mrs Thatcher learned you, there is no such thing as society…

      • Alan Borgars

        Mrs Thatcher was lying through her teeth to promote her inconsiderate,selfish agenda. There clearly is such a thing as society, or at least there are several different societies within Britain…after all, people from different areas of Britain are quite different in there social attitudes.

      • Andrew Tucker

        There was.

  • Christine Coley

    Ask the electorate if they want to reduce the deficit and most people say yes. Quelle surprise. Ask the same electorate if they would be happy to see genuinely disabled and terminally ill people be held responsible for this deficit and have their essential benefits cut or removed from them completely I’m not so sure they would say yes to this. This has to be the most biased and pathetic article (under the guise of journalism?!) that takes no account of the increasing dissatisfaction that the general population are feeling as they feel the cuts personally.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    I certainly hope that back in 2011, those kids up on that awning and overhang, the ones defacing that building with obscenity, were prosecuted fully.

    No worries about street assemblies of any sort, but property destruction needs to be discouraged, and it’s the favorite lefty tactic.

  • Barbara Stevens

    We have enough mad ones in parliament without having them outside as well.

  • Anita Bellows

    Sick and disabled people will lose £28.3 BILLION from welfare cuts. They are the hardest hit, some of them being affected by six different cuts.

    The government lost today its battle to prevent a judicial review of the bedroom tax

    The Lords defeated again the government plan to cut legal aid

    IDS heckled in Edinburgh today.

    It is not a coalition of the left but of the hardest hit. Any help appreciated.

  • gfir

    What a dreadful article.

  • Ian

    “Polls often show that the British accept the need to tackle the deficit
    and reduce the debt – and I doubt that is because, as the People’s
    Assembly founders would suggest, they have been brainwashed by
    right-wing propaganda. It’s more common sense.”

    Spot the straw man!

  • Chris lancashire

    Absolutely wonderful. Like ferrets fighting in a sack. Go on get stuck in to those soft lefties at the top of Labour. Go to it comrades!

  • Andrew Taylor

    Mark Steel, Owen Jones and who? Mucus or something? At least I have heard of the other two. Is Jeremy Hardy too busy organising the BBC’s political department to help?

    • Graham Thompson

      Caroline Lucas. She’s the ex-leader, and only MP, of the UK’s fourth biggest national political party (ie for the UK rather than just a bit of it).

      Owen Jones will be delighted to know he’s outstripped the UK’s fourth biggest party in popularity. I had no idea he was so important.

      • Archimedes

        “of the UK’s fourth biggest national political party”

        Aside from the excessive number of clauses in that, if I remember correctly the Green’s 2010 manifesto stated quite boldly that they would immediately introduce PR, so I’m sure they would disagree quite strongly with the claim that they are the UKs fourth biggest whatever party.

        • dalai guevara

          How about ‘Europe’s fourth biggest national party’ – I know an oxymoronic shocker for some, but a reality for the next generation who will call the shots. The message for all those London-centric centralists is this: think big, think centralist, think…Brussels.

          • Archimedes

            Sorry, I don’t understand your angle.

            • dalai guevara

              the greens ARE the fourth largest party on the stage that matters and command 20% of the budget


              • Archimedes

                Oh, come on. I’m no great fan of UKIP, but we all know that even with no MPs they have exacted much more influence on UK politics than the Green’s have — and why is that? Because UKIP poll higher. UKIP is the fourth largest party in the UK by every practical measure.

                • dalai guevara

                  UKIP are utterly irrelevant in the world I live in, and to the other 739,165,029 citizens (2011 figures) who live there with me.

                • Archimedes

                  Don’t be ridiculous — you’re not a citizen of the EU, my dear chum, however much you might like to be one.

                • dalai guevara

                  my driving license -the only means of identification for people who never leave the shire- has got a circle of stars on it. When I get ill anywhere, so has my EU health insurance card. What else do I need?

                  Works for me….

                • Archimedes

                  I think I’ll not bother pursuing this any further — we’ll just get into silly arguments. I think you know you’ve lost, though — and, if not, then you, my friend, are lost.

                • dalai guevara

                  Frankly, it amazes me to realise that you never appear to have made the aquaintance of a ‘European’ before. Decades earlier, they might have introduced themselves as ‘cosmopolitan’. No longer – the world has changed, I assure you.

                  This is of course no joke, ‘belonging’ is an increasingly divers and complex affair nowadays. Surely, you understand how that principle works.

                • Archimedes

                  I’ve spent much of my life, so far, living in other European countries. There’s a verse from a Wordsworth poem that resonates:

                  I travelled among unknown men,
                  In lands beyond the sea;
                  Nor, England! did I know till then
                  What love I bore to thee.

                  I love Europe, and I love the Europeans, but belonging is not complicated.

                • dalai guevara

                  I never thought it to be complicated either.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  I see you EU snugglers are busily uncomplicating Cyprus. How’s that all working out for you?

                  Keep it up. No doubt, you’ll soon be getting the chance to practice your uncomplicating tasks elsewhere.

                • dalai guevara

                  I hear Northern Rock could not quite inspire the crowds there. oohh, what a shame, I was hoping for a good show this week…

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Don’t worry, you types are putting on a good show so far, with more to come. But I doubt it will be the show you think is coming.

                • dalai guevara

                  I never thought it to be ‘complicated’ either.

                • fubar_saunders

                  arguably as we’re seeing the results unfolding before our eyes, not for the better, either…

              • Archimedes

                Better to be outside the Commons with power, than within it without.

      • Eric Priezkalns

        The Scots Greens have a separate national party, you ignoramus.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Oh I do hope this lot turn into a modern day ‘Militant Tendency’. Not least because of the wonderful word play we can have with Militant and Miliband.

    As you can see I really don’t take a lot of tree hugging peacenik left wing la-la land champagne quaffing extremists seriously……

    • David Lindsay

      The anti-war movement of a decade ago never capitalised on the extent to which it reached deep into Tory Britain with its profoundly conservative message of foreign policy realism. The SWP was allowed to make the running, to exactly as much effect as one might have expected. Today, the anti-cuts movement has the potential to reach deep into Tory Britain with its profoundly conservative message of using State power in order to protect organic communities against the ravages of unbridled capital.

      That potential is more than apparent from the 16 councillors who are committee members of SPARSE, the network of rural councils fighting the cuts and seriously considering a judicial review of Eric Pickles. Four are Independents, one is Labour, and the other 11 are Tories. It says it all that there is not a single, solitary Lib Dem. It really would be quite a coup if one of those 11, most obviously Councillor Roger Begy of Rutland who chairs it, were to be a platform speaker at the People’s Assembly.

      The Eton College George Orwell Society famously sent three delegates to the People’s Assembly Against The War; George Galloway went there in order to supervise the process. 10 years on, during which Eton has become big political news, it would be quite another coup to have their successors at the People’s Assembly Against Austerity. But it would be even more of one if an Eton boy, an 18-year-old voter so that no one could question it, were to speak from that Assembly’s platform. At 28, even Owen Jones is too old to be the Golden Boy. That comes to us all eventually.

      • darwins beard

        “George Galloway was there to supervise” and you people really wonder why you get laughed at and told to get back in you box

  • David Lindsay

    Well, what else is there?

    Of course the media will either mock or ignore this. They remain utterly convinced that their equally too-rich-to-care mates from school or the political norm. Even though those mates have not won a General Election since 1992, have not won a comfortable majority since as long ago as 1987, and are now defined by a long list of shibboleths wildly at variance with mainstream public opinion. But anything else is a joke. Or not worth mentioning. Of course.

    • Smithersjones2013

      To read your post anyone would think someone had hurt your feelings (Its so bitter in a schoolyard sort of way). Poor diddums awwwwww.

      • David Lindsay

        It is more a kind of bafflement than anything else.

        Truly bizarre Loony Right think tanks and what have you are never off the BBC (whereas, for example, trade union leaders are almost never allowed on it), while the newspapers treat their those bodies’ employees as persons whose opinions are of the utmost importance.

        Yet it is a generation since the party to which those of such mind artificially attached themselves in the 1970s have even been able scrape a workable majority under First Past The Post against a divided opposition. Before many of these ubiquitous Loony Righties were born, in fact.

        • Robert_Eve

          Do trade unions still exist?

          • David Lindsay

            They are far and away the largest voluntary organisations in the country, with six million members. They also bankroll the party that now enjoys a permanent and unassailable poll lead. But you would never guess either of those facts from the BBC.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Ahem…. “voluntary”?

              • David Lindsay

                Yes. Your heroine took care of that. Thereby making it impossible ever again to control immigration, and thereby destroying the moderating influence on the selection of Labour candidates for safe seats. But that level of complexity was lost on her.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  It’s hard to make sense of your run-on. You better go and have a lie down.

                  And when you awake, think again about the “voluntary”.

                • David Lindsay

                  I have no need to. Not for the first time, it is obvious that you have not been to Britain since the 1970s.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  And it’s obvious that you need to study the definition of “voluntary”.

                  After you have your lie down.

                • David Lindsay

                  Says a man who moved specifically to a white supremacist country and is having a nervous breakdown because it no longer is one.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Your lie down might best be accompanied by strong sedation.

                • David Lindsay

                  I am not one of your black female neighbours in the days when you first moved over there for that very reason. You don’t get to sedate me.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Yes, given your delusional condition, that’s best handled by the authorities.

                • Wessex Man

                  oh David will you never learn when you are buried stop digging, you are ust beginning to sound silly now.

                • HJ777

                  It doesn’t sound like you’ve ever been to Britain.

                  Or planet earth, come to that.

            • fubar_saunders

              “permanent and unassailable”??? HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

              Yeah, I bet Cameron thought that in 2010 just like Kinnock did in 1992!!! LMMFAO!!!!

        • CaediteEos

          I doubt even Trotsky himself could take a look at the BBC and detect a RIGHT-wing bias…

          • David Lindsay

            Rubbish. Deeply dangerous and damaging drivel. The ubiquity of this absolutely ridiculous allegation is one of the most striking examples of the problem.

            People with views completely outside the mainstream – the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Adam Smith Institute, Policy Exchange, the Henry Jackson Society, and so on – are on the airwaves morning, noon and night. Over and above the immemorial and undeviating Two Tories Rule when it comes to the panels on Question Time and Any Questions. Even such Labour politicians as are ever given airtime are always from the dwindling band of Blairite supporters of Hard Right economic and foreign policy.

            So much attention is lavished on UKIP, which has never won a Commons seat and which has almost no municipal base, that its candidate was a Question Time panellist all of one week after having lost a by-election! Since the last General Election, Farage has been on it more often than anyone else apart from Vince Cable, who is a Cabinet Minister, and more often than all trade union leaders put together.

            This list is very far from exhaustive. But then, the BBC is chaired by a former Chairman of the Conservative Party, who continues to receive that Whip in Parliament. No other party could get away with that. The “Tories are not really in politics at all, whatever they say is just common sense” fantasy really is as pernicious as this.

            Moreover, there is an organised campaign on the Hard Right of screaming “left-wing bias”, a very easy thing to do when you have a newspaper cartel through which to do it, every time that anyone else at all is allowed so much as the tiniest amount of coverage. As a result, they almost never are.

            • Andy

              Glad you agree with me then that the BBC MUST be broken up.

              • David Lindsay

                Not at all. People who object to the BBC simply as such are like people who object to the NHS simply as such, or people who supported the Iraq War: not really British, and shouldn’t be living here. Although quite where they would go instead these days, I do not know.

                • Andy

                  I see. So because I am a Conservative I have no place in your version of teh United Kingdom. Because I am a Monarchist I have no place in your version of the United Kingdom, even though I belong to one of the oldest families in England.

                  Thus I am to be ‘resettled’. Of course we all know what Socialists mean by ‘resettled’. It means exterminated. So tell us all where would you build your extermination camp ?

                  As I often say you scratch a Socialist and you find a Fascist.

                • David Lindsay

                  I don’t see what “monarchist” has to do with anything that I wrote. As for “Conservative”, the NHS was in that party’s 1945 manifesto (and the abolition of it in England alone, which comes into effect on Monday in a blaze of non-publicity, was not in its 2010 manifesto), while the BBC is chaired by a former Chairman of the Conservative Party, who remains in receipt of its Whip in the House of Lords.

                • Simon Hunter

                  One of the oldest families in England? Are they all nonagenarians?

                • Andrew Tucker

                  What possible reasoning could possess you to be a Monarchist in the 21st century?

                  Oh, a normal, hateful Conservative view confusing Stalinist statism under the guise of Communism with Socialism. That’s new.

                  ‘One of the oldest families in England’ – what a joke. Do they marry each other?

                • HJ777

                  If only YOU weren’t living here and boring us all with your nonsense.

        • HJ777

          No trade union leaders on the BBC?

          If I hear Mark Serwotka on the BBC once more I think I’ll scream.

  • Archimedes

    There are few things in life as certain as Owen Jones penchant for political failure. He read the left-wing political handbook: always pretend that you represent a majority, ooze compassion, manipulate facts to prove both the former, and oppose everything.

    People moved on, Owen — they moved on.