Saturday, 30 March 2019

Heidi Allen to lead 'Change UK'

So, Heidi Allen is to be leader of the re-branded The Independent Group (Now Change UK - really mining that vacuous, non-aligned, post-ideological, aspirational, sub-Obama seam of meaninglessness.)

At least she is guaranteed a footnote in the history books - Chukka Umuna must be sick with envy at that.

Let's remind ourselves of Allen's voting record:

Anti diversity:
  •  Consistently voted against laws to promote equality and human rights.

Wants people to suffer:
  • Has never voted on allowing terminally ill people to be given assistance to end their life

  • Consistently voted for use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas
  • Voted against investigations into the Iraq war

Doesn't care about the poor and needy:
  • Generally voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
  • Generally voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
  • Consistently voted for phasing out secure tenancies for life
  • Generally voted against greater public control of bus services

Serves the rich:
  • Consistently voted for raising the threshold at which people start to pay income tax
  • Consistently voted against higher taxes on banks
  • Consistently voted for more restrictive regulation of trade union activity
  • Consistently voted for reducing capital gains tax
  • Consistently voted for reducing the rate of corporation tax

Anti-democracy, devolution and local control:
  • Voted for fewer MPs in the House of Commons
  • Consistently voted for reducing central government funding of local government
  • Voted against a more proportional system for electing MPs
  • Voted against a wholly elected House of Lords
  • Voted against removing hereditary peers from the House of Lords
  • Generally voted against transferring more powers to the Welsh Assembly
  • Generally voted against transferring more powers to the Scottish Parliament
  • Almost always voted against more powers for local councils

Contempt for young people:
  • Almost always voted against a lower voting age

Little concern for refugees and immigrants:
  • Consistently voted for a stricter asylum system
  • Almost always voted for stronger enforcement of immigration rules

Like snooping:
  • Consistently voted for requiring the mass retention of information about communications
  • Consistently voted for mass surveillance of people’s communications and activities

Doesn't care about the environment;
  • Consistently voted against measures to prevent climate change
  • Voted against financial incentives for low carbon emission electricity generation methods
  • Consistently voted against a publicly owned railway system

Oddly, used to hate the EU, but now purports to like it:
  • Generally voted against a right to remain for EU nationals already in living in the UK
  • Generally voted against UK membership of the EU

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Don't be fooled by her 'bubbly' exterior and her "I'm just like everyone, I eat chips at Nandos" routine.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Chukka Speaks!

Chukka Umunna, de facto leader of the Independent Group (yeah, I know I said that wouldn't happen.  I underestimated the reckless self-aggrandisement of those involved) has poured out his branes in an (inevitable) interview in Guardian.

Highlights include:

"I never felt totally comfortable in the Labour party" - he adds "I’ve never really been a massively tribal politician" as if social justice was just a convenient political badge, rather than a fundamental principle predicating the existence of the party.

"The team who were helping me organise, were told by quite a few MPs that they weren’t going to support me, because they didn’t think their working-class constituents would ever vote for a black man" - an astonishing claim, suggesting the rot Chukka attributes to Corbynism runs far deeper than that.  Calling the people who voted you into office vile racist bigots is an interesting way of winning their hearts and minds over, but - hey - TIG and Chukka aren't willing to be constrained by the old ways of doing things.

(It is worth noting that - in 2017 - almost two out of every three voters in Streatham voted for Umunna, giving him a majority of over 26,000.Vile racist bigots, the lot of them.

(It is also worth noting that he fared well, but not as well, in 2015, winning just 53% of the vote and a majority of 13,000.  It seems fair to attribute the increase in his vote to Corbyn and the 2017 manifesto striking a chord; the leader and the manifesto Umunna has now repudiated.)

If you were thinking that might be a poorly worded phrase or a wilful misinterpretation of his words, he doubles down, opining, "Maybe what we’ve seen happen in the Labour party since the late 1990s and through to 2010, was actually exceptional, and wasn’t what the Labour party really is?"

So, Labour suddenly went racist and anti-Semitic in 2010.  You know, year we had not one but two Jewish candidates vying for the leadership?  In the leadership election (under the old rules, with three electoral colleges) the Milliband brothers were first and second in each of the three colleges, in every round of voting.  Such rank anti-Semitism!

But Chukka blunders on, turning is attention to Brexit, suggesting, "I don’t believe it would have happened, were it not for our resignations. We appear to have had more influence on Labour’s Brexit policy out of the party than we ever had while we were in it".  It would seem Chukka is so wrapped up in himself he is unaware that supporting a second vote if an election or an acceptable deal is not possible has been Labour policy since the 2018 conference.

He then returns to Labour and the "he arid, aggressive, bullying culture within the party," which shows (again) a remarkable lack of awareness of the aggressive bullying Ummuna and his fellow travellers have been directing Corbyn's way since he had the termerity to win the leadership in 2015 (ummuna, of course, rather fancied being leader himself but chickened out for reasons he did not make clear at the time but which he now says was the inveterate racism of the British electorate.)

His ability to shoot himself in the foot is quite spectacular.

He really comes across as a whiney, entitled metropolitan-bubble politician, a manque-Blair, without the talent but with the narcissism and the principles so flexible they bend of their own accord, without any pressure being applied. He has nothing to offer, he has not ideas.

If he was your boss, he'd be the sort that talks in vacuous sound bites like 'Blue sky thinking'; refers vaguely to 'paradigm shifts in thinking'; and uses 'Going forwards' a lot, even none of that is current management jargon, because Chukka isn't even good at being what Chukka is.

And he'd be really, really big on 'team building' activities, like taking everyone out to Nandos.

Mutterings about Musk

Going to try to get into the blogging thing again (ha!) what with anew PM, an election coming up and all that. So today I thought I'd st...