Tag Archives: Diane Abbott MP

1945! Myths and Spirits…

15 Jul

I’m spending far too much time these days whizzing back and forth up and down the A1 and other roads hence blogs are infrequent at present but here’s a borrowed one from the Anarchist Federation website which is well worth a visit! The Labour government of 1945 is often regarded as ushering in the “New Jerusalem” the NHS, social housing, education and more. Notwithstanding that successive governments of both kinds (and those fuckwitted Lib Dems) have unraveled much of what has been heralded, the simple reason for what was delivered by the 1945 administration was shaped by two wars and the recognition of revolutionary undertones! Enjoy!

 

The Myth of 1945

“We must give them reforms or they will give us revolution” – Quintin Hogg, Tory politician in 1943

A whole raft of personalities from Tony Benn to Ed Miliband to Jeremy Corbyn to Ken Loach with his film The Spirit of ’45 have praised the Labour Government of 1945. Of course along with the voting in of that government came the nationalisation of the railways, the mines, Bank of England, electricity and gas, and British Airways as well as the establishment of the National Health Service.

Spirit-470x260

Labour swept to power in 1945 with a majority of 145. After five years of war, many did not want to put up with a class ridden society which meant poverty and shortages for many. But the nationalisation that was carried out, bringing roughly 20% of the economy under State control (the Post Office had always been in State ownership, as had the National Grid), was something that was seen by sections of the ruling class as being essential for reconstruction after the war. In fact in France, the government of General De Gaulle (hardly a socialist in any sense of the word) had nationalised far more of the economy, including most banks and insurance companies, the Renault car company, gas and electricity, mines, Air France.

In terms of the big programme of social insurance brought in by Labour in 1945, we need to look back at the Beveridge Report drafted by the liberal economist William Beveridge in 1942. This report had pioneered the idea of a vast national insurance system, the “cradle to the grave” welfare state.

In fact Churchill, as leader of the Conservatives, was quite prepared to implement this if he had not been defeated in 1945. When it came to healthcare, all three main parties – Conservatives, Labour and Liberals – all had pledged to introduce a National Health Service in their manifestos!

The reforms brought in in 1945 were geared to firstly helping Britain reconstruct after the War and secondly head off any revolutionary movement by offering a package of reforms. The ruling class was fearful of another round of revolutions after World War Two after it had witnessed a similar scenario after World War One.

By 1948 an austerity package and wage freeze was introduced because of the economic crisis that had started the previous year. Sport was banned during the week because Labour believed that it encouraged absenteeism. Unemployment shot up from 400,000 to 1.5 million.

In 1951 Labour re-introduced charges for false teeth and glasses which up till then had been free under the NHS.

Within 6 days of coming to power Labour sent troops into the Surrey Docks in London to break a strike. Three months later Labour again sent troops in to break a national docks strike. They did this again in 1948. In 1950 Labour used the Navy to break a gas workers strike and had some strikers arrested and charged. Labour also used the courts against striking miners in 1947. In fact throughout its term of office Labour repeatedly acted against workers with the key target of keeping wages down.

In foreign policy Labour strove to preserve the British Empire and indeed that of other Empires, helping the Dutch in Indonesia for example. They intervened militarily in Egypt in 1951, threatened Iran in 1951 over oil interests (sound familiar?) shot down demonstrators and used napalm in Greece. They went back on their commitment to the end of military conscription, eagerly keeping it in place.

Labour re-established relations with the Franco dictatorship in 1951, bombed Indian villages in 1946, and applied vicious repressive measures in Kenya and Malaya.

The 1945-51 Labour Government was not a Golden Age. Far from it. The reforms that were passed, and that indeed made working people’s lives a little easier, would have been given just as readily by the Tories or Liberals. They were given because Britain needed to be rebuilt after the War and to head off unrest. To this day however, there are still those who continue to push the idea of a Labour government acting as a pioneering socialist administration.

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Celebrate Mothers Day in Style

11 Mar

It’s Mother’s Day coming up so don’t forget! I’ve forgiven my Ma for putting me up for adoption and arranging for me to be shipped out from Liverpool to Manchester just as the Beatles and Merseysound was kicking off. Mind you I was in Manchester when punk happened so it all ended well!

If strapped for cash just cut and give to Ma!

If strapped for cash just cut and give to Ma!

Oedipus* liked his mum very much and to express his love he married her, killed his dad and then poked his own eyes out! Now that’s a bit extreme. Some flowers would do, maybe do the washing up, take her out for a garden centre Sunday lunch at that place near the landfill site! That sort of thing! (*from the set of Theban plays by Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone**) ((*Not that I’ve read them I just nicked this bit from Wikipedia)) ((( When I say “this bit” I meant the bit about the set of Theban plays by Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone))) Why has it come out in red?

Make your old lady feel special!

Make your old lady feel special!

Leonard Cohen: Star Trek Actor Dies!

3 Mar

Tributes to the actor Leonard Nimoy continue to pour in and so the team at Bedford Bypass proudly offer their personal homage to this very versatile thespian!

Leonard Nimoy! Beamed up for good!

Leonard Nimoy! Beamed up for good!

As with many actor fame and success didn’t come easy and after some years playing bit parts Leonard’s break through came in the role of Spock in Star Trek the original series. A hard act to follow but he showed his vocal talents as the character Spock in Star Trek The Animated Series. This opened further doors and the next big challenge…. the role of Spock, a part alien / human in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Higher profile work poured in and Nimoy found himself at the centre of the stage playing the character Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn, a Muslim family man in Birmingham who was annoyed. Bedford Bypass regular Skip Hunter takes over…

The Wrath of Khan

The Wrath of Khan

Yeah, thanks Gill, Leonard Nimoy then found himself climbing a mountain in more ways than one when after gruelling casting sessions he won the coveted role of Spock in the film The Search for Spock in which the crew of a space ship searched for a character called Spock on a mountain. His proven versatility resulted in a further string of blockbusters with Nimoy playing second lead as Spock in a film about Wales although it was actually filmed in San Francisco. Then he played a sort of second in command called Spock in a film where the crew of a space ship go looking for god with the big reveal coming when they find him. But it’s actually another alien pretending to be god because god doesn’t exist.  Debs takes over….Whilst  many associate Nimoy with the big screen quite often lost in his CV or whatever job hunting actors send to directors was his startling appearance as an alien ambassador called Ambassador Spock in the long running series Star Trek: The Next Generation at which point after a return to the Hollywood stage set in the blockbuster Star Trek The Undiscovered Country, a sort of cowboys in space thing in which his portrayal of Spock earned him awards from Star Trek fans  he went into retirement although he did find time to write a second autobiography called with wit and panache “I Am Spock”!

Nimoy starred in The Great Escape!

Nimoy starred in The Great Escape!

Steve writes….But that wasn’t quite it. Age obviously maketh the man and Nimoy drew sharp breaths as he returned to the big screen with a moving portrayal of a man lost in space and time but mostly time. Named Spock Prime the character had to play a younger and older version of the same man which with make up and special effects he achieved. When the makers of this opted to make a sequel,  perhaps an unwise move in Hollywood Nimoy again reprised the role of Spock Prime starring with Bendyhatch Cumberswitch although to be fair it did come across as a bit of an afterthought!

And that concludes our tribute to actor Leonard Nimoy and his 50 year career! Coming soon our tribute to Hollywood actor William Shatner. He’s still knocking about but we’ve already written it. That’s what they do for The Guardian and Telegraph apparently!

Alright Jack Straw

24 Feb

So it’s goodbye to Rifkind the walking cess pit who was as of yesterday going to fight fight fight these scurrilious allegations that hit the headlines with the most scurrilous being the comment about his self employed status. What an elephant size arse he is! Actually he’s an insipid little man.

No movement from Jack Straw as yet but as his nickname some years back was Jack Boots Straw, as atonement I reckon he should stand up straight while everyone who has suffered through the bedroom tax gives him a swifty to his bollocks. He’s allowed a few minutes breather between every 20 kicks to his testicular nether region. He deserves it! Let’s look at some sums. His additional income up to now is circa £115,373.00 (two amounts are predictive rather than actual) plus his salary of £64,000 and then all his other allowances to keep his ship afloat tots up to £163,000 for the last full year so you get £342,648.00.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56i1nwWIvjY

Back in 1998 agit-prop comedian Mark Thomas took a number of disabled people with severe conditions like MS and Crohns to Straw’s MPs surgery to argue the case for more research into the use of cannabis for pain relief and other bona fide medical purposes. Straw acted like a total arse. When one of the visitors took a tin of roll ups out Straw walked out and the next thing the police turned up en masse as if responding to a terrorist alert….but you can’t arrest someone using crutches for having a tin of tobacco. Mark Thomas made the point that there’s an issue that needs debating here. At the time the key person in the UK who could have initiated this debate was the Home Secretary…Jack Straw. And at the time he’d just made an arse of himself on TV by jumping to conclusions and wasting police time. The clip is actually very funny! I have no problems whatsoever with for example someone with Parkinson’s using plant extract to diminish extreme distress and discomfort but I do have a problem with political fu*kwits!

Straw meets the public!

Straw meets the public!

 

Sleep in perfect peace!

1 Dec

Lower your stress through slumber offsetting.

 The world today is hectic big buzzing place and people from all classes are moving faster, more on call and busier than ever before. In this 24/7 lifestyle there are winners and losers and one of the losers are good manners. People don’t take the time to talk anymore and very often when they do interact it is brief and curt because they are tired. They are worn-out because they don’t get enough sleep and this results in an increase in global aggression and discourtesy not to mention road rage, honking and flashing lights as stressed people attempt to get somewhere four minutes faster . 

Our sleepy beds might look something like this!

Our sleepy beds might look something like this!

We at Bedford Bypass think we have a simple solution, more sleep. It is scientifically proven that we need sleep and it is a cliché that you can’t make up for lost sleep but we at Bypass HQ think you can. We recognise that this is not possible for everyone; the busy working mum, the stock broker and drug dealer must all struggle with sleeplessness. However just because they have a big sleep debit with the subsequent increase in tension in society this brings does not mean they have to be net friction contributors. Morally  you can still be on the side of the slumbering angels despite looking gaunt and distracted. This is our dream solution because we all know that time is money but money can be used to buy the time of others. It is easily possible to be money rich but sleep (and manners) poor, however the former can offset their slumber deficit by paying others to have a lie down on their behalf. In this way the global stress caused by sleep arrears can be lessened  and the BAD (Belligerent And Depressed) factor reduced. We call it unconsciousness raising.

We have a team of Specialist Tranquillity Technicians you can pay to sleep on your behalf whether this is a cat nap, siesta or full scale lie in Of course you can buy these for other people you think in need of extra sleep just let us know who they are for and we will e-mail them a certificate of slumber. The gift of sleep Of course this has the bonus of being carbon neutral as well. Gift Vouchers are available!

So please use us as your own personal Minister of Morpheus to be the unconscious angel to offsetting your sleeplessness. Each somnambulist specialist has their own sleep sphere and we will e-mail you a certificate of their doze when we feel energetic enough. You however can rest assured that we have fulfilled your slumber potential. Prices start at just £8.78 per hour for our Workfare team members and up to £24.17 for our fully qualified snooze Technicians. So email today for more details!

Media / Drama Queen Nadine Nadine Nadine!

19 Sep

Local MP Nadine Dorries is in the media again, local and national on account of her being seriously rattled by an unnamed stalker. I’m afraid that if I saw a headline informing me that Nadine Dorries was an MP with three daughters I’d be sceptical because much of what Ms Dorries says seems to be a complex mix of jumble made all the more palatable by gullible journalists!

Here’s an excerpt from the Guardian from a few years back. Make your own mind up, I implore you! If this grabs your attention have a look at www.bloggerheads.com for more info on the type of person chosen by Mid Bedfordshire Conservative’s to help direct the future!

One reason why anarchism makes perfect sense!

One reason why anarchism makes perfect sense!

Dorries has also used her blog to wage personal vendettas against people, most notably fellow blogger Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads, who she smeared as a stalker. More recently she’s taken against one of her own constituents, the disabled tweeter Humphrey Cushion, who she’s vindictively tried to label on her blog as some kind of malingering benefit fraudster who should be reported to the DWP for tweeting too much or something equally ludicrous (and I make no comment on the irony of Dorries titling her blog post “She writes fiction … but not very well”). And then, of course, there was the campaign she waged on her blog against John Bercow’s election as speaker, which Martin Salter described in the Telegraph as “a bizarre fiction in which she casts herself as a campaigner for the traditions of the Speaker’s office instead of being honest and admitting that it’s Mr Bercow’s politics she can’t stand, alongside a personal loathing she displays of anyone who disagrees with her.”

To be honest, there isn’t enough room in this post to detail every single incidence where Dorries has been caught out peddling fiction, although I think I can safely say this is the first time she’s actually been prepared to admit to having done it. But her admission that most of what she writes is made up, while shameful coming from a political blogger (and a complete breach of the unwritten code of bloggers’ conduct) is absolutely staggering when you consider that she’s also an MP, and a Tory MP in the coalition government. Aren’t there some parliamentary standards she’s supposed to abide by? Isn’t there something written down somewhere about not deliberately and knowingly lying to your constituents and then bragging about it on your blog?

Dorries’s career has been a complete farce since the day she took office. Let’s not forget this is the woman who, while taking part in a reality TV show about the difficulties faced by those living on benefits, hid £50 in her bra, presumably because she was worried how she’d manage once the money ran out. She’s proved time and time again that she’s not to be trusted, that her word is unreliable. Still, at least she’s finally admitted she has a tendency to tell whoppers – although that wasn’t exactly news to most of us.

 

Your vote and where it takes you…

29 Jul

Under capitalism, elections are used to divert us into political dead ends that won’t fundamentally change our conditions.

(with thanks to Stephanie McMillan for another wonderful cartoon)

 

Anarchy is the only system of development that makes sense

Anarchy is the only system of development that makes sense