Co-editors: John Heathcote Seán Mac Mathúna
Consulting editor: Themistocles Hoetis
Field Correspondent: Allen Houglande-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
AWAITING SENTENCE (Smoking Sadly No Longer Permitted)
(Smoking Sadly No Longer Permitted)
We were tempted to do a special issue in Flame devoted to the Back of Blair, whose regime dated to the first days of Flame online.
But, we concluded, there was very little left to say, other than good bye, good riddance, and we will see you in the People's Court. I think you might have to answer there before you meet your Maker.
In some way it is good to see that however firmly entrenched in power the Establishment's choice might be, that once again the sheer disaffection of the public can make their rule ultimately untenable.
As with Thatcher, and the Poll Tax, so with Blair ; with the War, the lies that led to War; and the redistribution of the common wealth into the hands of a greedy few.
It is worth casting our minds back to the time of Thatcher to understand why a man who had only been an MP in the Labour Party for a few years could hijack the biggest mandate a Labour Government had been given since the Second World War; and leave a country 10 years later in which the social mobility index is the lowest in the developed world, the differentials between rich and poor are bigger than any time in centuries; and the citizen (sorry, subject) is more restricted in terms of personal freedom and access to justice more than any time since the day before Magna Carta was signed.
Thatcher introduced the 'intelligence services' as major agents in the direction of State policy as a payback for her ascension to power; she was seen as a bulwark against the evils of Socialism and someone who could drive back the social advances of the 60's.
She helped them smash the unions, and create a society based on the 'freedom' of the socially mobile middle-classes to soak up an even greater share of the nation's resources.
This was done by taking workers' rights back to pre-war levels and using the profits of North Sea Oil - as Tony Benn has often pointed out - to fund unemployment levels which destroyed any bargaining power of organised labour.
She created a feeling of suspicion about any public service (as has Tony Blair, in many different ways); preferring the 'efficiencies' promised by profiteers or 'commercial managers', and encouraged the media to wage a war against the Welfare State, under the guise of 'shaming scroungers'. Most 'scroungers' in Britain at the time were unemployed as a direct consequence of her own Government's policies - and were in fact the working people whose taxes had set up the social fund in the first place.
As Benn, and many others pointed out; whatever the situation was in the docks, mines, shipyards or steelworks of Britain in 1979 could have been solved by negotiation with the workers and proper re-training; and the wealth the country had earned from these industries and their long-suffering workforces over the previous 200 years being funnelled into start-up of other industries, such as sustainable energy projects.
The cover unravelled over Thatcher's support network just a little with the assassination of Airey Neave MP, a long term SIS spook who had helped persuade Thatcher to sanction a 'dirty war' in Ireland; which has become the model for the takeover of political power in Britain itself.
says it all . . .doesn't it !
Let us be clear, these 'political actors' are not interested in protecting the British people, they are there to protect THE STATE as represented by 'the Crown', to whom they give their oath to protect and serve. A secondary motivation for them is to protect the engine of profit and the multinational clique that 'own' it; and a distant third is to protect the poor sods who keep the engine ticking over.
THE STATE in Britain is not you and I; it is a class that is educated seperately, and looks to the monarchy and its trappings of power dressed up as an antique democracy to justify its eternal dominance of a country and its people.
We are here as the expendable material, like the pit-ponies of old and the kids crawling under the looms in the workhouses; always ready to tug the forelock, or run white-eyed into the guns of the enemy - their enemy.
The country is effectively owned and run by a small pyramid of rich to super-rich; who make money from loopholes in tax law, and by borrowing vast amounts of 'invented' cash from banks that they turn to profit by asset-stripping long established companies.
Others turn their hand to 'property portfolios', squeezing every penny from tenants struggling to keep the bailiffs from the door, often in homes that were once social housing stock.
(It is interesting to note that their collective morality is such that, after the recent floods in Hull, The Observer reported that poorer people in the town whose council houses had been flooded had started living in caravans because private landlords had responded to the shortage of housing by 'raising their rents').
Then there are the ad-men, whose job is to lie for their corporate masters, injecting the poison of greed into the eyeballs of the victim population; giving people an irrational desire for something they never wanted or needed in the first place. These overpaid scumbags have effectively taken over the world, along with the beancounters and the time-and-motion men; grey corporate serfs who have never produced anything, but eat up the labour of thousands with their perks-plus salaries, share options and bonuses.
These self-inflated toffs, sugar-coated in the private school system - wealthy institutions that claim 'charity' status and often call themselves 'public' because of their origins as schools set up for the children of the poor - move into the every layer of semi-privatised Government , now reserved for a class who believe it is their right to govern.
Others swiftly rise through the ranks of the ' media', often posing as 'streetwise' or 'modern', chastising and mocking the chav classes for their ignorance, their 'love' of cheap food and those aspirations force-fed to the working-class as a cheap distraction from their constant exploitation.
Ironically, it is in the gossip-columns of the Murdoch and Rothermere free - sheets now handed out at London stations, read by the sleep-deprived lumpenproletariat on their weary trudge home; trapped in the overfilled cattle-trucks that pass for commuter trains in the capital, that this point is being drilled home to the increasingly discontented sheeple.
As they tot up the debts on their latest credit card, wondering why they never seem to break even, despite working harder every year; and wonder why the last time they had a social life was the year they left college; they are regaled from the gossip pages by stories of 'models', the children of footballers and 'charity' posers quaffing £800 bottles of champagne and tottering from one coke-fuelled embarassment to the next in front of a few dozen dirty old photographers who obviously lost work with the legalisation of pornography.
These scroungers are the only ones who can afford to be out every night, drinking up the profits that Daddy made from 'poverty' or public school connections; becoming 'media personalities' - without personality - in 'their own right'.
Occasionally their world touches that of the other, even more established - thus less public - network, the children of those 'Establishment' families where the 'playboys' and girls live in a world where the two distinct classes are still 'them' and 'the servants'; and where personal freedom is never under question, because, after all, it is only a question of money.
For families living on benefit (a single person is expected to survive and get a job on £58 a week), the constant moralising and hypocrisy of this class is a provocation the scale of which will only be realised when, to reference William Blake, the Tyger escapes its cage.
He has left office; and left the country an island riddled with fear and paranoia; its culture a shallow simalcrum of things that have gone before, the only aspirations of most inhabitants to join the tight-faced two-dimensional celebrity circuit and escape their dry, grey, controlled workaday lives.
In less 'rational' times, some comment would have been passed on the fact that as the ex-premier slides out of No.10, a large part of the North country is still under water - Britain's own Hurricane Katrina. (Maybe if all the soldiers hadn't been sent abroad to do time as US mercenaries, there might have been a bit more of an organised response).
The worst consistent flooding in living memory remind us only too well that we will pay for the profits of the hedge fund bosses and private equity pirates for generations to come.
Blair, Brown and those other disciples of monetarism who hijacked the Labour Party in the 1980's, did have an opportunity from 1997 to educate people and change the shape of society.
They had a mandate to begin a proper redistribution of the nation's wealth, so that everyone has a chance to a decent life; and to break down the anachronistic class system that's ossified in this country since 1689.
But they had already been seduced by the soft hands and open wallets; the banquets and cod-aristocratic lifestyles of these new robber barons; partying with the children of the rich, a class of parasites rich for doing nothing but inheriting genes from their parents (and bundles of untaxed cash).
From The Guardian, by Steve Bell
They accepted the fait accomplis, that one suspects the Queen reinforces in her hour-long chat with each new Premier, that we are a US colony, occupied and submissive; with any important desicions being checked in first with the President.
It seems impossible to underestimate the lack of real movement this entails for any British PM - in foreign policy, defence issues or even the economy.
After Britain and Russia had effectively won WWII, only to see the USA 'reluctantly' enter the war to clean up the 'markets' of the now bankrupt European empires, the UK was left in ruins and without the capital resources to continue existing as a nation-state.
We had to go with a begging bowl to the US Congress - who were happily handing out millions to former Axis Powers such as Germany and Japan.
Because of the manifesto commitments of the newly-elected Atlee Government to provide basic welfare for the shattered population and its promises to inaugarate a National Health system, Keynes was derided in the US Congress as a Communist, and only the intervention of Churchill seemed to persuade President Franklin D. Roosevelt to agree to a loan of around $US 4-billion.
The final part of the debt was only repaid in January this year, and it just makes the skin crawl to hear David Miliband's speech at the Pew Centre on Global Climate Change, where he claimed that;
'The United States saved the world from disaster in the 20th century; rescuing it from fascism, and investing in post-war reconstruction . . .'
Sorry Mr. Milliband (one of the political family class now ruling Britain for the landed gentry), you need to read your history - of Britain, the Labour Party and the conflicts of the 20th century.
We were left with a smashed society which was severely limited in its attempts to rebuild itself in a more egalitarian model, and an occupying US military presence, which was not to defend Britain, but the American's Atlantic coast; which gave the US their gateway into Europe, a missile base to threaten the Soviet Union, and an airstrip to launch attacks as far as the Middle East or Africa .
Blair also aquiesed in the clearly illegal use of Britain's landing facilities to aid the US's 'rendition' project; as well as condemning the people of Diego Garcia to further years exiled from their own land.
What was effectively British territory has been given to the USA to use as an airbase, rocket base and the ironically-named 'Camp Justice', part of their illegal global kidnapping and torture racket.
When Blair - and others in the British Government - condemn 'terrorism' it does not seem to include the terror that he was willing to inflict on other people, without a trial or any accountability.
In return, Britain has been effectively excluded from being a truly European nation; our culture has been diluted and transformed into something short-term, shoddy and superficial; and we have been pressurised into decades of international criminality to maintain the Anglo-WASP project to transform the World into one cheap, overstuffed market where the worth of everything is calculated in dollars.
Not only that, but Blair promised a continuation of the UK's phony 'independent' nuclear deterrent, the Trident system costing at least £10 billion, which is only surpassed by his fraudulent PFI projects as a way of defrauding the people of Britain.
Everything which made Britain quirky or liberal has been suppressed or eliminated; its squatting culture out of which emerged the free festivals and agit-prop alternative society has virtually disappeared.
Now we are in a world where the last real music pub in South London has had its licence withdrawn; people travelling to Glastonbury festival from central London stations were greeted by lines of police and sniffer spaniels (yes, loads of terrorists going to an overpriced pseudo-pagan corporate rock festival); and magic mushrooms (responsible for 0 deaths in the past - what? 20,000 years and part of Britains underground culture since Neolithic times) were banned.
Talk about killing the goose that laid the golden egg. . .
Blair posing with his Fender guitar and announcing the birth of Cool Brittannia proved to be on the same level as Hitler's attempts to paint.
It might have been better for Britain if Blair's college rock band, Ugly Rumours, had become as big as Wishbone Ash.
By now, it would just be few gigs a year at local Town Halls, and maybe some work for the Rotary Club; but instead we ended up with a glib salesman for the Monetarist Party, draped in the stars-and-stripes; a conjuror who successfully distracted the audience long enough to pull off a few bad Wars and a bonanza for his new, rich, freeloading friends.
Brown, whatever his original political motivations, is now a captive of the system which Blair so capably cemented into place.
He will quickly be made aware of these restrictions.
We, as much as the US, live in what is effectively a one-party state, governed for the rich and powerful; with the War on Terror and the vastly increased amounts of cutting-edge technology used for surveillance and tracking the ordinary citizen.
It is no coincidence that in the US and UK, the most effective use of these powers has been to disrupt or 'terrorise' anti-globalisation or environmental groups, and to instill paranoia in the average citizen.
In London, for instance, we are becoming used to random 'swamping' of railway stations ( even in the suburbs) by police and sniffer dogs. Curiously, the dogs only seem to be able to sniff drugs or money - most people caught are working people with cash on them or a few spliffs for the weekend.
At the same time, our post, phones and email communications are constantly monitored; and we have become so used to being spied on, that the police now think they are justified in carrying miniature cameras on their jackets.
What's the betting that they always 'forgot to turn it on' in those cases where some poor sod has died 'resisting arrest' ?
It is the arrogance of these 'public servants' that has increased exponentially with every year of the War of Terror.
We are now without any opposition worth noting in Britain.
(It is worth remembering, as Alistair Campbell reminded us in his recent account of the Blair years, that Blair had wanted to merge the Labour Party with the Liberals soon after 1997 and eliminate all opposition.
All entirely democratic of course . . .)
It is a country where you risk being labelled an 'extremist' for questioning the right of some big corporation like Tesco's to suck the money and life out of any local economy; or question the rights of the Queen to her wealth and influence, or the US President to his power and immunity from the War Crimes court.
One assumes that the Establishment was bright enough to forsee that turbulent times are probably ahead. An old-style Statist like Brown (despite suspicions about his socialist leanings in his youth) has more chance of steadying a sinking vessel than the unreconstructed Toff, David Cameron; an upper-class media-manipulator posing as TB2.
However, for ten years they probably thought Tony Blair was probably worth every penny he was paid; whereas for the rest of us the charm wore thinner every day he was in power.
We watched with bitter sorrow as the hopes for a better, fairer future than we'd been promised under the Tory regime slowly turned into radioactive dust, seeping into the water table of society.
LAST BLAIR LINKS > > >until the War Crimes trial !