Political Journalism – Is Fact an essential ingredient?

Journalism.png

I thought so, till i read Sarah Ditum’s article.

Yesterday, one of my good friends forwarded an article by Sarah Ditum in New Statesman, titled “Corbyn’s supporters loved his principles. But he ditched them in the EU campaign”.

As you might have guessed from the title, the article vainly and pathetically tries to establish how Corbyn deceived his supporters, due to his stand to stay with Remain.

First of all, I admire the author’s psychic powers in knowing how Corbyn and his supporters think!  Sarah Ditum “knows” without doubt that Corbyn “never supported Remain” and “Corbyn’s greatest supporters don’t rate him as a statesman”.

These are the abilities – ability to read other’s mind and ability to write sweeping statements which generalize and stereotype common public – that alienate a journalist from facts and their readers.

Authoring “Corbyn must go” and calling him liar are not characteristics of a journalist; instead they are the words of a politically-biased person, who is frustrated and bewildered by Corbyn’s increasing popularity – within Labour and in the country.

I support Labour.

I support Corbyn as Labour’s leader for his stands and principles.

I voted for Leave.

All of above might look contradictory to Sarah Ditum; but not for me.

Why?  There are a two main reasons:

  1. EU referendum was not debated and voted based on party or political affiliations.  Instead there were deep divisions within all parties (bar UKIP, of course) between LEAVE and REMAIN supporters.  Just like Tories, Labour supporters too were divided.
  1. As mentioned by Corbyn in his speech, “Labour party was overwhelmingly for staying IN” and as the leader of his party which believes in democracy, Corbyn stood with majority to support REMAIN. At the same time, a large number of Labour party members were equally convinced that a LEAVE vote was the right choice and went ahead with their Labour for Leave    The Labour Leave were not victimised or thrown out of the party.  Instead, they were respected for their stand.  Why? Refer #1

Does the EU referendum result force Cobyn to resign?  No.  Why?  Refer #1.

Does the EU referendum result, by any chance, a no-confidence in Corbyn as leader?  Emphatically no.  Why?  Refer #2.

If any, Corbyn’s stand to campaign for REMAIN gives more credibility to him as a leader, as he decided to stay with the majority decision within the party – even if that decision is against his will.  Be very clear, I do not have the same psychic powers of Sarah Ditum to say with absolute conviction that Corbyn in his heart and mind “never supported Remain”.  Merely agreeing, just to put forward my point.

Read this along with Corbyn’s apology on Labour’s role in Iraq war.  This is just one example for the true characteristics of a leader who while tirelessly fought against an unjust war in past, in present is apologizing for someone else’s wrong-doings.

The growth in Labour membership after Corbyn’s leadership is another indication how popular Corbyn and his ideologies are.  If I am correct, no other political leader can claim this popularity in UK’s modern political history.  Labour’s membership now stands at 500,000.  That is 100,000 more members after referendum results.  These quantifiable figures are just enough to show the hollowness of Sarah Ditum’s core argument.

Do not get me wrong.  I am not a Corbyn worshiper.  For me, Corbyn is not a demi-god, but someone who represents the wishes, demands, vision, will and political stance of Labour grass-roots.

I admire the audacity of Sarah Ditum that allows to pen statements like “Corbyn supporters should know this: he has failed you, and will continue to fail you as long as he is party leader.”

Thank you very much for the advice! But no thank you, the party has a way to find out who its leader should be, and the party voted for Corbyn as Leader with 60% support, only 10+ months ago.

Ditum continue to write that Corbyn “will achieve nothing beyond grinding Labour ever further into smallness and irrelevance”.   You do not need to be a journalist; any person who is interested in UK’s daily political news can clearly see who is grinding Labour into irrelevance by going against the grass roots.  At a time when the party should be working together to campaign against Tory austerities and the shallowness of current government, it is shameful that some of the Labour MPs are trying to sabotage the party’s will for their selfishness.

Let me repeat:

The “ability” to read other’s minds and to write sweeping statements which generalise and stereotype common public alienates a journalist from facts and their readers. 

Authoring “Corbyn must go” and calling him liar are not characteristics of a journalist; instead they are the words of a politically-biased person, who is frustrated and bewildered by Corbyn’s increasing popularity – within Labour and in the country.

 

Is “Two-leader” formula a better alternative to Labour’s future?

Two_Leader

Is “Two-leader” formula a better alternative to Labour’s future?

Before proceeding, I want to mention that:

  • Per me, the best possible resolution for current dilemma is: Eagle to step back and let Corbyn – who was democratically elected by more than 60% of the membership – to continue leading the party
  • I no way claim I know the intricacies of party policies, rule-books and inner-party activities.  Instead, this is a novice attempt of a Labour supporter, who just want the party to come out of current deep divisions and focus more on what the grass-roots want and aspire for.
  • In this post, I am just thinking aloud and playing around with the possibilities
  • By no means has this “Two-Leader” formula perfectly answered all open issues.
  • It needs to be ironed-out on how to approach government discussions / decisions on sensitive / security / foreign affairs

With those caveats in place, let me try to explain further!

By Two leaders, I mean

  1. Leader of the Labour Party, who is
    • Democratically elected by Labour members
    • Leads NEC
    • Governs day-to-day Labour Party activities
  2. Leader of the PLP, who is
    • Elected by the PLP members
    • Should be member of the NEC
    • Governs day-to-day PLP activities, but limited to PLP.

Some key points that support above formula are:

  • NEC is the ultimate authority within the party.
  • PLP is a subset of party, not over the party.  Think of PLP as an “elite branch” working within Westminster.
  • PLP leader is free from day-to-day party activities, though PLP decisions (with possible exclusions of sensitive items, I mean military, security etc.)  are discussed / endorsed with NEC
  • Party Leader is free from day-to-day government activities, though PLP decisions are still discussed within NEC.

Will try to extend this further, but what is your opinion on it, in its current form?

Let me know your thoughts!

Why should the Trade Unions ditch New Labour?

The working class and socialist left of UK have been long waiting for the trade unions to end their support to New Labour in and its current stands.

Why should the trade unions ditch New Labour?

When Ed Miliband was elected as the leader of Labour Party, media proclaimed him “Ed the Red”.  The younger Miliband won the leadership election mainly on support from trade unions.  Without this crucial support, it was impossible for Ed to defeat his powerful, charismatic elder brother David.    In return, the trade unions hoped Ed Miliband would take New Labour back to its “old” Labour past.

But soon Miliband showed his real colour and clearly established that he is nothing but loyal follower of Blair’s New Labour philosophies.

Ed Miliband for past few years has been desperately trying to alienate himself and the Labour party from trade unions.   Couple of years ago Miliband, like a parrot, repeatedly commented strikes were wrong when unions were fighting for their rights.   Recently he was “incredibly angry” on selection of trade union’s candidate for Falkirk.

Per Miliband, the unions should not have any say and should be completely alienated from Labour party affairs.  This is exactly what Blair initiated and established as “New Labour” in his re-wording clause IV of Labour constitution.

A mere comparison of old vs. current versions of clause IV will clearly show why the trade unions and working class should find the distance between themselves and New Labour.

Labour_ClauseIV
from http://www.labourcounts.com/oldclausefour.htm

Workers are nowhere in current clause IV!  It now looks forward for the “enterprise of the market” to “produce wealth”!

Is this image any good for Labour?  Let us examine:

  1. Per Labour’s own website, the party was created as a “result of many years of hard effort by working people, trade unionists and socialists, united by the goal of changing the British Parliament to represent the interests of everybody.”  Nothing more to say here!
  2. The party could – at least at its present state – boast support and possible votes from the biggest group of working people in the UK (TUC with 54 affiliated unions claim it represents 6.2 million working people).  Why should Labour estrange it’s own supporters and well-wishers?
  3. Last but not least, is the loss of financial boost received by Labour from those very trade unions Miliband is trying to get rid of.

Thus by history, current affiliations and financial support, Labour owes trade unions a lot.  If Ed Miliband wants to alienate from the trade unions and workers, he should first change the very name of his party!

Why is Miliband trying to change the nature of Labour’s funding?  This query unearths real crux of the matter.  Of course Labour wants the money – but it wants to collect the funds directly from individuals and not via the trade unions.  In effect, Miliband wants to silence the collective voices of working class.

Why?

Because, if the funds are individually obtained, collective voice of working class do not have any power; it cannot question (New) Labour and it’s not-so-labour-ideologies /policies it currently stands for.  This is exactly what Thatcher wanted; this is exactly what any of the capitalistic parties and private corporate across world aspire to establish.  Crush the collective voice of the working class.

Next question; why does the corporate, media and most of leading political parties fear – and hate – trade unions?  Answer is in above paragraph; simply because, the trade unions amplify the collective voice of working class.

Now you can see that why this is an existential fight for the working class.

So, the question to TUs is why should they support a party which wants only their money, but not the TUs themselves?

The trade unions have two options:

  1. Fight back, kick out its capitalistic Blairite leaders and re-claim the party to realign what it was originally established for.
  2. Ditch Labour and form a new political party which will stand for the working class.

Both options have their own advantages and dis-advantages.  Once started, the cleaning process will bring disastrous outcomes for first-few-years.  But the right decision will prove itself correct in the long run.

Ralph Miliband and Daily Mail’s stupidity

miliband-ralph
Ralph Miliband

This blog post is on recent row over Daily Mail’s article on one of Britain’s famous Marxist thinker, professor and writer– Ralph Miliband.

After reading Daily Mail’s article on Ralph Miliband, only words that I could hardly find justifying its title – “The man who hated Britain” are below:

“…..The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world . . . you sometimes want them almost to lose (the war) to show them how things are. They have the greatest contempt for the continent . . . To lose their empire would be the worst possible humiliation. “

Even if Daily Mail want to crucify Ralph Miliband for above words, please remember that these were written – in his diary, not meant for publication – when he was 17 years old!  Opinions of a 17-year-old immigrant boy about the people of new place he landed in – could they be really branded as that of a person who hated this country?  I beg to differ.

Of course I can see Daily Mail’s pride getting hurt on mention of “humiliation” faced by Britain on its loss of empire during last century.  But surely that was meant to happen.   Not only Britain, but France, Portugal and Spain too lost their empires over the course of history; no country could have continued to forcefully occupy other nations for eternity.

The teenager who wrote above words in his later life served the Royal Navy, became a professor of Politics in this country and brought up two sons who themselves became political leaders followed by faithful millions.  How can any of above traits be that of hatred?   Only the Daily Mail can boast careless arrogance and stupid theories to accuse this man of hatred towards Britain.

I am not a Labour supporter; neither am I a fan of Ed Miliband who utters illogical statements like “I want to make capitalism work for working people, not destroy it”!  I also do not think we should judge the whole life and outlook of a noticeable writer this country produced by the words he wrote when he was 17 years old.

Creches at workplace

A number of very able, highly educated women whom I know are not working, just because they are not in a position to leave their kids somewhere during the time they are out for work.  Reasons are many: there is no good nursery nearby; time taken to commute between home, nursery and office; unable to be punctual at all of the places, resulting in completely different, but equally catastrophic outcomes.  In a nutshell, a number of various, valid reasons force these women to be a full-time mum-at-home.  [Now, I am not saying that being a full-time mom-at-home is a bad thing at all; given chance and circumstances agree, I myself would love to be a full-time dad-at-home.]

Just think of the contribution these women could provide to our society if they could work without being anxious of their children’s care during the time when she is at work?

Even for working parents, the story is not very different.   There are many worries for a mother (for father too):  Who will take care of her kids when she is at work?  How competent and honest the child carer is?  Will it be possible for him/her to leave early enough the office so that he/she can reach the pre-school in time to collect the kid(s)?  If late, how real is the threat of getting reported to social care?

Majority of above questions of anxious mothers could be answered, by a single solution – an office crèche.  By this, I mean a crèche opened in the business premises itself.  If space is an issue, as a temporary measure, the businesses could reach tie-ups with nearest crèche.  The businesses only have to take care of the high level responsibility of the crèche; day-2-day running of the crèche could be outsourced to any respectable pre-school / crèche / nurseries.

I still fondly remember the crèche operated by Department of Telecommunications in a small town in India, where my parents worked in 1970s.  In my younger days, I was a very regular visitor, and I enjoyed my time there.  I still remember the faces of aayaas (child minders) at that crèche.  If a developing (in fact a third-world country in 70s) country could do this 40 years ago, why cannot it be implemented in UK of modern times?

Why should spend the businesses money on crèche?

Why not?!

  • The young mothers spsend most of her daytime in the office; even though one argue she is getting paid for it, can whatever wage paid compensate for youth and motherhood?  Of course not!  So this is a small expenditure for the business in return for the daytime of a mother’s time with her kid.
  • Worker or employee is the most key resource for any business / organisation.  It is well-known that happy employees produce far better output than their unhappy counterparts.
  • Workplace crèche arrangement will not only help the businesses to become more productive, but also help the national economy by generating more jobs in the childcare arena.

To start with, the Government should put in a policy to all medium to large enterprises to provide for crèche at workplace, wherever possible.  Government could even assist the businesses by giving tax-breaks for those organisations who keep aside a portion of their profits towards their employee’s requirements.

There could be various difficulties and issues to say “No” to this proposal.  But there will be only one, simple, straightforward reason for the businesses to say “Yes” – that they are serious about the well-being of their employees and their families.

How much land one person needs?

I recently read an interesting and very informative article by Harry Parfitt, shared at Manchester Communists website.

Anyone with a sensible mind will find it atrocious that less than 1% of the population own 70% of the land of this country.  At a time when young families cannot afford their first homes, forty million acres of land is owned by families of 189,000.

The article raises few questions.  Who owns this planet? Who owns its land, water and other resources?  How much land does one person need?

Vast acres of unused land, kept only for profit and show-off, and handed over from generation to generation of same family, should certainly be not tolerated; that too when the world resources are shrinking at rapid rate.

The article reminded me of the revolutionary Land Reforms Bill by world’s first ever democratically elected Communist Government of Kerala, India.  More details on the same are available on article written by Com. S Ramachandran Pillai.

It is high time that the land re-distribution is done based on need, and not on one’s ancestral history.

Good answer!

Good answer to a stupid question. Stupid question raised by a “historian” whose initiative to look for an answer cannot go further than the relish for “rib of beef”.

Here’s the question: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/guywalters/100059405/if-its-ok-to-have-a-stalin-society-then-why-not-a-hitler-society/

and the answer is here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teVMFSXvt9Q

If Stalin was the dictator and murderer as bourgeois media proclaim, how come the Russians stood behind him as one and defeated the “mighty” nazis? Remember, it was Stalin’s Red Army that defeated hitler. Hollywood and USA might tell you otherwise – to save the embarrassment that USA could not do much against hitler.  [By the way, the word processor software prompts me to change from nazi to Nazi and hitler to Hitler – is it grammatically correct, or just a software bug?]

During Stalin’s time of constant struggle against the capitalistic world to make Russia a super power, there were not only external nazis/capitalists that Stalin had to fight, but also internal anti-communist forces. These struggles might have cost lives, but one should not blame the WW2 war hero for the same.

Causalities were unfortunate, but were on both sides.

For decades, bourgeois politicians desperately tried to reduce the significance of what USSR – and especially Stalin – did to stop the advance of hitler. The fact that a young Communist state played crucial rule in defeating the mighty nazi hooligans could not be easily digested by the bourgeois arrogance.

While that was the case during those decades, it is even more now. Hence these futile attempts to compare Stalin with hitler.

It is high time the modern world re-read history of Stalin and USSR.  If one do a search on 1930s growth of Soviet Union and look for details on first and second five-year plans, history will educate and remind us that Stalin converted Russia from a poor oppressed peasant country to THE super power nation of his days.  While I am not a member of Stalin Society, here is a good collection of documents on Stalin’s era.

Till when will CPB support Labour Party?

CPBvsLab

Questions to the Communist Party of Britain….

Why does the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) still support Labour Party?  Why does CPB still trust Labour – which has fully embraced the ways of Capitalism – to bring Socialism to UK?  Why is CPB not coming out of the ugly shadows of Labour, which in its recent 13 years of Government has done nothing to advance towards a socialist Britain?

Forget about relating to Marxist/Leninist/Communist ideologies, Labour don’t even support the desperate cries from Trade Unions for their existence support.  It even added suffix “New” to its name – as if to show the ordinary labourer in this country has changed his/her views and now whole-heartedly support capitalistic ideologies.

What in Labour attracts CPB?  It’s “glorious” past?  It might be true that Labour was formed as a federal party with mass trade-union affiliations.  But is it doing anything to support the ordinary workers of this country these days?  Only few months ago, when the trade unions were fighting for their rights, Ed Miliband said again and again, that strikes are wrong (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13971770).

What a pathetic fall Labour had, and what sort of leaders it is rearing these days!  Current one appears not to know the basics of public speaking and trade union histories.  Previous one called his own party-supporter a bigot (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8649012.stm) for her burning questions.  The one prior took this country to war against Iraq on now-infamous false accusations of “Weapons of Mass Destruction (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8409526.stm).  These days, he charges by minute for his words  (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1167682/Blair-worlds-best-paid-speaker-pocketing-364-000-just-hours-work.html ).   Does CPB honestly believe these leaders could bring in Socialism to UK?  I disagree.

By supporting Labour, what is CPB hoping for?  Does CPB really believe that Labour will abandon its capitalistic ways on one fine morning and bring Socialism in?  A smooth piggyback ride to Socialism?  Under leadership of above so-called “leaders”?  Are communists in Britain so naive to believe this “soothing lie”?  Don’t we have fire in our hearts, power in our hands, shouts in our throats and determination in ourselves to demand the rightful shares of hard-working proletarian in this country?

Communists in which part of world follows this waiting game?  Till when should one wait for Godot?  Till when should we give our voice, votes and souls to Labour?

Correct and honest implementation of communism is the real alternative system for a peaceful, prosperous and righteous world; and CPB should be working towards establishing this system.  If it waits for Labour to bring Socialism to Britain in a silver platter, then the only future I can foresee for CPB is that of a boiled frog.

Thoughts on Anti-nuclear Weapon’s day…

Another Aug 6th passes by; with it another anniversary of the murder of tens-of-thousands of innocent Japanese citizens by American nuclear bombs.  This is also the anniversary of American announcement on arms supremacy.  Aug 6th could also be marked in calendar as an important milestone in US intentions to expand their empire by the sale of war machines. 

A lot have already been written on this topic.  My thoughts on this day are on the irony of current times.  Fighters in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan borders are using American-made-weapons to attack NATO troops.  Those very weapons the greedy US arms lobby sold to the Afghan rebels to use against the then Najibullah government are now pointed towards NATO and American troops. 

Agenda of US arms lobby and Government it (always) control is really simple:  First manufacture the weapons; then look for buyers.  Profiles of buyers do not matter.  Once the deal is done, give proud owner an opportunity to use it against similar or better US weapons –  by declaring war against their own country!  An intentionally created vicious circle!!

We can see this happening in current Libya crisis.  US, UK and France are providing arms to Libyan rebels to fight against Gaddafi.  It will only be a matter of time these weapons will be re-pointed towards the west.  But of course, that is another opportunity for the US arms lobby to sell again…… The game continues….

Do You Agree with CPGB(ML) Party Programme on Immigration?

I am an immigrant to UK and agree that immigration is a requirement for the capitalist to exploit workers from weaker countries to work at lower wages in comparison to local. workers.  That said, it is very difficult to understand the CPGB(ML) party programme statement that calls for “abolition of all border controls, as part of the wider fight to uproot racism from the working-class movement and build unity among workers in Britain, so strengthening the fight for communism.

I agree that immigration is a two-way sword in capitalist hand – on one side they exploit workers with lower wages, while on other side, they spilt workers by playing patriotic/racist card. But it is very difficult to understand how CPGB(ML) can call for abolition of all border controls. I am sure that is not followed in any of existing communist countires. In fact wherever the communists are/were in power, the boarders were more strenghened 😉

Per me in future world, international boarders have no relevance; but that cannot be said for current times. If CPGB-ML comes to power (most unlikely at least for next few years!) can party take decision to abolish boarder control? 99% the answer is No! Given this, how can the party call for something that CPGB-ML itself will not be able to comply theoretically and practically?