Islamism and the politics of identity

November 22, 2015 at 9:16 pm (Islam, islamism, Rosie B, Uncategorized)

Kenan Malik, always worth reading:-

There appears, nevertheless, to be something especially potent about Islam in fomenting terror and persecution. Contemporary radical Islam is the religious form through which a particular kind of barbarous rage expresses itself.

So, to understand why jihadis have been drawn into a moral universe that allows them to celebrate inhuman acts, we have to understand why political rage against the West takes such nihilistic, barbaric forms, and why radical Islam has become the primary vehicle for such rage.

Jihadis view themselves as warriors against western imperialism. Yet few anti-imperialists of previous generations would recognise jihadis as ideological kin.

There is a long history of popular struggles against colonialism and empire. While such movements often used violent means to pursue their ends, they were rarely “anti-western” in any existential sense. Rather they worked within a universalist moral framework that stressed freedom and emancipation for all humanity.

Over the past few decades these anti-imperialist traditions have unravelled. The new movements that have emerged in their place are often rooted in religious or ethnic identity, and are sectarian or separatist in form. This shift is linked to the wider decline of progressive social movements, the loss of faith in universalist values, and the replacement of ideological politics with the politics of identity. Moral norms have increasingly become tribal rather than universal. Political struggle for a better world has given way to inchoate identity-driven rage.

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The intellectual vs the roaring boys

November 22, 2015 at 8:51 am (Rosie B, television, Uncategorized)

I wasn’t going to bother with The Last Kingdom. Saxons vs Danes isn’t a period of history I’m much interested in. However Tom Holland, who is researching the Heptarchy was on Twitter saying that the portrait of Alfred was very good, so I scrolled through Episode 2 till he turned up, and he is good (played by David Dawson). A melancholy intellectual, visionary yet shrewd. Fragile, delicate and only an adequate warrior whereas the Danes thoroughly enjoy the whole business of close combat sword and shield play. His intellectualism takes the form as it would in his time, of theological debate, his politics are cool and ruthless.

“Most prudent, far-seeing in wisdom, and hard to overcome in any crisis’ – Æthelwold on King Alfred & his heirs. “ (stolen from Tom Holland).

So I went back to episode 1 and followed the fortunes of Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) a handsome young man who was born a Saxon and brought up a Dane. We get shots of him bathing – not just for a sight of his nice body but to reassure the audience that our ancestors weren’t the epitome of stench that so repels us now. (They did the same thing for Liam Neeson’s Rob Roy).


Uhtred – quite clean you know

He does choose odd times of the year to bathe though. It has been winter for 5 episodes. Once there was a clump of daffodils suggesting it might be at least be late March then it got back to winter. I was hopeful that we would have changed seasons in episode 5 when Uhtred’s missus was bathing with a pregnant belly, showing time would have passed since their arranged marriage but evidently she conceived in about May, since it was winter again. This is Wessex, the West Country (though it it was shot in Hungary and Wales) and that part of England has early springs and hot summers. This series won’t have done the tourist trade any good.

Uhtred is supposed to be avenging the death of his adoptive father, a Dane, and is also trying to get back the kingdom of Northumbria, to which he is the rightful heir. He has plenty of adventures but he is a dull character not a patch on Alfred. His girlfriend, Brida (Emily Cox), is an early version of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, foul mouthed and playfully cruel which couldn’t be allowed to Uhtred, supposed to be the hero after all. His other companion is Leofric (Adrian Bower) the classic sergeant major rough diamond, obscene-speaking and straight-talking, the kind of part that would normally be played by Sean Bean.

The series is propaganda for paganism. The Danes are buoyant and colourful. They wear wonderful animal skins (though no-one ever scratches for fleas), are finely tattooed, have wild hair, and love a fight, followed by massacre, torture and rape. The biggest, and baddest of them, Ubba (Rene Tempe), has finally been laid low and he really did have the presence of a manic head of a motorcycle gang – The Marauding Mob or the Plundering Pack. Meanwhile the poor Saxons frump about in long drab gowns, go to Church and eat gruel and apples because it is always Lent. And on that kind of diet they have to fight these evil brutes with their ultra cool ships.



The manic Ubba

Some genuine suspense has built up. Uhtred, tired of being pissed over by Alfred, is going rogue and is setting to do a little plundering of his own. With 3 more episodes to go I’m fairly sure Uhtred will be reconciled with Alfred and get Northumbria back. The Danes will be expelled and converted to Christianity. So far when they come up against a priest or devout king they have Richard Dawkins style objections to the faith. The nature of conversion is something that the script-writers in our agnostic age can’t handle.

This is supposed to be the British Game of Thrones which I don’t watch as it has too much explicit torture for me to stomach. Here the violence is knockabout and doesn’t make me wince. It looks good, it’s lively and there’s always the chance of seeing Alfred dragged away from discussing scripture for yet another wretched battle, glumly putting on the chain mail helmet while the Danish roaring boys, in the ninth century equivalent of revving their Harley Davidsons, knock up yet another painted shield wall.


Alfred at yet another sodding battle

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For the day

November 8, 2015 at 11:16 am (Rosie B)

Someone on twitter pointed to this, and though I’ve read it scores of times, it still gives the authentic shiver:-


MCMXIV (1964)

Phillip Larkin

Those long uneven lines
Standing as patiently
As if they were stretched outside
The Oval or Villa Park,
The crowns of hats, the sun
On moustached archaic faces
Grinning as if it were all
An August Bank Holiday lark;

And the shut shops, the bleached
Established names on the sunblinds,
The farthings and sovereigns,
And dark-clothed children at play
Called after kings and queens,
The tin advertisements
For cocoa and twist, and the pubs
Wide open all day;

And the countryside not caring:
The place-names all hazed over
With flowering grasses, and fields
Shadowing Domesday lines
Under wheat’s restless silence;
The differently-dressed servants
With tiny rooms in huge houses,
The dust behind limousines;

Never such innocence,
Never before or since,
As changed itself to past
Without a word – the men
Leaving the gardens tidy,
The thousands of marriages,
Lasting a little while longer:
Never such innocence again.

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Passive Resistance

November 8, 2015 at 11:00 am (Free Speech, Rosie B, scotland)

Talking of heavy-handed anti-free speech moves by the authorities that bampot James Scott, leader of the Scottish Resistance, was lifted by the police under the handy “breach of the peace” charge.

The offence corncerned a video called “Glasgow Yes City You Nawbags”

Video ends BRIT SCUM OUT OF SCOTLAND and includes a slogan urging “Scottish People” to “remove the Brit Scum Thugs from this Land”.

Last night Mr Scott, 60, from Glasgow, said: “There is no freedom of speech in this country.

“I’ve never been in trouble in my life. We are a peaceful group.

“The video was in response to some nasty, vile unionists who had threatened my life so they were called Nawbags and Brit Scum and it was put online.”

It is thought a complaint was made after the clip was re-posted on Twitter in June. Cops lifted Mr Scott at 9am on Monday and held him at the city’s London Road nick until 3pm. He added: “They said there had been no complaints until relatively recently.”

Dunno how peaceful the Scottish Resistance are. Weren’t they among the gang egging Jim Murphy when he travelled about campaigning for No? Also, it’s a bit feeble calling yourself the Resistance and then being peaceful. What would we think of the French Resistance if they hadn’t gone about blowing things up? “Listen. I shall only say this once. Don’t do anything.”

Still, as a Brit (non scum – though the term is often extended from those who threaten violence to those who voted No) myself I can’t say I feel menaced by his barmy video and am more pissed off by the usual misuse of police powers than Yes ravings.  And in the usual Streisand effect I’ve now watched the video. It only lasts a minute.  Trigger warning  for those with tender feelings towards union flags.

Glad (not really – he’s a balloon) to see that Scott is free to address the masses at Largs:-


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No Platforming by the female eunuchs

October 27, 2015 at 7:25 am (censorship, Feminism, Free Speech, Rosie B)

Germaine Greer has said some unforgivable things in the past eg about FGM.  But she is a great woman, a splendid writer, a courageous human being and in her time was an inspiring feminist.  Trans activists’ attacks on her are gross.

Here’s an excellent piece on the issue.

Pop feminism has willfully abandoned political analysis for the feel-good factor of disposable aphorisms. See for example Laurie Penny (@pennyred) who recently performed the ultimate no risk “coming-out” of announcing she’s a femme-presenting, female-assigned at birth, no-transition “genderqueer” . . . which is the LGBT equivalent of claiming one retroactively looooved punk rock before it was mainstream.

And to prove her gendercred to her fans, she’s been eager to defend Caitlyn Jenner’s perpetual womanhood — that Bruce was female when winning the decathlon. Egregiously, Penny backs this up with the usual cut-and-paste misinterpretation of Simone de Beauvoir.

I’ll say it again: Beauvoir is spinning in her tomb over the intellectually dishonest, quote-mined appropriation of her life’s work. It is simply wrong that Beauvoir means “one … becomes a woman” as an endorsement of gender/femininity as empowering to female persons. It is embarrassingly clear that Penny, and her cadre of  retweeters, hasn’t actually bothered to give Beauvoir the decency of a good read.

Laurie Penny, always modish, always wrong.  It’s startling to be told you are “a femme-presenting, female-assigned at birth, no-transition” creature when you’d always described yourself as a “girl” or “woman”.

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Scotland’s civic nationalists = Clan Nicola’s nativist Scots ID

October 16, 2015 at 10:32 am (Rosie B, scotland)

Steve Bell 16.10.2015 Illustration: Steve Bell

Outstanding example of pompous philistinism and the self-awareness of a sea sponge from Alan Bissett:-

Some 55% of Scots voted no to independence on 18 September 2014. This result has been respected – it’s the reason Scotland is still in the UK –

Well, thank you thank you thank you for clearing that up. Was it NOT going to be respected?

Like most Scottish artists I called for a yes vote during last year’s referendum.

How does he know? Did anyone do a poll of artists? Certainly the yes artists were vocal and busy and forming collectives and included big names like Liz Lochead and Alasdair Gray – but there were those who just kept quiet.

The artists have now entered a period of introspection, replacing the creative campaign’s colour and noise with a new ambivalence about what the Scottish arts are for.

I take it he means the Yes artists not people like Don Paterson, say or Douglas Dunn or Janice Galloway or James McMillan or McCall Smith who presumably know what they are for – for creating art. What is this rubbish about art as a national project? As with so much of the Nat debate (first independence then utopia) it was reminiscent of old Communist ideas that art was for “the people” I.e keeping to the Party line, which in its extreme versions meant poets with anything like a spine being executed by Stalin.

This had been anticipated, pre-referendum, by the novelist Alan Warner, who wrote: “A no vote will create a profound and strange schism between the voters of Scotland and its literature; a new convulsion. It will be the death knell for the whole Scottish literature ‘project’ – a crushing denial of an identity that writers have been meticulously accumulating, trying to maintain and refine.”

As a No voter I’m certainly happy not to read Alan Warner if he thinks there is a “whole Scottish literature ‘project’” – I see he needs those quotation marks as there isn’t any ‘project’.  There are books that get written, some good, some bad. (As a side note the great novelist on “Scottish identity” was Walter Scott – a devout Unionist and anti-Radical.)

There have been good books with an overt political message – Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Animal Farm – usually about screaming injustices, not about a referendum in a liberal democracy. And as usual when reading the Yessers I think, god, what grandiose airs those people give themselves, what heroic attitudes they strike.

I understood my own purpose. I’d presumed to give voice to a people, the majority of whom had turned out to be indifferent to the message.

Could be that you’re a shite writer. Also, some of us weren’t indifferent but totally hostile.

The poet Jenny Lindsay, a key organiser of the yes-backing artists’ group National Collective, recently staged a show called Ire and Salt (swap those words round and you get the drift). It examined the difference between a movement and a campaign, the clash between artistic autonomy and the feeling of being a cog in a machine built to persuade.

I’ve seen Jenny Lindsay perform and she’s a definite talent. It’s not surprising she’s sick of doing Yes, Yes, Yes and would like to move on.

there can be no definitive “schism” between Scotland and its artists. Scottish nationalism – as both a political concern and an ongoing cultural project – is enlarging, not shrinking.

Errgh. He doesn’t realise how creepy this sounds. In fact he’s right. The Scottish Government is trying to control the universities and things like the Scottish Language Centre have become undisguised propaganda for nationalism.

Bissett doesn’t want regard himself as a vulgar propagandist. But if course that is what he is. That’s what he thinks all artists born in Scotland should be. He is a propagandist on the side of the Scottish Government. He’s a Government apparatchik, an Establishment stooge. Under Stalin he would have been writing paeans to the glorious leader and lyrics about tractor production while sitting on committees frowning over the ideological soundness of other poets.

He has inspired one small gem. In the comments thread is:-


Scotland’s civic nationalists = Clan Nicola’s nativist Scots ID

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My MP (Part 2)

October 3, 2015 at 10:19 pm (Rosie B, scotland)

After the indy referendum in September 2014 we No voters – who were startled to find we’d been given a new identity, Unionists or Nawbags – thought we could forget about that interruption and get back to normality. Wrong. The SNP rode high, grabbed 56/59 (95%) of the Westminster seats in the general election and are likely to take as many in next year’s Holyrood election. Their opposition is fragmented into the old parties of Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative, Labour has been broken and the only party that has gained are the Conservatives as the full-out Unionist party under the gutsy Ruth Davidson. So it’s been a gloomy time for us Negative lot, with constant threats of more referenda being waved at us in spite of the once in a generation, once in a life time, One Opportunity rhetoric during the indyref. One Snat tried to convince me that One Opportunity really meant An Opportunity. Meanwhile Sturgeon swans about doing photoshoots for Vogue – though credit where it’s due – she shows a good deal of bright style in her clothing in contrast to the grey frumpy Noes. “Bitter together” describes our mood.

But now something has happened to lift our spirits with schadenfreude. It concerns the MP for Edinburgh West, my MP, Michelle Thomson. As I said before Thomson headed up Business for Scotland, a group  which encapsulates the sham of Scottish politics because it is (a) an SNP front – as demonstrated by Thomson being given the Edinburgh West seat; (b) it was called Business for Scotland – and of course other (subtext and overt ) anti-indy businesses must be against Scotland; (c) it was a load of mickey-mouse consultancies, who employed few people and did little in the way of cross border trade with England. But it was treated like the CBI by the BBC. Thomson was elected in the SNP landslide and made Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation & Skills.


Business eh? Not software design, nor extracting oil nor wind turbine manufacture nor pharmaceuticals nor widgets nor sausages. No, the business spokesperson that the SNP appointed was a woman of property with a portfolio. i.e. a wheeler dealer. Not even a builder of houses. And she had wheeled and dealed – eg (allegation at this point) that she would buy a property at X grand one day and then flog it off the same day at 2X grand to her husband. .

The Sunday Times ran an article [paywall] on 20th September about Michelle Thomson’s company buying properties from people like cancer sufferers cheap and then selling them on for a good profit. Nasty, but not illegal.

The story grew arms and legs. Here’s a piece by Ian Smart on the likely fraudulence of Thomson’s dealings:-

“there was something in that initial article that seemed to the informed eye a bit more sinister. That was the suggestion that, in some of the transactions involved, the price actually paid by Thomson was less than that declared to the Land Registry. “That looks very like mortgage fraud”.

Thomson had figured as a “Mrs A” in the Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal which had struck off her solicitor Christopher Hales.

“Numerous examples of failing to inform lenders of undisclosed deposits, including examples of Mr Hales personally returning these to the purchasers, and several examples of back to backs, all equally undisclosed to the lenders.”

On behalf of Mrs A aka Michelle Thomson.

After a hearing in May 2014, the Scottish Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal said Mr Hales failed to provide mortgage companies with key information used to prevent fraud and must have been aware that there was a possibility he was facilitating mortgage fraud, whether or not it occurred.

In some cases, loans obtained for the properties were greater than the actual purchase price.

The Law Society, the regulating body of Scottish solicitors, did not send this information to the Crown Office until July 2015, after both the referendum and the general election. They claimed “pressure of work” (which Scottish lawyers observe they never accept as an excuse from solicitors who have not renewed their membership of the Law Society).

The Law Society’s chief executive, Lorna Jack, took the unusual step of arranging a hurried press conference to defend her organisation’s handling of the affair, and the conduct of Sheila Kirkwood, who is secretary to the society guarantee fund sub-committee which handled the Hales case but had delayed handing the papers over to the Crown Office.

It emerged that Kirkwood was, with her husband and fellow solicitor Paul Kirkwood, a founder of the pro-independence campaign Lawyers for Yes, and as an active nationalist had attended dinners for Thomson’s pro-independence campaign Business for Scotland. Kirkwood had also “liked” Thomson on her Facebook page.

So the non SNP MSPs had for once a good time at First Minister’s Questions:-

THERE was a rumbling, gutteral soundtrack to much of FMQs today, as Nat MSPs desperately tried to drown out a series of questions about Michelle Thomson.

“Uurgrhnomorenomore,” went appalled groans when the dreaded name was uttered.

“Nananeverheardofher,” went a lip-smacking simian chatter as fingers were plugged in ears.

But despite these best efforts, the property-whizz-turned-SNP-nightmare dominated proceedings, with Labour and the Tories revelling in all the sleazy details.

The SNP now deny knowing anything about Thomson’s business deals – though before they had been lauding her business expertise:-


SNP Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil, whose portfolio includes welfare, affordable housing and other issues crucial to the poorest in society, claimed she would be a champion for such causes.

He said: ‘She had an excellent grasp of the economic picture, but also demonstrated commitment to how business can be used to support social justice.’

Both SNP Education Secretary Angela Constance and Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop stressed her business background would make her an ideal candidate.

Constance said: ‘Michelle has a proven track record. She would be an outstanding MP. Michelle is known for her grasp of finance, business and the economy.’

Hyslop said: ‘Her knowledge of business and her passion to make Scotland a better place make her an ideal candidate for Westminster in the forthcoming General Election.’

SNP MSP Colin Keir – who represents Edinburgh Western, the Holyrood equivalent of Thomson’s Westminster seat – said in the run-up to the General Election: ‘I worked with Michelle through the referendum campaign and have seen how talented she is. In her position as a director of Business for Scotland she was asked to take part in debates against Better Together. ’

Michelle Thomson has resigned the SNP whip and is now my independent MP. Her entry on the SNP site reads like this. The police are investigating her solicitor. It could be that she will be investigated herself and charged, which should lead to an interesting by-election.

Sturgeon has said she looks forward to reinstating her but now the Sunday Herald, which supports indy, is going to release emails which show that it was Thomson’s fault that Business for Scotland made such a bad economic case for independence (rather than that there wasn’t a good economic case, as we Nawbag quislings were abused for pointing out).  Business for Scotland’s predictions of untold wealth for an indy Scotland are still quoted by disgruntled Yesses, so at least they may shut up on that score.  And Thomson will be dumped altogether by the ever ruthless and opportunistic SNP.

Update:- the article in the Sunday Herald did not show that “the economic case for independence was undermined by scandal-hit MP” as the headline has it.”  What it show was that there was in-fighting among the board members of Business for Scotland.  The most salient points are:- Thomson, the Managing Director of Business for Scotland, had her consultancy payments stopped but was allowed to keep the title and still appear on the media – it would have looked bad to dump her before the referendum; and that the controlling hand behind Business for Scotland was Peter Murrell, the SNP chief executive, also Nicola Sturgeon’s husband, which should finally destroy BfS’s pretence of being a non-partisan think tank.

I can see that Thomson with her media presence might have been thought suitable as a candidate for Edinburgh West, which she won as part of the SNP landslide. But why appoint her as Shadow Minister for Business, Skills and Innovation and boost her business expertise?  Are they short of business background among the 56 55 MPs?


Collector’s item

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Freedom Unfreedom Square

September 26, 2015 at 8:23 am (Rosie B, scotland)

One of the by-products of the Scottish referendum was the re-emergence of Tommy Sheridan (name usually prefixed by “disgraced perjurer) who has refashioned himself from socialist to nationalist trying to lead a popular movement called Hope over Fear. Having been refused permission by Glasgow Council to hold a rally in George Square, Glasgow (which the Yessers like to call “Freedom Square”) the rally went ahead anyway.

I thought it mean of Glasgow Council to refuse permission. Yes rallies are not violent and don’t call for much policing. There’s plenty of music among the ranting, bouncy castles and a lot of it is a Yes family day out. However having taken over George Square, Sheridan’s gang then refused full access to journalists, even from the pro-indy Sunday Herald. Give that man territory…


Here is a sharp and observant – and rather moving – account of the event at A Thousand Flowers. I would guess the writer is a former colleague of Sheridan’s. S/he is anxious at the kind of nationalism arising in a movement which took pride in its distance from the blood and soil kind.

One speaker told the crowd about how “We had repelled the Vikings…and the Danes” coz obviously, a Scotland which gets rid of foreigners is something to be celebrating in the current context.  “Water is going over the border…whisky revenues are at an all time high.”As he furiously bellowed about “traitors”, a woman behind me shouted “burn the Witch” and I breathed a sigh in relief, realising I wasn’t alone in finding all this slightly troublesome.

We were then treated to a speech by “Irish Supporters of Hope over Fear” who talked of “a proud Celtic nation about to break with their foreign masters” and saluted “the bravery of the Scottish people in fighting for freedom throughout the world” (presumably in colonies like, erm, Ireland, where Scots have done a great job shooting the natives at the behest of the British state for the last 300 plus years).

Following Pat Lee delivering good wishes to “a 9 year old celebrating their 10th Birthday today” (perhaps a bit prematurely), we had a nice happy song about dying Westminster paedophiles followed by another one about Pandas, obviously. …

Most gallingly, as always, there was the lie that today represented “all of the Yes family.”   This didn’t feel like “the Yes movement” or “the independence movement” as was claimed, it felt like Tommy stoking a burgeoning nationalist movement, one which has strengthened significantly in the last year and which is being fed by Sheridan’s calculation that he can ride on its coattails to Holyrood in 2016.  The least he can do is sell T-shirts, CDs and beer to it for as long as he can.

There were no Greens, no SSP/RISE/socialists who weren’t in Solidarity, no representatives from Women for Independence, even Robin McAlpine was under orders not to show his face after the furore following his last appearance alongside the suntanned superman.   Come to think of it, there wasn’t a single SNP speaker either, at least not in an official capacity.…

As I fought back the tears this time last year I wrote, “My hope is that the independence we are creating in Scotland continues to resist the forces of nationalism.”  I sincerely hope it does – but after today’s event, I fear we’ve got a long fight ahead.

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An answer for everything, always the same answer

September 20, 2015 at 7:42 am (internationalism, Rosie B, scotland)

Though there has been a lot of noise in the media about the anniversary of the IndyRef I haven’t noticed it much in real life and social media except among the die-hards on both sides. I am hoping it will grow quieter as time goes by.

Here’s a study of the demographics of the voters.


I fit the No voter template – female, right age bracket, average earner, Protestant (by birth), not born in Scotland.

Average earners don’t want to take risks.  You’re one pay packet away from not being able to meet your mortgage payment (not that that was my reason for voting No.)

It’s interesting though how the 16-24 year olds were more No inclined.  My guess is that they are less nationalistic minded. They’re in contact with their peers in other parts of the UK via social media. Shared interest in music, sport and films are more important than national identity. But that’s just a guess. A slight blow to one of the post ref hopes that the old curmudgeons would soon be tucked up safely into the crem well away from the ballot box.

The Yes/No split is notable on those born outwith Scotland   either in other parts of the UK or abroad were averaged at 65% voting No compared to the even split of native Scots.   Nicola Sturgeon might have to Think Again about encouraging immigration except that she has no powers over immigration and her pro-refugee and immigration noises are We’re Not Like the Horrible Tories noises just as her reaction to Corbyn’s elevation was to talk about his unelectability and so, Vote Independence.  No thought of allying with a proper Left Labour this time round.

2nd poll

The SNP – an answer to everything and always the same answer.

Oh, and when taken to task about the SNP’s various incompetences at Holyrood her answer was that the SNP had delivered for Scotland instead of carping from the sidelines like the Opposition!

Meanwhile a couple of good pieces – one about the SNP’s constant whingeing about The Vow (that pointless PR job which made me howl Oh Shut Up at the time) and the other Where Stands Scotland Now from the excellent Chris Deerin, whose writings were one of the best things that came out of the Indy debate.

Update. Corbyn in Scotland and trying to get back the Labour vote (no chance):-

It is easier – far easier – to find Labour MSPs and veteran members who believe Corbyn will be a disaster for the party. Those critics – like the few who are trying to remain optimistic – are wary of going on the record when discussing the new leader. There is a clear sense of unease about discussing life in Labour under Corbyn.

One Labour MSP said: “If anyone says this is good news because we can outflank the SNP on the left, then they’re not thinking straight.

“The SNP doesn’t really present a left-wing politics, it just says to people ‘you’re compassionate and wonderful’ and people lap it up.

“There isn’t a majority out there for paying more tax and hiking up benefits. If there was, then the SNP would be doing those things.

“There’s a majority out there that wants to feel good about themselves and to get on in life and the SNP absolutely talks to them.

“The rhetoric is left wing but the politics are centre ground. The SNP is New Labour with nationalism added and there’s no way an Old Labour offer is going to counter it. I despair at anyone who thinks that’s going to happen.

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Our Jeremy

September 6, 2015 at 9:01 am (anti-semitism, apologists and collaborators, fascism, labour party, Rosie B)

 From the Jewish Chronicle:

There is growing unrest within Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team over his approach to dealing with issues of concern to the Jewish community, the JC can reveal.

One well-placed source within his team said that the unwillingness to deal “head-on” with these issues had come from Mr Corbyn himself.

The reluctance, according to the source, was because the frontrunner in the Labour leadership campaign was “partly casual about Jewish concerns, partly [because he knows] hostility to ‘Zionist neocons’ plays well to his constituency”.

Media interest in Mr Corbyn’s association with Holocaust deniers, antisemites and other extreme figures has grown in the past three weeks since the JC posed a series of questions for him to answer.

Another senior Corbyn campaign member indicated this week that the issues raised by this newspaper were not being taken seriously by Mr Corbyn and his team and said some within the team have grown concerned at the Islington North MP’s reluctance to speak in more depth publicly about the Jewish community’s concerns.

“This comes from Corbyn himself,” the source said.

 (After Eliot’s Macavity the Mystery Cat)

Our Jeremy’s an activist, he is the brand new hope,
As he pushes Labour to the edge of a slippery slope,
He is the Blairites’ nemesis, the Moderates’ despair
But when you try and pin him down, Our Jeremy’s not there.

Our Jeremy, Our Jeremy, opposer of austerity,
His rivals are so timid, and he’s full of temerity,
But when his friends say, Stone the Gays, he doesn’t really care
He suddenly goes deaf and dumb, no Jeremy’s not there,
Islamist mates say “Holohoax”, and he’s not au contraire,
They’re anti Israel, that’s enough, and Jeremy’s not there.

Our Jeremy’s not besuited, no he’s not poshly dressed,
His shirt lies open for us to see the collar of his vest,
He is the man of Islington, and when he’s holding forth,
His is the stripped pine wisdom that pours from London North,
His world view’s very simple, all wars are Nato’s fault,
And as for intervention – no, he will call a halt.

Our Jeremy, our Jeremy, there’s no one quite like Jeremy,
His followers worship him, yea, amen and verily,
You can see him on a podium, cursing Tony Blair,
But getting a straight answer – our Jeremy’s not there.

 He doesn’t live it large at all, politicking is his life,
He doesn’t go out giggng, or dining with his wife,
His idea of an evening off or joyous holiday,
Is standing at a rally, to damn the USA,
His mother marched down Cable Street, so he boasts with pride,
But he won’t detect a Fascist if a Fascist’s on his side,
At shirts of black and swastikas, his rants will fill the air,
But put them in a keffiyeh, and Jeremy’s not there.

Our Jeremy, Our Jeremy, aghastness from posterity,
That eager young politicos were dazzled by sincerity,
His beard is prophetic white, his frame ascetic spare,
But query his alliances, Our Jeremy’s not there.
And they say that all the Andies, Lizzes and Yvettes,
Will be cordoned in a hollow square and stripped of red rosettes,
And the old team of door knockers will be promptly chucked
And social democracy is well and truly fucked.

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