Pythonaro blog

22 October 2009

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi Is The Perfect Example Of Why The BNP Can Win

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the current Tory Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion, exemplifies why we will always have racist and intolerant fringes in any civilized country.

Her Pakistani parents were allowed to settle in Britain and prosper, so much so that she could go to university in Leeds (when tuition fees were capped, by the way, thanks to public subsidies), then attend the York "Collage" [sic] of Law and rise among the ranks of a Tory party desperately looking for credibility with previously-shunned Asian communities. She's one of the sharpest careerists in the country, and was recently nominated as the most powerful Muslim woman in Britain by a magazine poll.

So you have this fantastic example of positive immigration/integration/equality story, a first-generation Pakistani-English woman (!) making waves in a traditionally white/male-dominated right-wing party.

Then she goes on TV, in a debate with the leader of the Inbred Party, and she says "we need to have a cap on immigration numbers, we need to drastically reduce the amount of immigrants". In other words, she wants to stop other people from enjoying the sort of opportunities that her parents (and herself) enjoyed.

The astonishing short-sightedness of her statements would be ironic, if it weren't so incredibly sad. It fits very well in a certain stereotypical profile: the American Bush-supporting hardcore Republican with an unmistakably Italian or Irish surname; the Italian member of the Northern League with a Southern face and lots of money from Northern businesses; the Israeli farmer with a Russian accent that won't let Palestinians work his land... Even my Italian-Japanese wife, who studied and settled in Britain thanks to EU subsidies, constantly falls in this sort of rhetorical trap, this idea that there is an emergency (there isn't), social services are collapsing (they aren't), and the country is too full of people (it isn't), so we have to "defend" our hard-earned wealth by kicking out a few poor souls who are slightly different from "us". We "made it", and we have to stop people from competing with us on an equal foot. Jesus and his thing about casting stones has to be "temporarily" put aside.

All this clearly illustrates the age-old concept that the last minority to be oppressed is often the first to oppress another, when given the opportunity. Baroness Warsi, in her political brinkmanship, is playing the inbreds' own game. The inbreds' leader Nick Griffin lost the personality battle tonight (he was clearly shaking and twitching throughout the entire programme, and was forced to admit his dabbling in racist and fascist ideologies), but he won the political battle: a tired Jack Straw was at pains to point out that Labour did not start any policy of migration and inclusion, Baroness Warsi clearly illustrated Tory policy as "inbreeding light" (on the much-exalted -- and highly discriminatory -- Australian model, also recently introduced in the UK by the Labour government), and the very intelligent LibDem guy kept as silent as he could on the subject. No one dared to defend the right of future generations to enjoy the same (very few) opportunities as previous ones, the right to fairness. They all waxed lyrical on the rights of current minorities not to be gassed and deported, but not one word was spent on the minorities of tomorrow. This was a political Dunkerque.

Mainstream parties, if they really want to tackle the inbreds, cannot linger in their trenches; they must get to the offensive. The real problem is how to stop people fighting across racial lines what it's always been (and will always be) first and foremost an economic battle for wealth, a war among the poor. This concept has been lost when traditional Socialism was banished from politics in the 90s, but it's the only way to keep tribalist tendencies at bay. Unless we get back to it, the inbreds will keep winning, because people like Baroness Warsi will always be happy to act as the inbreds' own tool.

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posted by GiacomoL @ 11:46 PM   0 comments links to this post

08 June 2009

My new meme

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posted by GiacomoL @ 12:50 PM   0 comments links to this post

30 May 2009

"Sigh. I really wish I could vote Labour, but..."

"...then they go and put Arlene McCarthy top of the ticket in the North West".
"Do you mean that Arlene McCarthy? The one who pushed so hard for software patents?"
"Yes, that Arlene McCarthy."
"Man, that must hurt."
"Indeed. And the other ones in the list look more of the same: people concerned mostly with the welfare of big business."
"But at least the campaign message will surely be about your 'sweet spots': fair opportunities, workers' rights, social Europe..."
"Er, no, actually. It's a riff on protectionist themes: fight for the UK, defend the country, etc. You would easily confuse them for BNP or UKIP material."
"I see."
"So it's gonna be Green again, I guess."
"F*ck me, the tree-huggers! Man, you even hate recycling schemes! Are you all right? Let me check your temperature..."
"Actually, their policies are quite sensible these days. They really get it on technology issues. They even have people in the Open Rigths Group."
"Well, ain't you a single-issue voter."
"Single-issue? Labour got it wrong on ALL the issues in the last few years: DRM, net filtering, open source, software patents... they even fought to be exempted from directives on workers' rights!"
"Yeah, but I mean, the enviro-nazi are full-on plane-haters..."
"I don't agree with their shenanigans on Heathrow either, but I think they started to understand that being anti-planes is a lost cause. And we do need more anti-nuclear activists, the original generation basically sold out to Blair."
"What about the Lib-Dems? Apart from Nick 'David Cameron wannabe' Clegg, they do have good people on."
"Yeah, I'm checking them out, but they always leave me underwhelmed. The best one they have, Chris Davies, is top of the ticket and is going to get a seat anyway."
"What about the Tories? David Cameron looks like a nice fellow."
"I'm actually worried by how much I agreed with the Conservative spokesperson on the last BBC Question Time, very intelligent man. But I'm still convinced they'll pull a GWB-style U-turn as soon as they are in government."
"And I guess you wouldn't consider UKIP..."
"Are you serious? Their motto is 'we're just xenophobes, not full-on racists like the BNP'. If they had free reign, I probably couldn't live here."
"That settles it, then. Not that I care, I'll campaign for the one with the bigger tits and beat your silly people anyway."
"Eh. Gotta run now, that's enough politics on the blog for at least another year. It's always so nice talking to you, Mr.Murdoch."

[UPDATE: If you still don't know who to vote for in UK constituencies, have a look at the Open Rights' Group page listing candidate positions on technology issues. It's fantastically simple and well-designed.]

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posted by GiacomoL @ 9:45 AM   1 comments links to this post

29 May 2009

BNP: the inbred party

I try not to worry about political issues too much these days, but this post is not really about politics. Comedy, rather.

David Ottewell, aggravated by people doubting the veracity of reports depicting BNP members as full-on racists, reposted part of their constitution.

  1. The British National Party represents the collective National, Environmental, Political, Racial, Folkish, Social, Cultural, Religious and Economic interests of the indigenous Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Norse folk communities of Britain and those we regard as closely related and ethnically assimilated or assimilable aboriginal members of the European race also resident in Britain. Membership of the BNP is strictly defined within the terms of, and our members also self define themselves within, the legal ambit of a defined ‘racial group’ this being ‘Indigenous Caucasian’ and defined ‘ethnic groups’ emanating from that Race as specified in law in the House of Lords case of Mandla V Dowell Lee (1983) 1 ALL ER 1062, HL.
  2. The indigenous British ethnic groups deriving from the class of ‘Indigenous Caucasian’ consist of members of:
    1. The Anglo-Saxon Folk Community;
    2. The Celtic Scottish Folk Community;
    3. The Scots-Northern Irish Folk Community;
    4. The Celtic Welsh Folk Community;
    5. The Celtic Irish Folk Community;
    6. The Celtic Cornish Folk Community;
    7. The Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Folk Community;
    8. The Celtic-Norse Folk Community;
    9. The Anglo-Saxon-Norse Folk Community;
    10. The Anglo-Saxon-Indigenous European Folk Community;
    11. Members of these ethnic groups who reside either within or outside Europe but ethnically derive from them.
  3. Membership of the party shall be open only to those who are 16 years of age or over and whose ethnic origin is listed within Sub-section 2

The Anglo-Saxon-Norse Welsh-Scottish and Norse-Irish Celtic "Folk Communities" didn't make the list; was it an oversight, or is it because everyone knows they're a bunch of lazy asylum seekers? I'd also be curious to understand how they can check these prerequisites before admission, but I guess this is an implementation detail.

What really matters, though, is the typical trademark of nazi paranoia: the obsession to precisely classify races on the basis of imaginary concepts. The classic result is this exact sort of documents, produced by people who fail to see the absurdity of their own statements and the self-offensive message they really communicate. What this document really says is that "BNP members are all inbred". I wonder if that is appealing to their target demographic.

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posted by GiacomoL @ 2:50 PM   0 comments links to this post

15 January 2009

"See the market and then die"

From medical journal TheLancet:

"Mass privatisation programmes were associated with an increase in short-term adult male mortality rates of 12·8%"

(via Astrit Dakli, who translates that percentage to real numbers: 1 million dead.)

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posted by GiacomoL @ 6:17 PM   0 comments links to this post

12 December 2008

On the Manchester Congestion Charge Referendum

Residents of Greater Manchester were recently called to vote on a proposal, which would have seen the introduction of a London-style "congestion charge" in exchange for improvements in public transport.

The results were announced today, and the plans were rejected by 79% of the voters. Turnout was about 53%, which is closer to recent General Elections turnout (about 60%) than Local Elections (about 35%).

I'd say this was a clear result. Consider this: the plans were strongly supported by all Labour-dominated councils, and opposed only by the few LiberalDemocrats- and Conservative-controlled councils (Trafford and Stockport). It's only because of LibDem and Tory opposition that the referendum was called, and even them were more or less persuaded to support the proposal (after obtaining the referendum).

When 80% of your own electorate votes against your proposals, it's clear that something doesn't work. The Greater Manchester area is a solid Labour stronghold, and it's been for generations. If the totality of local Labour councillors support a scheme which their own electorate so overwhelmingly despises, then there's something broken in the relationship between public opinion and elected representatives.

I used to live in a city with a similar situation; it used to be called "The Red Bologna", a city where communists and socialists dominated the political debate for more than 50 years. And then, "all of a sudden", a conservative mayor was voted in, to the shock of political elites only. They were now separated, arrogant, completely unable to understand their own voters and persuaded that they knew better than anyone else. It clearly was a long process, in a city so ideologically rooted in socialist ideology, but they didn't see it coming until too late.

I hope the local Labour councillors will get the message. Their progressive electorate will not tolerate new, wide-ranging regressive taxes which would only benefit a few private bus companies.

Please don't force us to vote you out; we'd rather not do it, if only you listened to us a bit more.

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posted by GiacomoL @ 3:26 PM   2 comments links to this post

05 November 2008

The American Dream is back

I left the office at the beginning of October saying "When I'm back, Obama will be the President Elect!"; people laughed and said it was too early to call. Well, I called the Democratic primaries for Obama in February; that was difficult.

Note: I'm slightly pissed off that the BBC is giving space to John Bolton.

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posted by GiacomoL @ 3:09 AM   0 comments links to this post

Back to the cold shores of England...

... and jet-lagged enough to follow yet another USA presidential show. After two episodes with villains winning, it's about time for the good guys to score one, or it will become a cliché.

Someone is liveblogging on dailykos, if you can't stand the usual round of useless TV pundits.

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posted by GiacomoL @ 12:53 AM   0 comments links to this post

05 February 2008

The Italian Politics Club

  1. The first rule of politics in Italy is that you don't talk about real politics in Italy.
  2. The second rule of politics in Italy is that you DO NOT talk about real politics in Italy. You can talk about "parties" and have endless ideological debates, but absolutely DO NOT try to actually solve problems by enacting policies. People could get angry.
  3. The third rule of politics in Italy is that if someone can't pass a minor law on whatever minor useless subject, the Government is over.
  4. Fourth rule: at least three or four "parties" involved in any trivial discussion or commission. This guarantees instability and respect of the second rule.
  5. Fifth rule: try to fight at the same time with as many people as possible, especially if members of your own government. This will help to apply the second and third rule.
  6. Sixth rule: try to look and act the same as all your colleagues in politics. Otherwise you will be marked as "fesso" (stupid) and you will be ignored.
  7. Seventh rule: governments shouldn't last more than a couple of years at best. Again, this guarantees rule 2 and 3 are respected.
  8. Eighth and final rule: if this is the first time you try to understand Italian politics, you have to get dragged in endless arguments about the role of the Roman Catholic Church and the Mafia and the Big Money People, to conclude 5 hours later that you are absolutely powerless to change anything and the only answer is a south-american-style secular dictatorship that can kill the Pope, burn down the Vatican, put the Mafia in charge of enacting laws in the South, and nationalise all industry.

Note: this is my last post on the subject.

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posted by GiacomoL @ 11:53 AM   4 comments links to this post

25 January 2008

What "taking control of the means of production" really means

BBC NEWS | Wales | Miners' proud march from colliery. 13 years ago, 240 miners bought out "their" mine from the incompetent and greedy management (who wanted to shut it down as "unprofitable"). They managed to be profitable just after a few months, and earned their families a comfortable living for 13 years, until the mine was really depleted.

When the workers control the means and ways of production, things will work. This is inspirational.

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posted by GiacomoL @ 5:55 PM   0 comments links to this post