Category Archives: Civil Liberties

RELEASE: Thousands of republicans to protest the royal wedding through the charts

A GROUP of disaffected republicans are campaigning to get the punk classic God Save The Queen by The Sex Pistols to No.1 in the UK singles chart in time for the royal wedding.

The idea, which started out as a joke between a few friends, has gathered pace and now has almost 8,000 devotees on social network Facebook.

A spokesman for the Facebook group says they started the campaign because they are annoyed at the cost of the royal nuptials and the unbalanced coverage of the event by the media.

He said: “We were just fed up of seeing a constantly one-sided stream of sycophantic drivel from normally sensible news outlets – you’d think that the monarchy has universal approval if you were to watch and read Britain’s news at the moment.

“There are literally millions republicans in the UK who are having to sit through a daily torrent of pro-royalist guff and feeling like I do, that we have no right to reply”.

The group argues that “the Monarchy are completely contrary to the concept of democracy, and at a time when democracy is on the agenda via the referendum on AV, we believe that we should be discussing the future of this outmoded institution.”

“Many of us find the idea of being subjects pretty offensive, as well as the idea that somehow someone is better than you simply through birth.”

The plan to get the Sex Pistols to No.1 is latest in a line of campaigns to use Britain’s charts to make a political point, including the successful drive to get Rage Against the Machine to No.1 in a protest against the X Factor.

The spokesman continued: “We’re not expecting to reach the same levels of success of that campaign but we think this is a fun, non-violent and non-disruptive way to make our point that the voices of republicans in this country deserve a proper airing in the media.

“If this were to come off it would certainly bring a smile to the faces of republicans who will otherwise have to face the week of the wedding through gritted teeth.”

He added: “Besides, it appeals to the naughty school kid in us all.”

The single, which featured on the Sex Pistols only album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, was first released during ‘Queen Elizabeth IIs Silver Jubilee in 1977. The record’s lyrics, as well as the cover, were controversial at the time, and the BBC refused to play it.

It reached no.1 on the NME charts in the UK and made it to no. 2 in the official UK Singles Chart. This led to accusations by some that the charts had been fixed to prevent the song from reaching number one.

This time round the single is up against several other campaigns to get songs to No.1 for the week of the wedding. The tracks lining up for the top spot include Ghost Town by the Specials, Lansley Rap by MC NXTGEN and a song whose title is far too rude for a press release by internet favourites, Kunt & The Gang.

The group says it welcomes any competition that encourages debate on the future of the monarchy.

The spokesman added: “We think it would be brilliant if any of these songs were to hit the top spot, the fact that so many are may indicate a much needed return for the concept the protest song, music has always been such a good way to express ideas and a great way to create something people can rally around.”

And to those who might criticise the feeling behind the campaign, he said: “Good luck to them we say, they’re entitled to their view our only issue is that it’s getting 100% of the air-time.

“We’re sure most will be wheeling out the old chestnut of how much cash the existence of the Windsor House brings in to British tourism, but we love Britain, and we’re sure tourists would come to see our beautiful cities, magical countryside and brilliantly diverse people anyway.

“What makes Britain great is its people and their achievements. Many come to the UK for our history and that’s exactly what the monarchy should become!”

The group are asking people to buy God Save The Queen by the Sex Pistols from chart registered stores such as iTunes from Monday 18 April through to Sat 23 April.

More details can be found at the Facebook page

07954 887 968


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Filed under Activists, AV, Campaign, Civil Liberties, Voting Reform

AV; a No Vote From a ‘Meh’ Man

This May the British electorate face a choice as to whether they want to keep FPTP or adopt the AV system of elections for members of the lower chamber. Overall this as exciting a decision as helping Ken Barlow choose a tie, but the campaign has become a bit heated lately and wherever I sense an argument I’m straight in, as regular readers will well know (all one of you – hello mum).

The whole premise of the debate is being framed by ‘Yessers’, they will to you that AV represents a ‘fairer’ vote. They will tell you that AV is fairer, it is more democratic and as we get closer to the vote in May, that you’ll be more attractive to the opposite sex (probably).
In 2011, after a year of abuse the word ‘fair’ has about as much meaning as the word ‘progressive’ and an apology from Richard Keys. ‘Fairness’ as a concept is bloodied, bruised and begging to be left left alone, but still Yessers can sometimes talk like they have a monopoly on fairness.

However, let’s look at it this way, if you give everyone of voting age one vote each, with the candidate that gets the most votes winning, that sounds like a pretty fair type of democracy to me.

Some people live in areas that have large populations of voters for a single party, but that is democracy. It does not mean a vote has less value, it just means that in democratic terms that constituency/region should return a candidate for that party. In fact, if we want fairness shouldn’t we be giving candidates with bigger majorities a larger vote in parliament? (No, of course we shouldn’t)

It’s simply not the case that AV is fairer, as there is no set definition of fairness. What AV is, is an attempt by those who don’t like the results they get to change the system in their favour. If voters are too bunched up do something about boundaries (more on that later), do not chuck away a perfectly democratic system.

We need also to think about the potential results that we could have. We could end up (indeed we will end up) in a situation where a candidate who has the most votes is beaten by candidate who has mopped up second & third choices etc. How is it fair that the candidate who is wanted by the most constituents does not win the seat to someone who is no.2?

This is the real reason the Lib Dems want AV, it is not for fairer votes or to be more democratic, it is because they know they will benefit the most from 2nd options at a national level. A Tory is unlikely to put Labour as their 2nd option, they are likely to put a Lib Dem, a Labourite is unlikely to put a Tory as their 2nd option, they are likely to put a Lib Dem (bit less now I assume). The Lib Dems will campaign hard for AV because they believe it is they who will benefit most by mopping up 2nd options and this must be prevented.

If it were about democracy, do we believe they’d be going for AV in the lower chamber? Like it or not, the lower chamber IS democratic. If the Lib Dems cared so much about democracy, if they cared about reform would they not have held out when they were in a massively strong position during the coalition negotiations to have forced through real reform?

Why tinker with the lower democratically elected chamber whilst we still have the House of Lords? Much as Yessers will tell you that anyone against AV is a dinosaur, I want real reform to our parliament. I want a fully elected upper house, I’d also like to see the monarchy replaced, or at least having all political power (even ceremonial) stripped away (the latter is unlikely I know). We live in a society where many of those who make our laws are unelected, but we want to mess around with the elected lower house? Someone’s taking the piss. This is a fop to reform, designed basically to somehow draw a line under the expenses scandal, designed to essentially keep everything the same in Westminster, keep the Lords sitting, keep the whole thing ticking along much as it was before, when in the electorate there is a real hunger for change. I’d go so far as to say that not only is AV no fairer, it’s actually an insult to the electorate to offer up such a miserly reform, to waste tax-payer’s money like this. AV is a clever distraction from the real problems of Westminster politics. A no vote is the only possible answer to such an insult.

‘But if you vote no there’ll not be any future reform’ the yessers will tell you. Real reform is already dead, for a parliament at least. Real reform died when it was allowed off the negotiating table when the coalition was being formed, it was so easily put to one side one has to wonder if it was ever a real objective for those negotiating. Does anyone believe after what looks set to be a spiteful campaign about something that the electorate simply don’t care about that the same electorate will have any stomach for another referendum? When the press go to town on what a huge waste of money the referendum has been will there be any politician who will stand up and say ‘encore’?

No, reform, for this parliament, has been killed stone dead, it’s in the ashes of the purple ‘revolution’ of the election and it makes me angry that we’ll have yet another few years of unelected cronies being given jobs for the boys and having a say on our lives.

(Obviously, the real reform many yessers want is full PR, the fact that FPTP has worked relatively well for hundreds of years, is democratic and has never returned some God-awful extremist government and by and large keeps extremist candidates out of parliament is to be ignored. No, yessers want full PR, because many yessers are Lib Dems and Lib Dems like PR because it would give them the constant balance of power. PR isn’t being discussed but I raise it because it’s part of the debate. One day I’ll write a fuller blog on it, one day, maybe…)

Let’s not forget that AV, this vast step forward in democracy has been bundled in with a direct and unhidden attack on democracy. The bill for the referendum has been bundled up with a guillotine of 50-odd MPs from parliament, the reason is vague, ‘we need to level out boundaries’ (why? Different constituencies are very different, even the geography can impact on the MP’s role) ‘we need to save money’ is the other one you’ll hear, whilst exactly 50 new unelected Lords were sworn into the other chamber (this is actually amazing in its breath-taking arrogance). I may be stupid but more representation feels more democratic to me.

It stinks doesn’t it?

What else stinks has been the nasty, spiteful Yes2AV campaign, which has not only had to fire people for making islamophobic jokes in support of AV (I shit you not) but the campaign has so far been a consistent barrage of abuse, making out that anyone who is against AV is against democracy, against fairness, against reform, is stuck in the past, is a dinosaur, even linking no2av with such shits as Nick Griffin (again, I’m not joking). The vote isn’t until May and the yessers have got to this phase already.

The effect of this negative campaigning has been very real, it has changed me from being a simple no to AV with a big ‘meh’ to the whole thing, to a firm campaigner for the no camp.

One of my other major problems with AV is that for many Westminster is already too consensual, many don’t feel they have any real options. AV will help make Westminster even more one-dimensional. It will mean that candidates will spend too much time playing to second option voters more than their core vote, whose votes they will feel they can count on. It’ll be the bland leading the bland (well, only leading once you’ve factored in 2nd and 3rd votes). This is the exact opposite of what we want right now. The major parties have to be able to display their differences or we are at real risk of seeing swathes of voters move to the fringes. AV could well lead to those extremists doing well in the longer term as mainstream candidates become more homogenised, more like eachother, more bland to avoid dropping 2nd votes. I think that’s pretty bad for democracy myself, and it’s another reason I’ll be voting no.

The final consideration is more of a happy accident really, voting no will give Clegg a bloody nose, it will take us closer to a world we once again have a socially liberal Lib Dem party and much as it’s no reason to vote against AV, it’s an enjoyable extra benefit.

Let’s not get too hysterical because the electorate frankly don’t care, but join me in May in voting No 2 AV. Join me in giving those who would insult the electorate with this fop, this sorry little compromise, a slow clap for throwing away the chance for real reform. But mostly join me in holding the whole thing in the disdain it deserves.


Filed under Activists, AV, Cameron, Campaign, Civil Liberties, ConDems, Election, Expenses, Labour, Lib Dems, Liberals, Meh2AV, No2AV, Voting Reform, Yes2AV

Libertarians; we didn’t start the fire

Last night I find myself in a discussion with some libertarians and anarchists.

They’re quite a funny old bunch and despite the many lessons of history, and the fact they’re communicating on a medium invented at CERN, which receives billions in tax-payers money they seem quite happy to organise themselves into groups and troll around the interweb despite the irony of doing so.

Some of them are just plain old selfish bastards who resent having to pay tax, and others seem to see the state as arbiters of oppression and violence who make war. To some extent I can sympathise with the latter, our party went way too far in removing some civil liberties, not least the innocent civilians who, regardless of whether or not the wars were right or wrong or legal or not, were needlessly killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The state still tells us a lot of what we can do, what we can put in our bodies, when we can do some things like go for a drink or food, and a whole host of other things that frankly have sod all to do with government be they central or local.

However, much as I want a very different state, I do want a state and the reasons why can best be demonstrated using what I call the ‘fire engine test’.

Let’s imagine there is no state, and you’ve built a house (yourself or maybe bartered some mushrooms found near your house to get someone else to build it for you), let’s imagine you aren’t in some violent dispute with a new neighbour who has just rocked up and built a house right next to yours but a little closer to the mushroom patch leaving you no recourse with planning (as it doesn’t exist) and therefore using the pitchfork you have which you bartered from the blacksmith (obviously heavy industry can’t really exist without money so we’d be taking some steps backward technologically) as a weapon to defend home.

Let’s even imagine that the national grid can indeed function on allotment veg and so can the phones.

So we’re assuming you’re having a peaceful life, you’ve learned to be self-sufficient, and your garden looks quite nice.

Now, sorry to point this out my old chum but your house is on fire. Fuck me,  it’s up in smoke but who cares, just build a new one and without planning requirements you can even put on that tasteful stone cladding this time. Oh hang on, your family is in the house, and you still like them.  This is the point for you to go into your home and find that flammable piece of paper with the Fire Busters phone number on it (no 999 after all) and give them a call (I know, hoping they had a phone system that would work with yours). You tell them where you live; no postcodes as there’s no state to organise that kind of pointless rubbish, but the mushroom patch is well known so they know how to get there. So we’re conceding a lot here but there are 3 questions I can’t answer:

– Without properly funded roads how do they get to you?

– If they arrive are we hoping they’ve brought enough water as there won’t be a mains supply? (Which is a double whammy as on the dirt tracks the extra weight of the water would probably result in the engine becoming bogged down)

– Then how are you going to pay them when they’ve put the fire out?

If anyone can answer these questions they win a prize which is the right to fuck off to some crappy little island somewhere whilst the rest of us get on with being sane. Obviously they’ll have to build their own boats as the island won’t have an airfield or a proper dock, but should they make it good luck to them. I’m going for a nice walk on a state-built path and I’m going to enjoy it.


Filed under Civil Liberties, Libertarians, Nutters, The Wars

Before we start, we need to stop

So now we find ourselves in opposition.  This is a chance for us to reflect, to refresh and adapt in order to not only win a full majority in the next election, but for us to use that majority to make Britain a better country, a fairer country which supports those in need and gives each and every one the chance to succeed, whatever success is to that person, regardless of gender, class, colour, sexual inclination or lifestyle choice.  We must create a meritocracy in the truest sense of the word, as this not only is the fairest way, but if you really believe in the market then it is the best way.

The defeat has hurt, but despite fears (or in the case of much of the media, hope) that we would be wiped out we have stayed in touch.  We have lost a vast number of seats but we still lie second in terms of seats and votes.  Indeed, in the Local Government elections we managed to make gains, it’s clear that despite the best efforts of the media, Ashcroft and in so many ways, ourselves, the Labour Party is still one that is supported by millions and trusted by millions more.

So we have a chance. As I say, not just a chance to get back into government, but a chance to make changes for the better when we are back in government.  However, in order for this to happen we need to take this opportunity to make changes to ourselves.  We need to understand what people love about our party, what they like about it, what their expectations are, but we also need to understand our mistakes, our errors, what we’ve done wrong.  I think it’s clear that in many ways we ended up more in the business of government than in the business of being Labour, and in many respects we have lost our way.

What did we get wrong?  Well below is a lengthy (yet still not exhaustive, cripes I can go on), badly written and poorly thought out rambling prose that outlines some of the things we need to consider:

The Campaign
My views on this are covered my views on the campaign in this blog:

Civil Rights
I feel we lost sight of something that is a key pillar of the Labour movement, and this is that people are fundamentally good.  When Tony Blair came to office he promised to be tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime, but not ‘tough on everyone in case they might carry out a crime’.  Labour is now viewed by many as the party of the police state and this is a very sorry state of affairs.  We must review our strategy and our policy in relation to civil liberties. Of course I.D. cards are now dead (and I would have gone to prison rather than carry one), but areas of policy around watching, snooping and tracking people, keeping and their behaviour and then keeping databases on them have to be completely rethought out and in my view, simply got rid of.

We need to go further than just not taking civil rights away, we need to become the party that actively promotes freedom of the individual. 

This has to start from childhood, every child’s freedom of religion, freedom to receive a fully rounded education and progressive sex education programme.  In the interests of liberty, our party (and therefore our next government) must spend much less time cosying up to religious interest groups and to stop making concessions to them when passing laws against discrimination and we need to push forward against the growing influence from conservatism.

There are many other areas of civil liberties, (take AJ’s rows with David Nutt) where Labour have been heavy handed and conservative, and a full debate on the freedoms and rights that we should have, and the responsibilities that will be expected in return is key, and the results of this debate should make up a Bill of Rights for British Citizens, though of course that means we must be citizens first which brings me onto…

Electoral & Constitutional Reform
Firstly, we didn’t do enough to promote what we’d achieved in government in this area.  The removal of Hereditary Peers, the setting up assemblies in Scotland, Wales and London were great moves.  I guess we couldn’t shout about our achievements as our programme of electoral reform had stalled.  We stopped short of introducing a fully elected second chamber and this was a complete failure which will damage us going forward, the ConDem coalition could steal a march on us here and that will leave an indelible mark in the opinions of the electorate and will allow both parties to deliver a strong key message in forthcoming elections.

So how do we make ourselves the party that is for Electoral and Constitutional Reform? Do we need to be that party? Is reform needed? I guess we need to see what this Government does, maybe they’ll get all the reforms through and we’ll need make no further changes, though I doubt it.  I don’t have the answers. My personal view is that Lower Chamber should not use PR, and should instead use AV in order to maintain a constituency link.  The second chamber should return members based on region and should use full PR, even if that gives us some distasteful results.  After all, Griffin’s not done brilliantly now he’s an ‘official politician’.  I see the second chamber also playing a role in representing interests and groups, a house of specialists if you will, and a house where communities that aren’t set out by constituency border can also seek representation (see the blog about reorganising Labour and apply that I guess).

Personally, I want to see us as a republic with an elected Head of State, I find the idea of being a subject offensive, and this isn’t aided by the particular family we find ourselves stuck with as a monarchy being entirely loathsome.  Sadly, I cannot see us being able to remove the Monarch completely, but we can introduce reforms.  Firstly, we can trim the role of the monarch to being entirely cosmetic.  We’ve seen the ludicrous turn of events where we had to ‘activate the Queen’ and it’s nonsense, if we want to be a democracy they must play no role whatever in government, ceremonial or not.  Therefore, if we must keep the monarch they should be stripped of all constitutional power, their estate must be stripped back (including property and civil list) and their role should be confined to one of being an international ambassador.

However, the bigger issue here is that we are still subjects.  We must become full citizens with a bill of citizens’ rights and responsibilities enshrined in law.  What this is to include is up for debate, but I’d be keen to hear what other people think it should include.

Foreign Policy & the Wars
Now mentioning the wars tend to bring about the kind of BBC Have Your Say nonsense that I hate most about the internet, and no doubt if anyone bothers reading this the comments section will be filled with the kind of clever word-plays and unsupported allegations that this debate always brings about. These are that Nu-Liar-Bore, Tony BLIAR and Gordon the MORON are war criminals.  They’re not war criminals.

However, regardless of this Labour did take the country into an unpopular war using shitty evidence and justifications.  I believe that had Blair not made claims about WMD and had been honest about why he believed the regime needed to be toppled the opposition to this war would have been less vociferous, but still strident nonetheless.  Personally, I’m not opposed to interventionist foreign policy in order to topple murderous dictatorships, but it’s difficult to do that in one country and then be chummy with another despot from the country next door.

We then didn’t help ourselves by either allowing torture or not properly dealing with accusations of torture in the name of the ‘War On Terror’ and then being ludicrously one-sided around issues in the region.

I’m not sure how we deal with this.  We need to draw a line under the war and that maybe admitting our mistakes and apologising for them.  Blair’s never going to do this, but without the chalice of office around his neck maybe Gordon may be able to point to mistakes and make suggestions on what could have been better. We may also have to accept that we may not be able to elect a leader who is associated with the war, which could make a former Foreign Secretary a bad choice, unless he’s prepared to walk the line of a potentially career ending mea culpa.

Going forward we certainly need to set out the criteria for our withdrawal from both Iraq and Afghanistan, and in order to do this we have to understand what our objectives actually are. Is it stable democracy in both countries? If so (and I hope it is) then we could have troops stationed in both countries for some time.  Anything less will be a failure in my opinion.

However, this still leaves the question that we need to answer.  What do we want Britain to be in the larger world?  Do we need to let go of the myth that we are ‘Great’?  Do we need to be more isolationist, or more outward looking as a friend to countries all over the world?  Do we need to be closer to Europe or the USA, or (as I believe) become the bridge to Europe, not only for the USA but for many countries with which we enjoy close ties.

Pssst. As an aside, it seems clear to me that the USA is not really interested in Britain anymore (if it ever were), and I’d almost go so far to say that Obama has verged on being disrespectful – but maybe I’m still bitter because his present to Gordon was a Sex and The City box-set and a dog-eared Epcot Centre Guide Book.

Who we are in the world and our place in the international community are important points for debate, and I suggest we start with the question ‘what is it we want from international relations’?

Home & Immigration
As we explore who we want to be in the wider world, this surely means that we need to ask ourselves what we want Britain to be? What is it to be British? For me, I want Britain to be the most or one of the most liberal, most tolerant, most diverse, most caring whilst most pioneering societies in the world.

In order for this to happen we need to start shooting down some bollocks which is being preached unchallenged about immigration.  We do not need to tackle immigration; we need to tackle perceptions of immigration. Now I’m for open borders on principle and in terms of practicality. Firstly we need to accept the following and get the message out there in a meaningful way that our country is not full, our economy and services rely on immigration, our society is getting older and we will need immigration to service this fact and to make the required tax contributions needed to maintain it.

Now a lot of chat about immigration is bigoted, and a lot of it is self interested, and I hate the politics of self interest (which is why I cannot abide the Conservative party).  If there are working class ‘core Labour voters’ who think that immigration is an issue, then maybe they’re Labour because of self interest, just throwing it out there.  If they are, then they’re almost as loathable as a Tory.  Though breadline self-interest is considerably more understandable and defendable than the self-interest of the wealthy, who actively pursue policies to push the tax burden onto those that can least afford it, I still believe that empathy is one of the most admirable traits in a human whether they are rich or poor, and if you have empathy you can’t spout crap about ‘all them Eastern Europeans coming over here, where are they coming from’.

However, a lot of people do lack empathy, do put ‘them and theirs’ first and therefore do need persuading of the benefits of immigration.  A lot of the rhetoric that has come from the party lately has been about fighting or tackling immigration and it’s put the argument backwards (and frankly it pisses me off because it’s right wing nonsense).  We need to tackle this, we need to meet this head on and we need to make our argument, because the argument is there to be made (as anyone who has been following my Twitter feed will have seen me try to demonstrate).

Again though, as a party we need to investigate what our objectives are for British society.  In fact, this is our key question and if we don’t answer it, we’ll just be heading into another election with the winning of the election being our aim.

Personally, I think we need to set ourselves some goals.  I believe we need to strive further towards creating a true meritocracy. I believe we need to set ourselves the goal of having the highest standard of living and the highest minimum standard of living of any country in the world, bar none.

The Economy
Now I happen to believe that the city is a great asset for our economy and fully appreciate that the tax revenues generated will help us make a better Britain for everyone.  However, they’ve fucked us over.  Banks have to be made responsible for digging us out of the hole they dropped is in, they have to make sure that profits are not pushed as quickly as possible out of the companies and into their own pockets and they have to start acting with a bit social conscience.  Another day I’ll touch on the failure of the banking industry to communicate their role in society, but for now Labour need to understand their relationship with banking and with the markets and I believe they need to start by setting out a very clear new stance.  Government exists to serve the people and not the markets.  Whilst I accept the more than vital role that the markets play in the success of our economy, wealthy and influential organisations acting under the guise of ‘the markets’ must not have the right or the power to dictate to democratically elected governments through words or deeds, especially when we’ve just saved their arses .

Don’t get me wrong, people getting stupidly rich is totally acceptable, in fact I openly encourage it.  However, we need to reset our relationship with the markets, in fact I think internationally all governments do.  Therefore I believe Labour’s aim must be to ensure that Britain is not a slave to the markets, but has a more robust approach and seeks to work with the international community to make markets work for us.

We also need a more diverse range of successful revenue generating industries alongside banking and services.  We’re a well educated bunch with a history for leading the way in new technologies and new processes.  It’s not just about making stuff and building stuff in the industrial revolution, it’s also about new ways of organising.  We need to be the pioneering economy.  Our system of taxation and government support has to be geared to making Britain the leader in inventing, developing, delivering and then exporting new patents, new technologies and new processes.

Therefore economically I think, whilst ensuring that our goal for the highest general standard and highest minimum standard of living is our priority, having the economy which also delivers the highest number of self-made wealthy individuals should be top of our priority list.  We need to usher in a new age of entrepreneurial endeavour and success and we need to generate a buzz throughout our society based upon this.

The Environment
Well I believe this is intrinsically linked with the economy.  Again, we need to understand what our objectives are here.  There’s a lot of panic about how we confront the environmental crisis ahead of us (from people who aren’t too stupid to believe that there is one), but I sense an opportunity.  Whilst we’re ushering in a new age of entrepreneurial endeavour we must set our industries and inventors the goal of making Britain the greenest, most energy efficient and energy diverse society in the world whilst not compromising our way or standard of life (hey, I set the bar high), and then export the tech and skills that go with this to the world.

I also feel that a better, greener environment is not just about fighting global warming, it’s about creating greater energy independence for Britain, and therefore allowing us greater independence as a society combined with a reduced need to interfere internationally out of blind self-interest.

However, the greatest benefit will be a better standard of life, cleaner air and streets, hopefully fewer breathing & health problems combined with a skilled workforce generating cold hard cash.  Maybe I’m being idealistic and unrealistic here, but it’s something I’d love to see us pursue.

What now
Firstly, STOP. We need to stop with the initiatives, we need to stop the campaigning, we just need to stop, we need to think, and we need to plan.  And before we start planning, start policy making, start trying to win the next election, and hopefully start being a high quality opposition (for a short time) we have to answer a couple of fundamental questions, without answer to these an election victory will be an empty one, simply for the sake of winning an election.  For me these questions are ‘what is our place in the world’, but the biggest question that we must answer, and without knowing the answer we’ve lost our way is this, what is our objective for society?

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Filed under Activists, Campaign, Civil Liberties, David Miliband, Ed Balls, Ed Miliband, Election, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Labour, The Wars