I know times are hard for a lot of people, and Christmas makes them harder than ever on the financial front, so I hope you don’t mind me using this pre-Christmas blog to ask regular visitors to chip in for a good cause – no, not (this time) Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, or any of the mental health charities I support, but LabourList, which does a good job in giving Labour politics and values a proper hearing online, helping to challenge the far better organised and resourced online presence of the Right.
Mark Ferguson from LabourList made an appeal for funds earlier this week, having found a generous donor who will matchfund anything raised through this appeal BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. So he has asked me to send out a fresh appeal on LabourList, which is going out today, and which I repeat here.
LabourList is an important resource for the Labour movement, but it needs to survive and thrive. We can’t go back to the days when the right went unchallenged online. Your support will ensure that doesn’t happen. If you enjoy reading LabourList, please help to sustain it.
Donate by midnight tonight to see your donation doubled:
Best wishes, and Merry Christmas, Alastair Campbell
Ps, apologies for the failure to put up recent comments. Technical issues, which technical people are sorting.
Pps, thanks for the interest in my first ebook, out next month, called The Happy Depressive, on which I tweeted when recording the audiobook earlier in the week. Some of you asked questions I couldn’t answer – like can you get from overseas, and does it have a cover, and all sorts of stuff beyond my eknowledge. I am mugging up. I am told it is the future!
“We can’t go back to the days when the right went unchallenged online”. And we’re not going back to the days when this sort of tosh went unchallenged online.
There are now – and always have been – plenty of left leaning websites. If LabourList can’t attract enough revenue to keep going then it will, deservedly, disappear. It’s called good old market forces by which, like it or not (and some don’t) we all live.
The dominance of the right in the written media is the bigger problem. Most of the papers sold are the Sun and the Mail which are far right newspapers. That’s before going into the Star, Express and Telegraph.
Are there any “left wing” sites out there?
There is plenty of support for “10 o’clock live show” type leftists ie those who support big government, authoritarianism, elites-no-best, send-everyone-to-uni, ‘help’ everyone get a giant mortgage, subsidise-all-the-non-producers-so-the-producers-go-to-china types.
Not much evidence of proper left wingers ie anti-authoritarian, pro democracy, pro the working man (not the posh/middle class studying man), anti bank bailout, anti sovereign debt bailout, pro default, and most importantly anti EU.
Would happily support the latter. Till then both the left wing and right wing voices in my head are telling me the right is the place to be in order to support the poor and the weak versus the antidemocratic authoritarian elite ie the EU.
” The online dominance of the Right” is presumably because all those nasty Tories possess : all the means of production of computers, all the sales outlets, airwaves and landlines, all the means of distribution and exchange of computers,and the best system of control of the computer industry. Thus fewer Labour supporters have access to the new technology. Giving generously to LabourList.org will change all this.
(Excuse me for saying so, but if there is a meaningful readership on LabourList.org, the number who pass comment would suggest that they are a very benign bunch. I am sure you are too modest to tell us the number of hits they get compared with your site?)
The truth of the matter is that the mindless following of party manifestos and mantra is of less and less interest to the public. That is why the public voted for a coalition government. With coalition the excesses are removed from party politics.
The electorate is no longer interested in the rabid politics of previous generations and the sooner this fact is embraced the better.
What is the real left to right spectrum of the british press? I suppose it depends if you are talking economically or socially right wing.
I think in terms of economics it goes (left to right):
Guardian, Mirror, Independent, Times, Sun, Mail, Express, Telegraph.
I think the Telegraph is the only one that is quite right wing economically though it is not really left wing as I bet it supported the bailouts.
Tory strengths are disciplined organisation, while Labour-esque strengths is imagination and thinking out of the box. Torys tend to sit on seats growing their fat behinds while bumping their gums at anyone that passes, while we get up and do something physical about it. That is what makes us a marvellous country, chalk and cheese generally getting along, and all that bullshit.
….. “Can’t attract enough revenue”….. or could that equate to ‘won’t attract or accept it from certain sources’?
It’s a filthy pretence that market forces sustain only what (and all that) should be sustained and that anything else ‘will, deservedly, disappear’ – or was it just an exercise in / demonstration of punctuation?
The public did not vote for a coalition
The public voted for a minority govt
Liberals 57 which ‘achievement’ was actually down by 5 overall
The public was cheated by a cynical weak user whose motive was more about not wanting to be part of an even smaller third party representation than he’d had before
Interesting to hear via Bone’s question this week that if anything untoward happened to Cameron Clegg might be down the chute.
Left v Right politics is largely irrelevant these days imho. This view/opinion is reflected in the last general election results.
I would go even further however and say that L v R politics has always been irrelevant to the way in which this country is really run!
Just consider for a moment what is ever really achieved in the long term by any one party? To put it rather basically and simplistically it goes something like this: The Tories in government concentrate on capitalism and big business whilst at the same time allowing things like schools and hospitals to become run down. Labour get in and do some good on restoring run down schools and hospitals back up to an acceptable level. But always end up overspending and making the number of people dependent on the (nanny, over-controlling) state higher. e.g. Just bear in mind that when you go to see your GP
however nice and amenable they may be, they are not your Doctor.
They are the Government’s Doctor and as such carrying out Government orders! Give a thought to the multi-million pound, powerful drug-cartels who have a huge influence on any government.
Over a period of time the effects of governments of whatever so-called ideological bent, balance each other up and things go on in much the same old way. Nothing really changes in any major or important way. The status quo is always maintained and society remains very unequal. The Labour party no longer even pretend to represent the ordinary working class people.
So over the course of a hundred years or so things political go on pretty much in the same way. Labour and Tories taking it in turns to ‘rule’ the country. Well I don’t buy into this infantile system any longer. Left and Right political parties are merely an invention of the really ruling, but still largely hidden, wealthy elite. It was ever thus.
Left v Right was invented purely to give us plebs something to argue about between ourselves. It keeps us ‘the little people’ conveniently occupied and distracted from the way things are really run and of course also gives the illusion that we live in a democracy.
‘With coalition the excesses are removed from party politics.’
I don’t know whether you’ve noticed it but ‘the coalition’ is Tory-dominated. Its excesses have not been removed by the presence of LibDems in government, merely aided and abetted. If Margaret Thatcher were not afflicted by her dreadful medical condition (for which I can extend sympathy, if not much else in her biography) she would probably be envious of Team Cameron. It seems ludicrous that nearly two years ago Nick Clegg was holding himself up against Cameron and Brown as a new kind of politician. He can’t even give a straight answer to the question of who will be in charge if the PM should happen to die.
Why was my post removed? I guess old habits die hard for a commissioner in the Brown/Blair thought police.
I think the right is the new grass roots, thats why it does well online.
The left has moved to the side of the establishment, help the bankers, help the giant government, help the unis. This culminates in the BBC and Channel 4. Granted there are more rightwing newspapers, but the BBC is a massive foe to fight, so the right need the internet too.
Also the internet represents freedom. The left want control, see David Mitchell and Bob Crow and their 1p per email tax!
So obviously the right will flourish in a medium of freedom.
This is why the Chinese, the Egyptians, any antidemocratic organisation hates the internet. How long before the EU starts hammering the internet? They’ll be on it, you mark my words.
The public was not cheated, rather your Labour party felt cheated because Clegg would not get into bed with GB and preferred the Tories. You wouldn’t be whinging now if the coalition government was made up of Labour and Lib Dems as it would have been a case of needs must by your miscreants.
Get over it and work out how you’re going to displace the coalition instead of going on about the past.
Get over yourself, hen, coalition is a very viable moderator of politics, and 2010 was not a time to start a series of general elections brought about by a series of weak minority government(s).
There is no doubt that the situation in May 2010 allowed Clegg to enter coalition “in the national interest”, and that was the once in three generation chance of Lib Dems getting into power. If Labour does not get it’s finger out there is every chance that the Lib Dems will be reestablished by 2015, and Labour marginalised.
We need the strongest of oppositions at the moment, showing viable alternative policies, and winning public trust back. Instead we have a rabble going backwards in the polls, not being able to resist Clegg bashing on the one hand and then appealing for Lib Dems to join Labour. It is all Balls!
The office of DPM is a nothing job as we all kn ow. Did you really think that if anything had happened to TB when he was PM, Two Jags would have taken over?…………(ponder a mo to reflect on what GB would have had to say about that!)
‘So obviously the right will flourish in a medium of freedom.’
‘Freedom’ always has to be qualified – freedom of who from what to do what. Abstract ‘freedom’ has long been a keyword of the Right – it sounds good but really means freedom to exploit, rip off, oppress, con, indoctrinate and generally secure the rich, privileged and powerful against having to share the social product with ‘the masses’.
It’s more that the two leading newspapers that sell the majority of copies – are far right newspapers in the Daily Mail and the Sun. Then you’ve got Desmond’s papers that are socially right wing. That only leaves the Mirror and the Guardian from the left and the Indy more from the middle and less bias.
There’s a bit distortion between left and right.
I’m not sure I agree with that.If I were to define freedom, and I know there is a lot of ambiguity in practical terms, but the ideal would be:Freedom to do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else.
Some are easy. I’d give people the freedom to sniff glue or take drugs if they want.But I’d also want to give people freedom from the effects of drug dealers and users.
You say that freedom helps people get rich without any compulsion to share with the masses. If you are talking about our present system I would agree with you, but I wouldn’t call it freedom. That is why I believe the Right are correct.I should add that people like George Bush and David Cameron are very definitely nowhere near the right.
Giant companies and the already-wealthy certainly have things sewn up in our system. Helped by what they call the ‘useful idiots’ in the labour party, and the left of the tory party, and the EU (though I think the EU know what they are doing) they set up what economists call ‘green belts’ to create barriers to entry to new small competitors. This is in the form of regulations, which are always effectively a subsidy to big business. Big companies love regulation.
However mainly freedom to me is to do with civil liberties. The closest we’ve seen to a free country is America. Freedom to go about your business without being controlled or hassled by the government. The people should rule the government not vice versa. Therefore I’ve always supported their right to bear arms, as its the best guarantee of freedom, the best protection against fellow citizens and the government trying to harm them or steal from them.
I think true capitalism offers the best chance of freedom, and is the best way of distributing the social product among the masses as you put it.
In capitalism, the only way for someone to become rich would be to provide goods and services that other people benefit from. He wouldn’t be able to charge too much in a free system, because competitors could enter the market and undercut him. This is difficult in our socialist system, impossible in some sectors.
If the guy wants to get rich he’ll have to expand his business. To do that he’ll need workers and he’ll need to pay them enough to persuade them to work for him of their own free will.
The bigger he gets the more workers he’ll have to employ and the more good value products and services he’ll have to deliver, for people to freely buy under no pressure from him or the government.
Hmmmm …. trying new email add and slight ID change in hopes of dropping the whatif glitch.
Late reply; inability to nip in and wish all a Merry Xmas.
I do wish you would stop telling people what they think, have the modesty to mention that it’s what you think they do or admit it’s what you would feel like if in their circumstances.
You miss the point as usual; mine about Bone was not about the impossibility of Clegg inheriting Cam’s job, rather about the real resentment from some more-honest (and bone-headed) Tories about the coalition itself because of what it’ll cost them along their own careers.
Prezza was not a dummy deputy; he didn’t just have the title like a mayoral necklace . He had proper responsibilities that he was best equipped to know how to deal with, linking infrastructures that mattered so much to each other and to the whole country but which had been allowed to fracture and separate during the preceding long looong 18yrs (during yet another idealogical rather than practical/efficient period).
I would not have wanted Clegg in coalition with Labour and his stupid naivete (that he could possibly have the right to demand that GB would step down as his price for joining forces) actually makes me sick.
His final spoonful of just desserts will be in full public view from the dismissive Cam/Osbo and I’ll be one of few not laughing when it happens; it’ll be too serious a time.
A few Libdems have done very nicely for themselves and very few have even voted against their Tory masters. Get over it.
Share the reply to ‘libdem’ and if you’re at a loose end try to find a single instance of me supporting what has become of
It’s the saddest of ironies that having been handed the balance of power cowardly Clegg was incapable of using it and has actually given it away.
Much PR is happening in ‘govt’ at the mo including pretence about Alexander LoL. NONE of what has been improved/agreed since Nov 30th would have, had the ultimate (and distasteful) weapon of strikes not been used.
It’s more likely you are looking for something on the wrong thread or in the wrong ‘Reply’ cache; having got on it’s unlikely to be chucked off …… you’re not on the Toxigraph’s version of Disqus here.
Thanks Michele, the post was put up, then it disappeared, but then it appeared again – it was due to the technical issues that AC mentioned elsewhere that he had on the site just before christmas.
I wish there was an email facility so that I could know when someone replies to me by the way… is there?
Yes the toxigraph and indeed the grauniad seem to remove more posts than AC! 🙂