Who would have known that Nick Clegg was such a prophet? Long before he joined the Tories in a governing coalition he had predicted that ill-conceived austerity measures could lead people to riot. But if he was so certain, woudln’t that suggest that he triggered the riots by furnishing the circumstances under which he predicted they would happen?
Posted at www.andyworthington.co.uk on 26.3.11
Today was the long awaited TUC-led “March for the Alternative” in London, calling for jobs, growth and justice, in the face of the savage programme of public sector cuts imposed by the Tory-led coalition government, which I have been covering since October in a series of hard-hitting articles under the heading, Battle for Britain: Fighting the Coalition Government’s Vile Ideology.
Those of you who have been following my work closely will understand that I was not able to be on the march today, as I’m in St. Thomas’ Hospital, where I’m undergoing treatment for a serious and painful blocking of the blood supply to the toes of my right foot, caused by arterial damage. However, with my magnificent overview of the march from the 11th floor window of my hospital room, overlooking the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge and today — crucially — the Embankment, where the march began at 12 noon, I’m able to confirm that this was undoubtedly the biggest protest I’ve ever seen, with the noble but ultimately doomed exception of the February 2003 demonstration against the Iraq War, which, with an estimated two million attendees, was by far the largest protest in British history.
by Brenda Heard
‘With me you have a prime minister whose belief in Israel is indestructible’, David Cameron assured over a thousand supporters of a private security organisation that polices the English Jewish communities. While his commitment has long been common knowledge, his word choice underscores the need for concern.
When we say we ‘believe in’ something, we are making a personal value judgement. Whether we ‘believe in’ God, or we ‘believe in’ drinking five litres of water a day, the phrase means that we think the concept is valid. The British Prime Minister’s word choice points to a political phenomenon: Israel has never been a traditional state as much as it has been an ethos. From the beginning, the Israeli project has been an ideology imposed at the expense of those whose only fault was to have been caught unawares on a coveted land.
Indeed the whole of Cameron’s speech, which can be read here, exudes a passion for a conceptual people under siege. Cameron thus describes his belief in the Israeli project as ‘indestructible’—defensively and defiantly ‘indestructible’.
Neil Clark has an article in The First Post warning of the neoconservative orientation of the inevitable Cameron led Tory government. The piece repeats similar arguments made by the author in the Guardian back in 2005. In my opinion Clark tends to overstate the neocon influence in the Conservative Party and exaggerate the divergence between the neocons and the more conventional right-wing Tories. After all, none of Cameron’s neocon friends have foreign policy related front bench posts, whilst those that do – William Hague and Liam Fox – are pro-war Atlanticists but not really neocons in the strict sense. Still it is worth reminding ourselves that the Henry Jackson Society neocons are as potentially dangerous as they are actually nauseating. Here is Clark’s article in full:
The Iraq war is widely discredited. George W Bush and Tony Blair are both out of office. Barack Obama has talked of a “new beginning” in his country’s relationship with the Islamic world. Surely it’s game over for the neocons, the small group of hardline hawks commonly held responsible for the US-led attack on Iraq in 2003?
Don’t bet on it. If, as bookmakers believe, an overall majority for the Conservatives in the next election is a racing certainty, then the proponents of ‘Shock and Awe’ will once again be back in the corridors of power in Britain.
To understand why the neocons would be in such a strong position if David Cameron does make it to Number 10, we need to go back to the autumn of 2005, the time of the last Conservative party leadership election.