From New Labour To Hard Labour

In the row over public sector pensions which led to tens of thousands of workers going on strike today, the Tories have behaved as you’d expect: with threats and continuing to turn the word ‘fairness’ into newspeak. You would think, however, that the party whose roots are entrenched in the labour movement, hence the name ‘Labour’, would be sympathetic, if not supportive of the public workers’ battle to secure the pensions which compensate for poorer salaries than those in the private sector.

But alas, the Labour leadership has shown no sign of returning from the centre-right ground staked out by Tony Blair. For all the taunts of ‘Red Ed’ and suggestions of radicalism, Ed Miliband is not so much Marx as Milquetoast: an ineffective leader who put himself in the ridiculous position of attempting to bash the Government while offering absolutely no support to to the striking workers, calling the strikes ‘wrong’:

Labour leader Ed Miliband has delivered a blunt message to striking teachers and council workers: “You’ve made a mistake.”

Addressing the Local Government Association conference at the ICC in Birmingham, Mr Miliband said: “I understand the anger of workers who feel they are being singled out by a provocative and reckless government.

“But I also believe this strike is wrong. Negotiations are on-going and it was a mistake to go on strike.”

And days earlier, Ed Balls adopted the mantle of concern troll by telling mutinous workers that striking would just play into the Tories hands, and so they shouldn’t strike:

Ed Balls has urged public sector workers not to strike over the government’s planned pension reforms saying: “The trade unions must not walk into the trap of giving George Osborne the confrontation he wants.”

Between the two of them, the Eds illustrate exactly why people did decide to take industrial action – because if they didn’t stand up and fight for their rights, who would? Certainly not this awful Labour Party that has never been less worthy of the name. Tony Blair created ‘New Labour’, perhaps the current incarnation should be called ‘Hard Labour’.

UPDATE: Paperback Rioter has a good piece up giving background to the whole sorry situation and showing what a crock the Tory and Miliband positions are,

The Ratfucking Begins in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Republicans get right down in the mud to thwart the will of the people, by planning to crowbar spoiler candidates into the Democratic primaries for the recall elections.

Yesterday, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel uncovered a new dirty trick that some Wisconsin Republican leaders are encouraging among their members. In a letter obtained by the paper, Dan Feyen, the chairman of the 6th Congressional District Republican Party, instructs his “fellow conservatives” to run spoiler candidates in the primaries for Democratic candidates. Referencing the recall election of Sen. Randy Hopper (R), Feyen argues that a primary would allow an extra month until the general election, which would give Republicans time to organize.

Short of waving a magic wand and wiping the public’s memories of the last few months, I’m struggling to see exactly what Republicans could do with that potential extra month to somehow convince voters that they deserve to represent them.

 

 

 

The Real Jane Hamsher Isn’t A Pretty Sight

Mike Elk shines a light on the vicious, narcissistic, lying bully that is Firedoglake’s founder.  He reveals that Jane Hamsher, far from being a tireless defender of the little man, is actually anti-union. This kerfuffle began when Elk objected to Hamsher going to bat for Arianna Huffington against bloggers who organised a boycott against the Huffington Post after Huffington sold the HuffPo to AOL without them seeing a penny of the money.

Now, I’d like to make it clear that while I support the idea of a HuffPo boycott, it’s for their disgraceful journalistic standards – such as writing ‘health’ articles promoting the long-since debunked vaccine scares – and not for profiting from her tacky website while the bloggers received nothing.  Elk and the other bloggers willingly gave their services free of charge when asked, and so Huffington did not exploit their labour or cheat them out of money they were due, as they claim. But it nevertheless shows that Jane Hamsher isn’t the staunch supporter of the little man against privileged elites she likes to pretend she is.

As for the exchange Elk has with her, well, it’s classic Jane Hamsher: for starters, she is deliberately dishonest about what he writes and distorts it to cast herself as the victim:

On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 5:43 PM, Mike Elk wrote:

Wow Jane you’re the name caller and I’m the one with no ability to conduct analysis.

You just have no shame Jane and I defended you when people in the labor movement called you a Botox liberal

On May 12, 2011, at 6:22 PM, Jane Hamsher wrote:

So now you’re making mysoginistic [sic] slurs on top of it all:  “botox liberal.”

It’s embarrassing when people like you try to call yourself “liberals.”

Of course, anyone with a 5 year old’s level of literacy can see Elk did nothing of the sort, in fact talked about defending her from other people who called her that. She proceeds to attack him with slurs about mental illness, knowing full well Elk has Asperger’s syndrome, which he calls her out on. To which he gets this response:

On May 12, 2011, at 5:39 PM, Jane Hamsher wrote:

You don’t have “analysis,” you’re either a liar or you have no ability to discern the truth.

You can’t blame either on asperger’s syndrome.  That’s not a symptom.  Your reflexive crouch into tribalism and “poor me” to excuse reprehensible behavior is really feeble.

This may be due to the fact that you’re incredibly sick, and unable to discern reality.  In that case I wish you the best, and hope you’ll seek help.  Failing that, you’re just a liar and a bad faith artist.  But this list is not a place for you to be working through either of those issues.

Self-awareness is not Hamsher’s strong point. It’s she who ‘crouches into tribalism’ and self-pity to excuse her own appalling behaviour, as she is doing in the very same email that she accuses Elk of this. Elk attempts to be civil, and never actually insults her – he merely says he wouldn’t want her to be his shop steward, an opinion fully justified by Hamsher’s anti-union activities which are the subject of Elk’s post – and she reveals herself to be an extremely nasty human being.  Afterwards, Hamsher sends one of her cult members to send Elk a “You’ll Never Work In This Town Again” email. I have friends on Twitter who have reported receiving this threatening treatment from Hamsher subordinates after daring to call her out loudly and boldly, so this too can be chalked up to typical Hamsher behaviour.

It goes without saying that “it’s embarrassing when people like” this pathetic excuse for a human being “try to call themselves liberals”, not Elk.