Keith Starmer’s alternative Labour Party speech

[Responding to applause] Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Here we are at the Labour Party conference 2022 - and thanks to the Tory party appointing simple maths misunderstanding incompetents - on the cusp of being elected the UK's government. 

I'll let you into a secret conference. I am the Establishement's man (more on that later). What I want to tell you right now is that I will govern, WE will have a Labour govenment looking after the Capitalists' interests through the hard times ahead until the Conservatives can take over again, after the hard times ahead, with an almost sane leader. 

Yes, I promise to you conference that you can depend on me to look after the rich and powerful just as the Tories do while they take a break and duck out of the total chaos that they've caused. And I say clearly to you conference, that I am proud to do this work for the rich and powerful, to be their servant, to keep them safe while I perform my caretaking role for Capitalism. 

It has been a long road for me to achieve power and I want to thank those that have helped me. I particularly want to thank the Labour officials who were so hostile to and totally undermined the previous leader. And I particularly want to thank the Zionists. 

I know that all of you in this hall, in this party can't say that word Zionist - that ist forbidden - but I can because I'm leader. So thanks to all the Zionists that hounded out the previous Labour leader and his supporters so that I was able to expell them for being opposed to Zionist apartheid, for being Socialists and anti-racist.(2) We can't have any of them in this party, this is a new era, we are at the centre of UK politics, we are New Labour, the New Red Tories.   

We are in a new era conference. You will be aware that I thanked the Zionists by installing a former Israeli spy into the centre of Labour Party activities, actually a member of 8200 Unit, to spy on you members and pursue the interests of Israel.(1)

I am in thrall to Israel - but don't you dare call me a Zionist - dat is forbidden. As I said I am an Establishment man but unfortunately, what I have yet to realise is that the Establishment moves very slowly but ever so occasionally has seismic shifts. I still have yet to realise that the UK establishment may not be too pleased with me being so in thrall to a foreign state and installing a former Israeli spy in my office. 

As I finish this sermon, I ask you all to join me in singing the National Anthem ... 


(1) Also responsible for rapid rebuttal according to the job description. 
(2) This is all well documented by al Jazeera in their 2 investigative reports 'The Lobby' and 'The Labour Files'.



Continue ReadingKeith Starmer’s alternative Labour Party speech

What nationalising energy companies would cost – and how to do it

UK could bring National Grid and retailers in-house and build public renewable energy, says ex-Labour policy chief

Andrew Fisher

17 August 2022, 12.01am

Image of banknotes and a prepayment meter key by Lydia, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Republished from OpenDemocracy under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.

When 62% of Conservative voters want energy run in the public sector, it’s fair to say the left has won the argument (75% of Labour voters agree, 68% of Lib Dems).

Yet public ownership is opposed passionately by the Conservative government, while the leader of the opposition has said he is “not in favour” of it – despite his election on a platform that committed to “bring rail, mail, water and energy into public ownership to end the great privatisation rip-off and save you money on your fares and bills”.

Public ownership is on the media’s radar, too. When Labour leader Keir Starmer announced his policy to freeze bills this week, he was asked why he wouldn’t also nationalise energy, replying that: “In a national emergency where people are struggling to pay their bills … the right choice is for every single penny to go to reducing those bills.”

But so long as energy remains privatised, every single penny won’t. Billions of pennies will keep going to shareholders instead.

The energy market was fractured under the mass privatisations of the Thatcher governments in the 1980s. It contains three sectors: producers or suppliers (those that produce energy), retailers (those that sell you energy), and distribution or transmission (the infrastructure that transports energy to your home).

It is important to bear this in mind when we’re talking about taking energy into public ownership. We need to be clear about what we want in public ownership and why.

By 2019, Labour had a detailed plan on how to do this – worked up by the teams around then shadow business and energy secretary Rebecca Long Bailey and then shadow chancellor John McDonnell. The plan is not the only way, but it illustrates what exists and how one could go about re-establishing a public energy ecosystem, run for people not profit.

The recent TUC report shows the cost of nationalising the ‘Big 5’ energy retailers – British Gas, E.ON, EDF, Scottish Power and Ovo – to be £2.8bn, which would go on buying all the companies’ shares. That’s a lot of money, equivalent to more than the annual budget of the Sure Start programme in 2009/10 (its peak year). But it’s a one-off cost, not an annual one.

And it’s not like the current privatised system doesn’t have its costs: since June 2021, the UK government has spent £2.7bn bailing out 28 energy companies that collapsed because they put short-term profits ahead of long-term stability – companies like Bulb Energy. We have spent billions of pounds already to get nothing in return. So £2.8bn is not a large amount of money to pay to gain these assets, rather than just bailing them out.

The big energy retail companies made £23bn in dividends between 2010 and 2020 according to Common Wealth, and £43bn if you include share buy-backs. What you choose to do with that surplus in public ownership is another matter: you could use it to invest in new clean energy or to lower bills or fund staff pay rises, rather than subject your workers to fire-and-rehire practices as British Gas did last year.

Labour’s previous plan also involved taking the distribution networks – the National Grid – into public ownership. This would end the profiteering at this level, too – with £13bn paid out in dividends over the five years prior to 2019. As Long Bailey said at the time, we need “public driven and coordinated action, without which we simply will not be able to tackle climate change”. Like previous nationalisations, the purchase of the grid and distribution networks could be achieved by swapping shares for government bonds. By international accounting standards, the cost is fiscally neutral as the state gains a revenue-generating asset, which more than pays for the bond yield.

The final part of the plan – and the most complicated – is production and supply. It would be impossible to nationalise the oilfields of Saudi Arabia or Qatar – and for good reasons we should want to leave fossil fuels in the ground, anyway, rather than contest their ownership.

And so what Labour proposed in 2019 was a mass investment in new renewable energy generation projects, with the public sector taking a stake and returning profits to the public. For example, under the ‘People’s Power Plan’, we proposed 37 new offshore wind farms with a 51% public stake, delivering 52GW alone by 2030, equivalent to 38 coal power stations. There were additional proposals for onshore wind, solar, and tidal schemes, as part of a 10-year £250bn Green Transformation Fund, which included other schemes like the Warm Homes insulation initiative.

Labour’s new shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has promised a similar level of investment – a £28bn a year climate investment pledge.

Any surplus energy would then be sold on international markets, with a People’s Power Fund – a sort of sovereign wealth fund – to deliver public investment in local communities’ social infrastructure: a genuine levelling-up fund, perhaps.

Many people will say this can’t be done, but of course it has been before. The 1945 Attlee government nationalised energy and successive Conservative governments – including those of Churchill, MacMillan and Heath – were happy to have a nationalised asset. Harold MacMillan famously accused Margaret Thatcher of “selling off the family silver” when she privatised state industries.

When I was born in 1979, the National Coal Board, British Gas and British Petroleum were all publicly-owned or majority publicly-owned companies. Between them, they were the major suppliers of our energy. Our gas bills came from British Gas and our electricity bills from our regional electricity board (in my case Seeboard, the South Eastern Electricity Board), and coal and oil fuelled our power stations.

The regional electricity boards had been brought into being by the Attlee government’s Electricity Act 1947, when electricity companies were forcibly merged into regional area boards and nationalised. The Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946 and the Gas Act 1948 had together brought energy into public ownership.

Seeboard was privatised in 1990, and later became part of EDF Energy – ironically, the nationalised French energy company, whose profits from the UK’s stupidity are used to subsidise French consumers.

The French government has now fully nationalised EDF (previously it was 84% publicly owned), and household energy bills rose by just 4% this year – compared to over 50% in the UK and a forecast 200% by January 2023.

If Starmer doesn’t want to listen to me (or his own commitments from 2020), perhaps emulating the centrist Emmanuel Macron in this instance would be palatable?

From the depletion of fish stocks to the burning of the Amazon, profit has proved a failed regulator for use of our natural resources

In his later years, Robin Cook argued: “The market is incapable of respecting a common resource such as the environment, which provides no price signal to express the cost of its erosion nor to warn of the long-term dangers of its destruction.”

From the depletion of fish stocks to the burning of the Amazon, profit has proved a failed regulator for use of our natural resources. The market has also failed to decarbonise at pace, or to end the scourge of fuel poverty.

On the media this week, shadow energy secretary Ed Miliband said Labour is “continuing to look at what the right long-term solution is for our energy system”. It is up to all of us to campaign for that solution to be public ownership – whether that’s from within the Labour Party (like me) or from the outside.

Republished from OpenDemocracy under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.

Related at OpenDemocracy

Revealed: UK household energy debt hit record high even before price hikes

Revealed: Energy crisis has made 30 House of Lords members wealthier

On energy strategy, the government is leaving women in the cold

Continue ReadingWhat nationalising energy companies would cost – and how to do it

State of the UK Labour Party

Two articles about the UK Labour Party, Craig Murray discusses the pointless Keir Starmer:

Starmer’s role has been simply to emasculate the Labour Party, and to purge it of any elements that might seek to pose a threat to rampant neo-liberalism and wealth inequality. His efforts to ban Labour MPs from supporting striking railway workers must be anathema to anybody who has the slightest feel for the history and traditions of that party and indeed the most basic understanding of its very raison d’etre.

This Tony Benn quote from the 1980’s has come into vogue because it is prophetic, and the process appears now complete:

If the Labour Party could be bullied or persuaded to denounce its Marxists, the media – having tasted blood – would demand next that it expelled all its Socialists and reunited the remaining Labour Party with the SDP to form a harmless alternative to the Conservatives, which could then be allowed to take office now and then when the Conservatives fell out of favour with the public. Thus British Capitalism, it is argued, will be made safe forever, and socialism would be squeezed off the National agenda. But if such a strategy were to succeed… it would in fact profoundly endanger British society. For it would open up the danger of a swing to the far-right, as we have seen in Europe over the last 50 years.

Starmer is in one sense the apotheosis of this process. Not only has he acted to purge the Labour Party of socialism, he also offers so very little of a meaningful alternative to the Tories that there is very little danger of the Tories being voted out of office. Not only is he a safe right-wing backstop, he is a self-redundant safe right-wing backstop.

Jeremy Corbyn Sophie BrownCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

and Jeremy Corbyn openly discusses the many parties that obstructed him. The article also discusses Julian Assange.

The Guardian has long been viewed as the voice of the liberal-left in Britain, so it surprised many during the Corbyn leadership to see it act as one of the main media vehicles through which the campaign to bring him down was fought. 

The paper was a key part of the “anti-semitism crisis” that engulfed Corbyn’s leadership. From 2016-19, the Guardian published 1,215 stories mentioning Labour and anti-semitism, an average of around one per day, according to a search on Factiva, the database of newspaper articles. 

In the same period, the Guardian published just 194 articles mentioning the Conservative Party’s much more serious problem with Islamophobia. A YouGov poll in 2019, for example, found that nearly half of the Tory party membership would prefer not to have a Muslim prime minister. 

The Guardian’s coverage of anti-semitism in Labour was suspiciously extensive, compared to the known extent of the problem in the party, and its focus on Corbyn personally suggested that the issue was being used politically.

The late Jewish anthropologist David Graeber commented after the 2019 election: “As for the Guardian, we will never forget that during the ‘Labour antisemitism controversy’, they beat even the Daily Mail to include the largest percentage of false statements, pretty much every one, mysteriously, an accidental error to Labour’s disadvantage”.

Keir Starmer says he is scrapping Labour’s manifesto and ‘starting from scratch’ on policy

Continue ReadingState of the UK Labour Party

Dizzy Deep’s rough guide to factions in contemporary UK politics

A rough guide to factions in UK politics. Comments are welcome.

This is my own work looking at the influences behind various UK politicians. You are welcome to disagree with any point. It should be recognised and accepted that some politicians will not have any philosophical or ideological basis at all – many people simply unquestionably accept the politics and world-view of their parents. Some of them may also be mad or simply whores to power or financial gain.

Socialists are a diverse bunch often fighting injustice e.g. anti-racism, and campaign for human rights, universal healthcare, democracy, equality, workers’ rights, etc. There are more radical Socialists outside of parliamentary politics fragmented according to adherence to the different historical origins and aspects of Socialist Ideology. The Labour party catchphrase “For the many, not the few” catches the Socialist ethos perfectly. [17/1/22 This article is now dated and was written while Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the UK Labour Party. “For the many, not the few” was a slogan of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party and the title of the 2017 Labour Party manifesto. This ethos has been abandoned by the current UK Labour Party under leader Keir Starmer which should be regarded as a return to Blairism i.e. Tories pretending to be Socialists and no mainstream political representation of Socialism in UK.]

Parliamentary Socialists are not that concerned with historical Socialist ideology. They will recognise and object to the vast inequalities in wealth and control of the media but that’s about it.

Neo-Liberals are Capitalists who believe that “the market will provide”. These are the ones who are keen on deregulation so that businesses are unhindered by “red tape” – actually laws and regulations that protect standards and ordinary people – and the privatisation of everything. Brexit is all to do with deregulation so Brexiteers are mostly Neo-Liberals.

Neo-Conservatives are Neo-Liberals with the added aspect that they are Zionists – supporters of the state of Israel. Theresa May and many of the Conservative party are Neo-Cons.

Rabid Zionists are extreme supporters of the state of Israel. These are the ones that make accusations of anti-Semitism within the Labour party. The Al Jazzera series ‘the Lobby’ shows that Israel is directing accusations of anti-Semitism and the Israeli embassy may deserve its own entry in this guide.

Appeasers to Zionism. Since Zionists are attempting to apply a veto on UK politicians there are those that appease them to gain advantage. Strangely, these are often found to be trombonists.

The DUP (Democratic Unionist Party). Theresa May’s minority government is supported by the DUP. In any abusive relationship, the party that needs the relationship least is in the position of power.

Simples

6/3/19 Apologies that I neglected the nationalists. I did intend to but was on a roll.

The Scottish Nationalist Party and Plaid Cymru (the party of Wales) are both opposed to Brexit since they recognise the damage that it will cause their communities. Assembly and Scottish Parliament in joint no-deal Brexit warning.

Sinn Fein campaigns for a united Ireland. They have 7 MPs which refuse to participate in the UK assembly at Westminster. Sinn Fein regard Brexit as an opportunity to achieve an united Ireland.

17/3/19 Revealed: How dark money split the Tories’ ruling elite by Adam Ramsay

17/1/22 This article is dated. Theresa May was replaced by haphazard alcoholic Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and UK Prime Minister.

Continue ReadingDizzy Deep’s rough guide to factions in contemporary UK politics

Sunday comment

John McDonnell spoke at the gathering of the global elite known as the World Economic Forum at Davos. It’s no surprise that he was there, he’s expected to be UK’s next Chancellor with an agenda that is Socialist instead of the usual pro-Capitalist.

The privatisation of our public services has been national failure- it’s time to take back control

Labour vows to nationalise railways, water, energy and Royal Mail ‘We’re taking them back’, vows Shadow Chancellor

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jan/26/john-mcdonnell-davos-uk-business-wef-voters

The shadow chancellor said he came in order to tell a few home truths on the “avalanche of discontent and resentment out there”.

“Why did I come? Firstly, I got an invitation and I thought this was the time to check just what the discussions were, what the assessments being made by individuals were and what the feelings were about the future. Secondly, to deliver a message that people need to look at things like the result of Brexit and address the issues that caused it,” he said.

“Davos is what I expected. It embodies the criticisms I have made of it in the past. I don’t think the people here have any comprehension of the contempt in which they are held.”

McDonnell said the corporations represented at Davos had been getting away with “industrial-scale tax avoidance” while ordinary people struggled. “They just don’t get it. It’s the system and it needs to be changed,” he said. He said the big auditing companies should have the equivalent of a doctor’s Hippocratic oath so that they did not encourage firms to avoid tax.

“Ten years after the crash, after 10 years of austerity and 10 years of paying their taxes and seeing public services cut, people have had enough.”

Looks like he’s simply telling it like it is.

Theresa May has a long history of attacking online privacy and censoring the internet. It’s usually about so-called extremist content or terrorism with them being conflated.

It’s a little different this time – along with Brazil and Macron’s France, May is seeking to censor so-called “fake news”. I was surprised at this one – ‘fake news’ is the rock-like polymath genius-in-chief’s wonderfully genius method of dismissing competing narratives. The Colossal Intellect simply dismisses irritating truths and anything that would portray His vast intellect’s policies or behaviour in a poor light as fake news. Surely people recognise Rigid Deep Thought’s simple rejection of any criticism as fake news is a transparent – though brilliant of course as He is – simple I’m not going to talk about that because it makes me look stupid ploy. It’s a We’ll just ignore that because it’s not worth bothering my Vast Intellect with sort-of-thing.

It can’t be about anything other than censorship and by calling it fake news they’re being totally transparent about it. The government proposes to decide for you which competing narratives you have access to in the style of Trump. What’s not censorship about that? We already have huge censorship thanks to NeoCon scum like May. I think that the way it works is that Tech Giants get to avoid vast amounts in tax if they support the government.

Competing narratives from alternative media from particularly Socialist websites like World Socialist Website and even David Icke are getting hit hard. I’m not keen on David Icke but he has a right to be heard. Then there are Holocaust Deniers who actually don’t normally deny the holocaust and instead mostly argue that it’s scale is exaggerated. They have a right to be heard.

I’m hoping to post more often. Environmental Health later

x

Continue ReadingSunday comment

Labour Party Conference

UK’s Labour Party conference is being held at Brighton this week. The UK Labour Party is currently enjoying huge support and is likely to form the next government. UK’s Labour Party is a Socialist party.

One aspect of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s speech today is getting reported: his commitment to end Public Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts.The NHS is burdened with many PFI debts.

Continue ReadingLabour Party Conference

It’s difficult to fault Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party

It’s difficult to fault Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party’s campaigning in the current UK general election. “For the many. Not the few”, the excessively rich to pay more in tax.

They’re saying it like it is – a rigged economy for the benefit of a tiny minority at the expense of the many, that the Conservative party is the party of the privileged elite.

Rupert Murdoch: “When I go into Downing Street, they do what I say; when I go to Brussels, they take no notice.” source

Rupert Murdoch accused of enjoying ‘astounding access’ to Downing Street

 

Continue ReadingIt’s difficult to fault Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party

I need to do a series on Israel and Palestine because that is so important in contemporary politics

An iron fist hides the shining star

The gun’s dark black shadow over Bethlehem

The shadow over the streets of Palestine are so dark

They build walls and shut roads

Despite this evil

There are those that know that the message is more that words

that from the darkness the lightness of the Dawn comes

that justice will bring the evil dark walls down

the hour will come for me to sing Halleluliah

There are people who see clearly, see the truth

 

Continue ReadingI need to do a series on Israel and Palestine because that is so important in contemporary politics

C’mon. All aboard, All Adoard: Calling all disenfranchised Socialists

All Aboard, All Aboard. Disenfranchised Socialists.

Disenfranchised Socialists.

You are disenfranchised because you have nobody to vote for.

It’s not my place to say this – you are so totally aware of it.

All aboard. All Aboard.

Together we are strong.

1.50AM EDIT: We are strong.

2amish Whatever happens, we are stronger and we are progressing.

Continue ReadingC’mon. All aboard, All Adoard: Calling all disenfranchised Socialists

Jeremy Corbyn seems to be doing fine …

My analysis is that the disenfranchised – through being denied the ability to vote for anybody that represented their interests – are no longer disenfranchised. I suggest that the claims that a Corbyn government is unelectable is very seriously challenged. (I’m being polite ;)

 

Corbyn:”It’s not about me. It’s about what we have to do together”

“We’re all going to have to work hard together”

Continue ReadingJeremy Corbyn seems to be doing fine …