David Thompson
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November 23, 2010

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Anna

"Yes, Labour's new paymaster – and "the mainstream left candidate" - is a man elected on a 16% turnout by just 7% of the Unite union's total membership."

Seumas was never big on democracy. It just gets in the way of progress.

"Mr McCluskey, who supported an organisation that planned to "abolish" capitalism, has weathered this failure remarkably well and now takes home a basic salary of £100,000."

Plus pension, perks, expenses, etc.

"Mr McCluskey's greatest claim to fame is his role in the British Airways cabin crew strikes, which began a year ago, have cost the airline around 150 million pounds and have yet to be resolved."

And the public really LOVED that strike. Good to see the dinosaur left is still digging that hole.

Rob

7% of the membership? I expect a CiF article about his lack of a mandate, following the one claiming that the Coalition did not have one, despite vastly greater support.

I mean, the Left aren't going to be hypocrites, are they?

carbon based lifeform

"Yes, Labour's new paymaster – and "the mainstream left candidate" - is a man elected on a 16% turnout by just 7% of the Unite union's total membership."

It's a "runaway victory". And supporting Militant is something to be proud of.

David

MilneWorld is a strange place. Like Bizarro World, but less amusing and realistic.

According to Seumas, “there's nothing backward” about a return to Seventies-style industrial relations posturing from a man who likes to quote Ernesto “Che” Guevara and who expects a “final victory,” i.e., over capitalism. (Last year McCluskey told the Durham Miners’ Gala: “We cannot secure our demands through the present system, based on the dominance of private ownership… If socialism can be seen to be delivering for the peoples of Cuba and Venezuela, where does that leave neoliberalism? Dead in the water!” More recently, McCluskey announced, “We are all supposed to believe now that the 1970s was a horrible time. It wasn’t at all.”)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/7488359/British-Airways-strike-The-rise-of-Red-Len-McCluskey.html

So, a far left strike fetishist and former supporter of totalitarianism will show us the way to the workplace of tomorrow.

AC1

Will we notice UNITE staff striking?

Because if the public don't notice. They might as well be sacked....

Sting

"a shot in the arm for anyone who wants to see… the development of a genuine political alternative."

Or, more likely, a shot right between the eyes of freedom and wealth creation.

Wm T Sherman

Do unions still do their own picketing in the UK? Over here they hire illegal immigrants at sub-minimum wage, to do it for them.

Ian F4

What puzzles me is the opposition to Capitalism over the greed and self-interest it encourages. This is from people striking over Christmas and ruining holidays for millions in the interest of pay and conditions.

sackcloth and ashes

'If socialism can be seen to be delivering for the peoples of Cuba and Venezuela ...'

A fantastic quote from an authentic dinosaur. There's more chance of me going threes-up with Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie than there is of the citizens of Venecuba experiencing their 'socialist' paradise (hint for Mr McCluskey - the Cubans have been waiting 50 years for theirs).

I'm not sure what Shameless Milne's worst moments are. Perhaps it's his sanctimonious bleating about Afghanistan, despite the fact that - as part of the 'Straight Left' faction of the CPGB - he was an apologist for the USSR's savage assault on that country during the 1980s (which was the root cause of state collapse in Afghanistan, and all our current problems).

Maybe it was his attempts to claim that Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union wasn't that bad (see Graun puff-pieces in February 2006). Obviously, of course, he knew about the hidden virtues of the Communist order despite never having experienced it at first hand.

Maybe it was his hissy fit when Andrew Anthony nailed him in 'The Fallout':

'This is what Milne had to say, on September 13, 2001: ‘Nearly two days
after the horrific suicide attacks on civilian workers in New York and Washington,
it has become painfully clear that most Americans simply don’t get it...Shock, rage
and grief there has been aplenty. But any glimmer of recognition of why people
might have been driven to carry out such atrocities, sacrificing their own lives
in the process – or why the United States is hated with such bitterness, not only
in Arab and Muslim countries, but across the developing world – seems almost
entirely absent.’ Anthony points out that to get his piece published on the 13th,
Milne would have needed to have completed it by no later than 7pm on the 12th,
and that it would be fair to assume that he would have begun writing it, at the
latest, at around 2pm – 9am, New York time. Anthony acidly remarks: ‘That left
the Americans a whole twenty-four hours to absorb the shock, deal with the grief
and then move on to some cold, hard self-criticism. And they flunked it.’ (p. 11)'

Or maybe it was Milne's breathless reporting on the emergence of a new Iraqi resistance movement (in mid-2007) that would transcend sectarian, ethnic and communitarian boundaries, and unite the Iraqi people into an unstoppable movement that would defeat the Americans and overthrow the quislings in Baghdad - although said movement has somehow failed to materialise over the past three years.

No doubt there are other moments when Shameless showed what a scumbag he is. But these are the ones that stick out like a racing dog's dick.

mlrosty

"We are all supposed to believe now that the 1970s was a horrible time. It wasn't at all."

Strikes every few weeks, not knowing whether you could get to work in the morning, power cuts, rubbish piled in the streets, rubbish piled in parks, no petrol, closed hospitals, flying pickets, three day week, 'Sick Man of Europe', Winter of Discontent, Scargill, Militant…

He's mad as a hatter. No wonder Seumas likes him.

David

“Strikes every few weeks, not knowing whether you could get to work in the morning, power cuts, rubbish piled in the streets, rubbish piled in parks, no petrol, closed hospitals, flying pickets, three day week, 'Sick Man of Europe', Winter of Discontent, Scargill, Militant…”

Yes, objectively, it wasn’t a great time for British industry. And as a child, compulsory candlelight soon lost its charm, usually when you could no longer postpone a visit to the dark, cold bathroom. But what I think McCluskey means is it was a time when He Felt Important. Like Scargill and his peers, he could bring people to their knees.

“No wonder Seumas likes him.”

McCluskey’s a doctrinaire fantasist with authoritarian urges. Facts and correction appear to have little impact. Hence, I suspect, the gush of solidarity from Milne, who spies a kindred spirit.

Rob

People like McCluskey are a vital public service. They remind people of what Socialism really is. £100,000 a year, paid for by his own idiotic members, is a bargain.

SG

"Britain's unions, the "big society" in real life,"

That's funny. Everyone knows unions *always* work for the public good. /sarcasm

David

“Everyone knows unions *always* work for the public good. /sarcasm”

Yes, it’s funny how people can have very different impressions of unions and the culture they tend to propagate. I can’t say they leap to mind as the obvious “real life” model for a brighter tomorrow. Teachers’ unions, for instance, often operate at the expense of students and parents, and, of course, of standards. And the more a union culture prevails in a school, the more likely it is to tolerate incompetence and resist reform. An attempt to correct or remove bad teachers, or to reward individual excellence, is often seen as an attack on the collective:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/8155967/How-can-we-make-our-teachers-better.html
http://timworstall.com/2010/10/23/an-illuminating-number/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdqQTIQhn5A&
http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=19196

TDK

"Yes, objectively, it wasn’t a great time for British industry. And as a child, compulsory candlelight soon lost its charm, usually when you could no longer postpone a visit to the dark, cold bathroom. But what I think McCluskey means is it was a time when He Felt Important. Like Scargill and his peers, he could bring people to their knees."

As a lefty at the time, let me tell you how they saw it. To a man, the problem wasn't too much socialism causing sclerosis in the British economy; to the contrary it was the final crisis of Capitalism. They really saw revolution as being imminent. Heightened industrial unrest was the working classes finally becoming radicalised. The fact that Labour was in power during the Winter of Discontent made them even more expectant. This was the working man seeing through the false socialists of Labour. Truly they would join the radicals in the SWP and storm the gates.

Back in the real world, we used to sell the party paper at various locations around town. At the college we got plenty of sales (let's be honest - 10-20). Outside the factories, not so much. During the fireman's strike we collected money and handed it over. They thanked us and bought one paper. Thereafter they never bought a copy.

sackcloth and ashes

It's funny how Shameless is all for strikes in the UK, but has a less enlightened approach to free labour movements in China:

http://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/chinese-workers-dont-need-milnes-support/

And of course, there's also this gem:

'Thankfully, fisking of the article was made conveniently easy by [Milne], who started it with the following sentence:

Imagine for a moment what the reaction would be if ­Iranian ­intelligence was almost ­unversally believed to have ­assassinated a leader of one of the organisations fighting the Tehran government in a western-friendly state.

Imagine indeed. Actually, why should you bother stressing your overworked imagination: here comes a report by IHRDC - Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, on Iran’s state sponsored campaign of political assassinations abroad that says, among other things:

'The [Iranian] regime’s campaign can be traced to nearly twenty countries around the world, from neighboring Pakistan and Iraq, to far-flung locations such as France, the Philippines and the United States. Victims specifically addressed in the two previous reports are but a sampling of the more than one hundred and sixty dissidents who dared challenge the clerical establishment’s grip on the country'.

Do you read what I do: "a sampling of the more than one hundred and sixty dissidents"? Do you think Seumas M. would notice the difference between a political opponent, let alone 160 political opponents (to start with), and a confessed and proud killer? Nah'

http://simplyjews.blogspot.com/2010/03/would-you-have-seamus-milne-for-lunch.html

Sgt Pinback

God I enjoyed sackcloth's post. I'd always thought of Milne as a cunt, but now he will forever be a greyhound's cock!

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