David Thompson
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May 16, 2016

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Tell Sackett

She looks like a cross between Rosa Klebb and Coco the Clown. Still, mustn't judge by appearances, eh?

David

I’m still processing Ms Bennett’s belief that living on benefits in the UK, benefits that can total around £500 per week for single parents, is somehow much worse than the desperate, life-threatening poverty to be found in India - “because at least everyone else there is poor too.”

“What are you afraid of, boys?”

bilbaoboy

Still totally unself-aware, but hey if she bu**ers off, that's something!

Joan

“What are you afraid of, boys?”

*shudders*

Tell Sackett

“What are you afraid of, boys?”

I'm afraid my wife might get her hair done like that.

David Hadley

Ah, if we could but hope that this is the beginning of the end of the Eco-Taliban.

However, my son (19), says that most of his friends support the Greens, so it looks like there still remains a market out there for recycled drivel.

sackcloth and ashes

Oh what a surprise. Who could have guessed that a 'Guardian' journalist turns out to be fucking useless at doing anything practical?

Still, part of me feels sorry for 'Gordon' Bennett. It can't be fun being a party leader when your only peer starts undermining you.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/green-party/11432400/Sketch-Shes-not-going-to-answer-that-Natalie-Bennett-the-Green-Party-and-the-weirdest-meltdown-of-the-2015-election-so-far.html

David

Then of course there was the Guardian’s constant excuse-making for each new media disaster, as when Zoe Williams announced that Ms Bennett’s “mistake was to try to answer a question, rather than describe her vision.” Which is an odd statement, given that vision-describing is pretty much all the Greens seem to do, typically in the most vague and fluffy terms.

In fact, Ms Bennett had a habit of waving aside questions about specifics – such as how much that “vision” would cost, where the money might come from, etc – as if such things were both trivial and inconvenient. “She needs to be able to frame the conversation around her own assumptions,” said Zoe. As if an even more determined shunning of realism would make Ms Bennett’s party seem credible.

R. Sherman

If some theoretical physicists are correct, somewhere there is a universe where Ms. Bennett and Bernie Sanders are meeting to discuss the fate of Western Civilization. In that universe, our alternative selves also probably have standing reservations at the local "Corrections Booths 'R Us" franchise.

David

somewhere there is a universe where Ms. Bennett and Bernie Sanders are meeting to discuss the fate of Western Civilization.

It’s difficult to overstate the level of unrealism and derangement in Green Party policy.

Ms Bennett’s party advocates massive and unbudgeted state spending, crippling eco-taxes, forced “organic” food production, and a deliberate shrinking and discouragement of international trade in order to curb the evils of consumerism. Curiously, they denounce ‘austerity’ (i.e., modest reductions in the growth of public spending), while envisioning a world in which no-one can buy anything too fancy, or from too far afield. And they see no need to retain an army or navy or air force, all of which they dismiss as “unnecessary.”

In policy NY203, the party says its goal is “to see the concept of legal nationality abolished.” Apparently, they want a Citizen’s Income, in which everyone is subsidised simply for being, while abolishing any notion of actual, legal citizenship. They imply that a country, a society, having some control of its borders, however partial, is racist, and that the world and its wives should be free to breeze into Britain and avail themselves of our already creaking benefits system.

This dissolving of our territorial and cultural boundaries, and the abandonment of our ability to defend ourselves or anyone else, along with uncontrolled mass migration from the shitholes of the Earth, and the subsequent collapse of our welfare infrastructure and general economy, to say nothing of social unrest, riots and other unpleasantness… all of this would, we’re told, create “a world more equal, more balanced.”

And yet they ask, “What are you afraid of, boys?”

I think this may be where entrenched, impervious idiocy becomes… well, something close to evil.

Bill de Haan

all of this would, we’re told, create “a world more equal, more balanced.”

Which it in fact would. In the same sense than Anakin Skywalker bought balance to the Force, because there was too much prosperity and freedom taking place in that galaxy, and clearly not enough oppression and poverty making the rounds. Genocidal plutocrats needs love too, apparently.

What's interesting about the Greens is that their platform proposals are eerily similar to the Natural Law Party of Canada (1993-2004). However, at least back then, the idea of dissolving the Air Force and defending the country with "yogic fliers" and using transcendental meditation to address economic issues was dismissed as bat guano crazy. I mean, when the official leader of the Communist Party publicly dismisses your platform as "crackpot", you know you've got a program.

The fact that the public has evolved to taking this nonsense seriously is not a good sign. Back in the 1980s, I was a write-in candidate for the Rhino Party (a Canadian party somewhat similar to Britain's Raving Monster Loon party), but we knew were running as a joke. In today's political climate, I suspect we'd run a nonzero chance of actually winning...

Farnsworth M Muldoon

"I'm standing here today as a migrant, as someone who came to this country and chose to make my life here. And today I'm here to take a stand against those who seek to demonise me and those like me, for making that choice"

Right. Moving from Australia to the UK is the same as from Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, or Syria to the UK. I may be wrong, but I think the cultural difference would be greater if one moved from Alabama or one of the other civilized states to Massachusetts.

Regarding the grappling with arithmetic and the £72/week basic income, where the hell did £72 come ? That is about $100 and change, and unless I am mistaken, unless one lives in a refrigerator box under a motorway overpass, wouldn't trying to get by on that anywhere in the UK be high adventure ?

David

The Green party claims to have around 70,000 members. These, presumably, are people who’ve read the party’s policies and find them coherent, congenial, a path to utopia. That’s more than the Liberal Democrats. And these vain fantasists imagine themselves as on the side of the angels.

WTP

"yogic fliers"

Heh, after a trip to Canada back around '94 or so, I read about such. I came back and told my coworkers and friends about how this was taken seriously enough in Canada to make a mainstream newspaper. They all thought I was nuts.

R. Sherman

. . . unless one lives in a refrigerator box under a motorway overpass, wouldn't trying to get by on that anywhere in the UK be high adventure?

I don't know. A hundred bucks a week gets one a fair number of Marlboro Lights and off-brand beer. What more do you need?

R. Sherman

[Party polices which are] coherent, congenial, a path to utopia.

Sounds like the political party I'm in the process of forming. It's still early, but suffice it to say, Kate Upton in a bikini is prominently involved.

MikeG81

"The fact that the public has evolved to taking this nonsense seriously is not a good sign. Back in the 1980s, I was a write-in candidate for the Rhino Party (a Canadian party somewhat similar to Britain's Raving Monster Loon party), but we knew were running as a joke. In today's political climate, I suspect we'd run a nonzero chance of actually winning..."

If the buy wonder gets his proportional representation dream to come true, that may just happen.

MikeG81

That should read "boy wonder.

Damn Mondays.

Connor

“What are you afraid of, boys?”

Communists in power. Next question.

David

I still think this piece, from the Telegraph, is both telling and quite funny:

At the front was a stand featuring a large photo of Ms Bennett posing with her predecessor as leader, Caroline Lucas (I looked in vain for any photo of Ms Bennett that didn’t also feature Ms Lucas). Another stand beside it was emblazoned with the party’s slogan, “Standing for the Common Good,” plus, in little letters above and below it, the names of hundreds of party supporters. “Cordelia from London… Clement from Guildford… Felicity from Cardigan… Darius, Verity, Lyndon, Jasmin, Colette…”

I think it was Spectator columnist Ed West who said of the Green Party, “If communism had been designed by middle-class women, this is what it would look like.”

sackcloth and ashes

'What are you afraid of, boys?'

Bearing in mind that David's blog has several visitors from outside the UK, I think a brief explanation of this advert may apply.

The Green Party put it out about a year and a half ago, as part of an effort to get their leader onto the leadership debates for GE2015, and also to get greater media scrutiny for the party as a whole.

As they say, be careful what you wish for.

The results were that Bennett appeared in two televised debates prior to the elections, in which she somehow managed to get through the proceeding without wetting herself, but was otherwise an undistinguished performer. She also had two media appearances in which she (literally) coughed, after being asked questions about how Green policies would actually be costed. After which she took a back step on campaigning, and basically disappeared from sight.

Having complained about the lack of media attention (and playing the gender card, as per the ad David links to), the Greens were reduced to whining about nasty negative press bullying, even though (a) Bennett was getting the same grilling from the likes of Andrew Neil as other party leaders, and (b) the press were doing the Greens the favour of treating them as a serious party, rather than a joke. That of course meant asking questions you'd ask of serious politicians (e.g. 'How are you going to pay for all those new houses, Natalie?'), but there you go.

David

and playing the gender card,

In the wake of infamous radio interview, Caroline Lucas blamed sexism for level of public ridicule. Presumably on grounds that we mustn’t expect female politicians to be even minimally competent.

Watcher in the dark

I recall someone saying in the last election one shouldn't vote for a politician who can't pronounce their own name. Step forward Nitilie Binnitt! Or rather, step backwards...

Theophrastus

"I think this may be where entrenched, impervious idiocy becomes… well, something close to evil."

Exactly.

Criticas

That ad should probably read "What you are afraid of, boys."

sackcloth and ashes

'In the wake of infamous radio interview, Caroline Lucas blamed sexism for level of public ridicule. Presumably on grounds that we mustn’t expect female politicians to be even minimally competent'.

Snork.

Incidentally, if anyone is wondering how the hell Natalie Bennett ended up in charge of the Greens, here's a picture of the alternative candidate.

https://commentisfreewatch.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/one1.jpg

I'll leave it to you all to guess what kind of banner she's holding.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

...here's a picture of the alternative candidate.

That is positively sane compared to this congressman, congresswoman, or whatever zit's preferred congresspronoun is, from Connecticut who seems completely unable to dress herself.

David Gillies

The same sort of elevated notion of one's mental faculties that we so often see exhibited here by the sundry parasitic 'creatives' would seem to be hard at work among Green Party politicians. I remember seeing Natalie Bennett before the last election and thinking that she spoke like someone with an undiagnosed brain tumour. The Dunning-Kruger is powerful in this one.

Farnsworth M.: Wikpipedia informs us that the person in your photos is 73 years old. If her sartorial choices are anything to go by it lends the lie to the idea that with age comes wisdom.

PiperPaul

"positively sane compared to"

Ever get the impression that the really crazy leftists are only there to make the less crazy leftists seem, well, more uncrazy? Sort of sneakily shifting the Overton Window for unhingitude? It's well known that the social "sciences" are dominated by progressives, what could they be doing all the time other than playing mass psychological/sociological games with an unknowing audience and subtly influencing their perceptions?

Bill de Haan

this was taken seriously enough in Canada to make a mainstream newspaper

It should be noted with fairness that the primary reason it made the papers here was because a popular Canadian celebrity, Doug Henning, had run for office in Britain under their Natural Law party, placed fourth out of four with under 200 votes in total, and returned home to Canada to try his luck here.

The nearest approximation that I can think of would be if someone like Tom Cruise or Jeremy Clarkson started their own party, and had enough supporters and fans to field candidates in every riding. As such, getting newspaper attention was pretty much guaranteed, out of curiosity if nothing else.

Despite fielding 200+ candidates in the 1993 election, it was virtually impossible to read any article about the party that didn't mention Henning, and most articles were almost completely about him.

While they attracted a great deal of attention and curiosity, they never reached even 1% of the vote.

Bill de Haan

If the buy [sic] wonder gets his proportional representation dream to come true, that may just happen.

I'm uncertain of the context, here. Which boy wonder are you referring to?

Bill de Haan

reduced to whining about nasty negative press bullying [...] the press were doing the Greens the favour of treating them as a serious party

This is a fairly common occurrence in candidates and parties that are woefully unprepared for the actual task of governing. Generally these types make assumptions that (a) simply stating your goals is enough to make them come true, and (b) the fact that your predecessor/opponents have not succeeded in bringing about Nirvana clearly means that the are evil, because since goals are trivially accomplished, clearly the opposition must not want to bring about prosperity.

Recently, Bernie Sanders in the US had a bit of shakeup when he was interviewed, and the interviewers unfairly (in his mind) asked him how his plans would work, and he just kept reciting that things needed to be fairer, more equitable, etc.

Back in 2004, I remember John Kerry hilariously boasting about having been hand picked for a secret mission by President Nixon in Christmas 1967. Of course, Nixon didn't take office until January 1968, so he'd have no authority to make such a call in the first place. Also, why would a President select a low-ranking naval officer he'd never met for a high risk, questionably legal Hail Mary pass that could sink his presidency before it had even started? When people started asking these "duh" questions, Kerry got amnesia, stopped giving interviews, and sympathetic newspaper articles started claiming that the Democratic candidate for president "couldn't" get an interview with a newspaper. When people read those articles and said "well, you're a newspaper, why don't you interview him", things quickly moved into "look! a squirrel!" mode...

Darleen

I'm just going to leave this here ...

https://youtu.be/z0O_VYcsIk8

DMS

Thanks Darleen - that's great. I plan to work my way through his others now.

jabrwok

Jeremy Clarkson

I'd vote for him (were I British)! PM Clarkson...has a nice ring to it:-).

fnord

“What are you afraid of, boys"

Among other things, freezing to death in the dark.

WTP

@Bill de Haan
Doug Henning

You mean like the magician? That does have a familiar ring to it. He was quite popular back in the late 70's/early 80's in the US as well. My freshman college roommate was a magician and had a huge poster of DH on our wall. Something with a big pyramid on it as well, IIRC. I've never been a fan of the ooh-ahh style of certain magicians. If I must have magicians around, prefer the Penn & Teller or Harry the Hat kind. The thing about Henning that did fascinate me was that he seemed to believe he had real magic powers. Which of course was an act because he knew what he was really doing. Extra creepy.

Did you know the real purpose of yogic flying, especially in groups, is to create world peace.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHwhGUo90jw

fnord

Sometimes this site is reminiscent of the toffs going down to Bedlam and poking at the inmates with sticks.

Great fun!

sackcloth and ashes

Looking again at the 'What are you afraid of' graphic, let us remind ourselves of Natalie's partner in that advert. The Green Party's only MP, Caroline Lucas.

Lucas was elected to be the MP for Brighton Pavilion in 2010, at the same time that the city council got a Green majority. Hosannas were sung all round by the Khmer Vert. They'd achieved their breakthrough, they could build up their support base. They were set for great things come the next GE.

And then they actually had to run things.

Oops.

The Khmer Vert circus got so bad that even 'The Guardian' took notice. It ended up with the Green-led council (led by Jason Kitcat - crazy name, crazy guy) facing a revolt led by ... none other than Caroline Lucas herself. It must have been like that celebrated moment during the filming of 'The Blues Brothers' when Carrie Fisher was told by John Belushi that she was snorting too much cocaine.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/dec/15/greens-blown-it-in-brighton

Fuckadoodledoo.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/2014/10/brighton-has-become-an-object-lesson-in-why-it-is-a-disaster-to-vote-green/

Anyway, come GE2015 the aspiration was to add another two seats in parliament, with Natalie Bennett as one of them. Instead, they were just about able to make sure that Lucas could keep her arse warm in the Commons, but the Khmer Vert lost control of the Council:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32680552

So. Back to square one again.

Bill de Haan

@WTP
You mean like the magician?

I do indeed. Oddly enough, I spent my high school years in Oakville, and went to university at McMaster, just as he did, although being 14 years his junior, we certainly didn't cross paths very often. He was a local celeb and was frequently at various public functions, of course.

He came across as a fairly decent fellow, quite charitable, though a bit of an odd duck. But of course, we're talking about a stage magician, not being a few slices shy of a loaf would be unusual.

Of course, this was years before he went into full meltdown yogic flyers mode. He was odd at the time, but not yet a loon. Or if he was, he was better at keeping that fact private.

sackcloth and ashes

'This is a fairly common occurrence in candidates and parties that are woefully unprepared for the actual task of governing. Generally these types make assumptions that (a) simply stating your goals is enough to make them come true, and (b) the fact that your predecessor/opponents have not succeeded in bringing about Nirvana clearly means that the are evil, because since goals are trivially accomplished, clearly the opposition must not want to bring about prosperity'.

Indeed. There is also (c), the inherent belief that your virtue is so self-evident that any journalist asking awkward questions is not doing his/her job, but is actually the enemy. The Jezbollah are acting very much in this manner with the press.

Incidentally, Lucas made me smile (unintentionally) a couple of months back when she wrote a piece in the 'Independent' (now defunct) suggesting an electoral pact between the Greens and Labour. Aside from the fact that the two parties are likely to be competing for the same seats (I can't see the Greens winning Henley, or Beaconsfield), it looked like Luxembourg demanding that one of its soldiers should be SACEUR.

sackcloth and ashes

The latest is that Natalie will be attending the 'Marxism 2016' jamboree hosted by the Socialist Worker's Party.

The same SWP that made the news three years ago by taking aside an alleged victim of a rape by a senior party member, and then telling her to keep her mouth shut or else.

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