Wednesday, 24 June 2015

theses on feuerbach .... ahem, or the SNP vote in the 2015 General election

I)                 The chief defect of all hitherto existing analysis of the Scottish Nationalist vote in the general election is that the thing, the reality, the sensuousness, is conceived only in the form of negativity, not as a sensuous human activity or practice, not in terms of context, organisational development or even a burgeoning political consciousness. Hence, in contradistinction to real analysis, the active side was developed abstractly by negativity – which, of course, does not know real, sensuous activity as such.

II)                The Nationalist vote needs placed in its proper European context; the growing rejection of established mainstream politics seen across Europe. But the Nationalist vote was also, of course, distinctively Scottish.

III)              It follows on from the credibility the SNP has established as Scotland’s party of government or at least the lack of any major feck ups since they’ve been in power.

IV)             The independence referendum was also a big factor. Positively, it converted a lot of people to nationalism, generating a step change increase in political engagement and debate in the process.

V)               It also prompted a significant increase in political activism with this seeing the SNP become the 3rd largest political party in the UK as measured by party membership – this in turn gave the SNP the practical resources needed to campaign across Scotland.

VI)             Negatively, voting SNP in the general election gave people embarressed and ashamed about voting no in the referendum a safe means of casting a Scottish vote

VII)           Voting SNP was also a response to how Westminster responded to the Scottish referendum result and the bullshit that’s so far entailed.

VIII)         Nicola Sturgeon! John Swinney’s time as SNP leader maintained the notion that the SNP was a one trick pony called Alex Salmond. Nicola Sturgeon’s emergence on to the British political stage made clear the SNP was more than one man.

IX)              Nicola Sturgeon times 2!! My personal experience of Scottish Nationalism is that it offered and offers a vision that women connect with passionately, put simply folks cheered on Nicola and shouted at Jim Murphy to get tae "f". And with 20 of the 56 SNP MPs female, this has already translated into a new, more representative politics.

X)                Speaking of which, the SNP campaigned positively; whereas the Tories offered the chance for us all to put on an even dirtier great big hairshirt. By contrast, the SNP said end austerity now (thank god)

XI)             Speaking of positive vision, Scotland is more Social Democratic than England. The SNP has for years positioned itself as being to the left of Labour. By contrast Labour’s UK message was that they were marginally to the left of the Tories – this did not work in Scotland because it was not far enough

XII)            This was also because of the mediocrity that was and is Scottish Labour and the complete failure of their leadership to be anything other than time served jokes queuing up to fill out their next expenses claim – Johann Lamont anybody?

XIII)         And then there was Labour’s approach to the independence referendum; their focus on a wholly negative campaign and the fact that by doing so they actively  alienated themselves from their electoral heartlands, which actually voted for independence (or as Nick Clegg learned – voters have memories).

XIV)           To be continued

XV)             Also to be continued, ideally with mate chat and debate

Saturday, 13 June 2015

The Greek Getty reversal

"If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem." (J. Paul Getty)

As the Greek tragedy rumbles on, the brutal realpolitick of the situation keeps falling between the lines of all the articles being written about the subject. This reality is straightforward; in 2009 and 2010 a Grexit would have been a very bad thing, now it’s apparently very much less so. 

Greece’s tax dodging elites have already shifted as much of their assets overseas as they can. And as Greece’s current finance minister noted, 90% of Greece’s original $260bn bailout was used to repay French, German and Greek banks; since then, European banks have been extricating themselves from as much of their remaining Greek debts as they possible can.

Alongside this detailed plans for managing the mechanical consequences of a Grexit i.e. what about cash machines and currency transfers etc., were written (and tested) so long ago they’re already gathering dust in cupboards across Europe.

So with the rich ok, the (non-Greek) banks ok and arrangements for managing things well established, our lords and masters don’t especially give a damn about Greece defaulting. Yes it would be a pain, but then the resultant devaluation would create lots of investment opportunities, so its swings and roundabouts and the troika negotiating with Greece knows this.

 One wee caveat presumably concerns Greek politics; given mainstream politics has already failed, if Syrzia doesn't work what's left?

16/6/15 - P.S. Chat from a mate helped me clarify a further point; the "that Greek lot are amateurish and  immature" line being taken is destructive bollocks. When the EU elite say this they conveniently forget the Greeks they were willing to negotitate with and lend big muneh too where the ones who tolerated industrial scale tax avoidance, ran up the massive debts in the first place and were actively criminal in the pursuit of their own interests i.e. the EU blame them its no us line appears to be better a bunch of incompetent crooks than folks actually willing to speak a lot (but not all, the WWII repatriations chat was daft, if desperate) of sense........ ahhh, perhaps that's why, given the EU's blinkered and dogmatic approach, Syrzia is getting called amateurish.