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Monday, 19 September 2016

Patriotism and disabled people's inclusion

The blog post below was conceived originally as a comment on Craig Murray's blog post The Sad End of British Liberalism.(1) The youtube video was included as part of Craig Murray's blog post. I have edited it slightly.

Thanks for this, especially the Tom Paine-rich video.(1) The references to patriotism on the video remind me of Orwell’s observation that ‘patriotism’ differed from ‘nationalism’, and apparently dictionary founder Johnson described ‘patriotism’ as the last resort of scoundrels.
The Paine observation that patriots have a duty to protect their country from its government emphasises for me the importance of citizens engaging in ‘public consultations’. I was a contributor to the Green Party of England & Wales response to Labour’s 2008 welfare reform green paper. Especially as a veteran of decades of ‘benefit claimant’ status while a disabled jobseeker, I reckoned that my ‘expert witness’ status by default required me to help point out the dangers of misjudging and being nasty to vulnerable people. 

Sadly, UK mass media wanted to pigeon-hole the Green Party as purely about protecting the geographical environment; thus mass media sat on a report that would have given greater enlightenment than was available from Blairites and Thatcherites, etc.(2) ‘Writing off Workfare: for a Green New Deal, not the flexible New Deal’ is still available online however. An outline press statement of that report can also be found at “Workfare is not the answer”. (3)

Sadly these days, many vulnerable citizens fear that they will be victimised if they stand out for their lives and social justice by demonstrating. I have heard that the DWP launched an investigation of ‘benefit fraud’ against someone they predicted would not be disabled enough to qualify for the disability benefits he was claiming; they said his Facebook output was too plentiful for such a disabled person.

What would be necessary to make ANY form of alternative government unelectable in England?

A current public consultation that people need to use to help protect England from its government is that of constituency boundary changes. Parliamentary Boundary Changes could lead to a Permanent Tory Government in the UK.(4)
Meanwhile, some Labour Party grandees such as now Lord Kinnock proclaim Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership a disaster for the Labour Party. BBC website reports: 
Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock tells BBC Panorama he is doubtful there will be another Labour government in his lifetime if Jeremy Corbyn remains at the helm..(5)
Might not such proclamations be described as ‘prediction terrorism’? If such ‘party patriots’ really cared for democracy and their party, should they not devote more energy to getting the public to protect England from the ravages of a dysfunctional ‘boundaries commission’? 

Were Labour to become ‘unelectable’, I believe that such pontificatingly out-of-touch Labour ‘grandees’ are largely responsible for pissing off the economically vulnerable and for pointing scapegoating fingers at Corbyn rather than at the prospect of patriots telling England's boundary commissioners what to do and where to go to make elections truly fair.

And regarding disabled people's inclusion, I believe that when disabled people include themselves/ourselves in democratic processes our power to 'speak out' comes not from fraudulent benefit claiming as the DWP would have it, but from Pete Seeger's interpretation of what anthropologist Robert Ardrey wrote of as the Territorial Imperative. In Seeger's song Uncle Ho citing North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh as an exemplar of Ardrey's 'territorial imperative', Seeger wrote and sang:
He educated all the peopleHe demonstrated to the worldIf a man [sic] will stand for his own landHe's got the strength of ten...(6)

Dude Swheatie of Kwug, writing in an individual capacity

Related link addresses

  1. https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/09/sad-end-british-liberalism/#tc-comment-title
  2. https://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/reports/GPEW_writing_off_workfare_final.doc
  3. https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/workfare-is-not-the-answer.html
  4. http://londongreenleft.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/parliamentary-boundary-changes-could.html
  5. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37401188
  6. http://www.songlyrics.com/pete-seeger/uncle-ho-lyrics/

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