How damn bourgeois is this?

This has me laughing like a drain:

The leader of Spain’s anti-austerity Podemos party and its parliamentary spokeswoman are submitting themselves to a confidence vote in the hope of putting an end to criticism of their decision to buy a €600,000 (£525,000) house in the mountains outside Madrid.

Pablo Iglesias and Irene Montero, who are expecting twins, have been accused of betraying the party’s principles and joining the petty bourgeoisie by purchasing the property.

Among those who have criticised the move is José María González, the Podemos mayor of Cádiz.

“Podemos’s ethics code isn’t a formality,” he said. “It’s a commitment to living like working people so that you can represent them.”

Imagine if the Momentum crowd were held to the same standard, eh?

Explains quite a lot really

Hillary Clinton unleashed a “fuck-laced fusillade” on aides in a 2016 debate prep session, according to a new book about the presidential campaign by New York Times journalist Amy Chozick.

The candidate was squirming with frustration over lingering concerns about her “authenticity” and racked with loathing for Donald Trump she was determined not to vent in public.

“Aides understood that in order to keep it all together onstage, Hillary sometimes needed to unleash on them in private,” Chozick writes in Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns and One Intact Glass Ceiling. “‘You want authentic, here it is!’ she’d yelled in one prep session, followed by a fuck-laced fusillade about what a ‘disgusting’ human being Trump was and how he didn’t deserve to even be in the arena.”

That sense of entitlement, that others were not worthy to challenge her right to rule…..

We knew about this, oh yes we did

Former hacktivists have reacted with bafflement after the Conservative MP Kemi Badenoch admitted that she hacked Harriet Harman’s website in 2008.

Badenoch confessed to the hack, which carried a jail sentence of up to five years at the time she acted, in response to a question about the “naughtiest” thing she had done.

Badenoch gained access to Harman’s website by guessing the credentials (she later gave an anonymous interview revealing that Harman’s username and password were “harriet” and “harman”), and posted a hoax blogpost claiming the then Labour minister for women and equality was supporting Boris Johnson in the London mayoral race.

We knew about it at the time. “We” being those who knew about it of course, a somewhat select group to be sure.

Hills just can’t let it go, can she?

Don’t let Brexit undermine Ireland’s peace
Hillary Clinton
Those who say the Good Friday agreement has run its course are wrong. Reinstating the Irish border would be an enormous setback

Boilerplate blather etc.


Even now, I can picture clearly my husband’s first trip to Northern Ireland as president. On a cold winter night in 1995, Bill and I joined thousands of people at Belfast city hall for the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Still her best claim to fame is her hubby, eh? Strong independent woman or what?

The Guardian on Russian Trolls

It was from American political activists that they received the advice to target “purple” swing states, something that was essential to the ultimate success of the campaign.

Quite so:

To maximise the likelihood of your efforts making a difference, we’ve zeroed in on one of the places where this year’s election truly will be decided: Clark County, Ohio, which is balanced on a razor’s edge between Republicans and Democrats. In the 2000 election, Al Gore won Clark County by 1% – equivalent to 324 votes – but George Bush won the state as a whole by just four percentage points. This time round, Ohio is one of the most crucial swing states: Kerry and Bush have been campaigning there tire lessly – they’ve visited Clark County itself – and the most recent Ohio poll shows, once again, a 1% difference between the two of them. The voters we will target in our letter-writing initiative are all Clark County residents, and they are all registered independents, which somewhat increases the chances of their being persuadable.

There’s a massive amusement here

Thirteen Russians have been criminally charged for interfering in the 2016 US election to help Donald Trump, the office of Robert Mueller, the special counsel, announced on Friday.

Mueller’s office said 13 Russians and three Russian entities, including the notorious state-backed “troll farm” the Internet Research Agency, had been indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington DC.

A 37-page indictment alleged that the Russians’ operations “included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J Trump … and disparaging Hillary Clinton,” his Democratic opponent.

That being this:

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 3— As President Clinton and President Boris N. Yeltsin of Russia began their first summit meeting today, Mr. Clinton presented the Russian leader with some $1 billion in American aid programs intended to support Russian democrats and spur the Western allies to make Russian reform their top foreign policy priority.

Among the new or expanded programs in the package were loan guarantees to build apartments for demobilized Russian soldiers; loans for Russian entrepreneurs; medical supplies, food and grain assistance; funds to help the Russian Government sell state-owned industries, and technical advisers to help repair pipelines and oil wells and begin exporting again.

Mr. Clinton said the package was intended to help promote free-market skills on a grass-roots level in both Moscow and the Russian countryside, so the movement toward democratic reform would continue no matter who governs in the Kremlin.

Clinton, B, intervened massively (and correctly but still….) in Russian politics. If Yeltsin hadn’t won then Putin wouldn’t be there now. Putin intervened and the allegation – among the more screaming nutjobs at least, the report and indictment don’t claim it at all – that thus Clinton, H, lost.

Why is it OK for us and not for them? And, B and H, isn’t it amusing?

Hurrah! Dawn Foster finally tells it like it is!

One can try to understand, perhaps, the thrill of being part of an invisible network and recipient of wordless acknowledgment, but it’s also important to understand that this is how power is perpetuated. Equality legislation, and audits on gender pay gaps, ethnicity and disability, – within companies and public authorities – all aim to stamp out the informal transfer of power through social networks, in favour of appointment through genuine merit. But how can that happen if favours are dispensed behind closed doors, or even when there is the lingering belief that unseen processes give people we cannot identify an advantage. It certainly can’t happen when only specific groups can benefit. The council official who called knew very well I wasn’t a Screaming Trot. Being both female and Catholic, my entry would be unlikely. While a small handful of groupuscules outside the main organisation now admit women, my Catholicism would also be seen by most as pretty much incompatible with shooting all the bourgeoisie.

It is, of course, questionable in a free society whether it is right to dictate to individuals with whom they can associate. Some association with criminal intent is proscribed by law and punishable by the courts, but in all other cases people are free to choose. That said, it is well within the rights of society to shape the nature of the decisions people freely make. If Marxists won’t be completely open about their membership, should we not say that in all cases membership is incompatible with public service? Asking public servants to either confirm they are not a member of a revgolutionary organisation or to be open when they are won’t fully excise the backroom deals or the stench of privilege. The Labour Party has attempted for many years to impose such a stricture, with apparently limited effect. Still, it would signal intent.

And we have ample reason to be suspicious. Chumminess, social connection, camaraderie: all of these are in good supply at sports and dining clubs with doors on the high street and windows that peer out on to the 21st century. Momentum, tell me this: if you truly huddle in secret to no malign end and with no professed benefit unavailable elsewhere, what is the point?

Vote Jacob/Boris

Leading pro-Europe Tory Anna Soubry has threatened to quit the party and form a new political alliance because of Brexit.

The former minister has called on Prime Minister Theresa May to “stand up to” arch Brexiteers like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg and “slung ’em out”.

She told BBC2’s Newsnight: “If it comes to it, I am not going to stay in a party which has been taken over by the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson.

“They are not proper Conservatives.”

It’s a better reason than many.

What, you mean like getting elected, fair and square?

This malady matters because it’s a symptom of normalisation, the urge to pretend Trump operates within the usual democratic boundaries when in fact he represents an alarming break from the norms that make liberal democracy possible.

Although, to be fair, there might be a lot of weight being put upon the word “liberal” there. Which is being used to mean “democracy I like.”

What does this actually mean?

The Labour party is committed to tackling the scourge of low-paid jobs, raising the minimum wage to a true living wage of £10 per hour and creating over a million good jobs. With our shadow secretary of state Rebecca Long-Bailey, I’m developing and championing Labour’s challenge-led, mission-oriented and values-driven industrial strategy that will create a high-skill, high-wage, high-productivity economy.

Difficult to work out really:

Chi Onwurah is the Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central

Give me all your money?

Full of wind and vinegar, signifying nothing

After hours of closed-door meetings and phone calls, the Senate scheduled its late-night vote on a House-passed plan. It gained 50 votes to proceed to 48 against, but 60 were needed to break a Democratic filibuster.

Mr Schumer fought back, blaming the president for leading him to believe a deal was possible on a measure to prevent the expulsion of undocumented migrants who arrived in the country as children.

“Every American knows the Republican Party controls White House, the Senate, the House – it is their job to keep the government open. It is their job to work with us to move forward,” Mr Schumer told the Senate.

“They control every ounce of the process and it is their responsibility to govern and here they have failed,” he declared.

Well, if you need 60 votes in the Senate then you don’t control it all, do you?

Importing Ancient Greek democratic practices

By borrowing from the practice around which ancient Athens founded democracy – the involvement of ordinary citizens deliberating among their peers – we could transform Britain’s slow-motion agony into a triumph in which democracy was renewed to embody not just the will of the people, but the safer, more practical and generous notion of their considered will.

We’ll trade. You can have citizen juries if we also adopt another old practice. Anyone proposing a law which doesn’t then get passed is strangled on the floor of the debating chamber. Straight away.

Err, isn’t this the point?

Labour has been “completely taken over by a leftist clique”, one of the party’s most famous supporters has said, after the woman in charge of handling complaints was ousted and replaced by a controversial Jeremy Corbyn loyalist.

It’s a political party. Isn’t the point and purpose to be a leftist clique?