The British left must learn to speak a new language – Spanish
So I offer that title as a first language lesson for said British left. Admittedly, there’s a couple of ways one could interpret that, one using Polla to mean Polly Toynbee, which presumably isn’t what Owen is referring to as that would be the old British left, the one that must be left behind.
The other, more colloquial, meaning, well, more sui8table really as these people are willing to say or do prety much anything for power, aren’t they?
That’s just the title. I read the article and what he’s actually written is ‘pay attention to what the Spanish voters are saying; Podemos do and they’re winning’.
Initially it all sounded quite reasonable – a well known left wing columnist saying ‘actually yes, lets listen to what voters are saying and do that’. It continues with acknowledgements of some of the criticisms of Labour and their tribal supporters (insularity, Westminster Bubble, disregard for different opinions, etc).
But then it really just turns out to be an advice piece on power grabbing. If we (Labour/the left) hear voters saying X, we should say ‘we can do that’ [with emotional narrative] and we’ll get power.
– And that’s the point – still they just want power. For power. Not for helping the little people. Not for fixing the country. Get power, and then we can re-educate people.
Disappointing, Owen. It’s the most I’ve read so far of anything you’ve written and I actually thought – for a few minutes – that someone of your political stripe might finally understand why the electorate acted the way it did and could communicate it sensibly to those of similar leanings.
”The British left must learn to speak a new language – Spanish”
As in Cuba or Venezuala, presumably. Not Chile…
Like Justin I read one of his articles all the way through for the first time and thought he made a reasonable diagnosis of the problems of the left in this country.
What he didn’t get was that the vote in Spain was a direct result of the corruption in Spanish politics and doesn’t necessarily mean that the electorate want hard left politics, just they’ve had enough of the current corrupt mob who make our own MP’s expenses scandal look quite tame. (Where’s B(n)iS to give us chapter and verse on corruption in Spanish politics when we need him?)
Do they also want spanish levels of unemployment and a healthcare system where most people pay for service?
But as the internationalist Left fears and despises the native British working class, they intend only to pretend to listen in order to gain power.
Owen says the Labour Party was a ‘travesty’. Odd. He was exhorting us all to vote for them a month ago.
Corruption here is an art form and makes the UK MPs look like a bunch of posh kids trying to be a little bit naughty.
The left are working hard to focus on the corruption of the right (and the right have made it easy), but both parties have become accustomed to ‘cutting the cod’ and dancing round the magic money tree and moving huge (and I mean huge) amounts for personal and party benefit.
Just to upset my leftie friends when they go on about the banks and how they screwed us (obviously the cause of all our woes) I ask them to name a single bank in Spain which required public money to shore it up.
The only one they can come up with is Bankia, which they throw at me with glee until I remind them that Bankia is a false bank made up of about 7 failed Cajas (mutually owned politically controlled and royally abused by politicians of all colours).
This ignorance permeates the political debate and has allowed the hard left (ever the masters of marketing) to capture the logical, righteous and necessary dissatisfaction.
The current situation is a minefield. Nobody has won and alliances and how they will be interpreted when it comes to general elections are a danger for the future.
The PP is going to throw away the chance for another term despite having gone a long way to reestablishing economic order due to not dealing with corruption, arrogance and a lack of internal renovation.
They are still the biggest party and they have a window. They need to throw out a lot of oldies (who the left manage to tie in somehow to Franco) and the only candidate I see as having charisma and reputation enough to take the general elections later this year is the President of Galicia.
The hard-left will screw things up. They will blame it on the ususal suspects, but the time-line is in their favour. The summer is on us and the elections will be here before their stupidity and lack of capacity really comes home to roost.
For somebody trying to run a small business I am shi**ing bricks.
Just as things seem to be returning to a sort of normality along comes this. I blame the 2 major parties. Bunch of total tossers who spend far to much time thinking of their parties and not doing their job.
There is much more to analyse:
The autonomous state structure
The crony capitalists
Ex-politicians getting to run banks into the ground (Narcis Serra in Catalunya)
The cost of doing business
The benefit cultural built up in Andalucia over 30 years of socialist rule (and they are proud of what they have done)
The list is endless
but I agree with BiND
These results are the result of corruption and the arrogance of not dealing with it, not a huge sea change with millions suddenly embracing Stalinism.
Bloke in North Dorset – “What he didn’t get was that the vote in Spain was a direct result of the corruption in Spanish politics and doesn’t necessarily mean that the electorate want hard left politics, just they’ve had enough of the current corrupt mob who make our own MP’s expenses scandal look quite tame.”
I am not sure that is true. The Spanish have been happy enough with corrupt politicians for a long time. It is not news. What they don’t like is paying the price for their feckless Spanish ways. They don’t like the unemployment rate where it is, they don’t like cuts in services and they don’t like paying taxes. So naturally, being feckless, they will vote for someone who promises to shake the Magic Money Tree and make the nasty bankers go away. Seeing as they are feckless and all.
The problem with the Latin countries is that they have never had to pay the price for their fecklessness. The Army has always stepped in and saved them from themselves. This is no longer acceptable. So the Venezuelans are stuck with the consequences of their fecklessness. As are the Spanish. With luck this will be educational and they will remember it for, oh, maybe a whole ten years.
Who knows? But the smart money is on the feckless remaining feckless for the foreseeable future.
(I know I have form on this subject, but speaking of deep seated cultural traditions, don’t you like the fact that the Guardian’s story on FIFA has a photo of the only White guy arrested so far? As with the EU project generally, you invite representatives of corrupt cultures to sit at the High Table, pretty soon everyone is stealing the silverware. The Spanish want the rest of us to be as feckless as them. It is clear that football is going that way. No doubt the pound will succumb in the end.)
“(I know I have form on this subject, but speaking of deep seated cultural traditions, don’t you like the fact that the Guardian’s story on FIFA has a photo of the only White guy arrested so far? As with the EU project generally, you invite representatives of corrupt cultures to sit at the High Table, pretty soon everyone is stealing the silverware. The Spanish want the rest of us to be as feckless as them. It is clear that football is going that way. No doubt the pound will succumb in the end.)”
People from poorer countries have a lot more to gain, and their votes count as much as people in rich countries, so who ya gonna bribe?
And really, why is FIFA officials taking bribes anyone’s business but FIFA’s? If you don’t like that you’ll be watching it from Qatar instead of the UK, don’t watch it.
It seems to be another version of the “Lets get down with the Mugs in order to win next time” crap that ZaNu fans were peddling a fortnight ago. (was it Monbiot–I forget–gladly). Socialism in your face at local level–doing good works (Ha-ha-ahaha…….etc).
The Stigler – “People from poorer countries have a lot more to gain, and their votes count as much as people in rich countries, so who ya gonna bribe?”
Corruption and poverty is an interesting subject as they are clearly related. However I tend to think that the causation is that corruption keeps people poor. Not that poor people are more likely to be corrupt. Countries with populations that have a long tradition of corruption find it hard to make them stop. Italy is not exactly sharing the same level of fiscally probity with Switzerland. The two exceptions I can think of are Singapore and Hong Kong. But notice that in Singapore you basically have the ruling family insisting that only they get to appoint their own family members to run the economy – it is a monopoly.
“And really, why is FIFA officials taking bribes anyone’s business but FIFA’s? If you don’t like that you’ll be watching it from Qatar instead of the UK, don’t watch it.”
Who owns FIFA? Should we try to stamp out corruption in private businesses? That is an interesting question, but private businesses have owners and if they are fine with their employees taking bribes, then their views might be respected. This is what makes it interesting as FIFA has no owner. We give non-commercial operations like FIFA all sorts of benefits. I think we have some right to have some say in how they are run. If sport plays a useful social function, then they ought to be relatively uncorruptly useful.
So Much for Subtlety
With all the profound knowledge of Latin culture gained from a week in Lloret de Mar.
Or perhaps things are getting too hot for ZaNu in this country.
“Venezuela” says “Butch”Jones as he and his cohorts ride back to their Hole in the Wall hideout. “Nobody knows who we are over there. Think of all the jobs we could pull before they get wise”.
And this time ZaNu is attending to the language problem ahead of departure. How did that Spanish script from the movie go?
Estace es un robo”
Or near enough. Lines that ZaNu was born to speak.
The expert has spoken – “With all the profound knowledge of Latin culture gained from a week in Lloret de Mar.”
I am more of an Ibiza sort of person actually. As if I would be seen dead in Catalonia.
I note in passing, no one has disputed anything I have said so far. Some may not like my interpretation but it is not as if any sane person thinks Spain does not have a problem with corruption – and has not had one for a long time.
Next Saturday will see an interesting event in Spain – the final of the Copa del Rey, their version of the FA Cup, which will be held in Madrid. What will make it interesting is that the Spanish king will be present and the national anthem
sunghummed/whistled in this great national sporting occasion. Only it will be contested between FC Barcelona and Athletico Bilbao, both representing regions that don’t actually want to be part of Spain. I wonder what King Felipe will think of it all?
Thanks, bilbaoboy, and apologies for forgetting you.
I can only get at all interested when governments are taking bribes. And even then, anti-bribery laws just mean some companies in other parts of the world without anti-bribery laws get the deal for a similar bribe. I really doubt these laws do anything for the local people.
Either your organisation collects rent for things of value, or your senior managers will.
No they haven’t.
La Polla está en su villa en la Toscana
That’s weird. I would have thought that the joke was that the *American* left needs to learn Spanish.
I figure that the British left would be better off learning Arabic.
a diagnosis from someone who seems unaware that Ibiza, although legally distinct from the autonomous community of Catalonia, is actually Catalan should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt or a spoonful of olive oil.
What is wrong with Jones’ thinking is he seems to imagine the Labour Party can be anything other than the political arm of proto-communist unions, it’s entire raison d’être. He’d have more chance wishing that the conservative or liberal parties can become what he wants.
Most of us of the older generation know this, they saw Ed Miliband as riding the dinosaur of seventies Britain coming back, ready to break us again under the union boot.
Blair/Brown smashed Clause IV to make us think they’d shrugged off union control but once in power they expanded the role of the public sector and filled the union coffers with more membership after decades of decline.
Does he honestly believe that the Labour Party can be any different, it was founded to help unions, it was funded by unions, it was lead by unions, and its policies were written by unions. That needs to change, and when it does it will not be the Labour Party any more.
Caudillo Franco wasn’t so bad, considering the alternative. I’d have favoured the monarchists myself, but realistically Spain was going either authoritarian nationalist or full-blown Stalinist nightmare. The relatively good guys won.
Lefties are still butthurt that their favourite nun-raping Communist idealists lost.
Speaking of butthurt, sez Owen:
The left in Britain is still in shock. We did not have time to emotionally prepare ourselves for a Tory majority government […] For many, it is though time stopped at 10pm on 7 May 2015: we’re still trapped in that moment of horror and panicky disbelief.
Allow me to retort:
A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! 🙂
How tempting for the left to turn inwards, to suddenly feel like strangers in a foreign and hostile land, populated by shy Tories and rampant Ukippery.
Oh but you are, Owen. You belong to a strange little sect whose customs, mores and shibboleths are alien to normal British people.
People who don’t give a fuck about transgender pronouns, the percentage of fictional LGBT characters on television, Kurdish communists, Thomas Piketty, Naomi Klein, or any of the other shite you prattle on about in your columns.
People who aren’t ashamed of being English, who don’t want their country dissolved in an acid bath of mass immigration, who don’t need patronising moon-faced little twerps like you snatching away their booze or their ciggies or their cheap flights abroad while you tell us you know what’s best for us.
Fuck you, Owen, you little weirdo. Go and play with the traffic.
You can see how the already inward-looking left could become ever more insular, with leftwing meetings serving as group therapy
Therapy would imply it’ll help you get better. The left-wing echosphere isn’t therapeutic, it just makes them angrier and crazier. It’s a petri dish of swarming bacillus, all of them eating each other and mutating into bizarre new strains like intersectional genderqueer transEskimo feminism and LGBTQIA(WTF?)+
It’s a parliament of baboons, baring their teeth and beating their chests and competing to see who can hoot the loudest.
Nationalise the railways! Hoot!
No! Nationalise the mobile phone companies! Hoot! Hoot!
Splitters! We need to #killallwhitemen first, you heteropatriarchal cis scum! (Flings poop)
The kindest thing we can do for the left is to wall them all up in Brighton and make them fight each other to the death like in The Hunger Games.
We have got a bit stereotypey on this thread.
Spain had corruption under Franco. Corruption of the type you get in a dictatorship. I can assure you there were many unhappy with the arrangement.
The corruption that has developed subsequently in Spain has been (hopefully accidentally, but one does wonder) ‘promoted’ by the vast influx of funds after accessing the EU.
Too much money, too soon, at far too cheap a rate and for far too long. Funds for infrastructures, for training, for sticking your fingers in your ears and whistling through the hole out of which the sun does not shine.
The money goes through politicians’ control and is managed through the regional savings banks which become politically controlled.
More money available to all levels of political institutions. Got to spend it somewhere. And of course one has friends, personal and political and it all goes from there. An inflated invoice here, an over valuation there, property bubble to cover problems, 110% mortgages, monry for land banks for property developers, straight till dipping of small, medium and fuc*ing ginormous amounts…. And yes it did spread out, it wasn’t just the 1%. Then we hit the wall.
The bubble and bust have been commented on by brighter people than me here. And as our gracious host says, our Owen and Mr Murphy are all for Spanish style savings banks (maybe they don’t travel?).
If you add 30 years of socialist control and command with ‘generous’ distributive policies to the mix, you get benefit driven Andalucia with 50% youth unemployment and with nearly half that number functionally difficult to employ for anything other than menial, just when menial work is disappearing.
But (and I am not a regional nationalist), Spain is many things, there are many, many good and honest things about it. Ibiza is driven by hedonist tourism (and is full of foreigners as visitors and locals). It is as London is to the UK. It is a playground and a playground fills with certain types.
It would be dangerous to generalise from Ibiza, Magaluf or even the Canary Islands.
Many of the current problems are a result of the creation of an entitlement culture, but this does not cover the whole country or even the whole population in certain parts. The PP won the last general election handsomely have done a part of the job well but tripped on communication AND DEALING WITH CORRUPTION WITHIN. It seemed at one stage that there was a non-agression pact between the PP and the PSOE as both knew more about the other’s problems than they let on.
Ciudadanos a yet to be defined but basically non-nationalist, anti-corruption centre party is also growing fast. PSOE are still losing votes and Podemos did worse than they hoped. These elections are a perfect valve for letting off steamy indignation because the effects are local (and nobody is going to rule as they want anywhere).
The vote may change in the general elections. It usually does. But the PP really need a serious updating if they don’t want to get the boot despite being the largest party.
If they had deat with corruption fiercely, their ranks would be depleted (but so would those of the PSOE who would have had to follow suit) and they growth of Podemos would not have had anything like their current growth.
Incidentally, the UK has a larger (or at least more vocal and visible) number of committed ninis (ni estudian ni trabajan) sucking on the state tit.
Love and Peace to you all and
@Tim Newman (if you have stuck with me this far!
The final will of course be won by David slaying Goliath. We may have no Messi but…. (Humility regarding things Bilbao is not our strong point and as my nick suggests I am somewhat integrated…)
The national anthem will be shouted down, it was, three years ago, with the same teams on the pitch. The nationalists here have suggested playing all three turgid ‘hymns’, but that won’t stop the Spanish anthem being ‘pitado’. I don’t ike it but some git from the PP is suggesting fines for the clubs!!! if it happens.
Tis but free speech; rude, unnecessary and a pain but they are football fans and their vote is what counts not a bit of anti-establishment willy-waving at the monarch (and the queen, now she is something else, if you like slender women!) Oooops delete that please!
“If you add 30 years of socialist control and command with ‘generous’ distributive policies to the mix, you get benefit driven Andalucia with 50% youth unemployment and with nearly half that number functionally difficult to employ for anything other than menial, just when menial work is disappearing.”
Indeed. I spend 4-5 months each year in Andalucia and I’d add three points to what you say. First, the local yoof don’t want temporary work harvesting olives or any other crop. At harvest time, the workers are Bulgarian and Romanian. Second, I understand Spanish businesses have to pay vat from the first euro they earn, which probably cripples many start-ups. Yet, third, the number of new start-ups in Andalucia this year is noticeable — unlike in richer France, where business closures are often more prevalent than start-ups. Perhaps the Spanish labour market reforms are working….
Saw a part of a documentary about the Canadian international brigades in the Spanish civil war.
The poor sods – the absolute epitome of “useful idiots”. They thought they were fighting for democracy against Fascism. But the guy they were fighting against wasn’t a fascist, and the guy they died in their thousands for was Stalin – hardly a democrat.
(i) Franco wasn’t fascist, but part of his coalition was. Still, Churchill wasn’t a communist but ….
(ii) “People who … don’t want their country dissolved in an acid bath of mass immigration”: aye, but it’s too late. The pass is sold. Efforts could be made to stop it getting even worse, I suppose, but I don’t think there’s a cat in Hell’s chance that they will be made.
A brilliant post which needs wider circulation- fantastic stuff!
I note that Owen Jones talks about representation for “workers” when he means *non-workers* – most Labour voters are reliant on the state for benefits or cushy and/or overpaid employment/pensions.
Just look at the number of students, unemployed (including those on ESA/PIP/disability benefits), public sector workers and public sector pensioners! Obviously some of them care more about the country than their own income because the Labour %age of votes was smaller than the %age of state clients created/augmented by New Labour..
When smfs starts talking about the endemic corruption of Spain, I start to ponder the UK. For example, has anyone explained how:
1. Ted Heath, a middle class kid was able to race offshore yachts at international level for many years on a parliamentary salary and lived in a house in the cathedral close at Salisbury
2.Jim Callaghan, ex petty officer, retired to a farming estate in Hampshire
3.Tony Blair and wife accumulated the wealth to buy a flat in Brussels when their son went to study there and are sitting on a property empire.
I am sure it is all within the rules but it makes me think….. But only Spanish do Spanish practices, no doubt.
Are you claiming that Churchill was a Communist sympathiser?
Ted Heath was a bachelor and served as an officer in WWII before becoming a fairly civil servant post-war until he resigned to become a parliamentary candidate more than two years before the 1950 election (notably different from Labour candidates these days) working for the Church Times as News Editor until given a job at a Merchant Bank. He also earned a small income as a Church Organist on Sundays when no-one except Orthodox Jews, clergy and organists worked.
When I was in my thirties a younger friend suggested I might crew for him in a boat owned by ( either his father or a friend of his father) because I had a good stength/weight ratio. It is not as unreasonable as you seem to imply that Ted Heath could afford to sail in his forties.
FYI Of all the Conservative leaders in my life-time Ted Heath came second-bottom, ahead only of Ian Duncan-Smith so this is a pendantic, not a partisan comment.
Of course Ted Heath couldn’t afford to run a racing yacht: reportedly it was paid for by sundry businessmen, to whom Heath was characteristically ungrateful. Whereas James Callaghan bought his farm jointly with a man he later gave a CBE.
They thought they were fighting for democracy against Fascism. But the guy they were fighting against wasn’t a fascist…
They were fighting for the democratically elected government, against the military coup. They weren’t that interested in the exact flavour of totalitarianism favoured by the coup leaders.
Heath was, I assume, on the CIA payroll. Those boats do indeed need explanation. How many payrolls was Harold Wilson on? God knows. I always assumed that Callaghan had married money, but I never did check.
As for Blair, too holy-willy to be true.
“Are you claiming that Churchill was a Communist sympathiser?” Good God, no. Are you some sort of foreigner? Or young, perhaps?
Iknow people who earn a lot less than MPs who own and operate yachts. There was a lot of things wrong with Heath but I don’t think that corruption was one of them.
What Kevin said but in the past tense – I now live inland
“They were fighting for the democratically elected government, against the military coup. They weren’t that interested in the exact flavour of totalitarianism favoured by the coup leaders.”
Disagree with you strongly on this.
The fact that the Spanish civil war was widely perceived as part of a wider struggle against fascism was clearly a part of the appeal of the international brigades. It wasn’t just due to the unpopularity of military coups.
For comparison, had the military been behind some flavour of left-wing revolution (perhaps let us posit an alternate history where conservative parties had narrowly won, controversially, in an election and the military intervened in the unrest that followed, on what was perceived to be the “progressive” side) it’s quite plausible that many of the same faces would have shown up from abroad to support such a coup. Though I admit this argument is speculative.
My point was that the International Brigades had no interest in technical quibbling about whether Franco’s politics qualified as fascist or not. They were fighting against a military coup actively supported by Hitler and Mussolini: then and now that was a good reason to oppose it.
A leftist military coup against a democratically elected right-wing government? Not exactly common. There was Velasco in Peru: I don’t recall leftists from around the world flocking to support him.
You want Spanish, Owen. Then translate this, you cunt.
Hemos visto los resultados de la adopción de principios socialistas una y otra vez. Podemos verlos ahora mismo en Venezuela, una etapa lógica y inevitable en el sendero a la muerte y la miseria provocado por el tipo de demagogia autoritaria que, a pesar de su historial ininterrumpido de fracaso, ha animado adolescentes cretinos como tú desde el siglo XVIII. El punto final esta ubicado en los campos de muerte en Cambodia. La mezcla de arrogancia y estupidez contenido en tu aserción que tu derrota en la elección anterior fue debido a una falta de communicación entre Labour y los votantes es, es de esperar, el razón por qué tu estancia en el desierto político sea prolongado y doloroso.
Vete al infierno, carepicha, tú y la puta que te parió.
Fighting against a Nazi-backed military coup was indeed a worthy cause, but would have been more worthy – and far more worthwhile – had the volunteers not been played for fools by (or worse, actively supported) a rival bunch of anti-democrats backed by another prototypical evil dictator.
Left-wing military coups are not unheard-of: Velasco inspired Chavez after all. Closer to the relevant time period there’s Pilsudski in Poland. Anti-Soviet but definitely socialist.
I’d agree that the IB volunteers weren’t making fine distinctions about Franco’s personal politics. I just couldn’t buy the line about the volunteers backing the democratically elected government without regard to the exact shade of politics of the coup: I’m not sure whether, or for how long, the volunteers thought a Republican victory would reinstate a pluralist parliamentary democracy (or whether they all would have considered this desirable) but I’m pretty sure most of them were there because it was a chance to fight back against fascism. I’m confident that had the Right “stolen” a closely fought election, and sections of the Left taken up arms in revolt, then it would only have been a matter of time for the useful idiots or hardcore international revolutionaries to join the cause, especially if fascists were openly backing the other side.
Heath having a yacht isn’t surprising; NHS doctors and university lecturers had them in the 70s. Plus he was a bachelor in an age when a professional man’s salary was expected to support a wife, and three children at private school.
The house in the cathedral close, I’m told he bought the remainder of a long lease at a time when such things were unpopular and so relatively cheap, and then managed to buy the freehold cheaply under right to buy legislation.
I hate Heath and all his works, but think he is probably relatively innocent on this one.
To add to my northern neighbour’s excellent resumé of things Iberian;
The Little Englanders amongst you probably don’t stop & think that you are the anomaly. Corruption is the natural state. If you’re someone with something to sell- and that’s what politicians & bureaucrats have – it’d be rank stupidity not to maximise your return. If you need something they control, stupidity not to pay them. This is the story in Russia, the Far & Middle East, Africa. S. America.. It’s only in the UK, US & a few other countries we’ve made a remarkable discovery.Restricting the opportunity for gain for some players maximises the opportunity for gain for all players. Power’s a commodity. We’ve nationalised it for the benefit of all. That’s what our ant-corruption laws do.
Spain simply doesn’t have the history of the UK. It’s not really much further on from a feudal society where all wealth was accumulated by the Dons & the peons did as little as they could get away with, stole what they could. They certainly weren’t going to get the benefit of their labour. So the culture says, when you wrest yourself out of poverty & get yourself into a position of power, it’s your turn to sell your favours to the highest bidder.
Bilbaoboy talks about the problems in Andalucia. That’s my turf. The Andalus are the most backward of the Spanish. We still had real live bandits operating in the hills in the early C20th. It was third world until the 60s. The poorest part of the country. The parents of our politicians & bureaucrats were living in a one room cortijo with the goat. What do you expect?
It’s hell to do business down here. There’s a question I like to ask:
“You’re organising a concert. What would you rather do? Sell tickets & have a thousand come? Have a free concert, have ten thousand turn up, sell beer?” You get a blank look.
The idea that you shouldn’t interpose yourself between the supply & demand & collect rent doesn’t occur to them. That you can make more money servicing the requirements of.widening wealth is foreign to them. Their culture is to restrict & control.
And let’s be honest. The EU has hardly brought a wind of free enterprise sweeping through the country, has it?
Van Patten – thank you my friend 🙂
Social Justice Warrior – They were fighting against a military coup actively supported by Hitler and Mussolini: then and now that was a good reason to oppose it.
Hitler also supported socialism, environmentalism, public health campaigns, and vegetarianism.
That’s a good reason to oppose all those things.
“They were fighting against a military coup actively supported by Hitler and Mussolini: then and now that was a good reason to oppose it.”
Except that meant they were fighting for Stalin.
Except that meant they were fighting for Stalin
George Orwell was fighting for Stalin??
Heath having a yacht isn’t surprising
Heath didn’t just have a yacht, he had an ocean-racing yacht with a professional boatmaster. I don’t think he was corrupt, but I’d be surprised to learn he had the personal wherewithal to fund that.
@ Social Justice Warrior
“A leftist military coup against a democratically elected right-wing government? Not exactly common” YMBJ!
Have you heard of a country called “Turkey”? They used to have regular coups because the left-wing military would not permit any moderate Islamist actions by the centre-right party that won just about every free election.Just about every Arab republic has had a left-wing military coup. Lenin and Mao Tse-Tung took power by military coups against elected centre-left governments, Stalin sponsored a series of military coups in Eastern Europe. Brezhnev did likewise in Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique; Obote launched a coup while PM years before Amin launched a coup against Obote. Peron first came to power after a left-wing military coup against an elected conservative government,
That’s off the top of my head: I could actually do some research, in which case I might turn up a hundred examples, but I don’t have the time to waste.
@Jouh77: You missed Gadhaffi for one.
@SJW: Yup, he was indeed. He didn’t realise he had been fighting as one of Unca Joe’s useful idiots till he ended up on a death list and had to flee to France.
Good tactic, really – let many “other left” groups play for a while to sap the forces of the other side, then make sure yours comes out dominant and destroys the rest. Luckily it didn’t work.
john77: You need to look up the terms “democratically elected”, “leftist”, and “military coup”, then go and do that research you mention, because not one of your examples fits.
Have you heard of an organization called the CIA? It openly backed the 1980 coup in Turkey. And it’s not leftist.
You missed Gadhaffi for one
Gadhaffi’s coup was against a monarchy.
He didn’t realise he had been fighting as one of Unca Joe’s useful idiots…
Read Homage to Catalonia
@ Social Justice Warrior
I don’t need to look any of them up because I *know* what they mean
The Democrat Party, later resurrected as the Justice Party, was repeatedly elected in free democratic elections until the 1960 coup..Demirel was first deposed in the bloodless 1971 coup. The generals who launched the 1980 coup were backed *after* the coup by the CIA but that does not alter the legitimacy of Demiel’s government, nor his political leanings. So that is three which fit. The Argentine 1943 coup makes four.
Unless, of course, you take the view that elections are only “democratic” if they conform with the principles of “The People’s Democratic Republic of (insert name here)” and elect the candidates pre-selected by the commissars.
Surely you jest.
None of the coups in Turkey was remotely leftist. After the 1971 coup the new military-backed government launched a wave of repression against the left, including banning the Workers Party.
You can’t seriously think that the Conservative governments in Argentina during the “infamous decade” were democratically elected, and that the fascist General Ramirez, who finally overthrew them, was a leftist. Can you?
Don’t talk soft. Every coup in Turkey was by the left-wing army against a right-of-centre government. The army had set itself up as a defender of the Kemalist revolution. I have to presume that your definition of “leftist” is the same as that of the Chinese Communist Party if you claim that the military ousting of a right-of-centre government, the hanging of a popularly elected Prime Minister and the replacement by the left-wing party that lost the election is not remotely leftist.
The winner of a democratic election is, by definition, democratically elected. No-one has yet declared John F Kennedy unelected. The 1943 coup was carried by a broad left group backed by syndicalists, socialists in trades unions and fascist sympathisers and was led by General Arturo Rawson – you cannot even get that right!.
Desperate stuff John. In so far as it’s possible to identify a leader of the 1960 coup, it was Colonel Turkes, who was a far-right nationalist, and above all else anti-communist. One motive for the coup was the army’s fear of a closer relationship between the Menderes government and Moscow.
The winner of a democratic election is, by definition, democratically elected.
That’s got nothing to do with Argentina: there was a democratic election in 1928, a coup against it in 1930, and a series of blatantly and notoriously fraudulent elections thereafter.
The 1943 coup…was led by General Arturo Rawson…
If you insist. Ramirez became president days afterwards. The distinction seems irrelevant to your previous claim about Peron.
This discussion seems rather pointless. Standing armies are by their nature nationalist and authoritarian. When they depose a civilian government, it’s not because they want something more left-wing, it’s because they want to impose order. Which isn’t to say anything about the relative merits of left and right-wing governments; it’s about the nature of military coups.
You are continuing to talk nonsense. You seem to imply that all authoritarian regimes are right-wing whereas authoritarianism and a big state are habitually left-wing.
Menderes was a repeatedly re-elected right-of-centre PM. The Turkish army has been left-wing since 1919. They hanged him. They then appointed the left-wing Ismet Inonu as PM until Demirel won the first free election. Now why would a right-wing coup replace a right-of-centre government with a left-wing government? Perhaps because it was *not* a right-wing coup but a left-wing one. I don’t know where you get you ideas from: in 1960 the leaders of the coup were claiming to defend Ataturk not the west..
Are you trying to tell me that General Ne Win and his “Burmese Road to Socialism” wasn’t left-wing? Violence against democratically-elected governments is typically left-wing (ask Douglas Carswell or the guys who were attacked by students because the idiots didn’t know the correct address of Conservative Central Office or Nottinghamshire miners or the government of Colombia or …); where is Sinn Fein on the political spectrum? – pretty close to the IRA’s soviet paymasters.
Oh well, if you say Turkes was a leftist, then you must think the same of Franco. In which case I’m not sure what we’re arguing about.
Portugal had a left wing, Socialists and Communists working together, coup against the elected-ish quasi-Fascist government in 1974.
Applause from the international left followed.
The Stigler – “I can only get at all interested when governments are taking bribes.”
I agree these laws are stupid, but on the other hand, I think that employers have a right to expect a certain behaviour from their employees. Betraying that trust should be some sort of offense.
“Either your organisation collects rent for things of value, or your senior managers will.”
If I want to employ a pretty young girl, I have a right to demand sex first? Because my company certainly won’t so it is open slather for me?
What to do about charities? Bill Clinton took a Haitian charity for $500,000. If the rest was stolen by the person organising it, that would be fine? Some guy in America has just gone to jail for running fake cancer charities.
ukliberty – “No they haven’t.”
So what are you claiming? There was no corruption in Spain before 2003?
diogenes – “a diagnosis from someone who seems unaware that Ibiza, although legally distinct from the autonomous community of Catalonia, is actually Catalan should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt or a spoonful of olive oil.”
Or perhaps there is a third explanation ….
Social Justice Warrior – “This discussion seems rather pointless. Standing armies are by their nature nationalist and authoritarian. When they depose a civilian government, it’s not because they want something more left-wing, it’s because they want to impose order.”
Order is not incompatible with being left wing. When the tanks rolled to over throw Gorbachev and restore Stalinism were they left wing or right wing? They were certainly trying to restore order.
Nor is being nationalist and/or authoritarian incompatible with being on the Left. The Left hates the West. It does not have a problem with nationalism or authoritarianism in the Third World. Nasser carried out a coup against a right wing king (and then against a more moderate older Army officer). He was certainly nationalist – and endorsed by the Left.
Venezuela’s Chavez became famous when he attempted a coup in 1992. Left wing or not? Peru is ruled by Ollenta Humalla who is the son of a leading Communist, the brother of an imprisoned Communist, but whose politics are hard to classify. He also attempted a coup in 2000. Left wing or not?
“Which isn’t to say anything about the relative merits of left and right-wing governments; it’s about the nature of military coups.”
No it is about your fantasy about the military.
Isaac Humala is not a communist, he’s the founder of ‘Etnocacerismo’ a half-arsed nationalist ideology based on ethnic origin that is right, rather than left of centre. Ollanta Humala’s brother Antauro (currently in jail for murder) is the same, As for Ollanta Humala himself, nobody really knows what he stands for other than filling his pockets. One thing’s for sure, though, he’s taking Peru back to the bad days of the 1980s and although his survival until the end of his term next year is looking a bit shaky he’ll probably survive. After that? Fuck knows.
If “oppressed other left-wing groups” makes something right-wing, why were the International Left supporting the right-wing Bolsheviks for 70 years?
It’s not like they offed the SD’s, menscheviks and all the others, is it? Surely they welcomed them all with open arms…
The lefties tend to follow Cuddly Uncle Joe Stalin’s lead on nomenclature: anything they don’t like is denounced as “right wing”.
Hence the ludicrous suggestion that Fascism (an offshoot of Socialism) is “right wing”. Or the BBC desperately trying to label the BNP as “right wing”.
Um no, there certainly was corruption in Spain before 2003 and there still is corruption in Spain. I’m literally claiming it’s false that “The Spanish have been happy enough with corrupt politicians for a long time.”
@ Social Justice Warrior
You are picking one individual in an institutionally left-wing army that insisted on secularism.The Turkish army repeatedly overthrew right-of-centre governments and replaced them with unelected left-wing civilians. Your argument is “oh, that doesn’t count because one person that I, SJW, declare to be “right-wing” supported the coup”. That does not stand up to scrutiny by anyone who can remember.
I am still waiting to hear why you disallow the 1971 coup, why you think Castillo was not elected if JFK was – or why you have not declared that you do not accept that JFK was democratically elected, why you deny that the military coups in Eastern Europe (including the failed one in Greece) were left-wing,
SMFS points out that I had forgotten Portugal – I had forgotten many examples.
FFS John, after the 1971 coup the army imprisoned and worse the leftists.
Look, if you like you can redefine right-wing to include only governments you approve of (you’ll get a fair bit of support on this forum), and redefine democracy to include any process you like the result of (including the ‘election’ of Caetano and Tomas). And I can redefine left-wing to include only governments I approve of, if any. And then we can talk past each other.
Or rather we can’t, because I’ll leave you to it.
@ Social Justice Warrior
Why cannot you just admit that you are wrong?
I don’t approve of all right-wing governments and unlike you I don’t define democracy as a process giving the result I want – you didn’t see me rioting in the streets in 2005 when right-wingers could claim that Blair had stolen the election by rigging the terms of reference for the Boundary Commission. What I do is observe facts, some of which don’t suit me and some of which (oh! horror of horrors!) show that you are talking through your hat. The difference is that I don’t deny the existence of the former o re-write history.
ukliberty – “Um no, there certainly was corruption in Spain before 2003 and there still is corruption in Spain. I’m literally claiming it’s false that “The Spanish have been happy enough with corrupt politicians for a long time.””
Then you are wrong. Not cleverly wrong. Just wrong. Spain, as we agree, has been corrupt for a long time. It did not push people to vote for Podemos or something like it in the past. They may not have been happy with corruption but they were happy enough.
As seen by the fact they kept voting for the corrupt.
1. Podemos won many votes because of its anti-corruption stance. That stories of alleged corruption are coming out after the votes does not mean voters had access to their then-future and happily voted for corruption.
2. Two, three, four choices on the table, one new choice that’s possibly corrupt, the older others are definitely corrupt, you’re anti-corruption, all else being equal who do you vote for?
john77: Why cannot you just admit that you are wrong?
Your argument depends on the democratic credentials of Caetano, and the left-wing credentials of the CIA. And the claim that the public face of the 1960 coup in Turkey, a far-right ultra-nationalist and later the founder of the Grey Wolves, was a leftist. Take a deep breath and admit that those arguments are ridiculous.
Your latest argument is that the 2005 election in the UK, won by the most popular party, was similar in kind to the Argentinian elections of the 1930s, won – and no one but you disputes this – by the party controlling the ballot boxes. You’re better than this.
@ Social Justice Warrior
Have you considered visiting a psychiatrist? My earlier post, as I said, forgot Portugal. In 1960 the Turkish army replaced an elected right-of-centre government with an unelected left-of-centre one. These are facts.
It is quite simply a lie to say that my argument depends on the democratic credentials of Caetano. It is also offensive since I was a critic of Caetano while he was in power but that is trivial. The CIA is irrelevant unless you are an extreme fan of the “X-files” and assume that “cigarette-smoking-man assassinated JFK – which makes no difference to my argument because that replaced JFK with LBJ, who was further to the left.
“Your latest argument is that the 2005 election in the UK, won by the most popular party, was similar in kind to the Argentinian elections of the 1930s, won – and no one but you disputes this – by the party controlling the ballot boxes. You’re better than this.”
That is a LIE. I said “you didn’t see me rioting in the streets in 2005 when right-wingers could claim that Blair had stolen the election by rigging the terms of reference for the Boundary Commission.”
In 1960 the US Presidential election was won by the party controlling the voting machines in Cook County Illinois. That is a recorded fact – what is also recorded is that Richard Nixon would have won if Mayor Daley’s team had not fixed the voting machines. There is widely alleged to have been corruption in elections in Argentina prior to WWII but there is no record of who would have won in the absence of corruption, just speculation.
What I said was that, unlike you, I put up with democratic votes that elect the other sid,ans I do not rewrite history.
In 1960, the public face of the coup was a General who stridently proclaimed his loyalty to Kemal Ataturk. I have no idea what you read about it 40 or so years later but that is what he said at the time according to “The Times” when it was a reliable newspaper (OK – I don’t speak Turkish so I had to rely on an interpreter).
I am growing tired of your insults and lies.
I’m sure we’ve both found the military coup discussion frustrating, so let’s leave it there.
On the slightly different subject of electoral fraud in the USA: the 1960 election was a bit dodgy, not least in Cook County, but Kennedy won the electoral college by 84, with only 27 electors coming from Illinois. The USA being the country it is, there were extensive investigations at the time, the only result of which was to change the outcome in Hawaii to a win for Kennedy. Your “Nixon would have won” is an invention – details here.
right-wingers could claim that Blair had stolen the  election by rigging the terms of reference for the Boundary Commission
Right-wingers claim all sorts of insane things, but this one is especially loopy. The 2005 election was fought in England on boundaries largely as determined by the Boundary Commission review of 1995, in accordance with the review frequency specified by parliament in 1992. That wasn’t Blair’s doing.