british democracy

Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 20:23:03 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Cash for peerages - Newsnight
To: peter.barron@bbc.co.uk

Dear Peter,
last night's Newsnight programme investigated new details surrounding the cash-for-peerages scandal - in which it's alleged that Blair traded peerages to secure funding for his election campaign. I'm surprised that you felt that you could cover this subject, and the £60 million in undisclosed loans by the "main" political parties, without identifying to your viewers what the money was needed for in the "free and fair" elections of British "democracy."

You also managed to overlook the fact that the "main" political parties are already subsidised to the tune of over £30 million of taxpayers' cash, through Cranborne money and Short money, and the fact that they're facing bankruptcy because they lack popular support; combined, the three "main" parties have less than a million members from a voting population of over 42 million people.

Speaking to the Institute of Directors in 1998, Peter Mandelson clarifies why such huge amounts of money are needed to buy power in British "democracy": "It had been the job of New Labour’s architects to translate their understanding of the customer into offerings he or she was willing to pay for. And then, and only then, to convey to potential customers the attributes of that offering through all the different components that make up a successful brand – product positioning, packaging, advertising and communications."[1]

According to Peter Oborne the main parties used the same American software programme 'mosaic' to target those few hundred thousand swing voters in "key" marginals with surgical precision. Our political system is so moribund that only the key marginals are likely to change hands at election time. Through "focus groups" the parties identify what the voters in each key marginal like then offer them six "key pledges," which are somewhat anodyne that nobody would object to, in an effort to galvanise the vote in these key seats. These "local inducements" in the form of key pledges were considered necessary because, as Oborne noted, all three main parties' policies on several key issues - taxation, law and order, health, education - were so similar as to render any concept of "democratic choice" meaningless.

Party leaders and other senior politicians did their best to avoid the public, concentrating on stage-managed private rallies, photo sessions and events. This kind of posturing in front of adulating supporters is thought to provide a more positive "media image" and has been commonplace in America for some time. It's also quite expensive. Oborne noted that with an ever higher number of ideologically bereft 'career politicians' and dwindling grass-roots party membership, presentation is content. Policies are product lines, voters are sized up by the latest marketing methods, resulting in policies of "stupefying banality."

As Jeremy Paxman discovered during BBC election coverage New Labour also conducted trend analysis on actual postal ballot votes, before the main ballot, and altered their key propaganda messages based on this information. Even after this hugely expensive stage-managed media "campaign" and public relations exercise they still only managed to secure twenty percent of the popular vote - the lowest level of support since the 1832 parliament Act, in fact, the lowest level ever in a British election.

Don't you think you should have brought some of your more obvious related factual omissions to the attention of your viewers?

Yours sincerely,

Peter Fainton

[1] Market Driven Politics, by Colin Leys, p.68

peter Fainton's blog generally interested in british democracy...


"Well, I guess we can close the file on that one."

The US military also announced that two American soldiers died from their injuries in separate incidents in Iraq on Tuesday.

separate incidents!!

related news:

"They say that the killings and kidnappings are being carried out by men in police uniforms and with police vehicles," the Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said to me with a despairing laugh this summer. "But everybody in Baghdad knows that the killers and kidnappers are real policemen."

Everything in Iraq is dominated by what in Belfast we used to call "the politics of the last atrocity".

mysteriously kids think violence legitimate tool to 'get what you want'

...be it the greatest material prize in history or simply the wallet of a plump recalcitrant turkey of a local.

'in a shocking development today it was announced that it is not just the uk govt who pose the direct major threat to the british public, and select foreign nationals, but that they also have also colluded in the creation of a society so jaded and hopeless as to have little more sensible to do with themselves than thrill seeking attacks motivated more by a desire to foster hard core street cred than actually produce useful material advantage.'

Chomsky: There's a name for that in the international affairs literature; its called maintaining credibility. You have to carry out violent acts to maintain credibility, even if the issue is insignificant.

where are these crazy kids getting these wacky ideas from?


suppose you had a holocaust and nobody came

in 1900, as today, US intervention was a crucial issue in determining the outcome of the presidential election. intervention that would ultimately largely be regarded as a failure, not because of the questionable morality of the claims being made and actions taken in the pursuit of those claims, but because of the cost to precious US manpower and resources.

terror? coming right up. freedom fries with dat?


blair - i fucked up - official

"shit happens, i mean niggas is dying on the streets everyday, as tupac said thats the way it is"


Walter.. you're not even jewish..

"When I was a skinhead, I used to go around saying: oh, those Jews, look at what they've done.

"A young person always needs to find an enemy and we found this enemy in Jews, blacks and Gypsies."

Six years ago, Pawel made a discovery that turned his life upside down - he found out that he was Jewish.

classic shomer shabbas material!


"war crimes complaints against rumsfeld et al"

yank-style fancy dress party.. going down in style..

The November 14, 2006, criminal complaint is a request for the German Federal Prosecutor to open an investigation and, ultimately, a criminal prosecution that will look into the responsibility of high-ranking U.S. officials for authorizing war crimes in the context of the so-called “War on Terror.” The complaint is brought on behalf of 12 torture victims – 11 Iraqi citizens who were held at Abu Ghraib prison and one Guantánamo detainee – and is being filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Republican Attorneys' Association (RAV) and others, all represented by Berlin Attorney Wolfgang Kaleck.

The complaint is being filed under the Code of Crimes against International Law (CCIL), enacted by Germany in compliance with the Rome Statute creating the International Criminal Court in 2002, which Germany ratified. The CCIL provides for “universal jurisdiction” for war crimes, crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity. It enables the German Federal Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute crimes constituting a violation of the CCIL, irrespective of the location of the defendant or plaintiff, the place where the crime was carried out, or the nationality of the persons involved.

The complaint is related to a 2004 complaint that was dismissed, but the new complaint is filed with much new evidence, new defendants and plaintiffs, a new German Federal Prosecutor and, most important, under new circumstances that include the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense and the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 in the U.S. granting officials retroactive immunity from prosecution for war crimes.

complaint summary

list of torturing bigmacs

The complaint is being filed on behalf of 11 Iraqi citizens who were victims of gruesome crimes at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison. They were severely beaten, deprived of sleep and food, sexually abused, stripped naked and hooded, and exposed to extreme temperatures.

mate that's nothing.. sounds a lot better than surviving on the streets of basra!

Guantanamo [...] methods included fifty days of severe sleep deprivation and 20-hour interrogations, forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, physical force, prolonged stress positions and prolonged sensory over-stimulation.

boo-hoo! you've obviously never been to a holocaust, have you?


Dow Jones Votes

The mid-term election results had fuelled concerns that greater control by Democrats could provide a less business-friendly atmosphere in Washington, particularly for defence, drugs, oil and insurance industries. Military contractors were among the biggest fallers, with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Halliburton among the key losers.

Elsewhere, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation was a key factor in the Dow closing at record highs - as was a jump in technology stocks.



2 semite fractions apparently intent on decimating each other- danke!

"Minorities are the biggest problem in the world," he said in his soft, Russian-accented English.

When Avigdor Lieberman, a populist Israeli politician frequently compared to Austria's Jörg Haider and France's Jean-Marie le Pen, proposed to bus thousands of Palestinians to the Dead Sea and drown them there, he was just a fringe member of government.

Mr Lieberman, whose addition to the coalition as "strategic threat" minister prompted the resignation of a cabinet colleague, also said that Israel's 1.25 million Arab minority was a "problem" which required "separation" from the Jewish state. "We established Israel as a Jewish country," he said. "I want to provide an Israel that is a Jewish, Zionist country. It's about what kind of country we want to see in the future. Either it will be an [ethnically mixed] country like any other, or it will continue as a Jewish country."

Mr Lieberman does not explain how he plans to separate Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem, whose eastern half is home to several hundred thousand Palestinians but which Israel has annexed to form its "eternal and undivided capital". The aide said: "He will not compromise on Jerusalem."

telegraph, with picture of superiority complex semite in question

zmag, who seem intent in letting the supposedly inferior semite speak out:

"Our problem is with Israeli society," said Tibi. "The appointment of this racist and fascist sends a message to me as an Arab and a human being."

there's also an ongoing "incursion" into the gaza ghetto. apparently paramedics are standing in the way as per usual, and even the pope is quoted criticisin the good fight. Has he forgotten about the holocaust, and the fact that his boss jesus was a jew?

more laughs on the lse

The London School of Economics is embroiled in a row over academic freedom after one of its lecturers published a paper alleging that African states were poor and suffered chronic ill-health because their populations were less intelligent than people in richer countries.

Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist, is now accused of reviving the politics of eugenics by publishing the research which concludes that low IQ levels, rather than poverty and disease, are the reason why life expectancy is low and infant mortality high. His paper, published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, compares IQ scores with indicators of ill health in 126 countries and claims that nations at the top of the ill health league also have the lowest intelligence ratings.

the afrikan is poor and stupid, the inglan is fat and stupid.. but no one talks shit like a proper academician


who's really a threat to us?

America is now seen as a threat to world peace by its closest neighbours and allies, according to an international survey of public opinion published today that reveals just how far the country's reputation has fallen among former supporters since the invasion of Iraq.

Carried out as US voters prepare to go to the polls next week in an election dominated by the war, the research also shows that British voters see George Bush as a greater danger to world peace than either the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, or the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Both countries were once cited by the US president as part of an "axis of evil", but it is Mr Bush who now alarms voters in countries with traditionally strong links to the US.


Britain has been labelled an "endemic surveillance" society by a new report that ranks the country along aside Russia and China in terms of state and commercial intrusion into people's lives.

Richard Thomas, the UK's independent information commissioner, said on Thursday that clear lines had to be drawn about how much information on people, such as their everyday movements or spending habits, government agencies and businesses are allowed to possess.


bored? got skype? game for a laugh?


sign up for the Republican party, '72 hour push'

With nothing more than a bogus US address and a few clicks, you can get access to a database of undecided voters who have either registered their number with the GOP or had their names and numbers brought by party wonks.

Call some of the famous 'swing voters' and blow their minds.

go on! you know you want to

they also flog mousepads

talking of beating the terrorists in the 'war of ideas' it now emerges that the Bush regime have censored climate change scientists from spreading their findings (the truth). The 'good' people of the white house are concerned about the dangerous message that these 'il-intentioned liberals' are spreading: 'this oil economy will drown us all!'
-national climate change march; Saturday 4th November, London, be there or get drowned!