At The Financial Times: Chris Giles advises Jeremy Corbyn, a comment by Political Reporter

It isn’t readily apparent to the Financial Times editors and writers that the age of the Neo-Liberal ascendancy is at an end, and in political answer to that death, or at least it’s coma, Mr. Giles offers his extensive comments about what a ‘hard left’ might do, in policy terms, as a rejoinder to Mr. Corbyn’s scattered, unfocused and ineffective policies. All of these postulations a product of Mr. Giles and his own, and the FT’s, political agenda

The salient question might be why would Mr. Corbyn seek the advice of Mr. Giles on any question? The raison d’être of this essay is to appeal to conservative readership of the FT, and to hew to the left hysteria mongering, that is the party line. Mr. Corbyn is a Democratic Socialist or even a Left Wing Social Democrat certainly not a ‘hard leftist’. Who might just take Labour back to it’s Socialist roots, which within the politics utterly reshaped by Thatcher, and her addiction to Hayek’s political romanticism passing itself off as the ‘wisdom of the market’, by now a demonstrably failed epistemology: this economic theology has failed in the most dramatic fashion. 1929 remains the touchstone of economic/political failure, followed by the kind of political chaos that Mr. Giles fears will be the fate of Britain tied to the future of Labour, as led by Mr. Corbyn. But that economic failure remains off stage as it is a political inconvenience to both Mr. Giles and the FT. The scapegoating of Mr. Corbyn is the first order of business, the first line in defense of a moribund  Neo-Liberalism. For the proof of that see the rise all over Europe: Syriza, Podemos,  Farage, La Pen of both Left and Right: our future is a chaotic, irrational Populism as conjured by Mr. Giles.

Political Reporter

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

At The Economist: Supreme Court term limits, some considerations by Political Reporter

If your have served on a jury or been called for jury duty in the US, I have been called three times in the last few years, the Judge will casually announce, to the assembled prospective jurors, that the Court is above or supersedes morality. I had the temerity to assert in the voir dire phase, that morality trumped law! Even that old misogynist and misanthrope Justice Holmes opined that the law was ‘a kind of public morality’. Leave it for the lawyers to interpret the word ‘kind’!

See Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: Law and the Inner Self published by OUP by Prof.G.Edward White for the biographical/political particulars, just call this an exercise in Holmes apologetics. On Holmes the judge  see Law Without Values by Albert W. Alschuler, published by The University of Chicago Press,  reviewed in these pages on February 24, 2001 page 86, call this a necessary antidote to the incense burners!
The question of the age of the Justices is a dodge, when one considers that the Court is peopled by millionaires or are, at the least, extremely wealthy. The Economist doesn’t discuss the idea or functioning of class in it’s consideration of the burning question of age. It is antithetical to the conservative mind set, or just part of the Oxbridger’s creed.
And then there is the thorny question of the rise of the Neo-Confederate/Originalists: Scalia,Thomas,Roberts and Alito and their sometime sidekick, or better yet, fellow traveler Kennedy.The colonization of the Court by these political romantics began with Richard Nixon’s appointment of Rehnquist. See The Partisan: The Life of William Rehnquist’ by John A. Jenkins, not a flattering portrait and Reagan’s appointment of Scalia : see American Original,The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia by Joan Biskupic, call this almost hagiography.

The questions of class and of ideology are of more central concern than age. That question of age might make for an interesting dinner conversation with one or more of those aforementioned incense burners, who chatter in the courtrooms of America, about the majesty of the law framed in the self-exculpatory: the modern day equivalent to the  Sophists.

Political Reporter


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jeremy Corbyn and The Economist: a fateful allience, a comment by Political Reporter

The Neo-Liberal Consensus is failed, no matter the pronouncements coming from The Economist or The Financial Times! These declarations about the ‘Hard Left’,’Loony Left’ and other such locutions are the rhetorical cover adopted to mask that failure.

Ignoring the rise of both Right and Left in response to the Depression of 2008 is key to the a-historical approach to this  seemingly endless Political Crisis: The why of it, this crisis is   endemic, remains outside the ken of The Economist editorlists. The ‘Wisdom of the Market’ the touchstone of Hayek’s economic epistemology is the purest of theologies: ‘Markets’ are subject to the vicissitudes of human emotion or ‘Animal Spirits’! Not subject to some posited ersatz Rationalism: Markets are about the herd instinct, the most dangerous of human frailties.

An historically based appraisal of the rise of both the ‘Left’ and the ‘Right’ in response to  that failed Neo-Liberal paradigm might make this situation comprehensible. That 2008 Depression and it’s successor Austerity, presented as necessary ‘strong medicine’ in response to the excesses of that Market. And the present economic doldrums, allied to the economic stratification under the rubric of ‘Inequality’,  make both the rise of the ‘Left’ and the ‘Right’ subject to a reasoned analysis. Instead what we get from The Economist, and it’s writers, is a repetition of usual Anti-Left hysterics framed in the most self-serving melodramatic terms as demonstrative of political irrationality. Would that The Economist writers might apply the same standard used to vilify Mr. Corbyn to the economic actors in the Market, who were authors of that 2008 Depression, with the aid and comfort provided by an utterly corrupt political class- but now I’ve strayed into a Utopian reverie not unlike the one that The Economist editorial writers bask.

Political Reporter

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

At The Economist: ‘The resistible rise of Jeremy Corbyn’, a comment by Almost Marx

Never let it be said that the Oxbridgers, at the Economist, ever let their elite educations go the waste. As in the title of this essay, a literary reference for only the most sophisticated reader to decipher.
While I though Mr.Jeremy Warner’s essay at The Telegraph titled ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to turn Britain into Zimbabwe ‘People’s QE’ has been embraced by the Labour leadership contender, but it would lead us to calamity’ was a kind of politically desperate hyperbole:
I come to The Economist, as regular reader, to find the same brand of hyperbole in more temperate, muted language, but none the less in thrall to Neo-Liberal apologetics, that has afflicted the financial press since the Depression of 2008. While ignoring the Keynesianism adopted to staunch the economic hemorrhaging.
Nor do we read from this collection of Cotton Mathers anything but the ‘spectral evidence’ that New Labour’s collection of Imaginary Centrist supply:Blair and the rest. Call it the looming disaster of Corbyn!
What could have possibly led to the rise of Corbyn, Podemos,Syriza,Sen. Sanders or even The Tea Party,Mr. Farage,Ms.Marine Le Pen etc?  That is the unexplored question of this protracted exercise in Corbyn Hysterics: avoid at all costs a discussion of the dismal failure of the Neo-Liberal idea and practice, the collapse of Free Market Utopianism brought forth inconvenient political monsters, to paraphrase Goya.

Almost Marx

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

At The Financal Times: On the Guilt of Cedric Belfrage, a comment by Political Reporter

Tundan Sabah’s wonderfully pungent comment echoes some, but not all of my thoughts, regarding these ‘revelations’. His deliciously contemptuous polemic helped me to clarify my own thoughts, the measure of writing at it’s best.   The raw data collected by MI5 is enough to convict the man in 2015, yet not enough to be arrested and put on trial for treason at the time? We now have the proof? That raw data is just that, no more no less. But what a perfect opportunity to air the perpetual grievances that the Financial Times holds for any political manifestation of the ‘Left’. That ‘Left’ is prima facie guilty of subversion/treason, of the deeply held beliefs of the defenders of the predations of Capital and it’s actors.Rational analysis gives way to the usual politically calculated hysterics.

For those who are interested John Banville in his novel The Untouchable has taken as his starting point Anthony Blunt and the whole circle around him. The Cambridge Five and even that Establishment stalwart Graham Greene appears, in the most unappealing literary guise. Banville’s novel provides the insights that I wrote about earlier in my comment.

The question remains, what about the double life of the closeted homosexual have to do with the double life of the spy? Was that double life just a habit of being, that dovetailed so well with the life of the spy? As a kind of nihilist/romantic delusion? And did the animus for the heterosexual establishment play a part in the emotional makeup of these spies? Cedric Belfrage wasn’t gay, but the essay offers an opportunity to reflect, even in a small way, on the larger picture of Britain in the thirties, and almost to the present moment of The New Cold War.

Political Reporter

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On Trump and The Republicans by Political Observer

If Trump is the culmination of Republican Party mendacity: From Goldwater, the Dixiecrat mass migration in 1964 and 1965, to the New Nixon of 68, The Southern Strategy that even pitchman Reagan embraced at the Neshoba County Fair in 1980, to Willy Horton of Lee Atwater & Bush I or political low life Karl Rove of Bush II. Mr. Huckabee is the combination of the Theocrat & the No-Nothing. He is an ally of Franklin Graham, a most notorious bigot . It runs in the family, recall Billy and Dick on the notorious Jews of Hollywood?
Where are the Eisenhower Republicans? The Republicans are committing political suicide before our eyes, with Trump leading the march off the cliff, as an exercise of pathological ego and Mussolini like strutting!
We are in trouble, the sane conservatives, who practiced and believed in governance, like the last of his breed Richard Lugar, was unceremoniously purged from the Party. You don’t even have to believe in Lugar’s political positions, he practiced ‘the art of the possible’ in good faith, not the political nihilism as practiced by the McConnell/Boehner duo!

Political Observer

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clive Crook defends plutocrats? Political Reporter explores the question

Mr. Clive Crook left The Financial Times for Bloomberg View, both house organs of Capitalist Apologetics. His regular readers won’t be disappointed in his latest essay at Bloomberg titled ‘Are You Rich? No Need to Apologize‘ . It takes the form of dressing down one Mr. Anand Giridharadas, a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, for having the temerity to address a pressing question, about the whole endeavor, of the ‘Aspen Consensus’:

The Aspen Consensus, I believe, tries to market the idea of generosity as a substitute for the idea of justice. It says: make money in all the usual ways, and then give some back through a foundation, or factor in social impact, or add a second or third bottom line to your analysis, or give a left sock to the poor for every right sock you sell.

The Aspen Consensus says, “Do more good” — not “Do less harm.”

The Crook Rule is never bite the hand that feeds you, with the help of ‘Socialists’ as the root cause of the problem. Think of Occupy Wall Street and the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders and other manifestation of dissatisfaction with Capitalism, as practiced in the watershed of the utter failure of it’s Neo-Liberal iteration.

I’ve always thought of Aspen as the playground of respectable bourgeois chatterers like David Brooks and Arianna Huffington, among other intellectual personalities who are inductees into the pantheon of American Fraudulence.  But Mr. Anand Giridharadas had the independence of mind to question the whole institutional endeavor of Aspen, or at least something resembling it. With the proviso that anyone delivering a Ted Talk, or writing for the New York Times is completely house trained!

In his desperation Mr. Crook resorts to my favorite Panglossian Steven Pinker and his ‘Better Angels of Our Nature’:

Steven Pinker’s “Better Angels of Our Nature” shows that capitalism and trade helped to end humankind’s saga of perpetual war.

“Intellectual elites,” Pinker says, “have always felt superior to businesspeople, and it doesn’t occur to them to credit mere merchants with something as noble as peace.” Giridharadas says, as though it’s self-evident: “We know that enlightened capital didn’t get rid of the slave trade.” Actually, I think you could argue that it did — but even if that’s going too far, advances in social justice were enabled by rising prosperity, and rising prosperity was the product of capitalist development.

Then there is this puzzling rhetorical frame for the dissidence of Mr. Giridharadas, perhaps a reference to his place of residence? A celebrated borough of New York City.

All I’m claiming is that the presumption of capitalist immorality — that set of shared and largely unexamined assumptions we’ll call the Brooklyn Consensus — is lazy.

Political Reporter

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment