Friday, 26 October 2007

'Nuff Respect?

My interest in the left is, thankfully, not what it was. In recent years I've concluded that it is pointless making an effort with something that's not a force for change. So I confess that my nosy nature has had me following the latest on the the Islamo-Trot RESPECT coalition. Now it should be noted that RESPECT is hardly of the 'old' left in any real sense - any one can call for trade union rights, the defence of the NHS and be anti-war without being a screaming red, but I
digress...

The SWP (effectively the driving force behind the grouping) has fell out with Galloway in recent weeks and now I learn that three loyal and long-standing SWP CCers have been expelled for siding with him. Could this spell the final death of the fighting vanguard? Let's hope so. It seems the grand coalition of the masses is dying on its feet. Never mind, eh.

FROM OUR FOREIGN DESK
The Swiss Peoples Party (those of naughty sheep poster fame) is once again the largest party in Cuckoo Clock Land. Also of note is the Swiss Greens getting 20 seats in the lower house and, curiously the newly formed Liberal Green Party of Switzerland picking up three. I'm speculating that this lot broke away due to being sick to the back teeth with Euro-Green liberal-leftism - I know how they feel, but we just can't keep stomping off just because we're not getting our own way. Frankly I'm actually quite amazed this kind of split hasn't happened with the Green Party of England and Wales (not that I wish for it) But I always think majorities should constantly have to deal with challenges from below. Green Nationalist! Get yer Green Nationalist!
The regionalist Ticino League also picked up a seat as did the far-left.

The Poles have also swung to the right. But as far as I know the Third Positionist National Rebirth of Poland (NOP) didn't stand. This is odd - they picked up 7,000 votes last time, admittedly not a lot, but something to build on as they say. Maybe they're turning their attention to street-level.

ON THIS DAY
Today is King Alfred's Day. He died on October 26th AD 899. An english hero, national icon. Raise a glass, eat a burnt cake.

THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR
Next wednesday is Hallowe'en, All Hallow's Eve, Samhain (Sow-en) It is a time to accept death in the lifecycle, to honour our ancestors and remember loved ones no longer with us. It is the time when the veil between our world and theirs is at its thinnest. It is also a time to eat, drink and be merry before the parky weather sets in.


Friday, 19 October 2007

Eng Dem's ears burning

Although yours truly has always fancied himself as a bit of a pundit of the political non-league, I've tended to keep my predictions to myself lest I end up with egg on my face. So it was heartening to read this week that I'm on the same wavelength as at least one figure from the fringes - Ex-Political Soldier and Third Way ideologue Graham Williamson. In a recent article on his organisation's site (which is always worth a gander - http://www.thirdway.org/) he predicts that UKIP run the risk of being eclipsed by the English Democrats(http://www.englishdemocrats.org.uk/). This is something I've believed could be on the cards for sometime if Robin Tilbrook's lot are savvy enough. In fact you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to see this. English nationalism has been on the rise for a decade and the BNP recently adopted the call for an English parliament as official policy in response to it. Coupled with the rise of the SNP this sees the Union at its lowest ebb for 300 years. Williamson also reports that the Eng Dems have been undertaking joint work with Third Way in the latter's Havering fiefdom. This isn't the first time the Eng Dems have worked with what the mainstream media would call the far-right - they are associated with the Freedom Party in the pressure group English Lobby. Berrocscir's Banner believes it's important for the enemies of the political establishment to work together on points of common interest, but on such a media-driven terrain, the Eng Dems, who have a lot of potential with their moderate civic-nationalist message and genuine ambition, need to be wary of liberal-left hacks digging up such titbits to bite them on the bum.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

It's not only Ming that's packing it in

Despite their recent loss of Michael Meadowcroft to the Lib Dems the continuity Liberal Party can take some solace this week. A bumper crop of Devon Lib Dem councillors have defected to the true defenders of Real Liberalism. Leaving one of the Big Three for a minor party and knowing that they run a big risk of losing their seats shows real political conviction, a rarity these days. Also, full marks to the Liberals who recently shared a platform with the English Democrats. Challenging the tyrants demands non-sectarianism.

While on the subject of throwing in the towel, reports are coming in that the Birmingham-based New Nationalist Party are calling it a day. They are the second BNP splinter to fail to make a go of things, the first being the moribund Freedom Party who also had a West Midlands base - As The Banner has said before partisans of all shades need to stay in the mother organisations and fight.

MINORITY REPORT
Titbits from the Outer limits

The Green Party's Principle Speaker election results are in. Caroline Lucas beat Jenny Jones for the female post and Derek Wall fended off Darren Johnson. A strange combination - A convinced Realo and an Arch-Fundi. Let's hope they get on better than they have been during the leadership debate. Ah, well - in true Green fashion - a compromise. Maximum unity is needed in the coming years. The new 'faces' of the Greens need to put aside their differences for the good of the party.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Handbags in Kernow?

Whilst the ranks of Cornish nationalism cannot claim the mass support of similar movements in Ireland, the Basque country or even Wales or Scotland, it is by no means irrelevant. The Cross of St Piran is much in evidence from Padstow to Bodmin, Land's End to Looe.

Mebyon Kernow, the left-leaning Cornish nationalist party can be well proud of its representation in local government and can take some credit for nationalism's steady progress in Cornwall. Berrocscir's Banner then, is saddened, yet not completely surprised to hear tell of a split in the ranks. Apparently it's all about a faction unhappy about MK's opposition to the creation of a Cornish unitary authority, and probably also due to Left/Right divisions within MK. MK is horribly pro-EU, which no doubt irks MK's more conservative elements. A breakway group is setting up a new Cornish National Party, probably nothing to do with an earlier incarnation of the CNP led by Leonard C. Trelease, a former MK leader, in the 60s. Confusingly another CNP, claiming lineage to 1975 are here: http://partikenethlekkernewek.fortunecity.com/

If a split in MK has occured, this is awful news. Berrocscir's Banner appeals to the splitters to stay in MK and fight their corner. Breaking away over what are pretty minor differences can ultimately only serve the enemies of Cornwall. Win the arguments, don't walk away.

JUSTICE FOR THE BASQUE COUNTRY - STOP THE VIOLENCE
Eighteen leaders from the banned Basque nationalist Batasuna party were arrested on October 4. The Spanish state should know that they can ban organisations and lock up individuals, but they can't ban or lock up an ideal.

Berrocscir's Banner supports the goal of an independent Basque homeland if the majority there want one. However, this blog does call on ETA to call an immediate and permanent ceasefire and to pursue their goals politically. Their homeland is a relatively prosperous and stable one. There is no mass support for armed struggle and certainly no justification for killing in the name of Basque freedom. Stop the killing. Release all Basque nationalists. Start talking.

ON THIS DAY
In 1066, Harold, the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, fell on Senlac Hill at the Battle of Hastings along with his Fighting Man and Golden Wyvern standards. In recent years an increasing popular commemoration has taken place at Hastings to mark this pivotal point in English history and this blog sends greetings to those people gathered there yesterday, people who care about English history and culture.

Friday, 12 October 2007

YES for success

The Green Party's leadership debate continues apace ahead of that all important ballot in November. Berrocscir's Banner appeals to all GP members to vote 'Yes' to a formal leadership when the time comes. You are NOT a pressure group or a propaganda campaign - You are a political party, that plays by the system's rules. You CAN make the bigtime and make real changes. A recognisable leader will go a long way in achieving this. If you want to stay on the sidelines in glorious purity vote 'No'.

The case for the 'Yes' campaign is overwhelming. Rejecting it means continued marginalisation.
Here's the YES campaign's site: http://greenyes.org
...and in the interests of political debate, here's the NO's: http://www.greenempowerment.org.uk


MINORITY REPORT
Titbits from the outer-limits

Former MP Michael Meadowcroft has left the Liberal Party (the remarkably durable and relatively successful continuity brigade who carried on after the Lib/SDP merger in '88 - http://www.liberal.org.uk/ ) to have a reconsiliation with the Lib Dems. The lure of the 'bigtime' is very great.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Unveiling the Berrocscir manifesto...

Everyone else has got one, so here's mine:

This blog opposes:

* Globalised economics and markets. Multinational corporations and big business. Banks

* Neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism and neo-imperialism

* Creeping global mono-culture and multiculturalism

This blog supports:

* Decentralised/localised economies and markets. Cottage industries, workers' co-ops and small independent businesses and traders. LETS schemes, credit unions and local currencies.

* Local political and economic independence. Self-sufficient, folk-centered societies

* Local cultures and national identities. Tradition.

This blog also recognises the value of political and economic theories that oppose an increasingly globalised and monocultural world. These include distributism, some forms of socialism and nationalism and strains of Green thought. It also asserts the old Left/Right political dichotomy to be outdated in the 21st century and that new political battlelines should be based on opposition to or support for political/economic/cultural globalism.


THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR
One thing I forgot to post here the other week was to wish my reader a happy Michaelmas (pronounced 'Mikel-Mus') Day for September 29th. Nowadays we have World This Day and World That Day but the English calendar is full of wonderful days which mark its traditions and make it unique. Likewise for all other nations and cultures - and I'll drink to that. The English traditional year is peppered with beautiful, sparkling jewels which carry with them the collective social DNA of our nationhood and which permeate our folk memory. So happy belated Michaelmas, dear reader and if I don't forget I be marking future special days on this blog henceforth.

MINORITY REPORT
Titbits from the Outer limits

Thank God for that - Broonie's bottled it! Not having a general election until 2009 will help the minor parties prepare, secure more candidates and raise funds. Therefore they are more likely to give the big three a well deserved kick in the knackers. Lovely!

Friday, 5 October 2007

Under Starter's orders?

If Mr Broon does finally put us all out of our misery and calls an autumn election, I fear this will catch the minority parties on the hoof a bit. Lacking a professional national infrastructure it'll be hard for many to cope with the bureaucratic nightmare of getting names on ballot papers. If the rumours that UKIP and the BNP are skint are true this won't help them. The BNP might even want to consider a 100 or so seats sacrificing a Broadcast and saving all that extra deposit dosh for next May's locals where they could make gains. UKIP may want to scale down the 400 they stood in 2005 and save up for the 2009 euros where they're bound to do better. Respect, I suspect will be crafty and only stand in a few seats so they can concentrate on targets - they MIGHT pick up one or two seats. The Greens, bless 'em, are expecting to pull out all the stops in an attempt to look like a serious outfit. Commendable, but it won't half leave them out of pocket.

Talking of the Greens their Principle Speaker elections are in full swing. For the boys the two main contenders are Derek Wall (incumbent) arch-leftie and eco-warrior and Darren Johnson the suit wearing Realo. If they have any sense the membership will go for Daz. Much better speaker. For the girls we've got ex- London deputy mayor Jenny Jones versus MEP Caroline Lucas. Not much between these two, but it should be Caroline, really, as in this age of media-whoredom, she's simply the most recognisable. Sorry fundis, you've got to be a hustler if you want to get on.

Oh good! Another foreign election. Ukrainians this week narrowly elected the centre-right bloc of Viktor Yushenko/Yulia Tymoshenko...deep breath...who were standing on the All-Ukrainian Union Fatherland Party/Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defence Bloc ticket. Ah, well another victory for for Globalisation, then. This lot are firmly neo-liberal/pro-American etc. I know the defeated pro-Russian lot aren't angels but it does turn my stomach a bit.



MINORITY REPORT
Titbits from the Outer limits

The Green Party's influential Green Left faction seem to be getting pally with the small Trotskyite and utterly useless International Socialist Group. Brilliant. Seem to be on the cusp of more electoral gains, got green issues near the top of the political agenda...Oh nearly forgot - fall in with a load of idiots...great.

The English Democrats like to present themselves as pretty much centre ground. "Not right, not left, just English" they say. What must they think of the Daily Telegraph putting party chair Christine Constable in their Top 100 influential right-wingers?! I wouldn't worry brethren, it's all publicity. Incidentally the EDP claim they now have 93 parliamentary candidates lined up. An impressive figure given their size and resources. But come on guys, I'm just an idle blogger - yesterday you were telling me you only needed 70 for a Party Election Broadcast, now you're telling me it's 106. Please, don't get me worked up.

Since their triumphant showing in 2004 UKIP haven't really had much to smile about. So they must be cock-a-hoop that their autumn conference is getting a good airing on TV and Radio. To my knowledge the arguably stronger Greens only got a bit on the BBC Parliament channel. Has Nige got a mole at the Beeb? Talking of UKIP they managed 90 votes in a Portsmouth council by-election last week. Not much to write home about, maybe but they did beat the English Democrats - a party I believe UKIP to be secretly wary of.

When doing the rounds of political tittle-tattle on the net, I read a claim this week that Veritas are down to SIX members. Believe me, after 20 years of political flirting I can believe it. Must give the anarchoid groupscules a massage though, that. Next to the 'Straight talking' party they must feel like the great CNT of old.