Thursday, 25 February 2016

The Bullingdon Bullies...David Cameron as Flashman

 I watched the bullies of the Tory party mock Jeremy Corbyn yesterday. I have met many of them over the years I went to school with them from 8 to 11. I loathe them with a passion. You can see what they did to Corbyn yesterday is a measure of what they would do and are doing to the broken, the vulnerable and the fragile people of this country......... Corbyn like I went to an English Prep school he would have met Bullingdon type boys there. it shapes you, puts you on the side of the rebels and gives you a deep seated loathing of the English ruling classes, their monarchy and all their propaganda. it scars you as well on many levels and so you day dream. My favourite escape from it all was the machine gun scene from "IF" I was 10 in 1968. I was a prep school, I loathed bloody "Biggles", the support for the "Rivers of Blood" speech I heard the head master talk about..some things never go away and the Tory party has not changed..and though I sound like a posh boy I hate everything that Tory England is....and UKIP are leading us 
back to it........

..david cameron as Flashman

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Taffy Voted UKIP

Taffy is a Welshman,
Taffy is no thief.
UKIP came to Taffy's house
and stole all true belief

Taffy made no protest,
for he doesn't like a row,
Neil Hamilton called on him again
and stole the bloody cow.

UKIP stole his care and tolerance
they stole his conscience too.
They even stole his language
and flushed it down the loo.

Taffy is a Welshman,
Taffy is a fool.
Taffy voted UKIP
when we offered him the truth

And now the hope is closing down
and Welsh Labours had its day,
Taffy still lives upon his knees,
for he knows no other way.

Now sometimes UKIPS members
will start a row or so,
but you can bank on Taffy:
he still doesn't want to know.

Taffy is a Welshman
who likes to be oppressed.
He was proud to tug his forelock
to Mark Reckless as a guest.

They give him tinsel royals,
so he now blames the dispensed
and sings God Bless Nigel Farage
as he blames the poor in rest

He's fought the wide world over,
he's given blood and bone.
He's fought for every bloody cause
except his bloody own.

Monday, 22 February 2016


  1. the tendency of things to change into their opposites, especially as a supposed governing principle of natural cycles and of psychological development.
    "the remorseless enantiodromia between good luck and bad"

I looked at the hard faces of IDS, Chris Grayling and their ilk asking us to back brexit.I remember who they are, what they represent and what they and I feel sick.Wales without EU funding will be poorer.more desperate more isolated as thease idiots lead us to the abyss. Farage pied piper like leads the poor, the disadvantaged, the isolated and the opressed to greater abuse, mistreatment and exploitation by the multinationals , the rich and the uncaring. I was 17 at the last referendum on Europe. I shall be 58 at this one but as I look at the No campaign I remember the quote " I have never seen anything as ugly as a man without compassion"

Thursday, 18 February 2016

The Jungle Upton Sinclair...animal rights?

Today in Philosophy we will be looking at The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, is full of graphic descriptions of the meat-packing industry. The lines were so moving and troubling that the novel inspired the establishment of the Food and Drug Administration

Here are quotes from The Jungle.

"It is an elemental odor, raw and crude; it is rich, almost rancid, sensual and strong." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 2
"It is a sound, a sound made up of ten thousand little sounds. You scarcely noticed it at first-it sunk into your consciousness, a vague disturbance, a trouble." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 2
"The line of the buildings stood clear-cut and black against the sky; here and there out of the mass rose the great chimneys, with the river of smoke streaming away to the end of the world." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 2
"They use everything about the hog except the squeal." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 3

"Relentless, remorseless, it was; all his protests, his screams, were nothing to it--it did its cruel will with him, as if his wishes, his feelings, had simply no existence at all; it cut his throat and watched him gasp out his life." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 3
"So from the top to bottom the place is simply a seething cauldron of jealousies and hatreds; there is no loyalty or decency anywhere about it, there is no place in it where a man counted for anything against a dollar." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 5
"And, for this, at the end of the week, he will carry home three dollars to his family, being his pay at the rate of five cents per hour-just about his proper share of the million and three quarters of children who are now engaged in earning their livings in the United States." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 6
"He forgot how he himself had been blind, a short time ago-after the fashion of all crusaders since the original ones, who set out to spread the gospel of Brotherhood by force of arms." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 8
"Here is a population, low-class and mostly foreign, hanging always on the verge of starvation and dependent for its opportunities of life upon the whim of men every bit as brutal and unscrupulous as the old-time slave drivers; under such circumstances, immorality is exactly as inevitable, and as prevalent, as it is under the system of chattel slavery." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 10
"It was piece-work, and she was apt to have a family to keep alive; and stern and ruthless economic laws had arranged it that she could only do this by working just as she did, with all her soul upon her work, and with never an instant for a glance at the well-dressed ladies and gentlemen who came to stare at her, as at some wild beast in a menagerie." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 13
"This is no fairy story and no joke; the meat will be shoveled into carts and the man who did the shoveling will not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 14
"They were beaten; they had lost the game, they were swept aside. It was not less tragic because it was so sordid, because that it had to do with wages and grocery bills and rents. They had dreamed of freedom; of a chance to look about them and learn something; to be decent and clean, to see their child group up to be strong. And now it was all gone-it would never be!" - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 14
"To Jurgis this man's whole presence reeked of the crime he had committed; the touch of his body was madness to him-it set every nerve of him a-tremble, it aroused all the demon in his soul." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 15
"They put him in a place where the snow could not beat in, where the cold could not eat through his bones; they brought him food and drink-why, in the name of heaven, if they must punish him, did they not put his family in jail and leave him outside-why could they find no better way to punish him than to leave three weak women and six helpless children to starve and freeze?" - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 16
"He has no wit to trace back the social crime to its far sources-he could not say that it is the thing men have called "the system" that is crushing him to the earth; that it is the packers, his masters, who has dealt their brutal will to him from the seat of justice." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 16
"Jurgis could see all the truth now-could see himself through the whole long course of events, the victim of ravenous vultures that had torn into his vitals and devoured him; of fiends that had racked and tortured him, mocking him, meantime, jeering in his face." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 18
"The word rang through him like the sound of a bell, echoing in the far depths of him, making forgotten chords to vibrate, old shadowy fears to stir-fears of the dark, fears of the void, fears of annihilation. She was dead! She was dead!" - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 19
"Elzbieta is one of the primitive creatures like the angleworm, which goes on living though cut in half; like a hen, which deprived of her chickens one by one, will mother the last that is left her." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 20
"Only think that he had been a countryman all his life; and for three long years he had never seen a country sight nor heard a country sound!" - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 22
"Ah what agony is that, what despair, when the tomb of memory is rent open and the ghosts of his old life comes forth to scourge him!" - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 22
"They are trying to save their souls-and who but a fool could fail to see that all that is the matter with their souls is that they has not been able to get a decent existence for their bodies?" - The Jungle, - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 23

Friday, 12 February 2016

AG hits a new low.............

Anne Greagsby Plaid National Council member makes acheap jibe at Bernie Sanders brother. Of course its nothing to do with the fact that she so loathes the Green party will behave like a Right wing Republican. Perhaps Plaid should expel her and she could avise Donald Trump . Soon she wont have many political parties left to join....wait there is still the Liberal Democrats...

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Caprica Quotes (2009-2010

People leave more than footprints as they travel through life.
ZOE GRAYSTONE, "Pilot" (2009)
We either move into the future or we die trying to hold on to our past.
DANIEL GRAYSTONE, "There is Another Sky" (2010)
The dead don't really die until their death is avenged.
RUTH, "Gravedancing" (2010)
You think you only get things from friends? You get the best things fromenemies, 'cause they're scared of you!
RUTH, "Gravedancing" (2010)
It doesn't concern you, Sister, that kind of absolutist view of the universe? Right and wrong determined solely by a single all-knowing, all powerful being whose judgment cannot be questioned and in whose name the most horrendous acts can be sanctioned without appeal?
JORDAN DURAM, "Pilot" (2009)
Daniel Graystone's biography is titled "The Man Who Could See The Future." The sequel will be called "Wow, I Didn't See That Coming."
BAXTER SARNO, "Reins of a Waterfall" (2010)
Sometimes faith can be a victim of chance.
CLARICE WILLOW, "Pilot" (2009)

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Soren Kierkegaard “When you label me, you negate me”

And this is the simple truth - that to live is to feel oneself lost. He who accepts it has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look around for something to which to cling, and that tragic, ruthless glance, absolutely sincere, because it is a question of his salvation, will cause him to bring order into the chaos of his life. These are the only genuine ideas; the ideas of the shipwrecked. All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce.

Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.
Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.
The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off in the world as quietly as if it were nothing; every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. is bound to be noticed
I stick my finger into existence.. it smells of nothing.
Where am I? Who am I? What is this thing called the world?
What does this word mean?
The most common form of despair is not being who you are.
There are many people who reach their conclusions about life like schoolboys: they cheat their master by copying the answer out of a book without having worked the sum out for themselves.
When you label me, you negate me.
To dare is to lose your footing temporarily. To not dare is to lose your life.

Most people live dejectedly in worldly sorrow and joy; they are the ones who sit along the wall and do not join in the dance. The knights of infinity are dancers and possess elevation. They make the movements upward, and fall down again; and this too is no mean pastime, nor ungraceful to behold. But whenever they fall down they are not able at once to assume the posture, they vacillate an instant, and this vacillation shows that after all they are strangers in the world. This is more or less strikingly evident in proportion to the art they possess, but even the most artistic knights cannot altogether conceal this vacillation. One need not look at them when they are up in the air, but only the instant they touch or have touched the ground–then one recognizes them. But to be able to fall down in such a way that the same second it looks as if one were standing and walking, to transform the leap of life into a walk, absolutely to express the sublime in the pedestrian–that only the knight of faith can do–and this is the one and only prodigy.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Poujadist`s The French UKip of the 1950s...........

1951,saw the forceful emergence of Charles de Gaulle’s RPF with 21.7% of the popular vote. However, less than five years later, the Gaullist movement which had marked French politics since 1947 was, by all accounts, practically dead. Yet, only a bit more than two years later, Gaullism was resurgent with the birth of the Fifth Republic. After the RPF in 1951, the novelty of 1956 was the emergence of the Poujadiste movement (mouvement Poujadiste), named after its founder, Pierre Poujade. Its emergence marks the first post-war far-right movement to grow in France, and the first far-right movement in the ‘modern’ sense – that is, rid of its pre-war monarchist or elitist-nationalist overtones. Its emergence, however, is all the more puzzling given that the years 1953 to 1955 were, in the most part, synonymous with economic growth, rapid development and also the stabilization of prices following the inflationist years which had directly succeeded the end of the war. Usually, it is economic instability and recession which has allowed for the emergence of the far-right in France.

  France in the post-war era, like most of western Europe, was undergoing rapid economic transformations, the most notable of which were urbanization and a shift away from family businesses or farms. The primary victims of the rapid economic changes were individual farmers (agriculteurs) and small shop-owners (artisans et commerçants). As a kind of petit bourgeois, the shopkeeper or merchant is at the confines of the middle and lower classes, not entirely bourgeois like those above him but not entirely working-class (or populaire) like those below him. In a certain way, he is constantly fearful of proletarization or déclassement. In this vein, the shopkeeper, merchant or small-town employee – republican, egalitarian and fiercely individualistic – have always been wary of socio-economic changes which always threaten to crush him. He is not a capitalist like the upper or middle bourgeoisie, because he feels his way of life threatened by the “aggressive capitalism”. He is not either a natural revolutionary, because he resents ‘proletarization’. Unsurprising, therefore, that these instinctively conservative (in the pure sense of the term) and individualistic voters should offer a natural breeding ground and captive clientele for all sorts of populist conservatives, the Georges Boulanger of times past and the Le Pens of today.

1956 was a period of rapid economic growth in France, especially with the emergence of large commercial surfaces, supermarket and price-point retailers – known in France in 1956 as theprisunic (equivalent of dollar stores in North America). Supermarkets and price-point retailers were a direct threat to small-town shops, with the individual butcher stop, the bakery or the delicatessen. Besides these broader factors and the social psyche, there was a key contextual factor at work here in 1956.

In 1953, Antoine Pinay’s government had succeeded in dramatically reducing inflation – from 12% in 1952 to -1.8% in 1953, then 0.5%-1% in 1954 and 1955. Inflation had been high in the post-war era, peaking at 59% in 1948 and never dropping any lower than 10-11%. The main benefactor of inflation was the small shopkeeper, who amassed more and more wealth and cared much less about taxes given that it was paid with depreciating money. These businesses had benefited spectacularly from inflation, but they had failed to adapt to modern economic conditions of retail. The Poujadist movement was the child born of deflation and the stabilization of prices.
The traditional literature treats the birth of Poujadism as an anti-tax revolt (révolte du fisc), but the tax revolt which started brewing in 1953 was more the reason of Poujadism’s birth than its deep cause. Inflation had made taxes bearable, deflation made them unbearable. A state of affairs intensified by the government’s “fiscal Gestapo” which strictly enforced the collection of taxes. The Union de défense des commerçants et artisans (UDCA) was created in 1953, as a corporatist union founded by Pierre Poujade, a stationer from Saint-Céré (Lot), with his great oratory talents and room-filling charisma.
Derided as fascist, true in part, it is fairer and better to view the UDCA was a defensive reaction by small-town shopkeepers, merchants and small farmers who were attached to the founding republican values of private property, individualism and small community but who were almost condemned to disappear in the wake of France’s economic evolution in the post-war era. Depending on your perspective, the instinctive conservatism of yesteryear had perhaps been transformed into a reactionary movement, violent reaction to a ‘natural evolution’ of things.
For Poujade and the UDCA, the culprits were the same: the big businesses and corporate leaders, le fisc, the revolutionary trade unions, the left and its anti-individualism, the corrupt parliament and the regime of parties, foreigners and all those who were “selling off” France and its empire (especially Algeria); all with a dose of conspiratorial antisemitism, attacking the Jews who allegedly owned the big business and big retailers but also thinly veiled jabs at Pierre Mendès France’s Jewish faith.
The surprise of the January 1956 was the Poujadist movement, whose lists (Union et fraternité française, UFF or UDCA etc) won 51 seats and some 11.5% of the popular vote. The map below shows the results of Poujadists by 1936 constituency.
Gray departments had no Poujadist lists.
For those of us used to the tidy and orderly map of the French far-right in its FN incarnation, the first thought which comes to mind upon seeing this map is a very puzzled “what the hell is this mess?” Indeed, when we’re used to the tidy map of the FN and its bases east of the Le Havre-Valence-Perpignan line, this map is an disorderly mish-mash of colours all over the place with little pattern. What is even more puzzling is that the Poujadists, oft called the ancestor of the FN – with reason – should have a map which is diametrically different from that of the far-right as we would learn to know it some 30 years later. The Poujadists are almost totally absent from a line going from Le Havre to Belfort, where the FN today flexes its muscles the best. Certainly some of the Poujadist strongholds such as the Vaucluse, Gard and Hérault have always given the FN strong showings, but other strong points – Maine-et-Loire, Charente-Maritime, Indre-et-Loire, Deux-Sèvres, Aveyron, Gers and even Isère to an extent – are not places where the FN does particularly well.
The most basic explanation for the Poujadist’s success would be to conclude that they simply took the succession of the Gaullists. It is not a ridiculous proposition. The RPF in 1951 and the Poujadists in 1956 both appealed to a certain conservative anti-system and anti-regime vote – both were in direct opposition to the Fourth Republic and the rhetoric of the Poujadists in 1956 vis-a-vis the ‘regime of the parties’ and the anti-parliamentarianism were quite similar to the Gaullist rhetoric of 1951 which targeted the regime of the parties. A cursory look at the raw statistics leads us to the same conclusion: besides the MRP, all other major forces (PCF, SFIO, Radicals, moderates) maintained or built on their 1951 electorates in 1956. The MRP only fell from 12.5% to a bit less than 11%, and the MRP had little in common with the Poujadists. However, the Gaullists won 21.7% in 1951 but their successors in 1956 won 4.5%. The far-right and Poujadists won 12%. We could conclude, pretty easily, that while not all Gaullists voted Poujadist, most Poujadists had voted Gaullist some four years prior.
Problem solved? No, we’ve only dug ourselves into a hole. If you remember the 1951 map of the RPF’s strength, we had seen that its bases had been concentrated almost quasi-entirely in northern France or what was occupied France in 1941. It had been absent from the bulk of southern France. In contrast, the Poujadists were more geographically spread out but they had their big strongholds (Vaucluse, Hérault, Gard, Aveyron) in southern France and only the Maine-et-Loire was a stronghold of the RPF and Poujadists. It is possible and even logical that the Poujadists received the support of many voters who had voted RPF in 1951. But like Boulanger in 1889, Poujadism cut vertically across all established political parties. He even took left-wing votes. In most cases, the main victims of Poujadism were the right. The return of Gaullist voters to their traditional right-wing (moderate, MRP) roots likely hide compensated loses to the Poujadists.
There were, after all, key differences between Gaullism and Poujadism. Gaullism, through its leading figure, appealed widely to a certain conservative electorate, through its emphases on order, hierarchy and stability. Through its historical roots, it likely appealed very much to those who had been the fiercest of résistants during the War. On the other hand, Poujadism did not have a similar appeal to a conservative electorate fond of order and stability but rather appealed to another electorate, this one either apolitical or weakly politicized, anti-parliamentarian in its sympathies and quite keen to Poujadism populism and nationalism. In addition, often derided as fascist (and its leader as ‘Poujadolf’), the Poujadists were more likely to appeal to those more supportive of the Vichy regime and its traditionalist, “old France” rhetoric. Finally, Gaullism was in some ways a right-wing reformist movement in 1951 despite its Bonapartist overtones, it appealed to modern and industrial France. Poujadism was in many ways reactionary, the last-straw defense of a drowning type of old and traditional France. It had little in its rhetoric to appeal to modern and industrial France.
Poujadism through its roots in the UDCA and Pierre Poujade carried a distinctive appeal to shopkeepers and merchants. I think it quite fair to assume that most shopkeepers and merchants voted Poujadist. For curiosity’s sake, I attempted to compare the Poujadist vote by department in 1956 to the percentage of artisans, commerçants et chefs d’entreprises in each department in 1968 (the earliest I have departmental census data for). It isn’t perfect, the two data sets being 12 years apart, but the general pattern in terms of distribution of artisans/commerçants can be reasonably expected to have been similar in 1956. In general, there seems to be a general increase in Poujadist votes as the weight of artisans/commerçants increases. But there are some big outliers: the best Poujadist department (Vaucluse, 22.5%) had only 12.3% of shopkeepers and merchants in 1968. Similarly, the highest percentage of shopkeepers and merchants in 1968 (Alpes-Maritimes, 16.2%) gave the Poujadists only 7.3. I calculated the correlation coefficient to be 0.31, indicating a very weak medium positive correlation. It is even stranger when you take only departments with over 12% of artisans/commerçants in 1968, the correlation is actually negative: -0.35! In those with over 13% of artisans/commerçants, there is a strong negative correlation again: -0.68.
While it likely that a good number of Poujadist voters were small or medium business owners in small towns in rural ‘declining’ France, its success cannot be explained solely by that factor. In departments where the Poujadists did least well, it is likely that their success was largely limited to the UDCA’s base social category. But the Poujadist success was built on a heterogeneous base of support, especially in the Midi and the centre-west. By its form as a conservative populist reaction to rapid industrialization and “aggressive capitalism”, the Poujadist rhetoric was not only a sectional message designed for one social group, namely shopkeepers.
Besides the growth of mass retail and large commercial surfaces, the other victim of deflation post-1953 were small landholders – agriculteurs exploitants. Small landholders, owning and cultivating their own parcel of land, were the product of the Revolution and the rural bedrock of the Republic in the 1870s. Like shopkeepers, small landholders were not particularly affluent but by their ownership of land they were (in most cases) instinctively conservative and deeply attached to the republican values of private property. But like shopkeepers, they were the ‘forgotten’ victims left behind by economic modernization.
Inflation had been advantageous for farmers who had gotten artificially rich. Deflation brought along a massive drop in prices, and thus a loss in revenue for farmers. Inflation had been advantageous for farmers not only because they got rich but also because it had provided them with the revenue to pay for expensive new, modern machinery. The drop in prices post-1953 meant that this revenue dried up, and small landholders found themselves struggling to continue the ‘silent revolution’ in French agriculture. In many cases, this sped up the (inevitable?) decline of small property and the amalgamation of several unviable small properties into larger, modernized exploitations.
Owners of small family farms and small business owners, had, in many cases, many shared common interests even beyond politics. In a small town feeling, they knew each other and were allied and linked to each other. In a certain sense, one’s destiny impacted the other’s destiny and they were perhaps even liked to a certain extent. Poujadism should not be understood solely in terms of a single class’ defensive reaction, which it was in part, but as being a broader movement of resistance to economic modernization. André Siegfried had talked about Poujadism as being a rear-guard’s defensive reaction pitting rural peasant against cities, the province against Paris, the artisans against factories, of regions in decline against booming neo-industrial regions and of the individual against “an invading socialist state”.
No surprise then that Poujadism viewed in those terms would carry an equally as powerful appeal to those who in 1956 suffered a plight similar to that of the shopkeeper. In the Orléanais, the Beauce and the Brie, Poujadism appealed to rural workers in the wheat basket of the country. In the Berry and parts of Champagne, Poujadism appealed to poor peasants in declining regions with an outdated agricultural economy. In a region stretching from continental Brittany to the Anjou, Poitou and Charentes, Poujadism broke cleavages such as the all-important religious cleavage to appeal to regions where rural poverty was everywhere a reality, mixed in (in certain cases) with a local base of shopkeepers.
In the Languedoc and especially the Vaucluse, the strength of Poujadism was furthered by the local crisis in the wine industry which swelled the ranks of the discontent. The Poujadists, judging simply from an unscientific inductive observation of the map, seem to have enjoyed some success with wine growers in the Loire valley, the Bordelais and Beaujolais but far more limited success with those in Bourgogne and Champagne.
So far we have added one variable to our explanation besides shopkeepers, which had a 0.31 correlation. We have added the variable of revenue. Measured against the individual average revenue in each department in 1951 (measured with France being 100, and departments being either above or below 100 based on individual revenue), we find a negative correlation of -0.27, indicating that Poujadists did better in departments with lower individual revenue. But the correlation is rather weak.
I n some isolated areas like the Aveyron, the Alps or Isère, Poujadism was a reaction of ‘regions in decline’ as Siegfried had noted. The Aveyron’s population declined by 4.9% between 1946 and 1954, and the Poujadists (18.8% of registered voters in the department) did best in those more mountainous areas who suffered the highest decline. In taking only those departments whose population declined between 1946 and 1954, the correlation between population decline and Poujadist vote is 0.53, a pretty strong correlation. But it is not universal: Lozère had the steepest decline at -9% yet the Poujadists won only 8% of the vote. The Cantal and Haute-Loire both declined by more than the Aveyron, but had weaker Poujadist results (11%). Local factors, some of them political such as other incumbents, lists and the strength of the Poujadist slate must be considered.
Isère is a particularly interesting department. Its population grew by 9% between 1946 and 1954, and it was quite industrialized, yet the Poujadists did particularly well with 15% of the vote (registered voters). Isère’s population growth and industrialization in that era was widely seen as being particularly rapid and regionally uneqal. It came mostly to the benefit of Sud Isère and the Grenoble region, and to a lesser extent the industrial centres of the Nord Isère in proximity to Lyon. It left behind declining rural regions lying between the two urban centres of attraction of Lyon-Vienne-Bourgoin and Grenoble.
The overall correlation between population change and Poujadist vote is weak but negative (as expected) at -0.26. The link between industrialization, as measured by employment in industry or transportation in 1951, and the Poujadist vote is more significant and negative (as expected) at -0.35.
Poujadism, born as anti-parliamentary movement, was perhaps ultimately unable to survive the contradiction between its aim and founding value (anti-parliamentarianism) and being a parliamentary actor. Its emergence as a last-straw reaction to industrialization and modernization which would only intensify in the 1960s precluded it from being anything more than a temporary feu de paille (flash in the pan) in the realm of French politics. The emergence of the Fifth Republic and the shift away from the parliamentary partitocratie killed off a lot of the movement’s anti-institutional and anti-system rhetoric. Gaullism would re-emerge as an attractive and viable political option a bit more than two years later. The only thing left of Poujadism, it seems, is the use of “Poujadist” as a blanket term for most populisms of that kind.
But despite it going down in history as a feu de paille, as a curiosity of history but ultimately a futile and quixotic single-issue movement, Poujadism has had a deeper impact on French politics and the far-right in France. Not only because Jean-Marie Le Pen was elected as a young UFF deputy for the Seine in 1956. The rhetoric behind Poujadism with the attacks on the corrupt political establishment, the big corporations, the foreign profiteers, aggressive nationalism and part of wider movement which appealed to those who felt ‘forgotten’ by the political elites and those who fell behind economically. What is pejoratively called the petite bourgeoisie, or more specifically the shopkeepers and merchants who formed the backbone of the UDCA, have remained one of the FN’s backbones though the FN has never been as closely identified to that social category as the Poujadists were and their influence on the modern FN is fading, though certainly present. To a good extent, the FN has won votes from voters who are neither part of the unionized working-class or the wealthier upper middle-classes, and who are at odds both with the traditional right in its old elitist Orleanist incarnations and with the left in its old traditional sense described, by Poujadists, as ‘anti-individualists’. I think the FN vote in places like rural and exurban Champagne, Bourgogne and Picardie are quite reflective of a rural, “forgotten” electorate which is not particularly well-off and gets put off by both the right and the left. Not working-class in the industrial sense, but of some small town working-class tradition. These particular types of people might not have voted Poujadist in 1956 (although some certainly did), but I feel that the rhetoric which appeals to them on the FN’s behalf is similar to the Poujadist rhetoric of 1956.
Pierre Poujade quickly broke with his young MP, and disavowed any links between his movement and the FN. Poujade was not a politician, he was far more of a corporatist unionist with a talent for oratory. But his movement had deep repercussions on the FN in terms of ideology and orientation. The Poujadist vote in 1956 was remarkable for its strength and its homogeneity across the country, but in the details the Poujadist vote is also remarkable for its composition’s heterogeneity. In almost each region, it seems as if the makeup of the vote was different and as if the impetus to vote for Pierre Poujade’s movement varied significantly from region to region: wine crisis here, population decline there, shopkeepers and merchants angers there, falling behind on industrialization here, structural rural poverty there. Despite its short life as a political movement and regardless of whether you have a positive or negative view of Poujade and his movement, Poujadism had a deep impact on the French far-right after 1945.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Thank you Mr .J. D. Rafferty of 15 Willow Road, Campsall. Doncaster.for your books

I think there may be a deity who makes links for me on book collections. I have had the amazing good fortune to take into protection about 100 books. These belonged to a Mr J. D. Rafferty of 15 Willow Road, Campsall. Doncaster.

The Nietzsche books perhaps thirty of them are varied and fascinating. There are books by Jean Baudrillard and Georg Lukacs. Books on society classic texts of Plato, Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and many others. There are books by Trotsky and several New Left Reviews. These books will be treasured and looked after.

I am very grateful that Jenni Jenkins found these books before they were recycled. So thank you Jenni and Mr Rafferty who is sadly no longer with us and yet your collection lives on. If anyone knows any more about Mr Rafferty please contact me.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Another Europe is Possible

David Cameron and Donald Tusk have  laid out their draft renegotiation. They're proud of the fact EU states will be allowed to declare an "emergence brake" on access to in-work benefits for migrant workers. This could mean terrible impoverishment for EU citizens working outside their home countries.
We want to be clear with you: our campaign opposes this measure and any attack on migrant worker rights. If, like us, you want to see a Europe where migrants aren't scapegoated for the problems of the system, then help us spread the word. Share our article, Cameron’s renegotiation a ‘step back for Europe’, with the hashtag #DontBackTheBrake on social media. Let's make sure we have the loudest possible voice for a Europe of social justice, human rights and environmental protection - a social Europe, not a bosses' one.  
And don't forget about the fantastic launch event we have lined up next week - a real coming together of grassroots movements and campaigns pushing for change. You can find all the details on Eventbrite

Cameron’s renegotiation a ‘step back for Europe’

Cameron doesn’t just want a less equal Britain. His renegotiation is trying to win a less equal Europe too
Photo: Georgina Coupe Flickr
Photo: Georgina Coupe Flickr
Under the terms of David Cameron’s draft deal with Donald Tusk all EU states would be allowed to use an ’emergency brake’ on in work benefits if they could show that their social security system’s were being put under strain. This could mean terrible impoverishment for EU citizens working outside their home countries. And it will do nothing to answer Europe’s problems. But it does show how Britain’s eurosceptics don’t just want a less equal Britain – they want a less equal Europe too, pushing through policies that would allow any right wing government in Europe free reign to attack in-work benefits.
Luke Cooper, the convenor of Another Europe Is Possible said:
A key benefit of European integration has always been that workers moving from one EU country to another should enjoy the same protections and rights as citizens of the home nation. The imposition of a so-called ’emergency brake clause’ on access of EU workers to social provisions is part of a dangerous race to the bottom to close borders happening across Europe. It is a step back for Europe.
Xenophobia, nationalism, and more punitive restrictions on free movement rights do not answer a single one of Europe’s problems. While Another Europe Is Possible will be campaigning for Britain to stay in the European Union, we will continue to oppose any attack on the rights of migrant workers.
With 1.8 million British citizens living in EU states we should not think of this as something that only affects migrants from Poland and other EU countries living in the UK. A more open, tolerant, and genuinely social Europe is called for now more than ever.”

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Trouble in UKIp, Plaid and lib Dems........

They have their troubles........
Interesting developments are taking place in both UKIP within Wales as they struggle to understand devolution over selection of candidates. The liberal Democrats after allegedly drawing up a short list for the Region of Mid and West Wales still in February have not stated who their candidates are...with only 90 days to go I must conclude they are terminal decline. meanwhile in Plaid a clearly demonstration of supporting local Welsh Skills and local business is revealed when a new web site promoting their Leader Leanne Wood is designed by an American company. And in cardiff Neil Macavoy invited Rhian ap nuclear to support his campaign in Cardiff West...what could be happening?

Vote Green for the real deal......

The Old Pagan at Imbolc

“Here's to the few who forgive what you do, and the fewer who don't even care”

I am the Old Pagan at Imbolc. Traditionally this time was when it was getting lighter and yet was just as cold. At the Green Party Conference in Abergavenny it was very cold in the hall it was held in. yet it was a time of renewal and hope. It has been a long winter politically and Spring is coming. The long Winter of the Wales Green party has gone. When I compared the mood at the AGM in November 2014 with the special conference on Saturday I felt the difference. The Greens were united, a superb Welsh manifesto for a sustainable society was adopted. We are the only party now to support an Autism act for Wales, we are the only party to take on board a social model for mental health policy. I feel a spring in my step, Alice Hooker Stroud our new leader in Wales was superb in her first TV interview on the Sharp End, she will be great in the debates in the coming election.
Within the Green party the Narcissists are gone it was not like the AGM of November 2014, there were no tables of cliques, no positioning for a role in the coming leadership campaign. Yes they have gone and we face outwards, sure who we are and not hypnotised by what other parties are or what they might be.
Yesterday I attended an interview with one of my clients for his PIP assessment. While there I heard a story that chilled me to the bone. I heard of a man who was paralised totally below the neck. He described himself as a “ a head on a corpse in a bed ” . Despite adequate and voluminous medical support the DWP decided to send a medical professional out to assess him to see if it was true. If we have come to this point where we no longer believe the Doctors, Nurses and Therapists who support so many people then we have become a poor and cruel society. Ian Duncan Smith should hang his head in shame. I have never seen anything as ugly as someone without compassion.
Amongst the hope of the last few days there was sadness yesterday. A friend was sectioned I spoke to them yesterday afternoon they were stunned, frightened. The 28 day sectioning had taken from them all their rights, their independence and self esteem. My friend is eccentric, whimsical, quirky but kind, perhaps obsessive at times but very bright and now is made powerless. We need a social model for mental health more than ever and we must challenge the dominance of the medical model that dominates in Wales. Our mental health is a metaphor, a simile a metonymy of the way we live , think and be. We should celebrate our diversity and our selves and not repress and control those who both rebel against conformity and prejudice.
Imbolc, in the Celtic seasonal calendar marked the beginning of the lambing season and signaled the beginning of Spring and the stirrings of new life. It is Feile Brighde, the 'quickening of the year'. The original word Imbolg means 'in the belly', and therein you have the underlying energy. All is pregnant and expectant - and only just visible if at all, like the gentle curve of a 'just-showing' pregnancy. It is the promise of renewal, of hidden potential, of earth awakening and life-force stirring. Here is hope. We welcome the growth of the returning light and witness Life's insatiable appetite for rebirth.
It is time to let go of the past and to look to the future, clearing out the old, making both outer and inner space for new beginnings. This can be done in numerous ways, from spring cleaning your home to clearing the mind and heart to allow inspiration to enter for the new cycle. ('Spring cleaning was originally a nature ritual' - Doreen Valiente). it's a good time for wish-making or making a dedication.
Imbolc is traditionally the great festival and honouring of Brigid (Brighid, Bride, Brigit), so loved as a pagan Goddess that her worship was woven into the Christian church as St Bridget. She is a Goddess of healing, poetry and smithcraft. She is a Goddess of Fire, of the Sun and of the Hearth. She brings fertility to the land and its people and is closely connected to midwives and new-born babies. She is the Triple Goddess, but at Imbolc she is in her Maiden aspect.
Some of the symbols attributed to Brigid are:
The Snowdrop. The first gift of Spring in the bleakness of Winter.
The Swan. The swan mates for life and represents loyalty, fidelity and faithfulness. Swan feathers are a powerful amulet.
The Flame. Imbolc is a Fire Festival and fire of all kinds is associated with Brigid - the fire of creativity, the protective hearth fire, and her fire wheel - the Brigid Cross, which heralds her as a Sun Goddess.
Brigid's Cross. This is a traditional fire wheel symbol - found at the hearths of homes throughout Ireland and beyond as a symbol of protection. A customer in the shop recounted finding a hearth in Ireland, in recent years, adorned with over 200 Brigid Crosses - 200 years in the life of a hearth and a family, overlit and protected by Brigid.
Brigid Doll. A very old tradition involved the making of a Brigid doll which can be included in ceremony and/or placed in 'Bride's Bed' to bring fertility and good fortune to the home.
The Serpent. In Celtic mythology Brigid was associated with an awakening hibernating serpent which emerged from its lair at Imbolc. Traditionally serpents were associated with creativity and inspiration - the powerful Kundalini energy of the Eastern Mysteries. Paths of earth energy were called serpent paths and at Imbolc they are stirred from their slumber.
Sheep. Brigid's festival is at the beginning of lambing - eat ewe's milk cheese!
Imbolc Colours: White and silver for purity, green for the fresh burst of life.

Herbs of Imbolc

Blackberry: Sacred to Brigid, the leaves and berries are used to attract prosperity and healing. A Goddess plant, belonging to the planetary sphere of Venus.
Coltsfoot: Coltsfoot or 'sponnc' (Gaelic) is a herb associated with Brigid. A herb of Venus, moves emotional and physical stagnation and is used magically to engender love and to bring peace.
Ginger: revitalises and stimulates the 'fire within' - helps alignment with the rise of Kundalini serpent energy at this time of year!

Trees of Imbolc

Rowan: Luis, or the Rowan, is the tree usually assigned to this time of year in the Celtic (Ogham) Tree Alphabet. It has long associations with the Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess. It is also known as the 'Quickening Tree' and is associated with serpents. Traditionally it protects and wards of evil. A sprig of Rowan can be put near the door of your home (we have a whole tree), or a sprig worn for protection. Rowan berries have a tiny five-pointed star on the bottom reminiscent of the pentagram.
Willow: The fourth tree in the Celtic Tree alphabet - S Saille, is also long associated with the Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess. Willow is the great 'shape shifter' of consciousness and emotion and symbolises feminine energy and the lunar cycle. Its branches are flexible - expressing movement and change rather than resistance. It is a tree of enchantment and dreaming, enhancing the confidence to follow one's intuition, and inspires leaps of imagination.