Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Today's lesson: you can apparently win an Israeli election by blatant racism and, Sparta-like, promising eternal war on the Palestinian helots. Which is a depressing statement on the racism and warmongering of Israeli voters.

Meanwhile, in the UK, their Labour party says that they do not want to represent people on benefits:

"We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we're not, the party to represent those who are out of work," she said.

"Labour are a party of working people, formed for and by working people."

Firstly and most obviously, those people on benefits that Labour doesn't want to represent are "working people". They're working people who are sick. They're working people who are old. They're working people who have lost their jobs thanks to Tory austerity and the destruction of regional economies. And in a capitalist economy, the provision of a social safety net is a vital protection for working people, insurance against the vicissitudes of fortune.

But secondly, "people on benefits" make up ~5 million of ~46 million eligible voters. When a major political party turns its back on such a significant part of the electorate, when it says "we will not represent you or your interests" (and it supports a stacked political system which does not permit anyone else to do so), then it is very bad for democracy. In Israel, "mainstream" political parties refuse to represent Arab citizens. In the UK, they refuse to represent the poor and needy. But at least in Israel they have MMP so Arabs can represent themselves.