Photo Albin Olsson – licenced by, Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0
Whatever the merits or otherwise of the songs themselves, Saturday’s Eurovision result giving victory to Ukraine’s Jamala seems to have produced epic levels of salt from Vladimir Putin’s propagandists.
Mark the date. Saturday May 14, 2016, the day the music died and a song contest whose well-intentioned original aim of national harmony has become the latest front in the Western elite’s obsessional and relentless new Cold War against Russia.
A blatantly political song by Ukraine – which should not have been allowed in the contest in the first place as it clearly broke the European Broadcasting Union’s ‘No Politics’ rules – was declared the ‘winner’ of the Eurovision Song Contest, even though the country which got the most votes from the general public was Russia.
What helped Ukraine ‘win’ were the ‘national juries’ panels of so-called ‘music industry professionals’ who were given 50 percent of the votes and who only put Russia in joint fifth place, with 81 fewer points than Ukraine.
That’s a vile little man called Neil Clark, who in a previous life was an apologist from the genocidal Serbian leader Slobodan Milosovic, before and even during his trial for war crimes. It’s hardly surprising this insignificant far left hack is now toadying to Vladimir Putin.
His basic argument is nonsense. In the absense of any song strong enough to capture the imaginations of people who actually care about music, the Eurovision popular vote tends to default towards politics. Russia’s entry was no Lordi.
The only mystery was why the jury vote gave the utterly forgettable boy-band-meets-landfill-indie British entry any points at all.
This is the state of British politics in 2016
Anti-Semitism is of course no laughing matter, and the Labour Party have done the right thing and suspended him. But Livingstone and his apologists have doubled down and insist he’s done nothing wrong.
If you make no distinction between a nation’s government, its people, and those worldwide who share the same ethnicity, you are a racist. It really is that simple. Trying to deflect the issue by pointing out all the horribly racist things Boris Johnson has said in the past just doesn’t wash. That’s classic “whatabouterty”; as my mother always said, two wrongs don’t make a right.
When the left have adopted a form of radical identity politics in which everyone is classed as either “Privileged” or “Oppressed” on the basis of their ethnicity, gender and sexuality, it’s hard not to see a connection with the rise of anti-Semitism, something that always used to be associated with the far right. Jews, like Gay Men, have been moved out of the “Oppressed” category because a minority of them have become wealthy and successful, and some very old and very dangerous bigotries have been allowed to come back to life.
Russell Brand is wrong. We’ve got a terrible crisis of democratic legitimacy in Britain at the moment, but the solution isn’t to disengage with electoral politics altogether. Instead we need to re-engage and take back democracy from the elites who have subverted and captured it.
What we desperately need is a forward-looking, self-confident and strongly non-sectarian left in Britain. I don’t believe we need another new party; all that would achieve would be to split the vote and benefit the right. But we do need noisy and influential factions in both the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties to drag them away from being part of the beige dictatorship. Yes, both parties are badly compromised by past and present alliances, Labour with Tony Blair’s complicity in George W Bush’s war crimes, and the Liberals for enabling the worst of the Tories war on the poor, the disabled, the young and the old. But both parties need to be taken back from the faceless technocrats who have sold their parties to the Devil, and some of the present leadership needs to be put to the sword.
One thing we need to ask all candidates from all parties is this. “Would you ever vote against your own party on a point of principle, and if so, what principle do you hold that are inviolable”. If they answer “No” to that question, they do not deserve anybody’s vote, especially yours. We do not want or need machine politicians who make obedient lobby-fodder; backbench revolts are the stuff from which democracy is made. Vote for someone who will be the party whip’s worst nightmare.
Not voting isn’t the answer. If you are one of the 25% who live in a marginal constituency where you vote actually has a chance of affecting the makeup of Parliament, then regardless of whether it’s Labour/Tory, Tory/LibDem or LibDem/Labour, one of the two is always going to be the lesser of two evils.
If you live in a “safe seat”, any vote is a wasted vote as far as deciding who you sent to Westminster goes. But that’s not the only value of voting; local and national shares of votes have a longer term impact beyond the current election. And this is where voting for an “unelectable” smaller party isn’t any more wasted than voting for one of the three main parties. If you get significant percentages of the vote going to smaller fringe parties, it sends a strong message to any machine-politics technocrats in the other parties that the electorate wants “None of the above”.