Recent Articles

Vote Pirate Party

by Aaron Murin-Heath     March 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm

This originally appeared on Hagley Road to Ladywood’s pre-election series.

I voted for Labour in the last three General Elections. In ’97 I did it with conviction and hope. Four years later, before the War on Terror and all that jazz, I voted Labour with quiet content. At the last election, despite my better judgement and deep anger at the party, I did so again.

I will not be voting Labour in the coming General Election.

The fact remains that some of my closest political friends are still deeply wedded to the party. They don’t have much love for Brown, and they’re not defenders of the Iraq War, but their loyalty is to the party, not the personalities of the current car-wreck of a government. I’ve always been a pragmatist, not a tribalist.

I toyed with voting, and campaigning for, the Lib Dems. But having ‘enjoyed’ many run-ins with leading Lib Dem bloggers, I found many of them to be insufferably self-righteous. I know Lib Dem bloggers who are great, but others seem to believe they have a monopoly on liberalism and a fabulous sense of their own importance.

So, I find myself without a natural home.

Recently I wrote encouraging voters to ignore the largely indistinguishable major parties and vote for the single issue that’s closest to their heart. For me, it is individual rights and the increasing illiberalism of our lawmakers. Following my own advice I’m inclined to vote for the Pirate Party UK. continue reading… »

Our Afghanistan Problem

by Aaron Murin-Heath     August 18, 2009 at 4:00 pm

The War in Afghanistan: what exactly is the plan?

I’ve always had issues with invading Afghanistan. Yeah, I hated the Taliban as much as the next person (and yeah, I knew about them before 2001), but I couldn’t see the sense in a ground-war in a country so completely conditioned for decentralised guerrilla combat.

The plan, if it was to be violent (let’s face it, military retaliation was exactly what 9/11 was intended to provoke), should have been intelligence-gathering, air-strikes and hardware support for anti-Taliban forces. Not that I’m a military expert of course.

The one thing democratic governments can’t suffer is an endless war of attrition in a faraway land. Any conflict in Afghanistan, that involved regular infantry on the ground, was always going to be one.
continue reading… »

Griffin is finally legitimised. Thanks New Labour!

by Aaron Murin-Heath     June 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm

And so finally, fascist flabby arse-wipe Nick Griffin has achieved national political legitimacy by winning a seat at the European Parliament.

And guess what?

We put him there. The progressives. Or so-called progressives, anyway.

The New Labour project, that brave centre-left experiment to bring Clintonian Third-Way politics to a post-Thatcherite Britain, is over.

continue reading… »

A fight’s a fight

by Aaron Murin-Heath     May 27, 2009 at 7:40 pm

You’ve probably heard all about Sonia Sotomayor by now. She’s the Bronx-rasied hispanic judge who Obama has nominated as his first appointee to the Supreme Court.

If like me you first read about her in The New York Times, you may also know that — from the comments posted there by liberal readers — the left aren’t particularly taken with her. The grassroots left, whose activism had propelled the young Chicagoan outsider to the presidency, were hoping for a nominee who would be guaranteed to further their cause (not to mention piss off the GOP).
continue reading… »

The Next General Election

by Aaron Murin-Heath     May 6, 2009 at 11:16 am

Unless Brown calls a snap election in the next month or so, we’ll have a General Election by June of next year whether we like it or not.

Personally, I couldn’t care less. Like the famous South Park episode, this election will offer the tempting choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.

Now I know the usual Labour commenters will hurl a volley of abuse at me. About how the Tories are so much evil’r – and of course, they are. But seriously, having been a Labour-leaning voter and blogger for many years, I have become to view this relationship as an abusive one. Labour kicked the stuffing out of me, and I just put up with it.

continue reading… »

She’s not gone yet, OK!

by Aaron Murin-Heath     March 19, 2009 at 10:09 am

I know, it’s hardly good form to pile in on the embattled Northern and Shell publishing group, what with the Dumblane story still rumbling…

But I have to pass comment on this week’s copy of OK! Magazine.

OK! Magazine: First For Celebrity News :: Celebrity News :: Jade Goody official tribute issue

THIS week in our special tribute issue we’ve got world exclusive words from Jade Goody and unseen pictures as the brave star clings to life…

Is today’s celebrity culture so sickeningly turbo-charged, that we have “tribute issues” before people have even had the chance to die?

Hell in a handcart people, hell in a handcart.

(hat-tip Akela)

Top News and Blog Stories – 20th February

by Aaron Murin-Heath     February 20, 2009 at 9:56 am

Huge fall revealed in UK car production

Blears tells cabinet ‘get a grip’
Tests blamed for blighting children’s lives
The march of the atheist movement
Pupils told to think like a suicide bomber
Homeowners will get £500m in mortgage aid

U.S. Tries a Trillion-Dollar Key for Locked Lending
Obama’s drive-by diplomacy
Signs of US protectionism worrying
Saab seeks bankruptcy protection in battle for survival
Christopher Hitchens duffed up in Beirut

DAILY BLOG REVIEW / by Sarah Ismail

Angela Saini: On journalism’s stars of the future. Friday Fun 1.

Blood and Treasure: Domestic violence with a difference.

Indigo Jo: Reviews last Monday’s Panorama.

MediaWatchWatch: Jacqui Smith is at it again.

Natalie Bennett: Has been getting to grips with France.

New Statesman: Observations on e-books. Friday Fun 2.

Stumbling and Mumbling: Has gone mathematical.

Why do our politicians continue to mislead us about the recession?

by Aaron Murin-Heath     February 19, 2009 at 9:19 pm

I stopped and blinked when I saw this headline on The Guardian’s site:

Bank bail-out ‘could send national debt soaring by £1.5 trillion’ (link)

Okay, upon reading the article it’s clear that the “soaring” has much to do with the ONS (the Office for National Statistics) reclassifying banks, that have been “recapitalised” with public funds, as public institutions (i.e. taking on the bank’s liabilities*). Therefore, we learn, that debt may exceed 150% of national income.

This is frightening. continue reading… »

Miliband: the re-invention

by Aaron Murin-Heath     January 15, 2009 at 2:46 pm

While I can’t be quite as optimistic as James has been below, I do appreciate the contrarian and positive take he has offered on David Miliband’s latest Op-Ed in The Guardian.

I think you have to also give some credit to David Miliband, for his sheer bloody cheek. He’s spent the last 5+ years toeing the party line over Iraq and the wider war on terror, only to abandon the policy the moment a more sane administration begins measuring the drapes in the Oval Office.

continue reading… »

The Bush Dynasty will live on

by Aaron Murin-Heath     December 4, 2008 at 9:16 am

According to Politico, the chances of Jeb Bush running for the Senate in 2010 are very real.

Republican Mel Martinez has indicated that he will not seek a second term as one of the Senators from Florida, opening the door for the popular former governor to return to high-profile politics.

Unlike his idiot brother, Jeb is actually a very capable statesman. He left the governorship with stellar approval ratings and is considered something of a political “rockstar” among GOP ranks. 2012 may be too soon, but who would bet against another Bush ticket in the Presidential campaign of 2016? Not me, that’s for sure.

One of the key demographic swings of the recent election was the Latino embrace of the Democrats (traditionally a strong GOP voting block). As Spanish-speaking Americans continue to increase their number, both parties will double their efforts to capture their imagination. Jeb Bush is very well regarded among Latinos and this should increase his appeal to GOP party mandarins.

Jeb was always most gifted of the Bush progeny, but the question remains as to whether his moron of a brother has ruined the family brand permanently?

One to watch.

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