Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Time to wave the red flag

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There’s an old story, popular back in the 1950’s, about a young British lad walking along the footpath when a Rolls-Royce passes and splashes him with water that had accumulated on the roads edge. As the car speeds away he shakes his fist and declares “One day I’m going to bring down the ruling class.” On the other side of the Atlantic a similar situation. A Cadillac speeds past a young man, drenching him with gutter water and the boy smiles and says, “One day I’m going to own a Cadillac.”

The Aesop-type fable was meant to illustrate the difference in attitudes between the two countries. Post-war America was enjoying audacious prosperity while Britain was being dragged down by the intransigent labour unions that held sway until iron lady Margaret Thatcher and her conservative colleagues took control of the treasury benches.

And so now it looks like a giant leap backwards for mankind if new British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn can convince United Kingdom constituents to allow him to lead them to the Promised Land.

First up might be a name change.

Totally against the monarchy, presumably he would want to rule over a United Republic as opposed to the United Kingdom. He was criticised by Labour front benchers recently when he refused to sing the national anthem at the Battle of Britain memorial service in St Pauls Cathedral.

Also a conspiracy theorist, Corbyn believes 9/11 was “manipulated” to make it look like Osama bin Laden was responsible to allow the West to go to war with Afghanistan.

So the Rolls-Royce crowd will be looking on with fear and loathing, but so too are the Cadillac aficionados.

Hillary Clinton thought she was in for a stress-free ride to the Democratic nomination and subsequently becoming the first women president of the US of A. But then an extreme left-wing Democratic candidate pops up to make inroads into her initial lead and is drawing just as many enthusiasts to his rowdy rally’s as extreme right-wing Republican candidate Donald Trump.

America’s newest postulant is Bernie Sanders, a 74 year-old Senator from Vermont who describes himself as a democratic socialist and is taking the same tack as Corbyn, offering a progressive utopia of free higher education, health care for all, bolstered wages and chastened billionaires. Using the internet wisely and without beaming any TV ads he addresses huge audiences including a recent gathering of 28,000 faithful followers in Maine. Despite his age, commentators say his freshness beats incumbency and the perception of sincerity is appealing.

And so our two great allies are risking prosperity for a surprising return to a tired old order.

After failing miserably in Eastern Europe, Cuba and North Korea, Marx’s socialist nirvana could be resurrected by those who have learnt nothing from history

Meanwhile in New Zealand the left-wing luvvies, full of sound and fury, are demanding a strange new flag that signifies nothing and is about as far away from the corporate branded version that John Key had hoped for as you could get.

If the boring Red Peak becomes the chosen ensign, the Prime Minister will feel like he has been drenched by his own BMW.

“For us in Russia, communism is a dead dog, while for many people in the West, it is still a living lion.” - Alexander Solzhenitsyn


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