Well done Jeremy, well done the Labour party, well done young British people for getting out to support, well done the British people in general for showing that a good solid socialist manifesto can get as much as 40% of the vote (and welcome back some of you daft eejits that supported UKIP before)..
This result puts to bed all the previous silly talk of unelectable people and ideas too radical to gain wide support. The Labour program in health, education, equality, the work place, etc was a clear, strong, left wing one and it was received well across the UK because people see that it would really benefit them in all those areas. Let's build on that...
"Meanwhile, the leftwing opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour party – who had been written off before the campaign as unelectable, extreme and incompetent – saw his personal ratings and those of his party rise, and stunned pundits by gaining 31 seats, giving Labour a total of 261 MPs.
Labour defied the odds to win around 40% of the vote, with the Tories on 42%. Corbyn’s aides said the jump in the party’s share since previous leader Ed Miliband won 30% in 2015 was the largest between two general elections for any party since 1945. It was also higher than the 35.2% won by Labour’s Tony Blair in his third election victory in 2005."
Published in July 2017 - THE STORY OF LEE banded set. Special edition of only 200.
"Lee, living in Hong Kong, meets Matt, a fine young Scot. Their relationship becomes stronger by the day, despite their deep cultural differences. But there is Lee's dad to contend with who views this affair very suspiciously. And there is another contender for Lee's heart, a young Chinese man, whose jealousy takes on twinges of xenophobia. Will Lee and Matt's relationship successfully cross the cultural divide and overcome the negative odds?"
This is a good deal, with volume 1 and volume 2 of the book packaged together with a specially printed band (or ‘obi’ as they called in Japan).
You can save $4 by buying this banded set of the two volumes.
Get it here:
As to the horrible Manchester bombings this week...
A lot of us express horror and say that we can't understand how anyone could kill others, especially innocent children. Such murderous actions are horrendous, clearly wrong, twisted thinking...but, actually, we do have strong theories about how such terrible things happen. There have been various studies into it, since WW2 and the basic question of: 'how could ordinary, otherwise decent, Germans do that to the jewish people?'.
The main aspect in all such killings, such studies thought, is that person X has been conditioned, over a long period of time, to think of people Y as their enemy, as not fully human. As animals, vermin, not deserving of respect and kindess.
Also, that people Y have done terrible things to MY people X, and therefore they deserve to get bad things done to them.
Also, that the horrendous acts become standardised, made 'normal', by routine, rules, guidelines, orders. So, the nazi guards were just following the rules, the routine. They were only a wheel in the cog, following orders. Obeying and conforming, even if it hurts other people...
And various other theories and experiments. None of which are an excuse for such bombings, or torture, or gassing, or any such disgusting acts against our fellow human beings. I repeat: NOT an excuse...They are an attempt to understand why and how such things happen. Not just mouthing off cliches and daft knee jerk reactions, but to REALLY understand why such things happen.
Which helps us figure out how to reduce such terrible things. And that it the main thing we need to do, right?
I discovered a funny thing yesterday... You know those web sites that have a list of quotes by various folk? A page that lists quotes by Churchill, Gandhi, John Lennon, etc.
By accident I came across a page of quotes by me.
I was surprised to see that. I wonder how they chose who to do quotes on and which quotes?
My friend said it may be computer algorithm that generates it. That seems likely, but HOW do they know to chose THAT sentence, or THIS point, etc. The ones there by me are all complete points. Can a computer algorithm know complete points of MEANING? Wouldn't it make mistakes and cut it up half way through a sentence, etc?
For example if I said 'Today I went shopping. But I forgot to bring my wallet.' How would the algorithm know the meaning of that point was not finished at 'Today I went shopping.'?
"When people ask
the favourite number of me,
I say with unrepentant glee:
’It’s One Onety One’
Why, quite naturally!"
- A forgotten little gem attributed to Lewis Caroll by J.L.Borges in his 1944 essay ‘Pseudepigraphy and Me’.
Russell Brand reading our Portraits of Violence book, about political terror and violence, published by New Internationalist.
The man has good taste!
We need well known folk like this recommending comics, since comics are still far below the level of appreciation (and sales) that they should be at.
So - go for it Brandy boy!
In a world that people say is moving to the right nowadays it’s worth noting that we have also had considerable moves the left. For example:
1. Canada - in their election a year and a half ago The Liberal Party's increase of an incredible 148 seats was the largest-ever increase by a party in a Canadian election (from only 36 to 184 seats). They promise such stuff as increases taxes on the super rich and strong efforts against domestic violence.
2. Scotland - despite the conservatives increasing their share in the Scottish parliament last elections their support level is only at 22%, and they still have only ONE solitary conservative MP from Scotland in the wider UK parliament (and even that only just - his majority was a mere 798 votes ahead of his SNP rival. so lets look forward to the 2020 election when there a good chance that the Conservatives will have absolutely no Scottish MPs at all. Zero. Nada!). Plus Green party trebled the number of its seats in the Scottish parliament. In general, Scotland looks like having at least a 'moderate' left wing majority for decades to come...
3. Netherlands - in what was seen as a stance against anti-immigrant ‘populism’ (so called), right wing racists got less support than feared in this years election, whereas the left wing environmentalist Green party made considerable gains with almost 4 times as many seats as before.
4. Northern Ireland the left wing part Sinn Fein (motto "Building an Ireland of Equals”) got their largest ever shares of seats in the assembly, and the SDLP (Social Democratic and Labour party) increased it seats too. They even have a seat for a party called ‘People Before Profit’, which sounds like a good idea to me!
5. In Portugal’s elections at the end of 2015 saw three left wing parties—the Socialist Party, the Left Bloc, and the Communist/Green Alliance get 62% of the vote and a Socialist leader, Antonio Costa, became prime minister, vowing to “turn the page on austerity”.
6. Spain - a left wing party, Podemos, shot up in support to become the 3rd biggest party only a year and a half after forming.
7. Eduador - the left government there has achieved a 38 percent reduction in poverty and large increases in spending on education and healthcare.
8. And now, this week, the appointment of a new finance minster in South African who promises radical wealth redistribution.
Of course criticism and doubt of all of the above could be made (and probably some ejit will), but, still, these examples above clearly show that not everywhere is moving to the right.
Check out the community share offer of the excellent group NEW INTERNATIONALIST: http://factsandheart.org/
"It's our innovative way of scaling up our editorial output and outreach and developing a new more democratic model for media ownership, at a time when both are sorely needed."
They reached their target this week, and went way past it, to raise over £700,000.
My colleague Dr Brad Evans of our Portraits of Violence book chatting about ideas around terror in a video with yer man Russell Brand. They mention our comic together and will discuss it more in their next chat.
Welcome to the latest news about the books and activities of Sean Michael Wilson, professional comic book writer from Scotland, living in Japan.
Sean Michael Wilson - Wilson's Web