Wednesday 30 July 2008

Lies of Our Generation Part One- The Falklands

When I read Margaret Thatcher's memoirs, it's the chapters around the time of the Falklands War I find most interesting.

I read every sentence and ask myself; Did you know?

At what level do you believe what you write?
In your heart of hearts, you must see what really happened. Even if those mandarins never spelt it out to you.
But you must have known. Even if, Maggie Thatcher, you don't admit it to yourself.

Why did those Argentinian ships sail into Port Stanley harbour?

To save British democracy.
Not real democracy, British democracy. There's a difference.

And the British people- like all tellyfed people don't look at the obvious facts- like the fact that our security services are in fact, strategically incompetent, rather than genuinely so.

Since 1945, there's been a comfortable deal. Two teams. It looks democratic enough- a choice every five years between red and blue.
Democratic two choices.

But it's a sham. If you really think government policy is ever very radically different, it's not. Go back and look at every piece of legislation brought in since 1945 and in most cases, whoever was in, would have passed that law. And whoever was in opposition, would have pretended to oppose it.
The exceptions are with regards to nationalisation/privatisation.

Who are you kidding? Ever see any personnel changes with those token handovers? No, they were overhauls, rebrandings.

In one case the clique that runs the UK runs these sectors openly, in another through its puppet government.

The UK is run by faceless civil servants answerable to a team of carefully chosen apparatchiks who are bankrolled by the people who pay for the adverts that fund the medium which tells you and I which team to choose.

But occasionally there's been a hiccup.

And the early eighties was such a time.

Things hadn't been good in the seventies. Britain wasn't working. Labour isn't working. Time for the clique to shuttle in the blue team and carry out radical systematic overhaul.

I guess the strategy was simple. These changes work quickly- and the blue team get back in, or they hurt a bit, and people vote the red team back in. Doesn't matter either way, the changes will have been made and the unions gone.

Only things didn't go according to plan this team.
What happened was, the changes were hurting a lot. Things seemingly had to get worse for a lot longer before there would be any sign of them getting better.

And the problem was, the red team had chosen just this moment to go democratic.

The red team was being taken over by its members. And its members had decided they'd had enough of consensus politics. Within the red team, the rank and file now believed Britain could not stay capitalist for long. The time had come.

So the powers that be needed to neutralise the red team. The problem was how. Unfortunately, the thing about cock up theory, as opposed to conspiracy theory, is that in cock up theory, the conspiring groups don't actually communicate with eachother very well- because they aren't sinister groups with a long term agenda, just fat cats hoping to stay fat and hope no one notices how it is they have all the milk.

So the only people who had any chance of bringing the red team back in line with the orthodoxy the British people had been brainfed on, gave up on the red team and set up the SDP.

The Alliance was born.
But there is a problem with the Alliance. It might be the SDP apparently driving the show, but the energy behind this bandwagon- it's the Liberals.

The Liberals- who they?

Well, in 1981, they were eleven amateur politicians elected in shoestring budget campaigns in parts of the country where no one noticed that the Liberals had been replaced by Labour about sixty years ago. No one took them seriously, they just made the House of Commons look more interesting.

They're not part of the postwar consensus- they are an anachronistic oddity, a leftover from the days when political parties weren't bankrolled by corporations.

But look at those polls!

The Red team will be annihilated, the Blues a heavily defeated opposition...

And the government benches? Well, of the four hundred odd 'Alliance' MPs, electoral geography dictates that it will be the Liberals who hold the whip hand.

For the first time in fifty years, the mandarins may have masters they cannot control.

How to save the day?

A lot of quite valid questions were asked about the Falkands war. And one very stupid question, which I can't help thinking was put there to distract us from the REAL questions.

Firstly- why remove the last remaining British troops from a crown colony the Argentinians claim as theirs, when Argentina is ruled by an unstable military dictator renowned for making rash decisions when drunk?

AFTER the Crosby by-election was shockingly won by Shirley Williams?

Secondly- Lord Carrington, the Foreign Secretary resigned after the invasion. The reason is well known. The Foreign Office had had to admit it 'hadn't taken seriously' repeated intelligence concerning Argentine troop movements in the weeks preceding the invasion.

Fall guy.

Are you seriously telling me that the world's fourth military power sat there and unthinkingly sent out an invite to a tinpot armed forces armed with our decommisioned weapons, that the security services, which when not run by the KGB, are still today probably second only to the KGB in efficient information gathering, failed to impress on on the Foreign Office with probably the best understanding of tactical realities of any in the world, that the Argentinians were coming?

Sorry, I don't believe it. I refuse to believe that they weren't sitting there in Whitehall waiting.

Waiting, for the chance to buy a decade and a half of power and kill the Alliance stone dead.

In 1956, Britain's international reputation died. Since we came back from Suez, tail between our legs, the Great had gone out of Britain. We didn't like how we felt. The swinging sixties had cheered us up for a bit, before the striking seventies woke us up to life as a decaying former superpower who couldn't even keep the Egyptians away from the canal we funded the construction of.

The Prime Minister who could give us back that feeling, would ride on a wave to carry out WHATEVER the powers that be desired.

They gave her a war.
And she won it.

And the Belgrano?
Red Herring. Because if you're getting all het up about that, you miss the real point. The war needn't have happened because we needn't have let them invade at all. We set them a honeytrap, just so we could kick their arses back to the Pampas and redeem the UK for its ignominious retreat from Suez.

Beaconsfield by-election, 1982.

Huge Conservative Majority.

Mitcham and Morden by-election 1982. Labour MP who defected to SDP resigns the seat to fight it for his new party.
The first time a sitting government WINS a seat from the opposition in over twenty years.

1983 General Election; Conservative 397, Labour 209, Alliance 23.

Britain? Great again.

The miners? Fucked.


Anonymous said...

Yeah. I can't stand when people lie. I'd prefer someone to tell me everything.


Anonymous said...

That's a v good post; I couldn't have put it anything like as good myself...

re the Belgrano: we were in a fucking WAR; I'd have sunk that bloody ship and no regrets... I just don't understand why the media made such a fuss. So it was retreating. So what? Would they have spared us in such circumstances? I don't think so!

Anonymous said...

Its all just events dear boy, just events.

Anonymous said...

oh old Maggie. I see her pix's still there oop top.

weird to think even SHE was young once...