Yasmin is just a teensy wee bit elitist
She is also versatile and capable of spouting desperately unsound shite on a wide variety of topics
So, I must admit to being just a tad surprised that Yasmin is the first corporate commentator to square up to the rather large elephant in the living room that is the current Labour Party sleaze crisis
Yasmin has just written an article about the impact of lobbying on British political life. She focuses on the Labour Friends of Israel but, reasonably enough, widens the discussion to include all the groups of shady fuckers who are seeking to exercise behind the scenes influence on the way our country is managed
People like this guy
There is little dispute that American politics is infested and influenced by what are known as Political Action Committees and the signs are there to indicate that British politics is no different. However, the corporate press rarely talks about lobbying in the UK. Partly due to an arrogant sense that 'it couldn’t happen here' but also because the people who run our lobby groups are interchangeable with and interconnected with the people who run the media as well as the political parties
What is really puzzling me is why a member of that caste has just written and been allowed to publish an article talking about its malign influence
I’m f*cked if I can figure out what angle is being played
To be honest, a few million grubby pounds bunged to all the major political parties doesn’t make that much difference here or there to the way the country is run.
The really interesting subjects are the more intangible ways in which popular consent is manufactured and managed.
Which is why I am one of those people who are fascinated by organisations like Common Purpose.
Organisations which, by their own admission, focus on identifying future leaders (the younger the better) and grooming them for membership of a leadership caste, whilst at the same time promoting a scary brand of soul-less, corporate ‘McDiversity’ which frankly gives me the willies
These organisations are also characterised by their fondness for masking whatever it is they are really up to through the use of a particular brand of BollocksSpeak™ which baffles the uninitiated with an unrelenting torrent of ‘glittering generalities’.
This network of consultancies, think tanks and lobby groups are interrelated in such a way that not even the majority of the people associated with them can be entirely sure if they are part of, and subservient to, some larger hierarchy or not.
Once you’re switched onto these outfits and the kind of people they promote you can spot them virtually instantly
I fucking hate them
The top echelons of the major political parties are full of the fuckers
And if, as it seems, that membership of this particular loosely-knit group is a prerequisite for preferment then the claim that they seek to identify society’s future leaders starts to sound very much like a self-fulfilling prophecy
The latest addition to my list of fruity little clubs which seem to be part of this network came about as a result of reading the Wikipedia entry for the Leader of the Labour Party in the Scottish Parliament, Wendy Alexander
Wendy's in a spot of bother at the moment
One particular paragraph in her Wikipedia entry caught my eye…
Alexander's brother Douglas, the Secretary of State for International Development is a Labour Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire South. Both were chosen to take part in the British-American Project for the Successor Generation (now known as the British-American Project) which was described by the journalist John Pilger writing in 'The New Statesman' back in 2003 as "a masonry of chosen politicians and journalists conceived by the far-right oil baron J. Howard Pew and launched by Ronald Reagan and Rupert Murdoch".
So, off I clicked to the Wikipedia entry for the The British American Project and…
The British American Project for the Successor Generation was founded in 1985 by Nick Butler to perpetuate the close relationship between the United States and Britain. It has a membership of around 600 leaders and opinion formers from both countries. It holds an annual conference to which journalists are not invited and rarely appears in the media, although many members are themselves journalists.
...and then onto BAPS’ scary homepage, especially the FAQ section with its disturbingly Common Purpose sounding jargon and super-fruity ‘future leader’ selection process (well worth reading)
..and then onto an article on BAPS from the Grauniad a couple of years ago, including a taster of BAPS’ membership.
It is truly heart-warming to find so many people with apparently so many different political beliefs able to come together with a common, er, objective
No surprises to see Julia Hobsbawm’s name there (well worth a few minutes Googling and worth pairing up with ‘Gordon Brown’, ‘McCann’, ‘Editorial Intelligence’, ‘Common Purpose’ for starters)
And not much of a fucking surprise to see Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on the list either…