Monthly Archives: February 2014

Notes on a Rebranding

Cunning Hired Knaves


The attempt by the Conservative Party in Britain to rebrand itself as the ‘Workers’ Party’ will provoke both mirth and dismay from people who can remember the long, distinguished and continuing history of that party in destroying the lives of working class people.

But such a rebranding is not intended to win the hearts of all workers. Rather, what it seeks is a mainstay of Tory policy for decades: winning over just enough working class people in order to maintain political hegemony, as part of the striving towards the dream of a bourgeoisie without a proletariat.

What is perhaps new is the way the opposing pole of ‘Worker’ in this system of signs is not ‘Capitalist’ (there are no longer capitalists, only entrepreneurs) but those who do not work – the ‘workshy’, those who are dependent on benefits to survive, those culturally represented as ‘chavs’. The division between the…

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Time of the Snakes

Cunning Hired Knaves


Over the weekend, as I was thinking about events relating to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, I started to feel as if the whole thing had been concocted as some sort of personal insult. This felt strange: an Irish government perpetrates social outrages all the time, and my expectations of Ireland’s justice system could scarcely be lower.

I think it was the vehemence of Enda Kenny’s initial statement, the one broadcast as the headline news on RTE Radio 1’s 6.01pm bulletin, that gave things a different quality. My expectations of Enda Kenny could scarcely have been any lower to begin with. Unlike many, I don’t consider him to be ‘my’ Taoiseach. The personalised soft-soap treatment afforded to senior political figures, their boiling down to first name terms, such as ‘Enda’, or ‘Lucinda’, or ‘Bertie’, is something that makes my skin creep.

If Enda Kenny comes across as dim-witted in his…

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