Friday, March 23, 2012

Dear Francis

Dear Francis Maude,

As a pensioner I recognise the government view that "we are all in
this together" and I realise that there is nothing in this budget for
pensioners such as myself.

On the other hand exactly how much do you and your cabinet colleagues
stand to gain from the reduction of the top rate of income tax?

I would appreciate an answer to this question because this information
should be in the public domain.

I am sure you agree that MPs are elected to represent the people and
not to line their own pockets.

The argument that the tax cut is part of a package of measures does
not hold water. We are entitled to ask why this self-aggrandising
measure is slipped into the package and whether you can in all
conscience vote for it.

And of course the argument that top earners evade the tax cannot
possibly apply to members of parliament.

Yours sincerely,

Derek McMillan

Saturday, March 17, 2012


A spectre would seem to be haunting the British government. People have the cheek to object to being paid nothing to work for Tescos – they are all “Trots”. Teachers and parents object to school privatisation. They are all “Trots” too. And as for Andrew Lansley's NHS privatisation – the “Trots” would seem to include all the professional bodies representing health professionals, patients groups and the trade unions inside and outside the Health Service. Whoever these “Trots” are they do seem remarkably powerful. How come nobody has ever heard of them? If you want to know what “Trots” believe then this little book
will tell you. It is based on an historical public domain document drafted by Trotsky in 1938 yet when you read through it there are surprising echoes of the present day.

“Mankind's productive forces stagnate. Already new inventions and improvements fail to raise the level of material wealth. Conjunctural crises under the conditions of the social crisis of the whole capitalist system inflict ever-heavier deprivations and sufferings upon the general population . Growing unemployment, in its turn, deepens the financial crisis of the state and undermines the unstable monetary systems. Democratic regimes, as well as fascist, stagger on from one bankruptcy to another.”

If we take it as read there are no Fascist regimes nowadays – just an overweight BNP clown in the European parliament sitting on his expenses – the rest of this is very familiar. The people of Greece are expected to put up with cuts in wages and pensions while the bankers live the life of Riley. Millions of the 99 percent feel indignation about this.

And the transitional program has practical advice on how to turn this indignation into action and make the bosses pay for their crisis.

Derek McMillan

March 2012

It is quite easy to publish to Kindle and it is a very cheap way of getting yourself a copy of the Transitional Program without an introduction by Cliff Slaughter.

You have to put up with (or skip) my introduction and it does look as though the Transitional Program was a join work between me and Trotsky :)

Still this is a way to make the text available on kindle. Click here

Monday, March 12, 2012

The arrogance of Andrew Lansley

Kandahar – this was murder

The public in the UK were appalled at the deaths of six British soldiers in Helmand province. Then hard on the heels of that news came the massacre of 16 civilians in Kandahar.

The British soldiers at least had names and faces in the British media. The 16 civilians were just a number for most people. And naturally the authorities started talking about a “lone gunman” as a way of washing their hands of the affair.

The “lone gunman” was armed, trained and shipped off to Afghanistan by the military. They now act surprised when civilians get killed. Remember that these are the people who bombed a wedding party in Kandahar in 2008. 37 Villagers in Wech Baghtu died, including 23 children and 10 women after planes flattened houses shortly after US troops had fought Taliban insurgents nearby. But it is OK. They apologised.

The 400 British deaths pale in comparison with the uncounted – deliberately uncounted – civilian deaths in Afghanistan. And the civilians who are shot down or blown up are not feted as heroes.

Obama has finally realised the futility of this war and plans to pull out with the fig-leaf of “handing over to local forces.” This mass murder in Kandahar will only feed the cycle of revenge killings and more lives will be sacrificed on the altar of American Imperialism.

The likelihood is that the Taliban will end up in power after a further bloody civil war. This underscores the pointlessness of the sacrifice which the politicians hypocritically celebrate.