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Ortega, Somoza Mark II

Daniel is determined not to lose any more elections. Having ousted the previous dictator Somoza in 1979, he and the Sandinistas became the new darlings of the Left and used the inane slogan ‘between Christianity and socialism there is no  contradiction.’

Following a decade of dictatorship the Sandinista regime agreed to release some political prisoners and hold free elections in return for the closing of Contra bases in Honduras. He subsequently lost several elections before returning to power in 2007 as the Catholic president of Nicaragua, one of only five countries where abortion is totally illegal. ‘President Daniel Ortega has named his wife as his running mate in November’s elections, leading to accusations he is trying to found a political dynasty.

The former guerrilla fighter hopes to win a third consecutive term for the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as his vice president. “This revolution – in which women have participated shoulder to shoulder – has opened the doors to the full participation of women in all spheres: political, social and economic,”’ he said’ (theweek.co.uk, 4 August). Such nonsense is only matched by that of another President, Ronald Reagan, calling Nicaragua a beachhead of communism.

Corbyn’s Commandments

‘Jeremy Corbyn will today set out ten pledges “to rebuild and transform Britain”. Speaking in London, the Labour leader will promise to ensure full employment as prime minister by creating one million jobs to build new infrastructure and call for an NHS free of  private-sector involvement. “We could all be living richer lives in a sustainable, more prosperous and more caring society,” he is to  say’ (theweek.co.uk, 4 August). These pledges include expanding wage slavery and a million new homes being built over five years. Yet no Labour government has ever left office with unemployment lower than when it started and after World War II (Labour has supported all wars since WWI - bang goes the peaceful foreign policy pledge!) Bevan promised to solve the housing problem.

Other pious pledges include ‘security at work’ (recall the use of troops as strike breakers against the dockworkers) and a secure NHS. Labour Minister Bevan felt more secure with his own private physician, and let us not forget he oversaw the introduction of charges for dental and optical services as well as prescription fees. Tuition fees? That was Labour too. Do not bank on the pledge for them to be reversed! The climate change pledge? That’s likely to be just hot air. Free transport? No, nothing more than the possibility of an expanded publically-controlled bus network. Apparently, FTSE 100 CEOs are now paid 183 times the wage of the average UK worker. Expect a redistribution of crumbs, nothing more. Emphasis on human rights? Your right to be exploited is guaranteed under Labour!

Socialism, the smart answer

‘If futurist, inventor, and Google executive Ray Kurzweil is right about the future, we’ll all be augmenting our brains with extra capacity in the cloud at some point in the future. Which sounds exciting, even if a little frightening. But this very advance could also pave the way for the rich to become thousands of times smarter than poor people, which would likely permanently solidify and even exacerbate current socioeconomic stratifications’ (venturebeat.com, 2 August). The rich do not need to become smarter - we work for them and run society from top to bottom. A member of the 1 percent does not need to be particularly smart to know if they have enough money in their Swiss bank account to purchase ‘a $22 million penthouse in Las Vegas’ and its ‘fast car, fine art and free tickets to sporting events’ (wsj.com, 1 August). A more likely scenario is that some of us would be augmented in order

to develop new weapons, advertising campaigns, reality TV concepts, or discover why ‘homeowners in affluent neighbourhoods play host to more species of arthropods than their poorer counterparts’ (washingtonpost.com, 4 August). But just imagine for a moment how useful enhanced intelligence could be in a society where everyone of us could benefit. No pinko liberal enhancements on our watch!