Classy War

Class War: the changing face of a political culture.

As a political activist at University, nationally, Class War was a very loud and visible presence on the student and youth political scene. Not so much politics as political culture.

Class War - bash the rich.

Bashing the rich seems to be a mainstream political cause to the Left of British politics today, indeed of ‘Progressive’ politics everywhere. Didn’t work out for President Hollande in France, but the Left has always been big on rhetoric and short on delivery.

Times change, and so too it seems has Class War. Hadn’t been aware of Class War for many years, so when the BBC Daily Politics Show announced as part of the small parties series for #GE2015 it seemed an opportunity to check on ‘where are they now?’.

Didn’t expect that.

A week or so to go to Election Day, so in case there are more interviews of smaller parties, this seems to be the update page. Brilliant from Andrew Neil and the Daily Politics team, showing that despite the passing of Screaming Lord Sutch, and the fading of the Monster Raving Loony Party, eccentricity remains fundamental to British political life.

For reference, the Monster Raving Loony Party hasn’t gone away you know:


the message formula

The underlying formula of media training is a factor in undermining public confidence in politicians; with the electorate switching off, and seeking ‘straight-talking’ from any quarter.

The car crash interview when Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, was at LBC was an early moment of electoral excitement for the media.

Widely shared and ridiculed. Bennett apologised to the Party, and it was announced she would be undertaking some ‘media training’. The news was welcomed by those involved in media training. Read more… »

Contested Identities

Contested Identities

The Contested Identities of Ulster Protestants:
edited by Thomas Paul Burgess & Gareth Mulvenna.

The book is prefaced as a response to co-editor Thomas Burgess’s uncomfortable encounter where:

“… a young woman with impeccable Irish Republican credentials spoke up forcefully, and advanced her sure and certain hypothesis that there did not exist – neither could there ever exist – any legitimate or worthwhile expression of a valid or meaningful cultural contribution emerging from the Ulster unionist or loyalist tradition.”

We’ve all been there.


Due to a Denial of Service attack in 2014 the original thedissenter had to be taken offline. Moving hosting to a larger more secure service and putting some additional protections in hand should mean such an attack will not have similar consequences. That’s the plan. This time too, there is backup! We may have been able to recover many of the previous articles despite there having been no backup, and these will be updated and reposted/restored as soon as possible.

Full dissenting service will resume shortly.


What would he say today?

Ronald Reagan, Normandy Speech: Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day 6/6/84

Full Text of the speech:

Remarks to Veterans at Pointe du Hoc

We’re here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For 4 long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history. Read more… »

The cost of RPA x6


There have been a number of estimates bandied around in respect of the likely cost of final elements of the Reform of Public Administration, specifically the reduction from twenty-six to eleven local councils. Whatever the current number (and it is in the £millions), it is being politically justified by projected ‘savings’ brought about by a smaller number of Councils and ‘efficiencies’. Read more… »

Hidden dangers in Haass.


One way to analyse the 7th draft from the recent Haass talks would be to look the proposals one by one. This post, however, is a look at some principles that should be viewed as essential to any future proposals, or talks, by anyone with a care for fundamental human rights, and which must be satisfactorily addressed as the basis of any future conversation on any aspect of ‘Parades, Select Commemorations, and Related Protests; Flags and Emblems; and contending with the Past’. Read more… »

Dear Dr Haass, Thirdly…

This is the third part of a Trilogy of posts based on a submission to The Panel of Parties, more generally named ‘The Haass Talks’. The blog post has the added advantage of being able to link documents and expand on a point here or there by way of detailed explanation that wasn’t possible with a hasty and brief submission written almost upon the submission deadline. Was the submission made with an expectation that it would have any influence? No. It was made because there are things that needed said.




Thirdly, matters stemming from the past.

With no coherent sense of purpose in moving forward, our politicians seem to regard the past as safer ground: albeit without an agreed notion of how to define ‘the past’. Read more… »