Socialist Worker

Sweet dreams only for some

Issue No. 1804

WHAT'S THE secret to a peaceful night's sleep? The answer, apparently, is be a socialist. A new study by the medical journal Dreaming has found that people with right wing views and who vote for right wing politicians have more nightmares than those on the left.

By contrast, the dreams of people on the left show them to be creative, progressive, imaginative, and social animals confident in their own abilities. Report author Dr Kelly Bulkeley said, 'One way to read these findings would be that the dreams of the people on the political right reveal them to be insecure, anxious, conflict-ridden and emotionally repressed.

'When they are not terrified of imaginary threats they cling to the comforts of the status quo. They seek a kind of power through their political views that they lack within their deeper selves.'

'People on the left had fewer nightmares and more dreams in which they had power,' says the report. 'They had a greater frequency of good fortunes and bizarre elements in their dreams. Female lefts had an especially high frequency of good fortunes.'

Utter rubbish

THE GOVERNMENT recently tried to smear the academic Allyson Pollock for her excellent research which has uncovered the madness of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). But it is the government itself which is using 'spurious' figures to justify PFI, according to the National Audit Office official watchdog.

The government uses 'pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo' to justify PFI, says the spending watchdog. 'It becomes so complicated that no one, not even the experts, really understands what is going on,' says Jeremy Colman from the Audit Office. Some of the government's figures on PFI were 'utter rubbish', according to Colman.

STRANGE encounters of the New Labour kind at the queen's jubilee bash. Tony Blair shared his box with the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. Blair was not the only one sucking up to rich right wing media barons. London mayor Ken Livingstone was spotted in the royal box in friendly conversation with Lord Rothermere.

He's the owner of the Daily Mail and Evening Standard. The papers are at the forefront of scapegoating asylum seekers.

Not quite skid row

SPARE A thought for poor old Shaun Woodward. He was the millionaire Tory MP who joined New Labour and was then parachuted in to the safe Labour seat of St Helens. Woodward has been having problems finding a buyer for his plush £6.75 million home.

Woodward is so desperate he has even taken out a full-page colour ad in the Country Life magazine for his pad in St James's Park in London, appropriately dubbed 'Turncoat Towers'. Perhaps buyers are put off by the fact that Peter Mandelson lived there for months last year.

'It was a nightmare,' one neighbour reports of Mandelson's time there. It is reported that Woodward is trying to throw off his 'champagne socialist' image. But he'll have to try just a little bit harder if he's to manage that. He may have bought a £57,000 house in his constituency, but he did carry out an estimated £70,000 worth of 'improvements' to get it nearer to his accustomed standards.

And he and his wife still own an £8 million mansion in Oxfordshire, a £3.2 million penthouse, a £273,000 flat overlooking the House of Commons, and we mustn't forget the two £500,000 flats in London Bridge.

Boss in s**t

AN unknown plumber in the US struck a blow against the corporate fat cats recently. A top bank president went to use his plush executive bathroom. But when he pulled the chain he got a bit more than he bargained for. The fat cat was blasted with 200 gallons of stinking raw sewage.

MOST people think decent street lighting is a good thing and makes for a safer neighbourhood. Not the Metropolitan Police in London. Tim Godwin, the deputy assistant commissioner of the Met, was quizzed recently about why nothing was being done to improve lighting in areas with high crime rates.

'The thing with young people is that they are afraid of the dark,' he said. 'Lighting systems can have the opposite effect.'

Summer of discontent?

THE LABOUR Party's internal members' magazine, Inside Labour, rarely carries any views which dissent from those of the leadership. So it was interesting that in the latest edition the magazine was forced to wheel out foreign secretary Jack Straw to answer letters and policy submissions from local parties and individual members. All were critical of New Labour's foreign policy.

'We are gravely concerned about the threats of action against Iraq and other states by the USA,' wrote Sheffield District Labour Party. 'The spectre of weapons of mass destruction being put before us doesn't wash! The only country wealthy enough to possess and use them is the USA,' wrote Terence Boley from Kent.

Both Cotswold and Kingswood constituency Labour parties sent in motions against any more talk of military action against Iraq. Preston sent a motion calling on the government to demand Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories and to impose sanctions on Israel.

'We also ask the government to ask the United Nations to carry out an investigation into the conduct of the Israeli forces, and if necessary instigate war crime charges against the Israeli forces and government.'

Things they say

'I'D BE happier if he realised we live in a parliamentary democracy.'
Labour MP TAM DALYELL on why he thought Tony Blair was the worst Labour leader and worst prime minister ever

'THE Holocaust is a minor detail.'
Nazi BNP leader GRIFFIN

'HIS DADDY had Saddam and he needed Osama. His presidency was going nowhere. This guy is a joke.'
US air force colonel STEVE BUTLER accuses George Bush of exploiting 11 September to boost his popularity

'THE biggest potential threat to the pound's survival is the Conservative Party. For many people just about the only thing less popular than the euro is the Tory party.'
DOMINIC CUMMINGS, Conservative Party director of strategy

'HOW CAN you think that providing free school meals over 38 weeks will have an impact on the health of young people? Bursts of nutrition-good hot food followed by periods without-can have an adverse effect on children's bowels.'
MARGARET JAMIESON, Labour MSP, opposing Scottish Socialist Party MSP Tommy Sheridan's free school meals bill

'TONY BLAIR is doing well because he has followed Thatcher's path.'
SILVIO BERLUSCONI, right wing leader of Italy

'WE ARE all Thatcherites now.'

'THE racist remarks of David Blunkett about 'swamping' show that this government does not respect the human rights of children!'
14 year old FRED from Dorset giving evidence to the House of Lords committee on human rights

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Article information

Inside the System
Sat 15 Jun 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1804
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