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EU Election Fake Newz

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Published on the The Slog on May 1, 2017

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May has PND episode as Hunt cracks down on rogue NHS traitors, Macron’s DNA revealed & TLF boss Corbyn goes OTT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S FAKE NEWS ABOUT EU ELECTION HARMONISATION

There’s a sort of vaguely medical theme to things today, although there’s nothing of any great significance to that….beyond the observation that when things are a little odd, one goes to see the doctor. Most of the people featured here never did: as a result, we’re stuck with them as they are.

Take Ms Thearse May, for example. She is obviously suffering from the worst case of post nasal depression I’ve ever come across. As these tragic pictures show only too well, she is in the tertiary stages of this mentally debilitating illness.

Rafe Roydian-Slippe  of the London School of Conkology comments that “it is a rare condition in which the victim becomes convinced that her nose is growing. After many years of looking down their noses at people, sufferers keep catching sight of the hooter and becoming increasingly disturbed. In the last three shots, we can see how poor Thearse will now do anything rather than look at her nose. Sadly, the obsession is incurable”.

So then, not the happiest of endings, but then a lot of medical work ends up like that. I often wonder if those engaged in longevity research really have thought its consequences through fully. Supposing they come up with a stem cell that extends human life to over a thousand years: I mean it’s not the sort of formula you’d want getting into the wrong hands, is it? I’ve had fifty years of Rupert Murdoch, but twenty times that amount of cunning psychopathy is impossible to imagine.

huntfutureWell, gossip has crossed my desk suggesting that for three weeks now, a research team in the Guy’s Hospital Lifespan Enhancement Division has been holed up in its office suite, held under siege by the crack BUPA Commando Unit that protects Health Secretary Mr Jeremander Cnut (left) round the clock, round in circles, and right round Hampstead Heath if necessary.

I understand that the LED team has come up with an astonishing elixir, and Cnut – having got wind fbbbrrr of the breakthrough – ordered his henchmen into action. Sources close to Mr Cnut tell me the Wealth Secretary has been heard muttering “the painting in the attic can’t go on much longer, we’ll just have to rush the bastards if necessary”.


Across the Channel, European Union medical researchers seem to have cracked the problem of human cloning. I’m not sure exactly whose genes were used to produce French Presidential ‘candidate’ Emmanuel Macron, but observation suggests that hair of Blair, eye of Cameron, heart of Sarkozy and toenail of Clinton might well have been involved along the way.

macron1The clues are suggested in phrases like “third way”, “tough on crime and the causes of crime”, “cracking down on terrorism” and “the great European project”. Monsieur Maclone’s occasional inpromptu faces (left) also suggest a bit of Dolly the Sheep crept in along the way. It really doesn’t matter anyway: he is almost certainly glissante comme une anguille and a couille molle (a slippery eel and a spineless wimp) but Brussels, NATO and George Soros demand such things.

In his new book I am made of Money, the next President explains how he got from being nonentity married to ageing lycée teacher crumpet to the Elysée Palace all on his own in nine months flat. It should be a rattling good zzzzzzzzz sorry about that, nodded off for a second there.


CorbyAdamsA much greater divide than the Channel is the aisle in the House of Commons these days, and it is there we find comeback kid Jeremy Corbyn – seen left with close friend in happier times. JC is the only pol among this lot not in need of medical assistance, being very clearly an inoperable case. Yesterday Mr Cuban’s Tooting Liberation Front set out a 20-point plan, which oddly enough wasn’t the blueprint for wiping out a 20-point Tory lead in the Fakelection. This is a shame, as polls earlier in the day had shown that Thearse May’s lead had indeed “been slashed”, as The Indepungent put it, from 18 to 12 points.

“I am absolutely delighted,” said Mr Dustbin, “that in just one week we have turned a Tory avalanche into little more than a landslide”.

Peccable sources at the Daily Telegraph assured me last night that ‘the 20 point plan’ has lots of hidden clues in it as to the bearded Lady Lieber’s real intentions once he is swept to power on a tidal wave of multiple registrations. One of the pledges (I’m serious) is ‘Introduce four new bank holidays’, but ace Torygraph reporter Ronnie Barkray tells me this is code for ‘nationalise all the banks within four days’, while ‘Use public spending power to drive up standards’ is code for ‘ban German Rover imports and relaunch British Leyland’.

The one that has me baffled is “Pass a law tomorrow right saying that all racist fattism jokes about public school hypocrisy will incur the death penalty for any scumbigot fascist caught spreading such a creed of hate’. For the life of me, I can’t work out how it got in there.


mesmile All above content guaranteed totally counterfeit, complete bollocks and nothing whatever to do with the British General Election currently wasting the Nation’s time and money on a bold plan to ignore the Will of the People by asking them to do some more voting and Will showing.

—————–

Looking in the mirror

There is a confluence of knowledge taking place on Earth. Those in charge of the planet are ignoring it, for reasons which I hope to make clear. But despite their manic blindness, the old leaps and intuitions, fables and ancient sagesse are being taken more seriously by social anthropologists. Complementary medical practices are being given sound bases by sub-atomic physicists and behaviour therapists. And the idea of faith moving mountains currently inspires a larger and larger number of neuroscientists and anatomists.

Time and Space are illusions. Separation as a model of the Universe has been replaced by one of unending connection. These findings are being fed into studies of how ‘the mind’ works, how the brain learns, and why mental and physical aberrations are inextricably linked.


Only NOW is real.

The past has gone and cannot be regained. The future is wide open and cannot be ordained. All guilt, rigidity, bigotry and regret emanate from a past that no longer exists in any sense that our species can physically reach. Most fear, anxiety and pessimism is based on a future we do not as yet know. It too is not real.

If one spends a healthy amount of time in Now, tranquility can be obtained and retained – because the neuroses based on illusory Time are absent.

By all means learn from the past and plan for the future. But don’t live there, because living there is a fantasy based on the unreal.

Security services, the military, egomanic politicians, media proprietor gargoyles and other self-appointed mega-money élites all live beyond Now in an unreal world of their own making. “You come into the World with nothing, and you leave it with nothing” is a lesson they never learn. This is why they talk of visions and projects and ideologies and legacies and Gods and enemies and protection from threats and Great Histories and the rest of the twaddle: they are suffused with neurosis, paranoia, fear and aggression, and can only work within parameters of a past they want to glorify or a future better than that past.

Because they never visit Now, they never appreciate sufficiency, balanced ambition and tranquility. All they want is more and more and more. For them.


Such people have severely depleted primary senses. They never stop to see, hear, smell, taste and touch the simple things of life. Thus they never understand the natural needs of their supplicants, clients, citizens, customers or neighbours.  When presented with reality, they variously deny it, spit at it, smear it and – when all else fails – censor it.

This is true now of almost all professions. Legal minds frame laws that will never be obeyed. Medics see placebo and unfamiliar approaches as things to be dismissed rather than studied. Bureaucrats run ill-constructed Superstates that will never be loved. Faced with insolvency, finance ministers and bankers change names and reorder columns or simply alter accountancy rules. Forced to observe facts, Left activists and blinkered neocons ‘reinterpret’ empirical data and carry on as before. Shown the trade dependence they have on another country, Presidents tell the foreign partners they are ‘deluded’ and bully them, insisting they must ‘come to heel’. As a Twitter compatriot wrote yesterday, ‘they do not blink’. But we all blink to clean our eyes so we can see better. If we didn’t blink, by the age of three our eyes would be clogged with an inch of infected dust.


Our age has become, above all else, the flight from what is real and natural in favour of what is imagined and unnatural. This is entirely driven from above, where the élites I describe would rather their programme of denial, censorship, power and personal wealth continued forever. In order to ensure it does, they have to increase the power of intelligence agencies. When the intelligence delivers the Truth, they falsify the intelligence.

All of us at various times in our lives deny the Truth picked up by our primary senses. We continue in relationships that don’t work, we chant received wisdom in order to be accepted by the herd, we keep quiet in order to avoid ostracism. We drink to produce stimulation because nothing stimulates us, and we evade change. We claim there is no alternative to more of the same, because we do not spend enough time, in a calm state, adding up the pros and cons of this or that change of direction.

We fear the new because we ignore The Now.


When my own perception of life gets out of balance – when I remember the worst atrocities of the past and project them robotically into a nightmare future – I become tense, irritable and impatient. Everyone is different, but with me those things go straight to my digestive system.

But after decades of taking pills based on this theory – and then pills to replace those pills based on a ‘better” theory – I have learned the hard way to reduce symptoms by solving their cause….not just by alleviating their effect.

And this again plugs in – by definition, eclectically – to the confluence of knowledge: what have we learned, what is real, and what is natural.

Relax through meditation. Become more aware of primary senses. Train them to work harder. Have patience. Every day do something slowly. Take more exercise. Every day do something you don’t want to do. Grow herbs and drink infusions from them. Ignore the “news” as often as possible in favour of new insights, old wisdoms and important discoveries you can find in books and online. Every day, do something to help somebody. If you’re stuck in traffic, watch everything around you. If you hear a loud or incessant noise, picture it going through you and passing on….for that is the reality.

Talk to yourself. When not done unconsciously or inappropriately, this is sanity, not madness. We gain false impressions based on nasty things people say. Those airwaves go through the tympanic membrane and into your brain as Truth. Persuading that same brain audibly – as often as possible – that it’s bollocks isn’t just common sense, it’s tested science: it works.

Twitter is one of the most abusive and good-turned-bad media ever to see the light of day. Don’t block new ideas on it, block abuse. Abusive people have nothing to offer in the way of wisdom. Don’t engage, block. Eventually, your following/followers circle “residue” will agree and disagree with you in a civilised manner. Go to bed at night, and forgive all those you blocked. They deserve your pity, not your ire.

Above all, every day find something to laugh at that doesn’t involve gratuitous cruelty towards the oppressed. If you take the mickey in a light tone, prepare for people to do the same to you. If they become abusive for no genuine reason, ask them (later) if anything’s wrong. If they yell at you again, leave them alone politely. If you never hear from them again, you’ve learned something. You will also waste less time in future.


These are just a few of my own personal life lessons. They work for me. When I forget them, I don’t work properly. But everyone is different: the determination to deny that particular reality in favour of One Size fits All is what drives those who make our lives less fulfilling than they should be….be they the arrogant hospital consultant, the unfeeling politician, or the crazed neocon globalist.

Remember: nothing acts faster than Anadin. So take nothing.

Will England & Sotland become One-Party States?

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Published on the The Slog on April 19, 2017

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SNAP ELECTION: New shocker as England & Scotland on verge of becoming One-Party States.

methink1  Theresa May broke her word to call this election. After it, she will break her word on Brexit. But there is no Opposition to stop her. Whose fault is it?

 


Four years ago, I posted a piece about the then Culture (sic) Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. His sole response in the Commons, to damning evidence that he had abused his office to favour the Murdoch family, was “I have done nothing wrong”. Shortly after this, the then Prime Minister David Cameron denied that the favour involved (letting Newscorp grab BSkyB largely unhindered) had been discussed at a secret Boxing Day lunch with James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks. They’d just all had lunch in the strictest secrecy because they were pals. The way you do.

Two MPs I spoke to at the time (one Labour, one Conservative) said almost exactly the same thing: that things had got to a stage in the clique running the Tory Party where, after surviving that lot, they now believed they could get away with anything. The Conservative – a very nice and principled bloke with rather rich descriptive faculties – said, “To be honest, Cameron could fuck a pig in Newmarket’s main street in broad daylight now, and nobody would give a stuff”. In an astonishing switch whereby surreal fantasy became fact, it was revealed the following year that Cameron had given fellatio to a dead pig at some jolly gathering. Dave didn’t even bother to deny it.

So with an Election now rising over the blue horizon, let us summarise what the re-elected Tory Party has been up to since, and how events have variously unfolded and unravelled. It has knowingly misled the country (twice) on WASPI pension information between 1995 and 2012. It has committed a brazen act of embezzlement in hanging onto 40 years of the victims’ NI contributions. It has cut a swathe of such ferocity through disablement welfare, thousands of people are going to be without enough money or any transport from here on. It has created more jobs, but the number of hours being worked remains static, wage levels are going down, and low paid work is now almost completely without any security of tenure.

It made such a Horlicks of the EU referendum campaign, Cameron had to resign after the result. Despite all the crushing austerity, the national debt has doubled and the deficit reduction missed its target by 40%….so the Chancellor had to resign. Well actually, he was fired….by the Home Secretary who, given the task of cutting immigration to 10,000 a year, never got it below 130,000. And so she therefore had to….um, become Prime Minister.

Everything the Bullingdon Boys set out to do in 2010 now lies in tatters. The Murdoch family – caught red-handed carrying out illegal surveillance on ten of thousands of voters – is stronger than ever, and Brooks is back at the helm of Newscorp UK….or whatever the Digger has decided to call it this week. British manufacturing has shrunk by a further 18%, and the economy is even more biased to financial 3-card trick mumbo-jumbo than it ever was. And Brexit has happened…..allegedly.

But even on that last point, The Brexiteer Cup was snatched from the hands of the winners by the announcement of a May Cabinet consisting almost entirely of pro-EU Remainers – the same people like Fallon and Hammond who have given us the most cynically unethical foreign policy in even our ruthless Imperial history. Hammond – the new mendacious but at times quite amusing Chancellor – has spent every day since undermining the Brexit negotiating team, while privately ridiculing the bombastic incompetence of Boris Johnson our equally new (but dreadfully tarnished) Foreign Secretary.

Just to round off this cacophony of arrogant amateur night, as London Mayor, Johnson (you will remember) falsified emissions data to let his mate Tim Yeo get a whopping taxi contract, placed his capacious buttocks on the Elm House Tory Council child trafficking scandal, and tried to pervert the course of justice on Hackgate.

A motley crew of partners in crime, you may think: and you would, in my estimation, be right. But it was obvious from the opening salvos last year that May the reborn Brexiteer was chained every which way by Brussels idiocy, Tory backbench ire, and various Cabinet colleagues. (Labour would claim that she was also under pressure from the childish antics of the 48%, but that is palpable nonsense. Since the Love not Hate organised jumping up and down began in earnest, she has steadfastly ignored it….along with every evidenced entreaty from WASPI.

Thus, when Philip Hammond faced a debt-swamped Budget challenge six weeks ago – and tackled it by ignoring both debt and austerity victims in favour of sweeteners for any wavering smuggies – I predicted that a snap election was on the cards. And here it is.


Yet this crew of scurvy knaves now boarding the pirate ship Mayflower has every confidence that they’re about to singe the Corbyn’s beard and bury Blackabbott – and this is not faux confidence: even the New Statesman predicts Labour will lose up to 40 seats, and there is at the moment a general consensus that The Arse May** will end up with a 100-135 seat majority. No UK election favourite has ever started from that position and lost.

Before we get into the meat of this, however, there is the question of recent changes in electoral law regarding the amount of power she has to call an election at all – following the Fixed Term Parliament Act of 2011. Regrettably, like most “laws” the Coalition passed, the Devil is in the exceptions: Clause 2 still allows an election to be called after losing a vote of confidence or if two-thirds of Members vote in favour of a Cabinet recommendation to dissolve Parliament. So she is going to get her election: Labour Blairites will vote for it (the quicker to dump the Corbynistas) and activist Corbynites unable to contain their Bring it On delusions will do the same – although to be fair, were they not to welcome it, they would be open to charges of cowardice given their gobbiness in recent months.

Due to be held on Thursday June 8th, the Election promises to be (as Hobbes put it) “nasty, brutish and short”. Another certainty, I fancy, is that there will be clangers dropped on all sides….if only because we have never had so many born clanger-droppers in UK politics as we do today. And that brings me to the spine of my argument today.


After the last two by-elections,  I posted a piece called ‘Where now for those of us who aren’t Conservatives?‘ Two months on, I see no reason to change any of it – other than point out the few areas in which the Opposition outlook is now even worse.

There is, still, nowhere for those of us who find the economic vandalism, national asset greed, serial mendacity and uncaring nature of neocon-infected Conservatism to go and vote with either pride or certainty. The astonishing thing about that (in my lifetime) unique situation is that we represent perhaps 1 in 5 of those who do vote regularly. We can all chuck blame about irresponsibly until the Bermuda Triangle aircrews come back; but the country’s Opposition forces having reached that place of near-zero attraction with mind-boggling consistency, every objective analyst must start with those involved in arriving there.

The Blairite Soros clones of 1997 tossed away the best chance to rebuild British society along fresh lines for 34 years through a cowardly combination of pc gesture politics and Tory-lite policies. Those who followed turned to Metro-pc drivel. Now we have a return to class war and crypto-collectivism locked in a death struggle with the Muswell Hillbilly pinhead dancers and sociopathic Campbellista spin-quacks.

None of it is attractive to me, and most of it is deemed risible by mainstream Britain: and mainstream Britain is not racist Little Englanders. Rather, it is a potentially unbeatable alliance of what I choose to call The Vulnerable: young aspiring professional families, cheated pensioners, the innocent disabled, older traditionalists, radical realists and desperate carers – nurses, young doctors and special needs/care home heroes.

It would not be that difficult to unite these groups. But Labour has gone out of its way to alienate them, ignore its core support, and continue an onanistic debate that has been going on for over 130 years.

The SNP? It is led by a chancer who disguises the reality that (a) she has yet to persuade anything near a majority of her compatriots to leave the UK, and (b) remains – like Labour – a supposedly radical fairness Party unable to discern the bullying, fascist nature of the EU….or recognise the unaccountable power of its unelected banking and administrative functionaries.

The Liberal Democrats? In a world sadly dominated by identity politics, they have lost their brand identity….and gained a leader whose identity is only in question on the dimension of whether he is an identity politician or a political nonentity. (I fear that he is both – an even worse form of electoral antimatter than the Corbyn-Blackabbott combo)

And last but by no means least, the post-Farage UKIP led by Paul Nuttall. UKIP also has two disadvantages: far too many voters think Brexit is a done deal, so voting UKIP is at best nostalgia; and Paul Nuttall. Many of those who admired “Sir” Nigel will go back to the Conservatives – and even if the unpleasant guttersnipe who has replaced him manages to grab a few more disgruntled former core Labour voters, there is no way our archaic FPTP voting system will allow any breakthrough for his Party.


The Conservatives are going to win….and in the aftermath of that, the Opposition crisis will (at least for a while) worsen. Unlike the Brexit Referendum, I see no reason at all to vote in this General Election. My only role – and even that one must be limited – will be to help Waspi pension victims focus action on those constituencies where there is a large, ageing population who increasingly distrust the Tories.

If Labour’s soi-disant activists want something useful to do – as opposed to attending brainless demonstrations – then they could do a lot worse than organise the bottom-end desperate to vote. In the last election, 34% of the entitled electorate didn’t cast a vote. Even persuading half of them to do so would sweep Jeremy Corbyn to victory.

But as with apolitical Waspis, such causes lack appeal for the Dave Sparts of this world. Not for them the unsung hero role. They’re more your spitting, obscene labelling, placard-carrying, Trot syntax sort of folks. And unfortunately, they’re the ones promoting the quantitative fantasy of Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street.


** As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, The Arse May is an anagram of Theresa May. I intend to stick with it for the duration of the General Election.

 

 

 

Trump’s Bay of Pigs

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Published on the The Slog on April 8, 2017

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FAKE NEWS IN SYRIA: why this is Donald Trump’s Bay of Pigs moment

 

methink1After a couple of days spent analysing the motives, players, geopolitics and “evidence” relating to deaths in Syria from nerve gas, it isn’t enough to simply ask some pointed questions about ‘gas attacks’ in Syria. The NATO/Turkey/Saudi narrative makes no sense, and can’t be supported by anyone who’s awake. President Trump is now close to a point of no return to the standpoint that got him elected.


Top of the Pops in the ‘fake news’ category at the minute has to be the “nerve gas attack” in Syria, and President Trump’s retaliation in the face of it. But before we get into the detail (God used to be in there, but these days I harbour a permanent suspicion it’s the CIA) a couple of openers might be in order.

  1. At this point, we don’t even know there was a nerve gas attack. What we seem able to say is that an attack took place, as a result of which nerve gas was released.
  2. If you believe that Trump’s reaction to the attack was genuine, then congratulations: you are one of millions of folks across the globe who believe anything their side says. Even as a supporter of Trump in the Election because he wasn’t the murderous psychopath Hillary Clinton, the lachrymose talk about “sweet little babies” in his speech had that familiar saline taste rising in the back of my throat.

I’m sure a lot of what I write sounds heartless, but I am sick to the core of my fairly strong stomach with the brazen and braindead use of children to evoke sympathy whenever the case for belief is, to say the least, flakey. It is the worst kind of sick propaganda, the bonkers premise being that – whichever side you hate – they set out to target kids just to prove how unutterably nasty they can be. The bombers I mean, not the kids.

There is a Twitter site called Israel Bombs Babies. As a positioning, it’s less than subtle: anyone who bombs or fires weapons in any civilian area is a criminal. Be the violence 1956 in Hungary via tanks, 1967 via surprise attack on Israel, 1970 via Agent Orange and napalm in Vietnam, 1971 via bombs in Cambodia – or a thousand other atrocities before and since – children will die. So too will grandmothers, cats, terrapins, circus animals and a million other innocent species who merely want to be left alone.

But this “little babies” whining (to repeat myself, for which I don’t apologise) almost always starts because a bunch of ideologically twisted cynics want our approval for an action that should never be tolerated. Life is full of people excusing themselves for inhuman acts with the risible line, “But I’m only human”.


I’m not trying to be Henry Fonda in the movie Twelve Angry Men. I don’t see myself that way, because both Fonda and his kids always struck me as the sort of Hollywood preppy liberals who give me the pip. But the general parallel is real enough: eleven other media jurists are baying for blood, and I feel more and more like the bloke who says “show me the evidence?” – or more colloquially, “where’s the beef?”

These are the “gas-attack” questions that leave me way beyond a shadow of doubt about culpability on the Syrian attack issue:

  • Where is the verifiable photographic evidence that Assad’s jets carried out the attack?
  • Given there was at one point in the not too distant past joint US/RF agreement that Assad no longer had access to nerve gas, why is it assumed that this is no longer the case?
  • Where is the motive for Assad to shoot himself in the foot with an action like this? This one bears all the hallmarks of the “Assad bombs Turkey” drivel we heard two years ago…which turned out to be nonsense.
  • Erdogan has “confirmed” the “findings” of his security services, viz, surprise surprise, Assad carried out the attack. If you think that’s worth the paper it’s written on, then you’re not using that paper correctly: it’s for the cleaning of one’s anus, not the seeking out of Truth.
  • What are we to make of the Putin allegation that the strike force hit supplies of ISIS nerve gas, as a result of which nearby civilian populations were affected? I ran a couple of videos this morning of the shaky camera work background bombing footage….it looks to me like the bombs are attacking a base, not a town.
  • Does anyone in his right mind really think that a top geopolitical chess player like Vladimir Putin would give Assad the untrammeled right to do precisely the wrong thing at this stage in the process?

Setting all the above to one side as the general doubts, here’s a few specifics:

  • The US has been losing both ground and geopolitical credibility in Syria since late last year. The CIA/Texas/EUNATO energy nexus needs something to rack up the anarchy in the region, and get back to the sort of régime-change strategy we’ve all grown to know and love…..via which safe carriage of oil can take place to the West, undisturbed by an Arab nation trying to get back to normality. The action strikes me as exactly the kind of excuse it’d need. The motive is (for me) infinitely more convincing than the idea of Putin suddenly dropping 50 IQ points.
  • The US has had Tomahawk missiles in Turkey since God was a girl. After the JFK/Kruschev compromise (following the Cuban missiles crisis in 1962) the missiles were supposed to be removed. In February 1963 – and again in August of that year – Jack Kennedy asked the Generals about progress on the removal, and received less than convincing answers. As the year progressed, he became increasingly determined – if he won the Election in 1964 – that he would put both the Pentagon and the CIA back in a watertight box. By the end of November, he was dead.
  • Over the past three weeks, we have been looking at a very different Donald Trump to the new broom that sashayed into the White House a few short months ago. You may think there are Democrat and GOP-biased media in the US, but beyond the newer territories of the internet Resistance, that is a sad chimera: the same unelected psychos of the Establishment are both defining and editing the narrative – as they have been on and off since the Dallas motorcade hit. Nobody can know this for certain (and I would dearly love to be proved wrong) but The Donald bears all the hallmarks of being yet another President who’s been nobbled….or hoodwinked.
  • One of the anti-Assad legions wringing their hands about this “atrocity” is Saudi Arabia. Ah yes, that fine country so admired by the West for its stance on democracy (it doesn’t have any) and no-nonsense judicial system (based largely on amputation). The Saudis have been running with both hare and hounds for three decades at least; everyone familiar with Middle Eastern culture, religion, politics and conflict knows it. But still they are appeased because they have the munnneeee to buy weapons….including nerve gas. Why the UK Left continues its full frontal assault on Israel when there’s a barn-side called the Saudis to aim at is beyond me.

     

     

     


    So these are my two conclusions.

First, both the illogicality of narrative and motives involved here leave me astonished that anyone would just accept it. But the clincher surely is the ‘you would say that’ syndrome: The Saudis hate the Alawites and want Assad out; NATO needs the certainty of oil access and so wants Assad out; and although the Turkish people get on exceptionally well with the Syrians, Erdogan doesn’t like Alawites or Sunnis, is a known supplier of ISIS and a confirmed anti-European Islamist…therefore he wants Assad out. To me, these are infinitely more compelling motives than the ones attributed to Assad and Putin in relation to the attacks.

Second, Trump has either been given some BS he believes, or gone native and joined the nexus. I’d say thus far, the jury’s out. JFK believed the Pentagon about the Bay of Pigs ‘plan’ to overthrow Castro. But when it came to the Cuban missiles crisis, Adlai Stevenson went to the UN with cast-iron aerial reconnaissance and clearly marked missile carriers and silos. Only then did Kennedy believe the generals – and throughout the NSC meetings, he found the hawkish Pentagon view “beyond belief” in its lack of concern for consequences. He vowed to smash he nexus after ’64. Very probably, that aspiration caused his death.

The kindest thing one can say at this juncture about Donald Trump is that he’s new in the job, and has been snowed into the Tomahawk retaliation. John F Kennedy learned from the Bay of Pigs, but then Trump doesn’t have the same wisdom. If The Donald thinks this through, learns the lesson and refuses any further demands for intervention, he may yet be, if not a great President, then at least an agent for long-overdue change. If he doesn’t get it and doesn’t learn, then he’s a dangerous idiot. But if he knows exactly what’s been pulled here and is going along with it, then he’s a coward letting down everyone who voted for him.

The danger with Trump has always been that, along the testosterone dimension, he’s a spotty teenager who never grew up. Having seen everything he tried to do domestically crash dive to Earth, my hunch is that he decided a tough-guy action was crucial to the reestablishment of his credibility. His need to do that, of course, is the direct result of DNC lies about his ties to Russia: but that doesn’t excuse him. Having been elected to do what Clinton wouldn’t do, he has now done exactly what she’d have done. He will not be given a second chance.

 

 

 

 

Wisdom of the Slog

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Published on the The Slog on January 30, 2017

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Tired of Trumpophobia and tempted by the New: an Oldie moves on

 

 

 It can be tedious listening to some old fart in a fuzzy photograph pulling out the Experienced Wisdom card. I’m sure many of the radically progressive certainty merchants out there will find this piece just another bit of blah blah from a nasty Baby Boomer who stole all your benefits, and then ruined the future of your children by voting for Brexit.

For those of you with minds still open to the lessons of history and the dynamics of the future, however, you are invited for a little meander around the block of life, liberty and learning. I write tonight because, believe me, the tedium of listening to global Leftlib showboaters all day – on all media in all the colours – was infinitely more enervating than this piece is likely to be. But you must decide.


From 1977 until 1984, I lived in Brixton – in twee ‘Poets’ Corner’ if you were an estate agent – because my wife and I couldn’t afford anything else. I went back there with a chum a week ago, for an informal lunch in a Brazilian restaurant run by an Argentinian. It cost threepence and was terrific.

Brixton has changed bigtime. The place is very Jonty and Katherine these days, but around Electric Avenue and the indoor market are the same cosmopolitan characters selling good value stuff to people not yet doshed by the compromises of corporate life.

In Shakespeare Rd (where I lived, at No 17) there was a mix of Hard Left whites, agrarian Jamaican poor, liberals like us, middle class Barbadan evangelist Christians, Indians, and African professionals – mainly landlords and lawyers.

The following things happened to us in the first six months:

  • We were robbed three times. We couldn’t afford a burglar alarm.
  • The empty house next door was squatted, and turned into a knocking shop.
  • We twice watched – at 3am in the morning – as a pimp knocked seven bells out of one of his ‘girls’.
  • We – and five neighbours either side – were bombarded by the mega-decibel music of one young guy.
  • The car radio was stolen twice.
  • Our insurance premium doubled. We could barely afford the one we had.

The support we got from all our decent neighbours of every culture was a memory that will live with me forever. We got invited to a lot of West Indian weddings, and ate a lot of curried goat. Let me tell you, curried goat is nice.

The reaction of the Brixton Police was to ask whyTF we’d moved there in the first place.

The reaction of Lambeth Council under Ted Knight was to send along a Noise Pollution Officer, and then do nothing. Actually, the Council did do something: they expressed solidarity with Comrade Brezhnev on MayDay, and put up notices everywhere saying Lambeth was a Nuclear-free Zone. I might add that, every winter, our street was also a grit-free zone.

I went along to a couple of Labour Party meetings. I was not and never have been a Labour member, but I went along to listen. Actually, I went twice: on each occasion, they talked about issues and causes thousands of miles away in Africa, Russia, China and South America. These did not strike me as the correct concerns for officials elected to run a community riven with the problems of vice, poverty, misogynist pimps, ignorant cops and loose West Indian familial structures.

The tabloids, as you’d expect, dubbed this Looney Labour.

Without this kind of nonsense, there would never have been Thatcherism.


We lived through two riots in Brixton. My first child, aged two months, needed feeding as we returned the Sunday of the first riot after visiting friends. The police reaction was to declare Poets’ Corner a nogo Ghetto. My reaction was to drive round the road block, and studiously take the numbers of all the officers on duty. I needn’t have bothered.

That night, I walked to the end of Shakespeare Road and onto Railton Road…the much-vaunted ‘Front Line’. I saw several people throwing Molotov cocktails, almost all of whom were white. They probably vote Tory these days. I don’t: I did in 1979, and regretted it immediately. See bold, rust-coloured print above.

Throughout all this period, left-leaning bourgeois friends turned up to our house for supper to lecture me on the institutional racism that caused young black boys to underperform at school. I asked them why this racism didn’t seem to stop black girls from getting on. Radical feminists in particular reacted badly to my questions….and the conclusion I’d reached: that crap fathering was the problem.

Brixton Labour never accepted that truth. I’d imagine they still don’t. But Black community leaders in Notting Hill and south London did, because they knew young homeless boys turned to gang culture in pursuit of a father figure.

Had the issue been left to Labour, nothing would have improved.


The examples I’ve offered so far relate to my big problem with the Left in the West: its inability to look for a good governance solution from the evidence available, and its preference for staring up the dark back passage of ideology for some kind of ridiculously contrived interpretation.

But then, regulars here know that this is also my problem with the contemporary Right and its Nutty Neocon codswallop – which is, without doubt, the equal of every last bit of collective Socialist claptrap. I despise all of them, you see: they’re not so much a waste of space, as a criminal waste of intelligence given over to catechismic devotion.

I do, however, have far more to offer than excoriating dislike. Believe it or not, I can actually be very nice indeed to the open-minded, the genuinely vulnerable, the legally wronged, and the sensibly kind. The proper application of love really does solve every community problem in the end.

Sadly, what gets in the way of everyone trying to practice just that is religious and ideological bigotry.

I’m taking here about those people who beeleeeve. Those who knew evereeething. The people who are always right, until it all goes wrong. After which they creep quietly away to some bunker while we the People deal with the mayhem. Then they reappear afterwards – often slightly rebranded as ‘ecconomic deregulators’ or Greenpeace – to start telling us again why they’re right.

Let me outline some reality again.

  • They don’t know about CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, whether it’s a good or a bad thing, or even what the root cause of its elevation is. Nobody does.
  • There will not be 77 Virgins waiting in Heaven, and beheading folks is not the fast lane towards a US Green Card.
  • Wealth does not trickle down, it gushes up.
  • Socialist ideas of equality do not produce real equality because they are not based on social anthropology.
  • Devil take the hindmost is not the ‘natural order of things’. Senior apes in the wild do not behave like neocons do. (Go on a safari, and see for yourself)
  • Superstates and globalism are unlikely to be the future, because Homo sapiens – in both a citizen and administrative role – cannot cope with the numbers and complexity involved. This is why small communities are better run and less criminal than large urban conglomerates.
  • We cannot ask politicians to be more accountable – and then sign Opposition petitions allowing them to ignore the responsibilities of government.
  • In that context, an expert is only worth listening to if he or she has a track record suggesting discernment of the sky/floor difference thing. Gordon Brown became known as our Greatest Ever Chancellor. But only Gordon Brown ever propagated that conclusion.

Nevertheless, no matter how often religious, ideological and other Groupthink cult mania turn out to be wrong, there is no correlation between that reality and the lemming-like willingness of the wide-eyed to buy their snake-oil over and over again. This is because we are livings things: we die, and our wisdom is not (often) collected and passed on. The Oldies can write stuff down, but the internet will put them down. The internet, my friends, really is profoundly ageist.

We learn from mistakes. Leave everything to the Young, and life will never get better.


So these are some historical learnings to consider. I don’t present them as Golden Rules, merely as a personal record:

  • Politicians with a likeable image usually achieve nothing, and die young.
  • Churchill was a misogynist arsehole, but without him Hitler would’ve won.
  • Fifty years after every war to end all wars, there’s still plenty to fight about.
  • Minority issues rarely solve majority problems.
  • Gender, ethnicity and sexuality count for little if the problem is planetary.
  • Fiddling with the central heating thermostat will not make a hole in the roof go away.
  • With responsibility for lives comes compromise. The alternative is Pol Pot.
  •  The raw material here is people. We’re as far from perfect as ever.
  • Technology can kill Truth and expose it. The choice is ours.
  • Systems are fine but people are finer. One size never fits all.
  • Those with double standards always want double helpings.
  • Ideologists present their values as absolute. They are not: they are passing mores.
  • Philosophy opens minds. Ideology closes ranks.
  • The greatest fulfillment of the greatest number is as good as it gets.
  • The search for Utopia produces Dystopia.
  • Never let the sun go down on a day without learning.
  • Be nice to everyone until they prove you wrong.

Now there is a reason for all this tonight. I planned (as much as I ever plan anything) my recent UK trip around the birth of 2nd granddaughter Rosa; but during that trip I spent time with most of my real friends and family to gather opinion about what I should do next. The best friends are those who tell you the unvarnished truth. And what came back – having pitched an idea for a novel to some of them – was “Stop farting around and write the bloody thing”.

What appears above – and in the 6,360 posts since January 2010 -is everything I want to say to all those who value the individual citizen’s lifespan quality and social contribution above any system, construct, space, belief thing or other bollocks likely to rule or even ruin their lives. There’s nothing of any real substance to add. From here on, I want to try another route likely to be more successful in persuading people that it can be much better. Persuasion has, after all, been the driving force of my adult life.

Blogs will be more infrequent, and Twitter presence diluted. I’m not deserting anyone, just looking for something that works better. I don’t know how many of you like the work of Ritchie Havens, but this is part of the lyric of his song When. It seems pertinent:

My dreams have all been raided/by every kind of greed

my liberties were traded/for nothing that I need

So won’t you tell me when you’re gonna go

Been living here so long, I Just might wanna know.


History doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. The history of the Left is one of being distracted by ideology from the needs of the People. In every case, the result has been the triumph of the Right.

Fears of the False Alphas

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Published on the The Slog on January 28, 2017

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Why the False Alphas in power fear citizens who discriminate, discern and decide for themselves

 There has always been a tension between the citizen self as selector of the best future, and the controlling State as guardian of the revered past. Elector naivety and technological advance are combining to destroy contrarian creativity.


I want to open today if I may with a brief observation about the noun ‘discrimination’, and the verb to discriminate.

The history of this noun over the last half century has been one of almost unmitigated negativity. Although in the last two decades it has been replaced by the even more vague suffix ‘ism’, it began life in the race relations industry as ‘racial discrimination’ – that is, discrimination against someone on the basis of ethnicity – skin colour, facial features and so forth.

This has led two generations to be unthinkingly convinced that all discrimination is A Very Bad Thing. By slipping into such a misguided belief, they have allowed the idea to take hold that nothing – no person, no country, no system and indeed no culture – should be “judged”….except, of course, about those things that their own belief systems deplore….and even there, double standards abound and abide.

My point is simply this: among many other elements of genuine tolerance, what the intolerantly correct have forgotten is the diametric difference represented by discrimination against and discrimination between.


The ability to discriminate between truth and lie, persuasion and dictation, original and copycat, silly and sensible, intelligent and wise, genuine and counterfeit, real passion and simulated enthusiasm, social good and political tactic, ideological bigotry and measured governance – or ultimately, empirical and fanciful – is the most important foundation stone of equality of opportunity and civilised fair play. It  underpins everything to do with the best option.

The muddling of ‘against’ and ‘between’ goes a long way towards explaining the contemporary retreat of,  and decline in, the persuasive power of those of us broadly in favour of kindness, compassion, laughter, goodwill and reality in the shaping of communities.

Sadly, it also explains completely the nonsense of “quotas of success” based on gender, age, social class, culture and ethnicity. It promotes the poorly qualified as a sop to indiscriminate equality – and allows those who succeed on the basis of tribal connections based on nepotism, networks, old school ties and so forth to laugh in the face of those with better qualifications being left behind. It dumbs down education by lowering the bar. It patronises those perceived by radical chic whites to be “in need of help” to succeed. And above all, it results in a dearth of competence. But apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, it’s an excellent play.


It is ironic, is it not, that Leftlib fluffy fancy helped produce a mathematically illiterate Tory Chancellor in George Osborne, and a constitutionally illiterate Shadow Home Secretary in Diane Abbott. Neither have any of the qualifications required for good governance, and both of them are obscenely obvious double-standard hypocrites.

It would probably be fair to say that the Left has lost the plot on social equality, the Right retains its plot to remain socially superior…and the Establishment continues to pervert any semblance of equality before the law.

This is why I have seen myself for many years now as both disenfranchised by politics, and yet at the same time above it. It’s why I reject ideological hubris in favour of Benthamite governance to the benefit and fulfilment of the greatest number.

The Left is obsessed with special-case minorities, the Right remains determined to promote the undeserved privilege of monied minorities. A plague on both their houses, I say.

But there is more to my frustration with contemporary Groupthink than a simple desire to be rid of its dysfunctional discipline.


The West’s cultures – especially those pertaining in the UK and US – represent a coincidental copulation between two devilish influences: the insistence on ideological conformity, and the development of increasingly advanced technology.

Homo sapiens has been (for all its flaws) a remarkably successful species. This success is based on competitive selection within tribes, and cooperation between them. Not only do we have powerful survival instincts and unconscious selective drives, the overwhelming majority also have a left brain hemisphere which dominates the emotions while we are awake.

The bad news is that, for much of the time, the uncontrolled drive for greed and power among a tiny minority ensures their emergence as what I choose to call False Alphas. These self-styled leaders do not operate for the good of the greatest number in human society….but their fame, power, oratory and wealth make them highly electable to public life, the most likely to succeed in business and banking, and the most attractive to potential Alpha and Beta partners of the opposite gender.

Be they persuasive as part of a political Party, social movement or religious tendency, the control freakery of such False Alphas insists on unswerving loyalty to a belief system in general, and them personally. The application of “correctness” to several key areas of human life – education, religion, politics, gender relations and commerce – has been an enabling process for the establishment of rigid conformity. I think there is little doubt that it started in politically devised education; but there is no knowing how or where it will end, other than the certainty of tears being involved.

The bottom line is a stronger pull towards the herding instinct than perhaps at any time in the recorded history of Homo sapiens. Referring back to the first section of this essay, there has never been more pressure to stop the natural process of intelligent minds discriminating between what they are told….and what they might, as unique individuals, think. Seventy years ago, George Orwell predicted the emergence of Thoughtcrime. Today’s robotic thinking is but a small step away from such legislation….think ‘non-violent extremist’. Think Theresa May.


It is to our great collective misfortune that this inherent danger has been exacerbated by technology in many forms.

It allows for 24/7 surveillance of actions and geographical location – a capability bound to strike fear into the hearts of intelligent contrarians.

Worse still, it presents itself variously as fun, as positive social behavour, and even “for your own protection”. For the less intelligent or enquiring among us, Facebook and Twitter, Blogging threads, vlogs and so forth are called – surprise, surprise – social media. In reality, they are anything but. Equally, every shop, petrol station, public arena, club, mall, legislature, bank and office building is riddled with cameras.

But while this is the highest profile concern in 2017 – and even now, I would estimate only around 15% of any citizen franchise is worried – there are other dimensions of technology at least as dangerous to the survival of personal liberty.

Uppermost in my mind at the minute are a growing genre of “labour saving/greater efficiency” devices.

SatNav is one. Not only does it, in neuroanatomy terms, cause the orienteering centres to atrophy; it is also developing in a direction via which in-car devices will be two way: you will know exactly where you are…and so will the security services.

Buying online is another. Much easier, cheaper and convenient than physical shopping in most cases: but opening every castle’s front door to those keen to know what you’re buying…from which they can extrapolate why. Would you, today, go to a website explaining fully what paedophilia is and offering scientific books about it for sale? I wouldn’t: such an action could be construed by sovereign blackmailers as more than enough evidence to put you away as “some kind of sicko”

EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at the point of sale) is a third very real and present danger. Stops the risk of being mugged for your cash, saves all that struggling with change…and increasingly now, no need even for a pin number on smaller purchases: tap the terminal with your magic plastic and hey presto – paying for stuff was never easier. What this process will facilitate, of course, is the eventual disappearance of untraceable cash…and your last chance of nickel-and-dime tax evasion – while large multinational businesses continue to make ‘deals’ that are flagrant tax evasion in return for cash-flow.


In the last year alone, France has cut the amount one can pay a supplier in cash by 90%….and developed an ID card for self-employed suppliers designed to become, over time, an electronic record of all outgoings and receipts – but already issued with an upfront tax demand for €2,500.

In that same year, electorates in Britain and America have dared to flout received wisdom and vote down what the Establishments so clearly want. The reaction of both the neocon and liberal élites to these developments has been to orchestrate “opposition” to the democratic decisions involved. This is reassuring to the duped herds, and frightening for the objectively supine.

More and more of us are supine, distracted, disenfranchised, and cynical than ever before. More and more monied power is being distributed among fewer and fewer False Alphas than ever before. More and more easily updated records exist to control, scold, threaten and smear every contrarian voice. More and more types of tax expenditure and privilege have moved beyond our power to oppose them.

In 2017, 21 out of 28 EU States have overt legislation making it illegal to encourage non-payment of tax.

On every level, our ability to discriminate between élite greed and good governance is under attack and thus being undermined. At every turn, the False Alphas’ ability to discriminate against individual citizens via financial, social and media penalties is being expanded. But the Rule of Law and Equality before the Law are withering on the vile dead wood feared by every discerning cultivator of civilisation.

Don’t be fooled by those who insist that to critique the status quo is to commit a criminal act. To paraphrase JFK, “Ask not what your State can do for you….investigate instead what your leaders are doing to you in the name of the Superstate”.

PROMISES, MEETINGS, BULLSHIT, JARGON, DENIAL, NOTICES, & ILLITERATE RATS

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Published on the The Slog on January 20, 2017

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 London and its environs have a fecundity of notices, promises, processes and bollocks that is all the more remarkable for being devoid of substance. No matter how fake the news gets, it will never be able to compete with counterfeit information.

The Moto services services sign said you’d have to be very keen on being squeaky-clean to join the workforce:

moto

It was, as so often happens these days, protesting too much. Moto aren’t that passionate about lavatories, nor are they that keen on the honesty of their franchisees: the former were distinctly underclass, and the latter underhand. In WH Smith, I bought two books on a buy one get one half price offer, and the total came to £14.99. I think you’ve made a mistake, I said to the smiley girl at the till. Nooooo she said, the cheaper one is half price. I was assuming that, I countered, but 3 isn’t half of 8 is it?
I got a look in return that was beyond blank. It was from a time before paper, division and workings out in the cranium. After taking time to recover, she said, noooooo again, 10 + 4 is fo’een, innit. That’s right I agreed, but you charged me 15 and 9 + 4 is fir’een, innit.
“Hahahahahahahaha,” she replied with an edge of hysteria, “But the fing sez £14.99”. Unwilling to argue with The Fing, I gave her £15 and said keep the change.


The St Giles Hotel in Feltham has a restaurant serving “authentic Italian cuisine”, for example Fish, Chips & Peas, Spaghetti Bolognese and Lamb Curry. The rooms all have air-conditioning which can be adjusted from sub-Arctic to sub-Saharan at the flick of a switch; thus you can die of hypothermia and dyhydration in the same night. The car park ticket machine has been out of order for some time, as indeed has the receptionist who probably isn’t called Igor the Giant Dwarf, but ought to be.

But following a brief look around in Feltham, it was clear that the St Giles is the best thing to have happened to it since the Enclosure Act of 1802, when everyone in Feltham was enclosed there in order to save the rest of the world from meeting them. The name comes from Feld-Ham, which meant Home in Field in King Edgar’s time. It’s still just as exciting today. The shopping centre is called Feltham Centre, and the train station is called Feltham Station. I can honestly say that this was the only time in my life that I got over-excited by a sign saying ‘Hounslow’.

The sole thing going for Feltham is that it’s near to London, a by-product I would normally view as almost as unfortunate as being Feltham, but on this occasion was handy as there were several chums and a daughter I wanted to catch up with.


I drove into Hammersmith, where the Kings Mall car park was full. Eventually I found a metered spot where the card slot wasn’t working but I could pay by SMS. This sounded like a form of frustration carefully designed to maximise the diastolic bp reading, so instead I emptied half my life savings into the coin slot. A ticket came out that said it wasn’t a ticket, merely a receipt. Why it couldn’t be a ticket as well eludes me: perhaps it didn’t run to multi-tasking, but anyway I put it inside on the windscreen as if it was a ticket and walked over to the Tube station.
It has been decreed by the Forces of Lunacy that human beings shall no longer be allowed to sell tickets on the London Underground, but a charming staff member of Indo-Asian origin gave me a seminar on the Oyster machine and so the rest of my life savings went electronically onto the card.
Machines don’t go on strike, but unemployed people are not good for society. Equally, I’m not sure there’ll be enough staff come the Summer to give each of the 2.3 million tourists the hitchhiker’s guide lecture on the Oyster enigma; further, rampant hare-brained technology is on the verge of alienating the biggest baby boom in British history.

There is something about the neocon mind’s inability to GAF about consequences that suggests a major leakage of cerebro-spinal fluid. This has caused the frontal lobes to stop functioning – a tragic condition about which I know a thing or two. On the other hand, the less kind conclusion is that neocons were just born psychotic. The real danger going forward (as they say in the corporate space) is that they have now stumbled across tecchie software designers in the tertiary stages of Aspergers-fortified dementia.
The upside of this is that no technology-based system of dictatorship can ever succeed. In the meantime, pandemonium will soon be ubiquitous.


London is no longer my city. This is normal and inevitable, but no less sad for such an observation. That once upon a time straight line of faded gentility Hammersmith Grove is now replete with trendy eateries, niche retailers and enormous houses taken back to sole ownership by the rich. Fitzrovia has lost all its seedy charm in favour of shops with pretentiously silly names and overpriced resaurants. One of the notable exceptions to that general rule is Cote, and thankfully my chum took me there. But in the evening my daughter and I went to Pizza Express, which is still an excellent quality product served by well-trained staff. However, the price of two pizzas, two beers and a bottle of water – when inflated by couverts and auto-added optional service charges – was truly insane.
Eight years ago I predicted that London under Bojo would become a City State. It is very much that, although in terms of being a charmless cosmopolitan mix married to obscene wealth inequities, it is bang on course for Singapore….which was probably Boris’s model.
Boris is and always has been a great fan of the City, but like most people who’ve never set up, floated or run a business that’s publicly quoted, he doesn’t understand the pernicious effect bourses have on socio-economic values. A chum was giving me a classic example from his workplace yesterday. The company offers products on a monthly contract basis, and recently made a massive, high-profile commitment to hold every contract price for a year. But now the City’s annual results feeding-frenzy is due: Zirp and QE starved investors are looking for dividends and price growth through exceeded targets, and in his company’s case, the barrowboys have set him a loopy target. So now the company needs to renege on its price promise to make the numbers.

First, this adds to the growing sense of business being crooked; second, it damages the brand as a trusted asset; and most important of all, it encourages cheating in society as a whole “because everyone’s at it anyway”. Honesty, promises and manners are three vital pillars of a just society. Crime costs every taxpayer money. But the borrowboys don’t GAF about implications and consequences.
Globalism remains hopelessly overdependent on bourse finance, and bourse short-termism is both thoroughly anti-social and commercially suicidal. Where there should be investment for 90% of custmers and employees, there are only bonuses for the 3%. The LibLeft never talks about this stuff, because the LibLeft thinks a balance sheet is something to do with training acrobats.


At last yesterday, my second granddaughter arrived fit and well to face a world that will probably baffle her a lot less than it baffles me. Inside the hospital, every wall was covered in notices, and every notice was being ignored. There was, however, one notice suggesting that the NHS is quietly diversifying into the veterinary field:

hedgehognhs

Luckily for the new arrival, she won’t be brought up in London. From about 1976 until 1985, I owned London: I was a bubble-dwelling master of the Universe riding high on entrepreneurial endeavour, exploding advertising budgets and low taxes. A member of the communications élite. A man whose views were sought by journalists, and made the centrepoint of major new business presentations. I was full of zip, full of zap, and particularly full of myself.
Just in time – only just in time – I began hunting for the Plot, and realised I’d lost it. I was in limos, on aeroplanes, in meetings, and even on the telly. But I was miles off course, and ploughing through shallow mud in designer loafers.

Eventually, I wound up in the Priory.

That said, I think a lot of Londoners would give anything to return to the relative sanity of the capital city as it was in 1990. Today, online commercial coms are, as a rule, crude, badly produced, self-indulgent, invasive, dishonest, and in media apertures where the entire rate card is based on fictitious monitors of awareness and impact….with little or no reliable ad hoc research to assess their brand-building efficacy. Across all the professions, the quality of advice and client service has plummeted to a place fathoms below superficial, and the process bullshit quotient is such as to cover all but the tallest mountains.
There are pathways through environments and spaces between hubs that lead to outcomes which, in order to be reached, require deep-state critical path analyses of the windows and pit-stops directionalised in a maximal formation towards success.
Meanwhile, on the pavements outside, alienated middleweight executives talk into phones as they speed-walk to the next diary point, ignoring the former service, retail, unskilled ticket collection and petrol-pump staff shuffling along in crappy clothing and man-made fibre bobble-hats or hoodies. Few of the latter can get credit or afford personal technology, and three-quarters of the former maintain a balancing act each month involving maxed-out credit cards and debit overdrafts.

None of this obvious social-systemic dysunction is discussed in the meetings because there’s far too much other ground to cover, far too few executives to do a thorough job, and nowhere near enough hours in the day. It is also vital to be on the move all the time, and so a good 50% of those meetings will be “virtual” conference calls punctuated by connectivity issues caused by crap software they’d like to improve but the executives don’t have the time and the shareholders want their money.
In those rare moments when they get time off from 24/7 smartphone availability, wage-slaves struggle with overcrowded and overpriced transport, pay restaurant prices that would feed a State pensioner for a month, pay to park outside their homes, pay more council taxes for lower and lower service levels, and search in vain for a larger affordable property given that Sophie is expecting another baby, but the flat they’re in needs a new dampcourse.

Londoners are becoming more and more like overcrowded rodents with every year. The rudeness, impatience and aggression while driving truly have to be experienced to be grasped. An expensively dressed and coiffured woman (alone in huge 4-wheel drive Merc) yesterday wanted me to move forward at a crossroads and thus become stuck behind a removals lorry unloading furniture into a vast St John’s Wood mansion. Unless I did that for her greater gratification, you see, she couldn’t turn into where I was. So I, in my little Peugeot 207, reversed to within a millimetre of a parked car to let her get by me.

On passing my vehicle, she wound the window down and yelled, “You stupid f**king c**t”.
And talking of rodents, as we exited the hospital last night, I remarked to my younger daughter how 90+% of visitors still ignored all the hygiene rules – along with the dozens of notices about hand washing. As the words came out of my mouth, an enormous rat shot across the concourse and into a hole it had constructed in an external wall. It was a profoundly allegorical moment.

Remember Kennedy: and then ask, “How long will Trump last”?

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Published on the The Slog on January 15, 2017

 

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 There has never been a new Presidency quite like this one. The inauguration is still six days away, and already the American People have been given a torrent of disinformation about the President-Elect. Will it in time get even worse.


He likes it when hookers piss on him, he is being blackmailed by the Kremlin, he is the creature of Deutsche Bank, he paid bribes to the FBI, he has gigantic debt, he plans to use the US to leverage his company into the world’s biggest conglomerate, he is a Fifth Columnist Hell-bent on destroying NATO, he’s going to deport everyone who isn’t a WASP, and during his media career he groped the entire female population of the USA.
Most if not all of this stuff is utterly risible tosh.

But of course, to write this immediately renders me (under the current Queensberry rules of political news debate) a racistscumfascistbigot….and, naturally, the target of the New York Times and their Orwellian campaign to hunt down “fake news”. If it wasn’t so dangerously concocted by Soros Associates – and naively soaked up by the Progressively Correct – it would all make for the most wonderful off-Broadway surreal farce.

The doctored DNC-issued opinion polls, The Washington Post ‘98% chance that Clinton will be the next President’, the Electoral College drive, the Russian hacking drivel, the Soros-orchestrated demos, and then the Meryl Million have been all been variously wheeled out, launched, run up the flagpole and floated. All of them having careered off the road or sunk, the time has come for the top echelons of what the conspiracists call The Deep State to have a crack. But when they come onto the field, the production genre switches instantly from farce to horror.

What we’re now seeing is an attempt to snow The Donald into the Military-Industrial-neocon nutjob narrative. From what we’ve seen so far – although that too could be just more disinformation – he’s not managing to control the hawks terribly well.

But his problem is that he isn’t yet inaugurated: so even among some of those he’s appointed, there’s a power-control vacuum….and they’re making the most of the chance to cook the goose before the new head chef takes up his post.

The two months following next Friday will define very clearly how well Trump has prepared for the onslaught. There are three possible outcomes: either Trump really is just another cleverly disguised stooge; or he has the radical aspirations and wherewithal to strip the covert State of its power; or he will be given his head, and then terminated if he fails to deliver on what the Hoods want.


As time goes on, it gets easier to believe that something has been going on to take power further and further away from the US electorate since November 1963. It’s over half a century since the young President was assassinated, but with the forward march of film and sound technology since the early years of this century aggregating doubts about the killing, fully 73% of Americans now do not believe the Warren Commission, and over half do not believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

Since 2012, a third doubt has been added to the original two I always had about the murder:

  1. How could 22 separate witnesses right by the motorcade imagine they smelt cordite?
  2. How could anyone believe that the fatal bullet (it blew the President’s head apart) was from the same gun that went straight through its victims without serious damage?
  3. Why did the CIA hijack the Zapruder film over the post-assassination weekend, and why did the CIA’s film analysis unit tell a serious former Government investigator on film in 2012 that the film in the national archives “is a crude and obvious fake”?

The original 1963 home movie was an 8 mm twin-track film, from which over 14 frames have been removed, and hand-tinting of five others has been undertaken – after the senior CIA analyst edited the real original minimally “to reduce public stress on seeing the more explicit frames”. The original expert insisted in the 2012 documentary, “this is not the original I saw….the damage to the President’s head has been clumsily obscured, and the cranial explosion massively reduced”.

The motive looks damning: to mislead viewers as to the calibre of the gun – and the direction (immediately behind) from which it came.

We will never know exactly who planned the JFK assassination, or indeed who carried it out. But it’s hard to deny in 2017 that Kennedy was blown away by the unelected part of the US. It remains as deadly as ever. I hope Donald Trump has secret service men around him he can really trust.

 

Brexit means Brexit? Not if the Eunatoed States of America has anything to do with it.

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Published on the The Slog on August 21, 2016

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Mesnip29616HM Sloop Brexit should be sailing the high seas in search of new trading links beyond the European Union and its dysfunctional currency, economic and fiscal policies. But if Theresa MayorMaynot (and the people she represents) get their way, the less than seaworthy sloop of salvation will stay in port, making only occasional day trips to Ostend. Eight macro events may yet foil the plan to sabotage Brexit, but none of them are going to emanate from the Mayflower crew.


When it comes to Brexit, things seem to be moving along very nicely. If you voted Remain, that is. In just 48 hours, it will be exactly two months since The Historic Shock Vote. This is the current state of play:

  • The woman who acts as Commander in Chief is a Remaindeer. The man with his hands on the purse strings is a Remaindeer. The woman in charge of the security services is a Remaindeer who’s only been in the House for five years. She’s supposed to be working out a points system for immigrants in the light of Brexit. The Commander in chief keeps her in a pocket, under a thumb.
  • The Brexiteers have been given the job of squabbling with each other. Thus far, Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davies are making a fine job of it. To ‘help’ him in his task of securing Brexit, Davies has been given a smaller office with fewer staff than anyone else in the Cabinet.
  • Although it is of course far too early to tell, all the business, trade and employment data since Brexit has been positive; the EU – in stark contrast – faces major political, fiscal and trade crises in Spain, Italy and France respectively. In the light of this, the Pound is falling (what else?) just as all those holidaymakers go away and discover how expensive it is in the US and Europe.
  • Every business medium around the world – with the honorable exception of the Wall Street Journal – continues to treat Brexit as a global economic disaster of inestimable proportions, despite the fact that a first year secondary school kid could do the maths to show that Japan, China and Italy are infinitely more dangerous and immediate problems.
  • Theresa Queen of the Mayflower and her crew have pissed away 57 days during which the official Brexit process has moved forward not one millimetre. Both old and new media are full of trolls declaring Article 50 to be irrelevant, but that is not credible for one simple reason: there is no way a group of control freaks like the EC would have put it in the Lisbon Treaty if there was no point to it. More damning is the complete absence of any logical or halfway convincing reason why the application hasn’t been made. Brexit, after all, means Brexit. Well, so they keep saying anyway.
  • Either way, every time Cap’n Theresa signals to her fleet that Article 50 will probably be triggered around, oooh, March 2019, there’s a leak from the Brexiteers….and then the bumboys at the Telegraph are briefed to reassure the 52% (for we are the 52%) that actually no, it will be done before March 31st 2017. This, as you will know by now, is a date of no importance whatsoever – but nevertheless has an uncanny habit of turning up over and over again.

     

     

     


What’s going on?

Let’s rewind the tape to a Slogpost of January 11th this year, in which I wrote this:

11116Brexitban

I very rarely write statements as definitive as that, because too often they quickly become hostages to fortune. But it was based on sources in Brussels, Westminster and Washington and the information was solid: you will not be allowed to leave.

There was, I suspect, nothing wrong with the information – which two out of three sources described as ‘common knowledge’. Indeed, the Washington source insists that the emails of a certain H. Clinton do (or did) make reference to the facts as laid out before me.

The facts were right, but my interpretation was wrong. I was, to be frank, a bit thick about what they were driving at: I assumed electoral rigging.

Perhaps that was indeed considered, but then rejected as unecessary – I don’t know. Certainly, the result came as a bombshell in Whitehall, where absolutely zero work had been done on what to do if Cameron lost the Referendum.

However, Our Man in Brussels (not that senior, as I’ve said before) remains unshakeable. And in the last 72 hours, he has reaffirmed what he first told me at the turn of the year: “It will not be allowed to happen”.


Among the upper ranks of UKIP and Tory Leavers, there remains a fatalistic clarity about what will (or rather, won’t) happen now.

Pro-Brexit Tory leadership candidate Leadsom has been suitably scared off, and the Conservative grassroots denied their chance to vote for her. The Blair/Campbell PR axis is pulling out all the stops to get at best lukewarm Remain doubter Jeremy Corbyn ousted as Labour Leader, and corporate stooge Owen Smith installed as his replacement.

Meanwhile, the mini-sloop Brexit sits in dock with its anchor firmly attached to the bottom. And apart from the odd cruise trip designed to give the illusion of action, that is exactly where it will stay.

Unless, that is, one or more of the following events occur:

  1. Donald Trump becomes President of the US
  2. Marine Le Pen becomes President of France
  3. Deutsche Bank finally crashes
  4. The Italian banking system collapses
  5. A Japanese meltdown triggers a rates panic
  6. The Fed gives rates another hike in September
  7. The Dutch vote to leave the EU
  8. Brazil defaults on its debts.

As the Buddhists say, all things must pass, everything is connected, nothing lasts forever. I would venture to suggest that the Pieces of Eight above will sooner or later do for globalist neoliberalism and financialised capitalism. At which point, the EU will be swept away, and Brexit – along with Article 50 – will cease to be issues of any importance.

Stay tuned.

RANK BAD SCIENCE

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Published on the The Slog on January 3, 2016

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Uncontrollable Shanghai panics, wealth that won’t trickle down & consumers who can’t consume.

From San Diego to Shanghai, measurable human behaviour is teaching anyone who’ll listen that you can’t base an economic system on skitty narcissists

The collapse of the Shanghai index in China was artificially halted this morning as Beijing’s automatic closedown system came into effect to stop a 7% slump. Commentators are fingering poor economic data for the near-tank, but I don’t buy that. I think three other factors are at work.

The first is that traders have been trade-starved and had time to absorb just how bad things are economically and geopolitically; the second is the Saudi Arabia vs Iran relations meltdown which, if it gets any hotter, does threaten to affect energy supplies. And yes, I know that in a global slump when nobody wants oil anyway that doesn’t make sense, but my view for decades has been that bourses very rarely make sense. Exchanges don’t like instability, and the Middle East now is starting to look like underwater rugby without the ball. The Eurostoxx, Dax and FTSE are all well off, and I’d say its that situation among Muslim sects and energy gangsters that lies behind it.

But looking only at China, I’d say that the third (for me, anthropological) factor is that this new circuit breaker – including a trading suspension clause – only came in this morning: I suspect a lot of traders decided to get out of positions before it was too late. In other words – like most State interventions – it was self-defeating…designed to patch a crack in the dam, it evoked a major attack from 617 Squadron.

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°

The Chinese are still novices at this game, but I’ve been saying for years now that neoliberalism in general and an overdependence on bourse-raised funds for business are about the best way dreamed up thus far to destroy genuinely entrepreneurial capitalism forever. Having said that, a new study has just emerged adding grist to the commonsense arguments against neolib growth mania and its privileged megamillionaires.

Far from being put out by some obscure Hard Left University in Venezuela, the study is a major feature in the current issue of Time Magazine. Written up with engaging prose by Maia Szalavitz  (a neuroscience journalist), it adds greatly to the arsenal trying in vain to bomb the nonsense put out by the Greedies.

When Scott Fitzgerald told Hemingway and others that “the rich are different”, Irish author Mary Colum responded by saying “Yes they are, they’ve got more money”. But in the ninety years since then, lots of us have wondered whether they got rich because they’re different….or they got rich and then became different”.

Ms Szalavitz tackles the question head on in the best way – by bringing to light cleverly designed fieldwork to monitor the attitudes and behavioural patterns of the rich. This work and that of others is particularly germain to the myth of ‘trickle-down wealth’, in that recent studies suggest wealthier people are more likely to cut people up in traffic, and behave unethically in simulated business and charity scenarios.

Further, last year, statistics on charitable giving revealed that the poor donate a far higher percentage of their meagre incomes to charity than the rich do. Far from giving them a sense of duty to give back and help, the new study suggests, the rich feel they deserve the level of privilege they enjoy. In fact, five separate experiments led researchers to record much higher levels of both narcissism and entitlement among those of a higher income and social class.

I turns out not to be clinical narcissism disorder (from which I’m sure Julian Assange suffers) because this gets in the way of success, given such people positively repel cooperation rather than attracting it. But it does suggest a kind of overweening confidence which becomes more insufferable still once they’re rich….and once their offspring have in turn chosen to decide they must be special too. It is pretty clear I think that Cameron, Osborne, Hunt, Hannan and Fallon all display this outcome to a tee. And so too, of course, do Tony Blair and Harriet Harman.

Ultimately, it all comes back to my Page One pet-hate: privilege. The attitude and behaviour it engenders I would describe as “Well, I’m here so I must be good….and people treat me as somehow special, so obviously I am”. This can apply equally to the Lord Snooties of this world as it does to the Dianne Abbotts. Wealth, rank, special treatment, private education and the ability to jump every queue while evading any law merely solidify the delusion. See also Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks, Piers Morgan, and Boris Johnson.

The good news is that, when forced by the piercing of their bubble to listen to those with other lives, developing narcissists do very rapidly begin to behave rather more sensibly: Szalavitz concludes:

‘Psychologists emphasize, however, that being able to see the world from other people’s perspectives — empathy — is critical to fighting narcissism…..The wealthier certain segments of society become, then the more vulnerable communities may be to selfish tendencies — and the less charity the least among us can expect’.

In other words, Friedmanism, Reaganism, Thatcherism and Camerlot’s Big Society are complete and utter bunk. But – and it’s a very big but indeed, not say a pain in the butt – this change in their behaviour from uncaring materialist self-styled Superman isn’t going to “just happen”. Only the likes of Peter Jukes hammering away at Newscorp, Jan Cunliffe fighting to bury the law of Joint Enterprise, Nicholas Wilson refusing to drown the HSBC’s bottomless ocean of lies, and WASPI’s refusal to accept that they should pay for the elite’s broken promises will make a difference.

Doing nothing will still be the default position for most citizens. If that continues, it will be too late to do something….because by then, the trail of violence will be globally viral: and the real extremists will take charge.

There is no such thing as NVE – non-violent extremism. But there desperately needs to be a lot more NVRR – non-violent radical realism.

Joint digital action and the abandonment of ideological tribalism is absolutely central to achieving this: Socialists and crypto-Marxists still stuck in ‘One More Heave’ mode need to get real, do their psephological sums, and join others of decently socialised bent.

Only then can we make life peacefully impossible for those who act as paymasters to the Greedies….and bring down a Government still supported by only a quarter of those entitled to vote.

The Consumers who can’t consume: How neoliberalism destroys its own food supply

 

 

 

 

We the People Pay

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Publishes on The Slog on November 21, 2015

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ANALYSIS: Terror – who brought it upon us, and who is disseminating it today?

The Slog outlines an authentic step by step guide to how and why insane Jihadism has become widespread terror

rainsBrussels has been on ‘maxumum alert’ to my certain knowledge for three days….all shops are closed and every sporting event cancelled. An attack, we’re told, is ‘imminent’. Imminent is becoming one of those internet words like ‘free’: it’s a tricky one to interpret, given the reality.

Meanwhile, of the ten people besieged in the St Denis raid, er, seven have been released without charge. Spookily, the only persons killed were this week’s Mastermind winner, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, and his girlfriend or perhaps cousin but whom we now ‘know’ haha wasn’t a woman at all. As their coming back to life, regardless of sexual orientation, is not imminent, another trail of information and evidence has been lost: another Osama Bin Laden has been buried at sea.

We know Abaaoud was a mastermind, by the way, because he masterminded the Stade de France attack – you know, the one where they made themselves conspicuous by entering the ground half an hour late, were immediately spotted by security cops, and then blew themselves up…scoring a casualty total of precisely three. Yup, it takes a master of the Universe mind to devise that one.

We’re beginning to see emerging elements in the National State of Emergency declared by Hollande last week. The French National Assembly has awarded the Executive sweeping powers: the bill includes the right to tell ISPs to block websites – without any judicial review or court order. Police will no longer need a warrant to seize electronic devices without a warrant. So gung-ho is the Assembly, several even more draconian moves have been suggested – for example, criminalising the Act of even attempting to load one of the summarily banned websites.

French MPs have already voted in favour of an amendment allowing the Minister of the Interior to block any website “promoting terrorism or inciting terrorist acts” (no legal process for adjudication of promoting or inciting) and confine to house arrest individuals that present “serious reasons to think that their behaviour represents a threat for security and public order”….such to also be decided by security forces, not the Courts. So if I blog “what a pity the Schäuble assassin missed” I could be banged up before you could say lettres de cachet. If Nigel Farage stands up in the Brussels Parliament and suggests “one day that crook Verhofstadt is going to wind up hanging from a lamppost” we might even wind up sharing the house. This could be even worse than I thought.

Across the Channel in Target Britannia,  Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond is saying that yes, Britain really is a target and yes, we’re alert. David Cameron his chosen this moment in particular to tell us that seven “major planned Jihadist atrocities” have been foiled in the UK this year, a statement as unqualified as it is unsubstantiated: will CallMeDave now be arrested by Theresa May as a suspected NVE? We don’t know, but we do know that without drawing breath, the Prime Minister confirmed that his government’s new Strategic Defence and Security Review will involve ‘thousands of armed troops flooding the streets if terrorists launch a Paris-style attack on Britain,  and a huge increase in the number of combat troops placed on high alert for a rapid response to a terrorist attack’.

But I’m afraid this leaves me asking one simple question: who exactly are the ones creating terror here? I mean, that is what terrorists do, right? They create a widespread sense of terror.

Before anyone leaps to a convenient misunderstanding of my motives, I should reiterate my very clear view that has not wavered in nearly fifteen years: pc in Britain, the US and Europe has from Day One turned a blind eye to the fundamentally intolerant, misogynist and aggressive nature of Islam. But if they hadn’t done this, we wouldn’t be in the self-perpetuating state of terror that besets us today….with an immigration policy that allowed in hundreds of extremist preachers and an estimated 15,000 Jihadist activists.

Unbelievably, we’re still at it: a pre-Christmas commercial planned for showing in  UK cinemas has been banned by the chains because it features the Lord’s Prayer. Apparently, ‘the cinemas rejected the commercial, saying that it could offend people of differing or no faith’. Hands up all those readers who think the Jews might have objected.

There is then, of course, the vexed (but entirely glossed over) question of where some of this ISIL worldwide well-drilled and ten-million strong at least headcases bought their weapons in the first place. Just over a month ago, it was revealed that the British government has identified Saudi Arabia as a “priority market” and is encouraging UK businesses to bid for contracts in, among others, security and defence. The Saudis have roughly the same in common with our values as ISIL: they are also known suppliers of weapons to the Jihadists.

ISIL’s other major supplier is Erodgan’s Turkey, whose leader Cameron licked all over in his ill-judged Ankara speech of 2010. Turkey is a member of NATO – a military organisation dedicated to the annihilation of Jihadist terrorism.

And of course, we mustn’t leave out France. Je suis Paris, when all’s said and done. Unfortunately, Syrian Jihadists frequently use the FAMAS assault rifle….supplied to them by France.

As the Independent pointed out two years ago, ‘France was instrumental, alongside the UK, in lifting the European Union arms embargo on Syria which would allow supplies to be sent to the rebels’. This was way back when the ‘bastards’ of ISIL were brave freedom-fighters against Bashar Assad.

Earlier this year, in fact, France24 gushed that ‘France’s booming arms trade has proved one of the few bright spots for the country’s struggling economy’;  Hollande conveniently ignored the advice of experts that ‘the influx of arms to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries is worsening tensions in a region already ravaged by conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen’.

And just to round off the survey, the US remains the biggest arms exporter to the Middle East, with €7.5 billion worth of weapon sales in 2014, while the UK and Germany are also major players.

This is how it works. Our governments follow amoral foreign and export policies, we the People pay. Western governments remain in awe of an energy form we should have moved past decades ago, we the People pay. Politically correct idiots ignore the dark sides of immigration, we the People pay. Establishments become completely beholden to the greed of bankers, we the People pay. Those of neoliberal dogma hire the government pipers to play their ideological hymn, we the People pay. Media moguls smear every real opposition to their cosy privilege, we the People pay. Childish fundamentalists with small dicks get cheap arms and gain ground among the disgruntled, we the People pay.

The path along which we are allowing ourselves to be herded is so well trodden – and so easily recognised by even the most inattentive student of history – it is beyond parody. I feel like a man face up under the guillotine, waiting for it to hurtle down.

 

Anecdotage

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Published on The Slog on October 17, 2015

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My great-aunt Lizzie was a mill-girl with aspirations to better herself. Whereas in 2015, ‘aspiration’ is really a euphemism for material greed, back in 1908 it wasn’t. A hundred and seven years ago it meant becoming respectable through marriage. Neither is that attractive as a trait, but in terms of anthropology, the latter is both more natural and not entirely dysfunctional. At the turn of the century before last, it was entirely understandable: if you worked a ten hour day six days a week and would receive no compensation for falling into the machinery as a result of fatigue, then eschewing the need to do that was a highly desirable step in the right direction.

Like most members of my family, Elizabeth didn’t like her given name. When still very young, she opted for Lilly (or Lil) as a suitable nickname, and to her dying day intensely disliked being called Lizzie. One rather suspects that – given the racy success of the Jersey Lilly as Edward VII’s mistress – she saw this as part of her single-handed attempt to climb the socio-demographic mountain put in the Lower Order’s way in those days. The mountain still exists, the main difference now being that, by being a ruthless, chiselling crook, you can jump on the cable car with relative ease.

Oddly enough, her sister-in-law Melinda’s name was Mountain. Melinda – something of a libertine and Free Love exponent – married Lizzie’s brother James (only ever referred to as Jack) in 1909. They married in haste, my Auntie Edna being already on the way. Lizzie detested Melinda, but was very probably jealous of her social position. Like I say, this was the age of three important things in life: position, position, and position. Either way, being pregnant outside the sanctification of The Church was the worst of all positions to adopt.

Melinda was my grandmother. A pro-am pianist, she had umpteen affairs – which may well explain why all three of my aunties looked like people not so much separated at birth as genetically disconnected. But while Lizzie remained protective of a brother who doted on his feckless wife, her main goal remained the same: betterment.

In 1910 she met Francis Mellor, a member by his father’s marriage of the De Trafford family. Although expected to lead the life of a gentleman, Frank was artistic by nature and particularly good with wood. He opened a cabinet-making company and, to the horror of his relatives, became hugely successful. De Traffords, after all, looked down on those ‘in trade’, and were positively nauseous at the thought of a relation being successful in trade. But that reaction was as nought compared to the fainting fit they all had on discovering Frank’s intention to marry Lilly Wall the mill-girl.

Opposition to marriages is a long-standing tradition in my family, and the bottom line on this liaison was that, predictably, my Great-Uncle Francis was cut out of every Will, removed from the Christmas card list, and generally disinherited. But this mattered little to the happy couple: Frank thought his family insufferably stuffy, while Lizzie had no interest in money. Money was vulgar, but position was priceless. They were married in St Margaret’s Church, Prestwich – a Manchester suburb – in 2012.

I did not discover this last fact until eight years ago, but the coincidence is odd because I was confirmed in that Church in 1960. I wasn’t interested in being confirmed; but to be so gave one access to the adjoining youth club. There one could meet girls, and I was very interested in meeting girls.

Frank volunteered for duty in the Great War at its outbreak, and somehow managed to survive four years in the trenches. Back home, Lizzie watched as her brother James/Jack’s marriage disintegrated, but sent her husband only trench foot remedies and chocolate rather than news of imminent social disgrace. Melinda gave birth to my mother on 20th October 1919, and soon thereafter ran off with an Irish tenor with whom she had been performing. As it were. In 1925, she died giving birth to his child, and soon thereafter Jack died of tuberculoisis. At the age of six, my mother became an orphan.

In fact, four sisters aged from six to seventeen were suddenly left with no means of support. So Lizzie and Francis Mellor adopted them. The brood were housed in a large and comfortable house at 50 Smedley Lane, in what was then desirable Cheetham Hill – close to the centre of the cotton capital of Manchester.

As the post Great War depression began to bite at respectability, Frank’s business did alright; but it fell short of the cost of feeding, clothing and educating four adopted children. And so Lizzie applied for and got a waitress job at Manchester’s Midland Hotel.

From this distance in time, it is difficult to explain the prestige that the Midland Hotel radiated. On the very rare occasions when they ventured north, London’s finest – Royalty included – refused to stay anywhere else en route to where they were going…probably a vast estate in either the Lake District or Scotland. For over thirty years – from 1927-1960 – Lizzie waited on the tables of the rich and famous, rising eventually to become Head Waitress.

The perks of this job were a Godsend in depression Britain….and long thereafter. Her tax-free tips alone were enough to feed even the larger families, but in turn Lizzie was invited by the Hotel management to help herself to food and bread rolls (cobs) left over at the end of an evening. It says something about the cash-flow involved in her career venture that – during the worst of the Blitz in winter 1940 – she was able to pay cash for a pair of Ming vases. These she carried home – on foot – rebuffing the cries of ARP wardens to “get in a shelter you daft old sod” in the week preceding Christmas, as Luftwaffe incendiaries rained down from the grey, droning skies.

But the German Führer was no match for Lily Mellor. She owned a parrot, whose only learning was the phrase “That ‘itler, ‘e’s a bugger”….something her mother Mary Anne (by this time also dependent on the Smedley Lane welfare system) opined at least five times a day. For this reason alone, it became necessary to put a black cage-veil over the bird whenever the vicar of St Luke’s church came for Sunday Tea.

Widowed in 1953 – but left with a good pension by Frank – Lizzie nevertheless continued in her role at the Midland. I remember her restaurant jargon very well: each table was ‘a sprig’, and it would have a number of places (‘couverts’). This became, in Lizzie-speak, “She had ten covers to her sprig”. The more places per table, the more senior and skilled the waitress was.

In 1957, The Real Madrid football team enjoyed a celebratory dinner at the Midland after playing a 2-2 draw second leg cup tie against my team Manchester United at Old Trafford. United having lost 3-1 in Madrid, the result meant that Real went through to the Final. [The final was played at Hampden Park Glasgow, and Madrid beat German team Eintracht 9-3]

Understanding my undying devotion to United, Lizzie went right round the twenty covers to her sprig, and obtained the autograph of every single player. These included the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano, Francisco Gento, Raymond Kopa, José Santamaria, Héctor Rial, and goalkeeper Rogelio Domínguez.

The autographs were signed on a menu, and my brother and I treasured it for years. Lord knows what its value was in those days – far in excess of a conker that had triumphed over 50 contestants I’d imagine. I’ve no idea what happened to the fragile signatures, but that reality merely reflects our inability to attribute long term ‘worth’ to something.

Lizzie’s last years were not happy, primarily because she refused to go into ‘a home’, but was unable to accept that, in another family’s home, she could not rule the roost. She stayed with us for some years (they were a nightmare) and then with Mum’s sister Myra (an even worse nightmare) before spending her final months in a Yorkshire nursing home.

Extreme old age never had any dignity to recommend it. In 2015 however, the missing elements are a sense of family responsibility – and any degree whatsoever of State responsibility. I don’t even want to think what that means in terms of my eventual demise; perhaps this is why I prefer to go out in a blaze of indulgence rather than foist the consequences of my incompetence upon others.

Silly Money

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Published on The Slog on October 9, 2015

sillymoneypicAn occasional reminder that it’s all bollocks, and that’s official

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The latest minutes of the Federal Reserve Board were released yesterday, and reaffirmed the firm opinion affirmed at the last three meetings that, while the going was firm and very few economic signals were looking infirm, things had not quite reached the terra firma whereupon a decision to do something could be firmed up. The economic firmament was however looking increasingly affirmative, and while rumours of a miracle remained unconfirmed, it was important to keep the focus firmly on the main objective, propping up Banking firms. The one dissenting voice, Elmer Z. Firman of the Kansas City Cornball Exchange, said the agricultural payroll data gave him cause for concern about the nation’s firmers.

Following the quarterly loss by Deutsche Bank of 5.8 billion VW diesel derivatives this week, embattled commodities giant Glencore PLC admitted that 100 million hitherto undiscovered Elephants had escaped from its Corporate HQ meeting rooms, and were set to stampede through the New York financial district, causing havoc among bankers looking for hard surfaces thirty floors below. A research note from Bank of America Meryl Streep said she would star in the movie already pencilled to dramatise the development, Yet More Dumbos on Wall Street.

The Cross-border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) has been launched in Shanghai. Fan Yeifi (who lives in Shanghai and is a big fan of wifi) said this internationalisation of the Yuan was an impotent millstone for China. Zeng Gang – an anagram working for the Finance Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (FISCAS) – asserted that, once the two organisations were fully merged following the launch, Fiscscipscaps would contain more s’s than any known acronym, be full of acrimony, and short of money.

Ecologically friendly activist group Codpiece is to launch the Flotilla for Fish after it was revealed that the 5 largest purchasers of US Treasuries – China, Russia, Norway, Brazil, and Taiwan – have been secretly dumping T-Bills in the waters off Finland. Codpiece organiser Dirk Wårmbërgs told The Slog: “During the 12-month period ended July this year, 123 zillion Treasuries were dumped off the Finnish coast – the biggest dump by any known species since data started to be collected yesterday. People simply do not understand that piling all this toxic material into the ocean could destroy the hornbacked shrimp population forever.” Asked why the Big Five had chosen to dump off Finland, Wãrmbêrgs replied, “Everyone hates the Finns, they’re a bunch of gobby moaners sucking up to Berlin”.

The global monetary system ‘could collapse into a failed normalisation of interest rates and market conditions’ warned IMF top frock Pristine Lagirdle last Wednesday. She also cited “Policy missteps and adverse shocks, vanishing liquidity, decompressed risk premia, tightening credit cycles and a plague of brimstone boils” as likely to impact upon the situation. The Grand Young Dukes of New York marched all their stocks down the hill, but within hours FOMC outsize frock Yelling Bonnet did nothing, and so the stocks were all marched up the hill again. Interviewed on CNN later, former Fed Chair Bin B’Nanka put forward his latest thesis ‘The Chance Doctrine’, which states that the effect of frocks on stocks could not be neutralised by pulling up socks or taking hands off cocks, but that all would be well just so long as the hollyhocks in the garden had been properly cut back, the clocks turned back in good time, and anti-Warlock powder put down to ward against the evil spirits of the Winter Solstice. Mr Binbanker, who wore a sports jacket back to front throughout the interview, looked relaxed and happy, joking at the end that “everyone should stay long in Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors”.

And finally, the news that the National Bank of Belgium has sold 1083 tons of its 1300 tons of gold over the last fifty years evoked a vigorous denial this morning from serial sovereign rapist and MEP Guy Veryoffentwat that he had hidden it in his coal cellar. “That is a ridiculous suggestion,” he scoffed, “only a fool would let all that lovely gold get dirty. It’s under my mattress”. Mr Verhofsfat has claimed over €31million euros in the last five years for medical treatment to cure his permanent back pain. In an unrelated incident, Frau Doktor Angela Mirakle refused to confirm that all the German gold repatriated from New York had turned out, on close examination, to be 7,000 packs of Benson & Hedges Special Filter cigarettes.

Britain: Hope, Glory & Bollocks

broken-britain2gc2Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog on October 5, 2015

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The myth of 21st Century entrepreneurial Britain

Liam Halligan – one of the few hacks at the Torynaff I’m still prepared to read – offers a piece today in which he quite rightly argues that Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn is at his best deconstructing the Tory Party’s utterly mendacious version of how the British economy is faring. But in the midst of such wise thoughts, he drops a clanger like this: (my emphasis)

‘With the relatively moderate Hilary Benn having just been ousted, there’s now a pro-Corbyn majority on Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee. Corbynites are wresting control of the party machine from the more sensible centre-Left

Liam thinks the soft Left more sensible because it buys into the ‘reality’ of the Thatcher economic sea change; and he adds this bubble-dwelling nonsense: ‘the UK today is by no means a place where people “take what they’re given”. The British, on the contrary, tend to go to work each morning, earn their money, often start businesses and strive to improve the lot of themselves and their families. Enterprise and self-reliance are central to this country’s identity, hard-wired into us.’

That isn’t true of the British and it never was; it was only ever true of a tiny band of post-agrarian aristocrats nouveaux in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the independent shopkeeper about whom Napoleon Bonaparte was so hopelessly wrong. The central myth of Thatcherism is that Britain is choc-a-bloc with folks just gagging to be the next Alan Sugar. Today, all the famous entrepreneurial and innovative corporate names from our industrial revolution are gone forever – either sold to unpleasant multinationals or rendered sclerotic by third-rate, third-generation management. If you can see any new mega-groups emerging from a standing start in vehicles, technology, media, banking, energy and all the other controlling interests in 21st century UK life, then you have better eyesight and foresight than I.

The overwhelming majority of Britons today take what they are given because they have no choice, or – even worse – zero discernment about what really matters in life.

The statistics are there for anyone to see: those at the very bottom of society have made a 1.0-2.5% gain in funds, those from the old skilled working class have lost 13% in the last ten years alone, a minority of merchant and retail independents have found lucrative niches selling to the Daft Rich ( but most others have gone to the wall), the old have gone backwards on almost every real measure, and corporations have vastly increased their power. Those individuals ripping off the old public sector and milking the capital research base of former nationalised giants and contemporary multinationals have rocketed into the standard 3 – 5% who spend more on lunch each day than most of those at the bottom get in monthly salary.

Britain’s tiny top slither of 1% shovers and makers have accumulated as much wealth as the poorest 55% of the population. Household wealth in the south-east has risen five times as fast as the rest of the country. Five billionaire families control the same wealth as 20% of the population. The bottom 50% of the country’s citizens own just 9% of the wealth.

Above all, the blindingly obvious piece of history that gives the lie to Halligan’s silly assertions is that Britain was the first nation in the world whose mass workforce of employees (not Grant Shapps clones) organised to create democratically elected socialist administrations with genuine power. France and Australia may offer historians the first Commune and the first socialist Prime Minister, but by 1924 Britain had a minority Labour Government – and the work of Attlee’s 1946-51 team created a State welfare and health system that became the envy of the world.

What has given Britain its stability since Cromwellian and Restoration times is a unique feature: the ability to learn – via various Reform Acts and Rule of Law continuity – how to avoid the mistakes of both revolution and privilege. From 1640 until 1979, it worked to the citizens’ advantage better than in any previous Empire or Commonwealth. Since then we have lost this.

The reality of such loss is apparent in the myriad symptoms we see in today’s far from United Kingdom: wealth inequality, extreme views about gender and equality ‘correction’, acceptance of socially irresponsible profit, the rise and rise of the unapologetic greedy arsehole, alignment with a blatantly fascist EU, wholesale abandonment of the Rule of Law, flagrant perversions of equality before the Law, tabloid cruelty, and above all the headlong rush towards sociopathic corporatocracy.

The only defence the repressed in society can fall back upon now is media-distracted apathy and the revival of extreme Left ideology that failed before. It failed for the same reason that extreme Right ideology will fail in the immediate-term future: denialism about the realities of Man the social animal – his frailties, wiring, bigotries, fears and preference for family life over corporate and State denialism.

I confess to tiring of writing about this. And I absolutely despair when a Conservative Conference tweeter tries to tell us that Britain is Great because there are no French Rolling Stones or German Beatles.

Did the Greeks DESERVE to get Greeked?

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog on July 16, 2015

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GREECE: Applying a needle and thread to the idea that somehow “the Greeks deserved it”

“Rape ‘er? Are you kiddin’ mate? She was f**kin* gaggin’ for it”

I really don’t know how to define or rationalise this post other than calling the piece “getting it off my chest”.

I was directed to Richard North’s site this morning and read a lucid, well documented column from a powerful eurosceptic voice. But something throwaway towards the end got right up my nose and evoked the comment thread that follows.

Maybe at times I get too sensitive about Greece and what’s being done to it. God knows, I’m more aware than most of the infuriating nature of the place at times. But if you sympathise with this summary, I’d deem it a great favour if you’d pump some internet oxygen into it.

‘Oh dear. Just when I thought that, at last, an article about endemic Greek corruption was going to reach the right conclusion, it turns into a vague apologiae for Troika gangsterism.

I have been a regular visitor to Greece and enthusiastic Grecophile for 45 years. I have probably written more on the injustices inside (and done to) Greece than any other Western blogger. So allow me please to expand and correct here and there.

1. As you point out, Franco-German to Greece export & banking corruption is every bit as disgusting as that of the Greek élites. I don’t see anyone punishing Germany. Or France.

2. 80% of Greeks approve of tax evasion because history has taught them that their payments go into the same back pockets of bureaucrats and bent developers as everything else that the ordinary Greeks produce with such thrift and passion.

3. The entire medical sector is about 6-7% of the Greek population. Every doctor and dentist I’ve ever met takes bribes… even when the treatment is free on the State. None of these people have suffered a jot from austerity, and over 90% of them vote Nia Dimokritia. Pharmacies cheat the system because they too are an élite mafia. Ordinary Greeks don’t benefit from this corruption, they pay through the nose for it. It is the corrupt pols who refuse to regulate it.

4. Despite all this obvious evidence of WHERE the corruption problem lies, Troikas 1&2 chose to deal with precisely those people fostering it…who of course heaped the cost of austerity onto the people who are not the problem. But the EU is every bit as corrupt as they are: Herr Doktor Schäuble prefers to deal with those of like mind to himself.

5. When at last the vast majority of Greeks woke up and elected a government determined to root out and destroy the pre-1789 style privilege of the élites on their backs, the EU, EC, ECB, and Eurogroupe gargoyles worked overtime to turn down every proposal they made and destabilise that Syriza régime. This would seem quixotically deranged behaviour for a group of people allegedly in favour of “reform”. Here they were, presented with the most idealistic, honest and popular Greek political party for more than 40 years…but as the IMF correctly reports, EU fiscal blackmail in the final fortnight (all of it illegal under EU Law) took Greek debt unsustainability from the surreal to the impossible.

What exactly makes you think either Tsipras or the toiling classes he represented ‘deserved’ that level of depraved sociopathy?

6. Cornered at last, the IMF’s Christine Lagarde has blown a massive hole in this ridiculous wall of Brussels-am-Berlin sanctimony. The aim of these three bailouts is now clear for all to see: it never was nor indeed could ever be debt repayment. To use the French term, it was a summary and gratuitous execution pour encourager les autres. And at a level even more base than that, it was a full-frontal attack by federalist fanatics on the sovereignty of a nation…a nation I observe, year in year out, working much harder than any Nordeuropeans of my acquaintance.

https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/new-troika-perfidy-revealed-by-reuters-the-smoking-gun-with-creditor-dna-all-over-it/

SHORING UP THE SHANGHAI & GANGING UP ON GREECE

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog on July 9, 2015

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Tell me: is there a decent hero on the planet?

Market control in a supposedly neoliberal world, fortunate glitches in a nervous Stock market, and bullying hypocrisy from the squandered marbles army. There is little or nothing worth saving in any of it.

The Shanghai index’s collapse was ‘stemmed’ during Asian trading earlier today. Much relief all round, but there are two reasons not to be joyful about it: first, the market is still around 55% higher than it was a year ago, when the property market collapse pulled novices into stocks…so logic would suggest it has further to fall; and second, it is not market sentiment that has stopped the rot, but more draconian Beijing regulation. 50% of all China stocks are now suspended, and yesterday the government ordered a blanket ban on anyone with more than 5% of a company’s stocks from selling for the next six months.

So this is not a rally, it’s a dam. In the US yesterday, a glitch came to the rescue of NYSE traders already nervous and gloomy. Nobody I spoke to believed the hiccup was either accidental or satisfactorily explained.

“There’s definitely an issue if we see a further correction in the Chinese stock market,” said Russ Koesterich, BlackRock’s chief investment strategist, but then he added a tell-tale bit right at the end about the EU (my italics): “Greece is going to be a negative in the short term. If you don’t see a deal on Sunday, you’re going to see a negative knee-jerk reaction on Monday. I don’t think a ‘Grexit’ is priced in,” he said. However, he did not see Greece as a major problem for the market longer term, “since Europe is backstopped by the European Central Bank.”

In recent days, more and more people with their brain functions intact are starting to gen up on the real Greek debt canvas that’s been gradually painted over since 2009 by ham-fisted cover-up artists called Draghi, Schäuble, Dijesslbleom, Schulz, Samaras et al. I’d refer those who missed it to the Daniel Hannan demolition job The Slog performed on June 17th this year   in relation to his woeful ‘analysis’ of Greek debt and surplus, because Point 4 therein is an important reality that the daubing history-changers would prefer you didn’t perceive. This is that the ECB could this afternoon write off two-thirds of the entire Greek debt without any harm or cost to anyone anywhere at any future time.

A central bank configured like the ECB can put a zillion quadrillion Swiss francs of debt into its ‘negative assets’ column and forget about it, because the ECB cannot go bust. The surreal accounting system behind the euro ensures that the Central Bank can be blown up by a direct nuclear hit, but its viability as a financial institution will remain intact. The markets and the first Troika were perfectly well aware of this, as are the hypocrites working forTroika2.

The Greek debt is not being forgiven for a number of reasons – lending market dislike of written-off debt, fears about default contagion, a German determination to contain all resistance contagion, and a continuing belief that the euro’s cadaver is not dead, it is simply resting. That’s it: there is no fiscal or economic logic to any of it. Club Med is being destroyed by austerity to show the markets that European debt will be repaid come what may – even if the entire region has to starve and degenerate into Civil War in order to achieve that goal….a goal that is mathematically unachievable anyway. The situation really is that surreal, and its practitioners that profoundly deranged.

Degrading and depriving millions of EU citizens for the sake of a fiat currency with no Sovereignty to guarantee it, and no way to opt out of it – because it was designed by hubris-fuelled idiots keen to offset any and all responsibility for unsound fiscal governance.

That’s what we are looking at here: a policy that is blatantly unconstitutional under the Rome and Lisbon treaties, and one that demands the bill be paid by the waiters, not the troughing borrowers. In exactly the same wicked and lawless manner, the Berlin FinMin is now lobbying for any failed Greek banks to be the subject of bailins whereby entirely innocent citizens will lose such savings as they have left…precisely as Cypriot citizens and foreign retirees lost theirs. For Mr Dijesslbleom has his template, and that template must be used.

Meanwhile, the odiously irresponsible Troika1 lenders got away with their margins largely intact from the early stages of this ripoff – because they either sold on their investments to vultures, or the vultures themselves paid 10cents on the Dollar and received only a 40% haircut. Goldman Sachs (which conspired with the original right wing Greek government to deceive Brussels about the scale of the debt they were busy selling to the fat cats) in turn has never been brought to book for that heinous crime.

So to sum up, the German position as of last night was a flat refusal to accept any devaluation of a debt that can never be repaid, but which could be largely vapourised by one push of an electronic button. Some call this intransigence; I call it insanity…the insanity of fanatics who refuse to accept defeat. The same mentality, if you will, as those SS officers who – with the Russians two streets away from the Reichschancellery in 1945 – walked around calmly shooting any citizen unwilling to resist the Soviet advance.

Francois Hollande – the Socialist President of France – and his FinMin Muscovici have now fallen in with the eurogroupe Schützstaffel tendency… fully aware of the fact that France played a central lobbying role in designing and then exploiting the irresponsible nature of the euro’s format: since EMU came into being, the French have failed to hit a single deficit target they were set by the Commission. No bat-pummelling for the French, though: bullies, after all, never take on anyone approaching their own size.

There remain for me this morning three other targets for ire. First, Tsipras – for offering to continue with a 3-year bailout. That’s not so much a red line as a red rag to all those tired and tortured bulls who voted for Syriza in January. Second, the European Parliament, whose behaviour towards Tsipras was horribly reminiscent of Mussolini’s fascists shouting down Haile Selassie’s speech to the League in 1936. And finally, a disgraceful British Labour Party too ideologically constipated and europhile to align itself with the People.

‘Forward with the People’ a famous Labour paper used to say. What a truly reticent, flappy-bottomed shower of pampered fluffies they are.

Death of the Euro

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog on June 29, 2015

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Vindictive eurocrats, a happy Mario Draghi, a predictably exposed Christine Lagarde, and a wise but powerless DSK

https://hat4uk.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/draghis.png

O Lucky Man

HOW THE AMERICAN PENCHANT FOR REGIME-CHANGE DELIVERED US INTO DYSTOPIA

It hasn’t taken long today for the strutting “We can handle a Greek default” faux-confidence to evaporate among the engorged egos of the euroélite. On the whole it is becoming hourly more obvious what small, mean-minded and vindictive goblins the eurocrats all are. Juncker’s petty little address – laced with self-pity, riddled with fantasy but devoid of remorse – reveals this rubber-spined brothel-creeping bitch as a man with neither dignity nor style.

Dijesslbleom’s response was made of similarly flimsy dissembling: the classic over-promoted prefect blamestorming his way from topic to topic, condemning an elected Member State government for having spotted the game plan – humiliation piled on top of debt slavery – and proclaiming the Great Offer “removed from the table” in a pathetic tone of how very dare they.

But what we’ve seen today is precisely what would’ve happened had Varoufakis walked out of the ambush set for him, three weeks in on February 19th, after the Muscovici solution had been de-tabled by the Draghi/Schäuble/Drizzleloon axis of Wehrmacht diplomacy.

On February 19th, The Slog opined (  https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/berlin-outright-rejection-of-syriza-loan-extension-proposal/  ) that a Greek walkout would’ve ‘vastly increased the cost of sovereign borrowing’. So far today, Portugal’s 5-year bond yields have leapt by 17%, default insurance rates in Europe have careered off the scale, Eurobank stocks fell 5%, and the euro has zoomed back down to 1.40 versus Sterling.

The usual suspects – notably Reuters and the WSJ – put a brave face on this, showing that German Bund yields fell and there was a flight to US Treasuries. No shit, Sherlock? What the Hell else did they expect to happen? No doubt egged on by Yannis Stournaras and his bumboy Hugo Nixon  Dixon, Reuters in particular talked of Greek stocks and bond yields in meltdown and liftoff respectively. No shit Sherlock? What the Hell else did they expect to happen? But none of that matters to the real Greeks, whose concerns now involve how to make the meagre amounts of cash available to them buy enough food for the week. If you’re skint already, markets and borrowing rates come very low down in the importance hierarchy.

However, one person tonight is, I suspect, a happy man….for he is not a politician, bureaucrat, nervous derivatives player, ordinary citizen or health practitioner, but a central banker.

As I’ve been saying for eight months now, Mario Draghi has all the bases covered. Greece may be proving truculent and using some silly plebeian ruse to give Brussels-am-Berlin the finger, but so what? He has a cheap currency, oodles of not yet dry QE euros to make it cheaper still and bail out exposed eurobanks, and more ability than any other European to do WTF he wants without fear of electorates, Brussels or Jens Weidmann. Mario has what every psychopath craves: absolute power and zero responsibility.

The flight back to US Treasury bonds ticks all the Wall Street boxes for the time being, and keeps him in good odour with Washington. So too does a euro still edging steadily towards $ parity…. and thus in line with the Dolleuro scenario. That working title for the buck-in-Europe strategy may have ghastly onomatopaeic echoes of Delorean, but this is of little concern to Supermario: even if that never comes off, as of tomorrow morning Greece becomes Europe’s Argentina, and he has lots of ways to wield further the baseball bat in order to make life even more unbearable in a nation for which he has little fondness anyway. True, he is ‘owed’ some €120bn by the Greek government, but what is that other than an entry in the ledger, to be transferred to the ‘negative assets’ column available to all those living in the Swiftian land of Oxymoronia, aka the Central Banking system?

In short, whether the euro implodes or succeeds against impossible odds, to Draghi’s mind he is the laughing sandboy: quids in, on the crest of a wave, on the up and in the pink.

In and to his mind, that is. But Mario had an unpleasant reminder last month of how radicals can penetrate security and then jump on his desk. He did look very scared indeed when that happened.

That said, he is way ahead of Lagarde the Lowgrade lawyer, another over-promoted chancer who now finds herself staring forlornly at the glaring blot on her IMF copy book. For the IMF is an instrument of American foreign policy, not a central bank; and the very first default write-off in its history is about to happen on Fifi’s watch.

Perhaps Dominique Strauss-Kahn can gain a certain contentment in the autumn of his largely destroyed career from Chrissie the airhead’s dénouement as the engineless aeroplane. We cannot be certain about that: but going back to another Slog obsession from 2011, as time passes it becomes clearer and clearer exactly why DSK was moved out of the game by the corporatocracy.

Think about it: DSK wasn’t only an IMF boss unimpressed by the idea of collaboration in US hegemony, he was also a shoe-in French Socialist Party candidate about to be handed the falling off a log job of defeating Nicolas Sarkozy. Without the invented New York hotel maid sex-assault smear, M. Strauss-Kahn would’ve gone from being a pain in the State Department arse at the IMF to being a cancer in the Eunatic/US imperialism, and a man who would without question have resisted the siren calls of the Draghischäuble on pretty much every issue.

Cynics may wish to shout me down on this one, but Google DSK News, and you will be rewarded with more sagesse in half an hour than has emanated from the Troika over the last five years. The latest of these can be found at  https://uk.news.yahoo.com/strauss-kahn-suggests-temporary-halt-203519636.html#HGXf0F2 where the silly sex pest but brilliant economist can be heard appealing for a temporary end to Greek debt repayments.

Régime change has for many decades been the MO of choice for the United States. Over and over again – in Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Asia – for more than half a century now, America has meddled in, muddled the realities of, and then left behind a trail of dysfunctional destruction for the citizens in, pretty much everywhere from Andalucia to Zaire.

At long last, new alternatives to this hegemoni horribilus are emerging. But the world desperately needs contrarian US politicians to start educating the American populace on the subject of how a once all-powerfully missionary Church needs to withdraw peacefully into more benign and less interventionist role. There is, after all, no percentage in gaining control of a world ruined by GM lunacy, energy blindness, unsustainable inequity, and nuclear exchange.

HEADING FOR DISASTER

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog on May 18, 2015

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HEADING FOR DISASTER: A FAILING BRITISH ECONOMY, AN UNREPAYABLE DEBT, & AN UNREPENTANT POLITICAL CLASS

GEORGE, THERE ARE GOING TO BE TEARS WELL BEFORE BEDTIME

oscuntPrecisely as the right-wing Institute for Fiscal studies predicted before the Election, George Osborne is now under pressure (from the Institute of Directors) to “slash spending”. The IoD has gone one on from “cut”: perhaps next time the verb will be “decimate”. And then “obliterate”.

Note that few if any of the IoD’s members will suffer a jot from the cuts. Also note that the IoD is specifically ruling out tax rises….which would, of course, hit most of their members very hard indeed.

The Chancellor has promised yet another budget in the summer (we might just as well make them quarterly and have done with it) and has said it will be “a budget for working people”. This is another little weasel phrase invented by the Aussie spin doctor Lynton Crosby; what it means is “people in a full-time contractual private sector job”. As only 22% of us are these days, it isn’t going to be terribly good news for the unemployed, the State retired, or indeed the NHS: get out of that, Jeremy Hunt.

I think a few more people need to take time out here and study what exactly is going on rather more fully. In a nutshell, it is this: because the ConDem coalition spectacularly failed over the last five years to (a) wipe out the UK deficit (b) diversify the UK economy out of financial services and (c) gain new export contracts beyond the EU, those people out of jobs as a result of that failure, or on benefits, or ill will be asked to cough up. The business organisation members who aided in this abject failure, however, won’t be asked to cough up. They’ll just see their salaries and bonuses continuing to go up.

So, Government screws up and business acts as its accomplice; labour force, the ill and the poor foot the bill.

Sorry to repeat the question for the 50th time, but you see so far I haven’t had an answer. As a neoliberal economy is based on eternal consumption and a ready supply of credit, how are lower incomes and dried-up banks going to produce more consumption?

They can’t, period. But still the financial press calls the UK’s Q1 slowdown ‘disappointing’ (to whom – idiots?) and still the talk of China being ‘back on course’ gets blown off course every time data emerges from Beijing….a deceleration rate of 5.2% YOY being the latest one last Friday.

Look around at the overall situation and think: until very recently we had a situation where people were paying governments to borrow money off them. Banks are still offering ‘savers’ virtually no interest on their savings. There isn’t a Western economy booming anywhere: not one. But not a single Western bourse is reflecting that fact: not one. Every week another lunatic (usually German) insists that the eurozone is turning the corner. No it isn’t: it’s in the ER room with severe brain damage being kept alive by experimental drugs.

A 2% rise in interest rates – just 2% people – would move US debt management expenditure from 2 in 5 of all tax dollars to $2.50. In 1976, the UK’s deficit to gdp ratio was 6%…but we had to call in the IMF to avoid insolvency – because interest rates were a staggering 14.25% average during the year.

The latest UK projected deficit in 2015 is 4.8%. BUT that’s with near-zero interest rates. Just a rise of 1.5% would would take our deficit higher than it was when we nearly went bust under Labour. An even remotely normal level at 4% would double it. At that point, bond yields would go into orbit around Saturn.

When the Conservatives came to power in 2010, the national debt was £900bn. It’s closer to £1.6trillion today…80% higher in five years.

No matter what any politician tries to tell you, our current woefully negative trading account means that the UK National Debt is as unrepayable as that of Greece. The big difference being that we have far, far more to lose than they do.

There is no way further spending cuts can have any effect on that, because the welfare and health bills for government aren’t the real problem. The real problem is an unreformed economy ludicrously overdependent on financial services, and a Conservative administration with almost no commercial experience in its ranks to switch to high-margin manufacturing and retraining of the workforce to make stuff.

The money saved by Osborne was a minute part of even the deficit reduction. In relation to the debt, the best analogy I can offer you is that more expenditure cuts now would be like putting one pipette into the Pacific in an effort to stem rising sea levels. The idea that austerity on the one hand is part of the cure for long-term British commercial and business failure is obscenely infantile.

The Conservatives know this, but don’t know what to do except take away our right to resist. The Labour Party doesn’t even understand it in the first place. Nigel Farage probably gave up on this piece after paragraph six. And Nicola Sturgeon cares not for any of it just so long as she gets independence for the Scots.

That is the depth of our political crisis in 2015. Only a drastic change in socio-economic culture, education and our Constitutional processes can even begin to change it.

How to Vote

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog on May 7, 2015

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ELECTION DAY: SOME PLAIN ADVICE ON HOW TO VOTE

slipptnet

Vote ‘none of the above’.

If, however, you cannot bear to let go of the right others ‘gave’ you, then here’s some supplementary counsel. Many readers will have followed the half-dozen posts I’ve put up before this The Big Day. Below is a slightly different approach, in which – based on your circumstances and outlook – I offer some specific suggestions and observations in a purely unofficial capacity.

Are you retired, English or Welsh, on limited means and spent most of your life as an employee?

Don’t vote for any of them. You’ve been around the block a few times and seen some eleven previous “elections”. In which case, by now you’ll know they’re all bombastic clones with no life experience and about as much point in life as an ocean-going sieve.

However, if you haven’t sussed this by now, vote UKip. It’s tailor-made for you.

Are you Scottish?

Vote SNP. Everyone else is, so why not join in? Jump off the cliff – 14 million Lemmings can’t be wrong. The sooner you all bugger off the better. And you can f**k up Westminster on your way out.

After all, as the mealy-mouthed Sassenach Establishment has been daft enough to give you the power to do this, then as the French say, “Il faut profiter”. You’ll get on very well with the French once you’re in the EU – Auld Alliance and all that.

It’s a no brainer, Jammy: Vote SNP.

Are you poor, jobless, working for near-zero money on zero hours ‘contracts’, looking after an old person at home, on benefits, or the owner of a fatal disease?

Don’t vote Conservative. They think you’re all scroungers and are convinced they could live on eight groats a month so why can’t you? Their neoliberal system and banking mates have screwed up royally and somebody has to pay, so it’s you. And me. Well, everyone except their mates, really.

Don’t vote UKip. People once thought nobody could be as bad as Hitler, but then along came Stalin to prove them all wrong.

If you really think you should, vote Labour. It won’t make a lot of difference, but if enough of you do it, even Teddy Testicles might feel duty bound to make some token gesture….if he’s not too busy selling your bank to a hedge fund via his brother. Or tweeting about footie.

Are you a sort of middle of the road Nicey who’d like everyone to behave well and not fib?

Don’t vote for any of them, but especially, don’t vote Conservative.

Here’s a brief personal example why. Thanks to the tripartite incompetence of British civil servants, French civil servants and a French doctor, after 15 months I’m still not in the French health service. Now, it transpires I need a birth certificate to prove that my passport and driving licences aren’t faked. I ordered one from a private UK supplier via their express service (3 days delivery). Twelve days later, there’s no sign of it. So I Googled ‘Birth certificate private supplier complaints’ and discovered that four years ago the Advertising Standards Authority, the Trading Standards folks and a plethora of other critics slagged them all off as sheisters, embezzlers, and phoneys attempting to look like the official service.

Well, four years on they’re all still there, up to exactly the same tricks. So don’t vote Conservative, because they unreservedly approve of this sort of thing. Especially Grant Jones and his twin sister Miss Haps.

Are you in prison, 16 years old, insane or a horse?

If so, you can’t vote anyway so nerr-nerr-ne-nerr-nerr. But you should actively campaign for Labour, because they want everyone of all ages, species, occupations and delusions to get the vote, on account of them almost always voting Labour.

Do you believe every last discredited theory about CO2 and enjoy being ordered about by people who want to include newts in the European Human Rights Act?

Vote Green. They’re the perfect match for you. But Labour (see above) run them close.

Don’t whatever you do vote Conservative. They believe by contrast in every discredited, amateur and ill-investigated idea put out by James Delingpole. Which is even worse. Also they want to frack the shit out of Britain. Worst of all, the biggest advocate of digging up Britain in order to help Texas is Daniel Hannan – the only man on earth who hates both the EU and David Cameron….but is a Tory MEP.

So don’t vote Tory. Oooooh no.

Are you a go-getting cheat who lies on the internet, manipulates Libor rates, fiddles company popularity contests, takes a 10-hour nap every day, covers up for paedophile MPs, shags media whores, or suffers from Columbian Marching Nose syndrome?

As you are already in the Cabinet, it would be churlish note to vote Conservative or Liberal Democrat. In fact, my advice is vote as many times as you can in that manner, as otherwise the dead heat result is just as obvious as Piers Morgan’s addiction to mobile phone messages.

Are you Russell Brand?

Don’t vote for any of them. Or do vote for one of them, because it’s an emergency. It won’t make any difference roight, so vote Labour ‘cos that’ll help deal with the emergency, roight? Or perhaps not. However, on the other hand…

That Russell, eh? He’s mustard, and no mistake. And also an infantile, irresponsible cock whose cock is enormous because it’s where he keeps his engorged ego.

Well, I think that about wraps it up. Have a great Election Day and remember to Vote against everyone busy undermining your rights.

Growing Old

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog on May 2, 2015

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Old

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Growing old is not primarily about forgetting; it’s about forgetting whether or not you did something.

Growing old is about watching people make the same mistakes you did – and feeling powerless to stop them.

Growing old makes you realise that feminism is a curate’s egg, but ageism is ignored.

Growing old leaves us constantly surprised…especially when we look in the mirror.

Growing old is about realising that you’re cool when you no longer care whether you’re cool or not.

Growing old for blokes means feeling stiff in the mornings, except in the place you’d like to be.

Growing old for women means wondering why wrinkles only work for blokes.

Growing old is about the young Queen you remember from 1953 now having great-grandchildren.

Growing old for Prince Charles is realising that Coronation Street is 55 years old and shows no signs of dying.

Growing old brings a surfeit of wisdom, and a lack of the energy required to express it.

Growing old brings a new wonder every day…for example, why the fuck is Grant Shapps not in prison?

Growing old brings the realisation that you are planting trees for other people.

Growing old means being able to give children back to their parents.

Growing old gracefully is almost impossible; growing old disgracefully is much more fun.

Growing old involves coming to terms with that nagging pain in the joints, and activists who are a permanent pain in the arse.

Growing old is about making way for the new.

Greek Deadline Fatigue

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog on April 24, 2015

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slogging-through-mud

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Greece: Deadline fatigue is in danger of boring us all to death

I went for a long lie down in a cool room this afternoon after a morning full of chores, followed by a lunchtime laying gravel, and then bordering it with rocks the size of Earth-threatening asteroids.

All of this, I’m here to tell you, was less tiring than Deadline Fatigue – a new board-game for all the family invented by the Eurogroupe-Varoufakis-IMF Toy Company.

I’m up and about again now, preparing dinner while lighting the fire-pit outside because the weather’s gone a little grey and chilly here. Things also seem to have gone a little chilly in the ‘tough’ negotiations between sound economics on the one hand, and Jeroboam Drivelclown on the other. Tough or not, this ridiculous paint-drying championship could have been predicted from Day One.

I shrink, as always, from the limelight; but as it happens, The Slog did piss off just about everyone at the outset by suggesting there were no grounds at all for optimism on the subject of compromise.

I posted this gentle mickey-take on the chances of building bridges between Frankfurt and Athens last January 28th. What followed was obduracy after obduracy: the Draghi/Schauble ambush of Yanis Varoufakis in late February, and the rise and rise of their Dutch bumboy Dieselbang…with Pristine Lowgrade joining the ‘non’ tendency despite a Varoufakis attempt to charm the charmless.

The timeline, as one looks back now, really is almost funny: Greece must default on February 26th, then March 11th, then March24th, then April 14th. Reuters might just as well have had a daily column called ‘Another day, another deadline’.

All this week we’ve been fed with spin about ‘rapid progress being made’, but today’s free-for-all presser was nothing more than a statement of the obvious: the two sides are no nearer a compromise today than they were almost three months ago to the day.

The following realities need to be borne in mind in this poker marathon:

1. The weak card in the Syriza hand is without doubt that they have a mandate to tell Brussels to piss off, but not to take Greece out of the euro.

2. Over 50% of all Greeks believe they could be kicked out of the euro, although legally this is an impossibility.

3. The weak card in the Troika2 hand is that – despite what the markets might suggest now – the reality of a Greek default within the eurozone is that discontent contagion will swiftly follow….and whether or not that’s reflected immediately in bond yield spikes is neither here nor there. The markets would have to be deficient in all the primary senses not to spot that rebellion on such a scale spelt the end of the euro.

4. If Troika2 really was comfortable with the idea of Greek default, they would’ve engineered it by now: you are a boxer and you have the other guy on the ropes….do you just tickle him under the armpits and spin things out until the bell goes for the end of the round? I think not. Bear in mind that twice now, Draghi has continued to drip feed ELA funds to Greek banks. It is a very odd general indeed who plays to keep his enemies in the game.

5. Far away to the West, we are a little over 12 days away from the UK General Election. Nigel Farage is very excited because a new poll in the constituency he’s fighting – Thanet – puts him nine points clear…when just two weeks ago he looked in danger of losing. This is Nigel looking very excited:

nigelexcited24415Nigel gets excited by almost anything…a media crew, a flood, a camel hair coat, a pint of Old Scrotum and so on. But if there really is a Ukip surge about to take off, while it is highly unlikely to deliver more than four seats in total, this will nevertheless represent a third front opening against beleaguered Brussels-am-Berlin: not only an austerity rebellion in Greece and euro rebellions in Italy and Spain, but suddenly an EU rebellion in Britain. Marine Le Pen in France may very well intensify in the nightmare in two years time.

I do think now that the time is long past when anyone can credibly raise an argument to say that Master Tactician Yanis Varoufakis knows exactly what he’s up to, and every step is carefully planned: as I have written before, Yanis overestimated the leverage available to produce a compromise, and Troika2 drastically underestimated the unwillingness of the Greek electorate to buy into any more “serves you right” bollocks.

I still believe that in late February Varoufakis should have revealed the Eurogroupe perfidy and walked away from the ambush. But all this is now water under the bridge. The reality is that if a deal were to be reached now, it would have zero credibility in the markets, and a Syriza having done that deal would have zero electoral credibility at home.

Yanis thought it necessary to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Syriza was holding an olive branch, whereas the Troikanauts were wielding baseball bats. I suspect this was the truth: but it’s not the way the Western MSM have portrayed it.

The only honourable path ahead for Tsipras and Varoufakis now is to say, “Right – do your worst: we are not going to accept your neoliberal crap thinly disguised as “reform”. We will default inside the eurozone: let’s see how you like them apples”.

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