Brexit Negotiations Begin

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election

So we’ve had the General Election, Labour didn’t win a majority but it won a convincing enough gain to keep the Tories nervously looking over their shoulders, and so they should. Having gone to the country asking for an endorsement of her vision of Brexit the country decided it wasn’t interested in Theresa May’s vision of what Britain would look like under a Tory-led exit from Europe that would, in a short space of time, strip every piece of legislation, every hard won right that ordinary people depend on in their daily lives and reduce this country to a third world hell hole run by amateurs, crooks, thieves and gangsters who just happen to be sitting in the House of Commons.

The amateurs have already started negotiating in Brussels for the divorce papers and, despite bragging that the UK had the upper hand and would “show this lot in Brussels that they couldn’t mess with us”, capitulated at the first bit of negotiation. Theresa May went to Brussels yesterday to discuss the rights of EU citizens as well as UK citizens in Europe and offered a mealy mouthed arrangement that could so easily be reneged upon by the UK, and in fact would be.

To be perfectly frank I just wish Theresa May would just go and take the rest of the Tories with her. She and her band of carpet baggers are embarrassing the UK with their duplicitous attempt at extricating us from the EU. They give us platitudes and sound bites and expect us to be satisfied with this. I’m glad those in Brussels are demanding more meat on the bones, so to speak, because I really don’t think the Tories have the capability to negotiate properly. They don’t possess the intelligence to do this, they don’t possess the finesse to be able to put serious proposals before far more experienced negotiators and you can see exactly what the Tories are up to.

These are public school educated children who have been told from a young age that the world owes them and all they have to do is make demands, stamp their feet
and people will happily give them whatever they want. Welcome to the real world of the 21st Century, it doesn’t work like that. It shows them up for what they really are,
amateurs, real amateurs. Rich people who buy their way into politics (more and more like the USA these days) play god with peoples lives and have no skill sets, have never done anything other than politics and no idea how the world really works.

Theresa May has already shown she is happy to do deals with the most corrupt regimes in the world for money, she is also prepared to do deals with bigots such as
the DUP. However, in the latter case they may just find a set of soul mates as the Tories are also small minded bigots, which is how we’ve got into the mess we’re in today. I think its a good juncture to pause and reflect on where we are today and where we want to be in the future. David Cameron promised an In/out referendum because he was scared that UKIP would divide voter support and the Labour party would get in. He also did it to mask the divisions that have been in the Tory party for decades. Cameron lost, could face up to the fact that he’d have to sort the mess out, so capitulated. Enter Theresa May who is a lightweight and a small minded bigot of outstanding proportions who wriggles and squirms her way around, couldn’t commit to any detail and then as soon as she comes up with a detail it slips away never to be seen again. She accuses Nicola Sturgeon of wanting an independent Scotland only to give it over to the EU to rule, but May wants to do the same with the UK, get us out of the EU and give us over to the USA. As a matter of observation, looking at the utter mess the USA is in I would rather remain in the EU. The EU isn’t perfect and certainly the drive for “more Europe” is insane and should be curtailed as it really is in danger of collapsing in on itself under the weight of regulation and “togetherness”.  I’m happy for there to be another General Election, in fact let’s have one every month until we get a Labour government in. At least that way we will have grown ups who can negotiate properly and will put the welfare of ordinary people before the welfare of the rich.

Post British General Election 2017

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election, London Life

The General Election 2017 Part 1 is over and its a hung parliament. I haven’t changed my mind about Theresa May, in fact she has diminished in my estimation further than she was at the beginning. The Tories have shown themselves to be the utter sleazebags and used car salesmen they’ve always been. They may have better accents than the rest of us, but they are the absolute dregs of what passes for human beings. I feel unclean even thinking about them.

The best thing about this election has been watching Jeremy Corbyn grow in stature and confidence as the election campaign went on. I admit I’ve had doubts in the past as to whether his style would bear any real substance but no, he’s proved me wrong and I like what I see. I just hope the real Labour party can hold it together long enough for when the next election is called, which won’t be long now, and people realise that it’s not just Theresa May who can’t deliver, but the whole Tory Party machine just hasn’t got what it takes without dragging everyone down to their level of incompetence.

The media have also been very even handed in handling their questions and haven’t allowed either party to get away with easy questions. It was refreshing to see them getting people to question MPs rather than just presenters. My money is on another general election being called in October/November. The present lot of Tories who’ve kept their jobs for now haven’t got the necessary negotiating skills to ensure we leave with any goodwill from Europe, which will be needed to negotiate any trade deals that may need to be agreed. They come from privileged backgrounds and as a result feel the world owes them. It doesn’t. This is a very interesting time to be alive. We need not just a change of faces at the top, we need a change in the way of working that benefits as many people as possible because we’re the ones who make things happen. Rich people are only interested in filling their pockets with our hard earned money.

I’ve always said there is a reason why politicians want us all to work really hard, it so we won’t notice they’re picking our pockets while we do so.

New World Order, What Does it Mean?

European Commission, General Election

In the past few years there have been a great many conspiracy theories as to the nature of the New World Order, in other worlds the likely scenarios that the shape of the world would look like. Some of these have been amusing, many have been based on fear, usually apocalyptic visions of people being ground down to no more than mere worker ants with no rights to life of any kind outside of factory/shop/office. With the French elections out of the way and Donald Trump’s first visit as POTUS there seems to be a way of ascertaining what this New World Order will look like and it’s interesting.

Firstly the meeting of the G7 ended with Trump refusing to endorse the climate agreement and criticising the EU over military spending. This has led Angela Merkel to conclude that EU countries “can no longer rely on the support of others” and, together with the newly elected Mackron, will look to “take our fate into our own hands as Europeans”. This inevitably means that the European project will gather at a faster pace, especially now that the UK has served divorce papers to be severed from the EU. This was especially telling as Merkel said “…. I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands – of course in friendship with the United States of America, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbours wherever that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia.”

It seems as though all those years ago when Charles de Gaulle said of the UK that it was no more than a vassal state of the USA and that by letting the UK into the EU it would inevitably let the USA in as well. This has been very evident in the past 8 years or so in how the US encouraged Ukraine to annexe itself from Russia into, what is now a hinterland of nowhere. By imposing sanctions on Russia and refusing to rescind them, despite the fact it is not Russia who is showing aggression but Ukraine, encouraged by the USA, this has led to the EU economy stagnating through lack of trade, has led to millions of people being made unemployed,
even homeless.

This, together with the unending laws that keep coming from Brussels which led to mismanagement of the UK by its successive governments led to the inevitable vote to divorce from the EU last year which has resulted in the UK government aligning itself every more quickly with distasteful regimes such as selling military equipment to Saudi Arabia and chasing the USA for a trade agreement like a love lorn girl. Thankfully a dose of reality is being put in place very quickly.

The UK has been informed that the USA isn’t really interested in trade deals, as we don’t make anything anymore, certainly nothing of any value that can be plundered. The UK will have to understand that aligning itself to the USA which is a dying entity will do more harm than good to us and our standing in the world. Yes, we can revive relations with New Zealand and Australia which will be good for all concerned, but we will lose a great deal more than just simply trading relations.

The EU will revive relations with Russia and China which will help EU economies greatly, particularly as the new Silk Road project or One Belt, One Road initiative and one that the UK will greatly regret in not joining for many years. It seems as though the EU will do very well without us, although initially it may falter through lack of cash injection through UK payments into EU coffers. I almost get the feeling the EU has been held back by the UK, but the UK has been pulled forward by the EU and without that input, socially the UK will stagnate.

I realise this is a departure from my stance last year when, in the lead up to the EU Referendum I was convinced the right thing to do was to leave. However in recent weeks I have come to the conclusion that the whole EU Referendum was a huge hoax played on the British people and the government are taking the British people for fools. The EU Referendum was not about all the things the politicians promised us (which were 80%) lies, it was about keeping the Tory party from imploding.

The reason Theresa May called an election was not just because it was feared there were about to be scandals of arrests for budgetary fraud at the last general election, nor that, having served divorce papers TM wanted to capitalise on delivering the results of the EU Referendum, it was to keep the Tory party together so it wouldn’t fall  apart like Labour. She alluded to this in her speech when she entered 10 Downing Street and again when she announced the election. Its about the party, not
about the electorate who they couldn’t give a damn about. The more divided the country is the better, so long as the Tory party remains together and appears strong, whatever that is.

If anyone is in any doubt about TM’s Brexit strategy I will spell it out in plain English. TM’s team will flounce out of negotiations because none of them could negotiate their way out of a wet paper bag, will claim victory and we will have to trade on WTO terms which are not always beneficial. The world has, is and continues to change very rapidly and we will need to ensure we are either in a position to take part in the changes and benefit from them, or we will go the same way as the USA,
redundant, ridiculed and surplus to requirements. The UK certainly should not emulate Trump and practice isolationism.

The Real Tory Party and Its Relationship With the Voters of the UK

European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election

It’s been an interesting week politically, the noise from the European Continent has quietened down as the French have chosen their President and the Eurocrats have settled back into their bottles of cognac and expensive wines.   In the UK Theresa May has finally decided to “meet” ordinary people on her campaign trail which has been stage managed so far with the only people being the Tory party faithful. This meeting came firstly on an interview she had   with her husband on a BBC show in the early evening, I didn’t watch it as I don’t think the BBC makes any programmes worth watching anymore and its news coverage is so biased it ought to be renamed “the government mouthpiece”. I cannot bring myself to forgive them for nuturing and covering up for known paedophiles in its organisation and, as an organisation, they just make me sick.

Theresa May’s second foray into meeting ordinary people came on the Nick Ferrari show on LBC. It was a good interview and well balanced, and I particularly liked the fact that it was left to the contributing public to put some really hard questions to TM who did her best to duck out of answering them. I have to confess I listened to this up until she was being questioned on the NHS and really couldn’t stomach the blatant lies that woman was saying.

However I took a few insights into this election and the tory party in general from this. Firstly, however much the Tories deride Labour and charge them with wanting to put up taxes after the general election, be absolutely assured this is what the Tories will do and they will do it to ordinary people who cannot carry any more burdens than have already been placed upon them. Secondly, this election is not about wanting a strong mandate for Brexit, it certainly isn’t about wanting a strong and stable leadership, its about keeping the tory party together so they don’t end up like Labour, various factions fighting it out among themselves. This is what she was alluding to when she talked about the country being more united. It’s not the country that’s more united, its the politicians who are more united against the will of the people. Yes, Article 50 has been triggered but that’s only the start, there’s a lot of negotiation to go before we get to the end point and get to see exactly what kind of Brexit we will have.

Will there be the kind of Brexit where we are allowed access to the EEC (the trading part of the EU) and still have to have migration from EU countries which, while the situation with incoming muslims into Europe is an issue, its certainly not something people in the UK would be happy about. Will there be a fudge (which I certainly think there will be) where our negotiatators give up certain ground in order to ensure we maintain some of the things we have become accustomed to having, such as free movement when we go on holidays, being able to buy olive oil, olives, salamis, cheeses, wines, beer and spirits cheaply but continue paying money to them; or will we have the kind of Brexit where TM flounces out of the negotiations, tells the Eurocrats to get stuffed and trade on WTO rules but regain the right to secure our borders, etc., etc..

It seems to me that the whole scenario that we have all been a part and fallen into the trap of, was to keep the Tory party together.

The Labour party has its Blairites, many of whom will either go or lose their seats in any case in this election. There will then be a group of people who will be the Labour party, party of the working people socialist in nature, working for a fairer society which is no bad thing. There will probably be a new party made up of whatever is left of the Blairites who will be Tory lite in the same manner Blair was. The other parties don’t really matter, they are
just there to make up the numbers and certainly don’t pose any threat to the established parties.

The Tory party is just as divided but they are a bit more disciplined in hiding it, but the one thing that has brought them together is the question of whether we are better off inside the EU or outside. There are those on both sides of the argument and these are the ones who will either return or be voted out. Looking at the election from the perspective of the Tory party, it really IS all about Brexit and whether May can get away with sticking 2 fingers up at Brussels and get away with it. What the electorate think really doesn’t matter, we’ll just have to lump it and get on with it. This explains the disdain the Tories have for the electorate and why the really do think voters are an irrelevance except when it comes to asking us to let them continue on their gravy train regardless.

Another interesting nugget of information Theresa May likes to bandy about publicly is her background as a vicar’s daughter, that she is a churchgoer and how her father instilled in her the idea of public service. I realise politicians are hypocrites, but she just keeps spinning like something out of a horror film. She probably is a churchgoer but she is not a Christian. Her father must have instilled in her a hate of public service because she is hellbent on
reducing public services in the UK to rubble. Cameron reduced the fire service so there are more deaths caused by fire now than there were 8 years ago, GP services are being decimated, as are services within the NHS, local government services, care for the elderly and young. People using food banks just to feed themselves is a national scandal that the Tories seem perfectly at ease with. The picture she likes to portray as someone who is strong may be fine for the Tory party who are mostly public school types who probably have fond memories of their nannies when they were children, but for the rest of us she is a cold blooded, heartless, hollowed out shell of an excuse for a human being and I certainly do not see her as fit to hold office, certainly not fit to be re-elected, Brexit or not Brexit.

To summarise: Having established that the Westminster bubble is alive and well in the political party system and the unity Theresa May alluded to in her General Election speech referred to how unified politicians are against the voting public, it is more important than ever that voters appraise their and May’s performance as PM so far and question whether the road she wants to travel down is one we want to join with her. More importantly, we need to convey to the politicians what kind of Britain we want to live in for the longer term, not just the next 5 years.  This needs some deliberate and careful thought and discussion.

Snap Election!

General Election, London Life

It’s been a while since posting but at last there is something to write about. The UK elections that Theresa May has called because her arm has been twisted because of illegal activities done in the last general election in the UK whereby up to 30-40 MPs are about to be prosecuted for false accounting which would be a major source of embarrassment to May and cut her working majority down dramatically. Any notion that she is a “strong leader” is poppycock. She only appears strong because the Labour party is in such a mess. Thatcher had the same easy ride in the 1980s because Michael Foot was Labour party leader.  He makes Comrade Steptoe (Corbyn), as he’s known, look like a great orator by comparison.  Theresa May talks absolute gibberish. None of her speeches make any sense. She uses emolient words that sound nice but when you actually analyse them, mean nothing at all.

My personal thoughts are that Brexit is being used as a distraction from other policies that are being pushed through behind the scenes, such as the deterioration of the NHS, schools, fire service, local community care services, housing and education, to name a few.

Of course there is the other player in the pack that also has an impact on how people will vote in an election, and that is the media. Since the Levison Enquiry that has tarnished the reputation of the entire press establishment and shown publicly just how incestuously close politicians and the press really are. As Cameron did very little to admonish the press it is safe to assume that the unwritten contract between government and the press has been that the press are utterly the government mouthpiece, or propaganda pushers. It is hard for the press to completely divorce themselves from this role in order to shine a light on the real issues of Theresa May’s policies and hold her government to account as it should be at this time.
As we have already had 10 months of Theresa May’s policies and she is unable to distance herself entirely from her predecessor’s policies, I think it’s only right to examine them closely.

Theresa May became prime minister by default of a party election after Cameron resigned, having lost the Brexit referendum. Since then she has shown herself to be evasive when she is pursuing policies she does not want scrutinised, heartless, uncaring about people who really are struggling and, as someone who has never had children (and yes, I will bring that subject up as it does make a difference in someone’s persona a psyche) is happy to use them in her propaganda (remember the Christmas cards made by children) to try to portray a softer image, but has no idea how tough life can be when you’re trying to make ends meet on low wages.

She supported the hated Bedroom Tax, she has failed to support disabled and long term sick people who really need our help and support. She is happy to cut the meagre benefits they are forced to live on and cut housing benefit which would see these vulnerable people living on the streets because, in her eyes, they do not contribute. I would argue thus:

In any society there will always be a core of people who are unable to do paid work, usually because of illness or because they are carers or other circumstances. It is absolutely right that they are given the support they need through benefits and this should never be denied to them, nor cut. It is the mark of a civilised society that the most vulnerable people are supported all their lives and if we in the UK want to consider ourselves civilised then this is what we should be doing.

Whatever system you devise for claiming benefits there will always be a small group of people who will claim benefits fraudulently. While you can put such people under surveillance to catch them out, and should, the amounts they claim are miniscule by comparison to the amounts of money that are given to rich people and companies by way of tax cuts, methods of tax evasion. Even the amount of money that is given to the Royal family in Britain. This is a family that is richer than any of us can imagine, they don’t need money and yet they are given millions. The Queen even has the audacity to claim more money because she can’t afford to have the builders in to do a few repairs, yet if you’re average family in social housing does the same they are made to wait months if not years in freezing, damp conditions before any upgrade. I would sooner and rather give money to those who really need it, the sick, disabled, unemployed, retired, young families than to rich people who are just parasites to the rest of society.

The mainstream press should stop demonising ordinary people for claiming benefits and start criticising the rich people and companies who evade paying their fair share of tax which puts an unfair burden on working people. That’s something people should care about because it directly affects us. Any party who will tackle this in reality is a party worthy of consideration for my vote.

Another point that is worth mentioning is over the years governments have made employment a precarious situation whereby more regulations are imposed, rights diminished, shoddy work practices become commonplace and workers are forced to re-apply for their own jobs. I think elections should also be treated in the same way but in reverse. Politicians are re-applying for their jobs and we should judge whether they have been doing their jobs properly either collectively or individually and vote accordingly. No politician should be allowed to behave in the arrogant manner so many of them do and consider themselves unaccountable when it comes to elections. Look, listen and question.

A New Dawn Has Come

European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election

Well that was the surprise that wasn’t, at least not to those of us normal people who have been kicked around by the system over the last 40 years or so, all over the world, not just the USA. Donald Trump has made it to the White House and how the politicians around the world are howling in disbelief and horror, well not all of them, but there are many who are. Goldman Sachs is threatening to leave London and relocate in Germany to which I say “good riddance”. Any other banking institution that is going to do the same can also leave because in due course the EU will cease to exist. The natives are restless and that can only be the best thing to have happened in many, many years.

For far too long the world political game has been dominated by those with money who have removed themselves from the ordinary people whose votes they depend on to get elected. Those same politicians who then completely ignore the needs and wishes of the ordinary people who toil away providing for their families, paying taxes which are then mis-spent on pet projects or used to grease the wheels of politics. The same ordinary people who have become the playthings of politicians who take it in turns to provide employment one day, and then create the conditions that make those same people unemployed and dependent on help, charity, benefits. Those same people who are demonised, forgotten and held in contempt.

Here in the UK we had BREXIT on 23rd June which many of our politicians are desperately trying to wriggle out of because they realise that they will have nowhere else to go once they lose their job at the next general election (which is a good thing as they are completely unemployable and as useful as a chocolate teapot!). In America the decline in the quality of candidates has been pretty much zero for many years. Reagan was a puppet who would just read the lines given to him, the Bushes (senior and W) were a complete disaster and while Clinton may have done well on the economic front, but “that incident” will always overshadow any good he may have done. Obama only did one good thing and that was to introduce Obamacare, the affordable healthcare act. The rest of his administration was rudderless and littered with broken promises.

In the last couple of years the US has ramped up the rhetoric against Russia needlessly in order to prove how “strong” the US really is. Every step the USA has taken has backfired spectacularly as they don’t seem to understand that the Soviet Union has transformed into a modern, fully functioning country that it more than capable of giving the US a run for its money. History has shown that any country which has tried to wrestle the bear has failed. Now that Donald Trump has won the election there is a collective sigh of relief from many ordinary people that World War 3 has been averted. Had Clinton won I can only imagine there would have been a bloodbath that would dwarf the lives lost in both WW1 and WW2 in the last century. For that reason alone I can only hope that the whispers of Chelsea Clinton making a bid for the White House in future years remain just that, whispers. Apart from her mother I cannot think of a less suitable person to enter politics than her. A rich woman who has never had to work in her life, grew up in the White House, probably has servants to wait on her (nanny, PA, hair dresser, etc., etc., same thing) has no idea what it is to make a few dollars stretch from one end of the week to the next and whether there would be enough to eat, or pay the bills.

Over here in the UK and EU it’s interesting that there are those politicians, senior civil servants desperately clamouring to “teach” Trump about the policy towards Russia and then there’s the drunken Juncker in Brussels and Hollande (who will soon be out of office anyway) and the even more reviled jew dwarf Sarkozy (who is trying to get back in, I sincerely hope he doesn’t) who would like to school the Donald in how things are done in Europe. I think these political failures need to understand a few things.

1. BREXIT and the election of Donald Trump are not an aberration, not an accident, not a slip of the pencil in the voting booth. They are the lawful way in which the majority of people whose taxes are being abused by those in government to tell the politicians they are sick of being treated like shit, being lied to and taken for granted.

2. You don’t become a successful billionaire businessman by being an idiot, careless or not knowing what you’re doing. At 70 years of age Donald Trump knows his own mind and how he wants to approach matters. He may need to re-think some of his policies but on the whole I think he’s looking in the right direction. Scrapping TPP and TTIP as well as a host of other transatlantic treaties would be a good thing and needn’t take as long as some say it will. A simple repeal bill would do and I believe there is the theory of nullification which may also be used at the new President’s behest, whether that is the best way forward remains to be seen but there are always ways around most problems. Remember, what can be done can also be undone, so it’s not that big a deal.

3. Dealing with criminal elements coming into a country is also a legitimate way of preventing undesirable elements entering into a country, thereby keeping it citizens safe. This is something the UK wishes to do and something that was lost in the last couple of years through the Schengen scheme. Free movement of people who share the same values and outlook is perfectly acceptable. Europeans with Europeans is fine. Americans with Americans is fine. The moment you introduce an element that does not share your outlook or values there will be trouble. However much they complain Muslims are and always will be a problem. Like the Jews they feel they are “exceptional, special even”; they feel they should be given special treatment; they feel they should impose their ways and beliefs on their host country; they have no interest in integrating or contributing and consider paedophilia a normal way of life and also maiming and killing.

In this instance Donald Trump and Theresa May should have much in common as we’ve had similar problems since the ISIS reared its ugly head and there seems to be a consensus of muslims who think ISIS are a cool thing to be a part of.

4. Mending ties with Russia is probably the smartest thing a US president could do. Russia is a large country, larger than the USA and has a lot of clout, particularly in Europe. The sanctions have hurt the EU economies greatly and I am astounded that neither Germany nor France put their collective feet down and told Obwana to fuck off and not interefere in the EU economies. Had they done this then the EU would not be in the mess it’s in now. EU leaders, if you can call them that, are held in so much contempt as is the whole EU project that the only way forward is to reassert who we are. White Christian Europeans will not be part of the Coudenhove-Kalerghi plan. We will not be wiped out by savages and inbreeds, we will not interbreed with them.

I would put forward that the way out of this impasse which will now be given more impetus through Donald Trump’s election is that rather than relying on cheap immigrant labour, each country put more effort and money into family stability, not necessarily marriage, but committed relationships. Where children are the centre of family life, are given good, free education that equips them for skills they will need in their futures. Where mothers are not forced back into work only months after giving birth but allowed to bring them up and give children stable upbringing without worrying about paying bills, putting food on the table and so on. Where fathers are encouraged to remain in relationships for their own good and that of their families. In this way there will be more work, better paid.

Work structures also need to be looked at. If the normal working week was no more than 28 hours per week at full pay and benefits this would be more satisfactory for all concerned and would pretty much guarantee full employment, a proper work/life balance and thriving economy. People would work better because they had more energy, families would work better, children would be better behaved because they had their parents attention properly, people would have the time to have their lives and relationships. It makes no sense to have a dichotomy of either/or, it doesn’t work and disenfranchises people from the main system. Despite tinkering around the edges over the years, the work structure hasn’t really changed. If anything, it’s become more entrenched and either you work all the hours there are or you’re unemployed.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the American people for voting in someone who isn’t part of the system, who can bring much needed fresh ideas that have a better chance of working for the good of the many, the 99%, not just the 1%. Thank you.

The Real Battle Begins

democracy, General Election, London Life

So the new battle begins to find a new leader for the Tory party and it brings out some very strange characters, each of whom is looking to massage their own ego.

On the one hand there is Theresa May who has been the most divisive, xenophobic Home Secretary I can recall in many years. This is the Home Secretary who has pushed through legislation that allows spying on ordinary people through computer and phone records on an industrial scale at the behest of the USA, who is happy to push through legislation that stops anyone putting up an alternative political party or giving another point of view during an election year. She would simply push for a totalitarian state Stalin would have been proud of. I simply cannot imagine a less suitable person to be PM and lead the UK Brexit talks to a conclusion that would benefit both the UK and EU. I dread to think how she would behave in a climate of foreign nationals having to negotiate a deal whereby Britain leaves the EU in amicable circumstances, I’m pretty sure she would do more harm than good.

Another candidate is Michael Gove the former Education Minister who tried to push forward education plans to further privatise education and dumb down the same for children from poor families. Failed

Jeremy Hunt the Health Secretary is another one who has thrown his hat in the ring, but I doubt will last the course. This is another minister who has bullied his way through trying to privatise the NHS and managed to achieve something quite extraordinary, junior doctors and other health professionals striking for the first time in decades in opposition to his plans and thinking that just because he is a minister he can simple force his plans through regardless of what others may think. Failed.

There are three other people largely unknown Liam Fox, Stephen Crabb and Andrea Leadsom. The only one of these who stands out for me is Andrea Leadsom who took part in some of the debates on the EU Referendum and was very much in favour of Britain leaving. If I were to make a decision as to who would be the most suitable person for leader of the Tory party at this juncture it would have to be Andrea Leadsom simply because she was fully behind the decision to leave the EU and would therefore have a full understanding of why so many people voted to leave. The others are simply careerists who have their own agenda and don’t give a fig for the greater good of the UK.

The media absolutely love Theresa May who remotely reminds them of Thatcher. However, the media do not run the country and the people will have their say. The appetite for another heartless, sociopathic robot as PM simply isn’t there, so even if she is voted in by fellow Tories, won’t win the public vote.

 

Tak więc nowy Walka zaczyna się znaleźć nowego lidera dla partii torysów i wydobywa kilka bardzo dziwnych znaków, z których każdy stara się masować swoje własne ego.

Z jednej strony jest Theresa May, który był najbardziej podziały, ksenofobicznym Home Secretary Pamiętam wiele lat. To jest minister spraw wewnętrznych, który przeforsował ustawodawstwa, które pozwala szpiegostwo na zwykłych ludzi za pośrednictwem komputera i telefonu rekordy na skalę przemysłową na żądanie USA, który jest szczęśliwy, aby przeforsować przepisy, które zatrzymuje ktoś stawiania alternatywną partię polityczną lub udzieleniu inny punkt widzenia w trakcie roku wyborczym. Ona po prostu dążyć do totalitarnego państwa Stalin byłby dumny. Po prostu nie mogę sobie wyobrazić mniej odpowiedniej osoby do bycia PM i prowadzić rozmowy UK Brexit do wniosku, że korzyści zarówno w Wielkiej Brytanii i UE. Boję się pomyśleć, jak będzie ona zachowywać się w klimacie cudzoziemców mających negocjować umowę, zgodnie z którą Brytanii pozostawia do UE w przyjaznych okolicznościach, jestem całkiem pewny, że zrobi więcej szkody niż pożytku.

Innym kandydatem jest Michael Gove były minister edukacji, który próbuje pchnąć do przodu planów edukacyjnych w celu dalszego prywatyzacji edukacji i niemych dół same dla dzieci z ubogich rodzin. Niepowodzenie

Jeremy Hunt Sekretarz Zdrowia jest kolejnym, który rzucił czapkę w ringu, ale wątpię, będzie trwał kurs. Jest to kolejny minister, który zastraszany drogę przez próbuje sprywatyzować NHS i udało się osiągnąć coś zupełnie niezwykłego, junior lekarzy i innych pracowników służby zdrowia uderzające po raz pierwszy od kilkudziesięciu lat w opozycji do swoich planów i myśli, że tylko dlatego, że jest ministrem potrafi prosta siła jego plany poprzez niezależnie od tego, co inni mogą myśleć. Nie powiodła się.

Istnieją trzy inne osoby w dużej mierze nieznane Liam Fox, Stephen Crabb i Andrea Leadsom. Tylko jeden z nich, który wyróżnia się dla mnie jest Andrea Leadsom, którzy wzięli udział w kilku debatach na temat referendum unijnym i był bardzo na korzyść Brytanii wyjeżdża. Gdybym miał podjąć decyzję o tym, kto będzie najbardziej odpowiednia osoba na lidera partii torysów w tym momencie, że to musi być Andrea Leadsom po prostu dlatego, że w pełni stał za decyzją o opuszczeniu UE i dlatego mają pełne zrozumienie, dlaczego tak wiele osób głosowało opuścić. Pozostali są po prostu karierowiczów, którzy mają swoje własne cele i nie dają rys dla dobra Wielkiej Brytanii.

Media uwielbiam Theresa May, którzy zdalnie przypomina im Thatcher. Jednak media nie działają kraj i ludzie będą mieli do powiedzenia. Apetyt na kolejny nieczułego, socjopatycznego robota jako PM po prostu nie ma, więc nawet jeśli jest ona głosowało przez innych torysów nie wygra głosowaniu jawnym.

A Vote for Common Sense – At last

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election, London Life, trade agreement

Jeremy Corby has officially won the leadership election of the Labour Party by a whopping majority of 59.5% of the vote. Such a resounding vote puts paid to any notion of a second vote and any desperate cries of ruination of the UK firmly in the past.

Jeremy Corbyn is the right man for this time and in the Labour party.  After decades of divisive politics that have pitted one section of society against each other, men against women, rich against poor, sick against healthy, those needing the support of the state against those who can live comfortably and celebrated these divisions, Jeremy Corbyn will now show us his vision of the kind of society we can be again. The kind of society we were in the past but didn’t appreciate and I can’t wait for him to get going.

I look forward to the purge that ensues in the coming weeks & months of undercover Tories in what was the New Labour party which has now been unquestionably buried by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership election. This whole leadership campaign has shown these people for what they really are, Tories who are only interested in the Tory agenda, not the rights and protection of the working people. I’m sure they will be given a warm welcome on the tory benches but they should not be in any doubt that the real opposition has begun.   So far the Tories have had an easy ride – no longer is that the case.

I have previously written in this blog that the only kind of politics that will fire people’s bellies is one where the politicians have a vision of what the UK could really be and deliver that vision in full. What voters are utterly sick of is the double-speak.   The prose that paints one kind of picture that actually means something else entirely.

Six years ago when Cameron talked about his vision for a Britain where ordinary working people could have a share in society he meant the opposite. Those hard working people were thrown out of jobs, out of their homes, marginalised, called scroungers because they needed help. Exploited by companies who would only offer zero hours contracts on minimum wage (frequently less than minimum wage if they could get away with it). This went across occupations and trades, from a school leaver trying to get a few quid to make ends meet, to older people with families to support and also in, what have always been considered respectable professions, doctors, lawyers and so on.  This vision has been exposed for the lie it really is and yet he was voted in again because the “opposition” was nothing of the sort, Tory-lite.

Now we have a full-blooded opposition that actually means something and so many people want to see this come to fruition. I think we have turned the corner in the sick, sordid, depraved governance of our society that resides in Westminster, media and other institutions that promote the gloss and present it as reality.   I wish Jeremy Corbyn well and sincerely hope he delivers in full what he sets out to do.

I have also got to comment on the snide remarks made about Jeremy Corbyn even after such a resounding vote for him from reporters of the BBC.  It confirms that the BBC is simply the mouthpiece of the establishment and no longer deserves to be paid from licence fees.  If the BBC wants to have a future it must make its own way as other commercial stations do.  I certainly will not be adding any support to it or its employees.  The BBC promoter of child paedophiles and sordid creatures paraded as human beings.

The Fight Goes On ……….

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election, trade agreement

Very pleased to be able to report that in Brussels this week we saw that democracy in its purest sense actually working.   Although elections are held regularly in the EU, how MEPs are actually grouped together in parties does not seem very straightforward; furthermore with all the directives that are issued by the EU to member countries it sometimes feels quite remote from how people live their daily lives. On Friday the vote on TTIP was postponed until over the weekend.   This is merely a pyrrhic victory as there is a long, long way to go before this particular issue has been dealt with satisfactorily.

Over 200 amendments had been tabled to a wide-ranging package of recommendation on TTIP which would feed into the EU Commission’s negotiation with US trade officials.   Few MEPs have ever seen such wholescale opposition to an agreement that would singularly wipe away all the rights and protections in health, education and employment that have been hard won by generations of Europeans.

There have been widespread anti-TTIP marches against this agreement across Europe among a people from many different backgrounds.   Unfortunately this will have to go back to the EU parliament’s trade committee for redrafting next week (June 15-19), but these drafts will need to be incorporated and discussed among MEPs at all levels. This is an issue that will not go away.

I was also very pleased to read that Obama has been roundly defeated 302 vote to 126 to fast-track the trade agreements TTIP, TTP and TiSA by the US Senate which will encourage a breathing space for those in the USA to carefully consider all the oppositions, points and amendments raised and their ramifications.

Although I understand that these trade agreements have been put forward as a counter to President Putin’s successful implementation of BRICS and other trade agreements with Russia’s Eastern Asian countries, they are also designed to undermine the countries TTIP, TTP and TiSA party to those agreements.   I have plainly stated that these supposed “benefit” to EU counties so far as TTIP is concerned is so miniscule as to be insulting. The benefit is not about trade, but about the ability to seize assets, plunder resources and enslave people for the benefit of corporations.

That EU MEPs seriously think that by stalling, holding negotiations in secret is something the EU electorate would take lightly is a serious mistake. This is not the time to take a breather, but to keep pushing, pressurising MEPs to retain our standards, our rights to good education, healthcare, environments, food and water, homes and uphold our rights with regards to the Human Rights Act.

US interests wish to water these down and our own weak, ineffectual UK government may be happy to enable this, but more than ever it is important that the foundations on which the EU was built should be upheld and the EU Parliament should grow a pair, tell the USA, IMF, WTO, and other quasi-organisations to get lost and stop interfering and undermining what is a pretty good working relationship with each other.

Snapshot of Current Political Landscape

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election, London Life, trade agreement

We have some interesting debates going on here in the UK. On the one hand we have David Cameron campaigning in Europe to change fundamental things such as the basis for the Lisbon Treaty which advocated ever closer union between the EU countries which would include fiscal, banking, military, taxes and judicial convergence; on the other we have the Labour party doing a bit of soul searching and still going in the wrong direction with some of their candidates.

 

I’ve already written my views about where the Labour party should go and how, despite hearing people on the doorsteps of Britain during the election hustings in the last month, very few politicians have actually listened to what was being said. Labour no longer connects with the ordinary working people, but seem intent on talking to themselves in Westminster, bugger the rest of the country. How much further do they or we have to go before their realise they are simply unelectable in their present state?

Cameron on the other hand is facing a very daunting prospect of renegotiating treaties signed up to, Maastricht and Lisbon among others. I think it is unheard of for an incumbent Prime Minister to decide that they would like to make amendments to existing treaties signed up to by Prime Ministers decades previously.   It is also a very dangerous path for Cameron to tread as he could find himself in conflict internationally (these same treaties have a bearing on agreements closer to home such as the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland), but that if politicians can pick and choose which treaties they will abide by and which they won’t, anarchy will truly prevail as, surely the rest of us can choose which laws we will and won’t abide by?

This is also very closely coupled with the Tory party idea of unhitching the UK from the Human Rights Act 1999 and goes some way to unveiling the real plans behind the future of the UK when TTIP comes into force shortly. At present there is a great deal of antipathy towards TTIP and the idea of corporations having a greater say in the lives of ordinary people above our elected representatives both inside Europe and also in the USA.   There has never been a time where anything other than those who are directly dependent on the support of the people, whether they are monarchy or government, seem to think they should direct how people should live. This isn’t merely a small change that will barely have any difference to how we live, but will impact on so many areas of our lives.

Furthermore the “sixty bastards” referred to by Paddy Ashdown during the election are threatening to resign if they don’t get their way. Utter arrogance and Cameron should call their bluff. Question is, where would they go? UKIP have been reduced to one MP from two, so clearly not as popular with the electorate as they like to imagine. Setting up a rival anti-EU party will equally go down like a ton of bricks with voters.   I think these politicians forget they are only where they are because the British public voted for them and they can vote against them in an election, so really they can’t do very much, but so predictably arrogant of them to imagine their considerations weigh far and above those of the electorate.

The Juridical Persons so often mentioned in TTIP (third party, or shell companies acting on behalf of a main company) will do all they can to avoid and evade liability. All the more reason to resist such entities.

My apologies if I appear to talk about little else than TTIP and the Human Rights Act at present, but these are so absolutely fundamentally pivotal to how we live our lives at present and how we also fear the HRA will be compromised by TTIP, as well as the looming deadline in both the USA and Brussels of voting this agreement into the statutes of both the USA and Europe; not to mention them as is being done in mainstream media would be criminal in my view.

My Soul is so Empty

democracy, democratic rights, General Election, London Life

After the UK general elections the Labour party is searching its soul to find out why it failed at the polling booth and how it can regain the trust of the voters. It may come as a surprise but the defeat of Ed Balls and several others in the old Blair camp has been the first step. Ed Miliband standing down as leader was the second but the most important step is re-engagement with working people and this means electing as leader someone who has actually worked in the real world.

Again the Labour party seem to think that if they continue to appeal to middle class voters (who are shrinking in number pretty fast under the tory regime) they will win again. Wrong. The truth is, New Labour are Tory-lite. They do not have any idea of what it is to have to work every day in the real world with real world problems just to do the basic, keep a roof over your head, clothes on your back & food in your belly. Nothing flash. It seems there are Unions also taking the same stance ensuring their own demise.

Have people who work in the real world and can come up with real world solutions to problems, not be led by the nose by some editorial newspaper.   Secondly, have people who can count and run a budget sensibly. Tax revenues are not a free-for-all for ministers to do with as they wish. Tax revenues are there to be spent on things like education, healthcare, social care of the young and elderly, fire fighting, decent infrastructure (roads, trains) etc.   Certainly not on vanity projects that make good news headlines. Get these right and Labour should be electable in 5 years.

A New World beckons, or does it?

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election, London Life, Scottish Referendum, trade agreement

So after the excitement of a general election we are left in the situation of the morning after the night before of facing the fact we have a tory majority government who are now hell bent on unleashing their version of what the UK should look like. The nightmare begins. I just hope those who voted tory can feel justified in doing so in 5 years’ time.

The first act of the new government is to repeal the Human Rights Act. This is an act that has been demonised in the UK press as a “get out of jail card” for unwanted criminals to continue being a nuisance to the UK justice system. However what is overlooked by many is that the HRA actually protects citizens from the worst excesses of the executive (government) and gives a framework of agreed standards that everyone should be treated as. This is actually a good thing as it prevents the more rabid elements of government which seem to exist these days much more often, from over reaching their powers.   My fear is that all too often those in government become drunk on their own ego and power and somehow think they are invincible when they were elected to act for the good of their voters

This is particularly evident in reigning back redundancy payments for those who are made redundant. In the 1980s when whole swathes of industry were shut down under Margaret Thatcher, house prices were much cheaper (you could buy a decent 3-4 bedroom house for £30,000-£45,000), those who lost their jobs and very often had held those jobs for several years were entitled by law to receive redundancy payments of £30,000-£60,000 depending on the length of service. The idea of that level of redundancy payments was to allow you the ability to support yourself until you found another job elsewhere, which is perfectly reasonable. Many people at that time used that money to pay off outstanding mortgages which again, is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. This was reported in the press as something astonishing and should be banned. Redundancy payments are now a small fraction of what they were, which means that anyone with an outstanding mortgage is unable to secure their own home and if the worst comes to the worst, they are forced to live on the streets. This is seen more recently in the introduction of the hugely unpopular Bedroom Tax where sick and disabled people are forced to pay extra if they have bedrooms that are not occupied by family members. Often these spare rooms are used by carers or equipment needed to keep these people independent and mobile, rather than in hospitals and institutions.

This is the real politics of envy. The small-mindedness of those who have, that will not allow a shred of decency to those who have fallen on hard times, that they have to pay for the misfortune they find themselves in.   That somehow they deserve to be in the position they find themselves in.

The reality is that the tory government is emulating UKIP who, far from gaining seats in the general election, found their votes were dismally low, certainly not enough to return the same number of MPs they started with (2) now they only have 1.   Surely the message is clear. While there is a rump of dissatisfied, uneducated bigots they are outnumbered by those people who clearly see the danger of the point of view UKIP propose and would clearly lead to another holocaust as happened in Germany.   What is worrying is there are plenty of people who are happy to back such views

It will be interesting to see how Cameron thinks he will uncouple the UK from HRA and the European Convention of Human Rights without triggering an exit from the UK or Brexit as it’s popularly known. By returning the UK to an island rather than part of the European Continent, Cameron again demonstrates his poor judgement and the complete breakup of the UK, which will come sooner than anyone wishes.

The aftermath

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election, London Life, Scottish Referendum, trade agreement

I didn’t post yesterday as I’m rather shocked, as are a lot of people in the UK.  We’ve elected yet another tory government, only this time there won’t be much of an opposition to stop them implementing what will be the harshest, most divisive programme of legislation ever devised anywhere, except perhaps the USA.

I can’t quite come to terms with it and I’m still trying to make sense of it all.  I suppose you can only say that the “opposition” in the form of UKIP which allowed the tories to lurch even more to the right than they already were, were finally outed as just being anti-foreigners.  Farage blamed everyone else but himself for his rubbish performances, like a petulant child (a bit like the tories in the last 5 years).  Labour were absolutely abismal.  Mr No-Personality (Miliband) was a disaster from the start.  No backbone with the looks and manner that just turned my stomach and made me want to physically vomit.  I would not be able to put up with having him as PM for five years.  The LibDems were wiped out completely as I’d predicted.  Although they finally managed to get their act together from the second year in, they made the fatal mistake of capitulating on tuition fees for students and the British public never forgot and didn’t forgive this at the ballot box.  It’ll be a long time before they will be allowed anywhere near the number of seats they finally managed to get together after 100 years

Still, the good part of it is the opposition, such as it was has diminished hugely and there will be a lot of soul searching among them, particularly the LibDems and Labour.  Both parties forgot what they were there for and why.  The Labour party was set up as the party of the working people. Under Tony Blair the Labour party became the Tory-Lites, trying to be like the tories but not as nasty.  It lost the support of, and forgot about working people.

If the Labour party really want to reinvent themselves they need to remember this.  The fact they rely on the unions for their funding is no bad thing.  They are not in the pockets of the corporations and can honestly say their funding is based on the wealth and production of working people and because of that it makes them free-er to shape policies geared towards making life better for working people.

Of course working peoples lives should be aspirational, they should go to universities and evening classes to pursue qualifications that will further their careers and pursue interests. But it is by making working peoples work pay proper wages and salaries that more reflect the value of what they produce, giving working people a better quality of life that isn’t all about working until we drop dead, that there is the time for family committments which enhance communities, make lives richer to the point where everyone benefits in society.  While the UK is an island, as people we are not individual islands.  We rely on each other for things we use to make our lives better, on services that make our lives easier and stronger.  This is the world we need to build if we really want to go forward as a species.

The Evening before …… decision time

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, General Election, London Life, Scottish Referendum

Well, the hustings have now closed, as is usual politicians have made their promises, told their lies, obfuscated, dodged the hard questions and now 5 weeks on, there has not been any change in the polls.  Strangely there are suddenly arguments about the legitimacy of who is going to be in power with the main three parties arrogantly assuming its going to be business as usual., but that’s for another article.

For those readers of this blog not in the UK it goes like this

Conservative (Tory) – Right

Labour – centre Right

Lib Dem – Centre Right

UKIP – hard Right

I include UKIP as a fourth silent party as they have yet to get enough support to form a majority government, never mind majority party.  But their policies are such they have made a sizable impact on British politics with both tory and labour trying to out-do UKIP on its stance on immigrants.

At present it looks as though there will be a labour minority party with the smaller parties lending their support either on a piece by piece basis (which is the most likely) or to go in and form a government.

Considering the savage cuts that have been made in the name of austerity in the UK over the last 5 years with none of the supposed benefits it should have brought, our deficit is 3 times the size it was 5 years ago, there are more unemployed people or those on zero hours contracts that don’t cover the cost of living.  The use of food banks has quadrupled in the last five years, our beloved NHS is being sold off piece by piece to vultures and this will continue under a labour government.  The BBC is a disgrace and should no longer be funded through a licence fee.  Our public services have been cut to the bone and they will continue to be cut under labour, it is important to consider the type of society we want to be.

Personally I would prefer to have a society that puts the blame for the hard time we have had squarely where it belongs, on the bankers.  They are the ones who squandered millions and asked the taxpayers to foot the bill, which we have done to our detriment, while the bankers continue to pocket millions in bonuses.  I would like to see these people pay for the disaster they caused from their own pockets & leave the rest of us alone.  I would like to see a society that gives a damn about each other on a human-to-human basis.

To that end I would advocate voting for the minority parties as much as possible, each vote counts.  The reason for this is that each of the minority parties is against austerity and would redress the balance of endless cuts.  These are:

Green, SNP, Plaid Cymru.  There are other independent candidates who may garner a few protest votes, but I would like to see votes where they will make a difference to our lives.

Green, SNP and Plaid Cymru are more left leaning and actually give a damn about the kind of society we want to be.  These are where the votes will make a difference.

I think once the votes have been counted I would like to make a case for proportional representation which would be a better option and give more stability for government, but that’s for the days and weeks ahead.   Let’s make it happen.

Voting Matters

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election, London Life, Scottish Referendum

I was talking with a colleague yesterday who is very fired up about the election and doing her best to motivate people to make the effort and turn up at the General Election this week.  However, she seemed to think voting for anything other than the two main parties was a wasted vote.

I think this is probably the same feeling quite a few people have at the moment.  Either they haven’t made up their minds, or cannot stomach the idea of having another five years of the same slash and burn policies, returning the UK to the Victoria era where fundamental things such as homes, education, healthcare are at the heart of the country before profit but can’t see the other main party putting forward any credible policies.

Like me this colleague also feels the party with the most credible policies that would get the UK back on its feet again is a minority party and I’m going to say the same here as I said to her.

Vote for who you think is going to do the best for the UK, not just for a few privileged, but for communities across the country.   This is the only time you will see politicians actually panicking over their jobs and begging us to vote them back in.  This has a knock-on effect on what they promise, and they will promise the earth, the sun and the stars and, of course the moon on a stick.    Ignore these promises, they are the promises of an insincere lover.   Look at the policies put forward in the previous five years and judge on those alone.

Most importantly, go and vote at the polling station. Put your X against the name of the party you think will do its best for the country.  Every single vote cast counts towards your party gaining a seat in parliament.  If its a minority party, that vote counts even more.  Every minority MP voted into parliament is one more minority MP who will work for the community who will hold the red team or blue team to account and stop the worst excesses.  This is where voting really matters.  This is where voting really counts.  Politicians know this, which is why they are so desperate to promise you anything you want so you’ll elect them back into the jobs they want.

There is no point in staying at home complaining that nothing gets changed, because you can’t be bothered.  Until 1918 very few people were allowed to vote, before that only property owners could vote from 1856, before that only landed gentry could vote in the UK.  Although the main political parties are doing their best to look, dress and sound the same and have similar policies, their default position is to look towards corporate bodies for support.   The fewer ordinary people actually get out and vote the easier it is for the politicians to say, turnout is so low we shouldn’t even bother having elections, or if we do, let corporations alone vote.

There is some logic to this.  If we, ordinary people don’t value the vote enough to make the effort, get out to the polling booths and put our X against the party we think will do its best for the country, the vote will be withdrawn from us the same way it was granted.   Less than 100 years ago our great grandparents were given the vote. Less than 100 years on we are spurning their sacrifices because we’d rather watch telly than go out and vote.  Make a difference this time, get out and vote.

 

A One Party State

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election, London Life

If ever proof was needed that the UK is in a one party state. that proof was provided this week in the form of a childish outburst by HSBC Bank stating at their AGM that they would relocate their headquarters outside of the UK if Labour won the General Election.

Considering that HSBC is the biggest launderer of crooked money, tax evasion on an industrial scale according to an ex-employee and whistle blower, Herve Falciani.  Yet despite this, no action has been taken so far by the Tory party who work directly for the banking industry.   Witness the rearranging of the financial regulatory system in the past year that was promised to have the teeth to implement whatever action it saw fit, has yet to announce anything against HSBC.

It is highly unlikely that HSBC would relocate anywhere in the world, the most likely place being Hong Kong, as their illegal activities would attract the most severe of penalties anywhere else, particularly Hong Kong.   China takes criminal activity with its currency very seriously indeed with the death penalty as an option to be considered.

The last Labour government were quite happy to continue the deregulated policies instigated by the Thatcher government, they even bailed out the banks when they crashed, RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland has been used as an umbrella for all the bailed out banks) and they would continue to do the same as before.   HSBC thought that if they made this threat voters would suddenly decide not to vote for Labour, but would allow the Tories back in, which shows how stupid they consider the British public really are.

After five years of the most savage cuts to public services, standards of living and care in the UK anyone who thinks British voters would be stupid enough to vote for more of the same is deluded in the extreme.   Having said that HSBC and indeed any other banking institution is more than welcome to pack their bags to anywhere else in the world if they wish to continue their criminal activities.    Please be sure to close the door on their way out.

Musing on Politics in the UK & Elsewhere

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election, London Life, Scottish Referendum, trade agreement

Listening to the leaders debates again on UTube and other sources has made me think away from the tired old stereotypes we’re being fed, vote for the red/blue team we’ll do things differently (I’m glad they can spell that, but I doubt they understand what it means).   Several things stand out for me.

  1.  We’re being told the same old story that if we work hard, we’re honest, pay our taxes, “do the right thing” we’ll be taken care of.  The trouble is what are we working for?   Whether you’re in a salaried job, on zero hours contracts, part time work, we’re all working bloody hard just to stay afloat. Unless you’re working for yourself (which means you directly benefit from your own labours) or doing a job that benefits society in some way (teaching, medicine, social care, producing goods or services other people want/need) you’re only working to benefit the rich.  The reason why in the UK the Tories and UKIP are so keen to decimate the social infrastructure is because it takes wealth away from them and their rich sponsors.  It doesn’t benefit them in any way.
  1.  The elephant in the room is that all the political parties, apart from the trade union-backed parties such as TCSU and to a greater extent, Labour, are being funded by big donors, wealthy, rich business people, the same people who don’t pay tax to the UK treasury, employ people on zero hours contracts and on minimum wage (lower if they can get away with it).   The idea that we live in a democracy is the biggest lie there is.   The party that gets in has already been chosen, the media are trying to steer people in the direction of an overall majority for the tories (as usual). Question is, will we follow again as we’ve done previously, or will we decide on something else?
  1. For longer than I can remember, there has been a choice between 2 or 3 parties, the smaller party being squeezed into the background.  In recent years new parties championing issues ordinary people feel are important have arisen. Some have fallen by the wayside as they are just single issue parties, others are local parties and therefore limit themselves to local issues, such as Plaid Cymru (Welsh Party). Now they are gaining a greater voice as people realise there is no real choice between right and left wing, they are each as extreme as the other, both are the same parties wearing different colours. Will we vote Labour (red) or Tory (blue)? The eternal Punch & Judy show.  In the vernacular, two cheeks of the same arse.

Here in the UK we have had tactical voting where you vote for the least disliked party in order to keep the party you really dislike out.   Trouble is, it doesn’t always work like that, you get the results you hadn’t bargained for.   The way forward from this is to vote for who you think would best represent your interests. If there is a possibility that an extremist party would get in, then you vote for the party who would mitigate or cushion the worst aspects of that extremist party’s policies.

It looks as though the UK election will produce another coalition and, as a nation we have to consider which party would mitigate the worst effects of whoever is the main party. Whichever party gets in red or blue for sure I will be voting Green. I think they have credible policies that will counter either red or blue party worst excesses and would benefit ordinary working people the most. That’s what would get up the noses of the rich most of all, the fact that ordinary people were being benefitted rather than them.

The current political situation was most eloquently expressed by Marine Le Pen of the French National Party in a recent interview when she said “the choice is not about left or right, the choice is about corporatist or nationalist”.   Do we want to go down the road of certain South American countries where corporates have the ultimate say over what happens to whom, where people are just numbers, a necessary nuisance nothing more; or do we go down the road of improving the lives of those we live within our own communities?  The dignity of being able to provide for yourself & your family, a good education, decent housing, proper sanitation, sustainable power sources?  These are the real choices facing us at present.

The ideal manner of governance would be for each area to elect its own representative (MP) to represent them in parliament and for voters to be consulted in weekly (or even daily if events allow) referenda which can be conducted quite easily through the internet. For those MPs to remember they work for the voters not their rich sponsors. However at present this is the system we have and we have to work within it to our own advantage. That is the reality of the situation.

2nd TTIP of the Iceberg

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election, London Life, trade agreement

Having read through the remainder of the preamble of TTIP I have it goes into further details about the film industries of European countries, telecommunications, transport, hospitals and that standards already in place to be maintained, or not.

However, one particular point in mind, particularly during the campaign of a general election in the UK are assurances of the NHS, which are conspicuous by their absence.

There is a side letter from Cecilia Malmström, a member of the European Commission negotiating TTIP, in which it declares that there is no provision for the takeover of publicly funded healthcare systems such as the one in the UK (NHS) by private companies, that any such takeover is at the behest of the government in question and it is for the government of that country (UK) to make such recommendations as it sees fit.   This puts the ball very firmly in the UK government’s court.

There are MEPs (Member of the European Parliament) of all political shades represented in the European Parliament and it is utterly shameful that for all the stirring up of feelings for the NHS by the media and politicians themselves. One can only conclude it is because the UK government is hell bent on privatising the NHS for its own ends (usually for their own personal gain once they have finished with politics, i.e. a director’s position with commensurate salary & share options). This is utterly disgraceful and underlines that none of the major parties now seeking voters’ approval have the interests of the UK at the core of their policies or business.

I haven’t published the second part of my examination of TTIP when I said I would and I’m glad I hadn’t as something quite extraordinary has happened which hasn’t been reported in any of the mainstream media in the UK, that is the USA has said it will accept TTIP in its entirety as it stands. When I read this I was and still am, astonished. This is unprecedented and really good news. This means there will not be the usual amendments, adjustments, playing with words to ensure paragraphs are palatable to the electorate over years which for once, will mean the protections sought will be kept, but there are enough concessions to ensure that America can continue its expansionist programme, which is worrying in itself.

It seems that America’s attitude is surely changing towards the rest of the world and I hope this continues. We all inhabit the world, but we are not all enemies.

 

The TTIP of the Iceberg

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, Food, General Election, London Life, Polish, trade agreement

I feel I have to apologise to those readers of my blog that it has developed into a blog of political news and views, but there are events that are happening in the world at this time which I feel are of tremendous importance and if not aired, are likely to be either ignored or high jacked by those who state they have our interests at heart, when nothing could be further from the truth.

A couple of weeks ago the rightly maligned BBC published an excerpt from the forthcoming Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership.  Despite the many protests about this on this side of the channel, there has been a deafening silence about this since publication which I find astonishing.

I can only comment that anyone who has printed it out and read it is confused on reading it, as it reads as a preamble, or introduction to a document that is well advanced in its discussion and written form, and doesn’t quite know what to make of it.

Having worked for more than 13 years in law processing legal documents I can get an understanding of what it is trying to say and what it means.  While not entirely comprehensive I shall try my best to explain what it means for ordinary people and countries as a whole within the EU.

TTIP is a very long, detailed document dealing with many aspects of modern day life and the agreements, caveats and reservations under which this document is being discussed, which has presented a problem in how to bring this to a social media forum.    This is probably the reason why it’s not been discussed in any great detail.  I shall explain this by the most relevant sections, stating pertinent points of each, but would very strongly recommend reading this alongside the actual document itself.  Hopefully one will bring clarity to the other.

Section A, Reservations

Acquisition of Real Estate

The right is reserved to adopt or maintain measures … and each country (not UK) states its reservations.

1. Agriculture, hunting and forestry

The right is reserved to adopt or maintain measures … and each country (not UK) states its reservations.

3.  Mining and Quarrying

4  Manufacturing

Manufacture of refined petroleum products

The EU reserves the right to adopt or maintain any measure with respect to jurdical persons controlled by natural or juridical persons of a non-Community country which accounts for more than 5% of the EU’s oil or natural gas imports.  No direct branching is required.   (A juridical person is controlled by other natural or juridical person(s) if the latter has/have the power to name a majority of its directors or otherwise legally direct its actions.  In particular, ownership of more than 50% of the equity interests in a juridical person shall be deemed to constitute control).  In other words, companies outside of the EU can control more than 5% of mining and quarrying regardless of where in the world they are based.

5. Production, transmission and distribution on own account of electricity, gas, steam and hot water.

The EU reserves the right to adopt or maintain any measure with generation of nuclear-based energy.  Nuclear based energy production is prohibited in some EU Member States.

The EU reserves the right to adopt or maintain any measure with respect to production of electricity, transmission and distribution of electricity on own account (part of ISIC rev 3.1: 4010)

and so it goes on.

Time and again the phrase “the right is reserved to adopt or maintain any measure with respect to ….”  In this case the privatisation of privately-funded ambulance services.   Also, any measure with respect to all social services, whether public or privately funded.  (CPC933).  The right is reserved to adopt or maintain any measure with respect to publicly funded social services and to privately funded social services other than services relating to convalescent and rest houses and old people’s homes (CPC933).   While the phrase above may seem innocent, it would seem that changes would be put into place where previously held standards would be abandoned in order to accommodate the interests of US “investors”; or as now, are impossible to attain thereby paving the way forward to privatisation.  Both Labour and Tory parties in the UK are committed to this course of action at the expense of its voters.

The crux of the document lies in the words juridical person.  Even I had to look this up.  According to the Law Dictionary it is: “Entity, as a firm, that is not a single natural person, as a human being, authorized by law with duties and rights, recognized as a legal authority having a distinct identity, a legal personality. Also known as artificial person, juridical entity, juristic person, or legal person. Also refer to body corporate.”

Paragraph 19 says the EU reserves the right to maintain or adopt any measure with respect to telephone answering services, mailing list compilation and telephone-based support services.  In the UK there are mechanisms whereby you can ask to have yourself removed from lists that are used for the compilation of mailing lists so you don’t receive unwanted junk mail, which has been a problem in the past.  If a US based company decides to ignore this we are back to square one, more junk mail.

So far the worst I’ve seen is in Paragraph 19 section B which says, “In PL (Poland) … for all sectors except legal services and services provided by healthcare units, non EU investors may undertake and conduct economic activity only in the form of a limited liability partnership, limited joint-stock partnership, while domestic companies have access also to the forms of non-commercial partnership companies (general partnership and unlimited liability partnership).   This means that foreign companies are given preferential terms to conduct business over Polish nationals.   A limited company can only be sued for what it owes and can be closed down, whereas an unlimited liability company your business can be closed down, your personal property, car, possessions can all be taken from you whereas the outsider only having limited liability is still smiling.  Poles can sometimes really be their own worst enemies.  By allowing the US to base soldiers in Poland, the Polish government is stoking up problems for the future and by throwing its own people to the wolves, does itself no favours.   Little wonder so many Poles decide their lives are better in the UK.

However, it is in the acquisition of real estate that this agreement really goes to town.  In Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia there is no limit to the amount of land US “investors” can take.  Well done.  Former Iron Curtain countries and those the EU wants rid of can be swallowed up by these “investors” who can do as they want with them.  Those countries that had to endure hard times under the Russians have no idea how much harder times will be once US “investors” have ruined the beautiful countrysides of these countries.  Ancient forests will be felled, fisheries and aquifers will be poisoned, there are no bounds for the amount of land that can be taken for mining, extraction of petroleum and natural gas (fracking), mining for metal ores, other mining or quarrying.  It also explains why David Cameron was so keen to revoke any ownership of private property that might stop fracking companies in their search for oil or gas.  Any rights any individual has over freehold land would have the right to ask for compensation from the companies for spoiling their land and extracting a commodity.   Indigenous natives would be marginalised to the same extent as Native American Indians who are only permitted to settle on useless, infertile land while white Americans have taken all the fertile lands they can for themselves.  Think Polish Corridor and you get an idea of what is in store for EU countries.

Impressions & Recommendations:

The idea of sovereign countries or states are at an end.   The idea of democracy is, and has been false.  TTIP, TISA, TPP and other such “trade agreements” are nothing of the sort.  These are documents that will make corporations of countries, worker bees of its people, but where worker bees are rewarded worker bees will not be so.  Any protections so far gained will be swept aside if it means the corporations (sorry, outside countries (USA)) are prevented from making a profit.

Basically, this is rape and pillaging on a massive scale by way of legal process rather than by invasion and war.  The result is the same.  The USA wants to ensure that whatever Europe has the USA will take and ensure it is utterly dependent on what the USA allows it to have.   That’s the real condition.  Europe is agreeing to be slaves to the USA.

One has to ask, who do these agreements benefit?  If you subscribe to the idea that when you vote for a person to represent you in government, or senate, parliament, it is that person’s job to stand up for your interests and those of your community.   The fact that all these agreements are being discussed in such secret talks not even elected representatives of countries involved are allowed to see the documents as they are being discussed and make recommendations, one can be sure these documents are not being negotiated with the electorate in mind or their benefit.

One has to ask what benefits are there for those people discussing such agreements, how are they going to benefit?  If it is the case that any money made from the firms “trading” in the new corporations (not sovereign countries anymore) are going to be funnelled through tax havens to avoid paying tax whilst the burden of paying taxes to treasuries of former sovereign countries will fall to those of us working for pennies while governments continue to rack up debts for vanity projects and award themselves handsome pay rises at the expense of those who actually do the work of maintaining the infrastructure the rest of societies rely on, who exactly are they serving?

US companies have no respect for the land they have, habitats of whatever age and regardless of how unique creatures maybe will be ruined.  I wonder whether there is a link between the decline of the bee population in the USA, fracking and loss of habitat that would accompany that.  Might be worthwhile studying that.

This is also why Jean-Claude Juncker recently announced it might be a good idea to speed up the process where individual countries that make up the EU become one superstate with a single army, taxes and so on.  It might be easier for the Americans to deal with us as one conglomerate, but those of us in each country would object most strongly.   Each member state has its own language, customs, traditions, methods of working according to geography. Trying to homogenized 28 countries into one would be an impossible and foolhardy exercise.

It may seem as though those parties in Europe saying that perhaps we need to put our own people first even if it means leaving the EU may have a point.

It seems that the true reason for the unrest fuelled by the USA towards Russia is very plain.  Russia has no interest in being taken over and its people marginalised by foreigners, even if it means having to endure sanctions to show this.  It’s a shame the spineless politicians in the EU have no interest in protecting the very people it relies on making the EU work.  Marine La Pen is correct; we now have to decide where we want to go as individual countries as well as a whole.  Do we become corporations or remain as people?

It is clear the financial experiment is now over, the Euro as a currency is unsustainable and measures used to prop it up with pretend money printed, devalued, worthless will only drive EU economies to bankruptcy, which is where America is.  This is why the likes of Mario Dhragi and Mark Carney are keen to promote QE (quantitive Easing).  There is no effort in producing pretend money, producing “debt” with pretend money that doesn’t really exist and telling ordinary people they have to pay the profligacy of those in government.  This is not democracy, this isn’t even slavery, it is theft pure and simple.  Theft of hard-earned money from ordinary people’s labour, their dignity and freedom to choose their own paths.

This is the time we need to consider where the world and EU needs to go.  Like sheep to the slaughter as the EU Commission would have us go, or down the road of self-government where we can decide to work together for the benefit of ourselves and each other.   The EU as a trading block within itself and other countries is a good thing, this is where we need to return to, to get the benefit of what we can achieve.  Surrendering nationality, property, land and resources to others who would not appreciate these things in the same manner is the road to destruction.

This is by no means the only article I will write on the matter, as I  have stated before, there is a general election in the UK in a few weeks time and I will try to highlight as many paragraphs as I can which will have a direct bearing on promises being made, that politicians know full well there is no possibility of being made good when the votes have been counted.  What a sham!!

Stop Press, Stop Press

Food, General Election, London Life

A few months ago I posted an article about local markets.  In London we have many markets reflecting the diversity of people in London all made up of people having a small business at a low start up rate in a good location where other local people can have a opportunity to use or buy products and services they might not have the opportunity to otherwise.  In the last few weeks there has been news that Network Rail and Lambeth Council are “refurbishing” the shops and businesses under the arches that make up the core part of Brixton Market.  Some of these businesses have been there for 20-30 years, while not upper class like the West End or Chelsea, offer local residents and visitors alike good quality produce and bargains.

Lambeth Council has been very busy “assuring” local businesses this is a temporary measure.  However Lambeth Council’s track record in previous attempts at gentrification of our much beloved Brixton Market have not gone unnoticed.  A few years ago the open market along  Electric Avenue, so called as it was the first road in  England to be lit by electricity, came under the spotlight as Lambeth Council tried to clear the market and close it down.  Fortunately it was granted listed status so it is safe, but Lambeth Council is busy turning the arcades into restaurant areas.  One by one as the leases come up, rents are raised or terminated.

Where only two years ago fruit and veg stalls vied for custom along with sellers of pots and pans, plates and dishes, clothes, butchers and accessories andenjoyed a heavy footfall, these days the same area has been turned into eateries for the trendy who can marvel at how fortunate they are to come to the centre of Brixton and enjoy its vibrancy.  The two fishmongers in Granville Arcade, one Colombian butcher with his wonderful sausages, unbleached tripe and other porcine produce find themselves sticking out like sore thumbs and, sadly the footfall of customers is less than half of what it was previously.  The diners coming to sample cup cakes, lattes and pizzas aren’t interested in catfish, sea bream, cod, haddock, crab and other fish.

I don’t do this often, but feel strongly enough that if you enjoy the vibe of markets and grabbing a bargain (who doesn’t?) please go to brixtonmarket.net and sign the petition.   I’ll make a point of posting further news on my favourite market from time to time as the more people come and enjoy what’s going on and can take the spirit of what’s happening to their home town, the better.  Peace & Love.