Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide

democracy, democratic rights

At last the long awaited Chilcott Report has been published and although the media have largely skimmed over the main points, the findings mainly confirm what has been known in the public domain already and that is that the war on Iraq was pre-planned, the “intelligence” was talked up, the allegations of weapons of mass destruction were false, the UN inspectors were not allowed to finish their job, war was not the last resort and Saddam Hussein posed no threat to America or the rest of the world.

Tony Blair was made to face the press and the families of those soldiers who lost their lives as well as Iraqi families who also lost loved ones in that conflict and as much as he played to the camera with his quivering lips and tearful eyes, the message was the same, he would do the same again, he made the best decision he could in the circumstances and he believed the world was a better place for the decisions he made. It was all about him. He was not in the least sorry nor was he contrite about his actions, he just looked like the cornered rat he is.

Well Mr Blair the evidence is stacked up against you. The man is not only deluded but completely maniacal, psychotic even. This mindset has taken hold in public life like a virus right across Parliament across all parties. There are just a small handful of truly decent people in the House of Commons and they are being forced out by those who also have psychotic tendencies. There is a good case for everyone wishing to be elected to parliament undergoing extensive psychiatric and psychological assessments for several months on end, so they can’t just give glib answers, so they don’t get to put the rest of the population in such positions again.

What makes my blood boil is the notion put forward by one parliamentarian that Blair would not face the full force of the law as there is no case to answer and its never been done before. I would beg to differ. King Charles I was beheaded for behaving like a tyrannical absolute monarch, among other things. I wonder what planet these people think they are on? If a King of England can be beheaded because he overstepped his powers then a government minister, a Prime Minister can also be tried in a court of law and imprisoned or worse (and I am of the mindset that a public hanging is very applicable in Tony Blair’s case).

On the evidence presented to the Chilcott Inquiry it has been shown beyond reasonable doubt that the Iraq war was pre-planned by at least 8 months beforehand. This proves mens rea or intention. The arguments and sending soldiers into battle gives actus reas or the act of. Both of these are necesary components in criminal law and I would say that Tony Blair committed an act of murder by government by planning and bringing together all the elements needed to put forward the case for war and then sending people into another country that Britain had no business being in and killing thousands of civilians who did not ask to be killed.

I would go further and say that the fitting punishment for someone in his position would be a public execution, even though hanging was outlawed in the late 1950s, I think we can make an exception in Blair’s case. I would force every MP, every top civil servant to watch Blair hang as a warning to all of them not to overstep their authority and certainly not to go on misguided adventures at the expense of other peoples lives. Another would be that all the money Blair has made throughout his life, and his wife as well, all the properties he owns be sold and the funds distributed to all those in the Iraq war who lost loved ones. I would leave Blair with only his underpants, destitute and homeless for the rest of his sorry, miserable life.

I totally get why the Americans feel so angry about the Iraq war, although it doesn’t excuse George W Bush from his part in the whole sorry story. Tony Blair was seen as someone who seemed intelligent and his wife is a barrister who subsequently became a QC, so even if Blair was sold on the idea of going to war and backing Bush, his wife should have counselled him against doing so, so she too is culpable. Again, the fact that the whole Iraq invasion was pre-planned shows that 9/11 was an inside job and that George W Bush should also be tried for first degree murder. The punishment they meter out is for the American people to decide.

The saddest thing is that both Blair, Bush and other politicians fail to see or understand is that when Tony Blair and George W Bush conspired to go to war and effect regime change in another country they effectively killed off any notion of democracy. That was when not only people lost their lives, people also lost the way they lived their lives and the effects of this are still with us today.

Lies, More Lies and Damned Statistics …

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

It is becoming clear that our European Members of Parliament are now preparing the ground for the implementation of TTIP at the end of December and it is very interesting to watch this from a distance (in other words I’m not involved in having to directly implement this piece of legislation, although will be affected by it).

I have watched various discussion forums on social media between European and American luminaries nobody has ever heard of, but who are clearly implicated in the drawing up, agreement and, in their respective countries, implementation of these trade agreements and it is very clear that the US has no intention of meeting European social standards, but fully expects Europe to abandon generations of hard-fought and won rights that lead to a cohesive, peaceful and dignified way of life for all European citizens and extend those same rights to its own citizens.

In the last couple of weeks there have been riots in France against the proposals being pushed forward by the French President Francois Hollande, to substantially dilute workers rights and protections. It is widely known that workers in France enjoy some of the most detailed and protected rights of workers anywhere around the world. Clearly this is seen as an impediment to corporate interests being promoted by the likes of David Cameron on behalf of the US Government, who see that workers have no rights and can and should be hired and fired at the will of corporations as and when it suits them. So Hollande has declared that he will push through so-called “reforms” that will make life easier for corporations and to hell with protections for working people.

What is interesting is how quickly, decisively and determined European governments are when implementing legislation that will so quickly downgrade workers rights when for months on end these same politicians have sat on their hands and pleading impotence during the invasion of middle eastern “refugees” last year. The word that comes to mind is hypocrisy.

I think it is becoming very clear that the driving force for the destruction of Europe has been the USA through its mouthpiece of the UK. David Cameron is clearly a very dangerous proponent of US policies as he is part of the Rothschild family. Yes, the same Rothschild banking dynasty that has led to the collapse of economies around the world. It is also becoming clear that the fears of ordinary people regarding what TTIP means for millions of ordinary Europeans are well founded.

The politicians can be ignored as they all have vested interests in getting TTIP to be accepted by the European parliaments and national governments. Once these have gone through the legislature these same politicians will make their homes in “safe havens” where they will never be affected by the consequences of their decisions.

The tactic of taking out the biggest “obstacle” to getting TTIP through Europe and its member countries is absolutely classic. Once the largest “obstacle” has been removed, other countries will follow suit and all the blood that was spilled during WW1 and WW2 to protect ordinary people from tyranny will have been for nothing.

Like many Europeans I was born a free person. I grew up and was educated as a free person. I was never asked by a government anywhere in the world whether I would agree to become enslaved either through debt or by having my rights taken away from me. Rights that were fought for by previous generations. The right to vote, to a private life, to clean, safe drinking water, proper healthcare, good quality education, safe food, the right to earn a living wage and be treated as a human being rather than a “thing” that could be used and abused at the will of other people. My experience is common among so many people living today and yet under the guise of democracy this is what is happening under our noses right now.

This is too important to ignore and is intertwined with what is going on around the world in politics. The push against Russia, setting up NATO bases in Europe, encouraging the despotic Turkish government who in turn blackmails Germany that it will stem the flow of “refugees” in return for money and visa free access into Europe. All this because the USA is broker than broke and wants to exports it’s nightmare vision of what life should be like around the world.

You only have to look at reports on social media and non-western news sites to see that the USA isn’t a place any sane person would want to visit, never mind stay in for any length of time. And yet, there are those countries who would want to emulate that kind of life that divides, segregates, discriminates and leads to eternal poverty for its people with no hope of getting out. Then you need to ask yourself, “is this the kind of life I would want for myself, my family and friends?”. The answer you give yourself should inform the choices you make.

Europe is not a utopia, there are problems here as well, but “refugees” aside, we all get along well and co-operate with each other as we understand we all gain much more from each other when we co-operate than when we do not. There is so much to defend at this point in our lives that not standing up for our rights is unthinkable.

At the risk of being inflammatory, it is clear to me that these so-called “trade agreements”  being pushed forward by the USA are nothing more than Obama’s legacy of enslaving all white people as payback for the slave trade that was predominant from 15th to 19th Centuries inclusive.   This is both childish and unproductive.   None of us can change the past and we should not be held accountable for the sins of our fathers.  We do have control over what the future will be, and that is try to make life better for ALL PEOPLE regardless of race or religion.   That is the future, not petty, small-minded getting-your-own-back-because-I-can thinking.   All that does is drag everyone down to your level.  Obama’s legacy is that he has ensured the only black people that will ever enter the White House after his presidency, will be those that clean the offices and toilets.

The protests in France should be supported as they are the gold standard for workers across the world. If the French government capitulates, then what follows will be no less than what governments around the world deserve. It will also be the tipping point where Brexit will become a reality and the demise of the EU will follow shortly thereafter.

Politics is a long time in …..

democracy, democratic rights

At the present time I seem to be concentrating on British politics as there is a lot going on, quite a bit of it not very pretty, or has the potential to be not very pretty that I feel needs commenting on, as it seems to be a symptom or response to what is going on elsewhere in the world, such as the EU Referendum currently taking place.

However, I’d like to talk about the debate that will be taking place this week about the place and abilities of the House of Lords to be a tempering effect on the legislature that the House of Commons is pushing through at any particular time.

Over many years the Lords have maintained and exercised the right to question, scrutinise and hold the government to account which has worked very well. However the newly elected Tory government had a good many of its proposed laws sent back for review last year and Tories do not like being told they can’t do whatever they want. It is an arrogance that stems from a privileged background and being told from an early age that it is your right to do as you please, when you please and to whom you please. At no point has any tory minister thought that perhaps quite a lot of the proposed legislation being put forward was badly thought through, misconceived and that it would hurt more people than benefit them.

That, surely is what the House of Lords’ function is there for.

The main point is that a great deal of the legislation being put forward by the tories stems from pure spite, which is why it is being sent back in a civilised, polite manner, and the arrogant pigs that currently form the tory government are being asked to think (yes, engage the grey matter between the ears) about what they are trying to achieve and how they are hoping to achieve it.

Curtailing any information about, opposition to the prevailing government during an election would also prevent smaller parties being formed, trades unions putting forward their own candidates and parties, charities funding newer parties. On the other hand it could also be read that despite “call me Dave” has said he supports Britain being part of the EU, the mainstay of campaigning to remain within the EU has been from those who support a British Exit from the EU (or Brexit as it’s become known). This means that Dave is being his usual two-faced self, telling us one thing but doing completely the opposite, but I digress.

Despite spending the first five years of the Coalition government trying to drive wedges into the British population to divide and conquer, he is actually uniting us against the small-minded, enviousness, petty, overbearing, presumptuous spitefulness of his government and himself. If ever there were a lame-duck prime minister it is David Cameron and the entire Tory Government.

A Small Chink of Light at the End of the Tunnel

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

I know I don’t have a great many readers but find it uncanny that shortly after my plea for EU ministers to grow a spine and stand up to US bullying, the French foreign tradee minister Mattias Fekl has called a halt to any further negotiations with America on TTIP. I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. Now that the suspicions of so many ordinary people have been shown to be true, that it is a bad deal for the ordinary people of Europe and bad for European businesses, I can only hope that this lone voice is one of many that will spread across the European continent and across Brussels.

This is one area we cannot and should not be bullied into. This is nothing less than the utter subjugation of people who have been borne free and lived lives as honestly as they and their circumstances permitted, for this abomination of an “agreement” to be foisted on us by unscrupulous politicians only interested in feathering their own nests and profiting from ordinary citizens’ misery is beyond the pale. Angela Merkel should be ashamed of herself. It is quite clear that the EU is the pet project of Germany and they seem to think they will run Europe as they see fit.

There is nothing of any value to Europe or Europeans in TTIP. Everything our fathers and grandfathers fought for in the last century is being dismantled in the name of greed and profit and under TTIP this would be eradicated from our history, our lives would become to resemble something from the 17th Century, if not worse.

There has been a disconnect between politicians and voters in recent years, with quite a few displaying psychopathic tendencies where they don’t care about the impact on ordinary people, only how it affects them, the image they are projecting. It is taking a Frenchman to show some steel and say there is something very wrong with TTIP. Thank you Mr Fekl, your honesty is appreciated and applauded. Please continue your work and garner support across Europe so that other politicians can also come to this common-sense approach that Europe is in danger of being wiped out, not by war or sickness, but by treaty from a country thousands of miles away who is not a friend to us anymore.

We must reinstate relations with Russia at the earliest opportunity to ensure our future economic well being and also that we can continue to mutually benefit each other. We must also align ourselves more closely with the BRICS countries as this is the future. Only by doing this can we be sure of ensuring our way of life as Europeans is maintained and improved.

TTIP and all it stands for must be resisted as it does not serve small and medium businesses and it certainly does not serve ordinary people. If America wants to have a scorched earth policy it can do so inside its own borders, but it does not have the right to violate the earth everywhere else.

The Last Farewell?

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

The Black Emperor is currently on a farewell trip to some of the key posts of the American Empire, Saudi Arabia (oil), Germany (military bases) and the UK (military bases & EU go-between) before handing the keys to the White House to someone else to mess things up further. Except he’s not an Emperor, just behaves like one.

In each of the above countries he’s shown where the real powers and problems in the world lie at the present time. Saudi Arabia is they key strategic ally so far as oil is concerned and also the eyes and ears in the Middle East where in the last 8 years there has been so many problems, uprisings, instability all feeding into the “refugee crisis” we have at present. The fact that Obama is so happy to help his Muslim brothers in their objective to swamp Christian Europe with so many Muslims who will impose their way of life on everyone else to the detriment of our own way of life is something we need to be very aware of and worried about.

Germany is so utterly lame. On the one hand Germans have this idea that they are somehow superior to everyone else in Europe and this gives them the right to bully, harass, discriminate against anyone they like, but on the other hand are supine in their willingness to take orders from another, larger country. After all, they will always be able to complain that “they were only following orders” just like they did after WW2. A good example is the unwillingness to reinstate trading relations with Russia despite Russia having fulfilled the criteria both in letter and spirit of the Minsk Agreement because the US doesn’t want it. It’s quite happy to see Europe go down the tubes financially so that it will be more compliant in accepting TTIP.

The UK has always had, and continues to have a colonialist mentality. Partly this is to do with its position as an island, partly to do with its history. In this it has been invaluable to the USA in being able to draw on past lessons in how to build an empire, but is now accelerating the downward spiral into a despot nation. This suits the purpose of keeping people stupid and uninformed (the real reason why governments want control of social media).

Obama’s visit is almost like a visit from the British royal family when they go to visit places such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the West Indies, India and so on, but in reverse. Weird.

I should imagine Obama is now putting what he calls “face time” to the finalities of the TTIP package in the EU and was very kind in letting us know that this is very much something that is in the US interests and the UK should continue to be part of the EU for that purpose. Its also very obvious that the “special relationship” so often talked about whenever US officials come over is only special so long as the UK remains useful to the US.

From the beginning I have said that any agreement that is being discussed in so much secrecy by governments cannot be a good thing for ordinary people. The fact that even the results of referenda are in danger of being completely ignored by politicians (as is the case in the recent Dutch referendum of whether to accept Ukraine as part of the EU) is worrying. It seems politicians have an idea of where they see the world going but are deliberately excluding the rest of us from negotiations and discussions, are so willing to bend over backwards to accommodate what will be lower standards, ordinary people have every right to be suspicious. This will not be a good thing for any of us. Ordinary people will be presented with a fait accompli and have no choice but to accept it.

That there are so many scare scenarios that are feeding through whether we leave or remain in the EU the most positive thing, so far as I can see, is that American interests will no longer have any forum either in the EU or in the UK. At a single stroke the UK will have done the world a favour.

The other troubling problem is Turkey. Turkey has not even been given rights to travel abroad and already Erdogan has called on Muslims in Rotterdam to report “any messages from people who are insulting our president, the Turkish nation or Turkey in general.” If this is happening at such an early stage they will completely take over the EU at the expense of Christians in the EU once granted the ability to travel wherever they want in the EU. In fact I will go so far as to say the reason they want this to be granted by the summer this year is so they can send all the refugees into Europe with valid papers and there is nothing the EU will be able to do about it.

The “refugee crisis” is not what it purports to be. Fighting in Syria stopped a month ago so why are people still coming? Surely the best thing is for them to return and build their own countries again? Many of those coming are from countries not in conflict, they just want to come in and impose their way of life on the rest of us. What they are unable to understand is the reason why their own countries are in such dire straights is because Muslims are incapable of living peacefully with each other. If they are not able to do this with their own kind how on earth do they expect to live peacefully among people with different cultures, religions and backgrounds?

Whilst there are many positive reasons to remain in the EU, the fact that TTIP is going forward at such a pace and in such a manner that ordinary people are disenfranchised from what is going on. That Turkey has to be bribed to take these pretend “refugees” to prevent them from swamping us is going to be a huge headache for Europe which has to close its borders now. At the present time I am still minded to vote to leave for the greater and more personal good.

The Nature of Politicians and Politics

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

Why is it that the only sorts of people who get elected into high positions in politics happen to be those who are psychopaths who aren’t particularly bright people? I refer to politicians across the world not just those who are parading themselves around in the USA for elections in November. The only sane politician in the US is Bernie Sanders. He is the only person who talks like a normal person and is interested in the plight of the common people. Hillary Clinton has been bought by the establishment as is Donald Trump, even though he is funding his own campaign, they both want the same things just in a different form.

The Donald’s latest pronouncement that Europe and the UK are not safe places for American’s to travel in is absolutely correct. The reason for this is that America alone has forced policies upon the rest of the world that have been to the detriment of those countries and have made them less safe than they were previously.

Having said all of the above, here in the UK we have our own problems with the Tory party who are no better than football yobs and have the same sensibilities, busily stuffing their pockets with the taxes being collected for just about every activity you can think of, even some you can’t, while telling the electorate there isn’t enough money to pay off the massive deficit that has been accumulated in 6 years of proper fiscal management by the Tories themselves. I just wonder who they think they’re kidding. I don’t think I can remember a government who have had a declaration of no confidence in the same year they were elected, but David Cameron managed to achieve that particular accolade.

Angela Merkel is another politician not fit for the office she holds either. Merkel “Mrs Bossyboots” was very keen to tell the Greeks they must pay back what they owe to the Troika and not leave the EU, then she invites the hoards of refugees, some genuine, others not so, into Germany declaring at the same time that other EU countries must also take a share of these terrorists. Merkel then goes to Erdogen to bribe this madman with 6billion Euros to keep the muslim “refugees” who are not genuine in Turkey. It’s been known for months that Turkey is an ISIS stronghold and the gateway through which ISIS has been able to transport oil, thereby getting funding for their terrorist activities. This is something Europeans are supposed to accept in its entirety.

The craziest thing is that Merkel also bows to Washington when it comes to sanctions against Russia. When sanctions were first put in place against Russia I said it would mainly hurt Europe as Russia is the largest trading partner for Europe. Each time the deadline has come and gone to re-evaluate the sanctions, Washington has said “no” and Merkel, Hollande, et al have cowed and agreed to this.

What is particularly galling is Hillary Clinton’s announcement last week that she thinks Europe should clear up the mess made by America and the policies that were engineered by Hillary Clinton herself. She made it very clear on many occasions that she wanted regime change in Syria, wanted to oust Assad and put some puppet in his place. I seriously don’t understand why there isn’t a single politician with the balls to tell America to get lost and leave well alone. America should look at its own backyard before it starts telling everyone else how we should live and I honestly hope that enough Americans are able to see through the vaccuousness that is Hillary Clinton and vote for Bernie Sanders.

Here in the UK I certainly will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn when elections next come round and this may come soon than anyone thinks, particularly when the results come through and there is a vote to leave the EU. That it will break up the EU much sooner than will otherwise happen is probably no bad thing. It will mean that European countries can then regroup, probably along historical alliances and in 20-30 years some other kind of European alliance can be forged, one that is looser and does not require a superstate to be cobbled together, but one that does share a common purpose (which has always been evident) and where the Germans do not play such a dominant role, which is to everyone’s detriment.

Full Term Report, Must do Better

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission

Its been interesting reading Obama’s musings on his time in the White House and to note what a selective memory he has. Despite all the rhetoric against Russia over the years and the fact the US continues to try to undermine President Putin’s efforts in combating ISIS on a professional level Obama has nothing but praise for President Putin. I just want to know how he manages to look at himself in the mirror each day without feeling utterly repulsed.

Obama and his henchmen continue to expand their sphere of influence across the world and it seems everyone is fair game. These are the last few months in office and Obama is going to make the most of them by stirring up as much trouble as possible. The Chinese, Russians, Syrians, Libyans, Iranians, Europe, UK; is there anyone I’ve left out?

I cannot comment on the situation in the China Seas but it does seems there is quite a bit of flexing of muscles with the US military trying to show their strength.

Russia is another matter. Obama has wanted to diminish the Russian economy through sanctions, it’s not working. It hurts Europe a great deal and will take some time for that to recover. Russia has side-stepped just about every move the Americans have made and come out smiling. If anyone has been diminished in the last few years it has been America and its interests. However, being the coward Obama really is, hasn’t got what it takes to walk up to the Russian front door to pick a fight, no. He wants others to take up the fight on his behalf to cause a war where the Americans can ride in like the Cavalry to save the day, except it’s not happening like that.

Europe’s problems have been caused by and enlarged by the Wall Street crash, the IMF, the ECB and the small enclave of secretive unelective politicians within Brussels under the guidance of the US (and I use the word guidance loosely). Not content with driving the PIGS countries to the wall (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain).

Notwithstanding this the USA under every US president in the last 80 years has fuelled wars in the ME, Africa whether by outright supply of arms and training or funding of these. The latest wars in Lybia, Egypt and Syria to name a few have spilled over into the biggest humanitarian crisis Europe has seen since WW2. What does Obama do? Keep going, pushing for more weapons to be sent to ISIS, teaming up with Turkey’s PM Erdogan who is making Hitler look like a Sunday school teacher. Erdogan is instrumental in supporting ISIS, helping them transport oil across Turkey and being used as a conduit for re-arming them.  The fact that Obama is so openly supportive of such a dictatorial terrorist I’m afraid taints the US as a terrorist organisation.

Now I understand there are those people in America who feel that Obama should be tried for treason. I would add that George W Bush and George Bush should also be among those tried for treason. I don’t think Hillary is going to let up on what’s being going on either. She will also support ISIS and further interventions into breaking up Europe and other countries.

It seems that America’s mission in the world is to wreak death and destruction at every turn because it can and because it wants to. It is the bully boy in the world and the world is getting tired of the bombast, rhetoric, anger and sheer venom it spits out at the world. America needs to take a hard look at itself and those who have been put up as candidates for the November elections. They are all as bad as each other apart from Bernie Sanders who really is trying to steer America down a different, kinder path that would allow America and its citizens to have a voice in the kind of nation it wants and the place it has in the world.

I will add one further statement which applies to governments all around the world as standards for office has fallen so low.   In the months when an outgoing government is busy causing mischief it is unacceptable for incoming governments to pledge that they will continue the work done by their predecessors thereby ensuring nothing really changes.  This is an insult to the intelligence of the electorate and makes all the promises at the hustings null and void, nothing more than the promises of an insincere lover.   If people are going to stand for government then they must be able to deliver the promises made.  Those who do not should be voted out forthwith at short notice before too much damage is done.   To this end I think an annual appraisal should be undertaken by the electorate (who are the only legitimate ones to be able to do this).  There can be representatives at Parliamentary level who could do this on the electorates’ behalf and then have a vote via the internet as to whether governments should continue their work or receive their notice.

Brexit, TTIP & All That

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

After months of wrangling with EU officials about getting a supposed better deal for the UK, now the scare tactics are being brought into play pretty much as David Cameron did when we had the Scottish Referendum.  Everyone from the UK military, Businesses, Bank of England, neighbour’s cat, the man down the road is telling UK voters how to vote and putting the arguments for and against.

So far those against remaining in the EU outnumber those wanting to stay, whether they will vote as such remains to be seen and it maybe that events take a different turn that will ensure that there may not even be an EU to vote about in the coming months.

Pressures about the influx of Arabic/moslem migrants entering Europe are putting resources under increasing strain, not to mention the tensions between two very different cultures clashing.  Ongoing austerity for the sake of austerity is also coming under increasing tension as the commodities markets, shares and bonds are in ever greater flux with those in the banking industry chasing fewer and fewer returns, nobody with any sense is actually buying property at present unless it is going to be the “forever home” (i.e. you intend to stay there for many years to come), both politicians and financiers alike increasingly resemble  rabbits captivated by strong headlights with no idea which way to turn and you have a recipe that dictates that something will just have to give sooner rather than later.  Nothing and nobody can live under such pressure indefinitely.

David Cameron is trotting out his favourite line about how UK security is reliant on remaining in the EU and also how imperative it is that the UK renews Trident.  Enter the most sensible politician the UK has ever produced, Jeremy Corbyn who argues and even demonstrates against renewing Trident.

It seems that the main player in the UK and EU dictating a disasterous foreign policy in both places is the good old US of A.   The Pentagon this week announced a further $582bn to be spent in Europe.  This is a massive quadrupling of the existing budget currently.  They obviously think things are going to kick off in Europe and that if the EU disbands we will instantly be at each others throats.   Somehow I don’t think so.   If anything, over the last 60 or so years the EEC as it was then has done us all a great favour.  We’ve got to know each other rather better than we had previously, people from all over Europe are happy to holiday in  France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Austria, Czech Republic and so on and I’m pretty sure that even if the EU were to collapse under the present strains there would not be an outbreak of war immediately nor in the near future.

No, the biggest threat to world safety is the USA itself.  The neverending war machine that just rachets up more and more spending on killing human beings while its own citizens are made homeless, denied healthcare and free, good quality education and supporting (financially as well as equipment and training) of mercenaries and terrorist groups such as IS, ISIS, ISIL or what ever they want to call themselves this week.

By not renewing Trident the UK will save itself an estimated £170 billion which would be better spent on more and improved housing, schools and healthcare.  That’s just in the UK.   The EU and USA have agreed with “written assurances ” that aren’t worth the paper they’re written on that any future US administration won’t spy on EU citizens indiscriminantly.  Facebook and Google will have to abide by these rules as well.   This is an alleged “improvement” of the previously rejected Safe Harbour agreement.   This, together with the proposed TTIP and continued support of the now discredited Ukraine government gives some idea into the real reason for the war in the Ukraine in 2014/15.  The reason being that Ukraine as a lot of land and a largely agrarian culture, perfect for the likes of Monsanto to come along and not just gift (no, that would be too generous) but loan poor farmers money to buy the seeds that they would then have to repay and of course, being poor they could never repay, but it would kill everything on the land including native flora, fauna and insects leaving a poisoned land and hungry, impoverished people.   Together with the most disastrous foreign policy interference the US has imposed on Europe forcing the EU to impose sanctions on Russia, our biggest trading partner and you get an idea of how far the USA is prepared to go to get what it wants by simply bullying a supposedly large block of countries into doing what it wants.  Angela Merkel hasn’t told Obama to get lost and is quite happy to be a part of the demise of Europe.   It seems the Germans, this time backed by the USA quite openly can’t stop themselves from bossing everyone else around while looking terribly smug themselves, regardless of how much it hurts their neighbours.

I think the best thing to do is look at American society, how divided it is, how it has reduced its people to brain dead zombies who just eat McDonalds, fried chicken and watch TV all day and then go and kill anyone they disagree with.  Is that the kind of society we want to live in?  Yes, I know there is tiny bit of exaggeration there, but from the outside looking in, that’s what it looks like, it’s just not the kind of place I want to have the rest of the world turn into.

What happens when the rest of the world has been trashed like America has been?  When everyone in the world has been neutered so they are unable to think for themselves?  Humanity is on a hiding to nothing if that’s where we’re all headed.  It offers NOTHING for people who just want to live peacefully, make a contribution to the society they live in and mind their own business.

If the UK does not renew Trident the UK will be free from US interference in our foreign policy, if the EU stops taking funds from the USA and kicks out the IMF then even without its bloated institution the countries in Europe will still do well, probably even better.   After all, everyone points to Iceland who didn’t follow the advice of austerity back in 2007 when the Icelandic banks Kaupthing, Landsbanki and Glitnir, were allowed to go to the wall, bankers were jailed for their part in it and now it is a thriving economy.   This is in stark contrast to the rest of Europe which is struggling and even the most ardent supporter of this austerity madness “Dr Death” Shauble acknowledges that the chickens are coming home to roost.   I am leaning more towards the UK leaving Europe and doubt it will be as stark as it is portrayed to be so.

Yes there are advantages to remaining in Europe such as workers rights, closer ties with our nearest neighbours, but not under the present system which has outgrown its natural lifespan.

The Whipping Boy of Europe

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

I love it when there’s shit going on in your own back yard but the attention is diverted elsewhere in the world. At present we have the spectre of David Cameron flitting around Europe talking with various heads of state about accepting his xenophobic proposals against European migrants (who are intelligent, highly skilled and hard-working) to bolster support for Europe in the up-coming EU referendum in the UK; we have the influx of Muslim migrants into the EU which is causing one almighty headache after another; we have tensions within the UK stoked by comments this week by David Cameron that Muslim women must learn English if they want to stay in the UK with many agreeing (including in the Muslim community) against those who are pussy-footing around saying this is racist. We also have a mounting fiscal problem that is far from being addressed, but more on that in another article and then the big story of the past couple of weeks is gaining traction, that is Poland is the cause of concern in the EU political sphere because it has decided to do its own thing rather than conjoin in the comfortable, rather grubby, clubby game the rest of the EU countries take part in and take control of its own media and government appointed judges.

Admittedly, I am on record saying that the latter is cause for concern as it points to a potential corruption of the judicial system, but then the greatest nation on earth America, has had government appointed judges for many years, so Poland is simply following its example. After all, how bad can it be? Surely if it’s ok for America to have politically appointed judges then why can’t everyone else? Why single out Poland?

If it’s ok for the likes of Rupert Murdoch to own more than half the world’s media and regularly, openly decide which candidate he will throw his weight behind in a general election, bend stories to suit his own agenda, trash innocent families who have lost loved ones who have been brutally murdered, then why can’t the Polish government decide what news to publish, have their own agenda and so on, after all the British government do this all the time with the BBC which, as it is funded by taxpayers and government and gained its charter from the Queen should be impartial, but in the last 20 years or so has seen a visible shift in how it presents news, the slant it takes and what stories it airs either by radio, TV or website. Now more widely known as the Tory Government mouthpiece.

From the EU there is not a word about the activities of the UK Tory-led government on how in since 2009 it is systematically eroding human rights by the enactment of the hated Bedroom Tax, is on the verge of displacing social tenancies from council estates to make them homeless, many of whom have children or are elderly. Not a word either of the Snoopers Charter put forward in the House of Commons by Teresa May allowing unfettered access to metadata gathered across all UK citizens in the name of combating terrorism by GCHQ, the latter despite concerns from the USA agencies who did the same thing themselves and conceded that it has no effect on catching those who do go onto perpetrate such crimes.   Neither is there any word against the most spiteful piece of legislation going through the House of Commons at present, that is the Trades Union Bill.

The EU has long been held up as a beacon of civilisation, particularly in Germany where Trades Unions are seen as a partnership in employee relations and, as we have seen in recent months, what Germany advocates for itself, other countries must follow suit.   This singular piece of legislation will erode all the employment rights and good practices it has taken generations to build up, fight for recognition and replace them with something I think only Stalin would be proud of.

There has been a lot of talk, mostly badly informed, of left and right politics.   They are the same. The practices being forced through the UK parliament at present would be very familiar to those who lived behind the Iron Curtain, East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia (as it was then), Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.   The UK is currently under the most ideologically driven government in generations that is hell-bent on harming the foundations of democracy attracting the voices of Amnesty UK, Liberty and the British Institute of Human Rights but not a word from the EU about this.  (the cynic in me asks whether this is in anticipation of proposals being put forward in TTIP that will, when ratified be incorporated into UK practice and legislation?).

But because Poland dares not to toe the line and strives for self-determination, however clumsily, it is criticised and threatened.   The latest news maybe more revealing than one thinks.   David Cameron has agreed to send 1,000 troops to Poland to train Polish troops and bolster NATO presence in Poland in, wait for it, 2020. By that time the UK will be out of the EU, the EU itself will have imploded under the sheer weight of incompetence, intransigence across so many areas. It is a monster that is unable to move in any direction politically, logistically or financially (save for simple trade) simply because of the fact each member “state” is in fact a country in its own right.

For the sake of completeness and understanding the EU is simply a trading bloc, nothing more.   It can never be a United States of Europe. It is too cumbersome, there are too many factors pertaining to each country to ensure that legislation is equally applied across the board. What works well for one country will not work in another. Certain standards and guidelines can be applied, but politically? Forget it.

I wonder whether this is simply something to take the minds off those in Brussels from more pressing matters, or whether any spark of individuality is seen as a threat. Having listened to the debate in the European Parliament between Beata Szydlo and MEPs there has been a gross misrepresentation of the Polish situation that yet again, for all the fine words the world has for Poland and its people, still considers Poles to be the niggers of Europe.  Barbaric, uncivilised, incapable of proper democratic self determination.   It is also an increasing desperation of not just Europe but its US “masters” that such inappropriate language as “Putinisation of Poland” is used.

America desperately needs a war to break out somewhere in the world so it can justify military spending on an ever increasing scale. Anywhere in the world and so it pushes in Libya, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Ukraine, China and now Europe.  So far nobody is taking the bate.

The question is, does the world want another war on its hands to play into America’s hands and allow its unfettered domination gain further momentum until the entire world is destroyed according to its’ own philosphy, or will Europe as the mature nations of the world decide their own fate, settle the Syrian question with President Putin putting in as much effective effort as possible and return the Syrians to their own countries with the assistance of help in rebuilding and resettlement therein?

Just for the record the current government in power in Poland has corrected a situation created by the outgoing government that put in place judges of its own political leanings, and amended it with five judges of the political leanings of its own, thereby ensuring a fair and balanced outlook and outcome of proceedings.

Voting for WW3? Not In My Name

London Life

However much the UK government wants to bomb IS, ISIL, ISIS or whatever other name these terrorists call themselves this week, the reasons for doing so are at best tenuous. That we should worry of what other people might think is not a good enough reason to ask young men and women to throw away their lives.   The 77,000 names of terrorist groups that have been conjured up by Cameron have the familiar ring of WMD and we all remember how well that went down! In this I fully support Jeremy Corbyn in his opposition to wanting to bomb terrorists in Syria.  The UK should lend backroom support but bombing is not on, especially as the UK arms manufacturers have equipped and made money from these groups.

Has the British government in tandem with the US government not done enough damage in the Middle East with their founding, training, equipping and funding of such proxy armies? The claim that “Oh well, once we’d trained and armed them they just went elsewhere and sold the equipment” is not just gross incompetence, it is a flagrant disregard of the consequences of even thinking that such an “army”(and I use the word loosely) would be happy to be the puppets of such two-faced governments.

President Putin is doing a stellar job of targeting these groups and treating them as equal. Pushed to define “other terrorist groups,” Sergei Lavrov said: “If it looks like a terrorist, if it acts like a terrorist, if it walks like a terrorist, if it fights like a terrorist, it’s a terrorist, right?” There is no such thing as a “moderate terrorist”.   Today he may fight your cause, tomorrow someone else’s, what’s the difference? You’re still counting dead people who have nothing to do with the argument you have with the world.

 

A Cross Hairs Moment, The Most Important Decision for Humanity

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

We have officially witnessed a watershed moment in history that has been building up for several years now, which is the massacre in Paris of 129 people by professional mercenaries who were armed and funded by the same people who seek proxy wars in the middle east, the USA.

Through having a proxy army in Syria, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia that calls itself IS, among other names from time to time, the US has encouraged a war of attrition, fear and utmost brutality that have put fear amongst the populations of these countries. The only countries with the willingness and capacity to eliminate IS, Russia & Iran are having some notable successes much to the chagrin of US policy makers.

The above has laid the ground very nicely for the next stage of the proxy war that the US has been pushing for in recent years, that is the war within Europe. By having young, healthy men of military age invading Europe in a concerted manner under the guise of, and among genuine refugees, they have come not just from Syria but across Africa in countries that have not been in occupation by EU countries, and Pakistan and Afghanistan. I’d like to know what geographical commonality there is (other than they are all muslim countries) that makes these people think they can just come along into Europe spreading their open hate of us & bloody wars.

Europe itself is now lost, to all intents and purposes.   Schengen has been disbanded in all but name. The only countries who are able to see this invasion for what this really is, are those who were occupied countries themselves until quite recently, i.e. former Communist bloc countries. Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Austria are the only countries whose people have not been brainwashed by political correctness and have no fear of the accusation of “racism”.

For the purposes of clarity, racism is a term used to prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. As it is the sole intention of IS to completely dominate, subjugate and annihilate the European people, who are the racists now?

This, together with the pincer movement of financial subjugation used by the ECB and IMF in Europe have now brought Europe and the world to a place where a careful choice has to be made between capitulating to the so-called “world order” as ordained by US strategists that will rain down terror, slavery and eternal poverty on its population (thereby ensuring that TTIP will be accepted as the lesser of two evils, even though the US will openly flout such agreements to its own advantage), or giving Washington the middle finger, aligning EU military efforts against IS with Russia & Iran as it seeks to rid the world of this evil scourge and seek to live peacefully within our own borders, trading with each other as we have done for centuries, in friendship and common purpose.

Poland has to wake up if it isn’t caught up in all of this, the Poles will realise soon enough what “good allies” the Americans really are.   President Putin has asked that those who desecrated the war memorial at Warsaw’s Skaryszewski Park be found and punished. This should be done. Although the memories are still recent and within living memory, it should not cloud the fact that Poland is now being frightened into activities against its own interests and against Russia.   It will need all the help it can get from Russia very soon and must now do what has been requested for the sake of good relations with its neighbour.

Polska musi się obudzić , jeśli nie jest się wciągnąć w to wszystko , Polacy będą realizować szybko, tyle , co ” dobre sojusznicy ” Amerykanie są naprawdę. Prezydent Putin poprosił, by ci, którzy zbezcześcili pomnik wojny w warszawskim Parku Skaryszewskim być odnalezieni i ukarani . Należy to zrobić . Mimo, że te wspomnienia są wciąż niedawno iw pamięci dziennym , nie powinny zaciemniać faktu , że Polska jest obecnie w działalność przeciwko przestraszył własnych interesów i przeciwko Rosji . Będzie to każda pomoc może uzyskać od Rosji bardzo szybko i musi teraz robić to, co jest wymagane w imię dobrych stosunków z sąsiadem.

An End to All Wars

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

Ahead of 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when WW1 officially ended, in the UK as in other parts of the world, heads of state and political leaders commemorate those who lost their lives not just in that war, but in WW2 and subsequent wars since.

This year has seen an unprecedented amount of such “commemorations” where WW1 has been used as an excuse to ramp up the talk of war across the world with devastating effects. It is very clear that whilst heads of state and political leaders look solemnly at the various monuments dotted around the world, laying poppy wreaths, paying tribute, behind the scenes they continue to prepare for a war nobody wants.

Rhetoric from 10 Downing Street and the White House is about “the need to defend against terrorists”. Pots are stirred all over the world in the China seas currently, across Latin America and the Pacific Rim through “trade agreements” and military posturing; in the Middle East, in Europe through stirring up unrest in the ME forcing millions to flee their countries stretching the boundaries to which Europe is able to accommodate and assist these people. The pot is particularly being stirred in Poland fermenting fear towards Russia which is the big target, along with China.

The hypocrisy of these bloodthirsty bastards who have never seen conflict personally and, because of their positions, will never be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice themselves is breathtaking. Who do they think they are that they can meddle in the affairs of countries unilaterally without permission killing at will? So far as American politicians are concerned the world maybe the chess board and nations chess pieces, but many politicians are the kinds of people who should NEVER be in the positions they are in as they are mentally deficient, characterless deviants whose legacy to the world and humanity is one to be ashamed of.

Its easy to commemorate dead people, they will never demand anything from society.   They won’t grow old, won’t have families, demand healthcare or pensions but politically are very convenient.

As you look at the faces of these politicians and heads of state, don’t be fooled by their expressions. They will do what needs to be done and then go back to their warm, cosy lives of wealth and privilege safe in the knowledge they can plan the next campaign across the world wherever it might be, moving the next chess pieces along the board for their own amusement.

  1. A pot-stirrer or shit-stirrer is someone who goes around picking fights with people, or spreads lies among people with the result that people will argue about what was said rather than turning on the person fermenting the trouble. Its a cockney saying.

Remember, remember, the fifth of November

Autumn, Celebrations, democracy, democratic rights, London Life

On the day when the British celebrate Guy Fawkes and that the English government (as it was then) outfoxed his plan to blow up parliament, I think it is fitting that we remember that the real power lies not with governments but with us all.

At a time when governments in the Western hemisphere behave with ever more outrageousness curtailing human rights our forefathers and mothers fought hard to gain in the first place, the day after the British Tory government announced it is seeking to extend surveillance powers over ordinary citizens to see what websites we visit through provider companies, we should remember that a man who had the gumption to stand up for what he believed in and go to extraordinary lengths to gain his objective was caught and punished as an example to us all.

The modern day Guy Fawkes’ now are Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and countless others. These are the people shining a light into some very dark corners of humanity, particularly those dark corners where governments like to hide their nefarious secrets. We need to wake up and realise what is being done while we are busy working for a living, trying to have a normal life and make things better for our families.

Interestingly I read a description of Guy Fawkes earlier today and he was described as a terrorist. Growing up in the UK his story was told to us children regularly but it never dawned on us the enormity of what he actually did, it was just a story and we could have some fun with fireworks and enjoy baked potatoes baked in the embers of the bonfires and toffee apples. The meaning Guy Fawkes rebellion gives is more poignant meaning at this point in time.

The Price of Everything is Money

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

Is it me, or has everything shot up in price over the last few months? Around April/May I was able to afford one meal out per month on my modest salary, now I can barely make one end meet the other. I have cut back to the bone and will, in all probability not be able to pay my water bill this month.   I wonder how many other people have made similar connections in the UK or even around the world?

In the UK this phenomenon can directly be attributed to the Tories getting back into government in May as there were enough gullible people who voted Tory, and are now beginning to regret this.

Public sector workers are being made to pay for the profligacy of the bankers who are still laughing all the way to their over-inflated bank accounts.   The working poor across all sectors of society are being used as a scapegoat for all the ills of society. Those people who are unable to work through ill health are being demonised for being dependent on state benefits and help with daily living and yet instead of investing further in manufacturing and industry government has a “hands-off” approach and couldn’t give a damn. The only sector the Tory government are interested in propping up is the financial sector.

The slice of cake we all have in order to be able to live is getting smaller and smaller and we are told to make do with less and are a burden to society. I note sections of the press announced that the £100 heating allowance and the £10 Christmas bonus given to pensioners is going to be scrapped as “they’ll all be dead soon anyway and won’t be voting again” around the time of the Tory party conference didn’t even draw a murmur from commentators. I wonder whether that comment was to test the waters or whether government are seriously considering going one step further and culling anyone over the age of 65 regardless of their health.   To which my reply is as long as the Royal Family are the first to be culled in such a manner I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

In the previous 5 years public sector workers have been had to take a pay cut in real terms (1% of fuck all is still fuck all), tax credits are being cut back, tax relief on pensions is seriously being considered by Osborne (the next step is stealing pensions under the guise of a tax, it will come) the housing market is so overheated the bubble is about to burst, however I have been saying the same thing for the past 15 years, but it seems saturation point has been reached, there aren’t enough millionaires, never mind billionaires willing to buy properties at present. If they do buy to rent, when the bubble finally bursts (and it will, sooner than later) they will still be unable to recoup their losses through the rental market.   This is not a good time to buy property unless you are going to live in that property and aren’t worried about house prices.

Since 2010 MPs have awarded themselves a payrise in excess of 10% save for last year when it was “only”9%, the Queen has got a handsome raise in her allowance and a new state coach (why she can’t take the bus to open parliament I don’t know) and yet this week the EU and UK politicians have fiddled the financial figures to tell us mere mortals that inflation is at 0% – REALLY???   I have had to switch to using discounters in my weekly shop, I buy food I can prep myself, my list of “treats” has rapidly diminished and I still have difficulty in making ends meet.   Osborne has had his nose bloodied by the House of Lords for trying to cut tax credits to the working poor, yet I wonder how much MPs will award themselves this year?

If it is the case that the financial sector is the only one worth government putting any effort into, then it should be taxed so as to be able to prop up the rest of the country that either has work in other industries and the rest of society. In short, everybody should have a bigger share of the cake.   Payrises should be uniform across the board.  MPs are less skilled than many workers in the public or private sectors and certainly have no greater skills that give them the right to award themselves more money than the rest of us.

Telling the working poor they must make do with less money while the rich swan around in their limousines is totally unacceptable.   The rich have systematically stolen from working people and the most vulnerable in society and should return this with interest.  I think the time has come to discuss the prospect of not just a living wage in its proper sense of firms paying people a real salary as they did before the Tories came into government, responsible capitalism I think it’s called.   There should be a guarantee that anyone who is unable to work for whatever reason, bearing in mind there are fewer jobs around and less money to be spent in society, has a guaranteed baseline income they can live on to meet their obligations for rent, bills and so on.   At present I would say that threshold is around £30,000 per annum in the UK.   Public sector workers should also be supported as there will always be a need for these services, they are essential for the fabric of society to remain viable in all its forms.

Oh Dear, Here we go again

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

Our inept PM has been playing host to the Chinese leader Xi Jinping this week and while, for once, he didn’t embarrass himself, he managed to sign an agreement for a joint venture between France and China to build a nuclear reactor to supply energy where the Chinese will have a free hand in the modality of its construction.   The news on 31st October is that a building collapsed in Beiwudu in Wuyang County killing 17 people, leaving 23 injured.   I wonder whether Dave might want to reconsider such a partnership scheme as there won’t be a UK if this goes ahead. I would certainly have reservations that below-standard building techniques could be used which would be disastrous and cause another Fukishima.

I have previously stated my preference for renewable energy to be nurtured as it is quicker, easier and more effective to get up and running and there is a long-term pay off for these. The same cannot be said for nuclear which, by its very nature, needs to be carefully managed at every stage and I wonder if Dave has thought this through thoroughly enough.

 

Stop Press, Move to the Left, Move to the Right

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

I just have to post a quick comment on the anticipated results of the elections in Poland and the results in Portugal.

Whilst I’ve never been a fan of the Duck Brothers (Kaczynski)* when Lech and Jaroslaw were in parliament together, considering them to be country bumpkins who lack finesse in some of their ideas and in foreign affairs and in some of their views, Jaroslaw seems to be on the verge of pulling off a big result.   As his views are rather more than simply eurosceptic as in the UK, he would be joined by other smaller parties in Poland advocating heavy taxes on banks and higher spending on welfare for the majority of its people.   In this he seems to have hit a cord with the electorate.  However it turns out, I wish Poland well in her pursuit of self determination.

Portugal on the other hand left me absolutely gobsmacked when Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, took the unprecendented step of banning eurosceptic parties and any move to the left, even though the anti-austerity parties won a staggering 50.7% of the vote.  Led by the Socialists, they control the Assembleia

Anibal Cavaco Silva declared “Democracy must take second place to the higher imperative of euro rules and membership”.   He is terrified that any deviation of the path laid down by the Troika will spell years of further disaster for Portugal, but 7 years of utter hell for the Portugese people and they, among others have had more than enough.

There seems to be a trend started in Greece at the beginning of the year and it shows no sign of stopping.   It will gather momentum until each country in Europe can determine for themselves how they wish to live.   It does not necessarily mean enmity, but a necessary respect that is currently not there and certainly not something any politician in Brussels bothers themselves with.

I have said this before, the financial experiment is over in Europe.  The fiscal discipline is more than can be borne by any country other than Germany, in which case Germany is welcome to it.  By trying to sneak in a kind of statehood of Europe by the back door is the most stupid thing that anyone could even think of doing, and yet, here we are.   The Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact are works of fiction and unsustainable.  Each country has its own history, culture, language, traditions and topography within which it works and lives and each citizen of these countries is very proud of, and rightly so.   To think that Europe can be one homogenous mass beyond a trading partnership is an exercise in the foolishness of politicians.

*kaczka is Polish for duck, the name Kaczynski is a derivation of that.

And On It Trundles

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

As TTIP trundles towards being adopted as legally binding in all European countries it seems despite having collected 3,318,592 signatures of all people in those countries, I notice that the hitherto high standards Europe has prided itself on are slowly being dropped.   I can no longer buy pharmaceutical drugs with aspirin in them, which I find very effective for pain.   One well known discount grocery shop now only sells American nuts rather than native European nuts (why I have no idea. Hungary is closer to the UK than the US, therefore it would be cheaper and more cost effective to have Hungarian walnuts on our shelves).   What have been standard employment benefits (such as paid holidays, sick leave, child care, work place pension) are now being re-packaged as something extra-ordinary.

Five years of Tory government (5 years within a coalition, not that you’d notice) and we have had our expectations lowered to such a level as to be risible if it weren’t so tragic.

And yet, in all of this I found something that makes my heart sing, just a little.   The Guardian published a story explaining that Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler have been operating under illegal tax deals granted to them under letters of comfort (a legal document which is a communication from a party to a contract to the other party that indicates an initial willingness to enter into a contractual obligation absent the elements of a legally enforceable contract. The objective is to create a morally binding but not legally binding assurance) by a certain Jean-Claude Juncker in his 18 year tenure in Luxembourg.   Here is the fun part, these two companies were not the only ones granted such assurances as Mr Juncker granted around 340 companies similar terms of avoidance of tax.   Having commented in my previous postings on Mr Juncker’s ringing endorsement for TTIP in a speech in Brussels a month or two previously, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he finds his position untenable in the near future.

In the interests of a New World Order (as it’s called these days) where one size fits all regardless of how mature a country is at being able to make its way through the commercial morass that seems to be engulfing humanity at present, I note there was a proposal for student fees in South Africa to rise 10-12% (does this seem familiar to any of my readers, I wonder?) white and black students protested, the government listened and backed down.   Thank goodness common sense prevailed.

In all the “free trade agreements” being bandied around like confetti to all countries concerned, they have caused the most harm in African countries who are still young countries and, coming out of decades of grinding poverty, find education is their best hope of coming out of it.   Being told by other countries and institutions (IMF, World Bank, etc, etc) that their young people should just accept living in mud huts and shanty towns as normal is beyond belief.   These young people did the right thing to demonstrate and stop such a stupid idea.   The point I’m trying to make is that these agreements, and TTIP, CETA and others do NOTHING to advance the human race, but hold it back, reduce whatever advances have been made so far.

Politicians are not respected because they are happy to “do deals” which benefit themselves but not those who put them there in the first place, us the voters.   This needs to change really quickly. Politicians and media deliberately muddy the waters between government and power. Politicians are in government to govern, that is to make decision that will benefit us in the months and years to come. TTIP, CETA et al are not those decisions.   They are not good for people and not good for the environment.

In the UK we’re going to get to vote whether to stay in the EU or not in 2017 (if Dave is still in government). After the events over the summer I would say there is a 60% chance the UK will leave. However, we don’t get the same opportunity to have a referendum over TTIP, CETA and other such agreements.   If we’re going to become slaves then the last, faintly democratic act the EU can give us is to determine whether we actually do want to become slaves to faceless corporations who will assume they own us body and soul, not pay us what they owe us (after all, when did you hear of slaves being paid?).   I’ve put my name to such a proposal and would urge my readers to do the same. Lobby their MP, MEP, Senator that there should be a referendum on this issue and that a vote either way of more than 70% should count as a mandate.   That’ll make the bastards sweat!

I’m Losing My Mind

democracy, democratic rights, Food, London Life

I’m beginning to worry about my state of mind in that in the space of 2 months I am in agreement with Cameron and Hunt in their stance of not simply taking in refugees willy-nilly as the Germans have done and in delaying a report on a sugar tax, if publishing at all.   I have already stated my view on the former and will proceed to expand on the latter.

I think the UK has lost it way in many areas of life. We have become far too influenced by American thinking and in so doing doubt our own common sense.   The idea of taxing every single area of human life is an absurdity that will do us no good in the long term and I believe stems from a lack of security in our thinking as well as a desire to be in control of the uncontrollable, i.e. life itself which is beset by many problems and scenarios.

America is still a very young continent and, as such, has no real identity but feels threatened by everyone else’s, even where there is no threat. As such it tries to control and reduce every other country to its own level in order for it to feel superior.   Any parent will understand the above analogy as, particularly with teenagers who hang around together will form their own “language” between them that they alone understand. Adults are ridiculed because they don’t understand that language and are unable to share it.   However by default teenagers feel they are invincible and don’t need to be told anything by adults and it is only later on they realise the folly of their ways.   The biggest mistake any adult can make is to emulate teenagers, the adults look ridiculous and embarrassing at the same time. Not a good look.

While there are those people who like sugar far too much and supermarkets with their ready meals pamper to those tastes too often, it would be a shame to simply slap another tax on them for the sake of it.   This is just lazy thinking.

However, a closer look at items that are subject to VAT would show those busy-bodies protest too much as they are already subject to VAT. Chocolate buttons, chocolate flakes, wholly or partially covered chocolate biscuits, chocolate decorated gingerbread men (unless the chocolate used amounts to no more than a couple of dots for eyes), ice cream wafers partly covered in chocolate (chocolate oysters). Chocolate and, it seems anything covered in chocolate, is subject to VAT. Sweetsk pastilles, gums, lollipops, candy floss, sherbert, marshmallow, fondants and similar confectionary, compressed fruit bars, sweetened popcorn, crystalised, sugared or chocolate covered ginger. Even slimmers’ meal replacement bars in biscuit form wholly or partly covered in chocolate.   Fruit cordials, squashes and carbonated drinks are all subject to standard VAT, among others. We are taxed to the hilt.

Of all the really important things going on in life at the present time, the most insane thing is there is now a 5p tax on plastic bags, a road tax, a tax on hot meals in restaurants, ice creams and similar frozen products, alcoholic beverages, snacks (incl crisps, salted nuts), Council tax, road tax, smoking, devices for quitting smoking i.e. patches & gum), a tax for watching television (called the licence fee), the national lottery (another stealth tax as although it isn’t obligatory to pay it, the proceeds are used to fund projects previously under the domain of government.

We previously joked that after all the taxes paid throughout the year, we actually had one third of our income to ourselves to do with as we pleased.   It seems that is no longer the case, practically 95% of our income is used to paying taxes of one sort or another. At this rate why do we bother to get out of bed anymore?   What is government doing for us in return?

I have said in previous blogs that government, the royal family and other assorted privileged people seem to treat the money we pay as taxes as their own, to do with as they wish. I think its high time we not only got value for money, but that we get something in return for our hard earned efforts such as decent social housing, good education for our children and young people, higher salaries for our public servants (and by that I mean the people actually doing the hard work at the lower end of the payscales, not those occupying senior management positions who have done very well for themselves), decent living standards, and most importantly proper accountability of MPs to the same standard they ask of the rest of us and that we pay one standard tax to cover everything rather than the creeping taxation of every facet of human life. I would say that if there is a standard tax of 40% for those earning more than £45,000, but that nobody earning less than £15,000 pays any tax (without losing any pension benefits) I enough to cover most aspects of life and leave people with a decent amount of money for their own needs.   Standard tax should apply to those earning less than £45,000.

Red Team, Blue Team

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

I’ve been watching the annual Tory Party conference and just wanted to voice my thoughts on this in comparison to the annual Labour Party conference held last week.   There is a small shift in the Tory stance towards completely stripping Britain of everything that moves, or could possibly move towards a successful economy for ordinary working people in that a member of the former Labour government, Lord Adonis, is to take a look at the infrastructure needs of Britain and report back to number 10 as what should be done. This is played up as something huge, but simply talking about it doesn’t make it happen in the real world.

What is very disquieting is chancellor George Osborn is cutting back working tax credits drastically for the poorest people on the lowest minimum wage and then announcing this is going to make these people better off. Simple arithmetic shows otherwise.   In the last two weeks while the news reporters were busy reporting on the surging migrants making their way into Europe and traveling their way through the Channel Tunnel into Blighty, the Tories cut child benefit to the first two children in any family.   With the same breath he announced a cut in inheritance tax for the richest people in society. His justification? House prices have risen so much in the last 5 years it makes sense for these to be passed onto the relatives of those who have passed on so they aren’t penalised. It would also help if there was a proper social house building programme in place which would lower house prices and allow those who cannot afford to buy, rent a home from local councils as happened for many years in the UK.   While it may make sense if your family owns property worth millions of pounds, or even modest property in London one has to look at his track record so far.

The Tories have cut benefits to the sick, imposed the hated bedroom tax (it’s a bit difficult to demonstrate against these in a wheelchair or on crutches with a heavy police presence) while at the same time making sure our so-called politically neutral queen gets her share of money in the form of a shiny, brand new state coach and year-on-year pay rises of 20-30%. They have systematically cut not just the salaries of public sector workers in health, fire service, teachers, council worker, but radically altered their pensions to a position where those workers will be worse off as they will be working longer, paying in more and getting less out when they come to retire, but also compromising the safety of those same workers while at the same time awarding themselves pay awards of 10% in 2015 on top of a 9% in 2014, 14% in 2013, 11% in 2012 and 10% in 2011.

Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek Finance Minister was absolutely correct when he stated recently on BBC’s Question Time programme that this is nothing less than a class war.   The Tories have declared outright war on working people, particularly those who keep the infrastructure of society working so that more people get the support when and where they need it.

The Tories keep talking about those “hard working people, doing the right thing” what they really mean is, you keep working hard for nothing while we pick your pockets and dismantle your rights and you’ll thank us for doing so.   They are also saying “We’ll drive businesses to the wall so nobody can earn a living, even those who are self-employed who will be left on the sidelines in terms of being able to claim any kinds of benefits so our chums across the water can come in and completely asset strip this country of everything that could possibly move and you’ll be so grateful to work for nothing”.

Cameron has never looked so uncomfortable when confronted by news anchor Jon Snow about the contract to provide prison services to Saudi Arabia which would also include having to carry out brutal, barbaric sentencing such as lashing, cutting off limbs and beheading of those sentenced. When asked to justify this he squirmed and shifted in his seat, talked about “national security” and intelligence about a bomb that “could have potentially gone off”. Oh please, that old chestnut.

The other clue is also in that Cameron has appointed Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor to Margaret Thatcher to head the EU exit campaign. Nobody has yet been appointed to the “Remain in the EU campaign”. There is a lot of talk about Cameron renegotiating a deal with Brussels about the Ts & Cs (terms and conditions) of the UK remaining in the EU, but Cameron’s track record of negotiating is poor. He’s more comfortable making snide remarks from the sidelines rather than being honest and forthright, as outlined by his close friend Michael Ashcroft in his book, “Call me Dave”, and will happily go back on any promises he wants to.

I believe the real reason for wanting a Brexit is that in the next few years those people reaching retirement age will become eligible for the higher pension of £155 per week per person which is nearer the European norm.   Taking the UK out of the EU will stop all that nonsense and pensioners can look forward to being the worst off in the whole of Europe as we’ve always been.  After all, its a British tradition.

When are people going to realise that this is what we have to look forward to for the next 5 years? The UK will be completely decimated and these rich people, especially including the Royal Family who hold us in complete disdain while laughing all the way to their private bank accounts.

While I understand the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn need to get definite policies under their belts before they come into power, I very much fear there won’t be much of Britain left in 5 years’ time. The time to act must come sooner if Britain is to have any chance of real recovery and a decent society being forged.

Week of 4th Oct 2015

democracy, democratic rights, London Life

Its been a week of tawdry ups and downs. The highs were brought to us by the Labour Party Conference in Brighton where we heard the newly elected leader Jeremy Corbyn and his Shadow Cabinet speak on key issues such as communities, defence, economics and the UK envisioned by Jeremy Corbyn and his Shadow Cabinet.   Much of this was uplifting, sober and made common sense to many people.

The other high was brought by Vladimir Putin’s address to the UN where he pulled no punches and made no apologies for taking the bull by the horns to say that Russia and Iran, among others were to instigate strikes against IS, ISIS, ISIL and whatever other names they choose to call themselves as the random hits against these targets by US, UK and EU forces have systematically failed to meet their targets in the last four years.   Moreover this action has been welcomed by President Assad of Syria who has been fighting single handedly against these same factions. The reason for this is that both Iran and Russia have a better idea on the ground where such factions are located and, rather than through indiscriminate bombing of towns, villages and cities that includes civilians more often than not; Russian and Iranian actions would be more effective.

Several reports from the Middle East region have stated that they do not believe the sincerity of the USA, UK and other countries engaged in air strikes against these groups as they have compounded the difficulties faced by ordinary citizens of these countries.   Immediately it was announced such action was to be taken the media sniping started.   Accusations of civilians and other “soft” targets being bombed were screamed across the world’s new front pages – even before they had become airborne, if you please!! This is the lowest point of the stories this week.

What could possibly be the reason why there is so much carping and sniping about the incredible success rate of the Russian and Iranian assistance in such a short space of time? The cynic in me would postulate that these groups were originally trained, funded and equipped by the USA, the US is keen to protect its investment by ensuring there is as much instability in the Middle East which allows the idea that the US economy is stable and growing (covered in the blood of many millions of lives taken during these phony wars).

The hundreds of thousands of refugees coming into Europe aren’t coming over by accident, although as I have said previously there are a good many of those from other countries coming in as well who are not Syrian. They are seeking some kind of stability, societal and economic.   As a Londoner we have a saying about people who like to cause trouble and then walk away when it gets a bit too hot to handle, we call them shit-stirrers and that’s what American politicians are, shit-stirrers.

Our wonderful Paper PM David Cameron has also not escaped the news either.   Here is a man who excels in alienating himself from society and not giving a damn what anyone thinks, including former supporters and friends. Michael Ashcroft (Lord Ashcroft) who donated £8m to the Tory party, some of which bore the fruit of a peerage for him.   However Michael Ashcroft wanted a more substantive post in the new Government but Dave by-passed him for others. Ashcroft has decided to exhume the dead bodies in Cameron’s tawdry life very thoroughly in his book “Call Me Dave” which was serialised in that awful rag, the Daily Flail(Mail).

The most salacious story was that when Dave was a student at Oxford (where else?) during a dinner one evening he put his private parts in a dead pigs mouth.   I feel sorry for the pig, was the act consensual or forced, one will never know.

Where the account gets interesting is in the description of how Ashcroft was promised a job in his cabinet which was reneged on when the time came for Dave to meet his obligations, sounds familiar? There seems to be a pattern of familiarity here which was very evident during the election in May this year. Dave isn’t someone who can do face-to-face discussions, he’s more comfortable to insinuate, undermine and capitulate at a distance.

As I sit with the BBC website open writing this article, the headings read “ PM Resists Call to Ease Tax Credit Cut” and “PM Plans More Drones to Fight ISIS” – Gameboy warfare for outright cowards and bullies of the lowest calibre.   It fits the description of Dave so well.

While Dave is so busy rubbishing the pig story as sour grapes, one should bear in mind that Ashcroft speaks with some authority having been a personal friend of Cameron’s for many years. What goes around, comes around.