EU politicians didn't get the joke..
Some EU state politicians have expressed their opposition to Ted Malloch a likely new US ambassador to the EU to be confirmed by Donald Trump. Last Thursday he made a somewhat dry joke to Andrew Neal on the This Week programme (Thursday 26th January, 2017) when he expressed words to the effect that he had previously worked to down the Soviet Union and maybe we have in the EU another organization that needs to be tamed. This was a joke. Clearly many EU politicians have no sense of humour or have purposely taken this statement out of context.
Michael Fallon's assertions a UK version of post truth or is it fake news?
Michael Fallon, the UK Defence Secretary, has began to make assertions concerning the cyber activities of Russia, that lack evidence to support them. Like the disgruntled US Democrats he is only corrupting information and helping steepen the dangerously slippery slope towards an Orwellian UK post truth fake news environment. As would be expected, BBC the state broadcast organization, has enthusiastically picked up the trail and simply repeated his empty words, aping the antics of CNN in the USA. This is a somewhat frivolous and unsubtle attempt to bolster the current push by Theresa May concerning NATO support being reviewed at an informal meeting in Malta.
But it really is time that the role of NATO be reassessed for the post-Soviet era, it is in dire need of a rational justification. It's current sabre rattling in the Baltic is an out of date irritant to intelligent Europeans and an ongoing waste of tax payers' funds. So rather than waste time asking people to increase their budgets for military spending to 2% of national expenditures it would be far better to spend more time assessing the utility of NATO. The people concerned only want to maintain the NATO process but they have not assessed the need.
According to SASI handbooks, needs are defined on the basis of identifying deficits in provisions and not on sustaining a process, since this assumes we have already identified the needs. The needs are defined by the changing security requirements of the post-Soviet era and in particular the terrorist threat; we have not done this.
The emerging sub-prime pension scandal
Failing pension funds in Texas (police & firemen in Houston & Dallas) and California (public officials -relying on CalPERS) are having to cut pay outs. In the case of CalPERS by up to 60%. These failures are the outcome of poor risky investments, lavish executive perks and because of past reliance on junk bonds and derivatives purchased in search of "yield". This distortion is a direct outcome of quantitative easing and the low interest rate policies. The sub-prime pension scandal has began to spread, just like the sub-prime mortgage crisis, across the Atlantic to Europe and will have similar outcomes.
The more troublesome aspect is that in trying to save the pension funds politicians are likely to follow the disastrous route of bank bail outs leaving the tax payer to foot the bill. It is clear that governments need to re-introduce regulations that prevent not only the sale of predatory derivatives (the cause of the whole recent financial crisis) but also to prevent any private or state organization compensating for such bad decision making by calling on tax payers to pay up when they had nothing to do with the decisions.
Bit coin passes $1,000
Bit coin has jumped some $250 , from $750 to $1,000, in just a month or so as a result of uncertainty surrounding paper currencies resulting from the general economic situation but also as a result of the Indian and Venezuelan withdrawal of high value notes so as to enforce banking of funds to secure value by substituting high value notes for more lower value notes.
Vermont Electricity facility Russian hack - nothing of the kind
The Washington Post reported on Friday that Moscow could be behind intrusion into a laptop owned by a Vermont electricity utility but like the New York Times they appear to be incapable of checking their facts. According to Ibn Nr, the Vermont intrusion is a simple hacker's code known as P.A.S. and its version is V.3.1.7 which is designed to review content on Word Press sites. It runs from PHP once decrypted and it can be accessed using FireFox or Chrome browsers. The latest version of P.A.S. is V.4.1.1. This utility provides browser, explorer and search functions of directories, data base downloads and a port scanner that can bind ports to operations. It can force intrusion though to FTP and POP3 operations, can provide command line control of some operation systems functions and can show the server configuration.
This can be downloaded from the site of the builders: http://profexer.name/pas/download.php. This will not have been placed via a network, it needs to be downloaded, so there is nothing linking this to Moscow although the web site shows "Made in Ukraine". Not exactly something to be used for covert operations.
John McAfee on Cyber-securityIn an interesting exchange between Larry King and John McAfee, John McAfee made some straightforward statements on the topic of cyber-security.
The over-emphasis on the part of the USA, on cyber warfare meant that not enough investment or thought had been given to the development of protection against attacks. As it is, most systems in the USA and elsewhere are vulnerable to attack. The current dynamic is somewhat like the old cold war when in fact different sides can inflict considerable damage on the other but do not do so for fear of retaliation. The current grid systems linked to internet and radio controlled networks mean that whole energy systems and certain manufacturing and laboratory processes can be rendered inoperable. In spite of this, there is no defence.
Romano Prodi's grand plan
Prodi had a plan,
The yawning democratic deficit, the term used to describe the fact that Europeans are increasingly distrustful of the institutions which take decisions on their behalf but can do little about it within the European Union, was identified by Romano Prodi in 2000. He proposed a grandiose solution to be a US-style founding fathers-type constitutional convention.
What followed were two tragi-comic-disastrous sideshows.
D'Estaigne debased the Convention
This was the antics and behaviour of Valerie D'Estaigne as President of the so-called Convention on the European Constitution. This was a case study in how to marginalize the population by demonstrating an inability to managed a participatory process. The outcome, predictably was a Constitutional document that passed too much power to Brussels and it was obvious that the public would not accept it.
Angela Merkel demonstrated her lack of democratic credentials, in an open and cynical letter to Member State leaders. She explained that public referenda were not needed to get the Constitution accepted. All of the provisions could be imposed on the public by calling the Convention an amending treaty to avoid the need for referenda. The result was the Lisbon Treaty, a monument to the massive and shameful European democratic deficit.
Angela Merkel prevented any public referenda
Obama's spoiler tactics & wild accusations
Obama is dragging his decline in status as an end of term president to a low ebb. While Russia, Turkey and Iran have achieved a substantive move towards a lasting peace in Syria, Obama has authorized the supply of lethal weapons to "moderates", while the media and un-named officials accuse Russia of hacking, Obama has acted by expelling over 30 Russian diplomats. Russia has shown a more practical approach to Syria and a more mature approach to the fantasy tails coming out of the Beltway from Clinton devotees, bent on damaging relations with Russia. Thus Russia has not entered into the expected tit for tat response concerning the expulsion of diplomats making the USA look childish.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has stated that Obama’s “bitter” and “helpless” team has undermined the White House’s reputation. With the outgoing president not leaving “any” major foreign policy achievements as part of his legacy and instead of “putting an elegant period” to his two presidential terms has “made a huge blot” with his latest decision to impose more sanctions on Russia, expelling 35 Russian diplomats and closing two diplomatic compounds in the US. She wrote: “Today America, the American people were humiliated by their own president. Not by international terrorists, not by [the] enemy’s troops. This time Washington was slapped by own their master, who has complicated the urgent tasks for the incoming team in the extreme,” Zakharova wrote, labeling the current administration “a group of foreign policy losers, bitter and narrow-minded.”
Zakharova also said that with its incoherent foreign policy, Obama’s administration has inadvertently debunked a long-cherished myth of America’s exceptionalism that claims a special place in the world.
“This is it, [the] curtain [has dropped]. The bad performance is over. The whole world, from the front row to the balcony, is watching a devastating blow to America’s prestige and its leadership, dealt by Barack Obama and his semi-literate foreign policy team, which has exposed its main secret to the world – exceptionalism was a masked helplessness.” “No enemy of the United States could have done worse,” Zakharova concluded.
A growing myth is emerging to mould a new image for Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany. Barack Obama has just wound up a visit to Germany where he went out of his way to say what a stalwart ally Angela was. There is a major effort to somehow build her up as the role model of common values, liberty and the rule of law. However, somewhat typical of the dying Obama administration, he overlooks the inconvenient truth that she was instrumental in preventing Europeans gaining free expression and helped sustain the growing unacceptable European democratic deficit. It was Angela Merkel who encouraged all heads of state in the Union, in an open letter, not to provide the people of Europe with referenda on the introduction of the new European Constitution which had been hacked out in a participatory vacuum by Giscard d'Estaing. The other heads of state, many recent arrivals from ex-soviet regimes and few democratic inclinations willingly followed Merkel's advice, including Tony Blair. The result was the introduction of the infamous Lisbon Treating which extended the power of the unelected European Commission by introducing a foreign service and majority non-veto voting. Angela Merkel has very weak democratic credentials and cannot be trusted.
A journalist from the TV channel Russia Today (RT) at a US State Department press briefing in Washington, asked the State Department spokesperson, Admiral Kirby, to provide the names and locations of 5 Syrian hospitals he stated had been bombed by Russian and Syrian air forces. As is usual at such briefings State Department officials seldom can produce evidence for the most of the extreme assertions that they constantly level against Russia. In this case Kirby lost control and ranted on about why the journalist didn't ask such questions of the (her) military authorities in Russia. He then went on to say he does not consider RT journalists to warrant the same treatment as the other assembled journalists. When asked why, he said because RT is state owned. This type of snide remark coming from a State Department official is a disgrace. RT is not state owned it receives funding from the Russia state just as does Voice of America, BBC in the UK and Die Velt in Germany.
The State department press briefing have always been run by third rate individuals who think it is smart not to answer the more searching questions that often come from RT journalists and this is a government department that lectures the world about "values" and "transparency" etc.,Russian propaganda?
Although US State Department and even Hillary Clinton have referred to RT as Russian propaganda the range of independent shows that accept no editorial orientation is impressive including world famous Larry King's "Politicking", Afghan Rattansi's "Going Underground", Edward Harrison and Amelia David's "Boom Bust" to name just a few. The reality is that RT is one of the few media that truly supports independent journalism that promote alternative interpretations of events. It is this that the US State Department does not want because it cuts across their desire to not admit alternative points of view or neutral stands. RT has provided the third party US Presidential candidates with air time which was not provided to the people of the USA by mainstream US outlets, many of which seem to be staffed by State Department stenographers.
Unacceptable level of media concentration in the UKOfcom has concluded that the Murdochs' bid to take over Sky may hand too much power to the Murdochs. To get around this, the Government has invited the Murdochs to make undertakings - promises that they will limit their control in specific ways - but they've made many such undertakings before and broken them.
Ofcom also said that there was insufficient evidence about corporate governance failures to raise formal concerns - but that's hardly surprising when the Government has intervened to stop Part Two of the Leveson Inquiry, designed specifically to gather and expose precisely this evidence. People have until Friday 14 July to persuade the Minister that any such undertakings will likely be completely worthless and that she shouldn't enter into a 'grubby deal' without first finding out the truth. We encourage all to ask their MPs to demand Leveson Part Two.
The reality is that this deal, which would hand the Murdochs more media power in the UK, should never have been considered in the first place. The Second Part of the Leveson Inquiry, which was promised in 2011 (and repeatedly promised since then), was established to investigate evidence of profound corruption and cover-ups at News of the World and News International while James Murdoch was Executive Chairman. That Part of the Inquiry could not proceed in 2011 because criminal trials were ongoing. Now that those trials have finished, the Government have no excuse for further delays. But not only have the Government failed to complete the Second Part of the Leveson Inquiry, they pledged in their manifesto to scrap it altogether. The Murdochs should not be allowed to take any more media power while the Leveson Inquiry has not been completed.
Question Time spoilersOf late, the number of members of the public in the BBC Question Time audience who appear to be working in coordination to denigrate members of the panel appear to be increasing, indicating some political party tactic. The last edition on Thursday 29th June, 2017, appeared to have a rather large number of grinning individuals who articulated Conservative mantras or jeered when people identified as being, or expressing opinions supportive of, Labour, spoke. This base behaviour only reflects badly on the Conservative party even if they don't recognise the people involved. The current image of the Conservative party is bad enough without this sort of "goon squad" behaviour which will only discourage people from taking the Conservative cause seriously. CNN is out of controlAfter revelations that several CNN senior staff have unwittingly admitted that the Russiagate "news" is in fact "Fake News", the credibility of CNN is on the line.
However, rather than stop insulting and boring the US public with sensational made up stories based on "unnamed sources" in an effort to sustain their ratings, they appear to have decided to double their efforts in this direction to repackage the junk they have served up in the last several months to represent it as "evidence" and a "smoking gun". CNN executives are aware that they never explained just what Russia has been accused of in terms of interfering with the election. So they are now cooking up new recipes by casting a different slant on their previous unconvincing narrative to stating that upsets within the Democratic party related to
the uncovering of unethical handling of Bernie Sanders by WikiLeaks led to the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic Party chairwoman. What CNN do not state is that it was Bernie Sanders who called for Wasserman Schultz's resignation. The source of the WikiLeaks emails is almost well-established to have been an inside job. The e-mails, first and foremost, exposed the Democratic National Convention’s (DNC) bias against Bernie Sanders. And yet, this totally parochial Democratic Party issue of dishonesty and exposure of unethical conduct is stated by CNN to have been in the interests of Russia. This exposure of lies and hypocrisy on the part of the Democrats and the reality of Clinton machine's brutally cynical modus operandi of knowing of Saudi funding of terrorists who kill American military personnel and yet accepting generous donations from the Saudis for their "Clinton Foundation". Clearly the exposure of this unacceptable level of irresponsible immorality is of far more interest to, and in the interests of, the people of the United States. How can it be claimed that all of this skullduggery generated by the shady characters who populate sections of the US political environment has any benefit to Russia, or according to CNN, to Vladimir Putin, is beyond comprehension.
A glossary to understand terms relevant to CNN's Russia-gate:
Skulduggery:- underhand, unscrupulous, or dishonest behaviour or activities:"a firm that investigates commercial skulduggery"
synonyms: trickery · swindling · fraudulence · double-dealing · sharp practice · unscrupulousness · underhandedness · chicanery · machinations · shenanigans · funny business · hanky-panky
Charlatan:-a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill. "a self-confessed con artist and charlatan"
synonyms include: quack · mountebank · sham · fraud · fake · humbug · imposter · pretender · masquerader · hoodwinker · hoaxer · cheat · deceiver · dissembler · double-dealer · double-crosser · trickster · confidence trickster · cheater · swindler · fraudster · racketeer · rogue · villain · scoundrel · phone · sharper · sharp · shark · conman · con artist · hustler · flimflammer · flimflam man · twister · grifter · bunco artist · gold brick · chiseller · shicer · magsman · illywhacker · schlenter · confidence man/woman · defalcator · tregetour etc
The assumption is that the American public has absolutely no mental capacity to see through this nonsense. It is depressing to watch highly paid "polished" presenters doing their set pieces in a weird coordinated theatre where each attempts to give the impression they are contributing information from "their unnamed sources" in a strongly choreographed and coordinated, but thoroughly depressing and embarrassing, act conducted by charlatan clowns.
It's the economy, stupid - or how the Labour party has got the message
It is remarkable just how ineffective the mainstream media in the United Kingdom have been in monitoring what the Labour party has been up to for some time in the area of economic policy. At a BSR (British Strategic Review) retreat this week (28th through 30th June, 2017) at SEEL (Systems Engineering Economic Lab) in Portsmouth, a limited number of invited APE journalists attended a workshop on the "New Economics". This title is the name given to an initiative of the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell designed to raise the level of economic debate. He announced this as an associated activity with an Economic Advisory Committee announced on 27 September 2015. He invited what are referred to as "leading economists" to give lectures at many different locations throughput the United Kingdom to focus largely on identifying what needs to change in policy terms to extract the country from the current ongoing state of economic crisis.
Some of the contributors to the New Economic series included Joseph Stiglitz, Mariana Mazzucato, Anastasia Nesvetailova, Yanis Varoufakis, John McDonnell with Tony Travers of LSE
The BSR retreat was not designed to promote Labour efforts but rather to analyse what the output of the initiative has been. Sessions were led by SEEL decision analysis and consisted of watching videos of several presentations and reviewing papers and then conducting analytical sessions to identify any significant content.
The broad sweep of presentations made by, largely academics, did address the emerging and current issues facing the economy in terms of a failing central bank policy, stagnating productivity, falling real incomes and a somewhat suicidal approach initiated under George Osborne and a complete lack of initiative under Phillip Hammond.
However, one of the most surprising facts was a more serious presentation made by John McDonnell which demonstrated a command of the subject, an ability to enter into practical details as well as cover a lot of new thinking and evaluations conducted so far by policy groups within the Labour party. One aspect of significance was McDonnell's ability level criticism at past Labour government mistakes as well as those of the Conservatives. Given the shocking media coverage the British media on John McDonnell characterizing him as some sort of ignorant Trotskyite supporter of the IRA and Hamas, he comes across as a mature, responsible and competent individual.
The lecture series was marked by very attentive audiences...
Towards the end of the retreat two significant issues were identified. One is that on balance the movement of Labour's New Economics is moving towards a policy configuration that has very little connection with the old characterizations of the various shades of the "left". Labour is working on the expression or narrative of the emerging policies which are becoming easier to explain simply because much of the jargon has had to be abandoned to improve transparency in communication. The likely result is that Labour's logic will outdo that of others raising their profile in terms of public perceptions of their competence in understanding and managing the economy.
The second is the fact that all of the academic presentations used standard economic terminologies. A short presentation by a senior SEEL decision analyst showed quite convincingly that much economic terminology is linked directly to specific economic models and as a result there is a general semantic problem, that is, a barrier to the identification of relevant alternatives. This is because each imagines the economy works in a specific way. In part, this is also due to economics being atomized into "schools of thought" and the habit of economists of classifying themselves as adherents to one or another. By way of example it was shown that so-called "supply side economics" has almost nothing to do with supply side operations. Another example was the emergence of the so-called real incomes approach to economics that can only be understood in terms of terminologies that were developed as part of the research giving rise to this approach. The most revealing additional dimension to this is that the real incomes approach to economics is in fact a fully-fledged supply side approach. The paradox here is that the real incomes approach emerged before so-called supply side economics did but the supply side narrative was easier to understand, even although it is not supply side but simply a fiscal device. It's downfall was its transformation into "trickle down economics" which became a mantra of people of a certain political persuasion. The real incomes approach makes a direct theoretical and policy instrument linkage between productivity, pricing, consumer real incomes and inflation control. It is a lot to swallow and comprehend but it describes the main issues that have been constantly overlooked and therefore contributed to the major disasters of the 1930s, 1970s and early 2000s. It integrates several issues and therefore transitions several economic domains that traditionally are kept separate in policy and indeed pertain to different schools.
Economics is, in reality, complex but initiatives such as New Economics are important in helping everyone descend a learning curve resulting, hopefully, in a better informed constituency and better political choices.
Strong leadership, something the Conservatives have tendency of not understandingMargaret Thatcher was one for the first-past-the-post British election system, because it resulted in a decisive result and majority, enabling governments to take decisions with little consideration for the "opposition". So none of this wimpy proportional representation nonsense or irksome coalitions. Although some thought she had a common touch, in the end she was more interested in wielding power as an "effective" leader. The problem with this approach is that when one has a commanding parliamentary majority it is essential to exercise an openly participatory style of decision-making, that is, to run a "proportional" representation or "coalition" on one's own terms. This way, like the process of designing a complex project or new system, one becomes aware of the real constraints and limitations facing policy by building a model of what determines success in delivery. This analytical process, if conducted well could change original concepts of what a policy should be. This requires some discipline as well as a process that demands high standards of information and objective analyses.
Under the UK political system, such an ideal is usually undermined by partisan infighting related to differing political philosophies that promote different models of how the economy works. Models can help design foreign policy strategies to avoid every growing catastrophes in the Middle East and the terrorist and migrant blowback in the UK. Because such analysis is not undertaken, the obvious is therefore not to be discussed. An obvious example is Saudi Arabia's central role in promoting Wahabi philosophy broadly in Western Europe and the UK as well as selectively in the Balkans, paying poor muslims to change their dress and appearance and to observe stricter behavior, purposely marginalizing these individuals in Bosnia and all countries down to Macedonia. Most know this is happening but no one acts. For some reason it is more convenient to accuse Russia and Iran and other bug bears who are not doing this sort of long term damage but they remain the "enemy". So-called strong leaders in the West repeatedly mistake arms sales and business as justifications of turning a blind eye to their funding of terrorists whose actions are increasingly harming members of the British and European public. The Saudi brandishing UK and USA manufactured weapons in their slaughter of Yeminis and their recent attempt to blame Qatar for "funding" terrorists only illustrates the primitive base nature of these people. The dominant power of the USA doesn't set a good example with a State Department that has pursued a disastrous foreign policy for many years of "strong leadership" based on "..if you are not with us you are against us" and no one can have a point of view that does no support the US position. The pathetic result has been the growth of Al Qaeda and ISIL, in short a multi-trillion dollar fiasco and bloodbath that has no end in sight. This is not strong leadership; it is insanity.
Moving back from our "allies", to the United Kingdom, it was strong leadership under Margaret Thatcher that loosened the regulations on financial organizations based on extra-constitutional arrangements where the banks were effectively regulating themselves which led to the first fiasco with Northern Rock, London becoming a centre for the sale of very dubious derivatives, major issue associated with the overflow of the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the USA into London and the corruption related to Libor rate fixing and the growth in asset stripping such as the case involving the Royal Bank of Scotland and thousands of failed SMEs. The blind promotion of "private enterprise" accompanied a massive bail out of the banks as opposed to the public, resulting in a two-fold exposure of public debt and an ever continuing growth in private debt. This heralded "quantitative easing" and the drop in interest rates resulting in banks helping themselves to cheap money to speculate in commodities and offering executive groups segments cheap money to buy back shares in their companies for short term gain and bolstering stock markets. In the meantime investment in business was considered to be too risky when compared with the bank's own "business" resulting in falling investment, stagnating growth and falling real incomes.
Clearly "strong leadership" has become directly correlated with a shallow intellect and incapacity to apply rational decision analysis leading to irresponsible decisions and disastrous outcomes.
The scenario not considered by bluster
The Conservatives now have very little chance of winning an election because the odds have inverted as increasingly large margins favour the Labour party.
At an APE retreat last weekend the conclusions of most was that, in the bluster surrounding the last leadership election "won" by May, insufficient analysis had been conducted into the Labour party. The somewhat arrogant "write off" of Labour or more specifically, Jeremy Corbyn, blinded a tiny internal group supporting May to push ahead with support for her. It is very apparent that if the Conservative party intelligence on Labour, and the strategy being followed by Jeremy Corbyn, had been better, May would never have been selected. The only person who would have had a chance to counter Jeremy Corbyn, it has been concluded, is Andrea Leadsom who held particularly rational positions on the economy. Her track record shows she is unlikely to have come up with the types of ineffective policies of either Osborne or the weak ineffectual positions of Hammond. The reshuffle has pushed her sideways into a position where she has no possibility of exercising her talents in economics but at least she will be a more visible female component of the government. This government continues to demonstrate a failure to combine the remaining talents in an effective manner.
Freedom of the press and the exercise in gratuitous abuse
The very newspapers who resist the Leveson recommendations with regard to legislation and regulation of the media
are the very same groups who base a lot of their "reasoning" and "arguments" on biased gratuitous abuse of individuals, earning them the appellations of gutter press or rags.
In the wake of the findings of the disgraceful case of media hacking into private mobiles and acts of intimidation against individuals some of the mainstream media hope to delay implementation of Leveson 1 and abandon Leveson 2. Fortunately the election result could help provide some rational analysis and hopefully a move towards a situation that can help improve the protection of the public from media abuse.
According to the Hacked Off Campaign:
"Reforming press regulation and getting to the truth of the criminality and corruption in the press and police is back on the agenda after last week's General Election resulted in a hung parliament.
Three weeks ago, the Conservative Party election manifesto pledged to abandon part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry and repeal the Leveson access to justice incentive ("Section 40"). This was a breach of the party leadership's past promises and a betrayal of victims of press abuse. And it was suspected to be the price agreed by Theresa May in meetings with Dacre and Murdoch in exchange for their support. Mrs May appeared to be willing to leave ordinary people defenseless against the power of unaccountable press barons, and to see evidence of collusion between police and press swept under the carpet, in exchange for favourable election coverage in powerful newspapers. But the public voted to deny the Prime Minister a Parliamentary majority, meaning she has no mandate for her outrageous manifesto pledges on Leveson.
There is now once again a Parliamentary Commons majority in favour of Leveson – not to mention the dozens of Conservative MPs and Peers who stand by the victims of press abuse and support reform, bravely, in spite of the party leadership's position. The dodgy deals cooked up between the PM and the press have been rejected by the voters, and have instead delivered a Parliament in favour of press regulation reform. But progress still won't be easy. Regardless of their failure to have a decisive effect on the General Election result, the Mail, Telegraph and the Murdoch papers all loyally lined up behind the Prime Minister. The owners and executives at those newspapers have debts to call in from Mrs May, and we know that they want nothing more than to kill off the Leveson reforms. Hacked Off Campaign has thanked its supporters for their generosity and support over the last Parliament, and in the run up to the election last week. And they hope they can rely on the continued commitment of supporters of their campaign throughout this Parliament, as they seek to hold all parties to their commitments and see the Leveson reforms finally brought into effect.
The election timing issue and a silver lining
For a considerable period APE have been reporting on the strategy adopted by Jeremy Corbyn to people who consider such an individual to be incapable of mounting a strategy. This includes the mainstream British media who have been more than willing to "report" caustic comments, insults and derision directed at him, largely by representatives of the Conservative party; accompanied by jeering and finger pointing. While the Conservative rather smugly considered Theresa May to be "seeing off" Corbyn at each Prime Minister's Question Time, the public saw a Prime Minister who could not answer pertinent questions raised by members of the public in a straight fashion. She seldom "won the argument", simply repetitively ignored the questions. Therefore, even before the election, May had branded herself as "evasive" and this is perilously close to "dishonest". On the other hand Corbyn has tended to answer questions in a straightforward and honest manner. The other political parties went about "business as usual", as did the media, by ignoring the youth of the country and relying heavily on "traditional support" and remaining cynical that the under 30 year olds could vote intelligently, if indeed, they voted at all; we now see the outcome. The significance of the fact that Jeremy Corbyn increased the size of the Labour party membership for it to become by far the largest party in the UK and the largest socialist party in Europe, based mainly on growing numbers of youthful members, has been completely ignored. Most believed the Blairite chorus that this was the hard left manipulation designed to get a larger vote for Corbyn in his leadership elections. But in the end, people don't just join a party to elect its leader.The silver lining
Charles Dickens was a Parliamentary reporter for about five years and found politicians to be pompous and to make promises which they did not keep. He considered Parliament to be a sort of circus or bear garden. In his novel "David Copperfield" he made David a parliamentary reporter who stated, "Night after night, I record predictions that never come to pass, professions that are never fulfilled, explanations that are only meant to mystify. I am sufficiently behind the scenes to know the worth of political life. I am quite an Infidel about it - and shall never be converted."
The success of the Labour party in this election has resulted in those young who voted Labour feeling empowered, as they should be. This has resulted in a heightened level of enthusiasm and support both for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party leading to what is close to a revolution in the way these voters want to become more practically engaged in politics and social issues. This is the silver lining that bodes well for the future of Britain; it also lays the foundation for the other parties to wake up and begin to respond by attempting to address important issues.
On the other hand Theresa May is unlikely to last long as leader of the Conservative party and the current options for leadership are not particularly appealing. They will be up against Corbyn who, if any politician comes across as someone who respects all constituents of any age, dismissing no one, Jeremy Corbyn is that politician. Anyone in the current ranks of senior Conservative politicians attempting to ape Corbyn's genuine gregariousness and wholly open participatory approach, would be considered to be phoney. Corbyn's authenticity is a powerful demonstration that there are politicians who have strong convictions and who are not prepared to waver in these to obtain votes.Timing
Recent analysis by APE suggests something few appear to have detected, it is that if the election had been called just 3 months later, the preparatory work at Labour, which has been going on since Corbyn became leader, would have resulted in a large Labour majority. Mrs. May's decision to call an election was too precipitated and a little bit too late to gain any complete advantage. This was more than evident from the manifestos, Labour was more than ready and the Conservative rendition was pitiful and their organization in disarray.
Lastly, Jeremy Corbyn, in his concentration on open meetings was an example of his understanding and long experience in campaigning for many causes over the years. Genuine campaigning sometimes uses cliches and buzz words but it gets nowhere unless there is a content made up of fundamentally important messages that people can relate to. Also the messenger needs to come across as someone who honestly believes, with some enthusiasm in the messages. There is here a networking effect based on word of mouth, mobiles, texting and an intangible buzz an infective enthusiasm that causes people to re-evaluate previous positions. This has been Jeremy Corbyn's "secret weapon". This whole concept remains beyond the comprehension of those cynical politicians who are always ready to say what they think people want to hear. This is a characteristic of modern politics populated by many intellectually dishonest individuals who far from being "strong" are weak pliant cowards with no principles. This was of course the general characterization of politicians by the English author Charles Dickens who was a sometime parliamentary reporter. He expressed his complete lack of faith in politicians but considerable faith in people; Charles would no doubt have approved of Jeremy.
Credits: The majority of this article content is from a recently circulated email to supporters from the Hacked Off Team
It isn't just about BREXIT but it is also about fighting internal corruption
We have been kindly reminded by the Hacked Off Campaign Team that the British Government has not committed to Leveson Part 2. The General Election provides an opportunity for voters to consider the various candidates' commitments to implementing Leveson's recommendations and to Part 2 of the Inquiry, when casting your vote.
The Labour party and the Lib Dems have both committed to delivering Leveson Part 1, proceeding with Part 2 of the Inquiry, and to protecting media plurality. The Green Party and Plaid have always supported reform of press regulation, and the SNP have a track record of supporting it in Parliament.
The Conservatives, however, have pledged to abandon the second stage of the Leveson Inquiry, despite showing support on a cross-party basis in 2011. The then PM David Cameron endorsed Leveson Part 2 on a number of occasions in 2011, 2012 and 2013, saying that the Conservative party "remain committed" to the Inquiry in its entirety. Yet, in their recent election manifesto, they argue that the first inquiry was "comprehensive" enough – we know this is not true. Part 1 only looked into press regulation, not the specifics of any wrongdoing, the conspiracies or the cover-up. Part 2 could not begin until the criminal and civil trials had been completed, which they now have. This policy U-turn by the Conservatives is an appalling betrayal of victims of press abuse who were promised thorough investigations into alleged cover-ups of police-press corruption. The Hillsborough disaster occurred in 1989 but it took until 2016 to secure a truthful inquest verdict; they now need Leveson Part 2 to find out who knew what about the cover-up and when. The same applies to the family of Daniel Morgan, who was murdered in 1987.
Read the Hacked Off campaign's' Leveson Part 2 mythbuster
to find out more on why this stage of the Inquiry is so important. We must ensure that the careful regulatory framework proposed by Leveson and agreed by Parliament is not systematically dismantled by a government subservient to newspaper editors. We need Leveson Part 2 if we are to get to bottom of the alleged collusion between police, press, and politicians. Evidence of police corruption and newspapers' cover-up of widespread illegality cannot be allowed to be swept under the carpet.
Polls open on Thursday, 8th June, at 7am and close at 10pm, use your vote wisely.
As voting day nears journalism becomes a series of irresponsible rants
Britain's nightmare foreign policy, the generator of destructive demons
With one day to go before polling day in the UK on 8th June 2017, the standards of journalism have plummeted, somewhat reminiscent of the recent US presidential election, where media, who should have known better, wallowed increasingly in partisan misrepresentation, innuendo and what has now become known as "fake news". For example, today an article in the Daily Mail, by someone called Guy Adams, is a senseless rant. Clearly written by a young person with no historic perspective or intimate experience of the events he writes about. He targets Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott, leading members of the Labour party. He labels them as apologists for terrorists. In turns out that the writer of this disjointed piece was born in 1976 and yet he rants about events over a reference period when his average age would have been around 10. It is amazing that someone can make a living writing this sort of material. It is even more amazing that editorial standards at the Daily Mail are so lax. Along with the Murdoch press and the Sun's efforts at journalism there is a deflection of the truth and massive lie created by no comment.
Theresa May and the Conservative, and Blairite governments before, are largely responsible for the spikes in immigration and entry of Middle Eastern terrorist spill over accessing our shores and entering the country. The continued foreign policy of aggression rather than negotiation has proven to be a massive failure. The leaders against this type of failed foreign venturism were Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott. This is that the recent terror attacks and the increasing exposure of the public to the likelihood of attacks can be traced directly to an aggressive foreign policy of carrying out the wishes of the USA who in turn carry out the wishes of a toxic mediation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, largely because they are compromised by Saudi influence over money and oil. Having armed Saudi Arabia to the teeth by "selling" arms to them we now witness Saudi Arabia's primitive and savage side in their Yemini campaign and recent attacks on Qatar. Foreign policy is creating failed states. The US State Department should be re-named "Failed States Department", a well deserved name when one looks at the case studies in chaos provided by the "coalition" interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and the studious avoidance of preventing the Yemin genocide. The current government's leaders such as Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, so-called, are examples of the "say anything to get a vote" at the expense of people in Britain being murdered by terrorists. The issue is related to policing and intelligence services this is more a last ditch defence issue arising once the terror threat has festered and appeared within the country. The causal factors, however, are the fiasco in Western foreign policy which the current UK government fully supports.
The medium to long term solution is for people to vote for those who seek peace and not confrontation. Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott fall well into this category of leaders who would benefit the population of the UK.Postscript:
During the campaign it was more than evident that Dianne Abbott had some health issues but the British Press and interviewers seemed to be oblivious of this and ruthlessly attacked her; today we learn she had indeed been unwell and will take a rest. Editor
Out-of-date deterrent argument and misrepresentations threaten UK security
|Who is right?|
The position of the
British Conservative party
in criticizing Jeremy Corbyn
for not being willing
to say if he would
press the nuclear button
is one which paints the
Conservatives as people
who are willing to carry
out an act of genocide,
by murdering thousands
if not millions
of innocent people.
by the Conservatives
of their standard
being a willingness
to press the nuclear button
to carry out genocide
is illegal under international
law or under any moral
or ethical consideration
that might be applied.
Jeremy Corbyn's position
ethical and moral.
During the course of the current UK election campaign and in the latest BBC "Question Time"
where members of the audience have clearly absorbed a lot of nonsense about Jeremy Corbyn's views, it is possible to observe a microcosm of how propaganda directed against Corbyn by the Conservative party is helping blind people to the real security dangers facing the UK.
The notion of a nuclear deterrent, in spite of the bluster and straight faced arguments put out by many, is well beyond it's sell by date.
First of all, today, fairly simple anti-ballistic missile systems can knock out missiles, such as those making up the Trident complement, with ease. This means two things. It is possible to defend ourselves against such attacks as well as having our own "attacks" neutered by enemies who have such defence systems. Secondly, the typical asymmetrical warfare against terrorist factions means that they could not care a less about being obliterated by any missile that gets through. The danger facing the UK is, like local attacks by terrorists in European cities and lately in Manchester, a better funded system of the development of chemical and cheap dirty nuclear bombs can be set off like so-called "improvised explosive devices
" anywhere the terrorists choose. These wont appear on radar screens or even be acknowledged by those who set them off so the idea of a retaliatory Trident strike is somewhat fanciful.
With the frustration felt by Saudi Arabia with respect to the failure of their funding of terrorists in Syria and the fact that they have considerable financial resources only means their campaign to spread extreme forms of Islam throughout the world which has become closely associated with terrorist groups, can easily swing towards a far more dangerous form of aggression than the current terrorist threat by funding the development chemical and thermo-nuclear devices. Given their track record, along with Turkey of supporting terrorists and the parallel behaviour of elements within the intelligence community in Pakistan, closely linked to the nuclear arms factions, none of this is particularly fanciful and it represents one of the most serious potential threats to the West.
The only way to remain ahead of this form of evolution in danger is better intelligence combined with a more direct engagement with real or imagined enemies. Unless these people are engaged at all levels, rather than marginalized, the likelihood of peace and removal of motivation for such developments and eventual attacks remains remote. The outcome is increasing potential security risks.
Jeremy Corbyn's positions on the IRA and Hamas where always designed to engage with the "enemy" to find out what could be done to terminate the killing. As Corbyn has stated, killing on both sides was wrong and as more information comes out on the dealings of the UK government and security forces in regard to the IRA it is clear that the UK government were in fact talking to the IRA at the same time as Corbyn, and for the same reasons. So the criticism of Corbyn completely unfair and scurrilous given that his approach, in the end, was the one that brought peace in Ireland. Concerning Hamas, Corbyn was here attempting to get parties to talk and on the occasion of joining the representatives of Hamas in the meeting, in a courteous manner he referred to the assembled participants as "friends" in an inclusive manner and pointing towards the spirit of the meeting. The absurd interpretation has been that he supports Hamas because he referred to them as friends. Jeremy Corbyn abhors violence and considers the killing of anyone as unacceptable. For anyone holding this view to be accused of "supporting" the IRA or Hamas is absurd and dishonest.
The bottom line is that all of these questions as to whether Corbyn would press the nuclear button, and why does he support terrorists, are a form of propaganda based on misguided concepts. The greater danger, which has become evident in members of the public raising these issues, is that they see proactive actions to secure peace as a sign of weakness or the mark of a traitor. Even more disturbing is their thoughtless assumption that a Prime Minister who is not willing to commit widespread genocide, by deploying nuclear weapons, is weak or unreliable. In pushing this propaganda the Conservatives are peddling out of date by very dangerous myths that mislead the public and to justify in excess of £120 billions on a system that does not protect the UK. The notion that like a poker player those with such "weapons" need to convince the "enemy" that they would press the button is out dated. It relates to a different state of affairs when in the pre-1960s large nuclear powers faced each other in the form of USA, USSR, UK and France. The sell by date for this "willingness to deploy" argument has long gone and, as Corbyn mentioned a "Question Time
", there would be a Strategic Review if the Labour party wins the election. The last two Strategic Reviews, were thoroughly misguided and more based on budgetary allocations to services with a nod and wink to the armaments industry.
The uninspiring and insulting Conservative party election campaign
A lot has happened since Theresa May announced a snap election in the United Kingdom. Making the mistake of taking opinion polls seriously and drastically underestimating Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May expected to secure a landslide victory to give her 5 years unimpeded control of government (under the existing fixed term government legislation). Theresa May and the Conservatives have confused assertive arrogance with "strong leadership" and further they have made an exaggerated play on strong leadership being what is needed to "negotiate" a beneficial BREXIT for the UK with Europe. The problem is that Mrs. May has never stated what she is trying to secure and in spite of her insisting this election is about BREXIT and her strong leadership, she has published a highly personalised election manifesto that has no economic rationale, justifications or costings. The limp excuse for this act is that they can be trusted on the management of the economy; this is an affront to the British electorate. With real incomes falling, poductivity declining and private debt skyrocketing as a result of people trying to maintain their real incomes, the Conservative position does not stack up against their track ecord.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party remains a relaxed figure who is enjoying the election, he wasn't supposed to do that. This is in marked contrast to Theresa May's somewhat nervous twitchy and unconvincing approach. The more Corbyn is exposed the more people have warmed to him since there is always a fairly reasonable logic to his statements. Labour party managers had the good sense to publish a manifesto accompanied by a detailed costing. The reason they did this was to demonstrate they have "management of the economy" credentials motivated by the Conservative's taunt, and repeated by the media, that they don't have any. On the basis of their manifestos, Labour has already won this aspect of the argument. Mrs. May spent her arguments in the first two weeks of the campaign and since then has been robotically repeating them concerning strong leadership and a good BREXIT for Britain. She studiously avoids any of the in-the-face-of-the-electorate and more than obvious issues such as rising food bank numbers, increasing homelessness, inability of people to afford to purchase homes, declining police numbers, inability of nurses and others to feed themselves, a catastrophic foreign policy, confusing social policies and has shown an inability to engage any of these topics in a convincing fashion. It is notable that the Chancellor is nowhere to be seen in this campaign leading further to doubts on the economic dimensions of the Conservative position.
Labour had the sense to move the focus of the election away from May's selected territory of strong leadership for a good BREXIT outcome. Labour has succeeded in focusing the electorate's attention back onto what matters to them. As a result the average conservative lead ratio in the polls has fallen from around 100% to 5% across most polls; this is catastrophic for the Conservatives. It is, however, entirely understandable and can be laid at the feet of a poorly thought out and shambolic Conservative election campaign. It could lead to a hung parliament or a Labour victory. The Conservative panic is evident in their now resorting to "fear factor" tactics and plain nastiness that they applied in the Scottish independence referendum and the European referdum. This is being made up in their increasing number of personal attacks on the Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership abilities and an insistence on misrepresenting his statements in relation to the IRA, Hamas and nuclear weapons. This grasping at straws shows a shallow visceral side of the Conservatives and this is being commented on increasingly by voters. The Conservatives, mainly Angela Rudd and Theresa May, are now beginning to refer to the risk of a chaotic coalition government if they do not secure a majority.
The most fundamental mistakes made by May is her refusal to debate with other party leaders. This could have some justification if the Conservative manifesto was crystal clear and had detailed convinving costings. But there is another good reason for her avoiding debates outside the confines of Parliament. This is that she isn't very good on her feet while Corbyn is; he has many more years practice mixing it with people of any social level. He has been an MP for 34 years and the leader of Labour since September, 2015. Labour is by far the largest British political party and also the largest socialist party in Europe. He was elected and athen re-elected again as leader with spectacular landslides. With days to the election the people of Britain are beginning to go with Corbyn who they are getting to know; he is without doubt more convincing. In terms of leadership abilities he has a strong and well-established participatory style conducive to inclusive politics typical of the Labour approach to democracy. May remains a mystery and is appearing to be increasingly aloof, weak and out of touch continuing to insist she the "strong leader" Britain needs, but this robotic repetition and lack of clarity on policies is becoming less and less convincing and, as a result less and less people are paying attention, she seems to be whistling in the wind and completely out of touch.
Chaotic British foreign policy to continue under May
Far from the assertion that the British economy is safe with a government run by the Conservative party, the latest atrocity in Manchester and the recent exposure of the network and relationships behind this linked to Libya, provides adequate evidence that Conservative foreign policy has brought about, not only the mayhem in North Africa and the surge in immigrants to Europe, but has deepened the dispair or hatred for Britain on the part of those who have lost acquaintances, family members and others to the "war against terrorism" that has been supported by a chain of UK governments. Clearly this moral decadence started with the Blair government and the unjustified invasion of Iraq "justified" on the basis of a disgraceful "intelligence" dossier that was drafted for political purposes evident from it carrying the signature of Tony Blair. The result of this aimless following of the wishes of US State Department "policies" has very obviously led to less security and not more.
The underlying reason for this continual risk of terrorist attacks in Britain is the lack of leadership and maturity of the Prime Minister and her governemnt to proactively counsel and act to seek peace, rather than make absurd statements that it would be dificult to refuse to assist the USA if they requests help in Syria. The most blatent failure has been the inability to condemn the shocking violence carried out in the Yemen against largely innocent men, women and children by a murderous onslaught from the rich but primitive Saudis. Hillary Clinton, while Secretary of State was aware of the support Saudi Arabia has been giving to ISIS or Daesh, and Al Quaeda, and its involvement in the attack on the World Trade center killing in excess of 3,000 people and yet she was quite willing to accept Saudi funds for the Clinton Foundation. The blind, very demeaning sychophantic behaviour of British MPs and government Ministers who always jump to the defence of Saudi Arabia citing commercial interests, employment benefits and security benefits as well as to support the Saudi's as leading human rights violaters to become members on Human Rights and Gender Equality committees at the United Nations is a open and insulting act of brazen hypocracy. The wealth of the Saudis does not hide their primitive and base visceral hatred of the West, best measured in the extent to which their proactive funding of Wahaabi fundamentalist teaching which is closely linked to the more extreme aspects of the terrorists in their intolerance of non-Moslems as well as the Shiite sect of Islam. This crude bigotry has helped nuture the type of mindsets that undermine "Western" approached to warfare. The willingness of Jihadists to accept suicide as a way to wage war makes a mockery of the US approach based originally on "shock and awe" or the use of "overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force" is something out of cowboy movies and was a failed strategy from the start because the US military had not understood the enemy. As a result there was horrific destruction at the hands of the "coalition" which undermined the ability of countries to recover in a way that provides a foundation for the evolution of a functioning peace. The withdrawal of US forces and the increased use of drones is a failed system because it relies heavily on ground intelligence which currently is only imperfect. As a result more innocents are killed than terrorists as we a result of the drone campaign of sanctioned murder.
Justification for removal of James B. Comey from office very clearRod J. Rosenstein the Deputy Attorney General of the US has been in his position only since April 26th 2017 and the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions since February 9th, 2017. These delays were a direct result of the Democrats delaying their acceptance. So within just two weeks at the Rod Rosenstein has been very effective in assessing the role of James B. Comey in the Clinton email scandal. This was necessary because there is enormous concern about the politicization of the intelligence operations and possible the FBI causing issues, mostly based on assertion, for the current administration.
According to our Department of Justice contact,s Rosenstein's concern had nothing to do with the ongoing "investigations" into alleged connections between President Trump's team and Russian officials.
|Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that tends toward insurrection against the established order.|
Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontention (or resistance) to lawful authority.
Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws.
Rosenstein sent a detailed and comprehensive memo to Sessions setting out the facts pointing to Comey over-stepping his authority. The essence of this assessment and conclusion was Comey's public statements that the "investigation" into a new tranche of Clinton emails was not found to be a basis for further investigation or prosecution. An FBI Director has no authority to do this. The FBI Director should hand over investigation results to the prosecutor's office at Department of Justice who would decide, based on the evidence, if a prosecution was desirable. Therefore although Comey appears to have been "brave", given that there was an election and that his raising the fact that the tranche existed caused issues for Clinton, his actions did not measure up to the high standards demanded of an FBI Director. As a result it was decided that he should be replaced. This step in reality is a good one as a basis for protecting the integrity and trust of the people of the United States in the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This is the first step in the new administration attempting to clean up the operations of intelligence and investigative branches to remove the political appointees to still hound the government in a campaign bordering on sedition (see box on left). As is to be expected, the Democrats continue to pursue their tactics of avoiding bringing attention to the content of the Clinton emails which are ample evidence of procedural corruption and therefore that Clinton could not be trusted as a President. The Democratic tactic is to now see this removal of Comey as a way to stop the Russia/Trump team investigation which our FBI and intelligence contacts confirm, is going nowhere because of lack of evidence.
Labour proposes a more balanced BREXIT negotiation approach On 25th April, Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour Party's Secretary for Exiting the EU, delivered an excellent explanation of the different approach of the Labour Party to BREXIT negotiations. It is odd that the UK mainstream media did not provide much coverage of this announcement because it represents a better alternative to the somewhat cavalier approach adopted by Theresa May.
Far from accepting a series of assumptions, the Labour Party has adopted a more strategic approach that is supported by a range of options and thereby not cutting and drying any position. An important and honourable aspect is a unilateral declaration of EU Citizen's rights protection which Labour would introduce on their first day in office, if elected. This is a far more responsible position than the "intent" of the Conservatives. Labour aims to dispel the doubts of EU Citizens in the UK as a priority so as to eliminate any further stress and uncertainty; something others do not appear to be concerned about. The questions that such a move would weaken the UK's bargaining position with respect to UK citizens in Europe is a somewhat base concern and somewhat shameful.
Labour makes no assumptions concerning a likely "hard BREXIT" which most serious analysts consider to be irresponsible in economic and social terms. Starmer agreed that this means movement of people needs to continue but Labour would seek an agreed basis for controlled movement. In fact this is a discussion taking place in the EU at the moment.
It is encouraging to see the Labour Party come up with a more mature presentation on an approach to BREXIT negotiations. In doing so Labour has demonstrated a capacity not to just combat Conservative policies on BREXIT but to rather present a better alternative. So on the BREXIT debate the Conservatives have lost ground and we have yet to discuss the many other policy issues concerning the performance of this government; something the Conservatives had wished to avoid.
Theresa May wants to make this a battle on "who can lead the country" but at the moment the question is becoming what are the actual interests of the people of Britain over the next few years. Demands for change in the current government's policies appear to be high on the agenda but they wish to avoid this type of discussion.
The electorate have seen the "fear factor" tactics deployed by the Conservatives in the Scottish Referendum and the EU Referendum. It worked, just, in the case of the Scottish Referendum but failed in the case of the EU Referendum leading to the resignation of David Cameron. They will attempt to use this again in the last 2 weeks of th electoral campaign when people will need to keep their focus on which approach to BREXIT is likely to result in better outcomes and which policies they would like to see enacted in the country in relation to Health, social care, the economy, investment and innovation and economic growth. With the main security risks today come from terrorists who have a penchant for committing suicide so it is clear that the Trident nuclear "deterrent" isn't a deterrent with such people. The old Soviet Union has gone and the old justifications for possessing a nuclear arsenal considerably weakened. Part of the Conservative fear factor spoiler tactics will be of course to ask whether or not Jeremy Corbyn would press the nuclear button. Of course there are those who think this macho intent has some sense; it doesn't. It is only somewhat irresponsible and slightly deranged individuals like Michael Fallon who have spoken of the possibility of the UK carrying out nuclear first strikes. This is clearly complete and utter nonsense. To add to this sordid mix, Boris Johnson has not helped things by offering to provide the USA with a la carte internationally illegal attacks on Syria to order.
Not living in a tin pot republic and with a need to get rid of irresponsible Lilliputian politicians, the people of Britain should not put their faith in decision makers who dice with death, murder and mayhem, with such ease. These sorts of insane proclamations and the underlying aggression and associated violence of which the world has become increasingly fatigued need to be dispelled and removed from the discourse of constitutional democracy. Britain needs a change towards responsible international leadership seeking peace and goodwill for all, not based on military might or the pea brained goofy logic of "if you are not with us you are against us" and of course "all options are on the table", that is, "negotiation" based on threats of violence.
POST SCRIPT: Keir Starmer has written in the 1st May edition of the Guardian Newspaper concerning his doubts about Theresa May's Apporach to BREXIT, it is worth reading:
State-sponsored violence and the undermining constitutional democracy Recent history shows that the most significant state-sponsored violence that has destroyed the lives of innocent non-combatants has been sustained by the United States from Vietnam (Agent Orange) to the CIA's support of Iraqi use of poisonous gas against Iranians with the financial support of Saudi Arabia. It is therefore ridiculous that the USA has gone through the theatre of feigned offense at a false flag "chemical attack" to blame it on the Assad Regime before any evidence has been collected and analyzed. The evidence is a badly-produced amateur video placed on social media and produced by people supported directly by the governments of the UK and USA (see below).
The complaint about a reported 80 or so people killed should be contrasted by the millions who have been killed by US-sponsored warfare, economic sanctions and covert actions carried out or promoted by US administrations. To claim to be the greatest democracy in the world with a constitution that contains safeguards and checks and balances to avoid inappropriate decisions is absurd. Absurd because the administration and most of the Congress and Senate are in the hands of those who have "financed" their election campaigns or various other things, such as getting their offspring through expensive universities. The US government is essentially run by financiers and manufacturers of weapons of mass destruction as Dwight D Eisenhower warned against in his famous "Military Industrial" speech. Just as Eisenhower warned, the current state of failure of the US democratic systems, and loss of voice of the people of America in determining their own future, is the result of the power of amoral forces undermining constitutional democracy. This is also the result of there being no effective checks and balances on the military arms of the administration that hold sway over the State Department and the White House. Unfortunately, in this context, the US Constitution has nothing to offer on bringing these real aspects of US government action under a control and direction that reflects the will of the people. The US Constitution, for this reason, is inappropriate and entirely unexceptional for a country with so much military power and with a track record of such incompetence in its use as evidenced in millions of dead innocents who litter the soil over which US-related campaigns have passed leaving countries in chaos during the last 50 years. This has been of significant intensity in the Middle East more recently giving rise to the European immigration crisis and spreading instability throughout the world. The track record is abysmal and, with all it's military might, the track record is one of failure to achieve objectives. The resulting oppression and obliteration of people's freedoms from fear and mayhem caused by these irresponsible ventures is not inspiring example of "leadership" for a country which has the affront to consider itself to be the leader of the so-called "free world".
Hollywood and the failing States
The recent events leading to Donald Trump agreeing to have the US fire around 50 Tomahawk missiles to impact the area of a Syrian airfield was the cause of widespread embarrassment. This was because the images reporting on the so-called chemical attack were inconclusive. Ibn Nr has noted that the videos that appeared in Western media tended to showed photogenic children and in one scene with two patients there were some 20-odd burly "medics" all wearing medical face masks and doing precious little. The other scenes showed people running and shouting with a dynamic video sequence of back shots showing the circular symbol of the Oscar winning Hollywood idols, the White Helmets, a propaganda arm of Al Nusra. Although promoted as a civil defence force their role is to video specific mounted scenarios to be fed to the Western media. Their propaganda has been swallowed hook line and sinker by US and more particularly UK authorities who have provide them in total of over £70 million in funding. This is an absurdity when people in London and Stockholm are suffering from the consequence of murderous actions of sympathizers of this very same terrorist group.
Boris Johnson is one of the many Western politicians who are thoroughly misguided in using the group's output as well as in supporting them with UK tax payer's money.
The explanation that an air raid resulted in the rupture of stored chemical warfare containers hidden by Al Nusra is a more convincing explanation of the cause of the release of gas. On the other hand Ibn Nr is of the opinion that Al Nusra is quite capable of releasing gas on a limited scale to secure footage to produce coverage to blame the Assad Regime. At this stage of the war against Isil, Isis or Daesh the Syrian Government has absolutely no reason to risk losing momentum by attracting the inevitable outcome of actually using chemical weapons. They have been successful with the Russians in negotiating freedom of civilians as well as having the terrorists move out, as in Aleppo. However, this could only happen when the terrorists realized they were going to lose. The US action has interfered with this aspect of the peace process.
President Trump's actions were illegal and just a show. He did not wait for any investigation of the so-called chemical attack before taking action; he was taken in by a poorly produced propaganda video. The claims that the Russian guarantees of the Syrian regime ridding itself of any chemical weapons are unsafe has no grounding in facts when US teams assisted in the destruction of chemical stockpiles. This process was very thorough. This line of reasoning that Russia was not up to the job was used by Rex Tillerson the new State Secretary, in the absence of any proof of who carried out the attack. Tillerson's slow and pedantic prepared script approach is a matter of increasing concern. It is clear that the USA continues to protect Al Nusra front in Syria in spite of their being considered to be a terrorist organization responsible for murderous activities. The only way the terrorists could have gained any control over any Syrian material was by previous captures of inventory. According to Ibn Nr, most of the existing chemical weapon materials in Syria is in the hands of the terrorists who have obtained supplies via Turkey.
|"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” |
Hitler's Minister of Propaganda
Lastly, it is estimated that in Mosul in Iraq some 320 civilians have been killed by "allied" attacks in the last 3 weeks where as in Syria the figure is around 120 and yet all of the media attention is on the so-called chemical attack where is alleged up to 80 people died.
If you repeat it enough people will believe you
A depressing amount of the "news" and public statements of actions of various regimes emanating from CNN, BBC as well as the CIA, Pentagon and the State Department consist of little more than a scandalous and shameless range of baseless assertions, unattributed sources and complete absence of evidence, is an outstanding example of the crudest form of propaganda based on lies. This same approach was exercised and explained by Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda (see the box on the left).
The obsequious sycophant
Boris Johnson, the British Foreign Secretary, is clearly out of his depth. His repeated appearances as Trump's lap dog and obsequious sycophantic sideshows demonstrate a parochial eagerness to please "America" by repeating, without question, doubtful mantras from the Beltway. His behaviour has become an increasing embarrassment and subject of jokes and derision amongst international leadership and diplomatic circles. It is amazing that the people of the United Kingdom have to endure a representation by a clown on the international stage. This is unacceptable.
Theresa May called general election in the UK to be held on 8th June 2017. She justified this on the basis of there being too much disagreement in Westminster and unity in the country meant she needed a new mandate to provide a strong support in carrying out BREXIT negotiations. There is no evidence to support this assertion and it is more likely that the aim is to gain another 5 years of fixed term parliament when currently the polls indicate the Conservatives will win comfortably and increase their majority.
The other political parties, however, see this as an opportunity to call attention to the government's record on a range of issues of more immediate importance to the electorate. The Conservatives will not be able to avoid this discussion and it is of interest to see what comes out in the very rushed production of party election manifestos.
The tone of the election on the Conservative side is already descending to low levels with the firing off of personal insults largely aimed at the Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Jeremy Corbyn suffers not so much from bad policies but from a biased UK media somewhat akin to the CNN syndrome in its treatment of Donald Trump. So far the polls give the Conservatives a commanding lead of 20 points over the Labour party but it is notable that Labour have a majority support from the under-40s. Part of the challenge is for Labour which has the highest political party membership in the UK and is the largest socialist party in Europe, to get the younger generation to actually go out and vote on the day. The Conservative can rely on the over 60s who all tend to vote.
Trident as a suicide vest
In June 2016 a short APE article by David Weingold on Trident, explained it's shortcomings as an expensive bluff. Recently spoof adverts for the Royal Navy have appeared in London making the point that a first target of retaliation would, of course, be the Trident submarines and the crews launching any attack, making it a very, very expensive suicide vest. The APE article made the additional point that the detergent effect of Trident is dead anyway. We reproduce the original APE article...
Read more...A misunderstanding of emerging security issues
Donald Trump imposed his promised introduction of extreme vetting of people coming from countries from which there is a higher incidence of "terrorist" group activities. The executive order signed by Trump imposes a 90-day block on entry to the US from citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia. This short list was drawn up originally under the Obama administration. An obvious omission is Saudi Arabia. According to Ibn Nr the lack of "warning" was intentional to avoid forewarning terrorist groups so as to prevent any ability to take advantage of the current freer entry regime.
One result of this security-based decision is that many NGOs, which are alleged to be largely funded by George Soros and encouraged by supporters of the Democratic party, have re-branded this as an anti-Islamic act and discriminatory and they have organized widespread demonstrations. This massive protest has all the hallmarks of those organized to undermine several legitimate governments as an extra-constitutional disruptive force. With Trump introducing what he promised to do during his campaign, people are learning to take what he says more seriously. However, this does not justify an orchestrated attempt at regime change.
Briefs from Ibn Nr provided to APE journalists indicate that Trump's move will help disrupt intentions of ISIL to change their tactics in the USA and Europe. Commanders have realized that the "asylum route" is less effective because the authorities pick up a lot of information on individuals and also "returning" citizens who have received training with ISIL are also marked. This is why the follow up to atrocities in Europe very soon identified the perpetrators, meaning they could no longer be active to carry out future attacks. The change in tactics involves individuals traveling to the USA and Europe to set up sleeper cells and then carry out attacks when required. These attacks are likely to be suicide attacks but involving more destructive events like the World Trade Center attacks. In terms of lessons learned for ISIL, these were, after all, the most "successful" attacks in the USA, albeit carried out by another group. Ibn Nr expressed concern, given the existing track record of origins of terrorism worldwide, that Saudi Arabia was not on the list. Ibn Nr based his information on information gleaned from SASI who also provided other options open to ISIL but Ibn Nr would not pass this on to journalists. The vetting procedures need to be well designed and should not just concentrate on "asylum seekers" but on all who have visited the listed countries as well as newcomers who can masquerade as businessmen or students.
The most sure footed way to secure the USA is to scale back and end the wars by concentrating on the elimination of ISIL but to also take action to also reduce the Saudi Arabian missions to spread the religious fervour that gives rise to extremism. According to EO-APE, this mission is very actively pursued in Europe and the Balkans, often based on bribery to encourage poor Moslems to transfer to stricter less tolerant practice (Wahabi) and to reject the ways of the non-Islamic societies within which they live, stoking up trouble in the future.
Many have expressed the opinion that the current block contravenes the Geneva Convention on Refugees but the current circumstances are unique given the asymetrical nature of the conflict and very different motivation and means, including suicide actions.
How Britain can negotiate bilateral trade deals to it's advantage before leaving the EU
APE journalist's briefing sessions were provided during the weekend of 22nd-23rd January, 2016 in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Some of the initial results of the APE-sponsored study series entitled "Costs & Benefits of the UK leaving the European Union" were presented.
The main message was that the EU negotiators feel that because of existing EU Law, Britain cannot negotiate bi-lateral trade deals with third countries. EU negotiators feel that this provides them with a negotiation advantage so as to reduce the degrees of freedom during the 2 years following the actioning of Article 50 for Britain to explore and identify clear options. However, it is clearly evident that no such negotiating advantage exists for the EU. Paradoxically this is because by adopting a typical EU-type collaborative basis whereby, private companies organise themselves into consortia, then they can initiate bilateral trade deals with the equivalent economic sector consortia in the non-EU countries.
The only additional requirement for this to work is a legislative and political committee, made up of constitutionalists, economists, trade unions and representatives from the main political parties who can provide feedback on what they consider to be acceptable arrangements as a basis for coming close to "legislation-ready" policies covering trade, so the delays can be minimised. Many consortia agreements, subject to the same vetting process, and involving deals between private groups could go ahead well before the completion of the 2 year negotiation period, when deemed to be mutually beneficial.
A considerable amount of the confusion on the EU side relates to the imposition of a regulation-centric approach which prevents any such freedom. It is the imposition of this regulation-centric approach that gave rise to BREXIT and is giving rise to widespread discontent in Romania and lack of enlargement oversight in the agricultural sector policy projects funded by the EU. The emerging picture is one of declining sector real incomes and stagnating productivity associated with political party corruption related to agricultural sector funding in the Balkans and specifically in countries such as FYR Macedonia.
Theresa May does the right thing....
As we appealed for Theresa May to do last week, she has now done. As we explained in our article "May needs to base Britain's future on constitutional values", we can say she has now done this. With this she has provided a "recognizable and trusted foundation" for BREXIT. The liberating aspect is that she appealed in a very English coded constitutional format to a very British perspective on governance. This has confused many continental observers and, of course, attracted criticism from "opposition".
However, most in the UK sensed something very comforting and recognizable as shared values in her words which were an example of "speaking truth to power". This, of course, is completely against the evolving trends in the outlook and survival instincts of most European technocrats; they hate this approach to the logic of constitution. This is because it raises the considerations of people's fundamental rights to the terrain inhabited by decision-makers, a concept that has virtually disappeared as a result of the relentless advance of the European Union's democratic deficit.
Most attendees at the PM's presentation could be broken down into three groups. EU Member State representatives were somewhat nonplussed after all the UK PM was addressing the mighty EU, "What was she up to?". Non-EU attendees were intrigued to various extents and the most positive response came form the representatives from the Commonwealth countries. The Commonwealth comprises 52 countries, across all continents and has a combined population of 2.3 billion people, almost a third of the world population covering about 21% of the world's surface area. So it is important that they seemed to welcome May's approach.
Typical of some journalists, some only reported on the "fact" that she "threatened" the EU by suggesting she might reduce corporate tax rates to attract foreign investment. Her mention of this issue arose in the light of many quite vindictive statements made by some EU Member State leaders who wish to punish the UK for leaving. This is an increasingly Continental approach to "negotiations". May simply stated that whereas the UK will negotiate in a positive manner, seeking to secure mutually beneficial outcomes, and this approach is expected from the EU side also. The UK can, and will, take measures to protect itself if is attacked by economic measures emanating from Europe. People need to take into account that economic sanctions are considered by most rational people to be an act of war. Therefore this is a completely reasonable position to take up.
All of this, however, will place a strain on the EU side because they cannot use the viscous pressure exerted on smaller Member States such as Cyprus, Greece and Ireland, who are members of the Euro to force them to do what the Union and Germany want. The UK is free to operate more to it's advantage and this alone will demonstrate more intensely to middle income Member States the significant disadvantages they all face by being members of the Euro zone.
CNN posse hasn't found the rustlers yet
CNN just does not give up.
all saddled up and nowhere to go
No rustlers of the disastrous Hillary Clinton emails have been found outside the Beltway. Your correspondent, having listened to an insider, as opposed to a goon squad operative, over a Dean & DeLuca coffee in Georgetown, is certain that the rustler operated physically within the Beltway and had direct access to the Democratic party "organization" data. Donald Trump's doubts concerning Russian involvement has resulted in Hillary supporters extending the story into a new morph asserting that the "Russians" have collected information that "compromises Donald Trump.
A CNN Posse of white hats was lashed together by Wolf Blitzer, a CNN journalist, consisting of three individuals kicking around a dead sheep story, apparently sourced from an unnamed ex-employee of British MI5 with "contacts". The story alleges that Trump and others were confidentially briefed by US intelligence chiefs that Russia had collected compromising information on Trump and various of his associates in relation to their contacts and relations with people in Russia. This seems to be a possible attempt to undermine Trump's confidence in the possibilities of improving USA-Russian relations.
CNN has a poor understanding of cross-border news and this is why its following is declining. The CNN is quite willing to openly pursue a crude approach that assumes that if something is repeated often enough and a lot of sheep entrails and excreta are thrown, then maybe, in the end, something will stick. At least some of the public will have fallen for it. However, this dead sheep, and all of the others so far identified, are gradually rotting and the stench is really bad. It would be good if CNN help the image of the USA an help inspire people by lassoing some stories that are more of a positive reflection on the American democratic system. They need to demonstrate a standard of journalism that justifies its inclusion as the only economic activity mentioned in the American Constitution. There is a need to address useful issues that are, at least, evidence-based.
An embarrassing, unintelligent report
The Director of National Intelligence has released a highly embarrassing report entitled,"Background to "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections": The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution."
This report is embarrassing because it is such an amateur cut and paste job with little input from professional intelligence analysts and containing basic errors in facts, out-of-date information and other details pointing to a product of a seriously uninformed team. It is even worse that the "dodgy dossier" signed by Tony Blair in the run up to the Iraq war which he attempted to pass off as an intelligence assessment. These reports are highly politicized and products of the post-truth and "fake-fact" environment that permeated the Westminster filter bubble under Blair then and that pervades today's Beltway.
For an "intelligence briefing" dealing with such serious accusations, the range of levels of certainty of conclusions in the document are unacceptable for any responsible decision-maker. The assessment contained in the unclassified report is stated to be supported with "high confidence" by the CIA and FBI and by NSA with moderate confidence. At the back of the document three levels of confidence are defined with the high confidence, this being the highest level, signifying that "High confidence in a judgement does not imply that the assessment is a fact or certainty; such judgements might be wrong". This definition which, in reality, is a disclaimer, and is simply not serious for the field of cyber crime.
It also provides no justification for the deportation of 35 Russian diplomatic staff from the USA.
Rather than provide anything convincing concerning Russia's attempt to influence the US election, the document provides a considerable amount of irrelevant information on the Russia Today (RT) channel.
For those interested in understanding the rise of cross-border news of which RT is a world leader, it is worth reading the independent report produced by PwC UK (Pricewaterhouse Coopers UK plc) entitled The rise of cross-border news. Margarita Simonyan, Editor in Chief of RT explains the reason for this independent report as, "We wanted to understand the motivation of viewers and readers of cross-border news - and we believed this understanding would help all providers of global news deliver a service that meet users' needs".
Also, in order to clear up the misinformation concerning RT propaganda see the internal APE Brief RT_20160520. Our APE General Editorial Advice is that little or no additional resources should be allocated to this non-story.
The Voice returns with Tom Jones & will.i.am
The Voice Programme has transferred from BBC to ITV and its talent contest will make its debut on Saturday night (7th January, 2017). Tom Jones will return as a judge together with will.i.am and there will be two new judges, the Oscar and Bafta-winning singer Jennifer Hudson and singer Gavin Rossdale, as well as will.i.am who moved with the show from the BBC.
Tom Jones was unceremoniously sacked from the BBC Voice with no explanation or notice and the ratings of the programme immediately fell. The British public did not approve of this cavalier and disgraceful action by the BBC.
It is expected that with his return the new Voice will do well. will.i.am commented that a change in record label from Universal to Polydor should contribute to the contest producing some stars but the choice of song is really important in achieving this.
British media exaggerating significance of EU Rep resignation
Sir Ivan Rogers, the UK government's representative to the European Union, has resigned earlier than expected to make room for someone to manage the Article 50 negotiations for BREXIT. UK Media have taken the opportunity to label this as a rift and a problem for the UK government; it really isn't. If Sir Ivan intended his email sent to staff as a criticism of government, then he should not remain in any case, since some dedication to UK interests is required.
On the other hand, the volumes of reports and documents spewed out by Berlaymont on EU progress tend to be very misleading and uninformative, patching over the many inefficiencies and cock-ups that exist in the implementation of European Commission funded activities.
Like any large political organizations the EU peps up its operational image on the basis of internal propaganda that staff seems to believe. Therefore the notion that the EU and the Commission has more professional negotiators, leaving the UK at a disadvantage, is not a wholly correct representation of the required dynamics under Article 50. The Commission and Council have a well known highly structured crystalline structure that they wish to maintain and its weaknesses are also well known. The UK has a specific global mission and not one to be constrained by the EU in economic terms and definitely not by political considerations. The EU staff have little experience in operating where flexibility is required simply because political constraints do not allow them to be flexible, their degrees of freedom are limited. Concerning the significance of the UK market for many European Union Member State economic sectors, the UK has far more bargaining power and an ability to introduce needed adjustments than is generally admitted.
Washington Post trips up again for peddling fake news
In the third wire in the Botequim column on the right, we explained why a statement of the Washington Post was not true in the post entitled: "Vermont Electricity facility Russian hack - nothing of the kind."
This sort of third rate sensationalist journalism is tiresome and dishonest or just plain sloppy. No wonder less and less people trust such mainstream media. The Washington Post has now withdrawn their assertions concerning Russian involvement.May needs to base Britain's future on constitutional values
The technocratic and exceptionally boring vacuous discussions surrounding the state of negotiations to leave the disunion, that is Europe, need to be substituted by a British-built beacon of hope which can never be found in the European Union.
Europe has lost any notion of leadership in the best sense of the word as being the ability to inspire a population to demand of their government a responsive attitude to the needs of all and thereby creating a constructive non-ending dialogue with the people. A dialogue that is founded on values that include, above all, consideration for others and mutual respect.
The European democratic deficit was identified by Romano Prodi in 2000 and little has changed. The main change has been more Member States round the table and no leadership and a general loss of national sovereignties. We are now in approaching the end of 2016 and things are worse. This endemic failure continues as a range of elitist politicians and confused technocrats have been unable to address this important issue. All of this talk about "European Values" means very little in practice when the Union does not pretend to uphold basic democratic principles nor does it practice them. It is unable to demonstrate an independent and more rational foreign policy other than to follow the aggressive policies of the US State department in continuing wars of aggression that created the European immigration crisis. There is no union of approach to the immigration crisis. The Euro zone stagnates at differential rates that increase as one moves towards southern Europe. People's freedoms are being eroded by an increasingly dysfunctional "political union".
All of this has led to social and economic decline and an emergence of a sustained disruption of the political process with new parties challenging the mainstream. In pre-accession countries political parties can be seen to corrupting the very processes that are supposed to enhance democracy, human rights and economic development. The European Commission, compromised by its mantra of, "an ever closer union" now faces a trade off between corrupt regimes and EAU enlargement. Enlargement no longer has any coherent sense other than being something that will only increase the democratic deficit. Those who pay the price of this chaos are the people of Europe and pre-accession countries. Since after the Lisbon Treaty, the UK has almost no say in the direction that the Union will take and the balance of power within the EU shows no serious desire or capability to resolve these destabilizing factors, then Theresa May has no option other than to push towards a constructive dialogue on BREXIT that emphasizes the need to return to British constitutional values. Whether those in Europe understand this message is not particularly relevant when most of the British population will understand this; this is what counts.
Macedonia, a reason why more countries need to consider leaving the EUThe state of the European Union is unsatisfactory. The European Union and the Commission, face a crisis of constituent confidence in the apparent inability to manage European affairs. As if things were not already bad enough, with so many unresolved issues on the table, another critical iceberg has loomed out of the fog of the recent Macedonian election. The immediate result of the Macedonian election appears to be resolvable but it is associated with something that threatens the EU Titanic. Many were puzzled by the fact that a political party, that an EU Commission mediator stated, runs a regime of fear and intimidation, could win a majority under the noses of international election monitors. The hidden weapon used by the ruling party has been a careful development of a corrupt agricultural policy that influences the rural vote to its advantage.
In spite of regular EU Commission Progress reporting on Macedonia, the government has managed to drag its feet on the introduction of crucial agricultural sector operational requirements under it's EU pre-accession agreement. It has achieved this, apparently, by slowly implementing required information management systems but failing to make them operational in the intended way to support policy. This development, over the last five years, has served to expose significant failures in the quality of the technical oversight functions exercised by the European Commission in their management of important pre-accessions obligations. A complication is that the main vehicle for agricultural development funding is IPARD (Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance in Rural Development) and this has a devolved basis for management which only facilitates political interference because the checks and balances remain in the hands of government institutions within which VMRO-DPMNE elements are free to intimidate to secure what they want.
Why is this being wasted on political corruption in Macedonia?
Articles in the media such as Emancipation and European Options allege that apparatchiks from the VMRO-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO–DPMNE) intimidate ministry staff to maintain an agricultural policy that fails to improve productivity and favours produce processors. As a result farmer incomes are squeezed making them vulnerable to bribes or intimidation when it comes to voting. Those employed by processing companies are said to be under a similar pressure. The system is also alleged to gives money to party "supporters" who feed back funds to the party. An investigative journalist who recently published an article in European Options on this topic is collecting further information, largely from local agricultural experts and farmers. Many feel that VMRO-DPMNE's self-serving tactics have debased agricultural policy and are ruining the future economic and social prospects of the sector and country.
There has also been a de facto tactic of marginalizing EU consultants who point out policy problems or who attempt to introduce fully what they have been contracted to do. This unacceptable practice is hidden because some of the companies contracted to undertake work funded by the EU do not consider it to be their ethical and professional obligation to uphold the quality of the work they are contracted to deliver. They take the expedient route of defending their "bottom line" by following the instructions of VMRO-DPMNE operatives and making such consultants including project managers, expendable. As this evidence begins to pile up, Nikola Gruevski, the leader of VMRO-DPMNE, has stated that his party was withdrawing from the format of party meetings between the four strongest parties being mediated by foreign representatives or ambassadors, under the "Przino agreement", which was used in the last two years of the political crisis. Gruevski is now stating that some ambassadors have interfered too much in Macedonia's internal affairs. He said that this has to end and he is demanding that ambassadors stay within the frameworks of their diplomatic mandates. The editorial of Real News agree with this and it is evident that there is a need for the Ambassador for the European Union, Mr. Samuel Žbogar, to request an investigation into the use of EU funds in the agricultural sector, to ascertain whether these should continue to be available to Macedonia; this is within his mandate.
UK leads European growth in people power bases
Real News reported earlier this year that the British labour party had become the largest socialist party in Europe since Jeremy Corbyn had been elected as leader. In a Blairite attempt to remove him, another leadership election was imposed on the party and Jeremy Corbyn was returned as leader with the largest majority ever obtained in the history of the party.
Corbyn is a strong proponent of people power and listening to what the costituents want and need. However, the UK "mainstream" media continue to wallow in their parochial filter bubbles casting doubt on the ability of Jeremy Corbyn to win a general election. Last time we reported on the Labour party membership it stood at around 500,000; it has since increased by 140,000 to 640,000 (almost 30% within 6 months). It just keeps on growing, especially amongst the young and increasingly, well-informed so-called "middle class" voters.
Unlike the post-truth and fake news shambles that characterises the mainstream media and the chattering classes centred in London, Corbyn has been giving some comprehensive speeches which are convincing. A common criticism is "where is the detail?", but many of the more attractive innovations introduced by the failed Chancellor George Orborne and even lately by Chancellor Philip Hammond, were filched from the Labour party. Jeremy Corbyn is more careful. The conventional national media try to ignore these messages and the foreign media even more so. This is a major oversight of foreign media in ignoring the development and platform of the largest political party in Europe. Fortunately some alternative media such as APE have picked up on the key content and this is convicing more people that Labour has something to offer. This advance has been helped by the current confusion in the Conservative government concerning BREXIT.
Our correspondent in London informs us that although the media ignore Corbyn and the Government ministers talk in terms of their being "no opposition", the growth in people power under the Labour parrty and which effectively keeps Corbyn in an unassailable position, is giving rise for concern; some have become convinced that if there were a snap election, Labour would win. Clinton's Useful Idiots
It is a bad day when a "respected" media is shown to be involved in post-truth sensationalism and fake news. This appears to be the case of the Washinton Post.
The Washington Post has issued an editor’s note that admitted its reliance on the information on the PropOrNot website. This site claims to be supported by nonpartisan experts on “Russian propaganda” but is becoming increasingly evident that the information provided is largely made up. The Post had claimed that Russia was running an increasingly sophisticated propaganda campaign that was influencing the US presidential election and made reference to their sources as being PropOrNot describing this website as being supported by independent researchers who determined that Russian state media, RT and Sputnik News produce biased articles designed to punish Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump as well as contributing to the undermining of faith in American democracy.
As is common of poor and irresponsible journalism the Post and PropOrNot provided no evidence in support of their assertions.
PropOrNot has listed numerous organizations as allies yet social media carry numerous statements from these allies stating that they have nothing to do with the group and had never even heard of it before the Post published its story. Journalist Glenn Greenwald noted that [PropOrNot]," ....this group of ostensible experts far more resembles amateur peddlers of primitive, shallow propagandistic clichés than serious, substantive analysis and expertise; that it has a blatant, demonstrable bias in promoting NATO’s narrative about the world; and that it is engaging in extremely dubious McCarthyite tactics about a wide range of critics and dissenters.”
In conclusion the source of misleading libelous propaganda that has been slandering President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican Party through association with non-existent manipulations by Russia and various private media, who cover Russian affairs, has been, and remains, this mediocre website PropOrNot and the Post has willingly acted as a distributor of the resulting fake news based on a post-truth strategy.
Putin's Useful Idiots
An American NGO called the Henry Jackson Society, has just published a document by an Andrew Foxall of the so-called Russia Studies Centre. This document is entitled, "Putin's Useful Idiots: Britain's Left, Right and Russia"
, demonstrates a lamentable misunderstanding of Russia's policy with repect to so-called left and right movements worldwide. There is no depth to this document with most references being all very recent, most dated 2016 and one or two 1990s vintage. In fact the analysis is plain wrong and reflects perhaps the writer's age and lack of experience with the fundamentals of Russian motivations going back beyond the initiation of World War II. The writer has simply bought into the recent Clintonesque and John Kerry State Department-driven paranoia about Putin. The personalisation of this document, centred on Putin, is typical of the brand of knee jerk journalism that is the US mainstream media today. This cannot be considered to be a serious researched document reflecting the current motivations of Putin.
Any amateur student of history knows that Russia has a well-established habit, like the USA, of funding sympathetic political movements. In fact the USA dedicates somthing like 500 times more funding to foreign political movements and NGOs than does Russia. Indeed, Russia learned some of these techniques from the USA. It is notable that although there is ample evidence of USA funding of foreign political activity as well as regime change supported by bloody wars, the Clinton campaign and security agencies in the USA could not come up with any evidence for Russian interference in the recent US election. Of course even the FBI was accused of acting on behalf of Russia. There is by contrast excessive amounts of evidence concerning USA interference in foreign elections as well as support of the so-called right in Ukraine as well as terrorist groups in the Middle East and of strong political support for Saudi Arabia in spite of evidence of their involvement
in the murderous events of 9-11 in downtown New York. One cannot equate this behaviour with anything to do with freedom, democracy and the rule of law but the author of this document does not want to be bothered with such details but simply wants to deliver on attacking Putin.
One bizarre recommendation by this individual is a that politicians should be required to register the fact that they will participate in coverage by such media organizations as RT. This is a MacCarthyism excess. RT receives funding from the Russian government in the same way as Voice of America in the USA or BBC in the UK. Most US mainstream media are essentially stenographers for
US government output, especially in the case of foreign affairs and State Department output so that on these stations it is difficult to get alternative point of view across. A self-imposed or funded censorship creates enormous bias in news coverage, indeed, the experience of Bernie Sanders during the primaries, provides ample evidence of this. RT has a range of programmes that are managed by people who would not accept any editorial orientation from RT. For example Larry King and his program "Politicking", Ameera David's "Boom Bust" and Afshin Rattansi's "Going Underground"". These are all programs that provide a rational and alternative view of opinions and all off them grill interviewees from any side.
Finally, to highlight where this document goes wrong, like the USA, Russia provides "support" to people whose ideas are potentially against the interests of the country. Such people, mainly on the right, are seduced into misunderstading of provision of platforms, and even funding, signifies support for their basic philosophies; it doesn't, and never has done. It is largely designed to raise their profile and expose them so as to line up domestic opinion against them. This succeeded in the case of the National Front and most other ultra right wing UK parties to the benefit of the UK population.
In disagreement with Stalin, Leon Trotsky pointed out the danger of the right (Fascists) and Stalin made him pay the ultimate price. However, the lesson arising from the Nazi fiasco caused Russia to finally understand Trotsky's analysis at a great human cost. The recent Ukraine events saw the US State Department support of neofascist paramilitary units. There were calls for NATO expansion into Ukraine. NATO, however, had demonstrated its willingness to alter its etablished defensive role willy nilly to pursue a proactive regime change in Libya, under the guise of an innocent "no flight zone". This created a significant change in the perception of the stablity of NATO as a reliable adversary alliance both within the UK as well as in Russia. The evidence is there for all to see that NATO's intervention resulted in chaos and the spread of ISIS and a major European immigration crisis which Muammar Gaddafi had predicted and had prevented. This led, naturally, to the Crimean outcome in light of the important Russian naval base and ethnic make-up of Crimeans, mainly Russian speakers. Ukrainan events at the time was showing TV coverage of Ukrainan neo-fascists clubbing members of Russian ethnic groups to death. This is not to argue that what has occurred is right it is simply to point out that there were good reasons for this move in strategic terms as well as in terms of the security of the population in Crimea. When the West acts in a way that does not demonstrate a consistent strategy there is a problem of predictability resulting in instability. The only way to stop this growing global chaos is to take decisive actions.
In such a world there is a need for balanced rational analyses to identify options for possible soltions. The shallow nature of this journalistic publication devoid of objective analysis with rights reserved by a UK registered charity calls into question why this organization has a charitable status when it is wasting money on such polemic that contributes nothing to the debate.
The deplorables win and the trailer park celebration
Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election of the USA was inevitable but the "powers that were" who have existed in an orgy of mutual status promotion and cronyism within the Beltway and sold as democracy in action by most US media, were the last people to see this coming. This very reality is why Donald Trump won.
He won because people had become increasingly tired of putting up with an in-your-face arrogant corruption of the so-called establishment politicians, their supporters in the corporate world and media and the continued scandals involving the financial world. It is assumed by that "the people" don't "understand" the world's complexities and, in any case, don't have enough power to stop the endless wars promoted by the State Department, the countless number of innocents murdered by the US Coalition's quest to fight terrorism and promote regime change in the Middle East. While politicians looked the other way, people continue to believe that black lives matter, that financial crimes have justified Occupy. Bernie Sanders gave these feelings a focus but people watched as the Democratic machine marginalized Sanders. Wikileaks helped add a perspective on this corruption. A considerable amount of the anger related to the treatment of Sanders, fed into Donald Trump's support.
On the economic side, the disastrous macroeconomic policies followed by the USA, globalization and financialization which resulted in the many in manufacturing and industry seeing their jobs exported to South East Asia and the desperate situation of those referred to by Clinton as "deplorables" or the so-called white trash, crackers, hillbillies, Okies or rednecks has become far worse. An historic fact is that the status of poor whites were held in contempt by even black slaves. During the plantation phase poor whites had to struggle for subsistence.
This long standing prejudice against these people has its origins in the fact that many came from Ireland and Scotland during the period England had been fighting and colonizing these countries. For several reasons poverty and the need to emigrate was imposed on these communities. From that time these people were held in contempt by all of society. Some of the background to this tragic characteristic of the divided society that is the USA can be found in the book by Thomas Sowell entitled, "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" (2005). In this book, Sowell, an African American intellectual puts forward a pretty biased analysis of how those from the Celtic fringe of Britain set a bad example for African Americans who emulated them. Sowell uses this biased analysis to explain the bad behaviour of African Americans. This is an example where a basic sociological circumstance can pit on person who is marginalized against someone else who is also marginalized. Politicians can use this type of circumstance to use the blame game to divide society as well as pick up votes from those who are championed by the politician. The mainstream media approach and, indeed, the thinking of many Americans is to brand people by their ethnicity or group such as Latino, African American, Indigenous, Caucasian and others. This is a somewhat demented view of society and allegiances since it leads to strong subjective associations. So some policemen end up with a tendency to murder African Americans in cold blood in minor confrontations, even when the subject is unarmed.
Some people consider Moslems as a problem. Irrespective of this unfortunate decisiveness of depreciating the image of other members of American society, the main point is that Donald Trump's message found resonance with the unemployed and these "white trailer park inhabitants" who, in some cases, have had to endure a multi-generational abuse from government and society. Trump tapped into a rich seam. The thought that the Latino vote or the African American vote would surge and counter Trump's advance was never going to work. Many Latino families and African American families have lost family members in the continuing pointless wars, a legacy of Clinton & Obama. As a result this surge did not happen.
Although it is easy to blame people's economic status on the movement of immigrants to the economic space there is a danger that this becomes a racist issue when in fact it is an issue of poor management of the economy. The Brexit vote in the UK is mired in this sort of nonsense spouted by the media. The issue is that macroeconomic policies have served the rich at the expense of the poor, investment is falling and productivity declining and real unemployment rising. People at the sharp end have simply said, "enough!".
So in a step towards a more open society, the deplorables have won and there will be many trailer park celebrations. This is in fact something to be admired, it is a potential triumph for American democracy that a billionaire businessman has been able to generate such sparks of hope. Let us hope Donald Trump remains uncontaminated by the Beltway madness and is able to deliver on his promises.
The world is tired and fed up with a bullying and interfering US State Department that has created failed states under Clinton and John Kerry
America and the world should be grateful that the paranoid warmongers and scaremongers lost the election
The conjouring up and the full exposure of a ridiculous paranoid scare mongering based on no evidence at all, other than assertion, exposed a pathological tendency of Clinton to base her campaign on misrepresentation. Her absurd claims that Russia was somehow implicated in trying to influence the outcome of the election was,of course, totally bizarre. However her ambition was so intense that she became insensitive and blinded to the fact that this line simply became increasingly absurd and people began to see through it. She did of course have pliant surrogates in some "security" institutions to state that hacks (if there were any) were of the sort that Russia might apply. On the other hand CNN and other mainstream media sold this story hook, line and sinker again on the basis of no evidence. The hacks according to Ibn Nr were in likely to be home grown leaks or hacks and this is why the security agencies were trying to deflect their inability to protect US cyberspace from its own hackers by blaming Russia.
However, all of these smoke screens by the Clinton campaign were unable to deflect attention from her track record of a willingness to advocate aggression. Her shameful and tasteless reference to the murder of Kaddafi as, “We Came, We Saw, He Died, Ha! Ha! Ha!” (CBSNews) exposed her shamelessly sadistic side. But even worse, her admission in an email that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding ISIS while later accepting money for the Clinton Foundation from these same countries while ISIS continues to target US military personnel and European citizens, to murder Christians, to rape their wives or sell them into sex slavery and to lop off the heads of people who don't "behave" while continuing to spread to more countries. She is completely unsuitable to be president of the country where New York suffered from 9-11 which, it turns out, was conjured up and supported by elements of the Saudi government. It isn't necessary to say much more here but it is very clear that we should all be very grateful that she did not win for the sake of the lives of those innocent people with a right to life who would have perished in far off lands in the name of America if she had become president.
The absence of world leadership requires better national options
After an intense 15 years of aggression and killing, the so-called "war on terror" has only turned into a source of terror and displacement for the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria leading to the immigrant crisis in Europe. The USA has promoted a foreign policy more focused on arbitrary "regime change" and leading to the murder of over a million people and approaching 7,000 US personnel have been killed and over 40,000 injured in the name of fantasies dreamt up in the Washington Belt way by clearly irresponsible individuals with decision-making power in a disoriented administration. The people of the United States gain no benefit from this insanity but they are sold the narrative through a media that their "freedom" rests on the success of a foreign policy bent on marginalizing anyone deemed to be in opposition to USA policies and to use assassination if such opposition persists.
All of this talk about "democracy" palls at what is being done in its name. It is increasingly evident that USA's foreign policy motivation is not primarily to safeguard the interests of the people of America. It serves the specific interests of those who gain from supporting the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, all of whom seek chaos in Syria. The USA foreign policy is a proxy operation acting on behalf of these countries. A vivid characterization of this foreign policy can be seen in the Saudi's wholesale murderous aggression in Yemen deploying US and UK supplied plane systems, armaments and UK provision of pilot training. They have provided this support in spite of the allegations of Saudi Arabia's support of the terrorists who carried out the 9-11 atrocity resulting in deaths of 2,996 people and the injuries of more than 6,000 others in downtown New York. Over a longer period the Saudi financing of the establishment of mosques and promotion of Wahhabism worldwide has provided the foundation for a spread of an intolerant and fundamentalist approach to Islam amongst Moslems in Europe and the USA and elsewhere. This intolerance of other religions and social customs is what has merged into the strains that appear in the outlook of most Islamic terrorists, either "home-grown" or imported. Naturally the US led wars of aggression, that kill more Moslems than any other group, sustain a motivation for people to switch to join those fighting the USA to be branded as terrorists. This explanation for the growth in home-grown "terrorists" was confirmed in an FBI report that did not gain much media coverage.
The sheer extent of the decadence of US foreign policy is reflected in the preference of President Obama to not allow Americans to sue Saudi Arabia and in their continued protection and support of head-lopping, raping sex-slavery operator extremists, also favoured and funded by Saudi Arabia, and whom they call "the moderate opposition" in Syria. Independent national options are frowned upon by the US State Department in complete contradiction of any normal acceptance by a democratic society of alternative positions and policies.
The question is, why does the United Kingdom government, under Theresa May willingly participate in this quagmire of immoral and unethical conduct? The United Kingdom has and continues to pay a heavy price in its meek following of US policies, largely for fear of being ostracized and being upstaged by some EU Member or losing some armaments contract. Its recent orchestrated show in United Nations, alongside France in supporting the scripted US State department hysteria, concerning Aleppo in Syria, only confirmed weak levels of independence.
It needs to be noted that the UK came up with most of the Human Rights legislative foundation in European Human Rights and England produced the first constitutional drafts that after around 140 years were taken up as the US Constitution and Bill of Rights by the "founding fathers". The UK's penchant for logic combined with legal principles largely couched in the Common Law is a sound logical, moral and ethical mix and this still has much to contribute to the world. Discounting the current irresponsible cow towing of the UK to an aggressive foreign policy, the UK can contribute far more by opting for placing humanity at the front of foreign policy and to draw upon moral principles and ethical procedures, to propose peaceful options that safeguard the harmonious development of human communities worldwide. The USA, on the other hand, has done too much damage and viewed with too much cynicism for it to attempt such as move.
The UK recent decision giving arise to BREXIT provides an opportunity for an ex-post analysis of the benefits of leaving as opposed to staying. In 1987, UK Commissioner Arthur Cockburn, Vice-President of the Delors' Commission and Commissioner for the Internal Market, Tax Law and Customs, arranged, through his cabinet, for a study to be conducted on the benefits of the European Common Market and referred to as "No Europe". The first report turned up nothing so the study was recommissioned making use of a management consultancy company to do a more "thorough" job. The outcome was essentially a repeat failure to come up with any significant benefits from Europe.
Berlaymont the law mill
In Berlaymont, the Commission HQ on Rue de la Loi, it was nowhere to be found and very soon it was no longer recognized by its name.
The situation has not really changed since then. It has got worse with the overall makeup of the Member State political systems having veered away from the former English and UK approach to democracy to rule-based legal provisions with little adaptability. Indeed the unfortunate lessons of countries that have joined is that laws written, top down, by government advisers in the same mode as the Commission, is the name of the game. Participatory democracy has become a buzz word. The extension of this approach to EU accession support in the Balkans is not contributing to democratic values but rather the reverse where getting hold of EU funds is obtained by putting in place requested but token administrative structures. Getting out of the EU is well overdue with other member states in the EU Council having increasing veto power while their policies are increasingly top down elitist concoctions. BREXIT had to happen sooner or later. So the option open to the UK is to predict the future after BREXIT, that is to define where is wants to go, the best solution is to create this future, following Peter Druker's advice. This is where the "No Europe" report fell down, it did not explore the alternative options open to the UK beyond "business as usual". The most important option is to demonstrate an independent foreign policy that flexes its muscles, not in selling armaments to murderers, droning and killing the guests at tribal wedding ceremonies or slavishly following the USA into failed ventures. Rather it is to establish alternatives based on moral principles and ethics, removing threats from diplomatic language and embracing simple recognizable peaceful human motivations as the driving force of policy logic.
On the European side the threats of retaliation from EU members is to be expected given the evolving anti-democratic mind sets in the leadership, and the increasing dependency of some on EU hand-outs. If they persist this will damage the weak EU economy and not the UK economy, which has far more options.
Internal struggle in EU over conflicting interests of USA and Member States
It is clear that Donald Tusk failed to deliver on pressure from the US to get a unified EU position to impose further sanctions on Russia at the last Council meeting. He read out a typical US State Department buzz wordy narrative to claim, unconvincingly, that Russia is trying to destabilize the EU. Tusk is becoming somewhat like the other proxy US policy spokesperson, Jens Stoltenberg of NATO who pursues an EU destabilizing policy of aggressive Middle Eastern foreign policy led by the USA that has created the migrant crisis as the major destabilizing issue in the EU. As usual the USA pressures for policies where the EU pays the main price and proxy representatives such as Tusk and Stoltenburg promote European instability.
CIA "covert" operation becomes a very public joke ;-)
In an intentional constituent-aimed media interview on NBC's "Meet the Press", the Vice President of the USA, Joe Biden, hinted that the CIA is preparing a "covert" Cyber attack on Russia. How silly can you get by broadcasting a covert operation in advance? According to Ibn Nr this sort of nonsense is to try and communicate that things are so bad that the US is "going to have to react". This is to add credibility to the assertions of Russian hacking. This fuzzy hint by the Veep is to try and convince the US electorate that Russia really is attacking the Democratic party's range of databases many of which are not operational and the records are offline on paper in dusty filing cabinets. Concerning the Podesta emails and the damming confidential statements made by Clinton to her support groups, the most logical explanation is that these were leaked by Democratic party operatives or IT personnel reacting to the unconstitutional treatment of Bernie Sanders by the party in support of Hillary Clinton. The Russian dimension is a convenient diversionary tactic by the Democrats which has no evidential base, designed to fill the media with the imaginary Russian bogey man "fear factor" rather than the content of these damming documents. The well known endemic political bias in the majority of US mainstream media can be left to do the rest by hiding what is in fact going on from the US public thereby undermining transparency, in contradiction to the fundamental aims of a free press.APE - Apeurope authorizes detailed study on the costs & benefits of Brexit
During the Apeurope Annual General Meeting held on 10th October, Group correspondents registered their extreme frustration at the absence of evidence-based positions, on all sides, during the recent European referendum. With the decision to leave the European Union, this lack of clarity continues. The vacillation and delays by all British political parties in defining any coherent position is alarming and the posturing of the European Commission officials and some heads of state of Member States is unacceptable. Therefore, in the continued absence of any positive government or Commission action the Apeurope Board has authorized a study on the "Costs & Benefits of the UK leaving the European Union". This study will analyse the sector and foreign trade partner potential opportunities, gaps and impacts arising from the new options that now exist with BREXIT. This has the objective of providing a basis for identifying mutual benefits to the remaining European Union's members and to the UK.
|The Whale in the coming BREXIT talks|In some of the preparatory exchanges concerning the Apeurope Study "Costs & Benefits of the UK leaving the European Union" one delegate pointed out that one of the most shocking give-aways by the Heath Conservative government, when the UK entered the European Union in 1972, was the UK's fishing grounds, amongst the most productive on the planet. This had a significant negative social and economic impact on the British fishing industry. BREXIT provides the damaged UK fishing industry and the UK fishermen the opportunity to regain their former prominent contribution to Britain's Agricultural, Fisheries and Forestry sector by supplying the UK with home-caught fish.
The current catch value, official and unofficial, is around £500 million. Much fish coming to the UK market goes through large EU-based factory ships who simply sell fish caught within these waters to UK fishermen or land the fish for port-side markets. With BREXIT the national fishing communities' income could double to around £1 billion.
The re-establishment of British sovereignty over the former UK fishing grounds would be a major tangible benefit of BREXIT. In preparation to this major benefit it would make sense, in terms of managing the total manageable catch (TAC) to come to agreement with Iceland on management and to only permit EU vessels to fish under license paid to the UK treasury. License income would be used to monitor fish stocks and prevent abuse arising from unacceptable catching practices such as avoiding catching and killing very young fish needed to grow stocks for the sustainability of the industry.
This could become the Whale in the BREXIT negotiation fish tank when discussions get going. Several countries, France and Spain and indirectly The Netherlands, have much to lose with this aspect of BREXIT. The solution, of course, is not to try and punish Britain for BREXIT but to come to a satisfactory settlement of things like this; there are many more to come and Real News will be setting these out here.
US foreign policy is a ridiculous "Show Time" for gullible media; little credibility remains
The sheer hypocrisy of the histrionics of the USA UN ambassador and the lack of logical argument of the US State Secretary and the absurd off stage statements by leading US military figures is ridiculous. We witness a bunch of mavericks playing a high stakes poker game while the Commander in Chief, so-called, seems to be ignored. No one believes that the US attack on the Syrian army was a "mistake" as John Kerry claimed. This attack could be "called off" because it was already "mission accomplished". The terrorist attack on the humanitarian mission was immediately blamed on Syrian and Russian air attacks while the US ignored the drone evidence provided by Russia on the local terrorist vehicle pulling a howitzer. The biggest problem that runs through the US narratives and bluster is a complete lack of evidence to back up accusations relating to Russian actions in Syria, cyber attacks on some disparate Democratic Party servers and events in the Ukraine. However, the evidence that does exist supports the emerging truth that the US foreign policy is barbaric, currently protecting rapists and beheading terrorists who run a sex trade based on innocent women, selling them through online sites by having their so-called "moderates" inter-mingle with these terrorists in civilian areas to protect them from attack.
The latest show by these hypocrites has been in the Security Council of the UN to demand "investigations" into war crimes. The burning alive of innocents by US repeated attacks on the hospital in Kunduz in Afghanistan and the recent attack by Saudi Arabia killing 150 individuals in the Yemen are war crimes.
Brexit, better late than never
BREXIT was unexpected but at least it got some people thinking about if something can be done with BREXIT that might benefit the UK population.
First of all, all of the dire chaos that those who wished to remain in Europe warned about, has not occurred. The economy isn't doing well but nothing much has changed. Secondly people are beginning to review the real options without Europe and some of these are appearing to be increasingly attractive. As many are now asking why the UK should limit our market scope to Europe when there is a whole world out there.
The rot began with the European constituents were marginalized by the exclusive way in which the European Convention on the Constitution chaired by former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in 2001. Then in 2003 democracy took a bad turn with the large enlargement under Commissioner Verheugen which brought in many central European countries, none of which had stable democratic credentials and countries like Hungary were pulled in with many EU requirements not having been satisfied and lot of legislation not even having been transcribed. Democracy was dealt a further blow when Angela Merkel in mid-2007, in a leaked letter to Member State leaders, suggested they revive almost all the controversial elements of the flopped European Constitution whereby leaders were trying to smuggle in a massive new extension of Brussels power by the back door. This was all being done in secret behind the back of the British people and the Parliament by Tony Blair. The constitution was controversial because it proposed scrapping national vetoes in dozens of areas, including policing and justice; the creation of a permanent elected president and foreign minister, and a legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights that would increase trade union influence. The aim was to revive the constitution in all but name, but this time without voters getting a choice. The key trick suggested by Merkel and reaffirmed by Tony Blair at the time led to the infamous Lisbon Treaty in December 2007 as an amending treaty.Why Americans have no basic right to bear arms
The right to bear arms, buried in the American Constitution is related to the old English basis for organizing state military forces through local militia. Thus in the American Constitution it states, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed
". The misrepresentation of the content of the American Constitution is promoted proactively by such organizations as the National Rifle Association (NRA) who basically circulate disinformation that this is a general right when even in the US Constitution the eligibility of being able to bear arms is related to membership of a militia.
As a result of this tendentious interpretation of the constitution, each year, has led to the insane result of more than 30,000 Americans killed by gun violence – homicides, suicides and incidental shootings. That number is ten times more than the number of Americans killed by terrorists on 9/11. Yet Congress has failed to act. Felons, terrorists, domestic abusers and the seriously violent mentally ill, and now home-made terrorists who support ISIS have easy access to firearms and ammunition because of weak and irresponsible American gun laws.
|Salt & Vinegar option under BREXIT|
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, assertion that no BREXIT is better than hard BREXIT and that leaving will only leave salt and vinegar. This exposes a behind-the-scenes effort on the part of a wide range of interest groups to try and reverse the UK's decision to leave the European Union.
What is not being accepted is that no one has quantified the benefits of remaining. In the 1980s UK European Commissioner Cockburn commissioned a study called "No Europe". This was supposed to calculate the benefits of being in Europe. The initial study came up with no benefits so the study was repeated, again coming up with no significant benefits. This report was a source of embarrassment and was therefore binned by the Commission. However, the fundamental message of the report was not lost on those who had read the report, especially some members of the UK Conservative party. It should be remembered that Cockburn was a UK Commissioner proposed by the Thatcher government. The bottom line here is that many in Britain know that the European Commission has no bargaining position if a country wishes to leave the EU because it is not possible to quantify the benefits of remaining. Any "hard exit" will prejudice European exporters to the UK. This means trying to punish, or threatening to punish the UK, bordering on economic sanctions, will only hurt Europe. This is why there is a panic in the European Commission.
On the question of foreign investment in the UK drying up with BREXIT, some recent confidential corporate executive conclaves are concluding that the UK's prospects are better outside the EU because the economy will grow faster than the EU as a result of the incremental growth in UK trade with non-EU countries. The organization of negotiating teams, with many members coming from British Commonwealth countries, is impressive and there is a large build-up of trading profiles being prepared, not with the EU, but with a long list of global partners. Whereas the UK started BREXIT with weak negotiation resources the current capabilities have already surpassed the somewhat sclerotic approach associated with the EU Commission typified by secrecy and a very poor public image such as their poorly handled TTIP negotiations.
There is a poorly appreciated fact surrounding the UK regulatory environment for financial services and a long established flexibility in the way the UK-based financial sector handle just about any challenge, sets London apart from any other world financial centre. This has its drawbacks but remains a well known, but seldom admitted, reality. The European Commission dreams that BREXIT will result the global financial centre migrating to Frankfurt, or anywhere else in mainland Europe, but according to traders this is unlikely to come true for the foreseeable future. At the moment European centres do not have the right combination of capabilities, experience and regulatory environments or, frankly, any track record to contemplate substituting London as the global financial centre.
Donald Tusk does not appear to understand that the British have a preference for eating fish and chips with salt and vinegar and this tradition will continue after BREXIT.
|Meet the leader of the biggest political party in Europe|
In spite of the media attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and the out of touch MPs who tried to unseat him by imposing yet another leadership election, he has succeeded, in the meantime, to turn Labour into the largest political party in Europe. There is a certain disorientation on the part of those who look for charisma and image in their leaders as opposed to consistency and substance. Winning elections is not always about the fear factor or false promises it can be about careful fashioning of policy on a more participatory, modest but more effective basis.
The media poured over Corbyn's final address to his party at the end of it's conference. Most criticisms were not particularly relevant, not even fair. But when one listens to the address and compares it with 12 months ago when Corbyn first became leader, there is a more coherent package, not exactly inspiring but more logical and clear. This is what the electorate wants to hear. Step by step Corbyn is beginning to make more sense. In terms of communicating with the electorate the style is clear and comprehensible, it is just plain English.
There is a very British eccentricity to all of this. Unlike European trends this silent revolution is taking place within a traditional political party which has decided to return to its formative roots because the conventional politics has forced the constituents to re-evaluate their evolving status. In many countries the trend has been the rejection of existing political parties with their close association with interest groups who pressure to maintain the macroeconomic policies that have eliminated investment and reduced real incomes on a persistent basis while bubbles appear in real estate and the grey derivatives markets. This is why increasing numbers are joining the Labour party. The Labour party membership already exceeds the total membership of all other British political parties put together.
White Helmets in Syria alleged to be phony NGO
Involved in staged propaganda
Funded by UK government,
with HQ in Turkey
Journalists who have recently visited Syria report that the White Helmets who feature in many media in the West saving children following "attacks by the Syrian government or Russians" are closely embedded in the terrorist groups and only work in the areas occupied by the same. It is alleged that they have a budget of something like $100 million and employ about 3,000 individuals who are involved in staged, heavily edited, videos designed to accuse either the Syrian government or Russians of atrocities. It is further alleged that the White Helmets and heavily armed off camera, have been involved in killing Syrian Civil Defence personnel and raiding and stealing their equipment and mopping up after beheadings and executions by the terrorist organizations. These allegations are so serious that the British Government needs to be asked to explain why they waste public funds on such an organization closely involved with ISIS and Al Quaeda and others and organized to mislead the British public with distorted propaganda.
The declining image of the USA
The showdown at the United Nations saw the USA, the UK and France engaged in duplicity and proving a clear factual financial and military support of the very terrorists who threaten these same countries. We witnessed a decadent John Kerry and histrionic side show by Samatha Power who, to boot, affronted Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin, the Russian Permanent representative to the United Nations. But in the long term the person who has demonstrated restraint, patience and a measured and balanced approach throughout this saga has been Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister. Russia does not need any propaganda machine when the USA's very public foreign policy is run by a rabble.
The image of the USA is declining rapidly with no apparent leadership on the Syrian question leading to the same disasters that the USA has initiated in Afghanistan and Iraq. When talking to the USA on foreign policy we face the issue raised by Henry Kissinger when referring to Europe, "who do you to talk to?". The Pentagon and the CIA supporting rival terrorist groups and the State Department's you are with us or against us, it is clear that the co-called Commander in Chief has absolutely no control over these mutinous agencies.
This presents a very obvious failure in the operation of the constitution of the USA, an inability to bring to heel the tendency for aggression and extra-constitutional behaviour that has caused the deaths of excessive numbers of innocent men, women and children. The frank operational support of terrorists who threaten the USA itself is a shocking state of affairs and an example of a failing state.