Saturday, 9 September 2017
Hurricane Irma is a fitting symbol for the end of neoliberalism as an economic "theory". Neoliberalism forced the greedy and selfishness to deny the reality of global warming since it threatened to undermine the profits to be made from the profligate use of fossil fuels. Global warning, they insisted, was either a liberal conspiracy or a Chinese conspiracy depending on which "enemy" they had in their sights at the moment. With the reality of global warming now bearing down on the United in the form of hurricane Irma and another one following close behind those Republicans who still embrace neoliberalism may soon have to deny aid to their own citizens once again. Twenty State Representatives and both Texas State Senators, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, have all voted against a $50.5 billion dollar relief package for victims of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy when it came before them in January 2013 despite the damage to their own state. Will they now vote against an even bigger relief package in the wake of hurricane Irma? Neoliberal "theory" says they must since greed and selfishness are more important than decency, humanity or even common sense. Much the same can be seen in the Brexit debacle unfolding in Britain. The chance to deny human and workers rights in the UK is far too important to the political arm of organised crime known as the Tory party. Nothing is more important than their "right" to grab whatever money they can in order to stuff their tax free overseas bank accounts. Not even the economic future of the country must be allowed to stand in the way of this goal. How else can they privatise the NHS and flog it off to American health care companies without undue interference from Brussels? In both the US and in the UK the vehicle that is being used to sell this insanity to the voting public is nationalism and its handmaiden, patriotism. With neoliberalism exposed as the fraud it always was this is the only way to hang onto its idiotic precepts long enough to squeeze out the last drop of profit. As Ben Johnson once observed, patriotism truly is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
Saturday, 2 September 2017
We've had the lies - money for the NHS, taking back control of our borders, the sunny uplands of economic freedom - but now the reality of Brexit is finally arriving. The money for the NHS was the first thing the swivel-eyed Brexit nutters dropped. Then came the weasel words about the need for "controlled" immigration. Lately we've had various government ministers, including Theresa May, being rebuffed by America, China, India and Japan as these countries point out that the UK doesn't actually produce anything they either need or want. So what was the point of Brexit? First and foremost it gave David Cameron the opportunity to placate those Tory backbenchers who threatened his job. Second, it provided a platform for the nationalist knuckle-draggers who hate all foreigners as a matter of principle and allowed them to vent their pent up hatreds. Third it allowed those little Englanders who watch endless documentaries about how the plucky Brits defeated Hitler to thump their favourite tub. So much for the Tory party but what about the rest of the 52% who voted for economic oblivion? The vast majority probably voted for this idiocy because the "Daily Mail" told them to. Which is pretty funny since it is owned by a man, Rupert Murdoch, who hates the UK with a passion. Many voted for it because they thought in some perverse way that it was a blow to "the establishment". Unfortunately "the establishment" (mainly the Tory party again) merely saw it as an opportunity to be as stupid, greedy and selfish as they always wanted to be. They are already lining up to tell us how wonderful it will be when they take our human and working rights off us. Still, those who voted for Brexit can always fly off to the Costas to drown their sorrows in cheap lager and insult the locals for not allowing us to have our cake and eat it. Except that the £ has sunk so low against the Euro that the Costas are becoming rather expensive and the locals don't give a damn about the UK's Brexit delusions. Brexit is a mess, manufactured by the Tories for their own narrow political interests - an ideologically-led insanity that makes about as much sense as that other favourite myth of the Tory party, trickle down economics. The only good Brexit, it is now abundantly clear, is a dead Brexit.
Sunday, 20 August 2017
It is becoming increasingly difficult to understand what Trump actually is. He is clearly not really the President of the United States since he spends most of his time on the golf course and only appears on a regular basis on Twitter during the early hours of the morning. He is not a Republican as such since he seems so determined to bring the party into disrepute and make sure that it will not be elected into either Congress or the office of the Presidency for the foreseeable future. Nor is he an American since every utterance he makes is totally at odds with what the USA is supposed to be all about. He does have a soft spot for white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK while harbouring nothing but contempt for the Constitution. All in all he seems to be nothing more than a confused and rather unintelligent grumpy old man. Yet this is strangely unsurprising since that sums up what America itself has become. Betrayed by the insanity of neoliberal voodoo economics, frightened by America's faltering grip as the world's only superpower and no longer able to discern what is real and what is not in the so-called "Information Age", many older Americans now find themselves poorer, baffled by their country's inability to control world events and bewildered by modern communications technology. For them Trump was a lightening rod, a mouthpiece for all their fears and prejudices - the last great white hope. Unfortunately he is just like them and has no more idea on how to run a country than they do. They wanted a John Wayne but all they got was a Marion Morrison. Trump is not a politician, still less a President and certainly not the leader of the Free World (whatever that was). He is a bundle of incoherent prejudices and half-baked ideas without any concept of what the consequences of his open-mouthed approach to America's problems might be. He is nothing more than a living, breathing neurosis on legs. He is what America has become.
Friday, 21 July 2017
The links between the Trump election campaign, members of Trump's family and the Russians have continued to grow, prompting speculation that Trump himself may have been involved in a plot to influence the election in November 2016. So far, by telling lies, drip feeding his admissions of guilt, calling all such reports "fake news" and with the help of a supine House of Congress, Trump has managed to dodge impeachment. Despite this impeachment remains a distinct possibility if Congress and the people who voted for this fake President finally wake up and smell the coffee. The latest revelations about Trump's secret meeting with Vladimir Putin with only a Russian interpreter in attendance has raised eyebrows but not as much as his decision to remove all support for the moderate rebels fighting against Assad in Syria. This is nothing more or less than handing over the future of Syria to the Russians, infuriating two of the USA's closest allies - Turkey and Saudi Arabia - in the process. The secret meeting between Putin and Trump now looks for all the world as if Trump is a Russian intelligence asset with Putin acting as his KGB handler. The CIA are now openly calling Trump "The Manchurian Candidate" while the other 16 intelligence agencies in the USA are telling the American people that Russia is now in charge of US foreign policy. If so this would be a breathtaking intelligence coup for the Russians and Putin, a former head of the KGB, in particular. But surely Putin, with his experience, wouldn't be so daft as to demonstrate to the world that Trump is his lapdog? He might, if he thought that burning this asset was worth it. Such a high profile asset could not be expected to last long before being found out and rubbing America's nose in it might just be his end game. After all what would the result be? The American public could never be sure again that their political elite had not been fatally suborned because of their business interests which are all too often linked to Russian oligarchs. Putin would show that he is the master of intelligence while the Americans, hampered by their tortuous legal systems, could never hope to match his ability to act without restraint. The USA has been crowing for years about the defeat of Communism. How ironic if they were now defeated by a tinpot dictatorship shorn of its former might with Putin playing what appears to be a weak hand with all the consummate skills gained as the former head of the KGB.
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
The organised crime syndicate known as the Tory party has dropped yet another bombshell today in their bid to return us all to the 1840's and reward themselves with yet another juicy tax cut. Those of us unfortunate enough to be born during the 1970's or later will not now receive a state pension until they are aged 68. It is no coincidence that this measure has been taken in the same week that it was announced that ordinary people's life expectancy has ceased to increase. Austerity has delivered one of the glittering prizes for the Tory party - more people will die before they can claim their state pension saving £74 billion that can then be grabbed by the already rich, greedy and selfish and stuffed into their tax-free offshore bank accounts. Many of our children and grandchildren, burdened by the debt of an education, unaffordable mortgages or rent and crippling health insurance, will never be able to retire but will be worked to death in order to fund this windfall for the Tories and those criminal elements who bankroll them. The younger generation will not only be worse off than those now at retirement age, they will be worse off than their ancestors dead for 100 years. The Tories are succeeding in their bid to roll back the welfare state and replace it with the dog-eat-dog dystopia that existed before World War II. They are stealing our children's and grandchildren's future in order to strengthen and extend their cult of greed. They can be stopped however. All we have to do is stop voting for them and start voting for hope instead of despair.
There can be little doubt now that the Brexit campaign was one based on lies and propaganda. Remember the £135 million a week for the NHS? Remember the scare story that Turkey was about to join the EU? Remember "taking control of our borders"? Remember "the world will beat a path to our door eager for trade"? All these have now been abandoned by the leaders of the Brexit campaign since they are demonstrably untrue. All they are left with is "taking back control over our own laws" and wresting the legislative process from the "faceless bureaucrats from Brussels". Even these statements are demonstrably untrue since we always had control over our own laws while in Parliament 90% of all laws introduced are purely domestic and have nothing to do with Europe. As for the "faceless bureaucrats" has no one heard of MEPs - you know the people we vote for to represent our views in Brussels? Winning the Brexit campaign on such a basis was nothing more or less than a confidence trick perpetrated on the British public by a bunch of swivel-eyed nutters in UKIP and the Tory Party with propaganda supplied by newspapers who think nothing of hacking a murdered girl's phone. The result was simply illegitimate. But now we can see the edge of the cliff that this country is heading towards while we are all driven a breakneck speed towards it by the likes of Boris Johnson and David Davis. The only question is why the Tory party in particular is now so eager to embrace economic disaster? At the very centre of their thinking is the glittering prize of ending the influence of the European Court on Human Rights. Without their "interference" workers rights can be swept away, pay can be kept at poverty levels, collective bargaining can be dispensed with and, most important of all, the NHS can be flogged off at bargain-basement prices to the Tories party's rich mates in the American Health Industry. That is what Brexit is all about for the organised crime syndicate known as the Tory party in the UK. It's time for a second referendum now we know the truth.
Thursday, 4 May 2017
After spending the first week of the general election campaign avoiding any mention of a policy and avoiding meeting real people Theresa May has finally come up with a cliché that her spin doctors think might find some traction. After voicing their opinion that Theresa May is a complete idiot with no idea as to what she is doing she has come back with an utterly brainless accusation that the EU is trying to spoil her election chances. This, she believes, will cause the British public to swing behind her as a latter day Boudicca and unite in the face of the real enemy - Johnny Foreigner. Given the utter vacuous stupidity of the British electorate she might well have a point. The social media is already replete with references to World War II, Winston Churchill, Waterloo and all the other historical nonsense trotted out by brain dead Brexiteers. As the bad news that Brexit represents piles up and the exit policy of the Tories continues to be non-existent May feels she has no choice but to wrap herself in the flag to rally her moronic troops before the truth flushes them down that creek where paddles are in short supply. We must all hope that Britain can find a market for its "Boy's Own History of Why Britain Is Really Great" to supplement its only other exports - arms for nasty dictators to kill their own people with and criminal banking services. For this alternative to a policy of any sort Theresa May is banking that the British people will be willing to see their NHS flogged off at bargain-basement prices to American healthcare companies, see more of their fellow citizens cast out into the streets, see even more of the disabled left destitute and see their children's and grand-children's future destroyed. Well for all you Brexiteers out there who think that a Tory government is a price worth paying and will actually vote for this murderous band of crooks, conmen and outright criminals, don't forget to wash your hands afterwards.
Tuesday, 2 May 2017
Brexit was won on the back of outright lies. There will be no end to immigration. There will be no extra money for the NHS. There are no lucrative trade deals being made with the rest of the world outside the EU. The Tories have no strategy for negotiating Britain's way out of the EU. There is no unity in the country. So, Theresa May must ask herself, how the hell can the Tory party survive the economic disaster that is about to engulf us all? While the PM's husband is poised to make millions out of his post-Brexit investments it is not difficult to understand why Theresa May's support for the Remain campaign was so lacklustre or why she was so eager to embrace leaving the EU as fast as possible. The Tory spin doctors came to her rescue with such soundbites as "Brexit means Brexit" and "the will of the people". How then to survive the looming disaster of the "negotiations" that seem to consist entirely of unreasonable demands and the threat to shoot Britain through its collective head if May doesn't get what she wants? First call a general election - you know the one she said she wouldn't call - and get an "overwhelming mandate" for her negotiating position. This will strengthen her hand she insists. This rather begs the question as to why the EU would give a damn about her "mandate", overwhelming or otherwise. The British electorate, it must be pointed out, don't vote in German or French elections and, consequently, German and French politicians simply don't care what they think. Not to worry though for, while the Tories pretend to have an exit strategy and the Daily Mail speaks of the EU negotiation strategy as a "plot" by dastardly foreigners, the fix is already in. When Theresa May walks away from the negotiations with a hatful of nothing she will address the nation from the steps of No.10 and explain patiently that she was merely carrying out "the will of the people". Now do you get it? "You" (or at least the less than 40% of the electorate who voted for this idiocy) are to blame. The Tory party which led us out of the EU and up this dark blind alley will not be to blame. It's all your fault.
Saturday, 12 November 2016
Who would have guessed that when the Twin Towers collapsed on September 11th 2001 that we were actually witnessing the complete and utter defeat of the Western world and that militant Islam had already won? How could this have happened despite all of our military hardware, all the bombing and invasions and after all the years we had spent patting ourselves on the back for defeating Communism? How could such a resounding victory have been so easily achieved? The answer is quite simple. Our enemies simply knew what buttons to push because they understood how fragile our democratic institutions and how threadbare our high-sounding democratic principles actually were. They knew that despite our overweening pride in ourselves our feet were made of clay. All it took was a few years of low-level terrorist attacks, a gentle push and we toppled over. Who would have believed just a few years ago that a British government would be able to punish the poor, the disabled and the homeless simply for being poor, disabled and homeless? Who would have believed that in a country seemingly dedicated to family values that a billionaire tax-avoiding misogynistic serial philanderer and well-known bully could possibly be elected into the White House? Al-Qaeda and its latest offshoot ISIS obviously did and they have roundly and completely defeated us simply by standing by and watching us tear each other to pieces. Looking back over the last 30 years it's easy to see how we connived in our own demise. We allowed our politicians to wreck our economy with neoliberal mumbo-jumbo and create a unequal society ripe for revolution. We allowed those same politicians to blame the innocent victims of this inequality and punish them simply for existing. We stifled debate by making some subjects such as immigration unmentionable and effectively outlawed free speech. We allowed our media to fall into the hands of right-wing crazies who hate everyone except themselves. We allowed our enemies to separate us from our real friends simply because they too were foreigners. What was once our democracy, the democracy of Roosevelt's New Deal and Atlee's Welfare State, has now been so completely subverted that people actually believe that buffoons like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are our only hope. Once we reached that stage we really were lost.
Friday, 11 November 2016
How did this happen? How did this utter idiot become President of the most powerful planet on Earth? It wasn't because he's the most popular man in the USA since he failed to gain a majority in the popular vote. The Presidency was delivered to him by the arcane electoral college system which has, once again, handed victory to the loser. Trump did, however, poll just under 50% and the question arises as to why so many people would vote for a bombastic egocentric racist bully after the eight years of a Barak Obama Presidency. How could the USA go from the grace and decency of Barak Obama to the utter ignorance and prejudice of a man like Donald Trump? Frustration would seem to the the answer. Frustration that Obama could not deliver the change that he promised. Yet that frustration was caused by the obstructionism and cynicism of the Republican dominated Republican Houses of Congress - the very party that has now been propelled into the White House. Some say that Trump isn't a real Republican and that they never really accepted him as their leader in this Presidential campaign. There is some truth in that but, nevertheless, Trump voices many of the brain-dead nonsense that the Republican party is often reluctant to say openly and in public. He dared to say the things that they were thinking and won. Trump is nothing more than a demagogue, voicing the prejudices of Americans and promising whatever simplistic solutions were needed to gain the White House. Trump has promised to break international agreements, ignore the threats to the environment and to commit criminal acts to assuage the fears of the largely ignorant and bible-thumping electorate that put him into the Oval Office. This is the triumph of ignorance over reason, of prejudice over reality, of irrationality over rationality and it might just mark the end of western democracy as we have understood it.