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Ghost Dog

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 14,957

About Me

Brit gone native. Cooperative member. Ecology. Cartography. Programming. Music production.

Journal Archives

Margaret Thatcher and her heirs have created a selfish and divided society (David Hare)

.

... But it is not the case that everything was in chaos until 1979, since when everything has been bliss. The 1970s were disputatious times, times of profound and often bitter argument. Living through them was not easy, and a lot of us suffered wounds that took years to heal. But the political discussions we were having – in particular about how the wishes of working-class employees could be more creatively taken into account – were about important things, things that, disastrously, present-day politicians disdain to address...

... You may say that the party aims, like all such parties, to keep the well off well off. That, never forget, is any rightwing grouping’s conservative mission, which will offer a blindingly simple explanation for the larger part of its behaviour. And for obvious reasons, the money party in this particular culture has also aimed to perpetuate the narcotic influence of the monarchy. But with these two exceptions, it is hard to think of any area of public activity – education, justice, defence, health, culture – which any of the last seven Conservative governments have been interested in protecting, let alone conserving. On the contrary, they have preferred a state of near‑Maoist revolution, complaining that, in an extraordinary coincidence, almost every aspect of British life except retail and finance is incompetently organised. Who could have imagined it? And after all those dominant Conservative governments! In this belief, they have launched waves of attacks against teachers, doctors, nurses, policemen and women, soldiers, social workers, civil servants, local councillors, firefighters, broadcasters and transport workers – all of whom they openly scorn for the mortal sin of not being financiers or entrepreneurs (nor dickheads - ed.) ...

,,, The origins of conservatism’s modern incoherence lie with Thatcher. Whatever your view of her influence, she was different from her predecessors in her degree of intellectuality. She was unusually interested in ideas. Groomed by Chicago economists, she believed that Britain, robbed of the easy commercial advantages of its imperial reach, could thenceforth only prosper if it became competitive with China, with Japan, with America and with Germany. For this reason, in 1979, a crackpot theory called monetarism was briefly put into practice and allowed to wreak the havoc that destroyed one fifth of British industry. As soon as this futile theory had been painfully discredited, Conservative minds switched to obsessing on what they really wanted: the promotion and propagation of the so-called free market. If a previous form of patrician conservatism had been about respectability and social structure, this new form was about replacing all notions of public enterprise with a striving doctrine of individualism.

It is painful to point out how completely this grafting of foreign ideas onto the British economy has failed. The financial crash of 2008 dispelled once and for all the ingenious theory of the free market. The only thing, ideologues had argued, that could distort a market was the imposition of unnecessary rules and regulations by a third party, which had no vested interest in the outcome of the transaction and that was therefore a meddling force that robbed markets of their magnificent, near-mystical wisdom. These meddling forces were called governments. The flaw in the theory became apparent as soon as it was proved, once and for all, that irresponsible behaviour in a market did not simply affect the parties involved but could also, thanks to the knock-on effects of modern derivatives, bring whole national economies to their knees. The crappy practices of the banks did not punish only the guilty. Over and over, they punished the innocent far more cruelly. The myth of the free market had turned out to be exactly that: a myth, a Trotsykite fantasy, not real life...

... Even disciples of Milton Friedman in Chicago were willing to admit the scale of the rout. They openly used the words “Back to the drawing board”. But in an astonishing act of corporate blackmail, the banks themselves then insisted that they be subsidised by the state. The very same taxpayers whom they had just defrauded had to dig in their pockets to pay for the bankers’ offences. Although state aid could no longer be tolerated as a good thing for regular citizens, who, it was said, were prone to becoming depraved, spoilt and junk-food-dependent when offered free money, subsidy could still be offered, when needed, on a dazzling scale, to benefit those who were already among our country’s most privileged and who were, by coincidence, the sole progenitors of its economic collapse. What a stroke of luck! Socialism, too good for the poor, turned out to be just the ticket for the rich...

/... http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/08/david-hare-why-the-tory-project-is-bust


Plenty More... Cross Post Uk Group: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10889445

Margaret Thatcher and her heirs have created a selfish and divided society (David Hare)

.

... But it is not the case that everything was in chaos until 1979, since when everything has been bliss. The 1970s were disputatious times, times of profound and often bitter argument. Living through them was not easy, and a lot of us suffered wounds that took years to heal. But the political discussions we were having – in particular about how the wishes of working-class employees could be more creatively taken into account – were about important things, things that, disastrously, present-day politicians disdain to address...

... You may say that the party aims, like all such parties, to keep the well off well off. That, never forget, is any rightwing grouping’s conservative mission, which will offer a blindingly simple explanation for the larger part of its behaviour. And for obvious reasons, the money party in this particular culture has also aimed to perpetuate the narcotic influence of the monarchy. But with these two exceptions, it is hard to think of any area of public activity – education, justice, defence, health, culture – which any of the last seven Conservative governments have been interested in protecting, let alone conserving. On the contrary, they have preferred a state of near‑Maoist revolution, complaining that, in an extraordinary coincidence, almost every aspect of British life except retail and finance is incompetently organised. Who could have imagined it? And after all those dominant Conservative governments! In this belief, they have launched waves of attacks against teachers, doctors, nurses, policemen and women, soldiers, social workers, civil servants, local councillors, firefighters, broadcasters and transport workers – all of whom they openly scorn for the mortal sin of not being financiers or entrepreneurs...

,,, The origins of conservatism’s modern incoherence lie with Thatcher. Whatever your view of her influence, she was different from her predecessors in her degree of intellectuality. She was unusually interested in ideas. Groomed by Chicago economists, she believed that Britain, robbed of the easy commercial advantages of its imperial reach, could thenceforth only prosper if it became competitive with China, with Japan, with America and with Germany. For this reason, in 1979, a crackpot theory called monetarism was briefly put into practice and allowed to wreak the havoc that destroyed one fifth of British industry. As soon as this futile theory had been painfully discredited, Conservative minds switched to obsessing on what they really wanted: the promotion and propagation of the so-called free market. If a previous form of patrician conservatism had been about respectability and social structure, this new form was about replacing all notions of public enterprise with a striving doctrine of individualism.

It is painful to point out how completely this grafting of foreign ideas onto the British economy has failed. The financial crash of 2008 dispelled once and for all the ingenious theory of the free market. The only thing, ideologues had argued, that could distort a market was the imposition of unnecessary rules and regulations by a third party, which had no vested interest in the outcome of the transaction and that was therefore a meddling force that robbed markets of their magnificent, near-mystical wisdom. These meddling forces were called governments. The flaw in the theory became apparent as soon as it was proved, once and for all, that irresponsible behaviour in a market did not simply affect the parties involved but could also, thanks to the knock-on effects of modern derivatives, bring whole national economies to their knees. The crappy practices of the banks did not punish only the guilty. Over and over, they punished the innocent far more cruelly. The myth of the free market had turned out to be exactly that: a myth, a Trotsykite fantasy, not real life...

... Even disciples of Milton Friedman in Chicago were willing to admit the scale of the rout. They openly used the words “Back to the drawing board”. But in an astonishing act of corporate blackmail, the banks themselves then insisted that they be subsidised by the state. The very same taxpayers whom they had just defrauded had to dig in their pockets to pay for the bankers’ offences. Although state aid could no longer be tolerated as a good thing for regular citizens, who, it was said, were prone to becoming depraved, spoilt and junk-food-dependent when offered free money, subsidy could still be offered, when needed, on a dazzling scale, to benefit those who were already among our country’s most privileged and who were, by coincidence, the sole progenitors of its economic collapse. What a stroke of luck! Socialism, too good for the poor, turned out to be just the ticket for the rich...

/... http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/08/david-hare-why-the-tory-project-is-bust

The CIA rigged the 1948 Italian elections

...during WWII (1939 – 1945) the Special Operations Executive (the British branch of this secret effort) was operating behind enemy lines and trying to fight the Germans with unorthodox warfare, while the Office of Strategic Services (the OSS, the American branch) was pretty much doing the same thing. For instance, in Italy they were co-operating with the communists because they wanted them to grow stronger so as to defeat Mussolini (the WWII Italian dictator). But as the war came to an end, the OSS realised that if they continued to support the Italian communist resistance, then Italian communists would end up in power at the end of the war, and they didn't want that at all.

So they had to do two things. First, the SOE and OSS stopped arming and co-operating with this resistance network. Second, the CIA rigged the 1948 Italian elections. (That was the very first thing the CIA did. Today we talk about CIA torture and other issues, but people forget about the past.) Their job was to make sure that no communist gained a dominant position in the Italian Parliament, otherwise Italy could not have become a member of NATO in 1949. So, first there was the vote, and then it was rigged, manipulated. And it worked! In '49, Italy was brought into NATO, but the CIA and MI6 made sure that through this network of stay-behind soldiers they maintained secret control of all NATO countries... - op. cit.

"Sinn Fein government in Ireland inevitable"

Gerry Adams said that anger over Ireland's uneven recovery would hand his Sinn Fein party a breakthrough in elections this month, paving the way in coming years for an "inevitable" entry into government for the former political wing of the IRA.

The nationalist group has already seen a near doubling of support since the last vote, according to opinion polls, leaving it jostling with centre-right Fianna Fail for the position of second largest party.

Opposition to austerity measures imposed under Ireland's 2010 EU-IMF bailout had given way to anger at a recovery that helped the rich more than the poor, ushering in a new political era, Adams told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

"People have been politicised, radicalised by policies of austerity. You see it in (British opposition leader) Jeremy Corbyn ... you see it in Portugal, you see it in Greece and you see it here in Ireland," he said...

/... http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ireland-election-sinnfein-idUKKCN0VQ1P8

(... And you see it in Spain... )

Turkey denies troops entered Syria and 'has no plans to deploy'

Source: BBC

Turkey has denied reports that some of its soldiers have entered Syria, the state-run Anadolu news agency says.

Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz also told a parliamentary commission it was not considering deploying troops there.

In letters of complaint to the UN, Syria had earlier accused Turkey of allowing about 100 "Turkish soldiers or mercenaries" - to cross into Syria.

It urged the UN to take action against Turkish shelling in northern Syria, calling it a violation of sovereignty...

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35576458



More detail at link

Arms trade: West's military advantage is being eroded, IISS warns

...Britain is trying to stay ahead of the curve by developing the Zephyr high-altitude “pseudo-satellite”, a solar-powered surveillance drone operating at the edge of space, while the US is developing “swarming UAVs” combining cheap structures with sophisticated electronics, the survey notes.

The Pentagon is looking to the private sector for help, setting up a “Defence Information Unit-Experimental” to help it “leverage best lessons from Silicon Valley on issues like big data, analytics, autonomy and robotics”, says the IISS.

These technologies are seen as having uses “across the full spectrum of conflict, able as much … to trawl social media posts by a terrorist group … or produce systems to better enable concepts like prompt global strike”.

Prompt global strike, or PGS, would deliver a precision-guided conventional weapon anywhere in the world within an hour. It has been condemned by Russia and criticised by some independent analysts because of the potential danger of mistaking the missile for a nuclear weapon...

/... http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/feb/09/wests-military-advantage-is-being-eroded-survey-warns

Doubts raised over UK government’s refusal to permit return to Chagos

For more than half a century the displaced people of the Chagos Islands have sought to return to their home, a collection of coral reefs in the Indian Ocean that constitutes one of the more far-flung outposts of the British empire. But, despite interminable legal proceedings, their efforts have so far come to nothing, partly because studies commissioned by the UK government have concluded that a resettlement programme on what is officially known as the British Indian Ocean Territory was just not feasible.

As a result, today the only people who inhabit the 60 or so islands that lie halfway between Tanzania and Indonesia are the thousands of US military personnel based on its largest atoll, Diego Garcia, which, under an agreement with Britain, has been transformed into a huge landing strip used by B-52 bombers and anonymous jets moving high value terrorist detainees to CIA black sites around the world. But now the officially sanctioned arguments made against allowing the Chagossians to return to the islands from which they were removed in the late 1960s have been thrown into question.

A former British high commissioner has questioned whether the Foreign Office tried to “massage” the drafting of a key study that put paid to any hope of returning by concluding that resettlement was financially “prohibitive” and too “precarious”...

...The UK must decide by 29 December as to whether the US-UK agreement over the use of Diego Garcia as a military base should be extended for 20 years...

/...http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/23/doubts-raised-over-uk-government-refusal-to-allow-islanders-to-return-to-chagos

“Doggone right we’re angry,” Palin said

“Doggone right we’re angry,” Palin said she said to the conservative base of supporters in Iowa, as 24/7 cable networks broadcast more than an hour-long campaign event live on TV nationwide, for free. “We are mad, and we’ve been had.”

But for Democrats, a Trump-Palin alliance represents a kind of two-headed monster on the campaign trail, the likes of which world politics may have never seen. Whether liberals see the duo as a true nightmare or a stage act to be laughed off, well: that depends on how seriously they take the Trump reality – and the staying power of the Palin Show...

/...http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/19/donald-trump-endorsement-from-sarah-palin-a-liberal-nightmare-or-stage-act

Maldives demands 'hostage' before ex-president can have surgery in UK

... “It is an ethical issue. That is why President Nasheed has not agreed to the demand of a guarantor,” he added

The sudden development came hours after the country’s prisons chief, Mohamed Husham, announced that Nasheed had been granted 30 days leave from prison for spinal cord surgery and was expected to leave later Sunday...

...Media reports have said the Maldives government reluctantly softened its stand on Nasheed following diplomatic pressure from neighbouring India and Sri Lanka as well as the former colonial power Britain.

The 48-year-old former president was sentenced on terrorism charges relating to the arrest of an allegedly corrupt judge in 2012, when he was still in power. The UN said his trial was seriously flawed and he should be released and compensated for wrongful detention.

Hardliner Abdulla Yameen, the current president, has refused to accept the UN ruling and is resisting international pressure to release Nasheed...

/...http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/17/maldives-demands-hostage-before-ex-president-can-have-surgery-in-uk

Agree.

Now financial system "rewiring"...
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