Anyone with any sense will stick to Huawei products because they are world leaders and this will help the applications developers who use such systems to advance their own applications systems while minimising their costs and customer prices. Not to take advantage of Huawei's technology amounts to irresponsibility and an unwillingness to pass on to users the many operational benefits. In the case of the United Kingdom contemplating leaving the EU, making use of Huawei technology is almost an imperative to be able to maintain telecommunications service standards. The next step the US might take will be its tested and failed approach of imposing sanctions on countries or companies who collaborate with Huawei. They have done this with service companies supporting North Stream 2. Russia will complete the final leg with its own pipe laying ships and they will descend the learning curve yet further to their advantage. This ridiculous and uncouth luddite approach to "international competition" and "free markets" exposes a good deal of hypocrisy and ignorance on the part of US government technology strategists who are aware that China has long since overtaken the US in the annual registration of high technology patents.
For Boris Johnson to align his approach to anything President Trump is doing on the international front will end in tears. Trump's approach combines an erratic aggression with excessive ignorance of the cultures, and an abject lack of any concern for the wellbeing, of people in other countries. Although Boris Johnson's managers have moulded his image as enthusiastic positive man of action his support of Trump only shreds that facade and exposes the ensuing danger of a further decline in the international standing of the United Kingdom. Johnson is no good at interviews and continues to bluster and muddle through, with a child-like naive gusto. But each time he only brings further into focus an irresponsible dilettante who in reality is not in command of his brief. It is to be wondered why, on this topic, Johnson is, like Trump, acting as a spoiler by trampling erratically and dangerously over the briefs of his own ministers, in this case that of Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab who, so far, has not made any statement on these topics.
The Star Chamber was an English court which sat at the Palace of Westminster in London. Originally established in late 15th century to ensure the just treatment of socially and politically prominent people who ordinary courts might hesitate to convict for their crimes.
It was abolished in 1641 because it became synonymous with social and political oppression through the arbitrary and excessive abuse of its power. Today "star chamber" refers to legal or administrative bodies with strict and arbitrary rulings, with no “due process” rights to those accused, involving secretive proceedings and hiding of evidence nature of the accusations.
Slowly, the comportment of our legal system appears to be drifting towards bias and an ability to punish people before they have been proven guilty of a punishable offense. The Star Chamber as an arbitrary dispenser of unusual and cruel punishments has come back into existence, not as a physical structure, but as a mode of behaviour of the justice system, not hidden, but taking place in a way for all to behold, to the shame of the citizens of this country.
The current government administration and legal system sets an atrocious example in conducting themselves in an abusive manner following the Star Chamber's abandonment of basic principles of conduct necessary in the treatment of the innocent.
Julian Assange, who has served an arbitrarily long sentence related to bail, and which included solitary confinement, should have been released from prison, having completed this excessive period in a high security prison. However, he remains in the same high security prison in continued isolation and judging from observations of those who have been able to meet or communicate with him, it is assumed that he is drugged and in a chemical straight jacket. A UN investigator on torture and a group of medical practitioners have commented that his condition constitutes torture and his health is deteriorating and his life is in danger. Under such conditions he could die in prison as a direct reult of the harsh treatment being metered out to him by British justice while he has yet to be convicted of any crime; he is innocent.
He has, as far as we are aware, been refused sight of the charges against him pending a court appearance in February 2020 reviewing a request for extradition to the USA. The US administration has acted in line with a arbitrary Star Chamber principle of secret accusations and the United Kingdom government and legal proceedings handling this case have upheld this abusive conduct of maintaining this secrecy when no charges have been made apparent or available. Even Julian Assange's lawyers have not been given sight of the detailed accusations so the normal process of "discovery" has been arbitrarily ignored by the British authorities concerned with this case. Julian Assange's condition of health and the alleged drug intoxication make it difficult for him to communicate in a coherent fashion with his lawyers even if he gained access, as is his right, to the accusations made against him.
This continuation of a cruel and unusual punishment to an innocent person is unacceptable due to the suffering, pain, or humiliation it inflicts on Assange subjected to this sanction and this arbitrary treatment. This is unacceptable to the majority of the people of this country.
The severity of his treatment does not fit any crime because no crime has been committed and the treatment of Assange constitutes a cruel and arbitrary punishment.
Some consider this behaviour of the authorities is designed to intimidate other journalists who are committed to publishing the truth.
The Star Chamber was formally abolished in 1641 in the so-called Long Parliament in an act initiated by John Pym who had become extremely upset at the severe treatment of John Lilburne, as well as that of other religious dissenters such as William Prynne, Alexander Leighton, John Bastwick and Henry Burton, abolished the Star Chamber with an Act of Parliament, the Habeas Corpus Act 1640.
John Lilburne and others drafted one of the first written English Constitutions whilst under arbitrary imprisonment in the Tower of London. These far sighted individuals included juries as a right and sought to prevent arbitrary powers arising as a result of the creating of "professional politicians" and what ended up as political parties and entrenched civil servants who have gained much power and much of this arbitrary; at that time they possessed more faith in judges.
This is a unacceptable reflection of possible intent and hardly an endorsement of our legal system.
Concerning the issue of journalists being expected to publish the truth, a notable example was the case of the arbitrary treatment of John Peter Zenger (1697-1746) who was the publisher of a newspaper in New York, the New York Weekly Journal. Editions of the newspaper contained criticisms of Sir William Cosby (1690–1736) who was serving as the British royal governor of New York. Zenger was accused of seditious libel and put in jail in 1734. In order to ensure prejudice against him without his having been tried, his bail was set far too high for his friends to be able to afford to release him. This punishment continued 9 months to 1735 when the trial started. Zenger was defended by Andrew Hamilton (1676-1741) a Philadelphia-based lawyer. Hamilton undertook this work on an entirely voluntary basis. He did not address his defence to the hand picked judges but rather to the jury. It was clear that the law had been broken but Hamilton argued that the law itself was a reflection of the corruption of the government and he summed up stating that the press has, "...a liberty both in exposing and opposing tyrannical power by speaking and writing the truth."
Zenger on his part simply told the truth, admitting he knew that the articles carried in his newspaper were critical and broke the law. The judge instructed the jury to pass a verdict of guilty. The jury ignored the judge's instruction because what was stated in the articles was considered to be factual and therefore not libelous. They also considered the sedition law to restrict free speech and therefore was a threat to all freedoms. As a result, John Peter Zenger was released from detention as a free man to continue what he had been doing before; seeking to publish the truth.
In the case of Julian Assange no law has been broken in his publishing of the truth. The Zinger case established the precedent of the fundamental unimpeded right of people to publish the truth as opposed to misrepresentations of the facts. It therefore established a more precise legal definition of libel, thus libel only exists when falsehoods are perpetrated whereas the truth can never be libelous. However, Assange remains in prison under harsh conditions.
When the English Bill of Rights was added to the American Constitution, the first Amendment was augmented to include the government's duty to defend the freedom of the press.
The Star Chamber was abolished by the Habeus Corpos Act which gave all held in arbitrary detention to have the right to be brought before a different judge to examine the reasons for imprisonment and arbitrary or cruel treatment. It would seem that for arbitrary reasons Habeus Corpos does not apply in the case of Julian Assange and this is a shameful reflection on this country's claim as one supporting fair play, justice and the freedom of the individual.
This country and its people have an interest in not allowing the misdeeds of the United States in its execution of war and the desire of that country to hide true facts of its cruel behaviour and unacceptable violent acts that constitute war crimes. The USA will not collaborate with any international forums that determine the extent of war crimes committed by agents and personnel in US military or proxies. There is therefore a brazen resistance to any form of respect for facts and the truth being presented by journalists, in contravention of the American Constitution. The situation has defaulted to a state where even journalists in "mainstream" media are afraid to defend the right of journalists, such as Assange, to publish the truth for fear of reprisals and loss of employment. Our legal system should not support those who are prepared to apply arbitrary cruelty on the innocent and to collaborate with an alien power in conducting this procedure based on hidden texts and secret proceedings and, in Star Chamber fashion, hiding accusations from the "accused" while imposing extra-judicial punishment through cruel treatment. This shabby behaviour only equates this legal process and the decision-makers concerned as willing collaborators with those who in this case should be accused of pursuing a foreign policy and arbitrary foreign military ventures and hiding the facts on their cruel and criminal deeds from the public. This behaviour is contrary to the public interest. It proceeds at the expense of the people of this country by limiting their access to the truth and thereby constraining our freedoms and right to know the truth. It is a cruel, pernicious and poorly managed attempt to prevent the population from gaining access to the truth as a result of the work of journalists such as Julian Assange.
There is a major difference between Julian Assange's journalism and that of many "mainstream media". Assange's output is unbiased and undoctored but consists of the copies of original documents, audio or videos produced by those who are breaking the law; it is they who should be under investigation and/or charged since the self-incriminating evidence is there for all to behold. These same people have trumped up a charge and a potential "punishment" of well over 100 years attempting to provide the public with a measure of seriousness of the "crime" and to discourage other journalists. Considering the number of innocents murdered by those pursuing Assange it is regrettable that the uncouth behaviour of our system of justice in the United Kingdom has not released Assange on the basis that there is no case to be answered.
Assange has honoured Hamilton's explanation of the role of journalists:
"...a liberty both in exposing and opposing tyrannical power by speaking and writing the truth."
It is to be hoped that the continued harsh arbitrary treatment, this uncouth treatment of Assange, does not end up with his dying in prison for publishing the truth thereby carrying out the desires of those tyrannical forces who have been exposed by the truth. This would be a disaster for the meaning of the world "justice" in the United Kingdom and call into question the presumed independence of our judiciary which the people of this country consider to be a foundation of our form of democracy.
He should be moved from the dangerous environment he is in to more civilised surroundings, be attended by a doctor chosen by his team of attorneys and given sight of the accusations before him. He should also be given time to recover from his abusive treatment and to prepare his response with his legal team before being required to respond to any questions.
This week's Renegade Inc programme covers some of the critical defects in our democracy, so-called.
This programme is well worth watching.
Ross Ashcroft reviews several aspects of this emerging crisis with the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, Dr Gail Bradbrook, and author and campaigner Peter MacFadyen to discuss how democracy is failing the planet and the people.
To access this video click on the Renegade Inc image.
A stark reality, exposed by the last general election, has been the content of the UK corporate media which has consistently edged towards propaganda and in many cases misrepresentation of the facts. Many of the inferred intents and motivations assigned to Jeremy Corbyn were libelous. The personalised smears against a leader of a UK political party by various 5th column elements in support of the Israeli government's campaign to demonise Corbyn has been covered up by the media. They have widely publicised and headlined the "local" instances and accusations promoting actively the false narrative that the Labour party is antisemitic as opposed to explaining the source of motivation of this campaign coordinated by a ministry in a foreign country. The interpretation of almost any justified criticism of Israel's wholesale abuse of law as being antisemitic has become intolerable and an insult to the intelligence of the people of Britain.
The UK media have largely lost their mantle as an example of a "free press" by refusing to expose this overt interference in British politics by an alien state. A free press only exists where this freedom is not abused by the filling of headlines and columns with propaganda exercised on the basis of false statements, the elimination of pertinent facts, failure to support impartiality and by maintaining a depressingly narrow focus on topics requiring a more comprehensive analysis and coverage.
We have no political party affiliations and have no particular motivation to support Jeremy Corbyn other than to call attention to a disgraceful and dangerous conduct of many UK media.
Another depressing event was the range of biased "fact checking" which appeared to be fact checking but which in reality was "check lite" on topics requiring more detailed analysis.
So here again, an extension of the propaganda slant was embodied in an attempt to demonstrate objectivity.
Lastly, the blatant misrepresentations of Boris Johnson were simply not handled the way they should have been. Rather than providing more and more publicity to his statements and thereby disseminating misrepresentations, there should have been a more robust commentary warning the public that what he was saying was not factual. Our so-called free press does not demonstrate any responsibility or freedom to speak truth to power or to the people. Propaganda has destroyed a free press.
The result of the UK General Election was almost inevitable because of a significant failure in the identification of the causes of the gaps, needs and constraints facing the constituencies in the United Kingdom and therefore an election involving the confrontation of positions, few of which will resolve issues in a satisfactory manner. The problem is that the Conservative "solution" is the position that "won" the election but which presents the worst set of outcome scenarios. This is not a partisan position.
The Conservative party has gained some 56% of the 650 seats in parliament as a result of the UK first-past-the-post election system. This means the ability of parliament to influence the design of policies, legislation and regulations is severely limited in a period when rational and balanced analysis and decisions will be required. This means that policies pursued by the Conservative government over the last nine years are likely to continue with largely negative consequences.
The first element of factual analysis justifying this statement, and as we are a non-political party associated medium, is that the most significant single failure has been the obscuring of the fact that our economic circumstances are the result of the combination of quantitative easing supported by the Bank of England (bailing out the banks) and austerity imposed by the Liberal-Conservative coalition and continued by the Conservative government (cutting back on public services, including the NH'S). Boris Johnson was one who directly or indirectly sought to blame our economic circumstances on the fact that we were members of the EU. There is virtually no connection between EU membership and this dire social and economic situation. The appalling conditions created by the Conservative government's policies over the last 9 years have resulted in vast amount of money being channeled to banks which have purchased assets, including land and real estate and thereby:
- starving the real economy of investment suppressing productivity growth
- forcing up house prices and rents to levels out of the reach of younger individuals
- expanding employment largely in exceptionally low paid occupations
Similarly, the lack of public service provisions under austerity caused significant problems in relation to the accommodation of the needs of EU nationals who came to work in the UK. This created resentment and social turmoil in several areas giving rise to the growing support of parties such as UKIP and the Brexit party.
The combination of quantitative easing and austerity has greatly increased the disparity in real income levels and led to people resorting credit card debt to sustain their "standard of living" or having to resort to the use of food banks, even while in work, because of very low wages.
Other actions, in relation to asylum seekers and economic migrants from the Middle East arose as a direct result on vicious and totally irresponsible UK foreign policy decisions and actions in the Middle East initiated and pursued by Tony Blair based on misreprsentations and maintained under the Conservative governments on the basis of yet further misrepresentations. This has been responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent civilians. The most disastrous intervention, following Iraq, was the NATO-backed invasion of Libya, creating an additional failed state leading to flows of economic migrants and asylum seekers entering the EU and UK from North Africa.
On the domestic policy and foreign policy fronts, the people of the United Kingdom have had to endure significant prejudice, all a direct result of the Conservative party policies.
During the election campaign the main corporate media in the UK have been highly selective in their presentations and, on balance, have favoured the Conservative party.
All politicians and party leaders opposed to the Labour party basically fell in behind the Israeli government's baseless campaign to smear Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite. They have also supported Benjamin Netanyahu's campaign against Corbyn linking him, again without justification, to Hezbollah. They have also repeated the false narrative that Corbyn supported the IRA and the break up of the Union. This slander was repeated openly by Boris Johnson in his debate with Jeremy Corbyn. However, in both cases the reason for Corbyn's meetings with these groups was to identify ways and means to stop the killing and to save lives, including those of UK military personnel. Unfortunately the antisemitic smear campaign which started by the Israeli government as soon as Corbyn became the Labour party leader has been tactically enhanced by a constant drone of accusations including interventions from the Chief Rabbi adding to the dishonest diatribe. It is difficult to separate these incidents from the Israeli government smear campaign which most UK media prefer to ignored giving it virtually no coverage. However, there has built up a justification for an investigation into the degree to which this has been a home-grown initiative or to what degree it has been a drive by agents acting as 5th columnists in favour of an alien Apartheid state, Israel.
There is also the question of the fact that it was Benjamin Netanyahu who drew up the regime change hit list when he was a consultant in the US with Boston Consulting working with Washington-based neo-cons and zionists and one or two elements from Mossad. This list, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Somalia and the Sudan, became the blueprint of US, NATO and UK interventions and the general generation of death and destruction in the Middle East. And yet, there is a tendency for anyone who calls attention to these facts being labeled as antisemites. This term, it would seem, no longer is related to discriminatory behavior but it used against those who seek peace or speak out against the foreign policy of the UK Conservative government. The depth of real influence of Israel in US and UK foreign policy can be seen to have transitioned into a proactive campaign interfering in the democratic process of this UK General Election. Since this has favoured the interests of the Conservative party, it is self-evident that such an shocking reality is unlikely to be investigated.
Following the Conservative government's tendency towards a psychophantic ingratiation to US foreign policy objectives the government is providing targeting assistance to the Saudi Arabian military onslaughts on the civilian population of the Yemen bringing about death, injury, disease and starvation, has had the gaul to paper over these war crimes by organising Department for International Development humanitarian aid assignments to provide a theatrical show of solving problems the government has helped create.
The Government promised to act on climate change, cut animal cruelty and clean up our air. The bad news is that outside the EU, environmental regulation could be cut, or powers to enforce it reduced. The detail of a new environment Bill will be crucial. There could be a law on air quality, too. Will our next environment minister back bold manifesto promises to make our country greener and back new national parks? All this will take money and there have been no promises about that.
HMS Enterprise H88
Free ferry service for terrorists
The follow-ups to terror attacks involving "home grown terrorists" have always sought to squash any possible linkage to the activities of the UK intelligence agencies. These agencies support hundreds of Al Quaeda and Daesh fighters as "assets" in and around London and other UK cities to be used strategically in the next regime change assignment in the next country on the blueprint developed by Netanyahu. As they are here they mingle with the local population and pass on their extreme ideology to the point that either one of them or a new recruit carries out an attack killing and injuring UK citizens. In a recent well-researched publication by a reputable journalist1
there is the following passage:"In July 2018, a review of the Manchester bombing found that the British national security apparatus had been more intimately involved in the activities of the Abedis than previously believed. Four years earlier, during the height of the Libyan civil war, in which Ramadan and Salman Abedi acted as foreign fighters (linked to UK intelligence), the Royal Navy's HMS Enterprise docked in Tripoli and welcomed both men aboard along with some 100 others. They were escorted to Malta and then flow back to the UK. A month before he was ferried home to the UK, Salman Abedi (the Manchester bomber) had been removed from a security services watch list."
"What were the two men doing in Libya at the time, and why were they sent home without a second thought? These questions were scarcely engaged by the British press, which reporting the Royal Navy's suspect sea lift in passing and with little to no follow-up, branding it as a "rescue" operation."
"Soon after the Manchester attack carried out by Salman Abedi, the Conservative government, under Theresa May, set about burying the facts that threatened to expose the devil's game it had played for so many decades in the Middles East. Reverting to warmed-over Islamaphobia, May obscured the political context behind the attack by connecting it to another terror attack three months earlier on London's Westminster Bridge, claiming the two were "bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamic extremists."
The Management of Savagery, Max Blumenthal, Verso, London, 2019, 392pp. ISBN: 987-1-788733-229-1
In spite of around 5,500 deaths in the last 3 years, caused by Conservative NHS de-funding (see below). The data comes from a Royal College of Emergency Medicine study. This information has been available since 9th December but the BBC, Sky and other corporate media are not providing any coverage or releasing these facts which have a direct bearing on the election. This indicates a lack of impartiality and bias in not making this important information available the public during the election campaign. We note that besides The Guardian this is covered by Health Business and Metro.The Guardian newspaper reports that 5,449 deaths since 2016 followed delayed admission to A&E services.
The evidence quantifies the terrible consequences of the Conservative NHS de-funding strategy over the last 9 years, covered by our medium, in terms of lives of UK citizens. Almost 5,500 patients have died over the past three years because they have spent so long on a trolley in an A&E unit waiting for a bed in overcrowded hospitals, a study by leading NHS doctors has found (to access article click on Guardian image). Their conclusion that long delays finding spare beds is costing patients’ lives has emerged as Boris Johnson comes under mounting pressure over the fragile state of the NHS. CC.com conclude that this has been exacerbated by a cynical de-funding strategy designed to justify privatization.
The President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), Dr Katherine Henderson commented on The Guardian article saying, “The reported findings are alarming but echo what the College has warned for some time: Emergency Department (ED) crowding kills.""These findings would be in line with the overwhelming body of evidence that demonstrates that overcrowding in EDs is directly associated with harm for both patients and staff. It has been clear for a long time that this results in higher rates of death in patients who are admitted from overcrowded departments."
She went on to say waiting times are an additional factor in a long chains of deficient provisions caused by lack of resources. She stressed that before more detailed comments can be made it is necessary to see the final, reviewed version of the report.
In spite of Conservative protests, many successful countries have public ownership as an essential part of their economies. We Own It, an interest group in public ownership, have posted a blog on this issue listing the top 10 countries with integrated public services. Click on the image to access.
The private sector in healthcare has been a horror story in the US, so why do successive British governments think it will work in the UK? The NHS, is now over 70 years old, has been de-funded leading to demoralisation of staff and "justifying" private provisions. Over the last four years around two-thirds of NHS contracts, by value, have gone to the private sector. During those four years their total yearly value has almost doubled, so is it any wonder the profiteers are moving in? The NHS has been dubbed “the pinnacle of human achievement,” so how wary should people be about moving towards a private US system?
See (click on image - right) the latest Renegade Inc show in which Ross Ashcroft talks to the founder of We Own It, Cat Hobbs, and author Dr Tim Coles to discuss why we live on an increasingly privatised planet.
We have received an overview of the latest Q1,2020 edition of the British Strategic Review. This provides an explanation as to why the Conservative notion that investment in public services and public ownership of utilities and basic infrastructures will take us back to the 1970s is without foundation.
Between 1945 and the 1970s, public services had few procedures that related public service performance to executive and employee pay. This is no longer the case. One of the important advances in economic theory and practice is the Real Incomes Approach that relates worker and management pay to productivity linked to the differentials between variations in input costs and unit output prices. The policy provides incentive for operations to minimise overall charge outs to the state by linking pay levels to this performance. In other words the performance incentives are the same as private companies. The difference, however, is that by substituting the "shareholder value" target by a moderated charge out target, operational costs can end up being 15%-18% lower than private operations that are weighed down by the need to meet "shareholder value" targets.
The growing demands for social and medical care related to changing age structure inevitably result in a logical tendency for "caring" services" to move out of the private sector because of the tension between quality of service and shareholder value targets. In the case of utilities, such a energy, water and communications infrastructure including public transport, rail and the digital communications, lowering the costs of provision and development provides a more competitive foundation for private companies to operate by sharing lower input costs with consumers.
Currently, many utilities are carried out by "private companies" that are in fact EU and other public state-owned utilities. In these cases the shareholder value and profits, which are substantial, go to foreign state coffers and not to the UK government. The guaranteed market clauses and lack of productivity provisions mean the consumer is paying at least 15% more than would be the case under publicly-owned provisions operationg under Real Income policies. The current state of affairs is not an economically justifiable basis for maximising user benefits of such operations in the UK economy.
Sting...an ostensibly misleading and dishonest operation, used by unscrupulous agents to gain support for actions that will benefit the agents while prejudicing those duped into supporting the action.
The Conservative party campaign increasingly takes on the shape of a sting operation designed to fool people.
The first line of evidence pointing to this conclusion is the rampant self-evident brazen lying by Boris Johnson; now in over-drive.
He has succeeded in blaming the chronic economic circumstances faced by most people in the UK, on the EU, when these have been caused by the Conservative party policies of quantitative easing combined with austerity
Leaving the EU will have a significant negative impact on employment and economic growth;
The Conservatives say they will spend money but have no plans to terminate their disastrous quantitative easing policy;Based on all economic analyses and projections
, the constituents who were misled into thinking the economic circumstances will be solved by leaving the EU are wrong. Lower income constituents are going to be seriously disappointed;
With quantitative easing continuing the misallocation of funds through banks into assets to support their "shareholder value" will continue to reduce investment and productivity growth in the real economy, exacerbating the disparity in the levels and distribution of real incomes;
The Conservative long term strategy of de-funding public services to cause their collapse is designed to gain public support for privatization. This is likely to continue;
That the NHS will never be sold and it will remain free at the point of delivery, is true
. This way the government and tax payers will remain on the hook to pay the increasing costs of privately-supplied pharmaceuticals and services to the NHS. This basis of operation is around 15%-18% higher cost, to cover "shareholder value", in comparison with in-house provisions as proposed by Labour.
This sleight of hand allows the Conservative party to say, with their hand on their heart, that the NHS is not for sale. However, increased privatization will reduce the organization to a shell to create the "health market" desired by US negotiators. The manipulation is designed to ensure the government and tax payers will continue to provide the funds feeding what will become a corporate cash cow;
The repetition of the mantra "Let's get BREXIT done!" is Johnson's main technique of avoiding answering these important questions but this bluster continues in a ridiculous and irresponsible manner;
The journalist who is most likely to put Johnson on the spot with respect to many of the issues raised in this brief is, of course, Andrew Neil, whose invitations to an interview are disregarded. Johnson's inability to face such questions point securely to a sting operation trying to fool all of the people all of the time by, crucially, avoiding the truth which would expose his real intent.
It remains for voters, of course, to make up their own minds whether this is the sort of divisive "leader" the UK deserves or if the Conservative's continuation of their destructive economic policies should be permitted to further weaken the real economy while continuing to bolster the financial sector.
the BBC and Sky TV have shown an appalling disregard for reporting standards by giving widespread exposure to an obvious hoax based on innuendo. This is that the 451 pages of unredacted documents presented by Jeremy Corbyn which report on the exchanges between UK and US trade representatives concerning the NHS were posted on Reddit by Russian agents.
The important point is that these documents are entire and integral and correspond to the "original documents".
The "independent expert", so-called, who has appeared on TV to make these statements of a "possible" linkage to Russia is none other than Ben Nimmo. He is reported to have been a spokesperson for NATO and to have been linked to the Foreign Office-funded "Integrity Initiative" that was found to be disseminating misleading material to demonise Jeremy Corbyn and to link him, unsuccessfully to Moscow. There are also signs of linkage to The US Atlantic Council, well-known for putting out panoid statements linking Russia to just about anything. If these associations are true Nimo would be considered to not be independent and to in fact have a definite agenda, possibly as a proxy for US or NATO interference in our election.
As a result of intent, or ineffective investigation, the BBC and Sky continue to give air time to this ridiculous narrative of the Russian link in the middle of an election; this demonstrates extreme bias.
It is surmised that, one reason the UK government has not circulated a report on an investigation into possible Russian interference in the UK referendum and elections is that no evidence has been found. However, it is useful to attempt to mislead by keeping this paranoid Russian hoax alive and to attempt to use it against the Labour party.
By giving uncritical exposure to such unworthy "news" the BBC and Sky deny the public of the full facts. This irresponsibility only encourages the Conservative party to become more involved in dirty tricks and smear campaigns aiming to demonise Jeremy Corbyn. This of course allies them with the Israeli government campaign to demonise Jeremy Corbyn, coordinated by the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy (MSAPD) who have invested in a major effort to undermine Jeremy Corbyn's status within Labour and UK politics by concentrating on anti-Semitic smears against Jeremy Corbyn in particular. In this way our media are becoming unwittingly, or intentionally, proxies for a 5th columnist action acting in the interests of the foreign policy of an alien apartheid state by assisting interference in the UK election. Maybe this is their intent.
One has to ask why 2% of GDP is a magical number for required expenditure on military assets, including personnel (defence). The arms industry is notorious for systems development budget overshoots and sky high prices.
Project evaluation analysts have suggested that with improved design and project management, the hardware component costs could be halved. This could reduce waste by around £5-7 billion each year. This could reduce the 2% to around 1.7%. However, the UK faces radically different strategic challenges, as do most NATO members. These challenges including radicalised Islamic sects as a growing risk for NATO members, Russia and China. Because of this the NATO analyses listing Russia and China as growing threats undermines our ability to tackle the problem of terrorism. President Macron, Yellow Vests aside, raised important questions, during the recent NATO meetings in London, concerning the capability of Europe in facing this threat when a NATO member, Turkey, has been supporting terrorists in Syria and is attacking a US ally, Kurish fighters, in the fight with Daesh in Syria while the US has essentially abandoned them. This reflectedd badly on NATO's values. He might have added that US and UK "strategic" support of terrorists in Iraq and Syria as "assets" for regime change is also an increasing problem. The NATO intervention in Libya was a disaster. It turned Libya into a failed state leading the massive immigration problems for Europe and Turkey. Foreign policy and military strategies require a serious rethink. The US motivation for raising European member State contributions is more related to cash for the US armaments industry than Europe paying their fair share in support of the US "defence service".
One only has to reflect on the current mindset and motivations of President Trump to realise he would never deliver on any defence of Europe with US personnel if this risked a nuclear attack on the USA. This signifies that the US "defence umbrella" in Europe is an expensive myth.
The reality is that the Trident nuclear system under the emerging strategic environment has become a suicide vest. This system is without any leverage at all given that religious fundamentalist terrorists consider death to be an honourable state. Strategic reviews have shown that the US could manipulate circumstances for the UK to fire its Trident missiles, as an alliance member, and pay the price in terms of the death and destruction of the population of the UK. Trident submarines are no longer immune from attack because of the ability monitor launch land or marine coordinates and the rising sophistication of marine attack drone technologies. This almost guarantees whichever submarine fires a missile will be obliterated within 15 minutes of the launch. The jihadi notion of suicide missions is not a good recruiting call for building up UK defence personnel. The UK requires a serious rethink its strategies and this means seeking common access to intelligence concerning terrorists. This means opening up a communications channel to share information on terrorist activities with Russia and China.
The corrupt arms dealing with Saudi Arabia enthusiastically initiated by Thatcher and maintained by Blair has ended up with the USA sharing nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia funds, worldwide, the teaching of the intolerant Wahhabi version of Islam and which is the foundation of terrorist ideologies and mind sets. Much of our ability to reduce strategic risks lie in our ability curtailing the "political" decision-making based on the value of irresponsible deals where money trumps strategic security. This government and arms industry aimless irresponsibility focusing on money has led to the creation of failed states, mass migration to Europe from the Middle East and the murder of UK citizens and people from other countries in UK cities at the hands of terrorists.
The other obnoxious hypocrisy of current UK government policies is the UK support of Saudi Arabian aggression in Yemen causing widespread murder and mayhem and a humanitarian crisis related to food shortages and disease and then having the UK Department for International Development organise relief missions for those affected. This is an morally bankrupt and a waste of public resources given that the maintence of this crisis continues with the help of UK military personnel.
Tony Blair wished to collaborate with the US invasion of Iraq folowing 9/11, in spite of the fact that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11; this was more of a Saudi Arabian affair. When he was imbarking on this illegal invasion of Iraq, he was asked by a woman, in an open TV question and answer session, "As a Christian how can you invade a country when you know innocent people will be killed?"
his flippant reply was, "Oh all wars have collateral damage."
Blair, it will be remembered, stopped the Serious Fraud Office from completing it's investigation into the corruption surrounding UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia for fear of Saudi retaliation on the intelligence front to prevent blood on the streets of London. However, we have now had time to witness the unfolding of his "collateral damage" with over 1 million deaths of civilians in Iraq, instability in the world, Europe and the UK, in particular. Blair, being Blair, responded to the woman's question in his "deft" manner by feigning not to have understood the real significance of the question or pretended not to, but, either way, his reply and the subsequent outcomes of his decisions were those of a war criminal mascerading as a Christian and the build up of events spilling the blood in citizens in UK cities, at the hands of the terrorists, continues to climb.
The leaders' debate on the evening of 6th December, was an embarrassing demonstration of the ability of Boris Johnson to deceive and state frank untruths, as appears to be his habit. He stated that he had a deal and that Jeremy Corbyn did not. The media and Johnson have obscured the distinction between the agreement to leave and a trade deal with the EU. The Conservatives have no EU agreement on trade and their elimination of a customs union guarantees a significant negative economic impact. Labour wishes to slow down to include a customs union to minimise the negative economic impact of leaving. Give or take 6 months, the difference to the UK economy is a massive £multi billion difference in favour of the Labour position. As things stand Labour states clearly that it has yet to negotiate this improved agreement but the Conservatives are in the same position. They do not have a EU trade agreement.
The most serious misrepresentation by Johnson bordered on the slanderous by stating that Corbyn had always favoured those wishing to divide the Union implying that he supported the IRA. Corbyn never did this. His interactions were always to seek peace as a pioneering contribution to the process that ended up with the Good Friday Peace Agreement.
The slightly ridiculous repetition by Johnson, and later by Raab and others, is their declared puzzlement of Corbyn's avoidance of declaring his position on the trade agreement to be negotiated. This reflects an ignorance of the process of policy decision analysis. The identification of a good agreement is based on the criteria of minimising business impacts and elements related to worker protection and employment and based on a dispassionate decision analysis and not on politicians bargaining and arm twisting in secret. Once the solution satisfying the selection criteria has been identified it is simply classified as preferable because it meets the crieria set. Since the EU desire this type of agreement while allowing the UK to be outside the EU this is very likely to succeed since it will also minimise the impact of BREXIT on the EU corporate sector and employment, as well. There is no need for Corbyn to take up a position favouring this negotiated agreement or, indeed, remain. To avoid aggravating the divisions in the nation he needs to remain neutral to implement the outcome of the people's vote. Given that more people did not vote than voted to leave in the EU refrendum the Conservative economically ruinous leave position and the Liberal Democrat's are not attempting to heal division whereas Corbyn has the necessary qualities to understand the importance of this need. The idea of the vote is to permit the public to have a definite and improved leave and trade option which will be less economically prejudicial than the Conservative versions.
Johnson's emphasis of "Getting on with it!" is, in reality, groundless given that he has not stated what he will get on with. He floats ill-thought-through blurts about free ports and innovation and the like. This is confetti given that both the Conservatives and Labour have yet to negotiate the trade deal with the EU.
Johnson's "Super US trade deal" is another mirage given the established track record of the US administrations in running 5-7 year trade agreement negotiations taking us to at least 2026 by which time Donald Trump is unlikely to be the president. The Conservative alignment with a likely no deal exit will have an economic impact that will significantly weaken the strength of the UK negotiating position with the USA. The UK economy could require support. The USA has used their sanctioning power on IMF assignments to get what they want from the UK government in the past so the Conservatives are risking a repeat of this possibility. Our parochial politicians like to refer to the importance of the "special relationship" but this has no purchase or relevance to US trade negotiators while UK "negotiators" rely on this notion too much; this is something for public consumption only but it is not a reality.
The strategically placed antisemitism smear events designed to create a maximised negative impact are blown out of all proportion by the UK media who during the election campaign and before have given an excessive amount of air time and coverage to these "events".
The latest attempt of certain agents and proxies to disrupt the election process by publicly announcing submissions to a Human Rights Commission investigation should have been given a very low level of publicity by the media because the Commission should be allowed to take into consideration all "evidence" in the absence of such pressure.
To place all of this smear campaign in an objective context it would be beneficial for the EHRC to take into account the proactive efforts of the Israeli government whose Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy (MSAPD) who have invested in a major effort to undermine Jeremy Corbyn's status within Labour and UK politics by concentrating on anti-Semitic smears against Jeremy Corbyn in particular. This tactic is based on the demonisation of an individual, largely based in misrepresentations. Rather than expose the proxies coordinating this campaign within the UK, most media amplify the smears through headlines assisting this alien nation in its process of demonisation. It is notable that in spite of the antisemitism definition that anyone who criticises the sequestration of Palestinian land through the growth in illegal settlements and the extreme violence of the apartheid regime in Israel, is accused of being antisemitic. Aljazeera have produced a detailed investigation into the role of the Israeli government in the Jeremy Corbyn smear campaign. Complaints to UK government OFSTED by the accused groups worried about the Aljazeera reports were raised in an effort to ban the Aljazeera videos on this topic. This attempt failed because OFSTED considered them to fall within normal reporting norms and therefore deemed to be acceptable. For our reader's convenience we provide links to these videos here: Aljazeera reports on Israeli Government's ant-Corbyn campaign
What is notable is that the direction of "blame" for antisemitism within the Labour party is always directed at Jeremy Corbyn personally; here we see the demonisation tactic. This is completely in line with the Israeli government's purpose. However, Jeremy Corbyn is the individual who has introduced major improved procedures, where none existed before, after an early inquiry (2016) and detailed report: Report, 30th June 2016, The Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry
with proposals on how to improve the handling of any ant-racist incidents, prepared by Shami Chakrabarti. This system has been improved over time in response to teething issues and lessons learned.
However, the persistence of this smear campaign which continuously emphasizes that it is all Jeremy Corbyn's fault, this is part of the demonisation campaign. However, it is Jeremy Corbyn who has done more than any other UK party leader to resolve this issue. These activities provide no evidence of endemic antisemitism in the Labour party, but rather further expose an agenda, managed by a coordinated group, who wish to support a subversive strategic policy of interference in UK politics by an alien nation.
To claim Labour is institutionally antisemitic, when the sum total of cases is less than 0.05% of the party membership, is an absurdity and complete misrepresentation of the facts. We understand that outside the realms of false statistics, the main body of those of the Jewish faith in the Labour party are content with the party and are not driven by other pressures to contribute to a pernicious atmosphere which is continuously stoked by these activists on a repetitive basis and amplified by the media. But these people ignore the consequences of their habit of pointing and accusing as opposed to engagement and resolution; engagement and resolution are not easy but it is the only way to break down racism, where it in fact exists, over time. The experience of the peoples of the Jewish faith has provided the world with a horrific example of what such aggression and demonisation of individuals can lead to by contributing to misconceptions and fomenting extremist tendencies and finally, actions. It is notable that the inner front cover of the Chakrabarti Inquiry Report contains a statement by Jo Cox who was murdered by an extremist:
|"While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us." |
Jo Cox MP, 3 June 2015 (Maiden speech to the House of Commons)"
The alien culture of an eye-for-an-eye is not a basis for social conduct in a country where most attempt to follow their conscience which tends to encourage the values of understanding and forgiveness rather than course aggressive retribution. There is generally a willingness to work with those who do not behave as most might wish and not to demonise them. This broad cultural issue is of enormous significance in the weight of what distinguishes acceptable norms of behaviour in different countries. Unfortunately, an appreciation of such values appeared to have been sadly lost in the poor media coverage of the recent London Bridge attack which led to the deaths of two young people who seemed to adhere to this preferable approach.
The normal analysis that calculates the benefit of following some policy decision is based on a comparison of the benefits arising from the decision compared with the costs on implementing the policy. The EU referendum result was not an economic policy decision but a constitutional decision. As a result, we are left not with cost-benefit options but cost-relative prejudice options. This is because the adjustments required to arrive at new trading condition agreements are substantial after over 40 years of integration with the EU economy. The outcome will be for something like 15 years an economic cost that outweighs possible benefits. We call attention to a reports entitled "No Europe" commissioned by Commissioner Cockfield to assess the benefit if the EU to the UK in 1986. The conclusion was somewhat neutral. Benefits were found to be difficult to measure but on the other hand there was no obvious prejudice. Over the following 35 years there volume of trade with the EU increased substantially. So the main benefit lies in that fact of the significance of the EU market to the UK economy; this has now been put at risk.
The voters on 12th December therefore need to weigh up which state of relative prejudice they wish to endure. The Conservatives appear to wish to continue their policy of quantitative easing (QE) of low interest rates and increasing private debt which, combined with a real defunding of public services, will continue to favour financial institutions and their purchase of assets creating house prices to levels beyond the means of around 65% of the population and exacerbating the wealth in real income level disparities in the country. Labour have opted to provide a balanced approach to try and improve the trade agreement with the EU to minimise negative economic impacts by stabilising trading conditions and labour protection by agreeing a separate customs union. Therefore, on balance, Labour aims to improve the option on the leave side by reducing the negative impacts, whereas the Conservatives, on the basis of a leap of faith, that has no evidence base, proclaim that they economy will "grow". Based on their statements there is nothing concrete that points to how the real economy will grow under continued QE; it can't without a policy change.
Paradoxically, those who attack Labour in the Midlands and North East and who want "BREXIT done!" by supporting the Conservatives are exactly the lower income constituents who would be better off under the Labour leave option. The UK media and misleading statements by Conservatives have seriously misled a large group of people whose economic circumstances will continue to slide. By agreeing to wait a relatively short time and vote for Labour, this group would be relatively better off. We emphasise that the choice is between two levels of economic prejudice created by a constitutional decision that had no underlying economic logic.
Constitutionally, "out" or "in" is relatively easy to understand but what has been ignored in this country is "constitutional economics" which is the study of the impact of constitutional frameworks and procedures on the performance of an economy and wellbeing of the constituents. This fundamental topic was ignored at the time of the EU referendum by substituting serious discussions and analysis to guide public choice by slogans and thoroughly misleading assertions and misrepresentations daubed on the side of buses. In this process, the cause of declining economic circumstances being QE combined with austerity, was displaced by assertions that our circumstances were all the fault of the EU. This is simply not true. The frustration with the economic circumstances arose from extremely poor macroeconomic policies since the 2008 financial crash that wasted, and continues to waste, public money by bailing out the banks over the last 11 years.
The Liberal Democrats are extending the EU referendum into this election as they have the right to do. The Conservative objectives will generate a significant economic prejudice on the lowest 45% of earners whereas Labour will negotiate one that is less prejudicial and therefore preferable. Rather than present the Lib Dems nuclear option of cancelling Article 50, Labour has balanced their campaign to provide the options of a better deal or remain while the Conservative offer a worse deal and the Lib Dems offer remaining within the EU which in fact brings economic advantages in avoiding the current risk of significant prejudice associated with leaving.
The UK media have provided a public disservice by repeating the criticism of Jeremy Corbyn not aligning himself with leave or remain. This is the most objective position since at the time of the referendum there was no information on the constitutional economic consequences of either option. There is now, at least, on the leave side 2 options for the constituency to consider and there are significant differences in terms of relative prejudice.
The probability of Labour coming up with a pro-stabilisation agreement is high because of their significant political base in Europe as the largest socialist party in Europe and close association with similar parties throughout the Union. They are far better informed than the Conservatives who have only weak links with one or two EU political parties in the EU. Experts with EU Commission experience confirm that Labour is taken more seriously in Europe that the Conservatives and as a result are likely to arrive at a non-contentious agreement which Cameron, May and Johnson have all failed to achieve.
It is evident that UK government foreign policies, the intelligence and military strategies and lax legal provisions have contributed directly to the deaths of people in the United Kingdom as a result of "terrorist attacks".
The Thatcher government initiated a process of opening up the Saudi Arabian arms market and this was followed up by the Blair government's massive sales of arms and aircraft to Saudi Arabia. Investigations into corruption by the Serious Fraud Office were terminated by Tony Blair. Essentially, Saudi Arabia threatened Tony Blair with withdrawal of intelligence that would result in blood on the “streets of London”. Blair's acquiescence gave Saudi Arabia a strategic advantage over UK foreign policy, from that point on. So Blair enthusiastically supported the illegal Iraq war on the basis of the infamous dodgy dossier in spite of the fact that Saudi Arabia was implicated in the 9/11 attack which had nothing to do with Iraq. The US government under similar pressure from Saudi Arabia, has not released the full facts on the 9/11 attack and Saudi Arabia has continued it support of terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
The person who carried out the Manchester Arena attack in which 22 people died and 220 were injured, can be linked directly to a group of terrorist "assets" managed by UK intelligence and military. This group, in fact centred on Manchester, were active, alongside terrorists in Libya and Syria. Theresa May stated that this was an isolated one-man initiative. This is the typical displacement statement inferring "move on…there nothing to see here". UK corporate media willingly print this nonsense without investigating the fact that the truth lies elsewhere. In the case of the recent attack that took place near London Bridge on 29th November 2019 leading to the terrorist being shot, is also stated to be have been a one man initiative. The person concerned was well known to authorities and was wearing an electronic tag because he had been released from prison while having been imprisoned on grounds to planning attacks in the UK. Clearly the legal provisions and surveillance of this individual were ineffective in protecting the public. Clearly this is a direct condemnation of government policy; it is a vitally important issue.
This narrative of “one man initiatives” reflects a serious inability to understand the asymmetrical warfare waged by terrorists. These networks promote the hatred against non-Islamic cultures less now through online propaganda, but far more through personal contact and conversations. The fact that they share the stricter values of the Wahhabi sect, whose teaching is promoted and funded worldwide by Saudi Arabia, is enough to coalesce a strong group identity providing mutual support for anyone who takes action on the streets of the UK.
There is a strong psychological, emotional identification with the group but the power also lies in what is internalised on an individual basis. This helps eliminate any external and observable indicators of group identity or coordination. The fact that these groups keep changing their names is a purposeful tactic that takes advantage of Western mindsets unaccustomed to such fluidity in names of groups. In spite of name changes, the people within these groups remain the same and are becoming more effective in promoting their cause. Mainstream media, intelligence agencies and so-called security experts, waste an indordinate amount of time in "getting group names right"; this is not relevant. As a result these networks have become more powerful but remain below the horizon. Exposing these groups, as is required, risks blowing a hole in the UK government agency involvement in supporting some participants as strategic “assets”. This unacceptable and dangerous situation is the result of the government’s desire to acquiesce to expressed or perceived Saudi Arabian preferences. Israel collaborated with the UK government to transfer over 200 terrorists, in the shape of White Helmets, from Syria via the Golan Heights border to the UK. The White Helmets are funded by US and UK governments to create false flag "evidence", mainly against the Syrian government; they are part of the terrorist groups. The last 2 "chemical attack" cases have not been followed up by corporate media since the so-called evidence has begun to unravel. Original field reports have been shown to have been tampered with to slant the "final reports" to support the pre-planned White Helmet narrative which has turned out to have been false. As more of these "assets" accumulate in and around London the terrorist network gains more human resources from which to identify individuals to encourage to kill people on British soil. As in the case of several CIA-inspired military coups in South America, the opposition learned never to use telephones to avoid surveillance. Today this has been translated into any electronic communications equipment; terrorists know now, not to use them. The proven and successful technique to avoid surveillance is person to person conversations. It is virtually impossible to monitor this activity that takes place over meals in individual's houses, although more often in gyms, coffee shops, pubs, social clubs, mosques, libraries and malls. Leaving such individuals free to roam, tagged or not, can be seen to result in the death of citizens as in the case of the latest incident. Although this person is stated to have “acted alone” his actions are the direct outcome of a strong identification with a “group" that promotes radicalisation and murder. Those who act alone are agents who carry out the preferences of the group, whether or not any "associations" or "connections" can be identified. The group sinks into the background as all attention focuses on the lone agent and so this tactic is likely to continue because it is proving to be so successful for the terrorists. The group is not concerned with deaths of "lone" agents since these people do this willingly to support the objectives of the group philosophy. This is not even considered to be a cost, but rather a benefit, to the group's mission.
The corruption surrounding arms sales and willingness of the government to support Saudi Arabia in its horrific genocidal war in the Yemen supports a rising notion of the current government becoming a throwback to former colonial attitudes. The lives of foreigners were of no account when any decision to be taken involved power or economic interests. The considerations of the needs of the citizenry, almost never entered the decision equation given that the modus operandi was divide and rule.
The Saudi Arabian foreign policy in the Middle East is largely based on the delivery of suitcases containing, literally, millions of dollars in cash to decision-makers and politicians in neighbouring countries. Those who do not accept such generous corruption become enemies.
UK foreign policy in relation to terrorism needs to be an election issue. Supporting such corrupt regimes in a way that trades-off the lives of UK citizens caught up in UK-based terrorist incidents as the collateral damage of pursuit of senseless foreign and trade policies has become a matter of urgency. Enoch Powell gave an infamous speech concerning "rivers of blood" arising from immigration but blood-spilling has become a reality as result of the irresponsible government-funded transfer of killers to the UK as intelligence and military "assets" over which, the track record shows, they have limited control.
The "solution", so far, is not to solve the problem but rather to put police and paramedics at risk by turning them into "rapid response units". This is not a solution. The normal verbiage of these people being admirable because they run towards danger, is valid. However, this avoids the necessary closer inspection and scrutiny of the fundamental causes of incidents and individuals involved in attacks causing the deaths of UK citizens and which continue to put the lives of members of rapid response police and paramedics units at risk. The same is true of military personnel who have been placed in harms way to support a failed Middle Eastern policies in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria. The focus of a solution needs to change to bringing about fundamental changes to government foreign and trade policies, intelligence and military tactics and legal provisions.
The politician with the longest track record and consistency in supporting non-aggression-based foreign policies and the refusal to consider the lives of others as being of no consequence, including those of the military, police and paramedics, is Jeremy Corbyn; this is something which those who wish to keep our streets safe should reflect upon.
The documents distributed by Jeremy Corbyn containing the records of positions between US and UK trade negotiators follow the same formula of a range of trade and financial agreements negotiated by the USA. These usually succeed in structuring agreements to the disadvantage of "partners" by imposing conditions that essentially reorientate the political economies of non-US partners to their disadvantage in terms of guarantees and compensation for changes in national policies that might affect corporate profits. The arbitrations are somewhat like kangaroo courts and under the deals rigidity obviates any free market by pre-establishing transactional values or profits, irrespective of consumption.
The biggest strategic risk is that as a result of the continuation of quantitative easing (the Conservatives have not stated this policy will change) the UK will continue to see disaparity in income and wealth, declining productivity and therefore suffering from a weakening bargaining power; trade-offs are bound to favour the USA.
Corporate "mainstream" media are not giving sufficient exposure to the factt hat the USA's wish not to be involved with NICE is recorded in the documents presented by Corbyn. NICE's role is to improve outcomes for people using the NHS and other public health and social care services. They produce evidence-based guidance and advice for health, public health and social care practitioners. They also develop quality standards and performance metrics for those providing and commissioning health, public health and social care services as well as a range of information services for commissioners, practitioners and managers across health and social care. They contribute also to assessments of health care economy.
The USA's preference is to dismantle NICE or not involve it in any trade talks. This is designed to distance any expetise on the economics of pharmaceuticals from the meetings.
The Conservative party's enthusiasm for doing a trade deal with the USA is bound to result in compromises that will not favour UK firms or public services. The pay-offs that surround trade deals and the tendency towards cash diplomacy on the part of the USA, including threats of sanctions, only increases the likelihood of the political advantages to the Conservative party substituting national advantages and for parallel negotiations taking place linked to "fund raising" to swell their party bank balance or even establishing the equivalents of super-PACS disguised as think tanks or even independent NGOs, in the UK to run media campaigns in their favour and drown out the opposition.
The alarm raised by the Labour party concerning the dangers of all of this to pubic services and the NHS are unfortunately valid. It doesn't really matter what the Conservatives say, any strategist recognises that the dynamics and the poor state of the economy do not favour the UK. The likelihood of a poor economic and political deal is even a more likely outcome as a result of Johnson's dual rush to "Getting Brexit done!" and his naive enthusiasm for an early US-UK trade deal.
One often hears the expression, "the elephant in the room", which signifies an important issue that everyone avoids mentioning, let alone discussing. As this election period continues four mammoths (bigger than elephants) remain at large when they are perhaps the most important things to be discussed. We point to four mammoths at large which currently remain "out of site and mind" because corporate media do not cover them adequately, if at all:
- Antisemitism - most corporate media in the UK do not serve the public interests because they shy away from exposing the truth concerning the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy (MSAPD) who have invested in a major effort to undermine Jeremy Corbyn's status within Labour and UK politics by concentrating on anti-Semitic smears against Jeremy Corbyn in particular. Rather than expose the proxies coordinating this campaign within the UK, most media amplify the smears through headlines promoting the interests of an alien nation.
- Selling the NHS - the NHS will remain in government hands and under the Conservatives this will remain a cash cow carrying out their intent of increasing the amount of services and land assets transferred to private service and insurance companies consuming public funds; this is the equivalent of selling the NHS while the government remains on the hook, that is, public taxation will have to rise to fund this basis for operation. The track record on private companies in public services has been poor and usually is associated with rising costs because of this perversion of "socialism for large corporations";
- Economic recovery - the Conservative manifesto does not tackle the need to change course and terminate their failed policy of quantitative easing (QE). This has plunged the economy into rapidly rising real income level and wealth disparity during the last nine years. Mervyn King has stated that this has favoured the financial sector and the expense of the real economy.
It has created falling investment and declining productivity. The BREXIT process will exacerbate this state of affairs while the Conservative manifesto indicates that there will be no changes in economic policy. Far from being a "prudent" economic proposal the Conservatives reflects a wish to exacerbate division based on growing levels of unacceptable income disparity. Given the known negative economic impacts of BREXIT it is more rational to, at least, negotiate an agreement that will reduce the negative impacts as proposed by Labour;
- The vital need to defend of freedom and freedom of expression - Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, languishes under disgraceful conditions and treatment in the English jail, being treated worse than a criminal. He is isolated (solitary confinement) unable to prepare his defence and yet he remains innocent of any charges so far made against him. Many media published the documents that Wikileaks posted but there are no charges against these or their journalists. The USA's accusations accumulating over 175 years in prison is a death sentence and it is to be hoped that the British courts will see justice done by freeing him and thereby securing the future foundation and future freedom for journalists to be protected from abuse when they publish the truth. This issue should be an election issue because the Conservative government has shown a callous disregard for the rights of Julian Assange and to this date have not implemented the second phase of Leveson recommendations following the hacking scandal. According to the campaign attempting to raise support for Leveson 2. The Conservative manifesto tacitly endorses police corruption, newspaper illegality and the absence of ethical regulatory standards. Nathan Sparkes, Hacked Off Policy Manager, commenting on the Conservative manifesto said:
“The Conservative manifesto published today, which promises to repeal part of the Leveson framework and suppress the second part of the inquiry, confirms the coverage-for-policy bargain struck between press executives and the leadership of the Tory Party.
There is no evidential or other reasonable basis for the Tory Party’s position, which is opposed by every other major party in Parliament. It is disappointing to see today’s Tory Party, which has historically sought to uphold British sovereignty and the rule of law, become reduced to the bidding of newspaper proprietors and executives.
Hacked Off are in touch with a number of Conservative MPs who believe in the values of free speech and accountability which the Leveson system represents, and we hope the Conservative Party Leadership will listen to them, working journalists and the victims of press abuse and reconsider their position.
As it stands, Conservative policy tacitly endorses police corruption, newspaper illegality and the absence of ethical regulatory standards across the newspaper industry – a position few candidates for any party would wish to defend.”
A religious "leader", so-called, in the form of Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, has chosen to interfere in the British election by extending the smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn. This is as misleading as it is intolerable. It is the role of religious clerics is to clarify the principles of belief to guide their members and not to grab headlines to express personal opinions that abuse this role. However, it is true that Mirvis is in a very difficult position because the Israeli government, under Benjamin Netanyahu, has been running this vicious campaign, specifically against Jeremy Corbyn. When Jeremy Corbyn was elected head of the Labour party, as a well known supporter of the Palestinian cause, the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy (MSAPD) invested in a major effort to undermine his status within Labour and UK politics by concentrating on anti-Semitic accusations against party members and against Jeremy Corbyn in particular. The MSAPD was resurrected and reorientated to its current pernicious role by Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009. The ministry oversees foreign spy operations and in particular, illegal surveillance and subversion operations outside Israel targeting pro-Palestinian and BDS activists and others. It is headed by Likud official Gilad Erdan who is close to Netanyahu.
Our alternative media section contains detailed video-based analytical reports on the alleged Israeli government interference in UK politics. This was produced by the Aljazera Network. Ofcom was asked to investigate these reports and found them to be acceptable:
When specific "representives" of the Jewish community have been asked for evidence of antisemitism in the Labour party or on the part of Jeremy Corbyn, they repeat the tiresome, now repetitive mantras of Benjamin Netanyahu that Corbyn if "friends" with terrorist groups. Corbyn's involvement in meetings with the IRA, Hamas and Hezbollah were all motivated by his seeking peaceful ways forward in support of the 2 state solution or to try and terminate IRA aggression while the Conservative government (Willie Whitelaw) was doing the same in secret. But today the Conservatives join in the chorus. His support for an artist who created a mural that represented a domination of global financial affairs being in the hands of Jews, turns out to have been caused by Corbyn not having inspected the mural adequately enough to pick up the intended meaning. In all cases, closer analysis has demonstrated that these accusations are without foundation. It is therefore evident that the widespread publicity and UK shock and awe media headlines devoted to anti-semitism within the Labour party are all part of the same smear campaign into which Mirvis has inserted himself. The concentration on Jeremy Corbyn follows the Benjamin Netanyahu's line. The media and Mirvis' assertions of the extent of Labour antisemitism are completely out of all proportion to its significance; cases have involved less than 0.3% of the membership and proven cases constitute an even smaller proportion. Religious intolerance is a common feature of multi-religious societies and needs to be eliminated, this is a Labour position. It is also true that the incidence of antisemitism within the Labour party is a fraction of antisemitism within the general population. Labour, as a party has always been a long-standing home for Jews and people of all other religions. The degree of societal intolerance increases, however, when religious clerics, such as Mirvis, get involved in such smear campaigns. In Mirvis' case timed to co-incide with Labour's launch of their anti-discrimination proposals. This exposes a pernicious perspective but one which the public absorb and internalise and this only contributes to an undermining of the image and role of that religion in society. This offends those members of religions that promote values such as forgiveness and open exchange. The hopes of such religions are undermined by those religions that express and support revenge and attacks based on an eye for an eye philosophies, especially when these are unfounded and constitute a misrepresentation or wholly exaggerated representation of the facts. People can learn, understanding and toleration comes with selfless non-aggressive attitudes and not contentious headline grabbing headlines that mislead society and deepen divisions. The Israeli government's continued direct and covert interference in the democratic procedures of this country only undermine those who profess support for Israel on religious grounds. The emerging danger is that those who participate in this smear campaign appear to be working on behalf, or under the influence of an alien nation, Israel, to the detriment of the necessary transparency and fair play that is so important to democratic processes in the United Kingdom. Many people have expressed annoyance with this intervention and an irritation at the continuation of this repetitive dishonest campaign. The level of exaggeration takes on the form of extreme dishonesty or a dangerous level of unjustified paranoia. Its continuation is a perilous gamble. It runs the real danger of these mis-directed disinformation-based interventions constituting a destabilising affront to the interests of the rest of society who prefer to participate in a community free from such mendacious abusive dishonesty.
John Bercow was recently interviewed by Alistair Campbell of Blair government dodgy dossier fame and he asked about antisemitism in the Labour party. He made a significant comment concerning what we are classifying as an antisemitism smear that the Tory leadership and its allies have been pushing against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The significance comes from the fact that Bercow is Jewish, but also because he has known Corbyn “very well” for over two decades. His job has meant he has a hand on the pulse of all parties and Members. In his reply John Bercow first stressed that “racism is a challenge across society”
. And he continued, "I myself have never experienced antisemitism from a member of the Labour Party, point one. And point two, though there is a big issue, and it has to be addressed, I do not myself believe Jeremy Corbyn is antisemitic. That is my honest view."
He also added that, "I’ve known him for the 22 years that I’ve been in parliament"
Jeremy Corbyn, has been a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) for many years. In early 2018 the PSC was included in Israel’s so-called BDS blacklist drawn up by MSAPD and openly announced by Netanyahu and Erdan. The PSC is amongst 20 groups whose activists have been barred from entering Israel due to their support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Corbyn is a long-time supporter of the PSC consistent with his commitment to upholding human rights and international law by ending the Israel's violent occupation, ending the siege on Gaza, opposing settlements in the West Bank. However Corbyn does not support the BDS movement. He does not agree with such a comprehensive blanket boycott but supports targeted action aimed at illegal settlements and occupied territories in line with international law which Israel ignores. A Labour spokesperson has stated that, "Corbyn would be happy to buy Israeli goods himself"
Pushback is an alternative medium programme run by Aaron Maté. He is Jewish and the son of Gabor Maté born in 1944 in Budapest, Hungary.
Last week Aaron interviewed his father in a programme entitled,"Gabor Maté on the misuse of anti-Semitism and why fewer Jews identify with Israel"
In this interview Gabor explains the extremely complex psychological issues and the Jewish identification with Israel that has given rise to the anti-semitism campaigns leveled against people who support Palestinian rights and object to Israel's ethnic cleansing.
This places a realistic and deeply troubling perspective on the real motivations of those who collaborate in the abusive campaign leveled against Jeremy Corbyn.
To view this interview click on the blue link above or image on the left.
It will come as no surprise that a recent poll indicated that economists are among the least-trusted professionals. They’ve made blundering mistakes on everything from claiming economic policy does not create financial crises to not admitting that obvious recessions are related to economic policy flaws or mal-intent. In terms of our survival these facts pale into insignificance when inept economists get involved in modeling climate science. In the case of recessions we have muddled through and "recovered" but the breakdown of our planet, we cannot.
Ross Ashcroft, who hosts "Renegade Inc" talks to economist Professor Steve Keen to understand the scale of the damage that blinkered economic ideology has done to the future of our planet.
To access this interview click on the Renegard Inc image.
The very "modest" and "prudent" manifesto of the Conservatives has not taken into account the negative BREXIT impact on economic growth but rather they will continue to apply the same economic policies, that over the last 9 years, have exacerbated real income and wealth levels disparity and declining productivity. The investment in NHS physical assets, by refurbishing some hospitals and building others, seems to be investing in those objects of value to the private sector such as land which their track record shows, will be transferred to private ownership and operations. The Conservative's long term strategic policy of de-funding public services is destined to continue in an attempt to maintain public frustration with operations and then to justify increasing privatization in the name of "efficiency and delivery". The Conservatives can cynically maintain their claim to never "sell" the NHS. This is because the objective is to keep the government and the public on the hook to pay for the £200 billion service while increasing the level of participation of private operations, including private insurance companies and pharmaceutical corporations. This "socialism for corporations" has been the cause of rising costs and seldom has been associated with the increases in efficiency promised.
Claims that investments in Health are the biggest ever is not true either in terms of the payments made as a proportion of the total government budget or in absolute terms when inflation and the cost of living is taken into account. The critical indicator is real cost/capita.
The de-funding, operations, of all public services are, therefore, destined to continue. Since nothing in the manifesto admits to negative economic impacts of BREXIT transitions, which the Conservatives have previously estimated, the overall impact statements raise considerable doubts. The Conservative manifesto does not address income and wealth disparity in a practical manner. The gaps created by nine years of de-funding of public services have created a public funding crisis of the dimensions that the Labour and Liberal Democrats are promising to address. The Liberal democrats contribution to the coalition government that set out the so-called "austerity" policies and quantitative easing (QE) in train, is a negative historic mark against the Liberal Democrats.
An outstanding paradox of this election campaign has been the extraordinary failure to call attention to the impact of quantitative easing which, over 9 years, has been a major cause of the intensification of wealth and income inequality and yet this policy remains in place. This has attracted far too little critical commentary from "one nation" Conservatives or even from Labour.
The Question Time 4-leader session held 22nd November, 2019 created a certain clarity helping define positions more clearly. The two best performances were Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon for clarity of positions with Boris Johnson coming a poor third with a blustering confusing performance. The most important statement was that of Jeremy Corbyn clarifying his position on the people's vote. As we have explained several times, Jeremy Corbyn's desire not to express a position on how people should vote is a sign of leadership in not doing anything that would prevent bringing the country together. It is also a sign of leadership to advance what the people decide as his government's policy. Jeremy Corbyn did well to clarify what he called a "neutral position".
A wide range of commentators have now understood his position and most have admitted it is rational. On the other hand the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative candidates continue to bash the drum of "indecision" of "lack of conviction" or "lack of leadership" but they are now very unconvincing.
In the discussions in the 4-leader session it is becoming evident that more people are understanding that the Conservative party proposals seem to be frantic efforts to fill in holes dug by nine years of Conservative government austerity. When put on the spot concerning the Conservative government's record of not being good with the economy, Boris Johnson uses the displacement and diversionary tactics of referring to his achievements as London mayor or turns to the broken record mantra of needing to get BREXIT done! The wheels appear to be loosening around the Conservative wagon.
The late delivery of the Conservative manifesto has become a strategic error. Labour have been faster and appear to be more organised. In getting their manifesto out in good time, they have had time to assess the reactions, both positive and negative, and have time to prepare reasoned and coherent responses to be fielded over the next 3 weeks. The Conservatives, whenever they launch their manifesto, have yet to go through the same process involving initial criticisms but they are unlikely to have enough time to pull together a coherent response. The reason for this is that as voters are picking up on the fact that most spending is needed to fill in gaps created by nine years of Conservative government austerity. It is therefore possible, even now, to refer to the track record on every major public service and utility de-funded by the Conservative government. In most cases the amount of funding required to completely correct the gaps created would far exceed the Labour estimates. The Conservative manifesto is likely to be shredded by the voters because of not being able to undo the damage done.
However the absense of a manifesto has left Boris Johnson having to bluster and send out confusing messages because he has no reference points to use in his presentations made up of mantras. The Conservative strategy might be to attempt to prevent too much discussion on anything but BREXIT but increasing numbers of voters are already tired of hearing the words, "Need to get BREXI done!" In the last Question Time presentation, as Johnson approached the point where he was about to voice this mantra, he was greeted with widespread groans.
A gap in party declarations is widening in the form of failures to cover foreign relations. The concentration on the subject of trade or foreign aid, overlooks major causes of disruption and suffering resulting from Britain's participation in pointless and sometimes illegal wars, largely in the Middle East. The involvement of covert intelligence operations supporting groups linked to Al Quaeda and ISIS is a strategy for regime change. The resulting trail of destruction and murder of innocent people encouraging mass migration of people Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Palestine to Europe has created havoc in social and economic relations.
This sequence of attempts at violent regime change have followed a blueprint drawn up by Benjamin Netanyehu and others, almost to the letter. This destructive road map has been enthusiastically adopted by the US strategists as their policy for intervention and destruction. This list also includes the Sudan and Somalia all countries where Saudi Arabia seeks control. Our continued support of Saudi Arabia's murderous Yemeni war and other interventions raise serious questions about the level of concern of MPs and our political parties about global humanitarian affairs.
Finally, the Labour party has released its manifesto. It is somewhat detailed and is supported by a costings analysis. The likelihood of policies being able to satisfy needs by closing gaps in provisions will depend on internal and external constraints associated with accessibility to necessary resources of an adequate quality.
We have therefore asked the BSR (British Strategic Report) team to provide us with a economic/financial feasibility analyses. BSR have promised to issue a general analytical introduction to highlight key indicators to be used and which will apply equally to the Conservative and other manifestos. We hope to issue the first briefs from BSR by 25th November, 2019.
The dirty tricks reported to us as having been attempted and exposed have been by the Conservatives who created a misleading "independent" Fact Checker site on Twitter run by them, A fake Labour manifesto on Google and a doctored a video interview involving Kier Starmer that gave the impression he could not answer a question by freezing the frame; he in fact provided a comprehensive answer.
The Liberal Democrats have also been accused of issuing local handouts with histograms that exaggerate the actual standing of the Lib Dems to encourage people to support them.
So far we have not received any reports of dirty tricks associated with the Labour party.
We encourage readers to send in emails informing us of any known dirty tricks with evidence in the from of links.
It is somewhat difficult to understand the Conservative party's infatuation with Boris Johnson.
Any qualifications as a leader of a party, let alone to be a prime minister, were sadly absent from his responses to the questions put to him in the ITV-sponsored debate on Tuesday, 19th November. Jeremy Corbyn answered all of the questions put to him while Johnson made a spectacle of not answering questions. The astounding result of the poll concerning Johnson's and Corbyn's performances was that the outcome was 50:50. The Conservatives seem to admire Johnson's ability to bluster, to over-run time limits and insult the public by simply repeating the same "answer" to each question. His behaviour reflected a open willingness to disrespect those who thought up the questions presented. In place of an anxious desire to respond to constituent concerns, Johnson's somewhat visceral, rambling displacement tactics punctuated by aside jokes, is simply not the behaviour of someone seeking to manage our affairs. It was a display of shifty and dishonest behaviour, witnessed by all who tuned in to this prime time television programme.
Having dumped most of the better known and experienced Conservative MPs who were easily recognisable as "one nation Conservatives", most of whom were people who answered questions directly, the accusation of the Conservatives being the "nasty party" is surfacing again. The Conservative party is a private organisation made up of around 150,000 members. They are no more than a tiny faction and therefore they put forward agendas more in the interests of the party as opposed to the country. It was an internal vote by this tiny unrepresentative faction that made Johnson prime minister. This faction's membership continues to glorify his unseemly behaviour rather than become ashamed at his antics.
Boris Johnson wishes to avoid any discussion of policy because it is becoming generally recognised that Conservative governments, during the last nine years, have drained funds from most of the public services which now face serious operational problems, including the police and the NHS. This has resulted in an exacerbation of income and wealth disparity and falling real incomes of over 40% of the population. The current promises by the Conservative party are to put back only some of the money they removed over the last nine years. The Conservative party position on the policy front is essentially one that is making proposals to fill in holes their own government has created, along with the social and economic deprivation, during the last nine years. He does not wish the obvious conclusion to surface in debates which is that the Conservatives have not been good with the economy. This is why all he can repeat is "Let's get BREXIT done!" as a wholly theatrical diversion of discussion from any focus on the real cause of the problems this country now faces.
Labour has fallen into the trap of using the wrong description for the Conservative's long-held position on the NHS. The Conservatives do not want to "sell" the NHS because they wish to maintain the government funding of the service. The reason for this is that as a £200 billion resource they wish to maximise the transfer of benefits to shareholders of private companies. The justification that private companies and finance will improve efficiency has little evidence to support it and much to demonstrate this is not true. As a result the Conservative plans are strongly oriented towards privatization and bolstering shareholder value in private companies by expanding their share of the NHS resources.
Another reason why the Conservatives will not sell the government administration and ownership of the NHS is to support private company compensation for any changes in policy that might alter private company "market share" in product and service sales. The US Administration add strict clauses to any trade agreements that attempt to guarantee market shares and to enable companies to sue governments whose policies might result in changes in this share. In other words, although the government still "owns" the NHS there will be under a US-UK trade agreement a form of legal undertaking that limits all future discretion on the government to alter policies even those demanded by the public through elections.
This is likely to be used to weaken the price negotiating position of the NHS. The Conservatives support this position, Labour does not.
The public remain ill-informed because the issue is not about "selling the NHS" it is about the trade-off between the rising obligations of the government under an increasing level of privatization. Under the Conservatives these obligations become diverted from pubic interest towards the interests of private corporations while Labour wishes to stop and even reverse this process.
In the "debate" between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Corbyn showed a heavily redacted document on the secret UK and US negotiations concerning the NHS. Some of the redacted sections relate to what has been described above. It is troubling that the corporate media have not picked up on this revelation but then their advertising revenues come, in part, from medical product and service companies and banks whose political lobbying has had greater inroads in the Conservative party.
The conclusion is that the NHS will not be sold so as not to separate it from its government "ownership" and it will remain "free" at the point of delivery. However, the Conservatives plan to augment the extent of private company participation in the use of resources. This is the same as selling the NHS but the difference is that the government and the tax payers remain on the hook as the government's control become more precarious as public service aspects are de-funded in an attempt to force through a total take over of the service.
|EU REFERENDUM RESULTS|
|Not voting||Voting to leave||Voting to remain|
|Source: Electoral Commission|
Constiuents of voting age
There has been much childish giggling and pointing in relation to Jeremy Corbyn's refusal to state his "position" on the vote between remain and a re-negotiated deal which will include a range of safeguards which the Conservative's are unlikely to include. Corbyn, being the leader of the Labour Party takes constitutional positions, that is, his position always follows those established by the decision-making groups within the party. This means it sometimes takes time for him to confirm his position as that advocating the party position.
This is not dither, it is following a constitutional principle.
This constitutional position is one which extends to how a political party or government needs to respond to results of elections or referenda.
The outcome of the EU referendum was that more people did not vote (17,804,785), this number exceeded the number who voted to leave (17,410,742) and the leave vote was marginally higher than those wishing to remain (16,141,241), that is, 1.3 million or just 2.5% of the voting age population. Therefore the constitutional position is one where politicians need to take into account all voters as opposed to opting to favour exclusively those who wished to leave.
Irrespective of what has been asserted, the remain options, at the time of the referendum, were related to existing arrangements between the EU and third countries. No deal or weak deal options were only circulating within minority factions within UKIP and Conservative parties. However, Nigel Farage and the faction within the Conservative party have used the fact that the majority voted to leave to attempt to impose the weak deal or no deal as a serious option. It is, without doubt, not what the majority of "leavers" desired simply because this was not really on offer and in any case, we now know that this will cost the economy and employment dearly. The 6% drop in GNP accumulated over a decade is equivalent to a loss of around £132 billion each year or over a £1 trillion over the period. However, these factions insist on these options. The US-based corporate lobbies favour a no deal BREXIT because this will strengthen their negotiating position when dealing with a weakened United Kingdom.
Under such circumstances a "constitutional position" is very much needed in the sense of guiding the country towards decisions that uphold the desires of the majority of constituents.
|Party membership as % of total UK constituency|
In order to reduce the economic and employment impacts of leaving a comprehensive deal is required. Labour, as the largest socialist party in Europe has a very wide democratic association with EU Member State parties which is far more comprehensive that anything the Conservative party can dream of. Therefore the likelihood of Labour securing a better deal is just about guaranteed. The objective is then to present the constituents with a choice between remaining or accepting the Labour-negotiated deal designed to minimise negative economic and employment impacts in the transition. Under such circumstances, the constitutional position, given that the original EU referendum was marginally to leave, is to allow the constituents to decide without coercion from any party. The existing EU membership conditions and those spelt out in the new deal are all the information voters need to decide.
But the Conservative and the Brexit party (Nigel Farage) continue to try to push in one direction and the Liberal Democracts pushing in the other. This reflects a failure to take into account the sensitivities surrounding this major constitutional state of affairs. The situation remains that the constitutional position should be to allow the voters decide and to avoid any coercion by Britain's minority factional parties. The fact that Britain's political parties are unrepresentative tiny factions is sometime not appreciated. However, their membership figures confirm this fact - see table right. Any confirmatory vote should not be corrupted by appeals from the sidelines by these factions bent on power, this process should remain the constituent's decision based on the feasible options set out before them. This, of course, was not the situation in the EU referendum.
Corbyn's refusal to express a "position" reflects a maturity and better grip on the responsibility of leadership that reflects an understanding of the state of the country and aims to bring the country together. By providing a leave option that aims to reduce the high cost of leaving, makes a lot of sense because, currently, this does not appear to be under consideration by either the Conservatives, Brexit party (Nigel Farage) or the Liberal Democrats.
The Labour party announcement concerning making broadband W3 free, has caught all main political parties out. It is an excellent proposal and falls into line with the original thinking on "global networks". As far back as the 1960s when NASA demonstrated packet switching using satellites and radio, strategists realised that to maximise the social and economic benefits from an interconnected global network. For this reason this investment should be considerd to be a strategic infrastructure and therefore be classified and operate as a free utility. The reasoning is that private delivery does not serve all of the market adequately because the profit motive results in selective services being concentrated in high density, higher income population areas. Because such areas are higher income these provisions contribute to increasing differentials in incomes and economic growth. This is, in fact, what has happened after some 25 years of privately run providers. As a result, many remote areas, where high capacity W3 access can have most impact, remain poorly served. People cannot effectively e-commute and public transport infrastructures are also poor acting as a drag on local development.
John McDonnell made a preliminary announcement on this issue emphasising that a Labour policy would tackle remote regions first; this is entirely rational and can help eliminate the distortions and gaps in coverage created by the existing private systems.
The social, financial and economic justifications for this proposal far exceed what Labour has so far articulated. Remote working for areas with lower density populations can help enhance income earning capacity of highly qualified individuals and the information services can also support professional learning systems. This can help reduce the cost of advanced educational provisions providing viable options for university level studies. Mothers can work from home without having to separate from their young children, bringing added benefits including saved transport costs.
Much commentary on the economic and financial feasibility of Labour's move reflects an inability, or unwillingness of some, to measure the extraordinary benefits to be derived from a free internet or W3 provision.
Work undertaken in the 1960s at Stanford University and even the European Commission's' Information Technology and Telecommunications Task Force (ITTTF) in the 1980s commissioned significant studies and ran initiative preparation programmes on the impact of global networks on the European Economy. These involved the development of impact models related to different types of applications. Sector panels assisted the ITTTF in this work. This work accurately predicted the mobile environment and issued market projections that identified China as the most likely beneficiary of the mobile technologies.
In spite of this excellent work the posts and telecommunications companies resisted the proposals because of the use of satellite technology and radio since most wished to make use of their copper wire-based telephone infrastructure. It was the ITTTF that encouraged the telecom companies to consider mobiles more seriously
leading the development of the world-leading GSM system standards. The company who worked well with the Commission initiatives was Vodafone who for a period were the world leaders in mobile services only to be overtaken by China Telecom during the last decade as predicted by ITTTF.
According to SEEL-Systems Engineering Economics Lab, a division of the George Boole Foundation, contrary to those thinking Labour is proposing too much investment it is important to understand that W3 network investment paybacks are exceptionally high, something that private operators do not wish to publicise. In basic terms, payback on this investment will be very high within a relatively short period because of the inclusion of people and economic activities who have yet to benefit from broadband. Amongst major benefits can be included significant reductions in all types of web services resulting from the removal of the need to pay for access:
- Expanding the market for web hosting companies
- Expanding the market for specialised web service companies
- Expanding the user base enabling higher income occupations and economic growth
- Lowering the cost of access to decision support utilities helping improve production and service sectors
- Improving logistics functions in low population density regions
- Improving disaster prediction and post event recovery logistics e.g. flooding
- Improving agricultural extension advice services at a very low cost
- Improving aspects of health provisions in remote areas
- Enabling remote communities to start their own media, action groups and mutual support initiatives
- Enabling local communities to make more effective use of the very large amounts of environmental data available
- Expanding the market for existing and novel niche services including for tech companies to the benefit of remote area communities
- Bringing the worlds information resources to the doorsteps of those living in remote areas
- Greatly facilitating and lowering the cost of higher education
- Providing an expanded market for UK high tech developers
The additional point is that all big tech and marketing companies will benefit because this will extend the penetration of services to the whole population and help reduce mobile data channel charges and usage demand by making low cost high capacity Wi-fi more accessible. By making the access to the service free, this will in fact increase the profitability of online services of a wider range of operators including small startups.
Labour have caught all of the other political parties out with this proposal. It is perhaps the most important single proposal that has the most pervasive beneficial impact on people's lives helping spread work-based opportunities and facilitating a range of service functions including the NHS. The "free market" after 25 years has not achieved this for all. This area is one where the technology is constantly advancing in terms of energy savings, size of devices and unit prices and thee properties improve with scale of use.
McDonnell has stated that they would achieve this consolidation as a state utility by nationalising Openreach, the BT internet network. Openreach's core technology resources and assets are variously valued at around £15 billion, not including human resources provisions such as pension fund. SEEL, the high tech strategic consultants have created some order of magnitude calculations on this issue which we will post on receipt.
According to a SEEL spokesperson, another issue of importance is by bringing the "future infrastructure" into state hands can help prevent the trends observed in the USA where the internet providers have become increasingly concentrated and have come to dominate social media and advertising and marketing with a trend towards gaining control over the agenda concerning net neutrality. It is of fundamental importance that net neutrality be guaranteed in the UK since this has an important bearing on democratic processes that require uncensored and transparent exchange of factual information.
There are other major benefits related to national security.
Pushback is an alternative medium programme run by Aaron Maté. He is Jewish and the son of Gabor Maté born in 1944 in Budapest, Hungary.
Last week Aaron interviewed his father in a programme entitled,"Gabor Maté on the misuse of anti-Semitism and why fewer Jews identify with Israel"
In this interview Gabor explains the extremely complex psychological issues and the Jewish identification with Israel that has given rise to the anti-semitism campaigns leveled against people who support Palestinian rights and object to Israel's ethnic cleansing.
This places a realistic and deeply troubling perspective on the real motivations of those who collaborate in the abusive campaign leveled against Jeremy Corbyn.
To view this interview click on the blue link above or image on the left.
The poor outcomes of the Public Private Partnerships and the associated financing initiatives covering NHS contracts ended up raising debts to private suppliers of the NHS to far higher levels that they would have been if the funding had been raised by the government. The overall approach has constituted a highly profitable defunding scheme to weaken the basis financial position of the NHS. This tactic is used to eventually justify privatisation to increase efficiency and value for money.
Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson appear to be working in a coordinated attempt to introduce a US style private insurance based scheme into the NHS which in the end will fund the take over, with help of the QE fund-stuffed banks of NHS assets, especially land, a long term objective. Naturally the annual £200 billion annual "health market" is the main prize.
However the secret strategy is to offshore profits just as PPP and the PFI schemes were designed to hide true budgetary positions by placing transactions off-balance sheet. Google, Amazon and other big tech companies have been accused of not paying their share of taxes in the UK and EU and Apple stashed $billions of capital to avoid US taxation. However, now private US health providers (insurance-based) are ramping up their preparation for a web-based uber style take over of health provisions. Several private insurance companies are already active in the UK but it is worth observing these technical developments in the USA.
It have been revealed (Reuters) that Google is running a secret ‘Project Nightingale’ that is gathering personal health data on millions of Americans. This project is with one of the country’s largest health-care systems to collect and crunch the detailed personal health information of millions of Americans across 21 states, according to people familiar with the matter and internal documents. The initiative, code-named “Project Nightingale,” appears to be the largest in a series of efforts by Silicon Valley giants to gain access to personal health data and establish a toehold in the massive health-care industry.
Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are also aggressively pushing into health care, though they haven’t yet struck deals on the scale of Google. Google began this initiative last year with St. Louis-based Ascension, the second-largest health system in the U.S.,
Google recently purchased Fitbit, acquiring users’ health histories & triggering privacy backlash. Fitbit provides a portable health indicator checking system for users based on a wrist mounted sensor system. This has unnerved users who hoped to keep their health data out of the Big Tech oversight and use. Google’s senior vice president of devices and services called the $2.1 billion purchase “an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made By Google wearable devices into the market” in a blog post.
Google attempted to defuse privacy concerns. Fitbit has access not only to customers’ fitness history, but also in many cases their health insurance information and medical history – with a reassurance that “we work hard to protect your information” and “we will never sell personal information to anyone.” While they insisted that “Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads,” they acknowledged that some users would question their sincerity, stating they would “give Fitbit users the choice to review, move, or delete their data.” A press release from Fitbit echoed those promises. However, the subsequent revelation of their secret 'Project Nightingale' throws doubt on their sincerity.
This is not the first foray into the health data market by Google – the company paid $40 million for smart watch tech from watchmaker Fossil earlier this year, and Google has had access to data from British patients on the NHS since 2016, when the company inked a deal that the UK’s data watchdog later found violated privacy regulations. That access has only expanded, with several NHS trusts moving their data to Google’s cloud. Google has also invested in US health insurance provider Oscar. If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em! Google has struggled to sell its own wearable device line Wear OS, but with some 28 million “active users,” buying Fitbit gives the tech giant a captive market – and access to those users' health data.
with the data sharing accelerating since summer, documents show. The data involved in Project Nightingale encompasses lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, including patient names and dates of birth. Neither patients nor doctors have been notified. At least 150 Google employees already have access to much of the data on tens of millions of patients, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents. Some Ascension employees have raised questions about the way the data is being collected and shared, both from a technological and ethical perspective, according to the people familiar with the project. But privacy experts said it appeared to be permissible under federal law. That law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, generally allows hospitals to share data with business partners without telling patients, as long as the information is used “only to help the covered entity carry out its health care functions. The same sort of data sharing arrangements exist in the UK.
Google in this case is using the data, in part, to design new software, underpinned by advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning, that zeroes in on individual patients to suggest changes to their care. Staffers across Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent, have access to the patient information, documents show, including some employees of Google Brain, a research science division credited with some of the company’s biggest breakthroughs. A Google spokeswoman said the project is fully compliant with federal health law and includes robust protections for patient data. An Ascension spokesman had no immediate comment. Google and nonprofit Ascension have parallel financial motives. Google has assigned dozens of engineers to Project Nightingale so far, without charging for the work, because it hopes to use the framework to sell similar products to other health systems. Its end goal is to create an omnibus search tool to aggregate disparate patient data and host it all in one place, documents show. The project is being developed under Google’s cloud division, which trails rivals like Amazon and Microsoft in market share.
The tactic on financial services legislation is likely to be strengthened so that any loss of profits arising from changes in legislation will permit providers to sue government for loss of income, in spite of the fact ongoing contracts in many utility contracts guarantee monthly sale at a disadvantage to the state.
It is very unlikely under contracts for supplies of insurance that will pull in pharmaceuticals and other supplies including from US suppliers and the web-based uberisation of transaction payments through the big tech payment systems that money will be syphoned off at every level. Indeed the NHS does not even have to be on the table in any trade negotiation because, after all, we are only talking about free trade in financial services and insurance.... aren't we? ;-)!!
The orchestrated "uni-lateral" decision by Nigel Farage to stand down Brexit candidates in this election in the seats won by Conservatives in the last election is not fooling many. Boris Johnson cannot admit to this being an agreement so as not to lose face on previous stands. Farage's position, although "tolerating" the Conservative deal is to push through a close to no deal Brexit.
This of course is exactly what Donald Trump has been advocating in relation to a trade deal. Trump is still pressuring to get rid of what he considers to be constraints that would result from a deal with the EU. This is why he has been openly stating that he has been encouraging Farage and Johnson to pool their resources.
It will be difficult to identify the specific motivations and advantages to all concerned in this triangular arrangement, especially with regard to any future "trade deal with the USA". We do know that US insurance and pharmaceutical companies wish to gain a larger share of what they refer to as, the UK's "health market" worth £200 billion annually.
We have already referred to the alleged interference of the Israeli government Lobby in UK politics by undermining the Labour party and targeting Jeremy Corbyn in a smear campaign improving the prospects of the Conservative party. The prospects of the Conservative party appear to be relying on yet an additional source of foreign meddling in this election in the form of US lobbies being supported by Trump. This form of overt foreign interference is enthusiastically supported by Farage and Johnson. Having the prospects of the Conservative party to form a government so openly dependent on foreign interference is a matter of grave concern.
This state of affairs is tarnishing the image of the Conservatives who have promoted leaving the EU and Brexit as an act to regain our national sovereignty, independence and freedom by preventing foreign interference in our internal affairs only to be losing these vital constitutional values to succumb to dominance by other alien interests.
There appears to be a degree of concern within the Conservative party campaign leading to a too eager desire to criticise Labour's economic policies too soon. Labour have yet to launch their manifesto so any analysis was premature. This mistake by the Conservative party economic spokesman, Sajid Javid, only makes nonsense of their analyses. This was also a strategic mistake since Labour now knows the "attack points" considered to be of value by the Conservatives and they can ensure these points are covered by the time their manifesto is launched.
Owen Jones has interviewed Caroline Lucas, our only Green Party MP, concerning the state of politics in the country and tactics required in voting to gain objectives. Caroline Lucas makes a very clear statement on how the Labour party, for example, should be collaborating with the Greens to keep a Conservative government out.
Lucas has a direct, refreshing, down to earth and no spin approach, a needed breath of fresh air and common sense. Clear and simple, no hidden agendas here.
This is in marked contrast to some other party campaigners who are marring the lead up to the election with spin, smear tactics, mud slinging, misrepresentation and, sometimes, aggression.
To access the interview click on the image above.
The Green party has dual leadership in the persons of Jonathan Bartley & Siân Berry.
Green party Co-leaders, Siân Berry
and Jonathan Bartley
The Green party campaign launch in Bristol Siân Berry urged voters to make the upcoming vote a "climate election
" rather than focusing on Brexit. She stated, "Boris Johnson wants to make this the Brexit election, a re-run of the referendum on his terms, on his dodgy turf. But this election is about so much more. Some things are even bigger than Brexit. This must be the climate election because the future won't get another chance."
Siân Berry also outlined the Green's ambitious plan to invest £100bn a year for the next decade to make the UK carbon neutral by 2030. Among the other policies included are:
- Remaining in the EU and keeping the freedom of movement
- Introducing a "Green new deal" to tackle climate change
- Create "hundreds of thousands" of low-carbon jobs
- Subsidies to help eco-system
- Build 100,000 new energy-efficient homes every year for social renting
- Electrifying rail and increasing investment in public transport
The Green policy website can be accessed by clicking on the green image on the left.
We are a neutral medium but the spate of dirty tricks campaigns and multiplying misrepresentation arising from political agents, largely directed against the Labour party is preventing the possibility of balanced and positive reviews of the proposals of the Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Brexit party. The longer dirty tricks campaign continuing as a constant disruptive factor is the tawdry campaign based on accusations concerning antisemitism in the Labour party and smearing Jeremy Corbyn deploying tactics totally in line with Benjamin Netanyehu's coordinated campaign against Jeremy Corbyn.
For example Ian Austin with John Woodcock as a sidekick, made a typical shameless Conservative-inspired appearance. Austin made several statements that are not true and along the lines of Benjamin Netanyehu's' statements accusing Jeremy Corbyn of being in support of terrorists. He also mumbled other incoherent things concerning security and antisemitism. Ian Austin was closely associated with Gordon Brown at the tail end of the disastrous New Labour governments of Tony Blair. He had become increasingly disgruntled because he has been unable to find his feet in the newer Labour transition which has attempted to move away from the unacceptable policies of New Labour. Austin therefore become increasingly out of place and critical, to the extent, that, even while still a member of the Labour party, he became an "envoy" for the Conservative party. John Woodcock is another disgruntled MP who as accused of sexual harassment in 2018 related to social media texts to a subordinate. Naturally, the Labour party had to investigate his case and as is normal withdrew the whip. He did not like the attention and threatened to take the Labour party to court. All the party did was follow up on the accusations, just as Labour does on the constant stream of mainly fictitious accusations of antisemitism promoted by a cabal intent of smearing the image of the Labour party and Jeremy Corbyn. Most such accusations have turned out to be without foundation. In fact, in spite of the widespread publicity the number of cases constitutes less than 0.06% of the Labour party membership.
In this same week the Conservatives released a video which was designed to give the impression that Keir Starmer could not answer a question put to him by Piers Morgan. When the camera switched to record Starmer's reply the video was doctored to freeze giving the impression Starmer was at a loss for words and they superimposed the worlds "Labour has no plans for Brexit"
- see right. In fact he gave a comprehensive answer which was quite convincing.
As can be appreciated there is a good deal of lying involved in the political party-based campaigns. However, the antisemitism dirty tricks campaign, while not strictly part of a political party campaign, other than Likud in Israel, it is driven by people who consider any criticism of Israel as antisemitic. Even the elaborate so-called IHRA definition allows criticism of Israel but if anyone levels what are sometimes reasonable criticisms they are in danger of being branded antisemitic. Therefore the vector that drives this is very much in line with Netanyehu's campaign against Jeremy Corbyn as opposed to one that is observing the IHRA definitions.
Ian Austin also accused Corbyn as have many corporate media, of "siding" or "supporting" terrorists. One of the groups of "terrorists" widely referred to in the UK media is the IRA. In this case Jeremy Corbyn, as a peace advocate, was meeting these people to try an identify ways and means to stop the killing. This reflects a good degree of responsibility in an effort to curtail deaths on each side including police and UK military. There is a good deal of hypocrisy on the part of the Conservatives in still referring to this false impression because while Corbyn did this openly (he would not have done this if he was supporting these people) William Whitelaw, Conservative Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was doing the same in secret. Indeed, Corbyn pioneered these contacts which following a tortuous and difficult path ended up with the Good Friday peace agreement.
The other group referred to as "terrorists" is Hezbollah. Jeremy Corbyn met these people for the same reason to identify if there were ways to bring peace, including to Israel, in order to stop the killing. In a meeting of this sort which could be contentious, it is common practice to refer to attendeed as "collaborators" or "friends" since all concerned are seeking a way to a common goal, peace. In this meeting, Corbyn therefore referred to the assembled attendees as "friends". It is this word that is taken out of context by stating that Corbyn called Hezbollah his friends. Certainly Benjamn Netenyahu does not like Hezbollah because they were effective in defending Lebanon against Israeli aggression. Accordingly, this is another reason for Netanyehu attempting to interfere in UK politics by attacking Corbyn. The frequency of accusations against people associated with Labour activities, not all involve members, most of which turn out to be without foundation, shows that this is a dirty tricks campaign. We have provided links to a series of videos of an investigation by Aljazera into alleged interference by the Israeli government lobby in the affairs of the Labour party (see below under "Framing the opposition"). The Israeli government tried to get these videos banned and in the end OFCOM undertook an investigation only to find Aljazera had not breached any acceptable reporting standards including those of bias and impartiality. However, this dirty tricks campaign continues and in line with Netenyahu's objective targets Jeremy Corbyn. So people need to decide whether this exaggerated energy devoted to antisemitism smears is really something that is home grown or are these people acting on behalf of an alien state, Israel, and interfering directly in the political affairs of the United Kingdom.
The allegation of there being links to the Israeli embassy are based on the secret operations managed by the government of Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy (MSAPD) which now mainly target those who support Palestinians and in particular BDS through dirty tricks and media campaigns. When Jeremy Corbyn was elected head of the Labour party, as a well known supporter of the Palestinian cause, the MSAPD invested major efforts to undermine his status within Labour and UK politics by concentrating on anti-Semitic accusations. The MSAPD was created in 2006 for Avigdor Lieberman with the role of co-ordinating security, intelligence and diplomatic initiatives regarding Iran and other strategic threats, reporting to Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. The ministry was closed down three months later when Lieberman left the government. It was subsequently resurrected and reorientated to its current role by Benjamin Netanyehu in 2009. The ministry oversees foreign spy operations and in particular, illegal surveillance and subversion operations outside Israel targeting pro-Palestinian and BDS activists and others. It is currently headed by Likud official Gilad Erdan. Jeremy Corbyn, has been a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) for many years and in early 2018 the PSC was included in Israel’s so-called BDS blacklist drawn up by MSAPD and announced by Netanyehu and Erdan. The PSC is amongst 20 groups whose activists have been barred from entering Israel due to their support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Corbyn is a long-time supporter of the PSC consistent with his commitment to upholding human rights and international law by ending the Israel's violent occupation, ending the siege on Gaza, opposing settlements in the West Bank. However Corbyn does not support the BDS movement. He does not agree with such a comprehensive blanket boycot but supports targeted action aimed at illegal settlements and occupied territories in line with international law which Israel ignores. A Labour spokesperson has stated that, "Corbyn would be happy to buy Israeli goods himself"
John Bercow was recently interviewed by Alistair Campbell of Blair government dodgy dossier fame and he asked about antisemitism in the Labour party. He made a significant comment concerning what we are classifying as an antisemitism smear that the Tory leadership and its allies have been pushing against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The significance comes from the fact that Bercow is Jewish, but also because he has known Corbyn “very well” for over two decades. His job has meant he has a hand on the pulse of all parties and Members. In his reply John Bercow first stressed that “racism is a challenge across society”
. And he continued, "I myself have never experienced antisemitism from a member of the Labour Party, point one. And point two, though there is a big issue, and it has to be addressed, I do not myself believe Jeremy Corbyn is antisemitic. That is my honest view."
He also added that, "I’ve known him for the 22 years that I’ve been in parliament"
It is worth recording the fact that Noam Chomsky, academic Finkelstein, CODEPINK founder Medea Benjamin, Jewish Voice for Labour co-chair Jenny Manson, and over 100 others have signed a letter that states, "We the undersigned, all Jews, are writing in support of Chris Williamson and to register our dismay at the recent letter organised by Tom Watson, and signed by parliamentary Labour party and House of Lords members, calling for his suspension
"Chris Williamson did not say that the party had been “too apologetic about antisemitism”, as has been widely misreported. He correctly stated that the Labour party has done more than any other party to combat the scourge of antisemitism and that, therefore, its stance should be less apologetic. Such attacks on Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters aim to undermine not only the Labour party’s leadership but also all pro-Palestinian members."
"The mass media have ignored the huge support for Chris both within and beyond the Labour party. Support that includes many Jews. The party needs people like him, with the energy and determination to fight for social justice. As anti-racist Jews, we regard Chris as our ally: he stands as we do with the oppressed rather than the oppressor. It should also be noted that he has a longer record of campaigning against racism and fascism than most of his detractors.""The Chakrabarti report recommended that the party’s disciplinary procedures respect due process, favour education over expulsion and promote a culture of free speech, yet this has been abandoned in practice. We ask the Labour party to reinstate Chris Williamson and cease persecuting such members on false allegations of antisemitism."
During one of Bill Clinton's campaigns one of his strategists, James Carville, coined the phrase “The economy, stupid”
, in 1992, as one of the messages campaign workers needed to concentrate on. The other two were, predictably, “Change versus more of the same”
and, of course, "Health care.”
All of this was shaped to win him the election in a period of economic difficulties.
If one observes the outcomes of Conservative policies the result of quantiative easing has been a massive redirection of money into assets as opposed to the astronomical amount of funds fed into the economy ending up in production, consumer transactions or people's pockets. So those who have taken advantage of quantitative easing (QE) have not become preoccupied with productivity and higher wages but rather in asset holding. Why, because these guarantee future rentier income or gains from resale. In essence QE has been a promotion of a massive expansion in privately held assets. This Bank of England "policy" has done little to help the conditions of the working population.
This outcome comes on the end of a significant and hidden massive privatisation process. No, not clapped out rolling stock on the railways, leaky water supply services and health provision real estate. Not even Chancellor Osborne's sale of RBS shares worth £32 billion at £2 billion or even the sale of council houses worth aound £40 billion.The British land grab
The largest and hidden privatization has been worth the tidy sum of £400 billion
involving the transfer of public land holdings into the hands of a select group of private "asset holders". This was initiated following Margaret Thatcher's commitment to privatisation and continued under Conservative governments ever since. This has involved over 2 million hectares of land or 10% of the British land mass. Estimates of the private incomes derived from these transferred assets is somewhere in the region of $20 billion each year which is also inflation-proof, unlike people's wages.
"The great British enclosure
" is a programme on Renegade Inc to access click on the image below.
Although people do concentrate on the economy as being important, in terms of incomes and work conditions, these facts need to direct more attention to the fundamental issue of the fact that it is, "Assets, stupid"
. Although income disparity has risen over the last decade, wealth disparity, related to asset holdings, has increased by far more. This really is something Labour and other opposition parties might review since this massive transfer of state assets in the form of land has taken place under the nose of parliaments who do not appear to have been sufficienctly attentive in their scrutiny of these events. Under the terms of our legislative procedures there were complaints of the EU being responsible for "stealth legislation"
. In reality the "stealth"
part was simply the reality that our MPs let things go through on a nod. However the most significant "stealth legislation"
in terms of significant economic consequences for disparity in wealth and incomes, has not been anything to do with the EU. It has been related to the details and small print of many home grown legislative acts, made at Westminster, that included components related to land.
These facts have been published in an excellent analysis by Brett Christophers, in his recently published book, "The New Enclosure"
published by Verso. Brett Christophers is a political economist and economic geographer and a Professor at Uppsala Univerity.
One of the coordinated efforts in attacking the opposition has been the peculiar persistence of the charges of anti-semitism in the Labour party and the specific focusing of this attack on Jeremy Corbyn.
This has confused many because those with any knowledge of the Labour party know this is not a true reflection of the party. One of our readers has kindly drawn our attention to a series of investigative reports carried out by Aljazera that allege the involvement of the Israeli government in the affairs of those involved in promoting this campaign of anti-semitism against the Labour party. This is a four part series which is quite revealing and shocking and we provide the links below:
Al Jazeera Investigative Unit's series "The Lobby" can be viewed on Al Jazeera.
"Lobby" refers to the alleged Israeli government's lobby involvement in what appears to be a scandal and interference in the internal affairs of the UK politics and targeting the Labour party in particular.
These investigations resulted in a series of complaints by the groups and individuals involved. In the end OfCom undertook an investigation only to find Aljazera had not breached any acceptable reporting standards including those of bias and impartiality. The last link covers this aspect.
We feel the investigations speak for themselves and we find the content troubling because the results of the accusations of anti-semitism have tended to endure because much of the UK corporate media failed to analyse this topic adequately in order to provide the British public with a balance picture and to point out in more detail this underhand operation. Rather, they have participated in an enduring multi-year campaign of repetition of the now sickening and tiresome Labour anti-semitism mantra. This has given encouragement to the leaders and politicians of the other UK political parties to do the same. This lack of objectivity is a disappointing reflection on the character of the many politicians who participate in this gory affair and highlights the level of decadence of the levels of honesty and respect which parties should demand of their MPs. This distasteful show is an affront to the British electorate who have had to endure this concerted smear campaign that has attempted to mislead all of the people all of the time. This is shameful because it has resulted in leveling accusations at many innocent people, and Jeremy Corbyn in particular, in an unjustified and completely dishonest fashion.
In this period of a general election campaign we can expect those MPs who are losing the argument to jump to, "...if you don't vote for me you will end up with Jeremy Corbyn!"
But the one has to wonder, with the record showing that Jeremy Corbyn has never stooped so low as those who so unjustly accuse him of things he has not done, in his treatment of others, why this does not qualify him to be the preferred choice.
Those who attempt to use misrepresentation to gain our trust surely cannot be trusted to have any say over our future and our freedom.
The danger of manipulation of voters through the large social and search tech companies is real. How this manipulation operates became apparent with the fall out of the Cambridge Analytica scandal which was followed by a considerable amount of analysis of how political parties can use "advertising" to manipulate the information the electorate sees by preventing sight of certain messages and sending misleading messsages to those whose profile deems them to be susceptble to manipulation. The success of this system depends upon being able to lie and mislead by using statements that can appear them remain untraceable.
We will be keeping a tally on disinformation and misrepresenations in party election content. We invite anyone who observes any such dishonesty to email us with the details.
Those who have no scruples in using such techniques tend to be those policians who are themselves often caught outright lying, "exaggerating" and "misrepresenting" the facts in their statements and who then shrug off criticisms.
They seldom admit to being wrong but resort to sematic twists and turns and almost never apologise for misrepresenting the facts. Donald Trump and Boris Johnson have some form with this line of behaviour and have no problms if agents put out, on their behalf, media content that is highly tendentious, biased or completely misleading.
Misrepresentation has already appeared in a Conservative-placed ad which gave the impression, through tampering with a video interview, that Keir Starmer was stumped by a question. However, the original video shows that he provided a clear detailed and quite convincing answer. Although questioned about this the Conservative party rep simply stated the "interview did take place" which avoided admitting that they has tampered with the video. We have no doubt this sort of dishonesty will prevail. In this context it is notable that the government does not want to pubish a recently completed report on interference in the EU referendum and UK elections. Tech savvy experts have suggsested that the real reason is that the government does not want to raise the profile of this topic since this could attract attention of the voters to the mechanisms just described.
Donald Trump used this approach successfully in his campaign as Obama did in the elections before. There is little doubt that the Conservative party will be using agents to manage their electoral campaign along these same lines through Facebook and Google. Unfortunately the typical British "light touch regulations" on such matters are so light touch, they do not exist. We are, therefore, all in danger. Given the behaviour of the current government there is little doubt that this form of manipulation will have been underway for some time.
|To visit the publicaions section of|
The Oxford Internet Institute,
University of Oxford
Click on the image..
The risk of interference in the UK election does not come from foreign "agents" but rather from agents acting on behalf of our own political parties.
Jon Lloyd, the Head of European Campaigns at Mozilla has appealed to attract signatures to a letter addressed to Facebook and Google to ban political advertisements during the UK elections. His appeal letter states, "In just six weeks, the UK is heading to the polls for a snap election. It's become increasingly clear that the UK doesn't have the laws in place to properly oversee online political advertising right now, and that Google and Facebook don't have the policies in place to establish trust in the political ads you see on their platforms. Those issues will take time to resolve, and we don't have that time. So Mozilla, along with our friends at doteveryone, the University of Sheffield, the Open Data Institute, Demos, Tech Inquiry and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue are calling on Facebook and Google to issue an immediate moratorium on political and issue-based advertising in the UK. We're at a historic point in time. We don't want tech to "move fast and break things," we want tech to put a brake on what we're seeing online before more things — including our parliamentary democracy — is broken for good. The moratorium isn't about a permanent ban on political and issue-based ads; indeed, political ads are not inherently problematic. But the online advertising model, which depends on vast collection of data and opaque ad targeting systems, is not fit for purpose — and thus fundamentally undermines trust in political advertising.
This is a request to take temporary, emergency measures to ensure that your platforms are not complicit in exploiting electoral laws MPs themselves have described as "unfit for purpose." Will you add your name to the open letter calling on Facebook and Google to immediately stop political advertising before the election? Thanks for all that you do, signed Jon Lloyd, the Head of European Campaigns at Mozilla"
. The letter he refers to is here
Warfare through sanctions is the strategy expanded under the Donald Trump presidency as a key element of foreign policy. It replaces dialogues and diplomacy by brute force and is aimed at national constituencies in order for them to become tired of increasing economic deprivation so as to demand change or the overthrow of their government.
Sanctions policies attempt to use the public as pawns in a cynical and brutal form of bullying. There are cases of US sanctions having been applied for many years creating suffering and deaths and after the effects have become extreme the US politicians point to the economic failures of sanctioned countries as "failure in the policies of those governments". No account of the direct cause being US sanctions or assignment of any responsibility for the suffering of millions to the US policy is even contemplated; this is after all, politics.
Unfortunately, during the last nine years of Conservative governance, we have witnessed similar tactics being deployed within the United Kingdom through a series of selective sanctions, or funding restrictions, on state provisions of policing, health, education, housing and social services. The excuse was always "debt reduction" although many respected analyses demonstrated this to be unnecessary. For example, at the same time tax breaks and quantitative easing has increasingly favoured the private corporate sector as the rising inequality in wealth and incomes shows.
As can be seen this policy of undermining of state provisions has been very "successful". After nine years, the levels of discontent on the part of constituents has steadily risen and people are now demanding improvements in provisions. However, rather than see a widespread demand for more privatisation of state services, which is the preferred "solution" of the government, the outcome has been quite the reverse. The behaviour of private firms under PFI in the NHS, water, energy and train sectors have become scandals exposing the attitudes of corporations to public services as being a free-for-all public subsidy and easy money for the companies providing services. The track record indicates that privatisation secures efficiency is theoretically sound but in practice the contractual arrangements are abusive and expected efficiencies are lost; in many cases private provisions are more expensive. Understandably this has contributed to the public becoming more supportive of state ownership of vital services. The intensity of the rejection of the government's "policies" have been intensified by the nine years of falling real incomes, falling investment and increasing numbers of in-work constituents having to use food banks to secure adequate nutrition; debt levels are increasing. The connection between the purchasing power of families and government policy is more easily made and as a result the response by voters has not been to demand the "overthrow" of the state system as was expected. The BREXIT chaos, and the resulting rupture of the cohesion between the nations of the United Kingdom are a direct result of mis-management of the Conservative party of its internal divisions and its fixation on power. The externalising of their internal problems while resisting a cross-party participatory approach to continue an internal factional battle while ignoring the interests of the nations of the United Kingdom created the regrettable state we now find ourselves. It has not been a demonstration of sound decisions, common sense or effective governance.
The affront of a government imposing prejudice on the people of the country in an attempt to make them pawns in a cynical social manipulation to achieve its aims, has failed. It is not an unreasonable to conclude that the Conservatives are no longer to be trusted with the economy.
In a valedictory interview with Der Spiegel, a German magazine, Jean-Claude Juncker, the outgoing president of the European Commission, did not mince words when asked about the EU referendum held in the United Kingdom in 2016.
He said that he considered his not having become more involved was a big mistake because, "...there needed to be a voice to counter them
". The "them" he referred to were those advocating leaving the EU and concerning their campaign he stated that, "So many lies were told, including by current Prime Minister Boris Johnson..."
He also stated that he had not become involved because Cameron had advised against it and that he had informed Cameron that he would lose the referendum.
From the organization of the EU referendum to the current state of confusion over BREXIT after three years of messing around, this affair was conceptualised, launched and then crashed by the Conservative party. In essence to save the Conservative party prospects, a tiny private organization with less than 150,000 members, from internal splits, the party manipulated events to export this internal instability so as to split the country down the middle. This is a supreme example of how a tiny faction can dominate the affairs of the nation in a destructive fashion. This calls into question the efficacy of our party system and the medieval, out-dated, first-past-the-post electoral system.
It seems to be a tactic in the forthcoming election for the prime minister to keep referring to the Conservative party as the "one nation" party. But he expelled 21 of most of the "one nation" Conservative members in a overnight Soviet-style putsch. But then it was realised that this impulsive behaviour had demonstrated lack of management control and had lost the government its majority. This was a case study in incompetence and a complete absence of strategic logic. In order to attempt to re-assemble some approximation of a "one nation" party image, it was finally decided to let back in 10 of those expelled. This shuffling and somewhat shabby behaviour failed to reinstate the former chancellors Philip Hammond and Kenneth Clarke, ex-justice secretary David Gauke and second referendum campaigner Dominic Grieve. These have been forced to remain in the tattered wilderness of any remaining one nation hopes. This performance has reduced any claims to being able to don the one nation mantle to dust. It now passes for being no more than a cynical election prop to be paraded by the very party that has caused the intensification of the marked divisions in the nation. The stated positions of Northern Ireland and Scotland have been largely ignored and Wales is having to reconsider its options. The prevailing dominance of increasingly confusing policy announcements are laregly designed to act as sticking plasters to obscure the damage caused by government policies under austerity and quantitative easing.
What nation is Johnson referring to when he talks of one nation? It is becoming increasingly evident that he thinks the 150,000 members of the Conservative party somehow represent the nation. But this faction accounts for no more than 0.24% (a quarter of one percent) of the voting age population. There is something wrong with a political system that allows such a small faction to bring so much prejudice to a nation.
The origin of plans by the Conservative party to work towards a privatised National Health Service can be traced to "moderate" Conservative MPs. For example, Oliver Letwin is the author of the 1988 pamphlet "Britain's biggest enterprise: Ideas for radical reform of the NHS
" which set out such a proposal. Although he has denied that this has informed Conservative policy, several parts have already been enacted. In 2004 it is reported that he stated that under a Conservative government the NHS would cease to exist within 5 years.
The PPP projects, albeit introduced by the Blair governments and sustained under the Conservatives, transformed the NHS into an 'independent trust' - which became NHS England. The increased use of private providers were central planks of the Health and Social Care Act. The assets of the NHS under these schemes have been, or are being, transferred to the private operators.
The confusion of whether or not the NHS is on the table is essentially semantics. The value of the UK health care market is well over £200 billion and the broad intent in policy documents, of those who wish to privatise the NHS, is to use private insurance companies as the vehicle. In order to prepare the "political climate" for privatization the tactic is to ensure that the NHS becomes a "problem". The tactics used to achieve this have been explained in some detail by Noam Chomsky of MIT. The tactic is to introduce a policy that combines a long period of real de-funding
, or reduction in financial support, while setting up additional layers of highly paid management. In the UK policy of prolonged "austerity" has been applied and has achieved this result in the case of the NHS. It has also been applied to police reduction, state educational provisions and social services with an eye of helping prepare for private security firms and private educational establishments and to expand the provisions of private insurance into social care schemes. Therefore in the case of the NHS, "austerity" has created difficulties in operations while creating and maintaining a multilayered top-heavy management structure with very high executive salaries.
The result has been increasing frustration of constituents resulting in complaints and disatisfaction with the NHS performance and other pubic services. In the case of the NHS the excuse has been to promote private company participation as a means of "eliminating the problems" created by the policy to "improve efficiency". In the last push towards privatisation, the top executives, as a constituency created by government policy, can be relied upon to support the change because of the promise of increased fortunes.
We have seen this type of tactic enacted following the financial services de-regulation under Thatcher. This led to a similar move amongst building societies where some executives decided to abandon the mutual status and become rich under the transfer to bank status.
In order to understand the more intricate details of the Blairite and Conservative strategy concerning the NHS it is worth watching the Renegade Video "The UK Private Finance Initiative" where specialists in the field explain the tactics and the resulting prejudice.
To access this video click on the Renegade image.
However, Northern Rock and others failed and some were saved by the Nationwide Building Society that has maintained its mutual status and grew in strength.
So the way to privatise the NHS is to raise costs, usually through drug procurement and, indeed private suppliers, then use this as an excuse to introduce private insurance as a "top up mechanism" to maintain a "full coverage". As a result of this strategy the UK spending on health services would be likely to rise from the current 10% of GNP to the levels approaching those in the USA which spends around 20% of its GNP on a system where a large proportion of the working population cannot afford health insurance. Indeed, manypeople who do not have insurance cover ate not attended to. Politicians can put their hands on their hearts and swear that the NHS is not on the table in trade negotiations. However, in reality is is the centre-piece worth &poiund;200 billion each year.
So the NHS doesn't have to be on any table in name since the trade arrangement simply has to take advantage of the light touch UK financial regulations to push the NHS provisions and assets into the hands of the private financial and insurance companies. Large US-based insurance companies are already providing services to senior citizen facilities and services and they are an effective lobby. Naturally legislation enacted by parliament can help this process along, sometimes unwittingly supported by the opposition.
One of the most obvious examples of this tactic can be seen in the case of the police. The government has steadily reduced their numbers "because of austerity" by in excess of 20,000 while knife crime and other problems have got out of hand. The constituents have responded as expected by demanding more police. It is suspected that the plan had been to contract private security firms to do this job but the current climate would make this move a little too obvious. Therefore the government is making proposals now to train up and contract over 20,000 police to fill the gap they themselves created with intent. The banal nature of this type of policy proposal is that the government, across the board, is making promises to spend money to sort out the very problems their policies, over the last decade, have created through tactical de-funding
of education, police services, social services and, of course, the NHS.
One reason the government has veered away from a more aggressive privatisation at the present moment is that the policy of quantitative easing which has rewarded finanical services and insurance companies with cheap funds has resulted in increasing debt, falling real investment and real incomes and poverty amongst in-work constituents. Rather than creating an expanding "middle income class" the government has presided over an increasing income and wealth disparity and falling real disposable incomes. This is not fertile ground for justifying rising costs of financial services and insurance charges because the disposable income is not there. As a result, this policy failure has created a situation where any overt privatisation would radically reduce electoral prospects. However, this strategy is a long term fixation and the intent to privatise remains.
As predicted, the barrel scraping for vacuous and dishonest arguments is taking place in the initial phases of the election. Unfortunately, this was on show on the Sky network Sophy Ridge programme in an interview with Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats.
This interview did not start well because on the question of Johnson blaming parliament for preventing BREXIT happening, she seemed to forget that it was Johnson who decided to withdraw the agreement to prevent parliament scrutinising the agreement which parliament had already agreed to on the basis of a majority vote. Ken Clarke has already stated that if he had not done this the UK would have left the EU within the coming days.
But when asked why her party would not contemplate collaboration with the Labour party, Jo Swinson scaped up the unpalatable mantra of refusing to collaborate with Jeremy Corbyn because of his record not controlling anti-semitism in the Labour party. The Labour party has perhaps the lowest incidence of anti-seminist of any major political party in the UK. Most "incidents" have involved social media exchanges that have nothing to do with the party. It is also the case that or many "cases" have turned out not to involve any anti-semitism. In any case it is not advisable for a party leader to become involved in these "case" procedures. In spite of this, Corbyn remains tha target for scurrilous individuals who wish to attack him personally, a mode of behaviour which, we would like to emphasise, Jeremy Corbyn does not particpate. It is a pity other politicians have such low standards of behaviour. Politics is, of course, cut and thrust, but for politicians to repeat untrue mantras is unacceptable.
Jo Swinson then descended even further into a vacuous statement that the Labour party is proposing to negotiate a better deal but will allow the electorate to decide, without coersion, on the options, through a proposed confirmatory vote. For a person totally dedicated to stop BREXIT and, if elected, to the cancellation of Article 50, she should be content that the Labour party will not oppose the Liberal Democrats in this final decision. Unfortumately, she is so fixated on remain that she appears to have lost any recogniiton that a previous vote has shown that the balance of opinion on leaving or remaining is roughly 50:50 so the best solution on the leave side is clearly an agreement that minimises social and economic impacts. This what Labour is proposing. However, she does not appear to wish to respect this reality when the Labour party, by leaving the decision to the electorate, is demonstrating a respect for the outcome of the original EU refendum of 2016.We have been assessing the changes that have occurred during the last year that, contrary to the general drift of opinion, point to a clear pathway for Labour to win the next election. Our analysis below comes to similar conclusions via a different route to an article appearing on Bloomberg, see box below under subheading "Bloomberg", which contains a balanced analysis. We also provide a link to a podcast from FT politics in a similar vein...
The Conservative party and the Brexit party appear to have written off any chance that the Labour party could win the coming election.
Bloomberg a US business medium has posted an article on the coming UK election. This article points out several reasons why the Conservatives will face difficulties enabling Labour to win. To read more click on the link below...
Bloomberg on UK election
On the other hand many in Labour are convinced they will win.
The state of knowledge on the part of the constituents is significantly different now that it was at the time of the EU referendum in 2016 and at the time of the 2017 election. Many constituents are beginning to find their way through the confusion created by declarations by politicians and corporate media. However, an important point is that while Jeremy Corbyn had to wait for his party conference to assess the mood of its membership, the Labour party now has a well-defined position. The Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and others have not yet understood that this makes a fundamental difference. They keep repeating that the Labour party position is confusing when it is now pretty straight forward and easy to understand.
Concerning the question of leave against remaining, the term leave is ambiguous because there are options of leaving with or without a deal. So in reality there are three options. Remaining, leaving with a deal and leaving without a deal. Given that the referendum was so close it is reasonable to suppose that politicians should try and arrive at a solution that satisfies remainers and leavers while minimising the social and economic impacts of the final state of affairs. Clearly remaining incurs no economic impact other than the continuation of contributions to the EU. On the other hand leaving without a deal will have serious economic impacts. Leaving with an agreement can claw back most if not all EU contributions while minimising the economic impact. Therefore the most obvious solution which can minimise economic impacts is to leave with a deal which should be designed to protect those aspects of life which people value at the present moment.
To this day the leave campaign has continued to peddle a misleading narrative. There is no need for this. A sound leave agreement can benefit all by minimising the negative social and economic impacts on UK and European companies, employees and consumers.
Since, at the time of the referendum and last election many options were floated it is becoming evident that most leavers presumed that the UK would establish an agreement with the EU along the lines of Norway, Canada or even park in the EFTA system and then gradually sort out the agreement (probably the best idea). Labour have stated that if they are elected they will work to arrange an agreement that ensures safeguarding a range of existing "protections" so as to minimise the economic and social impacts. Once this new arrangement has been defined then the idea is to provide the constituents with a final say through a vote on whether they wish to accept the proposed trade arrangement with the EU or remain.
Conservatives and Liberal Democrats keep trying to maintain that Labour is confused because Jeremy Corbyn has stated he will not express an opinion on whether people should support the trade agreement proposal or remain. This is entirely reasonable because the country is divided between remainers and leavers. The only policy position taken by Labour is its objective to produce a socially and economically stabilising agreement as the best leave option. Therefore to reflect a consideration for the free wishes of the electorate Labour is allowing the voters to decide with no coercion from the party on which way they should vote. This is not confusion it is an admission that the understanding of the potential dangers of leaving are now better understood and therefore the current election is taking place in a very different environment. The mistake made, on the part of the Conservatives and Brexit parties, is that the question of in whose hands the economy and social order is safe has become a high profile issue. The Brexit party has no track record while the track record of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats has not been at all inspiring. Indeed the real economy has declined significantly over the last fifteen years, public services including police and health provisions have been run down. Wealth inequality has risen sharply as a result of economic policies that have benefited the very financial sector who crashed the economy in 2008. The Conservatives and Brexit like to blame Labour for the state of the economy when in reality globalization and deregulation made significant contributions to the instability and the financial sector's deficient management tipped the economy into a crisis. This was, to a large extent, a private sector and "free market" failure which under deregulation became too experimental placing the prospects of the UK population in a precarious position.
Much of the recent expression of intent by the Conservative party is in essence attempting to gain acceptance for fixing gaps in provisions they have created as a result of their policies. So they are offering solutions to problems they have helped create.
If Labour simplify their BREXIT policy position and then spend more time on the many options to reverse the decline in the UK economy, their platform could become very attractive, especially to those voters who had switched from Labour. It is not beyond the bounds of reason to expect many leavers to realise that this is the preferable less disruptive option. As in the last election Labour produced a fully-costed manifesto. It would help them if this was extended into a short trade options analyses comparing likely economic impacts of preferable options so people can obtain a better feel for the types of "protections" they wish to preserve.
On Alan Bolton's "Politics Today" on Sky today, Ken Clarke explained quite clearly that Boris Johnson, and the apparatchiks that surround him, are the one's who have stopped "Getting Brexit done!" by preventing the normal parliamentary scrutiny of the withdrawal agreement that parliament had already accepted. It is therefore paradoxical that Boris Johnson will be proclaiming loudly that it is parliament that has delayed BREXIT. Clarke also made the point that these people want to reduce the role of parliament in British democracy. It is therefore a paradox that Johnson wished to go for an election but then many feel this is in order to augment the numbers who will become government clerics to cut down on parliamentary functions. This is more likely to happen now that the Conservative party threw out the more balanced members or one nation politicians, such as Ken Clarke, in a Soviet style putsch. One has to wonder, what type of people are being attracted to become candidates for the Conservative party. The position of Johnson appears to be the demagogic one of setting the people against parliament. History shows that people who head for this type of politics can be "successful
" in rising to prominence and maintaining power through propaganda; this election needs to be monitored with care and attention.
One of the forces that has helped salvage the reputation of the House of Commons has been the actions of John Bercow. He was elected as Speaker of the House in 2009.
He has persistently promoted the rights of back benchers to be able to speak. This helped balance up the debate on the results of the EU referendum, bringing home the fact that the result was not a run away for the leavers but a closely run thing. We have reviewed elsewhere the true outcome of this referendum. There have been unfair accusations leveled against Bercow of bias. But if bias is equated with the act of ensuring a representative and participatory parliament, such criticism is without merit.
Representatives must address the complexities presented to them by opposing constituency views rather than hiding them.
Ken Clarke in his exchanges with Adam Bolton, praised Bercow's championing of back benchers. It is worth watching the session in parliament that took place on the 31st October when MPs, across the House, spent some time thanking John Bercow for his services giving details of his immense contributions to the promotion of transparency and fairness in proceedings.
With the decision of the UK to head for another general election, and with the current state of BREXIT, we will follow the campaigns but by starting with a clean slate in so that our analysis will be applied to party statements, policy proposals and their justifications rather than the constant raking over of past statements and positions. However, we need to explain why we will apply this approach.The propaganda machine based on misinformation - fake news
We face a stark choice between a command and control approach that will reduce parliamentary democracy in the name of national freedom and sovereignty against the opposite extreme of participatory democracy within which all interests are accommodated. The Conservatives and the Brexit parties are participatory minimalists using tiny power groups and apparatchiks to support a single individual who aims to take decisions "on behalf of the nation
" and, of course, always "in the nation's interest
". We have seen this before under Thatcher and Blair regimes. On the other hand Labour are participatory maximisers. This is why the Conservative party has less than 140,000 members and the Labour party has close to 500,000. This is why the Conservative party is all about Boris Johnson and why the standing of Jeremy Corbyn is of less real significance within the Labour Party because most decisions are taken through a gradual, sometimes frustrating process through membership participation. Corbyn takes up party positions once they are decided as opposed to snap decisions made by apparatchiks. This slower process has been the reason the propaganda merchants accuse Corbyn of dithering when in reality what he has been doing is weighing up the balance of opinions so as to take decisions in the interests of all. There is here a definite choice for the people of Britain.
Goebbels, Adolph Hitler's propaganda apparatchik operated on the basis of giving widespread publicity to lies simply because if repeated enough times through rallys and media content, such lies end up being believed. The destructive aspect is that the public begin to repeat the lies as part of their own communications in spite of the fact they can not point to evidence to support such assertions. They are repeated by journalists, television programmes and pepper the content of social media. Unfortunately, this dangerous form of propaganda is alive and well in this country in corporate media and party declarations. Propaganda concerning the "opposition" has been pouring out of the Conservative machine for some time. However, we do not agree with the approach of some corporate media in the UK to magnify what has become a dishonest campaign founded on distortions of facts and assertions. For example many have run a persistent campaign directed against Jeremy Corbyn starting when he became leader of the Labour party. This hatchet job consists of most of their statements taking past events out of context and never admitting that, in general, Jeremy Corbyn's fundamental approach has been vindicated by events. We don't say this with any interest in supporting the Labour party but simply from the standpoint of the fair treatment the media should afford our representatives. We would add that the hysteria around anti-semitism in the Labour party has been intentionally aimed directly at Jeremy Corbyn in person by some who left the party as well as MPs from other parties in a scurrilous fashion. There is no evidence of Jeremy Corbyn having anything to do with intentional anti-semitism of any kind. It is even more disturbing that many UK media and some MPs have aligned themselves with Benjamin Netanyehu's campaign against Jeremy Corbyn, again based on false statements. Netanyehu does not like Corbyn because Corbyn has opposed Netanyehu's constant breaking of international law by presiding over an increasingly Apartheid State which has been using settlements to undermine the two state solution and increasingly marginalising the Palestinians. It is shocking that there are many MPs who consider any criticism of this terrible injustice to be equivalent to anti-semitism. This is clearly a gross distortion of any definition of anti-semitism. Fortunately there are enough people of the Jewish faith in the Labour party who know all of these slurs targeting Jeremy Corbyn are not true. No sane person is not shocked by the events of the holocaust but unfortunately, today, one of the techniques of marginalising and censoring anyone is to accuse them of anti-semitism. No matter if the accusation is true or false the slur has in the past tended to stick. But today this term has lost its significance like a devalued currency simply because of its wholesale abuse by those using it as a tool for political manipulation. This of course has always been the intent of Netanyehu.
Given the size of the Labour party the number of anti-semitism cases in terms of its incidence within the membership is insignificant; it is greatly exaggerated for political reasons. This does not detract from the fact that in some specific cases people have become upset, often involving people who are not in fact members of the Labour party; a fact associated with the high profile given to random social media content. Labour have not made enough of the fact that most accusations have been without foundation. The whole affair has been distasteful for the party and efforts have been made not to give a high profile to this affair because of a desire to protect the Jewish community. The motivation for this is that because this issue has been exaggerated to such an extent by certain interests and media that this continuing interference runs the risk of becoming characterised as a 5th column action interfering with the UK's democratic processes on behalf of a foreign state. This would be highly destructive of the Jewish community. Many people have short memories with respect to Netanyehu's position on this issue. He, in fact, has no interest in protecting the community in the United Kingdom, his approach is that if they destroy their own image and undermine their own standing in the UK they can migrate to Israel and bolster the constituency of the Likud party in Israel.
In spite of this unacceptable development we expect, unfortunately, that during this election campaign the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats will punctuate their declarations with why Jeremy Corbyn should not be prime minister by, of course, referring to unjustified references to anti-semitism while the Conservatives will continue with their throw away remarks reflecting an ignorance concerning Marxism and socialism and misrepresenting past encounters with Hezbollah and the IRA which were held as part of a process that had the objective of securing peace. These distorted presentation props will, of course, be amplified by the corporate media in headlines to attempt to downgrade the image of Jeremy Corbyn.
However, it would be better if media concerned themselves with reporting the full facts around issues by attempting to err on the side of truth but rejecting such fake news. Unfortunately many corporate media and politicians appear to be hoping to gain popularity by misrepresenting others in an irresponsible fashion. This irresponsible assertive mode, often perceived to be "impressive" or "decisive", is often couched in misrepresentations, in lies, and this unfortunately is often confused with charisma. But under the contentious state of affairs, generated by shabby reporting and irresponsible politicians this country needs people who aim to offer clarity and logic of their propositions based on evidence in order to have any hope in improving the state of affairs of this country. Therefore we should make an effort to listen to what the main political parties have to offer the people of Britain as ways to end and reverse the increasing poverty, the declines in real incomes, the concentrating wealth in the hands of a few and the continued enrichment of the financial sector through quantitative easing. Of late the Conservatives have been voicing their distain for "socialism" since they equate this with give-aways to those who do not want to work. However, quantitative easing represents one of the biggest give-aways by the UK government ever to the very entities whose poor judgement, and in several cases fraudulent dealings, that caused the 2008 crash. Socialism for the rich is just fine but the result has been a failing British economy and it is in addressing this issue that should be a priority for the people of Britain. In reality getting to grips with this is more important that "getting BREXIT done!"
The economic plight of those in the north so-called "working class" that was the result of the run down of manufacturing and several industries that accelerated following the Thatcher governments and the financial crisis of 2008 can be linked to "deregulation" and "globalisation". These facts show that the plight of those who have suffered economically became a significant aspect of their motivation to leave the EU because the leave campaign sought to blame the EU for all the UK's ills. The failures in industrial and manufacturing sectors were a direct result of the inability of governments to introduce economic policies to guide the economy towards a less damaging outcome as a result of lack of planning and an over-emphasis on the "free market" and encouraging "globalisation". Much of this agenda has been driven by the financial sector and shareholder value-based decision-making. In other words our ills that have been blamed on Europe are the direct result of inappropriate policies enacted by our own governments.
To paraphrase Ken Clarke in his exchange with Adam Bolton, we have grown effectively and achieved a high standard of living as a result of being members of the world's highest value free trade organization, the EU, and now we are abandoning this benefit. As Ken Clarke pointed out, no one made the effort to argue the case for Europe and in particular the benefits of membership. We would add that given that leaving will impact the economy negatively, we need to examine what each party has to say with respect to the policy-induced yawning income and wealth disparities and those circumstances facing a large proportion of the population which have been exacerbated by globalisation and quantitative easing.
The position that reflects a lack of intellect and ignorance is that which says. ".... what is happening is inevitable, it is the impact of technology, free market opportunities, economic theory and is the result of their being no alternative!"
But to what extent is there being no alternative the result of ignorance or people believing in their own propaganda that prevents them from even contemplating other options? As observed by Mashall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore in their "“The Medium is the Massage
”, "… there is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening."
. This election should not be just about BREXIT because the result is so important to a rational future for this country and, therefore, we hope that, in some small way, we can help contribute to pointing out what is happening.
A common underlying cause of the spreading popular uprisings affecting countries throughout the world is a rise in policy-induced income disparity. This is as true in countries with high per capita GNPs as in middle and low income countries. Today, the levels of wealth and income inequality in developed nations exceeds that in lower income countries.
During the last decade those who previously were content with their income status have become increasingly concerned with the fall in purchasing power of their income which has been caused by rising prices and nominal incomes remaining stable. In some countries this has led to violence and reactions by governments to the deaths of many people.
Unfortunately, our politicians point to such statistics as low unemployment levels and growth figures expressed in nominal currency as signs of a successful economy. However, communities are well aware that the real purchasing power of those employed is declining and nominal growth is canceled out by inflation. Government statistics on inflation underestimate the true figure. The levels of debt which gave rise to the 2008 crisis have now been surpassed leading to a more precarious state of affairs.
The cause of this unacceptable situation has been the threadbare impracticality of the macroeconomic "solution" in the form of quantitative easing (QE) which has flushed extraordinary quantities of money (debt) into the economy. This was introduced to permit banks to consolidate their "balance sheets". However, the banks took direct advantage of this policy to use low interest "cheap money" to buy assets directly to benefit their own shareholders leading to a very large asset bubble. This has included real estate, commodity and precious metal market manipulation and speculation.
It has also involved banks assisting corporations to buy back their shares. As a result house prices have grown beyond the means of middle and lower income families in the Unite Kingdom and the stock market is booming while productivity and real incomes have flat lined or even decreased. On the other hand higher income and executive salaries have boomed contributing, overall, to a widening concentrations of wealth and income.
It is more than evident that the people of this country need to call into question the constitutional nature of this emerging crisis because the tendentious negative movement in income distribution is policy-induced. It is part and parcel of government policy. This cannot be allowed to continue in this way just as the climate crisis and failures to address the environmental and ecosystem destruction need to be addressed. It is notable that the Report on Global Sustainable Development published in September noted that when the economy "does well" the indicators for climate stability or improvement "do badly", indeed they go into reverse. Worldwide we also now see that when politicians insist the economy is "successful" an increasing proportion of the population is "marginalised". We have now witnessed this trend in the UK during the last decade.
Our factional party-based governance is poorly equipped to guarantee a sustainable economy and environment for future generations.
The unavoidable conclusion is that macroeconomic management theory and practice is seriously flawed. The global destabilising factor is inappropriate policies. The general macroeconomic management model applied almost worldwide, largely based on increasing financialisation and debt, is failing to help countries prevent falling wealth and income disparity and rather contributes to these. There is a need for macroeconomic policies to encourage more investment in activities that can generate higher real adequate income levels and distribution on a sustained basis. The mistake made in policy-making has been that economists and politicians seldom concentrate on the question of policy traction. Any policy traction requires time to gain momentum but with election cycles involving 5 year operational windows which represent a to 2 to 3 operational years, or extremely short time horizons, then this almost guarantees a failure to secure continuity. Paradoxically the government did impose s policy continuity in the form of its austerity measures which only reduced the contribution of the public sector and salaries. In the case of something like 20,000 police being removed from the force, the government is now promising to fund recruitment to build up numbers again while we suffer under a knife crime crisis. All of this manipulation and disturbance of essential public services is linked to the so-called Aggregate Demand Model of the economy used by Keynesians, Monetarists and Supply Side economists who consider "demand" to be the governor of the economy. However, some 200 years ago, the French economist, Jean Baptiste Say, made the point that production creates its own consumption. His logic contains an essential message that unless people are employed in activities that generate sufficient real income they will lack the purchasing power to sustain what they consider to be an acceptable pattern of existence by being unable to purchase their needs. In terms of conventional macroeconomic policy his message is that without adequate incomes, demand will be depressed. It is this pincer movement created by government policy which has caused QE to fail. Cutting down on public services and stagnating public service salaries while productivity declines and increasing numbers slide into lower real income occupations has pushed the economy into a state of depression. Therefore, today in Britain, an increasing proportion of our population is not earning adequate real incomes and as a result the real economy is contracting and policies, such as they are, have no traction.
One knee-jerk reaction, used as a ruse to gather votes in an election, is to promise a rise in the minimum wages. But such a move is fundamentally flawed because there has not been sufficient investment and productivity gains to justify such rises. As a result, the "easy way out" is for businesses to adjust allocations which can include reducing hours or even laying off labour. As a result the downward drift in real incomes will simply continue.
The bizarre supply side solution is to lower marginal corporate tax rates and the tax rates for the higher paid supporting the naive notion that this will release more money for investment leading to higher productivity and an ability to pay higher wages. In practice, when attempted, this has had short lived impacts with the overall drift back towards an increasing disparity of incomes with corporate ownership benefiting and labour forces enduring a slow decline in real incomes.
The track record of our current macroeconomic policies is that the objectives and the policy instruments used, when applied across the economy result in winners, losers and those who apparently remain in a neutral policy-impact state. The problem is that the winners are a small select group who influence policy through their command over political party funding and media coverage and who continue to benefit handsomely. In the meantime, the numbers of losers is increasing with those so far unaffected, running the risk of becoming losers as their remaining means of sustaining their "standard of living" is increasing debt.
In reviewing the costs and benefits of the European Union, those with a direct experience in dealing with the results of European regulations and law do not all want to leave the EU, although some do. The range of reasons are very large and many have not even been discussed in the media or between our factional political parties. David Cameron's panic to remain in power and to defend the integrity of the Conservative party by attempting to out-Farage, Nigel Farage or UKIP, only resulted in a precipitous decision to run a referendum on the simplistic options of remaining as members or leaving the European Union. The larger questions of the balance of costs and benefits of remaining within the EU were not adequately aired because of the limited capabilities or means of communication of the British political parties, and so the discussion boiled down to sovereignty, costs of being members and immigration. The more pressing and immediate questions concerning the government's presiding over a failing real economy under quantitative easing with some 35% of the electorate facing a declining real income, with many in work resorting to food banks, went by the wayside. These imperative issues have remained largely muffled during the last 3 years while conditions have steadily worsened.
The depressing ongoing menu served up by our political parties supporting the illegal war in Iraq under Blair and the subsequent support for regime changes in Libya and Syria and, even now supporting the horrendous slaughter carried out by a so-called "ally" Saudi Arabia in the Yemen, as being the cause for a major and continuing influx of migrants into Europe, are all sidelined. The guilty parties, our factional political parties and the governments derived from them, do not want to be held accountable for the disasters the voters have reaped from their irresponsible policies. The recent track record of UK governments since Blair's New Labour through Cameron's Great Society are case studies in "stage management" of promises to be abandoned and all with disastrous outcomes; the inevitable results of decisions undertaken by vacuous mind sets.
So, on account of explaining the instability and febrile nature of dialogues at the time of the referendum all "blame" was and continues to be aimed at the EU. Yes the EU has supported the insane military ventures with NATO and he European central Bank has continued to impose quantitative easing in the Eurozone (of which we are not members) but the campaigns around the referendum were misdirected. As a result the British public remained largely ill-informed as to the real cause of the problems facing this country.
At the time of the referendum many existing trading arrangements were in the offing as good examples of workable options open to the UK. Therefore, for many who wished to leave, their understanding was that this would involve transferring to a trading arrangement similar, for example, to the Canadian or Norwegian models as final deals. On the other hand, others suggested parking the UK in EFTA and then negotiating from that position for some final deal. Either way these transitions would incur relatively minor economic impacts.
The demagogic pronouncements of government ministers and Nigel Farage, who is linked to the so-called BREXIT party, is that those looking for a deal, or those wishing to remain, are accusing the voters, who voted to leave, to have been stupid. The retort is often "Yes we did know what we voted for, it was to leave!". What is missing from this type of exchange is the obvious misdirection of who should be considered to be stupid. Stupidity lies squarely with the factional political parties for doing an effective but damaging job in not informing the electorate of all of the "leave" options and then with the government appearing to change the meaning of leaving to being that of leaving without a deal. This is claimed to be the only way "to respect the result of the referendum." However, as a result of the binary referendum questions, those pursuing such a course of action are being dishonest because they have absolutely no idea, from the referendum result, of the proportions who voted to leave with a deal and those who voted to leave without a deal.
Leaving with a deal is clearly preferable to leaving without which will have severe economic consequences. This is because, in addition to the calculated impacts, the recent embarrassing spike in government debt shows a trend that will undermine the government's spending proposals in the Queen's speech, not having a Budget now is in fact very convenient to any accusations of policy failure. The government support for quantitative easing has continued its incessant progress in increasing real income disparity in the UK and the rises and the international market instability created by the USA's current preference of war-by-sanctions will combine to worsen the UK's economic circumstances.
This strange twist in view of all, is the current battle. This is why the government, which created much of this chaos, now faces having to come to terms with the emerging reality that the electorate is beginning to understand what is going on, any apparent stupidity or ignorance is slowly being dispelled and this, in spite of the continuing mantra of the need to "Get BREXIT done!", continues to be accompanied by puerile bluster and intentional displacement activities that have typified this phase of the government's operations.
It has not escaped anyone that much of the creation of BREXIT and much of the delay in coming to a reasonable resolution is more related to internal political party issues than to the constituent priorities. Our political parties are tiny private factions. With a voting age population in the United Kingdom of 51 million our affairs are being controlled by a Conservative party with a membership of around 150,000, a Labour party with around 485,000, the SNP with a membership of around 125,000 and a Liberal Democrat party with a membership of around 115,000. The table below shows these party memberships as a percentage of the voting age population, the British constituency.
|Party membership as % of total UK constituency|
The voting system, of course, is controlled by the interests of these tiny private factions as opposed to a system that allows freedom for individual expression of voters to be translated into a responsive representative assembly. The concept of freedom and independence of views is alien to this electoral and governance structure. To become a candidate in an election it is necessary to represent a "party". As a result factions rule. This is unacceptable.
One of the main "justifications" for political parties is that they "set agendas" but most simply filch ideas and proposals from other parties that seem to have public appeal and re-label them as their own. Being so tiny, memberships do not have the intellectual critical mass to analyse and propose solutions to needs that are workable. For example, of late many have complained that the government has not produced a costing and benefits analysis of the scenarios that are likely to exist as a result of the current BREXIT proposal. This, of course, reflects badly on the government party. However, the opposition parties have not come up with their own assessments which is also a bad reflection on the levels of joint competence sustained by this party system that represents, as stated, tiny factions. As a result the government and opposition leave the British public in an uninformed state.
In this light, the attempt by the prime minister to ram through his proposals without scrutiny is irresponsible and cynical. So what is the underlying motivation?
The membership of trades unions in the UK is some 6.3 million people or 12.35% of the voting age population of the UK. In terms of representation they far more significant than any single UK political party.
Trade union members support different political parties while the Labour party has the greatest number of trades union organisations affiliated to it.
Given that the parties themselves have limited analytical capabilities the question arises as to who is influencing political parties to generate their motivation to move in the directions they have chosen. In the case of the Labour party, which is closely affiliated with the trades unions, there is a reasonable degree of transparency because the trades unions do some of the heavy lifting with respect to economic analysis of consequences of alternative policies. Foe example, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has an active research, analysis and publications programme on policies. However, in the case of all the other parties the lobbies that have influence through their funding of party activities and support of corporate media, there is a good deal less transparency. It is therefore important to understand that a party that advocates "leaving without a deal" is proposing a course of action that is to the benefit of its financial backers. The lack of transparency on these questions is a serious drawback to the UK political system since we have tiny factional parties controlling the national agenda on behalf of other tiny factions (in terms of number of constituents) who possess sufficient economic/financial power to sway the political faction (party) to attempt to impose their preferences on the whole UK constituency. So small factions, many of which are business interests or groups funded by groups they support such as "independent" consultancies, think tanks and corporate media, which under the UK system do not have the vote
, use the political parties to impose those solutions, of advantage to them, on the majority. Indeed, most constituents are unaware of these machinations.
This clearly would be completely unconstitutional in a participatory political system that upholds the imperative of full transparency. But, as we can see, in spite of High Court rulings, we rely on a system which is not transparent and therefore, from the standpoint of the people of this country, perilously unconstitutional and unrepresentative. The Catch-22 is that, within our twisted system, such matters can often be considered to be a "political matter" as opposed to "constitutional issues" subject to law. In this way no good can come from this party system since this is the way these factions can maintain their degrees of freedom to abuse their power.
In the meantime the people of this country continue to endure this outrage without the constitutional means to rebel against it.
All political parties are failing to shape social and economic policies that respond to the gaps and needs facing the British constituency. This is a peculiar state of affairs, given that most of the ills facing the people of this country are a direct result of policy-induced mistakes.
The declining performance of the economy is a reason why many people are becoming concerned with the cost of living and experiencing a level of uncertainty not seen since the days of stagflation in the 1970s and 1980s. The policy of quantitative easing (QE) introduced following the financial crisis in 2008 has proven to be a failure. This was introduced in spite of the Bank of Japan having tried this since 1999 and concluding fairly early on in its operation that was ineffective and continues to this day to be ineffective. On the other hand it was found to bolster the income and wealth of Japanese bank executives and shareholders. With this precedent established by the third largest economy in the world it is necessary to ask why was that the UK government followed the "advice" of banking lobbies and their representatives in the form of "independent" central banks (who non-the-less are run by the same lobby) to introduce QE in the United Kingdom as a "solution". Clearly it was to benefit bank shareholders. Mervyn King, while coming to the end of his term as Governor of the Bank of England, observed that QE "seemed" to be benefiting the UK banks rather than the rest of the UK economy.
This grandiose experimentation with the economic wellbeing of the people of Britain has continued for almost a decade benefiting the banks. No political party has focused attention on this enduring outrage to the level of significance it deserves to demand the needed change in economic policy. The UK governments since 2008 have never justified this careless experimentation with the lives of UK constituents. One reason is that our political parties, being such tiny private factions, completely lack the intellectual critical mass to have any likelihood of coming up with alternative economic policy options to establish more practical and beneficial policies. The over-bearing power of the banking lobby and corporate press continue to voice support for the current basis for macroeconomic management because it benefits their "bottom line" while marginalising an increasing proportion of the UK constituency.
When politicians in power maintain a state of affairs that sustains a strong bias in factor of the economic and financial interests of those who run a specific economic sector and the people employed in that sector, cannot claim to be unifying or a to be acting in "the interests of the nation." One of the key phrases deployed by apologists for this outrage is that it is important to generate "prosperity" in order to pay for public services and, of course, police and the National Health Service. The other common statement is that the exorbitantly paid executives, company owners and the financial sector needs to be handled with kid gloves because "they are the job creators" when the evidence with globalisation and modes of corporate operational strategies have resulted in a lack of investment and declining real incomes of those employed.
This type of waffle is sustained by the corporate press in what is no more than a propaganda campaign to convince the public that this stripping away of wellbeing of the constituency is in their interests because there is no alternative. As long as our political parties continue to ignore this stark reality they undermine any justification for their existence.
One of the notable statements by Jeremy Corbyn concerning the Queen's Speech was his reference to constituents who are not registered to vote and the need to allow registration without imposing conditions that would make this difficult.
The process of emancipation is the removal of constraints on people through the provision of social, economic and political participation on a basis of equality. Karl Marx referred to political emancipation the essay, "On the Jewish Question"
(1884) considering this to be an equal status of individual citizens in relation to the state, equality before the law, regardless of religion, property, or other private characteristics of individual people.
The only approach to economics that involves a consideration of the democratic structures necessary for participatory forms of public choice is constitutional economics. However, James Buchanan, the pioneer of constitutional economics pointed out that those controlling the process of participatory formulations of public choice involve mainly those who work through political parties who have distinct interests. This complicates the process because political parties are tiny private organizations with memberships, each less that 1% of the voting age population. British political parties are therefore small factions. However, the first-past-the-post electoral system enables these unrepresentative segments to lever themselves into a position of gaining control of the national decision-making process and the management of the economy. Because the electoral process only allows members of "parties" to stand in elections the only options made available come from these small factions. Dog whistle politics, that is voicing support for a long list of minority group interests is the way these factions gather voter support. What is often not noticed is that, as a result, party manifestos usually contain mutually contradictory policy proposals. The outcome is that the large number of dog whistle topics results in parties exaggerating their ability to deliver on these in government. As a result increasing numbers feel that their vote does not count. The voting age population is around 51 million and something like 15-17 million people do not bother to vote. Another 2-3 million voting age constituents are not registered to vote. There are, therefore, two issues here.
From scene in "Brazil" by Terry Gilliam et al."
That of building a public choice environment where people actually want to be involved and vote, on the one hand, and facilitating and encouraging others to register to vote, on the other.
Indeed, the visceral nature of party politics is often a demonstration of an attempt to sell notions of freedom and justice while attempting to marginalise those who are unlikely to vote for them. Extreme marginalisation does not always result in a proactive attempt to achieve this result but the drift in economic policies in the United Kingdom under Quantitative Easing (QE) has seen the marginalisation of a significant proportion of the population. In essence the last decade has witnessed something like 35% of the population undergoing economic deprivation and only sustaining their "standard of living"
by resorting to debt and in more extreme cases to the use of food banks. David Cameron's notions of a "Big Society" would have some merit if real incomes had risen and income equality improved. However, these warm humanitarian notions were destroyed by the reality of economic policies which have specifically favoured the finance, real estate and insurance sectors raising the profile of the so-called "1%". At the extreme we have seen international humanitarian interventions that were no more than grotesque military ventures causing widespread destruction and the deaths of innocent people. Within the paneled walls of Westminster such "collateral damage"
is a natural cost of war. On the domestic and foreign affairs fronts we therefore have a widespread collateral damage which has been allowed to happen because of the ineffectiveness of our political system and the political parties who dominate it, to serve the people in a way that reflects some notions of an emancipated nation.
Frustration is the mood of the moment where most in the Westminster bubble accuse others of tying them down. But this continuing saga approximates the image of Lilliput as the opening of parliament proceeded with pomp and ceremony on behalf of a government that commands no majority. The justification for a government gaining its role as the government is based on the size of their majority in parliament. Such pomp and ceremony, for a government with no effective mandate to announce it's manifesto content is an affront to the electorate.
In democratic and logical terms this makes no sense but is justified on the basis of a general distrust of the opposition of the intent of the government to attempt a no deal exit from the EU. There have been some absurd displacement arguments that see the UK government in contention with the EU. But this contention has arisen from the government agreeing to establish the procedural arrangements of withdrawal before establishing the nature of the trading agreement. So 3 years have passed without anyone knowing where the UK is going. This is a demonstration of an extremely amateur, seat-of-pants partisan irresponsibility. The constituencies have been ignored and the government has not produced sector level decision analysis briefs on the costs and benefits including employment impacts of different trade agreements. Frankly, the same can be said of the European Commission where a lack of alternative scenarios is missing from the discussion as a result of the fixation of the European Commission with maintaining its grip on managing legislative proposals as well as maintaining the application of current rules and regulations of the EU.
It is not clear what the working relationship between the government and civil service is but it is more than apparent that there has been an ineffective use made of the considerable analytical resources available to the government to be tasked with providing the people of this country with a clear picture of trading options.
|EU REFERENDUM RESULTS|
|Not voting||Voting to leave||Voting to remain|
|Source: Electoral Commission|
Finally, this wading through the Westminster swamp of indecision and confusion it the result of people misreading the EU referendum results. Over 17,800,000 people did not vote and around 17,400,,000 voted to leave, most assuming a trade deal would be made. The remaining 16.100,000 voted to remain. This is not as decisive as the contending sides claim and arising from that there has been a lack of objectivity in pursuing a more participatory approach with other parties but this was resisted by the government, most of the time. The first-past-the post election system, another Lilliputian characteristic of British politics created a May government that resorted to paying off the DUP in order to survive. Cash diplomacy is almost always destructive and seldom reflects the view of the people. The party system has done a good job in highlighting its inherent weaknesses in being able to represent the people of this country.
In conclusion, the result has been a demonstration of how the party system and first past the post end up tying the people down.
It has not escaped the electorate that all political parties have lately ramped up their policy commitments and other promises of actions to turn our future into a sort of never-before-seen paradise of endless opportunities for aspirational people. On the other hand the corporate media and some politicians assert that the "people are fed up and want BREXIT done!", so this needs to be sorted out before comparing political party agendas for our future.
But we face an absurd state of affairs where the European Commission's insistence and the May government's acceptance of agreeing the withdrawal terms before establishing the nature of the trading relationship has served to complicate just about everything. Usually, by identifying a mutually desirable trading arrangement first, it is then easier to agreed on terms of separation because each side has a clearer appreciation of the future mutual costs and benefits and cash flows.
As a result, the voting public in the UK and in the EU remain confused as this extraordinary level of administrative incompetence being paraded in front of them by the Commission and the UK government. A major mistake has been for the Council of Europe to permit the Commission to handle negotiations. This is a natural default position by EU member states since all EU legislation is initiated by the Commission. Because of this the Commission has become a command-and-control setup. However, in the case of BREXIT the interests of different member states vary considerably between those whose nationals benefit from direct employment in the UK to those whose manufacturing, agricultural and service companies in both the UK and EU member states are involved in mutually beneficial transactions. The specific quantitative economic trade-offs for the different combinations of these classes of interest in a future trading relationship signifies that they should all be involved in contributing to the information flow to guide negotiations. Unfortunately, the UK government has not shown any practical inclination towards this short of rational participatory review and the Commission has naturally resisted this so as not to diminish its status and the initiator and guardian of the implementation of EU laws and regulations, backed up by the European Court.
On balance the smaller EU member states from northern Baltic region and central and southern region support the Commission's approach because on balance they benefit economically from the EU budget. However, many other countries enjoy significant benefits from trade with the UK and therefore the final trading arrangement with the UK is of importance to them. What has been lacking in this whole process has been the early commissioning of an independent study on the trade-offs, for all concerned, associated with the several existing trade arrangement options. We have, after all, had 3 years within which such an effort could have been undertaken with ease and yet no political party or the government has attempted to undertake this essential baseline review upon which to base their decision analysis. In order to negotiate effectively such a study should not be based on British interests alone but, in the spirit of the much vaunted mutual advantaged of free trade, should have involve inputs from interested parties in Europe. This is what the European Commission has resisted in the name of "solidarity and unanimity". On the other hand, the only means of demonstrating effective leadership on this specific issue the British government and the political parties need to terminate their self-centred, introvert, slightly absurd spasms of self-congratulatory enthusiasm and amateur dramatics that maintain an image of incompetence and muddling through. If such a responsible step was taken there would be a need for an extension and a pan-European workshop to establish the foundation of a trading relationship that takes into account the interests of communities, economic sectors across the EU and UK. This could take time but it could move use away from the current levels of uncertainty that affect communities, business and investment. A more open consideration can, through the transparent exposure of options, dismiss the unknown and the slightly absurd levels of secrecy that have dogged government dealings. We are, after all, aiming for mutual benefit and this can never be identified on the basis of mutual distrust.
Having committed our country to some 45 years of integration with the EU, the Conservative government needs to slow down and re-order the sequence of analysis to first of all identify a trading strategy that is clearly one that represents the mutual interests of our main trading partners in Europe as well as those with whom we share communities, work in the UK and the EU. Once this is established, the identification of a mutually agreeable mechanism for leaving would be greatly facilitated. A logical conclusion of intelligent decision analysis should be a trading arrangement that is almost seamless in achieving an independent sovereign status for the country over political decisions and legislation. The minimisation of impacts in the transition from EU membership to independence resulting from a sound trading arrangement would go a long way towards satisfying a large proportion of remainers as well as most leavers.
The minority government of the Conservatives who constantly stress that they are a "one nation party", need to demonstrate their commitment to this principle by taking steps to unify the country. This same government and party claim to be "pro-business" but the current track record demonstrates a particular propensity for actions that could damage the real economy and boost the prospects of a range of financial intermediaries and banks who are Conservative party supporters who are in a position to "speculate" with little risk on the condition of the pound. Leaving without a deal could mean an overnight gain of £ multi-billions to this group. Quantitative easing (QE) has been feeding banks for a decade with cheap money and they have used this to channel funds into assets such as real estate and helping large corporations buy back shared to boost executive bonuses. This has contributed to an exacerbation in the disparity of incomes, the numbers unable to purchase homes and real wages in the UK. The fact that more people are employed now is a direct function of a larger population now and the state of employment for the lower 35th percentile is precarious as foodbanks grow in number to support people in work. In spite of Melvyn King, the ex-Governor of the Bank of England, stating that QE had benefited the banks disproportionately, the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition and subsequent Conservative governments have done nothing to stem this flow of funds from the real economy to the benefit of shareholders in financial, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sectors. Cut backs of public services and the erosion in worker incomes has continued as a direct result of a selective macroeconomic policy of the British government. The rabble-rousing nature of the EU referendum campaign was able to divert attention from this fact and managed to assign the blame of our self-imposed economic woes, to the European Union. This never did have any foundation. It is true that The European Central Bank has pursued an aggressive and dangerous form of QE in the Eurozone but the UK is not part of that system. The current precarious state of affairs can only benefit those who caused the 2008 financial crisis and who have been handsomely rewarded ever since. The problem with all of this is that much of the antagonism and frustration has nothing to do with the EU but at its root are the difficulties many constituents face as a result of increasingly uncertain conditions that have arisen from incompetent macroeconomic policies pursued by the governments during the last decade. It is not an exaggeration to consider UK governance during the last decade has undermined the past UK trend towards a classless society more at ease with itself and has succeeded in substituting this beneficial trend by contributing to the conditions that have imposed growing income differentials and a re-emergence of the class divisions of the past. Getting BREXIT done to clear the decks for a fantastic future, for some, on the current basis is an abandonment of the wellbeing of the UK constituency.Footnote: According to experienced information technology practitioners the lack of action on the borderless option using advanced IT is inexplicable. Three years would have been ample time implement and test low cost prototypes to demonstrate functionality by involving producers, veterinary personnel, logistics companies, customs authorities and the public. But nothing of this sort was even attempted. This suggests a lack of serious effort to explore the most feasible options to the backstop.
The 2019 Conservative party Conference has started out in a down to business approach emphasising the importance of "getting BREXIT done!
". It is early days yet.
The vote by parliament not to permit a few days recess for the conference took place in the acrimonious atmosphere when parliament resumed its session after the High Court ruling. However, this did not reflect well on the opposition. But time had been lost with the government proroguiung of parliament.
In summary the Conservative position appears to be to bum rush the UK out of the EU so as to clear the decks for the party to introduce amazing policies that paint a glorious future for the United Kingdom. As with the other parties we have seen this type of sunshine projections before on the part of all political parties but in reality delivery of promises remains a serious problem with all British political parties.
In any political party conference, sweeping statements of intent to enthuse the participants are understandable but it is the delivery details that matter to voters.
In an on-stage discussion group made up of Jake Berry (Northern Power House), Esther McVey (Housing) and Nadir Zahawi (Business, energy & industrial strategy) there was a good discussion explaining objectives, all of which made sense. One detail added by Zahawi was the case of a "local" industrial fair in China in a province with around 70 million people and in a "small town", the size of London. Apparently the City of Derby has a stand there but the scale of the potential could be sensed in that simple statement.
McVey explained the use of off-site industrial production of what used to be called "pre-fabricated" housing components to lower costs and raise quality of homes. Berry provided a clear practical picture of an increased devolution based on elected mayor gaining larger budgets to support local economies.
Matt Hancock (Health) has stated future funding in the NHS will avoid the notorious higher interest funding associated with PPP and Gavin Wiliamson (Education) has promised to extend technical and vocational education. All of these objectives are sound. However, the electorate in the UK is not only becoming tired about the BREXIT exchanges they have become very cynical about the ability of British all political parties to step how from their headline statements and deliver their promises. The track record is not good.
During the last weeks we have been conducting an audit on British political party promises and their delivery in government; no party comes off well. Unfortunately the Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem party conferences remind us of the stark contrast between what these organizations have promised and have delivered in practice. All political parties in Britain have a very bad track record on delivery, of what, in detail, are attractive propositions; the issue is feasibility. Although they all state they act in the national interests they seldom demonstrate any capacity to collaborate on the formulation of national policies on a collaborative basis.
The political parties, persistently criticise the other parties in a contentious and pernicious fashion forgetting that they are addressing members of their own nation in an attempt to embarrass them in front of the electorate. No matter what people claim to be the cut and thrust of politics this approach to convincing the public of their relevance and of their ability to address needs is distorted by shabby, aggressive and insulting behaviour over rational explanations of the practical solutions to needs. Very evident during this 2019 conference has been the Conservative obsession, a virtually paranoid fixation, with a single person, Jeremy Corbyn. This has lowered the tone of just about every statement made by repetitive asides consisting of a series of negative attributes assigned to Jeremy Corbyn which are obviously a complete fabrication. These range from his purported support of the IRA and other groups, to being anti-semitic. Anyone who takes the time to research Corbyn's activities and political trajectory can see that this type of rhetoric is feeding misrepresentations into the public discourse and it is completley unfair. It is also levered by the corporate media to spread such disinformation. This does not strengthen position of the Conservative party it only reflects very badly on their approach uncovering a certain lack of their own conviction in the strength of their own arguments, a form of weakness and small mindeness. This is not what one would consider to be the qualities people would equate with a desirable nature of national leadership.
Recently there has been too much overt manipulation and misrepresentation giving sight to the visceral underbelly of politics. It is not a system reflecting upon and selecting rational public choices but rather is a battle between isolated factional interests which have little relationship to any common purpose that might be considered to be in the national interest.
It needs to be remembered that political parties are tiny private organizations that have a tiny faction as members. These same organizations, though our bizarre first-past-the-post electoral system can lever themselves from a state of complete insignificance with memberships of less than 1% of the population, into a position of absolute dominance over parliamentary decision-making by securing less than 30% of the vote. As a result, the people of Britain have no representative forum upon which to base decisions that are transparently related to the national interest.
Although the Conservatives state their commitment to the National Health Service, they were, before its establishment (see Conservative poster on the right), the main opponents and ever since have been more aligned with the privatisation thrust buoyed up and promoted by the goods, services and financial service sectors. The biggest challenge remains how to fund all of the array of promises being made by the Conservatives, Labour and Lid Dems.
Conservatives and Labour put much faith in the PPP schemes that were funded by inappropriate financial agreements which have resulted in many Trusts going bust. Part of the thinking is that this was intentional so as to blame the government supported NHS for bad management and to therefore justify privatisation. Private insurance and loan-based schemes have only lead to most of those involved raising their prices such as pharmaceuticals and services, excessive management salaries and levels of management in the case of the NHS, and in education the ramping up of fees and academic salaries in the case of universities.
The Conservatives following the period of Thatcher attempted to remove red tape by switching to "light touch" regulation in the financial sector and reduced the separation of retail and investment banking which led directly to the 2008 financial crisis, largely precipitated through a considerable amount of illegal activity occurring under light touch regulations.
Considerable sections of British industry are owned by large financial conglomerates who promote the buy back of their own shares to generate income for top executives while real incomes and investment in productivity-enhancing actions have declined. The annual focus on "shareholder value"
has overtaken a need for lower profit-taking and emphasising medium to long term investment for survival. On this basis the stock exchange is booming but the economy is not doing as well as stated. That more are now employed than ever before is a function of a bigger population and a significant decline in real wages.
The policy of quantitative easing has provided an incentive for banks to ignore their responsibilities is supporting the macroeconomic policy target of supporting investment in SME, industry and services by taking advantage of the cheap money to invest in assets to gain high returns for their own shareholders. Assets have included housing, commodities, precious metals and objects of art. This has exacerbated the lack of lower cost housing, a steep rise in purchase prices and a significant rise in rents. As a result most young people have no possibility of purchasing their home. So the political party promises concerning more efficient house construction and higher quality does not resolve the continuing damage caused by the continued separation of retail and investment banking that has exacerbated the housing issue.
Melvyn King, the former Governor of the Bank of England observed that quantiative easing seemed to have benefited a small group in the financial and banking sector; this is self-evident but the government has taken no steps to curb this cause of increasing income inequality in the UK.
The reality is that much of the time political parties are struggling to justify "new and exciting initiatives"
which are needed to solve serious problems created by the policies introduced by the same or other parties. Many crises facing the country have been policy-induced as a result of poor planning and the tendency of political parties to experiment with new economic policies that have poor practical and beneficial traction.
The new Boris......
A vote on an issue as important as leaving the EU after over 40 years of integration of administrative systems, procedures and supply chains as well as work and family relations should clearly have required a minimum proportion of the voting age population to participate. Then the decision to determine a specific decision should have required a minimum majority. As it was just 65% of the voting age population of 51.4 million, ended up participating. The result was that just 17.4 million voted to leave the EU. As a result, the government has been attempting to have the decision of just 34% of the voting age population prevail over the remaining majority of 66% of the voting age population. Whereas this is not a majority by any means, it does mean that it has become an imperative to consider the position of the remaining 66%.
Many constituents have become disillusioned with the first-past-the-post electoral system in the UK because it devalues the individual vote to the benefit of providing the winning party with an disproportionate and therefore unrepresentative majority in parliament. These are valid reasons for not voting. A referendum is a different non-party affair but the lack of faith in the value of a vote has become pervasive. It is therefore not acceptable to simply state that those who did not vote do not count. Indeed, it is surprising that so many do in fact vote in what appears to be a eccentric parlour game with the name "general election". However, given this reality, the government, currently with no majority, and elected on the basis if first-past-the-post, needs to secure, as a minimum condition, a departure with an agreement for a trade arrangement so as to minimise negative impacts overall.
On the return of MPs to parliament the complex topic of the contextual significance and practical implications of words used in exchanges has been generally recognised to be important in preventing further social divisions.
The approach adopted by the prime minister is broadly dismissive and invariably supercilious which confirms on a repetitive basis, the profile of someone who is unable to engage with others by investing in a serious consideration and reflection of statements made and questions asked of him. However, many assertions by MPs, from all factions, do not always contribute to serious discussion but are just point scoring.
Most of the UK constituency does not spend their breakfast period reading the details of exchanges in Hansard. They rely on a range of newspapers, TV or social media to obtain "news". All of these media thrive on impactful headlines. As a result, the context of what is stated in parliament is lost and given the strength of emotions in parliament they often transmit misleading and wrong, often very damaging messages to the constituents of this country. This can lead to some instances of people taking matters into their own hands to the degree of inflicting physical harm or even killing someone perceived to hold the "wrong" point of view. On balance, this was the point being made by several MPs when they raised the name of Jo Cox and her murder as an example of what can happen when MPs do not moderate their language. But in his established form, the prime minister did not pay enough attention to perceive the underlying message and therefore responded in an unsound manner. His retort of, "Humbug" was totally inappropriate and is highly regrettable. This has brought the level of exchanges in parliament down to a very low level.
Unfortunately, neither the corporate media or government behaviour reflect any "values" that would be bolstered through practical demonstrations of effort to apply a minimum level of due diligence in seeking out a balanced presentation of the facts.
Suffering from time restrictions and lack of information on "negotiations" parliament continues to be unable to exercise its function to oversee and contribute to work of government....
The last three years have provided a case study in examples of constitutional abuse by a political party. This arises from excesses in discretionary decision-making, and this, in the hands of political parties, tends to occur under any government. The main cover given to this abuse is that it is considered to be part and parcel of "politics". But this means unfair and unethical decision-making has become directly linked to political party modus operandi. Because all parties see advantage in this while in government, no serious effort is made to curtail the provisions that encourage this unfortunate behaviour.
Electoral reform involving proportional representation does not remove the absurd degree to which the constitution services political parties that are no more than small private factional organizations that, through our first-past-the-post electoral system can gain control of government. This tiny faction can from that point on marginalize the other parties, parliament and the majority of the UK constituency who end up with no effective representation.
At this time the country needs a leadership that can bring together all sides through a reflective participatory process. Ideas and proposals need to be aired and reviewed in an open fashion. The previous prime minister failed to do this and the current one is doing the same. The justification for such secrecy, repeated by several ministers, is that one cannot expose one's hand when negotiating. This might apply to poker players but not to a the future wellbeing of the constituencies in the UK and EU and the citizens of each grouping living the other's domain; constituents can guide any such processes towards mutually satisfactory and viable solutions.
In spite of the High Court ruling, this government's behaviour on this question of parliamentary oversight, has brought into focus how the current levels of secrecy have in effect continued to deny parliament access to relevant information upon which to have oversight of government actions. This is pointing to a need for the introduction of procedures to make international negotiations on topics, outside national security, more open and transparent. This could be another justification for a change in the law, even another High Court case.
It is more than apparent that the abuse of discretion exercised in the excessive prorogation is being repeated in a parallel abuse of discretion using secrecy as the tactic. The EU Commission was heavily criticised for the secrecy surrounding its former negotiations with the Trans Atlantic deal with the USA. One of the arguments for leaving the EU is to improve transparency in political decision-making. However, the very party that speaks of sovereignty and freedom continues to impose an information blackout and stonewalling tactics to deny any effective parliamentary oversight. This is so self-evident that it is notable that opposition MPs have not made more of this - see the box on the left. The government might end up with a final agreement on trade with the EU but the damage to "parliamentary democracy" and the social cost emanating from poor democratic practice, reflecting poor leadership and the increasing risk of mounting collateral damage in the form of physical abuse and even deaths of citizens, has already passed beyond acceptable limits.
Was the Prime Minister's advice to the Queen unlawful? The High Court has ruled that it was.
In the shoot out in the High Court the bullets took some time to find their marks but we consider the result to have been predictable. What was less expected was for this to be a unanimous decision of 11 judges. This result was a triumph for the rule of law, the High Court and the constitution. The government's advice that the High Court should not venture into this minefield, fell of deaf ears. The outcome has been a significant rise in the constituency's appreciation of the role and significance of the High Court.
The High Court decision on the legality of the government's decision to prorogue parliament has had a salutary effect which has ramifications for a reassessment of the role of the law in relation to the many discretionary powers that exist for organizational decision-making and which in many cases are abused. The "power" to prorogue parliament was a decision commonly considered to be taken at the discretion of the government. However an abuse of this power has been shown to be subject to the law and, indeed, effectively reversed.
This is a complex topic because few realise the degree to which discretionary powers create a disequilibrium in the effect of existing laws on decisions taken by executives in corporations and civil servants in government services and those providing services including private companies on behalf of the government. It is a waste of time solving this issue at the level of government and parliament when the result of this legislature in terms of laws and regulations are subject, in their observance, to abuses of discretion. The constant disasters affecting people's human rights arising at the Home Office can be boiled down to the lack of coherence between the law and the many different levels of discretionary decision-making involving the lower ranks in organizations. The implications represent a hornet's nest but it would seem to be well worth tackling this issue because of the widespread prejudice emanating from "discretionary powers
The financial crisis in 2008 was the result of widespread abuse of discretionary decision-making by financial intermediaries and banks that ventured into law-breaking and unethical behaviour. It would seem that given the High Court's decision in this case could herald a more practical and transparent approach to the breaking of the law of such institutions by imposing remedies that terminate such practice as opposed to absurdly nominal fines that simple degenerate into "a normal cost of doing business
". The High Court has effectively terminated the ability of governments to prejudice representation of parliament by preventing oversight of government procedures and decisions that are an unreasonable exercise of discretion. This has imposed necessary due diligence procedures on government and it is fitting that similar transparent due diligence procedures be imposed on those organizations who have dealings that affect the wellbeing of members of the UK constituency.
We will return to this topic.
Unfortunately the vote to support Jeremy Corbyn's position of whether the Labour party should campaign for leave or remain appears to have disgruntled some delegates because the vote was so close. Although we consider Jeremy Corbyn's position is the most rational it seems that many feel that this vote should have been a "card" vote where all votes would have been counted.
The vote supporting the abolition of private schools is highly contentious but the model of private schools and many "Academies" as ways to make owners rich while standards decline has jaded the opinion of many. Certainly those wishing to pay additional amounts to help their children obtain a better education is a natural human instinct but there is no reason why these schools should receive government subsidies.
The comprehensive education was expanded in 1965 to replace the 11+ system where the majority of children went on to modern schools and a lower level curriculum than grammar schools. However, at the time it was clear that not enough funding had been provided to training to attract competent people into teaching or enough to augment supply budgets. On the other hand private schools continued to receive subsidy through charitable status and other forms of grants.
John McDonnell has stated the Labour manifesto will be fully costed. An important question is whether or not the actual budgetary requirements to revolutionise the state educational system are fully understood in terms of quality teacher training and upgrading and the per pupil cash requirements to cover all that is needed to make a difference to performance. There is a need to avoid the common practice of having teachers subsidise their class needs from their salaries; an increasingly common feature and common practice in the public education sector in the USA.
The biggest danger is that the current approach adopted by Labour will make education a political football just like the NHS leading to constant rounds of instability and disruption as governments change. Any changes need to be mess-proof and this, without adequate funding, is virtually impossible. Just as people are becoming aware of the significance of climate change to children it is self-evident that changes to their education need to have good results within a reasonably short period. In a period when there is a broader acknowledgement of the responsibility of the older generation to prepare children to inherit a stable and sustainable future, this is a tall order.
Many journalists, TV and other media commentators and interviewers are having a serious problem adjusting to reality. Any sensible party wishing to support the breadth of representation needed to provide due consideration for the electorate as well as acknowledge of the result of the EU referendum had to support Jeremy Corbyn's position on BREXIT. His victory reflects well on the party. However, too many media personnel have not understood the reality and have become antagonistic and have attempted to embarrass Labour spokes people. The media pundits are demanding a single position for the Labour party as "remain" or "leave". However, as we have explained in several sections below, the balance of the referendum vote was evenly balanced between around 33% not voting (not registering an opinion), 33% voting to leave and 33% voting to remain. So this is not a binary position and there is no "fence
" as an imaginary object that they accuse Corbyn of perching on.
|EU REFERENDUM RESULTS|
|Not voting||Voting to leave||Voting to remain|
|Source: Electoral Commission|
It needs to be understood that more people did not vote than voted to leave
. This is a reflection of:
- The poor preparation for the referendum in terms of the explanation of the options on the leave side
- The malaise or cynicism that considered votes to count for nothing
- It is likely to have been the result of many did not expecting the vote to go in the direction it did
Therefore a rational party, first of all, will encourage people to register to vote as well as vote and, at the same time, work to provide the electorate with more detailed information on the real options so as to provide an evidence-based choice. Depending on the efforts put into the election, the massive number of voting age people who did not vote could easily alter the balance either way. However, the final expression of preferences would be based on a better access to information on the options. Therefore this approach reflects a far more responsible due consideration of the needs of voters to be informed and of the importance of the vote to the future of the nation.
It is true that British political parties do not have any track record of operating in such a comprehensive fashion. Confrontation and single contrasting positions have always faced the electorate with a list of often incompatible binary choices. It is encouraging to see at least one party that is attempting to break down national divisions by unifying the country by being more in tune with the many and not the few.
Our initial guestimates on a voting scenario resulting from an ambitious redistribution of 50% of the non-voters to voting status and the known original voter intentions is something like this: 15,000,000-16,000,000 supporting leaving with a trade arrangement with EU that minimises economic and social impacts, 14,000,000 remainers and 12,500,000 leaving without a deal, leaving 8,500,000 not voting.
The battleground will be between good deals and remainers so the shaping of the deal to possess protections enjoyed as membership of the EU will require some effort but this is more in line with the Labour party indicative objectives which the Conservative party under Theresa May would not accept. This creates a serious potential problem for the Conservatives in coming up with a deal that matches in terms of minimised economic and social impacts. If Labour manage this carefully they could win the next election with Conservatives and Brexit party coming third and fourth behind the Liberal Democrats.
John McDonnell, Labour's Shadow Chancellor, delivered his conference speech which was interesting and in some parts rousing but it remained thin on explanations of the economic feasibility. It lasted just 30 minutes so there was not much space for detail. However, in all such cases, rather than throw up our hands in horror it is as well to remember that change comes about gradually so what he has been setting out are objectives. The issue is the time scales involved. It is only when these are established that one can assess the economic feasibility. Therefore rather than talk, as some media are doing, of fantasy projects, it is better to reflect on priorities and then scheduling.
Clearly everything he has mentioned including lowering the hours in the working week without reducing pay, eliminating in-work poverty and zero hour contracts to transform the situation from "living to work to working to live
" will be costed. Labour did a better job than other parties in costing their manifesto pledges in the last election, so Labour needs to repeat this exercise in this case. A spoiler is, of course, the likely impacts of trade arrangements with Europe or remaining. But we refer to this topic in leaders below.
He referred to the role of development banks and an increased role for the Cooperative movement. The latter is something the Labour party has tended to underplay in the past. This is a paradox given that Labour has a contingent of Cooperative MPs. Mutuals and cooperatives are likely to be important corporate structures in future economies. This is because of the increasing awareness of the negative impacts of "quantitative easing
" and "financialization
" and emphasis on "shareholder value
The mortgage markets have demonstrated conclusively that mutual building societies are far more cost-effective than banks whose need to carry shareholders increases their costs by around 15%-20% in the delivery of services. Indeed, contrary to the untested narrative, mutuals and cooperatives provide a far greater potential for increased of productivity for the economy and a basis for providing employees with a higher share in corporate income without impacting prices and economic growth. They need help to get going and this is where the development banks could have a vital role.
Green technology productivity
McDonnell then referred to the development of technologies for a
Green future as being a priority; this dovetails into investment through mutuals involving specialised trained personnel. An involvement of trades unions in the training of people could become an important foundation. One of the paradoxes which needs to be clarified is the role of trades unions in mutuals where a role is not altogether obvious, or at least, it is likely to take a different form.
The Labour party, whether intentional or as a result of slip-ups, has turned what many media predicted would be chaos into an impressive forum enabling the expression of across-the-spectrum points of view through a direct participation of attendees so as to move towards cohesion. There is therefore an absence of obvious "stage management
", a characteristic of many party conferences, and this level of transparency arising from this free flow of opposing ideas is to be welcomed. This strengthens the final position, it is also a practical demonstration of participatory decision-making, albeit only involving Labour party members. The arguments in favour of Jeremy Corbyn's apparent position of not defining a binary fixed position is reflective of the majority of the voting age population given that the split between no vote, vote to remain and vote to leave was about even or 33:33:33. For those wishing to leave, the opportunity to see what the cost-benefit of a "deal" is, is a plainly a logical constitutional provision, just as the opportunity cost-benefit of remaining should also be made clear to remainers.
Corbyn's position is helping Labour become the only party attempting to balance the interests of the majority in assessing where they should stand unlike the Conservatives, Brexit party and the Liberal Democrats each of whom have taken up a binary single position which does not reflect the position of the other 66% of the voting age population. Those in the shadow cabinet who are advocating supporting remain need to balance this against the likely quality of any trade agreement. In the end it is this issue which will define the true cost of remaining and or leaving the European Union.
However, in preparation of their manifesto and costed policy presentation Labour could gain a significant advantage if they seriously dedicated a focused effort into preparing the quantitative analyses of their own trade agreement preferences and compare these with remaining in the EU. If this is based on objective analyses this would create an unparalleled information resource and platform for decision-making for the UK voters.
Our awareness of "dark posts" and selective manipulation of social media involving Facebook, Google, Twitter and the spawning numbers of "election analytica" political consultancies tells us that this is already switching into over-drive. We can also, of course, expect the UK media's continuing irrational onslaughts and abuse leveled at the Labour party and Jeremy Corbyn, by the UK's corporate "free press" and including the BBC. Labour can only defeat false narratives by promoting transparency and objectivity; this is an imperative.
CybaCity.com will remain a medium that supports balanced reporting.
The UK media have followed an unfortunate example of the US media in focusing on any differences in opinions of members of political parties and blowing them out of context. Rather than make a mountain out of a molehill it is preferable, in the case of the Labour party, to wait and listen to the presentations and debates which will shape a party "position". So the false narrative of people's personal opinions being an attempt to unseat Jeremy Corbyn is somewhat ridiculous. There is a growing tendency for media to cite "unidentified sources" in an attempt to raise doubts as to Corbyn's ability to continue as leader; this sort of baseless banter illucidates nothing. The fact that someone who was an aid has resigned means nothing in itself unless the media speculates, as it will.
Once the Labour party define their policies this week, a manifesto will be issued and Corbyn, who is an effective campaigner, will, as usual, support that approach. On the question of supporting a specific leave deal or supporting remaining remains an open question. The transparent and participatory approach is to let the people decide in another vote based on the evidence of the relative benefits of what is on offer. So this is not really a political party issue but needs to be decided on the basis of individual judgement of each constituent on their assessments of the likely impacts of better understood options on their lives.
Dawn Butler MP, the Labour party's Shadow Women's and Equality Secretary kicked off the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, with an inspiring speech. Given the topic and the general unease and waining interest in politics and the general malaise sensed throughout the country, her delivery was very well executed and well received; there is, at a very early stage in proceedings a growing upbeat mood amongst the delegates.
Butler did refer to an important part of Labour's strategy in preparing for the next election. This is to get people to register to vote. Currently there are around 2,824,622 people who are not registered to vote and something like 17,804,785 who did not vote in the EU referendum. This number exceeds the so-called "majority" who voted to leave. Our own sense is that registrations will occur amongst younger people of voting age leading also to a further expansion in the membership of the party. Last time the growth in membership during the previous election reflected the success of the party in that election and this baramoter is likely to remains a good indicator.
With some positive noises coming from the European Commission as a preliminary response to the government having presented some ideas on possible agreements it appears that the government has shifted its position. The threat of a "no deal" never was a realistic bargaining chip given that the EU wants an agreement.
Even if the parliament votes in favour of anything produced, the general state of affairs is that this will not be something anyone actually voted for in the referendum. As is well known, more people of voting age did not vote (around 33%) in that referendum and a smaller number voted to leave and a slightly smaller number still, voted to remain (roughly 33%/33%/33%). The leave "majority" constituted just 2.47% of the total voting age population. It therefore makes sense for there to be a second national vote on whether or not the agreement represents what people consider to be an improvement on remaining. This is important because given the current global economic circumstances and the government's record on austerity exacerbated by quantitative easing, any deal needs to be scrutinised in relation to its potential impacts on economic performance and the current protections enjoyed by the population. The potential impacts on families need to be weighed up against the achievement of "independence" through any specific agreement.
In this context the Labour party position of favouring a new vote on the negotiated deal makes sense. The Liberal Democrats have defined their stand and, in the end, members of the Labour party will have to assess the quality of the agreement reached in relation to their conditions set out some time ago, to decide what they will support. At least, if the government does achieve an agreement then the
Brexit party is likely to become the main casualty.
The prorogation case in front of the High Court has been boiled down to the High Court being asked that because this was a political decision it is a minefield so don't go there, on the one hand, and being asked, on the other hand, to acknowledge that silencing of parliament for 5 weeks, not only prevented legislation on several significant bills but this covered the normal 2-3 week party conference recess which is usually tabled and decided upon by parliament. Given the current situation is it likely that parliament would have only asked for a very short recess to cover the congresses but the executive did not provide this opportunity. Given the preparation for the Queen's speech for MPs boils down to a few hours, the case against the government seems to be well founded.
There is some commentary that the new Liberal Democrat's leader Jo Swinson is arrogant because she has stated that if the Lib Dems win an election they will revoke BREXIT. This is to be expected since they are the main remain party. It is common for governments to reverse previous decisions and in the case of the Lib Dems this is to be expected. However, if the proportion of people who did not vote in the referendum was reduced in the case of an election, there are up to 17,804,785 yet-to-be-defined-intension votes, up for grabs. Few have assessed what their opinions are. CybaCity estimate that 50% of this group would gravitate towards wishing to leave but with an agreement, 25% would wish to remain "as is" and 25% to leave without agreement. All parties need to set about encouraging people to vote as well as to register to vote. Around 5%-6% of the voting age population are not even registered to vote. This constitutes around 2,824,622 people, more than double the referendum's so-called leave majority of 1,269,501.
Jo Swinson does not appear to be arrogant but rather she is questioning, to what degree the outcome of the referendum reflects a genuine majority position. This can only be established on the basis of a vote involving the direct participation of a larger proportion of the population. However, this move could raise the likelihood of a Labour victory because of their gravitation towards a negotiated deal followed by a referendum for the people to chose between this agreement and remaining. The personal opinions voiced in the Labour party that Labour should be a remain party seems to reflect a lack of a realistic strategic vision with respect to evolving circumstances. These shifts could significantly diminish the chances of the Conservatives or the Brexit party of gaining an election victory because the consequences of no agreement are beginning to sink in to the population in general.
Many see the issue of this country's decision to leave the European Union as a question of regaining our freedom and sovereignty. But our freedom depends upon the people being able to participate in an effective and transparent way in the decisions that affect their lives. This requires an impartial media, political parties that are truly participatory and with memberships that represent most constituents, decision-making being based on facts, free from partisan bias and often baseless assertions. This can only be secured through a thorough electoral reform and a reduction in the role of small cliques and their particular power and income interests, within political parties, setting and controlling the agendas. The people must be allowed to express their opinions on the issue of importance to them but for this to secure productive decisions and outcomes they need to have access to the full facts upon which to base their decisions.
We have far to travel in this country to secure this state of affairs before sovereignly can be equated with freedom.
The court proceedings on whether or not the prime minister misled the Queen on extending the parliamentary recess (closure) is boiling down to whether this was a legitimate "political" decision or an issue of non-compliance with the law. This is a slightly absurd situation. The opposition parties therefore should, on returning to parliament, organise themselves to put through legislation that stipulates that any form of parliamentary recess be agreed and authorised on the basis of parliamentary vote. This enhances the sovereignty of the people over the government stemming any possible government imposed time-based parliamentary censorship based on closures. Period.
Unfortunately the mainstream media and many confused folk have constantly accused the Labour party of holding a confusing position on the departure of the UK from the EU. Since as explained in this site the balance between those who did not vote, voted to leave and voted to remain is roughly equal (33:33:33). There is therefore no "fence" upon which people accuse Jeremy Corbyn of perching on. Corbyn follows a slower fully participatory system for decision-making and the establishment of party policies developed by the Labour party and this is why his positions take time to form. Those who advocate one position or the other in a binary logic are all expressing personal opinions which tend to fail to acknowledge the real outcome of the referendum.
Therefore the only rational option is for a trade agreement to be agreed with the EU and then to permit the voters decide whether to leave on the basis of that agreement or to remain. That Corbyn states he will not take a position is a reflection of allowing the people of the country to decide based on the evidence put before them and that he would support any outcome. However, in contrast to the original referendum it is essential that any government adds the essential levels of transparency by providing DABs on the new agreement cost-benefits and remain is an essential requirement so far lacking from government decision-making. An electorate cannot be expected to make rational decisions based on statements daubed on campaign buses or on leaflets stuffed through letter boxes. The media also needs to clean up its act and publish in full DAB content.
Note: CybaCity has no affiliation to any UK or foreign political parties; DABs are detailed sector by sector cost-benefit analyses including household real income and employment impacts of proposed change (these are explained elsewhere on this site
One of the topics analysed under the European Commission Information Technology and Telecommunications Task Force (ITTTF) programme preparation work for advanced IT applications during 1984 through 1987, was the concept of "borderless frontier systems"
, or BFS. This was to review the possibility of facilitating customs and other arrangements on border so as to reduce congestion and even remove the need for border inspections of goods in transit. In the contex of the notorious "Backstop" it would seem that such a system is what is required.
We have received some feedback indicating that there is a need to clarify a simple point related to the EU referendum result. Of the voting age population in the UK a larger contingent than either those wishing to leave or those wishing to remain within the EU, did not vote.
Thus, of the 51,356,768 constituents of voting age, some 17,804,785 did not vote. A smaller number, 17,410,742 voted to leave and 16,141,241 voted to remain. The leave "majority" of 1,269,501 is equivalent to only 2.47% of the total voting age population; this is too small a group to justify the introduction of extreme measures that will impact the remaining 66%, the vast majority of the voting age population or 33,946,026 people.
The much-referred-to "interests of the nation"
can only be addressed by securing a balanced solution which, by a logical deduction, needs to include an agreed trading arrangement to avoid a serious economic and social consequences.
The general understanding, at the time of the referendum, given that there exist many types of trading arrangements between different non-European countries and the EU, was and continues to be that any rational basis for leaving
would be on the basis of an agreed trading arrangement while in order to also meet the general desires of remainers, a trading arrangement would avoid altering many aspects of people's lives
With a turnout on the basis of the voting age population being just 65% it is difficult to argue that the leave "majority", based on votes alone, is a justification for leaving without a deal. This is an irrational move given that the EU is our major trading partner. The negative short to medium term economic and social impacts on the UK constituency would be significant. With or without BREXIT, there is an urgent need to stablise the economy, sustain employment and reverse the long downward trend in real incomes, in what are becoming increasingly challenging global and EU market circumstances.
Further revelations concerning what the government has not taken into account in its planning, only adds evidence that a no deal exit from the EU is no longer an option for the UK or Europe.
First of all the real performance of the economy has been declining in real terms for over a decade driven by the policy of quantitative easing (QE) combined with the cut backs on the public sector under "austerity". This has led to a reduction in investment in the productive economy and re-routing of low interest debt into assets by the banks and large corporations including widespread buy-backs of shares, driving up the values of shares without reflecting an substantive improvements in corporate prospects and therefore misleading potential shareholders. Savers surviving off fixed returns have been liquidated and pension are on the verge of facing negative yields on fixed term investments and equity. Already in the EU pension fund managers are being asked to purchase securities with negative yields because of ECB continual extension of QE. The levels of government and private debt exceed the pre-2007 situation, lower middle income families are facing an encroaching cost of living crisis and many people in work, including public service employees are having to complement their purchases by making use of food banks. The international economic tensions promoted through the belligerent rhetoric and actions by the USA with the collusion of the UK government in imposing economic sanctions are causing misery and an unsettling confrontation between the USA and China, Iran and many other countries.
It is self-evident that this is not the time to take decisions that risk adding to the considerable existing uncertainty about the future of the ability of the British economy to support the wellbeing of the people of this country.
The Yellow Hammer report, so-called, provided a glimpse of some short term considerations of the no deal implications on the logistics of goods, food, medical supplies and services. However, there are more fundamental potential medium to long term impacts on the British economy, household purchasing power and employment levels linked to the sensitivity of the cash flow of many services to the timely operations of supply chains that cross the borders to the EU. This sensitivity could become a trigger for considerable instability over which conventional macreoconomic policy instruments would have no obvious means of controlling.
risk yet further stress of the British economy.Read more...
The recent events and the last three years have been a case study of why the UK needs electoral and constitutional reform. This is for many a tedious topic but much of what we have witnessed during the last three years, has been even more tedious. The issues needing change are well-known but the party machines have resisted even giving consideration of them. We review some of the issues and will start a series in order to keep this topic alive.Read more...
From in increasingly aggressive government trying to impose a single way forward to a street revolution aiming to depose the government, no one appears to be attempting to head for the most obvious solution.... Read more...
Jeremy Corbyn made the case today in Parliament why people should not vote for a no deal Brexit. This was the point being made in our observations yesterday and contained in the article below this one. By amassing the sector evidence of the drastic negative impacts on vital supplies, disruption in supply chains and impact on employment, a strong case can be made why the Conservative version of BREXIT, and definitely that of the Brexit Party, represent an abandonment of responsibility to the wellbeing of the people of this country. This could clearly be the platform upon which other parties mount their policies in manifestos in any coming election. Clearly the aping of the Brexit party by the current government is the same mistake as was made in aping UKIP.
There is no need to ape the Brexit party, Corbyn has already explained why their no deal objectives are absurd. However, by dedicating some time to repeating this impact analysis applied to our main EU trading partners, this could be used to inform the other citizens of Europe of the extent of damage to production and jobs in their countries, arising from a no deal BREXIT. Given the economic circumstances in the EU this could help encourage the European Commission and Council of Ministers to pay more attention to these issues facing their constituents and encourage them to become more accommodating in their handling of this affair.
| || We continue to research this topic to prepare more content. to be continued.....|
Conventional macroeconomic policies create winners, losers and those unaffected by policy. This generates inequality in incomes and since conventional policies are unable to control inflation, monetary values decline and with this real incomes also decline. Macroeconomic policies lack traction.Read more...
One of the major causes of the failure in macroeconomic management was the growth in the grey markets that are beyond the reach of macroeconomic policies in spite of the fact they were encouraged by policy and regulatory absurdities within conventional macroeconomic theory and practice. Read more...
Agenda 2030 promotes 17 major systainable goals for development linked to human wellbeing. It is the global programme to bring about changes in social and economic practice to combat climate change, by introducing suatainable ways of production that do not depreciate the carrying capacity of water and land-based ecosystems so as to secure a sustainable future for all.
Many "adults" and leaders have tried to lower the temperature surrounding Greta Thunberg's pronouncements concerning the environment and global warming. Some have suggested she needs to stop because she is scaring the hell out of children.
One of the biggest initiatives to tackle global warming in terms of action is Agenda 2030 which established some 17 Sustainable Development Goals subject to 230 indicators in 2015. The most recent report on progress of this intiative is not promising and there is reason why adults should be becoming so scared as hell as to demand more rapid change. As adults we see inaction of governments and societies in general, and very slow progress where efforts are made. Too much cosmetic unsubstantial support by those taking advantage of "sustainability" as a device by larger corporations to market goods and services that are not sustainable.
The upset and indignation of children is justified and adults need to reassess their need to become more directly involved in encouraging governments and companies to act more decisively and rapidly.
We have set out the 17 sustainable development goals in a separate page together with the over 230 indicators.Read more...
Click on the cover image to download
Paradoxically Agenda 2030 is goal oriented while it not referring directly to the causes of the evolution in human activities towards an unsustainable state of affairs including population dynamics, income level inequity and inflation. These are the main causes for pressure on the resources which we require for future survival.Read more...
The 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report points to significant gaps in the organization of statistical sources through collection, analysis and determination of indicator status. This has resulted in a lack of accessibility to specific indicators, especially in low income countries.
It is stated that the Global Monitoring Network are working to correct this issue. However, after many decades of the collection of statistics by countries that support the United Nations statistical data reporting mechanisms, this points to a significant gap in the preparation for Agenda 2030, especially in the case of lower income countries where some of the factors of most importance to their future sustainability are inadequately monitored.Read more ...
One of the troubling aspects concerning Agenda 2030 has been, in terms of available publications and reports, what many consider to be over-optimistic assessments of the future of smallholders in many low income countries.
What is the smallholder issue?
Some 90% of the world's smallholders have 2 ha. of land and around 65% have less than 1 ha.
FAO and other agencies circulate a considerable amount of material setting out how smallholders can become sustainable. However, in the latest IWSAT 2019 (International Workshop on Analytical Tools) one of the Key emerging issues reviewed was smallholder land holdings and the intense land-grabs that tend to face smallholders as their economy of operations begin to fail with economic growth; a very common scenario that has faced smallholders worldwide. This risks increased poverty, inability to secure sufficient food and a failure to uphold equality.
To find out more... click on the CCi image in the box on the right.
We are setting up our alternative media section.
The Middle East is an area of the world where corporate media exercise an excessive amount of discretion over what they report. There is a good deal of censorship and tendentious reporting.
One of the alternatve media that has a long track record in at least balancing up ME reporting is the Al Jazeera Network
. Aljazera, signifying "the island"
, is a Qatari state-funded broadcaster based in Doha, Qatar. Established in 1996, it is owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network. Initially an Arabic news and current-affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has expanded globally into a network with 80 bureaus including the Internet, and specialty television channels in multiple languages. Al Jazeera Arabic channel's willingness to broadcast dissenting views, for example on call-in shows, created controversies in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia, for example, want the channel closed down. Aljazera was the only channel to cover the Afghani war with live reporting since its inception.
Al Jazeera Investigative Unit's series "The Lobby" can be viewed on Al Jazeera. "Lobby" refers to the alleged Israeli government's lobby involvement in what appears to be a scandal and interference in the internal affairs of the UK politics and targeting the Labour party in particular. These investigations resulted in a series of complaints by the groups and individuals involved. In the end OfCom undertook an investigation only to find Aljazera had not breached any acceptable reporting standards including those of bias and impartiality. The last link covers this aspect.
A highly topical programme that covers many important events and processses largely ignored by UK corporate media is Going Underground
. This programme is presented by Afshin Rattansi and appears on the RT Network.Renegade Inc
is a programme hosted by Ross Ashcroft that consists of single-issue programmes covering topics of particular contemporary importance to the UK constituencies. The Private Finance Initiative
This is a topical issue concerning the tactics used by Labour under Blair and the Conservative party to privatise the NHS in the UK.
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