Heartsick 157


Sometimes the horror of the abuse of power in the world just seems to close in, and I want to run away from the toil of blogging against it. To rage against the dying of the light is indeed noble; but also energy-sapping, and the light dies anyway.

Where do I begin? Not content with giving over the entire NHS budget to be plundered for private profit, the police service is now being privatised. The use of coercive force against its citizenry is the ultimate sanction of the state and must in a civilised society only be exercised with utmost restraint and control. Of course, in the last twenty years the British and US states have moved fast towards the use of fatal force against foreigners for profit, in their wild embrace of companies of mercenary killers. So while shocking, it is hardly surprising that politicians seek to find profit for their paymasters in use of state force against their own citizens. It makes you wonder whether anything the government can do would be so shocking as to wake the public from the lull of Simon Cowell or the Sun on Sunday. I fear in truth they could shoot asylum seeker children on the streets without the bulk of the population lifting a finger.

Then we have Obama on his knees before AIPAC, accepting his marching orders and promising that the US will participate if Israel decides to attempt to launch Armageddon. Are there no US taxpayers out there, unbesotted by religous fanatacism, who find it humiliating to have their national leader so obviously powerless and crawling before the Israeli lobby? Given that it is the US which funds Israel, and not vice versa, it is all very peculiar. Or is it simply that the US taxpayer funds Israel, but Israel funds US politicians, thus Israel is simply a de facto pimp in the diversion of taxpayers money into politicians’ pockets?

We then have the very largely state owned Natwest Bank increasing mortgage rates on households whose real incomes were already falling, with all the media politely reporting that this is due to higher rates Natwest is having to pay for inter-bank borrowing. Which is to ignore the tens of billions free cash Natwest has received through first bailout then quantitative easing, and their recent access to effectively as much as they wanted from the European Central Bank at just 1%.

I am not a fan of Putin; the real democratic deficit in Russia comes not from the bussing and vote-rigging, without which Putin would have probably scraped over 50% anyway, but in the lack of media access for the opposition and the use of state resources effectively to campaign for Putin. But how different is that from what happens in the UK anyway? How much airtime do voices against the war in Afghanistan get? Or against the bank bailouts?

One cheerful moment, on last night’s Newsnight. Jeremy Paxman actually challenged the Israeli Ambassador, who seemed keen to attack Iran, over Israel’s nuclear weapons. First time in years I heard such a thing on the BBC.

Then when the Israeli Ambassador replied “Israel is not the one threatening to attack other countries” Paxman replied “You just discussed attacking Iran”.

All of which is entirely obvious, but almost totally absent from broadcast media.


157 thoughts on “Heartsick

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  • me

    “Are there no US taxpayers out there, unbesotted by religous fanatacism, who find it humiliating to have their national leader so obviously powerless and crawling before the Israeli lobby?”

    Ron Paul and his supporters.

  • mike cobley

    Craig, as someone once said, all that can be said HAS been said but we have to say it again because no-one was listening
    .
    Like you, I am aghast at the frantic neoliberal demolition of civil society, the NHS and now civilian police (crime investigations, brought to you by Serco, perhaps? or, god help us, Crapita!). But there is a silver lining to all of this, namely that their overreach is becoming so overt, so obnoxious, so despicable, so revolting that when some kind of progressive government gets back into power it would be perfectly justified in pushing back hard – flense the NHS and policing of private sector providers, put the banks on a strong regulatory leash, come down hard on lobbying firms, take back prisons from the private sector, return outsourced military functions (like training) to the control of the armed forces, and – yes, damn, a long list…including a reestablishment of the BBC under a charter guaranteeing editorial independence. And then we can take a long hard look at media ownership…

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Mr Murray
    “But how different is that from what happens in the UK anyway? How much airtime do voices against the war in Afghanistan get? Or against the bank bailouts?”
    .
    It seems that it has been long time since you visited Russia or talked to Russians. The problem is not only that KGB-Putin has tight control over media but also that opponents are virtually cut off (physically or otherwise) from any type of political participation. It is not only issue with pro-Putin propaganda it is also a case of state apparatus being reluctant to allow any sort of political participation to those whose views are different from Putin. Mind you average Russians are much WORSE OFF than average Britons and yet no protests except those we have seen quite recently.
    .
    How many journalists or political opponents have been assassinated in the UK recently?

  • craig Post author

    Uzbek

    Less assassination in the UK I agree. But standing as an independent parliamentary candidate here leaves you subject to all kinds of state exclusion, while the main “parties” all support almost precisely identical neo-con policies.

    But my argument is not that it is good in Russia; it is that it is also bad in the UK. That is in no way intended to excuse Putin,

  • Tom Welsh

    “How much airtime do voices against the war in Afghanistan get?”

    I remember clearly, just as the invasion of Iraq was starting, how I read one or two articles on Counterpunch by Brian Cloughley. Tony Blair had just informed the nation that Iraq had nuclear weapons which could be prepared for firing in 45 minutes, and Cloughley – who had been a British Army officer in charge of tactical nuclear weapons – explained clearly how even the very best team could not prepare even a battlefield weapon (far less the strategic weapons Blair was talking about) in less than a few hours. So I emailed to ask him why his articles had not been front-page news in all the British national dailies. He told me that he had offered them to everything: the Guardian, the Independent, the Times, and all the rest. Not one editor would even discuss publication.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0308/S00194.htm

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Thank you for clarifying this Mr Murray.
    .
    Yes, I totally agree that in the UK standing as an independent candidate will not bring any success and therefore many to be politicians are keen to secure party membership and support. It is shame as theoretically UK parliamentary elections are more friendly to independent candidates (comparing to other parliamentary elections) but abuse of influence by main political parties is rather grim reality of how even the best ideas can be abused for the sake of ruling elites. Part of the problems is that voters here vote deliberately for one of main parties assuming that voting for independents is just waste of their vote. This is something that needs changing before anything can be done about farer elections.
    .
    And I also agree that there is less transparency of power holders in the UK in recent years and recent scandal with MPs financial claims has been rather a reminder of how little we know until we learn of things like this.

  • adrian

    I know it is tiring Craig, but what you are doing is so important. You are not alone, people are waking up. Keep up the good work. The challenge when working so hard to expose the darkness is for you, yourself to stay in the light, and in this respect I can help.

    Have a look at my website – love life live now. com I would be honoured to give you free one to one mindfulness coaching. Kind regards adrian

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Tom Welsh
    .
    I suspect that the War was needed and was decided and it was only a matter of selling this to a wider public. Why on earth newspapers would be allowed to publish anything again the pro-war idea? I recall some publications on Russian newspapers and websites at that time criticising the same US/UK intelligence reports. This only confirms that idea that although the media here is freer than elsewhere, but also biased. Not sure what can be done if even BBC supposedly owned by us taxpayers at the same time supplies us one of the most biased information.

  • wendy

    “How many journalists or political opponents have been assassinated in the UK recently?”
    .
    .
    how many uk journos attack the government for its wars and abuses ? how many do it without any sense of apology to the govt ?
    .
    .
    how many can you name in MSM who are today a big fat sharpest thorn in the backside of this or previous govt with regard to the neocon agenda? i can name the embeds ..
    .
    .
    the fact is the uk govt/state doesnt need to assassinate journos .. they’re (journos) commited to euthanasia .. dying the ‘good’ death

  • wendy

    gifiles (wikileaks) are reporting that US/UK/French forces have been in Syria since pre December 2011 and seeking Syrian civil war with the help of Turkey ..

  • Komodo

    If Ingo’s still around he will confirm my impression that joint US/UK air activity over East Anglia currently looks little changed from the peak of the Libyan exercise. And no doubt we have special forces stirring up the Kurds…

  • Michael

    hmmmm………Urban and Taube are a matched pair of oily bastards and Paxman doesn’t exactly go for the jugular……he seems more tired and resigned, to be honest…..

  • Uzbek in the UK

    @ Wendy
    .
    It is good then that we live in the Internet age.
    .
    It is bed thought that absolute majority of people in the UK/EU/US visit facebook/twitter/porn and other rubbish on the Internet and not blogs like this one.
    .
    The question is should westerners be more broadly educated about outside world starting from schools so that they are no such snobbish when it comes to naming capital of foreign state or at least pointing out its location?

  • Tony

    Obama was clearly squirming when sat opposite Netenyahu yesterday. But like his predecessors and opponents he will sacrifice his dignity for re-election. Which, since it is assured anyway, makes his pandering all the more cringe-making.

  • Passerby

    Obama genuflecting before the “Master Race” in the advocacy gala for endorsement of the continuation of the reign of control of the said “Master Race”, was reprehensible, and contemptible. Even more egregious and outlandish was the tight security that was surrounding the crazy lunatic in charge of the crazy Judaic Supremacists Natanyahu (indicating the elevated importance of their dear leader), whose speech was an exercise in flipping the bird at the presidential pontifications of Obama.
    ,
    This is the degrees of disconnect from reality in the heart of the US New Century Empire. The money go around racket is paying dividends: US tax payers funds are diverted through the laundromat set in TelAviv, back into the pockets of the so called decision makers who are beholden to Isreal for use of the friendly services it offers.
    ,
    In sustaining this dog and pony show every other priority is demoted to mere detail, and full attention being paid at securing and ensuring the taxdollar recycling scheme that has served the leadership in US pretty well up until now.
    ,
    The sickening fact that friendly services offered by Isreal entails a very high cost, somehow never enters the minds of the greedy bastards who are all too happy to accept such a high costs to ensure their paltry retainers are safe and in the respective envelopes/accounts/gifts/etc.
    ,
    The corrosive effects of such an open and manifestly corrupt crony network, compel the rise of other networks representing various other interests to get busy, and resulting in the recently witnessed rash of privatizations, inclusive of handing over crime investigations to the private companies, in a Pinkerton revisited style. Although we are assured that only Police will have the power of detention. Alas with privatization of the crime investigations, and punishment for the said crime (jail) in place already, the only none profit making enterprises are the police itself, and the courts, which shall duly follow in the path of privatization too, given the success of the current policies.
    ,
    We all are Palestinians now.
    ,
    The drum beats for war on Iran are getting louder, whilst discounting the potential for WWIII, which will be triggered given the mendacious attacks of Natanyahu on Iran. The Judaic supremacists suffering from masada complex en mass have hoodwinked the leaders on retainers about the potential destruction that is sure to follow. Mayans may yet prove to have been correct in their forecasts, but do the bent and corrupt politicians care?

  • anon

    @ Wendy: “gifiles (wikileaks) are reporting that US/UK/French forces have been in Syria since pre December 2011 and seeking Syrian civil war with the help of Turkey ..”
    .
    Got a link for that please?

  • anon

    Please, everyone, when you have important information like Wendy’s above, post a link. Then your evidence can be passed on to other people. Linking websites also moves them higher in the search engine rankings.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    “Mayans may yet prove to have been correct in their forecasts, but do the bent and corrupt politicians care?”
    .
    No they do not. Profit making comes first in politics, it has always been the case. Lenin said once that politics was concentrated expression of economics.
    .
    Real dollar show is being played in other places too not just Israel. China is producing 60% of goods for US in exchange to dollars that China lends to the US, what is this if not perfect Ponzey scheme? Saudis sell oil to the US and then invest dollar into the US financial and property markets, what is this if not perfect neo-colonisation? Who would expect that but Russia legally and illegally invests over 500 billion USD every year in EU and US, what is this if not hypocrisy?

  • boniface goncourt

    Dr Josef Mengele quipped to the dudes at Auschwitz:
    “The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it.”
    I am old enough to remember the semblance of freedoms.
    People today are so thick and Cowellized, they don’t know or care what’s going on. “Israel” – everything evil, fanatic and reptilian in the human psyche – triumphs over Humanism and Reason. Fascism is probably the normal condition of mankind. People don’t want to be free, they want to be safe.

  • Mary

    Bombing Osirak, Burying UN Resolution 487 – An Exchange With The BBC’s Jonathan Marcus
    .

    On June 7, 1981, eight Israeli aircraft bombed the Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor ten miles southeast of Baghdad. Ten Iraqis and one French civilian were killed. In his book State of Denial, journalist Bob Woodward argued that the raid intensified Iraq’s nuclear programme:
    .
    ‘Israeli intelligence were convinced that their strike… had ended Saddam’s program. Instead [it prompted] covert funding for a nuclear program code-named “PC3” involving 5,000 people testing and building ingredients for a nuclear bomb…’ (Woodward, State of Denial, Simon & Schuster, 2006, p.215)
    .
    In response to the attack, UN Security Council Resolution 487 was passed 15-0, on June 19, 1981, with no-one opposing and no-one abstaining – not even the United States. It is worth quoting the Resolution at some length:
    .
    /…
    http://www.medialens.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=671:bombing-osirak-burying-un-resolution-487-an-exchange-with-the-bbcs-jonathan-marcus&catid=25:alerts-2012&Itemid=9

  • Gareth Barry

    “Not content with giving over the entire NHS budget to be plundered for private profit,”

    Outright Lie.

    ” the police service is now being privatised. ”

    Outright Lie 2.

    The truth is bad enough without having to resort to outright lies

  • PhilW

    “The use of coercive force against its citizenry is the ultimate sanction of the state and must in a civilised society only be exercised with utmost restraint and control.”

    The police executed another unarmed man last Friday. Shot through the windscreen of his car. I know Craig does not have much sympathy with Mark Duggan, and this guy may well have been a dangerous criminal as well, but this does not excuse this sort of action. We are going down a dangerous path.
    .

    Yes Craig, I do find it all as depressing as you do. Except I incline to the view held by Patrick Cockburn that maybe Israel and the US are more interested in threatening Iran than actually going to war.
    .

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/05/israels-huff-and-puff-game/
    .

    (However I dont think the Neocons will rest until there is regime change in Iran, whatever that takes)

  • DownWithThisSortOfThing

    The way things are going the Government will be privatised soon. 😉

    Regarding foreign troops in Syria.
    .
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9122749/Thirteen-French-officers-captured-by-Syrian-Army.html
    .
    The original Lebanese source, on which this story is based, states that 100 French were caught not thirteen.
    .
    Then I noticed the wording “14 French Officers”. Cunning, they are only reporting the officers and not the troops.
    .
    13 sounds like it could be a motley crew of mercenaries but over 100, with 13 officers, sounds like a dozen or so fighting sections.

  • conjunction

    I don’t always agree with you Craig but it makes me feel better when you pump it out like you have today, so thanks.

    I didn’t see Paxman, and he’s a bit of a windup merchant but he clearly has some balls.

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