Motes 108

The nation that supplied Baroness Ashton to head EU foreign policy describes Juncker as a non-entity. This causes much mirth in Brussels.  One fact that the British media have singularly failed to address is that UKREP Brussels (the UK’s Embassy to the EU) has reported that Juncker is believed to be sympathetic to the idea of continuing Scottish membership of the EU after independence.  That makes sense given his record as an EU expansionist and his own background from the small independent state of Luxembourg. It helps explain Cameron’s furious opposition.

The Tories’ frenetic attempts to find an alternative candidate to Juncker are floundering.  This is in part because of a fundamental illogicality in the British position.  Cameron claims that he wants to reform the EU in part to address its “democratic deficit”.  But he wants to start by cancelling the most important democratic advance the EU has made – that the Commission President should be nominated by the winning party in the European Parliament elections.  On top of which, in 2010 Cameron pulled the Conservatives out of that winning party in order to form an alliance with the anti-semites of Poland’s Law and Justice party.  He now wants this losing party to choose the Commission President.

The Tories are hoping Merkel can produce an alternative candidate from Central and Eastern Europe.  The problem is that the parties like Civic Platform in Poland which are in the winning European People’s Party in the European Parliament and in government, are anathema to the right wing loonies with whom the British Tories are grouped.  As a result the names being canvassed by UKREP Brussels are now so obscure as to make Junckers look like Ronaldo, and British diplomats are being obliged to extol the virtues of obscure Czech politicians that they have never heard of.  Meanwhile Carl Bildt is quietly involved in pushing on Merkel a candidate directly involved in the persecution of Julian Assange.  My money is still on Juncker.


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108 thoughts on “Motes

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  • guano

    First you turn up late, then you change your colours, then you’ve forgotten your opinions. What have you done with your Half-buck companion, dropped his remains at sea so we have no shrine at which to mourn him?

  • Ba'al Zevul (Suffer -the little children!)

    A prolonged silence in all UK media on the fascinating – to him – topic of Tony Blair. Not mentioned in UK reporting of Renzi’s current visit to China is his imminent encounter with the pretty straight sort of corkscrew himself –

    Soon, Renzi will also see the President of the Republic of China, Xi Jinping, Li and the President of the Council Kequiang. Later, meeting with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was also in Beijing today. (Google Translation)

    He may not be on G-CEYL, which departed Heathrow (? Northolt) yesterday, apparently flying to Cork, and was last seen in Istanbul. Which is a plausible refuelling point, I suppose.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Suffer -the little children!)

    Also missed by the media circus: Blair punting snake oil in Ethiopia in March.

    (scroll down)

    Monday, 31 March 2014 07:48
    Hailemariam, Blair discuss regional issues

    Addis Ababa March 31/2014 Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Friday met with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to talk about bilateral and regional issues.

    The two parties discussed on ways of boosting UK investment in Ethiopia and cooperation with the African Governance Initiative, an initiative working to promote good governance in Africa.

    PM Hailemariam on the occasion urged the need to further boost UK investment in Ethiopia thereby maximize the benefits of both countries from the investment opportunity in the country.

    Blair on his part said the Initiative will work with Ethiopia in a bid to support the country’s efforts to improve good governance.

    Blair said he will promote the favorable investment atmosphere and opportunities in Ethiopia among UK and other European companies.

    Blair lauded the role Ethiopia has been playing in the fight against terrorism and restoring peace and stability in East Africa, according to a high level official who attended the meeting.

    Decoded, Blair Inc will take a cut of whatever aid is going to encourage his pals to make money out of Ethiopia. And support good governance …ok, that bit’s meaningless.

  • Mary

    Even Bliar and Blunkett did not resort to these measures.

    The Fascisti are definitely in control now.

    ’11:49: Downing Street has backed the use of water cannons on the streets of Britain after it was confirmed that London mayor Boris Johnson had already bought three for use in the capital. The final decision on whether they can be used will rest with Home Secretary Theresa May.’

    Thousands hit by benefits backlog
    Hundreds of thousands of people have been hit by a benefits backlog, a minister says

    Even The Sun gets what is going on.

    ’12:42: Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun tweets That’s it; 35 whole minutes of PMQs, and not one MP asked about UK’s response to the Iraq catastrophe. Instead, they joked about speedos.’

    Thousands of passport applications are stacked up.

    I see that in PMQ Agent Cameron even included football and the England team.

    Glad I did not see or hear any of it.


    We are in a terrible mess and it is getting worse.

    Another friend who was a hospital manager of two departments in another region tells me that there is chaos within her local hospitals. Managers have left or have been made redundant, clerical staff made redundant, other ancillary staff passed on to private companies, and so on. Nobody knows what is going on and the staff are very demoralized. The management asked her to come back from retirement to do a locum but she said no as her own health is not good after the stresses and strains of her job over three decades.

    The ConDem plan for the NHS is of course, Destabilize, Demoralize, Dismantle.

    It is happening under our noses and nobody is even aware or concerned.

  • Mary


    We’ve heard it all before. Welfare is not working. A something for nothing culture. Britain is broken. Why? Because Labour created this mess by maxing out the nation’s credit card. They went on a spending spree, splashing out on skivers and scroungers whilst the rest of us were working hard. So what is to be done? We have to deal with our massive debts like any sensible household. Austerity may be a nasty medicine but there is no alternative. Besides, we’re all in this together.

    It’s certainly a seductive story. The slogans deployed have scored precision hits against the social democratic consensus. The devices and framing of the austerity narrative have embedded into the public’s consciousness to the degree that rebuttal with mere facts is not enough to dislodge opinion. It also goes some way to explaining how the most radical upheaval of the welfare state since its inception, cutting £18 billion a year in benefits by 2015 (to be followed by a further £10 billion a year projected for the next parliament) in the context of the largest post-war public spending cuts, should be met with such equanimity by the public.


    The author – The X-ray factor

    Bio: My name is Youssef El-Gingihy. I am a GP working in London. This is my new political blog – The X Ray Factor – with a short précis below. The inaugural blog is entitled ‘How to dismantle the NHS in 10 easy steps’ about how the NHS has been insidiously converted into a market-based healthcare system. This process is accelerating under the Coalition government and the very existence of a National Health Service is in danger. The blog will focus on capitalism in crisis. From the financial crash and the Eurozone crisis to the Arab Spring, from austerity and cuts to the cost of living, from privatisation to the outsourcing of public services, from the destruction of the NHS to the dismantling of welfare states; we are living through a seismic period of global crisis and unrest. You can also follow ‘The X ray Factor’ on Facebook.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Diamond Geezer)

    Norman Baker joins the calls for Blair to publicly request publication:

    ‘Iraq is perhaps the most serious undermining of democracy for decades and we need the full facts. We are now led to believe Tony Blair is happy to have everything published. I urge him now to call for that publicly.’

    Mr. Blair is currently lying (low). Pic of Blair with Italy’s Blair, Matteo Renzi, in Beijing:

    That should fix Renzi’s future prospects, anyway.

  • Mary

    “Have you got blood on your hands Mr Blair?” Reporter to Blair just after Dr Kelly’s death became public information.

  • Mary

    Privatisation of the NHS contd.

    NHS: Private profit kills.

    People have rightly been horrified and outraged at the recent tragic death of a premature baby in St Thomas’s hospital in London. The baby’s death is believed to have been caused by septicaemia contracted via contaminated liquid intravenous feed. It is also reported that another 21 babies are being treated after contracting the same infection. While right-wing newspapers carried front page headlines condemning the “NHS drip”, profiteering private companies’ control over medical supplies is the real issue here.

    Claire Job, a nurse in Wales, explains the situation: The type of feed used in this case is called Total Parental Nutrition (TPN) and it can be tailored to the specific nutritional needs of the patient who is unable to eat food in the normal way. In this specific case the feeds were manufactured to feed premature babies as yet unable to sustain themselves from breast milk alone. TPN must be completely sterile before administration to the patient. In order for this to be achieved they are made in a special air filtered environment. Many hospitals throughout the UK have their own manufacturing units and products such as TPN and chemotherapy are made by NHS staff working for the hospital pharmacy manufacturing departments.

    The feeds linked to the sad death of this baby and the ill-health of many more were produced by a private company called ITH Pharma which has been commissioned to manufacture these products for several NHS trusts. Is this another example of private sector commissioning in the NHS putting lives at risk ? The NHS in England is being dismantled by the Con-Dems with 70% of all NHS contracts being won by private sector bidders. This barrage of privatisation actually drains money from the NHS and frontline services. ITH Pharma is a company on the rise and it is reported by the Sunday Times to have made £12.1 million worth of sales in 2011-12 from NHS services.

    The Con-Dems are so blatant in their ideological approach to privatisation in the NHS they have even been considering exempting private suppliers to the NHS from paying tax, to put them on an ‘equal footing’ and help them be more competitive. ITH Pharma has not shared the specific details of how a contaminant found its way into the feeds of those babies, but we do know that the ‘profit motive’ very often leads to compromising safety and health. Competition in the private sector is driven by keeping costs down; this is achieved through low pay, poor conditions for staff and a huge temptation to cut corners. Privatisation does not deliver improved healthcare or an improved patient experience as promised by the Con-Dems. It delivers medicines that are extortionately expensive, it delivers products that are less robustly regulated and it means extra expense for the NHS… but have no doubt, it delivers large profits to the bosses.

    We do not want health to be a market place for cut-throat capitalists seeking to profit from ill-health. The lives of our family, friends and those most vulnerable in society need to be protected. The best protection we can offer is to fight to fully nationalise the NHS and all its suppliers – products, medicines and equipment. Health services should be planned based on the needs of everyone. But Cameron and Clegg are more interested in protecting private companies’ interests than in providing decent healthcare for the majority. And Labour is no different – privatisation in the NHS ballooned in the 13 years of Labour rule.

    Health trade unions must fight against the dismantling and privatisation of the NHS, including with strike action and linking up with other unions. Such a campaign would receive the support of millions across the UK and have the potential to remove the weak Con-Dems from government.

    Registered Address: Unit 4 Premier Park, Premier Park Road, London, NW10 7NZ

    6 years (Incorporation date 17/04/2008)
    Assets £3,783,206 Liabilities £2,071,131 3 Blooms and a Winstanley
    Adam Bloom has 8 other directorships in medical companies and Bryan Bloom 2, having resigned from 12 others including the JNF Charitable Trust Ltd. Well, well! Who would guess?

  • Mary

    Another babe that was being fed on the ITH product has died. It was announced this afternoon. Very sad for the parents and family. I hope the babe did not suffer.

  • Kempe


    Interesting article about Juncker in the current ‘Eye. His policies as finance minister then prime minister have turned Luxembourg into a tax haven through which companies like Vodafone and Tesco avoid paying billions in tax. Germany is as badly affected as us if not worse which makes Angular’s support for his presidency peculiar to say the least.

  • Mary


    ‘UK Prime Minister David Cameron has suffered a setback in his battle to prevent Jean-Claude Juncker getting the EU’s top job.

    Mr Cameron has made a direct appeal to voters in Ireland, France and Germany to back a candidate who will change the way Brussels is run.

    He calls for “bold leadership” for the European Commission.

    But the main centre-left and centre-right groups in the European Parliament have joined forces to back Mr Juncker.

    Manfred Weber, head of the European People’s Party, the main centre-right group, said: “There is growing support for Juncker at all levels”.

    He said choosing any other candidate would trigger “a constitutional crisis”.’

  • Kempe

    ” He obviously did not get his way with Mrs Merkel. ”

    You realise that image is going to haunt me for the rest of day?

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