People or War? 124


We could have built 120,000 new homes, desperately needed. Instead we spent the money on a bloody big ship. To what purpose? An aircraft carrier is of no use to defend the British Isles – land based planes can do that much better. It is to enable our armed forces to operate elsewhere, far from here. In other words, it is not for defence, it is for attack. It was ordered in the Blairite era of enthusiastic invasion of other countries.

Look what that left us. The Middle East in turmoil, half the world hates us, a wrecked economy. Oh and a bloody great ship. Thanks for that.

Not only could 6.2 billion pounds have built 120,000 social housing units around the country, but doing that would have created 200,000 more jobs, and helped cool the housing bubble, as well as giving families nice places to live.

Next time a disabled person has their benefits cut, we can say “Aah, but look, we’ve got a really good boat!”


124 thoughts on “People or War?

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  • mike

    Re the RAND plan: I wonder which corporations will be brought in to construct internment camps and processing facilities? Maybe KBR, Bechtel and Halliburton. The Kremlin has shown remarkable restraint so far. I wonder how long that will last with an open corporate neoliberal prison right on the border. The place will be flooded with Academi and G4S mercenaries. A nice privatised staging post for actual incursions into Russia proper.

  • Muscleguy

    @Aidworker

    You may not have noticed but people in Scotland have voted very differently for local, Scottish, Westminster or European elections. There is an argument that post devolution there was little point electing SNP people for Westminster as they will always be too small to effect change. Labour may still want Trident renewals but they are much more sceptical than the Tories who do so much more reflexively.

    So the GE results while different from the Holyrood ones I was referring to may still have much of the same attitude to Trident. Politics after all is the art of the possible.

    Note that for Holyrood elections we can give our party votes to the Greens to also indicate a desire to be rid of Nukes. Westminster elections not being proportional offer no such nuances. So voters must perchance reassess who to most effectively vote for.

    And finally the SNP currently lead at all and every level of government including Westminster voting intentions. A pollster recently asked GE voting intentions in the event of a No vote and that indicates the SNP would win wide numbers of Labour constituencies.

    So it seems the Labour party should not count on the usual mass of Scottish MPs regardless of the outcome of the referendum. Something to bear in mind in terms of voting intentions. At UK level this sort of thing is not likely to be taken into account. Mind you you can bet Milliband’s voting gurus will have. Bear that in mind in terms of his comments on the referendum. If they get more and more desperate you will know why.

  • Muscleguy

    Note too that by voting Yes we will not just be taking their MP jobs away from them, we will also remove their retirement plans wearing ermine in ‘the other place’. Again bear that in mind with every statement from a Scottish Labour MP. For them it really is personal. For others as well though the SNP people will have a large quota of ‘job done’ satisfaction to add to any pangs they might feel at leaving Westminster. The SNP do not nominate lords so that one has never been an option for them. I expect room will be found for many on the SNP’s party list for the post Independence Scottish elections as well.

  • Tony M

    “Get” yes, I’ve seen it spelled ghett in lyrics, it is or was common in oral use in the west of Scotland and is most usually preceded by ‘lazy’.

    “Then I compare notes with your older sister, I am a lazy ghett, she is as pure as the cold-driven snow” (Belle and Sebastian)

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Australians use it too. From an Ozzie political forum:

    “I totally agree you fat lazy ghett – in order not to receive a government pension you and your equally fat missus would need to be drawing in $72k a year on top of your obvious assets… if you are single you are dragging in over $47k a year.”

    http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1394703843/84

  • Muscleguy

    And finally, the logic of voting for unionists for Westminster after a Yes vote also evaporates. Firstly they have behaved atrociously, lying their heads off, doing Scotland down (too wee, too poor, too stupid) and generally burning vast amounts of political capital in desperate pursuit of a No vote. Secondly why would we trust a unionist MP grumpy about having to leave in 18months with having Scotland’s best interests at heart at Westminster? I can see them trying to run interference during the negotiations and at the votes for the necessary bills that will have to be passed.

    So I can see a LOT of SNP people heading for Westminster after a Yes vote. Note the SNP came top in the Euro referendum here despite doing practically no campaigning on the ground. I’m not the only person who got literature from everyone but the SNP for the Euros. So that the SNP might decide not to invest much effort in the next GE after a Yes vote in no way demolishes my point.

  • Yonatan

    A photographer, using a specially adapted lens, managed to take an interesting shot of an F-35 during vertical takeoff on a rare occasion when the plane didn’t self destruct.

    The best part about the F-35 is that it only has a single engine. The last high performance military aircraft to use just one engine rather than the usual two was the F-104 Starfighter. It was known as the “Widow maker”. Fortunately, the F-35 comes with a Martin-Baker ejector seat, possibly the only part of the aircraft that works reliably.

  • Mary

    Dimbleby Dumbs Down

    The day after the Guardian’s “exclusive interview”, Clinton spoke “frankly”, if not exclusively, to the BBC’s David Dimbleby.

    “The way I kept score in my Presidency”, Clinton said, “was, Did more people have jobs or not?… What was our record in the world? Did we advance peace and prosperity and security or not?” (The Clinton Interview, A Panorama Special, June 22, 2004, http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/programmes/panorama/transcripts/clintoninterview.txt)

    Dimbleby said not a word in response to the man who presided over “infanticide masquerading as policy” in Iraq, according to 70 members of the US Congress (Quoted, Philadelphia Enquirer, April 1, 1999). In May-June 1999, John and Karl Mueller wrote in the journal Foreign Affairs that the “sanctions of mass destruction” imposed by Clinton had up to that point killed more civilians in Iraq than “all the weapons of mass destruction in human history”. (Quoted, Edward Herman, ZNet, November 21, 2000)

    In his August 1998 cruise missile attack on the Sudan, Clinton targeted and destroyed the al-Shifa factory producing most of sub-Saharan Africa’s pharmaceutical supplies. The German ambassador to the Sudan estimated that, deprived of life-saving medicines, “several tens of thousands” of Sudanese had died as a result of the attack (Quoted, Noam Chomsky, 9-11, Seven Stories Press, 2001).

    Ahead of East Timor’s August 1999 referendum on independence, Indonesian troops armed and trained by the United States, slaughtered thousands of people across the occupied territory. Indonesian historian John Roosa, an official observer of the referendum, reported:

    “Given that the pogrom was so predictable, it was easily preventable… But in the weeks before the ballot, the Clinton administration refused to discuss with Australia and other countries the formation of [an international force]. Even after the violence erupted, the administration dithered for days.” (Quoted, New York Times, September 15, 1999)

    Clinton rightly berated Dimbleby for focusing excessively on the wretched Lewinsky affair – Dimbleby spent about 25% of the interview on the issue mentioning “oral sex” three times. Clinton suggested that the focus should be on serious humanitarian issues, such as whether, as president, he had “brought a million people home from Kosovo”. Later in the interview, Dimbleby affirmed that Clinton had indeed been “prepared to use bombing raids to save Kosovo”.

    In fact the mass exodus of people from Kosovo began +after+ Clinton and Blair began bombing on March 24, 1999. In the summer of 2000, the International War Crimes Tribunal reported that 2,788 bodies had been found in Kosovo, including Serbs, Roma and combatants. The idea that the intervention was intended to halt mass expulsions and genocide has always been a convenient fantasy. Dimbleby said nothing.

    In the 1999 Clinton-led attack on Serbia, public transport, factories, food processing plants, hospitals, schools, museums, churches, monasteries and farms were bombed by Nato. The former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia, James Bissett, said:

    “They ran out of military targets in the first couple of weeks. It was common knowledge that Nato went to stage three: civilian targets.” (Quoted, John Pilger, op., cit)

    In discussing Iraq, Clinton declared how, in December 1998, “Saddam kicked the inspectors out to try to force us to lift the sanctions”.

    Blair made the same point in a Newsnight interview with Jeremy Paxman in February last year, claiming that inspectors had been “put out” of Iraq (Blair On Iraq – A Newsnight Special, February 6, 2003).

    Above is an extract from
    COVERING FOR MR. PRESIDENT
    The Guardian And BBC Interview Bill Clinton

    Make Room! Make Room!
    http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2004/344-covering-for-mr-president.html

    July 6 2004

  • Yonatan

    Is Ukraine the new Israel?

    The minister in charge of internal security is associated with the Social-Nationalist Party (not National-Socialist so only Neo_nazi rather than Nazi?). The Jewish oligarch in charge of the eastern region has his own private army using thugs from the Right Sektor. This army is also partly funded by collections from the oligarch’s synagogue. These two groups are working together to suppress the fedaralists in the south-east of Ukraine.

    The Ukrainian military have used white phosphorus, flechette weapons and cluster bombs against civilian targets. They have deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure.

    For extra entertainment, there is evidence, via leaked Facebook conversations, of a body part harvesting operation involving a Ukrainian lawyer once associated with Juila Tymoshenko, a German (possibly a surgeon) and a Ukrainian militia leader. Given the short life time of harvested organs (hearts, lung, liver, kidneys, pancreas are mentioned), I guess these are intended for the typical waiting list patient, rather for those that can buy their way to the top of a list. The short that might be able to fly to an appropriate hospital at short notice, probably in a private jet.

    For extra added entertainment, the manifesto of the extreme right parties in Ukraine states an intent to acquire nuclear weapons, and to use them pre-emptively. There are also a number of loosely regulated bio-weapons labs in Ukraine (e.g. near Odessa and Kharkiv) thanks to the US.

    However, they do not tolerate homosexuals, even as a token presence in a single cosmopolitan city. Therefore we can reasonably conclude that Ukraine is not the new Israel and any similarity is purely coincidental.

  • Brendan

    I’m finding it weird that many rather conservative outlets are running with the paedo allegations. Normally I’d expect a nice phone call between some big whig, and the editor, ensuring matters were left well alone. It’s not a party political issue, one assumes that it involved people on all sides of the house, but it does involve establishment figures, and cover-ups: anathema to the Torygraph, and the Heil.

    Weird and inexplicable. Being cynical, I suppose it could be a case of ‘managing’ the issue, ensuring Joe Public is aware through a slow process of drip feeding news, so that the shock is lessened when ‘stuff’ comes out. Also, Tom Watson and Danczuk have being doing a lot of work on the issue, so perhaps ‘something’ had to be reported. Even Norman Tebbit has weighed in, curiously. All very very odd. Looks like it could be rather well-known figures, though I’ve no idea who. Well, I can guess, but I don’t know.

    Also, male interviewers should just cut to the chase, dress in a ‘Monica’ wig, and blow Clinton live on air. It would be slightly less unseemly than their actual interviews.

  • Peacewisher

    Hmm, Yonatan…

    Well just as it seems to be unravelling for child abuse in high places in the UK, it does seem to coming unstuck for Isreal’s previously reliable information machine. By contrast the mass media and US govt are all still on the same page regarding the outrageous lies about what is happening in Ukraine.

    Why the change? Adopting a cold war mentality, Ukraine is closer to “the enemy” than their previous best friend, so it would make military-industrial sense. I guess Isreal is a dangerous nation to stop being best friends with, though.

  • Herbie

    I can hear the conclusions now.

    “We didn’t know no better in those days. Mistakes were made. Lessons have been learnt. We’ll protect children better by making new rules about the internet.”

    There’ll be no mention of spookie grooming of useful perverts.

    Funny that. It’s all there in Kincora, over thirty years ago:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kincora_Boys%27_Home

    And, Peacewisher, Norm will have known all about this, at least. Big figure in the Cabinet back then.

    And, wasn’t he once a member of The Monday Club.

    There are an interesting web of Tory connections that emerge when one looks at the career of Harvey Proctor:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Proctor

    Remember too that these right wing Monday Clubbers were the original UKIP within the Tory party.

    They were fighting against Atlanticism at that time, so perhaps someone was keeping an eye on them.

    Atlanticism is what we know today as the Unipolar world. What Blair and so on wanted. It won in the intervening period, though it’s all looking a bit shoddy today. The Monday Clubbers were more interested in their own nation state going it alone. That’s the real divide in politics, and all else stems from that.

    Quite a few Monday Clubbers on that Elm House list.

  • Peacewisher

    Two explanations, Brendan:

    1. The levee has broken
    2. Someone is being hung out to dry, to deflect media/people interest from others.

    Very surprised that Michael Gove opened his big mouth. He really seems to think he is “all powerful”. Maybe he is. Something big, it seems, is about to unfold… well, next week, month, year… how long have they strung out the Leveson Inquiry so far?

  • Peacewisher

    @Herbie

    I’m sure you’ve read all about it on the www. However, Lord Tebbit has probably come forward because he never engaged with such practices, and didn’t want to be tarnished by that particular brush when the shift collided with the fan, as it seems about to (if you’ll pardon my mixed metaphors…)

  • Peacewisher

    The big question is… can Cameron put this genie back into the bottle?

  • Kempe

    ” The last high performance military aircraft to use just one engine rather than the usual two was the F-104 Starfighter. ”

    Apart that is from the F-16, Dassault Mirage, SAAB Gripen, Mig 21, Mig 23 and probably many others.

  • Herbie

    Peacewisher

    You really are quite naive.

    Norm has outlined the limited hangout.

    It’s as I described it above.

    The crimes go much much deeper than this superficial evasion, and for the reasons I’ve described above.

    Don’t you see the connections, and why.

    Amusing that none of that caused you much concern.

    Were you really interested, that’s where your focus would lie.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    …common in oral use in the west of Scotland

    Which is certainly where I found it, orally. But I’m sure I’ve seen it in Irish work, possibly Joyce, spelled ‘get’. I think it originally comes from this kind of usage:

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=EIJbAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA29&lpg=PA29&dq=%22got+by%22+sire&source=bl&ots=xF0yIFRJu3&sig=WL_GHJhxn54EU9Ey5yRcg087CAo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pkq6U7r5BKiu0QWYjYHACQ&ved=0CC4Q6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=%22got%20by%22%20sire&f=false

    Old Sterling’s progeny would be collectively called his ‘get’ because they were ‘got’ by him.

  • Peacewisher

    @Herbie:

    I probably am naïve, and of course what is available on the Internet (and which Anon refutes) is very disturbing.

    The scandal is all over BBC Radio 4 this morning, but still in a superficial way but the petition (not mentioned by the BBC) will force them to go deeper. Agreed that there are big names involved, but difficult to see how they will be kept out of public consciousness. Of course, it will be argued that such people won’t get a fair trial if too much is revealed.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    Kempe –

    You’re nitpicking again. So shall I. The first MiG-21 (Izdeliye 65; NATO “Fishbed-A”) were made, and flew, in 1956, the first Starfighter also flew in 1956.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    Just spotted it: scroll down on my link at 8.23 to find, about halfway down, “The Chipping Norton Procession”

    Seems corrupt Tories have a traditional presence in this part of Oxfordshire…

    (please note, most of the Election Magazine is strongly satirical, and the ‘articles’ should not be taken at face value, but refer obliquely to prominent Tories of the day. Just in case you thought otherwise.)

  • Rose

    Baal – thanks for that – a real gem. What a little digger you are. I note that moving Tone gets a mention in stanza 38 as does a Gibbet.

  • Mary

    A miracle? Was it all real in the first place? All those slebs joining in the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ campaign incl Mrs Obomber?

    ‘More than 60 Nigerian women and girls who were abducted last month by suspected Boko Haram militants have escaped their captors, according to reports.

    The AFP news agency said the group of women and girls managed to get away while militants were carrying out an attack on a nearby military base in northeast Borno state.’
    http://news.sky.com/story/1296305/boko-haram-captives-flee-as-militants-fight

    The media are moving back to the White Widow story now. It is being dismantled!

    eg
    http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/samantha-lewthwaite/55272/samantha-lewthwaite-fears-white-widow-revenge-plot

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/tv-and-radio-reviews/10941750/The-White-Widow-Searching-for-Samantha-BBC-One-review-inside-the-terrorist-myth.html

  • kashmiri

    Whilst I am a hardcore pacifist in heart, we should not forget that nations that have extensive commercial interests worldwide but are unable to protect them – simply fall out of the game. This is how the British Empire had to break up after its military could not defend it in the aftermath of WW2.

    You might say: the world will be better without UK “protection”. Well, I would argue that Britain is benefitting a lot from free-trade agreement with South Korea, for example (replace South Korea with other countries as well). And that Korea would perhaps have no need to enter such agreements should the British (and Americans) not commit to protecting its northern borders using their aircraft carriers…

    Same goes for other regions within the sphere of UK economic influence.

    The brutal truth is – and already the ancient Greeks and Romans knew it – that economic interests unfortunately require protection from the military.

    So, either you run a small country with little economic interest abroad, or you run a country that does business worldwide and is able to protect its interest.

    As to social housing – well, it would do better to enforce limits on chargeable rent (at least for smaller homes where the majority of working class live) rather than push ahead with more ghettoes for low-income families.

  • Porkfright

    The word in North Derbyshire/South Yorkshire seems to me to be “Get” as in “Yer daft Get”.

  • Mary

    A witty piece from Lesley Docksey. She points out the hypocrisies of the No brigade and Agent Cameron. Craig is linked to within.

    The Scottish Referendum on Independence
    Prime Minister David Cameron’s Inane Efforts to Boost the “No” Vote

    by Lesley Docksey / July 7th, 2014

    When I wrote about the approaching Scottish Referendum on independence, I didn’t expect such a huge reaction. All I wanted was to make clear the shame and embarrassment I personally felt, caused by the heavy-handed and idiotic efforts of the “Better Together” camp to persuade, browbeat and in some cases bribe, the Scots to vote against independence. Also, as an Englishwoman I had taken no sides; I simply acknowledged how much Scotland has to be proud of, and the rest of us to be grateful for.

    Readers responded in their thousands. Why? Were these people with Scottish ancestry, now living all across the globe, suddenly catching up with the referendum and the silliness of the campaigning? But I was assured that “a significant number” of readers were UK-based.

    /..

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/07/the-scottish-referendum-on-independence-2/

    and
    Scotland – Independently Great
    An English View of the Scottish Referendum
    June 30th, 2014
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/06/scotland-independently-great/

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    Even N.Yorks, Porkfright. ‘Git’ is for soft sootherners…

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