Same as the Old Boss – Alexis Tsipras 178


Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Alexis Tsipras, and we do get fooled again. If you will forgive me I should like to crow a little about the accuracy of my predictions on Greece in the last week or so. Now comes the bit where they stay in the Euro there is another fudge, the bankers get hold of more cash and more state assets, and nothing much changes.

We have to find what enjoyment we can in life, and I was writing yesterday about stuffing a duck. I give you another evocative little snippet from Sikunder Burnes which I rather enjoyed writing.

The next morning Burnes slept in late, hungover. Argoud woke up, and passed Percival Lord, who was sitting in the hall performing taxidermy on a duck. Argoud, still not sober, then crashed into Burnes’ room:

“That officer was not yet dressed, on which M. Argoud called out: “Why sare, the battle of Wagram was fought before this hour, and you are still in deshabille? Will you take wine with me?” “No,” said Captain Burnes, “I never take wine before breakfast.” “Then sare,” said Argoud, “You insult me and I demand satisfaction.” He ran out and soon reappeared with his small sword and asked Burnes to send for his rapier.”


178 thoughts on “Same as the Old Boss – Alexis Tsipras

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  • Lorna X

    Who wins again, of course – it’s the bankers. It is they who rule the world!

    The question I would be asking now – “who exactly are they”?

    Not that I actually believe all the conspiracy talk in the world but a “New World Order” – where the strong survive…..

    Food for Thought – Dividing the World again and keeping the masses down – until War.

    You see after a Great War ends.- there is growth and new governments………or One Government!!!

  • fedup

    You may rightly crow.

    The bankster developed and implemented corruption is far too deeply rooted and systemic, therefore any glimpse of hope for a change is a mere respite from the ugly actualities
    that continue to exist regardless of the hopes ans aspirations of we the people. therefore the continuance of unjust and asymmetric access to wealth creation and acquisition and the exercise of power over the rest of us.

    Poor Greeks are betrayed yet again, and they will be worse off than before at this rate.

  • Salford Lad

    I find it incomprehensible that Alex Tsipiras has succumbed to the Eurocrats and is to subject his people to more austerity.
    He held a strong set of cards in any negotiations.

    • A mandate from the Greek people to reject any further austerity programmes.
    • A strong claim to reject much of the debt as Odious and thus cancelled.
    • A strong claim to war reparations from Germany.
    • Support from Russia, via entry to the BRICS and compensation for a gas pipeline to Europe via Greece.
    • Leverage, by threatening to exit the EU, Euro and NATO ,thus disrupting the financial and military plans of the US.

    I can only surmise that the last issue was repugnant to the US and a case of crossing the Rubicon. Pressure was exerted ,similar to Chile and Allende. You do not go against the Hegemon and live to tell the tale.
    This saga is not complete and has a way to run and I do not pre-judge Tsipars courage or ideals until all facts are known.

    This explains what the Greeks are up against and a lesson for Scots freedom lovers;
    http://www.voltairenet.org/article188082.html

  • Mary

    No sympathy for the plight of the Greek people Craig? I wouldn’t crow too much.

  • fred

    “And I’m afraid that unlike Craig he is not interested in adding to historical knowledge just in rewriting what is already there”

    Like the SNP pretending they didn’t oppose NATO air strikes against Serbian forces.

  • milkycoffee

    Dear Craig, this raises the issue as to whether it is good for countries to be in the EU. Your thoughts on this would be welcome.

  • Summerhead

    Perhaps Mr. Tsipiras has his own personal safety to consider or even the safety of the Greek people. Nations that have stood up to the banksters have always suffered greatly. Recent examples are Libya and Syria.

  • Alistair Gray

    I think that’s a very harsh judgement Craig.

    The ECB has Greece by the throat, and Greece had a window of only a few days to make an offer the EU would accept. Tsipras had no mandate from the electorate to exit the Euro, and no machinery in place for an alternative currency. His mandate from the referendum was to strike a better deal, within the Euro. Assuming the EU accepts Tsipras’ proposal, and offers the debt rescheduling not previously made available, he will have succeeded in this task.

    Anything else would have exceeded his mandate, broken up his government, and possibly led to civil unrest and a military coup.

    I think Syriza have fought as hard as they reasonably could, with the limited weapons at their disposal.

    This article by Alex Andreou is the best summary of the position I have seen: https://www.byline.com/column/11/article/155

  • Becky Cohen

    “That officer was not yet dressed, on which M. Argoud called out: “Why sare, the battle of Wagram was fought before this hour, and you are still in deshabille? Will you take wine with me?” “No,” said Captain Burnes, “I never take wine before breakfast.” “Then sare,” said Argoud, “You insult me and I demand satisfaction.” He ran out and soon reappeared with his small sword and asked Burnes to send for his rapier.”

    Some people actually still talk like that in the South:)

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Excellent article, Alistair, thanks. But Syriza had still promised far more than it could realistically deliver by negotiation (easier to say with hindsight). Even with bitter austerity, I doubt that Greece can keep up the payments, and this looks like long-term misery, possibly mitigated by some belated writeoffs. And while Tsipras has done his best to maintain internal stability, this could well break down.

    Meanwhile the City continues to shelter Greek billionaires from inconvenient tax demands by Athens.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Lorna X 11 Jul, 2015 – 9:20 am : “Who wins again, of course – it’s the bankers. It is they who rule the world!”

    I agree. In the far future, historians will sum up the 20th century thus:

    “When bankers took control of the world”

  • MJ

    “He held a strong set of cards in any negotiations”

    No, his hands were tied. Greek banks will run out of cash next week and the Greek people won’t yet countenance a return to the drachma.

  • Clark

    “You insult me and I demand satisfaction.” He ran out and soon reappeared with his small sword and asked Burnes to send for his rapier.”

    “Some people actually still talk like that in the South” 🙂

    And a lot like the progression of many arguments in these comment threads.

  • Anon1

    I’m so bored of Greece now. Permanently teetering on the edge of the brink of the verge of the precipice of whatever, waving their silly little flags in whichever square it is. I suppose this is what the death of a nation by EU technocracy looks like. Slow, protracted and monumentally dull. These people should be asserting their independence right now and telling frau Merkel and the Eurozone to fuck right off, but they don’t have the balls for it. Can’t say I’m not “pmsl” at the whole spectacle of the Euro project collapsing, though, not that it ever quite will. It was all so utterly predictable. /crow.

  • Anon1

    Milkycoffee

    “Dear Craig, this raises the issue as to whether it is good for countries to be in the EU. Your thoughts on this would be welcome.”

    Many people have tried to elicit a response from Craig on this subject and just as many have failed.

  • MJ

    Craig has been very clear about the EU. He thinks it’s great. He believes it’s run by idealists. He believes that without it European nations would be permanently at war with each other. He thinks an independent Scotland would flourish in the EU and it means he doesn’t have to get his passport out when he gads about.

    What is there not to like?

  • John Goss

    My view is that Tsipras is playing for time. There is no alternative plan available yet so he has to keep taking the loans to stop a run on the banks.

    Meanwhile in the UK the Labour Party’s ‘Monday Club’ is laying down the law to try and stop Jeremy Corbyn being selected as leader. What a dirty game politics is. ‘Labour First’ is this right-wing pressure-group. So thankful I got out of the Labour Party when I did. I knew which direction it was heading when Blair, without real opposition, removed clause four.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/07/10/blairite-group-in-bid-to-_n_7771804.html?1436551702&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067

  • Republicofscotland

    Yes, it’s a Greek tragedy, that somehow 62% of the Greek population can vote no, yet somehow Greece’s future lies in the hands of 19 Eurozone finance ministers, as they meet to discuss giving Greece a €53 billion bailout.

    Has Tsipras caved in to the faceless Troika, over his own peoples wish, to say no to more austerity?

    It does looks as though Syriza, will now bow to its creditors demands, shamefully in a country where democracy was born, the will of the people looks likely to be ignored.

    I was rather hoping that the Greeks would set an example, that we could all aspire to, with regards to choosing its people’s welfare, ahead of the faceless bankers profits, bailing Greece out will just add more misery to a already intolerable situation.

  • MJ

    “the will of the people looks likely to be ignored”

    In this instance I think the people want two things that don’t mix. They want an end to austerity and they want to stay in euro. They can’t have both. Until they’re prepared to do cold turkey on the euro austerity is the only option.

  • Republicofscotland

    “In this instance I think the people want two things that don’t mix. They want an end to austerity and they want to stay in euro. They can’t have both. Until they’re prepared to do cold turkey on the euro austerity is the only option.”
    __________________________________

    MJ.

    The people of Greece 62% of them voted, for less austerity not more, a further €53 billion bailout, will only push them deeper into austerity, and the clutches of the troika, I agree they can’t have both, without more extreme frugality.

    A quick exit with short term austerity albeit just as painful, in my opinion would’ve seemed a better approach, the devalued Drachma would have, attractive qualities in the form of shipping and tourism.

    But alas I fear Syriza have been compromised from the inside, or there is the possibility that the other Eurozone countries, mainly Germany and France, feel that a Grexit could lead to instability within the Eurozone, this approach in my opinion is financial folly.

    Throwing money at the Greece plight will only make it worse for the citizens of Greece in the long term.

  • Anon1

    “In this instance I think the people want two things that don’t mix. They want an end to austerity and they want to stay in euro. They can’t have both. Until they’re prepared to do cold turkey on the euro austerity is the only option.”

    Spot on.

  • Anon1

    John Goss writes:

    “Meanwhile in the UK the Labour Party’s ‘Monday Club’ is laying down the law to try and stop Jeremy Corbyn being selected as leader. What a dirty game politics is. ‘Labour First’ is this right-wing pressure-group.”

    I don’t know how many times this has been pointed out to Mr Goss, but for want of trying, Corbyn is being opposed not because of some right-wing conspiracy within the Labour Party. He is opposed because he will make the Labour Party completely unelectable. Hence the Tories are going around wearing “Vote Corbyn” badges. I do wish you would get this into your thick head. I don’t doubt that the old comrades would stand fully behind him were there the slightest chance of him appealing to the electorate.

  • ben

    Yes. It’s politics. It taints everyone who dabbles or commits with sincereity only to find their own feet of clay mired in human mud..

  • Bob Smith

    I can understand the position of the Greek PM and can understand the referendum he held. I would also Kay good money that whatever agreement he enters into to receive bail out money will be broken within 12 months and we will see all this again. The EU is irrelevant to all this.

  • Gorlagon

    At the very least, Syriza have done a better job than almost anyone else of exposing the corrosive power dynamics in Europe. Democracy had finance on the run for a very brief moment, but however brief, it was enlightening for many. We saw the fear and then we saw the vicious reaction. I think we all owe Syriza thanks for what they did manage.

  • Dave Hansell

    Perhaps it is time for this blog to organise a whip round for those poor little souls whose concentration and attention levels are so poor that they are getting bored with Greece and it’s people.

    We could send them to the pictures to sit through something less taxing, like a Disney feature.

    Two relevant points do arise however. Firstly, it would seem reasonable to surmise (hopefully I’m not using too many hard words here for the easily bored) that the consistency of the EU negotiators in rejecting a deal at the very last minute to, supposedly, obtain more concessions from the Greeks will have impacted on the strategic thinking of the Greek negotiators.

    This being the case it is conceivable that the Greek negotiators may well be working from the premise (which may or may not be accurate) that the deal they have offered and which is being presented to the Greek Parliament will also be rejected by the EU negotiators.

    The rationale for such a premise (apart from the previous consistency in rejecting Greek proposals at the last minute) being the recognition by the EC key players that the breadth of the project is making it unstable and unsustainable leading to the logical conclusion that an orderly jettisoning of those periphery economies which are having a drag factor and threatening the efficacy of the project is the best way forward. Leaving the core economies to deepen the roots of the project having finally sussed out that Albion sold them a pig in a poke in its leadership of the drive to broaden the EC project to include more periphery economies than were ready for it.

    The second point relates to the comment about the lack of balls on the part of the Greek people in not telling the Troika and Germany where to get off. Although unstated it seems reasonable to interprete this as implying us Brits are made of sterner stuff. Which is simply laughable.

    As it happens I’ve just returned from a visit to Germany for the first time since I was demobbed forty years ago. One or two the feedback write ups about the place where we stayed from fellow Brits would certainly have been recognised by Australians as typical whinging pom stuff. One being about the fact that the balcony of the apartment they had was facing a “derelict” unused apartment block and therefore had a poor view. As it happened we had the apartment above the one in question and had the same view. But as we were out hiking most of the time it was not an issue for us. The point being that at busy times someone has to be placed in the apartments with the less scenic views.

    And my guess is that more often than not it will be the Brits who get those apartments. Not because of any antipathy towards Brits by those nasty Europeans but because they have seen what we will put up with in the UK and what a complete lack of balls the complacent majority amongst us actually have. They know we will mutter and whine under our breath but will never do anything to rectify any crap we are fed.

    Comparing the quality of life of places like Germany, France, Holland etc, where I have in the past, lived, worked, and visited with that of the UK is like comparing a luxury liner with an old tug boat. The area we stayed in, on the edge of a national park, is comparable in size and proximity to the national park where we live. The population is almost identical in size. Yet, where we have to go around with a collecting tin to keep open and staff a decades old sports centre (which the community originally paid for) with community volunteers the Germans have not one but two modern outdoor swimming pool and sports facilities, theatres, hotels, roads with no pot holes, and verges regularly cut by the local authority in a similar sized town to the one in which we live, which has nowhere near the same number or quality of facilities.

    In most places parking was free. Even camper vans can find designated spaces with hook ups to utilities which in places are also free. Even the telescopes at the bird watching station did not require a constant feeding of coins, unlike in the UK. There are two reasons for this.

    Decisions in the UK are largely made by bean counters whose only function is to persuade a gullible and supine population to shovel as much money and resources from the bottom to the top in as short a space of time as possible and be thankful for the privlige. Whereas on much of the northern near continent decision making is largely still in the hands of practical minds, like engineers, who think in the long term.

    Despite all the noise and froth a sufficiently large proportion of Brits have no balls and are living proof that the lines about slaves in the song Rule Britainnia are at best satire and at worst empty hot from people who will put up with anything.

    We have little to be complacent about and certainly have no ground to stand on when it comes to criticising the Greek people. Remember, they got into this situation because their elites and corporations avoided and evaded paying tax for years leaving the burden onto ordinary people (now that sounds familiar).

    Craig, among many others, longs for independence to escape the impractical and unsustainable faith based religious nonsense of the British States fetishism with voodoo neo liberal economic zealotry and imperial world stage pretensions. Asking permission from that State is not a logical, workable or practical strategy. The rUK is trapped in its own complacent bullshit. If independence, which sets an example and creates space for the rest of us to build progress on, is to be achieved it will have to be taken from the cold moribound hands of the dead state walking which currently exists.

    Then we can claim we have balls compared to others.

  • fred

    “It does looks as though Syriza, will now bow to its creditors demands, shamefully in a country where democracy was born, the will of the people looks likely to be ignored.”

    Couldn’t agree more. What’s the point of having a referendum if people just ignore the result.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    fred 11 Jul, 2015 – 4:33 pm : “Couldn’t agree more. What’s the point of having a referendum if people just ignore the result.”

    ….. and what’s the point of having a general election if people just ignore the result.

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