Neo-Liberalism Under Cover of Racism 244

It is indeed peculiar that Trump can be elected President on 47.4% of the popular vote. But not nearly as peculiar as that the Conservatives can have untrammelled power in the UK on 36.9% of the popular vote. Both electoral systems need reform, but the UK’s is absolutely indefensible.

There is a tiny blogroll down the bottom right hand margin of this blog, and most of the blogs on it have fallen by the wayside over the 12 years we have been going. But one which goes from strength to strength is Informed Comment by Juan Cole, whom I view as a towering intellectual figure. I have read reams and reams of comment on the direction of politics with the election of Trump, but Juan’s take is the best I have seen and I do urge you to read it.

The fact that death rates are actually increasing among middle aged white males in the USA is truly startling. To my understanding that is not yet the case in the UK, but what is true here is that the life expectancy gap between the rich and poor is growing again after a century of falling.

I think it is pretty common ground that we are seeing a reaction against the political class by the dispossessed former industrial working and middle class. That is scarcely remarkable. Given the vast increase in wealth inequality, against which this blog has been railing since its inception, a reaction is inevitable.

There are two ways the establishment has sought to divert this anger.

The first, and highly successful method is to convince people that it is not the massive appropriation of resources by the ultra-wealthy which causes their poverty, it is rather competition for the scraps with outsiders. This approach employs pandering to racism and xenophobia, and is characteristic of UKIP and Trump.

The second approach employs the antithesis to the same end. It is to co-opt the forces marginalised by the first approach and rally them behind an “alternative” approach which is still neo-liberalism. This is identity politics which reached its apotheosis in the Clinton campaign. The Wikileaks releases of DNC and Podesta emails revealed the extreme cynicism of Clinton manipulation of ethnic group votes. Still more blatant was the promotion of the idea that Hillary being a corrupt neo-con warmonger was outweighed by the fact she was female. The notion that elevating extremely rich and privileged women already within the 1% to top positions, breaks a glass ceiling and benefits all women, is the precise feminist equivalent of trickledown theory.

That the xenophobic strand rather than the identity politics strand won will, I predict, prove to have no impact on continued neo-liberal policies.

The British Labour Party has played identity politics for generations just as blatantly, as I know from my experience campaigning in Blackburn. The resources of state institutions are directed to obtain geographically and politically cohesive ethnic block votes.

Both Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn faced intellectually risible accusations of misogyny from the neo-liberal faux-feminists when they presented an alternative economic policy. This is the most conclusive proof of the appropriation of identity politics to the neo-liberal cause.

Opinion polls both before and after the US election appear to demonstrate beyond doubt that Sanders would have trounced Trump. But to a certainty, the financial and international interests who bankrolled Clinton would much prefer Trump to Sanders.

A number of people have been questioning what Hillary’s banker backers will make of her defeat. The answer is they will not be too disappointed. She earned her money by seeing off Sanders.

It is fascinating to see that the attitude of the salaried establishment, both elected and administrative, of the Labour and Democratic parties to Sanders and Corbyn has been identical.

The Labour nomenklatura tried to defeat Corbyn’s election by disqualifying or barring from voting well over 100,000 voters. The Democrat nomenklatura succeeded in their equivalent task by devices including a rigged count in Nevada, collusion with Clinton in sequencing of primaries to harm Sanders, and passing of debate questions in advance.

While Corbyn has retained his leadership position, he is not in control of the party machinery which daily leaks and spins against him. His leadership has been fatally undermined from day one by humiliating, vicious and continual attacks given to the media by his own party. As time goes by, it is more and more plain he is not able to get rid of the MPs and functionaries whose sole purpose is to promote right wing ideology. There is currently a controversy as to whether Dave Nellist and other old socialists should be permitted to rejoin. I cannot understand why they would wish to be in a party with John Woodcock, Simon Danczuk, Jess Phillips and lest we forget, still Blair, Mandelson and Campbell.

In short, in neither the US nor the UK is a viable radical alternative going to be put before the electorate in the near future. Those who believe either Brexit or Trump presage a break from neo-liberalism will be sore disappointed. They represent the continuance of neo-liberalism, but with popular discontent diverted into added racism.

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244 thoughts on “Neo-Liberalism Under Cover of Racism

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  • Sharp Ears

    Oops! So soon?

    Chris Christie replaced and John Rogers leaves.

    Donald Trump denies transition disarray after sackings

    Elsewhere Soros has called a meeting in Washington to decide on a strategy for the Democrats.

    ‘Neoliberal billionaire George Soros and other wealthy Democratic donors are meeting to design a resistance strategy to undermine President-elect Donald Trump’s agenda when he takes office, the media reported.

    The Democracy Alliance donor club is sponsoring the three-day conference which kicked off on Sunday at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington, DC, the Politico newspaper reported on Monday. The group will focus on devising a strategy to combat the “massive threats from Trump and Congress in 2017,” the report claimed.

    US House of Representatives minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Elizabeth Warren are expected to attend, according to the report, along with a slew of labor union and liberal group leaders.’

    He is truly an old lizard judging from the photo.

    • craig Post author

      I genuinely cannot understand why you think that is objectionable. Perfectly ordinary political meeting to discuss how to oppose the new Presidency, which they are quite entitled to do, indeed supposed to do.

      • Macky

        I hope you are not imputing unnecessary motivations yet again; given Soros’ record of funding sedition against other Governments, I’m thankful that this meeting has been highlighted.

      • Herbie

        Yeah, but it’s Soros.

        He’s rather fond of colour revolutions.

        Ruined the Ukraine. Forgotten that?

        So probably not what the US needs now.

        Soros-like lunatics have been talking shite for years.

        And look at the state of everywhere he sticks his self-serving nose.

        • MJ

          Given that Clinton couldn’t attract anyone to her rallies without putting Jay Springsteen or Bruce Z on the bill, attempting to mobilize some kind of popular revolution in the USA in furtherance of the neo-con agenda could turn out to be an uphill struggle.

          • Herbie

            Yeah, and they might even break some law or other.

            They’ve never much factored that into their game when they’re playing away.

            Let’s see how they get on when they try it at home.

      • Alcyone

        If you add a compulsive anti-Israel disorder into the mix, it all becomes crystal-clear.

        Now, I look forward to a direct answer from the commenter to your puzzlement. Or will it be spokespersons to the rescue only?

      • Herbie

        “Republicans call on Clinton, Obama to reel in Soros-linked ‘professional’ anti-Trump protesters”

        “After five days of anti-Trump protests and mayhem led by left-wing groups, including one linked to top Clinton donor George Soros, Republicans said Sunday that it’s time for Democrats to call off the dogs.

        Kellyanne Conway, Republican president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign manager, urged President Obama, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to use their influence to talk down those she described as “professional” agitators “masquerading as protesters.””

    • Old Mark

      ‘Oops! So soon?

      Chris Christie replaced and John Rogers leaves.’

      A commenter on the previous page referred to an influential cohort of Trump supporters as ‘Manhattan douchebags’- well it appears one of the younger members of that club, who also happens to be the Donald’s son in law, was probably instrumental in the sidelining of Governor Christie- one of the more acceptable faces in Team Trump during the campaign-

      The Mail article doesn’t mention it but, to give everyone a flavour of the sense of entitlement these plutocratic douchebags possess, I should also mention that it is generally accepted that Jared Kushner’s grades weren’t up to scratch to get him into Harvard- but then daddy Charles came up with a ‘charitable donation’ to Harvard (in the region of $2million apparently) and, hey presto, the son & heir got accepted !

      So much for the USA being a meritocratic republic- it is events such as these that make valid comparisons with the UK, and its class structure with the monarchy at the apex- remember how Prince Charles got into Cambridge on the strength of 2 indifferent A levels ?

  • Sharp Ears

    O/T The smooth tongued Sir Simon Fraser is on Ch 131 live now giving evidence to the HoC’s Exiting the EU Committee.

    He is former PUS at the FCO.

    ‘There is not one single Permanent Under Secretary of a UK government department who was known to be against the war and most were enthusiasts. Simon Fraser, PUS at the FCO, was an active Blairite enthusiast for the war. Though no Blairite, the Head of MI6 Alex Younger was also an enthusiast.’
    1 September 2015

    and other links on

    • Sharp Ears

      He found some niches – MD of Flint Global, dep chair of RUSI and visiting prof at Kings College.

      ‘Sir Simon Fraser was for five years, from 2010 to 2015, the Head of the UK Foreign Office and Diplomatic Service. He has also led the UK Department for Business. Prior to that he served as Chief of Staff to the European Trade Commissioner in Brussels, and as Director General for European policy at the Foreign Office. He worked for six years in the British embassy in Paris. He is Deputy Chairman of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London.’

      Interestingly, Flint provide ‘Brexit advice’.

      ‘Flint Advice on Brexit

      The decision of the UK to leave the EU has created new uncertainty, risks and opportunities. It will change the operating context for many British, European and international companies in Europe.

      Drawing on our deep expertise in European policy, political and regulatory issues in London, Brussels or Berlin, Flint specialises in supporting companies to understand and analyse how their business may be affected, to establish clear priorities and to devise effective strategies for protecting and advancing their interests. We work closely alongside companies to help them:
      •Understand the process of future negotiations and how political factors will influence them
      •Analyse in detail the most important consequences for their business
      •Prioritise the issues that need to be addressed
      •Develop strong arguments and engagement strategies for use with decision makers in the UK and EU to ensure their concerns are taken into account

      download pdf’

      Brexit is the gravy train of choice for the parasites, legal and otherwise.

  • michael norton

    FRENCH State of Emergency

    Francois Hollande said that he wanted to prolong the country’s state of emergency – imposed following last year’s November 13 terror attacks in and around Paris – until after the presidential elections in April and May 2017.

    What’s not to like, if you only have a 6% approval rating in the run-up to the presidential elections.

    It does seem almost impossible for Francois Hollande to retain the role of President of France, into the future.
    However, by keep prolonging the State of Emergency, if there might be a terror attack
    he could cancel the elections?
    That would be a big departure from democracy, in France.

    • Herbie

      Hollande is gone. Merkel is gone.

      Can’t hack it when the script changes.

      And the EU disappears up its fundament.

      Good riddance!

        • Herbie

          Not easy to say.

          Right and left are all a bit of a shambles at the moment.

          But you’d expect a coalition to emerge which was further to the right than she’s positioned herself.

          • michael norton

            |I expect it would be somebody like Donald Trump who was keen on sending migrants home and building walls.

          • Martinned

            Nonsense. She’s already setting up a continuation of the grand coalition by giving the Presidency to a social democrat. AfD will take some seats – they’ll break the 5% hurdle, but not by much – and on the other side the FDP, Linke and Greens will take 5%-10% each (if the FDP are lucky). That puts the CDU/CSU and SDP on a combined total of something like 60%-70% of the seats and/or votes. In other words, as before the biggest threat to Merkel is the CSU, not anyone outside her coalition.

          • Herbie

            Nonsense to you.

            She’s positioned herself in the centre.

            That isn’t the CDU’s natural place.

            But anyway, by the time elections come there’ll be much more for Germans to think about.

            Unbeknownst to you, obviously, things are rapidly changing.

            The position today will not be the same position tomorrow.

            It’s not even about choices any more.

            It’s about coming crash bump into reality.

      • Old Mark


        -on the other side the FDP, Linke and Greens will take 5%-10% each (if the FDP are lucky)

        You’ll need to keep stroking your rabbit foot, buy a shedload of ”lucky heather’ from your local gypsy ‘entrepreneur’ and decorate your fireplace with horseshoes if the FDP have any chance of getting back in the Bundestag with a vote of 5% or more. They are a complete bushed flush, polling at around 2-3% at the moment.

        Our Lib Dems will probably also follow them in the next 5 years down the path of political oblivion that the FDP are presently following.

        • Martinned

          We’ll see. But nothing turned on that in my comment, since FDP voters aren’t likely to run off and vote for the AfD. Regardless of whether the FDP returns in the Bundestag, they won’t have enough seats to form a coalition with the CDU. So grand coalition it is.

          • Old Mark

            Martinned- your grand coalition may just about come about, but clearly without any FDP input;however the coalition you envisage would be contingent on Merkel and the CDU keeping the CSU onside.

            Quite a few CSU members would prefer a ‘grand coalition’ than includes AfD and leaves the Greens out in the cold- that might not be to Merkel’s taste, but other leading figures in the CDU might be prepared to cut such a deal if push comes to shove- especially if AfD command more seats than the Greens.

          • nevermind

            The FDP in Germany like the Lib Dems here, are known to hang their flag to where the wind comes from, and coalition politics is tinged with buttering under, helping the bigger party to govern with little reward for FDP/Lib dems voters.

            The AFD has now been recognised as a threat to the CDU CSU, i.e. no invitation to the xmas ball in Parliament, they will thrive under the pseudo fascists that are still active in the CDU CSU and who are always there, quietly working away behind the official lines.

            here the Lib Dems could have stopped the referendum dead by resigning the coalition and causing another general election, It would have stopped the speed of privatisation as well as the referendum, but they got entrapped in power, just as the Greens did under the SPD in Germany.

    • michael norton

      Just days before a crucial French presidential primary, former President Nicolas Sarkozy is facing fresh allegations that he received millions of euros in illegal campaign financing from the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

      An investigation into the case, involving funding for Sarkozy’s successful 2007 presidential campaign, has been underway since 2013.

      In a video interview with the investigative website Mediapart released Tuesday, a French-Lebanese businessman, Ziad Takieddine, said he delivered three suitcases from Libya, containing 5 million euros in cash, to Sarkozy and his former chief of staff and campaign director, Claude Guéant.
      Takieddine said he had given a written deposition to judges on November 12 detailing three cash handovers between 2006 and 2007 and his meetings with Guéant and Sarkozy.

      At no point, he says, did he see the two men look inside the cases after he dropped them off at the Interior Ministry, where Sarkozy was minister at the time.

      Bad timing for Sarkozy

      Yes, he imagines he will be the next Head of FRANCE.

  • michael norton

    I don’t think the Greek voters are too keen on American Neo-Liberalisim

    Greek protesters and riot police have clashed in central Athens after anti-US/Obama rallies turned violent.

    Petrol bombs were met with tear gas as rioters tried to break through police cordons to reach parliament buildings.
    About 7,000 people, among then anti-war, anti-racism leftist groups, trade unionists and communist party supporters all expressed their anger at Washington.

    “We consider American policy as murderous to the people. They are responsible for the outcome of the Arab Spring, for the wars since then, for the intervention in Syria. They only care for oil and don’t care about the people,” said one demonstrator.

    I must say the Greeks do make good sense.

  • Susannah Greaves

    At last! Someone who knows what many of us only suspect. This will not make comfortable reading but it is essential reading.

  • michael norton


    The Russians are “quite” hopeful that The Donald will say that Crimea is Russia
    and that most sanctions imposed by the U.S.A. on Russia and Belarus will be eased, soon.

  • michael norton

    Does anyone else think it a bit strange that the BBC keep going on about Syria bombing childrens hospitals?
    A hospital, blood bank and ambulances are reported to have been hit as Syrian government aircraft and artillery bombarded rebel-held eastern Aleppo.

    The director of the Bayan Children’s Hospital said he was sheltering in the facility’s basement, unable to leave.

    The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 21 people had been killed, five of them children.

    The air strikes resumed on Tuesday after a three-week moratorium declared by the government’s ally Russia ended.

    We must expect that Syrian government /Syrian armed forces know where the childrens hospitals are in Syria.

    Why on Earth would they bomb them, as they know the BBC will report it directly?
    Very strange.

    You might say unbelievable

    • Iain Stewart

      “We must expect that Syrian government /Syrian armed forces know where the childrens hospitals are in Syria.”
      Your disbelief is ambiguous. Are you suggesting that they were bombed by mistake? Or that they were not bombed? Or that they were bombed as intimidation? Or as punishment? Which was it? And how do you know?

      • bevin

        I think that he is suggesting that the Syrian government did not bomb them.
        This leaves it up to you who to believe the Syrians and the Russian media on the one hand or the BBC and the al qaeda PR teams who feed them with news.
        Personally I wouldn’t believe the BBC who have been distorting news from Syria (Libya, Iraq etcetc) for years now. They have lost their credibility which is their only possible raison d’etre when people stop accepting their propaganda uncritically.

        • Herbie

          Cos they’re lying.

          Anyway, that Kirby is the worst performer they have.

          Should of stuck to playing with his boats.

          We’d never have had an empire in the first place if these idiots were running the show.

          The old story, eh.

          Successful parents. Idiot children.

    • michael norton

      I am “possibly” suggesting that the bbc is complicit is propagating disinformation.

  • Sharp Ears

    Greenstock was on Ch4 news tonight speaking to Newman.

    The most amusing thing he said, when discussing the UK/US relationship à propos of Trump, NATO and the UN, was that when the Iraq war was planned, we were not in the -ultimate- position, but the -penultimate- position.

    He was giving Blair a nice get out of jail free’ card there discounting the Blair meeting with Bush at Crawford in 2002 and the fact that he, Greenstock, was the UK’s representative at the UN at the time.

    • michael norton

      Fred, could you tell us why the many advocates of the SNP
      never answer these fraud revelations?

      • fred

        They aren’t in the reality based community.

        They are post-truth, they just make it up as they go along.

        • Clark

          They want out from under Westminster rule and see the SNP as the best route to independence. There is considerably more support for independence than for the SNP; most want never to be under a Tory government ever again. There is much diversity in Scottish political opinion, and post-independence the Scottish parliament will diversify to reflect that.

          • michael norton

            So just to be clear, are there four fiddling SNP politicians at the moment
            or are these just the tip of the Scottish Iceberg?

          • fred

            Here in the reality based community we held a referendum and the people of Scotland voted against independence.

  • Sharp Ears

    Filtering The Election
    Media Lens / November 18th, 2016

    When the likes of Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad, and now Donald Trump, are declared the latest ‘New Hitler’, we learn little except that they are enemies of the establishment. It means the ‘On’ button has been pressed on a propaganda machine designed for maximal demonisation, leaving no room for public doubt. This inevitably drives comparisons in the direction of Hitler and the Nazis.


  • Herbie

    Psychopathy, or just the usual couldn’t care less Externalities we’re used to from the financial sector.

    You decide!

    “Infamous 60 Minutes Piece on Soros Emerges Online”

    “You’ll no doubt remember the quotes from that 1998 60 Minutes piece on Soros from Episode 113 of The Corbett Report podcast. Well guess what? That clip actually emerged online this week. Let me walk you through a few of the highlights.”

    The Soros interview:


  • michael norton

    very short cease fire announced by Saudi Arabia for Yemen – good of them
    The UN estimates that more than three million people have been displaced from the conflict and 21 million are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance.

    Two million people are malnourished nationwide, including 370,000 children who are severely malnourished.

    The conflict has also ravaged Yemen’s health system. More than half of the health facilities the country are closed or partially functioning, a survey by the World Health Organisation found earlier this month.

    • michael norton

      Funny how the BBC can’t stop going on about the Syrian Government troops / Russians bombing childrens hospitals in Syria
      but barely a mention about what Saudi Arabia /America/coalition of the willing is doing to the people of Yemen.
      Why so quiet BBC?

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