Brexit Britain, Alone and Ignored 230


Britain’s pusillanimous reaction to Trump’s crazed decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change shows the stupidity of believing that Brexit Britain will be a mighty player bestriding the world stage. Britain is about to go down on its knees before Trump to beg for post Brexit trade access to the USA, so is in no position to stand up to him as France, Germany and Italy did yesterday. They issued a powerful joint public statement:

“We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies. We are convinced that the implementation of the Paris Agreement offers substantial economic opportunities for prosperity and growth in our countries and on a global scale. We therefore reaffirm our strongest commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement, including its climate finance goals and we encourage all our partners to speed up their action to combat climate change.”

By contrast, we are expected to believe that May expressed her “disappointment” to Trump in a private phone call. Given May’s congenital inability to address any subject directly, and the new servility in Britain’s position vis a vis the United States, I think we can all guess how that went.

Britain is now a diplomatic non-entity. We are grovelling around the world for trade access, including the most dreadful displays of obeisance to the Saudis who export the ideology and the funds for terrorist jihadism. We have a buffoon for a Foreign Secretary, who is not regarded abroad with the friendly tolerance which Tory England extends to him because he is posh. We have the disgraced Liam Fox in charge of securing international trade.

I do not hold up the Paris Agreement as perfect or even adequate, but it was a huge stride forward in the international acceptance of man made climate change and the need to address it. Trump’s statement of renunciation yesterday notably failed to make any straightforward acknowledgement of the existence of man made climate change. We have heard much in this election campaign from the Tories criticising Corbyn’s hesitation to commit to launching nuclear weapons to destroy the planet. Yet the Tories are failing to take any kind of action to deter the true threat to our children’s existence.

Welcome to Brexit Britain, a diplomatic irrelevance, scrabbling for an economic niche, utterly devoid of principle.

Liked this article? Please consider sharing (links below). Then View All Latest Posts


230 thoughts on “Brexit Britain, Alone and Ignored

1 2 3
  • fwl

    Fair to say that some of us when considering Brexit did not anticipate that the Americans would elect a cad, who lifts another family’s coat of arms for his own. Yes, we are now rather on our own. Perhaps Mr Corbyn will manage better then Mrs May.

  • fwl

    Trump is not alone: David and Charles Koch will surely be toasting his good health today.

  • Pyewacket

    Trump has once again found himself between a rock & hard place with regards to his pre-election promises, so many of which he has had to abandon. Burnishing the “rust belt” was a key vote winner for him, however divorced from reality his assurance. Now he faces even greater isolation, and even ridicule over his rejection of the Paris agreement.

  • Dave

    Man-made climate change is a globalist hoax, a global scare to promote global governance. A range of corporate and faith interests promote it for different reasons, but its an obvious hoax because carbon dioxide is essential to life on earth. Humans can’t even breath without it, its the food plants breath to make them grow and the man made bit is irrelevant because its only a tiny fraction of naturally occurring and variable CO2.

    • Tom

      Plants are breathing food now? The world seems to become a more bizarre place every day…

    • Ba'al Zevul

      PS. The increase in atmospheric CO2 between 1961 and 2014 was around 21% (of the ’61 figure) This correlates with the increase in fossil fuel burnt over the same period. It’s not tiny.

      • laguerre

        It’s the relationship between percentage of atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures which has not been proved. It may not be the straight line which has been presumed. In fact probably isn’t, but there’s no serious data. Everything relies on algorithms, which may or may not be right. Not that the question is that important. Measures have to be taken to reduce global pollution, and Paris was a start. Humankind functions like brainless bacteria – they grow and grow until they run out of food and pollute their environment, and then they die. Trump and his lot are particularly good examples of this brainless type of activity.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          There is a close and continuing association. Much of science, perhaps more than most realise, is based on (rigorous) statistical correlation, and ‘proof’ in the sense of Euclid’s proofs of geometric relationships is simply not available. In any case, given the demonstrable appearance of vastly changing weather patterns, loss of Arctic summer ice (which increases absorbance of solar heat, and may well prove to be a runaway phenomenon) melting of permafrost, releasing methane and deglaciation of mountainous areas threatening water supplies, whatever the cause, we are being completely insane if we continue to add to the greenhouse effect known and demonstrated to be enhanced by CO2.

          Personally, I’d say we’re completely fucked already, but then I work in the field, so I’m probably biased…

    • Ian

      You’re having a laugh ‘Dave’, but nobody else is laughing about it. Your scientific credentials, like the quality of your argument, is impressive. In a pre-school kind of way.

    • defo

      Breathe-taking ignorance. Carbon which has been building up & sequestered for aeons, and released over a comparative blink of the eye, a known ‘greenhouse’ gas, is “man made” and really nothing to stress about.

    • Gordon McAdam

      Dave..I really, really hoping you are just trying to wind people up because, if not, your level of ignorance is astounding. I could go on and try to explain why I say that but suspect I would be wasting my time – I know I’ve already given you 5 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      Your comment reveals scientific illiteracy. It is not even adequate for a secondary first year.(12 yo).

    • Nickkemptown

      I don’t take Dave’s argument seriously, but it does beg a question that I don’t seem to have seen the answer to anywhere:
      That the planet is heating up is indisputable. That man-made CO2 levels have been increasing in the atmosphere is also indisputable. What I don’t understand is what is the link between the two phenomena? Correlation is not causation, after all, and we have probably all heard of the ‘medieval warm period’ managing to take place, without high CO2 levels.
      Can anybody tell me?
      (Note, I am very much in favour of renewable energy and reducing pollution – I just haven’t seen what the connection is between a warmer planet and higher CO2)

      • Ian M

        There is an absolute wealth of information at the touch of a button about this. Do try it. It is called google and the internet.

      • fred

        The earth is constantly absorbing energy from the sun on the side facing the sun and radiating energy into space on the side away from the sun. So long as the amount of energy entering and the amount leaving remain the same the temperature remains constant, otherwise it doesn’t. Much of the energy entering during the day is higher frequencies, light and ultraviolet, while the energy which leaves at night is lower frequencies, infrared. Carbon dioxide absorbs energy in one of the lower frequencies, it is a frequency it’s molecules like to vibrate at, the energy absorbed by the co2 does not escape into space and slowly builds up.

        As the world warms up the polar ice caps start to melt and reflect less energy back into space and the sea can hold less co2 so it releases it into the atmosphere. Once we pass a certain point, a tipping point it starts to run away, more warming causes even more warming.

        • Nickkemptown

          Many thanks! But I’ve heard it said (actually, read it writ) that CO2 absorbs *less* infra-red radiation than either Oxygen or Nitrogen do. Is this false?

          • Muscleguy

            So what? The oxygen and nitrogen levels in our atmosphere are not changing, are they? So they are the background reason why at ground or sea level that the temperature is not close to absolute level as it would be in a vacuum.

            It is the CO2 and methane and other man made or produced gasses which are building up. Thus they are the climate forcers while the oxygen and nitrogen are the background base state.

            I hope that is easy enough for you to understand. I after all am a mere Biology PhD, not a Physicist or Climatologist. Though I do have two 100 level papers in physics and also two chemistry papers too (both requirements for a course in Physiology which heavily relies on a knowledge of both) so my understanding of such things may well be superior to yours nevertheless.

            When Global Warming and the Greenhouse hypothesis first came to proper prominence back in the late ’80s I took a properly sceptical scientific attitude to it. I found it hard to believe humanity was producing enough greenhouse gases so I looked at it, looked at the maths*, checked them and found my belief to be erroneous so I changed my mind. Similarly the Greenhouse hypothesis was sound, as I sketch above.

            Over the decades since then the evidence in favour and the effects on the climate have only become ever more stark. I thus now find it hard to believe anyone can disbelieve in AGW without being in a position where their job depends on it.

            It boils down to very simple physics. To prove it wrong you need to prove the physics wrong. BTW the greenhouse effect of CO2 has been proven, in greenhouses. The greater the CO2 level the higher the retained temperature at night. Whereas in greenhouses next door with ‘normal’ levels this did not happen.

          • Muscleguy

            Sorry, forgot my asterisk
            *Dilution calculations are a routine part of Biological lab practice. I can do them in my head as can most of my colleagues. If you see someone in a white coat standing at a bench, pipetteman in hand and a distracted look on their face they are probably doing a dilution calculation in their heads and it is best to wait until they are finished before interrupting them. Standard lab etiquette.

          • fred

            “Many thanks! But I’ve heard it said (actually, read it writ) that CO2 absorbs *less* infra-red radiation than either Oxygen or Nitrogen do. Is this false?”

            Yes that is false, both oxygen and nitrogen are transparent to infrared radiation. Combined as nitrous oxide they are a greenhouse gas but it is water soluble so doesn’t hang around in the atmosphere too long.

          • Nickkemptown

            Hi,
            Sorry for the late reply – just wanted to say thanks for the information/explanation!

      • Geejay

        To establish causation you would need to carry out an empirical experiment – clearly not possible with the climate. What we have is evidence of a very strong correlation over the past 150 years or so that points to anthropogenic warming as a result of burning fossil fuels and releasing CO2. In the absence of any other suspects showing a stronger correlation then it is reasonable to assume that the release of CO2 is the cause rather than changes due to innumerable natural causes, such as volcanic eruptions and so on.

        • J

          “To establish causation you would need to carry out an empirical experiment”

          See the post immediately above yours – “BTW the greenhouse effect of CO2 has been proven, in greenhouses. The greater the CO2 level the higher the retained temperature at night. Whereas in greenhouses next door with ‘normal’ levels this did not happen.”

          • Geejay

            That establishes the connection between CO2 and temperature but the climate issue is still a correlation: https://www.nature.com/articles/srep21691 “The more challenging problem is to ‘attribute’ this detected climate change to the most likely external causes within some defined level of confidence. As already noted in the Third Assessment Report11, unequivocal attribution would require controlled experimentation with the climate system. Since that is not possible, in practice attribution of anthropogenic climate change is understood to mean demonstration that a detected change is ‘consistent with the estimated responses to the given combination of anthropogenic and natural forcing’ and ‘not consistent with alternative, physically plausible explanations of recent climate change that exclude important elements of the given combination of forcings.”

          • J

            On the other hand, if a super volcano erupted tomorrow, it would fuck all of our plans in a hurry. Renewable energy technology is a win, win scenario, however you weigh the argument regarding the current warming.

  • Simon

    May could also consider that she needs to negotiate trade with Europeans, so should find common cause with them on climate? Perhaps the spineless reaction to Trump is just the spinelessness of the individual, and nothing to do with the circumstances.

  • Ishmael

    “Britain”

    These abstractions aren’t healthy Craig.

    And when have politicians ever taken action? Meaningful action as a class? They don’t because there person is so absorbed in these great abstract notions the impetus for personal action (that many take forcing them) barely exists in them. No. They want to be part of “great power” and tell us all to pay fealty to it’s systems and precepts.

    A duty no less, To the very systems of power that have no person and have led us to this point. You keep focusing on the bad individuals like they matter. It seems a very blinkered view.

    • Ishmael

      These people aren’t who matter more, I don’t care who they are. Why I don’t care for your book.

      I don’t need and I don’t believe the masses of people need so called great individuals. That’s more the issue, i.e. To look to them who are exulted in such a way. They are only regarded because they are part of undue and perverted power systems. I’ll never strive to be like them and I don’t believe it’s how people are effective.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I can’t possibly disagree with your position on climate change, but I rather fail to see that we are any more diplomatically relevant within the EU than out of it pursuing our own undiluted agenda.

    We converge again on the obvious inability of our leaders to grasp either the opportunity they have just been handed or the nettle of its implementation. Very disappointing.

    • fwl

      Shall be interesting to see how China enters into this opportunity. They * must regard Trump as symptomatic of declining old Yang heralding in an era of the West as Yin.

      * if you will excuse the generalization.

    • defo

      The English speaking element, of the Worlds largest trading bloc Ba’al…
      Or, as CM says, all alone, represented by a truly bizarre PM, a thuggish buffoon (the term might have been invented for him, it’s so apt) of a Foreign secretary, and a corrupt right wing nutcase ? (does AW still tag along on jollies, just to keep the bed warm?)
      Not since Mengele has the title Dr been so sullied.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        I don’t think that answers my point, Defo. We are one voice among 27. We are subject to the decisions of the other 26, and we’re paying for the privilege. The most powerful two of the 27 block our efforts to fit our membership to our national needs at every turn. How does that equate to diplomatic potency? The EU has proved incapable of correcting the effects of the 2007/8 crisis. Greece, Spain and Italy are in deep economic trouble, and we’ve just joined them. The EU’s response? Screw the Greeks untiol they squeal.
        Meanwhile seriously consider adding other economic basket cases to the club. The EU is not what it’s cracked up to be. It will hurt, but we need out. The exercise will do us good.

        • defo

          I hope you’re right Ba’al.
          Why I mentioned “English speaking” is, for now English IS the World language, and therefore we are a natural gateway to the EU. This bodes well for the RoI btw.
          Am I happy with the current state of the EU ? No. But the wind seems to have been taken out of ‘ever closer unions’ sails, Brexit certainly knocked some of the puff out, and a looser economic Union, sans Brussels control freakery, isn’t unimaginable.
          What I fear, the worst possible scenario in my book, is being left to the tender mercies of the UK establishment, hell bent on a race to the bottom. The balance between worker & capital, for example en France, is far healthier than here, and it doesn’t look like we are headed for a reversal of our neo-liberal experiment under our current masters. Quite the opposite in fact.

          • defo

            Soz, forgot to say Ba’al. The basket cases you mention use the Euro. By happy accident we missed that, and don’t have a southern EU type economy anyway.
            But the EU isn’t the Euro, and Threadneedle St still (sort of) calls our shots. QE ?

          • Ba'al Zevul

            We’re a natural gateway to China and India for the same reason. Or indeed anywhere else.

            Don’t get me wrong. I agree with your fears, they are well-founded. But leaving will destabilise the elite. In France the new Blairite, Macron, is set foul to start chopping the worker-friendly aspect of the French state and turn the its management over to corporate beancounters, of which he is one.

            The neo-liberal experiment? This depends on globalised everything, and the EU is fully signed up to that. We need rat-like cunning and a ferocious defence of our individuality….which, I agree don’t seem to be characteristics of our current leaders.

            Anyway, for your serious consideration, here is the Monster Raving Loony Party’s manifesto. It doesn’t appear to be costed, but I can see them increasing their vote –

            http://www.loonyparty.com/

            I particularly like:
            We will further complicate the UK tax system so that everyone can find a loophole, not just multi-national companies.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Sorry, missed your PS.
            1. The basket cases you mention use the Euro
            Not sure where you’re going with that. Note that the pound devalued drastically after the Brexit vote. Which suggests that it was viewed in financial circles as an adjunct to the euro rather than an autonomous currency. Incidentally, the devaluation, to something nearer its correct value, more or less nullifies the penalty we might expect for leaving the customs union…

            Threadneedle St still (sort of) calls our shots. QE ?

            Not since 2013. What seems to be calling the shots is our clandestine offshore facility at Canary Wharf.

          • defo

            I spend a fair bit of time in France Ba’al, and can confirm they are as belligerent as they are stereotyped to be. Across the classes. Rob G will confirm, I suspect.
            Macron will only get to go so far (deregulation wise anyway), and no further. If he pushes too hard, he’ll be out on his ear tout de suite. Think of our General strike(s), on steroids. They won’t back down. Ever. No matter how much it hurts.

            “We’re a natural gateway to China and India for the same reason.”
            I should have been cleared. Were part of the EU, for now. Not part of China, yet 🙂 Hence “gateway”.
            English speaking helps trade with C, I & everywhere else now, in, or out of the EU. It’s not an alternative.

          • defo

            “Not since 2013. What seems to be calling the shots is our clandestine offshore facility at Canary Wharf”
            Touché.

          • fwl

            China might find English and UK convenient but they are energetic, resilient and adaptable to all climates and cultures.

        • simon bullivant

          You are wrong Craig. Once the election is over and Theresa has her mandate, we will be able to bring our relations with Europe back on to an even keel, and disempower the extremists on both sides.

  • frankywiggles

    Hasn’t Britain been “a diplomatic non-entity” for many decades now? Or are there some internationally-recognized examples of huge British diplomatic successes in recent times?

    • fwl

      Not successes, but “we” got our unfortunate way for example over Libya. So perhaps it may be appropriate that we recoil for a while?

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Be fair. It was the French wot won it…we needed to test our co-operational capabilities with our EU partner.

        • fwl

          Maybe. I don’t know much about Libya as it was and remains incredibly and shamefully under reported. I agree a period on our own is required. Could be difficult and dangerous, but we do need to reflect on the basics of life and society.

          • Jo

            The situation in Libya was that “we” and the French were there to enforce a no-fly zone, not to bomb anyone. In fact the French shot up Gaddafi’s convoy and delivered him into the hands of rebels who, essentially, publicly executed him. Hillary found it amusing. “We came, we saw…..he died!” she quipped live on TV, while our own guy Hague smirked in a TV studio while the attack on Gaddafi was beamed into our living rooms. It was disgusting.

          • James Dickenson

            ‘The email identifies French President Nicholas Sarkozy as leading the attack on Libya with five specific purposes in mind: to obtain Libyan oil, ensure French influence in the region, increase Sarkozy’s reputation domestically, assert French military power, and to prevent Gaddafi’s influence in what is considered “Francophone Africa.”
            Most astounding is the lengthy section delineating the huge threat that Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves, estimated at “143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver,” posed to the French franc (CFA) circulating as a prime African currency. In place of the noble sounding “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine fed to the public, there is this “confidential” explanation of what was really driving the war [emphasis mine]:
            This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).
            (Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.)
            Though this internal email aims to summarize the motivating factors driving France’s (and by implication NATO’s) intervention in Libya, it is interesting to note that saving civilian lives is conspicuously absent from the briefing.’
            http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/01/06/new-hillary-emails-reveal-true-motive-for-libya-intervention/

          • fwl

            Jo, at the time I was astonished by the wide spread passive naivety as people blandly accepted this so called moral intervention argument to enforce a no fly. People who had marched against the invasion stood meekly by. I still don’t get it. There was so much opposition to Iraq and yet after Iraq when you would think lessons had been learnt there was basically no opposition to action against Libya.

        • nevermind

          yes Ba’al great idea, lets have a new club inside our political parties. Friends of Europe, FoE sounds good to me. We can let them with out party puppets and maybe influence our foreign policy, at least they are defined UN countries who are not kicking international laws in the teeth.

          Just had an altercation with a heckler in Diss who accused Mrs. Chakrabarti of furthering anti semitism, not solving it, and a few other names besides.

          I can see a whole popular wave of FoNZ, Fo Australia, FoIndia, the more pressurte these apply on to our parties the better they can concentrate on our local demands and needs, its obvious isn’t it?

          • nevermind

            dooh, should read, ‘we can let them ” play” with our party puppets.

      • frankywiggles

        Hehe, indeed. If that’s how Britain leaves its diplomatic mark, the world is a safer place without it.

      • James Dickenson

        ‘The email identifies French President Nicholas Sarkozy as leading the attack on Libya with five specific purposes in mind: to obtain Libyan oil, ensure French influence in the region, increase Sarkozy’s reputation domestically, assert French military power, and to prevent Gaddafi’s influence in what is considered “Francophone Africa.”
        Most astounding is the lengthy section delineating the huge threat that Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves, estimated at “143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver,” posed to the French franc (CFA) circulating as a prime African currency. In place of the noble sounding “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine fed to the public, there is this “confidential” explanation of what was really driving the war [emphasis mine]:
        This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).
        (Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.)
        Though this internal email aims to summarize the motivating factors driving France’s (and by implication NATO’s) intervention in Libya, it is interesting to note that saving civilian lives is conspicuously absent from the briefing.’
        http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/01/06/new-hillary-emails-reveal-true-motive-for-libya-intervention/

  • fred

    If only someone had explained to us the consequences of Brexit before the referendum maybe we might have voted Remain.

    And if only someone hadn’t published all those emails maybe we wouldn’t have a stupid idiot as ruler of the free world.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      Interesting that you describe the stupid idiot as ‘the ruler’ of the free world.
      Do you mean ‘ruler’ in the sense of a wooden stick, with graduated marks on it?
      Actually i think he is about as intelligent as a ruler, but your choice of words reveals something about you, in that Trump or whoever is not a ‘ruler’ in that other sense. The American version of democracy is supposed to be set up to prevent ‘rulers’ as in the sense of ’emperor’. Obviously it has failed to prevent a wooden stick becoming the president. Trump’s powers are mercifully constrained.

  • Matt

    I was gearing up to be in Paris for the Climate Talks to try and add some moral pressure,

    then the Paris attack happened and the city went into lockdown,

    I found the timing rather suspicious,

  • Loony

    Sometimes a theory can be advanced and its merits can be conclusively demonstrated in a very short period of time.

    Here is an observation made on the blog post relating to Michael Foot.

    “Ah yes Michael Foot a man, who had he been elected, would likely have been supportive of British deep mined coal. A man who was supportive of the 1984-5 Miners strike.

    Consider now the people trying to somehow inveigle the memory of Micheal Foot to the current Labour Party. Ask yourselves how many Corbyn supporters will also be disappointed or alarmed that Trump has just just withdrawn the US from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Next ask how a viable British coal mining industry would be compatible with this Agreement.

    When you have answered these questions you will conclude that Michael Foot held views that were radically different to most of those who claim lineage as between Corbyn and Foot.

    Foot was for the working classes – they no longer exist and so no longer need representation. Those that Foot tried to represent were willing to also fight for themselves. Those that Corbyn seeks to represent are willing to do nothing beyond proclaim themselves as victims.”

    • Ian

      You have an absurd idea of what ‘working class’ means, having interpreted it to support some eccentric view of your own.

      • Loony

        Don’t worry about deconstructing specific words – concentrate on whether as a matter of fact Michael Foot supported coal miners and whether, as a matter of fact, British coal mining would be compatible with the Paris Accord on Climate Change

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Straw man. As far as I know, no-one’s planning to revive the UK coal industry now. Circumstances alter cases, and the circumstances bearing on Foot’s position have changed out of all recognition. [Insert currently unacceptable policy proposed by Tory grandee decades ago here by way of analogy].

          • defo

            They couldn’t, even if they wanted to. The mines were flooded, deliberately.

          • Loony

            I am not so sure that it is a straw man, although your argument would appear to meet the necessary conditions for a straw man.

            A lot of policy proposals by Tory Grandees of old would be disowned by the present day incumbents of the Tory Party. Would Jeremy Corbyn similarly disown his own support for British coal miners? Maybe not.

            Does Jeremy Corbyn believe in Global Warming? He does not have much to say on the matter, maybe he is content to allow his brother to speak for him.

            Do Jeremy Corbyn supporters in aggregate tend to be zealous devotees to the new religion of global warming? I think you probably know the answer.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            There are now no deep pit mines in the UK. Most of the old pits are now inoperable, or worked out. There are no deep pit miners in the UK, for Corbyn, or anyone else, to support. The remaining open pit mining is conducted , with a far lower labour/tonne ratio, by machine operators who do not have to work, crouching, in the dark, under significantly dangerous conditions, on antisocial shifts. What’s May’s position on JCB drivers, btw?

          • J

            Like all religions, it’s a cultural artefact and as such it exists for a purpose. As purpose goes it’s quite a good one. Upon examination, distributed generation of energy, collected at source, would seem to upset all previous modern means of energy production, in being decentralised and full of democratic or at least emancipatory potential. The governing class don’t and can’t own it. It’s a religious epiphany if you like

            With regard to your cult, your culture, we know the answer. Lament the consumerism by espousing everything commensurate with the status quo at every possible juncture. Difference through no difference. Who precisely are you fooling if not yourself?

          • defo

            “What’s May’s position on JCB drivers, btw?”
            Same as everyone else one hopes.
            Horse whipping, for driving on arterial routes at peak times !

          • Loony

            Mays position on JCB drivers is not clearly enunciated but can be deduced.

            Soon they too will be surplus to requirements as will lorry drivers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, van drivers, train drivers et al as they will all be replaced with AI.

          • Deepgreenpuddock

            The coal industry? The choice of coal through the twentieth century was always a strategic one. Mining was given preferred status.
            The miner’s strike coincided with the large scale production of gas and oil from the north sea. Surely that isn’t a coincidence. Oil and gas were also much less influenced by unions.
            Both of these fuels have a huge advantage in terms of convenience and costs, compared to coal. The move away from coal also coincided with a number of other factors such as the increasing prevalence of cars and their ‘liberating’ effects on jobs.
            It might be interesting to think if these resources had not existed, we would almost certainly have gone nuclear.

          • Loony

            J – May I be so bold as to suggest that there is a material flaw in your examination of distributed electricity.

            Distributed electricity only works to the extent that consumers of electricity want a supply that is subject to intermittent and unpredictable supply failures.

            If people want a constant supply of electricity then distributed electricity needs to be supplemented with centrally dispatched electricity. The current favored solutions in the UK are new nuclear (Hinckley Point and others yet to be announced) and reliance on imports from countries (principally France) with a centrally dispatched surplus.

            In other words the solution is to shift the burden on to the foreign man so as not to interfere with the purity of the British mind.

            Take a look at Germany – note where it is on a map, and then take a look at where it has decided to construct its morally pure distributed electricity generation. You will note that there is a predominance of distributed electricity hard up against its land borders. This allows it to manage its system by flooding its neighbors with its unwanted generation. Already it has managed to cause a power outtage in almost 50% of the Netherlands.

            TenneT has issued multiple warnings of power failures – all thanks to the Germans and continues to manage that part of its centrally dispatched system so as to protect the Netherlands from the most egregious examples of German dumping of power surpluses.

            Not much democratic or emancipatory potential there. As always the weak get crushed while the strong grow stronger.

          • fwl

            Loony where you getting that info re Germany dumping unwanted power on The Netherlands and causing power outages? BA running any services in Holland?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    I think the post is slightly incomplete by assessing effectiveness of the UK within EU. EU in the last 10 years at least is the mechanism by which Germany (with quiet support of France) is advancing its political and economic agenda. UK has made little to no difference to the EU policy and failure of Cameron to influence appointment of the EU commission president, was last demonstration of how powerless UK is when it comes to dealing with Germany and its quiet vassal France. The only powerful mechanism UK has had to influence anything was power of veto but how many times was it used?

    In this particular case, UK (if it was outside of EU already) could join EU nations on condemnation of US withdrawal from Paris agreement (as it did), and being member of the EU would not have any little difference to the outcome (US withdrawal). At present there is no nation or alliance or union which can influence US policy, so UK being part of EU or outside of it makes little to no difference.

    • laguerre

      “UK has made little to no difference to the EU policy”

      This is quite incorrect. Britain, under Blair, in 2004 was one of the main pushers of the expansion of the EU into Eastern Europe, indeed possibly *the* main influence. It is very difficult to think of a much more important change to the quality of the EU than that. All done at Britain’s behest (acting of course as agent for USA).

      • Wilfrid Legg

        And Britain was the driving force (EU Commissioner Lord Cockcroft appointed by Thatcher) in creating the Single Market, which the Government wants to leave….

    • Ian M

      No-one is claiming that they can change or effect US policy. But the EU had a far more robust and coherent position than the whimpering, feeble UK government. Which is the point.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    And I am not Brexit supporter at all. I believe in globalisation and in integration as oppose to nationalistic drive and self isolation. But in this particular argument (effectiveness of UK diplomacy) it makes little to no difference of UK being part of EU when within EU UK has little to no power.

    • laguerre

      But the UK, until now, has had a great deal of power and influence in the EU. Now, evidently no longer, but the UK certainly was in the past very influential. You’re talking Brexiter language.

  • Loony

    And so we learn that President Trump”s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was a “crazed decision” But how can we know unless we also know some details about the Paris Agreement. Here are some FACTS:

    Economic consensus is that the implementation of the agreement will have an aggregate cost of $100 trillion.

    The UN’s Climate Change Model estimates that the agreement will cut emissions by 3/10ths of 1 degree. According to the same model this is less than 1% of the emissions cuts required to avert global warming.

    The agreement required the US to cut emissions level by somewhere between 26% and 28% from 2005 levels. US economists estimate that this would entail an annual $150 billion hit to GDP, cost 6 million jobs and require power price increases in the range of 20% to 30%.

    In return, and according to the UN Climate Change Model, global warming would be delayed by a total of 8 months.

    The Agreement also envisages a $100 billion/yr “Green Climate Fund” This is broadly analogous to monies allocated to foreign aid or International Development. Some people describe these type of arrangements as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.

    Dr. James Hanson the former lead global warming scientist for NASA is on record as saying “The Paris Agreement is a fraud”

    So France, Germany and Italy issued a powerful public statement. Missing from that powerful public statement was an acknowledgement that German emissions have risen consistently over the last 2 years. Whatever you do it is imperative never to ask why.

    Donald Trump is sticking it to all those who would whimper and whine and who hide from facts more desperately than a vampire would hide from sunlight. If there is to be any hope then it resides in the personage of Donald Trump. Little surprise then that he he is reviled and despised by the very same people who manifestly hold the mass of humanity in such contempt.

    • Ian M

      So you agree we should be doing a lot more to combat climate change. Unlike the ignorant Trump.

      • Loony

        Not all problems have solutions – climate change being an example.

        Some problems do have solutions – poor comprehension being an example.

        • JOML

          And you have full and thorough understanding of the problems who mention, Loony, or do you caveat your knowledge of climate change with, ‘as far as I know’?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    In the context of this blog I’m more inspired toward mild self harm.
    You need professional help. And you won’t get it here.

    • Ishmael

      lol, it wasn’t that serious.

      And on the contrary, all I seem to get here is professional “help” as you so neatley demonstrated.

      That’s the last thing i need Ba’al. Though I’m generally ok thanks. Goodbye.

      • Ishmael

        I think this blog would be better named professional help. For that’s what it’s about. Though I came here to help somehow. There is not a community feel at all. And yea, I think what helps me is important or directly related.

        This is not some team woking together, it’s those who really have there own importance at heart. I feel. And I think just being human acutely helps far more on mass than the professionals, or experts that in my experience (e.g., seeing many botched medical jobs on people recommend to us to help with) still know little about people at all. In most any field you care to mention related to humans.

        I do respect some dr’s and scientists who get it. That they don’t know much at all. But the experts and professionals ? come on. Most of them just have received knowledge & assert it dangerously in many cases, to things that aren’t that well understood by anyone. Im sure the pay makes it easier on the mind though.

  • Anonymous

    In a recent TV appearance, May confirmed the Tories fully support the Naylor Report. What is the Naylor Report? It is a plan to sell off the NHS to corporations. This was not made clear by May but dragged out by someone who actually waded through the Naylor report. This came out during the time of the Manchester bombing event, by the individual known to the UK security service and had been explicitly named in an early warning to the UK by the FBI.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx3hrpDCct8

  • Kempe

    Pusillanimous reaction or powerful joint statement; both will be ignored with equal contempt.

  • Ishmael

    As far as I’m aware a single vote has never swung a big public election. And no matter want happens people need to live on. And improve things, because they can.

    To feel ok about the abdocating convoluted compromises that is the individual act of a vote is not good, for anyone. It should generally be discouraged. Especially before such an “important” vote.

    What matters are the forces behind, not way voting a mark measures them, which way they swing. No. Why aren’t we working for a better future on things that can’t be stopped. Aren’t reliant. Subject to. etc.

  • Wilfrid Legg

    When Egypt President Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal, provoking the 1956 Suez Crisis, Britain and France were forced to retreat (under pressure from the US). Britain favored a closer relationship with the strong US while France turned to Europe. The Treaty of Rome setting up the European institutions was signed a year after in 1957, without Britain of course. The subservience of Britain to the US has never changed and the present Tory government is showing just that in its reactions to the Trump administration.

    • laguerre

      I don’t think Suez had much influence on the French. Not like it did on the British.

      • Habbabkuk

        Despite the fact that the French were keener on Suez than the UK and more reluctant to stop the operation. The French had it in for Nasser’s Egypt, which they claimed was fomenting trouble and supplying arms to independentists in the French department of Algeria.

  • Anon1

    Michael Foot wanted to keep the coal mines open = good.

    Donald Trump wants to keep the coal mines open = bad.

    • Jim

      The science behind the hideous reality of man-made climate change wasn’t really known then though Anon 1, not really a fair comparison.

      • Johnny boy

        So you admit your original argument is a crock of shite, that’s progress. Now you might start to look at the difference between mountain top removal and deep coal mining regarding employment and pollution, then look at the political differences regarding unionisation.

    • defo

      And what happened in the decades in between ?
      Climate change meant weather in Foots day, and you know it.
      Must try harder…

      • Anon1

        The climate has always changed and will always change. The idea of taxing it is just one big globalist scam.

        By the way, what happened to Craig’s own doubts about the ‘science’ of man-made climate change?

        • Anon1

          “But what struck me was that the gentleman said that a pause in warming for the last fifteen years was not significant, as fifteen years was a blip in processes that last over millennia.

          Well, that would certainly be very true if you are considering natural climate change. But we are not – we are considering man-made climate change. In terms of the period in which the scale of man’s industrial activity has been having a significant impact on the environment, surely fifteen years is a pretty important percentage of that period? Especially as you might naturally imagine the process to be cumulative – fifteen years at the start when nothing much happened would be more explicable.”

          • Johnny boy

            The world’s climatologists haven’t managded a sufficiently detailed computer model to allow for the pause in warming. A curious mind isn’t going to miss such an anomoly, only a fool would assume something we don’t understand for reasons of unsurmounted complexity undermines the simplest applications of the laws of physics.

          • James Dickenson

            “Last week, a paper out of NOAA concluded that contrary to the popular myth, there’s been no pause in global warming. The study made headlines across the world, including widely-read Guardian stories by John Abraham and Karl Mathiesen. In fact, there may have been information overload associated with the paper, but the key points are relatively straightforward and important.
            1. Rapid Global Warming Continues . . . ”
            http://www.skepticalscience.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-karl-2015.html

  • John Spencer-Davis

    O/T Criminal charges pending against Conservative parliamentary candidate Craig Mackinlay, Nathan Gray, and Marion Little

    I strongly urge commenters to be very circumspect in what they say regarding this breaking news. Contempt of court would be a possible charge against people making adverse comment, on the ground of, for example, an attempt to influence public perception against a person about to be prosecuted.

    Quite sure there are people on here who would happily draw official attention to any adverse comment made in ignorance or otherwise. Cheers. J

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Piers Corbyn (Jeremy’s brother) is exceedingly well qualified in the real science of physics, and its direct connection to climate…extract from his website http://www.weatheraction.com/
    “WeatherAction defends evidence-based science and policy making as the ONLY science. WeatherAction completely supports campaigns for GeoEthical accountability and CLEXIT – Exit from UN Climate Change Deals and against data fraud and political manipulation of data and so-called scientific claims now dominating climate and environmental sciences. Evidence shows that man-made climate change does not exist and the arguments for it are not based on science but on data fraud and a conspiracy theory of nature. (see “Why the CO2 ‘theory’ fails “, below)”

    Craig has been correct in identifying the real main reason for BREXIT. He merely mislabeled it as “Racist”

    The evidence that the following video is true, is extremely strong regardless of your political opinion. I accept that British Governments have historically and currently, bear a very heavy responsibilty for the unfolding catastrophe. I personally came aware of it travelling to Athens on a Greek Ferry in 2009. I was completely amazed at one of the islands we stopped at, resulted in an extremely large number of quite obviously African migrants boarding the ferry, such that they formed the vast majority of those travelling. They caused us no problem whatsoever on the ferry. The fact that I was mugged and had my wallet stolen, very shortly later in Athens may have been entirely coincidental. I was not amused because my wife did not have any money. At the airport Greek police sniggered at us, and told us to report it at the main police station in Athens. I said we don’t have any money to get there. Fortunately my wife had both the tickets and the passports, so we did manage to get home.

    “The Truth About ‘Refugees’ ”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfG1myglfhY

    Tony

    • Soothmoother

      Thanks for the WeatherAction link. Sehr interessant!

      I’ll check out the other link later.

    • fwl

      Thanks Tony that is interesting.

      Hope Piers got better A Level results than Jeremy (not that such things mean much).

      • Tony_0pmoc

        fwl,

        Pier’s went to Imperial College…by far the best place in the World to study physics. I didn’t get in. However, a few years later I was gliding with the lads from Imperial College at Lasham. Maybe Piers was too, but so far as I am aware I have never met him.

        Derek Piggot is 94 years old now, and almost certainly still flying. I coincidentally now know his niece – and her brother. He was in Spinal Tap.

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

        Tony

  • Tom

    That was the aim of Brexit all along. The Americans were pulling the strings, aided by our fifth column of politicians and newspaper editors. Their cleverly concealed coup is the end game for a nation so focused on wallowing in past glories, Russia and Islamic terrorism. it couldn’t see the present danger.
    We now face years of political and economic paralysis, at the end of which we’ll be back in the EU on worse terms.

    • defo

      “We now face years of political and economic paralysis, at the end of which we’ll be back in the EU on worse terms.”
      A very realistic possible outcome.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      They sure as hell weren’t pulling my strings, Tom. I voted Leave out of utter frustration with the lot of them. And I read the Guardian (decreasingly), which solidly endorsed Remain and is still whining about its loss. My mistake was to hope that the Brexit politicians would take the ball and run with it, and they haven’t.
      And your contention is nonsense, anyway. In the EU, we are a very convenient entry point for US goods, services and subversion into the EU. We are well placed to obtain intelligence on our EU partners and pass it on as we are contracted to do, to the US. Our economic value to the US is negligible, in or out, and we’re already as slavishly complicit in US foreign policy as it is possible to be. Our departure will if anything consolidate and unify the EU as a competitor to the US. Why on earth would they want us out?

  • [email protected]

    Sanctions against U.S and U.K. Should be implemented as soon as possible. These foolish careless regimes must be broken on the only wheel they know. Rise up and rebel in the name of life on Earth!

  • Tony_0pmoc

    The timing of this news is fascinating

    “Tory Craig Mackinlay, who defeated Nigel Farage in Thanet South, charged over 2015 election expenses”

    I strongly suspect that someone far more powerful that the Tory Government, does not want them to win.

    In fact are the Tories deliberately throwing it? Their election campaign has been unbelievable atrocious. Far worse than either Michael Foot’s or Neil Kinnocks.

    Even much of the Tory press have seemingly given up on them and are now openly mocking the disastrous Theresa May. The have chucked so much sh1t at Corbyn and its just bounced back in their faces.

    Tony

    • Johnny boy

      I expect you are doing great disservice to a lengthy investigation. The top brass will have wanted to be sure that the charges are totally sound as their job is otherwise on the line.

      May has got where she is by deflecting all her faults and their results on to others, that simply hasn’t worked in the top job, there is no cover, she is exposed, alone and naked…

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Johnny boy,

        Let me try and explain the propaganda value (the charges are actually very trivial – even if found guilty and he may well be innocent – he will only receive a fine)

        But its headline news all over the mainstream press and tv a few days before a General Election

        a lot of working class people who were going to vote Tory – will see the message – The Tories are completely bent and they will now not vote for them.

        Didn’t you do psychology – well at least as a passing interest during your education..?

        Even a few MSM journalists got it and wrote about it today.

        Tony

  • J

    In case you missed it, (above) the Tories have published the first stage of their plan to privatise the NHS as the Naylor Report:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx3hrpDCct8

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/naylor-report-tory-nhs-privatisation-healthcare-flog-off-conservatives-theresa-may-election-2017-a7766326.html

    “Deborah Harrington, of the National Health Action Party, set up to combat NHS privatisation, says some of the buildings labelled as “surplus” were in fact forced to close through cuts and staff shortages.

    “You have the premises on which to do it, but you don’t have the staff or the money to run the service; that then becomes surplus to requirements,” she told The Independent.

    Ms Harrington gave the example of community hospitals in Devon, which were closed temporarily while nurse recruitment took place, because there were not enough to staff them properly.”

  • Soothmoother

    A wee reminder of how the Old man of Europe opposed the Iraq war:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-legacy-battle-bush-schroeder-enmity-continues-in-memoirs-a-728336.html

    And how Mutti supported it:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/2003/02/20/schroeder-doesnt-speak-for-all-germans/1e88b69d-ac42-48e2-a4ab-21f62c413505/?utm_term=.493f7f5fd8ff

    Is it a coincidence that when she invited the refugees in, she was in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize?

  • reel guid

    Kezia Dugdale showing her calibre again.

    She tweeted that “SNP minsters desire to repeat ad hominem a load of old nonsense…”

    Think you meant “repeat ad nauseam” Kez.

  • Sharp Ears

    FYI
    Liar Liar today is set to be high up in the Official Top 40s. The official chart company said “Captain Ska’s Theresa May protest single Liar Liar is now battling for Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart”

    The radio broadcasters are still refusing to play the track – join the protest party tonight outside the BBC HQ as the top 40’s are aired. Captain Ska will perform the track live plus we’ll listen to the top 10 countdown together.

    Play Liar Liar! – Protest and Street Party at the BBC
    4pm – 7pm, Friday 2 June
    BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA
    Invite your friends on Facebook

    Jake Painter, band member and songwriter, appeared on Victoria Derbyshire this morning to discuss the politics behind the song and the ban. Incredibly, the editor of the show asked Jake not to go too hard on the Tories before the interview! Watch as Jake exposes this live on air.

    The People’s Assembly Against Austerity
    http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/

    https://www.facebook.com/ThePeoplesAssembly/videos/1457846964283189/

    • J

      That interview is very revealing. “It’s all about balance” is a mantra you’ll hear everywhere from the BBC to Johnny Depp, and it all sounds so very reasonable. Except:

      1. Editorial policy is clear across the MSM

      2. Everything happening beneath the policy level reflects that policy, regardless of stated opinion.

      3. Arguments presented against editorial policy are always distorted versions of the argument in effect providing further evidence in favour of the editorial policy

      4. The content of any “balance” is always provided in the context of the editorial guidance.

      As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, the Guardian for example has bleated about it’s balance on everything from the EU ref to bombing Syria, and readers even protest when challenged that they have received the impression of balance, citing pro and anti articles on every subject, but I have yet to read a single positive editorial from the Guardian on Jeremy Corbyn. The content of any Guardian article can only occur within the context of a broadly and fully neo-liberal organ. BBC et al.

      Any sense of dissent and protest in BBC or Guardian content is in effect the baited hook. The end for the fish remains the same.

1 2 3

Comments are closed.