A Longer View 280

A few weeks’ break gives you a perspective on British politics aside from the day to day excitements, and the long view is just horrible. An astonishingly inept and irrelevant government maintains itself by a series of straight lies to both Tory Remainers and Tory Brexiteers about its intentions. Both these groups know they are being lied to, but the show stutters on because all in the Tory Party are clinging on, with a death grip, to office if not to power. They are in turn sustained by a Northern Irish party of antediluvian beliefs that appears to have time traveled from the less enlightened parts of the seventeenth century, and whose leader’s idea of politics is to march at the head of a group of ill-educated bigots, who will muster far too few teeth in relation to number of feet, proceeding with drunken braggadocio along the streets of Cowdenbeath.

Meantime society is well on its way through an extremely painful process of transformation. Well-paid, long term jobs offering job satisfaction and career progression are almost as improbable a dream for people under 30 as appearing in the World Cup final or owning their own home. Employee protection, whether through organised labour with clout or a legislative framework to prevent employers from abusing their power, has dwindled in practice and is a concept well outside the Overton window. Our younger generation grasp for the prospect of a few months’ unprotected employment at low wages, as desperately as did their ancestors in the 1830’s.

It is as though there has been a deliberate rolling back not just of human progress, but of human sensibility.

Meantime the rich get richer at an unprecedented rate. The concentration of wealth is mirrored by a concentration of the ownership of housing. Media ownership concentration into an ever-tightening circle continues to exert social control, while the gatekeeper role of the big new media corporations of twitter, facebook, google and wikipedia is now being very openly abused to maintain the Establishment narrative.

In the international world, the interests of the City of London and the armaments industry shamelessly and openly drive British foreign policy, with the continuing economic dependence of the flimsy UK construct on the pandering services to the global 1% offered by the City of London remains always at the front of the government’s mind. At the front not in acknowledgement of the fact that London’s days as a major global financial centre are very plainly numbered as economic gravity moves East, but rather in desperate attempts to avoid the need for an economic re-orientation that would affect the distribution of wealth in the UK away from the core of the Tory Party.

The days of the United Kingdom itself are now numbered in a very short series of figures. Tory hubris at having climbed, on the back of an incredible concerted propaganda deluge, to 25% electoral support in Scotland, appears to have convinced them that Scots will endure any humiliation at all and not have the courage to stand up. The incredible arrogance involved in the Tory abrogation of devolved powers, against the express vote of the Scottish parliament, was captured by the jeers of “Bye-bye” at SNP MPs leaving the Commons in protest at the lack of debate. That “Bye-bye” will have a significance they did not intend.

Any political party with the slightest prospect of power, will always be influenced and infiltrated by those with a strong stake in the economic status quo wishing to defend it, while advancing their personal interest. That is an eternal truth and afflicts both the Labour Party and the SNP. But while the programme of neither the Labour Party nor the SNP is as radical as is needed, both do reflect a genuine discontent with the status quo and with an economic philosophy which emphasises above all the freedoms of the very wealthy. There is more genuine choice on offer to the electorate than has been the case in the UK as a whole for many decades, which explains the crescendo of reaction from the media and the de facto casting off of the practice of political neutrality of the BBC, which was prepared to be reasonably fair in treatment of political parties only when they were all neo-conservative.

Whether in the next decade the Labour Party is now sufficiently radical to contain the tensions racking the UK’s political economy, within a broadly constant political system, remains to be seen. It continues to be my view that the first great crack will open with Scottish Independence, and more radical societal change throughout the rest of the UK will swiftly follow that catalytic event.

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280 thoughts on “A Longer View

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  • Sharp Ears

    Local authority support for Grenfell Tower survivors inquiry

    Live on the Parliament Channel FV 232 now.

    Scope of the inquiry

    The one-off session hears from residents’ groups, Kensington and Chelsea Council and the Government on what is being done in terms of housing and other support for residents, a year on from the fire at Grenfell Tower.

    Latest evidence

    No evidence has been published by the committee yet.

    All Local authority support for Grenfell Tower survivors inquiry publications

    Next meeting(s)

    20 June 2018 9:30 am

    Oral Evidence Session

    Local authority support for Grenfell Tower residents

    Ed Daffarn, Grenfell United
    Natasha Elcock, Grenfell United
    Jacqui Haynes, Lancaster West Residents Association
    Sophie Earnshaw, Grenfell Housing Solicitor, North Kensington Law Centre
    Councillor Elizabeth Campbell, Leader of the Council, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
    Barry Quirk, Chief Executive, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea


    Wait for Campbell 😉 She will be s…o sympathetic and s..o understanding for her tenants.

    • joeblogs

      72 died?
      Nobody knows!
      Doesn’t a lack of consistency make you suspicious, at all?
      “At least 80 people were killed in the fire at the tower block” (August 2017):
      “More than 80 people were killed in the blaze which devastated the flat block this summer.” (November 2017)
      “volunteers help those hit by the tragedy which killed 71 people” (April 2018):

      So, at least nine were resurrected?

      No consistent ‘Official Figure?’ From anyone, even your good self?
      The authorities will have a tenant roll, with all details of the residents contained in it – so why all the strange variations in the ‘death toll’? After all they know when a particular resident does not have a tv licence, so they must know when a building does not have a particular resident.
      There is still more information from the Council benefit record; NI numbers; the list goes on – yet no consistent ‘Official Figure’.
      The only officially stated ‘Official Figure’ is 9, yes, 9: ‘Police said the official death toll had risen to nine’ ‘(Det Supt) McCormack said every complete body had been recovered from the building’ (Fri 23 Jun 2017).

      Even the ‘volunteers’ are fakes, according to the third report from the London Standard, cited above.

      Needless to say, our host will delete this truth as it will be deemed too dangerous for him politically, and rightly so, for a man in his position.

      • Dave

        The latest explanation for cause of fire was it began near or around a fridge. This is not an explanation, its guesswork. I.e. no explanation is yet forthcoming as they are inferring a fridge caused it without blaming a fridge. Not surprising as there has been no recall for the fridge type in question.

        Even if fridges ignite they don’t explode which means explosives propelled a fire outside the flat to ignite the cladding. What caused the explosion?

        • Sharp Ears

          You are being silly. Try this video of the firemen entering the flat and then the kitchen.

          A fridge freezer has a motor which, without adequate ventilation, overheats. There is also plastic insulation around the pipes of the heat exchange panel on the rear. The back panel of the appliance was plastic as were the window frames and also the cladding. A fire quickly took hold. Have you ever seen anything made of plastics on fire? It liquefies and the drops that fall from the area on fire also ignite.

          I have no built in appliances and I never leave my house with any appliance, like a washing machine, working.

          Also Joe Blogs. Have you never had anyone to stay overnight in your dwelling or allowed a friend without housing to stay with you? I have.

          Schools have registers so that everyone can be accounted for in emergencies. I don’t think the RBofK&C ran to that extent of care for their tenants. Also some of the flats were sub-let to others and some were owned. What a tangle when social housing (previously known as council housing) is privatised. Thank you Margaret Thatcher..

          Please leave your surmising and wait for the experts’ conclusions.

          • Sharp Ears

            The resident’s evidence was given to the inquiry this morning. He made three 911 calls for the fire brigade. The recordings were played. He did not say the fridge had exploded. He did not leave the building with his possessions and bags. He was barefooted and was not carrying anything. He has been hounded by the tabloid press and was given police protection against the onslaught of incorrect accusations.

            Rachel Venables reported all of this from the inquiry, which she is covering, to James O’Brien on LBC just now.

          • joeblogs

            The Superintendent of Police is not sufficiently ‘expert’ in you eyes?
            They must have had a lot of ‘guests’ – furthermore, if they were only known to the tenant, how does the MSM find their names? All qualified Spiritual Mediums, I suppose.
            You also pretend to be an ‘expert’ on refrigeration techniques – ‘There is also plastic insulation around the pipes of the heat exchange panel on the rear’ – I am a qualified electrical engineer (retired), with specialist expertise in temperature control – I laughed out loud when I read that comment!
            Your ‘surmising’ is based on nothing but the imaginative story telling of the MSM fake news reporters: what a gravy train – read the links of evidence I left?
            Thought not.
            Follow the money – who benefits?

    • Dave Lawton

      Mary Paul
      June 21, 2018 at 13:32
      “Just as an aside, an update on Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons”
      Oh come on.The New York Times would say that.Swallow what they say you will swallow anything.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Mary Paul June 21, 2018 at 13:32
      No doubt you would have believed the ‘Kuwaiti Incubator LIE’: ‘When contemplating war, beware of babies in incubators’:
      Though the article blames the hoax on the Kuwaiti Government, it is obvious it was known about, and almost certainly organised, by the Bush Sr. Administration.
      You probably believed the Iraqi WMD LIES, as well. And the LIE that Qaddafi was giving his troops viagra in order to assist them in multiple rapes of the ‘opposition’ (if you heard the story at the time).
      Governments tell lies, and create False Flag events or hoaxes, in order to give them a casus belli for intervention or wars – it has always been so. And the Corporation and Bankster owned MSM dutifully report such lies, and the brainwashed sheeple believe them.
      I write ‘brainwashed sheeple’, because although a lie told once or twice might well be believed by ordinary folk, when the PTB continually repeat the same trick, even after it has been exposed numerous times (but only after the damage has been done, and their war or intervention is accomplished), are fools. The cannot use the simple logic of figuring out ‘cui bono?’
      Why on earth would Assad, in view of the US CW Red Line, risk using CW’s, EVEN IF HE HAD THEM?
      And it has been proven that the West’s proxy mercenary headchoppers have access to Sarin, Chlorine, Mustard Gas and the means to make them (I wonder who provided them? Again, logic and common sense should give anyone a pretty shrewd idea of ‘cui bono’).

      As examples of what is really going on, try watching this very short video clip of ex-French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, and read the article about it: ‘France’s Roland Dumas tells how Syria’s Destruction was planned in advance.’:
      ‘Former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas: West was preparing attack on Syria before crisis started’:

      Then there’s this, from early this year: ‘Arab Daily: British Diplomatic Cable Unveils US Plots to Disintegrate Syria’:

  • Ace

    An “economic re-orientation that would affect the distribution of wealth in the UK” sound like an awfully tepid and unimaginative solution. Ditto for “protected” employment, meaning reliance on the government or some union to take care of the worker. AKA paternalism. A shopworn thinking to boot. After over a century of socialist failure and totalitarian excess is that the best that a 21st-c. nation can come up with? Stripping away laws and regulations that hinder enterprise and encouraging more subsidiarity have more to recommend them. No one needs toffs and boffiins to devise some magisterial plan for the people with fewer teeth than feet as you condescendingly put it.

    But Britain’s too far gone in its class consciousness and being wedded to 1930s solutions. Britons want to be ruled and they want to live off the productive sector as much as anyone else in the Western world. That is the kind of thinking that must be wrung completely out of the system and reason won’t do it. Solzhenitsyn’s “pitiless crowbar of events” will. The West has staked its existence of pure delusion about human nature, race, culture, and economics. As Benjamin Franklin said, too, “Experience keeps a dear school but a fool will learn in no other.” OWTTE. Back to Solzhenitsyn who also said, “Live not by lies.” Which is, of course, exactly what we do all day every day. Thus the assault on free speech.

    The single greatest threat to Britain is the vicious attack on free speech, without which the basics of a better approach to new realities cannot be discussed. Media concentration is disgrace in any country and the ability of cheesy social network platforms to censor speech is just not something that free people should tolerate. Electoral reform and limitation of the franchise to men free of criminal convictions and not on any kind of dole will also help. Immigration must, of course, be stopped and completely reversed. Western man’s love affair with foreigners and rank stupidity had best come to a stop eo instante.

  • crispin hythe

    Hi Craig
    Hey, a propos de rien, whatever became of the Skripals? Was it seafood poisoning after all? Is it time for the sitcom…?

    • Sharp Ears

      ‘Something wrong with the story’: Seymour Hersch questions media narrative on Salisbury poisoning
      28 June 2018

      ‘Hersch, who shot to fame after exposing the cover up of the My Lai Massacre of civilians by US troops during the Vietnam War, has gone on to become one of the leading investigative reporters on national security issues, and a critic of US foreign and security policy.

      Stories he has covered since the infamous My Lai investigation have included the torture and mistreatment of inmates by US Military Police in Abu Ghraib prison after the invasion of Iraq, and – more recently – he has called into question claims made that the Syrian government has used sarin gas against civilians. As a result, he has been labeled by critics as an apologist for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

      When asked for his own take on who really was behind the Salisbury attack, Hersch said: “I’ve been told the real story had little to do with Russia per se, except that he was ratting out some of the Russian mobs.”’

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Syria – Damascus And Its Allies Prepare To Remove U.S. Forces From Al-Tanf’:

    ‘…There is sneaking suspicion that the U.S. directed the ongoing ISIS attack on Abu Kamal to gain control over the crossing and to disable road supplies from Iran through Iraq into Syria.

    The U.S. must be given no chance to use the ISIS pretext to take Abu Kamal. The Syrian government must rush to support its forces in the border city. It must immediately request that Iraqi forces cross the border from Al-Qaim and support the endangered Syrian troops.
    Some reinforcement came in and Albu Kamal was soon back in Syrian government hands. The Syrian army also launched an operation to destroy ISIS positions in southeastern desert.

    But U.S. interference in the east continued:

    The Russian military is warning of a false-flag “chemical incident” in Deir Ezzor governorate. The Syrian Observatory reports that Islamic State remnants in the southeastern desert and in the Rukban camp, both under cover of the U.S. occupied zone around al-Tanf, prepare for a large attack on Syrian government forces. It claims that such an attack is an attempt to occupy the zone between al-Tanf and Albu Kamal at the Euphrates. Both operation would be planned diversions intended to draw Syrian forces away from Deraa and could provide excuses for U.S. intervention on the opposition side.

    Late Sunday an airstrike destroyed a building in the Harri area near Albu Kamal directly on the Syrian-Iraqi border. The building was used as a headquarter for the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) who are securing the border in coordination with the Syrian army in the fight against the Islamic State. More than 20 fighters were killed and more than 10 were wounded. This may have been in preparation for the reportedly planned large ISIS attack…..’

    ‘…The U.S. sent “rebels” it trains at al-Tanf outside its self declared 55 kilometers deconfliction zone around Tanf to attack Syrian government forces. It supported them by air strikes. U.S. special forces are said to have taken part. This is likely the case as only U.S. special forces can call in such airstrikes.

    It seems obvious that the U.S. is using ISIS, U.S. trained “Maghawhir al-Thawra” rebels, and its air power in another attempt to cut the land route between Syria and Iraq. It wants to use the upcoming Syrian campaign against al-Qaeda and ISIS in the southwest around Daraa to make a new move in the east.

    But Syria and its allies will not allow that. They are building up their own forces in the east. As Elijah Magnier reported yesterday:

    During my visit to the city of Palmyra and its surroundings, the presence of thousands of Russian troops is striking, indicating that Moscow is sending new infantry and special forces in very large numbers. This large presence has not been announced.

    The Syrian army is also sending additional forces into the area and more Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units have arrived in the Al-Qaim/Albu-Kamal area.

    Syria and its allies obviously decided to counter the U.S. move. Their operations at the Syrian-Iraqi border are coordinated by the common operation room in Baghdad…..’

    ‘…The operation in the southwest around Daraa will proceed. The U.S. attempts to use the occasion to cut Syria from Iraq in the east will be prevented by the new Baghdad operations room mission. Its high time for the U.S. to give up on its nonsense schemes in the southeast. The humanitarian situation in the Rukban camp near the U.S. positions in al-Tanf is catastrophic and the civilians there want to come back under Syrian government control. The al-Tanf position is indefensible against any larger force. The U.S. forces there can still move out without a fight. If they do not leave voluntarily, force will be used to remove them.’

    So seems like Russia is stepping up to the plate against the US and it’s proxy mercenaries – hopefully this all turns out well…

  • Dennis Revell

    : And now for something ?completely? different:

    Arfon Jones, the North WALES Police commissioner has joined the Scottish National Party (SNP) – that’s the SCOTTISH National Party !!!! after the events at Westminster.
    😉 😉 😉 😉 😉 😉 😉

  • Sharp Ears

    Letter in the Camden New Journal from Selma James

    Camden New Journal Thursday 28th June 2018
    Boycotts, divestment and sanctions

    On 18 June an open letter signed by 75, now 92, Jewish people in the UK was sent to the (Camden-based) Board of Deputies of British Jews.

    It stated: “We are appalled that the Board of Deputies (BoD) which claims to be ‘the voice of British Jews,’ has once again attempted to justify the massacre of unarmed Palestinian people by the Israeli military.”

    Since the start of the Great March of Return calling for the Palestinians right to return to their ancestral homelands and an end to the 11-year siege of Gaza, at least 123 Palestinians have been killed and over 13,600 have been injured. Thousands are suffering from life-changing injuries caused by Israel’s use of illegal “dumdum” or “butterfly” bullets which expand after entering the body.

    We want to make clear that the BoD doesn’t speak for us.

    The signatories include Sir Geoffrey Bindman, Professors Moshe Machover and Avi Shlaim, and Michael Rosen.

    Among the first to sign was Ronnie Kasrils, a leading anti-apartheid campaigner who was in exile in Britain for some years, and later a minister in the Mandela government. He asked to be included in what he described as a “much needed statement”.

    As we say in the letter, “The BoD in recent years has been uncritical of Israel and pro-Tory, contrary to the great Jewish working-class tradition of struggling for social justice in every situation.”

    In that tradition, we endorse the call by Jamal Juma, coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign: “join us in nonviolent action by taking up the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions until Israel respects international law and human rights.”

    There has been no reply or acknowledgement from the BoD (or the Jewish media) so far. The full letter and list of signatories is available here: http://www.facebook.com/AfterGazaMassacre/posts/200767647231085

    International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK

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