Nationalisation Without Compensation 1047


When slavery was abolished in the British Empire, taxpayers paid huge sums in compensation to slave owners for the loss of their “property”. No compensation was ever paid to the slaves for the loss of their freedom.

The problem with that approach is, of course, that the state did not take into account that the “property” of which it was relieving the landowners was acquired as part of an inhuman and immoral situation.

I was considering the same question in relation to the constitutional moves of South Africa to redistribute land without compensation. It seems to me this is plainly morally justified. The only question marks I can see are of practicality, in terms of making sure those taking over the land are trained to keep it properly in production, and that redistribution is not corrupt. Those are not insuperable problems, and I support the South African government in its endeavours.

But I wish to apply the same principle, of the state acting to right historic injustice on behalf of the people, much more widely and in the UK.

I apply precisely the same argument to the great landed estates, particularly but not only in Scotland. I believe the fundamental answer to land reform is confiscation by the state of large estates, and that social justice can never be redressed by the taxpayer simply handing over money to the ultra-wealthy. We have already been doing far too much of that through the bankers’ bailouts.

I have no moral qualms at all about simply taking back the land, whether it be from the Dukes of Sutherland, Buccleuch and Atholl, from a Dutch businessman or from a sheikh. In England the Grosvenor estate, the lands of the Duchy of Cornwall, and similar holdings could be confiscated. I do not see this as harm to the “owners”. Let them work for a living, or try their luck with the benefits claim system. Residential properties in large estates might become council homes, while tenants of commercial properties might pay rents to the council rather than to the Duke of Westminster, and the council use a large portion of that money for homebuilding.

Agricultural land from vast estates might perhaps best be given to the tenant farmers who have rented it. In the Highland glens, there are vast tracts which were once cattle rearing and arable. We have been lied to for generations that these are only fit for moorland for grouse and deer hunting – despite the fact that they are studded with the croft foundations of the cleared populations they once supported, who reared cattle and grew crops. These unfarmed lands should be given free to communities to develop; with assistance for the expensive task of bringing them back into production. That assistance would be a better use of state money than paying “compensation” to the ultra-wealthy.

But it is not only land. I favour nationalisation without compensation of all PFI projects, and of all railways and utilities. The owners have milked the public and the taxpayer far too long. Any business investment carries risk, including political risk. If you misjudge the political risk, your business fails. These businesses have made a misjudgement of political risk in the view they could profiteer, that it is possible to rip off the people forever without blowback. That is a business miscalculation, and such businesses deserve to fail.

The Labour Party’s renationalisation proposals have been carefully calculated within the existing framework of “legitimate” property rights. Therefore John McDonnell has framed rail nationalisation in terms of the expiration of franchises, and talked of PFI projects in terms of buyouts. I reject this approach in favour of the more radical approach of confiscation.

Yes, I realise that some percentage of the investments removed will belong to pension funds and insurance companies and even foreign states, and to small investors. Still more will belong to hedge funds and plutocrats, and the stake of ordinary people in wealth through pension funds had been – deliberately – tumbling for two decades. The less wealthy individuals with a stake in pension funds will lose a little, but gain from the wider public good, and for them there might be a compensation mechanism.

I also realise the markets will not like confiscation, and there will be an increase in bond yields; but this will pass. There is no measure to redress social injustice the markets will like. The City of London is our enemy and will naturally attempt to resist or punish any attack on its continued ability to be the conduit for the hoovering dry of the national wealth.

The fact is, that the extreme injustice and inequalities of society have now become so very glaring that there is no way to make any impression on wealth disparity without changes that may be rightly considered revolutionary. Either we are content to live in a society where the wealthiest one per cent will within two decades own ninety per cent of all wealth in the UK and the rest of us be helots, or we make changes to the fabric of the economy and government which are truly radical.

The economic system has tilted beyond correction by tinkering.

What is immorally owned ought not to be compensated on expropriation by the community.

As with the owners of slaves, the owners of “property” would be likely to attempt to defend their riches through the courts. This is where the doctrine of the sovereignty of parliament might for once be put to good rather than evil use, in passing law making such state confiscation unequivocally legal. Both the UK and Scotland appear set for at least a period outside the EU; I cannot think of a better use for any window of legal autonomy.

I am fully aware that I am proposing very radical measures very unlikely to be adopted by the current political Establishment. But the most telling fact of recent western society, itself a natural and predictable result of that galloping wealth inequality, is that the political Establishment has its coat on a very shoogly peg.


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1,047 thoughts on “Nationalisation Without Compensation

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  • Molloy

    Great by Deb at 0404hrs. . . . .

    “The US has imposed sanctions on Iran and acts as if this constitutes international law, then uses a third party country to detain nationals of another country. This is US exceptionalism gone mad.”

    Hmmm. .. . as far as am aware, critical analysis would say that this is the usual US$ DS gangster behaviour, worse than any mafia more obscene than any violent act to win back stolen land stolen resources.

    Please call out the crime against humanity (deaths of children especially) for what it is. “exceptionalism” my feckinR’s. . . .

    Iran, my sisters and brothers. ¡No pasarán!

    .

    • Radar O’Reilly

      more background on Chinese telecom backdoors, Chinese big-brother – the infrastructure that led to the development of the Chinese social justice ranking for internet activists etc (now being called “Digital Dictatorship“)

      Surely Huawei will rank bigly in digital equipment interference of citizens, and sales of oppressive (sorry ‘dual-use’) equipments?

      Ah, from public analysis of the website of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security it has become evident that US Cisco sold the ‘Cisco IDS-4125’ DPI intrusion detection system to China; the ‘ASA 5505’ used in the Chinese Internet backbone and the ‘Policenet’ – described as key to China’s Golden Shield censorship and surveillance systems. What, Cisco not Huawei?

      Further quoting from a 2008 (old, real) Guardian.co.uk article “It is futile to argue whether western corporations are directly responsible for the uses to which China puts their technologies. Following basic free-trade principles, products are most likely sold “as is” to (rather than customised for) the Chinese government or third-party resellers. However, just as in the arms trade, these practices have led to the creation of a hostile digital environment, inhabited by Da Ge (pinyin for Big Brother)” What, free-market not Huawei?

      A historic court case in the US against Cisco did however allege that Cisco deliberately modified and customised their systems specifically for Chinese activist surveillance, highlighting the possible ease of tracking for religious groups or other keyword searches using DPI (deep packet inspection) systems. So probably Cisco was doing stuff deliberately. . .

      Further away from ‘evil’ Huawei, is a report that Boeing-Narus (Isra€li/US) partnered with Shanghai Telecom to block Skype calls inside China. (China’s autonomous region of Hong Kong was of course instrumental in the whole early FBI/NSA/GCHQ ILETS IUR proceedings and helped to establish the international standards for lawful and eventual mass interception.)

      Finally, here’s a serious Iran-Sino Thomson-Reuters report, of the sort that we no longer see – just Integrity initiative nudges,
      http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/12/03/IranChina.pdf (2.2MB instant pdf download, virustotal checked 0/60)

      Huawei is mentioned, but there are about twenty times more references to ZTE in Iran, surely 5-eyes must try harder to limit anyone other than the wonderful Ericsson networks to install in their eminent domains, after all, what could possibly go wrong with Ericsson systems?

      other than a day without smart-buses, O2 4G, etc etc https://www.thesslstore.com/blog/expired-certificate-ericsson-o2/ 32 million ddos SSL

      Strange, 4 attempts to post this and it has not yet appeared, even tho’ it was given “comment-page-10/#comment-808127” attributes – maybe Cisco/Narus/Symantec/Ericsson network infrastructure is dodgier that I expected!

      • MaryPau!

        why should anyone be surprised? USA is scarcely the only country to sell weapons, armaments or electronic surveillance tools to hostile countries or dictatorships. Is there anyone who doesn’t sell to Saudia for example?,

    • Andyoldlabour

      @Molloy, as usual you have hit the nail on the head. Iran and any other country which dares to stand up to the “exceptional” USA (exceptionally stupid and evil) will forever face repercussions in the form of – invasion, bombing, sanctions, regime change.
      The real problem though, is that very often other countries hold on to the tail of the US, like frightened puppies, thus legitimising its actions.
      The sanctions are hitting people in Iran, I know because half my family on my wife’s side still live there, and how do they view the US?
      Well as the sanctions hit harder, they hate the US (and the UK) more, because they do not see how the sanctions are justified (Neither do I and many others), whilst countries such as the US, UK, Saudi Arabia and Israel get away with war crimes around the World.

  • Molloy

    .

    Reposted response to ‘Mary’ at 0853hrs. . . . too far below ‘Mary’s’ original innuendo. . . .

    The suggestion of spyware whilst having no evidence, to this tribunal, is simply racist propaganda.


    Reply ↓
    Molloy
    December 9, 2018 at 12:17
    .

    Really, Mary. Oh purrleeze!

    Please, once again, share with us all any evidence of spyware at all which may be in your possession at Cheltenham. Please do share.

    Too often too many seemingly innocuous little innuendos are not going to look good on your CV, and may harm your promotion/status prospects. That means less opportunity to work for warmongers.

    Weather now lovely in Westbury-on-Severn is it not?!

    ¡No pasarán!

    .

    • MaryPau!

      Not sure what you are talking about. EU has recommended not using Huawei kit in electronic networks and two days ago BT/EE announced it would not be using it in 5g networks.

  • Molloy

    .

    Welsh Noir — your question.

    How the greedy corporate elite protect their stolen property?

    re “Anyone else see the footage of armoured cars in the Paris riot bearing EU flags?”

    . . . . . please provide the link/video and if deemed fitting a senior (independent) competent judge must look into the alleged use of violence by EU.

    Evidence please.

    .

  • giyane

    Selling spyware to Muslims. In Islam if somebody looks through your keyhole you are entitled to stick a knife in their eye because the Qur’an specifically and repeatedly forbids spying. There is no question of an oppressive regime being entitled to spy because a government is not entitled to oppress.

    The IT savvy tell me that the internet is like an open warehouse door , not a keyhole, and you are literally exposing yourself if you don’t take precautions. But if you started taking precautions that would only increase their desire to spy on you and increase their mental sickness.

    Now the jolly old security services are worried about being spied on themselves by Chinese technology. So it’s highly illegal and dangerous when they are the victims of illegal spying and by contrast we are extremely stupid if we allow ourselves to be spied on. Make up your minds please.

    Personally what I do is this. If I think someone is spying on me I do or say something so outrageous that the human being doing the spying forgets that they are supposed to be incognito and comment. Not much difference from shooting pheasant on a Sunday afternoon. I have flushed out many spyers using this system.

    You can’t beat a good brace of fattened spyers so long as you’re on your guard against the incriminating bird-shot. On one occasion the spy threatened to kill me, on another, they called the police and recently they forgot to keep it zipped on the camera they put in my house.

    Government by Shanghai delegated to a man of common sense like Jeremy Corbyn would be vastly preferable to the status quo that have failed in two years to do anything but bluster and splutter trying to conceal their evil intent. Are these government people not sent to University to learn about framing informed opinion about government. Or did they recruit the Brexiteers from playgroup. Let’s pin up their childish efforts on Brexit with encouragement and call it Tory early years development.

    • Molloy

      .

      Giyane — great stuff.

      However, perhaps in error? you seem to overlook:

      a/ Racism and lack of evidence of IT spying, and

      b/ The bizarre and ludicrous idea that anybody from China might be interested in a self-important, corrupt and miniscule and entirely unlawful UK regime.

      The only possible interest for another (more up together State) naturally, would be to guard against UKU$S DS aggression theft of property and greed.
      Going on previous and entirely obnoxious warmongering form (of corrupt global elite). . .from a human perspective, any so-called spying for purpose of avoiding aggression is entirely justified, and in fact wholly moral and responsible.

      Eerily, the elephant in the room on this forum that GC$HQ DS psyops contributors are reluctant to talk about.
      And the warmongers have plenty of crimes to hide.

      As the good book says, charity begins at home; first put our own house in order.

      So. . . . . .as earlier, DS are involved therefore ‘spying’ accusations directed at other people oozing from the rear of DS? . . . . . . ha ha, my feckinR’s.

      ¡No pasarán! and go well, my friend.

      .

      • nevermind

        Molloy has introduced her/himself, then supported many comments, albeit the defused and literary efforts to appear left.

        Now we are in a new phase of ‘it’ chewing away at comments that are obvious, covered in the past, or well argued according to preceding facts, as if
        It was its civic duty to oblige and disrupt.

        If you have no BBC evidence to peer at, does not mean you have to clutch at disruptive straws to show off.

  • Tatyana

    Well, well, well, nice Sunday evening after nice Sanday day!

    I’m happy and jumping with joy, because today I was testing our new car. Alone. Without my husband sitting by and providing his “precious” comments on my driving skills 🙂
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq74jOeA175/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=ovywoay16d4b

    You can imagine my feelings, if you ever had russian car like “moscwich” or “zhiguli” and sometimes had to connect the fan wires directly for forced cooling because radiator is boiling.

    If you had never had a russian car you can get idea from this song
    https://youtu.be/uGxVw1y8mH8
    * russian humor show KVN, the artist sings: “Roads in the country, as well as cars in the country, as well as salaries, football, housing and communal services, not to say about cinema — he makes a pause and we hear Freddy Mercury singing words ‘God knows’, which in russian sounds like ‘говно’ (sh:t). *

    Or, for example, here is another humor story:
    Russian car-building company Autovaz and Japanese corporation Nissan decided to exchange their experience.

    Russian engineer puts a question: ‘What is your procedure to check the car interior for leaks?”
    Nissan engineer answers: “We put a cat into the car in the evening and leave it there for the night. In the morning we come and observe. If the cat is alive, so obviously air came into, thus the car interior has leaks. If the cat is dead, so the car interior is properly sealed. And what about you?”
    Russians: “Well, our procedure is nearly the same, we put a cat into the car in the evening… In the morning we come and check. If the cat is still in the car, so the interior is sealed. But if the cat has run away, so there are leaks”.
    —-
    Happy Sunday evening to everyone!

    • flatulence'

      Same to you.

      In the UK the procedures are slightly different. They’re simply told there is no leak, has been no leak and there never will be a leak, and this is based on irrefutable evidence which cannot be shared and is from an anonymous source.

        • Molloy

          .

          Taty — curious that you appear (analysis) to be taking the piss out of Russian people.

          . . . . .i.e. dodgy cars; not very bright people; cruelty to animals?

          Hmmm. . . .

          Any reason? Dislike of Russians?
          Please tell all of us (most humans with half a brain realise that Russians are also humans, pretty heroic humans too).

          Perhaps not wise to conflate Russian people with the ‘difficult’ (albeit fairer than UKU$S war machine) Russian State entity. This seems to be how your piece reads, anyway.
          Tell me that I am wrong.

          ¡No pasarán!

          .

          • Tatyana

            Molloy, are you serious asking that? I’m russian 🙂 We are mocking everything, including laughing at ourselves.
            Our humor is often ‘black humor’ but it only involves imaginary situations, fiction.

            Joking in Russia is never intended to offend anyone, just to have fun.
            I know it is not the same in other countries, people are cotiously choosing words and situations for jokes.
            We don’t. We’ve got tons of jokes about politics, LGBT, religion, nations, stupid and smart people…

            I assure you, russian cars, as well as russian roads, and russian football players are common topics.

          • Blunderbuss

            Hello Tatyana.

            Is this a real Russian joke or is it an English forgery?

            How high is the corn, comrade?
            As high as God’s knees, comrade.
            But there is no God.
            There is no corn either.

      • Spencer Eagle

        You are absolutely right, a friend who used to work at Nissan’s Sunderland plant, you know the one – ‘the most productive car plant in Europe’, revealed that when cars failed the water test, workers were told to dry the seats with paper towels. The cars left the factory and the leaks then became the dealers problem.

    • Spencer Eagle

      At the height of the Soviet space race in the 1960’s the engineers were having serious problems maintaining the cabin pressure of a new capsule in development. The program’s chief engineer reported his concerns to the director, insisting, such was the risk to life, that the program be halted. The directors solution was to promote the chief engineer to cosmonaut and the launch deadline was met. True story.

      • flatulence'

        All this talk of engineering reminds me of a story a tutor told me (don’t know if it’s true, or funny for that matter, I find it funny but I’m a geek). USA spent much time and money developing some micro drill bit and were so pleased with themselves they sent one to Russia to rub it in at how advanced they were. Russia just sent it back with a hole drilled through it.

      • Tatyana

        I’ve got funny story, it is not true, so no one reason to get offended, please! Just for fun.

        One of the early russian spaceships goes to space. It carries two dogs Belka and Strelka, and a man from far undeveloped part of Russia. Radio communication with the flight control center:
        – Belka
        – *barks* Wof!
        – Belka, push the blue button
        – Wof wof!
        – Strelka
        – Wof!
        – Strelka, push the green button
        – Wof wof!
        – Ivan
        – Wof!
        – Stop barking, you idiot! Feed the dogs and don’t you touch anything!

    • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

      @Tatyana
      Gotta love Radio Yerevan reports(Sorry problem with cloud flare so can’t reference). Humour in adversity. . cClosest British equivalent was “Wot no…”

  • Sharp Ears

    I didn’t see Marr this morning. I know that Swarbrick was reviewing the papers along with Miller and Stuart. He is now on LBC and was previously at No 10 i/c of May’s broadcasting.

    He would have been on this list which I came across. Sorry it’s from G Fawkes. An amazingly large crowd of ‘SPADS, wonks and spinners’, 39 or so for May alone, all being paid by the taxpayer of course.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16uVCBkk5npgyLIehZC4aup5I5MQN8Wa4aIZXuGN7zKI/edit#gid=0

  • N_

    Tommy Robinson and UKIP marched in London today, some of them wearing military style berets. Union Jacks were aplenty. There were also bagpipes, St George’s flags, a Trump banner, UKIP flags carrying the pound sign, and (but why?) a red flag and a black flag. Tommy Robinson seems to have difficulty standing still. Is it cocaine, pubic lice, or a mental illness? “Our streets”, the ubermensch shouted.

    UKIP leader Gerard Batten said that “If Parliament does not take Britain out of the European Union it will be the biggest constitutional crisis since the English Civil War. In 1642 the king put himself in opposition to Parliament. Parliament won and the king lost his head. If Parliament betrays Brexit they will be putting themselves in opposition of the people and if they win you will lose your liberty.”

    The last line sounds very burgermunchery and probably comes from a combination of UKIP’s notorious USaphilia with wanting to impress real live Uncle Sammers from the embassy.

    Apparently the fash didn’t make it to 10,000, whereas the anti-fash made 15,000. There’s no sign yet of any photo-opportunities.having been successfully created by Robinson and Batten’s deplorable mob. The Sun may well love this tomorrow. Not so sure about the Heil.

    • Republicofscotland

      “The Sun may well love this tomorrow. Not so sure about the Heil.”

      Try the Daily Express or the Daily Mail, both will be salivating like Pavlov’s dog at the thought of printing the pictures.

    • Rowan Berkeley

      @N_ let me reconstrue your question as “and a red & black flag (but why?)”

      It sounds like a tribute to Right Sector in Ukraine. Their red & black flag (simple diagonal division) is the same as the anarcho-communist red & black flag. Confusing but true.

      • N_

        Thanks for this, @Rowan. I think you are right, although it was a red flag AND a black flag, not a red-and-black flag. Right Sector and the national bolsheviks do indeed like those colours. There are also the “national anarchists”. The Guardian reports that the lambda symbol of Generation Identity was in evidence today too.

    • Dave

      I would expect state agitators to be present to ensure some violent footage to be used in the 2nd referendum campaign to discredit the Leave campaign. Farage is right, going down the populist anti-Muslim blind alley is playing into the state’s hand.

        • Dave

          I haven’t heard him use those exact words, but he has said it would undermine the effectiveness of UKIP by turning it into the BNP, which amounts to the same thing. For some on the ‘left’ there is no difference, but in practice UKIP prospered as the respectable moderate ‘anti-racist’ middle-class alternative. There is always a dilemma facing political parties between welcoming new members and being taken over to promote a different message from the founders.

  • Republicofscotland

    So the State broadcaster allowed Boris Johnson to flap his gums on the Marr show this morning over Brexit.

    Johnson and Co have been prevaricating on Brexit since 2016, beginning with the big red NHS bus. Johnson was and still is very vocal on Brexit, yet when leave won Johnson fled the scene like a frightened mouse, and left the rest of his totally inept party to deal with it. Needless to say it has been all downhill from thereon in with regards to Brexit.

    Yet the BBC, still allows the failed Foreign secretary airtime to push his “If only the EU would do as we want” routine, and that “Im sure Britain will be great again once we’re out” routine.

    Boris Johnson in my opinion has no credibility, and like the majority of the Tory government, sees Brexit as a opportunity to increase his wealth and influence in Britain, whilst the rest of us can take hike for all they care.

    • Deb O'Nair

      The fact that the odious and disgusting Johnson is seen as an ineffective blow-hard in his own party, and a joke by a huge majority of the public, has to make on wonder why he is given a platform by the state broadcaster. Is it because of the backing he receives from billionaires like Trump, Murdoch and the Barclay twins to take over from Theresa May despite his time as FM showing him to be a complete inept for high office?

      It was only a few days ago he had to make a grovelling apology for failing to declare earnings. A number of weeks ago it came out that he was giving his police protection the slip whilst FM, to get up to god know what. His wife recently left him because of his continued unfaithfulness and he’s sired, with two different women whilst married, at least two off-spring which were aborted.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Still no impeachment move against Trump, though he committed massive fraud on the American voters by saying he was going to lock candidate Hillary up because she was a terrible druggie pedophile, and he paid off two other women to keep covered up his affairs with them.

    Would the Republicans even agree to impeach him if he shot dead some one at a large public event?

    Think not. Some rule of law!

  • Tony_0pmoc

    [email protected] 09:09

    Very interesting, I do not have a problem with Chinese technology, especially with regards to their hardware, which is often leading edge and first to market. Sometimes they just put it out, and sell it for next to nothing. 10 years ago, they may not have had the software skills, but their hardware was so good, that enthusiastic American and British software designers, used to get the software working, for free, in their spare time, in their bedroom, cos they were so frustrated with their paid day time job, working for some horrendous enormous corporate bureaucracy. Some of our kid’s friends have moved to live in China, and occasionally come back for a visit at Christmas..

    The Americans can’t do it any more. They can huff and puff, but they’ve lost it. They no longer have the skills, drive and enthusiasm. Even much of their military, is dependent on Chinese and Russian technology.

    You can’t get much more crazy than showing all the signs of wanting to go to war with them, when you are dependent on their technology.

    Now who turned O2 off? Was that just a one day demo?

    Tony

    • Molloy

      .

      Tony — Really? Are you absolutely sure?!

      “Even much of their military, is dependent on Chinese and Russian technology.”

      Sláinte

      .

  • Republicofscotland

    So the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his Brussels speech laid out how a future US, as world leading, would like to see the shape of things to come.

    Pointing out that, the likes of the IMF and World bank, and the likes of Russia and China weren’t really forces for good, but America is.

    In short it would appear that the US wants other nations to sign up to their way of thinking, and those nations and institutions that don’t meet their criteria better watch out.

    Its a subliminal mission statement on how the US will some day run the world the way it wants to.

    https://www.ft.com/content/93946f66-f964-11e8-8b7c-6fa24bd5409c

  • SA

    I am rather surprised at the presence of climate change doubters and outright deniers posting on this website. But then I guess it is freedom of speech!

    • Republicofscotland

      Ah, I see where you’re going with that SA firstly my previous comment left it open for discussion for those who don’t believe in climate change. I however do believe that climate change is happening, and it’s occuring much quicker due to humanities global actions.

      David Attenborough gave a very eloquent speech on the matter, at a UN Climate Change Summit in Poland recently, and I’m inclined to agree with him.

      • michael norton

        RoS now that the yellow jackets have brought the French economy to its knees, the French government will be quickly moving away from global warming taxes for the poor working classes.
        Other countries will take note.

        • Republicofscotland

          You never know Michael, although nearly two-thousand Yellow Jackets have been arrested so far.

          Some might not agree but the French really know how to show their government that they’re not happy about economic policies. If only other nations citizens had a bit more militant tendencies about them, governments might think twice about imposing horrendous policies on their denizens.

        • SA

          The problem is that this has been presented as a green tax to combat greenhouse gases but this is totally phoney. You cannot tackle greenhouse gases by taxing the poor who depend on transport and everyday living for these fuels whilst huge industries, multinationals and large economies continue to produce large amounts of the stuff. A policy to find replacements is required, or tax on air travel as suggested by Craig before.
          Moreover it looks as if the French have had enough not only because of the fuel taxes but because France has become much more expensive, food, services and other expenses. No wonder people had enough.

          • Dave

            Higher taxes on plane fairs, so only the rich can holiday in areas with a higher temperature!

          • Clark

            Who cares? We’ll all lose our liberty if we permit the biosphere to be stiffed. Simple matter of priorities.

            Extinction? REBELLION!

          • Clark

            If needs be.

            You seem not to have understood the seriousness of the situation. The extinction rate is 1000 times its historical background rate. In terms of our generations the changes seem slow, but compared to the geological record they’re like lightning; there’s nothing like it recorded in the rocks.

            If we were on a crippled ship you’d support measures like rationing. Well spaceship Earth is in big trouble, and there are no lifeboats and no coast to reach. We solve the problems we’ve created or we go under. Our political preferences are irrelevant beyond saving our only home.

          • Dave

            In other words world government to enforce world rationing aka the dictatorship of the 1% in the name of saving the planet.

          • Clark

            If you say so Dave.

            I’ve looked at the science and it is compelling. It shouldn’t be a surprise; I’ve seen the human population double in my lifetime, and our lifestyle has a very large impact upon the environment. Human activity nearly destroyed the atmospheric ozone layer, but action was taken swiftly and that disaster was averted. But it was just one problem.

      • SA

        Sorry RoS but your previous post was very clearly saying that we should hedge our bets and think of the worst but hope for the best. You stated
        “The thing is if global warming is true, and who’s to say with any certainty either way, if we’re wrong and it is, then much of the planet will become uninhabitable, or flooded, wages won’t matter then”.

        Reminds me of agnostics who either half heartedly practice a religion or convert in their deathbeds because they have nothing to loose by ‘believing ‘.

        • Clark

          “…and who’s to say with any certainty either way…”

          Me. Every piece of the global warming science I have looked at has been utterly sound, and every counter-argument has been trivial to refute.

          • Dave

            Hardly encouraging, considering you also promote spontaneous combustion due to shock and sympathy collapse theory, to explain the destruction of three towers with a combined height of 267 storey’s on 9/11.

          • Clark

            Yep. If you can’t work out that a floor structure designed to withstand at most ten times its own weight will collapse if eleven stories fall on it, you haven’t a hope of understanding climate change.

          • Clark

            “Combined height”. LOL.

            And since when did a building get stronger by being higher? Heh, it’s easier to build them taller you know; the short ones invariably fall down. It’s just a conspiracy that we use rockets to launch satellites, since space elevators are simple to construct if you have enough Lego.

          • Blunderbuss

            Most of the IPCC’s global warming “science” I have looked at has been utterly unsound.

          • Deb O'Nair

            “If you can’t work out that a floor structure designed to withstand at most ten times its own weight will collapse if eleven stories fall on it, you haven’t a hope of understanding climate change.”

            The lower floors of the towers, with the help of the massive central core, successfully held the entire weight of the block for decades and as the block was ‘collapsing’ (i.e. turning into fine grained dust) the loading would have been reducing on the lower floors.

            Photos of the site once the dust had cleared show very little left in the way of structural debris. The entire debris pile (including in the basement levels) contained less than 10% of the building’s mass. So the remains of the upper floors could not have caused the destruction of the lower floors because they were not there – they had already been turned into fine dust. Anyone that watches the destruction of the twin towers and believes they are watching a building ‘collapse’ is suffering from a major cognitive impairment.

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, don’t LIE. I went through EVERY criticism you raised, and in EVERY case, the IPCC had it right and you had it wrong.

          • Clark

            Deb O’Nair, I’m not getting into all that; I went through it all on the 9/11 thread, and the discussion is prohibited here. I worked out the collapse sequences for myself, and subsequently found myself in agreement with the fire safety and structural engineering communities. WTC7 remains very odd.

            If you think the Towers “turned to dust in mid air”, you haven’t watched the videos closely enough. I must have spent hundreds of hours doing so, downloading them and observing frame by frame in some cases. Yes, there’s some dust during the collapses, but it pales into insignificance compared with the dust clouds that welled up as the collapses hit bottom, as would be expected at the moment of maximum crushing.

            https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2010/01/the_911_post/

      • Dave

        Sir David Attenborough agreed to promote the scam in exchange for a big BBC wildlife series, a fair conclusion because he’s not a climatologist, so is no more professional qualified on the subject than a non-qualified person, and claimed to be confidence of the ‘evidence’ after seeing a graph!

        As a naturalist he knows the importance of carbon dioxide to human and animal survival, but alas has allowed his fame to lend credence to the scam, but skunks himself for a clear conscience, with the far-fetched apocalyptic musings.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      SA, all “climate change doubters and outright deniers posting” denial of the fact the climate has always changed and always will, have probably not done physics, maths and history at school, but concentrated on their religious, artistic, and political studies…

      And anyhow if their theories are correct, which I seriously doubt the main effects from a UK point of view is..

      Number 1 Westminster and all these useless idiots who go to work every day Mon-Friday will be drowned, when The Thames Barier fails to go up, because of an unpredicted software failure.

      Number 2. All the colourful tropical fish will return to the now warmer Irish Sea, The North Sea, and The Atlantic Ocean, and we will be able to dive and snorkel in it, without wearing full temperature protected body & head gear..

      Number 3. The fields of Ireland and Scotland will just become so fertile, that it will be easy to not just feed ourselves, but export it too.

      Personnally, I think its going to get exceedingly cold, like in 1963.

      I do however know how to build an igloo, cos I’ve done it with my brother.

      We used a block of ice for the window.

      It lasted 3 months.

      Tony

      • Clark

        Tony, climate hasn’t “always changed”. Rather, it has exhibited tens or of millions of years of stability separated by relatively sudden changes to a new regime. The current change, caused by human activity, is many times faster than any change that has occurred before. In addition, a sixth mass extinction is occurring; again, it is happening extremely fast and human activity is the cause. The situation is extremely serious. It is a global existential crisis.

        “…have probably not done physics, maths and history at school, but concentrated on their religious, artistic, and political studies…”

        Not me. I’m the opposite of that. I like this sort of thing:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwtt51gvaJQ

          • Clark

            They happened, but they were localised; not global changes such as we are seeing now. And the rate of extinction of species wasn’t 1000 times the background rate, which it is now.

    • Dave

      mm-Climate Change is promoted by the Globalists, hence the wall to wall, mostly uncritical coverage in MSM, which is evidence its their baby.

        • Clark

          Facts, Ian. Your intention is good, but post facts; ridicule enlightens no one.

          Here’s Channel 4’s contribution:

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

          Coverage has generally been appalling:

          In a survey of 636 articles from four top United States newspapers between 1988 and 2002, two scholars found that most articles gave as much time to the small group of climate change doubters as to the scientific consensus view. Given real consensus among climatologists over global warming, many scientists find the media’s desire to portray the topic as a scientific controversy to be a gross distortion. As Stephen Schneider put it:

          “a mainstream, well-established consensus may be ‘balanced’ against the opposing views of a few extremists, and to the uninformed, each position seems equally credible.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_coverage_of_climate_change#Common_distortions

          • Clark

            Yep:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_controversy#Scientific_consensus

            https://www.skepticalscience.com/scrutinising-31000-scientists-in-the-OISM-Petition-Project.html

            – In early 2008, the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) published their Petition Project, a list of names from people who all claimed to be scientists and who rejected the science behind the theory of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming (AGW).

            – According to the OISM website, anyone with a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate of Philosophy in a field related to physical sciences is qualified as a scientist. In addition, the OISM sent the petition cards pictured above only to individuals within the U.S. Based on this information, we can us the OISM’s own guidelines to determine how many scientists there are in the U.S. and what percentage of those scientists are represented by the OISM petition.

            – As you can see, Table 1 shows that there were over 10.6 million science graduates as defined by the OISM since the 1970-71 school year.

            – In other words, the OISM signatories represent a small fraction (~0.3%) of all science graduates, even when we use the OISM’s own definition of a scientist.

          • Clark

            I don’t know of a petition, but surveys and systematic reviews show very high agreement that human activity is causing global warming, eg:

            “of the 13,950 articles in peer-reviewed journals, only 24 rejected anthropogenic global warming. A follow-up analysis looking at 2,258 peer-reviewed climate articles with 9,136 authors published between November 2012 and December 2013 revealed that only one of the 9,136 authors rejected anthropogenic global warming. His 2015 paper on the topic, covering 24,210 articles published by 69,406 authors during 2013 and 2014 found only five articles by four authors rejecting anthropogenic global warming. Over 99.99% of climate scientists did not reject AGW in their peer-reviewed research.”

            The “Oregon Petition” is a joke; of those “31,000 signatories”, only 39 hold qualifications in climate science.

            ” the petition and its creators are not neutral parties, and the major entities supporting it can easily be described as politically motivated. The petition was organized by Arthur B. Robinson, a conservative politician who founded the aforementioned Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine and who holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of San Diego.

            Along with the petition itself, the document was sent out with a cover letter written by Frederick Seitz, a National Medal of Science Medal winner and a former president of the National Academy of Science who later went on to be an influential yet controversial tobacco lobbyist and who founded the George C. Marshall Institute, a conservative think tank that has since morphed into one more focused on the climate, with a long history of promoting environmental skepticism”

            Global warming denial is a well funded PR exercise:

            In 2005 alone, ExxonMobil spent mjore than $2.4 million on organizations that say what Exxon hasn’t got the credibility or the nerve to say itself.

            Here’s a list, as reported on ExxonMobile’s 2005 Worldwide Giving Report:

            Acton Institute – $50,000
            American Conservative Union Foundation – $50,000
            American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research – $360,000
            American Enterprise Institute – $240,000
            American Legislative Exchange Council – $241,500
            Atlas Economic Research Foundation – $100,000
            Center for Defense of Free Enterprise – $60,000
            Center for a New Europe – $50,000
            Competitive Enterprise Institute – $270,000
            Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow – $90,000
            Free Enterprise Education Institute – $70,000
            Frontiers of Freedom – $140,000
            George C. Marshall Institute – $115,000
            Heartland Institute – $119,000
            International Policy Network – $130,000
            Institute for Energy Research – $65,000
            Media Research Centre – $50,000
            National Black Chamber of Commerce – $60,000
            National Centre for Policy Analysis – $75,000
            National Centre for Public Policy Research – $55,00
            Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy – $95,000

            That’s just for 2005. According to past reports, Exxon has contributed at least $12 million since 1998 to groups that deny that climate change is happening, deny that humans are responsible, deny that the ratio of CO2 is climbing dangerously in the atmosphere, deny that Kyoto is a good (if inadequate) first step – deny, deny, deny.

            https://www.desmogblog.com/exxons-3-million-ventriloquist-act

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘Nationalisation without Compensation’. We need some of that for the Crossrail project, already overdue and now promised for 2020 (believe that when you see it). The cost so far is £15bn, rising by another £1.5bn we are told.

    Nick Raynsford has gone onto the board.

    http://news.sky.com/story/ex-labour-mp-raynsford-gets-on-board-for-crossrail-bailout-11576504

    What a mess. As for HS2? Don’t make me laugh. The country is in a state of paralysis.

    • SA

      SE
      One of the spurious arguments used by the capitalists is that the private sector is more efficient at running services than the public sector. This blatant lie is repeated to justify the privatisation of everything despite by now massive proof to the contrary and the major failure seen recently of many firms such as Carillon and of course the Banks in 2008.

      • Dave

        Its true that neo-liberals like privatisation, but the big privatisation agenda under New Labour and continued by New Conservative was driven by a desire to join the Euro-currency, by promoting PFI mickey-mouse private spending on public infrastructure and services to keep within the public spending rules to join the Euro-currency.

        An early infamous example was Gordon Brown’s ordering the Inland Revenue to raise money by selling off and then renting back all their buildings, which they did to a company based in an off-shore tax haven.

  • SA

    Trump and Macron are part of the new phenomenon that the financier rentier class have decided to do away with acting behind the scene and have decided to blatantly take control on behalf of the financial mafia. Neither of them was a career politician or know anything much about politics. The Tories have of course been doing it in this country for a long time but in a much more subtle arms length manner, and have at least been pretending to be politicians foremost.

    • Dave

      Trump is constrained and has to side with the Zionists, who distrust him as an independent mind, for some protection from the Globalists who target him from both ‘left and right’, but his Make America Great Again is an anti-imperialist message and should be supported by genuine peace activists and internationalists.

      Its true US military spending has increased, but its mostly spent on obsolete weapons and sitting ducks! Apparently a newly launched $multi-million aircraft carrier has a design fault stopping planes from landing or taking off the ship.

  • Graham Ennis

    Craig, the lack of land reform plus reforestation in scotland is costing the economy about 35 billion a year. If scotland switched to a finland system of forestry, on the same scale, (They earn about £22 billion a year from Forest products) then added on top rural small farming….this would creat significant wealth, evenly spread. But SNP will not do this!
    Graham Ennis

  • Sharp Ears

    A Thomas Piketty sees an answer to the economic woes.

    Group led by Thomas Piketty presents plan for ‘a fairer Europe’
    Manifesto by progressive Europeans calls for €800bn of levies to tackle inequality, disillusionment, climate change and migration

    Sun 9 Dec 2018
    A group of progressive Europeans led by the economist and author Thomas Piketty has drawn up a bold new blueprint for a fairer Europe to address the division, disenchantment, inequality and rightwing populism sweeping the continent.

    The plan, crafted by more than 50 economists, historians and former politicians from half a dozen countries, includes huge levies on multinationals, millionaires and carbon emissions to generate funds to tackle the most urgent issues of the day, including poverty, migration, climate change and the EU’s so-called democratic deficit.’

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/09/eu-brexit-piketty-tax-google-facebook-apple-manifesto

    He is wrong. The levies imposed will just be passed on to the 99%.

    • Ken Kenn

      apparently a critique of Picketty is that he only concentrates on earned income – not unearned accrued income year on year.

      This unearned ( rentier ) income is allegedly added to total GDP as proof that the economy is growing.

      The problem is that this income is untaxed as it is not deemed to be income but dividends.

      Of course ordinary peoples incomes are taxed. They are not above the Law of course.

      Unearned income from rents/land etc must be special.

      See: Michael Hudson economist for details on youtube.

      • Discombobulated

        Yes.

        I read the Guardian piece on the Picketty proposal and saw exactly what you say. There was only a tiny increment (1% extra tax) proposed on wealth and assets.

        Unearned income should be the main target of taxation (for both moral and practical reasons), but Picketty’s suggestions are limited to individual earnings (admittedly high earnings) and corporate profits, while leaving rentier income almost untouched. I agree that corporations need to pay their share, and I’ve always though that some kind of maximum wage is logically required in order for a minimum wage to have any meaning or purchasing power (otherwise min wage is always running a losing race against inflation, especially the kind we have seen in rents and housing) – so I’m with Picketty on the general idea of higher taxes for those who can most afford it. I just think that earnings (and maybe even profits) are off-target. We should concentrate instead on taxing rentier incomes and tax them hard.

        If land was nationalised we would have the basis for a common wealth. Since the land is a natural resource it should not be privately ownable in itself. Private land ownership encourages non-productive land banking and rent-seeking. Only the people (either through the mechanism of the state or some form of devolved commmunity custodianship) should be able to collect rents/taxes from the land and other natural resources. This wouldn’t prevent private individuals or corporations from profiting from economic activity on the land, but such profits would have to be based on productive use/value added rather than from non-productive, economically perverse activities such as rent-collection, land-banking or flipping for capital gains.

    • Ian

      Anonymous person on blog declares people who have actually done some work and research wrong, on the basis of, er, nothing at all, other than conviction that he is always right. lol. let’s not try and solve the serious problems we face, when we can have armchair experts holding forth with their superior knowledge about everything.

      • glenn_pt

        _She_ is always right, shhurely?

        I’m not actually sure what sort of society SE wants, because she refuses to engage in anything except negative dialogue.

  • N_

    Those who pull Nigel Farage’s strings may now be in a position where they could screw the Labour party in any general election, positioning UKIP 2 as moderate with respect to Tommy Robinson.

    But what about in a referendum? That’s a different ballgame and what a new party’s effect would be there I don’t know. Last time there were two main Leave campaigning organisations, Leave.EU and Vote Leave, aimed at different markets. This time? Hard to predict. Leave will need to fire up xenophobic fervour on their side, but they don’t want to lose the middle ground by letting Remain successfully paint the vote as being all about Tommy Robinson. If Leave don’t make inroads in the middle, they may find they lose some of the luvvie vote. Turnout will probably increase, and Leave need to aim to win some votes from Remain, at least in middle-of-the-market churning. (I still think Leave will win, probably with an increased majority. But I am forcing myself to consider the possibility that things aren’t so clear and that Remain has a good chance.)

    Word is that Remain may brand itself as “Stay” this time, the penny finally having dropped. Any good writer knows that whether you choose a Romance-root or an Anglo-Saxon-root word is of great significance. in 2016 the Leave side was the “don’t tell us what to do – we want to leave” side. Remain said “we consider the avenue of remaining to be the most beneficial”.

    A referendum with three options, whether we have to list our top two in order of preference (Alternative Vote system) or answer two different questions (e.g. Leave versus Stay, followed by “If Leave, then Deal or No Deal”) has the whiff of insanity about it but could happen. Until a short time ago I didn’t think the Commons would vote against “May’s Deal” and then vote to include it as an option in a referendum, but they might. Or they could play silly buggers and bat the issue to the Electoral Commission and the Supreme Court, filling the front pages with disagreements over exactly what should go on the ballot paper once it’s been decided there will be another referendum. A kind of British highly protocolled-up and procedural version of a “government of technocrats”! Their lordships’ and ladyships’ house may get some airtime too.

    AV would probably be better for Leave, because almost all voters would have to say they backed at least one Leave option. It’s well known in advertising that a good way to influence people is to get them to write down that they favour something. This is part of what “Like” buttons are about, and it’s also why companies hold competitions saying e.g. “Complete the sentence ‘I like Pedigree Chum because …’ using no more than 10 words. The technique is also used in the classes they allow drivers to attend as an alternative to getting licence points for non-dangerous speeding offences. Earlier it was used by Chinese authorities on US prisoners in Korea.

  • Discombobulated

    I try not to be overly pessimistic, but I’m getting old, and I wonder whether any principles of social justice and organisation, however well considered and intended, can prevail for long over humanity’s anti-humanitarian traits. Greed, lust for power, zero-sum survival struggles, corruption, in-group favouritism and persecution of out-groups, predation by the powerful against the weak… all these have been with us throughout our species’ history. We’ve been capable of, and produced, a lot of good things as a species too, that’s undeniable, so there are reasons to keep alive some hope for humanity. All the same, it is hard.

    Sorry, not much of a contribution to the debate. Just an expression of my personal exhaustion at this moment in time. Thank goodness, it’s not all about me, then, eh? I appreciate reading all your thoughts and continuing efforts to set the world to rights.

    • glenn_pt

      My old man’s pessimistic conclusion was that greed was going to be the downfall of humanity, that which rendered us to no hope whatsoever for a future. My old mother said recently that it looked like we were turning a corner back in the day, and about to achieve some enlightenment, but obviously we did not. I thought so too, back in my misbegotten youth, a bit more recently.

      Then again, didn’t whoever was currently in charge of humanity always see these entirely negative outcomes were inevitable given the degeneracy of their own generation, and that even worse was to follow? Having said that, the entire destruction of the ecosystem was not high on our ancestors’ list of concerns (nuclear war aside, granted). Now, it is the primary and most immediate concern – just as a consequence of business as usual. Which is exactly the way we are going to conduct ourselves, as we run our life support system into the ground.

      • J

        If greed was more than a habit (which can be fed and appealed to) would it require several hundred billion dollars each year in global PR spending to make it so, universal?

  • Molloy

    .

    Taty — Yes (why the ‘defensive’, pray?)

    Uncannily an absence of space to reply. (your intriguing point is reproduced for analysis below)

    Frankly, the toxicity, barb or otherwise of a ‘joke’ – as with any abuse, for example – is wholly for the judgement of the recipient. The reader. The listener. The audience. The analyst. Not. The ‘joke’ maker. (i.e. what you claim to be a joke. . .)
    Simply that. e.g. The Yawning Heights; A Zinoviev. Anything by Vygotsky, L.

    My view, fwiw, empathising with Russian ordinary humankind is that, your ‘unwittingly’ perhaps but I strongly suspect not, is without doubt undermining and divisive of others, Russian people, all of us. Toxicity.

    Hmmm. . . . interesting that you apparently make such a ‘song and dance’ about your extensive knowledge of Russian people. It can only ever be your personal subjective view.
    Being that adamant and self-righteous then begs the question for what purpose? Why so important to you (on this site) to often ‘big up’ your sociological credentials?

    You have no evidence. Only your subjective take and opinion and possible bull#$**t; accompanied by what seems like virtue-signalling by your good self designed to hide goodness knows what motives.

    Holding a Russian passport and claiming to be Russian is irrelevant and a tad wearisome. Why go to such length to emphasise your expertise and credentials?

    Therefore, bigotry. Regardless of your assertions.

    As we say in Ireland, take 5 minutes to catch on to yourself and spare us the ‘doublespeak’.
    Have a nice day full of “humor”. And. Do. Say hello to “nevermind” at Mo$$ad for me too.

    ¡No pasarán!

    .

    (your original reply blocked comment)


    Tatyana
    December 9, 2018 at 17:12
    Molloy, are you serious asking that? I’m russian 🙂 We are mocking everything, including laughing at ourselves.
    Our humor is often ‘black humor’ but it only involves imaginary situations, fiction.

    Joking in Russia is never intended to offend anyone, just to have fun.
    I know it is not the same in other countries, people are cotiously choosing words and situations for jokes.
    We don’t. We’ve got tons of jokes about politics, LGBT, religion, nations, stupid and smart people…

    I assure you, russian cars, as well as russian roads, and russian football players are common topics.

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