Racism Poisons the Entire Brexit Debate 483


It appears sadly impossible not to comment on Brexit at the moment; the astonishing scale of the government defeat in Parliament yesterday and the appalling self-serving behaviour of politicians on all sides compels attention.

The first and most obvious point is this; had Theresa May any honour, she would simply resign after her major political objective was rebuffed so dramatically by the legislature. But honour appears to be entirely out of fashion, so I shall not refer to it again today.

Parliament now appears ready to vote that it has confidence in the government when, clearly, it does not. This is because MPs wish to keep their jobs and careers intact. So from hereon the UK proceeds under the lie that it has a government which has a majority in Westminster for its views.

Even more remarkably, Theresa May has no intention of seeking a proposal that could command a majority. She seeks to move forward with cross-party discussions which exclude the leadership of other parties. She also insists that such discussions must be limited by her infamous “red lines” – but within those constraints, there is no deal materially different to the deal Parliament has just rejected which will ever be available.

The truth of course is that May’s “red lines” were in fact motivated by the only consistent strand that can be traced through Theresa May’s political career – hatred of immigrants. If you are going to end freedom of movement, then you have to leave the single market. That is very plainly the rule on which the single market was predicated, and the EU have repeated that ad nauseam in all negotiations. You cannot “cherry pick” to end free movement and keep free market access.

All of May’s “red lines” can be traced to a single source. If you ask “If you end EU immigration, what are the necessary consequences?” you get May’s red lines. Their basis is racism.

Both the SNP and Labour parties had put forward ideas that were broadly compatible. The Labour Party wants customs union, effective single market participation, and retention of worker and environmental protections. The SNP suggested permanent customs union and EEA membership. With minor differences, both these approaches are broadly “Norway plus” and both would limit the effects on the economy and remove the need for a hard border with Ireland.

But there was one major difference. The SNP accepted that single market membership must entail freedom of movement, and boldly argued that EU immigration is a good thing. The Labour Party position is entirely dishonest and predicated on a pretence that you can have single market access without freedom of movement – a position which is a lie.

The Labour Party has a large number of voters frequently described as “white working class”. The phrase is continually deployed as an euphemism for “racist”, which is highly unfair to the very many white working class people who do not share those attitudes. The desire not to alienate what I prefer to call the “John Mann voter” causes many in the Labour Party to adopt this dishonesty about the immigration consequences of single market access.

But it is worse than that. Many at the heart of what I might call “Old Labour” still harbour the dark thoughts that led in my youth to support from many trade union members for the views of Enoch Powell – the idea that immigrants depress wages and damage the working class. Unfortunately both Jeremy Corbyn and John MacDonnell, for both of whom I have much respect in general, still harbour this dinosaur opinion.

In July, Jeremy Corbyn said that immigration “would be a managed thing on the basis of the skills required… What there wouldn’t be is whole-scale importation of underpaid workers from central Europe in order to destroy conditions, particularly in the construction industries.”

Here Jeremy is putting forward a line on immigration “a managed thing on the basis of skills required” that is identical to the Tory line and plainly rules out free movement. Further he is promoting anti-immigrant myths. The economy is not a thing of fixed size with a limited number of jobs. Dynamic EU immigration has been entirely responsible for all growth in our economy this last decade; without it we would have been plunged into the deepest and still continuing recession. The cause of poverty is the obscene proportion of national wealth looted by the super wealthy, not the poor immigrant. The answer to the particular question Jeremy addressed is the establishment, or possibly post-Thatcher re-establishment, of strong legal protections for working conditions in the construction industry, to protect all workers there. The answer is not to attack Central European immigrants.

Until the Labour Party accepts the need to challenge anti-immigrant views head-on, it will continue to talk nonsense on Brexit.

For good measure, Nicola Sturgeon also played politics with a statement after last night’s vote which, remarkably, did not mention the word “Independence” at all. Sturgeon now appears entirely focused on keeping England and Wales inside the European Union against the will of the English and Welsh people, as opposed to having a clear and fixed aim of achieving Scottish Independence from this debacle.

[Update: Subsequently, at 5.32 am. Nicola corrected her position with the following tweet, presumably having absorbed party concerns overnight at her original key omission:

The criticism therefore falls, though it still worries me her first reaction was wrong.]

It seems to me the ultimate solution is plain. Scotland should become Independent and remain in the EU as its citizens overwhelmingly wish. England and Wales should leave the EU as its citizens wish (by a very clear majority if you take out Scotland and Northern Ireland). England and Wales should move to a Norway style relationship broadly as proposed by the Labour Party, with the racists told they cannot have everything they want. Northern Ireland should finally return to Ireland. Some bits of that will happen sooner than others – Scottish Independence in particular – but in a decade or so, I expect all that will have finally happened. If politicians were not so conniving and self-interested, we could get there a lot sooner.


483 thoughts on “Racism Poisons the Entire Brexit Debate

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  • Roger Ewen

    It’s doesn’t matter what’s better for these nations, it doesn’t matter the UK government reaches a no deal Brexit.
    We will come out of the EU on the 29th of March regardless!

    Why! You might ask yourself….. and the answer is very simple!

    The EU have already passed legislation, and each country will have the ability to interrogate each bank, as a legal requirement.

    No longer will the banking fraternity have the right to make profits from the money laundered through UK banks. The aristocracy benefiting from ill gotten gains, nor the destruction of the very fabric of these Islands nation’s cities towns and families with the scourge or heroin to name but one of afghanistans imports through THR VARIOUS MILITARY AND NATIONS SERVING IN “Afghanistan”. Protecting the heroin crop to enable them to produce 126% an over production on the worlds supply. Previously under the Taliban who reduced production to 2% or the worlds needs!

    • giyane

      Roger

      There’s likely to be more money laundering , not less, after Mrs May definitively destroys all manufacture in the UK with Snobris Johnson’s plans to step up imports from the Far East. Perhaps a link might be useful.

      • Roger Ewen

        Wrong….. Tony Blair made a statement in Parliament, and while in office. “We have recovered £10.25million of laundered drug money”!
        Two things he never said.
        1. It was a well known British bank, was laundering the money.
        2. That the £10.25 million was one days interest on the money in the account.
        3. Or how the money was dissipated by the bank into tens of thousands of accounts.

        But with these new laws…. it cannot still happen, whoever does the transaction iwill be able to be held to account!
        Also these new laws will allow investigators direct access to the computer system to see exactly where the money ends up! Both in the future…… and more importantly…… historically!

        We will leave the EU on the 29th of March 2019, regardless of your views or mine…. or if there is a deal or no deal…. the bankers, May being one of them, has decided.
        Americans federal reserve, and military, need a bank of last resort….who can launder these vast sums of money, they picked UK banks and financial system.

        But the scourge or drugs in our cities, towns and villages, the destruction of families, will be destroyed.
        And hopefully, those families who lost there loved ones will have the names of those responsible for the same crimes perpetrated against nations.

    • Loony

      No-one would dispute the corruption that afflicts the UK financial sector. However as is common in so many things the British are bit part players when it comes to corruption.

      You want to see real corruption, corruption on a scale that is almost unimaginable then take a look at Deutsche Bank. Take a look at German regulatory proposals that Deutsche Bank should merge with a European bank but NOT a German bank.

      I wonder why German regulators could possibly have come to such a conclusion.

  • N_

    For reference: the only sovereign countries that belong to both the EU’s customs union and its single market are its member states.

    In 1979 Nicola Sturgeon’s party brought down a Labour government and ushered the Tories into office for the next 18 years during which, as anybody who doesn’t keep their head in the sand knows, the Tories wrecked this country.

    Will Sturgeon now compound her party’s record by getting her army boots on alongside Theresa May and stamping on the Labour party’s cobblers so as to help the Tories both stay in office and remove Britain from the EU, just so long as she can get another independence referendum in Scotland? Regardless of what the result of a second such referendum might be, we can be absolutely sure that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would end up devastated to an extent that would make the carnage of the 1980s look like a vicar’s tea party. But of course rabid nationalists dial up their hatred when they read the words “regardless of what the result of a second such referendum might be”, unable to contemplate that any statement worth making possibly might follow such a blasphemous dependent clause.

    And – next question – how many of Sturgeon’s members and supporters will decide not to applaud her and jump up and down with glee if this is what she does?

    Sturgeon, for deciding to treat with the Tory government in the absence of the Labour party, rather than agreeing with Labour a joint policy to take towards any negotiations, you are scum.

    • giyane

      N_

      If May and Foster can make this little progress in two and a half years, maybe with Sturgeon on board the Tories can start slowly reversing Brexit back up the motorway slip road?

    • Andyoldlabour

      N_,

      In 1979, the Tories got 70 more seats than Labour and the SNP only managed to win 2 seats, so I fail to see how the SNP brought down a labour government.
      Please explain.

    • Cameron

      In 1979 the Labour government overturned a referendum with 52% Yes to Home rule in Scotland…..The rest as they say is history.

    • Jo1

      N

      Oh not this again!

      With the number of times this nonsense is thrown around you’d think someone somewhere would give an accurate account!

      • Roger Ewen

        The SNP have made it clear in all aspects, would not support the Troy party under any circumstances.

        The SNP has made it clear they will work with any party that’s to the support of all nations of these Islands.

        Yes I support any party that allows the sovereign nation of Scotland, its sovereign rights.
        I’m not frightened for my people or the consequences to our nation.

        The three and a half thousand troops that’s been call up in January is going to be put on the streets of Scotland. When they Westminster attempt to close the Scottish parliament during the and after the 29th March 2019.

        They can take the vow, the better together theme, the corruption that is Westminster surrounds Westminster, an integral part of Westminster, and stick it where ever they want!
        I’m Scottish, nor should I be forced to call myself British so Thatcher could steal the three positions in the ministers of Europe which was Scotlands right to select.

        Nothing from Westminster is beneficial to the people of Scotland.

  • squirrel

    I have been thinking that ‘no confidence’ in a vote is like everyone declaring that they have no confidence in a fiat currency – it thereby becoming valueless. In which case it’s not whether they might be able to do the job, more that they are no longer recognised as having power.

  • giyane

    Dinosaur opinion. I have worked in construction for 24 years and I and the electrician I work under are on virtually a zero hours contract. This is how the laying classes like to keep the classes they choose to despise mostly , I feel, because us engineers who are multi-qualified must be kept in our place

    Imho our job requires a level of integrity I.e. truth ,, in order for our craftsmanship to function safely for another sixty years, to which the managerial classes object.

    We are both nearing retirement and neither possess the political .I.e. lying skills to sit in an office. Not for us to chat for hours with the girls in the office . We are suspected of being Neanderthal perverts who would seduce the students. We literally race to prove ourselves innocent because we don’t have time to grunt good morning let alone chat with someone else.

    Not for us an hour at the gym, other than the ladder step-ups to fix stuff above the ceiling. Not for us the choice to work at home today. Please Guv forgive us our dinosaur opinions .

    Maybe they are connected to the contempt with we are treated in our office status. We neither shout loud enough not lie artfully enough to satisfy the mind of an unemployed diplomat.

    BTW Jeremy Cornyn is universally condemned for refusing to condone No Deal. How very dinosaur opinion of to air himself with principles. Get back into your grave, low life.

    • giyane

      BTW

      Having sex with foreigners does not constitute a joined-up, moving-forward work diversity policy. However it might meet the requirements of an above the call of duty, team-player, due diligence policy. Without checking the current regs for office working, I couldn’t say. I’ll check the BBC website for contemporary trends and the location of the nearest trans w.c.

  • giyane

    MI6’s Somali puppets Boko HoHo are pushing forward while other parts of the system suffer technical problems closer to home. The USUKIS plan to wreck Somalia with Islamist rebels strikes out at a neighbour. Another pathetic false-flag where an SAS hero from the cast of kid’s xbox happens to be on hand doing a training exercise. Why can’t they practise in Wales?

    • Sharp Ears

      Trump’s decision to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem is cited as the reason for the attack by al-Shabaab.

      Kenya hotel attack that killed 21 ‘revenge for Trump’s Jerusalem embassy move,’ terrorists claim
      17 Jan, 2019
      https://www.rt.com/news/448996-kenya-attack-israel-jerusalem/

      ‘Harun Maruf
      @HarunMaruf
      BREAKING: Al-Shabaab statement says Nairobi attack was a response to the “witless remarks” of Pres Trump and his declaration of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, and to the “systematic prosecution of Muslims in Palestine”. Operation was codenamed, “Al-Quds will never be judaized”.’
      https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1085607585619853312

      Harun Maruf has produced a book – ‘Inside Al Shabaab’ released last October.

      I read that Qatar has sent 68 armoured vehicles to Somalia.
      ‏@Goobjoognews
      9 minutes ago
      #BREAKING: The government of #Qatar has today donated 68 amoured vehicles to the federal government of #Somalia in Mogadishu.

  • fwl

    I posted yesterday re the possibility of the UK taking part in May’s EU elections. This seems an obvious consideration and offers a potential for some sort of consultation with the electorate here.

    One potential issue would be that of the UK’s 72 seats 27 are set to be reallocated to other member states.

    • nevermind

      If the UK does not want to implement the 1.April EU financial regulations act, but want swarm the EU Parliament with their Uk establishment/party political immigrant stooges to cause more trouble ala Farrage.

      Pick and mix anyone?

  • SA

    I am somewhat bemused. According to CM it does not matter whether the rump Britain after the Scottish independence happens either through a second referendum which of course they will win, or failing that through UDI.
    This automatically relegates the Brexit debacle into irrelevance by those of like mind and ignores all the possible consequences of what this would entail. Is this a sort of fantasy based on the fact that Nicola thinks that she can cozy up to Theresa to get a crack at a second referendum? Has she not learnt from the last coalition government how those who do a deal with the Tories end up completely ruined?game?
    There is no hope for Britain as a whole including Scotland if the SNP, who is slowly loosing my respect because of obvious arrogance and self importance. Both here and in this blog the SNP and followers seem to have more contempt for Corbyn than for May.

  • exiled off mainstreet

    I don’t know if it is racism to want to provide limited protection of those working from being swamped by immigrants of different ethnicity but largely the same race. People are sensitive to this issue because neoliberalism and globalism have brought on serious reductions in living standards despite or in some instances due to technological advance. Many instinctually can see through the bollocks of identity politics and sense that it is an excuse from doing anything really socially beneficial and that it often works as negative discrimination against those who have been there the longest and lead the most normal lives.

    • Andyoldlabour

      @exiled off mainstreet

      Yes, I pretty much agree with all that. The sun is setting on my (and my wife’s) working life, and I just want to earn a crust. I am good at what I do, a combination of experience and what I call “job morality” – wanting to do a job to the best of my ability, and being loyal to an employer.
      However that doesn’t seem to count for very much nowadays if I can be replaced for someone younger, who may not have the experience, but may be able to fit into a younger team, and speaks the language of the other team members.

    • SA

      Exile
      It is not racism to discuss detrimental effects of immigration but the use of racist tropes in this context denotes latent racism. You write
      “…..being swamped by immigrants of different ethnicity but largely the same race. “ and this contains two of those, swamped and largely same race, the later is not even correct.
      One of the big problems that have hit the left is the misunderstanding of the meaning of socialism. The main point of socialism is that it is not purely an economic system to improve profits but it also looks at the effects on mankind. Therefore socialism should be universal and look to reduce divisions amongst the workers and the many. Capitalism seeks to increase these divisions and I view nationalism as increasing this division and benefitting the capitalists. Identity politics is also another such a diversion which seeks to focus only on small minorities which should in any case be included in the equality being sought by socialism.

      • Loony

        Should the small minorities that are the focus of identity politics be included in the equality sought by socialism? Do socialists believe that gender is a social construct and do socialists agree with New York that there are at least 31 different genders?

        http://trove42.com/new-york-city-recognizes-31-gender-identities/

        Answers to these questions in clear terms could well serve as a major impetus for recruitment to the socialist cause. Not many trained biologists are likely to join the socialist cause – but I guess you can always revert to tried and tested methods and simply shoot all biologists.

        • SA

          Loony
          I think all these are diversions. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs on sexuality but I think that we must distinguish between biology: a science, and human law: a social construct based on opinions. We must also realise that what is here called ‘gender identity’ has nothing whatsoever to do with biological gender. Any biologist discussing gender in biological terms would therefore lose any credibility in my eyes if they want to describe any of these ‘gender-identities’ in biological terms. They are constructs of the mind and have no biological basis.
          To my mind socialism has two main aims: to break down inequalities and to share resources equitably. The only way of achieving this in a lasting way is through true international globalism, not the pseudo globalism of the current neo-liberal globalists.

  • Willie

    The SNP post the IndyRef has been keeping its powder dry and playing a canny game

    But you cannot keep your powder dry and not use it, and at some stage you have to move on your objective.

    The SG have a mandate in Hollyrood, they have an electorate who voted 62% to remain, they are being dragged out of the EU in the most chaotic way possible, by a PM who has absolutely no mandate.

    Across the water in NI, they too want to remain whilst Westminster has suspended their assembly, torn up the GFA and are effectively puting a blockade on the ROI.

    The SG and Nicola Sturgeon therefore need to address when the time will be right, and if not now, will it be never!

    • michael norton

      It is very difficult to keep your powder dry for a long time, if you have harboured your powder for years, then decide now is the time, you will find your powder is a damp squib

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      The suspension of business at Stormont is a self inflicted wound, if remaining on near full pay for two years whilst not turning up for work can be described as a wound.
      Martin McGuinness withdrew as Deputy First Minister in protest at Snarlene Fosters intransigence in not allowing a full and open investigation into her cash for ash scheme (jeez, almost as if she had something to hide?).
      Add to that a spat about the Irish language not receiving equal recognition and funding to Ulster Scots or Ullans. Ullans for Northern Irish Assembly is Norlin Airlan Assemblie, no shit, I’m not making this up. The Assembly member representing the Traditional Ulster Voice party described the Irish language as “leprechaun talk”. If you consider the DUP to be a bunch of medieval, bigots, the TUV are in a different league.
      On a more practical point, you don’t need a degree in psychology to figure out that the Chuckle brothers, McGuinness and Papa Doc Paisley had skin in the game of keeping Stormont going. Snarlene and Michelle O’Neill have no similar, personal commitment.

    • Jo1

      Willie
      I think you really need to look at that post again. In relation to the situation NI is in, that is totally down to the DUP which, incredibly, is at least partly responsible for the suspension of Stormont and is campaigning for the hardest of Brexits. Perhaps, worst of all, it is doing this in direct defiance of the NI vote to remain in the EU. I have no love for the WM government, believe me, but I’m stunned that you’ve apparently absolved the DUP of all blame.

  • Chris Barclay

    Most MPs of all parties benefit from the downward pressure that immigrants places on wages in certain industries such as building, domestic work and work during unsocial hours. That is why they do not raise the minimum wage to say £10 and for evening and weekend work £15 or force companies like Uber to treat their employees as legal employees.

    Most MPs of all parties also own at least 2 properties. That is why they are in favour of high house prices and rents, instead of making commitments to keep house prices below a specified multiple of average earnings or capping rents.

    • Sharp Ears

      Agree.

      Almost one in five MPs are landlords – Channel 4 News
      https://www.channel4.com › factcheck
      21 Jul 2017 · An analysis by FactCheck shows that 123 MPs earn extra money by renting out homes and private … Likewise, Mims Davies says she owns more than £75,000 of shares in a property investment firm.

      and other results in reply to ‘How many MPs own more than one house?’

  • Sharp Ears

    That makes a change. Frank Field voted in the No Confidence vote yesterday with the Ayes.

    Independent (4)
    Field, rh Frank
    Hopkins, Kelvin
    Lloyd, Stephen
    O’Mara, Jared

    https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-01-16/division/6E91B8A0-6A41-4749-ACBC-A9043D7E3E60/NoConfidenceInHerMajesty’SGovernment?outputType=Names

    and ruddy BLiar appears on Radio 4 Today this morning telling Corbyn what he should do. Someone should tell the state broadcaster that BLiar is an unconvicted war criminal who should be banned from the airwaves.

    BBC Radio 4 Today
    @BBCr4today
    22 minutes ago
    Extending the #Brexit deadline is “inevitable” says Tony Blair: “If I was the government now, I would already be having discussions with Europe about the terms of an extension” #r4today https://bbc.in/2FClLCm
    https://twitter.com/BBCr4today/status/1085822286026981376

    • giyane

      Michael Norton

      Fukushima failing raises questions about Japanese management. Here in Britain our management and government attitudes acquired some humility from two world wars.
      .
      This has now been replaced with sickening Tory arrogance. Japan succeeded when management listened to the workforce. Fukushima shows managerial override over engineers advice.

      What we don’t need is double arrogance: empire2 Tories and something else we don’t fully understand. Thank God we live in a democracy and not in Craig’s dysfunctional Burkean dystopia

      The racism of brexit comes from the MSM poisoning the electorate, not from the instincts of the electorate. Garbage in garbage out as they say

      • Loony

        As you say garbage in garbage out.

        The nuclear reactors at Fukushima were manufactured and installed by GE. Part of the deal required TEPCO to operate and maintain the reactors in accordance with the GE operating manual. Any deviation from GE’s requirements would have resulted in TEPCO breaching the warranties.

        There is not evidence at all that TEPCO ever operated Fukushima in any way at all that contravened GE’s guidelines. Therefore there was very little Japanese “management” involved – their role was largely limited to operating the plant in a manner specified by GE.

        Given the monumental disaster that Fukushima became then if you have evidence that the foregoing is incorrect then surely you are obligated to bring this evidence to the attention of the relevant authorities.

        • giyane

          Loony

          So a British company is responsible for a design that will cease to function in normal coastal weather conditions?
          In that case why don’t Hitachi build a power station in anglesey that is powered by the tide?

      • nevermind

        ‘Thanks god we are living in a democracy and not in Craigs disfunctional Burkean distopia’.

        Thanks for the laugh, do tell us how fair this democracy is to voters, Gi yane, try not to get into knots about it.

    • Sharp Ears

      Anything to do with the probable loss of skilled and cheap labour in the event of Brexit?

      Not only Wylfa. Oldbury too.

      ‘According to the Nuclear Industry Association, the UK has six sites that are licensed to build new nuclear power stations and eight sites that are currently generating power. ‘

      Wylfa Newydd: Hitachi to halt work on UK nuclear plant
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46900918

      It only needs Russia to cut off the gas tap and we’re done for.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Sharp ears.
        There is a general problem with shortage of skilled, tradespeople and it’s only getting worse. I’ve seen the projected requirements for Hinckley Point C and there’re ‘ain’t that many itinerant tradespeople out there. The construction industry already relies on non-EU tradesmen in peak months. The English language skills of Indian and other Asian tradesmen is often pretty much on par with the Eastern European contingent. “Cheap” labour doesn’t come into it. You have to pay the goIng rate or the work doesn’t get done.
        I’ve seen the planing projections for Wyfla as well. The numbers were huge and it clashed with Hinckley. Something had to give.

  • uncle tungsten

    Thanks again Craig for another interesting post but I might take issue with your lines; The economy is not a thing of fixed size with a limited number of jobs. Dynamic EU immigration has been entirely responsible for all growth in our economy this last decade; without it we would have been plunged into the deepest and still continuing recession. I am more inclined to Michael Hudson’s analysis of what depletes the UK economy (and many others).

    https://michael-hudson.com/2018/09/scenes-from-the-spiders-web/

      • Sharp Ears

        Rather. FYI.

        ‘Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of J is for Junk Economics (2017), Killing the Host (2015), The Bubble and Beyond (2012), Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1968 & 2003), Trade, Development and Foreign Debt (1992 & 2009) and of The Myth of Aid (1971), amongst many others.

        ISLET engages in research regarding domestic and international finance, national income and balance-sheet accounting with regard to real estate, and the economic history of the ancient Near East.’

        https://michael-hudson.com/about/

        With the wisdom of age too.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Hudson_(economist)

  • Republicofscotland

    The Great Satan (USA) has been meddling in other nations political matters for decades now. Yet the western world’s media is consumed with unproven as yet Russian meddling, calling for all kinds of action to be taken against Russia.

    However in Venezuela a country the Great Satan has been trying to crush economically for years. The US is now openly backing a puppet candidate (Juan Guaido) to virtually declare president Maduro’s tenure void and null.

    This puppet candidate is seen by Mike Pence and Donald Trump as their ideal Venezuelan president, it doesnt take much thought to see why. Also exiled military chiefs and soldiers have been persuaded shall we say to prepare.

    Afterall when the puppet seizes control of Venezuela, familiar military chiefs, will need to be on hand to take control of the armed forces in Venezuela in order for the coup to go smoothly.

    So Trump, Pence, and the Washington Post which has given Guaido a platform to promote his legitimacy as Venezuela’s new president, isn’t that meddling?

        • Loony

          And of course you provide such a reasoned analysis. Why no mention of the fact that Venezuela has the largest reserves of oil on the planet and that Venezuela similarly has some the worlds largest hydro electric potential.

          These vast natural resources are all missing in Cuba. Cuba a country that has been a “communist revolutionary state” since 1959 and has been more or less under constant US economic attack ever since. And yet…Cuba does not seem to have inflicted such catastrophic misery on its population as that inflicted on the average Venezuelan.

        • Martinned

          So can you. Blaming Venezuela on the US is well below your usual standard, and more akin to some other regular commenters I could mention.

          • Republicofscotland

            Oh come on Martinned, the US honed its regime change dogma in CIA operations such as Condor. Venezuela is just lastest regime on the verge of being changed.

            The CIA, has the audacity to use as its unoffical motto.

            “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)”

          • Martinned

            O, there’s no question that the US would like regime change in Venezuela. The nonsense is to blame that for Venezuela’s problems.

    • Jo Dominich

      RoS, I like to look at actual evidence rather than take the word of politicians. The only evidence I can see for any type of meddling in international elections is not Russia but the USA, the UK, Cambridge Analytica and now of course, the Integrity Initiative and of course Israel. There is plenty of documented evidence for this meddling but none yet, against Russia. And yes of course, as you say, in Venezuela also in Nicaragua and Ecuador and in Brazil. The Great Satan strikes again. However, I read a small article on RT UK this week which is concerning. Apparently, there is some sort of civil crisis in the Sudan where the people appear to have taken to the streets to protest against their President of 29 years. I haven’t seen coverage of this anywhere else in the MSM but, the point is, Bibi that well known terrorist and President of Israel, has held recent emergency talks with Sudan politicians and now has rights to fly over Sudanese air space when it had none prior to this sudden ‘revolution’. Something big is brewing but I can’t put my finger on it.

  • Alex

    So you actually believe that immigration has driven all the growth in this country? Wow. This despite the fact that third world immigration is a massive loss making enterprise. The immigrant communities do not integrate, have a vastly higher average of benefit claims that the indigenous population, create housing shortages and drive up costs. They are without any doubt a huge drag to the economy and a cause of far higher crime rates than we would otherwise see. Simply screaming “racism” anytime somebody doesn’t whole heartedly agree with the need to import millions of uneducated and unemployable migrants does not address the facts. The idea that May and her government hate immigrants is crossing the border into absurdity. They have covered up appalling crimes by immigrant gangs, they fiddle crime figures, they imprison people who point out facts that undermine the globalist agenda of population replacement. If they actually hated immigrants they have enough facts and evidence that they could create such a public outcry they could close the borders completely.

    • Jack

      I fully agree, problem is that the liberal parties do not recognize the problems with immigration (and there are many!), meanwhile parties that are labeled racists – actually expose the problems, however they are so demonized and marginalized (not to deny there are racists in these parties).
      Result of this mess = Liberal dreams go on…or rather down, just like the societies where open immigration policies are installed.
      I believe alot of liberals actually know this but they are also so indoctrinated by their own propaganda and know that they have crossed the rubicon.

    • Geoffrey

      Providing hospitals,housing,schools, and general infrastructure for immigrants creates growth …obviously!
      There is also the added benefit of having cheap labour provided for our Amazon/Deliveroo/ deliveries, the waiters/waitresses, nannies, cleaners for our cafes and other essential services.
      And, of course, immigration by increasing the demand for houses pushes their price up, thus benefiting property owners.
      Downside is a few less trees and fields and maybe higher levels of debt.

      • michael norton

        Also higher levels of water and air pollution.
        Heathrow wishes to have another runway, apparently they are expecting to have 160% traffic as of present.
        There is only an infinite amount of freshwater, hence we are being forced via metering to pay more for our water, so we use less.
        This is to have water for the “others”

        There is only one planet, every time a new human is born, an old human does not always die.
        This morning on Radio 4 they were talking about 20 billion people, we will have to stop drink/showering water , stop eating meat/milk and stop driving anywhere to make room for these extra 13 billion people who will all want a slice of the same pie, how the fuck is that going to work out?

  • Adrian Kent

    Sorry Craig, ending Free Movement is the single most important reason why we must leave the EU. The Free Movement of CAPITAL has to be restricted if we are ever to properly reform our economy.

    FoM of Labour is a secondary issue.

  • Tony M

    a daft incoherent, last-minute unappealing and hardly noticed Brexit-eering campaign

    versus

    a long-term full-spectrum and relentless massaged mass-acquiescence, cost incalculable

    the people broke free of their programming, the power of this one-way transformation draws more people as to warmth and sunshine

  • OnlyHalfALooney

    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

    Napoleon B.

    • michael norton

      So if there are a lot of “gas” explosions over a time of publ;ic unrest, it is best to assume incompetence, rather than malice?
      Huge gas explosions rocks university in Lyon, France

      • Iain Stewart

        Funnily enough I saw the spectacular column of black smoke rising over Villeurbanne (not Lyon but nearby) this morning after the explosion of a gas cylinder on the university library roof. Knowing roofing contractors quite well I would bet on incompetence rather than malice. But don’t let me stop you trembling.

  • Sharp Ears

    Jeremy Corbyn is speaking to a Labour gathering in Hastings. That’s Amber Rudd’s neck of the woods which must annoy her greatly.

    He is speaking about her latest cut which was announced on Tuesday whilst the Brexit wrangles were ongoing. Trying to hide something Amber? She is a successor to Cruella de Ville in the current crop in the line behind McVey and May.

    This is what he was referring to.

    Government ‘sneaks out’ £7,000 pension cut for poorest elderly couples ahead of Brexit vote
    Ministers accused of attempting to bury the harsh impact of the change to pension credit
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/pension-credit-cut-benefits-payment-government-austerity-conservatives-brexit-a8728631.html

    He finished to great applause.

    For The Many, Not the Few!

  • DG

    “the idea that immigrants depress wages… Unfortunately both Jeremy Corbyn and John MacDonnell… still harbour this dinosaur opinion.”

    Funny how after Brexit the supply of migrants for certain industries is falling and there is upward pressure on wages, arguably the first since the recession.

    For me the idea that 3 million migrants – of whatever race or nationality; they could be returning expat Brits – have no effect on wages and house prices is economic lunacy.

    Yes I know the economy has grown, and so it should with millions more workers! And yes, I know they pay their taxes. However there are still costs for the rest of us. The figures for GDP per capita in real terms are nothing like so rosy.

    I understand there are now 2.2 million Bulgarians working at home but 2.5 million working abroad! This cannot be good. Ditto the NHS poaching qualified staff from abroad because it has a rubbish staff retention rate.

    For what it is worth, I am also in favour of capital controls so that millionaire Russians etc. cannot buy UK property, especially as an investment to rent out.

    • Xavi

      As Larry Elliott wrote this morning, if economic growth was the only thing people cared about there would be vast popular support for fracking and concreting over the green belt.

  • Jack

    ” the idea that immigrants depress wages and damage the working class”

    Isnt this a fact? I believed it was, but I am prepared to be proven wrong.

      • N_

        Competition in a market lowers prices.

        Rather than citing statistics from the monarchist regime’s licenced “independent factchecking charity”, you could try asking somebody in the building trade.

        Will Moy, Director of Full Fact, is a “Marketing Academy scholar” (whatever one of those is) “who appears regularly on TV (and) radio”. Meanwhile the “External Relations Adviser” at Full Fact (that means she ensures they keep on getting gigs from clients) is Jill Rutter of the Institute for Government, who was formerly Director of Strategy and Sustainable Development at Defra and who has also worked in the Treasury and No. 10. She gets on telly and radio all the time as well. I wonder whether she has ever talked to any building labourers.

        These are propagandists working to a brief, comparable to the Institute of Economic Affairs which helps the Tories during election campaigns as has previously been discussed on this blog. Never trust anybody who says they’re “independent”.

  • SA

    Good performance by Corbyn on Sky news open questions this morning. He was very clear about next steps for all those doubters.

  • N_

    When representatives of a crazed racist sports organisation nearly 50 years ago went to the Olympics to propagandise for a Nazi-style regime that had recently carried out a further military occupation, even a service more than 40 years later to honour the combatants who fought against said propagandists has to be smeared with poop and everyone who was anywhere near it has to be denounced as irredeemably wicked for the rest of their time in this world.

    Meanwhile the Tories stay in government, right now, today, thanks to the support they receive from their “Simply the Best” pals in the DUP, such as for example Sammy “UVF” Wilson, who admittedly hasn’t got many commemorative services he himself might attend, given that his beloved UVF lost far fewer volunteers than the much weaker IRA did. But let it not be said that these supposed God-fearers don’t put Mammon first, as they divvy up the billion-pound payment they received for the supply and confidence agreement. Ungrateful, but probably holding true to the Calvinist doctrine of seeking to pocket as much money as possible, and in any case batshit insane, they continue to foam at the mouth about how the Vatican “the EU” is in cahoots with the Irish Free State the Dublin government to get its hands on Northern Ireland.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      And Theresa May elevated failed DUP, MP “Boxcar” Willie McCrea to the ermine. McCrea was buddies with Billy “king rat” Wright, a man who was expelled from the UVF for being too extreme!
      The forgotten aspect is that May nominated two DUP candidates for the HoL and the OTHER one was rejected.

  • Humbaba

    The UK needs to leave the EU because British politics is dysfunctional and puts European integration at risk. The country has always been divided and divisive and keeps on going from one extreme into the other. It cannot be any other way with a political system inherited from the Empire, in which what is essentially a two-party system the center is empty.

    From the militancy of the unions that marked British politics in the 60s and 70s, it went to the opposite extreme of Thatcher’s destruction of British industries. From the all open for immigrants from new EU members of Tony Blair, Cameron and May have gone to the opposite extreme of wanting to abolish freedom of movement, which is one of the greatest achievements of the EU. There cannot be any single market without free movement and open borders. Freedom of movement is also important for economic convergence that allows poor EU members to prosper.

    The 14 million guest workers that came to Germany in the 60s and 70s made a valuable contribution to the German economy while raising living standards in the South of Europe. That never was a problem. The same is happening with Eastern Europe today, only much faster. Prosperity in all of the new EU members in EE has increased and some already experience serious labor shortages, which would have reduced Eastern European migration to the UK anyways.

      • Humbaba

        Greece has 2 to 3 times the prosperity of its non-EU neighbors on the Balkans and received hundreds of billions of EU subsidies, but a corrupt regime cannot prosper beyond a certain point.

        That this argument always comes from the UK perfectly explains why the Brits believed in the lies of the Brexitters. The utter hypocrisy of a people that lies about its net contribution to poorer EU members while at the same time claiming that others exploit said poorer countries is staggering.

        It was Anglo-Saxon financial institutions that ensnared Greece in the debt trap. It was British banks that refused to take part in the debt restructuring, expecting European tax payers to refund them in full in addition to exorbitant interests.

        The Empire will not play by the common rule book – so much is clear.

        • Reg

          Humbaba
          That’s a lie, Italy was doing better before it joined the Euro and Greece is a smaller economy GDP per capita PPP constant 2011 $ than when it joined the Euro. Was Greece less currupt before it joined the Euro? If not then your point about Greek corruption is an irrelevance.

          • Humbaba

            I remember visiting Italy in the 70s and 80s. It was very cheap because Italians were very poor. The official exchange rate doesn’t give you any idea because people exchanged foreign currency on the black market. If you think that anybody wants to go back to the Lira, the Escudo or the Drachma, you have no idea what you are talking about. Different from you, I have lived in the South and North of Europe for decades.

            You are not concerned about Greece, and you don’t care that the overwhelming majority of Greeks want to stay in the Euro and the EU because of their direct experience.

            You don’t care about Greeks, you don’t mind exploiting them with your financial empire. What you care about is your personal ideology and to play the divide-and-rule game of the empire. In your hubris you are incapable of understanding that others are not that stupid as to fall for you old ruses again and again.

            But I have no intention of persuading you. The anti-EU lies the British have indulged in for decades will propel you out off Europe and neuter you imperialist instincts. You cannot damage Europe, you only damage your own country.

        • Steve

          According to the likes of Varoufakis, Greece has been devastated economically. As for the ‘debt trap’, it was pro-EU Greek governments and elites, and overwhelmingly French and German banks and governments who enabled and enforced that. British banks may not be angels but to blame the Greece debacle on them is pure nonsense.

          And the EU is an empire too, comrade. Certainly more than any remaining British one.

      • JohninMK

        “I wonder if the Greeks would agree that the EU brings prosperity.”

        Not so much the EU more like the shenanigans that the Greek Government and Goldman Sachs got up to that led to the inevitable scene of bankers protecting their mates and sod the public, Greek or otherwise.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      I couldn’t agree more. Brexit is probably the best thing that has ever happened to the EU. The EU27 are completely united, which is a very remarkable thing. What is more, free of the UK, the EU can follow it’s own geopolitical path without all the crazy Russophobia from the UK and the US democrats. Putin might be an autocratic leader, but very few people in the EU see Russia as an enemy. After all, Russia’s economy is only slightly larger than Spain’s.

      The worst thing for the EU now would be if the UK decided to remain in the EU and withdrew article 50 notification. If this happens, the EU needs to adopt Macron’s “EU with variable geometry” proposal so that we can keep the UK (and, by proxy, US) influence to a minimum.

      I’m very sorry for the Scottish and Northern Irish though. Hopefully Scotland will be able to join the EU as an independent country soon and Ireland can be reunited as an EU member.

  • Reg

    No because the single market is incompatible with democracy not because of free movement of people but because of free movement of capital and EU state aid rules that are incompatible with democracy. If a deal with the the EU requires being a member of the single market no deal is preferable, I fail to see why a customs union requires restricting State Aid and enabling free movement of capital that makes economic planing and controlling tax evasion well nye impossible and makes countries vulnerable to speculators.
    This is why Keynes saught to restrict free movement of capital in the Bretton Woods agreement due to its effect on Germany in the 30s.
    This is why the SNPs economic policy is incoherent and economically illiterate as no sovereignty is impossible without control of your currency the control of capital your budget and the ability to control the market via State Aid. If anyone believes Scotland will get a better deal in the EU given the example of Greece and Italy they are deluded. This makes the SNP and Scottish independence an irrelevance.

  • Reg

    I fail to see what is racist about suggesting not discriminating in favour of white migration from Europe? Surely those supporting freedom of movement from within the EU and implicitly discriminating against non EU migration are the racists?

    • Humbaba

      Let’s not pretend that the Brexitters are in favour of “brown” immigration. When they talk about possible migration to the UK, the countries that always come up first are NZ, Australia and Canada. As to other Commonwealth countries, they first of all think of grooming gangs.

      It’s possible to have freedom of movement in an internal market. For example, you don’t need border checks when you move from Leeds to Manchester. In fact, Leeds and Manchester could not be in the same market if there were borders. The same applies to Enniskillen in NI and Cavan in the Republic, or to Enschede in The Netherlands and Gronau in Germany. There are millions of people crossing borders in Europe on a daily basis to work on one side, live on the other side and go shopping on still another side. There is no problem whatsoever, no matter whether they are black, white or green. Conditions are similar on both sides of the border.

      Would free movement with non-EU countries such as Somalia, Pakistan or Nigeria be just as easy?

      And don’t pretend that the percentage of colored people in the UK proves that the Brits are not racist. You didn’t take them in because of the goodness of your heart (you didn’t take in the refugees from your wars in the ME, which is a marked decline in moral standards even in comparison to the Vietnam war), you took them in because post-colonial Britain was desperately trying to replicate the empire in a trading empire with Britain at the centre by extending citizenship to the entire Commonwealth. Again Britain failed because of its insatiable greed. The whole thing came to a screeching halt with the Rivers of Blood speech.

      There are too many lies in the Brexit to enumerate, but perhaps the most hideous is that less rights for Europeans would mean more rights for non-Europeans. A profoundly xenophobic movement exploited one group of immigrants by setting them against another group of immigrants. You can’t sink any lower than that. A Pakistani isn’t going to get more rights because a Pole gets less rights. Both will lose. Both, and the Brits, will have less rights. For one thing they will lose resort to the ECJ to sue the British establishment for its discriminatory citizen’s rights.

      • Steve

        NZ, Australia, and Canada are very substantially non-white now, up to 20% or so and growing fast.

        “There is no problem whatsoever” – false. Transnational crime is a big problem in Europe, mafia groups of various ethnicities operate practically unhindered.

        Whatever lies are ‘in the Brexit’, it’s far less than are in the EU.

  • Reg

    Leave and good luck as Scotland will become another colony of the EU as Ireland has when the Trichet (possibly the worst most incompetent central banker in history) the then head of the ECB forced Ireland to bail out the banks.

    https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/the-trichet-letter-forced-and-shaped-the-irish-bailout-31152446.html

    I also fail to see why it is racist to worry about over competition over low paid low skilled jobs. Free movement of labour is not a central issue for myself, but I understand why for some it is. And it is true relatively free movement would be possible with minimal effects on the low paid with correct policy, but the problem is this government will not support policies that will reduce inequality so you cannot expect people affected to support freedom of movement until these polices are in place as New Labour did nothing when in office.
    Iceland for example is part of Schengen, and remains one of the most equalitarian countries in the OECD, so it is possible.

    • Steve

      Iceland is not a good example, it’s a very small population, in a rather remote and inhospitable setting, with little attraction or capacity for large-scale immigration.

  • Roger G Lewis

    But it is worse than that. Many at the heart of what I might call “Old Labour” still harbour the dark thoughts that led in my youth to support from many trade union members for the views of Enoch Powell – the idea that immigrants depress wages and damage the working class. Unfortunately both Jeremy Corbyn and John MacDonnell, for both of whom I have much respect in general, still harbour this dinosaur opinion.

    In July, Jeremy Corbyn said that immigration “would be a managed thing on the basis of the skills required… What there wouldn’t be is whole-scale importation of underpaid workers from central Europe in order to destroy conditions, particularly in the construction industries.”
    Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants
    For two decades David Bacon has documented the connections between labor, migration, and the global economy. In Illegal People he explains why our national policy produces even more displacement, migration, immigration raids, and an increasingly divided and polarized society. Arguing for a sea change in how we think, debate, and legislate about and around immigration, Bacon promotes a human rights perspective in a globalized world.
    https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/206005/illegal-people-by-david-bacon/9780807042304/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNwQOMzWHBw

    Study on Nafta after 20 years.
    https://www.citizen.org/sites/default/files/nafta-at-20.pdf

    • Roger G Lewis

      Decreased Wages, Increased Inequality………….……………………………………………….…….10
      Wages Decline Due to NAFTA……………………………………………………………………………………10
      U.S. Economic Inequality Reaches New Extremes………………………………………………………………..11
      Wage Losses Outweigh Cheaper Prices under NAFTA-style Trade Pacts……………………………………….11
      Devastation of U.S. Manufacturing Erodes the Tax Base that Supports U.S. Schools, Hospitals….……………12

    • Reg

      The problem is migration was used as part of a wider set of policies to depress wages. Mervyn King admitted as much when he lobbied Tony Blair by suggesting “King pressed the case to open the labour market without transition on the grounds that it would help lower wage growth and inflation, address supply bottlenecks in a fast-growing pre-financial crisis economy, and help keep interest rates low,” It is not racist to point out that employers exploit a flexible labour market with migrant low skilled labour often experiencing even worse terms wages and conditions than indigenous labour, (such as indentured labour). It is fine to dismiss concerns of the low paid as racist if they are not in competition for your job as a open labour market actually benefits the pay of the better off as competition for skilled workers tends to increase pay.But if employment is demand driven for insecure low paid part time jobs this drives down wages particularly as the UK low skilled labour force is less mobile as English is a international language it is easier for non UK residents to assimilate. You have heard of the term ‘reserve army of the unemployed by that political refugee from Germany?

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/24/former-bank-governor-encouraged-eastern-european-immigration

  • Steve

    This piece features some bona fide bs. It’s not racism not to want to be overwhelmed in any sense by large numbers of strangers of any race, even one’s own (as in the case of many EU migrants), but basic human indeed animal nature and sense, growth is certainly possible without large immigration, and is possibly better (ie less wild and desructive) so, large-scale immigration can certainly depress wages and other conditions for the natives or a large part thereof (and often enough has), and can also function as a tool for the super-wealthy to divide the lower classes against themselves, as has often enough happened also, as well as to simply progressively replace them (ie the organized or ‘recalcitrant’ native ones) outright. Social theft by the super-wealthy is one means of mass impoverishment, so is destabilizing and immiserating mass-migration. And, racism goes both ways, it is not only arguably ‘racism’ to oppose mass migration, but to support it, because of the diminishing effect it predictably has on the native population in ethnic/’racial’ terms, which can and often enough has over time le(a)d to effective ethnic extinction, especially as a majority or secure community within its own former homeland.

    Craig is razor-sharp on some things, on others (like ‘racism’) he is ideologically blunt as a club, typically enough for committed lefties. It is that sort of ideological nonsense that will either prevent, or wreck an independent Scotland.

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