Militarism and the Populist Playbook 297


Why militarism is such a surefire winner for populists is an interesting question, to which the answer is probably an unpleasant reflection on human nature. Atavism and racism are the easiest way to political success, despite the demonstrably catastrophic consequences.

For an economically dominant power to allocate its resources under the influence of militarism, and then project the resulting capability for extreme violence on less wealthy or organised states, is the time-honoured way for populist politicins to satisfy the atavistic urge they have whipped up, while minimising the catastrophic consequences at home. UK military power is not for “defence” and has never been for “defence” since the formation of the UK. It is for the projection of military power abroad. The destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen are all, in varying degrees, the result of the application of UK military force on weaker states.

These countries were unable to offer any significant military response; the major cost to the UK of destroying them has been the cost of munitions, supply and pay. Costs in British servicemen injured or maimed has been terrible for the individuals concerned but politicians don’t care; indeed our casualties are unrelentingly put to the service of whipping up more jingoism and militarism. British killed and maimed is of course a tiny number compared to the killed or maimed which Britain has inflicted.

There are other costs, of course. Almost all the terrorism in the UK has been blowback terrorism from this destruction abroad. There have also been resultant refugee flows which have disturbed the political equilibrium of all of Europe. But remarkably neo-conservative politicians are able to fashion those consequences into arguments for us to invade and kill still more frequently abroad.

Johnson’s announcement of an extra £16 billion of defence spending will be wildly popular with his electoral base, who love a bit of jingoism. It will be wildly popular with his MPs, because nothing lines the pockets of politicians and their close business associates as reliably as “defence” spending – except for Covid spending, but that giant chance to plunder the public purse will run out soon. In a country that could not afford to feed school children, a country that starves asylum seekers and lets kids drown in the channel rather than take them in, £16 billion extra to blow up other countries is no problem.

It is four times the amount of new money the government pledged yesterday to tackle the actual existential threat of climate change. To be spent instead on tackling a pretend existential threat. The idea that Russia or China wants to invade the UK is an utter nonsense. Neither has any plans to do so, nor has ever had any plans to do so. The UK has not been at war with either Russia or China for 150 years. We are however doing our best to provoke conflict, with billions more going into avowedly offensive cyber capability targeted on Russia and China. You also do not have to be a devotee of Isaac Azimov to understand that the pouring of billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money into the specific purpose of designing artificial intelligence to kill people is not necessarily a good long term goal. The advantage of these areas of spending for Tories is of course that outcomes are nebulous and thus the scope for super-profits and for corruption is simply enormous.

As I said, militarism is a very successful part of the populist brand. You therefore have this vast waste of money on offensive military capability being hailed by Labour under Sir Keir Starmer, the right wing muppet who leads the UK’s laughingly titled opposition. You also have, not coincidentally, a defence paper published on Tuesday by the SNP which tries to outflank the Tories from the right in extreme Sinophobia and Russophobia and proposes continued operations from Scottish bases post_independence by both US and English armed forces.

With the ousting of the left from Labour and the astonishing rightward gallop of the SNP, there is currently no realistic route to oppose militarism available in the UK’s – or Scotland’s – so called democratic electoral system.

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297 thoughts on “Militarism and the Populist Playbook

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  • Squeeth

    Hurting people less able to defend themselves is a petit bourgeois fetish; working class people prefer people who can give them a run for their money. The fascist electoral system in Britain guarantees minority rule because it disenfranchises the working class, which is why “the country” might like more war spending. The rest of us shrug and carry on trying to have a life as semi-enemies of the state,

  • djm

    In a country that could not afford to feed school children, a country that starves asylum seekers and lets kids drown in the channel rather than take them in, £16 billion extra to blow up other countries is no problem.

    C’mon man…..even for you that’s rhetoric too far

    • Ron Soak

      Either the statement is factually accurate and correct or it is not.

      Anything else is nothing more than slapping a dead cat on the table.

      • Mart

        Ron, the statement is not “factually accurate.” The country could afford to feed school children but its government chose not to. The statement is fine as rhetoric, though. Not rhetoric too far at all.

          • Marmite

            It is factually accurate on account of the simple fact that the populace is too dumb to believe any differently when the government says, as it so often does, that there is no money tree.

            Fact is just a consensus around what is perceived to be true.

            The statement may become less factually accurate if the penny ever drops and we scratch our heads like monkeys, and say ‘wait a minute, why is there a money tree for this but not that?’

            I didn’t think that ‘rhetoric’ went nearly far enough actually. You could compile a library of tomes on twenty-first century Britain’s crimes against humanity, both abroad and domestically. The only other country that might do better than that is the Ununited Shits of a Stolen America.

            And it is speaking way too politley indeed to refer to Starmer as a ‘right-wing muppet’. He comes across as a lot more wicked than your run-of-the-mill populist puppet politician.

    • Prasad

      djm
      Bit of artistic flourish but that 16 billion is all going to be spent on an infrastructure whose sole purpose is to blow up other countries.
      It is you that is quibbling.

  • FlakBlag

    Spot on Craig Murray.

    I fear that increased military spending is very much part of the UK’s plan for climate change. When the harvests fail the glorious UK will use killer robots to take what it needs from countries that can’t defend themselves. Perhaps one day they will harvest the source material for manufacturing Soylent Green. Isaac Asimov would never have written something so heartless.

    • Steph

      That thought occured to me also, not just in relation to Brexit chaos though. Its almost as if we are being pushed into civil unrest by all the, almost blatent, contradictions of policy. I am reminded of this short piece about the alledged methods of Vladislav Surkov, by Adam Curtis. It is a little dated now, being made in 2014, but pertinent nevertheless I think. It is ironic of course that watching it and being made aware only adds to the confusion.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od4MWs7qTr8

  • Pyewacket

    In addition to the perceived threat from Asia which is much touted by our politicians and media talking heads, there is, of more concern, the deployment of our cyber warfare units, and army of behavioural psychologists currently focussed on the domestic arena. Our Police are becoming increasingly militarised, and, we have been informed by no less a figure than Cressida Dick, they have been “reframed” , and in a crisis, can do what they want without any fear of any consequences.

    • Gary Sinclair

      Wherever Cressida Dick is involved it must be appreciated that any form of ‘underground movement’ will likely not end well… 😉

  • Anthony

    Re your use of the word populist Craig, please find time at some point to read Tom Frank’s The People, No: a brief history of anti-populism.
    Populism was a political movement of workers and farmers in Gilded Age America, which tried to wrestle back control from elites in hoc to monopoly capitalism. The term has been used ever since as an elite propaganda scare word to demonize any bottom-up movement.

    Such movements, like those led by Debs, FDR and lately Corbyn and Sanders, have recurred in uncannily similar fashion at key moments across a century and a half of western capitalist history. Today the elite anti-populist backlash is being expressed with particular venom in an age of Neoliberal Order Breakkdown Syndrome.

    The NOBS in centrist-liberal media have tried to denigrate the proud populist tradition by associating it with hard right snake oil salesmen, just as much in hoc to monopoly capitalism as they themselves are.

    Or as a quick alternative to reading up on the history of anti-populism, just ask yourself what the opposite of populism is and why the anti-populists aren’t eager to spell it out.

    • bevin

      Well said.
      The real target of these critics of ‘populism’ is democracy, not in the sense of vaguely representative institutions but of actual participation in political action by ordinary people. It is a warmed up theory of original sin in which all of humanity’s instinctive solutions to life’s problems are seen as nasty, crude and vicious.
      In fact as we know it takes considerable intellectual gymnastics to justify the starving of children, the consignment of working people to insecurity and poverty and the employment of public resources to attack people who represent no threat.
      Jingoism is and always was designed to divert popular energy from reforming society. It is beautifully exemplified by the SNP’s taste for taking on Moscow instead of London.

      • Anthony

        Indeed. I do not see how the elite’s appetite for militarism and imperialism is a response to popular demand. Not in a country awash with disease, unemployment, hunger and homelessness.

  • SA

    Opposition is now completely neutralised. The labour party is now not under control by and for the benefit of the members, but dictated from outside the party. The secondary casualty of the vilification of Corbyn is the peace movement, with which he has a long association. This is what we should all be aware of.

    • mark golding

      Most are aware SA of a peace codified by friendship, harmony, and love, an amalgam that strengthens and sustains our resolve towards conflict, hostility and interference with weaker order and rule. So why are we stranded? Why are we prostrate, paralyzed, apathetic when these powerful emotions perculate most? Why is Starmer, an Establishment stooge, head of a guardianship intended to safeguard and secure the rights, hopes and wishes of working people, elders, the underprivileged and incapacitated?

      Plainly we need a new system, a reset and a move towards self government. There is perhaps a need to resurrect in the first instance a nationwide ‘Friendly society’ to connect us. We must move away from a constitutional monachy that clearly at best is past it’s sell by date and at worst sordid and vile considering the antics of the Royal court members who have lied, are reluctant to be investigated and disgraced our country.

    • Dungroanin

      SA,
      It does seem that they have dug up JC to hang draw and quarter him again and publicly display the corpse of his tenure as leader.
      (sorry about the imagery but it is as nasty and medieval as that)

      The question indeed is WHY?

      Why has Starmer chosen to turn his back on the easy target of Bozo the clowns fake ready cooked Turkey hard BrexShit – that he made his name for the membership to vote for him as leader, because he opposed it so much and stopped Mays deal?
      Why has he turned on these naïve sucker labour members who voted for him? Who believed he would stop a hard BS?
      Why has he not skewered the government for the Excess Deaths which were over 70,000 people in the first wave through gross failure to protect the populace?
      That he excepts demurely the Govts definition of Covid deaths ( a lot fewer than Excess Deaths)!) and even the recent further reduction of that number by only counting these who died within 28 days of testing positive of SC2, but not these who died of Covid sicknesses caused by SC2 more than 28 days before?
      People can be kept alive for longer than 28 days in ICU’s including in comas – switching them off on day 29 to months down the line excludes them from the new definition.

      Why, why, why Keirlala?

      Well as CM posits in this article we are to be marshalled into war;
      There are a lot more ‘Jeremy Corbyn’ clone MP’s now;
      There are plenty of Labour Members who are going to make life difficult for the CLP’s to rubber stamp top down commandments..
      The party membership is setting a ‘bad example’ to all these other countries who may think there is no point in political engagement , so needs to be bashed and broken.
      The confidence and solidarity of that renewed Labour movement is the threat they have worked 50 years to break but has reversed under JC – and in crucifying him so unfairly they have made him and all these who he inspired and got elected to the PLP much much more powerful!

      The remaining Blairite NuLabInc are in self destruct mode now – they HAVE to destroy that PLP and Labour membership.

      That is what they have been ordered to do.

      The solution/defence to that attack is for the genuine socialist Democratic membership is simple – the Labour membership has to FIRE Keir and the zombie NuLabInc conspirators and DS neoliberal/con miles from the party by EXPULSION – Keir &co can seat as independents and even form the official Opposition if there are enough of them!

      It is for sure a plan to remove any remaining semblance of Democratic elections and Democratic Socialism which had pinned back the ancient robber barons for a couple of post war generations – but THEY are back! and they want everything WE had gained back and they want that movement destroyed once and for all.

      That’s WHY KeirLaLa and media continues targeting Corbyn.

      Will the sucker naive membership understand and act in time or will they call for a recrucifixion of JC again this Xmas and still blame him?

  • Crispa

    It took my more social media savvy and better eye-sighted spouse to point out what the video was about. But then it clicked and point well made.

    Today’s announcement puts the recent publicity given to the military in dishing out coronavirus tests into context – making it feel oh so cuddly and deserving instead of it being the killing machine that it actually is.

    Having wasted so much money in dealing with the Covid-19 situation I would have thought the money would be better given to the NHS.

    Labour Party reaction will be interesting with emasculated Corbyn appearing now as a lone voice speaking out against it all no doubt.

    • Father O'Blivion

      Highly entertaining video. Recommended viewing. The only reason England hasn’t invaded Luxembourg is it only came into being as a state in 1839. Give ’em time.

  • John A

    As the vile murderous maniac Madelaine Albright told the US military, ‘what is the point of having this superb military if you can’t use it?

    Starmer gets worse by the day. Never in a million years can any right-minded person vote for him when there is so much wrong with this country that needs to be put right.

  • Goose

    Keir Starmer said in response :

    “Britain must once again show global leadership and be a moral force for good in the world – both in how we tackle present and emerging security threats, but also in how we build a fairer, greener and more secure world.

    “So we welcome this additional funding for our defence and security forces and we agree that it is vital to end what the Prime Minister calls – I have to say, with complete lack of self-awareness – an era of retreat.”

    How does this sit with his Pledge 4.

    4. Promote peace and human rights

    No more illegal wars. Introduce a Prevention of Military Intervention Act and put human rights at the heart of foreign policy. Review all UK arms sales and make us a force for international peace and justice.

    Just shows how misled members were by this neoliberal, neocon hawk in Corbyn’s clothing.

    When exactly in recent memory, was the UK a ‘force for good’ …and when exactly did we retreat from that?

    • Goose

      …an era of retreat.”

      Is mostly always used by hawks in recent times, in reference to Syria.

      If Starmer and Nandy think the PLP could support some new military intervention there – crudely bombing Damascus- it’d surely trigger votes of no confidence in Starmer among all CLPs and a much needed leadership challenge.

      • Goose

        Prior to WW2, Hitler was a big admirer of the British Empire, he praised the British as proficient Aryan imperialists and enjoyed watching films featuring oppression of non-white peoples of Africa and India.

    • Goose

      This whole idea of ‘projecting naval power’ is nonsense given our multitude of domestic problems in terms of skill shortages, poverty and general lack of opportunity. Countering Russian aggression? When it’s our troops on their border? Countering Chinese assertiveness? When it’s our ships off their coast?

      It seems in London we have a mixture of ‘we rule the world’ empire nostalgists combining with those who see Britain’s role as that as an appendage to US global hegemonic power and control.

      Dislike other countries systems, by all means, but let’s not pretend we’re the good guys.

      • arby

        Got me going there for a while – 73% of Scots voting for independence? For me the link indicates 73% of Scots intending to vote in the next independence referendum would still vote the same way whether or not Sturgeon was FM at the time. This is indeed good news – and just confirms voter independent-mindedness is driving this rather than falling into line behind the pied piper of Holyrood.

  • Republicofscotland

    A populist announcement indeed, and the same old shit of dangling frigates in front of Scottish shipbuilders, Oh don’t leave the union we’ve got plenty of work for you, in Scotland’s case we’d just be building, in a sense, our own chains to shackle us even tighter into this vile union.

    As for the Millionaire Knight of the Realm and leader of the Labour party, his treatment of Corbyn to appease the Blairites in the party and those of whom he was said to have offended or did very little to combat such offences, it has been nothing short of disgraceful, the capture of the once socialist Labour party is all but complete.

  • Aule

    A small factual correction

    > The UK has not been at war with either Russia or China for 150 years.

    UK interrvened in Russian Civil War, which was a century ago.

      • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

        Mao’s invasion of Korea and UK fighting on UN side obviously doesn’t weigh heavy on your minds .The forgotten war as it’s called.Though Imjin Barracks are HQ for Gloucesters as Mary pointed out a while back.
        .Churchill as Master Mason hated Chiang Mai Shek ,gladly undermined the Guomindang and went along with giving Manchuria to Stalin at Yalta . I would also contend that Disraelis deprving Russia of her hard fought gains from Turkey and later the naval build up of Japan, and Britain’s refusal of credit and ban on use of Suez Canal in1905 were tantamount to war on Russia.

    • Doctor K

      Boxer rebellion 1901. Wikipedia:

      In response to reports of an invasion by the Eight Nation Alliance of American, Austro-Hungarian, British, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Russian troops to lift the siege, the initially hesitant Empress Dowager Cixi supported the Boxers and on June 21 issued an Imperial Decree declaring war on the foreign powers. Diplomats, foreign civilians, and soldiers as well as Chinese Christians in the Legation Quarter were besieged for 55 days by the Imperial Army of China and the Boxers. Chinese officialdom was split between those supporting the Boxers and those favoring conciliation, led by Prince Qing. The supreme commander of the Chinese forces, the Manchu General Ronglu (Junglu), later claimed he acted to protect the foreigners. Officials in the Mutual Protection of Southeast China ignored the imperial order to fight against foreigners.

      The Eight-Nation Alliance, after being initially turned back, brought 20,000 armed troops to China, defeated the Imperial Army, and arrived at Peking on August 14, relieving the siege of the Legations. Uncontrolled plunder of the capital and the surrounding countryside ensued, along with summary execution of those suspected of being Boxers.

    • Phil Espin

      There is a war memorial in Riga for 128 RN personnel killed meddling in the Russian civil war. How many British military killed in Syria? I guess we will never know. Unless a memorial church is built in Tel Aviv.

  • Peter

    “With the ousting of the left from Labour and the astonishing rightward gallop of the SNP, there is currently no realistic route to oppose militarism available in the UK’s – or Scotland’s – so called democratic electoral system.”

    Slightly off topic, however, for the first time in many years I think there is a non-negligible chance of a split or breakaway from the Labour Party. Yes, it is probably not going to happen as many left MPs value career before jumping into the unknown. But such has been the disgust at Starmer’s lurch to the right (see Thelma Walker’s resignation as someone who would normally have stayed and fought) that it cannot be ruled out. If and when this developed, it’s key to long-term survival will depend in part on whether one or more of the major unions jumps ship also.

    • Goose

      Starmer calculates he can go ‘full Blair’ and the press will be supportive while the left are too enfeebled to do anything about it.

      However, there’s very little evidence the public think fondly of the New labour era. And Blair himself, far from rehabilitated, is still a reviled figure inside and outside the party.
      The best hope is a leadership challenge from within the PLP, and Starmer’s refusal to readmit Corbyn should be seen in that context. 20% of PLP MPs needed for a contest (~40), and there are nearly 34 in the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs – so not far off. I expect Starmer to try to force more left wing MPs out of the party, while deliberately driving down the membership, to protect himself from such a challenge. Yes, I think he’s that bad.

      • Royd

        ‘I think he’s that bad.’

        I do too. It distressed me enormously that the majority of our CLP could not see it. I cannot support such a ‘leader’ and cancelled my membership. That the majority could find it within themselves to vote for more of ‘the same’ left me disheartened. Recent events have only served to confirm my view that Sir KS dances to the tune written and played by his true masters.

        • Wikikettle

          Royd. Thats what Chris Williamson concluded and I don’t know what more back stabbing Jeremy can take before he wakes up and takes his gloves off.

          • Goose

            Chris Williamson stated the party was effectively over the moment Starmer won. That instant judgement seemed a little hasty at the time, but Williamson obviously knew who Starmer really was.

            As for Corbyn ‘taking the gloves off’. Everyone would cheer it, but alas, it’ll never happen, it should’ve happened after the 2016 leadership challenge. He’s a pacifist and that whole character trait of being mild-mannered and reasonable, was probably a large part of his appeal.

        • alexey

          I voted for Starmer on the basis of “keep the policies”. That didn’t last long. It was clear he was clearing the decks for the tony blair “capitalism is safe in our hands” approach. I left and joined CPB instead, what a relief.

  • Mist001

    There is no way on this Earth that Boris Johnson woke up one morning and decided that the UK needs to spend billions on new weaponry. Someone that has his ear or attention has, to coin a phrase, ‘made the bullets’ and he’s merely firing them. He’s merely the monkey dancing to the tune of the organ grinder.

    The question is, who’s the organ grinder?

    • Stevie Boy

      Starmer is only where he is because of the active support of rabid zionists.
      The UKs ‘Defence’ capability is just an extension of the USA: Trident, Carriers, F35s, Apache, Cyber Security, etc., etc. All the major UK Defence Companies are now essentially just the US MIC – possibly excluding Thales.
      The Organ Grinder is the USA – which is run by the MIC and the rabid zionists.

      • Goose

        Starmer is where he is because he told members he was socialist who was committed to maintaining most of Corbyn’s policies. His 10 pledges and slick promotional campaign video featuring an ex-miner now look positively sinister in light of his actions since being elected : “No stepping back from our core principles “….?

        Look through his 10 pledges. Did he even write them? Fully expect the web page hosting them to be removed at some point:

        https://keirstarmer.com/plans/10-pledges/

        • giyane

          Squeeth

          ” The zionists aren’t a lobby, they are a proxy; ” Oh my Gawd. not proxies on both sides, please, both slugging it out like zombies.. to the unDeath. So who is proxy to whom? The islamists proxy to the zionists who are locked in secret immortal combat on British soil. Or the zionists proxies to the Islamists in unending warfare against the rest? Who? When? How? Why?

        • Susan

          “The zionists aren’t a lobby, they are a proxy;”

          Squeeth, please explain what this statement means. Really interested to understand your point.

        • Goose

          As for the ultimate reason he’s there,… if it’s purely to serve such interests, then I don’t see him lasting long in the role.

          Faking it for four years isn’t practical. And he’ll face electoral tests.

  • Kempe

    Well Britain hadn’t been at war with Germany (or any of its constituent parts) for 150 years prior to 1914…

    This is £16 billion over 4 years which represents an increase to the annual defence budget of less than 10%. It hardly puts us on a par with the Third Reich; or North Korea.

  • mb

    > currently no realistic route to oppose militarism available in the UK’s – or
    > Scotland’s – so called democratic electoral system.

    Green votes are certainly votes against militarism, “realistic” or not.

      • Ash

        The problem being, as always, narrative control — even people who want to do the right thing form their worldview out of the same climate of BS as everyone else. When every public figure who plays the role of a humane, compassionate person on TV is telling them why they should support militarism… er, sorry, “humanitarian intervention”… many have probably never even heard an argument as to why they should oppose it. Next to their counterparts that are openly braying for war, they can easily portray their position as the sane, caring alternative no matter how monstrous it might actually be.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          Ash
          Yes, narative control only works when people assume the media is full of people giving their honest opinion after performing due diligence.

      • Goose

        The Greens were only radical when led by Natalie Bennett (2012-2016). She moved them onto more radical ground. Her views were often controversial and extremely libertarian by British standards. She once famously said in an interview it should not be a crime to belong to an organisation such as Islamic State, the IRA or al-Qaeda… seeing current laws as thought crime.

        She increased their national vote share in 2015’s GE from 1% to 3.8% and the party membership grew to 63,000.

        The libertarian social policies and anti-war stance was exactly where the Greens should be.

        • Goose

          She clarified in 2015. Natalie Bennett, the Greens’ leader, said people should not be punished for what they think, but those inciting or committing acts of violence should [face justice].

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          Natalie Bennet was a gigantic disappointment.

          She lost her credibility, and my support, when, put on the spot in an interview and asked how she would “pay for” the 500,000 new council homes that the Green Party, quite rightly, proposed to build, she couldn’t come up with an answer*.

          It was acutely embarrassing, and highlighted how economically incompetent she and her party were, and still are. Although to be fair, the Greens are far from alone.

          *The correct answer, btw, is: “By spending the money”, as is being proved every day by our present regime.

          • Goose

            Can never understand why politicians suffer those ‘gotcha’ moments in campaigns.

            BBC Radio presenters love creating traps like that – they got Corbyn fumbling for figures on his iPad, and Diane Abbott made a blunder too, for which the right dubbed her ‘abacus Abbott’ – completely unfairly, as Tory Philip Hammond made a similar calculation gaffe and nobody raised his error again. Sometimes the calculations are complicated, so if unsure why don’t politicians simply say, I don’t have the figures to hand?

  • giyane

    Clearly warships are not going to be useful in any seas near us, and I understand that the last batch don’t work in the wrong temperatures. So presumably these warships will be intended for use in areas of the world we would have liked to threaten, but we were technologically unable to do it. We are also technologically unable to match Russia militarily in Syria, or China in the Pacific. The only location these new vessels might be useful would be in the Atlantic, from Libya to the West coast of South America or in either the polar region.

    The New Silk Road will arrive in Europe without crossing any seas except the 5 minutes it takes to cross the channel in a plane.We look like the Dad’s Army arrows of defiance, trying to chuff ourselves up with the idea that there are still some corners of the planet on which we can still piss. It is by no means certain that our last colonial foray , Libya, will yield the massive treasure of oil, and water , Cameron anticipated purely by BBC propaganda that it is now led by an internationally recognised British puppet.

    The failure of our proxy jihadists in Syria, because of Russian , Iranian and US military might, might just persuade the jihadists to doubt British military promises in the future as undeliverable with a few technically faulty ships. The jihadists are in the business of winning, not being utterly crushed. So how do we know that 16 billion borrowed and looted quid will convince them to be our proxies? They decide to become the proxies of China.

    As always, one has to remind oneself that the one man who had a massively sensible plan for bringing Britain through our cold turkey of military impotence, Jeremy Corbyn, has now been deprived of the Labour Party whip. His intellectual honesty is constantly being polished by his brushes with absolute twits.

    That the Empire2 Tories have still not understood the need to stop colonial invasion and theft makes this bid for military spending look like the Charge of the Light Brigade.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      “It is by no means certain that our last colonial foray , Libya, will yield the massive treasure of oil,”

      But it stopped Gadaffi from selling oil in currency other than dollars and from setting up an all Africa cuerrency backed by gold. It also set an example for anyone who might be thinking of doing the same.
      “The failure of our proxy jihadists in Syria, because of Russian , Iranian and US military might”
      I hardly think Britain would have proxies that were not actualy shared by the US. The jihadists aren’t going to look elsewhere for support if the West doesn’t back them since without such backing they simply wouldn’t exist. The Russians, Iranians and Chinese don’t need them because thet have efficient armed forces to defend themselves with.

  • Grhm

    (Trying out this ‘Gravatar’ thing.)
    Craig writes “UK military power is not for “defence” and has never been for “defence” since the formation of the UK”
    I agree completely with the analysis, but I don’t see how anyone could argue that the Battle of Britain, for example, wasn’t for defence.

    • Stevie Boy

      IMO – The battle of Britain was a symptom of Britain and US collusion with the build up of the Nazis in Germany and with our industries implicit support of that build up. The Nazi’s didn’t appear out of thin air.

      • Fwl

        But when it came to it notwithstanding that the culmination of the blitz saw the destruction of Parliament on the very weekend of Hess’s arrival in Scotland when he arrived he didn’t get the reception he expected and Germany blundered into the Soviet Union. So not entirely collusion after all, One of the most interesting (and perhaps pivotal) weekends in twentieth century British history.

    • Squeeth

      The Battle of Britain was necessary because French and British strategic assumptions, that Germany couldn’t match their war economies and that time was on their side were correct, yet the Germans managed to defeat them in six weeks by mistake.

      Another war against Germany had become inevitable once the German boss class managed to overthrow the democratic Weimar republic in 1930, it was the condition for repudiating the Treaty of Versailles.

    • Grhm

      As far as I can see, none of those interesting observations changes the fact that, at the Battle of Britain, the UK’s military was used for defence.
      As another example, the elaborate system of fortifications that were built along the South coast under Lord Palmerston may or may not have been “follies” but they were indisputably defensive.
      Those were historical exceptions, however.
      The Ministry of Defence should today more accurately be called the ‘Ministry of Attack’, because the UK has not needed defending militarily since 1945.
      We could perfectly safely cut defence spending to zero, and abolish our armed forces altogether, as Costa Rica has done.
      I think we should do so, and spend the money on combating global warming instead.

      • Dungroanin

        Gram
        The RAF fighter squadrons augmented with many a flying foreign legionnaires were indeed defending, themselves, to stop being eliminated and thus not able to attack an invasionary force.

        But these ‘few’ were NOT the UK’s Military, they were pretty much created ‘on the fly’ ;sorry).

        The expeditionary force could have been captured or wiped out at Dunkirk.

        The British Forces weren’t defending the British Isles – they were sent off in boat loads to Singapore to surrender themselves immediately on arrival failing to defend even that City. As they also failed in North Africa.

        British Forces only existed. spread across the Empire – which was not a ‘defensive’ deployment ever.
        When it came to it – the British Military effort was only successful when it was massively augmented with its Colonial Armies – mostly consisting of a million Indians! And a fraction of that Anzacs.

        As to defending the shores against invasion – you have never watched Dads Army?

        The fact was then, that unless the panzers could swim across the Channel with a functional supply line it would have been impossible to invade Britain.

        The British Forces ever since the East India Company were certainly only ever meant for offensive purposes. Invasions and defence of these imperial ‘prizes’. Against people with no guns mostly.

  • Ingwe

    A Martian looking down at Earth would be flummoxed.
    You have a society with aged people left on their own, dependent on private carers working for profit-making businesses or funds-strapped local authorities. We have homeless people sleeping on the streets and in doorways of closed-down shops. Unemployment is rising to depression levels, people both with or without work cannot afford rent or houses because the rentier classes have used a necessity of housing as a source of low-risk capital accumulation.
    Our once state-owned and run NHS, has been broken up, privatised and starved of funds so that we have waiting lists for surgery measured in years and even people suffering acute medical conditions such as cancer are denied treatment.

    And yet we spend an increasing proportion of our GDP on defence and other military expending a lot of which expenditure remains hidden from public view and is disguised. The requirement for this military expenditure is created by the very people who’s budget-maximisation behaviour means they benefit. The perceived risk of China. Russia and Iran going to war with us is fed by right-wing military think tanks like the United Services Insititute followed up by BBC interviews with acting generals like Nick Carter talking complete bullshit about the threatening global situation including cyber threats especially by the Russians and Chinese.

    I doubt whether these people actually believe the crap they spout but hey, what does that matter if the public can be conned into believing that the threat exists and that quadrupling the military spend is in our interests?
    With no critical analysis of the narrative fed to us, the populace accept that their parents and grandparents dying in miserable isolation or the huge increase in numbers of young people sleeping on the street, is the price that has to be paid for our freedom and security from these foreign threats.
    Is it really so easy to project this vile greed of the military-industrial complex and those that benefit from it as actually being in all our interest? Our Martian would be incredulous and probably laugh at us like the Martian in the old Smash advert.

    • Goose

      Worryingly, in interviews, Nick Carter doesn’t always make clear whether he sees these ‘threats’ as being domestic or foreign, and the legislation is increasingly opaque with no clear boundaries. Goes without saying , that the army shouldn’t be involved in domestic propaganda exercises, or cyber vigilantism on behalf of the Tories. It’s as if he and his boss view the army’s role as glorified censors trying to stymie free speech.

      • Goose

        He seems to want to create a cyber army of sock puppets to quote “shape UK public opinion”. No one would vote for that .

        We saw with Sky News, slinging accusations around just because someone holds a different opinion is outrageous stuff. If military people want to debate and argue as private citizens, that’s fair enough, but state backed sock puppetry is Stasi-esque. And probably in breach of the ECHR.

  • 6033624

    I’m always reminded that, despite their words, Tory governments have tended to be the ones cutting ‘defence’ spending in the UK. Think back to the Falklands Conflict when Thatcher had ordered Navy cuts which result in the flagship Ark Royal being sent for scrap with no replacement – it was hastily taken back out from it’s scrapping destination in the nick of time after Argentina had actually occupied the Islands. They are, of course, happy to use our military with abandon and recklessly and put their lives in danger not only from conflict but from a lack of proper equipment – think of Rose Gentle’s campaign on the very issue and individual soldier having to purchase kit items privately when not supplied with them.

    I’ve long thought that many of the SNP’s positions have been to make sure that they are seen as ‘acceptable’ internationally. One day we hope to rely on the international community’s support if we take our independence. This will be difficult enough but if we are deciding to remain outside of NATO and be anti-militaristic we would get short shrift (I’m not in support of this, but I think this is the reality of the situation) Scotland, it’s people and most of the SNP membership would, I think, be much more left-wing and anti-military given the choice, it’s a case of how much choice we really have at the moment.

    As for the choice of ‘enemies’ this is more to do with countries having longer memories than people. For example England has been anti-Europe even before Henry broke away from the Catholic Church and stole all their properties. Scotland was always pro-European and had built alliances with France against England – nothing much has changed and we should remember why we were refused entry at first due to the attitude (I think of the French?) that ‘they’ll only want to leave again’ It seems the same holds true for the USA and Russia & China. Their rabid anti-communism has blinded them to the fact that Russia isn’t communist anymore, it’s unrestrained capitalism with small, left -over corners of socialism. China has gone in the same direction. Being one party states hasn’t prevented them from changing out of all recognition. In theory this should make them allies not enemies, but where would the US be without bogeymen? How would they justify their massively overblown military budgets?

    Ultimately the US reputation in the world as ‘The Great Satan’ is deserved. Deliberate destabilisation, vampire lending, illegal activities to keep small countries down and then pick over the bones leaves the US as the most militarily and financially hostile nation on the planet.

    • mark golding

      Yes – we recall Rose Gentle whose thoughts were recorded here on occasons. Rose Gentle is the mother of Gordon Gentle, a 19-year-old from Pollok who was killed in 2004 by a roadside bomb in Basra during the Iraq War. Since his death she has campaigned against the war and set up the Justice 4 Gordon Gentle campaign. Alongside Reg Keys she is a founder member of Military Families Against the War. She has been a long term critic of Tony Blair’s role in the Iraq War and I campaigned alongside her.

      Interestingly Humza Yousaf said in an interview that he was inspired to become involved in politics on the back of the campaign against the Iraq War. He noted that it was when listening to Rose speak about the death of her son that he had to become involved in campaigning for the Scottish National Party and Scottish independence

  • Ralph

    ‘a country that starves asylum seekers and lets kids drown in the channel rather than take them in’ – how many have YOU taken into YOUR home Craig??? YOU encourage or see nothing wrong with ILlegal crossings, YOU endorse or turn a blind eye to CRIMINALS being used to traffic people across, without real regard to their health and safety – YOU have NO problem with this, nor that france is also complicit in aiding and abetting it.

    And HOW does this country ‘starve’ [sic] ‘asylum seekers’ who are NOT seeking asylum in the FIRST safe country – like france!!!??? Are you too ignorant/stupid to know that ILlegals are being put up in 3/4 star hotels? You don’t even KNOW the DIFFERENCE between an asylum seeker and an ILlegal immigrant!

    • giyane

      Ralph

      2 years after seeking asylum in this country my brother in law has his own shop in Glasgow, a risk he has taken way above any risk I have taken in my life. Thousands of others from Kurdistan have done the same, not because they hate their country but because Obama launched the Islamic State against Syria and Islamic State turned on their country. All of the revenues from Kurdish oil go to Turkey, Israel, US and UK. What revenue is generated from local taxes goes into the local pimp-governor’s family pockets. Government salaries are never paid. Teachers administrators dustmen hospital staff all unpaid for months on end.

      Your horse may be high, from which you announce that it is illegal for people to come here, but even if you don’t know, they DO know that Kurdistan is a very rich country that has been robbed by Blair and Bush and their bloated British successors like Cameron and Haig, May and Johnson.

      When he was President, Barzani told the people that he had negotiated for the people a formal, but unwritten concession that the Kurdish people would be welcome refugees in Britain in apparent recognition of the crimes committed against Kurdistan. Just because you don’t know the concessions that have been made to war-torn countries from which Britain robs oil, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Your government doesn’t tell you it will accept people who manage to cross the channel.

      Your Tory/Bory government tells you it’s illegal. I think in a court of Law, I could prove to you that that is untrue. It’s British government policy to mitigate the evil of its colonial violence and theft by letting in asylum seekers on the nod from countries they have wrecked.

  • Dungroanin

    Excellent as usual sir, but not 100%.

    “Tax Payers Money” loses you marks.

    Please please please there is NO SUCH THING as TPM!

    It is a fairytale designed to also push the buttons as much as ‘jingoism’ is.

    There is a ‘public purse’ but it is bottomless.
    The BoE magics money into existence at the behest of the Treasury, as do banks and credit card companies, as do ‘building societies, all under licence of the State that issues its own currency, with a ‘promise to pay the bearer’.

    Continued use and failure to educate ourselves on the nature of Money and lies such as TPM and a government having to balance its books like a business or a household, is playing into the hands of these who created the fairy tale. Indeed it is trying to wrestle them in their lie pit. A sure fire way of getting covered in the mud they love to roll about in.

    Mr Shigomutsu will no doubt concur and the great professor Richard Murphy will elucidate authoritatively. I don’t expect anyone to just take my word.

    • Royd

      ‘Please please please there is NO SUCH THING as TPM!’

      Thankyou for that comment Dungroanin. Having followed and read Richard Murphy for a while now I find the phrase ‘taxpayer’s money’ irksome to say the least. As you say the public (Government) purse is bottomless. How it chooses to spend its money is down to political decisions not how much it has left in its account. The Bank of England can print as much money as is needed when the UK Govt asks for it. How else could it find £16bn just like that? As the Prof would say – a single keystroke is all that is needed. Easy as that and it is.

      • Goose

        It isn’t truly bottomless, as it has to retain confidence of the international lending markets. But the point is generally correct insomuch as while it does(retain confidence) it can print money.

        It’s the big, artificially generated problem any Corbyn-led Labour would’ve faced, as markets and investors registered their disapproval.

        • Giyane

          Goose

          Does that mean that when Liam Byrne said in 2010 there was no money left, he was lying? Or just joking? I think you’re right when you say that Labour are much more constrained by the City than the disasTories. What a good thing we have Tories in power during Covid.

          • Dungroanin

            The Blairite was doing both. It was a PR gift for the implementation of Austerity – a political choice – to soften the population up for a BrexShit, by hook and crook.

          • Goose

            Blairite Liam Byrne stated it was pure hubris that drove him to leave that note in the Treasury, in his words, it was meant to be taken in jest. Initially, David Laws read it, Lib Dem Laws of course then handed it to coalition leader Cameron, who, knowing full well it was meant humorously, waved it about as if a serious document, purely for political advantage.

            Byrne wrote an article in 2015 stating he’d regretted writing it every day for the last five years.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            @Giyane,

            The “there is no money” note was a running joke for departing Chancellors; Reginald Maudlin used it in 1964 when handing over to George Brown.

            But it’s typical of the spiteful, brainless duo, Cameron and Osborne, and the equally reptilian media, to pretend opportunistically that it was somehow a unique and significant admission of reckless profligacy on the part of Liam Byrne and the New Labour government.

        • Dungroanin

          Why does it have to retain confidence in ‘international lending markets’? (Wtf are they anyway?)

          The State does not need to ‘borrow’ anything from ANYONE.

          IT PRINTS WHAT IT NEEDS.

          It can repay ANY debt it has in its own currency by just printing more ‘promises to pay’.

          The state collects back what it prints as taxes and that cancels most of what it ‘prints’.

          Corbyn would have spent a fraction of what has been spent this year and would have raised the poorest and enhanced public services – which would have pissed off all these global robber barons who like state created funds to go directly into THEIR pockets.

          Do try and take that on board before persisting with more mud from the old pit of lies about Money.

          • Goose

            Labour wanted to use increased taxation for day to day spending and issue bonds, using the money raised from that to buy back privatised infrastructure. Issuing bonds is a form of borrowing. Printing money would’ve seen inflation rip.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            @Goose,

            Gilt issuance is simply a convention. It’s not a necessity.

            And it’s being subverted anyway by QE, which allows the sleight of hand that the Treasury issues bonds on the primary market, and then gets the BoE to effectively buy them straight back at a premium on the secondary market.

            At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Andrew Bailey was even suggesting that the BoE stood prepared to buy Gilts directly from the Treasury on the primary market should it come to it, although to my knowledge this hasn’t yet occurred.

            Now that the UK has left the EU, it is at liberty also to use the mothballed Ways and Means Account, allowing the Government to directly lend itself currency via an overdraft at its own central bank; a procedure that was prohibited under EU legislation.

            Bond markets are nothing more than a favour to large financial institutions, allowing them to save safely at a yield several times higher than base rates; the govt as monopoly currency creator certainly doesn’t need to borrow from currency users!

            Interestingly, when Australia ran consecutive budget surpluses in the early 2000s, the financial instutions begged the Australian govt to issue treasury bonds – which they did, even though their was no budget deficit, purely to provide a safe haven for institutional AUD savings!

            If that doesn’t show govt bond markets up for what they really are in currency-sovereign nations, then I don’t know what does!

        • Fwl

          Yes Goose, but what are the real factors that create that confidence that allows one to print without turning into Zimbabwe or the Weimar Republic? To what extent is it dependent upon being part of a shared group think? On maintaining a military that acts in accordance with the group think? Or is it a question of economic tests and skilful balance of MMT dressed up in a semblance of old school explanations?

          To what extent could a newly independent Scotland rely on MMT?

          • Goose

            To what extent could a newly independent Scotland rely on MMT?

            It’d be unwise to rely on MMT to any great extent until Scotland is firmly established. MMT could work in the US, but wouldn’t necessarily in a small newly independent Scotland.
            The SNP’s best bet would be that of honesty: spending reductions; prioritising core public services and yes, some tax rises. The future may not look so hot remaining part of the UK in the next few years. Ultimately, whether folks want Scottish independence was more about a bet on the future; whether they believe in Scotland’s own ability to manage its own affairs,.. along with the emotional longing for independence obviously. It was never purely a financial decision about whether they’d be immediately better off.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            “The SNP’s best bet would be that of honesty: spending reductions; prioritising core public services and yes, some tax rises.”

            Wow, there’s a vote-winning manifesto!

            MMT says that Scotland, as an advanced economy will do just fine with its own currency, and employing a good understanding of MMT in order to maximise its productive capacity, and ensure full employment.

            Minimising it with spending cuts and tax increases would be a disaster from the start, if you want austerity and unemployment, then why bother leaving the UK, or issuing your own currency?

            Poverty is just as miserable when imposed by your own countryfolk, and denominated in your own money!

        • Dungroanin

          Goose,
          I asked you nicely to address the issue of Money creation and Public spending and you responded with an attack on Labour would have .., bollocks!

          Corbyn said in one the last election broadcasts that there was a Magic Money Tree and jokes it was in the Cayman Islands – so persisting with the lie that the government Taxes
          to Spend rather than the reverse is a lie you still utter.

          You are one of these who wants to get us wrestling in your masters mud pen with you.

          J’accuse!

          • Goose

            I don’t have any agenda.

            We’ve seen where that approach leads in countries who’ve tried that – soaring inflation. With prices rising rapidly the govt can’t really raise taxes so the ability to control is limited. If govts issue bonds (taking on liability) the bond market has to retain confidence in that govt’s fiscal competence. The international financial system is as it is, it might not be how you or I’d design it, but there it is.

            On Scotland, aren’t the SNP seeking EU membership? That’ll severely limit options. It’ll involve a commitment to joining the Euro under the ‘convergence criteria’. And post-pandemic ,meeting public debt to GDP obligations. The EU’s fiscal rules have been suspended due to the pandemic, but in normal times , EU countries must demonstrate ‘sound public finances’ and meet two criteria: their budget deficit must not exceed 3% of gross domestic product (GDP); public debt (government debt & that of public agencies) must not exceed 60% of GDP.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            Inflation is a risk when public spending exceeds the capacity of the real economy (labour, materials, energy, land, etc) to absorb that spending, resulting in overheating, and rising prices for goods and labour.

            What Weimar, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, etc all have in common is that in each case the problem arose from the catastrophic reduction in the productive capacities of their real economies (handing the Ruhr to France, productive farmland to incompetent cronies, sanctions preventing full production in the oil industry respectively). Combined with national debts denominated in a foreign currency, and an increase in domestic currency creation purely in order to exchange for the Goldmarks, US Dollars etc, to repay foreign and you have the recipe for hyperinflation.

            This will never happen in the UK as its so-called public debt (aka private sector savings) are denominated entirely in Sterling, and the BoE is the monopoly creator. The BoE controls the interest rate and can simply buy up every single Gilt should it wish to, and the markets can go hang (see Japan). Although there may be certain very specific short term COVID-related bottlenecks on the supply side, the real economy in the UK in is no way comparable to either post-WWl Germany, post-independence Zimbabwe, or US sanctions-suffering Venezuela, and it’s highly disingenuous to pretend that it is.

          • Fwl

            Mr S. thanks for your inflation post differentiating Uk from Zimbabwe and Weimar Republic in terms of those countries’ inflation being triggered by a decline in production. I shall give it some thought.

        • Dungroanin

          Goose – you DO have an agenda.
          Sitting here like little Jack Horner .

          Your agenda is to preserve the fairy tale and restore the status quo – just like propaganda such as Downton Abbey and the Queen series does.
          Just as the Groaniad is doing by a barrow load. E.g yesterday :

          economic and financial news
          * Introduction: UK borrowed £22.3bn last month, an October record
          * UK borrowed £215bn since April – a record
          * National debt now 100.8% of GDP, not seen since the early 1960s
          * Rishi Sunak to put squeeze on public sector salaries

          You see Goose you are either parroting fake knowledge because you can’t think for yourself and can’t believe you have been suckered (as Twain observed)

          Or. you are being deliberately disingenuous as many a troll here and at other troll sites secretly funded and run by You Know Who are

          So I’ll leave you with a simple tweet from the Great Prof Murphy and leave you and other readers and indeed Mr Murray to whom I directed the o/p regarding his misspokeness on the issue.

          Richard Murphy
          @RichardJMurphy
          A Q&A on the national debt. Who are we borrowing from? On what terms? When is repayment due? Is this sustainable? The answers are, the government borrows from itself via the Bank of England. This is effectively costless. This never need be repaid. And it’s completely sustainable.
          2:54 pm · 20 Nov 2020·

    • np

      Christine Lagarde, head of the European Central Bank, made the same point today when asked whether the ECB might run out of money.

      The Bank of England, which is the banking arm of the UK government, is in the same position as the ECB – it cannot run out of pounds or go bankrupt and any losses it might ever suffer (in pounds) are purely academic.

      p.s. The “confidence of the international lending markets” is hooey. The UK government doesn’t need to borrow pounds from anyone, at home or abroad, since it is the monopoly issuer of pounds.

      FRANKFURT, Nov 19 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank could “neither go bankrupt nor run out of money” even if it were to suffer losses on the multi-trillion-euro pile of bonds it has bought under its stimulus programmes, ECB President Christine Lagarde said on Thursday.

      “As the sole issuer of euro-denominated central bank money, the Eurosystem will always be able to generate additional liquidity as needed,” Lagarde said in response to a question by an Italian member of the European Parliament.

      “So, by the definition, it will neither go bankrupt nor run out of money. In addition to that, any financial losses, should they occur, would not impair our ability to seek and maintain price stability.

      • Dungroanin

        Indeed, sorry didn’t read your post before saying much the same in reply to Goose above.

        This is the most important issue of education and wisdom that our kids and grandkids need to learn, to get away from the concussion thinking of Maggies handbagging – used to sell off the family silver in the fake cause of ‘reducing debt’.

        A lie I learnt long ago and believed through a business career until having a few years to track it down through the lies of the owned and controlled state, politician, media and the academia who poison the minds from childhood to university and adulthood, who go on to tell the fairytale to their kids and grandkids!

      • Fwl

        Whilst it is correct that a country who borrows on international markets ought to ensure it only borrows in a currency it can print it is not necessarily correct that the ECB could print its way out of any indebtedness because many German politicians would not stand for it.

        Many years ago the WSJ asked what would happen and the US Dollar no longer had the envious protection of being the world currency which all turned to and were happy to lend to buying up more and more Treasury debt and the answer was that when that day came one would inflate one’s way out i.e. make the big debt little. Of course that might create both a domestic crisis of confidence and an international as creditors complain at receiving worthless paper. So one might need a military at such times – when the bailiff comes and you try paying him off with bog roll you need a stick.

        What is extra confusing is that everyone had got a MMT now. How can that be? They lend us fake money and we pay back fake money – no one cares?

        • Dungroanin

          Fwl

          “ it is not necessarily correct that the ECB could print its way out of any indebtedness because many German politicians would not stand for it.”

          With great respect that is hillocks.
          German politicians may object.
          But they DON’T have the final say.

          Are you deliberately missing the fact that the EU council DID create hundreds of Billions of Euros at that long weekend just a few months ago? Which has greatly benefitted the southern Europeans and newer poorer members.
          They did exactly what you are saying is not possible.
          They did exactly what BrexShit heads said was not ‘allowed’ by the EU.

          Why the fake narrative?

          • fwl

            Thank you for your response. Whilst those German politicians who object might not necessarily dictate German policy having read Yaris Varufakis’ Adults in the Room it’s clear who at the end of the day calls the shots. Yes there are voices of dissent and there is always the French dynamique but at the end of the day when it comes to money….

        • Dungroanin

          Variufakis is a bankers mole snake in the grass who has mostly worked against the successful ever closer Union and was seen as the wrecker he was quite early – that’s why he was flung out by Tsipsiras.

          Greece hasn’t collapsed even as the almost monthly crises screeching Cassandra voices such as Yannis were demanding.

          He is a has been and a bankers moll too! The Global bankers.
          The BrexShit bankers. The warmonger Bankers.

          You need a better book and a honest mentor.

      • Wikikettle

        np. I found Richard Werner’s Princes of the Yen book (and documentary on YouTube) a good history of post war Japan industrial growth and the positive of its ministry of finance directing banks to help industry and then the negative role of the central bank which then changed course to finance a property boom leading to bust and millions unemployed. The film then goes on to explain the role of so called independent central banks that subvert parliaments, unregulated or audited nor accountable. See European Central Bank and what it did to the southern European countries debt and unemployment levels. I doubt Scotland would be safe or more sovereign in the control of the ECB.

      • Wally Jumblatt

        -it isn’t the confidence of the international lending markets, but the international currency markets that matters.
        If nobody wants your over-printed currency, then the price of every foreign thing you buy, goes up.
        Of course, that’s in theory and manipulation and cheating is never far away when you are talking about finance.
        Everybody knows that the dollar has been over-printed like crazy since 1970, and the European Central Bank can’t help themselves nowadays either, yet both currencies are holding their value -probably because the gold markets are being fictionalised as ever.

        The interesting thing for me is that as soon as Governments realise that they don’t need to sell debt to the bankers and can miss them out completely and just print unlimited, Wall St is finished. (Mind you they are the original money-printers).

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          @WallyJ,

          There are three things that happen in a developed economy all of which mitigate against currency depreciation.

          The first is import substitution- if imports are too expensive, then it becomes profitable for domestic companies to produce similar goods.

          The second is that UK exports become more competitive, leading to their increase.

          The third is that Foreign Direct Investment becomes cheaper, and as a response to the two previous points, will likely increase.

          These involve large currency movements, all of which act as a limit to how much Sterling would decline, and indeed would tend to increase its strength in due course.

          Foreign exporters like to preserve market share, so could even reduce prices in order not to lose it to domestic manufacturers.

          Don’t forget, many other economies are also increasing their public spending at the same time, so if everyone’s at it, then FX markets will reflect that reality.

          As an aside, it’s hard to recall that as recently as early 2016, economists were moaning that, at €1.42, the Pound was overvalued and hurting UK exporters! Some people are never happy.

    • Dungroanin

      Just to confirm the media propaganda pushing the fake narrative- right on cue here is the current Groaniad live articles and headlines:

      economic and financial news
      * Introduction: UK borrowed £22.3bn last month, an October record
      * UK borrowed £215bn since April – a record
      * National debt now 100.8% of GDP, not seen since the early 1960s
      * Rishi Sunak to put squeeze on public sector salaries

      BOLLOCKS UPON BOLLOCKS – they are in panic stations as the curtains have finally begun to fall and the puppet masters behind revealed!
      😆😆😂

      • Mr Shigemitsu

        It’s hilarious, isn’t it?

        The Government has clearly spent the money it has spent. It hasn’t “borrowed it” from anyone. The extra currency it has spent into existence for COVID-related measures is exactly matched by the amount (£250bn and counting..) that the BoE has created via QE, and swapped for previously held Gilts. So, yes, the government’s left hand (the Treasury) now “owes” its right hand (the BoE) an extra £250bn. That’s not exactly “government borrowing” in any known sense of the word, and neither does it require swingeing cuts to public spending, nor any tax increases whatsoever, in order to “pay it back”

        “Pay it back” to whom??? There’s no one to pay it back to!

      • Franc

        I don’t follow / understand any of this, but like a complicated plot in a movie, it helps to know who the bad guy is. Who exactly are the ” puppet masters “?

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          @Franc,

          The “puppet masters” are a conglomeration of banks, employers, right wing think tanks, Tory politicians, and their willing lackeys in the media, in whose interest it is to preserve the lie that money is scarce, in order to increase indebtedness, maintain a steady pool of unemployment, and keep down wages for a humbled and desperate population.

          Foolishly ignorant Labour, LibDem, and SNP politicians who also promulgate Thatcher’s lie about govt having no money of it’s own, only what it can raise in taxes and borrowing, are not helping anyone either, and doing the “puppeteers’” work for them.

      • Dungroanin

        Thank you for weighing in. Mr S
        I learn more daily about the Great Money Lie.

        I am sharing Prof Murphy’s short videos on the subjects raised to as many as possible.

        Only through the self realisation of such knowledge can we escape the Iocked minds we have allowed ourselves to have and pass onto our grandkids like so much poisonous ugly wisdom. – we have come a long way against misogyny and xenophobia (further to go for sure) but against this religion of Money – it’s a long way before we nail the truths on their hallowed doors.

        Best wishes.

  • Republicofscotland

    So according to STV news the IFS, has dug deep into Johnson’s spending figures for the MoD of £16.5 million pounds, and reading between the lines the IFS has found that the actually spending figure is closer to £7 billion pounds over four years and not the £16.5 billion pounds as promised by Johnson.

    Am I surprised at this deception by Johnson and his cabinet, not in the slightest, on the funding of the project its unclear where the cash will come from.

    • Royd

      ‘Am I surprised at this deception by Johnson and his cabinet, not in the slightest, on the funding of the project its unclear where the cash will come from.’

      It’ll come from the BoE RoS.

    • Ken Kenn

      Well from the mouth of aproven liar we also have forty new hospitals to look forward to and ‘ levelling up’

      So – it’s not all doom and gloom.

      Kier Stumer has bitten off more than he can chew here grovelling to the base patriotism of a jingoistic MSM and the various Foreign Office Lobyists.

      The biggest crime Corbyn committed in patriots ( and a lot of Labour party PLP Gravytrainers ) was not o go along with the norm of Assisting fellow Imperialists in the invasion and pillaging of those countries which couldn’t defend themselves.

      They all did a G W Bush- you are either with us or ag’in us and as Brexit as a backdrop for all the patriotic nonsense the voters thought Corbyn was ag’in and gave their gravediggers not a shovel but a JCB to bury them with.

      The thing about Iran/China and Russia is that they can defend themselves very well so despite the sabre rattling rhetoric I don’t think we’ll see boots on the ground in those areas – instead they will let Israel stri the pot more and attempt many Guido’s in various small countries under the guise of installing democracy whether the people want it or not.

      The US doesn’t do irony remember and the MSM either lacks a memory or worse it knows but says nothing.

      Hence the non outrage from them re: Julian Assanges wrongful imprisonment.

      Anyway – a few pointers for Labour Party constituency members:

      I suggest they start de- selecting their crap MPs right now.

      As Sirkier says – there iss four years to the next election ( are you sure Kier?) so that will give sitting MPs a chance to polish up their political acts won’t it?

      Corbyn’s lawyers have already started some exploratory legal action.

      If Corbyn is not given the whip back he should stand down and re-stand as an Independent.

      Which he will win hands down.

      Time for the membership and the Constituency Corby admires to get their act together also.

      As Bugs Bunny used to say to Yosamite Sam:

      ‘Of course you know – dis means War ‘

      It’s now or never and should have been done a long time ago – deselect the MPs now.

      If they appear hurt and whinging on JO Cos Show or Newsnight your job is already done.

    • jake

      ROS,
      I’m quite sure a good bit of the £16billion is “compensation” to Lockheed Martin, Serco and Jacobs Engineering who are cashing in their interest in AWE.

  • Ian

    I posted something earlier which was taken down.

    [ Mod: Was it? I don’t think so. There’s no record of a deleted or suspended comment from you in the logs. Might you perhaps be referring to this comment, which was posted on a different thread but was never deleted or suspended? ]

    Nothing particularly controversial, but all I will say is look at the timing of this announcement, as well as the misleading ‘green’ project. The National Audit Office report was also published yesterday. What a busy day for conflicting announcements. Quite a coincidence.

    • Ian

      Doh! You have me bang to rights. Sorry about that. I was sure it was in this thread.

      Simon Jenkins makes some very good points about this latest PR exercise from the drunken sailor, particularly about the ludicrous braggadocio of commissioning hugely expensive weapons which have no relevance or effective use in modern conflict, but are based on wars fought last century – tanks, missiles and naval vessels. I remember talking to a very erudite Navy captain some years ago who explained to me that the Navy has very little to do, other than endlessly patrolling and fighting mock battles. He was confident that there would never be a naval battle such as there had been in the past. It is all glorified posturing, vote-grabbing and a desperate effort to impress the US. How typical the overgrown schoolboy was prattling on about comic book fantasies of hi tech warfare. When we are being impoverished daily by his crony sleaze and incompetence.

  • doug scorgie

    After Corbyn, UK Labour elects Keir Starmer, Zionist with Jewish wife, as leader
    New opposition chief immediately apologizes to Jews for anti-Semitism in ranks, vows to ‘tear out this poison’; his wife comes from a Jewish family, has relatives in Tel Aviv.

    Starmer is a member of Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East, a parliamentary group that promotes support for the Palestinians and campaigns for “peace and justice in the Middle East through the implementation of international law and respect for human rights.”
    Still, it was particularly his personal ties to Judaism that brought Starmer under criticism by some for failing to do enough against anti-Semitism while serving in Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet. Some even accused him of seeking to hide his connection to Judaism while the issue was contentious within Labour.
    Starmer drew criticism in 2017 when he invited a controversial anti-Israel charity to speak to the House of Commons. The Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association has praised Palestinian suicide bombers who targeted Israeli civilians during the Second Intifada.
    The Daily Mail on Saturday published comments reportedly made by the late London Rabbi Dr. David Goldberg, who died last year of cancer. A friend of Goldberg said the rabbi had told him he was “very disappointed with Keir Starmer.
    “Particularly as his wife and children are members of my synagogue. It’s their community which is under threat and yet he’s done so little. It’s pathetic,” Goldberg’s friend quoted him as saying.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/keir-starmer-elected-uk-labour-chief-apologizes-to-jews-for-party-anti-semitism/
    ————————————————————————–
    So it seems Starmer has been well and truly captured and turned by the powerful Zionist lobby.

  • M.J.

    Whether it’s wasted money or not, Boris will stay and do such prestige projects till the voters are convinced to vote him out. That may take shortages of fresh vegetables, fruit and other goods because of Brexit. So it may begin to happen about the time that Biden takes office and tells Boris ‘nothing doing’ to any deal, thanks to his tendency to break international treaties at his convenience, and Brexit then bites. Well, at least I might lose a bit of weight. That’s something!

  • Crispa

    I can’t help but think this announcement is not militarism in action but pre-Brexit cut away propaganda alongside the contradictory Green pledges of yesterday – designed to con the people into thinking Britain can go it alone. It also softens the way for future announcements on how the country will be paying for the government’s mishandling of the pandemic.

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