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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Bush and Blair "Shoulder to shoulder" has acheived nothing.

 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/taliban-could-soon-be-coming-in-from-the-cold-8680013.html



Taliban could soon be coming in from the cold









12 years on, over 400 British service personnel (and thousands of civilians together with other NATO troops) killed with thousands more severely injured, and nothing has been achieved. Blair and Bush "standing shoulder to shoulder" has extracted a very high cost.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

When it comes to austerity, there are no differences between them.






 There is no choice between the parties. They both seek to retain the "status quo".


Chancellor George Osborne



 
This country is lost in a quagmire of right centre politics, dominated by the Conservative and Labour parties preaching much the same policies as each other, but with marginally different emphases. The Liberal democrats are in the same dreamland, but flit around trying to find an opportunistic perch, upon which to alight and barter their few seats in the house of Commons in exchange for a few cabinet posts should either of the other parties fail to achieve an overall majority under our present antiquated and blatantly unfair voting system.
All the while, the people of this nation remain locked into a situation where they have little control of their everyday environment and even less prospect of bringing about any real change in the foreseeable future. On Wednesday of this week, (26th June 2013) the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, announced this governments latest round of cuts and austerity, wrapped up in the Government Spending Review enthusiastically encouraged and endorsed on the ConDem coalition benches. The sight of Iain Duncan-Smith and Jeremy Hunt grinning and laughing during Osborne's speech and Michael Gove being patted on the shoulder as if he had brought about some earth shattering advancement of human achievement, was nauseous. There can be no cause for levity when announcements are being made which will ensure that living standards will be cut even further for those least able to protect themselves against the consequences.


The Opposition?

  
Those waiting for some sort of spirited response or challenge from the opposition benches, defending working people, the disabled, the unemployed or benefit claimants generally, were sadly disappointed. The Labour party, through Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, could only trot out the usual cliché’s of “the government has failed” or “the Chancellor offering more of the same” or “no support for families” etc etc. The crowning insult, is that Labour have already conceded their intention to keep the government spending plans for 2015 and after, and will not reverse the cuts in welfare and other austerity measures already announced by the Tories. In other words, Labour will continue with the austerity programme, but with a few minor and insignificant tweaks, should they win the next election.
This emphatically demonstrates that there is no discernible difference between the mainstream political parties and their plans to impose years of cuts, falling living standards and hardship on a growing number of people in this country. There is no doubt that if austerity has not come knocking on your door yet, it will soon do so, forcing you to acknowledge the reality of the social and economic reality of present day living. The political grouping of Labour, Tory, Libdems and a few other's, welded together in the centre ground would have us believe that there is no alternative to continued austerity, regardless of how such measures are packaged or which party completes the packaging.
This is a fallacious proposition seeking only to ensure that the “status quo” of alternating periods of government between Labour and Conservative is maintained. In this deceit, the parties are aided and abetted by elements of the media and press, patronising the public with their bias for one side or other, and their often not very well hidden agenda's for greater press “freedoms”.
There is an alternative to never ending austerity. There is an alternative to the centre right morass of political opportunism and self interests. The alternative is not UKIP, who may soon become part of the problem. The realignment of the left of the political spectrum is taking place now and will soon become the rallying point for the peoples of the United Kingdom.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The reality of Cameron's "Big Society".

http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/blog/call-out-stuff-the-banks-saturday-20th-july




Food banks now a lifeline for half a million people in Britain






 
Foodbanks are not the "Big Society" in action. They are a product of decades of government negligence and are an indictment of the rest of society for allowing it to happen. It is to our collective eternal shame that Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, Milliband, Brown and the rest of the self serving hypocrites of the House of commons remain with their noses in the trough of expenses, food allowances, subsidised alcohol and other perks while 500,000 people in this country queue for foodbank charity.

The terminal decline of tourism to Jersey ?

http://www.channelonline.tv/channelonline_jerseynews/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=505848


Calls for Jersey to invest more in tourism



Jersey Tourist Map




The problem is that Jersey is pricing itself out of the tourism market.

The reasons for this situation are complex and varied.The cost of getting to the Island, by sea or air, is expensive and then the prices of the traditional tourist attractions (those that are still left that is), make a day out for Mum Dad and two children rather prohibitive. It has been said that air travel to Jersey is cheaper than Malaga or Ibiza for a family of Mum Dad and two children. That may well be the case but when the complete cost, including car hire and accommodation is considered, the all up cost of a holiday in jersey is considerably more expensive. The same family, coming by sea with their own car, would pay £595 just for the travel cost. On arrival, the family would quickly become aware that prices are higher than they expected. The days of duty and tax free goods, spirits and cigarettes are a distant memory, with a bottle of wine being around the same price on the Island as it is in our local Morrisons supermarket, and I remember not too long ago, paying more for a litre of petrol on La Route des Quennevais than at Tesco in Dorchester. The imposition of GST (Goods and Services Tax) has not helped the problem. The costs of tourist accommodation, is another factor contributing to a decline in visitor numbers, with restaurant and food prices generally noticeably higher each time we visit.For an island of just 45 square miles to have so little in the way of "tourist attractions" available for the family visitors (particularly when it rains!) and to have what is available priced at almost prohibitive levels, (Jersey War Tunnels £36.80 and £47.00 for Durrell) almost suggests that encouraging tourism is not considered as a priority, either in the States or in the High Street.We have friends in Jersey, and so will continue to visit the island regardless of the decline of the "attractions", but I fear that unless there is a significant shift in the attitudes of those responsible for such matters, the number of visitors to Jersey will remain on the downward spiral.


 The cost of transport to the islands, seems to be a recurring theme amongst the posters to this channelonline.tv Jersey News article. We invariably take our own car to Jersey as the cost of flights from the mainland and airport car parking, added to the cost of car hire on the island, is cumulatively considerably  more expensive than sea travel and bringing our own vehicle is certainly more convenient. 
 


However, our experience of Condor Ferries, particularly over the past number of years, has led to the view that the Channel Islands would benefit from an alternative operator for sea travel to the mainland. Condor ferries are expensive which probably results from being the only ferry company operating from the United Kingdom. Moreover, the ships are generally grubby, the reclining seats  are mostly broken and remain un repaired, and Club Class travel now only provides complimentary coffee and a muffin, which has usually seen better days. In all, a not very welcoming start to a holiday in Jersey, particularly for the first time visitor.
Another contributor to these comments, (gerald st.lawrence), hinted at the States providing a subsidised alternative ferry service as some sort of "lost leader", which could force Condor into improving their ships, reducing their charges or even both. Perhaps a solution along these lines would be attractive (particularly if the ships were conventional Ro-ro ferries, but that is a personal preference) to more potential visitors. (The question of the "lost" beds in the hotel/guest house industry is another matter for consideration.)
It seems to me that Jersey Tourism and the States are facing a marked choice. Either commit to reversing the trend of the last few decades and restore the island to a holiday destination attractive to visitors, or to accept that tourism is no longer a part of the Jersey economy and stop fiddling with the peripheries with a sham show of giving the kiss of life to its corpse.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Americans are embarrassed, frustrated and very angry.

 
 

Whistleblower Edward Snowden Asks Ecuador For Asylum

Edward Snowden

 
The American administration is embarrassed, frustrated and very angry in the wake of the revelations by Edward Snowden, regarding two highly classified NSA surveillance programs, and his subsequent avoidance of extradition from Hong Kong.
The reaction to these events over the past few days, has been verging on the hysterical, with Senator Dianne Feinstein, Secretary of State John KerryWhite House spokesman Jay Carney and others appearing on our television screens and being quoted in the media, threatening all sorts of dire consequences for any country through which Snowden may have travelled on his way to political asylum.         



 


The Americans seem to have no idea where he is, where he was or even where he is going. Consequently, they behave like spoilt brats in the school playground, threatening everyone and stamping their feet because they are unable to get their own way.
It never ceases to amaze me that the Americans have this rather naive view that they are somehow the centre of the universe and are entitled to instruct the rest of the world on how to behave and what to do. Events over recent days may have dented their over inflated ego.
Incidentally, if this post has upset the readers at GCHQ or NSA or any other “security” organisations, I do not really give a toss.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

When it comes to hypocrisy, the Friends of Syria Group have few equals.

 http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/06/2013622144844127498.html


 Friends of Syria pledge to arm rebels

 

Friends of Syria meeting in Qatar


The Friends of Syria group (which includes the United States, United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar etc etc) agree to give "urgent military support" to Syrian rebels (who, under different circumstances, they would usually describe as terrorists) and at the same time they demand an immediate withdrawal of from Syria of "Hezbollah militias and fighters from Iran and Iraq". This is crass hypocrisy of the first order from western powers seeking long term advantage and favours from despotic Middle Eastern regimes who are not even wanted in their own countries where they rely on western weapons to retain their position. This is a bloody and awful civil war in Syria. The "Friends of Syria group" are making a bad situation even worse, the United States, Britain and France are pouring fuel on the fires and we should have no part in it.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Is there something wrong with our sentancing?




 Jeremy Forrest has been sentenced to five-and-a-half-years


 


















Huffington Post have closed comments for this and all other articles associated with this story.
Now why could this be ? 

It is interesting to compare the 15month sentence for Hall, who committed offences against at least 14 girls, of whom at least one was only 9, with Forrest who committed offences against one girl who was almost 16 at the time and still seems to be in some sort of relationship with him.

No Ed. You are wrong.

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jun/21/labour-radical-change-austerity-ed-miliband


Labour can achieve radical change amid austerity, says Ed Miliband

Ed Milliband

 

 

Almost with every passing day, Milliband confirms that the Labour Party of today, is a party almost indistinguishable from the other political parties of mainstream politics in the United Kingdom. His comparison with 1945 demonstrates that his knowledge of history is severely limited or at best patently selective. The Labour Government of 1945 did indeed achieve radical social change in this country in a time of austerity, but such change was brought about by a complete programme of reform social, economic and political which totally transformed society and reversed the imbalances between working people and their employers which had plagued Britain for generations.


Clement Attlee



 
Today, Milliband accepts the coalition spending plans, offers no plans to reverse the destruction and privatisation of the NHS which has been taking place over many years and now accelerates at an alarming rate, offers no relief or reversal of the pernicious policies of Iain Duncan-Smith and remains silent on the anti trade union legislation of Thatcher and since, which has castrated the trade union movement and returned working people to the position which in many cases is similar to that of the 1930's. The sop of the minimum wage reforms, bears little comfort to anyone standing in a foodbank queue reflecting on how politicians of all political parties have allowed the fabric of society to be dismantled and be replaced by corporate greed and the distortions of the "market" system. Milliband should be planning on how to return to public ownership, those industries which are too important for society to be left in private (and often foreign) hands, where the motivation of profit is of infinitely greater importance than that of public service. Industries where planning can only be efficient under one body, should be the norm, rather than be left to numerous competing factions each with their own separate motivations and objectives. Gas, water, electricity sewage, road and rail transport, postal and telecommunications services and more, are prime examples of industries where privatisation has, contrary to assurances given at the time, driven prices up and services down despite huge injections of taxpayers money year on year since being privatised.  Labour, must be made aware that taking only one aspect of the economy for focus and ignoring the complete socioeconomic picture,  again calls into question their motivations and agenda for the country and its people.  



Clement Attlee (centre, front row) and his post-war administration faced the challenge of rebuilding Britain.
1945 Labour government.

 
Milliband is no Clem Attlee and is impertinent in claiming some comparison between his shadow cabinet and the 1945 Labour Government. From his actions and words to date, Milliband seems more intent on maintaining the status quo rather than embarking on a programme of radical reform. It is deceitful of him to claim otherwise.


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

What has been achieved during the past 12 years ?

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/18/taliban-us-peace-talks_n_3459741.html?utm_hp_ref=uk


Taliban And US Officials To Meet In Doha For Afghanistan Peace Talks





Taliban spokesman in Qatar
The opening of the Taliban Political Office, in Doha,


 
 What has actually been achieved during the 12 years since the United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 ? The answer of course is not very much. The Americans, (forget the ISAF and NATO labels, this was always an American escapade), have learned what numerous other countries have learned throughout history, that no foreign invasion has ever had a successful outcome (from the invaders viewpoint) in Afghanistan. Regardless of the announcements by Bush, and others over the years, to the effect that victory was imminent or had actually been achieved,the fighting and the killings, and the suicide bombers and the IED's continue on a daily basis.Even on the day that these "talks" were announced, 4 American soldiers were killed during an attack on Bagram airbase and a  spokesman at the new Taliban office in Doha has told Al-Jazeera that attacks on US targets will continue.



Barack Obama & David Cameron at the G8 Summit.
Obama &  Cameron at the G8 Summit
 
The empty rhetoric of the United States, echoed by Cameron, heralding the "Peace talks" masks the reality of the situation. The puppet Afghan government and the Americans with their allies, are not in any position to "demand" anything or to impose preconditions. For Cameron to draw parallels between  the position in Afghanistan and the peace process in Northern Ireland is fallacious in the extreme. There can be no comparison between the two.  In the 12 years since the  invasion and subsequent occupation there have been more than 400 British service personnel killed, with many more maimed, thousands of other servicemen and women from the countries making up the NATO forces have been killed or wounded and countless thousands of Afghan civilians, men women and children, have died in attacks and counter attacks by one side or the other.
At the conclusion of the Doha talks, the resulting position will show little difference to that which existed in 2001. We should recognise that the talks are little more than an  exercise to allow the West to withdraw its forces while saving as much face as possible.
The real cost of this adventure into Afghanistan has been very high with little if any result.Bush and Blair should reflect on this when writing their versions of history in their memoirs.



Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Stuart Hall Jailed For 15 Months



http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/17/stuart-hall-sentence-unduly-lenient_n_3454685.html?utm_hp_ref=uk


Paedophiles Like Hall Do Not Deserve Lenience


Stuart Hall

 
Stuart Hall receives a sentence of only 15 months which in effect means that he could be released in 6 months or even, under certain circumstances, four. The sentence it seems took into account the fact that he pleaded guilty. It has also emerged that, presumably, as part of "the deal", a more serious charge of rape was dropped. It has further been suggested that the 14 counts on which Hall was convicted was only part of a significantly higher number of charges which were not brought. 
The sentence was indeed very lenient.
 
Sky News Presenter Anna Botting



A more disturbing observation and comment came on last nights (17th June) Sky News programme during the paper review at 10:30pm. Anna Botting actually said that the offences committed by Hall came at the "lower end" of the list of sexual offences and for this reason, coupled with the fact that Hall is 83 years old, the sentence was "reasonable". It seems that Botting believes that there is some sort of rating system for sex crimes in order of seriousness, and that advancing years of the offender should be a factor in consideration of sentence to be handed down. The fact that one of Hall's victims was however,was only nine at the time of the assault has no standing in Botting's judgement.
Hall should have been given 15 years rather than 15 months.

Cameron's ultimatum to Putin?

 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cameron-tells-russia-join-the-club-or-face-isolation-on-syria-8662591.html


Cameron tells Russia: join the club or face isolation on Syria




David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin




Cameron's delusional sense of his own importance and power, should be of concern to us all. Isolated apart perhaps from Hague, on the qustion of providing arms to the Syrian rebels Cameron now threatens the Russians to "join the club" or else.
Cameron does not see the irony (or the hypocrisy) of criticising Russia for providing arms and equipment under legal contracts going back over many years, to a legitimate government of another nation (America supplying arms and equipment to Israel is conveniently ignored), and the insanely irresponsible act of providing such materiel to one or other of the rebel, or more accurately terrorist, factions of the FSA.
We also should not loose sight of the fact that the G8 is essentially no more than a talking shop which rarely, if ever, produces anything of any value to the nations of the world and contributes little to resolve any of the conflicts around the globe. 

The PA protecting Israeli settlements.


     





            

 http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/israel-builds-settlements-pa-guards-them-by-khalid-amayreh/




Israel builds settlements, PA guards them.


 
PLO official Nabil Shaath threw a bombshell this week when he told Israeli reporters in Ramallah that the Palestinian Authority (PA) spends a large portion of its meager budget on guarding Israeli colonies against possible attacks by Palestinian resistance fighters.



 
Why on earth should the PA spend even one penny on guarding illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine? The "settlers" destroy irrigation systems and other infrastructure, they uproot crops and olive groves, they attack Palestinians in their own homes and they burn villages, all the while protected by the occupying thugs of the Israeli defence Force.














http://pages.ucsd.edu/~gfields/PalestinePhotos/TawfiqHasanSalimJayous.jpg

http://pages.ucsd.edu/~gfields/PalestinePhotos/uprootingtreesjabara.2.jpg 









 
Their whole campaign of violence and terror is designed to force the Palestinians off their lands and to absorb even more of Palestine into "Greater Israel".
The PA is is doing no service to Palestine with this misguided betrayal of the Palestinian people. 
Fatah spokespersons said PLO official Nabil Shaath was trying to tell the Israeli public that the PA was doing all it could to keep the peace and honor signed agreements with Israel.A futile gesture in the face of Israeli barbarism.







Monday, 17 June 2013

Labour loosing more members.

http://thebackbencher.co.uk/why-im-leaving-labour/

 The terminal decline of a once great party. 

 

 

Clause IV of the Labour Party Constitution: 

To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.

(deleted by Blair in 1995)




David+Cameron+Queen+Elizabeth+II+Receives+fyel2IXH9xfl
They are all the same now


 
I left Labour many years ago when Blair, Mandelson, Campbell and Brown "reformed" the party and created a centre ground "one size fits all" political grouping indistinguishable from Tory or LibDem and exchanged principle for populist expediency. Thatcher created a nation where "there is no such thing as society", greed and selfishness are good, hypocrisy is an acceptable characteristic and where the unemployed, the sick and disabled are second class citizens excluded from the mainstream. Blair, and the other "leaders" since have accepted these grotesque distortions and have done essentially nothing to redress the imbalances except for some tinkering at the margins. The anti trade union legislation remains on the statute books and has effectively castrated the TUC and affiliated unions to the extent where working people have no real representation in the workplace. There has been nothing about  the current Labour leadership or  the actions of the shadow ministers to suggest to me that anything has changed. All the current ConDem coalition legislation attacking working people, pensioners, disabled, unemployed etc, seem set to remain in place should a Labour government emerge from the next election. we have even seen Liam Byrne Labour's opposite number to Ian Duncan Smith  instructing Labour MP's to abstain in the recent vote in Parliament by the Government pushing through legislation to allow the compulsion of unemployed people to work for nothing. This is not the Labour party which I campaigned for and represented in political and union office for some years and I shall have no part of it now..

Blair encourages intervention in Syria.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syrian-civil-war-tony-blair-calls-for-intervention-after-use-of-chemical-weapons-by-president-bashar-alassad-and-hezbollah-involvement-8660114.html 


Syrian civil war: Tony Blair calls for intervention.


 

Tony Blair: The West must intervene in Syria



If this lying hypocrite is advocating intervention, then all the more reason not to become involved. The warmonger Blair is responsible for enough death and destruction around the Middle East already and his credentials as a "peace envoy" are not worth the paper they are printed on. This mouth piece for the American government should concentrate on making even more money from his nefarious activities from the past and keep his interventionist opinions to himself.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The preparations for intervention gather pace.


 http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/15/syria_8_n_3446909.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

 David Cameron Says UK Will Work With Syria Rebels, Despite 'Deeply Unsavoury' Elements.






  
David Cameron says that there are "deeply unsavoury elements within the anti-Assad forces", and yet blunders on with his and Hague's compulsion to provide weapons and aid to the "rebels". British and American troops are now in Jordan "close" to the Syrian border and "special advisers" are already inside Syria providing assistance to one or more of the numerous factions of the FSA. Despite the rhetoric to the contrary, a no fly zone or zones will be imposed sooner rather than later, with all the inherent perils of escalation.  

David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague
 
The western powers, namely the United States and Great Britain, are gearing up for a full scale intervention in Syria and are preparing their respective peoples to accept the inevitability of another middle eastern military conflict in the name of "peace and democracy", with "using chemical weapons against his own people" as a shabby and discredited excuse. This is hypocrisy of the first order. I have argued on previous occasions that we, the United Kingdom, should have no part in the impending folly of intervention. Cameron has undertaken to provide Parliament with an opportunity for a debate, and presumably a vote, on the whole question of United Kingdom involvement in the Syrian civil war. The last time that such a debate took place, just prior to the invasion of Iraq, the Commons were fed a concoction of lies, distortions and exaggerations by the then government in order for Britain to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with America in its middle east ambitions. Our MP's must take care not to be deceived again.

Friday, 14 June 2013

The start of another intervention.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/13/syria-chemical-weapons-assad_n_3437640.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

Obama Authorizes Sending Weapons To Syrian Rebels

 

 




 "Uncle Sam" paving the way for yet another intervention in a Middle East country. First, a "No fly zone" around the Lebanon,Israel borders extending into Syria and another around the Turkish Syrian border under the guise of "NATO". This lunacy, enthusiastically endorsed by the UK and France, would provide the environment for the un interrupted arming of one or more of the splintered factions of the "rebels" opposed to the Syrian government. It would then not be too long before covert western "special advisers" could be supplemented with regular troops.




Barak Obama
William Hague with John Kerry













We seem to learn nothing from history. The ambiguous "War on terror" in Afghanistan and the futile search for "WMD" in Iraq are but two examples of how the foreign policy of the United States, blindly followed by Blair and now Hague and Cameron, has resulted in disastrous consequences for both the peoples of those lands and the military personnel sent to fight there.The motivations for intervention in Syria may differ from those which drove the previous debacles, but the effects could be even more calamitous.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The US and the UK making a bad situation even worse.




 http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/12/hague-kerry-syria-talks_n_3430433.html?utm_hp_ref=uk#comments


William Hague Says World Must 'Do More' For Syria After Talks With John Kerry



William Hague John Kerry
Hague and Kerry



It seems that most Syrians support the Government. I spent some time in Syria back in the 1980's and I had the distinct impression that the same was true then. Hafez al-Assad was ruthless, but was generally supported by the people. Bashar al-Assad is not the man his father was, but seems to enjoy more support than the western leaders and the media are prepared to acknowledge.

Bashar al-Assad



Hafez al-Assad







               













The Syrian civil war is a tragedy and we should have no part of it. The enthusiasm of the United states, Great Britain and France to become involved demonstrates the cynical and hypocritical attitude of the west towards the countries of the Middle east.
In "New Agenda", following a speech by John Kerry, I wrote on June 1st that,
"Again, it seems that Israel and its dominant position in the region is the key and guiding factor and is infinitely more important to the west, than the lives of Syrian civilians being killed every day and the atrocities that are always part of any civil war."
Hague and Kerry "doing more" would only make a bad situation infinitely worse.

Promise mountains but deliver molehills.

http://www.independent.co.uk/money/tax/hopes-of-g8-tax-avoidance-breakthrough-fading-fast-8656295.html 

Hopes of G8 tax avoidance breakthrough fading fast 

 

 

G8 protester


 The G8 is a forum for the governments of the world's eight wealthiest countries. Do we really expect this group of self serving politicians and their associated entourages to do anything meaningful ? They have a history of much talk and little action other than attending banquets and congratulating themselves on how important they are. The G8 and the associated spin offs, promise mountains but deliver molehills

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Centenary of the First World War next year.


http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/its-time-to-commemorate-the-first-world-war-but-dont-lets-be-beastly-to-the-germans-says-ms-miller-8653940.html


 Centenary of the First World War next year.



British recruits August 1914




 
The root causes of the First World war are rather more complex than this trite Matthew Norman article seem to imply. If the intention was to create a "tongue in cheek" piece of prose poking fun at Maria Miller then so be it, but to suggest that the assassination in Sarajevo was somehow the cause of the subsequent slaughter in the trenches and incidentally on the eastern front,glosses over a range of inter related social, economic, religious and geographical complexities created over many decades before. The "Great War" destroyed too many lives to be trivialised and was the root cause of WW2. As French major general Ferdinand Foch declared (quite accurately)as a reaction to the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, "This is not Peace. It is an Armistice for twenty years."

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Why we should not be involved.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/31/syria-peace-talks-russia-weapons


Syria peace talks likely to be postponed as Russia plans to ship more weapons





President of the Syrian National Council George Sabra (C) talks with other Syrian opposition members


The "Peace talks" are not postponed because Russia has announced its intention to "ship more weaponry to the Assad regime", as the whole tone of this (Guardian) article seems intent on suggesting. The postponement is purely due to the simple fact that one of the fragments of the "rebels" has thrown in the perception that Hezbollah and an Iranian militia has "invaded" Syria. There is of course no mention of any of the other "invasions" by Qatari volunteers supporting another fragment of the "rebels" opposed to George Sabra, or the Saudi Arabian militia supporting yet another faction or the Israeli and American support for which ever "opposition faction" offers the best long term deal for their covert agenda's.
In this quagmire of nefarious self interests, the western powers America, Great Britain and France and with Israel lurking in the shadows, are itching to supply more and more weapons to one or more of the opposition groups. Far from the Russians "upsetting the balance" within the region as mouthpiece Secretary Kerry is arguing, it is the irresponsible, hypocritical lunacy of western powers who, with their insistence to supply weapons and aid to the "opposition", are prolonging and exacerbating an already tragic situation.




John Kerry
US secretary of state, John Kerry


Perhaps Kerry inadvertently revealed the real American concern with his remark that ""We ask them again (the Russians)  not to upset the balance within the region with respect to Israel, The weaponry that is being provided … has a profoundly negative impact on the balance of interests and the stability of the region and it does put Israel at risk. It is not, in our judgment, responsible because of the size of the weapons, the nature of the weapons and what it does to the region in terms of Israel's security".
Again, it seems that Israel and its dominant position in the region is the key and guiding factor and is infinitely more important to the west, than the lives of Syrian civilians being killed every day and the atrocities that are always part of any civil war. 
The Syrian civil war although tragic, is not a war in which we, the United Kingdom, should become involved.
Standing "shoulder to shoulder" with America (and by default with Israel), will only lead to another intervention in a Middle East country, in an ill conceived and badly executed botch up with all the resulting consequences.