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Saturday, 21 September 2013

A media generated storm in a tea cup

 http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/sep/20/nigel-farage-godfrey-bloom-sluts-ukip



Ukip's Godfrey Bloom has whip removed after 'sluts' remark

 

 


Godfrey Bloom




 
I am getting very fed up with hearing about, seeing or otherwise being made aware of the antics, or pronouncement of this buffoon.
It is clearly obvious that the media and political establishment have their own agenda for discrediting and rubbishing UKIP which they perceive to be a threat to the dominant position of the main parties. It seems to me that fortunately, UKIP will never be a serious challenge for political credibility, since their main platform is centered on one issue and their members views on other political and social matters are as diverse as can be imagined.
Consequently, should the media be compelled to continue their campaign against UKIP, perhaps they might find a less irritating individual than Godfrey Bloom  as a vehicle for their criticisms.

The energy suppliers cartel prepare to announce big price increases, again.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/sep/20/energy-firms-increase-prices



Energy firms expected to increase prices by 8%


 


 



The energy company cartel preparing everyone for their usual autumn round of extortionate price increases. This time they find another "reason" for ripping off the consumer by blaming "increased cost of environmental levies" as justification. Not content with "selling" energy to themselves through a myriad of different companies with the same ultimate "owner" (thinking that we have not noticed) and then blaming their suppliers for price increases, they now resort to a nebulous concept of environmental levies to defend their avarice.
Privatisation may have been good for the companies,and ultimately for the institutional shareholders, but for the consumer it has been an unmitigated disaster.
There is little point in following the advice of government ministers (who have their own agenda on this issue) and those misguided people who actually believe that privatised companies act in the best interest of the consumer, by switching your supplier through U-Switch to get a better deal. This is complete nonsense as all the suppliers are in the same cartel.
Unless governments are prepared to regulate in the strongest ways possible against these profiteering parasites, or better still take the energy supply industry back into public ownership, the obscenity of consumer exploitation will remain.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

France, United Kingdom and America seeking to regain the initiative

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10312315/Syria-West-vows-to-increase-backing-for-rebels.html



Syria: West vows to increase backing for rebels






French Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius (C), US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and British Foreign Affairs Secretary William Hague (L) give a press conference after talks on the Syria crisis on September 16, 2013 in Paris. Syria: West vows to increase backing for rebels
 Laurent Fabius John Kerry and William Hague




The determination of France, the United States and Great Britain to wage war against the Syrian people and to support the insurgency of fighters from Chechnya, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel and even the al- Qaeda linked groups, is as astounding in its hypocrisy as it is in its cynicism. Since this civil war started around two years ago,"the west" led initially be Great Britain and now joined by the French and the Americans, have been fervently seeking excuses to become involved in the conflict and to bring about, by any means, regime change in Damascus.
The plans were thrown into some confusion when the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, voted against a government resolution authorising the use of force, closely followed by President Obama referring the question of force to Congress, where it seems that they too would reject the prospect of yet another military adventure in the Middle East. thus, the French were left in the position of being the only "western" power maintaining the bellicose posture of immediate aggression.
Enter the Russians and their "straw" for America and Great Britain to grasp at, following the John Kerry "gaff" (if that is in fact what it was) remark about putting Syrian chemical weapons under international control. Grabbing this face saving lifeline, the Americans immediately constructed an "agreement" with the Russians to bring about the disarmament of Syria to the extent of chemical weapons at least within a specified timescale with the threat that the matter would be referred to the UN security council in the event of Syrian non-compliance. This "agreement" was enthusiastically welcomed British government.
The impatiently awaited report of the chemical weapons inspectors after their return from Damascus was as had been expected. It concluded that chemical weapons had been used on a massive scale and that the chemical was predominately Sarin. Someone would have had to have been on the planet Zog for the last eighteen months to be unaware that this was the case. What the report did not say and was not tasked to say was "who" was responsible for the use of these weapons. In this matter, conviction on the "balance of probabilities" is not enough and certainly does not justify military strikes against an alleged perpetrator.
This however does not deter London, Paris and Washington from leaping to the conclusion that the report "proves" that Bashar al-Assad was responsible, and prompts William Hague to remark that "We have always believed that this was the work, the responsibility of the Assad regime and everything we can see in this report is fully consistent with that." A remarkable leap of faith when considering what the report actually says.
This perception though mistaken, is certainly enough for Kerry, Fabius and Hague to essentially consign the "agreement" to the back burner and revert to their belligerent positions of two weeks past with all sorts of threats of the "military option", pouring more weapons, supplies and money into the opposition groups and shifting the goal posts by introducing the notion of a  "transition of power" in Damascus which, although not a completely new idea as far as the west is concerned, is something not mentioned or considered at the Geneva three day conference.
By reading into the words of the Chemical Weapons Inspectors Report, something that only the most hardened warmongering commentator could interpret from the text, it seems that French, British and Americans are seeking to regain the initiative for some sort of military intervention, dismiss the Russians to the sidelines and as a starter have agreed to strengthen the Syrian opposition.
This latest western "initiative" is a recipe for disaster.













LibDems will form a coalition with anybody...............................if they get the chance.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/15/liberal-democrats-prefer-_n_3929034.html?utm_hp_ref=uk



Liberal Democrats Prefer Coalition With Labour

 






 

Nick Clegg and however many of his Parliamentary mercenaries remain after the next general election, will form a coalition (provided of course that no one party secures an overall majority) with who ever offers the the best cabinet positions and or ministries and or chairmanships or any other of the perks with which they will be bribed. 




A "joker" in the pack?


 
When it comes to manifesto commitments or political principle, Clegg and his band of hypocritical misfits will soon forget such small details in their grubby bids for "power". They will gladly grab their "thirty pieces of silver" as they leap into their ministerial limousines and purr off to their second homes.



 





Sunday, 15 September 2013

More frothy rhetoric than practical substance



 

US And Russia Agree Deal Over Syria's Chemical Weapons




John Kerry
 John Kerry Sergey Lavrov 


 
The Syrians were not in Geneva in 2013, in much the same way as the Czechs were not in Munich in 1938. The resultant “agreement” however has the same sort of “peace in our time” ring about it as did the sheet of paper waved in the air at Heston Aerodrome all those years ago.
John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov stood behind their respective lecterns as Kerry presented the 6 point agreement, (after seemingly to forget that number six followed number five), outlining how Syria should produce a list of their chemical weapons within a week, how inspection should start by mid November and how the weapons must be handed over by June next year. At the end of Kerry's presentation, Lavrov chipped in with a vague reference as to how they “ might request” a “Chapter 7” Security Council resolution at the UN in the event of Syrian non-compliance. All very good we may think and certainly enthusiastically greeted by the press and media both in Geneva at the time and since by media throughout the world.
On closer examination however, it would seem that this deal is no more than 6 nuggets of candy, wrapped up in a sea of frothy rhetoric. The logistics of the agreement are at the very best problematic. How can inspection, collection and disposal be arranged in the middle of a ferocious civil war? Already one group of the 1001 anti Assad groups has rejected the Geneva agreement and has indicated that the areas they control will not be open for UN monitors or chemical weapons inspectors.
In the event that the “list” is not produced within 7 days or that inspectors are not on the ground by November, is this to be treated as a “non compliance” and referred to the UN for a security council resolution? Lavrov said yesterday that “"Nothing is said about the use of force (in the Agreement) or about any automatic sanctions. All violations should be approved by the Security Council." Can anyone really see Russia agreeing to military strikes against Syria?
The whole Geneva conference and its subsequent “agreement” has only one plausible interpretation. It was an exercise in political face saving for Obama who had painted himself into a corner of the room and was seeking some way of delaying having to press the button and launch cruise missile against Damascus. The Kerry “gaffe” provided such an opportunity. That is always assuming that you believe that it was a gaffe, rather than a not very well concealed ploy to throw out a life line to see if a delay was possible.
Geneva agreement is more for public consumption than solution of the crisis, but it has got Obama, and incidentally the rest of the world, off the hook at least for the time being. Again, it is worth recalling that the Munich agreement was only a delay in the inevitable.

Ashdown: Defending the indefensible.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/13/paddy-ashdown-liberal-democrat-conference_n_3919984.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

 Paddy Ashdown Tells Lib Dems It Would Be 'Crazy' To End Coalition Early









Ashdown and Alan Beith contested the first leadership election in 1988, which Ashdown won by a substantial margin. Asked why he thought that Beith had been so heavily defeated and why he and many other Liberal Democrat MP's had voted for Ashdown, a leading Liberal MP at the time responded, "We can put sense into the man with charisma, but not charisma into the man with sense".
It seems that after some years of sitting on the red leather benches in the House of Lords, the charisma has melted away, and whatever "sense" the Liberal Democrats may have managed to put into the former member for Yeovil, it has been replaced by a rather confused view of reality. His comments and observations in recent years, has culminated over the past two weeks with his "bad night for Britain" comments following the House of Commons vote on the rejection of intervention in the Syrian civil war, and his continuing defence of Nick Clegg and his leadership of the Liberal democrats and their roles in the ConDem coalition.
The fact is that the Liberal Democrats under Clegg and their and their abandonment of principle in pursuit of a few seats around Cameron's cabinet table, have become a side show in British politics.
Ashdown has become a sideshow of a sideshow. No one listens and no one cares as the Liberal Democrats are,as a direct result of Clegg's leadership, a discredited band of opportunists and  in all probability, are destined to be consigned into political oblivion at the next general election.

Friday, 13 September 2013

There are no trains to Cairo today.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/12/egypt-extends-state-of-emergency_n_3914693.html?utm_hp_ref=world

 Egypt Extends State Of Emergency Laws As Security Forces Expand Military Crackdown










In early 2011. hundreds of thousands of Egyptians were fighting running battles with police and Hosni Mubarak supporters on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and a hundred other towns across Egypt. Their objectives were to overthrow Mubarak and the military junta in the guise of SCAF with Field Marshall Tantawi in control, and open Egypt to a democratic future. On February  11th 2011, Mubarak stepped down from the Presidency, thus ending more than 50 years of military dictatorship, from Nasser though Sadat.
Cairo's Tahrir Square was filled with more than a million jubilant demonstrators celebrating their victory over the forces of oppression and looking forward to free elections for a new President and a new order in Egyptian society. What the vast majority of those millions and millions more around the country did not realise was that even then there were those conspiring to bring about the return of Mubarak or if not him the military junta under a new leader following the removal of Tantawi.
Move on 12 months to June of 2012, and Tahrir Square is once again filled with people, celebrating this time, the result of the first free and fair election in Egypt which returned Mohammed Morsi as the first democratically elected President.
Morsi, formally a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and now standing as the Freedom and Justice Party Candidate for the position, polled 51.7% beating Ahmed Shafik the former Prime Minister in the last Mubarak "government".
I wrote at the time in "The conclusion of the Egyptian revolution? Not quite."  (http://new-agenda2012.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/conclusion-of-egyptian-revolution-not.html) that, " The next few weeks or even months will be crucial in determining what path Egypt will follow. Mohammed Moussa, 30, a translator, said ”Morsi is president in name only, there are more battles to come.”
We have not yet concluded the Egyptian revolution. History records that only some 12 month later, the streets of Cairo filled again, this time with anti Morsi demonstrators demanding the removal of their democratically elected President.
Within days the military under the command this time of Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, had seized power in what can only be described as a coup, arrested Morsi and appointed Adly Mansour as "Interim President". From then on, the military and their puppet government have been tightening their hold on society and the Egyptian people, with arrests, curfews intimidation of foreign media personnel and broadcast, control of television and internet communications. This culminating in the  massacre of scores of anti coup protestors in August 2013 following a "Call for support" from Junta chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
Again, writing in New Agenda, shortly after the events, I reflected,  "State of emergency with martial law and curfew return to Egypt. The people who filled Tahrir Square two years ago calling for democracy and the removal of Mubarak, and in July filled the square calling for the removal of Morsi, must now realise that the military never really went away and that the "generals" had no intention of supporting or allowing a democratic Egypt. The shadow of Mubarak as the puppet front man has been replaced by the shadow of Mansour and in place of SCAF, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and the junta are again in charge of the country" (http://new-agenda2012.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/cairo-massacre-scores-killed-and.html)
Today, it is announced that the "State of Emergency" has been extended for another two months due to the "security situation", Mohammed Morsi remain in custody, incommunicado, hundreds if not thousands of pro Morsi activists even more of the "Pro democracy" or "Anti coup" movements are under arrest or worse. Many will remember that the last State of Emergency in Egypt lasted, with extensions, for around thirty years. A mark of a very repressive military dictatorship. Restrictions on travel around the country have been imposed to prevent people gathering to protest. No trains, limited buses and no gatherings in public places. This cannot be the Egypt that those hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated for in 2011. The "revolution" has been stolen by the army, financed by others and engineered by Mubarak supporters both inside and outside the borders of Egypt.
There are no trains to Cairo today.

A flawed comparison but the knives are out for Clegg.







 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nick-clegg-is-worse-than-michael-foot-says-key-lib-dem-peer-8812916.html



Nick Clegg is ‘worse than Michael Foot’ says key Lib Dem peer




Lord Oakeshott Bay,  former Treasury spokesman,




 


















  

If Nick Clegg had 25% of the intellect, ability, honesty, political intelligence and perhaps most importantly principle as Michael Foot had, he would be in a far better position with his party and with the public. Clegg may have had some degree of charisma, but today and certainly since the last election. he has become a discredited hypocrite with the leadership qualities of a lemming.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Should diplomacy fail, the "blame game" is already taking shape.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/diplomatic-plan-to-force-syria-to-surrender-chemical-weapons-already-in-jeopardy-as-russia-and-us-lock-horns-8810074.html


Diplomatic plan to force Syria to surrender chemical weapons already in jeopardy as Russia and US lock horns









It really is nauseating how the western media, this time the Independant, immediately leap onto the bandwagon of "blame the Russians" if the diplomatic plan fails.
"Russia puts deal to avert Syria war in jeopardy ahead of key meeting" screams out from the front page of the Independant, blaming Russia for the contrived French, American and British attempts to claw back initiative in their desperate desire to inflict "punishment" on the Syrian regime. The tactic of making unacceptable demands and blaming the other side for the failure of diplomacy is not a new one. The  Austro-Hungarian Ultimatum to Serbia of 23 July, 1914 is a classic example. The real French/American/British agenda of course, as everyone knows, is to assist the FSA and the other 1001 rebel groups including fighters from Chechnya, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel and even the al- Qaeda groups, to advance on Damascus and overthrow the Syrian government.   




 

Within the next few days, or perhaps weeks, as the first wave of cruise missiles slam into the FSA pre identified targets in and around Damascus, the "western leaders" will appear on our television screens, and fill our newspapers, with their hand wringing cliche ridden statements of how they have been forced into this action by the intransigence of the Russians at the UN Security council and the devious maneuverings and prevarications of the Syrian government and their failure to comply with the "international community" demands.
We have seen it all before. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. The difference this time is that if we thought Iraq was a disastrous failure based on lies and duplicity, Syria will be infinitely worse.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Grant Shapps is not very happy


http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/11/bedroom-tax-grant-shapps-un_n_3904570.html?1378888999&utm_hp_ref=uk



Tories Attack 'Loopy Brazilian Leftie' UN Official For Condemning Bedroom Tax




Bedroom Tax
Raquel Rolnik, an independent expert charged by the United Nation Human Right Council to monitor and report on adequate housing worldwide

 
  
Grant Shapps is bloody furious with Raquel Rolnik, the UN special rapporteur on housing. "She did not meet with any government officials,or department or any ministers in the DWP. She calls it a bedroom tax, when it is not a tax" he ranted.
We are building 148000 affordable homes" (affordable mind you not social) "to tackle the housing problem in the country which is all the fault of the "previous administration" in any case". "Why should people have spare rooms when other people are in overcrowded accommodation?" Shapps is apparently writing to the UN to demand an investigation into the Rolnik investigation.





 


Grant Shapps is bloody furious



Grant Shapps is Conservative Party Chairman and Member of Parliament for Welwyn Hatfield. He is also prone to hysterical outbursts, particularly in live interviews on television and radio, and when he is wrong, as he is in this instance,

A speech of froth, cliche and patronising comment

 http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/sep/10/ed-miliband-tuc-speech-lukewarm-reception



Ed Miliband's TUC speech receives lukewarm reception










 
Having watched the whole of Ed Miliband's televised speech to the TUC yesterday,(10th September 2013) and the subsequent session of planted questions, it was noticeable how restrained the delegates were in their responses to the Labour Party's leader. This is not particularly surprising when you consider that Miliband's offering was more froth than content and that the speech was full of cliche, feeble attempts at humour and patronising remarks about the "backbone of Britain",  "the vision of our founders"and "hearing from the people who are your members" and at the end of a twenty minute performance, a reference to his  " vision" of a one nation Britain . 
A poor performance which offered little, other than a vague reference that a future Labour government would legislate to regulate the workings of Zero hour contracts, would tax bankers bonuses and use the money to get every "young person" a job who had been unemployed for more than a year, and making employers who receive government contracts provide apprenticeships in exchange for the money. It all sounds very good until the realisation dawns that a Labour government should be outlawing zero hour contracts, providing work for people not just emphasising the taxation of bonuses, and proving the environment to create real apprenticeships rather than using a carrot of government contracts.
At the end of the speech and the "question and answer" session which followed, the impression remained that this was not the speech of a leader, or of a man who could inspire confidence and belief in the "policies" briefly referred to. It was a speech which sought to draw on a perceived loyalty of the Trade Union movement to whoever the incumbent of the office of Labour party leader happens to be at any given time. It is a perception that many Labour party leaders have had, and by and large this perception has held through successive TUC conferences, apart perhaps from a few grumblings from the rows of seated delegates or from some fringe meetings.
However, things are now different.
There was nothing in Miliband's speech yesterday which filled me with such passion and desire that I should immediately log on and rejoin the Labour party. There are a growing number of voices, both within the Trade Union movement and within the Labour party suggesting that a parting of the ways would be in the best interests of both elements of the wider Labour movement. The Labour party, or at least the rump of it, could remain in the populist centre right morass of British politics, alongside the Conservative/Liberal democrat alliance, competing for the centre ground and all sounding very similar.
The TUC on the other hand can revert to the role it has historically filled of representing working people in the country and ultimately providing a political voice in Parliament.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Ed Miliband and his attack on the Trade Union movement.



 

 Donald Macintyre is off target when he suggests that "The unions should realise - this isn't an attack"




 Donald Macintyre: Independant




 


Miliband seems to have forgotten, or is conveniently ignoring, what many other Labour party leaders since Clement Attlee, have also ignored.
The relationship between the Labour Party and the TUC, and the wider Trade Union movement, is an historic one dating back to 1900. It should be a relationship where the Parliamentary Labour Party, (the MP's) should have as its primary objective the representation and well being of working people in this country. The same objective in fact as the TUC. In this context, “working people” is used in its wider definition, to include employed and unemployed, the disabled, the sick, benefit claimants in fact the whole spectrum of society.
Over recent decades and certainly since the days of Blair, the “relationship” has become one where the Parliamentary Labour party are more closely associated with business interests and the “establishment” rather than their traditional base in the workplace. This is the main reason why thousands of people, myself included, have left the Labour Party over recent years and why there is now this contrived “struggle” between the party leadership and its union affiliates. The Labour Party no longer represents “working people” in this country and any attempt to highlight this fact is immediately seized upon by the press and media as union militancy or left wing extremism or some other emotive term, designed to scaremonger the public into believing that “the Unions” are trying to hold the country to ransom and are blackmailing the Labour party.
The evidence of the growing rift between the Labour party and its traditional base is compelling, particularly since the last election. 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 on a vote in Parliament pushing through legislation to allow the compulsion of unemployed people to work for nothing. 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.
Like a married couple who have been arguing and bickering for many years, the TUC and the Labour party should recognise that they have come to the end of the road and that the best option for both parties would be a swift and preferably amicable divorce. I have been arguing for some time that the TUC should end the relationship with Labour and field its own candidates at elections under a manifesto which represents working people and social structure rather than the finance and business interests which now are the main areas of concern of the Labour party.


Monday, 9 September 2013

Crass and repugnant.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/syria-civil-war-barack-obama-tries-to-rally-waverers-ahead-of-congress-vote-on-us-strikes-8803988.html




Barack Obama tries to rally waverers ahead of Congress vote on US strikes




Desperation of a President.



 
The most crass and repugnant form of propaganda to be used by the United states to encourage an act of aggression against another country. Repugnant and sinister persuasion of the American people.
"Videos of gas victims deployed along with a media campaign and proxies to persuade public to back Syria military action"