Posts Tagged ‘Independent’

British Foreign Policy, Oil Politics and Saudi Arabia

January 10, 2016

This is more information on Britain’s diplomatic and commercial links with Saudi Arabia through the oil industry given by Michelle Thomasson. She writes

UK oil interests in Iraq are clear, even when the Foreign Office deny it! e.g. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/secret-memos-expose-link-between-oil-firms-and-invasion-of-iraq-2269610.htmlhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/secret-memos-expose-link-between-oil-firms-and-invasion-of-iraq-2269610.html
and this article has some useful maps to show energy interests in the war torn Middle East: http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/12/12/special-report-isis-oil-follow-the-money-back-to-europe/http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/12/12/special-report-isis-oil-follow-the-money-back-to-europe/

You mentioned that you felt Britain’s dealing with Saudi goes back to the Cold War, thereby preventing Russian expansion. The Saudi’s would also find this arrangement useful because of their lust for tribal dominance against Shia power (Iran, Hezbollah etc.)

But just wanted to add that The UK has been openly working with the Saudi’s since the early 1930’s and have been involved in splitting and trying to dominate the Arab world for a very long time. (From the end of WW1 Arabic academics thought the British used Zionism to also accomplish this). From the time that Saudi was established in 1932 (after much tribal rivalry and conflicts) the British have supported the Saudi’s, they did so then because they saw them as a counterforce to the Ottoman Empire and a tool to help the Brits maintain control of oil resources in the region….

So it is a long and ugly relationship involving oil, power and arms which continues today, and the UK government has all manner of elite tradesmen to keep this relationship cosy: https://blog.caat.org.uk/2014/02/20/prince-charles-dance-of-shame/https://blog.caat.org.uk/2014/02/20/prince-charles-dance-of-shame/ and http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2014/04/07/comment-the-foreign-office-prefers-saudi-arms-deals-to-human http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2014/04/07/comment-the-foreign-office-prefers-saudi-arms-deals-to-human

I’ve also come across quotations from British officials during the Mandate in Palestine, where they accused the Balfour and other leading British politicians of supporting a Jewish state in Palestine as a way of maintaining British influence in the region. There’s one quotation floating about which compares the Jewish state as it was then to the Ulster Protestants. The British government was accused of using the Jews in the same way that they were using the Irish Protestant community to keep control of part of those respective countries. I’ve also seen another quote by a leading British soldier in Palestine around about the time of the foundation of Israel, who believed that the British government was deliberately fomenting conflict between Jews and Arabs in order to keep them at each other’s throats, and so stop them from uniting against Britain.

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Still Incorrigible on the Sunday Politics Smearing of Corbyn with the Stop the War Coalition

December 27, 2015

Mike over at Vox Political has posted a number of articles on the way the media, including the BBC, has done everything it can to attack and discredit Jeremy Corbyn. This video by Still Incorrigible shows Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics attempting to do the same, using the extremist political views of the leaders of the Stop the War Coalition. The Coalition’s leadership is mostly, according to this, composed of Marxists of various kinds – Trotskyists, Stalinists and Communists. They have some fairly offensive and wretched views. Neil mentions a post on the Coalition’s blog where they declare that the British forces in the Middle East are just as much a bunch of mass murderers as ISIS. Neil goes on to report that a Green politician has resigned from the group in disgust at the leadership’s views. He then interviews Peter Tatchell, who has done the same. Later on he interviews Burgon, a Labour politician, who sticks up for Corbyn by pointing out that the grass-roots members are drawn from a wide variety of people, and very largely definitely not hard-line Marxists. Still Incorrigible himself points out that Neil deliberately avoids talking to the Green politico, as she wrote a piece in the Independent attacking such attempts to malign and misrepresent Corbyn as false and manufactured. Here’s the video.

This is purely guilt by association, designed to reinforce the current line that Corbyn is a dangerous Communist and a threat to our liberties and economy. The leadership of the Stop the War Coalition are all Communists of one description or another, therefore Corbyn must be also. In fact, as Burgon points out, the people who marched against the war in 2003 included grandparents and vicars. He’s right. I know. One of our parish priests was one of them. And apart from the Stop the War Coalition, there are a whole range of Christian peace organisations, including Pax Christi, the official Roman Catholic peace movement, that are also very firmly against the War.

I am not surprised that Brillo Pad tried to smear Corbyn. Neil is very much a man of the right, having edited the very establishment of Sunday Times as well as the Scotsman after it was bought by the weirdo Barclay Twins. Despite its claims to impartiality, the Sunday Politics also presents the establishment view. And Corbyn’s clearly got them very rattled.

Vox Political’s Mike Sivier in Today’s Indie Asking Tough Questions of IDS

June 25, 2015

Mike from Vox Political has written a piece in today’s Independent, ‘All I want is the Government to say how many people on benefits have died under their watch – why does Iain Duncan Smith think I’m ‘disgraceful’?’ with the significant by-line, ‘You can’t help think that the Government is trying to hide something’. It follows IDS’ recent attack on disability campaigners, in which he declared that they were ‘disgraceful’ for demanding he release the information on the number of people, who’ve died after being assessed as ‘fit for work’.

Mike’s piece begins

David Groves was 56 when he died of a heart attack the night before taking his work capability assessment. His widow claimed that it was the stress that killed him. Terry McGarvey, 48, who suffered from polycytheamia, asked for an ambulance to be called during his Work Capability Assessment. He knew that he wasn’t well enough to attend his WCA but feared that his benefits would be stopped if he did not. He died the following day.

When the sick and disabled have to fight the Government for their lives it’s a sad indictment against our nation. Why is it so hard for our Tory Government to tell us how many people on benefits have died under their watch? And why has the campaign for the numbers to be released been called “disgraceful” by Iain Duncan Smith?

READ MORE
• The sickening truth about food banks Tories don’t want you to know

As a political blogger specialising in welfare issues, I have been aware of the horror stories facing benefit claimants for years. It all began with claims in a 2012 Panorama documentary that the “work capability assessment” medical examination on claimants of Employment and Support Allowance was causing extreme, occasionally life-threatening stress.

He briefly discusses the inadequacy of the ‘tick-box’ assessments for judging whether people are able to work, and his shock at the Panorama report, which described how those with suicidal thoughts were asked why they didn’t try to end their lives. He also mentions the stress caused by the lengthy appeals process, before talking about his campaign to get the mortality statistics from the DWP. He describes how IDS’ department refused, and how he was forced to appeal against the decision. He has won the appeal, but the government is planning to publish the stats in a deliberately fudged manner.

Mike concludes by asking why it is that the government has not already published the information, in a form people actually want, without Mike having had to launch a petition to get them to do so? After all, he has a letter from them from two years ago stating that they have the information at hand, and ready to publish. He states

The DWP’s appeal against me states that the statistics are likely to be misinterpreted: “Incorrect conclusions were likely to be drawn as to causal links between assessment outcomes and mortality.” But FOI requests are motive-blind; it doesn’t matter how the DWP thinks the figures will be used. All that matters is whether the DWP has the information and can publish it within cost limits.

It does, and it can.

So let’s have it.

The article also has a link to Mike’s petition to get the government to release the petition. This is at https://www.change.org/p/hm-courts-and-tribunal-service-publish-stats-showing-how-many-people-have-died-after-their-benefits-stopped

Mike’s article is at http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/all-i-want-is-the-government-to-say-how-many-people-on-benefits-have-died-under-their-watch–why-does-iain-duncan-smith-think-im-disgraceful-10345080.html

It has a piccie of Mike himself, as well as one of IDS, where he looks like he’s looking into a long, dark pit. Hopefully, it’s the one that’ll swallow his career.

LGBT and Diversity Protestors ‘Invade’ Farage’s Pub in Downe, Kent

March 23, 2015

The Independent has this story, Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists ‘filth’ and ‘scum’ and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub . A group of protesters in fancy dress, including migrants, HIV and gay activists, breastfeeding mums and disabled people, turned up as a ‘cabaret of diversity’ while Farage was drinking there with his wife and two children. The protestors supposedly scared his children so much, they ran away and there had to be a search for them. They were eventually found and returned home.

Dan Glass, the protest’s organiser, said however that “He was sitting on his own and left on his own. We didn’t see any kids.”

The article also quotes Mike Kear, a freelance photographer, who was also in the pub at the time, on how unthreatening it was. He ‘said it seemed “very calm” inside the pub throughout and described the demonstration as “a day of celebration”.

“It was very good-natured – there was certainly nothing very intimidating about it,” he said.’

The protesters themselves claimed that it was Farage, who became angry an aggressive. They claimed he was there alone with his entourage at the bar, with a half-empty pint glass. When they came in, he ‘charged like a bull’, according to one man, calling them ‘filth’ and questioning why they were there.

The protesters told the Indie that “Ukip are a con. They pretend to be anti-establishment but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

“By wrongfully shifting the blame for the economic crisis on to immigrants they have let the bankers off the hook.

“We will not succumb to their prejudice. We will create the world we want to live in. A world beyond Ukip.”

The photographs of the incident show some protesters jumping on the bonnet of the Purple Duce’s car, which suggests that it may not have been as non-violent as they claim.

The article’s at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/nigel-farage-brands-lgbt-activists-scum-after-they-invade-his-local-pub-and-scare-away-his-children-10126032.html. Go there and judge for yourself.

From 2003: IMF Admits Policies Don’t Work

March 27, 2014

I also found this little piece in Lobster 45 for Summer 2003, reporting on a piece in the Independent for the 20th March that year. According to the Indie, the IMF had just published a report concluding that their policies mostly didn’t work. Instead of helping countries with failing economies, the IMF actually made the situation much worse. The article stated

In a paper that will be seized on by IMF critics across the political spectrum, leading officials reveal they can find little evidence of the their own success. Countries that follow IMF suggestions often suffer a ‘collapse in growth rates and significant financial crises’, with open currency markets merely serving to ‘amplify the effects of various shocks.’ Kenneth Rogoff, the IMF chief economist who is one of the report’s authors, called the findings ‘sobering’.

A recent study by the United Nations reported that the 47 poorest countries in the world – the biggest recipients of loans from the IMF and the World Bank – are poorer now than they were when the IMF was founded in 1944. The report says that ‘financial integration’ has often led to an ‘increased vulnerability in crises’ because foreign speculators pull out as soon as trouble emerges.

‘Mea Maxima Culpa?’, p. 25.

The IMF’s policies generally seem to consist of recommending the countries receiving their loans to privatise their economies, savagely cut back on any welfare expenditure, and rationalise the remaining industry, leading to massive unemployment. They also force the countries to open up to private investors from the rest of the world. In the case of at least one Central American country, this consisted of a stipulation to sell their state industries to American companies. Ramsay thus commented that

On the other hand might we not say that the report demonstrates in spades that the IMF’s policies are working splendidly? For is the American-dominated financial system not intended to enable America in particular and the ‘the West’ in general to bleed the Third World dry?

This piece demonstrates that the free trade policies of international financial capitalism really don’t work, except in the respect that they’re intended to make the lenders of the Developed World richer.

Clegg: The Lib Dems are not a Left-Wing Party

February 23, 2014

I found this telling quote by Nick Clegg in an article over at Guy Debord’s Cat for the 18th September 2010, ‘Nick Clegg: We are no longer a Party of the Left’. The article’s at http://buddyhell.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/nick-clegg-we-are-no-longer-a-party-of-the-left/. It’s worth reading.

In an interview in the Independent, Clegg had said
I totally understand that some of these people are not happy with what the Lib Dems are doing in coalition with the Conservatives. The Lib Dems never were and aren’t a receptacle for left-wing dissatisfaction with the Labour Party. There is no future for that; there never was.

In the past, many left-wingers – and I include myself here – have voted Lib Dem when the Labour has either been unsatisfactory, such as in the 1980s when Labour lurched to the extreme Left, or else as a Left-wing alternative in areas where Labour have been weak and the strongest parties the Lib Dems and Tories. The quote makes it clear that when he said that, four years ago, Clegg did not his party to be seen as a party of the Left, or for Left-winger to vote for them. Given the Lib Dems record in government of supporting everything the Tories have done, while making spurious claims that they have somehow reined in the Conservatives from even more extreme Right-wing policies, there is actually no reason for anyone on the Left to do so.

With that attitude, I feel that voters dissatisfied with Labour would be far better off voting for some of the minor parties, such as the Greens, Socialist Unity, the Pirate Party or the Monster Raving Loonies. Clegg has made it clear that his is a party of the Right. Those on the Left should honour his wishes and vote for someone else entirely.

Jeremy Clarkson: Politician?

September 16, 2013

Mike here discusses Jeremy Clarkson’s declaration that he’d like to stand for parliament against Ed Milliband. Mike points out that as a very well known Tory and the leader of the ‘three idiots from Top Gear’, Clarkson would split the Tory vote, despite announcing that he would stand as an Independent. Probably the best argument against Clarkson standing as an MP is that he and Boris Johnson would together make politics in this country even more farcical than they are already. Clarkson himself has been sent up regularly by a string of comedians and impressionists, including Harry Enfield and Radio 4’s Dead Ringers. One of the best, and most satirically accurate is that of Cassetteboy on Youtube, the address for whose take on the petrolhead motormouth is below. Warning: Some of the material in it is coarse and offensive, but as these are criticisms that have been levelled at Jezza himself in his time, the portrayal is still pretty accurate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5qtoecVIo0?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360

Vox Political

Start the week with a snigger: Jeremy Clarkson reckons he might try his hand at politics.

He tweeted that he might stand for Parliament as an independent candidate for Doncaster North – Ed Miliband’s seat.

Nobody should need to be told that Clarkson is a huge supporter of the Conservative Party, and is believed to be a friend of David Cameron, who is a neighbour of his in Chipping Norton. Yes, Clarkson is one of the famous ‘Chipping Norton set’.

The tweet reads: “I’m thinking I might stand in the next election as an independent for Doncaster North, which is where I’m from. Thoughts?”

All right, Jeremy, since you ask.

You are known around the world as one of the “three idiots” on the BBC’s Top Gear, which has become a comedy show about petrolheads, rather than a serious motoring show (and extremely watchable as a result). Every week, there…

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