Although I don’t disguise the fact that I’m on the left of politics, I do try to give some balance on this blog. However, following Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as leader of the Labour Party on Saturday, with an even bigger mandate than when he was elected one year ago, the propaganda blitz against him has become hysterical. For instance, I was listening to James O’Brian on LBC radio this morning and there was 2 full hours of Corbyn bashing. Over and over and over: it’s so fecking tedious, and so obviously propaganda from a terrified Establishment that it just drives more people into the Corbyn camp.
Let me address some things: firstly, Corbyn is the bookie’s favourite to become the next prime minister (and I think the next general election will come well before 2020); secondly, the presstitutes keep repeating the same old mantra, that Labour always borrows more than the Conservatives and that’s why the electorate can’t trust them with the economy. This mantra is a complete lie. Thirdly, and along the same lines, under the 6 year tenure of Conservative chancellor George Osborne the UK national debt has doubled, and now stands at a staggering £1.6 trillion. Lastly, the government’s total liabilities, better understood as debts waiting to happen, are even larger than its mammoth public debt and now stand at £1.85 trillion. This liabilities debt has been accrued over the last 30 years by both Conservative and Labour governments, and is due almost entirely to neo-con policies. The last real socialist Labour government was in the 1970s, under Harold Wilson (who resigned in 1976 due to ill health. Queen Elizabeth II came to dine at 10 Downing Street to mark his resignation, an honour she has bestowed on only one other Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill).
In 1920, Joseph Goebbels was just 23 years old and hadn’t yet become part of the Nazi nightmare. In a letter to Anka Stalherm, one of a long list of lovers, he wrote the following:
It is rotten and dismal that a world of so many hundred million people should be ruled by a single caste that has the power to lead millions to life or to death, indeed on a whim…This caste has spun its web over the entire earth; capitalism recognizes no national boundaries…Capitalism has learned nothing from recent events and wants to learn nothing, because it places its own interests ahead of those of the other millions. Can one blame those millions for standing up for their own interests, and only for those interests? Can one blame them for striving to forge an international community whose purpose is the struggle against corrupt capitalism? Can one condemn a large segment of the educated Stürmer youth for protesting against the greatest ability? Is it not an abomination that people with the most brilliant intellectual gifts should sink into poverty and disintegrate, while others dissipate, squander, and waste the money that could help them? … You say the old propertied class also worked hard for what it has. Granted, that may be true in many cases. But do you also know about the conditions under which workers were living during the period when capitalism “earned” its fortune?
It all kicked off back in the 1980s with the Iron Lady and the Gipper, and over the last three decades or so it has grown progressively worse. It’s an ideology called neo-conservatism. What’s neo-conservatism..? Basically it’s an ideology that favours free-trade, privatisation and deregulatory economic policies; and in the American sense it means ‘exceptionalism’ and a need to expand American power overseas. The ideologues who follow neo-conservatism come from both what’s traditionally known as the left and right of politics, which is why I’m trying not to confuse things by bringing in the term ‘neo-liberalism’ (for instance, Tony Blair is a strong neo-con, whereas David Cameron describes himself as a neo-liberal). For the record, these terms get interpreted differently over time, and in our present age I see no difference between neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism, which generally refers to people on the ‘left'; I just call them all neo-cons. The two different terms are used in a multitude of ways to deliberately confuse people about the nature of the beast, which is the rulers and the ruled.
Ever since the dawn of time the world has been ruled by a small group of people, people whose power came from the ownership of land, resources and the plebs. These people, who often called themselves aristos and royalty, were basically a bunch of hoodlums who, whenever the opportunity arose, stole the assets of other hoodlums. Any plebs who objected to all of this were either imprisoned or exterminated (Jesus Christ being a good example); and so it went on over the millennia.
Things began to change during the 18th century with the French Revolution, et al, but there was still much inequality and poverty (for instance, women didn’t get the vote in France until 1944). Real change didn’t start till the late 19th century and early 20th century with the rise of social movements, which started mostly in Germany, which is the cradle of the modern welfare state. The plebs wanted a better deal, and instead what they got were two world wars that killed more than 100 million people. Thus in Britain, amidst the smoking ruins of WW2, we got what became known as the ‘post-war consensus’. It started with the 1945 General Election, which resulted in an unexpected landslide victory for Clement Attlee’s Labour Party, over the war hero Winston Churchill’s Conservatives, giving Labour its first majority government. This election result terrified the Establishment, who looked back at what had happened in Russia with the revolution. The plebs were allowed to have their welfare state, which included a National Health Service, massive slum clearance to make way for social housing, nationalisation of industry and public utilities and full employment. There were similar welfare reforms in the other western countries, with the exception of America, which had made a killing from WW2, and where the immediate post-war period was a boom time for most people. I would contend that this post-war boom in America is what has led to neo-conservatism.
So for three decades after WW2 the plebs were pampered, for a change. In the immediate aftermath of the war things were tough in countries that had been ravaged by the fighting, but soon these countries were booming as well.
All ticketyboo..? Nope, remember that the world has always been run by hoodlums and psychopaths. World War Two gave birth to the modern-day military industrial complex in America, and the post war period saw the rise of massive corporations. Soon, big money was influencing politics, and in Britain a green grocer’s daughter was installed as prime minister, and in America a B-movie actor was installed as president. The Iron Lady and the Gipper had one main thing in common: they were both neo-conservatives.
What happened next, amongst other things, was the demolition of the unions, the decimation of manufacturing industry, which saw entire communities thrown on the slag heap as their jobs were moved overseas to areas of cheap labour, and total de-regulation of the banking industry, which led to a cycle of boom and bust. The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s only exacerbated things, because it left America as the only super power in the world. The neo-cons thought that this came about because of their ideology, and it made them feel all ‘exceptional’.
Then two things happened. The first was 9/11, which allowed the neo-cons completely off their leash (I’m losing count of the number of countries they’ve now destroyed) and showed them in their true colours. The second was the total economic collapse of 2008, which showed just how badly flawed neo-conservatism is. But by this time things had gone too far, because the obvious conclusion of neo-conservatism is fascism. Benito Mussolini once said: “The definition of fascism is the marriage of corporation and state”, and that’s where we are now, with a huge, bloated military industrial complex, a revolving door between politics and corporations, civil liberties torn to shreds and the mass surveillance state that at the flick of a switch can be turned into the full-blown police state; and to keep the plebs in blissful unawareness we have the biggest propaganda machine in history, so that the plebs don’t wake up to the fact that they are now back to square one.
As Tony Benn once said, every single generation has to fight the same battles over and over again. I fear that present generations are so zombified by tv and their smart phones, zombified by the propaganda, that they don’t even know that there’s a battle that has to be won. The neo-cons are ideologues, complete nutcases just like the Nazis were, and the neo-cons quite literally worship Thatcher and Reagan.
I’m putting out some quick thoughts here, and I’ve tried to keep them concise (because I haven’t had much sleep these last few days). For more indepth stuff, Graham Vanbergen has published an excellent article today about the encroaching police state, some of which runs…
Voting in the UK Labour Party leadership race ends this coming Wednesday. The result will be announced on Saturday. The bookies have Jeremy Corbyn as a run-away odds-on favourite to win the contest, likewise with the opinion polls. However, with the unprecedented hate campaign against Jeremy Corbyn, and the shenanigans that are being used to topple him, I wouldn’t put it past the Blairites to rig the vote. They’ve already been doing this quite openly, by expelling a large number of Corbyn supporters from the Labour Party for the most spurious of reasons. Whatever the result of the leadership contest, a seismic shift is taking place in British politics, and the Establishment are shitting themselves.
This was very apparent on last Thursday’s Question Time programme, which did a demolition job on John McDonnell, who’s the shadow chancellor and a close friend of Jeremy Corbyn. I’ve never seen anything like it, on what is supposed to be one of the BBC’s flagship programmes…
Built in the 1990s at a cost of $4.5 billion, the USS Reagan aircraft carrier is one of the largest warships in the world. In the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, the USS Ronald Reagan and its carrier taskforce of 12 warships took part in a humanitarian relief effort called Operation ‘Tomadachi’ (‘Friendship’). By funny coincidence the USS Reagan taskforce found itself right off the coast of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, shortly after the reactors and fuel pools were blowing up and melting down. The sailors on these US warships (some 12,000 in total) received huge doses of radiation, and many of them are now sick and dying. By law, the sailors can’t sue the US Navy (if you join the military you are not allowed to sue the military), and the US Navy completely denies that radiation has anything to do with the sailors’ illnesses, and refuses to offer them any help whatsoever, and so the lawsuit is being filed against the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which operates the Fukushima plant.
The latest court hearing took place earlier this month in San Diego (the home port of the USS Reagan). The lawsuit has been going on for the best part of three years now, and it still hasn’t got to the stage where facts are being presented and argued in court. They are still arguing about the legal technicalities of the case. Meanwhile, seven of the 1000 or so sailors bringing the lawsuit have died. There’s a complete media blackout about all things USS Reagan and radiation. However, Libby HaLevy was at this latest court hearing, and she’s done an excellent coverage of it in her Nuclear Hotseat podcast. The following are excerpts from the podcast…
The complete Nuclear Hotseat #272 can be found here.
If you listened to the above excerpts you might find this next video absolutely heartbreaking. It was shot at the time, March 2011, onboard the USS Reagan. All doors leading to the flight deck were sealed, except for the one shown in this clip, where they were testing the sailors for radiation exposure as they came down from the deck (you can hear the warning beeps from the geiger counters they were using)…
This post has concentrated on the human cost of the USS Reagan tragedy. For the eye-watering cost in tax payer’s dollars see my earlier post.
I often call for the arrest and prosecution of the bods in MI5, MI6, et al. because they are complicit in the fascist madness that’s happening in the West. It ain’t like James Bond, folks; talking of which, in a literary sense, Ian Fleming was a very good writer and his Bond books are much more gritty and emotional than the films that followed them. The Bond movie franchise is good entertainment, though, with some excellent music; so, by way of pure indulgence here’s my five favourite Bond theme songs, starting with The Spy Who Loved Me. The book was published in 1962 and was the tenth of Fleming’s Bond series. It got the worst reviews of any of the Bond books, mostly because The Spy Who Loved Me completely departed from the more standard thriller format that Fleming had used in the previous books. It is the shortest and most sexually explicit of the Bond series. The story is told in the first person by a young woman, and Bond does not put in an appearance until two thirds of the way through the book. The Spy Who Loved Me movie was released in 1977 and used nothing from the book except the title. The theme song is called ‘Nobody Does It Better’, sung by Carly Simon. Here she is performing it at Martha’s Vineyard in 1987…
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was published in 1963 and is the eleventh Bond book. It’s the middle part of the ‘Blofeld trilogy’ and sold in huge numbers. It was as though Fleming tried to make up for the previous year’s flop, The Spy Who Loved Me. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service contains some surprises, in that Bond falls in love and gets married, and on the very last page of the book his bride is murdered. The movie was released in 1969 and is one of the few that sticks very close to Fleming’s original plot. The theme song is ‘We Have All the Time in the World’, sung by Louis Armstrong (‘We Have All the Time in the World’ is the title of the last chapter in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)… Continue reading →
It’s been notable that since the fifth anniversary last March of the Fukushima disaster, the anti-nuke community has become a lot less vocal. Usual suspects, such as ENE News and Fukushima Diary, who during those first five years were prolific, now publish just a trickle of news about Fukushima. This is partly due to the almost total media blackout of the reality in Japan. but it’s also due to what I call ‘Fukushima fatigue': the authorities aren’t going to do anything meaningful to alleviate the worst disaster in human history, and most people either don’t care or understand what’s going on. As a result many anti-nuke activists are burnt out with it all.
One such is Dana Durnford, although he continues to post videos about Fukushima at a prolific rate. During 2014 and 2015, Dana Durnford spent 260 days on the ocean carrying out his crowd-funded Expedition for Life, which documented the damage that Fukushima radiation has done to the tidal zones of British Columbia (which is downwind and downstream of Japan). In my previous post about Dana, a few weeks back, he was about to set out on his sixth and final Expedition for Life. After a number of ‘incidents’, Dana had a resigned air about him, fearing that during the expedition he was going to be murdered by the nuke cartel. Dana had planned to follow the British Columbia coast up to the Alaska border, but bad weather up north forced him instead to head for the west coast of Vancouver Island. This may or may not have saved Dana’s life, but it still resulted in serious injury. Dana talks about this in the interview at the end of this post, from last Monday’s Rense Show; but first, here’s some of the latest Fukushima news, because it relates to what Dana says in the interview:
But there’s a much greater scandal emerging, one of epic proportions, and I guarantee that you won’t see a whiff of it in the UK mainstream media. Here’s the start of last Friday’s Sputnik programme, hosted by George Galloway:
At last night’s closing ceremony of the Olympic Games the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was dressed as Nintendo’s Super Mario. Abe was there to accept the Olympic Torch for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo; which is a tad surreal when you take into account that just 150 miles (250km) from Tokyo there are three commercial-size nuclear reactors in complete and ongoing meltdown. Despite the high levels of radiation, they are even planning to host some of the events in Fukushima, which is rather jolly.
Talking of which, during 2014 and 2015, Dana Durnford spent 260 days on the ocean carrying out his crowd-funded Expedition for Life, which documented the damage that Fukushima radiation has done to the tidal zones of British Columbia (which is downwind and downstream of Japan). The following is an excerpt from a video that Dana put out on the 14th of this month…
The 14th was a Sunday, and after posting this video Dana set out on a journey to Victoria, on Vancouver Island, where on the Monday he was due to make his sixth court appearance. Dana lives in Powell River, on the Sunshine Coast, and it’s a hell of a journey by ferry and road to get down to Victoria. Well, Dana never made it because while driving at high speed two of the wheel bearings on his vehicle seized up, and he came very close to having a nasty accident.
Yesterday Dana put out a video prior to setting off on what he describes as the final Expedition for Life. In this video he displays his usual fighting form, but there’s a resigned air about him, as though he knows he won’t be coming back. Here’s an excerpt…
Media Lens celebrated it’s 15th birthday last month. It’s founders, David Cromwell and David Edwards, said this in a fundraising editorial…
We began Media Lens, not because we believed high quality broadsheets were offset by a morally debased tabloid press; not because the ‘left-leaning’ liberal press was fine, but the Tory press was dreadful; not because the press as a whole was biased on some issues, or plagued by ‘churnalism’. We started Media Lens because the deeper we looked into almost every issue, the more we found that the truth of corporate media performance was actually breath-taking, jaw-dropping, sci-fi surreal. We found that the entire system had evolved and been designed to systematically filter out, reject, marginalise, mock and ignore just about everything and everyone that threatened the elite-run, state-corporate status quo.
I concur, and nowhere is this more apparent at the moment than in the UK, with the unprecedented hate campaign against Jeremy Corbyn, who one year ago became leader of the Labour Party. Ed Torsney is a film maker who also has a lot of experience producing and directing live broadcast TV. He’s done the following critical analysis of a recent Channel 4 News interview, and it’s well worth a watch…
This brings me on to 9/11, not only because there are so many anomalies surrounding the events of September 11th 2001, but also because 9/11 has to be seen in the context of a totally bent mainstream media. Debates about 9/11 tend to get very polarized. Back in 2014 George Galloway did a ‘Conspiracy Special’ on his TalkRadio show. I include it here because it’s a very balanced and level-headed debate, giving the pros and cons an equal voice…
In the UK on Monday a high court judge ruled that 130,000 new members of the Labour Party would be eligible to vote in next month’s leadership election, in which Jeremy Corbyn will be up against a total non-entity called Owen Smith. This court case came about because the Labour Party National Executive Committee (NEC) ruled that only people who had been a member for more than six months would be eligible to vote. The NEC pulled this stunt because they know that most of the new members will vote for Jeremy Corbyn. Last month the NEC also increased the membership fee from £3 to £25 in an attempt to discourage the record-breaking numbers of people who are now joining the Labour Party. No, I’m not making this up.
Then on Tuesday this was all over the media…
Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, has said his party is at risk of being taken over by hard-left “Trotsky entryists”, who are “twisting the arms” of young members, sparking a furious response from backers of Jeremy Corbyn.
During the unprecedented hate campaign against Jeremy Corbyn there have been many accusations of ‘hard left infiltration’ of the Labour Party, but these accusations are very easy to disprove.
Then on Friday we were back in court again, as the NEC appealed against the court ruling earlier in the week. This time three judges ruled in favour of the NEC: the 130,000 new Labour members will not be allowed to vote in the leadership election. Aside from the fact that one of the judges has close connections to Tony Blair, the five new members who brought the original case have been lumped with £60,000 in legal costs. This ruling is quite extraordinary, because it leaves contract law in tatters (which is why the judge on Monday, who ruled in favour of the new members, said that there’s no way the NEC would win an appeal). The new members were told that if they paid a £25 membership fee they would be allowed to vote in the leadership election, but then the NEC changed the contract by refusing to allow new members a vote. It’s a bit like ordering and paying for an expensive smart phone from Amazon, and then Amazon change what they’ve been contracted to do and instead send you an inferior model, and they can do this quite legally. That’s effectively what Friday’s court ruling means, and it’s why it seems certain that the case will go on to the Supreme Court (and the irony is that the NEC are funding these legal actions with membership money).
Even without those 130,000 new members voting it’s odds-on that Jeremy Corbyn will walk next month’s leadership election. Last year by a complete flook Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party, and ever since then a large majority of his own MPs have tried every dirty trick in the book to unseat him; yet it’s this kind of gutter politics that drives people in droves to Corbyn. Plotters like Tom Watson, Angela Eagle, Owen Smith and Hilary Benn don’t seem to care that they’re committing political suicide. They also seem to be quite happy to totally destroy the Labour Party if it would get rid of Jeremy Corbyn. In the wake of the legal stuff this week many people are asking why would the plotters behave in such an extreme manner?!
The answer to that is simple: Britain is a vassal state of the American Empire, and Washington will never allow a real socialist to attain a position of political power in Britain.