EU politicians didnt get the joke..
Some EU state politicians have expressed their opposition to Ted Malloch a likely new US ambassador to the EU to be confirmed by Donald Trump. Last Thursday he made a somewhat dry joke to Andrew Neal on the This Week programme (Thursday 26th January, 2017) when he expressed words to the effect that he had previously worked to down the Soviet Union and maybe we have in the EU another organization that needs to be tamed. This was a joke. Clearly many EU politicians have no sense of humour or have purposely taken this statement out of context.
Michael Fallon's assertions a UK version of post truth or is it fake news?
Michael Fallon, the UK Defence Secretary, has began to make assertions concerning the cyber actvities of Russia, that lack evidence to support them. Like the disgruntled US Democrats he is only corrupting information and helping deepen tha dangerously slippery slope towards an Orwellian UK post truth fake news environment. As would be expected, BBC the state broadcast organization, has enthusiastically picked up the trail and simply repeated his empty words, aping the antics of CNN in the USA. This is a somewhat frivolous and unsubtle attempt to bolster the current push by Theresa May concerning NATO support being reviewed at an informal meeting in Malta.
But it really is time that the role of NATO be reassessed for the post-Soviet era, it is in dire need of a rational justification. It's current sabre rattling in the Baltic is an out of date irrritant to intelligent Europeans and an ongoing waste of tax payers' funds. So rather than waste time asking people to increase their budgets for military spending to 2% of national expenditures it would be far better to spend more time assessing the utility of NATO. The people concerned only want to maintain the NATO process but they have not assessed the need.
According to SASI handbooks, needs are defined on the basis of identifying deficits in provisions and not on sustaining a process, since this assumes we have already identified the needs. The needs are defined by the changing security requirements of the post-Soviet era and in particular the terrorist threat; we have not done this.
The emerging sub-prime pension scandal
Failing pension funds in Texas (police & firemen in Houston & Dallas) and California (public officials -relying on CalPERS) are having to cut pay outs. In the case of CalPERS by up to 60%. These failures are the outcome of poor risky investments, lavish executive perks and because of past reliance on junk bonds and derivatives purchased in search of "yield". This distortion is a direct outcome of quantitative easing and the low interest rate policies. The sub-prime pension scandal has began to spread, just like the sub-prime mortgage crisis, across the Atlantic to Europe and will have similar outcomes.
The more troublesome aspect is that in trying to save the pension funds politicians are likely to follow the disastrous route of bank bail outs leaving the tax payer to foot the bill. It is clear that governments need to re-introduce regulations that prevent not only the sale of predatory derivatives (the cause of the whole recent financial crisis) but also to prevent any private or state organization compensating for such bad decision making by calling on tax payers to pay up when they had nothing to do with the decisions.
Bit coin passes $1,000
Bit coin has jumped some $250 , from $750 to $1,000, in just a month or so as a result of uncertainty surrounding paper currencies resulting from the general economic situation but also as a result of the Indian and Venezuelan withdrawal of high value notes so as to enforce banking of funds to secure value by substituting high value notes for more lower value notes.
Vermont Electricity facility Russian hack - nothing of the kind
The Washington Post reported on Friday that Moscow could be behind intrusion into a laptop owned by a Vermont electricity utility but like the New York Times they appear to be incapable of checking their facts. According to Ibn Nr, the Vermont intrusion is a simple hacker's code known as P.A.S. and its version is V.3.1.7 which is designed to review content on Word Press sites. It runs from PHP once decrypted and it can be accessed using FireFox or Chrome browsers. The latest version of P.A.S. is V.4.1.1. This utility provides browser, explorer and search functions of directories, data base downloads and a port scanner that can bind ports to operations. It can force intrusion though to FTP and POP3 operations, can provide command line control of some operation systems functions and can show the server configuration.
This can be downloaded from the site of the builders: http://profexer.name/pas/download.php. This will not have been placed via a network, it needs to be downloaded, so there is nothing linking this to Moscow although the web site shows "Made in Ukraine". Not exactly something to be used for covert operations.
John McAfee on Cyber-securityIn an interesting exchange between Larry King and John McAfee, John McAfee made some straightforward statements on the topic of cyber-security.
The over-emphasis on the part of the USA, on cyber warfare meant that not enough investment or thought had been given to the development of protection against attacks. As it is, most systems in the USA and elsewhere are vulnerable to attack. The current dynamic is somewhat like the old cold war when in fact different sides can inflict considerable damage on the other but do not do so for fear of retaliation. The current grid systems linked to internet and radio controlled networks mean that whole energy systems and certain manufacturing and laboratory processes can be rendered inoperable. In spite of this, there is no defence.
Romano Prodi's grand plan
Prodi had a plan,
The yawning democratic deficit, the term used to describe the fact that Europeans are increasingly distrustful of the institutions which take decisions on their behalf but can do little about it within the European Union, was identified by Romano Prodi in 2000. He proposed a grandiose solution to be a US-style founding fathers-type constitutional convention.
What followed were two tragi-comic-disastrous sideshows.
D'Estaigne debased the Convention
This was the antics and behaviour of Valerie D'Estaigne as President of the so-called Convention on the European Constitution. This was a case study in how to marginalize the population by demonstrating an inability to managed a participatory process. The outcome, predictably was a Constitutional document that passed too much power to Brussels and it was obvious that the public would not accept it.
Angela Merkel demonstrated her lack of democratic credentials, in an open and cynical letter to Member State leaders. She explained that public referenda were not needed to get the Constitution accepted. All of the provisions could be imposed on the public by calling the Convention an amending treaty to avoid the need for referenda. The result was the Lisbon Treaty, a monument to the massive and shameful European democratic deficit.
Angela Merkel prevented any public referenda
Obama's spoiler tactics & wild accusations
Obama is dragging his decline in status as an end of term president to a low ebb. While Russia, Turkey and Iran have achieved a substantive move towards a lasting peace in Syria, Obama has authorized the supply of lethal weapons to "moderates", while the media and un-named officials accuse Russia of hacking, Obama has acted by expelling over 30 Russian diplomats. Russia has shown a more practical approach to Syria and a more mature approach to the fantasy tails coming out of the Beltway from Clinton devotees, bent on damaging relations with Russia. Thus Russia has not entered into the expected tit for tat response concerning the expulsion of diplomats making the USA look childish.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has stated that Obama’s “bitter” and “helpless” team has undermined the White House’s reputation. With the outgoing president not leaving “any” major foreign policy achievements as part of his legacy and instead of “putting an elegant period” to his two presidential terms has “made a huge blot” with his latest decision to impose more sanctions on Russia, expelling 35 Russian diplomats and closing two diplomatic compounds in the US. She wrote: “Today America, the American people were humiliated by their own president. Not by international terrorists, not by [the] enemy’s troops. This time Washington was slapped by own their master, who has complicated the urgent tasks for the incoming team in the extreme,” Zakharova wrote, labeling the current administration “a group of foreign policy losers, bitter and narrow-minded.”
Zakharova also said that with its incoherent foreign policy, Obama’s administration has inadvertently debunked a long-cherished myth of America’s exceptionalism that claims a special place in the world.
“This is it, [the] curtain [has dropped]. The bad performance is over. The whole world, from the front row to the balcony, is watching a devastating blow to America’s prestige and its leadership, dealt by Barack Obama and his semi-literate foreign policy team, which has exposed its main secret to the world – exceptionalism was a masked helplessness.” “No enemy of the United States could have done worse,” Zakharova concluded.
A growing myth is emerging to mould a new image for Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany. Barack Obama has just wound up a visit to Germany where he went out of his way to say what a stalwart ally Angela was. There is a major effort to somehow build her up as the role model of common values, liberty and the rule of law. However, somewhat typical of the dying Obama administration, he overlooks the inconvenient truth that she was instrumental in preventing Europeans gaining free expression and helped sustain the growing unacceptable European democratic deficit. It was Angela Merkel who encouraged all heads of state in the Union, in an open letter, not to provide the people of Europe with referenda on the introduction of the new European Constitution which had been hacked out in a participatory vacuum by Giscard d'Estaing. The other heads of state, many recent arrivals from ex-soviet regimes and few democratic inclinations willingly followed Merkel's advice, including Tony Blair. The result was the introduction of the infamous Lisbon Treating which extended the power of the unelected European Commission by introducing a foreign service and majority non-veto voting. Angela Merkel has very weak democratic credentials and cannot be trusted.
A journalist from the TV channel Russia Today (RT) at a US State Department press briefing in Washington, asked the State Department spokesperson, Admiral Kirby, to provide the names and locations of 5 Syrian hospitals he stated had been bombed by Russian and Syrian air forces. As is usual at such briefings State Department officials seldom can produce evidence for the most of the extreme assertions that they constantly level against Russia. In this case Kirby lost control and ranted on about why the journalist didn't ask such questions of the (her) military authorities in Russia. He then went on to say he does not consider RT journalists to warrant the same treatment as the other assembled journalists. When asked why, he said because RT is state owned. This type of snide remark coming from a State Department official is a disgrace. RT is not state owned it receives funding from the Russia state just as does Voice of America, BBC in the UK and Die Velt in Germany.
The State department press briefing have always been run by third rate individuals who think it is smart not to answer the more searching questions that often come from RT journalists and this is a government department that lectures the world about "values" and "transparency" etc.,Russian propaganda?
Although US State Department and even Hillary Clinton have referred to RT as Russian propaganda the range of independent shows that accept no editorial orientation is impressive including world famous Larry King's "Politicking", Afghan Rattans's "Going Underground", Edward Harrison and Amelia David's "Boom Bust" to name just a few. The reality is that RT is one of the few media that truly supports independent journalism that promote alternative interpretations of events. It is this that the US State Department does not want because it cuts across their desire to not admit alternative points of view or neutral stands. RT has provided the third party US Presidential candidates with air time which was not provided to the people of the USA by mainstream US outlets, many of which seem to be staffed by State Department stenographers.
Trident as a suicide vest
In June 2016 a short APE article by David Weingold on Trident, explained it's shortcomings as an expensive bluff. Recently spoof adverts for the Royal Navy have appeared in London making the point that a first target of retalliation would, of course, be the Trident submarines and the crews launching any attack, making it a very, very expensive suicide vest. The APE article made the additonal point that the deterent effect of Trident is dead anyway. We reproduce the original APE article...
Read more...A misunderstanding of emerging security issues
Donald Trump imposed his promised introduction of extreme vetting of people coming from countries from which there is a higher incidence of "terrorist" group activities. The executive order signed by Trump imposes a 90-day block on entry to the US from citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia. This short list was drawn up originally under the Obama administration. An obvious omission is Saudi Arabia. According to Ibn Nr the lack of "warning" was intentional to avoid forewarning terrorist groups so as to prevent any ability to take advantage of the current freer entry regime.
One result of this security-based decision is that many NGOs, which are alleged to be largely funded by George Soros and encouraged by supporters of the Democratic party, have re-branded this as an anti-Islamic act and discriminatory and they have organized widespread demonstrations. This massive protest has all the hallmarks of those organized to undermine several legitimate governments as an extra-constitutional disruptive force. With Trump introducing what he promised to do during his campaign, people are learning to take what he says more seriously. However, this does not justify an orchestrated attempt at regime change.
Briefs from Ibn Nr provided to APE journalists indicate that Trump's move will help disrupt intentions of ISIL to change their tactics in the USA and Europe. Commanders have realized that the "asylum route" is less effective because the authorities pick up a lot of information on individuals and also "returning" citizens who have received training with ISIL are also marked. This is why the follow up to atrocities in Europe very soon identified the perpetrators, meaning they could no longer be active to carry out future attacks. The change in tactics involves individuals traveling to the USA and Europe to set up sleeper cells and then carry out attacks when required. These attacks are likely to be suicide attacks but involving more destructive events like the World Trade Center attacks. In terms of lessons learned for ISIL, these were, after all, the most "successful" attacks in the USA, albeit carried out by another group. Ibn Nr expressed concern, given the existing track record of origins of terrorism worldwide, that Saudi Arabia was not on the list. Ibn Nr based his information on information gleaned from SASI who also provided other options open to ISIL but Ibn Nr would not pass this on to journalists. The vetting procedures need to be well designed and should not just concentrate on "asylum seekers" but on all who have visited the listed countries as well as newcomers who can masquerade as businessmen or students.
The most sure footed way to secure the USA is to scale back and end the wars by concentrating on the elimination of ISIL but to also take action to also reduce the Saudi Arabian missions to spread the religious fervour that gives rise to extremism. According to EO-APE, this mission is very actively pursued in Europe and the Balkans, often based on bribery to encourage poor Moslems to transfer to stricter less tolerant practice (Wahabi) and to reject the ways of the non-Islamic societies within which they live, stoking up trouble in the future.
Many have expressed the opinion that the current block contravenes the Geneva Convention on Refugees but the current circumstances are unique given the asymetrical nature of the conflict and very different motivation and means, including suicide actions.
How Britain can negotiate bilateral trade deals to it's advantage before leaving the EU
APE journalist's briefing sessions were provided during the weekend of 22nd-23rd January, 2016 in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Some of the initial results of the APE-sponsored study series entitled "Costs & Benefits of the UK leaving the European Union" were presented.
The main message was that the EU negotiators feel that because of existing EU Law, Britain cannot negotiate bi-lateral trade deals with third countries. EU negotiators feel that this provides them with a negotiation advantage so as to reduce the degrees of freedom during the 2 years following the actioning of Article 50 for Britain to explore and identify clear options. However, it is clearly evident that no such negotiating advantage exists for the EU. Paradoxically this is because by adopting a typical EU-type collaborative basis whereby, private companies organise themselves into consortia, then they can initiate bilateral trade deals with the equivalent economic sector consortia in the non-EU countries.
The only additional requirement for this to work is a legislative and political committee, made up of constitutionalists, economists, trade unions and representatives from the main political parties who can provide feedback on what they consider to be acceptable arrangements as a basis for coming close to "legislation-ready" policies covering trade, so the delays can be minimised. Many consortia agreements, subject to the same vetting process, and involving deals between private groups could go ahead well before the completion of the 2 year negotiation period, when deemed to be mutually beneficial.
A considerable amount of the confusion on the EU side relates to the imposition of a regulation-centric approach which prevents any such freedom. It is the imposition of this regulation-centric approach that gave rise to BREXIT and is giving rise to widespread discontent in Romania and lack of enlargement oversight in the agricultural sector policy projects funded by the EU. The emerging picture is one of declining sector real incomes and stagnating productivity associated with political party corruption related to agricultural sector funding in the Balkans and specifically in countries such as FYR Macedonia.
Theresa May does the right thing....
As we appealed for Theresa May to do last week, she has now done. As we explained in our article "May needs to base Britain's future on constitutional values", we can say she has now done this. With this she has provided a "recognizable and trusted foundation" for BREXIT. The liberating aspect is that she appealed in a very English coded constitutional format to a very British perspective on governance. This has confused many continental observers and, of course, attracted criticism from "opposition".
However, most in the UK sensed something very comforting and recognizable as shared values in her words which were an example of "speaking truth to power". This, of course, is completely against the evolving trends in the outlook and survival instincts of most European technocrats; they hate this approach to the logic of constitution. This is because it raises the considerations of people's fundamental rights to the terrain inhabited by decision-makers, a concept that has virtually disappeared as a result of the relentless advance of the European Union's democratic deficit.
Most attendees at the PM's presentation could be broken down into three groups. EU Member State representatives were somewhat nonplussed after all the UK PM was addressing the mighty EU, "What was she up to?". Non-EU attendees were intrigued to various extents and the most positive response came form the representatives from the Commonwealth countries. The Commonwealth comprises 52 countries, across all continents and has a combined population of 2.3 billion people, almost a third of the world population covering about 21% of the world's surface area. So it is important that they seemed to welcome May's approach.
Typical of some journalists, some only reported on the "fact" that she "threatened" the EU by suggesting she might reduce corporate tax rates to attract foreign investment. Her mention of this issue arose in the light of many quite vindictive statements made by some EU Member State leaders who wish to punish the UK for leaving. This is an increasingly Continental approach to "negotiations". May simply stated that whereas the UK will negotiate in a positive manner, seeking to secure mutually beneficial outcomes, and this approach is expected from the EU side also. The UK can, and will, take measures to protect itself if is attacked by economic measures emanating from Europe. People need to take into account that economic sanctions are considered by most rational people to be an act of war. Therefore this is a completely reasonable position to take up.
All of this, however, will place a strain on the EU side because they cannot use the viscous pressure exerted on smaller Member States such as Cyprus, Greece and Ireland, who are members of the Euro to force them to do what the Union and Germany want. The UK is free to operate more to it's advantage and this alone will demonstrate more intensely to middle income Member States the significant disadvantages they all face by being members of the Euro zone.
CNN posse hasn't found the rustlers yet
CNN just does not give up.
all saddled up and nowhere to go
No rustlers of the disastrous Hillary Clinton emails have been found outside the Beltway. Your correspondent, having listened to an insider, as opposed to a goon squad operative, over a Dean & DeLuca coffee in Georgetown, is certain that the rustler operated physically within the Beltway and had direct access to the Democratic party "organization" data. Donald Trump's doubts concerning Russian involvement has resulted in Hillary supporters extending the story into a new morph asserting that the "Russians" have collected information that "compromises Donald Trump.
A CNN Posse of white hats was lashed together by Wolf Blitzer, a CNN journalist, consisting of three individuals kicking around a dead sheep story, apparently sourced from an unnamed ex-employee of British MI5 with "contacts". The story alleges that Trump and others were confidentially briefed by US intelligence chiefs that Russia had collected compromising information on Trump and various of his associates in relation to their contacts and relations with people in Russia. This seems to be a possible attempt to undermine Trump's confidence in the possibilities of improving USA-Russian relations.
CNN has a poor understanding of cross-border news and this is why its following is declining. The CNN is quite willing to openly pursue a crude approach that assumes that if something is repeated often enough and a lot of sheep entrails and excreta are thrown, then maybe, in the end, something will stick. At least some of the public will have fallen for it. However, this dead sheep, and all of the others so far identified, are gradually rotting and the stench is really bad. It would be good if CNN help the image of the USA an help inspire people by lassoing some stories that are more of a positive reflection on the American democratic system. They need to demonstrate a standard of journalism that justifies its inclusion as the only economic activity mentioned in the American Constitution. There is a need to address useful issues that are, at least, evidence-based.
An embarrassing, unintelligent report
The Director of National Intelligence has released a highly embarrassing report entitled,"Background to "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections": The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution."
This report is embarrassing because it is such an amateur cut and paste job with little input from professional intelligence analysts and containing basic errors in facts, out-of-date information and other details pointing to a product of a seriously uninformed team. It is even worse that the "dodgy dossier" signed by Tony Blair in the run up to the Iraq war which he attempted to pass off as an intelligence assessment. These reports are highly politicized and products of the post-truth and "fake-fact" environment that permeated the Westminster filter bubble under Blair then and that pervades today's Beltway.
For an "intelligence briefing" dealing with such serious accusations, the range of levels of certainty of conclusions in the document are unacceptable for any responsible decision-maker. The assessment contained in the unclassified report is stated to be supported with "high confidence" by the CIA and FBI and by NSA with moderate confidence. At the back of the document three levels of confidence are defined with the high confidence, this being the highest level, signifying that "High confidence in a judgement does not imply that the assessment is a fact or certainty; such judgements might be wrong". This definition which, in reality, is a disclaimer, and is simply not serious for the field of cyber crime.
It also provides no justification for the deportation of 35 Russian diplomatic staff from the USA.
Rather than provide anything convincing concerning Russia's attempt to influence the US election, the document provides a considerable amount of irrelevant information on the Russia Today (RT) channel.
For those interested in understanding the rise of cross-border news of which RT is a world leader, it is worth reading the independent report produced by PwC UK (Pricewaterhouse Coopers UK plc) entitled The rise of cross-border news. Margarita Simonyan, Editor in Chief of RT explains the reason for this independent report as, "We wanted to understand the motivation of viewers and readers of cross-border news - and we believed this understanding would help all providers of global news deliver a service that meet users' needs".
Also, in order to clear up the misinformation concerning RT propaganda see the internal APE Brief RT_20160520. Our APE General Editorial Advice is that little or no additional resources should be allocated to this non-story.
The Voice returns with Tom Jones & will.i.am
The Voice Programme has transferred from BBC to ITV and its talent contest will make its debut on Saturday night (7th January, 2017). Tom Jones will return as a judge together with will.i.am and there will be two new judges, the Oscar and Bafta-winning singer Jennifer Hudson and singer Gavin Rossdale, as well as will.i.am who moved with the show from the BBC.
Tom Jones was unceremoniously sacked from the BBC Voice with no explanation or notice and the ratings of the programme immediately fell. The British public did not approve of this cavalier and disgraceful action by the BBC.
It is expected that with his return the new Voice will do well. will.i.am commented that a change in record label from Universal to Polydor should contribute to the contest producing some stars but the choice of song is really important in achieving this.
British media exaggerating significance of EU Rep resignation
Sir Ivan Rogers, the UK government's representative to the European Union, has resigned earlier than expected to make room for someone to manage the Article 50 negotiations for BREXIT. UK Media have taken the opportunity to label this as a rift and a problem for the UK government; it really isn't. If Sir Ivan intended his email sent to staff as a criticism of government, then he should not remain in any case, since some dedication to UK interests is required.
On the other hand, the volumes of reports and documents spewed out by Berlaymont on EU progress tend to be very misleading and uninformative, patching over the many inefficiencies and cock-ups that exist in the implementation of European Commission funded activities.
Like any large political organizations the EU peps up its operational image on the basis of internal propaganda that staff seems to believe. Therefore the notion that the EU and the Commission has more professional negotiators, leaving the UK at a disadvantage, is not a wholly correct representation of the required dynamics under Article 50. The Commission and Council have a well known highly structured crystalline structure that they wish to maintain and its weaknesses are also well known. The UK has a specific global mission and not one to be constrained by the EU in economic terms and definitely not by political considerations. The EU staff have little experience in operating where flexibility is required simply because political constraints do not allow them to be flexible, their degrees of freedom are limited. Concerning the significance of the UK market for many European Union Member State economic sectors, the UK has far more bargaining power and an ability to introduce needed adjustments than is generally admitted.
Washington Post trips up again for peddling fake news
In the third wire in the Botequim column on the right, we explained why a statement of the Washington Post was not true in the post entitled: "Vermont Electricity facility Russian hack - nothing of the kind."
This sort of third rate sensationalist journalism is tiresome and dishonest or just plain sloppy. No wonder less and less people trust such mainstream media. The Washington Post has now withdrawn their assertions concerning Russian involvement.May needs to base Britain's future on constitutional values
The technocratic and exceptionally boring vacuous discussions surrounding the state of negotiations to leave the disunion, that is Europe, need to be substituted by a British-built beacon of hope which can never be found in the European Union.
Europe has lost any notion of leadership in the best sense of the word as being the ability to inspire a population to demand of their government a responsive attitude to the needs of all and thereby creating a constructive non-ending dialogue with the people. A dialogue that is founded on values that include, above all, consideration for others and mutual respect.
The European democratic deficit was identified by Romano Prodi in 2000 and little has changed. The main change has been more Member States round the table and no leadership and a general loss of national sovereignties. We are now in approaching the end of 2016 and things are worse. This endemic failure continues as a range of elitist politicians and confused technocrats have been unable to address this important issue. All of this talk about "European Values" means very little in practice when the Union does not pretend to uphold basic democratic principles nor does it practice them. It is unable to demonstrate an independent and more rational foreign policy other than to follow the aggressive policies of the US State department in continuing wars of aggression that created the European immigration crisis. There is no union of approach to the immigration crisis. The Euro zone stagnates at differential rates that increase as one moves towards southern Europe. People's freedoms are being eroded by an increasingly dysfunctional "political union".
All of this has led to social and economic decline and an emergence of a sustained disruption of the political process with new parties challenging the mainstream. In pre-accession countries political parties can be seen to corrupting the very processes that are supposed to enhance democracy, human rights and economic development. The European Commission, compromised by its mantra of, "an ever closer union" now faces a trade off between corrupt regimes and EAU enlargement. Enlargement no longer has any coherent sense other than being something that will only increase the democratic deficit. Those who pay the price of this chaos are the people of Europe and pre-accession countries. Since after the Lisbon Treaty, the UK has almost no say in the direction that the Union will take and the balance of power within the EU shows no serious desire or capability to resolve these destabilizing factors, then Theresa May has no option other than to push towards a constructive dialogue on BREXIT that emphasizes the need to return to British constitutional values. Whether those in Europe understand this message is not particularly relevant when most of the British population will understand this; this is what counts.
Macedonia, a reason why more countries need to consider leaving the EUThe state of the European Union is unsatisfactory. The European Union and the Commission, face a crisis of constituent confidence in the apparent inability to manage European affairs. As if things were not already bad enough, with so many unresolved issues on the table, another critical iceberg has loomed out of the fog of the recent Macedonian election. The immediate result of the Macedonian election appears to be resolvable but it is associated with something that threatens the EU Titanic. Many were puzzled by the fact that a political party, that an EU Commission mediator stated, runs a regime of fear and intimidation, could win a majority under the noses of international election monitors. The hidden weapon used by the ruling party has been a careful development of a corrupt agricultural policy that influences the rural vote to its advantage.
In spite of regular EU Commission Progress reporting on Macedonia, the government has managed to drag its feet on the introduction of crucial agricultural sector operational requirements under it's EU pre-accession agreement. It has achieved this, apparently, by slowly implementing required information management systems but failing to make them operational in the intended way to support policy. This development, over the last five years, has served to expose significant failures in the quality of the technical oversight functions exercised by the European Commission in their management of important pre-accessions obligations. A complication is that the main vehicle for agricultural development funding is IPARD (Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance in Rural Development) and this has a devolved basis for management which only facilitates political interference because the checks and balances remain in the hands of government institutions within which VMRO-DPMNE elements are free to intimidate to secure what they want.
Why is this being wasted on political corruption in Macedonia?
Articles in the media such as Emancipation and European Options allege that apparatchiks from the VMRO-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO–DPMNE) intimidate ministry staff to maintain an agricultural policy that fails to improve productivity and favours produce processors. As a result farmer incomes are squeezed making them vulnerable to bribes or intimidation when it comes to voting. Those employed by processing companies are said to be under a similar pressure. The system is also alleged to gives money to party "supporters" who feed back funds to the party. An investigative journalist who recently published an article in European Options on this topic is collecting further information, largely from local agricultural experts and farmers. Many feel that VMRO-DPMNE's self-serving tactics have debased agricultural policy and are ruining the future economic and social prospects of the sector and country.
There has also been a de facto tactic of marginalizing EU consultants who point out policy problems or who attempt to introduce fully what they have been contracted to do. This unacceptable practice is hidden because some of the companies contracted to undertake work funded by the EU do not consider it to be their ethical and professional obligation to uphold the quality of the work they are contracted to deliver. They take the expedient route of defending their "bottom line" by following the instructions of VMRO-DPMNE operatives and making such consultants including project managers, expendable. As this evidence begins to pile up, Nikola Gruevski, the leader of VMRO-DPMNE, has stated that his party was withdrawing from the format of party meetings between the four strongest parties being mediated by foreign representatives or ambassadors, under the "Przino agreement", which was used in the last two years of the political crisis. Gruevski is now stating that some ambassadors have interfered too much in Macedonia's internal affairs. He said that this has to end and he is demanding that ambassadors stay within the frameworks of their diplomatic mandates. The editorial of Real News agree with this and it is evident that there is a need for the Ambassador for the European Union, Mr. Samuel Žbogar, to request an investigation into the use of EU funds in the agricultural sector, to ascertain whether these should continue to be available to Macedonia; this is within his mandate.
UK leads European growth in people power bases
Real News reported earlier this year that the British labour party had become the largest socialist party in Europe since Jeremy Corbyn had been elected as leader. In a Blairite attempt to remove him, another leadership election was imposed on the party and Jeremy Corbyn was returned as leader with the largest majority ever obtained in the history of the party.
Corbyn is a strong proponent of people power and listening to what the costituents want and need. However, the UK "mainstream" media continue to wallow in their parochial filter bubbles casting doubt on the ability of Jeremy Corbyn to win a general election. Last time we reported on the Labour party membership it stood at around 500,000; it has since increased by 140,000 to 640,000 (almost 30% within 6 months). It just keeps on growing, especially amongst the young and increasingly, well-informed so-called "middle class" voters.
Unlike the post-truth and fake news shambles that characterises the mainstream media and the chattering classes centred in London, Corbyn has been giving some comprehensive speeches which are convincing. A common criticism is "where is the detail?", but many of the more attractive innovations introduced by the failed Chancellor George Orborne and even lately by Chancellor Philip Hammond, were filched from the Labour party. Jeremy Corbyn is more careful. The conventional national media try to ignore these messages and the foreign media even more so. This is a major oversight of foreign media in ignoring the development and platform of the largest political party in Europe. Fortunately some alternative media such as APE have picked up on the key content and this is convicing more people that Labour has something to offer. This advance has been helped by the current confusion in the Conservative government concerning BREXIT.
Our correspondent in London informs us that although the media ignore Corbyn and the Government ministers talk in terms of their being "no opposition", the growth in people power under the Labour parrty and which effectively keeps Corbyn in an unassailable position, is giving rise for concern; some have become convinced that if there were a snap election, Labour would win. Clinton's Useful Idiots
It is a bad day when a "respected" media is shown to be involved in post-truth sensationalism and fake news. This appears to be the case of the Washinton Post.
The Washington Post has issued an editor’s note that admitted its reliance on the information on the PropOrNot website. This site claims to be supported by nonpartisan experts on “Russian propaganda” but is becoming increasingly evident that the information provided is largely made up. The Post had claimed that Russia was running an increasingly sophisticated propaganda campaign that was influencing the US presidential election and made reference to their sources as being PropOrNot describing this website as being supported by independent researchers who determined that Russian state media, RT and Sputnik News produce biased articles designed to punish Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump as well as contributing to the undermining of faith in American democracy.
As is common of poor and irresponsible journalism the Post and PropOrNot provided no evidence in support of their assertions.
PropOrNot has listed numerous organizations as allies yet social media carry numerous statements from these allies stating that they have nothing to do with the group and had never even heard of it before the Post published its story. Journalist Glenn Greenwald noted that [PropOrNot]," ....this group of ostensible experts far more resembles amateur peddlers of primitive, shallow propagandistic clichés than serious, substantive analysis and expertise; that it has a blatant, demonstrable bias in promoting NATO’s narrative about the world; and that it is engaging in extremely dubious McCarthyite tactics about a wide range of critics and dissenters.”
In conclusion the source of misleading libelous propaganda that has been slandering President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican Party through association with non-existent manipulations by Russia and various private media, who cover Russian affairs, has been, and remains, this mediocre website PropOrNot and the Post has willingly acted as a distributor of the resulting fake news based on a post-truth strategy.
Putin's Useful Idiots
An American NGO called the Henry Jackson Society, has just published a document by an Andrew Foxall of the so-called Russia Studies Centre. This document is entitled, "Putin's Useful Idiots: Britain's Left, Right and Russia"
, demonstrates a lamentable misunderstanding of Russia's policy with repect to so-called left and right movements worldwide. There is no depth to this document with most references being all very recent, most dated 2016 and one or two 1990s vintage. In fact the analysis is plain wrong and reflects perhaps the writer's age and lack of experience with the fundamentals of Russian motivations going back beyond the initiation of World War II. The writer has simply bought into the recent Clintonesque and John Kerry State Department-driven paranoia about Putin. The personalisation of this document, centred on Putin, is typical of the brand of knee jerk journalism that is the US mainstream media today. This cannot be considered to be a serious researched document reflecting the current motivations of Putin.
Any amateur student of history knows that Russia has a well-established habit, like the USA, of funding sympathetic political movements. In fact the USA dedicates somthing like 500 times more funding to foreign political movements and NGOs than does Russia. Indeed, Russia learned some of these techniques from the USA. It is notable that although there is ample evidence of USA funding of foreign political activity as well as regime change supported by bloody wars, the Clinton campaign and security agencies in the USA could not come up with any evidence for Russian interference in the recent US election. Of course even the FBI was accused of acting on behalf of Russia. There is by contrast excessive amounts of evidence concerning USA interference in foreign elections as well as support of the so-called right in Ukraine as well as terrorist groups in the Middle East and of strong political support for Saudi Arabia in spite of evidence of their involvement
in the murderous events of 9-11 in downtown New York. One cannot equate this behaviour with anything to do with freedom, democracy and the rule of law but the author of this document does not want to be bothered with such details but simply wants to deliver on attacking Putin.
One bizarre recommendation by this individual is a that politicians should be required to register the fact that they will participate in coverage by such media organizations as RT. This is a MacCarthyism excess. RT receives funding from the Russian government in the same way as Voice of America in the USA or BBC in the UK. Most US mainstream media are essentially stenographers for
US government output, especially in the case of foreign affairs and State Department output so that on these stations it is difficult to get alternative point of view across. A self-imposed or funded censorship creates enormous bias in news coverage, indeed, the experience of Bernie Sanders during the primaries, provides ample evidence of this. RT has a range of programmes that are managed by people who would not accept any editorial orientation from RT. For example Larry King and his program "Politicking", Ameera David's "Boom Bust" and Afshin Rattansi's "Going Underground"". These are all programs that provide a rational and alternative view of opinions and all off them grill interviewees from any side.
Finally, to highlight where this document goes wrong, like the USA, Russia provides "support" to people whose ideas are potentially against the interests of the country. Such people, mainly on the right, are seduced into misunderstading of provision of platforms, and even funding, signifies support for their basic philosophies; it doesn't, and never has done. It is largely designed to raise their profile and expose them so as to line up domestic opinion against them. This succeeded in the case of the National Front and most other ultra right wing UK parties to the benefit of the UK population.
In disagreement with Stalin, Leon Trotsky pointed out the danger of the right (Fascists) and Stalin made him pay the ultimate price. However, the lesson arising from the Nazi fiasco caused Russia to finally understand Trotsky's analysis at a great human cost. The recent Ukraine events saw the US State Department support of neofascist paramilitary units. There were calls for NATO expansion into Ukraine. NATO, however, had demonstrated its willingness to alter its etablished defensive role willy nilly to pursue a proactive regime change in Libya, under the guise of an innocent "no flight zone". This created a significant change in the perception of the stablity of NATO as a reliable adversary alliance both within the UK as well as in Russia. The evidence is there for all to see that NATO's intervention resulted in chaos and the spread of ISIS and a major European immigration crisis which Muammar Gaddafi had predicted and had prevented. This led, naturally, to the Crimean outcome in light of the important Russian naval base and ethnic make-up of Crimeans, mainly Russian speakers. Ukrainan events at the time was showing TV coverage of Ukrainan neo-fascists clubbing members of Russian ethnic groups to death. This is not to argue that what has occurred is right it is simply to point out that there were good reasons for this move in strategic terms as well as in terms of the security of the population in Crimea. When the West acts in a way that does not demonstrate a consistent strategy there is a problem of predictability resulting in instability. The only way to stop this growing global chaos is to take decisive actions.
In such a world there is a need for balanced rational analyses to identify options for possible soltions. The shallow nature of this journalistic publication devoid of objective analysis with rights reserved by a UK registered charity calls into question why this organization has a charitable status when it is wasting money on such polemic that contributes nothing to the debate.
The deplorables win and the trailer park celebration
Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election of the USA was inevitable but the "powers that were" who have existed in an orgy of mutual status promotion and cronyism within the Beltway and sold as democracy in action by most US media, were the last people to see this coming. This very reality is why Donald Trump won.
He won because people had become increasingly tired of putting up with an in-your-face arrogant corruption of the so-called establishment politicians, their supporters in the corporate world and media and the continued scandals involving the financial world. It is assumed by that "the people" don't "understand" the world's complexities and, in any case, don't have enough power to stop the endless wars promoted by the State Department, the countless number of innocents murdered by the US Coalition's quest to fight terrorism and promote regime change in the Middle East. While politicians looked the other way, people continue to believe that black lives matter, that financial crimes have justified Occupy. Bernie Sanders gave these feelings a focus but people watched as the Democratic machine marginalized Sanders. Wikileaks helped add a perspective on this corruption. A considerable amount of the anger related to the treatment of Sanders, fed into Donald Trump's support.
On the economic side, the disastrous macroeconomic policies followed by the USA, globalization and financialization which resulted in the many in manufacturing and industry seeing their jobs exported to South East Asia and the desperate situation of those referred to by Clinton as "deplorables" or the so-called white trash, crackers, hillbillies, Okies or rednecks has become far worse. An historic fact is that the status of poor whites were held in contempt by even black slaves. During the plantation phase poor whites had to struggle for subsistence.
This long standing prejudice against these people has its origins in the fact that many came from Ireland and Scotland during the period England had been fighting and colonizing these countries. For several reasons poverty and the need to emigrate was imposed on these communities. From that time these people were held in contempt by all of society. Some of the background to this tragic characteristic of the divided society that is the USA can be found in the book by Thomas Sowell entitled, "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" (2005). In this book, Sowell, an African American intellectual puts forward a pretty biased analysis of how those from the Celtic fringe of Britain set a bad example for African Americans who emulated them. Sowell uses this biased analysis to explain the bad behaviour of African Americans. This is an example where a basic sociological circumstance can pit on person who is marginalized against someone else who is also marginalized. Politicians can use this type of circumstance to use the blame game to divide society as well as pick up votes from those who are championed by the politician. The mainstream media approach and, indeed, the thinking of many Americans is to brand people by their ethnicity or group such as Latino, African American, Indigenous, Caucasian and others. This is a somewhat demented view of society and allegiances since it leads to strong subjective associations. So some policemen end up with a tendency to murder African Americans in cold blood in minor confrontations, even when the subject is unarmed.
Some people consider Moslems as a problem. Irrespective of this unfortunate decisiveness of depreciating the image of other members of American society, the main point is that Donald Trump's message found resonance with the unemployed and these "white trailer park inhabitants" who, in some cases, have had to endure a multi-generational abuse from government and society. Trump tapped into a rich seam. The thought that the Latino vote or the African American vote would surge and counter Trump's advance was never going to work. Many Latino families and African American families have lost family members in the continuing pointless wars, a legacy of Clinton & Obama. As a result this surge did not happen.
Although it is easy to blame people's economic status on the movement of immigrants to the economic space there is a danger that this becomes a racist issue when in fact it is an issue of poor management of the economy. The Brexit vote in the UK is mired in this sort of nonsense spouted by the media. The issue is that macroeconomic policies have served the rich at the expense of the poor, investment is falling and productivity declining and real unemployment rising. People at the sharp end have simply said, "enough!".
So in a step towards a more open society, the deplorables have won and there will be many trailer park celebrations. This is in fact something to be admired, it is a potential triumph for American democracy that a billionaire businessman has been able to generate such sparks of hope. Let us hope Donald Trump remains uncontaminated by the Beltway madness and is able to deliver on his promises.
The world is tired and fed up with a bullying and interfering US State Department that has created failed states under Clinton and John Kerry
America and the world should be grateful that the paranoid warmongers and scaremongers lost the election
The conjouring up and the full exposure of a ridiculous paranoid scare mongering based on no evidence at all, other than assertion, exposed a pathological tendency of Clinton to base her campaign on misrepresentation. Her absurd claims that Russia was somehow implicated in trying to influence the outcome of the election was,of course, totally bizarre. However her ambition was so intense that she became insensitive and blinded to the fact that this line simply became increasingly absurd and people began to see through it. She did of course have pliant surrogates in some "security" institutions to state that hacks (if there were any) were of the sort that Russia might apply. On the other hand CNN and other mainstream media sold this story hook, line and sinker again on the basis of no evidence. The hacks according to Ibn Nr were in likely to be home grown leaks or hacks and this is why the security agencies were trying to deflect their inability to protect US cyberspace from its own hackers by blaming Russia.
However, all of these smoke screens by the Clinton campaign were unable to deflect attention from her track record of a willingness to advocate aggression. Her shameful and tasteless reference to the murder of Kaddafi as, “We Came, We Saw, He Died, Ha! Ha! Ha!” (CBSNews) exposed her shamelessly sadistic side. But even worse, her admission in an email that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding ISIS while later accepting money for the Clinton Foundation from these same countries while ISIS continues to target US military personnel and European citizens, to murder Christians, to rape their wives or sell them into sex slavery and to lop off the heads of people who don't "behave" while continuing to spread to more countries. She is completely unsuitable to be president of the country where New York suffered from 9-11 which, it turns out, was conjured up and supported by elements of the Saudi government. It isn't necessary to say much more here but it is very clear that we should all be very grateful that she did not win for the sake of the lives of those innocent people with a right to life who would have perished in far off lands in the name of America if she had become president.
The absence of world leadership requires better national options
After an intense 15 years of aggression and killing, the so-called "war on terror" has only turned into a source of terror and displacement for the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria leading to the immigrant crisis in Europe. The USA has promoted a foreign policy more focused on arbitrary "regime change" and leading to the murder of over a million people and approaching 7,000 US personnel have been killed and over 40,000 injured in the name of fantasies dreamt up in the Washington Belt way by clearly irresponsible individuals with decision-making power in a disoriented administration. The people of the United States gain no benefit from this insanity but they are sold the narrative through a media that their "freedom" rests on the success of a foreign policy bent on marginalizing anyone deemed to be in opposition to USA policies and to use assassination if such opposition persists.
All of this talk about "democracy" palls at what is being done in its name. It is increasingly evident that USA's foreign policy motivation is not primarily to safeguard the interests of the people of America. It serves the specific interests of those who gain from supporting the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, all of whom seek chaos in Syria. The USA foreign policy is a proxy operation acting on behalf of these countries. A vivid characterization of this foreign policy can be seen in the Saudi's wholesale murderous aggression in Yemen deploying US and UK supplied plane systems, armaments and UK provision of pilot training. They have provided this support in spite of the allegations of Saudi Arabia's support of the terrorists who carried out the 9-11 atrocity resulting in deaths of 2,996 people and the injuries of more than 6,000 others in downtown New York. Over a longer period the Saudi financing of the establishment of mosques and promotion of Wahhabism worldwide has provided the foundation for a spread of an intolerant and fundamentalist approach to Islam amongst Moslems in Europe and the USA and elsewhere. This intolerance of other religions and social customs is what has merged into the strains that appear in the outlook of most Islamic terrorists, either "home-grown" or imported. Naturally the US led wars of aggression, that kill more Moslems than any other group, sustain a motivation for people to switch to join those fighting the USA to be branded as terrorists. This explanation for the growth in home-grown "terrorists" was confirmed in an FBI report that did not gain much media coverage.
The sheer extent of the decadence of US foreign policy is reflected in the preference of President Obama to not allow Americans to sue Saudi Arabia and in their continued protection and support of head-lopping, raping sex-slavery operator extremists, also favoured and funded by Saudi Arabia, and whom they call "the moderate opposition" in Syria. Independent national options are frowned upon by the US State Department in complete contradiction of any normal acceptance by a democratic society of alternative positions and policies.
The question is, why does the United Kingdom government, under Theresa May willingly participate in this quagmire of immoral and unethical conduct? The United Kingdom has and continues to pay a heavy price in its meek following of US policies, largely for fear of being ostracized and being upstaged by some EU Member or losing some armaments contract. Its recent orchestrated show in United Nations, alongside France in supporting the scripted US State department hysteria, concerning Aleppo in Syria, only confirmed weak levels of independence.
It needs to be noted that the UK came up with most of the Human Rights legislative foundation in European Human Rights and England produced the first constitutional drafts that after around 140 years were taken up as the US Constitution and Bill of Rights by the "founding fathers". The UK's penchant for logic combined with legal principles largely couched in the Common Law is a sound logical, moral and ethical mix and this still has much to contribute to the world. Discounting the current irresponsible cow towing of the UK to an aggressive foreign policy, the UK can contribute far more by opting for placing humanity at the front of foreign policy and to draw upon moral principles and ethical procedures, to propose peaceful options that safeguard the harmonious development of human communities worldwide. The USA, on the other hand, has done too much damage and viewed with too much cynicism for it to attempt such as move.
The UK recent decision giving arise to BREXIT provides an opportunity for an ex-post analysis of the benefits of leaving as opposed to staying. In 1987, UK Commissioner Arthur Cockburn, Vice-President of the Delors' Commission and Commissioner for the Internal Market, Tax Law and Customs, arranged, through his cabinet, for a study to be conducted on the benefits of the European Common Market and referred to as "No Europe". The first report turned up nothing so the study was recommissioned making use of a management consultancy company to do a more "thorough" job. The outcome was essentially a repeat failure to come up with any significant benefits from Europe.
Berlaymont the law mill
In Berlaymont, the Commission HQ on Rue de la Loi, it was nowhere to be found and very soon it was no longer recognized by its name.
The situation has not really changed since then. It has got worse with the overall makeup of the Member State political systems having veered away from the former English and UK approach to democracy to rule-based legal provisions with little adaptability. Indeed the unfortunate lessons of countries that have joined is that laws written, top down, by government advisers in the same mode as the Commission, is the name of the game. Participatory democracy has become a buzz word. The extension of this approach to EU accession support in the Balkans is not contributing to democratic values but rather the reverse where getting hold of EU funds is obtained by putting in place requested but token administrative structures. Getting out of the EU is well overdue with other member states in the EU Council having increasing veto power while their policies are increasingly top down elitist concoctions. BREXIT had to happen sooner or later. So the option open to the UK is to predict the future after BREXIT, that is to define where is wants to go, the best solution is to create this future, following Peter Druker's advice. This is where the "No Europe" report fell down, it did not explore the alternative options open to the UK beyond "business as usual". The most important option is to demonstrate an independent foreign policy that flexes its muscles, not in selling armaments to murderers, droning and killing the guests at tribal wedding ceremonies or slavishly following the USA into failed ventures. Rather it is to establish alternatives based on moral principles and ethics, removing threats from diplomatic language and embracing simple recognizable peaceful human motivations as the driving force of policy logic.
On the European side the threats of retaliation from EU members is to be expected given the evolving anti-democratic mind sets in the leadership, and the increasing dependency of some on EU hand-outs. If they persist this will damage the weak EU economy and not the UK economy, which has far more options.
Internal struggle in EU over conflicting interests of USA and Member States
It is clear that Donald Tusk failed to deliver on pressure from the US to get a unified EU position to impose further sanctions on Russia at the last Council meeting. He read out a typical US State Department buzz wordy narrative to claim, unconvincingly, that Russia is trying to destabilize the EU. Tusk is becoming somewhat like the other proxy US policy spokesperson, Jens Stoltenberg of NATO who pursues an EU destabilizing policy of aggressive Middle Eastern foreign policy led by the USA that has created the migrant crisis as the major destabilizing issue in the EU. As usual the USA pressures for policies where the EU pays the main price and proxy representatives such as Tusk and Stoltenburg promote European instability.
CIA "covert" operation becomes a very public joke ;-)
In an intentional constituent-aimed media interview on NBC's "Meet the Press", the Vice President of the USA, Joe Biden, hinted that the CIA is preparing a "covert" Cyber attack on Russia. How silly can you get by broadcasting a covert operation in advance? According to Ibn Nr this sort of nonsense is to try and communicate that things are so bad that the US is "going to have to react". This is to add credibility to the assertions of Russian hacking. This fuzzy hint by the Veep is to try and convince the US electorate that Russia really is attacking the Democratic party's range of databases many of which are not operational and the records are offline on paper in dusty filing cabinets. Concerning the Podesta emails and the damming confidential statements made by Clinton to her support groups, the most logical explanation is that these were leaked by Democratic party operatives or IT personnel reacting to the unconstitutional treatment of Bernie Sanders by the party in support of Hillary Clinton. The Russian dimension is a convenient diversionary tactic by the Democrats which has no evidential base, designed to fill the media with the imaginary Russian bogey man "fear factor" rather than the content of these damming documents. The well known endemic political bias in the majority of US mainstream media can be left to do the rest by hiding what is in fact going on from the US public thereby undermining transparency, in contradiction to the fundamental aims of a free press.APE - Apeurope authorizes detailed study on the costs & benefits of Brexit
During the Apeurope Annual General Meeting held on 10th October, Group correspondents registered their extreme frustration at the absence of evidence-based positions, on all sides, during the recent European referendum. With the decision to leave the European Union, this lack of clarity continues. The vacillation and delays by all British political parties in defining any coherent position is alarming and the posturing of the European Commission officials and some heads of state of Member States is unacceptable. Therefore, in the continued absence of any positive government or Commission action the Apeurope Board has authorized a study on the "Costs & Benefits of the UK leaving the European Union". This study will analyse the sector and foreign trade partner potential opportunities, gaps and impacts arising from the new options that now exist with BREXIT. This has the objective of providing a basis for identifying mutual benefits to the remaining European Union's members and to the UK.
|The Whale in the coming BREXIT talks|In some of the preparatory exchanges concerning the Apeurope Study "Costs & Benefits of the UK leaving the European Union" one delegate pointed out that one of the most shocking give-aways by the Heath Conservative government, when the UK entered the European Union in 1972, was the UK's fishing grounds, amongst the most productive on the planet. This had a significant negative social and economic impact on the British fishing industry. BREXIT provides the damaged UK fishing industry and the UK fishermen the opportunity to regain their former prominent contribution to Britain's Agricultural, Fisheries and Forestry sector by supplying the UK with home-caught fish.
The current catch value, official and unofficial, is around £500 million. Much fish coming to the UK market goes through large EU-based factory ships who simply sell fish caught within these waters to UK fishermen or land the fish for port-side markets. With BREXIT the national fishing communities' income could double to around £1 billion.
The re-establishment of British sovereignty over the former UK fishing grounds would be a major tangible benefit of BREXIT. In preparation to this major benefit it would make sense, in terms of managing the total manageable catch (TAC) to come to agreement with Iceland on management and to only permit EU vessels to fish under license paid to the UK treasury. License income would be used to monitor fish stocks and prevent abuse arising from unacceptable catching practices such as avoiding catching and killing very young fish needed to grow stocks for the sustainability of the industry.
This could become the Whale in the BREXIT negotiation fish tank when discussions get going. Several countries, France and Spain and indirectly The Netherlands, have much to lose with this aspect of BREXIT. The solution, of course, is not to try and punish Britain for BREXIT but to come to a satisfactory settlement of things like this; there are many more to come and Real News will be setting these out here.
US foreign policy is a ridiculous "Show Time" for gullible media; little credibility remains
The sheer hypocrisy of the histrionics of the USA UN ambassador and the lack of logical argument of the US State Secretary and the absurd off stage statements by leading US military figures is ridiculous. We witness a bunch of mavericks playing a high stakes poker game while the Commander in Chief, so-called, seems to be ignored. No one believes that the US attack on the Syrian army was a "mistake" as John Kerry claimed. This attack could be "called off" because it was already "mission accomplished". The terrorist attack on the humanitarian mission was immediately blamed on Syrian and Russian air attacks while the US ignored the drone evidence provided by Russia on the local terrorist vehicle pulling a howitzer. The biggest problem that runs through the US narratives and bluster is a complete lack of evidence to back up accusations relating to Russian actions in Syria, cyber attacks on some disparate Democratic Party servers and events in the Ukraine. However, the evidence that does exist supports the emerging truth that the US foreign policy is barbaric, currently protecting rapists and beheading terrorists who run a sex trade based on innocent women, selling them through online sites by having their so-called "moderates" inter-mingle with these terrorists in civilian areas to protect them from attack.
The latest show by these hypocrites has been in the Security Council of the UN to demand "investigations" into war crimes. The burning alive of innocents by US repeated attacks on the hospital in Kunduz in Afghanistan and the recent attack by Saudi Arabia killing 150 individuals in the Yemen are war crimes.
Brexit, better late than never
BREXIT was unexpected but at least it got some people thinking about if something can be done with BREXIT that might benefit the UK population.
First of all, all of the dire chaos that those who wished to remain in Europe warned about, has not occurred. The economy isn't doing well but nothing much has changed. Secondly people are beginning to review the real options without Europe and some of these are appearing to be increasingly attractive. As many are now asking why the UK should limit our market scope to Europe when there is a whole world out there.
The rot began with the European constituents were marginalized by the exclusive way in which the European Convention on the Constitution chaired by former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in 2001. Then in 2003 democracy took a bad turn with the large enlargement under Commissioner Verheugen which brought in many central European countries, none of which had stable democratic credentials and countries like Hungary were pulled in with many EU requirements not having been satisfied and lot of legislation not even having been transcribed. Democracy was dealt a further blow when Angela Merkel in mid-2007, in a leaked letter to Member State leaders, suggested they revive almost all the controversial elements of the flopped European Constitution whereby leaders were trying to smuggle in a massive new extension of Brussels power by the back door. This was all being done in secret behind the back of the British people and the Parliament by Tony Blair. The constitution was controversial because it proposed scrapping national vetoes in dozens of areas, including policing and justice; the creation of a permanent elected president and foreign minister, and a legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights that would increase trade union influence. The aim was to revive the constitution in all but name, but this time without voters getting a choice. The key trick suggested by Merkel and reaffirmed by Tony Blair at the time led to the infamous Lisbon Treaty in December 2007 as an amending treaty.Why Americans have no basic right to bear arms
The right to bear arms, buried in the American Constitution is related to the old English basis for organizing state military forces through local militia. Thus in the American Constitution it states, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed
". The misrepresentation of the content of the American Constitution is promoted proactively by such organizations as the National Rifle Association (NRA) who basically circulate disinformation that this is a general right when even in the US Constitution the eligibility of being able to bear arms is related to membership of a militia.
As a result of this tendentious interpretation of the constitution, each year, has led to the insane result of more than 30,000 Americans killed by gun violence – homicides, suicides and incidental shootings. That number is ten times more than the number of Americans killed by terrorists on 9/11. Yet Congress has failed to act. Felons, terrorists, domestic abusers and the seriously violent mentally ill, and now home-made terrorists who support ISIS have easy access to firearms and ammunition because of weak and irresponsible American gun laws.
|Salt & Vinegar option under BREXIT|
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, assertion that no BREXIT is better than hard BREXIT and that leaving will only leave salt and vinegar. This exposes a behind-the-scenes effort on the part of a wide range of interest groups to try and reverse the UK's decision to leave the European Union.
What is not being accepted is that no one has quantified the benefits of remaining. In the 1980s UK European Commissioner Cockburn commissioned a study called "No Europe". This was supposed to calculate the benefits of being in Europe. The initial study came up with no benefits so the study was repeated, again coming up with no significant benefits. This report was a source of embarrassment and was therefore binned by the Commission. However, the fundamental message of the report was not lost on those who had read the report, especially some members of the UK Conservative party. It should be remembered that Cockburn was a UK Commissioner proposed by the Thatcher government. The bottom line here is that many in Britain know that the European Commission has no bargaining position if a country wishes to leave the EU because it is not possible to quantify the benefits of remaining. Any "hard exit" will prejudice European exporters to the UK. This means trying to punish, or threatening to punish the UK, bordering on economic sanctions, will only hurt Europe. This is why there is a panic in the European Commission.
On the question of foreign investment in the UK drying up with BREXIT, some recent confidential corporate executive conclaves are concluding that the UK's prospects are better outside the EU because the economy will grow faster than the EU as a result of the incremental growth in UK trade with non-EU countries. The organization of negotiating teams, with many members coming from British Commonwealth countries, is impressive and there is a large build-up of trading profiles being prepared, not with the EU, but with a long list of global partners. Whereas the UK started BREXIT with weak negotiation resources the current capabilities have already surpassed the somewhat sclerotic approach associated with the EU Commission typified by secrecy and a very poor public image such as their poorly handled TTIP negotiations.
There is a poorly appreciated fact surrounding the UK regulatory environment for financial services and a long established flexibility in the way the UK-based financial sector handle just about any challenge, sets London apart from any other world financial centre. This has its drawbacks but remains a well known, but seldom admitted, reality. The European Commission dreams that BREXIT will result the global financial centre migrating to Frankfurt, or anywhere else in mainland Europe, but according to traders this is unlikely to come true for the foreseeable future. At the moment European centres do not have the right combination of capabilities, experience and regulatory environments or, frankly, any track record to contemplate substituting London as the global financial centre.
Donald Tusk does not appear to understand that the British have a preference for eating fish and chips with salt and vinegar and this tradition will continue after BREXIT.
|Meet the leader of the biggest political party in Europe|
In spite of the media attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and the out of touch MPs who tried to unseat him by imposing yet another leadership election, he has succeeded, in the meantime, to turn Labour into the largest political party in Europe. There is a certain disorientation on the part of those who look for charisma and image in their leaders as opposed to consistency and substance. Winning elections is not always about the fear factor or false promises it can be about careful fashioning of policy on a more participatory, modest but more effective basis.
The media poured over Corbyn's final address to his party at the end of it's conference. Most criticisms were not particularly relevant, not even fair. But when one listens to the address and compares it with 12 months ago when Corbyn first became leader, there is a more coherent package, not exactly inspiring but more logical and clear. This is what the electorate wants to hear. Step by step Corbyn is beginning to make more sense. In terms of communicating with the electorate the style is clear and comprehensible, it is just plain English.
There is a very British eccentricity to all of this. Unlike European trends this silent revolution is taking place within a traditional political party which has decided to return to its formative roots because the conventional politics has forced the constituents to re-evaluate their evolving status. In many countries the trend has been the rejection of existing political parties with their close association with interest groups who pressure to maintain the macroeconomic policies that have eliminated investment and reduced real incomes on a persistent basis while bubbles appear in real estate and the grey derivatives markets. This is why increasing numbers are joining the Labour party. The Labour party membership already exceeds the total membership of all other British political parties put together.
White Helmets in Syria alleged to be phony NGO
Involved in staged propaganda
Funded by UK government,
with HQ in Turkey
Journalists who have recently visited Syria report that the White Helmets who feature in many media in the West saving children following "attacks by the Syrian government or Russians" are closely embedded in the terrorist groups and only work in the areas occupied by the same. It is alleged that they have a budget of something like $100 million and employ about 3,000 individuals who are involved in staged, heavily edited, videos designed to accuse either the Syrian government or Russians of atrocities. It is further alleged that the White Helmets and heavily armed off camera, have been involved in killing Syrian Civil Defence personnel and raiding and stealing their equipment and mopping up after beheadings and executions by the terrorist organizations. These allegations are so serious that the British Government needs to be asked to explain why they waste public funds on such an organization closely involved with ISIS and Al Quaeda and others and organized to mislead the British public with distorted propaganda.
The declining image of the USA
The showdown at the United Nations saw the USA, the UK and France engaged in duplicity and proving a clear factual financial and military support of the very terrorists who threaten these same countries. We witnessed a decadent John Kerry and histrionic side show by Samatha Power who, to boot, affronted Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin, the Russian Permanent representative to the United Nations. But in the long term the person who has demonstrated restraint, patience and a measured and balanced approach throughout this saga has been Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister. Russia does not need any propaganda machine when the USA's very public foreign policy is run by a rabble.
The image of the USA is declining rapidly with no apparent leadership on the Syrian question leading to the same disasters that the USA has initiated in Afghanistan and Iraq. When talking to the USA on foreign policy we face the issue raised by Henry Kissinger when referring to Europe, "who do you to talk to?". The Pentagon and the CIA supporting rival terrorist groups and the State Department's you are with us or against us, it is clear that the co-called Commander in Chief has absolutely no control over these mutinous agencies.
This presents a very obvious failure in the operation of the constitution of the USA, an inability to bring to heel the tendency for aggression and extra-constitutional behaviour that has caused the deaths of excessive numbers of innocent men, women and children. The frank operational support of terrorists who threaten the USA itself is a shocking state of affairs and an example of a failing state.