Posts Tagged ‘EU’

Fools on the Hill

January 26, 2019

A stall calling for a Second Referendum on Castle Hill.

Fools with a table urging people to support a Second Referendum, only they lack the integrity and honesty to call it a Second Referendum and call it a People’s Vote.

Already at rock bottom, the trust in politicians would sink even lower, lead to riots in the streets, hand to Fascists on a plate.

No surprise, entirely clueless the EU and having a hard time gaining any support and deservedly so.

The EU a cartel for Big Business, a democracy free zone, was created by the US, by the New Dealers post WWII.

Towards the end of WWII, what sent the fear of God into the New Dealers was not WWIII, it was a return to the Great Depression.

Europe lay in ruins, the currencies worthless.

US had a choice, Monet and his cronies or Communists. Monet was seen as lesser of two evils.

Monet had contempt for democracy. Contempt that is writ into the EU.

Europe was designed to transfer wealth from southern Europe to Germany. There is no mechanism for recycling the surplus.

Neo-liberalism and austerity is writ in stone of EU Treaties.

It has been obvious for the last couple of years that the EU is about to implode, sooner rather than later.

Rise of fascism across Europe, Fascist governments in Poland and Hungary, political prisoners in Spain, Greece destroyed and turned into a debt colony as a warning to other vassal states.

EU is playing one country off against another, Germany against Greece, Ireland against UK. EU dictating to Italy, cannot fix crumbling infrastructure.

When the end comes, it is likely to turn very very nasty.

Therefore we must plan now to replace with something better, cooperation not empire. A network of cooperating democratic soverign states.

At local level, follow example of Spain and Madrid, ordinary citizens seize control of local Town Halls, open to public participation, network across Europe.

At local level, create a network of commons, open coops, autonomous markets, local currencies, use FairCoin too. Again, network across Europe.

An article in fake-Left Guardian intellectuals not happy with direction of EU is usual pro-EU drivel. They still do not get it why there is a rise across Europe of fascism, that it is a direct response to EU and dictatorship by elites. There is nothing democratic about EU, a cartel for Big Business, a democracy free-zone. It is about saving EU not dismantling EU and creating a better Europe.

I came across the same Guardian parroted nonsense with this tiny gathering of fools trying to force a second EU Referendum because they cannot accept that UK voted to Leave.

We are Leaving.

Where though I would agree, two years wasted whilst politicians play their infantile games, and extending the cut-off date for Brexit will not help.

We should have had open public meetings to decide where UK post-Brexit, to draw up a consensus.

The Bad Deal dumped on Theresa May by EU was not acceptable and no amount of tinkering is going to change that.

Parliament has to take control, agree a Consensus which is taken to the EU. If EU will not accept, then Leave with No Deal.

If Consensus not possible, then draw up a range of options that are put to a Referendum.

Minimum

  • delete Irish Clause
  • same trade as today
  • membership of EIII, ESA, Erasmas, Europol
  • open skies to British aviation

We will not tolerate dictats from the Irish. If need be, a border.

EU vassal states need to take control, or are they going to sit idly by whist EU destroys their economies?

 

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Conversation on a train

September 21, 2018

Overcrowded late running LNER train into King’s Cross. Two guys engaged in conversation in the buffet car on their way to Peterborough from a beer festival in York. Topic of conversation Brexit, Donald Trump, EU, Jeremy Corbyn, austerity.

You want to join in?

To understand Trump, have to understand Trump is a brand, Brand Trump, everything he does is to enhance the value of Brand Trump. He could have lost the Presidential race, it would not have mattered, he would have enhanced Brand Trump. Trump is an oligarch in the mould of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or Vladimir Putin. Were it not for the media giving him the oxygen of publicity, Trump would have sunk without trace.

To defeat Trump, have to devalue the value of Brand Trump.

In the Presidential Race, a poor choice, Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton. The Clintons are seen as corrupt, in the pocket of Big Oil, Banks and Big Business. Like money-grubbing war criminal Tony Blair, out to line their own pockets. Bill Clinton was responsible for destruction of American jobs, a legacy of rusting steel mills, crumbling factories, Barack Obama continued the same policies, failed to be tough on the banks.

The banks were bailed out, with nothing in return.

To understand the EU, have to go back to the end of the Second World War. Germany was defeated, Europe lay in ruins, the currencies worthless. The only two countries with viable currencies, US and Switzerland. US had a monetary surplus.

It was not the New Deal that rebuilt the US economy after the Great Depression, it was the war economy. The New Dealers feared not another world war but a return to the Great Depression.

Bretton Woods established IMF and World Bank. J M Keynes proposed a third body that would recycle monetary surpluses, in this case US surplus, but Americans would not accept a body controlled by Europeans who had just started two world wars and it was their money. Keynes returned from Bretton Woods a broken man and died not long after.

The Americans would guarantee European currencies tied to the dollar, which in turn was tied to gold, the Gold Standard.

The Americans created the EU, its forerunner, they had a choice who to deal with either Communists or those who had contempt for democracy, they chose the latter, helped create a cartel for big businesses, eurocrats with a contempt for democracy.

America faced two crisis, coming off the Gold Standard and the Oil Crisis. America switched from a country that recycled its own surpluses to a country that recycled other country’s surpluses.

Post-WWII until mid-1970s economies saw steady growth, since then decline and stagnation.

Banks ever keen to make money, created dodgy financial instruments, worthless, but treated and traded as solid as gold, until they were seen to be worthless, the banks that had invested heavily, collapsed.

Banks were bailed out, the poor paid the price, austerity used as a cover for Shock Doctrine, slash and burn of public services. The rich grew richer, the poor poorer.

When we are told there is no money for public services it is a lie, deal with the tax dodgers.

The euro by design intent or not, drains money from southern Europe into Germany.

With fixed exchange rates, southern Europe cannot devalue and balance the books, German intransigence means there is no recycling mechanism.

The massive loan to Greece was a classic example of extend and pretend, the money flowed into Greece and back out to French and German banks. The conditions imposed turned Greece into a debt colony of the EU, forced sell off of state assets, rape and pillage of Greece. The price as always paid by the poorest and most vulnerable of Greek citizens, benefits have been cut, pensions cut, youth unemployment high, public hospitals collapsing.

Greece was destroyed for daring to challenge the EU, to set an example to other vassal states thinking of challenging the EU.

This should have served as a warning to the UK, but has not.

Following the EU Referendum, there should have been open public meetings to draw up a consensus of where we go, then all political parties work together to take on the EU. Instead petty political squabbling. It does not matter who negotiates with EU, unless it capitulation and appeasement, they will say no. We could have same trade tomorrow as today. This would be to the benefit of all of Europe. The EU is determined to punish the UK to set an example, no matter what the cost to Europe.

A second referendum will solve nothing. If a draw, what then, best of three?

Further reading

No is Not Enough — Naomi Klein

The Global Minotaur — Yanis Varoufakis

And the Weak Suffer What They Must? — Yanis Varoufakis

Adults in the Room — Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis discussing Adults in the Room

May 1, 2017

Yanis Varoufakis and Paul Mason in conversation at Union Chapel to discuss Adults in the Room, an account of the European Deep State.

Larry Summers asked Yanis Varoufakis, are you in the inside or the outside?

In other words, are you one of us?

Christine Lagarde, after hours of fighting with Yanis Varoufakis, relaxing afterwards, admitted, he was right, and what was was being done to Greece was wrong, but it had to be done to satisfy the political establishment.

In discussion with US Treasury, they admitted, what was being done by the EU to destroy Greece, they were not happy with, but Greece was Germany’s sphere of influence, and they could not interfere.

Yanis Varoufakis was then  warned, be aware, in a week, a smear campaign will be launched against you by the EU.

One week later, that was what happened, a smear campaign was run. Lazy journalists, with ties to the Deep State, were briefed, they print their lies, and the rest  of the media regurgitates. Lies become facts.

If Yanis Varoufakis attempts to correct the lies, it is then reported as Yanis Varoufakis denies he said. That was never said, not reported.

Until that is he was interviewed by the New York Times, and said it was all a  pack of lies. Who should we believe, it is your word against theirs? Ah, yes, I recorded the meetings.

Not all journalists are of the calibre or integrity of Paul Mason.

Greece was neither here nor there. Greece had to be destroyed to serve as a warning to others.

We are seeing the same with Brexit. UK cannot be seen as being better off outside the EU. It must be punished to serve as a warning to others. That this will destroy Europe is seen as irrelevant.

Yanis Varoufakis set up the Untouchables, a secret task force to deal with Oligarchs and tax dodgers. They obtained records from the banks to show where the money was flowing, then compared with tax receipts. They then offered an amnesty, declare and we will tax you at 15%, we are letting you off lightly, fail to declare and we will bring criminal prosecutions, and by the way, we know who you are.

This programme, which would have brought in billions of euros, was scrapped by the Troika.

The Troika was supported by the Oligarchs, the Troika in turn supported the Oligarchs.

When Greece held its referendum, the media campaigned against No to the Troika. The media owned by the Oligarchs. The Greeks showed courage, they voted No, even though they knew there would be a price to pay. They were betrayed by Greek politicians.

A condition of the next bailout, was to scrap the programme to claw back the tax that had been dodged.

Know who is your enemy, the enemy within. In Labour, those who sabotage the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

In Brighton, it is insanity for Labour to oppose Caroline Lucas.

Everyone urged to join DiEM25 to form progressive alliances across Europe.

We have to transfer power back to nation states, back to town halls, back to people, at the same time, network and cooperate.

When Greece needed help and support, they were betrayed by politicians across Europe, politicians who pretend to be progressive.

When someone says they want to be a politician, want power, they are the people not to vote for.

March of fools and future of Europe

March 26, 2017

#What are the leaders celebrating in Rome? These leaders are responsible for the disintegration of the EU. — Yanis Varoufakis

Europe is an idea, doesn’t know borders and we don’t accept borders in this continent. — Yanis Varoufakis

You can force the people into chains, but not very efficient. Or Manufacture Consent, they willingly forge their own shackles.

In London yesterday, we saw the march of the deluded, Green Party that has lost its way, LibDems who will jump on any passing bandwagon, an assorted rag tag, all united in their support of the EU.

The usual false claims made, prosperity, peace, democracy, betrayal of young people. They could not even differentiate between EU and Europe, the two are not the same.

War criminal Tony Blair spin doctor Alastair Campbell ‏claimed 16–17 year olds supported EU. Maybe he failed to tell them the number of children died in his illegal Iraq War, that it is young people in southern Europe who are bearing the brunt of EU austerity, in Athens young unemployed wander the streets looking lost, in Cyprus the young are a lost generation, no future thanks the the EU.

Yes, there was prosperity, that was across Europe, post WWII, whether in EU or not. UK saw creation of welfare state, expansion of universities, a growing economy, environmental legislation, before Edward Heath took UK into the EU.

Post-2008, post-capitalism, the EU has stagnated, if not gone backwards.

In Greece, the people dared challenge the EU, for that Greece had to be destroyed.
Peace in Europe, for that we have Nato to thank, not EU.

And are we forgetting the bloody break up of Yugoslavia, the criminal networks now based in the former Yugoslavia spreading their tentacles across Europe, the people traffickers?

Are we forgetting the civil war in Ukraine, the seizure of Crimea, the West almost brought to the brink of WWIII, a direct result of meddling by EU in Ukraine?

In Poland and Hungary, Fascist governments, crackdown on civil society.

In Turkey, a Fascist Islamist president, crackdown on civil society.

In Russia, gangster capitalism. Over the weekend, mass protest against corruption, brutal crackdown against any protest.

In Belarus, a brutal crackdown against the people by a Fascist regime. The street protests are against what has been called a ‘parasite tax’, if you are unemployed you are to be taxed for being a burden on society.

Across Europe, we are seeing a rise in Fascism, as a direct response to the EU.

In London over 20,000 a year die due to air pollution. The main cause, diesel fumes. The EU pushed diesel. Why? Because they were lobbied by VW. The same VW that fiddled its pollution tests. Small diesel cars are more polluting than lorries. Small diesel cars are 12–13 times more polluting than top of the range diesel cars.

In Rome, protest against the EU.

In Rome the EU meet to celebrate. It is businesses as usual.

In parallel in Rome, DiEM25 are meeting to offer an alternative, radical vision for Europe. Note Europe not EU.

Skip the first hour and a half and go straight to Yanis Varoufakis. The first hour is an empty venue filling up, next half hour waffle, though interesting points are made.

Many criticised Yanis Varoufakis for touring the UK with Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell to support UK remaining in the EU. Is he not one of its strongest critics, does he not bear the scars on his back?

Almost as an aside, Yanis Varoufakis explained why. It was not because he supports the EU, it was because he wanted the British on the inside to help with the fight against the EU. But, unlike those who took to the streets in London on Saturday, he recognises why people voted to Leave, it was not because they were racist (though some were), it was because they were saying enough is enough.

Anti-EU is not anti-Europe. Those who voted Leave, are saying the three million EU citizens living in UK should be granted the right to remain, they should not be treated as a bargaining chip.

But unlike those on the streets of London, Yanis Varoufakis recognises what could happen, 2008 could be our 1929, a rise of Fascism across Europe, which is why we need a progressive alternative to the EU, a progressive alternative for all of Europe.

It is for these reasons that DiEM25 are proposing change.

A Green New Deal, money to be pushed to the maintainers of society, to the innovators.

The maintainers are the nurses, the doctors, the teachers, the carers, the road sweeper, people who without society could not function.

The innovators are those who will take us to a greener, fairer society. They will create open source, open coop platforms, to enable participation, to put out of business Uber and Deliveroo.

Is it fair, as a speaker before Yanis Varoufakis asked, that the head of Fiat in Italy earns more in one day, than the lowest paid worker at Fiat would earn in 20 years?

We have to, as an earlier speaker said, redefine what we mean by work. That someone is not paid, does not mean they are not doing useful work.

This leads directly to the need for a Universal Dividend. Not as we have at present, forced to work to earn a living, precarious low paid soul destroying McShit jobs, serfs working for apps as we see with Uber and Deliveroo, bullshit jobs.

Leads also, as the speaker who followed Yanis Varoufakis, to DiEM Voice, art to drive a new agenda.

EU can try to punish UK in which case all will suffer, the German car worker, the French wine producer. Or we can all agree the existing trade arrangements remain in place.

We need democratic reform, power passed back to countries, that they recover their sovereignty, create a network of cooperating democratic sovereign countries, power passed down to cities and regions, as we see in Barcelona and Catalonia. Power passed down to ordinary citizens, participatory democracy, not the failed representative democracy. New political parties, as Podemos in Spain, or a reformed Labour Party as desired by the leadership and the new members, but blocked by the reactionary Labour Party Establishment.

EU is a cartel for Big Business, a democracy-free zone, a haven for tax dodgers and corporate lobbyists.

The EU experiment has failed. The EU is disintegrating.

What we have to ensure, is that it is replaced by something better, where all citizens are represented, where wealth is fairly distributed, where the environment is protected. We cannot for example deal with climate change at national level, or even European level, it has to be at global level, with countries cooperating.

If people across Europe, do not fight for this New Europe, you will be delivered into the hands of Nationalists and Fascists, delivered by the gullible fools we saw gather in London on Saturday, who should be fighting for change, not supporting the existing rotten system.

Greek crisis is the canary in the mine

March 11, 2017

Last year the Greek economy suffered a further blow, contracting by 1.2% at the end of 2016, according to revised figures released earlier this week. The figures, published by the Greek statistics agency Elstat show it was the worst quarter since the summer of 2015, when the European Central Bank closed the Greek banks.

The medicine imposed by the EU is killing the patient, not that there was ever any intention of helping the patient to recover.

Capitalism is an adaptive system, or was, 50 year long Kondratieff cycles, each new cycle driven by technological innovation. This came to an abrupt end in 2008. We are now post-capitalism.

2008 a banking crisis, morphed into an economic crisis, into a social and political crisis, and now a geo-political crisis.

2009 the German banks were bankrupt, their ‘assets’ worthless dodgy US financial instrument. They were bailed out by the German taxpayer.

2010 the German banks were in trouble again, back with their begging bowls, the Greek state was bankrupt, could not service their debt, technically the German banks were insolvent. The German taxpayer would not stomach a second bail out of the German banks. A clever ploy, biggest ever loan to a bankrupt state, the money flows to Greece straight back out to French and German banks. Classic extend and pretend. And a bonus, control the Greek state, plunder the Greek state, force sell off of state assets at knockdown prices. The result, Greek economy shrank by 25%. To put that in context, Great Depression following the Wall Street Crash economies shrank by 20%.

2015 Syriza won a landslide victory, with a mandate to challenge the EU.

What we saw in Greece, was not ‘conventional Left politics’, this was a radical, progressive moment with popular support. Greeks were saying, enough is enough.

Most intelligent observers recognise, the EU is close to collapse. It is a rigid hierarchical system.  Such systems lack the ability to adapt, they are brittle and cannot survive shocks.

The banking crash of 2008 was one such shock. The election of Syriza was another shock. The example being set by Syriza could not be allowed to spread, the contagion had to be contained.

The mechanism used to destroy  the Greek banks and destroy the Greek government was the ECB.  The role of a Central Bank when banks are in trouble is to help support the banks, ECB did the exact opposite.

But was the closure process legal and within the ECB’s charter and mandate?

ECB President Mario Draghi wasn’t sure; Draghi commissioned an independent legal opinion on this issue.

Fabio De Masi, a German Die Linke MEP, asked for a copy of this legal opinion. He was denied a copy.

When money flowed into Greece, then back out to bail out German and French banks, why were EU citizens not told what was happening?  Instead they were led to believe that hard working Germans were subsidising lazy Greeks.

Greece was bankrupt. The existing debts should have been written off, or at the very least restructured. Instead, more money was loaned to enable the Greeks to continue to service their debts.

ECB is a Central Bank without a government. Countries within the eurozone are countries without a central bank. The eurogroup lacks any legitimacy, legally and a constitutionally it does not exist.

ECB used its powers to interfere directly in the democratic process of a country.

Yanis Varoufakis  and Fabio De Masi MEP have launched a public campaign demanding the immediate release of what they are calling The Greek Papers.

Greece is the canary in the mine, symptomatic of a wider problem within the EU and the eurozone.

As it celebrates the signing of the Rome treaty, EU has proposed changes but it is merely a watered down version of business as usual

EU is not Europe.

We should be planning now for the collapse of the EU to be replaced by a network of cooperating democratic countries.

At local level, as we have seen in Spain, Madrid, Barcelona and A Coruña, ordinary citizens seizing control of their local Town Halls, opening to public participation, then networking with other citizen controlled Town Halls.

We need across Europe a Green New Deal.

At local level, establishment of open coops, support for small businesses, collaborative commons.

We need faircoin and fairpay card as cooperative digital alternatives to the euro, at local level, local currencies.

In Foundation, first book of the Foundation trilogy,  the Galactic Empire is collapsing. A group of citizens establish at opposite ends of the galaxy, two foundations. They do so in the knowledge that the Empire will collapse, but by preserving what is known, they will greatly reduce the period of instability.

That is the situation we now find ourselves in Europe. 2008 could be our 1929, when Europe descended into Fascism and chaos.

We are already seeing the end, the rise in Fascism, the chaos.

We must work now to plan for the future, otherwise our 2008 will be 1929.

Please support Yanis VaroufakisFabio De Masi and DiEM25 in their call for the release of The Greek Papers. Please support their request to release these critical documents by signing the petition calling for the release of #The GreekFiles.

Force ECB to release #TheGreekFiles

February 21, 2017

Those who support the EU, why do they continue to turn a blind eye to Greece?

Greece dared stand up and challenge the EU, for that Greece had to be destroyed.

The main route for destroying Greece was to destroy the Greek banks.

That action may have been illegal.

Deep in a vault in the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) lie #TheGreekFiles, a legal opinion about the ECB’s actions towards Greece in 2015 that could send shockwaves across Europe.

As a European taxpayer, you paid for these documents. But the ECB’s boss, ex-Goldman Sachs head Mario Draghi, says you can’t see them.

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and Fabio de Masi MEP, together with a broad alliance of politicians and academics (below), have announced they will file a mass freedom of information request to the ECB to uncover #TheGreekFiles once and for all.

If Mario says no, they’ll take the campaign to the next level, and consider all options – including legal action – to make this vital information public.

Please support their request to release these  critical documents  by signing the petition calling for the release of #The GreekFiles. 

This DiEM25 petition is supported by a coalition of politicians and academics, with divergent views on the future of the EU and the Eurozone.

Here is the most recent list; check back for updates:

  • Benoît Hamon, Socialist Party candidate for the French Presidency, 2017
  • Katja Kipping, Co-Chairperson, Die Linke, Germany
  • Gesine Schwan, President, Viadrina European University and twice the SPD’s candidate for the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Yanis Varoufakis, co-founder of DiEM25 and former Greek finance minister

with the support of university professors including:

  • Klaus Dörre, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena
  • James K. Galbraith, University of Texas at Austin
  • Rudolf Hickel, Bremen Universität
  • Gustav A. Horn, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung
  • Aidan Regan, University College Dublin
  • Jeffrey Sachs, University of Columbia
  • Joseph Vogl, Humboldt Universität
  • Arthur Gibson, University of Cambridge

In June 2015, the newly-elected Greek government was locked in tense negotiations with its creditors (the ‘Troika’ – the ECB, EC and IMF), doing what it had been voted in to do: renegotiate the country’s public debt, fiscal policy and reform agenda, and save its people from the hardship of the most crushing austerity programme in modern history.

The Troika knew they needed to make a drastic move to force the Greek government to capitulate. And that’s just what they did: through the ECB, they took action to force Greece’s banks to close, ultimately driving the Greek government – against its democratic mandate – to accept the country’s third ‘bailout’, together with new austerity measures and new reductions in national sovereignty.

But in their haste, their zeal to crush the Greek government’s resistance, the ECB feared their actions might be legally dubious. So they commissioned a private law firm to examine whether those decisions were legal. The legal opinion of this law firm is contained in #TheGreekFiles.

In July 2015, the German MEP Fabio De Masi asked Mario Draghi to release the legal opinion. Mario refused, hiding behind ‘attorney-client privilege’. Clearly #TheGreekFiles contain something he doesn’t want us to see.

One of the foremost experts on European Law, Professor Andreas Fischer-Lescano, examined whether the ECB was right to refuse to release #TheGreekFiles. His detailed conclusion leaves no room for doubt: the ECB has no case for withholding from MEPs and the citizens of Europe the legal opinion the ECB secured (and paid for using your money) regarding its own conduct.

But in addition to the legal imperative: in today’s Eurozone, the power of the ECB to close down a member-state’s banks violates every democratic principle. It also violates the ECB’s own aspiration, and charter obligation, to be independent and above political strategising.

We must all throw light on the lawfulness and propriety of ECB decision-making – beginning with this case – to give European democracy a chance, as well as to make the ECB less vulnerable to power politics.

Thoughts on DiEM25 UK launch

February 5, 2017

On Saturday morning 28 January 2017, at Conway Hall in Central London, long an important place for radical religious, philosophical, social and political thinking in the UK, DiEM25 held its UK organisational launch.

I have attended many interesting meetings at Conway Hall, unfortunately I was not at the UK launch of DiEM25 or at the meeting the evening before with Yanis Varoufakis.

Speakers from varied backgrounds included musician Brian Eno, Turkish author, columnist and academic Elif Şafak, from a Polish perspective Agnieszka Wiśniewska and Igor Stokfiszewski, and economics professor and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis

Brian Eno is wrong, 1970s and onward not a period of growth.

Post-WWII, 1950s and 1960s were when we saw unprecedented growth. When Harold Macmillan told us ‘we had never had it so good’ and Tony Benn or was it Harold Wilson talked of ‘the white heat of technology’.

Brian Eno is though correct when he says we have seen accumulation of wealth by the 1%.

Where in the 1970s the head of a UK bank had a salary of 100 times the lowest paid, now it is in excess of three hundred times.

In US, wages have flat-lined since the 1970s, even though productivity has continued upwards at the same rate as post-WWII. In part explains the rise of Donald Trump.

Technology has given us in a post-capitalist world Uber, Deliveroo and now Wheelys, serfs working for an app.

It can also give us open platform coops, open source.

In Madrid, they have developed as Open Source Decide Madrid, a public participation platform. Being Open Source, it can be adopted by other citizen-controlled Town halls.

I agree with Elif Şafak, left v right has no meaning, it has had no meaning for at least a decade.

She has come from a dictatorship, Turkey, that could equally apply to the USA under Donald Trump.

Whilst I can sympathise with DiEM25’s “radical remain” position of being “in the EU against the EU” it is now dated and can no longer apply, and must change that position.

We have Donald Trump one side and Vladimir Putin the other, we need a strong Europe. A strong Europe of independent, democratic cooperating, sovereign states. This is not the EU, it can never be the EU. To believe can democratise the EU is a pipe dream. It is a brittle structure unable to adapt. It is built into the EU DNA to be a democracy-free zone, nothing will change that.

Build links across Europe, which is what DiEM25 is doing.

Build communities at local level, open coops, collaborative commons, then seize control of local Town Halls, then network these citizen controlled Town Halls.

This can be done, Madrid, Barcelona and A Coruña in Spain, Frome in Somerset in England, are showing the way.

Yanis Varoufakis is correct, there needs to be cooperation between parties, but that is not the same as forming formal alliances.

There is something ridiculous when Labour challenge Caroline Lucas in Brighton, especially when we look at the regressive Member of Parliament Labour has in Brighton, who uses every opportunity to attack Jeremy Corbyn.

Similarly, Labour should forget Scotland, if SNP remains a progressive party, the same could apply to Wales. Focus on England.

In Stoke, Labour are likely to lose because they put forward a useless candidate. A candidate who ranks alongside Owen Smith.

There has to be massive clear out of the Labour Party. No matter how good the policies put forward by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, they will count for nought when they are constantly undermined.

As I write, Caroline Flint granted a prime time media platform to attack Diane Abbott. And what was the sin Diane Abbott had committed? She had failed to attend the House of Commons Brexit vote. Would it have made any difference? Not one iota. It was a landslide to trigger Article 50 for UK to exit the EU.

But it is this type of infantile behaviour by Caroline Flint that turns people off politics, and loses Labour votes.

Jeremy Corbyn was wrong to tell his party how to vote on Brexit Article 50.

We are leaving the EU. The focus should now be on building a post-Brexit future. And that is for the people to decide, not politicians.

We need a Green New Deal. Investment in people, in green technologies.

For example, instead of capping energy prices, talk of nationalisation of Big Six, create community owned local energy grids. Into these local networks feed renewables guaranteed a fair price. Consumers pay a fair price. Any surplus generation fed to other local grids via a publicly owned National Grid. Any ‘profit’ ploughed back into the local network or used to fund local community projects. The Big Six would be unable to compete and would go out of business.

HS2, Heathrow Third Runway, Hinckley Point C, should all be scrapped. These are gravy trains for contractors, not job creation schemes, and as infrastructure projects offer little.

The railways should be brought back into public ownership as each franchise expires, or in the case of Southern Rail for bad performance. Ownership would be some form of cooperative structure not nationalisation.

The idea put forward by Yanis Varoufakis, a national dividend not a basic income is worth exploring.

Stop CETA

October 24, 2016
Stop CETA support Wallonia

Stop CETA support Wallonia

We will never decide anything under an ultimatum or under pressure. — Paul Magnette, Wallonia

CETA, like TTIP, is a trade deal. Though trade is something of a misnomer.

Both are about handing control to global corporations to decide our future in secret trade courts. Both are being pushed in secret by the EU.

CETA is with Canada, TTIP with the US.

CETA appears to have been derailed by Wallonia, a region of Belgium. Now joined by the Brussels region in opposing CETA.

The supreme irony, the people have revolted at the heart of the evil empire.

Enormous pressure is being put on Wallonia by the EU corporate thugs.

It is important Wallonia and Brussels stand firm as they are all that stands between CETA being ratified. By standing firm, they are acting for all of us.

Last week, the Wallonian prime minister, Paul Magnette, did what no other European leader had the courage to do, and declared his government won’t support CETA. He stood up for democracy and became the champion of the millions of Europeans opposing the deal.

The European Commission and the EU’s big member states aren’t willing to give up, and they are putting huge pressure on Paul Magnette to back down in time for a signing ceremony planned for later this week. Now only one thing stands in their way — Paul Magnette and the brave Belgian regions.

Paul Magnette stood up for democracy over corporate power – but he might buckle under the pressure from all sides, unless we can send him a huge show of support from people across Europe. But we don’t have long to act: the EU and Canada are hoping to force Wallonia to retreat in the next 48 hours. So we must stand with Wallonia now!

CETA is a huge trade deal bewteen EU and Canada that would hand corporations the power to overturn our laws in their favour. If all EU member states agreed it could mean that everything from environmental protection to consumer safety laws are under threat from greedy corporations.

Wallonia is being intimidated by the Commission and some big member states. Paul Magnette said he was receiving “thinly veiled threats” because he is trying to make sure CETA doesn’t override basic democratic values.

We need to show the unelected undemocratic EU that Paul Magnette has our support from all over Europe, and we won’t stand for the EU abusing its power.

Please sign the petition opposing CETA and supporting the stance taken by Wallonia.

Is 2008 our 1929?

June 28, 2016
Come on Greece It's Time to Leave

Come on Greece It’s Time to Leave

Leave won because too many British voters identified the EU with authoritarianism, irrationality and contempt for parliamentary democracy while too few believed those of us who claimed that another EU was possible. — Yanis Varoufakis

Britain has voted to leave the EU. The reason? A large section of the working class, concentrated in towns and cities that have been quietly devastated by free-market economics, decided they’d had enough. — Paul Mason

While I remain convinced that leave was the wrong choice, I welcome the British people’s determination to tackle the diminution of democratic sovereignty caused by the democratic deficit in the EU. And I refuse to be downcast, even though I count myself on the losing side of the referendum. — Yanis Varoufakis

I predicted in Postcapitalism that the crackup of neoliberalism would take geo-strategic form first, economic second. This is the first big crack. — Paul Mason

As of today, British and European democrats must seize on this vote to confront the establishment in London and Brussels more powerfully than before. The EU’s disintegration is now running at full speed. Building bridges across Europe, bringing democrats together across borders and political parties, is what Europe needs more than ever to avoid a slide into a xenophobic, deflationary, 1930s-like abyss. — Yanis Varoufakis

1929 the Wall Street crash, followed by The Great Depression, followed by dog-eat-dog mentality, austerity, followed by rise in Fascism across Europe, Spanish Civil War, General Franco, Mussolini, Adolf Hitler come to power, World War Two.

I was at a garden party Saturday. Live music, Lamborghini in the stable block, tennis court in the grounds. Very scared people.

On leaving, I thought, was this like June, a lovely sunny June, people at garden parties before the horror of World War Two?

Since the 2008  banking crisis, economies have flatlined. Forget the lies of politicians, who get out a magnifying glass, see statistical noise and claim they see recovery.

EU is a failing economic zone thanks to structural flaws in the euro.

Across Europe we are seeing a rise in Fascism.

Yanis Varoufakis sees exact parallels with the 1930s and fears the worst if the EU breaks up. That was why Yanis Varoufakis campaigned with Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell for UK to Remain in the EU. Not because he sees anything good in the EU, he does not, he bears the lashes on his back, it is because he fears for the future and wanted our help to fight the EU from within.

Those who saw the EU for what it is, a big business cartel, a democracy-free zone, even if on both sides of the debate, had a common aim. There were those who felt EU was beyond reform, therefore Leave and hope others follow. Others like Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Yanis Varoufakis thought best to fight from within.

Greece dared challenge the EU, and for that Greece was destroyed.

UK has done more than dare challenge the EU, UK has dared to Leave, has sparked a Revolution across Europe. This is the spark that will set Europe alight.

We should fear what the EU will do next.

We have seen attacks on David Cameron for resigning, demand he start negotiations to leave.

We are being told no access to EU markets.

Unelected EU President Jean-Claude Juncker has ordered eurocrats to not enter into any negotiations with the British informal or otherwise, he has questioned why UK MEPs are still sitting on the European Parliament.

Who do these people think they are?

But what it does do, is illustrate the mindset of arrogant unelected eurocrats.  Contempt for democracy, contempt for the Greeks, contempt for the Brits.

They are frightened, they know their days are numbered, as they know if UK can have a painless exit from the EU, other countries will follow, and the EU will collapse.

Greece was punished, brought to its knees by the ECB turning off funding to Greek banks.

What therefore will EU do to UK, what punishment will they mete out?

We have already seen threaten to stop the mechanism by which British banks operate across Europe for clearing euros.

EU may pick a fight with UK, the fifth largest economy in the world. Adolf Hitler picked a fight with UK.

EU would come of worse if they tried, but they will take down the entire world economy with them. They would turn southern Europe into a wasteland and create a world recession that would last a generation.

If no deal with EU, would under WTO rules have Most Favoured Nation Status. This would grant both sides access to markets with low tariffs, but without any diktat from the EU. It would then be for both side to reach agreement to lower those tariffs.

We have already seen how jittery are the world markets. Markets hate uncertainty.

Economic illiterate George Osborne has threatened yet more austerity. The worst possible outcome if facing a recession.

Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Paul Mason, recognise, we have to deal with mass migration, the devastating impact it is having on working class areas.

Free movement of people, never envisaged mass movement of people.

This is being used, and it was encouraged by war criminal Tony Blair, to drive down wages.

It is not only in UK.

In Cyprus, unscrupulous hotel chains, fire all their Cypriot workers, hire in their place, temporary cheap labour form Romania and Bulgaria. Another hotel chain, employs students from a hotel and catering school in Slovakia, girls who are bullied, work in an atmosphere of fear. Cheap labour via the back door, no training programmes in place.

All parties have to cooperate, call public meetings, to reach a consensus. This is too important to be left to a handful of politicians or political parties. The EU Referendum showed how of touch they were with ordinary people. There also has to be at grassroots across Europe, cooperation to decide what Europe we want. And that Europe cannot be one where we are being dictated to by the EU.

UK has to have full unfettered access to the European market, in turn, they to the UK.

To trade, we do not need trade agreements, but removal of tariff barriers, especially punitive ones, helps.

UK has to look to other markets. UK could quickly reach agreement with India. There are historic ties and it is clearly easier for India to reach agreement with one country, than with 27 countries.

To attempt to turn UK into a fiscal penal colony with creditor guards and debtor prisoners, as has been to Greece, would fail.

By the same measure the debt of Greece must be written off. It is unpayable, why therefore pretend otherwise?

Jeremy Corbyn is being blamed for Brexit, which is farcical, were it was not so tragic. It misses the point, as to why a referendum was held, it was for the people to decide, not politicians.

The Parliamentary Labour Party has revolted against Jeremy Corbyn, but they have no mandate to do so. And they have done it at a time when we all need to be focused on a post-Brexit future. Their self-indulgence will not be forgotten. And if Jeremy Corbyn was at fault then what role those MPs who have mounted a coup?

Brexit has shown the eurocrats have still not got it. Sadly neither have the many embittered Remain who are spewing hatred on social media, many seem to lack any understanding of the difference between EU and Europe, that anti-EU is not anti-Europe or anti people of Europe, they are stirring up racial hatred which has already lead to attacks on people from Eastern Europe.

DiEM25 are pushing for democratisation of the EU. They now as a matter of urgency need to push for retention of trade links with UK.

Another Europe is possible

June 24, 2016
ballot paper

ballot paper

England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example. — William Pitt the Younger

Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. — Benjamin Franklin

EU is Dead. Long Live a Free Europe.

In the Greek EU referendum last year, the bullying and hectoring failed to work. The Greeks said No to the EU.

The bullying and hectoring in the UK failed to work, the people said No.

When the votes were counted, what we saw was a victory by the people.

Lives were not sacrificed in two World Wars for the UK to be ruled by an unelected 28-member junta located in Brussels.

David Cameron has done the decent thing and resigned.

George Osborne has to go. He threatened the British people with economic terrorism if they voted to leave the EU.

Labour showed they were out of touch during the Scottish Referendum. Out of touch during the General Election. Out of touch on the EU Referendum. There was not the support within the Labour movement to leave as had been claimed.

Labour has one last chance under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. Either reform or go the way of socialist parties in Greece and Spain and be replaced by radical, grass roots parties. This means a radical agenda, it also means a purge of the Blairites. The poison of Tony Blair has to be removed from Labour. If the evidence stacks up following publication of the Chilcott Inquiry, then Blair has to be put on trial for war crimes.

This morning we had war criminal Tony Blair crawl out from under his stone and call for Jeremy Corbyn to go. And on cue, two Blairite MPs table a Vote of No Confidence in Jeremy Corbyn. Others are given a platform by the BBC.

Blairites need to wake up to the fact, Jeremy Corbyn has widespread public support they do not.

One of the huge mistakes made by Labour and the Trade Unions, was to attribute to the EU hard won rights by generations of workers. If, as they falsely claimed, handed down by an undemocratic big business cartel, then what role Labour, what role Trade Unions?

Every single right we have, was won by ordinary working people.

Green Party, and especially Caroline Lucas, lost what little credibility they had, with the ludicrous claims they made for EU benefits.

One of the few people to come out with any credibility was Yanis Varoufakis. He made no claims for EU benefits, he told it as it was, but asked that we stay in to help fight the EU.

The politicians are out of touch. They cannot decide what a Post-EU future will look like. There has to be open public meetings across the country to draw up a consensus.

This morning President of the Council of Ministers Donald Tusk showed arrogant contempt for the people of Europe. He said it was to be business as usual for the remaining 27. His arrogant contempt for democracy illustrates all that is rotten with the EU.

Leaders of the 27 are to meet without David Cameron in crisis talks. David Cameron is still British Prime Minister, UK is still an EU member.

Greece was treated in the same way, meetings were held without Greece.

UK has triggered a mass demand across Europe for countries to leave the EU.

Our friends in DiEM25 must now change course. Their motto reform or disintegrate, is now outdated, has been overtaken by events. They must heed what their colleagues in UK and across Europe are saying, dismantle the EU and move to a better future. This means, we cooperate at grassroots across Europe. We move to a network of cooperating, sovereign, democratic, European countries.

Until there is a General Election, should the Tories run the country? Should we not have a grand coalition government?

Whatever happens, we need John McDonnell, with the help of Yanis Varoufakis, to draw up what could be an Emergency Budget, to stabilise the economy. This means as outlined last year, investment in jobs, green infrastructure, dealing with tax dodging and an end to austerity.

All Partly Leaders must sign a pledge that they will respect all existing environmental protection and employment rights legislation.

We need to increase the Minimum Wage.

We need to assure all those from Europe living and working in UK, they are welcome. They should also, if they work and pay tax, be entitled to claim benefits.

Free movement of people was never to envisage the mass movement of people we now see.

The German equivalent of the CBI, has recognised existing trading agreements should remain.

Germany exports 50.9 billion euros worth of goods to the UK.

We must knock on the head the lies that are circulating, that Brits will not be able to work and live in Europe.

We must make clear, leaving EU, does not make us anti-European.

We should encourage and help other countries to leave the EU. For those in the euro zone, leaving is going to be difficult without their own currencies. They should establish parallel cryptocurrencies.

We need to transfer power to lowest possible level.

Citizens across Europe should seize control of Town Halls, implement participatory democracy, then network across Europe. Follow the examples of Barcelona and other towns and cities across Spain, of Frome in Somerset with their Flatpack Democracy revolution.

We must support open coops, collaborative commons.

Cornwall is highlighting the loss of its regional funding from the EU. Other regions will be in the same position. This funding should be maintained, but it should go on green infrastructure, for example establishing community owned local area networks into which renewables feed, supporting and establishing social enterprises.