WriterBeat articles – Ian Thorpe

 


Macron Makes Honest Criticism Of Africa – Get’s Called A Nazi

Plenty of room inside the African Malthusia express

 

It is on record that none of the contributors to this blog have much time for recently elected French President Emmnuel Macron. We have dubbed the former Goldman Sachs executive a ‘grandmotherfucker’ and dismissed him as just another globalist appartchik who will do the bidding of the faceless people who run the financial cartels. However we should always give credit where it is due and, fair play to the lad, he is the first European leader to publicly utter the truth about why the problems of that dysfunctional continent, Africa, are insoluble.

 

Macron has been criticised for claiming Africa’s perpetual humanitarian crisis is due to ‘civilizational problems’ and women in tribal societies having “seven or eight children” hampering social and economic development in African nations.

 

Addressing a session of the the G20 summit, the French President was questioned by a reporter from former French colony Ivory Coast on the possibility of implementing a policy like America’s Marshall Plan for rebuilding Europe after the Second World War to kick start economic development in African nations.

 

“The problems Africa faces today are completely different {to those of Europe after World War Two]  and are civilizational”, Mr Macron told the journalist. “What are the problems?” he went on. “Failed states, tribalism and extremely difficult demographic transitions.”

 

Only through by a more rigorous form of governance, a fight against corruption, a fight for rule of law, a successful demographic transition when countries today have seven or eight children per woman, can change be achieved,” Mr Macron added. “At the moment, spending billions of Euros outright would stablise nothing. So the transformation plan that we have to conduct together must be developed according to African interests by and with African leaders.”

 

In a far reaching reply, Mr Macron also identified issues such as Islamist terrorism, drugs and weapons trafficking and human trafficking.

 

He said that although France had controlled dozens of colonial territories across Africa and accepted responsibility to help with infrastructure, education and heath, a simple money transfer was not the answer. Again he is correct, billions of Dollars, Pounds, Euros, Francs, and Marks have been thrown at Africa’s problems since the end of colonialism and yet the crises only ever seem to get worse.

 

He is absolutely right of course, Africa’s population explosion is unsustainable. Nigeria is on course to be the world’s third most populated nation by 2050, passing Russia, Brazil, Indonesia and the USA. With a population estimated at 195million, Nigeria has seen a 200% growth in population since 1967. Ethiopia, where a famine that threatened the lives of millions of a population that stod at 40 million triggered the ‘Live Aid’ relief effort in 1985 is now over 100million. And yet there has been no agrarian or industrial revolution in Africa in that time, attempts to encourage the use of contraception have been resisted and many tribal communities simply refuse to adapt their traditional lifestyles to changing conditions.

 

At the time of writing, Ethiopia, with a population three times larger than last time, is facing a famine caused by prolonged drought again.

 

Not only is hunger an ever greater problem in some parts of Africa, with vast numbers of people dependent on aid agencies for food, there are also crises arising from shortages of drinking water in drier regions. With economic development not just stalled but propped up on bricks at the roadside because the wheels have been stolen, there is little to invest in infrastructure projects such as a water distribution grid.

 

To make matters worse global corporations, having no doubt bribed government officials, are privatising water supplies so in future only those who can afford to pay for water will be able to drink safely.,  (To do your bit about this, ask your readers to boycott Nestle products)

 

The excerpt of Macron’s speech published on Saturday went largely unnoticed during the G20 summit, where saw violent protests by ‘anti – capitalist’ protesters disrupted life in Hamburg and effectively distracted the media from important news. But an edited clip of his response being shared on social media has since provoked outrage, with the kind of left wing activists who set Hamburg alight accusing the French President of blaming women for poverty, being a Nazi and, inevitably, racism.

 

Media figures also criticised Mr Macron for referring only to “Africa”, rather than specific nations, ignoring huge differences across the world’s second largest continent. Writing for South Africa’s Daily Vox website, Mishka Wazar said: Africa is not a country. You cannot, as a world leader (or even an ordinary person on the streets with no political ambitions) conflate African nations with Africa.

 

Siddhartha Mitter, writing for Quartz Africa, commented: Macron’s remarks fall into a tradition of grandiloquent and condescending statements about Africa that point to every cause of the continent’s difficulties other than colonialism and its enduring trace, he wrote. £There is a long history of population panic and its use in racist ideology.”

 

Mr Macron called colonisation a during his election campaign called colonialism crime against humanity but has been quiet on France’s troubled legacy since his election victory.

He visited Mali, where thousands of French troops are bolstering local forces against an Islamist and separatist insurgency, during his first foreign tour in May and has restated France’s commitment to military intervention in the Sahel region.

 

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Comments

Stone-Eater Added Jul 13, 2017 – 4:25pm

“Failed states, tribalism and extremely difficult demographic transitions”

What a fucking asshole. Old military colonization has been replaced by economic colonization and exploitation as it ever was. Resources.

That idiot is too stupid or too young to see that ALL presidents of francophone Africa from Senghor to Eyadema to Nguesso to Compaore to Biya are and were French bought puppet regimes.

I don’t even discuss that shit anymore.

Ask IMF/World Bank and WEF about the practices on how they plunder the continent. In Africa, every country is in fact 2 countries: Customs and government are one, the people are the other.

Stone-Eater Added Jul 13, 2017 – 4:26pm
BTW: Anyone who is really interested in the truth is welcome to come to Africa. The people know what’s going on. But they can do fuck all about it….
Stone-Eater Added Jul 13, 2017 – 4:30pm

has restated France’s commitment to military intervention in the Sahel region

What did I say before ? The French are the same as the US or the Brits. Desperately trying to preserve power over regions they don’t have ANYTHING to do.

What can an American do when he has an intruder on his property by law ? Shoot him…

Stone-Eater Added Jul 13, 2017 – 4:31pm
,,,sorry, that subject gets me extremely hot…..;-)
Dino Manalis Added Jul 13, 2017 – 4:37pm
Better governance should be the main focus to use Africa’s wealth responsibly to invest in people and infrastructure.  Economic improvements would lead to social changes.  For example, all African countries should transform the continent into a free trade zone without tariffs and other trade barriers, while North Africa ought to be part of a Mediterranean enterprise zone to boost the region and world economy.  Africans themselves have to modernize Africa and America’s Export-Import Bank ought to help poor countries buy food; medicine; and anything else they need!
Stone-Eater Added Jul 13, 2017 – 4:45pm

Dino

Good ideas, but Africans can NOT decide. As Europe can not decide as well. It’s the US who decides, because the US$ is still world currency and linked to oil. That’s what the intention of BRICS is: To break the $ hegemony. Before, nothing will change.

Simple as that.

Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 11:29am

HL

it looks like you own IT firms in Africa

LOL Not quite, My IT “firm” is actually an NGO, and the new company SW@XE is a consulting firm. We connect businesses from Europe to businesses in Africa. The goal is not exploitation but actively trying to help developing the local job market. But we just started really.

And I have and am living with the people not in a white luxury slum. I don’t have more money than the people I work with.

Believe it or not.

Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 11:33am

BTW: Instead of lamenting about economic refugees in Europe people should better start doing such stuff. After all, WE are responsible for that situation by simply exploiting Africa and not giving a shit about their development.

I don’t know ONE African who has left his family for other reasons than finding work in Europe and supporting his family from there.

Family and clan are holy in Africa. Nobody leaves if not absolutely neccessary.

Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 11:34am

John

Right on.

Ian Thorpe Added Jul 14, 2017 – 11:38am
John G; were you born a complete idiot or do you have to work at it. My guess is maintaining your level of stupid had become a full time job for you.
Anybody with a many brain cells as they have tits or testicles would understand the ability of a nation to support a growing population is not dependent on physical space but having the economy and infrastructure to support its population. Only somebody who has been completely brainwashed by left wing propaganda would put forward the “there’s plenty of room” argument, and as for you “economic colonialism” argument, the African tribal leaders who sold out their people for corporate money are as much to blame as any western interests.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 11:48am

Ian

the African tribal leaders who sold out their people for corporate money are as much to blame as any western interests.

Admitted, true. Keeps being forgotten here, or PC forbids it. On the contrary, in Africa people point that out too. They’re a lot more rational than our “free press”.

BTW: The birth rate is alarming. Why ? Because the more kids a family has the better the chance that one or two of them find a job, and in certain countries the governments pay a very modest sum for each kid. When you have 10 kids in Mali, that’s the equivalent of a monthly workers’ salary……

It’s not about religion. It’s about economy, stupid LOL

JOBS. When there would be enough, most problems would be solved.

Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 11:51am
BTW: The way people prepare food, two or 5 or 10 kids don’t make the same difference as here. They don’t need many clothes, and gadgets or vacations are off limits anyway. The whole way of life is difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t lived it.
Ian Thorpe Added Jul 14, 2017 – 11:54am
SEF, I agree that grandmotherfucker Macron is an arsehole, but I can’t accept your placing blame entirely on the former colonial powers and the USA.
African leaders, with very few exceptions, are not puppets, they are bought and paid for assets who don’t give a flying fuck about the people they govern because they are only interested in lining their own pockets and looking after their friends and the military they rely on to keep them in power.
And you of all people should know that because Swiss banks facilitate the corrupt deals between corporate pirates and African tyrants.
I do feel for the people of Africa who are abused and exploited by both their own leaders and the west, but a few years ago I read an essay by Dambesa Moyo, an academic from Zambia I think. She argued that before African can  begin to solve its problems the addiction to western aid must be broken because ‘dead aid‘ as she called it simply does not work.
Ian Thorpe Added Jul 14, 2017 – 11:57am
Dino, your solutions are intelligent and reasonable but before they could begin to work it would be necessary to rid African nations of the endemic corruption that blights their development.
Ian Thorpe Added Jul 14, 2017 – 12:12pm
Linestepper, SEF is one of the good guys and I don’t think his businesses are on a par with the corporate pirates that are plundering Africa. On the question of a new, corporate colonialism however, I think what the French president meant was that since the end of colonial rule many African nations seem to have slipped backwards towards tribalism and barbarity.
Recall how left wing activists in the west idolised Winnie Mandela in the 1980s, before it emerged that Mrs. Mandela was running organised crime networks in the townships and had known of executions by various tortures including necklacing.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 12:45pm

Ian

African leaders, with very few exceptions, are not puppets, they are bought and paid for assets who don’t give a flying fuck about the people they govern because they are only interested in lining their own pockets and looking after their friends and the military they rely on to keep them in power.

I know. Fact. But when the West would stop to employ them…….the problem is that these countries are too poor, too little educated and too little organized to enable an effective change by people pressure.

And the well-meaning ones are killed or imprisoned. Take Sankara, Nkrumah, …. Kennedy LOL

Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 12:46pm
BTW: Not only we Swiss. London and the US are no better with their offshore locations. I find it hypocritical to criticize us only.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 12:48pm
BTW: I agree on Dambisa Moyo. But the fate of Gadhafi has shown what happens when you refuse to play their game….
Ian Thorpe Added Jul 14, 2017 – 1:48pm
SEF: ” London and the US are no better …”
Yeah but you’d already mentioned them 🙂
Ian Thorpe Added Jul 14, 2017 – 1:52pm
SEF, you’re right on Gadaffi, but which game he was killed for not playing is uncertain. There’s the gold based currency theory, the water pipeline theory, the Wahhabi colonialism theory and a few others.
And then there are suspicions that he’d followed Saddam Hussein in accepting payment for oil in currencies other than the petrodollar.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 2:04pm

And then there are suspicions that he’d followed Saddam Hussein in accepting payment for oil in currencies other than the petrodollar.  

That’s the point, really. And it was one of the triggers for the creation of BRICS.

Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 5:28pm

John

Hmm…….I missed that 😉 True, the same actually, is it not, Ian ?

Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 5:52pm

Saddam and Gadhafi were killed because they wanted to sell their oil independently of the $ binding. Easy as that. And every African leader who doesn’t follow orders of their old colonial powers (NATO -> US) is potentially dead. As are European leaders as well. But here in Europe they aren’t killed, but disposed of. See Yanukovich in Ukraine as the latest example.

Some remarked that – and that was the birth of BRICS. But … I see no future for them as long as Uncle Sam is the master of Uncle Ben and Salam Aleikum.

Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 6:30pm

John

You’re right, that’s only a part of it. He was forcing African unity, and his country was well organized. A brother of my wife worked in Tripoli for 2 years and he said it was a superb expericence, good pay and no problems.

On the way back to Bamako he was attacked and the robbers (probably Touaregs) took all what he had and wanted to bring back to Mali.

He died in 2007 in London of AIDS. I was with him those last weeks in Hammersmith hospital. It was cruel. He didn’t support the meds, and the skin just peeled off his whole body.

Life is shit.

Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 7:09pm

Bruce Cockburn ??

I mean, sure, in the hot sun in Mali I could burn my cock easily…

Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 7:12pm
…ah ok. I don’t really get the lyrics when the song starts, but the intro……
Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 7:19pm

BTW: Didn’t know he was so good. He should have played with Ali Farka Touré. He really can play the style.

Thanks a lot. A brother in mind.

Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2017 – 7:22pm
Ok. Got it 🙂 I should have thought that they know each other….you see, here, Cockburn is known as a simple folkie. I didn’t know that.
Utpal Patel Added Jul 14, 2017 – 7:47pm
With so much anti-capitalist rhetoric in your article, it surprises me you condemn their actions at the G20 summit.  So what exactly are you, anti-capitalist or pro-capitalist?
Jeff Jackson Added Jul 14, 2017 – 11:08pm
Great article and comments, Ian. I could be wrong, but is there a cultural thing in Africa, where the status of men is determined by how many children they can father, with no regard to how many children they can support, only how many they can father. I have been told this by someone who would know. Fathering children earns males of Africa respect, but taking care of them is nothing they need be concerned about.
Jeff Jackson Added Jul 15, 2017 – 2:53am
G, you are despicable. A native of Africa, from Kenya, told me this.
Jeff Jackson Added Jul 15, 2017 – 3:03am
And by the way, I kept her from being fired, and defended her on numerous occasions. So much for the obscene reference.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 15, 2017 – 8:06am

Jeff

Fathering children earns males of Africa respect, but taking care of them is nothing they need be concerned about

It may vary in different countries, but in West Africa a woman gains status with the number of children she has. But ONLY when she’s married. When she’s got 2 kids and is not married she’ll have a hard time. But you’re right about the men not taking care of them. I can confirm that through my own adoptive family in Cameroon, where my dear friend raises 10 kids of which half of the fathers simply quit the mothers and abandoned them with the child.

Stone-Eater Added Jul 15, 2017 – 8:06am
AND the child, sorry.
Jeff Jackson Added Jul 15, 2017 – 9:55am
Thanks Stone-Eater for verifying what I had been told in person as well as what I have read. The truth apparently makes anyone a racist. They will have so many offspring that they starve, and beg for more resources so that they can repeat the same poor behavior. It’s like giving a drunk more liquor. Thanks again.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 15, 2017 – 11:13am

Jeff

It also has an economic background. 10 kids give a better chance to have 2 kids working later than 1 or 2 kids. Education is expensive. And in some countries the government pays per child per month a very modest sum. So the calculation is:

10 kids is the equivalent of a worker’s salary for the father given he finds a job…

Jeff Jackson Added Jul 15, 2017 – 10:58pm
The U.K. recently set a limit of two children that they would pay welfare for, and after two kids, you’re on your own. Good idea, although the Democrats would never go for it.
Saint George Added Jul 16, 2017 – 2:59am

Yeah, starving kids is excellent socio-economic policy.

Keynes would have gladly approved . . . of course, only if the kids came from working class families. That’s why he was head of the Eugenics Society from 1937-1944 promoting the blessings of contraception as a way of keeping the numbers of the “drunken” working classes down.

Ian Thorpe Added Jul 16, 2017 – 9:03am
Saint George,
Thanks for reminding the resident loony leftie of one of the left’s dirty little secrets.
Ian Thorpe Added Jul 16, 2017 – 9:09am
Utpal, there is no anti – capitalist rhetoric in my article apart from some allusions to the behaviour of global corporations (which are not capitalist at all, but corporatist. And the condemnation of protestors at the G20 in an earlier post related not to their right to argue their case, but to the fact that being intellectually bankrupt they have to resort to violence, intimidation and looting (the latter of which somewhat undermines the claims of these neo – fascists to be anti – capitalist).
Ian Thorpe Added Jul 16, 2017 – 9:15am
Jeff, good point, while what Stone Eater says about there being economic advantage in large families in some African states is true, I also have been told by Africans working or studying in the UK than  in many tribal societies the number of children (sons) a man fathers related to his status.
Ian Thorpe Added Jul 16, 2017 – 9:33am
Jeff, another good point about the UK benefit cap. Unlike the Chinese ‘one child’ policy it will not affect demographics and it leaves people free to decided the size of their family based on their means and material ambitions.
I’ll try to preempt an outburst from any Trots still in the thread, by pointing out this does not exclude people on low to middle incomes from having five or six children. There are people who love family life and choose to go without a car, 60″ plasma TV, foreign holidays etc. to live a different kind of life.
There is a family in the town where my mother lives, Morecambe, where the Radford family consist of two parents and 16 (maybe 17 now) children. They’re not rich but the father runs a bakery business so they’re not dependent on benefits. And in a TV documentary (linked) featuring them, they appear very happy. The parents have made their choices for non economic reasons and that’s their right.
When people are having children for economic gain, that’s going to be a bad start for the children.
Jeff Jackson Added Jul 16, 2017 – 9:56am
Geez, Ian, you too supporting my so-called “racist” theories? Please be careful, you’re going to come under attack by some of the trolls. By the way, I am deleting on my posts the threads that include insults and mindless conjecture of one loony leftie. I for one have had enough of these infantile rants and baseless accusations of racism, and all the rest of it. It has to stop somewhere. He can say whatever he wants on his posts, not mine anymore.
Jeff Jackson Added Jul 16, 2017 – 9:58am
Thanks for some solid reasoning and sensible discussion Ian. There seems to be less and less of it here.
Ian Thorpe Added Jul 16, 2017 – 11:00am
Jeff, I’m always on the verge of quitting this site, it would be a pity to do that because there are some good people here (not necessarily the one who usually agree with me,) but Autumn makes a fundamental error of prioritising comments over good quality content. Somewhere on the internet there is a graveyard for such sites.
Anyone offering unmoderated comment threads is going to attract a number of bottom feeders of course, but tolerance of out and out insults, with no point relating to the thread being made, has attracted a even more unpleasant kind of vermin, those repulsive creatures that live up the bottom feeders’ bottoms. It only needs one or two of those to drive away good content and good readers.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 16, 2017 – 11:22am

Ian

That’s life. I don’t take that too seriously and usually comment to articles which I think have value, are personal and where I sense the person behind it. Not necessarily the subject.

Ian Thorpe Added Jul 16, 2017 – 12:50pm
SEF, I don’t take it seriously (hence the bottom feeders remark)- that’s why I get pissed off with the site. Life’s too short to waste on bullshit that is not worth wasting time on.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 16, 2017 – 2:11pm

Ian

I agree, although for me it’s entertainment also. No worse than watching TV. And at the same time, by being here, I could improve my English a hell of a lot in terms of “good” English but also in street “talk.” So in some ways, it has educational value for me LOL,

Saint George Added Jul 16, 2017 – 4:58pm

Jackson the racist doesn’t like the label. His comments betray him.

John G the communist hyper-inflationist doesn’t like the label. His comments betray him.

Saint George Added Jul 16, 2017 – 7:08pm

African woman generally have too many children

Women in all poor countries (that aren’t outright communist totalitarian) generally have many children. They always have fewer children as, and if, they become more affluent.

The way for Africa to quickly become more affluent is to abandon tribalism and nationalism and open its doors to foreign capital investments.

Saint George Added Jul 16, 2017 – 8:04pm

who wants to invest in an unstable economy?

Then maybe the west should help stabilize it.

John Minehan Added Jul 16, 2017 – 9:10pm

I spent 2004 in East Africa as an activated Army Reservist as Part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

It is an incredibly rugged and an incredibly poor part of the World.

However, I have the strong impression that Africa will be the Asia of the 21st Century.

They have a large population that has next to nothing and needs almost everything.  They are not tied to the past and not having land line phones, Cellphone use has exploded since 2000, for example, generally on a more advanced level than in the US.

There is a large population and little to employ them (yet).  There are vast natural resources.  the entrepreneurial potential of the Merchants can be see (albeit in a negative way) by the efforts of Nigerian scammers.

The PRC is there in a big way.

When you are in the boonies in Ethiopia, you see PRC companies employing Africans to build roads.  Is it exploitation?  Maybe.  In Asia, the same kind of thing put the PRC & Japan & the “Dragons” at the center of world industrial production in 50 years.

There are vast problems . . . but there is also vast potential.  I suspect it will be realized and I suspect that France (and the US) will be the ones left behind.

A century from now, if the PRC’s New Silk Road/One Belt-One Road idea works, I think the main beneficiary will be Africa.

John Minehan Added Jul 16, 2017 – 9:12pm

“Saint George, the doors are open to foreign investments but who wants to invest in an unstable economy?”

So far, the PRC . . . .

John Minehan Added Jul 16, 2017 – 9:16pm

“That idiot is too stupid or too young to see that ALL presidents of francophone Africa from Senghor to Eyadema to Nguesso to Compaore to Biya are and were French bought puppet regimes.”

The French are still there in a substantial way.

I remember seeing French junior soldiers (boule à zéro and being pushed around a bit, so I assume recruits) being sent further south in Dijbouti years ago.

John Minehan Added Jul 16, 2017 – 9:24pm

“And I have and am living with the people not in a white luxury slum. I don’t have more money than the people I work with.”

Which seems in my limited experience, the only thing that really works there.

Glenn Verasco Added Jul 17, 2017 – 2:35am

I still can’t get over the fact that people thought Macron was a left-winger and Le Pen a right-winger. Since when did immigration policy become the litmus test?

Macron is a business-friendly moderate who is capable of criticizing faulty cultures without hating people who look different. He’s a common sense guy.

Le Pen is a National Socialist. She’s an honest version of Bernie Sanders.

Saint George Added Jul 17, 2017 – 2:54pm

The Chinese are making capital investments with relatively fair terms.

The Chinese have done impressively stupid things like building “Mega Cities” that nobody wants to live in. Those are not “investments” but represent pure “consumption”. It’s no different in principle from building a million franchise restaurants that prepares food nobody wants to buy or eat. Pure consumption waste.

John Minehan Added Jul 17, 2017 – 3:48pm

“The Chinese have done impressively stupid things like building “Mega Cities” that nobody wants to live in.”

I think John G is talking specifically of Africa.  The PRC seems to have a longer time horizon than Western Companies, which makes it easier to invest in Africa, where everything is longer term due to the underdevelopment.

I have always wondered if those cities were pure pump-priming or if they also represent stockpiled resources that they thought might become unavailable.

John Minehan Added Jul 17, 2017 – 3:51pm
“So we now have AFRICOM to enforce the US imperial will.
AMERIKKKA FUCK YEAH!!!!!”Given the new PRC base in Djibouti and the PRC’s greater economic presence in Africa, I’m not sure AFRICOM, which is still in Europe will do much at all.

Ian Thorpe Added Jul 17, 2017 – 4:16pm
John Minehan,
“The PRC seems to have a longer time horizon than Western Companies”
Correct, Chinese and other eastern businesses and governments appear to think generations ahead, western businesses don’t think beyond next year’s profit and loss account, governments don’t think beyond the next election cycle.
John Minehan Added Jul 17, 2017 – 4:39pm
The longer time horizon did not benefit Japan, but it does seem tobe the key to Africa.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 17, 2017 – 6:11pm

Ian

Exactly. I’ve been Swiss businesses for the last 20 years to invest in Africa, but they don’t listen. No risk, no gain – and after – complain…..

Saint George Added Jul 17, 2017 – 7:20pm

Chinese and other eastern businesses and governments appear to think generations ahead

They think one bribe ahead.

“Chinese companies in Africa are also able to offer the bribes that are usually crucial to securing large contracts in the region. By contrast, American companies are prohibited from engaging in these practices by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”

Bingo.

Ian Thorpe Added Jul 18, 2017 – 8:11am
Saint George,
British companies and businessmen have also faced prosecution for paying the bribes demanded in order to obtain orders / contracts, not just in Africa but throughout the third world.
Ian Thorpe Added Jul 18, 2017 – 8:15am
MJ, I don’t think he was saying US companies adhere to federal or international law when doing business in the third world, just that if caught they face financial penalties. In my experience allowances are made for that in the contingencies budget.
John Minehan Added Jul 22, 2017 – 5:59am
“China executes people for corruption. America gives them cabinet positions, ambassadorships and massive bonuses.
How many bankers went to gaol over the GFC?””And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! . . . .  Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”  Robert Bolt, A Man For All Seasons

The question is not  “How many bankers went to gaol over the GFC.”  It is should any of them have gone based on the laws existing at the time.

That is the difference between a republic, “a government of laws and not of men” and something else.

Margaret More: Father, that man’s bad.
Sir Thomas More: There’s no law against that.
William Roper: There is: God’s law.
Sir Thomas More: Then God can arrest him.”  Id


Something for the solstice

The summer solstice is associated with Druid beliefs but celebration of the Dance of The Seasons goes back much further.

 

“Humankind has to get back to the rhythm of the Cosmos”
D. H. Lawrence

In midsummer’s solstice rite
light triumphs over dark.
The sun-king in his glorious prime
climbs to his highest mark.
In turn the darkness will advance,
begin another round of dance
across the celestial arc.

Within rhythm’s easy fluxion
destruction is prescribed.
All things come to reduction,
from corruption all things rise.,
To the beat of a joyous reel
the endless turning of the wheel
binds that which all things comprise.

Written in night sky the reasons
seasons must turn in their dance.
Unmaking old and making new,
few permutations left to chance.
All things have their opposite,
thus may all life procreate
and perpetuate the sequence.

Now for this cycle’s generation
consummation is the goal.
Partners move, station to station
in formation around the pole.
Every egg and seed and spore
carries within its living core
a unique segment of the whole.

The Making and Unmaking Dance is a summer solstice poem which will eventually form part of my cosmos cycle “The Eightfold Year.” I do know of certain pagan traditions which hold a ceremony called The Making and Unmaking dance but my use of it as a title here is a bit of poetic licence. I do not know if it is actually a summer solstice rite. (As a poet it is not always wise to constrict oneself within literal interpretations.) At this time of year, as the sun passes its apex and begins the decline a few minutes in any garden will confirm that pollenating is in full spate while a careless walk through a secluded stretch of woodland is likely to disturb a human couple joined in their exclusive pollenation rite. All living things want to get in on this act.

There are so many legends, parables, and folk tales attached to the summer solstice it would be futile to list any in a brief note such as this. The essence of them all is that as one cycle begins to wind down the seeds of the next are being sown.

OTHER PAGANISTIC POEMS FROM THE SAME SEQUENCE.
Fires of Love
Three Secrets
Dancing With The Dead
Equinox
Solstice Fires
Imbolc

 

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Comments

Jeff Jackson Added Jun 21, 2017 – 3:45pm
Didn’t make it to Stonehenge this year. Maybe will dance around the fire in the back yard. Or just water the tomatoes and grill a burger.
Ian Thorpe Added Jun 21, 2017 – 4:20pm
In my view anything that gets you close to nature is paganistic, so watering the tomatoes is a good was to celebrate the solstice. And a cold beer with that burger will complete the traditional solstice feast.
It’s a long time since I ran around naked under the moon, and even then it wasn’t part of any ritual – I’ll rephrase that, it wasn’t part of any ancient religious ritual.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 21, 2017 – 4:28pm

https://weoccupyearth.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/stonehenge-under-construction-1954-very-real/

LOL

Is it a joke ? But anyway: Fact is that ancient beliefs from the North American natives to the Dogon of Mali and the Bamiléké of Cameroon to the Vikings and old Germans were much closer and more respectful to nature.

That alone is enough reason to reconsider them before it’s too late. I love them….philosophical. What a difference to that blunt “god” and Jesus and Allah blather !

Dino Manalis Added Jun 21, 2017 – 5:26pm
Have a sizzling summer!
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Jun 21, 2017 – 11:15pm
Good article, nice to see someone else here remembering the Solstice 🙂
Autumn Cote Added Jun 22, 2017 – 5:58am
Just some friendly advice, to improve readability.  I would use a uniform font for your entire article.  You also have some strange paragraph spacing issues going on.  As always, many thanks for your participation with Writer Beat!
Ian Thorpe Added Jun 22, 2017 – 11:41am
Stone, not a joke but to be taken as a light hearted piece – and of course a way to wind up the god squad. Not that I want to offend, but Autumn likes us to generate comments. When asked about faith I describe myself as paganistic, the idea that nature is the highest manifestation of the divine is the only one that makes sense to me. Having said that I would not join any pagan group, as Groucho Marx once said, “I wouldn’t join any club that would have me for a member.”
Ian Thorpe Added Jun 22, 2017 – 11:53am
Autumn, thanks for the comment but as this poem, posted elsewhere, in this exact form has garnered over a quarter of a million hits, I don’t think there is much wrong with the presentation. Different fonts can be used very effectively as demarcation of segments, the poem section is set out as lines and stanzas of poetry and the notes on mythology in standard paragraph format. It works for me.
Bill Caciene Added Jun 22, 2017 – 12:13pm
I completely understand where Autumn is coming from.  The beginning is in italics, then it switches to bold without italics, then to a larger font bold, then underlined and all caps, then blue and in a really small font.  The whole thing makes my eyes hurt.  I also couldn’t understand what the text above the quote has to do with the quote has to do with the poem has to do with the text below the poem.
Ian Thorpe Added Jun 22, 2017 – 12:39pm
Dino, you too.
Ian Thorpe Added Jun 22, 2017 – 12:45pm

Bill, looks fine in Firefox. The italicised line is an introductory comment, not part of the article, The smaller type is a quotation, not part of the poem bit part of the article, the notes on the mythical inspirations are in exactly the same font as the poem.

The single line of underlined text is a headline, marking another section, links to related posts.

OK?

Ian Thorpe Added Jun 22, 2017 – 12:52pm
Jenifer, the north of England, where I live, has strong associations with our pagan past. We still have well dressing in the spring and many ancient churches have Sheela Na Gigg figures, representations of the fertility goddess with exaggerated genitals, and other figures representing ‘the old gods’ carved in the stonework in dark corners of the buildings.
Leroy Added Jun 22, 2017 – 12:55pm
The summer solstice is always depressing.  The days become shorter and shorter.
Donna Added Jun 22, 2017 – 1:43pm
Good Article,
I took the day off, took my mom and went on a nature hike, until she had to stop. Has health issues, but she still will head out that door for fresh air, and light..Nice to know old traditions are still held in great regard all over, and by so many )0(
Janie Smith Added Jun 22, 2017 – 2:01pm
Nice!  Some of my ancestors were Druids.
Ian Thorpe Added Jun 22, 2017 – 3:12pm
Leroy, look at it this way, its only six months until Christmas.
Ian Thorpe Added Jun 22, 2017 – 3:14pm
Donna, a bit of sunshine gives us all a lift, and being close to nature makes me feel very relaxed, and I think that applies to most people.
Ian Thorpe Added Jun 22, 2017 – 3:16pm
Janie,
OK, you’ve got me hooked, I want to know more. Any chance of you posting an article?
Janie Smith Added Jun 22, 2017 – 4:11pm
Hey, Ian.  Its a bit of a tagline, there really is only but so much information that survives from as far back as 500 BCE especially since Druids didn’t actually keep records so all I really have is family rumors.
opher goodwin Added Jun 22, 2017 – 4:57pm
well paganism is all about getting close to nature. I agree. That’s the real spirit of religion.
Ric Wells Added Jun 23, 2017 – 9:45am
Ian if people would a little more attention to the rhythms and harmonies of the planet we might just might become a little more humane. Been to Stonehenge. Wonderful energy transfer.
opher goodwin Added Jun 23, 2017 – 9:58am
May the long-time sun shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light within you
Guide your way on
Incredible String Band
Ric Wells Added Jun 23, 2017 – 10:08am
Some cultures used to count age by how many snows they have been through. Me I have been through 65 of them.
opher goodwin Added Jun 23, 2017 – 10:37am
There’s snow on the mountain top but there’s fire down below.
Ric Wells Added Jun 23, 2017 – 10:49am
Old but true.LOL
Ian Thorpe Added Jun 23, 2017 – 11:12am
Janie,
Janie, maybe there’s more survived than most people imagine. And Druids did keep some records, ever heard of oghams. The Druids did not write their sacred texts because they believed each god ( they had a very different concept of the divine to the Abrahamic religions) had three names, the name enemies used, the name used by followers and the holy and unspeakable name. Their belief was that if the unmentionable name became known to anyone other than druids, the god lost all powers.
When the Romans took up Christianity and decided to destroy the Druids completely,, it became necessary to have some way of recording their knowledge. So the ogham alphabet was invented.
In a strange twist it was Christian monks of monasteries in Ireland, Scotland and Wales who translated the Oghams into latin in books like The Book Of Ballymote (linked above), and The Red Book Of Hergest
So we have a bit more to work with than the mainstream would have us believe.
Ian Thorpe Added Jun 23, 2017 – 11:16am
Opher, I agree, but not being young and mad these days, come the winter solstice I tend to eschew nature and seek the spirit in a bottle of Bushmills single malt.
Ian Thorpe Added Jun 23, 2017 – 11:25am
Donald, in the poem I tried to capture the mood of ancient ritual dances that celebrate the endless cycle of seasons. The best known of these is the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, performed in August at the Bartholomew Fair since the 12th century and probably before that.
Age however, is a state of mind 🙂
Ian Thorpe Added Jun 23, 2017 – 11:30am
Opher, The Incredible String Band were underrated I thought, saw them at Manchester College Of Commerce a couple of times, they were as good as Jethro Tull, another band of that period I liked.
Ian Thorpe Added Jun 23, 2017 – 11:33am
Ric, In north west England our climate benefits a little from The Gulf Stream so we don’t get snow every year. now I know why I don’t feel anything like my numerical age.
opher goodwin Added Jun 23, 2017 – 7:05pm
I saw them a number of times and thought them excellent too.
opher goodwin Added Jun 23, 2017 – 7:06pm
Ian – I know the feeling. But I’m not ready to call it a day just yet.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jul 18, 2017 – 7:41am
Its fine, wouldn’t change a thing. And I find a revelation here! I guess I must be a pagan!

 


Nihilism The Real Winner In French Election

While the mainstream media and those who relish the prospect of living in a society best represented by the image of “a military boot stamping down on a human face, forever” (George Orwell, 1984,) are celebrating the victory of the global elite’s office boy, Emmanuel Macron, in the French presidential election and proclaiming the death of nationalism, another, potentially more significant, story has emerged from the voting statistics.

 

Though the former Goldman Sachs executive Macron won easily in terms of the number of votes cast for each candidate, the largest number of votes, in a situation reminiscent of the movie Brewster’s Millions, a majority of French voters cast their vote for ‘none of the above,’ by declining to choose either centrist Emmanuel Macron or Front National leader Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s presidential election. They preferred to either abstaining by returning a blank voting paper or spoiling their ballots.

 

According to election officials the abstention rate stood at 24.52 percent — the highest since the presidential election in 1969. Additionally the interior ministry reported a record number of blank and invalid ballots, amounting to nine percent of all registered voters, compared to two percent in the first round.

 

“That would make a total of one French person out of three who decided not to choose between the two candidates. It’s really a lot for a presidential election,” Anne Jadot, political science professor at the University of Lorraine, told AFP.

 

Macron’s victory on Sunday was by a large margin, he took approximately 65 percent of the vote to Le Pen’s 35 percent, but don’t forget that is 65% of 66%. It was also the first time since the 1969 election that participation in the second round has been lower than in the first. And that does not take into account the people who simply did not register a vote at all.

 

“The presence of the far-right in the second round did not prompt a lot of mobilisation compared to the first round, in contrast to what happened in 2002,” Jadot said in reference to the election in which Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie saw voters of all parties unite to block him by backing his opponent Jacques Chirac.

 

This year, “there wasn’t the ‘shock’ effect, because (Marine Le Pen’s) presence was expected,” according to Jadot.

 

The large numbers of voters choosing not to participate shows that while France has rejected Le Pen as it’s president, the anti establishment pushback is far from over, add the supporters of Le Pen’s anti – EU, nationalist candidacy to the ‘none of the above’ vote and a huge majority have rejected the pro – EU, pro – immigration line of France’s political establishment.

 

Looks like M. Marcron is going to have a rough ride, assuming that he lasts the course.

 

This is a couple of days late, my previous article on the French election has been hanging around on the front page so I decided to hold off for a while

 

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Comments

Lady Sekhmetnakt Added May 11, 2017 – 6:25pm
Something you may want to figure into the equation:
Marine Le Pen: The French Election Was Rigged – Your News Wire – http://yournewswire.com/marine-le-pen-election-rigged
Dino Manalis Added May 11, 2017 – 6:27pm
That’s interesting, Macron has to position himself center-right to deal with France’s economic and security concerns, as well as contain Le Pen, because terrorism and the refugee crisis will continue to enhance her popularity.
Thomas Napers Added May 12, 2017 – 4:24am
Your entire first paragraph is nothing but a strawman argument.  Nobody relishes the prospect represented by the image of a military boot stamping down on a human face.  There is no conspiracy orchestrated by the global elite to elect Macron.  Nobody is proclaiming nationalism to be dead. Macron, like most elections, was simply the best choice of some really bad options.  Unlike places like Russia and other dictatorship societies, France and the United States should be happy we have options.
Thomas Napers Added May 12, 2017 – 4:52am
How can one prove something that never happened?
Ian Thorpe Added May 12, 2017 – 9:24am
Jenifer Frost, thanks for that comment and link. Though Your News Wire is not the most reliable source, they story is worth checking out, because I heard from someone in the UK government (in confidence so I can’t name names) that the Leave majority in the Brexit vote was really much bigger than published, and that in some inner city districts over 100% of the electorate voted to remain. I’ll get back to you after checking with some French friends.
Ian Thorpe Added May 12, 2017 – 9:27am
Dino, Macron’s government will probably be an even more ineffectual version of Hollande’s. Politically Le Pen and Front National are left of centre on everything except immigration and the EU.
Ian Thorpe Added May 12, 2017 – 9:33am
Thomas, your glass might be half full but unfortunately neither Frances’ nor the USA’s are. Macron’s political movement was cobbled together by the French political establishment when it became obvious Hollande had destroyed the French socialists and voters felt still felt betrayed by the conservatives after the debacle of Sarkozy’s presidency.
Ian Thorpe Added May 12, 2017 – 9:50am
Re above: Of course nihilism can’t be a winner, it’s an abstract concept. Once again John G is so lost in his monomaniacal ravings he completely misses the joke even though it is right up there in big letters in the title.
He did the same on my article “Champagne Socialists,” (an oxymoron) after failing to insult everybody in the thread with profanity strewn, irrational comments he started whining when I responded in the same vein, and accused me of ad hominem attacks on him.
When I pointed out the hypocrisy of someone who never has a point to make but simply relies in calling people ‘fucking idiot,’ bigot’ or ‘cunt’ he said, totally irrationally, that my whole article had been an ad hominem on ‘the left’.
Ad hominem means ‘at the man’, so obviously ‘Champagne Socialists’ like ‘the left’ being an abstract concept rather than an individual, we see the irrationality of his responses.
People may wonder why I respond to him. Fact is, whenever I see one of his crazy attacks on somebody who is trying to further a civilised discussion threat it makes me feel embarrassed that I, like him, am British.
Billy Roper Added May 12, 2017 – 1:14pm
“Nihilism The Real Winner In French Election”. You spelled “Jewish” wrong. Of course, they’d coopted the FN, too.
Utpal Patel Added May 12, 2017 – 3:39pm

It would have been interesting to see the data if Macron had faced another centrist politician with a legitimate shot at winning.  Because he faced an extreme far right politician he was able to corral a large majority of the electorate.  Based on the choices and polling data, it’s completely understandable that abstention was at 24.52%.  I’ll never understand why someone would waste their time and submit a blank ballot.

You said Macron is going to have a rough ride, he could argue he has a mandate seeing he won 65% of the vote.

Jeff Jackson Added May 12, 2017 – 5:26pm
I could be wrong, but when 25% of the voters refuse to vote, that leaves a great big hole for a new party or candidates who are less well-known. Macron’s pyrrhic victory is evidence, is it not, of just how disappointed the French are with the politicians?
John Minehan Added May 12, 2017 – 5:33pm

“Macron, like most elections, was simply the best choice of some really bad options.”

Not to about a third of the eligible voters who either did not vote or filed a blank ballot as a protest.

 

 


Liberté, égalité, fraternité, inshallah?

If, as now looks certain, ‘the empty suit’ Emmanel Macron, the candidate with no party, no philosophy and no policies becomes President of France when the official announcement of the result is made, what will become of those French people who do not want Islamification to continue.

Apart from his being a globalist, pro European integration, mass immigration supporting apparatchik of the banking cartel, who knows what kind of France Marcon’s government will deliver? Macron doesn’t, that’s for sure. That’s if he is able to govern effectively at all.

French investor and political pundit Charles Gave, commented when asked what Macron’s agenda would look like, said:

“Well, first, nobody knows. Because during the whole campaign, all these talks were on one hand, on the other. I’m in favor of apple pie, and motherhood, you see. Basically he has, to my knowledge, very little program. So he’s running. That is what Hollande said. That he was going to make some fundamental changes without hurting people. And so Macron is a big, empty suit. That’s what he is. You did the right curriculum vitae, he went to the right schools. And you have the feeling that the guy never had an original idea in his life. He was always a good student.”

In other circles there is a strong feeling that Macron is a kind of golem created by Hollande, a globalist, federalist mini – me forged in the hope that at least a couple of socialist fingers would remain on the helm of the French state. They knew they were going to lose the election, and that a socialist candidate would suffer a heavy defeat so they created a sort of hologram candidate (we must not forget that before quitting to form his new centre left popular movement, Macron had a senior position in the socialist government under Hollande.

The idea, according to cynics – and there are a lot of cynics in France, was Macron would run for them and prevent the pro – EU, pro – Federalism party from losing power. It appears then that, the French political system has been taken over by the the Technocratic / Managerialist class. And this Technocratic class is presenting Macron as something new but in reality he represents business as usual except that the seat of power will be even more remote and detached from the working and middle classes. The pro – EU elite have been in power for 50 years, they have not survived that long without learning a thing or to about using propaganda to manipulate public opinion.

The biggest problem, barring terrorist outrages, that Macron will faceing in the French national assembly to enable him to get laws through. As stated above, he has no party, no base of support, and in the assembly elections, due in a few weeks, the socialist party where he might have expected to find most support, is likely to suffer heavy losses. The conservatives will not support him unless they dictate policy. In a sense Le Pen has really won the day because the worst case scenario for her, that she will have to tun again in the 2022 elections, is still achievable. As for the parliamentary elections, Le Pen could reasonably expect to have anywhere between 40 to 100 MP’s if the results bear out polls as accurately as in the presidential vote, and thus could effectively ally with the conservatives to block most of Macron’s likely measures…. which would be a total disaster for the ruling class.”

In other words, assuming Macron triumphs and is president elect tomorrow, the National Front isn’t going anywhere. And its rising star Le Pen’s niece Marion, has a distinct advantage over her astringent aunt:

Marion, is very young, 28; probably too young to be a candidate in 2022. She is already an MP in the French Parliament. She’s extremely pretty, which will win the votes of French males, and she represents the family oriented values of the French Catholic Right, which is where most Republican and Socialist votes come from. 2022 is going to be interesting.

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Comments

Ian Thorpe Added May 7, 2017 – 3:25pm
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Just had a little debate with myself about whether to leave this post up, when I saw how the title came out on the front page. The first bit should be in French, as above, followed by Inshallah (God willing). Chance that as the site’s host has and the joke is lost.
Bit to much to expect artificial intelligence to have a sense of humour of course.
Dino Manalis Added May 7, 2017 – 4:45pm
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Terrorism and the refugee crisis will continue to enhance Le Pen’s popularity, so Macron should position himself center-right on economic and security issues to reassure the public, as well as contain Le Pen.
Tamara Wilhite Added May 7, 2017 – 5:54pm
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The first obligation of a nation is to protect its citizens. A man who says “Muslim terrorists killing people, get used to it, we can’t protect you, we’re bringing in millions more who believe they have the right to hurt you and demand free stuff from you, you’re the one to be punished if you oppose any of this” is violating the most basic reason why governments exist and shouldn’t be allowed to be in power.
Stone-Eater Added May 8, 2017 – 6:33am
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Macron has a party. The Bilderberg and Rotschild group.
Billy Roper Added May 8, 2017 – 8:36am
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Le Pen was cucked, too, but the French, like the rest of us, will have to learn the hard way that they won’t be able to regain control over their destinies through the ballot box.
Ian Thorpe Added May 8, 2017 – 11:58am
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Dino, you’re right in saying terrorism and immigration will continue to drive the agenda, but I don’t think Macron can position himself anywhere. He’s controlled by the banking cartel, so is just an office boy really.
Ian Thorpe Added May 8, 2017 – 12:01pm
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Tamara,
“Muslim terrorists killing people, get used to it,”
Yeah, I thought that would be the campaign killer too 🙂
As Cicero said 2000 years ago, “The welfare of the people is the paramount law.”
Ian Thorpe Added May 8, 2017 – 12:12pm
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EXPAT, correct; Macron is from the same school as Obama and Clinton. There is a war on for control, globalised technology and globalised labour were among the weapons The Powers That Be created to give them control, but in the internet they gave us a weapon we could use to fight back.
Some parts of European society are waking up, the technocratic and managerial classes are still totally committed to ‘the project’ however. I predict Italy will be next to leave the EU (Quitaly), France isn’t ready yet, they probably need to see a few German regiments marching through Paris before they realise France is done for.I know what you mean about AI having a sense of humour, watching TV with simultaneous subtitling on is hilarious at times.

Ian Thorpe Added May 8, 2017 – 12:14pm
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Stone,
Very good point. There will be a few breadcrumbs for the poor, but he will govern for the benefit of the super – rich.
Ian Thorpe Added May 8, 2017 – 12:18pm
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Billy, you may be right. I hope not because although I’m a great believer in the masses rising up and taking direct action if it comes to a bloody conflict THEY have some formidable weapons for us to take on with our pitchforks and cudgels.
Ari Silverstein Added May 8, 2017 – 5:04pm
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For whatever it’s worth, the last person you’d want running a country is someone with an original idea.  Desired should be someone that respects the views of others so much that he takes the very best ideas and pursues them.  Speaking of there being a lot of cynics, that’s exactly how I would classify this article, cynical to a fault.  Macron’s supporters obviously don’t think he’s an empty suit.  If they did, he wouldn’t have won the popular vote.

Is it good or bad to be:

A Federalist?
Pro-EU?
A globalist?
A member of a political party?

It seems to me that sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad.  It depends, yet all this post does it make it sound like he stands on the wrong side of issues where it behooves politicians to stand on both sides on occasion.

Jeff Michka Added May 8, 2017 – 6:13pm
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THEY have some formidable weapons for us to take on with our pitchforks and cudgels.– If THEY re anything like Them, we’ll need walking staves and Morris dancers, too.
Mark Hunter Added May 9, 2017 – 2:29am
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From what I’ve read about it, this seems to be another example of voters eager to avoid facing their problems.
Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 – 7:15am
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A Federalist

Best idea. Globalist is shit and delusional. You can make business global, but not culture. And culture defines the art of business. So global business demands a hell of a lot of understanding of – cultures, if not, it won’t work.

Except when you dream about a world which is McDonalds in all areas. But that’s another stupid dream that even Rothschilds and Bilderbergs will never be able to realize.

Ian Thorpe Added May 9, 2017 – 9:00am
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Ari Silverstein,
I get the impression you understand little about French politics and even less about human nature. Because French elections are over two rounds of voting, French voters tend to vote for the candidate they prefer in the first round, and then, because France does not have a simple major party duopoly, but a highly fragmented electorate with numerous parties to choose from, many voters are forced to coalesce behind the candidate they least dislike in the second round, a run off between the two leading candidates from the first.So when I say many French voters think Macron is an “empty suit”, that might actually be the very reason he won a majority of the valid votes cast, an empty suit was seen by many as preferable to Le Pen.

I mentioned “valid votes” there Ari, a topic I will expand on in another article. Please don’t start pontificating until and unless you understand what I am referring to.

Ian Thorpe Added May 9, 2017 – 9:04am
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Jeff, the people who make up the inner core of THEY or Them will be shuffling around on their zimmer frames, safe in their ivory towers, it’s the people they pay to stand in their shield wall we have to remove first.
Ian Thorpe Added May 9, 2017 – 9:08am
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Mark, there is always a lot of that in elections, voting out the people who cause the problems and replacing them with a government that offers something different is a high risk strategy and a lot of people don’t ‘do’ risk. Thus after Brexit, Britain is turning to The Conservatives. Safety first, better the devil you know and all that …
Ian Thorpe Added May 9, 2017 – 9:18am
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Stone, when I tell you the idea of a single state Federal Europe has its roots in Nazi Germany you might change your mind about it being a good idea.
And when you read the ideas of Richard Coudenhove – Kalergi, one of the ideological founders European Union, on the abolition of nations, compulsory inter – racial marriage and the creation of a global culture, the EU will suddenly appear in a different light.
Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 – 11:12am
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Ian

I know that. We were fooled in the Nineties by the promise of open borders, free trade and “never any war in Europe again”, whileas the original idea was to build a block ruled by the US in order to gain advantage over Russia.

I was 30 at that time and a follower of the idea. Because we didn’t know better. Only the Internet and the starting to reflect globally made us see the real purposes of those strategic moves.

Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 – 11:14am
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BTW: I never said the EU was a good idea for the reasons I stated above.
Ian Thorpe Added May 9, 2017 – 11:26am
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Stone, sorry if I misunderstood.
Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 – 11:40am
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Ian

No sweat. Who’s that guy in the avatar you got there ? Looks like a 70’s serial actor LOL

Ian Thorpe Added May 9, 2017 – 1:33pm
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That’s me when I was a 70s and 80s radio presenter (small station I had to keep my day job on) – only photo of me that was taken by a pro, all the others I’m messing about with the kids or something
Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 – 2:59pm
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Hehe……get a pic of NOW up there 🙂
Norton Louis Added May 9, 2017 – 3:07pm
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For me, the main event about Macron’s election is not “who is he and what is his agenda?”.  More importantly, the French, like the British and the US are increasingly rejecting the status quo.  Both Macron and LaPen were not mainstream candidates.  Macron is just one more step along the scale towards a resurgence of nationalism and populism in the world.  When you are as far left as France has been over the years, an inexperienced “empty suit” without major party affiliation is still a repudiation of the EU and open borders. I predict the next ruler beyond Macron will be an even more populist head of state.

Cue the black helicopters……..

Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 – 3:22pm
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Both Macron and LaPen were not mainstream candidates

Macron is a high finance product. Le Pen is a bourgeois product of Vive La France. Both are nil. As are Merkel or May. Forget that left-right shit. It’s all about money and the continuation of feudal structures, nowadays called corporatocracy.

George N Romey Added May 9, 2017 – 3:30pm
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As is Trump.  He is also a creature of the corporatocracy swamp.  They all offer much for the people then settle down into a world of never ending arguments, disagreements, posturing, pontificating and posing as to appear to be for something. In the interim the corporatocracy gets richer while everyone else poorer.
Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 – 3:33pm
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George

I told you. Come to Senegal LOL

George N Romey Added May 9, 2017 – 3:36pm
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Got a job starting next week.  Need to get money into the bank so I can run away.
Donna Added May 9, 2017 – 4:42pm
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Stone, i will be hiding in Georges Suitcase.the joy of being small!!    🙂
Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 – 5:11pm
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George

Good luck ! And remember: You can only be you own boss when you want it. And often it works without much money, but with experience and courage.

Stay cool, you’re a good guy. Thumbs up !

Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 – 5:12pm
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Donna

Why be small ? I am BIG. Unfortunately people haven’t noticed it yet LOL

Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 – 5:14pm
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BTW George:

You know the door is open. Gotta learn some French but after that you’ll forget Internet LOL

Norton Louis Added May 9, 2017 – 5:15pm
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Stone, George and Donna…..I know how tempting it is to want to run away and hide from a situation that seemingly has every card stacked against us as average citizens. However, each of us has a choice to respond to a world increasingly controlled by corporate interests to fight, to do nothing or to run and hide.

These votes for Trump, Brexit and Macron represent an awakening by the People….regardless of whether your jaded and skeptical view of the individuals receiving these votes is correct.

One thing is certain, if enough people do nothing or run away, nothing will change.

If you are truly “run and hide” people, I encourage you to also remain silent so that you don’t unintentionally take the wind out of the sails of those of us that would like to demand more accountability from our governments.

Power to the People.

George N Romey Added May 9, 2017 – 5:46pm
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The people at least in the US need to wake up and demand first and foremost publicly financed elections and second and end to the party duopoly.
Norton Louis Added May 9, 2017 – 6:27pm
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George could not agree more…….I believe our “problem” as a society in the US is too much money.  Ever hear of the term “stuffed shirt”?  This comes from the early 20th century when wealth was measured  by the luxury of calories.  Shop at any Wal Mart today and you can visibly see the effects (think stretch-pants) of too much money in the system fostering gluttony & apathy in the average American.

As our individual wealth declines in the US, we hopefully will begin paying more attention to how the place is run.  I believe that is already happening in America.  It will be a close race to fully awaken as a people and enact change against agents of corruption before the complete collapse of the next economic bubble…but the race is worth running nonetheless.

Taking the long view for the human race, Phoenix can also rise from the ashes (provided they are not nuclear in nature) if we fail to save the US due to the actions of those that would strip her corpse for its gold fillings.

Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 – 3:26am
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Norton

These votes for Trump, Brexit and Macron represent an awakening by the People

Voting for Macron the Rothschild and Bilderberg puppet is not quite an awakening of the people. It rather shows how stupid they are. Even Le Pen would have been better. Wait and see…..

Ian Thorpe Added May 10, 2017 – 9:26am
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Stone, a recent pic? I’ll try to find something but there aren’t any recent ones I could use for a profile pic. And I am NOT using my passport photo.
Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 – 9:31am
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Ian

Forget it LOL

Ian Thorpe Added May 10, 2017 – 9:39am
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Norton, I agree that the French election coming down to a run off between Mr. No Party Macron and the political pariah Le Pen rather than being a victory for the establishment and ‘the end of the nationalist revival’ shows an increasing trend for voters to reject the establishments globalist, multicultural agenda.
People forget that Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain were anti establishment parties with a socialist agenda. The UK’s Brexit vote was not a ‘right wing extremist’ vote, most people who voted leave were working class traditional Labour voters and Trump’s win in the US election was a rejection of Hillary and Washington, I realy don’t think The Donald would have been most Republican voters’ first choise for president.
It will continue to move the same way until mainstream politicians remember they are elected to serve the voters, not dictate to us.
Ian Thorpe Added May 10, 2017 – 9:43am
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Stone; “It’s all about money and the continuation of feudal structures, nowadays called corporatocracy,”
Absolutely, and what is amusing is those who style themselves ‘the left’ and claim they hate capitalism don’t realise they are supporting the extension of corporate control when they argue for globalism.
Ian Thorpe Added May 10, 2017 – 9:47am
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Donna, welcome to the thread. When you get out of George’s suitcase we can have a cup of tea or something (English builders’ tea that is, the kind that dissolves the stir it)
Ian Thorpe Added May 10, 2017 – 9:57am
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George, we’re singing off the same song sheet. I recall in an earlier thread I had commented in on flaws in democratic electoral systems somebody told me the flaws in the US system are very minor and can easily be fixed, and I pointed out that a system that allows Super PACs and (usually) gives huge advantages to the candidate with most money looks very flawed to me.
I don’t know what the best answer would be, but the current system needs to change.
Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 – 10:21am
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Ian

those who style themselves ‘the left’ and claim they hate capitalism don’t realise they are supporting the extension of corporate control when they argue for globalism.

Well said 🙂

Jeff Jackson Added May 10, 2017 – 10:58am
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Ian, in a review of some of all this hoopla about Super PACs, there is a new book out where a legal analyst who was opposed to allowing Super PACS the privilege to contribute, and then read their case and changed his mind.
It is a Constitutional issue, no doubt. Given the influence that the Super PACs have, it is doubtful the issue would ever get to the level of amending the Constitution, now that they have wield such power and influence. I am personally amazed at all of the money that circulates, billions, and yet these firms can’t pay their employees very much money. That’s amazing in itself. We could have a revolution, doubtful, or balkanize (never can figure out if it is Capitalized, and a WB favorite).
Have you heard of the Constitutional Convention scenario? IT has been discussed several times. We get together and compose a new Constitution, and the states, of course, must ratify it.
John Minehan Added May 10, 2017 – 12:44pm
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I wonder if the French electorate has “hedged” by electing Macron but giving parties on the Right a legislative majority?  In the US, “that trick never works” (to quote Rocket J. Squirrel), but let’s see in France.

In the US, we have a fundamental problem that we have a large, unaccountable bureaucracy (for lack of a better term, call it “The Federal regulatory State”) but we also have legislators in the House and the Senate who do not generally have the technical knowledge to make decisions in areas like Health Care or Defense.  Is Macron, a Technocrat to his bones, a possible answer to that dilemma or will he make it worse?

John Minehan Added May 10, 2017 – 12:51pm
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“The first obligation of a nation is to protect its citizens. A man who says “Muslim terrorists killing people, get used to it, we can’t protect you, we’re bringing in millions more who believe they have the right to hurt you and demand free stuff from you, you’re the one to be punished if you oppose any of this” is violating the most basic reason why governments exist and shouldn’t be allowed to be in power.”

And, despite this, he crushed Le Pen, who took the opposite track.

Ian Thorpe Added May 10, 2017 – 1:02pm
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John M, the USA is not alone in having a large, unaccountable bureaucracy. The problem with ‘technocrats’ in the current environment is by definition they are experts in their specialist area. As Macron is an investment banker he is unqualified to legislate on areas such as health, defence, foreign policy, technology, transport, education etc. and it seems likely to me, given the state of western economies, that he can only make things worse in finance, employment and welfare.
Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 – 1:06pm
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John

Talking about Merkel ? LOL

A chaotic, disorganized Europe due to the flood of immigrants resulting from US wars and economic exploitation of other continents has a favorable result for the US:

1) Less economic competition from the EU
2) A renewal of the links US-Europe through NATO by the never ending damnation of Russia – the final goal.

http://www.belfercenter.org/publication/strategic-engineered-migration-weapon-war

Wars can be fought without weapons……;-)

John Minehan Added May 10, 2017 – 1:08pm
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“Stone, when I tell you the idea of a single state Federal Europe has its roots in Nazi Germany you might change your mind about it being a good idea.”

In a narrow sense, but it also goes back to Napoleon and even to Rome (if you want to go back far enough).

EU really grew directly out of the European Coal and Steel Community and France’s Robert Schulman’s attempt to integrate the Germans into Europe to avoid another World War.  (Sort of LBJ’s Better to have them inside the tent p!$$ing out, than outside the tent p!$$ing in,” and, in theory might be the best approach to Russia.)

Ian Thorpe Added May 10, 2017 – 1:10pm
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Jeff, I know there are regular calls for a new constitution (though I thought Obama had implemented a heavily revised one), but I had not heard of a Constitutional Convention before. I can’t see it getting far if states like Oklahoma and Mississippi can veto ideas put forward by New York or California and vice versa.
Controls on campaign spending should be fixable without a new constitution however.
John Minehan Added May 10, 2017 – 1:14pm
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“Voting for Macron is a vote against the status quo?
In what universe does that statement make sense?”Macron did not run as part of an established party, so, at least to that very limited degree, it was a break from the past.  Of course, as the Who said, “Here’s the new boss/same as the old boss.”

Jeff Jackson Added May 10, 2017 – 1:16pm
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Yes, Ian, the Constitutional Convention idea comes and goes. I’m with you, I do not see it succeeding any time soon, because of the divisions that you listed. The original Constitution was written by a Constitutional Convention, so some people think that we could do it again. We had a lot more in common and a lot fewer states in 1783…
Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 – 2:34pm
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John

attempt to integrate the Germans into Europe to avoid another World War.

Matter of perception. To me, the Germans were finally driven into war – not necessarily as bad as it cumulated, but as you know, the US always had the fear that Germany and Russia could unite in some way. Even today.

That’s the reason the EU (and NATO) was founded for. To cut them back, integrate them into a larger unit and get a block which was and is easier to control for the US.

Don’t forget that Germany is occupied up to now—

Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 – 2:36pm
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BTW: The US profited a lot by WWII. And Hitler was supported by them for a long time before it started. The Marshall plan created a lot of work on both sides…

That’s what Cheney wanted in Iraq. Flatten the thing and then get US companies to rebuild it. The system remains the same.

Stone-Eater Added May 11, 2017 – 8:50am
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John

GRIN

Ian Thorpe Added May 11, 2017 – 9:52am
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John G, one day you will make a sane comment and we will all be so surprised we won’t know whether to shit or go blind …
(It’s interesting to note here guys that for all his claims of intellectual superiority over the rest of us, Mr. G does not recoginse sarcasm when it jumps out and pulls his pisser.)
Ian Thorpe Added May 11, 2017 – 3:01pm
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Stone, since WW2 flattening countries or parts of them and then awarding its corporate cronies big fat contracts to rebuild the infrastructure has been a permanent feature of US government’s foreign policy. Since ‘Nam did not go quite to plan they have usually used proxies to do the flattening but the result is the same.
John Minehan Added May 11, 2017 – 4:08pm
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“Matter of perception. To me, the Germans were finally driven into war – not necessarily as bad as it cumulated, but as you know, the US always had the fear that Germany and Russia could unite in some way. Even today.”

I think the best solution for both German AND Russia is to become part of Europe and a Europe without those two powers was always incomplete . . . .

Jeff Michka Added May 11, 2017 – 5:28pm
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Give ’em an Inshah-allah, and they take a mile.


Champagne Socialists?

I was once told by somebody who identifies herself as a supporter of the progressive left that giving dictionary definitions when a “progressive” uses a word or phrase wrongly is “something conservatives do.”

 

Strange, because not only I have often been corrected and told I am a typical neo – con extremist by supporters of big government, big science, big Pharma, big education and big everything, those who usually ‘identify’ as progressive, but I have never voted for a Conservative candidate in my life. Unfortunately the people who corrected me were invariably wrong because rather than looking in Webster’s or the Oxford English Dictionary they look only in Wiktionary. which at best only gives a part definition.

 

I happen to think dictionary definitions are important. If we humans are to communicate those who share a language must all have the same understanding of what words in that language mean. Thus when one comes across people who style themselves liberals advocating Stalinist policies of authoritarian central government, social engineering and state ownership of all enterprises one is duty bound to try to enlighten that person about political philosophy and particularly the fact that variants on Marxism like socialism, Stalinism and Maoism are the antithesis of Liberalism which is as close as any workable system can get to anarchism.

 

Most of the leading advocates of such “progressive” politics are left wing elitists who operate a double standard, not inflicting on their own privileged social class the privations they would visit upon the masses. There is a name for this political sub culture, Champagne Socialists.

 

Here, because purpose of this post is to annoy lefties a dictionary definition of Champagne Socialists may be of use to Cultural Marxists, New World Order global government supporters and all the academics, public employees, special advisers and other ‘tax eaters’ (h/t William Cobbett) who enjoy the high life at the expense of Joe the Punter.

 

champagne socialist n. deprecative (orig. and chiefly Brit.) a person who espouses socialist ideals but enjoys a wealthy and luxurious lifestyle.

 

Lefties claim there is no such thing as a champagne socialist even as the guzzle Bollinger and Lanson paid for either directly or indirectly by you and me and eat in the kind of restaurants where a main course costs the equivalent of a weeks earning for a minimum wage worker.

 

One of the UK’s leading left wing newspaper’s journalists recently outed herself as exactly that: a bubbly-guzzling hypocrite who, though writing about education for the privileged with a definite collectivist bias and posing for years as a chippy, radical socialist, has actually been sending her daughter to a private school, fancy uniform, straw boater hat, jolly hockey sticks and all. So how does she square that with her demands to abolish private education?

 

Given the views of many of her readers expressed in comment threads where they enthusiastically call for the death penalty for parents who choose private education, anyone who goes to church, and anyone who does not support same sex marriage, 1 million per cent taxes and a totalitarian global government you might expect Janet Murray’s article to be a letter of resignation – or, if she was feeling more courageous, a grovelling apology to all the private school parents who she “resented” for “buying privilege through private education”.

 

But it’s neither. Instead, it’s a kind of weaselish justification for being what she terms an “‘accidental’ private school parent”.

 

It was, she whines,just that “the local private school for under thirteens offered 8am-6pm hours and holiday care”. And what she “hadn’t appreciated was just how much the nursery was part of the school”.

 

Then, weirdly, it becomes a ‘J’accuse’ style diatribe, addressed to parents of children at comprehensives:

 

The state sector in education is full of parents buying advantage. They kid themselves that what they are doing is somehow morally superior. The truth is that every person who moves house to get into the catchment area of a better school, or suddenly develops an interest in religion to get their kids into a Church School rather than having to mix with the chavs at the local state school is using private wealth to play the system.

 

Needless to say, even the ‘oligarchical collectivists’ (see ‘1984’ bu George Orwell,) who are her readers have managed to spot her hypocrisy. One comment read “I don’t get it Janet. You justify your own choice by criticising others who do the kind of thing you have done,” says one. Another adds: “the writer is making lots of money and is writing this piece to justify her snobbery.”

 

Elitist Lefties never turn on their own however, their belief in their own moral superiority is such that they see no contradiction in their raging against conservatives doing the very things they are busy doing themselves (Ah, but we are doing it for the right reasons,” they will argue): once Janet’s colleagues have come to terms with her defection to The Dark Side, many of them will stand by her. For, as much maligned Education Secretary Michael Gove pointed out when his education policy had been savaged by an editorial in The Guardian:

 

“…the Guardian has been edited by privately educated men for the last 60 years. But then, many of our most prominent contemporary radical and activist writers are also privately educated, at the most exclusive schools” he said. “George Monbiot the Marxist Environmentalist commentator was at Stowe, (according to my friend Colin who was also attented the school, the model for the school in Mervyn Peake’s surreal and subversive novel Gormenghast – made into a TV series in 2001, box sets available, Seumas Milne of the leading advocate of a single European superstate run by appointed bureaucrats as a stepping stone to global government was at Winchester and perhaps the most radical new voice of all, the feminist and ‘Yooman Rites’ ranter – Laurie Penny (a nanocelebrity according to right wing magazine The Spectator – was educated at Brighton College, an exclusive girls school.

 

I know it’s embarrassing for Ms Murray to be caught out in her one rule for me another for the proles* hypocrisy, but at least one  socialist Member Of Parliament will offer her a shoulder to cry on. Yes, little Miss “Everything is about race because I’se black” herself, Diane Abbot, after spending two decades denouncing private education as evil and (white, conservative) parents who choose private education as earthly manifestations of Enochian demons, sent her own son to private school, justifying her choice by saying the state system could not meet his needs.

 

Trouble is, from the illiteracy and innumeracy rates we are seeing and the levels of juvenile delinquency, state schools are not meeting very many pupils needs.
* This of course is the guiding principle of all socialist governments.

NB: this is an old article, updated somewhat, that is worth a rerun because the fragmentation of societies in the developed world is becoming extremely destructive.

 

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Comments

Thomas Napers Added Apr 29, 2017 – 1:23am
I couldn’t agree more, most progressives/liberals/leftists are nothing more than champagne socialists.  Which is another way of saying they are all hypocrites.  With so much negative things to say about leftists, progressives and socialists why don’t you ever vote for conservative candidates?
Shane Laing Added Apr 29, 2017 – 6:10am
At least when Margret Thatcher was PM she told the country when she was going to screw you. The champagne socialists i.e. Blair and Brown hid it. They really didn’t give a crap as long as they were all right.  Brown decided that all pensions should be taxed so screwing over the pensioners and what happened when it was found that there was a huge deficit (£2 billion) in the MPs pension pot? Yes you guessed it he took it from the public purse to top it up. Amazingly other pension pots that were in deficit weren’t topped up because it would be too expensive
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 29, 2017 – 10:06am
EXPAT, agree with what you said, excepting I spend quite a lot of time trying to make sure words still matter. Not long ago (before I signed up here) I posted something on a comment from a silicon valley billionaire who said he wants to make the world more visual, so we don’t have to rely on language, which he thinks people find confusing.
I remarked that for all his babbling about technology improving human life in every way he was trying to take us back to the Indo European proto – language which was replaced by better options about 8000 years ago.
I had some liberal / progressive telling me going visual would be a great step forward, how much smarter the Chinese and Japanese are that us, having a picture everyone can understand. And she gave as an example a picture of a window with raindrops falling outside to tell someone it is raining.
OUCH! That one landed on her toes like a brick.
Things aren’t so simple as my liberal friend imagines. Very briefly, with a link to a better description, Chinese and Japanese characters are not ideograms which use an image to convey meaning (window with raid = ‘it is / was raining’), but phonemes, like the proto – language or ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, each one representing a sound, either a whole word or syllable. Oriental scribes must learn around 3000 characters while we who use the Roman alphabet manage to convey even complex ideas with just twenty six (plus a few numerals).
So if we get past the standard liberal / progressive conviction that foreign cultures always do it better than us, I think we actually developed the best form of non auditory communication.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 29, 2017 – 10:08am
John G, I know you intend to intimidate us all with your mighty intellect, but to be honest mate the banalities you post are about as intimidating as a loud fart.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 29, 2017 – 10:22am
Thomas, what I said is I have never voted for a Conservative candidate. In the past, if possible I would cast a protest vote for an economically conservative, socially liberal candidate. That option is no longer available as the old Liberal Party (classical liberals, i.e. small government, localism and maximum individual freedom) made the mistake of joining forces with a breakaway group of the Labour Party (big government, state ownership and socially, paternalistic liberalism, a horrible philosophy which infantilises the working and middle classes) and thus became a subset of The Labour Party.
Now I sometimes vote Green, sometimes UKIP, and sometimes for an independent candidate. I even voted a couple of times fron The Natural Law Party, which was sponsored by The Beatles guru, The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, they might have seemed like a bunch of nutters to many people, to me they represented a home for my protest vote.
To me politics is not a binary.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 29, 2017 – 10:34am
Shane Laing, Margaret Thatcher made selfishness a virtue. I did well during her government because I was a computer networks expert and became a consultant to the big finance houses before and after deregulation. But my family home was in the north and I saw close up the consequences of her economic policies for core industries like mining and engineering.
My feelings on The UK Conservative Party are I know they are the party of self interest, and because they are open about that I can deal with it without having to like them. I have no time for Labour because they are such effing hypocrites, there’s nothing Labour politicians love more than sucking up to people with names like Rothschild, Barclay, Soros, Saud, Bush or Astor.
Thanks for reminding me about Brown’s pension raid.
Mircea Negres Added Apr 29, 2017 – 12:55pm
Ian, it’s not that different in South Africa. Here we have members of the South African Communist Party who are in the ANC because they made a deal before the 1994 election to get positions in return for SACP not contesting the elections. ANC members call each other “comrade” in parliament where they are paid from R900.000 a year upwards (minimum wage is around R40.000  a year), dress to the nines for the opening of parliament and as a matter of course while millions of ordinary people live in rags, have private health insurance while urging people to stop using private hospitals and use the state ones instead so they can die from malpractice or preventable infections, are driven in expensive SUVs like BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne and escorted by bodyguards while begrudging people who can afford it private security because the police’s service is poor, and bemoan the poor state of public schools in townships and the black parents who take their kids out of there as a result- while those same politicians send their own kids to former Model C schools (former majority white schools) and private schools. We call those politicians “Gucci communists”.
Mircea Negres Added Apr 29, 2017 – 12:56pm
Nice post, by the way, and welcome to Writer Beat!
Micahel Dolan Added Apr 29, 2017 – 1:23pm
“Culture”
Killing a culture is something to be alarmed about. Destroy a culture and you destroy a nation. There are people and mobs today actively trying to obliterate all vestiges of the common American culture.Let’s face it. American progressive liberals no longer have any foreign models for their utopian dreams and ambitions.There is no successful test case for these ideas anywhere. There never has been.
So liberalism-socialism today is re-inventing itself in the United States. What is it about conservatism that so angers the dominant media culture? For the Liberal, America is not a nation but a civil religion-an idea.
Dino Manalis Added Apr 29, 2017 – 1:57pm
All Americans should support Americanism and we ought to strive to assimilate immigrants into our American culture as much as possible!  God Bless America!
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 29, 2017 – 3:07pm
Mircea Negres, thanks for your comment. I have a Facebook friend, Gilly, who is a ‘saffer’, although she’s back in Britain now after some unfortunate experiences at the hands of gangsters. (We were with the same publisher about ten years back but they went broke). Gilly has described S.A. in much the same way as you.
It’s unfortunate that what is potentially the most prosperous nation in Africa, and a nation that could with good government become Africa’s first global power should be ruined by they hypocrisy of corrupt politicians who gain power and immediately sell out to corporate interests.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 29, 2017 – 3:16pm
Michael Dolan, what is it about conservatism that angers liberals and socialists? A very good question, every day I hear and read left wing left wing commentators raging about how uncouth and ignorant supporters of the right are, yet whenever I see on TV a political protest turn ugly, nine times out of ten it is the left, the ‘liberals’, ‘progressives’ and silly tarts dressed as vaginas who, faces contorted with rage and hate, are yelling abuse and threats, throwing bricks and bottles and trying to attack people representing a different view.
And yet the left’s Social Justice Warriors are the ones who claim to be tolerant, inclusive and peace – loving.
Micahel Dolan Added Apr 29, 2017 – 4:57pm
John G, The leftist today are infiltrated with paid for criminals who are anti America and terrorist. The Democrat Party is now a party of thugs and Losers. Burn down schools-Shoot Cops- attack innocent people because they dare have different opinions or they dare vote for someone other than a leftist-louse democrat. Your type never argue your case, your type promotes riots and crime.
Peter Corey Added Apr 30, 2017 – 12:14am

>liberals are NOT leftists. They are pro-capitalist idiots like you.

In the US, the word “liberal” has meant “leftist” since at least the progressive era of Woodrow Wilson. True, “liberal” used to mean pro-capitalist, pro-private property, pro-gold standard, pro-rule of law, pro-limited government intervention, but the meaning of that word was changed by American leftists. See a standard history on this topic by journalist, Arthur Ekirch in his book, “The Decline of American Liberalism.” Free PDF download here:

http://www.independent.org/pdf/book_excerpts/Foreword_DeclineAMLiberal_Higgs.pdf
The Decline of American Liberalism
by Arthur Ekirch

If an American wants to reclaim the original intent behind the word “liberal”, he must instead use the phrase “classical liberal”, or a neologism like “libertarian”, which might capture some of the original meaning, but which is also vague in many ways, since there are people who call themselves, “Left libertarians” and “civil libertarians” and “anarcho-capitalist libertarians”, etc.

Peter Corey Added Apr 30, 2017 – 12:54am

>The Democratic Party is a capitalist party

Actually, it’s a quasi-fascist party, or a neo-syndicalist party, or a crypto-corporatist party.

It’s not a “classical liberal” party. When you’ve plugged your current bout of verbal diarrhea, you can read Arthur Ekirch’s account of how “liberal” came to mean its opposite during the progressive era in the US. See link above to downloadable PDF.

Peter Corey Added Apr 30, 2017 – 1:16am

>I’m not interested in your pamphlets.

I’m not interested in your lies, distortions, and overall ignorance of economics, banking, and history.

You’ve probably missed the link I posted to Arthur Ekirch’s interesting historical account of how the word “liberal” in American political discourse acquired the opposite meaning from the one it originally had. That’s understandable given that your head is stuck up your arse most of the time. Clear your orifice and click on the following link:

target=”_blank”>http://www.independent.org/pdf/book_excerpts/Foreword_DeclineAMLiberal_Higgs.pdf
The Decline of American Liberalism
by Arthur Ekirch

Robert Burk Added Apr 30, 2017 – 4:34am
If the left and liberalism are good at anything it is controlling the narrative, they have been successful in claiming the high moral ground and keeping the right on the defensive. That and that along explains their success. If one can turn the tables around and get them on the defensive they are totally disarmed and unable to carry on a  conversation.  Has anyone ever seen a world leader more inarticulate than Justin Trudeau, yet he was idolized by the left during his election. The man is a buffoon.
Robert Burk Added Apr 30, 2017 – 4:37am
In the 60 the liberal left was the party of the oppressed but now the oppressed are the power and liberalism has become a reactionary bunch of SJW with no agenda but they still want to joust windmills.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 30, 2017 – 9:11am
John G,
If, as you say, you are not interested in the opinions of others (and are therefore by definition a bigot, a word you throw at others freely though you obviously don’t know what it means) then why do you enter these threads where you must know you will encounter opinions that do not coincide with your own and also a quality of discussion that is obviously way above your level of intelligence.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 30, 2017 – 9:14am
Thanks to everyone who has contributed intelligent points to this thread, I can’t concentrate because of the white noise at the moment but I will respond either later today or tomorrow.
Cheers, Ian
Bill H. Added Apr 30, 2017 – 11:13am
Both parties are so out of touch at the moment, they have become rendered useless. Therefore, those who continue to follow either one at this point are on the road to a dead-end street.
We blindly take “sides” and refuse to discuss, reason, and even think anymore because it is conveniently done for us by our “technology” and any “talking head” who makes us feel cozy and comfortable. Any news, information, or ideas that may be outside of our “bubbles” or comfort zone is simply deemed “fake”.
As technology increasingly makes our decisions for us, we will become less able to use our own minds to make what decisions we will have left to perform.
George N Romey Added Apr 30, 2017 – 11:40am
Both parties have one master-the elite class.  Its a game they play and we are the chumps and pawns for amusement.
Jeff Michka Added Apr 30, 2017 – 3:29pm
“Dolan” sez: The leftist today are infiltrated with paid for criminals who are anti America and terrorist.- More of your Trumpist bilge pumpings you have no source or proof for, but just “want to be true.”-I contend you are more of  phony patriot than any “leftist” you are so critical about.  Blight’d fool.
Barry aka. Hyperminde Added Apr 30, 2017 – 10:01pm

RE (EXPAT): CAN A FEDERAL POLICE FORCE BE FAR BEHIND?

Uh … that’s what Obama wanted before he got in the White House (although the Media avoided reporting anything about it).

Do an Internet search with terms: video obama civilian national security force

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/08/27/barack-obama-civilian-army.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt2yGzHfy7s

Ian Thorpe Added May 1, 2017 – 1:34pm
EXPAT, I understand what you mean about Vietnam, war do not necessarily change nations but humiliations do. Britian was changed by a much smaller war than ‘nam, the Suez crisis of 1956 (or 5 maybe) was before the dawn of my political awareness but I grew up with its consequences, and because my Dad worked for national Daily newspapers and I met his colleagues regularly I had no shortage of people willing and well qualified to explain how, after we had survived World War 2 much diminished, the humiliation of being forced to climb down over the sovereignty of the Suez canal brought home to the nation and our elite that Britain was no longer one of the world’s most powerful nations but was a second rate power.
And from there the seeds of our social revolution in the 1960s (which was different in some important ways from America’s) were sown.
The best thing to come out of it was the collapse of the class system, people were not content to ‘know their place’ any more.
Ian Thorpe Added May 1, 2017 – 1:51pm
Peter Corey, it is absolutely right to assert that liberals are leftists, we seldom see those who ‘identify’ as liberal trying to engage in a discussion on any important topics, instead all we see from them are contradictions, distortions, lies, name – calling, smears and what they would call, were it directed at them, hate speech. This style of rhetoric which has been nurtured in university faculties and by liberal media is straight from the Alinsky and Frankrurt School playbooks for those intending to disrupt political stability.
Ian Thorpe Added May 1, 2017 – 1:55pm
Robert Burk, I don’t think it is so much a case of the liberal left being good as controlling the narrative as the opponents of these authoritarians actually believe in free speech and so we are prepared to let them put their case while they repay that courtesy by trying to shout down people who hold different views to theirs.
Ian Thorpe Added May 1, 2017 – 2:28pm
Bill H, you say both sides are out of touch, I know that to be true of out three main national parties and also of The Scottish Nationalists in the UK. You will also see similar claims repeated on news sites and forums all around Europe. The ruling elites have abandoned the people who put them where they are in pursuit of a global agenda.
What’s so laughable about much of the nonsense we see in these threads is that the people who scream about ‘evil capitalism’ don’t realise they are supporting the global banking cartels and the corporations that want to suffocate independent businesses.
Ian Thorpe Added May 1, 2017 – 2:30pm
George, ALL parties appear to have one controlling elite, here, there, in Gremany, France, Japan, India, Australia
Ian Thorpe Added May 1, 2017 – 2:31pm
Barry, aka Hyperminde, that’s not an issue I can common on but thanks for contributing to the thread.
Jeff Michka Added May 1, 2017 – 9:18pm
Micahel “Fake News/Mr. & Mrs. Mindless Disinformation tries to suggest again:  John G, The leftist today are infiltrated with paid for criminals who are anti America and terrorist. The Democrat Party is now a party of thugs and Losers. Burn down schools-Shoot Cops- attack innocent people because they dare have different opinions or they dare vote for someone other than a leftist-louse democrat. – And you have a cite for all this, eh?  Of course you don’t.  It’s just stuff you think others should believe because you, primary sucker for it, does.  I Want to see a payslip.
Bill H. Added May 1, 2017 – 9:49pm
When an administration attempts to negate and eliminate the news media, who’s job it is to question and critique the government on the people’s side, it is on the way to becoming a dictatorship. When the president seems to only make moves to increase his wealth, and that of his family and close business associates, that is a pure indication of corruption.
I have voted for candidate of both parties over the years, but I have never seen the likes of the Orange Buffoon.
J. Riddle Added May 2, 2017 – 3:42am

Dictionaries aren’t noted for being particularly politically sophisticated; when it comes to those matters, history books are far more important.

This…

“Liberalism which is as close as any workable system can get to target=”_blank”>anarchism.”

…is ludicrous. Liberals are capitalists, the polar opposite of anarchists–a great example of why history is more important. Liberals advocating Stalinism, meanwhile, are like the Unicorn Division of the Orc Society (or the Alliance of Muslim Socialist Presidents of the United States)–a ridiculous, made-up thing invented to entertain certain people.

J. Riddle Added May 2, 2017 – 3:44am

“Actually, it’s a quasi-fascist party, or a neo-syndicalist party, or a crypto-corporatist party.”

Yeah, when making up a bunch of shit, why limit oneself to only one, eh?

Ian Thorpe Added May 2, 2017 – 9:29am
J Riddle, there’s a big difference between classical liberalism and modern, politically correct,  authoritarian liberalism. At the time classical liberalism was developed as a political philosophy there was no socialism other than in the communal living of certain Christian religious sects such as the Anabaptists and Moravians in Germanic counties and The Levellers in Britain.
Early advocates of Liberalism, including John Locke, Thomas Hobbes and Adam Smith, although the ideas can be traced back to Cicero and Seneca in ancient Rome and the Athenian Philosophers in Greece. At the time the founders of modern liberalism lived and worked there was no alternative to capitalism other than a return to medieval feudalism so it is ludicrous to talk of them being capitalists unless you favour a system of oligarchical feudalism such as the one George Soros proposes.
Neoliberalism, which is what I assume to mean by liberalism, is nothing to do with classical liberalism, it is about a system developed on the collaboration of an all powerful central government and lightly regulated big business cartels. As such it is hardly deistinguishable economically from neo-Conservatism. This is not capitalism but corporatism (although it closely echoes Mussolini’s definition of fascism,) so fascists, not liberals are the polar opposite of anarchists. In favouring small government, minimal intervention and maximum tolerance of individualism and self determination, liberalism is, as I said, as close as any workable system can be to anarchism, which advocates no government at all and which, therefore, no sane person would ever suggest as a viable form of government.
In eighteenth century Britain there was a loose political group known as Whigs who advocated laissez faire economics but were socially very conservative, (the Whigs were active in the American colonies too under a different name). These people are wrongly referred to a ‘liberals’ by most school and higher education history text books, in current terminology they are referred to as neoliberals and their political stance being based on the Patrician caste of The Roman Empire is about as far from ‘neo’ as is possible. The Whigs believed they should be free to further their own interests without any restriction, they also believed in, and used their wealth and power, to obtain draconian punishments for anyone who got in their way. Hardly acceptable behaviour for liberals, but these guys were really libertines, they claimed the right to act without constraint to the extend of being able to roger servant girls and take no responsibility for resulting pregnancies.
Before you start invoking history books to justify ill informed comments you might be well advised to read a few. The world did not begin when FDR’s government passed The New Deal.
Jeff Jackson Added May 2, 2017 – 1:30pm
Ian, love the “champagne socialist” name, very fitting. You certainly know your history and ideologies. Very insightful and well-educated. Be careful, though. Lotsa WB’s don’t like the history textbooks that you and I read. Quoting historically important books often means little or nothing to them, even if you and I believe and understand it as the truth.
Ian Thorpe Added May 2, 2017 – 2:56pm
Jeff, good advice, thanks. Trolls are a plague at any free posting site like this, as I warned someone a few days ago, we just have to be prepared to become Big Billy Goat Gruff. But even going down to the level of fairy tales is too advanced for some people who spend a lot of time in these threads.
Champagne Socialist BTW is not originally mine, it’s a well used phrase in Britain for describing politicians, businessmen and media luvvies who live millionaire lifestyles while telling people on ordinary incomes they must learn to be content with less because we have a duty to help Africa.
The name that has come up most often recently in connection with this is Bono, lead singer of the band U2, with an estimated fortune of £650million. When asked how much of his wealth he is prepared to give to African projects he babbles about how much time he spends working for third world charities.
Ian Thorpe Added May 2, 2017 – 3:12pm
Having said above that no sane person would ever suggest anarchy as a viable form of government, I must confess that, emotionally at least, I am philosophically an anarchist. This is why I considered putting myself forward in the forthcoming election as a candidate for Britain’s long established joker party, The Monster Raving Loony Party.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “It is the duty of ever citizen to question authority,” but as difficult questions are met with evasions, the next best thing is to ridicule authority. The Loony approach is entirely in keeping with the spirit of my last political foray when I ran as The Liberal Libations Party, campaigning on a policy of “bigger drink for everyone.”
For years after that the Labour government at the time relaxed laws covering the sale of alcohol. My policies changed Britain even though I didn’t win 🙂
Jeff Jackson Added May 2, 2017 – 4:39pm
Ian, aren’t some of those names straight out of Monty Python? I’d come over and vote for you, but I have these metal things that make loud noises of which I don’t think your government would approve.
By the way, the “politicians, businessmen and media luvvies who live millionaire lifestyles while telling people on ordinary incomes they must learn to be content with less because we have a duty to help Africa” sound like some of the folks here in ‘Murica, including, of course, the political class and the C-suite desk monkeys.
Jolly good show!  Carry on mate!
Ian Thorpe Added May 3, 2017 – 9:00am
Jeff Jackson, not quite Python, but that school of comedy, Python did a sketch one about ‘The Silly Party’ but the Monster Raving Loonys were formed before that by a rock singer named Screaming Lord Sutch. Sutch stood in many elections over thirty years, losing his deposit in all but earning far more from the gig he was offered. A true British eccentric, and as long as the name of his joke party survives his sprit will live on.
BTW I do have several T shirts with Python catch phrases, ‘Nobody expects The Spanish Inquisition,’ ‘He’s Not The Messiah, He’s A Very Naughty Boy,’ and ‘Blessed Are The Cheesemakers.’
Wherever I go in them, they raise a few smiles.
Ian Thorpe Added May 3, 2017 – 9:05am
John G, the way that after reading a couple of articles and a few comments by somebody enables you to believe you know more about them than they know about themselves.
This tells me you are either:
a) endowed with super powers
b) stark raving mad
I know which I’d be willing to bet on.
Ian Thorpe Added May 3, 2017 – 9:09am
John G,
Your last comment, I mean your most recent although many people here wish it would be your last, only tells us you do not know what either capitalism or anarchism mean.
Do you really think your monomaniacal ravings impress anybody?
Ian Thorpe Added May 3, 2017 – 4:23pm
John G, by accusing others of indulging in ad hominem commenting when almost all your comments are ad hominem (because you cannot put together and intelligent comment on the topic under discussion) you show yourself to be a hypocrite on top of all your other shortcomings and delusions.
As for your having read enough of what I post, well why the fuck do you keep reading it then for fuck’s sake, you idiot?
You’re like a baby John, screaming until you get attention.
Jeff Michka Added May 8, 2017 – 3:28pm
“Champagne Socialists” sound like interviewees in a BBC green room before showtime.  Not any that I know.

 


Threat Of Major Scandal Prompted Conservatives early UK Election move Say UKIP Leaders

Leaders of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) have made astonishing claim that Prime Minister Teresa May’s move to call an early General Election in June this year was done to preempt a series of by-elections that could be called following a police investigation into alleged electoral fraud. Accusing May and the Conservative government she leads of “putting party before country”, UKIP front man Paul Nuttall appeared to suggest an electoral fraud scandal and the ensuing disqualification of sitting members of The House of Commons could rob the government of its slender majority in parliament.


Oops, that’s Teresa May the porn star, not Teresa May the British politician

Mrs. May strongly denied she would call a snap election after being chosen, unopposed, as the Conservative leader following the resignation of David Cameron after he was humiliated when the country voted to leave the EU (Brexit). After parliament approved the invocation of the Article 50 Bill with a massive majority, with many of the unelected members of the House of Lords, along with a large section of Labour MPs, the Scottish Nationalists and Liberal Democrats along with a rebel faction in her own party promising they would prevent Brexit going ahead (in defiance of the democratic will,) The Prime minister today claimed she had “reluctantly” changed her mind.

Her U-turn also comes exactly a month after reports suggested Conservative Party figures were fearful of a series of by-elections that could be called after up to 20 of their MPs were alleged to have broken electoral law in the 2015 campaign, mostly in seats UKIP had a good chance of winning.

More than ten police forces have referred cases to the Crown Prosecution Service and lawyers are now considering whether to charge the MPs or their agents after a year long investigation.

“…The prospect of a slew of Tory-held by-elections caused by the seeming systematic breach of electoral law at the last election, predominantly in places where UKIP were pressing the Conservatives hard” could have influenced the decision to hold an election now, suggested Nuttall in a press statement.

Deputy UKIP leader Peter Whittle also said the decision was “utterly cynical”, adding: “But we’re having [a general election] now and my party is actually quite excited about it.” Speaking on the BBC’s Daily Politics, he said there was “no question” the Tories were acting in their own self-interest.

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Comments

EXPAT Added Apr 19, 2017 – 3:48pm
Ian.
Thanks for the photo. The cleavage displayed should be titled Silicone Valley.I believe that Mrs. May who was elected to lead Britain into the independence of Brexit, is becoming faint of heart at the thought of Scottish Nationalism.Why else call for an election in so short a period? She either wants
re-assurance from the people or an excuse to back away from the mandate she was elected to facilitate. She is proving to be a bigger coward than David Cameron.

If the result is Haggis being washed down with  Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbierm the Sassenach can send the Muslims to Glasgow to clean up the barf!

Ian Thorpe Added Apr 19, 2017 – 4:22pm
Expat. Yes, if that Teresa May was our Prime Minister few people would be worrying about deflation when interest rates finally go up.
UKIP are flying a kite but there is something in their claim, there are investigations of electoral fraud in progress and the Tory majority is very thin. Also I heard from a Lib Dem House of Lords skiver I’ve known for many years that but for the stupendous numbers of postal votes for Remain in inner city areas the referendum majority would have been bigger so as various groups in parliament are sworn to stop Brexit at any cost, the option that May’s move is what it says on the box, a cynical bid to get a safe majority, has to be considered.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
EXPAT Added Apr 19, 2017 – 4:45pm
Ian. America plays the same game! I am surprised UKIP hasn’t blamed the Russians for hacking the referendum. Liberals are the same worldwide. When they lose, it is always because of fraud.
Ari Silverstein Added Apr 19, 2017 – 5:28pm
I know nothing about the electoral system outside the United States so will you do me a favor and explain the merits of politicians being able to decide when to hold an (snap) election?  Shouldn’t elections occur based on a pre-set date like they do in America?
Dino Manalis Added Apr 20, 2017 – 9:39am
Don’t pick on her, May wants to be a modern day-Margaret Thatcher!
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 20, 2017 – 3:12pm
Ari, in the British system the Prime Minister has always had the right to call an election at any time. On this occasion it is ostensibly for the purpose of seeking a mandate to negotiate Britain’s divorce from the EU (Brexit), but the true motive is probably more cynical than that.
The reason we stuck with this system is because the Prime Minister is not a president and has no power of veto (The Queen has but is not allowed to use it except in extreme circumstances). Mrs May was not elected but became leader of the largest party when David Cameron resigned, so she can use that as an excuse too although it would have been more credible had she called the election before she was sworn in.
Hope that helps you understand our contribution to the current global chaos.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 20, 2017 – 3:14pm
Dino, I think she wants to be the modern day Boudicca. Few people understand the extent of the EU’s ambition to turn Europe’s twenty – eight member states into a frederal superstate controlled by the bureaucracy.
Ari Silverstein Added Apr 21, 2017 – 6:17am

For whatever its worth, I think a system where the Prime Minister can call an election at any time is ridiculous.  Elections should come at set times on a calendar.  Even worse is that you’re stuck with a system like that, politicians should be able to change the law to their liking. *given a high enough amount of support.

As to her reason for holding a snap election, you said she’s putting party before country, but that doesn’t make any sense to me.  If she believes her party will do more for the country than the party that opposes her, than by putting her party first she’s also putting her country first.

Ian Thorpe Added Apr 21, 2017 – 10:41am
Ari, just backtrack a moment. I did not say that the Prime Minister was putting party before country, Paul Nuttall, leader of the UK Independence Party said that, I simply reported what he said. I actually don’t have an opinion on that point, she acted according to the law as it stands now.
You seem to be arguing the same case as those people who are still trying to claim Hillary Clinton should be US President because she won the popular vote. The case is that love him or hate him, trump won according to the law as it stands now. End of story
There are flaws in all democratic systems, the fact that the Prime Minister can call elections at a politically advantageous to her/his party (both Conservative and Labour  Prime Ministers have done the same in the past) is not the biggest flaw we have in the British system.
Billy Roper Added Apr 21, 2017 – 10:55am
The UKIP Manchester Rabbi who burned the New Testament in protest for passover is indicative of how Zionist the organization is.
Thomas Napers Added Apr 22, 2017 – 5:49am
So what are the bigger flaws in your electoral system than the one that allows a prime minister to call a snap election?  Do you think our Electoral College system is flawed?
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 22, 2017 – 11:33am
Thomas, what are the main flaws in our electoral system? How much time do you have to spare? The biggest is our ‘first past the post’ selection. This was introduced for very good reasons almost two hundred years ago. Those reasons are not so good now, and with the solidifying of the party system we have developed too many ‘safe’ seats for either Labour or Conservative candidates.
The result of this is many people, myself included, who do not want to vote for either of the main parties but live in one of the ‘safe seats’ are effectively disenfranchised. Will that do for starters?
As for the electoral college, that too was introduced for good reasons a long time ago. I can see merit in the arguments of both those who want to scrap it and those who want to keep it. What I can’t understand about it is why so many states apportion E. C. votes on a winner takes all basis? Surely they should be divided between candidates on a pro – rata basis.
Doing that, however, would almost certainly open several new cans of worms.
Thomas Napers Added Apr 22, 2017 – 11:19pm

Obviously not all that many voters are disenfranchised, otherwise they would vote for someone other than Labour or Conservative candidates.  No matter what country one lives, it makes logical sense for there to be two main parties.  Any more than two and the two parties with the most similar ideology will split the vote, causing the other party to win.

You raise an interesting point about our Electoral College system.  The reason most states award Electoral Votes on a winner-take-all basis is because they want their state to matter.  To the extent the winner doesn’t take all, there will be less competition to win the state and accordingly, the less the state will matter.

Ian Thorpe Added Apr 23, 2017 – 9:19am
Thomas, first prize for stating the obvious, if a majority of voters in a constituency wanted to vote liberal or green then that party would win. When I refer to safe seats however, I mean those with a built in majority for one or other main party. For many years this resulted in the liberals, with about ten per cent of the vote ending up with between five and ten seats in a 600+ seat parliament.
There are other flaws but from your remarks I guess you are not interested in discussing them objectively. What does state governments “wanting their states to matter” have to do with Democracy. Do the votes of all the Republicans in California and New York, or all the Democrats on Texas or Illinois not matter?
Ari Silverstein Added Apr 23, 2017 – 10:33pm

I’m not sure why you’d infer that I believe Hillary should be president because she won the popular vote.  I’m ecstatic over the outcome of the election and think the Electoral College system is a great way to determine POTUS.  At the very least, it’s a far better system then the popular vote.

My comment to you has more to do with fixing an obviously flawed system. Our system may have flaws to some but they aren’t major.  By your own admission, your system is riddled with flaws and those flaws should be fixed.  Of course the law of the land should be respected, but that doesn’t mean the law can’t be fixed for the next election.

Ian Thorpe Added Apr 24, 2017 – 9:54am
Ari, if you think your electoral system does not have major flaws you must be living in Bizarro world. At least in Britain a billionaire could not buy the job of Prime Minister.
Shane Laing Added Apr 24, 2017 – 10:22am
I believe the Prime Minister made a smart move.  The Conservatives are well ahead in the polls and if more tories are elected it helps her to get her brexit deal through the commons much easier. As for the Liberal leader spouting that he wants the UK to have the same benefits as being a fully paid up member of the EU when we leave, simply isn’t going to happen.  The EU have said so.  Everybody should vote a safe seat is only safe if people vote.  Bermondsey was a safe seat for Simon Hughes come the election he lost because of the Lib Dems going back on the tuition fees promise, saying that most of the Lib Dems lost their seats.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 24, 2017 – 3:49pm
Shane, politically it is a smart move for the reasons you say and while it may seem cynical to some for a Prime Minister in UK (or other nations with similar systems) to call an early election to gain advantage, the ability to seek a new mandate has to exist for several good reasons, if the government loses a confidence vote for example.
What some people in this thread don’t understand (and don’t want to understand) is that unlike the USA, where the presidency and congress are separate, in the British system the Prime Minister is the leader of the assembly.
Jeff Michka Added Apr 26, 2017 – 6:03pm
Billy the Nazi writes: The UKIP Manchester Rabbi who burned the New Testament in protest for passover is indicative of how Zionist the organization is.  -And totally, as always, irrelevant to Ian’s article and topic at hand.  Roper to WB: “I always blame Jews for everything.”

All Is For The Best In This, The Best Of All Possible Worlds – Dr. Pangloss’ Philosophy

The title is a phrase used to sum up the philosophy of Dr. Pangloss. “Dr. who?” you might well ask because few people today are likely to be familiar with Pangloss or his philosophies. Dr. Pangloss, you see, is a fictional character, friend and mentor to the main character in Voltaire’s novel “Candide”.

Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694 – 1778) known simply as Voltaire was destined for a career in law but found formal study “too disgusting” and gave it up to become a philosopher and man of letters among the Bohemian community of Paris’s left bank. Quickly becoming known for his wit, intelligence and decadent lifestyle he was accepted by other French radicals, writers, thinkers and political reformers.

Voltaire was a satirist best known for his religious polemic against the Roman Catholic Church, corrupt but al powerful at the time, but he did not spare the tight lipped protestants of his day from being pricked or beaten by his favourite weapons, sarcasm, ridicule and parody. Because so much of his work , particularly in early writing, targeted religion is common to dismiss him as a biter and resentful atheist, but to do so is intellectually lazy and exhibits ignorance. Discarding revelation and divine mystery, he steadily upheld the truths of natural religion, and was, in fact, a Deist. There is possibly no greater a master of stylish and polished ridicule in the literature of any language.

Through the course of his long (by the standards of his day) life Voltaire wrote ninety books and it is perhaps a measure of the man’s talent as a satirist that the best known, Candide or The Optimist is in fact a satire of philosophy, a subject he loved dearly. (Voltaire biography)

The novel tells in desultory fashion the story of Candide and his philosopher friend Dr. Pangloss as they embark on a ridiculously optimistic quest to prove the world is essentially a perfect environment and that everything in it that seems bad, brutal and evil is necessary as a stepping stone to a greater good.

Dr. Pangloss and his philosophy are the principal focus of Voltaire’s satire. Dr. Pangloss, Candide’s tutor and mentor, teaches that “in this best of all possible worlds, everything happens because no other course of events is possible and therefore everything happens for the best.” The philosophy of Pangloss parodies the ideas of Gottfried Leibniz, an Enlightenment era philosopher (the term ‘existentialist had not been coined at that point,) who posited that the world was perfect and its evil were simply a path to achieving “the greatest good of the greatest number.” A philosophy which, it may occur to you, has much in common with Barack Obama’s “hope and change” (all hold hands and sing Kumbiya to create Utopia) campaign of 2008.

Each twist in the plot, each natural disaster, disease, and misfortune that befalls Candide is intended by Voltaire to show the perpetual optimism of Pangloss’s thinking to be utterly absurd and detached from reality. Pangloss’s personal sufferings alone are unusually extreme. In regard to his own misfortune however, Pangloss convinces himself that his suffering is necessary for the greater good. The result is that the philosopher appears lost in his intellectual ramblings and thus utterly blind to his own experiences as well as the horrors endured by his friends.

At one point Pangloss contracts syphilis. Candide suggests they seek a doctor to cure the potentially deadly disease but the sufferer insists on philosophising about it to convince himself his infection is in fact “for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds.
“Oh, Pangloss!” cried Candide, “what a strange genealogy! Is not the Devil the original stock of it?”

“Not at all,” replied this great man, “it was a thing unavoidable, a necessary ingredient in the best of worlds; for if Columbus had not in an island of America caught this disease, which contaminates the source of life, frequently even hinders generation, and which is evidently opposed to the great end of nature, we should have neither chocolate nor cochineal. We are also to observe that upon our continent, this distemper is like religious controversy, confined to a particular spot. The Turks, the Indians, the Persians, the Chinese, the Siamese, the Japanese, know nothing of it; but there is a sufficient reason for believing that they will know it in their turn in a few centuries. In the meantime, it has made marvelous progress among us, especially in those great armies composed of honest hirelings, who decide the destiny of states; for we may safely affirm that when an army of thirty thousand men fights another of an equal number, there are about twenty thousand of them poxed on each side.”

Voltaire also uses Dr. Pangloss as a metaphor for what he considers useless, impractical metaphysical speculations on unknowable topics. Hence the philosopher is described as a tutor of “metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology.” Such scholars, according to Voltaire, waster their lives talking instead of doing (note that “pangloss,” derived from two Greek words, means “all-tongue”). At one point Candide is on the verge of death but rather than get him water which he is asking for, Pangloss carries on talking, analyzing the situation. Or when everyone ought be tending the garden (a metaphor for life), Pangloss instead wants everyone to talk, or rather to listen to him talking. Following the aforementioned earthquake, Pangloss also tries to reassure people by…talking. Pangloss is always so intent on talking about circumstances he is quite unable to heed good advice when it slaps him round the cheeks with a big dead fish.

In addition to his high irritant factor, Pangloss’s way of living is impractical. Completely absorbed in analyzing and theorizing, Pangloss and his student are unable to live their lives. It may have been Voltaire’s intention in ridiculing not only Pangloss’s particular philosophy that all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds and his obsession with philosophy in general to satirize the work of his contemporary Jean – Jaques Rousseau. Much of Rousseau’s work focused strongly on the subjectivity and introspection that has come characterized modern writing.

The Scottish philosopher, David Hume “professed no surprise when he learned that Rousseau’s books had been banned in Geneva and elsewhere” (Wikipedia). Hume wrote of Rousseau, “he has not had the precaution to throw any veil over his sentiments; and, as he scorns to dissemble his contempt for established opinions, he could not wonder that all the zealots were in arms against him. The liberty of the press is not so secured in any country… as not to render such an open attack on popular prejudice somewhat dangerous.”

Scientific research was fresh and exciting in Voltaire’s lifetime which overlapped with those of Isaac Newton, Joseph Priestly and Robert Boyle acknowledged as the founder of mordern chemistry a colleague of Isaac Newton, Christian Wolff in Germany , who revolutionised the teaching of natural sciences, Edwald von Kleist invented his Leyden (or Leiden) Jar, effectively the first capacitor and Benjamin Franklin proved lightening was electrical. In biology Anton van Leeuwenhoek used a microscope and discovered red blood cells, bacteria, and protozoa and Edward Jenner invented vaccination after discovering the relationship between cowpox and smallpox, just a few of the developments. Religious thinking however was stagnant under the dead hand of clerical bureaucracy that lay on the Catholic faith, the traditionalism of the Orthodox churches and the Bible literalism of Protestants.

Things have turned round now, with scientific triumphs in the practical field becoming harder to achieve and the dead hand of orthodoxy suffocating much original thought and experiment while those engaged in the futile quest for mathematical elegance in nature and the universe stretch their equations and torture their data in futile attempts to prove there is no more to life than mathematical formulae.

It is the scientists now who fill the shoes of Dr. Pangloss, claiming with unjustified enthusiasm that every blip in the electromagnetic radiation coming in from space is some enormously significant breakthrough in the search for alien life or every quirky and unpredicted reaction from an atom bombarded with a beam of sub atomic particles heralds the revelation by scientists of the secrets of the universe. These modern exponents of Panglossism are every bit as foolish as Voltaire’s creation, observe how they avoid addressing the problems of an ageing population, overpopulation, impending food shortages and an ongoing debt crisis while philosophising endlessly about problems that only exist in the virtual world of their mathematical models while reciting statistics to prove that ‘the truth is out there’ or that medical science can find a cure for death.
It is then, is it not, these inexhaustible enthusiasts for the science of speculation who are out of touch with reality, not the people who might believe in God, gods, nature, meditation or metaphysics but who do not let their beliefs get in the way of focusing on what must be done. Dreaming of exploring the galaxies does not grow any grain and the $billions being spent on searching for and trying to contact alien life forms when for all we know these aliens might be total bastards who want to kill us all is sheer folly.

In Voltaire’s novel Candide does eventually seem to renounce philosophy in favor of activity and work and learns the importance of staying in contact with reality, of tending our gardens (does that metaphor come from The Bible I wonder?) He takes Pangloss with him but the philosopher is never completely cured of his addiction. On the final page of the book we read:
Pangloss sometimes said to Candide:

“There is a concatenation of events in this best of all possible worlds: for if you had not been kicked out of a magnificent castle for love of Miss Cunégonde: if you had not been put into the Inquisition: if you had not walked over America: if you had not stabbéd the Baron: if you had not lost all your sheep from the fine country of El Dorado: you would not be here eating preserved citrons and pistachio-nuts.”

“All that is very well,” answered Candide, “but let us cultivate our garden.”

For references to Voltaire’s text I have used my own dog – eared and heavily annotated copy of Candide, anyone interested in the book can find free e-book versions (Kindle, epub, pdf and raw text formats at Project Gutenberg)

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Comments

Leroy Added Apr 15, 2017 – 1:24pm
Very enjoyable read.  Thank you.  Candide is one of the first books that I read.  I have forgotten so much of it.  I must go back and read it again.
Dino Manalis Added Apr 15, 2017 – 1:43pm
We must always strive for the best and improve!  All the Best!
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 18, 2017 – 12:35pm
Leroy,
‘Life changing book’ is an overused phrase but Candide is certainly one of those books that helps many people see the world more clearly.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 18, 2017 – 12:41pm
Dino, that’s right. But unlike Dr Pangloss we need to take care not to deceive ourselves as those who say their glass is always half full do. Half full is not a bad thing but it is not a reason to rejoice.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 18, 2017 – 12:44pm
Richard, thanks for the comment, I’ve never been a conformist – the internet received wisdom that short posts get most likes and comments does not interest me, if something is worth writing about, we should do it justice.
Billy Roper Added Apr 18, 2017 – 1:12pm
Dr. Pangloss’s insistence that we live in the best of all possible worlds reminds me of those who defend the status quo through historical revisionism. Our country is being overrun by the third world? “Oh, they enrich us with their diversity and their cultural vibrance. We’ve always been a nation of immigrants, and America is the melting pot…” same mentality.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 18, 2017 – 2:45pm
Billy Roper, Good points. I tend to the Hindu way of thinking by trying to be objective as far as possible when looking at political and cultural matters. One of the Facebook memes that annoys me is “We [the British] are a nation of immigrants. The Celts, Romans, Saxons, Danes, Normans and many others migrated to Britiain in the past
We’re not of course, Celts came as settlers and nations did not exist then. Romans, Danes and Normans came as invaders and conquerors. And since then the immigrants who arrived have been an easily absorbed trickle.

Freedom Of Thought And Information: Quotes.

If the ruling elites want to establish global control they need to be able to control all information the general population have access to. The idea of controlling information in order to limit the ability to think and develop ideas served Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and many other dictators well but was completely exposed by George Orwell in the novel ‘1984’.

In recent decades the technique for controlling thoughts and ideas has been more subtle, but that has not prevented many commentators higlighting what is going on.

“If those in charge of our society – politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television – can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.” — Howard Zinn, historian and author

“The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity” – much less dissent. Gore Vidal

“Understand that all battles are waged on an unconscious level before they are begun on the conscious one, and this battle is no different. The power structure wishes us to believe that the only options available are those which they present to us, we know this is simply not true.” – Teresa Stover

“People in the West need to understand that if the news they receive bears on the interests of the US military/security complex, the news is scripted by the CIA. The CIA serves its interests, not the interests of the American people or the interests of peace.” – Paul Craig Roberts

In the years the USA could claim with some credibility to be the only global superpower, the elites managed to gain control of print and broadcast media throughout the developed world. Unfortunately the technology developed as a tool to to enhance the ability of the elite to control information while maintaining the illusion of freedom, The Internet, backfired on them. The General public forever despised by intellectuals and derided by the elite and the media proved to be a lot more intelligent and adaptable than ‘the controllers’ suspected.

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Comments

George N RomeyAdded Apr 7, 2017 – 4:12pm

There will soon be a backlash against elites, particularly as the global economy implodes.  The smart ones have secured land on distant islands and have made sure they have hard assets. The dumb ones, most of the elite class, continue to live with their paper wealth clueless to the fault line opening beneath them.

I might like many others die in the ultimate economic crash do big and systemic even for Central Banks to print their way out.  But I will die laughing as the stock and bond market are in total freefall, real estate prices are collapsing and the Wal Marts of the world see their business drown.

Utpal PatelAdded Apr 10, 2017 – 4:40pm

If not corporations, who do you wish control the media/information?  The government?  A wealthy individual who is not beholden to anyone? Or perhaps you think they should all be non-profits, as that would ensure their objectivity (queue sarcasm)?

In light of the power of the internet and our many different choices to receive news and information, no single corporation can control it.  And because corporations are all out to make money, you can be sure there is no conspiracy where they all decide to work together.  So spare me your references to 1984, Hitler and Mao Tse Tung, the media here is the way it should be.

Ian ThorpeAdded Apr 11, 2017 – 9:30am
Utpal Patel,
you may spare yourself all references I make in future by not reading my articles. Oh and BTW I think you mean ‘cue sarcasm’.
But you really let yourself down with the comment, “In light of the power of the internet and our many different choices to receive news and information, no single corporation can control it. ”
Over the past two or three years independent media has been full of reports on how collaboration between corporate entities and state security agencies can control what information web users see.
How that is done is too complex to explain in a comment thread, to learn more you will have to read my subsequent articles. Oh but then you will be exposed to my references to Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Phillip K Dick, Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare, Eric Cantona, The Frankfurt School, The Marx Brothers and anyone else I choose to mention.
Billy RoperAdded Apr 11, 2017 – 9:46am
It’s a demonstrable fact that Jews control the news and entertainment media, almost exclusively, and seek to censor the internet, as well, but their inability to do so thus far has led to their continual exposure.
Billy RoperAdded Apr 11, 2017 – 9:47am
George is correct, balkanization is coming.
Bill KampsAdded Apr 11, 2017 – 10:27am
The rich will control things one way or another.  It used to be kings, now it is the wealthy and politically connected.  After George’s revolution it will still be the wealthy and well connected, perhaps just a different group.
Micahel DolanAdded Apr 11, 2017 – 11:14am
The rich control things. The rich-very rich who control our lives everyday are our Politicians. They get a lifetime job-lifetime pension- they immediately ran from Obamacare and staid in their great health-plan. When the elected crook or degenerate gets caught, no problem the problem is ignored.
Dino ManalisAdded Apr 11, 2017 – 2:51pm
They cannot control our minds individually, because we’re thinkers and we can analyze the news to determine the truth!
Utpal PatelAdded Apr 11, 2017 – 10:44pm

“Over the past two or three years independent media has been full of reports on how collaboration between corporate entities and state security agencies can control what information web users see.”

Do tell, who is the independent media?  Of course each media outlet controls what information we see, how else would you propose it work?  Should the government control what information we see?  Look, it’s a free country, if you don’t like what the media is showing, turn the fucking channel.  Voila…problem solved.

Ian ThorpeAdded Apr 12, 2017 – 12:49pm
Utpal Patel
If you are trying to be clever you are not succeeding. Who do you think the independent media are (or do you not bother thinking before hitting they keys?) Do you believe, for example that what is posted on writers beat can evade keyword filters the CIA have requested Google to put in its servers. Try this, search ‘immigrant riots in France’ on google. Now enter the same search terms on duckduckgo and observe the difference in results. Both are supposedly net neutral yet one is known to cooperate with Washington, while the other is Russian owned.
You ask should the government control what we see. How foolish do you have to be to remain unaware that the government do control what we see, in France, Germany, UK, Canada and USA you will encounter censorship of web content, aimed at suppressing criticism of certain government policies. Why do you think that while mainstream media has been screaming about chemical weapons use by Assad in Syria, you have read nothing about the US led coalition’s use in Mosul of thermobaric warheads which use fluorinated aluminium? You can learn how this” target=”_blank”>nasty stuff affects people here
For future reference, if you live in the USA you live in a fascist country controlled by the military / industrial complex, a cartel of defence contractors that through the lobby system influence policy. US President Eisenhower warned against their influence in his 1960 farewell speech (go on, look it up, don’t ask me to spoon feed you, your ignorance is not my responsibility). In 1962 John F Kennedy referred to secret” target=”_blank”>societies within the American government. A few weeks later he was dead. And as all intelligent people are aware because Kennedy was hit by two bullets fired from different directions, it was not the work of a lone shooter.You should practice what you preach, if you don’t like what you see in my threads, and you obviously don’t, do not read them.  Any further contribution from you in comment threads under my posts will be deleted because you are not capable of making an intelligent comment.
Autumn CoteAdded Apr 12, 2017 – 1:27pm
Please note, the second best way to keep your comment thread active is to offer as many personal responses as possible.  As always, many thanks for your participation with Writer Beat!
Ian ThorpeAdded Apr 12, 2017 – 1:58pm
Dino Manalis
They can’t control the minds of those who have strong minds. Jesus said there are two kinds of people, sheep and goats and he was for the sheep. Napoleon Bonaparte said there are two kinds of soldiers, sheep and goats, sheep are cannon fodder, goats win wars.
I’m with Bonaparte on that, Jesus can have the sheep, I hope he enjoys his lamb curry.
Thomas NapersAdded Apr 12, 2017 – 3:26pm

If the ruling elites want to establish global control they need to be able to control all information the general population have access to.

Good point.  Thank goodness the ruling elites can’t control all information, which means the ruling elites don’t have global control. Phew…what a relief.

Speaking of the ruling elites, just who exactly are you pointing fingers at?  The way I see it, the elite members of society don’t exactly see eye to eye on anything.  So even if they wished to establish global control, there is no telling what they would do with that control.  I’m sorry but I’m simply not a conspiracy theorist, thanks for the chuckle.

Ian ThorpeAdded Apr 12, 2017 – 5:22pm
Thomas Napers
You’re right in saying the ruling elites (ever heard of The Bilderberg Group, The World Economic Forum? Those a just for starters) can’t control all the information …….. unless we let them. Unfortunately people who understand how the internet works know it is now much easier than in the old Soviet Union when people had to resort to Samizdat documents to spread ideas and information. but those Soviet dissidents managed to pass around novels and other banned books sometimes retyped by hand or printed using an office duplicator. Do enough people have that kind of determination now I wonder, or will the majority, like the Dr. Panloss thinkalike higher up the threat (my mentioning George Owell pisses him off so I though I’d throw in a reference to Voltaire, that should drive him crazy) convinve themselves that “All’s for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds.”
Stone-EaterAdded Apr 17, 2017 – 7:51pm

That’s no news but even without censorship and manipulation people have been so dumbed down by now that they simply wouldn’t understand a simple political discourse even less so when globally oriented.

They watch their stupid TV and read their favorite tabloids online now. That’s the only difference.

Stone-EaterAdded Apr 17, 2017 – 7:56pm

BTW: The 1% are 1% because 99% are brainwashed sheep. If not they would have taken the street and caused anarchy seeing what the world has turned into.

Vietnam protest generation and todays dumbphone selfienuts are worlds and IQ’s apart.

Jeff MichkaAdded Apr 24, 2017 – 5:38pm
Utpal PAtel writes: if not corporations, who do you wish control the media/information?  The government?  A wealthy individual who is not beholden to anyone? Or perhaps you think they should all be non-profits, as that would ensure their objectivity (queue sarcasm)?- According to the Telecom Act of 1934, and those variant since, the airwaves belong to the people.  I know, a quaint notion.  The airwaves belong to the providers, eh, Utpal?  When “ownership ratios” were change in the Telcom Act of 96′. basically a single entity could own most of the media outlets in the US.  People applauding the Act of 96 told critic “…who or what wouldn’t want to keep a free press and media?” following as a result there’d be little or no consolidation after passage.  Wrong, and it only took 4 years to find a group that found a free press annoying.  Thnik an article about the FCC is in order since few-nobody here on WB-UNDERSTANDS WHAT THE FCC is or really administers.
Jeff MichkaAdded Apr 24, 2017 – 5:41pm
Dino writes: They cannot control our minds individually, because we’re thinkers and we can analyze the news to determine the truth!  – How’s that working out for you, Dino?
Ian ThorpeAdded Apr 25, 2017 – 10:06am
Jeff Michka, those are good comments, thanks. I can’t claim an indepth knowledge of the FCC’s scope and limitation but I’m aware that like Ofcom in the UK they control and regulate domestic and international electronic communications which includes radio and TV, telephones (both landline and cellular?), satellite and cable electronic media. There influence on the flow of information is far greater than most people imagine.
The way the internet (which runs on the TCP/IP protocol, a descendent of the ISO seven layer model) render it simple to suppress information by filtering keywords coupled with the very cosy relationship Google has with the US govenment should give us all cause for concern.
Jeff MichkaAdded Apr 26, 2017 – 6:12pm
Alphabet hired the individual who got credit for “inventing” “TCP/IP protocol”, Vint Cerf, who has acted as A Googlista “Secretary of State,” over the last several years and has been very actiVe in UK and EU.  Google’ parent co, ALPHABET VIEWS ITSELF AS ITS OWN NATION STATE, beholding to nobody save other tech giants. They see themselves as government.
Ankur MithalAdded May 1, 2017 – 12:00am
Not sure if we expect our leaders, of all kinds, to act for the good of others. I don’t think humans are wired that way. Politicians don’t spend millions to contest elections to wither away in anonymity and penury. We are all complicit.
Ian ThorpeAdded May 1, 2017 – 3:16pm
Jeff, I’ve always said Goggle’s full corporate slogan is:
DON’T BE EVIL – THAT’S OUR JOB
I was aware of Google’s attempts to infiltrate government, if fact I reported last year or in 2015 of how Google execs were sitting in on Obama administration security policy meetings. I don’t know if that has continued under Trump.
Ian ThorpeAdded May 1, 2017 – 3:19pm
Ankur,
Politicians have always been driven by ego, but I think the influence of corporate lobbying and corporate money has now made the corruption so blatant we have no excuse for not acting.

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