Theresa May decriminalises Bribery, Fraud & Election Rigging

The American satirist HL Mencken famously quipped that no-one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American people.

But here in Britain we have a different maxim:

No Tory ever lost out overestimating the gullibility of the British Voter

I interviewed David Whyte of the University of Liverpool about various aspects of corruption last week.

He called for an investigation into allegations  the Tory party has received funding from laundered HSBC money.

Yesterday the Conservative Manifesto included proposals to scrap the Serious Fraud Office :

Tories are also proposing that all voters provide ID cards to vote – a move which has been criticised by the Electoral Commission which itself recently concluded that the Tories themselves broke electoral rules regarding local spending limits in the 2015 election.

The Tories got away with this and are now seeking to undermine the smooth running of future elections.

This is the sort of thing you expect from Turkey, Russia, or even Iran.

May is very scary. I cannot emphasise enough what  a bad idea it would be to vote for her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

British media prefer Marine Le Pen to Jeremy Corbyn DESPITE ALMOST IDENTICAL ECONOMIC ARGUMENTS

Rupert Murdoch prefers Marine Le Pen to Jeremy Corbyn as she is, like himself, a racist anti-EU campaigner.

But if you forget about race and look at international trade and financial markets — her views are much more like Corbyn’s than Murdoch’s.

She’s a protectionist.

This is the same direction opportunist Theresa May is now taking when she steals Labour policies.

But May is still a ruthless Tory – paying off her friends in the finance sector while saying she will protect the NHS and public services.

Populism

Nigel Farage was allowed to open the door to ‘populism’ in the UK and, having achieved his aim of getting Britain out of the EU, he is now openly supporting Marine Le Pen.

I wrote about his interview with Le Pen a few months ago which was remarkable because till Brexit he avoided being seen in her company for fear of being called a fascist.

The interview was also interesting because Le Pen referred to how much more similar Theresa May’s policies now are to the Front National’s — and not to Emmanuel Macron’s.

This was even more remarkable for Le Pen because Macron had just been invited to visit Downing Street and she hadn’t.

Downing Street failed to get friendly with Trump before November and now, yet again, they are slow to get to know Le Pen.

But either way, as alluded to in the previous post, Le Pen’s differences with Trump, Farage and Murdoch, and similarity with Corbyn can be summed up in one word: DEREGULATION

Murdoch

Today’s Murdoch-owned Times quotes Marine Le Pen’s father, Jean Marie Le Pen, who founded the Front National, as saying she must act like Murdoch’s friend — Donald Trump.

Mr Le Pen’s anti-semitism is not even mentioned till the eighth sentence.

The very idea that other racism might exist in France is not alluded to even once.

Murdochs and Trumps

Unlike the Blairs before them, we know the Murdochs and the Trumps still get on.

Many Brexiteers love Le Pen as she is anti-immigrant and anti-EU.

Here is Donald Trump Jr retweeting his dad’s friend Nigel Farage:

Here’s the actual video:

Deregulation – The Elephant in the Room

Like Murdoch and unlike Corbyn, Le Pen uses immigration to divide.

Lots of people in the UK are now sceptical about Globalisation – many vote UKIP, Labour, Green, and SNP.

By stealing Labour policies and rhetoric the Tories are picking up plenty of ex-UKIP votes.

With the media’s help they try to convince voters that Blair, Cameron and even Corbyn are far too metropolitan and somehow un-British, and that we  should all get back in touch with our socially conservative inner-Tory.

Many of these voters are against excessive immigration and open borders.

Which Corbyn and Lib Dems are seen as soft on.

We’re constantly told that we want a strong leader. Like May, Trump, or Le Pen.

Now is Le Pen’s time because she goes one further than Corbyn, Sturgeon, Lucas and even Theresa May.

For Le Pen is both fully racist and fully anti-capitalist — wanting total protection of both borders and markets.

She needs to solve France’s unemployment and lack of productivity without acknowledging that the EU has historically protected its borders and markets (often to benefit France!)

Is Le Pen more scared of the Eastern Europeans who’ve used free movement since communism fell; the refugees from US / UK / Coalition operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria; or of immigrants who’ve moved to France not because of the EU but because of France’s own kleptocratic African, Asian and Caribbean  adventures?

Deregulation

Unlike Trump, Farage and Murdoch — and very much like Corbyn — Le Pen is fervently anti-Deregulation.

Farage ran a very confused Brexit campaign that focused on Brussels’ authoritarianism and ignored the degree to which Brussels had been infiltrated and in many ways captured by the City of London’s lobby group.

For evidence of this lobbying just look at the EU -US trade agreement TTIP.

This policy was announced by Obama and Cameron in Northern Ireland at the G7 / G8 meeting in 2013 and would have harmonised food, labour and environmental regulation on both sides of the Atlantic.

It’s precisely that model of Anglo-Saxon style capitalism that Le Pen and Corbyn both reject.

Farage just pretended to hate it. He is actually a big fan of the financial services lobby. It’s where he gets his cash.

But still, lots of Brexit campaigners, including Farage, jumped on the momentum that had been generated by the Anti-TTIP movement to push for Brexit.

In France, Le Pen used TTIP to push for her own election.

This is the most irresponsible manner in the way the French election is being covered here in the UK.

There is not enough parallel context being drawn with the UK political scene..

Is Le Pen being praised by the British press simply because our newspaper owners think she is a bit like Theresa May?

EU debate

The way the European Central Bank is run is severely flawed but little discussion of its policies are permitted to take place at any level.

Therefore even though  many people know there is a problem,  our media and politicians don’t permit us the space to discuss it.

Many Labour and Lib Dems seemed to have swallowed deregulation whole and by aggressively campaigning to remain in the EU didn’t permit debate of its flaws.

Jeremy Corbyn  was an exception to that as he said he was against TTIP and deregulation. But he wasn’t given the platform that he deserved.

He was co-opted by the Remain camp.

His biggest failing on Europe was that he didn’t take more of a stand in public over TTIP.

Despite letting people know his views on Trident and Bombing Syria Corbyn never engaged in a public debate with his party about TTIP and so the deregulation lobbyists captured the entire debate.

They’re doing the same with the NHS and PFI.

So despite having some great ideas about taking back control, Corbyn’s project is being treated as a joke while Le Pen’s is taken seriously.

Corbyn’s patriotism is being rejected by the tax-avoiding foreign-owned media in favour of Theresa May’s lies which are designed to mask the looting of the UK public sector by the financial services sector.

Will Labour come up with a plan to save the NHS by prosecuting bankers for fraudulent PFI?

I asked them that very question this week and have been told Labour’s  PFI announcements are due later in the campaign.

I suggested that we need ideas circulating asap in order to persuade people to ignore the spin. But so far no reply.

It’s now or never. I’m still waiting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farage openly promoting Marine Le Pen

But since “quitting politics” he’s already backed Trump in the US election and now he’s doing the same for the leader of the French National Front.

Double Standards

In the tenth minute of this 40 minute interview Farage asks Le Pen if she feels British Prime Minister Theresa May snubbed her by inviting her rival Emmanuel Macron to Downing Street.


Farage himself never let UKIP enter Le Pen’s nationalist grouping in the European Parliament.

Theresa’s Judgment

In this 30 second clip Le Pen refers to Macron as not being the sort of person she thought Theresa May would want to meet as, in contemporary French politics, he’s the key salesperson of deregulation and Globalisation.

Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage bond over Theresa May’s terrible judgment.

They correctly point out that it makes no sense for Theresa May to say she stands for Brexit and threatening immigrants but then roll out the red carpet for Macron and not Le Pen.

Farage points out that Theresa May wanted nothing to do with Trump until some days after he was elected – despite the supposed similarity in their agendas.

Deregulation

Farage and Trump, unlike Le Pen, strongly back deregulation.

They refer to it as cutting red tape.

But Le Pen talks about protecting French workers from deregulation.

Trump and Farage pretend to rail against corporate power but their loyalties lie with the uber-rich.

Could it be a similar story with Le Pen?

A former top lawyer and daughter of a multimillionaire, her party also needs big cheques but courts and delivers a mainly working class vote.

The only things they really agree on are the threat of open borders and Islamic terrorism.

Economic Patriotism

Le Pen shows solidarity with May and Farage against the vindictiveness of the European Union.

She says the EU wants to punish Britain.

Farage asks her about how she wants to protect French businesses and whether there is room for trade with Britain.

Le Pen says her Economic Patriotism means ensuring French Local Authorities buy from local suppliers.

She also says further measures should be taken to protect french industries from ‘dumping’ – where foreign firms sell their products cheaper because they are able to produce more for less due to weaker labour and environmental laws.

I feel China and Germany are being alluded to here but there’s no mention of British and American exporters and the huge deregulation going on in the USA which they plan to use to boost exports to France.

On the other hand she says she also wants France to “conquer the world” and therefore favours trade.

She concludes that for some industries you need protection but not for all.

This is similar to Steve Bannon’s assertion that he is not a White Nationalist but an Economic Nationalist.

America already had a Buy America policy under Obama.

And while France’s local industries obviously ought to be protected, there are massive inconsistencies in Le Pen’s argument.

But Farage doesn’t point them out.

How can global waves of economic nationalism and protectionism help French exporters?

But we can still sell to each other with minimal taxation, right?

Farage asks if by threatening to impose tariffs on Britain, the EU is ultimately making French workers pay to protect the EU project.

Conversation moves on to talk of migration, borders, Calais and suspending the Schengen agreement.

Brits living in France are reassured that they will not be threatened.

Le Pen says many of the French in London will return to France.

Taxes will be cut as unemployment falls and public spending is cut.

Le Pen says being a Muslim in France is not a problem – it is sectarianism she says she objects to.

She says she is against Islamist Fundamentalism.

When asked about anti-semitism in her party Le Pen says she doesn’t tolerate it and would prefer not to be judged by the words of all her supporters.

Farage says he knows how it feels to be judged by one’s supporters.

Conversation then goes to Putin.

Le Pen argues Russia and US are both as important as each other and that Russia has done a lot of good in Syria.

Farage asks if borrowing from Russian banks compromises her.

Le Pen says she couldn’t borrow elsewhere but that her lender doesn’t choose her policies.

On Trump – Le Pen says she too opposed TTIP and is glad he wants to be a President of the US and not of the world.

Global Revolution

Le Pen says there’s definitely a global revolution going on.

She points out that it is funny that the Anglo Saxon creators of neoliberalism are now the ones who reject it.

Farage says that it was Brussels who created this neoliberalism and not the Anglo Saxons.

Le Pen replies that the Anglo-Saxon world implemented Liberalism and the EU has turned it into Ultra Liberalism.

She says that either way, they are both now on the same side. 

This doesn’t feel unlike rival football hooligan firms enjoying a friendly beer before resuming normal service and beating the crap out of each other.

The Raheem Kassam / Tommy Robinson interview on Breitbart is a great insight into the various conflicts and shifting identities at play in some of these manufactured populist movements.

The Spice Girls, The Sex Pistols and even the Jimi Hendrix Experience were all put together by their management teams.

So why not UKIP or the EDL?

Kassam, a self-defining ex-muslim and product of intellectual PC-friendly culture, shifted to the alt-right and now runs Breitbart London which is controlled by Steve Bannon.

Tommy Robinson changed his slightly Irish and double barrelled name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon to head up the English Defence League with an alias taken from a notorious Leeds United football hooligan.

He makes his money running a tanning salon in Luton.

Yes, that’s right.

From people in a multicultural area who pay him money to look less white.

Everybody’s looking for something. And you have to make a living, right?

There’s a beautiful symmetry here.

Where were we?

The French Presidential Election

Farage asks why Le Pen should be French President.

She says because she is profoundly French.

The other candidates just want to represent the Insurance, Banking, and Drug Companies.

Le Pen is asked if, having won the first round, she can win the second round.

She says it is a choice for the French.

It’s no longer a left-right split.

Do we want France to remain France?

She says if voters really want French values such as secularism, equality of race and religion, and not sectarianism, then they will vote for her.

Le Pen says the other candidates have a post national vision.

They want to work for Mrs Merkel.

The election is a referendum on Globalisation.

Farage asks Le Pen if she thinks she will win.

Le Pen says she thinks she will.

 

US Politics: Healthcare Debate

    Are all Americans deserving of the right to healthcare?

      Yes — Universal healthcare systems should mean free access for all at the point of delivery, focused on protecting public health, and funded via general taxation.
        No — No-one should ever be forced to pay for services they will never use and no-one should be allowed to use services they could never afford.

       

      ACCESS Vs COVERAGE

          The US health care debate on CNBC this morning started with EVERYONE AGREEING that EVERY AMERICAN DESERVES COVERAGE.
          Discussion quickly moved on to whether IMPROVING ACCESS to HEALTHCARE is best achieved by MAKING IT MORE AFFORDABLE.
          It was then pointed out that the only way you could make healthcare more affordable would be to force all taxpayers to subsidise the health system.
          Finally there was talk of the injustice of taking money off citizens whose belief systems prevent them from ever using the health system in the first place.

        When Sqwawk Box presenter Andrew Sorkin pointed out that this was an absurd line of argument his co-presenter stated that though he agreed with Sorkin he still thought the point of view deserved mentioning.

    Check the buzzwords in this recent MSNBC video:

    What is the difference between Receiving Affordable Care, Unaffordable Coverage & Insurance, & Access to Healthcare?

    What is the difference between Classic Republicans, Democrats and Trump’s people?

    Back to the UK

    Looks like Brexit has been brought about to Deregulate the Labour Market and get rid of the minimum wage.

    Here is Dr Bob Gill on what is really happening to the UK’s NHS.

     

US Meat Industry welcomes UK-US Trade Deal

Shelves could be full of cheap American meat in UK supermarkets within two years.

Was the Brexit vote a vote for growth hormones, genetically engineered food and cloned meat?

Tories to join forces with UKIP, say Huff Post sources

Tories to join forces with UKIP, say Huff Post sources

The Conservative Party has struck a deal with UKIP and won’t field a candidate in the upcoming Stoke by-election, it was alleged yesterday.

The story, reported by Martha Gill of the Huffington Post, has not yet been fully picked up by bigger media outlets.

John McDonnell’s press secretary James Mills tweeted:

But is it True?

One can understand Mills’s frustration, but is it true the Tories won’t field a candidate?

According to Wikipedia in the 2015 Stoke Central General Election the Tory candidate got just 33 votes less than the UKIP candidate.

And the Chancellor was actually in Brexit-backing Stoke only yesterday to talk about the Government’s new ‘hands on’ Industrial Strategy:

Stoke Conservatives who run the City Council in a coalition with independents tweeted:

Hardly the behaviour of a party that won’t field a candidate.

In fact the Tory Deputy Leader of the Council was out canvassing this weekend :

The Tories will apparently be choosing their candidate tomorrow night – on the same night as Labour:

Esther McVey on UKIP’s Chances

Former Tory Welfare Minister Esther McVey was on Marr a couple of weeks ago talking up UKIP’s chances in Stoke:

But grassroots Tories are unwilling to cede a single vote, let alone seat, to UKIP or Labour:

Despite all this grassroots sentiment would the Tory Party Strategists still gift a seat to UKIP?

To many such pragmatism could be a step too far.

From Nasty to Neo-Nazi

In the eyes of many this could shift the Tories from the Nasty Party to the Neo-Nazi Party

Dramatic Turnaround

As for Stoke Central itself, wouldn’t it be something for them to lose their Old Etonian former shadow cabinet member to the Victoria and Albert Museum and to replace him with a UKIP leader who to many is nothing more than a neo-fascist thug?

Nuttall once stood for the Conservatives in Bootle, his hometown, before becoming a UKIP MEP.

The following story appeared in yesterday’s Evening Standard in London.

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-10-52-35

Should you find yourself in Stoke this week the Repertory Theatre is staging : One Man Two Guvnors

The Strange Death of Globalisation

Attention

This week Japan wrote an open letter threatening Britain with divorce.

The Japanese government said its firms could quit UK over Brexit-related uncertainty.

And the Financial Times advised British companies to pay attention.

Financial Times Financial Times

A Call to ARMs

But despite this, Japan’s SoftBank snapped up Britain’s largest technology firm.

What is going on?

Is ARM so strategic that SoftBank bought it in spite of its own government’s concerns, or is the Pound so weak that SoftBank just couldn’t refuse?

Very mixed signals from the Japanese — do they know something we don’t?

Either way, ARM and SoftBank’s CEOs issued a joint statement via Brunswick, their PR firm, in which they took technocracy to a whole new level:

“Whether it is advanced robotics, 5G networks, green data centers, supercomputers or intelligent connected devices, we can and will help to enable positive change. It is now our collective vision to realize an Information Revolution that brings happiness to everyone”

 Sovereignty

If ARM really are as world-beating as they sound then surely patriotic Government Ministers like Business Secretary Greg Clark, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, or even Gaffe-Prone Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson would have intervened to protect hard-won UK sovereignty and stand up for GB PLC.

Think Again.

PM Theresa May, former Business Secretary Sajid Javid, and new Chancellor Philip Hammond have a fondness for referring to Britain as being “open for business”.

But what does this actually mean? Is everything up for grabs? Are there no limits?

Judging by this week’s newspapers, the answer is mixed.

For us cynics who believe the UK government can’t help selling everything and anything — the tide may be starting to turn.

TTIP

Following the BREXIT vote the EU-US Trade agreement also known as The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is said to be floundering.

At the G20 this weekend the official communique stated that Globalisation needs to be sold to the masses. Rising populism threatens Big Business — Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump are a step too far.

G20 globalization & labour & migrationThere is a bit of a paradox at play here.

Businesses and governments are supposed to serve both consumers and citizens.

But has government gotten so into bed with business that it now fears a backlash?

And what of these populist candidates?

Some of them — especially the Tea Party — are funded by Big Business.

Alt-Left

I remember hearing Webster Tarpley in 2008 saying that the only way to get at Obama was to attack him from the left.

That is what we’ve seen played out over the last 8 years.

In the US Big Business has got behind the most extreme side of the Republican Party. The same model has been exported to the UK.

The FT ran an editorial on Monday in which they actually referred to the limits of deregulation. I thought I was hallucinating:

Financial Times Financial Times

Here is arch-Brexiteer, Conservative MEP, Daniel Hannan in the Sun – note how the article refrains from using the term TTIP :

Hannan Sun

ALEC

Hannan is part of a radical right-wing American Republican Party ‘think tank’ called ALEC — The American Legislative Exchange Council.

Their mission is to deregulate and privatise everything from the bottom up. Liam Fox is a member. So is prominent UKIP MEP Roger Helmer.

ALEC have successfuly deployed a coup d’état in the UK by shifting the policy landscape and terms of debate onto their terrain.

This is Hannan addressing ALEC in 2009.

Hannan spearheaded the Brexit campaign from Brussels.

He famously surprised Newsnight presenter Evan Davis the day after the Brexit vote by saying he didn’t think Brexit meant an end to free movement of labour.

Why would a Tory MEP as passionately devoted to both EU-US relations and Brexit be prepared to go on TV straight after an immigration-dominated campaign and say he believes in free movement of labour?

Foreign Firms

And where does this leave us in relation to the foreign takeover of another UK firm?

Foreign firms are obviously in favour of free movement of labour but not that keen on regulation.

So if the UK deregulates even further in favour of corporations and away from employees, then I can’t see the Japanese or any other government complaining.

Here is an article from today by George Monbiot on the current state of play re: TTIP and its ugly Canadian sister CETA.

For anyone interested in finding out more about TTIP & CETA there is a facebook group, a website, and a couple of mailing lists for general trade issues and for organising actions.