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Orwellian UK Free Speech Debate

Consensus Unpacked

Lines are being drawn between distinct racisms at UK universities. Anti-Jewish racism in particular is to be treated differently to other types of discrimination.

According to the Tweet below, UK Labour, under Sir Keir Starmer, will be backing the Government’s threat to defund universities that don’t adhere to the controversial IHRA definitions of anti-Jewish racism.

How could the need to defend Jews from racism cause controversy?

Could it be that, under these proposals, other students will not be afforded the same protections as Jews?

In India there is tension between ‘high caste’ Brahmins, and ‘low caste’ Dalits / ‘untouchables’ because of both perceived privilege and affirmative action.

In the US there has been a backlash against affirmative action with some campaigners saying that Universities discriminate against certain ethnic groups despite their high academic achievements.

Make them believe, that offensive operations, often times, is the surest, if not the only (in some cases) means of defence.

George Washington

Criticisms of ‘cancel culture’ and ‘no platforming’ are generally used to defend freedom of speech and to allow controversial figures highly sought after platforms at universities.

I was at University in Manchester when Al Qaeda were recruiting heavily as were the BNP.

My preference leans toward freedom of speech.

I understand that deals are done between different student societies, student politicians and union officers in order to keep everyone happy.

But tension is still there.

The idea that there is no racism at university is misplaced.

Yet, it is important to ensure the university environment is a safe one for everyone.

It would be an unfortunate outcome if, by particularly defending the rights of one group, the government ends up making things harder for individuals of that group on campus.

Operation successful, patient died.

Autriche

The Austrian French conversation has historically given us Adolf Hitler and Marie Antoinette.

Now French President Emmanuel Macron has been bonding with the Austrian leader Sebastian Kurz over the rejection of ‘political Islam’.

The article below from the Irish Times references Mehreen Khan of the FT’s piece reminding Macron that he risks alienating France’s Muslim population precisely when he needs them most.

Macron complained to the FT about the article and they took it off their website.

Former Telegraph and Mail political reporter Peter Oborne replied on Middle Eastern Eye:

So it looks like tension is only increasing. And that it is all so avoidable. Why bother making life harder for either group?

The English approach to weaponizing anti-Jewish sentiment may help achieve certain political aims in the culture war. But will it help individual Jews?

Will Starmer and Johnson’s approach promote harmony or encourage segregation?

It appears to me that they are both divisive politicians who would prefer as much segregation as possible in society, as would Macron and Kurz.

All this talk of fishing rights in the ongoing French / UK Brexit talks is a complete distraction from how much they all have in common.

The EU and Britain are clearly both focused on a particular way of doing things.

Big Business & Banking are working with Big Government to keep things sewn up for the people up top.

That doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it. But for now resistance against increasing inequality is particularly weak. Whereas inequality has tended to be lowered only after serious struggles, at this point the struggles themselves are being outlawed.

The only reason people are not noticing this is that the spin and propaganda machine is so strong that we are left begging for censorship and to be permanently misled.

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.”

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Babylon Health, Mass Shootings, Von der Leyen, Facebook, Oborne

London Conversation News Review

Should politicians be allowed to lie on facebook?

Should political correspondents not scrutinise british politicians?

Who is really behind babylon health?

What is the deal with the police sharing boycam footage with facebook?

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News

5G near you, GcMAF cancer drug scandal, Macron President of EU

I was told, at the beginning of last year, that 5G can’t be rolled out using high rise towers. It has to be near the ground.

5G happened also to be the first issue mentioned in the US hearing on human rights and journalism that I posted up yesterday.

American lawmakers are concerned that China are using global 5G expansion for surveillance purposes.

Google just blocked Huawei phones from accessing Android.

And the Trade War between the US and China is still going strong.

This is Ian Crane this morning talking about 5G, and other issues.

I came across Ian Crane last year during the Gatwick Drone debacle.

Apparently a divisive character.

But I like the cut of his jib.

He’s also been talking about David Noakes & GcMAF — which apparently cures cancer.

David has just been let out of jail in relation to GcMAF.

Noakes says that in the USA many doctors have actually been killed for prescribing GcMAF.

Noakes and his ex-wife are being

Yellow Vests – This was also shown at Ian Crane’s event this weekend. This woman, a yellow jacket, was raped by French police.

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News

Nudged in New Cross

Behaviouralist Bants

So I thought Skinner was the bad guy. The really mechanistic one. Or was it Watson?

Who said we are basically all the same and that our feelings and personal stories don’t really matter.

That there is no such thing as experience. That we are all automatons. The one who put his daughter in a box.

These guys were out of fashion when I learned about them in the early 90s.

But then there was a behavioural revival of sorts. Which in turn enveloped economics.

But behavioural economics said we are all predictably irrational. That classical economics is wrong but behavioural economics is right.

But there are assumptions in behavioural economics too.

Such as that we have limited time and limited information.

Gigerenzer shows that lifting the information and time caps leads to bad decision making – even for experts.

He says we all excel at fast and frugal decision making and that overthinking things induces a form of judgment paralysis.

So behavioural economics itself is quite wrong in terms of how it is applied outside the narrowest of conditions.

And refuses to admit it only thrives under controlled conditions.

But it’s about control.

Choice architecture. Avoiding decision fatigue. Favorably automating information flows. Forcing people into certain situations and pretending it’s both logical and exemplifying freedom.

Someone tell Oliver Letwin.

He’s kind of gone now. Still an MP but not quite the eminence grise he once was.

He spoke about his ideas at the institute of government in 2014, I think.

Outlining the Road from Mont Pelerin that his parents and he had trundled. And then he admitted that he now realised that Intervention does work.

What kind of intervention do you mean, Oliver?

Surely not state intervention in markets – not a liberal like you?

Nor QE, where central banks do the heavy lifting that austerity governments ought really to be doing.

Oliver Letwin revealed that he was taking about the nudge unit.

Though he didn’t mention the job centre – he was probably talking about over there too.

His wife Isabel was head of legal services at The Department of Work and Pensions and at the Department of Health. Oliver’s crackpot ideas will have been used on mental health patients and “under” & “unemployed” people who didn’t really need them.

Of course the machinery of government exists to prevent anyone really knowing the consequences of their actions.

Agnatology is another word for ignorance studies. Sociologist Linsey McGoey has a book out on the topic next year. The Unknowers. Watch out for it.

There is always a latest fad via which the old school asset stripping is masked.

Dark Pools

At book club we looked at Dark Pools. The rise of AI and high frequency trading. I couldn’t help but think when presented with these smart idealist insurgent American price scalpers – You Got To Pick a Pocket or Two!!!

So there. From Hangman on the High Street to Richard Thaler’s Nobel 2017 Prize for Nudging.

Cancer research UK has me thinking of the Crick Institute, big pharma and the next Goldman Sachs social impact bond. This a featured big under Cameron, Osborne and Letwin and was just an excuse to privatize the NHS and get volunteers to steer the handover.

Will Davies looks at some of this stuff in Happiness Industry and Nervous States – links between neo-liberal policies, technology, happiness and “well being” discourse. I haven’t seen it yet but I’m sure big pharma has its place in there too.

There’s some great work being done on investigating all this but it’s pretty under the radar.

Let me know if you have any recommendations.

Once you start looking into any of this funny things start happening.

The Road from Mont Pelerin.

I met up with John Christensen of tax justice Network yesterday who told me about The Finance Curse, a new book out by Nicholas Shaxson.

There’s some research accompanying the launch, this Friday, which sheds light on the colossal cost to the UK of the Finance Curse.

Meanwhile check out his film The Spiders Web on YouTube and for updates on what the Tax Justice Network are up to check out the TaxCast with Naomi Fowler.

When discussing Mont Pelerin, I told John I once met Linda Whetstone, whose father, Anthony Fisher, set up the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA).

John asked me how a man who so frequently invoked freedom could make his money from forcing hens into cages barely big enough for them to even breathe.

The Macron Curse

It looks like Macron is going to copy Blair and go all out for neoliberalism.

God knows what that will do to the environment and the Paris Climate accord!

I’m meeting Chloé Farrand of DeSmogUK tomorrow and will report back where she thinks we are heading.

The finance curse has done nothing to improve the gender pay gap in London. So I wonder what the figures look like in France.

London Conversation

I’m planning on publishing more frequently.

The idea is that with heightened fluency might come some sort of style.

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News

Theresa May winds up China to please Trump — what about Hinkley & HSBC?

The FT says Theresa May won’t endorse the Chinese Belt and Road initiative.

The BBC:

Here’s HSBC’s website

HSBC has been named Best Overall International Bank for Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the inaugural Asiamoney New Silk Road Finance Awards, reflecting the Bank’s commitment to being the leading financial partner to clients engaged in Belt and Road projects.China’s Belt and Road Initiative is creating enormous business opportunities throughout Asia, Africa and Europe which HSBC could help you exploit. Covering two trade routes, the overall objective is to increase regional trade and encourage economic cooperation.

Stuart Gulliver, September 2016:

Nicholas Wilson, January 2018:

Meanwhile Cameron’s China fund is apparently hitting problems:

For more on HSBC, China, the French, and UK Nuclear Power Plant at Hinkley Point:

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News

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.