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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

Wikileaks Founder denied Fair Trial in Fascist UK #FreeAssange #ExtraditionRebellion

Yesterday Julian Assange was on trial in London.

This was all the BBC website gave him:

Nervous State Propaganda

Look at the time they put it out. After midnight. How many do you reckon signed off on it? BBC Staff on secondment from MOD & FCO?

How UK media operates.

After all, this news story is the only searchable story the BBC are putting out about a high profile publisher and political prisoner on UK soil.

Imagine if Putin had done that. Kleptocrats without Borders!

Of course Putin’s channel RT has covered it.

And is the only outlet with any images of Julian Assange.

This was on page twenty of the Murdoch-owned Times:

Page 20 of today’s Times (Murdoch Press)

The Guardian put this on page 17.

Daily Security Services Bulletin

No mention of the paper’s collaboration with Assange and its later cosying back up with Security Services.

Meanwhile over at the Mail:

If you ever needed evidence that the BBC and the Press Barons work together to silence dissenting voices, this is it.

Man who publishes evidence of war crimes, including the killing of Reuters journalists by US helicopters in Iraq, is on trial with next to no coverage but the news cycle dictates that former soldier and member of the Royal Household’s relationship with his brother, the heir to the throne, is of more significance than the extradition to a country with the death penalty of by far the most significant publisher in recent history.

Donald Trump famously praised WikiLeaks all the way to the White House in 2016:

Channel Four News covered 7 stories including quite a few minutes on the diseases caused by repeatedly heading footballs, but no mention of Julian Assange’s extradition trial.

Meanwhile Rutly / RT got this footage:


Yesterday four firms settled out of court with local governments in Ohio to avoid facing trial over their role in the Opioid epidemic in America that costs thousands of lives each year.

Why do “western values” allow too big to jail corporate criminals to openly deal death on the streets while persecuting people who expose war crimes and the slaughter of innocents?

It is clear. Corporate Criminals and Kleptocrats are running wild and those who call them out are immediately repressed.

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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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Mommy, What’s an Endocrine Disruptor?

It was Trade-Related

I first heard the term Endocrine Disruptor three years ago while researching the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) also known as the EU – US trade agreement.

US firms wanted to dismantle EU safety standards and make big money selling toxic food and chemicals to 500 million EU citizens.

The agreement has since been torpedoed by the Trump administration — but its legacy lives on.

The Case against Sugar

In the Case against Sugar, Science Journalist Gary Taubes talks about Endocrine Disruptors, Empty Calories and the link between the rise in diabetes and obesity and the adoption of a western diet.

Endocrine Disruptors increase your family’s cancer risk and can be found in practically everything from plastic wrapping to Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Glyphosate pesticide of which traces can be found in supermarket fruit, vegetables, and processed foods.

In 2016 Germany opposed the renewal of Roundup’s 5 year EU licence — at the behest of their coalition partners, the centre left SPD:

But as there isn’t a fully fledged government in Berlin right now, Chancellor Merkel’s acting Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt was able to vote to renew the EU licence behind Merkel and SPD Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks’ back.

Despite being politically toxic only 18 months ago it somehow sneaked through and so the enormous German resistance to TTIP & pesticides finally came to nothing.

Monsanto’s Roundup Glyphosate is an organophosphate.

It shouldn’t feel that weird to see Germany voting to kill people — when it comes to chemical weapons, they wrote the book.

But that’s not to say no-one else tried :

Better Living Through Chemistry

Du Pont’s Slogan “Better Living Through Chemistry” was co-opted by DJ Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim whose fans popped countless chemicals including MDMA, Cocaine, Ketamine and Ecstasy. .


Bayer

German mega-corporation Bayer are in the middle of buying up US-owned Monsanto.

This transatlantic merger is proving that the renewal of the EU Roundup licence is just TTIP by other means.

And Bayer have form.

They invented Aspirin, and Heroin.

Under the IG Farben label they made Zyglon B, the gas used by the Nazis in the Gas Chambers.

Zyglon B was originally just another pesticide — invented by Fritz Haber’s research group at the IG Farben-owned Degecsh pest control  company.

Fritz Haber was German, originally of Jewish background, and won the 1918 Nobel Prize for chemistry for his invention of the Haber-Bosch process which was used for both fertilisers and chemical weapons.

Haber is known as the father of chemical weapons.

His first wife Clara Immerwahr was the daughter of a well to do chemist who operated a beet sugar factory on his estate.

Immerwahr was the first woman in Germany to obtain a PhD in Chemistry. She contributed to Haber’s work but was a pacifist and woman’s rights activist.

She committed suicide in 1915 apparently upset about the role her husband played in overseeing the killing of thousands of soldiers in Belgium in the first known use of chemical weapons as a weapon of mass destruction.

Many of Monsanto and Bayer’s pesticide products double up as chemical weapons.

The following excerpt is from the early 2000s:

In the 1930s, chemists working for the German company Bayer discovered the highly poisonous properties of organophosphate compounds. By then, Bayer had already merged with BASF, Hoechst and other companies to form
the huge chemical conglomerate I.G. Farben; today Bayer is poised to become the worlds largest manufacturer of herbicides and pesticides and a leading source of genetically engineered seed varietieswith its recent takeover of the biotech giant Aventis CropScience. (Aventis is the company responsible for the Starlink variety of insecticidal GE corn, which was never approved for human consumption and thus forced the recall of some 300 name-brand processed food products during 2000-01.) As all of German industry became absorbed into the growing Nazi war machine, Bayers organophosphate compounds were developed simultaneously
as agricultural pesticides and as nerve gases for military use.

Agriculture — War by Other Means
Back in 1998, the Economist didn’t hide it’s enthusiasm for Better Living Through Chemistry.

France & Italy

France and Italy oppose the Roundup licence renewal and both plan to ban the pesticide :

One Man’s Profit is Another Woman’s Diabetes

According to vegan journalist Jill Ettinger, in her 2012 article From BPA to Glyphosate: What Are the Risks of Endocrine Disruptors?  Endocrine Disruptors are everywhere including the air we breathe.

The EU is still trying to limit its citizens’ exposure to Endocrine Disruptors but given the enormous food and agriculture industry lobby, the path has been rocky.

EU plan to Regulate Endocrine Disruptors

Some progress was reported last week, but it’s far too early to celebrate.

Just a few weeks ago, in October, the European Parliament voted against the European Commission’s steps to regulate Endocrine Disruptors.

So, unlike with Roundup, at EU level, the Endocrine Disruptor situation may be moving in the right direction.

Dire Beets 

Theresa May was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes in 2014. Sweet tooth?

David ‘Sugar Man’ Davis 

Brexit Secretary David Davis spent 17 years working at Tate & Lyle whose UK sugar processing operations have since been sold to the American ASR Group. 

ASR backed Brexit – for good reason!

Davis himself was in the SAS and has degrees in Computing, Molecular Science and Business from Warwick, London Business School, and Harvard.

But he’s not taking Brexit, British interests or information management very seriously:

All this talk of chemistry, the military, and the clown like approach to information management reminds me of another international laughing stock from way back in 2003: Ali Hassan Al-Majid aka Chemical Ali

Sweet Home Alabama

According to the Times, Tate & Lyle switched out of its historic sugar operation in 2010 and now focuses on developing new products including sweeteners, many of which are made in Alabama and delivered to Mexico to go into soft drinks.

Tate & Lyle diversified into biomaterials in 2007. They currently specialise in plastics, biofuel and processed foods.

It looks as though, as usual, they are using the same chemicals for both purposes. All of which seem to have an endocrine disruption / metabolic disorder inducing aspect.

Maybe David Davis’s old firm has had a hand in giving Theresa May type 1 diabetes, a metabolic disorder that can be brought on by poor diet.

The chemicals mentioned in their wikipedia entry include:

1,3-Propanediol features mainly in bioprocess engineering, which includes the manufacturing of products such as agriculture, food, feed, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, chemicals, and polymers and paper from biological materials & treatment of waste water.

Polylactic acid (PLA) is used in many products including nappies, replacement hips, 3D printers, tea bags, and e-cigarettes.

From where I stand Polylactic acid  has something of the endocrine disruptor about it.

Diabetes is the most common endocrine / metabolic disorder.

This whole Brexit thing is starting to look like a game of Endocrinopoly.

Capital Without Borders

Brooke Harrington’s excellent 2016 book, Capital Without Borders, about the world of Trust and Estate Professionals reminds us that there is more to Brexit than pesticides and sugar.

Brooke Harrington is currently being targeted by the Danish Home Office for sharing her academic work with Danish Policy Makers. Unfair and Surreal.

Heretical Finance

We read her book as part of the Heretical Finance Book Club in April. A real eye-opener.

This was last year’s selection. 2018’s will be out soon.

If you’ve got this far, you could probably do with some Parliament / Funkadelic.

Free your Mind and your Ass will follow!

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News

Trump delivers world’s biggest ever Tax Cut

A.L.E.C. operative Mike Pence, & Tim Scott on the Tax Cut

Republicans are ecstatic about this tax cut. It’s interesting to hear what Pence has to say about America’s place in the world.

He talks about ISIS but not about Russia or China.

As for Tim Scott, time will tell how much extra money from the tax cut will flow in the direction of “distressed communities”.

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“Good that UK Completely Caved-In…” says Citigroup’s Global Chief Economist, Willem Buiter — But in Reality US using Brexit to Colonise EU via Ireland

Purported UK Cave-In (08/12/17)

Brexit Jihad designed to weaken the EU & UK at all costs

Why would the City of London Corporation (The UK’s Foremost Financial Services Lobbyists) or the European Commission care about EU or UK citizens?

German Chemical firm Bayer are buying US-firm Monsanto and so Germany just voted through the 5 year renewal of Monsanto’s controversial Round-Up weed killer licence at EU-Wide Level.

They had previously abstained. This time their vote swung it for the potentially carcinogenic pesticide.

Ireland are a tax haven favoured by the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook.

This 2011 post by David Malone explains what Germany really think of Ireland.

Ireland are also home to lots of Monsanto lobbying.

US are using Brexit & Ireland to colonise Europe as they’d originally planned via TTIP.

First Baghdad then Athens then London

French Economist Patrick Artus predicted way back in 2002 that Britain would surely have adopted the Euro by now.

He clearly never read the Sun.

The likes of Buiter can claim the ‘Cave-In’ as a victory for the EU or his type of disaster capitalism, but he fundamentally misunderstands.

Brexit is an opportunity for far greater disruption via regulatory arbitrage. Collateral damage will be borne by those whose shoulders are least broad.

Amusing Ourselves to Death — Brexit Jihadi in Sheep’s Clothing Jacob Rees Mogg  on Marr Show (3/12/17)

We need to deliver the benefits of leaving to the poorest in our nation because otherwise they will feel deeply let down. That includes dealing with freedom of movement and that includes getting free trade deals so that we can learn the cost of food clothing and footwear.

This from an Alt-Right man who consistently voted to cut disability benefit and whose father William edited the Times for several years and said of Murdoch in his memoirs: “Looking back, he has been an excellent proprietor for the Times, but also for Fleet Street.”

Lord William Rees-Mogg wrote the following book, quoting a famous Rothschild on when best to invest in the stock market.

Not so different to Death of Britain by that other famous ex-Rothschild Brexiteer — Jihadi John (Redwood):

Brits often sold secrets to Moscow during the Cold War. Redwood’s loyalty clearly lies elsewhere. He’s undermining Britain for his 30 pieces of silver. In days gone such behaviour could get you hanged.

Speaking in Codes – When you mean Deregulation, just say Ireland

Rees Mogg wants to maintain the integrity of Northern Ireland in UK and to have no hard border. This means he wants to recolonise the Irish by forcing them to accept the UK’s regulatory regime.

And if they don’t then Brexiteers can treat them just like they did the ‘Remoaners’.

Rees Mogg & Bannon Alliance

Marr should have asked Rees Mogg about Bannon’s stated aim to deconstruct the Administrative state.

This seems entirely consistent with Blood on The Streets and the Death of Britain.

Rees Mogg on Bannon

Rees Mogg suggests speaking to Alt-Right Breitbart owner Steve Bannon is just like talking to Barrack Obama’s “left-wing” former UK ambassadors.

Presumably Jihadi Joseph views fellow Tory austerity architects David Cameron, George Osborne & Oliver Letwin as a bunch of wayward Crypto-Marxists.

Just as energy firms trade with ISIS, Jihadis like Rees-Mogg get on well with comrades like Bannon.

Sympathy for the Devil

On the other hand, here’s Bannon explaining his Economic Nationalism to a US Black Republican meeting last week — a captivating speech.

Easy Rider

If you’re disappointed the BBC presenter didn’t do more to challenge Mogg, let’s not forget that till April this year, the Deputy Chair of the BBC Trust was Sir Roger Carr who, as well as Chairing BAE Systems, is a senior adviser at the world’s largest Private Equity firm aka Asset Strippers — KKR.

BAE Systems | International BAE Systems | International

Trump’s People

Although Bannon talks about helping the working man in America, the fact is he was outnumbered by the buyout people.

Fake News

Toward the end of the interview when asked about Trump retweeting Britain First, Rees Mogg says that Twitter is a trivial medium.

Conveniently ignoring the fact that this was the main medium via which the Brexit and the US election campaigns were fought and is the main arena for Fake News which is how Rees Mogg now maintains power.

What was Mogg saying pre-cave-in on Tuesday when DUP had just scuppered the deal?

What was Arch-Remainer Roland Rudd’s reaction to Friday’s deal?

Trump’s favourite Russian Agent — Aaron Banks’ reaction to Rudd

Not going anywhere

The Real Deal

The US, UK & EU have always been run for the benefit of the same people — the Rich. Therefore the 2016 Trump & Brexit votes, though referred to as populism, are no different.

Under Brexit the US will export more to Europe by going through UK.

UK employment rights will take a hit and the Investor Protections that they tried to implement under TTIP will be granted under the US/UK trade agreement.

Europe’s regulatory system will be eroded despite the best wishes of their increasingly feeble politicians as the place doubles up as an old people’s home that markets itself as a gap year destination for the global middle class.

United States of Europe

Schulz, Freedom of Movement, & Social Dumping

More Schulz

Bloomberg Books of 2017

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Torturing Saudi PR Machine Schmoozes Trump & New York Times

Trump meets Saudis and all hell breaks loose

The Saudi Ritz Carlton’s CEO had this to say about the effect of Trump’s Muslim ban:

 

Interesting how the Saudis manage to get the New York Times on side.

 

When Putin tortures rival billionaires we call him out.

But when Saudi Arabia do it ..

 

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Who’s Regulating the post-Brexit Conversation?

For in the hand of Yahweh there is a cup, full of foaming wine mixed with spices. He pours it out. Indeed the wicked of the earth drink and drink it to its very dregs.

Subliminal

A friend and I recently agreed that Naomi Klein’s latest book No is not Enough appeals less to Brits than North Americans.

We have other things going on like Corbyn and Brexit.

Media Hype

I like how the American media are so upfront. They openly discuss their administration’s white nationalism and deregulatory stance on health insurance, tax, guns, & net neutrality.

Here in the UK our deregulation is not so much spoon-fed as subliminal.

Just like with shadow banking, we know it’s naughty, we know it’s happening, but we act as though everything’s above board.

Too much Red Tape, Mate

The Brexit vote of June 2016 was sold as the perfect opportunity to take back control of our borders, recover sovereignty and cut Red Tape.

Click the image below for the original Sun article.

But exactly which regulations we’ll be cutting remains to be seen.

After all we’ll still need to retain the right to trade with Europe.

We’ll also need to keep our rights at work, protect our food, and look after the environment.

Countries will only trade with us if they trust our regulatory standards.

How will that happen if we become a totally unregulated space?

As Tax Justice Campaigner Richard Murphy puts it:

“We need rules. Try playing football without any rules. It doesn’t work.”

Captured Media

The lack of clarity from our journalists and politicians may be part of the problem.

Academics like Daniela Gabor, Prem Sikka, David Graeber, Vickie Cooper, David Whyte, Steve Tombs, and commentators like Frances Coppola, Ann Pettifor, Nicholas Wilson, and Ian Fraser are all reliable.

But few out and out hacks are prepared to rock the boat by asking difficult questions.

Even fewer politicians make meaningful commitments, give straight answers, or admit mistakes.

We don’t need no Education

In the midst of all this emerged Nigel Farage.

While the left and right were playing musical chairs in the centre, a gaping chasm opened up everywhere else.

All anyone had to do to occupy the space was point out the contradictions in the system.

Engineering of Consent

So in a strange social experiment the British public briefly entered an age of demagoguery. One that can’t be undone.

Where Thatcher, Blair and even Cameron got their voters mildly excited, unelected Mr Farage got the nation to  say “No” to the Establishment and  replace it with — the Establishment!

Post-coup nerves

The only problem with all this was that nobody ever thought that the Brexiteers could win. The Brexiteers themselves had no idea what they’d do once they won their coup.

As Hannah Arendt said of the British Empire:

It has often been said that the British acquired their empire in a fit of absent-mindedness, as consequence of automatic trends, yielding to what seemed possible and what was tempting, rather than as a result of deliberate policy. If this is true, then the road to hell may just as well be paved with no intentions as with the proverbial good ones.

Attention Hacker

In the following clip Nigel Farage strategically attacks ‘diversity’ before claiming that English is no longer spoken in many parts of the UK.


He’s our very own Donald Trump. The influence he’s projected over global politics is staggering.

Waistline Firecracker

By relentlessly attacking every MP in sight whilst having never been more than an MEP in Brussels, Farage has become the ultimate spectactor.

Like Lear’s Fool and Donald Trump, Farage has been able to speak populist truth to power without following any of the rules by which normal politicians are bound.

Deregulatory Fork

But just like Trump, he’s a vicious corporatist.

Earlier this year after asking if Trump’s an anarchist,  I asked anthropologist  David Graeber to distinguish between corporatists like Farage and fascists like Marine Le Pen.

It was Auntie wot won it

Before the referendum I asked the BBC how frequently Farage had appeared on Newsnight, Question Time, and The Today Programme — they refused.

I assume someone like Rupert Murdoch was supporting him.

In the wake of the phone hacking scandal and the Leveson Inquiry James Harding moved to manage BBC News after having edited Murdoch’s Times for six years.

Maybe he was leaned on by Murdoch to include Farage on the BBC’s radio and televised debates.

Despite being a fully paid up member of the Metropolitan Elite and presumably a Remainer, Harding knows which way his bread’s buttered.

Amusing ourselves to death

Though humouring his old boss would have been logical, what started out as a joke led to a constitutional crisis.

By attacking the EU and political correctness in the way that he has, Farage has managed to overturn forty years of food, employment, financial and environmental standards.

Farage is currently employed by Rupert Murdoch in the US and by LBC talk radio in the UK.

What happened

Neo-liberal economics was underpinned by a belief in the idea of infinite growth. But the rapid growth of the ‘left behinds’ who under Thatcher had been written off as the acceptable rate of unemployment led to a growing divide.

They had no way out of a life of austerity.

At the same time came the rise of the Metropolitan Elite with their skinny lattés and Polish plumbers

Et Voila!

Plenty of newspapers also told their readers to vote for Brexit.

They weren’t all convinced by Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and Michael Gove.

The Sun, the Mail, the Express, the Sunday Times, and the Telegraph are all still fervent Brexiteers.

Brexit Bill

But according to those Brexiteers who aren’t in the Cabinet, the Government are making a hash of Brexit.

The potential benefits of a Brexit deal are fast disappearing as the Government commits to paying more and more money to the EU.

What next?

  1. Who is going to stand up for UK regulation?
  2. How will a balance be struck between protecting UK business, UK citizens and non-citizens?

 

 

 

 

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News

Post Charlottesville Democrat Victory in Virginia

Virginia Acceptance Speech

No outright mention of Charlottesville — but still a big speech in Virginia.

The comments section is split with some calling it an Obama speech.

Any reference to White Nationalism, Healing Wounds, or Affordable Care Act interpreted as outright Communism.

All subtext in the USA!

And why is the Virginia drawl so similar to the Texan?

LA Times reaction

Daily Beast on the Charlottesville Shadow

 

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News

The Judge’s Mum, The Law, & Client Earth

Trump’s appointment Neil Gorsuch is the son of Reagan’s EPA Head Anne Gorsuch.

She did her best to destroy it.

 

 

But apparently her gutting of the EPA led to major developments in the field of environmental law.

I’ve been reading about some of this in Lawyers James Thornton and Martin Goodman’s new book, Client Earth.

Whereas Thornton and Goodman say their Client is the Earth, Gorsuch proudly states his client is … The Law.

Encore une fois, industry, via dead letters, attempts to short change the planet.

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Trump Era White Collar Crime: Who’s Chasing Who?

What is going on with Wall Street White Collar Crime in the Trump era?

Hedge Fund Managers Never Die

Sheelah Kolhatkar wrote an excellent article in The New Yorker this January.

Her book, Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street, is all about the way the US New York District Attorney tried to bring down Hedge Fund Manager Steve Cohen.

This from CSPAN yesterday:

You’re Fired!

It turns out that the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, who attempted to jail Steve Cohen,  has since been fired by Donald Trump.

Washington Post Washington Post

Reaction

Bharara’s own performance as a prosecutor has prompted mixed reactions.

From praise:

To mixed:

And outright hostile:

 

This hedge fund ethics and compliance executive was also jailed by Bharara.

 

 

Reading List

For more on Preet Bharara in the New Yorker:

TV Show

The TV Show Billions is loosely based on the Hedge Fund Insider Trading Battles that creator Andrew Ross Sorkin has covered while working as a New York Times journalist, CNBC Squawk Box host and successful author.

 

This is how the show’s creators responded to Bharara’s sacking:

So what do you think is really going on?

Is Mr Trump really ‘draining the swamp’ — or just feeding the crocodiles?

 

 

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Dance to the Muzak – Bannon and Trump read the Crowd

According to Dale Purves what we hear is often determined by our Darwinian programming which filters out sounds that don’t help us reproduce.

Purves points to the McGurk Effect:

How does this apply to modern politics?

As mentioned in a previous post Lord Ashcroft has released Hopes and Fears based on polling he did in the US 2016 Presidential election.

In it he publishes a graph of how voters from different points in the political spectrum responded to controversial questions such as whether Barack Obama was born outside the USA or if Hillary Clinton is ‘culpable for murder’.

Here are some of the results:

Given the McGurk Effect, it’s not hard to see how easily clickbait, fake news and filter bubbles feed off our predictable irrationality and confirmation bias.

This cognitive perfect storm creates  blindspots in society that allow vast chunks of the population to ditch their own interests and plump for Trump.

The current US President once said he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and he wouldn’t lose a single vote.

By reading the crowd and making the right noises, Trump has been able to say and do anything and still win.

The McGurk Effect doesn’t just apply to Trump’s high visibility and invincibility but also to the powerlessness of his voters.

Steve Bannon now supposedly runs America on behalf of the American People but very little about him is known. Bannon may have helped Trump tap into voters’ fears and anxieties but will he help deliver a better economy in time for re-election in 2020?

In an age of populism and demagoguery Bannon and Trump have somehow ended up delivering for Goldman Sachs — the ultimate con.

Trump, May, & Farage deliver the anti-establishment messages but it’s Steve Bannon, Rupert Murdoch and Goldman Sachs who really benefit.

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News

Trump hands keys to Goldman Sachs

Bins financial regulation & consumer protection

But there is some hope, Government Sachs are facing some resistance outside their offices.

It was said that US authorities under Obama were worried that European banks would behave badly if TTIP had gone through.

These new arrangements have restored their licence to misbehave.

 

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Transatlantic Aliens

I came across Transatlantic Aliens in the bookshop today.


The blurb referred to the cultural contribution made by Europeans who moved to the US in the 1930s and 1940s.

By looking at how celebrated outsiders such as Theodor Adorno, Simone de Beauvoir and Vladimir Nabokov experienced American life, Will Norman celebrates their transformation of alienation into novel ways of interpreting the modern world.

Given President Trump’s recent Executive Order indefinitely banning all refugees from Syria from entering the US, the book — which came out in October — couldn’t be more relevant.

This is an excellent blog post by author Will Norman on the need to not demonise foreigners — written just days after President Trump won the 2016 US Election:


Norman starts by saying, “These are dark days for Cosmopolitanism.”

Dark days indeed.

Theresa May told the Conservative Party conference in October that a Citizen of the World is a Citizen of Nowhere.

Following Amber Rudd’s speech about naming and shaming firms who hire too many foreign workers — the Pound dropped like a stone.


One interpretation of Cosmopolitanism is that the Cosmopolis, the world state, is an ideal state in which citizens must live their lives regardless of local constraints. This is a morally driven universe which comprises of international solidarity above all else.

I do not feel this is Mrs May’s interpretation. Although English Culture is itself a mix of so many influences, the incorporation of habits, customs and languages from around the world makes the PM squirm. 

In Mrs May’s worldview, the more that Cosmopolitans feel they have in common with outsiders, the more readily they distinguish themselves from fellow British citizens and the less loyalty they show.

Tory donor Lord Ashcroft commissioned a study into the US election which referred to Cosmopolitan Activists — 25% of whom are less than 24 years old — the majority of whom believe in gun control, government regulation, green energy, same sex marriage, immigration, multiculturalism, social liberalism and feminism.


There are so many contradictions in what our politicians now say that there’s no fun in spotting inconsistencies.

Now that they’ve lost power, maybe here are two former Chancellors whose words we can actually trust.

Here is George Osborne on how the Government has prioritised controlling immigration over the economy:

And Ken Clarke on how Enoch Powell would have been surprised that the Tory party is now ‘mildly’ anti immigrant:

Where do we go from here? 

I hope there is more public participation in the debate surrounding the terms of Brexit.

If not then commission hungry lobbyists will run the show and sell Britain into feudalism for a fraction of what it is really worth. 

The British Parliamentary system is not equipped to override inherent conflicts of interest – if this isn’t fixed immediately this will lead to Britain’s downfall.

How to solve such a problem? 

Strategic Noise. We have an accountability problem. Certain people are getting away with passing lots of favourable legislation because there is no independent scrutiny or oversight.

Better reporting of parliamentary, local government and international affairs would do a lot to warn people of what is coming in a structured way that allows for organised civil responses that go beyond attending protests. 

The Government is well equipped to rely on and perpetuate bureaucracy – the rest of us need to start catching up.

Too many people are keeping their knowledge to themselves. 

The more we know about what is actually happening up and down the country and about the political process the more we can more meaningfully get involved.

Will political parties suddenly adjust to allow new ideas? 

Or will they do what they can to protect the status quo?

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Unions love Trump, Max Keiser to run in North Carolina

Max Keiser says Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Seduces Unions

Max Keiser tells how Trump is seducing unions with his infrastructure plans and dropping TPP.

Max Keiser to run in North Carolina

In mid-January Max Keiser said he will announce his official candidacy for Congress in March.

Trump the Autocrat

David Frum, author of George W Bush’s Axis of Evil speech, has this to say about the future under Trump:

Starbucks & Refugees

Interesting to see Starbucks’ position from a PR perspective — and the accompanying backlash.

Where’s Jared Kushner?

Someone’s running the White House – but it’s not Jared Kushner.

Where’s Obama?

Meanwhile Obama is not going away quietly but his legacy is being questioned:

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May praises Trump shortly before he bans Muslims from entering America, then visits Turkey who are paid to stop refugees from entering Europe

Special Relationship with Trump

At yesterday’s press conference May talked about NATO and ISIS but chose not to mention the bonfire of rights and regulations and the deeper privatisation of NHS services and imminent entry of GM food, pesticides, cloned meat and growth hormones in UK supermarkets if Britain increases trade with America.

The Prime Minister talked about family ties and kinship when referring to the Special Relationship with the US but conveniently forgot, despite posing in front of the Churchill bust, that Churchill was passionately pro EU and that the English language that Britain apparently shares with the USA is derived from French, German and Scandinavian countries that happen to also be in the EU.

Allowing deeper co-operation with the US is a great idea on many levels but at what price? Allowing free movement of workers between the UK and the US could be even more catastrophic for public services than the unpreparedness with which UK allowed almost unlimited EU expansion and other commitments from 2004.

Turkey paid to ‘defend’ EU from Migrants

Erdogan is expected to protect Europe for political and humanitarian reasons by hosting and containing refugees from outside the EU.

At the same time Britain prioritises ending free movement of citizens to UK from within the EU.

Trump Bans Muslims & Theresa Bans Europeans

Just as Trump has banned citizens from poorer Muslim countries from seeking political asylum in the US, UK is now telling Trump how important it is to have a strong EU and NATO while telling EU citizens they’re no longer welcome.

Four legs good two legs bad

So May gets Trump to help her stop EU citizens working in the UK and begs Turkey to stop victims of Islamic extremism and various bombing campaigns from living and working in the EU.

Looks like we’re going back to the same Ronnie and Maggie hypocritical neo-liberal logic of supporting Israeli and South African Apartheid while telling Communist countries to tear down walls and open up in the name of freedom.

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Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire

As far as Donald Trump is concerned UK laws, like women’s private parts, are all up for grabs.

He’s acquisitive by nature — so where are we headed?

The Front Page of Today’s Telegraph is looking all excited about new US jobs.

Does this mean Free Movement of People between the UK and the USA?

Nigel Farage was slightly ahead of the curve on this.

But does this mean that the very people who voted Trump in the USA will now be eligible for work in the UK?

And if 300 million Americans have suddenly become eligible to work in the UK then does that mean the US intelligence agencies will now treat Britain as if it is home soil?

The extradition treaties are already very one-way. Will we now be potentially surveilled and taken out for tweeting about Trump or Theresa?

Given her authoritarian views and performances at PMQs , I don’t trust Mrs May to defend this country one inch.

Donald Trump — George III in reverse

Mad grandson of obscure German migrant uses force to do battle with a distant land to which he stakes vague claim.

This should bring in GM Food, Cheap Meat, dodgy Pharmaceuticals — and the right to bear arms against tyrannous governments!

Not that things will ever come to that, of course!

 

 

georgeiii

 

 

 

 

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Traitor May tells Trump to Back EU while claiming to extricate Britain from the EU. At the same time Murdoch turns Farage into EU migrant.

 

theresamaydavos

In November 2015 Theresa May was being lined up to lead the Out campaign.
brexit-nov-2015

Nigel Farage said he’d have been delighted had she accepted.

What side are you on?

But then she backed Remain. In the speech she gave to defend continuing with EU membership she said it was better for security for the UK to stay in.

If it is the case that she is knowingly undermining the safety of the British public then surely she should be tried for treason.

Bradley / Chelsea Manning was lucky to have had his / her sentence commuted by Barack Obama last week. Could Theresa May be closer than any other PM in the history of Parliament to being hanged, gassed, or made to sit in an electric chair?

Brexit Mayden

She’s since become PM and launched semantic warfare on the British public by using inane soundbytes ranging from “Brexit means Brexit” through to “Red, White & Blue Brexit”.

There have been various other versions including clean, hard, fast, slow, smooth, and soft Brexit with messy and technicolor on the side.

Theresa Maybe

Either way, the Economist strongly implied she’s a ditherer when they referred to her as Theresa Maybe

Financial Eyes would place Mrs May’s approach somewhere between that of Goldilocks ( someone’s been eating my Brexit ) and of The Emperor’s New Clothes ( too much thigh and not enough sleeve).

Post-Truth

Having finally declared Britain is definitely exiting the Single Market, the PM has told the Financial Times that she’ll meet Donald Trump this Friday and sing the praises of the EU.

A few weeks ago Financial Eyes caught up with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell for Real Media and asked for his views on the government’s approach to Brexit:

The full forty minute video can be found here:

We all know all that Theresa has been dreaming of a White Brexit.

Speaking of which, the PM’s real boss, puppet master Rupert Murdoch, is now paying Mr Brexit, Nigel Farage to migrate to USA and … demonise migrants!

This hasn’t gone completely unnoticed:

Farage himself reckons this is just the start of a Global Revolution.

Winners & Losers

Given that populism, anti-globalisation, autonomy, independence and revolution were so frequently invoked during both the Brexit vote and the US election, it is very telling that the new rulers are all from the very minority that benefited the most from globalisation in the first place.

Will they govern as benign dictators or will they do everything they can to make life as hard as they possibly can for everyday Brits and Americans in a way that the European Union, European Central Bank (ECB), Hillary Clinton, and the Federal Reserve would never have dreamed of?

Asset Strippers Carry Out 2 Coup d’états

It’s rarely mentioned that Nigel Farage’s first job after leaving school was for criminal US junk bond outfit Drexel Burnham. This is mentioned in the comments section of this rather revelatory article.

Looks like UK is in line to be asset stripped at a rather more rapid rate than usual with Nigel Farage leading the charge.

Interesting times

Should be quite an interesting week this week with the UK Supreme Court ruling on whether Parliament be allowed a say over Brexit followed by Mrs May’s trip to Trump.

Whatever will they talk about?

Tax Haven & Trade Deals

Chancellor Phillip Hammond has spoken about cutting UK corporation tax to minimal levels and Brexiteers are talking up the US – UK trade deal.

 

Hammond himself has become personally wealthy doing business with the NHS. An investigator told Financial Eyes that Hammond was also involved with super scammers Enron.

Just as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt set up a business called Hot Courses of which his half is being sold at the moment, reputedly for £15m, his aunt Virginia Bottomley also a former Health Secretary is said to have had a high ranking position at the British Council at a time when they were his biggest client.

NHS

Reduced tax income will defund the National Health Service (NHS) and any trade deal with the US will let health insurance firm United Health get an even deeper hold over the UK health sector than it already has.

Pharma and Genetically Engineered Food

Pharmaceutical and Food Regulation will of course be liberalised to allow cheap genetically engineered american meat into US supermarkets as well as profitable drugs with several dodgy side effects.

America First

As so little of what Trump says turns out to be true and his America First policy will involve cutting back on so much trade with other countries, it looks like his friend Nigel Farage may end up being called in to help flog the remainder of GB Plc.

Game Over

With Sterling at relatively low levels, cheap firms are ripe to have their assets stripped.

Special Relationship

This from Tax Campaigner Richard Murphy:

 

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Video: White America rejects American Values

ALEC

The American Legislative Exchange Council are in the ascendant. Most Brits don’t even know who they are.

But they hold the real clout around here.

Trump Aide: Japanese Internment Camps are Precedent for a Muslim Registry

 

White America rejects American Values

Trump voters claim not to be racist but many voted to deport Latinos and target Muslims.

In the following film one educated Trump voter claims rhetoric about rapidly building walls and expelling immigrants is “imprudent” but ultimately in the right direction.

 

 

The women claiming not to be racist refer to ‘rugged individualism’, not accepting ‘handouts from the government’ (Universal Healthcare) and sit next to posters promoting guns while talking about having to be ‘on guard’ around people of other races.

The same types of megalomaniac are now running the UK.

Vice President Elect Mike Pence is a member of ALEC, The American Legislative Exchange Council.

They have links in the UK. Liam Fox and Dan Hannan have spoken at their conferences. Dangerous lot.

Most Brits don’t even know who they are. But they hold the real clout around here.

Speaking of ALEC

:

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Is Murdoch backing Trump?

Makes perfect sense. Have Fox ever loved Hillary?

Imagine Murdoch wanting to deal with May and Hillary.

Why wouldn’t he prefer Trump, Corbyn and McDonnell?

Similar overall view of the world but from different perspectives.

Most people recruit in their own mould!

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BROMANCE SHOCKER: Cameron Comes Clean Over Trump

David Cameron has declared his ‘respect’ for Donald Trump — but most Britons haven’t forgotten the Bush/Blair relationship and fear another murderous Bromance.

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For the sake of context let it be known that neither the Bush family:

nor religious Republican Speaker Paul Ryan

are prepared to endorse Donald Trump:

Yet Cameron openly states that Trump ‘deserves respect’

I wonder if he’ll have his wife’s chest signed too — along with TTIP.

                 

The fragrant Samantha Cameron was unavailable for comment.

Trump Signs Sam Cam

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Trump & Cameron: The Love-In Begins

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 09.18.27

The perversity of politics is such that neither the Bush family:

nor the religious right-wing fundamentalist Paul Ryan:

are willing to endorse Donald Trump:

but UK Prime Minister David Cameron says he deserves our respect!