Monday, August 29, 2011

Ken Loach: The ruling classes are cracking the whip



I’ve always found that the people with the most to brag about are the least big-headed. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, was one example. The late Ian Carmichael was another. And so too is the brilliant film director Ken Loach. I met Ken when we were both speakers on an anti-war platform - a more modest and unassuming man you couldn’t possibly meet.

There's a wonderful interview with Ken in today's Guardian by Kira Cochrane. There's some great stuff all the way through, but particularly powerful was this passage on the enormous damage of thirty-odd years of neoliberalism.

It seems to me any economic structure that could give young people a future has been destroyed. Traditionally young people would be drawn into the world of work, and into groups of adults who would send the boys for a lefthanded screwdriver, or a pot of elbow grease, and so they'd be sent up in that way, but they would also learn about responsibilities, and learn a trade, and be defined by their skills. Well, they destroyed that. Thatcher destroyed that. She consciously destroyed the workforces in places like the railways, for example, and the mines, and the steelworks … so that transition from adolescence to adulthood was destroyed, consciously, and knowingly.



Ken Loach is a fantastic film director. But I can't help but feel that he would have made an even better Prime Minister.









Friday, August 26, 2011

On NATO’s bogus ‘humanitarian’ intervention in Libya


Above you can watch an interview with me on Russia Today on the lies surrounding NATO’s bogus 'humanitarian’ intervention in Libya and the economic motives which lie behind it.
 
More here

UPDATE:  In similar vein, here's Peter Hitchens in today's Mail on Sunday.

The official pretext, that we are ‘intervening to protect civilians’, is lying hogwash and should be laughed at every time it is used.  In the past few days – according to reliable reports – Libya’s rebels have been guilty of indiscriminate shooting into civilian areas and the brutal and arbitrary arrests of suspected opponents.


You can read the whole of the piece here.









Thursday, August 25, 2011

NATO “kept bombing the civilian targets"







We went to Libya on the 28th July and we came back on the 7th August and we found a totally different situation because NATO was bombarding civilians.



The bombings were not only carried out on military targets, but they also hit houses, hospitals, schools, television centers, and this was totally against the humanitarian reasons they said they were there for.


I believe they were doing this to bring panic in the city. That’s why they were bombing the things that people use daily, like places with food and essential utilities like hospitals.


Anyone out there who still believes that NATO’s intervention in Libya was/is ‘humanitarian’ ?


Then please watch the above interview from Russia Today with Italian peace activist Yvonne Di Vito.



More on this story here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What Libya 'ultimately represents' to the NATO powers






Britain and France will, like the US, maintain that their motives are altruistic. But, as always, it will be selfish economic concerns that inevitably guide Libya’s fortunes.


Billions of pounds worth of oil and natural gas are what Libya ultimately represents to avaricious Western powers.


……..All this amateur army has proved is that it can fight a civil war while supported by the firepower of RAF planes and their Nato allies. But this backing is only temporary.


If Libyans are to establish true democracy, to maintain internal peace and security, to rebuild a shattered infrastructure, and to redistribute wealth, then they will have to do it alone.

You can read the whole of Nabila Ramdani's excellent Daily Express commentary on Libya here.

UPDATE: If you haven't seen it yet, there's a great piece by Seumas Milne in today's Guardian on Libya's imperial hijacking.

If stopping the killing had been the real aim, Nato states would have backed a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement, rather than repeatedly vetoing both. Instead, after having lost serious strategic ground in the Arab revolutions, the Libyan war offered the US, Britain and France a chance to put themselves at the heart of the process while bringing to heel an unreliable state with the largest oil reserves in Africa.









Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's not peace but regime change, that the US is after in Syria




Above you can see an RT interview with me on the US's true aim in Syria- and why bringing international war criminals like George W. Bush, Tony  Blair and Bill Clinton to justice is a much more urgent priority than having President Assad indicted.


More on the western hypocrisy towards Syria here.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bring Back British Rail- a surefire vote winner


This piece of mine appears in today's First Post.

Neil Clark: Labour should pledge to re-nationalise railways and put UK on a par with other Europeans.

Here we go again. Britain's train users, who already have to pay by far and away the highest fares in Europe, are to be hit with even more above- inflation increases in the New Year..........


Not surprisingly, Labour has lambasted the government, calling the price hikes "eye-watering" and claiming that they are "the direct consequence of the Tory-led government's decision to cut too far and too fast".


But Ed Miliband could - and should - do an awful lot more.

You can read the whole of the piece here.

UPDATE: You can sign a petition, addressed to the government, calling for the renationalisation of the railways here. Do try and spare a couple of minutes to sign it, and tell your friends about the petition too.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Who will save Libya from its western saviours?



What both the pro-intervention left and right share is the conviction that "we" (meaning the civilized democratic West) have the right and the ability to impose our will on other countries.

Certain French movements whose stock in trade is to denounce racism and colonialism have failed to remember that all colonial conquests were carried out against satraps, Indian princes and African kings who were denounced as autocrats (which they were) or to notice that there is something odd about French organizations deciding who are the "legitimate representatives" of the Libyan people.



……The activists who in March insisted that “we must do something” to stop a hypothetical massacre are doing nothing today to stop a massacre that is not hypothetical but real and visible, and carried out by those who “did something”.

You can read the whole of Diana Johnstone & Jean Bricmont’s brilliant piece on the far from humanitarian, ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya here.

Hat tip: Media Lens message board.

Monday, August 15, 2011

On western hypocrisy and Syria



Above you can watch an interview with me on Russia Today (RT), on the current situation in Syria, and why the US and its allies are only helping to inflame the situation there.


More on this story here.

UPDATE: On the subject of inflaming the situation in Syria, take a look at this (hat tip ‘Badger’on  Media Lens message board).



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sick Britain, sick politics


This piece of mine appears in today's First Post.

Neil Clark: Entire urban communities have been sacrificed in the blind rush to ‘liberate the people’
 
Within hours of the first London riots breaking out, the debate was already being polarised, with left-wing commentators blaming Tory cuts, poverty and institutionalised racism, and right-wing observers slamming multiculturalism, poor parenting and 'community' policing.



In fact both the Left and Right must take equal responsibility for the social breakdown we are now witnessing. Or more precisely, the New Left and the New Right.

You can read the whole article here.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Britain on the Brink



This article of mine, on the civil unrest sweeping Britain exactly 100 years ago, appears in the Daily Express.


Neil Clark: Exactly 100 years ago the wealthy bought revolvers to protect themselves against the mob, soldiers shot striking workers dead and revolution was in the air...



THE Edwardian era is often portrayed as a period of peace and calm that preceded the horrors of the First World War.


In fact the early years of the 20th century were a time of enormous social unrest. And exactly 100 years ago this month, in August 1911, Britain appeared to be on the brink of revolution.

You can read the whole article here:



UPDATE: At the end of the piece I say:


The Britain of 2011 is a very different country to that of 1911 but with real wages once again falling and tens of billions of pounds wiped off the stock market amid fears of a global economic crash, is our situation really that much less volatile?


After this weekend's events- it seems that it isn’t.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Syria: President Assad declares a multiparty system- and France calls it a ‘provocation’




You can watch me discussing the latest developments in Syria- and why France’s reaction is so extraordinary, on Russia Today here.

Meanwhile, I see that Hillary the Hawk has said that the US believes that over 2,000 people have been killed by the Syrian authorities in recent clashes. While all deaths must be deplored, there’s strong reasons for treating such numbers with a huge barrow-load of salt.


Remember Kosovo?


John Pilger writes:

Following the same path as the build-up to the invasion of Iraq, the media coverage in the spring of 1999 was a series of fraudulent justifications, beginning with the then US defence secretary William Cohen's claim that "we've now seen about 100,000 military-aged [Albanian] men missing . . . they may have been murdered". David Scheffer, the then US ambassador-at-large for war crimes, announced that as many as "225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59" may have been killed


……….One year later, the International War Crimes Tribunal, a body in effect set up by Nato, announced that the final count of bodies found in Kosovo's "mass graves" was 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the Kosovo Liberation Army. Like Iraq's fabled weapons of mass destruction, the figures used by the US and British governments and echoed by journalists were inventions - along with Serbian "rape camps" and Clinton's and Blair's claims that Nato never deliberately bombed civilians.

The US is not a disinterested party when it comes to Syria, nor was it when it came to events in the Balkans in the late 1990s.

For a view on Syria from someone who has actually been in the country this summer, check out this report.

On July 15, I received news feeds from the AFP announcing a million protestors all over Syria, of which 500,000 in Hama alone.


In Hama however, they could not have been more than 10,000.


This ‘information’ was even more absurd due to the fact that the city of Hama counts only 370,000 inhabitants.



Monday, August 01, 2011

The US-Al Qaeda Alliance: Bosnia, Kosovo and now Libya


There's a must read piece by Professor Peter Dale Scott over at Global Research:



The pattern of U.S. collaboration with Muslim fundamentalists against more secular enemies is not new. It dates back to at least 1953, when the CIA recruited right-wing mullahs to overthrow Prime Minister Mossadeq in Iran, and also began to cooperate with the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood. But in Libya in 2011 we see a more complex marriage of convenience between US and al-Qaeda elements: one which repeats a pattern seen in Bosnia in 1992-95, and Kosovo in 1997-98. In those countries America responded to a local conflict in the name of a humanitarian intervention to restrain the side committing atrocities. But in all three cases both sides committed atrocities, and American intervention in fact favored the side allied with al-Qaeda.



The cause of intervention was fostered in all three cases by blatant manipulation and falsification of the facts.

You can read the whole piece here.

While over at antiwar.com, Justin Raimondo writes:


As in the Balkans, where US-trained and-funded “Kosovo Liberation Army” guerrillas fought alongside al-Qaeda’s legions and NATO forces, so the same alliance is fighting to “liberate” Libya.



As I’ve said before on numerous occasions, one of the biggest myths in international affairs is that the US and its western allies are implacably opposed to Islamic fundamentalism. They aren’t. The corporate/financial elite and lobby groups who determine our foreign policy will work alongside any group of extremists to achieve their goals when they feel that it's in their interest to do so.