Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why private sector workers should support the strike

This piece of mine appears in The Week/The First Post.

Neil Clark: Pension cuts are all a ploy to reduce costs so that more public services can be privatised

WHOSE side are you on in Britain's biggest industrial dispute since the 1920s?

The public sector trade unions, who are leading Wednesday's national strike of up to 2.6m workers, say they are fighting to maintain the living standards of their members, who are being hit with wage freezes, cuts to their pensions and a higher cost of living.

Prime Minister David Cameron says that far from being hard done by, many public sector workers will still receive pensions "far, far better" than ones in the private sector.

You can read the whole of the article here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Craig Murray on Fox, Werrity and Gould and the questions which must be answered

Top class investigative blogging from Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan.

Take a look at this.  Then this.  And then this.

It’s good that, after all Craig's digging, the MSM are now asking questions about the Fox/Werrity/Gould meetings.

The neocon elite doesn’t want ordinary people to find out what they’re up to behind the scenes- so bravo to Craig for his persistence.

HAT TIP: John Edwards.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Trial of George W. Bush and Tony Blair for Crimes Against the Peace

Happening now in Malaysia. Let’s hope one day in the US and Britain too.

UPDATE: Bush and Blair have been found guilty.

The charge is proven beyond reasonable doubt. The accused are found guilty. The Tribunal orders that the names of the 2 convicted criminals be included in the war register of the KL War Crimes Commission. And the findings of this Tribunal be publicised to all nations who are signatories of the Rome Statue.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kauto's star lights up Haydock

There’s been some emotional days in National Hunt racing over the past few years.

Best Mate’s third Gold Cup win. Denman’s heroic victory in the 2009 Hennessy, which I wrote about here.
But yesterday’s wonderful performance by veteran chaser Kauto Star, to land the Betfair Chase for the fourth time was right up there. What a sensational, front-running performance. National Hunt racing doesn’t get any better than this.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Syria needs mediation, not a push into all-out civil war

Syria is on the verge of civil war and the Arab League foolishly appears to have decided to egg it on. Where common sense dictates that Arab governments should seek to mediate between the regime and its opponents, they have chosen instead to humiliate Syria's rulers…

You can read the whole of Jonathan Steele's excellent piece on the situation in Syria, and why the US and its allies are making the situation worse, here.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague is to meet with Syrian rebels in London. What a surprise. More on this here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

If you lived in Iran, wouldn't you want a nuclear bomb?

Imagine, for a moment, that you are an Iranian mullah. Sitting crosslegged on your Persian rug in Tehran, sipping a cup of chai, you glance up at the map of the Middle East on the wall. It is a disturbing image: your country, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is surrounded on all sides by virulent enemies and regional rivals, both nuclear and non-nuclear.

The map makes it clear: Iran is, literally, encircled by the United States and its allies.

If that wasn't worrying enough, your country seems to be under (covert) attack…

Wouldn't it be rational for Iran – geographically encircled, politically isolated, feeling threatened – to want its own arsenal of nukes, for defensive and deterrent purposes?

You can read the whole of Mehdi Hasan’s brilliant Guardian article on the threat posed to Iran, here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The vulture hedge funds poised to swoop on Africa's poorest countries

The Guardian reports:

Twenty-six hedge funds are demanding over £1bn debt repayments from Africa's poorest countries - more than twice the International Red Cross budget for Africa this year. They are using legal loopholes around the world, including the Channel Island of Jersey.

And who exactly are these vultures? Check this out. And this. But as Greg Palast says, we should not forget the economic ‘restructuring' that made all this possible:

I think the focus on Grossman and his fellow carrion chewers is distracting. The destruction of Bosnia's power-pylon industry was the direct consequence of privatising it, bringing the free market to socialist Yugoslavia and Brankovic to power over its debts, allowing him to buy and sell debt securities on the deregulated world financial market.

It was the privatisation of Congo's state cobalt mine and the looting of its riches, all at the behest of the World Bank, IMF and privateers, that drained Congo's treasury.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seven alternatives to the EU (in case it all gets too much)

This article of mine appears in The Week/The First Post.

Neil Clark: As German leaders issue heavy-handed threats, here's a timely survey of Britain’s options

A SENIOR German politician has inflamed the great Europe debate by saying, in effect, that all European countries are expected to fall into line behind Germany, Britain included – even over the controversial Robin Hood tax on financial transactions...........

So, it's a good time to ask - would it really be the disaster Nick Clegg and this fellow europhiles prophecy if Britain did the unthinkable and left the EU?

You can read the whole article here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some good news from Rome: Hungarian superstar Overdose wins his 16th race

video: 06 frankel


Well, what about the events in Rome this weekend? No, I’m not talking about yet another undemocratic EU/‘markets’ coup d’etat, (anyone out there still thinks that the EU is about increasing democracy?),  but the great comeback victory of the Budapest Bullet, Overdose, who chalked up his 16th victory from 19 starts in the Group Three Premio Carlo & Francesco Aloisi.

Ridden for the first time by Frankie Dettori, it was the Hungarian hero’s first run since finishing a close-up fourth in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. Enjoy a great performance on what was a wonderful day for Hungarian sport.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

There is no Iranian nuclear 'crisis'

Here we go again. They’ve just finished bombing Libya, so the serial warmongers now want us to focus again on the ‘threat’ posed by Iran‘s nuclear programme. After the non-existent ‘genocide’ in Kosovo, and the non-existence of Iraq’s WMDs, you wouldn’t think they’d have the nerve, would you?

It seems an appropriate moment to link to this piece of mine from 2006 on, why even if Iran was secretly developing nuclear weapons, it wouldn’t constitute a ’crisis’.

Here’s an extract.

'LEADERS meet to discuss Iran crisis." It all sounds rather familiar. In 1999, "leaders" met to discuss the Kosovo "crisis"; we now know there was no genocide in Kosovo. In 2003, "leaders" met to discuss Iraq's weapons of mass destruction crisis; we now know there were no WMD in Iraq.

Now it's Iran nuclear ambitions that represent the "crisis". If past form is anything to go by, we can be fairly sure that once again this is a crisis of the Western powers' making.

You can read the whole piece here.
Remember, there is no Iranian nuclear ‘crisis’. And repeat that to anyone who tells you that there is.

UPDATE:  More on the 'imminent' Iranian nuclear 'threat' here.  It's been ‘imminent’ for quite some time now….

(Hat tip: Gabriele at the Media Lens Message Board.)

Monday, November 07, 2011

The EU's coup d'etat in Greece

The Daily Mail reports:

Athens gave in to EU demands to install a coalition government of ‘national salvation’ last night as uncertainty in debt-stricken Greece and Italy threatened fresh turmoil on financial markets.

Greece’s opposition had offered to form a national unity administration that would push through a controversial bailout – if prime minister George Papandreou stood aside.

The EU has been accused of carrying out a coup d’etat in Greece, after the head of the European Commission threatened the country with ‘paralysis’ unless MPs removed their prime minister.

EU leaders were horrified that Mr Papandreou said a referendum should be held to approve a 100billion euro bailout deal, which will result in a decade of tax rises and spending cuts.

An EU coup d’etat is exactly what has happened in Greece. What a very sad day for democracy in Europe when a Prime Minister is deposed for the 'crime’ of announcing a referendum.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

My time travel fantasy

This piece of mine appears in the Daily Express.

THE new Woody Allen film Midnight In Paris is a light-hearted time travel romance. Which era would you go back to and what would you miss from the modern world?

The prospect of time travel is something which has fascinated mankind for generations.

In Woody Allen’s sparkling new film Midnight In Paris, scriptwriter and self-confessed nostalgist Gil Pender (played by Owen Wilson) is magically transported back to Paris in the 1920s where he meets his literary heroes Ernest Hemingway and T S Eliot.

We asked celebrities which time in the past they’d like to travel back to:

You can read the whole piece here.