Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Bojo Bows Out In Blow to UK Soft Brexit

________________________

On Monday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said in a statement:

This afternoon, the Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary. His replacement will be announced shortly. The Prime Minister thanks Boris for his work.

On 8 July, Brexit Minister David Davis resigned over disagreements with the government’s policy, as Eurosceptics, Davis included, view the Brexit plan presented on 6 July as a major concession to Brussels, particularly as far as access to the EU common market and customs union is concerned. According to media reports, Johnson strongly criticised the plan. On Monday, Johnson was set to participate in a press conference alongside his German and Polish counterparts on the sidelines of the Western Balkans Summit taking place in London. However, he didn’t turn up at the summit. Political analysts say that such a turn of events may put May in an exceptionally difficult position and cause a struggle for leadership in the ruling Conservative Party. In theory, it could result in May’s resignation as party leader and the country’s prime minister. Johnson served as British Foreign Secretary for nearly two years.

9 July 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/world/1012474

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Freedom No More

_________________________

As I write, with over 75 percent of all yesterday’s English local election results in, Labour has a net gain of 55 councillors compared to the high water mark of the 2014 result in these wards, while the Tories have a net gain of one seat against a 2014 result which was regarded at the time as disastrous for them, and led the Daily Telegraph to editorialise “David Cameron Must Now Assuage the Voters’ Rage”. Yet both the BBC and Sky News have, all night and this morning, treated these results, in which the Labour Party increased by 3 percent an already record number of councillors in this election cycle, as a disaster. What’s more, they used that false analysis to plug again and again the “anti-Semitism in the Labour Party” witch-hunt. Of course, it was the continuous exacerbation of this mostly false accusation by Blairite MP’s that… deliberately on their part… stopped the Labour Party doing still better. The Blairites are all over the airwaves plugging this meme again today. What’s more, Labour achieved this result despite the complete collapse of the UKIP vote, which collapse pundits expected to boost the Tory Party. In fact, the net loss of over 100 UKIP seats hasn’t resulted in overall net gains for the Tory Party, even though those ex-UKIP voters demonstrably did mostly split to Tory. The very substantial UKIP voter reinforcements simply saved the Tories from doing still worse. The Liberal Democrats are showing some signs of life.

Yesterday was World Press Freedom Day, and the tendentious media misrepresentation of the election results reminds me why I couldn’t get excited about it. A media with the extremely concentrated ownership we see in the UK can never be free, and certainly does not represent a wide spread of political opinions. Even the views of the official Leader of the Opposition are almost entirely outside the Overton window. In Scotland, the Scottish government is subject to unreasoning media attack, day in and day out, which contrasts strikingly with the treatment of Westminster ministers and issues.

There’s a seriously worrying example from Leeds of the decline of free speech, where Leeds City Council disgracefully banned a meeting discussing the bias of the corporate and state media because of its content. We aren’t allowed even to get together to discuss media bias. Retired Ambassador Peter Ford, Professors Piers Robinson and Tim Hayward, Vanessa Beeley, and Robert Stuart were to address the meeting at Leeds City Museum entitled “Media on Trial”. I can’t sufficiently express my outrage that Leeds City Council feels it’s right to ban a meeting with very distinguished speakers because it questions the government and Establishment line on Syria. Freedom of speech really is dead.

Truly, British society has changed fundamentally if a former British Ambassador to Syria is banned from speaking in public premises on his area of expertise. What’s still worse is the tone of this sneering report from Huffington Post, now firmly a part of corporate media, in which Chris York libels the speakers as “Assad supporters”, interviews none of the speakers and nobody to make the argument for free speech, but does manage to interview the “founder” of the jihadist “White Helmets”. In terms of banning dissent whilst simultaneously ramping up the official narrative, York has won himself top Establishment brownie points. The man… and I use the term loosely… is unfit for polite company.

4 May 2018

Craig Murray

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/05/37463/

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Britain’s Next Prime Minister Could Likely be Jeremy Corbyn

________________________

Jeremy Corbyn has much of the Brexit coalition on his side and more. Brexit, which in many ways put British politics on the international map for the first time since the 1960s, wasn’t supposed to happen. The Establishment in all the major parties, the business sector, academia, the mainstream media, and the arts and science community (which still hold some influence in Britain) were all opposed to it. Likewise, on the night of the vote, the polling data was so set against Brexit that a sober Nigel Farage all but conceded defeat. Several hours and several drinks later, he emerged to give a victory speech. The people who voted for Brexit voted for a number of reasons and even more crucially in a key number of geographical places.

Many people voted for Brexit because they seethed with anger over those who opposed it. The élite were unpopular and the élite didn’t want Brexit, this meant that ordinary people in middle and northern England, as well as most of Wales, voted for Brexit. Other issues ranging from European border policy to trade and nostalgia for empire played far less of a factor than many pundits thought. Brexit was a visceral vote, not a calculated vote. The EU is a élitist institution and Britain’s local élite loved it. For most people, that was enough to make them support it.

While the dishonest and discredited élites ran the pro-EU campaign, Nigel Farage spearheaded Brexit from the right, while its most prominent leftist advocate was George Galloway. Both Farage and Galloway are figures one either loves or hates, but few people can legitimately question their sincerity. After all, neither embraced causes guaranteed to get them invited to Buckingham Palace. Many thought that if two straightforward men on different sides of the political divide both embraced Brexit, it can’t be all that bad for honest ordinary people, and furthermore, contrary to what the neoliberal mainstream media said, Farage’s supporters aren’t all racist obscurantists and Galloways’ supporters aren’t “only Muslims”. Such remarks slander both men and their supporters who are ordinary, decent, and normal people of all backgrounds, who for various reasons are tired of a broken status-quo.

Jeremy Corbyn may well be on the verge of achieving something similar to Brexit, only more. Corbyn, like Brexit, is anti-establishment, and like Brexit, the entire establishment is against him… with this notable exception… small, medium, and even some big businesses. Jeremy Corbyn will certainly appeal to working class Brexit voters in England’s north and midlands as well as Wales (AKA Brexit country) who long for a Labour leader that puts bread-and-butter issues first. Corbyn is all about jobs, funding essential services, and putting hospitals before banks, schools before hedge funds, wages for real people over tax loopholes for foreign companies. This is music to the ears of a Labour base, who are alienated from Labour after years of neoliberal policies first instigated by the war criminal Tony Blair.

However, what about business, will they vote for a socialist Labour leader? Many interestingly will. Generally, most businesses of all sizes benefited from some aspects of EU membership, most crucially from the Single Market which non-EU countries Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland are a happy part of. Corbyn said he’s committed to getting Britain a deal that involves retaining the benefits of the Single Market and this made many in the business community silently sympathetic to a Labour leader who took a stand on the Single Market, whereas Conservative leader Theresa May has a policy which amounts to little more than “Frankly, I don’t give a damn”. Therefore, this means Corbyn has the working-class and wider Midlands, Northern England and Welsh Brexit vote, the anti-establishment Brexit vote, and, ironically, also the business-minded pro-Single Market Vote.

Then, there’s Scotland. Scotland voted in favour of retaining EU membership. What’s more, when Scotland held a referendum on independence from the UK in 2014, one of the biggest selling points on the “Remain Part of the UK” side was that membership of the UK guaranteed membership in the EU. My, how times have changed! Because of this, Scottish Nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Parliament want a new independence referendum. May responded to this call with disdain and contempt. Her refusal to engage in a dialogue with Scotland smacks of a colonial attitude when Scotland is a democratic part of the UK. It’s unreal that someone like May can think this way in the year 2017.

By contrast, Jeremy Corbyn said that he’d listen to Scotland, engage positively with the Scottish people, and, in any case, respect their exercise of democratic self-determination if that’s what they ultimately seek. This means that if the vote in England is a dead-heat, the Scottish Nationalists, who’d almost certainly win every major seat in Scotland, would have the ability to form a coalition with Corbyn and make him Prime Minister. Under this scenario, one sees that Corbyn retained much of the Brexit coalition, with the added bonus of almost all of Scotland’s backing if he eventually needs it, and more members of the business community than many think. Even those in the business community who might not like Corbyn’s tax policies realise that leaving the Single Market is a far bigger problem and one that could take much longer to reverse.

In the wealthy parts of Southern England, the Conservatives might be in for another unexpected shock. Most people in England’s wealthiest areas voted to remain in the EU and many are privately shocked that the once pro-EU Conservative party is taking such an undiplomatic and frankly unknowing approach to Brexit. Many such affluent voters might end up voting for the unambiguously pro-EU Liberal Democratic Party, who in most other policy areas are little different from mainstream moderate Conservatives. The polls that got Brexit and Trump wrong are still saying that the Conservatives will win, but only by a small margin. The reality could be very different. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour might capture most of middle and northern England, all of Wales, and find allies in Scotland. May’s Conservatives might end up losing some seats in their own affluent backyard, amongst those who still cherish the EU as much as they did when they voted against Brexit alongside former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.

We could be looking at the most unlikely political revolution in British history… since last year, anyway. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of a would-be Corbyn victory is that he quietly managed to build an unlikely coalition without sacrificing his principles. Perhaps, this is the real lesson of the campaign.

30 May 2017

Adam Garrie

The Duran

http://theduran.com/britains-next-prime-minister-likely-socialist-jeremy-corbyn/

Monday, 1 July 2013

1 July 2013. You Can’t Make Up Shit Like This… British Parliament Spends £100,000 Upgrading Two WCs

01 money down toilet

________________________________

On Sunday, it came out that the British parliament shall spend up to £100,000 (5 million Roubles. 117,000 Euros. 152,000 USD) on refurbishing two WCs used by members of the House of Lords and their guests. A contract put out to tender by the House of Commons authorities says that the WCs, installed in 1937, haven’t been refurbished for 20 years, “and have reached the end of their serviceable life”. The document said, “The lavatories are in an unacceptable condition for the high profile area they’re in and they give a poor image of the Palace of Westminster“. A refurbishment is required urgently to bring the amenities to a standard that reflects a World Heritage site. The contract to upgrade the WCs… one cubicle and two urinals for men and one cubicle for women… is valued at between £90,000 and £100,000 (4.5-5 million Roubles. 106,000-117,000 Euros. 137,000-152,000 USD). The work would include putting in a disabled-accessible toilet and an additional cubicle for women, and installing oak panelling of a high standard, required of a listed building. However, Matthew Sinclair of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, a lobbying group, said the sum was “eye-watering”, adding, “A family could afford to build themselves a home for this much cash”.

30 June 2013

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/news/2013_06_30/British-parliament-spends-100-000-upgrading-two-toilets-3307/

Editor’s Note:

They have 100,000 quid for Lord Plushbottom’s bidet, but nothing for social services. Go figure… it does tell you much about Conservatives (and Republicans), though, doesn’t it? Thousands for their precious bums… nothing for single mums. Tells ya where their priorities are… appropriate place, I’d say…

BMD

Here’s a funny Brit take on the schmidiot mofos who spend on their bums, not on mums…

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.