As I understand all life derives from a single source and we can see that we are just a part of this evolution. Yet the mass market of food production takes little into account about what is necessary for a quality of life among animals and crops produced. Since we are inextricably linked human life and welfare will be deeply affected. Profits are all, welfare nowhere as we can see by the entrails left by profiteers. Life is cheap to them.
Chicken is cheap – probably cheaper than chips – yet its production leaves many question with the entrails – literal as well as in fact – leave a trail of harmful and deadly bacteria. The agencies charged with ensuring we have a supply of nutrious, healthy food are seriously challenged. One or two articles and programmes have documented intensive production. It is characterised by low wages, shocking working conditions with health and safety of workers difficult to spot. The problem is we don’t know where our food is sourced. If we did we wouldn’t want it.
This week President Obama landed in UK, prospective trade agreement TTIP in hand. Stay in the EU in trumpeted, otherwise UK will be at the back of the queue for trade agreements. Isn’t that precisely what we want? TTIP would take away any ability to challenge the filthy part of the food industry when corporate interest takes over from ours with ability to take even governments to court if they question damage to health by, not only tobacco, but harmful food production. Thanks, but no thanks Barack.
In 2007 Tata brought up the British Steel Industry. This I learn now was several times bigger than itself and, with the collusion of banks, pulled off the deal. This is the Steel Industry Game played by corporate interests and governments with peoples’ lives as the pawns. Jobs and community infrastructure are nowhere in the reckoning. In India this could be seen as the tables turning on colonial history.
Games began in earnest in the 1970s as industry after industry was closed, jobs lost and communities shattered. To those in charge of us it didn’t matter that an economy based 80% on heavy industry with just 20% service industry was about to be turned on its head. Manufacturing could be outsourced to far away with people on low or no wages being exploited. Unions had become too strong to handle having won decent wages and working conditions supported by health and safety legislation. The “enemy within” had to be stopped at all costs in the class war that ensued. The power of workers demonstrated at the Battle of Saltley Gate in 1972 should never be repeated as the Battle of Orgreave over a decade later made clear as violently repressive measures were used on unarmed demonstrators.
MPs enjoying their Easter hols were slow to wake up to Tata’s announcement that it was going to decide to off load British Steel by 31st March 2016. Hell, that’s today! The first to come back was Jeremy Corbyn requesting a recall of Parliament and visiting Port Talbot where he alone was able to make calm and considered suggestions on action, including nationalisation of the industry whole or in part. David Cameron appeared rather lame as he dismissed requests for the recall of Parliament and nationalisation but claiming nothing had been ruled out.
Nominally the UK is a “Christian” nation, although migration has changed the demography with respect to religion, language and culture. When it comes to declaring the attributes of a political leader there are many contradictions. Clearly things haven’t changed much at the top when it comes to ruling Britain. The monarchy is entrenched and established white upper class if anything but British itself, backed by an established Anglican Church. No one of another faith or even denomination need apply. Any potential political leader is expected to bow the knee before it. (My view is that the state should be, and stay, secular.)
The recent elevation of a questioner to the leadership of the Labour Party has brought out a nervousness, not least among the now old adherents of New Labour. Any potential leader of Britain has to be seen participating in singing the anthem, however meaningless, saluting the flag and kneeling in front of the Royal Highness. That’s not all. There is, it is claimed, awaiting the incumbent of no 10 Downing Street a red button to be pressed at any time of emergency whether that be real or imagined. Nuclear conflagration would ensue potentially wiping out life on the planet. One nation has pressed the nuclear button in war to date, the United States of America, letting loose two nuclear weapons of very small size to that now available, the unbalanced state of Israel being perhaps having a significantly sizable arsenal. Nevertheless it continues to formal denial of their existence with NATO members joining in the charade – again in utmost secrecy – by deploying these weapons in submarines donated to Israel by Germany.
The current Tory leadership avows that sharing such information with a doubter would threaten Britain’s security. In actuality what is being done in secrecy is arguably a tremendous risk to us all. It allows no accountability in a nation that claims democracy as an underpinning essential.
If any of the supposedly desirable attributes of the leader are missing then hysteria ensues as the massed forces of the press whip up patriotic fervour. This will once more be unleashed on on 11th November as those who have sent the young into unnecessary and counterproductive combat cry crocodile tears over those who once more didn’t come back. Red poppies in place anyone who says differently will be mercilessly tried by kangaroo court and sentenced to ridicule and mirth. A white poppy? Try it.
David Blair (aka Cameron) came to Birmingham today and lectured us all on tackling extremism, taking over as recruiting agent for extremists. I think that’s been done before, not least by one Tony Blair. Since then the world has erupted with bigger and better wars being fought. At the same time while we were distracted, banksters and company have increased their stranglehold on resources. It’s not unrelated – the arms industry is a nice little earner. So let’s blame extremists and everyone else for encouraging them. Problem they observe the speck in their eyes while ignoring the plank blinding them.
Cameron is hell bent on chasing extremists in Syria just as Blair insisted on going into Iraq. Then came Afghanistan, Libya etc. all erupting in flames. Britain had a taste at home 10 years back, probably due to the target Blair painted saying “shoot here”. They did exactly that, but Cameron can’t, won’t learn.
Since then of course the world had had its attention drawn to Gaza in particular and Palestine as a whole. Not a hint that this could be part, if not the root, of the problem. To celebrate Eid the Israeli Occupation Force is planning to demolish yet another Palestinian village. The world’s media appears to have walked away since the Gaza attack ended, leaving living conditions unbearable, but no one notices. If anything’s said then we’re all the extremist.
What happened at Orgreave is felt to prefigure Hillsborough. That enquiry has thrown up many deeply uncomfortable facts, some in common with Orgreave. The depth of violence, the testimony of police officers require investigation and accountability. The IPCC’s decision not to investigate Orgreave calls its independence into question once again. The time lapse between now and then is no excuse.
It is the deeply political nature of Orgreave which sets it apart from Hillsborough. The Thatcher-led government was determined that what happened following the Battle of Saltley Gate in Birmingham in 1972 should not be repeated. To Thatcher this reached epic proportions with references to “the enemy within” comparing trades unionists as comparable with Argentina’s attempts to claim the Falkland Islands as theirs.
For a change the Labour Party, or some of its leadership, has exercised an independence by supporting an enquiry. While the Home Secretary has said that she would take requests into consideration it is hardly likely that the Conservative Government would want these events put under a microscope and invite extended media coverage, although they could rely on a right wing supine press to give them the kind of support they have enjoyed for foisting austerity on the people and recreating the deeply divided nation Thatcher presided over. The lesson of Saltley Gate showed that power need not necessarily be one-sided but the miners’ strike more than a decade later did not learn from this>. A divided Trades Union movement and Labour Party failed to give the support that had been witnessed in Birmingham in 1972.
In Birmingham banking and finance are well-oiled as Capita marches on. Essential services have been slashed to the bone in the face of “Austerity”. Win or lose Capita and the like gain as if there is no tomorrow. The way they are going there will be no tomorrow as among their ranks the global warming flat earthers ensure that the priorities are with money, loads and loads of it. To the rest governments deliver “shock and awe” to the working people. “We are the Party for working people” intones Cameron as more is taken out of their mouths and delivered into the hands of C(r)apita and the like.
But you’ve seen nothing yet. What was once Blackwater in the USA won major contracts in areas which once the state firmly controlled. In Iraq their personnel became involved in the conduct of war. This was convenient to the state since they weren’t covered by the rules of war and Geneva convention. If their staff were killed or injured their families received no recognition or compensation. The Chief Executive of Blackwater was noted for is hatred of Islam and Muslims. Individuals like Dick Cheney held their shares. Naturally bigger and better wars were voted for by the wealth driven politicians. And so Capita. Now they are reaching further and further, higher and higher.
While some of Capita’s mates like G4S and Serco for fraud outsourcing marches on, and it is the giants who are going for the cream. They cherry pick the profitable services while the bits that are doubtful and unreliable sources of dosh – like A & E hospital services – are marginalise, even closed.
Is Capita efficient? The health service and local government haven’t found it so. It’s expensive and in Birmingham failed to deliver on taking over the call centre and IT systems.
Is Capita ethical? Small businesses who have worked with Capita haven’t found so according The Independent They are advisers to businesses to work off shore. Presumably they do so – so do they pay their taxes in a way that reflects their colossal hold on public and private services? Irrespective, Capita marches on a giant predator devouring local government as it cuts “essential services” to the bone making huge profits out of taxes. The Government has arranged it so that taxes we pay together with assets owned by us through our local council are handed over to the private sector. Groups like Capita can’t lose.
Truly amazing. The Tory LibDem Government are performing a spectacular high wire act, a look folks, no safety net! No this is not a remote country without resources, it is a well shod wealthy land where more and more are denied resources to feed, heat, house or clothe themselves by an overfed, self-satisfied elite. David Cameron, George Osborne, aided and abetted by Nick Clegg have, like so many in power, drawn up the ladder they climbed by taking away our essential services. They can well afford to do without the state assistance they revile labelling those affected scroungers and criminals. Their own tax dodging mates are heroes, now getting the occasional slap on the wrist to tell them not to be so naughty in future.
HSBC. What has it done wrong? Is it illegal? Well…er? Is it moral? Moral or not the Tory Party are cashing in big time.
The Labour Party are taking the opportunity to ask questions, but they too are a party of Capitalism, so how far can they go?
While Lancashire councillors dither about allowing fracking exploration to continue, residents of Oklahoma worry about earthquakes occurring daily in an area where the oil/shale gas companies have had their evil way.
The Lancashire Councillors it seems have no principled objection to fracking, they just fiddle round the edges objecting to noise and nuisance. The environmental harm and consequential health hazards apparent to their constituents don’t appear to be on their radar.
In the US today’s report of what is happening in Okaloma is a repeat of what happened in Ohio. Lancashire has already experienced them, but the fracking industry, while not denying their existence, likens them to a lorry rumbling past your house at the very worst. Who do you believe and trust when so much is at stake, with governments supporting the massively powerful corporations to the hilt?
North Dakota faced another problem, this time not an earthquake but a waste water spill. Interesting to know how this is contained but more importantly how leaks occur. All this is minimised and glossed over but not just by the corporations themselves, but by the politicians who get into bed with them. They should be representing us since we voted for them. The Corporations don’t and are totally unaccountable unless you’re a shareholder, that is. In that case you want bigger and better wars, food that makes you ill so you can sell medicines, and fracking until the world has an orgasm.
There’s a view, a concern that young people don’t vote or won’t vote. They will if there’s a good reason to. Conversely they won’t if there’s no reason not to. That’s why I’m looking at Greece today with a party described as “left wing” favourite to win because it has captured young people’s enthusiasm. “Austerity” the curse placed on the World, Europe and Greece in particular is being challenged. The Greeks have with Syriza a young candidate (as Greek leaders go) at 40 and there seems a point in going to the polls.
Last year hope was raised when Syriza performed well in the European elections. Anti-austerity demonstrations were fuelled in other European countries hit hard by the imposition placed on them because the ruling elite, recently seen in Davos, says it must be so. They have messed everything up with their Capitalist projects, and they want a cuddly friendly capitalism to sort things out. If that’s what the Greek ruling party thinks is possible, today may be the day when they’re told it’s not. Enough is enough.
Back in Germany the attitude to Greece articulated by a leading member of Angela Merkel’s party says why the Greek people need to exercise their independence.
The monster that is Capitalism is frightening the global elite involved in the consequences of their own making. Just like Frankenstein it is rampaging out of control. If you’re asset rich you just can’t help making more and more money while at the other end of the spectrum no cash means no food on the table, no heat and probably no roof over your head. The consequences of inequality can come back on you if you leave it spiralling out of control.
The lengths that the ruling elite will go to is illustrated with the passing of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Scarcely distinguishable in its barbaric practices from arch enemy ISIS (funded like other excoriated groups including Al Quaeda from Saudi sources) flags on official building are at half mast while leaders and royals are dispatched to Riyadh to cry crocodile tears.
Meanwhile back in Davos issues of earth shaking importance are announced. Prince Andrew has made his first public statement on allegations of sexual impropriety. Talk of global warming, international aid is all put into sharp perspective. This is all about 1% of the world’s population defining what the rest of us are supposed to be concerned about. Reality recedes.
Interestingly Christine Lagarde has been making references to Marx including “Capitalism sowing the seeds of its own destruction”. The idea of “inclusive Capitalism”, as with “cuddly Capitalism” and other ideas which bring to mind the idea of throwing scraps to dogs, is invoked. Capitalism by its nature is the absolute antithesis of such descriptions. Clearly others in attendance at Davos are bored out of their minds when such ideas are raised.
In Europe the Marxist response looks most likely to emerge in Greece at tomorrow’s election. Scaremongering has been rife, but as the report by Paul Mason on the state of the parties there shows, anyone tainted with “Austerity” is likely to be summarily dismissed by many making Syriza the favourite. The left are starved of political oxygen, very clearly in the UK, where the crackpots of UKIP are chased around by the media while Socialism remains an unmentionable word.
Latin American countries have developed economic and political alliances which have offered alternatives to the powerful nations in the north of the continent who continue to threat and destabilise where they can. Pressure has mounted against Venezuela following the death of Chavez, so the question is asked who will support them from going the way of Allende’s Chile? Once again it is necessary to go to alternative sources of information to get a picture.