Monthly Archives: November 2009

Election in Honduras. Problem solved?

An election in Honduras has brought a new player into power as neither the acting president Micheletti or the previously elected leader Zelaya were on the ballot paper. To the western world the “democratic” ballot has provided a way out so they can now recognise the new set up. At one time the Obama administration had offered support for the reinstatement of Zelaya. A low key Honduran delegation to the US found they were unable to make it stick in spite of previous assurances from Hilary Clinton. In stark contrast Latin American states forging a new way forward do not accept the outcome.
The earlier coup had been watched with concern as the report from Venezuela shows with many identifying with Zelaya’s supporters. They remembered the attempted coup of 2002 which had tried to move Hugo Chavez from office.
In Honduras an unprecedented turn out of over 60% is reported but so are irregularities in the election process, including claims of violence against supporters of Zelaya who they continue to believe is rightfully president, as does Zelaya himself.
The question remains will socialism eventually come to Honduras as it has to many other states in the region. They have put into place programmes in which health and education have reached far more, particularly dispossessed indigenous peoples,

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Watch the price of GM crops rise and rise along with Monsanto’s profits

American farmers are crying because the price of the genetically modified crops, which now account for most of the nation’s crops, has risen and keeps rising. Did we ever want them? Many have been warning about them and the unproven eefect they will have on the environment, but when it comes to the market then there are no arguments. Big business has the power to dictate and governments fall into kine. Often we discover that the politicians have brought into the shares anyway or may have been exposed to the influential lobbyists they employ.
Meanwhile back at the ranch DEFRA among others are pressing for the advancement of GM crops here. While there\s a moral argument, seems there’s a fairly big economic one to stop this crazy idea getting out of hand too. I received the following by e-mail.

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More sell offs: British Waterways

The following has been sent to me and I urge your support:
Re; Sell-off of British Waterways assets:
Below are several news items that explain the government proposals for the sell-off and for those wishing to sign the petition the link is highlighted.
The basic political implications of this proposed sell-off is the fact that everything is now up for sale and that the need to privatise is the only policy that the mainstream parties have. This applies to everything in society, including education and health. SLP policy is completely opposed to such privatisation.

Help persuade government not to sell British Waterways’ assets

British Waterways cares for 2,200 miles of the country’s canals and rivers.
MONDAY, 16TH NOVEMBER 2009 05:04:26 GMT
Last Updated: Monday, 16 November 2009, 01:04 GMT

British Waterways will resist any Treasury proposals to sell off £500 million worth of properties it owns alongside the nation’s rivers and canals, chairman Tony Hales has indicated.
The property portfolio is understood to be under consideration for inclusion in a massive sell-off of Government assets announced by Gordon Brown last week, which is intended to raise £16 billion by 2014 to help bring down the national debt.
But Mr Hales warned that income from the property was needed to support the organisation’s work maintaining 2,200 miles of canals and rivers.
—– Original Message —–
From: david lowe
There is some concern that the government may consider selling off BW’s property portfolio and while this might provide a ‘pot of cash’ short term (if it went to BW and not to the Treasury) there would be less funding available from investments in the future to pay for waterway maintenance unless the government funded BW directly like roads and railways. If you wish to object please see below.
Best regards
David Lowe
Secretary, CBOA

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Blackwater still at large

Erik Prince the chief of Blackwater is a known for his crusade against Islam and Muslims in Iraq, yet here us the firm operating with the US military in Pakistan.
Officially the US does not have military operations in Pakistan, but the Nation report speaks of Blackwater operatives in Karachi. It is believed that work includes snatch squads to hunt down and kidnap suspected members of Al Quaeda, including Osama Bin Laden himself.

What happens when you leave ….. to the private sector? !. Health

There has been a lot of unhappiness about the outsourcing of contracts by the NHS not least to cleaning hospitals. Privatisation of public services always ends in tears whether railways, postal services, prisons, education,, you name it. Here more chickens have come home at Kingston Hospital. People living in the UK without papers have been employed and then payed below the already low rates of workers in the field. They have been kept silent by threats of exposure.
The union Unison has long campaigned about cut price cleaning in hospitals gathering evidence about increased infections resulting from it. The firm, ISS Mediclean, is contracted by many more hospitals throughout the UK so the Kingston Hospital exposure could be the tip of a very large iceberg.

We will never …….

Gordon Brown’s latest words, those uttered so often by political leaders in the face impending disaster. “we will never…” – in this case “appease the Taliban”. In this case the alternative is “we will appease the (self-apparently fraudulent) government of Mohammed Karzai”. And David Milliband is off to do just that as he is installed for a further term.
Who is the “Taliban” is a moot point since those inside Afghanistan see it as a very inexact term which can cover diverse groups and interests, including those who don’t care much for Karzai’s way of operating. Difficult to criticise them isn’t it?
I had thought that the British Government had already noted a difference between “good” and “bad’ Taliban with the intention to “reintegrate”, but if these are groups willing to compromise with a government admittedly corrupt perhaps they are the wrong ones to work with!

An Appeal from the beleaguered Palestinian village of Bil’in

Bil’in suffers from constant bullying from the so called Israel Defence Force. Its tactics involves the constant indiscriminate use of sophisticated weaponry, incursions into the village to kidnap citizens, including children, firing CS gas, foul water, rubber coated steel bullets etc. Many international visitors have been harmed by these when they have joined the weekly protest when villagers march to the wall which cuts them off from their land. Yet all the time Israel are appeased. This is, I believe, because Israel is the representative of International Capitalism and upholds the interest of powerful lobbies across the western world, but particularly in the United States. Poor people everywhere can’t compete. The arms industry flourishes not only in Israel since arms are manufactured on their behalf in the Midlands of the UK, for example. Even with the eyes of the world on them they continue to behave in barbaric, uncivilised ways, flouting International Law with impunity. I am also aware that the majority of the Jewish community are deeply disturbed by what the Israeli Government does as it appears to many to be in their name. Soem of the community are the most vociferous, outspoken critics. Young people who speak out in Israel are subject to the harsh and brutal treatment familiar to Palestinians.

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So what excuse has Brown for continuing to sent cannon fodder to Afghanistan

Gordon Brown’s latest speech gave every reason for not continuing to send more and more young people into harms way. It supports a crooked government and each time there are multiple deaths the repeated intonations “we shall remember them” sounds more and more vacuous.
The one reason given for staying “that it makes us all safer” is all decidedly odd. The presence of occupying forces, the death, destruction and general chaos to ordinary people is the greatest recruiting agent imaginable.
All this has been said time and time but the old speeches are dragged out of the drawer. Who do they persuade? Certainly most of the British population are dead against troops remaining in Afghanistan. The only people rubbing their hands are the arms companies and their shareholders. If this and Iraq go away they will look for bigger and better wars. The sad Simon Mann, released from his Congo prison last week after singing like canary at his trial, made millions as an arms trader before his involvement in the Wonga Coup. Presumably he’ll take this up again and carry on where he left off.

Zelaya’s return to power in Honduras fails

The ousted President Zelaya of Honduras refused to share power with the leader of the coup after he learned that he would not be leading. “It’s absurd what they are doing, trying to mock all of us, the people who elected me and the international community that supports me. We’ve decided not to continue this theatre with Mr Micheletti,” Zelaya said. (Source Guardian 7/11/2009).
While the coup has been widely condemned by the international community Micheletti has the characteristics of a CIA agent as a series of vents leading up to his seizure of power suggest.

Reporting Venezuela

Getting the facts about places like Venezuela, right off the map for the western press unless mocking their attempts to make life better for ordinary people. In this case Michael Moor (Farenheit 9/11) tells a story about meeting with President Hugo Chavez in Venice when he is disturbed by partying on the floor above. Michael says he went upstairs and knocked on the door which was opened by security guard with Chavez right behind. An hour or so and a few bottles of tequila later Moore claims he helped Chavez write his speech. Evidently Chavez doesn’t drink, and security for the President is a little greater than Moore says. Chavez says what he believes and doesn’t use a teleprompter so it seems unlikely he uses speech writers and certainly not Moore. Seems the whole episode was a fabrication. What do you think?