TRUMP

I woke this morning to another devastating blow to democracy and freedom. Another shift to the right, that emphasises the differences between us all and highlights not what brings us together but which polarises us all apart.

The “Land of the Free”, the country to which the rest of the world look to for examples of democracy and true representative freedom have elected a man who has openly stated throughout his campaign, racist, misogynist and homophobic views about his own countrymen and women. Those he wishes to lead.

I am at a loss as to say what this will mean for the rest of the world because Trump has not articulated any political policies merely hatred of others. The worry of course is that so many people who then went on to defend or condone those views and voted for him to attain the highest office in the world, have ignored this.

I believe we can relate all of the seismic political shifts over the last few years, to the bankers who devastated the economies of the world through their greed and whilst they continued to collect their mega bonuses after a short period of contrition, more and more people lost out and became poorer and poorer. In the biggest capitalist project in the world this is unforgiveable and it only needed a Trump to emphasise those differences and create the necessary unrest to give us the result we have today.

Career politicians just don’t get it! We do not trust them. We don’t trust them to tell the truth, we don’t trust them to answer the question, we don’t trust them to act on our behalf, we don’t trust them to collect the taxes due from the rich, we don’t trust them to regulate the behaviour of bankers and other greedy capitalists and we don’t trust them to behave appropriately with their expenses.

 

And so we get BREXIT and Trump. Well Trump’s theme tune throughout was The Stones classic track “You don’t always get what you want” and that maybe true but perhaps we’re getting what we deserve?

 

“Black Lives Matter”?

Well actually all lives matter, you might say and of course you would be quite right. It isn’t just black lives that matter in any caring, democratic society but all it’s citizens irrespective of their difference. Surely that isn’t what the “Black Lives Matter” movement is trying to say, is it, that only black lives matter?

It’s trying to say that all lives do matter and in our society and throughout the world we live in, that if you are black or from a minority ethnic background, (BAME) your life does not matter as much as the others who inhabit the uplands of power and wealth, hold sway over your life as a black person, and are mostly white.

Over 1000 black people killed by police and only a minor number of prosecutions.

5 police officers killed by a lone gunman.

Virtual unfettered access to high-powered military assault weapons.

The civilian deployment of military technology, against citizens, in order to kill, rather than arrest.

Over 3000 people killed every year where guns and assault weapons are available to anyone who walks in off the street, with minimum checks on their suitability, to own such a weapon.

All this in the land of the free where all men originally and now women, are born equal!

It couldn’t happen here could it and why should it? We are not the USA and all people irrespective of their background are treated equally and we have legislation to ensure that fairness happens.

Right?

You may believe that, but for BME people in this country that is not how it feels. If one is black or Asian or from an Ethnic Minority (BAME), then what can you expect in this country?

You can expect: –

A higher risk of being stopped and searched by the police.

To be more harshly dealt with in a criminal court sentence than one’s white contemporaries.

To be more likely to receive a custodial sentence.

To be less favourably treated in job interviews, if you get to the interview stage.

To be less likely to rise to high political, legal, military or establishment office.

To be less likely to be well educated than one’s white peers.

To be less likely to own one’s own home.

To be more likely to be involved in crime and drugs.

If you believe that this is untrue then here are some statistics.

 

The UK population is some 63million. 13% are from a BAME background.

Custodial Sentences at Court. 27% White, 30% Black, 32% Asian.

Prison population is 25% BAME.

Judges, 6% BAME.

Police Chief officers, 5% BAME.

FTSE 100 Directors, 1.9% BAME.

Members of Parliament, 3% BAME.

Teachers, 6% BAME.

Military, 7% and Military Officers 2.4% BAME, with none above Brigadier rank.

University Professors, 92% are white.

There are over 500,000 stop searches by police per annum and 86% result in no arrest.

One is 7 times more likely to be stop searched by police if one is Black.

One is 5 times more likely to be stop searched by police if one is Asian.

 

All these statistics are available from current government sources and have not improved dramatically whatever political hue has been in government in the last 50 years since the Race Relations Act outlawed race discrimination in the 1960’s.

Yes that’s right!! The 1960’s!

I would argue that discrimination or systemic processed racism in society is so subtle and so nuanced that even some BAME people do not see it.

Let’s take the 2012 and 2016 Olympics as an example of this subtlety. There is a great feel good factor and adoption of many black icons in Olympic sport, which fulfills our need for nationalism and pride in our country. Mo Farah is proclaimed ‘one of us”, British and proud to bear the flag and most of the population will be pleased to see him knighted. None or little mention of his Somalian, Muslim heritage.

The great British public has assimilated Farah into the epitome of Britishness and there can be no room for anything else. One of the worst things a white person can say to a person of colour is “I don’t mean you, you’re one of us,” when referring to BAME people in general.

Returning to the Olympics, Rowing, Cycling, Equestrianism, Sailing, Tennis, Rugby, Hockey and Golf all have one thing in common. They are generally the preserve of the white middle classes, why? Because they cost a lot of money and so why be surprised when the people who dominate the medals in those sports for our country are white and middle class.

Which are the sports that cost very little to participate in and are almost always community based and not dominated by elite clubs and money and so indirectly lack of opportunity? Boxing, Track and Field.

Where does all the money go? To the elite sports where people who are privileged have the best opportunities, not to finding great BAME Hockey players, or Rowers or Cyclists, or Sailors etc from those communities, that because of systemic disadvantage cannot even show what they could do.

In the Sunday Times today 21/08/2016, quite rightly the contribution by LGBT competitors was highlighted. What a pity that all the pictorial representation was, you guessed it. White! Whenever gender imbalances in society are mentioned, again all the pictorial and anecdotal references are of white professional women

Cameron proudly proclaimed “One Nation” and we are all in it together, May declares to govern for all not just the privileged few.

Words are cheap and sound bites sound very nice to welcoming ears.

It is change we want and so when Black people stop holidaymakers heading to the ports blocking the roads by laying down in them under the banner of “Black Lives Matter” –they do!

 

 

 

Action or Apathy?

When I am asked, as I often am by people discussing politics and the state of humankind generally “Why are you so angry?’ my reply is “Why are you not?”

I find it astounding the acceptance by others of inequality and injustice and just general unfairness in our and other societies as greeted with “It’s just the way things are and we cannot change it”.

If we can’t, who can?

The lack of quality of leadership and gravitas exhibited by people in the institutions and the business world is breathtakingly arrogant and exudes entitlement and privilege. There is currently in recent times a litany of this as demonstrated in;

MP’s expenses, with very few prosecuted for what is theft, the referendum on Europe, prompted only by the internal machinations of the Tories and UKIP and which if BREXIT happens, to use the current parlance, will result in an inability of ordinary people to take their case to a higher European Court, thus reducing individual Human Rights even further. The LIBOR rate fixing scandal for which no-one has ever been prosecuted except a minor player but none of the big Bank bosses who organized it, the lack of accountability exacted against the instigators of the Iraq war, Blair and Bush, who in any other realm would be facing charges at the Hague Court, (perhaps that is why the Chilcott report is taking so long to produce) the current Investigatory Powers bill being whooshed through parliament which will invade our privacy beyond belief in the name of “Security” , The shrinking of the Freedom of Information Act which will prevent us from knowing more and more about what our elected leaders do and hold them accountable for it. Further afield, the FIFA fiasco in which millions of dollars have been illegally appropriated by a few corrupt people and again no prosecutions yet, the IOC debacle where the Deputy Seb Coe has now been elected to oversee a reform when he originally did not want the extensive doping revelations publicised by The Sunday Times and insists he knew nothing about them, tax evasion and fraud on an industrial scale by the rich and corporations, depriving ordinary hard working and tax paying citizens of their right to good healthcare, education, infrastructure and security The litany goes on and on and still the privileged elite continue to dominate our societies, impervious to any sanctions either legal or imposed by their peers.

Furthermore, the unelected in this country deciding on new legislation and having access to government to lobby policy decisions, as endemic in the Business Corporations, the House of Lords and the Monarchy.

Why wouldn’t one be angry?

Clearly the only non-violent way for this to be overturned and to increase the accountability of the elite is more transparency not less. 25 per cent of people voted for this Government, which is not 25 per cent of the country but only 25 per cent of those who voted, which was 66 per cent. How can this be democratic?

7 per cent of the people attend public schools and then go on to populate by over 50 per cent the best universities and then through their networks occupy all the best and elitist positions in society across all the public and private institutions. How can that be democratic and demonstrate equality?

So, how do we answer this? Perhaps the people of Iceland most recently have answered, by causing their Prime Minister to resign due to the overwhelming demonstrations against him in light of his family involvement in the Panama tax evasion/avoidance scandal currently rocking the international media.

We need more internationally agreed transparency in all business dealings so that no longer will people and corporations be able to move money around anonymously and avoid the tax in the country in which they earn their money.

All countries should legislate a form of the Freedom of Information Act to cover all public services and businesses.

Genuine democracy in the form of Proportional Representation, which causes politicians to work together, and not against each other for the benefit of all people should be the norm.

And so nationally in Great Britain: –

  1. Give wider powers to the Freedom of Information Act and include companies.
  2. Bring in proportional representation now.
  3. Reduce Government spying on it’s own citizens.
  4. Hold the Police and Intelligence agencies accountable for their actions.
  5. Get rid of the Monarchy and House of Lords.
  6. Set up an open business register for all companies showing all associated companies and locations and the Directors.

 

Conclusion.

We are sick and tired of the lack of leadership, which puts self interest before ethics as constantly demonstrated by the rich and powerful of the world. We can only change things by holding them to account. That can only happen if we insist our politicians enact legislation, which allows that to happen, and wrongdoers are punished in the courts, either nationally or internationally.

We can only ensure this happens if we hold politicians to these principles in their manifestos and what they do in office and if they do not then vote them out. As demonstrated in Iceland, the people can be very powerful without violence.

Nuclear Deterrence or not?

As a professional soldier for over two decades, soldiering through the Cold War of the sixties, seventies and eighties, I was briefed and learnt the principles of nuclear deterrence which I never really questioned as they seemed to make so much sense to me. Surely, it was sensible that if the enemy had nuclear weapons then so should we, in order to deter them from using them. It also seemed to work, Europe had over 70 years of relative peace and even though the political philosophies of East and Western Europe were completely at odds, it never manifested itself in all out European war and we enjoyed the most peaceful period across the continent since time began.

Business flourished as a result, borders became open and European countries drew ever closer to each other despite their differences. Then in 1989 the unthinkable happened and the Cold War ended with the symbolic destruction of the Berlin wall. What can be wrong with nuclear deterrence if it can achieve all that?

The primary principle of nuclear deterrence, I was taught, was based upon the theory of “Graduated Response”. This means that we never resort to the ultimate destructive nuclear weapons we possess but in fact gradually increase our response to the threat posed. So, in any conflict situation we respond initially with conventional weapons, and then escalate to tactical battlefield nuclear weapons and finally intercontinental nuclear weapons whilst constantly keeping all diplomatic channels open to resolve the political issues before the conflict is escalated. Deterrence is based on the fact that the enemy never knows or can guess our level of response and so by keeping them guessing we never enter into a nuclear response and peace is maintained. Ultimately, we always keep the option of any of these responses as a first strike option. I therefore ignored the CND marchers, passing them off as naïve do-gooders and never voted for Foot and the Labour party during this time of my militancy.

And then a funny thing happened. Corbyn got elected to lead the Labour party and he again espoused what I believed to be a dead dogma of nuclear disarmament once again and this got me thinking about the subject once more and my conclusions surprised me completely.

To replace Trident will cost upwards of £50Bn and we know from past experience how these costs can often spiral out of control and so the cost maybe a lot more than that. The current government is adamant we need this deterrence in light of how dangerous the world is at the moment with the threats posed by Putin (now also in Syria militarily and Ukraine) Islamic State and the threat that poses in the Middle East, the turmoil in the Levant, mostly caused by our illegal war in Iraq and the constant thorn in the side of peace in the region caused by the military autonomy of the Israelis and their persecution of the Palestinians with complete impunity and lack of action and in fact subliminal support by the West.

Whether any of these threats will ever require the ultimate nuclear response is very doubtful.

So the use of our nuclear weapons to be effective will either require a pre-emptive strike or a retaliatory strike. It is upon this basis that we maintain the peace. No state will contemplate the use of nuclear weapons because the opposition hold the ultimate response of complete destruction of our enemies either pre-emptively or retaliatory.

Let us then examine the pre-emptive strike option.

Can anybody ever imagine the circumstances in which we will use a pre-emptive strike against our enemies? Throughout all the wars, which have happened throughout the world since the end of the Second World War, no nuclear weapon has ever been deployed. I believe this is because the response would be so catastrophic to us that the benefit of deploying it to bring the enemy to heel would be lost in military, political and economic terms.

It would effectively be like shooting ourselves in the foot. When engaged in conflict with enemies who did not possess nuclear weapons, the end clearly did not justify the means, and so we have never used them, again for the reasons given.

A pre-emptive strike is a game changer bringing about Armageddon and no military benefits.

Let us now examine the retaliatory strike option.

The only circumstance in which this could happen would be in response to an incoming nuclear strike, but the same rules apply to our enemies as to us and so when would an enemy use the nuclear pre-emptive strike option when trying to exercise political will against us? That’s the first question. My next question is, even if they did use a nuclear strike against us what benefits do we achieve militarily by a retaliatory strike. If it means we then stop the conflict, that’s fine but we don’t know and never will know that.

So this leads me to the question, how effective is nuclear deterrence?

I now believe that there is no justification for spending huge amounts of public money on a tool, which will never be used and does nothing to keep us safe and secure. I now believe, like Corbyn and many other people over the years like him, who advocated using that public money, particularly in todays economic climate, to bolster public services and improve the capability of our Armed Services, where I believe our primary and ultimate deterrent lays.

I am not a pacifist and firmly believe in national self defence and that military action is the ultimate extrapolation of political policy. What I cannot believe is the huge cost, which this government tries to dupe us into believing is required to preserve our national safety, whilst ignoring the plight of the poor and underprivileged in our society during these very difficult economic times.

£50Bn would go a long long way.

Benefit Entitlement or Charitable Patronage

This government has demonised benefit claimants and now reduces benefits on the back of a political mantra which portrays all benefits claimants as scroungers and feckless wasters. Much of the electorate have clearly swallowed this lie (even the previous Labour Party administration under Harriet Harman) and support government moves to cap benefits for all including working people by reducing working tax benefits whilst allowing employers to continue to exploit “hard working aspirational” people (the governments words) to work on zero hours contracts at a minimum wage, which it is recognised has fallen far below the level of a living wage, thus further increasing working and non- working poverty.

In any civilised society where a huge amount of wealth is created such as ours, (The 4th largest economy in the world) there is a recognition that not everybody can be financially successful as everybody else. This is due to the intrinsic difficulties in creating a fair society where the rich get richer through their elite networks and establishment power and the less advantaged have less access and opportunity. Therefore the government through taxation wishes to equalise this difference by creating a welfare system which prevents people going hungry, homeless, and without the opportunity to progress through education and training. It is not based on subjective factors but objectively assesses individual need and distributes on that basis. (There maybe a good case to means test therefore and eliminate universal benefits).

Cameron recently, in political terms, espoused a political philosophy called the “Big Society”, this was actually a wish to return to the Victorian era of philanthropy where business guilds and crafts would set up financial trusts which subjectively gave monies and help to people who applied for it and who they believed “deserved” their help. This was a value driven basis for giving and inevitably some applicants did not reach the required level of “acceptance” by the Boards dishing out the money. A great example is JB Priestley’s play – An Inspector Calls.

The Labour government in 1945 recognised that this was fundamentally wrong and that the state had a role to play in ensuring that citizens in need should be looked after by government and not the subjective wishes and values of well meaning but unenlightened interventionists. This fundamentally and still does oppose the Tory political philosophy of self determination and the fact that it is not the role of state to help individual citizens. Unfortunately with a Tory majority and a certain five years in government we can expect much more of the same. The rich will inevitably get richer and the poor will inevitably get poorer under this austere regime.

That does not detract from the fact that we have created a society where people do have entitlements and that includes the entitlement to benefits when needed and those should not be subject to the whims and vagaries of people imposing their values and beliefs on the recipients, which is ostensibly how this government is transforming the benefits system and encouraging people to believe that it is their money that they are giving away, to people who do not deserve it.

In the recent book The Great Tax Robbery by Richard Brooks, he demonstrates the lie perpetrated by this government by emphasising the facts. For every £1Bn of tax/benefit fraud there are 9000 prosecutions for benefit fraud and only 5 for tax evasion by the big companies and rich individuals, but only £1Bn represents benefit fraud whereas over £30Bn is represented by tax avoidance/evasion. Therefore, this incumbent government bring the full force of the law to bear on the poorest in society whilst ignoring the richest and their criminality.

To summarise, when a person says I am entitled to the benefits provided, then, they are and we should not be hankering for a return to where people stood in line to beg from rich benefactors who often would say No! based on prejudice and discrimination.

The “Great Trek” to Freedom

We now see huge swathes of humanity trekking across Europe to seek freedom. Freedom from oppression, freedom from persecution, freedom from totalitarianism and lastly freedom from lack of hope. The power of people to exercise their innate freedom is expressed in the determination of the “little trek” from Budapest’s Keleti rail station to the Austrian Border. People are fleeing the wars we in the West, either directly or indirectly started and then did not deal with in terms of the post conflict construction, both economic and political.
We then see the political leaders of Europe, with the exception of Angela Merkel (who will be the next recipient of the Nobel peace prize?) like rabbits in the headlights, as no longer are people just grainy images on our TV screens and people we can ignore whilst collecting money to salve our consciences to send to the refugee camps where they are incarcerated for years, but now sleeping on the streets of the great European cultural centres’ such as Vienna, Berlin, Budapest et al. Meanwhile, I am deeply ashamed at the xenophobic and selfish attitude of my own country. A country that I fought for and thought, believed in democracy, freedom, justice and social equality. I am deeply ashamed that we elect a Prime Minister who unlike Angela Merkel, washes his hands in public, much like Pontius Pilate did over 2000 years ago and says “This is not our problem”, purely for such transparent and narrow political interests.
Of course it is our problem, it is also the problem of the rest of Europe in which Germany is taking the lead. The world is no longer defined by national borders or narrow nationalistic interests. These things no longer define our world; it is defined by all of humanity irrespective of colour, religion, faith, gender and all those other characteristics, which define us as individuals.
People define it. People, who wish to be safe, work and be treated as equals, care for their family, get educated and make their way in this life, irrespective of their socio-economic background. People are curious, innovative, creative and determined and so no matter how much the European politicians rail against the sea of humanity seeking a better life, then they had better deal with them and not ignore them.
Surely it is not beyond the wit of a sophisticated and developed Western Europe to recognise that now is the time for leadership not prevarication and blame transference. Take responsibility and recognise that the problem is twofold.
Deal with the wars and unrest in the Arab region, this must include the Israeli-Palestinian problem and surely the answer is a two-state solution, and secondly, set up reception centres in Europe, process people as either Asylum seekers or economic migrants and then allocate to individual countries based on a system of land mass, GDP and familial association. There is also the thorny question of what is America’s role in this humanitarian crisis, which they are also in part responsible for. Obama appears to be very quiet on the whole issue and needs to lead the United Nations towards a pan global solution
This will not go away, the “Great Trek” has begun and once again the world is changing.

Mrs Justice Pauffley and Rachel Dolezal- Opposite ends of the Spectrum

There is a clear link I believe between the recent case of the judge Mrs Justice Pauffley’s comments relating to the way she dismissed the case against an Indian man beating his 7-year-old son, in UK, in which she maintained that “ proper allowance must be made for what is, almost certainly a different cultural context” and the parallel case in the USA of the white woman Rachel Dolezal claiming to be black and leading the Spokane Washington branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured (Black) people, (NAACP) America’s oldest civil rights group. A black British female novelist being interviewed on the subject on Channel 4 News on Friday 13th June said, “It should only be a black person leading a civil rights organisation”.

In the first case both white and black people are up in arms about Pauffley’s comments and yet in Dolezal’s case it is mainly black people who are not happy about her claim to a black identity. (Excepting of course the NAACP, who is still not sure how to deal with being hoodwinked by someone who has done such great work for the civil rights movement in USA).

So what is the link?

In the end it is down to our own individual worldview. If we agree that any discrimination is an exercise of power in some form or another then Racism is also a demonstration of power against another based on colour, race or nationality.

 

Let us take the case of Pauffley. When one examines the case it is clear that on the “Balance of Probabilities” she found the man not guilty of using a belt to chastise his son. Therefore he used reasonable punishment, which is legal.

She also found that the man had abused his wife violently, but this was never reported in the popular media.

It is however her world view which brings into question her judgement as a High Court Judge.

She has used her power and not a legal basis on which to make mitigation in favour of the Indian accused. If she had not mentioned the man’s ethnicity and only a made a judgement based on the facts, the findings would have been seen to be just and fair, irrespective if people had disagreed with her findings. What came first, her worldview and then her findings or her findings and then her worldview?

By adding the comments she made she may have effectively ‘positively discriminated’ in favour of the accused, therefore using her power inappropriately.

 

Let us take the second case. Rachel Dolezal has undoubtedly been a great advocate of Civil Rights as the President of the Spokane branch of NAACP in Washington. (I am personally not in favour of the use of the word ‘Coloured” when referring to Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people), however, her excellent work in this arena goes without saying. She may have broken the law in declaring her ethnicity as African American in any application for work. It is also true that she has been dishonest in stating she is black when clearly she is not. That is not the issue, the issue is her mind set at the time of entering the world of civil rights and wishing to do good work in that field and maybe feeling, look if I am not black will I be accepted? and clearly listening to the backlash from the black community on this subject she may well have been right. Is it racist to exclude somebody on the basis of the colour of his or her skin? Of course it is.

Any exercise of power to exclude people based on the factor of colour is wrong.

 

The link is that racism is much more nuanced, subtle and multi-faceted and layered than ever before and we all need to look at it differently, both from the law and our own individual worldview.

There is racism between white and black, and within the black community.

I have personally experienced the racism in the Caribbean of racism between Africans and Indians; I have observed the racism within tribes in Africa, and also in the Middle East between Arabic sects. I have also observed the racism between these groups in our own society. We need to stop looking at colour and start looking at behaviour and the reasons for that behaviour, so that people cannot hide behind the old adage of “I’m not racist but”!

Actions or lack of action determines racism and all other forms of discrimination together with, not just colour, race, nationality, gender, gender reassignment, age, sexual orientation, faith and religion.

This is a monumental shift in view, which society and the politicians need to understand. It is not just good enough to reflect society because we immediately get drawn into a numbers game of this amount of these people and this amount of those people. Big picture thinking means we create opportunity for everyone through education, training, a level playing field in terms of advancement in the workplace, pay, contracts of work and the access to the law, housing and safety and security for all. Only in that way will we create a society capable of true integration. A society where actually it’s OK for someone who is white to be accepted enough to lead a civil rights group and where an Indian boy who is beaten by his father receives the justice he deserves.

The “Establishment” is Back!

As a result of the recent election are we now firmly back in an Establishment led society which will now reinforce the hold of the rich and powerful on society and create further inequality through a neo liberal approach to the free market allowing more wealth to be accumulated by the few?

I suggest that we are and that the ramifications of the Tory majority will be exactly that.

Does the Establishment even exist? I would suggest it does, although defining it and the demarcation of its boundaries is notoriously difficult.

 

So, what is the “Establishment”?

I define it as: –

The “Establishment” is a portal within which ultimate power exists and from which others are excluded access. It resides in the accumulation of wealth through select networks and the activities of its members’ are hidden from the scrutiny of the rest of us.

 

Evidence of this “activity” crosses the boundaries of politics, business, the media, law, the police (who are unwitting guardians of it), the Church, the Armed Services and many major institutions. Members of this select coterie are bound together by the most nebulous of societal factors but the overwhelming common denominator is wealth and the accumulation of it and protecting that activity from scrutiny.

One of the ordinary person’s direct challenges to this discrete power was the Human Rights Act through Europe. The Tories now intend to rid themselves of this piece of International legislation which may hold the establishment to account and even to rid us of the opportunity eventually to redress through Europe at all by hiding behind Europe constituting a threat to our national democracy and leaving it through the “will of the people” in a referendum.

I guess we all know instinctively the spin that will be placed through the media barrage leading up to the referendum on whether we should vote Yes or No to staying in Europe. The question of course is how well informed we will be at the point of voting.

Our democracy of course is a nonsense. Since time immemorial, From Lord Salisbury as Prime Minister questioning the opening of the voting franchise to the whole of society, the Establishment has only ever tried to maintain the balance of its power against the ordinary people feeling so angry as to resort to revolution and overthrow them.

25% of people voted for the current government-is that really democracy? Then we are fed the spin that this is the best way to achieve stable government. It is also the best way for a minority of people to maintain power over the majority and use legislation enacted by them to continue to help their cronies accumulate more power and wealth which they will have access to when they leave government or even whilst they are in government through “outside interests”. They will do this by boundary changes thus getting re-elected next time and also ensuring that the state continues to support businesses by subsidising wages in the form of benefits to workers and allowing workers to be a flexible and accessible commodity through zero hours contracts. Nice work if you can get it, so vote Tory.

 

If you voted Tory and in the future you cannot get a GP’s appointment, or the medicines for yours or a member of your family’s illness, or your operation which you need to prevent yourself dying in the near future is months away, or the council charge you to collect your rubbish, or you are unable to either rent or buy a house, or the police will not come to help you if you are a victim of crime or any of the things which you expect in a free and democratic country, then don’t complain, because that’s what you voted for and the rich and powerful who are being supported by the government you voted for have no need to worry about these things because they have the wealth to pay for them as individuals.

This is not the politics of envy but of justice and equality. My daughter sometime ago asked me “Can you be a rich Socialist”? And on closer discussion it was clear that she was struggling with the idea of being a socialist and owning a business or accumulating wealth.

My answer was “Yes, you can, if you build a business and create wealth which is shared with the people who create the wealth for you in the shape of a living wage, pensions, sick pay and you pay the taxes due, albeit less profit for yourself, then why not”?

 

The Monarchy is probably the biggest and most powerful member of the “Establishment” exercising subtle but provocative power over all of us. The Monarchy after the 17th century was meant to be nothing more than a ceremonial tradition of our unwritten constitution. Then why is Prince Charles, the future king, first of all, writing to various powerful figures in society to share his views on government policy and then being openly shielded by the very people he has written to, post the judicial decision to publish his “private” letters? Even his own son defended him and so clearly he doesn’t understand the role of Monarchy in today’s society and if they do not understand, that they are our public servants, should they continue?

 

If we do not question and challenge the “Establishment” how will we ever achieve justice and equality? Because they would have us believe that they have our best interest at heart. If you believe that, then don’t cry when it becomes untrue for you and there is no redress.

Why Wage War?

War is not merely a political act but a real political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, a carrying out of the same by other means.

Carl von Clausewitz

 

I believe we face some of the most dangerous times globally for all mankind in the world today.

We have fought the wars we should never have fought and we are not fighting the wars we should be fighting.

 

Blair and Bush as I have previously written, by their stupidity and misplaced ideology based on revenge and religious hatred have waged wars using lies and mendaciousness, even against the will of the vast majority of the electorate who put them in power. Certainly in UK the demonstrations against the Iraq war were large and the voices vociferous. Most people when asked do not know why we were in Afghanistan for over 10 years with very little result. Both countries continue to be in political turmoil and in the midst of continuing sectarian bloodshed directly as a result of the actions of these two men.

 

In any other context they would be tried at the Hague.

 

Mission not Accomplished!!

 

We now find ourselves with the most dire circumstances of any Commander – —— A war on two fronts! —– Ukraine and Syria/Iraq

So what is to be done?

 

If we do nothing rest, assured Putin will continue to expand his borders, as we have seen all dictators traditionally do from earliest times right up to the last World War.

ISIS will continue to expand their ideology of a Caliphate and the ramifications for the extended period of world peace will be devastating.

I personally do not want to live in a world dominated by a fundamental interpretation of a religion of peace on the one hand and a Communist autocracy, that stultifies, individual creativity, freedom, business and the right to live with respect and dignity for all.

 

These are wars we need now to fight in concert with other like minded countries including the Eastern European countries who are most threatened by Russia and the Arab countries who are most threatened by ISIS.

If the world bands together against these twin evils we can and will win, because the alternative is too hard to bear for our children and future generations.

 

Do we have the will to fight; if we do not then we cannot complain at the brutality of these twin regimes as they have given us ample evidence of their intent over us.

 

We must for our own safety rise to arms.

 

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

Sun Tzu

 

Somewhere between these wise sayings from Von Clausewitz and Sun Tsu we must find an answer.

The art of war is many and varied and we must use all means at our disposal to protect our way of life, but if war is the only political extrapolation left to us we must not shirk from the unpleasantness of defending ourselves.

 

Labour or Tory – This General Election?

Once you cut through all the fog and smoke produced by both parties, I believe there is a clear choice to be made by the voters.

Labour

Reduce the deficit more slowly.

Raise taxes

Maintain public spending.

Remain in Europe

Tory

Reduce the deficit as quickly as possible.

Reduce taxes

Reduce Public Spending significantly

Get out of Europe.

Create a Neo Liberal business culture.

So Labour appears to be moving left in line with Socialist principles and away from Blair’s Neo Liberal fudge when he tried to appear to be all things to all people in a naked pursuit of power.

The Tories are advocating a return to the right wing principles of Thatcher.

This all against a world which is more dangerous now than ever, increasing sectarian divisions becoming more apparent in our society and the need for a government of all the people and not just the few. A government that looks outward and not inwards, a government that supports the Rule of Law and good governance, a government that leads ethically and with integrity both individually and as a group.

The other parties are nothing more than a sideshow, which the voters take great delight in taunting the major parties of Labour and Tory into some response guided by nothing more than narrow societal interests such as immigration and fear of other.

They are not relevant to the major issues facing a future government.

How then to vote?

If you seek more equality, fairness and consistency in Health, Education, Local Government, Business and Foreign policy across the whole of society, then I suggest Labour will do that more significantly.

If you are happy to have less equality, fairness and consistency across those things, which are key to our entire well being, where those in the minority who have, either increase what they have or remain with what they have, then the Tories are for you.

This is clearly demonstrated today in Cameron’s speech to the Chambers of Commerce where he asked them to raise peoples wages which in the following interviews were roundly rejected by all those attending, saying leave wages to business and they expressed surprise that a Tory leader would even comment on wages to the business community.

Where the HSBC scandal rolls on and on (this one has more legs than most) and government chose to do nothing once they were told. Naturally the Tories deny they were told. Perhaps they should have asked, as everyone else knew about the industrial tax evasion by the UK rich. Government has denied a conspiracy of course, but how can we believe anything else when all those who have been involved in this criminal behavior are not prosecuted or even investigated, ostensibly it seems because they are rich, powerful and well known, vis a vis Savile, LIBOR etc.

This country is crying out for a leadership style which is open, honest, lacking in discrimination and providing good health services, education and opportunities to all our citizens irrespective of class, colour, creed or social background.

It seems to me that Labour although they get it wrong at times provide that, whereas the Tories blatantly only appeal to a minority of the electorate which the first past the post system is complicit in facilitating their grab of executive power.

We cannot afford to get it wrong, as the next 5 years are crucial to the national well being of everyone not just the chosen.