Murdoch – a toxic stream since 1919 . . .

July 27th, 2011

Heinz Fuchs, poster, Germany, 1919

An  article in Counterpunch reveals the true legacy of the Murdoch newspaper empire stretches back to those defining years just after World War One at the beginning of the last century.

During the recent hearing into the phone-hacking scandal in the British Parliament – when Rupert Murdoch received a pie in the face despite the efforts of his wife to apprehend the shaving-foam assassin –  he claimed that his father [‘a modest newspaper proprietor’] had left him one small provincial newspaper to run, which Rupert had then transformed into a media empire.
He also made claims about his father’s role in exposing the ‘scandal of Gallipoli’, which Ian Jack in The Guardian dismissed as – at the least – an exaggeration;
Sir Keith was “not rich” only by Rupert’s standards, and the disclosure of the mess at Gallipoli owed at least as much to the Daily Telegraph’s reporter, Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, as to him.
The article in Counterpunch describes how ;
Rupert’s father, Sir Keith, founded the dynasty during World War I as a dirty-tricks minion for “Billy” Hughes, probably Australia’s nastiest prime minister.
It then tells how after a malicious anti-semitic campaign against the Jewish General in charge of  the Australian troops – which failed – Keith Murdoch threw the weight of his paper’s influence behind the parties at Versailles who were determined to exact the cruellest vengeance on the German population.
Already starving, and with large areas of Germans being either ethnically-cleansed or handed over to neighbouring powers, the continuing blockade as well as the financial sanctions imposed on the German economy proved a fertile ground for the early versions of the Nazi party – the Freikorps and Nationalists – to grow and prosper in the desperate climate.

At Versailles, Keith was Billy’s ever-present aide in striving to make the Peace Conference into a vicious cock-up, rich in racist and imperialist content. Curiously, the pair would have had zero leverage but for the failure of a plot of Keith’s, which sought in 1918 to remove Australia’s battlefield commander on the Western Front, John Monash, for being an unheroic Jew. (Monash wrote home that it was a bore having to fight a “pogrom” at the same time as fight Ludendorff.) The overall commander, General Douglas Haig, wouldn’t play: and Monash’s divisions led the British breakthrough at Amiens which, ruining Ludendorff, put Germany – suddenly, unexpectedly– at the Allies’ mercy. Haig and other soldiers hoped there might be space for a decent peace. But politicians of various brands thought otherwise and none outdid Keith’s boss in vengeful demagoguery,  destroying at last all the credit Monash had gained for Australia. Billy and Keith weren’t prime authors of the Versailles debacle in 1919. But none toiled harder in its cause.

Murdoch’s other smokescreen – that he is an outsider battling the Establishment; a representative of the common man is also demolished in another Counterpunch article called The Phony Populism of Rupert Murdoch ;

The ‘Dirty Digger’ himself might have lacked the right accent, but even when he was first challenging the newspaper establishment, he was scarcely proletarian. Murdoch inherited his first paper, the Adelaide News, from his father, Sir Keith; he did his schooling at Geelong Grammar, a quintessential finishing college for the rich and entitled that also educated a young Prince Charles.

The journalist David Marr tells of attending a lecture in which Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert’s son, denounced the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for drawing attention to his shenanigans in the mobile phone business: the particular program in question was, he said, a ‘disgracful and biased attack’ by ‘our media elite’. So powerful has the peculiar vocabulary of New Class anti-elitism become that a man born into the most powerful media dynasty the world has ever seen can still present himself, without any trace of irony whatsoever, as an outsider being done down by society’s rulers.

Since Murdoch’s appearance at the Parliamentary Committee, a number of other significant developments;

  • Evidence given by James Murdoch to the Committee concerning his knowledge of the endemic phone-hacking at News International has been called into question by various ex-NI executives and ex-employees.His agreement to a massive payout to keep a case out of a public court now looks like an attempt to pervert the cause of justice.
  • A laptop and phone in a bag found near Rebekah Brooks’ house has been claimed by her husband, who claims that she has nothing to do with either, and is attempting to retrieve said items from the police. This story was covered extensively for two days, and then disappeared from the media. Mr Brooks is an old Etonian racehorse owner.
Sean Hoare, the former News of the World journalist who first claimed Andy Coulson had knowledge of phone hacking.

Sean Hoare, the former NOTW journalist; the first to claim Andy Coulson knew about phone hacking.

  • Sean Hoare, a real journalist and the first real ‘whistleblower’ in this story,  a 47-year-old who was sacked by the NOTW by then-editor Andy Coulson because of drink and drugs “problems,” was found dead at his London residence by police last Monday, 18 July [from here – a site that strangely comes very near to the top of a Google search on this subject, which seems to suggest that the public is not as convinced by the ‘no suspicious circumstances’ line as the British media].As one of the comedians on the BBC ‘satire’ the Now Show put it – it’s been investigated by the police – the same police who’s top officers are currently resigning in the wake of this scandal. So that’s alright then . . . 
  • Two of the Met’s top police officers, including Sir Paul Stephenson, the Chief Commissioner,  have resigned over their links with the News International corporation. The other is John Yates, the policeman who twice resisted calls to reopen the investigation into phone hacking, and who resigned as Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police over his relationship to Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the News of the World.
  • Les Hinton, NI Chief Executive and old friend of Murdoch has also resigned from the company, pending investigations into his time at the NOTW. Ex-editor of The Sun and the NOTW Rebekah Brooks has been arrested over suspicions of involvement in phone-hacking and the corruption of police officers.

This toxic seam has only just started to reveal a corruption that has spread throughout the ruling class of Britain – it is impossible to say how much further the Establishment will let the investigations proceed.

Needless to say, there are probably more than a few people who saw the news about Sean Hoare and thought it might be better to keep their lips carefully sealed; and a few others who are checking their backs, waiting for their Brutus to bring them down; especially the ones who – as on old friend of mine from the East End commented ‘know where the bodies are buried . . . ‘

Good luck folks !

Schadenfreude – NewsCorp goodbye !

July 8th, 2011

Rebekah Brooks leaves NotW earlier - NewsCorp on the run . . .

For those of us living in South East London, the scandal which could yet do for Murdoch’s NewsCorp empire and has led to the demise of the world’s biggest-selling English language newspaper is the culmination of a long, sordid story that has been running like a sceptic sore through the whole of British society for over 30 years.

Murdoch first came to public notice in the UK as the son of a millionaire newspaper magnate who acted as the shock force for the Thatcher Government’s assault on the unions in the early 1980’s, when he moved his titles to an automated plant at what became known as Fortress Wapping.

The plant had been set up and equipped secretly; with the aim of introducing automation to the extent that most of the printers would be left without jobs.

A strike developed into nightly battles outside the plant, with vast fleets of TNT lorries being escorted past the rioting crowds by armies of police. For Thatcher the benefits were twofold.

Murdoch could break the power of the print union – one of the workforces who had managed, since the Second World War to actually take a share in the vast profits of the capitalist class. Secondly, she was able to rely on Murdoch, who laughingly called himself a ‘libertarian’ but is in fact the worst sort of old monopolist capitalist. He duly provided support for the Conservatives until the public finally revolted after 18 years, and he quickly switched allegiance to the neo-con patsy Tony Blair.

And one for the memories ! Thatcher leaves No. 10

With the ‘death of the print’ came the slow decline of many inner city East End and South East London communities;  their pubs, old jazz bands, and local Labour [not Nu Labor] parties. After the death of the docks –  when dockers were replaced by containers and some guy in a crane – the death of ‘the print’ was the final straw. It also set the model for other industry post the ‘white heat of technology’ revolution proclaimed in the Wilson era; when workers, instead of working less and being paid more, would end up working more to produce more profit for less pay, with less rights than their parents.

If you were not prepared to accept the new debt-slavery, you would join the millions of other unemployed on the scrapheap that increasingly piled up at the base of the pyramid.

And meanwhile Rupert would steer his papers to clean up through a mix of scandal, bile and witch-burning bigotry  – thus obscuring even more the real social news of the country; in which the world he and his media helped create was becoming increasingly cruel, stupeified and unequal. Like the republicans in the USA – whose cause he has unfailingly promoted – he could make the poor vote for their own oppression, with a combination of ignorance, misdirection and tawdriness, reducing life to twitching net curtains, stained sheets and a trail of blood.

And that leads to the other untold tale of how the Murdoch Empire has corrupted the body of everyday society in the UK.

Daniel Morgan - still awaiting justice after 24 years

The story concerns a private eye [PI] in South-East London beheaded in the car park of a pub called the Golden Lion in Forest Hill, South East London on Tuesday 10 March 1987.

Involved in the plot – in a away that at least five police ‘investigations’ and two court cases have not been able to fully determine – are a sordid bunch of fellow PI’s and ex-policemen, who have been convicted of other crimes including drug running and framing a woman on a cocaine charge in a divorce case.

They were working for the News of the World when it was edited by Andy Coulson, David Cameron’s Director of Communications in 10 Downing Street; digging the dirt on anyone and everyone – and that’s all we know so far.

Rebekah Brooks, now Chief Executive of News International actually had the lead Detective investigating the murder followed and bugged whilst she was editor of the News of the World. She later told police that she thought he might have been having an affair with a fellow officer [who was, in fact, was obviously his wife].

Andy Coulson’s evidence at the Tommy Sheridan ‘trial’ is now also being called into question – which could lay him open to a charge of perjury and throw more doubts on the case against the Scottish socialist leader.

The corruption which was endemic in the London police in the 1980’s, especially the drug squads – and was hinted at in various inquiries into the Stephen Lawrence murder – and its effect on the street from then until the present day was in no short measure due to the pernicious, deceptive media of Murdoch. By making his papers so viscious and tacky but profitable – where you had no professional printers to pay, and no journalists because you’d replaced them with phone hackers, gossips, snitches and smut peddlers – he was slowly dragging all the others down into the same gutter.

It will be interesting to see how the dice fall now – these people built the gallows for enough – often innocent – people. It will be interesting to see how they fancy taking the long walk themselves now, as their masters scramble to distance themselves from their once so-loyal minions . . . .

Fukushima cover-up in UK – Government conspires with nuclear industry to spin disaster

July 6th, 2011

Guardian Online - front page 30/06/11

A report in the Guardian on the 30th June 2011 has revealed what we all suspected [see previous blogs] with the release of information about the true extent of the disaster in the Japanese nuclear plants following the earthquake and tsunami.

With the hard evidence of leaked emails between Government and the nuclear industry, the Guardian article details just how far the spin has extended to an attempt to cover-up the amount of radioactive leaks and their effects on the surrounding population in Japan, as well as its spread across the globe.

Here are just some of the articles in Counterpunch in recent weeks, which reveals the amount of alarm in the scientific and medical communities not being reported in the general media.

Is the Dramatic Increase in Baby Deaths in the US a Result of Fukushima Fallout?

Same Old Tricks From the Nuclear Gang ; The People Who Brought You Fukushima

Will GE Get Whacked for the Catastrophic Failure of Its Fukushima Reactors? ;The Hubris of Nuclear Engineers

~These articles are interesting as a different perspective on the problems of global warming, and attempts by the nuclear lobby to manipulate the whole debate, using it as a way of persuading desperate environmentalists [eg. George Monbiot ] that nuclear power is the only solution.

In the Midst of Fukushima: Ahoy There, Nuke-Loving Greens, Welcome to the Real World!

How Global Warming Rescued the Atomic Lobby ; The “Green” Nuclear Cabal

Bi-Partisan Atomic Flackery ; Nuclear Power Madness

And also a couple of activist sites with handy updates on the crimes and cover-ups of the nuclear industry around the world . . .

nukefree.org (USA)

Envirovideo

And now a report that a French reactor is in trouble . . .

and in the UK;

Jellyfish shut down nuclear reactors

Both units at Torness power station closed after jellyfish found in seawater filters

Japan, USA reactors at risk as UK Government orders more plants

June 28th, 2011

There are continuing and increasing  risks of further major radiation leaks in Japan and the USA , even as the UK Government announces that it will support the building of 8 new reactors and Obama’s corporate administration agrees to help fund a whole new series of nuclear investments in the USA.

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant under water

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant under water

As wildfires threaten the Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory , and Fort Calhoun struggles with maintaining pumps and power to prevent floodwater, leading to meltdown and contmination, there is a threat of flooding to yet another US nuclear plant ;

A second Nebraska nuke plant declared an “unusual event” as floodwaters approach. At the Cooper Nuclear Station in Brownville, NE:  “Personnel have been proactive in preparing the station for flood conditions by filling sandbags, constructing barricades, procuring materials and supplies, and reinforcing the access road…”(ncnewspress.com)

The threat of environmental factors to the stability and safety of nuclear plants is becoming more apparent as time moves on and those certainties which allowed the original sites to be seen as ‘safe’ look increasingly fragile. This is even more worrying for the rising populations around plants in the USA and a new study published in Scientific American magazine (the  June 2011 issue ) has demonstrated how many of the plants are built in areas of risk;

Compiling reactor data from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and seismic hazard data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the SciAm graphic shows that there is already a handful of U.S. nuclear power plants located in earthquake-prone areas of the country. The threats aren’t just to reactors in California and Washington State; some located in South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri are also along the fringe of seismically active regions.

In Japan, the continuing disaster at Fukushima is now being joined by another accident at a reactor which is threatening the safe maintenance of the site;

The NY Times reports another plutonium reactor in Monju is involved in a “precarious struggle” 300km southwest of Fukushima, and nearer Kyoto. It seems that a “3.3-ton device crashed into the reactor’s inner vessel, cutting off access to the plutonium and uranium fuel rods.”

Of course the plant operator tried to cover it up, because that’s the modus operandi at nuclear plants: “…the operator had tampered with video images of the fire to hide the scale of the disaster.” (NY Times).

An article in the e-magazine Counterpunch describes how;

Tokyo now features “hot spots” of significant radiation. Sewage slag containing “170,000 Bequerels/kilogram” radioactivity has been detected and recycled into building materials! Soil in Koto Ward of Tokyo measured “2,300 Bq/kg.”

A report by Bloomberg tells of soil samples about 25 kilometers to the northwest of the Fukushima plant, “with radiation from Cesium-137 exceeding 5 million becquerels per square meter.” Other test sites 30km from the plant, “showed radiation exceeding 1.48 million becquerels per square meter.” At greater distance, 75 miles from the plant Professor Iwata Takahiro detected “500,000 becquerels per kg” in the roof drains at Yamagata University.

What is probably more worrying still, in terms of both health and its effect on a tremulous economy, is the report concerning Japanese green tea being exported to France;

Japanese green tea containing “1,000 Bq/kg” radiation was found and seized by customs in Paris, France. The French went from “oui” to “no, no, no…” The tea was shipped from Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan, which should raise even more concern, being quite a bit southwest of Tokyo.

There are reports emerging of  excessively high radiation levels in people further and further away from the site of Fukushima;

A group of doctors has found that the estimated level of accumulated internal radiation exposure for people living in Fukushima Prefecture has exceeded 3 millisieverts.
The researchers, including doctors who have provided medical care to A-bomb survivors, conducted analysis on the food and urine of 15 residents in Iitate Village and Kawamata Town in Fukushima Prefecture. These areas are about 40 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
They estimate that residents have been internally exposed to up to 3.2 millisieverts for about 2 months, measuring from the date of the accident in March until early May.
Three millisieverts is 3 times higher than the long-term annual limit for ordinary people recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection.

And if you think that you will recieve anything like a true representation of the scientific facts from the World Health Organisation, think again.

An article here puts the dilemna quite succinctly;

WHO, not too incidentally, has a formal arrangement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in place since both were established at the UN in the 1950s, to say nothing about issues involving radiation without clearing it with the IAEA, which was set up to specifically promote atomic energy. On Chernobyl, together in an initiative called the “Chernobyl Forum,” they have claimed that “less than 50 deaths have been directly attributed” to that disaster and “a total of up to 4,000 people could eventually die of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.” That nuclear Big Lie precedes the new nuclear deception involving the impacts of Fukushima.

Scientists and medical specialists who have carried out a wide-ranging and deep survey of the effects on the population in the Ukraine, as well as neighbouring countries affected by the fallout, are clear that the WHO claim is absolute disinformation.

“They’re lying,” says Dr. Janette Sherman, a toxicologist and contributing editor of the book Chernobyl: The Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009. Using medical data from between 1986 and 2004, its authors, a team of European scientists, determines that 985,000 people died worldwide from the radioactivity discharged from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Joe Giombrone reports at the end of his article ;

This June the president of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology, Carmelo Iacono spoke in Chicago at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting:

Nuclear radiation is the most carcinogenic thing that exists, and it cannot be kept under control, as the Fukushima tragedy proved.”

The “most carcinogenic thing that exists” says a world-renowned cancer specialist. . . .

For up-to-date news of the current – but sadly predictable – disasters surrounding every dictator’s favourite energy source, check here and here, both good sources.

fukushima

Fukushima nuclear plant - all under control ?!!

Fukushima – meltdown in public support for the nuclear option

June 22nd, 2011
Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant, USA under water

As at least two nuclear plants are threatened with flooding of their containment pools and reactors in the USA;  and in Japan the population is slowly waking up to the fact that they are in the middle of an ongoing disaster as the situation at their stricken nuclear plants proves impossible to control . . .

For an up to the minute overview of these escalating  problems visit Energy News, which is taking information from concerned citizens and whistleblowers, rather than relying on the half-truths and spin of the nuclear lobby and their puppet-politicians .

‘ . . .  next week in Washington, a two-day “Special Summit on New Nuclear Energy” will be held involving major manufacturers of nuclear power plants—including General Electric, the manufacturer of the Fukushima plants—and U.S. government officials.’

It is remarkable how quickly the disaster at Fukishima has been reduced to a couple of paragraphs on the back pages of the broadsheets in the UK, with virtually nothing being said on the public television networks of Britain and probably much of western Europe.

This is certainly not because the destruction of the reactor by the earthquake and tsunami has been brought under control, or because there is no news to report – there has been a steady release of reports from NGO’s alongside  the steady release of radiation from the stricken plant.

Japanese radiation contamination map, June 2011

A “citizens’ map” of radiation levels is being maintained by a group of Japanese bloggers. Levels appear highest near Fukushima and toward its northwest. The vicinity around immediate southwest of the reactors shows elevated radiation, and a large pocket of contamination has settled further south in the outskirts of Tokyo.

Even more disturbingly, some local newspapers in eastern Japan have attributed sickness in children to the meltdowns. Children located 50 KM away from ground zero are suffering from fatigue, diarrhea, and nosebleeds.

It is more likely that the corporate media has fallen into line behind the Government and their hundreds of unelected advisers; who are falling back on the old argument that nuclear power is the only ‘reliable’ – ‘safe’, even – source of power that can ‘keep the lights on’ when fossil fuels inevitably dwindle away, or become unobtainable for geo-political reasons.

A surprising amount of articles – in such publications as Counterpunch –  who have always been sceptical about sceptics denying ACC  (Anthropogenic Climate Change) – have produced articles commenting on the methods used by the nuclear lobby to promote nuclear power as the only real answer to increases in global warming caused by fossil fuel power generation.

This push to change public perception from nuclear as the most environmentally,  socially and economically unsound, unsafe and unsustainable method of generating electric power, to become the solution for global warming is being done in the face of the worst nuclear disaster in the history of the industry.  It is only now becoming apparent how much radiation is leaking into the atmosphere, the sea and the water table from Fukushima; and how little the company seems to be able to do to solve these problems; along with the revelations of Tepco deceiving both the state and supervisory authorities, as well as the population of that part of Japan.

Meanwhile, the US Corporate Government continues to promote this fatal technology, partly as a way to profitise their armament production, and partly to avoid the provision of energy to be controlled at local level.

This post will be supplemented with links and further information soon . . .



Syria & Sea Breeze 2011; USA heats up the Cold War

June 21st, 2011

 

Sea Breeze 2011

The logo for the international  ‘Naval exercise’ Sea Breeze 2011. What’s the dove doing on it ? you might ask – and one wonders what the word Respect is doing on the graphic ? We didn’t think Americans could do irony . . . .

A recent article  throws a new light on the upheaval in Syria. It also suggests that the massive naval exercise that has just taken place off the coast of Ukraine has been another move in the Cold War strategy that the USA has never ceased to pursue against the Russian Federation.

For the first time, the USA has deployed ships carrying elements of its anti-ballistic missile defence system in the Black Sea , and is actively engaged in pulling in as many of Russia’s neighbours as possible into an obviously hostile alliance.

The two pertinent points that should be remembered here are these;

  • The USA is economically bankrupt, and reliant on imported fossil fuels. Its only claim to be the world’s premier superpower is its massive armed forces, which are spread out across the world ensuring that its access to other nations resources are secure.
  • The Russian Federation has vast gas and oilfields; and areas that were once inaccessible containing these and other resources are – with climate change –  becoming increasingly possible, and profitable, to exploit.

The article – from the publication Global Research –  is called  NATO Incorporates Libyan Experience For Global War Template [by Rick Rozoff], and first of all summarises how NATO, the world’s only active military alliance has been fighting ceaseless war, leading to the completely disproportionate ‘Defence’ budget in the USA.

Then he goes on to describe the ‘provocative’ naval exercises taking place near the Russian Black Sea Port; and how this is part of a jigsaw whereby the US military ’empire’ is attempting, despite – or maybe because of  – the looming bankruptcy of its economy to pursue a strategy of encirclement around Russia.

The Pentagon and NATO are currently concluding the Sea Breeze 2011 naval exercise in the Black Sea off the coast of Ukraine, near the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet based in Sebastopol. Participants include the U.S., Britain, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Macedonia, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey and host nation Ukraine. All but Algeria and Moldova are Troop Contributing Nations for NATO’s Afghan war. The once-annual maneuvers resumed again last year after the Ukrainian parliament banned them in 2009. This year’s exercise was arranged on the initiative of chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen. Last year’s Sea Breeze drills, the largest in the Black Sea, included 20 naval vessels, 13 aircraft and more than 1,600 military personnel from the U.S., Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine.

This year the guided missile cruiser USS Monterey joined the exercise. The warship is the first deployed to the Mediterranean, and now the Black Sea for the Pentagon’s Phased Adaptive Approach interceptor missile program, one which in upcoming years will include at least 40 Standard Missile-3 interceptors in Poland and Romania and on Aegis class destroyers and cruisers in the Mediterranean, Black and Baltic Seas. Upgraded versions of the missile, the Block IB, Block IIA and Block IIB, are seen by Russian political analysts and military commanders as threats to Russia’s long-range missiles and as such to the nation’s strategic potential.

The article then goes on to describe how this is part of a game plan in which the fall of the Assad regime in Syria, and its replacement by one more ‘friendly’ to the Western Axis would be a perfect way of excluding the Russian Fleet from vast areas of the globe . . .

As former Indian diplomat M K Bhadrakumar wrote in a recent column:

“Without doubt, the US is stepping up pressure on Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The US’s provocation is taking place against the backdrop of the turmoil in Syria. Russia is stubbornly blocking US attempts to drum up a case for Libya-style intervention in Syria. Moscow understands that a major reason for the US to push for regime change in Syria is to get the Russian naval base in that country wound up.

“The Syrian base is the only toehold Russia has in the Mediterranean region. The Black Sea Fleet counts on the Syrian base for sustaining any effective Mediterranean presence by the Russian navy. With the establishment of US military bases in Romania and the appearance of the US warship in the Black Sea region, the arc of encirclement is tightening.”

Greece shows the way forward . . .

June 19th, 2011

The citizens of Greece are the first people in Europe this century to come together in solidarity and face down their own Government. They believe their political class have surrendered the rights of a democratic people to the bondholders, banks and hedge funds who are demanding the impoverishment of their nation to pay for the ever-ballooning profits of the global financial sector.

The ongoing protests can be tracked on the Greek Indymedia page and here . . .

Greece-riots1
The Greek people show the way forward – Bankers, go to Hell!

The people of Europe are about to be hit by the second heist in two years – where their long-fought for welfare systems and egalitarian societies are reduced to feudal penury by the machinations of bankers, financial hucksters and politicians.

Not many commentators in the mass media mention that ;

”First, it takes two sides to create a bond crisis. For every reckless borrower there is a reckless lender. The Greek government might have lied about its budget deficit and been needlessly extravagant during the boom years. But nobody was forced to lend the Greek government any money. Investors should have asked themselves where the money was going, and how sustainable Greek economic growth would be. They didn’t. Instead they just saw that yields were higher than on German or French debt, and jumped onto what looked like a gravy train.”

The drama is being played out in the streets and town squares of Greece; the Parliament is virtually under siege, and the crowds who represent the whole spectrum of Greek society and political belief, are united in their ambition to depose the ruling class and disrupt the well-laid plans of the financial oligarchy to ‘privatise’ Europe.

Braving the tear gas

The protests have been met by a police force amply equipped with tear gas, batons and equipment  – and we’re sure that NATO will not allow them to run out . . .

However, inspired in part by the Egyptian and Tunisian revolts, in which massive and diverse crowds took over their own locale ; the Greeks and the Spanish are now occupying town squares and plazas across their respective  countries.

The logistics of this popular strategy can be found here on the Occupied London site.

Greek demonstrator returns his loan with interest

 It will be interesting to see how the refusal of the population to play the bankers’ game will play out across Europe. It’s rumoured that the latest wave of Greek protests started after the Spanish demonstrations in their provincial town squares against similar ‘austerity measures’  featured banners asking ‘Where are the Greeks ?’

It is becoming clear that the Greek Government – nominally a social democrat administration – which is tasked by the IMF with introducing ‘austerity measures’ to pay for the bad management and profligacy of the banks, will have to enforce them against the will of the people.

Pensions have been halved, welfare slashed and State assets are being lined up for a firesale to the financial elite that has already profitted from the impoverishment of Europe’s economy through ‘outsourcing’ and ‘globalisation.’

Now the bankers, economists and politicians have been popping up on every media outlet decrying the fact that a modern democratic people  have looked at the choices they are being offered by the ruling oligarchy and decided that they will be quite happy to see their country default on the ‘loans’  from the ‘bondholders’.

Job well done ! - Riot Dog leaves the battlefield

Blood red moon – Lunar eclipse and the Fall of the Byzantine Empire

June 15th, 2011
Lunar Eclipse – a blood-red moon

Tonight it will be possible to witness a lunar eclipse across Australasia, southern Japan, a large area of Asia, India, Africa, Europe and the eastern part of South America.

A previous lunar eclipse was seen on May 22, 1453. during the siege which ended the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire; when Byzantium / Constantinople fell to the Ottomans, which effectively split Eurasia in half and ended the last imperial system of  the Ancient World in the Northern Hemisphere.

 The siege lasted from Thursday, 5 April 1453 until Tuesday, 29 May 1453, after which the city fell ; the lunar eclipse and the ensuing blood-moon was considered to be part of the  fulfilment of a prophecy concerning the city’s demise.

More details on today’s eclipse here . . .

Si Si Si ! – and a big NO to Berlusconi, nuclear power and water privatisation

June 15th, 2011

 

Crowds celebrate referendum victory in Italy

As the disaster at Fukishima continues, the fallout has been as heavy in terms of the public perceptions of nuclear safety as it has on the poor people of the Eastern seaboard of Japan. Although its disappearance from the main-source news systems means that people could assume the central problems at the plant are under control; there has been a lot of disturbing news which is hidden in NGO reports which is now surfacing in whistleblowing blogs and online journals.

It is partly for this reason that the groundswell of anti-nuclear opinion has forced the once -impregnable Ms Merkel into a moratorium on any further development in Germany; and the Italians have now voted decisively to reject nuclear power, along with the privatisation of the water supply, and a change in the law which would have allowed Government ministers to avoid justice.

A report from the Guardian describes the effect of these results  and how they will affect the ultimate fate of Berlusconi’s everlasting regime . . .

The result represented an overwhelming setback for the prime minister, who had tried to thwart the outcome by discouraging Italians from taking part. The referendum needed a turnout of at least 50% to be binding. Interior ministry figures projections indicated that more than 57% of the electorate had taken part. Greenpeace called it a historic result. Quorums were also reached in three other referendums held simultaneously – the first time in 16 years that a quorum had been achieved in any referendum in Italy.

Official projections showed more than 95% of voters rejecting water privatisation and a law allowing Berlusconi and other ministers to cite government business as a reason for delaying trials in which they were defendants. The expected majority against nuclear power was 94% . . . . (Berlusconi) first ran into serious trouble on 30 May when his candidate for mayor of Milan lost in a local election runoff. Milan is Berlusconi’s home city and traditionally a weather-vane accurately pointing to Italy’s future political direction.

Italy Referendum flyer

The report continues;

Italy abandoned its nuclear programme following a similar referendum in 1987. The government of the day opted to phase out all the country’s existing plants. The last one shut down in 1990. Berlusconi had planned to generate a quarter of Italy’s electricity with French-built nuclear plants. Construction of the first was due to start between 2013 and 2015.

Vittorio Cogliati Dezza, president of the environmental organisation Legambiente, said: “The era of nuclear [energy] is coming to an end today. Definitively. A new season of development for the country is beginning.”

Let’s hope that democracy prevails, and the ever-wily Berlusconi – a corporate frontman since his early days in the P2 Lodge – doesn’t help facillitate the sort of crisis which allows these results to be reversed . . .

From the article in Wikipedia

P2 was sometimes referred to as a “state within a state”[2] or a “shadow government“.[3] The lodge had among its members prominent journalists, members of parliament, industrialists, and military leaders—including Silvio Berlusconi, who later became Prime Minister of Italy; the Savoy pretender to the Italian throne Victor Emmanuel; and the heads of all three Italian intelligence services . . . . When searching Licio Gelli’s villa, the police found a document called the “Plan for Democratic Rebirth”, which called for a consolidation of the media, suppression of trade unions, and the rewriting of the Italian Constitution.

A response to the vote by an Italian activist can be found here

Bilderberg 2011 – List of Attendees

June 11th, 2011

Photo below and reports from Switzerland here . . .

George Osborne arriving at Bilderberg 2011 in St Moritz, Switzerland

This is a list of attendees gathering for cakes, tea and a couple of games of bridge in Switzerland this week.

Or if you don’t believe that, just a chance to chew the fat and work out how they can keep the munchkins toiling in the desert whilst they fill their boots with gold.

Our ‘democratically accountable‘ British Chancellor, George Osborne,  has already had his visit confirmed by the Treasury, as reported in The Guardian; and it will surprise no-one that Peter Mandelson will be cosying up to the usual assortment of movers, shakers and other fugitives from international justice.

Belgium

Coene, Luc, Governor, National Bank of Belgium

Davignon, Etienne, Minister of State

Leysen, Thomas, Chairman, Umicore

China

Fu, Ying, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs

Huang, Yiping, Professor of Economics, China Center for Economic Research, Peking University

Denmark

Eldrup, Anders, CEO, DONG Energy

Federspiel, Ulrik, Vice President, Global Affairs, Haldor Topsøe A/S

Schütze, Peter, Member of the Executive Management, Nordea Bank AB

Germany

Ackermann, Josef, Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank

Enders, Thomas, CEO, Airbus SAS

Löscher, Peter, President and CEO, Siemens AG

Nass, Matthias, Chief International Correspondent, Die Zeit

Steinbrück, Peer, Member of the Bundestag; Former Minister of Finance

Finland

Apunen, Matti, Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA

Johansson, Ole, Chairman, Confederation of the Finnish Industries EK

Ollila, Jorma, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell

Pentikäinen, Mikael, Publisher and Senior Editor-in-Chief, Helsingin Sanomat

France

Baverez, Nicolas, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Bazire, Nicolas, Managing Director, Groupe Arnault /LVMH

Castries, Henri de, Chairman and CEO, AXA

Lévy, Maurice, Chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe S.A.

Montbrial, Thierry de, President, French Institute for International Relations

Roy, Olivier, Professor of Social and Political Theory, European University Institute

Great Britain

Agius, Marcus, Chairman, Barclays PLC

Flint, Douglas J., Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings

Kerr, John, Member, House of Lords; Deputy Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell

Lambert, Richard, Independent Non-Executive Director, Ernst & Young

Mandelson, Peter, Member, House of Lords; Chairman, Global Counsel

Micklethwait, John, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist

Osborne, George, Chancellor of the Exchequer

Stewart, Rory, Member of Parliament

Taylor, J. Martin, Chairman, Syngenta International AG

Greece

David, George A., Chairman, Coca-Cola H.B.C. S.A.

Hardouvelis, Gikas A., Chief Economist and Head of Research, Eurobank EFG

Papaconstantinou, George, Minister of Finance

Tsoukalis, Loukas, President, ELIAMEP Grisons

International Organizations

Almunia, Joaquín, Vice President, European Commission

Daele, Frans van, Chief of Staff to the President of the European Council

Kroes, Neelie, Vice President, European Commission; Commissioner for Digital Agenda

Lamy, Pascal, Director General, World Trade Organization

Rompuy, Herman van, President, European Council

Sheeran, Josette, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme

Solana Madariaga, Javier, President, ESADEgeo Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics

Trichet, Jean-Claude, President, European Central Bank

Zoellick, Robert B., President, The World Bank Group

Ireland

Gallagher, Paul, Senior Counsel; Former Attorney General

McDowell, Michael, Senior Counsel, Law Library; Former Deputy Prime Minister

Sutherland, Peter D., Chairman, Goldman Sachs International

Italy

Bernabè, Franco, CEO, Telecom Italia SpA

Elkann, John, Chairman, Fiat S.p.A.

Monti, Mario, President, Univers Commerciale Luigi Bocconi

Scaroni, Paolo, CEO, Eni S.p.A.

Tremonti, Giulio, Minister of Economy and Finance

We look forward to George Osborne’s  forthcoming report to the British Parliament detailing exactly what he discussed and with whom…