News commentary and predictions of political trends and what the future holds

Welcome to Disturbing Trends

A diary of the politics of the future and their consequences.

Latest

Reboot time

In the early 2000s I felt I could see the future.  Not some psychic power, but something more logical.  I could see the rise of GW Bush – that America would end up with his presidency and his blind intention to invade Iraq.  It then proceeded.

Before Brexit that inner voice started to raise fears that Britain was about to make a terrible choice to abandon its responsibilities as a stable member of the EU.  And then it did.

And then the American election.  The same inner fears seemed to tell me that Hillary Clinton was not fighting the election in a way that would work.  Bernie Sanders was a better candidate as he had definite policies that his followers believed in.  She seemed to spend all her on-screen time talking about Trump.  If she was to beat Trump, it meant taking the rust-belt states.  The states that consider the middle-class as “elites”.

The effect of the 2008 crash seems to have worked its way out of the economy, at least out of the banking and asset trading economy.  There is a sector of the economy that has not seen recovery, and that is the part that was wiped out, lost their houses, their jobs, their health and most importantly, any rationale that any political force was going to help them.  Six years of Obama with the Republicans ruling both the House and Senate meant that their symbol of hope was unable to turn to help them out.

Like the dispossessed in Great Britain who blamed the “EU elites” for their trials, the American rust belt did not hear any answer from Hillary.  Instead they opted to go with what they perceived as a source of power.

That explains, to me at least, why we managed to get into this hyper Right-Wing cycle.  The “elites” are not the richest 1%.  They are now the middle classes and despised by the non-working working class who look at the ruling class as their “saviour”.  The elimination of the extremes of poverty in both cultures is more likely to erase the most poor from future history than it is to save them.  They are now, like Native Americans, an endangered species.

Long term politics are a form of evolution.  It means death to half of humanity.

Changes

Why did Trump win?  Why did the UK vote to leave the EU?  Is 2016 s year of change?  It is, and that is the reason, people are voting for change.  It is a stage of life – they need risk and danger.  They need exposure to the new.

Racism in UK

The levels of racism stimulated and seemingly legitimised by “Brexit” have risen to levels that can only be described as irrational criminality.

The latest report, maybe not as awful as some of the terrible violence toward “immigrants” by awful idiots, highlights now some people seem to prefer the behaviour of Nazis to civilisation.

 

Wet Cities at 4 degrees of climate change heat

Have a look at some scenes from cities of the world, with 2 degrees of global warming compared with 4 degrees of warming.

Or use these diagrams against a world map to see maps of water damage to cities with unchecked pollution or a 2 degree or 4 degree temperature change.

Why is the UK government spending billions on the historic Houses of Parliament and Big Ben when they will be underwater with the planned 2 degrees of temperature.

And if the politicians are able to hold the very long term threat to 2 degrees and stop methane or other gases that cause accelerated warming from having any effect, or the odd storm or tsunami from destroying riverside buildings and other expensive soggy properties.

 

 

 

 

Labour and the Opposition

Labour is not finished, it is simply not Labour. It is a party no longer in touch with its roots due to the simple fact that the 172 MPs, to get in behind a leader with socialist values, would have to change their religion. Will they remain steadfast to their own new gods, or will they utter allegiance when they do not feel it?

Personally, I think Corbyn is the man to lead Labour. To crystallise it with the purely red direction the grassroots of the party appear to want. If that includes Brexit in competition with the UKiP voters – then let it draw blood from the rats repopulating the Tory battleship.

A split is probably important if Brexit is to be properly opposed. Let’s face it, the Lib Dems are not properly formed either. A Social Democrat party which unites the Lib Dem rump with the 172 centre grounders as sincerely opposed to Brexit would fulfil the need for an opposition that actually argues with the Government’s (lack of) direction. Add in the SNP and we have a powerhouse. And the Greens – you will have future growth as more people realise sustainability is important for a political movement and more so as Brexit starts to threaten our own sustainability.

I have said this before and have been shouted down by Lib Dems and Corbynites. Labour has lost its form and needs to be true to its brand and maybe in 20 or so years it could form a government when the population realises it has been scammed by the Tories, once again and they need a welfare state to look after them again. In the meantime, the 172 are missing their golden opportunity to make a proper stand and have a voice.

All strength to Labour. It will need it. How can it be elected when its MPs want ideals that are different to its grassroots’ objectives? It needs a leader to rebuild it and Jeremy is the strongest choice. But the 172 need their own leader, and Owen Smith ain’t it, either.

Not electing David Milliband was the end of New Labour / Blairism. He would have beaten Cameron with finesse. Brexit would not be a “word”.

Now Labour and an opposition need to reform. In my humble opinion, they probably will not be the same organisation.

Trump

Has Donald Trump gone too far, yet?

The attacks on the Democratic candidate smell strongly of trolling by the Republican camp. The invitation to Russia to hack Hilary Clinton’s emails reminds me of Watergate dirty tricks being hidden behind a veil of inviting Russians hackers.

The attacks on the Republican candidate seem to originate from most of planet Earth, except his own faithful, it seems.

Trump’s threat to Putin over Ukraine sound more like a rambling old alcoholic ready to take over the world than a statesman ready for international negotiation.

America lost its premier position in the world after GW Bush’s stupidity. Is it truly ready to be launched into dismal failure as this man takes over its military?

Imagine a standoff between Trump and Putin.  Waving little hands and “Nyet”.

Foreign ownership and democracy

Comments on this article: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/22/britains-economy-shrinking-at-fastest-rate-since-2009-says-survey#comment-79670273

 

nalex

If they are buying British companies at a super discount due to the lower than actual value UK£ – the effect is a disproportional reduction in British Sovereignty. The FTSE100 is higher, indeed, when measured in UK£.

And we just keep selling our ARM shares for less than we could have. Does it matter? Not to anyone (other than the British).

 

ID5708273

What, do you mean all those foreign based companies making massive profits within the UK but paying no or little tax here whilst gaining considerable income from us as consumers meaning that there is a double whammy of our money going offshore whilst we are left with less to pay bigger bills!

No – I don’t think most people would get their head around that.

It would be like trying to understand all those years of being told our Government is not competent enough to run our utilities and railways as an excuse to sell them to companies owned by foreign Governments who apparently are more competent than ours!

 

nalex

I doubt the “nationality” of a company that services our needs really matters as much as if they are more efficient or effective at providing a service. We run a heavily import oriented economy, so of course we are more prepared to purchase than produce. It is exactly our own policies and activities that create that imbalance, not EU membership or where a company pays its taxes. Foreign ownership and the floating currency are both part of being part of the world. Does it matter? If they are better at running our utiities, building our power stations and distilling our petrol, then we import their services/products. If not, then we buy them back. I think our dominantly conservative economically oriented governments prefer not to be involved in producing electricity or running trains. So they sell to the highest bidder and provide laws to qualify which companies can compete in that market place. The alternative of us owning them ourselves does not seem like progress to me. Do you think we can run things better ourselves?

 

ID5708273

You are correct but only to a point.

Where the wealth ends up matters if it is outside your economy. That is why being in the EU is better for us, and why moving towards a global State to match the Global Economy is better.

Currently the drain outwards of British earned wealth and unpaid taxes reduces the internal cash flow and also the investment funds available. This draws upon more investment ultra our economy hastening the drain down terminally.

On the privatisation model you are correct again about the Government position, but again fail to consider the implication in reality. Instead of a single tier of trading, so cost represents the service plus management costs there is a multi tier contractor and sub contractor arrangement. This increases what we as consumers must pay without increasing the service we get in return. The extra cost converts to wealth received by the various tiers now engaged, which mostly means drained outside of our economy again.

 

nalex

The ownership of companies in private hands is supposed to incentivise the reduction of wasteful costs: so does foreign ownership work the same way as private ownership vs Government operation of public assets?

When there is a local sub-contractor, there is economic benefit to our tax base, but if we “must” sell assets into “foreign” hands (to satisfy the political order of the day) it follows that we are better connected into that consortium as you say, being in the EU has its benefits by creating a greater stabilisation of forces that result in real growth than a more isolated democratic fluctuation that may build and destroy in tandem.

The Brexit vote appears to me to have been excited by a need to blame forces out of our own control for our own problems. We are just as good at making inefficient models but without the massive buffering effect of a larger entity, we are going to become more exposed to the effects of rapid shifts of capital.

Sometimes democratic choices are wrong, and this one is also not fully democratic.

The British Disaster

The British had a disaster in its political life. Although the leaving of the EU is the most traumatic and in my mind stupid decision, the respect for democratic choice should be honoured with more than an afterthought. There should be an examination of the vote and the lies told to the electorate and at some stage in the not too distant future, the nature of the decision should be revealed. For example: votes cast in PENCIL could be subject to doubt; inadequate margin for a constitutional change (a Brexit campaigner started a petition to ensure that REMAIN did not win by the narrow margin LEAVE won by, and 4.1 million signatures indicated dissatisfaction with the “result” being such a slender margin, and a decisive victory for REMAIN in Scotland brings the unity of the UK into question); complete falsehoods being told to the voting public; a committed campaign of anti-immigration propaganda; the departure of all the LEAVE campaigners including the laziest and most absurd politician in history, Nigel Farage.

No, the disaster is the one that has just ended. The era of David Cameron and George Osborne; the blaming of the previous more successful administration for anything that was wrong for the first five years of Cameron’s reign, followed by a year of bullying and condescending humour at the Ballot box during weekly self-congratulatory PMQs, an opposition that has become neurotic about the choice of leader by its grassroots.

We welcome Theresa May’s new administration with trepidation and justifiable fear. Anything is better than being lied to, but it is the sacking of the old school tie, the removal so far of the worst front bench under David Cameron that is to be celebrated: Michael Gove, George Osborne, Nicky Morgan, Jeremy Hunt, Micheal Whittingdale: ALL GONE.

Let us hope that Boris can grow up and apologise to the British for his lies. Let’s hope he can start to realise that our relationships with other countries matter. I have a sneaking suspicion that he has been with May all along, sick and tired of the antics of the previous administration that factually can be blamed for causing the near breakup of the United Kingdom.

Labour and Brand

Maybe now that faux-socially-aware Cameron has fallen, the Labour party will have some cachet in the occupation of the middle ground?

Corbyn has been a refreshing nuisance, a politician who actually is convinced his point of view aligns with the voters and it seems that is correct.

It is the 174 MPs who have no-confidence in a genuine socialist who seem to be in the wrong party. They appear to be liberals, not socialists. They still call themselves “Blairites”? Surely “Social Democrats” is a better name for them, and their electoral chances are better under an accurate name and flag, than pretending they have the ear of the average Labour voter?

Get out of the way of candidates that can follow Jeremy Corbyn bringing socialist values back to Labour, where they belong. We do not need another Thatcherite party calling itself Labour competing with the Conservatives, we need representation, preferably proportional, and with accurate political branding.

This empahsis on “leadership” is simply distraction. Labour do not deserve power when 174 of their MPs are not Labour.

If you vote Labour while the party is populated by Blairites you are voting for Social Democracy at best, or perhaps should vote for the Lib Dems. “Labour” failed to get a majority under Ed Miliband: Blairism was right of Thatcher.

Labour is doomed if it does not establish its identity. Maybe after this government, we will need a socialist party to compete for our votes. Corbyn is one of the best leaders in our Parliament, in my opinion, but I am not a Labour voter.

It rather depends on what “leadership” means. If it means setting policy objectives and behaviour by example, then Corbyn appears to be setting up a socialist plank which has its audience. The Blairites – or Social Democratic lobby – also have a very good plank but it is not “Labour”. It is entirely, in my view, an issue of brand confusion brought about by Blair, by taking over the centre ground, he defined a new breed of centrist, who are basically neo-liberal economically but socially aware on “issues”. I would say the real inheritor of this brand is Cameron but he is over the top insofar as austerity went, and not very successful either. Theresa May has already defined herself to partly take this “centre” ground with her announcement of Miliband’s ideas about worker representation on boards. I understand your point of view is seen as common sense, but I have a very different perspective. I have seen a successful Left Wing modernised Labour party win 2 terms under one PM and then 4 terms in office under the next, bring about a surplus without harsh austerity while banning nuclear weapons, ending discrimination against gay people and minorities (New Zealand, under David Lange and then Helen Clark).

I am not 100% behind Corbyn, but he is brand Labour, and the “Blairites” are not left-wing. When they achieve growth through liberal policies and then become Left leaning (as their brand dictates), like Gordon Brown tried, they lose power.

Yes, I do agree that Corbyn will not win an election until socialism becomes possible, but it is important that we have a range of real options to vote for. I do think that if Labour split and the Neo-Liberals took over from the UKiP vacuum, that they would win the next General Election but they will not as Labour, as that brand is not what they are.

The referendum showed how their constituancies did not follow with their thinking, that their brand of socialism did not appeal to Labour voters. Blaming Corbyn’s leadership is simply illogical. They did not follow his lead and have lost the hearts and minds of the people who elected them. People vote for MPs, not simply a “leader”. This media led thinking that we only vote for a PM is as logical as a return to Royal rule.

For democractic representation to work with Party politics – we have to understand what we are voting for. I appreciate your arguments are reasonable and the goal of winning a GE is laudable, but if you do not sort out the brand, then voters will only be disappointed.

Deadly Air Pollution

The WHO warns that air pollution is killing millions in cities. It is a growing problem – cities in China and India covered by thick smog. In the UK London has exceeded its NO2 levels for 2016 a few days into the year. Politicians are questioning the value of expansion at Heathrow if it increases the level of air pollution and makes millions more at risk.