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

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

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Hot News Flash : Got you hooked on war…

Here we go. A nuclear conflict in the brewing up stage. And a front seat with the world’s media.

Slavery, The West’s Crime

Slavery reparations are due from the West to countries where it stole labor and the lives of many to extract progress for itself.

Nothing short of a massive transfer of wealth from the developed to the underdeveloped world, and to the descendants of slavery and colonialism in the west, can heal the deep wounds inflicted.

We now enjoy the fruits of our forefathers. Is it not entirely logical that these fruits falling from trees planted from the purloined heritage should now recognise the enforced investment by the ancestors of one group of people to another? Or should the boundaries of an undeclared war be respected?

This is a difficult and divisive question but the answer depends on what your situation is vis a vis “The West”.

Slavery is a crime. War is a way to bury crimes. When a war happens in society rather than the battlefield, it is hard to know from the result, who indeed is the winner? Was the Cold War “won” by the collapse of the Soviet Union? How is that winning when now American Government domination of its culture is in the hands of the most wealthy. Will Trump now start to lash out with budgets at disasters or war provocations from North Korea? Or will he act like a surgeon and excise with exact and incisive negotiation, the exact words required to permanently solve the most dangerous problems in the world? Not so far.

The “we have excellent weapons” arguments only go so far before they result in escalation. But it worked for the slave masters who were our great-great-great-great-grandparents, possibly. One of the reasons for the Second Amendment is that it makes slavery less likely. One of the reasons for the First Amendment is it makes despotism less likely. The UK’s role in gathering slaves was not taught in English History at school. Not that I recall.

The British were involved and derived much wealth from the Slave Trade until it was made illegal in 1833 with “apprenticeships” an interim arrangement in which slavers were “compensated” with “20 million paid to the planters”.

Not many Slaves, the people who were harmed by slavery, remain as victims of the West’s social cannibalism. The descendants of slavery are now citizens proper and whether their lives have suffered or gained due to the upheavals of slavery, it is debatable, but the singular fact must remain, they have lives and share in the spoils of progress.

So are they owed a financial reparation for the crimes of our great great great great grandparents? I am not sure if that would make sense or even do good. But sure, why not? They bail out the slavery based banks so why not?

Slavery can never be fixed. It should not have been but it was. I think cases of reparation that hark back to the disadvantages present in 1833 are interesting, but it is a stretch to consider that it could be heard. But if they should, then, of course, the Justice system must hear such cases.

The one thing that the West could do however, without cost or pain, is to treat all citizens with absolute equality, no matter where they or their grandparents came from. That is something that America needs to do better. It is the very least we can do to repair the damage of Slavery. Treat each other right.

Right Takeover

The forces behind Brexit are not working in the interests of the population but taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the false referendum to change Britain from a semi-democratic group of nations into a tax avoiding paradise that does not give a toss about the concerns of the many for the privilege of the few. Many of those who avidly defend it have vested interests. Some do not. They are decent people who do not understand how much the EU benefits their lives and believe that a brief period of isolation will give the UK more power. They are to be respected, sure. But they need to reconsider. A final vote on the deal is more than necessary. Or they are collaborators in an ideological and irreversible takeover by the Far Right. And that Great Repeal bill to reduce all laws into target practice for the most Tory of mindsets, that must fail or Parliament has become irrelevant.

The Government has been taken over by people who do not need pensions and see poverty as a disease that can be wiped out by starvation.

David Milliband has pitched in on the argument.

Tower in Flames

That the building industry thought that it was not risky to clad a high rise apartment block in flammable cladding is frightening enough. You may hope that it was mere oversight how many councils decided that the look of a building trumped the safety factors and not just clad their building in a pre-packaged instant disaster, but now are leading in the race to become of most productive in the calculation of terror.

That Governments implicate themselves by bonfires of regulation to allow businesses to do whatever they felt could be acceptable risk. It was not just trying to make things look better by covering these buildings with a flammable cosmetic. It is building in vapid negligence of safety regulations.

The non-flammable may be more expensive prior to the first fire. Now, perhaps it should be the only option on the market. The fifth tallest skyscraper residence, in Dubai, all 89 stories of it evacuated without even a single injury.

The money they spend on this edifice to structured living with unnecessary luxury, a concentration of wealth so desperately crammed together, these “homes”. Unbridled luxury or high rise poverty, the destruction of homes is the most terrible fear.

Notwithstanding, the safety record of that building compared to Grenfell, and witness now the Governments of the world have failed to regulate for safety due to budget constraints. That’s one terrifying omission. We want Governments to remove regulations that expose our lives to risks that can be avoided? The difference to less flammable classing for at least 80 dead people was only £300,000 at Grenfell. It would have been more on this and the 30,000 other risk clad buildings in the Middle East. Just think, the masses live in Tinderboxes at the dawn of the age of global warming. Good plan? Leadership? Or just an illustration of something more sinister? Human greed seems to create blindness to consequences of broadly shared risk. The owners of these buildings have a problem. The risks their designs pose to insurers and the risk of the loss of life and the loss of living. Cramped quarters are still someone’s digs. 80 stories of people Losing everything is tragic, but it is not as criminal as they at least got everyone out.

Nuclear Threat

Does North Korea pose a genuine threat to the USA with a handful of nuclear missiles pointed in its general direction?

Does the USA pose a genuine threat to North Korea?

Both bear the scars of a dreadful war in the early 1950s; a war that has not officially ended. In the intervening years, South Korea has emerged as a powerhouse exporting nation with advanced technology competing with Japan and China boasting companies such as Samsung. North Korea, in comparison, has locked itself into a military specialisation to the detriment of its own people who slavishly admire their leader or land up in a gulag, starved to death.

And now they are testing ICBM missiles and it is only a matter of time before they are able to use one against its enemy, the sponsor of South Korea, the USA. And now both countries have belligerent leaders who want to prove themselves with a “good war”.

The USA accuse Russia and China of responsibility here. Russia and China would rather not be at war with the USAA, so having a proxy threat is perhaps useful. All out nuclear war, of course, is in the interests of nobody.

What is the endgame for this terrible standoff? It seems unlikely that either party would not blink due to the nature of Nuclear weapons. If North Korea were to risk launching one, the retaliation could be complete and final. They will never have enough weapons to stop a systematic invasion let alone a nuclear response, but America would most likely have to live with the threat until it can justify action to China and Russia or better yet, engage with them to finally oust the military regime of North Korea.

Guardian article

Reunification turned Germany into a world leader. It is time for Korea to reconsider its path for mutual benefit between the North and the South. Is it in the interests of the West, Japan or anyone for North Koreans to suffer so and for the shroud of death to hang over the region? Does Trump style diplomacy help or is there a better way to help the Koreans to unify?

Fear drives North Korea to act

Democracy

The countries that believe they are the world leaders in democratic fairness are in fact fooling themselves into a false belief their system delivers the “will of the people” when it is heavily weighed to deliver the status quo. Keeping a momentum going for a bit too long is selected instead of cutting short potential. The current era of economic liberalism was delivering a return based on an inflating fiction up until the 2008 crash, as investors optimism evolved into the unfulfillable hunger of a flaccid market, devoid of long term growth through conventional means, i.e. where common production and consumption supporting long term growth. The market roared into a cliff edge – why would anyone believe that our accounts are now in the red but with ten zeroes after the number?

The need for a Commonwealth is apparent in advanced societies. The needs of the majority start to become a more agitated policial force as deception is unmasked.

In the USA, the Senate is comprised of two Senators for each State. Some States have vastly more people than others. How are they equal? The President is a product of votes by arbitrary numbers of Electoral College votes that are supposed but not guaranteed to reflect the decision of the voters of that State.

It seems hard to find a map comparison of the electoral college and the population levels but this cartograph shows the relativity of voters by number in a distortion of the land they occupy (from . This is not meaningful in a democracy. America is not a democracy, it is representational. We support a general direction by voting for one or another of two dominant political memes. Only two? Yes. And then the choice is not one of a plebiscite but one where the resources controlled have a say. Where influence has sway.

It is a strange value – but reflects the British use of “electorates” with boundaries potentially redrawn by the Government. Actual democracy would be a threat to the status quo. It remains that genuine economic direction is established by engagement of the actual majority rather than how we fool ourselves letting privileges guide us. Privilege gets old.

Here is an excellent range of maps to explore how undemocratic America can become. The electoral college does not select based on the popular vote but by a contract of mutual benefit of each state. It made some sense in terms of economic stability until they elected a backward looking president that reboots the coal industry and bans abortions while scientists calmly try to explain that climate change and human growth are threatening the very continuation of life on this rock in space. Trump probably won’t succeed at being the Antichrist, the world is not going to end in flames, but as a sigh. An exhaled breath that dissipates.

Shoot to kill

The Prime Minister, electioneering, has said that she fully supports “shoot to kill” while defending herself from the resonant accusation that she reduced the police forces during her time as Home Secretary and since by nearly 50,000.

“Shoot to kill” may sound like a brief action of a few armed officers but the concentration of automatic weapon brandishing officers in London has increased so much in the last ten years. The reduction in police on the beat has made the city feel under siege rather than safe.

Armed police are useless as investigators. As a last resort, they are more effective than a riot squad armed with batons, but it is only as a last resort are they at all effective. The PM is blind to the actual problem, she thinks that brute force is the only path to defeating terrorism, but it is actually the presence of many police with guns that normalises the fear and rewards terrorism for changing the way that we live, under constant reminders of threat.

London has over 2 million cameras which are nearly useless in detection but serve police well after an incident has occurred as investigatory tools. Reduction of police forces by such large numbers means that the support staff necessary to investigate and detect simply are not there. Being able to also now monitor internet chatter would not strengthen detection, it would require another 100,000 back office staff. There are not enough now to detect issues and thinking they can trail 20,000 people and predict that when they hire vehicle, they should be arrested, is plainly illogical.

To defeat terrorism, remove the reasons that stimulate it. Of course, there will always be radicals and insane criminality. Of course, there will always be thugs. But breeding them with an imbalanced society and starving the police of resources is Theresa May’s real crime. She is the cause of this rash of terrorism.

Happy New Year – from Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel, leader of Germany wishes all Germany a Happy New Year in this profound message that says why a United Europe is so important.

Yes, Europe is slow. It’s arduous. It has to suffer deep incisions, such as the departure of a member state. And – yes – Europe should concentrate on what it can really do better than the nation-state.

But no – we Germans should never let ourselves pretend that a happy future could ever lie in going it alone as a nation.

Read it here.

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.