Last chance saloon

At the last general election in 2015 Britons got to choose which of the two major parties would administer austerity. In the snap election on June 8 they are expected to endorse smash and grab capitalism, intensified class war, devastation of the Global South, support for US imperialism and the launch of nuclear missiles on a ‘first-strike’ basis. Democracy in the west is now a template for extinction by consent.

In the UK poorly educated and heavily indoctrinated citizens -in thrall to the public broadcaster and corporate media – are privileged in a loaded electoral system. In 2015 the Conservative Party won an overall majority with 11.3 million votes (24.5% of the electorate) although 19.4 million (42%)  voted against, with 15.5 million (33.5%) not voting at all. It would have made no difference if they had voted for the Labour Party, then firmly a part of the Westminster Consensus and the cult of purified capitalism. Deception is the key.

Here’s the scam this time. Prime Minister Theresa May claims she called the election “to secure the strong and stable leadership the UK needs to see us through Brexit and beyond.”

Spelling it out in Leeds she said:

Every vote cast for me through my local Conservative candidates in cities like Leeds, and in towns and cities across the UK, will strengthen my hand when I negotiate with the Prime Ministers, Presidents and Chancellors of Europe in the months ahead…If you vote for me to strengthen my hand at the negotiating table in Brussels, I will do everything I can to represent the interests of every person in this great city – and every person in this great country.

Having the nation onside is irrelevant to the negotiations and the EU bureaucracy, which – as Tory MP John Redwood observed – completely ignored the Greek vote against austerity. It is plain that Mrs May is cynically invoking the ‘Blitz Spirit’ to win support at the polls. Her real reason for calling an election is to rout a betrayed Labour Party, secure an unassailable majority in Parliament and complete the privatisation of the UK.

She knows free-trade deals are passé in a new era of protectionism. The point has been made for some time by British economist Simon Evenett.

Whether it is populism, electoral timetables, and the hard realities of trade negotiations, at this time real questions arise whether trade agreements are politically viable vehicles for market opening and liberalisation…As anyone who really watches commercial policy knows, the action these days is almost entirely taken at the national level. From new “Buy America” provisions to “Make in India” to Russian and Saudi “import substitution” initiatives, for better or for worse, 21st century trade policy has been principally about what commercial policies nations implement outside of trade talks. What matters more for British living standards is the terms that London sets for access to and operation in UK markets than the terms it wrings from others during a dash for foreign trade deals.

Valentin Katasonov notes:

The financial crisis of 2007-2009 effectively terminated the process of globalization. In 2015 world trade suddenly dropped by more than 10% for the first time since 2009. Nothing like this has been seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s… One important hallmark of this era is the strengthening of protectionism in international trade and investment… and even the move to regulating trade on a bilateral basis. According to the WTO, just in the period between October 2015 and May 2016 the G20 countries adopted 145 laws aimed at strengthening trade barriers, and over 1,500 such laws have been adopted since 2008. In total, according to estimates by the renowned British economist Simon Evenett, there are close to 4,000 protectionist laws and regulations on the books around the world. And the countries of the G20 – where over 90% of global trade originates – are responsible for 80 % of those trade barriers

Brexit is a distraction says author and economist Phil Mullans:

Since 1993 and joining the Single Market, British productivity growth has declined, its export growth into the EU has slowed, and British exports to the world beyond the EU have been doing relatively better. The relative importance of the EU as an export market has shrunk… Leaving the EU, leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union, will have no definitive pre-determined effect on the economy – either for bad or good… Britain’s productivity growth and its trading performance have deteriorated since the 1970s, not because of the Common Market or EU membership but regardless of it. Fixating on the EU trading relationship for the next two years distracts us from getting on with fixing this decay.

This is a telling observation. More importantly the media’s interminable and tedious speculation about Brexit is intended to camouflage the elephant on the island, the grim reality that Britain’s economic malaise is part of a larger crisis. Professor Wolfgang Streeck director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, says for almost four decades rising inequality has been accompanied by a persistent increase in overall debt and steadily declining economic growth, mutually reinforcing trends reflecting a protracted and inexorable process of decay. Capitalism has ceased to be a self-reproducing, sustainable, predictable and legitimate social order.

Obsessing over a trade deal is a strategy for buying time, perhaps enough to reverse Brexit, while the state is looted and the vulnerable dispossessed to shore sagging profits. For Mrs May – and the political class generally -the task is to facilitate corporate theft, deflect public discontent and neutralise resistance as inequality soars.

But the usual pantomime in which a protection racket is legitimised at the ballot box – irrespective of who wins – has been seriously disrupted. The emergence of a committed socialist, Jeremy Corbyn, as the leader of the Labour Party gives voters a real chance to resist austerity and war. The establishment panicked as he closed the gap on the Tories and resorted to rubbishing him as a terrorist sympathiser. As if on cue, an explosion in the foyer of the Manchester Arena on May 22 killed 22 people, injured 116 others and gave a beleaguered Mrs May a critical time-out.

Ramadan Abedi, the father of the alleged suicide bomber Salman Abedi (23), is a former officer in Libyan Intelligence Services. He was involved in two British Intelligence (MI6) plots to assassinate Muammar Gaddafi and in the creation of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (the local branch of Al-Qaeda). LIFG provided ground support for the NATO airstrikes that reduced an independent African nation to a terrorist enclave. Ramadan Abedi was given political asylum in Britain and returned to Libya after the fall of Gadaffi.

Mr Corbyn resumed his campaign with a speech focusing on terrorism. He said:

Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home…Those terrorists will forever be reviled and implacably held to account for their actions. But an informed understanding of the causes of terrorism is an essential part of an effective response that will protect the security of our people, that fights rather than fuels terrorism…The blame is with the terrorists, but if we are to protect our people we must be honest about what threatens our security…Those causes certainly cannot be reduced to foreign policy decisions alone…And no rationale based on the actions of any government can remotely excuse, or even adequately explain, outrages like this week’s massacre. But we must be brave enough to admit the war on terror is simply not working. We need a smarter way to reduce the threat from countries that nurture terrorists and generate terrorism.

The speech was panned by the chatterati as further evidence that Mr Corbyn was soft on terrorism. However, the ‘Report of the Iraq Inquiry’ published last year shows the Labour leader has cut to the heart of the matter. A comment at the end of Volume 6 reads: “Influence should not be set as an objective in itself. The exercise of influence is a means to an end.” Cambridge academic Glen Rangwala – who exposed Tony Blair’s January 2003 Iraq dossier as a fake – says:

Those are the last sentences on everything up to the invasion. Put quote marks around it, add the word discuss, and there you have a question for our second year undergraduates. But it is actually a very striking point. The way in which it is built up is in the discussion of the way in which the British government up to 2003 was debating not what its objective was in Iraq, what the goal was in Iraq. It was about increasing British influence on the international stage. And that is what is being criticised at the end of this discussion in the report up to 2003…the way in which Britain has over a long period of time thought about its role in the world; set itself goals that are oriented around increasing influence, increasing our say in world affairs without ever questioning seriously what the purpose of that is.

In short a seven year investigation found the British government had no discernible foreign policy apart from impressing the US. Nothing has changed. Britain follows where America leads. That includes enthusiastic support for the global war on terror, the reshaping of the Middle East and for a renewed cold war based on the aggressive use of nuclear weapons.

Mrs May’s zeal for deploying Trident on a ‘first strike’ basis has provoked no serious discussion of the nuclear winter that will follow. The media slant is that it proves she has balls of steel and can be trusted to protect the country; the irony that Mrs May has the potential to become the world’s last suicide bomber is wasted. It goes unremarked that she is embracing the rising American conviction that a nuclear war against Russia and China is necessary and winnable given the vast increase in US nuclear targeting capability. Or that she dangerously fuels the solidifying Russian and Chinese perception that they may have to act first.

Eric Zuesse puts the issue in perspective:

Inevitably, the strictly personal morality and self-image of a nation’s leader in that type of situation are factors other than the very public global consequences that will determine the person’s decision; but, with only (at most) 15 minutes to decide on the Russian side, and 30 minutes to decide on the American side, there is an inestimably high chance now, that a nuclear war will terminate the lives of everyone who currently exists and who doesn’t soon die from the ordinary causes before then. Even the most dire projections of the dangers from global warming come nowhere close to matching that danger.

The spectacular 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington launched the war on terror. The official narrative is incredible and the evidence points overwhelmingly to an inside job, a false flag to justify an escalation of military spending in pursuit of full spectrum dominance and global hegemony. The cover story for the London July 7 bombings is equally unconvincing. On both sides of the Atlantic the priority was to destroy evidence, institute a cover-up and block any independent public inquiry.

An academic study of post 9/11 ‘terror attacks’ against America shows most of the ‘terrorists’ were vulnerable, idiotic patsies egged on by undercover operatives. The pattern is similar across Europe.

Matthew Jamison is a Senior Parliamentary Researcher at the House of Commons. He says it is hard to overstate the hatred and loathing there is for Jeremy Corbyn at the highest levels of the British Establishment and State. In a piece about the Manchester Arena bombing titled “A Very British False Flag” he says:

People should ask themselves a very hard question: if British intelligence in collusion with the politicians were willing to tell such lies and fabricate such nonsense to get the UK into the Iraq War with the untold destruction and death that has wrought, what else are they capable of doing? To the cold, psychotic men in grey suits of the MI5 Whitehall Establishment – people – particularly working class people are merely useful idiots to be manipulated like pieces on a chess board. They do not value human life the way people who have empathy do. Indeed, Mrs. May recently said she herself: “does not do empathy”. To some of their number certain people are expendable if it will help them achieve their sordid, perverted objectives.

Brits are drinking in the last chance saloon.

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