Monthly Archives: June 2016

Is Our Referendum Rigged!

Well the great day is nearly upon us and 36 hours later we will know what decision the British people have arrived at . . . or will we?

Whilst the democratic track record of the EU was good in the early days of the Common Market, some would say, it has since become increasingly questionable. I would venture that 40 years on and it has now deteriorated to a point where it is virtually non-existent!

In 1973 the then Prime Minister, Ted Heath, signed us up to membership of the Common Market on the message that ‘closer ties with Europe could only benefit trade’. The year before, Ireland and Denmark had joined but Norway decided not to. Then, there was no fuss but a simple acceptance of the democratic decision of the people.

During those days, support for the Common Market was good, with good connectivity by voters demonstrated in high turnouts ranging from 65% to 87.6% (The latter was Sweden against the Euro). The exception was Greenland who, having joined in 1973, 6 years later rejected membership and in 1984 the country left the communities.

Since those days, we now know that Heath was ‘economical with the truth’ in what he told us about the simple “trading association” with the other members, in the certain knowledge that much wider control was on the agenda with Brussels.

Voter turnout has declined over the years, substantially with some countries like Italy which in 1979 stood at 86.5% and in 2014 managed just 57.2%. All members, new and old have followed a similar pattern of falling turnouts, with the exception of the UK whose (already low) numbers grew slightly from 32.35% to 35.60% over the same timeframe. (Source UK Political Info)

It was not in Europe but in America that the whole process by which democracy functions in this 21st century has been brought into question. We are talking here the re-election of George W Bush in 2004, by a very narrow margin over his opponent John Kerry.

Whilst at the time Kerry played with a straight bat and conceded the election to Bush, a year later the powerful and non-partisan Government Accountability Office confirmed the then ‘conspiracy theories’ that Bush had no right to be in the White House.

Voter fraud had occurred in a number of areas of the process and included mal-functioning voting machines, individual votes were altered to support another candidate and the falsification of election results by uncertified voting system software. The whole event received no mainstream media coverage whatsoever.

What is particularly worrying for me is that the same team that manipulated Bush into power have since been used by our Tory party and may well be behind the dubious results of last year’s election, where just 24% of the electorate provided a majority government which, on those numbers, is not representative of the people over whom they hold sway.

If we now move into Europe, we have had wholesale abuse of the referendum aspects of the EU treaties by Brussels, initially demonstrated by two ‘no’ votes by Ireland to (2002) Nice and (2009) Lisbon Treaty ratification.

These negative votes threatened their required unanimous membership adoptions and went to second referendums to get the results Brussels was seeking. Whilst not fraud in the true sense of the word, after 30 years, pressure was now being put on member states to comply with Brussels dictates.

If we now move on to 2011 we have the first Greek referendum, which asked the Greek people to accept the terms of the Troika for a haircut of debt. This was in direct opposition to what the Troika wanted and Prime Minister George Papandreou acceded to their request by withdrawing the referendum and subsequently resigned.

Just 4 years later and the newly elected Syriza government flew in the face of Troika demands and actually held a referendum for the people to decide on accepting, or not, the bailout terms requiring more ‘austerity’ measures. The people overwhelmingly chose not to accept the terms and this wholly legitimate act of democracy was simply ignored by the lenders, as well as the European Commission.

That all three members of the Troika were themselves unelected, points to their contempt for this democratic process and their application of even more onerous terms upon the new government and its people as a punishment.

In 2016 an unelected European Commission announced it was ignoring the two thirds Dutch majority vote and would be railroading through visa free travel to 45 million Ukrainians.

Brussels has also recently ignored another respected democratic process, when over a million people signed a petition to halt the odious TTIP trade agreement. With the pending referendum, Brussels has not sought favour with the electorate over this issue, by discussing it or even mooting possible amendments. Rather it has simply gone very quiet, suggesting that once the referendum is over negotiations will be resumed with added vigour and continued contempt for the wishes of the people.

More and more political commentators are voicing the opinion that the EU is teetering on the brink of both financial and political collapse because of incompetence and arrogance. America has much to lose if the EU fails, in both trading terms but more importantly as a strategic base for its growing stance against Russia and China.

I also think it significant that Switzerland has, this week, withdrawn its dormant 1992 EU application as, according to one headline, ‘only a “few lunatics” now want to be involved in the bloc’!

Hannes Germann of the Swiss People’s Party compared the symbolic nature of the vote to Iceland’s decision to drop its own application in 2015. “Iceland had the courage to withdraw their application for membership and no volcano erupted,” he joked. Was this directed at the British people . . . who knows but the timing must be significant, in my opinion.

Given the considerable pressure now being placed upon the British people to vote ‘Remain’ by no less than the US President, the Governor of the Bank of England and the Managing Director of the IMF, none of whom have been elected by us and none of whom are British citizens, it is does not take rocket science to work out that a lot is at stake for their particular vested interests.

Given also the narrowness of the vote between ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’, just like that of the Bush re-election, let us hope that, in the event of a win for ‘Remain’ we do not hear in a years’ time from our own Electoral Commission that it did not represent the will of the people. Let us also hope that we are not too taken into an illegal war by people we have not elected to power.

We have already given away a lot of our sovereign power to Brussels as an act of trust and I question tonight whether that trust has been honestly repaid over the last four decades.

Whatever the outcome, we will have to take responsibility for our individual actions and therefore can only vote with our conscience, whether it be to ‘Remain’ or ‘Leave’ and I offer you my respect for what we are all facing at this time.

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

EU . . . The 51st State

As we know, when Churchill sought America’s help in the last World War, Roosevelt agreed to come in on the understanding that after it was all over American corporations would have unrestricted access to Britain.

Churchill agreed and slowly we have seen the replacement of British standards with American Neoliberalism. This has taken the shape of unrestricted credit, the quality of our lives assessed by financial yardsticks, the privatisation of social services and the gradual erosion of sovereignty, including an unrelenting smear campaign against our monarchy which, in some quarters is succeeding.

I have witnessed this over my lifetime but never before realised that this invasion of our way of living was also being carried out across Europe. Fast food, obesity and the destruction of the middle classes has been occurring in America and now being replicated across Europe.

With the advent of whistleblowers it is clear that there has been a concerted effort to ‘merge’ Europe within a growing global Neoliberal state. The days of ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ are fast disappearing as we awake to the global forces at work in our lives today.

We are gradually progressing from a ‘trading partnership’ to a political and economic union that will result eventually in a Federal States of Europe, with its own military/industrial complex, also mirroring America.

This complex, we know, is a vital part of the American economy and responsible for vast employment as well as profit. It costs serious money to kit out the armed forces and the destruction they cause then costs serious money to rebuild. A simple but very effective formula for profit . . . if you ignore the elephantine loss of human life involved.

The US has waged non-stop war since the last world war and in now setting its sights on Russia and China, as it uses its influence and resources to place a military ring around both countries, as well as from the edges of space.

Obviously Europe is important to the US in its ongoing battle with Russia and China for global supremacy and strategically critical in the same way that the island of Malta was to the Allies in the last war.

It is for all of these reasons we have seen an acceleration in the development of the EU over the last decade or so, with the introduction of the single currency and then the Lisbon Treaty bringing about political unification. Now Brussels is seeking the establishment of an EU army and I sense this is only a year or two away at the most, as tension with Russia and China escalates.

When the idea was first muted, at the end of WWII, for a united Europe the reason given was to ensure that there would be no more wars within the continent. A reasonable presumption which was then veiled in a political mist publicly touted as the aforesaid ‘trading partnership’.

If the slow and steady ‘organic’ development of Europe had been allowed to continue, I have no doubt that the introduction of the Euro, political unification and even the eventual introduction of a European army would have been accepted with a minimum of fuss by the people. Here I am talking the next 50 or 100 years, not in less than the last 20 years, which is the reality.

What has caused this sudden escalation in the consolidation of power in Europe over its nation states? I am now convinced the emerging power of the BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, is happening faster than was originally anticipated.

China’s rise in economic power has been meteoric and is a serious threat to US global dominance. To me there is a correlation between these events and the escalation of the power grab in Europe in recent years. US financial interests cannot afford Europe the luxury of independence, which would make it a powerful player on the world scene, with the ability to ‘play’ America, Russia and China.

American foreign policy is running scared and hence the cascade of threats and insinuations by both the political and financial elite upon the British people. The global financial system is in a precarious state and the introduction of a competing system by China, aided and abetted by Russia and backed by gold, along with the restlessness of the people at the status quo in Europe is forcing America’s hand.

Europe needs to be neatly tucked under the US wing and solely accountable to the Pentagon, as are the American people. Taking sovereign power away from nation states is the way to achieve this and is not original thinking. It was this very move in 1933, with the ‘Enabling Act’, that gave Hitler absolute power over the German people . . . and looked what then followed!

To support this power grab, we have seen stagnating wages for over 20 years now, which only the rich have benefitted from and the neutering of worker power to weaken any resistance to the Neoliberal agenda.

Look at what is happening in France as I write with the personal intervention of Brussels senior player Juncker, to support the further neutering of worker rights there. This will not change and can only intensify if Brussels is allowed to consolidate its power base.

Left alone the people get on fine together and could build a unity of purpose that would be both powerful and gratifying to all. Accountable politics, re-introduction of democracy and minimal regulation to free up cross border trade and the encouragement of the growth of small businesses, are but a starting point.

We have this one opportunity to break the authoritarian fist that is now tightening around us, or it will eventually result in bloody revolution and the loss of millions of lives, which could be avoided by simply putting the cross in the appropriate box on Thursday, if you haven’t already done so.

I love my country and I love Europe. I want neither to become the 51st State of America.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes