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Archive for the ‘Battle for Europe’ Category

Russia, Turkey, Iran: Adversaries of the West’s NATO alliance

Posted by seumasach on August 7, 2019

Telegraph hawk Con Coughlin laments the demise of the Western Alliance. But don’t they still have Oceania- as in Orwell’s 1984? If so, it’s a motley crew under the erratic leadership of Trump with Dad’s Army bringing up the rear under Captain Johnson, Brazil’s thirty families representative Bolsonaro hoping for some rich pickings and an increasingly sceptical ANZAC division hoping they don’t completely destroy good business with China.

Con Coughlin

Gateston Insitute

5th August, 2019

Germany’s outright rejection of Washington’s request [to support Washington’s proposal for a maritime protection force in the Arabian Gulf to protect shipping from attacks by Iran] is likely to inflame tensions further between Washington and Berlin. U.S. President Donald J. Trump is already at odds with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a range of issues, from Germany’s obstinate refusal to meet its Nato funding commitments to its pursuit of closer energy ties with Russia through the construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

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China seeks to reassure Europe at Croatia summit

Posted by seumasach on April 22, 2019

Addressing the session in Dubrovnik, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras described the decision to join the Chinese initiative as “a very crucial moment for global and regional developments.”

“We have to leave behind the crisis and find new models of regional and global cooperation,” he said, adding that it must be done with “full respect” of the EU rules, Tsipras said.

Yahoo

12th April, 2019

DUBROVNIK, Croatia (AP) — China’s prime minister promised Friday that his government will respect European standards and fair trade, seeking to allay concerns that it is flouting European Union competition rules with huge investments on the continent.

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China’s belt and road continues to win over Europe while technocrats scream and bowl

Posted by seumasach on April 22, 2019

Mathew Ehret

Strategic Culture

20th April, 2019

On April 10th, China’s Premier Li Keqiang celebrated the completion of the 1st phase of the 2.5 kilometer Chinese-built Pelgesac Bridge in Croatia across the Bay of Mali Ston alongside Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. This ceremony marked a striking victory as the following day ushered in an important 16+1 Heads of State summit that saw Greece inducted as the newest member of a new alliance of Central and Eastern European nations who wish to cooperate with China. At this summit held on April 12, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated that this was “a very crucial moment for global and regional developments” and “we have to leave behind the crisis and find new models of regional and global cooperation.”

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Britain in purgatory

Posted by seumasach on April 14, 2019

Cailean Bochanan

14th April, 2019

At last, some clarity is coming to Brexit. We now know that Theresa May wasn’t just running down the clock for a no-deal departure and that the EU is prepared to give extensions without any plan or clue to a plan being on offer. Even if the EU isn’t heaven a no-deal Brexit would certainly be hell and the UK has therefore entered a sort of purgatory to be purged of the sin of hubris.

We are learning still more about the British constitutional system: it doesn’t , as claimed, rest on the sovereignty of parliament. An attempt by parliament to seize control has failed miserably. How can a mere aggregation of constituency I.e. local representatives act decisively on national issues: they voted to save their seats. It was the great elitists the Whigs, who despised the people with a vengeance, who extended the franchise in order to make sure the spectre of Stuart monarchical power, which had raised it’s head once again under George the Third, could never again return to haunt them. This led to the gradual emergence of the executive, prime ministerial power through the two-party system  within the legislative itself, in contradiction to the much-vaunted doctrine of the separation of powers. Such a system worked at it’s peak during times of nations consensus such as the the two world wars and Cold War, the famous post-war consensus. So even the British constitution works when there is consensus but what happens when the country is split down the middle, from top to bottom? Nothing happens by the look of it.

But there is no shame in being dysfunctional: there are plenty of other dysfunctional countries. Spain continues to be divided along exactly the lines of the civil war fought over eighty years ago and torn apart by regional division. Similar entrenched divisions are evident in many other European countries: that is one reason why they are so committed to the EU. The EU enables them to transcend irreconcilable local feuding and move to a new, higher terrain. The political stability of Britain post- Good Friday Agreement also depends on EU membership.The Greek crisis was largely blamed on the EU and was widely cited by left-leaning, Brexiteers. But they failed to note that Greece didn’t actually leave: Greece will eventually resolve it’s economic and political problems within the EU.

But we have boldly set out to go it alone and we’ve got as far as complete paralysis. We desperately want to move, “to just get on with it” in our fabled, no-nonsense, everyday, down to earth sort of way. To keep ongoing to the end of the road!

But the UK is already at the end of the road.The factors which have enabled our essentially parasitic, imperial  economic model to serve the needs of our people are no longer there no matter how we seek to escape EU financial regulation, protect our tax havens and enable illegal money flows into the country.And extraditing Assange or jumping on the anti-Maduro bandwagon won’t stop US competition in the offshore game. Under Trump “business” trumps the Special Relationship.

 The world has left us behind. China is leading the way with the greatest project of economic construction in human history, the Belt and Road Initiative. The EU-China summit shows that Europe is buying into it. Trump is already boasting about his big deal the with China, the grandfather of all deals, the greatest deal in human history etc.- so he tells us. It is a sad delusion that Brexit Britain will be global Britain. Outside the single market the UK is economically insignificant. Thatcher destroyed the UK’s industrial base but at least her single market idea enabled the UK to become , to some extent, a hub for incoming investment.. March 31st didn’t see Brexit but another historic event went largely unnoticed: the Basil 111 accords came into force changing the status of gold within central banking reserves. In other words, the beginning of the return of gold as money and the beginning of the end of the dollar reserve fiat system introduced in 1971. This in turn threatens the status of the pound which hung onto the dollar’s coat tails under that system.

With a no-deal Brexit looking like a leap into the abyss rather than just a leap in the dark it would appear to be off the agenda. The other imagined forms of Brexit constitute a huge mass of fudge best epitomised in Corbyn’s membership of “a” customs union and close alignment with the single market, whatever that’s supposed to mean. If only the problem were a disconnect between the people and the political class as it has become fashionable to claim. The vagaries of Labour Party policy are the result of an attempt to connect to the people, a people itself hopelessly divided and confused as would be expected when you reach a fork in the road, when you face a historic shift in the status of the UK, something which can’t be grasped within the parameters of the everyday.

The remain option is now the only logical one but may still be politically impossible. Unable to leave and unable to remain our stay in purgatory may be a prolonged one. Another extension may be necessary. It is a national humiliation.

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Pompeo, Pence & the alienation of Europe

Posted by seumasach on February 25, 2019

Patrick Lawrence

Consortium News

19th february, 2019

What a job Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did in Europe last week. If the objective was to worsen an already critical trans–Atlantic rift and further isolate the U.S., they could not have returned to Washington with a better result.

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Gavin Williamson’s post-Brexit military plans are a dangerous fantasy

Posted by seumasach on January 15, 2019

Coinciding as it does with appeals for a hard Brexit from senior security state people, Williamson confirms Brexit as a neo-imperial project gone wrong.

Peace Pledge Union

30th december, 2018

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has been accused of living in the nineteenth century after promising to build new military bases around the world following Brexit.

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Ex-MI6 and defence chiefs warn Tory MPs to vote down Brexit deal that ‘threatens national security’

Posted by seumasach on January 15, 2019

Explaining why they oppose the new relationship with the EU in the agreement, they write: “Buried in this Agreement is the offer of a ‘new, deep and special relationship’ with the EU in defence, security and intelligence which cuts across the three fundamentals of our national security policy: membership of NATO, our close bilateral defence and intelligence relationship with the USA and the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.”

The geopolitical stakes in Brexit couldn’t be put more starkly. However, short of Trump’s removal from office, they appear totally unrealistic.

Sky News

10th January, 2019

A former top spook and an ex-defence chief have taken the unprecedented step of urging Tory constituency bosses to order their MP to vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

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Probes involving Trump associates are becoming difficult for the president to ignore

Posted by seumasach on December 15, 2018

Britain is descending into political chaos as May is seemingly playing for time. Meanwhile, attempts to unseat Trump reach a crescendo at least in the press. The impeachment of Trump would restore the Special Relationship and perhaps put Brexit back on the road to Oceania.

 

Independent

15th December, 2018

The interview that Michael Cohen gave ABC News on Friday morning should show Donald Trump one thing; that until he surrenders to begin a three-year prison sentence next March, he is unlikely to go away.

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Hammond threatens EU with aggressive tax changes after Brexit

Posted by seumasach on December 15, 2018

It is clear now that the meaning of this statement has to be revisited in the light growing American hostility to UK financial interests culminating in Trump’s election and  embodied in his tax reforms, and the growing campaign to render British Overseas Territories more transparent finally concretised in 2018 legislation. Dodgy financial operations are not only under threat by EU regulations but by US competition. and have been for some time. Hence the need for a deepening of the City of London’s role as a haven for illicit money flows.

Guardian

15th January, 2017

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, has suggested Britain could transform its economic model into that of a corporate tax haven if the EU fails to provide it with an agreement on market access after Brexit.

In an interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Hammond said that if Britain were closed off from European markets after leaving the EU, it would consider abandoning a European-style social model with European-style taxation and regulation systems, and “become something different”.

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Cameron stepped in to shield offshore trusts from EU tax crackdown in 2013

Posted by seumasach on December 15, 2018

Guardian

7th April, 2016

David Cameron intervened personally to prevent offshore trusts from being dragged into an EU-wide crackdown on tax avoidance, it has emerged.

In a 2013 letter to the then president of the European council, Herman Van Rompuy, the prime minister said that trusts should not automatically be subject to the same transparency requirements as companies.

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‘Dirty money’: U-turn as Tories back plans to make tax havens transparent

Posted by seumasach on December 15, 2018

“The disclosure measure had originally been proposed by David Cameron and George Osborne in 2013, but the commitment was dropped when May became prime minister, prompting Hodge and Mitchell to act in concert to get the measure on the statute book.”

Interesting that the UK government has acted against these tax havens although they still have the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. May, then, is a safe pair of hands as far as City interests are concerned and, by the look of it, not a closet Remainer.

Guardian

1st May, 2018

Britain’s overseas territories will be forced to adopt public registers of company ownership at the end of the decade after the government conceded it would have to support a backbench amendment designed to stem the global flow of “dirty money”.

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