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Ghost Dog

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 16,679

About Me

A Brit many years in Spain, Catalunya, Baleares, Canarias. Cooperative member. Geography. Ecology. Cartography. Software. Sound Recording. Music Production. Languages & Literature. History.

Journal Archives

Jeremy Corbyn keynote conference speech live now:

https://www.reuters.tv/l/P1ph

UK financial establishment losing fear of radical Labour government

... Earlier this month, Oliver Harvey, an analyst for Deutsche Bank in the City of London, told the Telegraph: “We see the magnitude of economic damage caused by a no-deal Brexit as much higher than [that caused by] policies proposed in the last Labour manifesto.” In the same article, Christian Schulz, an analyst for Citibank, noted approvingly that “Labour has become more decisively pro-EU”, while “a fiscally profligate no-deal Conservative government” had become less “enticing”.

Off the record, other senior people in the City tell me they find the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, who has been circulating among them busily in recent months, a serious and intriguing figure: a supposed Marxist who looks, and sometimes talks, a bit like a bank manager.

A similar thaw is under way in the more thoughtful parts of the business press. With western capitalism having a crisis of confidence, at the very least – this week the Financial Times announced “Capitalism: time for a reset” – Labour’s radical economic alternatives have begun to look more reasonable to some business journalists. The Economist, despite its longstanding support for the Thatcherite free-market reforms that McDonnell would like to reverse, has been covering the development of Labour’s new economic thinking with intense curiosity since 2017. This month, the more cautious, centrist FT has published a succession of long articles about “Labour’s new establishment” and its ambitions for Britain. While the pieces were still spiked with criticisms, the scale of the coverage has suggested a degree of respect – and that corporate Britain needs to understand Corbynism, and be prepared to make some accommodations with it...

... Since Corbyn took over Labour, the Tories and Liberal Democrats have each had three leaders. Meanwhile Labour’s policies – relentlessly dismissed as weird and naive by newspapers that saw no downsides to austerity and Brexit – have in fact often carefully gone with the grain of public opinion: renationalise the railways, raise taxes on the rich, put more police on the streets, avoid fighting foreign wars that lead to terrorism... Corbyn’s Labour has helped crystallise what students of the great Italian leftwing thinker Antonio Gramsci would call a new political common sense: a widespread feeling that free-market capitalism has run its course, public spending needs to rise, and the way we manage society and the economy needs to change...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/21/bankers-corbyn-tories-no-deal-capitalism-radical-government

Ireland: Will UK smugglers make hay while agriculture in NI and the Republic

crashes? It is one of the oldest professions.

... Last week Varadkar confirmed for the first time that there would be checks on goods coming across the Northern Ireland border. “Some may need to take place near the border” rather than on the border but most would be in ports, airports and at businesses. That is of little comfort to agri-food businesses facing mandatory sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks. One poultry business told the Guardian they have been told that “near the border” is actually 100 miles away at Dublin Port, the only place with a Brexit-ready border inspection post...

... Trade to and from the UK is a vital part of Ireland’s economy with €16bn (£14.3bn) worth of exports to the UK in 2018 including around 50% of its beef and almost half its cheddar cheese. The EU has already given Ireland permission to open the coffers to help businesses cushion themselves – and Irish businesses are demanding £1bn to mitigate the Brexit shock.

Representatives of the French government were also at Dublin Castle to explain the special corridor they have set up for Irish freight using the UK as a landbridge to the continent. They have built a new smart-border customs system in Calais which will allow officials to distinguish between trucks carrying Irish and British cargo. Scans of documents will be taken while the truck is passing through the Eurotunnel or on the ferry allowing them to be waved through in Calais as an “EU member state” truck not requiring SPS checks...

... “It doesn’t matter what comes down the track in terms of paperwork, what we can’t deal with is the collapse in sterling,” says O’Leary. “Nobody is making money selling to the UK. We are just surviving.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/12/no-deal-will-be-a-total-disaster-irish-agri-food-sector-on-high-alert

The Guardian:

A five-page document spelling out the government’s “planning assumptions” under Operation Yellowhammer – the government’s no-deal plan – was disclosed in response to a “humble address” motion. The content of the document was strikingly similar to the plan leaked to the Sunday Times in August, which the government dismissed at the time as out of date. That document was described as a “base case”; but the new document claims to be a “worst-case scenario”...

... “The lack of trader readiness combined with limited space in French ports to hold ‘unready’ HGVs could reduce the flow rate to 40%-60% of current levels within one day as unready HGVs will fill the ports and block flow,” it warns. This situation could last for up to three months, and disruption might last “significantly longer”, it adds, with lorries facing waits of between 1.5 days and 2.5 days to cross the border. The reliance of medical supplies on cross-Channel routes “make them particularly vulnerable to severe extended delays”, the report says, with some medicines having such short shelf lives they cannot be stockpiled. A lack of veterinary medicines could increase the risk of disease outbreaks, it adds.

On food supplies, supplies of “certain types of fresh food” would be reduced, the document warns, as well as other items such as packaging. It says: “In combination, these two factors will not cause an overall shortage of food in the UK but will reduce availability and choice of products and will increase price, which could impact vulnerable groups.” Later, it adds: “Low income groups will be disproportionately affected by any price rises in food and fuel.”

On law and order it warns: “Protests and counter-protests will take place across the UK and may absorb significant amounts of police resource. There may also be a rise in public disorder and community tensions.” ...

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/11/operation-yellowhammer-fears-no-deal-brexit-chaos-forced-to-publish-secret-papers

Brexit: Operation Yellowhammer no-deal document published

Source: BBC

Riots on the streets, food price rises and reduced medical supplies are real risks of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, a government document has said.

Ministers have published details of their Yellowhammer contingency plan, after MPs voted to force its release.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49670123

PM Johnson: I will not ask for Brexit delay

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday he would not request an extension to Brexit, hours after a law came into force demanding he delay Britain’s departure from the European Union until 2020 unless he can strike a divorce deal.

Johnson appeared to have lost control of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union with the approval of the law, which obliges him to seek a delay unless he can strike a new deal at an EU summit next month. EU leaders have repeatedly said they have not received specific proposals...

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu/pm-johnson-i-will-not-ask-for-brexit-delay-idUKKCN1VU0P3

France to insist on a 'two-year' extension to allow Brexit re-evaluation

... Bruno Bonnell, who is a member of Emanuel Macron’s party, said France would insist on a lengthier time limit to the UK’s exit in order to avoid repeated crises every three months.

“I think that our president has been really clear. Even the last time the UK requested it, it is really the dead-end limit – after the 31 October the game is over,” Mr Bonnell said. “Now if – and this door was open before – if we’re talking about a long delay like maybe a couple of years, to re-evaluate the whole Brexit situation in light of the truth… because the bottom line is what people are realising is that they have been lied to.”

He continued: “What should have been harmless for the UK and simple to set up and we see after two years of heavy negotiation we still have no agreement, so there comes a time when you need to put a stick in the ground.” ...

https://inews.co.uk/news/brexit/france-to-insist-on-a-two-year-extension-to-allow-brexit-re-evaluation/

(UK) Queen approves law seeking to block October 31 no-deal Brexit

... The step, known as Royal Assent, is effectively a rubber-stamp from the monarch for the law which passed through parliament last week despite opposition from the government. The Royal Assent was announced in parliament’s upper chamber, the House of Lords.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-bill/queen-elizabeth-approves-law-seeking-to-block-october-31-no-deal-brexit-idUKKCN1VU1L8


Reuters does not describe the circumstances, convocation of Privy Council or whatever, in which the rubber stamp was applied.

Our path to an ecological civilisation: Alternative money and markets

( Long article at The Conversation: A globalised solar-powered future is wholly unrealistic – and our economy is the reason why )

... To curb the relentless growth of value – at the expense of the biosphere and the global poor – we must create an economy that can restrain itself. Much of the discussion on climate change suggests that we are on a battlefield, confronting evil people who want to obstruct our path to an ecological civilisation. But the concept of capitalism tends to mystify how we are all caught in a game defined by the logic of our own constructions – as if there was an abstract “system” and its morally despicable proponents to blame. Rather than see the very design of the money game as the real antagonist, our call to arms tends to be directed at the players who have had best luck with the dice.

I would instead argue that the ultimate obstruction is not a question of human morality but of our common faith in what Marx called “money fetishism”. We collectively delegate responsibility for our future to a mindless human invention – what Karl Polanyi called all-purpose money, the peculiar idea that anything can be exchanged for anything else. The aggregate logic of this relatively recent idea is precisely what is usually called “capitalism”. It defines the strategies of corporations, politicians, and citizens alike. All want their money assets to grow. The logic of the global money game obviously does not provide enough incentives to invest in renewables. It generates greed, obscene and rising inequalities, violence, and environmental degradation, including climate change. But mainstream economics appears to have more faith in setting this logic free than ever. Given the way the economy is now organised, it does not see an alternative to obeying the logic of the globalised market...

... So the first thing we should redesign are the economic ideas that brought fossil-fueled technology into existence and continue to perpetuate it. “Capitalism” ultimately refers to the artefact or idea of all-purpose money, which most of us take for granted as being something about which we do not have a choice. But we do, and this must be recognised. Since the 19th century, all-purpose money has obscured the unequal resource flows of colonialism by making them seem reciprocal: money has served as a veil that mystifies exploitation by representing it as fair exchange. Economists today reproduce this 19th-century mystification, using a vocabulary that has proven useless in challenging global problems of justice and sustainability. The policies designed to protect the environment and promote global justice have not curbed the insidious logic of all-purpose money – which is to increase environmental degradation as well as economic inequalities.

In order to see that all-purpose money is indeed the fundamental problem, we need to see that there are alternative ways of designing money and markets. Like the rules in a board game, they are human constructions and can, in principle, be redesigned. In order to accomplish economic “degrowth” and curb the treadmill of capital accumulation, we must transform the systemic logic of money itself. National authorities might establish a complementary currency, alongside regular money, that is distributed as a universal basic income but that can only be used to buy goods and services that are produced within a given radius from the point of purchase. This is not “local money” in the sense of LETS or the Bristol Pound – which in effect do nothing to impede the expansion of the global market – but a genuine spanner in the wheel of globalisation. With local money you can buy goods produced on the other side of the planet, as long as you buy it in a local store. What I am suggesting is special money that can only be used to buy goods produced locally. This would help decrease demand for global transports – a major source of greenhouse gas emissions – while increasing local diversity and resilience and encouraging community integration. It would no longer make low wages and lax environmental legislation competitive advantages in world trade, as is currently the case...

https://theconversation.com/a-globalised-solar-powered-future-is-wholly-unrealistic-and-our-economy-is-the-reason-why-118927

UK: 'It's time to f*** s*** up,' extremists threaten

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brexit-protests-london-riots-unrest-far-right-boris-johnson-no-deal-a9095161.html

Far-right groups are threatening to riot over Brexit amid warnings that some of Boris Johnson’s language is “calling to” nationalists. The Metropolitan Police said it was “ready to share resources across the country” if disorder breaks out at protests planned for Saturday... The protests were organised amid a surge in anger over parliament’s moves to prevent a no-deal Brexit with a bill that was approved by the House of Lords on Friday. Extremists using numerous far-right channels on the encrypted Telegram messaging app calling MPs who backed the bill “traitors” and “scum” while planning rallies...

... Senior police officers have been calling for politicians and other political figures to avoid worsening tensions with inflammatory language. Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, issued a warning over the “incredibly febrile atmosphere”. “If you’re in a position where you know you’re going to be listened to, you need to be very careful about the language you are using so it doesn’t end up with consequences that weren’t intended,” he urged...

... Experts said the prime minister and some other pro-Brexit politicians were “using the language of the far right” and playing into extremist narratives. Chloe Colliver, who leads the digital research unit at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue think-tank, said that by using the phrase “surrender bill” and positioning himself as enacting the “will of the people”, Mr Johnson was “calling successfully to a nationalist interpretation of the Brexit debate”. “It seems very purposeful to me and it really harks back to the Second World War nostalgia in this debate, which plays powerfully to the far right and nationalist groups,” she told The Independent...

... Mr Johnson is currently receiving substantial support from key far-right figures, including former Britain First leader Jayda Fransen, who praised him for “purging the traitors” in his party and called on others to fall behind him. The operators of Tommy Robinson’s official Telegram channel called on people to “back Boris”, while supporters shared memes depicting him as Winston Churchill. Ms Colliver warned that if the far right feel Mr Johnson is “in their corner”, it may reduce unrest in the short term but make them feel that their ideals have mainstream support. She said the political stalemate over Brexit was undermining faith in democratic processes, and being “used to channel violent undemocratic objectives to a newly broad and receptive audience in the UK.” ...
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