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Saturday, 15 November 2014

Luxembourg - A Euro Parasite

A parasitic worm lives in the guts of Europe. The rest of the continent does the hard job of catching and eating food, but digestion is shared with a parasite embedded deep in the gut of Europe - Luxembourg. From time to time the eggs of the parasitic worm turn up as unelected Euro officials to ensure that the continent goes easy on the vermicide - and Viviane Reding and Jean Claude Juncker are a couple of A grade double yolkers.

For sheer greed and hypocrisy, nothing beats the parasite or its egregious eggs. In return for giving the lazy burghers one of the richest lifestyles in Europe, global firms are offered cut-price tax deals that allow them to take full legal advantage of the single market. And what really grates is that the Luxembourg parasitic worm can't stand competition - when Ireland started to go down the same road there were howls of outrage from the eggs. It's not the fault of the firms who take advantage of the tax regime; that after all is what firms do, what they're supposed to do. No, the fault is solely parasite Luxembourg's - and most is the doing of the Walt that the EU have just appointed as their most senior unelected official, Jean Claude Juncker.

Friday, 14 November 2014

So sue me, Mister Rahman

Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, is a chiselling crook, a bent and fraudulent opportunist who has perverted the voting process and conspired to steal public funds. I feel quite safe in writing this - Rahman is under investigation by the Met, who would probably already have sufficient evidence to charge most folk, but are making sure they have a cast-iron, waterproof case before taking him down. Andrew Gilligan has also been doing Sterling service in the Telegraph's pages in exposing Rahman's bent and crooked dealings. 

Whilst Rahman's short criminal reign in Tower Hamlets can be quoted as evidence that Localism doesn't work I would offer the countervailing analysis - his fate has proven that it does. His bent deals will be unwound, illegally sold property will be restored, and some assets recovered from the Muslim groups that benefited from Rahman's corruption. 

Moreover, having let him run-on before taking him down provides perfect, racist-free justification for tightening voting and accountability rules - to the public good. And it's proven to Rahman's cohort of supporters that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated in England. 

So all good, as far as I can see.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

History again and Mr Farage

I have long been fascinated by one focus of Europe's history - the collapse of Germany in 1918, the Paris conference and the resultant short lived Weimar Republic. Colonel House's collected letters reveal the progressive breakdown between him and his most trusting master, President Wilson; House was close to the murderous taste for revenge of the French after the UK and US had won the war for them. Who knows whether Hitler would have arisen had not Wilson's intentions been perverted and Germany's humiliation been so complete?; as a footnote, the US almost repeated this vicious humiliation in 1945 until good judgement ditched the evil of the Morgenthau Plan for the beneficent Marshall Plan. 

The Novels of Alfred Döblin - particularly November 1918 and Tales of a Long Night rather than Berlin Alexanderplatz - give a truly authentic insight into the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of Germans during those times, and Youtube has (in two parts) the 3-hour Die Legende vom Dolchstoß und der Vertrag von Versailles by Bernd Fischerauer which I cannot commend too highly.

The counterpart argument for the causes that fuelled Nazism to that of Versailles being too vindictive is that of Germany's military defeat being unfulfilled. Nigel Farage put the case during the annual Tom Olsen lecture at St Bride's, reported by the Guardian. 

I firmly believe that there's no right answer to this and no one viewpoint has the truth of it - but that all informed debate on history is good, and it's right that fixed opinions on all sides are ever open to challenge. And Good on Mr Farage for contributing to the debate.  

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Smug Luxembourgers get Bitch Slapped

We have commented before on the irony of two Luxembourgers - Viviane Reding, from the last bunch of unelected EU officials, and Jean Claude Juncker, capo di capi of the current bunch - lecturing Ireland on tax breaks for corporates. 'Walt' Juncker in particular built his career as head of the Parish Council that is the laughable 'government' of this micro nation in stitching up tax breaks for the global corporates. This has all been well known for a very long time and every single Euphile has been happily ignoring it (as they do with every inconvenient fact) and pretending that the down and dirty JPJ - actually sacked from the Parish Council for corruption - was the ideal unelected official to lead the Commission.

Why then has the social democratic Euphile left suddenly turned on him? Der Spiegal is calling for Juncker to be put 'in the hot seat' and as the Telegraph reports, Bloomberg are devoting huge chunks of editorial space to demand his resignation. Not only that, the French, Dutch and German finance ministers have condemned the fraud and corruption inherent in some of Luxembourg's dodgy tax deals - exposed last Wednesday in a release from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Well, it's too late, lads. You manoeuvred to get the bent little walt the job and now you're stuck with him. 

Monday, 10 November 2014

US Arms industry needs a new enemy

The kings of global corporatism, the US arms industry, is desperate in its need for a new bogeymen enemy. Islam just doesn't cut it; you can't justify a $50bn development programme for stealth ramjet drones on the basis that they're needed to take out Toyota Landcruisers carrying large calibre machine guns designed in the 1950s. And while China and Russia are both big players, their kit is largely old fashioned stuff turned out by metal bashers rather than by silicon savants. Besides, domestic feeling in the US is now strongly against foreign adventuring - meaning the US now only needs main battle tanks to defend itself from invasions from Mexico or Canada. And there's little justification for expensive fleets of warships and transports. Unless, of course, they're needed in Yewp*

The US arms industry always rediscovers NATO and SEATO when times are lean. And if real threats don't exist, they'll do their doggone best to create them. So I expect we'll be back this winter to low level attritional conflict in Ukraine to prove that Russia is a bogeymen and some action in the Pacific to boost the Chinese badddies. And given the pork-barrel relationship between the arms industry and politics in the US, each dead Ukranian means another job saved in a missile plant in New Mexico and a dozen saved votes for their congressman.

*'as in 'Newkyular' when they mean nuclear.