Europe Stares into the Abyss: Confronting the American Occupant in the Room

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Europe must seize the vast opportunity for self-determination that has presented itself in Trump’s destructive re-configuration of the post-War international order.

In the wake of the vandalism of the Trump presidency, an end-game has been revealed which will allow Europe to reclaim its sovereignty as an independent world power – and as another counter-balance to American hegemony.

If Europe will not, however, embrace this possibility, if it does not have the courage to take charge of its own destiny, it will face two existential possibilities: full assimilation into the American empire or destruction through war. There is no middle course if Europe will not embrace the truth of its oft-preached slogans and oft-publicised philosophies of freedom.

There may never be a better moment for Europe to take its destiny back into its hands. Trump wants to frighten, intimidate, expecting that we will always back down, that we will always choose the unimaginative stability of the status quo – or, that our elites will always be susceptible of blackmail, bribery or bullying to toe the line.

But, is this how we want our history to be told to our children: that we were knaves, cowards and accomplices to the most destructively narcissistic nation in history?

To read the rest of the essay, please visit Europe Stares into the Abyss.

 

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After Brexit – Envisioning New British Landscapes

Among its myriad effects, Brexit threatens a radical shakeup of UK agriculture with the withdrawal of billions of pounds of EU subsidies. There is considerable anxiety in the agricultural community as most farmers rely on some form of income support from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Without a policy of smooth transition, the transformation of agriculture will lead to a radical shift in land values as many farmers lose their holdings to the international market.

The fall of the CAP opens up the ominous possibility of the corporate countryside, the brave new world of high intensity agribusiness, accelerated road building, suburban residential and retail commercial developments, airports and tourist facilities. In an era of cheap land and perhaps negative interest rates – not to mention the housing crisis – development will proceed apace as the integrity of the countryside is forever altered.

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Contrary to this nightmare scenario, the current CAP policy favoured stability, and in recent decades, environmental criteria and objectives, linked through cross-compliance to farming subsidies. Activities such as crop diversification, pesticide control, wildlife corridors have been central to the Pillar I requirements for EU subsidies. Such activities are still in place across the UK and indicate an alternative path for the British countryside, other than the corporate takeover of rural Britain.

It is ironic that British scholars and scientists have been central to the articulation of EU environmental law and policy, the most developed body of such law in the world. Indeed, given the high level of public education in the UK on environmental issues, especially of such issues as climate change, it would be difficult, and in fact, counter-productive, to walk away from such a longstanding commitment to the environment.

Confronted however by the forced choice between economic development and the environment, many may tolerate the incremental destruction of the rural landscape. But, we must be clear that this is a false choice and that a better approach to the countryside is possible than a passive drift toward the wasteland. To get a glimpse of the nightmare scenario, we need only consider the American (formerly rural) landscape of suburbs, retail malls, theme parks, landfills and industrial farms.

Nevertheless, Britain differs from the Americans since they have already created their wasteland. The UK still stands at the crossroads, not having taken the plunge toward overdevelopment and corporate agriculture.  Indeed, while the UK will leave the EU, there is no good reason to simply surrender the countryside to the vast corporate monolith. Yet, such surrender will occur in the absence of political clarity, imagination and investment.

To read the rest of the article, please visit “After Brexit – New British Landscapes”.

 

Little Britain – UK plunges into the deep end of the international market

The central motif for the Leave campaign’s agitation for Brexit was that of sovereignty.

As the story went, membership of the European Union entailed a loss of sovereignty in diverse fields, from agriculture, fishing, and domestic economic policy to immigration management, foreign policy, and international trade.

The narrative continued with promises of an independent and resurgent (“Hopeful”) Britain, one, with a hint of nostalgia, that can stand on its own two feet on the world stage.

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The audience was also tantalised with the prospect of a bonfire of EU regulations and the end of the allegedly remote rule of an “unaccountable” Brussels.

There were finally re-assurances that new trade deals would be negotiated, through the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and that Britain could position itself globally (not merely in relation to the EU) as a multi-lateral trading partner.  With the elimination of EU regulations, the UK would have the competitive advantage of a ‘flexible’ economy.

There are many problems with this story, not the least being the very meaning of the word sovereignty.  Indeed, in many senses, Brexit substantially reduces the sovereignty of the UK.  Not only will the new everyday situation be a more costly version of business-as-usual, but Britain itself will also exist in a more dangerous environment of risk.

To read the rest of the article, please visit Little Britain.

They Destroy, We Create: The Anti-Austerity UK Alliance – Planet Magazine

Go to: Athens Without Slavery: The Battle For Europe – Syriza and the New European Left

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#LetGreeceBreathe MASS DEMO FEB 15, 2015 Trafalgar Square, London

Go to: The Ends of the British State in Planet Magazine: The Welsh Internationalist

Go to: “They Destroy, We Create: The Anti-Austerity UK Alliance” in Planet Magazine: The Welsh Internationalist

Go to: Athens Without Slavery: The Battle For Europe – Syriza and the New European Left

Reply from Ofcom to my Freedom of Information (FOI) Request on Compliance with the Equality Act 2010/2011 in relation to the Election Guidelines 2015

Response from Ofcom To FOI Regarding Compliance with the Equality Act in relation to Election Guidelines

Go to: The Ends of the British State in Planet Magazine: The Welsh Internationalist

Go to: “They Destroy, We Create: The Anti-Austerity UK Alliance” in Planet Magazine: The Welsh Internationalist

Go to: Athens Without Slavery: The Battle For Europe – Syriza and the New European Left

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Go to: Open Letter to Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC, on Inclusion and Equality in the Leader’s Debates

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Comments on the Ofcom Response

1) The expenditure constraints on Freedom of Information (£450), are ludicrous and undemocratic given the seriousness of the Freedom of Information Act; Freedom of Information, unless it takes too much time to uncover the information (my request would take 18 hours which exceeds the £450 allotted to each request).  Such restrictions are patently absurd and a mockery of the entire notion of Freedom of Information.

2) An important finding is that OFCOM HELD NO MEETINGS REGARDING THE EQUALITY ACT 2010 & THE 2011 SUPPLEMENTS FOR BROADCASTERS IN RELATION TO THE ELECTION GUIDELINES FOR 2015. Ofcom also claims to have had no communications with the Coalition government, Civil Servants, other political parties, broadcasters, etc.  between 2010-2015 regarding the Equality Act 2010/2011 in relation to the Election Guidelines.

 3) It is also significant that Ofcom, right from the beginning of their response, claim to be only involved in deciding “party election broadcasts” and not election debates or their participants. SO WHY DID THEY CLAIM TO HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO INITIALLY EXCLUDE THE GREENS FROM THE DEBATES?  According to this response, THEY NEVER HAD ANY AUTHORITY IN THIS MATTER.  Is it a coincidence that Cameron used this exclusion of the Greens as a political stunt the next day?

To read the reply, please visit Reply from Ofcom to my FOI Request on Compliance with Equality Act 2010/2011

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Go to: Freedom of Information Request (FOI) to Ofcom on Compliance With Equality Act

#LETGREECEBREATHE #DROPTHEDEBT EMERGENCY CALL OUT – THURSDAY FEB 19 6:30PM – PARLIAMENT SQUARE, LONDON

Go to: The Ends of the British State in Planet Magazine: The Welsh Internationalist

Go to: “They Destroy, We Create: The Anti-Austerity UK Alliance” in Planet Magazine: The Welsh Internationalist

Go to: Athens Without Slavery: The Battle For Europe – Syriza and the New European Left

#RiseUpEurope - EMERGENCY CALL OUT - fEB 19 6:30pm PARLIAMENT SQUARE