Naomi Klein V Trump 4

The victory by Trump has been characterized as a ‘ferocious backlash’ ∗(20) by Ms Klein, and yes, that’s what it was. However, what was the backlash against? There was no trigger moment. It had a lot to do with the electorate looking at a dead end; turning round to see Fagin awaiting them. ‘Got to pick a pocket or two’. Exasperated is a solid verb; it sums up the feeling many felt. They, the people, had been screwed by all those in power. Trust was on a bus to some desert, somewhere.

Trump may be a flash octopus having tentacles into everything but crucially, he was not part of the political establishment. He had no history of promising sunshine only for it to piss down. Therefore, the backlash was an attempt to find a safe shoreline, a place to put their feet up for a while and take stock. Get some rays! To become the unforgotten! (27)

It is little wonder that Starbuck’s boss could present the coffee shop as a ‘third place’, a retreat, (25) clever advertising! Presenting the coffee shop, as a sanctuary from the hustle of daily life for half an hour or so. The ‘left’ need to get better at marketing!

Another mistake would be to run with the assumption that Trump’s vote came from rednecks only. Lots of ordinary decent folk cast their vote for change, change that offered some protection that wasn’t clouded in deceit. The electorate wanted something different and not from the same old political class. It’s just a pity they chose wrong. But the choice was limited.

A similar experience was sought in France with the election of Macron. He had been a member of the political class but managed somehow to distance himself and to be perceived as an independent. Macron’s different label won’t last long. In many countries around the globe we have witnessed the voting public thrashing about trying to find honest representation.

What Trump offered was a sense of stability and fed the emotional hankering for how things were. He promised to bring jobs back. (219). Allow people to hold fast with the beliefs that they grew up with.

The big question the democratic left have to answer is how to engender trust. The need is to convince ordinary Joe that there is the prospect of a brighter future. Make a future seem plausible, even desirable, (220). And one that needs everyone to help build. In the present political climate most will scoff and say it’s not possible. That’s the task, to find a methodology of approach that stirs the juices and makes people want to go there.

A starting line for thought is what happens when Trump is booted out? What are the choices?

Involvement would be my keyword. And stop talking down to people. Assume that they can rationalize and offer a bona fide response. Start the conversation and don’t be surprised if you don’t get a word in edgeways (edgewise). Moreover, it would be foolhardy to make it all about Trump, ‘anti Trump camp’ (17) for when he’s kicked out people might slouch and think everything’s all right now; time for a coffee. “And that was not a safe place”. (98)

Ms Klein’s verve at writing goes without saying (?). However, her rhetoric seems to run away from her at times; “…with unleashed white supremacy and misogyny.” (220) Who let the dogs out? In her list of the nasty side of capitalism she adds, “That white men are better than the rest.” (257)There is no qualifying of these remarks; they are simply left to interpretation.

I’m sure she does not intend to insult all white men but wants to unleash her vent at the Neanderthal supremacists, no problem. However, if taken out of context it opens her up to attack. In such a scenario it could be construed as suggesting that that attitude is embedded in white culture. No!

In explaining how heartless the system is and of an elite, “That treats government as a resource to be mined for private wealth, leaving wreckage behind.” (99) She makes a powerful statement that needs to be explored more fully. E.g. subsidies:

  1. Just how large are they?
  2. Which industries benefit most?
  3. What is the return on investment to the nation?
  4. Should this money not be better channelled?

Moreover, governments borrow vast sums and like any ordinary Joe have to pay interest on the loan.

  • U.S. as of November 2016 gross national debt was $19.8 trillion. Interest on debt in 2014 was $231bn rising to $799bn in 2024. WOW!
  • UK in 2015 government debt was around £1.56tn interest was £43bn
  • Canada projected for 2016/17 is $1.4tn the previous year’s interest was $62.8bn

It’s a double whammy, government borrows loads – gives out loads in subsidies, and we pay. In both these examples the big boys are getting fat on our money.

In effect government is propping up the market. It exposes the tale of the neoliberal economists that the market creates its own checks and balances.

Big Q’s: How much are governments pumping into the economy? And, how reliant on government financial input is the market?

As for the ‘wreckage’; there is a whole, whole lot less money to spend on essentials – welfare, health, education and infrastructure.

It’s true the rich pay taxes but: the rich giveth and the rich taketh away – with interest!

There are two statements which keep me upbeat:


“The economy is much bigger than the market. We will not be able to build a good economy – or a good society – unless we look at the vast expanse beyond the market.”

Ha-Joon Chang, Economics: The User’s Guide (456)

“Altruism, generosity, solidarity, and civic spirit are not like commodities that are depleted by use. They are more like muscles that develop and grow stronger with exercise.”

Michael Sandel, What Money Can’t Buy (130)

I so want to believe!!!

*Naomi Klein, NO Is Not Enough

Ah hell, an Addendum

At present the American Left are on a major anti-Trump campaign. It’s a single issue, it’s a bull run. It’s an issue that will NOT end the plight of millions of poor in the country. They might succeed in getting him out, then what. Go back to the political class for guidance? Why do their job for them?







Migrant Crisis.

th5ME3YUAOThe migrant crisis is bringing anxiety to the fore in the EU, notably: Greece, Italy, Austria and Hungary, and other former eastern bloc nations. Such is the scale of the exodus and the political pressure from within these nations that something has to give. Is Europe sinking into its own mire?

An estimated one million have left their homelands and are making their way to Europe. It is a terrifying number made worse by the prospect that several thousand more will join this meandering river of hope.

The economics of the numbers is but one problem that has an immediate impact. However, the long-term costs both economic and social may have a greater effect. Housing, schooling and health which must include sewage, need considerable planning. The infrastructure, especially the road network may need substantial updating. More cars/lorries = more headaches =more pollution.

Pollution with the build-up of diesel fumes. See, Diesel Vehicles: Killer in our Midst. An approximate 9,000 deaths in London are directly associated with pollution. Sadiq KhanthE0TWUDA5 Moreover, frustration is mounting in Southern Britain with the number of hold ups, crashes etc. on the main routes.

The assimilation into the community and workforce and the scale of jobs required to compliment the number of migrants will generate a huge social/economic cost. It is already known that it has a consequential effect on wages, on welfare, and on the level and make up of those on the dole.

Youth unemployment is alarming high in Spain, Greece, Italy and more generally.  Such unemployment cannot be ignored as it could stimulate radical consequences down the line. Politicians need to remember above all else that every action has a reaction.

A Syrian migrant family enters Hungary at the border with Serbia near Roszke, Hungary August 28, 2015. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

A Syrian migrant family enters Hungary at the border with Serbia near Roszke, Hungary August 28, 2015. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

Inviting the migrants is a very human reaction and it is good to see that we have not lost our humanity. However, many more anxious souls are watching, worried by the influx for a myriad of reasons. Opposition parties will be cheering with each gulp of beer; they know there will be trouble ahead. Their argument will find a receptive ear in pubs and the workplace.

Germany has opened its borders and has called upon the rest of Europe to follow suit. It is suggested that Germany will take 800,000 this year alone, perhaps up to 1million and 500,000 next year. Germany already has a Muslim population of some four (4) million.         The scale of such figures has two direct consequences:

  • They cause grave misgivings among large sections of the indigenous population.
  • They stimulate more movement. News of a welcome will spread as quick as mouths can chatter and phones can ping.

The media have put the crisis front and centre in an avalanche of coverage which has brought an emotional screech of humanity, humanity! However, there are a host of other issues, inhumane, happening now, but it’s not in the peoples’ face and so there is silence.

A silence more deafening, more barbaric because it suffers from an old cliché – out of sight out of mind, and so child abuse , slavery, trafficking continue. As those who screech humanity wander back into the microcosm that is their life; chuffed with their emotional outburst, suffering grows.

Germany, France the UK have a large immigrant population and they are not a happy bunch. They have tended to congregate in particular areas and towns. Integration has not worked. Adding to the dilemma will not ease but rather exacerbate the situation.

Furthermore, the tension in Europe is growing. Juncker’s notion of compulsory quotas has not gone down well: Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Rumania are not keen. Britain, Ireland and Denmark have an opt out clause. The Schengen agreement is in tatters. The idea that France, Germany and Spain should take 60% of migrants from Italy, Greece and Hungary will meet opposition as the numbers increase.

Opinion polls in several countries point to great hesitation on the part of the indigenous population. The second largest political party in Finland have grave reservations.

  • France: a poll found 55% didn’t want more migrants.
  • Germany: dozens of attacks on migrant centres.
  • Switzerland: a poll found 45% want their borders closed.
  • Denmark: has closed railway links to Germany.
  • Some towns and cities in Italy have refused to house migrants.

The EU had 626,000 asylum applications in 2014; it will be well over one million this year. The question of numbers will start to dominate thinking.

Turkey is reputed to hold 1.9 million migrants. However, around 3,000 are sailing to Lesbos in Greece daily. How many will come? After-all the welcome mat has been dusted and placed at Europe’s doorstep.

  1. None of the richest Gulf States have taken any, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain. Why not?

The precedent has been set, wherever there is conflict people are free to come to Europe. If you open it, they will come. People will come.







Calais: Migrant Crisis?

Calais Jungle

Calais Jungle

Is the situation in Calais a humanitarian crisis that most on the left of politics say is the case? Or on the other hand a political crisis as many others would suggest. Who is right?

The trendy-wendy left remind us that the migrants are human and do have rights and therefore by simple logic should be allowed to enter Britain. The ambition of the migrants is to build a new life and believe that it will be easier in the UK. But the perplexing question for the trendy-wendy left-wing is how many should be allowed to come to Britain.

On the opposite spectrum, those on the right of the political divide have some pertinent questions; whether they are given credence or not.

  • How will the migrants support themselves?
  • Have they got a worthwhile skill?
  • Will they take our jobs for less money?
  • Will they get preference on the housing ladder?

There are a host of other questions but these suffice to give a flavour of the angst that ordinary people feel. Many do feel frustrated, angry and scared by the possible influx of new cheap labour. They have other relevant points to raise: are we not human too? Do our anxieties and fears mean nothing?

Can the situation at Calais be construed as a fundamental humanitarian crisis? The simple straight forward answer is NO. The migrants may have travelled many miles to reach Calais. In their journey they may have crossed the border of several European countries. Why did they not stop in the first nation they entered?

According to EU law, the Schengen Agreement, all migrants should be held in the port of arrival until they have been processed e.g. Greece and Italy. Those who are purely economic migrants are supposed to be refused and returned to their home land.

Migrants can therefore be fed, clothed and given shelter in the host nation. The migrants who continue to Calais have made a choice, a decision to try and enter Britain illegally. Thus Calais is the place of choice and is therefore not a humanitarian crisis. Their needs can be met in the original host nation.


Moreover, many migrants have been resident in Calais for several months. Some have been arrested and released but have decided to remain in the squalid squatter camps. Every day the migrants make a choice. It is not imposed it’s a burden of choice!

Furthermore, I have seen many reports that include migrant views but none that seek the opinion of the local French residents. Perhaps they have an opinion on what is happening?

Once again some relevant questions:

  • How did the migrants afford the fees of the people traffickers?
  • How do they support themselves in Calais?
  • What does Britain offer which other European countries don’t?

Simple questions, with a decided political tone, but nonetheless pertinent.

Note that commentators try, when they can, to bring children into the equation. This is to invoke an emotional response from the viewer, listener, and reader. It is an old trick but at times effective.

What are not mentioned are the underlying costs. Kent County Council has an estimated 600 migrant youngsters in their care at an annual cost of £30,000 per person per year. That is a lot of money and must be paid for by the council taxpayer. However, the left-wingers are not concerned by the cost, which is merely another arrow to shoot at the Tory government.

Where are the parents of these children? Are they planning to use their offspring as a back door into Britain?

Clearly the left are creating an atmosphere of a humanitarian crisis. Is this to raise awareness or to fuel their cheap politics? The hypocrisy of the left knows no boundary. What is more despicable is that they have no concern for the ordinary Joes of this country.

The left-wingers need to deal with the fact that the poor pick up the lion’s share of the tax burden. It is the poorest who are hurt the most as they cannot work for less than the minimum wage which migrants are forced too.

Are the Tories the good guys? That would be a resounding NO!

The Conservative eyes are firmly on the future election and know that many voters are deeply concerned by immigration and the Human Rights Act. Many are exasperated by the latter that seems to side with every loose nut (perception) but does nothing for the everyday person. Thus the Tories are pandering to the disaffected electorate.

Actions taken so far by the Tories are minimal: more fencing, more dogs, more police and more money. They are simply tinkering with the issue. It’s a political blind-sider to make you believe something big is happening.

A local guru down the pub has a ready-made solution. His suggestion is to find a couple of hundred illegal migrants in England pack them on to buses and drop them off in Calais. To carry through the process for a few weeks until the guys in Calais realise their hopes are fruitless.

When I interjected to explain that such action might breach their human rights; I was nearly blown off my bar stool by the roar of derision about the Human Rights Act. On a democratic vote I would have lost my deposit!

Many hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants are in Britain and little is done to rectify the dilemma. Most work in the ‘black economy’ a cash in hand daily job. They can be found in places like Old Kent Road, London where they queue to be picked up and taken to a place of work; being paid below the national minimum wage.

These illegals are being exploited and a government which turns a blind eye is complicit in that exploitation. The left-wingers who are silent on this issue are condoning this tawdry business.

The only people laughing in this situation are the businesses that are profiting from employing the migrants. Perhaps they should face the same penalty as is proposed for rogue landlords who allow illegal migrants to rent their property – 5 yrs. in prison. No, can’t do that to our donors, our mates!!!

Is it all Britain’s fault? NO!

The migrants are in France it is their legal obligation to deal with it effectively. However, recently the European Commission made it clear that Britain should have cooperated in the dispersal of 40,000 migrants throughout the EU. Britain refused! Is the UK now being held to ransom, taught a lesson?

What is the truth? Unfortunately, there is no truth in politics, only agendas.



Same Sex Marriage: The Sheep Dogs are Out!

Those who believe that democracy is a sham now have before them a proof that they can hold up in public. The political agenda of the ‘elite’ has taken precedence over all the usual democratic procedures. In the UK and France the issue of Same Sex Marriage (SSM) is being forced through both parliaments without due regard for consultation with the electorate.

Lead on!

Lead on!

The French government under President Hollande claim legitimacy on the basis of 53% of the vote at the election last year. This premise is false as SSM was not overtly discussed at the time of the election. Many of the electorate would have merely cast their vote to get rid of the previous incumbent, Sarkozy. Some 400,000 people protesting on the streets suggest that it does not command wide support. In England no political party had an overall majority and thus no mandate to impose SSM, which no Party raised prior to the election. The coalition government are simply pushing it through.

It does not matter what your individual stance on the issue is, the real story concerns the political agenda of the ‘elite’ and why single sex marriage is being rolled out globally. Who is behind this agenda and why single sex marriage at this particular time?

Let us not pretend that society welcomes this change to their otherwise orthodox lives. Let us not pretend that this is a necessary change. Let us not pretend that politicians are pursuing their course of action because of a groundswell of support. This is part of a much larger political agenda with a comprehensive perspective in mind. That it is being promoted worldwide tells us that it is not a locally generated programme. It would seem that local politicians are not in control and many no doubt will be against it but are, like us, being railroaded into accepting it.

There are many stories and films about conspiracy theories and some may suspect that I am perpetuating another. Some may also suspect that if I opened my door that the ‘men in white coats’ will be waiting to usher me off. I have no plans to open the door just yet!

However, suspicion needs to be clarified and in a democracy open and frank discussion is supposed to be an integral part of the process. But as with immigration, when people have voiced an opinion or doubt they have found themselves quickly attacked as: racist, bigot, nimby, homophobic and Neanderthal etc. This is the way now with our new brand of politics, intimidation. Where intimidation is allowed to thrive a democracy cannot exist. Intimidation was and is the preserve of dictators.

I don’t know of any religion that would openly welcome homosexuals into their church. So why are political organisations, predominately of the ‘left’ (more susceptible) intent on making same sex marriage into law? Why is it so important? Many people, probably the majority get married in a Register Office, while others chose a venue to suit their preference: castle, hotel, village hall or up a mountain etc. Humanists who are non- religious provide their own wedding ceremonies. Millions don’t even bother to get married at all. So why the sudden clamour for same sex marriage in a church, a synagogue or a mosque?

The suspicion must be that marriage in a church is not the real issue. Rather it is a determined action to loosen the yoke of the church, in effect to destabilize religion. Therefore we have to consider the possibility that the Gay community is not so much being supported in a campaign for equality but are being used as a battering ram by those who want to contain religion and its perceived power now and in the future.

Homosexuals are different; they acknowledge that fact and celebrate their individuality in various ways: clubs, bars, meetings, parades etc. On the other hand, perhaps these insular settings are because they feel ostracized in society. However, they are to all intents and purposes an independent body within our community. They want respect for who they are and if respect is forthcoming it will be reciprocated. That is community!

Unfortunately, Gay people know that not all agree or accept them. That some faiths will

Let's talk!

Let’s talk!

never reconcile themselves to acknowledge that being gay is okay. Have we reached an impasse that can only be remedied by recourse to a legal gavel? Is this a case of intransigence versus intransigence; of a simple, I will not accept ‘no’ as an answer? Is there a principle at stake? A principle is merely an opinion that your view is superior too or supersedes the other. That your view is correct is a political construct and becomes a motivation based on your belief. Is it really about equality for that is a whole different equation.

Can equality be a dictated policy handed down by those who hold power? Oh, laws can be passed; in fact we have laws; Equal pay Act 1970 and the Sex Discrimination Act 1985, have they delivered the sought after goal? NO! Both these laws came up against the ‘One Great Demagogue’ – Capitalism! Not that the ‘One Great Demagogue’ would interfere in gay marriage but it’s illustrative that you can’t just pass laws and expect compliance forthwith or on going. You cannot force people to download your beliefs and delete their own. Who is right them or you? It’s a political catch 22. Take it away, Frankie – ‘Two Tribes go to war…’

Recent history has given us a lesson on forcing people to live together. With the disintegration of the Communist Bloc and in consequence the great communist experiment of forcing people to live cohesively, burst. The resultant break up of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia witnessed an eruption of sectarianism, and hatred spewed from every vent. Thousands died, neighbour murdered neighbour and genocide was only avoided by sending in the troops.

Now that the Junta has relaxed their iron grip on the people of Burma sectarianism has raised its ugly head and scores have died. Pent up feelings need to be let out and rationalized before they become a source of hatred.

The riots in Turkey this week (June 2013) are an indication of how pent up anger can suddenly explode onto our streets. The decision to bulldoze a local park in a small town fed into a national frustration and the petrol bomb came out.

An interesting point is raised by the Secular Society in their statement that “…individuals have rights, ideas do not.” However, if the individual has a thought and wants that thought to be transmuted into a benefit for themselves and/or those who share a common view, then they are promoting a political doctrine. Therefore taking a lead from the secularists, the idea has no rights. A further point of clarification is required here; does the individual have more rights than the community or society? If so, what is the point of democracy?

thCA2WEO4VAnother point raised is as follows: “Secularism seeks to ensure and protect freedom of religious belief and practice for all citizens”. All sounds positive until you read the ‘rider’. “…insofar as it does not impinge disproportionately on the rights of others”. The question therefore is; how does the marriage of a heterosexual couple in a church ‘impinge disproportionately’ on the rights of others? The answer may lie with another statement, “Secularism champions human rights above discriminatory religious demands”. It would seem to me that the church simply want to maintain the status quo, to continue a process that has been in place for centuries, without causing harm to anyone. As alluded to earlier, there are many places and different ways in which a couple can get married.  Is there an ulterior motive for insisting on a church wedding? Also, note the word ‘above’ in the sentence, this tells us that human rights supersedes all religious conviction. We now have a clear political hierarchy that supersedes all other belief systems.

What puzzles me is a further statement from the secular group, “It ensures that religious groups don’t interfere in affairs of the state, and makes sure the state doesn’t interfere in religious affairs”. Hm. Colour me blushing.

It’s a very complicated business this philosophy lark. Especially when you read more of what the group believe in. “Secularism is about democracy and fairness”. Good, I can agree with that wholeheartedly. But in light of previous confusion I thought I had better examine this statement in more detail. Using my Oxford dictionary (the world’s most trusted – according to the cover) I looked up the word democracy:

  • A form of government in which people can vote for a representative to govern the state on their behalf.
  • A state governed by elected representatives.
  • Control of a group by the majority of its members.

I then looked up the word ‘fair’.

  • Treating people equally.
  • Just and reasonable in the circumstances.

Needless to say I didn’t find anything that suggested the imposition of a diktat by a minority. I thought how do you treat people equally by taking away one person’s or group’s right and belief system and impose another’s right and belief system upon them? A funny old thing is equality. Excuse my cynicism!

Especially when one considers more thought from the secular school, “…does not seek to challenge the tenets of any particular religion or belief”. Back to the dictionary, I couldn’t resist, and found that a ‘tenet’ is a central principle or belief. Thus I would humbly suggest that marriage in the Christian faith is a ‘tenet’ and probably is in all religions.

It was not my intention to pick a fight with secularism, in fact I support a number of points they raise:

  • Separate the state and religion.
  • Ensure animals are stunned before killing them.
  • Democracy and fairness ( with intent and clarification)
  • Secular education for all – state and private

If you truly believe in education as a fundamental necessity for an open and constructive society then by principle you must oppose any notion of indoctrination, however, well meaning. How is a child to grow and be in control of their own thinking if the cloud of indoctrination pervades their every thought? To close to brainwashing for me! WE must remember Descartes, ‘I think therefore I am’.

If the advocates of human rights truly want equality then we must look to an old socialist principle, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. Louis Blanc 1839, Karl Marx 1875. That I would imagine is how you treat people equally; anything else is a political sham. Made up for and by political hacks!

We must be aware that human rights is based on human belief, it is a doctrine; as is religion, as is humanism, as is paganism and so on. Which one is ‘above’ the others will depend entirely on who holds the power.

Few should need reminding that two of the greatest proponents of equality in the 20th century were: Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King, both devout religious men. A little earlier, we had Karl Marx, who advocated equality without the ‘opium’ of religion. Going back even further we have William Shakespeare, who through his character Shylock, in the Merchant of Venice, questioned religious prejudice and inequality with the retort; “ if you prick us, do we not bleed.” I would contend that religion at its inception and by character is about equality. History is abound with champions and still we labour.

We may never know the logic behind the compulsion to introduce same sex marriage into the church. From one standpoint it is all about control, to ensure that in the future religion cannot override the liberal outlook of society. A further viewpoint that should be considered is that human rights legislation is being used forcibly to manipulate society. The law has become the ‘Great Oracle Deliverer’. Be warned, imposition is the tool of the jejune.