Saturday, September 21, 2019

What they stand for


 Last week’s Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth have provided their new leader Jo Swinson with another platform to trawl her vacuous views in front of the dissident Tories who they hope to win over in time for the next general election.
            In the old days the Liberals posed as a radical alternative to Labour. Their youth wing embraced the Palestinian cause and campaigned against the racist, apartheid South African regime while championing early calls for devolution in Scotland and Wales. But those days are long gone.
            Nowadays the Liberal-Democrats are just a refuge for third-rate Blairite MPs looking for a new platform to prolong their political careers and a handful of Tory Remainers who jumped before being dumped by Boris Johnson.  Chuka Umunna, an ambitious Labour turn-coat who joined them in February now claims that Jeremy Corbyn is “acting as an apologist for a hard-right  Russian government that thinks it can poison people on British soil, lauding authoritarian regimes in Venezuela and Iran, failing to support the proscription of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation”. Others repeat Zionist smears about “anti-semitism” in the Labour Party while saying little or nothing about their dismal record in support of austerity as a junior partner in David Cameron’s coalition government.
The growth of the Scottish and Welsh nationalist parties has largely made the Liberal-Democrat take on devolution irrelevant while their self-serving demand for proportional representation has little appeal to the millions trying to live on bread-line wages or the miserable hand-outs of the benefits regime.
In Bournemouth Ms Swinson dumped their old demand for a “People’s Vote” and replaced it with a blatant call to revoke the withdrawal procedure and simply ignore the 2016 referendum.
These are the people that talk about a “fair, free and open society” while brushing aside the 17.4 million people who voted to Leave the European Union in 2016.These are the people who will be calling on Labour supporters to “tactically vote” in their favour at the next election. There’s nothing “liberal” about the Liberal-Democrats.

Bi Bi Netanyahu?


 It seems that Benjamin Netanyahu’s days at the helm of the State of Israel have finally come to an end following a general election that saw the Likud leader’s party pipped at the post by General Benny Gantz’s new Blue and White bloc. While the Blue and Whites are only one seat ahead this should give Gantz first crack at forming a coalition with the minor parties that will control almost half the seats in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.
            Though the views of General Gantz barely differs from those of Netanyahu, his Blue and White alliance defines itself as a “liberal” centre party and the retired general at least pays lip-service to resuming negotiations with the Palestinian leadership.
            The leaders of the communist-led ‘Joint List’, which draws much of its support from the Arab Palestinian minority in Israel, were pleased at their own showing in the polls with a projected win of 13 seats in the new parliament.
“We’re back to being the third largest party in the Knesset,” said Joint List head, Ayman Odeh, who expressed the hope that “the era of Netanyahu is over and he will now either have to go home or to prison.” Odeh agreed with observers that, if the final results indeed match the exit polls, Arab voters will have “prevented Netanyahu from forming a government”.
Let’s hope so…

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Bye Bye Bolton


 US President Donald Trump sacked his national security adviser, John Bolton, this week as “his services are no longer needed at the White House”. No one’s going to miss Bolton, least of all the Iranians who claim credit for the dismissal saying it was the result of their steadfast resistance to American economic warfare that led to the wretched old warmonger’s downfall.
            Without going into details Trump simply said: "I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation,”.
Some say that Bolton’s blinkered Cold War stance, which nearly led to open war with Venezuela and undermined Trump’s efforts to reach a rapprochement with Democratic Korea, was at odds with Trump’s thinking. Others believe that the last straw was Bolton’s opposition to secret peace talks between American, Afghan government and Taliban officials at the presidential retreat of Camp David that was called off at the last minute following a Taliban bomb attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier and a dozen others last week.
Bolton was a die-hard member of the “Deep State” that represents the most reactionary and aggressive circles within the American ruling class. This Establishment operates inside the Democratic and Republican parties within the corridors of power as a “war party” that has openly clamoured for US hegemony since the end of the Cold War.  They want to rule the world in the name of the “New World Order” or “globalisation” and they don’t care how much it costs or how many die in their drive to fulfil their American Dream.
Trump is something different. Trump represents American capitalist circles who want to cut back US military expenditure in Europe, Afghanistan and south Korea so that they can concentrate on controlling the global energy market by taking over the entire Middle East and restoring US imperialism’s hegemony over south America.
The Democrat opposition portray him as some sort of mad, one-man band – a vulgar, corrupt racist unfit to hold public office. But he is so much more than that. The property tycoon turned president represents those who no longer want to pay for wars they cannot win – which has been virtually all of them since the Second World War. They too want American hegemony over the world but they believe it can be won through trade wars and unequal treaties which was the preferred form of US overseas expansion in the 19th century. This is what Trump means when he says he wants to “Make America Great Again”.
Trump is turning the economic screws on Cuba, Russia and People’s China and he clearly supports the crippling sanctions regime against Venezuela and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Trump has destroyed all hopes for peace in the Middle East with his “deal of the century” that gives the Zionists everything they want. And his government continues to support the feudal Saudi king’s war in Yemen that has cost tens of thousands of lives and brought the country to the brink of the worst famine it’s seen in 100 years.
Bolton’s departure will hopefully lead to the resumption of realistic negotiations between US imperialism and Democratic Korea. But only time can tell whether this marks a genuine turning point for the Trump administration.