Dear Suzanne - and copied to Bob Whitehead (on Zoom this evening) who is my advisor on Fare-Free Public Transport and everything else, he is so knowledgeable.
Monday, 31 January 2022
Sunday, 30 January 2022
FROM jimlemaistre NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
What a shock our energy Minister has a degree in Modern History, from Cambridge. Milliband a PPE degree from Oxford. Bereft of the commonsense god gave a horse.
A degree in History ? . . . He must have missed this . . .
Some say that thousands of old papers and corroborating evidence proving that Global Warming is Man-Made cannot be wrong. Even when new evidence shows otherwise . . . Is this the new Madness we are destined to live with every day? “Don’t try to confuse me with the facts, when I know what the truth is”. Is this the Mantra of our modern, supposedly Civilized Society under Environmentalist Pedagogy? I very much hope not. We are just now, in the 21st Century, coming out of what was a 500-year cycle called the “Mini Ice Age”. Our Planet is only now returning to what I call, “The Norm of Warm”. History proves this to be a valid hypothesis if you believe there was a “Roman Warming Period” and or a “Medieval Warming Period”. Life in the world today could well be in the early stages of a new 500-year cycle of Warming, towards which, Humans are having almost no influence at all. Let’s remember that manmade CO2 is only 3% of total annual Global output of one of the Earth’s most important building blocks. Furthermore, CO2 is but a trace gas in the Earth’s atmosphere representing only 0.04% of the Earth’s atmosphere . . . Scientifically . . . virtually meaningless!
When we realise and accept that little more than 800 years ago, trees that took at least 100 years to grow were flourishing at the head of the fjords in South Western Greenland – our perspective on Man-Made Climate Change will be altered. Especially when the treeline in Alaska, the Rockies, the Urals of Russia, the Himalaya’s and the Andes all follow suit in demonstrating that the Medieval Warming Period was a Global event. When you come to know that Eric the Red and his fellow country folk, for 500 years, were living as well in Greenland as they had back in Norway for a period that was almost 100 years longer than Europeans have continuously occupied North America.
A vision of Real Global Warming appears from within the pages of History as fact. No matter how fancy and eloquent you write your words, the people who lived and died and prospered for 500 years in Greenland will not be denied their place in History. During the Medieval Warming Period from 950 to 1450, the whole World was much Warmer than it is today, so to, as it was, during the Roman Warming Period. Today, we are returning to “The Norm of Warm” in the 21st century. Let’s remember that 7,000 of the last 10,000 years have been Global Warming Periods. 70% of the last 10,000 years have been WARM !!
We need to go Back to the beginning and look . . . CO2 has neither led or lagged 18 periods of climate change in the last 10,000 years . . . Why . . . Suddenly is it the cause NOW ??
My thoughts . . .
Besmirched with appeasement, surrender, caving in to Russian demands - a venial sin!
Thanks for your comments. It is clear that you are on a different trajectory regarding Ukraine, and, judging from our recent discussion in the branch you are not alone. In that regard, when I send my piece to the NC later today to aid the discussion, I will make it clear that it is supported by just three members, not the whole branch.
In my view, the majority of comments at the national level lie somewhere between the views of myself, Michael and Bob WF, and yourself. However, we should recall that what unites everyone within Left Unity is that we are internationalists, not nationalists. The struggle against capitalist oppression is an international struggle, uniting the oppressed across borders.
Having said we are not nationalists does not mean we are neutral in national disputes however. For democratic reasons, we support the right of oppressed nations’ self-determination against a more powerful oppressor nation. In common parlance we ‘support the little guy’. That is true for Ireland against British imperialism, the Catalans against the Spanish state, and is true for Ukraine against Great Russian chauvinism, without supporting Ukrainian nationalist ideology I stress again.
The tussle within Ukraine between those opting for European or Russian capitalism was a bit of a Hobson’s choice; the forces leading the Euromaidan uprising were right wing, but the pro-Russian forces around the oligarch Yanukovych were no less so. The option of a socialist independent Ukraine was unfortunately not on the table; the true left was very weak and marginalised.
In my view, the desire to orient towards European capitalism was a distorted and refracted rejection of Russian dominance, but one that offered no solution to the problems of Ukrainian working people. However, to side with Yanukovych and his alliance with Russian gangster capitalism and subservience was not an option; that would play right into the hands of the Ukrainian nationalists.
The response of Putin’s Russia was not to open a comradely democratic dialogue with the new Ukraine about why they felt a divorce was necessary, but to pile on the Russian nationalist pressure, leading up to today’s intensified situation. We cannot side with that. Despite the reactionary nature of the new Ukrainian leadership, we look beyond it to the unequal status between the two countries and support the underdog.
Now, was there Western meddling in the Euromaidan protests? I don’t know, but possibly. The point however is that you cannot magic up a mass movement capable of overthrowing a vicious repressive leader out of thin air. The sentiment must already be there amongst huge sections of society.
And as for mass uprisings versus pro-capitalist parliamentary democracy, that is another big debate which I can only touch on here. For us there is no doubt that an eco-socialist society cannot be achieved by Parliamentary means (which does not mean that you ignore the Parliamentary process or take part in it when appropriate). The Russian, Yugoslav, Chinese and Cuban revolutions are pretty good evidence of that premise; the oppressed majority have to impose their will upon the exploiting minority and Parliamentary democracy will be dispensed with by our rulers if it comes to that situation. But you can’t equate the Euromaidan uprising with, say, Trump’s storming of the White House. One, despite its right-wing leadership was objectively against a neighbouring great power and the other was for strengthening domestic reaction and imperialism.
I was going to go into this further, but I think it’s time to stop rabbiting here.
Thanks Bob, for this thoughtful and knowledgeable response that I cannot disagree with and is perfectly reasonable in every way.
Don’t They Know We Will Still Need Oil & Gas?
Don’t They Know We Will Still Need Oil & Gas? Therefore, all the more reason to, finally, start living (or dying) with conserving the stuff by reducing our dependency on them. "There is no alternative" - our darling heroine and iron lady who preached anthropogenic climate catastrophe but carried on regardlss with economic greed - whoops, growth!
Saturday, 29 January 2022
Dudley stiles needing steps
to Antony, Heidi, Kevin, Roy, Iain, Tim, bcc: Ed, bcc: Eileen
EXTRACT ... FROM: https://en.wikipedia.
I am troubled by the coercion and the deadly violence that was used to get his removal when the guy was elected in a free and fair process, according to international observers (Wikipedia), only four years before. Yet, again, my comrades and compatriots and lovers of all things West IS Best, are only too prepared to use the wrong means to get a good end. However, was it a good end when it led to Russia taking back Crimea after a vote which they easily won because Crimea is overwhelmingly more Russian than any other nationality?
Was it such a good end when it started the violent separatists from Russia off on a low key war in E Ukraine ever since? 14,000 dead in 8 years. Hardly low-key.
Was this really proper self-determination when a group of over-enthusiastic, coercive, violent, Western oriented people forcibly removed a President free and fairly elected in 2010? Yet, again we see it is us lovely lot in the West turning to violence, intimidation and forcible removal from office while talking about how very democratic and righteous and angelic we all are! As hypocritical as B Johnson Esq and his immoral government.
Was it such a brilliant end when we talk up war and are treating Ukraine as already part of the EU and NATO with all our weapons and support and morale boosting rhetoric, without them even being officially a member of the EU, let alone NATO?
Why can't our side wait for elections to decide matters? I've given up on elections, anyway and try and get what I want by persuasion and personal propaganda, as here, below!
Friday, 28 January 2022
My Solar Demonstration Project
Dear Sarah and Tom
Thursday, 27 January 2022
Railfuture is part of the problem
I think they take the line that ideally they would like trains on there, but not seen as a priority and also they would say that the reality is that the tram can't be stopped now. But there is still nearly 50 Kms out of the wasted, unused 56 Kms of the 120 Kms that could have freight and passenger trains! Why don't they join me in asking for this to be done? It will then be a train-tram-train railway but, that is something!
I agree that somehow the spending on the tram has got all out of proportion to it's benefits, a review is needed of the cost/benefit of them. Likewise Sprint buses! YES! Why don't they object to trams when the trams have destroyed even mainline railways and stopped trains returning on the lines that have survived being converted into roads and everything bar the kitchen sink? SEE THE EVIDENCE, here:
There are so many things that they need to consider, this is low on the list. Throughout the existence of RDS, now Railfuture, the destruction of even urban railway lines has been very low on their list of priorities. Hence, about 100 Kms of the W Mids railway lines have been destroyed. And they blame it on Beeching, instead of on themselves. That is true. We spent a lot of time recently talking about the IRP/HS2 plans, also responding to questions about how we see GBR working properly. I could ask if I could sent you minutes of the meeting. Yes, please. What is IRP and GBR?
There are all very very knowledgable people. So knowledgeable and all-knowing that they don't need to bother to read my evidence of railway destruction to make way for highly expensive trams on mainline railways. They know it all and will not hear my side of the case! They are both deaf and blind to what has and still is going on. Quite extraordinary! They love highly extravagant, grossly expensive, over-indulgent trams more than trains. Honest!
There is this discussion about whether freight trains could use the line at night? What is their opinion on that, please? Are they sure that passive provision is being made by the Midland Metro Alliance and TfWM? Or is passive provision for even freight trains from the Camp Hill line, all lies as I fear?
Wednesday, 26 January 2022
PERSUASION WITHOUT GETTING ELECTED!
Persuade them to do what we want by attending and speaking at the Public Forum item on the agenda of council committees - without bothering to get elected!
ENGAGE BY WRITING, SEEING INDIVIDUALS, TEXTING AND PHONING!
My mini nuclear fusion power station
In 8 years, I generated 38,000 kWh of elecy from my 6.24 kWp solar array on my E/W roof on my small, mid-terrace, 3 storey townhouse in Halesowen, West Midlands, UK. I used 6,000 myself and exported 32,000 for the rest of you to use if you live in the UK. SO THERE ... !
My small is beautiful, comfortable, eco-home is a mini nuclear fusion power station. Every building in the world should be like mine. WHY NOT, MY FRIENDS?
Tuesday, 25 January 2022
Perspective from Stop the War Coalition
Stephen Bell presents his perspective on the confrontation on Ukraine.
"Shortly before the new year, there were many media reports concerning the possibility of a war between Russia and NATO over the Ukraine. Behind this tension lay the breach of the promise NATO made to the Soviet government not to expand eastwards upon Soviet withdrawal after 1989. Since that time NATO has steadily advanced its presence through most of the Eastern European states. Inevitably, this has been interpreted as a threat to the Russian people and state. The presence of British troops as part of this increased pressure is a major concern. It is increasing rather than reducing the tension in the region. It is vital that the peace movement in Britain discuss the issues, and acts in support of reducing the chances of war over Ukraine."
I think I should add that the endless talk about defending a “FREE” Ukraine is complete nonsense. In the 1990s after the independence in Ukraine there was a large Communist Party with significant parliamentary representation and in the 2000s there was a separatist party in Eastern Ukraine (similar to the Scottish National Party). Both organisations have been banned, how can you have a “FREE” Ukraine if major popular political organisations are banned? One does not have to support the politics of these two political organisations to understand Ukraine is an authoritarian state. Equally the Putin regime has a long record of suppressing internal opposition including recently Memorial which have since the 1980s exposed the crimes of the Stalin era.
The Council Budget
Dear Steve Clark
Monday, 24 January 2022
Coal phase out and green replacements
This is a most helpful posting. Thank you!
One highlight for me: " ... switching from coal to biomass allows governments to meet international targets but fails to create a greener energy system or real environmental change." Exactly. We have to live more simply so that others may simply live and have a lower standard of living in consumption terms but, higher in quality of life.
Saturday, 22 January 2022
Corbyn understood that he was got at ...
"One antisemite is one too many, but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media. That combination hurt Jewish people and must never be repeated."
To many people this is stating the obvious. But Keir Starmer quickly suspended Corbyn. Many feel this move was less about antisemitism and more about purging the Labour left’s figurehead.
Whether or not Reeves is ‘lying’ depends on how you interpret the findings of the EHRC report. It did find that:
there were unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination for which the Labour Party is responsible.
However, as Electronic Intifada reported:
But despite its 17-month investigation, the EHRC failed to find Labour guilty of “institutional anti-Semitism,” despite being asked to do so by two pro-Israel groups – the “Campaign Against Antisemitism” and the Jewish Labour Movement.
But the bigger issue in Reeves weaponising the report in this way is the serious shortcomings with the report in its methods and motivations.
As The Canary’s Emily Apple wrote in October 2020,
Any and all allegations of antisemitism must be taken seriously. And if the Labour Party is responsible for “harassment and discrimination” then this must be addressed. But here’s where there’s a fatal flaw. Because the report includes, quite rightly, “using antisemitic tropes” as an issue. But it then adds “suggesting that complaints of antisemitism were fake or smears” as an issue in its own right.
And she added:
This is hugely problematic and a massive Catch-22
She explains many of the other key issues with the report. And she argues that with Corbyn’s suspension:
any whiff of this critical evaluation has been drowned out. The report’s headline findings are accepted uncritically and broadcast as fact, without nuance and closer examination. It’s marred by interference from the very lobby that the report says is antisemitic to accuse of involvement. This argument wouldn’t stand if the report had evidenced other examples of antisemitic behaviour. But it doesn’t.
And this is the key point. There seems to be no space, or effort, to evaluate the EHRC report or its outcomes. The truth is this lack of critical thought does nothing to fight the very real threat of antisemitism. And it’s high time Labour MPs stopped weaponising the EHRC report for their own goals.(The Canary)
Thanks for a good article on this subject. As it took about 6 months to remove a member of the panel of EHRC that had at least a ‘connection’ to the tory party, that should give pause for thought. And given other actions in their own organistaion regarding race bias, perhaps we need a repot into the EHRC. I have read around half of the report. The number of cases reported, and the number of cases ‘proven’, do not mathematically add up to Institutional Antisemitism,
That much is clear. So on that point Jeremy Corbyn was correct. And Rachel Reeves was wrong. Someone should ask her. BBC maybe?.
On another point, Jewish stakeholders were mentioned. It did not mention just one Jewish organistaion for consultation. But one Jewish organistaion thinks it represents all Jewish people in the UK.
It must be brought to somebody’s attention that this is not the case.
It is also pointed out, that more Jewish people have been expelled from the party since Mr Starmer took over. A bit ironic I would have thought ?. The report did mention the ‘imperfections’ of the IHRA definition also. And the fact t is not a legal document.
Increasingly, conflation of antisemitism and antizionism is being used deliberately to target people critical of Israel, including Jewish people. Diana Neslen and Naomi Idrisi Wimborne spring to mind, but there are many others.
Is it not time, that the term ‘anti-Semite’ was no longer used, to describe any action, which is anti-Jewish. It first came into use to implicitly only include Jews in 1879. As the Britannica encyclopedia notes; “Although the term now has wide currency, it is a misnomer, since it implies a discrimination against all Semites. Arabs and other peoples are also Semites, and yet they are not the targets of anti-Semitism as it is usually understood. The term is especially inappropriate as a label for the anti-Jewish prejudices, statements, or actions of Arabs or other Semites. Nazi anti-Semitism, which culminated in the Holocaust, had a racist dimension in that it targeted Jews because of their supposed biological characteristics—even those who had themselves converted to other religions or whose parents were converts. This variety of anti-Jewish racism dates only to the emergence of so-called “scientific racism” in the 19th century and is different in nature from earlier anti-Jewish prejudices.”
It is a pity, it then goes on using the term in the article, instead of anti-Jew or anti-Judaism. Especially as Judaism is a religion, not a race and not all Jews of Semite ethnicity. When academia and the mainstream media stop using the term, this would help stop the Zionist weaponising the term.
SELF: Corbyn understood that he was got at by those desperate to ensure he was done down by fair means or foul. A compassionate, level-headed and out for peace with justice in a more equitable and socialist society. He is a man for the people, a man of integrity who puts the poor before the rich.
Climate policies scrapped over the past decade = higher energy bills
Energy bills in the UK are nearly £2.5bn higher than they would have been if climate policies had not been scrapped over the past decade, Carbon Brief analysis shows.
The changes included gutting energy-efficiency subsidies, effectively banning onshore wind in England and scrapping the zero-carbon homes standard. They were introduced after a November 2013 Sun frontpage reported that then-prime minister David Cameron’s answer to rising energy bills was to “get rid of the green crap”, meaning to cut climate policies.
With UK energy bills set to rise by around 50% from current levels in April, the government is once again scrambling to find ways to mitigate the impact on struggling households.
Ideas being briefed to the press include further cuts to energy efficiency policies, cutting VAT on energy bills, getting rid of renewable subsidies or government payments to energy suppliers.
Carbon Brief’s analysis shows that previous efforts to slash climate policies are now costing the average household around £40 per year, rising to £60 under the price cap expected next winter.
Instead, separate Carbon Brief analysis shows that nearly 90% of the increase in bills over the last year is due to the rising price of gas, which has more than tripled over the same period.
Most of the remaining expected increase in bills is due to the cost of energy suppliers going out of business, whereas climate policy costs have already fallen and are due to drop further.
Update 2pm: The analysis below does not include solar, which was also excluded from government support in 2015. If a plausible 5 gigawatts (GW) of additional solar capacity had been built since 2015, bills would be around another £0.5bn lower, or roughly £7 per household.
The last time energy bills routinely hit UK front pages was in 2013, when high gas prices saw then-opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband pledge to cap energy bills if he won the next election.
Later that year, a Sun frontpage reported then-prime minister David Cameron’s “solution to soaring energy price[s]” with the headline: “Get rid of the green crap.”
The only zero we are headed for is ...
The only zero we are headed for is zero gas and oil as we greedily burn them all up, without a thought for tomorrow. And, as Mrs Thatcher said in 1988 in a speech to the Royal Society:
She believed it possible that "We have unwittingly begun a massive experiment with the system of the earth itself."
By 'system', she meant life support systems, the planet's natural ecosystems.
"Either we get our numbers (population) and our activities into harmony with the powers of the earth to support life or, collapsing ecosystems will do the job for us." (UK Green Party Manifesto for a Sustainable Society, 1970s)
The three main parties all want and work for an unsustainable society. Hence, Attenborough's "collapse of civilisations", "extinction of much of the natural world" and, "time is running out" warnings, at COP 24 in Dec 2018.
We are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Snookered.
Stop the War Coalition on Ukraine
British politicians are playing with fire stoking up the tension around Ukraine. As the danger grows of a conflict breaking out between Russia and Ukraine following an apparent lack of progress in negotiations with the USA, Tories and Labour are outbidding each other in pointless bellicosity.
The government has sold fresh weaponry to Ukraine and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has made a sabre-rattling speech in Australia. Shadow ministers David Lammy and John Healey have flown to Kiev to support Ukrainian resistance to Russia.
Britain should be advancing serious diplomatic proposals to defuse the tension and seek a solution to the crisis rather than ratcheting it up. This involves taking both Ukraine’s integrity and Russian security concerns seriously.
Stop the War demands an end to the relentless expansion of NATO, which has only added to international tension, particularly as NATO has played a more aggressive role internationally in the Balkans, the Middle East and South Asia. We oppose the deployment of British forces to the borders of Russia as a pointless provocation.
We urge the reduction in nuclear weapons in Europe and the agreement of new arms control measures, including the withdrawal of all such weapons to the territory of the state that controls them.
We believe there needs to be a new all-inclusive security architecture in Europe, not under the hegemony of any one state. We demand that the British government and the Labour Party distance themselves from the policies and priorities of the USA and develop an independent foreign policy.21 Jan 2022
Thursday, 20 January 2022
DE-ESCALATE THE ROW WITH RUSSIA AND ROW BACK from talking up war in Ukraine
DE-ESCALATE THE ROW WITH RUSSIA AND ROW BACK from talking up war in Ukraine
Re-assure Russia that no more former Soviet states will be invited to join NATO.
Re-assure them that there will be no more NATO exercises in the 14 NATO members that have joined since 1990.
Then keep to what you have said.
The belligerents in the Donbas region must compromise and come to a peaceful settlement to their war.
The West should stop selling/giving armaments to the belligerents.
Tell Ukraine that they must be more emollient in their dealings with Russia. No more talk of war but, instead, shared cultural occasions with their Russian neighbour across the border with whom they have so much in common.
Putin may want a Russian Federation of friendly states and regions.
He sees the EU and NATO coming ever closer. I would have thought that NATO’s military exercises in former USSR satellite states must be a real provocation to this military hard man. Why do we persist in doing it? Because we love to provoke, we love all things military and might is right! We love to stir things up, as we did with our provocative move in placing Jupiter rockets in Turkey near the border with the USSR and pointing straight at them. We know where that led!
Tuesday, 18 January 2022
Democracy/voting is not always the right thing to do
Democracy/voting, as with B Johnson’s disastrous Premiership, does not always get things right! Extract:
“The US administration in 1993 could have delayed Nato expansion, but supporters who saw it as a democratic right of the former Warsaw Pact countries defeated those who argued it would weaken both Russian support for arms control and the forces of reform inside Russia.”
NATO expansion has led to the Putin kickback. No arms control even in the UK, certainly not in Russia. And no reform anywhere!
Thanks for the excellent debate and for your comments, Tony.
Monday, 17 January 2022
"Bongo, Bongo Land" jibe
19 August 2013
Hello David (Wilson)
Africa could call us,
"Military Aid not Overseas Aid Land" or,
"Colonial Power Land" or,
"The white man knows what is best for you Land" or,
"Do what we say, not do as we do Land" (our unethical and hypocritical foreign policy);
"Attack first, ask questions later, Land";
"Charity begins at home, military expenditure begins and ends at home and everywhere else, Land".
To Star reporter, Mark Andrews
25 August 2021
I picked up the Star at the Minsterley Show on Saturday and enjoyed reading your column. Some readers will take it seriously and believe every word as gospel!
Rewild by doing this!
My solution is living and farming in tune with nature and minimum food miles. Certainly, nothing from Australia (trade deal) or New Zealand (coming trade deal). Local farming as much as possible to support Clun farmers.
We paid for Nato expansion by giving taxpayers' money to Russia!!
Was there an alternative?
Some say yes. Sarotte argues Washington won its power battle over enlargement, but in a way that led to confrontation, not cooperation, with Moscow.
Russia throughout presented itself as a potential Nato member, but the US always saw this as a fantasy that would paralyse the alliance. The US often preferred to deflect rather than reject. The US administration in 1993 could have delayed Nato expansion, but supporters who saw it as a democratic right of the former Warsaw Pact countries defeated those who argued it would weaken both Russian support for arms control and the forces of reform inside Russia.
Was Russia in a true position to negotiate?
Russia’s economy and politics were in ruins. “Not One Inch” details how Russian openness to Nato’s expansion often turned on the level of financial support provided by the US or Germany, support neither side described as bribes. Such were the levels of Russian corruption that much of this money just went missing as soon as it was transferred.
Sunday, 16 January 2022
Black, blue, red re Western foreign policy
Many thanks, Tony.
That was not Russia, that was the Soviet Union, a very different place altogether. Putin can no take credit for this and quite plainly regrets the loss of power that resulted. In any event, congratulating the Soviet Union for ending tyranny is like congratulating Britain for ending the slave trade: it rather ignores who were the tyrants in the first place.Let the tyrants, whoever they are, end their tyranny and I will applaud them warmly. We ended our centuries of slave trading by 'rewarding' the perpetrators like Edward Colston with handsome compensation. But nothing for the slaves! Was there ever a tyrannical slave trade, like ours in the country we now call Russia?
They appear to have a better track record than the US over wars in far-flung corners of the planet. Never overthrowing capitalist states, as the West has tried (succeeded in Chile) in fighting to overthrow many Communist countries (even elected governments if they were left-wing) - all in the name of freedom and democracy since 1945.
In 1945 the Soviet Union dismantled any and all democratic movements in central Europe, murdering democrats and even re-using Nazi concentration camps for holding dissidents. The Soviet Union as always is keen to intervene in post colonial governments and more than happy to prop up left wing dictatorships, just as much as the west did for right wing ones. In the beauty contest you describe there is no winner. It was all pretty ugly.
Exactly, except we consider ourselves the Beauty Queen who won the contest. This makes us doubly worse, hypocritical and letting the side down in failing to live up to our own much-vaunted, superior values than that of the USSR/Russia.
More recently, Russia came to the aid of President Assad of Syria while the West was supporting the rebels in trying to overthrow a well-established, legitimate and legal government, recognised by the UN!
This is one of the most breath-taking statements I have ever read of yours. Assad keeps in power by torture and murder. He had gassed his own people. He has had barrel bombs dropped from helicopters. That is not “well-established” but resorting to violence to prop oneself up; that is not legitimate; it is not legal; it is no t government and if recoghnition by the Un is the test, then we need a new test. Anyway we did not intervene because of the pushback over the second Iraq war, doubly damning the latter in my view.
For decades, I believe the Assad family ruled in Syria. This latest Assad ruler used every conventional and WMD he had available to overthrow the rebels who had, at first, simply used peaceful protest to object at this tyranny. Much of his armoury might well have originated from the West - this fine, upstanding beacon of righteousness, of angelic enlightenment, of justice, fair play and upholder of all human rights. This is our shining, United States/Western City set on a hill as the model for all the other 200 countries to look up to and follow.
The December 'request' to the West not to come any further east by inviting Ukraine to become a member of NATO, seems perfectly understandable and reasonable to me in the light of their proud history of empire, like ours.
Understandable but undemocratic: are Ukrainians not allowed the same rights as Russians?
Our democratic West should never have been so foolish as to rub the former USSR's nose in the dirt by allowing its former satellite states to join NATO - unless Russia joined too in a new era of rapprochement, co-operation and peaceful co-existence between East and West.
Our side boasts that we won the two World Wars, vanquished the Commies in the Cold War with the break up of the USSR, their loss of buffer states to the West and the dissolving of the Warsaw Pact in 1991.
Rubbish as to WWII. I have never heard anyone deny credit to the Soviet Union in WWII (not Russia, by the way) for bleeding Nazi Germany to death on the eastern front. What about self-determination? Are Lthuanians, Latvians, Estonians and others to be subjects of Russia. Should we get the Irish back? Should Sweden get Norway? Should Russia get Finland and half of Poland? The Warsaw Pact was a sham, made up to make the Soviet empire look consensual. It was not by consent that Central Europe was under communism.
The Soviet Union lost between 20 and 30 million of its citizens in fighting the one World War (in two halves) that three empires had indulged in so disastrously in 1914 - the most foolish, unnecessary and stupid war in the very short history of humanity. It seems that the collapse of the USSR in 1989/90 was the final empire to dissolve - three empires that existed when the 1914 war pushed the imperial self-destruct button.
It is not by consent that the Rich World is under capitalism. All very lovely for us all, I know until the capital starts to dry up, as is now happening, it seems to me!
Russia probably sees the West being on a roll with their former satellite states embracing the West and so many becoming part of the EU and even NATO.
I don’t think so. I think this is a ploy to shore up power in Russia. The West is hardly on a roll anyway, with the collapse of influence in the Middle East and East Asia.
Yet, without a care in the world, we sail our brand new £3.5 billion aircraft carrier through the South China Sea and even the Taiwan Straits, only last year. Now, £250m for a new Royal Yacht Britannia. Of course, Britannia and the American-dominated West still rule the waves.
All hell would break loose if Chinese warships followed our very bad example and sailed up the English Channel, through the North Sea and back down the Irish Sea!
Yet, there is no empathy, let alone understanding from our side. Just a determination to spread the untold blessings of democracy ever further eastwards.
As a deep green, I can understand you have issues with democracy!
The above flaunting of military might is exactly how the rich, democratic, freedom-loving, the pursuit of greed at all costs countries so love to behave.
Democracy simply means voting to make decisions. Nothing very grand and wonderful in that. To dissent and to be able speak and write without fear of being locked up is of far more value for me.
And the USA and the West must remain the policeman of the world upholding our culture and democracy and extending it at every opportunity.
I think it is a duty on wealthy countries to uphold human rights. I accept we have not been good at it, but just look at the alternative: Muslims in camps in China, for example.
The USA must always be TOP DOG in the world! This attitude hardly promotes international understanding and goodwill. Certainly not Christian teaching about serving rather than lauding it over other nations.
I agree that there are legitimate issues here, although Biden appears a positive on this score.
Christmas is, supposedly, a time of peace and goodwill to all nations. Perfect timing for the Russians but, we ignored them.
I think that was the best tactic. Continuing as usual, with no intention in the short or medium-term for Ukraine to be drawn in, but clear protection for our Baltic allies and a clear threat of consequences if Russi tries to use force.
I go along with the German CDU MP I heard on 'Today', this week.
We could have stated our position that Ukraine should be a buffer state between Russia and the West, outside our sphere of influence and, we would not fund, give armaments or support any anti-Russian feeling in Ukraine.
Presumably you intend that we should supply them with white flags, as the Russians walk in on the people we abandoned. I think some Czechs in 1938 may have something to be said about abandoning people in the face of intimidation.
Ukraine must be told it will not become a member of NATO for reasons of detente, and to try and improve relations with Russia. The country has more in common with Russia than Greater Than Ever Global Brexit Britain (or France/Germany).
Such a move would have lessened tensions and made it less likely that they would invade Ukraine.
I believe the absolute opposite is the case.
If they did, it would still allow the present measures that are being discussed to be implemented.
Too late … just look at Crimea (although to be fair, I think Russia should have organised a fair vote on Crimea rejoining Russia, as it may well have won).
Russia organised a vote in Crimea and won before taking it back. The West and Ukraine is foolish to stir things up by talking of escalating the war when a low-key war has been going on for some years in E Ukraine between Russian-backed forces and Ukraine.
We must include Russia as much as possible in G7 deliberations as being a much more positive and constructive path to take rather than condemning them for their taking back of Crimea. Crimea was given to Ukraine in 1954 by Khrushchev.
I would have no problem in diplomatic engagement, but be aware of posturing.
Empathy and understanding - "leaders using empathy as a vital tool in their diplomatic arsenal." Breaking History, Radio 4, on 5 January 2022, available for over a year, here:
In 1972, Richard Nixon and Premier Chou En-lai agreed -
"the Joint Communique of the United States of America and the People's Republic of China, also known as the Shanghai Communique. The communique was highly unconventional; it essentially sees both sides as agreeing to disagree. However, within its text the two sides agreed that both countries, regardless of their social systems, should conduct their relations on the principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states. It was an agreement that had far reaching consequences for world history - one that "built a bridge across 16,000 miles" and healed years of division and hostility."
"President Nixon met with Chairman Mao Tsetung of the Communist Party of China on February 21. The two leaders had a serious and frank exchange of views on Sino-US relations and world affairs." https://digitalarchive.
I do not think the Chinese would necessarily agree: they are quite happy domestically to play the victim card. They need to be treated with respect, but also caution. They are their own friends first and last.
Tim (Any thoughts about my 3 petitions on the one principal mainline railway, please? 38 Degrees are OK about it.)
On Sat, 8 Jan 2022 at 10:09, Anthony Verduyn <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Thanks Tim, save that the author perhaps misunderstands the Munich issues of 1938 (it bought crucial time for UK rearmament), I think this is a fair assessment. The policy proposal of ignoring Russia is an interesting one. I would like to see steady improvement in defences, and energy independence, in the Baltic states and Central Europe - solar, wind, and any other non-fossil (non Russia dependent) scheme would do, and be good for the planet