There's an awful lot of money wrapped up in those Private Finance Initiatives, an awful lot! A lot of of people in really elevated positions have invested serious money here.
On a wider and a deeper note, there's one Hell of a lot of money invested in the concept of deregulation. Many CEOs and their entourages are heavily dependant upon weighty deregulation. We might yet find out that the Italian motorway road bridge at Genoa was somewhat dependant upon certain levels of deregulation, prior to its catastrophic collapse, or rather we might not find out! Early days, but even at this juncture we know that something preceding the incident was not right! Somewhere a corner has been cut, and corner cutting runs an awful lot more 'efficiently' when deregulation has been brought into play.
As with Grenfell and as with the Genoa motorway road bridge, corner-cutting often has consequences. Sometimes those consequences are small enough for the system that enables them to then hide them from the wider public gaze, or else to repackage and to relabel them- they are now almost everywhere, virtually 'propping up' certain chunks of the UK's economy- but sometimes the deceit is just not possible or plausible. Either way, somewhere along the line someone (or someones) has decided, and continues to decide, that 'these are corners worth cutting!'
In the UK those invested with the current housing (shall we refer to it as a) pledge will be keeping a very beady eye upon any resultant tinkering with the current levels of deregulation. Thus, billions are currently wrapped up and holding a figurative breath within the construction industry. We already know that, with regards to social housing, the current government have vowed to link costs and rents to those currently 'operating' in the private market. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have been at pains to make this much clear, also they have pointed out that the current government's 'commitment' to building seems to have been designed far more not to undermine the private bandwagon, than it has to addressing the real issue... that being that of affordable and accessible homes for the UK's population.
Education and Health have been, and are being, monetised. Entertainment, especially that of sport, has mutated into not so much an entertainment-first construct as one of an unregulated and unrestrained gambling bonanza!
When the coalition removed certain regulations from the pension sector, several years back, presented as 'enabling greater flexibility for the pension holder,' it really must have come as no real surprise that pertinent criminal enterprises were already up and waiting. Today, the true figures for lost pension assets may remain unknown, in great part due to the shame felt at being so duped, but it is known to have already run into the millions. Still our TVs (ads) send out the smiling message that 'happy' pensioners can easily access one of the many equity release deals on offer. Perhaps those who have already lost much of their pensions will be amongst the first to want to offset their remaining home against a small hole-plugging measure?
Yes, as the UK shuffles ever closer to that deregulated garden of delights so the zero-hour-economy is truly partying! Although, it should also be noted that, even here, safeguards should and have been taken... as have those of Reese Mogg who has already moved business interests to the Republic of Ireland. Curious, we might consider, given the man's poisonous dislike of the EU.
Anyway, there is a system fully established and in operation here in the UK. And it is a system which reaches out its long arms also to incorporate much of the UK's Main Stream Media (MSM).
The UK's is not an unresponsive, nor is it an obviously compliant, MSM, which presents all as if it is soft and fluffy and beyond reproach. Under the current flag that would be foolish! No, instead it presents, or seeks to do so, as a 'viable' MSM which takes on board lessons from the past and duly evolves. Evolve or die! But, in such circumstances as those of the UK, evolution is not always such a pretty nor is it such a pleasant thing.
So here, in the heavy wake of such a system, we should take a moment to reflect, and in this light we should consider those recent allegations of anti-semitic behaviour amongst leading Labour figures.
|Is it about the hill?|
But, before this and in order to contextualise the 'story,' I suggest that we might first want to consider Thatcher's endorsement of General Pinochet. She had, we should remember, at least in part, orchestrated the Falkland's or Malvenas War (1982) at a time of her own rising unpopularity. Even the heavily right-wing press of the day was not able to deflect from her unrelenting hostility towards (curiously) her own nation's working-class families, and Britain's playful obsession with pseudo-colonialism was, at that time, again fading. The good ol' days that never really were had cyclically lost much of their lustre... so what better solution than to enter another imperial war?
Some sixteen years after the conflict, in 1998, Pinochet of Argentina-neighbouring Chile, was still widely regarded as a war criminal, responsible for the death or disappearance of some ten-thousand Chilean citizens and over twenty-seven thousand instances of human rights violations, following the CIA-funded and supported coup of 1973. In consequence, in 1998 and in the light of his travel to the UK, Spanish Magistrates wished to extradite Pinochet from the country, where he was awaiting surgery for a herniated disc, and to try him for the war crimes for which the world-at-large already knew him to be guilty.
Thatcher's words, then, were repulsively warm regarding the general. "Senator Pinochet was a staunch friend of Britain," she gushed, as Tony Blair and Jack Straw contrived to inefficiently do absolutely nothing for the victims. Thatcher was showing that Pinochet's loyalty to pseudo-empire during the Falklands/Malvinas conflict, albeit partially covert, was treasured by her as being above thousands of human lives.
Of significant note- seemingly entirely 'overlooked' by the MSM- Thatcher was the UK's PM during both Jimmy Savile's inglorious time and the Sun Newspaper's shameful reporting of the Hillsborough Disaster... and she was a PM who 'prided' herself upon keeping fully abreast of national and global politics. It surely would not be beyond the realms of reason to assume that she knew far more than has yet been reported. Orgreave may yet have it's time.
The UK's MSM reported the Pinochet incident with almost distasteful balance, and this dreadful man duly escaped justice. The MSM did not roundly condemn Thatcher for her support of the known war criminal! Nor has it yet chosen to speculate upon Thatcher's murky secrets.
Secondly, we could recall Blair's puppying decision to follow the US Military into Iraq (2003), based upon then-known-to-be (certainly by Blair himself) questionable evidence of WMD in the country; the use of the term 'questionable' here being overly generous.
Given also that already-seen reports had warned of the likelihood of Iraq descending into sectarian chaos, Blair's choice might be regarded as doubly criminal. Given additionally that the innocent and considerably-more-honest Dr David Kelly was questionably judged to have committed (convenient) suicide, we might be left to conclude that Blair is almost a more easily despised human-being than is Thatcher.
Blair was demonstrating that, for him, the money that the US- that more reactionary contingent- might afford him as his bloody fee easily trumped the cost to human life... an immense cost which continues to spiral to this day.
Our MSM was less forgiving of Blair, but this same MSM is today struggling with balancing their more-recent-dislike of the man against their support for his adopted stance regarding the current leader of the (no-longer-New) Labour Party. An unreasonably light touch by the MSM, I am going to suggest, for the man judged by many, and in this same profession, to be an international war criminal.
|Is it about the van?|
Thirdly we might consider the already slighted Jack Straw's hand in cases of illegal extraordinary rendition of Libyan dissident, Abdel Hakim Belhaj, and his pregnant wife, Fatima Bouchar, to Libya, where they were handed over to the CIA who had, prior to this and for many decades, been subjecting individuals to torture techniques. Of course, and by association, this might be judged to have further implicated the terminally-unrepentant Blair.
The extraordinary rendition issue is actually far greater than merely the afore-named victims; hundred of instances were known about, and yet still the MSM arguably under-reacted. But Blair's, and by association Jack Straw's, love affair with the MSM had effectively ended!
Jack Straw, we may remember, also presided over the release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdul Basset Ali al-Megrahi, argued at the time to be verging upon a premature death. Jack Straw quite openly favoured talks with Tripoli and the reviled Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
Our MSM- most of it- have rather tended to forget about the human rights issues (at least by association) for which Mr Straw should stand trial. And yet, I would still wish to point out that Jack Straw was remarkably comfortable with the ideology that favoured oil over selective human-rights.
On an arguably brighter note we might consider the late Mo Mowlan's 1998 talks with the IRA and the UDA. She kicked off her shoes, whipped off her wig and asked Sam 'Skelly' McCrory (UDA) for "a smoke." She behaved in similar fashion with Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair (IRA), again in open discussion with another of Europe's most dangerous terrorists.
We will, perhaps, recall Blair's reptilian smile- him again- sliding away like a shed skin, as the gathered (New) Labour Party roundly stood and long-applauded Mo Mowlan at the 1998 Labour Party Conference. He consequently rather swept her aside and arranged for the early release of prisoners, in exchange for the handing in of weaponry, the 'Good Friday Agreement.'
Lest we should be tempted to glean a smidgen of respectability for Blair here, we should also note that the political 'decline' of Mowlan can readily be traced back to this moment. The deathly whispers of the likes of henchman Mandelson or the more bumptious actions of Campbell perhaps?
The focus anyway should instead be the reaction of the MSM. Mo Mowlan, no longer with us, became rather popular with much of the MSM, but she was significantly terminally ill at the time. The UK's MSM might, quite rightly in this case, struggle to damn her dialogue with known terrorists, in the light of both Mowlan's health and Northern Ireland's hugely reduced tensions.
Or there's Nelson Mandela, hailed latterly as perhaps the ultimate amongst world leaders, for the manner in which his government conducted their post apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1995. The process openly worked with the perpetrators of state-endorsed violence towards its own citizens, bringing them and their victims together in, surely, the only manner in which widespread bloodshed could have been avoided. Still, the South African State, of which Mandela was head, very openly colluded with many violent human-rights' abusers... but then who bar Nelson Mandela could have led a nation better and so quietly, from the depths of such darkness?
If to 'burden' Mandela with such individual high praise seems overly selective one should consider the more recent slide in the standards of the current South African Government.
Whilst still in office Thatcher referred to the South African former political prisoner as a member of, "a typical terrorist organisation," and she steadfastly resisted all pressure to impose sanctions upon the apartheid regime, during her time at Number 10.
The MSM's response to Nelson Mandela had once been variably, but often less-reservedly, hostile, morphing gradually and in pursuit of popularity, as first apartheid crumbled and collapsed, then Mandela was released. The UK's media was given to display the whole chamelic pallet with regards to this world leader.
Much as the MSM, especially the Sun Newspaper, have latterly attempted to do with regards to their reporting of the Hillsborough Disaster, today they would likely much prefer to bury mention of the bulk of their earlier Mandela stuff. Greatly missed- especially in the light of current global politics- aside from those saccharin sweet tabloid articles, Mandela would today likely prove far too much of a hot potato for much of the UK's increasingly reactionary MSM.
None amongst the above mentioned individuals has or had adopted a wholly unreserved stance upon Israel and Israeli actions. Each of these individuals held or still holds stated reservations regarding the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights as they currently stand. Nelson Mandela was the least accepting and Thatcher the least critical, but we could easily have predicted or expected this much. Even Thatcher, though, was not always comfortable in her dealings with the State of Israel.
|Is it about the car?|
'Blooded hands,' though, they are a rather different matter! But, even here, things are seldom as convenient as much of 'our' MSM would have us believe.
Set, as they sometimes must be, in the context of world political history, it should be recognised as (virtually) impossible for leading political figures to advance either (selfishly) themselves, (variably) an espoused cause, or (more altruistically) global or national politics, without the risk of falling foul of such an accusation as 'bearing bloodied hands.' It almost matters not that often the hostility may be woefully misdirected... cite the Sun Newspaper's reporting of 'Hilsborough'
Entirely dependant upon how and by whom those crucial moments are reported we in turn might lazily adopt any number of responses... and yet we may still unforgivingly expect certain political advancements to be achieved. 'Bloodied Hands' (and their vast array of accompanying synonyms) should then be regarded as a variable term, and in the hands of an irresponsible MSM it can be a most dangerous term!
Unless one is either an idiot, or else of reactionary inclination, it is difficult to assume anything other than a nuanced approach to the current State of Israel or Israel's actions, although we could quite easily fall into the trap of believing this not to be deemed acceptable. The action of President Trump, to relocate the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, should be considered, at best, stupid. But even this is really overgenerous, it is in all likelihood a deliberately provocative act, likely to prove internationally inflammatory! Perhaps he is again looking to deflect from other misdemeanours or incompetences? Neither is Benjamin Netanyahu currently working well at easing the obvious tensions in the region.
The subject of East Jerusalem, one of several areas cited in the UN Security Council's 'Resolution 242,' is a volatile one at best. And it should not, in any way, be regarded as being anti-semitic to suggest that Israel should give serious consideration to withdrawing from the area. Despite Trump's provocation even the US currently regards East Jerusalem as an occupied territory. Palestine and the Palestinian people will need to be acknowledged!
As with most, if not all, nuanced political situations, peaceful solutions are most unlikely to result from the shutting down of discussions. And it could be easily argued that this is not only what the IHRA definition upon anti-semitism (with its unreserved 'examples') is currently doing, but further that this is what it is, at least in certain hands, intended to do.
So, I am going to argue that the best way forward and towards a less conflicted globe is to instead open up discussion, upon both Israeli (State) actions and the Israeli State. Much as certain factions in the Labour Party are, or were, attempting so to do.
The UK's MSM have, in significant part and especially in relation to the recent Labour-antisemitism allegations, fallen woefully short in their widely stated and (mis)assumed aim of informing the wider public on the thorny issue of Israel. It is possible to find (far too) many sites where the indignant condemnation of Corbyn, and the likes of Ken Livingstone, is given loud and copious 'voice.' But, it is far more difficult to locate areas of frank and open discussion upon the pertinent issues.
In order to emphasise quite how skewed our MSM had/has become, with regards to the reporting of 'anti-semitism within the Labour Party,' I should just mention that, for almost the entirety of the elected and on-going 'story,' it has remained almost impossible, without considerable digging, to unearth, exactly and unedited, what (allegedly and/or actually) was being said by the cited individuals. Of course, as soon as one is able to do just that, the reasons for such sparsity of detail becomes obvious, this being that there is no serious case to be answered... with the unfortunate proviso that it should be noted that an uncertain online element has now also entered the affray- an 'uncertain online element!'
However, having written and believed this (MSM's lack of substance behind the 'headline') to be the case, a recent two-part documentary upon the subject of British Jews (BBC 2's 'We Are British Jews') was unexpectedly enlightening, yet further contextualising the ongoing discussion.
The programme aired the varying 'perspectives' of eight people from the British Jewish Community, following (most of) them eventually on a research trip into Israel. If it is still available it is well worth a look, or indeed a second look. With the exception of perhaps two of the individuals the various members of the group were all able to further inform the wider debate. Shame indeed that almost all of the MSM, including the bulk of the peak-time BBC's, news coverage prior to this was given to suggesting that the anti-semitism issue, particularly in the Labour Party, is far more black and white than is the reality.
For those with a mind to discovery, one member of the 'British Jewish' group was even able to add some much appreciated insight to the situation regarding Israel's methods of 'policing' of the occupied territories. Others within the unit were either variably open to new information, or else they were initially hostile. But, as a jumping off point, this much was inevitable and to be expected.
Somewhat better informed, should we choose to further open ourselves up to the real issues, we would do well to take a far more considered and factual view of Israel and its place in global politics.
|Or is it about something else entirely?|
The current Labour Party, it should be argued, is likely the best placed (maybe the only) political party to properly open up this debate, hopefully before certain dubious and covert forces are able to do quite the reverse. But, this honest debate necessarily (currently) comes with a price-tag, that price being that all of that money wrapped up in Private Finance Initiatives, all of that cash invested in wholesale deregulation, all of those mighty powerful CEOs and their entourages with their financial interests, all of these things and individuals that elect to skew society to their bidding, all of these people and their respective 'worlds' might then also feel more threatened!
Most certainly these 'characters' will not want any debate whatsoever- currently the Israeli one- that might later then go on to question any wider societal perspective, by further validating (or not further seeking to invalidate) the political party best placed to ask other 'awkward' questions. Far better, these disingenuous 'characters' might consider, to jump upon any bandwagon that seeks to derail, distract and to undermine this process.
Sadly, it is certain factions within the same aforementioned Labour Party- the party in part seeking more to open-up the debate- who, from a diametrically opposed position, seem the most determined to shut the anti-semitism argument down. Or is this perception also the overly-mighty hand of the MSM? It must be hoped that the Labour Party's controversial full adoption of the IHRA's definition of anti-semitism (plus examples) will not further compound and stall much needed and robust debate.
Any suppression of political free speech is unlikely in the longer term to reap anything like the right kind of rewards. Resultant frustration may then instead bring forth anger, and this in turn may fuel aggression, manifest often as hatred and escalated violence. And this, in turn, may be misused as justification for a more determined and further closing down of the debate.
A stance of 'less suppression of free speech, leading ultimately to fewer bullets and bloodied hands,' is most likely to hold the key to any progress to be made. However, owned by and operated at the auspices of some of the UK's (and other's) wealthiest individuals, it would appear that this is not yet a step forward that our MSM is prepared unreservedly to take.
Far more likely they will wish to continue to represent, or to misrepresent, 'their chosen cause' through their own means of assassination.