Category: Uncategorized

The fences

Maybe instead of calling them money launderers we should just call them FENCES, as thats what they do.

If you can’t clean stolen assets, what can you do with them?

Oh well, it’s us in the middle who will bear the cost.

Oddly using an army view it was always the foot soldier who suffered most, but actually rather like society the ones with highest casualty rates were the NCOs and junior officers (the middle).  The generals were out of the firing line deciding strategy, the privates had to be encouraged and the people who did that by leading from the front were the “middle ” who ended up paying the price.

It’s a bit like the hollowed out middle class.  In the US I assume its on the basis that if you like, the Generals give direct instructions to the privates, whilst here, the privates or the ones at the bottom do have safety nets, the generals don’t need those nets, and its the middle that supports both?

No doubt the analogy breaks down but the more I think of it, it’s the middle thats at risk.  The countries that seem to do best in all metrics are the ones with the biggest middle class.

Where are they most at risk at the moment, US and UK?

What we have is the generals using the privates to wage war against their own NCOs and junior officers, the Middle ?



“Eliminationism” is a term you need not just to become familiar with, especially in today’s American rush toward authoritarianism. This will be a long, illustrated thread explaining what it means, how it works, and why Donald Trump is now our Eliminationist in Chief


Fox News, NBC and Facebook pull Trump ad widely condemned as racist

The Guardian:

Fox News, NBC and Facebook have pulled a Donald Trump campaign advert that has been widely condemned as racist.

The 30 second anti-immigration advert, paid for by the Donald Trump for President campaign, was tweeted out by the president last week and aired during an NFL game on NBC on Sunday night and on Fox News.

“Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network,” Marianne Gambelli, Fox News’s president of advertisement sales, told CNN on Monday.

The advert features ominous-sounding music as a voice warns urgently about “the 7,000-migrant caravan” that it said was “marching toward our border”.

It adds: “Dangerous illegal criminals like cop-killer Luis Bracamontes don’t care about our laws”, before urging people to “vote Republican”. It ends with Donald Trump saying: “I approve this message.”

A sitting US president has a racist ad banned by Fox.  I’ll just leave that to sink in.

Political correctness

Posts such as Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy and The Right Finds the Perfect Weapon Against the Left got me thinking about the doubled edge sword of political correctness.  A well-intentioned campaign by, as it happened, a very precise segment of educated white people sought to use language to change behaviour.  It has been an interesting test case of Orwell’s thesis about language use – in 1984 removing words was meant to stop people thinking certain things – but why has it upset so many people?  My theory is that many, many people want to do the right thing.  They’re basically reasonable.  But political correctness is always evolving, not documented and certainly wasn’t taught in schools.  So it brings real stress – how do you avoid offending people?  That, I think, is the fear that many people feel and that’s why they lash out at the concept of political correctness.

Subsidised tenants are excluded from pool and gym in London block

I sometimes despair of the Guardian.  Have you seen this article about social housing tenants not being able to use private facilities?  The view that its apartheid is just ludicrous. With all that’s wrong with the world they latch onto that.

With the greatest respect why the hell should they be able to use the facilities if they don’t pay for them! I think the writer thought that he would get total support but I think its about 80% WTF are you on about on the comments section.  There is a discount of 40% on market levels.  95% of us don’t have access to those type of facilities, whether we are private or public housing users.

In itself its not important but what it does is give credibility to the view that the left just bang on about signifiers rather than actual policy.  Its exactly like the dems going on about bathrooms and transgender.

To then tie it into Grenfell is absurd .the problem with Grenfell wasn’t that they hadn’t spent anything on the block ,its that they spent it on totally the wrong things with terrible results.

If this carries on I will move to the Mail!

Talking Politics 122 | How Bad Could it Get?

The Talking Politics podcast can be very good but I think we will look back on episode #122 as one of the worst.  A token, plucky remainer on to explain that a no deal might be tricky, surrounded by almost disdainful academics.

First, I’d be interested in empirical evidence for Helen Thompson’s assertion that:

…in the terms of Leave voters, as opposed to a number of the conservative politicians in the Leave campaign, there’s zero evidence that imperial nostalgia is part of what’s going on here. I think that’s actually more the other way round, in the sense of the argument that Britain must have outsized influence in the world is actually more common on the Remain side of the arguments, actually than it is on the Leave side, as I said, exempting a few conservative politicians from that.

I got the definite impression that a significant number of Leave voters (the sort from the home counties, not the northern ex-industrial towns) were voting for an (imagined) 1950s where the UK (but probably England) wasn’t held back by the EU.  Where we were free to form alliances with other countries and make CANZUK real.  And implicit in those fantasies was the UK leading the grateful Canada, Australia, New Zealand.  In short, I think Thomson’s exactly wrong about imperial nostalgia not being part of Leave.

Second, I was surprised by Thompson’s view on Northern Ireland:

And the European Union has taken a very strident stand on the question of the Irish border and the response it wants via the backstop to the Irish border. If Theresa May cannot deliver something that can get through the House of Commons, I think it ultimately will be because the EU has taken that stand. And I’m not making a judgment about it one way or another, but that is not something that was in the negotiating. We go back to the way things looked in March 2017, when it was a different government in Dublin. This is not necessarily a path that could have been anticipated. Now some people would say, ‘Well that’s naive because you could see that the European Union would use the Irish question as a way of trying to either to humiliate Britain or to try to keep it in the European Union by default.’

My emphasis.  It was known well before the referendum that Northern Ireland would be an important complication in exactly how Brexit would er actually work.   The EU always was going to take a stand.  I’m not sure I understand how anyone can say “This is not necessarily a path that could have been anticipated”.

Runciman jokes about what many listeners must be thinking – what is the point of political academics given how awful their predictive ability is?  Northern Ireland was always going to be central to the negotiations.  I’ve listened to the podcast since well before the referendum and it hasn’t ever really engaged with this issue.  Not merely is their predictive power poor but on this occasion they missed a key topic.  Saying it is just “because the EU has taken that stand” doesn’t excuse it.

I will be listening next week, obvs.



MI5 to take over in fight against rise of UK rightwing extremism

The Guardian:

MI5 is to take the lead in combating extreme rightwing terrorism amid mounting fears that white supremacists are increasing their efforts to foment violent racial conflict on Britain’s streets, The Guardian has learned.

The switch from the police – which has always previously taken responsibility for monitoring far right extremism – to MI5 means that the ideology will now sit in the same portfolio as Islamist terrorism and Northern Ireland-related terrorism, which are both covered by the domestic security service.

Welcome news.

Newt Gingrich: ‘We’ll see whether or not the Kavanaugh fight was worth it’

Washington Post:

During a live interview on Oct. 25 at The Washington Post, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that if Democrats re-take control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections and subpoena the president’s tax returns, it would likely force a fight in the U.S. Supreme Court. “And,” Gingrich said,”we’ll see whether or not the Kavanaugh fight was worth it.”

Call me old fashioned but I think that puts Kavanaugh in a tricky position.