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December 12, 2019

Open Thread 2019-73

News & views ...

How, btw, did Corbyn do it?

Posted by b on December 12, 2019 at 19:51 UTC | Permalink

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Too early for many results, but there's this:

Posted by: ben | Dec 12 2019 20:19 utc | 1

P.S. I'll be rooting for Corbyn...

Posted by: ben | Dec 12 2019 20:21 utc | 2

I'm an original Corbynist (been openly supporting him since he was first elected leader, in 2016). However, it's good to highlight that his manifesto won't solve the UK's structural problems and that the polls indicate the status quo ante from before Theresa May's snap election of 2017.


I called it:

Natural Gas Boom Fizzles as a U.S. Glut Sinks Profits -- Chevron’s multibillion-dollar write-down of gas assets is the most recent sign that the gas supply has far outstripped demand.

You know the shit has hit the fan when the likes of the NYT and the WaPo publish it.


This is eye-popping:

Capitalism is losing appeal to Chinese

I've never seen China defend socialism so openly before (excluding, of course, the Mao Era) by attacking capitalism by name. This may be a historical editorial (or not), we'll see.


Joke of the week:

Whoever wins this election needs to show some humility

Show humility to whom, Gaby? The mighty centrists?

Posted by: vk | Dec 12 2019 20:30 utc | 3

vk @3--

I linked to and commented upon that Global Times editorial here and didn't see it as a direct critique of economic capitalism, but rather as a damning critique of the political systems associated with Western Capitalism, their inefficiency and inability to reform/modify their structures for the betterment of society.

As for Corbyn, the queues for polling stations were mentioned to be longer, bigger than ever; and given the critical nature of the election, ought to be exactly that. I must admit in looking at the election I'm skewed by Craig Murray's analysis, but I've longed for Tory demise for decades and hope they lose since a bigger blow cannot be made against Neoliberalism than that at the moment, Brexit actually being a smokescreen for its continuance and ruination of the UK.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 12 2019 20:49 utc | 4

Off to vote Labour in a moment.
Corbyn has been wise not to openly campaign for a People's vote like most of his party wanted. Telling natural Labour voters that voting Brexit was wrong was always a silly idea.
Pretty sure that Johnson gets the command - get Brexit done. Then in 6 months becomes probably the most hated PM ever. If Brexit voters then don't move back to Labour it will be Labour's fault. And Johnson's party will struggle with an ever declining majority or small minority knowing they will get killed the first time there is an election without Brexit helping them out.

(Brexit anger is about wage inequality - like US Trump support. 35 years, GDP doubled, median earnings up 10% in UK, 0% in US. If the media wrote about basic economics everyone would know this. Instead the bottom 75% have plain unfocussed anger with Trump/Brexit being lightening rods to direct it).

Posted by: Michael Droy | Dec 12 2019 20:57 utc | 5

Britain's 330,000 Jews (0.006% of the population), while not uniform in the dirty prolonged false anti-Semetic smear campaign, had the opportunity to massively call bullshit on the campaign and did not do so ... this was the only realistic way that the campaign could be stopped and permitting the campaign to build up steam caused Labour to plummet in electoral support.

Posted by: chet380 | Dec 12 2019 21:01 utc | 6

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 12 2019 20:49 utc | 4

The Chinese are pure-blood Marxists. Their socialism is scientific socialism, not socialism as it is known in the West nowadays: they don't consider politics as separated from economics, politics is economics and vice versa.

Trust me, the editorial was a direct critique to capitalism. If it was a critique to representative democracy, they would have put "liberal/Western democracy" instead of "capitalism".

Posted by: vk | Dec 12 2019 21:10 utc | 7

To add to my all time suspicions, widely and willingly ignored...and recent confirmations...and counter a bit the hypocritical whitewashing of this man as a kind of dove of peace and protector of the weak...

Putin on V.Ylich Lenin....

..he came up with an idea. He created a new state structure, laying a mine under the Russian statehood that had been forming for a thousand years...

Of course, he laid a mine under a statehood dating thousand of years which remained perpetuating obscene inequalities amongst scarce 1% of Tsarist court and the rest of the people of the former Russian Empire, that is, hundreds of millions of peoples who lived through those thousand years in abject misery and exploitation...

About the suggestions on death people as results of revolution of pre-revolution turmoil, it must be pointed out that the demonstrations of workers were at first peaceful, asking the Tsar for reforms and better labor conditions, and it was not the people who started the killings, but the death squads organized by Tsarist police and certain sector of clergy. Then it happened the mass killings of peaceful demonstrators leaded by Father Gapon...The Russian revolution was a result of the stuborness of the Tsar and his ruling class on conceeding any betterment of the conditions of lives of the nationals under his rule....

It is astonishing the u-turn this administration is making... at galloping pace, in contrast with its behavioir on previous crisis around the world and previous stances with respect Russian history...It is obvious by rect visits and changes observed that some negotiations are developing may be in the face of prospects of economic crisi and social unrest...

With statement like this one, it lose all credibilty when it complains about the rewritting of history by the European Comission in its equating of Nazi Germany and USSR as both equally culprit of starting WWII....

As happens with denouncing fascism in our times, or you do it always, whenever it shows its ugly and criminal face, or you lose your point when trying to denounce it only at your neighborhood..... Or you refuse to rewrite history always, or you are contributing to open the Pandora box on that everybody rewrites its own to its convenience....

As all the signs were showing, current leaderships at several locations have started a path towards "rightification" of the world, and, to this goal, they need to have us back to the darkness of Middle Ages, where there will be no rules except that of the strongest, and all the progress in wealth and welfare will be limited to them, their families, and close circle of cronies...

What I could have not suspected is that Russia would join this effort, in spite of the confussing signs, as the astonishing flirting with several European far-right parties and political figures, and almost full support for the Trump administration, showing otherwise....

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 12 2019 21:29 utc | 8

I don't want to see the following headline:

Nigel Farage returns hated Conervatives to power

but then such is perfidious Albions style.

Alternatively this headline would make my day:

Blairite traitors decimated in Corbyn WIN

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 12 2019 21:36 utc | 9

Sasha #8

Thank you Sasha, Lenin acted for the millions of Russian people held as slaves in their own land. Lenin and team were against terrible odds and created change and innovation where all hope had been flogged out of the Russian people. The Czar wielded the knout with sadistic pleasure against the Russian people.

Viva Lenin.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 12 2019 21:42 utc | 10

The NYTimes is full-on Corbyn is an anti-Semite today. This is just a warm up of how the corporate elite will try to take down Bernie since of course he supports Palestinian human rights , which is anti-Semitic.

Posted by: Stever | Dec 12 2019 21:59 utc | 11

Twitter reports on exit polls provide great hope for Tories as I type, unfortunately. Given the 100% governmental gang-up against Corbyn, the question of fraud has always been there to ensure their continuance in power. If they do win, I expect to see an exodus of those that have the means to leave.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 12 2019 22:28 utc | 12

@ Michael Droy | Dec 12 2019 20:57 utc | 5

(Brexit anger is about wage inequality - like US Trump support. 35 years, GDP doubled, median earnings up 10% in UK, 0% in US. If the media wrote about basic economics everyone would know this. Instead the bottom 75% have plain unfocussed anger with Trump/Brexit being lightening rods to direct it).

It might be wise to be careful here about assumptions used. First off, cognisance of population changes will not automatically translate into employed working sector changes, many factors intervene preventing a direct relationship. Secondly, having a accurate GDP measure from beginning to end of the period observed is crucial (to avoid apples vs. oranges comparisons) so that changes in productive sources (and their employed numbers) are accounted for (law offices rarely employ as many as heavy industrial firms). The history of price/wage inflation or loss of exchange value of currency will affect reported GDP statistics as well. Thirdly is measuring the general education and skill level of those employed, as those decrease so do earnings/salaries/wages. Fourthly, look at the change in social protections provided to the population in question, these protections have a cost that must be met, their absence has an even greater cost to income obtained but rarely appearing on the economic balance sheets. Regulatory capture by monopoly, sovereign & trust-fund management removes business restrictions and passes those costs to those employed. Try putting this on a bumper-sticker for your car.

In the U.S. the population had increased in double digits from the census of 1950 (150.9 millions) to 2010 (308.7 millions). Working income had not significantly increased from 1970's, Purchasing Power Parity of 1970 dollar and 2019 dollar is unobtainable information. GDP statistics are of the nature of apples vs. oranges, measuring unrelated economic production; it can be done but isn't (for reasons political) [an income of US$400,000 in 1915 would translate into a 1980's income of about US$ 8.5 millions; the economies were still roughly speaking nearly the same still and comparable, as wealth distributions were becoming again].

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 12 2019 22:30 utc | 13

re the UK election: the Elites in the US and UK media are despicable, have played on every fear imaginable especially the ridiculous charges of anti-semitism against Corbyn

we now have a taste of what all the lies and smears will be like with the Media Elites as the failing US Empire (including the UK and Australia) goes down and down over the next decade or so....

"Let me control the media and I will turn any nation into a herd of pigs" - Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels

Posted by: michaelj72 | Dec 12 2019 22:41 utc | 14

@Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 12 2019 21:42 utc | 10

And, take into account that I do not even think that Lenin hsould not be criticized in whatever he could be wrong or whatever he made in an ill manner, but overall, this man deserves at least the respect by any honest Russian official who boasts of respecting and appreciating its history and its people.

It may be only my impression but the fact that in the same week Putin glorifies and santifies Luzkhov while he throws a layer of shit on Lenin is of certain significance....and I fear is not a good prospect for the Russian people.

I have witnessed the confussing zigzags of this man, whom I blindly wanted to consider a paladin of the people ( not only Russian...) hided in the middle of the turbulences of the last decades of the Russian history, but, in the end harboring socialist ideas/goals, but increasingly more signs are leading me to consider the points of so many peers from the left during all these years on his capitalist/elitist stance...

Lenin, for what is worth, made the opposite travel to him, from accomodated upper middle class to leading the masses od peasnats and workers and ending living like one of them....he could have limited himself to continue living his accomodated life...while blind to the fate of his compatriots...Only for that, he deserves all my respect...

On the other side, there is not anything I could despise most than an arribist...who in his travel to the top does not repare in means and collateral damage...

Just found recently a Russian account which post some critical stuff on Putin´s administration....all was tyere after all in full sight...but we are in the middle of a world of smoke and mirrors and contradicting messages....

As a sample....Take into account that this is Russian people living in Russia, which show us a more faithfull stamp on what really happens in Russia. Of course, it was fool fo ourselves to rely only on what it is pusblished in Russian official media and websites, which is what is mainly provided here through links....

Now we all know how and why the leadership of the KGB and the CPSU in 1989 allowed the creation and promotion in the media of anti-communist party-rooms and movements like the LDPR. And today, the possessed chauvinist and populist Zhirik and Co. celebrate their 30th anniversary not somewhere else, but in the Kremlin Palace.

So, yeah, "liberalism has died"....that he said Putin in an international forum in St. Petersburg ( if I do not recall bad...), and was intepreted by some as the new "end of history"...when it is only the beggining...

Some other pearls...

The bastard boasts that he promoted the adoption of a piece of paper written in tank bombing and dictated by USAID. The main "treasure" in it, and for which everything has been started since perestroika, is Article 35: "The right to private property is protected by law. The right to inherit is guaranteed."

Pick on the original statements by Zhirinovsky linked below this comment to read the answers of the people below...It have no waste, this is real working Russian people...not Navalnyites...

The most disgusting thing in the era of counter-revolution and the restoration of capitalism in Russia at the end of the 20th century is that Chubais and Co. understood Marxism a thousand times better than the remaining 99.9% of the population of the USSR, they knew perfectly well what and why in strict accordance with Marxist theory do.

Chubais: "We knew that every privately owned factory is a nail in the lid of the coffin of communism. No matter how much. We destroyed communism." Sobchak and his portfolio-bearer even outstripped Chubais; they began to sell Soviet property to Western banks before the collapse of the USSR.

In repsonse to this Twitt...

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia opened a criminal case against the former mayor of St. Petersburg A. Sobchak under the articles of the Criminal Code of Russia “receiving a bribe” and “abuse of official position”. The case is connected with the fraud of the Renaissance construction company, which was patronized by Sobchak.

Thus, that sad reality in that while Putin boasts about the great results of Russian, and foreign, big corporations and oligarchs at usiness forums and ice-cream stands at MAK...

Over the past five years, Russians have begun to eat less fish, meat, bread, vegetables and fruits

The beginning of the 90s. V. Putin, under the leadership of A. Sobchak, is trying to neutralize the mine laid by V. Ulyanov (aka Lenin, aka Old Man) "under Russian statehood."

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 12 2019 22:50 utc | 15

Russiagate apparently went full circle and arrived back in the nation where it was devised to destroy Corbyn:

"Jeremy Corbyn, a real progressive, could win UK’s elections. Max Blumenthal joins Pushback to discuss how powerful forces are trying to stop Corbyn with a Russiagate-fueled smear campaign — and why Bernie Sanders could be their next target."

Must agree that the forces of Reaction are on the march and that the impeachment deal is an effort to mend fences prior to assaulting their joint enemies--our friends. Welcome to the Orwellian evidence free trial by media age occurring in all nations with oligarch controlled media. In this twitter thread, Ben Norton reminds us this was rehearsed twice, once in fiction the other for real.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 12 2019 23:12 utc | 16

The wrong lesson to take from Corbyn's devastating defeat is that lefties can't win, I think. The right lesson, it seems to me, is that Corbyn doomed himself when he didn't fight back against the smears. Tulss and Bernie, please take note.

Posted by: paul | Dec 12 2019 23:15 utc | 17

@ Posted by: Sasha | Dec 12 2019 21:29 utc | 8

From what I've read, Putin is extremely bitter about the fact that Lenin gave the minorities within the Russian Empire the right to secede if they supported the Revolution. He's specially bitter about the Ukrainian affair, about which there's an interesting discussion between Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg.

Putin is wrong about this for the simple fact that the ethnic situation in the Russia Empire was unsustainable. There was already extreme pressure from ethnic conflicts within the empire much before the Revolution. It wasn't really Lenin's choice: if he wanted to create a revolutionary Russia, he had to defuse that bomb. So, by the time the Revolution became imminent, independence was essentially a promise in exchange for support.

It's funny he still talks about that because the Chinese did exactly the same thing to the minoritary ethnicities within the Chinese Empire/Republic -- promise of autonomy in exchange of political and military support for the Revolution -- and nowadays it still works (the Xinjiang imbroglio essentially being a CIA fabrication). And I don't see him advocating for the subjugation of the Mongols, the Tibetans, the Uighurs etc. by the Han Chinese.

Besides, his criticism of Lenin may also be an attempt to appease the Orthodox Church, which came to near extinction under his leadership.

Posted by: vk | Dec 12 2019 23:22 utc | 18

Labour had no chance, it was the cumryd himself, and the policy shift to the Left, the nationalising, spending big taxpayer money and stuff that did the damage.

Posted by: Baron | Dec 13 2019 0:07 utc | 19

Sasha #15
I completely agree with your heartbreaking critique of the sorry state of modern Russia (which is basically on the verge of bankruptcy and collapse due to the combined effect of U$ sanctions and internal subversion by Zionist Oligarchs), and if I had a time machine and could change the outcome of one major historical event, hands down I’d stop the collapse of the Soviet Union (I think you have a pretty good idea what the two dates in my username refer two). However, I think your being a little to tough on Putin, because despite the many tremendous flaws of his leadership (as you so eloquently described), he is probably the only world leader his done anything to oppose U$ imperialism (ie. his annexation of Crimea and intervention to save Assad), and if Putin were to be overthrown in a U$-backed color revolution, he’d end up being replaced by a total U$ puppet (ie. a Yelstin clone) who would completely finish off Russia (I can assure you the U$ would never let a Communist succeed him). On another (related) note, which (if any) countries today do you believe are upholding the Socialist values of the Soviet Union, by ensuring a basic standard of living for their citizens and preventing their population from being enslaved by Wall Street, while simultaneously standing up to U$ Imperialism?

Posted by: KL18481917 | Dec 13 2019 0:19 utc | 20

Sasha #15

Thank you, your response drove me to re-read the chapter Lenin: the brothers Ulyanov,/I> in Edmund Wilson's book, To the Finland Station.

This jumped off page 360:

He strengthened the Catholic Church; and he weakened the local councils and put the peasant communes under autocratic control. He did his best to dam the flood of western influence....

This was Alexander III in the 1880's. Sounds familiar re Putin.

For sure Lenin made mistakes, he was human, he was passionate for change and we must read of all the revolutionary players through the lense of their times and our times. He was confronted by living in a brutalised hierarchical society where peasant life was worthless to the elite other than as expendable slaves.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 13 2019 0:23 utc | 21

Finally got my copy of Hudson's … and forgive them their debts, where in his acknowledgements he thanks the German economist Dirk Bezemer with whom he's produced several papers, of which "Finance is Not the Economy" is one and "Incorporating the Rentier Sectors into a Financial Model" another of several. Just a few more gifts for your reading enjoyment and personal empowerment during the Solstice Season.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2019 0:26 utc | 22

Similar to some of the recent US elections - - how does one lose to a Boris Johnson?

Posted by: jayc | Dec 13 2019 0:29 utc | 23

Well that's the end of Corbyn and now we'll see the return of the Blairites to power in the labour party. Deeply unfortunate, but also totally expected.

Posted by: Kadath | Dec 13 2019 3:48 utc | 24

Below is a ZH link about the China/US trade deal....that we don't get to know the details of....

The Farce Of The Deal: Terms Of 'Phase One' Trade Deal Will "Never Be Made Public"; There Will Be No Signing Ceremony

The article says that China wants the details kept secret but I am not sure I believe that....given what seems to be happening, it looks to me like Trump is trying to cover his ass over a less than promised deal...not living up to Art of the Deal billing....what I am curious about is the supposed financial portion which is unclear what that is for sure.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 13 2019 5:06 utc | 25

Today the US Fed announced its end of the year financing boondoggle and if you read the ZH link below you will understand why I continue to write that the US is already in a recession which is being hidden by propaganda and outright lies

"Massive... Huge... Largest Ever": Fed Will Flood Market With Gargantuan $500 Billion In Liquidity To Avoid Year-End Repo Crisis

In other comments I have written about how the world is at a stalemate point and its comes down to who blinks first. In the case of the US, it has been blinking since September on the back of the American public to goose the markets and fake private finance liquidity....nobody wants to be stuck with some bad banks dreck when the music stops so the public get to pay the price

Before 2008 the US Fed had $800 billion on its books and now it is over $4 trillion, again......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 13 2019 5:34 utc | 26

Blair's seat is now in Tory hands.

This is what happens when you betray the white working class, sell your soul to bankers, flood your country with nonwhites, hand your messaging over to your party's Soros Youth wing, and spend more than three years trying to thwart the democratically-expressed will of the people.

Barring a crash or a war, the above paragraph will go for America in 2020 as well.

Posted by: Vegetius | Dec 13 2019 5:36 utc | 27

@ b who wrote
How, btw, did Corbyn do it?

Do you mean lose so badly?

I am going to repeat a quote from comment # 14 michaelj72 as follows
"Let me control the media and I will turn any nation into a herd of pigs" - Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels


Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 13 2019 5:53 utc | 28

Congratulations to Sinn Fein on North Belfast!

As for the UK election there will now be a majority government so there ought to be less excuses.

The Blairites who rebelled against Corbyn didn't get re-elected as far as I know.

Massive Conservative gains in ex-Labour pro-Brexit areas, places that in some cases have been voting in Labour for over a century! Places Labour outright betrayed.

Heaping the defeat onto Corbyn or the victory onto Johnson is wrong and a very "politiciany"/ideological thing to do.

I doubt most voters give a toss about "jews" one way or the other (and jews should be happy about that, why would they want to become more politicized and blamed than they already are? A lesson for muslims, christians (catholic/anglican/whatever), and hindus as well), I don't know if they're still around but last I heard anything about them even the BNP had stopping talking about jews and that must be over a decade ago.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 13 2019 6:35 utc | 29

Corbyn lost definitively. The populists won. It's sometimes forgotten that Johnson's government is stuffed with ideological extremists. Is there going to be a Night of the Long Knives, and an attempt to track back towards the centre, or is the revolution going to be pursued to the bitter end? For example this article: Johnson’s Conservatives are a revolutionary sect and should be understood as such.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 13 2019 6:42 utc | 30

As Psychohistorian intimated (28) it was the media that won the election, particularly the BBC. Johnson had to hide from the electorate for the past week.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Dec 13 2019 6:56 utc | 31

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 13 2019 6:35 utc | 29

"I doubt most voters give a toss about "jews" one way or the other (and jews should be happy about that, why would they want to become more politicized and blamed than they already are?)"

One of the many ways the Zionists are consciously, deliberately imitating the Nazis is in their determination to force "the Jewish question" to become once again a major political matter. The most recent example in the US was Trump's executive order the other day. The Zionists want to force all Jews everywhere to make a choice, "you're either with us or you're against us."

As for why most Jews in Western countries seem either to support this agenda or are at least willing to go along with it, I don't know. Certainly it will be bad for them in the long run.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 13 2019 6:58 utc | 32

A big part of why Labor and Corbyn lost so badly is the complete abdication of "the Left" on Brexit. The left were supposed to be anti-globalists, in which case their task was to join battle offering an egalitarian, left-populist version of Brexit which would have benefited the people. Instead, faced with a real decision and a real opportunity they punted and ran home to globalist mama. This removed one of the main reasons to bother supporting them.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 13 2019 7:09 utc | 33

I can't imagine anything that would completely eradicate Russia faster and more devastatingly than a return of communism.

I also fail to see how Russia is doing badly right now but I don't live there and my bias is clearly pro-Russian and in favor of Putin.

Without Yeltsin there would not have been a Putin, the link couldn't be more direct: Putin worked for Yeltsin, Yeltsin chose Putin. Yeltsin might have done all that was possible at the time, he was not a dictator nor is Putin, it's not all up to single persons or a tiny number of people, things weren't decided by a politburo any longer.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 13 2019 7:26 utc | 34

Russ I agree 100% with both of your comments.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 13 2019 7:29 utc | 35

Thing is, this destroys the left in Britain. The right in Labour had been in control since the early 1980s, and Corbyn's leadership victory was an accident which will not be given a second chance. Now what will replace Corbyn will not be Blairism, it will be something well to the right of Blairism, something much more like the DNC in the United States.

In other words, this is not a defeat of a party, it is a catastrophe for anyone seeking to struggle against the triumph of neoliberal barbarism. Oh, and it makes the probability of the end of the world through environmental catastrophe or nuclear war much higher. So apart from the ideological catastrophe it's also a human calamity.

Posted by: MFB | Dec 13 2019 8:19 utc | 36

Corbyn destroyed hismelf. He performed quite well, unexpectedly so, in 2017 because he said that he would honour the result of the 2016 referendum. Yesterday the electors punished him for reneging on that and telling 17.4 million voters that they were wrong.

It was the less well off who voted to Leave, and it was the less well off who yesterday deserted Labour in droves. They have had enough of being told that they are in the wrong by a middle class elite who would be repelled if they ever actually met someone from the working class.

Posted by: Tsar Nicholas | Dec 13 2019 8:29 utc | 37


The power of the UK's propaganda machine.

Bye Bye UK and welcome to little fascist england.

Posted by: S.O. | Dec 13 2019 8:55 utc | 38

I find it interesting that so much effort was expended to defeat Corbyn, over such a long period, when apparently it was so little needed.

I am no expert on UK politics, but it does look like Brexit was the issue that Boris won on. Everybody is sick of it and wants if over with.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 13 2019 9:41 utc | 39

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 13 2019 9:41 utc | 39

I am no expert on UK politics, but it does look like Brexit was the issue that Boris won on. Everybody is sick of it and wants if over with.

I am no expert on UK politics either, but from my point of view in Norway the main issue to be resolved is dismantling the EU, and it looks like the Brexit vote and this election confirms that many in the UK see it the same way. Whether it will happen is another question.

I voted NO in the 1994 Norwegian referendum on the question of becoming member of "European Community". One of the arguments in the debate at that time was that the "European Community" was aiming to become a union and a superstate. Those who argued that way were called lots of things, including conspiracy theorists. Today we are not members of the EU, but all the "regulations" are forced upon us anyway. The EU is a non-democratic nightmare that must be demolished.

I don't expect much good from the Tories, I don't exclude another betrayal of the Brexit cause, but we shall see. Corbyn lost on his betrayal of Brexit, that is for sure. I sympathize with Corbyn, but betraying the Brexit referendum is a no-no.

What the UK needs is real progressives that see the EU as the globalist project it is. It also means that the "climate crisis" must be recognised as a political tool created by the same forces. Corbyn failed on both accounts and therefore he lost.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 13 2019 9:59 utc | 40

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 13 2019 9:59 utc | 40

Thanks for sharing your views.

I tend to agree, but being Amurkin, I think I will not pontificate about it.

Interesting events for sure. It does look like it's going to be a rough ride for the UK for a while.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 13 2019 10:31 utc | 41

people have understood what co2 does for a long time. there is no fake "climate crisis", there is a real one, and our politics will play out against that increasingly stark reality. sticking one's head in the sand about it will not solve the problem. why people have to shoehorn fossil fuel propaganda into so many unrelated issues is a mystery.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 13 2019 10:47 utc | 42

China experts, is there someone who knows more about the phase one trade deal? Apparently China wanted to make the deal secret.

Posted by: Passer by | Dec 13 2019 11:12 utc | 43

Everybody is sick of it and wants if over with.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 13 2019 9:41 utc | 39

If there's one thing that's certain, Brexit won't be over with on 31st Jan 2020. There's a good many years of pain - Johnson was lying - while the new relationship with the EU is sorted out.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 13 2019 11:25 utc | 44

The EU is a non-democratic nightmare that must be demolished.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 13 2019 9:59 utc | 40

What you mean there is a highly democratic organisation that you don't want to be a member of, but to take advantage of, without paying. Like the Brexiters do. You're lucky, as a Norwegian, to be free to make choices that others aren't, because your government made some good choices, that Thatcher could have made in Britain but didn't.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 13 2019 11:31 utc | 45

Now that the official results are out, I'll comment on the British elections.

If Corbyn had won and taken us out of the EU we would have gone all Venezuela. If he'd won and kept us in the EU we'd have gone all Greece. The result is the best of the bad options available.
- Valiant_Thor, 26m ago

This comment on The Guardian encapsulates the average Conservative voter for these 2019 elections.

The UK is really at a crossroads: it is too tiny and poor in natural resources to implement socialism, but it is declining as a capitalist power.

I don't think the average British really thinks Venezuela is socialist or that Corbyn's policies would make them very poor, but I think they are afraid of the sanctions and embargoes they would suffer from the USA if they dared to try to go back to social-democracy.

This defeat may also be historic: this could go to History as the end of social-democracy. Social-democracy was already dead as an effective political force after the oil crisis of 1974-5, but at least it was able to polarize with neoliberalism in the ideological field and had some prestige that far outlived itself (to the point it was the main propaganda weapon that ultimately convinced Gorbachev to destroy the USSR, and to the point it was able to convince historians like Hobsbawn that it had actually "won the war" after 2008). Now it isn't considered even credible by half of the population of one of the few countries it was able to govern and fully influence in the post-war period.

In Rosa Luxemburg's last article (a few days before she was executed), she finally admitted defeat to the Bolsheviks. "We must separate the essential from the non-essential", she wrote. And the essential, she completed, was the fact that the Bolsheviks were right and the German Social-Democrats were wrong. It happened again, almost 100 years later.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 11:38 utc | 46

@ Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 13 2019 7:26 utc | 34

We don't need to waste time discussing it: Putin himself publicly said (more than once) that he also would like to have the USSR back.

His scuffle with Lenin lies in the fact of the ethnicities issue.

This debate indeed happened during the very formation of the USSR: Lenin defended each ethnicity of the old Russian Empire should have the right to have their own republic, and, after the fact, they should have the right to freely decide if they want to join the Union or not (many did, others, like Poland and Finland, did not; the Baltic nations were conquered during WWII). Stalin defended the ethnicites shouldn't have any rights to any kind of nation (he even published a book about it).

Putin claims Lenin commited a huge mistake by giving the ethnicities their own republics. He said it caused a lot of problems, some of them still existing today.

I don't doubt Lenin would have preferred to have one single soviet republic without any ethnic distinctions if he could. The problem was that the situation in the Russian Empire was unsustainable. It was a melting pot ready to explode. And he had to win the civil war before he had to think about any political system -- the support of the ethnic minorities being of fundamental importance.

In my opinion, Putin is anachronic by blaming Lenin for the fragmentation of the Russian Empire. First, he has a very idyllic vision of the Empire: its capitalist reforms of the 1860s were a monumental failure, it had just came from a humiliating loss to the Japanese (1905) and the economy had deteriorated to a point it had to constantly crush ethnic revolts in its corners. By 1917, the Russian Empire was still considered a power -- but definitely a second rate one, and falling (even the Japanese were considered a more important empire by that time). The situation was so unsustainable that the Provisory Government of February invited Nicholas II to head it as head of State -- and he refused. The tsardom had simply given up.

Secondly, Putin may be disproportionally influenced by that French sociologist's theory from the 1980s, which stated the USSR would fall through its ethnic divisions -- specially the Muslim populations of its "underbelly". The USSR definitely didn't fall because of its ethnic divisions, although it may have appeared to be the case in the Iron Curtain -- in which Putin served as KGB.

Whatever his reasons, the fact is that the Russian Federation is an objectivelly worse social experiment than the USSR. It will grow only 1.5% this year. Even Putin's boom of the early 2000s were nothing spectacular, being worse than all the Soviet booms and comparable to Brazil Lula's boom at exactly the same time.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 12:03 utc | 47

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 12:03 utc | 47

Actually the IMF estimates that Russia, even under sanctions and low oil prices, will be growing faster than the US and the EU for the next 5 years (2 % vs 1,5 %). Not to mention that it is zero debt economy with triple surpluses - in trade, current account and federal budget. So this is not a small achievment.

Posted by: Passer by | Dec 13 2019 12:18 utc | 48

Corbyn made two critical mistakes. First, he failed to fight back against the false claim that he is an anti-semite. Yes, he disapproves of the Zionist goverment of Israel's genocidal activities against the palestinian peoples in Israel and Gaza, but so do many other rational and morally-inclined persons. This does not make us anti-Jewish or racists. Second, he betrayed his own "Leave" inclination to pander to the Remainers among his close colleagues. His working-class voters who formed the core of the Pro Brexit majority have shown him precisely what they thought of that.

Of course it has not helped that the MSM in the UK is now entirely in neo-liberal hands, as is the BBC. Even the Guardian has become an ugly slavish supporter rather than the beacon of unbiased liberalitity that it used to be. None of this bodes well for my country's future since anyone who is expecting any utopian outcome from Boris Johnson is almost certainly going to be disappointed.

Posted by: Bryn | Dec 13 2019 12:23 utc | 49

@39 Bemildred.

> I find it interesting that so much effort was expended to defeat Corbyn, over such a long period, when apparently it was so little needed.

The effort expended was why you think that "apparently". It formed a 4 year impenetrable foundation of lies.

I can almost guarantee that if you walked around a lot of areas asking voters now most of them will tell you: Jeremy Corbyn is anti semitic, Jeremy Corbyn will bankrupt the country, Jeremy Corbyn will take away my home, is pro brexit, is pro EU! is the commie terrorist devil and everything you want to hate yadda yadda. The effort guarantees people vote against corbyn without the slightest idea why they're doing it.

Posted by: S.O. | Dec 13 2019 12:35 utc | 50

@ Posted by: Passer by | Dec 13 2019 12:18 utc | 48

IMF's forecasts are always inflated and they always revise down. I prefer Russia's own forecasts, which indicates it will grow between 1-1.5%. That's worse than Brezhnev, and on par with most of Gorbachev -- when the USSR allegedly was "in crisis".

Even 2% is pathetic. In Brazil, it was once calculated that, maintaining a capitalist system, it needed to grow at least 4.5% per year to "lift all boats". The same must be the case with Russia, which has a similar economic configuration.

So, we have the objective situation where the greatest statesman of Russia's History is equalto the worse statesman in the USSR's History. No wonder the Americans still think they can subjugate Russia.

The Russians should not feed the illusion they will live better lives under a capitalist system.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 12:37 utc | 51

you certainly do have to hand it to Corbyn

he always reminded me that he was perfectly suited as the captain of
one of those large sailing ships collecting tea and spices from places like India.
(easy to imagine him as the captain of the Cutty Sark, and nothing else)

sail due South to Cape of Good Hope, turn left and head North to India.
return journey was continue in same direction, never forgetting to turn left once more
around tip of South America.

we all wonder whether he will step down in favour of his brother, Piers (an infamous climate-change denier)

Posted by: chris m | Dec 13 2019 12:37 utc | 52

however, if things had been different with Corbyn
he could have done a remake of the African Queen.

then at least he would get to marry Katherine Hepburn or better, and lived happily ever
(after sinking a couple of battleships)

Posted by: chris m | Dec 13 2019 12:44 utc | 53

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 13 2019 11:31 utc | 45

What you mean there is a highly democratic organisation that you don't want to be a member of, but to take advantage of, without paying.

I don't think you should tell me what I mean. The EU is anything but democratic and there is nothing "to take advantage of" on our side. Instead we pay dearly for losing our sovereignty. Anyone who believes otherwise should reconsider.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 13 2019 13:04 utc | 54

I notice the term ‘United Kingdom’ crops up on this thread ! I think we can safely despence with that don’t you ?
Folk here may have followed the bbc (elitest) for the election news and views or perhaps the news paper sites (rich press barons in the Israeli pocket) The reality is - - obveously Britain is not United not before the election less so afterward.
Yesterday Scotland voted overwhelmingly for the Scottish National Party.
Ditto Northern Ireland. Both will become independent look on the map to see what’s then left of ‘Great’ Britain !
The election was a win for the multi-rich. A loose for everyone else. ‘The herd of pigs’
The good news is - - thus weakened we should be less toxic for the rest of the world.
Haveing spread greed and hatred all round the world. It will now eat away at its own selve !

Posted by: Mark2 | Dec 13 2019 13:39 utc | 55

Norwegian @ 40.

Dead right. All counts. Great to see a realist around. Other points raised by commenters here -

- I also thought at first that the cry of anti-semitism against Corbyn was a scam. Then I looked into it. Labour has in fact put out some really ugly anti-semitic material. I know for a fact that that upset young idealistic Labour voters. Serve Corbyn right for not dealing with it.

Apart from that Corbyn had a choice between retaining his Islington prog wing or his rapidly diminishing working class wing. Two stools and he fell between them. Anyone who thinks he's the equivalent of Bernie Sanders knows more about American politics than English. There is no close equivalent here to the Trump/Sanders movements in the States. Brexit was to a great extent the people against the cronies as per the Bannon model but, my view, it's not quite as straightforward as that.

- Oborne is wrong about the Tories being a cult. The Conservative Party is above all a machine for getting and retaining office. Convictions, cultish or otherwise, are an optional extra. They may accurately be termed globalist or neoliberal but since all other major political parties in Europe are that also, that scarcely makes them unique.

- We don't know yet whether we are going to get Brexit. Mr Johnson got re-elected on the promise he would do so. That and the fact he was up against useless opposition. Mr Johnson's deal, however, is little more than a rehashed version of Mrs May's deal that all found so unsatisfactory. Some major issues outstanding are -

1. Fishing.

2. NI.

3. Defence.

4. Money

Too early to say yet whether Johnson will sell us his pup and call it Brexit. If he does, and if that gets noticed, "Bemildred's" fear that we could be in for a rough time in the UK may prove justified.

Posted by: English Outsider | Dec 13 2019 13:46 utc | 56

Posted by: English Outsider | Dec 13 2019 13:46 utc | 56

"Labour has in fact put out some really ugly anti-semitic material."

May we see an example?

The only anti-semitic thing I've seen has been the way the mainstream political/media class in both the US and UK have adopted the longstanding neo-Nazi claim that all Jews are Zionist agents and therefore one can't be anti-Zionist without being anti-Jew as such.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 13 2019 13:58 utc | 57


Corbyn should have done as Clement Attlee did, let Churchill finish off World War 2 and then lead Labour to a landslide victory. Instead he wanted to put his hands on the Brexit mess.

It was a huge mistake for 1) The EU to grant an extension to Brexit 2) Labour to agree to elections before Brexit was finished.

The best analysis I have read today is from the Full Brexit blog by Lee Jones.

Labour Lost Because it Failed to Grasp the Democratic Opportunity of Brexit

The vote to Leave was a democratic moment, but it is not expressed in a democratic movement capable of truly taking back control. Labour has found itself on the wrong side of history, blindsided by a popular revolt it did nothing to direct or even, belatedly, to harness. This has sacrificed the cause of democracy to the right, and the role of anti-establishment tribune to the charlatan Boris Johnson. The best opportunity to revive the British left since the end of the Cold War has been missed. This is a disaster of historical proportions.

There will be plenty of “lessons learned” type reflections in the days to come, advising Labour on what to do next, and no doubt most will involve dumping Corbyn and returning to “sensible”, Blairite politics. But those of us on the left have a different lesson to learn, about the nature of the Labour Party itself. Corbyn’s leadership has been a natural experiment in whether the party can be used for socialist – or even modest social-democratic – ends, and the results are conclusive. The rot is too far advanced. The Labour Party is not the party through which the working class will seize power and transform their lives; it is a party of the public-sector middle classes and the trade union bureaucracy, deeply committed to a paternalistic, welfarist, statist outlook. The British state’s transformation into a member-state of the EU entails Labour’s commitment to the EU: the party’s imaginative horizon is of welfare bureaucracies, backed by EU protections, administering to the vulnerable victims of neoliberal capitalism. As the last three years have shown, many of Labour’s leading lights and spokespeople are instinctively hostile to the working class when they relinquish the role of grateful welfare recipient and instead take matters into their own hands.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Dec 13 2019 14:09 utc | 58

@ Posted by: Petri Krohn | Dec 13 2019 14:09 utc | 58

The House of Commons was hung on Brexit and Boris Johnson was forced to call snap elections. It still had too many remainer remnants from the past GE for the whole issue to be solved internally.

Corbyn was suffering too much pressure from inside his own party. Both congresses forced him to support a second referendum -- it was that or another coup attempt.

There was simply no way Labour could wait for the Conservatives to selfdestruct with Brexit. The situation was unsustainable in the Left.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 14:30 utc | 59

vk @ 47.

My understanding is that some of the biggest losers from the ending of the USSR were the Muslim republics, but it is impolite to say this, in a similar way that that it is impolite to suggest that some African countries might have been better off under British administration. I have also heard it said that the expense of maintaining and supporting the Republics meant less materially was available to the Russian population. I have heard sad stories of what happened when the Russians left Tajikistan, for example.

The Baltic states and Georgia of course couldn't wait to throw off "the Russian yoke", and some there are even nostalgic for the rule of the 1000 year Reich, as they are in Galicia.

I am no statistician, but in the light of Russia's careful husbandry of its currency and gold reserves, a 1.5% increase in GDP is surely to be applauded, rather than sneered at?

Posted by: montreal | Dec 13 2019 14:34 utc | 60

Bloomberg campaign got their own dynamic and creative YangGang - in maximum lame.
The result: Everything that's wrong in the democratic establishment in one short video
loooooser ->

Posted by: MountainTop | Dec 13 2019 14:58 utc | 61

Russ @ 57

There's so much hysteria and propaganda around this subject that I, as I think you are, was inclined to be sceptical. But google around and you'll find bits and pieces that Corbyn should have stamped on hard.

The decision to settle large numbers of Jews in Palestine after the First World War was in my view one of the most disastrous ever taken by a British government. From that inevitably followed the Arab Revolt, the Nakba, and all the tragedy since.

There's any amount of nonsense put out justifying that settlement and the subsequent expansion. It's only a day or so since I watched a video of Geert Wilders justifying Israeli policy in the occupied territories by asserting that Israel was only recovering them. And he was applauded for it by what seemed a large audience. How can one even start to debate foolishness like that?

But to attribute such foolishness to all Jews, both inside and outside Israel, is as inaccurate as assuming I support what my own government has done in the Middle East recently. These broad brush assumptions are always untenable.

Posted by: English Outsider | Dec 13 2019 15:01 utc | 62

--Corbyn did not defend his staff and party defenders letting them get picked off one by one with smears and he did not defend himself against smears. Looked weak.

--Corbyn did not back Brexit but let the "lets vote again until the result is not Brexit" message to the voters that the EU pulled in the 90s - 00's in many countries. Anti-democratic and against his working class constituents.

--Corporate media blanked him from communication and he did not use social media effectively.

--Sanders is similar to Corbyn, incapable of defending himself or supporters from smears. Incapable of attacking Biden, even though he was able to mildly show Hillary was a tool of the bankers in 2016. He is uses false, ineffective Russiagate against GOP/Trump which is used to smear his own supporters, can't break through the corporate media, won't use social media effectively.

--What was the turnout in UK for the election?

Posted by: Johnny Law | Dec 13 2019 15:08 utc | 63

@ Posted by: montreal | Dec 13 2019 14:34 utc | 60

This is not my opinion, it's Putin's. Apparently, he's on Stalin's side on the ethnic question of the USSR. In his vision, Lenin's concessions to the minorities in the former Russian Empire sowed the seeds of domestic terrorism in the Russian Federation.

I don't think ethinic conflicts had anything to do with the end of the USSR. It was a Western theory of the 1980s, created by a random French sociologist and embraced almost instantly by the CIA. This embrace gave birth to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Mujaheedin.

The thing is that, when the "Iron Curtain" begun to disintegrate (for purely economic reasons), Gorbachev adopted the narrative of "every people deserve its own self-determination". For many KGB agents working there -- Putin being one of them, working in the DDR -- it must have given the illusion the ethnic question was the main factor for the dissolution of the USSR. Thus the ethnic myth was born.

When Krushchev crushed the Hungarians in 1956, nothing happened. When Gorbachev gave up without a fight, the USSR dissolved. I understand the disgust Putin feels about the republican union political model allegedly chosen by Lenin, but that was not the cause. The cause was economic and geopolitical.

The dissolution of the USSR was an epic disaster for Russia, in every aspect you can think of. It was also a devastating blow to the Western Left, from which it never recovered. But here we are.

We have to work with reality as it is, not as it should be, and Putin should understand that as the alleged pragmatic he claims to be.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 15:12 utc | 64

The best explanation for Labour's crushing defeat was something I saw on RT ... Labor promised a second referendum on Brexit, without realizing that the election WAS the second referendum. The deplorable voted for the Conservatives. Labour lost seats they have held for decades in working class areas.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Dec 13 2019 15:14 utc | 65

Below is a link to a posting at Ellen Brown's Web of Debt that I suggest folks read to understand some financial history that got us where we are

Paul Volcker’s Long Shadow

The take away quotes
Less discussed was Volcker’s role at the behest of President Richard Nixon in taking the dollar off the gold standard, which he called “the single most important event of his career.” He evidently intended for another form of stable exchange system to replace the Bretton Woods system it destroyed, but that did not happen. Instead, freeing the dollar from gold unleashed an unaccountable central banking system that went wild printing money for the benefit of private Wall Street and London financial interests.


That is the conventional version, but the stagflation of the 1970s and its sharp reversal in the early 1980s appears more likely to have been due to a correspondingly sharp rise and fall in the price of oil. There is evidence this oil shortage was intentionally engineered for the purpose of restoring the global dominance of the U.S. dollar, which had dropped precipitously in international markets after it was taken off the gold standard in 1971.


To counter the falling dollar after it was taken off the gold standard, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and President Nixon held a clandestine meeting in 1972 with the Shah of Iran. Then, in 1973, a group of powerful financiers and politicians met secretly in Sweden to discuss how the dollar might effectively be “backed” by oil. An arrangement was finalized in which the oil-producing countries of OPEC would sell their oil only in U.S. dollars, and the dollars would wind up in Wall Street and London banks, where they would fund the burgeoning U.S. debt.

For the OPEC countries, the quid pro quo was military protection, along with windfall profits from a dramatic boost in oil prices. In 1974, according to plan, an oil embargo caused the price of oil to quadruple, forcing countries without sufficient dollar reserves to borrow from Wall Street and London banks to buy the oil they needed. Increased costs then drove up prices worldwide.


In 2008-09, the Fed was an opaque accessory to the bank heist in which massive fraud was covered up and the banks were made whole despite their criminality. Taking the dollar off the gold standard allowed the Fed to engage in the “quantitative easing” that underwrote this heist. Bolstered by OPEC oil backing, uncoupling the dollar from gold also allowed it to maintain and expand its status as global reserve currency.


Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 13 2019 15:46 utc | 66

@22 small correction

Dirk Bezemer is a Dutch economist, not German.

Posted by: Vato | Dec 13 2019 15:47 utc | 67

Hungary has no plans to leave European Union — top diplomat

At the end of the day, money talks. The peoples from the former Iron Curtain should already had learned that, it's been 30 year already...

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 15:56 utc | 68

About Corbyn's defeat, I'm quite confident that the single biggest mistake was not stating that Brexit had been approved by the people and would happen, no matter what, that he would absolutely respect it and make sure it'll happen in the very near future, and that his actual job as Prime Minister would be to get the less awful possible deal from the EU. Giving the impression he would make people vote again or would try to turn back the clock was absolutely suicidal, and totally delusional. I'm quite surprised he let himself be cornered in a dead-end alley in such a way.

vk - 64
I've never read him stating it anywhere, though it's possible he's commenting on it, but I'm pretty sure that among the handful of models Putin has for leading Russia, there are Ivan IV the Terrible and Peter I the Great.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Dec 13 2019 16:39 utc | 69

?? 'English Outsider' claims to have started out sceptical but his diligent research showed up severe cases of labour antisemitism, and when requested for an example simply replies "just google it".
Well I wonder what we would find then, apart from massive amounts of references to references of claims of Labour antisemitism, where the actual cases somehow never need to be mentioned.
Here is what Mark Curtis has found(posted on twitter) in Factiva media search covering 45 days since election was called to today. Articles in UK national press (not broadcast):
"Corbyn and antisemitism" -1,247 (of which 164 in the Guardian)
'Johnson and Islamophobia' - 159

“Corbyn and IRA” – 253
“Johnson and Yemen” - 16

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Dec 13 2019 16:44 utc | 70

Yesterday after shopping, while waiting at the train, I spoke with a pleasant chap who was an ardent Hillary fan. We had, till the train arrived, an argument of opposites. My parting call to him (as we headed for opposite ends) was that he check out Moon of Alabama. (He said he would.)

Bravo, Englishfolk! You saw what we see and saw (is that why they call it a seesaw?) in the US, the huge compromises the Democratic Party have made to establish themselves (good word that) with the establishment. And that is a small "e" as far as the general public goes. By hook or by crook, if you don't respect referendums you are a done deal. You can sneer and say that's mob rule by the unenlightened --- but in this day and age no! oxi! it isn't!!

And Boris better respect it too. His party had better as well. They now have a chance to do some better things for the actual people who actually live in the actual country.

I hope they do.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 13 2019 16:59 utc | 71

Vato @67--

Thanks for that! Wrote too hastily.

On the UK election, I must say that George Galloway had it 100% correct regarding the basics of the election and Corbyn's mistakes. Craig Murray's Postmortem is very good--the Irish are poised to finally reunite and the Scots to reclaim their independence. I do believe the outcome good for the growing Eurasianism within the EU as the UK will continue its path to becoming an economic basket case under Johnson's Tories. Time of course will be the ultimate measure of the travesty.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2019 17:12 utc | 72

Thank you psychohistorian @ 66 - beautiful post!! I am copying that one down because it says in a nutshell with clarity all that we need to know about what has happened to finance in this country. And as you often say, everyone has been affected by it, everyone.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 13 2019 17:13 utc | 73

i wish the uk well... i think boris will continue to be a disaster, and brexit will get rammed down the other half of the population with negative results... the msm tarred and feathered corbyn from the get go... the people will get what the msm wants... it ain't gonna be pretty.. that's my take..

Posted by: james | Dec 13 2019 17:15 utc | 74

Corbyn's defeat was entirely due to the treachery of the engrained leadership of the Labour Party.
While the membership is generally radical and socialist, 80% of the MPs, local councillors, Union Officers and party officials were put there by the Blairites and are almost impossible to remove from the offices in which they have enormous potential influence.
Corbyn was in an almost impossible position but his mistake was, characteristically, to assume a higher degree of good will and loyalty to the 'cause' than most MPs, careerists, contemptuous of ordinary people and desperate for the approval-in a society which is famous for its social snobbery- of the ruling Establishment.
It is significant that, whereas Johnson expelled dozens of MPs from the Tory party, Labour expelled only one-Chris Williamson on the basis of an obviously idiotic charge of antisemitism on his part.
Sometimes left wing winners have to be ready to fight to the death to secure the mandates they are given and in doing so to damage the opposition. In this case the Blairites.
Sometimes betraying the working class and the poor takes the form of refusing to be ruthless.
The irony is that Corbyn is by far the longest standing critic of the EU in British public life, as the Blairites very quickly charged when the referendum on the EU (" a highly democratic organisation" in Laguerre's astonishing judgement) was won by the 'wrong side'. And in 2017 he campaigned on the promise to 'get Brexit done". It was only out of a refusal to confront the Remainers, including most of his Shadow Cabinet, that the hybrid policy to implement the Blairite Peoples Vote was adopted.
I imagine that the Remainers in the Labour Party and the Blairites of every sort will be saddened by the public's renewed mandate for Brexit, but their dominant emotion will be euphoria that the left was defeated, neo-liberalism still reins unchallenged and imperialism maintained in British Foreign Policy.
If the Labour Party now sticks to its principles it will purge itself of its Fifth Columns and use the breathing space before the next election to re-organise itself as a socialist party.
To do this it needs firstly, to establish a newspaper, secondly to build a Youth wing, thirdly to institute a national system of political education so that every member understands what socialism is and takes a part in its construction. And fourthly that Labour becomes the organising focus for both Unions organising the unorganised and social movements defending tenants, the poor, disabled and vulnerable.
But this is all very unlikely, the party structure is biassed against democracy, it is almost impossible to impose the will of the membership on the people who run the party. And ought to be run out of it.

JC was crucified, by authority of the Empire, at the urging of the Israeli authorities in Jerusalem and with the invaluable assistance of corrupt traitors among his own people

Posted by: bevin | Dec 13 2019 17:15 utc | 75

I like this comment on the Galloway tweet.

"Reminds me of the USA. The democrats would rather see Trump get in again, than support Bernie Sanders."

Posted by: arby | Dec 13 2019 17:22 utc | 76

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 13 2019 11:31 utc | 45

WOW, that was the wokest and most narrative friendly bs i have read abt the eøs deal in years.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Dec 13 2019 17:26 utc | 77

Tuyzentfloot @70

...and the only conclusion that can be drawn is that English Outsider is a manipulative liar.

And patently dishonest and cowardly as well as he does not submit an email address when he posts a comment? All he does is enter the Moon Of Alabama website address under URL and his comment is accepted without an email address (just like I have done on this comment).

English Outsider is nothing more than a scurrilous rogue.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 13 2019 17:33 utc | 78

Gosh, What a Night!

Whoa! Calm down, little man, you might suffer a heart attack.

But seriously, it's not that I disagree with this author's critiques of Boris' opponents. The problem is this:

Fundamentally Boris won because, despite all of his faults, Brits shared and loved his optimism and belief in the UK and its people.

This is a great country and now we have got it back from the EU and the political class Boris must push on and make Britain great again.

You don't have to deify Boris Johnson in order to highlight the weakenesses of your enemies. Like, in this example: why would "optimism and belief in the UK and its people" solve the UK's structural problems in its economy? Is the author insinuating the British people has superpowers or is some kind of superior race? Does the author know that the British economy begun to deteriorate in 2009, long before the Brexit referendum?

This piece is dign of the most degenerate propaganda from the darkest times of the USSR -- except these are from the capitalist world now.

I'll save it for posterity, so the future generations can have a little piece of the dark hole Western Civilization has sunk into.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 18:06 utc | 79

Viking guy at 40
"Today we are not members of the EU, but all the "regulations" are forced upon us anyway. The EU is a non-democratic nightmare that must be demolished."
Absolutely. The EU is the 2nd biggest imperialist asshole on the block, benefitting from the fact that 1st place is taken by the USA, which is far more blatant, in-your-face and universally obnoxious when at it, and doing it even to the EU. The EU not being the ultimate superpower, it can't bully the US or China and only does it when dealing with lesser powers. That's why it's practically impossible for anyone living inside a major EU-member to actually notice and be aware of the typical EU behaviour: to crush any lesser country and to force it to abide by its very own rules, whether independent countries want it or not.
That the EU is that bad should have been clear and obvious to all during the Greek crisis, but most Europhiles prefer to think this was just an accident, due to some bad apples, and that "If only the Czar knew", this wouldn't happen. Well, UK is going to get hit badly with the future deal, because an imperalist neo-liberal power like the EU - just like the US, but most of the time without the military part of it - can only crush any opposition and make an example out of it.
If the EU were a truly democratic endeavour, they would allow at least popular referendum at EU-wide level, and possibly even initiatives, for starter. The way it works, the people have no checks on it. Not a bit surprise though, most of its core members function this un-democratic way.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Dec 13 2019 18:09 utc | 80

The NATO rift between Turkey and its other members has escalated with the Evil Outlaw US Empire's Senate voting to recognize the Armenian Genocide and Greece to help the LNA (Bengazi gov't) defend against Turkish shipments of militia/terrorists and weapons to the besieged GNA in Tripoli. This site is very helpful and up-to-date regarding what's occurring. And this PDF Briefing Paper is very good and quite detailed.

All of the above's added to the tense situation around Cyprus, Turkey's threat to close Incirlik, and Greek offers to house those NATO facilities. It increasingly looks like the Turkish S-400s are aimed at Greece and NATO.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2019 18:11 utc | 81

Clueless Joe @80
Thank you! Being clueless you understand it better than most ...

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 13 2019 18:21 utc | 82

@ Posted by: Clueless Joe | Dec 13 2019 18:09 utc | 80

I agree.

But that doesn't change the fact that the UK is a degenerating former empire in denial about its condition.


Now, on a more important subject:

Haftar announces ‘decisive battle’ to take Libyan capital

The interesting info here is that the article states Haftar's "eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), backed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, France, Russia and Turkey".

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 18:31 utc | 83

The English have supposedly had a democracy for many hundreds of years, but never managed to get the aristocracy and rich off their backs. People are stupid.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Dec 13 2019 18:45 utc | 84

Awaited confirmation by China about the Trade Deal before writing about it. This article is what I waited to be published: "Phase one trade deal a step forward, a new beginning," yes, an optimistic tone, although tempered in the text:

"Rome was not built in a day. Trade protectionism has expanded in some places of the world, affecting some people's thinking. It is not easy for China and the US to agree on the text of the deal. But how to define this deal and whether it can keep its positive effects on the global market and even accumulate more positive energy will depend on further efforts from China and the US, as the global market has been disturbed by the trade war.

"We must see that the first phase of the trade agreement is a win-win outcome which will deliver tangible benefits to the world. The response from investors around the world is most real because they would not use their own money just to make a grand gesture. However, some people in both China and the US may hype that their own country suffers loss from this deal. This is a natural counter-stream of public opinion, but does not represent the mainstream attitude on either side." [My Emphasis]

Gee, "benefits for the whole world," not just China and Outlaw US Empire? What forced the Empire to compromise:

"The US-China trade war happens at a time when the US' strategic thinking on China has changed. This requires Washington to find a strategic impetus to end the trade war. So what would be such a strategic impetus?

"We believe as long as the US side is realistic, it is possible that such a strategic impetus can be formed and gradually expanded. The trade war is not an effective way to resolve the strategic competition between China and the US. It can neither scare China nor effectively weaken China, but will cause a gradual rise in the cost of the US economy". [My Emphasis]

IMO, China's assessment's correct. The financialized economy of the Evil Outlaw US Empire has drained it of the resilience it once enjoyed and that China's economy has obtained. Plus, as I wrote several months ago, China's employing geoeconomic levers which the Empire can no longer deploy and is thus stuck with using the only remaining tool it has--its waning geopolitical levers.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2019 18:50 utc | 85

The only anti-semitic thing I've seen has been the way the mainstream political/media class in both the US and UK have adopted the longstanding neo-Nazi claim that all Jews are Zionist agents and therefore one can't be anti-Zionist without being anti-Jew as Russ @ 57 yes, I agree give an example..
what i see is the Zionist are once again asking the masses to attack the Jews, just as the masses were asked to
Attack the Jews in Hitler's Germany.. its a divide and conquer world.
this is the story in America
This is the story in Iraq
The decision to settle large numbers of Jews in Palestine after the First World War was in my view one of the most disastrous ever taken by a British government. From that inevitably followed the Arab Revolt, the Nakba, and all the tragedy since. English Outsider @ 62 <=blackmail brought the British government assistance in using Jewish Immigration to occupy and take from the Ottoman their oil rich land. Certain oil companies were involved also.

Posted by: snake | Dec 13 2019 18:59 utc | 86

vk @83--

Turkey's aligned with the GNA, not LNA:

"The Libyan Grand Mufti Sheikh Sadiq Al-Ghariani has hailed the move of his Government of National Accord (GNA) to reach a maritime memorandum of understanding with Turkey."

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2019 19:00 utc | 87

I have not commented on this until now because it is not finished yet, but if this so-called trade deal goes in the direction of this "first phase", then all I have to say is that China has got the USA by the balls.

This is because Trump is playing the "let's save the farmers" card, and is exchanging tariffs over high-tech manufactured goods from China for some mere USD 50 billion of grains imports by the Chinese from American farmers. If that's the spirit of the trade deal, then it will only accelerate America's reprimarization. China will make the USA its giant Third World farm in the long term.

However, this is only the tendency, the theoretical limit of Trump's doctrine. Realistically, what I think will happen is the establishment will topple Trupism eventually and return (or try to) to the status quo ante. A hot war may be waged sometime in the next 20-50 years.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 19:01 utc | 88

Royalty/Kings/Tsars/Kaisers/0.01% persist ever since nation-state governments became the dominant form of civilization.

The Iron-Heel* model is the winner. What enables it's persistence?
What error[s] have enabled this to happen?

There is theory that when unwanted conditions persist, there must be hidden lies in the failure to understand the situation.

I would like to read any MOA-community's thoughts on this.

*About 100 years ago Jack London wrote "The Iron-Heel".

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 13 2019 19:05 utc | 89

China takes a bit of pleasure in the UK's decline:

"Britain was scheduled to go to the polls on Thursday for the country's 2019 general election. Our era is undergoing tremendous changes - Britain, the once all-powerful empire, can only retreat to the sad situation of using Brexit to attract global attention today. A tediously long farce has been staged in Britain since the 2016 Brexit referendum, and many people have already become impatient and indifferent.

"Is the UK declining? Probably yes. But in the mid-19th century, the UK took the lead in completing the first industrial revolution and quickly became the leader of the world. Compared with today's global status of the US, the UK used to be more competitive back then.

"However, compared to the bright period of the Victorian era, today's UK no longer leads the world in military strength, political system, economy or culture. The time when the sun never set on the British Empire has long passed.

"Brexit has further dragged the UK into a downward spiral. Brexit shows the defect in the UK's political system. Politicians transfer too much power to the people only to protect the system and fawn on the people for the sake of political interests. This has made Brexit a complete farce and a dilemma."

The writer continues on to use the UK's "downward spiral" as the foil for Asia's rise.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2019 19:08 utc | 90

@ Posted by: montreal | Dec 13 2019 14:34 utc | 60

This may help answer your question:

Putin vows to improve system of birth support measures in Russia

Mr. Putin will learn the hard way the Russian people cannot eat or drink gold, no matter what his central banker or his personal jester Dmitry Medvedev tell him.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 19:13 utc | 91

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2019 18:50 utc | 85
Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 19:01 utc | 86

Half the tarrifs remain on Chinese exports, that is - "The United States will be maintaining 25 percent tariffs on approximately $250 billion of Chinese imports, along with 7.5 percent tariffs on approximately $120 billion of Chinese imports."

Only after a Phase 2 deal the tarrifs will be removed. Phase 2 deal is supposed to be more about IP and technology transfers.

Posted by: Passer by | Dec 13 2019 19:17 utc | 92

chu teh @87--

IMO, the answer's very simple: In most places, the Popular Forces were never able to gain political and thus economic control over their nations and instill the type of solidarity required to keep the forces of Reaction from regaining control. The few successes--Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, China--are clearly under siege by the #1 reactionary power, the Evil Outlaw US Empire. Only China has attained the Geoeconomic strength to successfully resist the siege which actually hurt the Empire more.

I see my note to vk @83 failed to post. It was to correct his error that Turkey supports the LNA. It does not as it just signed an Maritime MOU with the GNA and is sending troops and armaments to help defend Tripoli against the LNA offensive.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2019 19:19 utc | 93

@ Posted by: Passer by | Dec 13 2019 19:17 utc | 90

But the USA will not tariff the next USD 150 billion by 25% it promised to do.

Besides, the Chinese can simply rise the prices to the American consumer either way, to the tarriff per se won't work.

Tarriffs only work when you have a direct equivalent in your domestic market, so you induce the consumer to buy the inferior, but of the same use value, national product instead of the superior quality foreign one. That's the "infant industry" doctrine created by Alexander Hamilton, considered the father of protectionism.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 19:24 utc | 94

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 19:24 utc | 92

Yeah, but its not only agriculture. That's just 1/4 of it. They are supposed to increase US imports by 200 billion for 2 years.

"Lighthizer confirmed that China's expectation is that there will be further phases and further reductions in tariffs, and he confirmed that the agreement will increase US Trade to China by USD 200bln over 2 years."

Global Times also says that China will improve IP and open up the financial sector.

Posted by: Passer by | Dec 13 2019 19:59 utc | 95

And they are moving after Europe now.

Trump Weighing 100% Tariffs On 10 bln $ EU Products

Posted by: Passer by | Dec 13 2019 20:03 utc | 96

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 13 2019 13:04 utc | 54

Of course, Norway is free to leave its access to the Single Market, and the other advantages it has from its relationship with the EU. They cost something, though not a lot. If Norway wants to go into WTO business, like the Brexiters do, isolation, nobody's stopping you. I doubt if business interests would agree with you, but if you can convince your compatriots, why not? But if your country wants to continue its access to the Single Market, then you have to pay. Same for Britain. The Single Market, which exporters and importers love for the ease of work, indeed essential for their business, is an exceptional creation which exists nowhere else. Sure you can leave it, but there'll be a big economic hit.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 13 2019 20:07 utc | 97

The Brexit flip flop did him in.

Assange is now toast.

This extradition will have a massive impact on independent and citizen journalism everywhere.

‘If we don’t like what you publish, welcome to Solitary in Virginia... your new home.’

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 13 2019 20:12 utc | 98

@ Posted by: Passer by | Dec 13 2019 19:59 utc | 95

China already is at first place in new patents, so enforcing IP will benefit China more than the USA.

And "opening up" the financial markets can mean anything: from suicide of the nation to just symbolic moves.

Besides, Lighthizer is an inferior intelect. He thinks the USA can just magically slap some tarriffs on another country and magically extract USD 200 billion from it. Tarriffs are, deep down just imaginary accountancy tools -- if you don't have the military power to back it up, it means nothing. And the USA is getting weaker, not stronger, vis-a-vis China in that sector each year. It already lost the South China Sea, forcing Taiwan to change its military doctrine.

And all of that assuming the Chinese won't simply rise the prices to American consumers or to the American importers. It is a myth the Chinese are only useful to produce cheap Walmart products for the end consumer. It actually produces many high-tech products that go in the productive process of many other high-tech American-made products. These cannot be replaced in a realistic time, and the manufacturer will have either to suck up the additional value or rise its prices to the end consumer (or a mix of both).

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 20:34 utc | 99

I notice that a lot of posters here are anti-EU. That's very common among people who have no idea how business and trade work, who haven't seen the trucks whizzing up and down European autoroutes, and how essential the Single Market is to Just-in-Time strategies.

The EU is a practical affair. It helps businesses work, and individuals live their lives more freely, free to go and work in any country. Of course the nationalists find the loss of sovereignty involved in sharing difficult to tolerate. If any country really wants to leave, they're free to do so. It's remarkable though in all EU countries except UK, the formerly anti-EU parties have dropped leaving the EU from their programmes since Brexit.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 13 2019 20:53 utc | 100

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