Thursday, June 16, 2016

The EU didn't exactly help....

...very much - so this current debate is (I think) multi-faceted, but much of the heat is because people are "fed up with this or that" - what are these "thises or thats"?

well, one person puts it down to precarity of the working class. Actually, i think that that is definitely one of the this. but not just for working classes - the middle classes too - we have lost ground on quality of life, but also on predictable futures - this comes from many things - threats to our future in terms of health and welfare, in terms of our kids chances at schools, universities, housing, in terms of our job and personal security, and so on and so forth.

people want to blame someone, so they picked on the elephant in the room - the EU.

however, the roots of our precarity lie elsewhere - from Thatcher (and Reagan) seting in place monetarist policy and deregulating financial services, dismantling our manufacturing industries, and weaking workers rights (unions). Through Blair (and Clinton) doing nothing to reign in the rampant privatization of many state services that actually worked ok. On to Clegg (and Cameron) failing to remove the unelected upper house and failing to remove university fees, and failing to re-regulate the finance sector, and failing to do much about the axis of evil created by Blair  (and Bush) boys own adventures in war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. and on to Osbourne (but not Obama) Austerity programme, with no house building (despite having half a million polish builders ready and waiting) and reduction in real welfare and salaries of state sector and reduction in local government (education, policing, housing) democracy (voting people in who have no money is kind of pointless - which is why a vote for brexit is really really dumb - you'll get poor neo-liberals, which is even worse than rich ones).

So the EU did little to help. Indeed, the troika's stomping on any attempt to fight back against the banks (and loans to ireland, portugal, greece) removed what little fig-leaf of democratic power we thought there still was.

That said, the EU didn't cause any of the above in the first place, and in many ways may have mitigated the harm - it is hard to tell, but my guess is that the overall stability (people shouting about eurozone crisis completely fail to take account of the longevity of the success of the zone, and the trade agreements) has been a force for good that reduced the damage done by all those previous stupidities, which we did. The UK. us. not germany. not france, italy, spain. not the EU. Thatcher. Blair. Clegg. The tories. labour. the lib dems. the brits.

shame on us.

we need the EU to damp down our very own madness.

Monday, June 13, 2016

cognitive dissonance of "balanced" reporting

here's a typical example of "balance" in reporting where the BBC basically completely confuses the reader - in covering the speech (not yet made) by GOrdon Brown, their webpage has five other points, randomly including a fear campaign/gravy train comment from the EC President, a commercial concern (with a union) worrying about business and jobs, a (probably dodgy) prediction of immigration numbers (i.e. 5M more people - wonder where the houses for them wil lcome from eh? and a statement from a tory and labour leader about the campaign....not one of these points is actually germane to Brown's speech, but you could be forgiven for not being able to make use of any of this information in any reasoned response to the referendum vote decision, since it is presented so uncritically, and randomly. Very very poor journalism, whichever way you're voting.
for this example...