Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

A reply to a line of Drew Jones about Corbyn

by melo Thu May 23rd, 2019 at 01:32:41 AM EST

he seems to be fundamentally against the EU but not quite willing to say it and say what he'd like to do.
Drew
(Reply:)
Or maybe he knows what an unusual -and multiply nuanced- situation he is in.
I imagine his desire to reform the EU is tempered by the realisation that he would not get much/enough support to have a hope in hell of actually doing so, in the present rightward-drifting climate.
The Gilets Jaunes are probably close to being on the same page, yet they do not bother to form a party to try and channel that street unrest into a political force instead of (so far) just social counter-force. Who wants his head poking up like that?

With Macron wearing the colours of the Centre-Left while legislating away his people's rights and favouring his bestbuds at GS, a genuine leftie like JC would see what a flock of ignorant sheep he would have to persuade in France to vote for more EU workers' rights, or better hospitals. Ditto in Germany, Austria and most of the EU.

After decades of his own party being bent backwards and out of shape by Blairism he can see the signs in Europe of an ideologically hollowed-out Centre-Left in the PD in Italy, Podemos in Spain, along with the right's resurgence everywhere.

There's not enough of a political swell to ride and guide with even the best-placed rhetoric and judicious of policies.

Unless the balance of power shifted tectonically, Europe is too far gone into the neoliberal weeds to recover, barring some unforeseen upheaval nowhere to be seen.

The parties against the further Soros-isation of Europe, the Salvinis, Le Pens are tacky, loud and wrong about everything except the marriage of high finance and crooked crony politics, (thanks to decades of misleadership on the level of Barroso and Jungcker,) a paradise for the Amazons and Apples, playground for the rich to come make and spend billions taxfree, while it's austerity for Muggins and and everyone else down the totem pole.

Now that game has been recognised by enough voters for what it was, but... there's still no solution to chum up with except a shinier, more streamlined version served up by Macron with himself leading a new Europe even more tasty to the rich and bitter for everyone else, a two-speed Europe, just like good old days of yore when gilded elites trod on the great unwashed with impunity for centuries.
What dent could Corbyn have made in that corporate-friendly wave, all on his tod?
After hearing politicians beating their chests about how they will rattle Europe's cage and tell 'em what's what, from Cameron to Renzi and come up with bupkis, bounced off the smug rubber wall of complacent entitlement, I am glad JC doesn't waste energy posturing.
I wish he had more pizzazz to put forward his policies so they could break through the calculated interference run by the MSM and reach more people, maybe he just has to wait until the others all come completely unhinged as would happen with Bojo as PM, Mr Jolly Japes himself abroad would help Farage ensure whatever small vestige of shredded international respect for Britain's ability to even politically stand up without doing a John Cleese silly walk, would vapourise.

The harder they come, the funnier they fall...

--And Britain came SO hard when she was at her peak, by Golly-gosh-willikins, damn those Guards looked dashing as they suicided in 1000s charging cannons with glorified kitchen knives.--

What could Corbyn do about that, a country prisoner of such demented self-aggrandisement?

A lot, actually!

(Pity the giant distraction of the Brexo-drama got in the way, achieving less than zero benefit for anyone else but the 1% and their (9%) lieutenants and sucking years into a political black hole during which the Tories continued to ransack and betray the society whose very claim to exist they smugly deny).

Like Bernie Sanders in the US he expertly corralled and harnessed the popular backlash to these grim times, but like Bernie could not translate into enough Momentum to seriously, not symbolically breach the portcullis of the Establishment, slay the dragons and release the princess and the treasure from the grotty dungeons and return them to a deserving, expectant people to live happily ever after, (or until climate chaos definitively did them in.)

A younger man with his popularity might have gambled one one or the other with a 50% chance of success, but by JC's age one becomes too cagey for such possibly rash gambles.
I think he knows a no-deal, hardest-of-hard Brexit will happen, and if pushed would admit he doesn't see much or any point in fighting it, as the UK is just a frying pan in the EU's fire, and he has a better chance of helping the lives of his electorate in the smaller fishbowl of the UK, even though his head is above the parapet and the bullets are dinging his helmet. Until the No Deal Crashout happens in October, Britain wakes up the next day and lo and behold the NHS is just a memory, and there is Bojo sweating in a pink linen summer suit, bulging wattles as he snows the next-gen maroons, so virtualised at this point they cannot see anything extraneous to a pop culture narrative and would only know reality if they fell in a hole in the pavement while texting.
If the Tories implode, Ree-smogg is unmasked as the archvillain cantral casting sent here to embody, Teresa May is gently helped offstage by those nice chaps in their white coats, Bojo takes up powergliding past Westminster Bridge in a sudden hurricane, the wind of 10000 bums all pointed at him, unless Britain is really ready to surrender its self-referential mythologising, Corbyn is powerless really.

His neo-Keynesian, Neo-Bennite vision of England would need an electoral majority of 99% to pull off, and for that you'd need the survivors living on dandelion hootch and hedgehog pie, huddled together in sports stadiums for warmth.
Then, only then, would JC's vision of egalitarian democracy ring and resonate in enough voters' hearts, (if democracy itself is permitted to last that long.)
So he has to content himself with trying to torment Teresa M into revealing even more who she is than Greenfell fire did, and lob more earnestly biting remarks into the Tory trenches, for the record.

A man who favours equality between Israel and Palestine, higher taxation for the rich, who doesn't tug his forelock when asked, stand up for the National Propaganda Dirge, blather, repeat, support Ireland's right to independence, the guys a pariah!
He will not be permitted to have any agency in the Tory Titanic's experiment in iceberg-crunching, nor is any needed, eh Mr. Speaker?
No need to throw these drowning bullies an anvil, the stolen gold in their fat jingling pockets will help propel them down to Davy Jones by itself.

Zing, ding, that was close.

OORRDUUUURRRE!

Comments >> (9 comments)

Another modest proposal. LQD.

by melo Fri Jan 23rd, 2015 at 09:14:23 PM EST

What holes are there in this argument, oh mighty Eurotrib mages?

Beppe Grillo's Blog

"The fears relating to Quantitative Easing (QE) have turned out to be unfounded. Before Mario Draghi spoke, there were two thorny issues worrying the M5S.

THE CONSTRAINTS ON THE REAL ECONOMY
We are talking about a measure involving more than 1000 billion euro to be used for buying bonds to finance the public debt of European States. The problem is that, given that the ECB's mandate prevents it from directly financing states, all this new wave of liquidity will once more go to the banks, that are already stuffed full of State bonds. The hope is that they will reuse the money to loan more to families and to companies, in such a way that there'll be an increase in the level of inflation (- that has collapsed to a record low - far lower than the ECB's aim of of 2%), that will in turn stimulate consumption and investment.

(More below...)

Read more... (4 comments, 666 words in story)

Exit strategies

by melo Wed Dec 31st, 2014 at 08:04:33 AM EST

There is some technical stuff here beyond my parsing ability, so I offer this LQD as food for discussion.

Happy New Economic Year to everyone, maybe this coming year we can get the Euro to play nice in the face of so many voters who have lost faith in the whole European Project because of continuing bad faith exhibited by the Austerity-merchants of Death aka the ECB and the Banksters.

Beppe Grillo's Blog



After a third failed attempt to elect a new State President, Greece is now required to hold a general election on 25 January. The Greek share market responded by dropping 20% of its value in the past two weeks and the yield of their ten-year public bonds shot up to 10%, the highest level seen in the past two years.

Media terrorism
What better occasion for our regime media to serve up some terrorism "a la matriciana" against Italy's exit from the Euro. After all, we too have to elect a new State President under conditions that are anything but simple.

More below...

Read more... (6 comments, 1204 words in story)

Letter from Italy

by melo Mon May 5th, 2014 at 10:43:05 PM EST

Beppe Grillo is the only 'politician' that I know of calling for a 'citizens' income', but not as a permanent unconditional human civil entitlement. He advocates E1000 a month (with some saying it's possible just to fork over E600 realistically), and the conditions are that you use the time granted of three years to re-educate yourself in a new skill, and that upon refusal of the third job offer you forfeit the payment. The chief reason Beppe touts in advocating this policy is to disempower the race to the bottom in value of labour, to remove the employment 'blackmail' that forces workers (and their unions) in heavily polluting steel factories for example to fight environmental rules that are shutting down plants (such as the most recent in Piombino, on the Tuscan coast). The ugliest town I have ever seen, especially seen from the sea on the ferry to Elba. They would rather keep their jobs and die at 55 from the toxins, a Sophie's choice nightmare.

Read more... (17 comments, 1667 words in story)

LQD Europe's two-faced approach to Energy Policy

by melo Mon Apr 28th, 2014 at 04:49:18 PM EST

Beppe Grillo's Blog

We have to be very careful to ensure that these funds are not handed out to the energy giants. If they mistakenly invested their money into fossil fuels, then that's their problem. Any small Italian businessman who makes a bad investment certainly cannot demand that the State reimburse his losses so we don't see why De Benedetti, Conti and Enel should be allowed to do so. Angelo Consoli, Director of Jeremy Rifkin's European Office

(more below...)

Read more... (2 comments, 1296 words in story)

LQD Italian banking power shift

by melo Tue Dec 10th, 2013 at 09:40:05 PM EST

It would be great to run these ploys (and numbers) through the ET scanner and unpack the meaning, if some experts in this arcane lore have the time, will and energy...

Beppe Grillo's Blog

"My name is Lucio Di Gaetano and I have always worked in the banking world. I worked for the Italian Central Bank for five years, plus another seven years in the private sector and now I am a company consultant.
I'm here today to tell you about the rip-off that the Letta Government has been perpetrating on all the Italians, all hush-hush while Berlusconi's impeachment was being announced, via the decree concerning the revaluation of the Italian Central Bank shares so as to get its hands on 900 million Euro without overshooting the three percent deficit level. 450 million of that will be gifted per annum to the Italian Central Bank shareholders, which as you know, are private parties.
But let's take a step back here. Why does the Italian Central Bank have private shareholders anyway, you ask?

why, yes I do!

More below...

Read more... (1 comment, 891 words in story)

LQD Draghi and the ECB

by melo Sun Oct 27th, 2013 at 07:04:03 PM EST

This caught my eye and immediately made me want to run it by the resident ET BS-busters for a comb-through.

Happy untangling!

Read more... (10 comments, 901 words in story)

LQD, USA Occupy activist comes to Italy, speaks out. W/poll-y goodness

by melo Mon Oct 7th, 2013 at 05:09:21 PM EST

Well well, looky here...

Read more... (1573 words in story)

The President meets the Clown

by melo Sat Jul 13th, 2013 at 05:33:11 PM EST

   Beppe Grillo asked for an interview with President Napolitano, and was received gracefully and swiftly. (A few days before Beppe refused a cozy dinner with the head of Confindustria, the alliance of business magnates that sit at the apex of Italy's dying industrial sector.)

   Beppe dressed up in a suit and tie, forsaking his usual rumpled look for the occasion, no bobble nose or platypus shoes. His shaggy web guru Casaleggio accompanied him. Hacking into gubmint is hard work!

  This is Grillo's letter of thanks to Napolitano after the two-hour meeting. It sounds a dire warning to all listening of what Italy has coming down the proverbial pike, and the growing list of things that need to be done immediately to avert a climactic consequence to the tragedy of years of austerity-as-practiced-by stupid, corruptly captured politicians, jerked on their puppet strings by a superannuated, scandal-ridden roué. The clown is not joking...or mincing his words either. His respect for the Presidency is genuine, his challenge that of any concerned citizen looking at his country's impending meltdown. His moVement has been voted into Parliament to bear witness, and as the old guard duopoly of C.Left and C. Right, now wedded in frankensteinian matrimony take up their unseemly habit of bickering over inanities in their insulated bubble while Rome figuratively burns, the 5*** moVement stands ready to step up into the vacuum of responsibility, to try to better govern this lovely land with many progressive ideas. Italian politics was a stitched-up logjam till you popped up, Signor' Clown.

             Good luck and thanks, Beppe!

                  A Casa La Casta!

                    Giubileo!

Read more... (14 comments, 1577 words in story)

Photo diary

by melo Sun Sep 16th, 2012 at 10:18:30 AM EST

It's been a while since I posted any pics at ET, and got me an urge to do so, so without further ado, come on down and post yours too.

Apologies to those who have already seen some of these, I hope there will be enough new ones to make it worth the visit!

   

               Lone Sandpiper, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Read more... (10 comments, 537 words in story)

Don't know much about history

by melo Sat Apr 14th, 2012 at 06:19:05 AM EST

Rhymes, without reason.

"If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency (instead of Congress), first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied. The issuing power of money should be taken from the banks and restored to Congress and the people to whom it belongs."


-Thomas Jefferson, letter to then Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, 1802

 "The eyes of our citizens are not sufficiently open to the true cause of our distress. They ascribe them to everything but their true cause, the banking system"
- Thomas Jefferson

 "All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise not from defects in our Constitution; not from want of honour or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation."
- President John Adams, 2nd U.S. President

 "The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or so dependent on its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of the people mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system will bear its burdens without complaint and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests."

 John Sherman letter sent to New York bankers, Morton, and Gould, in support of the then proposed National Banking Act, 1863"

How can the present tragedy be written so our descendants avoid falling in the same trap?

Read more... (33 comments, 703 words in story)

LQD Marco Travaglio writes regarding TAV

by melo Tue Jul 5th, 2011 at 09:18:47 PM EST

  There have been some comments in various salons about the TAV, by our notably well-informed ET train buffs, that I found enlightening, (Thanks DoDo!), but tonight I read this by Marco Travaglio, which goes quite deeply into the cons regarding this inflammatory social division rending the harmony of the Val di Susa, with tens of thousands including local mayors protesting the top-down, undemocratic way this decision to go ahead with the project was made.

  I understand too little to say anything original on this apparently very thorny subject, yet being struck by how violently local and state force has been used to subdue resistance, and even allowing for a somewhat hyped tone adopted by all sides in the matter, (a fault Italian media has in spades), there seems little middle ground between the two factions, the local peoples' will to be governed in ways they approve of and feel included in, and the heavy handed approach taken by the authorities.

  Therefor I decided to diary it, to see if others who may have not seen the references in the Salons, might have more links, information, or opinions/experiences to share regarding this project, or indeed the wider context of rail rollout and freight transport in Europe, and why this project may or may not be worthy, in terms of EROI, in terms of social upheaval, and the democratic rights of local citizens to determine their NIMBY-ness in the face of State-level decisions.

  Quotes from Marco Travaglio's essay below the fold...

Read more... (3 comments, 3677 words in story)

Two-Track Euro? LQD

by melo Sat Feb 20th, 2010 at 11:42:50 AM EST

Beppe Grillo's Blog

Yesterday, Francesco Giavazzi was talking about the crisis in Greece and debating the possibility of the crisis spreading to Italy. He soon found just the right knight on a white steed that will rush to this Country's aid. That's right, none other than the man himself, Berlusconi, the economist "who immediately understands such things" and who has plunged this Country into debt. "But if what makes the level of debt unsustainable is the lack of growth, I cannot see where Italy's strength lies: we are not growing either and our debt to GDP ratio is still the highest in the Euro zone. At last week's European summit, Silvio Berlusconi -- who immediately understands such things and has a healthy scepticism for the vanity of Brussels -- asked that the management of the crisis in southern Europe be delegated to the International Monetary Fund...Berlusconi must insist at all costs, because his intervention could be crucial in terms of saving the Euro." Can a two-track Europe (or even three-track) continue to support a one-track Euro? Or to have a single currency for that matter? I have some very serious reservations. Now over to Eugenio Benetazzo.

excerpt below...

Read more... (15 comments, 1066 words in story)

Liberals, lefties, and libertarians.

by melo Thu Jan 28th, 2010 at 07:13:03 AM EST

This is what set off the chain of thoughts,

melo:

ManfromMiddletown:
they can't seem to get that belonging to the cult of radical individualism that rejects any idea of social rules and order means that you aren't part of the Left.

 that started this off as a comment, then got too long...

interesting. 'radical individualism' is a bit of a dogwhistle here, i mean just think of its opposite!

the majority of politically active activists were born between 60 and 20 years ago, making them all postmodern, post ww2. the 'giant leap forward' that started post war and made america so industrious, prosperous, and social-geographically mobile came with the price of its uprooting from the land, with the demise of the family farm, and the formation of a strong middle class, at the same time fragmenting families and wiping many small communities off the map.

more heathen gibberish below

Read more... (10 comments, 1925 words in story)

Frank's New World

by melo Fri Aug 28th, 2009 at 05:01:34 AM EST

 Frank awoke slowly in his biobed, protected against nuclear fallout and chemical attacks by my Shield-of-JesusTM heavenly protection mantle ($899.99 money back if not delighted). The soothing hum of the machinery brought him gently into the day, as it scanned his body for programming snafus, adjusted his blood chemistry, and showed him his astrological day, week and month predictions, projected colourfully and conveniently on the ceiling for his perusal.

   Hmmm, nothing too dramatic, a Mars sextile his natal Saturn square Pluto to keep on radar for a day or two, but otherwise the coast was clear.

  Meds kicking in, Frank stretched luxuriously, then leapt from under the mantle and sauntered to the kitchen, snapping off a chunk of energy bar extruded overnight from the  dispenser, wondering what new combinations of recycled protein the government scientists had dreamed up since yesterday.

Read more... (6 comments, 855 words in story)

LQD William Engdahl on the world economy

by melo Sun May 24th, 2009 at 04:45:11 AM EST

"Not even Jesus could reverse the decline in the US" | Politics from 2009-05-04 | RT

RT: So how long do you think it is going to take before we see the end of this recession?

W.E.: The point is we are at an epochal change. This is something that happens perhaps every four or five hundred years. This is not a once a decade recession we are living through. And I call it in my new book the `Decline of the American century'. This is a terminal decline as you had with the British Empire after WWI. It would not matter if Jesus Christ was the President of the US today. There would be nothing he could do to reverse that decline process. We would almost have to reorganize and start from scratch, because the cancer of this financial system has embedded so deeply that they've destroyed the industrial technology in the US.

They outsourced manufacturing over the past 25-30 years to Asia, to Eastern Europe, all over the world. The American elite have rotted itself from the inside out over the past 30-40 years since the early 1970s.

So Europe, very much including Russia or let's say Eurasia... Eurasia is a vast continent which has every resource man could imagine for everything we would want to build economically. It has the brainpower, it has the scientific talents, and we have not totally destroyed that as in the case of the US. And that is all we need. It has the raw materials, Russia has unlimited resources of natural gas and oil. The Russian geology is likely years ahead of American and Western geology, geophysics let's say, because it is based on real physics science and not on hocus-pocus to hide the fact of how much oil the world has. There is nothing that is lacking.

The decision in the Western Europe, the EU is, for many European elites, I know this from discussions here in Germany in the recent years - they have to make a choice, and they're schizophrenic about that choice right now: either strengthen the Atlantic alliance with Washington and go down with the sinking Titanic called the American century, or carefully try to reorient the supertanker called the EU and build bridges of cooperation with Russia above all, with China above all for economic markets and whatnot.

Interesting analysis, non? Nothing new we haven't already discussed here (possibly ad nauseam!), but tidily summarised and punchily put.

(more fire in the basement)

Read more... (14 comments, 630 words in story)

Conscious Capitalism

by melo Sat May 23rd, 2009 at 07:21:42 PM EST

"I don't see Tom's as a company, I see it as a movement." Blake Mycoskie

  So spake the entrepreneur, as I started this diary, inspired by the story on the teevee,  as it shows a documentary on this visionary businessman. TOMS Shoes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

More recently, Mycoskie was featured along with the owner of Frontera Foods, Rick Bayless in a CNBC segment titled "The Entrepreneurs".

(more downunder)

Read more... (2 comments, 1728 words in story)

Obama's tightrope

by melo Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 07:14:18 PM EST

 Obama's redefining centrism, walking a tightrope between the plangent wails (free health care for all, yesterday!) and brassy challenges (legalise weed!) of the extreme left, and the immense forces invested in the status quo, brittly unwilling to give up their perks under the old, dying system.
  So he throws bones to both sides so they quit yapping and snapping. No more missile defence, but bases, no more Iraq, (eventually), and more Afghanistan. Yes on FISA, yes on greening the grid. Close Gitmo, expand Baghram, etc.

Read more... (61 comments, 851 words in story)

Photoblogging Costa Rica, pt 2. (image heavy)

by melo Tue Jan 27th, 2009 at 09:19:05 AM EST

       

  Welcome to part 2, gentle readers, may your hearts be de-winterised by these tales and images from Costa Rica, a country that has become dear to my heart in a very short length of time.
               

More in the basement...

Read more... (22 comments, 2204 words in story)

Costa Rica Christmas

by melo Thu Dec 25th, 2008 at 10:46:11 PM EST

                 

What fun to check in with you all from so far away!

It's 24 hours since we arrived here now, and I thought I'd put up some pix, and share some first impressions.

Baby, won't you follow me down

Read more... (24 comments, 1823 words in story)
Next 20 >>

News and Views

 1 - 7 October 2019

by Bjinse - Sep 30, 458 comments

Your take on this week's news

 October Thread

by Bjinse - Sep 30, 91 comments

Let's call the whole thread off

Occasional Series
Click for full list


Top Diaries