Nils Melzer’s book about the persecution of Julian Assange – Nils Melzer, The Trial of Julian Assange, A story of persecution, must be heeded, due to Melzer’s extraordinary position and status as an independent international investigator and legal expert in complaints of torture and ill-treatment,  which has given him access to details and documents not previously available. That is probably why it is hard to get the book in Australia.
The article below is an adaptation of a double-sided A4 leaflet (PDF attached below) which I handed out last night at a community meeting in Frankston, Victoria. The meeting was organised by Peta Murphy, the Federal Labor member for the local seat of Dunkley.
On last Sunday 23 July, Julian Assange's 51st birthday, supporters of Julian Asssange in Melbourne held two events to both celebrate his birthday and to demand the Australian government act to make the British government end its illegal imprisonmment of julian Assange and to prevent the no less illegal efforts by the United States to extradite Julian Assange.
Only the British Home Secretary can stop his extradition now.
The other side of the story: Russians say their troops left Bucha before the massacre happened. They point to video by Bucha mayor of street clearing after the Russians had left, which shows no bodies in the streets. The Russians think that Ukrainian troops carried out the atrocity after the Russians left, as a false flag. Russia has demanded an immediate investigation of the UN Security Council but the UK and the US are trying to avoid this.
Bizarrely, this has hardly been reported anywhere! It was Putin's initiative and Biden has signed up to it along with the other countries, excepting Israel, India, and Pakistan and North Korea.
Ex-UK Parliamentarian, Michael Heaver, in this video, says the UK has seen significant wage-growth in various industries, with an interruption to mass migration. He notes that Boris Johnson is currently calling for industry to stop relying on mass migration and to invest money in local industry and wages instead. Employers and Labor are, however, again calling for higher immigration. This comes in the light of the current UK crisis in petrol delivery which has seen drivers queuing for hours, even days, to fill their cars or containers, because lorry drivers are working for better wages outside that industry. Comments on the video indicate low trust that Boris Johnson will actually honour his words, however the topics covered in the video are informative and highly relevant to Australia. Michael Heaver comments, “And, rather than siding with British workers, it seems labour, as with a lot of business, their immediate knee-jerk reaction, to every issue in the labour market, is not to look at to raise wages and invest in the UK domestic workforce. It’s simply to go for cheap foreign labour. Now, this looks to be a major theme for the Conservatives going into their conference …”
The original investigative report by Michael Issakov, on Yahoo!news: https://news.yahoo.com/kidnapping-assassination-and-a-london-shoot-out-inside-the-ci-as-secret-war-plans-against-wiki-leaks-090057786.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall. It has been republished worldwide in articles in all the mainstream press: Murdoch, Fairfax, Guardian, ABC Australia. (See links below). We also provide an interview with Michael Issakov on YouTube and an interview with WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson. These revelations should provoke huge questions in Australian parliament, which has abused procedure to avoid all debate of Assange's fate for more than a decade, limiting any discussion to solitary questions and short monologues by outlier members of parliament, despite an ostensible group of parliamentary supporters, one of whom - Barnaby Joyce - has twice been acting prime minister. How much longer can this callous and cowardly conspiracy of contempt for Assange's human rights persist, especially in the face of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's arcane new submarine association with US President Joe Biden?
Below is an interview by Afshin Rattansi of WikiLeaks Editor-in Chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson, on these revelations.
Afshin Rattansi, RT: The US govt contemplated assassinating Julian Assange with complicity from Britain (WikiLeaks’ Kristinn Hrafnsson) E1055
29 Sep, 2021 08:11 : On this episode of Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi speaks to WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson about the shocking revelations that the Trump administration and CIA considered assassinating or kidnapping Julian Assange, with planned shootouts with Russian agents on Britain’s streets, a car crash kidnapping, and an assault on a passenger jet should Julian Assange decide to leave for Russia. Hrafnsson discusses the previous surveillance on Assange, the implications of these revelations on the US extradition case, the complicity of British authorities with the United States, the arguable slow death of Assange at the hands of British authorities happening now, and much more. Michael Issakof
CIA-Assange assassination plans also reported by The Guardian, The Murdoch Press, Australian ABC and other mainstream
ABC Podcast with Fran Kelly and reporter Matt Bevan, 28 September 2021:https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/the-backstory-with-matt-bevan/13542832. This report, whilst giving good credence to the sources - interviews with 30 CIA agents by investigative journalist, Michael Issakov - still tries to muddy the waters and confuse the listener by referring to multiple contemporary CIA scandals and beat-ups in the Trump era. "A new Yahoo News report claims the CIA plotted to kidnap WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, with some in the Trump administration allegedly considering options for how to assassinate him in 2017. According to the report, then-CIA director Mike Pompeo was motivated to get even with the group following its publication of sensitive agency hacking tools."
Interview with Michael Issakof, the journalist who broke the story
Below is an interview by Michael Smerconish with Michael Issakof, on 28 September 2021.
Update, 16 June: (see comment) The House of Representatives Selection Committee has ruled that Julian Hill's motion cannot be put this coming Monday 21 June. That motion will now have to wait almost 7 weeks, until 9 August, in the next (joint - both Senate and House of Representatives) sitting of Parliament, before it can be put and debated!
Earlier this afternoon at 2:03pm, I received, from Labor Member of Parliament, Julian Hill, a response to an e-mail I had sent him and a number of other MPs at around 1:00am earlier today. That email included a PDF file which is attached below. That PDF contains a motion that Julian Hill hopes to put to the House of Representatives, this coming Monday 21 June, in support of Julian Assange. The text of the proposed motion is also included within this article as an Appendix. Mr Hill has given that Notice of Motion to the House of Representatives Selection Committee. That motion, if allowed by the Selection Committee, will be put to the House this coming Monday 21 June. Essentially the motion calls upon the Australian Government to act to end the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange, to get the United States' government to cease its attempts to extradite Julian Assange and for Julian Assange to be allowed to return to Australia.
In this video, BBC journalist Orla Guerin interviews Azerbaijan President Aliyev, assuming that Azerbaijan press and politics are heavily censored, and presses him on that. He denies the accusation, then asks her why Julian Assange has been held inhumanely for years, if the British and western press are so free. The BBC journalist simply won't acknowledge the situation for journalists and the media in her own country, kind of proving the president's point. Transcript below, with the pithiest bits emboldened.
Transcript of this excerpt
BBC JOURNALIST: [...] to Armenian civilians.
PRESIDENT ALIYEV: No way! We already talked about civilians. We have nothing wrong .. I think, in communications with them. And I said many times, and I think what I say, I keep the word [touches heart] that, after we liberate the territory from these criminal gangs which occupied our territory, Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh will live much better. They will have more salaries, because the salaries in Azerbaijan is higher, more pensions in Azerbaijan is three times higher [than] in Armenia. They will have all the social protection. We will invest in those areas largely.
BBC: Will they have the full range of human rights, which people here in Azerbaijan do not have? Will they have a fully free media? Will they have an opposition that's allowed to raise its voice? Will they be allowed to have things that people in Azerbaijan do not have?
PRESIDENT: [Chuckles] Ah, you think they do not have it? Why do you think that people of Azerbaijan do not have free media and opposition?
BBC: Because this is what I'm told by independent sources in this country.
PRESIDENT: Which independent sources?
BBC: Many independent sources.
PRESIDENT: Tell me which.
BBC: I certainly couldn't name sources.
PRESIDENT: Oh, if you couldn't name, then that means you are just inventing this story.
BBC: So you're saying the media is not under state control?
PRESIDENT: Not at all.
BBC: And there is a vibrant and free opposition media?
PRESIDENT: Of course.
BBC: Where do I see this?
PRESIDENT: You can see on internet. You can see it everywhere.
BBC: Not in newspapers.
PRESIDENT: Why? You can see it in newspapers. Whom do you call 'opposition' here? Can I ask you?
BBC: Well, is there allowed to be an opposition here.
PRESIDENT: Yes, it is allowed, of course.
BBC: I mean NGOs are the subject of a crackdown.
BBC: Journalists are the subject of a crackdown.
PRESIDENT: Not at all.
BBC: Critics are in jail.
PRESIDENT: No, not at all.
BBC: None of this is true?
PRESIDENT:Absolutely fake. Absolutely. We have free media. We have free internet. Now, due to the martial law, we have some restrictions, but before, there have been no restrictions. And the number of internet users in Azerbaijan is more than 80%. Can you imagine the restriction of media in a country where internet is free? There is no censorship, and there are 80% of internet users. We have millions of people on facebook.
How can you say that don't have free media? This is again a biased approach. This is an attempt to create a perception, in western audiences, about Azerbaijan. We have [political] opposition, we have NGOs, we have free political activity, we have free media, we have freedom of speech - But if you raise this question, can I ask you also one?
How do you assess what happened to Mr Assange? Is that a reflection of free media in your country?
BBC: We're not here to discuss my country. No. No, President.
PRESIDENT: No, let's discuss, let's discuss.
PRESIDENT: In order to accuse me, saying that Armenians will not have free media here, let's talk about Assange. How many years? - Sorry, How many years he's spent in Ecuadorian Embassy? And, for what? And where is he now? For journalistic activity! You kept that person hostage, actually killing him, morally and physically. You did it, not us. And, now he's in prison! So, you have no moral right to talk about free media, when you do these things.
BBC: Returning to the conflict, how long -
PRESIDENT: Yes, better return to the conflict [in Azerbajan], because this is not what you like. You like only to accuse, only to attack. But look at the mirror! Look! I tell many times, before coming and lecturing us, and, in your question, accusing me - it's not a question, it's accusation. You talk like a prosecutor, why? If you're so democratic, and so objective, why you keep Assange in prison? For what? You keep him in prison because of his journalistic activity!
BBC: I'm not keeping him in Prison, President Aliyev.
PRESIDENT: (Laughs). You don't like this.
BBC: It's not the question of don't like. It's not the subject of our interview.
PRESIDENT: Of course. You are not used to this. Because your [?] to attack.
BBC: It's not the subject of our interview and with respect, President -
PRESIDENT: No, it is not subject of interview, but you raise it!
BBC: You raised it -
PRESIDENT: No, you raised it.
BBC: You raised the case of Assange.
PRESIDENT: You said Armenians if you don't have a free media, you can't see how Armenians can live without opposition, that's was your -
BBC: Yes -
PRESIDENT: That was your question.
BBC: You've answered the question, President Aliev. Could I ask you, going back to the conflict, as you say, 40 days and counting - [END OF EXCERPT]
See also: Melbourne Vigil to Free Julian Assange at Flinders Street Station this Friday at 7:30pm (10/1.21).
The 210K PDF file, from which the double-sided A5 flyer "Uphold the Rule of Law", about Julian Assange can be printed, can be downloaded from below.
A British Judge has ruled on whether Australian journalist Julian Assange will be extradited to the United States. The WikiLeaks founder is wanted on espionage and computer hacking charges and faces up to 175 years in prison.
As Richard Medhurst, who attended the extradition hearing, explains, the judge's decision to block extradition solely on health grounds still leaves press freedoms at risk and validates the politically charged indictment by the US.
Conceivably, were the prosecution, at a subsequent hearing, to assure Judge Vanessa Barraitser that they would take tender-loving care of Julian Assange during his solitary confinement and 'trial' before a jury packed with U.S. secret service operatives, she could then rule that the health grounds objection to the U.S. plans to extradite Julian Assange no longer holds whilst again disregarding the clear politcal motivation behind the U.S. extradition request.
|Taylor Hudak||Mrs. Christine Assange||Julian Assange|
The continued detention and torture of Julian Assange by the U.K. government has required tyranny and violations of International asylum Law, British Law, and the law of the United States. Ironically, while the Australian Government has recently apologised for shocking Australian military crimes in Afghanistan, it continues to allow a perverted legal system to punish Assange for exposing many similar crimes by the United States. In the mean time, by scrapping virtually all the nuclear weapons control treaties with Russia as well as the Open skies Treaty, Trump has made global war more likely.
The embedded 5:22 minute video, below, is of Taylor Hudak's 27 November update in the latest developments In Julian Assange's case. The full transcript, adapted from the YouTube text, is included below. In it there is a call for President Trump to salvage something of his reputation by issuing a pre-emptive pardon to Assange. Unfortunately Joe Biden is even less likely to want his own acts on policy in Iran to be exposed.
Transcript of Taylor Hudak's talk
On Thursday November 26th a mandatory 28-day hearing was scheduled at Westminster Magistrates' Court before Deputy Chief Magistrate, Tan Ikram. Like other remand prisoners, Assange must be presented before a court every 28 days so the judge can choose to either expand or terminate his detention. However, a Covid-19 outbreak in Belmarsh Prison, where Assange is being held, prevented him from attending the hearing.
It was reported that Edward Fitzgerald, speaking on behalf of the Defence, told the court that Assange has waived his right to attend the hearing in fear of contracting Covid-19. A week earlier, on November 18, a spokesperson for Her Majesty's Prison Service announced that Belmarsh Prison would implement stricter Coronavirus measures, after three inmates tested positive for the virus.
Assange and other prisoners are confined to their cell for 24 hours a day. Additionally, showers are no longer open and meals must be provided directly to the prisoners in their cell.
Days prior to the recent hearing, 56 people tested positive for Covid on Assange's house block, which holds 168 people and several were sent to the hospital, and while Covid-19 has a high survival rate for a healthy individual, Assange's chronic respiratory issues, combined with the ongoing psychological torture and years of medical neglect, put him at a greater risk of being impacted negatively by the effects of the virus.
On November 22, Doctors For Assange (https://doctorsassange.org/) issued another letter. The letter calls for the immediate end of the torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange. Additionally the letter states:
He is at a high medical risk from Covid-19 given a chronic lung condition and likely immunosuppression due to prolonged psychological torture. He meets internationally agreed criteria for release of vulnerable prisoners in light of Covid-19.
Assange's mother Christine Assange went to Twitter to state, "If my son dies from #Covid19 it will be murder!" She
cites that the UK government, the court, and the prison, have all been warned that Assange is vulnerable to the virus, that that the U.K. and U.S. government opposed emergency bail, and that Belmarsh Prison is placing all Covid-positive prisoners in Assange's wing. Because of the recent increase in Covid-positive prisoners, Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, has called for Assange's immediate release from prison.
The statement from RSF not only reflects on the potential impacts of the virus, but how new Covid safety measures in a prison including isolation could have seriously damaging effects on Assange's mental health.
With Assange's decision to not attend the hearing in fear of contracting the virus, the Defence, the Prosecution, and the Court, have scheduled for another hearing to take place on December 11th.
Meanwhile, outside the courthouse, Assange's supporters gathered for a peaceful protest ,demanding his freedom and for no U.S. extradition.
In other news, President Trump pardoned his former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn. This prompted free press advocates and Assange supporters to amp up the pressure on the President to issue a pre-emptive pardon to Julian Assange.
His fiance and mother of his two children, Stella Morris, posted a heartfelt appeal to President Trump on Twitter asking for a pardon, including a picture with her two young children.
Morris wrote, "These are Julian's sons Max and Gabriel. They need their father. Our family needs to be whole again. I beg you, please bring him home for Christmas." And what better way for President Trump to stand up to what he calls the Deep State and the intelligence community, who have been actively working to undermine his Presidency, than to Pardon the man who exposed their corruption, Julian Assange. And, while it is the Trump Administration that has charged the Wikileaks founder, it is never too late to get on the right side of history, prevent further damage and uphold human rights.
If President Trump were to pardon Assange, it would not only be a historic move, but it would leave a lasting and positive impact on his legacy. Trump would not only be remembered favorably for preventing the destruction of the First Amendment and press freedom worldwide, he would be saving the life of Julian Assange.
Both the defense and prosecution have submitted closing arguments earlier this month and the judge (Vanessa Baraitser) is expected to make her ruling on January 4th 2010.
Demonstrations in support of Assange will be held on the 4th in London, (Washington) DC and other locations. To stay up to date on this case please, make sure that you subscribe to our YouTube channel (acTVism) and if you've missed any of our reports, go to our Julian Assange case updates playlist to get all caught up.
I'm Taylor Hudak. As always, thanks for tuning in and I'll see you in my next report
Pontius Pilate, of course, was the judge who condemned Jesus Christ to death, according to the bible. The crime Jesus was punished for was that of leading a religion critical of the values of the Roman state. Modern authorities try to defend their right to have criminal secrets in order to justify pursecuting Assange, who has led a world-wide movement for transparent and just government. If UK or Swedish judges deliver Assange to authorities who then deliver him to the United States, they may claim that they are only doing their duty under the law, just like Judge Pontius Pilate. I am not religious, but I think this is a valuable parable for our time.
I first became aware of Julian Assange through Wikileak's publication of the "Collateral Murder" material. [Collateral murder comes from the expression 'collateral damage', a euphemism coined by the US war machine to describe civilian deaths and material damage in war.] I was filled with admiration and relief that someone was exposing the continuing illegal role of the US Army in Iraq and its vicious conduct. I could not understand why the United States had not been universally condemned for the lies it used to illegally invade Iraq and then why a range of US-NATO allies failed to condemn its continuing brutal occupation of that country. I next became aware of the US-NATO horror caused in Libya and then in Syria. As my awareness grew, so did the effrontery of the United States. Soon it was accusing Russia of aggression, as the US itself surrounded Russia with US bases. See the map.
Now, in the ultimate criminal state absurdity, Britain, a major partner to US in weapons sales and war crimes in the Middle East, is aiding and abetting the United States to punish the one man who was able and courageous enough to expose the United States for its war crimes within war crimes. Obscenely, but revealingly, a small-time London magistrate, Judge Deborah Taylor, showed the clay that British "justice" is based on, as she 'diagnosed' [SIC] Assange a "narcissist" [an upstart] and thereby sentenced him to 58 weeks in high security prison, presumably for crimes of personality and class. She completely ignored what ordinary people can see and what she must have seen; that he was correctly in fear of his life from the criminal government of the United States and its vassal, the British government. She had to know that extradition was in the wings, but she pretended that it was not.
It is hard to find out anything about this woman, but, contrary to her supposed impartiality, she seems to me to be either the servant or the dupe of the British upper class. That ruling class considers that it has the right to engage in murder and mayhem all over the world by supplying weapons for cash, but woe-betide any commoner who might expose its crimes for public judgement. Should the US elites succeed in their plans to exact their cruel revenge on Julian Assange, I think that Judge Deborah Taylor may go down in history as the woman who helped send modern civilisation down its final corridor to total enslavement and war.
Julian Assange unlike Jesus won't rise again, so we must protect him
For Julian Assange, unlike Jesus - another 'upstart' - probably won't arise again. You may or may not believe in Jesus, but the crucifixion story is a valid parable nonetheless and it is all about justice and democracy: After Judas identified him, Jesus was convicted by a magistrate, Pontius Pilate, of the crime of trying to lead the jews against the Romans in a revolutionary religion, which preached love instead of war, slavery and pillage. Later the Romans adopted Christianity and when the Roman empire fell, the Holy Roman Empire continued. In the 16th Century Henry VIII took over as head of religion in England and called it the Church of England. The Church of England still claims to believe that Jesus Christ died to save the rest of us from oppression. The queen is supposed to believe that. British magistrates are supposed to act within that paradigm, but we can see that they do not.
In Jesus' case, at the site of crucifixion, the attending crowd was asked who they would prefer to save: Jesus or another revolutionary, Barrabas. The crowd chose Barrabas. We, however, do not have another revolutionary of Assange's extraordinary global profile, but neither is anyone asking us if we want to save Julian Assange.
It is up to us to save ourselves and Julian Assange and the right to shine a light on the crimes that the power elite carry out all the time.
We live in a world, sadly, where electronic technology has reached a point at which people with money can do almost anything. They can launch wars for profit, carry out torture, influence the courts and the media, and then they can secretly try and imprison anyone who attempts to expose what they have done. That's why they are persecuting Julian Assange. They are out to prove that they can silence any protest.
These rich power-elites are networked and they back each other up. Julian Assange, as part of the alternative media, exposed this network - and he did not take sides. Even the cowardly mainstream media that pretends he is not a journalist republished the information he provided. If Julian is extradited to the United States, judged guilty in a secret court (for it will be secret) publishing in the western world will suffer the same fate as publishing in Muslim countries. Remember Charlie Hebdo and "We are all Charlie."
We are all Julian Assange now. Jesus of Nazareth was a local phenomena that went viral. Julian is a global phenomena in a global world - but he may be our last because, after him, what individual will ever achieve such a political profile, if the power-elite get their wish for utter media control and total secrecy?
US-NATO Military Industrial Media Congressional Complex
Humans who live in modern techno civilisations are only apparently better than their ancestors; they are essentially the same, in different clothes, with different technologies. Without those materials and technologies, we are our ancestors. And so are our masters. They can be just as vicious as Attila, just as grasping as the Roman Emperors, and just as cowardly as modern generals who order drone executions without trial on people far away. America's 'Exceptionalism' seems to be no different from Hitler's belief in the 'master race' doctrine. The United States openly uses its Exceptionalist doctrine to justify the invasion, occupation and genocide involved in its multiple regime change projects, which seem to have two aims: to get control of fossil fuel resources and to make money out of weapons in continuous rolling wars. Weapons sales seem to be the most profitable industry in the world. That is what Julian Assange is up against.
Julian Assange's plight shows how little worth Australian citizenship has and how worthless our US subservient politicians
Of course, none of this persecution of one inspired giant of a man could have been achieved if the client vassal state to America, Australia, had not remained collusively silent. Successive Australian governments have pretended that they have provided Assange with 'appropriate' consular support. That is why I say that Assange's plight shows how little worth Australian citizens have in the eyes of the Australian Government. As Assange himself once said something like that it is right for Australians to look at what happens in Washington, because that is where the real government of Australia is. As an Australian, I am ashamed of my government and I cannot understand why my countrymen remain so cowed and confused about what this all means.
The US has 800 to 1000 military bases world wide. Russia has only eight, and these are located close to its own borders. France has nine. The United Kingdom has the most next to the US.
These bases are themselves occupations by the United States of sovereign powers: Here is a list of military bases by country. Australia also has a US base. Citizens in Australia and most or all countries that the US occupies with armed forces have protested again and again, yet their governments have acquiesced to the US, not to the democratic demands of their citizens.
 According to biblical history, Pontius Pilate served as the prefect of Judaea from 26 to 36 A.D. He convicted Jesus of treason and declared that Jesus thought himself King of the Jews, and had Jesus crucified. In the Gospel according to Mark, Pilate’s main question to Jesus was whether he considered himself to be the King of the Jews, and thus a political threat (Mark 15:2). In the Gospel according to Luke, Temple authorities had decided that Jesus was guilty of blasphemy, but brought him to Pilate to accuse him further of sedition against Rome. The Gospel of Luke says that Pilate handed Jesus over to the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas for judgment on the grounds that Jesus was a Galilean and thus under Antipas' jurisdiction. Jesus was publicly flogged and then executed by crucifixion as a traitor to Rome. All Gospels say that it had been a tradition of the Romans to release a Jewish prisoner at the time of the Passover. Pilate offered the crowd at the execution site the choice of releasing either Jesus or another revolutionary named Barabbas. The crowd stated that it wished to save Barabbas. Accordingly, Pilate condemned Jesus to crucifixion.
The most honest man in Britain today is Julian Assange, while the most dishonest are those who are engaged in his ongoing persecution.
(This article by John Wight was first published at https://www.rt.com/op-ed/461768-assange-extradition-justice-british/ on 13 June 2019.)
The latest instalment in that persecution is a court hearing in London on June 14, where details of the request for his extradition to the US, it is expected, will be revealed for the first time.
The formal request for the extradition of the founder of WikiLeaks was made to the UK by US authorities earlier in the week – and with British Home Secretary Sajid Javid signing the relevant papers sanctioning it, the final decision on whether Julian Assange’s extradition to the US goes ahead now rests with the courts.
Also on rt.com
Extradition order to send Assange to US poses existential threat to all truth seekers – Galloway
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Assange’s poor state of health means that it’s uncertain whether he will be able to attend the hearing in person, or whether instead he will address the court by video link from Belmarsh Prison, where he’s been detained since being arrested and forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in central London on April 11.
What the start of the extradition proves is that Assange was right all along in claiming political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy, on the basis that he was under threat of extradition to the US, and that those who rubbished and ridiculed him for doing so stand exposed as charlatans.
Where we are now is that for daring to publish details of US war crimes and atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention later exposing the corruption of Hillary Clinton and the DNC in the lead-up to the US presidential election in 2016, Assange is facing the prospect of being sent into the void that is the US justice system – forever.
Or at least as close to forever as possible, given that he is looking at being sent to prison for 175 years on a raft of espionage charges.
In revealing to the world the beast of US hegemony that resides behind the velvet curtains of democracy and human rights, Julian Assange exposed the lie upon which this American Empire (and make no mistake, it is an empire) depends.
It depends on it in order to persuade its supposed beneficiaries – i.e. people living in the West – to continue to suspend disbelief as to the reality of a system they’ve been conditioned to believe is rooted in values that emanate from the human heart rather than from the heart of the machine.
The end result is that in exposing this lie, Assange and WikiLeaks became a bigger threat to the ability of US hegemony to function normally than a million bayonets. As such, it became imperative that he, as the founder and face of WikiLeaks, be destroyed.
Britain’s role in this process couldn’t be any more sordid or shameful. Its legal system and judiciary has effectively been turned into a subsidiary of its US counterpart; its function not to dispense justice but to deliver a man into the arms of injustice.
The fate to befall Assange proves that there’s a world of difference between believing that you live in a free society and behaving as if you do. He is the canary down the coalmine of Western democracy, signalling the warning that its foundations are rotten to the core.
As I said when I spoke at a recent Imperialism On Trial event in London, I will never forget the chill that slid down my spine as I watched him being dragged out of his political asylum in the aforementioned Ecuadorian Embassy in London and hurled into the back of a van. It was a scene you would associate with a fascist state in the 1930s, not a democratic one in 2019.
It was a vision of the future unless people in the West wake up and stand up.
Compounding the injustice involved in the treatment of Julian Assange has been the complicity of a mainstream media which has, without exception, engaged in an unrelenting campaign of demonization, delegitimization, and even dehumanization where he’s concerned.
These people are not journalists, they are ideological foot soldiers. In fact, they’re not even that; they are expensively educated cranks and hacks – so-called progressives, who with a chai latte in one hand and a signed copy of Campbell’s Diaries or Blair’s autobiography in the other, step over homeless people in the street on the way to their hot yoga classes and sushi bars; there to congratulate one another on the latest offering of vacuous tripe served up to the God of yellow journalism.
Compare and contrast the treatment of Julian Assange at the hands of the mainstream media in the UK, and the treatment of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov in the Russian media.
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Russian media solidarity for Golunov contrasts with loathsome US/UK press bootlicking over Assange
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Upon what appears to have been Golunov’s unjust arrest and detention by the police in Moscow, the Russian press united in demanding his release. Largely as a result of the media’s stance, which galvanised public opinion in Russia, Golunov’s detention ended in a matter of days. It stands as a pristine example of how a free and independent press functions in holding the authorities to account on behalf of the people.
Today in Britain, in grim contrast, we have a mainstream media that operates more along the lines of holding the people to account on behalf of the powerful; the plight of Julian Assange being a case in point.
From this point on, at every stage of this execrable extradition process, it is British justice on trial, not him. And thus far the verdict tends towards guilty – guilty of being a US vassal; guilty of the violation of Assange’s human rights; guilty of putting truth and justice behind bars and setting untruth and injustice free.
Ultimately, the stakes in this case couldn’t be any more important or higher, and in the last analysis it really is very simple.
Until Julian Assange is free, none of us are.
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the reasons behind Ecuador's Foreign Minister stating that they have no plans of revoking Julian Assange's asylum status.
After news broke that Ecuador was planing on expelling Assange from their London Embassy, people gathered in the streets of London, and online voices blasted Ecuador's decision to deliver Assange to UK authorities, with eventual extradition to the United States.
The Ecuadorian government was compelled to quickly release a statement refuting the news of Assange's expulsion.
Comment by James Sinnamon: In this otherwise insightful and informative discussion of 8:53 minutes, I think Alex Christoforou and Alexander Mercouris are far too kind to the UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn has had six and a half years to act to force the UK government end its illegal detention of Julian Assange. Corbyn, who purportedly supports Julian Assange, could have easily led many thousands of Labour Party supporters to protest at the Ecuadorian Embassy in support of Julian Assange. Such a crowd could easily have escorted Assange to Heathrow Airport and onto a flight back to Australia. Certainly, had he spoken more loudly in support of Julian Assange in all of these years, it would have been politically impossible for Theresa May to have persisted with her government's criminal and secretive collusion with the United States against Julian Assange.
On Friday 5 April 2019, as revealed by John Pilger on Twitter from a high level source within the Ecuadorian Government, Julian Assange would shortly be expelled from the London Ecuadorian Embassy. Once evicted, he stands to be arrested by the UK police, extradited to the United States where he faces a secret trial based on a secret indictment. He may face many years behind bars - even the death penalty can't be excluded - all for just publishing, through Wikleaks, facts about world events that the public would be entitled to know in a fair and just world.
In 2010 then Prime Minister Julia Gillard, before Julian Assange was forced to seek asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in October 2012, had ordered the Australian Federal Police to investigate Assange in the hope that they would find he had committed a crime. They found none.
In February 2016, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) stated that his detention was unlawful. This was reaffirmed by the Working Group in November 2015
An Australian government - if it was committed to the rule of law, free speech, human rights and democracy - could could act now to end the British government's illegal detention of Julian Assange in a matter of hours. It could send to London a contingent of Federal Police to escort Julian Assange out of the Ecuadorian Embassy back to Heathrow Airport and thence to Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne.
Were the British government to dare attempt to interfere with Australian Federal Police escorting Julian Assange back to Australia, the outcry would be enormous - from within Britain, Australia and the rest of the world.
However, not one Australian government, that of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, nor any of the subsequent governments- those of Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull have enacted this basic duty of care towards Julian Assange. They have not even shown any sympathy for him, or interest.
Not one of the political parties with representation in parliament - The Liberals, the Nationals, Labor, the Greens, nor any of the Independent members have spoken up for Julian Assange. This seems an appalling failure of our parliamentary system and those members of Parliament who supposedly represent us. (One exception to this is the now demonised One Nation Party.)
What You Can Do
Give your first preference to candidates who promise to act for Julian Assange. With a federal election looming, it should now be possible to hold to account those elected members of Parliament who have behaved so shamefully towards Julian Assange. Where you are asked to vote for a sitting candidate from one of the major parties, ask him/her should vote for a candidate who has been silent - or worse - about Julian Assange. Where any other candidate asks for your vote ask him/her what he she intends to do for Julian Assange. Give your first and subsequent references to those who give the best responses and put the major parties last.
Attend protests for Julian Assange.
Post comments in support of Julian Assange on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Write articles in support of Julian Assange on any web-site on which you have an account.
See also: Be Ready To Act: WikiLeaks Source Says They’re Coming For Assange (5/4/19) by Caitlin Johnstone, The Gestapo Is Coming for Julian Assange (4/4/19) by Paul Craig Roberts.
Ofcom said Royal Mail was also required to meet a target of 91.5 per cent of next-day delivery for first-class post throughout Britain and not just in densely populated areas.
But it achieved this level in only 62 per cent of the required postcode areas in the year to March 2013.
"Ofcom is concerned about Royal Mail's failure to meet certain service targets," the regulator said, threatening fines if the company continued to deliver late.
Unite, which represents around 7,000 postal managers, said the failures were due to job reductions in the run-up to the firm's privatisation.
Unite Royal Mail officer Brian Scott called for a company-wide review into tackling the issue of staff reductions and overworking.
He said: "Royal Mail has been setting itself up for privatisation in the last year, making unnecessary job reductions and cutting corners to make it a more viable sell-off.
"Members working in delivery offices are under a huge amount of pressure and this continues with no obvious solution."
The Campaign for Public Ownership said it was not just job reductions that were part of the government's preparations for privatisation.
Stamp prices were also increased in the run-up "to turn the people against the company" and to pre-empt an inevitable price rise once investors gained control - which would have resulted in a public backlash.
Campaign director Neil Clark said the future was bleak for the service. He told the Star: "After the next general election the universal service will disappear or mail delivery will take on the heavily subsidised railway model."
A Royal Mail statement said: "We were disappointed that we didn't meet all of the regulatory quality-of-service targets we were required to last year."
UK Labor Opposition leader Ed Millibrand will move an amendment to the govenment motion in support of the war against Syria calling for a delay in attacking Syria until after the UN weapons' inspectors' report is delivered. If the amendment is defeated, he will call on MPs to vote agaist the motion for war.
This article was originally published as British political rows could delay military action against Syria on 28 Aug 2013 on Russia Today. See also: Obama ‘not yet made a decision’ on Syria as UK political rows stall intervention of 28 Aug 2013.
Facing strong opposition in the UK parliament, military action against the Syrian regime over the alleged use of chemical weapons could be delayed until next Tuesday.
On Thursday, the House of Commons will be asked by the government to approve a "strong humanitarian response" to the Syrian government’s alleged war crimes.
However, British opposition leader Ed Miliband said he would call on his MPs to vote against the government motion if the amendment calling for the delay of any military action is defeated, the Guardian reports.
"We will continue to scrutinise this motion but at 5.15pm David Cameron totally ruled out a second vote, an hour and a half later he changed his mind," a Labour source told the Guardian. "Ed was determined to do the right thing. It has taken Labour forcing a vote to force the government to do the right thing."
The delay of parliamentary approval could push back the military response timetable until next Tuesday when MPs are expected to have another vote.
Among other conditions the Labour Party said it would support military action only if members of the UN Security Council saw the chemical weapons inspectors report first.
A motion in the UK parliament has been called to let the UN Security Council see findings from chemical weapons inspectors before backing any military action in Syria.
"The United Nations Security Council must have the opportunity immediately to consider that briefing and that every effort should be made to secure a Security Council Resolution backing military action before any such action is taken," the motion says.
This article explores why Australians are so frustrated with the lack of deep thinkers and serious policy makers in our political establishment. It asks why politicians only discuss peripheral issues and never seriously address homelessness. It comments on some recent flagrantly anti-democratic political acts, including the way LNP leadership has been hired out to Cambell Newman in Queensland. In the spirit of relocalisation, it offers some insights into local power in China.
One only need browse through recent events in Australian politics (Federal and State) over the last few months to understand why Australians are so frustrated with the lack of deep thinkers and serious policy makers in our political establishment.
In normal times, with a booming world economy, despite widespread incompetency in political leadership, Australia, blessed by its natural resources, has been able to flow along with the world trend of economic prosperity. Therefore the issue of political incompetency within our current system of government has not been sufficiently alarming to affect the livelihood of the average person on the streets. For example, Australia can simply ride on the wave of the Chinese boom, to go by these examples: "China the focus of our fortunes" (WA Today, 27 Dec 2010) and "Good year ahead for investors, depending on China" (The Australian, 29 Dec 2010)
Global connections; global problems
The world, however, has become so inter-connected that some problems are beyond our control. An event taking place in one part of the world can negatively impact upon the rest of the world. One such event was the global financial crisis ignited by the United States in 2008, which impacted in the subsequent global inflation. This global crisis was due partly to the then US President Bush’s and now Obama’s administration so-called ‘Quantitative Easing Monetary Policy.’ Plainly speaking, this is a money printing policy. This policy caused the world to be flooded with hot money and a depreciating US dollar. (Money Market, 25 Oct 2010 - "Is the US. Federal Reserve Setting the Stage for Hyperinflation?"
There are of course many other international factors that resulted in inflation beyond our control. These include:
1) The US administration's irresponsible policy in the sudden converting of 35 per cent of US corn into biofuel without taking into consideration the immediate impact to the rest of the world due to:
a) US exports accounting for about 60 per cent of the world's corn supply, hence a sudden shortage in supply of 35% of corn from US into the market caused the price to go up.
b) Many livestock farmers use corn to feed their livestock. Hence, inflation on meat and meat related products as well.
As a result, the Independent UK (23 march 2011) reported a complaint by Nestlé boss with a heading: "Biofuel policy is causing starvation, says Nestlé boss".
2) The recent mass protests across the Middle East and North Africa have also got to do with inflation in food price and daily necessities. The political turmoil in the oil rich regions fuels inflation across the world on another front with a surge in oil price, which affects the cost of transport, electricity and everything else.
3) Other factors also cause inflation, such as the appreciation of Chinese currency and labour cost. Corporate greed is also a key reason.
While the Treasurer claims credit on economic figures, can you find any politician commenting on the following topics?
Whilst our politician, Treasurer Wayne Swan, was quick to claim credit for the latest unemployment figures (Herald Sun, 10 April 2011 - "'Australia's jobless rate envy of world,' Treasurer Wayne Swan says", no politician (from government, opposition, minor parties or independents) seemed to want to comment on any of the following sets of figures over the last few months:
1) One in five Australians struggling with debt repayments," (Herald Sun, 7 April 2011)
2) "Shock rise in mortgage default cases," (News Limited, 28 March 2011)
3) "Australians raid superannuation to avoid home loss – it is as bad as it gets," (The Australian, 9 April 2011)
4) "Private rental too much for many families" (The Age, 29 March 2011)
5) "Going up and up - living costs outstrip the CPI, latest figures reveal," (Daily Telegraph, 15 Feb 2011)
6) "Rise in middle-class bankrupts," (WA Today, 24 May 2010)
7) "Health insurance hike double inflation rate," (News Limited, 25 Feb 2011)
8) "Construction sector shrinks again as federal stimulus winds up," (Construction News, 7 Dec 2010)
9) "Australians crippled by tax burden," (News Limited, 7 Mar 2011) where the tax office raises the following issues: “Documents show 4.3 million individual taxpayers have "not yet lodged" a tax return for 2008-09 - a staggering 26 per cent increase on 3.4 million in the previous year” and “About 700,000 taxpayers entered into special repayment plans with the Tax Office in 2009-10 - an increase of 32 per in four years.”
Homelessness in Australia
The reality on the ground is that, instead of having 105,000 homeless across the country during the "2006 ABS counting," the latest figure reported 4 years later by the ABC (30 April 2010) has become "1 in 100 homeless in past year." That is, the number of homeless in Australia has being more than doubled within 3 years since the last count in 2006. The problem is so serious that, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, “as many as 80 per cent of new applications for temporary housing by couples with children cannot be met on a daily basis.” The report also indicated that “of the total new requests for housing, 62 per cent of people were turned away, a rate stable with previous years”. (Brisbane Times, 22 July 2010 - "Homeless families are being turned away’."
Any solutions and policies announcement by our political ‘Elites’?
From their complete silence in response to these news items, it would appear that none of our politicians have a solution or have any understanding of the actual causes of the problems. Otherwise, based on our political culture, somebody would have jumped in front of the media to give themselves some free publicity.
In a time of massive poverty and suffering, this is what our politicians do:
1) One of our independent MPs who holds the balance of power in the minority government - Andrew Wilkie - threatened to bring down the Gillard government over pokey game reform. (Herald Sun, 30 March 2011 - "Wilkie threatens PM over pokie reform." Andrew has won a seat in Tasmania with a tiny margin by campaigning against pokey games. It seems that the issue of pokey reform seems to have taken up most, if not all of his time since he got into the federal parliament 8 months ago.
2) Our former Prime Minister and now Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd appears to be still bitter over being dumped by his comrades months before the last election. He has been acting as a lone ranger against his own party with virtually no or little contact with Prime Minister Julie Gillard and other cabinet ministers.
Immediately after his dumping as Prime Minister, he began to make use of his previous status and “upsetting Labor insiders by holding high-level talks in the US (and the UN) even though he is now just a backbencher” (News Limited, 16 July 2010 - "Kevin Rudd's one-man show haunts Julia Gillard." He then is suspected of having gone further to leak information about his secret deal with the Gillard government the night before his dumping to ensure that he would be given a senior position in the new Labor cabinet if Labor win the upcoming election. ( WA Today, 16 July 2010- "Rudd's political ghost haunts Gillard." [Note: there were only 4 people in the secret meeting. Although Kevin Rudd never admitted that he was the one who leaked the secret deal, nearly everyone in the media is pointing at him].
When in the position of Foreign Minister in the newly elected Gillard’s government, Rudd used tax payer money to jet around 20 countries in just 100 days, apparently trying to get himself a high level United Nation position. This has some Labor MPs wondering: "Just what the hell is Kevin up to?"(The Daily Telegraph, 23 Dec 2010 - "Kevin Rudd's eye on UN hot seat." [Note: this is published under opinion].
While eyeing United Nation jobs, Kevin Rudd again tried to position himself as the next Prime Minister by continuing to disclose secret cabinet meetings to explain to the Australian public that his decision to dump certain policies prior to the election was a result of pressure from members of his own Cabinet. (News Limited, 6 April 2011 - "I'm not shutting up about my time as Prime Minister, says Kevin Rudd."
It has also been reported that, Kevin Rudd has “quietly launched himself on a one-man campaign trail, visiting electorates across the nation,” and “introducing himself to strangers, "Hi mate, Kevin. What's your name ?" (News Limited, 10 April 2011 - "Hi, I'm Kevin Rudd and I'm here to help."
Apparently, over the last few months, as a cabinet minister under the Australian Tax Payer’s payroll, Kevin Rudd has been working for himself, with no or little communication with the Prime Minister.
3) In a hung parliament with few seats short, Gillard’s government cannot survive with any single member of her coalition partners or members of her own party swinging their support against her. Therefore, her government can do nothing about the behaviour of her foreign minister beside creating her own “malicious leaks designed to discredit the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.” (The Australian, 15 Feb 2011 - "Kevin Rudd backlash rattles cabinet."
In order to maintain her grip on power, Prime Minister Gillard reportedly offers Independent MP, Andrew Wilkie “more one-on-one prime ministerial contact than is enjoyed by most ministers and mandarins”. (WA Today, 27 Nov 2010 - "Gillard's grip on power."
The Gillard’s government is busily dealing with the Greens as well on policy direction to stay in power as she broke her own election promise on the issue of Carbon Tax. (See Herald Sun, 25 March 2011 - "Julia Gillard's carbon policy a desperate measure." When the public form a perception that it is the Greens who formulated Labor policy, Julie Gillard again repositioned herself by publicly claiming that her coalition partners, “[the] Greens don't share Australian values” (Adelaide Now, 1 April 2011) and then criticised the Greens as “Extremists” (Herald Sun, 7 April 2011).
Within the last few months since Labor came into power, there is more news of politicking within the party, with coalition partners and with the opposition party than any actual policy initiative being announced.
4) The opposition is not doing any better. For instance, they have embroiled themselves in a number of poll driven racial issues, such as the asylum seekers issue, with a decades old slogan “Stop the boats,” and migrant-bashing such as in "Morrison sees votes in anti-Muslim strategy," (Brisbane Times, 17 Feb 2011). They offer no policy to assist Australians who are struggling with the cost of living. On the contrary, there are a number of policies to chop ofests across the Middle East and most disadvantage people in Australian society. Some examples: "Libs to cut incentives for poorer university students," (The Australian, 19 Aug 2010), "Tony Abbott calls for welfare crackdown", (The Telegraph, 31 march 2011)
5) Meanwhile, in NSW state politics, Liberal leader Barry O’Farrell managed to win a landslide victory without having to produce any detailed policies (Inside, 18 March 2011).
6) And, in Queensland, after years of political infighting with consistently poor poll rating, the LNP has decided to change their leader again. This time, they invited an outsider a person without a seat in the State Parliament - the Lord Mayor of Brisbane City Council, Campbell Newman, to be their leader for the position of Premier in the coming election.
This is in part because, during the recent floods in Brisbane, Campbell Newman, as Mayor of the city, has received exposure on national television every day for weeks and is now a familiar household name. This situation apparently prompted former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to "describe the circumstances of Campbell Newman's foray into state politics as 'weird'" (Courier mail, 23 March 2011).
Mr. Newman, while still officially the Mayor of Brisbane, and as somebody who have just entered state party politics suddenly in circumstances described as “weird” decided to give a fresh start to the LNP by simply binning all existing policies formulated by his predecessors. (Brisbane Times, 29 March 2011 - "All current LNP policies 'null and void': Newman declares new beginning,". Apparently, he has binned those policies without spending any time analysing and understanding wider issues and problems relating to the State of Queensland and the LNP.
The only thing that interests our politicians
As demonstrated from the above 6 examples, the only thing that interest our politicians is to stay in power. Election promises may be brushed aside. Existing policies can be binned overnight by a new leader who has charm but little experience in party leadership and state politics; politicians embroil themselves in race base politics because they believe it is a vote winner; cabinet minister can use tax payer money to run his personal agendas without having to consult the Prime Minister; an independent MP winning a seat with just a tiny margin, holding the balance of power in a minority government, may take up more prime ministerial time than ministers over a single issue “pokie reform”.
Individualism seems to rule the day. Who is going to serve the interest of the people and the nation?
Meanwhile, as a record number of Australians suffer poverty and homelessness, our Members of Parliament busily increase their personal wealth by being the top lodgers of dodgy tax claims on the one hand (News Limited, 17 March 2011 - "Australian MPs top lodgers of dodgy tax claims, ATO investigation reveals"), and boosting their own pay rises by the thousands of dollars just few month ago, on the other. (Adelaide Now, 18 Nov 2010)
Democracy Needs Reform
The world is getting more and more complex in the 21st century. Can any Tom, Dick or Harry on the street understand the complexity of the modern age? Will they have the knowledge, expertise, skills and ethical values to serve the very people that voted them into the Parliament? How long can we afford to have second, third or ninth rated people in the Parliament doing nothing right for us?
At a time of economic uncertainty, rising international conflict, and global inflation with increasing pressure on the cost of living, voters become so irrational that they simply wanted a quick fix on every problem they face. The popularity of governments is on a roller coaster. The life span of a government may become shorter and shorter. As a result, opponent parties are able to win election in landslide without having to put forward any detailed policy.
The charm of politicians has become more important than the substance of their policies. Will such a trend lead to political process where fewer and fewer deep thinkers will be able to make their way into Parliament?
Democracy is great! But should we begin to ask ourselves the following questions:
Is democracy in the current form known to the US, Australia and other English-speaking nations the best for the survival of mankind?
Is there room for improvement?
What is the purpose of democracy if people we have voted in fail to serve the interests of the very people that voted for them?
How long can we afford to have politicians not doing anything right for us?
Will the current form of western democracy eventually result in mass poverty and humanitarian disaster?
In this time of economic uncertainty, in the US, people are also increasingly conscious of the quality of their politicians. The Washington Post recently carried a report, "2012 Republican presidential candidates all have flaws," (30 Jan 2011). A survey by NBC News/Wall Street Journal (March 2010) indicated that the Congress enjoy only 17% of approval rating from the American public.
In the UK, the 2010 election also resulted in a hung parliament, with all three major parties failing “to disclose to the voters the scale of tax rises and public sector cuts required to tackle the financial crisis.” The outcome of this election has been labeled “No Choice Democracy.”
Other systems exist and China's, with which I am familiar, has been very much misunderstood by the Western World due to the disinformation of the mainstream Western Media. (I will try to find time to write an article on democracy with Chinese characteristics some time in the future.)
In the meantime, this article in the Guardian (19 January 2011) under the heading, "China's tentative steps towards democracy," may interest you. The article ended by quoting a statement made by Daniel Bell, a Canadian-born professor of political theory at Tsinghua University in Beijing, who says China may be groping toward "a political model that works better than western-style democracy".
For the sake of humanity and the welfare of the Western Public, should we forgo our cold war mentality against China and begin to look objectively into the positive aspects of the Chinese Communist Party and their progressive political ideology and methodology?
Written on 12 April 2011
Copyright © 2009 - 2011 Outcast Journalist - Chua, Wei Ling
Unstoppable waves of migrants, overcrowding, displaced workers
uncontrollable crime, an alienated youth culture without hope and "one of the most divided and unequal ... countries in Europe", ---is this portrait of contemporary Britain a picture of our own future?
Let the British Poor Eat Cake
Wendy Kellett has a vision of what is to come. And it is a nightmare.
Speaking of her native land, the United Kingdom, she writes that:
“This is now one of the most divided and unequal-and overcrowded-countries in Europe. Unemployment amongst the young is rising; poverty amongst childless adults of working age is rising; immigration continues unabated-driving down wages at the bottom. The real value of incomes has fallen steadily in the past couple of decades, primarily affecting those with the least. Property values have soared, driven by speculation, a deregulated financial sector and increasing pressure on land from development and population growth.
The ‘toffs’ have no idea, or no concern, for what the less fortunate are experiencing. (They will find out, sooner or later.) Their attitude was typified by the chief executive of the Barclay group, Bob (deep-pockets-my-bonus-is-bigger-than-yours) Diamond when he defended the remuneration culture of the UK financial sector before the Commons Treasury Select Committee on bank bonuses. Diamond declared that ‘There was a period of remorse and apology; that period needs to be over.’ I must have missed the remorse and the apology. Diamond rejected the demands of MPs that he forgo his 2010 bonus, which could amount to $8 million.
So it’s business as usual for the greedsters, able to continue unabashed-- courtesy of the publicly funded rescue package---all gain, no pain. The pain is borne by the young, the unemployed, the sick, the disabled, the impoverished, the homeless and the millions of workers who are seeing the value of their wages plummet.”
An Archipelago Of Rich Enclaves In A Sea Of Crime And Poverty
The UK has become what John Kenneth Galbraith said of America, a nation where “private affluence co-exists with public squalor”. By 2015, she predicts, we will see a UK where
“Rising inequality, matched by population growth, will exacerbate the divide between rich and poor and a demoralised and resentful public will be increasingly numbed by diversions like sporting events, celebrity television and political messages which skilfully demonise the poor and needy. Entrepreneurial types will no doubt turn in ever greater numbers to drug dealing, people smuggling and black market supply of now-unaffordable goods beyond the reach of many. Mass migration from Africa and the Middle East will continue , driven by climate change, poverty and population growth. The rich will continue to move into gated enclaves and religious groups will fill the gaps left by vapourised public services : I suspect that ,increasingly, we shall see whole areas dominated by different faith groups.”
Canadian Youth Alienated And Embittered
I replied that this unfolding tragedy sounds very much like what is occurring in North America.
“Sounds a lot like Canada. The United States is even worse. The gap between rich and poor has grown dramatically since the 80s. Now Canadian cities are being to resemble American cities as they were 20 years ago. We have a social safety net that they don't, but the level of services are dropping like a stone. What Galbraith said of America is now true of Canada. The working class has been pauperized, caught in a squeeze play between the outsourcing of good-paying manufacturing jobs and the "in-sourcing" of cheap imported labour which has driven down the wages of displaced blue collar workers and their children, who must compete for the McJobs of a growing low-wage service sector.
Many of these kids have degrees and are trying to work off student debts in the five figures flipping burgers or selling cars for chump change while politicians bemoan the plight of immigrants with degrees who can’t find employment relevant to their field of study. No wonder that so many young people are still living with their parents. The more removed the wealthy become from the masses, the less empathy they have. But incivility, hostility, rudeness, and hostility are bubbling up among the young. In the 60s our fault was our naive idealism. Theirs is their unapologetic cynicism. On the CBC today, I heard the testimony of a bus driver who saw five black female teens on his bus threaten an elderly white lady because she was "looking at them". This kind of incident was unknown in Canada in my time. But it is common now. People are alienated and angry and they are lashing out at the wrong targets.”
The Lost Generation
Wendy also observes the same youth alienation in the United Kingdom.
“I see blank ,sullen incivility on the faces of many of the young : disturbing but explainable. They are fed a diet of, to quote REM : 'shiny, happy people' on the telly, who are famous for being famous, and whose fatuous remarks beggar belief. I suspect that the young know, perhaps subliminally, that they have no stake in the present and no expectations of the future : nihilism; anomie and disengagement are the result.”
It is clear that what we are witnessing--- in the so-called affluent societies---- is the emergence of a Lost Generation----alienated, hostile and withdrawn---immersed in a digital technology that has become both their defining trademark and their sanctuary from a world beyond their control. We are witnessing a systems collapse and the unravelling of Euro-American civilization. As Yeats said in his epic poem, “The Second Coming”, the centre cannot hold.
January 26, 2011
The Second Coming
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Illustration source was http://www.connectinghistories.org.uk/Learning%20Packages/Social%20Justice/social_justice_lp_03a.asp
September 23, 2009
Uncontrolled immigration blocks social housing for native-born
New research by Migrationwatch, based on official figures, shows the pressure that uncontrolled immigration has placed – and will place – on social housing.
Speaking at the annual conference of the National Housing Federation in London on September 23, Migrationwatch chairman, Sir Andrew Green, said that in the last ten years, the number of UK born tenants in social housing in the UK has fallen by about 1.2 million while non UK-born tenants have increased by 300,000. As a result, the proportion of foreign born has increased from 7.2% to 11.1% - an increase of 54%.
Migrants who arrived here in the last five years and are not refugees are not yet eligible to apply for social housing but could become so in future years if they are granted settlement. Grants of settlement for non-EEA nationals are running at about 160,000 a year, giving a potential pool of 800,000 although, of course, by no means all will apply.
The rise in the proportion of foreign born in social housing is greater because the supply of social housing has not merely failed to meet the demand in a period of very high immigration, but the stock of social housing has actually fallen over the last ten years.
In England, the number of social housing units has fallen from 4.4 to 3.9 million in the last ten years.
Immigration has added nearly three million to the population of the UK over the same period, mainly in England.
The waiting list for social housing in England has risen by 80% in the six years 2002-8, up to 1.8 million, with a sharp peak in 2003-4. Recent research by the National Housing Federation, published in March, suggests that the waiting list could approach two million in 2011.
Earlier this month the Government announced plans to build 2,000 homes in England – which it described as the biggest social housing building project in England for "over 20 years".
By way of comparison, this would be enough to meet the projected household formation of new immigrants for just over a week.
The pressure on social housing is set to continue:
The population of the UK is growing rapidly - twice as fast as in the 1990's and three times as fast as in the 1980's. By 2028 it is set to reach and then exceed 70 million.
70% of this increase is due to immigration. In other words, unless it is controlled, immigration will add the equivalent of 7 cities the size of Birmingham over the next 20 years or so.
Immigration is the major factor in household formation – 40% or, on average, nearly 2,000 new households a week - and it is the only one that can be influenced by government. Unless immigration is brought under control, we will need to build one home every six minutes for new immigrants for the next 25 years.
Commenting on the research, Sir Andrew said:
`In the debate about housing, immigration is a huge elephant in the room. Pressures on the green belt, the need for more affordable housing, overcrowding – all of these are made worse by large scale, uncontrolled immigration. Unless the next Government makes a clear commitment not to allow the population to hit 70 million, and to build its immigration policies around that commitment, we will need to find the money and space to build seven cities the size of Birmingham in the next 25 years just to house new immigrants. We are sitting on top of a population timebomb. It must be a major priority of the next Government to defuse it.'
Commenting on this press release, Australian population sociologist, Sheila Newman, said,
"These trends are relevant to most English speaking countries since most have inherited from the United Kingdom housing and population and citizenship policies and laws. She said that many English-speaking writers commenting on population growth in anglophone countries remain unaware that on the Continent - western Europe - the roman-based Napoleonic system means that immigration is rarely 'permanent' and housing of all kinds is seen as a social obligation and cost, rather than a private profit industry. This means that in non-anglophone Europe housing is a constraint on population growth."
"It is important for the people in the English speaking settlement countries to realise that there is a much better system elsewhere."
For more on that other system see The Growth Lobby and its Absence, particularly Chapter 7 and the submission to the Productivity Commission's First Home Buyers affordability Inquiry (which quickly covers many different housing systems) which are all available on-line here, plus further discussions such as this one.
The U.K. government is planning to review its immigration policies, in a move likely to make it more difficult for foreigners to become British citizens. The move comes as unemployment is now at a 12-year high and as concerns about terrorism have fueled a surge in protectionist sentiment in the U.K., long one of the world's most open countries. Once-marginal anti-immigration politicians have been gaining ground.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson plant to announce a points system ('PBS') will be modeled after one in use in Australia and introduced last year, that grades workers and students hoping to enter the U.K. on criteria including education, age and need for their skills. Immigration minister Phil Woolas said the scheme would stop the population reaching the 70 million predicted by Whitehall statisticians and bring "control" to the migration system. The number of passports handed out to migrants is on course to hit a record of almost 220,000 this year. Critics in UK say the recent increases to their population, through heavy immigration, are placing a huge burden on public services as hospitals and schools face increased demand but no increases in their budgets.
Traditionally, foreign workers boost both the economies of the countries they work in as well as their home countries. But studies say that the current global economic crisis has sapped much of such cross-border monetary exchanges. The short-term benefits of growth are evident, but the long-term implications are severe.
Other European countries are clamping down on immigration as their economies slow and citizens complain that too many people are being allowed in.
In future migrants to the UK would have to spend five years as temporary residents, before becoming "probationary citizens". Points could also be deducted and citizenship either delayed or withheld for those found breaking the law or engaging in anti-social behaviour.
With record immigration levels to Australia, and so-called "skills shortages" in areas such as hair-dressing and cooks, this system hasn't reduced the number of foreigners entering Australia! Citizenship to Australia is extremely easy to aquire. The "skills shortages" hasn't translated into full employment or increased training courses. HECS and loans are escalating costs for university and now TAFE loans in Victoria and more Australians trying to aquire skills will become casualties of excessive fees.
Assisted by higher birth rates and heightened net overseas migration, Australia added a record 406,000 residents last year. The previous record was 375,000 in the year to June 2007. Bernard Salt: Clusters of growth excite property developers and concern planners. They localise demand for property and intensify demand for infrastructure. Our growth is determined by the property market!
Political lifecyles last until the next election. Australia must try to survive, intact, until at least the next generation and remain "sustainable" after that!
It’s time Australia cut immigration, apart from genuine refugees. Anti-immigration is not racism! It is about having an optimum population plan, a sustainable limit to how our environment, society and economy can equitably cope with the projected number of people.
John Howards "go for growth" mentality, and that record numbers of births implies confidence in the economy, still hasn't been re-evaluated. Developing countries have high birth rates too, to ensure an income in old age!
The points based system is trivial and has done little to reduce our immigration numbers, and legally discriminates against genuine refugees.