The most relevant and/or most incisive articles and video or audio broadcasts will be linked to from this page. Sites that will be linked to include the Russian news services, RT and Sputnik International, the Iranian PressTV news service, the English translation of the independent French Voltaire Net, the English translation of the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the independent Canadian-based Global Research and other independent sites LandDestroyer and PaulCraigRoberts.org.
Watch an old reporter turned politician do a few rounds in the ring with skilled Russian interviewer, Oksana Boyko of RT. Oksana gives him his head initially and he struts predictably, but things get interesting later, particularly on the issue of Australia's role and responsibility for the mess in the Middle East and Syria. (Bob Carr was a recent foreign affairs minister for Australia.) For me, it was fascinating listening to Carr's 'justifications'. Could a grown-up really believe this stuff? Who knows when Western leaders may really be called to account for their removal of order and warmongering in the Middle East. I wonder if this troubles them, if they lie awake at night going over their stories.
Original site of this video is http://rt.com/shows/worlds-apart-oksana-boyko/207171-g20-summit-international-relations/
Comedian Russell Brand condemned Fox News as a "fanatical terrorist propaganda organization" during a heated, 10-minute tirade recorded on video and uploaded to the web this week.
The 39-year-old British stand-up comic-turned-actor is now making headlines for the video footage, which was uploaded to his personal YouTube channel on Tuesday this week under the title: Is Fox News More Dangerous than Isis?
Throughout the duration of the clip, Brand responded with sheer outrage to recent remarks made on-air by Fox host Jeanine Pirro, a former prosecutor, who said during a broadcast of her program last weekend that the United States should bomb Iraq en masse in order to eliminate the growing insurgency there that has cause an international crisis.
"When they do these bombings, it creates more insurgents, that's what creates them," Brand responded. "Don't think of a bomb as going down there and destroying stuff, think of it as like a seed that goes into the ground, and grows insurgents out of it, it creates more terrorism, doing it."
"I think that the mainstream media likes to control the parameters of debate so important ideas never reach mainstream ideology. Because if people knew what was happening, they wouldn't tolerate it; if people knew how exploited they were. Ignorance is a necessary ingredient for oppression," he said.
Real insider information about the surveillance system in the United States, its history and its vulnerabilities. In this excellent interview, Binney is asked by RT's Sophie Shevardnadze of Sophie Co what he thinks will happen to Edward Snowden if he comes home to "man up" as John Kerry suggested, apparently with a straight face. Binney answers by describing what happened to him when he started asking official questions and how he managed to get the FBI to stop harassing him. Video and full transcript inside.
Bill Binney interviewed by Sophie Co about USA surveillance
It’s a year since Edward Snowden first came out with revelations that turned the world upside down. What once sounded like Orwellian conspiracy theory turned out to be true – we all are being watched over by the Big Brother in Washington. Innumerable questions arise. What now? Has something changed 12 months later? Should we forget about privacy and safety when we are online? Sophie asks NSA veteran and whistleblower, the precursor of Snowden, Bill Binney.
Sophie Shevardnadze: I just want to go a little bit backward – before the program was exposed by Edward Snowden, ‘The Stellar Wind’ , there was something called ‘ThinThread’, which you helped create. But it was overlooked in favor of what the NSA has now. Why so, what was wrong with it?
Bill Binney: I think the main problem was that it didn’t cost enough money. In other words it didn’t support a large operation, a large set of contractors, a larger organization. So if it was cheap and efficient, why wasn’t it the thing they wanted to do? They wanted to build an empire, and build an industrial base.
SS: But it also had something to do with privacy of your citizens?
BB: Oh yes, we built-in privacy and capacity to get privacy, not just for US citizens, but everybody in the world, and that was something, I guess, they didn’t particularly care to have. So in other words it was one of the first things they eliminated from that program when they adapted part of it. What that meant was that they now had the capacity to look into all their political enemies internally, in the country, or anybody in the country that they wanted to. So it’s a very useful program for law enforcement in particular, who would be looking at the entire population and see if everybody is doing anything that was illegal, and they could use that data then to go after them. That’s what they’ve been doing.
SS: Alright, so you are saying the internet’s purpose was to monitor what people are doing and so that would be possible to nip out anybody’s life with all the collected data, and you are one of the creators… now, surely you saw the dangers – did you suspect it could be abused?
BB: Yes, and that’s why I’ve built in those protections to make that impossible to happen, and that was the whole idea for encrypting the information that that would identify individuals, and in fact, filter out any data that wasn’t relevant, any targets that you weren’t interested in. So we had a focus to tack in terms of collecting only information that was relevant to targets of interest, and we let everybody in the world go by. Plus, we encrypted all the information about the individuals so that until we had provable cause on them, we did not know their true identities, so that made it impossible to have, say, NSA analysts go in and do the love intelligence, that they are or have been doing at NSA, which is looking at their wives and girlfriends and seeing if they are cheating on them.
Well, you could do that if didn’t encrypt the information and didn’t collect it, or if you collect it and don’t encrypt it. But if you did what we did, which was filter it out right up front and then encrypt any attributes that came through, you could achieve that, and it would be possible for law enforcement to use that data either.
SS: So once you’ve thought it was something awfully wrong with the whole thing, you went through official channels to fight the NSA, and you failed. Now, could you have done the same thing that Snowden did?
BB: Yes, I suppose, I could have, but that’s not the… I, at the time, thought that if I raise these concerns internally, in the intelligence committees and also in the courts or in the Inspector-General’s Office, the Department of Justice or Department of Defense, that those would be addressed, because it’s an obvious violation of our Constitution and constitutional rights of the citizens, all the citizens of the US. That’s what our laws would cover. We didn’t have laws that would cover intelligence operations against foreigners, but we did when we are talking about looking at domestic intelligence. So I thought that by going to those particular points, that would be a way to turn it around.
SS: But Snowden was also saying that he sent a couple of letters to the senior officers and he didn’t get any reaction – seems like you didn’t get any reaction either, right?
BB: Well, yes, we did get a reaction, they sent the FBI at us to intimidate us and otherwise keep us quiet, and also they’ve blacklisted us and things like that, so the entire system attacked us. He saw that too, and I think that was part of the review that he was doing on what happened to whistleblowers before him, that’s what helped him make his decision.
SS: When Snowden went public with the revelations, what did you feel? Was it a relief for you? What did you think to yourself?
BB: Well, I thought there was another whistleblower who was actually taking documentation of the abuses outside of the government, and releasing them publicly, I already basically knew all this staff happening, and that was basically what I was trying to oppose internally, in government channels initially. So he saw that, he saw what happened to us, he saw what happened to Tom Drake and what happened to Chelsea Manning and also Julian Assange, so I think he said to himself, and I think he said this publicly that what helped him make the decision to take documentation of the allegations he was going to make outside of agency and expose them publicly.
SS: But what did you feel as someone who was fighting the same thing he was fighting – he went public with it, he made this known to the world, that everyone is being surveilled. He changed a world in a way, for better or for worse, I don’t know.
BB: Well I think he has exposed the dangers of this mass surveillance, this is the, if you want to call it ‘The Stasi’ on super-steroids, or J. Edgar Hoover on super-steroids, being able to monitor and have leverage and knowledge about everybody’s life in the world. That’s a very powerful set of knowledge to have and to trust to government, to any government, really.
So his whole concept was to show that documentation, and to me, when he showed that documentation, that simply gave me leverage to say “You see, this is what I’ve been talking about,” and now we can point to it in the public domain as direct evidence, and it’s governments evidence, so it’s direct evidence of what the government was doing.
SS: Like you’ve said, we all remember what happened to Chelsea Manning, Snowden is living in an exile… Now do you feel like the harsh punishments will actually stop future whistleblowers from speaking out?
BB: I think that’s exactly what’s happening now, I mean, even when it comes to reports trying to get information from the intelligence officials, they would usually give things off the record to them, or talk to them off the record, they won’t even do that now – because they are afraid of prosecution and persecution by the government. They’ve build in this tactic of fear into all people working for the government, so that they are now afraid to do this and they are intimidated by the government from the things they’ve with Tom Drake and Bradley [Chelsea] Manning, and Julian Assange and others, so they’re showing what they intend to do to you if you become a whistleblower.
SS:People, I guess, they wonder, how come you got away with it, and Snowden didn’t and neither did Bradley Manning. I mean, you got raided and investigated by the FBI, but its nearly not as much as what happened to Manning or Snowden, who is an exile.
BB: Yes. The reason that happened was because they attempted to indict myself plus others, the other whistleblowers from NSA and what we’re doing was fabricating evidence and trumping up a charge of conspiracy and various other charges that they were going to file against us. As part of that process, I also had that material – they probably thought I didn’t, but I had it, because I’ve shared it with other people and got it back from them after they raided us.
That gave me all of the expiatory data and the data that showed malicious prosecution on the part of the Department of Justice. So I made sure they understood that I had all this evidence and if they wanted to court and trial, I would expose them for this malicious prosecution and do a counter-charge against them. So they dropped all those charges at that point. That’s how I stopped them.
SS: So you got lucky. But in his last interview Snowden said that he really wants to go home, like there’s no other place he would rather be, and John Kerry told him to man up and return. But the best-case scenario would be he goes to jail, right? Do you think Snowden could trust the system of Justice, as Kerry said he should?
BB: If he can get a fair trial, yeah.
SS: Do you think he can trust the system?
BB: I don’t believe he’d ever get a fair trial here, no. He can’t trust the system at all.
SS: Why not?
BB: I think what John Kerry was saying, plus other officials in the in the row, because they manipulate things in the court. Because of national security they make it impossible for you to raise evidence, or they make it impossible for you to say things about certain things they were doing – because they claim “national security” or they claim they don’t have standing or some other reason, to keep it out of the court. So you can’t address the real issues. So you can’t get a real fair trial under those conditions.
I will also point out that John Kerry and all the other people in the US government is talking about the accountability, they need to own up to it too, they need to be accountable for their actions of violating our Constitution and rights and privileges under the Constitution to the citizens of the US. They are hiding behind secrecy and lies, and secret interpretations, and secret courts, to build a secret government with secret laws, to cover themselves. That’s what they are doing, and they need to own up to that, and they’re not doing that.
SS: James Clapper from national intelligence called on Snowden to return and expose documents. Do you think he should?
BB: I don’t believe he can. My understanding is that he turned over all those documents to reporters and no longer has them. So I don’t believe that would be possible for him to return them.
SS: But nobody knows how much exactly he took. Snowden said that himself as well. Why was security so vulnerable at the NSA as to allow this?
BB: There is a story behind that. I’ll tell you what the story is. I, basically, proposed that we - back in early 90s, 1992-93, somewhere in there - that we do a program that would monitor all the activity on the network that NSA had anywhere in the world. So we ended up with two opposing camps when we made that proposal. One was the analysts that said “I don’t want you monitoring me and what I’m doing.” They didn’t want anybody looking over their shoulder – basically what they were saying. The other camp was all of the managers in the NSA, because they didn’t want anybody watching what they were doing with the money, because they are playing a shell game with money. They keep moving money from one program to another, to try to prop up failing programs and things like that. But also they didn’t want anybody giving any kind of assessment on return of investment on any of the programs they were running, because they wanted the freedom to do things the way they wanted without any interference.
So given those two camps of opposition, that meant we were absolutely not going to do that kind of monitoring program. And when you didn’t do that, that meant that Snowden, for example, could go on the network, download anything he wanted to, and nobody really was following him. So he could take anything he wanted, and they are still trying, I guess, to find out what he took, because they don’t really know, because they didn’t monitor that log.
SS: Do you know what I never understood? The NSA collects so much information about everything and everybody – what do you guys do with it there? Surely it is just too much to analyze it all, no?
BB: Yeah, see, that’s one of the major problems they are having at that point; it is that by taking all this data, what they are doing is burying their analysts in the mound of massive amounts of data, so that they can’t figure out real threats or anything of significant intelligence. That’s basically why the White House issued their White House Big Data Initiative – I think in early 2012 – which was soliciting companies and private industry to come up with algorithms that would go through the large datasets to try to figure out what was important in that data for people to look at.
Well, that was primarily what we did with our program ‘Thin Thread’. The point was that that was that focus to tack, and that’s really what they are asking for now, because they are beginning to realize that they are buried in data and their analysts are dysfunctional because of it.
SS: Now the latest Snowden leak suggests that NSA is taking facial recognition tech to a whole new level, sorting out images from personal emails, texts, Facebook, even video conferences. Why does the NSA need a massive photo database of people who are just minding their own business? I mean, millions of people who are not representing any threat to anybody or anything.
BB: Well, again, that’s that idea of taking in this bulk acquisition of information, so you have it in case you need it. That’s the point that they are taking. But the real issue was to use it for law enforcement. So if they use it for law enforcement, then it does become useful. That is especially if they can map a picture of you to your name and all your attributes and all your activity. Then that adds that dimension to your profile for the law enforcement people.
SS: Another interesting thing that Snowden said in the interview was that his former colleagues at the NSA were shocked by the agency’s activities once he actually shared his concern with them. Is that something that you also encountered, do people inside the agency really don’t understand what’s going on?
BB: Yes, I think that’s true of a large number of them. Even Ed Loomis, who was one of our co-whistleblowers here, didn’t realize that this domestic spying was going on until just a few years ago. He didn’t realize that this was happening. He basically also didn’t want to believe that, because he thought we wouldn’t do that as a country. But in fact, we are and that is going on, and now he realizes that’s true. But up until just a few years ago, he didn’t believe it.
SS: Now, just a bit more about Snowden. I don’t know if you watched his last interview, but with all this new attention he is getting right now, there is a feeling that Snowden is no longer seen as an enemy only, and according to recent polls most Americans are actually supportive of his revelations about government’s surveillance programs and everything. Could Snowden become a hero figure?
BB: I think he is probably drifting that way anyway in terms of public opinion over here in this country anyway, because what people are looking at after all this materials coming out is that they are now realizing how invasive the surveillance is that the US government is doing on the population here in the US, as well as around the world.
For us, though, it’s a particular invasion, because it is a violation of our 1st, 4th and 5th and even, to a degree, the 6th Amendment to the Constitution. I guess our people are starting to get concerned in it and irritated by it, simply because it is a clear violation of the foundation of our country and the laws that we have through government, and all of our law enforcement, and all of our government officials. The oath of office that they take is to protect and defend that Constitution and they all violated it. In fact, in the Reuters article, which talked about law-enforcement using this material, they said - one of the Federal officers said - “This is such a great program. I hope we can just keep it secret.” Well, having a secret operation in a secret court, making a secret interpretation of laws and doing all of this in secret is not compatible with a democratic republic. That is not compatible with democracy at all, and that’s what the problem the public here in the US is really seeing.
SS: I want to take this issue and broaden it a little bit to international scale, because NSA spying isn’t only a domestic issue. US relations have been hurt with key allies and also with China, for example. They are very strained over this whole spying allegations. We know that both are snooping at each other, we know that. What now? What do you think is next?
BB: It’s hard to tell. I think a lot of this is for public show, but negotiations are going on in secret, part from one to another one country, they’ll show what the difference is. I mean, if they start raising tariffs and things like that, that can show what’s going on behind the scenes, but what they are saying in public is primarily for public consumption.
SS: But just because you know how it works, really quickly, who do you think is doing a better job of spying at each other, or it is pretty much on the same level?
BB: No, I think the US is much better at it than anybody else, simply because they basically own the fiber optic network of the world, or at least 80 percent of it. So that’s like the home-team advantage, giving you advantage of having the access to all of that fiber around the world. It gives you that extra access to information that others don’t have.
SS: Some of the most recent revelations say that NSA plants bugs in technical equipment shipped overseas. Is there a way for the receiving side to actually detect those bugs?
BB: Yeah, certainly you can have technicians go through and look for extra hardware, you can have people scanning the software – it takes a lot to do that, but it is possible to do. You just have to have smart technical people doing it. Only other alternative, by the way, is to buy your own…
SS: Is to buy all your equipment not in America. Too bad Americans are really good at all the technical stuff, and you guys always have all the advanced technologies, so that’s why people are buying it there. That’s a point of advantage for you, but yeah, we’ll make sure to detect the bugs once we receive it over here.
Another thing is that John Chambers, the head of the tech giant Cisco that produces the equipment, asked Obama to stop NSA’s illegal modifying of the company’s products. Do you think he will be heard?
BB: I think, obviously, it’s an economic decision that has to be made by the countries around the world, but I think that that is stimulating others to start up their own businesses as a counter or a competitor to US industry around the world. So I think they all are getting hurt, and I think it was a bad decision on everybody’s part to do this kind of thing, weakening systems and giving back towards the systems, reducing the security of individuals around the world. That basically was, in my view - even the PRISM program participants, or the Telecoms and their participation in the phone network, exchanging the information – was basically a short-sighted decision, that was made without consideration of being exposed to ramifications of that around the world, in terms of business and business transactions.
SS: I know that you’ve also said that NSA is vital to US security, and many people will agree with you. But, is it possible to reform the NSA so that it serves the greater good, or is spying on citizens something inevitable?
BB: I think, to a certain degree, spying is inevitable, but you can certainly control, there are ways and means to do that. We suggested some ways to make that happen, and make it effective, to the President and to Congress, and also to the EU, and it’s published on the web – the recommendations that we made. We made 21 recommendations to that.
SS: Now Obama appointed a review board that criticized the domestic data collection. In March, the president recommended ending the bulk domestic meta-data collection and last week, the House passed a bill to end it – is that an effective step, in reality? Will the NSA abide by it?
BB: I think the moves that have been made so far, is to basically transfer the storage of the information to the telephone companies or to telecoms, and that to me simply means absolutely nothing, it is simply a distributed storage query– in other words, if you are making a query into the database, instead of going to your local storage inside NSA, you’re going to the one at the Telecom. That’s like a distributed network storage like Google does, when you make your Google queries, that gets distributed across eight different storage places, and they give every response from those eight different places, and you get it listed on your computer to look at. So it’s very similar to that. It’s just like distributed storage network – you’re using the Telecom storage instead of NSA storage. I don’t really see any difference here.
A few hundred protesters gathered outside the Ukrainian embassy in Rome on Saturday to protest against the rise of fascism in Ukraine and Europe. The event was organized by well-known journalist Julietto Kieza.
Kieza told Ruptly that he maintains that the "so-called revolution in Euromaidan has been paid straightly by the United States" and that for the first time since World War II, "Nazism reappears in the center of Europe with the aid of the United States."
Demonstrators came out to express a similar view. Protesters held up signs depicting Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko as Hitler, and telling NATO to "go away."
One of the banners said: "No to the Nazi coup d'etat in Ukraine" in Italian.
"Human beings and organisations as a reflection of human beings are not as rational as we think they are. It is a sobering thing and not a welcome fact, but it is like this. Unfortunately, we are not really cartesian animals." (Former Deputy Secretary General of NATO, Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo). Oksana Boyko interviews the former Deputy Secretary General of NATO about the deteriorating relationship between the US and Russia. This interview is far less biased and professional than any you will see in Australia or US mainstream news or interview programs on this subject. Feel free to send in links to any interviews by Australian or US newsmedia that would prove this statement wrong.
NATO and Russia are back to square one after a decade of efforts to build a functional relationship. And with both sides flexing diplomatic and military muscle over Ukraine, the cycle of mutual misunderstanding is perpetuating. Is there a way forward through cooperation, or is open confrontation inevitable? Oksana is joined by Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, the former Deputy Secretary General of NATO, to tackle these issues.
'Defiant of the armed vehicles and sniper rifles pointed at them, residents were filmed approaching the troops to have their say.
“Fascists! Fascists!” the locals chanted, casting insults on the troops and the Kiev government.
Kiev authorities are commonly referred to as the “fascist junta” in the east of the country, because of their takeover of power in February and the government's alliance with nationalists – including the notorious Right Sector radical group.
“What kind of law and order are you bringing here?! We are the f*****g residents of the Donetsk Region, not you!” one man shouted.
Many of the soldiers interviewed by RT stringer Graham Phillips revealed they had come from western Ukrainian
regions, including Lvov and Ivano-Frankovsk. Kiev has been apparently relying on regional and ethnic differences in Ukraine while launching the military action, as a large part of eastern Ukrainian armed forces and police have been unwilling “to fire at our own people.”
The crowd in Kramatorsk grew even angrier as one of the Ukrainian APCs rammed a road sign, bringing it down.
“Get back to Kiev! You are not welcome here! Get out! It is our land!” residents shouted.
The troops could then be seen suddenly mounting the APCs and leaving the area. The crowd rushed to chase them, shouting “Donbass! Donbass! Glory to Donbass!”.
Malcom Fraser was Minister of the Army from 1966 until 1971 as Australia was participating in the war against Vietnam.
He became Prime Minister of Australia as a result of the CIA's coup against the Whitlam Labor Government in 1975 as described in Chapter 40 of The CIA – a forgotten history#fnFraser1" id="txtFraser1">1 (1986) by William Blum. Christopher Boyce about which the movie The Falcon and the Snowman#fnFraser3" id="txtFraser3">3 (1985) was made, observed CIA interference in Australian politics at the same time.
As Prime Minister of Australia from 1975 until 1983 Malcolm Fraser acted as would be expected of a leader who had thus risen to power: He supported corporate interests and enacted anti-union legislation, including the infamous Sections 45D and 45E of the Trade Practices Act#fnFraser2" id="txtFraser2">2. On the international front he continued to support the United States and its allies in wars against popular revolutions.
However, in more recent years, Malcolm Fraser, in contrast to his record as Prime Minister, has spoken out in support of forces resisting imperialist aggression. In September 2013, contrary to what was being said by the mainstream newsmedia, the Government and the 'Labor' Opposition,#fnFraser5" id="txtFraser5">5 he publicly opposed the proxy war by the United States and its allies against the people of Syria.
On 20 March Malcolm Fraser spoke, in a 29 minute interview with Russia Today journalist Oksana Boyko in support of Russia and against the illegitimate extreme right-wing government of Ukraine.#fnFraser4" id="txtFraser4">4 The interview is embedded below.
#fnFraser1" id="fnFraser1">1. #txtFraser1">⇑ This book has since been revised and republished as Killing hope : U.S. military and CIA interventions since World War II (2004).
#fnFraser2" id="fnFraser2">2. #txtFraser2">⇑ For decades until 2013 when the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) effectively picketed workplaces in defiance of this and other anti-union legislation, much of the trade union movement was emasculated by these laws. In 1998, Patricks' Stevedores, with the connivance of then Prime Minister John Howard, sacked its workforce and employed mercenary strikebreakers. The MUA was unable to take industrial action against Patricks without breaking those laws. Only a strong nationwide community campaign by families and supporters of the stevedores and seamen and a secondary boycott by the New Zealand Seafarers' Union (now part of the Maritime Union of New Zealand saved the Maritime Union.
#fnFraser4" id="fnFraser4">4. #txtFraser4">⇑ See also: Pro-War and Pro-Empire: Media's Reporting on Ukraine as Terrible as It Was on Iraq, "Freedom of Speech in Ukraine": Neo-Nazi Svoboda Party MP Threatens Head of Ukraine National TV, PressTV - More Ukrainian cities call for secession vote, John Kerry has a Tactic, Not a Policy, Crisis in Ukraine: Russia Extends its Control over the Black Sea and Strategic Waterways, Land Destroyer: Media War: The Battle for Crimea, Obama Declares a National Emergency: Crimea Self-Determination Constitutes a "Threat To US National Security", Ukraine's Neo-Nazis. Stepan Bandera and the Legacy of World War II, 95.7% of Crimeans Give The Finger To The White House Tyrant -- Paul Craig Roberts, US refuses to recognize Crimean referendum, conducts 'policy of double standards', Putin told Obama that referendum in Crimea fully complies with int'l law, UN Charter - Kremlin, 95.6% of voters in Sevastopol supported Crimea’s accession to Russia, President Putin's Address to Russian Duma Parliament over Crimea.
#fnFraser5" id="fnFraser5">5. #txtFraser5">⇑ An exception is the former Labor Deputy Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, who expressed his support for the people of Syria at a Hands off Syria Gala Dinner on 20 April 2013. See Contendor for Australian Labor Party leadership defends Syria against US-sponsored terrorism.
This article was originally published on Russia Today 16 August 2013 with the disclaimer, "The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT." Whilst on-line news services such as Russia Today Press TV are good sources from which to learn the truth, particularly about the conflict in Syria, which is contrary to what we are fed from the mainstream news media (msm), they unfortunately mirror the msm's political correctness in regard to immigrants and claimed asylum seekers. A substantial number of articles from such news services have reported on the plight of prospective immigrants attempting to enter countries such as Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia, without regard to the already dire economic circumstance of many native inhabitants of those countries, which can only be made worse by the arrival of more immigrants also seeking shelter in a tight housing market and employment where unemployment is already high. This article by Tony Gosling is a welcome change from Russia Today's usual political correctness on the immigration question. A similar viewpoint was recently put by Australian Labor Party MP Kelvin Thomson at the inaugural meeting of Victoria First on 1 December 2013.
Britain's shadow minister for borders and immigration, Labour's Chris Bryant, promised to take on the big corporations this week. But as his embargoed speech was leaked to big business, the nation watched his political resolve melt into nothing.
Friends and corporate funders of the ruling Conservative-led coalition have been sacking thousands of workers. They then market those same jobs to cheaper foreign workers, bringing misery to Labour's traditional working-class supporters.
Frequently those jobs are not even advertised in the UK. Former employees have to re-apply for their old jobs so long as they're prepared to accept worse pay and conditions.
Standing nervously behind the workers directly hit by this practice are millions of other apprehensive wage earners. They can see how this further corrodes what has become an increasingly brutal job market.
It is the dedication of staff, not just how much they're paid, that determines how good a service the public receives. Staff who know they can be sacked at the drop of a hat do what they are told by their managers out of fear, rather than respect. Before long that culture of fear impacts on everything a business touches.
From the voice on the phone, through quality control, to the customer facing staff, as the company's commitment to the employee goes down, so the glue that holds the business together starts to come unstuck.
The figures, of course, look good on paper. Boardroom presentations with those efficiency graphs zigzagging gradually up accompanied by photographs of smiling staff in neatly-pressed uniforms.
But as well-paid lobbyists for these multinationals successfully demand the erosion of employment rights, trust in these cost-cutting companies is undermined. Trust doesn't figure on the balance sheet, but it's the only truly important quality a company has (or doesn't have).
Britain's opposition Labour party immigration minister, Chris Bryant.(Reuters / Luke MacGregor)
Britain's opposition Labour party immigration minister, Chris Bryant.(Reuters / Luke MacGregor)
This is one of the chief reasons why recruitment agency Office Angels found last week that over half of Britons in work want out of their present job, for the first time in decades. Off the balance sheet again: an unhappy company is a bad company.
Practices like these are turning the UK into a "conscript economy". Thirty years of retreat from Labour's 1970s policy of full employment has tipped the balance between employer and employee off the scales, until the employer holds all the cards.
Yet, despite the slump, there seems no let-up in the flood of economic migrants moving to Britain. Last week's net migration figures show that in the year to June 2012, 165,000 people, or nearly 500 a day, moved to the UK.
On New Year's Day 2014, Bulgarians and Romanians too are about to be allowed to work in the UK — boosting the net figure to over 200,000.
This influx is doubly bad, cutting both ways into UK disposable incomes. It helps keep house prices artificially high, and wages artificially low. So Labour has realized that not all critics of immigration are racists and, we are told, is seeing the error of its ways.
Party chiefs, for the first time, have been weighing the rights of the British worker who loses their job against the right of the migrant to work anywhere in the EU. Weighing up, too, the good work an immigrant worker might do, against the cost to the British taxpayer of yet another British family on the dole.
So, for Britain's opposition party, standing up for dwindling employment rights should have been an open goal.
Yes, migrant labor is justified and welcome when a country has full employment but with, for millions, wages not enough to live on and real unemployment hovering around 10 percent, to low-paid workers bringing in migrant labor just drives them further into poverty.
So Labour's Chris Bryant was going to weigh in this week to explain that Her Majesty's Opposition now thought it was wrong. A plea both to the origins of the Labour Party, standing up for the victims of cruel and greedy bosses... and to pragmatism. That it wasn't racist to discourage economic migration.
Reuters / Andrew Winning
"Take the case of Tesco, who recently decided to move their distribution centre...." he was due to say, "...staff at the original site, most of them British, were told that they could only move to the new centre if they took a cut in pay. The result? A large percentage of the staff at the new centre are from the Eastern bloc."
But Tesco's friends in the London media tipped them off with a leaked copy of the speech, so after a call to Labour Party headquarters from Tesco this became:
"Take Tesco. A good employer and an important source of jobs in Britain... Yet when a distribution centre was moved to a new location existing staff said they would have lost out by transferring and the result was a higher proportion of staff from A8 countries... Tesco are clear they have tried to recruit locally."
Rarely do we get the opportunity to see so transparently how meek our politicians have become in the face of corporate lobbying. Tory Tesco effectively rewriting the speech of an opposition politician, no doubt with strong-arming from Labour Party apparatchiks, too.
Bryant's key allegation about the cut in pay disappeared. Instead, Tesco is "a good employer" that has "tried to recruit locally." Dead on the cutting-room floor, too, is another fact that many low-paid UK jobs are not even advertised in Britain any more.
To the tune most of us know as "Oh, Christmas Tree" or "Tannenbaum," Labour Party activists used to traditionally sing "Let's Keep the Red Flag Flying Here" on May Day, which called for a worldwide, worker-managed utopia with no borders. But when the Labour Party is no longer allowed to criticize practices that take food out of children's mouths, throw hard-working people out of a job, and possibly onto the streets, that party may as well pack its bags.
If the present leadership is not purged, Labour may go the whole hog and, as in Greece, show its true blue colors by going into a formal coalition with the big corporations.
Some candobetter readers may be familiar with Melanie Klein's book, The Shock Doctrine, which explored a theory of the impact of the Friedman ideology, in the development of 'disaster capitalism'.
This Milton Friedman ideology is, by the way, the one that the Australian major political parties, the ALP and the Liberal Party, still follow - with privatisation and the market supreme. As Oksan Boyko says, criticism of economic rationalism in elected political circles is a very unusual proposition for the West.
What is more important? Democracy or the interests of the financial markets?
Grimsson notes that it is difficult to find a country more peaceful and secure than Iceland, with a democratic history extending back 1000 years, but when the banks collapsed, the country was faced with riots. He points out that the breakdown of the financial system can threaten democracy: Banks and other economic organs carry an enormous democratic responsibility which has been denied in political economies that give the market primacy.
Should he just surrender to these threats of austerity or let the people decide? He decided to have a referendum - which went against other European states.
There was a very simple truth at the bottom - what is more important? Democracy and the will of the people, or the interests of the financial markets?
The answer was obvious. What is Europe's most important contribution to the world? Not its economic system, but democracy.
Were other European leaders prepared to sacrifice this one thing that justifies governments. Apparently they were.
The tyranny of the financial status quo
Oksan Boyko talks about the "tyranny of the [economic] status quo", asking Grimsson whether he thinks the world has really learned the lessons of the [global financial] crisis and has addressed the underlying reasons?
Grimsson's answer is very interesting, to do with the experiences of Iceland in its resistance to the IMF's demands, which he says were revealed to be illegal. The high officials of the IMF acknowledged that maybe they had learned more from dealing with the Iceland crisis than they expected.
Grimsson also notes that the five Nordic countries in Europe have a combined population of about 20 million and form living experiments that prove that you can have good social welfare but a competitive economy. That you do not have to slash and burn the social fabric as is being done in so many parts of the world. Australia take note; the 5 top democratic economies in Europe have combined a population less than Australia's, but they are more successful and more democratic.
This video was available earlier tonight on RT News on Oksana Boyko's amazing international interview show, but became non-functional. Later it was placed by RT News on Youtube, at the link above, which is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qieVZb4Ml9I. The original link on RT was http://rt.com/shows/worlds-apart-oksana-boyko/iceland-banking-system-crisis-366/
The interview covers a lot from a European perspective that values democracy in the light of still vivid memories of the terror of the second world war. Grimsson talks about the responsibility of politicians to listen to their people. He also says that ordinary people have a much clearer sense of what is important than so-called experts.
Grimsson also discusses the role of the UN and the need to engage Russia and China. Boyko sums up well that he is simply suggesting that all countries be treated as equal.
As the world approaches the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attack of 11 September 2011 (9/11) which destroyed the World Trade Centre Twin Towers and a third tower, the World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC7), Russia Today has released a video, presented by Daniel Bush (pictured), which tells the truth about (9/11). Informed and honest people have for years tried to show that the official US government account of what occurred was impossible. As one of many examples, WTC7 could not have collapsed at free fall speed, if fire alone had been the cause. There is no other way known to engineers to cause the collapse of a steel framed building at free fall speed unless its supporting steel structure had been removed with demolition explosives. Many witnesses have attested to having heard explosions. This is is also confirmed by much of the video footage of the 'collapsing' Twin Towers.
In recent years, PressTV, Russia Today and other newsmedia with integrity, have begun, more and more, to challenge the Official 9/11 lie. This report by a broadcaster with the profile of Russia Today on the eave of the 12th anniversary of 9/11, will make it impossible for the Mainstream presstitute media to continue to conceal the truth of 9/11 from the public.