Wednesday 21st of August 2019

under the surface of news — more on the momentous 2, February 1959, leading eventually to brexit...

busy feb

Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (22 November 1890 – 9 November 1970) was a French general and statesman who led the French Resistance against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946 in order to reestablish democracy in France. In 1958, he came out of retirement when appointed Prime Minister of France by President René Coty. He was asked to rewrite the Constitution of France and founded the Fifth Republic after approval by referendum. He was elected President of France later that year, a position he was reelected to in 1965 and held until his resignation in 1969. He was the dominant figure of France during the Cold War era, and his memory continues to influence French politics. [and Europe's]


Read more:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_de_Gaulle


More on 2 of February 1959… a MAJOR notch in history as recorded by the SMH. Here Dulles is sent to “smooth” Europe discord… Discord? Nothing new. 


John Foster Dulles (February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959) was an American diplomat. A Republican, he served as United States Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world.
He also helped instigate the 1953 Iranian coup d'état and the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état. He favored a strategy of massive retaliation in response to Soviet aggression. He advocated support of the French in their war against the Viet Minh in Indochina but rejected the Geneva Accords that France and the communists agreed to, and instead supported South Vietnam after the Geneva Conference in 1954. [The US Vietnam War followed]...
Dulles resigned from office in 1959 and died later that year. His brother was CIA Director Allen Dulles.

General de Gaulle was a major thorn in the allies' butt — especially the US/UK hegemony who were secretly salivating at the complete "demise" of the French nation. This will be followed by a comment on how GdG managed to get rid of the Americans and also create the French nuclear arsenal, through the SDECE. Since Sarkozy, France has lost its mojo, despite winning the Soccer World Cup IN RUSSIA, under "Emperor Macronleon".


What follows is from Wikipedia on GdG.

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On 21 April 1943, de Gaulle was scheduled to fly in a Wellington bomber to Scotland to inspect the Free French Navy. On take-off, the bomber's tail dropped, and the plane nearly crashed into the airfield's embankment. Only the skill of the pilot, who became aware of the sabotage on takeoff saved them. On inspection, it was found that aeroplane's separator rod had been sabotaged, using acid.
Britain's MI6 investigated the incident, but no one was ever apprehended. Publicly, blame for the incident was cast on German intelligence, however behind closed doors de Gaulle blamed the Western Allies, and later told colleagues that he no longer had confidence in them.

With the Russian forces making more rapid advances into German-held territory than the Allies, there was a sudden public realisation that the Soviet Union was about to dominate large parts of eastern Europe. In fact, at the Cairo and Tehran Conferences in 1943 Britain and America had already agreed to allow Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to fall under the Soviet sphere of influence after the war, with shared influence in Yugoslavia. The UK was to retain hegemony over Greece, although there had been no agreement over Poland, whose eastern territories were already in Soviet hands under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with Germany, and which retained a government in exile in London. De Gaulle had not been invited to any of the 'Big Three' Conferences, although the decisions made by Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt in dividing up Europe were of huge importance to France.

De Gaulle and his Foreign Minister Bidault stated that they were not in favour of a 'Western Bloc' that would be separate from the rest of Europe, and hoped that a resurgent France might be able to act as a 'third force' in Europe to temper the ambitions of the two emerging superpowers, America and Soviet Union.
He began seeking an audience with Stalin to press his 'facing both ways' policy, and finally received an invitation in late 1944. In his memoirs, de Gaulle devoted 24 pages to his visit to the Soviet Union, but a number of writers make the point that his version of events differs significantly from that of the Soviets, of foreign news correspondents, and with their own eye-witness accounts.

De Gaulle wanted access to German coal in the Ruhr as reparations after the war, the left bank of the Rhine to be incorporated into French territory, and for the Oder-Neisse line in Poland to become Germany's official eastern border. De Gaulle began by requesting that France enter into a treaty with the Soviet Union on this basis, but Stalin, who remained in constant contact with Churchill throughout the visit, said that it would be impossible to make such an agreement without the consent of Britain and America. 
He suggested that it might be possible to add France's name to the existing Anglo-Soviet Agreement if they agreed to recognise the Soviet-backed provisional Polish government known as the Lublin Committee as rightful rulers of Poland, but de Gaulle refused on the grounds that this would be 'un-French', as it would mean it being a junior partner in an alliance. During the visit, de Gaulle accompanied the deputy Soviet leader Vyacheslav Molotov on a tour of the former battleground at Stalingrad, where he was deeply moved at the scene of carnage he witnessed and surprised Molotov by referring to "our joint sacrifice".
In the November 1958 elections, de Gaulle and his supporters (initially organised in the Union pour la Nouvelle République-Union Démocratique du Travail, then the Union des Démocrates pour la Vème République, and later still the Union des Démocrates pour la République, UDR) won a comfortable majority. In December, de Gaulle was elected President by the electoral college with 78% of the vote, and inaugurated in January 1959.

De Gaulle oversaw tough economic measures to revitalise the country, including the issuing of a new franc (worth 100 old francs).
Internationally, he rebuffed both the United States and the Soviet Union, pushing for an independent France with its own nuclear weapons, and strongly encouraged a "Free Europe", believing that a confederation of all European nations would restore the past glories of the great European empires.

He set about building Franco-German cooperation as the cornerstone of the European Economic Community (EEC), paying the first state visit to Germany by a French head of state since Napoleon. In January 1963, Germany and France signed a treaty of friendship, the Élysée Treaty. France also reduced its dollar reserves, trading them for gold from the US government, thereby reducing American economic influence abroad.

On 23 November 1959, in a speech in Strasbourg, de Gaulle announced his vision for Europe:

Oui, c'est l'Europe, depuis l'Atlantique jusqu'à l'Oural, c'est toute l'Europe, qui décidera du destin du monde.

("Yes, it is Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, it is the whole of Europe, that will decide the destiny of the world.”)

His expression, "Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals", has often been cited throughout the history of European integration. It became, for the next ten years, a favourite political rallying cry of de Gaulle's. 

His vision stood in contrast to the Atlanticism of the United States and Britain, preferring instead a Europe that would act as a third pole between the United States and the Soviet Union. By including in his ideal of Europe all the territory up to the Urals, de Gaulle was implicitly offering détente to the Soviets. As the last chief of government of the Fourth Republic, de Gaulle made sure that the Treaty of Rome creating the European Economic Community was fully implemented, and that the British project of Free Trade Area was rejected, to the extent that he was sometimes considered as a "Father of Europe”.

As early as April 1954 while out of power, de Gaulle argued that France must have its own nuclear arsenal; at the time nuclear weapons were seen as a national status symbol and a way of maintaining international prestige with a place at the 'top table' of the United Nations. Full-scale research began again in late 1954 when Prime Minister Pierre Mendès France authorized a plan to develop the atomic bomb; large deposits of uranium had been discovered near Limoges in central France, providing the researchers with an unrestricted supply of nuclear fuel. France's independent Force de Frappe (strike force) came into being soon after de Gaulle's election with his authorization for the first nuclear test.

With the cancellation of Blue Streak, the US agreed to supply Britain with its Skybolt and later Polaris weapons systems, and in 1958 the two nations signed the Mutual Defence Agreement forging close links which have seen the US and UK cooperate on nuclear security matters ever since. Although at the time it was still a full member of NATO, France proceeded to develop its own independent nuclear technologies—this would enable it to become a partner in any reprisals and would give it a voice in matters of atomic control.
De Gaulle demanded political parity with Britain and America in NATO, and for its geographic coverage to be extended to include French territories abroad, including Algeria, then experiencing civil war. This was not forthcoming, and so in March 1959 France, citing the need for it to maintain its own independent military strategy, withdrew its Mediterranean Fleet (ALESCMED) from NATO, and a few months later de Gaulle demanded the removal of all US nuclear weapons from French territory.

De Gaulle hosted a superpower summit on 17 May 1960 for arms limitation talks and détente efforts in the wake of the 1960 U-2 incident between United States President Dwight Eisenhower, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, and United Kingdom Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.
De Gaulle's warm relations with Eisenhower were noticed by United States military observers at that time. De Gaulle told Eisenhower: "Obviously you cannot apologize but you must decide how you wish to handle this. I will do everything I can to be helpful without being openly partisan.” 
When Khrushchev condemned the United States U-2 flights, de Gaulle expressed to Khrushchev his disapproval of 18 near-simultaneous secret Soviet satellite overflights of French territory; Khrushchev denied knowledge of the satellite overflights. Lieutenant General Vernon A. Walters wrote that after Khrushchev left, "De Gaulle came over to Eisenhower and took him by the arm. He took me also by the elbow and, taking us a little apart, he said to Eisenhower, 'I do not know what Khrushchev is going to do, nor what is going to happen, but whatever he does, I want you to know that I am with you to the end.' I was astounded at this statement, and Eisenhower was clearly moved by his unexpected expression of unconditional support". General Walters was struck by de Gaulle's "unconditional support" of the United States during that "crucial time”. [what followed was the "Cuban Missile Crisis" and the assassination of JFK]

De Gaulle then tried to revive the talks by inviting all the delegates to another conference at the Élysée Palace to discuss the situation, but the summit ultimately dissolved in the wake of the U-2 incident.

In 1964, de Gaulle visited the Soviet Union, where he hoped to establish France as an alternative influence in the Cold War. De Gaulle always viewed Communism as a passing phenomenon, and never used the term the Soviet Union, always calling it Russia. In his view, Russian national interests rather than Communist ideology determined the decision-making in the Kremlin. Later, he proclaimed a new alliance between the nations, but although Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin later visited Paris, the Soviets clearly did not consider France a superpower and knew that they would remain dependent on the NATO alliance in the event of a war. In 1965, de Gaulle pulled France out of SEATO, the southeast Asian equivalent of NATO and refused to participate in any future NATO maneuvers.
In February 1966, France withdrew from the NATO Military Command Structure, but remained within the organisation. De Gaulle, haunted by the memories of 1940, wanted France to remain the master of the decisions affecting it, unlike in the 1930s, when it had to follow in step with its British ally. He also ordered all foreign military personnel to leave France within a year. 
This latter action was particularly badly received in the US, prompting Dean Rusk, the US Secretary of State, to ask de Gaulle whether the removal of American military personnel was to include exhumation of the 50,000 American war dead buried in French cemeteries.
France, experiencing the disintegration of its colonial empire and severe problems in Algeria, turned towards Europe after Suez Crisis, and to West Germany in particular.
In the years after, the economies of both nations integrated and they led the drive towards European unity.

One of the conditions of Marshall Aid was that the nations' leaders must co-ordinate economic efforts and pool the supply of raw materials. By far the most critical commodities in driving growth were coal and steel. France assumed it would receive large amounts of high-quality German coal from the Ruhr as reparations for the war, but the US refused to allow this, fearing a repetition of the bitterness after the Treaty of Versailles which partly caused World War II.

Under the inspiration of the French statesmen Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman, together with the German leader Konrad Adenauer, the rift between the two nations had begun to heal and along with Italy and the Benelux countries, they formed the European Coal and Steel Community, which following the Treaty of Rome of 1957 became the European Economic Community, also known as the Common Market, launched soon before de Gaulle's return to power.

De Gaulle had not been instrumental in setting up the new organization and, from the start, he opposed efforts by fellow EEC member countries to move toward some form of political integration that, in de Gaulle's thinking, would impinge on the sovereignty of France, both internally and externally. To counter those supranational tendencies that he disparaged, he put forward in 1961 the so-called Fouchet Plan that maintained all decision-making powers in the hands of governments, reducing the projected European parliamentary assembly to a mere consultative assembly. 
As expected, the plan was rejected by France's partners. In July 1965 de Gaulle provoked a major six-month crisis when he ordered the boycott of EEC institutions (Empty chair crisis) until his demands – the withdrawal of a European Commission proposal to reinforce the community institutions to the detriment of national sovereignty, and the acceptance of France's proposal regarding the financing of the newly established Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) – were met with the Luxembourg compromise.

De Gaulle, who in spite of recent history admired Germany and spoke excellent German, as well as English, established a good relationship with the aging West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer—culminating in the Elysee Treaty in 1963—and in the first few years of the Common Market, France's industrial exports to the other five members tripled and its farm export almost quadrupled. The franc became a solid, stable currency for the first time in half a century, and the economy mostly boomed. 
Adenauer however, all too aware of the importance of American support in Europe, gently distanced himself from the general's more extreme ideas, wanting no suggestion that any new European community would in any sense challenge or set itself at odds with the US. In Adenauer's eyes, the support of the US was more important than any question of European prestige.
Adenauer was also anxious to reassure Britain that nothing was being done behind its back and was quick to inform British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan of any new developments.

Great Britain initially declined to join the Common Market, preferring to remain with another organisation known as the European Free Trade Area, mostly consisting of the northern European countries and Portugal. 
By the late 1950s German and French living standards began to exceed those in Britain, and the government of Harold Macmillan, realising that the EEC was a stronger trading bloc than EFTA, began negotiations to join.

De Gaulle vetoed the British application to join the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1963, famously uttering the single word 'non' into the television cameras at the critical moment, a statement used to sum up French opposition towards Britain for many years afterwards.
Macmillan said afterwards that he always believed that de Gaulle would prevent Britain joining, but thought he would do it quietly, behind the scenes. He later complained privately that "all our plans are in tatters".

American President John F. Kennedy urged de Gaulle to accept the United Kingdom in the EEC, stating that a Europe without Great Britain would create a situation in which the United States were bearing the enormous costs of Europe's protection without any voice. 
He threatened de Gaulle to withdraw American troops from European soil, but de Gaulle knew that the United States would lose the Cold War if they were to leave Europe. It encouraged de Gaulle to see Great Britain as America's "Trojan Horse".
In January 1964, France was the first among the Western powers to open diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC) which was established in 1949 and which was isolated on the international scene.

By recognizing Mao Zedong's government, de Gaulle signaled to both Washington and Moscow that France intended to deploy an independent foreign policy.

The move was criticized in the United States as it seemed to seriously damage US policy of containment in Asia. De Gaulle justified this action by "the weight of evidence and reason", considering that China's demographic weight and geographic extent put it in a position to have a global leading role.

De Gaulle also used this opportunity to arouse rivalry between the USSR and China, a policy that was followed several years later by Henry Kissinger's "triangular diplomacy" which also aimed to create a Sino-Soviet split.

France established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China – the first step towards formal recognition without first severing links with the Republic of China (Taiwan), led by Chiang Kai-shek. Hitherto the PRC had insisted that all nations abide by a "one China" condition, and at first it was unclear how the matter would be settled.

However, the agreement to exchange ambassadors was subject to a delay of three months and in February, Chiang Kai-shek resolved the problem by cutting off diplomatic relations with France.

Eight years later, US President Richard Nixon visited the PRC and began normalising relations—a policy which was confirmed in the Shanghai Communiqué of 28 February 1972.

As part of a European tour, Nixon visited France in 1969.

He and de Gaulle both shared the same non-Wilsonian approach to world affairs, believing in nations and their relative strengths, rather than in ideologies, international organisations, or multilateral agreements. De Gaulle is famously known for calling the UN the pejorative "le Machin" ("the thingamajig”)

During the autumn of 1964, de Gaulle embarked on a grueling 20,000-mile trek across Latin America despite being a month away from his 75th birthday, a recent operation for prostate cancer, and concerns over security. He had visited Mexico the previous year and spoke, in Spanish, to the Mexican people on the eve of their celebrations of their independence at the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City. During his new 26-day visit, he was again keen to gain both cultural and economic influence. He spoke constantly of his resentment of US influence in Latin America—"that some states should establish a power of political or economic direction outside their own borders". Yet France could provide no investment or aid to match that from Washington.

In the Bretton Woods system put in place in 1944, US dollars were convertible to gold. In France, it was called "America's exorbitant privilege" as it resulted in an "asymmetric financial system" where foreigners "see themselves supporting American living standards and subsidizing American multinationals". As American economist Barry Eichengreen summarized: "It costs only a few cents for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to produce a $100 bill, but other countries had to pony up $100 of actual goods in order to obtain one”. 

In February 1965 President Charles de Gaulle announced his intention to exchange its US dollar reserves for gold at the official exchange rate. He sent the French Navy across the Atlantic to pick up the French reserve of gold and was followed by several countries. As it resulted in considerably reducing US gold stock and US economic influence, it led US President Richard Nixon to unilaterally end the convertibility of the dollar to gold on 15 August 1971 (the "Nixon Shock"). This was meant to be a temporary measure but the dollar became permanently a floating fiat money and in October 1976, the US government officially changed the definition of the dollar; references to gold were removed from statutes.

During the establishment of the European Community, de Gaulle helped precipitate one of the greatest crises in the history of the EEC, the Empty Chair Crisis. It involved the financing of the Common Agricultural Policy, but almost more importantly the use of qualified majority voting in the EC (as opposed to unanimity). In June 1965, after France and the other five members could not agree, de Gaulle withdrew France's representatives from the EC. Their absence left the organisation essentially unable to run its affairs until the Luxembourg compromise was reached in January 1966.

De Gaulle succeeded in influencing the decision-making mechanism written into the Treaty of Rome by insisting on solidarity founded on mutual understanding. He vetoed Britain's entry into the EEC a second time, in June 1967.

De Gaulle resigned the presidency at noon, 28 April 1969, following the rejection of his proposed reform of the Senate and local governments in a nationwide referendum. In an eight-minute televised speech two days before the referendum, De Gaulle warned that if he was "disavowed" by a majority of the voters, he would resign his office immediately. This ultimatum, coupled with increased de Gaulle fatigue among the French, convinced many that this was an opportunity to be rid of the 78-year-old general and the reform package was rejected. Two months later Georges Pompidou was elected as his successor.

De Gaulle retired once again to his beloved nine-acre country estate, La Boisserie (the woodland glade), in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, 120 miles southeast of Paris. There the General, who often described old age as a "shipwreck,” continued his memoirs, dictated to his secretary from notes. To visitors, de Gaulle said, "I will finish three books, if God grants me life." The Renewal, the first of three planned volumes to be called Memoirs of Hope, was quickly finished and immediately became the fastest seller in French publishing history.


Note from Gus: the main factor that led to the resignation of de Gaulle was his decision to involve the French SDECE (secret service) — that had served him extraordinary well while negotiating the repayment of the Marshall loan plan — to spy on some “French people” on the French territory. This was rejected by one of the main French spy who was then exposed as a spy by being charge with the murder of Ben Barka. Country leaders and their secret services have to work hand in hand as much as possible. The disfunction that we are witnesses in the USA at present is mostly due to the US “intelligence” agencies having been involved in some major porkies to suit certain Presidents and Presidential candidates, that eventually CLASHED. 


Trump is correct in not “trusting” the US agencies, which for what it's worth, are feeding a mad media frenzy in regard to Russia and Putin.

a short history of the sdece...

Death of Marcel Le Roy-Finville, secret agent involved in the Ben Barka affair
June 03, 2009

Marcel Le Roy said Finville, French secret agent implicated in the Ben Barka case, died Friday at the age of 89, announced Wednesday his family in Le Figaro.

Le Roy-Finville had headed one of the most secret sections of the Foreign Documentation and Counterintelligence Service (SDECE), Service 7, in charge of burglary operations to acquire documents of all kinds, often by opening embassies mail and diplomatic bags, without being detected.


Accused of the disappearance of Mehdi Ben Barka, leader of the Moroccan opposition kidnapped in Paris on October 29, 1965  — with the complicity of the French police, Finville was suspended from his post in January 1966.

The investigation had established that seventeen days before the abduction of Ben Barka, Commander Le Roy Finville had knowledge of the plot and did not inform his superiors, nor did he do anything to thwart the plans of the kidnappers.

Detained for nearly four months at La Santé (Paris central prison), on the charge of "non-denunciation of crime", he was acquitted in June 1967. His sacking from the SDECE was confirmed by the Conseil d'Etat in August 1972.

A mysterious character, extremely secret by professional necessity, Le Roy Finville had always injuncted being photographed. During the court case,
 the hunter "without a face” was now hunted by press photographers whom he threatened to “bash up” should they break his injunction on revealing his face.

Marcel Le Roy-Finville was a Knight of the Legion of Honour, a Medalist of the Resistance and a recipient of the Croix de Guerre 1939-45.
http://www.jeuneafrique.com/depeches/113597/politique/deces-de-marcel-le-roy-finville-agent-secret-implique-dans-laffaire-ben-barka/

Translation/adaptation by Jules Letambour

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The Ben Barka affair: 51 years after the events, the truth is still feared

• 02 Nov 2016  • ALEX ANFRUNS

By the end of the 1960s, the badly named Cold War was in full swing. On this backdrop, the national liberation wars in Vietnam and Mozambique, the anti-apartheid resistance in South Africa, the military coups in Brazil and later in Indonesia, were also major issues… To reverse a current that was still favouring the neocolonial order, three great leaders — Che Guevara, Mehdi Ben Barka and Amílcar Cabral — thought to organise a convergence of struggles on a tricontinental scale. 

They thought that revolutionary movements, political parties and even guerrillas  — from Latin America, Africa and Asia — should exchange their experiences and strategies in their resistance against imperialism. These three visionary leaders paid with their lives for their struggles, together with the "wretched of the Earth". 
Half a century after their disappearance, their hopes for a less unequal world remain more relevant than ever. To better understand his father’s ideals, we have interviewed Bachir Ben Barka, who still works to uncover the responsible parties in the Ben Barka “affair”.
Interview conducted by Alex Anfruns & Philippe Stroot. 

Mr. Ben Barka, 51 years on, what exactly is known about the disappearance of your father, Mehdi Ben Barka, in Paris on October 29th 1965?

 
Not much. We know that he was stopped by two policemen in front of brasserie Lipp, in boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris, that he went into a service vehicle, that inside this vehicle a French service agent and a mobster were present together with the two policemen. He was taken to a villa in the outskirts of Paris, close to Orly, in Fontenay-le-Vicomte, that belonged to a notorious gangster, and there his trail disappears, nobody knows what happened to him.

Plenty of stories have been told, plenty of theories have been floated, but for us he disappeared on October 29, 1965, in front of brasserie Lipp at half past noon. Obviously we cannot question his death, his assassination, but 50 years later there are still questions to be answered. How was he murdered? Who were the killers? Where is his body?

We do not have a place to gather and mourn. And then there is also the question that interests and troubles us as citizens : have all the responsibilities been established? Some have been. But all the criminal – and even political – responsibilities are yet to be determined. Over the course of 51 years, the goal of our research, undertaken by my family and their lawyer Mr. Butin, has always been to uncover the truth about the death of my father.

 
Who would be interested in getting rid of the internationalist militant that he was?

 
Your question already has the answer. Because he was an internationalist militant, he troubled certain interests. What we know is that the main political decision to arrange for his disappearance came from the very highest levels of the Moroccan state. The execution of this plan was charged to interior minister Oufkir, to the head of the national security agency Dlimi and his agents.


The convergence of parties, interested in Mehdi Ben Barka’s disappearance is illustrated by the collaborations that were requested in order to make him disappear. The French secret service, the Israeli secret service, as well as, with no doubt whatsoever, the United States secret service, in one way or another played their part in organizing the trap in which my father fell, causing him to be kidnapped and disappeared.

 
When commenting on the disappearance of Ben Barka, General de Gaulle said:  «
Nothing, absolutely nothing, suggests that intelligence services and the police had any knowledge of this operation, let alone that they were part of a cover-up ». Was this dishonest from General de Gaulle ?

 
In these words there is plenty of dishonesty, a lot of comedy, but mainly a desire to protect the state. De Gaulle became aware of the magnitude of the scandal, the extent of the dysfunction that was plaguing the secret service and certain levers of the French state, which allowed a foreign secret service, Moroccan
[?] in this case, to carry out such a crime on French soil.


https://www.investigaction.net/en/the-ben-barka-affair-51-years-after-the-events-the-truth-is-still-feared/


Adaptation by Gus

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In the last paragraph of his memoirs, SDECE, Section 7, Le Roy Finville says: 

Nobody wants to know, but this affair is haunting me. It has nothing to do with me. I am doing well again and I have adapted to my new life as as a real businessman. My turmoil is not because of the “boite”’s [SDECE] deeds. I feel far removed from this ancient hubris. But this is my need to know the truth. I want to know from whom came the fatal blow that killed a man [Le Roy Finville] and his service [section 7], possibly destroying the entire service [SDECE] and shook an entire nation in the process. I will carry on searching and find the culprits.

Translation by Jules Letambour

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Le Roy Finville never found who “disappeared" Ben Barka, nor did he ever find who frame him with this “affair". Was it a blow from within his own service or did external forces do the deed? Mossad? CIA?
Le Roy Finville was the leader of the MOST EFFICIENT secret service sections in the world. He strongly suspected he had been exposed by some of his jealous colleague or management as he had categorically refused to spy on the French people. 
For Gus, the way the whole thing unravelled smells a tad of a CIA/MI6/Mossad double cross, designed to destroy the French Secret Service that had been far too efficient in feeding de Gaulle with DOCUMENTED truths about the way the USA/UK/Israel leaders were “behaving badly” — or "about to behave badly”, in relation to Europe and France. Through this accurate information, General de Gaulle knew their every move and could outsmart the USA and the UK most of the time.
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Publisher Presses de la Cité, Marcel Le Roy and Philippe Bernert, co-authors of the book SDECE Service 7, are charged with defamation, on April 8, [1981] before the criminal chamber of Paris (17th district), at the request of Mr. Tristan Richard, introduced in the book, "SDECE Service 7", as Colonel Richard, head of the Arab section of the French secret services, in relation to the demise of Moroccan opposition leader Mehdi Ben Barka.

Mr. Marcel Le Roy, known as Finville, former head of service at the SDECE "retired” (dismissed) from service with full pension in March 1967, claimed that his superiors, including Colonels Beaumont, Delseny and Richard, did not take into serious consideration his warning memos of May and September 1965 on what was brewing around Ben Barka. The Moroccan opposition leader was later on kidnapped in Paris, in October 1965.

Mr. Tristan Richard believes that the pages devoted to him undermine his honour and his patriotic dedication by describing him "as a military personnel who did not seek to investigate anything”.



Translation by Jules Letambour

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By 1986, The Rainbow Warrior Case was a dispute between New Zealand and France that arose in the aftermath of the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior. It was arbitrated by UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar and became a significant case in the subject of International Law for its implications on State responsibility.

On 10 July 1985 an undercover operation conducted by the French military security service (DGSE) had sunk the Dutch-registered Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior berthed in Auckland Harbour, killing a Dutch photographer, Fernando Pereira. The Greenpeace ship was planning to disrupt French Nuclear tests on the islands of French Polynesia. New Zealand subsequently caught and convicted two members of the French secret services.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Warrior_Case


—————————————


At this stage it is tempting to say that there were double-agents in the other sections of the French secret service (SDECE). It is basically impossible to eliminated double-agents in any spy organisations, as these are often controlled and used to release false information. 

The first MAJOR difference between Section 7 of the SDECE and any other spy organisations of the time is that the collection of information was done by precise dedicated specialists in their field of expertise — plumbers, locksmiths, safe-crackers, artists, tailors, engineers, photographers, commercial pilots, taxi drivers, truck drivers, all trained in the art of "invisibility" etc — rather than by military personnel. This brought an enormous amount of flexibility to its black ops, but also an operational “independence”, akin to the “French resistance” that was resented by the others, the more militarised plodding services. The second difference was that it was extraordinarily successful in its daring enterprises to provide DOCUMENTS. 

Eventually, despite the secrecy and invisibility, there can happen some enterprise failures that can give a hint to other spy agencies such as the CIA or Mossad a whiff of what the “French were up to”. 

We have already exposed some of the dirty tricks of Section 7 in this exposé. See: http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/34144


Furthermore, the Americans resented to having had to use U-2 planes over the Soviet Union and being caught at it. This event had been the result of an agreement between the CIA and the SDECE gone "bad".

The French had the only foreign airline allowed to fly over Russia in the 1950s. Its pilots had been trained in the art of spy photography and discreet deviation from allowed corridor. The USA had provided special cameras and special film that could only be developed in the USA. The information and all the photographs had to be shared between the SDECE and the CIA. 

But the Americans did not supply the SDECE with all the information collected. Suspecting the Yanks had been cheating, Section 7 chemists found a way to process the films in France and sent unprocessed duplicates to the US. The US as usual only sent back a portion of photographs to "share"... The French thus knew they were short changed. Their pilots were taking risks, and the Americans were cheating. The agreement ceased acrimoniously and the US started the U-2 program. By then the Soviets could down these planes.

--------------------------------

The court case in regard to Ben Barka, brought Le Roy Finville's identity “to the surface” and destroyed his career. Le Roy Finville saw that he had no choice but to expose all the tricks his service had used in the past, in his “memoirs”, published in 1981.

The Ben Barka affair and the Le Roy Finville's memoirs brought the SDECE to its knee (It also was a factor in the end of de Gaulle's presidency). The SDECE agency was thus placed under the control of the French ministry of defence and restructured in 1981, eventually acquiring its current name (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure, DGSE) in April 1982. It became a full “military” outfit. The professional of section 7 were sidelined.

By 1985, the new service had to prove it could do black ops again, akin to Section 7, but failed miserably in Auckland Harbour. It was back to the drawing board.

Meanwhile the CIA, MI6 and Mossad were "laughing" at the amateur status of the new French secret service, while they were very active in more disinformation about the intent of their respective countries.

Then came the age of computers and satellites. This was a game changer: new analysts had to be more than plumbers. They had to be computing experts, and most of the collection of information had to be done by algorithms. 

Yet, like on the "Saddam has weapons of mass destruction" disinformation, good old double-cross lies were stacked upon in each other, were woven like spider webs and disseminated through the propaganda of the main stream media. 

These days, the connectivity of the Internet has helped in the creation of "Citizen Journalists", people who are not paid, but who are aware of the bullshit, while others "Citizens" are used by the authorities to spread the bullshit, the hatred, the disinformation, the sexist remarks and "fake news". To say the least, there is an enormous amount of confusion and conflicting information out there.

The one thing we unfortunately can be sure of is, unless we do our own research through our own polymath expertise — being plumbers, locksmiths, safe-crackers, artists, tailors, engineers, photographers, commercial pilots, taxi drivers, truck drivers, as well, all trained in the art of "invisibility" and spying — we can only be doubtful of any information that come from the official channels. 


There are many serious journalists/analysts who can readily expose the contradictions in the "official" explanations from the UK, the USA and France. We are grateful. Yet these journalists/analysts are tainted by not being able to expose the cons — by publishing in the main stream media. They have to do it either independently or via the voices of other countries, such as RT and Sputnik that are Russian Government outlets. At this level, this has upset the information apple cart, because such outlets do not have to lie, while the Western MSM has to cover lies with more lies. 

This is only the beginning. Trump knows that he lies, that the CIA lies and that Mueller lies. Yet Trump is having the time of his life... This pisses off all the other liars... Meanwhile democracy is like a sausage made with half-fat and half sawdust... Brexit a-cometh.

 

Picture at top from old SMH newspapers in Gus' collection of old crap.

 

Read from top.

 

See also: 

the news — february 2, 1959... regard yourselves, gentlemen, as victors in this war...

an own goal...

The art of Brexit: an own goal. 



General de Gaulle secretly thought that the UK was run by a bunch of grubby grocers with their finger on the scale as they jovially sold offals for the price of premium cuts.

The USA for General de Gaulle was a country of gun-ho cowboys who made you accept the worst deal of crap under threat of being shot — or hanged. 

There were some diplomatic worthy subtleties woven in these states of affairs but once distilled to their optimum, this hubris was what France and Europe was facing: Rabid Anglo-Saxon opportunism versus glorious principled nation building. This was why General de Gaulle said niet to the Brits trying to enter Europe once they saw the common market as more efficient than their little “free trade”. The Poms were pragmatic. Pragmatism is a honourable description of highway robbery.

So Cameron giving the chance to people to have a protest vote about Europe was like an own goal. The UK government had no choice but to follow suit. Cameron resigned to let someone else muck about with the ball. Then the reality struck. Brexit is like a sirupy earthquake followed by the sticky eruption of the Vesuvius. One does not know where all the gooey cinders are going to fall and time is running out. Theresa May is doing her best to fudge, using handbrake and accelerator at the same time, while the others pollies, like "mad" Boris, now out of her government were trying hard to sink SS UK — to let know to the Europeans that we Brits are stoic, eccentric, brave and stiffupperlipped — and that Brexit is a grand victory to our self-importance.

The major problem is one does not know really who has been in favour or not, at the echelons of the psychos who rule the worldy roost. We know about the Farages and the other smelly fromages, but who has manipulated public opinions beyond the average democratic delusions in the countryside? 

For example, having a foot in both camp, often doing the US bidding to undermine Europe, the UK was a thorn in the side of Europe. Mind you Europe is excellent at undermining itself with regulations, rules, decrees and laws that are so confused that nobody really knows what this is all about, not even the bureaucrats who devise the description of the English sausage. 

"Yes Minister" showed how much the ideals of well-meaning dudes were turned over into crap by the pragmatism of inaction — or by elegant reactionary hubris. Progressiveness is achieved by engaging the reverse gear, foot on the brakes and driving by looking in the rear-view mirror.

Here one should see the secret hands of the Americans, telling on one hand that Brexit was bad for you and on the other hand rubbing it singularly (can you hear the sound of one hand clapping?) because this is causing MAJOR headaches for their competitors, such as Airbus. Sanctions on Iran are adding further headaches for US competitors such as… Airbus. Can you see where I am going with this? 

So May is caught with the Irish conundrum. Ireland being a nation of the EU and Northern Ireland being a UK dependancy. Tariffs and customs would divide the two sides — far more than the Orange and the Catholics ever did, especially for a nation of grocers, where profit margins mean happiness.

And time is running out to salvage the furniture… Despite being nice, I believe the Europeans don’t mind seeing the sore butts of the Poms leaving them to ride into the sunset. But they are polite about it.

Airbus? They can make some other arrangements in Toulouse...

GL

brexit briefly explained...

It was in 1969 that the green light was given to negotiations for British membership. The United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community on 1 January 1973 with Denmark and Ireland. This was controversial at the time. 


This “opportunity" was mostly due to the “retirement” of General de Gaulle (read from top)...
The Labour party initially sought renegotiation of membership. This was toned down to requiring a referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain in the EEC Community. The referendum was held in 1975 with a 67% vote in favour of continued membership.  
The United Kingdom's membership of the European Union had contributed to higher incomes, stopped British economic decline started during the 1950s and had increased trade and reduced trade costs.
All of the major political parties and the mainstream press supported continuing membership of the EC. However, there were significant divides within the ruling Labour Party. Seven of the 23 cabinet ministers were opposed to EC membership with Harold Wilson suspending the constitutional convention of Cabinet collective responsibility to allow those ministers to publicly campaign against the government.

"Do you think the UK should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?" Every administrative county and region in the UK returned majority "Yes" votes, apart from the Shetland Islands and the Outer Hebrides. With a turnout of just under 65%, the outcome of the vote was 67.2% in favour of staying in, and the United Kingdom remained a member of the EC.
Adapted from :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_European_Union–United_King...

But by keeping the pound, the UK created a deliberate headache for Europe…
In 1979, the United Kingdom opted out of the newly formed European Monetary System(EMS), which was the precursor to the creation of the euro currency.

This was a MAJOR NO-NO for the USA. The EuroDollar could overtake the US Dollar if one was not careful. The US did EVERYTHING  it could to demonise the up-and-coming new currency by "secretly" advising the UK to hang on the the Pound. Note that Europe has twice the population of the USA.

The opposition Labour Party campaigned in the 1983 general election on a commitment to withdraw from the EC without a referendum. It was heavily defeated; the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher was re-elected. The Labour Party subsequently changed its policy.

In 1985, the United Kingdom ratified the Single European Act—the first major revision to the Treaty of Rome — without a referendum, with the full support of the Thatcher government.

In October 1990 — despite the deep reservations of Margaret Thatcher, who was under pressure from her senior ministers — the United Kingdom joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), with the pound sterling pegged to the deutschmark.

Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister in November 1990, amid internal divisions within the Conservative Party that arose partly from her increasingly Eurosceptic views. The United Kingdom was forced to withdraw from the ERM in September 1992, after the pound sterling came under pressure from currency speculators (an episode known as Black Wednesday). The resulting cost to UK taxpayers was estimated to be in excess of £3 billion.

As a result of the Maastricht Treaty, the European Communities became the European Union on 1 November 1993. The new name reflected the evolution of the organisation from an economic union into a political union (contrarily to General de Gaulle's wishes).

Confused, the "British Social Attitudes" (BSA) surveys showed an increase in euroscepticism from 38% (1993) to 65% (2015). Euroscepticism should however not be misunderstood for the wish to leave the EU: the BSA survey for the period July–November 2015 shows that 60% backed the option "continue as an EU member", and only 30% backed the option to "withdraw".


But in all of this one needs to know why such opinions are held… and who maintains these various opinions through the media and its foghorns. Who in Europe would have wanted the UK out of Europe? Russia? France? France could not care less... Did Russia manipulate public opinion in the UK? Here is the MAJOR answer:


29 june 2016

Rupert Murdoch has called Britain’s vote to leave the EU “wonderful” and described Donald Trump as a “very able man”.

In his first public comments since last week’s historic referendum vote, the owner of newspapers including the Times, Sun and Wall Street Journal said leaving the EU was like a “prison break … we’re out” and suggested that a UK-US trade deal wouldn’t take long to negotiate.

Long seen as Eurosceptic, Murdoch kept quiet in the referendum campaign while his biggest-selling UK paper, the Sun, took a passionately anti-EU stance.

At an invitation-only business summit hosted yesterday by the Times, which like many of its readers backed remain, Murdoch extolled the virtues of the Brexit vote and the campaign itself.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jun/28/rupert-murdoch-brexit-wond...


Meanwhile:

A campaign to secure a second Brexit referendum within a year and save the UK from “immense damage” is to be launched in days, the philanthropist and financier George Soros has announced.

The billionaire founder of the Open Society Foundation said the prospect of the UK’s prolonged divorce from Brussels could help persuade the British public by a “convincing margin” that EU membership was in their interests.

In a speech on Tuesday ahead of the launch of the Best for Britain campaign – said to have already attracted millions of pounds in donations – Soros suggested to an audience in Paris that changing the minds of Britons would be in keeping with “revolutionary times”
.

Read more:
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/may/29/george-soros-drastic-ac...


If you have not worked out yet who pulls the strings of your pants, then you are nor worth of salvaging from the mud.

The spirit of Dulles (see image at top) has not saved the huge barney between Napoleon/Charlemagne and Liz the First… Still going on and the Murdoch views seem to prevail...

worse than the spray-tanned abomination will come...

Why is Europe full of hate for Donald Trump?

Is it, perhaps, because millions could soon die in yet another of the senseless and horrible wars unleashed by the Western empire? Or is it because Europeans suddenly ‘saw the light’ and realized that they mistreated billions of innocent people throughout history; that actually all people on Earth are equal and should be left alone and be allowed to live their lives as they please?

Far from that; unfortunately, very far!

Most of the Europeans simply hate Trump because he had enough of the status quo, of what could be objectively described as sneaky and sleazy games.

Mr. Trump sees collaboration with Europe as an extremely bad business.

Not that President Trump is a saint himself. Of course, he isn’t. He is a businessman – a very ruthless one, and in the past very daring and very successful. He has already managed to break the backs of hundreds of people, and now he would not hesitate to run hundreds of countries to the ground, if they’d dare to stand in his way. When he sees that someone is trying to take advantage of him (or of the company he was allowed to manage – the United States of America), he knows perfectly well from where the stench comes, as he has been spoiling the air himself, all throughout his colorful career.

*

The main reason why Europeans are so disgusted with Donald Trump, is because, in their eyes, he is impolite, simply rude. He does not show any respect for the Western civilization; he simply doesn’t care. He snaps at everyone – Europe, Japan, China, Mexico. It is even hard to call him a racist – he seems to hate everybody, sometimes at different times, or simultaneously.

The “Old continent” likes it dandy and smooth. It adores well-mannered people who behave, no matter what their color of the skin is, precisely like Europeans.

You see, if Mr. Trump was acting as an ordinary U.S. president from the upper class, perhaps like Mr. Obama or Bill Clinton were acting just very recently, there would be absolutely no outrage and no protests in London or Berlin. Some 10 million corpses in the Democratic Republic of Congo did not outrage European masses, as long as they got plenty of coltan for their mobile phones, and enough uranium for the NATO nukes.

Millions of corpses in Iraq, Libya and Syria – it mattered very little to bon vivants in Italy, France, or Greece. As long as the gentleman in charge of the world order was polite, as long as he knew how to respect the cradle of Western ‘civilization’ – Europe – there was no reason to worry.

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/07/21/donald-trump-despised-by-europe-desp...

 

Meanwhile:

... But when he’s gone, the rot will remain. The same rot that led Barack Obama to partner with Saudi Arabia in one of the most ghastly atrocities of this ghastly century — the murderous slaughter in Yemen. (Still ongoing under Trump today.) The same rot that saw Obama signing off on death lists in his office every Tuesday of “suspects” (including American citizens) to be murdered without charges, trial or warning. The same rot that saw Hillary Clinton exulting with laughter at the rape and murder of a foreign leader after his country had fallen to radical extremists and slave-dealers. The same rot that led Obama to go to the CIA (yes, the now-holy agency) in the first days of his presidency and tell them that none of them would ever be prosecuted for brutally torturing people under Bush. The same rot that saw our progressive politicians bail out the frauds who had destroyed the global economy while letting millions of people go under. The same rot that saw the progressive president wildly accelerate the militarization of city police forces begun under his war criminal predecessor, George Bush. The same rot that has seen our bipartisan neoliberal elite working hand in hand to destroy the middle class, the working class and the poor in favor of the super-rich. The same rot that sees the US spending ever-increasing amounts of public money on out-of-control, world-spanning military adventurism while the lives, opportunities and the infrastructure of ordinary American citizens literally fall to pieces. 

Get rid of Trump — hell, get rid of the loathsome Putin — and all of that rot will still be here. And if we don’t deal with that — as well as dealing with Trump — then nothing will really change. And something even worse than the spray-tanned abomination will almost certainly be coming down the line.

 

Read more:

http://www.chris-floyd.com/home/articles/echoes-past-and-future-helsinki...

 

Read from top...

 

See also:

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/34412

before brexit, there was stuff up europe...

 

At top, somewhere I mentioned the show "Yes Minister". John got the clip:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37iHSwA1SwE

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvYuoWyk8iU

 

Read from top... And should you watch the second clip, see also:

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/9296

 

Now the UK is planning not to pay the bill for "Brexit", should they not be allowed to "stay" (trade advantageously) in Europe, while not being in Europe (basically the same thing as up to now with the Pound)... If you are confused, READ FROM TOP.

 

Read:

https://www.scmp.com/news/world/europe/article/2156321/raab-uk-will-not-pay-brexit-bill-without-trade-deal

 

Time for the Europeans to throw the Poms out.

the cost of divorce...

Radio Sputnik discussed the negotiations between London and Brussels with Robert Ackrill, professor of European economics and policy at Nottingham Trent University.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has defended her Brexit plan and urged for stepping up negotiations with the EU. She said that the white paper sets out a proposal for an unprecedented economic and security partnership that is in the mutual interests of the UK and the EU. May called for the pace of negotiations to be stepped up, saying “we both know the clock is ticking, let's get on with it.” The news comes as the UK’s new Brexit secretary said that Britain will refuse to pay its 39 billion divorce bill if the EU fails to agree on a new trade deal.

Sputnik: When it comes to legal matters, is the UK obliged to pay billions of dollars to the EU for Brexit, or is this part of a deal between the two sides that would include a free trade agreement with the bloc in return? What’s your feeling about it?

Robert Ackrill: The basic approach to the negotiations that is very much framing all debate is that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. So in a sense, it’s slightly disingenuous to highlight just two elements, but I think this is partly Dominic Raab speaking to his particular constituency back in the UK to try and give the impression as the new Brexit secretary that he’s taking a strong line. The truth is that the legal status of the Article 50 obligations over the divorce bill are a little bit ambiguous, but there seems to be general agreement that some money is due, but the ambiguity results in these very widely ranging suggestions as to what this divorce bill might actually be. But those are effectively just part of the negotiations.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201807241066628998-uk-eu-brexit-negotia...

 

Read from top.

brexit soup...

Khrushchev’s logic and democracy as a zero sum game

With the kind of homespun logic for which he was famous, and which never failed to cut through the fog of theoretical obfuscations spouted by ideologues for whom reality is often a foreign land, Nikita Khrushchev once sagely opined that “you can’t make soup out of an idea.”  Yet if the former Soviet premier dared offered this opinion to proponents of a ‘hard Brexit’ today he would be accused of attempting to betray the will of the British people, of subverting democracy - of being a shill for Brussels.

Regardless, Khrushchev’s words do more to place in perspective the most far reaching political crisis to engulf Westminster since the Second World War than any of the ideologically-heavy but reality-light arguments that have been swirling around Brexit since the British people, by a small majority proportionate to turnout, elected to leave the EU in the referendum that was held on the question back in 2016.  

It reminds us that when democracy lapses into a zero sum game of winner-take-all it becomes a tyranny of the majority, attacking the bonds of social cohesion that are essential to stability – without this kind of stability nothing exists, including democracy. Just ask people in Russia, those who went through the hell of the 1990s, if democracy should be regarded as an end rather than the means to an end. Ask them if you can make soup out of an idea.

Stability threatened and time to take stock

Taking stability – economic, political, social – for granted is a sure fire ticket to perdition. And perdition is precisely where the UK is headed going by the recent announcement that the government has put in place contingency plans in the event of a no deal-Brexit – a so-called hard Brexit involving zero formal trading or economic relationship with the EU – which include the stockpiling of food and medicines, with the army placed on standby to help deliver emergency supplies in the event.

When things reach this point it is time, surely, to take stock.

Yet, instead, those who adhere to a hard Brexit have, if anything, only grown more zealous in their adherence as the clock runs down towards the country’s official departure from the EU in March 2019 – almost as if intent on proving they’re tough enough to go o’er that cliff without a parachute.

Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Jacob Rees-Mogg: these are the commanders of what has taken on the character of a ‘hard Brexit Taliban’, a motley crew of privileged and pampered born-to-rule Tories, who by some perverse mangling of the English language are now posing as champions of the people and guardians of democracy, holding fast to the 2016 EU referendum result like fundamentalists on steroids.

Surveying this motley crew, Albert Camus’ lapidary admonition – “The welfare of the people has always been the alibi of tyrants.” – appears in sharp focus. And lest anyone harbour doubt, if and when the economic shock promised by a hard Brexit materialises, the aforementioned Tory knaves, men of means all, will be fine as they are. They will certainly be more fine than any of the estimated 3 million people whose jobs are dependent on some kind of economic relationship with the EU come March 2019.

Referendums as blunt instruments

Brexit confirms that referendums are blunt instruments when it comes to deciding on matters of irreversible import, and thus should only ever be used in situations of extremis – i.e. Crimea in response to a vicious right-wing coup depriving its people of their legitimate democratic rights – or if not in a situation of extremis, such as Scottish independence or Brexit, they should come with a high threshold set for a majority vote, say of around 70-75%, before the result can be considered legitimate.

The reason such a threshold is crucial is because in the case of both Scottish independence and Brexit, the potential impact of a Yes vote on stability and cohesion demands it. A slim or small majority in favour on either issue cannot possibly satisfy those on the other side of the result, the losing side, that the purposes of democracy have been served. In other words, the decision to fundamentally alter the country and society’s economic, political and constitutional future has to be taken with sufficient support to provide it with a mandate reflective of the scale of that change.

In fact, returning to Brexit, with 62% of voters in Scotland electing to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum, along with 56% in Ireland, it is arguable that the result has taken a scalpel to democracy rather than facilitate it.

Former Prime Minister, David Cameron, the man responsible for this political and soon to be economic crisis – who blithely sanctioned the referendum not in the best interests of the country but instead with the objective of silencing the feral anti-Europe backbench ranks within his own party - should be chastised for all eternity and shunned by decent company forevermore. The product of the most expensive and elite education that money can buy, he is a prime example of a man who is too smart for his own good and too stupid for everyone else’s.

Anger pointed in the wrong direction

The anger that fuelled Brexit across post-industrial Britain, on the part of a working class that has suffered grievously under successive Tory governments with their attachment to the verities of austerity, is more than justifiable. However this anger was pointed in the wrong direction, as neither migrants nor Brussels is responsible for their plight.

In fact, and in truth, the plight of the poor and the working class in a country in which child poverty, pensioner poverty, homelessness and destitution is now more redolent of a 19th century dystopia than a mature and civilised society in the 21st, is down to the anti-people economic model, known otherwise as neoliberalism.

It is an economic model which emanated from the US not the EU, and is one to which the British ruling and political class has been more committed to maintaining and upholding than any other ruling and political class in the West, with the arguable inclusion of its US counterpart.

Better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie, and the truth of Brexit is that the cure is manifestly worse than the disease. It has elevated charlatanism and demoted integrity, rendering British society more polarised, divided, and stricken with anger and bigotry than at any time since the 1930s. It has wrought confusion and sown enmity, unleashing a carnival of reaction and xenophobia.

Add to the fact that according to the latest poll, undertaken by YouGov, 70% of people in Britain believe that the Brexit negotiations between May’s government and the EU are going badly, and the need for a rethink is clear.

The UK needs a second referendum and it needs one now.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/434734-brexit-uk-referendum-eu/

 

Europe should ask that the UK abandoned the Pound Sterling should it wished to stay in Europe. As well, Europe should demand that the UK abandoned its allegiance to the Five Eyes "intelligence" system. Meanwhile, the Europeans might do a deal on the fat content of the English sausage...

 

napoleon would be laughing in his mausoleum...

Desperate times call for desperate measures and new UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt invoked Vladimir Putin’s apparent joy to warn against a ‘hard Brexit,’ as the UK increasingly risks dropping out of the EU without a trade deal.

“Frankly, if we end up with no deal, the only person rejoicing will be [Russian President] Vladimir Putin," Hunt stated on French radio in his first major European visit since taking over from Boris Johnson earlier in July.

In what is seemingly the latest ‘hard-Brexit warning,’ Hunt went on to say that no-deal is “the last thing we want,” before advocating for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit white paper, that includes a free trade area between the EU and UK.

Talking on French radio network, France Inter, Hunt attempted to woo his hosts, stating: “We see our destiny, our economic destiny, our diplomatic destiny, our strategic destiny, as being close to Europe.”

In a sign that he is fit for the role recently vacated by gaffe-prone Johnson, Hunt, while on an official visit to China, told his counterparts that his wife was ‘Japanese’ – she is Chinese. Britain’s top diplomat was at least on point when he quickly said “that’s a terrible mistake to make.”

Newspaper editors, who were sad to see the back of headline-generating machine BoJo, can rest easy knowing that his boots will be well-filled.

Hunt, who in his previous role as health secretary oversaw the worst winter crisis in the NHS’ recorded history, might need to do more than scaremonger over Russia to get the soft-Brexit he desires.

The ‘blame Putin’ mantra has been used ad infinitum by Remainers. Moscow was blamed initially for Brexit, supposedly using social media to influence the result. Those were accusations which were soon denied by tech giants; a YouTube exec telling a parliamentary committee inquiry into fake news that “no evidence of interference” was found, while Facebook told the same committee that a grand total of 97p was spent by Russia’s Internet Research Agency on referendum-related ads.

As fears of a no-deal Brexit increase, it seems the government is getting its excuses in early over who’s to blame.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/uk/434831-hunt-putin-brexit-hard/

 

Read from top...

secession from the european union


Secession from the European Union


by Thierry Meyssan


For Thierry Meyssan, the way in which Germany and France are refusing the right of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union demonstrates the fact that the EU is not simply a straight-jacket - it also goes to show that the Europeans still care as little about their neighbours as they did during the two World Wars. Manifestly, they have forgotten that governing a country means more than simply defending its interests in the short term, but also thinking in the long term and avoiding conflicts with its neighbours.

The member states of the European Union seem unaware of the clouds that are gathering above their heads. They have identified the most serious problems of the EU, but are treating them with nonchalance, and fail to understand what the British secession (Brexit) implies. They are slowly sinking into a crisis which may only be resolved by violence.

The origin of the problem

During the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the members of the European Community accepted to bow to the decisions of the United States and to integrate the states of Central Europe, even though these states did not correspond in any way to the logical criteria of adhesion. With this momentum, they adopted the Maastricht Treaty, which transformed the European project of economic coordination between European States into that of a supra-national State. The idea was to create a vast political bloc which, under the military protection of the United States, was intended to engage with the USA on the road to prosperity.

This super-State has nothing democratic about it. It is administered by a collegiate of senior civil servants, the Commission, whose members are designated one at a time by the heads of state and government. Never before in History has an Empire functioned in this way. Very quickly, the paritarian model of the Commission spawned a gigantic paritarian bureaucracy in which some states are « more equal than others ».

This supra-national project turned out to be inadaptable to a unipolar world. The European Community sprang from the the civil chapter of the Marshall plan - NATO being the military chapter. The Western European bourgeoisies, frightened by the Soviet model, had been supporting the European Community since the Congress convened by Winston Churchill in The Hague in 1948. However, after the disappearance of the USSR, they no longer had any interest in continuing along this road.

The ex-States of the Warsaw Pact could not decide whether to engage in the Union or form a direct alliance with the United States. For example, Poland bought US war planes which it used in Iraq with the money granted by the Union for the modernisation of its agriculture.

Apart from the development of police and legal cooperation, the Maastricht Treaty created a single currency and foreign policy. All the member states were obliged to adopt the Euro as soon as their national economy would allow it. Only Denmark and the United Kingdom, catching the scent of impending problems, stayed out of it. As for the foreign policy, it seemed to make sense in a unipolar world dominated by the United States.

Taking into account the differences within the Euro zone, the small fry were destined to become the prey of the biggest of the sharks, Germany. The single currency which, at the moment it was put into circulation, had been adjusted to the dollar, transformed itself progressively into an internationalised version of the German Mark. Incapable of competing, Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain were symbolically qualified as PIGS by the financiers. While Berlin pillaged their economies, it offered Athens a restoration of its wealth - if Greece would hand over a part of its territory.

It so happened that the European Union, while pursuing its global economic growth, was overtaken by other states whose economic growth was several times faster. While adhesion to the European Union was an advantage for the ex-members of the Warsaw Pact, it had become a millstone for the Western Europeans.

Drawing lessons from this failure, the United Kingdom decided to retire from the super-State (Brexit) in order to reconnect with its historic allies from the Commonwealth and, if possible, with China. The Commission panicked, fearing that the British example would open the door for other departures, for the maintenance of the Common Market but the end of the Union. It therefore decided to set conditions which would be dissuasive for leavers.

The internal problems of the United Kingdom

Since the European Union serves the interests of the rich at the expense of the poor, the British workers and rural citizens voted to leave, while the tertiary sector voted to stay.

Although British society, like other European countries, has an upper middle class which owes its enrichment to the European Union, unlike the other great European countries, it also has a powerful aristocracy. Before the Second World War, this class enjoyed all the advantages offered by the European Union, but also a prosperity that it can no longer expect from Brussels. The aristocracy therefore decided to vote for the Brexit against the upper middle class, which sparked a crisis within the ruling class.

Finally, the choice of Theresa May as Prime Minister was intended to preserve the interests of people from all walks of life (« Global Britain »). But things did not go as intended. 
- First of all, Mrs. May was unable to conclude a preferential agreement with China, and experienced difficulties with the Commonwealth, with whom the bonds had been loosened over time. 
- Next, she encountered problems with the Scottish and Irish minorities, particularly since her majority includes Irish Protestants who cling to their privileges. 
- Besides that, she ran into the blind intransigence of Berlin and Brussels. 
- Finally, she will have to face up to challenges and questions about the « special relationship » which links her country to the United States.

The problem revealed by the application of the Brexit

After having tried in vain several readjustments of the treaties, the United Kingdom democratically voted for the Brexit on 23 June 2016. The upper middle class, who did not believe this could happen, immediately attempted to invalidate their choice. There was talk about organising a second referendum, as had been done in Denmark for the Maastricht Treaty. This did not seem possible, so a distinction was made between a « hard Brexit » (without new agreements with the EU) and a « soft Brexit » (with the maintenance of various pre-existing agreements). The Press claimed that the Brexit would be an economic catastrophe for the British people. In reality, studies carried out before the referendum, and therefore before this debate, all attest that the first two years after the British exit from the Union would be recessive, but that the United Kingdom would quickly recover and overtake the Union. The opposition to the result of the referendum – and therefore opposition to the popular vote – managed to hinder its application. The notification of the British exit was delivered by the government to the Commission with a delay of nine months, on 29 March 2017.

On 14 November 2018 – two years and four months after the referendum - Theresa May capitulated and accepted an unfavourable agreement with the European Commission. However, when she presented this deal to her government, seven of her ministers resigned, including the minister in charge of the Brexit. Clearly he had overlooked the elements of the text that the Prime Minister had assigned to him.

This document includes a disposition which is absolutely unacceptable for a sovereign state, whatever it may be. It institutes an unstated period of transition, during which the United Kingdom will no longer be considered as a member of the Union, but will nonetheless be obliged to follow its rules, including those which are still to be adopted.

Behind this devious plot hide Germany and France.

As soon as the result of the British referendum was known, Germany realised that the Brexit would provoke the loss of several tens of billions of Euros from its own GDP. Merkel’s government therefore got busy – not at adapting its own economy, but at sabotaging the United Kingdom’s departure from the Union.

As for French President Emmanuel Macron, he represents the European upper middle class, and is therefore by nature opposed to the Brexit.

The men behind the politicians

Chancellor Merkel knew she could count on the President of the Union, Polish Donald Tusk. In fact this man is not at his current post because he is the ex-Prime Minister of his country, but for two different reasons – during the Cold War, his family, members of the Cachoube minority, chose the United States over the Soviet Union, and besides that, Tusk is a childhood friend of Angela Merkel.

Tusk began by questioning British engagement in the multi-annual programmes adopted by the Union. If London were to pay the sums to which it had agreed, it would not be able to leave the Union without paying an exit tax of between 55 and 60 billion pounds.

French ex- minister and commissioner Michel Barnier was nominated as head negotiator for dealings with the United Kingdom. Barnier had already stirred up a number of solid enmities in the City, which he treated badly during the crisis of 2008. Furthermore, British financiers dream of handling the convertibility of the Chinese yuan into Euros.

Barnier accepted to take the German Sabine Wey as his assistant. It is in reality Ms. Wey who is leading the negotiations, tasked with the mission of guaranteeing their failure.

At the same time, the man who « made » the career of Emmanuel Macron, ex-head of the Inspectorate General of Finances, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, was named as the French ambassador in London. He is a friend of Barnier, with whom he handled the financial crisis of 2008. To kill the Brexit, Jouyet is relying on the Conservative leader of the opposition to Theresa May, the President of the Foreign Affairs Committee to the House of Commons, Colonel Tom Tugendhat.

Jouyet chose Tugendshat’s wife Anissia Tugendhat as his assistant at the French embassy in London. She is a graduate of the elite École Nationale d’Administration.

The crisis came to a head during the the summit of the European Council in Salzbourg, in September 2018. Theresa May presented the consensus that she had managed to establish in her country, and that many others would be well advised to use as an example – the Chequers plan (to maintain only the Common Market ties between the two entities, but not the free circulation of citizens, services and capital, and no longer to be ruled by Luxembourg’s European administrative and legal system). Donald Tusk brutally rejected this plan.

At this point, we have to take a step back. The agreements that put an end to the revolt of the IRA against English colonialism did not resolve the causes of the conflict. Peace was only found because the European Union allowed the abrogation of the frontier between the two Irelands. Tusk demanded that in order to prevent the resurgence of this war of national liberation, Northern Ireland be maintained in the Union’s Customs sector. This implies the creation of a frontier controlled by the Union, cutting the United Kingdom in two, and separating Northern Ireland from the rest of the country.

During the second session of the Council, before the heads of state and government, Tusk slammed the door in Mrs. May’s face, leaving her alone. A public humiliation which could not remain without consequence.


Reflections on secession from the European Union

All this fiddling attests to the skill of the European leaders at political sleight of hand. They appear to respect the rules of impartiality, and to take their decisions collectively with the sole aim of serving the general interest (even though this declared motive is refuted only by the British). In reality, certain of these leaders defend the interests of their country to the detriment of their partners, while others defend the interests of their social class to the detriment of everybody else. The worst is obviously the threat brought to bear on the United Kingdom – it must submit to the economic conditions of Brussels, or there will be another instalment of the war of Independence in Northern Ireland.

Such behaviour can only lead to the re-awakening of the intra-European conflicts which triggered two World Wars - conflicts that the Union has masked within its own territory, but which remain unresolved and persist outside of the Union.

Conscious that they are playing with fire, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel suddenly evoked the creation of a common army which would include the United Kingdom. It is true, of course, that if the three major European powers should agree to form a military alliance, the problem would be resolved. But this alliance is impossible, because it is unfeasible to build an army without first deciding who will command it.

The authoritarianism of the supra-national State has swelled to the point where, during the negotiations on the Brexit, it created three other fronts. The Commission opened two procedures for sanctions to be instituted against Poland and Hungary, (at the request of the European Parliament), accused of systemic violations of the values of the Union - procedures whose objective is to place these two states in the same situation as the United Kingdom during the period of transition – being constrained to respect the rules of the Union without having any say in their determination. Besides which, hampered by the reforms currently under way in Italy which are working against its ideology, the supra-national State refuses to allow Rome the right to build a budget in order to implement its own politics.

The Common Market of the European Community enabled the establishment of peace in Western Europe. Its successor, the European Union, is destroying this inheritance, and is setting its own members one against the other.

Thierry Meyssan

Translation 
Pete Kimberley

 

Read more:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article203998.html

 

 

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The main ingredient in this discord is not the EU/UK break up, but the USA that have been playing various secret games into making sure that the EU does not rise above the status of vassal —subservience to the USA. Even Donald is playing the game with Nato one day, Nato the next. The entry of the UK into the EU was a mistake, which General de Gaulle fought against till about 1969 (CdG saw Great Britain as America's "Trojan Horse"). The General understood the weight of history and the deceptions that came with it.

 

See also: 

worried...

dreaming of a compassionate UK...

British Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly urged that the "national interest" is at stake over her Brexit plan. She is calling for businesses and politicians to rally around safeguarding ordinary people's jobs and livelihoods - and to back her draft divorce deal with the European Union. A parliamentary vote is due in the coming weeks.

However, the timing of a shocking report on British poverty by the United Nations makes May's appeals rather hollow, and it sounds an alarm about the dire direction the country is headed.

Professor Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur, spent two weeks visiting diverse communities across Britain, and his report on growing poverty makes a damning case against the economic policies of present and past Conservative governments.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201811201069965303-brexit-uk-theresa-...

 

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continental conflagration...


Frank Lee Reviews The Left Case Against the EU by Costas Lapavitsas

 

 

Britain, in the shape of Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath, initially joined the EEC in 1973, after Charles de Gaulle’s resignation in 1969. De Gaulle had always been opposed to the Anglo-Saxon axis, regarding the UK as a ‘Trojan Horse’ for US geopolitical objectives, and consistently blocked the UK’s attempted entry into continental Europe. According to DG Britain ‘was not European enough’. With the General out of the way the path was clear for British entry.

However, this was not an altogether popular move with much of the electorate and some quite solid opposition from elements in both main political parties. This being the case the then Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, opted for a referendum on continued membership in 1975 to settle the issue. The electorate voted ‘Yes’ by 67.2% to 32.8% to stay in Europe. As I recall I voted ‘Yes’ and even wrote a pamphlet in support entitled: “EU the unfinished project.”

However, I was then blissfully unaware that the project which I had in mind bore little resemblance to the real strategy of the EU architects. At that time the neo-liberal counter-revolution was still in its infancy and did not really get into its stride until the 1980s. Prior to this there was an interregnum between the ending of the post-war settlement in 1975 and the emergence of the new world order. During this interlude it was still possible to believe in the independence of Europe, national sovereignty, the welfare state and a settlement where an independent social-democratic Europe stood as a bridge between the harsh realities of both American capitalism/imperialism and Soviet Communism.

Alas today the social-democratic, welfare-capitalism consensus is gone, probably forever, to be replaced by the brutal reality of an off-the-leash juggernaut which gives no quarter. Europe is now essentially an occupied zone. An American controlled political/economic/military bloc effectively corralled by NATO as well as other US puppet-facade institutions such as the IMF, WTO and World Bank. And the irony of all this is that the Europeans are not even aware of it.

In Western Europe many have come to accept without challenge the primal role of the US over the affairs of their states and give little thought to NATO except as a foundation to their security architecture. They have been raised and socialised as this as part of their world. In many instances it is not only a normal part of the status quo for them, but it is also invisible for them. This is why the post-Cold war continuation of the Atlantic Alliance went mostly unchallenged at the societal level in NATO member states, leaving the US to slowly consolidate its influence in each and every state.” [1

Thus, from the outset there was no question of an independent European foreign and economic policy. US interests and strategy dictated that Europe was to play the role of a forward base to counter the putative ‘Soviet threat’. This has all been detailed in the literature including such as Operation Gladio, Lifting the Veil and more recently Gekaufte Journalisten (Bought Journalists). Such was the geopolitical aspect of this American occupation. But Europe – now expanded to include almost all of the former Eastern European satellites and ex-Soviet republics – bought and paid for – were incorporated into the ongoing expansion of the NATO-EU bloc.

Turning to the book itself. In terms of methodology Mr Lapavitsas tends to keep to the economic developments occurring since the Treaty of Rome in 1956. This is made clear from the outset. ‘ … military and foreign policy issues will not be considered in this book.’ Given the magnitude and scope of recent events and given that the book is only 150 pages, this seems a judicious approach.

To say the EU has reached what could be a terminal crisis seems a quite feasible judgement; in fact, the process seems well underway.

The ideological authority of the EU has shrivelled, its democratic credentials have been devalued, its moral standing has taken a series of blows, and its unity has cracked. In 2016, following a bitterly contested referendum, Britain decided to leave. Moreover, rising right-wing authoritarian parties in several other countries have begun to impose a direct challenge to the very existence of the EU.” [2]

How different this seems to those halcyon days of Euro triumphalism ushered in to the strains of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and ‘Ode to Joy’ when the great EU experiment was hailed as the new civilization. Surely nothing could go wrong? But it did.

The EU monstrosity started life as the seemingly innocent Treaty of Rome established in 1957; this initially incorporating West Germany, France, Italy and the Benelux countries which ultimately grew into a larger and more ambitious grouping. This was more than simply a free trade area as its proponents openly stated. In a speech in Zurich back in 1946 no less a person than Winston Churchill, for one, had spoken of the need to create a “European Family” or a “United States of Europe” to ensure peace in Europe.

The first step along this road was to implement the Schuman Plan, the brainchild of French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman who wanted to create a single body to control the production of steel and coal in France and West Germany, and any other European country who wanted to be a member. And so, the show was to get on the road. After Britain’s accession further members were to join the club.

By 2013 almost the whole of Eastern and Western Europe had become members with the exception of Russia (of course) Switzerland, Turkey, Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia, some Balkan states. Ominously enough many if not most of these states were or were to become full members of NATO. In addition, after the Lisbon Treaty of 2009, EU security policy was aligned with that of NATO. The EU and NATO had become joined at the hip – under US leadership (i.e., control).

A critical event was to take place in the EU in 1992, namely the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, and this was to prove pivotal in the future direction in the grand EU Project.

This treaty was the fruit of long negotiation and debate and its most important was the creation of a future common currency – the euro; it also reasserted the 4 freedoms of the EU, which were already stipulated in the original Treaty of Rome in 1957, namely the free movement of goods, the free movement of capital, the free establishment and provision of services, and the free movement of persons.” [3]

In policy terms this was of course unsullied neo-liberalism. (The only thing missing being the euro – that would come later.)The programme involved the surrender of sovereignty such that nations no longer had control of movements of capital in and out of their country, could not therefore control exchange rate movements, could not control the level of imports or exports, and could not control levels of labour movement. Capital was free to do virtually as it liked with practically no restraints. Governments were to withdraw from attempting to control market forces and leave the economy to central banks who could only control money supply.[4] The liberal virus had crossed the pond and the EU was headed in the direction of Americanization through neo-liberalism and the social philosophy of competitive individualism.

However, fitting a mosaic of sovereign states with different cultures, languages, institutions and wide differentials of economic development was never going to be practicable, and so it turned out. The EU area is not an optimal currency zone and never was. And a one currency, one-interest-rate for all states does not allow for these divergences. As Lapavitsas explains:

First it would be impossible for member states to apply domestic policies favouring particular industries or economic sectors by fixing the prices of inputs, outputs or labour. Second, member states would not be able to adopt an independent monetary policy, and indeed the union would have to form its own central bank. Third, it would be much more difficult for member states to intervene and control economic activity by regulating the quality of goods and work practices. Fourth, the methods of raising tax would become much more homogeneous to prevent the outflow of capital from one members state to another.” [5

The free movement of capital or liberalization of capital account, which in plain English simply means that states must open up their borders – whether they are in a position to do so or not – to inflows and outflows of foreign capital. Such inflows of capital are not necessarily Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) or other forms of productive financing; much of these capital flows are simply speculative investment or ‘hot money’ usually targeting, property, currencies, or stocks and which have caused mayhem in the developing world. The East Asian crisis of 1997-98 was victim to this visitation which caused havoc to their economies stands as a prime example. In passing it should be noted that China bucked the trend and did not allow ‘hot money’ incursions into its economy and was not affected since it had very strong capital controls.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, we then had the Stability & Growth Pact in 1997. This was, to borrow a term from Max Weber, another lock on the Iron Cage of European Monetary Union (EMU). Briefly stated this arrangement was aimed at framing an alignment of fiscal and monetary policies (‘sound money’) among members of the EU. The SGP meant that members should adhere to strict fiscal discipline which would be enforced and maintained within the EMU. A fiscal policy target for every EU country to stay within the limits on government deficit was stipulated at a budgetary deficit 3% of GDP and sovereign debt-to-GDP ratio 60% of GDP.

Well, in practice not even the French or Germans could manage that, so they just ignored it. The policy itself resulted, ironically, in no-growth and instability. We were back in the days of inter-war period, of Montagu Norman at the Bank of England and what Keynes called the ‘Treasury View’. Back in the days of Secretary of the US Treasury Department, Andrew Mellon, who served Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover as Treasury secretary and who enjoined them during the onset of the great depression to: “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate.” In short: Stone Age economics

The final nail in the coffin was of course the introduction of the euro. The single currency was launched in January 1999 and was to put final lock on the Iron Cage. Any pretence of a group of equal nations pooling sovereignty was forgotten as one particular nation gradually assumed a quasi-hegemonic status, to wit: Germany. Within the Eurozone there were countries of unequal economic development. If all of these countries were using the euro, those with the highest levels of productivity and lowest costs would start to run a trade surplus whilst those countries low productivity and high costs would run trade deficits.

The gap between the core states Germany, Holland and the Scandanavian/Nordic bloc grew as were in effect using an undervalued currency whilst the southern periphery – Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Greece were using an overvalued currency. In the normal course of events such imbalances are rectified by currency adjustments – devaluation or revaluation. But that would require different national currencies, but unfortunately there was only one currency. This meant that the deficit countries would be forced into what became known as ‘internal devaluation’ more commonly understood as austerity. In addition to this has been the lack of fiscal transfers from the more developed to the less developed or one state to another.

Fiscal transfers within sovereign states, from Vermont to Louisiana or Surrey to Merseyside, or the North to the South of Italy, is quite normal, but fiscal transfers between sovereign states between, say, Finland and Greece, is more problematic. In the same spirit:

…the lack of mutualization of public debt, i.e., allowing the debt of one-member state to be considered as an obligation of another and proposed to correct it through the issue of Eurobonds’’ … But ‘’The members of the EU have neither the legitimacy nor the desire to carry the costs and burdens of each other’s actions. This is not in the least surprising since among a group of sovereign states that rest on capitalist relations in their domestic economy and society.” [6]

In any event the whole notion of cost sharing was vetoed by the Germans.

Moving on to the centrality of Germany and German economic policy in this shifting economic montage, Lapavitsas draws attention to the gradual increasing dominance of what is the de facto European economic powerhouse. It was perhaps inevitable that Germany would – in economic terms at least – become the regional hegemon in this continental configuration. After all,

…it had a and globally competitive industrial base, pivoting on automobiles, chemicals and machine tools. Its exports enabled it to command vast surpluses on current account thus providing the wherewithal to lend globally.” [7]

Whether this Teutonic pre-eminence was a conscious policy choice on the part of Germany, or merely a policy-drift due to the internal structure of Germany’s post-war policy configuration seems debatable. Germany had certainly bucked the Anglo-American trend of de-industrialisation and financialization which had become de rigueur internationally as a result of the putative ‘efficiency’ of the Anglo-American model. Germany had not deindustrialised, had a smallish stock market compared with other developed states, eschewed as far as possible a system of equity funding and maintained a traditional reliance on bank funding for industry since long term relations were easier to develop among corporations and banks and the internal structure of corporations is not driven by the desire to placate stock markets. Moreover, the German banking system had a multitiered and competitively structured organization which included a raft of smaller and medium sized banks, the Sparkassen, which operated with a local focus. This stood in stark to the oligopolistic banking monoliths of the Atlantic world.

Additionally, there were further reasons why Germany emerged as the EU hegemon. Primarily, Germany did not sacrifice its world class industrial-export sector on the altar of deindustrialisation. But instead adopted and adapted its own variant of financialization while at the same time protected its industrial sector by manipulating its exchange rate to protect exports.

The German manufacturing sector is highly productive, export-oriented and has maintained relatively strong union representation in the wage formation process compared to the rest of the private (domestic) sector which has modest productivity and relatively weak unions. than in other EU countries.” [8]

In the domestic economy, however, Germany was able to restructure wage costs and working conditions with the imposition of the Hartz reforms – a set of policies waged arrayed against German labour which pushed down costs through the implementation of ‘flexible’ labour markets. This gave Germany a competitive first-mover, edge in intra-European trade resulting in an ongoing surplus on its current account. And when one state achieves a (recurring) surplus on current account other states must record a deficit on current account. In this instance this was the southern periphery.

In sharp contrast to the southern periphery the eastern periphery of central Europe was not part of the eurozone which means that they were not ensnared in the Iron Cage of EMU and enabled to keep their own currencies. But heavy German investment in this area produced a core-periphery relationship where low-wage, semi-skilled assembly work was farmed out to Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. That is the usual pattern of FDI supply chains. High-end production, including R&D was kept at Home Base.

Central European peripheries have come to depend heavily on Germany for technology and markets. If Germany faced a severe recession so would probably be the whole of Central Europe.” [9]

Thus, Germany was to become the overseer of an increasingly neo-liberal order precisely at the time when the 2008 blow-out was to cross the Atlantic and usher in a quasi-permanent period of instability for the whole EU project. The main actors in the future development of the EU were the ECB the EC and the IMF, the infamous Troika. The ECB in particular was the paragon of Banking, monetary and fiscal rectitude. This was underlined insofar as it was domiciled in Frankfurt as was the Bundesbank and was heavily influenced in policy terms by this particular institution.

Given the international linkages of global finance the US crisis – 2008 – was to spread to Europe in the shape of house-price bubbles in Ireland, Spain, and the UK, together with the dreaded derivatives of Mortgage Backed Securities and (MBSs) and Credit Default Swaps (CDSs). This precipitated the crisis of the Eurozone from 2010 onwards. This has been covered in great depth elsewhere as has the Greek crisis, but it is worth noting that the reaction of the authorities was wholly predictable. The IMF’s initial response – who, like the Bourbons, had learnt nothing, forgotten nothing – was true to form, and in line with the of the postulates of the Washington Consensus From the initial analysis, wholly incorrect, the IMF claimed that the crisis was due to a loss of competitiveness by the peripheral states owing to their institutional weakness. The checklist read:

Inadequate fiscal controls on government; weak taxation systems; collective bargaining and protection for workers against firing; extensive public ownership of productive and other resources; restrictive regulations in goods and services markets; bank loans advanced on concessional and even corrupt terms; and so forth.” [10]

This being the case the IMF prescribed the by now its usual universal cure-all for the stricken states. Using Portugal as the IMF template for its miraculous, growth-enhancing, structural reforms we have the following. The IMF/EU decided to reduce public holidays to 4 days per year, provide three days fewer annual holidays, proposed a 50% reduction in overtime rates, and an end to collective bargaining agreements. Additionally, there would be more work-time management, a removal of restrictions on the power to fire workers, the lowering of severance payments on losing jobs, and forced arbitration of labour disputes.

And we’re not quite finished. For good measure there was to be the deregulation of markets. Utilities were to be opened up to competition which usually results in a decline in competition as utility cartels are formed. Pharmacies are to have their margins cut, so small pharmacies will earn less, but there is no reduction of drug prices from big Pharma, the real monopolies. The professions are to be deregulated, so lawyers cannot make such fat fees, but anybody can become a teacher or taxi driver or drive a large truck within minimal or no training. Finally, there follows privatisation of the remaining state entities sold at knock-down prices to private asset companies to pay down debt and enlarge the profit potential of the private capitalist centre. It is more or less the same proposals as Greece, Spain, Italy and Ireland.

Thus, the euro crisis foundered on with the Greek debacle centre-stage.[11] Central to the crisis was the drying up of easy credit from the core states to the southern periphery.

In early 2010 private lenders – mainly German and French – took fright and began to sharply reverse the flow of loanable capital to the periphery, seeking instead to have their older loans paid off. The taps were turned off.” [12]

The response of the PTB was simply to double-down on their policy of austerity. The EMU along with the euro (as international reserve currency) must be protected at all costs (sorry about the pun). It was therefore imperative to protect the interest of the banks, particularly the German and French banks which had been highly exposed prior to the crisis. To this end the regime of fiscal discipline – already integral to monetary union – was imposed. The existing system had to be made stronger and harsher, and, as is always the case, the costs would be borne by those states worse affected by the crisis – primarily Greece – as well as by working people across the EU.

The upshot of these policies was a partial stabilisation of the situation – excluding Greece which was simply hung out to dry – when a number of ad hoc policies including the provision of liquidity by the ECB to private and public banks experiencing difficulties and driving down interest rates close to zero. Other institutional reforms included the creation of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the Euro Stability Mechanism (ESM) which provided interstate lending to those countries, Portugal, Ireland, which could no longer raise funds in international capital markets. It should also be borne in mind that in global terms a recovery was taking place at a faster pace than in Europe. However, it still remained the case that no member state, and certainly not Germany would accept direct responsibility for the debt of another. Moreover, Germany was adamant that the policy of ‘mutualization’ of debt – i.e., jointly to share the risk of non-payment by a single state through the issue of ‘Eurobonds’ would not be sanctioned.

All of which goes to show that when push comes to shove sacred principles are sometimes abandoned (albeit temporarily) for Raison d’état. Pragmatism can often have the last word. Such was the case of the UK’s bailout of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Market forces had to be suspended, again temporarily.

Fast forward to the present and the situation has scarcely improved. The term ‘crisis’ whereby a number of states, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Austria, France, the UK are showing signs of open revolt against the increasingly ossified EU is wholly justified. The rebellion has taken on political, economic and cultural dimensions and it has become a moot point whether or not the EU, at least in its present form, can survive. But the $64,000.00 question is can it change its present form? The far right, rightly or wrongly, seems obsessed with the question of immigration, whereas the left is split between the centre-left Remain and Reform camp, favoured by social-democrats and the Varoufakis faction DiEM25, but opposed by the hard-left which eschews any question of reform. Drawing on the lessons of Greece and the hard lessons meted out to Syriza, Lapavitsas gives short shrift to any notions of the Remain and Reform Strategy (emphasis mine).

…the point of departure for a left strategy in Europe ought to be that the EU is neither a purveyor of “soft power”, nor a benevolent or humanitarian force. Rather it is a hierarchical alliance of nation states that have created the institutional framework of a single market relentlessly promoting neo-liberalism…

The determining aspect of European political development remains class relations expressed primarily at the national level…The perception of loss of sovereignty and decline of democracy, general as it is in Europe varies among different countries, as does the underlying class reality. The search for sovereignty and the tribulations of democracy in Europe have reflected these varying class relations within the framework of the EU.” [13]

It seems axiomatic that the centrist bloc of centre-right, and centre-left seem wedded to this juggernaut, notions of reform notwithstanding. If anything, the centre-left are the most partisan exponents of the Remain and Reform strategy. Not only has the centre-left become profoundly conservative in its view of the EU, it has actually been to a large degree integrated into the neo-liberal structures of European capitalism. The political upshot of all this has been an historical class shift of the working class away from the social-democratic parties and in influx of petit-bourgeois identitarians and various other post-modernist constituents.[14]

Moreover, and symptomatic of this, has been the transmutation of the Labour party. What was once a vehicle of working-class interests and aspirations is now a middle-class career structure whose main concerns are with diversity, and liberal notions like universal human rights, unlimited immigration and open borders, not forgetting transgender rights of course. This was illustrated during the Referendum when London including the Home Counties – i.e., that part of the country that benefited most from globalization – voted overwhelmingly for Remain but the rest of England voted for leave, hardly surprising given the fact that these latter were the people who were not invited to the party. At bottom, however, is the nauseating craving for acceptance and respectability from the British and Euro elites by this cosmopolitan social stratum.

So, what is to be done. Lapavitsas states the choice starkly.

The lesson of SYRIZA is paramount in this regard. If the left intends to implement radical anti-capitalist policies and effectively confront the neo-liberal juggernaut it must be prepared for a rupture. There has to be a break, an upheaval, an overturning of prevailing conditions, for things to change in Europe. There must also be a rupture with domestic power structures that have a vested interest in current arrangements, there must also be a rupture with transnational institutions of the EU that sustain the current arrangements.” [15]

True enough. But there’s the rub. My own view is that none of this will happen. Social democrats are adept at rolling-over when the chips are down. Corbyn has been relentlessly attacked by the Zionist propaganda machine in addition to the Labour Friends of Israel, a Zionist front in the Labour party, as an anti-Semite. So, what did he do? Apologised! In addition, the Labour Party in shape of Gordon Brown has accepted the new all-inclusive International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

However, this is a short-term perspective. The crisis will undoubtedly rumble on and intensify with and additional push from the upcoming global financial/economic meltdown. It was the American economist, Herbert Stein, who coined the immortal quote: “If something cannot go on forever, it won’t’’.

 

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Gus' views about this subject have been expressed many times on this site: The Europeans should have expelled the UK long ago when the UK refused to join the Euro. The UK should never have been accepted as a member of the EC, barely as a country of Europe, as it has been doing Washington's bidding since before WW1...

let it go, let it go... push it a bit...

The EU should let the British go, so that they can answer that question in peace outside of the European Union. Instead of continuing to run after the Brits in the hope they might give their blessing to a deal after all, Europeans should just allow a hard Brexit to come to pass and focus their energies on preparing for the fallout. 


The EU Can't Afford To Be Held Hostage

DER SPIEGEL has joined many others in the past in arguing that Brexit is a mistake and that Europe is stronger with the UK as a member. At the best of times, Britain made the EU a better place -- more cosmopolitan, more business-friendly and often even cooler. But now the EU risks allowing the political malaise in Britain to cause lasting damage to the community's already weakening foundations. When it comes to solving its problems -- be it migration, currency reform or, more importantly, an American president who is increasingly hostile to the bloc, the EU cannot afford to allow itself to be held hostage by Britain's Tories. 

The Brexit drama saps energy from European political debates and the process of winding down British membership in the EU has exhausted a union that already has more than enough to do. Things such as coming up with solutions to prevent the further rise of right-wing populists from France's Marine Le Pen to Italy's Matteo Salvini. And ways of avoiding a new euro crisis or the collapse of Italian banks, crises that would cause far greater damage than what a hard Brexit would bring. 

That certainly doesn't mean that the British should not be given a few extra weeks. Indeed, a limited extension beyond the March 29 Brexit date could be conceivable, perhaps even until the new European Parliament convenes in July. It is unlikely, but if Prime Minister May and Labour Party head Jeremy Corbyn do succeed in finding a cross-party majority for a soft Brexit and a customs union with the EU, or perhaps even for remaining in the single market like Norway, then nothing but good would come of it for all Europeans.

 

Read more:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/brexit-it-s-time-to-let-the-u...

 

 

 

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the secret cash... ah, the secret cash...

 

...

Consider a few facts. If Britain does leave without a deal, then the EU as an institution would be considerably worse off. The UK has consistently been one of the top three countries that puts most into the EU budget (after Germany and France).

It is one of ten countries that puts more into the EU than it gets out. In 2017, the UK's net contribution was £9bn.

If Britain leaves, the EU faces a financial shortfall. In 2016, 16 countries were net receivers, including Donald Tusk's Poland. Little wonder that he regards Britain staying as "the only positive solution".

The very generous financial remuneration packages of EU officials might also be threatened by British withdrawal.

In December, it was reported that the EU's top civil servants would be paid over €20,000 a month for the first time, and that Tusk and Juncker would see their packages rise to €32,700 a month. Austerity? Not in Brussels, mon ami!

The EU is a fabulous gravy train once you are on board. But the gravy train relies on its richest members not leaving, otherwise who's going to foot the bill?

If Britain leaves with 'No Deal', it's not just the EU budget which will take a hit. In 2017, EU countries sold around £67 billion more in goods and services to the UK, than the UK sold to them. Europe needs full and unfettered access to British markets, much more than Britain needs full and unfettered access to European markets.

That's not being 'nationalistic', but simply stating the economic reality. The country that would lose out the most with Brexit is Germany. Britain's trade deficit with Germany is higher than with any other country, even higher than China, whose products are everywhere in our shops! In 2016, the year of the EU referendum, Britain imported around £26 billion more from Germany than it exported.

It's no great surprise therefore to see the president of the Federation of German Industries as one of the signatories of the letter to the Times, pleading for Britain to stay!

Repeat after me: "We would miss Britain as part of the European Union. We would miss Britain as part of the European Union".

We also have to discuss fishing. The other EU countries do extremely well out of the Common Fisheries Policy, which provides them with access to UK waters.

Belgian fleets get around half their catch from British waters! As reported in the Independent, the Common Fisheries Quota has for the past 34 years given 84% of the cod in the English Channel to France and just 9% to the UK. Overall, EU vessels take out around four times as much fish out of UK waters as British vessels take out of EU waters.

Again, you don't have to be Albert Einstein to work out why the EU doesn't want Britain to leave.

If the EU's commitment to democracy was genuine, they would have done everything they could to make sure the referendum result of June 2016 was implemented. But the financial hit of Britain leaving is too high. So, instead they have done everything possible to subvert the democratic will of the people, while at the same time boasting about their commitment to 'democracy.'

 

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/449133-uk-brexit-democracy-eu-money/

 

 

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SHOW NOTES
The European Union always was a CIA project, as Brexiteers discover

Revealed: The secret report that shows how the Nazis planned a Fourth Reich …in the EU

The EU was a Contrivance of a 1955 Bilderberg Meeting

Italian Banks Tipped As Next Crisis

EU Unmasked: After Brexit, Plans for Full EU Superstate Revealed

Real Solutions Arise Out of the Greek Crisis

The JFK Myth: The Federal Reserve and Executive Order 11110

 

The UK should NEVER HAVE BEEN ALLOWED into the EU. Its financing of dirty money through tax haven is more disgracefull than an exhibition of 1549.3 hats ever used by the queen...

 

Read also:

 

https://www.corbettreport.com/eu-unmasked-after-brexit-plans-for-full-eu...

 

Actually the European idea was generated by Adenauer (German Chancellor) and General de Gaulle (French President) who did not want the UK in it, because the good General knew the UK would do the "dirty work" of THE USA, and its CIA AND OTHER MANIPULATIVE SYSTEMS. The UK would fuck Europe up... 

The proof of the pudding?... Brexit either way...

 

 

 

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delaying the inevitable?...

EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the Article 50 process, postponing Brexit beyond 29 March.

The UK will be offered a delay until 22 May, if MPs approve the withdrawal deal negotiated with the EU next week.

If they do not, the EU will back a shorter delay until 12 April, allowing the UK time to get the deal through or to "indicate a way forward".

The UK is due to leave the EU in eight days, with or without a deal, if no extension is agreed.



Read more:
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-47660019

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charles, we miss you...


by Neil Clark



French President Charles de Gaulle stepped down 50 years ago this week after his proposals for constitutional reform were defeated in a national referendum. What we could do with a leader like the 'General' today.

"I cease to exercise my functions as president of the Republic. This decision takes effect today at midnight."And so, on April 28, 1969, the most successful decade in France's modern history ended.

Charles de Gaulle had come out of retirement in 1958 to try and save his country for a third time. He had fought in the trenches in World War I. He had led the anti-Nazi Free French in World War II. Then, at the age of 67, he answered the call to solve the grave crisis of confidence facing the Fourth Republic.

Commonly regarded as a conservative figure, economically de Gaulle was a man of the left. He believed in a 'dirigiste' economy with a high level of public ownership. He didn't kowtow to the bankers and international finance capital. "He was a man who did not care for those who owned wealth; he despised the bourgeois and hated capitalism" was the verdict of his French biographer Jean Lacouture.

The years of de Gaulle's presidency (1959-69) are remembered with great affection in France today and it's hardly surprising. It was a time of enormous optimism. There were ambitious engineering and infrastructure projects. New motorways were built. A space program was developed. In March 1969, one month before de Gaulle stepped down, Concorde, the world's first supersonic airliner, a joint project between France and Britain, made its first test flight.

In 1962, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) lauded the "extraordinary vitality" of the French economy. In 1964, France's GDP growth was 6.4 percent. In the third quarter of 1968, it reached an all-time high of eight percent. Compare that to the figure of 0.3 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2018. De Gaulle combined left-wing economic policies with moderate social conservatism, a winning left-right mix with voters because it's where the real center of public opinion actually is.


That's forgotten today, by politicians of the right who embrace finance capital-friendly neoliberalism even though it corrodes society and creates enormous inequalities, and those on the left who believe identity politics, social liberalism and an excessive political correctness trumps all other concerns (no pun intended). It's the absence of 'Gaullism' from the options available that helps explain the rise of the far-right. When de Gaulle was around, such groups were marginalized. Jean-Louis Tixier-Vignancour, for instance, a forerunner of Jean-Marie Le Pen (who was in fact one of his campaign managers), received just 5.2 percent in the first round of the 1965 presidential elections – compared to de Gaulle's 44.65 percent.

The General was a patriot but he was also an anti-imperialist. He took France out of Algeria. He pulled his country out of NATO's military command. He fiercely criticized the US' involvement in the Vietnam war, denouncing "the bombing of a small people by a very large one." He was one of the first, if not the first, Western leaders to criticize Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. He supported detente with the Soviet Union, talking in 1966 of a 'new alliance of France and Russia,' and believed in a Europe of nation states that stretched to the Urals. He famously twice blocked Britain's entry into the EEC not because he was anti-British, but because he feared that allowing the UK in would be the same as inviting in the US"He refused the division of the world into two blocs, the world he said was too rich for that, and Paris would play its full part in developing new relationships," writes biographer Jonathan Fenby.

Again, compare de Gaulle's support for multi-polarity and national sovereignty with the globalist/Atlanticist one favored by most European leaders since then.


Can we seriously imagine de Gaulle accepting directions from hawks in Washington which were clearly injurious to the economic interests of his country? If the Americans had threatened to impose secondary sanctions on French companies for doing business with Iran in the General's time, he would have taken the next flight to Tehran with French business leaders to set up new deals. He'd have done the same regarding the sanctions on Russia. That's how he responded to those who tried to get him to act against France's national interests.

For the anti-sovereigntists, de Gaulle was a pain in the derriere. It's revealing to see, as I noted in an earlier OpEd here, how sympathetic the CIA was to the Trotskyists and ultra-leftists who protested against de Gaulle in 1968.

France has gone backwards in many ways since the de Gaulle era, which was also a golden age for music and the arts. Every president seems to turn out worse than the one before.

Nadir has surely been reached in the presidency of Macron, a neoliberal ex-investment banker whose capital-friendly 'reforms' have led to the rise of the Gilets Jaunes movement.

With amazing effrontery last October, Macron told his people to stop complaining and be more like de Gaulle, after a meeting with a pensioner who complained he only had a small pension. This is the same Emmanuel Macron who accused his own people of being as "Gauls who are resistant to change" on a visit to Denmark.


The truth is that the French people today have a lot to complain about. Macron's policies are in fact, the reverse of de Gaulle's. The General 'did not care for those who own wealth.' Macron doesn't seem to care for anyone else.

Another big difference between de Gaulle and the politicians of today was his attitude to money. Has there ever been such an uncorrupt leader? As I noted in 2008, "Despite occupying the highest office in the country for a decade, he died in relative poverty. Instead of accepting the pension he was entitled to as a retired president and general, he only took the pension of a colonel. The contrast between de Gaulle and the money-obsessed career politicians of today could not be greater." Jonathan Fenby relates how, as president, de Gaulle even insisted on paying for his phone calls and the electricity bill for his quarters in the Elysee Palace.

De Gaulle could easily have become a dictator given his popularity, but he was too good for that. As a democrat, he understood that politicians and political parties actually hindered democracy. He much preferred to consult his people directly, via referenda. One of his most famous attributed quotes, in response to Clemenceau's jibe that war was too serious a matter to be left to the military, was "Politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.

Haven't the past 50 years proved him right on this and indeed everything else?

 

 

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/457819-charles-degaulle-france-president/

 

 

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