A look at the Times; Monday 20th October. Finishing what the Marshall Plan started

Today’s issue is dominated by a large picture of Brad Pitt looking dashing as he adjusts his sunglasses; beneath that whopper is the main headline: Police use loophole to hack phones and email.

I don’t have too much of a problem with this; although I doubt that the government could “force telecoms and computer companies’ to hand over anything. It’s good to know that ‘Civil liberties campaigners’ are working hard to preserve my privacy, but in an age where the bad guys have all sorts of new techniques, I feel an effort must be made to keep up with them.

Next is the secondary headline: ‘Negative’ Cameron is forcing UK out of Europe.

This is almost certainly true; since 1945 the Europeans have endured tantrum after tantrum from our newly humbled island. For Britons, the end of Empire has meant the humiliation of working with other nations like an adult – just imagine! Now is the time to realise that we can’t have it all our own way; or rather 50 years ago. UKIP fails to realise that without our membership of the EU, the ‘English-speaking peoples’ wouldn’t be anywhere near as keen to trade with us.

Speaking of trade with the English-speaking peoples, surely UKIP would be revealed as the empire-nostalgics they really are when, after all their EU huffing and puffing, they failed to make so much as a squeak about TTIP? TTIP stands for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. To call it a free-trade deal would be a fallacy, because any existing trade barriers between the US and European countries were removed after the Second World War; such was a condition of the Marshall Plan. To open up our markets to an intrusive, dominating and mundane American brand of Capitalism.

This is an agreement which seeks to re-install corporate fascism in the nations of Europe. Legislation which would threaten the profits of an American corporation would be unacceptable, and the offending government liable to legal action according to the judgement of panels of corporate lawyers. This is a travesty; which until recently has been pieced together under cover of secrecy in the European Commission. George Monbiot, incredibly, was a lone voice calling for greater openness, and warning the citizens of Europe what havoc this agreement would play with their democracies.

Surely we can expect our champions – the real knights in shining armour for British interests in Brussels – to make a fuss about this? Surely we can expect to find something, at least a teeny-weeny article on UKIP’s website, protesting this obscene piece of ultra-national legislation?

Apparently UKIP views regulations on the shape of vegetables, and restrictions on life-damaging smoking habits as more of a threat to our freedoms than TTIP; which after all is something UKIP’s donors (90% of which are former Tories) would cherish. A vote for UKIP is an incredible confidence trick, perpetrated by the enemies of democracy, the enemies of the people, and the champions of international corporations which are anything but ‘proudly British’.

http://www.monbiot.com/2013/12/02/managing-transparency/

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Satan announces three-pronged attack upon humanity: Ebola, Isis and Nigel Farage

DAILY MAIL ONLINE: Here’s Mr Farage, showing all kinds of muscle.

 

Speaking at a UN conference last Tuesday, Mr L Satan said: “After the end of the Iraq War, I started to realise that Tony Blair just wasn’t enough. I knew I needed something to really screw them up. Not necessarily death-camp kind of evil, but certainly the kind of evil that restores your country to the middle ages in terms of social outlook and economic activity.”

When asked whether he was worried the British people would see through such a scheme, he chuckled mildly and added: “If you think Mr Farage will be foiled by such novices in the satanic arts as David Cameron and George Osbourne, then you are sadly mistaken. Their kind of evil is okay when you’re whipping your fag at Eton, but they’re playing with the big boys now.”

Mr Farage was said to have replied: “Of course I’m delighted to have been chosen for this exciting new role, and I look forward to working closely alongside my new colleagues-Ebola and ISIS – in order to screw up humanity. We’re meeting next week to brainstorm some ideas, but I’ve got a few started already: How about we install a flat rate of income tax? Surely my new employer, the honourable Mr L Satan will be most pleased with such a transparently self-serving idea? Right, toodle-oo, I’m off to open the award ceremony for Clacton ‘village idiot’- they hold the competition every four years, don’t you know, but this year they’ve had to cut it a bit short, as the former incumbent felt his allegiances were misdirected. Thank God he’s finally come to his senses, and joined the true lunatic party!”

ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE:

UKIP causes mixed feelings to bubble up. Hope; that they might split a Conservative majority, handing a barely deserved victory to the Labour Party. The next is disgust, at their people, their ethics and their everything. If you had brought the parliament of 1600 into the 21st century, you’d have a collection of far more open-minded and sensible men than you’d have at a UKIP conference.

One thing that’s really interesting about their rise is the extent to which Tory donors have swung round to the right, effectively giving Cameron a kick up the ass for bringing his dirty, “modernising” ideas to a party still firmly under the grip of the aristocracy. Don’t get me wrong; I far prefer the rural gentry to some jumped up ‘entrepreneur’, but my opinion doesn’t decide the matter. Whether the Tory party is permanently broken, it remains to be seen. A part of me dares to hope that Osborne will end his days as a secretary, but the more cynical part of me can’t believe that a party which has stood for 4 centuries as a bulwark of vested interests and reactionism should be so easily dislodged from power.