Britain and the problem of depth in its political class

I’m borrowing this one pretty shamelessly from RT.

Apparently during an exchange with the Russian representative at the UN, Britain’s representative said:

In respect of Karl Marx, I think he must be turning in his grave to see what the country that was founded on many of his precepts is doing in the name of supporting Syria by condoning the use of chemical weapons on Syrian territory

Firstly, and in passing, we can observe: “condoning the use of chemical weapons on Syrian territory”. Officially Britain is still waiting for confirmation of who the guilty party (if there is one) was. But this merging of “very likely” (based on conjecture and “capacity and motive”) with acceptance of something as a fact is now officially part of the discourse of the West in this post-Skripal world. Quite openly – it no longer matters if they have proof or if it is just “likely”.

But the point here is the extraordinary blunder in terms of politics and history. Ms Karen Pierce is a diplomat operating at the highest level in International affairs. But she appears to believe that Russia was “founded on the precepts” of Karl Marx. As RT points out – Russia as a nation dates its foundation to the 9th century – in what is now Ukraine. In October 1917 Lenin’s Bolshevik party came to power (following the overthrow of Tsarism in the February Revolution of that year). Certainly Lenin’s ideology can be said to be derived from Marx. But – has Ms Pierce not noticed that something momentus happened in 1991? To fill her in – the Soviet Union collapsed. Many of is constituent republics went their separate ways.  Quite specifically the regime (system) set up by Lenin (which is where Marx comes into it) was completely abandoned. Modern Russia in no way implements the “precepts” of Marx. Marx would be horrified by the modern Russia not because of her alleged support for alleged chemical weapons attacks. But because she is a modern capitalist state with an elected parliament, private capital, wage labour, prices fixed by supply and demand, a bureaucratic state, and all the rest of it.

The problem, as this web site has often noted, is that the political class in the West at the moment are simply not up to the job. They are out of their depth in managing world affairs. They have no grasp of politics and history and no capacity to perform accurate analyses of political events. They simply blunder from one horror to the next as they try to convince themselves they represent something.

 

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Psychotherapists always lie…

I saw an advert today – stuck on the wall in a café. It was headed “Looking for Volunteers”. It went on to talk about a “new form of therapy” which “goes beyond just helping you cope” and offers “resolution”. So far; it seems to be promising something amazing – and all you have to do is “volunteer”. Right at the bottom of the advert however there was short text – the “volunteering” will cost you between £100.00 – £50.00 (yes – put in reverse order for some reason) for a two hour session “just to cover my clinic costs”.

This whole advert is riven with lies. It has nothing to do with “volunteering” at all. £50.00 ph is a sizeable fee – even by the standards of therapy (£80.00 ph is not unusual) £50.00 ph is a fat fee – not a small donation to “cover costs”. Rooms in health centres do not cost £50.00 ph. Furthermore; it is not a “clinic”. A “clinic” is something run by qualified medical personnel.

This kind of lying in the adverts is absolutely the norm for psychotherapy. – Strange when these people are claiming to be suitable people in whom you can trust your soul.

Some other examples;

This writer “saw” two therapists for a period of time. When he left them he researched a little about them. One of them, he found, was offering her “Counselling Service” on a Community Web site which had been specifically set up for voluntary groups to promote their group. A voluntary group is something like a Mums and Tots group; a group who go out every weekend and clear weeds from rivers; a group where older people can meet and have a lunch etc. etc. People who do things for the public benefit for free. A “Counsellor” on the other hand is running a private business and is charging by the hour.

The other therapist whom this writer “saw” for a period of time had spun his CV. His uncompleted post-graduate studies were spun as “undertook a training in”.

A group of therapists in Oxford advertise collectively on a shared web site. Many of the ads. have the phrase “private sector experience”. Some have the phrase “public sector experience”. “Private sector experience” sounds very grand. Perhaps they have worked as consultants for large corporations? In reality; no. It means no more than they have charged individuals for money. It is not a straight lie. But it is sophistry and designed to mislead and create a false impression. It also serves to overawe the potential and new clients.

This kind of lying is absolutely the norm in psychotherapy. This should give the lie to all the talk about “integrity”, “ethics” and “authenticity”.

 

Mock outrage

The Daily Telegraph today briefly had a headline about Theresa May’s “outrage” about the “suspected” chemical attack in Syria.

The headline was altered quite quickly to lose the word “outrage”. Notice however that the url for the story still refers to May being “deeply disturbed”. The article includes the sentence:

“The Government has stressed the importance of the attack being investigated to determine who is culpable.”

It looks like the government and their stooges in the media are realising that claiming to be “outraged” before an attack of some kind has moved from the claim stage to the “no other explanation is plausible stage” (a new concept which, it seems, means – we have decided that they – usually Russia – did it, but, no, we can’t prove it) is dubious. How can you be outraged about a claim, about a suspected attack? You can’t be. The normal sequence is – you wait until it is confirmed and, when it is, then you feel outraged. That they seem willing to produce the outrage on the basis of “suspected”, “alleged” or even “very likely” shows us that the outrage is synthetic. They aren’t really outraged at all. In fact they couldn’t care less about whether brown-skinned people in Syria are being gassed. It’s just a convenient lever in a game of narratives. (Syria = bad regime = human rights abuser === same with Russia => contrast with us = noble, law-abiding, civilised, humane => therefore anything we do – such as illegally invade Syria is fine). A game, which, amusingly, is being played more and more solely for their own benefit. – That is – who but themselves believes their narratives any more?

We can see the same narrative on Skripal. If it is only “very likely” that Russia did it – how can you feel such horror?

That this article had its headline fixed shows that the government narrative writers (aka. “journalists”) are aware of this flaw in their narratives and are working to fix it. They are, basically, working on the choreography of these denunciations and continuously improving it.

Bedknobs and broomsticks

This is an interesting post by former British Ambassador Craig Murray on the Skripal case.

He seems to raise some interesting questions, some of which have been troubling this writer for a while.

Firstly; if this nerve agent is quite so powerful how come it took three hours (from contact on the door knob) to Sergey Skripal and his daughter collapsing on a park-bench in Salisbury? It seems a bit unlikely. Perhaps it was just a tiny amount or a ‘weak’ batch (perhaps because of insufficient or dated precursors being used to prepare the substance?) – but then, if so, this is looking more like an amateur hit than an assassination by the Russian state.

To this Murray adds the interesting observation that Mr Skripal and his daughter apparently fell ill at exactly the same time – on the park bench. All the press reports describe them being  found unconscious together. If one had fallen unconscious before the other they would surely have got help? But the length of time a poison takes to take effect is usually dependent on body-mass (plus perhaps other factors to do with the circulation). Murray suggests this casts doubt on the door knob theory which seems to imply that they both touched the door at more or less the same time. (Of course one can posit that they acquired different levels of the toxin from the door and this then balanced itself out in terms of body-weight – but this seems to be stretching probability a bit).

Mr Murray does not mention it in his article but in the very early reports on this case there was mention of an opioid, fentanyl, being found in the vicinity. Fentanyl is sometimes found in street heroin or even sold as a street drug directly. It is a powerful synthetic opioid. It is easy to manufacture – within the reach of criminals. [1] (It could also be a tool of choice in an assassination of course).

Mr Murray does at least imply that the Met police anti-terror squad may be planting evidence about the door knob and alleged “Russian trainng manuals”.

Given the inconsistencies in the UK government story, their inability to decide if it is a case of “case proven” or “very likely”, the fact that the alleged chemical nerve agent used is far more widely available and readily produced than the public was at first led to believe, the rather too convenient story about a Russian training manual and door-knobs, the welcome but striking apparently full recovery of the Skripals from a nerve agent whose last victim, a Soviet scientist who was accidentally exposed, died after a long and protracted series of illnesses, [2] plus of course, the sheer unlikelihood of the Russian state doing something like this at this moment, it really doesn’t seem completely far-fetched to speculate that the whole operation was a stunt by British intelligence. It doesn’t fit with this writer’s pre-conceptions of what British intelligence would and wouldn’t do. But.

The Porton Down chief executive Gary Aitkenhead (apparently a former Motorola executive according to Mr Murray – which shows the links between the Western corporate world and the military) said that they could not be sure of the “precise origin” of the substance. This is interesting. There are two ways such substances can be attributed; i) what is the chemical composition and who has the capacity to synthesise these chemicals and ii) they can contain impurities which can be used to link them to specific production centres – if samples exist. There are two ways then of interpreting “not possible to ascertain precise origin”. One is – this is standard corporate world/pseudo-science gloss for “not possible at all to have any idea of origin”. The other, more interesting one, would be to ask Mr Aitkenhead what other countries are indicated by the sample analysis? Uzbekistan? Kazakhstan? Ukraine? The UK?

Notes

1. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/05/alleged-former-russian-spy-critically-exposure-unknown-substance/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/05/salisbury-incident-critically-ill-man-is-former-russian-spy-sergei-skripal

https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2017/aug/29/why-fentanyl-could-become-the-uks-most-dangerous-drug

2. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/23/nerve-agent-was-used-in-1995-claims-former-soviet-scientist

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/22/andrei-zheleznyakov-soviet-scientist-poisoned-novichok

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US corporations, peadophilia and British values

If you go to Google Inc. images (a special page on the search engine) and type a word, let’s say “tulips” – then examine the page which is returned you will notice that the images are not being served from their location on the Internet. Rather; the search engine appears to serve the image using base64 data. For example an image src attribute might be:

data:image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSk….

This is a binary, (well, base 64 encoded), representation of the image. In order to do this Google must have read the image data from its source and then translated that into the base64 encoded data which it then serves. The data may or may not be stored for any length of time on Google server’s but it is certainly being served from their servers.

The same experiment can be repeated with other search terms. Given certain sets of search terms child abuse images may be returned. This writer has read one journalist commenting that this is some kind of way to view pornography or other illegal material without being traced. The idea is your IP will not be traced as having accessed the source web site for the image because it hasn’t. Google’s search function is in effect acting as an anonymising proxy. However, quite apart from the moral aspect this does not sound wise. There are myriad ways that the material viewed could be tracked and proven – involving Google sharing data with the authorities or otherwise (e.g. a simple grab of the Internet traffic to your IP). These ways just (it seems) would require authorisation from the Home Secretary. [1]

However; the question is – why is Google allowed to get away with this? There is not even some kind of ‘report image’ feature on the image search page.

The answer no doubt is because Google Inc. is a large US company. And the one golden rule for the British political ‘elite’ these days is obeisance to US financial power.

While on this subject – Amazon.com Inc sells DVDs which are clearly paedophile material. Try the DVD “look at me” which appears to be a collection of children in swimming pools. Or the film “The Genesis Children” which (based on its Wikipedia entry) is a film featuring a group of adolescent boys (from 12 upwards) running naked around a beach. They are, apparently. naked for much of the film, which has no plot. Or there is the touching story about how a 12 year old in the Philippines fell in love with a police officer. The Genesis Children, for example, has not been passed by the British Board of Film Censors. If you order it from Amazon you may be committing an offence as you are the importer. But – what is the likelihood of a prosecution which would involve Amazon?

This author has just done a (mickey mouse) online “Safeguarding Course”. One of the sections related to “British Values”. One must protect children by modelling “British Values” to them.

This is a case of hypocrisy. British values know well their limit when it comes to US corporations. The course should have said “Model to young people what British values used to be“. Of course – there has always been corruption – but at least at one point perhaps there were some kind of shared values in the UK which might have meant something at least as an ideal that people referenced (obviously different social classes would have had different values and/or a different take on the same values). Now it is just so much spin… The only real British value today is to bow down to American fiscal power, whatever it serves up.

Notes

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_of_Investigatory_Powers_Act_2000

I don’t know if this is up to date and accurate. The legislation in this area has been re-written more than once. It may be a tribunal rather than the Home Secretary is required to authorise a police request to obtain the content of electronic data exchanges. Sorry. I don’t know.

 

The story on Skripal begins to fall apart

The Foreign Office is now saying:

It is our assessment that Russia was responsible for this brazen and reckless act and, as the international community agrees, there is no other plausible explanation.

As the Prime Minister has set out in a number of statements to the Commons since March 12, this includes our knowledge that within the last decade, Russia has investigated ways of delivering nerve agents probably for assassination and as part of this programme has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichoks; Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations; and our assessment that Russia views former intelligence officers as targets. [1]

This is really very thin. It wouldn’t stand up in a criminal court. That the act was “brazen and reckless” is just there to add some colour – a barrister’s trick; he hopes to sway the jury just by stressing the enormity of the crime. But in reality this has no bearing on who did it.

The “international community” (our military allies) agrees because – as for example Merkel explained [2] they have been presented with some convincing evidence by the British. Now, apparently, the fact that they agree is itself proof of the truth of the claims. This is a circular argument.

It would be interesting to know the basis of the claims about Russia stockpiling small quantities of “Novichoks”. At any event Porton Down has not said that they don’t. Former British Ambassador Craig Murray suggests that the form of words used by the representative from Porton Down on Sky News today is as good as an admission that they have produced it. [3] If this is so – we can ask; if Britain can why not Russia? The claim about producing the substance “probably for assassination” probably (!) relies on claims made by a defector.

Russia’s “record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations”. Such as? Again this is looking rather like circular reasoning. And “our assumption”. This is why this case wouldn’t stand up to the rigours of a proper criminal investigation; you can’t convict people based on “our assumption”.

The document produced by the British side and circulated in Moscow to Foreign Embassies explained that Russia must be responsible for the Skripal poisoning because they have the “capability, intent and motive”. “Intent” means they want to do it. Again; this is a circular argument.

The British case that Russia did this looks very much like what it is. They’ve decided it must be Russia because it meets their current image of Russia. There’s not much else. A good barrister could tell you that this is precisely how miscarriages of justice occur. People get put in the dock because they “fit the bill”. This is what is happening here and the British government should have thought first.

Update 4/4/18

They can’t make up their minds. In the text above the Foreign Office said “there is no other plausible explanation” that the crime was committed by Russia. Today they are saying, in connection with Russia’s attempts to call a meeting of the OPCW: “Of course, there is no requirement in the chemical weapons convention for the victim of a chemical weapons attack to engage in a joint investigation with the likely perpetrator”. [4] Well; which is it? “no other plausible explanation” or “likely perpetrator”. If they can’t decide in their own narrative between dead cert and “likely” why should anyone believe anything they say?

 

Notes

1. http://metro.co.uk/2018/04/03/scientists-mod-lab-cannot-verify-novichok-nerve-agent-came-russia-7438320/

2. https://www.rt.com/news/422147-merkel-blames-russia-skripal/

3. https://www.rt.com/uk/423075-porton-down-skripal-proof/

4. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/salisbury-poisoning-latest-russia-opcw-meeting-nerve-agent-attack-chemical-weapons-sergei-skripal-a8287676.html

Monomania

What is the underlying reason for the West’s antagonism towards Russia? What is the problem?

The basic outline of the problem is relatively simple. The West – by which we mean the centres of power in Washington, London, Paris and Bonn – are not able/willing to tolerate an independent Russia.

When they say they want Russian to be a “responsible member of the International Community” what they mean is that they expect Russia to align its policy with theirs. This is exactly what they mean. They expect Russia to adopt the same policy as them on all questions of the day: to go along with the disposal of the ‘Assad regime’; to accept the coup in Ukraine and the integration of Ukraine into the Western power structures; even to accept their current tastes for gender politics.

There are cultural and economic dimensions to this. The ever expansionist nature of the economy of the Western Empire requires that it continually create new markets and source new and cheaper raw materials. The project aims at transforming the globe into one integrated capitalist system. Power will be in the hands of large concentrations of financial and military power – well beyond the reach of anything which could be called democracy. Nation states will exist as hollowed out shells to provide an illusion of citizen participation. Anything which stands in the way of this; independently minded regimes (Assad, Gaddafi) will be opportunistically toppled if the chance arises. The countries of the ex Soviet block will be snaffled up – with no consideration for the possibility that some at least of their citizens still look to Russia not the West for protection. The process of overcoming obstacles is as messy and unprincipled as the system itself. The project of the West is trans-national and anti nation-state. Russia (and China) are both countries which still base themselves and their development on the idea of the nation state – a political centre which guides the country on behalf of the people. The economic project of the West is at odds with the political projects of Russia and China.

Culturally it seems, Western Europeans and Americans, for different reasons (the Americans because they are some kind of religious fundamentalists, the Europeans because of deep-seated fears about invasions by hordes from the East) cannot accept a strong Slav state which is different to them.

Were Russia to do what the West requires of it one couldn’t even call Russia a pussy. It would be a shameful act of surrender – to wilfully eliminate yourself as an independent nation. Who is going to do that? Certainly not the Russians. And (contrary to a widespread miscalculation in the West) this is the attitude not just of the Russian state but of the Russian people.

The West (that is the political, financial and military leaderships) are monomaniacs. They cannot tolerate difference. That cannot accept being part of a club which has room for its members to have different views on some questions. Ironically that is they cannot tolerate the very principle of democracy. But then the West is an Empire not a coalition of democracies as we are told. Empires cannot tolerate constituent parts which are independent from the centre. Russia then can never be part of the Empire. When the West talks about the “International Order” this is a kind of code for their Empire. It is thus inevitably true that Russian can never be part of this “International Order”, which is one and the same as the Empire of the West.

Empires always feel threatened by strong, independent states on their borders. By being outside of the Empire Russia, without especially doing anything, is a threat. This is why the West is continually rubbing the sore and stirring up trouble.

Where this goes is not yet clear. The West is no doubt banking on a change of leadership in Russia. They will do what they can to ferment that. But that may be a miscalculation based on dreams. Russia is not (any more than say Iraq or Syria or Libya) a country where 99% of the population are suppressed Western liberals who will rapidly emerge once the dictator who is suppressing them is removed. An attempt by the West to manipulate the government of Russia, Ukraine style, could get very messy. This scenario aside the most likely scenario between Russia and the West is simply a long standoff. Though this standoff contains the small but actual possibility of a  mistake leading to war.