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Ghost Dog

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 16,649

About Me

A Brit many years in Spain, Catalunya, Baleares, Canarias. Cooperative member. Geography. Ecology. Cartography. Software. Sound Recording. Music Production. Languages & Literature. History.

Journal Archives

The new elite's phoney crusade to save the world - without changing anything (re. Davos)

... Conferences and ideas festivals sponsored by plutocrats and big business – such as the World Economic Forum, which is under way in Davos, Switzerland, this week – host panels on injustice and promote “thought leaders” who are willing to confine their thinking to improving lives within the faulty system rather than tackling the faults... By refusing to risk its way of life, by rejecting the idea that the powerful might have to sacrifice for the common good, (the elite) clings to a set of social arrangements that allow it to monopolise progress and then give symbolic scraps to the forsaken – many of whom wouldn’t need the scraps if society were working right. It is vital that we try to understand the connection between these elites’ social concern and predation, between the extraordinary helping and the extraordinary hoarding, between the milking – and perhaps abetting – of an unjust status quo and the attempts by the milkers to repair a small part of it. It is also important to understand how the elites see the world, so that we might better assess the merits and limitations of their world-changing campaigns.

There are many ways to make sense of all this elite concern and predation. One is that the elites are doing the best they can. The world is what it is, the system is what it is, the forces of the age are bigger than anyone can resist, and the most fortunate are helping. This view may allow that elite helpfulness is just a drop in the bucket, but reassures itself that at least it is something. The slightly more critical view is that this sort of change is well-meaning but inadequate. It treats symptoms, not root causes – it does not change the fundamentals of what ails us. According to this view, elites are shirking the duty of more meaningful reform.

But there is still another, darker way of judging what goes on when elites put themselves in the vanguard of social change: that doing so not only fails to make things better, but also serves to keep things as they are. After all, it takes the edge off of some of the public’s anger at being excluded from progress. It improves the image of the winners. By using private and voluntary half-measures, it crowds out public solutions that would solve problems for everyone, and do so with or without the elite’s blessing...

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/jan/22/the-new-elites-phoney-crusade-to-save-the-world-without-changing-anything

The UK must invest in a "People's Debate," leading, in time, to a "People's Decision." (Varoufakis)

... Yanis thinking big, and outside the box!

... With weeks left before the UK leaves the EU by default, none of the three main options on offer – a no-deal Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement with the EU, and rescinding Article 50 in order to remain in the EU – commands a majority in Parliament or among the population. Each generates maximum discontent: The no-deal scenario strikes most as a dangerous plunge into the unknown. May’s deal appalls Remainers and is seen by most Leavers as the kind of document only a country defeated at war would sign. Lastly, a Brexit reversal would confirm Leavers’ belief that democracy is allowed only when it yields results favored by the London establishment... If any of the three immediately available options were endorsed, say, in a second referendum, discontent would increase and the larger questions plaguing the UK would remain unanswered. Britons’ reluctance to endorse any Brexit option at present is, from this perspective, a sign of collective wisdom and a rare opportunity to come to terms with the country’s great challenges while re-thinking the UK’s relationship with the EU. But to seize it, the UK must invest in a “People’s Debate,” leading, in time, to a “People’s Decision.”

The People’s Debate must address six issues: the British constitution, including the creation of an English parliament or multiple regional English assemblies; the electoral system and the role of referenda; the Irish question, including the possibility of joint UK-Irish sovereignty over Northern Ireland; migration and freedom of movement; Britain’s economic model, particularly the outsize role of finance and the need to boost green investment across the country; and of course the UK-EU relationship.

To be democratic, the People’s Debate must take place in regional assemblies, leading to a national convention, where a menu of options is finalized before the next House of Commons translates them into referendum questions that will enable the People’s Decision by 2022. Thus, the UK government must secure a transition period after the country formally leaves the EU on March 29, lasting at least until the people can decide three years later.

During the transition period, the UK should remain in the EU customs union and the single market, with freedom of movement and full rights for EU nationals in the UK. Then, in 2022, voters can choose whether to stay in the customs union and the single market, exit completely, or apply to re-enter the EU as a full member...

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/british-brexit-debate-democratic-opportunity-by-yanis-varoufakis-2018-12

UK Gov defies Parliament to defend BOT tax haven corruption

The (UK) government has been accused of defying parliament by delaying plans to require British tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands to bring in public registers that reveal the true identity of owners of companies sheltering assets.

Foreign Office ministers have caved in after a rebellion in the British overseas territories (BOTs), including threats to take the government to court or even to secede from the UK. The British-administered tax shelters have always been seen as a blight on the Conservative claim to be fighting the multibillion-pound corruption industry.

The Foreign Office told the overseas territories that they did not need to introduce compulsory public registers until 2023 – three years after the date MPs had thought they had set by law in a fractious debate last May... "It as if the government has become the Department for Procrastination. It means the British overseas territories remain Britain’s achilles heel when it comes to financial corruption, money laundering and dodgy money.” ...

... "This takes (the government's) contempt for parliament to a new low.” ...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/11/mps-attack-ministers-over-delay-to-tax-havens-public-registers


... Surely one unspoken high priority goal of the leadership of the brexit side of the tory party and allies is to take some EU pressure off these corrupt and corrupting tax-haven BOTs, for obvious reasons. Please note, btw, that where France, Portugal and Spain have Outermost Regions of the EU, the UK insists on its City of London-affiliated outlaw BOTs which, except Gibraltar, are outside the EU.
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