Seven days in June By William Bowles

30 June 2016

[A lightly edited version of this was published in the latest issue of Coldtype, available here as a pdf]

It’s very rare that you see the ruling elite totally at a loss for words: but they were. Gobsmacked and stunned would be accurate descriptions of the look on the political class’s collective face on the morning of June 24, 2016.

It’s the corporate/state media that effectively calls the shots when it comes to national decision-making in the UK these days, so most people assumed that the Remainers would win the previous day’s vote on whether or not the country should remain in Europe. The pre-voting propaganda was so solidly devoted to the “immigration problem,” that nobody considered the implications of actually exiting from the EU should the Brexiters win the vote. In fact, it just added to the confusion, the results of which are all too apparent now, with pro and anti at each other’s throats. And all of it, engineered.
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Media Lens: Killing Corbyn

29 June 2016 — Media Lens

The ‘Brexit’ referendum vote, split 52% to 48% in favour of leaving the European Union, has been exploited by the ‘mainstream’ media to launch yet another assault on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. ‘Impartial’ BBC News, directed by former Murdoch editor James Harding, has been one of the worst culprits.

Consider the wave of resignations of Labour shadow ministers which was heavily promoted in advance on the front page of the BBC News website: ‘ “Half” of Labour top team set to resign…the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg understands’. When the Labour resignations started to roll in, Kuenssberg could be heard virtually gloating over Corbyn’s predicament:

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In right-wing putsch, UK Labour MPs deliver overwhelming anti-Corbyn vote By Julie Hyland

29 June 2016 — WSWS

Fully 81 percent of the parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) supported Tuesday’s motion of no-confidence in leader Jeremy Corbyn. Just 40 Labour MPs voted against the motion, with 172 in favour. Thirteen did not vote at all and there were four spoilt ballots.

The extraordinary scale of the right-wing coup, which had already seen Corbyn lose most of his shadow cabinet in a series of timed resignations, was intended to force the Labour leader to resign. But in a statement put out moments after the result, Corbyn said that he had been elected “by 60 percent of Labour members and supporters” only last September, and “I will not betray them by resigning.”

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An essential summer reading list courtesy Climate & Capitalism

29 June 2016 — Climate & Capitalism

John Bellamy Foster
Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature
Monthly Review Press, 2000

This is a classic, the one book you absolutely must read if you want to understand what Marx actually thought and wrote about humanity’s relationship to the rest of nature. Foster demonstrates that Marx’s work is deeply relevant in this age of environmental crisis. It’s not an easy read-on-the-beach book by any means, but it is truly essential. If you have read it before, read it again: I learn more each time I open it.


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EU leaders call for rapid British exit and European military buildup By Alex Lantier

28 June 2016 — WSWS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi met in Berlin yesterday to discuss Britain’s vote to exit the European Union. The leaders of the three largest euro zone economies held a joint press conference in advance of a two-day EU summit that begins today in Brussels. At the press conference, they pushed for a rapid exit by Britain and a massive build-up of EU military and police operations.

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Oppose the coup plot against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

28 June 2016 — WSWS

The Socialist Equality Party denounces the campaign to remove Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. It is not only an attack on the right of hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members to determine their leadership; it is an effort to shift politics further to the right that threatens the entire working class.

The unfolding coup operation was instigated by a right-wing cabal of Labour MPs. But there is no doubt they did so only after discussions at the highest levels of the British state, including the security services—MI5, MI6 and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)—as well as with the US State Department and the CIA.

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NO MORE AUSTERITY | NO TO RACISM | TORIES MUST GO

27 June 2016 — The People’s Assembly Against Austerity

The People’s Assembly and Stand Up To Racism have called an emergency demonstration as the Tories face crisis following the referendum. Please do all you can to share, invite and be there! 

After the referendum unite to demand…
NO MORE AUSTERITY | NO TO RACISM | TORIES MUST GO

Demonstrate: Saturday 16 July 2016
Assemble 12pm, BBC HQ, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA
Share and invite on Facebook

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The fallacy, and the failure of reformism By William Bowles

27 June 2016

So I turn on the TV and up comes a BBC reporter, and the first words I hear are, “but the word that comes to mind regarding Mr Corbyn’s performance on campaigning to remain in the EU, is lacklustre…that’s what everybody is saying”. The reporter went on to blame Corbyn for the result because he didn’t campaign hard enough to Remain.

And yes, for once the BBC reporter is absolutely correct, Corbyn was, well less than lacklustre I’d say but the guy was caught between a rock and a hard place and surrounded by enemies within his own camp (thankfully all departed now). He would have had to stand up and be counted but I don’t think he has what it takes and we have to ask the question why? Why didn’t he appeal directly to those who elected him, the ‘forgotten ones’, the bottom 30% that the ‘good life’ in the EU has not only passed by but ripped them off for the past forty years. The ones who voted for Corbyn but who ironically also tipped the balance in the Referendum vote. Had Corbyn followed through and supported Brexit, I think the winning percentage would have been even higher.

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Brexit Backlash Against EU, Revolt Against Elites By Kevin Zeese & Margaret Flowers

26 June 2016 — CounterCurrents

The globalized economy is not working for most people of the world. International trade agreements and new government structures like the European Union serve corporate power and put the people and planet aside to ensure profits continue to come first. They undermine democracy and national sovereignty, leaving people feeling more powerless.

By pushing austerity and commodification of public services, people are now more economically insecure with less wealth and lower incomes. The response of many is anger. Some protest austerity, others blame people of a different skin color, heritage or ethnicity. The surprise vote in the UK to leave the European Union is the latest, and perhaps the biggest, example of the blowback economic and political elites are getting for their actions.

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What Next? Post-It Series #3 By S. Artesian

26 June 2016 — The Wolf Report: Nonconfidential analysis for the anti-investor

Over on Michael Roberts’ blog, I  came across this which sums it all up:

If you are this squeamish about (possible) consequences and retaliations of a Brexit, then, gentlemen, I suggest you go back to your dinner parties, essay writing, painting and embroidery, and forget everything about the revolution.

The fact that those reading that blog, squeamish and un-, might not be gentlemen, does not detract from the accuracy of the comment.  Props to its author.

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What Next? Post-It Series #2 By S. Artesian

24 June 2016 — The Wolf Report: Nonconfidential analysis for the anti-investor

Logical question, not that anything at all has been accomplished, but still…..the votes are in and Britain, temporarily,  has voted to exit the European Union.  Temporarily…not temporarily the exit stuff; but temporarily the “Britain” part, because Scotland and Northern Ireland voted remain.  So it’s England and Wales, or soon will be. Cameron and Osborne and Johnson and Corbyn and Farage will have accomplished what the Scots couldn’t, or didn’t want to, the dissolution of their union with England.

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Aprés la Deluge By William Bowles

25 June 2016

It’s not nice being called a Nazi, racist, xenophobe but that’s what has been and no doubt, still is, happening to me and others who think like me. It’s the direct result of the propaganda campaign the state and the corporate media have run with since the beginning in making immigration the central theme of the In/Out campaigns (see for example: ‘Bigotry was the bait for #VoteLeave, now it is our youth who will suffer most’).

Confusion reigns!

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Putin Conspiracies, Obama Nonintervention Blamed for Brexit By Adam Johnson

24 June 2016 — FAIR 

Is Vladimir Putin Orchestrating Russian Football Hooliganism to Push Britain out of the EU?No theory for the success of Brexit was too far-fetched–as long as the right people were blamed. (Telegraph, 6/21/16)

The referendum results in favor of Britain leaving the European Union seemed to have caught most Western media off guard. Betting markets and the pundit class had heavily favored a vote to keep the UK in the EU, but at around midnight on the US East Coast, it became increasingly clear Britain would be supporting “Brexit” by a roughly 52–48 percent margin. Per usual, the more cynical writers and pundits—no matter how contrived the task would be — would take the opportunity to take a story about a nationalistic British response to a pro-austerity EU, and make it about Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin.

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The Tory chickens come home to roost By William Bowles

24 June 2016

Ask yourself this: Why has immigration been made the pole around which, this entire referendum ‘debate’, has revolved? Why has the closet Nazi Nigel Farage of UKIP been given so much airtime?

Could it be the masses, hammering at the doors of Fortress Europe after we, that is the US-EU-NATO axis of pure barbarism, destroyed their countries, have something to do with it?

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Black Agenda Report for June 22, 2016: Democrats In Denial, Split or Get Off the Pot, Orlando Massacre & US Foreign Policy

23 June 2016 — Black Agenda Report

New This Week at Black Agenda Report

Democrats in Denial: The Peoples Summit

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The “Peoples Summit” in Chicago might have been a chance for Berniecrats to compare experiences and insights. But summit organizers, afraid to even call themselves Democrats knew they couldn’t trust rank and file activists to stick to the script. Instead of hearing activists, they tried to herd them, preaching and exhorting attendees from keynotes and the front of the room to unite and hold their noses if need be for the lesser evil. 

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U.S., Britain Developed Plans to Disable or Destroy Middle Eastern Oil Facilities from Late 1940s to Early 1960s in Event of a Soviet Invasion

23 June 2016 — NSA

British Plans Envisioned Using Nuclear Weapons as an Option in Iran and Iraq, According to Declassified Documents

Regional Allies Were Apparently Never Informed Out of Concern for “Unfavorable” Consequences, Though Some U.S. Officials Thought Host Countries Would Approve the Plugging of Oil Wells

Secret Oil Denial Policy Lasted at Least until the Kennedy Administration

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 552

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