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06 June 2015 @ 11:43 pm
The Politics of Anti-Austerity: The Spanish Elections and Participatory Democracy  
By Binoy Kampmark Global Research, June 05, 2015

The anti-austerity movement received another shot in the arm towards the end of May, with local elections in Spain following the Greek tune set by Syriza.  The notable casualties of the night were the ruling Popular Party (PP) and the socialist PSOE, necessitating the construction of previously unseen coalitions.   In an even more significant way, the gauntlet is being laid down towards traditionalists insistent on following the belt tightening approach that is strangling growth and encouraging continent-wide estrangement.
It is worth recalling what the night of regional elections heralded.  Madrid and Barcelona fell to two individuals one could hardly have called political regulars.  They were, in fact, bolts from the blue.  Former communist and court judge Manuela Carmena nabbed Madrid, while Barcelona found a new mayoral contender in Ada Colau.  While neither are formerly mayors as yet, with some wrangling to take place on the forming of power, the political scene has been more than just flipped.
As Ada Colau claimed, “This was the victory of David over Goliath.”  Podemos had been the background sponsor, the guiding hand behind the various dissenting movements across the country. It was Podemos who was issuing murmurings of sweet indignation in the Syriza political stalls when Greece went to the polls.  Now, Podemos was getting to play to the stalls of its own country.
Colau’s pedigree is a loud statement that shouts across the political barricades.  Like that of Carmena, it is not steeped in politics so much as a social reckoning.  It says much about Spanish, and more broadly speaking European politics, in its current state.  It is the indignation of the pilfered wallet, the emptied reserves, the heartless, uncompromising foreclosures.
Colau’s own name was made on the activist Platform for Mortgage Victims, a militant grouping initiating sudden interventions at the precise moment when evictions would take place.  The group’s existence owes its genesis to the bursting of the Spanish property bubble of 2008.  Where there are arrears in payment, the spectre of foreclosing banks, and the general sense of banksterville in motion, she is expected to be there to frustrate it.
Carmena has already made her intentions clear, also promising a halt to the repossessions.  She is acutely aware of symbolism in the urban setting of Madrid, where the smell of class is profound.  With populist bravado, she has placed the exclusive Club de Campo Villa de Madrid in her firing line of social reform. The world of the Club is the world of atmospheric elitism, monarchical connections bristling with class pretension. The bastion, it would seem, is down for tearing.
Carmena has declared her intention to remove the fences and let the curious public in.  She envisages accessible swimming pools, the conversion of the golf course to a farm school, and the transformation of the restaurants into a hospitality academy (City Lab, Jun 3).[1]
This has been greeted with the indignation typical of class war intensity.  Those frequenting the club are feeling the pinch that populism can bring.  A regular was quoted in El Mundo as saying that, “I won’t go back to Prada. One of the managers told me he was voting for [Manuela] Carmena.”
Both mayoral prospects are unrepentant. There is Prada, but then there are the political classes who have feathered their nests with conspicuous cynicism for decades.  The response from Carmena and Colau are promised reductions in pay, starting with the office of mayor itself.  Carmena insists on a reduction from €100 thousand to €45,402.  Colau in Barcelona intends receiving an even humbler €37,000.  Official cars are also been scrapped from the budget.
An urban revolution is most probably in the offing, one that promises more public housing, cheaper fuel, transit fares and lower costs of living.  Economic fundamentalists will be snorting, but then again, their ignorance of the social condition has been so profound as to even criminal.
In the background of these victories was Podemos, that “we can” movement of Spain that is setting the ruling classes on edge inside and outside Spain.  Not since the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s has this country been so relevant in its politics to the European scene, one torn by visions of capital and an assortment of “isms”.  Podemos has become a front of participatory politics.  Its enemy is austerity, its aim is the reduction of poverty; but its processes of engagement are far more significant.
It emphasises the role of the local political gathering, the use of citizen circles.  It is deemed a “citizen’s initiative that aims to build democracy through citizen participation and popular unity.”  As an explanatory note goes, “At its heart are over 1000 assemblies or ‘circles’, horizontally organised, locally-held meetings, in which people from across the political spectrum gather to discuss and decide how to turn their political frustration effective political action.”[2]
Ostensibly, the process involves extensive consultation, deliberation, engagement, voting and resolutions.  Podemos is attempting, at the very least, to bring the political process back to the electoral fold, making the elector a deliberative participant.  The estranged political classes, insulated by graft and anodyne political slogans, will be most worried.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com


Will Bilderberg allow this?
clothcapclothcap on June 6th, 2015 11:02 pm (UTC)
Libya's participatory democracy pre NATO terrorism
If it ever gets a foothold in the West it would be the death of the corrupt representative democracy illusion practiced by the banksters' zionist led western regimes.

Part one The solution of the problem of democracy

Part two The solution of the economic problem

Part three The social basis of the third universal theory

At http://www.mathaba.net/gci/theory/gb.htm
clothcapclothcap on June 6th, 2015 11:12 pm (UTC)
G7 Truth, News of the Screws, and David Cameron versus ISIS (216)
Going Underground
Afshin Rattansi goes underground with the former news editor at the News of the World and author, Neville Thurlbeck. As the Prime Minister’s former Press Secretary, Andy Coulson, is cleared of perjury, we talk to a man who shared a cell with him – and he tells us what it was like to work on the most scandalous stories of the last few decades. Also, Director of the NGO, Global Justice Now, Nick Dearden, asks whether tomorrow’s G7 meetings in Germany will be all about robbing the poor to feed the rich. Plus, as usual we look at the Prime Minister’s Questions – why David Cameron says that Assad must go – even though our armed forces are supporting him in his war against ISIS.

clothcapclothcap on June 6th, 2015 11:18 pm (UTC)
IMF Adrift as Kiev Sinks

IMF claims to see “signs of stabilisation” as Ukraine’s economy collapses. A bit like saying “steady as she goes” as the Titanic sinks
Alexander Mercouris Wed, Jun 3
One of the strangest things those of us who write about the Ukrainian conflict constantly come up against is the cognitive dissonance so many Western officials seem to suffer from whenever the subject of Ukraine comes up.
The worse the situation in Ukraine gets, the more optimistic they have to pretend to be.
It seems this strange malady is now affecting even as notoriously hard-nosed an organisation as the IMF.
By any objective measure Ukraine has so far had a terrible 2015.
GDP in the first quarter was down 17.6%. Industrial production was down 20%. Inflation is officially running at 35% and is expected to grow. Most people think it is already much higher. Ukraine is again running a trade deficit and though, largely because of Western aid, foreign currency reserves have risen to a very low $9.7 billion from a potentially catastrophic $5.7 billion, this is nowhere near enough to get Ukraine through the coming winter.
Meanwhile Ukraine is threatening to default and its debt negotiations are in deadlock. Ukraine has just rejected an offer from its private Western creditors to reschedule its debt payments because the creditors have refused an actual debt write-off.
The hard line Ukraine’s creditors are taking is not because they are insured against Ukraine’s default through credit default swaps. As the writer Ben Aris correctly says, the amount at risk if Ukraine defaults is almost certainly too big to be fully covered by credit default swaps.
The more likely reason for the hard line Ukraine’s creditors are taking is because they calculate that Ukraine is a big and potentially rich country that can fully pay its debts if it is run properly. They almost certainly know this will not happen under the present government, but they are probably looking to deal with its eventual successor. As big companies, they can afford a temporary hit while they wait, which, the way things are going, they probably calculate won’t be for very long.
Meanwhile, as the Ukrainian economy implodes and the debt negotiations remain deadlocked, an IMF team has produced a preposterous report that claims to detect “signs of stabilisation”.

The IMF is the globalist banksters' weapon of mass destruction.
clothcapclothcap on June 6th, 2015 11:22 pm (UTC)
Ex-Ukrainian President Yanukovych Tried to Bargain with Puppet Master and Lost
Viktor Yanukovych tried to play both EU and Russia but the US had already decided his fate. Rostislav Ishchenko argues that:
Yanukovych attempted to use Russia’s resources to pay for the integration with the EU
He was naive enough to believe that just because he is presenting the West with the whole of Ukraine he will be allowed to stay president
US and EU wanted free trade agreement with Ukraine to act as the “wormhole” from the US directly into the CIS and make Eurasian Customs Union worthless, thus negating all integration plans of Russia in Eurasia
clothcapclothcap on June 6th, 2015 11:23 pm (UTC)
Putin accuses West of deliberately creating Ukraine crisis
Jun 6, 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin says that the conflict in Ukraine was deliberately manufactured by "unprofessional actions" of the West, which he referred to as "our partner."
"I believe that this (Ukraine) crisis was created deliberately and it is the result of our partner’s unprofessional actions," Putin said in a Saturday interview with Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera ahead of his visit to the European country.
The remarks by the Russian president came amid allegations by the West that the Kremlin has been meddling in Ukraine’s domestic affairs and backing the independence fighters in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, where Kiev initiated a military operation in April, 2014 against pro-Russia forces.
The Ukrainian crisis began in 2014 when pro- European Union (EU) forces, including Western-backed radical nationalists, ousted then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych after he refused to sign an association agreement with the EU.
Following the appointment of a new pro-Western leadership in Kiev, it was further suggested that the country join the NATO military alliance and drop its non-aligned status.
The US and the EU have further censured Moscow over the reunification of Crimea with Russia in March, 2014.
Meanwhile, Moscow has repeatedly emphasized that it is not involved in the Ukrainian unrest, underlining that 96 percent of Crimean residents voted for rejoining Russia in a referendum following its declaration of independence from Ukraine.
More http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/06/06/414567/Europe-Russia-president-Vladimir-Putin-Ukraine-conflict-Minsk-accord-European-Union
clothcapclothcap on June 6th, 2015 11:26 pm (UTC)
Imperialist Chatham Hse, neo nazi supporters
The West MUST face up to Putin – or Nato and the EU could collapse, warn experts
THE West is risking the collapse of Nato and the EU by not facing up to Russian president Vladimir Putin, experts have warned.
By Scott Campbell Jun 4, 2015
Foreign affairs think-tank Chatham House warned that the conflict in Ukraine would be a "defining factor" for the future security of Europe – and suggested Moscow could use tactical nuclear weapons on Europe in future.
"Just because something is unimaginable for Western planners does not mean it is not considered a viable option by Russia," it said.
The report - whose authors include two former ambassadors to Moscow, Sir Roderic Lyne and Sir Andrew Wood - is scathing about the failure of Western leaders to foresee the crisis in Ukraine, accusing them of "collective amnesia".
At every stage, the report said, Mr Putin had been encouraged in his ambitions by the "weak and unconvincing responses" from the West.
"The Kremlin perceives that Europe lacks the will to pay the necessary price to defend its principles," it said.
Failure to provide effective support for the Ukrainian government - whose forces have been "outgunned and outmanned" by the separatists - would, it said, have far-reaching consequences for Europe and the wider Western alliance.
More http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/582091/Russia-Vladimir-Putin-Nato-European-Union-aggression-Chatham-House-politics-news?ref=yfp
Chatham is composed of very rich business men and traitorous politicians that would benefit from an EU superstate. It is funded by globalist corporations and governments.
clothcapclothcap on June 6th, 2015 11:36 pm (UTC)
Media's Beloved "Expert" Eliot Higgins - Wrong Again and Again and Again
(Moon of Alabama) Fri, Jun 5
Eliot Higgins aka Brown Moses, the founder of Bellingcat “by and for citizen investigative journalists”, is beloved by NATO media. Higgins is always able to “prove” by amateur “analysis” of open source data that the “bad guys”, just as the U.S. or NATO claim, did indeed do the bad thing that happened. The problem is that Higgins is no expert of anything. He was an unemployed office worker who looked at Youtube videos from Syria and tried Internet searches to find out what weapons were visible in the videos. That is all that made him an “expert”.
But Higgins claimed to prove that the Syrian government launched rockets with Sarin on Ghouta, an area south of Damascus. An MIT professor and real expert proved (pdf) that he was wrong.
Higgins claimed to “prove” that rockets launched from Russia hit Ukraine by looking at aerial pictures of impact craters. But a real expert of the method said that crater analysis is “highly experimental and prone to inaccuracy” and warned against its use without further corroboration.

German Image Forensics Expert Scoffs at Bellingcat's Allegations of Doctored MH17 Photos
RI Staff Fri, Jun 5

'Bellingcat Report Doesn't Prove Anything': Expert Criticizes Allegations of Russian MH17 Manipulation
Interview Benjamin Bidder (Spiegel Online International) Fri, Jun 5
clothcapclothcap on June 6th, 2015 11:38 pm (UTC)
Kiev Mayor Klitschko Gives in to Neo-Nazis: Opposes Gay Parade
News David Rudge
Right Sector threats succeed again in Kiev, this time limiting the rights of Ukraine’s LGBT community. The West however remains silent
David Rudge
clothcapclothcap on June 6th, 2015 11:40 pm (UTC)
Human Rights Activist Predicts Wave of Ukrainian Refugees to Hit the EU Soon
Many European countries want to keep Ukrainian refugees out. But soon they might not have a choice
Gilbert Doctorow Fri, Jun 5
At hearings in the European Parliament on Wednesday, Chairman of the Ukrainian Human Rights Commission Oleksii Tarasov warned that a wave of refugees from Ukraine is likely to hit the EU in the months ahead. Tarasov said that already in 2014 the number of Ukrainians applying for refugee status in EU countries was 13 times higher than prior to the crisis. So far this year 100% of those seeking refuge in Poland have been refused. The Baltic States have also been unwelcoming to those it sees as Russian speakers.
According to Tarasov, the economic situation in Ukraine is dire: the banks are close to collapse and all the major industrial enterprises have shut down. The tens of thousands of workers idled have been living off their savings, but savings will soon be depleted and the only remaining hope will be to get up and leave. This growing unease is in addition to the more than one million Donbass residents who have fled from the conflict zone, many of whom found refuge in Russia or Belarus.
More http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/human-rights-activist-predicts-wave-ukrainian-refugees-hit-eu-soon/ri7750
clothcapclothcap on June 6th, 2015 11:49 pm (UTC)
UK border guards ‘unable to cope’ with volume of migrants
The former chief inspector of immigration in Britain, John Vine, has said that the UK Border Force cannot cope with the influx of migrants to the country as its most experienced officers reach retirement age and are not being replaced.
June 06, 2015
The Border Force is losing some of its most experienced officers, who have the knowledge and expertise to spot lorries being used by criminal gangs and stowaway migrants, according to Vine, the Telegraph reports.
40,000 suspected illegal migrants were stopped at UK ports between April 2014 and 2015 although many more would have made it through undetected. Vine said it was not sufficient to rely on spot checks on the thousands of vehicles passing through Britain’s ports every week.
“The sheer volume of traffic coming through these ports is such that only a small portion of traffic can be checked without the ports being clogged up. It has to rely on good intelligence. When I examined this in 2013 I found a lot of the older, experienced staff were leaving and they weren’t being replaced. Experienced staff on the front line will watch and see suspicious behavior and that’s as valuable as the proper use of intelligence,” he told the Telegraph.
Vine’s comments come a day after 68 people were found crammed into lorries at Harwich in Essex.Hidden among washing machines and freezers the group included 35 Afghan nationals, 22 Chinese nationals, 10 Vietnamese and one Russian. Two pregnant women were among them and have been taken to hospital; four Polish truck drivers have been arrested.
In August 2014, 53 migrants were found in a container at Tilbury Docks in Essex; one of them, a 40-year old from Afghanistan, was dead.
And in February two illegal migrants died after leaping from a ferry also at Harwich and attempting to swim ashore. Both were sucked under water, one drowned and the other was chopped up by the ship’s propeller.
Even those who are found by border guards face a long wait for their asylum claims to be processed, and if unsuccessful will eventually be deported.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveled that net immigration into the UK reached 318,000 in 2014, the highest level since 2011. This is despite the promise from the previous coalition government to cap migration at the “tens of thousands.”
The figures released last month show how “how difficult it would be to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands,” said Madeline Sumption, from the Migration Observatory at Oxford University.
“Net migration has risen even despite new restrictions on family, work and student visas that were introduced during the last parliament,” she added.
More http://rt.com/uk/265477-uk-cope-volume-migrants/

Tories plan to jail, fine illegal migrant workers amid highest immigration figures since 2011
clothcapclothcap on June 7th, 2015 12:20 am (UTC)
Communists want Soros Foundation branded ‘undesirable’ group
June 04, 2015
Two senior lawmakers from the Communist Party caucus have asked Russian prosecutors to use the recently introduced law on “undesirable” foreign groups against George Soros’s Open Society organization.
“The anti-Russian activities of Soros’s foundation must be recognized as undesirable before they assume the destructive forms that we could observe in Ukraine, Georgia and other countries,” MPs Valery Rashkin and Sergey Obukhov said, appealing to the Prosecutor General.
The Communist leaders claimed that the Open Society NGO had conducted “persistent anti-Russian activities for decades and that it happened both in Russia and in other countries. They said that the group was allegedly promoting hatred against Russians in Ukraine and also launched some “proxy subversive operations” in the Russian Federation.
In particular, the two MPs blamed George Soros’s NGO for the destruction of the Russian education system, manifested in the much-criticized system of single state exams for schoolchildren as well as underfinancing of schools and institutes.
More http://rt.com/politics/264869-russia-soros-undesirable-foundation/
If Soros came to the UK would Cameron's regime prosecute the servant of the beast for nearly bankrupting the UK? One has to wonder why he wasn't extradited at the time considering the alacrity the same regime supported the extradition of a very minor trader to the US for doing what many major traders do every day.
clothcapclothcap on June 7th, 2015 12:28 am (UTC)
The US Is Trying to Pry Armenia out of Russia's Orbit
Even if US plans in Ukraine don’t work out, there are options for US to hurt Russia and cause instability. Armenia may be the weakest link as its closer ties with US:
may threaten Russia’s security as the unresolved conflicts in South Caucuses could implode
Armenia is part of the Eurasian Economic Union and any change in allegiances could prove disastrous for Russia’s Eurasian integration
But West would never support Armenia at the expense of Turkey, and thus the country won’t see any benefits if it changes course.
Andrew Korybko (The Vineyard of the Saker) Thu, Jun 4
The West is eager to poach Armenia out of Moscow’s sphere of influence, taking advantage of the vulnerable geographic fact that its territory is not contiguous to Russia or any of its official Eurasian Union or CSTO allies.
The aim is to dislodge the last bastion of influence that Russia holds in the strategic South Caucasus, which is its military base in Gyumri and the CSTO relationship it has with Armenia. There are three methods in which the West is going about its goal, and they are as follows:
clothcapclothcap on June 7th, 2015 12:36 am (UTC)
British govt ‘committed to opposing Israel boycott’ – Foreign Office minister
A British Foreign Office minister has said the UK is committed to opposing a boycott of Israel. The statement comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned a vote by the National Union of Students (NUS) vote to boycott goods from Israel.
The conclusion that is simple to draw is that Cameron's zionist regime supports the Israeli regime's persecution of Palestinians through apartheid, military aggression against civilians, civil persecution against children, destruction of Palestinian property and encroachment by settlement building on the remainder of unoccupied Palestinian land, the IL regime's refusal to participate in the nuclear non proliferation treaty and its aggression against Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Edited at 2015-06-07 12:42 am (UTC)
clothcapclothcap on June 7th, 2015 12:46 am (UTC)
Syria urges global action against Turkey ‘aggression’
Press TV Jun 6, 2015
Syria has called upon the United Nations to adopt a “prompt and decisive action” against what it described as the Turkish government’s aggression against the crisis-hit Arab country.
In separate letters sent to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN Security Council, the Syrian Foreign Ministry urged the world body to press Ankara to tighten its control of Turkey’s borders with Syria.
The letters were sent in the wake of a recent video released online by a Turkish opposition newspaper purportedly showing Turkish state intelligence agency (MIT) helping send weapons to Takfiri militants in Syria.
The Syrian ministry further described the international community’s silence over what it called Turkish crimes as tacit support for terrorism, which will culminate in further deterioration of the Syrian crisis and provides a cover for anti-Damascus terrorist groups to commit more atrocities against Syrians.
Details http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/06/06/414552/Syria-UN-Security-Council-Turkey-aggression
clothcapclothcap on June 7th, 2015 12:47 am (UTC)
Silencing whistleblowers and Western loss (E215)
Going Underground June 03, 2015
Afshin goes underground with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg on the government lies that lead us into illegal wars. Ellsberg covers the war on whistleblowers, the Senate debate on the expired Patriot Act, increasing surveillance in the UK and being the target of a White House assassination plot.
We’re joined once again by former MP and broadcaster Lembit Opik, and this week he’s looking at stories of loss. Lembit expresses his feelings about the loss of friend and Liberal Democrat politician Charles Kennedy. A loss of hearts and minds as former CIA director David Petraeus gives his advice on the fight against IS and why the UK government continues to fight a losing battle against drugs.