Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Elections In Greece, India, The UK, France: Why Are US Media Relatively Quiet About Them?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 10, 2015

It’s a funny thing, American media coverage of the politics of other nations. The US press (and especially its TV networks) will always let you know when right-wing parties and politicians do well, but almost never when lefties do well – unless it’s to, as in the case of Greece and the Syriza victory, sternly lecture the winners on the alleged dangers of “going too far”.

That’s why I’m willing to bet that, if you get most of your news from network TV or drive-time radio, you likely don’t know that India’s much-vaunted turn to the economic right just got 180ed yesterday, with bellwether elections in New Delhi (h/t chandu):

NEW DELHI: Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party has swept the Delhi assembly polls, winning 67 wins out of the 70 assembly seats, about two and a half times the number they won in the last election. The AAP chief won the New Delhi seat, defeating BJP’s Nupur Sharma by more than double the number of votes.

This is the highest share of seats won in the history of Delhi elections.

[…]

For the AAP, a young party born in 2012, this is a dream win. It has proved that an alternate politics can be viable. And its victory in Delhi, because of the city’s prominence as India’s capital and its nursery of ideas, will resound across the country.

For the Congress, this adds to the string of its recent failures. If the inability to win a single seat in Delhi, a city it ruled for 15 years till 2013, doesn’t prompt change in the party organisation, it’s unclear what will.

You may also not know that the Tories are in big electoral trouble in the UK, with Cameron likely to lose his PM job before the year is out.

Or that French president Francois Hollande, a Socialist, has seen his popularity, as low as 12% in November, rise to 40% last month (a huge amount for a country that doesn’t use a first-past-the-post electoral system), though it’s leveled off to the mid-thirties since then. The Charlie Hebdo attacks were credited for this, though his numbers had already started to rise in December, before the attacks. (Regardless, both he and the Socialists are now popular enough to beat back the far-right National Front in a recent by-election.)

Fascinating.

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UK Allowed Chemical Weapons Precursors To Be Sold To Syrian Locations Ten Months After War Started

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 1, 2013

Cameron’s lucky this didn’t come out before the vote last week, or it wouldn’t have been as close as it was:

BRITAIN allowed firms to sell chemicals to Syria capable of being used to make nerve gas, the Sunday Mail can reveal today.

Export licences for potassium fluoride and sodium fluoride were granted months after the bloody civil war in the Middle East began.

The chemical is capable of being used to make weapons such as sarin, thought to be the nerve gas used in the attack on a rebel-held Damascus suburb which killed nearly 1500 people, including 426 children, 10 days ago.

As well as attacks which have been blamed on rebel forces.

To continue:

The chemical export licences were granted by Business Secretary Vince Cable’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills last January – 10 months after the Syrian uprising began.

They were only revoked six months later, when the European Union imposed tough sanctions on Assad’s regime.

And who was buying these chemicals? That’s the big question. I seriously doubt they all were purchased by government agents.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Is Austerity Killing Europe’s Recovery? Well, Duh.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 2, 2011

The WaPo’s Howard Schneider (or his headline writer) asks “Is austerity killing Europe’s recovery?”

He then proceeds to answer his own question:

The campaign to reduce government deficits has come in response to a European debt crisis that could endanger the global banking system. And the budget cutting has been coupled with a reluctance by the the European Central Bank to stimulate economic growth like the Federal Reserve has in the United States; the ECB has instead raised interest rates twice this year to contain inflation.

Those steps have sucked hundreds of billions of dollars out of a European economy that may be edging towards recession.

Such a downturn, by choking off government revenues and increasing the demand for public services, could put struggling countries such as Spain and Italy at risk of missing the very deficit-reduction targets that budget cuts and other austerity measures were meant to achieve.

You don’t have to look at Spain and Italy for proof that austerity kills economies — just look at the UK. Their recovery ground to a halt once Nick Clegg fell for the extortion of the BNP Paribas ratings agency, which threatened to downgrade the UK’s credit rating if Clegg didn’t form a government with the austerity-jonesing Tories.

I’ve been seeing more pro-Keynesian rumblings lately. Could it be that some of the elites realize that they may be slowly smothering their own golden geese and need to back off from the neoliberal plan to destroy public social services worldwide?

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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