The EU: From Social-Democratic Dream to Neoliberal Nightmare

the-eu-from-social-democratic-dream-to-neoliberal-nightmare

06-01-19 12:09:00,

Frank Lee Reviews The Left Case Against the EU by Costas Lapavitsas

Britain, in the shape of Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath, initially joined the EEC in 1973, after Charles de Gaulle’s resignation in 1969. De Gaulle had always been opposed to the Anglo-Saxon axis, regarding the UK as a ‘Trojan Horse’ for US geopolitical objectives, and consistently blocked the UK’s attempted entry into continental Europe. According to DG Britain ‘was not European enough’. With the General out of the way the path was clear for British entry.

However, this was not an altogether popular move with much of the electorate and some quite solid opposition from elements in both main political parties. This being the case the then Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, opted for a referendum on continued membership in 1975 to settle the issue. The electorate voted ‘Yes’ by 67.2% to 32.8% to stay in Europe. As I recall I voted ‘Yes’ and even wrote a pamphlet in support entitled: “EU the unfinished project.”

However, I was then blissfully unaware that the project which I had in mind bore little resemblance to the real strategy of the EU architects. At that time the neo-liberal counter-revolution was still in its infancy and did not really get into its stride until the 1980s. Prior to this there was an interregnum between the ending of the post-war settlement in 1975 and the emergence of the new world order. During this interlude it was still possible to believe in the independence of Europe, national sovereignty, the welfare state and a settlement where an independent social-democratic Europe stood as a bridge between the harsh realities of both American capitalism/imperialism and Soviet Communism.

Alas today the social-democratic, welfare-capitalism consensus is gone, probably forever, to be replaced by the brutal reality of an off-the-leash juggernaut which gives no quarter. Europe is now essentially an occupied zone. An American controlled political/economic/military bloc effectively corralled by NATO as well as other US puppet-facade institutions such as the IMF, WTO and World Bank. And the irony of all this is that the Europeans are not even aware of it.

In Western Europe many have come to accept without challenge the primal role of the US over the affairs of their states and give little thought to NATO except as a foundation to their security architecture.

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The U.K.’s Nuclear Dream Is Now Its Worst Nightmare

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16-12-18 05:27:00,

Thirty years ago it seemed like a dream: now it is a nuclear nightmare. A project presented to the world in the 1990s by the UK government as a £2.85 billion triumph of British engineering, capable of recycling thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel into reusable uranium and plutonium is shutting down – with its role still controversial.

Launched amid fears of future uranium shortages and plans to use the plutonium produced from the plant to feed a generation of fast breeder reactors, the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant, known as THORP, was thought to herald a rapid expansion of the industry.

In the event there were no uranium shortages, fast breeder reactors could not be made to work, and nuclear new build of all kinds stalled. Despite this THORP continued as if nothing had happened, recycling thousands of tons of uranium and producing 56 tons of plutonium that no one wants. The plutonium, once the world’s most valuable commodity, is now classed in Britain as “an asset of zero value.”

Over its lifetime the giant plant at Sellafield in Cumbria, north-west England, has taken spent fuel from eight countries as well as the UK and succeeded in producing a small mountain of plutonium and uranium of which only a tiny fraction has ever been re-used as intended. Instead most has been stockpiled and is now stored under armed guard with no use or purpose in sight.

White elephant

From the start, THORP was lampooned by cartoonists as a balloon in the shape of a great white elephant hovering over the English Lake District. The UK government maintained then − and still insists − that it was a major foreign currency earner, bringing £9 bn (US$11.4 bn today) to the UK over its lifetime.

There is though no publicly available profit and loss account for the plant. (Most of the prices and costs quoted here are those reported by the owners of THORP in their publicity at the time, but the total of foreign currency earnings and some of the 2018 figures below are new ones provided to the Climate News Network).

All that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which runs THORP on behalf of the government,

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Tagesdosis 14.6.2018 – Das Dream Team: Deutsche Medien & Bundespolitik | KenFM.de

Tagesdosis 14.6.2018 – Das Dream Team: Deutsche Medien & Bundespolitik | KenFM.de

14-06-18 12:03:00,

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Ein Kommentar von Bernhard Loyen.

Heute startet die Fussball WM 2018. Eine wirkungsreiche Mannschaft besteht aus dem Trainer, den Spielern und einem Stab an Personen im Hintergrund. Medizinern, Presseverantwortlichen und den unterschätzten Wasserträgern. Spielanalysen erfolgen hierzulande in Der Sportschau und dem Aktuellen Sportstudio. Themenbezogene Informationen erhalten interessierte Bürger zudem durch die Zeitschrift 11 Freunde, oder den Kicker, sowie den Sportrubriken diverser Tageszeitungen.

WM Zeit ist leider auch Phrasenzeit. Beispiel 1: Münzt man diese Aufzählung politisch um, wäre Angela Merkel für dieses Land die Trainerin, die Minister und Ministerinnen ihre Mannschaft und die Presseverantwortlichen wären die Pressesprecher der jeweiligen Ministerien. Der Oberwasserträger heißt aktuell Steffen Seibert. Analysen der Regierungsarbeit erfolgen bei ARD & ZDF in wohl bekannten Sendungen. Wahrnehmungen und Bewertungen erfolgen in ebenso bekannten Publikationen, wie Magazinen und Tageszeitungen.

Der wesentliche Unterschied? Verliert eine Mannschaft beim Fussball, ist das Resultat offensichtlich und vor allem unumstößlich. Kritik und Analyse befassen sich mit dem endgültigem Ergebnis und den Gründen. In der Politik schaut es da jedoch ganz anders aus. Eine mehrheitliche Einschätzung der politischen Arbeit, bzw. Ihrer Umsetzung, muss nicht unbedingt seine Bestätigung erfahren. Sehr simpel in einem Beispiel ausgedrückt: Die Regierungsverantwortlichen sind mit ihrer Politik ausgesprochen zufrieden. Ein Grossteil der Bürger sieht das jedoch nicht so. Dies wird dann z.B. kritisch durch Pressevertreter in der Regierungspressekonferenz hinterfragt, aber der Regierungssprecher antwortet: das sehen sie völlig falsch. Wie erwähnt, Plattitüden Zeit.

Nehmen wir handfestere Beispiele. Befinden sich z.B. aktuell ukrainische Panzer auf deutschem Boden? Ja, und zwar im Rahmen der Strong Europe Tank Challenge.(1) Klingt etwas wie Spiele ohne Grenzen(2), oder Takeshi’s Castle(3), ist aber eine knallharte Nato Übung. Die Ukraine ist zum zweiten Mal dabei. Schon 2017 konnte man erfahren: Ukrainische Panzer in Grafenwöhr. Auf den Oberpfälzer Truppenübungsplätzen üben Soldaten seit einigen Jahren wieder die Bündnisverteidigung. Dies dient zur Abschreckung Russlands. Und warum jetzt hier in Deutschland mit ukrainischer Beteiligung, werden sich Leser & Hörer etwaig fragen: Angesichts des Krieges „mit dem östlichen Nachbarn“,

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