Gangster Capitalism By William Bowles

17 July 2017 — Investigating Imperialism

Image by Julian Stallabrass via Flickr. Thank you Dandelion Salad

London has become “a desert of wealth“. Comment by a former planning officer for London heard on TV yesterday in a movie made by the BBC that managed to spend an hour on the destruction of London without mentioning capitalism once!

It’s all that ‘surplus’ cash the pirates have stolen from us (trillions) and put into luxury apartments that stand empty, monuments to greed. It’s simply an investment, a way of banking stolen wealth. It’s destroyed the London I grew up in, made a misery of all our lives, forced an estimated 200,000 people out of London, denuded entire neighbourhoods of shops, restaurants and services simply because nobody lives in them anymore, so no customers, no neighbourhood and definitely no community!

And the source of this ‘investment’ is endless, it comes from the global super rich, the 1%. It adds nothing to the wealth of society, in fact masks the reality that we are becoming poorer and poorer whilst these transnational parasites live it up in the city of my birth.

Every day, London grows to look more and more like the old Johannesburg under Apartheid capitalism, with the peons making their daily trudge into the city to serve their masters and then trudging back out again. A trudge by the way, that costs on average £3000 a year if you live outside London! A monthly travel card for bus and tube is now £135 or over £1600 a year.

The average rent for an apartment in London is now £1500 a month. In my neighbourhood, it’s £2500 a month! That’s £30,000 a year without adding in council tax, energy and transportation, or food and clothes, let alone books or movies or any kind of fun.

This is parasitical capitalism. It produces nothing and consumes everything! No wonder people think Corbyn is a Godsend, yet it’s his Labour Party that has contributed directly to this situation. Will we never learn?

 

Disastrous Capitalism – But is a Labour government the solution? By William Bowles

July 15 2017 — investigating imperialism

Class War

Consider the Grenfell Tower inferno as an expression of a new kind of class war, but not a class war as we have known it–between organised workers, political parties and capital–but between ordinary citizens and the local fiefdoms of the capitalist state as increasingly, big business has taken over the running of what’s left of our public and collective life, through ‘outsourcing’, public-private-partnerships and what have you, where making a profit is the bottom line, not serving the public.[1]

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Full Corbynism: Constructing a new left Political Economy beyond Neoliberalism

by Joe Guinan and Thomas M. Hanna

[I’m working on a followup to my previous outings on Corbyn, the Labour Party and the left, to be published shortly. I am still not convinced that Corbyn can so transform the Labour Party as to effectively make a new political formation out of it, that will, in turn lead us out of this nightmare toward real socialism but we’ll see. In the mean time, check this hymn to Corbyn out: ‘Full Corbynism: Constructing a new left Political Economy beyond Neoliberalism’. WB]

‘There are three stages’, Sidney Webb wrote in a Fabian Society pamphlet in 1890, ‘through which every new notion in England has to pass: ‘It is impossible: It is against the Bible: We knew it before’.’[1] This month’s sensational election result means that Corbynism is now rocketing toward the latter stage, consolidating its position as the new common sense on the left of British politics. Granted, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour didn’t win. Outright victory on 8 June was never likely given the party’s weak prior standing, and would have required a seismic shift far greater than could reasonably be expected in a landscape fractured and divided by Brexit. Nevertheless, what Corbyn and his team pulled off – against all odds, and in the teeth of an overwhelmingly hostile media and continual sabotage from within – is truly remarkable. The Labour Party is now a government-in-waiting, poised for the next General Election, which could come at any time and could easily carry Corbyn into Downing Street as Prime Minister.

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Grenfell Tower: This is what Austerity looks like By William Bowles

17 June 2017 — investigating Imperialism

‘The Prime Minister, Theresa May, had to [flee] the site of Grenfell Tower yesterday under police guard, BBC News, 17 June 2017

The Abandonment of a Community

Initially, I wasn’t going to write anything on this tragedy, I figured there would be plenty of analysis as to the whys and the wherefores of a building turned into a funeral pyre but I’ve yet to see the word Austerity used once, just once, in connection with this tragedy, which as usual in this world always impacts the most on working class communities, especially the poor, wherever it occurs.

Grenfell tower 2

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To the Barricades Comrades? By William Bowles

16 June 2017 — investigating imperialism

“From nowhere, a grassroots power base of [60,000] left-wing activists overturned Blair’s 20-year “New Labour” project, which took the party into the Clintonite center ground, and ultimately to three straight general election victories, No.10 Downing Street, and government. As the leader of Britain’s main opposition, Corbyn is technically the next prime minister in waiting. This is not a trivial achievement.

“It has left his party’s establishment stunned.” –  ‘Momentum: The Inside story of how Corbyn took control of the Labour Party‘, Business Insider, March 3, 2016

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Should I vote for Corbyn? I mean Labour? By William Bowles

7 June 2017 — Investigating Imperialism

And after all the bad things I’ve said about Corbyn (here, here and here) you would think asking the question was redundant, but is it? Should I vote for Corbyn/Labour Party or perhaps abstain? What is at stake here, aside from Corbyn’s political future (and perhaps the future of the Labour Party itself)? He is after all, almost at retirement age and thrust into a position that he never asked for in the first place. Had he been ten or twenty years younger I seriously doubt whether he would have accepted the position.

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What did I say! By William Bowles

1 December 2016

Further Update:

It gets even  more interesting. It’s clear that the morons in government are totally clueless about what to do about Brexit (I have sneaking suspicion that they hope it’ll just go away, somewhere). So I read that now, David Davies the ‘Brexit Minister’ is advocating paying to stay in the single market (BBC Radio 4 News). But you can bet that whatever the outcome it’ll be us that does the paying and not David Davies and his ilk.

Will it drag on forever until we’ve mostly forgotten about it, or will the rising water levels push such mundane things from our minds?

The future does indeed look bleak, so bleak in fact, that it’s unlikely we have one. So if the Orange Menace doesn’t invade (fill in the country) climate disaster will overtake, well firstly the poor of the planet  will be the first to pay (check Bangla Desh for example if you don’t believe me). Climate change is already impacting on tens of million of lives! But they’re poor and have brown skins, so it’s nothing new, we’ve been slaughtering them for centuries. The only difference now is the scale of the slaughter, now it’s planetary.

The final crisis of capital is upon us. War by climate change or war engineered to keep the imperialist economies from crashing. I truly think this is the last chance we have to save the planet and even then, it may well already be too late.

3 November 2016

Back when I had a burst of enthusiasm to write again, brought on by Corbymania and Brexit, I ventured to say that in all likelihood, we’d never leave the EU and, as things developed, I figured I’d probably have to eat my owns words.

Not so fast!

On a regular basis, I read all kinds of news stories from all over the place and one, from South Africa actually, carried the following:

UK parliament must vote on Brexit

The British High Court has ruled that the parliament must vote on Brexit. The ruling has the immediate effect that the UK cannot enact Article 50 and begin the EU departure. In the long-term, it may result in a parliamentary vote overruling the referendum. Resident UKIP ghoul Nigel Farage was quick to point out that this would be a betrayal of the overwhelming 51.2% majority of voters who want to see Britain leave the EU. 3 November 2016, The Daily Maverick

So, this really throws the cat amongst the pigeons. What if Parliament rejects Brexit? And what will the EU do if it does?

As the Chinese curse has it, ‘may you live in interesting times’.

Sign the petition – Blair must be held to account

20 August 2016

Well, clearly not that many people feel it’s important enough to haul the sociopath and war criminal Tony Blair into court for his crimes against humanity, as almost a month later and the count is now only around 16,800 people. A depressing reflection on our times don’t you think?

A new petition has been launched to bolster the campaign to hold Tony Blair to account by obtaining a House of Commons’ vote holding him in contempt of Parliament. Get 10,000 then Parliament has to respond (no response so far). Get 100,000 signatures and they have to debate it in Parliament.

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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