Notes on the News
by Gwydion M. Williams
California gouging [Enron]
Appalled by Nepal [Royal Assassinations]
Dot-com and dotty-cons [stock bubbles]
As I write, Blair’s re-election is a assured. He has a clear mandate now to incorporate us into the US vision of the world as a Global Potemkin-village.
Our money-driven media gives a sham impression of famous people having a wonderful time. I doubt they find it that wonderful. Rather more people have enjoyable lives by ignoring those values than even by succeeding within them.
And consider also the largest number, hooked on a greedy consumerist image and yet not able to realise their dreams. Since these depend on most people not also having it, and they are most people.
You can take your homogenised Anglo-Saxonism, and stick it up your fundamentals of Englishness. That’s what the bulk of the electorate are saying/
The betrayal of ordinary Englishness began under Thatcher. And the English are not respectful of wealth the way most Americans are: they believed the promises of regeneration but also notice it did not happen.
Under Thatcher, Toryism got nasty, lost its magisterial dignity, dignitas, the thing that had kept it alive long past the natural lifespan of political parties. (Long past its Liberal rivals, whose utter lack of dignitas was neatly shown by the Thorpe affaire.) But though Thatcher also lacked dignitas and relied instead on a schoolgirl bossiness, there was still substance.
Only under Hague has the party become substantially contemptible.
Hague has been trying to borrow style of Major, who did win the election of 1992 against the odds. But Major always came across as human and humane. No one at all would call Hague humane.
I’ve said before that Hague’s big error was to try to win a British general election by appealing to the prejudices of the US electorate. The height of their ambition is to make us a kind of Extreme East Coast of the USA. Most Britons who’d want that have probably moved to the USA already.
There’s also the minor point that the USA does not want an Extreme East Coast. The majority of them are going mid-continental, disappearing up their own fundamentals, and discontent even with the East Coast they’ve got.
Despite which, Hague has pleased the core voters and that makes him hard to get rid of, assuming he doesn’t choose to quit. Besides, it’s hard to see anyone who’s electable who’d be any more popular outside the ranks of the faithful.
Soon after the New Cross fire, I saw a slogan 18-1-81 painted on a wall. That was the date that a houseful of black Britons died in a suspicious fire.
Police ought to start getting anxious to interview some racist numerologists.
President Bush refuses to help California, which is suffering black-outs because the gas it buys from Texas is suddenly much more expensive.
I’ve not yet seen an explanation as to why gas produced in Texas costs two and a half times as much in California as in New York. What else is that but gouging?
[This was later discovered to be caused by market manipulation by Enron.]
After his success with ‘feed the rich’ tax cuts, Bush is determined now to push ahead with the militarisation of space.
The revival of Ronald Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ was met with world-wide protest (with the odd exception of India, seriously untrue to Mahatma Ghandi’s legacy). Trying to drum up support, ‘Bush Minor’ went on a charm offensive.
No one was charmed. And many were offended. The notion of being charmed by Bush Minor belongs in Dante’s inferno.
It’s obvious that the aim is to widen the gap between the USA and other big powers. The USA does not now dare get heavy with any of the nuclear-armed states, but with a missile shield they might do so.
‘Rogue missiles’ are not very likely, anyone can spot where a missile comes from. But there’s the old idea of ‘Deathships’, modern equivalents of the fireships that did such damage to the Spanish Armada. Ship with a built in nuclear device, which can be much cruder than a feasible bomb, let alone a missile.
Such vessels could also be full also of low-level waste, enormous contamination as well as direct explosion. The idea was discussed before long-range bombers and missiles were developed, and the basic details have already been published in US magazines
It now seems that the US spy plane which crashed in Hainan Island will be dismantled and sent off in a Russian-model plane.
Meantime Bush is ensuring that nothing gets in the way to trade, his rich friends like trade as much as they like taxes which fall more on the poor.
Meantime China’s own poor, the peasantry, are under threat from the World Trade Organisation. “China’s entry has been delayed by its insistence on being classified as a “developing” country, which under WTO rules would allow it to grant subsidies of up to 10% to farmers, compared with 5% for “developed” states. Washington and other governments want the rate set at the 5% limit for developed economies.” (BBC Online, 5 June, 2001)
That’s to say, they want to extend the gap between the relatively prosperous modern cities and the poorer countryside. ‘Human rights’ is just a useful slogan to get at an independent-minded government. The actual rights and livelihood of actual people are constantly under attack.
In India after independence, the ruling Congress Party broke the power of traditional rulers, peacefully and democratically but very effectively.
In Pakistan, this was no done, and so the country cannot settle or run itself. And it seems this applies in Nepal also.
I know nothing of Nepali politics, but when I heard that the alleged assassin had also become King I had a profound feeling he wouldn’t reign very long.
Patricide part of authentic royal tradition. And so is fratricide, and one branch of a royal family wiping out their seniors. Suspicions have already been voiced, inside and outside of the country. Without an outside investigation, how can anyone be sure that the guilty party is dead and the beneficiaries were innocent bystanders?
It’s also, perhaps, an indication of how Tibetan politics might have gone had it ever managed to establish itself as a recognised independent state (as it never was under international law). Historically, Tibet’s politics were often murderous, with several Dalai Lamas mysteriously dying as they became almost old enough to displace the then-regent. And even in exile, factionalism has continued among a ruling class with no idea of the modern world.
The good news is that you can invest in stocks and shares and make a fortune. The bad news is that it’s likely to be someone else’s fortune, made at your expense.
All money made by smooth successful trades is made at someone else’s expense.
Market jittery slide has helped the ‘smart money’ to get out. Leaving the losses to the ‘stupid money’, the ordinary investor encouraged to risk money they cannot afford to lose.
Meantime the serious side of the Internet is being organised by huge corporations, and non-profit-making and public service websites do well. It’s been a boost to the economy, but not the source of ‘free money’ in the way it was made out to be by journalists.
Themselves rather close to the ‘smart money’ that continues to do well.