Failed By The State – The Struggle in the Shadow of Grenfell (Part 1)

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This is a ‘must watch’.  Explains the mechanism seen across London and other big cities of social cleansing. It’s the same one as is being used on the NHS, education, Fire service, police etc…. run them down, privatise and sell off the land.  It’s the dispossession of high value land from low income people.  It’s primary accumulation.  It’s ‘Disaster Capitalism’.  It’s redistributing wealth upwards and offshore.

It is the nature of Crony Capitalism and it is lethal.

Published on Nov 16, 2017

redfish presents its debut: An exclusive grassroots report into how austerity and gentrification caused the Grenfell tragedy, one of the deadliest fires in recent UK history.
Part 2 – Thursday 23th Nov Part 3 – Thursday 30th Nov #redfishstream

Cameron and Co demonstrate the Art of Disaster Politics

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Naomi Klein’s book ‘Disaster Capitalism – Shock doctrine’ describes how a ‘disaster’ is utilized, perpetuated and even manufactured, to get policy change or to reframe events – changes which would not be possible unless the population was in a shocked state, too devastated, distracted or worried to object.   The most obvious and current example is how the global banking crisis has been rewritten as Labour ‘overspending’ – which has, in turn, been used to justify dismantling the welfare state and privatizing the NHS/public services… the long-term ambition of the 0.003% since 1945.

“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.  That is easy.  All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace-makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.  It works the same in any country” – Hermann Goering

The tragic death of Lee Rigby in Woolwich has provided just such a disaster and perfect opportunity….

In the words of Jo Moore, special adviser to Stephen Byers, and product of the Peter Mandelson school of spin doctors:

It was ‘’a good day to bury bad news’.

Before the twin towers had even collapsed Jo Moore was already suggesting to the head of communications in the department of transport, local government and the regions that they should use the atrocity in America to overshadow damaging announcements they had been wanting to release quietly. 

Doubtless, Tory spin meister Lynton Crosby and minions, had similar thoughts about how best to use the Woolwich atrocity to reverse Cameron’s fortunes after an appalling and farcical few weeks… the Tory backbenchers’ ‘EU referendum’ amendment to the Queen’s speech, the opposition to ‘gay marriage’, and the (in no way farcical) criticism and warnings from the IMF over Osborne’s economic strategy.

The result was that the killing was framed as a national emergency requiring Cameron to be recalled, poste haste from Paris.  Ludicrously, Cobra was convened and we were subjected to Cameron’s impersonation of Churchill:

‘… this country will be absolutely resolute in its stand against violent extremism and terror. We will never give in to terror – or terrorism – in any of its forms.’

This despite even the wildest of reports acknowledging that this was probably a ‘lone wolf’ attack by a few clearly dysfunctional individuals.  To put this in some sort of context, there have been 152 fatal stabbings of teenagers in London between 2005 and 2013.

Former Cobra staff officer, David Livingstone writes in the Guardian:

The UK government did not convene Cobra for single attacks during the mainland IRA campaign of the 1980s and 1990s. Convening Cobra (which is a decision made by ministers rather than civil servants or the emergency services)….

The Woolwich murder did not merit the Cobra treatment.

Steve Bell’s Guardian cartoon says it all… Cameron reflated with hot air and faux sentiment.

But whilst it clearly provided a good distraction away from the woes of Cameron/Osborne, and exciting copy for the MSM, we learn that there have been at least 140 hate crimes against Muslim people, or their Mosques, since Lee Rigby’s death.  Some of which must be ascribed to the ‘war on terror’ hype.

In David Livingstone’s opinion – ‘The government’s reaction ensured international recognition for the perpetrators and makes copycat attacks more likely.’ 

… the wrong signals are being sent; first, to the public, who might become increasingly frightened rather than reassured, and, secondly, to the plethora of wrongdoers in society who want to make their respective points at the highest levels possible. The two criminals this week probably achieved political level recognition of their crime well beyond their expectation.

Further evidence of the disingenuousness of Cameron’s expressed concerns for this ‘terror’ attack, was that it did not extend to his abandoning his week’s holiday in sunny Ibiza.

However, the next stage of the ‘disaster politics’ is now unfolding.

The death of poor Lee Rigby is being utilized to justify the Home Secretary’s plans to tighten up controls on the internet and extend banning of radical groups preaching hate.

The Blairite former Home secretaries, Reid and Johnson, have jumped in to add their voices in support (presumably to ‘force’ Ed Miliband’s hand) .. and Nick Clegg is being pressurized to remove his veto on the ‘snooper’s bill’.

Meanwhile, David Cameron is rushing out a new terror task force ‘to crack down on extremism in the wake of the horrific murder of Drummer Lee Rigby’….  Unless, of course, it is David Cameron rushing to try and pre-empt any proposal that leadership contender Theresa May might make?

Doubtless, there are other ramifications and manipulations in the pipeline that I cannot even begin to imagine.  As Chris Dillow writes:

Many groups have an incentive to exaggerate the significance of terrorism, and to reframe insane violence as “terrorism.” For the police, such attacks give them a chance to further inflate their sense of self-importance and to seize more powers. And politicians can use the image of grave danger and an evil foe to appear Churchillian.

It offends every sense of decency that this horrific crime should be cynically utilised to mask the IMFs dire report of the economy; the internal divisions of the tory party; and to facilitate the passage of more draconian, authoritarian legislation.

However, it is beyond irresponsible that through such political manoeuvres, a criminal incident has been whipped up to the benefit of violent extremists from both racist groups (EDL/BNP) and Muslim fanatics.  It is truly ‘disaster politics’ for their victims.

http://www.citizensreportuk.org/reports/teenage-murder-london.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/24/woolwich-murder-merit-cobra-treatment?INTCMP=SRCH

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cartoon/2013/may/23/woolwich-attack-david-cameron-cartoon

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/may/26/theresa-may-measures-combat-terrorism

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/may/26/david-cameron-anti-terror-task-force

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2013/05/on-terrorist-probabilities.html

Naomi Klein on Capitalism and Climate Change

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Naomi Klein on Capitalism and Climate Change interview with Bill Moyers

“Let’s rebuild by actually getting at the root causes. Let’s respond by aiming for an economy that responds to the crisis both [through] inequality and climate change,” Klein tells Bill. “You know, dream big.”

Full transcript at  Journalist Naomi Klein on Capitalism and Climate Change

Monday, 19 November 2012  By Bill MoyersMoyers & Company | Video

Nearly 200 governments have gathered in Doha, Qatar, for two weeks of talks aimed at forging an agreement on the climate. Governments have until 2015 to draw up a binding treaty, the first since the 1997 Kyoto protocol, to cut greenhouse gas emissions and avoid dangerous global warming.

In the past few weeks alone, authorities including the World Bank and the International Energy Agency have warned that the world is heading for unprecedented warming – of between 4C and 6C – if current trends are not reversed.

There is a view that the lack of urgency on climate change mitigation, is linked to Disaster Capitalism and Shock doctrine.  As Naomi Klein describes for Hurricane Katrina and Super-storm Sandy, the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks – wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters — is used to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy.  According to this plausible hypothesis, there are those who believe that it would be worth the resulting droughts, floods, heatwaves and fiercer storms, as well as declining agricultural productivity, plant and animal extinctions, and widespread human migration, in terms of profitability, and facilitating the sort of governance that they desire.

In the UK, we have our own, home-grown disaster capitalists.  We are told of the looming energy short-fall which necessitates building nuclear power stations and granting licenses for gas fracking.  In the name of ‘creating growth’, there are Beecroft proposals for removing employee protection, ‘no-fault dismissal’ and George Osborne’s plans for an “employee-owner” scheme.  The supposed necessity of reducing the so-called structural deficit provides the imperative for privatisation of the NHS and other public services, together with horrifying cuts in benefits to the disabled and chronically sick.  And at the same time George Osborne has reduced of corporation tax to 24%, thereby increasing the structural deficit.

https://think-left.org/2012/11/07/naomi-klein-shock-doctrine-hurricane-sandy-and-unions/

The facts are that with current technology, 6 hours of sunlight falling on the world’s deserts could meet global energy needs for an entire year (Desertec).  The UK should be a net exporter of electricity with its natural resources of tidal current, wave, wind and solar. So why is George Osborne so opposed to renewable energy?  Follow the money!

Related Think Left posts:

NUCLEAR POWER IS NO ANSWER TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Think Left: Think Left: Clean Coal (Another Financial Device for the City?)

Think Left: Energy or Tidal

Think Left: The Energy Trap

Naomi Klein, Shock Doctrine, Hurricane Sandy and Unions

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“When I wrote The Shock Doctrine, I was documenting crimes of the past. The good news is that this is a crime in progress; it is still within our power to stop it. Let’s make sure that, this time, the good guys win.”

Naomi Klein writing about Hurricane Sandy and how there already attempts to use Sandy’s destructive power as a cash grab for large corporations.

In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries. At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq’s civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country’s vast oil reserves…. Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly out-sources the running of the “War on Terror” to Halliburton and Blackwater…. After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts…. New Orleans’s residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened…. These events are examples of “the shock doctrine”: using the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks – wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters — to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy.

Naomi Klein on the role of the unions.

Uploaded by  on Mar 9, 2011

Hurricane Katrina was exploited as an opportunity for deregulation, and the same calls were already being made less than three days after Sandy made landfall on the east coast of the US.  Just as after Katrina, there are dire warnings that the “pro-union rules such as the Davis-Bacon Act” (a statute that requires workers on public works projects to be paid not the minimum wage, but the prevailing wage in the region) will hold up reconstruction.  There have been calls for state legislation to be changed so that roads, bridges and tunnels could be rebuilt by private companies, which could install tolls and keep the profits.  But worst of all, there is a suggestion that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) should create “free-trade zones – in which all normal regulations, licensing and taxes [are] suspended”. This corporate free-for-all would, apparently, “better provide the goods and services victims need”.

In other words, the poorest and most vulnerable, those most impacted by the disaster, are to have removed what little remains of labour protection laws, privatisation of their scant public services and to provide a tax hand-out to the corporations who will already be benefiting from these disaster-justified changes.  Naomi Klein suggests that this is the tiniest glimpse into the ways large corporations are seeking to reap enormous profits from climate chaos.

But she also suggests that there is a different way and that the reconstruction from Sandy is a great place to start road testing those ideas.

Unlike the disaster capitalists who use crisis to end-run democracy, a People’s Recovery (as many from the Occupy movement are already demanding) would call for new democratic processes, including neighbourhood assemblies, to decide how hard-hit communities should be rebuilt. The overriding principle must be addressing the twin crises of inequality and climate change at the same time. For starters, that means reconstruction that doesn’t just create jobs but jobs that pay a living wage. It means not just more public transit, but energy-efficient, affordable housing along those transit lines. It also means not just more renewable power, but democratic community control over those projects.

In the UK, we have our own, home-grown disaster capitalists.  We are told of the looming energy short-fall which necessitates building nuclear power stations and granting licenses for gas fracking.  In the name of ‘creating growth’, there are Beecroft proposals for removing employee protection, ‘no-fault dismissal’ and George Osborne’s plans for an “employee-owner” scheme.  The supposed necessity of reducing the so-called structural deficit provides the imperative for privatisation of the NHS and other public services, together with horrifying cuts in benefits to the disabled and chronically sick.  And at the same time George Osborne has reduced of corporation tax to 24%, thereby increasing the structural deficit.

We do not need to wait for a hurricane to hit the UK.  Tory/LD policies have managed to escalate a global banking crisis into a national disaster affecting virtually every area of ordinary British life.  We have every reason to be demanding a ‘People’s Recovery’ programme of our own… right now!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/06/hurricane-sandy-americas-disaster-capitalists