Morning Star: The imperialist consensus exposes the hollow sham of democracy under capitalism

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I would like to quote all of this editorial but I am unfortunately restricted to quoting only an excerpt. https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/editorial-imperialist-consensus-exposes-hollow-sham-democracy-under-capitalism

Labour leader Keir Starmer addressing 400 business leaders at the Kia Oval, London, during the launch of Labour Party’s plan for business, February 1, 2024

BRITAIN’S ruling class is eager to carry on the pretence that there is real choice under their political system.

Capitalism promises us that it’s the politicians that call the shots, there are real differences between those politicians and that we’re the ones that elect the politicians and they’re answerable to us.

But as with most tricks, when looked at too closely, reality and the nature of the fraud become clear.

Nowhere is it clearer that there is no real difference between the ruling-class parties than the imperialist consensus on questions of foreign policy, militarism and war.

Rather than questioning the Tory government’s policy or strategy on the burning issues of Palestine or Ukraine, Keir Starmer has bent over backwards (not hard when you’re spineless) at each and every turn to not only stymie any criticism, but to heartily endorse Tory policy.

Britain is a proud western democracy — the oldest in the world in fact: you can stand as a candidate for whoever you want; you can vote for whoever you want; just as long as they enthusiastically cheerlead genocide in 2024.

I would like to quote all of this editorial but I am unfortunately restricted to quoting only an excerpt. https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/editorial-imperialist-consensus-exposes-hollow-sham-democracy-under-capitalism

Image of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. UK halts aid to UNRWA in Gaza over Israeli allegations that 12 staff from a total of 13,000 were involved in the 7 October 2024 attack on Israel.
Image of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. UK halts aid to UNRWA in Gaza over Israeli allegations that 12 staff from a total of 13,000 were involved in the 7 October 2024 attack on Israel.
Zionist Keir Starmer supports Israel's Gaza genocide.
Zionist Keir Starmer supports Israel’s Gaza genocide.
Continue ReadingMorning Star: The imperialist consensus exposes the hollow sham of democracy under capitalism

‘This is what ‘climate leadership’ looks like’: Sunak and Cameron blasted for taking private jets to COP28

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https://leftfootforward.org/2023/12/this-is-what-climate-leadership-looks-like-sunak-and-cameron-blasted-for-taking-private-jets-to-cop28/

One of the many occasions climate change denier and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak uses a private jet.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak travelled to the COP28 Climate Conference by private jet.

‘Members of a super-rich elite who are super-heating the planet.’

As the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) got underway in Dubai on November 30, the Prime Minister is facing fresh outrage from climate campaigners over his choice of transport to the meeting – private jet.

Downing Street confirmed that as well as Sunak, the new foreign secretary, David Cameron, and the King, were all taking separate private jets to a conference aimed at tackling climate change and cutting global emissions.

Defending the decision, the PM’s official spokesperson claimed there was nothing wrong with the UK’s leading representatives travelling to the crucial climate summit this way, as the government is ‘not anti-flying.’

“We are not anti-flying. We do not seek to restrict the public from doing so and it’s important the UK has strong attendance at COP28, given we continue to be a world leader in tackling climate change,” said the spokesperson.

No 10. also insisted that the plane Rishi Sunak was using operates on 30 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and carbon offsetting will be used to minimise its impact on the environment.

The announcement was not received well among climate campaigners and opposition parties.

Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party, described Sunak and Cameron as members of a “super-rich elite who are super-heating the planet.”

 “A short trip on a private jet will produce more carbon than the average person emits all year,” she continued.

Caroline Lucas said the “excessive climate-wrecking private flights amount to pumping jet fumes in the face of those on the frontline of this crisis.” The Green MP is also in support of a new levy on private jets to “make them think twice before hopping on the next one.”

https://leftfootforward.org/2023/12/this-is-what-climate-leadership-looks-like-sunak-and-cameron-blasted-for-taking-private-jets-to-cop28/

Image of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reads 1% RICHEST 100% CLIMATE DENIER
Image of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reads 1% RICHEST 100% CLIMATE DENIER
Continue Reading‘This is what ‘climate leadership’ looks like’: Sunak and Cameron blasted for taking private jets to COP28

Who are the polluter elite and how can we tackle carbon inequality?

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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/22/who-are-polluter-elite-how-can-we-tackle-carbon-inequality

Tesla CEO Elon Musk boards his private jet before departing from Beijing Capital International Airport on May 31, 2023.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk boards his private jet before departing from Beijing Capital International Airport on May 31, 2023.

Who are the polluter elite and why do they matter?

The richest 1% of people are responsible for as much carbon output as the poorest 66%, research from Oxfam shows. Luxury lifestyles including frequent flying, driving large cars, owning many houses, and a rich diet, are among the reasons for the huge imbalance.

Jason Hickel, an economist, argues: “We have to think about the rich in terms of how much they are depleting the remaining carbon budget. Right now, millionaires alone are on track to burn 72% of the remaining carbon budget for 1.5C. The purchasing power of the very rich needs to be curtailed. We are devoting huge amounts of energy to facilitate the excess consumption of the ruling class – in the midst of a climate emergency, that is totally irrational.”

The problem goes far beyond the greenhouse gas emissions arising from these lifestyles, substantial though they are. The polluting elite have an outsized influence on the climate in many ways. Hickel notes: “While personal consumption-related emissions are important, what matters most is control over investible assets. When we account for investments in polluting industries, we find that each billionaire is responsible for a million times more emissions than the average person in the bottom 90%. Who is making the decisions about investment and production in the world economy? About energy systems? When it comes to the question of responsibility, that’s what we need to be focusing on.”

It is simply impossible to have a polluting elite and a livable climate, argues Farhana Sultana, professor at Syracuse University and fellow at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh. Along with many developing country economists, she regards the high emissions of rich people in industrialised countries in terms of colonialism. “Carbon inequality is effectively a colonisation of the atmosphere by the capitalist elite of the planet through hyper-consumption and pollution, while the cost of that climate coloniality is borne disproportionately by the marginalised and vulnerable communities in developing countries.”

The culture of rich people, and rich countries, built on use and discard cannot continue in a world of finite resources and planetary boundaries. “What the 1% do is overuse the earth’s resources through extraction, hyperconsumption, a discard culture that produces enormous amounts of waste and pollution – all these processes together create significant strains to planetary systems,” she says.

One of the many occasions climate change denier and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak uses a private jet.
One of the many occasions climate change denier and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak uses a private jet.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/22/who-are-polluter-elite-how-can-we-tackle-carbon-inequality

Continue ReadingWho are the polluter elite and how can we tackle carbon inequality?

Here’s how the Tories will continue their war on the less well-off in the King’s speech

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One of the many occasions climate change denier and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak uses a private jet.
One of the many occasions climate change denier and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak uses a private jet.

https://leftfootforward.org/2023/11/heres-how-the-tories-will-continue-their-war-on-the-less-well-off-in-the-kings-speech/

On 7th November, King Charles III will open the next session of the UK parliament. It is likely to be the last before the general election expected to take place towards the end of 2024.

The King’s speech, written by the government, is the key part of state opening of parliament. It sets out the government’s policy priorities and legislative programme. So what can we expect, or not expect, the Conservative government to do to save its skin?

After 13 years in office and five Prime Ministers the government is spent and is unlikely to reverse any of its economic policies that have resulted in the highest ever public debt of £2.6 trillion (97.8% of GDP) and highest rate of inflation for 41 years.

The government won’t end austerity and real wage cuts. The average real wage is lower than in 2005. 14.4m were living in poverty in 2021/2022. 3.8m people experienced destitution in 2022, including around one million children. In the period 2012-2019, government imposed austerity caused nearly 335,000 excess deaths (nearly 48,000 a year) in England and Scotland.

A government obsessed with privatisation, outsourcing and cuts to public spending may pay lip-service to public investment, but won’t do much to deal with crumbling schools and public buildings. Parts of the National Health Service have been privatised by stealth and the government won’t do much to relieve the healthcare crisis. Some 7.8m people in England are waiting for hospital appointment (1 in 7 of the population). Some .2.6m are chronically ill and unable to work. In the five years to 2022, around 1.5m died whilst awaiting a hospital appointment.

The government is trapped by its subservience to defunct ideologies. It won’t modify Brexit and reach out to Europe to boost investment, trade and jobs. It won’t increase investment in infrastructure. In an OECD league table of investment in productive assets, the UK is ranked at number 35 out of 38 countries.

https://leftfootforward.org/2023/11/heres-how-the-tories-will-continue-their-war-on-the-less-well-off-in-the-kings-speech/

Continue ReadingHere’s how the Tories will continue their war on the less well-off in the King’s speech

Rishi Sunak to ‘double down’ on anti-green policies in king’s speech

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One of the many occasions climate change denier and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak uses a private jet.
One of the many occasions climate change denier and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak uses a private jet.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/oct/28/rishi-sunak-to-double-down-on-anti-green-policies-in-kings-speech

PM will announce a new system for awarding oil and gas exploration licences, and new pro-car legislation, sources say

Rishi Sunak’s government will use next week’s king’s speech to advance expansion of North Sea oil and gas exploration, as well as pro-car policies, in the hope of opening up a clear divide over the green agenda with Labour, the Observer understands.

Energy industry sources and senior figures in Whitehall say they expect ministers to announce legislation to usher in a new annual system for awarding oil and gas licences, despite the UK’s commitments to move away from fossil fuels and reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The king’s speech, the final legislative programme before the next general election, is also expected to include measures that will explicitly favour motorists, including making it more difficult for local authorities to introduce 20mph speed limits or supposedly unpopular schemes such as the ultra-low emission zone (Ulez), recently expanded in London.

Environmental campaigners point out that more oil and gas exploration licences are not only irresponsible, given the climate crisis, but that new laws are not needed to award more licences. This has been shown by the fact that the results of a new round of licences, launched just over a year ago during Liz Truss’s brief stint as PM, are due to be announced imminently.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/oct/28/rishi-sunak-to-double-down-on-anti-green-policies-in-kings-speech

Continue ReadingRishi Sunak to ‘double down’ on anti-green policies in king’s speech

Response to Rishi Sunak abandoning climate crisis policies

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One of the many occasions UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak uses a private jet.
One of the many occasions UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak uses a private jet.

This post should be regarded as a draft subject to change or elaboration. dizzy deep

Politicians given a climate brief often come to appreciate and understand how desperate and important the current climate situation is. I have reached the same conclusion from my experience of addressing the climate. By contrast people who attack activists and protesters are totally ignorant and have no idea.

Zac Goldsmith resigned from Rishi Sunak’s government on 30th June 2023 claiming that Prime Minister Sunak was “simply uninterested” in the environment.

Zac Goldsmith resigns accusing Sunak of being ‘uninterested’ in environment

In his letter stepping down from the Foreign Office, where his portfolio was overseas territories, Commonwealth, environment, energy and climate, Goldsmith said it had been a privilege to work as an environment minister, particularly under Johnson.

He said he had been horrified by the Sunak government’s “abandonment” of policies around animal welfare, and that its efforts on environmental issues at home had “simply ground to a standstill”.

Addressing Sunak directly, the Tory peer said: “Prime minister, having been able to get so much done previously, I have struggled even to hold the line in recent months. The problem is not that the government is hostile to the environment, it is that you, our prime minister, are simply uninterested. That signal, or lack of it, has trickled down through Whitehall and caused a kind of paralysis.”

Sunak’s disinterest should not come as any surprise: Sunak became UK Prime Minister on 25 October 2022; during his first week in office he announced that he intended to not attend the COP27 climate conference at Sharm-el-Sheik. That decision was reversed and he did attend, partly to avoid getting embarrassed by previous Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s intended attendance. Sunak routinely uses private jets and helicopters to travel regardless of the damage he causes to the climate.

I consider that Sunak’s disregard for the climate is due to his privileged situation: being excessively wealthy he is part of the problem of excessively wealthy individuals disproportionately damaging the climate. His lifestyle is that of a climate destroyer. He has a holiday home in Santa Monica, California, he routinely travels by private jet, he had to have the electricity grid to his home upgraded at his own expense to heat his private swimming pool FFS. He’s not able to address the issues of the climate debate because to do so would require he recognise and address his own destructive actions instead of ignorantly carrying on.

This post should be regarded as a draft subject to change or elaboration. I will also be increasing my attention to Sunak and the Conservatives. dizzy deep

Continue ReadingResponse to Rishi Sunak abandoning climate crisis policies

Zahawi’s tax evasions point to a more fundamental problem for the Tories

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https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/e/zahawis-tax-evasions-point-more-fundamental-problem-tories

TORY chairman Nadhim Zahawi’s tax problems are a bigger headache for the Prime Minister than he has yet acknowledged.

Zahawi pleads that it was mere carelessness that saw him forced to pay HMRC nearly £5 million in unpaid tax (inclusive of a penalty) while he was, er, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Financial sloppiness isn’t a great look for a chancellor, but in Zahawi’s defence he’s admitted to it before. It was after all a “genuine mistake” that saw him claim thousands in expenses to heat the stables for a horse-riding school on his Warwickshire estate.

Labour rails at Conservative “corruption and cronyism,” but the fundamental issue is more basic still. This is a government of the rich, for the rich, by the rich and it is making us poorer.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/e/zahawis-tax-evasions-point-more-fundamental-problem-tories

Continue ReadingZahawi’s tax evasions point to a more fundamental problem for the Tories

Congratulations to Rishi Sunak

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Congratulations to Rishi Sunak on becoming UK's prime minister today. 

His short-lived predecessor Liz Truss was not only in denial of the climate crisis but was actually actively hostile to renewable energy. Even though she only served 45 days, she imposed a windfall tax on renewables and nuclear energy only and promoted exploitation of oil and gas in the North Sea by issuing new exploration licences. [I am not supportive of nuclear energy.] 

The climate is in crisis. It's deteriorating and we're regularly breaking temperature records in UK despite so-far having it very easy compared to the rest of the World. It can't be simply denied as the Tories have been doing.  Denial of the climate crisis is insane. It's going to get worse and extreme protests like closing the M25 are going to increase, the idea being that the protestors are stopping normal conduct of life that is killing the planet. 

Hopefully Rishi will tax the rich to pay for public services. He should know - through being filthy rich - that they're not even going to notice it. 
Continue ReadingCongratulations to Rishi Sunak

Meet the real Richy Sunak

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OpenDemocracy has dirt on the longtime Boris Johnson facilitator and collaborator

Rishi Sunak could become PM. Here’s what he doesn’t want you to know

Rich as fekk, privately educated at ridiculously expensive public schools, owns many properties worldwide, cut benefits, helped cause the 2008 financial crisis, has a hedge-fund company called Theleme ! registered in the Caymen Islands, unknown business dealings, his missus Murty is richer than the Queen, has strong links to right-wing think-tanks, employs slick PR.

By bailing out vulture capitalists, Rishi Sunak has revealed his true priorities

Last week, in a largely unreported decision, Rishi Sunak quietly announced that private equity owned companies would now be eligible for government bailout loans.

This means that fabulously rich private investors like Blackstone, CVC Capital Partners, Apax Partners, Permira Adviors, and Bridgepoint will have access to government business support schemes such as the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) and coronavirus large business interruption loan scheme (CLBILS).

In many ways, this aligns with the government’s broader strategy towards COVID support schemes: they are primarily designed to support ‘business’. And this means that although some jobs may or may not be saved, this is incidental. The main aim is to preserve the corporate economy.

Rishi Sunak said he’d protect the vulnerable. So why is he making them pay?

Overall the Budget seems designed to fuel a two-tier recovery, where the winners from the pandemic prosper at the expense of everyone else. Ultimately, the effect is to shift the cost of the pandemic onto those who can afford it least. In practice this is disproportionately the young, women and ethnic minorities.

Continue ReadingMeet the real Richy Sunak