Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Erdogan’s overthrow of freedom

In Turkey, the enemies of freedom are winning. Crippling fines are imposed on media that criticise the government, and laws criminalising investigative journalism are used to arrest writers. The end result is the erosion of independent media and a creeping culture of cronyism. A recent report by English PEN, Journalism Under Siege, exposed the gravity of the crisis facing press freedom in Turkey. In 2015, 30 journalists were in prison, and another hundred had been detained in some way. Almost a thousand bans on publications were issued, and more then 42,000 websites were banned."

Terror is the new normal for Germany and France

Update: This piece was written yesterday and so is already out of date. This morning two armed men entered a church near Rouen during Mass.  They took the priest, two nuns and a number of congregants hostage. It appears that they slit the priest’s throat before themselves being killed by French security forces.  Nobody can think of any possible motive, though people claiming that attacking Christians at prayer is not a traditional Islamist practice have clearly not paid attention to Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan, Egypt or any number of other countries around the world."

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Brexit – an analysis in the aftermath.

As a friend confided to me in one general election, all the people and policies on offer are just different degrees of shit and none of them are the ones he’d go for. For once, the voter had a simple choice between going along with what every organ of the establishment was telling them they should do or waving two fingers at the lot of them. They duly turned out in record numbers to wave their fingers and despite the howls of outrage from the establishment and the rampant hysteria of the media in the aftermath of the results, they’d do exactly the same thing again, only more so if given a second opportunity.
For the last week the mainstream media in conjunction with an outraged establishment, have been hyper-ventilating their way towards an explanation of why such a simple exercise of basic democracy was somehow wrong because it came up with a result they didn’t agree with. ...........
The ongoing Euro crisis and the resultant serfhood for generations of the southern EU states to Brussels was the stumble, the unrestricted flood of shiftless migrants into Europe last year was the trip and Brexit is the fall which I think will break it unless it fundamentally reforms and backs off political union to its originally intended aim of a free market and nothing more – but I think the damage has been done.
All across the EU, the watching member states and their citizens, who’d been assured withdrawal from the EU was impossible, are starting to agitate for their own referendum. The only people responding to that democratic impulse are extremist parties who are gradually gaining political power as discontent seethes because it’s being ignored by the disconnected mainstream parties. They do so at their peril, as the British political establishment have just learnt to their cost.
A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of contagion."