What a 21st century civil war would look like

This article from 2020 by retired newspaper reporter Philip Ebersole, gives a clear indication of the squeeze the Americans have put on themselves.

The only major event he can think of in 1971 is the Nixon administration’s decision to go off the gold standard. From then, the U.S. dollar was redeemable not for gold or some other precious metal, but for U.S. Treasury bonds – in other words, IOUs.

Economist Michael Hudson has written books about how this decision allowed financiers and bankers to flourish and the U.S. military to finance its wars while the U.S. manufacturing economy faded away and living standards declined.

The decline of living standards has everywhere been the fertile ground for discontent and the emergence of extreme groups eager to rebel against the establishment.

The United States exercises financial and military power over the whole world, and as such may escape the consequences of government budget deficits and balance of trade deficits.

But over the years, the reduced purchasing power of the American citizen has weighed heavily and they have started to look for scapegoats, with the immigrant as the first and main culprit. Certain politicians were happy to take advantage of this and the hatred of ‘foreigners’ and refugees could only grow.

Days after the November 2020 election, with Biden clearly having won millions more votes than Trump but still not declared the winner, people in Europe could clearly see how wrong it had gone with Great America, and how it had become more of a failed state like Paul Krugman wrote,

“If we were looking at a foreign country with America’s level of political dysfunction, we would probably consider it on the edge of becoming a failed state — that is, a state whose government is no longer able to exert effective control.”

The losing side not willing to accept it as legitimate showed how weak that side was, but also how weak and divided the nation had become.

There were already signs lots of things could not go on like they did already for years, and as such Black Lives Matter originated as a non-violent protest movement to become a strong voice heard upto the Old World, where they are aware how easily non-violent protests could ignite a storm of other protests, but also of unseen interior battles (cfr. N. Ireland)

Flag of Confederate States of AmericaThird flag of the Confederate States of AmericaIn the States we can see the MAGA side, which loves the Confederate states and still lives in that world of segregation. We witnessed already the Confederate flags or Trump flags as they did the last three years in parades of pickup trucks and boats.
The mob which assaulted the Capitol in January 6, 2021 gave us already a taste of what America can expect. In a way that revolt or mutiny by Trump and his followers was already the start of a ‘civil war’.

Though nobody seems to be ready for the level of destruction that can be wrought by a civil war, the Americans should be very careful how to handle the different parties that came into life.

Trump lovers will not be afraid to join the right-wing militias and to pick up the weapons to give their cause more power. The weapon association they have already on their side, and most of them are already gun-lovers with a large armoury at home.

For them, it will only be a small step to armed resistance, against those who are against guns and against the restrictive laws of the Republicans.

For a short time now, the door has been ajar for those violent gangs who would not like to see Donald Trump not become their leader of their nation again.

 

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Preceding

2019 was #2 a Year of much deceit in the U.S.A.

Stress-test for democracy #1 Storming of the Capitol in Washington

The death knell of an Empire

Strasbourg – Conference on the Future of Europe

2021 in review #1 the most startling point

One year ago a sacred place was attacked

From Flanders battlegrounds to American prairies & the Demise of democracy

Our threatened democracy: Links 12/8/2021

‘Going easy on these people will not work’

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Additional reading

  1. Freely & fairly
  2. Tribes Redux
  3. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  4. Looking at an American nightmare
  5. The American democracy wasn’t built in a day, but it could be destroyed swiftly and imperceptibly
  6. Facts: Why they matter and how to check them
  7. One year ago people who said they love America stormed the Capitol
  8. The Independent looking at June 09 – June 15
  9. Global Headlines looked at the beginning of June 2022 by Bloomberg
  10. NYT selection of articles for the first part of June
  11. January 6: A Failed Apocalypse
  12. As Expected
  13. So-called own sacred values under threat
  14. Evangelicals & Seduction
  15. Points to rescue America
  16. Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

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Related

  1. The American Civil War: Reasons and Belligerents
  2. Insurrection – Violent Planned Parenthood Mob Attacks Arizona Senate Building (VIDEO)
  3. Johnny Reb and Union Jack
  4. ‘America, The Beautiful’ Is Broken
  5. Dear Democracy: The GOP Just Ain’t That “In To” You
  6. The Daily Shooting.
  7. Examine the various debates between the Northern states and the Southern states, which in due course instigated the American Civil War.
  8. Global Bombshell: Martial Law Plan Announced To Install Biden As Dictator, Use US Military Against Americans, Suspend Congressional Oversight
  9. Ideal movie for this sultry 18th of July :: Glory, one of the best anti-racists movies out there
  10. Gaines’ Mill to Malvern Hill
  11. The J6 Motive – Why Donald Trump Must be Removed, The Political Surveillance of American Citizens
  12. Peninsula Reflections

Phil Ebersole's Blog


Patriot Prayer rally. Source: US Defense Watch.

I think there is a real possibility of civil war in the United States—not all-out war as in 1861-1865, but an intermittent, continuing conflict like The Troubles in Northern Ireland in 1968-1998.

Whatever the outcome of the Presidential election, the losing side will not accept it as legitimate.  Democrats will point to illegal purging of voting rolls and other tampering with the election process.  Republicans will point to slanting and censorship of the news by big media and high-tech companies to favor Biden.

Many Democrats think President Trump is a puppet installed by Vladimir Putin to undermine the U.S.  Many Republicans believe the Q-anon story of a secret struggle against a conspiracy of pedophiles.

I’m not going to argue the relative merits of these beliefs.  The point is that they are widely held.  Democratic leaders didn’t accept the legitimacy of Trump’s 2016…

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‘Going easy on these people will not work’

Phil Ebersole's Blog

Mike Lofgren, an anti-Trump former Republican insider, said in an interview for Salon that pro-Trump zealots need to be crushed, banished and ostracized.

It is necessary to see the historical analogies that tell us what works and what doesn’t work.  The thing that pops into everyone’s mind is the Civil War.

People tend to get all misty-eyed about Lincoln’s statement, “With malice toward none, and charity for all.”   That was his second inaugural address in March of 1865.

What were the results?  A couple of weeks later, what he got out of it was a bullet in the head.  What Blacks got out of it was Jim Crow.  What Confederates got was pardons, amnesties, dropped charges and the ability to rewrite history.

The rest of us were saddled with them, and now we have a large portion of the country — a single region that is basically a Third…

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Our threatened democracy: Links 12/8/2021

In a democratic system, it is a matter of finding a golden mean; with only two (major) political parties at the helm each time, it is difficult to achieve a balance and spare another large part of the population (Greens, Liberals, Social Democrats, Socialists, Communists, etc.).

Phil Ebersole's Blog

Will You Storm the Capitol if the 2024 Election Is Stolen? by Thom Hartmann for The Hartmann Report. 

How Would the Left Treat an Illegitimate Election? by Thomas Neuburger for God’s Spies.

The pro-Trump protesters who gathered in Washington on Jan. 6 sincerely thought that the election had been stolen.  I don’t think the evidence supports this.  But suppose they had been right?  What could or should they have done?

This isn’t an academic question.  The 2024 election could well be rigged, and rigged in favor of Trump or whoever is the Republican presidential candidate.  There could be competing slates of electors from key states—a Democratic slate elected by majority vote and a Republican slate chosen by state legislators.

It’s quite likely the Republicans will regain control of the Senate and the House in 2022.  So the GOP, if it is united, would be able to decide in any dispute…

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From Flanders battlegrounds to American prairies & the Demise of democracy

Today I would like to present over here the same article I placed on one of my other sides, adding some endnotes. In “Some view on the world” I regularly try to bring a review of what happens in the world. And by looking at our globe we can not ignore what is going on, not so, what is going wrong, in the United States of America, or federal republic of 50 states, which was once a great nation, but since Donald Trump had taken over the power, started to deteriorate and fall in many pieces.

Struggles with democracy

Flanders fields, a battleground

For centuries, Flanders has been a huge battlefield for many nations who wanted to expand their territory.

The southwest of the Low Countries, the coastal region of northwestern Europe, consisting of North-West France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, seemed to have been an ideal place for serious battles. In the 9th century, a remarkable line of Flemish counts managed to succeed in erecting a quasi-independent state on the borders between the French and German kingdoms.

Looking to build a democratic system

Up to 1947 there were three nations looking to build a democratic system where citizens could feel united and live free. Together the three countries Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg formed the Benelux (in full Benelux Economic Union), with the objective of bringing about total economic integration by ensuring free circulation of persons, goods, capital, and services; by following a coordinated policy in the economic, financial, and social fields; and by pursuing a common policy with regard to foreign trade.

Belgium and Luxembourg had bilaterally formed already an economic union in 1921 and to the neighbouring countries, this did not look like a bad system. In 1960 the Treaty of the Benelux Economic Union signed on February 3, 1958, became active.

Benelux became the first completely free international labour market; the movement of capital and services was also made free. Postal and transport rates were standardised, and welfare policies were coordinated. In 1970 border controls were abolished.

Treaties

Following the ratification of the treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)  in 1952, first proposed as the Schuman Declaration by French foreign minister Robert Schuman on the 9th of May 1950 (today’s Europe Day of the EU), however, interest in such developments shifted to plans for the European Economic Community (EEC; later succeeded by the European Union), of which Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg are original members. For practical issues of economic integration, Benelux served as a useful example for the EEC.

A model for a no-war zone

Robert Schuman aimed to

“make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible.”

The ECSC was the first step to achieving different regions that felt part of a democratic unity, by regional integration spared from internal battles.

The ECSC stood as a model for the communities set up after it by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, the European Economic Community and European Atomic Energy Community, with whom it shared its membership and some institutions.

Continental Europe had, for many years, struggled with foundational divides — with periodic warnings of civil war — as recently as the 1950s. Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands were divided into ideologically opposed subcultures, sometimes called “spiritual families” or “pillars.”  One can fairly say that these countries became models of “consensual democracy,” having the willing agreement of all the people involved, accepting and respecting the subcultures to share power through creative political arrangements, and trying also to implement a fair voting system.

Voting systems

For the time being, however, in many countries that call themselves ‘democratic’, it is still difficult to set up a voting selection system in which the elected are selected on the basis of and in accordance with the percentage of votes.

The fact that the non-adoption of the distribution of seats according to the percentage of votes creates a big problem is clearly noticeable in the United States of America, where someone can still obtain the presidential seat even though he has fewer votes (just look at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton).

Christian nationalists

In the nation that many looked forward to as the ‘Land where everything is greener’, however, a development has been seen in recent years that should give us cause for fear, for democracy there is deteriorating noticeably. Christian nationalists are increasingly claiming the right to determine everything for the entire American community. But their concern is not to bring universal freedom to everyone. On the contrary, they want to get it through with all their might that the man will be all determining in the course and determination of laws.

Equality before the law has always been a difficult matter in the U.S.A., where a person with coloured skin was always considered less and was considered guilty in advance until proven innocent. For such people the right to a fair trial was and is until now very much the question.

Right-wing Christian demandand rules to follow

But also for the white people, we do now see a danger, having no freedom of thought, conscience, and religion anymore. Those white right-wing Christians demand that their idea of mankind shall be followed by law and that their religion has to be taken to construct or determine the legal rules to be implemented. By Donald Trump giving the U.S. Supreme Court a conservative majority, he seems to have succeeded to bring the nation deeper into a white nationalist loophole.

*

In 2017 I also wrote an article about the Anti-European movements that seemed to be enjoying a fair wind, not only in Great Britain but also here on our side of the Channel. Then we already could see how Euroskepticism had become a threat to the fundamental values of the common European life.

The last few years, many times we saw the Schengen Agreement undermined, though that agreement is the seal of proof for our ‘Union’, which assured a free movement concept within the internal borders, not only contributing to the economical dynamism but also to an inter-cultural exchange and thus to peace and understanding between different cultures.

In the States of America, there are people who would love to see the crossing of States in their nation be controlled and for some people forbidden and even punishable, as in the case of people who look for the possibility of an abortion. With the annulment of Roe v Wade, several states will be looking to further implement their own laws against written laws by other states in the US.

Possible tearing apart of the United States of America

In the United States, we will see that along the way, there will be greater differences and disagreements between the states, which in a few years’ time may lead to a break-away.

**

With the presentation of the article from Some View on the world, I hope to have given you a foretaste of what you can find over there, so that I may find you in the future to read other articles on that platform as well. Please be welcome.

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Preceding

2019 was #2 a Year of much deceit in the U.S.A.

Stress-test for democracy #1 Storming of the Capitol in Washington

The death knell of an Empire

Strasbourg – Conference on the Future of Europe

2021 in review #1 the most startling point

One year ago a sacred place was attacked

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Additional reading

  1. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  2. Freely & fairly
  3. 60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century
  4. A genuine European Union to ensure welfare, security and democracy
  5. Tribes Redux
  6. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  7. Looking at an American nightmare
  8. The American democracy wasn’t built in a day, but it could be destroyed swiftly and imperceptibly
  9. Facts: Why they matter and how to check them
  10. One year ago people who said they love America stormed the Capitol
  11. The Independent looking at June 09 – June 15
  12. Global Headlines looked at the beginning of June 2022 by Bloomberg
  13. NYT selection of articles for the first part of June
  14. January 6: A Failed Apocalypse
  15. As Expected
  16. So-called own sacred values under threat
  17. Evangelicals & Seduction
  18. Obeying the King
  19. Egypt in the picture
  20. The Guardian’s view on the world 2nd week of June
  21. Points to rescue America
  22. Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’
  23. Belgium showing signs of pre-Nazi Germany making certain people afraid to show up in public
  24. Vote!
  25. You Are Called To Stand Up, Even If You Are Standing Alone
  26. The Golden rule not always as easy as its sounds
  27. Today’s thought “Godly and dignified” (May 22)

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Related

  1. E. B. White on “the meaning of democracy”
  2. Fair elections depend on canceling the filibuster
  3. What Happened to Civil Debate, Open-mindedness, the Ability to Compromise, and Getting Things Done in US Politics?
  4. A View from the Land of Aloha – America is in a very bad way on multiple fronts right now – from Afghanistan to the South China Sea to the US mainland to democracy itself.
  5. We the what?
  6. The Republican Party Has Gone Dangerously Off The Rails
  7. US President Sanders’ Second Term
  8. Overthrow the Status Quo
  9. Why Do Republicans Seek To Destroy American Democracy?
  10. Why Aren’t Biden and the Democrats Going All Out for Democracy? | The Smirking Chimp
  11. White Rage
  12. Maybe More Americans Would Behave Like Responsible Adults If We Taught Them “How To”
  13. GOP’s Civil War in Nevada Erupts into ‘Ugly Scene’ as Far-right Extremists Try ‘To Bully Their Way into a Takeover’ | The Smirking Chimp
  14. You Can’t Tell ME What to DO!
  15. U.S. democracy is in danger
  16. We The People Get The Government We Deserve
  17. Fight Unjust Legislation and Theocracy Under the Constant Threat The GOP Switches to Live Bullets: This Is Where We Are, Do NOT Kid Yourself, Do NOT Shy Away
  18. This Is Why
  19. Karen J. Greenberg: Never Having to Say You’re Sorry
  20. There really is a vast right-wing conspiracy
  21. Steve Bannon Sends A Message To MAGA: Stand By | Crooks and Liars
  22. Hedges: The nature of neoliberalism and its consequences, with Wendy Brown
  23. Why Does Our News Media Insist On Equating Bullsh*t With Truth?
  24. Do You Remember When…
  25. Is the Confederacy a year away from winning the Civil War?
  26. Welcome to the Martians! We now live in a world stranger than science fiction | Salon.com
  27. Chris Hedges: Sheldon Wolin on Inverted Totalitarianism, with Wendy Brown
  28. Our threatened democracy: Links 12/8/2021
  29. Old Dog Thought- The Tale of two men of the media-The American nightmare
  30. Why Trump won in 2016 and lost in 2020
  31. Is Fox News The Greatest Cancer on American Democracy? | The Smirking Chimp
  32. Republicans And Rabbit Holes
  33. ‘Patriots’ are undermining American democracy | Michael Harriot | The Guardian
  34. This Is A Dangerous Time For American Democracy
  35. Scary Times For American Democracy
  36. Our Experiment
  37. Thoughts on America’s Bad Day
  38. The American Constitution Enshrined Blacks as “3/5th of a Person.”
  39. This is a WOW – ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt on the Commonwealth Club
  40. Feral States: The US Drifts Into the Pernicious Wilds
  41. Equality and Liberty are Exactly Opposite!
  42. William Astore: Is Democracy Going Down?
  43. American democracy is ruining the true democracy 
  44. Janine Jackson interviews Chris Lehmann: ‘The Race Crisis and the Democracy Crisis Are Inseparable’
  45. The Killer Ape: We Are Doomed
  46. USA Human Rights Reports Release Programme: CDPHR
  47. Things that make you go…
  48. A previously unimaginable sense of the absurd
  49. The Whole World Is Watching
  50. The Democrats–and the United States–Need a Miracle
  51. #January6- Has America returned from the cliff hanger?
  52. End of June…July…Independence?
  53. ‘There’s nothing guaranteed about our democracy’: Biden marks July 4
Posted in Christendom, Economy, History, News and Politics, Religion, Warning, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Burkini matter still not over in France

In 2016, my family was able to see for themselves how it was okay to walk around the beach bare-chested (also for women), but how covering thighs and upper body was considered reprehensible.

While several literal fires are taking place in France, a figurative fire is being lit in various parts of the country as to whether or not the body should be covered.

For a while, the debate around burkini‘s disappeared due to the Gillet Jaunes (Yellow Gillets), war in Ukraine and inflation, but now that the hot days are back and many people are cooling off in the water, the debate is back in full swing.

The Mayor of Grenoble is quite right in saying that if one cannot stand women covering their legs, then there is a problem, not with that woman, but with the person who does not tolerate such covering.

The French people still do not seem to see that “freedom” entails also freedom of religion and freedom of wearing or not wearing (certain) clothes.

In France the court has had to rule in the context of a secularism referral, a novelty of the so-called law “to fight against separatism”, introduced in August 2021.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

The municipal council of the south-eastern city of Grenoble, capital of Isère département, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes région, southeastern France (Dauphiné), southeast of Lyon, recently allowed religious bathing suits in swimming pools at the intercession of Green Mayor Eric Piolle, to the displeasure of conservative and far-right politicians who want a nationwide ban on the ‘Islamic’ body-covering swimming costume in public swimming pools. The city also voted to allow women to swim topless as part of a broader relaxation of swimwear rules. This reports the French news website France24.

After its ruling, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said Grenoble’s act had been “definitively overruled”.

“A victory for secularism and above all for the Republic,”

Darmanin said on Twitter.

France’s highest court upholds burkini ban

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Preceding

On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public

France and the Burkini

At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights

2016 in review Politics #1 Year of dissonance

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Additional reading

  1. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  2. Controversial burkini issue in France not finished yet
  3. Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised
  4. Not limiting others but sharing peace with all
  5. From Guestwriters 2016 in review
  6. Look Out, It’s the Fashion Police
  7. You are what you wear
  8. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast
  9. Listening to the lessons of the Bible and looking for ways to please God

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Related

  1. Italy rules out Burkini and Burka ban fearing law could provoke terror attack
  2. Italy rules out burqini ban and wants home-trained imams
  3. Minister says burkini bans not right for Italy
  4. Just under 30 percent of French Muslims reject secular laws – poll
  5. Burkini riot leads to French ban
  6. France’s highest court overturns burkini ban
  7. French authorities ask woman wearing a sarong to leave public swimming pool
  8. Women in London protest burkini ban in solidarity with ‘veiled sisters’
  9. From France to Sydney, places to swim still a beachhead for bigotry 
  10. Nawaz: Both Sides Are Wrong in the Burkini Wars – The Daily Beast
  11. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast – Catholic nun in her summer habit
  12. ICYMI: Burkini would not likely pass the CAQ’s citizenship test, says Legault e
  13. The world is burning and France is fixated on burkinis
  14. Burkini ban challenged by Grenoble city council in top French court
  15. French court rules in favour of burkini ban
  16. French Senate adopts tougher provisions to controversial bill
  17. Burkini – A simple guide to buying the perfect Islamic Swimsuit
  18. Burkini – The Perfect Muslim Beachwear
  19. French National Assembly removes discriminatory provisions in separatism bill
  20. Beach, Bikinis and Burkinis
  21. Everything You Need to Know About Burkini
  22. No place for Muslim Women in Grenoble’s public pools, rules top French court
  23. Religious or secular prudishness – a symbol of renouncement of the ideal of perfecting the human spirit
  24. Top 5 Brands That Are Redefining Modest Swimwear Hijab
  25. France’s burkini ban affects all women – not just Muslims
Posted in News and Politics, Religion, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How far is a government willing to go to hold up press freedom?

How far is a government willing to go to hold up press freedom?

Scientific journalism and a Whistleblower

In the past, there have been already a few people who brought certain things to light, which governments did not want to have the public to know it. Whistleblowers are a very important asset to secure that everything goes according to certain values and rules and according to democratic securities.

An Australian computer programmer practising what he called “scientific journalism” — i.e., providing primary source materials with a minimum of editorial commentary, caught the attention of the world the first time when news came out that somebody broke in into  NASA and the Pentagon secure systems. At that time he used his hacking nickname “Mendax.”

Cybercrime and leaks

Considered a youth, in 1991 Australian authorities charged him with 31 counts of cybercrime; to which he pleaded guilty to most of them, but gave him, because of his age, only a small fine as punishment.

1Graphic of hourglass, coloured in blue and grey; a circular map of the eastern hemisphere of the world drips from the top to bottom chamber of the hourglass.In 2006, under his own name, Julian Assange created WikiLeaks and posted his first message about a Somali rebel leader encouraging the use of hired gunmen to assassinate government officials. The document’s authenticity was never verified, but the story of WikiLeaks and questions regarding the ethics of its methods soon overshadowed it.

Disclosure of secret documents

For the Americans, the first problems arose when he placed details about the U.S. military’s detention facility at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, which overwhelmed us and showed us in horror inhuman things which should also be catalogued as war crimes.

Though, what got the American government to rise on its back legs was in 2010 when WikiLeaks posted almost half a million documents obtained from U.S. Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning (later called Chelsea Manning) — mainly relating to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From then on, Assange was a bird for the cat.

Two different worlds & violence against the truth

In Europe we could see how in the United States the public got totally different information than we could get in this old world. Sometimes it even looked like there were two different worlds at the same time evolving in a direction where news about wars frightened people, in different ways. From our backseat in the old world, we got more and more the impression that in the new world the rights of individuals were shrinking every day and that certain politicians were not afraid to do violence against the truth.

It became even more dangerous when they succeeded in getting the United Kingdom to do their bidding and make the rest of the world believe that Iraq had a lot of chemical and nuclear weapons that it was going to use to attack the Western world.

A Television channel taking the word

Roger Ailes, June 2013.jpg

American television executive and media consultant Ailes in 2013

With the arrival of Fox News (Fox News Channel, abbreviated FNC) the Australian-American media mogul Rupert Murdoch got his foot on American soil, bringing The Sun stuf to the general American public. As the chairman and CEO of Fox News, Fox Television Stations and 20th TelevisionRoger Eugene Ailes was not afraid to show that all who did not want to go with him could go away. Not only manipulated he the women, but also politicians, even becoming a media consultant for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, and for Rudy Giuliani‘s first mayoral campaign.

Ailes had a very good eye on what had to change in the American news gathering and knew very well how he had to reach the majority of people who normally would not read the newspapers and would not be interested in serious American politics analysation.

From personal computers to smartphones and social media

The TV4 and BBC HD satellite uplink DSNG using satellite trucks at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Helsinki, Finland

The advent of personal computers and mobile phones and the development of the Internet brought about a massive, worldwide proliferation of systems and facilities for news gathering, publishing, broadcasting, holding meetings, and speechmaking. It was a big challenge for those who wanted to manipulate the general public and several politicians jumped on the bandwagon with help of ghostwriters and men like Ailes, who was not afraid to bring some twists to what really happened.

Ailes did not need to have the proof of research, that demonstrated repeatedly that most reactors attempt, consciously or unconsciously, to cope with severe communication overload by developing three mechanisms: selective attention, selective perception, and selective recall.

World of information

The world of information today has become too large, and we can not pay attention to everything that goes on. Therefore some knew to lure the public to get them to only a few media, making that the general citizen failed (often unconsciously) to perceive therein any large proportion of the messages that they find uncongenial; and, having perceived, even after this screening, a certain number of unpleasing messages, they repress these in whole or in part (i.e., cannot readily remember them). As such the contemporary propagandists found their way to manipulate the public and with politicians who claimed the press was telling all lies, they managed to get the general public on their hand and have them believe people like Donald Trump, who was really the man telling all the lies, but people thinking he was telling the only truth and nothing but the truth.

Persecution and Hunted Prey

Assange after bringing internal documents from the Scientology movement, in 2008, that group threatened suit on the grounds of copyright infringement. WikiLeaks responded by releasing thousands of Scientology documents.

In the same year wikileaks.org site was briefly shut down as a result of legal action in the United States, but mirrors of the site, registered in Belgium (wikileaks.be), Germany (wikileaks.de), and the Christmas Islands (wikileaks.cx), were unaffected.

In 2009 the site made news when it released a cache of internal e-mails from East Anglia University’s Climatic Research Unit. Global warming skeptics seized on “Climategate” as proof of a conspiracy to silence debate on the subject or conceal data.

In December 2010 wikileaks.org was forced off-line once again when the site’s domain name provider terminated its account in the wake of a series of distributed denial-of-service attacks; as with previous service interruptions, WikiLeaks remained available on mirror sites or by directly linking to its IP address. Days later Assange was arrested by British police on an outstanding Swedish warrant for alleged sex crimes.

Assange has been held in Belmarsh since April 2019 when he was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He had spent seven increasingly surreal years there, after skipping bail to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault. The charges were later dropped.

Assange has been described as “a useful idiot” for the Russians, referring to the leaking of Hillary Clinton’s private emails in 2016 which arguably aided Donald Trump’s run for the presidency.

“I love Wikileaks!”

Trump said at the time – but failed to pardon Assange at the close of his presidency.

Plots against Assange

On the 29th of October 2021 credible reports of CIA plots to assassinate or kidnap Julian Assange made it impossible to know what would happen if he were extradited to the United States, the Wikileaks founder’s lawyer told the High Court.

The central London court heard a second and final day of legal arguments in the US appeal against District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision in January not to extradite Mr Assange, citing a real and “oppressive” risk of suicide. Assange who is being held in Belmarsh prison, was reported to be too unwell to join proceedings even by video-link.

Representing the journalist, Edward Fitzgerald QC told the court that Mr Assange faced a “menacing, threatening and frightening” situation while under surveillance in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and that he was monitored “in co-operation with an American agency” during his time there.

He was responding to James Lewis QC, representing the US, who defended the proposal for extradition by stating that

“Mr Assange would have a cellmate, the average sentence for these crimes is only five years, and he would probably have his time in detention taken off his sentence.”

That day former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP,  could also be found outside the court saying:

“Julian Assange should be released immediately. A monstrous injustice has been done to this man whose only crime is telling us the truth.”

We may not forget that certain matters brought forward by Mr. Assange, about the treatment of certain prisoners in the United States should bear our concerns and worries.

“In a different country he would be hailed as a whistleblower who told the truth about the dangers we are all facing, the dangers the whole world is facing,”

Corbin said.

“I think we should bear witness to Julian’s bravery and his determination and demand … that he’s not removed under any circumstances to the United States, and … that he be released from Belmarsh so he can continue his life with his partner, with his children.”

The 11th of December 2021 the ruling of the court was a stark reverse of that handed down by then district judge Vanessa Baraitser in January, which found that Mr Assange’s extradition would be “oppressive” given his history of mental health issues.

But Lord Holroyde directed that the case should be returned to Westminster magistrates’ court, then pass to the secretary of state to order the extradition.

He described the assurances from the US as

“solemn undertakings made by one government to another.”

Speaking outside the court, then Mr Assange’s fiancee Stella Moris, shaking with rage and choking back tears, said the decision would be appealed in the Supreme Court at the earliest possible moment.

She dismissed the judge’s faith in US undertakings as “dangerous and misguided” and a “grave miscarriage of justice.”

“The assurances in which the court has placed its trust are inherently unenforceable,”

she said.

“Julian is the most important journalist of the past 50 years and this court wants to hand him over to the CIA, who we know plotted to kill him.

Representing Press freedom

“He represents press freedom — we must keep up the fight to free him.”

National Union of Journalists general secretary Michelle Stanistreet also condemned the ruling.

“For Julian Assange to be extradited to answer charges for cultivating a source and encouraging the revelation of criminality would be a hammer-blow to free expression,”

she warned.

“Any journalist who thought they might upset a US administration will reasonably fear that they too could be targeted by a judicial snatch squad.

“When the freedom of our judiciary is under threat, it is disappointing that senior judges should buckle in the face of such unconvincing US blandishments.”

John Rees, of the Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign, is not giving up the battle to protect Mr Assange from extradition.

“I think it’s disappointing and surprising that the judges should have accepted the assurances of the US, when in court they heard the facts that the CIA were attempting to plot a kidnap or assassination of Julian Assange.”

he said.

“It seems unreasonable that you should accept assurances from them. But they did, and it means it will be appealed in the Supreme Court.

“These are very determined people — we are not going to let this stand. There’s a lot of legal road to run and the fight goes on.”

Amnesty International said the so-called assurances upon which the US government relies

“leave Mr Assange at risk of ill-treatment,” are “inherently unreliable” and “should be rejected.”

The human rights group concluded that the charges against Mr Assange are “politically motivated” and must be dropped.

Capitulation of the British legal system to US demands

For years the American government has put pressure on the British government to deliver Assange to them.

Advocacy groups said the decision to allow the extradition represents a complete capitulation of the British legal system to US demands.

Cage UK said that Mr Assange is a political prisoner of the “war on terror” and as such must be protected from the US witch hunt against him.

The campaign group’s managing director Muhammad Rabbani said:

“Assange’s crime is having the courage to hold the US to account.

“Should the Home Secretary now allow his extradition, it will forever be an indictment of the government’s betrayal of free speech, true journalistic investigation and accountability.

“The extradition is a political witch hunt against Assange for his attempts to check and expose the abuses of the US war on terror.”

He pointed to a recent speech by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in defence of political prisoners and said the US must demonstrate that this commitment is genuine by dropping its case against Mr Assange.

“We join the thousands of supporters of Julian Assange in condemning this judgement and demanding he is set free immediately,”

Mr Rabbani said.

Demonstrating

At the beginning of January, to mark the 1,000 days that the WikiLeaks founder has spent in prison, supporters gathered outside Belmarsh prison in south-east London, where he was being held as the United States continued to attempt to extradite him.

His wife Stella Moris renewed her call for his release, noting that he has spent longer in Belmarsh than many prisoners sentenced for violent crimes.

She said:

“His young children, aged two and four, have no memory of their father outside the highest security prison of the UK.

Ms Moris said that as long as he remained in prison, Mr Assange would be a political prisoner, warning that his “indefinite incarceration” would kill him unless it was brought to an end.

“In those 1,000 days, Julian has been held in extraordinary isolation for part of the time, faced two Covid shutdowns and, in October, he suffered a stress-induced stroke during his latest hearing,”

she said.

What also does not seem alright is that his lawyers had only limited access to their client, which has undermined his defence.

Assange not being convicted of any crime is simply held at the request of the US government while they try to prove to UK courts that he should be extradited to face charges in America for revealing the truth about the Afghan and Iraq wars. Then one can wonder why the British government does not allow Mr. Assange to attend his own hearings or when he has been permitted to attend, his requests to sit next to his lawyers have also been refused.

“Every major civil liberties organisation, the National Union of Journalists, and MPs from every party have called for his freedom. It is long, long overdue that their voices were listened to.”

National Union of Journalists assistant secretary Seamus Dooley called Mr Assange’s continued incarceration

“a stain on the history of the UK.”

“The fact that Assange remains in prison under threat of extradition to the United States because of his role as a whistleblower is a cause of grave to all who cherish the right to freedom of expression.

Wall of silence. – Major news outlets failing to play their role

One would expect the press to properly inform the public about what is going on in the Julian Assange dossier.

Julian Assange would be free within days if the mass media ended its “deafening silence” over the persecution of the Wikileaks founder, a UN expert claimed February 19.

The Swiss academic, author, and practitioner in the field of international law, since 1 November 2016 serving as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Nils Melzer, accused major news outlets of failing to play their role as the “fourth estate” to inform the public about the implications of the case against Mr Assange on press freedom and the rule of law.

The UN official said he had previously believed the press would “jump on” evidence pointing to

“political persecution and gross judicial arbitrariness”

in the case. But instead he has faced a

“wall of silence.”

The untouchable

“This man has become so untouchable because of the narrative that has been created, but there is no evidence of that,”

Mr Melzer told a media briefing organised by the Foreign Press Association on the release of his new book The Trial of Julian Assange.

“[The press] are not able to play their role as the fourth estate and inform the public about due process violations that are being played here behind the curtains. That really what I found is extremely concerning.”

War & need to stand up for free speech, the right to challenge authority and to express unpopular opinions

The Supreme Court’s rejection of Assange his appeal bid in March, was grim news for the journalist whose Wikileaks organisation has done more to expose war crimes than any other media outlet this century.

The ruling made several people think that our governments are telling lies to us about war, just as relentlessly as the Kremlin does to its citizens, while our major media outlets seldom challenge official narratives, especially on foreign policy.

The airwaves are now full of the horror being inflicted on Ukrainians by Russian bombers and artillery. So we should think back to the content of the Afghan and Iraq war logs published by Wikileaks.

The horrendous civilian death toll from US bombings in Afghanistan. Cockpit camera footage showing US helicopter pilots laughing as they machine-gunned unarmed civilians in Iraq.

The victims of US war crimes are no less worthy of the world’s attention than Russia’s. Those who have helped expose those crimes are as deserving of protection.

Yet the British state has engaged in a sustained campaign to break Julian Assange.

It has held him in conditions amounting to torture. It imprisoned him for skipping bail though the charges he had originally faced had long since been dropped.

There has rarely been a greater need to stand up for free speech, the right to challenge authority and to express unpopular opinions. To question the huge power of privately owned comms platforms to censor and silence.

Accusations by Boris Johnson

Earlier this year Boris Johnson caused uproar when he accused Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer of

“prosecuting journalists and failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile

while director of public prosecutions.

Establishment outrage at the reference to Savile extended to resignations from the Prime Minister’s own team. It was widely echoed on the left.

The sheer hypocrisy of a Conservative trying to tar Labour with complicity in the notorious paedophile’s lifelong impunity stuck in the throat, given Savile’s close ties to top Tories including Margaret Thatcher herself.

Far less attention was paid to the first part of Johnson’s accusation — though it was just as hypocritical. The PM is believed to have been referring to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and Starmer’s infamous injunction to Swedish prosecutors not to get “cold feet” over seeking his arrest.

But if Starmer’s behaviour was shameful, the persecution of Assange has been a political choice by Conservative governments.

Official portrait of Rt Hon Priti Patel MP crop 2.jpg

Priti Sushil Patel, British politician who has served as Home Secretary since 2019 and was Secretary of State for International Development from 2016 to 2017.

That reality can no longer be masked now Assange’s case has been passed to the Thatcherite Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Starmer tries to ban support for the Stop the War Coalition — organiser of the largest march in British history, the February 15 2003 demonstration against the invasion of Iraq — on the grounds that it posits a “false equivalence” between Russian aggression and the behaviour of Nato.

Reports of war crimes by Russian forces in Ukraine are used to portray its armies as uniquely evil (though a report by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) acknowledged that there is also evidence of war crimes by Ukrainian troops).

After the shocking bombing of a hospital in Mariupol, a BBC reporter stated that

“this is what the Russians do,”

pointing to bombings in Syria as evidence. Though over there, like in Georgia and Chechnya the Russians could do such war crimes without being penalized by the west.

Much too often the countries where people live in full comfort, their governments do not want to upset them too much by what wars really do. They also do not want to know how such killings are often made possible by them, making money by selling the tools to kill. As such we can find Saudis who bomb hospitals in Yemen, with British equipment and logistical support. They silenced the news that the French bombed weddings in Mali. The Australians murdered prisoners in Afghanistan. According to the International Criminal Court prosecutor looking into British behaviour in Iraq, there was a “reasonable basis” for believing that British troops were involved in the willful killing, torture, rape and a range of other crimes.

Punished for the role in exposing crime

Assange is being punished for his role in exposing crimes like these. For holding a mirror up to Western powers whose record of savagery is as grim as anything their rivals are accused of.

Their response is to try to lock him up permanently while all the power of the digital monopolies is brought to bear to silence anti-Establishment voices and criticism of Western foreign policy.

That’s why the cause of Assange is now the cause of peace, as well as of free speech. Causes under threat in a world that is getting dark.

Giving in to US government’s demand

Friday, June 20, secretary Priti Patel agreed to the US government’s demand that Julian Assange be extradited to face a trial which could land him with a 175-year prison sentence.

This decision can be seen as a Tory attempt to silence critical journalistic voices, which is what the assault on Julian Assange is intended to do, and goes hand in hand with the attempts to stifle effective political protests, to further tighten what are already the most restrictive anti-trade union laws in Europe, to alter the voter registration process to effectively exclude poor and marginalised voters, and to beef up an already draconian Official Secrets Act (OSA).

For Assange’s South African born dark-haired wife, Stella (39), who lives with her two children in West London, Patel’s decision was the latest blow in a relationship that, by any standards, has been extraordinary.

She admired what he’d done with WikiLeaks;

I thought it was extraordinary and transformative and it was very clear to me that, despite all the public exposure he’d had, he was, in fact, in a vulnerable situation.”

In a way, she felt protective of him because she found that man could need all the help he could get. For much of the 11 years she has been involved with Assange he has been in a condition of captivity – self-imposed as it was at the Ecuadorian embassy, where their two children, aged three and five, were conceived; and in Belmarsh, where the couple married in March. For her Assange’s case is

“a travesty of justice.”

On July 3, to mark Assange’s 51st birthday, campaigners, including his father John Shipton, drove in an open-top Routemaster bus, emblazoned with the slogan:

“Free Assange”.

Now a documentary, Ithaka: A Father, A Family, A Fight for Justice, co-produced by Assange’s half-brother Gabriel Shipton, is being released, chronicling Assange’s fight against extradition through the eyes of his wife and 75-year-old father.

It was good to see that at last, when Patel’s decision was made public, the mainstream press came to realise that there is a fundamental threat to freedom of expression at stake in the Assange case. Most of the print press is now sympathetic, including the Mail and the Telegraph, although not the Sun (which seems logical, when we look at its policies and manner of presenting news). The broadcast media, including the BBC, is at least providing more coverage, and more balanced coverage, than it has in the past.

Unions also need to speak up

It gave also some hope now other voices also came to be heard.

As unions rallied for the first national TUC demonstration in years, we must see clearly that the government’s attacks on democracy are aimed at suppressing the labour movement — and that the state persecution of Assange is part of that attack on democracy.

Those having leading positions are not willing to give in to the requests of the public to share their gains and do not want them to come to see in what they are involved as well, which brings in, some pocket money too.

Repression

People should see, how we have come into a situation where the British government its answer is repression.

Legislation to imprison protesters for up to 10 years if the police deem their protest a “serious nuisance.” New powers to stop and search, extended use of tasers. The bans on unauthorised gatherings will be used to arrest pickets if the employer complains they are causing “serious disruption.

The monopoly media bombarded socialist-led Labour with lies and smears for five years until it went down to defeat in 2019. Now it is used to demonise trade unionists and misrepresent strikes, just as it is being used to demonise asylum-seekers and promote the government’s appalling attack on refugee rights.

Easy excuse & shutting down critical voices

In several countries, we now see that governments are conveniently using it to blame all their difficulties on the war in Ukraine. With the political leaders, the elite has seized on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to further entrench their total media dominance.

A crackdown on “disinformation” is an excuse for the handful of digital giants — Google, Facebook, YouTube — to shut down critical voices and platforms on a vast scale.

In British politics, the “Russia threat” is used to attack the peace movement and narrow still further the range of acceptable political views, to those who question nothing of significance about our state, our foreign policy or our economic system.

No equivalence

There are in high echelons who claim that there is no comparison between what is happening now and what was brought out by Assange.

It is not convenient for those who claim there is “no equivalence” between Nato and Russia that WikiLeaks has published thousands of documents detailing war crimes, the massacre of civilians, murder by drone, the extrajudicial killing of prisoners by the United States and its allies in multiple recent wars.

For those who wish to hold on to power, journalists should be more careful about what they release to the general public. They must realise that what should not see the light of day, will not be tolerated to be uncovered by journalists. Therefore, Assange must be set as an example to the whole world so that it is made aware of what can happen to them if they start stirring the pot too deeply.

It’s a warning to all journalists of whatever country. It will cow journalism everywhere and help the powerful to cover up their crimes. It is a step along the path of absolute ‘Establishment control’ of the narratives we are permitted to watch, read and listen to.

It must be stopped.

 

+

Preceding

Changing screens

2014 Human Rights

Internet absurdities

Where is the USA wanting to go with the freedom of their people

Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear

2015 Human rights

2015 In the Picture

A look back on one decade of unchecked power and mixed results

A strong and wise fighter who keeps believing in America

Pushing people in a corner danger for indoctrination and loss of democratic values

To protect our democratic system #1 Danger of fake and malicious social media accounts

Academic intolerance for dissenting views is reaching new highs

Here is the truth or the lie

Undermining security and democracy via the Internet

++

Find also to read

  1. Declining commitment to democracy : What’s going on around the world?
  2. Safeguarding freedom of expression
  3. Journalism under attack
  4. 60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century
  5. Month of freedom and liberty with Independence Day or Deceived day
  6. Massacre of Black people by a white supremacist is not an anomaly nor new phenomena in the United States

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N-VA doet kandidaten voor sociale woningen de das om

N-VA legt weer absurde beperking op voor de gewone man

Wie een sociale woning wil huren, zal vanaf 2024 de afschriften van zijn of haar bankrekeningen moeten laten zien. Wie te veel op zijn rekeningen heeft staan, krijgt geen sociale woning.

Sociale huisvestingsmaatschappijen

Matthias Diependaele, kleinzoon van Renaat Diependaele, voormalig oorlogsburgemeester voor het VNV en senator voor de Volksunie, actieveling in de Vlaamse Beweging, onder meer in de Vlaamse Volksbeweging

De Vlaamse regering heeft vrijdag, op aangeven van minister van Wonen Matthias Diependaele (N-VA), beslist dat sociale huisvestingsmaatschappijen vanaf 2024 zullen controleren hoeveel geld iemand op zijn rekening heeft. Die regering die het zo dikwijls over ‘privacy’ heeft, en daarom bepaalde zaken niet toe laat, zorgt er dan ook wel voor dat er helemaal geen private gelegenheid is over het inkomen en het bezit van een persoon.

Middelentoets

In het regeerakkoord van 2019 staat het letterlijk:

“Om misbruiken te voorkomen, voeren we een middelentoets in bij de inschrijving en toewijzing van een sociale woning.”

Verderop lezen we nog:

“De betrokkene is verplicht actief alle informatie te delen.”

Daarbij werd niet gespecifieerd welke informatie. Nu heeft de regering hieromtrent meer klaarheid gegeven. Hun “middelentoets” is deze week kenbaar gemaakt. De details rond de middelentoets zijn nu namelijk goedgekeurd door de Vlaamse regering.

Doel

“Het doel is simpel: de schaarse sociale woningen vrijmaken voor de meest behoeftigen”,

zegt Vlaams minister van Wonen Matthias Diependaele (N-VA) in “Het journaal”

Dat men mensen die al een woning in het buitenland bezitten uitsluit, is meer dan logisch en moet degelijk onderzocht worden. Maar spaarcenten op de eigen rekening in België kan men een brug te ver noemen. Dat men bij aanvraag en voor de toekenning afschriften van bankrekeningen, spaarrekeningen en ook beleggingsrekeningen, in binnen- én buitenland moet voorleggen aanschouwen die regeringsleiders plotseling dan geen schending van de privacy, terwijl ze er voor de rest goed mee rondzwaaien.

De nieuwe voorwaarden gaan wel niet over wie nu al een sociale woning heeft.

Als uit de rekeningafschriften blijkt dat je een bedrag hebt bijeengespaard dat gelijk is aan wat je per jaar mag verdienen om recht te hebben op een sociale woning, word je geweigerd. Zo mag een alleenstaande zonder personen ten laste niet meer dan 25.850 euro bezitten. Voor een gezin met twee volwassenen en twee kinderen is dat 43.107 euro.

Bij vermoeden dat er toch ergens meer geld zou zijn moet de kandidaat-huurder zelf bewijzen van het tegendeel voorleggen.

“De bewijslast ligt bij de kandidaat-huurder”,

horen we bij minister van Wonen Matthias Diependaele (N-VA).

Te veel geld

Nieuw-Vlaamse AlliantieMet de maatregel dat wie in 2024 volgens de N-VA ‘te veel geld’ op zijn rekeningen heeft, die persoon geen sociale woning meer kan krijgen, worden weer eens een heel pak mensen uitgesloten om een betaalbare woning te krijgen en duwt men de sociale woningmaatschappijen in een moeilijk parket dat zij enkel minder begoede huurders zullen kunnen hebben waardoor hun inkomen-uitgaven evenwicht in gevaar komt. Verder doet dit een bepaalde groep mensen op één plek toenemen en krijgt men getto‘s die dan weer gevaarlijke toestanden teweeg kunnen brengen.

“Wie voldoende vermogen heeft, moet kunnen doorschuiven naar de private huurmarkt”

wordt er aangehaald.

Afleidingsmanoeuvre & Stigmatisatie

Minister Diependaele geeft wel toe dat de middelentoets de lange wachtlijsten voor een sociale woning niet meteen korter zal maken.

“Het gaat vooral om eerlijkheid en rechtvaardigheid. De Vlaming die voor dit systeem mee betaalt, wil ook dat een sociale woning terechtkomt bij iemand die ze ook echt nodig heeft.”

Alsof die mensen die spaarzaam zijn en vooruit denken naar wat er in de toekomst nog zal moeten betaald worden, geen sociale woning nodig zouden moeten hebben! En of deze maatregel de wachtlijsten gaan verhelpen?

De N-Va weet handig het probleem te verschuiven en de schuld bij de kandidaat-huurders te leggen, in plaats van in eigen buidel te kijken en te erkennen dat de regering veel te weinig inzet om aan de inwoners van dit land een betaalbare woning te bezorgen.

Joy Verstichele, coördinator van het Vlaams Huurdersplatform, dat ook kwetsbare huurders vertegenwoordig, geeft ook aan dat

“Dit gaat over heel weinig mensen.”

“Dit is vooral een afleiding van het echte probleem: het gebrek aan sociale woningen. Vorig jaar zijn er maar 700 bijgekomen.”

Of dat dit gaat helpen om de ellenlange wachtlijsten weg te werken betwijfelt Verstichele. Hij zegt

“Met deze voorwaarden maakt men de procedure alleen maar langer en moeilijker, terwijl vandaag zo veel mensen nood hebben aan een sociale woning. Dit gaat mensen die er wel degelijk recht op hebben afschrikken.”

“Dit draagt vooral ook bij tot de verdere stigmatisering van de sociale huurder, terwijl het stil blijft over het echte probleem.

Dit is vooral symboolpolitiek, maar met nadelige effecten op het terrein.”

Met recht en rede reageert Gert Eyckmans, directeur van de Vereniging van Vlaamse Huisvestingsmaatschappijen, en bevestigt hij ook:

‘Mensen worden nog eens gestigmatiseerd, maar dit helpt niet tegen de wachtlijsten.’

Wachtlijsten

Al enkele decennia kan men horen hoe mensen zich bij verschillende maatschapijen hebben ingeschreven, in de hoop om toch binnen de tien jaar een kans te maken op een goedkopere (en betere) woning. In plaats van de wachtlijsten te zien verminderen namen deze met de jaren nog toe, ook omdat de nood hoger werd.  In 2020 was het aantal kandidaat-huurders al opgelopen tot bijna 170.000 mensen. De Vlaamse regering verwacht dat de lijst, door investeringen in nieuwe sociale woningen, pas vanaf 2026 zal beginnen te slinken.

Tot dan kan wie wacht op een sociale woning wel een beroep doen op de Vlaamse huurpremie. Met die premie kunnen kandidaat-huurders op de private markt een woning huren, Vlaanderen past dan de sociale correctie bij. Spijtig genoeg zijn er nog te weinig mensen die van zulk bijstandssysteem op de hoogte zijn, en hiervan gebruik maken.Toch moet opgemerkt worden dat de korting van 100 à 200 euro per maand op de huurprijs niet echt een vette boterham is.
Net zoals bij sociale woningen zal men voor woningen op de privé markt,uitkijken naar een inkomensgrens: zo mag een alleenstaande maximaal 46.170 euro per jaar verdienen. Voor een alleenstaande met 1 persoon ten laste of een koppel zonder persoon ten laste gaat het om maximaal 65.960 euro. Met die bedragen zouden die huurwoningen ook toegankelijk moeten zijn voor bijvoorbeeld jonge starters of jonge gezinnen met kinderen.

Spaartegoed

Zoals bij de voorgaande maatregel van N-VA tegen kandidaat huurders voor sociale woningen, ingevoerd door Liesbeth Homans, zullen nu ook weer een heleboel mensen uit de boot vallen om een betaalbare woning te vinden. De N-VA blijkt ook te vergeten dat bij het lage bedrag van 25 000€ de kandidaat huurders geen mogelijkheid zullen hebben om een spaartegoed op te bouwen om een wagen te kopen of om geld te voorzien voor uitzonderlijke situaties. Men kan daarbij de vraag stellen hoe die mensen dan hun woning zullen moeten inrichten met dat kleine bedrag. Schilderwerken, een koelkast, diepvriezer en kookvuur kosten wel wat, maar de N-VA gaat er misschien van uit dat die mensen dat beter op krediet kopen. Zo zullen zij nog meer geld verliezen.

Gevolg

Mensen die kandidaat-huurder zijn zullen ook niet meer de moeite doen om geld te gaan sparen om de studies van de kinderen later te kunnen betalen. Het zal hen ook aansporen best maar al hun geld op te doen en te genieten van het leven. Reizen naar het buitenland zullen er dan toe bijdragen dat hun spaar te goed niet al te hoog zal oplopen. De N-VA vergeet daarbij dat het voor die reizen gebruikte geld de Belgische fiscus helemaal niet ten goede zal komen. In ieder geval zal er veel geld weg gesluisd worden, terwijl het onze Belgische economie ten goede had kunnen komen.

Eveneens vergeet de N-VA dat in België mensen praktisch een wagen nodig hebben om naar hun werk te gaan. Maar hoe gaan die bewoners van sociale woningen dan een wagen kunnen aanschaffen met wat er na de huisinrichting over blijft van hun spaarcenten? Ook lijkt de N-VA te vergeten dat geleend geld altijd duur geld is en dat die mensen die dan voor vele dingen een lening zullen moeten aan gaan eigenlijk nog meer in de armoede gedrukt worden. Maar dat zal die rechtsgezinden een worst wezen, zolang zij maar niet in zulk bootje moeten stappen.

Bij de verantwoording die de Vlaams Nationalistische partij gaf, blijkt duidelijk dat zij ook een totaal verkeerd beeld hebben van wie kandidaat huurders zijn, en vergeten zij dat de lager inkomensklasse niet allemaal vreemdelingen zijn. Heel wat autochtonen krijgen door de N-VA maatregel minder kansen om hun leven verder goed op te bouwen. Door hun angst voor vreemdelingen en het viseren op vluchtelingen of inwijkelingen schaden die rechtse partijen zoals N-VA en Vlaams Belang wel de ingeborenen of inheemsen. Zij zijn blind voor de inlanders die niet zo rijk zijn als zij. Maar ook daar scheelt er heel wat in hun denkwijze, want volgens hen is hun minder goede financiële toestand hun eigen schuld. Zij hebben klaarblijkelijk geen idee dat een deel van de bevolking slechts zeer lage lonen krijgen en dat er heel wat Vlamingen op de werkmarkt uitgebuit worden. Na de leerkrachten en verplegen personeel van de sociale huurwoningen weggedreven te hebben willen zij nu nog een pak mensen de laan uit sturen terwijl zij nog wel poetspersoneel willen toe laten die zich dan maar gelukkig moeten prijzen dat zij tussen al diegenen die niet willen gaan werken, en op staatssteun leven, alsook al de druggebruikers mogen gezelschap houden.

De N-VA heeft waarschijnlijk niet veel weet van de vele antropologische studies die er al gemaakt zijn over sociale woningen, grote woonblokken en sociale buurten. Hun wrevel dat andere mensen iets goedkoper kunnen hebben dan zij, brengt hen ertoe om totaal asociale maatregelen te treffen. Maar door het aanbrengen van beperkingen aan anderen creëren zij toestanden die voor het hele land funest zullen zijn, omdat zij in meerdere gemeenten wijken zullen laten ontstaan waar een groep mensen opeengepakt zullen zijn onder barre omstandigheden, wat dan ook, om moeilijkheden zal vragen.

*

Vindt ook te lezen:

++

Aanverwant

  1. Racisme geen eenrichtingsverkeer
  2. Angst en verlossing van het kwaad
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Continued attacks clearly targeting civilians

When we look at the time Russian troops start shooting and at what they aimed their bombs, we can only assume they are not so much interested in destabilising or minimising the Ukrainian troops.

Also that Russia would only be interested in saving the Ukrainians from Neo-Nazis and liberating the Donbas and Luhansk region seems to be a fairy tale we cannot believe anymore.

With their attack tactics early in the morning, the Russians want to surprise the sleeping Ukrainians and cause as many deaths among them as possible, because they have not woken up to take shelter in the shelters.

The type of targets also makes it clear that they are not so much interested in disabling military targets as in exterminating as many Ukrainians as possible. A real genocide is taking place that Europe cannot ignore.

This was made clear once again with the attack on a large shopping centre in a city far away from any military battlefield.

After they targetted a residential building and a Kindergarten in Kyiv on June 26, Kremenchuk had ten minutes after the sirens called for coverage, bombs fell on an area of more than 10 thousand square meters, where people came to provide themselves with their daily necessities.

A shopping mall is not exactly a place of any military or political value. Yet the missiles were aimed at such a large shopping centre, which can only indicate that the intention was to hit as many innocent civilians as possible.

According to President Volodymyr  Zelensky the strike on a mall in the city of Kremenchuk on June 27, was deliberate and is

“one of the most daring terrorist acts in European history.”

Unless the Russians are incapable of aiming their artillery correctly.

“Peaceful city, ordinary shopping center, women inside, children, ordinary civilians. This is not a mistaken hit of missiles. This is a planned Russian strike at this shopping center,”

Zelensky said.

On Tuesday exhausted rescue workers picked through the smoldering rubble of what had been a busy shopping mall in central Ukraine. The attack relatively far from the artillery battles at the front lines was a jarring reminder that Russia’s assault could arrive at their doorsteps at any time and that the Russians do not worry who is going to die.

More than 1,000 people were reportedly shopping or working at the mall when air raid sirens sounded, leading many to evacuate and helping to hold down the number of potential deaths.

As soon as the bombing stopped, people rushed to save those who were still in the burning building. Throughout the night, they worked to find survivors among the debris. But it was also possible to carry out several corpses.
So far, twenty deaths have been confirmed and at least 56 wounded have been taken away for treatment.

We may well wonder how many more times Russian troops will be allowed to commit war crimes before they are actually caught and punished for them. In Chechnya, Syria and now in Ukraine, they are committing one war crime after another without being punished. The international community seems to be watching and expressing indignation, but that is all.

The U.S. think tank said in its latest assessment that Russian military authorities continue to seek ways to replenish their increasingly exhausted force capabilities without announcing general mobilisation. The experts quote the U.S. and U.K. intelligence, which suggests that Russia is relying on retired officers and will need to start mobilising reservists to sustain its eastern offensive as its military casualties continue to mount. The institute has previously assessed that such reserves are unlikely to provide Russian forces with meaningful regeneration of force capabilities.

In a video address to G7 leaders, President Volodymyr Zelensky urged world leaders

“to do their maximum”

to end the war by year’s end, including by intensifying sanctions against Russia.

*

Dutch version / Nederlandstalige versie: Voortdurende aanvallen die duidelijk gericht zijn tegen burgers

Please come to read my article on my other blog with daily news facts and a look at the world: Kremenchuk Russian blot

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Voortdurende aanvallen die duidelijk gericht zijn tegen burgers

Als we kijken naar het tijdstip waarop de Russische troepen beginnen te schieten en waarop zij hun bommen richten, kunnen we alleen maar aannemen dat zij niet zozeer geïnteresseerd zijn in het destabiliseren of minimaliseren van de Oekraïense troepen.

Ook dat Rusland alleen geïnteresseerd zou zijn in het redden van de Oekraïners van neonazi’s en het bevrijden van de Donbas en de regio Luhansk lijkt een sprookje te zijn dat we niet meer kunnen geloven.

Met hun aanvalstactiek vroeg in de ochtend willen de Russen de slapende Oekraïners verrassen en zoveel mogelijk doden onder hen veroorzaken, omdat zij nog niet wakker zijn geworden om in de schuilkelders te gaan schuilen.

Het soort doelen maakt ook duidelijk dat zij niet zozeer geïnteresseerd zijn in het uitschakelen van militaire doelen, maar eerder wel in het uitroeien van zo veel mogelijk Oekraïners. Er vindt een echte volkerenmoord of genocide plaats die Europa niet kan negeren.

Dit werd eens te meer duidelijk gemaakt bij de aanval op een groot winkelcentrum in een stad die ver verwijderd is van enig militair slagveld.

Nadat de Russen op 26 juni in Kiev een woongebouw en een kleuterschool als doelwit hadden gekozen, vielen tien minuten nadat in Krementsjoek (Kremenchuk) de sirenes opgeroepen hadden tot dekking, bommen op een gebied van meer dan 10 duizend vierkante meter, waar mensen kwamen om zich te voorzien van hun dagelijkse levensbehoeften.

Een winkelgalerij is nu niet bepaald een plaats van enige militaire noch staatkundige waarde. Maar toch werden de raketten op zulk een groot winkelcentrum gericht, dat enkel maar kan aangeven dat het de bedoeling was om zoveel mogelijk onschuldige burgers te treffen.

Volgens president Volodymyr Zelensky was de aanslag op een winkelcentrum in de stad Krementsjoek (Kremenchuk) op 27 juni opzettelijk en

“een van de meest gewaagde terreurdaden in de Europese geschiedenis.”

Tenzij de Russen niet bekwaam zijn om hun artillerie juist te richten.

“Vreedzame stad, gewoon winkelcentrum, vrouwen binnen, kinderen, gewone burgers. Dit is niet een verkeerde raketaanval. Dit is een geplande Russische aanval op dit winkelcentrum,”

zei Zelensky.

Uitgeputte reddingswerkers doorzochten dinsdag de smeulende puinhopen van wat een druk winkelcentrum in Centraal-Oekraïne was geweest. De aanval, relatief ver van de artilleriegevechten aan de frontlinies, was een schokkende herinnering aan het feit dat de Russische aanval elk moment voor de deur kan staan en dat de Russen zich geen zorgen maken over wie er zal sterven.

Naar verluidt waren meer dan 1000 mensen in het winkelcentrum aan het winkelen of aan het werk toen de sirenes klonken, waardoor velen werden geëvacueerd en het aantal potentiële doden kon worden beperkt.

Zodra de bombardementen stil vielen haasten mensen zich om diegenen die nog in het brandende gebouw waren te redden. Heel de nacht werd er door gewerkt om tussen de brokken nog overlevenden te vinden. Maar ook konden zo al meerdere lijken naar buiten gedragen worden.
Zo konden tot nu toe al twintig doden bevestigd worden en minstens 56 gewonden voor verzorging weggevoerd worden.

Wij kunnen ons afvragen hoe veel keren de Russische troepen nog zullen mogen over gaan tot oorlogsmisdaden voordat zij hiervoor werkelijk opgepakt en gestraft zullen worden. In Tsjetsjenië, Syrië en nu in Oekraïne plegen zij de ene oorlogsmisdaad na de andere zonder hiervoor gestraft te worden. De internationale gemeenschap lijkt nu wel toe te kijken en hun verontwaardiging te uiten, maar daar blijft het precies bij.

De Amerikaanse denktank zegt in zijn laatste evaluatie dat de Russische militaire autoriteiten blijven zoeken naar manieren om hun steeds verder uitgeputte strijdkrachtencapaciteit aan te vullen zonder een algemene mobilisatie aan te kondigen. De deskundigen citeren de Amerikaanse en Britse inlichtingendiensten, die suggereren dat Rusland vertrouwt op gepensioneerde officieren en reservisten zal moeten gaan mobiliseren om zijn oostelijk offensief vol te houden, nu het aantal militaire slachtoffers blijft stijgen. Het instituut heeft eerder geoordeeld dat het onwaarschijnlijk is dat dergelijke reserves de Russische strijdkrachten een zinvolle regeneratie van strijdkrachten kunnen bieden.

In een videotoespraak tot de G7 leiders, drong President Volodymyr Zelensky er bij de wereldleiders op aan

“hun uiterste best te doen”

om de oorlog voor het eind van het jaar te beëindigen, onder andere door de sancties tegen Rusland te verscherpen.

*

Vindt een Engelse versie hier: Continued attacks attacks clearly targeting civilians & een aanvullende tekst op mijn andere website waar het dagelijks gebeuren in de wereld bekeken en besproken wordt: Kremenchuk Russian blot

Posted in B4Peace, Nieuws en politiek, Wereld om ons heen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vote of no confidence or trust in the United Kingdom

Beginning of the end for Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a Partygate party

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson at one of the gatherings at which some attendees breached Covid regulations. The other participants were made unidentifiable by Sue Gray in this image from her report.

Incredible, after all the lies and absurdities, the Tories in the UK still did not need it necessary for their clown to step down. The Tory leader, who has undermined British values by “downgrading, debasing and demeaning” the standards expected of ministers in public life, survived a confidence vote by his party’s MPs on Monday evening.

The head of the government of Great Britain imposed all kinds of rules and restrictions on the population, which he and some other heads of government and his top aides, did not abide by and continued to meet as if nothing had happened, while the British themselves had to limit their contacts.

Johnson more than once said rules had been followed, and Downing Street denied that a  party took place. Downing Street apologised to Queen Elizabeth II for two events on 16 April 2021, the day before Prince Philip’s funeral, during the third lockdown across England. There were further parties in the garden of 10 Downing Street during the first national lockdown, with drinks on 20 May 2020, and a gathering celebrating Johnson’s birthday in June 2020 followed by another one on 14 December 2020 with Conservative Party staff.

After the Prime Minister amended the rules following the partygate scandal so that those found to have breached the code can get away with not resigning by apologising or temporarily losing pay, there was pushed for a ‘Vote of no confidence or trust’.

Speaking in the Commons, Shadow First Secretary of StateDeputy Leader of the Labour Party since 2020, Angela Rayner accused Mr Johnson of

“rigging the rules that he himself is under investigation for breaching, downgrading standards, debasing the principles of public life before our very eyes.”

She said:

“There is nothing decent about the way that he has acted.”

And on Saturday one could hear that a lot of people think the same way, booing at him when he went up the stairs of St. Paul’s Cathedral for the Platinum Jubilee celebration.

Public disquiet over the events led to a decline in public support for Johnson, the government and the Conservatives, and is thought to have contributed to the party’s loss of the 2021 North Shropshire by-election and poor performance in the 2022 local elections.

One can wonder what those politicians still do have to have more before they are going to get rid of that Pinocchio, whose nose can’t grow anymore because it has been between too many doors. The same as the American clown he is not willing to step down, but hopefully, it will not come to a point where this going to be such chaos or tumult, that the whole country shall be degraded in the eyes of the foreigners. In Britain, the politicians should also come to see that their democracy is also in danger like the American democracy is as well.

“This Prime Minister’s example of leadership [is] illegally proroguing Parliament, breeding a Downing Street culture where his staff felt able to break lockdown rules including himself, putting the very standards that underpin our democracy to the shredder.”

Ms Rayner rightly warns the members of parliament.

Arms of the British GovernmentFormer Tory minister John Penrose, who was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum, but after it supported the official position of his party as an advocate of leaving the European Union, suggested that there had been a “material breach” of the Ministerial Code, since Mr Johnson had failed to publicly address “serious failings of leadership” highlighted in the Sue Gray report.

For sure, we can not deny, that the prime minister’s future is under intense scrutiny after he scraped through a vote of no confidence on Monday night, with 41 per cent of Tory MPs actively voting for him to go. Though he said he has a major victory, we would not consider that, with his feet barely over the ditch. It also seems that Boris Johnson’s own strategist is concerned the prime minister doesn’t have “enough fight in him” for the next general election. Though it is deputy chief of staff at No 10 David Canzini his job, having been hired in February this year to help with the fallout of the Partygate scandal, to ensure the Conservative Party wins the next general election.

They will, however, be rebuked for their undecidability and for their loyalty to the shaking Prime Minister with his tangled hair. The repeated apologies have come across as laughable to most people, with good reason, because it was just ‘blathering’ as one expects from bullies and braggarts. One expects otherwise from someone who really wants to serve the country to the best of his ability. He himself should realise that his glory years are over and that it is high time he stepped down.

There has been a landslide election victory for Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party in 2019. At that time, one could say he loomed as a colossus over British politics, having his hands joined with Farage and redrawing the country’s political map with a vow to “get Brexit done.”

Several people, himself included, seemed assured of five years in power, with an 80-seat majority in Parliament, the greatest amassed by a Conservative leader since Margaret Thatcher in 1987. Some analysts predicted even a comfortable decade in 10 Downing Street for Mr Johnson, the most reliable vote-getter in British politics.

Just two and a half years after Mr Johnson’s triumph, he does not want to see the seriousness of 148 of 359 Tory lawmakers voting against him.

It is one of the most head-spinning reversals of fortune in modern British political history. {How Boris Johnson Shattered His Own Invincibility}

The coming months shall not be so easy for Mr Johnson, his party members either keeping their eyes shut, or opening them and coming to listen to the general public, disgruntled with that man on the top and not willing to vote for the Conservatives this time.

Though

“Johnson’s such an accomplished escape artist, and his colleagues so craven and cowardly that you can’t rule out him living to fight another day,” {How Boris Johnson Shattered His Own Invincibility}

said Tim Bale, a professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London.

“But for what precisely? ‘There’s no there there,’ as the saying goes.” {How Boris Johnson Shattered His Own Invincibility}

Former Tory leader Lord Hague said that the damage done to Mr Johnson’s premiership was severe and that he should quit rather than prolong the agony. He added that he would have “regarded as untenable” a situation where more than a third of MPs voted against his leadership.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen predicted that

“residual concerns from across the party will continue to remain.”

There have already been many other scandals than party gate. Perhaps some Tories think the people will soon forget. Perhaps Mr Johnson also thinks the majority of the British people have dementia or are just easy to appease and talk down. But he and his supporting party members will have to be surprised at the next elections, where they will get the lid on their nose.

Former minister Philip Martin Dunne, Chair of the Environmental Audit Select Committee, said that

“this is not over,”

while Commons defence committee chairman Tobias Ellwood forecast that the PM would only survive for

“a matter of months.”

Tory MP Julian Lewis attacked Mr Johnson for having an

“aversion to scrutiny, bordering on contempt for the Commons,”

adding that

“impropriety at the top of government is impossible to defend.”

People may well be aware or may defend him with apologies, that a number of catastrophic global events outside of Johnson’s control — like the COVID-19 pandemic, rampant inflation, and a war in Ukraine — have also compounded his problems. But all these things do not outweigh how he has made the people look foolish and humiliated them by laughing at them for abiding by the restrictions he imposed when he did not abide by them at all.

At the counterparty, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said that it was clear from the vote that Tory MPs

“think he’s done a disgraceful thing.”

and that

“He’s mortally wounded.”

However, it may be more likely to be a boar that has suffered gunshot wounds but will continue to rage furiously.

By now, people should be convinced that

“He cares about one thing — himself.”

like Tory MP Julian Lewis says.

In Parliament, all the departments have not been able to deal with issues that real people are facing at the moment, because they’ve been too fixated on trying to save Boris Johnson, and have spent too much time in ridiculous debates and lashing out at each other.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford described the PM as a

“dead man walking,”

warning that he will

“pay a price for his behaviour.”

And that is the least one can hope for. Certainly when that Prime Minister after the voting signalled that he would do everything that he’d done all over again.

… it’s that signal that the rules don’t apply to him the way that they do for everyone else.

Giving the indication that

“Rules are for little people, but not the Prime Minister.

“That’s not the behaviour of someone who can remain in office, it’s someone that quite simply needs to be removed from office.”

said the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ross, Skye and Lochaber since 2015

Labour MP Jon Trickett tweeted:

“Super-rich donors who’ve given the Tories £18 million in the last few years wrote to MPs yesterday demanding they don’t ditch Boris.

“Tory MPs dutifully obliged. A government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.”

The rich may be cosy fine in their big mansion, but ordinary people are going to find it tough in the coming months. Economically, it shall not be going so well for the majority of the population. An economic crisis bringing clouds over the rest of this year — and probably well into the next, shall spell trouble for the Tories, Johnson or no Johnson.

We shall see if he can make it up to October this year.

°°°

In the past, we have seen the Iron Lady, challenged in her 11th year as prime minister and her 16th year as leader of the party. The economic boom of 1987 had given away to rising inflation which had reached 10 per cent, causing interest rates to reach an unsupportable 15 per cent. She too had to face the political arguments about Europe, this time about joining a single currency.
Although Mrs Thatcher won, with 204 to Michael Heseltine’s 152 she also had to achieve a 15 per cent margin and was just four votes short, which meant a second ballot. After consulting all her cabinet individually she concluded she should not run and withdrew.

++

Additional reading

  1. Indy briefing for the week of April 13, 2022
  2. How long will it take before Conservative MPs will reach the conclusion that the prime minister needs to go?
  3. A recovery from a “near death experience” and a historic shift
  4. The Sue Grey Report has dropped and yes…there are pictures

+++

Only a lunatic would want to inherit the shit show he’s created. – Bojo the clown, Boris Johnson

Related

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  2. Boris Johnson remains British Prime Minister after winning confidence vote
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  4. “I think he’s a ‘dead man walking’.” Ian Blackford pushes for the Prime Minister to tender his resignation to the Queen today.
  5. Why Boris Johnson still isn’t safe after surviving confidence vote
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  7. When is the next UK general election and could it be brought forward?
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  13. Did Johnson win or lose yesterday?
  14. News: Johnson Survives Confidence Vote, Putin’s Threats, Milan Design
  15. Boris or Bon Jovi ?
  16. Jacob Rees Mogg Toppling Boris Johnson risks Brexit opportunities
  17. The unbearable lightness of Boris
  18. Boris Johnson told ‘this is not over’ by Tory MPs with their knives out
  19. Lord Frost states, the only way Boris Johnson will save his premiership and the government is if he reverses his high tax economic policies. 
  20. Boris Johnson faces doubts on leadership after surviving no-confidence vote
  21. Angela Rayner, who is currently under police investigation demands Boris Johnson to resign for breaking lockdown rules.
  22. ‘Britain is a shield for the democratic world’ as Boris praised by ‘very happy’ President Zelensky for winning vote
  23. And another thing…
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  25. Integrity in Downing Street
  26. “mini boris” is on a role!
  27. Is this the beginning of the end for Boris Johnson?
  28. BoJo’s No-Nos and the Comparative Sanity of British Politics
  29. Boris Johnsons Government and the Ministerial Code
  30. Boris Johnson- still telling it like it isn’t.
  31. PM must demonstrate ”steel” and pull the NI Protocol.
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  33. Boris Johnson faces Commons for first time since his own MPs tried to oust him
  34. The Conservative Party should now be considering life after Boris Johnson
  35. As Thatcher learned, no Tory leader survives a confidence vote
  36. Johnson Demise – A Momentary, Very Momentary, Victory
  37. Boris Johnson survived the confidence vote, but only narrowly – so what does the future look like for the PM?
  38. How on earth can any Tory think Boris Johnson is fit to be our PM?
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