The job of alternative media is to debate, explain, and analyse the news context – not report events

Greece fails to make repayment – live. Watch the failure to make IMF repayment as it happened. Varoufakis confirms Athens did not make the payment. IMF’s Lagarde confirms IMF did not receive the payment. The payment has not been made. Payment was not made in currency invented by nuts. May contain nuts. Watch live as Christine Lagarde opens her electronic IMF Greek ledger and finds she is a payment short of a loan. Lagarde confirms absence of Greek euros in the ledger. And nuts.

24/7 news stations and the internet have created an events storm that hits all of us like a whirlwind of dissembling pretending to be facts. Everything is ‘breaking’, everyone is getting in and out of limos, cops are talking to camera about suspects shot 31 times at close range, but the three things missing at all times in 2015 are analysis, perspective and insight. Nowhere has this been clearer than in the Greek marathon…a snail’s race that has held us not so much gripped as guessing since February 21st.

“And it’s Varoufakis with the ball now. He’s taunting this Eurogroupe defence, looking for an opening. He passes to Tsipras and oh dear that’s a terribly late tackle from Dijesslbleom…is he going to get a red card, no, er, that is….both of them are going off. Looks like a reshuffle there in midfield, with stalwart midfielder Merkel going into central defence as goalkeeper Schäuble barks at his full backs. Free-kick expert Odius Debtalotopolous steps up to take the shot, as Tsipras shadows Merkel and well look at that, Merkel sat on Tsipras there, but referee Juncker missed it. Odius takes the free kick AND IT’S THERE! But no, Juncker has ruled the goal offside…and now yes, Syriza captain Tsipras has walked off in disgust…”

Looking up one or two opinion surveys over recent weeks, it’s not been hard to discern what the vast majority of EU and US citizens think about what they see as Athens 0 Eurogroupe 0: that Greek duplicity is about to cost every EU citizen a lot of money, and then Grexit will happen and good riddance to these Greek idiots who voted for a bunch of Commie amateurs.

So in playing the “Time is very short and the Greeks are wasting it, hoping we’ll forgive their debt but we will stand firm” music to the public beyond Greece, the Eurogroupe was kicking at an open door. A door, by the way, that is still open if you, the Greek people, show us your willingness to do the right thing and vote yes to another five years of economy-healing austerity.

Those who have followed events with an empirical as opposed to jaundiced eye know that this ridiculous version is 100% pernicious and untrue – and to be fair, some western media have latterly been pointing this out. Yes, the tide of opinion is turning…but not among the 75% of those on the cosy sofa: the decent 9% are seeing the light, and the greedy 3% are being seen in a very different light. But that’s it. Wayne Sun and Viktowryyah Heat are as ignorant as they ever were, albeit hoping for a cheap drachma so they can large it darn Spetse in August viv deir mites an’ shit.

Those of us in the decency niche have to learn to accept that – whatever the issue from now on – it’s going to be like this for the foreseeable future: tongues will be bitten and lips sealed when Derek and Samantha Smug tell us they don’t want to pay the Greeks’ debt for them just so they can continue evading tax, and how sorry they feel for the ordinary German and of course they’re angry, wouldn’t you be? Well quite – I mean, there you are.

As to the real perspective on what all this game theory and second-guessed briefing has been about, there’s no real insight required. Frances Coppola blogged last Sunday to announce the death of the euro, and the Greek economy (and retail infrastructure) has indeed been destroyed – no other word will do – in order to scare the wits out of other eurozone States getting any clever ideas about resistance…a strategy aimed at keeping countries as varied as Hungary and France in their respective boxes.

That tactic has quite obviously failed, and so ‘resistance contagion’ is now a near certainty – unless the Brussels/Frankfurt/Berlin axis decides on draconian action…in my view, still a possibility.

But whether that means the rebirth of European democracy is another matter entirely. Looking at Greece itself, I do not embrace or share in any way (beyond its professed community-level mutualism) the politics of Syriza. I think once the Greeks have the euronauts out of their face, they are going to have to think carefully about just how controlling Tsipras and co might turn out to be, and how the Right may respond to that: the soi-disant democratic Opposition has all but imploded, and so the privileged classes and Golden Dawn could easily start to regain lost ground.

Further, just because the eurozone and the Union are going to fail in no way prefaces any certainty of either individual freedom, personal responsibility, or social justice. The UK is turning hell for leather into a fully-fledged corporate State, the US remains ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice Meets Zero Compassion’, France has a devil’s brew of economic failure and neo-Nazism, while Italy’s implosion will also, quite obviously, polarise extremes there.

However, at a higher level still I do have one insight to offer. We will learn nothing from this insane jamboree until we start asking ourselves, ‘Why is the Union going to fail?’ I think it will fail because, once federalism became the name of the game, the belief system adopted by those playing the game required all of them to abandon every known and field-tested tenet upon which social anthropology is based. That reality had to be replaced by the bad science of trying to turn 27 cultures into one nationality.

The EU has been, in the end, simply one more example of the unthinking pc belief in multiculturalism. Instead of capturing best practice in every culture via a loose trading bloc model, the bankers and the Germans tried to mould the Union in their own image. That goose was never going to fly, but it is almost certainly going to fry: and when it does, there will be incandescent fat spitting in all directions.

From Day One, the Commission was given the power, and the European Parliament the rubber stamp. That was the wrong way round if democracy was to flourish, it was the wrong way round if planners were to stay in touch with the People, but it was exactly the right way round to be hijacked by neoliberal corporatocracy. Not surprisingly, it has produced an élite consisting of a psychopathic banker, a wheelchair-bound mendacious control freak, a Dutch political failure with dictatorial aspirations, and a Luxembourgeois who equates elections with mistakes.

The longer-term future is not global, or suprastate or élite corporacratic, but rather a switch to smaller group units, within which democracy and the rule of law are protected by the mutual interests of the majority.

The medium term looks totally unpredictable, messy and totalitarian to me. I wish you all luck in getting through it.


  1. Incandescant goose fat conjours up an excellent image – like it. I see no golden geese around though.


  2. It’s high time for me to replace my destroyed (literally) wallet.
    However it just dawned on me the surreal and futile nature of actually going to purchase a new one. :(


  3. A structure without ‘slack’ is a structure doomed. In everything, whether it be a bridge or a society or an empire – which the EU most certainly is – the mistake of not building in wriggle room for differences (or temp expansion/contraction) will end in disaster. This rigid monstrosity (the EU/EZ) is doomed to failure from the off… as history has proved time and time again. I sit with popcorn and 3D glasses at the ready….


  4. Oh, and reading the Gaurdians europhile self delusion this morning is amusing to say the least! .


  5. Like you, John, I find the MSM coverage lightweight in the extreme. No-one asks the obvious questions. Can the Greeks ever pay back the loans? Where did all the money go? Did the Greeks get any money? What are the issues with the euro that have caused unemployment, debt and crisis? And so on …


  6. No magic here just bednobs to polished & broomsticks to sweep with,I have noticed that the lefties/righties in many a tweet/article,like parliament politics your with us for good or for bad the common sense of well that’s a good idea or that’s a bad idea from any quarter is disappearing & polarizing propaganda is under way,even they know it’s coming


  7. Perhaps we should ask for elections for the boys on the European Commission
    (even tho’ I’m a cynic)


  8. I do so hope you’re right about the longer term, JW.

    Trick will be getting through the chaos, confusion & totalitarian interim?

    We live in the most interesting of times.


  9. I just love the apocalyptic pictures you “paint”. As for the second part, I’m afraid I’m in for the long ride so … bring it on in all its’ glory (P.S. don’t be stingy with the linguistic pyrotechnics – they are not only aesthetically pleasing… in these dark times they are an oasis in a desert full of eurospeak, partyspeak, fearspeak etc. etc. ad nauseam).


  10. In a recently overheard conversation between a German paralympic wannabe and a Dutch donkey, the former remarked: ‘Beware of Greeks owning wallets.’ If only their fathers had used Trojans..


  11. Interestingly the sky has not fallen in. The markets are making up their lost gains. What’s so different now than say, 1, 2 3 or even 4 years ago? Answers on a postcard please….
    The other thing is, I was under the impression, mainly from this site that Greece could not print it’s own Euros but, it seems that that’s not the case, so, who else is printing their own Euros? Let me see, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal possibly?


  12. so they didn’t pay back their pretendy money that never really existed and guess what …the world hasn’t ended. Lots of “important ” people running round like headless chickens while the rest couldn’t care less. Only the poor or have become poor suffer. Not the “important” people.


  13. “…it was the wrong way round if planners were to stay in touch with the People, but it was exactly the right way round to be hijacked by neoliberal corporatocracy.” and this, I suspect was the plan from the beginning. As P.C.R. suggests, the greatest influence over the final outcome may lie with the U.S. The departure of Greece from the EU fold may be the trigger that destroys the U.S. European empire, especially if Greece turns to Russia after default. If the politicians of Syriza can stay alive, and Greece can avoid a Ukrainian style coup, the U.S. may order its European puppets to save Greece financially just to keep NATO and U.S. hegemony intact.


  14. The heatwave in La France Profonde has certainly rejuvenated you John; brilliant stuff- and your John Motson impersonation (para 3) was masterly.

    ‘Oh, and reading the Gaurdians europhile self delusion this morning is amusing to say the least!’

    Roland- The Graun did partially redeem itself a couple of days ago when it published this excellent article on Greece by Joseph Stiglitz-



  15. @OldMark – Thanks for the Graun link. I wonder how many Dereks and Samanthas are aware of it. As Mr Ward says, most people I talk to in the UK have fully bought into the ‘lazy, tax-evading undeserving Greeks’ meme.


  16. What a wonderful world it would be…

    The input of John and the comments of most of the participants in the debate here at the Slog does matter and it helps immensely. It is highly appreciated!!!


  17. World Exclusive: a simple solution to all this mess!!!
    Here in Greece (as well as in quite a few of our EU partner countries) all those having vested interests in the outcome of the referendum propose all kinds of silly interpretations of the true meaning of the quite simple and straightforward question of the referendum (as presented by HB in a previous Slog-post) – i.e. a NO to the question means No to the Euro (the currency) and, thus, No to the EZ and the EU etc.
    I want to propose an alternative interpretation: a NO to the referendum question signifies a YES to the Euro and a NO to the EZ and the EU.
    That is: we KEEP the Euro as our currency (just give us the plates – we do have the printing machines) BUT we EXIT the Eurozone and the European Union.
    Two birds with one stone: the Greek economy is saved and thriving within a couple of days while, at the same time, the EU will simply cease to exist!!!!
    Brilliant innit????


  18. An unhealthy concentration of financial power & control?

    Of 43,060 Multinationals (TNCs) surveyed, 40% of Global Corporate Control is held by just 147 TNCs.
    The top 49 manufacture nothing. They just shove money around. Barclays Bank right up there.

    3 researchers from Zurich University. A 2011 report:

    We are ruled by Banksters via control of Media & Muppet politicians.

    If there are other races viewing us from our virtually limitless Universe, & I’d lay large odds there are,
    they must book us the mugs of all eternity.

    I start to understand Alex Jones’ Prison Planet title.

    John Doran.


  19. If Tsipras had a little bit of humor, he would send €60 to the IMF and say, “next installment tomorrow. That’s all I could withdraw today”


  20. “three things missing at all times in 2015 are analysis, perspective and insight”. You have hit the nail on the head. God forbid the public should determine that a news story is a waste of everyone’s time and could be summarised in a paragraph rather than 24hour slop.


  21. “…the bad science of trying to turn 27 cultures into one nationality. The EU has been, in the end, simply one more example of the unthinking pc belief in multiculturalism. Instead of capturing best practice in every culture via a loose trading bloc model, the bankers and the Germans tried to mould the Union in their own image.” John, you are on fire today! I usually skip through a lot of your waffle but what concise points you have today – bravo.


  22. Germany benefits from the Euro at the expense of the Mediterranean member states, all of which are in the EZ. A crude power and exploitation relationship. There are even calculations showing by how much.


  23. @jrn

    ‘Germany benefits from the Euro at the expense of the Mediterranean member states’ – of course it does! Having failed to conquer Europe by military violence (two World Wars), it has resorted to economic / fiscal violence to defeat the rest of Europe and claim the prize of Top Dog. It’s a pity that the rest of Europe wasn’t paying attentioin this time as Germany has now achieved what it failed to get by warfare.


  24. Yes, with Germany it’s the direct opposite of the way our own Empire worked, we used to bring home everything cheap, now they export everything that’s expensive.
    Great work if you can get it!


  25. Sorry for going “LIVE GREECE” but if you believe Peston at the Bulshite Corp, our brave Greeks have totally capitulated. And if you go along with the comments to his article…the Greeks deserve everything that’s coming to them.

    We are but a minuscule minority in our thinking I’m afraid. The bastards will rule the roost for a long while yet…


  26. “The EU has been, in the end, simply one more example of the unthinking pc belief in multiculturalism.”

    Yup and the great irony is that all this started not in left liberal academia but the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. It was just the idiot middle class lefties and liberals who were enlisted to spread the gospel through the universities, schools, trade unions and local government. Not to advance the policy of ‘equality and diversity’ but to expunge the national cultures and borders which hinder transnational capital accumulation.

    But of course, “you can’t say that” which just goes to show *illiberal* the whole thing is.

    As I remarked to a right on PC colleague the other day, “you want everywhere to be diverse and so you’ve ended up making everywhere diversely the same”.


  27. All we can do is to join the No to EU movement. It is very much a minority in Sweden but I’ll be renewing my membership. There is not much we can do about the EU, a German dictatorship.


  28. The EU is founded o. The Pipedream of ‘supranationalism’
    National alism was bad because if gave Europe Hitler, Franco and Mussolini. Meaning-free and bland reaction was the only way forward. An air of unreality permeates the place.


  29. Dear Mr.Ward;
    Please stop your financial “fear porn”.Has not the greatest economic expert on the planet assured us that;
    “Obama Promises That Events In Greece And Puerto Rico Will Not Cause A Global Financial Crisis”:-

    And if you can’t trust the U.S. president,then who can you trust?.(P.S.May I suggest you all try try the comments).


  30. Just a reminder of what actually happened during the 90s …. The Euro was not a German invention. It was the price the French demanded for allowing German reunification to go ahead. The German people never wanted the Euro; they wanted to keep the Mark. The German Government correctly argued that monetary union required a corresponding political union. It was the French and others who forced monetary union to go ahead without political union, leading to the banking system where funds can drain out of one nation’s banks within the EZ only to be replaced by official financing from the other countries. Initially monetary union was projected to include Benelux, Germany and France. Italy would probably have gone bankrupt in the mid 90s, had it not forced its unjustified way into monetary union with the help of the French. Italian bond yields were spirally higher. It was only the prospect of taking part in monetary union that stopped them spiralling out of control and instead made them fall. Greece then lied and deceived its way into the EZ. As far as the French, Italians and Greeks are concerned, they should have been wary of what they forced on the Germans.


  31. It’s if a Disintegrator Ray Gun struck western civilization and atomized the entire population. There is no consensus on anything. We are headed back to the clan as the basis for government..


  32. Multiculturalism was not a belief but a policy. According to economist Bernard Connolly, who worked for, and was fired by, the EU, after writing a whistleblower book about it 18 years ago(The Rotten Heart of Europe), the entire European project is a ‘deliberate attempt to break down a political sense of national identity.’

    It seems this aim was pre-dated by the U.N., in the guise of its then Director General of the W.H.O.,(Dr Brock Chisholm) who in 1948 addressed delegates: ” To achieve One World Government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, their loyalty to family traditions, religious dogmas, patriotism and national identification” …… a clearer example of a conspiracy would be hard to find. It would seem that the interests of major corporations has meshed well with those of utopian ideologues. Strange that this anti-patriotism policy has not been applied in the US – quite the opposite but appears to have been so successful in Britain.


  33. Whilst I’m ‘Enry theme 8th, I AM, obviously….

    This ISNT just ONE Greek Default to the IMF.

    Greece was due to make FOUR separate payments to the IMF during June 2015, but “elected” with consent to settle those FOUR late payments aggregate on 30 June 2015.

    And yet they didn’t. And yet AGAIN, the IMF continues to break ALL of its own rules and procedures whilst led by a criminally and politically installed ex failed finance Minister of a European Country that is yet to meet or conform to the Honour of the Treaty’s they demand Greece must???

    We live in interesting times.


  34. And when it’s explained that all the money went to the banksters and crooked oligarchs, then the next question is, why aren’t they being rounded up and placed behind bars.


  35. That Tsipras – what a card.

    Tsipras and Syriza came to power with the following remit: stop the austerity, but stay within the euro.

    Those two aims are not compatible. At least, not without a much more forgiving attitude from the rest of Europe.

    So Tsipras’s problem is that he has no leverage and no way to get what he wants. On the one hand, no one else will bail Greece out. The only people willing to offer Greece money and potentially even debt relief are the ones who are demanding reform in return.

    And he can’t tell Europe to take a running jump and repay the loans in drachma, because he knows that the Greek people still want to hang on to the euro, practically regardless of the cost.

    So he really only has one decent card in his hand. He doesn’t know for sure how much value it has, but he might as well play it for all it’s worth.

    It’s this: no one in Europe wants to be the one to pull the trigger on ejecting another country from the eurozone. No one wants to take responsibility for an event that might just one day be viewed as the moment that the European Project died.

    And if you look at it that way, his latest stunts make complete sense.

    Look at the wording of the referendum, and the way that Tsipras has presented it to the people. The rest of Europe wants to paint it as a referendum on whether or not to leave the euro. But like it or not, they’re not running the vote.

    The referendum question itself doesn’t even mention the euro. So as far as the Greeks are concerned, this is not about leaving the euro. It’s about whether or not to reject the latest deal. Tsipras is telling them that a ‘no’ vote means they’ll get a better deal and they’ll still be in the euro. So why would you vote ‘yes’?

    Can Europe really pull the trigger on Greece?

    But the real genius here is that it leaves the tough decisions with Europe. If the Greeks vote ‘yes’, then I wouldn’t hold my breath for Tsipras to resign, despite his hints that he would. Instead, I’d expect another lengthy phase of bad-tempered negotiation and confusion.

    And if Greece votes ‘no’, the ball is in the eurozone’s court. They either make a better offer, or they pull the plug on Greece, and effectively eject it from the eurozone.

    Either way, Tsipras wins.

    If the deal is sweetened, it means that Europe blinked first.

    And if Europe doesn’t buckle – well, Tsipras can say that he didn’t lead Greece out of the eurozone – it was kicked out by unreasonable creditors. And then he gets on with the business of building a Marxist utopia or whatever on the back of the drachma, with the political and financial aid of whichever predator states feel like expanding their spheres of influence to include a sunny piece of global real estate that’s conveniently situated for the Balkans and various sea trade routes.

    So it’s all right for him.

    A ‘no’ vote would make the chances of Grexit much higher, but it won’t happen overnight. It will mean a whole lot of mudslinging, posturing, and, chances are, an eventual return to the drachma.

    Kind regards


  36. Replaying quite a few myths here deejaym, but that aside I’m with you up to a point.

    I think Tsipras is infinitely more wily than the utterly biased Western media would have us think. His strategy from Day 1 was to show the world how unpleasantly inflexible the Eurogroupe fascists are, and then default inside the eurozone. They all played into his hands. The flaw is that the Western media have simply continued with the same litany of drivel, so 75% of the UK Sleeple still blame the Greeks for everything.

    Now the default is the EU’s problem, not Syriza’s. If the Greeks vote YES to the deal, then they deserve everything they’ll get. But they won’t. After NO, however, Tsyriza’s problem is how to survive with the US/EU monsters determined to destroy it.


  37. Pingback: Kick Off | Gabriel Vents

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