Negative interest wars, UK bombers over Syria, & the riddle of Syriza’s cowardice

And today’s Slogan is:

Socialists and Neoliberals are two poles separated by a common obsession: they only do Big, and they’re not happy unless it’s getting Bigger.

Life’s a mystery, there’s no doubting that. Here’s my trio for today….

  1. How can anyone take an economic system seriously wherein businesses and citizens have to pay banks to hold their deposits, and pay to borrow money? Nothing could be less conducive to entrepreneurial recovery.

The negatives rates war going on between the Swiss central Bank and the ECB is a classic case in point: whatever Draghi does to make EU labour cheap, the Gnomes will trump to make their exports competitive. None of it has anything to do with real-life capitalist business on the ground.

2. Why does anyone further up the tree of life than a cat think UK bombing is going to make any difference in Syria?

Russian warplanes have carried out a staggering 604 sorties, hitting 731 rebel targets across Syria. The Russians may be short of customers for oil, but there’s more than enough for them.

As early as 19 December 2014, US General James Terry announced that the number of US airstrikes carried out against ISIL stood at 1,361. Today it’s at 3,800.

Taking the international coalition of dingbats as a whole, some seventeen other nations have piled in with a total of 59 fighter bombers.

All up, without the UK’s planes, it is estimated that around 470 strike aircraft are in operation over Syria.

Given our military cuts, and deployment elsewhere in the world, it is highly unlikely that Britain will have more than 55 airborne weapons to bring to the Party –  a Whitehall source suggested to me over the weekend.

Whatever one’s feelings about Paddy Ashdown, he is a trained military strategist. This is what he said last week:

“There is no military purpose to be served by Britain adding our widow’s mite of explosive to the mountain already criss-crossing the increasingly crowded Syrian skies….A Nato deployment of F-22 Raptors at Incirlik airbase in Turkey would have the same effect.”

Ashdown and Corbyn are among the very few at Westminster pointing out this heavy chunk of the bleedin’ obvious. In the last hour, Corbyn has offered his MPs a no-strings free vote on the issue, displaying perhaps a mixture of fear and wisdom.

But here’s the final standing-on-head thing: Cameron himself accepts this.

During last weeks’s debate he told MPs that “a few extra bombs and missiles will not transform the situation in Syria”. But never one to give illogic an easy getout, he still insisted the UK should join in the forthcomong aerial traffic accident above Syria. Should we not get Assad’s request for support before doing such a thing, he was asked. This was his deranged reply:

“It would make very little sense for the RAF to respect an international border no longer recognised by jihadists like ISIL whom we know to be plotting attacks on the UK.”

Two points on that one: first, and bombing has a track record of scaring them into submission, yes? And second, seven wrongs make a right, do they?
This is not a lack of wise and moral leadership; it is the playground mentality of the Lord of the Flies. The one and only solid ‘reason’ he can give for bombing Syria is that of having been told formally by the French foreign minister that “British support would be appreciated”. With respect to my adopted country, I think military personnel deserve a better reason than that in 2015.


3. Why did Tsipras fold?

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was guilty of jaw-dropping naivety during the diktat negotiations with the Troika EC earlier this year….the same wishful thinking, I would argue, that Camerlot is showing now over ‘Brexit’.

To his credit, the Syriza leader later went on live television and admitted his mistakes. But four months on, one huge question hangs in the thin air above this Greek marathon: naive negotiator he may be, but a clueless politician he isn’t.

Last night, in the first opinion poll since the second Greek elections – carried out by Kapa Research for newspaper To Vima Syriza’s electoral support has almost halved…from 35.5% to 18.4%.

Prominent Athens blogger adds that Tsipras’s left-leaning coalition is now only four and a half points ahead of New Democracy – which, since the resignation of Antonikis Olivestone recently, has been what we political scientists call “all over the place”.

But there is a bigger issue at stake here. When Alexis Tsipras “buckled under pressure” last Summer, he didn’t just devastate his supporters: he struck a blow against the belief in liberal democracy in Europe – a belief busy being eroded by other sociopaths from Jihadi John to Theresa May without him getting involved as well.

This is not mere fancy: look carefully at the Kapa data, and it’s there for all to see. The once-hailed To Potami group is now at 2.2%, and the Syriza coalition partner Anel at 2.1%. Both these two and the Centrists Union on 2.3% would have no seats in the Assembly (under the populaer vote cutoff rule) if there were an election now. The once all-powerful social democratic Party PASOK gathers a mere 4.4% of the votes.

The third Party in the Hellenic Repulic remains Golden Dawn – just ahead of the One Party State derived ideas of the KKE. 25% of all those polled said they would spoil their ballot papers or not turn out. And a staggering two-thirds said they disapproved of everythingdone by the Government over the last few months.

I’m sure Brussels-am-Berlin is fully aware of what it has done – viz, created a captive technocracy it will now proposes to turn into a corporatocracy, via the ancient principle of kleptocracy.

But I wonder if Mr Tsipras knows what he has done….or whether Drizzlebung and his fellow gargoyles realise the path to Mussoliniism is far from cleared of landmines.

I have thought from the day of capitulation that the way in which Tsipras folded was unnatural in general and alien to him as a bloke. During the interim since, I have spoken to more than thirty Greeks I would describe as intelligent and/or well-placed. To be honest, some have suspicions about what happened, but the vast majority don’t. So I’d be the first to accept I’m out on a limb here.

The most common view is that he thought the referendum would vote ‘Yes’. Indeed, some close to Tsipras have said this was definitely so: that he thought that Yes vote would give him permission to resign and go back to being the firebrand in Opposition.

I simply don’t acept this: if Alexis really thought that, then he must have been the worst-informed First World PM in history. And I know for a fact that the Greek intelligence services knew exactly how sound the OXI majority was. As I have always been told that the Greek spooks were right behind the Syriza leader, it seems inconceivable they didn’t tell him he was going ‘to win’.

It seems only two possibilities remain. First, that the Greek leader had (and/or has) a plan to stuff the EC when they least expect it….that he has accepted humiliation, but time will make him the hero. Or second, he really felt ordinary Greeks had suffered enough – and capitulation by him was preferable to starvation for them.

Frankly, I don’t think either conclusion holds much water – but there might be something of a partial truth taking the two possibilities together. That’s to say, he is doing Maqui-style stuff behind the scenes designed to slow down the carpet-bagging bonanza; and coordinating with other ClubMed leftist groups to make it impossible in the medium term for the the EC to function.

Who knows anything….beyond the fact that it smells?

30 thoughts on “Negative interest wars, UK bombers over Syria, & the riddle of Syriza’s cowardice

  1. Something happened, that’s for sure but, as usual we are not privy to the whole picture, many vital facts are unknown to us and will undoubtably remain so, so it’s best guess, and yours is a good as it gets.


  2. Or, you take into account the developing regional disputes and factor in the possibility that earlier moves then have provided the means (yet to be determined) for manoeuvring (wriggle room) further down the line.
    Location, location, location.


  3. so many reasons not to and so few to. Who gains? As Skirmish says it earns us a (tiny) stake at the table, but whos table would we be sitting at? I dont think that ‘we’ that is the ‘UK’ will be getting anything out of this deal other than more of our fair share of the bill for the damage and repair. Someone somewhere will be getting a nice easy fat profit on all that work. Then again maybe call me Dave has got wind that those nasty throat cutters have got it in for him now, being that he stabbed them in the back and all. In fact just today i read that he wanted to kill the b’stards for cutting the heads off UK citizens, its not on you know! Funny he wasnt so vocal before or did i miss that? But what the RAF has that others do not is the Tornado, long in the tooth it may be but they can take it to places others cant, its a hardy beast and under the RAF it delivers. The Germans have them as well, but they aint so stupid are they?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. the potential bombing is madness… we are definitely best off out of it.. but most of the people that so called lead us are in fact doing what the yanks want. when the usa set about causing mayhem in the world its important to them that others cover themselves in blood. what good has it done in IRAQ, LIBYA, AFGHANISTAN that we should now make the same happen in Syria?…./ Tsiparas could well have had his life threatened… it could explain his folding…. either that or he is a spook whose mission is to undermine the democratic process.. or like you say JW maybe something else.


  5. I suspect Tsipras didn’t know what to do, was exhausted, and wanted to be told by someone, anyone with authority. When he was told by the Troika to keep Varoufakis out of the negotiations, the game was up and he just caved. I don’t think he weighed up anything, he just didn’t know the script was his to write.
    I suspect most of the Leaders in Europe and US are cut from the same kind of cloth as Tsipras. Outwardly big and tough, inwardly blancmange.


  6. During WW2 British and U.S. Saving bank interest rates bottomed out at roughly 2 percent on deposits . Today 2 percent would be considered a windfall . Between the Goldman SACK dwarfs scattered throug the world’s central banks and the socialists running governments , The rebuilding of the world banking system which should be first might be LAST .
    From what I observe neither bankers nor govt. leaders plan or plot a real recovery .


  7. They isolated Tsipras by insisting that Varoufakis be removed from discussions. I am sure he would not have caved, nor let them bully Tsipras into caving, if he had been present. Just my opinion.


  8. The US requres its NATO stooges of Britain and France to give an air of respectabiity to the illegal bombing of Syria.
    It is pathetic,considering DAESH is a US construct and their own private mercenary army. Morphed from Al Qaeda in Afghanistan/ Iraq to Jihadist in Libya to overthrow Gaddafi, and onward to Syria to carry out Gods work for the Empire and repeat and rinse with Assad.
    Next stop after Syria ,will be up into the Caucasus to undermine Russia.
    No messy body bags returning Stateside, and no pension plan required for the little brown expendable Arabs.
    Allah Akbar but the $ is greater.
    All paid for by the ISIL oil looted from Mosul and Syria ,transhipped to Tukey by Bilal Erdogans tanker shipping company BMZ.(registered Malta). Guns, ammo and Jihadists on the return trip from Turkey into Syria.
    Putin bombed the road tanker convoy and payback was a downed Russian fighter.
    Big mistake for Papa Erdogan His ass is grass.The Russkis do not forget.


  9. Is it possible that Cameron has always felt that he is unable to support big bro obama because he was out voted in the commons over bombing assad in syria 2 years ago? Now, the target is IS. He seems a little boy out of breath and desperate to join the party. France is taking a lead now with obama calling the french the us oldest allies. Not to mention the savage defence cuts over recent years, and in the wrong departments, as per advice from RUSI,Chatham House, Sandhurst etc – the out of touch best in the world.
    But in spite of all this discussion…..
    what REALLY WORRIES ME….and I want to share this concern….given the coming vote on wednesday….
    is the advent of Christmas.
    There are jihadi cells sleeping in the UK. Christian churches will be working overtime this month. Midnight mass in particular will be a vulnerable window. Please go carefully everyone.


  10. This story is a couple of weeks old, but I just came across it. Censorship is coming to the web near you. If they can do this in France, how long until they memory hole all opposition in the rest of the ‘West’? Is it time for J.W. to decamp to Icelandic servers?

    ‘’ has been completely blocked in France apparently.


  11. British drone flights have overflown Syria for some time, according to some reports. Did Parliament vote on this? It would be nice to see the legal basis of any overflights clearly defined before there is any thought of votes or deployment. The fact that the USA ignores all international laws and conventions when it suits is no reason for Britain to lamely hang on to their shirt tails. Are we mice or men?


  12. Yesterday Gemma and I discussed the existence of HAARP and Chemtrails, a subject which I always thought bananas. It seems it actually exists:

    “At an international symposium held in Ghent, Belgium May 28-30, 2010, scientists asserted that “manipulation of climate through modification of Cirrus clouds is neither a hoax nor a conspiracy theory.” It is “fully operational” with a solid sixty-year history.”

    It is high time we collectively apologised to David Icke. and he also apologise back for that shellsuit.


  13. @Salford Lad: Double-plus good
    @evilc: Yes. “We must support our French brothers and sisters” Merkel bollocks and every political party but the Links (Sahra Wagenknecht) rushing a law through for Tornado deployment for “a year”.

    The fact that the West’s military hardware has (long) been deployed, uninvited, over Syrian sovereign territory is distressing. This time we’re on the wrong side.


  14. If people want to interfere with the weather, or for that matter, our soils, one can only think of them as being slightly dotty.

    I say that because we depend on the weather and the soil if we are to eat healthily. But then, a farmer has to poison the people he feeds because otherwise he’d be swamped by his competition… and most people don’t care if they’re eating poisoned food or not, just as long as it’s cheap. I will add that the farmers I speak to wouldn’t eat the crops they harvest (but rarely realize that the stuff they do eat from their local supermarket is grown by people who have as much care as the farmer himself has).

    So, if you want a real look at what economic/climatic/soil engineering has done for us, take a peek at California’s Central Valley (such a sublimely poetic name, isn’t it? But that’s modern thinkers for you… )

    In the future we will need to eat, just as we do today. The question isn’t if it’s poisoned, polluted or manipulated, but whether it’s there to eat at all.


  15. Gemma correct me if I’m wrong but the same is happening to the massive aquifer under the prairies. The price of trying to farm land that should grow bison.


  16. Lampitt, why are we – as a species – putting profits before our future?

    After all, if the land was suited to growing bison, surely if someone were to use it for another purpose, it would be in tune with nature. The IMF (known in Africa as the International Slavery Fund) wants Kenya to grow peas and beans for export – which uses colossal amounts of water. Growing sorghum would feed many more people, but would not satisfy the brain-dead bureaucrats at the IMF, who can only see what is written for them on paper.

    It makes me think of the fatheads in Harare who want land because it can only acrue in value, yet leave once productive farms to slip back into the bush because what they believed wasn’t in accordance with the reality.


  17. I always wondered why successive U.S. Presidents allowed J. Edgar Hoover continue as head of the FBI. Now IT appears that he pioneered an early version of the NSA and gathered information on the peccadilloes of US politicians and probably let them know it.

    I also wondered why the US Congressmen and Senators along with the Administration so cravenly abdicated their responsibilities to the US constitution by knowingly allowing the NSA to act so defiantly in breach of constitution, while condemning Edward Snowden for exposing their culpability. Maybe they know that the NSA has information on them that they do not want disclosed.
    As for Alex Tspiras, I wonder if he has been similarly compromised.
    As Saint Augustine stated,”When you remove the impossible, all that remains, no matter how improbable, is the truth”.


  18. Bribe, Bully, Blackmail, Assassinate the reputation , Assassinate the person.


  19. i did remember that Tspiras explained his cave in by saying that the greek people voted to stay in the EU. so when he couldn’t get a deal he felt he could not or dare not take them out of the EU. i think that we fight for freedom or accept being slaves. he should have made the case to the Greeks but he seemed not to bother.


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