UK Elections Topic #1: Ensure your vote counts …

In coming days, I will post my thoughts on critical polices that are being actively debated.

Let me start the subject with a news clipping from BBC; hope you have already seen this.

Nurses, police, teachers, fire service.. professions that are backbone of any community; professions that face cuts under present government.

My kids were born in NHS hospitals; they study in local schools, and I am proud of these professionals.

If these professionals are not paid enough to live a decent life, then we should be very worried about the future of our society.

Ensure that your vote counts, for your community.
Ensure that your vote counts, for yourself.

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Yet another US aggression….

US has taken military action against Syria.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39523654

​I don’t support Assad and strongly condemn chemical attack on Syrian citizens.  

That said, the missile attack on Syria is yet another unilateral military aggression by USA on a middle East sovereign state, without any agreement from U.N. General  Assembly or Security Council.  US still considers itself as world police but in reality it’s nothing but an aggressive bully.  When will rest of the world have the courage to control this rouge nation?  

Theresa May’s “full support” is nothing but meak submission to the bully in front;  “Love Actually” PM-with-spine is still a distant dream for UK.

NATO – shouldn’t we veto?

“Nato is very important, Nato has been the bulwark of our security here in Europe and we work together in Nato.” – Theresa May, in Andrew Marr Show (22nd Jan 2017)

Wasn’t NATO irrelevant after culmination of cold war and Warsaw Pact?  It was.

Isn’t a military organisation the real threat to peaceful, diplomatic resolutions? It is.

Doesn’t NATO undermine and jeopardize the United Nations?  It does.

Then isn’t it time to disband Nato?  Yes, I think so.

 

 

 

 

 

BREXIT – What Next?

sunrise-1371391077dmN

We are in a shock, even at end of the weekend.

I will say a good, pleasant shock.

Shock from realizing the fact that it is possible to be strong to stand for what we believe in.

Strong enough to say no to establishment, no to the disconnected politicians, no to banks and economic institutions, no to the world politicians who want to impose their selfish decisions on us.

Against all these massive, imposing establishments we strongly replied with a “No, thank you”.

We, as a country, have spoken to stay away from EU.  The verdict is in.  Let us respect the verdict and move ahead.

The question is how?  How should we move ahead?  What are the immediate steps?

I could think of the following:

1. Heal the wounds

First of all, heal the self-inflicted wounds.  The referendum was not less than a fierce war.  Cabinet members against each other, party members against each other, friends against each other; people in all wakes of lives trading verbal – and even physical – blows against each other.  In hindsight, the referendum war could’ve been fought with much less animosity and hatred from both sides.

It is now time to remove the hate and anger against each other.  It is time to realise that democracy has spoken and we are in this together to move forward.

2. Give time for reactions to calm down

Currently, the fear, doubt, anger and frustration of all who stood against the Leave vote are in full play.  These emotions results in the reactive, negative responses.

Whether it is

  • rest of the world (market / pound crashes, negative ratings),
  • the Remain supporters (fear, resignations, unbelief, sarcasm)
  • European Leads (demands for quick action),
  • Countries participating in the UK (Scottish/Irish referendum asks to get out of UK) or even

Let us give them time to express their emotions and fears.  After the initial reactions, the emotions will calm down.  Once done, the brains and minds will regain control.  Once in control, logic will eventually kick-in.  The logic will shed light to facts on what UK is, and how much is in stake for all involved.

3. Give ample time to think what we want and how best we could achieve it. 

Ignore the warnings and demands from the EU leaders on quick actions.

The Remain / Leave referendum was an internal affair to find out what we think as a country.  We have not yet given any formal information or notice to the EU. Per books, UK is still where we were before 23rd June.

So take this period to think – all possibilities, circumstances and ways forward.

4.  Change the Government, cabinet and thus it’s thought process.

The current lot stood too strongly for Remain and they are defeated.  It is not logical, fair or viable to expect that the group who were dead against an action will work towards fulfilling the same – against their wills.

At the very least, there should be a leadership change.  David Cameron, his Exchequer and the EU-supporting cabinet members SHOULD step aside.  Even better will be a general election, through which the public can elect a new lot to kick-start the next actions.

5.  Once all of above are in place, it is time to take each debated item, one by one.  

Once we are ready, it is time to take each debated item, one by one:

(a) Immigration: Debate, discuss and put in place a comprehensive immigration policy that is global based, controlled based on requirements and skills, at the same time compassionate on asylum seeks from war-torn countries and others with humanitarian requirements.

(b) Re-allocation of EU contributions to

  • NHS
  • Farmers / Fisheries
  • Education / science / research
  • Businesses  and industries that need support

I am not an expert.  It is the job for economists to explain how this can be achieved.

But I am sure of one thing.  If EU were able take money from us and give a fraction of it as giveback and satisfy above group of our fellow country-men, then we could surely be able to use the whole contribution to make their lives even better.

(c)  Co-operation with rest of the world – including EU

(d)  TU working rules, facilities and benefits

(e)  Industries, businesses and economic institutions.

I have a lot to write on each of these items!  On that in coming days/weeks.

6.  Invoke Article 50

Once we are ready, then – AND THEN ONLY – invoke article 50.

Per me, these are the immediate next steps to convert the SHOCK to STRENGTH.

There is nothing to lose, but a lot to gain, if we are TOGETHER.

We can successfully accomplish what we voted for, if we stand TOGETHER.

We can see the UK getting stronger, powerful in not very distant future – if we work for it, TOGETHER.

 

Pinnacle of Privatisation?!

The best joke I read today is from the BBC:

Downing Street said the issue of whether the Cameron family still had funds in offshore investments was a “private matter”.

Of course it is!

It’s only the money of Prime Minister’s family!  why should the public have an interest in the same?

Should running the country too, ideally, be a “private matter”?  Is this the pinnacle of privatisation?!

On a serious note, BBC says “More than 60 relatives and associates of heads of state and other politicians are also implicated.  Also mentioned are the brother-in-law of China‘s President Xi Jinping; Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko; Argentina President Mauricio Macri; the late father of UK Prime Minister David Cameron and three of the four children of Pakistan‘s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.  The files also reveal a suspected billion-dollar money laundering ring involving close associates of Russia‘s President, Vladimir Putin.”

“The documents show that Iceland‘s Prime Minister, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, had an undeclared interest linked to his wife’s wealth. He is now facing calls for his resignation.”

Does this news mean anything to UK Government and Cameron in particular?  May be, not.

While there could be nothing illegal in using offshore companies, more details should emerge to clarify – followed by further activities to reform – the operations of tax havens.

More details should come out.  While the Prime Minister is not named in the leaks himself, this should definitely not be a “private  matter”.  At least “private matter” is not how UK politics is projected to rest of the world.

What is your opinion?

 

 

 

Resgination? or a re-unite with lost conscience?

The major UK political news this weekend was that of the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith from the position of Work and Pensions Secretary. I caught up with The Andrew Marr Show only this evening; it was amusing to see the frustration in face and words of IDS.

No doubt this was a “puzzling” and “disappointing” weekend for the Prime Minister and his Chancellor. Even a hard-core Tory like IDS have realised that this Government, in its desperate search for savings, is marginalising people who are sick and vulnerable.  On one hand, the agents of elite filthy rich heading this Government are cutting tax for the better-off, while on other hand, they are cutting benefits for the disabled people, branding them as people who “don’t vote for us”.

Resigned IDS is no saint. It was he who proposed and voted towards slashing £30 per week from Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), along with a number of other high-profile Tories.  It backfired so much, so that MP Kit Malthouse had to resign as patron of Multiple Sclerosis Society; it’s members accused him of not being an “effective patron”, seeing his voting position.

That IDS too has found this budget to be totally unfair and immoral. While it is nice to see that IDS has suddenly re-found his lost conscience, it is high time Cameron and his Chancellor take a pause and analyse how their policies and positions are not only dividing this nation and its people but also their own party, its leaders and supporters.

Well done UK…! But what Next?

syria flag

On Thursday, UK parliament has done the right thing by voting against David Cameron’s motion towards military action in Syria.  UK  Parliament clearly declared that it is not in the interest of UK to take unilateral (war) decisions without acknowledging UN and respect what it stands for.

Government motion was defeated by 285 against 272 – no doubt, a humiliating defeat for David Cameron.  Of the 304 conservative MPs, 30 decided to go against Cameron’s plans to attack Syria.   – that is almost 10% of his own party members showing no-confidence on Cameron’s foreign and defence policies.

9 of the 55 LibDems too voted against the Government.  But hey, do you hear anything about / from Nick Clegg / LibDems these days?  They are not even half strong as what their shadows used to be, prior to 2010 general election.

Now, look at why Defence Secretary Philip Hammond feels “disappointed” about.   Per Mr Hammond, results of Commons vote would harm Britain’s “special relationship” with Washington!  Mr Hammond is more worried about what US will think of, rather than what UK MPs and common public urge the Government to do.  The Defence Secretary sounds more like he belongs to the US Capitol than to Westminster!

What Next?

The UN inspectors are yet to deliver their conclusion whether chemical weapons (CW) were used in Syria.  Even if the usage is confirmed, it still needs to be established who used the CW.  Prima facie it looks highly unlikely for a government to use CW on its own civilians – particularly when the government is gaining over the rebels.

Meanwhile, President Obama and US Secretary of State John Kelly continue to prove that US has no respect for UN and rest of the world.  Obama continues his battle cry, along with Kelly who pitifully try – without any evidence – to convince the world that it is the Syrian Govt. who used the CW.

One thing is sure; it is almost impossible to prove who used the CW; and hence the US justification for an attack too.

If not an attack, what other plans are on table?  Sadly, none.

It is beyond doubt that current Assad Govt has lost its credibility.  The country and its citizens should be given the chance to decide whom they prefer to govern Syria.  Given the continuing civil war and reduced practice of democracy in Syria, at a very high level, something along below lines appears to be a valid, possible solution towards the crisis:

  • Both sides to immediately agree on cease-fire.
  • UN to send observers to Syria to monitor ongoing developments.
  • Syrian Government and rebel representatives – in presence of mutually agreeable mediators + UN representatives – to discuss, negotiate and agree towards an all-party committee which should plan, co-ordinate, mobilise and conduct election in next 12 months.
  • UN force to observe and ensure fairness during the election process.
  • All sides to accept the results and carry on.

Is Syria heading towards to become another Afghanistan/ Iraq/ Libya?  Or will the UK Parliament vote have the power to make US/France re-think?  I would love to believe latter will happen; but recent past’s history sadly, slowly whisper latter is what we are heading to.

Let us wait and watch.

UK Govt.’s military plans against Syria

West against Syria

The war-hungry hooligans have started licking their bloody lips again.  This time they are hungrier, grown shameless and shows utter dis-respect towards rest of the world, UN Security Council and the UN itself.  

Latest news from UK confirms that UK Government is drawing up contingency military plans in response to the alleged chemical weapons usage in Syria.

What are the current ground realities?

  • Though it looks highly possible, usage of chemical weapons is not yet proven.
  • It is not known who used the chemical weapons.  But of course, US and UK require no proof to “confirm” it is the Syrian Government to be blamed.
  • UN Security Council has not agreed on any attack on Syria, which is a UN member state and a sovereign country.

Where is world politics heading to? 

When did it become a norm that an independent country could be attacked based on speculations and accusations? 

It is true that Syria is going through an intense civil war, with both sides doing all they could do to defeat the other.  But that does not give US or UK any excuse to intervene.  They are not world police.

Rebels in Pak-occupied-Kashmir – while conducting terrorist attacks – are crying for decades that India is oppressing civilians in the region.  Does that give rights to US/UK or any other war-obsessed nation a license to attack India? 

The world should join Russia and China to strongly oppose and condemn any plans of attack against Syria.  Military decisions, if any, is the very last option, taken at UN level, with full agreement and support from all members of UN Security Council.  Period.

Battle-cry against yet another foreign country – Syria

Britain’s Foreign Minister, William Hague, mentioned today that “Military action against Syria may be the only remaining response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the country”.

Military action? Only remaining response? How sure the Foreign Minister is!!!

No doubt, this quick-fix is “elegantly” supported by previous military atrocities in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya! Hague seems impatient to add one more Middle-Eastern name to that list.

Of course, we all know that this is not Hague’s own idea. For that matter, it is not an original idea of his leader Cameron too. As always, these two are merely advertising the desires of US of A.

Please tell me, in which of the above mentioned countries was military action successful? Taliban is still not defeated in Afghanistan. Iraq is still burning, daily, in internal fights. And Libya? Just yesterday only Reuters blog reported that Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood is gaining influence amid country’s disarray.

What does all this show? A military action from US/UK warmongers does not resolve issues in any foreign country; they just increase the internal division in those very countries – and fan the fire of hatred in hearts and minds of locals against the Western countries.

Let us look in to the latest news from Syria. From available news, it appears that chemical weapons were used against civilians. [is the news true? Western media and politicians says so; few years ago they also “honestly” told us about Saddam Hussein’s “Weapons-of-Mass-Destructions”]

For time being, let us accept the use of chemical weapons. Still, certainty, if any, ends just there. Who used these weapons against civilians? Was it the Government, or the rebels? We do not know.

While rebels claim that Government was behind the attack, Assad’s Government insists rebels carried-out these attacks.

Whoever used it, bringing a third-party military on top of existing internal civil war is not going to defuse the situation. The ultimate sufferers will still be the civilians. US/UK/French military will surely pound the country, possibly bring down Assad, and hand-over the rule to a half-cooked amalgamation of anti-Assad political parties.

Then what? Repeat Iraq? Repeat Libya? Repeat Egypt?

External military intervention from Western countries is hardly a solution in Middle East. These internal fights have centuries of histories behind them. Neither NATO, nor any other Western power could grasp the underlying politics, and deep-rooted religion based divisions. A free-and-fair election could resolve it – even if it is a temporary solution. That is what the rest of the world – under the banner of UN, and not led by US/UK – could help Syria aspire to achieve.

Not another war.