Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The new TTIP? Meet TISA, the 'secret privatisation pact that poses a threat to democracy'

Government insists 'public services are under no threat whatsoever from this deal'

An international trade deal being negotiated in secret is a “turbo-charged privatisation pact” that poses a threat to democratic sovereignty and “the very concept of public services”, campaigners have warned.
But this is not TTIP – the international agreement it appears campaigners in the European Union have managed to scupper over similar concerns – this is TISA, a deal backed by some of the world’s biggest corporations, such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, Walt Disney, Walmart, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase.
Few people may have heard of the Trade In Services Agreement, but campaign group Global Justice Now warns in a new report: “Defeating TTIP may amount to a pyrrhic victory if we allow TISA to pass without challenge.”
Like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TISA is being negotiated in secret, even though it could have a major impact on countries which sign up.
While TTIP is only between the EU and US, those behind TISA have global ambitions as it involves most of the world’s major economies – with the notable exceptions of China and Russia – in a group they call the “Really Good Friends of Services”.
The Department for International Trade dismissed the idea that public services were at risk from TISA, adding that the UK was committed to securing an "ambitious" deal.
But according to Global Justice Now’s report, the deal could “lock in privatisation of public services”; allow “casino capitalism” by undermining financial regulations designed to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 recession; threaten online privacy; damage efforts to fight climate change; and prevent developing countries from improving public services.
Play Video
Jeremy Corbyn vows to veto TTIP
Nick Dearden, director of group, said: “This deal is a threat to the very concept of public services. It is a turbo-charged privatisation pact, based on the idea that rather than serving the public interest, governments must step out of the way and allow corporations to ‘get on with it’.
“Of particular concern, we fear TISA will include clauses that will prevent governments taking public control of strategic services, and inhibit regulation of the very banks that created the financial crash.”
He suggested pro-Brexit voters should be concerned at the potential loss of sovereignty.
“Many people were persuaded to leave the EU on the grounds they would be ‘taking back control’ of our economic policy,” Mr Dearden said.
“But if we sign up to TISA, our ability to control our economy – to regulate, to protect public services, to fight climate change – is massively reduced. In effect, we would be handing large swathes of policy-making to big business. “
The report says the widespread opposition to TTIP, a deal between only the EU and US, had not yet been repeated over TISA.
“It is vital for elected representatives, campaigners and ordinary citizens to unite against this threat,” it adds.
“TISA threatens public services. From postal services to the NHS, TISA could lock in privatisation and ensure that big multinationals increasingly call the shots on areas like health, education and basic utilities.”
A so-called “ratchet” clause in the deal means that after a service – like trains or water or energy – is privatised, this is almost impossible to reverse even if it fails.
According to the report, a “standstill” clause also means “no new regulation can be passed that gives foreign companies worse treatment” than when TISA is passed.
“Taken together, the standstill and ratchet clauses could make it much harder for a future government to renationalise the railways, a move backed by a majority of the British public,” it says.
“Similarly, it could mean that the creeping privatisation of the NHS becomes more and more irreversible with greater involvement of companies from countries like the US. And forget taking control of the electricity system back from the big six energy firms.”
Migrant workers could be classified as “independent service suppliers”, the report says, meaning they would not be eligible for the minimum wage or be allowed to join a union.
People going to another country may find their visa is tied to their job, so if they were sacked, they would be deported.
“This sort of system of modern indentured labour is wide open to abuse by unscrupulous employers who may get away with illegal practices safe in the knowledge that they can threaten any employee with deportation if they complain," the report says.
“This sort of system is used in countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar and has resulted in working conditions that have been described as being close to slavery.”
The global economic crash of 2008 was precipitated by the sale of complex financial products linked to unsafe "sub-prime" mortgages. The report says there is a danger the final TISA deal would “undermine efforts to regulate risky financial products” with a proposal that firms should be allowed to offer “any new financial service”.
“The danger is that TISA will deter governments from limiting the use of such ‘innovative’ financial products and leave us powerless to stop the next financial crisis,” it says.
TISA could also potentially prevent governments from favouring renewable energy over fossil fuels – despite the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the health effects of air pollution.
Private firms would also be allowed to move online data from one country to another under one proposal being considered. While the original country’s privacy laws would have to be respected, the report said it was “not clear how this will be … enforced”.
While developed countries in Europe have established public services that would not be threatened unless a state’s government decided to open them up to private firms, the same is not true of many developing countries. If they signed up to the deal, it could effectively prevent them from setting up public institutions taken for granted in the West.
The TISA negotiations were held behind closed doors for about 18 months until they were publicly revealed by the global trade union group Public Services International (PSI). Information about some of the proposals has been also disclosed through Wikileaks and similar sites.
Daniel Bertossa, PSI’s director of policy, said: “Anybody who’s interested in maintaining democratic control of national institutions should be very concerned about the Trade in Services Agreement that is being negotiated in secret.
“It will remove large sections of national sovereignty and the ability of any government, including the UK Government, to regulate important service sectors [on issues] such as energy, such as transport, such as privacy. The Trade in Services Agreement is part of a radical project to limit governments’ sovereign right to regulate and freeze it almost in permanence in the interests of foreign corporations.”
According to the European Commission, TISA is about "facilitating trade in services".
"The EU is the world's largest exporter of services with tens of millions of jobs throughout Europe in the services sector. Opening up markets for services will mean more growth and jobs," its website says.
The Independent has contacted “Team TISA”, a group of mainly American companies in favour of the deal, asking for a comment.
Play Video
Corbyn: Labour would veto TTIP
On its website, it says: “Services are the fastest growing sector of the global economy and account for two thirds of global output, one third of global employment and nearly 20 per cent of global trade.
“The TISA provides an opportunity to expand services trade among over 50 countries, covering nearly 70 per cent of global trade in services.
“The potential expansion TISA provides will benefit not only global growth, but also US domestic growth.
“As the world’s largest services exporter, with over $1.3 trillion (about £1 trillion) in annual cross-border and foreign-affiliate sales, the US will benefit tremendously from elimination of services barriers.”
A Department for International Trade spokesperson said: “Public services are under no threat whatsoever from this deal or any other trade agreement. The UK remains committed to an ambitious Trade in Services Agreement.”

NWN:  The onward march of 'globalisation' - the 'New World Order' ? Everything that we as nationalists must oppose.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Far-right anti-Islam activists protest atop Berlin monument
AP Photo
AP Photo/Frank Jordans

Berlin Wall: 20 Years Later
BERLIN (AP) -- Anti-Islam activists have staged an hour-long demonstration atop Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.
The protesters unfurled a banner Saturday calling for "secure borders" in Germany as crowds of tourists milled around the iconic monument.
Police said 15 people were briefly detained over the protest and are likely to face charges of trespassing, harassment and breaching laws on public assembly.
Berlin police spokeswoman Patricia Braemer said the protesters belonged to the Identitarian Movement. Germany's domestic intelligence agency said this month it was putting the far-right group under observation because it aims to subvert democracy.
Leaflets scattered by the group claimed the government is trying to replace Germany's population with Muslim immigrants.
Germany has seen an unprecedented influx of asylum-seekers, many from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, over the past year. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Hungary to build a second ‘massive’ wall to keep out migrants heading from Turkey 

  • Fence is to defend against a possible migrant surge, PM Viktor Orban said 
  • Hungary built fences with razor wire on its borders with Serbia and Croatia
  • It is also beefing up its police force with 3,000 new 'border hunters' 
Hungary will build a new, 'more massive' fence on its southern borders to defend against a possible surge in the number of migrants, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.
Orban, who earlier said migrants were 'poison', said on state radio that there may soon be a 'greater need for security' and the fortified barrier would be able to stop 'several hundreds of thousands of people' at the same time, if needed. He did not say when construction could start.
Orban said the surge could take place if, for example, Turkey allows the millions of refugees living there to leave for Western Europe.
Children play at a makeshift camp for migrants in Horgos, Serbia, meters away from Serbia's border with Hungary
Children play at a makeshift camp for migrants in Horgos, Serbia, meters away from Serbia's border with Hungary
'Then, if we can't do it nicely, we have to hold them back by force,' Orban said. 'And we will do it, too.'
Hungary built fences protected with razor wire on its southern borders with Serbia and Croatia last year, when nearly 400,000 people passed through the country on their way west.
The fences have greatly slowed the flow of people entering Hungary, which is also beefing up its police force with 3,000 new 'border hunters' to tighten control at the fences. 
It has also introduced controversial legislation that allows officials to return migrants to Serbia if they are caught within eight kilometers (five miles) of the border.
A migrant child eats in Horgos. Hungary built fences protected with razor wire on its southern borders with Serbia and Croatia last year, when nearly 400,000 people passed through the country on their way west
A migrant child eats in Horgos. Hungary built fences protected with razor wire on its southern borders with Serbia and Croatia last year, when nearly 400,000 people passed through the country on their way west
Children carry water at the Horgos camp. Orban reiterated his call for the stronger protection of Europe's external borders
Children carry water at the Horgos camp. Orban reiterated his call for the stronger protection of Europe's external borders
Hungary has denied repeated allegations that officers have used force to 'escort' the migrants and refugees back to Serbia.
Orban reiterated his call for the stronger protection of Europe's external borders, saying joint efforts were needed to defend the borders between Serbia and Macedonia and Macedonia and Greece.
'Immigration and migrants damage Europe's security, are a threat to people and bring terrorism upon us,' Orban said, adding that this was caused by allowing the uncontrolled entry of large numbers of people 'from areas where Europe and the western world are seen as the enemy.'
Orban's virulent anti-migrant stance also includes a government-sponsored referendum on October 2 seeking political support for the rejection of any European Union plans to resettle migrants among its member countries.

Looks like 'they'  are doing another FDR .

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Migrants to be offered FREE degrees at top university while Britons amass huge debts

REFUGEES and asylum seekers could get a free place at one of Britain’s top universities alongside a new wave of British students struggling to cope with the burden of huge student debts.

Bristol will offer the scholarships as part of a scheme to integrate refugees
Russell Group member Bristol University has offered scholarships and softened the application process for refugees and asylum seekers as part of a scheme to integrate those escaping conflict into education.
Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said: "We know there are factors that make it difficult for people from refugee and asylum-seeking communities to apply to university.
“Their previous studies may have been interrupted, they might not have evidence of their previous qualifications or their qualifications are not transferable.
Applications for the scholarship were open to refugees or asylum seekers in Britain
“Our scheme has been designed to accommodate these factors, so please don't let them stop you from applying.”
It comes as many working class students are put off the idea of going to university due to the huge debts incurred – with many leaving higher education after taking on more £40,000 of debt.
For six out of 10, cost is the main thing stopping them from going to university or dropping out when they get there, according to new research from
Many working class students are put off the idea of going to university due to student debt
English universities are currently some of the most expensive in Europe, often charging £9,000 a year in tuition fees while others – including Scotland – offer the service for free.
It comes as the number of European Union students heading to British universities this summer has surged to its highest level ever as students rush to the UK after Brexit.
Brussels students will make up 11 per cent of undergraduates this autumn – a record 26,800 in total.
The number of European Union students heading to British universities this summer has surged
Students from countries in the bloc pay £9,000 for their course, the same as British students, but Overseas students pay £12,000.
It is believed many freshers will confirm their places in UK universities before fees increase when Britain officially cuts ties with Brussels – when EU students will be regarded as overseas applicants. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Destroyed by arrogance: His relentless hounding of British troops made him the darling of the human rights industry. Now his firm's being shut down - and soldiers are planning to SUE him 

  • Phil Shiner is to close the door on his discredited Birmingham legal firm 
  • Public Interest Lawyers has spent millions of pounds pursuing troops
  • Serving and former soldiers considering taking their own legal action

Mr Shiner is to close his law firm, Public Interest Lawyers 
Mr Shiner is to close his law firm, Public Interest Lawyers 
He presents himself as the victim of a great Establishment plot: the plucky outsider and ‘committed socialist’ from humble beginnings pummelled by Tory toffs and military top brass for having the audacity to shine his virtuous light on the murkier workings of the British state.
So, as Phil Shiner now shuts the door on his discredited Birmingham legal practice, he will, no doubt, repeat his claims of a ‘personal vendetta’ against him by the Government and its agents.
But for many serving and retired members of the Armed Forces, the news that Mr Shiner and his law firm, Public Interest Lawyers, are shutting up shop is a cause for celebration.
Having spent years and many millions of pounds (courtesy of the taxpayer) pursuing British troops for thousands of alleged crimes in Iraq and elsewhere on the flimsiest of evidence, the one-time darling of the human rights industry has found that the tables have turned.
And he has clearly found the whole experience so disagreeable that he has decided to quit, ahead of a series of inquiries into the conduct of his firm.
It is a story of arrogance and hubris, one that raises several awkward questions for a legal establishment which, until recently, was only too keen to lionise this so-called champion of the oppressed.
Mr Shiner¿s detractors call him an ¿ambulance-chaser¿, a term of abuse in judicial circles (file photo)
Mr Shiner’s detractors call him an ‘ambulance-chaser’, a term of abuse in judicial circles (file photo)
But if Mr Shiner hopes that locking the office door will make the beastly Establishment take its vendetta elsewhere, he is likely to be disappointed.
‘This company has caused huge anguish to members of the Armed Forces and I am pleased it is closing down,’ says Colonel Bob Stewart, Tory MP for Beckenham.
‘But if it’s just a tactic to avoid further action against them, it won’t work. They should be chased and prosecuted – as they have chased others – if they have done things that are illegal. And they have certainly done things that are morally disputable.’
Mr Shiner’s detractors call him an ‘ambulance-chaser’, a term of abuse in judicial circles and one which he deeply resents. Yet, though Mr Shiner and his colleagues have chased countless ambulances – not to mention British Army jeeps, tanks and armoured personnel carriers – we are not talking about your average run-of-the-mill, compensation-chasing, no win-no fee legal pondlife.
This is a man who has risen to the top of the Establishment he professes to despise, complete with an entry in Who’s Who (it’s ‘Professor Philip Shiner’, by the way).
Perhaps the final straw for his firm was this month¿s announcement from the Legal Aid Agency that PIL has been banned from further public funding for its cases (file photo)
Perhaps the final straw for his firm was this month’s announcement from the Legal Aid Agency that PIL has been banned from further public funding for its cases (file photo)
Let us picture the scene in November 2007. The senior echelons of the legal world are gathered in their finery in the City of London for the Law Society Awards. Armoury House, the Georgian home of the Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest regiment in the British Army, has been hired for the black tie dinner.
All eyes are on the top trophy, the Solicitor of the Year Award for ‘the greatest positive impact on the public perception or reputation of the profession’. And the winner is … Phil Shiner.
The Law Society’s citation commends his ‘tenacious and courageous commitment to the rights of those for whom access to justice would otherwise be denied’, in particular ‘bereaved Iraqi families whose relatives had been killed in incidents in which British soldiers had been implicated’.
Afterwards, Mr Shiner piously explains that this was not so much work as a personal crusade, inspired by his own Christian beliefs.
Mr Shiner and his firm, PIL, rose to prominence after they won more than £2million in compensation for the family of an Iraqi hotel receptionist (file photo)
Mr Shiner and his firm, PIL, rose to prominence after they won more than £2million in compensation for the family of an Iraqi hotel receptionist (file photo)
His decision to take the Ministry of Defence to task, he says, was ‘part of an absolute fundamental commitment to challenging abuse of power in any way that I can think of’.
He goes on: ‘It’s not just the abuse of power that led us into war but the massive abuses of power that had been taking place up to and beyond the occupation.’
There have been many similar baubles over the years. Garlanded with the 2004 ‘Human Rights Lawyer of the Year’ award by the pressure group Liberty, Mr Shiner would go on to be appointed professor in practice law by Middlesex University.
He has received honorary accolades from the universities of Warwick, Kent and the London School of Economics and sits as a vice-president of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers.
By any definition of the metropolitan liberal elite, ‘Professor’ Shiner is right up there at the top table. Which is why his fall is all the more spectacular.
Educated at what he calls a ‘tough’ Coventry comprehensive and Birmingham University, the twice-married father of five has had an impressive journey to the top of his trade.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has backed the closing of the firm
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has backed the closing of the firm
Yet his has been a reputation forged by the trashing of others, notably those of members of the Armed Forces.
There was clear evidence that some British troops had been guilty of serious misconduct during and after the invasion of Iraq.
Mr Shiner and his firm, PIL, rose to prominence after they won more than £2million in compensation for the family of an Iraqi hotel receptionist, Baha Mousa, who died while in the custody of British soldiers in 2003. A subsequent public inquiry into the affair in 2011 described it as an ‘appalling episode of serious gratuitous violence’. Spurred on by their success, Mr Shiner and his colleagues pushed for an inquiry into further alleged human rights abuses, following a bitter battle between British forces and Iraqi insurgents in 2004.
At the root of the claim was that innocent Iraqi farmers had been murdered by British soldiers. But one year into the £31million case, known as the al-Sweady inquiry, the Iraqi families dropped their claims.
In December 2014, the judge leading the investigation found that the witnesses represented by PIL and another firm, Leigh Day, had not just been exaggerating but telling systematic lies.
In the words of Sir Thayne Forbes, the allegations were ‘wholly without foundation and entirely the product of deliberate lies, reckless speculation and ingrained hostility’. It transpired that Mr Shiner and his firm had been paying an agent to round up potential victims and witnesses and had already trousered £3million from the Ministry of Defence for their part in the proceedings.
The MoD, in turn, reported Mr Shiner and his firm to the SRA, the solicitors’ watchdog, egged on by the prime minister himself.
More than 300 soldiers have now received letters warning them that they may face interrogation over instances of alleged ¿abuse¿ (file photo)
More than 300 soldiers have now received letters warning them that they may face interrogation over instances of alleged ‘abuse’ (file photo)
After an 18-month investigation, the SRA would refer the case to a disciplinary tribunal because of ‘serious allegations of professional misconduct’. Yet it now emerges that Mr Shiner is fighting to have that upcoming tribunal held behind closed doors, apparently on grounds of ill health.
Public Interest Lawyers, it would seem, do not believe that the public interest extends to themselves. The Daily Mail is contesting the application. For whatever the state of Mr Shiner’s own medical condition, there are hundreds of British service personnel whose own health has been adversely affected by accusations based on the most dubious evidence, if not downright lies.
More than 300 have now received letters warning them that they may face interrogation over instances of alleged ‘abuse’ in 1,500 cases, many of them instigated by Mr Shiner and his firm.
Colonel Stewart says he knows of several ex-soldiers suffering extreme stress as a result and is adamant that Mr Shiner should not be treated any differently.
‘The idea that he and his firm were using an agent to go out and find complaints against our Armed Forces fills me with horror,’ he says. Last year, Mr Shiner insisted that he was simply the target of a ‘vendetta’ by a Government ‘furious’ at the extent of the abuses which he had unearthed.
Several serving and former soldiers are considering taking their own legal action against Mr Shiner (file photo)
Several serving and former soldiers are considering taking their own legal action against Mr Shiner (file photo)
Perhaps the final straw for his firm was this month’s announcement from the Legal Aid Agency that PIL has been banned from further public funding for its cases.
On top of that, several serving and former soldiers are considering taking their own legal action against Mr Shiner.
One serving officer has told the Daily Telegraph that he is planning to leave the Army after members of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team interviewed him for two days over a 13-year-old abuse allegation and then turned up on the doorstep of a former girlfriend to ask her if he had ever been abusive in their relationship.
‘We veterans would like to sue Shiner. He has a lot to answer for. Lives have been destroyed while he has gained personally from these allegations,’ the officer added.
Solicitors acting for other groups of servicemen have said that they are considering legal action, depending on the result of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
Mr Shiner has not responded to questions from the Daily Mail.
However, one issue is safely beyond doubt. He won’t need to dust off his dinner jacket for this year’s Law Society Awards. 
NWN: Shiner ? Now there is a an old English name . No doubt he and his forebears emanate from Eastern Europe ? And a left winger to boot. The ex Forces community have been having many demonstrations against filth like this. A genuine piece of good news.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Yes, the System Is Rigged !

By Patrick J. Buchanan
“I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged,” Donald Trump told voters in Ohio and Sean Hannity on Fox News. And that hit a nerve.
“Dangerous,” “toxic,” came the recoil from the media.
Trump is threatening to “delegitimize” the election results of 2016.
Well, if that is what Trump is trying to do, he has no small point. For consider what 2016 promised and what it appears about to deliver.
This longest of election cycles has rightly been called the Year of the Outsider. It was a year that saw a mighty surge of economic populism and patriotism, a year when a 74-year-old Socialist senator set primaries ablaze with mammoth crowds that dwarfed those of Hillary Clinton.
It was the year that a non-politician, Donald Trump, swept Republican primaries in an historic turnout, with his nearest rival an ostracized maverick in his own Republican caucus, Senator Ted Cruz.
More than a dozen Republican rivals, described as the strongest GOP field since 1980, were sent packing. This was the year Americans rose up to pull down the establishment in a peaceful storming of the American Bastille.
But if it ends with a Clintonite restoration and a ratification of the same old Beltway policies, would that not suggest there is something fraudulent about American democracy, something rotten in the state?
If 2016 taught us anything, it is that if the establishment’s hegemony is imperiled, it will come together in ferocious solidarity — for the preservation of their perks, privileges and power.
All the elements of that establishment — corporate, cultural, political, media — are today issuing an ultimatum to Middle America:
Trump is unacceptable.
Instructions are going out to Republican leaders that either they dump Trump, or they will cease to be seen as morally fit partners in power.
It testifies to the character of Republican elites that some are seeking ways to carry out these instructions, though this would mean invalidating and aborting the democratic process that produced Trump.
But what is a repudiated establishment doing issuing orders to anyone?
Why is it not Middle America issuing the demands, rather than the other way around?
Specifically, the Republican electorate should tell its discredited and rejected ruling class: If we cannot get rid of you at the ballot box, then tell us how, peacefully and democratically, we can be rid of you?
You want Trump out? How do we get you out?
The Czechs had their Prague Spring. The Tunisians and Egyptians their Arab Spring. When do we have our American Spring?
The Brits had their “Brexit,” and declared independence of an arrogant superstate in Brussels. How do we liberate ourselves from a Beltway superstate that is more powerful and resistant to democratic change?
Our CIA, NGOs and National Endowment for Democracy all beaver away for “regime change” in faraway lands whose rulers displease us.
How do we effect “regime change” here at home?
Donald Trump’s success, despite the near-universal hostility of the media, even much of the conservative media, was due in large part to the public’s response to the issues he raised.
He called for sending illegal immigrants back home, for securing America’s borders, for no amnesty. He called for an America First foreign policy to keep us out of wars that have done little but bleed and bankrupt us.
He called for an economic policy where the Americanism of the people replaces the globalism of the transnational elites and their K Street lobbyists and congressional water carriers.
He denounced NAFTA, and the trade deals and trade deficits with China, and called for rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
By campaign’s end, he had won the argument on trade, as Hillary Clinton was agreeing on TPP and confessing to second thoughts on NAFTA.
But if TPP is revived at the insistence of the oligarchs of Wall Street, the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — backed by conscript editorial writers for newspapers that rely on ad dollars — what do elections really mean anymore?
And if, as the polls show we might, we get Clinton — and TPP, and amnesty, and endless migrations of Third World peoples who consume more tax dollars than they generate, and who will soon swamp the Republicans’ coalition — what was 2016 all about?
Would this really be what a majority of Americans voted for in this most exciting of presidential races?
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable,” said John F. Kennedy.
The 1960s and early 1970s were a time of social revolution in America, and President Nixon, by ending the draft and ending the Vietnam war, presided over what one columnist called the “cooling of America.”
But if Hillary Clinton takes power, and continues America on her present course, which a majority of Americans rejected in the primaries, there is going to a bad moon rising.
And the new protesters in the streets will not be overprivileged children from Ivy League campuses. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

How Global Elites Forsake Their Countrymen

Those in power see people at the bottom as aliens whose bizarre emotions they must try to manage.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the refugee crisis, Sept 7, 2015. 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the refugee crisis, Sept 7, 2015. 
This is about distance, and detachment, and a kind of historic decoupling between the top and the bottom in the West that did not, in more moderate recent times, exist.
Recently I spoke with an acquaintance of Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and the conversation quickly turned, as conversations about Ms. Merkel now always do, to her decisions on immigration. Last summer when Europe was engulfed with increasing waves of migrants and refugees from Muslim countries, Ms. Merkel, moving unilaterally, announced that Germany would take in an astounding 800,000. Naturally this was taken as an invitation, and more than a million came. The result has been widespread public furor over crime, cultural dissimilation and fears of terrorism. From such a sturdy, grounded character as Ms. Merkel the decision was puzzling—uncharacteristically romantic about people, how they live their lives, and history itself, which is more charnel house than settlement house.
Ms. Merkel’s acquaintance sighed and agreed. It’s one thing to be overwhelmed by an unexpected force, quite another to invite your invaders in! But, the acquaintance said, he believed the chancellor was operating in pursuit of ideals. As the daughter of a Lutheran minister, someone who grew up in East Germany, Ms. Merkel would have natural sympathy for those who feel marginalized and displaced. Moreover she is attempting to provide a kind of counter-statement, in the 21st century, to Germany’s great sin of the 20th. The historical stain of Nazism, the murder and abuse of the minority, will be followed by the moral triumph of open arms toward the dispossessed. That’s what’s driving it, said the acquaintance.
It was as good an explanation as I’d heard. But there was a fundamental problem with the decision that you can see rippling now throughout the West. Ms. Merkel had put the entire burden of a huge cultural change not on herself and those like her but on regular people who live closer to the edge, who do not have the resources to meet the burden, who have no particular protection or money or connections. Ms. Merkel, her cabinet and government, the media and cultural apparatus that lauded her decision were not in the least affected by it and likely never would be.
Nothing in their lives will get worse. The challenge of integrating different cultures, negotiating daily tensions, dealing with crime and extremism and fearfulness on the street—that was put on those with comparatively little, whom I’ve called the unprotected. They were left to struggle, not gradually and over the years but suddenly and in an air of ongoing crisis that shows no signs of ending—because nobody cares about them enough to stop it.
The powerful show no particular sign of worrying about any of this. When the working and middle class pushed back in shocked indignation, the people on top called them “xenophobic,” “narrow-minded,” “racist.” The detached, who made the decisions and bore none of the costs, got to be called “humanist,” “compassionate,” and “hero of human rights.”
And so the great separating incident at Cologne last New Year’s, and the hundreds of sexual assaults by mostly young migrant men who were brought up in societies where women are veiled—who think they should be veiled—and who chose to see women in short skirts and high heels as asking for it.
Cologne of course was followed by other crimes.
The journalist Chris Caldwell reports in the Weekly Standard on Ms. Merkel’s statement a few weeks ago, in which she told Germans that history was asking them to “master the flip side, the shadow side, of all the positive effects of globalization.”
Caldwell: “This was the chancellor’s . . . way of acknowledging that various newcomers to the national household had begun to attack and kill her voters at an alarming rate.” Soon after her remarks, more horrific crimes followed, including in Munich (nine killed in a McDonald’s ) Reutlingen (a knife attack) and Ansbach (a suicide bomber).


The larger point is that this is something we are seeing all over, the top detaching itself from the bottom, feeling little loyalty to it or affiliation with it. It is a theme I see working its way throughout the West’s power centers. At its heart it is not only a detachment from, but a lack of interest in, the lives of your countrymen, of those who are not at the table, and who understand that they’ve been abandoned by their leaders’ selfishness and mad virtue-signalling.
On Wall Street, where they used to make statesmen, they now barely make citizens. CEOs are consumed with short-term thinking, stock prices, quarterly profits. They don’t really believe that they have to be involved with “America” now; they see their job as thinking globally and meeting shareholder expectations.
In Silicon Valley the idea of “the national interest” is not much discussed. They adhere to higher, more abstract, more global values. They’re not about America, they’re about . . . well, I suppose they’d say the future.
In Hollywood the wealthy protect their own children from cultural decay, from the sick images they create for all the screens, but they don’t mind if poor, unparented children from broken-up families get those messages and, in the way of things, act on them down the road.
From what I’ve seen of those in power throughout business and politics now, the people of your country are not your countrymen, they’re aliens whose bizarre emotions you must attempt occasionally to anticipate and manage.
In Manhattan, my little island off the continent, I see the children of the global business elite marry each other and settle in London or New York or Mumbai. They send their children to the same schools and are alert to all class markers. And those elites, of Mumbai and Manhattan, do not often identify with, or see a connection to or an obligation toward, the rough, struggling people who live at the bottom in their countries. In fact, they fear them, and often devise ways, when home, of not having their wealth and worldly success fully noticed.

Affluence detaches, power adds distance to experience. I don’t have it fully right in my mind but something big is happening here with this division between the leaders and the led. It is very much a feature of our age. But it is odd that our elites have abandoned or are abandoning the idea that they belong to a country, that they have ties that bring responsibilities, that they should feel loyalty to their people or, at the very least, a grounded respect.
I close with a story that I haven’t seen in the mainstream press. This week the Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson reported that recent Syrian refugees being resettled in Virginia, were sent to the state’s poorest communities. Data from the State Department showed that almost all Virginia’s refugees since October “have been placed in towns with lower incomes and higher poverty rates, hours away from the wealthy suburbs outside of Washington, D.C.” Of 121 refugees, 112 were placed in communities at least 100 miles from the nation’s capital. The suburban counties of Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington—among the wealthiest in the nation, and home to high concentrations of those who create, and populate, government and the media—have received only nine refugees.
Some of the detachment isn’t unconscious. Some of it is sheer and clever self-protection. At least on some level they can take care of their own.

NWN: One from the Wall Street Journal ? This is a first.

Friday, August 12, 2016

'Let refugees into your homes' France pleads with citizens to help ease migrant crisis

THE French government has urged citizens to welcome refugees into their homes because the country’s migrant centres are so crowded.

Refugee crisisGETTY
The French government is struggling to tackle the migrant crisis
There are currently 147 reception centres across France, but these are in massive demand as desperate refugees continue to flee the Middle East.
Housing minister Emmanuelle Cosse has pledged to built a further 50 centres before the end of next month in a desperate bid to ease the crisis.
But she has also called on French people to open up their homes to migrants in need. Several organisations have already promised to help.

The group Singa has helped 300 migrants find a temporary home since it launched its 'Calm' scheme last June.
Singa co-director Alice Barbe said: "We match people according to where they live, their job, their hobbies, and the languages they speak.
"If things work out, the migrant will remain in the person's home for a minimum of two weeks, and for up to nine months."
Emmanuelle CosseGETTY
Housing minister Emmanuelle Cosse unveiled the plan yesterday
And speaking last year, fellow co-founder Guillaume Capelle said: "We can see that there are four million displaced people.
"Countries like Lebanon are taking in one million people. Here in France, we're taking 24,000 refugees – evidently, that's fairly few in comparison.
"What interests us, however, is ensuring that the people who do arrive here have enough of an opportunity to start a new life."
Calais JungleGETTY
Thousands of desperate refugees have fled the Syrian civil war
Last week a peer has called on the Government to show "more humanity and intelligence" to child refugees in Calais' notorious 'Jungle' camp.
Labour's Lord Dubs requested Theresa May's "urgent intervention" in reuniting children living in the camp with their families in the UK.
He added: "They have every legal and moral right to be with their families in the UK. It is shameful they remain stuck in a field, surrounded by strangers."

NWN: This is what they have been pushing for ! The cat is out of the bag.

Yank AntiFa up the ante ! ... "It takes a bullet to bash the fash !". The mainstream media completely failed to report o...