Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Panama Papers and Privatisation



My new Public Ownership column for the Morning Star- on the link between the Panama Papers and privatisation.

IT ALL began in 1979. That was the year when privatisation was launched in Britain (back then it was called “denationalisation”) and exchange controls were lifted.
On October 23, Thatcher’s chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Geoffrey Howe stood up in Parliament and announced the abolition of all existing exchange controls — except those applying to Zimbabwe.
The controls which Howe was abolishing had existed for 40 years — and, like public ownership, were an integral part of the social democratic economic system which existed after WWII. But for the Thatcherites they were an unwelcome restriction which prevented the rich from becoming even richer.

You can read the whole column here

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Don't blame Obama! The US has always wanted Britain in the EU



My latest for RT OpEdge:

Barack Obama’s call for the UK to stay in the EU has predictably faced an angry response from British eurosceptics. But it’s wrong to get personal as some right-wingers have done and label Obama “anti-British” – he is simply articulating a long-held US policy.

The US wants Britain to vote “Remain” in the June 23 referendum, not because it would be good for Britain, but because a “Yes” vote would be good for America and, in particular, for Wall Street, the State Department and the US military-industrial complex. The US desperately needs the UK to remain in the EU to help it achieve its global economic and military aims. A British withdrawal would make it more likely that a less Atlanticist and less neoliberal EU would emerge, and that Washington’s influence over Europe would be reduced. The only surprising thing about Obama’s pro-EU intervention is that anyone should be surprised by it. Pushing for “Britain in Europe” is what American presidents do.

You can read the whole piece here. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

1926- what was happening in the UK in the year the Queen was born?

It was the year of The General Strike, flappers and Edgar Wallace. My piece on the events of 1926 in the Daily Express.
I was on BBC London too talking about the year 1926. The interview with Nikki Bedi is here (starts at c1hr11mins)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Charmed Life: David Cameron, the fast-tracked Teflon Tory (Parts One and Two)



My two-parter on David Cameron, the fast-tracked Teflon Tory, for RT.com

The #PanamaPapers leaks have exposed David Cameron as a hypocrite and consequently done great harm to his reputation.
If the political fall-out from the leaks does eventually bring the British Prime Minister down then he can't really complain as he's had a dream ride up to now.
He didn’t deserve to become Conservative Party leader in 2005 as his main rivals for the job were better qualified and more experienced and he most certainly, given his track record in office, didn't deserve to get another term as Prime Minister in 2015.

You can read the rest of Part One here.  Part Two can be read here.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Putin's Q&A: Around the world in 80 questions



My take on Putin's marathon Q & A session, for RT.com

There are more questions than answers’ the American reggae artist Johnny Nash sang in 1972. The same was certainly true of Thursday’s marathon Q & A with Vladimir Putin, when over 3 million questions were sent in by the general public for consideration.
Today’s session, compared to others we've had in the past, was a relatively ‘quickie’ - it ‘only’ lasted three hours thirty-nine minutes - one hour and eight minutes short of Putin’s record, set in 2013.
And the Russian President ‘only’ answered eighty questions. What a slacker!
Even though no records were broken, it was still a pretty impressive watch - particularly for Westerners unused to the rather revolutionary idea of leaders answering a flurry of questions directly put to them by members of the public for hours on end.

You can read the whole piece here.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The #PanamaPapers: If it was a US/Soros-backed plot it backfired badly



My piece on the Panama Papers for RT.com

If ‘Get Putin’ really was the agenda behind the data leaks as some believe, then the plan seems to have backfired as it is US ally David Cameron who is currently feeling the most heat from the revelations....

You can read the whole piece here.
Meanwhile here are extracts from a RT interview with me on why the main charge against David Cameron is one of hypocrisy.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Red Rum: The horse who saved the Grand National



 

 My piece on Grand National history from today's Daily Express.

IT’S watched and bet on by millions but the world’s most famous steeplechase was once in danger of disappearing – until a certain Red Rum came along..

 
It is estimated that 79 per cent of the adult population of Britain will have some form of financial interest in the outcome of tomorrow’s Grand National, with well over £150million being wagered.
A maximum crowd of 72,500 will be in attendance at Aintree, while millions more will be watching the world’s most famous steeplechase on television. It is no exaggeration to say that the Grand National is the one sporting event in Britain that stops the country.
So popular is the race today it is hard to believe that about 45 years ago its very future was in doubt. In the late 1960s and early 1970s people were talking mournfully about how the “Last National” could not be far off.

You can read the whole article here.