Friday, September 23, 2016

Edward Snowden: The hypocrisy is in the (Washington) Post

My latest article- for OpEdge

Consider the following: A newspaper receives documents about mass state surveillance from a whistleblower. It publishes a selection of the material. It is awarded a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting of the leaks.
Then, a couple of years later, having made money from the whistleblower and gained a prestigious award - it publishes an editorial arguing that the whistleblower- who had to leave his country, his family and loved ones and claim political asylum in another - does not deserve an official pardon.
Whatever your views are on whistleblowers, I’m sure you’ll agree that the newspaper has behaved pretty reprehensibly. We can talk about hypocrisy, betrayal, double standards, treachery - and also think of quite a few unprintable words to describe what the paper has done.
But really, the behavior of the Washington Post - the newspaper in question - should not surprise us.

You can read the whole piece here.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Top 10 Western lies about the Syrian conflict

My latest OpEdge for

Here are 10 of the worst lies that have been peddled by the West regarding Syria, with the aim of giving people living in Western countries an entirely false view of the conflict that has been raging in the Middle East country since 2011.
As in the case of previous US-led wars against Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya the lies told in relation to the ongoing conflict in Syria have been quite outrageous.

1. The West has failed to intervene in Syria - and that's been the problem
This oft-repeated claim (only last week the Washington Post was lamenting 'the disastrous non-intervention in Syria') is a complete inversion of the truth....

You can read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Why Owen Smith is wrong to call for a 2nd EU Referendum

The latest interview with me on the Mike Parr show on BBC Radio Tees. You can listen here (item starts c 19mins).

Monday, September 05, 2016

US exceptionalism: How dare the EU demand US companies pay more tax!

My latest article for OpEdge- on the Apple tax affair, the EU Commission and Ireland...

The most revealing thing about the European Commission's ruling that Apple should pay Ireland up to €13 billion in back taxes has been the indignant reaction from the US.
Charles Schumer, described by the BBC as ‘a senior Democratic senator’, said: "This is a cheap money grab by the European Commission, targeting US businesses and the US tax base."
Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives thundered: “This decision is awful. Slamming a company with a giant tax bill — years after the fact — sends exactly the wrong message to job creators on both sides of the Atlantic.”
The US Treasury slammed the decision as “unfair”. The White House said it was “concerned” about what it described as a “unilateral approach”. Orrin Hatch, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, called the ruling “an extraordinary decision that targets US business by rewriting already existing tax policies.”

You can read the whole article here

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Holidaying in Nazi Germany: Booklet promotes tourism just before WWII

My new piece in the Daily Express

THE aim of this booklet is quite frankly, to persuade you to visit Germany.” Nothing remarkable about that you might think.
With its lovely forests, beautiful mountains and historic cities, Germany is a nice country to visit. 
But the date of the booklet gives one a jolt. It’s 1939 – the year the Second World War started. 
I’ve got a rare copy of the LNER (London and North Eastern Railway) Germany via Harwich travel guide, written by Bernard Newman, urging people to take their holidays in Nazi Germany. 
Yes, that’s right, Nazi Germany. “Make 1939 the year you visit Germany” is probably not the best piece of travel advice that’s ever been given, especially if late summer was the time chosen to go. 
Even so, the LNER booklet is a fascinating read, particularly in light of the dramatic events of September 1939. 
Here are some extracts: 

You can read the whole piece here.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Milosevic exonerated as the NATO war machine moves on

My latest piece- on an unreported story: the exoneration, by the ICTY, of Slobodan Milosevic for the most heinous crimes he was charged with.

The ICTY’s exoneration of the late Slobodan Milosevic, the former President of Yugoslavia, for war crimes committed in the Bosnia war, proves again we should take NATO claims regarding its ’official enemies’ not with a pinch of salt, but a huge lorry load.
For the past twenty odd years, neocon commentators and 'liberal interventionist' pundits have been telling us at every possible opportunity, that Milosevic (a democratically elected leader in a country where over 20 political parties freely operated)  was an evil genocidal dictator who was to blame for ALL the deaths in the Balkans in the 1990s. Repeat after me in a robotic voice (while making robotic arm movements): 'Milosevic's genocidal aggression' 'Milosevic's genocidal aggression'.
But the official narrative, just like the one that told us that in 2003, Iraq had WMDs which could be launched within 45 minutes, was a deceitful one, designed to justify a regime change-op which the Western elites had long desired.

You can read the whole piece here.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Keeping it Taped: The Golden Age of Video

My new piece, on the golden age of video, from the Daily Express.

According to reports, Funai Electric of Japan, thought to be the last company in the world still making video cassette recorders (VCRs), is to cease production.
Does this mark the end of the video age? If so, what a shame that would be. The VCR changed the way we lived our lives and its impact can’t really be understated. Today we take it for granted that we don’t have to be at home to watch our favourite programmes at the time when they’re being broadcast.
We’ve got the likes of BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and catch-up TV and we can probably see the programme on YouTube too at some point – that’s if we haven’t set our sleek and slimline DVD to record it. 
So it’s hard for the 21st-century generation, brought up on smartphones and smart TVs, to appreciate how revolutionary VCRs were when they first appeared in Britain in the 1970s...

You can read the whole article here.