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#UN #ICJ #Rohingya: #AungSanSuuKyi heads to #Hague for #Myanmar #genocide showdown!

Aung San Suu Kyi heads to The Hague for Myanmar genocide showdown | Owen Bowcott | THE GUARDIAN | 8 Dec 2019

Peace prize winner will lead her country’s defence against claims at court in Netherlands

 

A momentous legal confrontation will take place at the UN’s highest court this week when the Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi appears in person to defend Myanmar against accusations of genocide.

Protest in Yangon in support of Aung San Suu Kyi
A protest in Yangon in support of Aung San Suu Kyi before the genocide hearing in The Hague. Photograph: Reuters

Once internationally feted as a human rights champion, Myanmar’s state counsellor is scheduled to lead a delegation to the international court of justice (ICJ) in The Hague.
The claim that Myanmar’s military carried out mass murder, rape and destruction of Rohingya Muslim communities has been brought by the Gambia, a west African state that belongs to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

The contrast is repeatedly drawn between Aung San Suu Kyi’s 1991 peace prize win and 15 years spent under house arrest, and her present position as chief denier that any ethnic violence has been perpetrated against the Rohingya. Last year, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum revoked her Elie Wiesel award.

Security around the court is expected to be tight. There has been speculation that undisclosed arrest warrants may have been issued in relation to other legal proceedings against Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi, as effective head of government, is likely to be able to claim immunity from arrest.

Under the rules of the ICJ, member states can bring actions against fellow member states over disputes alleging breaches of international law – in this case, the 1948 convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide.

It is not the first time the tribunal, also known as the world court, has considered genocide cases – it dealt with several from the Balkan wars of the 1990s – but it is the first case involving countries that are not neighbours.

The three-day hearing in the neo-Renaissance-style Peace Palace is what is known as a provisional measures procedure. The Gambia will urge the court to make an emergency declaration that Myanmar must halt a continuing genocide, and the court will consider whether it has jurisdiction and whether there is a plausible case to answer.

The Peace Palace, the home of the international court of justice in The Hague. Photograph: Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters

This preliminary phase of the claim will not involve personal testimony from any of the estimated 700,000 Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh after the start of what are alleged to have been military clearance operations.

The Gambia’s submission states: “The genocidal acts committed during these operations were intended to destroy the Rohingya as a group, in whole or in part, by the use of mass murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, as well as the systematic destruction by fire of their villages, often with inhabitants locked inside burning houses.”

Its arguments rely on the findings of UN investigations that described “genocidal intent” in the crimes. The UN special rapporteur Yanghee Lee related first-hand accounts of “attacks in which homes were set ablaze by security forces, in many cases with people trapped inside, and entire villages razed to the ground”.

The Gambia’s case will be opened on Tuesday by Abubacarr Marie Tambadou, the country’s attorney general and justice minister, who studied law at Warwick University in England and later served with distinction as a special assistant to the prosecutor at the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda.

The hearing, which will be livestreamed, may attract a large international audience. It will be tempting for the Gambia’s lawyers, distracted by Aung San Suu Kyi’s presence, to personalise the accusations, but the focus will remain on the Rohingya victims.

In the run-up to the hearing, members of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party held rallies in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. Among the country’s Buddhist majority, she retains overwhelming support.

The international criminal court (ICC), elsewhere in The Hague, has launched a separate investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed by Myanmar’s leaders in forcibly deporting hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to neighbouring Bangladesh.

An Argentinian federal court has begun receiving evidence in another case brought against Aung San Suu Kyi, on the principle that it has universal jurisdiction to consider torture cases from anywhere in the world.

Closing submissions from both sides at the ICJ will be made on Thursday. Judgment is expected to be reserved.

A momentous legal confrontation will take place at the UN’s highest court this week when the Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi appears in person to defend Myanmar against accusations of genocide.

Once internationally feted as a human rights champion, Myanmar’s state counsellor is scheduled to lead a delegation to the international court of justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

The claim that Myanmar’s military carried out mass murder, rape and destruction of Rohingya Muslim communities has been brought by the Gambia, a west African state that belongs to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

The contrast is repeatedly drawn between Aung San Suu Kyi’s 1991 peace prize win and 15 years spent under house arrest, and her present position as chief denier that any ethnic violence has been perpetrated against the Rohingya. Last year, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum revoked her Elie Wiesel award.

Security around the court is expected to be tight. There has been speculation that undisclosed arrest warrants may have been issued in relation to other legal proceedings against Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi, as effective head of government, is likely to be able to claim immunity from arrest.

Under the rules of the ICJ, member states can bring actions against fellow member states over disputes alleging breaches of international law – in this case, the 1948 convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide.

It is not the first time the tribunal, also known as the world court, has considered genocide cases – it dealt with several from the Balkan wars of the 1990s – but it is the first case involving countries that are not neighbours.

The three-day hearing in the neo-Renaissance-style Peace Palace is what is known as a provisional measures procedure. The Gambia will urge the court to make an emergency declaration that Myanmar must halt a continuing genocide, and the court will consider whether it has jurisdiction and whether there is a plausible case to answer.

This preliminary phase of the claim will not involve personal testimony from any of the estimated 700,000 Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh after the start of what are alleged to have been military clearance operations.

The Gambia’s submission states: “The genocidal acts committed during these operations were intended to destroy the Rohingya as a group, in whole or in part, by the use of mass murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, as well as the systematic destruction by fire of their villages, often with inhabitants locked inside burning houses.”

Its arguments rely on the findings of UN investigations that described “genocidal intent” in the crimes. The UN special rapporteur Yanghee Lee related first-hand accounts of “attacks in which homes were set ablaze by security forces, in many cases with people trapped inside, and entire villages razed to the ground”.

The Gambia’s case will be opened on Tuesday by Abubacarr Marie Tambadou, the country’s attorney general and justice minister, who studied law at Warwick University in England and later served with distinction as a special assistant to the prosecutor at the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda.

The hearing, which will be livestreamed, may attract a large international audience. It will be tempting for the Gambia’s lawyers, distracted by Aung San Suu Kyi’s presence, to personalise the accusations, but the focus will remain on the Rohingya victims.

In the run-up to the hearing, members of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party held rallies in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. Among the country’s Buddhist majority, she retains overwhelming support.

The international criminal court (ICC), elsewhere in The Hague, has launched a separate investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed by Myanmar’s leaders in forcibly deporting hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to neighbouring Bangladesh.

An Argentinian federal court has begun receiving evidence in another case brought against Aung San Suu Kyi, on the principle that it has universal jurisdiction to consider torture cases from anywhere in the world.

Closing submissions from both sides at the ICJ will be made on Thursday. Judgment is expected to be reserved.


source

The Deep State vs Jeremy Corbyn

“Filmmakers go on to castigate the British media for failing to confront the outright lies expounded by Corbyn’s Conservative and Liberal Democratic opponents. This section includes a clip of one of Boris Johnson’s ministers calling for the UK to replace the National Health Service (NHS) with a US-style system of private insurance. Another clip depicts Corbyn displaying leaked documents from John-Trump trade negotiations that include the the right of the US to bid on private contracts to run specific NHS services currently run by the British government.*”

The Most Revolutionary Act

This film (released about a week ago) is about the collusion between British intelligence and the mainstream media to block Corbyn from becoming prime minister on December 12 – despite overwhelming public support.

The film begins with vignettes from prominent British and international prominent Jews, such as Noam Chomsky, Bernie Saunders and Norman Finkelstein shredding the outrageous smear (repeatedly echoed by every media outlet, including the BBC) that Corbyn and the Labour Party are viciously antisemitic. As with Bernie Sanders the radical policies Corbyn promotes pose a grave threat to a powerful elite that includes the British banking and arms industry, as well as the pro-Israel lobby abetting the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation of Israel.

British intelligence has been using the mainstream media to peddle disinformation about the Labour Party since 1948, when MI5 faked a document linking them to the Communist Party.

Filmmakers go on to castigate the British…

View original post 164 more words

Doctors Condemn UK for Failure to Address Assange’s Medical Needs

The letter, dated December 4, has been sent to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland. It concludes: “In our opinion the UK government’s conduct in this matter is irresponsible, incompatible with medical ethics and unworthy of a democratic society bound by the rule of law. We reiterate our grave concern that Mr Assange could die of deliberate medical negligence in a British prison and demand an urgent response from the UK government.”

The Most Revolutionary Act

By Wsws

The doctors from around the world who issued an open letter on November 22 calling for the immediate transfer of Julian Assange from the maximum security Belmarsh Prison to a university teaching hospital have written again to publicly condemn the failure of the British government to answer, or even acknowledge receipt of, their concerns.

The letter, dated December 4, has been sent to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland. It concludes: “In our opinion the UK government’s conduct in this matter is irresponsible, incompatible with medical ethics and unworthy of a democratic society bound by the rule of law. We reiterate our grave concern that Mr Assange could die of deliberate medical negligence in a British prison and demand an urgent response from the UK government.”

The initial open letter, which was reported widely in the international and British press and has reached…

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While International Law fails, the Freedom Flotilla sails

“Lawyers for IHH, a Freedom Flotilla member, have issued a statement announcing that they will appeal the recent decision by the ICC prosecutor to the judges of the ICC:
“We believe that the judges of the ICC will not remain indifferent to this call for justice and initiate a trial process for the punishment of all unjust actions taking place in Palestine. All necessary appeals will be made and the on-going process with the ICC will be followed.”
While the wheels of justice turn slowly, the Palestinians of Gaza cannot wait, as conditions in the illegally occupied and blockaded territory continue to deteriorate. That is why the Freedom Flotilla will be sailing again in May 2020: to challenge this illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza, along with our governments’ complicity.”

Kia Ora Gaza

Part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition contingent (including Kia Ora Gaza reps) which joined the protest at the International Criminal Court, at the Hague last weekend. [Photo: Ann Wright]

Freedom Flotilla Coalition statement, 6 December, 2019

“This is not over yet, we are calling on Judges of the International Criminal Court to step in.”

On December 2 2019, the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s Public Prosecutor’s Office decided not to open an investigation into war crimes committed by members of the Israeli military in the boarding of the Mavi Marmara, and its aftermath, which resulted in 10 people being killed, 55 people wounded and outrages upon the personal dignity of potentially many others during the voyage to Ashdod. In its decision, it did not give any new reasons and failed to address the shortcomings of the previous investigation. Lawyers representing the victims of the 2010 Israeli attack on the Mavi…

View original post 187 more words

Boris Johnson’s Speech Promoting NHS Privatisation

“Johnson seems to be supporting something like the Swiss healthcare system. This is a mixture of state and private health insurance. For the poorest, their health insurance is paid entirely by the state. The richest also have purely private health insurance. Most people have a mixture. Now the Swiss woman, who told me this believed that her country had better hospitals than ours, but she felt that her country would still face a similar decline in medical provision through cuts in state funding. I am also unsure what the cost of private medical insurance for most people would be if such a system was introduced in Britain. But whatever it would be, most people would still end up having to pay for some medical services, and these would not be cheap.
The NHS should not be privatised, but that is exactly what Boris Johnson wishes to do. And people’s health will suffer. Don’t let him and the Tories do it. Vote Labour, and keep the NHS properly nationalised and funded.”

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Last Wednesday Mike wrote a piece demolishing the Tories’ claim that more people trusted them with the NHS than Jeremy Corbyn. It showed how the Tories are privatising the Health Service, and included a video from Red Roar of a 2002 speech by the boorish profiteer masquerading as our Prime Minister. In it, Johnson talks about the number of people taking out private health insurance, and demanded an end to the ‘monolithic, monopolistic’ NHS. The post containing the video is at https://www.theredroar.com/2019/12/exclusive-clip-boris-johnson-called-for-break-up-of-monolithic-monopolistic-nhs/

And see Mike’s article at: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2019/12/04/who-do-you-trust-with-the-nhs-boris-privatisation-johnson-or-jeremy-investment-corbyn/

Johnson was annoyed because Gordon Brown, the-then Chancellor of the Exchequer, had closed a tax loophole for people with private health insurance. As a result, 200,000 people had closed their policies. He then waffled on about how he supported the inclusion of private healthcare into public healthcare policy because he’d seen how much better those nations that included it were than the…

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) Holds Hearing on Afghanistan War Crimes, Including US Torture

Counter Information

Global Research, December 06, 2019
Common Dreams 5 December 2019

The current hearing will examine allegations that US troops and intelligence operatives tortured, raped and abused Afghan prisoners between 2003 and 2004.

***

The International Criminal Court (ICC) opened a three-day hearing in the The Hague, Netherlands on Wednesday at which prosecutors and Afghan torture victims are attempting to convince the court to overturn a previous decision to refuse to investigate war crimes committed by Taliban, Afghan government and US forces.

(Un)Folding Under Pressure

In April, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II announced it would not grant a request by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to open an investigation of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, including deliberate attacks on civilians and child soldier conscription by Taliban militants, torture and sexual violence by members of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and torture of prisoners held in US…

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Judicial review and ‘politics by another means’: Part 1

dbfamilylaw

20160422_155058Judicial review and the Tory manifesto

That part of the Tory manifesto – at page 48 – which deals with aspects of constitutional reform is a muddled concoction of a few topics. One that has caused real concern amongst a number of people is what is said about judicial review (JR); though much of that may be influenced by the fact that what is meant by judicial review is not always well understood.

First, what the manifesto says only matters if the Tories have a workable majority after the election. This looks depressingly likely; so what does their manifest say on the subject of JR:

We will ensure that judicial review is available to protect the rights of the individuals against an overbearing state, while ensuring that it is not abused to conduct politics by another means or to create needless delays.

So judicial review (JR) is to remain available…

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#Inequality #Poverty #FoodBank #UK’s six richest people control as much wealth as poorest 13m – study!

‘Extreme inequality is the story of Ferraris and food banks,’ says the Equality Trust

A gold Ferrari is parked outside Chanel in London
Six billionaires at the top of the UK wealth league have a combined fortune of £39.4bn. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The UK’s six richest people control as much wealth as the poorest 13 million, according to research into the gaping inequality in British society.

Six billionaires at the top of the UK wealth league have a combined fortune of £39.4bn, which, according to analysis by the Equality Trust, is roughly equal to the assets of 13.2 million Britons.

The richest six are: the Indian brothers Gopichand and Srichand Hinduja, who control a conglomerate of businesses, including cars and banks, and top the table with a £12.8bn fortune; Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the chairman and chief executive of the chemicals company Ineos, with £9.2bn; the hedge fund manager Michael Platt, who has an estimated £6.1bn; and the property developer brothers David and Simon Reuben, whose net worth is estimated at £5.7bn each. The estimates are based on wealth reports produced by Forbes magazine and Credit Suisse.

At the other end of the scale, the Equality Trust estimated that about 14m people in Britain live in poverty. Four million of these are said to be more than 50% below the poverty line and 1.5 million are destitute.

“This report should shock anyone who cares about the state of the UK today,” said Dr Wanda Wyporska, the executive director of the Equality Trust. “Such a huge gap between the very rich and the vast majority of the country is dangerous. Such extreme wealth in the hands of so few people demonstrates just how broken the economic system is.

“Behind the numbers, the UK’s extreme inequality is the story of Ferraris and food banks. Families across the country are working for their poverty and unable to promise their children a better, secure future. The rich live longer and their children get the best education, the best jobs and a leg up on the housing ladder. The UK’s economy delivers billions for a few and poverty for millions. Destitution is the sad reality for millions this Christmas.”

Tackling inequality has become a key battle ground in the general election campaign, with the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, vowing that a Labour goverment would go after super-rich people who exploit a “rigged system” to benefit themselves at the expense of the many.

Corbyn named five other members of “the elite” he would target if he becomes prime minister: Mike Ashley, the founder and chief executive of Sports Direct; Crispin Odey, a hedge fund boss who made millions betting against the pound in the run-up to the EU referendum; Rupert Murdoch, who owns the Sun and the Times; Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, who controls a large central London property empire; and Ratcliffe.


source

 

#Analysis #ConsentOfGoverned #FoolOfLaw: #Violence and the #State!

Violence and the State | Craig Murray | 3 Dec 2019

The state rests its power on a monopoly of violence. Indeed, in the final analysis a state is nothing but a monopoly of violence. Even when a state does good things, like tax to provide healthcare, it ultimately depends on its ability to employ violence to enforce the collection of the tax. Arrest and imprisonment is, absolutely, violence. We may not recognise it as violence, but if you try to resist arrest and imprisonment you will quickly see that it is violence. Whether or not blows are struck or arms twisted to get someone there, or they go quietly under threat, confining somebody behind concrete and steel is violence.

I use the case of tax evasion and healthcare to show that I am merely analysing that the state rests on violence deliberately. I am not claiming that the violence of the state is a bad thing in itself. I just want you to recognise that the state rests on violence. Try not paying your taxes for a few years, and try refusing to be arrested and go to court. You will, ultimately, encounter real violence on your person.

John Pilger gave a harrowing account of the everyday application of state violence at the Free the Truth meeting at which I spoke last week. Here is an extract from his speech describing his visit to Julian Assange:

I joined a queue of sad, anxious people, mostly poor women and children, and grandmothers. At the first desk, I was fingerprinted, if that is still the word for biometric testing.

“Both hands, press down!” I was told. A file on me appeared on the screen.

I could now cross to the main gate, which is set in the walls of the prison. The last time I was at Belmarsh to see Julian, it was raining hard. My umbrella wasn’t allowed beyond the visitors centre. I had the choice of getting drenched, or running like hell. Grandmothers have the same choice.

At the second desk, an official behind the wire, said, “What’s that?”

“My watch,” I replied guiltily.

“Take it back,” she said.

So I ran back through the rain, returning just in time to be biometrically tested again. This was followed by a full body scan and a full body search. Soles of feet; mouth open.

At each stop, our silent, obedient group shuffled into what is known as a sealed space, squeezed behind a yellow line. Pity the claustrophobic; one woman squeezed her eyes shut.

We were then ordered into another holding area, again with iron doors shutting loudly in front of us and behind us.

“Stand behind the yellow line!” said a disembodied voice.

Another electronic door slid partly open; we hesitated wisely. It shuddered and shut and opened again. Another holding area, another desk, another chorus of, “Show your finger!”

Then we were in a long room with squares on the floor where we were told to stand, one at a time. Two men with sniffer dogs arrived and worked us, front and back.

The dogs sniffed our arses and slobbered on my hand. Then more doors opened, with a new order to “hold out your wrist!”

A laser branding was our ticket into a large room, where the prisoners sat waiting in silence, opposite empty chairs. On the far side of the room was Julian, wearing a yellow arm band over his prison clothes.

As a remand prisoner he is entitled to wear his own clothes, but when the thugs dragged him out of the Ecuadorean embassy last April, they prevented him bringing a small bag of belongings. His clothes would follow, they said, but like his reading glasses, they were mysteriously lost.

For 22 hours a day, Julian is confined in “healthcare”. It’s not really a prison hospital, but a place where he can be isolated, medicated and spied on. They spy on him every 30 minutes: eyes through the door. They would call this “suicide watch”.

In the adjoining cells are convicted murderers, and further along is a mentally ill man who screams through the night. “This is my One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” he said.

When we greet each other, I can feel his ribs. His arm has no muscle. He has lost perhaps 10 to 15 kilos since April. When I first saw him here in May, what was most shocking was how much older he looked.

We chat with his hand over his mouth so as not to be overheard. There are cameras above us. In the Ecuadorean embassy, we used to chat by writing notes to each other and shielding them from the cameras above us. Wherever Big Brother is, he is clearly frightened.

On the walls are happy-clappy slogans exhorting the prisoners to “keep on keeping on” and “be happy, be hopeful and laugh often”.

The only exercise he has is on a small bitumen patch, overlooked by high walls with more happy-clappy advice to enjoy ‘the blades of grass beneath your feet’. There is no grass.

He is still denied a laptop and software with which to prepare his case against extradition. He still cannot call his American lawyer, or his family in Australia.

The incessant pettiness of Belmarsh sticks to you like sweat.

You can see John give the speech here:

Assange’s “crime”, of course, is to reveal the illegal use of force by the state in Iraq and Afghanistan. That the state feels the need to employ such violence against somebody who has never practised violence, is a striking illustration that violence constitutes the very fabric of the state.

Just as we are not conditioned to recognise the violence of the state as violence, we do not always recognise resistance to the state as violence. If you bodily blockade a road, a tube station or a building with the intention to prevent somebody else from physically passing through that space, that is an act of physical force, of violence. It may be a low level of violence, but violence it is. Extinction Rebellion represents a challenge to the state’s claim to monopolise violence, which is why the Metropolitan Police – a major instrument of state domestic violence – were so anxious to declare the activity illegal on a wide scale.

Ultimately civil resistance represents a denial of the state’s right to enforce its monopoly of violence. The Hong Kong protests represent a striking demonstration of the fact that rejecting the state’s monopoly of violence can entail marching without permission, occupying a space, blockading and ultimately replying to bullets with firebombs, and that these actions are a continuum. It is the initial rejection of the state’s power over your body which is the decision point.

Just as I used the example of tax evasion and healthcare to demonstrate that the state’s use of violence is not always bad, I use the example of Extinction Rebellion to demonstrate that the assertion of physical force, against the state’s claim to monopoly of it, is not always bad either.

We are moving into an era of politics where the foundations of consent which underpin western states are becoming less stable. The massive growth in wealth inequality has led to an alienation of large sections of the population from the political system. The political economy works within a framework which is entirely an artificial construct of states, and ultimately is imposed by the states’ monopoly of force. For the last four decades, that framework has been deliberately fine-tuned to enable the massive accumulation of wealth by a very small minority and to reduce the access to share of economic resource by the broad mass of the people.

The inevitable consequence is widespread economic discontent and a resultant loss of respect for the political class. The political class are tasked with the management of the state apparatus, and popular discontent is easily personalised – it concentrates on the visible people rather than the institutions. But if the extraordinary wealth imbalance of society continues to worsen, it is only a matter of time before that discontent undermines respect for political institutions. In the UK, once it becomes plain that leaving the EU has not improved the lot of those whose socio-economic standing has been radically undercut, the discontent will switch to other institutions of government.

In Scotland, we shall have an early test of the state’s right to the monopoly of force if the Westminster government insists on attempting to block a new referendum on Independence, against the will of the Scottish people. In Catalonia, the use of violence against those simply trying to vote in a referendum was truly shocking.

This has been followed up by the extreme state violence of vicious jail sentences against the leaders of the entirely nonviolent Catalan independence movement. As I stated we do not always recognise state violence. But locking you up in a small cell for years is a worse act of violence on your body even than the shocking but comparatively brief treatment of the woman voter in the photo. It is a case of chronic or acute state violence.

Where the use of violence by a state is fundamentally unjust, there is every moral right to employ violence against the state. Whether or not to do so becomes a tactical, not a moral, question. There is a great deal of evidence that non-violent protest, or protest using the real but low levels of physical force employed by Extinction Rebellion, can be in the long term the most effective. But opinions differ legitimately. Gandhi took one view, and Nelson Mandela another. The media has sanitised the image of Mandela, but it is worth remembering that he was jailed not for non-violent protest, but for taking up violent resistance to white rule, in which I would say he was entirely justified at the time.

To date, the Catalan people and their leaders appear firmly wedded to the tactic of non-violence. That is their choice and their right, and I support them in that choice. But having suffered so much violence, and with no democratic route available for their right of self-determination, the Catalans have the moral right, should they so choose, to resist, by violence, the violence of the Spanish state. I should however clarify that does not extend to indiscriminate attack on entirely innocent people, which in my view is not a moral choice.

All of which of course has obvious implications should a Westminster government seek to block the Scottish people from expressing their inalienable right of self-determination following the election. Which fascinating subject I shall return to once again in January. Be assured meantime I am not presently close to advocating a tactic of violence in Scotland. But nor will I ever say the Scottish people do not ultimately have that right if denied democratic self-expression. To say otherwise would be to renounce the Declaration of Arbroath, a founding document of European political thought.

As western states face popular discontent and are losing consent of the governed, one of the state’s reactions is to free up its use of force. Conservative election promises to give members of the UK armed forces effective immunity from prosecution for war crimes or for illegal use of force, should be seen in this light. So also, of course, should the use of agents not primarily employed by the state to impose extreme violence on behalf of the state. The enforcers of the vicious system John Pilger encountered were employed by Serco, G4S or a similar group, to remove the state one step from any control upon their actions (and of course to allow yet more private profit to the wealthy). Similar contractors regularly visit strong violence on immigrants selected for deportation. The ultimate expression of this was the disgusting employment by the British and American governments of mercenary forces, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, to deploy brutal and uncontrolled violence on the local population.

The pettiness of the election campaign, its failure to address fundamental issues due to the ability of the mainstream media to determine and manipulate the political agenda, has led me to think about the nature of the state at a much more basic level. I do not claim we are beyond the early stages of a breakdown in social consent to be ruled; and I expect the immediate response of the system will be a lurch towards right wing authoritarianism, which ultimately will make the system still less stable.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. https://www.craigmurray.org.uk


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The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of  | truthaholics


 

 

#NHS: ‘So If You’re Poor, You’re Dead’? Watch These Brits Gasp When They Find Out Cost of #Healthcare in #US!

‘So If You’re Poor, You’re Dead’? Watch These Brits Gasp When They Find Out Cost of Healthcare in the United States | Eoin Higgins, staff writer | Common Dreams | 3 Dec 2019

“The cost of American healthcare is literally unimaginable to most British people.”

Britons in a video released Tuesday expressed incredulity and shock at the high cost of healthcare in the United States and thanked the United Kingdom’s publicly-funded and administered National Health Service for sparing the country’s people such exorbitant prices.

“So if you’re poor, you’re dead,” one young woman tells the interviewer from Joe Politics after hearing an asthma inhaler in the for-profit U.S. system costs between $250 and $300.

Two different men appear shocked when told Americans can be charged $2,500 for an ambulance ride.

“For real?” one asks. “Why?” asks another.

Watch the video:

 

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,” tweeted historian David Walsh, “the cost of American healthcare is literally unimaginable to most British people.”

The person-on-the-street interviews that make up the four minute video come in the wake of reports in late November that the ruling Conservative Party, which faces off against left-leaning Labour on December 12 in national elections, is planning on opening the U.K.’s health system to a more U.S. approach after leaving the European Union.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the reporting on the NHS’s potential turnover to the U.S., based on a leaked, unredacted 451 pages of trade documents, evidence that Conservative leader Boris Johnson’s denials were “in tatters.”

“We have now got evidence that under Boris Johnson the NHS is on the table and will be up for sale,” Corbyn said. “He tried to cover it up in a secret agenda and today it has been exposed.”

“Brits can’t fathom the barbarity of America’s healthcare system,” tweeted progressive radio host Benjamin Dixon. “But if they don’t vote Labour, they’ll find out once the NHS is sold off to America’s healthcare vultures.”
Benjamin Dixon
@BenjaminPDixon
Brits can’t fathom the barbarity of America’s healthcare system. But if they don’t vote Labour, they’ll find out once the NHS is sold off to America’s healthcare vultures.

Image from @PoliticsJOE_UK

148
1:28 PM – Dec 3, 2019
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The video appeared to be offering lessons to people on both sides of the Atlantic. Author Elon Green, however, wondered what practical effect the video would have in the U.S., especially on those on the right.

“The problem is American conservatives can’t be shamed,” said Green. “They think it’s great that healthcare costs a fortune and poor people die.”

Libby Watson, a British reporter for The New Republic who lives in the U.S., said on Twitter that voting for Labour was the only responsible course for the U.K.

“We know Boris Johnson wants to sell off the NHS to American healthcare companies. but more than that, he is a fucking Tory, and the Tories do not want the NHS to survive; they want to strangle it, as they have been doing over the last 10 years,” said Watson.

The NHS is “literally the gift that keeps on giving,” says one woman interviewed in the video.

“I didn’t realize how much free healthcare we got like just off the bat,” said the young man whose jaw dropped at the cost of an ambulance.

“Thank you, NHS, for all your hard work,” he added.

The New Republic‘s Watson said that the Joe Politics video reinforced her experiences trying to explain the U.S. healthcare system to people in the U.K.

“When I try to explain how my insurance works here to British people,” said Watson, “they’re like ‘wait, so you pay your premiums… and then you pay more when you actually go to the doctor?'”

 


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