Fascism is not an Idea to be Debated, It’s a set of Actions to be Fought

“Fascism is not an Idea to be Debated, It’s a set of Actions to be Fought” (Aleksandar Hemon)  

This is why Nicola Sturgeon was absolutely right not to debate Bannon, and why the BBC is absolutely wrong to interview/ debate with Banks. 

As Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said in asking Liverpudlians to come out on the streets to successfully and peacefully see off the facists this week: “Free speech comes with a responsibility not to espouse hate.”

*

“I failed to see what was coming, even though everything I needed to know was there, before my very eyes”.  Aleksandar Hemon, writing of the run up to Serbian genocide, continues:

“Only those [who think they are] safe from fascism and its practices are likely to think that there might be a benefit in exchanging ideas with fascists.

“Fascism’s central idea is that there are classes of human beings who deserve diminishment and destruction because they’re for some reason (genetic, cultural, whatever) inherently inferior to “us.”

“The essential quality of fascism (and its attendant racism) is that it kills people and destroys their lives—and it does so because it openly aims to do so.”

 

*

Inequality is the force behind Brexit, both because those being kicked in the teeth used it to try to kick back, and because those kicking the poor bought the process and through it seek to legitimise adding steel toe caps to their fascist boots.

Fascism – institutionalising and sanctioning hatred towards (and ultimately the destruction of) those considered ‘other’. And any who stand in the way of fascism – by chance or intention – are labelled ‘other’, and blamed for all its ills, distracting us from its reality.

Facebook and Google have a huge role in enabling (profiting from, and so not opposing) this process. FB’s WhatsApp has just done the same in Brazil.

But there is an other way. The 2014 ScotIndy Referendum showed that.

It has to be based in the real world (though multiplied online if possible) with public action, face to real face meetings, door to door building solidarity with the poor.

If the 99% refuse to ‘other’ each other, refuse to break into sharp fragments of mutual self-hatred, then we are far more powerful than the 1%.

The 1% buy the political process to impoverish politics and steal society from under our noses.

We need joined up action where opposing Brexit isn’t a defence of a pre-2016 status quo where some were doing ok while others suffered badly. It needs to connect with insisting on any part regaining democracy (members regaining control of Labour, Scotland an independence that can enable solidarity, standing up to fracking, insisting oil has to stay in the ground, #MeToo, etc.)

Any victory for democracy strengthens us all. It’s not one or the other. It’s each of us doing the task in front of us now, and voicing support for others doing other tasks elsewhere. Let them know we’re with them. Let them know what you’re doing.

Be utterly cynical about power conceding anything.

Utterly believe we can do this, because that belief (driving these actions) is all that we have, and all that we need.

Don’t believe the story they tell us that we basically evolved through competition and survival of the fittest. How neatly that story is used to justify/ naturalise their power and our supposed powerlessness. Nature includes that but is far more diverse than that, and – deeper than anything – mutual care is fundamental to the human story. 

Without it we wouldn’t be here.

With it we may yet survive. In trying to we can live while we breathe, live open to each other not closed off to ourselves, whatever the outcome.

In remaining inactive, clinging to the illusion someone else will save us from ourselves, we throw our lot in with those who’ve proven incapable of seeing the damage their power has done to themselves and so continue to wreck that damage on others. As if kicking someone else when they’re down might hide the (smothered in riches) sound of their own loneliness screaming for love. 

It is not selfish to insist that others also love, and to refuse to accept their pathetic profiteering substitute for love: 

Hatred, the addictive heroin that has the 1% hooked, and which they dole out, laced with a corrosive cynicism about humanity, swallowed through bitter experience. An experience that is wrapped in cotton wool compared to the steel toe caps they are pulling on the better to silence others. 

There is a better way. And it comes in many guises.

Comments (22)

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  1. Roger Gough says:

    Are we supposed to applaud Mr Hemon and his deeply flawed assessment of the situation – a guy who although he absolutely abhors fascism couldn’t recognise it although everything he needed to know – and fire his own fascism – was in front of him. There’s a well known excuse in the gambling game called “after timing” (and Hemon’s oh-so-easy opinion is an equivalent). “I knew I should have backed that horse (now that it’s won) because I looked at it’s form in the Racing Post and it was all so clear”. I’ve been accused of being a fascist many times but no accuser has ever told me where the internment camps are to be built; where are the plans? When I remind them that the European country who has many internment camps is France, they fall strangely silent. Rape gangs are peopled – every one – by fascists. They substitute toe capped boots with stiff unwanted cocks in umpteen orifices, but many socialists – with a strong representation from towns in the North of England – have ignored, nay fostered, rape gangs with impunity. The convictions prove it, but sadly far, far too late for many innocents. “Everything you needed to know has been in front of you – before your very eyes”. But you refused to recognise it.

  2. Ian McQueen says:

    “Fascism…is a set of actions to be fought” — yes, but so is Marxism. 100 million dead voices are screaming it to us. Marxism pretends to religious-type perfection, and the imperfect/unrighteous who don’t match up or get in its way not just can, but MUST be eliminated. Mass murder poses as the action of the exclusive righteousness that demands it. This is what happens when the personal is made political — destroying people is just “adjusting” (in the words of one Marxist I know) the politics until it is “correct”. What do human beings matter. So the ideologues have to shift the point at which we apply moral discrimination away from our humanity. That didn’t stop with Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot. It will always be there, destroying, while Marxism in any of its disguises is.
    And careful you don’t make “Fascism” a simplistic shibboleth meaning anything the extreme left doesn’t like, the meaning the word had in East Germany. Such shallow dishonesty will only harden and justify the attitudes it’s meant to condemn.

    1. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Why is Marxism (which I assume is a synonym for Communism) being brought up? Its not even a vague dot on the horizon of the Western political landscape these days. Is it a deflection along the lines of “don’t look at the thing in front of you …. look at the distant thing that has no relevance instead”?

      1. Yes. That’s exactly what it is. In the face of Bannon, Trump and the looming catastrosphe of Brexit people are squealing “oh but oh oh but but communism!”

  3. William Ross says:

    ” Any victory for democracy strengthens us all” How pathetic. The author is desperately trying to overturn the greatest single democratic act in British history. France and Holland`s rejection of the European Constitution did not seem “to strengthen us all.” Or Ireland`s vote to reject Lisbon. And so on. Justin likes democracy so long as it confirms his “enlightened” thinking.

    Sorry, I would prefer the real thing, warts and all.

    William

  4. Jim Morris says:

    “Insisting oil has to stay in the ground” or under the sea floor presumably. The single biggest handicap of the poorer countries of the world is lack of transport facilities. This includes roads, railroads and waterways and the vehicles to use them. We have benefitted for nearly 200 years from the transport infrastucture, and nearly 50 from North Sea Gas and Oil. To deny this to the underdeveloped is a nonsense.

  5. Willie says:

    If fascism is a set of actions to be fought then we’re not making much of a fight of it.

    The relentless xenophobia being played out against foreigners, the state sponsored and illegal hostil environment, the constant attack on the most impoverished in society, the constant engagement in foreign military conflicts, are all the actions of a fascist state.

    Take Windrush, a group of people specifically selected for the hostile treatment of denial of bank accounts, right to work, denial of health care and then ultimately deportation. What part of that agenda does not fit the 1930s German mindset. And it is being played to a wider audience than Windrush.

    Or what about the legislation proceeding through Parliament that will allow the security services, police and or border force to stop, search and detain anyone within a mile of the Irish border – or at first stop train stations which could be six miles into Norther Ireland. With Birder Force already operating undercover on the ferries and ports between Scotland and NI, one can see how these pass laws will be less than welcome in a region and beyond that was once a tinderbox of violence. But the Nacht und Nabel legislation is going through Westminster without a cheap.

    Or the poor and infirm. What of these slackers being singled out for the hostile environment of the withdrawal of social support sufficient to live. Indeed there was a Tory MSP only the other week arguing that such people should not have the right to any more than two children. Dr Mengele and Herr Goebells would certainly approve of that – yet we do nothing.

    Maybe the castigated filthy foreigner and scum bag poor who are causing us all our ills have not had the faces kicked hard enough into the gutter for many of us to yet care – but care yet we will when they come for them. And think too of the huge Scottish independence marches conducted with the utmost good nature. Get the policing wrong with one of these marches and like 1969 Derry civil rights march the mood could change, and drastically so.

    But as Stanley Johnstone the crass father of Boris recently opined – who cares if the Irish shoot each other. That logic one equally presumes applies to the Jocks or the poor and who cares indeed.

    Yes, fascism requires to be fought, because if we don’t, then history has a habit of repeating itself. We need to use the democratic levers now not when it is too late.

  6. William Ross says:

    Both Justin and Willie are “out to lunch” on fascism. If I could find any real fascists I would happily fight them but they just are not around. My father spent five years of his youth taking care of that.

    Justin quotes somebody as saying that the ” ….essential quality of fascism is that it kills people and destroys their lives..” In that case, then every communist is a fascist. And indeed, both are very similar. But fascism has definite characteristics which are not present in the UK or USA. Fascism believes in the will of the omnipotent leader, it believes in passion over reason, it glorifies the state as the highest value, it needs to organise against and demonise others, it depreciates law, it glorifies violence, war, technology and youth, it tolerates capital so long as capital is the servant of the state, it is frequent racist and often genocidal. It is almost always anti-Semitic. For all the very objectionable aspects of Trump, I do not see him as a fascist. He has emerged in a country with an extraordinarily strong rule of law.

    To fail to debate Farage, Bannon and Banks is to refuse to engage in free speech. While all of these have serious warts, they are simply not fascists.

    I have got to say that I find it difficult to clearly understand what Justin is trying to say about Brexit. Readers should revisit the paragraph beginning with the words “Inequality is the force behind Brexit..” This paragraph is sandwiched in a rambling dialogue about fascism. I think what Justin is saying is that fascism is closely related to Brexit and 99% of Brexiteers are dupes and 1% are the vicious hating manipulators.
    This is nothing other than an appalling conspiracy theory. I voted Yes in 2014 and Leave in 2016 and I didn`t hate anyone. On both occasions I wanted to “take back control” My wife and son are immigrants. Over 1 million Scots voted for Brexit. Lord Ashcroft`s polling showed that SNP supporters were the most likely of any party to vote for Brexit. I suppose that they were just dupes? What a shame Justin could not have shared his brilliant insights with them before 23 June 2016?

    Is it possible to do a worse job of “othering” than the tarnish 1 million of your countrymen with the label fascist, without the slightest justification.

    1. “If I could find any real fascists I would happily fight them but they just are not around. My father spent five years of his youth taking care of that.”
      The idea that fascism was defeated forever in the Second World war is just astonishingly stupid.

      “only those safe from fascism and its practices are likely to think that there might be a benefit in exchanging ideas with fascists. What for such a privileged group is a matter of a potentially productive difference in opinion is, for many of us, a matter of basic survival.”

      1. William Ross says:

        Mike

        I never for one moment said that fascism was eternally defeated in 1945. Let me repeat, there are no fascists ( no real fascists) to fight in Scotland or Britain of the present. However, we do have a UK Labour party led by a man who idolises Cuba, Venezuela, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. He and his ilk are a genuine threat.

        William

  7. Me Bungo Pony says:

    Much of the comment on this thread is deeply worrying. The denial of a problem with alt-right extremism in Europe (including the UK) and North America is so blatantly naïve it beggars belief. That it is only in its infancy just now is a boon, but if we just turn a blind eye to them or, worse, legitimise them by admitting them into the general political discourse as though they were not racist bigots and a threat to democracy (not to mention people they decide shouldn’t be here), they will soon grow to much more. You can’t reason with them. They’re not interested in reason, only hate. They may try to put a veneer of respectability on their public face, but scratch the surface and what is revealed is very ugly.

    The attempts on this thread to make those who oppose their views “the problem” is cause for concern. Its not unprecedented though. It has happened before. Sabrina Pena Young (paraphrasing Pastor Niemoller) wrote;

    “[I]First they came for the Hispanics and Latinos, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not Hispanic or Latino.

    Then they came for the Muslims and the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Muslim or a Jew.

    Then they came for all Immigrants and their children, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not an Immigrant.

    Then they came for all people of color, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a person of color.

    Then they attacked the Women, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Woman.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me[/I]”

    Does none of that resonate with any of the alt right apologists on this thread?

    1. William Ross says:

      Me Bungo Pony

      I do not know about others who contributed to the comments chain, but I for one am not any kind of alt-right supporter. How could you possibly think I was?

      But I did try to question the lazy assumption that Trump and Bannon are fascists when they are clearly not. In the case of Trump it must be pretty hard to be anti-Semitic when your daughter is a Jew and you have just recognised Jerusalem as capital of Israel! Not popular views in the KKK, I fancy. Fascism means something, which I tried to analyse. No-one took me on.

      Your quote from Pastor Niemoller is very moving and I support it. My wife is a Latina. Her home country is Venezuela, a country you seem not to speak about much. Then the Communists came for me and there was no-one left.

      Justin`s article seems to conflate support for Brexit with fascism which is simply outrageous. He states that Brexit was all about inequality? How can he know this? The people were asked if they wanted to leave the EU and the answer was Yes. What if 52% in 2014 had voted for Scottish independence? Would we be probing their motives and telling the Yessers that they had to “think again”; they must have “got it wrong”?
      Is that democracy?

      Strange World indeed.

      William

      1. Me Bungo Pony says:

        William,

        I didn’t say you (or anyone else for that matter) were an alt-right “supporter”. I believe the willingness to give the alt-right access to normal political discourse gives them a legitimacy that will allow them to grow their support and influence. Allowing these people on the same platform as senior politicians, on our TV screens and in our newspapers will give the impression their views are reasonable and acceptable. That, to me, is dangerous.

        To address some of your points. How do you know Trump and Bannon are not “fascistic”? Do they have to walk around with armbands and stuff before they fall under that description? Personally, I don’t believe there is a “one description fits all” for fascism; or even that fascist is a catch all for the kind of views espoused by the alt-right. As you seem to believe, it is often lazily thrown at people who don’t agree with “progressive politics”. To me it is a belief in racial/national supremacy that involves the demonising of “others” with “sanctions” (often violent) taken against them on the spurious grounds they are a threat to national/personal security. The acts of Trump and the beliefs of Bannon certainly fall foul of most of that definition. Obviously, just my opinion, but I believe, a reasonable one.

        Jews were fascism’s greatest victims and were the main target of Nazi fascists. However, it is not a pre-requisite of fascistic behaviour to include them in your list of the damned. Also, if having a Jewish relative was no barrier to many pre-war Germans flocking to the banner, why would it be barrier to others today? And furthermore, Trump’s main targets are Muslims. Acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s capital certainly fits in with his attitudes to Muslims. Your “evidence” does not withstand scrutiny here.

        Another odd inclusion is the mention of Venezuela and communism. What have they got to do with anything here? At best it is what-about-ery; a sort of “don’t slag off fascists when commies have been just as bad” kind of thing. As if they cancel each other out instead of being cumulative in their effect. At worst, it is a deflection as I mentioned on an earlier post on this thread. Communism is completely irrelevant to this debate. It is not an issue. That is why I have not mentioned, randomly, Venezuela before. I haven’t mentioned Asgard either as Norse mythology is just as irrelevant.

        As to Brexit, people had a few weeks to come to a decision, with little in the way of what to expect after a Leave vote, and were lied to throughout that relatively brief period by the Leave campaign. The Indyref had over two years of campaigning with an absolute glut of information from both sides. My gripe with the initial EU referendum was the lack of info and honesty from Leave and the grotesque depiction of EU nationals in the UK as spongers and “job stealers”. Deny it all you like, but many voted Leave because they wanted EU nationals sent “home”. Many, like yourself, had other reasons for voting Leave. But xenophobia pushed Leave over the line and that created fertile ground for the alt-right to exploit and grow.

        1. William Ross says:

          Me Bungo Pony

          Thanks for your email of yesterday addressing some of my points and for clarifying that you do not believe that I am from the alt-right. I may have read too much into your earlier email for which apologies. To answer your points.

          You say that Trump and Bannon need not walk around with Nazi armbands to qualify as fascist. That is certainly true. But alt-left sites like Bella Caledonia constantly use the word “fascist” to bring up visions of the awful creatures of the 1930s. It is difficult to have it both ways. One very strong facet of genuine fascism is a reckless propensity to undermine the rule of law. and to aggressively curtail free speech. I do not see Trump and Bannon doing this. I do see it happening with forces like Jobbik in Hungary and New Dawn in Greece. We do have fascists in Europe.

          You are quite right to argue that Fascism need not be anti-semitic. Mussolini’s original support and financing had important Jewish elements and it is hard to see much anti-semitism in Fascist Portugal. You note that many German Nazi’s had Jewish relatives or friends. That is true but no Nazi could have had a high profile Jewish daughter. Neither could he evince strong support for Jewish causes.

          Your view is that the Fascist beast is raging whereas communism is dead. Let me address that first subjectively and then objectively. My family is from Venezuela and many of my best friends here in Aberdeenshire are expatriate Venezuelans. I live Venezuela every day. Chavez/Maduro have utterly ruined Venezuela. I do not know how Venezuela will ever recover. And the totalitarian poison in Venezuela came from the Castro dictatorship. So for me, communism is not academic.

          Objectively, we have as head of the labour party a man who has spent his life aiding and abetting forces dedicated to the overthrow of capitalism and democracy. Corbyn lionises Venezuela, mourned the death of Castro and supports Hamas /Hezbollah. His shadow chancellor recently marched behind a banner of Stalin. In France, Melanchon is made of similar material. Marxism is making a genuine comeback. When Castro died, your own George Kerevan wrote a stomach-churning eulogy.

          As a disappointed Remain supporter, you argue that Leave won by lying. Well, I have to agree that Leave did tell some lies, but Remain’s lies were far worse. More than that we also told lies in 2014 as did Better Together. With the exception of the 2014 referendum, the Brexit referendum was actually quite long by our standards. I knew exactly what I was voting for 2016 which was to leave the EU by triggering Article 50 and ending up hopefully with a free trade agreement and less hopefully without a deal. Nobody could have promised to do more than that because negotiations need two parties to agree. Had YES won in 2014, we would have been in the same situation.

          I actually compliment you on your response. At least you did not descend to equating Brexit with Fascism!

          William

          1. Me Bungo Pony says:

            Briefly, you wrote “One very strong facet of genuine fascism is a reckless propensity to undermine the rule of law. and to aggressively curtail free speech. I do not see Trump and Bannon doing this”.

            You seem to be ignoring the likes of the Charlotte riots ( https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/03/us/charlottesville-rally-riot-charges/index.html ) and Trump’s claim that “some very fine people” were among the white supremacist thugs. Not to mention his support for the retention of the confederate statues, the removal of which stirred these alt-right foot soldiers into action. Trump knows he has their vote and he panders to it. They know they have his sympathy and are empowered by it. When it comes to curtailing free speech, the Trump administration and its supporters have waged an unceasing, often threatening, war on the American media bar the supine Fox Network since before it came to power. You cannot possibly be unaware of this.

            You then devote much of the rest of your post to the topics of Nazi anti-Semitism and Communism. These issues are not relevant to the discussion we are having. One was in the 1930s and the other is not an issue in Western Politics since the fall of the Iron Curtain. I did not say it was dead in the world. Just in Europe and North America which is the political sphere under discussion. Your attempt to shoe-horn it into the debate is a deflective piece of what-about-ery, nothing more. That there are parts of the world where extreme left wing govts are behaving abominably is not disputed, but their existence does not mean we must welcome the alt-right into our living rooms.

            As to Brexit, though it is also irrelevant to the debate on the alt-right, I would like to know what lies remain told that were worse than the Leave whoppers. Brexit was only possible due to the xenophobic groundswell in much of England. It was not “fascist” per se, but it is still the alt-right’s finest hour in the UK.

  8. William Ross says:

    Me Bungo Pony

    I am well aware of Trump’s bullying of the anti-Trump press in terms of rhetoric and of his disgraceful comments regarding Charlottesville. Let us bear in mind a few things. Trump has taken absolutely no legal steps to close down free speech in America quite unlike people like Orban, Erdogan or Maduro. Apart from anything else, even if he wanted to, he is helpless before the US Constitution, whose First Amendment is the strongest protection of free speech in the World. I watched the mid=terms on CNN on Wednesday morning and if Trump is trying to chill free speech, he has certainly been an abject failure.

    Another point to bear in mind is that Trump’s “operating strategy” is to say the unsayable and wind up liberals. This plays to his base which is which is to a large extent white, male, poorer, less educated, rural etc. To think that these people are all racist hillbillies, however, is a massive mistake. An appeal to Klan supporters ( even silent KKK supporters ) is a strategy which could not win a single county at the polls. Your analysis of the Confederate statues issue betrays your bias. The right wingers at Charlottesville were degenerates no doubt. But the statue issue is much broader. I speak as one who lived in the South for seven years. Robert E Lee released his slaves before the Civil War and was requested by both Union and Confederacy to become Commander-in-chief. He opted for the Confederacy when the Yankees invaded his home state of Virginia. He was a brilliant military commander who almost won the Civil War and was instrumental in securing a final decisive peace with Grant. He went on to form an outstanding university. No one in his right mind would defend Amercian slavery today but many Southerners see the attempt at removing the Confederate statues as an attack on the whole Southern heritage. This is the real constituency of “deplorables” which
    Trump was dog-whistling. And if we want to pull down Lee’s statue what do we do with Robert Burns who nearly went to the West Indies as an overseer?

    Your attitude to Cuba and Venezuela is that these are “far away countries of whom we know nothing”. Fair enough as far as it goes but perhaps we should adopt the same attitude when it comes to Israel or Chile? The problem is that you ignore the fact that the clique running the Labour Party are very much interested in Marxism as are a substantial part of the broader YES movement. You have no problem in entering into debate with these folks. Consider the following: a few years ago Jeremy Corbyn went on an expense-paid trip to Tunisia to lay a wreath at the grave of men who had castrated and murdered helpless Israeli athletes in 1972, There is nothing that Trump and Bannon have done that even approximates to that. In this country, we have an active threatening alt-left but no alt-right.

    Finally to Brexit. I am glad that you concede that Leave has no connection to fascism or the alt-right. I wish that Justin would do likewise.

    The Remain campaign represented the very embodiment of lies. Remain lied about the nature of the EU and lied about the consequences of a Brexit vote.

    On the EU, Remain attempted to argue that the EU is a “community of nations”, a “collaborative project” a true democracy. This was an attempt to con the British people. The EU is a country, with a politically independent executive arm ( the Commission), EU law, an EU Supreme Court ( ECJ) a currency, a central bank, its own diplomatic representation and foreign minister ( not called that of course), EU citizenship,its own protectionist tariff wall ( designed to protect French and Germans) a weak Parliament and so on. Ominously, there is no European people, however. All its institutions ( with the possible exception of the Council of Ministers) are those of a single state. Currently, this state is in the nature of a weak confederation. Yesterday Macron openly called for a European army which we were assured was just a fantasy. Guy Verhoftadt has written a compelling and very informative book called “Europe’s Last Chance” which spells out what a gigantic failure the EU is and the solution — to immediately press on with the formation of a fully federal state along the lines of the USA. Remain sought to cover up the true nature of the crisis-ridden elephant which is the EU. Only in the last month, we saw the EU flatly reject the budget of Italy, which is theoretically an independent state? Power grab???

    To this day you will find Remainers trying to argue with a straight face that the Commission is nothing more than a form of civil service. Alyn Smith specifically stated this in exchanges with me in the National. We were also told that we would lose the huge monetary support of the EU if we left when Remainers knew all along that the UK is a large net contributor to the EU. We were told that we would lose the benefits of all the supposedly benign legislation imposed on us by the EU, when Britain will, if it ever truly exits, become an independent sovereign country able to enact any legislation it wants. We were told that the EU had kept the peace in Europe since 1945 when this was a patent lie. For how many minutes would Juncker keep Putin’s tanks out of Vilnius? I will give you a clue, the key to Europe’s peace can be found in the letters NATO, and nothing else! We were told that we would lose our right to trade with the EU if we left on WTO terms when in fact WTO tariffs are generally very low and the USA, China and others do very successful trade with the EU on WTO terms Apart from that, only about 10% of our GDP is represented by trade with the EU in any event, We were told that EU law makes up a small proportion of our laws when a study before the vote by Jeremy Paxman ( a devoted liberal internationalist) found that EU law represents about 59% of new UK law. The EU says that about 80% of all EU law is enacted through QMV meaning that there is no British veto operable. And only the oligarchic and un-democratic Commission can initiate new law. The supine EU Parliament is nothing other than a hodge -podge of national parties representing no-one. Read “Adults in the Room” by Varoufakis. The EU is run by Germany through Brussels.

    The lies about what would happen if we voted Leave were simply embarrassing. It would be the end of civilization and the beginning of the Third World War. There would be an immediate recession with the loss of 500K jobs. The FTSE would collapse. Foreign investment would collapse. The London property market would collapse. There would be a “punishment budget” We would be sent to the “end of the queue” by the USA. And the inflation, oh the inflation!!

    It is just a pity that some of these lies did not appear on a red bus. maybe Me Bungo Pony would be impressed then..?

    But apart from that, the Remain campaign was very truthful, very truthful yeah………

    William

    1. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Sorry William, you have gone of on another tangential ramble on issues that are not relevant to whether or not we should oppose the rise of the alt-right/fascist elements of Western politics. It is a mass of what-about-ery on irrelevant issues and allegations of lies that are actually just differences of opinion. I shall keep this short.

      (1) That Trump has so far been unable to close down free-speech is good news but it does not mean he would not like to. It is that desire that makes him fascistic. Fascistic beliefs and behaviours are still fascistic whether they are ultimately enacted or not.

      (2) You do not know what my attitude to Venezuela etc is. I have not given it because it is irrelevant to the discussion on the rise of the far right in Western countries that is supposed to be theme of this thread. Though you do seem to have missed my statement where I said “[i]that there are parts of the world where extreme left wing govts are behaving abominably is not disputed[/i]”. If an article appears where these issues are front and centre, maybe I’ll take part and you’ll get to see my views.

      (3) If you think the UK Labour Party is somehow as far to the left as Trump and the alt-right are to the right, and that they are analogous with the Venezuelan govt, frankly, you have toppled over the edge of reason. That is clearly nonsense. You can disagree with Corbyn’s beliefs if you like, but he is no Chavez and the Labour party are not communists.

      (4) Your “opinions” on the nature of the EU are merely that …. opinions. That others, like myself, disagree with them does not make us liars. Saying there will be Billions for the NHS and that EU migrants were a drain on the economy and services were actual lies.

      (5) The EU is NOT a country. The UK is. Hence the UK could tell Scotland (whose sovereignty is entirely in Westminster’s control) “now is not the time” for an indyref, and block Scottish independence indefinitely, while there was absolutely nothing the EU could do to stop the UK (or any other “country”) from leaving. Ironically, Brexit has proved the most basic claim of the Leave campaign was a big, fat lie; it has proved the UK always was independent, always had ultimate control of the entirety of its sovereignty and did not need to “become” independent. The UK has not “become” independent …. it has merely petulantly picked up its ball and gone home alone.

  9. William Ross says:

    Me Bungo Pony

    I spent around an hour early this morning responding to your latest email but it does not seem to have been posted, or perhaps it just got lost.

    Editor: quite a few of my posts have gone astray over the last 12 months or so. This was a lengthy post so its disappearance would be frustrating.

    William

    1. There’s a lengthy post from 8 am – is that it?

      If you are discussing use of swear words the profanity filter may have caught it.

  10. William Ross says:

    You got it Editor. No swear words used by me!

    1. Willie says:

      William Ross. After all of your exchanges Trump and Bannon are fascists. It oozes out of them.

      Me Bungo Pony has the measure of it, and is correct, when he says you don’t need an armband to make you a fascist.

  11. William Ross says:

    Me Bungo Pony

    I now respond to your recent post.

    1. Let me clarify that I am all in favour of opposing fascism in all its forms. I also despise the alt-right. I just do not have an address for them in Aberdeen. You accuse me of whataboutery. You were the one who raised the issue of Charlottesville and the Confederate statues. Altering our history by tearing down statues of 19th Century sinners does not take us to any good place.

    2. So Trump has a vague intention of closing down free speech in the USA and that is fascistic? Well, what can I say? Given that there is absolutely no chance of this happening it seems a really far cry from Heydrich and Himmler. Free speech in the USA and in the UK is much more under attack in our universities with their identity-driven “safe spaces”. But I would never argue that the social justice warriors are some kind of communists, not even of the cuddliest sort. Who was it that said that history repeats itself, the second time in jest?

    3, On Venezuela ,I get where you are coming from exactly and I can read pretty well. Left-wing regimes abroad acting abominably ( thank you!) are not relevant to this discussion. Fair dos to you. But Jeremy Corbyn and Momentum are most certainly relevant. Can you explain to me why the leader of the Labour Party laid a wreath on the tomb of atrocious terrorists? Why has he lionised Cuba and Venezuela? If we agree ( as I think we do) that free speech is the absolute bellwether of any worthwhile society how can anyone in their right mind support what Castro has done? Why does Corbyn lionise Hamas and Hezbollah? Why does Seamus Milne lionise mass-murderer Stalin and even ( incredibly) North Korea? The fish rots from its head. By your friends, you shall be known. Apply the same tests to the alt-left as you do to the alt-right. I know where I can find the alt-left in Aberdeen.

    4. While I certainly expressed vigorous opinions on the EU in last post much of what I said was factual. I am either right or wrong. Does the EU Commission have the exclusive right to initiate new legislation? Is the Commission the EU’s politically independent executive arm? Why not check out what the EU says on its official website? I challenge you to contradict a single factual assertion made by me.

    5. You were the one who asked me to detail the lies told by Remain. I gave you a short summary. because of lack of time.I do not see you rebutting any arguments.

    6. The EU is, you say, not a country. Off course you are right that it is not called a “country” in the EU treaties. The EU is not a country in the sense that the High Representative for Foreign Affairs is not a Foreign Minister. According to Guy Verhofstadt, who should certainly know a little bit about how the EU currently functions, the EU is a “weak [ pathetic] confederation.” MBP, I have news for you. There have been very few confederations in the history of the World ( which might tell you something) but all have been sovereign countries, just like the EU. By the way, when the EU gets its army what should it be called to satisfy you? The European Defence Force ?? Italy was this year told that its proposed finance minister was unacceptable and now that its budget has to be changed? What if somebody had told that to Canada? or Brazil? You cannot do stuff like that to an “independent sovereign country”!

    7. Finally, I am as much in favour of independence as you. Let me put a hypothetical to you. What if the Treaty of Union had included a clause explicitly setting forth a procedure ( like Article 50) whereby either Scotland or England could exit the Union? Would that have meant that the UK was not a country?

    8. As for the ease of leaving the EU where have you been for the last three years? The scions of this undemocratic oligarchic union will do anything to preserve the club even if it means handing out austerity that would make George Osborne’s little toes shrivel. Remember Greece, remember Spain, remember Italy, remember Portugal. They are trapped in the Euro-cage and there is no way out except through total system failure, which may not be far away.

    William

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