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Is the Problem Washington or North Korea

In the 64 years since the end of the Korean war, the US has done everything in its power to punish, humiliate and inflict pain on North Korea. Washington has subjected it to starvation,  prevented it from accessing foreign capital and markets, strangled its economy with crippling economic sanctions, and installed lethal missile systems and military bases on their doorstep.

Washington refuses to sit down with a country which it sees as its inferior.  Instead, the US has strong-armed China to do its bidding by using their diplomats as interlocutors who are expected to convey Washington’s ultimatums as threateningly as possible.  They are hoping that Pyongyang will cave in and do the bidding of the Washington-Wall Street Consensus. But North Korea has of yet shown no sign of succumbing to intimidation.They have developed a small arsenal of nuclear weapons to defend themselves if the US tries to assert its dominance by launching another war. The country has not been destroyed and its leader killed like Saddam and Gadhafi because it does not have oil and because it may have the capacity to reduce Seoul, Okinawa and Tokyo to smouldering ruins.

North Korea is a most secretive state, a country of 25 million ruled by a dictatorial dynasty and supporting a hugh army of 1.2 million with 7.7million reserves, though often referred to as being a communist society, it could not be further from such.The country emerged in 1948 liberated from the Japanese by help from Russia in the North and the United States in the south. In the chaos following the end of the Second World War, its history was dominated by Kim Il-sung, who shaped political affairs for almost half a century.

It is important to remember what moulded the modern mind and will of North Korea. In the Korean war in the early 1950s, the US dropped more bombs there than in the entire Pacific theatre during World War II. This carpet bombing, which included 32,000 tons of the chemical weapon napalm, targeted civilian as well as military targets, devastating the country far beyond what was necessary to fight the war. Hundreds of tons of bombs, and incendiary devices were dropped on Pyongyang by the US airforce, causing annihilating fires. The number of inhabitants killed by bomb splinters, burnt alive and suffocated by smoke is incalculable. Only 50,000 remained in the city out of 500,000. Overall the United States killed over 2 million people in a country that posed no threat to US national security. By the autumn of 1952, every town, city and industrial area in North Korea had been bombed. By the spring of 1953, Reservoirs, Irrigation dams, rice crops,  hydroelectric dams, population centres were all razed to the ground. The US couldn’t win the ground war, so they turned the country into an uninhabitable wasteland. Now on the pretext of being threatened by military parades or test firing of unarmed missiles the US is ready to go killing again.

There is, however, a way to end this pointless standoff between Pyongyang and Washington, a way to mend fences and build trust? The first thig is respect and for the USA to follow through on promises. Ex-President Jimmy Carter has stated that North Korea wants the USA to honour its obligations. In September 2005, an agreement reaffirmed the basic premises of the 1994 accord which included denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a pledge of non-aggression by the United States and steps to evolve a permanent peace agreement to replace the U.S.-North Korean-Chinese cease-fire that has been in effect since July 1953. The promise had been to build two light-water reactors to provide heat and light in exchange for an end to the Norths’s nuclear weapons program. Unfortunately, since 2005 no substantive progress has been made.

Relations with the North Korea can be normalised,  economic ties can be strengthened, trust can be restored, and the nuclear threat can be defused. This situation does not have to be a crisis, it can be fixed. It just takes a change in policy, a bit of give-and-take, and leaders that want peace more than war. The Republic of Ireland is ideally placed to play a role in this peace process, The media and government have played a positive role in a recent successful peace process. The country is not a part of any military alliance (ignore Shannon Airport for the moment), we punch above our influential weight in the United States. It just takes a few airline tickets and a hard neck to begin.

 

April 18th, 2017|0 Comments

The Battle for Aleppo

 

Is the battle for Aleppo coming to an end?

aleppo-1

The six-year narrative on Syria has been a criminal propaganda project deployed against a sovereign nation, its people, its state and its national army.

The prolonged dehumanization of the Syrian people, the exploitation of their children as cynical props to further the NATO & Gulf state geo-political objectives in the region, the overt and covert endorsement of NATO State-proxy terrorism, the tacit endorsement of economic terrorism via the illegal US/EU sanctions against Syria, all amount to crimes against Humanity and the Syrian people.

The “regime change” push by the Washington/Wall street Consensus is seeing their pyramid of lies being dismantled stone by stone, by the very people they have been claiming to “protect” for almost six years.

The civilians are fleeing their four-year imprisonment in East Aleppo, subjugated by various militant factions, funded by NATO states and led by Nusra Front aka Al Qaeda.  Their words will be sullied by the corporate media reporting and accounting of events, as they desperately try to resuscitate their expiring Aleppo chronicles.

They are saying God bless the army and they send their greetings to the army. They also said that there was no food and water where they were in eastern Aleppo between terrorist groups, they also said that terrorists treated them very badly and that the army helped them get out to safe areas. They also showed very big happiness seeing the interviewer who is a famous war reporter for Syrian official TV.”

The following images were taken of the fleeing civilians in the last 24 hours.

Today, more civilians exited terrorists held areas, and reached to Hanano & Al-Sakhour which are under SAAcontrol.

 

Sarah Abdallah, analyst and commentator, notes the following:

“Syrian Arab Army’s remarkable east Aleppo advancement continues: Four more districts freed today, including the pivotal region of Sakhour. In the last 48 hours alone, 12 east Aleppo districts have been liberated. From one area to the next, the “moderate” terrorists are melting down. Most important news today though is the SAA’s recapture of the Suleiman al-Halabi Water Pumping Station. The Aleppo water crisis is over! Since 2012, Turkish-backed “jihadists” have withheld water from Aleppo’s residents as a means of blackmailing them into supporting the “revolution”. This has led to unprecedented levels of sickness and malnourishment. But now, the SAA has restored water to more than one million people as it moves ever-closer to freeing Aleppo entirely.

 

November 30th, 2016|0 Comments

Fidel Castro & Cuba

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“A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past- 

 They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?”

 “I find capitalism repugnant. It is filthy, it is gross, it is alienating… it causes war, hypocrisy and competition”

“The revolution is a dictatorship of the exploited against the exploiters- The revenues of Cuban state-run companies are used exclusively for the benefit of the people, to whom they belong”

“No thieves, no traitors, no interventionists! This time the revolution is for real!”               Fidel Castro

 

PRESIDENTS STATMENT.

 On the death of Fidel Castro, President Michael D Higgins issued a statement “expressing his great sadness, saying that he will be remembered as a giant among global leaders. His view was not only of freedom for his people, but for all the oppressed and excluded peoples on the planet”.

 

Fidel Castro the 90-year-old iconic leader of the Cuban Revolution was an inspiration to all people struggling against oppression. Having completed the overthrow of Batista, on January 8th 1959 his revolutionaries triumphantly entered Havana. There he delivered his first major speech before tens of thousands of Cuban people at the vanquished dictator’s military headquarters. He inspired his country with strength and symbolism, an inspiration that echoed with all oppressed countries and peoples.

CUBAN SOCIALISM 

Socialism is a dream of extending democracy over economics, for revolutionaries that means taking existing industries and resources under democratic control to serve the interests of society rather than the few. Many revolutionaries who take power under such ‘Socialist’ slogans quickly adopt to the realities of the existing world order and cut deals with it. Then under a new national – revolutionary flag, they, like the power overthrown enrich themselves and persuade their fellow revolutionaries to become the new police, the new army and maintain the essence of the old order.  They become the guardians of capital.

STRANGLE THE REVOLUTION.

From the moment it became apparent that Castro Aand his revolutionaries meant what they said, the Washington / Wall Street Consensus, were determined that the revolution must be strangled. In some ways, they unfortunately succeeded.

Socialism is more than just extending democracy over economics, for a socialist state to succeed, its power must come from the bottom up, this democracy must be transparent. The mass of people must feel that power, they must feel ownership of everything and be willing to carry that responsibility. The wealth of their production must be seen to come back to the people. But most of all, for Socialism to work, there must be peace.  Socialism is indeed a delicate flower and delicate flowers are easy to poison.

  • PROGRESS NEEDS PEACE. An emerging socialist state can be stifled by encircling it with an army, threatening it, invading it. Even if the invasion fails, the pressure will force the country to build and maintain a huge standing army. That will bleed the country’s wealth away from schools, hospitals, housing and the welfare of the people and channel it into military hardware and the expense of maintaining an army.
  • If the adjoining state in this case the USA is very powerful and antagonistic to socialism, it can and did strangled it economically, cut it off from international trade. Its products were blocked from being sold on the international markets and vital goods were blocked from entering the country.

In addition to the problem of funding a large standing army, Cuba was forced to become militarised. Such countries, like the army itself must be organised and run in a pyramidal top down command structure, thus effectively undermining the emergence of a socialist democracy.

Every state has an internal opposition, in Cuba’s case it was those who lost their estates and their rights over resources and those who wanted the return of a society where they were free to profit on the labour of others. These external and internal forces who wished for and worked to roll back the revolution were funded and supported by the USA.

After the USA sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion, Fidel Castro survived over 600 attempts by the gangsters of capital to murder him. Despite Castro laughing off these attempts to kill him, internal paranoia grew in proportion to the threat to the state and it leader. These events further stifled the development of socialism and worked to limit democratic expression.

Despite all these trials the Cuban revolution oversaw vast improvements in the provision of basic services throughout the country, such as health care, education, welfare and housing. Unprecedented advances in literacy were made across the island.

The revolution provided military and social aid to struggling countries all over the world and was the first to respond to natural disasters. But most of all, it upheld the dignity of humanity world-wide, it held aloft the possibility, the idea, that a small Caribbean society of 11 million people could exist without being on its knees before the Washington / Wall Street Consensus.

Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution defied the United States for nearly half a century, and survived 11 American presidents One can only hope that the capacity of the Cuban people to resist ‘Americanisation’ can go on until the people of the United States of America and indeed the world come to understand that they too might extend democracy over economics. That they too, might try to build a society not based on the poisonous cocktail of greed and competition, but one where the happiness of society and the dignity of people were paramount.

A book of condolence will be open at the Mansion House to-day to allow people to pay their respects. The book is open from 11am to 4pm on Monday and Tuesday.

 

November 28th, 2016|0 Comments

President Trump, the good, the bad and the future.

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The people of the United States of America, have made their choice. The establishment media, here and world-wide have been rattled, they cannot believe that their confident predictions of an establishment victory did not come to pass. They cannot believe that from a population of 319 million Donald Trump was the chosen one.

Trump came across as a blatantly sectarian, misogynist and divisive racist. Hillary Clinton as a representative of the corrupt Washington establishment on the side of the wealthiest 1% and in the pocket of Wall Street. She was also a dangerous warmonger. Both Hillary and Donald were united by the noxious cocktail of wealth, greed and power in a land where the greediest and most competitive rise to the top, they both did. They were a perfect reflection of a social order that is the advanced capitalism of the United States of America.

Since I was a young man, the military forces of the USA have been killing poorer less armed people world-wide. Any attempt by the people of south America to use their natural or produced wealth for their collective benefit has been destroyed repeatedly by the connivance or direct intervention of these forces. The young men and women of the military acting under illusions of patriotism and freedom have become the rent collectors and the enforcers of the Washington / Wall Street consensus.

When the people of Vietnam wished to established their independence and social system it was not to the liking of Washington or world finance. The Gulf of Tonkin incident was staged to allow a full-scale war against its people. Three million people were murdered in by a wild spree of bombing, machine gunning and the ghastly chemicals produced by Dow and Monsanto. Thankfully, the USA lost this war to a lightly armed but highly motivated people, an unfortunate consequence being the death of 58,000 young men and women of the USA, most of whom were drafted, needed a job or were promised an education, some genuinely believed they were defending freedom and their homeland.

While but pausing briefly to lick its wounds, US imperialism returned to the fray with the destruction of secular governments in Iran and Afghanistan, the wholesale destruction of Iraqi and the killing of a million of its people, the destruction of Libya. The interventions against any government or people particularly in South America, but world-wide who made any attempt to extend democracy over economics.

Are the people of the USA natural born killers? No, they most certainly are not. The economic system of capitalism has been running in the USA since its foundation, born in the blood of its indigenous people and fed on the free wealth of slave labour, it thrived. The flood of millions of diverse hardworking immigrants to its shore boosted its wealth and power. Over time its wealth concentrated in fewer hands.  The theory of capitalism is that the expanding wealth of the few will trickle down through society and all will benefit, for a period when trade unions were strong and a more balanced Keynesian approach was in vogue, a large wealthy middle class emerged.  But as capital further concentrated and the ideas of Milton Friedman began to hold sway, regulation on capital was abolished, this new economic philosophy more than any before looks on all people and the entire world as its field of plunder.

At the same time in poor countries under the domination of the USA, labour – which would not be allowed to organise – could produce food, goods and services at a fraction of the cost that would be the case in the USA. Thus the production core of the US was stripped out and moved abroad for bigger profits. Thus the income and security of the middle class has been falling for forty years. These abandoned blue collar workers voted for Trump. Those who perceived that their wages were undercut by cheaper migrants, voted for Trump. Those who believed that every one would be killed by jihadists, voted for Trump.

The collapse of the USSR signaled the decline of socialist ideas world wide which coincided with the demise of trade union power. The Capitalist powers of  the Unites State combined with Europe and now unopposed, took to war, they needed war. The state collects taxes, persuades its  people there is an enemy, buys billions of dollars worth of killing equipment which makes vast profits for the few and persuades the unemployed they have a duty to their country and can make a living by killing ‘brown’ people somewhere. If there is not a war or an enemy, they will manufacture both.

This plundering and killing instinct emerges not from the people of the United States who like 99% of people in all the world just want to get on with their lives in peace. It emerges from the objective need of the 1% who want their capital to be free to plunder the world at will. Any person or state who stands in the way of that agenda will be vilified, any opposition within those states preferable inane mullahs, will be funded and armed. Internal and external pressure will be applied until the regime is changed – usually in a a bath of blood – to become a kneeling supplicant to the Washington / Wall Street consensus. Over recent years the Clinton’s  had been cheerleaders for such endeavors. When  bewildered and broken veterans returned from the wars, they were discarded. Many of them voted for Trump.

The philosophy of this Washington / Wall-street consensus dominates the media in the USA and effectively controls the collective mind of huge swaths of its people. In an economy driven by the poisonous cocktail of competition and greed, the greediest and the most competitive rise to the top. The people drained of their own self worth sought a leader, a Saviour, they saw that in Donald Trump, they perceived him to be outside the establishment. The establishment which had betrayed them over and over again. While it will not make a great deal of difference who becomes president in the sham democracies of Tweedledum and Tweedledee Dee, as the real power lies in the dictatorship of capital. The President can, however, influence a trend.

How should we respond to this result?  With tears or joy, either would be a bit over the top. From the perspective of the the safety of the world, Hillary, would I believe have been the most dangerous, as she had been focused on another regime change in Syria, one in a chain of regime changes and destruction’s. To that end, she was the most likely to try and ‘take on’ Russia and China. Agreements by the western powers not to expand NATO and its war machine to the borders of Russia were broken. Countries around Russia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Ukraine have been broken, Russia knowing it is next, is nervous. However, these are not the usual ‘brown’ people that Washington kills so easily. They are very capable nuclear powers, and as Putin said recently, (generally unreported); “The last time an army came over our borders we lost 25,000,000 people, it will not happen again, the future war will be fought by men pressing buttons, Russia may be destroyed, but so too will Europe and the United States”. Trump said he would talk with Putin, he would talk with anyone rather go to war. He said the US should withdraw from NATO, if this talking were to come to pass it could set the United States and the world on a safer and saner path.

Trump’s victory will be hard on the liberal heart and soul of the United States, it will encourage racism, sectarianism, sexism and an inward-looking nationalism. But the realities of power and time will mitigate these sentiments. On the economic front, he will ignore the $19 trillion debt and continue to borrow and print money ‘quantitative easing’ and start rebuilding the cities and attempt to drag manufacturing back from abroad, directions that go against all the precepts of the Republican Party. That promise of economic engineering gave him votes, note also, the huge support that Bernie Saunders had in the primaries, he was no great socialist, but had he run instead of Clinton, I believe he would now be president. There is a great deal more linking him to Trump than meets the eye, they were both on the surface at least, anti-establishment.

We in Ireland are adopting the same economic thinking, have growing inequality and have a controlled and timid media. This hides the fact that we are following the economic and social footsteps of the USA.  Perhaps, the outcome of the election and the intellectual desert, ‘The Poverty of Philosophy’ that was shown to be rampant during the election will alert us to its foreboding presence here. Maybe it will galvanise the good people of the USA  and ourselves to take an entirely more progressive path towards a  ‘Republic of Reason’. One way or another, we all live together – but – briefly on this tiny spinning sphere, we have no choice but make the best of what we’ve got and strive for its improvement.

 

 

 

November 7th, 2016|0 Comments

RTE Coverage of Events in Aleppo and Mosul

 

 

Why does The RTE news coverage differ substantially in is reporting of the on-going battles at Mosul and Aleppo?

In its coverage of the battle for Mosul, RTE reports positively on the attack by Iraqi and Kurdish forces, backed by US air power to defeat the jihadists of ISIS and free the city. It claims that the terrorists will use the civilian population as shields, thus if and when there are civilian casualties it will be entirely the fault of the Jihadists.

In its coverage of the battle for Aleppo RTE reports negatively on the attack by the Syrian Arab Army and its Russian air support on Aleppo to defeat the jihadists of ISIS and Al-Qaeda. It constantly claims ‘atrocities’ the deaths of women and children the destruction of hospitals is due to indiscriminate dumb bombing by the Russians and the Syrian Army of using ‘Barrel Bombs’.  The defenders are described as rebel fighters – not as ISIS or terrorists or Jihadists.

RTE has abandoned any claim it might have had to fairness and impartiality. It appears obliged to consult daily with London based ‘experts’ giving credibility to a neo-conservative outlook. The view appears to be that what the Washington /Wall Street Consensus wants, fractured compliant states, is good. What Russia and Syria wants, a unified secular Syria contributing to Russian security is bad?

Uncritical analysis by the media has previously led to the demonization and destruction of Iraqi due to lies about ‘Saddams’ weapons of mass destruction. The demonization and destruction of Libya because it would not bend the knee and threatened the interests of French and American capital. The list is endless and littered with piles of tortured and dead bodies as the military power of the ‘Washington / Wall Street Consensus’ progresses with its agenda. An agenda which demands free access to all of the worlds natural and labour produced wealth. Only Russia, Iran, Syria and China now stand in the way.

While the compliance of the media with Washington’s objectives ensures a smooth flow of advertising and accolades, its lack of objectivity in reporting on events and its lack of analysis of the root causes of conflicts is bringing us all along a very dangerous path. For the world does not comprehend what happens when an unstoppable, highly motivated power -Washington, meets an unmoveable object, -Russia, both of which are armed with the most powerful nuclear weapons ever devised.

Russia is nervous, the last time it was threatened and invaded 25,000,000 Russians died. They will not allow this to happen again. NATO, against previous agreements has moved nuclear missiles to the Russian border. The pressure increases as the US and UK call for yet more sanctions against Syria and Russia, why? because they are winning the war in Syria. If that were to happen and a peaceful Syria was to rebuild with returning refugees, it would be a disaster for those who interests are served by perpetual war and destabilisation.

Hillary Clinton is calling for a no-fly zone over Syria, For the USA to attack the aircraft of Russia or Syria would be an act of war with perhaps unimaginable consequences. Putin has warned that only a few men pushing buttons will fight the next war, Russia, he accepts will be destroyed, but so will Europe and the United States.

The Media in Ireland could play a very positive international role in trying to stop this potential catastrophe by initially developing a reputation for fair and judicial enquiry. Become an internationally trusted examiner and proceed to have public judicial / neutral conversations with the main players.

 

October 21st, 2016|0 Comments

Aleppo and the Media

Syria’s Fight for Aleppo

Derived from an article by Andre Vltchek

With only 17 million inhabitants (according to the 2014 estimate), Syria is now facing the mightiest coalition on Earth – a coalition that consists of virtually all traditional Western colonialist nations. It is also facing the murderous Islamic groupings, similar to those that were already unleashed against the Soviet Union during the war in Afghanistan. But it is standing against all odds. Its Golan Heights are illegally occupied by Israel, its borders constantly violated by the Turkish military, and by the West’s ‘special forces’ and air force.

Syria’s “political opposition” was created, then groomed and financed by the United States and Europe, in the style of “Colour Revolutions”, as has happened in all other countries that the West has been trying to destabilize and return under its deadly rule. Millions of Syrian people have been, during the last six years, terrorized, slaughtered and intimidated by jihadi cadres, implanted by the West and its regional allies: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Israel and others.

Some of the greatest historical cities on Earth, like Aleppo and Palmira, now lie in ruins. What the European Christian crusaders failed to destroy, is collapsing under the imperialist onslaught. Like everywhere else on Earth, everything that dares to struggle against the Washington/Wall Street Consensus is being destroyed. Almost everyone who resists is side-lined or slaughtered. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian people have already lost their lives and the awful count is rising. Five million Syrian people have been forced to leave their country, scattered all over the Middle East: throughout Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, and Turkey. Some have gone as far as Europe.

The rest of the world does not understand; it is not meant to understand. The propaganda coming out of the Western mass media outlets and indoctrination-spreading institutions is so thorough, so professional, that to most of people all over the world everything related to Syria appears to be blurry, murky, and incredibly complex. President Assad is demonized on a daily basis. Heroic resistance is called the “regime’s brutal actions”, pro-`western terror groups are described as “moderate opposition.”

In reality, Syria is suffering because it is refusing to kneel to the Washington/Wall Street Consensus, it is unwilling to prostitute itself, allowing them to grab everything above and under the surface.

This consensus never forgives disobedience. Its fundamentalist terror methods are the most brutal ever invented and implemented on Earth.

All around Syria, countries already lie in ashes. The Middle East hardly exists, anymore. And most of the Syrian people understand: it is perhaps better to die standing, than to live in shackles, under control. The more the terror the West spreads, the more vicious its propaganda is, the one-sided compliant journalism has ceased to ask questions. In the bulk of the media there is no hint of objectivity left.

President al-Assad of Syria, the Syrian Arab Army and its allies – Russia and Iran – are being relentlessly demonized, as if it were them who began that monstrous war! And Hezbollah, which is fighting countless epic battles against the ISIS, sits firmly on the West’s terrorist list. Everything seems to be twisted and perverted, upside down. The UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Portugal and others, have centuries of experience in how to humiliate victims, how to justify their own heinous acts, how to brainwash their own populations and even some of their victims! The United States, the direct product of Europe, is using the same vulgar, propaganda tactics.

Nothing rational and objective can be expected from the people of Europe or North America. Except for a few insignificant protests and rebellious acts, the Western population is in a total slumber, indifferent towards the horrors that are being administered by its regime all over the globe. There is hardly any pressure to stop acts of terror against Syria. The only thing that seems to matter to Europeans is how to stop the flow of refugees from the devastated countries. The people of Europe and North America do not see or understand that they are involved in murdering millions, in one country after another, instead they blame the victims and those rushing to their rescue!

Now the biggest enemy is Russia, because it is like China clearly unwilling to dance to Washington’s tune! Russia as the Soviet Union for many decades, stood by many oppressed countries, and supported the de-colonization of the world, Russia is now defending Syria. Not because it needs natural resources, or wants to plunder. It is doing so, because it has watched the destruction of countries around it, it has seen NATO come to its borders against all previous agreements. It does so, because if the world around it is abandoned to Western imperialism, their borders are next. The last time an army, German Fascism and its allies marched over the Russian border they lost 25 million people. This, the Russians say, will not happen again.

If Syria were to surrender, it would meet the terrible fate of Iraq or Libya.  62 Syrian soldiers were reported killed in a U.S.-led coalition airstrike on the Syrian military base Deir el-Zour, on September 17, the planes killed the soldiers that were involved in a battle with ISIS. Almost immediately, the ISIS took over the hill and the area, in what appeared to be a clearly coordinated operation between the West and the “Islamic State”, against the Syrian government forces.

A few days later, a humanitarian convoy was hit near the city of Aleppo. Without presenting any evidence, the West immediately pointed a finger at the Syrian government and Russia. But the Russian Ministry of Defence released images of a US predator drone operating in the area during the attack, and called for a thorough investigation. There is one simple point that is being constantly overlooked by the West and its media.

The legitimate government of Syria asked Moscow for help, to fight ISIS and other terrorist groups implanted by the West and its allies. Nobody invited the West! Only those groups that the West itself created and supported inside Syria invited it? Both Syrian government forces and Russia are fighting brutal foreign invaders who are attempting to destroy one of the oldest nations on Earth and take control of the entire Middle East.

The sacrifice made by the Syrian people is tremendous. But against all odds, the deadly advance of the imperialists may be stopped there, but the price is terrible, for the dogs of war are released all hell breaks loose, Aleppo is turning into the Middle-Eastern Stalingrad. The Syrian nation has made its choice: it will fight the invaders, as it fought the crusaders under Saladin.

 

 

October 4th, 2016|0 Comments

Artificial Intelligence to Oppress or to Serve

April 2016

As ice melts in the face of the rising sun, decent paid jobs are melting with the rise of artificial intelligence and the logic of capitalism. Artificial intelligence [AI] resides in computers and robotics, it is here, it is everywhere. As our society is presently construed it will hasten the growth of wealth disparity heralding widespread destitution, which in turn will promote crime as a natural equaliser. In traditional industry, the workers sold their labour power to those who owned the means of production, this brought the classic division in society, between those who sought to buy labour for the minimum cost and the worker who sought to sell his or her labour power for the maximum price.

Robot Hand

However, the future expansion of capital will be driven by AI and robotics, more efficient, trouble and strike free.  The contradiction of the diminishing purchasing power of the majority and thus their ability to consume and provide further profits for capitalism, is offset by a few factors; a reduction in the cost of commodities by outsourcing to low cost economies and increasing the flow of credit. At the same time, capital strives to eliminate social organisations and enterprises and to privatise and draw profit from every social asset, media, education, health, roads, parking, water and all avenues of communication. State agencies that enforce the rights of property, and exploitative contracts will, themselves, fall more under the influence of, and into the hands of private interests. While the relationship between those who had jobs and their employers was alienating, a situation where the majority can no longer get any decent work or play any real part in production, will be worse. Without a revaluation of political philosophy, the mass of society is likely to drown in a combination of alienation, stifled media, corporate sport, shallow entertainment and fear. The rise of such a dysfunctional state will accelerate the use of drink, drugs and suicide as a solution.

Opportunities appearing to produce job security are now more likely to quickly turn into false dawns. For example; students were urged to learn to code if they wanted to succeed, a proliferation of coding schools and boot camps emerged However, as the skill became more commonplace, particularly in developing nations like India, much of the work is being assigned piecemeal by computerised services such as ‘Upwork’ to low-paid workers in digital sweatshops, a trend that is bound to increase. It then looked a better to use coding skills to develop an app or platform and sell it in competition with thousands of others doing the same thing on an online marketplace. A forum that is swamped by choice and ruled by the same power dynamics as the digital music business.

While it is essential that many in this digital society should be familiar with how these platforms work, universal code literacy won’t solve the employment crisis any more than the universal ability to read and write would result in a full-employment economy of book publishing. It actually does the opposite. A single computer program written by perhaps a dozen developers can wipe out hundreds of jobs. It has been established that digital companies employ 10 times fewer people per dollar earned than traditional companies. Every time a company decides to relegate its computing to the cloud, it reduces its workforce. Modern technologies, replace more employment opportunities than they create. Those that don’t—technologies that require ongoing human maintenance or participation in order to work—are not supported by venture capital for precisely this reason. They are considered unsaleable because they demand more paid human employees as the business grows.

There are of course jobs for those willing to assist with the transition to a more computerised society. For example, self-checkout stations may have cost supermarket cashier jobs, but provided opportunities for some to assist customers scanning their items at the kiosk, and swiping their debit cards. It’s a slightly more skilled job and may even pay better than working as a regular cashier. But again it’s a temporary position: Soon consumers become as proficient at self-checkout as they are at getting cash from the bank machine, and a checkout tutor will be unnecessary. In another few years, digital tagging technology will permit shoppers to leave stores with their items and have their accounts debited automatically.

Likewise, specialists will be required to fit current cars with robot drivers, engineers to replace medical staff with sensors and to write software for postal drones. There will be an increase in specialized jobs before there’s a precipitous drop. Already in China, the implementation of 3-D printing and other automated solutions is threatening hundreds of thousands of high-tech manufacturing jobs, many of which have existed for less than a decade. Once the robots are in place, their continued upkeep and a large part of their improvement will be automated as well. Humans may have to learn to live with it.

This conundrum was first articulated back in the 1940s by cybernetics pioneers as they studied the “post-industrial economy and continues unabated. Extensive research shows, beyond reasonable doubt, that technological progress, eliminates jobs and leaves average workers worse off than they were before. These developments are not merely the consequence of digital technology, but the realisation of the profit drive to remove humans as much as possible from the value equation. The growth of technology is often equated with economic growth, neither of which mean more jobs or prosperity for the people living in it. As some have said, ‘when all these science-fiction technologies are deployed, what will we need all the people for?”

When technology increases productivity, a company can eliminate jobs and use the savings to reward its shareholders with dividends and stock buybacks. What would have been lost to wages is instead turned back into capital, the only ones left making money are those depending on passive returns from their investments. Digital technology accelerates the process where we can all see the change occurring, but due to an endemic poverty of philosophy and the blanking out of such conversations from the body politic, society has not taken notice yet. Productivity is at record levels, innovation has never been faster, and yet at the same time, we have a falling median income and we have fewer jobs. In the previous generation an individual on the average industrial wage could comfortably support a partner and raise and educate a family, this is no longer the case. People are falling behind because technology is advancing so fast and our political skills and organisations are static.

The essence is that a poverty of philosophy exists in the heart of science. This poverty of thought is an objective part of invisible government, the dictatorship of capital reflects its ethos through all the mechanisms of education, information and entertainment media. It does everything in its power to mask out any alternative dialogue.

However, the laws of dialectics, lessons of history and cycles of quantitive and qualitative change are on the side of a resolution, if not revolution. Hope lies in the realisation by the great mass of people that the nightmare scenario of a totally dysfunctional society may be avoided and the social order can move in a different direction. It can and must extend democracy over economics, in fact for the survival of society as we know it there may be no choice. It is now a race between the forces of reason and empathy, organising, against the harbingers of capital concentration and climate change.  This is a race that must be won, for the logic of the existing trajectory is war. That would indeed be a tragedy, for with the material and technological advances that our species has achieved, never before in human history have we had the resources and the potential to provide “to each according to their needs and from each according to their ability”.

 

April 20th, 2016|0 Comments

Help them find new loving sharing partners….FF would be perfect. Build a rational left opposition and future government…

Enda and Noonan tears

March 14th, 2016|0 Comments

Parasites of the economy

Parasites of the economy

bomb cartoont005 copyEurope and its central bank are structured to block the creation of money supply to any government other than for supporting banks and bondholders. A monetary and fiscal straitjacket has been built that obliges the Euro-zone economies to rely on banking for credit and debt. Thus the masters of the financial sector are the economic planners, in charge of monetary and fiscal policy without being subject to any level of democracy. To maintain their position, they breed a belief that they are an essential part of the economy, not external to it. This is precisely the strategy that parasites use in nature to persuade their hosts that they are not external invaders, but part of the host’s own body, deserving careful protection.

These privatised financial engineering corporations, with the law on their side effectively print money. They are enriched solely by interest and profit through the manipulation of money. When a country’s budget deficit deepens they simply issue more bonds to cover the debt. As the debt and interest payments grow too onerous and begin to slow the economy, the financial wizards engage in ‘quantitative easing’ an unconventional monetary policy in which a central bank purchases government securities or other securities from the market in order to lower interest rates and increase the money supply. However, very little of the money created gets to the real economy. It was estimated that £375 billion worth of QE in the UK, led to 1.5-2% growth in GDP. In other words, £23-28bn billion of extra spending in the real economy. It’s incredibly ineffective, because it relies on boosting the wealth of the already-wealthy and hoping that they increase their spending. In other words, the ‘trickle down’ theory of wealth.

As the state falls more under the spell of capital it dedicates itself to gathering taxes for loan repayment instead of investing it, or raising living standards. Prior to the building boom crash in Ireland, the more the finance institutions lent, the higher property prices rose, thus encouraging more lending. As mortgages and rents rose, so did the proportion of household income paid to the financial sector. The market value of property rose to far exceeded its real cost in labour and materials. Everyone was led to believe, that all they had to do was to get to own property by any means and inflation would make them rich. However, when the price of one property fell back, it avalanched, property fell below its labour and materials production value. The bubble had burst. Did the big lenders, the primary bondsmen, the wise financial advisor’s lose their money on their gambling malpractice? No, Jean-Claude Trichet senior bondsman himself and governor of the European Central Bank at the time, issued a direct threat ‘A bomb would go off in Dublin’ if they were not fully compensated for their losses. A screamed financial analogy perhaps, but it worked perfectly on our cowardly conservative politicians who trembled on their knees before the financial god’s threats of a penniless hell. So they did, as bid, cuts and austerity became the order of the day.

Just as mortgage lenders assess the potential maximum flow of money they may extract from a client and offer the highest amount of loan they believe the client can afford, likewise, international banks assess the earnings of countries to see how much debt service they can pay. They then organise to capture the entire economic surplus of that country and eventually, every country, into debt service payments.  They offer loans to gullible politicians who are then in a position to induce their electorate to return them to political power. If and when countries get into difficulty with interest payments, further creditors and the IMF  offer the indebted countries even more money at higher interest rates to pay the outstanding interest,  the debts spiral out of control.

Current economic theory is simply a mechanism for transferring wealth from the mass of people to the wealthy, it pushes countries to service the huge debts by lowering domestic wages to pay creditors. This is the policy being imposed on many countries today, it is the basis of the IMF’s structural adjustment or austerity programs for dealing with debtor countries, essentially a form of looting that transfers national resources to private lenders. It concerns itself mainly with wages and consumer prices, not with the inflation of property and stocks. It serves as a cover for the polarisation of the world economy between rich and poor the opposite of what might have been assumed with the promises of globalisation. The main form of exploitation is  shifting from wages to the financial system’s extraction of value into interest payments.

This dictatorship of capital demands loyalty from the political parties it supports and persuades that the needs of people will only be served by trickle-down economics. As capital further concentrates in the 21st century and it becomes more apparent that its wealth is not trickling down, protest and street action will intensify. To counter the protests of citizens, attacks on their constitutional rights and protections will occur under the guise of some terrorist threat, for fear, is the best instrument to subdue a people and concentrate power. To-day western economies have been financialised in a predatory way that sacrifices the public interest to that of the financial sector. Finance is no longer a positive productive part of the social economy it has become its parasite.

March 4th, 2016|0 Comments

DRUGS, CRIME AND REASON

Addiction and the Rat Park experiments

Click on the above and open the argument;

FIGHT CRIME GANGS WITH REASON NOT GUNS.
Legalise Drugs

 

Since our species discovered that eating, drinking or inhaling some substances provide a feeling of euphoria, a diminution of inhibitions, a stimulant or relief from pain, we have individually and collectively being doing just that. From the glass of wine to the pint, the cigarette to the joint and the long list of medicines, relieving and treating pain from the minor discomfort to the most severe.

Garda with guns

Some drugs are illegal, but the demand for them is just as widespread, cannabis, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy tablets, the list is long and expanding. Huge money is made from their importation and sale to satisfy the market which ranges from the sprawling estates of deprivation to the fashionable houses of the bourgeois. The importation and distribution of drugs is a risky business and like any it requires greed and competition. Where normal legal business depends on contracts and courts to regulate their affairs, drug gangs operating as they do outside the law have to maintain their position and contracts with violence. The most ruthless rise to the top where  money and power concentrates. Once large sums of money are involved law enforcement is corruptible, very little of the drugs are intercepted or recovered.

For over a hundred years the ethos of the law has struggled with the complacency of the population, thousands have died in this pointless battle against the nature of our species. The war on drugs requires a huge expenditure on resources and finance and has totally failed. It is time to apply reason and change,  plenty of evidence exists to support a new direction. When prohibition on alcohol existed in the United States, gang warfare raged, speakeasies thrived, poisonous hooch was produced by the ton. Once legalised, the wars stopped, tax revenue to the state flowed, its sale to minors became easier to control and the quality of the alcohol was monitored.

A growing consensus of people now see the only sensible direction is to legalise the possession, use and distribution of all drugs. The reality of how that is done would be subject to discussion and evolution. Some categories, like cannabis, could be sold through regulated shops such as chemists, harder drugs through a self-financing state company. The drugs would be clean, free from destructive additives, carry health warnings, have selling age limits and be taxed. Intravenous drugs would be taken under supervision with clean equipment.

Such an approach would see the collapse of the drug gangs and an end to the associated warfare. It would take the addicts off the street and keep them in touch with state services who would provide counselling and care. The whole notion of addiction was challenged during the Vietnam war, tens of thousands of unfortunate US soldiers were sent to kill millions of people they had no grudge against and for reasons they did not understand. The Vietnamese resistance killed 57,000 of these young people in defence and to persuade them to leave. The stress amongst the US troops provoked drug use on a massive scale. It was predicted that when they returned home, the USA would be filled with drug addicts. It never happened, when the troops got home the majority left stress behind and stopped using. For some, residual stress and circumstances conspired to ensure continuing pain and drugs provided relief from that pain. An excellent explanation for the relationship between deprivation, pain and drug use comes from ‘The Rat Park Experiment’, see: https://youtu.be/sbQFNe3pkss

This post, arguing in favour of the legalisation of drugs, is far too brief to cover all the issues. A comprehensive book on the subject and essential reading for anyone concerned with solving the drug problem is: Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari, the first and last days of the war on drugs. The ongoing struggle to develop a sensible drugs policy can be followed at; www.chasingthescream.com

A complication to an international solution to the war on drugs arises when one asks the question ‘Cui Bono’ apart from the drug gangs – who else might benefit: Michael Hudson, in his book, Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy,  found a strange money trail and a huge amount of money from crime going into Switzerland’s secret banking system. He discovered that under US State Department direction, banks had been established in the Caribbean for the purpose of attracting money into dollar holdings from drug dealers to offset Washington’s foreign military outflows of dollars. If dollars flowed out of the US, but demand did not rise to absorb the larger supply, the dollar’s exchange rate would fall, damaging US power. By providing offshore banks in which criminals could deposit illicit dollars, the US government supported the dollar’s exchange value.

Hudson discovered that the US balance of payments deficit, was entirely military in character. The US Treasury and State Department supported the Caribbean safe haven for illegal profits  to offset the negative impact on the US balance of payments of military operations abroad. When it came to the economics of the situation, he claims that neither trade flows nor direct investments were important in determining exchange rates. What was important were “errors and omissions,” which Hudson discovered was a euphemism for the hot, liquid money of drug dealers and government officials embezzling the export earnings of their countries. Such revelations might explain why moves to legalise drugs might bring opposition from a source, one had not bargained for.

 

February 26th, 2016|0 Comments

VOTE GENEROUSLY Help those, who help others to LOOT

Cartoon noonan and Enda001 copy

February 4th, 2016|0 Comments

Bolshevik Avant-garde

VKhuTemas TowerBolshevik Avant-Garde.

As we approach the anniversary of the 1917 revolution and the foundation of the Soviet Union, the rewriting of history pertaining to these interesting times continues unabated. The “Cold War” is not over and it won’t be—until the very last memory of an alternative to the society of capital is deemed eradicated. But every now and then, the light of an idea returns to bring discomfort to the existing consensus. One of these is the spectre of VKhuTEMAS.

 

Vk 9

 

I began my studies of Architecture in 1965 and have practiced as such all my life, I had heard of, studied and admired the Bauhaus movement in Weimar and Dessau and the part it played in the development of modern art and architecture at the beginning of the last century. Only recently while researching my book, ‘The Republic of Reason & The Poverty of Philosophy’, did I uncover the existence of a larger but similar school that emerged in revolutionary Russia.

On December 19th 1920, Lenin and the Soviet government established the Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops — VKhUTEMAS. The aim was to use the visual arts in the training of technically, politically and scientifically educated architects and designers in all disciplines. In the ten years of its existence, VKhUTEMAS became a laboratory of modern architecture and art, in which diverse artistic ideas and methods, such as classicism, constructivism, psychoanalytic approaches and even futurism came together.

VKhuTEMAS 7Lenin wanted art education to be scientifically based, but he was unwilling to force what he admitted were his own conservative tastes in art. Just how true this is, can be seen from the private discussion he was keen to have with VKhUTEMAS students. Alexander W. Stepanov recorded the following:
“After the founding of VKhUTEMAS Lenin took the opportunity to meet with the students, despite the serious political situation in the country and its claims on his attention. Lenin did not want an official talk with the students and took advantage of his acquaintance with the family of his comrade, Inessa Armand, a very well-educated woman who spoke various languages and served the revolution faithfully until her death. Armand had two daughters, Inna and Varya, the latter being a student at the VKhUTEMAS. Late in the evening of February 21, 1921, Lenin and his wife Krupskaya arrived in the VKhUTEMAS student dormitory in former Myasnitskaya Street. There they talked together for about three hours”.

 

VK 7
In 2014/15 an exhibition dedicated to VKhuTEMAS opened in Berlin, its catalogue stated that during its heyday, the works of the students and teachers were “unmatched, and later often served architects as templates and sources of inspiration.” The sheer scope of the training and the vast number of students and teachers make it clear that the Moscow workshops mark a unique stage in the development of modern architecture. Some 2,000 students enrolled in the first year alone, while Bauhaus trained about 150 at the same time. Irina Tschepkunowa, curator of the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, writes in the introduction to the catalogue, “that one can scarcely any longer imagine in today’s ‘pragmatically oriented’ Russia the enthusiasm that broke out after the revolution. Hunger and destruction during the war, communism, the ongoing civil war in the country’s border areas and the impoverished everyday life provoked in young people — as strange as this may seem today — not dejection, but an unprecedented creative enthusiasm and willingness to work.”

Many in the West see the Bauhaus movement as a model for the Russian architectural avant-garde. However, this concept is now challenged and although VKhuTEMAS had close ties to Bauhaus and the latter held some concepts and ideas in common with the Soviet workshops, the relationship can be seen to be otherwise.

 

VKhuTEMAS 3However, over a period, revolutionary fervour came under stress as external military pressure grew against the revolution in Russia, internal defensive militarisation brought autocratic power. The ideals of the soviet, ‘power from the bottom up’ began to corrode. [See; Struggle & Defeat in ‘The Republic of Reason & The Poverty of Philosophy’]. From the late 1920s, the nationalist policy of “socialism in one country” eventually strangled revolutionary innovations. In architecture, as in the other art forms, “socialist realism” became the only acceptable doctrine. In the west the rise of fascism in Germany suppressed the Bauhaus movement. But, while the legacy of the Bauhaus is regarded as a cornerstone of the modern movement and features in every modern art history book, VKhuTEMAS was air brushed out of history.

VK8
My wife, Katherine and I have located the treasure trove that is VKhuTEMAS and with the anniversary of the 1917 Russian revolution approaching are attempting to bring an exhibition of the work to Ireland where it could inspire a stimulating and necessary debate! If this could be achieved on the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution and at a time of mounting anti-Russian propaganda it could provide an objective assessment of the cultural achievements of the first years of the Soviet Union. This would of great importance as the exhibition would speak for itself. It would refute the lie that the October Revolution inevitably led to oppression, and would demonstrate that the first attempt to create a more humane egalitarian society and unite our species across national, religious and racial divides, retains all its fascination.

January 25th, 2016|0 Comments

Radio Interview – Leap of faith

Listen here  to Fergus’s interview with Michael Comyn, for the RTE programme “Leap of Faith”

About the Show

In a programme for people of all faiths and none, Michael talks with those whose life experiences cause them to call on their beliefs, as he seeks to discover what religion does for people – and occasionally to them.

January 23rd, 2016|0 Comments

Recommended Books

Recommended Books;


 

piketty

CAPITAL in the Twenty First Century.

Thomas Piketty

For any one wishing to understand the vagaries of economics and to extend democracy over capital this book is essential reading. It plain cover belies it rich and well researched interior.  As Michael Collins said of war, if you wish to defeat an enemy first you must completely understand all that makes him tick. It painstakingly defines the inbuilt dynamics of wealth,  it details the concentration of wealth in the hands of shrinking elite and underlines  the rise of inherited wealth where birth matter more than talent or effort.

 

The Shock Docterine

THE SHOCK DOCTRINE    

Naomi Klein

I have never been a fan of conspiracy theories, but reading the Shock Doctrine has to a large extent altered my opinion. It is a well written horror story of the ‘Washington Consensus’, gone berserk, the plundering of international resources on behalf of a very small international elite, now rich and powerful enough to sideline democracy in their home country and run the most powerful military force in the world in their interests. Any country that does not fall on its  knees and allow the the total freedom of capital is likely to be destroyed. The only deterrence might be the power of its army and the determination of its people.

 

Chasing-The-Scream

CHASING THE SCREAM

Johann Hari

Drug addiction is not what it seems and the war on drugs stems from  motives different from what we assume, a war that sees thousands rot in prison and die needlessly. This book makes an excellent case for the legalisation, control and taxation of all drugs. He connects the demand for drugs to human stress, self esteem and place in society, thus it is the most abused socially isolated that seek solace from the pain of life  in the most powerful illegal drugs. An egalitarian society based on respect for all, coupled with legalisation- as with alcohol is the road forward.

 

The Spirit level

THE SPIRIT LEVEL

Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett

Societies with a bigger gap between rich and poor are dysfunctional and provide a lower standard of well-being for all, including the wealthy. Every aspect of society  from life expectancy to violence and illiteracy is affected not by now how wealthy or otherwise that society is, but by how unequal it is. The book is packed full of solid research and hard evidence to support the proposition.  Essential reading for anyone engaged in building a better society. See also the equality trust website: equalitytrust.org.uk[/fusion_text]

January 18th, 2016|0 Comments

Chaos in the Health Service

Trolly cartoon001 copyHealth care of the country’s citizens is the responsibility of the collective community supported by a duty of self-care that applies to all responsible citizens. In Ireland it would be rational that the health service be a single national organisation funded through progressive taxation. Some who see health as a platform for selling a service for profit, contend that it is more efficient, privatised. However, they recognise that difficulties arise in attempting to make profit from a section of the population that is without surplus and agree to let them be cared for by the public sector, so at present, we have both. While overall the health of the nation and the longevity of its people has improved, we can do much better. One of the main criteria for judging society is how it cares for the health of its citizens.

At present the mechanism driving our economy is competition and greed, this ensures that those possessed of the most competition and greed, a toxic combination, will rise to the top of many organisations. I do not contend that all executives of the HSE are driven by such motivation, but these imperatives, can and do pervade all aspects of society causing contradictions in motivation, a situation that flourishes within a two tier health system. When a private section of the health service is structured to serve the wealthy it attracts better funding which in turn attracts the best health care workers and resources away from the public system. For those on the borderline of affording health insurance, the media highlights hundreds of unattended people lying on trolleys in the public sector, but during commercial breaks… soft and friendly voices urge people to drop in and be cared for in their various extensive, well equipped emergency private clinics.

Overcrowding, trolleys and chaos in public hospitals is excellent for selling insurance and making profit. It is not surprising that tragic stories have emerged from this cocktail of overcrowding, long waiting lists and exhausted staff. The public health system is without an ideological focus, what should be a pervading feel-good factor amongst the staff for their public service is undermined by negativity. Firstly the cultural connotation of ‘loser’s’ that is given to any beneficiary of the state, be it social welfare or health and secondly the constant publicity given to its failures. The entire scenario contributes to the objective interests of capital.

The NHS in the UK had its roots in the aftermath of two World Wars. Millions of men were arriving back from the front, organised and proficient in the use of arms. Socialist ideas and dreams were rampant throughout Europe as was the perception that a socialist society was emerging in the USSR. It was a dangerous time for capital. These men and their families had to be placated by the state, and persuaded away from any thoughts of socialism. That consideration ensured a transfer of health care, education and housing to the people on a massive scale. However, with the fall of the Soviet Union and the subsequent collapse of socialist ideals, trade unions and the confidence of the working people, any threat to economy or political power from the bottom faded. Confidence returned to the ideologies of free market and capital, wealth began to transfer upwards, privatisation grew, wages and job security fell. All things social were denigrated by the establishment media, society became something that was seen as whose sole role was to serve the economy. This poverty of philosophy pervaded the public health service.

The public health service is funded by taxation and such a collective resource of the people is seen as fair game for the vultures of profit. The soaring costs of technology and specialist medicines are part of the problem. Susan Mitchell of the Sunday Business Post 27.12.15, in an interview with HSE executives revealed that the drug Soliris was being supplied at about €400,000 per patient per year, and that the HSE had spent €483 million on high tech drugs last year even though that represented only 1% of the items dispensed. Another huge drain on resources highlighted was the amount spent supporting private nursing homes. The legal profession maintains a corrosive presence around the fringes of the health service waiting for the inevitable mistake, it sucks money which should be spent on care into crippling legal fees, €69 million in 2014. Litigation introduces a culture of fear which in turn clogs the service with a huge amount of unnecessary work as doctors, forced to practice medicine defensibly, refer patients on to multiple tests and specialists. There can be no doubt that any plan to introduce a no-fault compensation scheme would be vigorously opposed by the legal profession.

An immediate and simple step to ensure parity of interest between those who run and are cared for within the health system would be to prohibit all responsible for public health care, the Minister for Health, all within the Department of Health, hospital management, consultants and staff, from holding private health insurance.

To make real progress health care needs the following;
• Expansion and large scale investment.
• A no fault compensation scheme.
• Long-term planning
• The integration of all existing private care systems under one national body to establish a single-tier egalitarian system.
• A seamless integration between agencies promoting prevention and care.
• A dispersed home care and hospice system.
• The resources to meet the health care needs of all our people and full transparency on how they are being dispersed.
• But more than anything else it needs the national philosophical commitment to enhance the most important requirement in any health service, morale.

January 8th, 2016|0 Comments