Montag, 19. April 2010

The Americanization of British politics

by Michael C. Moynihan


During his tenure as prime minister, it was considered a deep and very clever insult to accuse Tony Blair not just of being ‘Bush’s poodle’ but of acting presidential. It wasn’t always clear that this accusation was backed by a working knowledge of how the American president governed, or a decent argument as to why this was so vastly inferior to the British model. The point was rather obvious: American politics were something to avoid, seeing as Americans all carry handguns and are denied hospital treatment when shot (which is inevitable, considering the number of armed lunatics stalking the streets). … this heavy-breathing about America’s baleful influence on British politics came to mind when watching last night’s ‘presidential debate,’ the first of its kind, that pitted Prime Minister Gordon Brown (Labour), David Cameron (Conservative), and Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrat) against each other and an audience of pre-selected questioners...

Presidential politics: The horse that’s bolted

Adam Smith Institute
by Tom Clougherty


British politics has become presidential. Thursday’s leaders debate just underlined that. The problem, of course, is that we don’t have a constitution that can contain presidential power. In fact, we have one that takes presidential power and, provided the ruling party’s majority is large enough, turns it into an elected dictatorship. Put simply, our legislature no longer holds the executive to account in any meaningful way. Party whips enforce discipline, and anyone who wants to climb the greasy poll knows they have to toe the party line — if they don’t they’ll lose out on the luxuries that come with being a minister...

The battle of Britain

by Justin Raimondo


The British election campaign has reached its dramatic climax, with the third debate between the ‘major’ party representatives, but the furor created by Gordon Brown’s confrontation with that ‘bigoted woman’ who dared ask a question about immigration may have pulled the rug out from under the Labor party before the clash of the partisans was aired. In British politics, as in America, immigration is an issue that separates the elites from the hoi polloi: the former don’t want to talk about it, except to give reasons why it ought to be increased, and the latter deeply resent it, as the economy tanks and immigrants line up for welfare benefits. In hard times, when ordinary people are being squeezed, immigrants as scapegoats are a popular target, but Brown’s run-in with Gillian Duffy, the ‘bigoted’ grandmother, underscored the arrogance not only of the British Prime Minister but of the elites he speaks for, who feel nothing but disdain for ordinary people as they struggle to survive in an era of diminished expectations. How dare Grandma Duffy ask such a politically incorrect question! Doesn’t she know the rules?

Britons see “dangers ahead” in US relationship

USA Today


For Americans, ‘the special relationship’ sounds like the title of a guidebook on marriage. Many Britons instantly recognize the phrase as Winston Churchill’s description of the tight bond between Great Britain and the United States. That alliance is on the rocks, experts say, and the results of Thursday’s election may weaken it further.

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Nick Clegg Should Stick To His Guns

Under bombardment from the rightwing media, Clegg must not tack back to the middle ground

By John Kampfner

The evidence so far is that Clegg will not tone down some of his more "controversial" policies. I put the word in inverted commas because many of the points he is making are blindingly obvious to sensible voters. In a speech to London-based foreign correspondents this week, Clegg spoke candidly of the need to end the self-delusion of the "special relationship" with the United States.

U.K. Election Campaign Enlivened by Come-From-Behind Politician Who Wants A 'Rebalanced' Transatlantic Relationship

The customarily third-place "Lib Dems" have jumped 10 points in a week, putting Clegg's party either in the lead or close behind the Conservatives and pushing Labor into third place in terms of votes overall.

Lib Dem foreign policies - Clegg's achilles heel?

"We first need to acknowledge the fact that we still too readily put ourselves in a position of unthinking subservience to American interests", Clegg has said.

Nick Clegg interview - on ForeignPolicy

Nick Clegg speaks to about Foreign Policy.

Nick Clegg's Speech to the Liberal Democrats 2009 Conference

Nick Clegg MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats making his speech to the Liberal Democrats 2009 Conference in Bournemouth.


by Justin Raimondo


Nick Clegg’s sudden forward sprint in the British elections has the political establishment in Britain in an uproar — and the Americans are suddenly noticing that they might have a slight problem on their hands. As a symptom of the vast discontent of the English-speaking peoples, his surge in the polls — after a scintillating performance in the first debate — confirms a trend that began in the last US presidential election, and has apparently leaped the Atlantic to implant itself in British soil. In Britain it is the year of the insurgent, as it was in America in 2008 — and yet that is where the similarities end, for the most part. With Barack Obama, there was the appearance of change, but the reality soon proved to be quite different...

The Age of Ennui

By David Michael Green

Voters in the UK have given us a paradigmatic sampling of our political times. They don't know where to turn. They vaguely remember that letting the right have the keys to government is a prescription for disaster, but the so-called left has not only lost its nerve and purpose, it's lost its leftiness too.

From Information Clearing House

State-Sponsored Assassinations Are Back in Open Style

'Mysteries of Policy': Officially Sanctioned Murder


Death squads in Afghanistan

by Francis Shor


It should no longer be a matter of dispute that US Special Forces in Afghanistan are responsible for an increasing number of murders, whether part of targeted extra-judicial killings or the result of bad intelligence. From the attack on a bridal shower in Gardez on February 12, 2010 that killed numerous civilians, including two pregnant women, to the growing list of executions of insurgents in the Kandahar area, Special Forces have become the US military version of death squads...

The 9/14 presidency

by Eli Lake

Unlike other wars in American history, a global war on a terrorist network has no geographic boundaries and no clear end point. FDR interned Japanese Americans until the end of World War II, an extraordinary assault on civil liberties. But at least there was no doubt what the end of that conflict would look like. ‘The danger of a war that takes place everywhere and lasts forever is that it gives the president almost limitless authority to detain or even kill U.S. citizens and civilians anywhere in the world,’ says Ben Wizner, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. On February 3, Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence, confirmed that power in congressional testimony, telling lawmakers that the administration had the right to kill American citizens who joined Al Qaeda without court involvement or consultation with Congress. The only legal authority required, Blair said, was ’special permission,’ which amounts to presidential approval on a case-by-case basis... (for publication 06/10)

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


ACLU Letter Urges President Obama to Reject Targeted Killings Outside Conflict Zones


A US-Sponsored Terror Network: Death Squads in Afghanistan

By Francis Shor

From the attack on a bridal shower in Gardez on February 12, 2010 that killed numerous civilians, including two pregnant women, to the growing list of executions of insurgents in the Kandahar area, Special Forces have become the US military version of death squads.


The Return of the Death Squads


Obama jokes about Predator Drones which kill innocent people

From APFN daily update

It's Not a Recovery, It's a Cover-Up

FDP-Chef Westerwelle hat eine neue Gruppe entdeckt, gegen die man Stimmung machen könnte

Hauptsache Zwang als "Gegenleistung" für Hartz-IV

FDP fordert weniger Bildung in Deutschland

Es gibt Dinge, die müssen einfach mal gesagt werden.

Familienministerin Schröder will Arbeitslose zu Kinderbetreuern umschulen


19. April 2010

Fördern statt Grundrechte aushebeln

Zum Vorhaben der Bundesregierung den Arbeitszwang für Jugendliche Hartz-BezieherInnen konsequenter durchzusetzen, erklärt Katja Kipping, stellvertretende Vorsitzende der LINKEN:

Verpflichtende Arbeits- und Fortbildungsangebote unter Sanktionsandrohung widersprechen dem Menschenrecht auf eine frei gewählte Erwerbsarbeit und dem Verbot von Zwangsarbeit, der freien Berufswahl, wie sie im Grundgesetz steht und dem Grundrecht auf Existenz- und Teilhabesicherung. Gegen eine Förderung für Ausbildung und Erwerbsarbeit junger Menschen ist nichts einzuwenden, wohl aber gegen eine schwarz-gelbe Pädagogik, die Menschen- und Bürgerrechte mit den Füßen tritt. Die LINKE fordert daher die Abschaffung der Sanktionen bei Hartz IV.


Friss oder stirb als Jugendfürsorge

Coach und Kürzungen: Mehr Druck für junge Hartz-IV-Empfänger

„Die Bundesregierung will jungen Hartz-IV-Empfängern stärker helfen, aber auch den Druck erhöhen: Sechs Wochen nach dem Antrag soll Jugendlichen künftig ein Arbeits- oder Ausbildungsangebot unterbreitet werden. Lehnt der Kandidat ab, werden die Leistungen gekürzt…“ Artikel im Handelsblatt vom 18.04.2010;2563747

Hauptsache Zwang als "Gegenleistung" für Hartz-IV. FDP-Chef Westerwelle hat eine neue Gruppe entdeckt, gegen die man Stimmung machen könnte

„Außenminister Guido Westerwelle hat sich erneut in die Hartz-IV-Debatte eingeschaltet. Während der Konflikt zwischen FDP und Union, aber auch innerhalb der Union weiter um die Frage der Steuersenkung schwelt, setzt der FDP-Chef wieder einmal auf das Thema, dass Hartz-IV-Empfänger, denen er anstrengungslosen Wohlstand attestierte, eine Gegenleistung zu erbringen hätte. Nun hat der Liberale, der mit seinen Äußerungen ins Fettnäpfchen getreten ist und dem vorgeworfen wurde, die Menschen am unteren Rand gegeneinander auszuspielen, eine neue Gruppe im Visier, mit der er sich wohl mehrheitsfähig wähnt (s.a.: FDP fordert weniger Bildung in Deutschland). Junge Hartz-IV-Empfänger sollen nach dem Willen von Westerwelle binnen sechs Wochen ein verpflichtendes Arbeits- oder Fortbildungsangebot erhalten. Wenn sie das ablehnen, sollen die Bezüge gekürzt werden. Neu daran ist eigentlich nur, dass das verpflichtende Angebot innerhalb der Frist kommen soll…“ Artikel von Florian Rötzer in telepolis vom 18.04.2010

Schaler Aufguß. Neue Kampagne gegen Erwerbslose

Artikel von Rainer Balcerowiak in junge Welt vom 19.04.2010

„Leyens Job-Offensive: Daumenschrauben im Interesse der Unternehmer“

„Zu den geplanten Maßregeln für arbeitslose Jugendliche, die das Kabinett am Mittwoch berät, erklärt Michael Koschitzki, Sprecher der Initiative „Jugend für Arbeit, Bildung, Ausbildung und Übernahme – die Generation Krise schlägt zurück“: „Die Krise trifft nicht zuletzt Jugendliche. Sie kommen nach der Schule oder Uni auf einen leeren Arbeitsmarkt. Daran will die schwarz-gelbe Bundesregierung aber nichts ändern. Statt einer Job-Offensive fordert sie eine Verschärfung von HartzIV…“ Pressemitteilung vom 20. April 2010

DGB: Gewerkschaftliche Anforderungen an die Neuorganisation des Hartz IV-Systems (pdf)

Beschluss des DGB-Bundesvorstandes vom 12.04.2010, dokumentiert bei der Arbeitnehmerkammer Bremen (pdf)

Aus: LabourNet, 20. April 2010öder


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