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Ghost Dog

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 16,881

About Me

A Brit many years in Spain, Catalunya, Baleares, Canarias. Cooperative member. Geography. Ecology. Cartography. Software. Sound Recording. Music Production. Languages & Literature. History.

Journal Archives

Capitalist? Socialist? Meaningless labels.

... (S)hould we describe the Netherlands as socialist because its rail system is state-owned? Is France socialist because it has a national energy company? Is Germany socialist because it has rent controls?

In fact all these countries are social democracies – a variety of developed-world market-based economy. Britain has another variety. So does Japan. So do the Scandinavian nations. These are all mixed economies, where markets coexist with some degree of state ownership and intervention. Even America, with its state-funded scientific research programmes and New Deal-era social security system, is really a mixed economy.

The idea that Theresa May and the Conservatives are offering a set of policies that can be usefully summed up as “capitalism” and Labour are offering something entirely distinct called “socialism”, is fatuous. There are certainly differences between the two major parties in their view of the proper borders between market and state within our mixed economy (bigger differences than there have been for several decades) – but their positions plainly still lie on a recognisable continuum.

Theresa May herself says she wants a louder voice for workers in company board rooms, and stresses that markets must operate “with the right rules and regulations”. And Jeremy Corbyn, for all the attempts by the right-wing press to portray him as a bloodthirsty revolutionary, is not calling for the nationalisation of supermarkets and car manufacturers...


"The smart money is on the butterfly breaking the wheel." (Marina Hyde)


"... And yet here we are today. Much is written about some Tories’ enduring search for a new Iron Lady to fantasise about. Just after the election was called, a few old-school Tory MPs were precipitously referring to Theresa May as Mummy. They will always have to live with the shame of what we all know they did at least a couple of times before they realised May wasn’t The One..."

Europe Sheds Its Brexit Baggage and Aims for a Bold Relaunch


... Globally, with Trump challenging the trans-Atlantic order and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un testing nuclear bombs, the EU is presenting itself as a bastion of stability.

To be sure, the EU has its fair share of lingering risks. The southern flank -- Italy and Spain included -- features weak governments and banks (*), Macron must deliver on a domestic economic overhaul that Germany is demanding and Poland has provoked unprecedented concerns about democratic backsliding in the bloc and a rift with western neighbors.

But these realities aren’t spoiling a more optimistic mood in EU circles.

“Some are even talking about a renaissance of Europe,” said Janis Emmanouilidis, director of studies at the European Policy Centre in Brussels. “We need to be careful not to cheer too early and too loud.”...

(*) - Spanish bank Banco Santander is rated as the strongest bank in Europe, and probably in the world.

Caroline Lucas speaks clearly re. Irma & Climate Change (in Parliament & the Independent)


... “Gaston Browne, the leader of Antigua and Barbuda, is talking about climate change today. Will the Minister reassure the House that we will not have to wait for a hurricane to hit the UK before we have the policies we need from this Government to tackle climate breakdown? Without that, we will not see the climate leadership that his Government like to claim in theory being shown in practice.”...

... Because the truth is that the Government doesn’t want to admit that its reckless attitude toward climate change has real effects. The most powerful people in the UK right now don’t want to acknowledge that our failure to sufficiently cut climate changing emissions contributes to sea levels rising, and oceans becoming warmer. They don’t want to face up to the fact that warmer oceans and higher sea levels make storms like Irma even more devastating, and more frequent.

Gaston Browne put it perfectly on the radio this morning when he said: “The science is clear. Climate change is real – in the Caribbean we are living with the consequences of climate change. It is unfortunate that there are some who see it differently.”

I hope that Minsters heard him. Because when they cut support to solar energy, plough ahead with fracking or effectively ban onshore wind farms, they might comfort some of their backbenchers and the more right-wing sections of the press – but in doing so they condemn people across the world to suffering the worst effects of climate breakdown...
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