Tag Archives: EU

Italy Slouches Towards New Elections, by Tom Luongo

Italian politics are generally incomprehensible, even to Italians, but one trend is clear: a growing number of Italians no longer want to be under the EU’s thumb. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

Italy is always good political theater. I remember years ago when I cared more about poetry than politics, a friend of mine saying, “Tom, seriously, you’re missing out, Italian parliament is better than cable.” And in the early days of reality TV he was probably right.

That grand tradition of Italian government being closer to performance art rather than public policy continues today. I’m being somewhat facetious, certainly, since this game is deadly serious. Italy is a lynch pin to the grand dreams of The Davos Crowd for global social and economic dominance, so what happens there politically is vitally important to the world.

And given that the annual convocation of those would-be world rulers is happening right now in Davos, it is only fitting that changes are occurring in Italy’s ever fluid political landscape.

Since the collapse of the populist government in August when Lega’s Matteo Salvini tried to force a new election that he would win in a walk, the situation in Rome has been tense, to say the least.

Continue reading

Did Macron and Johnson Negotiate a Hard Brexit in October? by Tom Luongo

A hard Brexit might be in both Macron’s and Johnson’s interests. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

Something odd is happening with Brexit. It looks like Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pushing for a hard Brexit much to my surprise.

Johnson’s strong showing in the recent election which secured the Tories its biggest majority since the days of Margaret Thatcher should have set the stage for the great Brexit bait and switch.

This has been my argument for months since Johnson became the front-runner to replace Theresa May. All Johnson had to do was manipulate events to get a majority which marginalizes the hard Brexiteers of the European Research Group (ERG).

Then he could undermine Brexit by giving back all the concessions during his subsequent negotiations with the EU over a trade deal.

This analysis should have been the correct one given the staunch opposition by the political elite in the U.K. to Brexit.

But something has changed.

Continue reading

The End of the United Kingdom Is Nothing to Fear, by Mark Nestmann

The UK leaving the EU, and Scotland and Northern Ireland leaving the UK exemplify the global devolution and dissolution trend. From Mark Nestmann at nestmann.com:

“The empire on which the sun never sets.”

That phrase was first attributed to a priest named Fray Francisco de Ugalde, uttered to King Charles I of Spain during the 16th century. It referred to the then-global extent of the Spanish Empire, which extended from the Philippines to most of what is now Mexico, Latin America, and South America.

In the 1560s, it might be the dead of night in Madrid, Spain’s capital. But in Manila or Mexico City, it would be broad daylight.

However, by the 18th century, the Spanish Empire was in serious decline. A new global contender for empire, Great Britain, had burst on the scene. Australia, Canada, Malaya, New Zealand, Singapore, the colonies comprising the original 13 American states, along with large chunks of India and Africa, all were once part of the British Empire. By the end of World War I, more than 450 million people lived under some measure of British control, amounting to about one-fifth of the world’s population.

At its largest extent, the British Empire looked like this:

Continue reading

US Concedes Defeat On Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Even As Sanctions Passed, by Tyler Durden

The Russians and Europeans are refusing to dance to the US government’s tune. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

A new Bloomberg headline reads “U.S. Concedes Defeat on Gas Pipeline It Sees as Russian Threat” just following new sanctions included in the House and Senate passed 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week.

But two administration officials tell Bloomberg it’s too little too late, despite Trump’s heightened rhetoric of calling Germany “a captive to Russia” and charging Berlin with essentially giving “billions” of dollars to Russia:

Senior U.S. administration officials, who asked not to be identified discussing the administration’s take on the project, said sanctions that passed Congress on Tuesday as part of a defense bill are too late to have any effect. The U.S. instead will try to impose costs on other Russian energy projects, one of the officials added.

Image via nord-stream2.com/Unian

Continue reading→

The Post-War ‘Consensus’ is Over – ‘Either We Reinvent Bretton Woods, or It Risks Losing Relevance’, by Alastair Crooke

The US orchestrated global order is being questioned on many fronts. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

Kevin Baron, editor of Defense One (a leading US defence publication, funded by the defence industry) explains his anxieties about NATO’s future:

“NATO’s external threats, and internal leaders’ divisions are not what worries me the most … I expected panelists I spoke with over the past month to raise familiar issues … but I was surprised by their serious concern about the very fabric of the alliance: ‘This time it’s different’, many insist: “The philosophy on which this whole institution is built is profoundly challenged,” opined journalist Bobby Ghosh of Bloomberg Opinion (“in our pre-summit conversation at IISS”). [Emphasis added].

“His point was – that if leaders such as Trump and Erdogan continue to cosy-up to Russia – then what’s the purpose of this Cold War-era alliance? That’s a fair point. But I believe NATO’s biggest threat [comes from] its own inward-turning electorates. To global security leaders, from think tanks to the secure ‘tank’ inside the Pentagon, NATO is an essential organization and tool for the West’s ‘way of life’. It’s not even a question … Those leaders believe: How could anyone want to harm that?”.

Continue reading

Three Lessons From The UK Elections, by Daniel Lacalle

As in the US, the silent majority in the UK don’t much like extreme leftist economics. That could be because they don’t work, could it? From Daniel Lacalle at dlacalle.com:

The results of the UK elections have shown something that I have commented on several occasions: The widely spread narrative that British citizens had regretted having voted for Brexit was simply incorrect.

We already had the evidence in the European elections, where the Brexit Party won with 31.6% of the votes, but the general elections have been even clearer. The Conservative Party won by an absolute majority (more than 360 seats and 43.6% of the votes).

The failure of Labour’s radicalism led by Jeremy Corbyn has been spectacular, and his interventionist messages, reminiscent of the terrible Harold Wilson period, added to his vague stance on Brexit and how to finance his promises of “everything free at any cost” have led the party to its worst results since 1935 and losing key seats in constituencies that always voted Labour since 1945.

Continue reading

Who’s Afraid of Johnson’s Big Brexit Win? by Tom Luongo

The next big question is what kind of Brexit deal Boris Johnson cuts with the EU. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

Boris Johnson finally cut the Gordian knot of British politics. With the massive victory in Thursday’s election Johnson ensured his Withdrawal Treaty will make it through the House of Commons and deliver some version of Brexit in the future.

The win was so big it was an embarrassment to those who obstructed Brexit for the past three years. Of particular delight was watching Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats, lose her seat after betting the party’s future on revoking Article 50.

This one fact is more emblematic of the Westminster bubble politicos in the U.K. live in more than any other. Swinson seriously underestimated two things.

First there was the British people’s resolve to have their voice heard through the ballot box.

Second was the political acumen of Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party. Farage stood down his candidates in seats the Tories won in 2017 to ensure Swinson and her traitorous manifesto was knee-capped.

She went from someone angling to become Prime Minister to yesterday’s news in six weeks. Quite an accomplishment, actually.

Continue reading