The G20; Protesting for Protest’s Sake

John McPhilbin makes a cameo appearance at the G20

John McPhilbin makes a cameo appearance at the G20

I’ve never really understood the motivation behind the usual mob that make their anti-globalisation protest appearance whenever there’s a G20 summit.

I mean, how do you turn back globalisation? Cancel all international trade? Prohibit all international business travel, switch off the intertubes?

The argument of the anti-globalisation mob is nonsensical. What do they want? For all of us to get around the Amish?

According to the ABC Protestors have already began what is expected to several days of marches and placard waving in the lead up to Thursday’s G20 summit in London.

Demonstrators from trade unions and environmental and anti-capitalism groups have already marched through London.

Police estimated the crowd at up to 15,000 but there was no sign of the feared violence as the placard-waving crowd marched along the six-kilometre route to Hyde Park.

An alliance of more than 150 unions, charities and environment groups joined the march to demand action to save jobs, create a low-carbon economy and impose stricter controls on the finance sector.

Organisers of the Put People First march for “jobs, justice and climate” had rejected as “smears” claims in police briefings that the march could be hijacked by anarchists bent on violence.

The general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Brendan Barber, said the demonstration had a clear message for the presidents and prime ministers heading to London.

“Never before has such a wide coalition come together with such a clear message for world leaders,” he said.

“The old ideas of unregulated free markets do not work and have brought the world’s economy to near-collapse, failed to fight poverty and have done far too little to move to a low-carbon economy.”

Later in the day, campaigners were set to target companies and buildings that fail to switch off their lights, promising to force their way into “offending” tower blocks and offices.

That action is part of the global Earth Hour initiative.

More protests are planned in London in the days leading up to the summit.

The police are most concerned about the potential for violence on Wednesday, dubbed “Financial Fools Day” by demonstrators, when an anti-war march will be held and climate change campaigners will set up a camp in the City of London financial district.

A university professor has been suspended from his job after warning that bankers would be “hanging from lampposts” during the protests, and finance workers have been advised to dress down to avoid attracting attention.

Frankly I don’t see the point. What is the motivation for a mob of hoons to club together and protest at a meeting of world leaders, where the leaders are actually trying to solve the world’s problems? What’s the alternative, anarchy?

Or is it just an opportunity to protest for protest’s sake and have a bit of a biff?

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154 Responses

  1. Lol “Financial Fools Day” Bring back the biff (wink). I think a point many will try to make is that many of these leaders have ignored the world’s problems in favour of a system that’s been geared to meet the whim’s of the world’s wealthy. And they’d be right in many ways.

    US Treasury to hedge on free markets
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25246913-2703,00.html

    TREASURY Secretary Timothy Geithner was to call overnight for changes in how the US Government oversees risk-taking in financial markets, pushing for tougher rules on how big companies manage their finances as well as tighter controls on some hedge funds and money-market mutual funds.

    The proposal will mark the end of an era in which the US Government stood back from financial markets and allowed participants to decide how much risk to take in the pursuit of profit.

    Sources told The Washington Post the plan would extend federal regulation for the first time to all trading in financial derivatives and to companies including large hedge funds and major insurers such as AIG.

    The administration also will seek to impose uniform standards on all large financial firms, including banks, an unprecedented step that would place significant limits on the scope and risk of their activities, the paper said.

    Most of these initiatives would require legislation.

    The move represents an early salvo in what is likely to be a long debate about how to overhaul the rules governing markets, an effort officials say is designed to help restore confidence in the US financial system. It comes just days before Mr Geithner and US President Barack Obama travel to London for meetings with other global leaders to discuss the crisis.

  2. Fear that the mob will get out of hand is the only thing that influences the ruling classes to make concessions to the masses. You think trade unions have rights because employers sagely agreed it would be only fair? Basic social welfare was introduced for similar reasons – the elites were scared that the mob was gettng out of hand. A compliant citizenry is the first requirement for exercising political power and accumulating wealth.

    Mass protest is a signal to the ruling classes that the masses are no longer content with the system and it’s time to throw a few bones their way. Given our entirely dysfunctional democracy, it’s about the most effective means for people to have some limited influence over how our society is organised.

  3. Being one of the “usual suspects” I wish that I was in London. Not to be a participant in violence, which is wrong, but to voice my concern at the effects of the greed of those responsible for the GFC. There is no place in violence at any protest.

  4. Mass protest is a signal to the ruling classes that the masses are no longer content with the system and it’s time to throw a few bones their way. Given our entirely dysfunctional democracy, it’s about the most effective means for people to have some limited influence over how our society is organised.

    Agreed Ken, and the Chinese authorities are also concerned about the potential for large scale social unrest which could threaten their economic ambitions.

    Super bear warns on US, China risks
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,24919910-643,00.html

    THE US economy is likely to enter into a depression and the “implosion” of the Chinese economy will cause disastrous consequences for the whole world, Societe Generale strategist Albert Edwards said.

    Advising investors to “bail out” of their stock investments now, Mr Edwards, whose super-bearish stance on the global economy proved correct last year, predicted another 40 per cent decline in the S&P 500 index caused by dismal profit reports and poor economic data during the first half of this year.

    “In 2009 it is not the mounting risk of depression in developed economies that will come as a major surprise,” Mr Edwards wrote in a note to clients, “it is economic implosion in China and the global and geopolitical risk thereof.”

    Over a year ago, Mr Edwards had predicted the US would enter into a deep recession because of the excessive amount of debt it had accumulated.

    In forecasting a depression in the US, Mr Edwards means that he believes the US will see a peak-to-trough decline in its gross domestic product of more than 10 per cent.

    In China, Mr Edwards expects the worst domestic upheaval since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 may cause the Chinese authorities to undertake a “mega-devaluation” of the Chinese currency, the yuan, in an effort to stay in power, as “the very survival of the regime depends on growth”.

    A devaluation of the yuan would cause the rest of the world’s economies to competitively devalue their own currencies in response, Mr Edwards said, sparking a “1930’s-style trade war” that “could see a rerun of the Great Depression”.

  5. I just saw your caption on the photo – most excellent – has me pissing myself laughing!

  6. lol…I just saw it too. reb’s on a roll.

    Ken makes some valid points.

    Sign me up for a

    ‘We won’t pay for their crisis” sign.

    And one that reads:

    EAT THE RICH

    and one for later in the day:

    “Point me in the direction of the pub that sells Tennant’s Super Lager”

    When in London…
    N’

  7. How did you know I was corresponding from London Reb?

  8. Being one of the “usual suspects” I wish that I was in London. Not to be a participant in violence, which is wrong, but to voice my concern at the effects of the greed of those responsible for the GFC. There is no place in violence at any protest.

    Joni,

    Isn’t this the next best thing to being in London? Surely this is an appropriate forum to sing your protest songs? I, for one, would love to hear your views on who or what caused the GFC and what should be done about it – and your voice won’t be lost in the crowd.

  9. What caused the GFC?

    Greed.

  10. Now this is encouraging news, it also gives weight to the argument to China understanding the gross imbalances in the global system.

    China insists on financial system overhaul
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/china-insists-on-financial-system-overhaul-20090329-9f9x.html
    March 29, 2009 – 12:14PM

    Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan on Friday stressed the importance of reforming the IMF to give more weight to developing countries, and said this issue must be taken up at the G20 meeting.

    Wang also said in an article in The Times that China would contribute more resources to the IMF as part of a wider effort to boost the fund’s lending power.

    I knew that analysts would start coming around to my way of thinking sooner or later (wink)

    Global balance has to be adjusted to prevent further crisis
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,25225214-643,00.html

    THERE are concerns policymakers could be setting the stage for another global crisis if they do not address the imbalance between the US economy and the rest of the world.

    Morgan Stanley Asia chairman Stephen Roach believes efforts to restore the US to its pre-credit crunch global powerhouse status could be dangerous.

    “What I’m most worried about is that the policymakers around the world want to stop the adjustments in the sense of keeping the global economy frozen in its pre-bubble state, with the US consumer driving most of the demand side of the economy and the Chinese producer increasingly driving the supply side,” he said in an interview on ABC TV yesterday.

    “If we don’t rebalance the world, then you know in a few years we will be talking about another crisis.”

    China, which only two years ago was one of the world’s fastest growing economies, has contracted sharply as export demand dries up.

    Without a strong consumer base of its own , Mr Roach believes there are significant downside risks associated with the Chinese economy that will linger for some time.

    “They have the smallest consumption share of any major economy in the world … about half the equally excessive consumption share in the US and the Chinese need to be much more aggressive and active in providing support for private consumption,” he said.

    However, this could also have implications for the Australian economy, which is very reliant on China as a trading partner.

    Mr Roach believes Australia — a resources-driven economy — may have put all its eggs in one basket concerning the commodities boom.

    The slump in global demand has led to a collapse in commodity prices, which has dampened the growth prospects for commodity-exporting economies such as Australia.

    “The global commodity boom has also gone bust and this has caught Australia without much in the way of a diversification or a backup plan,” Mr Roach said.

    “I think Australia’s still clinging to the idea that the commodity bubble comes back and so the adjustments in the Australian economy have been minimal to date — they could be larger over the next year or two.”

  11. Pork pies with mushy peas are great over here.

  12. “Pork pies with mushy peas are great over here.”

    But ya gotta go up North to get the best Yorkshire puds…tho in London you can get great Bombay Mangoes.
    N’

  13. Yorkshire Puds! My God, My Granny made the best in the whole of the UK N’.

    No bright spots at the moment though. The level of wealth destruction has been absolutely savage.

    UK slump worse than expected
    http://business.smh.com.au/business/world-business/uk-slump-worse-than-expected-20090328-9eh9.html

    The UK economy’s contraction in the fourth quarter was deeper than previously estimated as consumer spending and construction slumped the most since 1980.

    Gross domestic product fell 1.6% from the third quarter, exceeding the prior measurement of 1.5%, which was also the median forecast of 27 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Construction dropped 4.9% and consumer spending declined 1%.

    Bank of England Chief Economist Spencer Dale said today that the British economy’s short-term prospects are ”bleak.” Spending in shops and on homes has plunged after banks rationed loans and the financial crisis wiped 1.9 trillion pounds ($3.9 trillion) off consumers’ wealth. The pound fell against the US dollar after the report.

    ”The headline figure is very disappointing,” said Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec Securities in London. ”We see the economy shrinking until the middle of the year. It’s very difficult to see it gaining any momentum of recovery until the third quarter at the earliest.”

  14. Personnally I can understand the anger people feel at the G20.

    Up until this year, haven’t the G20 meetings been more about the rich countries patting each other on hte back and ‘debating’ what they could do to help those poor little poor countries.

    It is amazing that the sub prime was not addressed at these meetings. What were they talking about?

  15. TomR

    I agree 100%

  16. Coming back to one of my main points if I may,

    How exactly do you stop globalisation?

    What do all these anti-globalisation protesters actually want to see instead?

    Do they have an alternative vision?

    To me it seems that all they’re interested in, is civil unrest, which while in some ‘mob’ like protest behaviour might bring about some cathartic satisfaction, it offers nothing as an alternative viable solution.

    Even if one could ‘revert globalisation’ which in itself is a nonsensical proposition.

  17. …I also think that many people fail to see that the glaring imbalances that have developed will take some sorting out and until that starts happening we’ll see more wealth destruction.

    In fact, Buffett got it right when he said last year:

    If a rich guy wants to take out a young gal, you’re going to sell him Viagra and be able to make money doing so. Basically, the market system will make that research worthwhile. But it won’t make research worthwhile for some disease that is indigenous to the poorest parts of the world.

    Bill Gates has also been pushing for a complete re-think when he said:

    I like to call this new system – creative capitalism – an approach where governments, businesses, and nonprofits work together to stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or gain recognition, doing work that eases the world’s inequities.

    Both men are putting their money where there mouths are by donating large chunks of their personal fortunes to try and make things right. I salute them both. Now we need world leaders to start doing the same.

  18. Reb

    We have to embrace globalisation and make it work. That means a united approach.

  19. Reb

    I guess that actually makes me an optimist (wink)

  20. …in fact, my concern about the housing crisis in this country is borne of the fact that unless we find a sustainable balance to ensure affordable housing for all we’re going to continue experiencing ongoing financial and economic fragility.

  21. Reb you are being wilfully obtuse. They (we) do not have ‘an alternative vision’ because they (we) are not controlling a global capitalist system that vastly enriches a small minority by manipulating the majority.

    They (we) are resigned to these power and wealth crazed pricks getting on with their obsessions as long as they don’t cause them (us) undue hardship in the process. I mean if someone wants to cream his jeans about making a bazillion by day trading good luck to him as long as he leaves me in peace. I do however get very pissed off if he expects me to indemnify his losses.

    When the elite step over the line, as they have in recent years, the masses tend to show their displeasure in a practical fashion, as a hint that our lords and masters need to engage in some constructive rethinking about how they rule us.

  22. Ken

    They (we) are resigned to these power and wealth crazed pricks getting on with their obsessions as long as they don’t cause them (us) undue hardship in the process. I mean if someone wants to cream his jeans about making a bazillion by day trading good luck to him as long as he leaves me in peace. I do however get very pissed off if he expects me to indemnify his losses.

    And hence the level of anger that’s surfacing. It’s completely understandable, in fact, it testament to the willingness of the masses to pull together and tell it like it is. In some ways, there’s inspiration in that. Violence doesn’t solve anything, but turning out in force has its merits.

  23. Personally, I think people such as Gates, Buffett and Soros are far more advanced in their thinking and concerns than any of the world leaders. Simply because the know the system so well.

    Peripheral care should be the central concern
    http://www.georgesoros.com/peripheral-care-032209
    By George Soros
    Published: March 22 2009 18:21

    The forthcoming Group of 20 meeting is a make-or-break event. Unless it comes up with practical measures to support the less developed countries, which are even more vulnerable than the developed ones, markets are going to suffer another sinking spell just as they did last month when Tim Geithner, Treasury secretary, failed to produce practical measures to recapitalise the US banking system.

    This crisis is different from all the others since the end of the second world war. Previously, the authorities got their act together and prevented the financial system from collapsing. This time, after the failure of Lehman Brothers last September, the system broke down and was put on artificial life support. Among other measures, both Europe and the US in effect guaranteed that no other important financial institution would be allowed to fail.

    This necessary step had unintended adverse consequences: many other countries, from eastern Europe to Latin America, Africa and south-east Asia, could not offer similar guarantees. As a result, capital fled from the periphery to the centre. The flight was abetted by national financial authorities at the centre who encouraged banks to repatriate their capital. In the periphery countries, currencies fell, interest rates rose and credit default swap rates soared. When history is written, it will be recorded that – in contrast to the Great Depression – protectionism first prevailed in finance rather than trade.

    Institutions such as the International Monetary Fund face a novel task: to protect the periphery countries from a storm created in the developed world. Global institutions are used to dealing with governments; now they must deal with the collapse of the private sector. If they fail to do so, the periphery economies will suffer even more than those at the centre, because they are poorer and more dependent on commodities than the developed world. They also face $1,440bn (€1,060bn, £994bn) of bank loans coming due in 2009. These loans cannot be rolled over without international aid.

    Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, recognised the problem and designated the G20 meeting to address it. Yet profound attitudinal differences have surfaced, particularly between the US and Germany. The US has recognised that the collapse of credit in the private sector can be reversed only by using the credit of the state to the full. Germany, traumatised by the memory of hyperinflation in the 1920s, is reluctant to sow the seeds of future inflation by incurring too much debt. Both positions are firmly held. The controversy threatens to disrupt the meeting.

    Yet it should be possible to find common ground. Instead of setting a universal target of 2 per cent of gross domestic product for stimulus packages, it is enough to agree that the periphery countries need aid to protect their financial systems. This is in the common interest. If the periphery economies are allowed to collapse, the developed countries will also be hurt.

    As things stand, the G20 meeting will produce some concrete results: the resources of the IMF are likely to be doubled, mainly by using the mechanism of the “new arrangements to borrow”, which can be activated without resolving the vexed question of reapportioning voting rights.

    This will be sufficient to enable the IMF to help specific countries at risk but it will not provide a systemic solution for the less developed countries. Such a solution is readily available in the form of special drawing rights. SDRs are complex but they boil down to the international creation of money. Countries that can create their own money do not need them but periphery countries do. The rich countries should therefore lend their allocations to the nations in need.

    Recipient countries would pay the IMF interest at a very low rate, equivalent to the composite average treasury bill rate of all convertible currencies. They would have free use of their own allocations but would be supervised in how the borrowed allocations were used to ensure they were well spent.

    In addition to the one-time increase in the IMF’s resources, there ought to be a big annual issue of SDRs, of say $250bn, as long as the recession lasts. It is too late to use the April 2 G20 meeting to agree this, but if it were raised by President Barack Obama and endorsed by others, this would be sufficient to give heart to the markets and turn the meeting into a resounding success.

  24. Joseph Stigltiz in his 2003 book “Globalisation and its discontents” says that the opposition to globalisation is against the “particular set of doctrines, the Washington Consensus… that the notion that there is a single set of policies that is right”.

    And so – protesting against globalisation is actually saying that it is the belief by the masters of the universe that their ideology is the only one that is right that is the problem. And that the perceived benefits to the developing countries are just not true. A lot of the time the cost benefits of moving production to the developing world come with compromises in health and safety issues for the local population.

    And funnily enough, I am just editing one of the boyf’s tutorial papers which covers exactly these issues.

  25. I’m with Ken L on this.

    Lets face it, those making all the dosh have screwed the pooch. They raped the system so hard it busted. And now they expect the rest of us mugs to pay for it.

    Here’s a good capitalist response to that (being one we’ve all seen in crockery/glassware shops): “You break it, you pay for it.”

    1% of the population own 80% of the world’s wealth. And they’re the same lot of greedy bastards who broke the system in an effort to get even richer. Consistent with good free-market principles, I reckon they oughta be made to pay-up for the repair job. Its as simple as that.

    In essence, it seems to me that that’s what the demonstrators are all about.

  26. Joni

    And so – protesting against globalisation is actually saying that it is the belief by the masters of the universe that their ideology is the only one that is right that is the problem. And that the perceived benefits to the developing countries are just not true. A lot of the time the cost benefits of moving production to the developing world come with compromises in health and safety issues for the local population.

    It shows just how complex and sensitive the global network has become. No one country, like the US, can dictate policy and ever hope to get it right. Now more than ever there has to be a meeting of the minds to assess needs on a much larger scale than anytime in history.

    You could say that a ‘new era’ has to begin in order to start rectifying the damage that’s been exposed by this crisis. It was never a problem when easy credit was flowing and people thought they were getting wealthier. Yes, us included. Remember the ‘ we’ve never had it better’ speech.

  27. Cheers to Ken L and Evan on this one.

    And from Ken: When the elite step over the line, as they have in recent years, the masses tend to show their displeasure in a practical fashion, as a hint that our lords and masters need to engage in some constructive rethinking about how they rule us.~~~

    Which is why WorkChoices came at such a bad time – Which is why when Howard said ‘you’ve never had it so good’ that no one believed him – Which is why the masses (general publics) knew that things were getting out of control – Which is why Howard lost.

  28. Yes, a global-wide internet w/ free speech and the generally unhindered exchange of ideas as the prime objective pretty well works for me…but not a so called “free trade” movement that primarily benefits THE (chosen) BRAND and its FEW shareholders that puts profiteering over the fair treatment of workers, hinders their right to join or form a Union, gives little thought to environmental impact and uses unfair political & celebrity advantage to spruik its wares…whilst manipulating media in an integrated nightmare.

    Particularly, I dislike the “coming together” over WAR. A privileged few getting together to design, implement & JUSTIFY plans for protracted wars & conflicts that displace the innocent and turn them into a desperate pool of labour whilst other corporations rebuild their bombed out homes, businesses and facilities at taxpayer’s expense.

    Dr Who – The War Machines

    Bush the Teacher
    By RALPH NADER

    George W. Bush is hitting the lecture circuit. Represented by the Washington Speakers Bureau, Mr. Bush for a fee of at least $150,000 flew up to Calgary, Canada and spoke to a conservative business audience amidst street protests.

    He also has signed a book contract with Crown Publishers tentatively titled “Decision Points” about a dozen personal and presidential decisions ranging from giving up booze to choosing Dick Cheney to invading Iraq.

    Now that he is becoming a lecturer and an author, why not also be a teacher? The 43rd president has much to teach Americans about how weak their democracy is?rights, institutions, processes and the sovereignty of the people….

    He taught us that the courts, with few exceptions, cannot be counted on to defend the constitution from the marauding President?avoiding doing so by excuses that these seizures of power are “political questions.” Sure, Bush going to war without a declaration of war is too political? Tell that to Jefferson, Madison and other founding fathers who made a big matter out of taking away the war-making authority from any future would-be monarch and decisively repositing it with the Congress.

    He taught us how easily you could fool, manipulate, delay or intimidate the mainstream media into becoming a cheerleader for war and a collaborator in covering up what a few intrepid reporters uncovered.

    He showed that truth is indeed the first casualty of war and that lies have no consequences for him other than a 70% disapproval rating.

    He did tell the truth, however, when he announced to a big business audience in Texas early in his first term that they were “his base.” Acting like a corporation masquerading as a human in the White House, Mr. Bush pursued policies unleashing the greed and control of Wall Street that tanked the economy and destroyed trillions of dollars of the people’s money in an orgy of reckless speculation.
    (excerpts: How to Tear the Pretenses Off of Democratic Pretensions: Bush the Teacher
    By RALPH NADER, Counterpunch)

    N’

  29. What ken and joni said. Obtuse reb.

  30. Why is it obtuse..?

    All I’m asking is for the anti-globalisation mob to come up with some viable alternatives…

    *rolling tumbleweeds*

  31. No, you asked why people are protesting. Stop trying to change the issue. We have a capitalist system and it’s up to the people who have power and privilege from that system to make it run properly. Pretending that there’s some kind of rational decision-making forum where alternative systems can be considered is just silly.

    And yes, if our self-appointed rulers don’t sort themselves out the alternative is anarchy. You’d be surprised at the number of people around the world who wouldn’t notice the slightest difference.

  32. Like this one?

    Alternatives for the Americas

  33. Here is the document which outlines the viable alternative and there is also a gender equity (2005) update.

  34. Ken
    Great comments.

    That is so true and i am one that has given up all together on politics i just have my fun with it now and then. I cant buy the rubbish they speak, nor is any side better its just we accept less and our standards have dropped unless its a personal.

    G20, just a way to spend up big and look important and have a day off at the same time.

  35. Quote from the article in tony’s link”:

    …Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, last night led the assault on the prime minister’s “global new deal” for a $2 trillion-plus fiscal stimulus to end the recession.

    “I will not let anyone tell me that we must spend more money,” she said.

    The Spanish finance minister, Pedro Solbes, also dismissed new cash being pledged at Thursday’s London summit.

    “In these conditions I and the rest of my colleagues from the eurozone believe there is no room for new fiscal stimulus plans,” he said.

    Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has insisted that “radical reform” of capitalism is more important than tax cutting…

    …The assault by European Union leaders also represents a defeat for President Barack Obama, who is desperate for other big economies to copy his $800 billion stimulus plan.

  36. Useful links kittylitter.
    N’

  37. ’tis time to grease the tumbrills, sharpen the blades and storm the walls…

    Nothing changes only the arseholes at the top…!

    …and I and my family refuse to be serfs and peasants in any society…

    …lets throw them a few coins from the carriage…that will keep them happy and us in power…

    …if they have no bread, let them eat cake…

    (for those who don’t understand the irony of Marie Antoinette’s statement – only the rich could afford to eat cake)

  38. As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.

    (Abraham Lincoln)

  39. A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.

    (Aldous Huxley)

  40. (for those who don’t understand the irony of Marie Antoinette’s statement – only the rich could afford to eat cake)

    Thanks for that TB. Presumably, you are aware that this historical ‘fact’ might be just a myth? That she didn’t say ‘cake’ but ‘la brioche’ a type of bread. Or indeed she didn’t say it at all and the statement was a century old made by Marie-Therese, the wife of Louis XIV.

    But your underlying sentiment appeals nevertheless.

  41. Agree with others posting here that silence is a form of a consent to the corporate dictatorship the neo cons are trying to force on us.

    As citizensof a democracy, we’ve all got the legal right to peacefully protest but if we don’t use it, we just might lose it.

    Meanwhile, the masters of public protests, the French people have been developing some new variations on the theme. French activist groups have recently been staging ‘commando picnics,’ where groups enter supermarkets, eat in the aisles, shout a slogan or three and leave without paying.

    There’s also a growing trend in regional France for workers who are being retrenched, without being paid their entitlements, to hold their bosses hostage until said bosses agree to pay out the worker’s legal entitlements.

    I can tell you the protest in London yesterday were well organised by Churches and Trade Unions. There was a lovely carnival atmosphere, as people made their various points, event though there were intermitent showers throughout the afternoon. The Salvation Army band played and many who walked with me had young children with them.

    It’s the protests in London on Tuesday and Wednesday, organised by anarchists and Anthropology Professors, that have the potential for some serious biffo. Some of the balmy groups behind these protests are talking about occupying the stock exchange, banks and the offices of multinational corporations. And shutting down roads leading to the G20 summit and nearby tube stations.

    Stay tuned.

  42. I’m always inspired by analysis that cuts through the political crap and gets down to the raw facts of reality. Yes, I’ve had a gut-full of politics as well.

    Meganomics Blog | March 29, 2009
    The live now, pay later trap
    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/meganomics/index.php/theaustralian/comments/the_debt_baby/
    SAT 21 MAR 2009, Page 018

    THIS nation’s greatest unintended lesson for the world’s developed economies can be found in the stimulus debate between Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull. One side favours a handout up-front to revive consumer confidence and spending; the other seeks the same end via a permanent reduction in income tax.

  43. Many thanks for the G-20 wags slideshow Tony, it’s a regular rogues gallery.

    There’s Hu Jintao (the Chinese premier) and his missus sitting in front of the Taj Mahal, looking like they’ve just made the first down-payment on the place as a nice holiday home for the kids, and an equally illuminating piccie of Indian PM Manmohan Singh and his wife praying they never move-in (like they did in Tibet).

    The looker of the bunch is definitely Carla Bruni, the French President’s squeeze. Apparently she used to date Mick Jagger or something, so I certainly hope Old Nick Sarkozy is taking precautions, if you know what I mean.

    For those fond of a fuller-figure, Svetlana Medvedeva, Dimirti’s missus, is hard to beat. Talk about
    Mother Russia. If my mom had looked like that, I’d have never left home.

    Poor Angela Merkel’s hubbie doesn’t look like a happy camper. But then, what can you expect from a German Chemist? I don’t think there’s been a happy one since IG Farben stopped making Zyklon-B. Oh well….

    There’s Kev and Therese, of course, and then there’s the happy Indonesian Presidential couple, Bambang Yudhoyono & wife. She’s apparently a General’s daughter. Who woulda thunk it? The pair of ’em look so happy, you’d swear they’d just counted the dosh in that Swiss Bank Account.

    Then there’s Veronica Lario, the wife of the Italian PM Berlusconi. She’s apparently not too happy with old Silvio, and it shows. I dunno what he did, but from the look on her face, he’s not likley to be getting any for a while longer, that’s for sure.

    To round it all-off, there’s a nice piccie of Michelle Obama, digging-up the graden.

    And she’s the only one of them who appears to be doing anything constructive.

  44. Ken L

    “No, you asked why people are protesting. Stop trying to change the issue.”

    With respect Ken, I’m not trying to change the issue.

    The question is, if anti-globalisation protesters are going to protest against globalisation, then what is their proposed alternative?

    KL posted some interesting links on fair trade.

    However you just continued with some anti-capitalism rant and then concluded that if anarchy were the alternative nobody would notice the difference.

    A notion which I’d suggest is quite proposterous.

  45. Reb your question is analogous to the geniuses who turned Iraq into a catastrophe and then sneered at the critics “Oh yeah so what would you do now if you’re so smart?” The idea that the powerless can’t protest at the actions of the powerful without coming up with some ‘alternative’ is an attempt to circumscribe the parameters of the discussion which has no logical justification, nor have you tried to make one. You just keep asserting it.

    Anti-capitalist rant? Gosh that comment must have been deleted cos I can’t see it. And if you think ‘You’d be surprised at the number of people around the world who wouldn’t notice the slightest difference’ means the same as ‘nobody would notice the difference’ then your comprehension skills need a lot of work.

    I have no patience with people who think the way to have a discussion is to misrepresent the other person’s argument so I’ll leave you to claim victory.

  46. These protests are organised by a coalition of the grumpy, without anything to add to the discussion.

    WADDA WE WAN??!!
    SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!!
    WENNAWEWANIT??
    NOW!!!

    Repeat x200

  47. These protests are organised by a coalition of the grumpy, without anything to add to the discussion.

    Very similar to your posts hey Tom.

  48. Ken L:

    “I have no patience with people who think the way to have a discussion is to misrepresent the other person’s argument so I’ll leave you to claim victory.”

    It never ceases to amaze me how some people will accuse other people of being guilty of something they are in fact guilty of themselves.

    And you accuse me of twisting my argument…?

    LOL!

    Anti-capitalist rant? Gosh that comment must have been deleted…

    *Cough* Not quite. If you care to scroll up you’ll find your reference to those “wealth crazed pricks.”

    Or did you intend that to be some form of flattery…?

  49. WADDA WE WAN??!!
    SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!!
    WENNAWEWANIT??
    NOW!!!

    Exactly. Any old excuse for the mindless rabble to get out and protest at their intense disatisfaction with global affairs.

    “Oh woe is me, we are so downtrodden and poverty stricken at the expense of rich people who happened to have the smarts and motivation to do so much better than me.”

    “Let’s blame them for the the world’s woes…”

    “I really don’t have a persecution complex, honest, I really don’t..”

    🙄

  50. Reb

    “Oh woe is me, we are so downtrodden and poverty stricken at the expense of rich people who happened to have the smarts and motivation to do so much better than me.”

    Now that’s a bit of a reach Reb Lol. I’m sure you don’t mean to overlook the obvious inequities that abound. JWH favoured that philosophy and I don’t see you happily bumbling away down that path. You’re angry.

  51. So Reb and TomM

    You think that the G20 have been doing a pretty good job up to date?

    That people should NOT be out there trying to tell them that perhaps they have it wrong?

  52. You’re angry

    No not at all John.

    It’s just that I (still) don’t understand exactly what it is that anti-globalisation protesters want to achieve.

    It’s a bit like protesting about the conduct of the captain and crew 12 months after the Titanic sank.

    We all know what caused the financial crisis. It’s happened. It’s been analysed to death.

    What on Earth does protesting about it actually achieve??

  53. John, reb is the only person you’ve angered.

  54. However you just continued with some anti-capitalism rant and then concluded that if anarchy were the alternative nobody would notice the difference.

    A notion which I’d suggest is quite proposterous.

    Have to agree with ken again reb.

    You’d be surprised at the number of people around the world who wouldn’t notice the slightest difference.

    You’re determined not to see what the problem is. My view on what ken wrote is not at all how you interpreted it. I think (ken may correct if I’m wrong) ken is saying that there is a substantial population of the world’s people who live out their lives in a system which could be construed as everyday anarchy. I’m talking about poverty stricken and developing nations, corrupt regimes etc, for instance, do you think the people living in the camps of Darfur who are being killed and tortured by their own people and govt. authorities could tell the difference between anarchy and lawful behaviour?

    French activist groups have recently been staging ‘commando picnics,’ where groups enter supermarkets, eat in the aisles, shout a slogan or three and leave without paying.

    There’s also a growing trend in regional France for workers who are being retrenched, without being paid their entitlements, to hold their bosses hostage until said bosses agree to pay out the worker’s legal entitlements.

    Now that’s my kind of protest, power to the people!

  55. Kittylitter – “Now that’s my kind of protest, power to the people!”

    I’m with you 100% on this one. Personally I find the use of courts and litigation quite tedious, it takes too long. We need more direct action by both sides of any dispute.

    I suppose you & I would differ on the conclusion, as I think the bosses should not have responded with concessions. They should have responded in kind, eg kidnapped a union hack for a while.

    We really do have a lot to learn from the French, particularly in the areas of eating, drinking and illegal/violent protest.

  56. Have to agree with ken again reb

    Well it shouldn’t really surprise me given that protesting is generally a left-wing pursuit and this is overwhelmingly a left-leaning blog.

    Never mind that most of us are employed by capitalist enterprises, or those “wealth crazed pricks” as Ken so succinctly put it.

  57. WADDA WE WAN??!!
    SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!!
    WENNAWEWANIT??
    NOW!!!

    Exactly. Any old excuse for the mindless rabble to get out and protest at their intense disatisfaction with global affairs.

    “Oh woe is me, we are so downtrodden and poverty stricken at the expense of rich people who happened to have the smarts and motivation to do so much better than me.”

    “Let’s blame them for the the world’s woes…”

    Gee reb, you are sounding so much like John Howard here!

    Well, they are to blame, if it wasn’t for the greed, power and corruption of the wealthy, everyone would be better off, not just a select few. They make and then break the rules at will and everyone is hostage to their self interest.

    Don’t know about smarts and motivation, usually it’s other people’s money, opportunity and other people’s labour. Big tick for motivation though, personal greed is a big motivator when you walk all over others.

  58. Reb the questions you asked in your post were quite clear, namely:

    ‘What is the motivation for a mob of hoons to club together and protest at a meeting of world leaders, where the leaders are actually trying to solve the world’s problems? What’s the [note – ‘the’ not ‘THEIR’] alternative, anarchy?

    Or is it just an opportunity to protest for protest’s sake and have a bit of a biff?’

    They were pretty hackneyed conservative questions and included a false and very artificial dichotomy but a few people responded in good faith with pertinent answers. Rather than engage with those responses however you chose to ask a new question – one that is quite impossible to answer in anything shorter than a book – and then pretended it was one and the same as the first questions.

    Now it’s up to you how you run your blog and if you like to ask your commenters for further and better particulars instead of having a discussion, that’s your business. The frequent misrepresentation of arguments by some commenters was a sad feature of many threads at Blogoracy. So too was the refusal to respond to pertinent points made in the course of argument, in favour of demands to answer new questions. Neil of Sydney is a champion at the technique. These factors eventually caused me to stop participating at Blogocracy and I know I am not the only one who felt like that.

    I guess it’s up to you what aspirations you have for your blog. Maybe you only want to have a place for a small group of people to share in-jokes, in which case you will very sensibly ignore this comment.

  59. Well, they are to blame, if it wasn’t for the greed, power and corruption of the wealthy, everyone would be better off, not just a select few.

    So what’s the alternative? becoming a communist State?

  60. reb, on March 30th, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Let’s take a step back…

    1) What is a ‘G20’, and how might it differ from a ‘G192’, or any other kind of G# or beyond-G concept?

    2) What do you think will be happening at the ‘G20’?

    3) What mandate precisely does the ‘G20’ have?

    4) What prior arguments have ‘anti-globalists’ presented?

    5) How do those arguments relate to a ‘GFC’ or a ‘G20’?

  61. Personally I find the use of courts and litigation quite tedious, it takes too long. We need more direct action by both sides of any dispute.

    Especially when the courts are a system set up by the wealth crazed pricks to protect the interests of the wealth crazed pricks.

    Certainly by both sides, I think the poor people might actually outnumber the wealth crazed pricks and those who aspire to their giddy heights. Unfortunately, the poor people are usually more humane and can’t quite get the ‘ends justify the means’ ruthlessness of the pricks.

  62. So, does that mean there are dimensions of power at work – overt, covert, and latent? Would those exercising ‘power’ at multiple levels of ‘consensus reality’ have an incentive to define ‘the problem’ and then set a safe ‘agenda’ within which to consider ‘solutions’; and tend to marginalise any and all ‘alternatives’ which jeopardise the prevailing ‘power construct’? How might those who are ‘marginalised’ seek to amend the ‘agenda’ and ‘assert’ their ‘residual power’ per a ‘social contract’ in having been effectively ‘disenfranchised’ from the ‘agenda-setting’ and ‘decision-making’ processes?

  63. Kittylitter – “Unfortunately, the poor people are usually more humane and can’t quite get the ‘ends justify the means’ ruthlessness of the pricks.”

    Obviously. It seems that what you call “ruthlessness” is what I regard as simply being highly focused, combined with a fair level of motivation.

  64. Ken L, please be aware that I for one gain a lot from your insightful posts, even if I might be one of those whose blogging style disappoints you.

  65. That was priceless Kittylitter.

    Let’s take a set back

    Good idea Legion

    1) What is a ‘G20, and how might it differ from a ‘G192, or any other kind of G# or beyond-G concept?

    The G20 is annual meeting of world leaders representing the interests of wealth crazed pricks.

    2) What do you think will be happening at the ‘G20?

    They’ll be a few lunches, welcome cocktail party, a partner’s program for the wives and spouses to do a bit of sightseeing and shopping, and a couple of forums where the world leaders will nod in unison at the State of world’s affairs and agree that something needs to be done to protect the interests of the wealth crazed pricks.

    3) What mandate precisely does the ‘G20 have?

    Protect the interests of the wealth crazed pricks. have a few lunches, shopping, sightseeing etc.

    4) What prior arguments have ‘anti-globalists’ presented?

    Globalisation is a “bad thing.”

    5) How do those arguments relate to a ‘GFC’ or a ‘G20?

    I’m not sure, but apparantly the protesters reckon the wealth crazed pricks are to blame.

  66. Ken – “Neil of Sydney is a champion at the technique.”

    Neil caused you to give up? That’s not something you should admit in public.

  67. Maybe you only want to have a place for a small group of people to share in-jokes

    No, I don’t want it to be like your blog.

  68. A bit of a biff – but at least we know that people are upset about the last 12 months of greed

    What we need now is for the banks to lend !!!

  69. Tom I know this is a really way out scenario, but just imagine for a moment the capitalist elite passed laws forcing wage earners to invest a good whack of their income in superannuation accounts, which said capitalist elite proceeded to trash while pocketing tens of billions for themselves. Just what kind of litigation do you believe would be appropriate?

    Oh wait, I can’t ask that can I? First I have to explain what my alternative would be if I were running superannuation schemes.

  70. It’s just that I (still) don’t understand exactly what it is that anti-globalisation protesters want to achieve.

    It’s a bit like protesting about the conduct of the captain and crew 12 months after the Titanic sank.

    We all know what caused the financial crisis. It’s happened. It’s been analysed to death.

    What on Earth does protesting about it actually achieve??

    Better than doing nothing at all. How does doing nothing send a message to government and wealthy corporations?

    It’s not about the GFC, but it is even more relevant since the meltdown. People have been protesting about globalisation long before this GFC. The reasons remain the same.

    The alternative is to control the power and influence of wealthy corporations (and individuals). These globalised corporations have too much power over the will of the people through their influence on governments and legislation.

  71. Interesting Ken, but when you say “capitalist elite” I now know you mean “union hacks and their mates” and the fêted originators of the concept of superannuation for all workers – the ACTU and Paul Keating.

    For example – http://www.cbussuper.com.au/about-cbus/our-team

    With this lot in charge of billions and billions, how could possibly they fail?

    As for – “proceeded to trash while pocketing tens of billions for themselves”

    Now that’s an outrageous exaggeration. There were only a couple of union officials involved, and the amount was only $80k. The prostitute was not even a major item of expenditure.

    But the most bothersome point you’ve made is owning up that Neil annoyed you to the point of giving up! That’s sure to get him back here more regularly. And there I was congratulating myself.

  72. These globalised corporations have too much power over the will of the people through their influence on governments and legislation.

    Agreed KL. But is this every realistically going to change..?

    I see your point that doing ‘something’ is better than doing nothing, however the G20 protests invariably end up violent, which perhaps detracts from those who have genuine concerns and sincere intentions.

    I think it’s unlikely that we’re ever going to see Capitalism replaced. Certainly not in my lifetime anyway..

  73. Maybe you only want to have a place for a small group of people to share in-jokes

    No, I don’t want it to be like your blog.

    Bit personal and insulting there reb? ken wasn’t insulting you, and this has been identified as an ongoing problem where people with differences of opinion are chased off the premises.

    I saw that as constructive criticism given in a polite and reasoned manner, your response as an author and a moderator is hostility? I do like your quick witted style but please engage our contributors of value (I think ken is value and I would be so bold as to say tom does too – if only so he can spark off him!) .

  74. Semi seriously for a moment.

    Someone once said to me (and I have no idea whether it was original) – “the way to solve your problem is to make it into someone else’s problem”

    I’d note that this is the most commonly used tactic employed by politicians and by most that have a strong political opinion.

    While I use it myself from only very rarely (insert “joke” in italics here), I think there is an onus on those that complain, or advocate change, to explain the alternative solution. Not just ask someone else to solve their problem.

    Unless there is a rationale to the alternative to the status quo, why make a change to the ill defined and unknown?

    Change without careful analysis of risk doesn’t seem responsible. That’s why the greater onus is on the explanation of those proposing the change.

  75. Kittylitter I think business people have been living in a cocoon for so long they have no idea of the amount of anger out there amongst the masses. Reb asks his questions because he genuinely has no grasp of how people feel outside the comfortable world of the moneyed classes. That’s why ‘anarchy’ is posed as such a dreadful development when in fact, as you say, something like it is already the reality for much of the global population.

    Politicians on the other hand understand the widespread rage only too well, and from Beijing to London they are worried sick. About their own interests I hasten to add, not about improvong the lot of the masses. They may not know much but they know happens when the mob gets out of hand.

    Eh it will be a good practice exercise for them before the real impact of global warming hits. Then they’ll really have some protesting to cope with. Those protesters won’t have any ‘alternatives’ either but they’ll sure as hell want somebody’s blood. Good on ’em. Actions have consequences, as my mum used to say.

  76. Tom of Melbourne, on March 30th, 2009 at 5:03 pm Said:

    Turnbullshit TomM

    Just because you have no answer does not mean that you should highlight that something is not working.

    These people have been proven to be 100% correct in their assumption that the G20 WAS NOT WORKING.

    Luckily for us, many of the ‘new breed’ of pollies are now sayting the same thing.

    These are the ones who must put up a valid system, not hte placard wavers.

    I admit, it is much better when the protestors do have an alternative, but sometimes, you just need to highlight the inadequacies of something.

  77. Actually Tom, after a while I only commented at Blogocracy for the fun of stirring up regulars like you and my old buddy Carlyle (whatever happened to him btw?) whose buttons were easy to push. It soon got pretty boring so I quit.

    Besides, needling strangers for fun is all a bit juvenile, doncha think?

  78. By the way Ken, weren’t you once the principal chief boss of the “Surrender Negotiation Wing” of the capitalist elite?

    I recall that you’ve previously owned up to being responsible for corralling all the unwilling workers into the financial crock that is now known as superannuation.

    Morally Ken, your only choice is to make a comeback and rescue them.

  79. Kittylitter I think business people have been living in a cocoon for so long they have no idea of the amount of anger out there amongst the masses.

    Maybe you’re right ken, that they are so out of touch with the world that most live in.

    But I think they’ve got a fair idea and they rely on the oppression of the masses by government to control the peasants and protect themselves (legislation, police, anti-terror powers etc). That’s why our civil liberties are being curtailed at every opportunity, so that they can keep us under control.

    The government walks a tightrope in pretending to democratically represent the the people when in reality, they bow to corporate will and spin a message which they want the people to swallow (and most are so dumbed down that they do so).

  80. …however the G20 protests invariably end up violent, which perhaps detracts from those who have genuine concerns and sincere intentions.

    Don’t you think the government, the police and business have an interest in making sure that the protests become violent? For days we’ve ‘heard’ through the media of the worries about a ‘supposed violently intending group.’

    And the cops will make sure of it, even if they have to crack a few skulls to get things going.

  81. Jeez Tom that was pretty lame even by your standards. I make a comment about a national compulsory superannuation levy and you respond by talking about a scheme developed as part of a freely-negotiated collective agreement between a group of employers and the unions representing their workers. Do you really not comprehend the distinction?

  82. Bit personal and insulting there reb?

    Yes. In retrospect it was a smart @rse remark.

    I apologies for that Ken. It was unnecessary uncalled for.

    your response as an author and a moderator is hostility?

    I think that’s a bit unfair. I didn’t respond as the moderator, and although I’m the ‘author’ of the post, I was responding as a commentator like everybody else.

  83. Reb asks his questions because he genuinely has no grasp of how people feel outside the comfortable world of the moneyed classes.

    And what do you base this assumption on Ken?

    And KL, while you accuse me of launching a personal insult against Ken, isn’t this also a case of illinformed slander??

  84. “By the way Ken, weren’t you once the principal chief boss of the “Surrender Negotiation Wing” of the capitalist elite?:.
    Better do you homework T.O.M.
    Anyone remember the numerous attempts to conquer Russia?,and the lesson never learned? you do not decimate the workers/peasants as they are the critical to your avarice.

  85. “I know what it’s like to have lived in a rented flat!”

  86. At the risk of being shot, I think the question over whether Blogocrats becomes increasingly exclusive or inclusive is important. There seems to be a certain degree of exclusion creeping into some of the threads. And no I’d rather not offer examples simply because they’re likely to be misinterpreted as personal insults, and that’s not my intention.

  87. I actually do not think that is the case John. This blog has very little moderation of comments and is more of a community blog than anything else.

    And I repeat again – no one if forced to blog on here.

  88. Not when the bots are deployed, Lang…even if they do go on the Fritz and everything goes to Hel. Now, be a good little fleshware drone and get back to work. Reb has declared the primary power of a condign use of counter-force off-limits to everyone without a uniform, particularly the peasants scoffing all the cake and asking too many questions. There will be a phalanxman round to see you later about some re-hegemication and arrears on the rental of room 101.

  89. There does appear to be a tone Joni. I get quite a laugh out of it actually, but I can completely understand if outsiders get the feeling they’ve walked into a very closed community at times. It never used to be like it has been of late. Hey, it could be just me. Just being honest Joni.

  90. John,

    I think the perception may arise from the fact that we’re mostly ‘old regulars’ around these parts. But it’s good to see new people arrive and invariably others will come and go.

    But Joni is correct in saying that;

    1. Comments are hardly ever moderated, and if they are it’s usually due to excessive length (guess who) or just an out and out personal insult directed at another participant.

    2. Anyone can blog here. There are no ‘blacklists’ that prohibit or exclude anyone.

    3. Anyone can choose not to blog here.

    Maybe it seems like a ‘closed’ community because of it’s inherent left wing bias…?

  91. I know John And that is why I say that it is more of a community than just a blog. It operates differently. reb and I work hard on the blog to keep it running and interesting. That is why we have recently been trying to steer away from being a single issue blog (GFC).

    Look at the thread on the “acknowledgement of country” that Ben put up. There was a very good discussion of the issues – some ribbing, some disagreements.

    And it got over 800 hits – one of the top posts ever.

  92. “left wing bias” – never!

  93. I think that’s a bit unfair. I didn’t respond as the moderator, and although I’m the ‘author’ of the post, I was responding as a commentator like everybody else.

    You’re right reb, I apologise too, that was an unfair accusation.

    “I know what it’s like to have lived in a rented flat!”

    hehe, good for you!

  94. Thanks guys, the embedded comments say a great deal Lol

    That is why we have recently been trying to steer away from being a single issue blog (GFC).

    Comments are hardly ever moderated, and if they are it’s usually due to excessive length (guess who) or just an out and out personal insult directed at another participant.

    It’s your blog and as such you’re both entitled to run it anyway you see fit.

  95. John

    The reason we have done that is because of the comments that we have received both public and private.

  96. “left wing bias” – never!

    *cough* scroll up.

    All praise to Ken Lovell. Master of Miserable old (has to be right) c**ts.

    “Wealth Crazed Pricks” No nothing anti-capitalist sentiment about that at all is there Ken…?

    I see you insist that I be drawn to respond to your self-professed juvenille teasing, but disregard any questioning of your own hypocrisy.

    I’m stil waiting for you to justify your assertion that:

    I have no grasp of how people feel outside the comfortable world of the moneyed classes.

    But I won’t hold my breath…

    🙄

  97. Reb

    All praise to Ken Lovell. Master of Miserable old (has to be right) c**ts.

    Seriously reb, what does that achieve?

  98. Anarchy, John, anarchy..

    Something Ken himself was endorsing as a viable alternative to what we have now…

  99. Reb asks his questions because he genuinely has no grasp of how people feel outside the comfortable world of the moneyed classes.

    And what do you base this assumption on Ken?

    And KL, while you accuse me of launching a personal insult against Ken, isn’t this also a case of illinformed slander??

    hehe, surely you jest reb.

    If not you could go back and peruse your commentary throughout the threads. The abundant evidence is there for all to see! Or have you been telling porkies about your lifestyle 🙂

  100. Can anyone explain ‘left’ and ‘right’ to me and why taking a firm position on either side is such a good thing? It reminds me of positional bargaining where both sides are so hell-bent on defending their positions they fail to see common ground.

    See, JWH was a staunch defender of his own position as was Dubbya.

  101. LOL KL…

    Was it the “velvet slipper” that gave it away…..?

    🙂

  102. ‘And what do you base this assumption on Ken?’

    The pretty conclusive evidence that you felt it necessary to write a post asking why people were protesting.

    Why do you believe a discussion thread should consist of people asking each other snarky questions? Don’t you like to express your own conclusions in case someone demonstrates you are wrong?

    See now you either have to explain why my questions misrepresent your position, which means you’re constantly on the defensive, or you can ignore them, in which case I can simply go on a flight of fancy about what we all know your position is but you’re not prepared to admit it. Alternatively you can spend your life answering an endless number of questions, leaving the content of the discussion completely in the control of others.

    It’s an easy technique to master, but personally I find it rather pointless.

  103. Can anyone explain ‘left’ and ‘right’ to me and why taking a firm position on either side is such a good thing?

    Bloody good question John.

    Here’s a hypothetical scenario for you..

    Imagine that someone suggests that “protesting” for “the sake of protesting” is in itself a useless excercise unless some sensible alternatives are proposed by ‘the protesters’ – as a social experiment, and see where you end up…

    😉

  104. See now you either have to explain why my questions misrepresent your position, which means you’re constantly on the defensive, or you can ignore them, in which case I can simply go on a flight of fancy about what we all know your position is but you’re not prepared to admit it.

  105. Imagine that someone suggests that “protesting” for “the sake of protesting” is in itself a useless excercise unless some sensible alternatives are proposed by ‘the protesters’ – as a social experiment, and see where you end up…

    hehe

    Why would you think that they are protesting for the sake of protesting? They protest for a reason, they are against globalisation and the harm it causes.

    So, does this make you a right winger reb?

    You better take a good, hard look at yourself 🙂

  106. reb, Lovell is hardly an anarchic or anarchist. He is a type who has strong beliefs and expresses them ,sometimes not to his favour, and often takes a dogmatic stance simply because he believes and trusts his judgment. And he will defend his position.
    I think, that as has been said that this excellent blog (maybe tilts a little left,think of the alternative 🙂 ) that expression is valued, and should be treated as expression from the author, and civil response is when needed is all that is required.
    In this Subject their seems to have allowed an oblique ,on the part of a few, to lose equanimity and play the commentator not the comment. Do any of you want to have this Blog as a Bolter?.
    I can write some tripe and be corrected ,that to me is learning, however I would not appreciate an attack on me as a person, especially when people who bother can drag up a history by the Internet memory. FFS, we all grow and hopefully mature and absorb the opinion of others. And either disregard or note that opinion.
    If attacks without merit on others opinions are allowed, the Blog will lose the status it has gained,and that should be a noticed by the contributors. Otherwise it may well become sectarian.

    Again ,Leigon,perfect sense(what’s a bot?)

  107. So, does this make you a right winger reb?

    You better take a good, hard look at yourself

    Oh Yeah! Come on over to the dark side, Reb. You know you want to.

    😀

  108. Tom, it was French Union officials who rescued the detained bosses in question and received a right bollocking from the workers for their troubles.

    Reb, protestors I spoke to at the G20 protests in London on Saturday were particularly emphasising the need to enhance regulation of the current system of world trade so that the law is equally applied to all citizens.

    For example, If I ‘borrow’ $50 from the petty cash tin at work, or fail to declare income to the DSS when receiving a welfare payment, then the full force of the law will be brought to bear on me. Without legal representation, I may end up in jail.

    The scoundrels (?) at AIG, on the other hand, have pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars as a result of very dodgy financial practices, wrecked the company, damaged the American financial system and they’ve walked away scott free. Many of these same scumbags, last week, refused to hand back the bonuses they received for destroying a company that has subsequently received around $US 170 billion of taxpayers money in emergency aid from the US Government.

    Now, in theory at least, the law is supposed to applied without fear or favour. How can we condone a world trade system so obviously riddled with hypocrisy, double-standards, unfairness and people who are so, how shall we say this, economical with the truth?

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling for much greater G20 regulation of corporations and financial institutions and more stringent enforcement of said regulations. I agree. One law for all seems like a very good place to start reforming an unfair financial system that, as currently structured, makes about as much sense as running a bath with the plug out.

  109. What’s the point of protesting?

    Perhaps its to let the powers that be know how you feel about things.

    I gotta admit, I went to just about every demo going between 1973 and 1976 with the Monash Leftie Crowd. Did we change anything? Of course not. But we were able to blow-off steam and let the bastards know what we thought of them.

    Protests are a natural and healthy part of every democracy. Banning them creates a very dangerous situation. If people are stopped and beaten into the ground for waving a plackard, sooner or later they’re gonna figure-out that perhaps a bomb or two will get the attention of the powers that be. Then things get very nasty, very fast.

    So those around here who look down their noses and criticise the protesters for not having all the answers or for failing to put-forward a coherent structured alternative, miss the point entirely.

    Its angry people blowing-off steam. And I reckon they’ve got every right to do so and to be heard.

    They’re there to tell our Lords and Masters that they’re mighty pissed-off with the God-damn mess they’ve landed-us in and to demand that any plan they come-up with to resolve the situation at least takes into account the protesters’ alternative view points on how best to proceed.

    Anyway, as someone pointed-out above, there is no one orthodoxy in the present situation and to dismiss the opinions of the protesters out of hand reeks of of a supercilious arrogance of the sort that got us into this mess in the first place.

  110. A few pics from May 68…in the year of the barricades.

    http://www.photos-mai68.com/index.php?x=browse

    Some great films, art & music came out of that period. I like WAKE UP calls.
    N’

  111. Huh,when we wore ties to a demo, and ladies wore skirts.
    Mild child, you an happening, good result though!.

  112. Ken – “I make a comment about a national compulsory superannuation levy and you respond by talking about a scheme developed as part of a freely-negotiated collective agreement between a group of employers and the unions representing their workers. Do you really not comprehend the distinction?”

    Of course I do Ken. One was a scheme negotiated and supported by the unions and implemented. The other was a scheme negotiated and supported by the unions and implemented.

  113. Leigon, perhaps anti-hegemon’ical?, no less, your perspicacious is a charity.
    Some may well have nyctalopia,and some to injure, malengine of the(self) imagined, may well cause the redargue , to the cost of the ‘Kapellimeisters’.

  114. Tom of Melbourne, on March 30th, 2009 at 10:42 pm Said:

    Ken – “I make a comment about a national compulsory superannuation levy and you respond by talking about a scheme developed as part of a freely-negotiated collective agreement between a group of employers and the unions representing their workers. Do you really not comprehend the distinction?”
    Tom,you now have Ken in one camp, a while ago in another, instead of attacking the messenger, attack the subject.
    This pisses me off.

  115. I’ve no idea what you’re on about Lang Mack.

    You seen confused. I do trust you’ll get over it.

  116. Hi to terry and Plutarch, haven’t seen your posts before. Glad to have you joining in with the discussions, thanks for informing me of ‘the word on the street’ terry.

    Look at the thread on the “acknowledgement of country” that Ben put up. There was a very good discussion of the issues – some ribbing, some disagreements.

    And it got over 800 hits – one of the top posts ever.(joni)

    Not bad at all joni.

  117. A, perhaps, interesting ‘frame‘ for things, in title at least: ‘That’s No Angry Mob, It’s a Movement‘.

    And now, for my next trick, and once again highlighting the possibilities of re-framings…anti-globalists are characterised as flat-Earthers intent on anarchy, and yet they protest, in part, against a GW(OT) and planned, generational wars displacing and killing civilians (see, I spotted John’s friends in the picie), with sizeable State budgets and guaranteed trillion dollar profits continuing to go to the military-industrial complex(es), but ‘violence’ is not ‘ok’? Or, is it, but only if it’s one of ‘them’ and we thank the rest for the ‘sacrifices’ they make, whether in blood or treasure? Hmmm. Maybe there’s difference between a ‘global village’ and a ‘global killing field’ somewhere in the competing visions for alternate globalisations. Does a trade in arms and the rhetoric of war represent a separate space for global trade in this inevitable ‘globalisation’ process?

  118. Terry said:
    “protestors I spoke to at the G20 protests in London on Saturday were particularly emphasising the need to enhance regulation of the current system of world trade so that the law is equally applied to all citizens.”

    Good stuff Terry. Thnx for filling us in.

    This opinion piece spoke to me:

    March 30, 2009

    Neoliberalism, Education and the Politics of Disposability
    Hard Lessons
    By HENRY A. GIROUX

    All problems are now laid on the doorstep of the individual, regardless of how unlikely they might been involved in creating them.

    This makes it more socially acceptable to blame the poor, homeless, uninsured, jobless, and other disadvantaged individuals and groups for their problems, while reinforcing the merging of the market state with the punishing state.

    This is the central discourse of Fox News, which apparently believes that the mortgage crisis was due to grasping home buyers and not the unabashed greedy of the deregulated banking and mortgage industries…

    Under the George W. Bush administration, democracy was viewed with contempt; young people were not considered worthy investments; and the rich were given $2-trillion in tax breaks.

    For many young people and adults today, the private sphere has become the only space in which to imagine any sense of hope, pleasure, or possibility. Culture as an activity in which young people actually produce the conditions of their own agency through dialogue, community participation, public stories, and political struggle is being eroded. In its place, we are increasingly surrounded by a “climate of cultural and linguistic privatization” in which the only obligation of citizenship is to consume and shop….

    In order to strengthen the public sphere, we must use its most widespread institutions, undo their degeneration into means of commodification and control, and reclaim them as democratic spaces. Schools, colleges and universities come to mind—because of both their contradictions and their democratic potential, their reality and their promise, though of course they are not the only sites of potential resistance.

    This democratic transformation must involve more than a simple appeal to thoughtfulness, critique, and dialogue; it must assert what kind of education matters to a democracy and restate a commitment to public and higher education in terms of its value for political culture and democratic public life.

    One of the most important challenges facing education in the Obama era is the reintroduction of educational policies, values, and social practices that help produce civic identifications and commitments, teach young people how to participate in and shape public life and exercise critical judgment, and provide the pedagogical conditions that enable them to exercise civic courage.

    The Obama administration to date has been of little help here and largely supports a notion of education that is tied to a business culture, one that validates charter schools, high-stakes testing, students defined less as citizens than as potential workers, and profit incentives to reward student achievement—a model of education not unlike what the Bush administration supported.

    The shortcomings of Obama’s philosophy of education and its uncritical acceptance of neoliberal values, especially in light of his vociferous indignation over Wall Street corruption and bonuses, are difficult to understand. Nowhere is the disconnect between Obama’s call for change and his love of markets more pronounced than in his educational policies….

    If we are to move beyond the limited strategy and language of bailouts—a code word for helping the wealthy and asking the poor to make more sacrifices—the larger public dialogue needs to focus on how we view, represent, and treat young people and others marginalized by class, race, disability, and age. It needs to be about how to imagine and struggle for a democratic future.

    The potential for a better future further increases when critical education and democratically inspired modes of literacy become central to any viable notion of politics. Education in this instance becomes both an ethical and a political referent: it furnishes an opportunity for adults to provide the conditions for themselves and young people to become critically engaged social agents who value democratic values over market values and who take seriously the notion that when human beings recognize the causes of their suffering they are in a better position to bring the misery caused by market fundamentalism and other anti-democratic tendencies to a halt.

    (Henry A. Giroux holds the Global TV Network chair in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Canada.)

    read the entire inspiring piece here:

    http://www.counterpunch.com/giroux03302009.html

    I’m more than just a consumer!

    N’

  119. Interesting read, Nas…it led me by-the-by to this…

    Financing the Empire

    I am travelling in Europe for three weeks to discuss the global financial crisis with government officials, politicians and labor leaders. What is most remarkable is how differently the financial problem is perceived over here. It’s like being in another economic universe, not just another continent.

    The U.S. media are silent about the most important topic policy makers are discussing here (and I suspect in Asia too): how to protect their countries from three inter-related dynamics:

    (1) the surplus dollars pouring into the rest of the world for yet further financial speculation and corporate takeovers;

    (2) the fact that central banks are obliged to recycle these dollar inflows to buy U.S. Treasury bonds to finance the federal U.S. budget deficit; and most important (but most suppressed in the U.S. media,

    (3) the military character of the U.S. payments deficit and the domestic federal budget deficit.

    Strange as it may seem – and irrational as it would be in a more logical system of world diplomacy – the “dollar glut” is what finances America’s global military build-up. It forces foreign central banks to bear the costs of America’s expanding military empire – effective “taxation without representation.” Keeping international reserves in “dollars” means recycling their dollar inflows to buy U.S. Treasury bills – U.S. government debt issued largely to finance the military.

    I’m not sure the above piece spoke to me, but it did go in the ‘for-considered-reflection-in-the-era-of-smoke-and-mirrors’ file.

  120. N’

    And what happens if the US dollar is no longer accepted as the international currency reserve that it’s enjoyed for decades? A change is exactly what China is pushing for simply because the $US dollar is becoming less and less reliable for preserving value. It’s almost completely backed by debt and little else.

    The risk now more than ever is that the value of the US dollar will plunge as more and more countries seeking alternatives.

  121. Will the Euro become the currency for the pricing of oil?

    I seem to have some memory that the conspiracy theorists put the meme forward that the real reason for the Iraq invasion was because Iraq wanted to be paid in Euro’s for oil and not USD.

  122. Interesting theory Joni, the Euro looks like a contender, I’m not sure about the conspiracy theory though. Although stranger things have happened, like the reasoning behind the invasion in the first place.

  123. “And what happens if the US dollar is no longer accepted as the international currency reserve that it’s enjoyed for decades? ”

    John, I think you meant to ask Legion. See above.

    “The risk now more than ever is that the value of the US dollar will plunge as more and more countries seeking alternatives.”

    Does that mean my subscription to eMusic will be cheaper by the end of the year? Hey! It’s an alternative music sight, alright?

    It’s a bird…It’s a plane…No, it’s Spitzer to the Rescue
    By Mike Whitney

    March 30, 2009 “Information Clearing House” — -If Obama is serious about restoring confidence in the markets, he should replace current SEC chief Mary Schapiro with Eliot Spitzer….

    Obama hasn’t changed a thing. Treasury is full of bank loyalists and the SEC is loaded with brokerage-friendly flunkies. The only difference is that the SEC’s rubber stamp has been passed from laughingstock Cox to lapdog Schapiro. Other than that, it’s business as usual.

    If Spitzer was running the SEC, the Pinkertons would be swarming the investments houses right now, thumbing through the off-balance sheet paperwork, overturning filing cabinets and tasering bloated banksters as they scuttle away clutching their Armani briefcases stuffed with taxpayer loot.

    The public is not in the mood for any more lame excuses or windy oratory from President Inspiration. Just get on with it. Governing is more than just gliding from one teleprompter to the next pointing at rainbows and promising Utopia. There has to be action, accountability, and justice.

    What people want is to see a truncheon-wielding cop on every corner of lower Manhattan. They want regulators snooping through e mails and digging through trash cans to uncover any scrap of evidence that will build a case for investor fraud or criminal malfeasance. They want Spitzer-clones–armed with bullwhips and billy-clubs–posted in every boardroom, in every penthouse, on every private jet; breathing down the necks of every CEO, every CFO, and every dodgy, derivatives-peddling scam-artist until the financial typhoon subsides and the culprits, cutthroats and carpetbaggers are dragged in leg-irons to Guantanamo for a few brief dunks on Dick Cheney’s waterboard.

    This is not the time for namby-pamby, weak-kneed Schapiro. Eliot Spitzer has a proven record of taking on the industry behemoths and organized crime. (He launched an investigation that brought down the Gambino family’s control over Manhattan’s garment and trucking industries)

    He’s devoted himself to consumer and environmental protection, while taking aim at white collar crime and securities fraud. Until he stepped down, he’d been doing a bang-up job reigning in reckless speculators, predatory lenders, and Wall Street kingpins. He’s a bulldog, a corporate dragon-slayer, and the best man for the job.

    Spitzer’s heavy-handed tactics made him big business’s most hated man. In fact, in January 2005, the president of the US Chamber of Commerce described Spitzer’s approach as “the most egregious and unacceptable form of intimidation we’ve seen in this country in modern times.”

    If that isn’t a ringing endorsement for SEC chief, than what is?

    Elliot Spitzer op-ed in the Washington Post:

    “Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye….

    In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government’s actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules

    But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.

    Throughout our battles with the OCC and the banks, the mantra of the banks and their defenders was that efforts to curb predatory lending would deny access to credit to the very consumers the states were trying to protect. The curbs we sought… would have stopped the scourge of predatory lending practices that have resulted in countless thousands of consumers losing their homes and put our economy in a precarious position.

    When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners, the Bush administration will not be judged favorably. The tale is still unfolding, but when the dust settles, it will be judged as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in their quest for profits. So willing, in fact, that it used the power of the federal government in an unprecedented assault on state legislatures, as well as on state attorneys general and anyone else on the side of consumers.” (Elliot Spitzer, “Predator Lenders’ Partner in Crime” Washington Post)

    If the allegations are true, then the Bush administration was directly and maliciously involved in duping thousands, if not millions, of credulous borrowers into fraudulent loans. Surely, this is a matter that requires congressional investigation. Journalist Greg Palast sums it up like this:

    “Spitzer not only took on Countrywide, he took on their predatory enablers in the investment banking community. Behind Countrywide was the Mother Shark, its founder and now owner, Bank of America. Others joined the sharkfest: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup’s Citibank made mortgage usury their major profit centers…..But there were rumblings that the party would soon be over…

    The big players knew that unless Spitzer was taken out, he would create enough ruckus to spoil the party. Headlines in the financial press – one was “Wall Street Declares War on Spitzer” – made clear to Bush’s enforcers at Justice who their number one target should be. And it wasn’t Bin Laden.(“Eliot’s Mess”, Greg Palast)…

    ZAKARIA: So, do you think the problems that AIG got into later on stemmed from some of the same practices that you were trying to get at?

    SPITZER: They stemmed from an effort at the very to to gin up returns whenever, wherever possible, and to push the boundaries in a way that would garner returns almost regardless of risk. Back then, I told people that AIG is at the center of the web. The financial tentacles of this company stretched to every major investment bank. The web between AIG and Goldman Sachs is something that should be pursued. And as I’ve written…

    Consider what Spitzer is saying; that the lumbering Goliath, AIG, is at the very center of the gigantic derivatives fraud which took trillion of dollars of undercapitalized credit default swaps (CDS) and sold them (as insurance) to myriad other financial institutions to help them maintain artificially high ratings on complex securities whose real value was always in doubt since the underlying collateral was connected to uncreditworthy borrowers who were more likely to default or go into foreclosure. Whew!

    If the Obama team was serious about defending the little guy and restoring confidence in the markets, then Spitzer would be the logical choice, warts and all. (excerpts)

    more here:

    http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22312.htm

    Let THE LIGHT of JUSTICE shine.
    N’

  124. Nasking

    After reading (yes I did!) that “extensive” blockquote, I must ask – is your surname McPhilbin?

    Apart from that:

    People still can’t see the similarities between today’s clamour for governments and particularly regulators to do their jobs and bring The Robber Barons to justice…and the cause of all revolutions – the serfs and peasants finally get pissed off!

    If Obama, Rudd and Brown et al don’t start getting tough (really tough) then all hell will really break loose(the beginnings in France already)

    Vive la revolucion!

    History does repeat itself – its just that people don’t realise it, until the event has become history itself…and the GFC is a massive global, historic event…

  125. MODERATOR MODE

    Just a gentle and timely reminder if everyone could limit the old cut and paste to just a couple of quoted paragraphs with a link to the original article. Ta 🙂

  126. Tom R – “I admit, it is much better when the protestors do have an alternative, but sometimes, you just need to highlight the inadequacies of something.”

    Just picked this up Tom, when people “just need to highlight the inadequacies of something”, this is normally known as whinging.

  127. “If Obama, Rudd and Brown et al don’t start getting tough (really tough) then all hell will really break loose(the beginnings in France already)”

    I agree TB…

    “Just a gentle and timely reminder if everyone could limit the old cut and paste to just a couple of quoted paragraphs with a link to the original article.”

    Sorry reb, geez, they were a bit long (understatement of the day)…I suddenly felt RAGE towards the stankin’ corrupt system again & lost it. I’ll drink a herbal tea and calm meself.
    🙂

    N’…grumbles to himself about bleedin’ robber barons, corporate aristocrats, parrot droppings… and leaves the room temporarily…

  128. N,

    You forgot about the “wealth crazed pricks…”

  129. Tom of Melbourne, on March 31st, 2009 at 10:30 am Said:

    Just picked this up Tom, when people “just need to highlight the inadequacies of something”, this is normally known as whinging.

    Well I guess you would know, you seem to be doing a fair bit of it lately 🙂

    Although, when the ‘whinging’ proves to be a validated, is that still ‘whinging’ in your book?

  130. N’ yes, I think It was Legion, however, you’re ‘cut and paste’ was a good one brother (wink)

  131. Although, when the ‘whinging’ proves to be a validated, is that still ‘whinging’ in your book?

    No, that is considered ‘less than ideal’ or a ‘drawback’ but still acceptable as nothing should stand in the way of private enterprise making lots of moolah.

  132. *sigh* Just as thought (my bold). Now the plods arrest before anyone does anything.

    British police arrest five over G20 protests

    British police have used the Terrorism Act to arrest five people who they suspect were planning to demonstrateagainst the G20 Summit on Thursday – and have warned they will not tolerate aggression or violence.

    The five, who are all from the Plymouth area, included a 16-year-old boy and two women aged 20 who can now be held in custody for up to 28 days and questioned.

  133. Idk, Kitty. Spray-painting ‘Antifa’ in Plymouth immediately makes me think:

    “Quite obviously, people are going to make a connection to the G20 and we are looking into that as part of our investigation,” he said.

    Probably not without a lot of help, but now that PC Plod has held a press conference and highlighted to the pacific skinhead Right that evil anti-racist graffiti sorts (and likely also a lot of disaffected members of sundry brown eyed, brown skinned ethnic communities) are likely to be in attendance to protest the G20 meeting, who knows what ‘modified fireworks’ might go off. 😉

  134. “who knows what ‘modified fireworks’ might go off.”

    And I imagine the toffs being used to classical suites, truffle treats and the clinking of crystal glasses would find all the noise and rough & tumble of street protests too much to bear:

    Oxfam at the Put People First G20 rally

    How short it seems is the memory of those once living amongst the serfs, being educated at taxpayer’s expense…now wined & dined in grand palaces and hand pumped under grandiose flags. Not long before they agree it is all too “uncivilised” & click their fingers for the dogs…teeth bared.
    N’

  135. kittylitter, on March 31st, 2009 at 1:11 pm Said:

    What is the terminology I wonder when certain causes complain about these ‘whingers’ demonstrating??

  136. What is the terminology I wonder when certain causes complain about these ‘whingers’ demonstrating??

    Sire, the peasants are revolting!

  137. And Kitty how to repel borders. Stop changing the bed linen.

  138. “as I think the bosses should not have responded with concessions. They should have responded in kind, eg kidnapped a union hack for a while.”

    That’s rational thinking Tom M. Good old tit for tat eh?

    Or were you just being facetious? Hard to know w/ you.
    N’

  139. Oh, I see your diatribe was facetious was it? If that’s what you are suggesting, then say so.

    I’ve had humourous/sarcastic/facetious exchanges with many of the long term contributors. You’re not one I’ve had any exchange at all with, until you started a completely unfounded and personal attack.

    Then you suggest – “You better start providing evidence.”

    Bizarre, illogical, unfounded simplistic BS.

  140. nasking, on March 31st, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    I liked Oxfam’s idea of rallying for the promotion of certain things; it makes a mockery of claims that protesters are either a) protesting against somethings uncontestible; or b) protesting merely for the sake of protesting; although, the positive rallying points are, by definition, contra their opposites or alternatives which negative those positive political claims

    Oxfam, for instance, says of the rallies that:

    “They were there ahead of the G20 summit, which is due to take place in London on 2 April. The G20 meetings are a massive opportunity to build a future that works for the benefit of people everywhere, and where global warming isn’t ignored.”

    The wider campaign and program for action with which Oxfam was involved, Put People First, continues Oxfam’s theme:

    On 28th March 2009, 35,000 marched through London as part of a global campaign to challenge the G20, ahead of their summit on the global financial crisis.

    Even before the banking collapse, the world suffered poverty, inequality and the threat of climate chaos. The world has followed a financial model that has created an economy fuelled by ever-increasing debt, both financial and environmental.

    Our future depends on creating an economy based on fair distribution of wealth, decent jobs for all and a low carbon future.

    There can be no going back to business as usual.

    It will be interesting to see what emerges from G20 Summit business.

  141. “It will be interesting to see what emerges from G20 Summit business.”

    It certainly will Legion. Sarkosy certainly has a weight on his shoulders now.

    But the creeping unknown is what worries me…a shadow grows during this G20 that may undermine any of the “common good” policies that arise from it:

    March 31, 2009

    Would You Like to Dance, Mr. Obama?
    The Deception Tango
    By URI AVNERY

    BUT DECEIVING, like dancing the tango, takes two: one who deceives and one who wants to be deceived.

    Netanyahu believes that Obama will want to be deceived. Why would he want to quarrel with Israel, confront the mighty pro-Israel lobby and the US Congress, when he can settle for soothing words from Net\anyahu? Not to mention Europe, divided and ridden by Holocaust guilt, and the pathetic Tony Blair moving around like a restless ghost.

    Is Obama ready to play, like most of his predecessors, the role of the deceived lover?

    The Biberman/Bibarak/Bibiyahu government believes that the answer is a resounding yes. I hope that it will be a resounding No.

    – Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He is a contributor to CounterPunch’s book The Politics of Anti-Semitism.
    (CounterPunch)

    more here:

    http://www.counterpunch.com/

    I might add, I don’t think that shadows that block out THE LIGHT are just being cast by the Israeli government…plenty of chill-makers in the region…not enuff degrees of separation between them and many of our pollies & media types.
    ———–
    Good stuff on Oxfam Legion.

    “Our future depends on creating an economy based on fair distribution of wealth, decent jobs for all and a low carbon future.”

    Indeed. If only the peoples of The Levant could reach out to each other & show us the way. Be the children of a revolution that brings LIGHT to the world…HOPE for the future.

    N’

  142. kittylitter, on March 31st, 2009 at 5:41 pm Said:

    Sire, the peasants are revolting!

    We carnt be, we just showered last week?

  143. And Tom R, how to repel boarders (navy term)..Stop changing the bed linen.

  144. Min

    I hope that is not some sort of oblique reference to having sea-men on the sheets!!
    .
    .
    .
    .
    woops, I think I may have brought the blog to a new low 😳

  145. TomR

    You can never bring the blog to the depraved depths that reb and myself are capable of branging the blog. So it is all OK.

  146. Tom R..I’ve been married for 34 years…can imagine this…

    This was a Goons quote..how to repel all boarders, stop changing the bed linen. (I think via Seagoon)

    Another of my favorites is:

    Hairy Scots, tonight we march north to England!
    Secombe: But England’s south!
    Chisholm: Aye, we’re gonna march right round the world and sneak up on them from behind!

  147. joni

    Is that a challenge 😈

    Min

    Goons, Goodies, you cannot beat the English at comedy, they are the masters

  148. “I hope that is not some sort of oblique reference to having sea-men on the sheets!!”

    lol

    “woops, I think I may have brought the blog to a new low”

    Tom R., we are merely prawns in the hands of joni & reb.

    “Chisholm: Aye, we’re gonna march right round the world and sneak up on them from behind!”

    He he…good stuff Min.

    Speaking of the bumbling French above, and The Goon show’s Peter Sellers…& your gymnast comments elsewhere Min.:

    Peter Sellers as Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau

    :)…mind the stairs…

    N’

  149. Don’t worry, I’m fine, got really pissed and apparently they thought I was dead. The hot curry I ate before getting into the biffo didn’t help either.

    British police say they have found a man dead at a G-20 protest camp near the Bank of England in London.

    The BBC and Sky News television also reported a protester had died after taking part in demonstrations on the eve of the Group of 20 summit in London on Wednesday.

  150. From KL’s Link:

    “Build a bonfire, build a bonfire. Put the bankers on the top. Put [British Prime Minister] Gordon Brown in the middle. And then burn the f***ing lot,” they said.

    Among the placards on display at the protests was one that read “Capitalism stole my virginity”, while a black banner said “Can we overthrow the government? Yes we can!” – a reference to US President Barack Obama’s election campaign slogan.

    So these are the “sensible” alternatives propsed by the protesters that I asked about in my original post?

    🙄

  151. I’m sure if the protesters ate the same hot curry I did, there’d be no need to build a bonfire Reb. Just walk into the banks and drop your guts, that would be enough.

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