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Sunday, 29 June 2014

THE BATTLE OF BRISBANE: AN OPINION FROM NATIONALIST ALTERNATIVE - 6 MAY 2014

Introduction Readers of the Nationalist Alternative website have written to us asking for our opinions on the recent assault on members of Australia First and the Australian chapter of the Greek Golden Dawn in Brisbane last week – an assault carried out by rogue elements of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, the CFMEU, led by three individuals, two of them known to the police (Luke Collier and Joe Myles) and who have extensive criminal records, and a third, as-yet unidentified man (see photos of him here and here). I won’t rehearse the entire grisly story – one can find accounts of it here and here – save to say it is grisly (one of the victims, a 70 year old Greek man, had his face bloodied and ended up in hospital). To sum up: the rogue individuals, who are not representative of the CFMEU as a whole, launched a political attack which was co-ordinated by the self-professed ‘anarchist’ and ‘anti-fascist’ James Hutchings (who uses a variety of pseudonyms – ‘Anarchist Andy’, ‘Andy Fleming’, ‘Slack Bastard’). This was a carefully planned attack, designed to dissuade nationalist groups – specifically, nationalist groups of a Western and Christian heritage – from going on marches and mounting further demonstrations in the future. (It goes without saying that, had the Brisbane marchers been Hindu or Jewish or Indian or Chinese, they would never have been attacked). The likes of Hutchings inhabit a warped moral universe, similarly to that of other political groupings (e.g., the IRA, the Jewish Defence League, radical Islamist terrorist groups) who believe that the use of violence against political opponents is acceptable. They subscribe to an ideology that dehumanises their political opponents – an ideology which makes their political opponents less than human, unworthy of any basic political rights, and deserving of the violence inflicted upon them. The political opponents of the ‘anti-fascist’ are always of a white and Western nationalist or extreme right-wing persuasion and are usually marginal and politically weak (and so can thereby be harassed, assaulted, with relative impunity). Usually the ‘anti-fascist’ method is one of harassment. The ‘anti-fascist’ activist tries to determine the identity of a nationalist or extreme right-winger, and then publicise his personal information (name, date of birth, address, phone number) on the Internet and, hopefully, stalk him and attempt to get him fired from his job. The other method is one of what I call the contrived riot – an old communist tactic – which is to launch a counter-demonstration against a nationalist group and make a disturbance with the intention of calling in the police, who, in the interests of public order and safety, will shut the thing down. ‘Anti-fascists’ will normally try and assault the nationalist demonstrators, but, being few in number and physically weak types (more often than not), don’t have much luck in that endeavour. For years, they have been trying to solicit criminal elements from the Australian trade union movement to carry out physical assaults on demonstrators – comrades of mine have witnessed this on the spot – but with little success. That was, of course, until last week’s attack, when Hutchings had the good fortune to use the services of career criminals and professional beater-uppers such as Joe Myles and Luke Collier. The Brisbane nationalists won’t be deterred, of course, by physical obstruction and beatings, and Australia First will be carrying out demonstrations in the future. The question is whether or not Hutchings will. attempt to obstruct those demonstrations – and those carried by other nationalist groups – and use the services of Collier, Myles and the third as-yet unidentified man in the future. Collier and Myles seem to be based in Victoria, but are highly mobile – they seem to travel up and down the country on ‘union business’ – and can be, it seems, easily redeployed to, say, Sydney, at a future Australia First demonstration. What can what nationalist groups can do in the future to protect themselves from physical assault and to exert their democratic rights? This is what this article shall address. What I am sketching out here is a plan for a three-pronged political offensive. What would Jeremy Jones do? As mentioned before, had the Australia First and Golden Dawn marchers not been white and European, it seems unlikely that they would have been attacked; it also seems unlikely that their plight would have been ignored by the state, the media and the police. Imagine, for a moment, that the Brisbane marchers had been pro-Israel Jewish students – imagine the outrage! The three self-appointed ‘leaders’ of Australia’s Jewish community – Jeremy Jones, Michael Danby, Mark Liebler – would have turned the event into a national scandal. Politicians in all political parties would have voted (by now) on a resolution condemning violence against young Jews; a police manhunt would be underway for Collier, Myles and their accomplices; Jewish intellectuals and journalists would be bewailing that the attack was-yet another instance of ‘The New anti-Semitism’, i.e., old-fashioned anti-Semitism (leading to murderous violence) masquerading as a left-wing critique of Israel’s policies. Jones, Danby and Liebler would have mobilised a phalanx of lawyers and taken the CFMEU, and Hutchings, to the cleaners. To say the least, the CFMEU, and the Australian union movement, would have to apologise and disavow Collier and Myles and expel them, and throw a cordon sanitaire around Hutchings – anyone who dealt with him would be dead meat, politically. Unfortunately, the nationalist movement in Australian doesn’t have the deep pockets, or the political influence, of the Jones-Danby-Liebler trio. But criminals such as Collier and Myles can be made to feel the full weight of the law. Myles is a somewhat delusional individual who regards his arrests and summonses as a kind of badge of honour – he is a scoff-law who thinks that the law doesn’t apply to him and that his trade-union politics somehow vindicates immoral behaviour. In this respect, he is rather like Hutchings. One can psychologise, and attempt to understand and categorise them, but in the end, we live in a society which operates under the laws, and these men have to be prevented from breaking it. Nationalists, then, have to force the police and politicians to uphold the law and invoke their rights, as Australian citizens under the law, to be protected from assault and to have criminals punished. Another course of action could be the law-suit: the CFMEU can be sued. I follow the old Bolshevik practice here and make a distinction between the trade union leadership and the workers in that union. In the Bolshevik ideology, the trade unionist leaders – when they were anti-communist – were corrupt men who were compromisers with capitalism and social democracy; the masses, on the other hand, were innocent and being led by the nose. In this instance, the shoe fits: the CFMEU leadership doesn’t seem to pay much attention when the likes of a Collier or Myles carry out an assault – it’s merely a case of lads larking around, who cares if an elderly Greek man was pummelled with brass knuckles – while the vast numbers of rank-and-file CFMEU think that the actions of a Collier or Myles are criminal and morally reprehensible. The leadership is indifferent, and the only way to make them sit up and take notice is to sue the union and incur substantial damages. Joining the unions Who knows what the ideology of Colliers, Myles and the as-yet unidentified third man is – is it communism, ‘anti-fascism’, social democracy? Whatever it is, these three men are political, and represent, in communist language, a cell or fraction within the union movement which enlists union resources (i.e., union membership) to carry out political tasks (i.e., beating up people of a nationalist or extreme right persuasion). Without a doubt, they aren’t representative of the CFMEU, or the union movement, or the working class, as a whole. We know this fact. But pointing it out – and pointing out that, for instance, the Australia First platform is for the Aussie worker and his class interests – doesn’t seem to have much effect. To do so would be mere propaganda and rhetoric; it’s not politics as such. We nationalists need to fight fire with fire and have our own fraction within the union movement, in particular the CFMEU and the Maritime Union of Australia. One may ask, ‘What would that entail and what good would it do?’. To answer the first question: the nationalist movement (again) needs to follow the example of the communists. It needs to organise itself as a disciplined minority, see itself as a vanguard party (that is, a party whose ideas are in advance of the workers), not isolate itself from the workers and thereby involve itself in a mass organisation (such as a student union or construction union or public sector union) and attempt to steer the membership away from (what the communists call) ‘reactionary thoughts’ and ‘false consciousness’. Nationalists should, then, if they are in a trade such as construction, forestry, energy and mining, join the CFMEU, not announce themselves as nationalists (at first) but attempt to make the workers in that union see the links between the trade union struggle and the national struggle. The leader of the American Communist Party, William Z. Foster, wrote a classic essay on the subject of vanguardism, ‘Secondary Aspects of Mass Organisation’ (1939). He proffered there a method of analysis which, if applied to an organisation such as the CFMEU, divide the union into two parts, a primary and a secondary. In the view of Foster, the primary part of a CFMEU is the foundational: that is, the reason why the organisation was founded, what it was intended to do (that is, be a trade union for individuals in those sectors of industry). The secondary part is the part which is subject to the social, economic, political forces of the day – what Foster calls the ‘effects, tangible or concrete, produced within them by the impact of other movements and other forces’. Campbell Newman and industrial relations legislation, China, Hutchings and ‘anti-fascism’, environmentalism, economics (wages, supply and demand, the availability of work) – all these and more ‘operate upon’ the secondary element. Foster is most interested in this sphere, because it’s there that the communist party can play a part. Foster subdivides this secondary sphere into two subsections. The first is the ideological. The trade union membership is subject to all sorts of political and social ideas which are a mish mash and undisciplined: conservatism, socialism, environmentalism, ‘anti-fascism’, trade protectionism, racialism, nationalism and goodness knows what else. The second part is the purely organisational and functional. These are activities which are typical of a union: participation in politics; social activities; fraternal insurance and other welfare- and self-help-related initiatives; legal counselling for members; occupational health and safety training; and so on. Once he understands this division and subdivision, the communist follows a strategy which is a fairly simple one. The vanguardist joins the union with the intention of promoting the founding aims of an organisation (in this case, the aim of being a trade union). He distinguishes himself, and works his way up in the ranks, by being the best trade unionist anyone can possibly be. By engaging in the activities – i.e., the education of the membership, the participation in party politics, the participation in social activities – and distinguishing himself in those fields, he ‘gets the ear’ of the membership, in an informal way, and helps steer them in the right direction. He (in Foster’s schema) awakens their ‘class consciousness’ and educates them as to the ‘timeless truths of Marxism-Leninism’. We in the nationalist movement, of course, won’t be steering those in the union movement to those ‘timeless truths’. We shall be helping to awaken them to other truths. What’s more, the truth shall be approached in layers. Firstly, there is the immediate struggle – against Chinese imperialism, against the China which wants to conquer Australia economically, culturally and demographically; secondly, there is the struggle against both the Right (the Gina Rineharts, the Campbell Newmans) and the Left (the likes of Hutchings) who are assisting China in its task of colonisation and conquest; third, the struggle of the Golden Dawn and other European nationalist organisations, a struggle which affects not just Europe but the West as a whole… ‘What good shall all this do?’. In answer to that, I shall repeat two Leninist dictums. The first is that everything is political. A trade union’s activities are political; so are a student union’s; so are a charity’s (e.g., a charity which helps “refugees” gain permanent residency in Australia); so are a Hollywood film studio’s (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) and 12 Years a Slave (2013) are political films). The second dictum is, wherever there is politics, there are leaders and led. The events in Brisbane didn’t spontaneously ‘happen by themselves’ – leaders, such as Hutchings, made them happen. The CFMEU is a political institution, like it or not, and part of it – and the union movement has a whole – has in part been captured by a strange but political faction of crypto-anarcho-communist Chinaphiles. The important thing is to wrest the leadership of this part of a mass and working-class organisation away from the likes of Hutchings. It’s only a part of a mass organisation, but imagine what a small vanguard, a disciplined minority – members of a party of the Aussie worker – could do with it. They could exert an influence out of all proportion to their numbers. This would be a political triumph. Not every political success has to result in a ‘seizure of power’, a ‘revolution’ of the order of Russia in 1917 or China in 1949 or Germany in 1933. There are big victories and there are the little victories – and the little ones pave the way for the big ones. A show of strength Newcomers to the nationalist scene are often surprised by the aggression and violence of the ‘anti-fascist’ communist and anarchist Left; they find it hard to understand that leftism – ostensibly a philosophy of egalitarianism, brotherhood, pacifism, benevolence, humanitarianism – is used to justify acts of intimidation and violence. They also are surprised to learn that the rights of freedom of speech, association, the right to protest, aren’t givens, so far as nationalists and the extreme-right are concerned – they have to be fought for. Events such as the Brisbane march serve as a wake-up call. It’s noted, by the Whitelaw Towers blog, that the Colliers-Myles gang picked on the marchers who weren’t physically imposing, i.e., in other words, wouldn’t be able to put up much of a fight and who would be easily knocked down. To generalise that incidence of physical weakness to the political sphere: the nationalists are politically weak and don’t enjoy the same rights and privileges as, say, members of the Liberal Party or the Jewish lobby (as identified by Bob Carr); they are marginal and hence easy prey for Hutchings and Myles, who, like jackals, go after the weaker animals in the pack. One of the reasons why the marchers were attacked was because they lacked a bodyguard and march stewards – tough, husky fellows – who would have dissuaded anyone from attacking the marchers by dint of their sheer physical presence. (On that note, where were the toughest of the tough, the skinheads, on the day of the march? Why didn’t they show solidarity with AF and the Golden Dawn and turn up and help deter the likes of Colliers and Myles?). Let’s have no sentimental illusions about this: it’s very unlikely that the violence would have occurred had the marchers been facing members of, say, a retail and hospitality union, or a financial sector union. Historically, maritime and construction unions have always attracted rogue elements who are thugs, crooks and racketeers. Part of the reason is that labour, as opposed to capital, is highly immobile when it comes to the construction and maritime industries. A capitalist can’t fire his entire workforce on a building site, or at the docks, and replace them with a brand-new bunch of workers, because finding those workers at short notice is impossible. Trade unions in those industries, representing a membership which in effect has a monopoly over the supply of labour, have more bargaining power than the average union and that can lead to coercive power. A dockworker’s or construction worker’s union can bring an enterprise screeching to a halt through a prolonged stop-work action, and a capitalist must give in to their demands, and quickly. Absolute power can corrupt absolutely, and it’s easy for an unscrupulous union leader in such an industry to abuse his position. We see this in Elias Kazan’s classic movie On the Waterfront (1954) and a host of American Mafia films, all based on true stories. In short, Hutchings may use criminal types, drawn from these industries, in the future and use them for acts of violence against nationalists. So what do we do? Firstly adopt the mentality that these criminals will only respect – or fear – the strong, and not the weak. They will only prey, jackal-like, on the weak, and that means nationalist demonstrators who are in small numbers, who aren’t physically imposing and who don’t look as though they can defend themselves. Political power is concomitant with a show of strength, and demonstrations are meant to be a show of the power and strength of one’s movement. A small turnout, a lack of husky bodyguards and march stewards – these won’t be respected by the thugs relied upon by Hutchings and the ‘anti-fascists’. Some Aussie nationalists don’t understand this. They believe that, because they see themselves as the party of the worker – in the same way that the communists or the German National Socialists saw themselves as the party of the worker – the Aussie worker, or the criminal elements thereof, won’t lay a hand on them. A street struggle, where criminal elements of the CFMEU are attacking nationalists, is a political struggle, and a conflict between the two (Aussie worker versus nationalist) is a ‘brother’s war’. True enough. But the likes of Colliers and Myles need to be forced to take their place in the hierarchy. I am at present reading a book by Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1945-1956 (2012), which is about the Soviet occupation of Eastern Germany, Poland and Hungary after the Soviet victory in Eastern Europe in WWII. One has to ask, after reading it: did free and independent unions, like the CFMEU, exist in communist Eastern Europe? Did they, for that matter, exist in National Socialist Germany? The answer is no in both instances: the free and independent unions, after the onset of socialism (Stalinist socialism in one instance, National Socialism in the other) were collapsed into one big national union which was patriotic, all-inclusive and not (paradoxically enough in the communist example) prone to waging class war. But to dwell on that period – one also has to ask: were criminal elements from the trade unions allowed to assault German NSDAP members, or Eastern European communist party members, in 1933 and 1945 respectively? The question answers itself. (One also has to ask: are rogue elements in the trade unions of China allowed to assault Chinese Communist Party members? Again, the question answers itself). Like the Eastern bloc communists, the NSDAP, and the Chinese Communist Party, the nationalists of Australia need to stand for the principle of law and order… One of the good things to come out of the Brisbane march is a national unity, amongst the various nationalist individuals, groups and organisations, which has emerged, along with a renewed determination to fight for our democratic rights. A sense of solidarity against a common foe is felt across all the groups, all the parties. In other words: ‘Touch one, touch us all’. LINK: http://www.natalt.org/2014/05/06/the-battle-of-brisbane-nationalists-fight-them-back/

Friday, 27 June 2014

ROBERT ORELL, A FORMER WHITE SUPREMACIST FROM SWEDEN

WHEN Robert Orell, 33, was in his early teens, he became involved in a white power movement. To put it bluntly, Orell was a neo-Nazi. Neo-Nazis seek to revive Nazism, the white supremacist movement made notorious by Adolf Hitler in the 1930s and 40s. The movement is characterised by its violence, racism and xenophobic attitudes. "When I first got involved, Xenophobic parties were not uncommon in the government, you had serious shooting of immigrants, a lot of attacks on asylum seekers, that sort of thing," says Swedish-born Orell. "We also had a popular youth culture focusing a lot on nationalism, on Sweden being the land of the Vikings, and during that time the racist groups started to recruit young Swedes if they saw an interest in nationalisms or history, that kind of thing. It was a natural base for recruitment. "I was a fairly insecure teenager, and I was hearing these messages about being special, about masculinity, about being a strong, cool Viking, and I felt attracted to that message. I also had a lot of personal troubles at that time - school failure, conflicts, that kind of thing, and my perception is that this group came at the right time for me, when the message I wanted to hear was 'You're special, you're part of a cause, we need you, we have a purpose for you.' "It wasn't intellectual - it was connection on an emotional base. I was prepared to die for these people, for this, it was so strong. Everything made sense, like a piece of a puzzle. I knew my friends, I knew my enemies, it all was so clear." Indeed, seeking belonging and a sense of purpose are some of the reasons why many young people become involved in white power groups all across the world, including Australia. "Recruitment isn't about ideology - it's important but it's not the primary factor of recruitment," says Orell. "You recruit people by offering a sense of belonging, a community. Looking at the radicalisation research globally, this notion comes up time and time again - with violent Islamic groups, for example, you see the same type of patterns." "The research we rely on shows that recruitment is certainly about identity, and it's that younger demographic who are likely to get involved in white supremacy groups," agrees Priscilla Brice, Managing Director of All Together Now, an anti-racism charity tackling recruitment by white power groups in Australia. "One in 10 Australians have racist attitudes, and believe that there are people who don't belong in this country because of their cultural background or ethnicity, according to the Challenging Racism study done by the University of Western Sydney. These attitudes are apparent online in chatrooms, in posters around cities, there's a White Supremacist concert in the Gold Coast every May, and there was one in September in Melbourne too. It's concerning," says Brice. In Australia, All Together Now seek to undermine recruitment into white power groups by targeting young men who are on the periphery. "More or less, all extremist environments are male dominated," says Orell. "They're masculine focused, the heroes are men, females are there to support the men. One of the girls I knew had two views of women - that they were either baby machines, or they had to be ten times as tough as the guys to match up. That was her description of it." All Together Now brought Orell to Australia to share his story so that young men who are involved might be dissuaded from joining groups. So how did someone like Orell, who was so heavily involved in the white power movement for so many years, actually leave? "It's not like it used to be," says Orell who currently heads up Exit Sweden, an organisation which provides support and rehabilitation for Neo-Nazis. "Since Exit started in 1998 in Sweden I have seen a lot of positive changes. Nobody thought you could leave the movement - once a Nazi always a Nazi, that kind of thinking. But today people know that you can go through all kinds of situations - drugs, gangs, extremism - and you can come back. That's a real shift in thinking. "For me personally, in one way it was like a release to leave, but in another way it was really hard. I went into the military with the idea to get military training for the 'coming revolution'. But when I was in the military I realised, I don't want to go back to [my old] life. "I started reflecting on my life, my comrades. These environments are very good at double standards - they say a lot of things that are very holy, and you can't break the rules. But people do. I had friends who robbed other Swedish people for money, who drank beer, but we weren't supposed to take drugs or commit crimes, unless they're for 'the cause'. To use steroids was looked down upon because one of the consequences is that you might become impotent, which meant you can't have white children, which destroys the cause. "The tough part was, this is a very sectarian environment and you're in it 24/7. These environments are so destructive. They foster hate and aggression, and you can't live like that for a long period of time. You think and you breathe and you eat the ideology and the movement and the world view, and when you want to leave you have a feeling of emptiness. I was really uncertain of my competencies, my interests, what I want to do or where I want to go. I thought, society won't want me back, I have no place there. I had no education, I was very unsure. That's why I am trying to use my experience in a good way - I didn't just waste all these years, I can use my experiences from that time to help people get out." Both Orell and Brice agree that the thing that takes people out of white power groups is the same thing that attracts them to them - relationship. "If you are an active white power member, you wouldn't get disengaged by a message on a board or a pamphlet - to make change you have to make relationships. These people who are in this sectarian environment and are so heavily influenced by the people around them, need other people to help them get out. This is what organisations like Exit Sweden and All Together Now help with - relational networks, be they formal, with professional relational workers like school counsellors, or informal. There's tonnes of research from the last decade on exit strategies and de-radicalisation, and this is one of the areas we have seen works. "Seeing people let that hate go is such a relief," says Orell. "It makes a change in your relationship with others, with yourself, all these things, when you let that hatred go. "There are two messages I want to get out in doing this. The first is that it is possible to understand and respond to these white supremacy environments if you have proper knowledge of radicalisation and the relational networks. The second is for people in the movement, that it is possible to get out. Society will take you back. You can make that change." LINK: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/how-a-neonazi-got-out-of-swedens-most-powerful-white-supremacy-group/story-fniym3t1-1226769235990

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

CENTRAL LEADER 25 JUNE 2014 - AUCKLAND'S HOMELESS

They're everywhere. People are sleeping in cars, garages or "couch surfing" at family and friends' houses all over Auckland because they have nowhere else to go. And the number of hidden homeless people is rising, housing providers say. One young mother who spoke to the East & Bays Courier is living in emergency housing provided by Island Child Charitable Trust in Pt England with her two-month-old daughter. She does not want to be identified for fear it will hurt her chances of getting the Housing New Zealand (HNZ) home she is on a waiting list for. Her landlord decided to sell her flat only a day after she moved in and the woman moved from couch to couch for about four months. The 28-year-old has no family to support her and turned to Island Child six months ago when she ran out of options. "It's frustrating waiting for a house. Going from couch to couch was hard because you feel like you're invading people's space - you don't know how long you'll be there. "Sleeping on couches is very common. There's more people out east like Pt England, Panmure. It's happening way more now because it's so hard." Island Child managing director Danielle Bergin says the woman arrived on her doorstep with no money, no transport, no means of communication and pregnant. "It's very hard to be heavily pregnant and arrive at emergency housing then give birth and return with a newborn, day-old, baby." Bergin has helped people who've been sleeping in cars at Pt England Reserve and families who've been living in garages. "So many of our families actually want to break the cycle, they don't want to be welfare dependent, but the process of helping them is so slow. They are falling through the gaps." An Auckland Council report this year shows about 15,000 people in Auckland are "severely housing deprived". Lifewise service manager Corie Haddock says the majority of those are unseen. The number of people coming to the organisation has increased by about 80 per cent in the past year alone, he says. A growing trend is people sleeping in cars in parking lots with groups of 20 to 30 vehicles at a time, he says. "In the time I've been here we've seen the numbers climb and climb. At some point we're just going to have to put our hands up and say ‘we've got a problem'. We've got to do something about it and it's got to be done soon. "There's a number of reasons behind the rise but first and foremost we have a housing crisis in this city." Auckland Action Against Poverty spokeswoman Nadia Abu-Shanab says it is often the most vulnerable people without homes. LINK: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/10192576/Aucklands-hidden-homeless

Saturday, 21 June 2014

BBC NEWS 12 JUNE 2014 - UKRAINE CRISIS: LATVIA'S RUSSIAN SPEAKERS FIND THEIR VOICE

As Ukraine is torn apart by divisions between nationalists and pro-Moscow separatists, other former Soviet States with large Russian-speaking populations are wondering nervously if the same thing could happen to them. Particularly in Latvia, where Russian-speakers make up 40% of the population. But Latvian Russian speakers who are pro-European are starting to make their voices heard. Their first language is Russian. They consume media from Moscow. They may even support Russian President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea. But many of Latvia's Russian-speakers are clear about one thing: they do not want to join Russia. "There are Latvian Russians who do not support Mr Putin and who feel like Europeans," said Igor Vatolin, a Russian-speaking Latvian, when we met in a cafe. "Of course there are Russian issues, but those issues should be discussed and solved in dialogue with the Latvian authorities inside the country." Separate lives Mr Vatolin has set up an organisation called the Movement of European Russians to show that the small number of very vocal supporters of Mr Putin in Latvia do not represent the views of most Russian speakers here. In the streets of the elegant capital Riga, where half of the population is Russian-speaking, you hear as much Russian being spoken as Latvian. Although the two communities often live very separate lives, speaking predominantly one language or the other, it is rare to see signs of tension between the two groups. But deep-seated resentments do exist. Latvia has the largest Russian-speaking population in the EU and many are descended from people who moved here during the Soviet era. Often Russians came here from elsewhere in the Soviet Union simply looking for a better life, in the same way Europeans today move around the EU. But the mass migration, say Latvian historians, was also an attempt by Stalin to dilute and eventually destroy Latvia's language and culture. Latvians have painful memories of this Soviet oppression. Every family can tell you a story of a grandparent or relative who was killed by Stalin's troops, or suddenly deported to Siberia without reason or warning. Russian speakers on the other hand say they have suffered discrimination since Latvian independence in 1991. Particularly galling for many, such as those who came here during the Soviet occupation, is that they were not automatically given Latvian citizenship after the collapse of the USSR - even though many supported Latvian independence. Instead they have to take a Latvian language and culture citizenship test. As a result, 300,000 Russian speakers - 15% of Latvia's population - are still classed as so-called non-citizens, and so do not have a vote. It is a complicated issue, which is easily politicised. And one that Mr Putin is vocal about. Crimea-style referendum Some older people never managed to learn Latvian, and so are unable to pass the test and as a result have found themselves disenfranchised. Others, however, refuse to take the test as a political statement. Or even prefer to keep their non-citizen passport because it enables them to travel visa-free to Russia on business or to see family. But most Russian-speakers have Latvian citizenship. And according to the Russian-speaking mayor of Riga, Nils Usakovs, they are well-integrated and take advantage of the ability to work and travel elsewhere in the European Union - and so they tend to have more links with the rest of the EU than with Russia. "If you take for instance a Russian-speaking teenager, most likely he has already been a couple of times to Berlin, or the UK, or at least Stockholm. He has probably never been to Russia because you need a visa to get to Russia, and because Moscow is more expensive than London sometimes." According to Professor Juris Rozenvalds, a sociologist at the University of Latvia, most Russian speakers in Latvia would oppose joining Russia in a Crimea-style referendum, because they see better economic prospects within the European Union. "European Russians are more educated, and they use the internet," he said. "And they see what the tendencies are at the moment in Russia. They see that the economic situation in Russia is comparatively hard. Because you have relatively high prices for oil and gas, and virtually zero growth in the economy." Back in the cafe, Mr Vatolin tells me that better rights for Russian speakers in the Baltics was once seen as a human rights issue. Today he believes it is now a matter of national security. The main aim of his Movement of European Russians is to push Latvia's government to improve minority rights here, before Mr Putin attempts to, by offering his "protection". "So we say to Mr Putin: We are not tools of your influence here in Latvia, but we say to our [Latvian] government: Please do solve those Russian issues, which Mr Putin regards as tools of his influence, otherwise it can be the same thing as in the Crimea and it's rather serious." If Mr Putin decides he wants to create instability in the Baltic republics, he could use the non-citizenship issue, Mr Vatolin believes. If the Kremlin suddenly decided, for example, to give Russian passports to the 300,000 Russian-speaking non-citizens here, Latvia would have a problem. Now it seems the country has two choices. Either each side becomes more nationalistic, and Latvia risks heading in the direction of Ukraine. Or the crisis in Ukraine becomes an incentive for both sides to work on finally solving the divisions within Latvian society. LINK: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27800878

Thursday, 19 June 2014

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES 18 JUNE 2014 - SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE 'YES CAMPAIGN' MOCKS CHINA'S PRO-UNION BACKING

Scotland's pro-independence campaign has slammed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's support for Britain's 307-year union by poking fun at the country's Communist party structure. A spokesperson for the 'Yes Campaign' said in a statement that "unlike people in China, people here will have a free and democratic vote on 18 September when they will decide on the future of their country. We believe that decision will be yes." During a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on 18 June, Li said he wants to see a "strong, prosperous and united United Kingdom". "I believe that the United Kingdom can stay at the forefront in leading the world's growth and development and also continue to play an important and even bigger role for regional stability and global peace," Li continued. "We certainly respect the choice you make." Scottish people will vote in an independence referendum on 18 September this year and will be asked the straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" The referendum period started on 30 May. Latest polls show that the gap between a 'Yes' and a 'No' vote are rapidly closing. Signalling a new record, Panelbase said around 43% of Scots are planning to vote to break the union when it comes to the referendum later this year. Panelbase, which was commissioned by the 'Yes Campaign' to poll 1060 Scots, also claimed that if the number of people who remain undecided on how they are going to vote are excluded, 48% would opt for an independent country. Another polling firm, ICM, said more Scots are looking to vote for independence in September after support for separation rose by 2 points to 36%. It said, in tandem, those who support the 'Better Together Campaign," have dropped to 43%. Li is the latest in a long line of world leaders to have voiced concerns over Scotland breaking away from the rest of the UK. At the beginning of this month, during his own joint press conference with Cameron, US President Barack Obama made a surprising set of comments over the issue. "I would to say the United Kingdom has been an extraordinary partner to us. From the outside at least, it looks like things have worked pretty well," Obama said. "We obviously have a deep interest in making sure that one of the closest allies that we will ever have remains strong, robust, united and an effective partner." LINK: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/scottish-independence-yes-campaign-mocks-china-after-premier-li-keqiangs-pro-union-backing-1453130

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES 19 JUNE 2014 - SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM

The British government has claimed that hundreds of companies will leave Scotland, trade ties will be severed, and the country will lose the pound, if the nation decides to end its 307-year union with the UK. As part of Whitehall's massive 1,400-page report on how Scotland contributes to and benefits from being part of the UK, the government said it gathered and analysed the opinions of hundreds of independent experts and organisations on what a separate Scotland would mean for individuals, businesses and other organisations. "People need to be informed about the consequences of the Scottish referendum. That's why we have undertaken the most rigorous and comprehensive analysis of Scotland's place in the UK ever attempted. You might call it 'Project Fact' - over 1,400 pages of analysis citing hundreds of independent experts and organisations," said Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, in a statement. "The conclusion is clear: almost every aspect of life in Scotland is enhanced and improved because we are part of the UK. "That's why we will share these conclusions with people in Scotland through the UK government's public information campaign, with a booklet going to every home in Scotland over the next few months." Scottish people will vote in an independence referendum on 18 September this year and will be asked the straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" The referendum period started on 30 May. Latest polls show that the gap between a 'Yes' and a 'No' vote are rapidly closing. Report Highlights The new government report said that Scotland has the best of both worlds, as part of the UK, as it can make its own decisions in devolved areas, while sharing risks and resources with the other parts of the UK. Whitehall added that more than 200 UK public institutions serve people in Scotland, but if the country decided to go it alone, it would lead to flight of businesses and investment. It added that the reason for this is because Scotland would lose the pound, in the event of independence, as "it would not be possible to recreate today's arrangements if that political union did not exist." "That is why all three of the largest political parties in the UK have ruled out sharing the pound or the Bank of England in a formal currency union," it added. The referendum period started on 30 May. Latest polls show that the gap between a 'Yes' and a 'No' vote are rapidly closing. Report Highlights The new government report said that Scotland has the best of both worlds, as part of the UK, as it can make its own decisions in devolved areas, while sharing risks and resources with the other parts of the UK. Whitehall added that more than 200 UK public institutions serve people in Scotland, but if the country decided to go it alone, it would lead to flight of businesses and investment. It added that the reason for this is because Scotland would lose the pound, in the event of independence, as "it would not be possible to recreate today's arrangements if that political union did not exist." "That is why all three of the largest political parties in the UK have ruled out sharing the pound or the Bank of England in a formal currency union," it added. The referendum period started on 30 May. Latest polls show that the gap between a 'Yes' and a 'No' vote are rapidly closing. Report Highlights The new government report said that Scotland has the best of both worlds, as part of the UK, as it can make its own decisions in devolved areas, while sharing risks and resources with the other parts of the UK. Whitehall added that more than 200 UK public institutions serve people in Scotland, but if the country decided to go it alone, it would lead to flight of businesses and investment. It added that the reason for this is because Scotland would lose the pound, in the event of independence, as "it would not be possible to recreate today's arrangements if that political union did not exist." "That is why all three of the largest political parties in the UK have ruled out sharing the pound or the Bank of England in a formal currency union," it added. LINK: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/scottish-independence-uk-government-unveils-mammoth-report-support-no-campaign-1453299

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

THE MOSCOW TIMES 17 JUNE 2014 - EUROPE BRACING ITSELF FOR WORST-CASE GAS SCENARIO

In the wake of Russia's decision to switch Ukraine to prepayment for gas starting Monday, the European Union is planning a new round of negotiations as the danger of supply disruptions to Europe heightens. European officials say, however, that the bloc is currently far better prepared to cope with shortages than it was back in 2009, when a dispute between Ukraine and Russia disrupted gas supplies to Europe. "Much has changed [since 2009]. We did a lot to improve the security of gas supplies. There are interconnections between member states; we have more reverse flow options. It is easier to help each other if necessary," European Commission spokeswoman Sabine Berger said. Europe on average depends on Russia to supply a third of its gas, half of which goes through Ukraine, so only 15 percent of EU supplies are endangered. Nonetheless, the European Commission, which mediated the unsuccessful gas talks between Russia and Gazprom, still hopes for a mutually beneficial resolution. Ukraine's storage facilities now hold 13.5 billion cubic meters, or bcm, of gas, according to the Gas Storage Europe monitoring agency. However, if Ukraine does not pump up its gas reserves to at least 18 bcm by the end of summer, deliveries to the EU will be at risk in winter, EU Energy Commissioner G√ľnther Oettinger said at a news conference in Vienna on Monday, following Russia's decision to switch Ukraine to prepayment. Gazprom said in a statement on Monday that gas transit to Europe was continuing unhindered and Berger said the same day that the supply to the EU "is normal." At the same time Gazprom said it had warned the EU that disruptions are possible if Ukraine's Naftogaz starts siphoning off gas from transit flows. Lilit Gevorgyan, senior economist at IHS Global Insight, a U.S.-based consulting company, was doubtful that Moscow and Kiev will find a quick compromise on gas price, meaning disruptions for Europe could soon follow. "Once Ukraine runs out of its own stored gas volumes, which is likely to be close to the cold months, the risk of gas supply disruptions to the EU will be far higher," she said, adding that although Europe may be in a better position than in 2009, it will still be difficult for it to find alternative supplies in the long run. "In the medium- and long-term, Russian energy imports remain a pressing problem for the bloc, both politically — as many in the EU see gas as a political lever for Moscow — and in terms of supply security, considering that Ukraine sends 50 percent of Russian gas to the EU," she said. Alternative Routes One alternative route for gas delivery to Europe that bypasses Ukraine is the giant South Stream pipeline, which is planned to be built along the bed of the Black Sea, entering Bulgaria and then going on to Serbia, Hungary and Austria with a capacity of 63 bcm. But because the project does not comply with EU anti-monopoly regulations that prohibit the same company from both producing and transporting hydrocarbons, South Stream has partly been put on hold. Earlier this month Bulgaria gave in to pressure from the EU and said work on its part of the pipeline had been put on hold until the project is brought in line with European laws. Gazprom has been promising to align itself with European laws since 2008 but has not managed to complete the job yet, said Mikhail Krutikhin, partner and analyst at the Russia-based RusEnergy consulting company. "The European Commission is not actually banning the project. It is just telling Gazprom to bring the documents into line with European laws, which works for everyone," he said. The South Stream project got a shot in the arm on Tuesday when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Serbia is ready to start building its leg of the pipeline in July as planned. Another alternative to gas shipments through Ukraine is the existing Nord Stream pipeline that links Russia with the gas network of Central and Western Europe via a trans-Baltic route. Yet it is filled only to half of its 55 bcm capacity as the use of its European link, OPAL, is restricted due to the same EU anti-monopoly rules that have slowed South Stream down. Even if it gets pumped to full capacity, Nord Stream will not replace gas deliveries through Ukraine. Nord Stream and the Yamal-Europe pipeline both supply consumers in central and western Europe, whereas deliveries via Ukraine are designated for other markets, such as Bulgaria, which is almost 100-percent dependent on Russian gas, Krutikhin said. He added that there is no real alternative for Russian gas supplies to Europe and that the only hope now is for the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to be resolved using diplomatic means. Any effort to find an alternative to Russian gas supplies will take time and until then both EU and Gazprom will have to find ways to ensure that the customers do not suffer, IHS Global Insight's Gevorgyan said. "Gazprom has already indicated that it is ready to meet its EU customers' needs using pipelines that bypass Ukraine. Furthermore, considering that Russia-EU energy relations commercially complement each other, Russia is still likely to remain a key energy supplier for the EU in the coming years," she said. LINK: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/europe-bracing-itself-for-worst-case-gas-scenario/502097.html

Monday, 16 June 2014

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES 17 JUNE 2014 - WHITE DOMINATION OF MANAGEMENT JOBS NEEDS UK GOVERNMENT REVIEW

The gap between the number of ethnic minority and white managers in UK businesses doubled between 2007 and 2012, according to Business in Community. The campaign group found that one in 10 employed people are black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), yet only one in 16 of top management positions and one in 13 management positions are held by BAME people. The research revealed that the share of BAME people in top management has increased by just 0.5% between 2007 and 2012, but in real terms the number of BAME people in top management positions has decreased from 95,023 to 73,378 – a drop of 21,645. The study found by 2051, one in five people in the UK will be from an ethnic minority background. Race for Opportunity, a Business in Community project, is calling for a government review into racial barriers in the workplace that is akin to the Lord Davies review into gender. "What I would like to see is a [government backed] review," Sandra Kerr, national campaign director for Race for Opportunity, Business in the Community, told IBTimes UK. "You need role models, you need people that can inspire a generation to play their part in all parts of society and business" "[After the review] I would like to see a sensible approach to see what the best solution is." The campaign group also found that nearly three-quarters (74%) of management positions held by BAME people are clustered in just three sectors: banking and finance; distribution, hotels and restaurants; and public administration, education and health. Yet the majority of management positions within the energy and water, construction, legal, media and political sectors continue to be held by white people. The research also revealed that the "other services" sector category had the second fastest growth rate of BAME managers – a 51% increase between 2007 and 2012. But the number of BAME people on the first rung of the promotion ladder in 2012 is at 10%, which is proportionate to the 10% of BAME people in employment. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/racial-inequality-management-jobs-needs-uk-government-review-1452905

Sunday, 15 June 2014

THE DOMINION POST POLITICS - WHERE ARE THE RIGHT-WING ALTERNATIVES?

OPINION: There may be more than one way to skin a cat but the same doesn't seem to be true of right-wing politics in New Zealand over recent years. ACT may be looking increasingly lonely and ridiculous as the only remaining right-wing outpost of National but there is nothing else currently on the horizon to take its place. There has been plenty of chatter about setting up a new right-wing vehicle, but mostly it seems to have been the sort of talk that takes place over dinner and a few wines. Other than excited arm-waving and critiquing of National's shortcomings as any sort of right-wing government, nothing has ever eventuated. As darling of the neoliberal set Matthew Hooton noted yesterday, money is hardly the problem; tens of millions of dollars has been sucked up by ACT over the years and could quickly be diverted into a new vehicle if required. A few years ago millionaire businessman Alan Gibbs even hosted a weekend stay-over for the country's right- wing luminaries after which many of the players were fizzing about the idea of a new party. But nothing came of that either. Hooton leads the charge among right-wing thinkers who believe the Key government is dangerously interventionist and middle of the road. Surprisingly, there are even areas where the likes of Hooton agree with Labour - corporate welfare and cronyism are labels both sides use to describe some of the Key government's intervention on behalf of players like Warner Bros or Chorus. National would call that pragmatism. The free market purists would argue that if the economic settings are right everyone would flourish. Whether there is enough life to fuel a new party in a movement which has struggled to find heroes since the heyday of Don Brash, Ruth Richardson, Sir Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble remains to be seen. The only decision so far seems to have been to pause for thought over the summer break following the initial flurry of interest. The mood for caution is understandable. National has become such a broad church it has sucked up all the oxygen to the right of the political centre. The Conservative Party may be the first sign of National’s centre right stranglehold loosening since it is a fair bet that some of the 2 or 3 per cent who look like peeling off to Colin Craig have come from National. There may still be room on National’s right, meanwhile, for a purist economic party like ACT once was (till it turned off its liberal supporters with its mash up of social conservatism and hardline law and order-ism). But it is hard to see it picking off refugees from National at a time when the economy is set to take off a rocket. Ad Feedback This is where National differs markedly from Labour, which even at the height of the Helen Clark years was never able to fill the sphere to the left of the political centre to the same extent. But under MMP this has been to its advantage. First the Alliance and then the Greens have been useful outlets for disaffected Labour voters, but because their votes stay on the left of Labour they still count on its side of the ledger and give it room to move in the opposite direction when it is looking for coalition allies. National's problem is that if ACT disappears, its only options lie with the Maori Party, NZ First or Colin Craig's Conservative party, which while morally conservative is far to the left of National on some areas of economic policy. Without ACT or another right-wing party as ballast on its other side, the dangers of a Conservative-National coalition would be two-fold - there would be some pretty sticky areas of policy difference to traverse and, more crucially, National would look entirely hostage to a party which is starting to look decidedly flaky. That's a problem not just after the election, but before. Even Prime Minister John Key must be privately wondering if Craig is barking mad, despite his attempts to gloss over the Conservative leader's latest clanger on the moon walk. Key bravely theorised that Craig is yanking the media's chain by keeping them guessing about his views on chemtrails and the moon landing conspiracy theory. He even suggested it might be a "genius" plan to make the headlines and win name recognition. Of course, if name recognition was the trick to success in politics, David Garrett, Aaron Gilmore and David Benson Pope would still be among us (in the public office sense). But Key is probably prepared to look a little bit ridiculous if it helps make Craig look a bit less flakey given that the damage he is doing to his own brand may already be rubbing off on National In life before Key, National had a women problem, one exacerbated by the hardline policies espoused by then leader Don Brash and the party's ill-considered liaison with a right-wing Christian group, the Exclusive Brethren in 2005. Both were enough to cause a mass exodus of women voters which only turned around under Key's leadership, starting with his repositioning of National on smacking, when he backed Helen Clark on the issue. Key might have got away with flirting with the Conservatives at the last election but the equation becomes much harder in 2014. In a sign of how quickly things can change, National lost a lot of women voters last year when it made a hash of education policy. The Christchurch East by-election was a wake up call to National that the tide is going out and while Labour's resurgence may not yet be showing up in the polls, it is evident in the mobilisation of its grass roots, who made a staggering 13,000 door knocks to secure the win. Key's choices are limited in those circumstances; in the absence of a credible alternative - and all there are stirrings at the moment - his best option on the right still remains ACT. Throwing it a lifeline in Epsom would give it a chance of limping back into Parliament and rebuilding, though patience must be wearing thin. As for the Conservatives, they will probably get a lifeline but the speed with which National announced Paula Bennett's candidacy in North Harbour to quell talk that a deal had already been done suggests Key is not there yet. And if Craig can’t think of a sensible answer when someone asks him next if he thinks Elvis faked his own death, he may never be. LINK: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/9490367/Where-are-the-right-wing-alternatives

Friday, 13 June 2014

WEEKEND HERALD 14 JUNE 2014 - FIST OF HUNGARY'S ANTI-SEMITIC PARTY TURNS OUT TO BE JEWISH

It's the tragedy of Eastern Europe in a single life - with a redemptive coda thrown in. Csanad Szegedi is the towering 31-year-old Hungarian whose career as an extremist politician, MEP and deputy leader of the notoriously anti-Semitic Jobbik party, was brought to a crashing halt when it emerged that he was Jewish. A history graduate from a university in Budapest, Szegedi was politicised as a student when the Communists returned to government. Searching for an anchor for his identity, he was a founding member of the radical nationalist party which took a hard line against Gypsies and Jews. Jobbik specialises in garish, violent rhetoric and simple solutions to knotty problems. Szegedi was seen, approvingly, as the "fist" of a party which dreamed of returning to the nationalistic rule of Miklos Horthy, who in 1944 helped the occupying Nazis send 400,000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in a mere eight weeks. Although Jews were a tiny minority in post-war Hungary, the community was one of Jobbik's favourite targets, blamed for plundering the country and allying with Gypsies to turn "pure" Hungarians into a minority. But the Szegedi family nursed a secret, about which the young politician knew nothing, and Szegedi's undoing was his precocious political success. He excited envy among some of his comrades, including an acquaintance called Zoltan Ambrus, who had served time in prison for possession of a pistol and explosives. Documents, which found their way to Ambrus, showed that Szegedi's origins were Jewish. Szegedi, by now one of Jobbik's three MEPs, tried to bribe him into silence. Instead Ambrus spilled the beans to the party. The consensus was that he should be thrown out. One colleague said: "The best way would be to shoot you in the head right now." Szegedi learned that his grandmother, maiden name Magdolna Klein, had been herded into a cattle car in 1944 and sent to Auschwitz where the first German she met was Dr Josef Mengele - who sent the 25-year-old to join those assigned work duties, instead of to the gas chambers. The following year she was liberated by the Red Army, returned to Hungary and married another Auschwitz survivor, whose wife and two children had been killed. They resumed the normal life of Hungarian Jews, visiting the synagogue every Friday. But during the uprising against Communist rule in 1956, the ancient prejudice was back, and the family chose to disappear into mainstream society. Magdolna made sure the Auschwitz number tattooed on her wrist stayed well covered. Expelled from the party that had been his life, Szegedi turned to an Orthodox Lubavitch rabbi for help. Initially suspicious, Rabbi Koves agreed to meet him. "I met a man who was in freefall," he said. "He had lost all his friends and all his certainties." The rabbi encouraged Szegedi to reinvent himself as what he was. He adopted the name Dovid, wore a kippah, grew a straggly beard, learned Hebrew, visited Israel, had himself circumcised. He obtained thousands of copies of his book, I Believe in Hungary's Resurrection, and burned them. Jobbik, Szegedi sees now, offered an illusory exit from the problem - into the euphoria of hatred. "The political intention of Jobbik's leadership is to generate tensions in society," he says. "It does not make much sense to debate with them, but the majority of Jobbik's one million voters are not anti-Semitic or racist - they are simply people in despair." LINK: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11274025

Thursday, 12 June 2014

THE MOSCOW TIMES 12 JUNE 2014: POLITICAL ACTIVIST WASHES HIMSELF OF RUSSIA'S PAST IN ANCIENT ROMAN TOMB

An activist walked into the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, stripped to his underpants, climbed into a bathtub-shaped ancient Roman sarcophagus, and proceeded to 'wash' off himself the name of the ruling United Russia party. The protest action titled "Unwashed Russia" — in an apparent nod to a renowned and opposition-minded 19th century poem by Mikhail Lermontov — symbolized the "need for Russia to cleanse itself of the filth and dirt of the past," the Siniy Vsadnik (Blue Horseman) art group that organized the action said, Grani.ru reported Wednesday. A video of the stunt showed two women, likely museum employees, walk into the room and look on as the activist rubbed vigorously at the logo of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party drawn in black on his torso, imitating the motions of a man taking a shower, and then climb back out. The sarcophagus emerged from the action intact, but the activist and two journalists who filmed the protest were briefly detained by police, Grani.ru reported. The video had garnered almost 4,000 views on YouTube a day after being posted. "You can't wash off United Russia," a reader said on the Ekho Moskvy website. "Anybody who joins it is tainted for life." It is not the first time a political protester undresses at a cultural venue to prove a point. In 2008, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, sentenced to jail for Pussy Riot's anti-Kremlin performance at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral, was part of a group who were photographed and filmed having intercourse at Moscow's State Biology Museum in protest of then-President Dmitry Medvedev's calls to increase the country's birth rate. LINK: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/political-activist-washes-himself-of-russias-past-in-ancient-roman-tomb/501914.html

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

UKRAINE CRISIS 10 JUNE 2014: US AIR FORCE SENDS B-2 STEALTH BOMBERS TO EUROPE FOR FIRST TIME

The U.S. Air Force has sent its most advanced bomber to Europe for the first time, amid the still-festering Ukraine crisis. Two B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, the most sophisticated warplanes ever employed in combat by the U.S., will be based for a “short-term deployment” at Fairford, a Royal Air Force base in England 90 miles (150 km) west of London -- just three hours’ flight away from the Russian border. The U.S. Air Force news release announcing the deployment, which began on Monday, makes no mention of the Ukraine crisis. However, Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, is quoted in it as saying that this training mission “demonstrates to our nation's leaders and our allies that we have the right mix of aircraft and expertise to respond to a variety of potential threats and situations." It’s not hard to read in the statement an indirect message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that, even after the withdrawal of most U.S. forces from Europe after the end of the Cold War, Washington has the ability to send advanced military hardware to the continent in support of its NATO allies. The stealth bombers have been employed in Europe before, when they attacked targets in Serbia during the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, but they were operating at the time from their base in Missouri, in the continental U.S., on round-trip missions that averaged 30 hours in duration. B-2s have been sent in the past to the U.S. base on the Pacific island of Guam. They have also operated during Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to the U.S. Air Force, from an undisclosed “forward operating location,” possibly the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. They have also taken part in operation Enduring Freedom, bombing targets in Afghanistan. The U.S. has 20 B-2As, made by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC). With a crew of two, they have a range of about 6,000 miles or 10,000 kilometers without in-flight refueling and can carry up to 50,000 lbs (23 metric tons) of bombs and missiles, both conventional and nuclear. The stealth bombers rely on their unconventional, flying-wing tailless design and special coatings to appear largely invisible to radar, which makes them ideally suited to penetrating the airspace of countries with advanced air defenses. The entire fleet is based permanently at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. LINK: http://www.ibtimes.com/us-air-force-sends-b-2-stealth-bombers-europe-first-time-amid-ukraine-crisis-1597214

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

REMEMBERING EVOLA'S DEATH 11 JUNE 1974: THE PATH OF CINNABAR

Julius Evola was a renowned Dadaist artist, Idealist philosopher, critic of politics and Fascism, 'mystic,' anti-modernist, and scholar of world religions. Evola was all of these things, but he saw each of them as no more than stops along the path to life's true goal: the realisation of oneself as a truly absolute and free individual living one's life in accordance with the eternal doctrines of the Primordial Tradition. Much more than an autobiography, The Cinnabar Path in describing the course of Evola's life illuminates how the traditionally-oriented individual might avoid the many pitfalls awaiting him in the modern world. More a record of Evola's thought process than a recitation of biographical facts, one will here find the distilled essence of a lifetime spent in pursuit of wisdom, in what is surely one of his most important works. Originally published in Italian in 1963, Integral Tradition Publishing have released the first English translation of The Path of Cinnabar where Baron Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola (born May 19, 1898 – died June 11, 1974) creates a guide to explain the purpose behind each of his key works and give a personal review of his contribution to his many fields of study including philosophy, spirituality, art and history. Being new to the works of Evola I found it an intriguing introduction to his thoughts and it I think it makes the perfect starting point for anyone wishing to explore his writings further. Paperback Book, 302 pages LINK: http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/the-path-of-cinnabar-an-intellectual-autobiography-of-julius-evola.html Publisher: Integral Tradition Publishing (2009) ISBN-10: 1907166025 ISBN-13: 9781907166020 Dimensions: 8.50 x 5.50 x 0.68 inches RRP: £17.95

Monday, 9 June 2014

10 JUNE 2014 - KINGSLAND BRUVS BLOG'S STATS

THIS AKL-BLOG STARTED IN MARCH 2014. In three months, I've got followers from 34 countries in every continent but Africa, mostly from (in order): New Zealand, USA, Germany, Italy, Australia, UK, Brazil, Russia, China and India. Am happy about this. Just keep following THE FREE VOICE OF AUCKLAND. Suggestions and ideas to improve the blog are welcome. Just e-mail me at: kingslandbruv@gmail.com Thanx, Kingsland Wolf

Sunday, 8 June 2014

THE OCCIDENTAL OBSERVER 6 JUNE 2014 - THE UKRAINIAN CONFLICT: A UKRAINIAN NATIONALIST VIEW

Over the past few months, there has been an enormous amount of analysis done in Western nationalist circles on the conflict in Ukraine. This analysis was, quite naturally, originally focused on the protests against the now overthrown Yanukovych government — and has since transferred towards the conflict between Ukraine and anti-state protesters inside the country. The events have been analyzed from an array of different perspectives: everyone from Eurasianists (or perhaps, I should call them “Duginists”) to Third Positionists and everything in between. Although each respective analysis has come from a different angle, virtually every single piece of information on Ukraine on Western nationalist websites shares one key trait: a complete lack of anything even remotely close to the Ukrainian nationalist view. This complete lack of presence of the Ukrainian nationalist view has given rise to numerous myths and quite strange theories. It can be compared to a modern, informational Iron Curtain. Western nationalists and Ukrainian nationalists currently live in separate universes in terms of their information, and this has lead to numerous, unfortunate misunderstandings. In this article, I hope to finally give the Ukrainian nationalist view. There are many topics to cover, and I will try to go over each of them as briefly as possible. The article is divided into three sections: myths regarding Ukraine, the overthrowing of the Yanukovych government, and the current conflict with the Russian Federation. I will most certainly be reading the comments and note any criticisms. So please, do not be shy. I do not ask you to believe only the Ukrainian nationalist view. I do ask you to remember that when taking any side in a conflict, one must know both sides of the argument itself. And at this moment, this is essentially impossible. Due to a widespread lack of informational presence of Ukrainian nationalists, only one side is known. Part 1: Myths of Ukrainian History and Culture Regardless of ideological school, every nationalist in the modern West is essentially a dissident in the classical sense of the word. Any person in the West who feels that Western peoples have the right to self-preservation risks being violently attacked, fired from work, or simply thrown into jail. As with many dissidents, the modern Western dissident looks for alternative information from sources that appear different from those of their oppressors. This is normal and logical. Yet, when discussing Ukraine this is a problem. The vast majority of information regarding Ukraine obtained by Western nationalists ultimately stems from the Kremlin: whether it is the more mainstream Russia Today or the more rebellious Alexander Dugin. It is no wonder, then, that the myths spread regarding Ukrainians closely resemble former Soviet myths and tactics regarding us. I will attempt briefly to go over the largest propaganda myths spread against Ukraine and refute them. Please be aware that a separate article can be written on each one, and I am only trying to briefly summarize the most widespread ones as briefly as possible. Myth 1: Ukrainians don’t exist Perhaps the biggest one (and most anti-Ukrainian one) is that “Ukraine is a fake state,” “Ukraine was never a state,” “Ukrainians are not a nation,” etc. Essentially, this piece of propaganda claims that the Ukrainian state is not a legitimate idea — that it is a state that was essentially created out of nothing, and this is the cause of its political turmoil. The myth becomes most insulting when it is claimed that the Communists created Ukrainians and/or Ukraine. This is the most insulting because it was actually the Communists that destroyed the first modern-day Ukrainian state: the Ukrainian Peoples Republic, which came into existence after the collapse of the Russian empire and was destroyed in 1920 after a war with the USSR. The early 20th century in general was a chaotic one for Ukrainians. Two identical, geographically separate Ukrainian states arose with the goal of reuniting Ukrainians: the Ukrainian Peoples Republic (eastern central Ukraine, central Ukraine, and some of Western Ukraine, as well as some lands currently located inside Russia arising out of the Russian Empire), and the Western Ukrainian Peoples Republic (with the rest of modern Western Ukraine, arising out of the Polish Empire). READ MORE AT: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2014/06/the-ukrainian-conflict-a-ukrainian-nationalist-view-part-1/

Friday, 6 June 2014

KINGSLAND WOLF ON FACEBOOK

IF YOU LIKE THIS BLOG and wanna be social as well, just find me out on FACEBOOK as Kingsland Wolf at: https://www.facebook.com/kingsland.wolf

Thursday, 5 June 2014

REUTERS (US Edition) 4 JUNE 2014: FIGHTING RAGES IN EASTERN UKRAINE TOWN, RESIDENTS FLEE

NEAR SLAVIANSK Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukrainian government forces battled separatists with artillery and automatic weapons on Wednesday in a second day of fighting in and around Slaviansk, forcing many residents to flee. The Kiev government, trying to break rebellions by pro-Russia militias, said over 300 rebels had been killed in the past 24 hours in the "anti-terrorist operation" centered on the eastern town, a strategically located separatist stronghold. Rebels denied this, saying losses among the Ukrainian forces during an offensive begun on Tuesday exceeded theirs. At an army checkpoint on the edge of town, heavy artillery shelling could be heard while a plume of black smoke rose above the outskirts. Automatic gunfire rattled out from nearby fields. Families fled the fighting through a barbed-wire checkpoint with only as much as they could carry. "It's a mess," sobbed a young woman as she clutched her husband's arm. "It's war." Andrei Bander left with his four-year-old daughter. "We are going. We don't even know where. We will head to Russia though because it's clear we need to leave Ukraine," he said, waiting for a taxi in a small a no-man's land between the two sides. In support for the Ukrainian forces, acting President Oleksander Turchinov and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov paid an impromptu visit, clad in flak jackets, to another army roadblock on the far side of the encircled town on Wednesday. A spokesman for government forces said two soldiers had been killed and 45 wounded since Kiev launched its offensive near Slaviansk with aircraft, helicopters and artillery. POROSHENKO PLAN Separatists controlling the town since early April denied the government's casualty figures and claimed to have shot down an army helicopter - something denied in turn by Kiev. "Losses to the Ukrainian side were more than ours," said Aleksander Boroday, "prime minister" of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic. He said nine had died and 15 were injured among separatists forces in Slaviansk. At a news conference in the regional capital Donetsk, he said separatists would mobilize forces and train volunteers to fight in Slaviansk and defend their positions in Donetsk. President-elect Petro Poroshenko ordered the resumption of operations by government forces soon after his May 25 election to quell the rebellion by militia in the Russian-speaking, where people were largely unable or unwilling to vote in the poll. In Warsaw, where he met U.S. President Barack Obama, he said he would unveil a plan for a "peaceful resolution" of the situation in the east after his inauguration next Saturday. Kiev says the fighting was stirred up by Moscow, which opposes its pro-Western course, and accuses Russia of letting volunteers cross into Ukraine to fight alongside the rebels. Moscow denies this and renewed calls on Wednesday for Ukraine to open dialogue with the separatists. But the separatists look to Moscow for help. "When is (Russian President Vladimir) Putin going to come help us?" asked a young man in fatigues at a rebel checkpoint. ANTAGONISM TOWARDS KIEV A few kilometers away, a man from central Ukraine said he belonged to a separatist group called the Russian Orthodox army. "This is our land. We will stand here until the last," he said. Slaviansk, a separatist stronghold of 130,000, has strategic value since it sits at the center of the Donbass region at the cross-roads of eastern Ukraine's three main regions. Government forces appeared to be tightening their grip but it was too soon to predict the outcome. A government camp in Luhansk, further to the east on the Russian border, was evacuated after an attack by separatists on Monday. The military operation has hardened antagonism against the present government that came to power when President Viktor Yanokovich was toppled in February after mass protests in Kiev. "Our Ukrainian army is not protecting us, instead it is attacking us. Thanks to them I have to flee my own land," said Larissa Zhuratova, a Slaviansk resident piling onto a bus full of refugees bound for Moscow. Men were mostly not being let through the army checkpoint. At a run-down dormitory in a village some 100 km south of the fighting, an eight-year-old refugee mimicked the sound of shelling. "It went ba-boom. We sat in the bathtub," little Vitaly said, playing with toys gifted by local residents.

BBC NEWS 4 JUNE 2014 - EASTERN UKRAINE CRISIS: REBELS TAKE BASES IN LUHANSK REGION

Separatist rebels have taken two Ukrainian military bases in the eastern region of Luhansk as fighting continues near the rebel-held town of Sloviansk. Separatists seized a border guard base after days of fierce combat, and a National Guard base after an attack which began on Tuesday. An apparent air attack in Luhansk city on Monday killed a number of civilians. Meanwhile, in the neighbouring Donetsk region, troops are closing in on the rebel stronghold of Sloviansk. Pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Ukraine's industrial heartland, declared independence after holding referendums last month which were declared illegal by the government in Kiev. The rebellion began amid the turmoil which followed the downfall in February of the elected Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, whose pro-Moscow policies sparked mass street protests in Kiev during the winter. Base siege Reports of casualties in the fighting in Luhansk could not be verified independently. Ukraine's border service announced on its website that the personnel in the base of the Luhansk border detachment had been "redeployed to safer places" as a result of sustained attacks by large rebel forces. The National Guard base came under sustained fire from mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, machine-guns and assault rifles on Tuesday after the soldiers rejected an ultimatum from a large rebel force to surrender, according to a report on the National Guard's website. Three soldiers were wounded and all of the base's vehicles and its headquarters building were destroyed in the fighting, the statement said. The garrison, it added, had now been "redeployed to a different, safe place". However, a rebel spokesman told Russia's Ria-Novosti news agency the soldiers had surrendered and had been allowed to "go home". The Russian news website ura.ru quoted a rebel commander as saying there had been "no battle as such" and the soldiers had simply surrendered after spiking some of their weapons. 'Surgeon killed' Investigations are continuing into the attack on the rebel-held regional administrative building in Luhansk on Monday afternoon. Rebels have accused the Ukrainian air force of killing eight civilians in the attack, and graphic video of bodies at the scene has been posted on websites. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said that, based on available evidence, "these strikes were the result of non-guided rockets shot from an aircraft. The number of casualties is unknown". But the Ukrainian authorities deny their planes were involved and suggest the damage was caused by the rebels themselves. Ukraine's interim President, Olexandr Turchynov, said in a statement on Tuesday that the northern part of Donetsk region had been "fully cleared" of separatists and the military had started blocking the border with Russia in the north and east of Luhansk region. Government forces took the town of Krasnyi Lyman, north-east of Sloviansk, after heavy fighting. A hospital was damaged by an air attack during the fighting and a surgeon killed by shrapnel, the hospital told Ukraine's Segodnya newspaper. Three patients were also wounded, it said. Photos of damage to the hospital were published by Segodnya. The rebels told Ria-Novosti that eight of their fighters had been killed in the town. In another development, Donetsk International Airport, scene of fierce fighting recently, said it would be closed until at least the end of June. Nato call Russia has been accused of fomenting the rebellion, following its annexation of another Ukrainian territory, Crimea, in March. Russian citizens have been fighting on the rebel side but President Vladimir Putin has again denied any official involvement by the Russian military. In an interview for French radio station Europe 1, he said: "No Russian military force and no Russian military instructor are present in south-east Ukraine". Nato's top military commander, US General Philip Breedlove, has said that Russian irregular forces, and forces backed and funded by Russia, are very active in eastern Ukraine and "this has to stop". Speaking in Brussels, he confirmed Russia was pulling back most of its troops from the Ukrainian border but a portion of the Russian force looked "like it intends to remain". LINK: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27693781

EASTERN UKRAINE 3 JUNE 2014: SLAVYANSK STORMED

Slavyansk. Hundreds, even thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and members of the National Guard of Ukraine died as the city of Slavyansk was stormed. Aleksandr Hodakovskiy, commander of the Vostok Battalion, announced the news, RIA Novosti reported. ”These are huge figures for Ukraine who has not been involved in wars since 1945. This is not normal. This is against nature. Silence is simply being kept about that. The Ukrainian media do not speak about that in order not to scare the public,” Mr Hodakovskiy, who occupies the post of head of the security service of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, said. The most violent clashes between the volunteer corps and the Ukrainian forces took place on June 3, it is reported. LINK: http://www.focus-fen.net/news/2014/06/03/338388/ria-novosti-russia-hundreds-even-thousands-of-ukrainian-soldiers-die-as-slavyansk-is-stormed-volunteer-corps-say.html

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

ACTIVIST POST 26 AUGUST 2013: IT IS ILLEGAL TO FEED THE HOMELESS IN CITIES ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES

MAYBE YOU DO NOT KNOW BUT...It Is Illegal To Feed The Homeless In Cities All Over The United States. What would you do if a police officer threatened to arrest you for trying to share a sandwich with a desperately hungry homeless woman who really needed it? Such a notion sounds absolutely bizarre, but this is actually happening in major cities all over the United States. More than 50 large U.S. cities have adopted "anti-camping" or "anti-food sharing" laws in recent years, and in many of these cities the police are strictly enforcing these laws. Sometimes the goal appears to be to get the homeless people to go away. Apparently the heartless politicians that are passing these laws believe that if the homeless can't get any more free food and if they keep getting thrown into prison for "illegal camping" they will eventually decide to go somewhere else where they won't be hassled so much. This is yet another example of how heartless our society is becoming. The middle class is being absolutely shredded and poverty is absolutely exploding, but meanwhile the hearts of many Americans are growing very cold. If this continues, what is the future of America going to look like? READ MORE AT: http://www.activistpost.com/2013/08/it-is-illegal-to-feed-homeless-in.html

Monday, 2 June 2014

THE DOMINION POST 3 JUNE 2014: WARNING AS NEW LEGAL HIGHS HIT SHELVES

A poisons expert has warned of risks to users' health from new legal highs that have appeared to replace synthetic cannabis. Legal highs brand Tai High has introduced a new "non-psychoactive" smoking blend, claiming to be free of cannabinoids, nicotine and tobacco. The warning comes as information provided to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act shows girls as young as 13 were left unconscious after smoking synthetic cannabis in the final months before the drugs were banned. National Poisons Centre reports reveal that users described "black vomit", suicidal thoughts and blacking out repeatedly after smoking the substances. Doctors and paramedics sought advice from the centre on handling the drugs, with one call from ambulance staff asking whether a 13-year-old who had passed out at school needed to be admitted to hospital. In another case, a woman showed up at a medical centre, saying she felt unwell after her son mixed synthetic cannabis with her fizzy drink, the reports show. All suppliers of psychoactive substances had their licences pulled last month, less than a year after the Government set up the world's first regulated market for synthetic highs. The withdrawal of licences came after growing public concern about the damaging impact of the drugs. Although the ban was welcomed by many, others said it would simply push the substances on to the black market, or force users on to harder drugs. Figures show that, in the six months before the ban was introduced, the poison centre received 153 calls from people saying they suffered bad effects from synthetic cannabis. The most common reports were of repeated vomiting, unconsciousness and stomach pains. Many reported feeling ill while trying to quit the drugs, with the number rising as the ban loomed. Ill-effects, including vomiting for hours, were reported from synthetic cannabis brands that were legal until last month and had been deemed "low risk" by the Ministry of Health. The new substances introduced by Tai High contain Turnera diffusa, or damiana, the herbal base used in synthetic cannabis but without the psychoactive component. The ministry's legal high regulatory body did not classify the plant material as a psychoactive substance but as a herbal smoking product, Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority manager Donald Hannah said. However, a National Poisons Centre spokeswoman said such products were notorious for being contaminated with illegal substances. According to the information provided by the manufacturer, the new legal highs did not contain any psychoactive components or anything illegal, she said. "But watch this space." Ad Feedback Damiana had been known to have properties of its own, she said. According to Tai High's website, damiana leaves were used as an aphrodisiac and had been used for sexual stimulation, increased energy, and treating asthma, depression, impotence and menstrual problems. Tai High also said that when the plant material was drunk as a tea it had a relaxing effect similar to low doses of cannabis. The poisons officer said legal high manufacturers were notorious for keeping actual ingredients secret and changing ingredients at the drop of a hat. "I'm sure there will be people plotting manipulation as we speak." Tai High did not return calls. The ministry had predicted as many as 200 synthetic cannabis addicts would need help after the ban but addiction services said they had not yet seen a rise in demand. Jenny Boyle, the Salvation Army's operation manager for alcohol and drug services, said roughly 10 per cent of its clients were recovering from synthetic cannabis addiction. Demand had remained "static" but it was too early to tell what effect the ban was having. Police have charged three people with either possession or selling synthetic cannabis since the ban was introduced. 'FEELS LIKE DYING' What synthetic cannabis users, their family and friends said in calls to the National Poisons Centre: I've had non-stop vomiting and haven't eaten for the past five days. My partner and I have been using synthetic cannabis. She feels like she is dying, her lungs are burning. My son is vomiting and becomes very agitated after smoking, very aggressive and psychotic. My son has had several violent seizures and was treated in hospital several times. His kidneys were only working at 50 per cent.

NZ HERALD 30 MAY 2014: CONFERENCE TO TACKLE ASIAN GROWTH

Discussion on whether migration will lead to racial backlash or create a vibrant multicultural society. The Asian population could hit 800,000 in 10 years and more than two-thirds will be living in Auckland, participants at a Chinese conference this weekend will be told. By the mid-2020s, the Asian working population of people aged between 15 and 65 will number 540,000, which will be larger than Maori and Pasifika, according to projections by Massey University sociologist Paul Spoonley. He will reveal the figures at the Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons conference, which opens tonight and runs until Sunday at the University of Auckland Business School. "Banana" is a term used to describe Chinese who "are yellow on the outside but are white inside", said conference co-chairman Kai Luey. Professor Spoonley's session on Sunday will also discuss whether the boom in Asian population will result in a racial backlash or lead to a vibrant multicultural society and an accepted norm. The professor said Asian migration would remain a key feature in changing the demographics of New Zealand, and especially Auckland. In the 2013 Census, 23 per cent of Auckland's 1.42 million population identified as Asian, and this is expected to significantly increase over the next decade. "By the mid-2020s, the Asian population will exceed half a million in Auckland out of a New Zealand Asian population of 800,000," Professor Spoonley said. "The biggest concentration will be in Auckland within the old Auckland City area with almost 200,000." He said the Chinese community (171,000) was being "caught out in size" by the Indian population (155,000) in the city. "I expect the Chinese to settle at about a third of all Asians, especially given the growth of the Indian and Filipino communities." The Asian working population is also projected to be larger than Maori and Pasifika. He said Asians would be a "very significant feature" of the workforce, but could face challenges such as a "bamboo ceiling". It would also be a challenge to increase Asian participation in politics because more than a third did not vote in the last election "We still haven't adjusted to the fact that Asians are a significant part of our labour market, and there appears to be some resistance in employing them. I think there's going to be a tipping point, particularly when we get New Zealand-born and raised Asians, who are going to transform politics here in the same way Maori did in the 80s and 90s." LINK: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11264247