Category Archives: UK

Tory MP’s Private Company in Charge of Election votes and counts

Tory MP Peter Lilley’s company IDOX was given contracts across Scotland by SNP and Labour councils to quietly privatise the entire electoral process and control of postal votes and election counts across Scotland.

The contracts were awarded to ensure private control of all Scottish elections for the three year period covering the EU election, the general election, the EU referendum and the Scottish Elections which allow IDOX to control, open, count and put forward “postal” ballot papers to be put into ballot boxes right up to the 10pm deadline.

By May 2013 IDOX boasted they already had control of elections and voter registration and votes for 13 million people across the UK in the privatisation of all elections that most voters in the UK are completely unaware of.

Does this mean it is possible for postal votes to be binned (if private operators don’t agree with the vote provided) and replaced using signatures they store electronically and can ballot papers be made up in peoples’ names right up to the 10pm deadline using the information held in the IDOX database -based on lists that tell you who did not vote in previous elections and election voting history held by IDOX for what appears to be moving fast for all of the UK?

Is this why leader of the Scottish Tory party, Ruth Davidson, declared she knew the postal vote results before the election count started?

In May 2015 an article “IDOX Elections Delivering Modern Democracy” said “Despite concerns over abuse of the system and fraud, the Electoral Commission maintains that there is no evidence of widespread and systematic abuse, and that it would not be ‘proportionate’ to scrap postal voting”


via Tory MP’s Private Company in Charge of Election votes and counts

When We Loved Mussolini | by Adam Tooze | The New York Review of Books

The United States and Fascist Italy: The Rise of American Finance in Europe

by Gian Giacomo Migone, translated from the Italian and with a preface by Molly Tambor
Cambridge University Press,

Antifascism was the founding myth of the Italian republic after 1945.

via When We Loved Mussolini | by Adam Tooze | The New York Review of Books

Did Winston Churchill really praise Benito Mussolini? – Quora

Yes and quite effusively. He said “ I could not help being charmed, like so many other people have been, by his gentle and simple bearing and by his calm, detached poise in spite of so many burdens.” Churchill went on to say if he had been Italian he would have supported Mussolini.

However like most apparently damning statements, you have to understand the context. The occasion was a joint January 1927 press conference in Rome, given by both Churchill and Mussolini. Churchill at the time was Chancelor of the Exchequer – Britain’s Finance Chief. He had just finalised negotiations under which the Italians agreed to pay £592 million (worth $40 billion in today’s money) in disputed war debt, with payments to start in 1930 and continue to 1988.

via Did Winston Churchill really praise Benito Mussolini? – Quora

20 Jan 1927 – MUSSOLINI AND CHURCHILL. – Trove

A Friendly Interview.
Rome, Jan. 13.
The Chancellor of the-Exchequer (Mr.
Winston Churchill) has arrived on a pri-
vate visit. He had an hour’s interview
with Signor Mussolini, the last half of
which was private. The British Ambas-
sador had previously been present. It
is understood that the conversation was
most friendly. Signor Mussolini accom-
panied Mr. Churchill to the doorway and
warmly shook hands with him.
The newspapers emphasise that while
the interview has no political signifi-
cance, it shows the cordiality of Anglo-
Italian relations.

via 20 Jan 1927 – MUSSOLINI AND CHURCHILL. – Trove


With all opposition to the Fascist regime brutally silenced, King Victor Emmanuel III ordered Mussolini to sign a Concordat with the Vatican.
Pope Pius X I.
Pope Pius X I.
Pope from 1922 to 1939.

In February 1929, Mussolini signed the Lateran Accords on behalf of the king.

The Accords gave the Pope 110 acres (0.44 square km) which became known as Vatican City State.

Italy now had 3 rulers: Pope Pius XI, Victor Emmanuel III, and Mussolini.

Mussolini signing the Lateran Accords
Mussolini signing the Lateran Accords
on behalf of the king.

From that time onward, Italy was a triumvirate with 3 rulers: the Pope-king, the king of Italy, and Mussolini. Any creature with 2 head is a monster but this new regime was a cyclops. Immediately after signing the Accords, Mussolini was honored with the flattering title: Knight of the Holy Sepulchre:


Winston Churchill ‘ordered assassination of Mussolini to protect compromising letters’ – Telegraph

Winston Churchill ‘ordered assassination of Mussolini to protect compromising letters’
Winston Churchill ordered the assassination of Benito Mussolini as part of a plot to destroy potentially compromising secret letters he had sent the Italian dictator, a leading French historian has suggested.

via Winston Churchill ‘ordered assassination of Mussolini to protect compromising letters’ – Telegraph

Όταν ο Τσώρτσιλ εξυμνούσε τον Μουσολίνι

Η Ιταλία έδειξε ότι υπάρχει ένας τρόπος να παλέψεις τις ανατρεπτικές δυνάμεις, ένας τρόπος που μπορεί να κινητοποιήσει την πλειοψηφία του κόσμου, η οποία κατάλληλα καθοδηγούμενη, μπορεί να εκτιμήσει και να θελήσει να υπερασπίσει την τιμή και τη σταθερότητα των πολιτισμένων κοινωνιών. Η Ιταλία παρείχε το απαραίτητο αντίδοτο στο ρώσικο δηλητήριο. Από δω και στο εξής, κανένα μεγάλο έθνος δεν θα μείνει χωρίς το έσχατο μέσο προστασίας απέναντι στην ανάπτυξη καρκινωμάτων… Αν ήμουν Ιταλός θα ήμουν με όλη την καρδιά μαζί σας, από την αρχή μέχρι το τέλος, στη θριαμβευτική σας μάχη ενάντια στις βάρβαρες ορέξεις και τα πάθη του Λενινισμού»

via Όταν ο Τσώρτσιλ εξυμνούσε τον Μουσολίνι

Brexit Disaster Capitalism: £8 Billion Bet on No Deal Crash-Out by Boris Johnson’s Leave Backers – Byline Times

From the financial data publicly available, Byline Times can reveal that currently £4,563,350,000 (£4.6 billion) of aggregate short positions on a ‘no deal’ Brexit have been taken out by hedge funds that directly or indirectly bankrolled Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign.

Most of these firms also donated to Vote Leave and took out short positions on the EU Referendum result. The ones which didn’t typically didn’t exist at that time but are invariably connected via directorships to companies that did.

Another £3,711,000,000 (£3.7 billion) of these short positions have been taken out by firms that donated to the Vote Leave campaign, but did not donate directly to the Johnson leadership campaign.

Currently, £8,274,350,000 (£8.3 billion) of aggregate short positions has been taken out by hedge funds connected to the Prime Minister and his Vote Leave campaign, run by his advisor Dominic Cummings, on a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

via Brexit Disaster Capitalism: £8 Billion Bet on No Deal Crash-Out by Boris Johnson’s Leave Backers – Byline Times

How to take over your town: the inside story of a local revolution | Society | The Guardian

via How to take over your town: the inside story of a local revolution | Society | The Guardian

Opinion | Brexit, Borders, and the Bank of England (Wonkish) – The New York Times

But the BoE’s worst-case scenario shows a cost exceeding 10% of GDP, around three times what a CGE would tell you. Where’s that coming from?

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Part of the answer is that the BoE includes some nonstandard effects of trade: they assume that reduced trade (and foreign direct investment) will reduce productivity more than the direct impacts on resource allocation would predict. They cite some statistical evidence, but it’s important to realize that this is black-box, reduced-form stuff: there’s no explicit mechanism through which it’s supposed to happen.

However, these assumed nonstandard effects aren’t what’s driving the really bad scenarios; they only, as I understand it, contribute something like 1 percentage point of GDP to the predicted costs.

via Opinion | Brexit, Borders, and the Bank of England (Wonkish) – The New York Times

Mervyn King Says May’s Brexit Deal Is a Betrayal – Bloomberg

t saddens me to see the Bank of England unnecessarily drawn into this project. The Bank’s latest worst-case scenario shows the cost of leaving without a deal exceeding 10 percent of GDP. Two factors are responsible for the size of this effect: first, the assertion that productivity will fall because of lower trade; second, the assumption that disruption at borders — queues of lorries and interminable customs checks — will continue year after year. Neither is plausible. On this I concur with Paul Krugman. He’s no friend of Brexit and believes that Britain would be better off inside the EU — but on the claim of lower productivity, he describes the Bank’s estimates as “black box numbers” that are “dubious” and “questionable.” And on the claim of semi-permanent dislocation, he just says, “Really?” I agree: The British civil service may not be perfect, but it surely isn’t as bad as that.

via Mervyn King Says May’s Brexit Deal Is a Betrayal – Bloomberg

Brexit: An unorthodox view, Yanis Varoufakis, Srećko Horvat & Elif Shafak (full) – YouTube

Srećko Horvat, a Croat philosopher, Elif Shafak, renowned Turkish novelist, and Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s former finance minister, bring to this conversation an intriguing perspective. As intellectuals who know Britain well, they understand first hand the perils of nationalism, disintegration, isolationism and marginalisation. They place post-Brexit Britain in a context informed by a view of Europe and Britain from the continent’s opposite ‘corner’, sharing insights from Greece’s tensions with Brussels and Berlin, Yugoslavia’s disintegration, and Turkey’s fraught relationship with a Europe that both courts and marginalises it. (A Guardian Live event with three of DiEM25’s Coordinating Collective)

via Brexit: An unorthodox view, Yanis Varoufakis, Srećko Horvat & Elif Shafak (full) – YouTube

Who is behind the push for a post-Brexit free trade deal with the US? | Felicity Lawrence | Opinion | The Guardian

All services and government procurement should be opened to international competition. While these thinktanks acknowledge that opening up the NHS might be too controversial, they think it a good idea. And protections designed to avoid workers being exploited or undercut by cheap migrant labour, which, for example, limit the number of hours people can be asked to work, or require parity of pay with local workers for those posted abroad, should be removed, says Plan A+. The same goes for environmental protections, food standards and the precautionary principle that the EU favours when assessing risk.

The US sees many of these rules as protectionist, Plan A+ explains. It says that in order to persuade the US to make concessions that would allow the UK’s services sector greater access to its markets, Britain will have to make concessions on standards the Americans find irksome, especially in food, agriculture and other goods. The things the US complains about and wants conceded include limits on pesticide residues and hormone-disrupting chemicals in food, nutritional labelling, the use of genetically modified organisms, the export of animal byproducts including some specified risk material for BSE, food additives such as flavourings that the EU has banned because of concerns over safety, hygiene rules including chlorine treatments on poultry and other meats, and animal-rearing standards such as the use of growth-promoting chemicals in pork and hormones in beef production.

via Who is behind the push for a post-Brexit free trade deal with the US? | Felicity Lawrence | Opinion | The Guardian

Percentages agreement

Churchill called it a “naughty document”.[5]

Regarding its import, Gabriel Kolko writes:

There is little significance to the memorable and dramatic passage in Churchill’s autobiography recalling how he and Stalin divided Eastern Europe … Stalin’s “tick,” translated into real words, indicated nothing whatsoever. The very next day Churchill sent Stalin a draft of the discussion, and the Russian carefully struck out phrases implying the creation of spheres of influence, a fact Churchill excluded from his memoirs. Eden assiduously avoided the term, and considered the understanding merely as a practical agreement on how problems would be worked out in each country, and the very next day he and Molotov modified the percentages in a manner which Eden assumed was general rather than precise.[8]

Geoffrey Roberts says similarly of the agreement: “It’s a good story but, like so many of Churchill’s tales, the lily was somewhat gilded.”[9]

Henry Butterfield Ryan states, however, that “Eden and Molotov haggled over these quantities as though they were bargaining over a rug in a bazaar, with Molotov trying, eventually successfully, to trim Britain’s figures.”[2]

Stalin did keep to his promise about Greece, but did not keep his promise for Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, which became one-party communist states with no British influence. Yugoslavia became a non-aligned communist state with very limited Soviet or British influence. Britain supported the Greek government forces in the civil war but the Soviet Union did not assist the communist guerrillas.[10]

A draft of the agreement, which was yet to be made in 1944, appeared under strange circumstances when it was supposedly intercepted in 1943 and fell into the hands of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco’s secret service. This was mentioned by General Jordana, in a famous speech he gave in April 1943 in Barcelona.[11]

via Percentages agreement

Eddie Myers – SOE- controlled British Military Mission to occupied Greece. Wikipedia

From October 1942 to early 1944, brevetted first to Colonel and then to Brigadier, he headed the SOE- controlled British Military Mission to occupied Greece. In this capacity, he was directly involved in the coordination of the rival ELAS and EDES partisan groups for the destruction of the Gorgopotamos viaduct in November 1942 (Operation Harling), and for the British destruction of the Asopos railway bridge on 21 June 1943 as part of Operation Animals. Increasingly drawn into the brewing conflict between the Communist-dominated ELAS and the royalist EDES, as well as into British designs to restore the unpopular Greek monarchy postwar, Myers was criticised by the Foreign Office for what they believed to be favourable treatment towards ELAS and he was removed from his post. He was succeeded as head of the British mission by his deputy, Chris “Monty” Woodhouse.

via Eddie Myers – Wikipedia

Γιατί οι Ναζί παρέμειναν στην Κρήτη ακόμα 8 μήνες μετά την απελευθέρωση

Μάιος 1945. Μοιάζει απίστευτο αλλά 8 ολόκληρους μήνες μετά την αναχώρηση των γερμανικών στρατευμάτων από την ηπειρωτική Ελλάδα, 1 μήνα από την άνευ όρων παράδοση της Γερμανίας στους συμμάχους, οι Γερμανοί στην Κρήτη βομβαρδίζουν χωριά, εκδίδουν διαταγές και εκτελούν αιχμάλωτους.

9 Μαΐου 1945. Οι Γερμανοί υπογράφουν συμφωνία παράδοσης της Κρήτης, όχι με την ελληνική Κυβέρνηση, αλλά με τους Άγγλους. Στη συμφωνία που είχε συνταχθεί στα αγγλικά προβλέπεται ότι, μέχρι να παραλάβουν το νησί οι βρετανικές δυνάμεις, οι Γερμανοί θα διατηρούν τον οπλισμό τους και θα εκτελούν τις διαταγές τους.

Έτσι οι Γερμανοί έμειναν στην Κρήτη, κατά παγκόσμια πρωτοτυπία, “ένοπλοι αιχμάλωτοι”.

Πώς όμως εξηγούνται όλα αυτά ;

Οι Άγγλοι ήρθαν σε συμφωνία και χρησιμοποίησαν τα γερμανικά στρατεύματα που είχαν εγκλωβιστεί στην Κρήτη περιμένοντας την κατάληξη της εμφύλιας σύρραξης στην ηπειρωτική Ελλάδα. Αν επικρατούσε το ΕΑΜ, οι Βρετανοί δεν θα επέτρεπαν την ενσωμάτωση της Κρήτης σε μια κομμουνιστική Ελλάδα.

Πολλές μαρτυρίες επιβεβαιώνουν ότι οι Άγγλοι προωθούσαν σχέδια πολιτικής αυτονομίας του νησιού που ευτυχώς δεν χρειάστηκε να πραγματοποιηθούν.

«Όσο πλησίαζε το τέλος της γερμανικής κατοχής στην Κρήτη, ιδιαίτερα στον νομό Ρεθύμνου άρχισε μια αγγλοκίνητη κίνηση γι’ «αυτονομία» της Κρήτης με επικεφαλής κάποιο Παπαδογιάννη «. ( Δ. Βλαντάς )
Ο Εμμανουήλ Μπαντουβάς αναφέρει ότι του προτάθηκε από τον πράκτορα της SOE Γουντχάουζ να ηγηθεί αυτονομιστικής κίνησης με την οικονομική στήριξη της Αγγλίας. Σε αντάλλαγμα ο Μπαντουβάς θα χριζόταν πρώτος πρόεδρος της αυτόνομης Κρήτης.

via Γιατί οι Ναζί παρέμειναν στην Κρήτη ακόμα 8 μήνες μετά την απελευθέρωση

Wolfgang Streeck, Ben Jackson | Interview: capitalism, neo-liberalism and democracy

Remember that ‘learning from Germany’ has been a topic of British political-economic discourse since the nineteenth century – think, for example, of vocational training or industrial trade unionism. But Britain had been on a different path for a long time, and beginning in the 1980s was much more than Germany receptive to the lures of ‘financialisation’. I seem to remember that it was Robert Putnam who, when asked how one could build the same kind of manufacturing communities that had in their time made Northern Italy so competitive, suggested that one should try to ‘get a different history’. I do not want to be overly fatalistic. But I am convinced that competitive advantage in global capitalism, and in particular the capacity of a national economy to carve out for itself a niche of more or less durable prosperity in the world economy, are of very long making.

via Renewal | Wolfgang Streeck, Ben Jackson | Interview: capitalism, neo-liberalism and democracy

Against Supranationalism: A Defence of National Sovereignty and Brexit

As the academic and author John Laughland recounts in his enlightening 1997 book, The Tainted Source: The Undemocratic Origins of the European Idea, the standard view of the Nazis as hysterical nationalists that exalted the nation-state is grossly mistaken. ‘[F]ar from exalting the nation-state, fascists generally hated it’, Laughland writes. ‘[T]he rejection of the sovereign nation-state as a viable political and economic entity on its own was explicit in Nazi and fascist thought’.[5] Even more interesting (and unsettling) is the fact that they rejected national sovereignty for the very same reasons that contemporary thinkers and commentators reject national sovereignty – for being ‘out of date’. Much like contemporary supranationalists, fascists were obsessed with modern technology and economic interdependence:

One of the main reasons why fascists were convinced that the nation-state was at an end was because of technological development. They felt that notions of national sovereignty were simply anachronistic in a modern world with an interdependent economy, international transport, and electronic telecommunications.[6]

Camillo Pellizzi, a leading fascist intellectual of the time, for instance, argued: ‘No single European nation can hope even now, still less in the future, to compete in military, economic or cultural matters with the great forces that are coming to birth or are already in being outside Europe’.[7] For this reason, the Nazis believed that ‘the development towards larger units’ was economically inevitable.[8] To that end, they proposed the creation of a new European economic order to do away with ‘the economic Balkanisation of Europe’.[9] Here the similarities between Nazi thought and the pro-Europeanism of our own day are the most striking. In 1940, Hermann Göring, president of the Reichstag, laid out a detailed plan for ‘the large-scale economic unification of Europe’.[10] This included the creation of a customs union, a single European market, a European clearing system and the establishment of fixed exchange rates between countries, ‘looking towards a European currency union’.[11] But Nazi plans for European integration were as political as they were economic. As Heinrich Hunke, president of the Berlin Union of Businessmen and Industrialists, said: ‘The necessity of a political order for the economic co-operation of peoples is recognised’.[12] The ultimate aim, according to Hunke, was the establishment of ‘political union in Europe’.[13]

via Against Supranationalism: A Defence of National Sovereignty and Brexit

Το φιάσκο του Τσόρτσιλ στα Δωδεκάνησα και ο λιμός στην Ινδία – του Μιχάλη Γιαννεσκή

Το 1915, κατά τη διάρκεια του 1ου Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου, ο Τσόρτσιλ ήταν ο ιθύνων νους της απόβασης συμμαχικών δυνάμεων στα Δαρδανέλια. Η απόβαση απέτυχε παταγωδώς: 45.000 στρατιώτες των Συμμάχων σκοτώθηκαν κατά τη διάρκεια των μαχών στα Δαρδανέλια. Οι μάχες αποτέλεσαν τη μοναδική νίκη της Τουρκίας στον 1ο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο, προσωπικό θρίαμβο για έναν από τους διοικητές των τουρκικών δυνάμεων, τον Κεμάλ Ατατούρκ, και εξευτελισμό του Τσόρτσιλ, ο οποίος παραιτήθηκε από το αξίωμα του Υπουργού Πολεμικού Ναυτικού.

Τρία χρόνια αργότερα, ο Τσόρτσιλ, αρχικά ως Υπουργός Πολεμοφοδίων και μετέπειτα ως Υπουργός Άμυνας της Βρετανίας, ήταν ένας από τους πρωτεργάτες της «πιο κακοσχεδιασμένης και ανεπαρκώς προγραμματισμένης στρατιωτικής επιχείρησης του 20ου αιώνα», της επέμβασης βρετανικών δυνάμεων στην βόρεια Ρωσία κατά των Μπολσεβίκων. Η επέμβαση στέφτηκε με πλήρη αποτυχία.

Περίπου 25 χρόνια αργότερα, ο Τσόρτσιλ ήταν πρωθυπουργός και Υπουργός Άμυνας της Βρετανίας και σχεδίασε μόνος του μια στρατιωτική επέμβαση στο Αιγαίο. Όπως αναφέρει στο ημερολόγιό του ο Άλαν Μπρουκ, ο τότε αρχηγός των βρετανικών δυνάμεων και στρατιωτικός σύμβουλος του Βρετανού πρωθυπουργού, ο Τσόρτσιλ «είχε καταληφθεί από μια φρενίτιδα ενθουσιασμού για την επίθεση [στο Αιγαίο]». Προς υποστήριξη του σχεδίου του, ο Τσόρτσιλ είχε κάνει μακροχρόνιες – αλλά αποτυχημένες – προσπάθειες να πείσει την Τουρκία να συμμετάσχει στον πόλεμο με την μεριά των Συμμάχων.

via Το φιάσκο του Τσόρτσιλ στα Δωδεκάνησα και ο λιμός στην Ινδία – του Μιχάλη Γιαννεσκή

The Competing Narratives of Brexit | DANTEmag

in different ways the spectre of German hegemony has re-appeared. In the past Britain and France offered an effective counterweight to this tendency. But now Britain has decided to leave and France has in recent years been weak, both politically and economically, though perhaps under President Macron it will recover its traditional role.

via The Competing Narratives of Brexit | DANTEmag