Sunday, 20 June 2021

'ALONE IN BERLIN', A MASTERPIECE BY HANS FALLADA - AND A WARNING TO US ALL

Back at the end of March this year, nearly three months ago, I published a blogpost that indicated Fallada's book was having quite an impact upon me. Here's a link:

https://robdonovan.blogspot.com/2021/03/what-kind-of-society-do-i-want-and-is.html

In this extract below, you might pick up on the fear that was developing as I began reading through nearly 600 pages:

'Sam Munson in The National wrote that Fallada's work is 'the great novel of German resistance ... (and) deserves a place among the 20th century's best novels of political witness'. Philip Hensher in the Independent describes the book as '(Fallada's) heartbreaking tale of futile resistance in Nazi Berlin'. I am fifty pages in; there are around 600 pages in all. I am hooked. It is gut-wrenching.'




It became so horrific as I read on, I had to limit my time with the book. Emotionally, I could not stomach more than one incident in one reading session. It must have taken a good month before I finished.


Could such horror happen here in our country? Take a trip back in time to 1927 and ask any German citizen whether such things that became commonplace during the Nazi dictatorship (1933-45) would ever occur in their Weimar republic and nearly all would be shocked and deny the possibility. But economic crises turn the world upside down. Those who have power and wealth and control capital and production thrive on the chaos created by such turmoil. Patterns of behaviour can be transformed so

Friday, 18 June 2021

THE FACE THAT GIVES THE GAME AWAY - HANCOCK, CUMMINGS, JOHNSON: THEY ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS SOCIAL MURDER

My thanks to the Skwawkbox for this gem, today.


Simon Stevens, the head of the NHS, is not one of the good guys. He has been intimately involved with the privatization of the National Health Service. But when asked whether he had confidence in the Minister for Health, Matt Hancock, his face said so much more than words ever could. This was classic body language, declaring 'Yes, this man really is utterly hopeless!' The man who leads this misgovernment in our land expressed such a view, according to a document revealed by Dominic Cummings a couple of days ago.   


The Health Secretary with a penchant for messaging

 


“You’re not really going to answer that? OK”

NHS boss Simon Stevens has been asked on camera whether he agrees that Health Secretary Matt Hancock is totally useless. His reaction is priceless:



Stevens has played a full part in the ongoing americanisation, privatisation and rationing of the NHS, but even he can’t bring himself to pretend Hancock is not a disaster.

That disaster – and Boris Johnson’s willingness to leave him in post for political appearances – has cost more than 150,000 lives needlessly lost in the pandemic. They should both be in the dock.

The day before my 72nd birthday in September last year, I published this blogpost with its two videos and text that highlight the extent of the misgovernment in this country. Such malfeasance has been responsible for the failure to avert this pandemic and for its awful death-toll.  

Here is the link to this blogpost:

http://robdonovan.blogspot.com/2020/09/johnson-and-hancock-lessons-for-all-of.html

The man who misleads this country should try swotting-up on some elementary psychology and

THE ENCHANTMENTS OF MAMMON - HOW CAPITALISM BECAME THE RELIGION OF MODERNITY

 The title for this blogpost is the title of Eugene McCarraher's magisterial book, published in 2019 in the USA. I bought my copy last year as soon as I discovered that this 800-page work that has taken two decades to produce had been published. McCarraher is an associate professor at Villanova University, a Catholic research institution in Pennsylvania. 


Professor Eugene McCarraher - Villanova University


Here are extracts from the insightful review by Julian Coman, published in the Observer newspaper on 22 December 2019, with some commentary from myself:

To begin, I should point out that a volume with this title was bound to attract my attention. In my book: 'The Road to Corbyn' (2016) - [copies available using this link here] - Mammon soon makes his appearance. This work, after all, is my reworking of John Bunyan's 'The Pilgrim's Progress' for our 21st century times:

'The Lady Hope had warned him that there would be moments of testing on his journey in search of truth. He must have passed through the archway that marked an election victory and found himself in this celebratory fair. Pilgrim could feel the sense of a past recalled sweep through him. Another journey, another place, another fair... Souls sold for commercial gain... The merchandising of every human activity and all things... A fair dating back to the beginning of time and ruled by Mammon, the grasping figure of greed who controlled the human species through love of money. Vanity Fair. (16) - p.15

16. 'Mammon' is a term used to describe gluttony and unjust worldly gain in the Christian Bible. it was first personified as a false god in the New Testament of that Bible. (Mt. 6.24; Lk. 16.13.)'

I should also note that I first became aware of Professor McCarraher's book and ordered my copy as I struggled with my own disappointment with the Tory landslide victory in the December 2019 General

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

WE NEED HOWARD BECKETT AS THE LEADER OF THE UNITE UNION - WE NEED A SOCIALIST WHO TELLS IT AS IT IS

 Thanks to SKWAWKBOX for this material - I loved working my way through text and video - I am sure some of you will too. (You will find a reference to LoveActually which I think is magnificent cinema, fit to be valued in a generation or two as a film of cultural significance - Howard Beckett could be heading for a similar place in the history books.)

Breaking: Beckett on ballot
Howard Beckett - a socialist for our times





News confirmed via ‘Love Actually’ style tweet (though really it’s far more directly Bob Dylan)

Left favourite Howard Beckett has this evening confirmed his place on the ballot of Unite members to choose the next general secretary of the giant Unite union.

Beckett has withstood huge pressure, as the left machine tried to lever him off despite coming second in nominations and the determination of all other candidates who passed the threshold to take up their place – and his decision is the one the union’s members, the wider movement and the country need.

In typical style, the announcement came couched in humour and with a dig at the Establishment on both sides of the House of Commons:

In typical style, the announcement came couched in humour and with a dig at the Establishment on both sides of the House of Commons:



Questions have been raised about the nomination totals for other candidates, where transparency has been lacking and complaints from disenfranchised members numerous. Beckett, by contrast, announced every one of his nominations and thanked those who voted for him. Now members will have their say and the chance to choose the candidate who stands head and shoulders above the rest.



                                             Feck it, vote Beckett.


We need socialists - we need Howard Beckett



That's a message of concern for the neoliberal Tories

Friday, 28 May 2021

OUR WORLD THROUGH THE EYES OF YANIS VAROUFAKIS - INSIGHTS INTO ECONOMICS, POLITICS, AND SOCIETY

I have produced economic blogposts before - see this link here for an explanation of Modern Monetary Theory which everyone needs to understand to avoid having the wool pulled over their eyes by mendacious and patronizing politicians. This blogpost has some very useful insights too. 



Yanis Varoufakis - academic and politician



Yanis Varoufakis is both an academic and a politician. Born in Athens in 1961, he spent twelve years teaching at the University of Sydney in Australia and has also taught at various British universities: Essex, East Anglia, Cambridge, and Glasgow. He served as the Greek minister of finance until quitting when the European Economic Community determined that Greece would follow an austerity programme. The Democracy in Europe Movement (DIEM25) was founded by him in 2016 as a political means of bringing about change in Europe through resistance to the neoliberal economic agenda that has become a dominant defining force throughout much of the world. Yanis Varoufakis describes the world that is now shaping us as post-capitalist. 

This blogpost is based on his online streamed lecture on post-capitalism that was aired on 21 April 2021.

  • In this post-capitalist world, the financial sphere has decoupled itself from the economic sphere. The old 20th century adage that what was good for General Motors was good for the USA held true for as long as General Motors was just a car manufacturing company. But by the time of the global economic crisis in 2008, General Motors may have still been making cars but most of its profits came from finance trading. 
  • The industrial revolution turned the world upside down in the 19th century. In the new world of

Thursday, 27 May 2021

THE INSIDE STORY FROM CUMMINGS AS HE SEEKS TO MINIMISE HIS OWN ROLE IN THIS MISGOVERNMENT



I AM A SUPPORTER OF SPOTLIGHT NEWS AND SUBSCRIBE A FEW POUNDS EACH MONTH TO THIS EXCELLENT PROJECT.

HERE ARE CUMMINGS' REVELATIONS OF YESTERDAY IN SUMMARY FORM PRESENTED BY KOSER SAEED FOR SHARING. SHE IS THE JOURNALIST AND RESEARCHER WHO IS ALSO THE EDITOR OF THE SPOTLIGHT ONLINE NEWSPAPER.



Cummings and Johnson when they were in it together 



There’s been a lot of coverage of todays revelations by Dominic Cummings by various news sources who have tried their best to condense a 7hr investigation into 6-10mins. Novara did an excellent program covering many of the points but even that’s almost 1.5hrs long and doesn’t cover everything so we thought it might be helpful to condense all the key points down into an overview for folks who perhaps don’t have the time to sit through all that content..

  • Cummings said Boris Johnson is not a fit and proper person to get us through a pandemic.
  • In February 2020, Johnson was referring to the pandemic as nothing more than a “scare story” and no more serious than “swine flu”. Cummings claims this is  why Johnson missed 5 Cobra meetings.
  • According to Cummings, Johnson proposed a stunt where he would get the Chief Medical Officer to inject him with COVID live on TV to try and convince people that there was nothing to worry about.
  • Around the same time, Johnson was boasting about how he was happily shaking hands with COVID patients.
  • They were also discussing keeping major sports events and pubs open so more people

Sunday, 23 May 2021

THE ART OF CONCEALING THE NEWS - AS PRACTISED BY UK MISGOVERNMENT

No surprises here - but please never lose your sense of shock. It really has got this bad in the UK. My source here is this afternoon's Mirror Politics

Government quietly publishes troubling new India variant data late on Saturday night

A risk assessment rated the increased transmissibility and the reduced effectiveness of vaccines on the India variant as ‘red’ - and warned it had an "increased growth rate" compared to the Kent variant.


The SARS-CoV-2 virus


Public Health England (PHE) was supposed to publish the latest weekly data on new variants of the virus on Thursday.

But the data was eventually published two days later, late on a Saturday night.