A Prayer for our Lying Leaders

So the white trucks which we were all meant to fear meant an impending invasion of Ukraine by Russia turned out to contain what? Armoured Personnel Carriers? Missile launchers? ManPads? Well, no they contained aid to the people of Luhansk, much needed since they have been bombed to smithereens by the neo-Nazi junta in Kiev.

What are we to make of the claims of invasion from the West? Even the most naïve and uninformed person getting their news from the mainstream media must be getting tired of hearing false claims over and over again. For the last few months we have been told that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is imminent. Why hasn’t it happened? Because the government of the Russian Federation is not actually interested in invading Ukraine. They have made it clear for years, to anyone who was listening, that their aim with regard to Ukraine was to make sure it stays out of NATO. Why? Because understandably they did not want a hostile military organisation pushed right up to their border.

Rather, they want nothing more than for Ukraine to act as a “buffer” zone between the NATO countries in the West and the Russian Federation. Unfortunately, these warnings, made many times by the Russian government, simply fell on deaf ears in the West, who proceeded with their unhinged plan to bring Ukraine into the NATO orbit, thus deliberately stoking the current conflict.

What other falsehoods have we been told? Well, in the hours after the downing of flight MH17, before any official investigation had even begun, much less finished, the West told us who did it. Russian “separatists”, with the blame going all the way to the Russian President himself. But was this actually true?

You may have noticed that after the initial hysteria with headlines around the Western world proclaiming either directly or indirectly that the guilt lay with President Putin, they have all gone rather quiet. So quiet that almost nothing is mentioned about it. Occasionally the BBC will still say something like, “the evidence is growing that the plane was shot down by Russian separatists”, but other than that, there is a deafening silence.

Why is that? It is because contrary to the BBCs assertion, actually the evidence has been mounting completely the other way. The Russian Ministry of Defence, in their presentation days after the crash, showed clear evidence that the Ukrainians had several BUK systems operational in the area at the time the plane was shot down. They also presented evidence from civilian radar that Ukraine had at least one military aircraft — possibly an SU25 — tracking MH17 at about 3km at the time of its destruction.

To date, these points have not been answered by Kiev or the US. In fact they have not even attempted to answer them. Instead, they have responded by ignoring them completely. Why? One can’t help but thinking that this is because they have something to hide.

Look at it like this: if the flight recordings had revealed anything incriminating the Russians, wouldn’t they have been released by now? And what about US satellite imagery? There is no doubt that they have such imagery, but they have failed to release it? Would they have kept it classified if it really revealed separatist involvement? And what about the air traffic control recordings? These have been confiscated by the Kiev authorities and never released. Again, why? I would still hesitate to offer an opinion as to exactly who was behind the crash, but it seems to me that the case against Kiev or someone within the Ukrainian military grows stronger every day.

Any more lies? Yes, last week we were told that the Ukrainians had destroyed 23 Russian Armoured Personnel Carriers which had crossed over the border. The story started with a couple of British journalists, one from the Guardian and one from the Telegraph, saying they had seen the APCs crossing the border.

What was fishy about this from the outset was that they somehow saw all this, but didn’t even have their iphones with them to take a video. All we got was a snapshot of an APC next to a field. Whether it was a Ukrainian field or a Russian field was hard to tell, but personally I would have liked something a little more meaty before I accepted it as evidence.

The Ukrainian side — even President Poroshenko himself — claimed they had destroyed this invading convoy. At this point, deep suspicions set in. Firstly, where were the pictures of smouldering ruins? Secondly, would Russia really have been so stupid to send these APCs into Ukraine without any cover? And thirdly, does anyone in all their wildest dreams really think that Russia would have just let this incident pass off without retaliation?

And of course a few days later, after the media had given most people the impression that Russia was beginning their long feared invasion, it turned out that it was simply false. A pack of lies — not the first and probably not the last from Mr Porkie-shenko and his government.

Whatever else this conflict teaches us it is this: our leaders and the mainstream media are lying like crazy to try and stoke up war. They appear to be trying to re-enact the kinds of warmongering decisions taken by European politicians 100 years ago that ended up drowning Europe in blood. Don’t take them at their word. Find out the facts before believing what they say. Allow time to pass before jumping to conclusions and then see if their claims were actually true. And above all petition God that they would not be allowed to march us into war once more, making “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:2).

The European Union: The Squirrel Nutkin of Geopolitics

If you haven’t read Beatrix Potter’s Squirrel Nutkin story, you really ought. The story begins with Nutkin and his fellow squirrels crossing over to an island to gather nuts for the winter. The “governor” of the island is an aged and very respectable owl called Old Brown, and the squirrels seek his permission to gather nuts by bringing him an offering — mice, moles, minnows — every day.

All, that is, except Squirrel Nutkin. Whilst the rest of the squirrels treat Old Brown with great respect, Nutkin mocks and ridicules him, singing impertinent riddles and dancing foolishly in front of him. This goes on day after day until finally, on the sixth day, Old Brown’s patience runs out and he grabs Nutkin, picks him up by the tail and is about to skin him alive. Nutkin makes a desperate lunge for his life, and although he manages to escape, does so with his tail broken in two.

The story ends like this:

“And to this day, if you meet Nutkin up a tree and ask him a riddle, he will throw sticks at you, and stamp his feet and scold, and shout ‘Cuck-cuck-cuck-cur-r-r-cuck-k-k!’” 

I only mention this because I can’t help seeing a striking similarity between Nutkin and the European Union. As I wrote last week, the EU is indignant at the sanctions imposed upon it by Russia. Anyone coming to the party at this moment in time might be tempted to think they have a point. However, there is a history here. Before Russia even went for Nutkin’s tail, Nutkin had been dancing around impertinently, slapping no less than nine rounds of sanctions on Russia.

The EU apparently thinks this retaliation is all rather unsporting. Take this from German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt:

“I very much regret that Russia has taken this clearly politically-motivated step. This action by Russia undoubtedly puts the previously constructive cooperation between the Russian and the German government on the export of agricultural goods to a tough test… This Russian decree isn’t suitable as a means of political pressure.  Russia’s boycott decision will not only have a profound impact on the German and European economy, but will also directly affect Russian consumers.”

One wonders whether Herr Schmidt is aware of the politically-motivated steps his government had taken no less than nine times against Russia before Russia — like Old Brown — decided enough was enough.

Or how about this from another EU senior official, as quoted by the Financial Times:

“We will be talking to the countries that would be potentially replacing our exports to indicate that we would expect them not to profit unfairly from the current situation.”

The same source that apparently thinks this it would be “unfair” for other countries — mainly South American — to seize the opportunity to up their exports to Russia, also went on to say that it would “be difficult to justify” such countries pursuing diplomatic initiatives to fill the gap left by the EU, the US, Norway and Australia.

Difficult to justify? Really? So the EU, which started the Ukrainian conflict by supporting far-right Ukrainian nationalists in their armed takeover of a legitimate government, which has supported the Kiev government in its vicious military assault against people of the East of the country, and which has imposed nine rounds of sanctions on the Russian Federation, thinks it would be really unfair if other countries took advantage of the situation that the EU has brought upon itself.

This episode has shown in stark reality the mentality of those who run the EU. Like Nutkin, they clearly believed they could prod and poke as much as they liked with impunity. Like Nutkin, they were clearly shocked when the repercussions finally came their way. And like Nutkin, they now appear to have lost the plot completely, and have taken to stamping their feet, scolding and shouting, “Cuck-cuck-cuck-cur-r-r-cuck-k-k!” At least that’s what it sounds like when they whinge and whine about the unfairness of it all.

Putin’s Real Missile: Aimed Right at the Heart of the EU

So after nine rounds of sanctions against the Russian Federation, the European Union is now waking up to the implications of the first round of retaliatory sanctions. It is clear that they are none too happy.

What have Russia done? They have banned imports of certain foodstuffs from those countries that have imposed sanctions on them, for a period of one year. This includes the import of beef, pork, poultry, meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, cheese, milk, and dairy products from the EU, US, Australia, Canada, and Norway. Although the ban is set to last for a period of one year, Russia has made it clear that they are prepared to rescind the ban for any country that reverses the sanctions they have imposed.

Before the Russian sanctions, the EU had collectively imposed no less than nine rounds of sanctions, with the US imposing six. Russia, by contrast, has behaved with remarkable restraint under this barrage of provocation. They repeatedly described sanctions as counter-productive and called for dialogue over Ukraine.

Yet despite all their phoney rhetoric, the EU and the US have consistently shown that dialogue is not something that interests them. Their whole game plan from the start of the Ukrainian upheaval has been to move Ukraine out of the orbit of Russia, to isolate Russia internationally, and to move NATO up to the borders of Russia. If you want to know what this looks like from Russia’s point of view, imagine that they decided to finance an armed coup in Mexico, under the cover of “democracy” and then began moving military bases up to the US border. You get the picture?

But despite the restraint showed by the government of the Russian Federation, the schoolboys and schoolgirls that govern the EU and US have continued to prod and provoke, until finally Russia was left with no choice but to retaliate with their own sanctions.

The order of things is hugely important here. Sanctions are a declaration of economic warfare and it is crucial in judging how countries behave to remember who started it. Just as the whole Ukrainian situation was not started by the Russian Federation, but by the aggressive expansionism of the EU and US, culminating in their support for the violent overthrow of a democratically elected government, nor was it Russia who started this economic warfare. Russian sanctions are a response to EU and US actions.

I’m sure that in the not-too-distant future, Western governments and their media machines will have managed to spin this around 180 degrees to try to make us all believe that their next round of sanctions are a measured response to Russian aggression. But no, the facts of the case are clear: after much provocation by round after round of sanctions, Russia have reluctantly responded to Western aggression.

It has to be said that the Russian sanctions seem to have touched a raw nerve and taken both EU members and the US by surprise — which is what they were intended to do. Much of this of course has to do with the sheer cost. All in all, it is estimated that the loss in exports throughout the EU could total up to $16 billion. And of course the EU countries are in a perfectly healthy economic situation to deal with this, aren’t they? That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t pick up on it.

Some EU states — those who have a big agricultural export market to Russia — are beginning to wake up to the fact that these sanctions are really going to hurt at a time when they can ill afford it. For example, the Greek opposition party, recognising how damaging these sanctions will be for their nation’s already fragile economy, has already come out and called for the government to drop all sanctions against Russia.

Then we have the Lithuanian government, who despite joining in with the EU sanctions, is so worried about the situation that is talking about the possibility of taking the case to the World Trade Organisation claiming that what Russia is doing is illegal. Never mind that the EU sanctions themselves almost certainly contravene WTO rules!

Then we had Jacques Myard, a member of the National Assembly of France, who told Le Figaro, “Under current conditions, when France is experiencing economic, financial and budgetary difficulties, it’s at least suicidal to harm our exports to Russia, which are important and necessary for the creation of jobs in France and for our trade balance. The government and the EU are acting as fools.”

In addition, the French National Federation of Unions of Agricultural Operators (FNSEA), France’s largest farming association, has said that Russia’s sanctions could push Europe into a market crisis.

It is tempting to say to these so-called sovereign nations, “All very sad, but then what did you expect?” Did you think you could continue with your refusal to see the Ukrainian situation from Russia’s perspective? Did you think that Russia would just capitulate and say “Here NATO, roll your kit right up to our borders?” Did you think you could go along with what your masters in Brussels and Washington are telling you to do, without any dire repercussions bouncing back on you?

Actually the leaders of these nations probably did. Such is the ignorance of our governing classes that they may well have actually believed their own propaganda about isolating Russia, not thinking for once that they might end up cutting themselves off from a lucrative export market and driving Russia to seek alternative countries to trade with, as they are now doing especially in South America.

It’s almost as if these sanctions are specifically designed to say to EU member states, “See where blindly following US government foreign policy actually gets you?” And even closer to home, “See what belonging to a Union of nations whereby you cede national sovereignty and control of your economic policy to decision makers that have vastly different interests than your nation has gets you?”

It is this last point that I think is most important. Time will tell, but it seems to me that the Russian sanctions are like a missile launched right into the heart of the EU. On the one hand they are aimed at getting EU leaders to question the wisdom of going along with whatever Washington tells them. At the same time they are aimed at getting individual member states within the EU to question the wisdom of having Brussels dictate to them policy which turns out to be harmful to their national interests.

Is it possible that EU nation states may finally begin to realise what the stakes are here? I hope so. At least they now know that Russia will not be bullied into submission by them and the US, and at the backs of their minds somewhere they all know that the ace in the pack is held not by them, but by the Russian Federation, with its vast resources of oil and gas, upon which much of Europe is reliant. I only hope that this calculated missile from Russia will put some sense into the heads of European governments, and that they might begin to act like sovereign nations — not as the prisoners of Washington and Brussels blindly obeying instructions which are clearly not in their interests or the interests of peace. This is the only hope for a peaceful ending to the situation in Ukraine.

“Maybe Putin Didn’t Kill My Son, After All”

The title of this piece is a reference to a scandalous headline put out by the UK’s Daily Mail on Saturday. Less than 48 hours after flight MH17 crashed in Eastern Ukraine, without any proper evidence, and before the investigation began, the Mail published the headline “Putin’s Killed my Son”. I have already commented on the implications of this type of reporting here, and the headline of this piece is more a suggestion for a headline the Mail might like to print in the coming days.

The reason is that after squawking that Russia was behind this, and warning Putin of the consequences of his actions in the most bellicose, chest-thumping language they could muster, the US Government has now issued what is nothing short of a spectacular climb down from its previous rhetoric with its intelligence community now telling the world that there is no direct evidence linking Russia with the MH17 disaster. Really? Why didn’t they say so before the world got carried away and the media began their frighteningly woeful, fact-free reporting of events?

In fact, according to one official, in terms of who fired the missile, “we don’t know a name, we don’t know a rank and we’re not even 100% sure of a nationality.” Even the Mail reported on that, but they don’t appear to have issued an apology to Mr Putin for jumping the gun just yet. Nor has The Sun which reported on the day after the tragedy that it was “Putin’s Missile”. I can’t wait to see their retraction, if it comes. Something like “Sorry Vlad, we got it wrong” no doubt!

Actually for me, the US climbdown poses more questions than ever. Here are just a few things that are nagging me, and which I would like to see answers to:

#1 The US Government had said they were certain who did it, and that they had satellite images. However, now that they have climbed down, I still want to see those satellite images. Why are they not forthcoming?

#2 They claimed that the evidence (which they have admitted came almost entirely from social media) shows BUK missile systems going back into Russia on July 18th. These videos have been utterly discredited, and actually appear to show the missile systems being driven through Krasnoarmeisk — a Ukrainian city which has been under the control of Kiev since May. If that is the case, the question that Russia apparently needed to answer — why was the missile system heading for Russia on July 18th — must surely be asked of the Kiev regime. Surely they now need to explain what it was doing there and why it appears to have had missiles missing.

#3 Why would the US climbdown after having claimed they had strong evidence that Russia was behind the tragedy, including satellite images proving it was shot down from the rebel area? I’m not 100% sure, but one possibility is that the images they do have looked to them at first to incriminate the rebels, but on closer examination may actually appear more likely to incriminate Ukrainian forces. The US Government is welcome to release these satellite pictures un-doctored at any time in the near future.

#4 We were repeatedly told that the rebels got their BUK from Russia. But now US intelligence folks appear to have backed off from this claim, the question still remains that if it was the rebels who mistakenly shot the plane down — which is what the US Government is now saying — where did they get it from and who trained them on it? Not from the Ukrainian government, if the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Vitaly Yarema is to be believed, since he said on 18th July: “After the passenger airliner was downed, the military reported to the president that terrorists do not have our air defense missile systems Buk and S-300. These weapons were not seized.” So if not stolen from Ukraine, and now according to US intelligence sources not from Russia, from where? Something doesn’t stack up there, does it?

I am not pointing the finger at anyone, but I would say that there seems to be an awful lot of questions that need to be put to the Ukrainian military and Ukrainian regime.

A Refreshing Contrast

In contrast to the shrill cries of Western leaders and the Western media that “It was Russia wot did it”, readers of this blog are encouraged to sit through the entire presentation given by the Russian military on 21st July of what they are saying is evidence relating to the downing of Malaysian plane MH17 on 17th July.

Notice that they do not accuse anyone in this presentation. They merely present what they say is evidence, and ask a lot of pertinent questions off the back of this evidence. I am certainly no expert in these matters, and admit that I am quite unable to tell if the alleged pictures of Buk missile systems and their movements in the presentation are authentic. However, the manner in which they at least calmly and rationally present their evidence is a sharp and refreshing contrast to the manner in which the West have made accusation after accusation, without giving a shred of credible evidence, and for that reason alone it deserves to be taken seriously. The presentation can be accessed towards the bottom of this article:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/mh17-show-tell-its-the-wests-turn-russian-satellites-and-radars-contradict-wests-baseless-claims/5392468

“Putin’s Killed my Son” and the Death of a Free Press

Less than 24 hours after Flight #MH17 came crashing down in Eastern Ukraine, the largest selling British Newspaper, The Sun, ran a headline which said “Putin’s Missile”. Before any evidence had been compiled, and before investigators had even reached the crash site, The Sun knew who was to blame.

Such blatant and frankly disgraceful propaganda is par for the course for The Sun, but such headlines were not confined to this trashy tabloid. The following day, The Daily Mail, which would usually have a little more integrity than The Sun, ran the headline “Putin’s killed my son.”

The headline was clearly a quote from someone who had lost their son in the tragedy, but was this a quote worthy of being blasted out of the front of a national newspaper? Normally, such a quote would have been stated using speech marks, to indicate that this was someone’s opinion, rather than a verifiable fact. But in this case it wasn’t. It was just stated as a fact, rather than the opinion of a grieving relative. Not that quotation marks around it would have justified such a headline, which should never been printed until after the crash has been properly and independently investigated and it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that Putin was the criminal mastermind behind this incident (if he indeed was, which is highly dubious). Any reasonable editor would have rejected such a headline as being unsubstantiated and plain scandalous.

Of course it is not just the media that is involved in this pre-investigation conviction mentality. Almost all the major leaders of the West seem to have abandoned reason and are involved in a smear campaign without any concrete evidence of who carried out this attack. Some of their statements have been breath-taking in their hypocrisy and contradictions. Take this, which appeared on the BBC website on Saturday:

“Downing Street said Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama had agreed in a phone call that an independent investigation should get under way as soon as possible. They also discussed potential new sanctions on Moscow, a No 10 spokesman said.”

So Messrs Cameron and Obama are discussing sanctions and at the same time calling for an independent investigation? Do you understand just how lacking in any sense of reason and justice these people are? Can it ever be right to talk about bringing penalties against someone for what they have done before the facts have been assembled? And have not Messrs Cameron and Obama just prejudged and possibly even prejudiced the outcome of the investigation by their comments? Are we supposed to come away from this thinking that they are genuine in their desire for an independent investigation and that they have no ulterior motives?

As it happens, President Putin does appear to be genuine in his desire for a full and impartial investigation. Whilst his Western counterparts squawk and squeal about Russian involvement, he came out with the following statement, which was calm and measured by contrast:

“There are already representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk working there, as well as representatives of the emergencies ministry of Ukraine and others. But this is not enough. We need more, we need a fully representative group of experts to be working at the site under the guidance of ICAO, the relevant international commission… In the meantime, nobody should and has no right to use this tragedy to achieve their ‘narrowly selfish’ political goals… We repeatedly called upon all conflicting sides to stop the bloodshed immediately and sit down at the negotiating table. I can say with confidence that if military operations were not resumed on June 28 in eastern Ukraine, this tragedy wouldn’t have happened.”

The few days following this incident has exposed more than ever that the West is dying and slipping further and further into a propagandised tyranny. We are constantly warned that the press in Russia is nothing more than a state-controlled propaganda machine, whilst apparently congratulating ourselves on our own free press. Well there may well be a ton of propaganda spouted by Russian media, but what do we make of headlines like “Putin’s Missile” and “Putin’s Killed my Son” just a few hours after a major incident which hasn’t been investigated, and — I might add — in a conflict zone which most Western media have consistently failed to report objectively on? Is this not propaganda of the vilest kind?

There seems to be an assumption that a free press is a press that is allowed to say whatever it wants to say. This is a fundamental misunderstanding. A free press is not one that has the right to make wild and unsubstantiated allegations. A free press is not one that has the right to say anything it likes, regardless of facts. That kind of thing is the opposite of a free press. No, the fundamental principle that underpins a free press is integrity. Without integrity, there cannot be a free press.

The headlines in The Sun and Daily Mail, along with headlines in many other Western newspapers and comments from Western leaders have utterly lacked any shred of integrity. Integrity demands that we wait for the facts. Integrity demands that we do not condemn people as guilty before we have all the evidence in place. Integrity demands that we do not publish the results of an investigation or trial before they have taken place.

Many of the newspapers and the leaders in the West have shown in the past few days that they have zero integrity. They do not even understand the basic concept of integrity and they care nothing for evidence, facts and truth. They are prepared to publish allegations of guilt on the basis of the flimsiest of evidence. Such a press, making whatever wild and unsubstantiated claims it likes, is not a free press — it is the engine of tyranny.

Beware Our Omniscient Rulers

I was going to write the second part of this piece today. But as Harold MacMillan probably never said, “Events dear boy, events.”

Yesterday a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Eastern Ukraine. This is of course a huge tragedy, and a surreal one at that. Surreal because it is just a few weeks since another Boeing 777, owned by the same airline, literally disappeared without a trace. Surreal also because the tragedy happened in the backyard of one of the world’s biggest geopolitical struggle.

But other than it being a horrific event and almost too bizarre to imagine, what else can be said? Actually very little, for the simple reason that right now — less than 24 hours since the event — we know almost nothing about it. We do not know how the plane was brought down, we don’t know who brought it down and we don’t know why they brought it down. As I say, with regard to the event itself, there is very little that can be stated with any accuracy, and it might just be worth waiting for a few more facts and pieces of evidence before jumping to conclusions.

But this hasn’t stopped Western leaders and the Western media, many of whom seem to view evidence and facts as mere trifles. Less than 24 hours after the crash, many have already decided that they do know how the plane was brought down, who brought it down and why they brought it down. Here are a few snippets taken from the BBC and RT showing just how omniscient our leaders and media believe themselves to be:

“American officials say they suspect a Russian-made missile had shot down MH17, reports The New York Times. An adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister had earlier alleged that the missile was fired by a Russian-made Buk launcher.”

“Australian PM Tony Abbott speaks in Parliament: ‘This is a grim day for our country and it’s a grim day for our world.’ He says MH17 was shot down, ‘it seems by Russia-backed rebels.’”

“Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was quick to condemn Russia’s role in Ukraine, and stopped just short of accusing Moscow directly for the shoot-down of the passenger airliner over Ukrainian airspace.’While we do not yet know who is responsible for this attack, we continue to condemn Russia’s military aggression and illegal occupation of Ukraine,’ Harper said in a statement, adding that it was ‘at the root of the ongoing conflict in the region.’

“Experts have yet to study the black boxes from the downed Malaysian Airlines plane and teams of investigators have not yet arrived at the site of the crash. However Western media outlets and several US politicians, including former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Senator John McCain, have already drawn their conclusions – Russia is to blame for the catastrophe.”

The Sun, a UK daily tabloid newspaper used its front page with the poster of Russian president to declare ‘Putin’s missile’ was to blame. ‘Vladimir Putin was facing universal condemnation last night after pro-Russian separatists shot down a passenger jet carrying 295 people over Ukraine,’ says the article from the Sun.”

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story, as they say!

This kind of stuff makes me want to weep. On a human level, nearly 300 people have lost their lives and one thing that will alleviate the misery of their relatives in time is at least seeing the perpetrators brought to justice. But what they actually need to see is the actual perpetrators held to account, after the actual evidence is presented in an actual free and fair trial. What they don’t need is The Sun and Hillary Clinton telling them who did it less than a day after the plane came down.

It also makes me weep because it shows just how far the West has fallen. The presumption of innocence has been a fundamental concept of those countries who took their Bibles seriously for centuries. But as we have drifted further and further away from biblical ideas of justice, law and morality, we have become a people that are prepared to accuse and convict others just because we think they are guilty.

I have to say that the whole thing stinks and the readiness of Western politicians and media outlets jumping to their presumptions makes the whole thing look distinctly fishy. Assuming that this plane was downed by a missile — which by the way has not been conclusively proven — it is just as possible that it was downed by Ukrainan forces than by the so-called “pro-Russian” separatists. Note, I am absolutely not saying they did do it — I have no evidence to make such a claim —, but rather that given the fact that they were also in the area, and given the fact that they almost certainly have Russian-made Buk anti-aircraft weaponry in their arsenal, that makes them at least as much of a suspect as the opposition, doesn’t it? Or are they so good and enlightened that such a thing is impossible?

The fact that so many Western leaders and media outlets are prepared, on the basis of zero facts, to state with certainty who was behind this atrocity shows two things: Firstly, we are ruled by people who, whilst having no principles of justice and fairness whatsoever, appear to believe they have powers of omniscience. This is the inevitable consequence of their God complex, whereby they have sought to eradicate all traces of Him from public life, and are busy trying to sell themselves to us as our real benevolent benefactors.

And secondly, it shows that more has fallen than the Malaysian plane carrying nearly 300 people. The West, governed as it once was by Christian principles, used to believe almost universally in concepts of justice, such as innocent until proven guilty. The response of many in convicting before the facts are in, shows that far from being the upholders of justice and equity, many in positions of authority pose the biggest threat to these ideals.

It may well turn out that the separatists were behind this atrocity. Then again, the facts may point elsewhere. Biblical principles of justice and equity compel us to wait until we have all the facts. May the truth of this atrocity — whatever it is — come to light.

Why the Minimum Wage is a Bad Idea Part 1

I have a confession to make. I am guilty of child exploitation. It’s like this:

Some friends of mine have just moved from America to my home city of Salisbury, into a house that hasn’t been occupied for over six years. As you can imagine, after six years standing empty, it needed a fair amount of work doing on it. Over the past few months, a group of friends in the Salisbury area have been getting together to turn the house from somewhat of a dump into something liveable.

One of the problem areas was down a passageway at the back of the house. As I’m sure you can imagine, six years or so of rain and sunshine had taken their toll on the area, to produce weeds and thistles of immense proportions. These needed to be chopped down.

It seemed like the ideal opportunity to introduce my 10-year-old son to the world of work. So on Monday morning, armed with a freshly sharpened and oiled set of shears, my wife and I sent him off to attack the jungle at the back of the house.

I must say he seemed very happy with this arrangement. He got to go out of the house and to work in the sunshine (and a bit of rain) in his own time and his own speed on clearing the unwanted foliage. Part of his happiness may have been that he knew that he was going to get paid for it. He didn’t know how much he was going to get paid for it, but he knew that he would be rewarded with something.

The job took him about four hours — two in the morning and then another two in the afternoon. I haven’t managed to see the job he has done yet, but according to the people who have just moved in, and the neighbours, he has done a grand job.

So how much did I pay him? I decided to give him £10.00 for the whole job, which incidentally is more money than he has ever earned in one go. Was he happy with this? I’ll leave you to work that one out.

But hang on a minute? £10 for four hours work? That’s £2.50 per hour right? But the minimum wage in Britain is what? £6.31! Suddenly my payment of £10 for a four hour job seems a bit mean, doesn’t it? Isn’t that child exploitation?

Well no it isn’t, but it can be used to illustrate exactly what is wrong with the concept of the minimum wage. According to the minimum wage set by the government, I should have paid my son at least £25.24 for taking four hours to clear a passageway of weeds. Well actually it’s a bit more complex than that. Laughably, the government falls foul of its own commitment to what they call “Equality”, by setting a minimum wage that discriminates on the basis of age (£5.03 per hour for 18-20 year-olds and £3.72 for 16-17 year olds).

But let’s assume the £6.31 rate (we don’t want to discriminate now do we), and let’s say that the government were to pass a law requiring me to pay him this much. What would be my response? There are three basic options: 

  1. I pay him the money
  2. I do it myself
  3. It doesn’t get done

Actually in this scenario, option number one is no option at all. I cannot afford to pay my son over £24 for clearing a passageway, and even if I could afford it, I wouldn’t do it, as it seems to be an extremely high wage to pay to a 10 year old (sorry, discrimination has reared its ugly head after all). So that leaves only options two and three. If I am told by law that I must pay over £24 to my son for clearing the passageway, either I will go and do it myself, or it won’t get done at all.

So would my son be better off under this system? No — either way he doesn’t get the job and he doesn’t get his £10.

Now I know how people might respond to this. Don’t I know that there are companies out there that exploit their workers who hardly have money to make ends meet? Yes I am aware of this, but I would say three things in response:

Firstly, we have gotten into a very Marxist mindset whereby employers are always seen as exploiters. This is palpably not the case. I have worked in some extremely low paid jobs in my time, but at no point did I think that they were exploiting me. Could they have paid me more? Maybe. But I agreed to work for them, and I agreed to do it for the money they offered me. If I wanted to get paid more, it was up to me to take the necessary steps to get myself in a position where I could work for a company and get paid more money. But for the time that I had those jobs, though I wanted to earn more, I was still grateful that they gave me the job.

Secondly, it is not just employers that are capable of exploiting employees. Very often it works the other way around. The employer/employee relationship is a trade off where both parties are offering a wage: the employer offers payment to the employee, which is usually in the form of money, but the employee also offers payment to the employer, which is in the form of labour. In other words, both sides are offering the other side something that they need. Which means that it is equally possible for both sides to exploit the other. With employers this comes in fairly obvious ways, such as bad working conditions and pay which is way under what they could reasonably pay. With employees it is much more hidden. Employees can — and sometimes do — exploit their employers by not doing their jobs properly, by skimping on the time they give, and even sometimes taking things that don’t belong to them.

Of course not all employees behave like this any more than all employers do. But we have gotten to the point where employers are almost instantly seen as the bad guys, the exploiters, and the truth is it can often be the employees who are the exploiters and bad guys.

The third point is to acknowledge that there are bad and exploitative employers out there, and then to ask what is the best way this can be tackled. The answer is not the minimum wage, or more employer regulations. As we saw in the simple illustration at the start, the minimum wage does not necessarily guarantee people a decent wage. It may well increase the salaries of some in the short term, but it also ends up putting others out of employment.

Employers with very tight profit margins are going to do what, when the government comes along and tells them they are going to have to pay more money for every employee in their company? Either they are going to have to pay the money, which might be the difference between them being profitable and unprofitable, and which might therefore be the difference between them staying afloat or sinking. Or they are going to have to look to shed workers, or perhaps forego hiring that extra person they were thinking of hiring. Or one last possibility is that they keep the workers, but scale down their operations in one or more areas.

Either way, an imposed minimum wage doesn’t do the employer any good, much less the worker who is now not going to be hired, and much less the company’s customers who now don’t get this service or that good because the company had to scale down their operations to cut costs. In other words, government interference in this area will almost invariably have a series of unintended consequences that have the opposite effect than the one intended.

But if regulation and government imposition are not the way to improve employer/employee relations, how can it be done? I’ll be addressing this question in the second part of this piece in a few days hence.

Make Sense of This if You Can

Many of the official narratives given to us by mainstream media ought to leave us scratching our heads in bemusement. Events on the ground often show them to be palpably false and risible.

Take this for example. According to the United Nations, around 110,000 Ukrainians have fled this year for Russia and another 54,000 have fled their homes but stayed in Ukraine. This is interesting for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the claim that refugees were pouring across the border into the Russian Federation was scoffed at a while back by a number of publications, including this one, for example. The numbers quoted in this article might not be exactly equal to the figures stated by the UN, but the fact of refugees fleeing to Russia turns out to be true after all.

But the most interesting aspect of this is where these people have fled to. Russia? Surely not to the Bear? Now hold on a moment. For months we have been told by the mainstream media that this whole conflict has been stoked up by Russia, who are trying to takeover Ukraine. Vladimir Putin, likened by Hilary Clinton, John McCain and Prince Charles to a new Hitler, is doing all he can to stop the hopes and dreams of the vast majority of Ukrainians who just want to exercise their democratic right to turn away from Russia and embrace the EU and the West.

But if this were even remotely true, wouldn’t Russia be the last place on earth that the peaceful democratic dreamers from Ukraine ought to flee? Surely they should be fleeing to the West not the East?

Well no they shouldn’t, for the simple reason that almost no part of the Western mainstream narrative is true. The government in Kiev is not legitimate. The provisional government from Yanukovych to Poroshenko was the result of a coup d’état, largely orchestrated by neo-Nazi groups such as Pravy Sektor and the far right party, Svoboda, and  included far-right fanatics in government. They had no legitimate right to govern, and their claims to legitimacy were rightly rejected by millions of people, especially in the East and South of the country.

Neither does the new government of the oligarch Petro Poroshenko have proper legitimacy. It owes its existence to the original violent coup d’état, and in the election that put Poroshenko into power, millions of people in the East and South simply didn’t vote, having already turned their backs on the fascist rule of Kiev and expressing their desire to form self-determined independent states.

The fact that Ukrainians from the South and East are fleeing to Russia from the constant bombardment that the warmongers in Kiev have unleashed upon them over the past few months, with the support of the West, puts a whole different slant on what is going on than the one you are likely to hear from the likes of CNN and the BBC. If it was all Putin’s fault, and he was the new Hitler, they would hardly flee into his arms, would they?

Another example of a story that doesn’t make sense, given the mainstream narrative, is this one. The President of the United States has just asked Congress for $500 million to aid Syrian rebels fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad. This should appear to anyone who knows even a little about the situation in Syria and Iraq to be a mildly unhinged request, to say the least, since the Syrian “rebels” and the ISIS jihadists currently wreaking havoc in Iraq are clearly one and the same thing.

So why would the President of the United States want to fund jihadists in Syria, whilst the same people are destroying Iraq? If you get your news from the mainstream media, you would be hard pressed to come up with an explanation. The official enemies in Syria and Iraq are Assad and ISIS respectively. And the mainstream media would have us believe that the West stands against both these formidable foes and seeks their defeat.

The problem with this line is that the government of Assad has been fighting ISIS jihadists for the last three years and the US has been funding them. Defeat for Assad means the triumph not of “Western democracy”, but of extremely violent Islamists who would impose Sharia law on the country if they ever gained power. But the same types that we have been funding in Syria are now — unsurprisingly — turning up in Iraq and turning that poor country into chaos. Given these facts, there is simply no way that America’s actions in Syria or Iraq can have anything whatsoever to do with “bringing democracy” to the Middle East.

So what is the real explanation for all this? Hard to say, but there appear to be only two real options which fit the facts of the US administration’s bizarre behaviour of publicly denouncing ISIS in Iraq, whilst aiding and funding it in Syria.

One explanation is that the American government has no other agenda other than to bring constant chaos to the Middle East. There are a few facts that back this up. Whilst the US administration has condemned ISIS in Iraq, it has disowned the Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki and appears to be unwilling to even supply airplanes to the Iraqi airforce to defend the country against these insurgents. In addition to this, ISIS appears to be getting much of its funding from Saudi Arabia — America’s best friend due to its abundant supply of oil. Are the Saudis and Americans intent on destabilising the rest of the Middle East in order to prevent countries like Syria, Iraq and Iran, with their ties to the BRICS countries from becoming key economic players? It is entirely possible.

The only other explanation for the American government’s schizophrenic behaviour is that its President is mad. That is entirely plausible too.

Is This What the Secularists Mean by Free and Fair?

The secular state — that modern decendant of the medieval Roman church — hath decreed that creationism cannot be taught in what it calls “free schools” in the UK. “Free schools” are okay to continue to teach it in religious education classes as myth if they like, as are the “unfree schools”, but they cannot teach it as fact or even as a competing theory with evolution, which apparently is a “fact”.

So why can’t a “free” school teach creationism? Simply because they are not really free. They are apparently independent and do not have to follow the National Curriculum, but the trouble is they still get their funding from the state — something which never bodes well in the freedom stakes. Apparently the teaching of creationism in state funded schools rubs some people up the wrong way: “Why should I pay my taxes to fund a school that teaches this junk science which I don’t believe,” they cry.

As it happens they have my sympathy. Not the junk science part of course. I would say that a theory that posits millions of transitional fossils in the fossil record, but actually uncovers none fits very snugly into the junk science category. Not to mention a theory that doesn’t even have a mechanism to explain how it all began (abiogenesis), other than expecting us to somehow believe (which requires faith) that “energy from the sun worked to bring life from out of the primordial mud.” But as far as the rest of it is concerned, I completely agree. Why should they have to pay for something they profoundly disagree with being taught to other people’s children? But you know where this line of argumentation is heading, right?

You see, I am a taxpayer as well. And as a taxpayer I am in the same position as them. I also am currently having to pay for other people’s children to be taught something I profoundly disagree with, in this case the theory of evolution. And like the secularists, I don’t much care for that. So how about we come to some arrangement here? I agree with the secularist’s argument that I have no right to expect them to support other people’s children being taught creationism. But how about a little quid pro quo here? How about they extend the same argument to those who profoundly disagree with the theory of evolution, so that they no longer have to pay for other people’s children to be taught that? I mean if were talking about fairness, that would be fair, wouldn’t it?

Eh? What’s that they say? No they’re not prepared to grant me a tax exemption and yes I will have to continue to fund other people’s children being taught that their ancestors were trilobites? Oh, that doesn’t seem quite so fair, does it?

The problem here is not what gets taught, but how it is funded. Look at it this way: if there is a school down the road that teaches children that 2+2=5, what should I do about it? The answer is nothing much (that is nothing much is the answer to what I should do about it, not the answer to the maths question). If you want to send your kids to that school, that’s fine by me. Go ahead. I would think you foolish, but since they’re your children, not mine, and since it’s not a crime to believe that 2+2=5, it really is none of my business. Just don’t expect me to pay for it.

But there’s the nub of the problem. Whilst rightly insisting that I cannot run a school using taxpayers’ money to teach creationism, they refuse to extend the same basic courtesy the other way around. I think the theory of evolution so full of holes that it is self-evidently the equivalent of 2+2=5. Yet they are going to make me pay for it nonetheless, and if I refuse they will put me in prison.

And by the way it is not just the teaching of evolution that they are going to insist I pay for. There are a whole bunch of other things that I profoundly disagree with, like politically correct history, climate change and, most insidious of all, relativistic and morality-free so-called sex education (sexucation). Do I get exemption for those things? Or do I still have to pay for other people’s children to learn that whatever they do with their sexual organs is fine?

All of which goes to show what is really going on here. The issue is nothing to do with being up in arms about the prospect of funding the teaching of something the secularists think is bonkers. If it was, they would apply the logic the other way around. The fact they don’t shows what this argument is really about. It is about who controls the minds of the young, and the decision to outlaw the teaching of creationism in those “free” schools is nothing to do with being “free” or “fair” — it is about as “free” and “fair” as the recent Egyptian election. Rather it is about outlawing thoughts which challenge the secularist hegemony. They are busy creating (or as we’re not allowed to refer to creationism, perhaps I should say evolving) a closed system of thought, where nothing is allowed to challenge their own worldview.

Which is a great shame. Their worldview is producing broken families, unhappy kids, gargantuan debts, increased crime, sexually transmitted diseases, adults guzzling antidepressants to try and cover their sense of purposelessness, loneliness, and despair, not to mention a generation that is perhaps more easily manipulated by the state than any generation that has gone before. I would say that this worldview could do with a little bit of a challenge from time to time.