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Meditations and Molotovs – 05.08.17

On today’s program, Vince plays Part 4 of Adam Curtis’ documentary, “Century of the Self.” In this episode, “Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering,” Curtis explains how politicians on the left, in both Britain and America, turned to the techniques developed by business to read and fulfill the inner desires of the self. Both New Labour, under Tony Blair, and …

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MPs reject move to investigate Tony Blair over Iraq by 369 votes

Labour MPs turned out in force on Wednesday to help defeat a parliamentary motion calling for Tony Blair to be held to account for allegedly misleading parliament over the Iraq war by 439 votes to 70, after a sometimes angry debate. It said the Chilcot inquiry “provided substantial evidence of misleading information being presented by the then prime minister and …

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ANN ROBERTSON – BILL LEUMER – A Seismic Shift Toward Socialism in the U.K. Labour Party

Jeremy Corban’s unexpected 2015 rise to the leadership of the U.K. Labour Party and his recent resounding victory over the right-wing forces within the party that tried to dislodge him are sending shockwaves throughout Europe – waves that could reach the shores of the U.S. if events continue to unfold in the same direction. During the past decade, the right …

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ERIC ZUESSE – US Public Don’t Care If Politicians Lie

To say that a voter cares whether or not a given politician is a liar, is to say that even if the politician is of that voter’s own political party, the voter will reject the politician for being a liar. In the United States, most voters are either Democratic or Republican; and, for example, Republicans accept George W. Bush (he left office in 2009 …

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MEL GURTOV – Unintended Consequences and the Warfare State

“The danger is, as ever with these things, unintended consequences.” So wrote Prime Minister Tony Blair to President George W. Bush in 2002, as Bush prepared to invade Iraq.  Blair’s unstinting support of US policy, notwithstanding numerous unknowns and acknowledged large-scale obstacles, is more than a case of over-optimism or misplaced friendship.  For as the Chilcot Commission has just concluded after a …

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George Monbiot – The Judgement of History

The Chilcot report is utterly damning; but it’s still not justice. By George Monbiot, published on the Guardian’s website, 6th July 2016 Little is more corrosive of democracy than impunity. When politicians do terrible things and suffer no consequences, people lose trust in both politics and justice. They see them, correctly, as instruments deployed by the strong against the weak. Since …

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The Labour coup is unravelling fast, and unwittingly hands the party back to those who built it

Jeremy Corbyn has lost a Vote of No Confidence, with 172-40 Labour MPs voting against him remaining as leader of the party. But celebrating MPs might wish to put the champagne back in the fridge, because this is more likely the beginning of their end, not Corbyn’s. When Jeremy Corbyn first stood for leader of the party, these MPs told us he …

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PATRICK COCKBURN – What Tony Blair Has Learned About the Middle East: Absolutely Nothing

Normally anybody who criticises Jeremy Corbyn is guaranteed knee-jerk support by the British media which apparently feels that it does not even have to pretend to be non-partisan when it comes to the Labour leader. The only political figure similarly subjected to automatic demonisation is Tony Blair, so when he fiercely attacked Corbyn last week for supposedly focusing on “the …

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Gary Younge – The Left Is Winning the Debate. Now What?

After the Labour Party’s electoral defeat in Britain last year, the party’s small left caucus debated whether it should stand a candidate for the leadership at all. Some feared defeat would expose just how small the caucus was. Others insisted that someone needed to at least raise the arguments against anti-austerity and for a progressive foreign policy to counter the …

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Pankaj Mishra – A generation of failed politicians has trapped the west in a tawdry nightmare

n one of his last interviews, the historian Tony Judt lamented his “catastrophic” Anglo-American generation, whose cossetted members included George W Bush and Tony Blair. Having grown up after the defining wars and hatreds of the west’s 20th century, “in a world of no hard choices, neither economic nor political”, these historically weightless elites believed that “no matter what choice …