It is nearly 100 years since British rulers inflicted a grievous blow to Irish sovereignty, when they forcibly partitioned the neighboring island nation into two separate states.
Now, with the Brexit debacle intensifying, it is evidently time for Ireland to be reunited as one country, as it had been for millennia before.
This week, it is apparent again that British Prime Minister Theresa May can’t get her fractious London government to agree on terms to leave the European Union.
Some within her ruling Conservative party want a “hard Brexit” — that is, a clean break from the EU — while others in, and outside, the party want a “soft Brexit”. The latter would involve an ongoing trade association with Europe.
However, it is on the island of Ireland that the political squabbling in London is most manifest. A hard Brexit could mean the reimposition of an official border between the Republic of Ireland, a member of the EU, and Northern Ireland, which is under British rule and is therefore due to leave the European bloc in the coming months.
The issue of a border in Ireland is an extremely sensitive one. It is only a little over 20 years ago that Northern Ireland was gripped by a three-decade war in which thousands of people died through violence between pro-independence nationalists and pro-British unionists.
British army and police forces suffered heavy casualties too, while also killing hundreds, many of them innocent civilians. And, of course, British authorities and news media woefully distorted the euphemistically named “Troubles” as being all about containing Irish “terrorists” wreaking havoc and mayhem.Since a landmark peace settlement was agreed in 1998, the island of Ireland has witnessed a transformative peace. While Northern Ireland remained part of British jurisdiction, thus placating unionists, it has coexisted with its southern neighboring state without any border controls, thus giving nationalists an important sense of a unified island.
If the “hard Brexiteers” led by the likes of Boris Johnson prevail, then a hard border separating the North and South of Ireland would likely be reinstated. Such a development will be seen as an overturning of the historic peace settlement and could re-ignite conflict on the island again. It is lamentable that selfish English politicians seem so abjectly and recklessly indifferent to the potential dangers facing Irish people.
The European Union’s position is that no hard border should be imposed on the island of Ireland.
For all its flaws, at least the EU is mindful of the need for maintaining peace in Ireland. Also, it recognizes that a border with customs controls would impact badly on the economy of the Republic of Ireland, which is a long-time member of the EU and whose interests therefore Brussels has a duty to defend.
If British premier May goes for a softer Brexit option that could entail a sort of customs union throughout the island of Ireland, and the setting up of a trade barrier between Ireland and the rest of Britain. Goods exported from both the North and South of Ireland to Britain would be inspected at seaports entering mainland Britain, in the same way goods from France, Holland or Belgium, and so on, would be too.
That option is unacceptable to the hard Brexiteers and a small unionist party in Northern Ireland whose parliamentary votes support the Conservative government. They view such a soft option as diluting the integrity of the United Kingdom of “Britain and Northern Ireland”.In other words, for them, it smacks of the whole of Ireland becoming de facto independent from British rule.
But let’s look at a possible solution from an Irish point of view, instead of from the viewpoint of squabbling English politicians. By “an Irish point of view”, we mean the wishes expressed democratically by all the people on the island of Ireland, both North and South.
It is a fair assumption that most people across Ireland would want a borderless island. Nationalist-minded citizens in the South and the North would carry a majority in any all-island referendum on the matter. Even, it can be averred, many traditional unionists in the North would now be open to a united Ireland, owing to their economic self-interests.
Indeed, in the Brexit referendum in 2016, the majority of Northern Ireland voted to remain within the European Union. The vote to leave the EU was mainly an English movement. Yet Ireland, North and South, is being thrown into turmoil because of English decisions.
Furthermore, many of the sharp sectarian divisions that so marred Northern Ireland have melted away over the past two decades with the arrival of peace, as well as from a new generation of progressive youth, and the free flow of people between the two jurisdictions.
Ireland today is much more cosmopolitan and integrated than it was during the bitter sectarian conflicts of the past. In short, a border now seems wholly redundant and anachronistic.
The London-centric English political establishment have always treated Ireland with a snide disregard, typical of colonial arrogance. They often referred to Ireland as the “Irish problem” — meaning how they would manage to suppress the unruly and rebellious Irish. Maybe if the sniveling British establishment would just respect Irish self-determination for independence then they would not continually create an “Irish problem”.Almost 330 years ago, when two English rival kings were vying for the throne of England, they fought their bloody civil war on Irish soil.
The result of the battle between Protestant William of Orange and Catholic James the Second, left Ireland with a legacy of sectarian strife.
In the last-ever all-Ireland parliamentary elections in 1918 (when the whole island was then under British colonial rule), the Irish electorate voted overwhelming for full independence from Britain. That “Irish problem” was dealt with by the British rulers waging a brutal war in Ireland (1918-1920) which ended up with the partitioning of the island into the Southern and Northern states that we have today.
The carving-up of Ireland nearly 100 years ago was an unprecedented violation against the Irish nation. It was a violent, perfidious act of gerrymandering by London in which it annexed a northern corner of the island, giving a built-in pro-British unionist majority, which has been cited by London ever since as a “mandate” to rule “Northern Ireland”. (And they’ve the cheek to slap sanctions on Russia for allegedly annexing Crimea!)
In truth, the so-called Irish problem has always been an English problem. Because English politicians have continually refused to respect Irish self-determination and nationhood.We are seeing the same sordid conundrum being played out once again today.
English politicians are almost in a state of civil war over their differences on Brexit, and they are prepared to, in effect, take their quarrel on to Irish soil to fight it out. But, as before, it may be Irish people who again pay the price with their blood if violent conflict returns to the island.
So, let’s take this English problem by the horns, and give it an Irish solution — once and for all. An all-Ireland referendum on independence from Britain.
It is surely time for Ireland to be united, free and independent from London’s interminable interference, so that all her people can live in peace and prosperity.
That would be long-overdue natural justice to artificial political and painful problems foisted on Ireland for centuries by England.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
Oct 25, 2018
Australia broadcast an explosive 60 minute report on the Westminster paedophile network on Sunday evening, that has sent shockwaves around the world.
‘Spies, Lords and Predators’ looked at what the host described as Britain’s ‘biggest ever scandal’ that is likely to ‘rock the British establishment’.
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The programme features an interview with Richard Kerr, who lived as a boy at Kincora boys’ home in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Earlier today, Exaro uploaded its own video interview with Richard Kerr, in which he says that child sex abuse at Kincora was all about political leverage.
The programme also filmed an interview with Esther Baker, who alleges that she was sexually abused by two politicians.
And a man identified by Exaro only as “Darren” is interviewed anonymously in the programme. Darren became the third witness to give an account to us of how prominent people carried out child sex abuse at Dolphin Square, the apartment complex favoured by MPs.
In addition, Kevin Allen, brother of Martin, who disappeared as a 15-year-old in 1979, is interviewed for the programme. Kevin believes that Martin was abducted and murdered by a member of the ‘Westminster paedophile network’.
When he raised his suspicions with police many years ago, he says that a senior officer told him: “You keep saying things like that, you could get hurt.”
Zac Goldsmith, a Conservative MP who was part of the initial cross-party group of seven who last year called for an overarching inquiry into child sex abuse, agrees with the programme’s reporter that the ‘Westminster paedophile network’ is the “biggest political scandal in British history”.
Goldsmith tells 60 Minutes: “There is very compelling evidence that very senior people engaged in terrible acts and were then protected by the establishment. I have no doubt at all about that.”
“But I think the genie is out of the bottle.”
‘Spies, Lords and Predators’ – full 60-minute report:
[If you want to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes, please follow this link].
International group calls for a major rethink of global policy on narcotics and an end to the failed efforts that governments refuse to relinquish
Another major study designed to assess how national governments wage their so-called “war on drugs” shows that the last ten years of such policies have not only failed to put a dent in the illegal drug trade, the tactics have had serious negative impacts for global health, human rights, public safety and economic progress.
“This report is another nail in the coffin for the war on drugs. The fact that governments and the UN do not see fit to properly evaluate the disastrous impact of the last ten years of drug policy is depressingly unsurprising.” —Ann Fordham, IDPC
As a result, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), the international group behind the report, is calling for a major rethinking of global policy on narcotics and an end to the failed efforts that governments refuse to relinquish.
“This report is another nail in the coffin for the war on drugs,” said Ann Fordham, IDPC’s executive director of IDPC, in a statement. “The fact that governments and the UN do not see fit to properly evaluate the disastrous impact of the last ten years of drug policy is depressingly unsurprising.”
The report—titled “Taking stock: A decade of drug policy“—evaluates the impacts of drug policies implemented across the world over the past decade, using data from the United Nations, peer-reviewed academic research, and a collection of grey literature from civil society.
What did it find? It found that the last decade’s efforts to eliminate the world’s illicit drug market via a militarized “war on drugs” approach has had almost zero effect on global supply while creating widespread and negative effects on global health, human rights, security and development.
“Instead of reducing the overall scale of the illegal drug market,” notes the executive summary (pdf), “overly punitive drug policies have often exacerbated violence, instability and corruption.”
Meanwhile, over the last tens years in which decreasing crop production of opium poppy, coca, and cannabis was a key goal of governments, the report found that crop yields for all three went up. Poppy production, according the report’s estimate is up by 130%, while coca production is up 34% over the last decade. Cannabis figures are harder to estimate, the report found no evidence that crops are down.
“What we learn from the IDPC shadow report is compelling. Since governments started collecting data on drugs in the 1990s, the cultivation, consumption and illegal trafficking of drugs have reached record levels,” wrote Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, in the report’s foreword.
“Moreover,” she added, “current drug policies are a serious obstacle to other social and economic objectives and the ‘war on drugs’ has resulted in millions of people murdered, disappeared, or internally displaced.”
With permission from
At the age of 10 I was sent as a scholarship student to a boarding school for the uber-rich in Massachusetts. I lived among the wealthiest Americans for the next eight years. I listened to their prejudices and saw their cloying sense of entitlement. They insisted they were privileged and wealthy because they were smarter and more talented. They had a sneering disdain for those ranked below them in material and social status, even the merely rich. Most of the uber-rich lacked the capacity for empathy and compassion. They formed elite cliques that hazed, bullied and taunted any nonconformist who defied or did not fit into their self-adulatory universe.
It was impossible to build a friendship with most of the sons of the uber-rich. Friendship for them was defined by “what’s in it for me?” They were surrounded from the moment they came out of the womb by people catering to their desires and needs. They were incapable of reaching out to others in distress—whatever petty whim or problem they had at the moment dominated their universe and took precedence over the suffering of others, even those within their own families. They knew only how to take. They could not give. They were deformed and deeply unhappy people in the grip of an unquenchable narcissism.
It is essential to understand the pathologies of the uber-rich. They have seized total political power. These pathologies inform Donald Trump, his children, the Brett Kavanaughs, and the billionaires who run his administration. The uber-rich cannot see the world from anyone’s perspective but their own. People around them, including the women whom entitled men prey upon, are objects designed to gratify momentary lusts or be manipulated. The uber-rich are almost always amoral. Right. Wrong. Truth. Lies. Justice. Injustice. These concepts are beyond them. Whatever benefits or pleases them is good. What does not must be destroyed.
The pathology of the uber-rich is what permits Trump and his callow son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to conspire with de facto Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman, another product of unrestrained entitlement and nepotism, to cover up the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whom I worked with in the Middle East. The uber-rich spend their lives protected by their inherited wealth, the power it wields and an army of enablers, including other members of the fraternity of the uber-rich, along with their lawyers and publicists. There are almost never any consequences for their failures, abuses, mistreatment of others and crimes. This is why the Saudi crown prince and Kushner have bonded. They are the homunculi the uber-rich routinely spawn.
The rule of the uber-rich, for this reason, is terrifying. They know no limits. They have never abided by the norms of society and never will. We pay taxes—they don’t. We work hard to get into an elite university or get a job—they don’t. We have to pay for our failures—they don’t. We are prosecuted for our crimes—they are not.
The uber-rich live in an artificial bubble, a land called Richistan, a place of Frankenmansions and private jets, cut off from our reality. Wealth, I saw, not only perpetuates itself but is used to monopolize the new opportunities for wealth creation. Social mobility for the poor and the working class is largely a myth. The uber-rich practice the ultimate form of affirmative action, catapulting white, male mediocrities like Trump, Kushner and George W. Bush into elite schools that groom the plutocracy for positions of power. The uber-rich are never forced to grow up. They are often infantilized for life, squalling for what they want and almost always getting it. And this makes them very, very dangerous.
Political theorists, from Aristotle and Karl Marx to Sheldon Wolin, have warned against the rule of the uber-rich. Once the uber-rich take over, Aristotle writes, the only options are tyranny and revolution. They do not know how to nurture or build. They know only how to feed their bottomless greed. It’s a funny thing about the uber-rich: No matter how many billions they possess, they never have enough. They are the Hungry Ghosts of Buddhism. They seek, through the accumulation of power, money and objects, an unachievable happiness. This life of endless desire often ends badly, with the uber-rich estranged from their spouses and children, bereft of genuine friends. And when they are gone, as Charles Dickens wrote in “A Christmas Carol,” most people are glad to be rid of them.
C. Wright Mills in “The Power Elite,” one of the finest studies of the pathologies of the uber-rich, wrote:
They exploited national resources, waged economic wars among themselves, entered into combinations, made private capital out of the public domain, and used any and every method to achieve their ends. They made agreements with railroads for rebates; they purchased newspapers and bought editors; they killed off competing and independent businesses and employed lawyers of skill and statesmen of repute to sustain their rights and secure their privileges. There is something demonic about these lords of creation; it is not merely rhetoric to call them robber barons.
Corporate capitalism, which has destroyed our democracy, has given unchecked power to the uber-rich. And once we understand the pathologies of these oligarchic elites, it is easy to chart our future. The state apparatus the uber-rich controls now exclusively serves their interests. They are deaf to the cries of the dispossessed. They empower those institutions that keep us oppressed—the security and surveillance systems of domestic control, militarized police, Homeland Security and the military—and gut or degrade those institutions or programs that blunt social, economic and political inequality, among them public education, health care, welfare, Social Security, an equitable tax system, food stamps, public transportation and infrastructure, and the courts. The uber-rich extract greater and greater sums of money from those they steadily impoverish. And when citizens object or resist, they crush or kill them.
The uber-rich care inordinately about their image. They are obsessed with looking at themselves. They are the center of their own universe. They go to great lengths and expense to create fictional personas replete with nonexistent virtues and attributes. This is why the uber-rich carry out acts of well-publicized philanthropy. Philanthropy allows the uber-rich to engage in moral fragmentation. They ignore the moral squalor of their lives, often defined by the kind of degeneracy and debauchery the uber-rich insist is the curse of the poor, to present themselves through small acts of charity as caring and beneficent. Those who puncture this image, as Khashoggi did with Salman, are especially despised. And this is why Trump, like all the uber-rich, sees a critical press as the enemy. It is why Trump’s and Kushner’s eagerness to conspire to help cover up Khashoggi’s murder is ominous. Trump’s incitements to his supporters, who see in him the omnipotence they lack and yearn to achieve, to carry out acts of violence against his critics are only a few steps removed from the crown prince’s thugs dismembering Khashoggi with a bone saw. And if you think Trump is joking when he suggests the press should be dealt with violently you understand nothing about the uber-rich. He will do what he can get away with, even murder. He, like most of the uber-rich, is devoid of a conscience.
The more enlightened uber-rich, the East Hamptons and Upper East Side uber-rich, a realm in which Ivanka and Jared once cavorted, look at the president as gauche and vulgar. But this distinction is one of style, not substance. Donald Trump may be an embarrassment to the well-heeled Harvard and Princeton graduates at Goldman Sachs, but he serves the uber-rich as assiduously as Barack Obama and the Democratic Party do. This is why the Obamas, like the Clintons, have been inducted into the pantheon of the uber-rich. It is why Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump were close friends. They come from the same caste.
There is no force within ruling institutions that will halt the pillage by the uber-rich of the nation and the ecosystem. The uber-rich have nothing to fear from the corporate-controlled media, the elected officials they bankroll or the judicial system they have seized. The universities are pathetic corporation appendages. They silence or banish intellectual critics who upset major donors by challenging the reigning ideology of neoliberalism, which was formulated by the uber-rich to restore class power. The uber-rich have destroyed popular movements, including labor unions, along with democratic mechanisms for reform that once allowed working people to pit power against power. The world is now their playground.
In “The Postmodern Condition” the philosopher Jean-François Lyotard painted a picture of the future neoliberal order as one in which “the temporary contract” supplants “permanent institutions in the professional, emotional, sexual, cultural, family and international domains, as well as in political affairs.” This temporal relationship to people, things, institutions and the natural world ensures collective self-annihilation. Nothing for the uber-rich has an intrinsic value. Human beings, social institutions and the natural world are commodities to exploit for personal gain until exhaustion or collapse. The common good, like the consent of the governed, is a dead concept. This temporal relationship embodies the fundamental pathology of the uber-rich.
The uber-rich, as Karl Polanyi wrote, celebrate the worst kind of freedom—the freedom “to exploit one’s fellows, or the freedom to make inordinate gains without commensurable service to the community, the freedom to keep technological inventions from being used for public benefit, or the freedom to profit from public calamities secretly engineered for private advantage.” At the same time, as Polanyi noted, the uber-rich make war on the “freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of meeting, freedom of association, freedom to choose one’s own job.”
The dark pathologies of the uber-rich, lionized by mass culture and mass media, have become our own. We have ingested their poison. We have been taught by the uber-rich to celebrate the bad freedoms and denigrate the good ones. Look at any Trump rally. Watch any reality television show. Examine the state of our planet. We will repudiate these pathologies and organize to force the uber-rich from power or they will transform us into what they already consider us to be—the help.
Chris Hedges is a Truthdig columnist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author, a professor in the college degree program offered to New Jersey state prisoners by Rutgers University, and an ordained Presbyterian minister.
Featured image is from Mr. Fish/Truthdig.
This is huge. The FDA just granted orphan drug designation (ODD) to Insys Therapeutics for its pharmaceutical-grade, proprietary cannabidiol (CBD) product for treating cancer tumors in humans. Although glioma tumors affect less than 200,000 Americans, this FDA approval sets a precedent for natural remedies, and could lead to a revolutionary way to legally treat many forms of cancer with natural cures. In justifying preliminary approval of utilizing CBD to treat brain and spinal cancer tumors of this kind, Insys Therapeutics provided the FDA with the scientific rationale for CBD’s benefits, including human experiences with the natural remedy, evidence discovered through in vitro studies, and preclinical animal testing.
The same tired argument always ensues in America when a natural remedy cures too many humans of disease and disorder – the allopathic clowns claim there’s no scientific proof (because pharma doesn’t like the competition). Now the scientific evidence is strong for the real therapeutic potential of CBD oils to treat some of the most dangerous and lethal forms of cancer, especially ones that surgery and chemotherapy have proven nearly useless against.
Certain cannabinoids work best when combined with other CBDs and THC, but the breakthrough recognition of the Insys Therapeutics’ formula is huge for the natural health community and cancer science in general. This completely dismantles the fake “scientific consensus” that only “peer reviewed” chemicals, radiation and surgery can treat cancer. After Insys provides success after success, which they most likely will, it is likely that the full-spectrum of cannabis extracts will find FDA approval, and be a viable option for the masses who want a safe and effective alternative to archaic, invasive, chemical, misery-inducing “mainstream” versions of trying to treat cancer now.
On thing is for sure, chemicals cause cancer, and the worst thing you can do to an acidic body is dose it with more chemicals. Science has already proven that chemical pesticides, chemical preservatives in foods, chemical sugar substitutes, and chemical-based prescription drugs cause cancer cells to proliferate. Mutated cells that are fed by chemicals multiply uncontrollably and can take over vital human organs, including the most complex one in the body – the brain.
If you could filter all of the chemicals out of everything you eat, drink, breathe in, and put on your body today, you could probably fill up a shot glass. Your filtering organs are being overwhelmed, your cells are getting choked out, and the cumulative effect of all of this is the mutation of cells that will eventually gang up and attack your good cells. So why on earth would anyone accept chemotherapy for the treatment of a cell disorder that is caused by chemicals? The name chemotherapy even uses the root word “chem” from chemical. Wake up folks.
Do you know the top 10 chemical causes of cancer cell development? Scrub your daily intake against these. Then, if you still find yourself fighting cancer, consider natural remedies that are now PROVEN by science to beat even the toughest forms of cancer, including glioma tumors.
Learn more about the toxins you are exposed to at Toxins.news.
Sources for this article include: