Woah The Referendum

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You put Cameron in
and Johnson out
In, out, in, out,
You throw it into doubt
You do the referendum and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
ballots cast, boxes ticked, ra ra ra!

You put Corbyn in
and Galloway out
In, out, in, out,
You throw it into doubt
You do the referendum and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
ballots cast, boxes ticked, ra ra ra!

You put Bennett in
and Farage out
In, out, in, out,
You throw it into doubt
You do the referendum and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
ballots cast, boxes ticked, ra ra ra!

You put Khan in
and Goldsmith out
In, out, in, out,
You throw it into doubt
You do the referendum and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

All together now
Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
ballots cast, boxes ticked, ra ra ra!

You put the UK in
the UK out
In, out, in,, out,
You throw it into doubt
You do the referendum and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

We have a war crisis.

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The Refugee Crisis as we are calling it here in the west is in actual fact a war crisis. War creates refugees, it is a certainty that where there are wars people will flee, kind of like taxes – this goes back a very, very long way.

There are currently 42 conflicts happening in the world, with the UK not having a single year of peace in over the last one hundred years. It should come at no surprise then that there is a refugee crisis. However the response and coverage of this “refugee crisis” – has not only been extremely one sided and centred around Europe, it complete flies in the face of the facts.

Media coverage would have us believe that hordes are banging on Britain gates, as they try to get to this green and pleasant land, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Europe is not under siege by refugees, in actual fact a tiny amount of the worlds refugees are even attempting to get into Europe.

The main figures we have to go on are from the end of 2014 (2015 figures won’t be released until later this year), we have of course seen one million refugees and migrants (big distinction between the two) enter Europe over the course of 2015, but even if we deduct this from the world figure, it still doesn’t take much of a dent of the world refugee overall total, so lets look at the figures in greater depth.
At the end of 2014 59.5 million people around the world were displaced, of that figure 19.5 million were refugees, roughly 42,500 people became refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced every single day and it has reached the point where 1 in every 122 human beings on the planet is effected by this.

That one million don’t seem like so much any more does it? And when we look at the response by the developing world, it gets even more shameful for Europe, considering that developing countries host 86% of the worlds refugees. G20 countries meanwhile account for 85% of the worlds GDP, so it is clear where their priorities lie (profit, not people).

Whether we like it or not, this is a global problem, and in many cases a problem we have made worse, through western militarism. If we can find the money to bomb these peoples homes, surely we can find the money to provide one for them?

So how is it that the majority of the burden rests on developing countries, when we clearly have the lions share of the worlds resources, therefore the greatest capacity to help.
These figures are not new either, yet we haven’t heard about the refugee crisis engulfing Africa, or Asia – it only became a problem when some of these poor souls wanted to get into fortress Europe.

The response to this global problem has been wholly inadequate, the developed world has been extremely quick to add fuel to the fire by bombing countries, creating more displacement, but it has been very slow to help the victims of these wars. In fact if the developed world had taken the refugee problems seriously years ago, there would be no crisis.

There are solutions to this western created war crisis, first and foremost stop the arms industries flooding the world with western weapons, fuelling war. Our leaders need to have a commitment to peace and diplomacy, while it supports regional actors in with their internal and international development.

The refugees safety needs to be the chief concern, and this global crisis demands a global response, the world have to come together and work out a program and some concrete policies on how they are going to solve this. The problem is bigger than any one national state, even if the majority of the burden is falling on states that are out of sight and out of mind.

We are told that helping them encourages more of them, well they exist whether they exist in Europe, whether they are struggling to survive in the Middle East or Africa, they are human beings, who are in need because of conflict.

We can need to be investing in skills, training, integration, education which not only can help refugees thrive, while giving them the opportunity to begin rebuilding their lives – it can also provide some much needed investment in our own economies, providing jobs and infrastructure.

Refugees are quickly getting demoted to a number, and it all becoming a numbers game, but we are dealing with people, and this refugee crisis demands a human response and until our government stops putting the arms dealers and their spreadsheets first, this war crisis has no end in sight.

Hopefully the world will unite in creating a positive and peaceful solution but I will hold my breath on that one. Maybe if we declared war on refugees the worlds powers would be as enthusiastic about dealing with the aftermath of wars, as they are waging them.

 

 

The End Of Democracy As We Know It?

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The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership as it is known in all its glory, never heard of it before? Well it is the biggest threat to our democracy in a generation, and far from our democracy going up in glorious smoke, it is silently and slowly fading away into the night.

TTIP is a trade deal being negotiated between the United States and the European Union, which sounds alright, doesn’t it? After all we have plenty of trade deals all around the world. That is until you scrape underneath the spin and get to the essence of the deal.

All power to the corporations! Pretty much sums it up.

If you check the EU website on TTIP it all sounds pretty good, which can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/

Just looking over this and you would think “why the concern Steve?” – However if you check out this campaign: https://stop-ttip.org/ you will see we are not getting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The scariest part of TTIP for me is that it will allow something called “Investor-State Dispute Settlements,” what this boils down to is the right for corporations to sue governments if government policy has caused those corporations to lose profits.

Government policy will therefore be crafted not in a democratic fashion by the will of the people, but by corporations maximising their profits. Wouldn’t it be great if we had the right to hold governments to account in this way? If we could hold them liable for all the deaths that have been caused in relation to benefit sanctions for example.

One of the scariest aspects of this is that these disputes will happen in complete secret, not even elected officials will know about them, or be part of them until after they have already taken place.

When laws are being formed corporations will be allowed to sit at the table and draft the legislation, as well, so from beginning to end corporations will effectively become part of our government.

I will give you an example of this at work, a corporation sells a product which is found to cause cancer and has led to x amount of deaths, the government then bans this product. Under TTIP the corporation would then in turn be allowed to sue the government for eating into its profits.

I don’t know about you but I want my government to be concerned with the welfare of its citizens, not of its corporations. I want my government to protect my rights, not be more concerned with the profit of corporations.

All I hear about is economic growth and paying down the debt, I don’t care about these issues – I care about what my government can do for me, what my government can do for society, not what it can do for the 1% and there banker buddies.
Who lets face it, have surely had enough help by now and don’t need anymore?

The debate is all about human rights isn’t it? How human rights are being abused and how we need to scrap the human rights act. We never hear about the rights of corporations and how they abuse it to destroy the planet, or rip us off.

It just so happens that corporations in many countries have had the same rights extended to them as human beings, but you can bet that their rights to exploit and profit will not be coming into question in the near future.

The NHS that lovely institution which saved and continues to save an untold amount of people from disease and death could and likely would come under threat within the trade deal. Free simply doesn’t make enough profits you see.

The scope of TTIP is that wide that it is impossible to say just how it will begin to take hold over our country, either way when it does it will be done in secret so we won’t even know about it anyway!

At the very least there needs to be a national and international debate around TTIP, something of this magnitude should be a heavily debated and publicised isse which we are informed and educated on, because the rammifications of this whether they are good or bad (bad incase you are still not clear on my position) are absloutely massive.

TTIP has the power to reshape our democracy, effect every part of our lives, the environment, what we eat, how we eat it and an untold amount of possibilities. The tentacles of TTIP will wrap their oily slimey way around everything we now hold dear, so get angry, get mad, and get out there.

This is our democracy, it is time we took it back!