Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Lost Labor

That's what I found:

"After loss, Labor Party looks to regroup; Appealing to its core backfired during election" by Steven Erlanger and Stephen Castle New York Times   May 10, 2015

LONDON — The Labor Party’s defeat in Thursday’s British elections was its poorest performance in nearly 30 years.

Related: Conservatives Win Contentious Elections

The "left"(and "right")  is dead everywhere. The bankers are taking no chances.

It was nearly wiped out in Scotland, long one of its strongholds. Some of its brightest and most experienced members of Parliament lost their seats, including its shadow chancellor and shadow foreign secretary.

Most important, it lost the argument about Britain’s best path toward the future and was left with no clear guiding philosophy.

Ed Miliband, Labor’s leader for the past five years, took responsibility and resigned, initiating another round of soul-searching for a party with trade union and socialist roots in a globalized country where heavy industry and the traditional working class are fading fast.

Miliband bet on a strategy to appeal to Labor’s core voters, that, after the global crash of 2008, the electorate would favor an egalitarian party that called for higher taxes on the rich, tighter regulation of business, and increased social spending.

His agenda was sold by Labor as a responsible alternative to the fiscal austerity imposed on Britain by Prime Minister David Cameron and the Conservative-led government of the past five years.

But Miliband’s campaign was also a challenge — and a rebuff — to the “New Labor” strategy of former prime minister Tony Blair, who won three elections by downplaying socialism, reaching for the center, and convincing business that Labor was its friend.

Where is Bliar these days?

Related: “Your Lies Killed My Son’’ 

That still moves me even now.

So what happened to that report?

In the end, the Conservatives appeared to succeed in much of Britain with their argument that Labor under Miliband could not be trusted with the economy, especially if prodded by the Scottish National Party. But in the face of economic anxiety and the nationalist revolution in Scotland, which destroyed Labor’s inbuilt demographic advantage in a system that rewards regional concentrations of support, the core strategy backfired badly.

Rupert  Murdoch was monumental in that, and it is looking like England may be letting Scotland go after all.

Labor won 41 of Scotland’s 59 seats in Parliament in 2010. On Thursday, it won one, and it won very few seats from the Conservatives in England.

Alan Johnson, a former home secretary for Labor, said Saturday that the party needed “a proper rethink.”

The problem was not Miliband’s personality but policy, “the issue of aspiration in people’s lives,” Johnson said. “We can no longer relate to them as a party of aspiration. And that was one of the big successes that won us three elections.”

The problem for Labor is deeper than just its abandoning the middle ground, said Steven Fielding, professor of political history at Nottingham University.

“On one level they are seen as too left-wing in England and too right-wing in Scotland, but actually it is about the relationship the party had with the electorate in both countries,” he said.

Labor “faces a basic existential crisis,” he said. “The most basic problem is that the party has to reconnect.”

The left “has failed to capitalize on the crisis of 2008,” said Tony Travers, a political scientist at the London School of Economics.

“The voters here decided they trusted the center-right more than Labor anyway,” he said. “People will vote to get rid of a government if the alternative is credible and competent, and they looked at Labor and said, ‘No, thanks.’ ”

British elections “are still fought on the center ground,” Travers said. “The more Labor drifts from the center the more it hurts, and they may not like it, but Britain is a very moderate country that signed up to Anglo-Saxon capitalism, and risks outside the mainstream worried voters.”


And the real winner (as usual) in the British election? The Rothschilds. 

Remember the old days of empire?

"Pakistanis softening anti-US stance" by Tim Craig Washington Post   May 10, 2015

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — During a dozen visits to Pakistan since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Montana resident Doug Chabot sometimes stuck a Canadian maple leaf on his bag. Even then, he dreaded the inevitable lectures from Pakistanis angered by US foreign policy.

But when Chabot returned late last summer, he was surprised by how ‘‘welcoming’’ Pakistanis were.

‘‘There was no anti-American sentiment walking into stores or the markets and, if anything, people were concerned that I thought they hated Americans,’’ said Chabot, who runs a charity focused on educating Pakistani girls.

Oh, "we" are loved again!

His experience reflects a subtle but broad shift in Pakistani society as the war in neighboring Afghanistan draws to a close: Anti-American sentiment is going out of style.

Yeah, except the war us now escalating!!

The shift has come as Pakistanis appear to be looking closer to home for the causes of — and answers to — the country’s woes, according to interviews with residents, analysts, and current and former diplomats.

Those observers say the change is being driven by a Pakistani middle class that is now more supportive of American drone strikes — which have declined precipitiously in recent years, particularly since a school massacre by the Taliban that killed about 150 students and teachers in December.

Only problem is a Sandy Hook kid was claimed to have died there. It was another staged and scripted propaganda fraud. 

So now the Pakistanis support the drone murders, huh? 

Says who, the CIA's newspaper?

And as conflict spreads in the Middle East, there is a growing recognition in Pakistan that sectarian violence in Muslim countries isn’t all driven by the United States.

No, they only helped created all the groups.

The Obama administration’s efforts to quietly rebuild relationships here are starting to have an effect, analysts say.

‘‘You now don’t even see the usual firebrands coming up with standard anti-American declarations,’’ said Ayaz Amir, a political commentator and former leglislator. ‘‘There is a sense we have to deal with our own problems, and it is up to us how we handle them, and I think anti-Americanism, really, no longer seems that relevant.’’

In recent years, as the war in Afghanistan spilled across the border and US drone strikes pounded the Pakistani tribal hideouts of Al Qaeda and other militants, the United States was often the chief target of Pakistani frustrations over a stagnant economy, political turmoil, and the terrorism-related deaths of civilians and troops.

Newspaper commentaries regularly savaged the United States, and anti-American protests — sometimes violent — were frequent. Poll after poll indicated that Pakistanis viewed the United States, a major provider of aid to Pakistan, with more disdain than people in almost any other nation.

But a Pew Research Center poll released in August showed a significant decline in the percentage of Pakistanis who held negative views of the United States — still a majority at 59 percent, but down from 80 percent two years before.

‘‘It’s no more just hate heaped upon the United States,’’ said Allama Tahir Ashrafi, chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council, which represents 25,000 religious scholars and clerics, some of whom have been vocal critics of the United States. ‘‘Because of the serious internal issues that Pakistani society is facing, and also the Muslim world is facing, the focus is not that much on the United States.’’


Related: The Weinstein of Drones

Also seeNepal’s ‘kung fu nuns’ help repair, rebuild after quake

No surprise to seed that WaPo crap. With Israel and CIA crawling all over the place the coverage has really collapsed and crumbled.