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Why There Will Probably be a Second Referendum on Brexit

The European elite will not allow a result to stand that undermines their power.

Eric Zuesse

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PRELIMINARY

Brexit (British exit from the European Union) would be a ferocious kidney-blow to the international aristocracy, the people (and their agents) who own controlling blocs of stock in international corporations, and who control politicians in every country (except Russia and perhaps China), and who especially control international organizations such as the executive body of the EU, which is the European Commission (or “EC”). The EC, the executive power within the EU, is an appointed not elected body; each of its members can be fired, at will, by the President of the EC, who is the real President of the EU, who is himself appointed as a result of deal-making amongst appointees who were selected by deal-making amongst elected politicians from each one of the nations that’s a member-state of the EU. The whole process of control at the EU is incredibly convoluted (for example, it includes, by reference, this monstrosity) and prevents real political accountability to the public, so that a career in “public service” at the EU is, essentially, service to the European aristocracy, not to the public.

The EU is set up as a unification of the various national aristocracies, or ‘member states’, that the EU represents; the EU does not represent the public — not even the voting public — anywhere. The President of the EC has enormous power over Europe: he drafts, and the entire EC rubber-stamps, all laws within the EU dictatorship, which is one of the reasons why there is such strong sentiment amongst the public within the EU, to replace the EU dictatorship and to put in its stead some democratic system of government, one that’s responsive to the will of the majority of the public, and not only to the will of the major stockholders in international corporations.

British exit from the European Union would therefore constitute a public rejection of this entire system, and a public preference for restoring the given nation’s democracy — it would constitute a public rejection of rule by Europe’s aristocracy.

There is no actual European democracy; there is, instead, a European dictatorship, or else (via exit from the EU), independent national governments, some of which governments might be democracies, and some of which might be dictatorships. The choice is either continued dictatorship, or else, the possibility of establishing (or re-establishing) national democracy. The EU is an international dictatorship, not really a democratic federation (such as it pretends).

THE BRITISH SITUATION

The UK has no written constitution, and so the UK government “wings it” on matters such as determining when a public vote in a referendum (such as Brexit) is actually final.

The petition to Parliament for there to be a revote about British exit from the EU has already received over four million signatures, and it notes that “Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate,” which means that even if only one-in-forty of those signatures are valid, and there are no additional signers, Parliament will take up the debate.

At that time, the fact that the referendum on Brexit was only “advisory” and not at all obligatory-to-be-adhered-to by the government, will be put forth in Parliament, again and again, as reason why the 52%-to-48% Brexit vote shouldn’t necessarily be considered to be final. That 52% might have been an accurate snapshot of voters’ opinion on June 23rd, but public opinion constantly changes, and a repeat-vote could easily produce a majority decision to “advise” Parliament against leaving the EU.

Furthermore, the petition’s point might also find majority support amongst Parliamentarians, that “We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum.” There is no fixed rule on these matters in UK, because there is no written constitution; so, a mere majority-vote on such a matter might even be argued not to make good democratic sense. For example, the U.S. Constitution (widely considered to be “democratic”) requires that at least two-thirds of U.S. Senators must vote to pass a proposed treaty in order for it to become law in that country — America’s Founders recognized that adopting any treaty is vastly more binding a national commitment than is merely adopting a new law, which can easily be abandoned or changed by merely another majority-vote to do so.

Since treaty-matters are (by their international nature) inherently more binding than any mere law is, a requirement for some type of “supermajority” or above-50%-standard, does actually make sense, in order to enter into a treaty. (And America’s Constitutional requirement for at least two thirds of the Senate to vote for a proposed treaty in order for the treaty to become law is actually a vital protection of U.S. national sovereignty, and thus of U.S. democracy.)

As to whether a supermajority-requirement in order to exit a treaty makes democratic sense, it doesn’t in this case, because no supermajority was required (as it should have been required) in order to “vote” to join the EU. That supermajority would then be applying ONLY in order to EXIT the EU, not in order to JOIN the EU (which was done without any such supermajority-standard). Consequently, by rights, there should be no re-vote at all: if 50% was required in order to join the EU, then 50% should be required in order to leave it, and that standard was met; it was the 52% vote, and that should be final.

But rights and wrongs do not make policies and laws; power does, and the international corporations possess it, the public unfortunately do not. Consequently, there will probably be a revote, because the owners of international corporations want there to be a revote.

This revote will probably likewise be only “advisory,” and it will probably be required to meet a stiffer standard than a mere majority of the voting electorate to “advise” Parliament to exit the EU, in order for the vote to be “advising” exit.

By that time (the time of the re-vote), the millions of citizens who are eligible to vote and who opposed Brexit but didn’t care as passionately about the matter as did the Brexit people and so didn’t come to the polls on June 23rd, will far more likely be coming to the polls on the re-vote; and the result of that will be a far-shortfall of the 60% or whatever standard Parliament will have set in order for Parliament to be “advised” to exit the EU, and probably there won’t even be as much as a bare majority (50%) of voters favoring Brexit. Those results (probably sub-50% but in any case below the super-majority standard set) would likely end the “Exit the EU” movement, first in UK, and then (by its example, which can conveniently be copied elsewhere) in other EU countries.

And, so, UK will very likely remain in EU; democracy will probably be irrevocably dead in UK, from that time forward; the major stockholders in international corporations will then rigidly control the country. UK’s unwritten constitution will then, without any practical challenge, be whatever the major stockholders in international corporations want it to be. And, as far as other countries in EU are concerned, all of which do have written Constitutions, those Constitutions will become less and less effective over time, as the EU’s international-corporate dictatorship will increasingly take precedence, in the emerging United States of Europe.

It will be the Bilderbergers’ dream, the Trilateralists’ dream, the Davos dream: international dictatorship, by the international aristocracy. The words might superficially sound pleasant, but the outcome will be hell. And here that hell is described regarding U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposed TPP treaty for Pacific nations, which is similar to his proposed TTIP and TISA treaties for Atlantic nations (including Europe): regulations regarding the environment, workers’ rights, and product-safety, will be whatever international corporations want them to be; democracy, the sovereignty of the public, will end. Even Obama’s statements advocating action against climate-change are sheer fakery.

Scientists can publish to each other the reality regarding climate-change, but the mass-media project a different ‘reality’ (more favorable to the international-corporate aristocracy), to serve an audience not of consumers but of the international corporations (such as oil companies) that advertise to consumers and that provide the advertising income to the ‘news’ media. The attitude of the people in power (the people who control those corporations) is: the world can simply go to hell; I need my profits.

Profits used to be a privilege that was earned by an investor’s taking risks; now profits have become an investor’s right that the public guarantees to them, and that takes precedence over the public’s sovereignty — investors are now the new sovereign, replacing the public in that capacity. Governments exist to serve investors, not citizens. Citizens have instead become mere subjects, of the aristocracy. It’s a return to feudalism, but in the era of corporations, a body-politic that Benito Mussolini called — and championed as — “corporationism” (or, alternatively, as “fascism”).

CONCLUSION

The significance of the first Brexit vote is: it was the first instance in modern times when UK citizens formally expressed their opposition to what the UK’s aristocracy desire. However, the outcome of that vote is likely to be the same (though by different means) as was the outcome of the Greek referendum regarding the international aristocracy’s 2015 ‘bailout’ (their euphemism for purchase) of the Greek government. In that case, the 5 July 2015 Greek referendum vote was, by a 61% majority, to reject the sale of the nation’s government.

The wikipedia article on that matter closes by noting: “On Monday, 13 July, the Syriza-led government of Greece accepted a bailout package that contains larger pension cuts and tax increases than the one rejected by Greek voters in the referendum.” And that was the end of that. The Greek leader, Syriza Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, even stayed in power. By contrast, Britain’s Tory Prime Minister, David Cameron, promptly resigned when the first Brexit vote turned out to reject his position that the UK should stay in the EU. The process of defeating the people’s rebellion is more drawn-out in Britain than it was in Greece; that’s all. Otherwise, it’ll probably be basically the same end-result in UK as it was in Greece. People must accept their fate, as subjects. Western history is going full-circle back to feudalism, but in its modern form: ‘peaceful’ fascism.

The message of that, if all of this comes to pass, will be, from the masters: Welcome to the future; it belongs to me and my children, not to you and your children. We own it, you don’t. Just get out of our way, because we’ll get there, by hook or by crook, no matter what you do.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Russia calls on US to put a leash on Petro Poroshenko

The West’s pass for Mr. Poroshenko may blow up in NATO’s and the US’s face if the Ukrainian President tries to start a war with Russia.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russia called on Washington not to ignore the Poroshenko directives creating an active military buildup along the Ukrainian-Donbass frontier, this buildup consisting of Ukrainian forces and right-wing ultranationalists, lest it “trigger the implementation of a bloody scenario”, according to a Dec 11 report from TASS.

The [Russian] Embassy [to the US] urges the US State Department to recognize the presence of US instructors in the zone of combat actions, who are involved in a command and staff and field training of Ukraine’s assault airborne brigades. “We expect that the US will bring to reason its proteges. Their aggressive plans are not only doomed to failure but also run counter to the statements of the administration on its commitment to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine by political and diplomatic means,” the statement said.

This warning came after Eduard Basurin, the deputy defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic noted that the Ukrainian army was massing troops and materiel for a possible large-scale offensive at the Mariupol section of the contact line in Donbass. According to Basurin, this action is expected to take place on 14 December. TASS offered more details:

According to the DPR’s reconnaissance data, Ukrainian troops plan to seize the DPR’s Novoazovsky and Temanovsky districts and take control over the border section with Russia. The main attack force of over 12,000 servicemen has been deployed along the contact line near the settlements of Novotroitskoye, Shirokino, and Rovnopol. Moreover, more than 50 tanks, 40 multiple missile launcher systems, 180 artillery systems and mortars have been reportedly pulled to the area, Basurin added. Besides, 12 BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers have been sent near Volodarsky.

The DPR has warned about possible provocations plotted by Ukrainian troops several times. Thus, in early December, the DPR’s defense ministry cited reconnaissance data indicating that the Ukrainian military was planning to stage an offensive and deliver an airstrike. At a Contact Group meeting on December 5, DPR’s Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova raised the issue of Kiev’s possible use of chemical weapons in the conflict area.

This is a continuation of the reported buildup The Duran reported in this article linked here, and it is a continuation of the full-scale drama that started with the Kerch Strait incident, which itself appears to have been staged by Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko. Following that incident, the president was able to get about half of Ukraine placed under a 30-day period of martial law, citing “imminent Russian aggression.”

President Poroshenko is arguably a dangerous man. He appears to be desperate to maintain a hold on power, though his approval numbers and support is abysmally low in Ukraine. While he presents himself as a hero, agitating for armed conflict with Russia and simultaneously interfering in the affairs of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church, he is actually one of the most dangerous leaders the world has to contend with, precisely because he is unfit to lead.

Such men and women are dangerous because their desperation makes them short-sighted, only concerned about their power and standing.

An irony about this matter is that President Poroshenko appears to be exactly what the EuroMaidan was “supposed” to free Ukraine of; that is, a stooge puppet leader that marches to orders from a foreign power and does nothing for the improvement of the nation and its citizens.

The ouster of Viktor Yanukovich was seen as the sure ticket to “freedom from Russia” for Ukraine, and it may well have been that Mr. Yanukovich was an incompetent leader. However, his removal resulted in a tryannical regíme coming into power, that resulting in the secession of two Ukrainian regions into independent republics and a third secession of strategically super-important Crimea, who voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia.

While this activity was used by the West to try to bolster its own narrative that Russia remains the evil henchman in Europe, the reality of life in Ukraine doesn’t match this allegation at all. A nation that demonstrates such behavior shows that there are many problems, and the nature of these secessions points at a great deal of fear from Russian-speaking Ukrainian people about the government that is supposed to be their own.

President Poroshenko presents a face to the world that the West is apparently willing to support, but the in-country approval of this man as leader speaks volumes. The West’s blind support of him “against Russia” may be one of the most tragic errors yet in Western foreign policy.

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Second Canadian Citizen Disappears In China

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea.

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Via Zerohedge…


For a trade war that was supposed to be between the US and China, Canada has found itself increasingly in the middle of the crossfire. And so after the arrest of a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing in retaliation for the detention of the Huawei CFO in Vancouver, Canada said a second person has been questioned by Chinese authorities, further heightening tensions between the two countries.

The second person reached out to the Canadian government after being questioned by Chinese officials, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, at which point Canada lost contact with him. His whereabouts are currently unknown and Global Affairs Canada said they are in contact with his family.

“We haven’t been able to make contact with him since he let us know about this,” Freeland told reporters Wednesday in Ottawa. “We are working very hard to ascertain his whereabouts and we have also raised this case with Chinese authorities.”

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea. He gained fame for helping arrange a visit to Pyongyang by former NBA player Dennis Rodman, and he met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on that trip, the newspaper reported. Attempts to reach Spavor on his contact number either in China, or North Korean went straight to voicemail.

Spavor’s personal Facebook page contains several images of him with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un including one of him with both Jong-un and former Dennis Rodman at an undisclosed location.

Michael P. Spavor, right, pictured here with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, second from right, and Dennis Rodman.

Another image shows the two sharing a drink on a boat.

The unexplained disappearance takes place after China’s spy agency detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig in Beijing on Monday, who was on leave from the foreign service. The arrest came nine days after Canada arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou at the request of U.S. DOJ. While Canada has asked to see the former envoy after it was informed by fax of his arrest, Canada is unaware of Kovrig current whereabouts or the charges he faces.

“Michael did not engage in illegal activities nor did he do anything that endangered Chinese national security,” Rob Malley, chief executive officer of the ICG, said in a written statement. “He was doing what all Crisis Group analysts do: undertaking objective and impartial research.”

One possibility is that Kovrig may have been caught up in recent rule changes in China that affect non-governmental organizations, according to Bloomberg. The ICG wasn’t authorized to do work in China, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said during a regular press briefing in Beijing Wednesday.

“We welcome foreign travelers. But if they engage in activities that clearly violate Chinese laws and regulations, then it is totally another story,” he said, adding he had no information on Kovrig specifically.

As Bloomberg further notes, foreign non-governmental organizations are now required to register with the Chinese authorities under a 2017 law that subjects them to stringent reporting requirements. Under the law, organizations without a representative office in China must have a government sponsor and a local cooperative partner before conducting activities. ICG said this is the first time they’ve heard such an accusation from the Chinese authorities in a decade of working with the country. The company closed its Beijing operations in December 2016 because of the new Chinese law, according to a statement. Kovrig was working out of the Hong Kong office.

Meanwhile, realizing that it is increasingly bearing the brunt of China’s retaliatory anger, Trudeau’s government distanced itself from Meng’s case, saying it can’t interfere with the courts, but is closely involved in advocating on Kovrig’s behalf.

So far Canada has declined to speculate on whether there was a connection between the Kovrig and Meng cases, with neither Freeland nor Canadian Trade Minister Jim Carr saying Wednesday that there is any indication the cases are related. Then again, it is rather obvious they are. Indeed, Guy Saint-Jacques, who served as ambassador to China from 2012 to 2016 and worked with Kovrig, says the link is clear. “There’s no coincidence with China.”

“In this case, they couldn’t grab a Canadian diplomat because this would have created a major diplomatic incident,” he said. “Going after him I think was their way to send a message to the Canadian government and to put pressure.”

Even though Meng was granted bail late Tuesday, that did not placate China, whose foreign ministry spokesman said that “The Canadian side should correct its mistakes and release Ms. Meng Wanzhou immediately.”

The tension, according to Bloomberg,  may force Canadian companies to reconsider travel to China, and executives traveling to the Asian country will need to exercise extra caution, said Andy Chan, managing partner at Miller Thomson LLP in Vaughan, Ontario.

“Canadian business needs to look at and balance the reasons for the travel’’ between the business case and the “current political environment,’’ Chan said by email. Chinese officials subject business travelers to extra screening and in some case reject them from entering, he said.

Earlier in the day, SCMP reported that Chinese high-tech researchers were told “not to travel to the US unless it’s essential.”

And so, with Meng unlikely to be released from Canada any time soon, expect even more “Chinese (non) coincidences”, until eventually China does detain someone that the US does care about.

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Multipolar World Order in the Making: Qatar Dumps OPEC

Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The decision by Qatar to abandon OPEC threatens to redefine the global energy market, especially in light of Saudi Arabia’s growing difficulties and the growing influence of the Russian Federation in the OPEC+ mechanism.

In a surprising statement, Qatari energy minister Saad al-Kaabi warned OPEC on Monday December 3 that his country had sent all the necessary documentation to start the country’s withdrawal from the oil organization in January 2019. Al-Kaabi stressed that the decision had nothing to do with recent conflicts with Riyadh but was rather a strategic choice by Doha to focus on the production of LNG, which Qatar, together with the Russian Federation, is one of the largest global exporters of. Despite an annual oil extraction rate of only 1.8% of the total of OPEC countries (about 600,000 barrels a day), Qatar is one of the founding members of the organization and has always had a strong political influence on the governance of the organization. In a global context where international relations are entering a multipolar phase, things like cooperation and development become fundamental; so it should not surprise that Doha has decide to abandon OPEC. OPEC is one of the few unipolar organizations that no longer has a meaningful purpose in 2018, given the new realities governing international relations and the importance of the Russian Federation in the oil market.

Besides that, Saudi Arabia requires the organization to maintain a high level of oil production due to pressure coming from Washington to achieve a very low cost per barrel of oil. The US energy strategy targets Iranian and Russian revenue from oil exports, but it also aims to give the US a speedy economic boost. Trump often talks about the price of oil falling as his personal victory. The US imports about 10 million barrels of oil a day, which is why Trump wrongly believes that a decrease in the cost per barrel could favor a boost to the US economy. The economic reality shows a strong correlation between the price of oil and the financial growth of a country, with low prices of crude oil often synonymous of a slowing down in the economy.

It must be remembered that to keep oil prices low, OPEC countries are required to maintain a high rate of production, doubling the damage to themselves. Firstly, they take less income than expected and, secondly, they deplete their oil reserves to favor the strategy imposed by Saudi Arabia on OPEC to please the White House. It is clearly a strategy that for a country like Qatar (and perhaps Venezuela and Iran in the near future) makes little sense, given the diplomatic and commercial rupture with Riyadh stemming from tensions between the Gulf countries.

In contrast, the OPEC+ organization, which also includes other countries like the Russian Federation, Mexico and Kazakhstan, seems to now to determine oil and its cost per barrel. At the moment, OPEC and Russia have agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day, contradicting Trump’s desire for high oil output.

With this last choice Qatar sends a clear signal to the region and to traditional allies, moving to the side of OPEC+ and bringing its interests closer in line with those of the Russian Federation and its all-encompassing oil and gas strategy, two sectors in which Qatar and Russia dominate market share.

In addition, Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey (a future energy hub connecting east and west as well as north and south) and Venezuela. In this sense, the meeting between Maduro and Erdogan seems to be a prelude to further reorganization of OPEC and its members.

The declining leadership role of Saudi Arabia in the oil and financial market goes hand in hand with the increase of power that countries like Qatar and Russia in the energy sectors are enjoying. The realignment of energy and finance signals the evident decline of the Israel-US-Saudi Arabia partnership. Not a day goes by without corruption scandals in Israel, accusations against the Saudis over Khashoggi or Yemen, and Trump’s unsuccessful strategies in the commercial, financial or energy arenas. The path this doomed

trio is taking will only procure less influence and power, isolating them more and more from their opponents and even historical allies.

Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi, the Eurasian powerhouses, seem to have every intention, as seen at the trilateral summit in Buenos Aires, of developing the ideal multipolar frameworks to avoid continued US dominance of the oil market through shale revenues or submissive allies as Saudi Arabia, even though the latest spike in production is a clear signal from Riyadh to the USA. In this sense, Qatar’s decision to abandon OPEC and start a complex and historical discussion with Moscow on LNG in the format of an enlarged OPEC marks the definitive decline of Saudi Arabia as a global energy power, to be replaced by Moscow and Doha as the main players in the energy market.

Qatar’s decision is, officially speaking, unconnected to the feud triggered by Saudi Arabia against the small emirate. However, it is evident that a host of factors has led to this historic decision. The unsuccessful military campaign in Yemen has weakened Saudi Arabia on all fronts, especially militarily and economically. The self-inflicted fall in the price of oil is rapidly consuming Saudi currency reserves, now at a new low of less than 500 billion dollars. Events related to Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) have de-legitimized the role of Riyadh in the world as a reliable diplomatic interlocutor. The internal and external repression by the Kingdom has provoked NGOs and governments like Canada’s to issue public rebukes that have done little to help MBS’s precarious position.

In Syria, the victory of Damascus and her allies has consolidated the role of Moscow in the region, increased Iranian influence, and brought Turkey and Qatar to the multipolar side, with Tehran and Moscow now the main players in the Middle East. In terms of military dominance, there has been a clear regional shift from Washington to Moscow; and from an energy perspective, Doha and Moscow are turning out to be the winners, with Riyadh once again on the losing side.

As long as the Saudi royal family continues to please Donald Trump, who is prone to catering to Israeli interests in the region, the situation of the Kingdom will only get worse. The latest agreement on oil production between Moscow and Riyad signals that someone in the Saudi royal family has probably figured this out.

Countries like Turkey, India, China, Russia and Iran understand the advantages of belonging to a multipolar world, thereby providing a collective geopolitical ballast that is mutually beneficial. The energy alignment between Qatar and the Russian Federation seems to support this general direction, a sort of G2 of LNG gas that will only strengthen the position of Moscow on the global chessboard, while guaranteeing a formidable military umbrella for Doha in case of a further worsening of relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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