Here’s a fun fact: the founder of neoliberalism was a Corbynista. Well, not exactly a Corbynista. The German sociologist Alexander Rustow died in 1963, long before Jeremy Corbyn entered Parliament, let alone became Labour leader. But some of the economic policies Rustow advocated bear a striking resemblance to those pushed by Corbyn today. Rustow, according to the valuable research of Oliver Marc Hartwich, was in favour of the nationalisation of rail companies and utilities. He supported an active industrial policy to ease the social impact of economic upheaval. He wanted to reduce inequality through high inheritance taxes. He proposed higher taxes on large companies. “The economy is there for people,” Rustow insisted. Any of that might have come out of Labour’s 2017 election manifesto. Read more What I learnt from speaking with Paul Mason about Labour labels From this historical perspective, the cry from Corbyn’s intellectual outrider Paul Mason … [Read more...] about The European Union is not a ‘neoliberal conspiracy’ – and it’s disturbing that some in the Labour Party apparently believe this nonsense
European union history
In two years’ time Finland marks a quarter of a century as a member of the European Union. What was once a mark of maturity as an independent state and an anchor to western Europe has in recent years become a little more problematic--but polling suggests fewer Finns support a referendum on membership than in most western European countries.The reasons for that lie in the stability and prosperity EU membership brought and still provides.Joining this prestigious European club was out of the question for Finland during the Cold War but soon after the Iron Curtain fell the country’s political elite moved towards membership. In a 1994 referendum 57 percent of voters cast their ballots in favour of becoming an EU state.The Honeymoon PeriodAlthough the vote had been relatively close, Finland’s membership became increasingly popular in those early years - an era University of Jyväskylä researcher Sonja Alapiha describes as a “honeymoon period”.“The … [Read more...] about Finland and the European Union: “It’s Complicated”
Picture: AFP It is a matter of obvious irritation and concern to older members of the European Union that some of the new members in Central Europe are blatantly flouting the Western democratic values they purportedly signed on for when they joined. It grates all the more when Poland and Hungary, the two most visible violators, are among the biggest recipients of the union’s aid. Not surprisingly, as Steven Erlanger reports in The Times, this has led to talk in the European Commission, the European Union’s bureaucracy, of linking aid in the next seven-year budget, which takes effect in 2021, to the status of the courts in member nations. The idea is that focusing on an independent judiciary as a prerequisite for sound financial management would avoid the impression of Brussels imposing its values on independent states. It’s a tempting notion. The bloc’s funding is important to Central European countries. It accounts for 61 percent of infrastructure … [Read more...] about Should the European Union sanction illiberal members?
Whether Brexit Wonderland, Lincoln ,ever opens we can but wait and see, but if it does, we hope it will have an exhibit on how Brexit Wonderland, Lincoln, itself ever came to be. For nothing could ever sum up better the full dizzying wonder of Brexit itself. The idea of a National Brexit Museum, which is under serious consideration by leading Brexiteers, appears to have started life as an April Fool’s joke on a Manchester community blog. Such is the disappointment 10 days later that plans for a Snog, Shag or Punch stall featuring Ken Clarke, Chuka Umunna and Jacob Rees Mogg were not in fact real, that they are planning on setting one up themselves. Initial plans are to open Brexit Wonderland in Lincoln, to honour its revered status as the most Eurosceptic town in the country. It is hoped that by the time Brexit Wonderland opens, the Eastern European agricultural labourers who keep Lincoln's economy alive will have all gone home, decimating the town and in turn, Brexit … [Read more...] about The first look inside Brexit Wonderland! The UK’s new museum to leaving the European Union
President Sauli Niinistö met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Kultaranta, Naantali, on July 1, 2016. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today Finland has joined the 25 nations—including the majority of the EU countries and the US—that believe that Russia is the culprit in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, 66, a former double agent, and his daughter, Yulia, 33, in Salisbury, England, on March 4. In response to the claims, Finland decided to expel a Russian diplomat who works in the Russian Embassy in Helsinki—adding one more the long list of a total of 140 expelled Russians around the world. The diplomat in question was notified of the decision on Monday, but his name is not revealed to the public. The expelled has 14 days to leave the country. On the very same evening, President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Juha Sipilä joined forces to stand tall in front of the crossfire of media while explaining the reasoning behind the … [Read more...] about Finland Shows Loyalty to the European Union After Expelling a Russian Diplomat – Aftermath of Skripal Poisoning Explained