Britain’s National Health Service, the NHS, was the world’s first universal public health service. Designed to give millions of people “freedom from fear”, the NHS today is under threat of being sold off and converted to a free market model inspired by America’s disastrous health insurance system, which results in the death every year of an estimated 45,000 people. Now President Trump says the NHS is “on the table” in any future trade deal with America.
In a landmark ruling last week, a panel of five senior British judges ruled that a secret government policy of granting immunity to its state security service was “legal”. Below is an interview with one of the human rights groups which challenged the murky policy demanding that it be banned.
On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to legendary journalist and filmmaker John Pilger on his film ‘The Dirty War on the NHS’. He discusses the issue of the film not being allowed to air during the general election and questions the role of OFCOM as a regulator, the negative impact of management consultants, how the Health and Social Care Act of 2012 opened the door to NHS privatisation, how privatisation causes money to be wasted in the NHS despite more funding promises, the reality of the private healthcare system in the United States, R.A.M volunteering in the US, the 2019 UK general election, the reason why Brexit has been taken over by the extreme right since 2016, anti-Semitism allegations against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, allegations of BBC bias against the Labour Party in the election and more!
Many of the most pressing problems all nations face are a result of failing to adequately tackle our increasing level of global interdependence.
Mobilized capital can play the tax-regime of one country off against another with ease, such that there is a race to the bottom with respect to the corporate tax revenues which might be expected from even the wealthiest transnational corporations. Such economic arbitrage is possible precisely due to the propagation of widespread variations in the distribution of social justice across the planet. There are no national solutions to such problems, which ultimately require the more equitable distribution of social justice on a global scale.
The contemporary global neofascistic right has become adept at seizing power through legal and parliamentary coups that do not involve military units dramatically taking over government headquarters and radio and television and rounding up opponents.
Historian, David Van Reybrouck, in his new book Against Elections, identifies modern day examples of Aristotle’s “drawing lots” underway in Iceland, Ireland and Australia marking innovation in democracies. He thinks democracy only can survive if innovation occurs.
Have you noticed that it’s no longer PC Dixon of Dock Green who mediates the relationship between the state and its citizens as he goes about his beat in your neighbourhood? Instead, it’s a Kevlar-armoured, video-monitored, taser-equipped, drone-surveilled, spit-masked supplied soldier, straight out of Star Wars, who now staggers along under the weight of an industrialized capitalism, visibly physically disconnected from the citizens they monitor by their bullet-proof uniforms, that more resemble a rack of tools in your local hardware store than the Bobby on the beat.
It’s time I did a piece on this Fake News nonsense being put about by the Western propagandists, the originators of fake news and what better place to start than the BBC, the fountainhead of impartial and objective journalism, not. Continue reading →
Like a crazed gambler who bet the house – and lost – Theresa May’s Conservative (Tory) government is now doubling down to risk peace in Ireland so that she might cling on to power. Having lost her party’s overall majority in the House of Parliament in last week’s humiliating British general election, May is having to rely on a rabidly sectarian party from Northern Ireland to cobble together a working government.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges sits down with economist Mark Blyth to discuss the detrimental ramifications of austerity programs following the 2008 financial crisis. Professor Blyth, author of “Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea” addresses the political effects of the spending cuts and considers why the elites will not take responsibility for the fallout. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil examines the impact austerity measures have had on the American working class and the poor since 2008.
There can be little doubt that we are living through an extraordinary, and in many ways unprecedented era. Times of uncertainty and tremendous upheaval for sure, but also positive times, in which large numbers of people are becoming energised and politically engaged. Political parties in many countries are fracturing, as internal differences surface and the old dualities of left and right fail to respond to the needs and demands of the people.
In this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges explores capitalism in crisis with Richard Wolff, professor of economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. From Brexit, to labor protests in France, to Italy’s financial woes, they discuss the effects of austerity on the working class. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the fallout of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
Economist Michael Hudson argues that a vote for Europe is not a vote for socialism, but for a very right-wing, hard right, corporatist Europe where the laws will be made by bureaucrats acting on behalf of the large financial centers.
Brexit could trigger a $500 trillion derivatives meltdown, by forcing the EU to allow insolvent member governments and banks to write down debt. Italy is in financial crisis and is already petitioning for that concession. How to avoid collapse of the massive derivatives house of cards? Alternatives are considered.