Sunday, October 08, 2006

New Statesman Oct 9th

The New Statesman cover deals with drugs: 'How the war on heroin is fuelling terror'. Misha Glenny makes a welcome return with analysis of the vicious circle facing Britain's in its part of the occupation of Afghanistan. The war is being fought on the cheap, Taliban and various criminal syndicates ares doing well out of an expanded heroin business (and most heroin in Britian comes from Afghanistan). The British have done little about the massive expansion of heroin production and can do little. The whole NATO operation is on the verge of collapse. Glenny also includes Colombia with a story of special forces being ambushed by regular troops in Cali at the bidding of drugslords. FARC does well from taxing the cocaleros, but the rightwing paramiliarities also.

Inside, Martin Bright diagnoses the Tories: 'Cuddly but not convincing'. The grotesque stereotypes are still there, but marginalised in favour of clearly far more attractive younger and ethnically diverse types. 'Watchnig the Tory party reaching out to the tired, poor, huddled masses of Britain is a surreal experience.' Bright argues that this discovery (rediscovery) of social justice and civil liberties isn't a sideshow, but it is a bolt-on, designed to reassure us that they aren't as brutal as we thought. But the Tories are starting to discover worries about being outflanked by Labour and being seen as (dread word) 'soft'. Bright sees a Labour strategy with Blair and Reid attacking them from the right, Brown flushing them out as 'old-style Thatcherites red in tooth and claw'. In rsponse the Tories will maintain a steady as she goes approach, maintaining silence on immigration, because they are already ahead on that issue. No need to go no about tax cuts, cos people already know. We'll see, but I've already seen a suggestion that one of the first things PM Brown would do is make tax cuts and how would the Tories react then? Bright's final conclusion: they're not attractive enough.

Meanwhile Liam Halligan points out that the US stock market is defying gravity, with levels back to the dotcom boom of 2000, despite all the evidence of ghastliness in the 'real economy'. Advice: stay away from US stocks, stay away from the dollar.

There's also a memoir of Suez by Anthony Howard.


Blogger Darren said...


you could always check out the Socialist Standard. I'm sure you will rip it a new one, but at this stage in my life, all publicity is good publicity.

11 October 2006 at 16:58  
Blogger Renegade Eye said...

The poppy plant is used legally in Turkey. Too bad Afghanistan choses to destroy or allow to flourish on the blackmarket. If they used it for legal purposes, the farmers could get some legal $$ there.

13 October 2006 at 08:07  
Blogger Jim Jay said...

We should buy the opium from the afghan farmers. We'd reduce the power of the landlords, stop criminalising impoverished people, help the economy (what there is of one) and have loads of opium to play with - nice!

13 October 2006 at 16:35  

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