The Financial Crisis and Great Recession
|Financial Bailout of Greece by Eu, Arend van Dam, Netherlands, 2011|
Schrank, The Independent, May 2012
David Cameron, François Hollande, Barack Obama, and Angela Merkel at the Delphic temple for oracle of Delphi. Obama asks, "Will Greece crash out of the eurozone, oh oracle?" The oracle replies, "That'll be another 100bn euros".Despite receiving billions of euros in bailout funds, Greece was still in danger of being forced to leave the euro (the famous Grexit). The cartoon relates to the G8 summit at Camp David, where the eurozone crisis was top of the agenda.
Frederick Deligne, Global Financial Crisis, Nice-Matin, Nice, France, 2011
|Michael Ramirez, American Debt Crisis, 2009,|
Michael Ramirez is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1994 and 2008, and a three-time Sigma Delta Chi, Society of Professional Journalism Award winner.
Tom Janssen, the European debt crisis, Dutch Cartoonist, 2011
Martin Rowson, Barack Obama and John Boehner's slow-moving attempt to find a compromise on debt ceiling, 2011, Guardian
Uncle Sam bewildered in between the Tea Party, on the right, and Occupy Wall Street, on the left, movements, Kal, 2011. Kal finds the both movements loud and confusing for poor Uncle Sam.
|The Tea Party demand vs Occupy Wall Street demands, Vines, 2011. It appears that Vines is more sympathetic towards the Tea Party's single demand.|
An unsympathetic view from the right suggesting Occupy Wall Street would lead to communism.
Slippery Slopes, gives a cynical warning, Occupy Wall Street soon morphs into Occupy Private Ownership.
|Time to Take Occupy Wall Street Seriously, Cam, 2011. Cam warns that if the movement is not taken seriously heads may role by guillotine.|
|An interesting take on the issue, a mea culpa admission.|
|"I liked it when it was Egypt, but not here," a play on the hypocrisy of men in suits|
The Snowden Affair
|President Obama was aware of NSA spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel since 2010, German media have revealed. An NSA spokeswoman later denied the allegations. According to German Bild am Sonntag newspaper, which cited US intelligence sources, National Security Agency chief Keith Alexander briefed Obama on the bugging operation against Merkel in 2010. "Obama did not halt the operation but rather let it continue," an unnamed high-ranking NSA official told the newspaper. Moreover, the paper said, the US president later ordered the NSA to prepare a comprehensive dossier on Merkel.|
Obama and the Arab Spring
The impasse into which Egypt has been forced by the army's intervention in politics is daily becoming more dangerous. Every time the security forces open fire, their mission of bringing back order and restoring social peace becomes less credible. You cannot advance toward legitimacy over the bodies of martyrs. Editorial The Guardian, Sunday 28 July 2013
|Steve Bell, ceci n'pas un coup, The Guardian, Monday 4 November 2013|
... First, the hearing was delayed because Mohamed Morsi’s refusal to recognise the authority of the court stretched to a refusal to wear the required prison uniform. Then his repeated interruptions – “this is not a legitimate trial, this trial is part of the coup” – and the chanting of “illegal, illegal” by his 14 co-defendants, proved unendurable and matters were put off until January. Out on the streets, the last-minute change of venue, aimed at avoiding mass demonstrations, was only partially successful.
It is difficult not to concede Mr Morsi’s point. Unpopular or not, he was still democratically elected. Not only was his toppling in July a coup; what has followed gives little cause for optimism. More than 2,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been killed in clashes with security forces, the organisation’s activities have been banned, and the state-backed media has gone into overdrive whipping up anti-Morsi and anti-US sentiment in equal measure. With freedoms increasingly restricted, dissenters harassed, and the military back on top, Egypt feels uncomfortably as if it has reverted to pre-Arab Spring type, albeit without Hosni Mubarak. The Independent, Editorial, Monday 4 November 2013
On March, 28 2014 Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi's announced that he has resigned as defence minister to run for the presidency. The announcement was broadcast live by Egyptian broadcast media.
Randall Enos' illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, NBC, National Lampoon, Playboy, Boy's Life, Atlantic, Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Forbes
I've been working at this stand for 52 years making pretty pitchers fer the people in just about every magazine and newspaper in the land except that damned New Yorker who won't return my calls..
ISIS and Its Enablers
Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) rapidly
advanced through mostly Sunni areas of Iraq in June 2014,
|Wealthy individuals and religious foundations in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and elsewhere in the Gulf have channelled millions of dollars to the anti-Assad opposition, though it is not clear with what degree of official connivance."There is Saudi money flowing into Isis but it is not from the Saudi state," said Lina Khatib of the Carnegie Foundation.|
|According to Clinton’s leaked memo, Saudi donors constituted “the most significant source of funding to terrorist groups worldwide.” Radical Salafists across the Middle East receive ideological and material backing from within the kingdom.|
A Wikileaks cable clearly quotes then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying "donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide." She continues: "More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups." And it's not just the Saudis: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are also implicated in the memo. The West may have to pay a price for its alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, which have always found Sunni jihadism more attractive than democracy...Saudi Arabia has created a Frankenstein's monster over which it is rapidly losing control. The same is true of its allies such as Turkey which has been a vital back-base for Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra by keeping the 510-mile-long Turkish-Syrian border open.
On Oct. 2, 2018, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi, who at the time resided in Virginia and worked as a columnist for the Washington Post, was one of the Western world's most prominent critics of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) — a man who was known to had little tolerance for dissent but often was hailed as a modernist by Western media.
According to an anonymous Turkish official, a Saudi assassin squad flew into Istanbul on private jets and waited for Khashoggi inside the consulate. The squad included a physician who specializes in autopsies. They also took a bone saw.
|President Trump has come under fire for his tepid response to Khashoggi's disappearance. Multiple cartoonists used this news as inspiration to illustrate Trump's seeming adulation of dictators. Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin echoed this sentiment in a recent column about Khashoggi, writing:"Trump has embraced authoritarian leaders who openly threaten journalists with murder, such as Filipino leader Rodrigo Duterte, or who silently tolerate such murders, such as Vladimir Putin."|
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on February 2019, sharply rejected an assertion that the Trump administration is complicit in a cover-up of the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Pompeo's remarks came after Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., accused the administration of turning a "blind eye" to evidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered Khashoggi’s killing. "This amounts to the Trump Administration aiding in the cover up of a murder," Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement. "America should never descend to this level of moral bankruptcy."
The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, also slammed the White House's refusal to comply with the law. “Everyone involved in this gruesome crime must be identified and held accountable," McCaul said. "When the United States fails to lead, we compromise our integrity and abandon those pursuing justice around the world."
Asked about the allegations from Kaine and others, Pompeo said they were "dead wrong." "Sen. Kaine is just dead wrong," Pompeo told reporters traveling with him in Budapest. "America is not covering up for a murder."
Asked about the allegations from Kaine and others, Pompeo said they were "dead wrong." "Sen. Kaine is just dead wrong," Pompeo told reporters traveling with him in Budapest. "America is not covering up for a murder."
|Steve Breen, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for the San Diego Union-Tribune. December 2015|
"The Most Important Question About ISIS That Nobody Is Asking" in which we asked who is the one "breaching every known law of funding terrorism when buying ISIS crude, almost certainly with the tacit approval by various "western alliance" governments, and why is it that these governments have allowed said middleman to continue funding ISIS for as long as it has? Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, bolstered by the electoral triumph of his conservative Islamist Justice and Development Party, or A.K.P., has shown a troubling penchant for benign neglect toward the jihadi Islamists — enough for them to establish a Turkish network.
What does Erdogan — in theory a key American ally leading a NATO state — see in the knife-wielding jihadis of the Islamic State? They are useful in confronting Turkey’s nemesis, the Kurds, who have taken over wide sections of northern Syria and established self-government in an area they call Rojava. That in turn has raised the specter of a border-straddling Kurdistan, the nightmare of the Turkish republic. Roger Cohen, NY Times,NOV. 7, 2015
The Obama administration signaled for the first time on June 16, 2014 that it was willing to enter into discussions with Iran. In an indication of how sensitive in Washington any such cooperation would be, officials quickly rowed back from remarks by Kerry, who had declined in an interview to rule out military cooperation with Tehran. But officials later insisted that any contact would be limited to informal discussions that would take place on the margins of nuclear talks in Vienna.
In the letter dated 9 October, 191and sent after US troops were pulled out of Syria, Mr Trump told Mr Erdogan: "Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!" President Trump was urging Turkey not to launch a military offensive against Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria, but Mr Erdogan ignored this request.
|Saudi Arabia and Human Rights Council, Tom Janssen, The Netherlands.|
The September 2015 decision to appoint a Saudi diplomat to chair the UNHRC's Consultative Group, responsible for the selection of dozens of experts charged with addressing human rights cases in countries around the world, has been met with astonishment given Saudi Arabia's human rights record.
|David Horsey, Los Angeles Times|
President Donald Trump’s entire impeachment mess began over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s family and Democrats with the help of his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. But even as an impeachment vote in the House Judiciary Committee loomed, both men continued to coordinate on Giuliani’s Ukraine efforts on behalf of his powerful client.
Trump became the third president in American history to be impeached in December 2019, when the House of Representatives voted to impeach him on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over the Ukraine scandal.
Democratic lawmakers say Trump allegedly withheld about $400 million in military aid while pressuring Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky into launching a pair of investigations that would benefit Trump in the 2020 election.
“If the Senate doesn’t permit the introduction of all relevant witnesses and of all documents that the House wants to introduce, because the House is the prosecutor here, then the Senate is — is engaging in an unconstitutional and disgusting cover-up,” Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, said.
Alan Dershowitz, one of Trump's lawyers, argued that a quid pro quo involving a president’s political benefit was fine because all presidents believe their elections are in the public’s interest. “If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment,” he said.
Even as key Republican senators acknowledged Trump’s guilt on charges of abusing power and obstructing Congress, they defied public opinion on January 31, 2020, by voting to block witnesses and documents, paving the way for the president to be acquitted and claim exoneration.
The Senate acquitted President Trump of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress, as Republicans turned back an election-year attempt by House Democrats to remove him from office for pressuring a foreign power to incriminate his political rivals. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah voted to convict President Trump on one of the two impeachment charges, making him the only Republican to support removing Mr. Trump from office.
The prospect that Barr had misled senators about his independence emerged on March 24, when he released a four-page summary of Mueller's report that eerily echoed the language of the White House propaganda machine. Barr confirmed his critics' worst suspicions on April 18, when he preempted the release of the redacted report with a news conference in which he portrayed White House efforts to derail the investigation as the reasonable reaction of a president "frustrated and angered" about the allegations against him. -- Brian Dickerson, USA TODAY, May 2, 2019
More than 1,000 former U.S. Justice Department officials on February 2020 called for Attorney General William Barr to resign over his handling of the trial of a longtime adviser of President Donald Trump. The former officials, who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations, criticized Barr, the country's top law enforcement officer, for overruling his own prosecutors in a case that has prompted accusations that the Trump administration is weakening the rule of law.
The Justice Department abandoned prosecutors' initial recommendation to give the veteran Republican operative Roger Stone seven to nine years in prison after he was found guilty in November of seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. That prompted all four prosecutors to quit the case.
Roger Stone, has a tattoo of Richard Nixon’s face on his upper back. Right in the center, under his neck, there’s a smiling, black and white portrait of the 37th president known “Tricky Dick.” “The reason I’m a Nixonite is because of his indestructibility and resilience,” Stone told The New Yorker. “He never quit. Stone added in the interview that he got the tattoo at the Ink Monkey tattoo shop in Venice Beach.
John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, says in his new book that the House in its impeachment inquiry should have investigated President Trump not just for pressuring Ukraine but for a variety of instances when he sought to use trade negotiations and criminal investigations to further his political interests.
The book, “The Room Where It Happened,” was obtained by The New York Times in advance of its scheduled publication and became a political lightning rod in the thick of an election campaign and a No. 1 best seller on Amazon. The Justice Department went to court for the second time seeking to stop publication even as Mr. Trump’s critics complained that Mr. Bolton should have come forward during impeachment proceedings rather than save his account for a $2 million book contract.
Jeff Sessions is buying a drink for BB!
Covid -19 Endemic
On April 23rd 2020, Trump suggested during the White House briefing that experts look into creating injectable treatments for coronavirus using sunlight or disinfectants, prompting public ridicule and Reckitt Benckiser, the company that makes Lysol, to issue a warning to not ingest its products. The next day, Trump claimed he was joking.
"So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it's ultraviolet or just a very powerful light — and I think you said that hasn't been checked because of the testing," Trump said, speaking to Bill Bryan, who led the Department of Homeland Security's science and technology division, during the briefing. "And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or some other way, and I think you said you're going to test that, too."
He added: "I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that."
President Trump said in the Oval Office Thursday (May 28, 2020) that he would seek to shut down Twitter if it continued to not be "honorable" in its fact-checking and if there was a legal way to do so.
Reality check: Trump does not have the unilateral power to shut down social media platforms. Legal experts agree that doing so would be a violation of the First Amendment.
The big picture: The comment came as Trump signed an executive order targeting protections for Big Tech companies — a move catalyzed by the president's anger toward Twitter for issuing its first-ever fact-check on one of his tweets, which included misinformation on mail-in voting.
What he's saying: "If Twitter were not honorable, if you're going to have a guy like [Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of site integrity] being your judge and jury, I think just shut it down as far as I'm concerned." -- Ursula Perano, Axios, May 28, 2020 -
On June 1, 2020, police reinforced by National Guard troops forcefully pushed back protesters outside the White House Monday evening to clear a way for President Donald Trump to visit a church, just minutes after he said he wanted a military show of force against violent protests gripping the country.
As television cameras showed live images of Trump’s quick stop at the historic St. John’s Church, where a small fire caused damage to its basement during protests the night before, the president posed with a Bible and with senior members of administration. Moments before, police had cleared largely peaceful demonstrators from the area, using tear gas and beating some with batons and shields, including at least one news photographer.
On Monday (June 1, 2020) night, as federal law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets and chemical gas at protesters outside the White House, President Trump stood in the Rose Garden and issued a threat. If the nation’s governors don’t call up National Guard troops to “dominate the streets,” Trump said, “I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.” After Trump made the threat, three words began trending on Twitter: the Insurrection Act.
On Wednesday, (June 3, 2020) Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said he does not support using active-duty military forces to deal with the unrest in U.S. cities — a statement that put him at odds with his boss. Then Trump was denounced by his former Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, for the threat to invoke the Insurrection Act and dividing Americans. -- Washington Post
President Donald Trump announced on Twitter on Monday 9th November, 2020 that he has fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. The President jettisoned Esper two days after his Democratic opponent Joe Biden was projected as the winner of the presidential election, a conclusion that Trump refused to accept.
President Donald Trump's extraordinary call this weekend in which he asked Georgia's top election official to "find" enough votes for him to overturn the state's election results has threatened to exacerbate a schism among top Republicans -- and has put a renewed focus on Vice President Mike Pence. --ABC News, Ben Gittleson 4 January 2021
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi accused U.S. President Donald Trump of inciting “…an armed insurrection against America,” adding that Trump committed a “seditious act” in her opinion by instigating and directing the angry mob which descended on the Capitol building. January 7 2021
A statement Trump made in the midst of the 2016 election about the staunch loyalty of his supporters; “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” was challenged by Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, showing him her signed second Trump impeachment, a week before he left office, she reminded him that no one is above the law!
Seven Republican senators joined with Democrats in voting to convict former President Donald Trump at the conclusion of his second impeachment trial. The vote was 57 guilty to 43 not guilty -- However, 67 guilty votes needed to convict Trump.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (GOP), said the rioters had been "fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth. Because he was angry he'd lost an election." "Former President Trump's actions that preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty," added McConnell. "Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day."
Pope Benedict's Resignation
|On February 28, 2013, in an unexpected move, Pope Benedict XVI -- born Joseph Ratzinger -- announced, that he is to resign. Benedict was elected pope in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II. In his statement, Pope Benedict -- who was turning 86 in April -- said he had come to the certainty "that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry."|
|The big takeaway from the plane chat, or at least the big media takeaway, was the pope's acknowledgement that gay priests exist and that they have as much right to their affinity with God as their heterosexual counterparts. When asked about the so called "gay lobby" within the Vatican, the pope replied:|
When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized.(...)When the thorny issue of women in the church came up, the pope kindly acknowledged that a woman's role "does not end just with being a mother and with housework," (something mainstream society figured out about a century ago). He went on to pay lip service to the need to expand women's role in some way, but while he had no concrete ideas on what this might entail, he made it clear than it would never include the right to be ordained alongside men:
On the ordination of women, the church has spoken and said no. John Paul II, in a definitive formulation, said that door is closed.Sadhbh Walshe, The Guardian. Wednesday 31 July 2013
After years of tense relations and inflammatory rhetoric between Muslims and the Vatican that sparked protests across Muslim-majority countries, Pope Francis sought to ease tensions, emphasized mutual values and shared beliefs, kissed a Quran and pushed for dialogue with Muslim communities since his election. His efforts mended a deep wedge between the two communities, as Muslims realized that the pope has come to embody religious values to which their communities also adhere. The growing relationship between the two faiths flourished as Pope Francis for the first time toured the U.S. in September 2015 amid growing anti-Muslim sentiment from Republican and conservative leaders.
Bro Jonathan (the old name for Uncle Sam) trying to seduce Miss Canada, while the chaperon, John Bull, falling asleep.
In 1867, Canada became a federation under the British North America Act. The anxiety over being annexed by the US was one of the key contributing factors in the creation of Canadian Confederation. In the election of 1864 the Republican Party used annexation issue to attract Irish Americans vote. An annexation bill introduced by General Banks was passed in the United States House of Representatives in July of 1866. The bill authorized the United States President to
"publish by proclamation that, from the date thereof, the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and the Territories of Selkirk (present-day Manitoba), Saskatchewan, and British Columbia, with limits and rights as by the act defined, are constituted and admitted as States and Territories of the United States of America" (Library and Archives of Canada)The United States was to pay the Hudson’s Bay Company ten million dollars for the release of all of the property.
|We in Canada Seem to Have Lost All Idea of Justice, Honor and Integrity, by J.W. Bengough,|
The Mail, September 26th, 1873.
In this cartoon related to Pacific Scandal, the first major political scandal in Canada after Confederation, Macdonald responds to Alexander Mackenzie, the leader of the opposition: “I admit I took the money and bribed the electors with it. Is there anything wrong about that?” The scandal led to the resignation of Macdonald, and a transfer of power to Mackenzie's Liberals.
The scandal was related to John A. Macdonald and his Conservative colleagues George-Etienne Cartier solicitation of financial contribution from Hugh Allan, a Montreal shipping magnate and railway builder, for the 1872 general election, in exchange for giving Allan the lucrative contract to build the railway to B.C. . The Conservatives needed money to fight the election, particularly in Ontario and Québec, where a number of seats were in jeopardy. Despite Allan’s generosity in providing more than $350,000, Macdonald did poorly in the vote.
John Wilson Bengough, originally a Toronto journalist, was Canada’s first important political cartoonist. His career paralleled the latter part of Macdonald's.
|In 1896 the Liberals under Wilfrid Laurier came into power. Between 1896 and 1905 Clifford Sifton, the main character in this cartoon, who became the new Minister of the Interior, assumed responsibility for immigration and settlement in Canada. He offered Canada as a commodity to potential overseas migrants, particularly to the American farmers, who had skills and capital. Sifton, and his successors, believed the darker the skin, the more 'foreign' the immigrant was. The ideal immigrant should have had the same religious, political and social institutions as the British.|
|Wilfrid Laurier and Frederick Debartzch Monk Issues: Separate School, Autonomy Bill, and Dual Language, N. M'Connelly|
Wilfrid Laurier, leader of the Liberal Party 1887–1919 and prime minister 1896–1911, was Canada's first French Canadian Prime Minister. Guided by his belief in the future independence of Canada, he resisted every effort the British Empire made toward federation of the empire in political, economic, or military terms. Nonetheless, in 1899, he agreed to help defray the costs of transportation and material of Canadians wishing to fight for England in the South African War; this conciliatory stance would bring reproach from those French Canadians fiercely opposed to any participation. Frederick Debartzch Monk’s was thus the only Conservative mp from Quebec to survive 15 years of Wilfrid Laurier’s regime. Throughout his political career, He tried to reform the Conservative party along the lines of the nationalist principles supported by the majority of French Canadians, and he worked to give it credibility in Quebec so it might become the pre-eminent force in the province.The South African War from 1899 to 1902 led him to demand increasing autonomy for Canada in all political, military, and commercial relations with Great Britain. On 18 November 1901, he put forward a political program entitled “Canada for Canadians,” which was based on respect for the two founding European “races,” autonomous in its relations with the British empire, and capable of directing its own economic development.
|"What price unity?", Gib Potter , Saskatoon,1942|
William Lyon Mackenzie won the Liberal party leadership in 1919 and led the party into government two years later. After a brief stint in opposition in 1926, the voters returned him to power later in the year. He lost the 1930 election, but was back on top in 1935. He is Canada's longest serving prime minister who redefined Canada's role in the British Empire. In fact, in his assertion that Canada would not necessarily follow the dictates of the government in London, King, more than anyone else, brought about the rebranding of the empire into the British Commonwealth. His government introduced Canada's first old age pension and he is the prime minister who led Canada out of the Great Depression, as well as leading Canada into and out of the Second World War until being retired in 1948.
|"Him? - er, now let's forget him! Besides every family has got one in the cupboard .."|
Vicky [Victor Weisz], Daily Mirror, 26 Jun 1957
John Diefenbaker at Commonwealth Conference of 1957, with Harold Macmillan of Britain ; Jawaharlal Nehru of India ; Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana; Roy Welensky of Rhodesia, Robert Gordon Menzies of Australia, Chaudhri Muhammad Ali of Pakistan, Tom Macdonald of New Zealand; Eric Louw of South Afica; and M. W. H. de Silva of Ceylon.
In 1956 Diefenbaker was elected leader of conservative party and led it to what many deemed to be impossible - a minority victory - in 1957. In 1958, he led the party to the largest majority in Canadian history. In 1962, his party won another minority government in spite of the vote splintering caused in Quebec by the Ralliement des Créditistes led by Réal Caouette. In the Suez crisis, Diefenbaker and his Conservatives opposed the American position against Britain and France, and strongly rejected then-prime minister Louis St. Laurent's likening the role of the two European allies in Suez to that of the Soviet Union in its recent crushing of the Hungarian uprising.
A staunch nationalist and a true believer in the fading Commonwealth, Dief saw advantage in continued close trade with the U.K. as a bulwark against Canadian domination by the rising U.S. superpower. Yet the world was changing. Britain was actively looking to enter the European Common Market, a move that would almost certainly strip Canada and the rest of the Commonwealth of trade preferences.
|"Its Devastating!", Duncan MacPherson,|
Kennedy hated Dief largely for his anti-nuclear stance. Lester Pearson was the President's choice. Kennedy gave the go-ahead to his friend and America's leading pollster, Lou Harris, to become the Liberal's secret campaign advisor in the 1962 election. Diefenbaker survived with a minority government. The plot to bring down Canada's government came to a head in January, 1963. On Jan.3, top U.S. Air Force General Lauris Norstad held an Ottawa press conference and criticized Canada's antinuclear stance. On Jan. 12, Pearson announced his new policy of supporting U.S. nuclear weapons in Canada. In protest, Pierre Trudeau called Pearson the "defrocked priest of peace" and refused to run for the Liberals.
Based on the advice of Willis Armstrong, head of the State Department's Canada Desk in Washington U.S. State Department issued a press release which called Diefenbaker a liar on nuclear issues. Fights broke out in Cabinet. Diefenbaker recalled Canada's ambassador from the U.S. On Feb. 5, Defense Minister Harkness announced his resignation and Pearson called for a non-confidence vote. Dief's minority government fell.
Tom Innes, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau's complete focus is on repatriation of Canadian Constitution, Calgary Herald, October 9, 1980
During the 1980 referendum debate in Quebec, Pierre Trudeau had committed to bring Quebec into Canadian confederation. He saw the way to this end through the act of repatriating the Canadian Constitution form Great Britain with an amending formula and entrenched rights for all Canadians. After the Federal forces were victorious in the referendum, Trudeau quickly set to work to come up with an agreement among the Provincial Premiers which could be taken the British Parliament with the request that they pass an act giving recognizing Canada's complete sovereignty over all matters in Canada.
On April 17, 1982 after the Canada Act had been passed in the British Parliament, it was signed into law by the Queen at a ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Canada finally had brought the constitution and the Charter of rights and Freedoms home.
|Ronald Reagan and Brian Mulroney, Aislin (alias Terry Mosher), 1988,|
It was the most controversial agreement of its kind in Canadian history. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's vision of free trade with the U.S. read like a Harlequin romance: Canada played the neglected lover, U.S., the negligent partner. It signalled a new era in Canada-U.S. relationship. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and President Ronald Reagan belted out a rendition of When Irish Eyes Are Smiling that would make their ancestors proud. The St. Patrick's Day performance capped a very cozy 24-hour meeting in Quebec City. The Shamrock Summit would go down in history for the number of handshakes, embraces and praises.
|Ingrid Rice, “The Reform Party has finally shaken its image of being nothing but a bunch of white racists” “We now have racists of every colour” , April 29, 1997|
There’s always been something phoney about Preston Manning’s populism. Remember how he was going to turn Stornoway, the official residence of the leader of the Opposition, “into a bingo hall”? Then, when he became leader of the Official Opposition he, er, moved in. Remember how his candidates — and newly elected MPs — railed against the “gold-plated” parliamentary pension plan? Then, with time, they all quietly opted in.
Manning spent much of his own long political career channeling popular resentment against government by painting a picture of venality, corruption, self-interestedness and indifference to the popular will among everyone but himself plying the political trade. It was Manning’s caucus that dressed up as a mariachi band to mock the Senate. It was his party that ran campaign ads crossing out the faces of francophone leaders of other parties. In other words, Manning did what he could to corrode belief in our political institutions. But when it came to the test — on Stornoway, on pensions, or on Wildrose — he and his followers often could be found slinking quietly away. Paul Adams, Preston Manning’s democratic deficit , ipolitics, Dec 31, 2014
|Aislin (Terry Mosher), November 1976, and September 2012.|
The separatist Parti Québécois won its first election in November 1976 and changed Quebec's political landscape forever. The cartoon on the left depicts a rumpled PQ leader René Lévesque standing beside a lean, lanky and defeated federalist Liberal premier Robert Bourassa,(the cartoon now sits in Montreal's McCord Museum of Canadian History). On the right Pauline Marois the Parti Québécois leader who claimed victory over the incumbent Liberal Party Leader Jean Charest is depicted with François Legault, the leader of the third party CAQ.
|A two-year inquiry into Brian Mulroney’s dealings with German-Canadian arms lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber has concluded that the former prime minister acted in an “inappropriate” way when he accepted large amounts of cash from Schreiber.The report by Justice Jeffrey Oliphant said Mulroney “failed to live up to the standard of conduct that he himself adopted in the 1985 ethics code.”|
|By Graeme MacKay, July 5, 2009,|
Queen Elizabeth has appointed prime minister Jean Chrétien to the Order of Merit, and a line up of former prime ministers (John Turner, Kim Campbell, Brian Mulroney, Paul Martin and Joe Clark) wonder how Chrétien, a self-described "little guy from Shawinigan, always gets away with it."
The award, founded in 1902 by King Edward VII, is given to "individuals of exceptional distinction in the arts, learning, sciences and other areas such as public service," according to a news release from the press secretary of the Queen. The order is restricted to 24 members as well as additional foreign recipients.
|The Ghost of President Nixon consoling Prime Minister Stephen Harper|
Harper persistently maintained that he knew nothing about the $90,000 cheque that his right-hand man gave to Senator Mike Duffy. In a bitter speech in the Senate, Duffy tabled documents that showed a lawyer for the Conservative Party of Canada also paid his $13,560 legal bill as part of orchestrated effort to make the controversy over his living expenses go away.
"The reality is,that Mr. Duffy still has not paid a cent back to the taxpayers of Canada. He should be paying that money back. The fact that he hasn't, the fact that he shows absolutely no regret for his actions, and the fact that he has told untruths about his actions means that he should be removed from the public payroll ... On our side, there is one person responsible for this deception. That person is Mr. Wright.' — Prime Minister Stephen HarperAccording to Toronto Star it was Harper's administration culture that was responsible for this scandal.
It’s the kind of culture where enemies and secrecy abound. It’s a culture that breeds devotion among Harper’s largely white, male, pin-stripe-adorned disciples — not so much to a prime minister, but to an all-powerful potentate, who must be protected, whatever the cost. It’s a culture that permits a destructive hubris to flourish like a drug-resistant virus until it can’t be halted by shopworn political or public relations tactics. This constellation of corrosive characteristics was, of course, the defining nature of Tricky Dick Nixon and his criminal, constitution-subverting co-conspirators in the Watergate affair.
|Michael de Adder, The Hills Time|
In July 2014 the RCMP charged Mike Duffy, a former television journalist who became a senator, with 31 counts of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in relation to his Senate expenses. The charges were related to living and travel expenses claimed, contracts awarded by his office and a deal in which he received $90,000 from the Prime Minister’s former chief of staff to reimburse the government for his controversial expenses. Wright resigned when his payment to Duffy came to light, but the scandal grew as Harper faced repeated questions in Parliament over what he knew about the affair. He initially defended Wright and Duffy, but then changed his approach and called for Duffy’s suspension and claimed that Wright had been fired. Although Harper came to office promising he would never name an un-elected Senator, he included Duffy along with 17 others as part of a mass appointment that gave him a Conservative majority in the Senate.
|"Poloz's slave ship": Glob and Mail editorial cartoon by David Parkins.|
Speaking to a House of Commons committee on November 2014, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, suggested young Canadians and others struggling to find work should acquire more experience through unpaid internships or volunteering until the country's hobbled job market picks up.
One of Stephen Harper’s most remarkable achievements in politics has been to navigate his way from the nativist, turban-queasy, anti-immigration policies of Reform to those of a modern party, supporting immigration and wooing the ethnic vote. With his sidekick Jason Kenney scarfing perogies and papadums with equal enthusiasm, in 2011 Harper led the Conservatives to an even bigger victory among voters born abroad than he won among the general population.
Turbaned Sikhs, Lebanese Christians and brown-skinned Hispanics know full well — from looking south of the border, for starters — that when the mood turns ugly for Muslims, the racism that ensues doesn’t bother with fine distinctions. Visible minority voters are critical in many of the seats around Toronto and in the lower mainland of B.C. on which the next election may turn. (...) More dramatically, the Conservative MP and former Harper communications chief, John Williamson, embarrassed the party when he talked about unemployed white people being displaced by “brown” temporary foreign workers. Stupid. Of course. Not just because it sounds racist, but because at least some of the “brown people” who vote will use it to connect the dots between themselves and Harper’s campaign of fear. That’s why several Conservative MPs criticized Williamson rather than close ranks around him. [Paul Adams, iPOLITICS, Mar 10, 2015]
|Cartoon by Bruce McKinnon at the Chronicle Herald, March 2015|
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of deliberately sowing fear and prejudice against Muslims in Canada. The charge came in a strongly worded speech Mr. Trudeau delivered in Toronto Monday night to highlight his views on the importance of liberty in Canadian society. “These are troubling times,” the Liberal leader told a gathering organized by the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. “Across Canada, and especially in my home province, Canadians are being encouraged by their government to be fearful of one another. “Fear is a dangerous thing. Once it is sanctioned by the state, there is no telling where it might lead. It is always a short path to walk from being suspicious of our fellow citizens to taking actions to restrict their liberty.”
|Stephen Harper: master manipulator, By Nick Davies , The Guardian, 14 Feb 2018|
In the 11 years since he became leader of the country’s Conservatives, the party has been fined for breaking electoral rules, and various members of Team Harper have been caught misleading parliament, gagging civil servants, subverting parliamentary committees, gagging scientists, harassing the supreme court, gagging diplomats, lying to the public, concealing evidence of potential crime, spying on opponents, bullying and smearing. Harper personally has earned himself the rare rebuke of being found to be in contempt of his parliament.
|Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday March 11, 2015|
|Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals held onto power after a closely fought election on Monday but were reduced to a minority government that will need the support in Parliament of a smaller left-leaning party. Canada’s economy, however, has been on a general upswing in 2019. The Canadian dollar has been the best-performing G10 currency this year, rising more than 4% against its U.S. counterpart, as the economy added jobs at a robust pace and inflation stayed close to the Bank of Canada’s 2% target. |
Ahead of the vote, opinion polls showed a tight race between Trudeau and his main rival, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer. “Tonight we have put him on notice,” Scheer said in Regina, Saskatchewan, of Trudeau. “His leadership is damaged and his government will end soon and when that time comes, we will be ready and we will win. “We are the government in waiting,” added Scheer, 40, whose party won 122 seats.
Reuters - MON, OCT 21 2019
"The Trudeau government is the first one in the Western world to bluntly call Trump out for his fabrications and fractiousness. Instead of kissing the royal arse of this clown prince, the rest of the world would do well to follow Canada’s lead and start pushing back against the threats, lies, and institutional nihilism of this most dangerous head of state."(...)
Good on Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland for making the trip to Washington to denounce to U.S. lawmakers, face-to-face, Trump’s ill-considered and likely illegal tariffs on steel and aluminum. It was shrewd of the minister to meet with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, whose Republican chairman, Bob Corker, is leading congressional efforts to kill Trump’s tantrum tariffs. And it was downright brilliant of Freeland to call a spade a spade during her U.S. trip.
Michael Harris, iPolitics . Jun 14, 2018
The Canadian Prime Minister paused before responding - as the cameras recorded his expressive silence, -- for 21 seconds -- which was quite ingenious. He looked down at his lectern, opened his mouth as if to speak - then stopped, shifted his weight and uttered a barely audible "um" ...
"We all watch in horror and consternation what's going on in the United States," he finally said. "It is a time to pull people together, but it is a time to listen."
Spain After Franco
|Spain’s royal accession faced its first dispute on May 2014, over plans to grant the outgoing king legal privileges against prosecution for paternity scandals. The Spanish government were examining how to change the law to ensure King Juan Carlos can be judged only before the Supreme Court after he abdicates. Paternity cases cannot be heard in the Supreme Court as they are civil matters, so the king will, in effect, be exempt from having to answer claims. He is facing suits from two people who say they are the fruit of extramarital affairs. The king has always denied being unfaithful to Queen Sofia, despite claims from a number of women that he had affairs.|
|By Low, 'The Manchester Guardian', May 15, 1953|
Churchill is implying that the withdrawal of 80,000 British troops from the Suez Canal Zone will remove a critical buffer zone between Egypt and Israel that will lead to war
|By Low, 'The Daily Herald', February 17, 1953|
Neguib amiable greets Eden while asking Britain to evacuate the canal zone forthwith without conditions.
|Decline and fall of the British Empire, By Cummings, 'The Daily Express', September 8, 1955|
|By Cummings, 'The Daily Express', March 5, 1956|
|By Vicky, 'The Daily Mirror', August 13, 1956|
By Vicky, 'The Daily Mirror', October 19, 1956Eden warns Israel that the British were prepared to take military action against Israel under the terms of the Anglo-Jordanian treaty.
|by Illingworth, 'Punch', September 26, 1956|
Depicted: John Foster Dulles, Anthony Eden and Guy Mollet
|'Head on a Plate' Sir Anthony Eden's resignation. By Illingworth, January 12, 1957|
|By Vicky, 'The Daily Mirror', February 1, 1957|
By Cummings, 'The Daily Express', June 27, 1961
Depicted: John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khruschev, Harold MacMillian and Abd al-Karim Kassem.
|President Kennedy got a more ambiguous reception overseas than he did at home. Many cartoons played up his youth and inexperience. This one is by Vicky, the pen name of Victor Weisz. Weisz was the opposite of the gag-first political cartoonist. He was a passionate and driven man who wanted to use his cartoons to change the world. His left-leaning politics clashed with the editor of the News Chronicle in 1947, sending him first to the Daily Mirror and then the Evening Standard.|
David Low, The "New Democratic Party", 1946
In 1946 Winston Churchill asked Macmillan to join a committee to look into reshaping the Conservative Party. On 3rd October, Macmillan published an article in the Daily Telegraph where he suggested that the name should be changed to the "New Democratic Party". In the article he called for the Liberal Party to join Conservatives in an anti-socialist alliance. He wrote in his diary that to obtain an alliance with the Liberals, it would be worthwhile "to offer proportional representation in the big cities in exchange."
Keith Waite, "WE'RE MERELY PROTECTING OUR UNDER COVER MEN."
John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War in the British government under Conservative Prime Minister Harold MacMillan began an affair with Christine Keeler, a London call girl in 1961. Keeler had been the lover of Yevgeny "Eugene" Ivanov, a senior naval attache at the Russian embassy in London. Profumo was forced to step down from his position on June 5, 1963. An official report was released in September 1963 and a month later Prime Minister MacMillan resigned claiming ill health.
|On 3 December 1969, the British cartoonist, Michael Cummings, outlines the inflexibility of the stance taken by France's General Charles de Gaulle and his successor Georges Pompidou regarding the issue of the United Kingdom’s accession to the European Communities, despite efforts made by successive Prime Ministers, Harold Macmillan and Harold Wilson, to comply with France’s wishes.|
Harold Wilson and Lyndon Johnson, On US entry into Vietnam War ,The New Statesman Magazine April 1965
Paul Rigby, " But, Monsieur, 'se are your Friends?" The Sun, 19th Oct. 1972
|‘One less obstacle, but not the end of the road.' For the cartoonist Fritz Behrendt, a multitude of problems awaits the British Prime Minster, Harold Wilson, before the UK can accede to the European Communities, despite the exit of General de Gaulle from the political stage. (12 June 1969)|
The Heath Government was elected in June 1970 determined to take Britain into the E.E.C. The key question was whether the French would agree? Twice before, under De Gaulle, France had vetoed British applications. De Gaulle's successor, Georges Pompidou, was known to be more favourable, but a French "oui" could not be taken for granted. The key question, posed by Pompidou to Heath was; is Britain ready to make "a historic change in (its) attitude", a "fundamental choice" in favour of the European Community?
|In the wake of the Treaty of Rome being signed in Parliament the cartoon cover by Glan Williams for the edition of October 23 1971, shows a miniscule Edward Heath handing over the British Isles on a platter to a cluster of historical figureheads including Ceasar, Emperor Nero, Kaiser Willhelm, Mussolini, Hitler, Richelieu and Napoleon.|
Edward McLachlan, The SDP - pudding in danger - or - Carving up the votes, Mail on Sunday, 17 Apr 1983
This cartoon depicting Margaret Thatcher (Conservative)and Michael Foot (Labour) carving of Roy Jenkins (SDP) is based on James Gillray's cartoon The plumb-pudding in danger: - or - state epicures taking un petit souper' depicting William Pitt and Napoleon Bonaparte; published 26 February 1805. Michael Foot inherited the leadership at the most difficult time for the Labour party.Two things happened that made it impossible for him to win the 1983 general election. First, in 1981, the party came close to falling apart as the "gang of four" - Shirley Williams, Bill Rogers, David Owen and Roy Jenkins - walked out and formed the SDP in protest at his left-wing polices. Second the Falklands War, which made Margaret Thatcher hugely popular – before then she had been a very unpopular prime minister. Put together, it made it impossible for Foot to carry victory.
Stanley Franklin, Daily Mirror
On 19 January 1976 Thatcher made a scathing attack on the Soviet Union, declaring that “The Russians are bent on world dominance, and they are rapidly acquiring the means to become the most powerful imperial nation the world has seen...They put guns before butter...” The Soviet Defence Ministry newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (“red star”) gave her the nickname "Iron Lady", and this was eagerly taken up by her supporters.
|This cartoon was published in the Daily Mirror the day after Thatcher's longest-serving cabinet minister, Geoffrey Howe, delivered a scathing resignation speech, voicing his discontent over her refusal to better integrate the United Kingdom with European economies:|
Trog [Wally Fawkes], Observer, 20 Mar 1988,
Thatcher retired from Parliament at the 1992 General Election, but she left a lasting legacy. This cartoon by Brookes shows her as an elderly and surprisingly masculine figure, rejoicing in the success of her offspring - the New Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Steve Bell on the revelation that Tony Blair thought Gordon Brown 'mad, bad and dangerous'
Steve Bell’s career at The Guardian started in 1981. He was born in London in 1951, he studied art at Leeds University and worked for magazines including the New Statesman and Time Out before joining The Guardian. His job gives him the chance to comment through humour on some of the biggest events of the past 25 years and mercilessly rib the people that made history. But altogether he was handed such ridiculous looking characters as Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev to work with, it was not always easy to produce a daily strip. He recalls struggling with Neil Kinnock, the Labour leader from 1983 until 1992. He said: "Kinnock was very hard to draw, because all there was to him was the fact he was basically ginger. I always used to go big on the freckles, just to add some definition. It wasn’t very fair, he wasn’t that freckly but that was all I could think of for those nine long years.
Peter Brookes, The Times, May 25, 2010
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne's £6.2 billion of budget cuts included banning first-class travel for government departments, and scrapping chauffeur-driven cars for specific ministers.
|Peter Brookes on Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK|
|"His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year. In taking this decision, the duke has the full support of the queen," Buckingham Palace said in a statement on May 2017.|
Gary Barkers, David Cameron, Rupert Murdoch and Paul Stephenson, snug as a bug political cartoon, The Guardian
Rupert Murdoch's once-commanding influence in British politics dwindled to a new low on July 12th 2012, when all three major parties in Parliament joined in support of a sharp rebuke to his media empire and a parliamentary committee said it would call him, along with two other top executives, to testify publicly next week about the phone hacking scandal enveloping his media empire. The following day, Murdoch's News Corporation announced that it is withdrawing its bid for BSkyB.
Cameron's judgment, and that of the chancellor, George Osborne, in appointing the former editor of the News of the World Andy Coulson as their director of communications looked increasingly inexplicable. Cameron was being accused of an improperly contractual relationship with Neil Wallis, a former News of the World deputy editor, as his meetings with News International executives in a year exceeded those with all other news organisations put together. Not a single figure from the BBC was granted an audience.
Implying that he could not impart operational information to Cameron since he was too compromised with the chief suspects, Sir Paul Stephenson announced he was stepping down as the UK's most senior police officer. Just hours before his resignation, Deputy Prime Minister Clegg, told the BBC that a growing public perception of police corruption was deeply concerning. Stephenson dated his relationship to Wallis back to 2006. From October 2009 to September 2010, Wallis's part-time work at the Met involved strategic communications, advising the commissioner, as the force said there was no need to reopen the investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World.
Libor, the London inter-bank lending rate, is considered to be one of the most crucial interest rates in finance, upon which trillions of financial contracts rest, and the exposure of its rigging has shocked many beyond the world of finance. Every day a group of leading banks submit rates for 10 currencies and 15 lengths of loan ranging from overnight to 12 months. Since the rates submitted are estimates not actual transactions it's relatively easy to submit false figures
At the height of the financial crisis in late 2007, many banks stopped lending to each other over concerns about their financial health with some banks submitting much higher rates than others. Barclays was one of those submitting much higher rates, attracting some media attention. This prompted comment that Barclays was in trouble. Following much internal debate and a controversial conversation with a Bank of England official, Barclays began to submit much lower rates. The Libor scandal has further undermined trust in banks. BBC
Economist David Blanchflower argued there is no longer a credible candidate among top UK bankers to take over as the next governor of the Bank of England in the wake of recent banking scandals. Professor Blanchflower, who served on the Bank's monetary policy committee between 2006 and 2009, believed the escalating Libor crisis meant Sir Mervyn King's replacement could not come from the banking sector. An internal appointment was also out of the question, he argued, with Bank staff such as deputy governor Paul Tucker facing criticism over their actions. He proved to be right.
According to Time magazine: "From the South Sea bubble in 1720 to the 1990s implosions of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International and of Barings Bank and through a gallery of rogue traders and dodgy deals that have posed existential threats to financial institutions on several continents during the past quarter of a century, the common factor is not that they were caused by foreigners in London. London itself, especially its compact financial district known as the City, is implicated. ... Individuals and institutions may end up on trial. Yet a swelling sentiment would like to see a bigger entity in the dock: London. It's no longer enough to explain the City's supremacy as a global incubator for scandals by citing its global supremacy as a center for international finance, the world's most potent competitor to New York City, a place where transactions covering literally trillions of dollars, pounds and euros are executed every day."
|The Spanish banking crisis, Chris Riddell, The Observer|
In 2012, Spain asked euro region governments for a bailout worth as much as 100 billion euros ($125 billion) to rescue its banking system, thus becoming the biggest euro economy up to then to seek international aid. In this cartoon UK prime minister David Cameron tells German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "We must do something Angela!". Merkel replies, "We?".
The Chancellor's New Clothes, 27 November, 2012
George Osborne stunned the markets by announcing that Mark Carney, the Canadian central banker, will replace Sir Mervyn King as the next Governor of the Bank of England. Carney is "the outstanding central banker of his generation with unparalleled expertise in financial regulation" Osborne said." He has got what it takes to help bring families and businesses through these incredibly challenging economic times...my responsibility was to get the best for Britain, and with Mark Carney we've got that."
Canada came through the financial crisis of 2007-8 relatively unscathed, thus boosting Carney's reputation. Under his governorship, the Bank of Canada cut interest rates to record lows and supplied emergency liquidity to the banking system to prevent a collapse.
|Ben Jennings, The Guardian, Friday 13 September 2013|
"The Bank is acutely aware of the risk of unsustainable credit and house price growth and will be monitoring it closely," Mark Crney said in Nottingham in August 2013. "The important thing to recognise is that we now have tools other than interest rates that can be used to contain risks in the property and financial sectors. We are now fully prepared to deploy them if that were needed." The Bank could, he said, use its newer tools to recommend that banks and building societies "restrict the terms on which new credit is provided, or even to raise capital requirements on mortgage or other types of lending". This would allow the Bank to avoid raising wider interest rates across the economy even as it acted to put the brakes on specific areas.
|Joe Weisenthal, Business Insider of Financial Post on August 2913, asked Did Mark Carney make the best-timed job switch ever?|
Mark Carney has been in office for barely over a month, and all the economic data is looking bright. The history books will show a remarkable rebound right as he assumed office. Brilliant timing.
|November 2013, Mark Carney was forced to defend his forward guidance against criticism that the policy is ineffective.The Governor of the Bank of England told lawmakers that he and fellow policymakers were wary about official measures of investment in Britain. "We're not putting full weight on that data and it has to be said that it doesn't entirely feel right that investment is, as measured, falling at a time when we see continued strengthening investment intention,(...) I was much more comfortable with the data in Canada," Carney said.|
|Bank of England chief Carney, the 'unreliable boyfriend' has left savers in a perilous situation|
The Bank of England governor acted last month with what some saw as undue haste by halving interest rates to just 0.25 per cent. Now, building societies are following suit. Mr Carney insisted the emergency cut would save Britain from recession and soaring unemployment — just as our post-Brexit economy began firing on all cylinders. The dapper Canadian, dubbed the “Unreliable Boyfriend” by City cynics after repeatedly getting his forecasts wrong, infamously caused a Brexit storm with overblown warnings of economic doom. Many think he should have been sacked for stoking the very economic uncertainty he claimed an Out vote would cause. Now his impetuous rate cut has made life tougher for a generation brought up to believe thrift was good.-- Trevor Kavanagh, Sun Columnist 5th September 2016,
|Scotland voted decisively to stay in the United Kingdom by about 55% to 45%.|
Prime minster Cameron promised draft legislation by the end of January 2015 on handing more powers over tax, spending and welfare to Scotland, which should had come into effect after the May 2015 general election. According to him:
|Joep Bertrams, Dutch political cartoonist, 2016|
With less than ten weeks before British referendum on the EU on 23 June, and with undecided voters still in huge numbers, David Cameron is having a hard time persuading his fellow citizens to vote "In", as the Panama papers leaks revealed British Prime minister and his family took advantage of an offshore fund owned by his late father.
The UK was to vote on whether to remain in the EU on Thursday 23 June, 2016. Prime Minister David Cameron made his historic announcement in Downing Street after briefing the cabinet. He said he would be campaigning to remain in a reformed EU - and described the vote as one of the biggest decisions "in our lifetimes".Mr Cameron claimed his EU reform deal will give Britain "special status" within the bloc - tackling concerns over migrants getting "something for nothing" from the benefit system and exempting the country from the EU drive for "ever-closer union". But critics argued it did nothing to tackle high levels of immigration or take back powers from Brussels.
|So, Europeans stay at home ... and we stay in Europe.|
|Slovakia, June 26, 2016, Martin Stove|
The United Kingdom's break with the European Union is an unprecedented "political earthquake" that sweeps away decades of diplomatic harmony and unravels a post-World War II dream of a unified voice to guarantee peace, economic prosperity and security.
After 43 years in European coalitions, the U.K. is parachuting out of a 28-nation bloc that is riven with divisions over the refugee crisis, weighed down with the Greek debt drama and relatively powerless in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine. The EU is also weathering populist, far-right revolts among large swaths of its 500 million citizens in France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland.( Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, June 26, 2016)
|Slovakia, June 30, 2016, Marian Kamensky|
The economic fallout from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union was swift and stark. The pound cratered to its lowest level in three decades. When the London Stock Exchange opened the next morning, its leading share index immediately fell by more than 8 percent, the largest single-day drop since the 2008 financial crisis.
The world is looking at Britain and asking: What on Earth just happened? Those who run Britain are asking the same question. Never has there been a greater coalition of the establishment than that assembled by Prime Minister David Cameron for his referendum campaign to keep the U.K. in the European Union. There was almost every Westminster party leader, most of their troops and almost every trade union and employers’ federation. There were retired spy chiefs, historians, football clubs, national treasures like Stephen Hawking and divinities like Keira Knightley. And some global glamour too: President Barack Obama flew to London to do his bit, and Goldman Sachs opened its checkbook. And none of it worked. The opinion polls barely moved over the course of the campaign, and 52% of Britons voted to leave the EU. That slender majority was probably the biggest slap in the face ever delivered to the British establishment in the history of universal suffrage. [FRASER NELSON, The WSJ June 24, 2016, ]
The Brexit vote will fuel concerns in Westminster that the future of the United Kingdom is now in serious doubt. The SNP warned during the campaign that if - as has happened - the UK overall voted to leave the EU but Scots voted to remain, Scotland would be taken out of the EU "against its will" and this could be the trigger for another independence vote. Senior SNP figures have said the vote shows Scotland sees its future in the EU and the issue of its own constitutional status could be revisited. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the issue is now back "on the table" while her predecessor Alex Salmond has gone further, saying a second vote could take place within the next two and a half years, depending on how long it takes the UK to depart. (...) There are also concerns in Northern Ireland about the implications of the Brexit vote for its relationship with the Republic of Ireland. Remain campaigners warned that a Brexit vote could herald the return of "hard" border controls between the North and South. The Irish government has said the future of the border is one of a number of priority issues in its contingency planning.[BBC]
|Political cartoonist Peter Brookes (UK, inducted in 1988) created On Osborne’s Scary Brexit Forecast for The Times, published on 20 April 2016.|
|Negotiators from the U.K. and EU reached a draft Brexit deal in 11th-hour talks, although there were serious doubts that the agreement will be approved by U.K. lawmakers back in Westminster. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called the deal “fair and balanced.” Johnson faced a Saturday deadline by law to request an extension to the current Brexit departure date of Oct. 31, 2019 had no deal been reached. However, Juncker has implied that EU leaders won’t allow an extension, even if Johnson asks. This sets up a complicated and difficult day for the U.K. Parliament on Saturday. There are doubts a deal will be approved in Westminster, with opposition parties already criticizing it.|
The UK officially left the European Union on Friday 31 of January 2020, at 23:00 GMT after 47 years of membership, and more than three years after it voted to do so in a referendum.
The UK was aiming to sign a permanent free trade agreement with the EU, along the lines of the one the EU has with Canada, by the end of the transition period in December, 2020. But European leaders had warned that the UK faces a tough battle to get a deal by that deadline.
Jean Eiffel,"Acceptez vous de prendre pour mari et légitime époux?", L’Express, septembre 1958
De Gaulle returned to power in 1958 thanks to the crisis of May 13. The crisis stemmed from the institutional weakness of the Fourth Republic, concentrating too much power in the parliament at the expense of the executive branch. As a result there were 24 governments in 12 years since the end of WWII. Meanwhile, the French army faced a daunting crisis due to the uprising of French Algeria. De Gaulle agreed to become President in exchange for constitutional reform
Fritz Behrendt, Algemeen Handelsblad, June 1962,
The German cartoonist reflects on the the oversized ego of General de Gaulle, President of the French Republic.
Michael Cummings (1919-*), 'Anything to declare, gentlemen?', L'Aurore, July 1961.
Paris customs officers Konrad Adenauer, German Chancellor, and Charles de Gaulle, French President, ask Harold Macmillan, British Prime Minister who tries to smuggle the Commonwealth into the common market despite the warning: 'Common market: imports of special favours for the Commonwealth and agricultural protectionism forbidden.'
The cartoonist, Spinga, legitimately asks if Bonapartism is not one of the characteristics of French politics. Obviously, there are differences between Gaullism and Bonapartism. De Gaulle did not attack the civil liberty (assaults on the freedom of the press had begun under the Fourth Republic during the war in Algeria). De Gaulle never introduced aggressive militarist strategy ( in fact, his most resolute opponents were senior army officers). Furthermore, De Gaulle never aimed at establishing an empire. Nevertheless, some elements of Bonapartism may be detected in the regime that he established in 1962. The Gaullists are supporters of a strong sovereign state. They like a planned economy and a centralized authoritarian state led by a charismatic and powerful leader such as Bonaparte or De Gaulle.
|General de Gaulle’s European policy, Ekö, 7 September 1960|
Charles de Gaulle’s road to Europe: not together, but side by side.’ Following a press conference held on 5 September 1960, General de Gaulle is accused of rejecting supranationality as a means of unifying Europe; instead, he develops his idea of a Europe of states. To the right of the French President, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.
William Elias Papas, The Guardian, May 1967,
Charles de Gaulle's action plan towards the United Kingdom’s application for accession to the European Communities.
‘Rêveries. Savage! …’ 13 November 1964,
cartoonist Padry draws an ironic cartoon of the strained relations between the new Federal Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, who has a highly Atlanticist view and favours direct relations with the United States, and French President Charles de Gaulle, a fervent defender of national sovereignty. The period of good relations and complicity between Adenauer and de Gaulle (sat together at the piano) seems to be over. The atmosphere has become much more chilly between Paris and Bonn. On the left, Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, smoking a cigar, is disturbing the good relations that once existed between the Franco-German duo with his jukebox (‘made in USA’)
JAK, Raymond Jackson (1927 - 1997), Evening Standard, Dec. 1969
"Well, for a start, Harold, can you do this?" French President Georges Pompidou and Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Lodge, Nevile Sidney, 1918-1989; Evening post (Newspaper. 1865-2002),1973
'Pardon, Monsieur The President, but as he was leaving, the New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister scribbled on your front door!,' A disgruntled Deputy PM has been to visit Pompidou to protest nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific without success. To show his frustration, the visitor has changed the name on the door to President Bombido and the presidential aide is telling the president about the graffiti.
Fritz Behrendt, ‘A teaspoonful a day,’ 1974.
The French President, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, and the German Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt's recommended dose of European Economic Community (EEC) medicine for the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson's ailment.
|‘Ludwig, why are you opposed to this union?", Hans Geisen, 1964|
In January 1963, Konrad Adenauer signed the Franco-German friendship treaty with Charles de Gaulle in Paris. The "mystical communion" between the two old Catholics was strong, and both men shared the same political belief: Europe was no stronger than the bonds that linked France and Germany. It was a far-reaching treaty, unique for both countries in the kind of political machinery it set up.
However, a few months later Adenauer and his "German Gaullists" were gone, and Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, an avowed Atlanticist, replaced Adenauer as party leader. He understood that France could not provide the protection the U.S. could, and noted the relative importance of America in the world economy, thus believed it would be best to stick with the Atlanticist approach. The Bundestag had added a preamble to the treaty that de Gaulle told Willy Brandt was a "personal offense," and the General, wearily, would remark that treaties, like young girls and roses, faded all too quickly. Erhard’s emphasis on the primacy of economics over concern for security and national interests first reflects a basic tenet of Atlanticist thought: the west is linked not just by common values and interests, but also by close economic ties that link the interests of countries in a way that makes a pure nationalist read on policy impossible.
|"After so many years ..." Hans Geisen, Swiss, 1980|
President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt pursuit of a policy of rapprochement between France and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) is represented as the growing relationship of the nascent collaboration of their predecessors, the German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gaulle.
|Mirko Szewczuk, "Better holding Acheson's hand when Stalin is on the roof!", 1949|
Dean Acheson was the first Secretary of State who visited the Federal Republic. He was Truman's Secretary of State, and he came here at the request of President Truman. It was extremely important and valuable for us that it was Dean Acheson, whom I esteem highly, who came at that time and the visit strengthened our morale profoundly. AdenauerDean Acheson visited Adenauer shortly after the founding of the Federal Republic in November 1949. American policy aimed at integration of the Federal Republic in the Western world. Gradually will Adenauer revitalize the potentials of the Federal Republic. However, the cartoonist suggests that the East German Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl and the President of the Republic Wilhelm Pieck, acting as Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's guard dogs, are the real threat. Otto Grotewohl began taking an active part in the revived Social Democratic Party of Germany after the defeat of the fascist regime in Germany. He fought for the unity of the German workers’ movement as a result of which the Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party of Germany were united as the Socialist United Party in the eastern part of Germany. At the unification congress in April 1946, Grotewohl was elected to the Central Board of the Socialist United Party, and he and Wilhelm Pieck became its chairmen. After the proclamation of the German Democratic Republic on Oct. 7, 1949, he became the prime minister of the GDR. Wilhelm Pieck who had moved to Soviet controlled Germany after the Second World War, was elected President of the newly-established German Democratic Republic in 1949. He was part of the 1919 Spartakist rebellion, along with Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknechton, which had been crushed and most of its leaders were arrested and executed, but he was released unharmed, and remained active in the German Communist Party.
|The formation of the European Common Market (composed of France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg) in 1957 brought unprecedented prosperity to those countries. By 1962, 11 additional countries in Western Europe had applied to join. The Soviet Union and its East European satellites held aloof, but Valtman suggests that they may be viewing the development with considerable concern. Here Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) watches construction while his little dog (who resembles East German leader Walter Ulbricht (1893-1973)) strains at the leash.|
Plantu,‘I’ve even included a catalytic converter, just for you!’ , April 1985
The French President, François Mitterrand tries to sweeten the deal for the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl as part of his plan for the Eureka (European Research Coordination Agency) project, coordinating scientific and technological research at Community level .
Walter Hanel, "Welcome", 1993
French President François Mitterrand and the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl are standing at the door to welcome the accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden to the European Community, but the quality of life inside the house is not much different.
Steve Bell, Guardian, June 2004
Jacques Chirac gently decried George Bush's plan to reform Arab states with free elections, independent media and improved legal systems. Democracy was not a commodity that could be exported. It had to be an Arab model of democracy not a western one.
Carlo Schneider, 2005
On 4 March, President Jacques Chirac announced that France will hold its referendum on the European Constitution on 29 May 2005. Chirac’s statement came less than two weeks after the Spanish people had voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Constitution, albeit with a low turnout. Just a few days before the announcement of the French date, the Dutch government had decided to hold its consultative referendum on 1 June. Against the background of the Constitutional Treaty’s rejection in the referendums in France and the Netherlands in spring 2005, the referendum euphoria changed into a referendum phobia. All member states except of Ireland where a referendum was legally required decided to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon via the parliamentary procedure only.
Christo Komarnitski, Apologies to Delacroix, Sarkozy and Carla Bruni.
Carla Bruni- Sarkozy's wife claimed to journalist Nathalie Saint-Cricq that "Nous sommes des gens modestes". This invited ridicule in her bid to recast her husband Nicolas a “man of the people". According to Daily Telegraph reporter Henry Samuel; "The comment from the heiress to a tyre fortune who earned almost £5 million per year at the height of her catwalk fame has turned Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy into a laughing stock on the internet. One commentator on Le Monde’s website describing the claim as coming from “Marie Antoinette in Sarkoland.””.
Sarkozy's expulsion of Roma gypsies was a dark episode in the history of France. According to Libération: “France stands accused”. It stated that "the degraded image of Sarkozy’s France isn’t just an image. It’s a reality as reported day after day in the foreign press.”
Dave Brown, The Independent 2012. Nicolas Sarkozy tried to exploit a Toulouse shootings in March to boost his chances of re-election and keep the focus on security.
Hagen, Verdens Gang - Oslo, Norway, 2012.
Sarkozy as the train bearer for the Miss France, who's no other than the far-right candidate Marine le Pen
After his electoral victory Francois Hollande went to Berlin to talk with Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel. He stated "I want growth to be not only a word, not just a word that can be uttered and followed by tangible acts in proof. The best method is to put everything on the table." and Merkel responded: "I am pleased that we have agreed on talking about the different ideas in terms of growth. And I'm not worried that we could not have common ground. Possibly we have some different opinions but I really look forward to our cooperation."
|When al-Qaeda-linked insurgents who had took over the northern half of the Mali in 2012, and then in the early January 2013, moved farther south, imperilling the capital, Bamako, France’s Socialist president, François Hollande, who has been wary of throwing his weight around in his country’s former colonial domains, send troops to bolster Mali’s feeble and fractious administration . According to Economist:|
Getting into a war is always easier than getting out. France therefore needs to limit its ambitions. ... Europeans and others should help with economic development and military training. But for the country to have a hope of working properly, Malians must also sort out their chaotic politics. A year ago, soldiers at the head of Mali’s ragged army overthrew an elected government. On paper, civilians are back in charge, but no one is sure who really pulls the strings. Outsiders can clear the way, but in the end it is the Malians who must mend Mali.
|Angela Merkel, is having dinner with French president, François Hollande, at Das Austerity Euro-Café. Austerity preaching Merkel is having a miniscule single sausage for dinner, while Hollande is enjoying a sumptuous repast and obviously ordering the most expensive wine from the list.|
On January 2014, Didier Migaud, president of the independent Cour des Comptes body, warned that France faced a costly increase in its debt servicing costs once interest rates rise, as is likely when the economy begins recovering. "The level that's been reached has put our country in a danger zone," Migaud said. "Efforts undertaken so far are not sufficient to get out. What wasn't done in 2011, 2012 and 2013 only adds to the extra distance that will have to be travelled in the coming years," Migaud said. "This extra distance won't be the least demanding - quite the contrary."
Emmanuel Macron visited Washington in April 2018 that was dominated by differences with the United States over trade and the nuclear accord with Iran. Donald Trump gave his French counterpart a red carpet welcome at the White House. The media called them "An odd couple". According to Bloomberg:
The world seems fascinated by the strikingly warm rapport between Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron — one of those relationships that has many reaching for the cliched "bromance" label. Both men like to play up their friendship with long, vigorous hand-shakes and air kisses. They exchange endless smiling pleasantries and talk about how often they speak on the phone, like a cooing young couple.
|Emanuel the First Receives Vladimir the Great at Versailles|
Macron- There we have the great Ttianon palace, there the great canal, and there , the great ...
Putin - Da, da, your country is great ,... , But where is its king?
Emmanuel Macron wants to be king and savior of Europe. With German Chancellor Angela Merkel weakened by domestic strife in her twilight years in office, Britain sidelined by its civil war over Brexit, and Italy marginalized under a feuding coalition of rival populists, the French president has positioned himself as the indispensable European leader.
The golden thread that connects his muscle-flexing in Brussels and diplomatic activism on the international stage is a strategic ambition to make Paris the go-to political hub of a stronger, more united Europe, through which all the other spokes are connected.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Germany
Berlin was uneasy about Hollande's war. Experience has shown that those involved, no matter what their capacity, can quickly become enmeshed in war, said one source in the Merkel government. Germany feared that if the French meet more resistance from the Islamists than expected, Paris could request additional urgent military support from its partners. Such a situation would have placed Berlin in a difficult dilemma, having to choose between solidarity with France and its own declared unwillingness to become directly involved in the fighting.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany frequently stressed the limits of Germany’s powers to bail out other countries and rejected joint efforts like eurobonds to pool debt. Behind the scenes, however, Ms. Merkel was pressing allies in Paris, Rome and elsewhere to cede more power to Brussels over their national budgets before Germany would agree to provide further backing for efforts to bolster the euro zone.
|Vive l’Independance Européenne! (Three Cheers for European Independence!), Plantu (Jean Plantureux), 2012|
|Exhibition Tour: small pointed compliant? Putin of Russia and Merkel of Germany in the bustling Hanover international trade-fair. the signs read; "Process automation control technology", and Hanover trade fair. Merkel says; "So here is the department 'short-process'... To which Putin thinks "Now she comes right back with 'Pussy Riot'.|
In November 2012, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin clashed in Moscow over human rights and democracy as they struggled to show a united front amid rising criticism from Germany. Putin fired back at the visiting German Chancellor for raising questions about the imprisonment of the Pussy Riot protesters, suggesting she was poorly informed about the punk group's true nature. The exchange, at a Russian-German business forum in Moscow, came amid growing German criticism of Russia's human rights record and its moves to crack down on dissent.
Later in April 2013 when in Germany one of the world’s largest industrial exhibitions - Hannover Messe-2013 opened, Russian President laughed off a protest against him by topless women in Germany, joking that he liked what he had seen while sharply rebuffing German criticism of his human rights record. Merkel told Putin in a speech at the fair that Russia needed "an active civil society" including freedom for non-governmental organisations, after a wave of controversial state inspections of foreign-funded NGOs in Russia.
Why Angela Merkel wins the election?
Chancellor Angela Merkel won a stunning, near-historic victory in Germany's elections in September 2013, with her Christian Democrat-led conservative bloc scoring 41.5 per cent of the vote to 25.7 per cent for the Social Democrats, her main rivals. Under Germany's mixed-member proportional electoral system, that left her five seats short of the first single-party absolute majority in the Bundestag in 50 years.
|I bet this is a friendship test, and the more you withstand, without defending yourselves, the more they respect you!|
Now that a German intelligence official has been arrested under suspicion of passing secret information back to America – potentially concerning an NSA investigation, and reportedly under direction by the CIA – finally the Merkel government is admitting that the long honeymoon is over. Tap my cellphone, shame on you; fool me with a double agent, shame on an ignorant nation. (Malte Spitz in Berlin, the Guardian , Monday 7 July 2014)
|It is so relaxing in China, You do not even deny that you're eavesdropping on me,so let's drop pleasantries and go straight into talking business!|
|The group, which calls itself Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (and goes by the German acronym PEGIDA), demonstrates against economic migrants and a supposed "cultural foreign domination of our country" -- whatever is meant by that. Marian Kamensky is the editorial cartoonist for the switzerland satirical montly magazine Nebelspalter and Germany's satirical magazine Eulenspiegel and the US-Payboy.|
What is going on in Germany, the world's second most popular destination for immigrants? Has the open-mindedness for which Germans had long been praised now ended? Are we seeing a return of the vague fear of being overwhelmed by immigrants that Germany experienced in the 1990s, when a hostel for asylum seekers was burned down? How large is the new right-wing movement, and will it remain limited to Dresden, or is it spreading nationwide?
- Are they supposed to be Germans?
- Probably foreigners!
|In 2017, La République En Marche, the new center-left party founded by the 39-year-old new president Emmanuel Macron, the youngest president in French history took over the parliament — giving him the actual power to govern|
|Macron to Merkel, "I love older women."|
From the start Macron positioned himself as a global player. He stood up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, calling the Russian news outlets RT and Sputnik news “agencies of influence and propaganda, lying propaganda,” while standing next to Putin at a press conference. He has positioned himself as Trump’s direct opponent on climate change, has made it very clear his allegiances lie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on international issues, and has cheekily presented France as a viable alternative for scientists and globalists seeking to escape Trump’s America.[Many cartoonists have tried to make fun of the fact thatMacron's wife is 65 to his 39, of which this is an example, which at least refers to a political message]
| Merkel as the Statue of Liberty, Heiko Sakurai, 2015 |
Merkel is holding a sign saying "We can do it!", while standing on a podium with the inscription "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses." In 2015, in the climax of the refugee crisis, Merkel surprised the world by allowing nearly a million refugees into Germany
|The German election, in September 2017, saw Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party lose ground to most rivals, particularly the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), Marian Kamensky, Vienna|
European Debt Crisis
|David Simonds, the Observer, Mario Draghi , Governor of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mark Carney (Governor of Bank of England) , Janet Yellen chair of Federal Reserve Board and Bank of Japan's Governor Haruhiko Kuroda are competing in the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, 2014.|
So let’s play central bank Strictly. The first one safely through to the next round is the US Federal Reserve. Always confident and assured, the Fed presides over an economy that is growing at 3% a year and creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs every year. The judges were impressed at the elegant way it is planning to start raising rates next year.
(the Guardian, 14, December 2014)
"Greece won't take orders any more, especially orders through emails," Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told his left-wing parliamentary group, denying that he had returned empty-handed from a European tour.
In an apparent reference to the tough stance taken by the ECB and others, Tsipras said: "Greece cannot be blackmailed because democracy in Europe cannot be blackmailed."
The ECB's decision to stop accepting Greek bonds in return for funds shifted the burden onto Athens' central bank to finance its own banks, dealing a big setback to government efforts to buy time to negotiate a new debt deal. (Feb 5, 2015)
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' government said it will not extend a bailout programme due to expire at the end of February 2015, and refused to cooperate with the so-called troika of international lenders. It also said it will reverse some unpopular measures imposed by foreign creditors and halt some privatisations, raise the minimum wage, rehire fired public sector workers and restore a bonus for poor pensioners.
|Exiting for utopia -- "not "Memorandum" but "Programme"; not "Troika" but "Committee"; not "Yiannis" but "Yanis"|
Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis demanded for Greece to be awarded an emergency bridging loan to help keep the country afloat as it seeks to negotiate with the Troika.
In an ominous prelude to the showdown between Europe's largest creditor and its most indebted government, it was revealed that Wolfgang Schauble German finance minister refused a request from George Osborne to give Varoufakis his personal mobile phone number. Mr Varoufakis was in London for talks with the UK Chancellor earlier that week.
In a tense exchange, Schaeuble said Europe’s creditors had gone to the limit of what was “possible and reasonable” on Greece’s debt arrangements. “Yes we must respect Greek voters, but we must also respect the voters of other European countries,” said Mr Schauble. (February , 2015)
|"we insist on soap from your fat" ... "we are discussing fertilizer from your ashes",|
The cartoonist of the leftist Greek newspaper Avgi depicts German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble in a Nazi uniform. "I always uphold the principle of free speech, but on a very personal level I find this caricature offensive and the cartoonist should be ashamed," German Finance Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said during a press conference. (February 2015)
|The acclaimed Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Lattuf portrays Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras holding Greece in order not to collapse, as he is returning an envelop that reads “austerity” (crossed out) to an EU authority.- July 2015|
Greeks voters overwhelmingly rejected austerity proposals from the country’s creditors - the ECB, EU and IMF - in a snap referendum called by the leftist Syriza government. "If the Greek government thinks it must hold a referendum, then let it hold a referendum," said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble when he arrived at the eurozone finance ministers meeting on May 2015. He went on to add, "That might even be a helpful measure for the Greek people to decide whether it is ready to accept what is necessary, or whether it wants something different." After months of negotiations between Greece and its creditors over a deal to extend its bail-out programme, on June 26th Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister, shocked his counterparts by terminating negotiations just days before the bail-out was due to expire and announcing he would put the matter to a referendum.
A desperate Alexis Tsipras pledged to impose the very austerity measures which he urged his compatriots to reject in the Greek's referendum. His government has proposed a raft of budget cuts and tax rises in order to secure a new three-year rescue programme worth €75 billion (£53 billion). As he arrived for the meeting of finance ministers in Brussels , Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, said the pledges of Greece’s government carried no credibility.
Members of his own party, Syriza, voted against the reform plan in parliament, with 17 lawmakers voted against the plan, abstained or were absent from the vote. This meant that although Mr Tsipras has an overwhelming majority in his parliament - of 251 votes out of 300 - he was forced to rely on other parties after failing to gain more than 151 votes from Syriza MPs.
According to Daily Telegraph" Less than a week after they triumphantly gave international creditors a bloody nose by rejecting a harsh austerity plan, angry and bewildered Greeks are left wondering how they now find themselves swallowing an even worse deal"
In the end, Europe’s wealthy powers decided to grant Greece a new lifeline in exchange for new budget-cutting and tax-hiking measures, and Greece is slated to avoid a sudden banking collapse that would likely have forced it out of the 15-year-old currency pact. The agreement in Brussels Monday likely avoids not only an economy-crushing event but also a major reversal for 60 years of increasing European unity. But the story is far from over, with Greece in line for years of economic adjustment (read: pain), and many new doubts about the long-term potential of the euro zone and its capacity to turn the continent into the United States of Europe.Matt O’Brien The Washington Post, Jul 13 2015
|Merkel and Hollande joined Poroshenko of Ukraine and Putin for a marathon negotiating session that began early on February 11th, 2015 evening and continued into the morning of 12th.|
The summit discussions came as pro-Moscow separatists tightened the pressure on the Ukrainian government by launching some of the war's worst fighting,
|"After 17 hours, negotiations in Minsk have finished: ceasefire from Feb. 15 at zero hours, then withdrawal of heavy weapons. Therein lies hope," Ms Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Twitter.|
|The deal reached in the Belarussian capital included a ceasefire that would come into effect on 15 February, followed by the withdrawal of heavy weapons.|
|Edd Uluschak, "Funny, you don't look like a decadent, warmongering, depraved imperialist, capitalist dog." "Yes, but would you buy a used rick-shaw from him?"February 21, 1972|
In the mid-1960s, having failed to win either the presidency or the governorship of California, Richard Nixon had ample time to think about international relations, his primary policy interest. Like most China specialists, he concluded that the United States should end its efforts to isolate China. After winning the presidential election, Nixon's initial overtures to Chinese leaders won a favorable reception. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was burning out, and Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai were uneasy about what they perceived as the rising Soviet threat. The invitation they issued to their suitors from Washington indicated that a high-level mission to China would be welcomed -- provided the Americans understood that resolution of differences over Taiwan would be the price of rapprochement..
|Herbert Block, “Mushrooming cloud,” Washington post April 1, 1965,|
Communist China exploded its first atomic bomb in October 1964, and the State Department warned in February 1965 that the Chinese, under Mao Zedong, were preparing another nuclear test. The Soviet Union insisted that the Chinese tests did not pose a threat,
Although he brought stability to China, violence was central to Deng Xiaping's formation. As Roderick Macfarquhar and Michael Schoenhals have shown in their epic book “Mao's Last Revolution”, Deng was responsible for purges in the later years of the Cultural Revolution that matched the Gang of Four for brutality. In 1975 he ordered the army to crack down on a Muslim village in Yunnan province, an action which resulted in 1,600 deaths including those of 300 children. Deng's response to the student and worker protests 14 years later was hardly out of character.
Deng Xiaoping will be remembered as the man who put China on the path to economic reforms. He launched capitalist-style market reforms in 1978. They helped push China through a metamorphosis from a drab Leninist state solely dependent on its staid state economy to a dynamic economic powerhouse. But according to state media, the Gini Coefficient for China climbed from 0.18 in 1978 to 0.452 in 1995, and reached the warning level of 0.51 in 2002. The index is an economic measurement of the rich-poor disparity used by the United Nations and the World bank and a reading between 0.3 and 0.4 is regarded as normal but 0.4 or above is considered serious.
Tiananmen Square was followed by a period of repression marked by mass arrests and executions. Thousands were jailed, harassed and threatened. Some were executed, shot in the back of the neck, and photographs of the bodies were posted all over the country as warnings. Human rights groups reported that 50 to 100 people were executed in the wake of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, some for things as minor as setting a police motorcycle on fire or taking photographs of tanks around the square. Another 15,000 to 20,000 were detained, with 99 of those still in prison in ten years later.
Jiang Zemin's rise to power stemmed from a politburo purge of liberal leaders in 1989, after the ruthless suppression of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, who held all the real power, needed to find a new protege to lead the Communist Party. Jiang, who as Shanghai party chief had weathered the student protests without resorting to violence, fitted the bill. By the time Deng finally died in February 1997, Jiang Zemin had been given enough time to establish himself.
|Ingrid Rice, Vancouver Sun, November 26, 1996|
Jiang Zemin who brought China into the World Trade Organization and rebuilt ties to the United States after a breakdown in 1989, favored deeper ties to the West and more opportunities for China’s private sector. He did not possess the indomitable behind-the-scenes power of Deng Xiaoping, who ushered in market reforms after the death of Mao Zedong. But a year of division and uncertainty at the end of Hu Jintao's tenure created openings for him to influence the election of Hu's successor, Xi Jinping.
The Tiananmen Square massacre was a pivotal event in Jiang’s political career. In 1989, as Party chief of Shanghai, Jiang suppressed the liberal newspaper the World Economic Herald and, while other provincial officials waited, very promptly supported the Central Party’s call for martial law in mid-May. According to The Real Story of Jiang Zemin, Deng Xiaoping, pleased at Jiang’s show of toughness, secretly made him general secretary in the days before the massacre. After the massacre, Jiang was responsible for chasing down and suppressing the remnants of the democracy movement.
|Hu Jintao succeeds Jiang Zemin|
|China’s top Communist leaders, including Mao Tse-tung and Deng Xiao-ping, edge out Tibetan deities before a horrified Tibetan monk. This refers to the government’s mandate that a photo of the leaders be placed in Tibetan monasteries at a time when monks continue to light themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule.|
Hu Jintao ensured that China would not repeat the same mistake as the Soviet leaders, reforming politics before fixing the economy. He and his Standing Committee colleagues focused nearly single-mindedly on economic growth. The question facing him when he came into office was what to do about the huge differences between the rich and the poor across the country. But beginning in 2007, after the dramatic collapse of Western export markets, he and his colleagues decided to focus on economic growth, no matter how unevenly wealth was spread across society. His original plans to lift taxes on farmers and concentrate on social welfare were quickly shelved as the party bet that, by keeping the economy humming above all else, it could stay a step ahead of the lower classes' growing anxieties.
Hu's legacy included creating 96 Chinese billionaires - in US dollar term, but 150 million Chinese still lived in poverty. The country became the second richest in the world on aggregate, but per capita income hovered near 90th, similar to per capita income in Cuba and Namibia. Shanghainese enjoyed a per capita income of more than $12,000 a year. Residents of Guizhou, China's poorest province, earned a mere $2,500 a year.
|“The Dear Leader’s Death.” Chinese President Hu Jintao wipes tears off the cheeks of Kim Jong Il’s successor with a special handkerchief, as leaders of the United States, South Korea and Japan anxiously look on.|
The Chinese government continues to systematically erase from the public record any mention of the events of June 1989 that do not conform to the government's assessment of the bloody crackdown as a "political disturbance." China's online censors quickly remove any references to the 1989 crackdown, and internet search engines in China are carefully calibrated to filter out any images or references to the deaths of unarmed civilians for search requests on topics including "Tiananmen Square" and "June 4." Web searches for such terms typically yield "page could not be found" messages, and generally do not inform the user that the search has been censored. Under dictates of China's official Propaganda Department, the domestic print media are forbidden to publish articles on the events of June 1989 inconsistent with the government's version. In 2003, then-US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton pulled her memoirs from sale in China after it was revealed that her Chinese publisher had without her approval omitted her references to the 1989 democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.
As of June 2012, China was the second largest holder of U.S. securities (after Japan) at nearly $1.6 trillion (down from $1.7 trillion as of June 2011). Her large holdings of U.S. securities have raised a number of concerns in both China and the United States. For example, in 2009, (then) Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao stated that he was “a little worried” about the “safety” of China’s holdings of U.S. debt. The sharp debate in Congress over raising the public debt ceiling in the summer of 2011 and the subsequent downgrade of the U.S. long-term sovereign credit from AAA to AA + by Standard and Poor’s in August 2011 appears to have intensified Chinese concerns. In addition, Chinese officials have criticized U.S. fiscal and monetary policies, such as quantitative easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve, arguing that they could lead to higher U.S. inflation and/or a significant weakening of the dollar, which could reduce the value of China’s U.S. debt holdings in the future. Some Chinese analysts have urged the government to diversify its reserves away from U.S. dollar assets, while others have called for more rapid appreciation of China’s currency, which could lessen the need to hold U.S. assets.
In contrast, the women married to previous Chinese leaders, from Deng Xiaoping to Hu Jintao, and stayed largely behind the scenes, Peng Liyuan, the wife of Xi Jinping appeared on national television in January 2012 as the closing act of a military-themed Chinese New Year gala. "People are who the Party cares about forever," Ms Peng, wearing a white military uniform, sang to a rapt audience which included President Hu Jintao and her husband. Peng Liyuan was already famous when she met Xi Jinping in 1986.
Nicknamed "The Peony Fairy", Peng Liyuan joined the Chinese People's Liberation Army early in her career and made her name as an entertainer approved by the Communist Party, appearing frequently on state television to sing propaganda songs with titles like Plains of Hope and People From Our Village.Peng Liyuan did not always enjoy a rosy relationship with the Communist Party. Like Xi Jinping, her family was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution.In an interview with Chinese television in 2004, Ms Peng said her father was categorised as a "counter-revolutionary" because some of their relatives served in the Taiwanese army.
|The caption refers to Confucius' dictum: "Discretion is the better part of valor!". Angela Merkel tells Chinese President "Great! China will therefore engage billions in euro crisis!" and then asks would it be in "Yuan or U.S. dollar?" to which he replies " we thought more in terms of fortune cookies!"|
On September 2015, President Barack Obama announced; that he had reached a “common understanding” with Chinese President Xi Jinping on curbing economic cyber espionage, but threatened to impose U.S. sanctions on Chinese hackers who persist with cyber crimes. The two leaders said they agreed that neither government would knowingly support cyber theft of corporate secrets or business information.
|Peter Brookes, The Times, October 2015|
In their visit to Britain Xi Jinping and his wife saw a joint statement describing the trip as opening a "golden era" in UK-China relations, and the Queen hailed the president's "milestone" trip. Ministers expected more than £30bn of deals which many thought that the Chinese president "walked all over" the British establishment, who "kowtowed" to him, ignoring human rights and other trade issues
Mr Trump has no time for the geopolitics that offers choices to nations such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. The opening here for Mr Xi is obvious enough — a US president receptive to the idea of replacing the rules-based international system with one based on bilateral bargains struck between the most powerful nations. Smaller states are left to fend for themselves. Mr Xi coined a phrase for the construct some years ago — “a new model of great power relations”. The ambition is to replace US with Chinese leadership in the western Pacific. The logic of Mr Trump’s belligerent isolationism runs in the same direction. Philip Stephens, Financial Times, APRIL 5, 2017
|The Chinese government in 2018 admitted that it’s forcing religious minorities into “reeducation camps” as part of its crackdown on extremism — but new details show that these centers have a lot more in common with concentration camps. Thousands of guards carrying spiked clubs, tear gas, and stun guns surveil the government’s “students,” who are held in buildings ringed with razor wire and infrared cameras, according to a report published by the French news service Agence France-Presse.|
A United Nations human rights panel estimates that Chinese authorities have imprisoned as many as 1 million Uighurs. But a Hong-Kong based human rights group puts the number even higher: between 2 million and 3 million.
|Some 200 senior Communist Party officials gathered behind closed doors in January 2018, to take up a momentous political decision: whether to abolish presidential term limits and enable Xi Jinping to lead China for a generation. |
In a two-day session in Beijing, they bowed to Mr. Xi’s wish to hold onto power indefinitely. But a bland communiqué issued afterward made no mention of the weighty decision, which the authorities then kept under wraps for more than five weeks.
| For weeks following the emergence of a mysterious pneumonia-like illness in Wuhan in December 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government systematically suppressed information related to the outbreak. Li Wenliang, the doctor whose early warning messages to colleagues were leaked and widely shared, ringing the alarm bell about the disease, was interrogated by police in Wuhan and publicly censured by authorities. By the time Dr. Li died from COVID-19 on Feb. 7, however, the Chinese state’s cover had been blown.|
China came in for criticism at home and globally over its early response to the outbreak, suppressing information and downplaying its risks, but its draconian efforts at control, including the lockdown of Wuhan and Hubei province, have been effective at curbing the spread.
India’s new Citizenship Amendment Act allows for a fast-track to citizenship for non-Muslim migrants, thereby discriminating against Muslims. The proposed national register requires residents to prove their citizenship with documentation – which many in India lack. Together, these laws place Muslims without documentation in a quandary. Large detention centres are being built to house India’s Muslim residents who are declared ineligible for citizenship. Like the US immigration policy so admired by Hitler, these laws are a mask: they are designed to privilege Hindus in the citizenship laws of the world’s largest democracy. (...)
There is more to fascism than changing citizenship laws. Fascist movements seek one-party rule: over the courts, the police, the military and the press. They involve a cult of loyalty to a single leader and nostalgia for a mythic past when the nation was dominated by the privileged group. But the core of fascist ideology is realised in changing citizenship laws to privilege a single ethnic group. This is why we regard the Nuremberg Laws as a defining moment in German history, and the concentration camp as the defining Nazi institution.
-- Jason Stanley, The Guardian, 24 Feb 2020
|Dave Brown from The Independent depicts Tony Blair shaking Colonel Gaddafi’s hand during the now-infamous desert tent meeting in 2004 as Britain tried to bring the dictator ‘in from the cold’.|
Britain helped to capture one of the leading opponents of the Gaddafi regime before he was sent back to be tortured in Libya, according to a secret document discovered by The Independent in the offices of Moussa Koussa, then Muammar Gaddafi's spymaster. London's involvement in the rendition of Abdel-Hakim Belhaj, currently the military commander of rebel forces in Tripoli, is revealed in the letter from an MI6 officer. In it, he reminds Mr Koussa that it was British intelligence which led to the capture of Mr Belhaj, then leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, before he was sent to Libya in the rendition process by the Americans.