Smoke Signals

smokesigs  The CoOp that dare not name its bondholders. The vacuum that is media and Westminster comment on Britain’s first bailin stays firmly in place; thus is not a word breathed on the subject of thousands of elderly depositors in need being financially zapped in their twilight years. But Labour, the TUC and the LibDems all have their overdrafts bank there, and so it remains an Unsubject for Non-discussion: these fine friends of ours in hard times would rather see the aged and poor impoverished than themselves.

Now, however, a Slogger writes in to me, setting off a train of horrible thought in my already overcrowded bonce: since the local elections last year, a large proportion of all local Councils in England are Labour-controlled. The Slogger tells me his local Council banks with…..the CoOp. How many  others do the same, I ask myself? And as none of them should have an overdraft, have they now jumped out of the Icelandic fire and down the CoOperative pan by being redefined as bondholders?

When I asked them, the Co-Op couldn’t possibly comment. So I’m probably right. The constitutional ramifications of this don’t bear thinking about: to save the taxpayer from any more exposure to bailouts, CoOp Group may well be about to include taxpayer Treasury funds in its bailin. And of course, the Shovers & Makers in Westminster already have the equally constitutional electoral conundrum of two major Parties in the 2015 General Election being broke because a management/Treasury plot stole their money. I sense this is not going to end well.

The Americans who put Golden Dawners in jail. If you watch the video of Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos being perp-walked back into custody yesterday – and listen carefully to the voices of his Blackrock guards – you will hear heavily American-accented words like, “Left now” and “OK, let’s go!”

The Greek political “élite” has been protected by the Blackrock mercenary agency for some time now. So many police officers are GD sympathisers, the general feeling among ND and PASOK is that they need bodyguards with ideas of saving their lives, not killing them at the first available opportunity. And of course, in this particular case there’s no way Athenian regular cops would’ve acquiesced in Niko coming to trial. Hence the American accents being emitted by private sector mercenaries….a chilling trailer of films to come, I rather fancy.

But this looks increasingly like a put-up job to knock Golden Dawn out of the Athens Mayoral race (I can confirm their candidate Elias Kasidiaris is now under arrest) while handing Antoniki a solid ND majority in new elections…now that the Right vote is not so split. Greeks on the liberal-left, however, are wondering what exactly the role of Brussels and Washington might have been in this little ruse. Most of the Greek media and professional Establishment being Government lapdogs, Samaras’s shaky coalition has been applauded for its tough stance: no questions have been asked, and opinion polls show a circa 50% drop in support for Golden Dawn…plus a slight boost for his conservative New Democracy party.

As for the much-feted opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, he somewhat inscrutably said last week, in referencing the GD arrests, that the New Democracy Coalition should be confronted “within the law, not outside it”. Seems to me the Coalition is being every bit as lawless as Golden Dawn, but only events to come will clear that one up. Or not, as the case may be.

Phew-kushima, what a scorcher. If and when things do go completely pear-shaped in Japan, no doubt that headline will be the one chosen by Murdoch’s ever-adorable Sun tabloid. Trying to retain some objectivity on this one (some of the wilder, more ignorant bollocks is little more than Greenpeace scaremongering) a great many folks like myself with absolutely no agenda still remain unable to accept the ‘explanations’ leaking from the “authorities” into an ocean of docile media around the world.

I think the main focus now should be on validating the risks involved first, in removing the spent fuel rod pool at the top of nuclear plant number four (it’s possible collapse in a storm or an earthquake would have ghastly consequences); and second, on the attempt to carefully remove each of the 1,535 rods and safely transport them to the common storage pool 50 meters away. Just one rod touching another would also have consequences of a hari-kiri nature for Nippon – and not be a great deal better for things that fly through the air, for example birds.

Much scientific opinion sticks to its line that Fukushima is neither fish nor fowl as a ‘serious’ incident. But further pollution that devoided the earth of all fish and fowl would be the end for all of us. You may not like salmon, cod or duck very much, but the things that do would be wiped out in short order. Then we would have a human food supply problem to make any global pandemic seem pansy by comparison.

Each side in this news tug-of-war are pulling out all the stops to convince us that the only outcome can possibly be nothing, or the vapourisation of the planet. My problem is that many of those positing the first option, on the whole, wear black hats and have a solid track-record of flakey mendacity. I take the same position on this as I do on the climate issue: there might indeed be nothing to worry about, but we all need more detail on the ‘why’ aspect of that viewpoint. Except James Delingpole, of course: he already knows the answer.

Yesterday at The Slog: Appalling inflation in the cost of bribery stuns UK Party leaders