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Monthly Archives: March 2022

Censorship

I was astonished to receive a letter from The European Movement banning me from attending a lecture by Gavin Esler on my birthday today. The reason given was that I am taking The European Movement to court. It is not however the real reason.

Banned

The real reason is that Chris Hammond does not wish to meet me, in case I embarrass him about the fact that he indulged in a concerted smear campaign with others last year to pervert the course of The European Movement elections. The below letter from Sevenoaks and Swanley & Tonbridge in Europe (SSTIE) includes a paragraph that refers to me as the only other candidate. They used their own “Nationbuilder” bulk e-mail system to contact thousands of EM members. This could count as a case of defamation. It could also count as a misuse of the system or at least a perversion, in terms of data protection law. See below for just one of the letters that was written about me. There are others of an even more personal nature, but I am not permitted to share them due to the imposition of a gagging order by The European Movement.

At the time I asked the other candidate Yvonne Wancke, to ask these people to cease and desist, as we had a good relationship at the start of the election and we had agreed to conduct the campaign fairly. Yvonne refused and I can only draw the conclusion that she approved of the campaign tacitly or otherwise.

Dear Peter


On Saturday 4 September European Movement Branches
will elect a new Chair of the Branches Forum



This key role is going to be hugely important as the European Movement determines the way forward and the future relationship between HQ and the branches.
 
It is essential that this works well in both directions. The Movement needs the branches so that it can grow and thrive. The enthusiasm and energy that exists in those groups must be fostered and supported by HQ, and the groups need to see the advantages of supporting the Movement as a whole.
 
A relationship based on working closely together for the benefit of all is essential, and there is a great deal of work needed to ensure that good relationships are established and maintained.
 
This will require a Branches Forum Chair who can and will build teams that will work collaboratively over a wide range of issues. The Chair will need to establish consensus amongst the branches and with HQ so that each group and the Movement will work harmoniously towards our common goals.
 
This is certainly not a role for someone who seeks to be the centre of attention, or who thrives on publicity. It needs someone who knows about building consensus and agreement, and who can use those skills to the benefit of the European Movement as a whole.
 


That is why we urge you to vote for YVONNE WANCKE to be the next Chair of the Branches Forum.
 

Patrick Reynolds                                                       Chris Hammond
Sevenoaks Swanley & Tonbridge in Europe           East Kent European Movement


Robina Jacobson                                                       Colin Gordon
North East for Europe                                                Oxford for Europe

John Gaskell
South West Surrey

As regards the accusation made in the letter, it is true that I am taking The European Movement to the small claims court for non-payment of expenses. This is a ‘one of a kind’ claim as their youth arm were recently fined £1800 by HMRC for non-submission of accounts and non-payment of VAT. I feel fully justified in taking them to court for this and expect the judge to make the judgement, not some committee in East Kent who simply want to avoid embarrassment for their own bad behaviour. The ultimate humiliation came from the fact that I only got to find out about the smear campaign when Patrick Reynolds, secretary of the Sevenoaks branch, did not know how to use the e-mail system and sent the smearing e-mail directly to me !! 🙂 Despite what people probably think of Vladimir Putin, at least he knows how to conduct skulduggery properly !!

Goodness knows how we’ll ever manage to rejoin the EU with people like this leading the charge. One of my weaknesses is that I find petty bureaucracy troublesome.

European Movement
European Movement

I was looking forward to a chat about prog rock with Gavin as he is a big fan, but it won’t kill me if I don’t. I will instead enjoy my birthday on a cycle ride to Canterbury.

I had been thinking about writing what has come to be known as “Reading Gate” down to experience. I must say that the pathetic actions of the local European Movement branch and that of their agents hiding in the shadows have rather stiffened my resolve to ensure that justice is done.

In other news I find that this is not an isolated incident. Byline Times have just censored an article written about Tony Blair that takes a mildly critical view of his leadership decisions on democracy. The style of democracy being put forward by The European Movement and Bylines appears to be more related to Putin’s democracy. I would tell them, but Lord Andrew Adonis and his sidekick Richard Wilson have blocked me on Twitter for giving them valuable feedback.

Coming soon, the banned article on Tony Blair, a Ukraine update and the new book on rejoining the EU.

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Putin Power Play

Putin Power Plays

An analysis of Putin Power Plays by Gary Honey.

Events of the last week have shown that forecasts can be wrong, however we have learnt that Putin is determined to remove Zelensky and install a puppet regime in Ukraine. Such is his determination that direct conflict with the EU or NATO seems more like ‘when’ not ‘if’ with escalation unavoidable. There are a couple of things that could de-escalate current tensions and I discuss them below by the names given by others: The Palace Coup and The Chinese gambit:

The Palace coup – envisages Putin being removed by Russian politicians who consider his attempt to subjugate Ukraine is damaging Russia as a credible world power. He has an inner circle of eight ‘securocrat’ officers or Siloviki, profiled by Paul Kirby on the BBC website – with no evident dissent among them. He also has a 30-member security council that unanimously endorsed his decision to invade Ukraine and was televised doing so. Finally, he has a lower house of 409 Russian MPs all of whom supported the vote to restrict news reporting to the state broadcaster. No objections or abstentions on that vote televised yesterday.

Any political opposition is either in jail like Alexei Navalny or already murdered like Boris Nemtsov, so it is fair to say that after 23 years in power Putin is as secure from defenestration as Stalin was right up his death on 5 March 1953, exactly 69 years ago.

The Chinese gambit envisages Putin being offered a face-saving exit or ‘exit ramp’ by a third party he respects. At the moment Putin is only likely to halt his armies if President Xi Jinping suggests it or offers to mediate a peace deal with NATO. Putin has shown that he will listen to other leaders like President Macron of France but rejects any request to halt his military advance on humanitarian grounds.

Threats from the United Nations carry no weight because it is headquartered in New York, and because Russia has a veto as one of the five permanent members of the UN security council.

Putin would not recognise President Biden as an independent mediator, he believes the US is still his greatest adversary. Although he respects the US military arsenal, he suspects Biden is reluctant to get involved in any new European war. He’s happy to provoke NATO but not yet attack a member.

Putin agreed to delay his invasion until the Peking games concluded on 20 February so as not to distract media attention away from the games. If Xi could extract some advantage he would step in as a mediator, but the longer the war goes on the more he learns about the West’s resolve.

History shows that a tyrant or despot usually meets a violent end, either at the hands of his own people or at the hands of his enemies. For now, the West, or liberal democracy, must balance two distinct risks – the risk of action versus the risk of inaction. See also Action on Ukraine. As well as Gary’s fine analysis of Putin Power Plays, we must also consider disruptive interventions such as the surgical removal of Putin or a gradual realisation on the part of the West that inaction may well lead to World War III. Here are Garry’s 10 lessons from the first 10 days of Putin Power Plays:
 
1.The Ukrainian people resolutely do not want to be liberated by Russians.
 
2.NATO and the EU have been played by Putin for years and woken up to it too late.
 
3.Putin is prepared to use brutality in Ukraine as he did in Grosny and Aleppo.
 
4.Counter-action is needed but fear of escalation results only in paralysing inaction.
 
5.Sanctions are neither fast acting nor effective – ‘banks don’t stop tanks’.
 
6.Putin didn’t just want Ukraine to keep out of NATO, he wanted subjugation.
 
7.Rolling up other former soviet domains will inevitably mean conflict with NATO.
 
8.The UN was created in 1945 by world leaders who had experienced Hiroshima.
 
9.Those, like Gordon Brown, who have dealt with Putin say he only respects force.
 
10. China will only step in if Chinese citizens stuck in Kyev are endangered.

Find Gary Honey on Linkedin.

Read this comment by Greg Newman.

Surgical removal may just mean another of the inner Securocrat or Security Council members steps in to continue the barrage on Ukraine and possibly further.
Inaction by NATO to implement a no fly zone also seems at odds with the reality of the situation.
The bit about the Beijing Olympics is interesting, but how could President Zu be convinced to stick China’s neck out for the sake of the West?
And what of the destabilisation of Europe’s western flank, which started long before Brexit was a hot topic? Was that just a distraction, to keep European eyes looking westwards while to Europe’s east, shenanigans were in play?
It appears Russian control and command lines to its troops on the ground in Ukraine are shaky at best, and the tabletop chats with Aeroflot employees are not what they seem to be… Unless every transmission contains codes orders to various Russian-controlled military units…
That the UK shows huge monetary values of sanctions, but less than perhaps 30 individuals targeted, says more for how successfully the Russian dictator has inveigled himself into the British Cabinet and Government – 30 days’ notice is so all the Tory recipients of Russian donations, in a numbered Dollar or Euro or Sterling account in a Russian bank (no doubt!) can extricate their ill-gotten gains to the relative safety of offshore British Dependent Territories, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, a war and movement of people (women and children, mainly, note!) the likes of which has not been seen in Europe for decades is happening – and nobody seems willing to lift a finger to help stop the cause.
World War III, yes, it does look that way.

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Act for Ukraine

Action on Ukraine NOW

Further to a meeting of people from all over Europe, this article contains a very brief assessment of the situation regarding Ukraine as seen at the current moment, plus a range of initiatives that people can conduct individually or collectively.

Slow death, sudden death or peace?

Ever since Liz Truss allowed Putin to open up the question of nuclear bombs and mutually assured destruction, the western world has been paralysed by self interest instead of facing Putin down. Whilst it is wise to be cautious about Putin’s decision making skills, it is wiser to not be paralysed by them. Here are the broad range of options on the table:

Slow death

Allow Putin to take Ukraine or a part of it : Putin is emboldened and continues his march through Europe. Result : The world gets nuked eventually aka SLOW DEATH.

Sudden death

Allow the current state of too little, too late sanctions runs the risk of making Putin think the West is not united. Result : The potential for WW III grows a step closer aka SUDDEN DEATH.

Peace

The West unites and faces Putin down on every level. This might mean NATO destroying Putin’s war machine on the march into Kiev etc. Result : PEACE.

I realise that these positions are far too simplistic and discrete, nonetheless accommodation and avoidance by the West may result in the same terrible outcomes in the short or longer terms. That makes them equivalent. There are also wider moral and ethical questions that arise from an invasion of a country which was not an aggressor.

Putler
Two cheeks of the same arsehole

What must happen?

Every day, sanctions must be ratcheted up to the point that they weaken the Russian war machine and affect the will of the Russian people to resist. Each and every country must take some pain as sanctions are not surgical devices. If we want to survive Russia they are essential.

NATO and UN must take decisive action. It is justified and essential – Russia have made an unprovoked attack on Ukraine. They have also used illegal weapons. Ukraine may fall without NATO involvement, then Putin moves on to the rest of Europe. Write to NATO via mailbox.ypp@hq.nato.int A no fly zone must be considered again. By not doing it, world leaders are committing Ukraine to sudden death and the world to slow death. Both are death.

What can we do here in UK?

Find existing actions at Stand With Ukraine. Find protests and marches at activism.

Our own Government’s offer for refugees is beyond pathetic. Write to Priti Patel to point this out in your own way via withammp@parliament.uk

Write to UK MP’s about Russian Oligarchs to ask them to do more. Some examples of targets below. Click on this link to write to them. Sign the petition Support Ukraine.

Here is a list of Russian billionaires and their ties to the Tories. Also read and act upon Chatham House – The Tory kleptocracy problem.

Support EU Flag Mafia who are taking a van to Ukraine to take supplies and bring back refugees. Send money via PayPal to ital.seeds@virgin.net

With thanks to June, Sonja, Richard, Elwyn, Judith, Lisa, Alan, Roger, Adrian, Greg, Irina, Simon, Heike, Geor, Daphne.

NATO must support Ukraine
NATO must support Ukraine