Monthly political analysis on nations in
economic or political transition




 June 2014

Is the UK Fracturing? EU Membership & Scottish Independence? Syria, Iraq & 'The Caliphate'; Israel & the Jewish State; Press Freedom & Corruption: Comparing BRICS & the EU; The G8 & the Arab League

Is the UK Fracturing?

It seems hardly credible but entirely possible, that by the end of this year, Britain will have ceased to exist, the UK will no longer be a United Kingdom and without the Scots there would be no more ‘British’! England, Wales and N.Ireland would remain with devolved assemblies under a London government - (unedifying working title rUK r=rump or remainder), which might by then have no place in the European Union. Thereafter a disillusioned Wales could choose to follow the Scots if they seemed to be successful, and N. Ireland find a concordat with the south to at last form a United Ireland with EU membership.

First, the widespread populist May electoral upheavals in Europe have seen a pronounced rise in nationalism in the EU-wide elections to the European parliament, ironically by party representatives pledged to bring down the European Union project itself. [...]

Syria, Iraq & 'The Caliphate'

The surreal brand of cruelty that has enveloped Syria and other parts of the Middle East since the start of the very ironically named phenomenon of the ‘Arab Spring’ – or the downright sarcastic ‘Awakening’ – is highlighted by the sight of actual crucifixions. Indeed, in Raqqa, a mid-size city in north-central Syria, the jihadists of the insurgent group calling itself the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIS) have crucified and executed Christians and Muslims alike to spread fear, in their effort to consolidate control of Syrian territories. The level of cruelty was enough to disgust even al-Qaida's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who reacted through a video message demanding ISIS “return to Iraq” to focus on the struggle there.

The fact that al-Zawahiri, no less evil a figure than the successor to Osama bin Laden himself, was compelled to intervene, illustrates the extent of the perversion in the world of the mujahidin in Syria. The ‘jihad’ in Syria is one of the most intractable problems resulting from the foreign meddling in the Syrian civil war. More specifically, even as the jihadists have fought against government forces, they have been increasingly engaged in fighting among themselves. [...]

Israel & the Jewish State

Netanyahu’s new ‘Basic Law’ of the Jewish State - to proclaim it’s essential Jewishness within the constitution, serves to pre-empt a consolidated Israel-Palestine. Since he clearly doesn’t want a two state solution, the logical alternative is an enlarged combined state yet the Arab population would inevitably outnumber the Jewish population if not now, then later. So this Basic Law, if passed, would pre-empt any Israeli referendum on its status, by constitutionally removing that alternative. Right now there is a mile-wide gap in any alternative to the two state formula, which itself seems less and less attainable.

All of this must be seen in the context of the latest failed set of talks. Secretary of State Kerry approached this issue with enthusiasm and energy, exactly one believes, as President Obama wished, since his pre-election pledge before his first presidential term stressed the importance with which he (and his predecessors in the White House) regarded the issue. There are many, including ourselves, that relate the upsurge of violent Islamic fanaticism in this new millennium, in part, to the double standards that America and the West appeared to display in persuading the member nations of the UN to agree to the foundation of the new state of Israel, in a land which previously belonged to others (UN resolution 181 of 1947). The massive material success of the Israeli state, by so many criteria, stands in contrast to the glaring absence of any second state as envisaged by the United Nations, other than the shabby reality of the not-quite-a-nation, the sub-state of Palestine.  [...]

Press Freedom & Corruption

WorldAudit, as our regular readers will know has been published by us annually since 1997, listing every nation with a million or more population (150 nations) in terms of Democracy. The components we hold to be the Rule of Law are specifically measured through the criteria of Human Rights; Civil Rights; Press Freedom and Public Corruption.

BRICS is a fairly new grouping of large and very large nations who effectively proclaim they are not under the tutelage of the USA or its western allies. That is not to be interpreted as hostile to the USA but realistically as competitors who are often major trading partners yet not military allies; neutrals in fact.

Currently these are Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa. Collectively they represent a large slice of the future simply because of their size and that of their generally very large populations, at 3bn plus, they alone account for about half of all humanity.  [...]



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