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Financial Alchemy by Ian R Thorpe.
For three decades it was alchemy. Banks and corporations pullede off the equivalent of turning lead to gold by turning liabilities to assets and then using those very dodgy assets to secure loans. It could not last of course, sooner or later someone was bound to work out how the illusion of turning debt to wealth was performed. Find out how here...

Financial Alchemy
by Ian R Thorpe.
2011-01-17
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: economics, economy, economists, politics, politicians, left, coalition, labour, conservative, banks, bankers, corporate, business, interest, debt, credit, crash, crisis

The phrase "credit crunch" ought to be self-explanatory, "Credit crash" however conjures a yet more graphic illustration of the state of affairs in the global economy. What should concern us given there is a mountain of evidence to back up these phrases is that there is so little political will to understand quite what went wrong in the global markets over the years leading up to an off-the-Richter-scale moneyquake that has since 2008 redefined the state of western society. The democratic world became addicted to the notion that the creation of debt – any old debt, not just, or even, boring, sound investment – was the creation of wealth. While we ordinary punters have gone cold turkey, paying down credit card balances, cutting back on spending, turning down the heating thermostat and wearing an extra sweater, governments are still hooked on spending money they do not have. The Obama administration is leading the world's biggest economy to ruin. The UK's governing coalition is at it with their student loans policy, merrily lending money to individuals, instead of investing it in the institutions that educate them, because in the future – the government hope – the Treasury will get their money back with interest. The problem the government have with student loans for Higher Education is during thirteen years of Labour's mismanagement of everything Higher Education was made into a sacred cow. New Universities were opened left, right and centre and the numbers of places available on degree courses in soft subjects increased exponentially. Thus the UK now has lots of people with degrees in media studies, journalism or drama and dance earning a meagre living as burger flippers and shelf stackers while employers recruit plumbers, electricians, mechanics and carpenters from among recently arrived immigrants. This has little or nothing to do with reducing the deficit now. The institutions get their money all the same, even though the risk being taken in lending it for interest rather than investing it for future boffinry remains with the government. All the institutions have to do is attract lots of students, in a "competitive market", and charge them as much as they can get away with, up to that £9,000 a year. The only difference is instead of going directly to Universities the money goes to the students in the form of a loan. Getting a degree will be like getting a mortgage. Safe as houses. Safe as countries that thought houses were a safe investment, countries such as Ireland, the USA and our own. Ireland, supposedly the beneficiary of a "bail out" by its generous European neighbours, it is actually being allowed to borrow money that it will be expected to pay back with interest sometime. As the Irish government got into trouble because it could not afford to pay the interest on what it had already borrowed, what chance is there of the bail out loans being repaid. So the bail out of Ireland and the one that saved Greece from total economic collapse and the ones currently being arranged for Portugal and Spain are more fine investments for the future. The justification for this profligacy clearly resides in the fact that Irish default would leave European banks exposed to Irish debt to the tune of £650bn, the UK and Germany featuring large in the reckoning. Well worth putting that off until the upswing comes, and the bailed-out banks can be sold again, at a profit. The fabled upswing. The recovery that borrowing for investment (stimulus) was going to produce. Fortunately our government, having learned on assuming power that Britain was just a few weeks away from having the International Monetary Fund step in to prevent the collapse of our economy (as it had done at the end of Labour's two previous periods in government, is doing the opposite, and "reducing the deficit". Though the public spending cuts are causing much wailing and gnashing of teeth among supporters of the spendthrift left who always seem to labour under the misapprehension that when governments run short of money all they have to do is print some more, deficit reduction was unavoidable and urgent. Over and over again people who delude themselves they are intelligent repeat that the deficit was created by the bailing out of the banks. WRONG!. The money spent on bailing out the banks is part of the UK national debt, the money the government owes the people – somewhere around £350tn. The deficit is the gap between what the government is spending each year and what it is earning. This is currently nearly £110bn, money that has to be borrowed at interest each year unless it is made to go away through a mix of cuts and tax increases. The way governments raise this money is by selling bonds. Many people would prefer to shift the emphasis to increasing tax revenues, even though Britain boasts no fewer than 30 million taxpayers, all handing over more than half their income in direct or indirect tax already. Sure, tax avoidance is an issue, but one that is difficult to solve without the unlikely advent of global governance and the abolition of currency in favour of electronic transactions for even the smallest purchases. Think of the implications of that and anyone who lives in the real world will understand why it is not going to happen any time soon. A surprisingly large number of people believe there is a yet more simple solution. Money must be wrung out of the very wealthy, who have multiplied their wealth so much in the last 30 years, in some other way. One suggested solution that showed an infantile failure to understand money was to clamp down on offshore tax havens. Unfortunately offshore tax havens though they are often tiny islands are sovereign nations. Heads of greedy, spendthrift administrations in large powerful states cannot just go sending in troops to tell these tiny sovereign nations (or autonomous provinces in the case of Hong Kong) how to order their affairs. If they did it might turn out that other large powerful nations find it suits them very well to have a tax haven just off their coast. Another way to squeeze the rich that has been suggested is asset taxes. Much of the wealth the left complains 'the evil rich' are not paying tax on is money is tied up in assets – property, pieces of art, antiques, jewellery, classic cars, stocks and shares. It is surprising how little liquid cash rich people have. Now the deluded left might have no difficulty believing that every rich person is sitting in their castle or fortified manor house, musket across their knees, pistols at their side and the hilt of a duelling sabre in their hand, waiting to repel the Revenue Men in tricorn hats who could burst in at any moment to seize the sack of gold doubloons on which all rich people habitually sit of an evening. It is not so of course, though the left love to talk of fairness but cannot see how it is unfair to tax the notional value of assets that have been bought with money on which tax has already ben paid, assets that are not earning income and may just as easily depreciate in value as appreciate. Could governments relieve the wealthy of these assets, confiscate them to be sold so their cash value can be realised? Just think that through. The first few, or few hundred sequestrations might raise moderately good sums but once it was seen the market was glutted with expensive houses, fancy cars, antiques etc. there would be few sales and revenue from those would be far below expectations. Many of these assets, like the houses people saw soar in "value", in the bubble economy would turn out to be of less value once they were on the market in quantity. That's bubbles for you.So 'squeezing the rich' So how do we finance restarting the stricken economies of the west. All the chatter on the left about shutting down the tax havens, squeezing the rich and borrowing to invest is big talk, but sounds rather silly coming as it does from small, envious people. In his book Beyond the Crash, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown talks of the economic crisis becoming visible when the dancing stopped. The dancing hasn't stopped yet, though it has settled into more of a They Shoot Horses, Don't They? shuffle. There is plenty more "deleveraging" to be done in the big consumer economies, and the wealthy will be, as ever, last in the queue for pain. So how do we start to tackle the problems which in fact are getting bigger rather than smaller. It would help if people, particularly leaders would be a bit more political and less ideological. For 30 years, government in many western nations (the UK in particular) has fled from infrastructural investment, waiting patiently for the market to provide. But the market has not provided a decent transport infrastructure, for example. Now investment in our railways will be provided by the poor sods having to pay exorbitant prices to commute on the dirty, unreliable local trains that shuttle workers to and from the cities each day. About the only reason so many people use trains to get to and from work is the urban and arterial roads are gridlocked. For the future we should be aiming to make commuting a cheap and pleasant experience so people currently using their cars. Whatever one's position on climate change, oil is not going to get any cheaper as competition for supplies from the huge populations of India, China, Indonesia, South East Asia and the rest of the developing world increases so an infrastructure investment in useable public transport would benefit society in generally by making life less stressful and the business community by increasing productivity (contented workers work harder and take less time off for sickness.) In education, after three decades of waiting around for the promised market solutions, there will now be more waiting for more market solutions. Labour's plans for state funded schools to be run as businesses, competing to attract pupils in the way universities have to compete to attract students crashed and burned before it go off the ground. The Coalition's academies programme, like Labour's, is about rewarding ideologically compliant with more money. Thus under the Coalition's education regime targets and statistics would still count for more than the actual quality of the product being delivered. Coaching to test will continue take precedence over educating for life. Labour were always quick to remind us investment in education has been increasing for years. Recently the Programme for International Student Assessment revealed that Britain has slipped from fourth in science, seventh in reading and eighth in maths in 2000, to 15th in science, 25th in reading and 28th in maths. Britain is "stagnating" while other countries are improving. Surely Estonia is not spending more on education than Britain is? The left's naive belief that the more money spent on the education system the better the education is undermined by complaints from employers hiring school leavers and recently from University administrators that school leavers with excellent paper qualifications are in need of remedial education in basic numeracy, reading and writing. Where will money for all this much needed investment be found? Ireland, Portugal, Greece? Student loan recovery? The sale of banks whose assets consist of overpriced homes and the mortgage payments they can wring from their deeply indebted owner-tenants, as long as they can stave off a price collapse. The economies of the west have run for decades on a kind of alchemy, not turning lead into gold but turning liabilities into assets. The culprits are not the general population who were encouraged to abandon prudence and caution in favour of being part of a global economy based on perpetual growth in a world of finite resources through the inifinite inflation of asset values, not with the banks because they were handed an opportunity by the economic alchemists, but government, big, centralising governments. It was madness, hubris. And as always hubris, contempt of the gods, leads to the most spectacular crash. Ask Icarus if you do not believe me. RELATED POSTS:

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Following the failed coup in Turkey on Friday night, the US embassy in Turkey says the Incirlik air base has been placed in lockdown. The base is used by the US-led coalition, including Germany, to launch airstrikes against "Islamic State."

Welcome to The Greenteeth Defending Free Speech Catalogue
Events in recent years have shown us democracy is a sham. From the USA where big money owns the political system through the European Union where the bureaucrats of the European Commission in Brussels openly express contempt for the elected governments of member states and clearly state that the faux - democratic European Parliament is irrelevant, and the wishes of member states are not considered, it is up to the bureaucrats and experts to do what is right for Europe, WE THE PEOPLE are fighting a war like none we have fought before as the political, financial and academic elites try to disempower the masses. Only through our right of Free Speech can we expose the corruption and self interest at the heart of the system and hold to account the people who would create a global, authoritarian government.

Rise In Intercommunity Confrontations Mean "Civil War Is Inevitable" In France According To State Officials
In the wake of the latest Islamic terrorist outrage in Nice, some state officials in France are warning that if the government does not act to suppress Islamic extremist and regain control of immigrant areas in the cities there will be civil war.

Democratic Party Primaries Vote Rigging Whistleblower Found Murdered
Unfortunate but conveniently timed deaths of people considered key witnesses in Clinton - related scandals go all the way back to the demise of Vince Foster in 1993. How many people have to die before they are able to give important evidence about scandals involving "Crooked Hillary" and her husband, "Slick Willy" Clinton before Democrats in the USA become aware of the stink of rotting corpses that surrounds the pair.

Kerry Demolishes Obama's 'Moderate Rebels' Syria Narrative
... What John Kerry said in this conversation effectively demolishes the foundations of US “regime change” policy in Syria and its support of certain Islamic terrorist groups Muslim - loving Obama likes to call “moderate rebels”.

FBI Insider Leaks All: Clinton Foundation Exposed! Involves Entire US Government!
A thread on 4chan with an FBI insider confirms everyone’s worst suspicions. The Hillary Clinton email server was merely a distraction from the Clinton Foundation and most of DC is in up to their necks in what could be the biggest scandal of all times. This inside info from someone claiming to be a high level FBI analyst whose job was to look at the records, with NOTES added to clarify some of the responses.

David Cameron Authorizes Deployment Of More Forces On Russian Borders
In one of his final acts a Prime Minister, David Cameron has given the go ahead for more British soldiers to be deployed in The Baltic States close to the borders with Russia. The troops who will be working alongside contingents from the USA and other European NATO countries are part of the latest provocation against Russia. The military build up in the Baltic region is ostensibly to counter increasing Russian aggression although ...

Clintons Threatened Attorney General's Life
impartial observers was gobsmacked last week when FBI director James Comey, in a totally damning statement announced that although there was incontrovertible proof former Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton had committed various crimes relating to national security but in the circumstances "no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges against the Democratic Party Presidential candidate. Strangely, just before the FBI announced they were dropping the case

Globalists Like Soros Are Now Blatantly Moving Forward Their Totalitarian World Government Agenda
Since the 1980s, billionaire currencies and derivatives trader George Soros has been advocating a global government ans actively promoting a technocratic, globalist agenda. This agenda, which includes the redistribution of wealth from the developed nations to the economic basket cases and the abolition of national sovereignty in a system which requires that all power devolves from a single, central authority, is advanced through the faux - philanthropic Soros political fronts

The Origins of HIV - AIDS Exposed?
Want to know the truth about AIDS. Sorry, we can't tell you, but we bring you an article which revives some of the very serious doubts about the official narrative on the origins of the HIV virus that leads to this disease.

Greece Could Scupper TTIP In Argument Over Cheese
The Greek government is ready to veto the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal unless its feta cheese industry receives special protections. A document from the country’s Ministry of Economy, seen by Euractiv.com, says Athens is not optimistic about the deal’s future due to America’s stance on so-called “geographical indicators”.

US Accused of Pressurizing EU to Drop Frankenstein Food Ban Ahead of TTIP

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US Accused of Pressurizing EU to Drop Frankenstein Food Ban Ahead of TTIP


Opponents of the TTIP trade treaty and environmental campaigners have accused US politicians and bureaucrats of putting pressure on the EU to overrule a legal opinion compelling biotech corporations to submit new types of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to rigorous safety testing and rquiring that foods containing genetically modified produce be clearly and explicitly labelled, ahead of the finalization of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement.

Europe's Bank Crisis Arrives In Germany: €29 Billion Bremen Landesbank On The Verge Of Failure
... yesterday we observed a surprising development involving Deutsche Bank, namely the bank's decision to quietly liquidate some of its shipping loans. Reuters reported, "Deutsche Bank is looking to sell at least $1 billion of shipping loans [a market sector] whose lenders face closer scrutiny from the European Central Bank.

The Wisdom Of Crowds?
Silicon Valley internet technology billionaire nerds like to talk of The Wisdom Of Crowds because discouraging critical analysis of the internet crapware they sell us distracts us from privacy violations and benefits their bank balances. But is there such a thing as The Wisdom Of Crowds or is it just a corporate psy - op to help us believe they marketing hype?

The Origins of HIV - AIDS Exposed?
Want to know the truth about AIDS. Sorry, we can't tell you, but we bring you an article which revives some of the very serious doubts about the official narrative on the origins of the HIV virus that leads to this disease.

A Mob Of 'Foreign Youths' Assault 35 Females At Swedish Music Festival">
The number of sexual assaults in Europe as a result of the refugee crisis has been something that we have covered extensively, notably the "monstrous" attacks by men "of Arab or North African origin" that occurred on German women in Cologne during a New Year celebration (that led to the members of left wing parties in Germany's ruling coalition actually trying to have the word "rape" removed< from internal reports, because multiculturalism.

Senator Admits The FBI Is "About To Ask Putin For His Copies Of Hillary's Emails"
Hillary Clinton has long been known as a dishonest, incompetent, greedy, self serving liar. So, this blog is sure, is Donald Trump (you don't get to be a billionaire like Trump, or even worth a modest $100 million like the Clintons by being a nice person). Unfortunately, as things stand one of them will be the next President of the United states of America. It's up to you Americans, we British have just voted to break free of the European Union

Non-Firing Guns & Killer Ejection Seats – UK Takes Delivery Of US Advanced Fighter Jet
The first F-35 Lightning to land in the UK triggered a storm of controversy over why we were taking delivery of a hugely expensive aircraft that has shown in trials it is not fit for purpose, but also having been in development for over twenty years already looks very dated against the latest Russian and Chinese warplanes. Questions surrounding the safety and ability of an aircraft that has

Geoengineering: Science versus Humanity
Geoengineering, attempts by scientists to control the weather, have been wiith us from the 1950s and so have the man made disasters caused by them. From the small town of Lynmouth in South West England, devastated by a flash flood that killed many people, attempts to get at the truth have been dismissed as conspiracy theorioes'. But in British government papers declassified after 50 years, the Lynmouth disaster was revealed to have been caused by experiments in coud seeding.

Rebellion Against EU Authoritarianism Escalates As 8th Member Nation Threatens Referendum
Brussels went too far, they crossed the line in moving from an economic union to a political pan - European political empire. In the end it was a race as to which member state would quit first, Britain, Natherlands, Denmark or Italy. In the event it is Britain.

No Easy Answers For Immigration
The most sensible immigration policy is one that matches demand for labour with supply. While ensuring compassion and capacity for genuine refugees, we should take care that new arrivals looking for 'a better life' do not land in such numbers they become a burden on those that host them.

Is Brexit A Harbinger Of Doom For The 'Experts'
The Brexit vote, the decision by a democratic majority in Britain to leave the European Union has sent shockwaves around the world. Not only does the EU now face a tsunami of departures, the usurpation of democracy by 'experts' ( technocrats ) has been challenged and exposed as a sham.

US Media Bias RevealedAs Political Fact Checkers Caught Covering Hillary Clinton Crimes

CNN Money’s “fact-checkers” Cristina Alesci and Laurie Frankel ended up with egg on their faces on Wednesday after they rated as “false” a well-established and proven Clinton Cash fact involving Hillary Clinton’s State Dept. approving the transfer of 20 percent of U.S. uranium to the Russian government, as nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Why Do The Weatern Powers, The United nations And The EU Continue To Tolerate The Terror Sponsor Erdogan And Turkey
The terrorist links of NATO member Turkey and its corrupt and tyrannical President Erdogan are so well documented they are beyond reasonable doubt... Erdogan has traded oil and arms with ISIS, committed humanitarian crimes against The Kurds and given refuge to ISIS fighters in Turkey. And yet Barack Hussein Obama continues to support his regime and the European Union is determined to fast track Turkey to full membership.
Why Do The Weatern Powers, The United nations And The EU Continue To Tolerate The Terror Sponsor Erdogan And Turkey

BREXIT vs. GREXIT – The Truth About The European Union And How It Treats Members
The only thing that will halt the European Union in its tracks, stop the push beyond Europe's geographical borders and prevent EU expansion to incorporate Asian, middle eastern and north African nations is war. Unless the testicularly deficient politicians stand up to the bean counters of Brussels. That's what they are, bean counters; not one among them is a risk taker or a person who has advanced because of their willingness to put their arse on the line.

How Barack Obama Did Not Save The World (and he isn't desended from King Tut.
President Barack Obama boasted of his legacy during a question and answer session in Britain, asserting that he single- handedly saved the world during his presidency. “Saving the world economy from a Great Depression — that was pretty good,” Obama bragged when asked by a student in London what he wanted his legacy to be.

The Hypocrisy and Snobbery Of The Remain Campaign And The Antidote
When I had to defriend a Facebook contact because she was arguing in favour of the EU, it was not simply because I support Brexit that I had become pissed of with her, it was the snobbish and condescending way she dismissed supporters of LEAVE and their case. People are entitled to their opinion on the European Union, but they should check the 'facts' they post in support of their arguments.

The Labour Case For Brexit by Kate Hoey M.P.
After my short intro is a savage indictment by Brexit supporting Labour MP Kate Hoey of the way the Labour Party has abandoned the working class and is now trying to betray the party's proud heritage and its roots in the industrial areas by taking Britain into an undemocratic, corporate controlled, capitalist friendly, elite dominated globalist control freak project.

FBI Vows To Go Public If Obama Blocks Indictment Of Hillary
The only thing saving Hillary right now is the protection being given her by The Obama Administration. However, if Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, does not follow her oath of office and indict Hillary Clinton, FBI investigators will go public with their findings, according to former US House of Representatives majority leader Tom DeLay.

Orlando Shooting: Eyewitness Testifies ‘More Than One Shooter’
Just as happened with the San Bernadino shooting in California and the Paris attacks of 2015, accounts of the incident in Orlando in May 2016 from people who were at the scene differ from the version of events given mainstream media. A victim of Sunday’s terror attack at the gave a bombshell interview to ABC news in which he alleged there were several terrorists rather than the lone gunman news reports describe.

The Tyranny of The Economics Academics Is Coming To An End
The pseudo-Keyneseanism peddled by economics academics has failed disastrously, at huge human cost and to the advantage of authoritarian tyrants around the world. At last, as the global economy totters on the brink of collapse, the economic idiocy looks to have entered its end days. The 'sound of the last trump' will probaly occur in early November this year.

NSA Planning To Exploit 'Internet Of Things' Including Biomedical Devices
The post might appear from the headline to be aimed primarily as a US audience, but with US Government Surveillance now global, other governments sharing data with the NSA and The Internet sliding its tentacles into domestic appliances, cars and even the plumbing in our houses it affects us all.

Is Bilderberg A Sinister Group That Runs The World Or Just A Tea Party For Rich And Powerful People
Are the Bilderberg Group meeting, this weekend in Dresden, Germany, really The Shadow Government (the New World Order, The Illuminati,) that rules the world?

It's That Bilderberg Time Of Year
Every year, the world's richest and most powerful business executives, bankers, media heads and politicians sit down in some luxurious and heavily guarded venue, and discuss how to steer the global economy in a way that maximizes profits for all involved, while perpetuating a status quo that has been highly beneficial for a select few, even if it means the ongoing destruction of the middle and working classes and the creation of a servile, uneducated, ill informed underclass, the 'proleteriat' of Karl Marx' writing.. We are talking, of course, about the annual, and always secretive, Bilderberg meeting.

EU's Bureaucratic Dictatorship Is Losing The Support Of The Most Loyal Nations
When the unelected bureaucrats of the European Union Commission decided, without consulting member states, to comply with the wishes of the warmongering rent - boy in The White House and impose sanctions on Russia, after Vladimir Putin ordered the annexation of Crimea (to prevent the US backed neo - fascist government in Kiev carrying out a genocide of ethnic Russians in Crimea,) the idiotic goons were as usual duped into doing Washington's dirty work.

What Did Donald Trump Say To Earn a Liberal Lynch Mob On His Case
Over in the good ol’ US of A the ‘progressive liberals’ as that failed state’s authoritarian reactionaries like to label themselves, are getting their knickers in a right old twist about alleged ‘racist’ remarks made by the presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump who said something unforgivable about a Hispanic US federal judge. So what exactly was it he said about this bean – bandit judge that led intellectuals and academics to call for his murder?

Adolf Hitler, His Part In Our Downfall

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A thirty five thousand word book on the authoroitarian, undemocratic, bureaucratic dictatorship that is the European Union. Following the outburst of left wing hate politics following Boris Johnson's reminder that the EU has its roots in Hitler's Naziism, which as any intelligent person is aware is both true and very well documented. My blog colleagues and I decided to assemble this collection of our articles (with some long extracts quoted from public domain and creative commons sources) to help people misled by the REMAIN campaign into thinking the arguments are solely economic.

US Senators Attack Attorney General Loretta Lynch For Sanctioning With Hunt On Climate Change
Lawyers for Exxon Mobile went to court in Texas last month seeking to block a subpoena issued earlier this year by the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, which, alleging that the oil and petroleum giant is deceiving the public about the effects of climate change, demanded the company open its records to Department of Justice lawyers. Exxon responded by claiming that the subpoena is an unwarranted phishing expedition into Exxon's confidential records and as such violates its constitutional rights;

b>US Missile Shield; Loved Up Obama And Cameron Laugh As Putin Warns Poland, Romania Now In The "Cross Hairs"
No surprise then that during a joint press conference with Alex Tsipras in Greece, Putin warned Romania and Poland they could find themselves in the sights of Russian rockets because they are hosting elements of a U.S. missile shield that Moscow considers a threat to its security. Under the malign influence of Washington and Brussels these country's leaders have now exposed their people to the threat they most feared.

UK Conservative Politician Says Referendum Is An Establishment Stitch Up
Britain will be unable to stop Turkey from becoming a member of the European Union (EU), the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Penny Morduant, has said. Predicting that up to a million Turkish people could come to the UK unless Britain votes to leave the EU in June, declared that the EU referendum is an “establishment stitch-up”.

EU Vows To Use Powers To Block All Elected ‘Far Right’ Politicians From Power
... populist social conservatives are regularly topping the polls across the Europe, but have been victims of EU orchestrated stitch ups to keep them out of power and ddeny the democratic will, in France, Sweden, Holland, and now Austria – and anti-migrant populists are already in power in Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Mr. Junker’s definition of “far right” is somewhat broad, noted by him previously describing Hungary’s conservative president, Viktor Orbán, as a "fascist".

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