16 thoughts on “For Owen Jones”

  1. Whenever I go past a supermarket, I always go in to see if they have any of those rare products–like food.

    There is little point in trying to put any sort of evidence in front of scum like Jones. He could run over by a 32 lorry and he’d say it never happened–if he lived. He would have to be put thro the misery himself–without any chance to rationalise “It’s the CIA ” or any other standard leftist garbage.

    Then he might learn–but there still is a good chance he won’t.

  2. It’s a really touching piece. I liked the stoic humour from a couple of the participants.

    Sometimes Vice do impress me by the way they actually get out there into the middle of issues; another of those topics with barely a mention in the media in general.

    Hope things get better there sooner rather than later.

  3. Vice can be very hit or miss, but their good stuff is very good. The series on the Ukraine fighting was excellent – utterly pissed over anything else. Ostrovsky, the reporter, even got himself arrested by men in balaclavas and spent a few days in a dungeon for his troubles.

    Anyway – venezuela. I chat with a fair amount of Venezuelans online who are more than happy to talk about whats happening on the ground.

    One thing that never gets mentioned is that crime is absolutely out of control. Caracas is the murder capital of the world. You cannot use a phone on the street. Large areas of towns are no-go areas for police. People are carrying around second wallets with a small amount of cash to mollify the inevitable armed robbers.

  4. “The Maduro Diet- title of your next book Tim?”

    Actually, that’d be a terrific documentary – like Super Size Me but accurate.

  5. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Dan is right. It’s beyond belief how bad the crime is. The whole fabric of civilisation is breaking down there. It’s like nothing we’ve seen outside of high-intensity combat zones. You can see you wife off in the morning, and then she never comes back. I don’t mean she gets shot by some robber and then you go to the morgue to identify her. People simply vanish. The bodies don’t turn up. Not even fragments of bodies turn up. They’re just…gone. The Venezuelan friends I have here are numbed by it. It’s as complete a catastrophe as obtained in countries in Eastern Europe post WW2. There hasn’t been the mass, Biafra-scale death and starvation that usually accompanies this, but there will be, soon. People think I’m exaggerating when I say this. I’m not.

    To still support socialism in the face of this is to embody an evil so profound that there can be no redemption. Fellow travellers like Jones have worse than blood on their hands.

  6. BiCR, point of pendantry: in the circs, what’s worse than blood on their hands?

    Ignore me. You were hyperventilating over horridness and I’m being sillyly literal.

  7. Ed,

    How about the blood of children? Maduros moronic price controls have led to mass shortages of medicine and the infant mortality rate has sky-rockted.

    I try not to be an Ecks style ranter, but this really does hack me off. Tossers like Jones, Seumas Milne, Livingstone, etc have gone all radio silence on la revolutionce. At least Monbiot has the grace and honesty to occasionally admit he’s wrong.

    Look at that old boy with the bag of fish heads in the video. How anyone can watch this poor git, and not feel the red mist descending is beyond me.

  8. Bloke in Costa Rica

    They have the blood from this round of savagery and the blood from the next time it’s tried. They have the fear and misery and hopelessness. As someone said, you can bomb a country with B-52s, but if you want to destroy the bits between the craters you need socialism.

  9. Oh, and for those of you who are interested in this – check out a guy called Lorenzo Mendosa. He’s the head of the largest private firm in Venezuela – Polar.

    They make the lions share of food basics, beer, etc, (at least they did till the gov revoked their import licence for malted barley).

    Mendoza went on TV in front of a table of various goods and pointed out that all the ones that were experiencing shortages were from government owned factories. Polar is something like 100% more efficient at producing corn flour (the number 1 staple foodstuff). He then offered to take control of said factories and increase the output – I’m not sure if he was offering to buy them outright.

    You can imagine how well that went down.

    A Venezuelan I was talking with said to keep an eye on Polar. If the PSUV try and nationalise it, or arrest Mendoza, then he reckons that’ll be the tipping point, as it’s the last reliable food producer in the country.

  10. I know a bloke working over there. Given a) my character defects, or b) his, it tickles me enormously to think of it. Although to some extent I am sure he is insulated.

    For every other poor bastard immiserated by the usual socialist ruin … er, did they not vote for it? (if they didn’t, I apologise in advance)

  11. Lud – I don’t think they voted for it in the way we might vote for it, certainly not a lot of them.

    But in any event, if (crudely) half of the population are below average intelligence, and chancer-cunts come along and promise them shit, and (being thick) they have no way of computing the achievablity of the promises, and this is in context of them having been fucked over pretty much for the entire history of their country by someone or other, I don’t think it’s fair to laugh at them for falling for it, certainly not as they lie starving in the gutters.

    As others have said, what we do need to do is rub the faces of our own intelligentsia in it.

  12. The last elections were rigged as fuck. The opposition won a majority but that PSUV suspended some of their delegates to remove the super-majority which would have enable them opposition to actually do stuff.

  13. Interested:

    You are essentially correct. But there have always been plenty of brains in that country–including quite a few educated in the best US colleges and universities.

    For at least 40 years, these people have run the country as a market-oriented entity but all the while corrupting it with freebies, subsidies, etc. In 1980 (the latter of the two times I visited), gasoline sold (at the gas stations) for 17 cents per gallon (while a couple bucks in the U.S.) and the only way the government tried to discourage such enormous waste was to keep a very high duty on the importation of vehicles.
    They had major iron (and steel, I think) works benefitting from almost-free electricity at Puerto Ordaz , and the easily-gotten
    iron-rich ore nearly at their feet–but were unable to produce these commodities nearly as cheaply as they could buy them from Japan (which has neither the ore nor the power).

  14. Interested, even against the possibility that i was wrong, i wasnt laughing at them. Querying the extent to which they are complicit in their own misery, yes. But laughing, no.

  15. It’s really interesting hearing the Trini view on Venezuela, what with them being about ten miles away across a narrow strip of sea. Aside from the significant numbers of illegally denationalised ex-Venezuelans being forced onto the ferry to Trinidad at gunpoint, the Trinis are seriously worried that the Venezuelans are going to start a full-scale war, Argentina/Falklands style. Notably, one of the places the Venezuelan government has placed the blame for food shortages is on Trinidad – allegedly fishing Venezuelan waters, although it’s total cobblers.

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