cnn french elections
With snap elections called for June, the UK joins a plethora of 'civilized' countries going to the ballot box this year. The world as we know it may be falling apart, but at least people can still vote in referenda and elections, which is a good thing, right?

Russian hacking, the 'deep state', anti-establishment candidates, 'terror' attacks, fake polls and media bias; today's election in France has marked similarities with last year's US elections. The same goes for the UK, where the 'unelectable' Jeremy Corbyn runs against the British 'deep state' in June.

Meanwhile, in Trumpland, war against North Korea is 'on the table'. The Neocon-era 'clash of civilizations' between the 'civilized' world and the 'axis of evil' wasn't meant to survive Trump's victory, but it has...

Today on Behind the Headlines we're taking a look at the line-up in today's first round of the French election, looking ahead to the UK election, and assessing the likelihood of an actual showdown between West and East in northeast Asia.

Running Time: 01:32:23

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Here's the transcript of the show:

Niall: Hello and welcome to Behind the Headlines on the SOTT Radio Network. It's Sunday, April 23rd. I'm Niall Bradley. My co-hosts are Joe Quinn,

Joe: Hi there.

Niall: And Harrison Koehli,

Harrison: Hello.

Niall: And Elan Martin.

Elan: Hi everyone.

Niall: This week election mania. Elections are taking place in France today. We're going to talk a bit about that and predict what's going to happen. No predictions.

Joe: Perfect predictions.

Niall: We, like everyone else usually suck at predictions anyway, but then we'll talk about some of the issues involved. France is today. The Netherlands was last month and Germany later in the year and now the UK joins this bunch of northwestern nations in Europe having elections because they've called snap elections. They would normally have them in about 2020. Because of Brexit there's a kind of ongoing crisis in London so they're having elections in June. We'll be talking a bit about that. And then North Korea and that's also actually related elections-wise.

They are also having snap elections in just 10 days I think, early May in South Korea and that's related to what's going on in and around North Korea. So we're going to get into that as well. The great Korean question. It's insane. I don't know if we want to start with this topic. Probably we should start with France given its immediacy, but Korea is like every few years it flares up, lots of hype about how evil Korea is and how "we're gonna fix him". Nothing comes of it but the powers that be let everyone know we narrowly averted another nuclear holocaust so we're currently going through that again. But let's try and tease out why that keeps happening, perhaps later in the show.

So do we start with France?

Okay, everyone put on their best French accent.

Harrison: Ah. Okay, okay.

Elan: Let's talk about ze France.

Harrison: No it's not in French.

Joe: Yeah, French accent is very bad Elan.

Elan: It is the accent that makes me say oui, oui.

Joe: You sound like you're a Russian.

Elan: Well I'm not going steal.

Joe: Yes, French elections...

Elan: French elections.

Niall: Sadly, they tend to drag it out so we might normally be able to have an idea by the end of this show who's going to win, but in France they do it in two stages unless somebody wins 50%-plus at the first pass.

Joe: Which they never do.

Niall: Has it ever happened?

Joe: Maybe but very, very rarely.

Niall: Not in recent history. In addition it does seem that it's wide open this year. There are 11 candidates ranging from "far left" to "far right". And more than one anti-establishment candidate. Marine Le Pen is most well known for being anti-establishment but she's not the only one actually. There's one other guy, Francois Asselineau.

Joe: Asselineau, yeah.

Niall: If you can call him anti-establishment. This guy was not a tax inspector, he was even more senior than that, he was a budget inspector of the government, very high level operative in the civil service for his entire career and he's just entering politics recently. His first time running, you think "Well how anti-establishment can he be given his entire life's work is to do with numbers and taxes?" But unlike Le Pen he's saying "If I'm voted in as President we'll take France out of the EU right away".

Harrison: Yeah, didn't he say do it on the first day?

Joe: Yeah. Well that's an example of campaign promises right there.

Niall: Yeah, you say something and let's try to follow it up.

Joe: There's a few of them saying that they'll take France out of the EU so obviously they have to best each other. "I'll do it in the first half-day!" "I'll do it in the first minute!" "I'll do it before I get elected President!" "In fact it's done. I did it yesterday!"

Niall: That's an interesting phenomenon. People are now trying to out-populist the other which is a sign of the times, promising more and more. In fact the way the party started was called the Popular Republican Party of France two years ago.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: Can I ask you one thing about him? He didn't just come out of nowhere. He has been consistently going around the country in the last two years giving talks on his reasons for disliking the EU so much. He might talk indeed about austerity and the neo-liberal economics and blah-blah, blah and how that hurts European workers and French workers in particular, but he gives this whole background story to the creation of the European Union. He says this is a US project from start to finish. The European Union is a façade, a civilian mask on a military dictatorship or control from across the Atlantic.

So that's been his core message since the beginning. So it's a little bit more than just "I don't like the European Union". He's sticking it to the source of the European Union which is NATO military occupation.

Joe: Yeah. Asselineau is not going to win. He's probably not even going to win in this first round. He's not going to get through to the second round, i.e., he's not going to be one of the top two in this first round. As Niall said he's been around for a long time. He knows his stuff, all that kind of stuff and he's appealing to us and to anybody who shares our views in France or is that way inclined because he's effectively a conspiracy theorist in that sense. He's not an outrageous conspiracy theorist but he subscribes to the kind of ideas of the deep state and big business and stuff controlling things from behind the scenes, etc. etc., so he's very appealing from that point of view.

But the problem is that those ideas and the idea of the term "conspiracy theory" and anything that can be labelled a conspiracy theory has been very well discredited for quite a long time so anybody who tends to promote those ideas that can be described as conspiracy theories are not mainstream and unfortunately, like in most countries, most of the voting population of any country is mostly mainstream. People's attention needs to be caught by something else and in this election their attention is being caught by something else and Niall was talking about it. It's populism.

Even the mainstream politicians involved in this presidential election or are running in it, a lot of them have appealed to or have engaged in populist rhetoric. What they're all doing basically, I think, even if they don't admit it themselves, is that they're trying to out-Putin Putin. They're trying to emulate the interaction that Putin has with the Russian public and the stance he takes and the rhetoric that he uses. They're trying to emulate that and the ones that are being the most successful are the ones that are emulating what Putin has done, in Europe which is interesting.

Elan: I think an argument could be made also that they're responding to the deep unpopularity of Hollande.

Joe: Oh yeah.

Elan: Which has gutted a lot of social services and caused a lot of uproar among the unions and groups within France who've been protesting like crazy. He is easily one of the most unpopular presidents...

Joe: Ever.

Elan: ...in the last decade, or maybe ever. So it's like "Okay, let me seem like I am not Hollande" - whatever that is.

Joe: Yeah, he was the example to not follow. Just do the opposite of what Hollande did and basically you'll have a shot. But as Niall was saying, they have the whole gamut of left to right supposedly in this election but it's interesting - and this has happened in other countries as well as we've seen in the US and in other European countries - that these terms left and right don't really mean anything anymore. They don't mean what they used to mean.

For example, in France the traditional left are socialists but in the '60s and '70s and '80s, their platform, the left in France's platform during the latter half of the 20th century was all about sovereignty and nationalism, protecting rights of the French people and serving the French people. Their main cry was defence of sovereignty effectively. They were the upholders of that almost against multi-culturalism or globalism and burgeoning globalism at that time. They wanted to put France first. That was the left but now that's basically Marine Le Pen's schtick today and she's the right.

So the right is now for the people, for all the things that the left used to be for and the left has become this neo-liberal post-modern political ideology which is totally for multiculturalism, globalism, NATO/US led wars around the world and remaking the world in the image of the west basically. That's what the left has become which is bizarre. We've talked about this in previous shows, where it's just been turned on its head, where left and right have been effectively switched and that's why Marine Le Pen, the far right candidate actually is attracting more and more attention and more and more support from the French people because of that completely mix-up. She doesn't just need to depend on the far right, neo-nazi-type fascists for her support now because the stuff she says actually appeals to a much broader spread of people who have their heads screwed on. But of course they're still afraid to vote for her to some extent because she has been identified for a long time, and particularly her father, as a very far right sort of fascist-type, racist, kind of like Trump, the things that are said about Trump.

You have to think about these things and anybody who thinks that if Marine Le Pen were to become the President of France, which is maybe not very likely but certainly it'll be between her and someone else, if she were to become President, the first thing she's going to do after removing France from the EU is round up all the Muslims and fire them out of a cannon back to Algeria and Morocco. The people think that she's going to do that because she's anti-immigration are as deluded as the people who thought that Trump was going to herd all the Mexicans in the US back over the border in the first days of his administration.

So it's hard to speak to people. There's a lot of emotion around these kind of elections and a lot of beliefs and assumptions and stuff. Just look at previous administrations in any government in the west. They don't do what they say they're going to do! So people shouldn't have freaked out about Trump for example, and shouldn't be freaking out about Marine Le Pen either.

Elan: Well Joe you spoke of this kind of backlash against neoliberal/NATO aligned/EU aligned politics and I don't think we've seen a more cookie cutter fine example of a politician than Macron who is running and I think he's kind of up there, along with Le Pen and some others. He got something of a bit of an endorsement by getting a phone call from Barack Obama recently.

Joe: Yeah.

Elan: As one fellow liberal to another "Good luck. We need your liberal values in France".

Harrison: Which he then put on his Twitter page.

Niall: And he thinks that's a winning ticket.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: He might find it's not. He's obviously a shoe-in, the establishment's candidate. He comes out of nowhere last November.

Joe: No party, no political experience. He never was elected before, never ran for office before. He was the minister of the economy under Hollande but he was just appointed out of some non-elected post in the Élysée that he had previous to that and he actually played a significant role in making Hollande's presidency one of the most unpopular in history because of the law that was passed during Hollande's presidency that bears Macron's name, the Macron law which was basically in favour of big business and increasing the work week for people and passing laws that favour big business at the expense of the workers. People didn't like it.

Niall: Is that what they were calling here the labour law that people were protesting about?

Joe: I think that was similar to it. I'm not sure if it was exactly the same law but it was basically the same idea. Not that Hollande needed much help in becoming the most disliked president in history, but Macron certainly helped, through his economics coming straight out of the Rothschild bank with all sorts of ideas from that sector of industry. I think in France they call it a prostitute's business, this banking in France and the only thing that Macron has going for him as a banker is that he's young, charming, 39 years old. He'd be the youngest president in the history of the universe.

Niall: And he's been saturated with media coverage. But I don't think you're going to fool the French.

Joe: No, he's not going to fool the French unless somebody out there rigs a bunch of votes or something which you know is possible as well.

Niall: There's no way he's up there in the polls either.

Joe: No, I don't think he is. They talk him up but I don't think he has anything significant because he can't just come out of nowhere and within six months suddenly expect to be elected president. He has no history. People don't know him. They've only known him for six months, the majority of people, and he has no political history. He never ran for office. He never had to actually speak to people before this run for the presidency, so as much as he might like to, he's not going to really get a lot of votes.

We can make some predictions. In the second round which is going to be May 7th I think, it's going to be either Le Pen versus Fillon or Macron.

Niall: Or Mélechon?

Joe: No.

Niall: No, okay. Mélechon is an old hand. He's been a senator for a long time. He was in government at one point. He'd be the far left populist maybe.

Joe: He's a nut job Trotskyist. He's not a nice person and he's a high-level Mason. He's a senator in the French senate. He's been around for a long time and he espouses the same kind of pseudo-leftist ideologies and the neocons did before they became neocons. Before the neocons re-invented themselves, all of them were Trotskyists. All of them were for world revolution. These people just take on political ideologies and throw them off depending on the times in which they live, but all of their ideology is effectively what's called neoliberal which is about going around the world and solving everybody else's problems because of...

Niall: Because of their inherent superiority.

Joe: Because of pox Americana. I'm sorry, Pax Americana. No pox Americana actually is a better term. So I don't like Mélechon and he doesn't seem to be a very nice person. I've watched videos of him and he's not a very nice person when he interacts with people.

But the broader picture here is that they had a Brexit, which maybe can lead us into talk of the upcoming UK elections that were announced recently. You had a Brexit last year, i.e., referendum, British people voted. They didn't want to stay in the EU. Suddenly or surprisingly and to everyone's shock, especially those in the British establishment, the British people said "Yeah! Let's leave the EU." Where did that come from!? Why?! What was happening at the time? Well it's no coincidence, if anybody thinks it is, it's no coincidence that that referendum happened right more or less in the middle of or at the time of the immigration crisis, after a couple of years of these terror attacks plus immigration, i.e., war refugees. Not an immigration crisis, not immigrants. They're war refugees and the refugees from wars that have been deliberately started by western powers, i.e., the British, the French, the Americans, etc.

So the refugee crisis is the direct result of western intervention into Middle Eastern countries and blowing up Libya and Syria and Yemen and African countries as well. So the thing is, the British voting to leave the EU was a direct response that was provoked by British people's fear, whether real or imagined, of being inundated with a bunch of foreigners.

Niall: A "swarm" as Prime Minister Cameron described it.

Joe: Right. And they talked it up. Even the ones who were against the UK leaving the EU like Cameron, they talked it up. They tried to scaremonger and put the fear of Allah in pasty white English people for some bizarre reason because they didn't want them to leave. But then they decided to have a referendum and the obvious conclusion of any thinking person would be "Well you've just scared the crap out of these people that they're going to be inundated or overrun by a hoard of Muslim refugees from war zones." You've just scared the crap out of them but now you're going to have a referendum and ask them if they want to stay in the EU with the implication that staying in the EU facilitates movement of people, i.e., refugees, to the UK. Therefore the obvious solution for the majority of British persons was "Well leave the EU then. Let's close our borders. Let's become an island nation again, a fortress nation and keep the refugees out." That's basically what it was about.

The Brits have never had a problem with the EU. They have loved the whole free movement of people, holidays in France, holidays in Spain, buying houses here, there and everywhere. And it's the same for most other European people, particularly western European countries. They have all liked it but right now you see this talk of all these exits. The British have done it. Marine Le Pen is talking about a Frexit. Who else was it? Asselineau, as you were saying, although he's a kind of wimp, he was talking about it.

So there's a lot of talk about the breakup of the EU of individual states leaving the EU. Why is that? Well there's only one reason. It wasn't there four or five years ago but now it is and it's happened in the UK because of these refugees. And why are there refugees? Well because of wars, because of western invasions of the Middle East.

And of course it's a kind of neoliberal thing as well, which is like "multiculturalism is great! A melting pot. Bring everybody in." And the Germans were all for it. Angela Merkel's like a nut job neoliberal who seems to think that - apart from the work force that it supplies - I think she liked the idea of lots of refugees coming and getting the German people really acclimatized to the idea of living in a multicultural society. And they haven't realized, especially when that's presented in the context of terror attacks which have been ongoing, that people don't like that. You can't force multiculturalism on people in that way, via war refugees.

Britain, the UK, England, is a multicultural society but it has built itself up to be that over a long period of time, as the US has done as well. You can't take countries that have some level of multicultural but have a dominant - for example in western Europe - a dominant white/pseudo-Christian or Christian population and then just from one day to the next, dump a bunch of foreigners, i.e., Muslims, different race, different ethnicity, on them in the context of these people coming from a war zone that also produces terror attacks which have traumatized the people of these western nations as well.

That's not multiculturalism. These are not people who are being integrated into society. They're being dumped in the society as extremely needy people from a war zone. That's not how you create multiculturalism. What you create is a backlash, a nationalistic, isolationist backlash from the population and attempt to force that on them. And that's what we're seeing and it's going to happen. If they keep this up it's going to happen in every country in Europe.

There's already the issue we talked about on the previous show in the Netherlands with this guy Geert Wilders. It's an issue in Germany. It's an issue in France obviously. It's an issue in Spain. It's an issue in Italy. It's an issue in Greece. It's an issue in Hungary. If they push this then these people who dreamed up the European Union as their grand plan, their vision for Europe, will be destroying it by their own hand, by their inability to control themselves, to control their love for money via invasions, destructions and bombings of other countries, particularly those in the Middle East which have a lot of resources. But apparently they're so feckless that they don't care.

Elan: And like you said Joe, I think among the elites there's also this promise of a future work force that's going to work for super low wages simply because they're in a position to take advantage of these desperate refugees and migrants. So you have the corporate sector frothing at the mouth at the possibility of taking advantage of these people. In the meantime, like you said, there is this huge backlash among the working class who are probably already have a lot of these jobs and positions. They're being pitted against the migrants in this economic sphere as well. It's messed up in all kinds of ways.

Joe: Yeah, absolutely! They could stop the wars, in theory. They could wise up and stop the wars but there's a broader issue as well here, which is that things from an environmental point of view aren't going very well and I think it's very likely that over the next number of years we're going to segue from the chaos that they've already created by their destruction of Libya and bombings of African countries and their attacks on Syria and decivilization of the Middle East, all of the problems they've created in terms of refugees, into I think as the climate continues to go more kaflooey, that you're going to have large numbers of people leaving certain parts of the world and because there's a precedent set initially anyway for Europe welcoming refugees, then a lot of them are going to come to Europe anyway.

You have a perfect storm there where you have European countries already primed to be turned inwards and to close their borders; they'll have been primed to do that and that may actually be the reality, that we will have a lot of countries that have broken away from the EU and have rightwing leaders in power and you're going to have an increase in the demands of refugees, not necessarily because of more wars but because part of the isolationism, particularly in terms of the French election if Marine Le Pen were to win would be in theory, according to her, reduction in France's involvement in NATO's wars for example. She claims that she will remove France from participation in NATO and France has only been in NATO for 10 years.

It was Sarkozy in 2007, as soon as he got elected, that brought France back into NATO after a long period of being independent of NATO that went right back to Charles de Gaulle. So on that front it could be good. You might think it would be good that these countries would become more isolationist and therefore less inclined to follow the dictates of the US-led wars around the world, but like I said, I think the environmental aspect could follow quickly on the heels of that and just make the situation worse, compounding an already bad situation.

Niall: You said at the beginning of the show that the rise of popular movements in general, not just the more famous ones like Le Pen and Wilders in Europe is an interesting development in that they're basically trying to be more like Putin.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: Which is super interesting because it was two or three years ago that US intelligence first started leaking reports into Europe via the British press actually that Putin had an army of covert networks all over western Europe infiltrating youth movements, political parties, governments, media, this veritable communist conspiracy, communtern, which is laughable on the face of it. However I think what they're speaking to is they're coming up with this scenario. They're inventing a conspiracy to obviously prevent what they don't want to happen, but it's happening anyway as a consequence of their own actions!

Joe: Of what they're doing, right. It's insanity. It's nut jobbery. These people are creating a situation that they don't want to happen but they can't stop themselves because they're insanely greedy and they just don't know what they're doing anymore and they think they can just create their reality and everything will work out. They can push political or social ideology on the world that is all wonderful and multicultural and lovely and the right to invade other countries and free everybody. But the results of that are really bad for the people in the countries that they govern and that they want to get onboard with this ideology. Then when the people don't respond well to that ideology they turn around and say "Well it can't be anything we've done! It must be Putin because, well Putin! Because Russia!" You've got to have a scapegoat, right?

Niall: In the meantime Le Pen and others, including Fillon also who was the Prime Minister under Sarkozy and was actually a part of a group of French MPs that went to Crimea just a couple of years ago to report that everything was rosy there relative to the hell that they presented in the US media about what was going on.

I just want to cover a bit the kind of atmosphere of the media coverage in France this last while. Just a few days ago the smaller local papers in the country have headlines about how Front National, Le Pen's party, were noxious, unelectable, basically evil. The media bias has been full on against them. It's not been totalitarian though. She's getting on TV. She's in the debates. But they certainly twist everything that she says, much like Americans saw in the US with Trump.

They did push a little bit the line that Putin is hacking the elections. I thought they were going to go more hardcore with it but they had a problem here. Trump was easy prey because Trump was an unknown politically but Le Pen has a history here, going way back. Her father was the leader of Front National in the '70s. So they were trying to insinuate left, right and centre that Marine Le Pen was Putin's puppet and that he was hacking the elections on her behalf but I don't think it flew very well and they quietened it down. But you still see the odd report of that now, that Russia is actively hacking the French elections.

So that's going on here. We had a "terror attack" just two days ago in the heart of power in Paris.

Joe: There was a terror attack yesterday in the Canary Islands. Did you see it? Did you guys see it, Harrison and Elan?

Elan: No.

Joe: Well this video just shows the depths of these terror attacks, the insidious nature of these terror attacks. There's a cruise ship...

Harrison: Oh yeah.

Joe: ...that lost power. No, it didn't lose power. It crashed into a wall of the port and knocked down a wall of the port. Now that was a terror attack because somebody put up a website, a kind of jihadi website. Somebody wrote on a jihadi website that the captain of that ship was a soldier of the caliphate and he did it for the glory of Allah. So you never know with these things. Anything can be a terror attack. The reason I say that is that that claim I just made is about as ridiculous as the claim that that "terror attack" in Paris the other night was actually a terror attack.

Elan: Right.

Joe: I won't use my analogy that I used earlier on for what could be a terror attack in Paris because it's too crude. But the point being that this guy that they said was Daesh or ISIS then came out later on some website and said he was a soldier of the caliphate, but got his name wrong, claimed he was from Belgium. This guy was in prison from 2000 until 2015 for the attempted murder of two policemen. Two years after he gets out of prison on parole, i.e., in 2015, two years later, i.e., the other day, he goes and he shoots a policeman. And before he shoots a policeman and actually kills one this time, he's shouting at people "Where are the police? I want to find a policeman?"

Now where was ISIS in 2000? This guy obviously has a personal grievance against policemen. What has that got to do with Daesh or ISIS or their caliphate or him being a soldier of the caliphate. Yet the entire media and still to this day, even right now if you look in the news, you'll see talk relating to the French elections as what effect will the terror attack the other night have on the French elections. It's like "What are you talking about?! Are you saying that this was a terror attack because some doofus probably in Tel Aviv wrote something on an allegedly jihadi Daesh website? They may as well have claimed that the captain of the captain of that ship that crashed into the wall in the Canary Islands was a soldier of the caliphate. That's how credible it is.

But apparently the media just can't stop themselves. They can't not call anything that happens, any violent act by anybody in France or any European country, as anything other than a terror attack, regardless of the facts around it.

Elan: It is ridiculous. He was originally in prison I think for a plan to kill a couple of children and a woman and then when he was in prison, I think in 2003 as the story goes, he wrestled a firearm from a security officer and shot him five times. So that he would even be let out of prison, even after 15 years considering his mania for attacking people...

Joe: Shooting people.

Elan: ...yeah. That in and of itself is ridiculous.

Harrison: The only two things that have allegedly tied him to ISIS were first of all the report from the ISIS news agency that called him a Belgian when he was a Frenchman.

Joe: Al-Belgiki.

Harrison: Al-Belgiki. And then the second was that they found a note that was sympathetic to ISIS. So these latest news reports were saying they found this note near his dead body.

Joe: They found Mohammed Atta's passport on 9/11.

Harrison: And they also found a copy of this guy's driver's licence in the car. Before I get to my first point I guess I should just ask, is it a common thing in Europe to carry your ID and to put it in your glove box or on your dashboard or the passenger seat so there's always an ID that you've got with you that's not on your person?

Joe: No. It's ridiculous. You don't put it on the passenger seat beside you because somebody might want to steal it or something.

Harrison: Yeah.

Joe: French driver's licences are pretty small. They're made of paper usually or plastified paper. They're kept in wallets along with other things.

Harrison: And presumably along with your driver's licence if you had any notes or love letters that you'd written to Al-Baghdadi or something, you'd probably keep them in your pockets as well. And when you're getting out of a car and shooting a bunch of police officers, are you going to be holding that note in your hand so that it just happens to fall out before, after or while you're getting shot by the police so that it falls several feet from your body? No. This note isn't going to just magically appear however far away from your person. If you have it, it's going to be on you in some way. But no, all these reports say "Oh, they found this note in proximity to the body somewhere on the floor". Give me a break!

Joe: Right. This guy obviously, based on his history, had a problem with security officials going back to 2000 when there was barely any mention of Islamic terrorism, never mind ISIS or Daesh or a caliphate or anything like that. So it's complete bunk that he would be associated with ISIS or whoever the hell they are, would try and claim him and what he did as anything to do with them. It's ridiculous, a terror attack. It's just boring. That kind of propaganda isn't even entertaining or...

Elan: Boring.

Niall: I have a question. You were talking about Brexit and its timing, the whole referendum and wasn't that interesting that it took place in the middle of the refugee crisis. What were you getting at there? That they wanted to have that then?

Joe: No, that the reason the large majority of Britishers voted for it was because of the refugee crisis because there was a refugee crisis that obviously was the direct result of US and western European government or military invasions and bombing of other countries. Libya kicked it off in real fashion but there's other conflicts going on in Africa that produce refugees. And then Syria created an awful lot more only last year. So if you go back to Libya, you're talking after five years of a growing refugee crisis during which time people are being told that the refugees were going to be swarming all over them, all over their lovely English gardens and that it was also facilitated and made much easier by European, EU policies on the movement of people and EU policies on immigration that these people were being facilitated to come into the UK because the UK was part of the EU. And that was the major emotional stick or ploy that was used to encourage so many people to vote to leave the EU.

It's a big part of the rightwing in France and in other European countries is a big part of their popularity right now, is that this war refugee crisis is a big problem and has to be stopped. You know yourself Niall all the stuff that's been talked about; coming into countries and raping women left, right and centre and acting generally in an anti-social kind of way. That's been spread far and wide over the past few years in Europe and it's a major aspect of the popularity of right wing isolationists. But again, the term "right wing" has negative connotations but when you look at what these people are saying you can't really argue with it that it's actually a good thing because in theory it could be a solution to that refugee problem. It's a very difficult situation because western governments and the US are responsible for creating refugees so it's a bit hard to turn around and say "Well those countries should lock their doors to those refugees" but it's not going to make it any better by letting them all in if it's a way for shady intel agencies to funnel jihadi terrorist type operative into Europe as well and create terror attacks.

So you've got to make a tough call and say "I'm sorry, no more". If people are seen to be coming into your house or are in your house and they're not acting very nicely or they seem to be understood to not acting very nicely, it's not inappropriate to say leave and to kick them out. And sure, there's going to be a lot of injustice and there's a lot of people who are in need but the problem is illegal wars on other nations have created this. As long as that clamp down on refugees or closing off of borders to immigrants - which isn't a strange policy anyway - countries throughout all of history have had policies about stopping people coming into their villages. If it's combined with a sincere commitment to stop the warmongering which is at least what most of these rightwing parties in Europe are saying, then it's certainly better than the status quo, which is where the people can be bullshitted by polished politicians who talk all sorts of new liberal humanitarian values while they go and destroy the world and create chaos, not only in other countries but back at home as well. There's nothing worse than that. That's certainly not something that anybody should be voting for.

But the problem is that it's covered over in this veneer of multicultural humanitarianism and all sorts of noble values that jerk people's chains and get people to tug at their heartstrings. It's pretty clear at this stage that it hasn't been a good policy. It's not good for people to be supporting that or to be electing people who have that agenda. And that agenda ultimately is based on war and warmongering and baiting other countries and stealing their resources. So it's basically based on greed.

So Obama was a good dancer. He danced with Ellen Degeneres. He was a lovely, charming, smooth-talking kind of guy, but he was a warmonger and he created a lot of stress and problems and chaos in other parts of the world despite his appearance. So people need to start to see through that and see that agenda behind the scenes.

Niall: Yeah, the mass movement of people into Europe, just as it has been for the US over the long term is a multi-level, complex situation because there are repeated statements from European Union officials - I'm thinking here of Jean-Claude Juncker, for example - saying "we want people to come in because we need the resources", i.e., them, we need the work force. Now he didn't go a flesh it out but it's quite clear that the birth rate across much of western Europe is basically negative. Not only will the population not sustain itself, but what it means is there's less and less workforce to pay for an older and older population. So that's one level of it. That's a long term demographic issue.

Joe: That's a bad idea.

Niall: Yeah, it's a bad idea but you can see where part of the motivations for wanting open borders as far as Europe is concerned.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: I mean they said as much themselves.

Joe: They have a demographic problem and they want workers. But the problem is that your workers aren't really workers, although they might be workers eventually once they get over their trauma from coming from a war zone. But it's not an ideal situation where that's the kind of people that you're inviting into your country. And the other problem is that with the indigenous population, despite all of the progressive rhetoric, people aren't as evolved socially or culturally or whatever or in terms of having an open mind and embracing multiculturalism, they aren't as evolved as that when faced with it. If they have large numbers of people of a different faith and a different ethnicity coming into their country and certainly without the means to immediately integrate into society, don't speak the language, people are going to react badly to it.

So what are you going to do? Just tell them to shut up? That's human nature. These people aren't taking stock of human nature. It's like they're forcing people to just get with the program because it suits our agenda and it's not working. That's where this whole right wing populism has come from. Sure it's being stoked with the fear of refugees to a certain extent, but the main problem behind that is psychos in power and their warmongering that have created the problem. You have to go back to the source of the problem, which is that.

Niall: If Marine Le Pen is elected is she going to make France great again?

Joe: Yes. No, probably not.

Niall: Is that a yes or a no?

Joe: No, that's probably a no because there's no making of any part of this world great again. It's all going downhill progressively.

Niall: It's progress. Downhill.

Joe: Progress downhill. And the benefit of people like Marine Le Pen - and we're using Trump as an example here - is that if you leave aside the idea of someone coming along and putting the world to rights and restoring greatness in any country and solving all the problems, that's not going to happen.

Niall: But Putin restored Russia.

Joe: Yes, but he's got a different set of problems and he's in a different category and for different reasons. But if you leave aside that idea of everything turning out rosy then you reframe it in terms of what's the best possible situation here and the best possible situation is that a large number of people in any country in the world - and here we're talking about western Europe and the USA, but anywhere in the world - the best possible scenario is that those people will begin to wake up to the nature of the system under which they live. You can't just go around spreading conspiracy theories or what are called conspiracy theories and try and convince people that way.

People have to see it in real time for themselves and you have to have a reaction from the deep state if you want to call it that. They have to be exposed. The curtain has to be pulled back on them and it seems that using Trump as an example, the way that happens is you get some crazy, maverick, populist leader who has very strong convictions about certain things, get them into power and then the deep state has a reaction against them and basically a serious fight goes on and the deep state can't but expose its hand in trying to deal with that kind of situation.

Niall: A fight takes place in public.

Joe: Right.

Niall: And everyone gets to see the nature of what...

Joe: Right. Of what's going on behind the scenes. And while it's traumatizing for people and will scare a lot of people and freak them out and all that kind of stuff, it's far better than that they would continue on with the comfortable lies and the slow, steady march to something probably really much worse. It's better to be awake when shit hits the fan.

Niall: Let's get it all out in the open.

Joe: Yeah. It's better to be awake when shit hits the fan rather than hitting you in the back of the head while you're sleeping.

Niall: We've talked about Brexit. The UK is going to have elections now in June. I knew they'd have to because of what happened last year. I thought I knew what they thought they were doing by having the damn referendum in the first place. Anyway, they got the result they didn't want and it's just been a non-stop crisis for them since then and here's the inevitable result. They have to call snap elections a few years after apparently a clear majority win for the Tories. I guess it's all blown up in their faces. Theresa May has called elections for June. I think they think, I don't know for sure what they think, but they think maybe they need to consolidate the power of the Tory party.

There's no reason not to take Theresa May's reasons for calling it at face value, which is "I need to know that I have full cabinet support, parliament support and a mandate of the people going into the actual negotiations of how we break up with the European Union" because if there's a lot of division at least among the liberal elites in the country about what kind of Brexit, whether it should happen at all.

You remember all the reports after Brexit. "Well no, we're thinking of taking it back. Let's have the second vote. People didn't know what they were talking about", blah, blah, blah. Well the people did speak. There was a clear "No! We want out!" So they have a constitutional crisis basically where they're trying to juggle Brexit and retain power without facing what the UK really needs, which is a fundamental kind of regime change because Scotland is going to have another independence referendum. There's talk for the first time seriously ever of uniting the north and the Republic of Ireland as a result of Brexit. That's no longer a fringe conspiracy, radical viewpoint to take. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland himself suggested as much. European Commission officials have been backing him up. It's not hard to see why. They're saying "Yeah, no problem for the north of Ireland if it reunites with the republic to be technically allowed back into the EU.

So it strikes me that the elites in London are panicking. I think they hope having these elections is going to give them control of the situation but it's been one thing after another. Brexit, Trump then. Suddenly they're isolated and their Russophobia and their hatred of Putin.

Joe: Yeah, they're getting very skittish. Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, is only in the job less than a year because she took over from Cameron after the Brexit referendum because he left because he said "Let's have a referendum. I'm sure people won't vote for leaving the EU. If they do, I leave." Everybody voted for leaving the EU, he had to leave and she was elected as the new head of the party and therefore became Prime Minister and basically continued on his term.

Niall: Not elected-elected.

Joe: Not an election, no. She was internally elected, voted to be. So she really doesn't have a mandate in that sense. She didn't stand for the general election as the leader of the party. It was given to her basically, so she feels she doesn't have a mandate and she also thinks it's a good time to do this because Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, the main opposition has been suitably or sufficiently dismissed.

Niall: Sidelined?

Elan: Marginalized?

Joe: Marginalized.

Niall: But he's the elephant in the room of domestic British politics, throughout all this, even pre-Brexit.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: As soon as he became Labour leader they had a fit. He's labelled national security threat number one! Massive campaign against him.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: "Oh, he's unelectable.

Joe: And even inside the Labour party the knives were out for him with all the Blairite supporters. Tony Blair supporters didn't want him because Blair basically is just part of the war party the same as conservatives, the establishment. So Corbyn is a man of the people.

Niall: He's another anti-establishment candidate.

Joe: Yes he is.

Niall: This time on the left.

Joe: So it's a desperate move by the Tories. Rather than the truth about it being that they're calling this snap election in less than two months from a position of strength, they're doing it from a fear that if they don't do this now and get another five years, that things could go south over the course of the remainder of Theresa May's term and elections in 2020 as they come around, they wouldn't be sure of them so they want to start again and start off with a landslide victory and they think they can get it. But it's based on insecurity, this call for an election. It's based on their own fears and I think those fears are justified because I think over the next few months there's already a campaign for all of the other parties in the UK to unite in some way or another, not necessarily actually become one party, but all of them put their efforts into making sure the Tories don't win because none of them want the Tories to win. All of them are oppositions so they're all trying to figure out a way that they can make sure that the Tories don't win in this election and I think there's a good chance. I think Jeremy Corbyn over the next number of weeks of electioneering, the opposition will do very well.

Niall: They're saying now that people are putting bets on him. There is this one informal opinion polling in the UK that people place bets on who's likely to win and he's now the favourite in terms of how many people are placing bets on him.

Joe: Right. So public sentiment plays a big role in that as well.

Niall: But you won't hear this in the media. Corbyn's been written off. The Labour party is in disarray. There's no chance for them to win. Maybe the other minority party in the two-party British system might make a bit of a comeback. So basically "It's going to be the Tories again and we're just checking in with the people to confirm that". That's their belief! They're working on that premise.

Joe: That's a bad attitude to take as well. The same thing in France where Marine Le Pen. Every single French person leading up to this election in France has been told that they should not and cannot and never should ever vote for Le Pen and that's a very bad thing. That's a bad strategy because people tend to just go "Well why are you telling me what to do? Are you saying I can't do that? You saying I can't push that red button? What if I want to?"

So it's just a bad idea despite the historical long-term presentation or dislike or aversion to right wing politics with Front National, Le Pen's party being the whipping boy in that respect, they're the ones you don't vote for, in the past number of elections they have always done very well. In the last election they got into the final round between them and Hollande, in the previous one between Le Pen and Hollande. So they always do very well and I think now given the context that we've been talking about, that insecurity, in the sense of the EU falling apart, and a threat from terrorism and all that kind of stuff, that is just playing into those kind of parties, the ones that say "Let's close down the borders. Let me protect you."

People don't feel they need to be protected and the EU worked very well because it wasn't much of a sense of social insecurity or a threat from terrorism in the heyday of the EU as it was being built from the '50s onward. It was wonderful travelling all around Europe no problem. Everybody was happy with this idea of multiculturalism to the extent that it is in western Europe with the majority of people being of the same ethnicity more or less. But it doesn't work anymore.

Niall: There was a lot of effort during those decades to ensure that any candidate who was pro Moscow did not compare...

Joe: During the cold war, yeah.

Niall: In Italy and France.

Joe: With Gladio.

Niall: Yeah. So it's kind of more of the same but it's more pronounced these days in today's paradigm.

Joe: Well they could get away with it in the past. They could get away with creating an establishment in the European countries, the EU and creating the EU power structure because there wasn't any insecurity in that sense. There was nothing people really had to fear. There was the sort of trumped up fear of the Soviet Union but people in Europe it wasn't a problem and people were happy to come together and that kind of thing and share borders. But now they've taken it to the next level where they've actually brought direct insecurity to the people of European countries by having these terror attacks and people are going back to feudal times almost, where "it's a serious direct threat at my borders therefore close the borders and France for the French people, Spain for the Spanish people, Italy for the Italians," that kind of thing. That seems to be where it's going.

And maybe in a certain sense it's a good thing to the extent that there is a national identity and a cohesion within any European country as a group or in the US as a group. Maybe it's better that countries tend to close themselves off if there is serious environmental and therefore social chaos down the line. Maybe that's almost a protective mechanism or natural response as countries are organic things that respond in an unconscious way to perceptions of threats, or perceptions of insecurity, that you basically close down, "That's what you did to me".

Niall: At the moment their ability to do that is severely distorted by this unspoken and yet "everyone know it" beast in the room, namely this globalist structure, largely coming through the US. It distorts any national policy. Why is it that every leader comes in and ends up doing the opposite of what they said they were going to do? It's because they get in and they're brought into the smoky room and they say "We understand you said these things but you know if you don't do as we tell you..."

Joe: Yeah. Or "Here's the way things work and you're not about to change them. You can't change them." So you come in and you become president and somebody relates the system that's already set up that already runs the country. Yeah, you're meant to be the leader of the country and you're meant to nominally run the country, but if you're meant to run the country, who was running it before you? Obviously you're not going to come in and take over. Presidents or Prime Ministers only generally get four or five years. That's not a sustainable, practical way that a country could function in the long term. It's almost like a family unit and you have parents who change every four years. It's not a good idea when you have to have a continuation of power so clearly there is a continuation of power behind all of these governments and over the years they've tried to congeal themselves into a more single unit almost that expands its influence and controls more and more.

They're not content with a deep state in France or a deep state in the UK or the US, but one that is global in structure because you go from them saying "Well France needs a continuation of government beyond the administrations that come every four years" and then it doesn't take long for people, once they've established that and realized that that's needed, to then say "Well look at the world. The world needs a continuation of global governance to secure its trajectory along a particular path."

Elan: Well on that note I'm wondering if that would be a good time to depart into the recent heightened rhetoric between the US and North Korea because it seems that Trump's threats against North Korea and its missile testing sounds like WMD all over again, Iran having weapons of mass destruction all over again, Syria using chemical weapons. It's the same "You're too dangerous to be doing what you're doing and so we have to come in there and intervene for the sake of world safety" which of course leads to heightened tensions, heightened rhetoric, and a very strong response from North Korea and what seems like the point of hysteria where South Korea and China are all getting involved in trying to quell the reaction of North Korea to Trump's statements.

Trump has really put himself into a corner, right? He has threatened North Korea. If he backs down in any way from his threats to take action and try and impose a stop on North Korean missile testing he looks weak. At the same time this is a horrible situation. Why did Trump do this? Is this part of his attempt to appear strong or has he capitulated in some ways to the deep state in creating a new situation that would justify bombs and military intervention?

Niall: This isn't a new situation. This is not a new horrible. This is the same old horrible that's been in place in North Korea since 1950.

Joe: Remember Team America.

Niall: Team America world police. I cannot take the hysteria seriously because every time it flares up I keep thinking of that movie {sings} "I'm so lonely". It is slapstick. It really is. Obviously there's a lot at stake with nukes and stuff, but let's look at the chronology of events here. I think something gave obviously in Trump's decision to yield. We don't know to what extent yet, but he has yielded to the deep state so-to-speak.
The Syrian chemical weapons attack that took place in the minds of the deep state, happened early in the week then by Wednesday Trump gives the green light for air strikes. By Friday, probably behind his back, someone on the national security team is telling NBC News that Trump was that week presumably at the same meeting as the decision to bomb the Syrian army airbase, he's giving three options about how to deal with North Korea, just out of the blue. "Okay, we're going to deal with it. Right." They are to either go in and kill Kim Jong-un, two, park nuclear weapons in South Korea or three, launch cyber attacks on North Korea, basically destabilize and cause power blackouts and all the rest. And that's it and we're like "What?!"

But that's how these people think. But the point I'm getting to is that they decided to bring it to a head at the same time as they dangerously upped the ante by almost attacking Russians in Syria. So what's going on there? Why now? I guess once they figured they had a way into Trump's thinking or they got him onside, they felt they would push for this as well. This also happened remember, while the leader of China is sitting down to dinner with Trump in Florida. So North Korea becomes hysterical the same week as the airstrikes in Syria and Trump's visit with Xi Jinping.

So I think it's because there are elections coming up in South Korea, again, snap elections. They were scheduled for the end of this year I think. They were brought forward because of the successful impeachment of the incumbent president, Geun-hye Park. You may remember this because this was blowing up in South Korea right at the time just before the US election last November.

Joe: She was booted because she had a Rasputin.

Niall: She did into something weird and corruption with some of the noble families in South Korea who run the industries there.

Joe: She had a healer-type person who she was allowing to interfere in government policy.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: A female Rasputin.

Niall: yeah. It was causing...

Joe: So it caused a big, serious issue last year with loads of protest on the street, all that kind of stuff. So she's been booted. She seems to have been forced out as a result of this, forced to call elections.

Niall: She was impeached which meant elections had to be called for May 9th.

Joe: Right.

Niall: Which is very soon.

Joe: And who are the contenders?

Niall: Basically for the last 10 years conservative governments have ruled in South Korea. They tend to be fully pro-US/anti-China, anti-North Korea. It's kind of complex. Both North and South talk about reunification because to them it's inevitable. It's just a matter of how it happens. But the conservative leaders tend to take a more hard line stance so for the last 10 years or so there's been a very cold version of the Cold War standoff between north and south which has brought it to the brink of right now US so-called missile defence systems are being installed in the south supposedly pointed at North Korea but Beijing knows damn well they're pointed at her.

This process is underway. It has not been completed yet. The incoming leaders are not just more of the same, they're basically of the other political persuasion in South Korea, which is always said "Let's not antagonize the north. Let's remember now the reality that China is economic superpower number one..."

Joe: And it's right next door.

Niall: "And we are dependent on it. It's right next to us. We can't be antagonizing the north or Beijing." And they're saying "We need to freeze the instalment of these systems while we have a re-think about it."

Joe: Yeah, the US military missile systems.

Niall: So that's what's going on there. There's a political battle taking place among the elite in the south which are two different directions. In fact it's led one Japanese conservative publication to just today print "The nightmare may become real-an anti-Japan pro-China dictatorship in control of the entire Korean peninsula." That's the inevitable they can't have happen because then it's curtains for Japan as a regional superpower I suppose. More importantly, it means that the US is ousted from a reunified Korea.

It comes down to not just justifying the status quo which is that South Korea is technically connected to the landmass but is basically...

Joe: A US military base.

Niall: It's a failsafe in the event of Japan not being a super...

Joe: It's a major key in US military control and presence in Asia and in the far east basically.

Niall: And they don't want to "lose" South Korea.

Joe: Right, of course, like they don't want to lose anything that they've held onto. And they wouldn't necessarily be kicked out but the problem is if there were moves towards unifying Korea or if as a first instalment you had a government in South Korea that was more pro-China than it is pro-USA, then South Korea would no longer necessarily be as open to America as it is today. That would be a setback obviously to the US and they'd have to start re-negotiating. Americans like to keep things as they are. When they have a client regime or a pro-American government in any part of the world, they do everything they possibly can to make sure that it stays that way and that the next successive government is exactly the same.

But things seem to be changing all over the place we've noticed in the past few years, for the US hegemony around the world in that their ability to dictate terms to pretty much everybody has been changing very, very fast and it's catching the Americans by surprise. Of course then Trump coming in is a major issue. All this stuff we're watching right now and over the past few years and stuff we've been talking about on this show, if you look at it, it really is an example of things going very badly for the "elite" of this world. Of course it still may look very bad to us in the sense of "Well they still have all this control and they're doing all of these nasty things, having wars, etc.," but you have to look at it in the context of where they came from. They came from a position of complete dominance.

Niall: No challenger.

Joe: No challenger whatsoever.

Niall: Economically or militarily.

Joe: Yeah, so to the extent that it's moved away from that and it has moved away from that to a great extent, is really, really bad for them. Unfortunately for the rest of us it has caused a lot of chaos because you get the reaction from them to that loss of power, loss of influence.

Niall: Yes. But it's mostly...

Joe: The threat of it as well is most important.

Niall: Yeah, but that's really all they've got. I know Trump actually lobbed missiles at Syria, but really?! People die I know. There'll be more to come no doubt, but that's pretty much the extent of how much they can back up all the rhetoric. This is interesting. This explains now why the first ports of call for Rex Tillerson in January and then behind him defence secretary Mattis and now this week vice president Pence, were Japan and South Korea. It's a key point for them and it has been.

I've been reading a book about how key access to China and to east Asia has been going back over a century, a super book. It's called The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia by James Bradley - no relation. I'll probably have to save it for another day but there's one point where President Theodore Roosevelt, so 1904. 1905, signs a treaty with the emperor of Korea then, one small empire, which didn't have much of a military or anything. It was still more or less a kind of vassal state of China even though China had long since gone into decline, so it had no real power. But Japan did and Japan was emergent by then.

Japan was so emergent that it took on the mighty Russian empire that year, in 1905 with US backing of course and the Brits as well. Theodore Roosevelt had signed this friendship treaty basically promising Korea that if it was ever under any attack - and the implication was under attack from Russia or Beijing - that the US would come to its aid.

There was no treaty actually. It was just done behind closed doors. He basically gave the Japanese emperor the green light to invade, occupy and completely colonize and take over Korea which took place on the basis that the Japanese were taking Korea to prevent the Russians coming in. It was the same narrative then as it is now. "We need to colonize this part of the world or that part of the world because Russia or because China...". Nothing's changed and the way they go about things, saying one thing publicly and then have these secret deals behind closed doors. There's a history there that's just "Whoa!" Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Joe: True, that.

Elan: Yeah, that's geopolitics in a nutshell.

Joe: Oh yeah. It doesn't change. It's pretty much the same dynamics at work and have been for quite a long time, going back at least 300 years, be it the European powers or the US, the battles, the "great game" as they call it and what's a strategic area of the world and what isn't and where they focus their attention. It repeats or rather what they're doing today is simply a continuation of a very old game that they've been playing for quite a long time. You see the same moves being made to secure certain areas of the world for certain interests. Asia obviously is very strategically important for the US. There's a massive amount of shipping, for example of products from China and other Asian countries that go from across the Pacific to the US.

Niall: And this isn't a new thing by the way. We shouldn't say that's a new phenomenon. It's becoming popular again because China is powerful again. But 100+ years ago it was the same thing. It was "How to get stuff from China because they've got all the stuff we want".

Joe: From that part of the world, yeah.

Elan: Niall I just wanted to add something to something you said a little earlier in regards to this, kind of, fake hysteria that's been drummed up in regards to North Korea and that is that it was pointed out that the US naval armada that was initially reported to be going to the Korean peninsula was actually on their way to a war game exercise in the Indian Ocean, thousands of miles from and moving in the opposite direction at or around the same time Trump was mouthing off. And then later the administration said that there was some kind of miscommunication about where they were and where they were going. But it just seemed like this really was a war of words and that there really wasn't so much intention behind doing something to prevent North Korea from taking another one of these missile tests.

So a lot of bluster there that got a lot of people in an uproar and you have to wonder how much of this is - as Scott Adams put it - Trump just lobbing these verbal hand grenades back from a position of power, psychologically over his opponents, or perceived opponents, and how much of it is really a first or early step in the direction of acting totally crazy and violent.

Niall: Yeah, I think there are a couple of things going on. I think it was perhaps primarily done with a view to swaying the South Korean population. They would have seen what took place there last year. Millions of people were out in the streets. It was more than just "Get rid of this person!" It was kind of pre-revolutionary in the sense that "There's a popular uprising here and how do we deal with it?" And they'll deal with it the way they've always done which is to instill terror and fear of the other, and it's nearly always "the other" is one that would naturally be your friend and neighbour and colleague. In this case it's classic. You've got one Korea split down the middle and to maintain the status quo and to keep the people from voting "the wrong way" you've got to terrorize them about their fellow Koreans.

Anyway, that's one part of it. The other part is, remember when Trump hadn't even secured the candidacy yet for the republican party. We actually made fun of him because other people were making fun of him and they made these videos where they took out all the references he made to China and they just spliced them together and he created this impression of a guy who was obsessed with China. I think Trump in his, sort of, naïve/simply truthy, kind of way was touching on the issue that for the US elite is the elephant in the room - China. It's all been all about Russia in the news for the last few years since the Kiev coup, but the real game-changer is this country that is just enormous. It's a scale that westerners can't really conceive of.

If you were to plot the industrial development into a modern, leading economy of the four or five top countries, say in the last 100 years - one economic historian has done it and he's plotted it on a chart. You can see the British modernization and how long it took to reach a GDP level to make them basically the world's largest economy. And then he's got one for the US and that's in half the time and it became twice as big in terms of nominal overall wealth. And then they plot China next to it and it's a quarter of the time of the US again and it's four times the population. What I'm getting at is that there are so many other global events going on, that they're one thing in the news and they don't ever mention China but really in the background it is about China because the sheer size is inevitably impacting everything around it and far afield as well.

That's why I mentioned Trump and his banging on about "China's killing us!" He never quite explained to Americans what he meant by that but you can get the gist of it. He meant killing us as in economically they're doing really well and yes, indirectly they're taking jobs and wealth and technological know-how and then of course the Chinese are accused of stealing technology and all this stuff. It's not stealing technology! Once the technology is for sale everywhere, everyone has access to it! That's just the way the free market works, right?

Its impact is so huge but it's also so slow. China isn't throwing its weight around. It doesn't need to. It's thinking long-term. "Let everyone else have their hoo-ha, all their hysteria, their uproar over this issue and that issue. We'll just sit back and just keeping making stuff, keep buying stuff and we'll always talk peace. Everyone else wants to have war. Okay." At the same time though they are building a big stick and they already have a big stick. They have nuclear weapons. They have the world's largest army. They still have only one aircraft carrier but who knows? If they can build 100 cities on the QT; apparently most of them they keep quiet, where they're completely developing the interior of their country, they can probably build 20 US-size aircraft carriers in secret and then just say "Here they are!" at some point. Who knows?

I think what Trump was picking upon on is the chatter he himself was hearing among fellow members of the elites in the US, that yeah, this is a problem. We are going to be supplanted in one way or another. I don't know how they think they're going to cope with it. In the long term they can't. But they don't really think long-term. They're all about the short term, maximize profits now. Give me the money. Whatever you've got, give it to me now! They think in a different way so it's going to have inevitable consequences. I can't see it being a kind of meeting of the minds. One of those minds is going to get Alzheimer's and continue going into madness. The other one won't.

So I think that's sort of what we're seeing play out on the world stage, this insanity. It's kind of deflected cleverly because people are thinking of North Korea. But if they thought about it for a minute, no, what the elites are really getting you to think about is China because that's what obsesses them.

Elan: Right. That's what obsesses Kissinger.

Niall: Kissinger, right. The pivot to China. The obsession with breaking up the USSR and China relationship 60 years ago. That's now been reformed. Oops! It's been reformed, ironically in part, as a consequence of their own actions, of the elite's actions because Putin turns to Beijing after they do Kiev.

Joe: Yup.

Niall: But then it was always going to happen in some way or another.

Joe: But it didn't have to happen in such a one-sided way. But they asked for it basically. The west came along with "my way or the highway" and Putin responded by saying "Well it doesn't have to be only one way, so have it your way."

Niall: Do we have any news yet on...

Joe: No.

Niall: No. That's a shame. We'd love the breaking news.

Joe: Somebody won something. It's not even going to be a win but who knows? It's going to be somewhere between Le Pen, Macron and Fillon. Those three, Macron, Fillon and Le Pen. It could end up being Fillon or Macron in the final and then the whole Le Pen talk will all be history, for another five years at least. But who knows?

The only real upset in this French election will be if Le Pen won and first of all she'd have to be in the top two tonight and then she'd have to win on May 7th and it's a bit of a long shot to be honest, I think, given there are a lot of people in France who are very much pro-EU and see France as the founder of the EU and they'd be the last ones to want to go with anybody promoting an exit from the EU. So I'm not sure there are enough people in France who would actually vote for her. particularly in the second round if she was up against one of the other polished politicians.

So we're going to have to wait and see. We don't really predict much except on the broad strokes because there's no point in predicting because you just get egg on your face. Anyway, I think we're going to leave it there for this week folks. We've covered all of our topics. So thanks for listening in. We'll be back next week with another show and we'll have lots to talk about I'm sure given all the stuff going on. So until then we wish you all a very good day/evening/night, whatever.

All: Good-byes.