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|From: Irish Political Review: Editorials|
|Date: July, 2015|
FIFA: Away Win For The US
|FIFA: Away Win For The US
Is the FIFA affair about football, or is it about United States Globalism?
The English Guardian commented editorially, on June 3rd:
"It is salutary that it was broken not by challenges from investigative reporters, not by the repeated but ineffectual challenges of Uefa, but by the fact that the reach of the FBI extends to all dealings in US dollars wherever they happen…"
Then it observes that Sepp Blatter's—
"claim that he was being ambushed by a western conspiracy will have resonated not only among Fifa clients who may now fear exposure, but also with ordinary delegates and football fans… care must be taken that the developing world is not stirred against the West by it… But for now, as FA chairman Greg Dye puts it, let's celebrate. Football is the winner…"
It is very unlikely that Football will be the winner. Football did very well indeed under Blatter's guidance. It became a world sport—the only world sport. And that clearly is what is wrong with FIFA in certain European eyes. It made football the world sport conducted by an interconnected world organisation which the elite countries did not control. It was humiliating.
FIFA, as developed by Blatter, is a federal body whose component parts did things according to their own ways, and each part had an equal say in the running of the whole. If the "reform" that is being demanded is carried through, FIFA will be made into a centralised organisation run by the world elite.
Blatter has been compared to Nicolae Ceaușescu and other dictators. He was obviously not a dictator. Dictators don't get outvoted, as he often did. He was outvoted on siting the World Cup after next in the USA, rather than Qatar.
The purpose of the 'reform' is to establish a de facto dictatorship that will put the 'developing world' in its place. That place can be compared to the Olympic Games which, under its governing body, has avoided holding the games in Third World and Developing countries (see page 9). This has been made pretty clear by some of the reformers. FIFA has been compared to the General Assembly of the UN, without a Security Council. The point of the UN General Assembly is to give the world a flimsy appearance of equality in decision-making. The point of the Security Council is to disable the General Assembly and maintain Great Power dominance over world affairs.
Why is it necessary that the world organisation of football should be similarly disabled? Because, in the process of making football the world sport, a few individuals in a few Associations lined their own pockets. And that is corruption. And corruption cannot be tolerated in the perfect world of transparent market relations that Western society has created—or that it insists on for those parts of the world whose destiny is to be obediently subordinate.
Corruption is the reason the developing world is only developing. It has nothing to do with the treatment of it by the developed world. That is a moral axiom of our era.
But corruption played an indispensable part in the development of the capitalist economies and states which now dominate the world, didn't it? Corruption was gross during critical centuries in the development of both Britain and the USA. "Every man has his price" was the maxim of Robert Walpole, the master of corruption who nurtured Liberalism in England by Government bribery which undermined conflicts of principle which had been causing revolution and counter-revolution for a century. Tolerance is today one of the British values boasted of by Britain. It did not extend to the British Government of Ireland,and within Britain it was the Siamese twin of Government bribery of honest men of principle to make them opportunists. And all that has changed is the style in which it is done.
Ireland has been given an international reputation of being corrupt. People in England who know little else about Ireland know that it is corrupt and was run by Paedopheliac priests. This reputation is, in the main, an achievement of the Irish Times—of the Secret Directory of the paper and its hirelings. The paper has survived over the generations, without visible means of support, while maintaining full world coverage. Its own survival is the most dodgy thing in Irish public life, but it is the one thing its fearless investigative columnists never address.
Its mission is to brand as corrupt everything of substance in Irish public life that is out of tune with British requirements. Its campaign of the moment is against Denis O'Brien, who is a billionaire. What is objectionable about him is not that he is a billionaire, but that he is an Irish billionaire who doesn't seem to be yearning for a British knighthood, like Sir Anthony O'Reilly.
Sir Anthony squandered his billions acquiring newspapers around the world, but he gave free rein to the Independent to dream up stories about Sinn Fein and present them as factual reports. He displayed personal patronage lavishly in the Independent and pillaged its funds. Then he could not pay his debts to the Bank and had to go bankrupt. To ease his personal situation he concealed substantial assets from the Bank. Yet he was an ideal Irish billionaire and is charitably regarded.
O'Brien conducted his businesses successfully, and when the financial crisis struck, he transferred millions from abroad into the Irish Banks, to demonstrate his faith in the country. How could such a man be Irish at all!
Then he bought failing companies from NAMA, paying cash on the nail for them. Others had made complicated, conditional bids for those companies in which higher nominal sums were mentioned—sums that would be whittled away by negotiation and in the end-result yield less for the country. NAMA treated the unconditional cash bid as best. A great hullabaloo was raised. How could corruption not be involved! And now there is an Inquiry.
In addition O'Brien had loans from the Anglo-Irish Bank, and an agreement about rates and repayment. When it went bankrupt, the loans were transferred to IBRC. The interest is being paid on the loans and they present no problem. However, it is now alleged that he was given a preferential rate of interest. There has never been any question of him not repaying loans—like Sir Anthony. (Irish Times headline, June 6th: AIB Accused Of Humiliating Sir Anthony O'Reilly: this was during legal bankruptcy proceedings when it emerged that O'Reilly had an undisclosed shareholding, which the Bank discovered by accident.)
Another issue is that O'Brien bought a minority share of the Independent, which under Sir Anthony's management was on the verge of collapsing, and with other shareholders put it on a sound footing. Sir Anthony had handed over the paper to the Official IRA to conduct their long-standing feud against the Provos in. Then the cry went up that that would be the end of the freedom of the press in Ireland. Though the Editor left at the expiry of contract, others remain in place, doing their thing more or less as before.
The Irish Times (Fintan O'Toole) declares that Denis O'Brien has accumulated excessive private power. He has been allowed to take effective control of the largest Irish newspaper group and of two or three talk-radio stations.
O'Toole's moment to speak out fearlessly came when this journal discovered that the Irish Times was liaising with Whitehall about Northern policy, that the British Ambassador had reported Director Major McDowell complaining that his Editor, Douglas Gageby, had gone native (had become "a white nigger"), and that the paper was then put under tight editorial control of its Oath-Bound Directors. What did O'Toole do? The title of his article just quoted is 'Note The Loud Silence On Public Interest" (June 2nd). We noted his silence. He did not bite the hand that feeds him.
He now reports that Eoghan Harris, the Official IRA columnist on the Sunday Independent, has indicated that he decided not to speak his mind on O'Brien out of prudence. He said it in Irish in the form of an anecdote about what an old man once said to him about putting "dubh ar bán" (black on white (IT 9.6.15).
The mere thought that the competent and public-spirited O'Brien had displaced the incompetent and humanly self-serving Sir Anthony was a mental torment to Harris, causing him to censor himself. Cruel and unusual punishment on top of corruption!
Back to Sepp Blatter: He gave five million euros to the Football Association of Ireland to ease its pain over Thierry Henri's hand ball in the play-off for the 2010 World Cup. Henri did what footballers do—even the self-righteous English ones who joined the chorus against Blatter—he discreetly touched a ball down to his foot with his hand and scored, putting Ireland out of the competition and France in. Breaking the rules surreptitiously is part of a professional footballer's training. This causes pain in an era when television sees everything, but decisions are made on the spur of the moment by the referee and the linesmen.
Blatter cheated Irish soccer out of part of its legitimate pain by paying it a kind of fine for the injustice. (We need to remind ourselves that in Ireland, as in the United States, it is still only 'soccer'. In Ireland "football" is catch and kick, and in the US it is a kind of rugby. But for the rest of the world soccer is football.)
Confidentiality was part of the deal. This is understandable. Injustices occur all the time on the field. If compensation were paid, the queue would be endless. But Taoiseach Kenny has slated the arrangement for lack of "transparency"!
The most serious thing about the FIFA affair is that it blew the whistle on "globalism". As we have often said, there is no such thing as globalist capitalism. There is only Americanism. It may be doubtful whether such a thing as autonomous global capitalism is a realisable ideal. That it does not exist is certain.
When Britain launched a Second World War and made a mess of the world with it, it fell to America to take over the world, except for the parts occupied by the Soviet Union as the state that defeated Nazi Germany, and China where the Communist Party as the victor in the complex war of defence merged with a civil war.
In 1945 the world outside the Communist area was bankrupt and the USA was booming. In order to create a market for its commodities it provided money to the world to buy them. Forms of national money were re-established but they all rested on the dollar. The US has now asserted that all who use the dollar, or dollar-related currencies, or plastic money, are subject to US sovereignty.
The world market was established by Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. German economic development after the unification of 1871 began to erode British hegemony of it. The problem was dealt with by world war.
The Second World War was a kind of British displacement activity. It had catastrophic by-products, but no coherent purpose. Its purpose certainly was not to bring Communism to power in central Europe and establish US hegemony over what had been the British Empire and its spheres of interest.
The capitalist world market has existed under US hegemony since 1945. Under the trading system of this market—sometimes called free trade—the US has the power to crush states which act contrary to its interests. When Britain made an attempt to rehabilitate its Empire in 1956, the US brought it to heel by threatening it with financial ruin.
A year ago British financial pundits were certain that the US would be able to do the same with capitalist Russia. That has now become doubtful, and therefore World War is again in prospect.
John Waters (formerly an Irish Times columnist, now writing in the Sunday Independent) has said outright that the world needs a master, and that the US master should be supported.
The difficulty with US mastery is that it behaved with utter irresponsibility when Russia was at its mercy under Yeltsin, and a remnant of the KGB had the power and the resourcefulness to pull the country together as a capitalist democracy capable to tending to national interests. Also, China has become a powerful capitalist economy outside the democratic order of things. The US, which is committed by its own dynamic to world hegemony, has an undeniable interest in breaking the will of both Russia and China, and that has given Russia and China a shared survivalist interest against the USA. Both remain committed to capitalism, but both understand that they must make themselves invulnerable to dollar sovereignty.
Other states have tried to do this. Saddam Hussein wanted to stop using the dollar to sell his oil. Libya under Gaddafi was trying to develop a kind of African money—and was reduced to a shambles. Only powerful states, which are immune to the democratic corruption practised by the United States through NGOs, and which in the last resort could wage a war of mutual destruction with the USA, could do it.
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