By Wayne Hall
On 25th March 2014, national day of commemoration of the outbreak of the Greek Revolution of 1821, a pleasant surprise came to us from Brussels: acceptance by the European Parliament of the petition on aerial spraying and HAARP submitted a year ago by the Skyguards group following the two-day conference “Beyond Theories of Weather Modification – Civil Society against Geoengineering” that was held there at that time.
The President of the Petitions Committee, Erminia Mazzoni, wrote to us: “I would like to inform you that the Committee on Petitions considered your petition and decided that the issues which you raise are admissible in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, insofar as the subject matter falls within the sphere of activities of the European Union.
The committee began its examination of your petition and decided to ask the European Commission to conduct a preliminary examination of the various aspects of the problem. The committee will continue its examination of your petition as soon as it is in receipt of the necessary information.”
I think it would be appropriate for activists, active citizens and voters to draw the attention of candidates for election to the European Parliament to the Open letter drawn up by the Skyguards group, and above all the candidates of the party of Mr. Stavros Theodorakis, who has distinguished himself in ridicule not only of activists but also of parliamentarians and scientists who have dared to do anything other than reproduce the uninformed “humour” and slander which Mr. Theodorakis evidently finds satisfying.
What was said and asked on last year’s television programme by Mr. Theodorakis: “Are they spraying us?”
1. “How can you explain the way that parliamentarians, and even sometimes party leaders, are supporting conspiracy theories?
2. Populism is a characteristic element in conspiracy theories. Populism is the source of many of Greece’s troubles.
3. The economic crisis has caused such fear that some people are prepared to believe anything, even monstrous prefabricated lies.
4. The spraying? Myth, myth, another Greek myth.
5. It bothers me that there are parliamentarians who think that Athens is being sprayed by airplanes.
6. In defiance of reason, the spraying scenario plays even in Parliament.
If Mr. Theodorakis manages to achieve representation n the European Parliament, we look forward with interest to the relevant depositions that will be made to the European Commission by his followers. Or perhaps they will try to avoid the subject.
We are not going to allow them to do that. Particularly them (see some names and faces – scroll down).
Just as an afterthought, “Are they spraying us” was screened by the mass-circulation MEGA channel, Mr. Theodorakis’ employer, which also clearly supports his excursion into politics. (If you wish to see the full version of this terrible programme, press here, unfortunately with out-of-synch English subtitles towards the end).
MEGA has just been arraigned by the Greek Radio and Television Council for a news bulletin aired on 12th October 2013, just after the arrests of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn leadership, during which MEGA put forward a condemnation of “the two extremes”, demanding that the Leftist SYRIZA party condemn violence “wherever it comes from”.
Specifically the demand was for SYRIZA to condemn the mass anti-austerity demonstrations of 2010 in the course of which three employees lost their lives in a fire, started by arsonists, at the Marfin Egnatia Bank in Athens.
The indictment of MEGA was launched by private individuals who said that they regarded “manipulative tactics of that kind” as “unacceptable”: “we ask that you examine to what extent they are consistent with the sound practice of objective news reporting.”
The Radio and Television Council called the management of MEGA to account for “violations of the Constitution in respect of objective presentation of information and news” and of radio and television legislation on “the obligation of radio and television stations to present truthful, accurate and, as far as possible, comprehensive, presentation of facts, with all due care and responsibility.”
Stavros Theodorakis’ politics are also, in their way, a politics of condemnation of “the two extremes”, those extremes being left-wing and right-wing “populism”. They fit in well with what has been called the dominant global politics of “the extremist centre”. And in today’s situation of generalized disorientation and desperation in Greece, they are a politics that appeals to the disillusioned and gullible audiences of MEGA and a handful of other such channels. But they contain a reality deficit, and the European Parliament has perhaps now provided an opportunity for that to be made evident to even to the most naïve.