Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Secrecy of Davos

Whenever there is a global summit, no matter whether G7, G8, G20 or G208! two things wind me up about all the razzmatazz. Firstly, the headlines stating great achievements have occurred and then, with monotonous regularity we learn there are problems.

The second really presses ALL my buttons when the leaders get together for the obligatory group photo op. The first thing I do is carry out my standard ‘character assessment’, by looking at each face and asking the same question: “Would I buy a second hand car from this person?” The answer is always a resounding . . . Don’t even have to finish this sentence, do I?!

Why the pictures . . . New agreements, Global unity? Oh give me a break! And the cost of these ‘bun fights’? If people knew the vast amounts of their money involved to achieve an unbroken record of failed agreements – to quote Henry Ford: “There would be rioting in the streets”.

If we turn now to the World Economic Forum and their annual meeting, held each year at the end of January in Davos in Switzerland, we find a completely different can of worms. Here attendees are primarily made up of the 1%. Secrecy abounds on who is there and what the full agenda includes, with no official photo ops, like the ‘G’ Summits.

OK, we have the staged publicity, of which last week’s theme was all to do with climate change and how desperate the situation is now becoming. Al Gore was there to berate everyone for turning up in their private jets. (Can’t really see Rupert Murdoch getting the train, can you!) The whole publicity stunt seemed to me to be hypocrisy verging on the farcical, given that most of the attendees are bosses of the global corporations that have created the problem in the first place!

Perhaps that’s the reason for all the secrecy, although I think it is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. We are talking here about people who are the bosses of the people grabbing all the publicity at the aforesaid ‘G’ Summits. Forget climate change, I suspect the main topic on everyone’s lips was “What the @**^! are we going to do about TTIP, Tisa, TPP, and CETA, now they are all out in the open?!

When I first heard about TPP, what staggered me was not its scope for democratic abuse, although that was bad enough but that it had been on government agendas for 10 years before being ‘whistleblown’ into the public domain! How could this be I kept asking myself, until the penny dropped. WEF is the perfect environment in which something as radical as this could be conceived and developed on such a global basis and in such secrecy.

Meetings in secure conference rooms in a remote place like Davos present little problem for the CEO’s and politicians who need to get together and devise and implement these strategies. Lost amongst the 2500 attendees and public fanfare of ‘climate change’, meetings such as this are happening all the time and achieving more corporate goals than the supposed main theme of the forum . . . and certainly more than any ‘G’ Summit ever has!

Secrecy is the stock in trade of these global institutions. If we look at the IMF, we have its public face in Christine Lagarde, a very intelligent and erudite lady with beauty and charisma. She is just as comfortable speaking at a financial conference as she is appearing on the pages of fashion magazines. Perfect in the high profile position she holds and a necessity, I would suggest, given current IMF imposed ‘austerity’ measures and their crippling effect upon the people of Greece, Spain, Portugal and others . . . But who are her bosses?

Can you name the head of the World Bank? No, neither could I without looking him up, until a piece in the Guardian showed a photo of Jim Yong Kim. I’m sure he is equally charming but given his power, what do we know about him? Nowhere near as much as we know about former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi and the other ‘G’ Summit attendees.

Little by little the internet is helping us to lift the veil upon the real power on the Planet. As we become more knowledgeable so we can understand what we are up against and how to respond.

It will bond us as never before, because bonding is the only result ever to come from injustice and abuse. Edward Snowden showed us that, as well as the Greek people last weekend. Social media has taken us global and the momentum of the lifting veil is building.

I can think of no better way to conclude on secrecy, than with the wisdom of Samuel P Huntington:

“Power remains strong when in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate”.

Until the next time

 

P.S. Just set up another site to further promote my work. Any RT’s would be greatly appreciated. http://www.magnacarta.gb.net/

Thinking from his book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want IT! By J T Coombes

 

Is Greece the Catalyst?

 

Syriza photo

Whilst I am not a supporter of any extreme beliefs, be they religious, political, financial or corporate, I think it took this type of thinking to begin a reaction to the abuses the Greek people have been enduring for the past 5 years. Even just a superficial understanding of finance shows that ‘Austerity’ is not a solution to their problems but merely a means by which the troika could support the plunder and control of Society.

What I find repugnant is the origins to the problem and the subsequent abuse which simply added insult to injury. In the beginning it was irresponsible politicians who sought to stay in power by borrowing more money. They were supported with even greater irresponsibility by Goldman Sachs who, we are told, used some ‘creative accounting’ to ensure the new funds, on which they earned obscene fees, were hidden from the gaze of the Greek people and EU application forms!

The actions of both parties was premeditated abuse, as they were all fully aware of the consequences of this joint irresponsibility upon the people. It mirrored the same consequences that irresponsible lending achieved with the US sub-prime mortgage fiasco, resulting in the same pain and misery. Whilst the troika were quick to impose severe penalties on the Greek people, no such penalties were imposed upon Goldman Sachs for irresponsible lending. More irresponsibility? . . . You decide!

The sinister human cost of ‘Austerity’ can be measured by the escalation in levels of suicide, the degradation of people who previously held responsible jobs and now search the garbage for sustenance and the country’s youth, half of whom see no chance of getting a job in their lifetime. Let’s just stay with that last point. Can you remember your youth and the knowing that all you had to decide was which type of job or career you wanted to pursue.

How would you have felt after 5 years of despair of ever finding ANY employment and then hearing the MD of the IMF telling you it would be something you might have to get used to! If ever there is a breeding ground for young terrorists it has to be here. Watching ISIS and the others striking blows against the Capitalist system must look increasingly more attractive as your time without a job, or any purpose to your life just continues seemingly endlessly, fuelling a growing anger.

People are not stupid and particularly not the young. As a species we are designed to reach a point where the powerful forces within each of us push us to find a mate, build a home and bring up a family. The greed of the political and corporate world has overlooked this fundamental aspect of what we are all about, resulting in frustration, resentment and anger building up like a global pressure cooker, until a backlash occurs.

Believe you me it will be no damp squib when it comes, because we are abusing primal forces here and the energy this generates will do whatever is necessary to return balance to all that is so much out of balance now on this beautiful Planet. The reactions of the Greek people, after Sunday’s election results, endorse the desperate need to end the abusive slavery of ‘Austerity’.

People are not sure how Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party will improve matters but the very fact that he is prepared to defiantly stand up to abusive methods that are not yielding any results after 5 years has touched a nerve, not only in Greece but elsewhere.

In Spain the Podemos Party Secretary General, Pablo Iglesias, is now suggesting Syriza’s victory could be repeated there, as levels of discontent at ‘Austerity’ also continue to grow. Given similar climates in Portugal and Italy, will we see a groundswell from the political backlash in Greece, as other old political orders, seen as condoning and supporting the abuse, come under attack?

Possibly but what I do sense very strongly is that we are reaching a global tipping point. Like every bad general, those in power are spending all their time concentrating upon winning every battle, not aware that they are losing the war. Surveillance and debt to suppress, QE to keep a bankrupt financial system afloat and secret trade deals to support unlimited profit growth and castrate democracy will all eventually implode from their own abuses.

In the meantime, whatever it takes to ignite and unite people globally will bring matters to a head and Mr Tsipras and Syriza could well be that spark. This time however, unlike the Occupy ‘movement’ who fought valiantly outside the corridors of power, we have a political party with defined leadership fighting within those same corridors . . . Interesting!

Until the next time.

 

P.S. Just set up another site to further promote my work. Any RT’s would be greatly appreciated. http://www.magnacarta.gb.net/

 

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Election 2015 . . . 3 Critical Issues

Elections photo

As we move unerringly towards another General Election the contest between the main parties ramps up, as lack of achievement in past performance and weaknesses in party strategies are fiercely argued over. We have the emergence of UKIP and lately the Green party to add to the potpourri of political solutions to our growing problems . . .  but yet again I sense little enthusiasm from voters.

They have been walking away from ballot boxes for decades now and in spite of a spike in 2010 an unhealthily large percentage of the population have little desire to become involved in deciding how their country should be run. This highlights not only the lack of credibility in British politics but across the globe, as voters are increasingly shunned by the people they elect to power.

Ignoring electors takes many forms that range from proceeding with legislation in spite of large swathes of the population being against it (Fracking, NHS Privatisation and more), to outright secrecy and blatant misrepresentation of what government is up to, particularly in its support of the corporate world. This has certainly been the case over the democracy shattering trade deals, such as TTIP, TPP, Tisa and CETA, the latter of which is now close to being enacted into law after years of secret negotiations.

I believe this General Election is the most critical we have ever faced, because it is no longer about the colour of a political party but about how we are ruled. Power has shifted from the voter to the shareholder, as governments make it easier for profit to permeate every facet of Society.

It is this cancer that must be tackled at the forthcoming election before it becomes impossible to control. For me there are three critical issues that must be addressed to resolve the massive abuses now perpetrated upon us. As I write, none of the political parties seem willing to address them within their manifestos and begs if any of them are ‘Parties FOR the People’.

  1. Democracy: Our PM, in offering a referendum on such an important subject as the EU if he is re-elected, epitomises the career politician at his or her worst. A complete lack of any vision or direction is compensated for by outright bribery, also showing a total lack of respect for the voter on something which, in any healthy democracy, would be seen as an automatic right of the people. I will support any party who has the balls to recognise this by introducing People Driven Referendums on any subject that has enough public interest and at any time. It happens in Switzerland and they are one of the most stable countries on the Planet.
  2. Banking: Our whole financial system is paralysed by bad debt from the 2008 debacle. Further debt that now permeates every area of Society, including the sick and our children’s education, has been encouraged to resolve the problem! Financier’s now insist on ‘Austerity’, if government wants to borrow more, further plundering and controlling Society. If parliament exercised its right to produce and control our own currency, as other countries have done when confronting the bullying financial tactics of the IMF and World Bank we could, at a stroke, free ourselves from debt that is rendering us impotent to the theft of our public services by privatisation, unemployment and endless corporate abuse.
  3. Government: Over the centuries Westminster has turned from a place of debate and democracy to a ‘Club of Two Parties’, cosy, comfortable and corrupt! It no longer serves the people, as the party system suffocates any worthy politicians who do not tow the party line. I am looking for a party who will acknowledge this by embarking upon a programme to open government up to the people for greater direct involvement in effectively influencing how we are governed. Nothing short of total transparency can restore the public’s confidence in a flawed and outdated process that has caused a deeply entrenched distrust and cynicism in voters.

By tackling these three core issues we can return power to the people by taking it away from the Banks and corporations. This must be the crux of this year’s election, I would suggest, if we are to become masters of our destiny and begin resolving the problems now enslaving Society.

We are in times of unprecedented change as technology revolutionises the way we shop, communicate and trade with each other. That same technology can equally radically change how we govern ourselves.

This is not only true here but across the Planet where similar abuse is being experienced. May 2015 will not see any of this in place but I hope it will be the catalyst for a global precedent to begin.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It!            By J T Coombes

 

The NHS is Society’s Responsibility

Nigel Farage tells us the “NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance” which means there is no political salvation from this lunacy, even from the new kid on the block. Westminster truly has lost the plot in avoiding its responsibilities to the people.

Let’s get right back to basics and remember that this is a SUPPORT SERVICE to Society. It is a non-profit insurance scheme which is paid for by that Society in the sure knowledge that, like any good insurance policy, it will look after ALL of its members in times of hardship without fear of fault or favour.

We have an aging population that all parties have been aware of for a very long time and which they have systematically and irresponsibly buck passed on to the next incumbent, ensuring we arrive at the mess we are now in. Healthcare is a moral issue, not political or financial and demonstrates the level of care Society has towards its sick, old and infirm. Currently that caring is being torn apart by the profit and greed of unregulated Capitalism!

This has been made abundantly clear from the experience in America in particular, where the very people who need the support cannot get it because they cannot afford it, or are not acceptable to insurance companies. Profit is ‘Playing God’ (often by tick boxes!) in discriminating who it can make money from and who it will allow to suffer, or die!

We are being dragged, kicking and screaming, towards the US experience by a Parliament who is obligated by one of the many conditions of the ‘Austerity Measures’ imposed when taking on an ever growing mountain of debt we have not authorised. We are in the grip of career politicians who care little about this country and its people, in their desperate attempts to remain in power at any cost.

What is so repugnant to me is there is no respect for people in any of what we are now experiencing. This Unregulated Capitalism not only makes profits from employees and consumers but also now looks to make profits from them when they are sick.

After a lifetime of working for one, or a number of companies, those same companies seek to shrug off the responsibility they have to repay their workers with a secure retirement they have earned from contributing to those companies’ profits as those very same consumers and employees.

I would suggest, that we should be coming at this problem from a totally different direction than a parliament that increasingly cow-tows to their corporate masters. By looking at our current financial systems and recognising that money is no longer our servant, we can see that it is being encouraged to become our master, focussing entirely upon subduing and controlling us through debt – Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy are perfect examples.

By following the example of strong leadership in Peru and other Latin American countries we need to confront the very core of the problem first and foremost. Once we take control of printing our own money, instead of borrowing it from banks at a horrendous cost in interest and debt obligations, of which the NHS is but one such abuse, we are in a position to become masters of our own destiny. The interest alone we are paying would go a long way to funding a health service the rest of the world would be envious of.

In this, an election year, I am dumb founded that our political parties are pussyfooting around the perimeter of this problem by pursuing ‘business models’ as the solution to the care profession.

Such is this irresponsibility that patients are dying unnecessarily and the morale of our conscientious doctors and nurses is on the floor, driving many of them to emigrate to a more supportive environment. Not one of our leaders seems embarrassed by this national disgrace, given what we have invested in training these wonderful people, only now to abuse and lose them.

Fighting and arguing about the many individual abuses within the health service will only allow politicians to counter-argue that privatisation is the solution. It has to be attacked from the fundamental core issue of debt ladened obligation that is making our governments increasingly more secretive and ‘economical with the truth’ on the direction they are forcing us to follow.

Left and Right can offer no way out because they have created the problem by systematically ignoring it. People must demand their power back this May by supporting the party that will introduce People Driven Referendums on any and everything there is sufficient interest in.

I bet the NHS would be the subject commanding the number 1 position . . . and then something could be done by the people for the people!

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It!  By J T Coombes

Paris: 2 Sinister Hypocrisies

As I watched the 40 world leaders marching with the people last weekend in Paris I was immediately struck by how out of place they all looked. Not one of these people we have given our power away to had any thought about freedom of speech and the press. It was simply a chance to get a lot closer to vast numbers of the people who elect them than they have ever done before in their political lives. It was blatantly a photo op to end all photo ops and not to be missed!

Even as a photo op it has become a joke, as we now hear that Netanyahu had Merkel ‘photo shopped’ out of the official pictures used by the Israeli media to record the event. Global unity and Freedom of the Press . . . You decide. (As an aside is it any wonder there is no resolution to the ongoing conflict in Palestine when there is a mind-set that nurtures decades of ongoing hatred such as this?!)

Cynical . . . Moi?! Try this for size:-

 Sinister Hypocrisy No 1:

In one of the largest demonstrations the world has seen in recent years, how could such countries as Russia, Turkey, Israel and Egypt, to name but a few, even contemplate attending with their track record of Human Rights abuse and the suppression of journalism and free speech. Also, if not impertinent, where did Saudi Arabia get the energy to attend, given how exhausting it must be to administer 1000 lashes to a blogger exercising free speech!

Then there’s ‘our Dave’ linking arms with his mates and wearing his best Remembrance Day ‘face’ for the march and then quickly scuttling back to inform us he would be giving MI5 greater powers of surveillance. Not only that but then he phones his ‘special friend’ Barak Obama to ask if he would give GCHQ greater abilities to invade the internet!

At least the US had the good sense not to attend, given their treatment of WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden, which still reverberates across the globe. I remain confused on precisely what their official line on freedom of speech is however, in the light of their condemning the Sony Corporation for giving in to (alleged) threats from North Korea if they released their film The Interview . . . but maybe that’s just me.

Sinister Hypocrisy No 2:

This one really blows me backwards! How can these people turn up to such a protest when most of them are responsible for the whole ugly state of affairs we are now trying to deal with? Was it not George ‘Dubya’ Bush who declared war on global terrorism, supported by the crass statement to “Bring it on”? Well they certainly have sunshine, further exacerbated by an illegal war that added oceans of fuel to the flames his puerile macho language had already ignited in the Middle East!

The whole situation is made even more sinister as we are told that Al Qaeda, ISIS and all the other groups have been funded and supported by many of the countries represented at this demonstration, supporting a US led policy to control the Middle East and its oil.

If we then add to this TTIP and other trade deals being pursued by the US, in the deepest secrecy, to further subvert our democratic rights, all in collusion with these same attendees at the march, then how could they possibly look any of the people they were marching with in the face?

 

However, a tiny light shines from this, the grossest of political theatre. It was not those we have given our power to that organised this event but the spontaneous reaction of the 99%, driven by shock, horror and anger at yet another mindless atrocity and to which the 1% quickly invited themselves (at the taxpayers’ expense!).

Traditional Social dynamics are gradually changing, as the internet increasingly empowers us to quickly unite and speak out.  We must not lose sight of this powerful fundamental change, which the 1% fear more than anything else. ‘Terrorism’ provides them with the excuse to clamp down on us, as their hypocrisy about the subject becomes more and more evident.

Finally, I see that Cameron is showing up ahead of Labour in latest polling and I truly cannot see where he gets any credibility from whatsoever. However, to get our political environment into true perspective, I see the comedian Al Murray ‘The Pub Landlord’ is standing against Farage in May.

With all the ‘comics’ already in Westminster he seems to have the right sort of experience and qualifications although, with much respect, I fear we are no further forward in finding real solutions to Debt, Terrorism and the continued erosion of Democracy.

We desperately need new Visionary Leaders . . . and soon!

 

Until the next time

 

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Paris: Some Clarification

It seems as though my last piece has upset some and confused others and so I would like to try and put the record straight on the message I was trying to put across.

First and foremost I must state unequivocally that I am not for one moment advocating that we laugh at ANY religion. Far from it, as I argue in my book, religious belief is fundamentally necessary to us as a species and essential to help us cope with the challenges Life throws at us with monotonous regularity!

We are all different and as such need different beliefs to meet our own particular makeup, hence the wide variety of beliefs today. Unfortunately these well-meaning beliefs are subsequently distorted and abused to provide a power base and this has been the case for millennia.

Each belief has argued it is the ONLY TRUE belief and all others are ‘sinners’. If this were remotely true, with each religion giving the same message, then it is obvious that we are ALL sinners and ALL destined for hell! Hence the satire they have generated and which they have ALL endured with good grace. Only the radicals have reacted, sometimes in the grossest fashion because their own shallow power bases are easily threatened.

The major religions today became powerful by persecuting the other beliefs until the most powerful came out on top. The cost in human life and misery of these religious power struggles over thousands of years is a tragedy of monumental proportions and a permanent blot upon our history as a species.

As we have evolved we have come to recognise these abuses and that there may be more than one way of gaining religious succour. The internet is certainly making us more aware of both our sameness and differences and through this we are making great strides in global religious tolerance. A true accolade to our contribution to this evolutionary process.

However the old ways die hard and today we see the traditional abuses of religious belief being perpetrated, yet again, in a blind lust for power. Today however it is not applied by a myriad of religious labels but simply by one . . . Terrorism! These radicals are not working with the full blessing of their religious institutions, indeed they are being castigated by them and the genuine followers of those beliefs.

Here we get to the heart of what I was writing about. I do not seek to laugh and humiliate the religious beliefs that are so important to all of us. Instead I seek to isolate and humiliate terrorism. It is not a religious belief but an abuse of genuine religious belief. The manner in which it is being operated is to intentionally strike ’terror’ into the world at large in order to bring Society to its knees and take power.

As I read comments on Twitter over the last few days I am aware of people subduing their usually forthright voices or dropping out of conversations on the subject. That is fine but we must be aware that this bully boy tactic is beginning to rob us of our hard won freedoms, as fear takes over and we become frightened to speak our minds or walk freely in our streets with our families and friends.

Not only that but the current agenda is seeking to take us back to distorted values that would have women become no more than goods and chattels, as they were only a few hundred years ago. I don’t know about you but I for one could not rest easy with this. Women have a massive amount to offer and have been suppressed from playing their part in Society for too long now.

Crunch time is fast arriving as our security services now openly admit that they are struggling to maintain a safe environment in which to live our lives, as these groups gain some successes and attract more young naïve recruits as future bomb fodder. Hiding within Society these groups are able to carry out their atrocities, making the task no longer one for the security forces but for Society as a whole.

We have to stand up in unison and demonstrate to these groups that we will not be intimidated for much longer. They must be isolated from the religions they declare they represent and leaders and true followers must join with everyone else, as they are now doing, to put a stop to the spreading cancer they are now inflicting upon Society.

It is here that I am advocating laughter as a powerful tool with which to defend ourselves and discredit the distorted values these groups operate under. By standing up and using the humour of cartoonists, as was so effectively achieved by Steve West in the Guardian last week, I believe we can break its sinister image and growing hold over us . . . but it will take a united global Society to do this.

We are in unprecedented times and this could represent the catalyst with which to re-empower the 99% in manner none of us has previously contemplated, bringing a sense of pride back into Society that has been knocked out of us by the 1% over the last few decades. What have we possibly got to lose?!

May I also suggest that, in the light of what I have written here, you go back and reread my previous post (See ‘recent posts’ on the right here) and the powerful message to terrorists the original cartoon by Steve West gave out. Hopefully you will see these messages in a different and more caring light.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

 

Paris: A Solution . . . Or Not!

FRANCE-ATTACKS-MEDIA

AFP pic, January 8, 2015

In amongst the mind numbing stories coming out of France yesterday my attention was drawn to the strong and succinct message from the Guardians cartoonist Steve Bell http://tinyurl.com/ken7jkv. reminding me of a story as a child growing up in South London.

In those days I would play safely in the streets with my friends, much to the annoyance of a single man in his late forties who would regularly complain to our parents about us, although we never caused damage.

One day he came out of his house and because his hat was askew one of my mates started laughing, to which we all joined in. He got very angry and tried to chase us but we were too quick for him. Every time we saw him after that we would start laughing and pointing at him for no apparent reason, there were never any words, just laughter.

After a few short weeks he found his complaints to our parents fell on deaf ears and his anger gradually subsided. Eventually an unspoken truce broke out and from then on we got on fine with each other, in the awareness that the victims can turn and be more devastating than the bully.

We know the devastating power of global media and the effect it can have upon shaping public opinion. From Edward Snowden to global warming and MP’s with their hands in the petty cash or a colleague’s underwear, it can be unrelenting and wreck reputations with ease.

Why, oh why, is it not being trained upon terrorism now, with cartoonists like Steve Bell applying their incredible talents to setting the whole world laughing at any and all terror groups? Think about it. Laughing is one of the most humiliating and sobering tactics if applied properly. If every newspaper in every country fought back simultaneously terrorism would be cowed, once and for all.

Why? Because I believe it would achieve three objectives:

  1. It can isolate and make fun of terrorism alone and NOT the religious beliefs and true followers that are being manipulated and maligned by these cults.
  2. In so doing it would draw the fangs of this odious practice by ridiculing the whole concept of terrorism.
  3. In ridiculing terror it would make it less macho, alienating these cowardly groups from the young impressionable minds they prey on for their source of ‘bomb fodder’.

Our sense of impotence can be overwhelming against continually cowardly acts, by a hidden enemy that hits the unsuspecting and quickly runs back into the obscurity of the crowd it has just attacked. Taking on the might of the world media however is a whole new can of worms, as their dastardly acts are brought front and centre in a whole new deprecatory manner, proving yet again that the pen is mightier than the sword!

Just imagine how you would feel, watching the media unite on our behalf to cower the terrorist bullyboys across the globe.

Let us now turn to the ‘Or Not’ as, in reality, I think this suggestion would open another can of more slippery and slimy worms the size of an Olympic swimming pool. Would it be in the best interests of the media’s lords and masters to come to our rescue? I think not!

It would unbalance traditional power structures that are both suppressive and VERY profitable. Terrorism not only supports a lucrative international military/industrial complex, it also continues the policies of ‘divide and conquer’ that have suppressed us for millennia, by ensuring we continue to fight against each other.

Indeed only recently the Pentagon declared that the war on terror would continue indefinitely. Of course it will, there is too much at stake for it to be resolved easily or quickly. Indeed I am sure that there is satisfaction amongst the global ruling classes at the widening gap between Muslim and non-Muslim in France, as this sad affair stirs animosity to new levels in a country with the largest Muslim population in Europe.

The internet is uniting us in a manner never before possible in our history, placing this traditional means of ruling by ‘divide and conquer’ under serious threat, as the growing levels of abuse now directed at us, including surveillance, confirm. Terrorism may suit the minority but it will also unite the majority through its obscene actions.

It is feeding the global will to unite and preserve our freedoms of speech and movement, we simply have to find the means . . . No pressure!

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Paris: Humour is the most constructive form of criticism J T Coombes

Charlie Hebdo

I remember the Irish comedian Dave Allen in the late 60’s and early 70’s with his hugely successful comedy series The Dave Allen Show. He touched a nerve in people with his deep irreverence for political power but most famously his taunts at the Catholic Church.

No stone was left unturned as he lampooned the ritual and pomp. His frank material earned the show a risqué reputation on such occasions as when he depicted himself as the Pope and his cardinals doing a striptease to music. Other sketches again depicted the (sometimes extreme) realities of day to day church life, with priests beating their parishioners and each other, Dalek sounding priests in confessionals and the Pope with many exaggerated Italian accents, telling Allen in a Chico Marx style to “getta your bum outta Roma”.

Allen was no fool and his inner wisdom and balance meant he was able to laugh at himself as acutely as his mickey taking of others and their organisations. He lost the top of his left forefinger above the middle knuckle after catching it in a machine cog. This provided him with a vast amount of humorous material which found its way into his act.

He joked on one occasion of it being worn away by strong drink, as he regularly dunked it in the whisky glass that was a permanent feature of his act. On another occasion he told a long and convoluted ghost story that concluded with something “evil” attacking him in a dark and haunted house. Allen retaliated by grabbing and biting the attacker, only to find, when the lights came back on that he was biting his own left hand!

What his humour was able to do, as all good humour should, is to make us aware of the need to closely examine beliefs we may well have outgrown and that are no longer fulfilling the purpose they once did. With Allen he was able to demonstrate that we had evolved as a Society and as our religious beliefs were not prepared to evolve with us they were becoming less meaningful.

Throughout this period the Catholic Church never overreacted and I for one, although not a Catholic, respected them for taking it all ‘on the chin’. If only they had taken on board what was happening they may have been able to staunch the steady flow of followers from their churches since.

There is no doubt that the present shallow financial values used to measure our happiness and life are proving useless in offering strength and reassurance as we face the growing pressures of globalisation and financialisation of life on this beautiful planet. We need the spiritual part of us to receive sustenance and the myriad of religious beliefs that abound are evidence to this.

We are all different and are reassured in ways that most suit us. A Jew would not sit comfortably with Sufism, nor a Christian with Shamanism etc. We find what works for us and what we are most comfortable with. It cannot be forced upon us and no one belief is the ‘Only Right Belief’ above all others.

Globalisation is forcing these very beliefs, which have been used over the millennia to keep us apart, to now work together, with a growing recognition that they all have their part to play.

The atrocity that occurred in Paris yesterday demonstrates a blinding immaturity and lust for power that has haunted us for thousands of years. Like Dave Allen, Charlie Hebdo was pointing a humorous finger that should cause questions, not violence, demonstrating yet again how mighty the pen is over the sword!

Those who caused these young men to waste their lives uselessly lack the wisdom to realise that they will never achieve what they crave because they are alienating the people, not motivating them to rise up. Who in their right mind would want to follow and support such callous behaviour? It’s a ‘no brainer’

As the tributes flow from all races, colours, creeds and genders, united in a global repugnance of what has occurred, I sense us leaving the old behind as we venture into our new Global Village. It somehow seems apposite therefore, to sign off with the same words used by Dave Allen at the end of his shows:

“Thank you, goodnight and may your God go with you”

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

2015 . . . The Death Throes of Capitalism

Madness is badness of spirit when one seeks profit from everything. Aristotle

The overriding importance we place upon the dominant need for endless profit displays all of the symptoms of human addiction. If you accept that compulsive behaviour is a fallible human condition, I believe that when we created profit, we activated the compulsive qualities within the money we use for trading with each other.

After all, the poppy is a beautiful flower, but becomes a powerful drug when transformed into opium. Grain and grape are harmless and nutritious foods until transformed into whisky, wine and brandy.

Profit stimulates the compulsive impulses of greed within the barter process, as we strive for that big fix of something for nothing.

The primary symptoms of compulsion, I would suggest, include:

  1. Obsessive behaviour – A single focus on the fix, and little else.
  2. Irresponsible behaviour – A fix at whatever cost.
  3. Compulsive behaviour – Constantly repeating actions and behaviour known to be detrimental, or of high risk.
  4. Denial – That a), b) and c) above are not the case.

In the pursuit of profit, a couple of hundred years ago Britain became Great on the back of the slave trade. Here, the tantalising myth of something for nothing – captive human beings – carried with it scant regard for the misery this pursuit of profit caused.

Justification for those actions can, in part, be derived from our makeup as hunter/gatherers, and the need to fulfil the basic human drive for both achievement and survival.

However, the excitement that came from hunting for food was tempered by the fact that there was little benefit in gathering more than we needed, because the excess rotted back into the ground. The greater the excess, the greater the waste.

On the other hand, we can gather and hoard limitless amounts of profit without seeming deterioration of the commodity. This subtle, but significant, difference to our gathering instincts for survival seems to me to stimulate the compulsive forces within us.

We are now seeing this played out across the globe as our beautiful Planet is ravaged by greed rather than the need to fulfil our basic requirements of sustenance. The potential for Unlimited profit growth from limited planetary resources is a ‘no brainer’.

As this becomes increasingly evident we are turning to more extreme sources of profit. The support services within Society, be they education, healthcare, transport, water or energy, like the slave trade, are now being plundered regardless of the impact it has upon the people.

In the financial arena the limitations of profit from planetary resources has seen our ingenuity turn to flighty ‘financial instruments’ that few understand. They are eagerly traded in global ignorance, because of the vast profits they are capable of, resulting in the financial disaster of 2008.

We see addiction at work here as financial organisations continue the very activities that created the last disaster as the compulsion for profit repeats this blind irresponsibility. This time it will not be the taxpayers that pay but the investors as their savings are stolen to replace the bad debt and losses.

For me the true obscenity of this addiction is the profit derived from the human misery of war. Here we see vast amounts of profit derived from the sale of ever more sophisticated and expensive armaments. Whilst this has been going on for centuries, since the Iraq war a new source of equally vast profits is now being made from the, (often shoddy), rebuilding programme after the war has ended.

It is bad enough to get this double bite at the cherry from the sordid business of warfare but to deliberately cut back on the quality of what is rebuilt for the sake of profit and such vast profit at that, is repugnant beyond words.

We are now told by the Pentagon that warfare is likely to be a constant part of Life in this 21st century. With the advent of terrorism fighting against the cancer of a greed driven Western Capitalism, they have created a self-perpetuating source of profit from human misery that points to the worst possible aspects of this addictive condition.

I believe Capitalism suits us as a species. When properly regulated it inspires and motivates individual endeavour. However, like a heroin addict with a credit card, the frenzy of unregulated abuse that Capitalism is now overdosing on will eventually lead to the destruction of this beautiful Planet and its inhabitants, unless we tackle this sad human fallibility . . . and tackle it soon with strong government!

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It!            By J T Coombes