Monthly Archives: February 2015

Jobs for the Boys . . . And Robots!

 

 “Humanity is going to require a substantially new way of thinking if it is to survive.” Albert Einstein

Whilst technology is gradually uniting us as a better informed species, it is also becoming the greatest threat to our future survival, as more and more jobs are being taken over by ‘Robots’.

As driverless cars make their entrance so professional drivers will be wiped out! Computerised artificial intelligence is not only threatening drivers and production line workers either.

It is now becoming so clever that professional jobs such as accountants, doctors and petrochemical engineers, to name but a few, are coming under the scrutiny of the technocrats. Creative people seem safe, at the moment, as these clever machines struggle to do the work of gardeners, cooks, entertainers and artists.

As reported in the Sunday Times, such is the threat that it has Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Elon Musk voicing concern, something therefore we should all pay attention to. Certainly the big companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon are directing a sizeable chunk of their vast resources into technology that replaces workers.

Amazon are now hiring 10,000 robots in their warehouses to replace existing jobs done by people and experimenting with drones that would make their army of delivery drivers redundant. This however pales into insignificance compared with the leading electronics manufacturer in China who is looking to replace 1 million workers with robots!

Such are the challenges to the conventional workplace that time was given over to the subject at last year’s World Economic Forum in Davos. Whether the attendees were absorbing this information with a view to saving jobs, or to adopt it and fight off competition is a moot point but I fear it may be shaping the future thinking of these powerful decision makers, if it has not already done so.

Of equal concern is a new phrase now entering our vocabulary with ‘the internet of things’. This relates to the ‘intelligence’ we are now giving household goods, cars and many other devices we use in our daily lives that can send and receive information without human intervention.

Whilst they may seemingly carry tangible benefits, our greatest concerns have already manifested in their contribution to increasing Surveillance that can determine where we are and what we are doing. Not only this but with everything connected up, who controls how the information – often intimate information – is used and managed?

It seems that the real movers and shakers in this new robotic world will be those who manage the robots! Not that there is much relief on the job front, as it doesn’t take much to work out that only a fraction of the current numbers of managers will be needed to direct and control these ‘totally compliant employees’.

There is no doubt we are in unprecedented times as a species. We have survived and evolved with the industrial revolution, which previously had the greatest impact upon how we lived and worked. This new technology revolution, I would suggest, is something we could struggle to evolve beyond.

My primary concern is that it could destroy the very foundation upon which we fulfil our most basic of functions as human beings. The ability to provide a home and the traditional means by which we bring up the members of the next generation.

I am nowhere near as clever as the people now creating our future lives in this technological age but I do question the practicalities of what is being propounded. At its core Capitalism is primarily kept afloat by people buying goods and services. It is this simple process that provides the opportunities for new business development and the profits for established businesses. Worker’s wages buy employers goods and services that in turn pay worker’s wages.

Whilst there will be Jobs for the Boys in this future world, where the leaders of technology companies and their few human employees are the only players but how can these few sustain Life on Planet Earth? It will sound the death knell of huge numbers of traditional businesses such Car manufacturers, Big Pharma, Construction companies, Airlines and Governments. The human beings who need these products and services will not be able to buy or support them and the ‘new breed of workers’ won’t need them!

We have lost all understanding of what Life is truly about, as the 99% are discarded like chaff in the whirlwind of addiction to profit and power that has now gripped Society. Edward Snowden (see P.S. below), has given us a chilling insight into the global abuses of technology and it won’t end here, in spite of this brave man’s efforts.

Until the next time

P.S. I have just watched Citizen Four, the award winning film of how Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras worked with Edward Snowden to bring his revelations out into the world. Not only is it an intense real life thriller, it is a true record of this incredible man, his genuine humility and the sacrifices he has made, breaking with his family and loved ones, to make us aware of the enormity of the abuse we are now being subjected to.

I would ask you to take just 2 hours out of your lives to watch this, if you want to and realise how grateful we should all be for his bravery and sacrifices.

(Vivid evidence of repression at work – Launched in October 2014, why is this ‘award winning’ film not available on eBay or Amazon?)

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/citizenfour/on-demand/58860-001

It’s the People . . . Always the People!

What a week last week was for the global financial system. In America we are told that large European banks, including Santander and Deutsche Bank are possibly going to fail Federal Reserve stress tests on their ability to survive another financial disaster.

They have had 7 years now to get their act together, with trillions of dollars printed and our tax money stolen to ‘save’ them. Is the global banking system so corrupted by bad debt that no amount of money printing will save it?

The cynic in me says they are deliberately keeping their reserves as low as possible because it’s their own money. When the system does another ‘2007’ and it will, then why waste their own money when they can use ours? This time however it won’t be our taxes but our cash, as the money we have in banks, be it in the current account, a deposit account or any account will be taken, screwing the people once again!

Now let’s look at Europe and the quandary Brussels is facing as the battle between Greece and the troika reaches new dimensions. This has nothing to do with money and all to do with power politics. In no way can the Greeks be allowed to reduce their debt to ‘manageable’ proportions as it will be an admission of irresponsible banking practice and create a dangerous precedent with Spain Italy Portugal and Ireland. The pound of flesh has become a reality!

Whilst ‘The Merchant of Venice’ is being played out on the world stage, ‘Shylock’ in the shape of the European Central Bank has now declared that its strategies for economic recovery are not working and its monetary policy options are exhausted. Financial stimulus must now come from governments spending more, or acting directly to make the private sector do so.

Isn’t this precisely what the new Greek government is trying to do and the ECB won’t allow, or am I missing something? Whilst this game playing continues there is little concern for the people falling below survival level in order that interest on debt is paid.

Our global financial system has now been bent so far out of shape as to make it unworkable. We are in uncharted waters where even the financiers don’t know the effects of what is currently going on, as money is endlessly printed out of thin air.

If we go back to basics, money was created to ease the means by which we traded our assets. In the beginning coins were made from gold as a means of guaranteeing the value of an exchange.

Then paper money came in and its value was guaranteed by a promise that it could be redeemed against gold. In the 1970’s the link with gold was broken when that ‘doyen of integrity’, Richard Nixon, took the dollar off the gold standard. Instead Governments made laws stating that currencies are legal tender and they will guarantee the value of each coin and note.

How will they do that . . . who knows? We can see and touch gold and it is reassuringly heavy, whereas a promise from government carries no weight or reassurance whatsoever. Now any amount of money can be brought into use and the figures are so vast they are meaningless.

Meaningless they may be but interest is charged on every coin, note and bond that sees the light of day. With current low or non-existent interest rates the problem is just about contained but the Federal Reserve tell us rates will have to go up. If we are choking now what happens then?

Money is no longer a means of trade but a tool by which global society is being returned to the feudal times of centuries ago and Greece is evidence of this. This mind-set is causing millions of men and women to be divested of the ability to bring up a family and keep a roof over their heads.

There is increasing talk of Agenda 21 and a UN led takeover of humanity by stealth. It has been dismissed as ‘conspiracy theory’, the classic manner by which the 1% destroy the credibility of criticism and useful debate. As our world becomes financialised it is made more malleable to abuse and control, making more sense of all that is happening.

In this 21st century people’s lives are systematically being made harder by debt, terrorism, surveillance and the destruction of democracy. The internet is bringing these seemingly disjointed actions out into the open and in so doing joining them up.

Our world is in need of radical change. This change can only come from a new breed of leaders who will meet the challenges we now face and re-inspire the people by working for their common good.

Until the next time

 

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

Democracy . . . Illness and Cure

As HSBC yet again hits the headlines the questions about its unpleasant business practices pale into insignificance compared with the debilitating waves its actions are sending throughout Society. The impact of the global corporations we have now created is destroying us, as the meaning of life is condensed into a single action of making profits and supporting the power structures inherent within the whole process.

What we have seen in just the last 7 days is not only the rottenness of our banking system and a political infrastructure that is equally rotten but now the church has jumped in to the fight, criticising government for a deteriorating democracy. Our traditional Establishment is increasingly fighting amongst itself as each institution seeks to disassociate itself from the others, all desperately attempting to regain a credibility each has destroyed through centuries of abuse.

Collectively it has created an environment which, like a terminal disease, will eventually result in our self-destruction as their vested interests kills the very essence of Life. For me this is vividly demonstrated by the insidious TTIP secret trade agreement now being pushed through with the minimum of democratic debate.

Here we have the power of the written word at its most menacing, as laws and agreements are put into place that will hold our governments accountable in a fashion that the people can only dream about. Any government action that works against corporate greed will result in penalties for that government (and of course its people, as they will have to pay the costs of these governmental transgressions!).

Just think about that for a moment. This deal is at the heart of the democratic process, where government is held accountable for its actions! Democracy here, however, is not for the benefit of the many but just the few. Indeed its impact upon the many (and this beautiful Planet) is like an incurable disease as our quality of life and our natural resources are abused and discarded with equal disdain.

If this is the way the game is now being played then “what is good for the goose, is also as good for the gander!” If it’s written agreements that now determine how we live, as integrity seems to have gone the way of the Dodo, then the people need their own ‘TTIP’ with which to hold government accountable.

I have argued before that Society is in exactly the same position that it was here in Britain 800 years ago, when unbridled power brought the country to its knees. Yes barons were looking after their own interests then with Magna Carta but it reflected back on the people in “no imprisonment without trial by peers”. With Terrorism we are now headed back to those dark times before Magna Carta.

It worked before and it can work again, in using the power of the written word to bring back accountability. This time the barons need to be replaced by a political party that will adopt a revised Magna Carta and legally invoke it as The Objectives of Parliament for the foreseeable future. It would be updated from time to time, to keep it in line with a changing Society and its needs, but its essence would always reflect the protection of our quality of life.

The last thing we want is a legal document that would keep lawyers in clover forever. We need a means by which the people can decide for themselves if government is doing its job. Manifestos would become simple forms which declare each new incumbents intention to support all, or some of the Charter’s aims during their term in office. People could then decide who to vote for, depending upon the popular consensus as to what needed tackling in Society at that time.

Clauses might include a ‘public’ monetary system, gender and religious equality, protection of planetary resources, a people’s democracy and so on. Empowerment of the people would come from being able to measure each government’s achievements and decide if they had done a good job or not in furthering the aims of the Charter. This decision would then influence their next vote and secure our steady progress as a Society.

How would we arrive at this new Charter? Easy! Follow Iceland’s example and give it to the people to design and agree upon. It worked there, in spite of ridicule by the opposition party and it can work here just as well!

Whilst none of this is possible by this election, if a seed is sown it will place the present party’s on warning that we are setting the political stage for the future. We are looking for a party to unite and lead us . . . and we expect it SOON!

Until the next time

 

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

Hung Parliament . . . Who Cares!

Apparently last week’s Tory fund raiser was not only squeezing the ‘chequebooks’ for the coming election war chest but also the one needed after a probable hung parliament.

This says so much about the state of modern politics, not only in this country but in the US and elsewhere. Society has been gradually brought to its knees over the last 50 years by persistent abuse and the erosion of democracy. It is, I believe, now totally exhausted.

If we go back to the Thatcher era, whilst I have so much respect for her achievement as a woman in a man’s world, her political convictions were toxic. She destroyed our manufacturing base and a healthy union movement so necessary to hold employers to account (something Blair & co consolidated when they came to power).

She sold off council housing stock, making affordable housing a thing of the past as youngsters struggle with the greed of private landlords. (Subsequent governments followed her lead and sold of the remainder of the countries public utilities and assets, including world icons such as Rolls Royce, plus our Gold supply at a rock bottom price!)

Real wealth is created by making and selling things. This basic premise was flung aside as she introduced the ‘loadsa money’ expansion of the City and financial gambling with paper wealth. With her naive belief in a ‘Free Market’ she pursued deregulation, as the market was “capable of regulating itself”.

Any regulation is only as good as the people who formulate and exercise it. 2007 gave us ample proof that a mind-set of uncontrollable greed was running rampant in global financial markets. The greatest crime in the history of our species was then perpetrated when public funds were used to bail out the bankers, instead of allowing ‘market forces’ to bankrupt them. Since then vast fines, which are just petty cash to the banks, are regularly levied to swell government coffers and not one banker has been jailed.

If we now return home, for decades succeeding governments have known about an ageing population and its effect upon the economy. As successive governments passed the Health and Pensions challenges to the next incumbent, each borrowed more money to subsidise the problem rather than face it.

Today debt has become the universal political panacea as the over 65’s are now offered a guaranteed bond whose high interest is achieved with yet more borrowing. This irresponsible electioneering is intensified as our Prime Minister declares it is time “we had a pay rise”. With what I ask myself . . . more debt? Has to be, because government is certainly incapable of stimulating the economy and creating more jobs.

So we move from the banal to the incredulous as we become aware of secret trade deals that have been going on for years and will effectively neuter democracy once and for all. Global corporations will now shape our laws and vaporise health and safety regulations in the interests of profit. TTIP is so sinister that when applied to our infant Fracking industry, if we allow it to go ahead our countryside will be wrecked and if we don’t we will be sued and bankrupted as a country!

Since Maggie Thatcher, a leader albeit with troubled beliefs, the era of the ‘career politician’ has created the current bland political landscape both here and abroad.Their equally bland manifestos a record of future lies and backtracking. These people excel at the political process but lack vision or caring leadership qualities, as our power is handed over to Europe and global corporations.

We are no longer involved in our future. We are lied to (TTIP) abused (2007 financial collapse) and left to fend for ourselves (Health and Pensions). It is no surprise we are looking at a hung parliament and don’t care anymore!

This is why the events now playing out in Greece are so important. It is irrelevant which side of the political divide the party comes from. Here, there are politicians who are forcefully speaking out for the people and standing up against powerful organisations that have brought their country to its knees.

Like Edward Snowden, they simply know that what is happening is wrong. The Greek people have responded by becoming motivated again, with 79% of them firmly backing their new government. Could we boast similar support over here? . . You decide.

I have argued before that we must engineer a hung parliament to give out politicians a punch on the snout. No engineering now appears necessary as they have done the job themselves!

What I would like to see is that we continue to repeat our first vote and cause yet more hung parliaments until a leader emerges who will unite us in fighting debt, austerity, and a failing democracy.

These, I would suggest, are the only issues for this election. By tackling them you give the people back their dignity and everything else will fall into place.

 

Until the next time

 

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

Welcome to The Abyss

September 11th 2001 was the day that will stay with everyone. It will also stay with Jo Moore, a special government advisor, who had to resign after sending an email suggesting it would be a “good day to bury bad news”!

Yesterday a frightening piece of news signalling Armageddon may have arrived, was successfully buried by a carefully directed media frenzy over the HSBC tax evasion ‘scandal’. I put scandal in quotes as I really can’t see what all the fuss is about. HSBC are only doing their odious job by maximising the efficient management of clients’ money.

Whilst our attention was being diverted by this non news, media mogul mates of President Obama quietly announced that he is seeking a ‘war resolution’ against Islamic State, with limited use of US force against militants operating in Syria and Iraq for three years . . . Welcome to the Abyss . . . which this morning’s media paid scant attention to.

It is now blatantly obvious that the Pentagon runs American foreign policy and that they are totally out of control. They have learned nothing from the 60’s, when the futility of the Vietnam war was recognised after 23 years of vicious conflict, in which reports suggest up to 3 million Vietnamese service members and civilians lost their lives?

25 years later, after the dust settled from the collapse of the twin towers in 2001, George W Bush declared a ‘War on Terror’, starting in Afghanistan and followed by Iraq 2 years later. Whilst enormous resources have been applied to these campaigns the end result has been unmitigated disaster.

Instead of the promised subjugation of the enemy and conversion of these Muslim countries to ‘democratic’ capitalism the complete reverse has happened. The effect of putting foreign troops on home territory has antagonised and enraged the civilian population, as unarmed civilians are systematically murdered through the cowardly practice of drone warfare.

You don’t need a degree in psychology to work out how you would feel if an Iraqi army invaded your country on the pretext of coming to help and then slaughtered friends, family and fellow countrymen from the protection of unmanned aircraft you are unable to fight back against.

To heap insult upon injury, when the Pentagon had finished knocking the stuffing out of the country’s infrastructure, it was then subjected to a second ‘invasion’ to help rebuild everything the army had destroyed. Only what was rebuilt was of inferior quality and unfit for purpose, as contractors reaped vast profits from the rebuilding contracts.

There is little doubt that these blunders fuelled a change in terrorism that had previously been supported by the West to destabilise unwanted power in the region. ISIS is the end product and its rapid and violent growth against the West speaks volumes about current resentment. What the Pentagon seems incapable of understanding is that they are not fighting an army but an ideology that is vehemently opposed to western values.

The greater the force fighting ideology the greater the resistance. Do the generals really believe they can subdue these people and even annihilate them? The reality is that any belief can never be eradicated by force, it will simply spring up somewhere else, as is now happening with alarming rapidity across the globe.

In the UK an ‘off duty’ solder returning to base was attacked and viciously killed in broad daylight in front of traumatised civilians. In France the Charlie Hebdo massacre left a country stunned. Only a few days ago Australian police arrested two men, seizing a homemade ‘ISIS’ flag along with a machete and hunting knife, whose intended gory application takes little imagination.

This is the future that now awaits us with this latest Pentagon initiative, where we will become frightened to walk out in public with our families, uncertain as to whether we will be attacked, or worse, that our children might witness such atrocities.

And what will be the impact upon youngsters growing up in this environment? Antagonism towards ‘foreigners’ will escalate and the curse we have lived with as a species for too long now will be reinforced as we continue to be divided and conquered.

Never was the wisdom of Einstein more relevant than now: “The thinking that creates the problem is quite incapable of solving it”. Obama’s message of yesterday is taking us to the edge of the abyss and the only way back is to find new visionary and committed leaders, as Greece has now done in an attempt to step back from her own abyss.

Only then might we create a narrow bridge over which we can tentatively embark upon new understandings instead of antagonism, to meet those in our growing Global Village who are equally entitled to live on this beautiful Planet. These are challenging times my friends.

 

Until the next time

 

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

Shylock Visits Greece

From the moment we invented money we have had an uneasy relationship with moneylending and usury, the practice of making profits from others misfortunes. 2000 years ago Christ, in his only recorded act of physical anger, threw the moneylenders out of the Temple.

1600 years later in the Merchant of Venice Shakespeare, the world’s greatest dramatist ever, created Shylock who demanded a pound of flesh ‘nearest the heart’ as security for a loan and then demanded it when the borrower defaulted.

In my early days in the City of London, a much respected bank manager explained to me that the difference between ‘banking’ and ‘moneylending’ lay in the third question. When asking what security was available for a loan and whether the borrower could meet the repayments a banker would also ask: “Is it necessary?”

Like moneylenders, bankers are aware that loans can prey upon our weaknesses and sought to protect us from our own irresponsibility by making us think seriously about what we were about to indebt ourselves to them for.

Greece is in seriously troubling times as a result of its politicians taking on vast debts to stay in power. Aided by the lenders, this burden was hidden from the people AND the EU, when applying for membership.

With these loans came the condition of severe belt tightening ‘Austerity’ measures, effectively hobbling economic growth as well as humiliating the Greek people. Additionally, non-elected technocrats were installed in government, (as well as Italy), to ensure that interest payments are always met over the needs of the country and its people.

The repercussions from this have resulted in Greek youth looking at a bleak future, with little chance of gainful employment during their lifetime. People who previously held responsible jobs are now reduced to scavenging through the garbage for food, or relying on charity to survive. Is it any wonder that the extent of this human tragedy has also seen a dramatic increase in the rate of suicides, caused by an environment of growing despair as lenders continue to demand their ‘pound of flesh’?

It is now clear that Greece can no longer afford these secretly made obligations, whilst lenders simply proffer more debt as the solution to meeting the repayments.

The reality is that if these payments are taken out of the county’s balance sheet Greece is in credit! Accusations have been levied at the Greek people, which in most part they accept, that they have not been responsible in paying their taxes and so they are to blame.

How credible are such accusations, when the very people who lent them the money and are now taking over the country’s public utilities at heavily discounted prices, are themselves constantly avoiding taxes? In the last few days it has been whistleblown that a subsidiary of HSBC, the 2nd largest bank in the world, is actively helping wealthy clients dodge taxes.

Unlike Greek shopkeepers, these global institutions have armies of accountants constantly looking to see where tax can be avoided or evaded. Unlike Greek shopkeepers , we are talking here about billions each year that are hidden in designer made tax havens such as The Cayman Islands, Lichtenstein and The Isle of Man, to name but a few. Pot calling the kettle black . . . You decide!

An Impassioned Plea . . .

The brave people of Greece are now in a very, very lonely place, as debt repayments they can’t meet fall due at the end of this month. Like a modern day David and Goliath, they now confront their financial oppressors whilst the rest of the world looks on.

Goliath cannot be seen to be backing down here, because it will create a precedent of unmanageable proportions for those lenders with other European countries in similar situations. I, for one, believe Greece is now fighting a battle the rest of us in the western world will have to face, if we are to relinquish our continued enslavement by debt.

Surely NOW is the time for the rest of us to express our refusal to continue with the “High Debt, low growth and unemployment” we are told by the IMF “could yet become the new normal in Europe”, by showing our support for the people of Greece on social media and elsewhere.

Mine is this simple message that will be repeated daily for the next week:

If, like me, you are convinced ‘Austerity’ only works for the lenders please support this message by hitting the RT above right here and now. Or use your own words with #GreekDebt, so our collective voice will let them know they are no longer alone.

We owe it to their bravery in making a stand . . . How can anyone look away?

 

Until the next time.

Terrorism . . . Are We Being Played?

The plethora of reporting on ‘Terrorism’ raises questions in my mind as to precisely what is going on as we argue the fine line between a broad perspective and conspiracy theory. I find myself being pushed into the camp that postulates a cogent plan by our rulers to keep our attention diverted, whilst our countries are ransacked and our freedoms decimated by the clever application of surveillance, debt and restricted money supply.

First we had Al Qaeda, a virtually unknown group who rocketed to infamy and caused Bush’s “Bring it on” declaration of global war after 9/11. This was followed immediately by the (illegal) Iraq war and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden which, given the resources available, seemed to take an inordinate amount of time in finding him.

Why was he immediately executed, rather than humiliated by a show trial and execution, with all the kudos this would offer? Having supposedly disposed of him, we are now told that no official evidence of his demise is available.

In contrast with Saddam Hussein, we were privy to every part of his capture, including his total humiliation by a public mouth search! His show trial covered the globe and finally we went into the death house to witness his execution. All pretty gripping stuff and guaranteed to hold our attention, with such ‘villains’ as Hussein and Bin Laden heading up the cast.

So having got our attention we now have a new and even more sensational story with the advent of ISIS. They are ruthless, well co-ordinated, well versed in social media and how to manipulate by sensation and scare. They are also well-resourced and successful to the point that young men flood to their camps to join in that success against an enemy that seems intent upon keeping its own young men unemployed and suppressed by debt.

The problem with the sensational, when so widely broadcast, is that it has to become more and more dramatic to maintain such a vast audience. This has led from ground attack and butchery of civilians to brutal beheadings. Their leadership have now ramped up the sensational by placing an Iranian pilot in a metal cage and brutally burned him to death. This latest atrocity begs the question: “What next?!”

To add to information overload we were told by journalist Didier Francois, a captive who was subsequently released, that his captors “hammered” hostages with their political, not religious ideology. This revelation now casts huge doubt over the news stories we have been fed about religious zealots. Not only that but it begins to replicate the equally unpleasant ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, where terrorism was also used to gain political power.

Which again begs a question: “Where is Tony Blair in all of this?”, having been in government during the Northern Ireland peace process and witnessed the giving of power to the political wing of the IRA. Now, ‘Special Envoy to the Middle East’, he seems eminently qualified and experienced to apply his skills here, but is nowhere to be found . . . Hmmm!

It seems to me that Terrorism ticks so many boxes in supporting the covert escalation of global power. It diverts our attention from the gradual financialisation of this world and our subsequent enslavement by debt. It creates the needed enemy that is violently threatening our peace and security. It provides a righteous war able to feed us a diet of sensational barbarism, which spreads fear and justifies a global web of surveillance to further subjugate our every move.

What, I ask myself, would have been the result of no media coverage? Would this latest terrorist group have really brought the world to its knees, by robbing us of our freedom so quickly and efficiently, if we knew nothing about them . . . or are we being played? (As an aside, the Norwegian government responded to the murder of 69 of its people, mainly youngsters, with more democracy, more openness and greater political participation!)

If we are being played and apply this to our forthcoming elections, is it any wonder the same corporately governed political parties are re-elected to continue the enslavement of Society?

Or have the very beginnings of the fight back now begun in places like Greece and Portugal? Judging by the people, the will to change is evident because they have had enough . . . and also have nothing to lose!

With renewed belief in itself, through a greater understanding of what is going on in our growing ‘Global Village’, I believe Society will somehow find the wherewithal to end the traditional tyranny that has plagued it for so long.

Overwhelming? . . . Certainly! Possible? . . . What have we got to lose?

 

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 Horror of TTIP

Caution: This piece contains explicit imagery.

Many years ago I watched an interview with a psychiatrist who counselled the rich and famous in Hollywood. Treating addiction was his speciality and he stated how important and difficult it is for the addict to recognise they have a problem, the very first step to recovery. In his own case he became aware he had a serious problem when he came out of a drug induced coma one morning lying face down in the gutter with a dog urinating on his face!

I have alluded before to the addictive qualities of ‘profit’ within Capitalism http://tinyurl.com/khy6nr8 . I see the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as a serious symptom of this quality, with its complete disregard for people, democracy and the Law of the Land in the attainment of its profit goals/fix.

Corporations have been allowed to become global whilst governments, whose job it is to restrain them, remain national and increasingly ineffective. Hence the now threatening possibility for corporations to sue governments if legislation they introduce could have an adverse effect upon future profits.

Of greater concern is a recently leaked EU document showing quite clearly that corporations will become more directly involved in policy making through a new institution, the Regulatory Cooperation Body (RCB). Its purpose is to coordinate the process of ‘regulatory coherence’ between the US and the EU, effectively side-lining, if not neutering, the public and civil organisations. (Source: Centre for Research on Globalization – http://tinyurl.com/m9vxl6t)

Aided by the RCB, this abusive agreement would work against all food, health and safety legislation designed to safeguard us, as the costs would affect profits. It can also be easily seen that it would allow the continuing devastation of our Planet. Be in no doubt about the seriousness of this agreement upon us, as a Society and a country.

Let’s just look at Fracking and the US experience in only a few short years. It tells of increasing earthquakes and growing health problems attributable to the use of chemicals, the type of which nobody is prepared to disclose and of particular danger to those living near the ever mushrooming Fracking sites. As a final insult, residents are left to clear up the considerable mess out of public funds, when the well has been exhausted, as there is no profit to be had from this part of the process.

Now the scary bit! If government in the UK suddenly saw the light from the US experience and reversed all decisions made so far to allow this odious process, with TTIP in force they would be sued. Doesn’t sound that sinister until you realise that this is an infant industry and if a quarter of what Cameron tells us is true, there are obscene amounts of money to be made here. After all, we are told that Fracking would resolve all of our current financial problems and see our balance of payments in good order for many decades to come!

THAT is a lot of money which, under the terms of TTIP, corporations would then be able to seek recompense for, if we reneged on current agreements. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the elephantine sums involved would bankrupt this country once and for all!

We are entering an Orwellian world where Big Brother will cease to regulate any corporate activity and presumably be unable to seek taxes from these monoliths because it would have repercussions upon their bottom line!

Am I being ridiculous . . . could things really get this bad? WHO KNOWS! Perhaps this is the reason it has been shrouded in so much secrecy for so many years. And how could we find out, because we don’t trust what we are told by those in authority?

Given the growing abuse of the 99% by the 1%, of which TTIP is an excess beyond belief, I see the hallmarks of addiction in its latter stages, as the demands for the unchecked profit growth ‘fix’  become more excessive and menacing with a corporate world in denial at the destructive repercussions of its actions. (Another banking collapse is already on the cards we are arrogantly told and with monotonous regularity!)

We have ravaged our Planet to a point where one of our major sources of food, the oceans, is now becoming toxic and GM crops are in question. The real nature of our problem is that we are the only species to poison its own food because of troubled addictive reasoning and belief about the profit fix!

I find myself looking, with increasing alarm, at the melting polar caps and considering the metaphor that perhaps our Planet is now readying itself to urinate on our collective faces. Sadly by then, I fear, it will be too late for any form of remedial treatment for our condition.

Until the next time

 

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