Monthly Archives: June 2015

Greece . . . The Faintest Glimmer

@GMagnaCarta Sorry, but this is a population that dodged taxes for many yrs, retired early and lived well beyond means. Accountability needed”

This was a response to a posting and reflects a popular consensus that prevailed right up to the beginning of this year, based upon our ignorance of so much that has been withheld from us by the power of media propaganda.

There is no doubt in my mind that there has been a sea change in attitude since January, as we become increasingly aware of the part the banks have played in creating this Modern Greek Tragedy. More and more views are being expressed on Social Media about the strength and courage of the Greek people, led by Alex Tsipras as the equally modern ‘David’.

That the main media are now printing the comments of supporters of what Greece is doing is, in my opinion, very significant in moving opinion to a more balanced perspective than that which has prevailed.

Indeed the Sunday Times this weekend not only published standard pro Europe/Troika messages but also included in their supplement, News Review, a front page story by John Humphries, (no less!), on his experiences of Greece and his defence of their actions now.

What I found particularly illuminating was his potted history of just what the Greek people have experienced since World War 2. They endured the unspeakable savagery of Nazi occupation, which was then closely followed by a civil war that tore the country apart. Their living hell continued with a brutal military dictatorship, which finally collapsed in 1974, only to be replaced by two irresponsible and inept political parties.

These parties kept the people quiet with equally inept bribery whilst they practised a level of corruption so great that it was their eventual undoing and that of the country as a whole. All of which was latterly aided and abetted by the banks, as we now know. Given this background is it any wonder that people took anything on offer, including generous pensions on pretty poor wages. Would you not do the same? I certainly would . . . because I’m human!

His personal experience is also poignant as he describes the almost unbearable pathos of old men with stiff backs and white moustaches rummaging in bins, dressed in their best suits. Or the old lady shading her face with one hand as she begs with the other.

This is the reality of Greece, which such respected journalists as Mr Humphries are now commenting on. This is what Alex Tsipras means when he talks about “returning their dignity to the Greek people”. I am indebted to my friend Weiss  for @w_nicht assing me this article by Joseph Stilglitz http://tinyurl.com/nesaxul who also comes out in support of the coming Greek Referendum and infers how he might vote if eligible.

Here again support for the actions of the Greek government is manifesting from respected people such as this Nobel Laureate in economics. This is unbiased truth about the reality of what is going on and not some fabricated hogwash designed to cover up the appalling tactics of the politicians and bankers.

For me we are now seeing a glimmer of light, as the internet works its magic in the job it does so well . . . supporting the people as they share with each other the pieces of truth and reality they have discovered about the abusive world in which we live. In retaliation the elected representatives of the Greek people are being labelled as ‘Marxists’, the ‘traditional enemy’ of Capitalism and Profit.

Marxists they may be but what comes out loud and clear by their actions, as well as their words, is that they have integrity and care about the people who voted them in. When the previous government tried holding a Referendum and was told by the EU and Troika to “pack it in” they ran a mile. Such a different and defiant story is occurring now, whilst also making it very clear about the attitude of Brussels to democracy and its total lack of respect for the people it is supposed to represent!

This defiance was mirrored here in Lancashire yesterday as David Cameron came wonderfully unstuck in his endeavours to force a Fracking industry upon this country. It is a mighty precedent that both Cameron and Brussels should take note of.

This growing mood of defiance has been accelerated by the actions of the Greek people, who have identified a loss of dignity we are ALL now both experiencing and recognising, caused by an increasingly abusive global regime who continue to try and ignore us.

It may just be a glimmer at present but having created that light it will be hard, I think impossible, to extinguish.

 

Until the next time.

 

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

Austerity . . . That Hidden Charge!

Austerity is not a phenomenon of the 21st century. The robust empires of Mesopotamia, Rome, Bourbon and Britain failed under crushing debt that drowned economic output, destroying a healthy financial environment. If we go beyond the surface we can better understand the endemic cancer within debt that guarantees this constant failure.

97% of the world’s currencies are provided by private banks who charge us for using their money, rather than governments doing the job for free. They argue that it is ‘unhealthy’ for politicians to be involved in the supply of money and therefore the job of the banks.

There is however an equally ‘unhealthy’ aspect to the present arrangement, as banks charge compound interest on the money we use. This has been a bone of moral contention for centuries as religion decries the immorality of interest earning interest because compound interest quickly escalates debt.

If we borrow £20,000 at just 5% and compound it monthly, the amount repaid over 10 years would be £32,940.18 and a staggering £54,252.80 after 20 years! (Source math.com)

When you consider the trillions of dollars printed into the global system since 2008 is it any wonder we are now suffocating in debt! Currently this money is at low, or zero interest but the Federal Reserve are now talking about raising interest rates. Given these astronomical amounts the effects of compound interest on the economies of many countries will be crippling.

Here we get to the source of the immense power the monopoly of global banking has achieved. With debt comes obligation, guaranteeing them the ability to impose whatever terms they wish, of which compound interest is just one facet. ‘Austerity’ is another, as banks argue that when a borrower gets into difficulties they must “cut their coat”, irrespective of the banks contribution to those difficulties.

Armed with this logic they insist that borrowers forgo the expense of ‘non-essentials’, to meet the interest repayments on the money owed. Here lies the growing antagonism between lender and borrower, as it is banks and governments who define what constitutes ‘non-essentials’.

Government’s sign up to ‘Austerity’ in order to get the money, knowing full well that banks have little time for the social needs of Society. Whether it is healthcare, education, social benefits, water and energy supplies or state owned assets, they can be drastically reduced or sold off (at seriously discounted prices) as a condition of the debt agreement.

The most public example of ‘Austerity’, as a hidden charge within sovereign debt, was when the UK gold supply was disposed of by Gordon Brown between 1999 and 2002. This was the result of pressure placed upon him by Goldman Sachs, who were significantly short on gold and in danger of going bust. Brown was obligated to come their aid, (because of our indebtedness), which he did spectacularly by firstly advertising his intention to sell our total gold holding and secondly, offering it for sale by auction.

These were two unprecedented actions, deliberately calculated to drive down the gold price by making the markets aware of government intention to sell. The net result was that our gold was sold at between $256 and $296 an ounce, subsequently soaring to an astounding $1,615 by 2012.

Goldman Sachs were saved by the sale of one of our state owned assets at a derisory price, providing a nice little earner to boot! Added to which an unsuspecting public were totally unaware of a subterfuge that just six years later would be perpetrated upon them again in an even more abusive fashion by ALL the banks!

This hidden charge of ‘Austerity’ is an ongoing abuse, as demonstrated only a couple of weeks ago, when our government publicly announced its intention to sell its stake in RBS at a loss, tipping off the markets yet again to bring down the price, reportedly, with the full approval of Rothschild’s.

As both governments and bankers continue to conspire to keep the reality of their dealings out of the public eye it is becoming increasingly apparent that the true cost of private banks supplying our money is now becoming prohibitive. We are not only expected to pay compound interest for its use but also hand over our national assets and quality of Life as well, in the name of ‘Austerity’.

The severe treatment being forced upon the Greek people now is reminiscent of the loss of dignity suffered by the German people, forced into unconditional surrender at the end of WWI. This barbaric treatment resulted in a horrendous backlash, meted out to an unsuspecting nation by a maniac whose power came from the robbed dignity of the people.

To ensure history does not repeat itself this time, is it not right for all of us to stand with the Greek people and shout at our governments “ENOUGH. FOLLOW THE GREEK LEAD” . . . that we may once again live our lives with dignity.

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 Dignity of Greece

As the Modern Greek Tragedy continues to play out to a global audience it raises many important issues beyond debt and highlights the increasingly untenable world that we are expected to live in.

Greece identifies the escalating problem of how unstable our financial system has become and why many of the players are now finding obscure bolt holes in places like New Zealand and South America in anticipation of the worldwide implosion they are creating.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. How can Brussels remain credible, demonising the Greek people as financial incompetents when, as a bunch of wholly incompetent bureaucrats themselves they have, for over 20 consecutive years,  irresponsibly managed taxpayer money so badly that the official auditors refuse to sign off any of the EU accounts? ‘Pot and Kettle’ . . . You decide!

The greatest squealing is now coming from Germany, who righteously demand responsibility from Greece in return for their generosity. Oh give me a break!! Have they forgotten that is was German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his then finance minister who heavily promoted the admission of the Greek drachma into the European Monetary Union. Was no vetting done?!

Carried on this wave of hubris German banks threw money at Greece as it began to threaten the stability of the Euro. Not only have the German people suffered a continual reduction in their living standards and quality of Life but Deutsche Bank, (the country’s biggest), looks like becoming Europe’s version of Lehman Brothers following the resignation of both CEOs, with other big European banks similarly on the verge of collapse.

Does anyone need to use more than a single brain cell to recognise that a country as tiny as Greece, which accounts for just 1.2% of Eurozone GDP, has just driven a coach and horses through the firm foundations of a ‘United States of Europe’. As the pantomime of the Greek blame game plays out it becomes more and more obvious that the EU is held together with sticking plaster and political hubris of overwhelming proportions.

I for one would be the first to say, “OK guys you’ve had a go but it has all got a bit ambitious and you have to begin seriously cutting back”. However, rationality is lost at the fact that the good people of Europe have had their standard and quality of life cut back and cut back by the costs of running this elephantine political monstrosity.

Added to which they are now being abused by austerity measures that have taken away the dignity of the Greek people and who now have no choice but to watch helplessly as their national assets are plundered and unelected officials put in charge of running their country (as are other nations).

These are the reasons ALL of our living standards and quality of Life have diminished over the years, because of the exorbitant costs of debt and the equally exorbitant costs of running the EU. Please don’t try to argue this one, as the number of 40 years olds still living at home continues to grow.

Greece has shown us so much about an indefensible euro currency now dictating that when a country gets into financial trouble, as all do from time to time, debt is the only solution. Providing debt to repay debt is a no-brainer and yet it is condoned by the EU as the only solution . . . but for whom? . . . Again, you decide.

The dignity that Greece has demonstrated in fighting back against insurmountable odds is a wakeup call to the true nature of the abusive mess our political and corporate leaders have now got us into. Unlike the new Greek government however, nobody is fighting our corner, rather bending us over for more of the same.

It seems to me that the track record of the EU shows it as a ‘Mountain’ specialist. In the 60’s we had ‘Beef Mountains’ followed over the years by ‘Mountainous expense’ in running this burgeoning bureaucratic rice pudding, right up to the present day where we are now experiencing ‘Mountains of Debt’.

The dignity of the Greek people is also showing up the massive lie that our media are insisting we absorb, in fervently supporting the current sorry state of affairs. This support of political irresponsibility and hypocrisy is only possible as long as we read it and believe it. When we stop we will return to a level of personal empowerment we had forgotten we are capable of. (Although I notice more commentators are now defending the actions of Greece and this is to be applauded.)

In the meantime the Ukraine is now receiving debt reduction ‘treatment’ and additional loans, as Brussels and the Troika shamelessly continue their abusive practices. Beware people of the Ukraine and be sure you are not also robbed of your dignity, as the price you pay for becoming immersed in suffocating debt will be that you will later be blamed when it all goes badly wrong, as it surely will!

 

Until the next time

 

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

Greece Can Return Us to Sanity

What a party the banks have had over the last 10 years. An orgy of endless money printing and debt leveraging Derivatives, (or gambling slips to you and me!). When it all blew up in 2008 with sub-prime mortgages, the taxpayer was forced to quickly bail them out and off they went again with sub-prime auto loans by the million and Sovereign debt by the billion, all of which is feeding yet more odious debt into an already very sick global financial system.

If this was not enough, a group of them then became involved in rigging the LIBOR global interest rate structure, whilst others played with vast tax avoidance and money laundering schemes.

Aficionados of Monopoly will quickly recognise that in spite of all of this unsavoury activity the banks are holding limitless “Get out of Jail Free” cards. Even these are not really necessary, because there are no “Go to Jail” cards in a game that has been heavily rigged in their favour!

Reprimands are levied by the authorities, with fines of seemingly vast sums of money, which in reality just come out of petty cash. Even the reprimands have been rigged, as the fines are ‘tax deductible’ and so the very people the banks have screwed find themselves helping pay their fines. You really can’t make this sort of stuff up!

Our global financial system, seriously weakened by odious debt, is now further challenged by a derivatives market few understand and which, according to the Bank of International Settlements, was worth a staggering $710 trillion in 2014 and growing.

And so the party continues uninterrupted, as little legislation has been put in force to separate this devastating gambling activity (as we found to our cost in 2008), from traditional banking practices. In the case of sub-prime mortgages when the banking loans began to default the derivatives they were linked to became worthless, bringing the world to its knees.

We now have another default in the making as Greece stands up and says “Enough. We don’t want to play this silly game of austerity anymore!” Their debt has also been ‘parcelled’ out to join all of the other bad debt arrangements still there from 2008 up to the present, precariously waiting to come tumbling down with greater devastation than before.

The reaction of both Brussels and the Troika to this tiny country and the responsible actions it is now contemplating demonstrates the fragility of the present financial system and its inability to withstand such action and just how frightened those in the know really are.

So why has Greece finally stood up to this banking abuse? Interestingly it comes from human rather than financial motivation. The Greek people have voted in a government that has values quite unique in the present world of politics and something simply not entertained in the world of finance.

The Greek government is fighting for the dignity and self-respect of its people. It has called “enough” in response to the increased and continuing suicide rate of good people brought to their knees with despair at seemingly endless austerity measures that are not solving anything. People and families, who until recently had been working and raising their children, are now reduced to scavenging in the rubbish for food.

(Remember it was the boss of the IMF who declared only last year that “the global economy’s ‘new mediocre’ phase of low growth could well become the ‘new reality’”, ensuring millions remain without prospects of future employment or purpose to their lives.)

Human dignity and self-respect is inbuilt within all of us and knows when to call a halt to abuse. Just think for a moment about our own current abuse with:

  • Surveillance
  • Austerity
  • Secret ‘democracy destroying’ TTIP deals
  • Ignoring our wishes over country wrecking Fracking
  • Constant reneging of political promises by those we have elected to power.

It is here that Greece could return us all to sanity by bringing down this unreal world of abuse and financial deception that has been allowed to grow over the last decade. The bully boy tactics towards Greece standing up for itself shows a fear by the EU and the banks that others might follow, causing the destruction of the present global power structure.

By supporting Greece in bringing down the financial system, rather than letting the banks do it again, is not as irresponsible as it sounds, allowing us to take back our dignity and self-respect over an increasingly autocratic and abusive global regime. The alternative is that offered by Christine Lagarde, as mentioned earlier.

Certainly it will mean a painful time for all of us, (which has to come one way or the other), but that time would be limited, with economic growth and jobs waiting at the other end, as Iceland has already demonstrated.

The standoff with Greece and The EU is simply history repeating itself, as David once again faces up to Goliath . . . and we know the outcome of that first seemingly uneven confrontation.

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 Reality of Greek Debt

After months of seemingly fruitless negotiations between the Greek government and its creditors the IMF have now walked away and the country faces its ‘moment of truth’, according to Bloomberg yesterday. I would argue that it is not only Greece’s moment of truth but also that of its creditors.

There is a mind-set amongst the Greek people that takes a manana attitude to everything and particularly the payment of taxes and other financial responsibilities. Please, this is not a judgement but a simple observation of a national attribute that is well known internationally.

I have been to Greece and its islands on a number of occasions and fell in love, not only with the terrain but also the people and their way of life. So too have the bankers and politicians, indeed many own properties there, giving them a first-hand insight into the Greek way of Life.

With this knowledge why have they have been lending Greece more and more money over the decades, turning a blind eye to their already bankrupt state and growing inability to repay the equally growing debt? Yes, the situation has also been aggravated by corrupt Greek officials, who have played an integral part in this abuse to cover their incompetence and mismanagement of the country and its resources.

As the politicians and bankers rant, rave and throw more toys out of the pram at the ‘Greek Problem’ let us just look at what is really going on. We are told of massive “right offs” of Greek debt, “haircuts”, stability mechanisms (whatever they are) and debt restructuring that have been applied to the problem. In spite of this vast ‘massaging’ by the experts, the country is still sinking under its debt obligation. My question is, just how did Greece come to amass such an incomprehensible amount of debt?

Am I missing something or are we seeing here a repeat of the 2008 sub-prime banking scandal? Instead of naïve and ignorant people being sold mortgage debt they had no chance of repaying however, we are now dealing in countries. The only benefactors of this debt overload, like the sub-prime fiasco, are the banks and businesses who are vacuuming up the county’s assets at heavily discounted prices, whilst turning the people into a nation of beggars.

The fact that the banks have mirrored the sub-prime experience, by lending on bad risks to gain higher interest, is now being submerged in a propaganda smokescreen to divert attention away from yet more bad banking practices. Sympathy is poured upon the German taxpayers and other member states for coming to try and rescue “those irresponsible Greeks”. What utter nonsense!

Who was it that engineered this assistance but a bunch of incompetent bureaucrats whose blind ambition to get as many member countries into their club as possible resulted in a total lack of respect or consideration for existing members and how their money was managed and lent out?

Now it has all hit the fan and Greece is fighting back, as Iceland did, we are seeing the millennia old strategy of ‘divide and conquer’. The Troika is seeking to deflect attention away from its own incompetence and greed by blaming the Greeks for abusing German aid, stoking internal member conflict at a time when the club should be closing ranks, as all other clubs do in such circumstances.

What is lost in all of this posturing is that if Greece, as the pundits suggest could happen, does opt out, go through a couple of years of pain with the drachma and then return to some sort of financial stability not currently possible, the credibility of the global financial system and the euro will be tarnished for good, if they both last that long.

Be under no illusion, Greece is in a power struggle that will affect all of us into the future. If the banks win again, as they did in 2008, debt will become the tool of enslavement and profit the ruler of our lives, as social contracts are ripped up globally. TTIP is yet more of the same writing on the wall, as Brussels secretly supports this odious, democracy wrecking trade agreement.

I am no fan of the EU in its current fragile political and financial format. It is designed by politicos and bankers for politicos and bankers, with the people who pay for it pushed farther and farther into the background as cheap employment fodder to be hired and fired at will.

Life is so much more than debt and profit. We owe it to our young to fight back and create a world where individual human endeavour, the family and social cohesion are not only nurtured but prized and rewarded . . . Our beautiful Planet also has a vested interest and anxiously looks on as well!

 

Until the next time

 

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

Magna Carta and TTIP

As a species we are designed to strive and achieve as much as we are designed to breed and build a home; it has been the way of things since the dawn of time. This striving is best recognised when we are young, pushing the boundaries with our parents, teachers and Society during the painful adolescent years as we seek to find our own identity and place within that Society.

This desire to push the boundaries remains with us throughout our lives and constantly manifests in sport, careers, business, the arts and all other aspects of Life. Often it can become obsessive and addictive, leading to gross irresponsibility’s. The banking collapses of 1929 and 2008 were evidence of this human characteristic at its most irresponsible, with the subsequent worldwide devastation they caused.

For this very reason, throughout our history we have sought to create buffers which guard against these excesses. This has become a critical aspect in the work of governments, with the laws they put on the statute books and constantly update as we evolve. Our desire to strive and accomplish then pushes back as we seek ways to bypass these restrictions and so the eternal ‘Ping-Pong’ of expansion and containment continues.

We are at a point in this endless game where boundaries are being pushed in unprecedented ways and protective barriers are being removed at an alarming rate to permit the unrivalled creation of wealth. Global corporations are now as wealthy and powerful as small nations, capable of dominating political parties and influencing the enactment and repeal of laws that support their growing power and profit.

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) will be like a cancer, 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 but 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 intentions to support all, or particular aims of the Charter 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. Their 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 will happen 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. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Why Magna Carta Works

Let me get a rant out of the way by condemning all TV and Radio for not a single independent coverage of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Napoleon and other irrelevancies are given space but something we should be monumentally proud of as a nation has been ignored and it is a bloody disgrace!

Magna Carta works because it is at the very heart of how we function as a species and why it has been adopted, in one format or another, throughout the world. We create our world through what we believe in. Someone comes up with an idea that is adopted by many and becomes a belief.

If that belief is strong enough we write it down and use it to promote the values enshrined in that writing. The Bible, Koran, Torah and all the other religious teachings have been captured in this manner, as well as the very laws that govern us and shape the way we live our lives.

Magna Carta was the first such practice that declared our rights as human beings to a fair trial, freedoms of people and freed women from total slavery. Its common theme of human rights captured the imagination of people across the world over the following centuries, because of this fundamental message about our right to function as a species of individuals.

Power and greed have always been our greatest challenge, as ambitious but naïve individuals and groups have sought the impossible in world domination. Greed and power self-destruct because human fallibility can only use them to suppress and enslave. Enslavement can never be a permanent human condition as the oppressed eventually rise up and overthrow the oppressor. A pattern repeated with monotonous regularity throughout our history.

In the past that power was applied by armed force, with the likes of Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan setting the template for human carnage across the centuries. Today power and greed is more subtly attained by financial instruments, rather that instruments of war. Debt has become the weapon of war as our money supply is created by financiers, rather than governments, gradually enslaving people and countries by debt repayment.

These debt repayments have become the single most important aspect of any country’s responsibilities, because of beliefs that have been imposed by the few on the many and which, like Magna Carta, have been written down to authenticate them. That these written beliefs can also cause human suffering shows how the shaping of Life by dominating beliefs can sometimes be disastrous to our wellbeing. (The TTIP secret trade agreement is the latest example, if allowed.)

This is where we find ourselves in this 21st century, as debt spurs the attainment of power and greed. We have had one financial collapse and another is not far off, because the powerful and greedy are continuing to commit the crimes that they should have been jailed for last time.

I read somewhere that worldwide debt is so great that there is not enough money in circulation to repay it. This careful strategy to enslave could be labelled a ‘conspiracy theory’ if it were not for what is now happening in Greece. Submerge a country in debt through improper banking practice and then take their national assets in repayment and as a means to control.

For me, this is power and greed entering its self-destructive phase, as the banks themselves will collapse under the mountain of debt they have issued and which can no longer be supported. When this happens they will close their doors and people will suddenly find access to their own money denied them, as has been the case with individual bank collapses in the past. Now however it will be on a global scale because the banks and the debt are now global.

It is at this point, hopefully, that people will find the abuse of the powerful no longer tolerable, as they did 800 years ago, demanding a new charter that will once again bring the abuses of absolute power back under control through the power of the written word. Instead of Barons, it makes sense that they should have a new political party fighting for them this time.

The government prattles on, as Cameron will today, about the need for Magna Carta and how his government will do its bit to ensure values are maintained. This is political spin at its most unreal. It was in the interest of the people that Magna Carta was created to hold the powerful to account and it is that same situation that must be addressed to day by the people, not the government!

Happy Birthday Magna Carta . . . Not long now!

 

Until the next time.

 

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

Election 2015 . . . The First 30 Days

In just over 30 days, as the dust settles from a General Election like no other, a huge spotlight shines upon our nation’s wrecked political and democratic system.

We now have a ‘majority’ government put in power by just 24% of the voters. This means our country is being run by a party that does not have the support of three quarters of the electorate, a third of which could not be bothered to vote!

Unperturbed by this haemorrhaging of support the new government is already using its miniscule majority to push through its agenda whilst it still has unassailable power. The abuse contained within this agenda is truly staggering and shows a contempt for even the minority that voted them into power.

Let’s start with the EU referendum, a political selling point in the Tory campaign to win re-election, which worked very nicely for them and the reality of which is now hitting home. Cameron is bending the whole stunt out of any semblance of an effort to empower the people by dropping the established ‘purdah’ period, thus allowing his party to shape public opinion into the ‘Yes’ vote he needs. To add insult to injury WE will be paying for this propaganda exercise!

To muddy the waters even further he is now seeking to have the referendum held on the same day as elections for the Scottish parliament, Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies and the London Mayor, flying in the face of the Electoral Commission who believe such an important decision should only be conducted on a separate voting day.

I remember the first speech Cameron made after his appointment as leader of the party when he looked across the despatch box at Tony Blair and said “I am a younger version of you”. My God how profound were those words. He has yet to begin an illegal war but is certainly pulling many loathsome political tricks I am sure Blair would be envious of.

Then there’s our Chancellor, who bragged how he was pulling down National Debt and would make further inroads if re-elected. What he didn’t mention at the time was selling off the governments (our) shareholding in Royal Mail, as well as our stake in RBS at a loss that is blessed by Rothschild’s. All of this whilst reneging on an election promise not to reduce tax credits. An indication perhaps, to the 24%, as to what they have voted in . . . and where his true loyalties lie with ‘austerity’?!

(In the US it has been revealed that it is now mathematically impossible to pay off all of their debt and I have no reason to believe we are not headed in the same direction, as part of the terms of our ‘special relationship’ with their government!)

Political abuse is now rampant, (a 10% pay increase . . . for what!!!!), with a democratic process so skewered out of shape that it is difficult to see how we can return to some semblance of control over it. Morality has long been absent from the mind-set of the political leadership and why should it when so few of the population are needed to produce a government that is untouchable?

In Tony Blair’s favour was his ability to recognise that the political landscape has change out of all recognition to what it was 50 years ago. Gone are the Dockers, Sheet metal workers and Mineworkers, along with many other ‘blue collar’ workers that formed the backbone of the labour party. Today all workers, be they blue or white collar and I include the middle class as well, are facing a common enemy that is the 1%.

In distancing the Labour party from the trade unions he identified this change in potential supporters, which Milliband ignored to his cost. No longer is the traditional battleground of left and right relevant and as long as it is given credibility by the electorate the 1% will continue to strengthen their hold on power and its subsequent abuse.

Within every problem lies its solution and this is the case for the people of this country now. We need a new political party that can unite the ‘middle’ and ‘working’ classes (I HATE those phrases), in returning power to the people through a form of Socialism that recognises the need for effectively managing and promoting the profit motive.

It could have been possible under Blair and Co, if they had played with a straight bat but sadly the lure of untold wealth and power finally took its toll. A repackaged Labour party under a visionary leadership could be our country’s salvation, or a party with similar values, if the old Labour mould cannot be broken.

In the meantime I look at the political carnage of the last 30 days and weep for this country and its 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

The Great Jobs Heist

A little over 8 months have elapsed since I was last at the EasyJet check in desk at Gatwick airport and what a shock awaited my return after such a short space of time. The twenty odd desks were still their but only four people were now manning them!

On arrival at an ‘empty’ desk there was a scanning machine waiting to read my boarding pass and then print out a sticky tab which I was expected to affix to my case. Then I was also expected to ensure the safe loading of said case onto the conveyor belt that sent it to the depths of the airport baggage management system.

In the equally ‘high customer arena’ of supermarkets, we are encouraged to fill our baskets and trolleys, scanning the items as we go, to then arrive at another machine which will read the content of our scanner and take our money from an equally impersonal credit card reader.

At the same time as the barcode is registering the cost of our shopping it is also doing a stock control inventory and ordering new supplies. In addition it is carrying out profit calculations and analysis of our buying patterns to feedback to a central ‘brain’ that will produce reports for the not so gradual reduction in numbers of management and staff needed to run modern businesses.

Business is there to make profits and its greatest overhead has always been the wage roll. Modern technology has appeared like ‘manna from heaven’ to the corporate boardrooms across the world, as it robs the international jobs market blind.

The obscenity of all this is that in spite of the reduction of worthwhile jobs and with no signs of strategies to replace them by either governments or corporations, we are still forcing our young to take up a university education and the crippling debt that goes with it, without any reassurance of rewarding employment the other end, other than a job in MacDonald’s.

Work has always provided a sense of purpose to our lives and is as essential to our wellbeing as the very air we breathe. Our government has just awarded itself a 10% pay rise, representing a stinging slap in the face to the young for whom a regular wage, eve alone a pay rise, is beyond the current expectations of many, who at best might be lucky enough to get a zero hours contract.

And to add insult to injury this in an environment where politicians seem totally uncaring as to the need to find solutions for the return of a healthy employment market. Morality is the human ingredient that profit so efficiently robs us of and the only value capable of changing current abusive thinking.

Remember that it was out of the frustration and despair of the young in Lebanon that the powerful resistance movement Hezbollah was birthed to remedy the abuses of the past, as well as the Arab Spring many years later. The same seeds are now being sewn globally in Society through the ‘warfare’ on jobs. What is ignored by greedy financiers and business leaders is that these kids have been educated to a high level and the frustration of a life lacking purpose will prove a powerful drive to redress the growing imbalance.

What makes this dire situation impossible to resolve is that corporations are not concerned with employment and will coerce governments against any attempts to change the present status quo? This is glaringly obvious as the TPP trade agreement is ‘fast tracked’ through the US political system. This agreement has nothing to do with trade but is a Neanderthal attempt by US politicians to prevent, at any costs, the evolutionary growth of China into the new global economic ‘God’.

Capitalism is hopelessly incapable of resolving the systemic problem it has now created because of its fundamental belief in the maximisation of profits through the minimisation of costs. It was Albert Einstein who observed:

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

As I returned through passport control at Gatwick 12 days later all desks were attended by highly trained and qualified customs officials, although they were not busy but the electronic passport area was. Passing through I was hit by a sadness as I wondered how many of those desks will be ‘attended’ by robots when I next return.

Until the next time

 

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