Category Archives: True Gender Equality

Core Belief 3: True Gender Equality – Gender balance is critical to our future survival as a species and needs the acceleration of the full empowerment of women. By utilising their unique perspective and values on Life we will finally bring balance to the influence and management of our Society.

An Alternative to Brussels

In an earlier career I had the privilege to be responsible for officially sponsoring the Royal National Lifeboat Institution over a period of 3 years. This inspiring institution was formed in 1824 and since then has saved over 140,000 lives, at a cost of 600 lives lost in service.

It is funded by legacies and donations as well as being paid by local authorities to train and equip the RNLI lifeguards who operate on more than 200 beaches. Most lifeboat crews are volunteers. In addition to work in national waters the Institution operates Flood Rescue Teams both nationally and internationally.

This essential service, whilst a charity, could be construed as that of a ‘MultiStakeholder Network’ (MSN), because of its interactions with other bodies. Nowhere in any of its work does government hold sway and this independence has assured the Institution full control over how it (successfully) goes about its business. Distress at sea is its sole calling and has functioned for nearly 200 hundred years without political or financial controversy or scandal.

What MSN’s clearly demonstrate is the inclusion of like-minded people and bodies to focus and apply their joint resources and skills to a common aim. Here it is saving lives at sea through unified democratic action.

If we then compare this to our current political environment we can see a diametric opposition of values and aims, as globally they now pursue a policy of exclusion from their activities.

Across the Planet democracy is under threat as our liberties and personal initiatives are constantly restricted or threatened. The surveillance state and the increasing difficulties of peoples voices getting heard is causing growing anger and frustration.

Nowhere is this more evident than with our young (18 – 34 year olds), who increasingly face a future devoid of worthwhile employment and inclusion in the running of a Society they are very much a part of.

Modern Party Policy increasingly brooks no argument, as an ever more muted Civil Service is overridden, in its remit to seek ‘value for taxpayer money’ with government spending, through greater ministerial dominance and control.

However, the young are fighting back on several fronts, including their involvement in and development of the proliferation of Multi Stakeholder Networks now springing up across the Planet. They take the shape of Advocacy, Platforms, Operational & Delivery, Watchdog, Policy, Governance Knowledge, Global Standards and so much more, that is now making a significant contribution to our global Society.

Global Network Initiative – From the Americas to Europe to the Middle East to Africa and Asia – companies in the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) sector face increasing government pressure to comply with domestic laws and policies in ways that may conflict with the internationally recognized human rights of freedom of expression and privacy.

In response, a multi-stakeholder group of companies, civil society organizations (including human rights and press freedom groups), investors and academics spent two years negotiating and creating a collaborative approach to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector, and have formed an Initiative to take this work forward.

Kiva.org carries out the work that should be done by our global banking system, by allowing us to lend our money, via the internet, to low income entrepreneurs and student in over 82 countries. Profit is not the dominating criteria here but a desire to help people grow their way out of poverty by developing their own businesses, many of which are now incredibly successful and something moneylenders modern banking would not go anywhere near.

The VOST movement (Virtual Operations Support Team) provides successful ‘network’ management of emergencies and disasters across the globe. It has evolved from a few small groups of volunteers into this huge network, whose common aim is to navigate through the cascade of crisis information and prioritize and send it to the front lines of that crisis.

VOST members share a passion for understanding how social media can facilitate disaster relief efforts, making life easier for both emergency personnel and the victims of the disaster.

In Canada for example, CodeSearch partner’s employees with smartphone apps that can notify if a child goes missing. It works closely with law enforcement and the Missing Child Society of Canada to send out geo-targeted alerts to any of their agents in an area where a child has been reported as missing.

The Right2Debate campaign, initiated by the Quilliam Foundation, is only in its infancy but attracted 2500 young members on its first day. It is a platform which enables students to organise if they feel a ‘hate’ preacher in university may be undermining the principles of mutual tolerance and respect.

Students are of the opinion that they cannot rely on censorship to counter intolerant views that do not break the law but undermine the human rights of others.

Quilliam University Outreach Officer and King’s College London Postgraduate Student Haydar Zaki said. “#Right2Debate campaigns for the protection of free speech by contesting these views using opposing speakers and other opinions, undermining the indoctrination that is based on divisive and intolerant narratives.” 

Demonstration is one form of revolt but as we have seen with the TTIP petition, no matter how many millions sign, the establishment can simply ignore/exclude it. Doing something about it is not only so much more achievable, in our new technological and ‘joined up’ world but also immensely rewarding and far more beneficial.

The EU is now falling apart through outdated methods of control, which it is obvious can no longer function in the burgeoning open new world order. It should be allowed to collapse, for a more democratic multi-stakeholder network to take its place and represent the hopes, aspirations and investment of the people and businesses it represents in this new era.

Let’s not make the same mistake we made with the banks and keep a decadent and abusive infrastructure in place because it is supposedly “too big to fail”. The banks are more abusive now than when we bailed them out because we were suckered by media propaganda.

Let the EU fail, in the certain knowledge that an alternative form of collaboration will replace it and benefit us all in the learning we have gained from the disasters of this monolith. Other European countries will quickly support an initiative that is finally expressing what so many millions across Europe are feeling.

An alternative to Brussels is possible by the decree of the people . . . Ending the ‘exclusion’ policies run by the old establishment. What have we possibly 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 ‘Elite’? . . . Hmmmmm!

We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future. — John F. Kennedy

In my own battle against the financialisation of Life by the rich and powerful I resist with every fibre of my being reference to ’The Elite’. Dictionaries have formal definitions of the word ‘elite’ which make me even more entrenched in my stance:

Oxford English Dictionary – The choice part of a flower (of society, or of any body or class of persons.)

Merriam Webster’s – A successful and powerful person.

Collins – The most powerful, rich, or talented people within a particular group, place or society.

The ‘choice part’, ‘successful’, ‘talented’ they may be but what is their contribution to Society in the grand scheme of things?

William Shakespeare, Jane Austin, Mark Twain and in the present JK Rowling are, to my mind, true ‘Elitists’, not only in the quality of their work but also that it contributes something positive to Society by lifting and touching the hearts and souls of millions across the globe.

The likes of Jamie Dimon CEO of J P Morgan, Jes Staley of Barclays, Michael L. Corbat of Citigroup, Ross McEwan of RBS, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and Janet Yellen, Chair of the Federal Reserve in no way evoke the same feelings of respect and awe.

And yet they are amongst this supposed group of the ‘Elite’, along with 62 of the richest billionaires who, according to the new Oxfam report, own as much wealth as the poorer half of the world’s population, a staggering indictment of 21st century abuse. I could not readily name 10% of these mysterious ‘Elite’ people, let alone identify them if shown pictures of them and yet they hold such sway over the rest of us.

They have immersed us in a global financial system which is enslaving Society in debts of staggering proportions by restricting and controlling the amount of money in circulation, keeping us in a state of constant financial repression.

They have now commandeered the political arena whose members are increasingly viewed as ‘Elite’. Here, it seems to me that the word is defining the ability to remain above the law and free of any accountability for a total lack of responsibility to the people who elect them to power.

As more secret trade deals are made public, designed to further restrict our say on how we run our lives, many are now demanding to know what positive contribution these ‘Elite’ are making to Society?!

However, we should not feel as though we are being singled out as this beautiful Planet, the sole provider of everything that sustains Life here, is also experiencing the same murderous treatment. We are the only species in existence to poison our own food, as the oceans are made ever more toxic with what is poured into them, without any move for regulation.

Is it any wonder we hear only last week that hundreds of Britons – and many others I am sure – are caught trying to join jihadis? The young are not fools (they are wholly indebted by an expensive education) and their sense of frustration at the ongoing lack of worthwhile future employment, or owning their own home, demand some means of fighting back against this ‘Elite’. Terrorism may not win in the end but it provides a sure sense of some satisfaction that the current shield of ‘Elitism’ is being dented.

Unlike Shakespeare and Jane Austin, this ‘Elite’ have nothing to offer Society, indeed they take with such wanton greed that they are delivering us to our collective destruction. Only the Planet will survive and they seem not to understand that they too will be included in that destruction, so total will it become if this financialisation of Life continues.

‘Elite’ is regularly used by the media, deliberately so in my opinion, as part of a global propaganda campaign to make the majority feel inferior, helpless and therefore suppressed. We are constantly told that global cyber/terror attacks are imminent and then left without any further explanation, producing a sense of helplessness, foreboding and dependence upon the state. The precise reason this propaganda tool (one of many) is used so frequently and with such prominence.

If this media ‘Elite’ relates to those excelling at bringing the majority to its knees and the total destruction of this planet, through unregulated Capitalism, then I agree. I will not, however, be coerced into living my Life by the claustrophobically narrow confines and values of financial management alone.

The most effective antidote to propaganda is always the truth. We release ourselves from helplessness by simply becoming aware. In that awareness we grow a greater understanding and with that understanding we invoke change.

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 United States of Britain

UK photo

. . . “Looking after the working people” . . . “A united country” . . .

As these words stream off the lips of the new government, something not uttered before Election Day, we return to the world of government policy by soundbite, (if we ever left it!). Once they get their act together, hopefully, Labour will make mincemeat of the first and I would offer the following observations on the second.

Yes, we do need a ‘united’ country but one no longer united by Westminster. If this election has demonstrated one thing, people across the country have reached the end of their tether with successive governments eroding democracy by putting the needs of ‘Club Westminster’ before the rest of the country, from North Sea Oil to Fracking.

The earth scorching endorsement of this by the SNP in Scotland has been followed by news that the most popularly supported parties elsewhere are: Ireland – DUP, Wales – Labour and England – Tory.

Cameron’s is a knee jerk reaction to fighting the cause of a ‘united’ country. People have moved on, as Labour found to their cost and trying to glue the UK back together again under Westminster has also been seriously misdiagnosed.

At its heart is our political and corporate response to globalisation, by going ‘large’. The rise of global monopolies – ‘too big to fail’ – are now increasingly holding Society to ransom if governments try in any way to regulate them. TTIP will be the final nail in the coffin of democracy as their power is made absolute (and something only the SNP is fighting!).

What started out as a Common Market for trade in Europe has evolved into a European (political) Union that is now so remote from the people, who pay for it and elect its representatives into office, that democracy has become meaningless. The growing demand to take powers back from Brussels is evidence of this frustration.

BIG is forcing ever greater distance between the rich and the poor. With that distance comes impotence over how our daily lives are run. We have been reduced to bits of data and our wishes and frustrations no longer register on political or corporate spreadsheets.

‘Unity’ comes from recognising that village communities are better managed for the benefit of their members than towns or cities. Using this benchmark, we can create more actively managed democracies by bringing people closer to government.

Reaction to the election is an indication of the desire by people to become a ‘mini’ EU. This contribution to a debate is a thumbnail. The devil is in the detail and would not in any way dilute my excitement at such a development.

Uniting us as four self-ruling entities would invoke healthy competition through the freedom to develop our cultural differences. (A free education policy in Scotland demonstrates care and an investment in their young).

We are an Island race with a phenomenal history of successful innovation, something desperately needed in this new global world of technology and crying need for sustainability. Freed from the bureaucracy of Westminster and its suffocating corporate dominance, innovation would reign supreme.

Of course there has to be a central ‘Unifying’ force to replace Westminster. In this 800th year of Magna Carta, A Charter of Values, (constructed and ratified with the full involvement of the people), defining the common purpose of the four and holding them accountable, seems all that is needed . . . Why complicate it?!

Such values might include a debt free money supply for social infrastructure and small business development, people driven referendums, the development of sustainability programmes creating further new jobs, equality of gender and religious belief, independence of the internet and a curb on surveillance and personal freedoms, as a starter!

Matters of common interest, such as defence, immigration, fishing and sustainability of natural resources could be centralised in an equally represented and non-governmental ‘Council of Albion’, to maximise cost efficiencies on common issues. It would provide the ability to react collectively where necessary and offer a flexible infrastructure of ‘independent cooperation’ to meet global competition in chosen areas of trade.

We are at a crossroads now, where the UN would have us moving ever closer to Global Governance with its Global Sustainability Initiative for the entire Planet. What we have learned is that BIG produces wholesale abuse and makes people impotent to demanding accountability.

In the same way that small innovative businesses are the mainstay of a thriving corporate environment, so small democracies, like a United States of Britain, would breathe new life into a global democracy that is now on life support.

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 War on Our Young

youth photo

If there is one thing guarantees me a good work out in the gym, it’s a political slogan or soundbite and such was the case yesterday. I was just warming up, when there on the TV screen was Cameron being “very clear” in his usual opaque fashion and behind him the slogan ‘A Britain that Rewards Hard Work’. Blood pressure . . . Richter scale . . . Go figure!

Is it any wonder the electorate are disengaged from politics, when such emotive rubbish is promoted at them? These words have come into existence from a VERY expensive advertising agency, who have tested them and many others with panels of people to see which words stimulate the greatest feel good factor. The fact they bear no resemblance to the truth is irrelevant.

Our kids are confronted by a world of disappearing jobs, student debt of frightening proportions and disappearing social support. They work hard at getting their degree, only to find the ‘reward’ for that hard work is huge indebtedness and no meaningful jobs with which to repay it. Added to which, they now live at home much longer and start families much later, in an insecure environment where they are changing jobs more frequently.

When I was starting out it was an easy decision. Office work at a good wage or an apprenticeship of 3 to 5 years at low pay but trained to a job that would catch up and often pass those office wages, once qualified. We invested in our young then.

In this environment I had no debt, got married within 5 years and bought a house for £5,000, which same house today will cost £300,000. The security of jobs was defined by the phrase ‘womb to tomb’ and so taking on the responsibility for a mortgage and family had that essential underlying reassurance.

Those were the ‘rewards’ for working hard and we did not have to work in today’s stressful environment. We took full lunch breaks and left work at 5 o’clock. We took our full holiday entitlement and certainly weren’t expected to think about, or continue working, after leaving the workplace.

There are no ‘rewards’ for working hard these days. Just a Neanderthal attitude that says “If you don’t like it go somewhere else!”, knowing full well that this is becoming more difficult, as technology takes jobs away from people and hands it to robots. I’m sorry Cameron, is this the ‘reward’ your distasteful slogan refers to? Do you expect the young to kill themselves just to keep a job that could disappear in 5 years’ time, as the robots get cleverer?

Even their education has been corrupted, as corporations seek to replace religions in providing their teachings about life. At least with religion there was a morality at work, biased though it was to each particular religion.

Immorality is now the order of the day, as text book content is edited to ensure the ‘facts’ do not conflict with corporate policy and strategy. We are no longer training them to go out into the world to make their unique contribution but turn them into ‘consumers’, towing the corporate line if they are lucky enough to find work!

We campaign, rightly so, for the relief of so many vulnerable people suffering disability and disadvantage, whilst corporate backed government is now creating a whole Society that is hugely underprivileged, disadvantaged and vulnerable.

Our young are the lifeblood of innovation and competition. Look at their contribution to the development of the internet. The moral depravity of Society has now sunk so low that, in the words of anthropologist Alain Bertho “Youth is no longer considered the world’s future but a threat to its present.”

The corporate world is fully aware of this and hence, with political connivance, the war on our young takes the shape of global monopolies, deliberately created to stifle education, innovation and competition.

What they don’t want is a bunch of young Richard Branson’s coming along and unsettling the comfy status quo. After all, look what he did to the cosy British Airways monopoly of Atlantic air routes. Big corporations are too inflexible to fight innovation and they know it and so their answer is to suppress.

Perhaps there is a glimmer in the growing number of disastrous financial reports now appearing from these monoliths, as their conniving and false accounting breeds its repercussions. What is becoming evident is that ‘Too Big to Fail’ is sounding their death knell and that the young will, eventually, have their day.

As an aside, I Know I should be grateful to all political parties for their positive contribution to my current fitness regime . . . But I just can’t work up the enthusiasm!

 

Until the next time

 

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

A British ‘EU’

britain photo

We are just 3 years from the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome and I question what has been learned, be it political, financial or social. Politicians have certainly birthed a bureaucratic monster that devours whole countries and spews out endless rules and regulations from their ingestion. It demands uniformity instead of integration and offers little in return.

Like the banks, the EU has become ‘too big to work’, with its growing detachment from the very people who vote it with power and whom it is supposed to serve. Instead we are now seeing a monolith, controlled by the banks, exercising a style of power normally associated with dictatorships, if Greece is anything to go by.

If this is it after nearly six decades of European ‘Unity’ I, for one, really don’t want to continue. Business would disagree, I know but current research by independent bodies such as Open Europe suggest that in event of a Brexit we could survive in the big wide world of free trade, with little difference to GDP if we work our talents.  http://tinyurl.com/mexwzez

If we now know that ‘too big’ doesn’t work, we also know that ‘small is beautiful’. After all, look at Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand and many more who are all doing quite nicely thank you!

Following the Scottish Referendum last year and the groundswell of popular sentiment across the whole of the UK for greater independence, the response from Club Westminster has been a string of platitudes to Wales, Ireland, Scotland and the larger cities in England, with the usual lack of substance or political will.

I would like to offer here an argument for us, in some ways, mimicking the structure of the EU on these islands. Creating independent governments for Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England would have many benefits, not least in bringing new motivation and thinking to how we run our lives.

Club Westminster has gained too much control and increasingly abuses its power as it divorces itself from the electorate and aligns with the corporate world. ‘Localising’ government brings the whole democratic process back to the people. The closer to the people the more accountable government becomes, something Brussels practices in reverse!

By encouraging the potential for national development in this manner, each nation can realise the true potential of its people and natural resources without fearing the need to subsidise the other players. Instead of subsidy we open up profitable trade and barter with each other and a far healthier underlying support system in the early days of this fledgling union.

Like any new venture, the better and longer you have known your partners the greater the chances of success. We could not ask for a better relationship than that which lies within the strength of our history, thereby providing a strong foundation for each nation to go out into the big wide world.

Leadership is critical, as four governments led by career politicians without vision would have political point scoring outweigh the development of each country’s potential. It is here that some common direction and values are necessary and I am drawn to a constitution that would hold all four accountable to democratically agreed common values.

It would certainly address protection of the Earth and its inhabitants, debt free money supply, gender equality, unsullied education of the young and true democracy, with freedom of the internet and more. With such a ‘Magna Carta’ drawing and holding the union together, in the early days at least, it might be watched over by the only institution that has solely focussed upon our national values and has no political or corporate affiliations . . . Our present monarchy.

I know this could be a bone of contention for some but think about it. Our royal family has a unique background in simply caring about this country and its people through a true understanding and experience of ALL the four components of this new union. Who is more trusted and better able to call each government to account to its people for breaches of the constitution?

Of course there would be a central council of the WISE (Wales Ireland Scotland England) to run joint responsibilities such as defence. This would form a meeting point for joint ventures and new directions, as well as resolving union problems and abuses. Thereafter we would have autonomous countries free to earn their keep and pay their way under the umbrella of a British Union.

I accept this is a scant overview of a vast subject that will take considerable debate but the thrust of my argument is twofold. Firstly we would not go under if we left the EU, because we are free of crippling regulation and second, for the common good of the people who make up the majority, ‘small’ works over ‘big’ every time!

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

The Party I Would Vote For . . .

As I watch, with increasing incredulity, our politicians handing their power away by supporting the proposed (and very secretive) Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), whilst also allowing greater interference in how our lives are run by Brussels, two things cross my mind.

Firstly, what the hell do they think they are doing . . . Don’t they not want the responsibility anymore? Secondly, IT’S NOT YOURS TO GIVE AWAY!!

I, for one, do not remember consciously empowering them, with my vote, to allow them to then blithely hand that power over to the boards of global corporations and distant bureaucracies – the latter apparently totally incapable of responsibly managing vast amounts of our hard earned money, whilst still coming back for more!

It is blatantly obvious that our political system is now fundamentally broken and totally unfit for purpose. The people’s needs are no longer considered and the abuse is growing. We therefore need a new set of ground rules by which parliament functions and which protect us from predatory governments and corporations.

To my mind we need a new Magna Carta, devised by the people and with global values to confront global organisations, as well as setting out the terms of reference for business in Westminster.

At the very least it should cover the ability for us to live our lives with the confidence of knowing we will be properly educated, can find gainful employment, be looked after in times of ill-health and genuine hardship, with the ability to provide a home in which to raise a family if we so choose.

After a lifetime’s contribution to Society, that Society should be both capable and willing to assist, if necessary, in supporting a stress free period until we shuffle off this mortal coil. All achieved without the need for enslaving and mind numbing debt.

(As I write this I am thinking “It’s as though we’ve returned to the 11th century. How can this be?!”)

The new Magna Carta should not be a wordy document, perhaps just 10 broad but succinct topics, including those just mentioned. It should also reference broader and no less important issues such as sustainable management of our Planet, Gender Equality, Religious Tolerance and integrity of the Internet.

Once thrashed out by the people it would be ‘nailed to the walls of Westminster’ (in similar fashion to that which has already happened in Iceland) and Parliament has its future terms of reference. Any changes, or new legislation that does not contravene the ethos of our Charter can be introduced and/or ratified, through People Driven Referendums, as is the case in Switzerland.

We have now moved from the Industrial Age into a Technological Age and political systems that were introduced when we travelled by horse or foot and communicated by bonfire have to be dragged, kicking and screaming if necessary, into this new era. We are in unprecedented times in our history, as the Internet liberates people from the yokes of power of the past.

To do this requires new visionary leadership that will guide and nurture us into this new age. Their unique credibility would come from the certain knowledge that they would gradually put themselves out of a job!

As we become more adept at using new systems of democratic communication, they have helped us introduce, the need for politicians will be dramatically reduced. People will do the debating and decide their own future needs, unbiased by vested interest. It is how the Internet is now shaping our world. What has happened to music, books and retailing will also influence the democratic process, through people having greater control in managing the process.

A Party with an agenda such as this, which shows an understanding of the unprecedented changes now going on in our world and our place in that future, would inspire much needed confidence and a return to the ballot boxes, I would suggest.

We have been conned by successive governments for too long now with biased political agendas and vested interest. The sheer fact that a party such as this is prepared to admit to, confront and deal with our broken system shows a party who cares about the people . . . and that is good enough for me!

“The thinking that created the problem is quite incapable of solving it!” Einstein (Attributed)

 Until the next time

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

Immigration . . . A ‘No-Hoper’!

Since we lived in caves, our species has only ever functioned in groups to maximise our chances of survival. Over the millennia we have refined these groups from bands to clans and then nations into empires.

The one common feature throughout this time has been the constant infighting, caused by supposed differences between the various factions, which has led to countless loss of innocent life and not a lot else! When we lived in caves there was an obvious and immediate threat, as groups fought with each other over food, shelter and the ability to breed and grow strong.

As we evolved into larger clans and then nations, those who ruled found it increasingly more difficult to manage and halt insurrection, because of the sheer numbers. That was until they realised the solution lay in breaking the whole population back down into groups again, and then inducing them to fight amongst themselves. In that moment we saw the birth of a means of ruling that has lasted successfully up to the present day . . . Divide and Conquer!

The other thing that has not changed over all of this time is the types of division used to easily spark conflict: Race, Colour, Creed and Gender. As long as the people continue to respond to these triggers governments and autocracies can sleep at nights, content in the knowledge that their own positions are safe.

In this 21st century however, the status quo is being violently overturned. Not by the abused 99% but by the abusers. After millennia of keeping us antagonistically separated, the need for cheap labour has arisen again and revitalising the slave trade, the historic solution to this problem, is no longer a viable option.

Instead they need us to migrate and in so doing hold down the price of wages in the countries we migrate to. In a matter of decades they are now expecting to change our attitudes towards people they have urged us to fight and distrust for thousands of years! Not only that but whilst urging us to mix with each other, they are still continuing those same traditional conflicts!!

As people migrate and settle in new countries they are now experiencing the government and military in their new homes acting aggressively towards the families, friends and people they have left behind. Here they are confronted with divided loyalties of monumental proportions in their personal lives, as well as home grown animosity by the indigenous population.

Is it any wonder we are now seeing the wholesale growth of global terrorism, caused by the conflicting needs and vested interests of those in charge to supply cheap labour, whilst continuing to subdue their populations?

Encouraging immigration to hold down wages, whilst pursuing traditional acts of aggression against the beliefs those people hold is a pretty lethal political cocktail. When ‘Surveillance’ is then introduced as the means to manage the internal pressures resulting from those acts of aggression overseas, antagonising the indigenous population into the bargain, the problems of immigration go off the scale. You really could not make up a political catastrophe of this magnitude!

All of this is as a direct result of increasingly unaccountable governments pursuing the narrow goals of vested interest, driven by greed and power. As long as it continues there will be no respite for the people who have found the courage to leave their homes and travel abroad in search of a better life.

I have recently argued that we need to license our politicians to bring some sort of accountability into force and end this senseless and aggressive domination of people who, left to their own devices, have shown throughout history that they can get on well with each other.

As the disciplines and opportunities of the internet impact upon our lives with growing momentum, I now seriously question the need for politicians at all, as their vested interests will always get in the way of achieving a true democracy.

The answer, as I see it, is for new leaders with new visions, based upon an understanding of the unprecedented changes now taking place in our global Society, which will stimulate a complete break with the past. Something I will write about shortly.

 

Until the next time

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

Are We Sleepwalking Into The Next Election? (Part 4 of 6) . . . Gender Equality is Now Essential to our Survival

She Avoids Aggression

Elinor Gadon PhD, an American cultural historian, author and academic, makes the point that, in recent archaeological research, there is no sign of warfare in any Neolithic Goddess cultures, as there is no evidence of fortifications, violent death, invasion or conquest. Perhaps this is why it is postulated that women would never send their children to war! JTC

In this new millennium 21st century Society is saddled with systems way past their sell by date.

. . . A 15th century democratic system, complete with glass ceiling

. . . An 11th century monetary system that increasingly holds the world to ransom

. . . A 2000 year old surveillance system being replaced by modern technology

. . . A ‘feudal’ attitude to Women who represent half our species

 In this series of 6 posts I will offer a view on why I think we might be sleepwalking into Election 2015

Part 4 of 6: Gender Equality Is Now Essential To Our Survival

In Jungian psychology – please stay with me! – the anima and animus represent the masculine and feminine characteristics of the unconscious, (true inner self), in every one of us. The trick, we are told, to becoming a balanced person, capable of taking full advantage of what Life has to offer, is to get these two aspects working in balance with each other – in a similar fashion to left and right brain activity.

From this basic understanding of how we function, it follows that there is a duty upon us to ensure that both the male and female of our species are also working in equal balance and harmony with each other, for our long-term benefit.

Let me also emphasise at the outset that, when I refer to balance, I do not suggest for one moment that women have to mirror what men do to achieve equality. Balance, for me, can only ever mean that there is an equal application of power and perspective from women in this thing called Life as that which has traditionally been exerted by their male counterparts.

The current imbalance has been with us since we were cave-dwellers and has seriously affected our ability to balance our development as a species. It is like a Greek galley, with all of the rowers on one side being made incapable of making their contribution to the ship’s progress. In this state, the galley will only ever travel in endless circles, experiencing the same restricted journey and making it incapable of achieving its true potential. Continue reading