Category Archives: A New Relationship with Our Planet

Core Belief 1: A New Relationship with Our Planet – To create a new relationship of respect with our Planet that reflects our commitment to its future sustainable management, by recognising it as the sole supporter of all life.

TTIP – Time to Rebel!

“Never be afraid to try, remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.” ~Anonymous

At last, by sheer dogged persistence, (what other way is there), the infamous TTIP trade deal negotiations have finally come into the light  in all their macabre detail. The secrecy with which this agreement has been kept from public gaze is on a par with, if not exceeding, normal protocols for matters of (inter)national security when countries are at a war.

There is no doubt these latest revelations offer unquestionable evidence of an unprecedented power grab by the Pentagon, plus equally unquestionable evidence of how little respect our own European political system has for the millions of people who pay for it all.

The European Commission even went to the lengths of placing a 30-year ban on public access to any of the agreements documents at the beginning of 2013! Today their credibility lies in shreds as a body fit in any way to run, regulate or reside over the 28 member states it is currently (and occasionally) involved with.

We have all been aware for some time now that this odious trade agreement makes inroads into our democratic processes, something we have built and refined over centuries as we have become more civilised but the extent of those inroads now calls into question the morality of those in office who have been complicit in its development . . . and I include the President of the United States of America on that list!

To think that just one short week ago he was publicly saying to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and I quote:As you see other markets like China beginning to develop and Asia beginning to develop and Africa growing fast, we have to make sure our businesses can compete,”

This was then followed up by Merkel (also very much on the list). “It is good for the German economy; it is good for the European economy.”

We know Obama’s agenda, (of which TTIP is but a part), is to combat the growing power of China, which has now become a serious threat to the US current dominant global position . . .  but what the hell is Merkel about.

Is she not in enough trouble with the German electorate over immigration, without giving them another slap in the face by supporting this erosion of her people’s democratic rights? Or perhaps this is the very reason she is supporting it, as she won’t need them for much longer if it all goes well!

Obama’s words about “making sure our businesses can compete” is chilling. What the trade deal revelations show is that we are being returned to serfdom. Wages will be driven to the bottom and held there as we compete unequally with third world countries.

Whenever these differing wage levels crossover the lowest wage levels will always dominate in the cause of ‘competition’. It is for this reason and this reason alone that the Schengen border agreement was introduced to enable workers to easily move across Europe to where there is work.

Translated, this means where the wages are the lowest, thereby constantly holding down the standard of living of people everywhere. A particularly divisive aspect of Neoliberalism.

When we then look at the broader implications of what we now know, not only will wages be taken to the bottom and held there but so will the quality of our food, healthcare, social services, education and any other standards we have evolved to improve our quality of life and support Society. With this agreement and ‘Austerity’, we are being returned to the same third world conditions we will have to compete against.

Think about it. Currently, our food standards are far higher than the US (we won’t tolerate GM foods) and so this will have to end because this makes inroads into profits. Our world beating NHS will become obsolete because its very existence affects the ability of private healthcare firms to make profits.

Health and Safety, (much as we laugh at some of its absurdities), will be dismantled to alleviate costs of safety measures making inroads into corporate profits. With this protective legislation gone, compensation for injury will also disappear because companies won’t need to carry insurance, something else which affects their bottom line.

I’m sure you can think of many other values that will disappear in the course of “making sure our businesses can compete”. If I could see that lowering our standards would improve our overall quality of life I would be the first to shout about it.

However, as I look across the Atlantic I see vast unemployment, vast debt, the obliteration of a whole class structure and the gap between rich and poor widening at an alarming rate. When demonstrations against these trends occur they are put down with a brutality that often ends in death. The only beneficiaries of Neoliberalism in the US are Wall St and the corporations, certainly not the people.

This whole abhorrent episode has taken international politics and trade to a depth of depravity few of us would have thought possible. The credibility of our politicians, both here and abroad, is in tatters and rightly so.

Since 2008 they have abused our trust with corruption and a wholesale assault upon honest working people, driven by power and levels of greed unprecedented in our history. They have to be brought back under control and it can only be done by the people saying “ENOUGH”.

It is now within our control to fire the first salvo, because the British people are currently at their most powerful in confronting the Neoliberal values that drive Brussels. On 23rd June we have our ONLY opportunity to show the very people who have supported ‘Austerity’ and are now conspiring to enslave us under this outrageous trade agreement that we have had enough, by voting to no longer support their continued (mis)management of the EU.

Just ask yourself. With what we now know, do you really want them to continue on their current destructive course? We have to follow up on these credibility shattering disclosures with decisive action, or lose this golden momentum for real change for the better. The world will NOT fall apart.

It will be uncomfortable for a year or two whilst we band together with other countries who are equally enraged at what is going on but we are not starting from scratch. Think about it. We have an infrastructure in place that is Brussels. We should not disband it but rather take it over.

We have the power to do this by supporting new leaders to run it as a democratically driven institution. (Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Saunders and Yanis Varoufakis’ DiEM25 party are all evidence such people exist!)

I don’t know about you but I would sooner the short term chaos of uncertainty, by voting ‘Out’, than the certainty of being returned to modern day slavery, with low wages and poor food and healthcare, brought on by a regime that has secured its position by debt and our ratification of what they are doing, through voting to ‘Remain’ under their dictatorial power.

Surely ‘People Power’ is the only thing that can turn the tables on Neoliberalism, as can be seen with the leaking of so many damning papers inciting many millions to now rebel against political/corporate abuses, of which TTIP is just one example.

We have to believe in ourselves and our ability to create a new and worthwhile world for us and our children, or else what is there for any of us? It’s now or never.

Until the next time.

 

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

Fracking . . . Debt and Loss of Morality

As Neoliberalism accelerates across the globe I can find no better example of its depravity than in the corporate destruction of this Planet and Society through the abuse that is Fracking.

Fracking is the essence of Neoliberal short termism, as it seeks to make profits now by destroying the land that feeds and waters us. It has no concern for the future. Democracy is under attack from so many directions in this 21st century but no more so that with the development of this dirty and poisonous business.

There is not an aspect of Society that is not abused and can best be summarised in this defining paragraph by Chris Hedges in 18 October issue of Truthdig: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/death_by_fracking_20151018

“The activists are waging a war against a corporate state that is deaf and blind to the rights of its citizens and the imperative to protect the ecosystem. The corporate state, largely to pacify citizens being frog-marched to their own execution, passes environmental laws and regulations that, at best, slow the ongoing environmental destruction. Corporations, which routinely ignore even these tepid restrictions, largely write the laws and legislation designed to regulate their activity. They rewrite them or overturn them as the focus of their exploitation changes. They turn public hearings on local environmental issues into choreographed charades or shut them down if activists succeed in muscling their way into the room to demand a voice. They dominate the national message through a pliable and bankrupt corporate media and slick public relations. Elected officials are little more than corporate employees, dependent on industry money to stay in office and, when they retire from “public service,” salivating for jobs in the industry. Environmental reform has become a joke on the public. And the Big Green environmental groups are complicit because they rely on donors, at times from the fossil fuel and animal agriculture industries; they are silent about the reality of corporate power, largely ineffectual, and part of the fiction of the democratic process.”

It is significant that in North America the first man to wage war on Fracking was a Christian preacher named Wiebo Ludwig. Branded as an ‘ecoterrorist’ for his actions against oil and gas barons activities – bizarre given the destruction they are wreaking upon our Planet – he came to realise the real problem at the heart of this rape of the land.

Whilst governments were seen to be passing legislation to supposedly control and regulate this industry, much of the legislation was written by the oil and gas companies, was weak and full of loopholes, allowing the continued desecration of land and communities. Ludwig’s Christian beliefs quickly showed him that Fracking is boosting an environment that is totally lacking in any moral values.

Society supports corporate activity with roads and travel infrastructures, as well as health and benefits services for the employees and in return those same corporations minimise their contribution to this support by avoiding taxes and sending profits abroad.

Because of this lack of contribution to Society, Fracking offers cash strapped governments another (potentially vast) source of income, which is only available at equally vast cost to the country, in the destruction of farm land and food production as well as the waterways that nourish that same farmland and food production.

We are entering an era of reducing water resources across the globe and taking this life sustaining commodity for profit and placing it above the sustenance of human life is a sure indication of how morally bankrupt our political leaders have become. Instead of confronting our water shortage challenges they are adding to them by the encouragement of Fracking to pay off debt.

Society has been allowed to degenerate into an abyss of immorality where financial values dominate and debt is the leverage by which governments are now controlled in the endless lust for profit growth. Since time immemorial debt has lacked any form of morality by the lender and creates immense power through fear and obligation.

Governments bow to the demands of corporate masters because of the money politicians need to get into power. And they can only remain in power provided they continue to accede to the dictates of their corporate masters.

Fracking must be one of the most odious of these financial arrangements, whereby the power electors have given to politicians to manage Society and its environment is blithely ignored.

This lacking in morality is most evident here, in my opinion, threatening the very foundations of democracy. Government continue to ignore the wishes of the people against the growing evidence of the irreparable damage Fracking is causing.

People demonstrate and sign petitions that are witness to a misbegotten belief that they are dealing with honourable people in government. Sadly, that is no longer the case, as time and environmental destruction demonstrate.

The problem of Fracking is but a symptom, albeit a powerful one, of a decadence that can now only be remedied by new leadership. New leadership who recognise the loss of integrity within government and have a desire for a clean sweep across the board.

LET’S STOP DEMONSTRATING TO THE CORRUPT AND START DEMONSTRATING FOR THE NEW.

If we keep shouting, they will come!

Until the next time.

 

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

Student Debt . . . Society’s Shame!

According to the Office of National Statistics there are now 3.3 million young adults living with their parents. That’s 618,000 young adults (aged between 20 – 34) more in 2015 than in under a decade ago in 1996. Or to be more precise . . . That’s around 1 in 4 young adults were living with their parents in 2015!

As we delve further it gets more unpleasant, as we see that the percentage of young householders has decreased from 55% to 30% for 24 – 29 year olds and from 68% to 46% for 30 – 34 year olds, in that same time frame.

Neoliberalism sets out to create a rentier Society, where feudalism can flourish because land ownership is retained in the hands of the few. To ram home the point 91% of 20 – 24-year-old householders . . . YES 91% . . . live in rented accommodation, meaning just 9% own or are buying a home of their own.

The UK government tells us it wants to increase the number of affordable properties available for the young, supported by the other political parties who have raised this issue. This is lunacy of the worst and most despicable kind where our young are being financially crippled with student debt by that same government.

What possible logic is there in robbing the young before they have a job and then declaring that a ‘caring’ government’s solution to this problem is a ‘soundbite’ that might create a meagre supply of homes that would be affordable to some of the people they are enslaving in debt?

The lunacy becomes mind-numbing when we now hear that 73% of students will have some debt written off. If this is true, then what possible point was there in nearly doubling the average size of personal student debt in the first place?

In the US it gets even more horrific, as over $1 Trillion of student debt is viewed as a trophy of neoliberalism. Indeed, the government has actually changed the laws on bankruptcy so that they prohibit students from taking this course of action when debt becomes too much. However, the law continues to allow corporations this avenue of escape when their debts become too onerous.

Following this progression, it begs the question as to whether this unpleasant form of neoliberalism will cross the Atlantic, like so many other financial practices, to further persecute our young?

What we must not lose sight of here is that with the threat of even more odious trade agreements now being signed into law, (with supposedly no way of taking them off the statue books once they arrive), will bankers have the legal clout to enslave our young – and everyone else – in debt repayments, with no legal means of reprieve?

We create our world from what we believe in and our dominating beliefs dominate how Society conducts itself. Currently the purveyors of neoliberalism have the floor and their greed will be their eventual downfall because they are totally unaware of the type of Society they are breeding.

If we get down to basics, natural laws are by far the most powerful at work on this Planet and they are now being contravened big time! Not matter what type of living creature you are, be they animal or human, there is an overwhelming drive to ‘leave the nest’ and strike out on your own to carve out your own life. We see this at its most pronounced with fledgling birds and even lion cubs, where the parents will forcefully drive their young away to begin their own lives.

Human beings, being the most ‘intelligent’ of the Planetary species however, are arrogantly ignoring this most basic of drives and actually impeding this natural progression of its young. This greed driven action will have disastrous repercussions as our young become more and more disenchanted. Not because they are ambitious or violent but because they are trying to answer the call deep within each of them to ‘set up their own nest’ and breed a family.

Neoliberalism lacks any moral conscience and because it lacks the intelligence to work out that true power comes from nurturing those you wish to have power over, it is breeding a terrorist Society of the future. The young, we know, are easily drawn to terror organisations and other rebellious groups such as the evermore successful hacking groups.

It is not that they are inherently violent or want to kill. They simply see it as the only course of action, to try and right the wrongs being heaped upon them. Every explosion or release of secret documents into the public arena is a victory against this abusive establishment that is intent upon growing feudalism.

They are too intelligent to be returned to this medieval form of control (they have an expensive education to prove that!) and resistance will become stronger as long as neoliberalism is allowed to continue to dominate our culture.

The young are our future. What we sow in their young minds dictates tomorrows culture. We cried out that all young, no matter what their social standing, should have access to first class education and all we did was create a huge class of the indebted, with no chance of the promised jobs with which to repay that debt.

Society must hang its head in shame that we are not nurturing our future Society to look after this beautiful Planet. Instead, we are fomenting conflict and destruction that could escalate to unthinkable levels of destruction with arrogant, uncaring and bloody-minded governments.

Another ‘Wake Up’ call that is not getting sufficient exposure to my mind.

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

Global Leadership . . . Hmmmm!

As I watched the gathering of global leaders in Malta, standing for the obligatory photo op, I thought for a second I saw strings hanging down to their arms and legs. I looked again and they were gone, or had they been ‘photo shopped’ out . . . You decide!

As the financialisation of our Planet continues these corporate puppets gather to try and resolve yet another massive problem they have been instrumental in making. How can Europe possibly offer meaningful support to all these desperate immigrants when we are engulfed in chronic debt, falling production and vast youth unemployment?

It was Albert Einstein who observed that “The thinking that created the problem is quite incapable of solving it”, and how prophetic these words have become. We have horrendously serious problems to confront and deal with as a species, if we are to continue to live on this beautiful Planet, all of which have been caused by the policies of our leaders corporate masters.

If we look at the employment problems our young have to face, they can only escalate as we move into the future, creating a breeding ground for rebellion and anarchy. The significance of this, to my mind, is that every single one of us has to feel some sense of purpose in living this Life and work often provides the solution to that dilemma.

Youngsters today do not have this benefit, because robots and employers are reducing traditional workforces dramatically. They are getting away with it through contrived ‘austerity’ programmes which now rapidly losing credibility.

How will Society shape itself if there is little employment for people and that which is available is meaningless and insecure? How will homes be provided and family’s reared and how will we feed ourselves? Governments can’t help because their tax income will also drastically reduce.

And then we come to the broader picture. Climate change and global warming are a reality, in spite of the billions spent by the corporate sector on propaganda that argues against our interests and for theirs. With the benefit of modern communications we can actually see the ice caps melting as we look at them!

On the food front we know that water shortages are now occurring and can only get worse. The corporate solution to this Life threatening scenario is, with the help of ‘austerity’, to buy up as many national utilities as they can. Not for our benefit but as a source of guaranteed future profits. The fact that they are not employing people whose wages could then pay for this precious commodity and inevitably will die of thirst, is not a subject on anyone’s agenda.

Again with our environment, we are the only species to poison its own food by constantly dumping toxic waste into the oceans. To my mind it is the most childlike act of mindlessness, of all the present atrocities, because there is a mind-set that reasons the oceans are so vast they will absorb whatever we dump in them.

Evidence is now coming thick and fast of the nuclear pollution in our seas. Once again there is a puerile attitude by the culprits that ignores the natural state of the oceans and the fact that it is our largest source of food. Oceans have currents and these currents take what is dumped in the East, South, North, and West and move it around the world like a giant blender. (And TPP will deregulate food hygiene standards . . . Dear God!)

The curse of Society is political and corporate short terminism. Strategies are put in place that will see out the current political term and share prices are manipulated for the current accounting period. It is everywhere, from our news headlines to the collapsing state of our debt riddled financial systems and the shortages of jobs and food. Stock Markets scream for higher profits and share prices, pushing companies into dubious short term practices to maintain both. The latest being the VW emissions scandal.

We now have a lunatic environment where cheap money, printed out of thin air, is being taken on as debt, by big corporations, to buy up competitors in an effort to convince shareholders that ‘big’ is valuable. The present reality is that corporate sales are in constant decline and so share prices are being inflated by stardust, reaping terrible repercussions when the debt mountain cannot be repaid, which won’t be too long now.

The global financial system is run by unelected officials who are not accountable to governments, only their own board, as to how our money is produced and controlled. Debt, negative interest rates and the gradual disappearance of cash are now firmly on the agenda as they take us into uncharted waters!

And the masters and puppets currently keep it all in place with this financial control and a global media, whose propaganda constantly diverts our thinking away from these real problems with the latest political/celebrity ‘sensation’. It is here that the real blame lies.

Our media is the very essence of how we all assess and manage political and corporate activity. It is the means by which we regulate the powerful. History has shown how the powerful are always blinded by their own power – hence Magna Carta all those centuries ago.

As the media continue to play down the threats to our very existence we look to whistle-blowers and other responsible people to inform us. Will it take this extreme behaviour to bring the media back on course again, because we need something?

I understand that Rupert Murdoch is now dating Jerry Hall, Mick Jagger’s ex. Maybe our salvation will be found in her knocking some sense into him but I’m not holding my breath!

Until the next time

 

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

Mass Slaughter By TPP!

Now the toxic TPP trade deal is out in the open we can see why it has been kept so secret for so long. Many news reports carried the same headline theme – and I paraphrase – “Worse than anticipated”.

Whilst most attention has previously concentrated upon the dilution of democracy, by allowing corporations to sue governments if legislation they introduce in anyway threatens future profits, it is the insidious fine print that now shows us just how aggressive and dangerous these new trade agreements actually are.

All we need to look at are two areas of the deal to see that not only is it threatening to our health, it could also create life threatening situations across wide ranges of global Society. The two areas I am looking at are food standards and the rules concerning the blocking of generic medicines, at affordable prices, from entering the marketplace.

In the first place, it is taken for granted that the job of governments is to look after their citizens by protecting them. At its most basic laws are implemented to stop us from murdering each other and thereafter rules to ensure we have a safe environment in which to interact both commercially and socially.

Food standards are a critical aspect of our rule making, so we do not poison each other for the sake of profit. In some countries hygiene standards are so low that more advanced societies need to implement aggressive legislation and scrutiny procedures that carefully monitor these food imports.

To ram the point home, in Vietnam farmed shrimp is nurtured in pools fertilized by human excrement and then plenty of antibiotics are added, before the shrimp are harvested, to deal with the possible effects of the human waste. Obviously food inspection from here needs to be more thorough than from other countries. Under TPP however, this can be challenged because you are discriminating against one country and challenging competition.

I have selected one extreme example to make the point but this odious agreement undoes many safeguards that have been built up over the centuries of experience that has been gained in international trade. Indeed the recent frightening revelations about VW and exhaust emissions demonstrate our need for continued vigilance.

Time and time again corporations show us they simply cannot be trusted, making government oversight and regulation essential for our own wellbeing and safety.

But let’s get back to food poisoning. It’s bad enough that scrutiny of food quality and production would be thrown out of the window, causing a dramatic increase in health problems but this whole scenario is further threatened because we could be limited in our ability to cure illnesses caused by shoddy food!

The pharmaceutical industry is being spoilt rotten by this trade deal. For decades it has ranted about the poor conditions that hold it back from properly protecting its patents and exclusivity of product range. With this new agreement Big Pharma will be able to extend its monopoly protection, which will have the direct effect of keeping prices high by stopping generic products from entering the marketplace.

The present 20 year period will be extended, potentially indefinitely. Only small modifications to current medicines, such as changing dosage or minor changes to formulation, which make little or no improvement to the drug, enable patents to be renewed. This protects company’s high prices, thus keeping the drugs out of the hands of the poor and stopping cheaper generic drugs coming to their assistance.

It doesn’t take rocket science to work out from all of this that one part of the bill is a licence to seriously infect mankind with dubious food products, whilst hamstringing the healing profession from coming to our aid!

We have ample evidence that corporations are raping this beautiful Planet of all it provides and now powerful agreements are being enacted to turbo boost this destruction by placing us in life threatening situations.

What I can’t get my head around is that in producing shoddy food we will quickly refrain from buying it. (I am particularly sensitive when it comes to buying seafood and will only purchase from respected and trusted suppliers.) Why are they pushing away the very people who make their profits? Evidence is already emerging that world trade is falling dramatically so how will this agreement help matters? DUH!!!!

It seems as though, like politicians and EU bureaucrats, there is only corporate contempt for the population at large. Not only are they reducing employment with increasing technology but those with a job suffer lowering wages. All of which will make it increasingly impossible for them to afford the necessary medicines for the treatment of the unregulated food (with reduced labelling!) that will start entering our shops.

This whole trade agreement has focussed solely upon corporate power and profits, with scant regard for the knock on effect to Society. A Society that has built up standards from experience gleaned over centuries of interaction and mistake. What we have is far from perfect but this abomination is taking us back to feudal times.

Crunch time is approaching, because there is no way we can be taken back to the dark ages with autocratic trade agreements such as TPP. Evolution has brought us to where we now stand and it is not capable of backward movement. The current breed of politician have demonstrated their total inability to lead and rule in a responsible fashion and it is here that the day of reckoning will birth itself.

Corporations are for (democratically regulated) trade . . . not the management of Society.

 

Until the next time

 

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

Fracking Our National Parks . . . NOOO!!

I couldn’t believe parliament is going to have a debate this week on whether we should be carrying out fracking operations in our National Parks. That government rode roughshod over our wishes in allowing it in the first place was insulting enough. Now, to hold a debate on whether they should or shouldn’t, knowing full well they will anyway, is just rubbing our noses in it!

As I have ranted before, this odious process has nothing to commend it, except its production of profitable income for global corporations (as if they didn’t have enough already!), and the tax revenue our governments can expect from (some) of those profits.

It is an open assault upon our very existence as it steals our dwindling water resources away from vital food production, often operating under our homes with government permission . . . but not ours!

There is a phrase – ‘Eye Candy’ – that refers to beautiful women and handsome men whose looks are pleasing to us. I have a variation on this – ‘Eye Pollution’ – that is something that immediately jars upon all of our senses.

I was in the New Forest only a week ago, on a glorious sunny day with that special light that is only available at this time of year. As I travelled across the forest the open spaces were inspiring in their beauty, with the sun boosting the autumnal colours of the shrubs and trees. Grazing ponies and cattle added to the magic of this scene and somehow complemented the tree lined background, making a picture that has been there for a thousand years or more a privilege to witness.

This panoramic vista was one of the primary reasons government embarked upon a programme of turning these beauty spots into National Parks, to protect them, as I understood it. Or was it to take control of areas that have very much been under the control of local people for centuries, in order to minimise protest when it came to turning them over to the corporate world as another source of profit?

I am cynical enough now to accept this thinking, particularly with the push to increase the number of National Parks. The government was, as is increasingly the case where threats to our national welfare are at stake, three or four jumps ahead of us. Like donning our other cap as ‘consumers’, as ‘voters’ we are no longer the recipients of the services of those we support but rather in direct competition with them as they connive and manipulate for profit and power.

This is the unmasked face of neoliberalism in all its abusive unpleasantness. We have seen the financial face, as the Greek people have been savagely forced into decades of penury because they held a referendum against the wishes of the unelected IMF and ECB.

Here our national pride and sovereignty is being systematically destroyed by globalisation and political will, as the ‘dodgy duo’ of Cameron and Osborne use their early months in power to implement actions that will appease their corporate lords and masters.

What upsets me most is the loss of national pride in this beautiful country, which is endemic at the very top. Instead of the sight that greeted and inspired me last week, the future will see that same scenery blighted by scores of lorries constantly taking water to the fracking sites and then taking the poisoned stuff away somewhere to be disposed of (I won’t even go there!).

Yes the fracking sites, where the actual drilling takes place, are relatively small. Perhaps a football pitch or two, which can be hidden from sight. However the reality is that they also require a much larger space for the fleets of lorries transporting the extract from the site plus the transportation of the vast amounts of water necessary for the process. This often overlooked aspect of fracking will add to the damage and pollution across the country, affecting all of our lives.

I mentioned having our ‘noses rubbed in it’ earlier. It will happen again here, if the experience in America is anything to go by and I have no reason to believe we will be any different. What the American taxpayer is finding is that after the site has been exhausted and no longer profitable, the company ups sticks and moves on to the next location, leaving the mess, pollution and damage for the local people to clear up at their expense.

It seems as though the banks created an unholy precedent in 2008, when the cost of their irresponsible banking practices were simply passed onto the already abused taxpayers and the same thing is now being repeated with the nightmare that fracking is becoming.

We have the wherewithal, through social media, to put together the pieces of the venomous jigsaw that is global neoliberalism, as it seeks to devalue every aspect of Life on Planet Earth in its unregulated onslaught for power and profit.

As I have said before, becoming aware of the nature of what we face is the first step and then we can assess how we want to deal with it. Our patience is wearing thin and our apathy is turning to anger.

A far more competent emotion for change don’t you think?

 

Until the next time

 

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

No Values . . . No Regulation . . . No Planet!

Fracking is a sinister commercial operation that is, by its very process, creating new avenues of future profit for the corporate world that will eventually end life on this beautiful Planet. The greatest sin within this evil production process (even greater than stealing our taxes), is the stealing of our ever reducing water supplies so essential to producing the food we eat and the life giving water we need to survive.

Not only is it stealing this precious resource but by mixing it with chemicals, (the industry refuse to divulge), it is making it impossible to recycle. This odious process has also become one of the primary accelerators of global warming and climate change.

Be under no illusion that global corporations are aware of how their abuse of our water supplies will increase the price of food and water. Indeed they are banking on it to ensure a constant flow of future profits through the very problems they are now creating. Politicians also need this obscene source of money to pay back debt!

When you add to this the secret trade deals under negotiation and nearing conclusion, it is clear that the responsible management of our Planet is in complete disarray. At the heart of this growing abuse is the rise to power of financial values over every other aspect of Life. Our political bodies, put in place to protect Society and manage our resources, have now seriously lost their way as they align with these destructive financial doctrines.

I have always had immense respect for the First Nation of America, the American Indian and their way of Life before the advent of mass immigration. As individual tribes they managed their environment from shamanic beliefs that dictated they only took from the land what they needed as it was their sole provider.

Each tribe was governed by its ‘Elders’, a council of men who had earned the respect of the tribe during the course of their lives by what they had achieved and how they had conducted themselves. Their collective job was to steer the tribe through the good and lean years, deciding when to move camp and where to move to, as well as managing the young warriors eager to fight and earn recognition in battle.

At the heart of their wisdom these wise men were guided by their shamanic beliefs, their long experience of Life and an integrity towards all members of the tribe. Above all else they understood human nature and how easy it is to be enticed into short term gain, ignoring the lasting effect of such actions and their detrimental effect on the wellbeing of the tribe.

In this 21st century few of our ‘Elders’ have the respect of those they are responsible for. They are not exercising any caution on the ‘warrior’ entrepreneurs and corporate leaders, whose narrow vision and short term concerns for profit are taking our global tribe to its own self-destruction.

They have lost the support of religious or spiritual beliefs to help them form values that would consider the needs of all, as well as the needs of this Planet. They believe integrity is no longer a value, as they spin and U-turn their careers along a narrow corridor of blinkered thinking in the pursuit of the power they crave and exercise.

The American Indian tribes were not as vastly populated as our modern nations and so their Elders were accepted on reputation. They were listened to and their wisdom followed because the tribe knew their best interests were always paramount in each decision made.

Today we vote our ‘Elders’ into power based upon the flimsiest of personal knowledge and with little or no knowledge of their deeds or credentials that allow them to adopt the immense power we give to them. Here we should be reminded that in giving them that power our vote is the most powerful tool in modern democracy, irrespective of how debauched that democracy has now become.

Regulation is essential to balancing our needs as human beings. In Canada there has been an important backlash to ‘austerity’ as the Liberals came from nowhere to finally break the nine-year stranglehold of the conservatives over Canadian politics. As the conservatives moved more to the right, the liberals moved to the left with more economic stimulus, higher taxes on the rich and the withdrawal of military support for America in their war with Syria, as a starter!

This backlash began in Spain, was followed up in Greece, the UK and elsewhere and now has a large supporter in Canada. We have a way to go but like the strong Shamanic values of the American Indians’, this liberalism is demonstrating our desire for the return of balanced values as the means of our future sustenance and survival.

That is the only real change we can consider and bring about with our vote.

 

Until the next time.

 

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

Global Finance and Planet Zog

Space photo

As I left Planet Zog on my Virgin Galactic space shuttle, I realised it is a place where people of all races colours and creeds cohabit in happy union, with a deep love of their Planet and respect for each other and the art of living Life.

As a global Society they have high self-esteem that manifests in pristine healthcare services, education and Social infrastructures that look after the needy when the challenges in Life became overwhelming. Employment demand is high and much of it is directed to the many diverse ways of managing their Planet, which provides the resources for all their needs.

It has not always been this way and emerged from a long battle of change with previous traditions that had enslaved the people and were destroying the Planet. Global Society then had been ruled for eons by Lenders, a sector of Society who were clever in the management of money. They were not different to the rest but just adept at recognising the inherent power of money and skilfully utilising that power for their benefit.

In the beginning they had simply managed and protected the wealth of others by keeping it secure in ‘banks’. As not all the stored wealth was used by its owners the Lenders began lending the excess out for others to use and charging for this service. They then began assisting governments in printing their currencies, providing the means to ‘move’ this money around the country and then abroad.

Eventually they created a global system of ‘money movement’ which they charged all users for. They persuaded governments to let them supply their country’s money and ‘remove any danger of political interference’ in the economy.

In time the Lenders came to control nearly all the money in circulation across Planet Zog. Their real skill however, lay in remaining hidden from public gaze. Few people knew who they were or how money was produced and paid for. This secrecy meant the people were unaware it was not their money but only lent to them for a charge.

The Lenders power increased as they were able to simply agree or refuse to lend their money to governments when it was needed. Their vulnerability came from human frailty, as power driven greed drove them to seek greater control over countries, by cleverly taking their money out of circulation and replacing it with loans.

They did this by vastly increasing their ‘bad’ banking practices and demanding that the people’s good money (taxes) pay for the predicted failures of their irresponsible activity. Governments were helpless. They did not control the money and so became immersed in debt and had to sell off national assets to help pay for that debt.

Again the Lenders cleverly justified this to the people as ‘Austerity’ measures to meet the huge loan repayments. Because of peoples ignorance about how money worked they initially accepted the restrictions they were placed under. Despair set in and many committed suicide

At this time the technological inventors amongst them developed a global communications system that allowed people to talk to each other across the Planet for the first time in their history. The Lenders did not like this new source of people power and sought many ways to restrict its use, by increasing the surveillance of the people as well as reducing their freedoms to speak and demonstrate.

However, this new communications system began to lift the veil on the secrecy of the Lenders, who they were and how they manipulated money. For the first time people saw that it was not their governments who were to blame for their hard lives but the Lenders.

By the simple expediency of removing the secrecy that had kept the Lenders in power for so long people began to work towards a new way for Society to live on Planet Zog. By taking back the power to print and circulate their own money they could build this new Society.

Running their own banks meant the interest, which was previously taken by the Lenders, could now be circulated back into Society. The sums involved were so vast that they would fund undreamt of healthcare and education facilities, as well as excellent cheap public transport and other infrastructures. Their energy supplies became cheaper, as did the cost of money, all of which was possible through strong regulation by new democratically empowered governments.

It took time for change to happen, because the Lenders did not relinquish their power willingly. However, by lifting that veil of secrecy the people at last knew what they were fighting. They could see a future for themselves and their children, free of enslavement to debt. They could now live their lives on a Planet whose plentiful resources would be the reward for its careful management.

Virgin Galactic may not be operating yet but the internet is and we are increasingly lifting the veil. As our ignorance is dispelled the way ahead will, I am sure, open up to us as it did on Planet Zog.

 

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