Category Archives: Equality of all Spiritual and Religious Beliefs

Core Belief 6: Equality of all Spiritual and Religious Beliefs – The equality and availability of all Spiritual and Religious understanding to support all people, without discrimination, who seek it in their constant confrontations with Life’s challenges.

Brussels . . . The Pen and The Sword

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Isn’t Life perverse? I was going to attack Brussels on Tuesday after several weeks of planning. Not with suicide bombers intent on causing fear and mayhem but with thoughts and perspectives to challenge the present status quo.

Words, directed at changing thinking and questioning the direction Society is now being dragged in. Given the vile nature of what happened I can wait and begin my assault later, out of respect for what the relatives and friends of the dead and survivors must now be dealing with.

As one atrocity follows another do the perpetrators really believe they will grab the power from those against whom they carry out these mindless attacks? Do they honestly believe they will bring us to our knees, or that we will willing submit to their brand of leadership, which rules by abject fear and without human rights?

These attempts at subjugation do not subdue but quite the reverse. The credibility of Terrorism is steadily being eroded, if it had any in the first place, with an anger and a determination to resist that is swelling out of the rubble of the latest atrocity.

There is no doubt that there is much wrong with the world today that can be laid at the feet of Western Neoliberalism. What I find incredible is that there is much these terrorists could learn from the current state of affairs and show them what true domination is all about.

What they will find is that the power they seek is not to be had by armed violence. Whilst this form of Neanderthal aggression may succeed for a while, resentment of the abused rises up and eventually overthrows the suppressors, as our history records on countless occasions.

For the longest periods of control over the masses the pen wins hands down over the sword. If we look at medieval Society it was the power of the written document, Magna Carta, which ended the abusive reign of tyrants and set standards by which, right up to today, Society is keen to maintain.

Also at around this time the pen and the sword worked hand in glove as the Crusaders offered safe passage for pilgrim’s intent upon visiting the Holy Land. Gold could be deposited at one fort in exchange for a promissory note which could then be exchanged at another fort upon arrival in the Holy Land, where the gold was then redeemed.

Over the ensuing centuries the power of this simple ‘banking practice’ grew into a worldwide business, which today holds sway of our global Society and dictates the policy of many governments through its lending terms and practices. What we know is that the bankers have done a better job than an army or any other force, no matter of what size, to subdue and control Society for a historic period of time with the simple and non-aggressive application of debt.

The real threat from terrorism now comes with the new breed of jihadis who are achieving increased funding, more sophisticated propaganda generating better recruitment and the improved use of communications encryption tools and equipment. Here the pen is coming to dominate the underlying foundations of this form of violence, making it more sophisticated in application.

If we add to this the future planning of the so-called Islamic State who, we are told, have more than 31,000 pregnant women being used to create the next generation of terrorists, the picture becomes much more worrying.

Perhaps the power of the pen is now being recognised for what it truly is, the ability to shape thinking and actions. What is often lost sight of is that, as a species, we create our reality by what we think and come to believe in. A simple example is smoking, which dominated our lives when I was young but is now scorned for the life threatening habit it truly is . . . we changed our belief and changed Society.

Terrorist leaders are realising that if they are to make any lasting headway they must already be preparing the next generation of fighters and this can only be achieved initially by the pen. Once young minds are shaped by terrorist beliefs, commitment is gained and the indoctrinated are ready to use the sword. Certainly we know that you can shape a young mind to act out any form of atrocity . . . How many 40-year-old+ bombers have been reported?

What I find frightening here is that modern terror groups are breeding future suicide bombers of such vast numbers. It is here that terrorism could get seriously out of control, as increasing numbers of fanaticised young are sent out into the world to become ‘martyrs’ by hideous waste of young lives. The sword cannot compete with this type of onslaught. What will the Pentagon do . . . bomb or ‘drone’ 31,000 pregnant women?!

We have to fight ‘like for like’ and that will finally show us whether terrorism is something we want to eradicate, or whether it is a tool of western powers to keep us separated and in conflict with each other so that the old order may continue.

I don’t know the answer to that question. If the latter is the case then we may be facing a violent future that will distract us from impending and far more serious Natural disasters, which will overtake us long before those 31,000 babies have been effectively indoctrinated.

Until the next time

 

P.S. Cartoonist from around the world respond to Brussels attack:

http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-03-22/cartoonists-around-world-respond-brussels-attack?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Scan%20PRI%20list%20-%20Wednesday%20March%2023%20-%20MASTER&utm_content=The%20Scan%20PRI%20list%20-%20Wednesday%20March%2023%20-%20MASTER+CID_35a55534694e051a30c967c929e940bd&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=Cartoonists%20from%20around%20the%20world%20respond%20to%20the%20Brussels%20attack

 

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

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 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

A British ‘EU’

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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

Our Beliefs are Destroying Us

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For me, Dances with Wolves has always been the film that placed a spotlight upon how our beliefs really do create the world we live in. Here Kevin Costner plays an army officer who is posted to the boundaries of the then ‘Wild West’ and has his western beliefs and way of life transformed by a tribe of Amerindians.

His conversion comes from realising that they are not the ‘savages’ portrayed by the popular perception of his society but rather a caring people who looked after and protected each other. Eventually his acceptance into the tribe allowed him to join a hunting party going in search of buffalo.

As they reached the brow of a hill, stretched out before them as far as the eye could see were the carcases of hundreds upon hundreds of slaughtered buffalo. The party went into a state of immediate shock and incomprehension at what they saw. Their trauma was caused not only by the sheer numbers involved but also finding that only the hide and tongue had been taken, the remainder of the animal simply discarded to rot away.

The Shamanic beliefs that underpinned their society taught them respect for all other living beings they shared this planet with, as well as a deep respect for the planet itself. These beliefs held that the buffalo represented the single greatest contribution to their way of life. It provided them with their clothes, the roof, wall and floor covering for their home, as well as food and tools. Even the sinews were used to bind their clothes together.

The disciplines exercised by this profound belief meant they would only kill what they needed and when they needed it. Their respect for the animal was such that when all body parts had been used they would place the skull on the ground to face the rising sun, believing this would ensure the animal’s soul had a safe journey back to its ancestors!

The Christian immigrants to America had different beliefs. They saw these mighty beasts as the means by which to accumulate vast wealth. Such was their greed that the buffalo population was reduced from an estimated 60 million to just 750 (yes, seven hundred and fifty!) in a century of slaughter for tongues and hides.

For me this microcosm shows how our beliefs impact upon how we live life. Today that mind-set has become global, as ‘factory’ ships decimate fishing stocks in exactly the same way as the buffalo. Our forests are being ravaged no less efficiently, as profit destroys any respect we might have had for all else that shares this beautiful Planet and without which we could not survive.

If our dominant belief system had the sustainable elements of the Shamanic we would not be facing the horrendous depletion in natural resources now occurring. Sadly, in the same way we fight each other for dominance of political beliefs, our religions have also fought for positions of dominance over the centuries.

Shamanism was pushed into a backwater by powerful Christian forces. Interestingly Witchcraft was also discredited in these power plays. Whilst the latter’s popular perception is of sacrifices and other ‘Satanic’ rituals, ever since its inception all those centuries ago it has held women in equal status to men! Not only that but all of its beliefs are regularly updated to accommodate evolutionary change.

If western religions had adopted a similar discipline with their beliefs they would not have seen people walking away from them in such numbers today. I believe it is for this reason that they have been singularly incapable of halting the increasing immorality of unregulated Capitalism that has steadily and surely divorced us from this Planet and each other. Student loans and the Greek debt fiasco are evidence of unhealthy beliefs that not only allow wholly irresponsible lending but then encourage more debt, bringing untold misery to whole nations of people.

The narrow belief in profit and debt that now dominates is incapable of sustaining us and will, like the buffalo, put us under threat of extinction. Deep down we know this but are held mesmerized by the relentless barrage of media propaganda that dominates our beliefs as ruthlessly as the Church did for all those centuries. Unlike religion however, we don’t have centuries to allow these shallow beliefs to run their course and lose their credibility and power, if we are to survive.

I am not proposing we all move over to Shamanism or Witchcraft, although elements of both would go a long way to creating new dominant beliefs that are broader and more nourishing than current financial ones. Putting the Planet and its inhabitants before profit we can repair the damage already done and responsibly come together as the Global Society evolution is now taking us towards.

Until the next time

 

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

Democracy . . . Illness and Cure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time

 

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

Hung Parliament . . . Who Cares!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Until the next time

 

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

Welcome to The Abyss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Until the next time

 

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

Terrorism . . . Are We Being Played?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Until the next time

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

Paris: Some Clarification

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Until the next time

 

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