Tag Archives: Austerity

Grenfell Tower: Murder by ‘Austerity’

It is a week since we witnessed the horror of this human tragedy. It seems that since the Great Fire of London in 1666, successive governments have limited their concern for providing safe and secure habitation for the people under their care.

Grenfell Tower is a frightening indictment of political, financial and religious doctrines that are now no longer fit for purpose.

We live in an era of ‘professional’ politicians who, in leadership roles, care more about their power than the people. Our current Prime Minister initially ignored the survivors of this tragedy and then, urged by her advisors I am sure, sickeningly gushed over the families of victims of a terrorist attack just days later.

They are servants to global corporations who finance their election efforts and hence the continuing low turnout from voters, who know they are now limited in ability to sway political opinion.

Our financial system too, is outdated and in chaos. Every single aspect of the Grenfell Tower horror, from the blazing building to the rescue services (who did superbly), were affected by lack of financial resources and dwindling budgets.

‘Austerity’ is not a financial discipline, (to show we are being prudent), but a tool by which financiers can grab sovereign assets cheaply. We have seen this in Greece, where everything from their beautiful islands to even their water supplies have been sold off to private interests at knock down prices. This, from odious moneylending practices that create unrepayable debt and sovereign servitude – the very essence of how and why ‘Austerity’ is implemented.

Creating money is simplicity itself. When you and I take out a loan no money changes hands! A computer entry is placed in your bank account for say, £1,000 and a similar entry is placed in the banks account, showing that loan as an asset to ‘balance’ the books. No gold has been sold. No cash has been taken out of the banks vaults. It is simply created out of thin air, which we then pay interest on.

‘Austerity’ becomes a sordid joke as the amount of money put into the economy is dictated by the private banks, who have been authorised by government to run this very lucrative and controlling function of Society. Any amount of money can be supplied to Society but the banks only allow sufficient to keep us in permanent debt to them.

For evidence look at the trillions of Q E printed by the Federal Reserve in the US and the ECB in Europe and passed directly to banks to buy their bad debts, (created by lending money to people they knew could not afford to repay). That money bypassed Society, who were forced into the type of ‘Austerity’ measures that caused the horror of Grenfell Tower.

In Germany and other countries there are public banks, run by the local authorities who support small businesses and their community infrastructures – Health, Education, Police and Fire services etc. No wonder Germany is financially strong and why the ECB want to close them down and transfer their services to private banks.

Finally, in the past our traditional religious establishments have been responsible for the moral fibre of Society. In my lifetime, these values and power have been eroded by the growing worship of money and what it can buy, eroding integrity and moral fibre in the process.

The loss of power and influence of Western religions, in my opinion, reflects their inability, or desire, to bring their beliefs into the 21st century to reflect the world in which we now live. This failure, in turn, has diminished their ability to exercise any integrity and moral fibre over how our political and financial institutions do business.

This erosion of morality has resulted in the horror of Grenfell Tower. It highlights how ‘money’ desperately needs cheap labour but refuses to then take responsibility for looking after that labour, through the conduit of political policy and action which it so heavily influences.

We are in a whole new (global) world now, where antiquated taxes, political practices and a wholly unsupportive financial system* can be seen to be hopelessly out of place in serving Society’s needs.

What I am now looking for is a political party who can ‘repackage’ this country, by providing an infrastructure that supports the efforts of business as well as the community, providing transport infrastructures, premises, employees (as well as Health, Education and Community services for their employees, retirees and their families).

That infrastructure has to be paid for and that must come from creating public banks to service local authorities, together with a whole new tax system that ignores where a company’s headquarters are based but instead charges that corporation each time it uses our country’s facilities.

A ‘Transaction Tax’ that they and their customers pay on every financial transaction, from buying a hairpin to making a derivatives trade. Nothing is excluded because ALL use the infrastructure to make that transaction, in one format of another. You Use It . . . You Pay – no matter where you live and work from!

We need leaders with this sort of new vision, which addresses the many abuses Society increasingly face with current 18th century thinking. They must address global warming, the education and future of our young (do they have one anymore) and an ageing Society that has given us its support and now requires our support in return. Above all, they must urgently address the impact of IT upon future employment and create new employment opportunities for our young.

Society is getting more and more angry with each passing abuse that comes to light and that anger is waiting to be converted into the means by which we build a new and more caring Society.

Are there people out there who want to use their power to this end? Society is in desperate need now, to avert another Grenfell Tower.

 

Until the next time.

*This paper by Professor Richard A Werner D Phil (Oxon) University of Southampton – ‘Do We Need Central Banks’ – takes apart the global financial system in a comprehensive manner I have not come across before: https://professorwerner.org/shifting-from-central-planning-to-a-decentralised-economy-do-we-need-central-banks/

Wanted UK: New Leader/Party/Vision

With the aggression intensifying by the financiers, it becomes more obvious to me what an unpleasant world Neoliberalism has birthed. Manipulated markets are wiping trillions of global stocks and European banks are collectively on the verge of collapse, if some have not already done so. It appears nobody is safe and democracy is now being blown out of the water. This is what it must have seemed like in those dark days before the outbreak of WWII.

If this is the case, I would sooner go down fighting than give in to a repressive regime that cares little about the quality of life of the average man and woman. I will therefore continue from yesterday’s piece

 

If the statistics are to be believed, we have not only an ‘Exit/Remain’ split across this country but also a subdivision in age, with the young favouring ‘Remain’ over the older generation. This is understandable, I believe, because the older generation have known a more caring and much freer Society than the one in which our young have grown up.

Politicians globally have lost touch with the people, showing they care little about those people and more about the corporations who finance them. This is the gap we now have to bridge. People want something to believe in that restores their dignity and a new sense of purpose that is not diminished by Neoliberal values of debt and control.

We are in need of what I would refer to as a ‘Mandela moment’. When this great man came to power, in a seriously divided South Africa, he sought a distraction with which to bring the people together and found it in football and the 1995 World Cup in South Africa.

The UK now needs a new leader with vision and I would suggest his ‘football match’ could be a party manifesto like no other. Something that addresses the fundamental problems of our Society today and which will provide not only a distraction from our separation from the EU but more importantly, a means by which to heal the wounds of our now divided Society, which is the legacy of both Westminster and Brussels.

We have a blank sheet on which to write the sort of country we want to live in and something we must act upon with total conviction. Such a manifesto might include the following bullet points that direct Society away from the destruction of Neoliberal values and towards a more inclusive and nurturing Society:

Reversal of ‘Austerity’ – ‘Austerity’ has only ever been a source of plunder from the poor to the rich and we must return our public utilities and transport infrastructure to the public domain. In so doing we could make inroads into current unemployment levels through government contracts, something that happened to relieve the depression of the 1930’s.

We must also look at how we might ‘charitise’, rather than ‘privatise’ our social services, by seeing how possible it would be to turn many services over to the charitable sector. Government support would obviously be forthcoming but support for the needy would be better served by less political interference in those services.

Banking – To follow the Swiss model, by introducing public banking services, to run in tandem with our private banks but which focus upon those areas the private banks show little interest in. This would include the financing of our homes and small to medium businesses, all of which are critical to the development, growth and functioning of our Society.

We already have an infrastructure in place with our Post Offices and the income from these banking activities would be returned to Society in the shape of funding our health and social services.

Virtual money is looming on the horizon and its development needs to be supervised by government, to iron out the flaws and working practices, before sharing it with the private sector.

Taxation – This whole aspect of Society is a relic from our past and does not reflect the world of today. To better protect our Planet and its dwindling resources we must look to taxing the use of those resources instead of the profits we make from them. This would also ensure corporations pay tax on what they use in this country, paid for in this country and thereby diminishing tax avoidance.

Housing and Pensions – I believe these two aspects of our lives are now interlinked in dramatically improving the overall quality of the lives of working men and women. They are not only fundamental in providing a home in which to bring up a family but also the means by which to ensure financial security and independence in retirement.

Homes must become affordable again to the young and this can only be achieved by changing their basis of valuation away from market prices to rebuilding costs. By gradually stabilising prices in this manner, the savings in mortgage costs can be diverted to fund personal pension provision. (It would also give a much needed boost to house building and the subsequent knock on effect to jobs.)

We are all living longer and the cost of pensions can only escalate if we continue to retire in our sixties. That has to be paid for and diverting income from overly expensive mortgages to pension provision, coupled with tax incentives, is beginning to address the provision of a greater security for all of Society.

(As an aside, with current central banking policies of negative interest rates, a pensions time bomb is now ticking away as pension providers struggle to find suitable balanced investments with which to fund secure and ongoing income to those already in retirement. Something our politicians and media are keeping very quiet about!)

Commerce and Trade – With no more Brussels ‘red tape’, government can move more quickly to address the areas that affect our future. The most pressing must be Artificial Intelligence and its effect in reducing jobs for humans in the workplace. Work gives purpose to our lives and these reductions will lead to serious unrest in future.

Britain’s great openness to trade has come from a successful history of exploration, innovation and exploitation. Today it specialises in high tech productivity sectors which include finance, high tech manufacturing and business services.

Innovation and quality have always been strong attributes of the British people and we have a whole new world of technology screaming out for those very talents, in an era when encryption will become a growth market with which to fight increasing personal surveillance.

We have the talent and must focus on how to create a more supportive environment for small businesses and individuals to flourish and grow, opening up a healthy environment in which to challenge the ‘Too Big to Fail’ corporations now choking Society.

Media – For too long the British people have been subjected to the propaganda of a mainstream press that are carrying out the agenda of the globally powerful. We must return these powerful influencing forces back to the nation, that we may better manage our Society from accurate reporting of the events occurring within it. We should therefore look to limit the financial involvement of overseas investment in our national media to 45%.

The BBC would not escape in this respect. Here, bringing balance to reporting might be achieved by opening a BBC ‘Indy’ channel which would provide for the independent news media to have a powerful public platform upon which to present their stories, with adequate controls on accuracy and inflammatory comment.

Democracy – Let us again adopt the Swiss model by handing power back to the people, with people driven referendums. We have the resources now to do this, as recent activity around the Referendum last week is witness to.

Increasingly, parliamentary power should be carefully devolved to County level, with local ‘Senates’ allowing local people to express and implement their influence in how local matters are run. Commercial ‘Senates’, comprising Employers, Employees and Consumers, the latter of whom contribute to the wages and products, breaking the traditional deadlock between Employer and Employee.

The Houses of Parliament have a part to play in making the break with the past, by being turned over to tourism as a ‘6’ Star hotel that charges the rich ludicrous amounts of money for the privilege and status of staying there.

This would help finance a new high tech Parliament building, relocated out of London, which would signal our MP’s coming closer to the people and end the confrontational design of our current parliament, which only supports a two party system.

Its design would not only enable equal discourse by all parties but facilitate people following live debates. Anyone could contribute to those debates through screens in the debating chamber, with their opinions expressed on ‘Twitter like’ messaging board, along with similar other technology that no longer makes lobbying purely the province of corporations.

Education – For too long the education of our future Society has been viewed as a profit centre and this abuse must stop. We should be investing in our young and preparing them to go out into the world that awaits them. Student debt must be replaced by a commitment to remain in this country for a period of years as repayment for that investment and preparation. Academy schools should also end, before they sell off every playing field in the country.

Conclusion: All that is covered here seeks to open up our Society and bring the talents of the many to bear on the problems we now face from the policies of vested interest, which have fuelled the widening gap between the haves and have nots.

It is but a thumb nail sketch of only some of the many issues Society now needs to consider if we are to call a halt to an autocratic rule that is seeking to return us to feudalism.

The issues of climate change, nuclear power, equality and so much more can only be dealt with once an infrastructure is in place that enables the contribution of all in the debate.

This is the opportunity I see our ‘Exit’ now offering us. To become an independent beacon of 21st century values that improve the quality of all our lives and provides a template for others to follow, if they so choose.

If there is a leader out there, might I suggest his or her new party be called the Carta Party, in recognition of the need now for freedom from oppression and a respects for the individual rights of all . . . but then I am biased!

Until the next time

 

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

 

‘Austerity’ . . . This Will Kill it!

Are we now seeing the beginnings of the destruction of the financial and corporate world as we know it? If this month’s Finance and Development report from the IMF, no less, is anything to go by, with its headline “Neoliberalism: Oversold”, the writing is certainly on the wall.

Before I go any further let me just offer a couple of official definitions of Neoliberalism so that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet.

  1. A modern politico-economic theory favouring free trade, privatisation, minimal government intervention in business, reduced public expenditure on social services etc. Collins Dictionary
  2. Neoliberalism is a policy model of social studies and economics that transfers control of economic factors to the private sector from the public sector. Investopedia.com

Over the last 30 years or so it has become very noticeable how there has been a gradual erosion of democracy, countered by an escalation in corporate power and unregulated abuse which caused the financial collapse of 2008 and continues unchanged to this day.

Interspersed with this we have been assaulted by ‘Austerity’ measures across the globe and which, it has become increasingly clear, are a device to sell off public assets at a discount to the private sector.

In addition, there has been an escalation in debt originated money supply that has placed governments in varying positions of obligation to financiers. Because of this ‘obligation’, lenders have not only demanded ‘Austerity’ but also increasingly violated the democratic process by ‘quietly demanding that governments go against, or ignore, the wishes of the people.

Both of these abuses were particularly evident in the case of Greek debt. Here a (newly elected) government referendum against continued ‘Austerity’ measures was not only ignored but harsher terms were inflicted, in what appears to be a punishment and to deter any repeat of such action in other debtor countries in the EU and elsewhere.

We have also seen public outrage and demonstration against the odious TTIP agreement, Fracking and in the UK the gradual destruction/privatisation of the NHS. These actions have been equally rigorously ignored/defended by governments and the non-elected technocrats in Brussels, showing a complete contempt for the people who actually pay their wages and expenses.

All of the above, plus a whole lot more, can be laid fair and square at the feet of the application of Neoliberal doctrines, as time is now showing. What time is also demonstrating is that they don’t work and are simply benefitting the already rich, by increasing their wealth exponentially at the expense of the many.

The bombshell this week is that the IMF experts, in the shape of Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani and Davide Furceri, are actually confirming what we already know. I quote from the heading of their report

“Instead of delivering growth,

some neoliberal policies have increased inequality,

in turn jeopardizing durable expansion”

The paper goes on to say:

“Austerity policies not only generate substantial welfare costs due to supply-side channels, they also hurt demand—and thus worsen employment and unemployment.”

These findings suggest a need for a more nuanced view of what the neoliberal agenda is likely to be able to achieve. The IMF, which oversees the international monetary system, has been at the forefront of this reconsideration. ­

OR, to you and me . . . they got it badly wrong!

It explains why the IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, is at loggerheads with German banks over Greek debt. The banks want blood from Greece and the IMF are now recognising this will not work and will jeopardise the standing of themselves and Brussels. It could also be another nail in the coffin of this currently disintegrating project that is the EU.

(Even President Obama is now backing Social Security programmes he was previously against for the American people.)

And if that wasn’t enough, according to Zero Hedge Euro-Area manufacturing is near stagnation, damping confidence in the strength of the regions recovery.

The cracks are beginning to appear in the established and very abusive order of things, if the perpetrators are now publicly admitting there is a problem of their own making. We are talking here of fundamental beliefs that have dictated how governments rule and what place, if any, democracy plays in the process.

Millions of people are homeless and struggling to feed themselves, some so overwhelmed by what they have been made to face that they have committed the tragedy of suicide. That the civilised world has been taken to this place is a lesson for us all.

The values demanded by ‘the people’ are the correct moral values for Society because it is the majority who are expounding them. The minority view can only ever be the view of vested interest, as this paper has identified and the IMF are to be respected for allowing it to be published. If it were Brussels it would have been sat on!

So my friends, where do we go from here? As you know my mantra is “Awareness breeds understanding and understanding breeds change”. There can be no way forward with ‘Austerity’ after this damning report.

Any government who continues to pursue these measures should be ousted from power as totally lacking in credibility and care for the people who have placed their trust in its leadership. And that goes for Brussels as well!

Until the next time

 

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

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

Brussels is Massing ‘The Army’!

So many people are saying they have insufficient information with which to make their decision about the ‘In/Out’ referendum. To my mind this is stark evidence of the success of current political propaganda.

We, the taxpayers, are paying for the bureaucratic monstrosity that is now Brussels and the contempt with which we are being treated is staggering. It is political arrogance at its most despicable and highlights the total lack of integrity of the people we have given our power away to, to manage European Society.

The UK Referendum demonstrates that these people have abused us for too long, as well as showing up just how scared they really are!

Let’s step outside all of the dubious claims and counter claims for each side and look at the very much controlled theme being run here. I found the exercise quite enlightening. To my mind we are not immersed in a democratic debate about how Europe is managed but rather being subjected to a carefully constructed assault of financial antagonism!

It is as though an ‘army’ has suddenly been amassed to carry out this assault upon the British people, both on the home front and from abroad . . . A ‘Neoliberal Army’.

At its forefront is one of its biggest ‘battleships’, the IMF, with a destructive power that simply blew Greece out of the water last year and then went on to pillage its state assets, aided and abetted by the smaller ‘destroyers’ of the ECB and Brussels.

All of these forces have now turned their financial might upon the British people, sending salvo after salvo of financial data (lies, damn lies and statistics), describing how financial devastation awaits us if we dare to leave their kingdom.

(The latest being a veiled threat of financial punishment if Britain fails to tow the EU line by another of the army’s ‘destroyers’ the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Then we are confronted by our own financial ‘tanks’, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Bank of England and the Treasury, with the same battle song of financial Armageddon if we dare to leave the kingdom of Neoliberalism.

Do you see where I am coming from with all of this? Their combined fire power, together with their propaganda ministry – the media – is made up of financial ammunition alone! This is the sum total of their (‘military’) might. Not guns and bullets but debt driven obligation, pointed directly at each country through the barrel of ‘Austerity’.

Not content with this, we are then confronted with the assault troops headed up by ‘General’ Obama. His recent personal assault upon this country was supported by his legions of lieutenants in the US Senate, 8 former US Treasury secretaries of whom wrote an article warning on the dire financial consequences of a ‘leave’ vote. (The net result here was to increase the ‘leave’ vote by 3%!)

Financial values are the criteria by which the EU is being run by Brussels and hence the financial barrage now being directed at us. This aggressive mind-set was formulated by the Rothschild’s in the mid-18th century (this earlier piece covers it)  and has dominated right up to the present day.

Countries are viewed, not as populations of people with a cultural heritage but rather as a company with assets and liabilities. Neoliberal values dictate that people and their culture are irrelevant if countries are to be run efficiently and profitably. How successfully this was demonstrated in Greece last year with the despair and suicides, brought on by the Troika’s financial assault.

The problem with wielding so much financial might is the very narrowness of its scope. Life cannot be run by such constricting values. As a species we require much more variety to live fulfilling and purposeful lives and the rules of debit and credit come nowhere near meeting these fundamental necessities.

Last week it was reported that 500 migrants died when a large ship sank in the Mediterranean between Libya and Italy. What an ideal opportunity to come out and call for the assistance of all people to work with Brussels to find a solution to this ongoing human misery.

Instead, not a word is spoken and the story, like so many others, is pushed under the vast media carpet. Brussels continued mismanagement of migrants fleeing war torn areas is particularly loathsome, because it is as a direct result of Western foreign policy, of which they are very much a part.

Neither is there reference to any configuration about how they are managing the other areas of their domain. Employment, social integration, religious integration and cultural integration are all important and obvious tools with which to combat terrorism, as well as having a profound effect upon ours and our children’s future.

Discussion about these fundamental areas of human interaction are simply not on the table. The best the people can expect is whatever crumbs our elected representatives are able to scrape up from the Brussels ‘operations room’, as it pursues its financial invasion of our lives.

There is a similar silence towards the European wide petition demanding the halting of the now infamous trade agreements being pushed through at the behest of ‘General’ Obama. Brussels refuses to listen to the people and in doing so is again missing (or ignoring) a prime opportunity to build much needed bridges of credibility. From this it would appear that TTIP is a ‘tactical’ financial objective and therefore brooks no discussion or criticism?

The financial Neoliberal criteria by which our lives are increasingly being run is the very reason there is now so much unrest across the EU and elsewhere in the world. This unrest is fuelled by the gradual lifting of the veil of secrecy with which all power has been conceived, developed and maintained.

Greater understanding about our banking system and the abuses of debt issued money supply, together with the flagrant theft of public money to prop up failing banks, is breeding a ‘Populist Resistance Movement’ out of the financial collapse of 2008.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the political successes of both Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Saunders in the US, whose common denominator is the needs of the people and not the financial needs of the rich.

Because of this, Neoliberalism is having to go onto a ‘war footing’ that is now being expressed in all of its cold aggression towards these contenders, as well as their growing legions of supporters. A repeat of tactics used against Greece last year.

Whether we like it or not we are in a ‘no holds barred’ confrontation, masked by clever propaganda that has us fighting over the merits of irrelevances, contained within a bogus war of ‘In/Out’. Its forces may be mighty but its cause is shallow, reducing credibility and support by its ever abusive and domineering tactics.

(As I write, just 1 hour ago news reports  are coming in of “Around 600 members of various European police and military forces have carried out a European Union (EU) funded training exercise, in preparation for major civil unrest and even war.” A worrying development from a very worried hierarchy.)

There is a lot hanging on the outcome of 23rd June 2016 my friends and I don’t for one minute believe we are alone in this.

In the meantime, the rain is getting warmer, the sun continues to shine and summer approaches. Something over which none of us have any control . . . Have a great weekend.

Until the next time

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

1865 . . . ‘Austerity’ Is Invented!

I am half way through an incredibly well researched book: The House of Rothschild . . . The World’s Banker 1849 – 1999 by Niall Ferguson. It has opened my mind to so much I have never thought of, nor considered before.

What has jumped out of the page is the mind-set of this family. Whilst I find loathsome their narrow focus upon getting their full dues from debt – compound interest and asset stripping – I admit to a grudging respect for their devoted loyalty to each other and their religious faith.

They rocketed to wealth and power after the battle of Waterloo in 1815, when their speedy lines of continental communication (mainly carrier pigeons) told them of Wellingtons victory when the rest of the UK believed he had lost.

They purchased every stock and bond within their means at rock bottom prices and when the news of victory finally arrived the value of their holding went through the roof. This formed the foundation of their financial empire and by remaining close, as a family, they have been able to grow that fortune and power across the globe.

As a part of this mind-set, it is apparent how quickly they adopted an utterly ruthless stance to the acquisition of their money and power. Also, how calculating they have been in applying their talents to the extremely profitable support of the (varying) successes of governments, in waging incessant wars with each other across Europe.

In 1859 Austria suffered a defeat in Italy from which it did not recover and would never again be regarded, in financial terms, as a great power. Indeed, Austria’s reputation continued to decline as it became more insolvent struggling to finance its needs and cover the costs of its past aggressions.

With its credit rating on the floor, the Rothschild’s saw the opportunity to provide Austria with its much needed funds. However, there was the question of the country’s existing debt, which also needed financing and it is here we see the introduction of ‘Austerity’. To the family the solution lay in selling off state assets to finance debt, of which they had their particular eye on the Austrian railways.

The Rothschild’s had seen the lucrative future of the railways and focussed upon building a rail infrastructure across Europe. In providing cash strapped Austria with loans the family could acquire further rail stock, at a cheap price, to enhance their investment.

It is here that we gain a further and profound insight into the mind-set of this banking family and their attitude to the global arena in which they operate. Less and less did they look at countries as national infrastructures of people and cultures but rather that each country simply represented a ‘business’ with assets and liabilities, of which state assets offer huge potential.

In the case of Austria, the family realised that its desperate need for funds created the opportunity for a complex of interdependent transactions of loans and asset acquisition that gradually liquidated what had become an unsustainable empire.

This new attitude to their moneylending has prevailed right up to the present day, as we have seen recently in the case of Greece. Here state assets, from water to islands, are being purchased at knock down prices, as an asset stripper would dismantle a bankrupt company.

A bankrupt company however, does not have a whole nation of people dependent upon it. The despair of the people, in seeing any way forward for their future employment potential and quality of life is of no concern. As with Greece, its cultural heritage and demeanour are of no relevance. The country is a ‘business’ that is failing and therefore the appropriate remedial financial action is necessary to protect loan revenues and capital repayments.

From this it can be seen that we now have an environment in which the needs of the people are disregarded. Financial return is everything and something that is increasingly evident across the globe.

It is a testament to just how powerful this family have become that their beliefs and values now dominate our global Society. There is an overbearing mind-set that eschews social values and the wider perspective necessary to live Life to the full on Planet Earth. It would not be too dramatic to say that our freedom is being ‘ring-fenced’ by these dominating financial beliefs.

Life cannot be lived by such narrow rules and regulations, which are already causing mass unemployment, the widening gap between rich and poor, food and water shortages and adding to the threats now coming from climate change. It is here that we face our greatest challenge, as the need becomes apparent to reverse this trend and reinstitute broader based values and beliefs into our world.

Such values have always come in the past from our religious beliefs, in providing the necessary moral code by which we live Life and interact with each other. They formed the foundation of the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ by which business used to be conducted and whose morality and integrity have now been abandoned.

With the decline in the credibility of our traditional religions there is now a void, allowing narrow financial values to dominate and for which there is currently, no credible and effective counter belief.

‘Austerity’ may have been a clever and astute device to enhance the coffers and power of the few but it will cause the downfall of our species, something those few will not be immune from either.

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

EU . . . Let’s Start Again!

I have never hidden my contempt for what the EU has now become and I am sure this reflects the attitude of the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels who increasingly hold sway over 500 million of us.

Originally it was a project that made sense, as it focussed on free movement of labour, capital, goods and services. When it’s true size and potential was recognised (the EU now accounts for 15% of global GDP), monetary and fiscal ‘union’ became the new goals, as financiers waded in and democracy began to whither.

Control of political ‘union’ became the priority and Bernard Connolly’s paper ‘Europe: Driver or Drive. EMU and the lust for Crisis’ identified how crisis could achieve that control.

Environmental Issues would increase control over member countries. Terrorism would increase control of state surveillance, police and judicial issues. Global Financial Crisis would provide the excuse for Europe wide regulation and global financial governance. European Monetary Union would create the crisis to force the introduction of European economic government.

Britain was not prepared to accede to both political and financial union and so ‘contrived crises achieved the desired control behind our backs. These tactics demonstrated that we are dealing with un-elected representatives whose primary loyalty and concern is not with the people of Europe.

As Oliver Hartwich wrote in Why Europe Failed “The people of Europe did not suddenly wake up one day and demand they be bound together by a supra-national organisation. Neither did they demand to give up their national currencies in return for the euro. Indeed there has never been a popular movement for any sort of European integration”.

So how did it become so large an entity? If ‘crisis’ provided the goals, three disciplines fuelled the growth, of which language was the first. In 1957 when the Treaty of Rome lauded the famous four freedoms of “labour, services, goods and capital” it also had an innocuous commitment to “ever closer union among peoples”.

At the time this was lost in the excitement about a Common Market but provided the powerful with the tool with which to push for closer ties and the greater centralisation of power. And what better way to achieve this than by the second discipline of law-making?

The European Court of Justice was brought into being with the express purpose of asserting its own supremacy over and above the role of our parliaments. The European Communities Act 1972 states that:

Section 2 (1) means that provisions of EU law that are directly applicable or have direct effect, such as EU Regulations or certain articles of the EU Treaties, are automatically “without further enactment” incorporated and binding in national law without the need for a further Act of Parliament

Having control of the language and law-making all that is left for absolute control is the third discipline . . . money! The inauguration of the European Central Bank and its plaything, the euro, provides a level of control that is truly sinister. It allows peripheral nations to borrow cheaply under conditions that provide an ‘ever closer union’ and bring them into line through the application of debt. (I am indebted to Nick O’Connor of Capital and Conflict for his insightfulness here.)

Margaret Thatcher immediately saw this threat when the ECB was first muted and warned against it:

“If I were [in charge], there would be no European central bank accountable to no one, least of all national Parliaments. The point of that kind of Europe with a central bank is no democracy, taking powers away from every single Parliament, and having a single currency, a monetary policy and interest rates which take all political power away from us.” 

How prophetic her words, as the IMF and ECB have now demonstrated by bringing Greece to its knees with debt. Followed up immediately by the invasion of unelected technocrats who pour over and interfere in every aspects of the countries workings, down to the processes used by bakeries!

What we are now moving to, with fiscal union, is a United States of Europe and if Britain does not join it will remain a fully paying member, obeying its rules but without the ability to influence decision making.

This is what the “Remain In” campaigners are threatening, amongst them the twice disgraced member of Tony Blair’s government, Peter Mandelson. Given his long standing membership of the Bilderberg group, one of the corporate world’s most powerful groups, I take his words with a pinch of salt. A view supported by recent words from EU President Juncker’s deputy, Frans Timmerman who said:

“What was unimaginable before now becomes imaginable, namely the disintegration of the European project. The European ideals still have very strong support among the population across Europe. What do not have strong support are European politicians and European politics”

As more and more countries demand the return of sovereign powers to national governments the power grab by the technocrats is seeding its own self destruction. Democracy is an integral part of every one of us and the EU’s growing dictatorship flies in the face of this natural order.

If Britain leaves others will follow, because the whole project is now fatally flawed, with the financial crisis, limited growth, unemployment and now immigration. We need a new ‘Phoenix’ to rise from the ashes in the shape of, say, a European ‘Trade’ Council, focussing upon refining trading between member countries and run by the people who pay for it all and have the greatest interest in its success . . . Companies, Unions and Taxpayers.

From this foundation growth can occur organically, with political power contained within the borders of each country, jointly committing to a mandate to support the development of a people driven union.

 

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

Conspiracy Theory? . . . You Decide

In a recent BBC TV interview Edward Snowden described how the security forces are able to use our smartphones to locate where we go and listen in to our day to day conversations, remotely turning them on in our pockets or bags if necessary. This level of personal invasion is on a par with rape but whilst they are intimidating us they are not actually manipulating us.

In the financial arena of our lives however, there is no doubt in my mind we are being manipulated and suppressed in an ever tightening vice like grip. It begun with the 2008 crash when our taxpayer money was taken from us, forcing our governments to borrow vast debt to prop up a weakened Society.

These loans demanded ‘austerity’ measures which have seen our state services dramatically reduced and other entities sold off at record low prices to, supposedly, help repay that debt. Austerity is severely weakening global democracy, as corporations make themselves more powerful through their own seemingly irresponsible actions.

With another financial collapse on the way, the banks are seeking to ‘safeguard’ taxpayers by stealing their savings and investments instead! This new form of theft is being enforced by legislation (the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD)) from the EU who, interestingly, have recently ordered 11 countries to enact it within two months or be hauled before the EU Court of Justice, according to Reuters.

In essence banks are now authorised to convert the money we hold with them into their assets if they get into trouble. So our current account, savings, or other investments, become the banks property to be used to prop them up, in the same way our taxpayer money did in 2008.

Whilst the UK has government protection (which is currently being reduced from £85,000 to £75,000 per customer if a bank goes bust), in Austria their parliament enacted legislation which removed government liability for all bank deposits, leaving bank customers high and dry – a worrying precedent!

We are being set up to have our own money stolen from us again, as in 2008 and financially enslaved to exert greater control over what we do.

It makes sense to me when we now hear that the Bank of England, no less, wants to do away with cash! They are citing the reason as confronting “money laundering and other criminal abuses”. Its replacement could be a digital currency along the lines of Bitcoins.

And this only a year or two since they launched a blistering assault on Bitcoins and other virtual currencies as being the “haunt of criminals and money launderers”! If we add to this the reports over the years of whole bank branches in the US being run by criminals for the very purpose of money laundering, their whole argument about their responsibility with money becomes questionable at least.

What the eradication of cash will achieve is greater control over our money by banks. Every penny, cent, peso, lira we spend will be recorded by them and our privacy will again be violated in an indefensible manner.

Unlike smartphone surveillance however, they will be able to exert a control over us with their ability to simply shut down our means of payment, be it plastic card or smartphone, citing some vague abuse or clause in their endless terms of business. I can see a ‘daily allowance’ being instituted “for our own safety”, which they control, as is currently the case with cash dispensers. They would be capable of restricting how much we take abroad or buy from abroad . . . or anywhere!

Removing cash further allows them to manipulate us with the new phenomenon of negative interest rates, where our savings reduce instead of increasing. With no other option available, like cash, we would then be forced to spend, thereby boosting the economy (which is what they want!).

Cash has always provided us with the freedom to do what we like with our money. We can save it, hoard it if we do not trust the banks and retain an independence over our lives by how we spend it. That will all disappear overnight as ultimate control is taken over by the banks.

(As I write NatWest have just emailed to tell me they are withdrawing their ‘Cash’ Back (my quotes) service and replacing it with My Rewards . . . Same service, different words. Hmmm!)

If we add to these threats the watering down of global democracy by notorious trade agreements, such as TPP and TTIP, there is a vast shift in global power going on at present, caused by the advent of the internet. Traditionally we have been controlled through ignorance, by ‘divide and conquer’ where, as long as we fight each other, we are not a threat to those who rule us.

That means of control in now dead in the water as the internet educates us and brings us together for the first time in our history. Rulers are turning to direct control to counter this unification and debt is more effective than physical conflict. Look at the recent experience of the Greek people to see the reality of this new era of financial power and control.

As the Greek people have realised, we can only retaliate with political power, by putting the right people in place to fight our corner. History shows us, with monotonous regularity, that austerity/financial stricture is always the cause of revolution . . . and now it could be global!

Conspiracy Theory? . . . You Decide

 

Until the next time

 

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