Tag Archives: Brexit

Brexit . . . and No World Ending!

Brexit photo

I am an eternal optimist but recently the news has been so negatively contrived as to deprive me of any inspiration whatsoever. However, a ray of light is at last shining through.

Two months have elapsed since Brexit and it would appear that the ‘End of the World’ heralded by the ‘experts’ as ‘Financial Armageddon’ and ‘The Economic Meltdown of Britain’, just hasn’t happened.

Here we are today and very little has changed. By that I mean that the corrupt global financial system is still functioning, after a fashion and the stock markets leaps to new highs that are underpinned by the nirvana of Neoliberalism – unlimited debt – instead of a more solid reality of economic growth through increased production and jobs.

“Have the ‘experts’ got it wrong againis now the cry? These people were as much ‘experts’ as you and I on the subject of the EU and Brexit, because neither have ever been tried before and so where is the learning and experience to make such facile judgements.

These ‘experts’ are people who have studied their specialist subjects and then sold that knowledge to the highest bidder, to support the propaganda of vested interest intent upon pursuing their agenda of a controlled unification of Europe.

This was the tactic used in 2008 to dupe us into being robbed of the money we have invested in providing Society with its essential support infrastructure for healthcare, education, benefits and pensions etc. We were not as aware then as we are now of the manipulative agenda of ‘Austerity’ and debt that has consumed us.

The fact that nothing changed after the bailout, indeed the banks have become more brazen in their abusive money lending and gambling, is now leading to another collapse that not only includes subprime mortgages but subprime car loans, to further feed the disaster.

Unsustainable debt is bringing large corporations to bankruptcy in ever growing numbers and political credibility, or lack of it, is demanding new leaders who care about people and Society in general, rather than profit and greed.

We are certainly seeing this across Europe, with new populist parties growing evermore popular and the likes of Bernie Saunders maintaining a strong voice in America, in spite of no longer being in the running for the Presidency.

What is so blatantly obvious, with Brussels move to try and become a ‘champion’ of social mobility and reduced inequality in its latest moves, is that they are not motivated by a care of the people but simply to try and counter the credibility of increasing numbers of populist movements that they may hold onto power.

Now we have the notorious TPP trade deal possibly ending, as France and Germany voice opposition to its implementation. I would argue that Brexit has made a serious contribution to this radical change of heart from the EU establishment, who previously just ignored the mass protest of the people. THAT IS TRUE DEMOCRACY AT WORK!

Not only that but Hollande and Merkel need desperately to win back favour with their electors if they are to stand any chance of being re-elected next year. (Isn’t it funny how we hear little of ‘clown Junckers’ at present. What a low profile he has adopted!)

If we then add to this the fact that Britain is bouncing back from the over reactions to Brexit, with manufacturing at a 10 month high in August  and UK business in general regaining its confidence after the post Brexit panic the pre-Referendum threats have been laid to waste.

Unlike Greece, who were easily cowered by vested interest, which has now reduced them to almost 21st century serfdom, the UK is the 5th largest economy in the world and in far greater demand by other trading nations. Although we have a way to go, it is obvious now that Brussels has had its wings clipped by Brexit and the arrogance that was inherent in their actions has now all but disappeared.

It is for this reason that I voted for Brexit. Not to break up the EU but to break the power of Brussels and return democracy to European affairs. Whilst France and Germany seek dominance over Europe, they have now scored so many own goals that we shall see how much longer the other members tolerate devastating mistakes such as immigration and negative interest rates.

We are in testing times, where the agenda of the few has taken a severe knock from which it may not recover, given public sentiment towards growing democratic abuses. Brexit could well be the catalyst that ignites a greater desire for freedom from autocratic rule, as it is seen across the world that we continue to maintain confidence in our future. A future we will have so much more control over and one that more nations may want to emulate.

Until the next time.

 

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

UK Trade with the EU – The Reality

I’m struggling to find interesting things to write about at the moment and so this is a rant.

I look at the US Presidential soap opera elections and simply cannot comprehend how an entrepreneur, who wants to run his country and the world as a business and a publicly denounced warmonger are the prime candidates for the most powerful job in the world.

The whole situation is exacerbated by a media that is incapable of reporting the truth, or topics that will generate a useful debate that also might help the electorate to feel included . . . if indeed they want to be.

On this side of the pond things are not much better, as Labour tries to re-establish its fundamentals as a socialist party and is being torn apart by its neoliberal past masters who care little about its future, or the damage they are causing.

Then we have our own media dancing around the important stories of the day, with loaded paranoia at every opportunity about the damage Brexit has done to our future. And these negative efforts are further boosted by government and commerce bringing out all of their dirty washing, in the shape of austerity and job losses, which they gratefully blame on our leaving the EU.

The fact that we haven’t actually left yet is not a point of consideration, nor that world trade is falling off a cliff, not because of Brexit but because of debt and greed. Corporate sales are continuing to fall, as are profits, which mean falling tax revenues for governments.

So, having bailed out the banks, government is now bailing out business with cheap loans, which are not being used to invest in business but to buy back shares and buy out the competition, all of which is a short term stab at keeping up share prices. This has been going on for a long time before Brexit and can only end in tears as corporate bankruptcies accelerate through the sheer implausibility of what they are now doing.

Staying in the EU would not have changed by one iota the financial collapse that is now taking place and which only a 180-degree turn in business and government integrity can halt. By breaking free of the political and financial disaster, which is the present Brussels driven EU, we can forge a new future for Britain by becoming masters of our own destiny.

By changing our focus on our trading position to one of global, rather than European trade, there is no limit to what we cannot achieve with the right leadership. And before anyone says this is rubbish, they might not be aware that this has already been the trend over the last 17 years!

Our trading with the EU has been going down as our trading with the rest of the world has been increasing, which this Office of National Statistics chart shows quite clearly:

Exports of goods from the UK to EU and non-EU countries as a percentage of all UK exported goods

Trade Graph

“In 2015 UK goods exports to non-EU countries were valued at £151 billion, compared with exports to the EU, which was £134 billion.

The drop in demand coincides with a dip in the economic fortunes in the euro area in 2012 and highlights weaker demand growth in the EU markets and much stronger demand growth in the non-EU markets.” Source:  UK Balance of Payments: The Pink Book 2016

Our trading rewards for being a member of the EU have been reducing, whilst we remain one of the highest subscribing members of this inefficient club. I am sure this chart has nothing to do with business to business activity but the interference of Brussels, with its endless flood of regulations and red tape.

If, as this chart indicates, we can trade healthily with the rest of the world, then we certainly don’t need to take any stick from Brussels now. Indeed, other European countries still want to trade with us because we are a profitable trading entity and that is all that counts.

I can see the present trend of seeking new trade agreements becoming the norm, as our European friends increasingly seek to trade with us without the interference of Brussels. It will be the making of a new trading base for European countries, who see the original purpose of the EU as commerce and not the political/currency union that has now been foisted upon them and is crippling them.

All of this is something our media do not want to talk about or create public debate on. It would drive a coach and horses through the neoliberal agenda of US foreign policy and global financial consolidation that is now being attempted.

Statistics like these from ONS are the reality of what is going on in the world today and the sooner we become more aware of them the sooner we can justifiably demand change and give ourselves a sense of value and purpose again. The reality is we are trendsetters, not pariahs, and I have no doubt that time will show this to be the case.

Until the next time

 

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

‘Brexit’ . . . The Third Option

BREXIT photo

As the 24th June recedes into memory there is no doubt the establishment machinery has been working overtime to undermine the voice of the British majority decision to exit the EU, even suggesting many are having a change of heart.

The stock markets were beautifully manipulated to make small fortunes for those who already have large fortunes as they bounced back after the chaos of the vote. The IMF  reckon Britain will outstrip Germany, France and Italy’s growth forecasts and our own Bank of England report our economy has not slowed since the Brexit vote . . . So much for the end of the world!

Whilst the ‘presstitutes’ now focus on the triggering of Article 50, our new government is preparing for the supposed two years of negotiations to enable our extraction from Brussels influence.

The question nobody seems to be asking, in all of this hype and scaremongering, is the very real possibility that those negotiations won’t actually go the distance, because the EU has collapsed.

As time passes the problems for Brussels seem to be escalating, as the technocrats lurch from one regulated disaster to the next. With the benefit of hindsight, we should have read the warning signs of over regulation in the 70’s, with the famous beef and butter ‘mountains’ and wine ‘lakes’.

Then we saw the introduction of the disastrous single currency, designed to bring about financial control over the EU. Time has now shown that it is beyond possibility to try and manage the individual financial environments of many different countries in such a manner.

This one piece of mismanagement has led to building a toxic financial environment that is no longer sustainable without blatant subterfuge. Negative interest rates are not only killing the traditional business of banks but also crucifying pensions investment and the future incomes of hundreds of millions who have paid in with utmost good faith.

Moving from the financial to the political, we now have the political pantomime that has seen France, Germany and Italy declare a summit in Italy next month following the aftermath of the UK exit. We have G20 and G7, is this E3? I can only see it as another very expensive taxpayer funded ‘bun fight’, as I question the credibility that will give substance to these three getting together?

Let’s start with Germany, where Merkel is just about hanging on to power, with her country overrun with refugees she has invited in without reference to the other members and who are frightening off tourists as fast as the immigrants appear.

Her posturing and dictates also give no clue to the fact that her country is about to financially implode. Hers is the first Eurozone country to issue negative interest debt, something the ECB will not (currently) redeem in event of problems.

For over a year now the financial pundits have been saying the country’s largest bank by far, Deutsche Bank, is in serious trouble. Its share price has dropped 48% since last July, motivating finance minister Wolfgang Schauble to declare in February he has “no concerns about Deutsche Bank”, something finance ministers don’t say about ‘healthy’ banks!

The bank has been selling more of its shares and issuing ‘contingent convertible bonds’ to raise desperately needed capital, all of which have gone to further depressing it share price and credibility!

Such is global concern that Deutsche Bank will become the next Lehman Brothers that the IMF, no less, have publicly branded it the riskiest globally significant bank, at a time when its US businesses also failed a Federal Reserve stress test. If/when this bank collapses, the reverberations will make 2008 look like a walk in the park.

Then we have Italy, where the IMF have also declared the country’s banks, who have seen their share price plummet by more than 50% this year alone, pose a particular threat to the economic outlook. “Unless asset quality and profitability problems are addressed in a timely manner, lingering problems of weaker banks can eventually weigh on the rest of the system” came their warning.

Monte Dei Paschi is Italy’s third largest publicly traded bank and its particular distinction is that no bank in Europe has fallen so low so fast without completely crashing. Two years ago their shares were worth between €5 and €9 and today they are worth €0.33. What keeps it on life support is constant taxpayer bailouts, something a Merkel bullied Brussels has now pulled the carpet on.

Here lies the embarrassment for premier Renzi before his summit with France and Germany, rumour has it he is contemplating going head to head with Brussels and enacting a unilateral sovereign rescue of the Italian banking system.

How will he face Merkel, who insisted upon ‘bail ins’ over ‘bail outs’ and has gone on record as saying “We wrote the rules for the credit system, we cannot change them every two years”. If Merkel gives in it will make a mockery of her ‘bail in’ rules before they have been properly used, to say nothing of the political fallout if, once again, there is a raid upon taxpayer’s money to save a bankrupt financial system.

Whether she maintains her position or waivers, neither is an endorsement of her direction of EU policy, or the credibility of Brussels regulations.

What cannot also be overlooked is that Italy is the EU’s third largest economy, with €2.23 trillion of public debt, €400 billion of which is stagnating in Italian banks as bad loans, making them not only ‘too big to fail’ but also ‘too big to save’!

Finally, we have France’s contribution to the ‘toxic trio’ and their pompous little president, who is now traveling around the EU to secure unity in the face of these pending financial disasters, the Greek fiasco and Brexit and being publicly booed for his troubles. (Or perhaps it’s because of the $14,500 of taxpayer money he spends each month on haircuts!  Where is his credibility, when his popularity rating at home is now reported at below 10%?

As Philippe Le Corre noted in the Financial Times, opinion polls show that 61% of French people “hold unfavourable views of the EU”. Two-thirds feel that ”the EU has failed them economically”. By contrast to the UK, it’s the young who have been among the hardest hit, with massively high unemployment. “It is likely that they would vote for “Frexit” in a referendum”, says Le Corre.

This seems to be lost on Martin Schultz, President of the EU Parliament, who stated quite clearly: “It is not the EU philosophy that the crowd can decide its fate”. (So what is the point of the elected members of this parliament, or indeed this parliament?!!!) And this pearl of wisdom comes only weeks after the people of one of the EU’s largest contributors demanded a return of democracy following their Referendum on membership on 23rd June.

The European Commission’s attempts to drive through the trade deal with Canada (CETA) is pouring more petrol on the glowing embers of discontent, as it is now close to collapse after a German political party sued Brussels over its implementation. “it reveals once more the cavernous differences opening up between different member states which have effectively rendered the European project unworkable”, according to one recent report.

The only logic appears to be that this undemocratic move by Brussels creates a precedent for the equally undemocratic TTIP trade deal with the US, which is running in the face of huge public protest.

It will only take the effects of one of these trade deals, or the collapse of a bank, on top of the mounting problems of immigration, to trigger revolt in an already unstable union, which it is not that far off if Brussels pursues its present political stance.

Two years of exit negotiations . . . we shall see.

Until the next time.

 

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

‘Brexit’ . . . The World is Watching

“Power, once acquired, is rarely returned – either to God (if you are the pope) or to the people (if you are the EU)” – Giles Fraser

As the arguments for ‘Stay’ and ‘Leave’ intensify what neither side can argue is that calling for a Referendum is evidence enough that there are serious problems with how the EU is being run

. . . If all was well there would be no Referendum QED.

What is lost in the intensity of debate is that the problems created by Brussels are no different to the problems being experienced by hundreds of millions of people around the world today. The cry for a return to democracy grows ever louder, with nationalism and localism the dominant theme of this global upheaval.

Across the Eurozone many focussed movements are demanding regional independence, from Scotland to Catalonia and even beautiful Venice. We also now have a strong resistance to governance by Brussels, which started out in Greece and Spain but has ventured into France, Germany, Italy, Holland, the Netherlands and others, signified by changes of national government in many cases.

(In Germanys case Merkel promised her people Greece would repay all of the money greedy German banks had lent it and when this backfired tried to divert attention by setting off an economic invasion of Europe by cosying up to the Muslims, which has resulted in her support crashing below 40%, and stimulating demands for a UK style Referendum.)

Even Iceland, the only country to jail its corrupt bankers, is experiencing similar upheaval, as people demand more accountability from their elected officials from a new ‘people configured’ constitution.

Moving outside Europe we see similar unrest in the birthplace of Neoliberalism, America, where both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have rocked the political establishment with their determination for ‘change’ away from an eroding democracy and the decimation of the middle classes.

Instability is also rising in Saudi Arabia, which follows on from the ‘Arab Spring’ in 2010 and continues today, referred to by some as the ‘Arab Winter’, which could contribute to political restructuring by the Autumn.

Travelling even further afield we find what has been described as the ‘Southeast Asian Donald Trump’, in the newly elected choice of the people, President Rodrigo Duterte. His track record is impressive as one of the longest serving mayors in the Philippines, demonstrating his popularity with the people.

What global media are keen to avoid reporting is that people want change from dominating Neoliberal values which are enriching the already rich and corporations, whilst dismantling democracy and thereby increasing the power of the few.

From America to Australia and back the destabilisation of ordinary people’s lives is wreaking havoc. Breadwinners are no longer guaranteed stable employment with which to put an ever increasingly costly roof over their family’s heads.

In a recent piece Paul Embury makes one of many very valid points: the most fundamental workers’ right of all – the right to work – has been denied to millions as a direct result of austerity-induced mass unemployment.”

Children’s education is being abused and distorted by the agendas of politicians and corporations seeking to ‘train’ rather than educate. And once their ‘education’ is finished the youth are incapable of building their own lives because of lack of jobs and bowed down with debt.

This debt too is not just restricted to the young but is now endemic within our lives, as the Rothschild’s/Rockefeller global banking cartel creates an ever more corrupt financial system that is seeking to enslave rather than provide a supportive service.

Unstable employment and overpowering debt create insecurity and if there is one thing we do not like as a species, it’s insecurity. In my lifetime we have gone from ‘womb to tomb’ security, with steady employment, stable prices and support in ill-health and retirement, to constantly reducing living wages (for the majority) and an equally reducing quality of life through the destruction/privatisation of established Social services.

Neither is there any sign of remission from this trek to the bottom, as shed loads of money is printed out of thin air and passed to the already rich to further expand their wealth.

I believe the turning point for Europe came with the failure of the single currency and the Troika’s barbaric crushing of our established democracy in its birthplace, Greece. The warmth of European amalgamation was shattered by this public display of power, showing in no uncertain terms who actually runs the EU.

Even one year on, fresh loans are being negotiated, not to restore people’s lives and build a future for the country but expressly to meet the interest repayments on the mountains of odious debt that have been inflicted upon the country by dubious moneylending practices.

This and the many other publicly acclaimed disasters, resulting from the ECB’s policies of ‘Austerity’ and Negative Interest Rates, together with Brussels even more disastrous handling of the immigration problem have also highlighted how, no matter how big the brain dead idea is, elected and unelected officials who run the EU are incapable of admitting to their mistakes. They consider themselves infallible and in this certainty have constructed a regime from which they can never be ousted.

For years’ government after government has been talking about ‘reform from the inside’ but time has shown that Brussels is unreformable because it has been designed to defy any such moves. There is no mechanism by which reform can be initiated or carried out. The EU parliament is incapable of initiating or repealing the legislation that is generated by unelected officials.

We are electing MEP’s who have no power. They are neutered and so are we, the people. You really couldn’t make this sort of stuff up! Fortunately, we are becoming aware of this now and this is why the unrest is no longer the stuff of conspiracy theory.

There is no doubt there is also a growing hostility to Brussels plans for further expansion of the EU after Netherlands rejection of Ukraine. This hostility was further exacerbated when Brussels declared it would ignore the Netherlands vote and allow Ukraine in anyway.

Such arrogance does not inspire and only foments increasing animosity against this bureaucratic dictatorship. Given this and so many other examples of Brussels defiance of the people, we can be certain of one thing. If the UK votes to remain on 23rd June, this renewed confidence in how Brussels is running things will ensure the democracy breaking TTIP trade agreement will become a certainty, hammering another brutal nail in the coffin of our already dwindling liberties.

We are not alone in our frustrations and anger. Our deliberations upon our future are being watched intensely by a world seeking some sort of acknowledgement and leadership out of the current global abuses of Neoliberalism.

Breaking up Brussels, so that we may reform the EU into the sort of democratic union we all want, would be the first meaningful step in this global and just rebellion.

Until the next time

 

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