Tag Archives: Corporations

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Our financial system too, is outdated and in chaos.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/

The ‘Elite’? . . . Hmmmmm!

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

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

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

Merriam Webster’s – A successful and powerful person.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time

 

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

Mass Slaughter By TPP!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Until the next time

 

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

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

TTIP Ran Election 2015

I know there are many reading this who formed their political allegiances many years ago and have remained loyal to the present day. I respect that loyalty, I really do and don’t question it. What I do question is whether the political environment in which those allegiances were first committed is the same as that which exists today? Or is that loyalty now being abused, with the growing evidence of how the corporate world has forced itself between the voter and their chosen party?

I have never ever experienced a General Election so devoid of substance or meaning as this one. Nor have I seen such a closely run election fought out by political parties with so little to say about the real issues now facing Society.

People are not idiots. They see and are speaking out about the real challenges we now face: TTIP, Fracking, Debt, Financial instability, Technology that is allowed to steal more of their jobs and a social infrastructure that is being deliberately collapsed to increase privatisation, all in the pursuit of profit.

As the parties continue to avoid these issues that avoidance is now seen as intentional. Debate is crushed because of the fear of being held publicly accountable. The introduction of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, or to you and me “The Gagging Act”, simply verifies this.

The act was designed, we are told, to solve the problems of paid lobbyists directing our government for the benefit of vested interest. Instead of gagging lobbyist however, it has gagged civil society! NGO’s and Charities, with our wellbeing at the heart of their work, are now restricted from voicing their concerns about abuses to Society because it could be interpreted as ‘favouring or disadvantaging’ any major party. What a blatant corrosion of the democratic process and more worryingly, something that aligns closely with the ethos of TTIP!

The deep concern about this dreaded trade deal grows, as it now nears completion in continued secrecy. Not only will it sound the death knell of democracy but neuter the power of our elected representatives, thereby effectively neutering the power of the electorate . . . hence the secrecy!

All of this has created an environment in which we are no longer seeing purposeful leadership but people with deft political skills slipping, sliding and dodging all manner of popular concerns, widening the gap between the electors and the elected and increasing their pent up worry, frustration and anger.

This was made abundantly clear when people had their only chance to confront the main leaders on BBC Question Time. The audience was branded the ‘Stars’ of the show and rightly so. Their anger was palpable and directed at ALL the leaders, demonstrating a collective vehemence at the social irresponsibility and lack of future direction coming out of Westminster.

The atmosphere at the centre of this election and the level of elector frustration can, I believe, be laid squarely at the feet of TTIP, even before it has come into force, with its prioritising profit over social cohesion and wellbeing.

Political leaders are kow-towing to their corporate masters in their irresponsible support of the bailout of the banks and their lack of commitment in what they say they can achieve for the people. It demonstrates they no longer have the power that they had at the last election, just 5 short years ago, to rule this country in the best interests of the people.

People sense this, as their elected representatives consult their corporate lords and masters, the banks and Brussels before legislating, or not, on Society’s needs. Is this what ‘career politicians’ are all about? Have they willingly hobbled their power and ours, because a ‘career’ in politics is now about social networking the corridors of Westminster, in a ‘5 year CV building apprenticeship’ that will take them into lucrative jobs in the corporate world?

Our democracy has been sold down the river and the future is bleak for everyone, other than the very rich. The only way to reverse this trend must come from a government who is strong enough to make a stand, knowing it has the full support of the people and fortified by party members who know their subject and are passionate about change.

If we cannot find such people the last 5 years will pale into insignificance compared with the democratic abuse we can expect with a fully functioning TTIP.

We must break the tightening grip of Neoliberalism and bring people back to the ballot boxes by involving them. That can only be achieved by a party that speaks to them, listens to them and can demonstrate that, above all else, IT CARES ABOUT THEM!

This election and the anger it has unleashed, is a warning bell that we can no longer remain complacent, or the children now entering education will have even less of a future than those now coming out of that same corrupted process.

Whatever the results of this nebulous election, we owe them and ourselves so much more!

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 Abuse of Education

A child’s mind has been likened to a field. Whatever you plant will grow. If you plant corn next to deadly nightshade, both will grow, the earth doesn’t care but the impact of ingesting both will be dramatically different. So it is with a child’s mind and I am uncertain as to just how much we appreciate the enormity of the responsibility Society has in shaping those minds and thereby shaping our very future.

Religion recognised this powerful asset and for centuries used it to shape young minds in creating its armies of followers. The fruits of this ‘selective planting’ has been experienced in the constant religious wars that have plagued our species over those same centuries, as indoctrinated generations fought with each other over the ‘one and only true God’, costing the lives of countless millions of innocent people in the process.

With the increasing sponsorship of our educational establishments by corporations, supported by our governments, we are witnessing the preparation of a future mind-set that will continue to encourage the commercial ravaging of our Planetary resources for profit. Climate change is a reality to all but the hermit and ostrich, justified by the need for short term profit. Our children’s ‘managed’ ignorance will ensure the oceans roll over us long before we admit to our mismanagement and again countless millions of innocent lives will be lost.

Even this abusive educational process is being artificially ramped up, further closing down fertile minds, by what is being labelled as a ‘Testocracy’ and referred to by authorities as educational reform. The now limited nurturing of the critical thinking of our young is being eradicated by constant testing of narrow bands of information that have been crammed into their minds, often by computer. These tests then measure a student’s ability to recall, rather than interpret, this data and the results are promoted as intelligence and intellectual understanding, rather than the reality that is human cloning!

What is more pertinent is the ease with which this means of ‘education’ can be measured by more computers. Standardised test papers can be churned out that result in reams of statistics and league tables being regurgitated for public consumption. One recent report has shown that Testocracy creates a highly stressful environment, rather than one of nurture, with high teacher turnover and some instances of students literally wetting themselves during practice testing.

The even darker side to this production line education is the vast amount of money made by the corporations producing the standardised text books and papers sprayed across the whole educational and classroom arena. It is not in their interests to tailor text books to the needs of the schools, to maximise intellectual prowess, because it is not profitable. Worse, it could have those newly enquiring minds casting their attention upon the very corporations who have perverted the traditional education process.

Testocracy is sending education into a spiral of abuse that has the very test results manipulated like business accounts as schools, like corporations, seek to hold onto their placings in the league tables. Indeed the league tables, like a corporate Stock Market, become more important than the process, as production line education is assessed and changed, based upon the most efficient pass rates.

What has been learned in order to achieve those pass rates is almost irrelevant to the process and follows a frighteningly similar pattern to what has happened to our food. Here the quality and nutritional content, like teaching, has been compromised for the sake of price and profit, borne out by an ever growing rate of obesity and health related issues within Society.

With the direction our governments are now allowing education to pursue we are signing our own death warrant, as our youth take their corporate shaped mind-set out into the world and perpetuate the crime. What is now being sown will have horrendous repercussions globally and is not the corn I wrote in the introduction but deadly nightshade of the most toxic proportions.

When you consider the latent power of education, it is the only source of human endeavour capable of achieving lasting world peace. Surely it is incumbent upon our leadership to finish with the religious and corporate tribalism that has abused it and us for so long, lifting our species to a whole new order of being as the technological revolution is now doing.

Certainly we need a new political will that is not intent upon hurling us to our own profit induced oblivion, with the ability to create a positive ray of hope in the current financially depraved global environment. Don’t we owe it to our children . . . and ourselves?

 

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 . . . Our Dilemma

As the cigarette giant Philip Morris jets their lawyers around the planet to sue Uruguay, Australia and also prepare to sue the UK for legislation that threatens profits, even before TTIP is a signed deal, it begs the question as to whether they know something we don’t and are honing their skills for the new era of corporate domination.

If so, will we see cigarette packets stripped of Government health warnings, leaving Society with the bill for the resultant increased health care costs? Will education be censored from making our young aware of the dangers, undoing the good work that has gradually stigmatised this unhealthy habit?

Fracking is no different, as stories from the US tell of corporations pumping chemicals, they are not prepared to disclose, under people’s homes and leaving communities with the expense of clearing up after them. This includes the cost of healthcare for people and workers affected by the process and polluted water systems, both caused by these secret chemicals.

When you get right down to it, since they got away with the 2007 financial bail outs for the banks the whole corporate world is now jumping on the bandwagon, by introducing trade agreements that will have taxpayers picking up the bill for all the unprofitable parts of their operations. In so doing the protection we have always relied upon (eventually) from our governments, through laws safeguarding our best interests as a Society, will be swept aside.

Will all of our public services be turned over to the private sector, because they are competing with privately run businesses and therefore harming profits? Will our refuse and sewage works be compromised, as they are ‘streamlined’ to accommodate the bottom line, again threatening our health and safety?

All of this is possible because democracy is being neutered. Politicians will be able to coast along in ‘Club Westminster’, turning away our protests and concerns over irresponsible corporate activity by throwing their hands in the air and declaring they can do nothing because of TTIP!

As the thick blanket of secrecy clothes another step in the corporate bid for global domination, for me, the penny has suddenly dropped!

We are seeing a repeat, albeit now globally, of what happened 800 years ago in England. Only then it was perpetrated by a King who was driven by his belief in his ‘Divine Right’ to do as he pleased. In those days Medieval Society accepted that the country was ruled by the King in conjunction with the next tier of rulers, the Barons and whose vested interests the King had to negotiate with – Medieval ‘democracy’!

The problem came when King John saw himself as sufficiently powerful that he could simply ignore the law and protocol and ‘over’ rule everything. Today we have global corporations flouting laws and even national constitutions as they too seek to do as they please.

Eventually a tipping point was reached in 1215 when the Barons had had enough and said so, bringing the unruly King back under control with the power of the written word . . . Magna Carta.

Today the only way to fight a trade agreement is with another more powerful agreement that counter sues each corporation for the increased tax burden their actions inflict upon Society. (Should our governements find the balls to fight back!) History is now repeating itself with the abuse and there is no reason why it should not also repeat itself with the solution. QED! See more here: http://tinyurl.com/pyvgsqn

The dilemma modern Society faces is not so much the global nature of the problem but one of time. Can we wait for our governments to reach that ‘Enough’ tipping point, as corporate abuse wreaks havoc upon our planet and scientists warn that climate change is reaching its own natural tipping point, which no amount of agreements will reverse?

We are in completely different and unprecedented times to those that birthed Magna Carta and the Occupy movement has taught us two things about these new times. The speed with which a movement can become global, (so many are now) and that if it is going to make a lasting impact it must have the political power with which to fight.

Greece and Spain are showing political grass roots of discontent but I fear we are seeing extreme Left views fighting extreme Right views and history has taught us that extremism never works. We now need political movements that tread the middle ground of human values and powerful people to support those movements.

This is my stab at those values, as a starting point to looking at a new world order that people are quite capable of achieving . . . If they want to! http://www.globalmagnacarta.net/

Until the next time

 

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

Hung Parliament? . . . Of Course!

Nathan Rothschild

When it takes just a few days for 1 million people to vote, demanding the reinstatement of a TV presenter whose brain is occasionally not engaged to his tongue when his mouth is working and yet those same people are steadily walking away from the ballot boxes that shape their lives, British politics has finally reached a crossroads.

Whatever your personal preferences for ‘Our Jeremy’, like Russell Brand, they have a connection with the people that our politicians can only dream about, because there is genuine substance to what they say. The gap between the politicians and voters is growing at the same rate as the gap between the ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ because there is little of substance in what the politicians say!

There was a time when authenticity ruled our political system. The Tories were supported by the ‘Toffs’ and our middle classes and Labour by the working man (and woman), plus the critical influence of their trade union founders. Sadly that defining political ethos and line has now been eradicated.

Over the decades the tail has come to wag the dog for the Tories as their corporate supporters have become their political masters, driving a wedge between them and the people.

It’s not much better for Labour, as our industrial base has been dramatically eroded with the loss of the powerful Steelworkers, the efficient Dockers and brave Mineworkers, to name but a few. This, together with the politically motivated reduction in the powers of the unions that had been so effective in regulating the excesses of capitalism, saw the party rebranded by Blair & Co by shifting its affinities more towards middle England. This may have recently put the party back in government but this shift now has them perceived as aligned with the Tories, in a joint political ‘wilderness’ that offers little choice to voters.

As far as the LibDems are concerned, I know there are good people in the party, together with those supporting them. Sadly, I cannot for the life of me work out where they figure in the grand scheme of things. Forgive me and God knows I have tried but their purpose is beyond my simple mind and comprehension.

If we then turn to the ‘new kids on the block’, firstly we have UKIP, whose leader presents himself as a fag puffing, pint loving ‘Geezer’ who is now extolling the benefits of private healthcare! I lost 15 members of my own family to cancer and so I have some experience of this evil disease and respect his courage throughout what must have been a terrifying period in his life as he fought it and won.

However, I can only view his strong words in support of a private healthcare system, which we know alienates those who really need it but can’t afford it, as nothing less than a signal of support to the corporate world. He, like the others, would welcome their support in growing his party and thus, to my thinking, relegates UKIP to the same political wilderness as the Tories and Labour.

Finally we have the Greens, who come nearest to garnering my vote, as their mind-set is precisely what is required to turn us back from our current headlong sprint to hell in a handcart through the destruction of this Planet and each other. However, their determination to end our monarchy must be meat and drink to the corporate world, as they too pursue a quest to eradicate our nationhood, thereby helping to turn the world into a bland ‘MacDonald’s’ profit machine! This ill thought out and contradictory manifesto also has me putting them in the aforementioned wilderness!!

If we now turn our attention to ‘Club Westminster’, I have said before that it is no longer fit for purpose. When you look at the design of the debating chamber it is only capable of accommodating a two party system. Worse than that this design demands total confrontation by both parties, making the name of the game point scoring, just like tennis, badminton and similar sports, rather than providing the means of reaching a reasoned consensus on how best to manage this country for the benefit of its people.

Here we come to the crux of the problem with this ‘Club’. It is allowing corporate domination of our democracy with Debt, Fracking, TTIP and many other corporate benefits, rather than encouraging visionary leadership that will support the needs of the majority through voter domination. THIS is what has driven voters away from the ballot boxes and the few who will make the effort are utterly confused and lacking any conviction as to which party to vote for.

A second successive hung parliament is a wakeup call for us all. The power of our political system and democracy has been so effectively neutered by debt and corporate power that this election is no longer about Left and Right but about the voters versus the corporations in who actually runs this country.

This is what it must have been like in 1940, as Hitler consumed Europe and stared hungrily at our white cliffs from Calais. The only difference today is that we have now been invaded and overrun, not by soldiers with guns, tanks and devastating air power but silently and sinisterly by Privatisation, Austerity and devastating Debt.

This is the reality of the political crossroads this country has now reached as it faces another election and it is up to the people to decide the way ahead.

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 ‘MacDonald’s World’

Authors note: The following are my observations on how Society has changed during my lifetime. I make no judgements as to right and wrong but simply ask a question about the direction in which we are now headed.
As a kid growing up in South London in the 50’s, Society was getting over the war but was also fairly settled. As I look back it described the nature of our Britishness as a people, with a monarchy at the helm of that identity.

We left our keys in the few cars that were available then and homes were rarely locked and bolted. Even our criminals had a code of ethics that ostracised anyone convicted of taking a gun, or worse using it, whilst committing a crime.

Napoleon once described us as a “nation of shopkeepers” with the proliferation of family businesses that competed for our individual needs. To them we were ‘Customers’.

In the 60’s foreign businesses, particularly from America, brought their methods of trading to our shores. ‘Super’ markets and ‘Warehouse’ traders selling everything in volume, from toys to carpets appeared and slowly replaced our intimate family businesses.

(Churchill struck a deal with Roosevelt in which, in exchange for US intervention in WWII, American business would be allowed free access to our people.)

These changes saw the demise of the customer as the new businesses, with their endless aisles of goods sold purely on price, slowly but surely changed our identity into consumers and ‘units of profit’. Napoleon, I’m sure, is grinning down at us now!

These new business methods demanded cheap labour and so, over the ensuing decades governments encouraged many immigrants to travel, sometimes thousands of miles, to enter an alien Society in the hope of improving the quality of life for them and their families. Naturally they had a different culture to ours and so they gathered together and formed their own communities to find a sense of identity and belonging.

As the numbers increased so tensions grew, as British values were challenged by these different cultural beliefs and values that our governments had ill prepared us for. Their priority was to meet the demands of employers for more workers, particularly to do the mundane jobs we did not want to do. Their reactive solution to this growing problem was endless ‘anti-racial’ legislation, which sought to insulate the differing cultures and which, sadly, challenged Social integration and cohesion.

Knife crime grew, as did gun violence and our values were again moved from a ‘Bobby with a whistle and a truncheon’ to fully armed and protected squads on constant call and alert. The settled Society that I knew as a kid had disappeared, replaced by an environment that breeds stress, rather than contentment.

Even the flagship of our British values, our monarchy, is under attack from foreign owned media. The purpose is to remove this global icon as the bedrock of our identity. It is a part of a strategy to take away an important aspect of our self-sufficiency as a nation, making us easier to control, a subject I have touched upon before. If this critical institution goes the same way as our shopkeepers it will be like stripping a Rolls Royce of its iconic Spirit of Ecstasy mascot. Our iconic global Trade Mark would be gone and an important part of our Britishness with it, with nothing to fill the void.

Our way of life has undergone a vast change in a relatively short space of time, caused by the demands of an increasingly dominant business culture. This culture seeks to destroy national values and replace them with a global sameness that will bend to the demands of their market place. It requires not only consumers and cheap labour but also vast quantities of cheap natural resources.

It is here that I come to the nub of my concerns about life in this 21st century. Britain is not the only country being stripped of its identity, as debt and migration become the norm and MacDonald’s appears on every high street and back street across the globe. In losing our national identities we lose our uniqueness and the ability to teach and learn from each other.

The very differences that were misused to create endless wars in our past are also the means by which we can come together, as the internet now shows us the inherent qualities each nation has to offer.

As I write TTIP is being bulldozed into legality and will see the final destruction of our sovereign democracies and identities. It will create a ‘MacDonald’s World’ where everywhere you go on this Planet you will find the same burger, same retail outlets, same consumer culture and same abuses. We are now in serious danger of allowing the Global Village we are headed towards to be shaped and destroyed by the corporate world, as they pursue their own narrow goals.

Life is too precious and so are we, for abuses of that scale to become a reality. We need new leadership that will again fight for the people.

Until the next time.

 

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

Nobody Listens . . . Nobody Cares!

banking photo

With the election only 60 odd days away the BBC’s flagship programme, Panorama, is running four weekly reports on whether our traditional aspirations about having a good job, owning a home and feeling a part of the community are now possible in modern Britain. What comes over loud and clear, in only the first programme, is the strong sentiment from people that “nobody listens and nobody cares”.

This resonates with me in taking just two issues that will have a fundamental impact upon this country and its people. In spite of ongoing public outcries, demonstrations and countless petitions, both Fracking and TTIP will be going ahead, destroying our countryside, our health and our democratic rights with a totality we have never experienced in our history.

How did we get into such an unpleasant state of affairs and with people we have elected to ‘lead’ us but who have, by general consensus, turned their backs on us. For me the answer is in these words I have paraphrased from the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson, one of Americas Founding Fathers and 3rd President:

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless. I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.”

What he feared for Americans and something now playing out for them, is also happening over here.

Countries become easier to control when they are not self-sufficient and so that self-sufficiency has to be taken away. The simple way to do that is to have outside competition from cheaper producing countries slowly strangle national businesses, like steel and manufacturing, causing them to go bust or be sold off.

Government income is then challenged because of lower tax revenue from those lost companies and the now unemployed taxpayers that were. The situation is created where government needs money to continue running the country and this is where the banks step in to help with loans.

Obviously as more money is required so the lending terms become tougher. Control of the country comes from ‘austerity’, demanded as reasonable by banks because the country now has to cut its cloth to meet the repayments on its growing debts. All of this is kept from the people because it would show up the incompetence of government, as well as its inability to take the country forward. (Greece ring any bells?)

Now we get to where I think we are as a country. In order to stay in power government becomes the broker for the corporations, selling off State assets at a fraction of their value. They also introduce legislation, or bend current laws to make corporate profit growth much easier, whilst turning a blind eye to tax income that is funnelled abroad.

Unemployment statistics are ‘massaged’ to distort the reality of lowering wage rates and zero hours contracts. For all of this to happen the people are increasingly ignored and they themselves become further demotivated by a corrupted process they once believed in.

For this ‘engineered’ set up to continue the media come to the fore and like the Games in Ancient Rome, distract the attention of the masses. Constant bad news stimulates fear and uncertainty, with Terrorism, Surveillance and human and ‘celebrity’ tragedy rife across this controlled synthetic news system. People begin to wonder where it will all end and despair sets in . . . “nobody listens and nobody cares”.

The democratic process is further insulted by politicians who publicly declare they “deplore the sad state of voter turnouts” and that “something must be done about it”, whilst finding no solutions because their financial and corporate masters will not allow it.

This cancerous environment thrives when there is no strong leadership. Career politicians are good at politicking which, like a bad general, wins all the battles whilst losing the war!

Leadership is all about vision, involvement and motivation. I will vote for the person and party who stand up and state that we are in a mess and it will require ‘both the people and parliament’ to resolve it. Firstly they will institute People Referendums to immediately bring us back into the decision making process and remotivate us.

Secondly they will look to the issue and management of our own money, by providing a Public Banking service to run alongside our current banking system. This will allow us to kick start the economy and eventually provide social services the world will be envious of, as happened in Switzerland.

With those two priorities underway we can then collectively look at and decide upon our place in the EU, plus everything else.

What a difference when a leader is listening . . . and they care!

Until the next time.

 

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