Tag Archives: Empowerment

Chilcot and Accountability

With its publication, it now becomes understandable why the results of this Inquiry have taken so long to come into the public domain.

First commissioned by Gordon Brown in 2009, its findings were then vetoed by the then government, along with a successful appeal by the Foreign Office to block it because it would present a ‘significant danger’ to UK/US relations (some ‘Special Relationship’!). The fact that there was an impending election in 2015 further delayed its publication, which had already been put back to 2014.

In spite of the hope by parliament that it ‘would go away’, Sir John Chilcot has now finally presented his detailed findings to the public with all their sordid content. I don’t think there is a person in this country who is not shocked and its aftermath will remain with us for some time to come.

In amongst everything else, what was particularly abhorrent to me was the final confirmation of sending British troops into war without adequate protection. War is designed to kill people, both combatants and civilians and those who join up do so in the certain knowledge of this risk. They commit to the understanding of that risk when swearing the oath of loyalty:

I… swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will, as in duty bound, honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors, in Person, Crown and Dignity against all enemies, and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors, and of the generals and officers set over me.

They are “duty bound, honestly and faithfully to defend us against all enemies”. HONESTLY AND FAITHFULLY! Where was that same “honesty and faithful dedication” by our government and armed forces, to fully equip those men and women before they put their lives in danger whenever their services are called upon?

Of the 179 servicemen and women who lost their lives in Iraq, how many were ‘murdered’ by our government because they were not properly equipped to go into battle? Even more odious are the photo ops by Blair, at which combatants who did not have full kit were replaced by those who did and with whom he is seen smiling and shoulder hugging?

Yesterday the nation watched as this man read from a carefully and legally vetted paper how he “believed we made the right decision”. How can it possibly be a right decision that sends ill prepared men and women to face potential death? How much does lack of equipment reduce the chances of winning, or is this what Blair meant in his undertaking to Bush that “I will be with you, whatever”?

His attempts at emotion and near tears whilst delivering his version of the truth simply added insult to injury and as one father, who had lost a son, commented “He was acting”.

In the cold light of day Blair went into politics with ambitions to be a major player on the world stage. He sought the support of not only the world’s most powerful political leader but also the world’s most powerful religious leader, when he very publicly converted to the Catholic church in 2007.

When he handed power over to Gordon Brown, also in 2007, he did not remain committed to the country, as so many ex PM’s have done but left parliament and with the initial help of G W Bush pursued his business interests, amassing a reported £60 million fortune to date.

Whilst he has been quoted as “Labours most successful leader” it has been at a price that questions the validity of such a statement. I do not seek to judge him, we are all fallible but rather thank him for giving British Society the opportunity to search our collective souls and focus upon power and its effect upon that fallibility.

Blair’s government, it now becomes increasingly clear, was run by an ‘armchair cabinet’ who seemed to only inform the full cabinet after events, thereby eliminating proper and thorough debate. Its strategic activities were carefully managed by twice disgraced Peter Mandelson. How the media reported those activities was even more carefully managed by a very adept Alistair Campbell.

Accountability was also carefully removed from the democratic equation by these people, as Chilcot has now shown. Not only is our political establishment’s current ability to govern limited, by corporate lords and masters who dictate what that limited government policy is but accountability is also only applied up the line to those corporate sponsors and not to the people who elected them to power.

Our whole democratic and political environment is now rotten to the core, with the exception of Jeremy Corbyn, who is the only beacon in this horrendous wilderness. He needs all the support he can get if we are to stand any chance of bringing the governing of this wonderful country and its people back from an abyss that Neoliberal values and politics are now taking us.

Sir John Chilcot points the direction forward through his diligence and perseverance, together with a choice of words that leave no ambiguity as to what aberrations our political class are capable of, if not properly supervised. It is that supervision we must now focus upon and the British people are better placed than any to do this.

We are now only accountable to ourselves and as such the job becomes more manageable without distant interference. We must begin by insisting upon another general election, to either support or not the intentions of the new Tory leader and not repeat the undemocratic handover of power that occurred with Labour.

Let us work together to get our own house back in order and then we can address the problems of the outside world, setting an example of what people driven democracy is all about in this 21st century.

Until the next time

 

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

‘Remain’ . . . ‘Leave’ . . . And?

Banking photo

As I survey the aftermath of our historic referendum I feel a huge sadness at the state of a country I love and have now lived in for the proverbial three score years and ten. Never before in my life have I felt I am in a helpless and rudderless ship as I do now.

Our political system is in total disarray, with back stabbing, political connivance and a complete lacking in any vision of the future by all concerned. As I see it the ‘Leave’ campaign made the right decision but for the wrong reasons and the ‘Remain’ campaign made the wrong decision for the right reasons.

After the vote, when I heard that Boris Johnson was working on his manifesto I was appalled but suspect all the other contestants were doing the same thing. That all concerned had taken us into a fight, arguing with lies and very dubious statistics, about something so critical to our future and with not the slightest vision of what that future might be, speaks of only of the agenda of debt and profit driven Neoliberalism.

We are bereft of serious leadership because our politicians no longer have any power to direct our Society. There has been much talk about the ‘1%’ and the ‘corporate masters of political power’ and now we are witnessing the stark reality of this abomination.

We hear of Theresa May making her play for the top power job, without any idea of her thinking as to a direction forward, other than the bog standard and vague rhetoric about “Strong Proven Leadership” “No reneging on Brexit” and “No activating Article 50 until the end of the year”.

OK, that’s the short term but what’s her vision of the future. Surely to God she must have one, or is she just ‘more of the same’ with austerity and democratic erosion, now that Cameron has been kicked out by the financiers for messing up their plans for a more controllable ‘one state Europe’.

If we look at her political style on surveillance, for example, she certainly supports it but in a rather worrying way, with an again vague Internet Spying Powers Bill that has left parliament very confused. To quote from a recent piece in the Spectator:

The new bill makes pitifully little effort to define when heavy surveillance powers may or may not be used. It merely stipulates that they can be used in the investigation of ‘serious crimes’, without attempting to define what that means. The bill specifically allows surveillance to be undertaken in order to safeguard the ‘economic wellbeing’ of the country — a power which could all too easily be interpreted by tax authorities as justifying the use of heavy-handed surveillance of people who pay their cleaner in cash or involve themselves in other trivial forms of tax-dodging.

Labour are in an even worse mess, as Blair’s ‘team disgrace’ are actually given media space to mount their attack on the only honest and decent political leader parliament has seen in years. That twice disgraced cabinet minister Mandelson is still given media space shows just how corrupt the establishment have now become:

“Peter Mandelson: Corbyn’s leadership could turn U.K. into a one-party state”

Wasn’t he part of the team that sought Murdoch’s support in 1997, at a cost of taking Labour so far to the centre that it became indistinguishable from the Tories. If ever there was a ‘one party state’ it was that which emerged under his strategic supervision and something Corbyn is now trying to repair.

Whether it is May or the Blairites, we are suffering the consequences of the takeover of our state by stealth from the Neoliberal forces that have crept up on all of us. The financiers have taken control and their threats are still ringing in our ears from their bullyboy tactics to protect dominant financial agendas during the referendum. They have become even more confident in exerting their will over political power and the democratic process by the strategic application of debt and monetary control.

The unrest in the world is because people sense their loss of power, of which the current Brussels run EU is very much a part. The President, Jean Paul Juncker, has said quite emphatically that “There can be no democratic choice against European Treaties”

It doesn’t get much clearer than that and in the end it leaves me in no uncertain terms I will have little or no say over how my life is run in future. Do the clowns in Brussels honestly believe that they, for the first time in our history as a species, can institute a framework of rules and regulations that meet the needs of 27 different countries and 500 million people without changes or adaptation?

Their arrogance suggests this is the case. I suspect however, that what is closer to the truth is that they are blindly implementing the dictates of their corporate lords and masters. That agenda includes not only political and financial control over Europe but also the introduction of military might that will then mirror the military/industrial complex money making machine that dominates America.

The Euro is a disaster, failing hopelessly to meet the needs of the differing financial requirements of those member states who opted in and is now crippling them one by one. Greece was the first victim of this incompetence and all the warning signs now point to Italy to bring the whole financial edifice to its knees.

‘Remain’ were right in their claims for closer ties with Europe but they cannot be achieved by trying to change Brussels. Renegotiation is not in their vocabulary. ‘Leave’ are wrong to distance themselves from Europe but the only way to change Brussels and its Neoliberal agenda, including TTIP, is to totally discredit the whole political establishment and rebuild a more democratic structure out of the ashes.

We must now re-empower Society by re-empowering political leaders who care about the people and will get their full support in bringing about meaningful change of the sort I outlined in my last piece, which sadly went down like a lead balloon but won’t shut me up!

Indira Ghandi best summed it up: “You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.”

Until the next time

 

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

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

 

The Brits . . . From Zero to Heroes

Britain photo

Harold Wilson was attributed with the phrase “A week is a long time in politics” and never was this truer than the events of this last weekend, beginning with the official declaration of our vote to leave the EU, on Friday morning.

During that day it would be fair to say that the British people were fairly well castigated by the media and those in Brussels. Even the boss, Juncker, demanded our immediate departure and then went off in a strop when asked if this heralded the end of his empire.

We had created global panic which, viewed objectively, came down to the powerful suddenly losing control, as the British turned the tables and voted against that abusive control for the first time since Magna Carta.

Apparently our actions wiped two trillion dollars off global stocks. A frightening statistic, were it not for the fact that this is all ‘paper’ money, of no intrinsic value and glaring evidence of just how unstable our current, debt choked, financial system actually is. On the positive side, these losses go towards the rebalancing of wealth across the globe.

How our situation changed in just 36 hours, with a complete reversal of attitude by the most powerful man on the Planet, Barak Obama. If you remember, in April he came over here and remonstrated with us by declaring:

We must go “to the back of the queue” and would not be able to strike a trade deal with America “any time soon” if it leaves the European Union.

And now, less than two months later:

“The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy.” The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world.”

Vice President Joe Biden also piped up with: “I must say we had looked for a different outcome. We would have preferred a different outcome … but the United States has a long-standing friendship with the United Kingdom and that very special bond will endure.”

This was then followed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who echoed the sentiment from President Obama.

He said: “The UK and the EU are important strategic partners for Canada with whom we enjoy deep historical ties and common values.

“We will continue to build relations with both parties as they forge a new relationship.

Next we have Germany who, according to the German newspaper Handelsblatt, reported an internal leaked document that stated the German finance ministry is already planning the terms of a possible associate membership for Britain.

(Of course they are, we are one of their largest export markets! Also, we are one of the major contributors to the EU and they want us to keep contributing as long as possible, as they will have to find an extra €3 billion to replace this when we leave!)

The World Trade Organisation also jumped on the bandwagon, saying it was prepared to help Britain after the vote to leave the bloc.

In general, former British colonies often feel they have a special opportunity for trade and investment with the UK, with which EU commitments sometimes interfered. They now hope to step in to fill the vacuum left by UK departure from the EU.

The oil-rich Gulf Cooperation countries may see additional buying opportunities in the British market after Brexit. BBC Monitoring reports.

The British people have called the bluff of the biggest global Neoliberal player and their European stooges and won. (Even our own armed forces were voting to leave because they had no intention of fighting in wars created by American foreign policy.)

Scary as it is at this moment we remain a world player and very much a part of the global trading club who, it appears, can neither afford, nor do they wish to lose us.

Support is coming thick and fast from other directions, with 6 member states now looking to follow our lead, as France, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Finland and Hungary want to hold referendums. And let’s not forget Germany, where electors are already screaming about Markel’s handling of immigration and who will now have to find this extra €3 billion in EU contributions when we go.

These are not peripheral players but lynchpins of the EU and demonstrate the true strength of feeling in Europe now. Speaking personally, all I ever wanted to achieve in voting ‘Leave’ was not to break with our European friends and colleagues but rather to break the power of Brussels and it may now be that this is happening.

Could the situation be turned around?

In my opinion, if Juncker went on global media and said “he was very, very, very, very, very, very (six will do) sorry, and they have got it all wrong. They will immediately cancel all negotiations about TTIP, abolish the European Commission, Central Bank and Court of Justice, along with the euro and transfer ALL executive powers to the European Parliament” and then publicly prostrated himself on the ground in abject humility, then there might be a basis upon which to start again and rebuild the EU . . . but I’m not holding my breath.

All of this, however, pales into insignificance compared with what now faces the British people at home. We have a seriously divided country and the political establishment responsible for that abuse is in total disarray.

Never was the wisdom of Albert Einstein more apposite than now, where “the thinking that created the problem is totally incapable of solving it”. Over the last three months we have seen career politicians of all sides lying, cheating and conducting themselves in such an unprofessional manner as to lose any remaining respect the British people might have had for the political establishment.

Whilst these antics have got a result, it has been achieved without a full and frank discussion with the people but rather sound bites and point scoring on emotive issues. They have been happy to divide us with not a thought or concern as to how they might re-unite us afterwards. Now we find ourselves in a situation where the point scoring and sound bites continue, as a power grab takes place with the main parties.

This is politics you might say but what thoroughly nauseates me is that ALL concerned have no idea where to go from here, even if they get the power, as none of them have even a soupcon of a vision for our future.

Whilst Boris is no fool and I love his eccentricity, so typical of the British and now in short supply in a PC world, I would not trust him further than I could throw the Houses of Parliament and the same goes for his mate Gove.

Jeremy Corbyn is one of the very few political leaders, here and abroad, whom I would trust but he does not inspire me and his lacklustre performance over the Referendum is now paying the price, although God forbid the Blairites come back to power.

(In both cases, we should not allow the undemocratic actions of Blair and Brown to be repeated again. Each party may choose a new leader but they must then satisfy the country of their intentions. Will he or she continue the manifesto of their predecessor, or will they take us off in another direction? We must be made aware through a general election, so that the new leader has the continued support of the country, or we decide to place it elsewhere . . . that is accountability and democracy all wrapped up in one!)

Then there is Nigel Farage, who I saw described “with the smile of a ventriloquist’s dummy” and who speaks to our ‘Britishness’ but who again lacks any vision for the future.

In Scotland we have Nicola Sturgeon promoting all of the divisive tactics of her English counterparts by making a play for Scottish independence. Let me quickly say that she has my absolute respect in triumphing in a man’s world. However, she is also using the moment to further her own power, by taking the Scottish people away from the 5th largest economy in the world and into an EU that is now collapsing around her ears.

The people of Britain have just made the biggest decision of their lives and have been left in limbo whilst career politicians frighten us with desperate grabs for power and no idea of what they will do with that power to take the country forward into the future.

What I see in all of this is ‘17th century’ politicians playing ‘17th century’ politics in the 21st century. The whole question of democracy, financial systems, taxation, the environment and so much more, remains as abusive as is was several hundred years ago and has not only divided this wonderful country but will take us to our own destruction if we do not radically change our present Society and its values.

What is lost in all the fearmongering and cheap rhetoric is that we now have a blank sheet upon which to build a new and inclusive Society. On the 23rd of June we proved conclusively, to ourselves and the world, that we do not want to return to the Neoliberal values and political creeds that dominated us up until 22nd June 2016.

We now have the opportunity to rebuild our wonderful country with meaningful values that revoke all that is divisive and abusive and show the world a new model of what a supportive and fully involved Society is capable of. We are not an outcast in the world and could hopefully be an inspiration to others, as we already appear to be a rallying point for our friends in Europe.

We owe it to ourselves and our young to strike out, as mistresses and masters of our own destiny, to find a more supportive Societal model that can only come from adopting a longer term outlook in the policies and practices we implement.

It won’t be easy and can only begin by looking to our most important responsibility at this time. It is certainly not our exit procedure from Brussels, that is political formality, but to concentrating every fibre of our individual and collective being into healing the current rift that has been inflicted upon us by career politicians, both here and in Brussels. Even more so with the call for a fresh Referendum seeking a different outcome to the last.

We must promise ourselves that ‘divide and conquer to rule’ is something we will no longer tolerate as 21st century citizens and look to birthing a new Society that benefits those who pay for it, over those who exploit it. At home this means our English government bringing people back together again, whilst competing with Edinburgh to create a Society that will entice our Scottish friends back into the fold in an equal sharing union.

Whilst I am sure I have stirred up some controversy, I would ask you to reserve judgement until you have read my follow up piece tomorrow, which will give you the full picture of what I am driving at.

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

The Age of Snowden

“WHEN YOU FIRST go on duty at CIA headquarters, you raise your hand and swear an oath — not to government, not to the agency, not to secrecy. You swear an oath to the Constitution. So there’s this friction, this emerging contest between the obligations and values that the government asks you to uphold, and the actual activities that you’re asked to participate in”.

(Extract from a recent article by Edward Snowden – The full article is available here )

It becomes blatantly clear from this insight into the previous world of Edward Snowden what values he operates from and how those values provided the conflict of interest he tussled with before making his world shattering revelations.

His first loyalty, at the behest of his employers, was to the American Constitution. This mighty document was conceived and implemented by the Founding Fathers, to give their new country and its people a set of values to live by. Over the centuries, this document has been amended, in line with the evolution of the country, to ensure its values reflect changes to Society.

You could almost say that the Constitution is ‘America set in stone’. It was obviously seen this way by the security services who employed Snowden, because they demanded his oath of allegiance to those values, not them or the current government.

Therefore, this places Snowden and his work above his employers and his government, to ensure abuse of the Constitution, by the greedy and powerful, can be recognised and dealt with.

If you read the above article you will see that his employers were aware of abuses to the people by the powerful and how the system to deal with such abuses was simply ignored. In the end Snowden had no option than to ‘go public’ with his fears and concerns and the rest is history.

What interests me in all of this is that element of human nature, which is in all of us at varying levels and pushed him finally to do what he did, knowing full well the consequences of his actions included possible lifetime incarceration or death.

Deep within all of us is a sense of right and wrong. It can’t be defined and is not set out in any statutes. Whilst religious teachings give guidelines, our sense of right and wrong can vary from one person to the next and is often the source of conflict, particularly where politics is involved.

Whatever these differences there is one common denominator that triggers this human reaction and that is dishonesty that leads to distrust.

Unjust behaviour can manifest in discrimination, political deviance or corporate abuse. In Snowden’s case it was the unjust nature of the use of surveillance upon the public at large, accepted as normal by his employers, in spite of violating the Constitution they had all sworn allegiance to.

As a species we can only function at our best if our perception of the truth is not violated. That perception may come from false information and propaganda that supports vested interest but until that vested interest is made public we are happy to go along with what we are told.

However, when that trust is violated, as was the case with what Snowden revealed, the credibility of those in charge is destroyed. There is no doubt that, with our newfound technology, we have entered a new age where our perception of the truth is changing dramatically, as secrets of centuries are now coming to light and reshaping Society . . . A Snowden Age.

As our traditional institutions become less credible and are seen for the manipulative bodies they have always been, so our scepticism evolves new services to meet the demand for truth. We are all aware of WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning and many others who have been motivated by right over wrong and how the establishment has reacted with outrage and suppression, not only to subdue the perpetrators but also to try and frighten off further acts of this nature.

Sadly, our leaders have not recognised what they are dealing with, because they are bereft of it themselves. We are talking here about integrity, which has vanished from the face of global leadership and which many would laugh at, unable to see how critical it is to how we live our lives.

Honesty is the only means by which to build anything lasting, be it government, commerce or personal friendships. Trust is implicit in all of these human interactions and when it is ignored or flouted there is a breaking down of the status quo.

I believe we are now seeing a breaking down of our global institutions from the disclosures of whistleblowers like Snowden, as we become more aware of how they operate. They cannot survive with such distrust, although they are blindly trying to bluff their way through their constant abuses by secrecy, manipulation of the media and anything else that might support their cause.

Nowhere is this now more evident than in the UK with the forthcoming Referendum and is responsible for new services springing up designed to get at the truth:

Full Fact  whose purpose they state as Factchecking isn’t just about writing articles. It’s also about correcting misinformation, and stopping it from spreading in public debate.

The BBC has also jumped on the bandwagon with its new service, ‘Reality Check

Their need becomes obvious today, if this – one of many – recent whistleblower reports, is anything to go by.

(David Cameron’s former director of strategy recently accused the Treasury of “making up numbers” for its dossier alleging economic disaster if Britain leaves the EU. Steve Hilton said they were “phoney figures” and were cooked up with the Treasury in the same way as the Tories’ famous 1992 campaign that claimed a Labour Tax Bombshell would cost every family £1,250 more.)

That democracy has come to such a low ebb is a sure sign of the growing decadence of Society, something repeated throughout history.

As a further sign of how lost meaningful values have now become The New York Times reported that:

‘Nobel Peace Prize Winning President Obama Has Been At War Longer Than Any Other American President’, (approving $200 Billion in Arms Deals Since 2009 when he received the prize).

When that prestigious prize is taken away from Obama and given to Edward Snowden I think we will be headed towards a meaningful world where integrity is at long last being valued.

And let’s be honest my friends, it is the only means by which we can deal with the challenges we now face for our very survival.

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

Referendum – HONESTY AT LAST!!!

We are now told by the Electoral Commission we have the ‘official’ referendum campaigns. I don’t know about you but their final choices smell a bit to me. ‘Vote Leave’ is simple enough but ‘Britain is Stronger in Europe’ seems loaded beyond belief.

It may be the cynic in me but there is also a helping of ignorance about our being Stronger ‘In’ or Weaker ‘Out’.

It was not until Open Democracy published their new report “Where next? A liberal free-market guide to Brexit” that I realised just how little relevant information has previously been easily available and on which people can make an informed decision. (Media control is working efficiently, as always!)

It is not a lengthy tomb but crammed within its 53 pages are facts and unbiased information to assist in helping make decisions. I’m not saying it’s the be all and end all of what the referendum is about but it certainly makes it much clearer to me, including the fact that it will not be the end of the world for the UK if we vote ‘Out’.

To give you a flavour of the unbiased and to my mind truthful nature of the content of this document, here is what Open Europe’s Chairman Lord Leach of Fairford has to say:

“The referendum campaign so far has been underwhelming and voters are little better informed about what the future might look like inside or outside the EU. Brexit will not be an economic disaster and it will not be a utopia. There are tough choices involved in Brexit – nothing comes for free. Withdrawal from the EU is likely to result in an initial economic cost but Britain can prosper if it takes a liberal approach to trade, immigration and regulation post-Brexit.”

“Staking out a liberal and free-market course post-Brexit would mean taking on vested interests and making tough political choices. This referendum should be an opportunity to debate the political and economic trade-offs involved. Voters can then determine for themselves whether they are willing to take on the challenge of making Brexit an economic success.”

I found these words inspiring in their honesty, something in short supply from Westminster and Brussels. Simply stating that if we come out it will not be “a walk in the park” provides a truth, I personally, can work with.

And today 38 Degrees published their Factsheet about the governments leaflet shoved through every letterbox this week, carrying out a ‘True or False’ assessment of its contents. More honesty we desperately need now!

My regular readers will know I am no fan of Brussels and its gradual erosion of democracy, which even Jeremy Corbyn, in his constant honest political approach, has often referred to. As time passes I become more convinced that, after Greece got its ruthless mauling and TTIP is going ahead without even an acknowledgement to the biggest petition in history against it, Brussels has become a tool of financiers vested interests and has to go.

Not for one minute either, do I believe that Europe can go back to being a collection of single countries, evolution will simply not allow it. The people have come too far now and the requirements of a ‘united Europe’ are incontestable in this modern globalised world.

My constant bone of contention is not the EU but the manner in which it is being managed by Brussels and their use of unelected technocrats who have a withering contempt for the people who pay for it all.

When it comes to honesty and truth, the very Referendum itself is a device by which Brussels can consolidate its power. By adopting this ‘In/Out’ stance, we are being told in no uncertain terms that the technocrats are staying and if we don’t like it we can go!

That’s ‘democracy’ Brussels style. There is not even a hint of how they might bend to the wishes of the people. It is as though they have a predetermined course they are following, (that the rest of us are not worthy of being informed about) and nothing will deter them in their mission.

Arrogance of this nature is good Soap Opera television but in a world where people are now being abused on a global scale, by the financial and political powers they keep in place as electors and customers, the situation is becoming untenable.

I become more convinced by the day that 23rd June is so much more than a simple ‘In/Out’ vote. It is about halting the progress of the growth of Neoliberalism*, which is the purpose and intent of Brussels as it too panders to global financiers.

For Jeremy Corbyn, as the only honest and trustworthy political leader in this country, to talk about “building allies to deliver change” is the correct approach but I simply do not believe it is possible after ratifying Brussels power with an ‘In’ vote.

Once we signify we are ‘In’ we will have lost the only serious bargaining position we will ever have to challenge the growth of neoliberal power. My recurrent nightmare is that after we vote ‘In’ the reaction of Brussels will be “Whatever. Now where are we with getting TTIP on the books?”

We are not alone in our concerns and have the chance to consolidate the groundswell of public opinion across Europe, which is something Brussels, the IMF and even our own Bank of England are terrified of and something I will write more about shortly.

The new report from Open Europe is worth a read. For those challenged by time, just look at the Conclusions: what are the implications for a new UK-EU relationship on page 53. It’s honesty, in amongst all of current political rhetoric, is refreshing and empowering. The 38 Degrees factsheet too.

There will be more my friends but in the meantime have a thoughtful and enjoyable weekend. Kindest

Until the next time

*There was an excellent piece in today’s Guardian, by George Monbiot, comprehensively describing what Neoliberalism is all about. I would suggest we all owe it to ourselves to read this and understand how democracy is being dismantled in the world, along with our freedoms.

 

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

‘Panama’ is Getting Weird!

World Power photo

In my last piece some of you expressed cynicism at my suggestion that ‘Openness’ is the New World Order and from which we can only benefit. If I have got it wrong, I will hold my hand up. Certainly I got it wrong with my rather romantic view of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ (ICIJ). It was shoddy research on my part for which I apologise.

Far from the ‘Panama Papers’ being a first for them, it was a repeat of what they carried out (believe it or not, in April of 2013) and have continued ever since. In fact, tax havens exposure seems to be all this organisation does, if their website is anything to go by.

So, an obvious but perhaps misguided choice for a whistle-blower with this sort of information. Sadly, through the ICIJ, these revelations lack the focus achieved when the Guardian published the Edward Snowden leaks. What dominated then was the content of the leaks and an embarrassed US direct assault on Snowden for showing integrity, moral fibre and courage.

This week we have been treated to a plethora of claims, all of which seem designed to divert attention from the odious behaviour of those taking money out of the system and hiding it, at a time when the gap between rich and poor is at its widest historically and with no signs of change.

The claim that it has been done to blackmail many world leaders and people of influence, who do not have the interests of the US at heart, seems credible. There are few, if any US corporations or leaders brought to light and so, either they are particularly incorruptible and a credit to the rest of the world, or there is a dirty tricks campaign going on . . . You decide.

If, as is suggested, this blackmail alludes to the resignation of the Icelandic Prime Minister, after the revelations of his offshore activities, with the inference that this could happen to anyone else who is on the list and fails to support American foreign policy, it is crude beyond belief.

Firstly, we are now told by his party that this Icelandic sleaze ball has not resigned but merely stepped down temporarily. Second, if this is a credible threat, how come it is directed at David Cameron at a time when he is fighting for his very survival, in trying to coerce the British people into voting the way he wants over our membership of the EU?

Here we have a supposed ‘best mate’ of the US fighting to support US policy on Europe and getting a canning by them for his efforts. I’m not the brightest but this really doesn’t make any sense at all to me.

Then we have the assault on Russia and China by the Guardian. Fair enough they are hot targets for the US but the papers’ attempt to smear President Putin, when no one can find any legitimate evidence he is an offshore fund user, is pathetic and not in keeping with the high standards of reporting conducted by the paper over the Snowden revelations.

By contrast, their ‘gang banging’ of China was way over the top, compared to other countries leaders and begs the question whether they are in the pay of the US. However, it must not be forgotten that China banned the Guardian two years ago when it reported on the country’s top officials who were making use of offshore companies in the Caribbean. The paper has bided its time and now appears to be wreaking retribution . . . Nice one!

Then we have the fact that much of the information has been selectively culled to direct attention to the biggest cause for US concern over its current status as the global superpower . . . the BRICs countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

There is no doubt they now pose an increasing threat to American dominance, particularly as they will shortly be opening their own bank for business in direct competition to the present Rothschild run system. This is a serious threat to the current world order and given the state of the global financial system it could be very well received.

(Perhaps this is another reason Cameron is included in these revelations, because his mate George has put money with the bank and is currently cosying up to China at the cost of our Steel industry.)

Whilst I am no political strategist, if the other reports, which suggest these revelations and the ICIJ are a tool of the US/Rothschild plan to take over the world and introduce a single world government and currency, I would have assumed you need friends to carry out this herculean task.

The net result of their current endeavours appears to be alienating everyone, making them entirely dependent upon global debt and US military might to carry out the task . . . Hmmmmm.

Whatever is actually going on, I remain with my belief that none of what I have described above would we be aware of if it were not for the New World Order of ‘Openness’. You can’t fight what you cannot see.

The Old World Order is having its veils of stealth and secrecy torn down and they can do nothing to stop it. That alone is providing people with more power than they have ever before had in the history of our species.

Something to ponder over this weekend . . . Have a good one my friends.

Until the next time

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

 

OPENNESS . . . The New World Order!

 

 

 

For millennia, secrecy and stealth have been the primary ingredients in the acquisition and maintenance of power within our species. It is how the 1% have ruled, whilst setting the people against each other to keep them from turning on their rulers.

We have now moved into a whole new world where maintaining the ignorance of the people is becoming more difficult. From WikiLeaks to Edward Snowden, the odious Trade Agreements and now the ‘Panama Papers’, human morality, supported by the internet, is driving a coach and horses through the very heart of the traditional power base of the Old World Order of the ruling few.

As far as this latest revelation is concerned, reports suggest that sums of between some $1 to $2 trillion have been taken out of circulation and hidden away. Whilst we have all been aware that this sort of thing goes on, the sums now brought to light are truly staggering and could resolve the current plight of the poor if put back into circulation.

When you consider that this money was originally created out of thin air and then passed to the very people who already have more of it than the rest of us and who then take it out of circulation and hide it away (often legally), the whole current financial system is corrupt.

It is not only the credibility of the financial system itself that is now in question but also the governments who condone and support it. After the American Senate bullied Switzerland into opening up its secrecy rules, “to subvert further tax evasion”, we now find that the game has been moved to, of all places, Reno, Nevada, USA!

Rothschild has opened a trust company here and is moving clients from places like Switzerland and Bermuda, where new international disclosure requirements are now required, to Reno where they are not. You really couldn’t make this stuff up!

What we have here is a lack of any morality whatsoever, as the rich and corporations use and abuse the services of Society at a greater level than the rest of us but, unlike the rest of us, are not made to contribute their fair share to support those services.

At a time when technology is putting people out of work and with no solutions being attempted by governments, rather they are focused firmly upon supporting neoliberalism, it makes this type of financial abuse not only criminal but morally obscene.

In amongst all of the reporting on these latest revelations, are the various interpretations of vested interest. These range from a conspiracy to unseat the Icelandic Prime Minister (11.5 million pieces of dynamite information to do this? Hmmm!), to discrediting President Putin who, it would appear, does not use this type of financial service (although I am sure he is not ‘lilywhite’!).

Attempts have even been made to undermine the authenticity of the global group of journalists involved. I’m not sure this group have an ulterior motive, although the media they supply certainly do. Sadly, the Guardian, in spite of its valiant support of Edward Snowden, has introduced the red herring of Putin in its reporting of the whole affair.

The fact that all of this information, from WikiLeaks up to the present, has been made available without profit being sought speaks volumes about the integrity of the people involved. Whistle-blowing has become the last bastion of morality and integrity in an increasingly corrupt neoliberal world. Its values represent something inherent in all of us and something we deeply respect . . . the truth!

What, for me, is the most significant aspect of this whole story is that 370 journalists from 70 different countries supported these latest disclosures and worked in an unprecedented scale of co-operation for over a year to bring these revelations to light. It is a development of unparalleled importance in the current balance of power within Society.

It may be that their efforts will be suppressed by global media in the hope that the story will fade and business can continue as usual. I am not so sure, if Ed Snowden and WikiLeaks are anything to go by. In this 21st century we are no longer ignorant, nor are we misinformed (for very long), as the world of Information Technology opens up the secrets of the increasing levels of abuse that currently run our world.

The Old Order know what is going on but are, I would suggest, helpless to stop it (even with Surveillance), because their world has been constructed and can only succeed through stealth and secrecy and our new world of ‘Openness’ is simply not conducive to supporting or tolerating this.

Perhaps the worm has now found an effective way of turning, as we seek a return to a world in which the needs of the 99% receive the compassionate attention and support that is currently directed at the 1%.

Until the next time

 

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