Tag Archives: Global Magna Carta

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

Greece Can Return Us to Sanity

What a party the banks have had over the last 10 years. An orgy of endless money printing and debt leveraging Derivatives, (or gambling slips to you and me!). When it all blew up in 2008 with sub-prime mortgages, the taxpayer was forced to quickly bail them out and off they went again with sub-prime auto loans by the million and Sovereign debt by the billion, all of which is feeding yet more odious debt into an already very sick global financial system.

If this was not enough, a group of them then became involved in rigging the LIBOR global interest rate structure, whilst others played with vast tax avoidance and money laundering schemes.

Aficionados of Monopoly will quickly recognise that in spite of all of this unsavoury activity the banks are holding limitless “Get out of Jail Free” cards. Even these are not really necessary, because there are no “Go to Jail” cards in a game that has been heavily rigged in their favour!

Reprimands are levied by the authorities, with fines of seemingly vast sums of money, which in reality just come out of petty cash. Even the reprimands have been rigged, as the fines are ‘tax deductible’ and so the very people the banks have screwed find themselves helping pay their fines. You really can’t make this sort of stuff up!

Our global financial system, seriously weakened by odious debt, is now further challenged by a derivatives market few understand and which, according to the Bank of International Settlements, was worth a staggering $710 trillion in 2014 and growing.

And so the party continues uninterrupted, as little legislation has been put in force to separate this devastating gambling activity (as we found to our cost in 2008), from traditional banking practices. In the case of sub-prime mortgages when the banking loans began to default the derivatives they were linked to became worthless, bringing the world to its knees.

We now have another default in the making as Greece stands up and says “Enough. We don’t want to play this silly game of austerity anymore!” Their debt has also been ‘parcelled’ out to join all of the other bad debt arrangements still there from 2008 up to the present, precariously waiting to come tumbling down with greater devastation than before.

The reaction of both Brussels and the Troika to this tiny country and the responsible actions it is now contemplating demonstrates the fragility of the present financial system and its inability to withstand such action and just how frightened those in the know really are.

So why has Greece finally stood up to this banking abuse? Interestingly it comes from human rather than financial motivation. The Greek people have voted in a government that has values quite unique in the present world of politics and something simply not entertained in the world of finance.

The Greek government is fighting for the dignity and self-respect of its people. It has called “enough” in response to the increased and continuing suicide rate of good people brought to their knees with despair at seemingly endless austerity measures that are not solving anything. People and families, who until recently had been working and raising their children, are now reduced to scavenging in the rubbish for food.

(Remember it was the boss of the IMF who declared only last year that “the global economy’s ‘new mediocre’ phase of low growth could well become the ‘new reality’”, ensuring millions remain without prospects of future employment or purpose to their lives.)

Human dignity and self-respect is inbuilt within all of us and knows when to call a halt to abuse. Just think for a moment about our own current abuse with:

  • Surveillance
  • Austerity
  • Secret ‘democracy destroying’ TTIP deals
  • Ignoring our wishes over country wrecking Fracking
  • Constant reneging of political promises by those we have elected to power.

It is here that Greece could return us all to sanity by bringing down this unreal world of abuse and financial deception that has been allowed to grow over the last decade. The bully boy tactics towards Greece standing up for itself shows a fear by the EU and the banks that others might follow, causing the destruction of the present global power structure.

By supporting Greece in bringing down the financial system, rather than letting the banks do it again, is not as irresponsible as it sounds, allowing us to take back our dignity and self-respect over an increasingly autocratic and abusive global regime. The alternative is that offered by Christine Lagarde, as mentioned earlier.

Certainly it will mean a painful time for all of us, (which has to come one way or the other), but that time would be limited, with economic growth and jobs waiting at the other end, as Iceland has already demonstrated.

The standoff with Greece and The EU is simply history repeating itself, as David once again faces up to Goliath . . . and we know the outcome of that first seemingly uneven confrontation.

Until the next time

 

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

Magna Carta and TTIP

As a species we are designed to strive and achieve as much as we are designed to breed and build a home; it has been the way of things since the dawn of time. This striving is best recognised when we are young, pushing the boundaries with our parents, teachers and Society during the painful adolescent years as we seek to find our own identity and place within that Society.

This desire to push the boundaries remains with us throughout our lives and constantly manifests in sport, careers, business, the arts and all other aspects of Life. Often it can become obsessive and addictive, leading to gross irresponsibility’s. The banking collapses of 1929 and 2008 were evidence of this human characteristic at its most irresponsible, with the subsequent worldwide devastation they caused.

For this very reason, throughout our history we have sought to create buffers which guard against these excesses. This has become a critical aspect in the work of governments, with the laws they put on the statute books and constantly update as we evolve. Our desire to strive and accomplish then pushes back as we seek ways to bypass these restrictions and so the eternal ‘Ping-Pong’ of expansion and containment continues.

We are at a point in this endless game where boundaries are being pushed in unprecedented ways and protective barriers are being removed at an alarming rate to permit the unrivalled creation of wealth. Global corporations are now as wealthy and powerful as small nations, capable of dominating political parties and influencing the enactment and repeal of laws that support their growing power and profit.

For me this is vividly demonstrated by the insidious TTIP secret trade agreement now being pushed through with the minimum of democratic debate. Here we have the power of the written word at its most menacing, as laws and agreements are put into place that will hold our governments accountable in a fashion that the people can only dream about. Any government action that works against corporate greed will result in penalties for that government (and of course its people, as they will have to pay the costs of these governmental transgressions!).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time

 

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

Why Magna Carta Works

Let me get a rant out of the way by condemning all TV and Radio for not a single independent coverage of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Napoleon and other irrelevancies are given space but something we should be monumentally proud of as a nation has been ignored and it is a bloody disgrace!

Magna Carta works because it is at the very heart of how we function as a species and why it has been adopted, in one format or another, throughout the world. We create our world through what we believe in. Someone comes up with an idea that is adopted by many and becomes a belief.

If that belief is strong enough we write it down and use it to promote the values enshrined in that writing. The Bible, Koran, Torah and all the other religious teachings have been captured in this manner, as well as the very laws that govern us and shape the way we live our lives.

Magna Carta was the first such practice that declared our rights as human beings to a fair trial, freedoms of people and freed women from total slavery. Its common theme of human rights captured the imagination of people across the world over the following centuries, because of this fundamental message about our right to function as a species of individuals.

Power and greed have always been our greatest challenge, as ambitious but naïve individuals and groups have sought the impossible in world domination. Greed and power self-destruct because human fallibility can only use them to suppress and enslave. Enslavement can never be a permanent human condition as the oppressed eventually rise up and overthrow the oppressor. A pattern repeated with monotonous regularity throughout our history.

In the past that power was applied by armed force, with the likes of Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan setting the template for human carnage across the centuries. Today power and greed is more subtly attained by financial instruments, rather that instruments of war. Debt has become the weapon of war as our money supply is created by financiers, rather than governments, gradually enslaving people and countries by debt repayment.

These debt repayments have become the single most important aspect of any country’s responsibilities, because of beliefs that have been imposed by the few on the many and which, like Magna Carta, have been written down to authenticate them. That these written beliefs can also cause human suffering shows how the shaping of Life by dominating beliefs can sometimes be disastrous to our wellbeing. (The TTIP secret trade agreement is the latest example, if allowed.)

This is where we find ourselves in this 21st century, as debt spurs the attainment of power and greed. We have had one financial collapse and another is not far off, because the powerful and greedy are continuing to commit the crimes that they should have been jailed for last time.

I read somewhere that worldwide debt is so great that there is not enough money in circulation to repay it. This careful strategy to enslave could be labelled a ‘conspiracy theory’ if it were not for what is now happening in Greece. Submerge a country in debt through improper banking practice and then take their national assets in repayment and as a means to control.

For me, this is power and greed entering its self-destructive phase, as the banks themselves will collapse under the mountain of debt they have issued and which can no longer be supported. When this happens they will close their doors and people will suddenly find access to their own money denied them, as has been the case with individual bank collapses in the past. Now however it will be on a global scale because the banks and the debt are now global.

It is at this point, hopefully, that people will find the abuse of the powerful no longer tolerable, as they did 800 years ago, demanding a new charter that will once again bring the abuses of absolute power back under control through the power of the written word. Instead of Barons, it makes sense that they should have a new political party fighting for them this time.

The government prattles on, as Cameron will today, about the need for Magna Carta and how his government will do its bit to ensure values are maintained. This is political spin at its most unreal. It was in the interest of the people that Magna Carta was created to hold the powerful to account and it is that same situation that must be addressed to day by the people, not the government!

Happy Birthday Magna Carta . . . Not long now!

 

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

For Sale: 1 Magna Carta (Used)

Authors note: I write a weekly newsletter for my website (details to the right of this piece) and the following is something I wrote that seems to link up with Thursday’s blog about TTIP. Hope you find it to be on interest . . . We are in fascinating times my friends!

What an interesting revelation, that our government was going to offer our best copy of Magna Carta to America in 1941, in an effort to build stronger relations and induce the US to enter the War.

The reasoning behind this was the knowing that the American people had a greater respect for the Charter than we British. Our history is lost in the mists of time, whereas the Americans (enviably) can easily trace their beginnings back just a few hundred years.

That Magna Carta spawned the American Constitution and Bill of Rights is also pertinent, as here we find the very core of how we function as a species. Our reality and the world we live in is created by us and how we think at any given point in time.

During the Stone Age we first began to use tools made of stone and this was a huge evolutionary step for mankind. When we evolved from hunting to farming for our food and on from that into the Industrial Age and up to the present day, we didn’t run out of stones which then forced the changes but simply thought our way into new methods and means of living Life.

What we think and come to believe in shapes the manner in which we live our lives. It is here that the relevance of Magna Carta and the other documents can be seen, because our thinking and words are recorded for all to see and work from. That thinking and those words are then given very real power by encapsulating them in time in a written document, as they then remind us of our desire and commitment to live our lives in this fashion.

Nothing is more so than in our laws and statutes. Here we find detailed and carefully thought out pages of words that record the strategies we have evolved to manage how Society interacts. Indeed that was what Magna Carta was all about. A written decree that nobody was above the law, including the highest office of State, which was then the Monarchy. Magna Carta effectively ended the ‘Divine Right of Kings’, not by wars and violence but by the power of written words that captured the thinking of that time and which has changed little over the centuries.

This power is again in evidence, in a perverse fashion, as the clauses in Magna Carta have been steadily repealed over the last 150 years until just 3 remain. I believe that the rise of the 1% is as a direct consequence of this ‘watering down’ of the values of not only Magna Carta but also the American Constitution.

The thinking of vested interests, with Citizens United, propelled the passing of new words of law that freed corporations to provide unlimited support to political parties. Here we can see perfectly that with this ‘watering down’ people are made and feel powerless! The previous words that kept law and order no longer have influence and we are uncertain as to where to go from here.

At election time our party’s create manifestoes which set out how they will run the country and we have trusted these words sufficiently to vote for one party’s words over another’s to govern us. For me this is more evidence of how we create our world from our thinking and words. When the words fail Society is thrown into disarray and distrust grows.

If our current situation, with the growing gap between the 1% and 99%, demonstrates the true power that is still inherent in Magna Carta, surely it has to be ‘revitalised’ to return that power to the people. Only then can we restore our world to a greater level of responsible activity and turn us away from the course we are now upon that will lead to our certain destruction.

That we were considering gifting our best copy of this iconic document at such a critical time in our history speaks volumes of our respect for its real power in dictating how we should live and manage our lives. It is something we should think long and hard about now, as it provides the means, as it did in 1215, to again redress the imbalances in Society and make positive changes to how we live Life on Planet Earth.

 

Until the next time

 

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

Democracy . . . Illness and Cure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time

 

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

Welcome to The Abyss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Until the next time

 

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

Terrorism . . . Are We Being Played?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Until the next time

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

The Horror of TTIP

Caution: This piece contains explicit imagery.

Many years ago I watched an interview with a psychiatrist who counselled the rich and famous in Hollywood. Treating addiction was his speciality and he stated how important and difficult it is for the addict to recognise they have a problem, the very first step to recovery. In his own case he became aware he had a serious problem when he came out of a drug induced coma one morning lying face down in the gutter with a dog urinating on his face!

I have alluded before to the addictive qualities of ‘profit’ within Capitalism http://tinyurl.com/khy6nr8 . I see the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as a serious symptom of this quality, with its complete disregard for people, democracy and the Law of the Land in the attainment of its profit goals/fix.

Corporations have been allowed to become global whilst governments, whose job it is to restrain them, remain national and increasingly ineffective. Hence the now threatening possibility for corporations to sue governments if legislation they introduce could have an adverse effect upon future profits.

Of greater concern is a recently leaked EU document showing quite clearly that corporations will become more directly involved in policy making through a new institution, the Regulatory Cooperation Body (RCB). Its purpose is to coordinate the process of ‘regulatory coherence’ between the US and the EU, effectively side-lining, if not neutering, the public and civil organisations. (Source: Centre for Research on Globalization – http://tinyurl.com/m9vxl6t)

Aided by the RCB, this abusive agreement would work against all food, health and safety legislation designed to safeguard us, as the costs would affect profits. It can also be easily seen that it would allow the continuing devastation of our Planet. Be in no doubt about the seriousness of this agreement upon us, as a Society and a country.

Let’s just look at Fracking and the US experience in only a few short years. It tells of increasing earthquakes and growing health problems attributable to the use of chemicals, the type of which nobody is prepared to disclose and of particular danger to those living near the ever mushrooming Fracking sites. As a final insult, residents are left to clear up the considerable mess out of public funds, when the well has been exhausted, as there is no profit to be had from this part of the process.

Now the scary bit! If government in the UK suddenly saw the light from the US experience and reversed all decisions made so far to allow this odious process, with TTIP in force they would be sued. Doesn’t sound that sinister until you realise that this is an infant industry and if a quarter of what Cameron tells us is true, there are obscene amounts of money to be made here. After all, we are told that Fracking would resolve all of our current financial problems and see our balance of payments in good order for many decades to come!

THAT is a lot of money which, under the terms of TTIP, corporations would then be able to seek recompense for, if we reneged on current agreements. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the elephantine sums involved would bankrupt this country once and for all!

We are entering an Orwellian world where Big Brother will cease to regulate any corporate activity and presumably be unable to seek taxes from these monoliths because it would have repercussions upon their bottom line!

Am I being ridiculous . . . could things really get this bad? WHO KNOWS! Perhaps this is the reason it has been shrouded in so much secrecy for so many years. And how could we find out, because we don’t trust what we are told by those in authority?

Given the growing abuse of the 99% by the 1%, of which TTIP is an excess beyond belief, I see the hallmarks of addiction in its latter stages, as the demands for the unchecked profit growth ‘fix’  become more excessive and menacing with a corporate world in denial at the destructive repercussions of its actions. (Another banking collapse is already on the cards we are arrogantly told and with monotonous regularity!)

We have ravaged our Planet to a point where one of our major sources of food, the oceans, is now becoming toxic and GM crops are in question. The real nature of our problem is that we are the only species to poison its own food because of troubled addictive reasoning and belief about the profit fix!

I find myself looking, with increasing alarm, at the melting polar caps and considering the metaphor that perhaps our Planet is now readying itself to urinate on our collective faces. Sadly by then, I fear, it will be too late for any form of remedial treatment for our condition.

Until the next time

 

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