Tag Archives: Greece

‘Brexit’ . . . The World is Watching

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time

 

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

Brussels is Massing ‘The Army’!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time

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

Obama Visit . . . Some Afterthoughts

obama photo

I started off my last piece by stating how ashamed I was at being British these days. That our Prime Minister has found it necessary to beg for the assistance of the American President (amongst others) to argue his case for remaining in the EU, because he now has no credibility whatsoever with his own people, is humiliating in the extreme.

Brussels too, is losing credibility with the British people (and the Europeans for that matter) and hence unelected technocrats begging him to come over and argue their corner as well.

So much for modern leadership and government!

Instead of inspiring speeches we were treated to subtle threats. I thought we had been told we had a ‘special relationship’ with the US. What would have happened if that did not exist . . . Oh wait a minute, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. Or maybe regime change, as is currently going on in Brazil. (Nearly happened in the UK after the CIA leaked the Panama Papers!)

Given this, I find myself questioning the credibility of the current leader of the birthplace of Neoliberalism, whose political agenda is evidenced in the country’s biggest debt mountain, achieved from the immorality of student loans. What is so reprehensible about this government sponsored lending is that a third of these youngsters cannot now repay those loans . . . we’re talking a trillion dollars of debt here!

Then we have the startling news this week that 1 in 5 US families have nobody working to put food on the table. Worse still the Federal Reserve has disclosed that 47% of all Americans would be unable to find just $400 without selling something, if an emergency occurred. The deadly result of Neoliberal policies that have exported so many US jobs abroad, whilst holding wages down to compete.

The US economy is in far worse shape than the media would have us believe, as corporate bankruptcies continue to escalate, caused by issuing trillions of dollars of debt to artificially hold up share prices in a huge Ponzi scheme that can only result in financial Armageddon.

Freedom of speech is also questionable in the US, as protestors, (it doesn’t matter where or what they are protesting), are commonly dealt with by violent police action or incarceration and sometimes fatality.

With these credentials, rather than being seduced into staying in the EU I feel we have been given “an offer we can’t refuse!” Much has been reported about us “getting to the back of the queue” for trade deals. If TTIP is the deal, we already know what our answer is. (Both Obama and Merkel say the pact will provide a shot in the arm to Western economies . . . how would we know, it’s so secret . . . more like another “offer we can’t refuse”!)

I don’t know about you but I feel we are being treated just like the people of Greece. Step out of line and you will get a slap! Democratic process . . . forget about it!

After the newly elected Greek government held a referendum, the results of which were ignored by the US backed Troika, unelected technocrats were installed to run the country and ensure interest payments on loans got priority over everything, including the people’s welfare.

Not only that but the terms of the new loans were even more punitive, as a Neoliberal ‘slap’ for stepping out of line.  (Remember also that the US backed former government shied away from a referendum after the IMF gave them a call, hence the election.)

It was the same with Cuba. Here the people revolted in 1959 and installed a communist regime. The US response has now become predictable. Break off diplomatic ties and commence covert operations to topple the regime and install their own puppet government.

In the case of Cuba, the people resisted, not just for a month or two but right up until 2015. The US worked out their tactics were going nowhere and eventually restored diplomatic relations, as well as now looking to lift trade embargoes. Is this what Greece can look forward to?

(Wasn’t it interesting how, after Obama’s official visit to Cuba, our very own Rolling Stones also visited and held a free concert to which 500,000 excited Cubans attended. “Upstaged” was a word I saw in one report. ‘Excited’ was not a word I saw used to describe Obama’s visit.)

Was Obama’s UK visit a warning shot across the bows? No meaningful observations. Silence also about TTIP and the frightening mess Europe in now in, with US style debt and immigration problems (which they deal with in their own country with barbed wire and military guards the length of the Mexican border).

The UK is not a poor nation, like Cuba or Greece but the world’s fifth largest economy on whom other countries, like the US and EU rely for trading support. Threatening to take away our powers could, I would have thought, sent us into the arms of the rising BRICS group.

Here lies the Pentagons greatest nightmare. This powerful group of countries are looking to introduce their own monetary system later this year, backed by gold, rather than created out of thin air by financier backed government decree. When the existing fiscal Ponzi scheme ultimately collapses where will countries go for financial stability . . . You decide.

In our referendum debate, we’ve already had the ‘financial assault’ by the supposedly unbiased IMF and our very own Bank of England. Obama’s visit was to remind us of their other might, as an integral part of the Rothschild’s/US pact to seek global dominance.

There is no doubt, with the US fronting up to China and Russia in ever more belligerent terms, Europe is a strategic centre of critical military importance to both sides. And with the youth of this area jobless, there is a ready source of recruits to rapidly build a European army, something the US is dedicated to enacting.

Our referendum really isn’t just about ‘In/Out’, I would suggest but rather our attempted salvation from ‘debt drowning’ Neoliberal domination. It is the root cause of growing global unrest, from low wages, unemployment, eroding democracy and escalating immigration, to producing an ever increasing gap between rich and poor.

Interesting times my friends and much to weigh up as we read between the lines.

Until the next time

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

1865 . . . ‘Austerity’ Is Invented!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time

 

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

Lies, Damn Lies & The EU

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is

for good men (and women) to do nothing – Edmund Burke.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the little glass domes at Christmas with the lovely scene which, when shaken, becomes clouded by a snowstorm. When I watched Cameron on last Saturday nights news, supported by the full political circus – clever lighting, a rostrum strategically placed in front of No 10 and carefully worded speech (which he read VERY carefully from) – all I saw was a ‘snow storm of words’ spouting out of his mouth, like the snow machines used on ski slopes to make the dodgy bits perform better.

Like the Christmas toy, he was obliterating the real issues surrounding the EU and our vote on 23rd June. Immigration, Child benefits paid abroad, closer integration and the other emotive issues are designed to divert our attention from the real issue of the unregulated and unaccountable power Brussels has now amassed over our lives.

(E.G. The bureaucrat in charge of implementing TTIP has publicly declared “I do not take my mandate from the European people.” And neither do our ‘elected’ representative’s lady! . . . if ignoring 3 million European voters, who signed the largest petition in history against this odious agreement, is anything to go by!)

According to statistics this bloated bureaucracy is costing taxpayers £30 million A DAY to support. That’s £10.4 billion last year! It’s been in place for 60 years now and so, even at just half these amounts, it has cost us a staggering £312 billion . . . just for the UK and there are now 28 member states!!)

If we had all kept the money and ploughed it into our own social services we would have few health, education and welfare services problems today (and if we took out the compound interest we pay bankers for the use of our money and debt (currently £24,491 per person), those services would be the envy of the world).

Instead we have birthed a monster that grows ever more powerful and autocratic by the day as it erodes democracy and the ability of the people paying for it all to bring those abusers to account. What has evolved is a playground for the banks, where they can apply corrupt banking practices, enslaving us in odious debt that is sanctioned by this monolithic state.

Exaggerating? Look at Greece last year. It offers a spotlight on the reality of what the EU has become. Here odious banking practice and corrupt politicians brought the Greek people to their knees with the application of odious debt. Where was the EU to curb such appalling banking moneylending practice?

Instead of protecting the Greek people and the rest of us, with proper laws to stifle such activity the European Commission – charged with proposing legislation and implementing decisions – sided with the financiers to bring in unelected technocrats to do their bidding.

It was repeated in Italy, Sicily and elsewhere and does not have even the slightest vestige of democracy . . . And we are paying the wages of the people who got us into this mess and have no intention of getting us out. It truly beggar’s belief!

And whilst all of this is going on we are treated to our elected representative’s diversionary tactics, screaming about greater vulnerability to terrorism and crime if we leave, lower employment and the piddling amount to money being sent abroad in child benefits.

(Let’s not forget that the benefits fraud comes mainly from white UK nationals who are third generation benefits system benefactors and who think they are entitled to free money and don’t care who pays for it! Our benefits system needs a complete overhaul in which ALL who want to claim have to pay in for at least 4 years (say) before they can benefit. Those in dire need would have access because they are a part of a family who are paying in and are therefore entitled . . . but this is all for another day.)

There is only ONE question I will ask myself before I vote on 23rd of June and it will be this:

“How would I feel if I knew that Brussels was being dismantled and replaced with a much smaller body, charged with developing a European ‘Trading’ Union. Its task would be to weld together and support European businesses to go out into the global marketplace and develop trade for Europe. It and the businesses would be supported by taxpayer money and in return those businesses would undertake to pay their full taxes back into this EU Union.”

Just knowing that Brussels was being dismantled would not only get my vote but also make me feel better. A wrong (of many decades) has at last being righted. I don’t know about you but it would give me back my dignity and a sense of empowerment?

We have the power to do this as European voters but we need to become organised. Here again we have the wherewithal in the fabulous communications system now available to us, with Social media and independent news sources.

I am not an organiser, I am a writer and so I make a heartfelt plea now to those out there with the abilities to organise. I am thinking about the ex-finance minister of Greece, Yanis Varoufakis, who has just launched a new Pan-European movement DiEM25 – http://www.diem25.org/  What about the much neutered European trade union movements – https://www.etuc.org/ the online petition experts like 38 degrees in the UK – https://home.38degrees.org.uk/ together with The Taxpayers Alliance – http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/ and the many other like-minded groups who could be brought together.

This unification would then play a decisive part in unifying electors into a powerful voting machine that, at last, can begin to call the shots and make our elected representatives accountable once more. How easy would it then be to create hung parliaments that would have to listen to what the people want before we then put any party into power.

Brexit is not the disaster that the bankers and bureaucrat’s media cry it will be but rather the wakeup call for a necessary and fundamental reform of Europe. And don’t for one minute think the UK is on its own here.

Our fellow taxpayers/voters in the other member states have also had enough of EU domination and will quickly follow our lead. Particularly if they see we have a replacement body that makes a lot more sense and which they would, I am convinced, readily support – something the bureaucrats are terrified about and hence the vague, wishy washy and temporary agreements Cameron came back with, ALL designed to buy them more time.

We now have a golden opportunity to make the most important decision about current political life and do what the majority want to do . . . and that is not to wreck the EU but replace it with a democratic union that is beneficial to the people and not just the elected (and unelected) few.

Until the next time.

 

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

BIS . . . A Legally Unaccountable Bank!

I believe this is my most important contribution, so far, to our growing awareness of how the world works. I am deeply indebted to Adam Lebor for his book ‘A Tower of Basel’ and its huge contribution to this awareness. More details here: http://tinyurl.com/omhkyen

 

Like me, you may have seen the odd reference to the Bank of International Settlements and had no idea what it was, nor what it did . . . and that suits the BIS just fine!

As the central pillar of our global financial system, it is responsible for furthering the interests of central banks by building and maintaining the architecture of transnational finance.

It came into existence in 1929 as the brainchild of Montague Norman, then governor of the Bank of England and one of the most powerful men in the world, together with Hjalmar Schacht president of the German Reichsbank. Its express purpose was to administer German war reparations (financial compensation) to the allied countries involved.

Both Norman and Schacht were very shrewd financiers, with ambitions way beyond a simple administration office. They immediately set about creating a global bankers ‘club’, bringing together the heads of the main central banks with monthly meetings, which continue to this day in absolute secrecy in their offices in an 18 storey tower building near Basel railway station in Switzerland.

Today its members include Ben Bernanke, former head of the Federal Reserve, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank and the central bank governors of Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Canada, India and Brazil. The object is to share information and build consensus on the direction of our global financial system.

Returning to its roots, in 1930 the governments of UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Japan and Switzerland signed the Hague Convention making the BIS untouchable, as the most privileged and legally protected bank on the Planet.

(The “You can no longer touch us”) Article 10 of the BIS Constituent Charter states:

The Bank, its property and assets and all deposits and other funds entrusted to it shall be immune in time of peace and in time of war from any measure such as expropriation, requisition, seizure, confiscation, prohibition or restriction of gold or currency export or import and any other similar measure.

With it becoming ever certain that a second world war was imminent, Schacht and Norman believed financial – not political – disciplines were the only way to ensure the world could be rebuilt from the carnage and return Germany to its strong trading position in Europe.

To achieve their aim it was necessary to maintain the smooth flow of global finance during the war years and provide a haven for gold transactions without political interference. Whilst these objectives appeared laudable, they also carried sinister connotations the BIS have since found difficult to shake off.

Schacht was a financial genius and as Germany prepared for war, Hitler made him General Plenipotentiary for the war economy, placing an emphasis upon delivering the finance necessary to build a vast German war machine. He achieved this with the help of his connections in the BIS. It can be seen from this that financial values dominated, over political considerations, as ‘enemies’ were working together to finance the war.

Before outright hostilities, Austria was ‘incorporated’ into the German Reich and its gold moved to the BIS where it was held for use in Berlin. This was the first of many transactions that involved Nazi looting and plunder during the war. The BIS justified its part by reminding everyone that it was above political intrigue and that the proper financial paperwork had been carried out for these transactions to take place.

In Spain, General Franco was helped to power not only by German and Italian fighting men and machines but also by the hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of aid also provided by these countries. The latter managed and facilitated by the BIS.

At the height of the Second World War, when armies were killing each other by the tens of thousands, international finance continued unimpeded through the BIS, financing the slaughter on both sides.

When Czechoslovakia was overrun, the entire gold supply of the country was taken over and deposited with the BIS, sacrificed to the needs of transnational finance and the Third Reich. This ‘legalised looting’ was a particularly dark time in the BIS history, exacerbated by also taking in deposits of gold teeth that had come from the concentration camps, all of which were used to finance the German war effort.

It was Cicero, two thousand years ago who observed that “The sinews of war are infinite money”. The BIS updated that wisdom through their actions during the war years to read “The sinews of war are the transnational flow of infinite money!”

When the war finally came to an end attention turned to rebuilding Europe. This saw the introduction of the equally independent International Monetary Fund and World Bank, threatening the very existence of the BIS. However the US demanded, that in return for aid, they wanted the integration of Europe and the erosion of national identity, in the interests of reducing friction between countries. This offered the BIS new opportunities.

Rather than compete with the IMF and offer loans to troubled economies, nor fund development projects as did the World Bank, it would offer discreet services for financial co-ordination, something in huge demand at that time. Europe would need harmonised exchange rates, swift international payments mechanisms and eventually a new single currency, the very core of BIS capabilities.

With the BIS working in the background, in 1951 France, West Germany, Italy and the Benelux states signed the Treaty of Paris establishing the European Coal and Steel Community. This created a ‘common market’ for coal and steel which was regulated by this unelected supranational institution.

It is here that the birthing of the EU truly began, setting a pattern of ‘economically expedient’ excuses for the removal of national sovereignty, rather than the political machinations that it actually represented. And so the rule of technocrats also began and has continued to expand into the present day.

(I have always believed that the unrelenting attacks upon our Royal Family, by Murdoch’s media, had sinister undertones. The strategies adopted for the integration of Europe all those years ago now bear this out.)

This thumb nail sketch of the history of the BIS raises many issues in today’s world. Whilst it is plausible to say that financial disciplines, over political, can provide the smooth running of finance, supporting international trade and growth that benefits us all, our actual experience of the work of this unelected and highly secret organisation has not been as promised.

At the heart of our problems is the human fallibility for power. Only this year the IMF and ECB demonstrated their powerful independence from political authority in the unnecessary bullyboy tactics they chose to adopt when Greece stood up to their ‘Austerity’ measures. Their unbridled power meant that they paid no heed for the distress their deliberate actions caused to the Greek people and the suicides that continue to this day.

‘Austerity’ is a lie and excuse to further reduce national sovereignty by plundering the national assets of countries. The TPP trade agreement also, is not about trade but the subjugation of democracy to corporate power and hence the paranoid secrecy until its launch on an unsuspecting public.

That our money is now being stolen from us, either as taxpayers or as bank customers, to pay for malpractice by those very banks; that cash is now under threat, to provide greater control over the monetary system and that we are being moved into a nightmare world of negative interest rates, is the outcome of the BIS’s development of the EU and its rule by technocrats.

Morality is nowhere to be found in this new world and will eventually bring it down. That the credibility of the EU and its dubious currency is coming under increasing pressure, as the people see their sovereignty taken away and democracy constantly undermined, is demonstrating that the financiers post war dream of a European federal state is unworkable.

The BIS itself is now coming under threat, as its strict conditions of secrecy, which have always been its true power, become outmoded in an increasingly transparent world. People are waking up and veils are being lifted.

The greater our awareness the greater the demand for change and the ending of this traditional abuse of the majority. Just imagine the re-balancing of current power if global trade unions and charities created such an organisation!

Until the next time

 

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

EU . . . Let’s Start Again!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Until the next time

 

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

Greece/Cyprus . . . A Sinister Experiment

I have just finished an incredible and comprehensively researched book by Ernst Wolff that has made me realise how naïve I have been about the forces that control our world. It’s called Pillaging the World, The History and Politics of the IMF and like me, will change your thinking about how the world works.

The IMF was birthed out of negotiations between the US and UK in 1940, designed to create a new world monetary order. Officially the job of the IMF, as a supposed independent body, was to bring stability to global financial systems and help out troubled countries in crisis who were members of its ‘club’.

The UK was subsequently pushed to one side and it was then designed primarily to represent the interests of the US and secure economic world domination, becoming the real force behind the development and growth of neoliberalism.

To conceal this purpose it has always been presented as an independent body, supported by a policy of only having non-Americans as its public face, (MD Christine Lagarde is excellent as a European and a striking woman with considerable financial expertise). The people who actually pull the strings remain clouded in secrecy.

Current membership of the IMF stands at 188 countries, who have voting rights based upon their financial contribution to the ‘club’. The starting capital for the fund was $8.8 billion of which the US deposited by far the largest amount of $2.9 billion, thereby rendering the voting rights of the other members worthless.

The original statute of intention included the telling condition:

‘To provide member countries facing balance of payment difficulties with temporary access to the Fund’s general resources and under adequate safeguards.’ (My italics)

As lender of last resort the IMF quickly realised it could attach conditions to all loans, over and above the crippling compound interest that is levied. Loans are not subject to parliamentary approval and treated as classified information that is not intended for the public eye. Because of these aggressive conditions global corporations are able to move in and reap vast profits from buying up a country’s assets at rock bottom prices. Continue reading

Conspiracy Theory? . . . You Decide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conspiracy Theory? . . . You Decide

 

Until the next time

 

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

Corbyn and Tsipras . . . The Turning Point

What the events in Greece this year have identified is the unregulated power the banks wield and that they are intent upon holding on to that power at the cost of vast human suffering. The ferocity with which they countered Syriza’s demands to end austerity was not anticipated by anyone, either in Greece or abroad.

The imposition of those harsher austerity terms demonstrated that the real power does not reside with our democratically elected leaders. This rise in their power has been achieved by ensuring that their activities remain shrouded in a level of secrecy that has been maintained for centuries.

This power is traditionally exerted behind closed doors, influencing and controlling political power through how and when they lend their money, thus keeping the public in ignorance. As their power has grown so too have their demands. They control the movement of money around the Planet and represent the ultimate monopoly, unchallenged by anything.

Henry Ford once said that, “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

Their work has continued in the shadows until this year when, I believe, a turning point was reached as they demonstrated their power in the full glare of global publicity, something that is quite unprecedented.

As part of this assault they were able to call upon their most effective propaganda weapon, in the shape of global media, who castigated and tried to humiliate and destroy Tsipras. What should also be recognised is that this same media reaction has been turned upon Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and before he even gets into government!

From the heady days of the Edward Snowden revelations, how lacking in resolve the Guardian and Observer have now become without the steady hand of Alan Rushbridger, as they too joined the assault upon Mr Corbyn and how it has upset their circulation numbers since!

The banks actions, whilst currently unchallenged, have left an unpleasant taste and woken us up to the unelected power that shapes our lives. Neoliberalism does not sit comfortably with the majority and its excesses are now igniting a reaction that is evident in the relection of Tsipras and the rise in popularity of Jeremy Corbyn.

That Alex Tsipras was returned to government speaks volumes about the deep desire in the Greek people (and the rest of us) to end the abuse that is austerity. In spite of his supposed U-turn he still has political credibility because, like Jeremy Corbyn, his thoughts and beliefs are our thoughts and beliefs.

Whilst the return of integrity to politics is much needed, the problems we face are not about ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ but about the suppression of democratic power through austerity, robbing this Planet and its people of any sustainable future.

The issue for any political party intent upon bringing about change is to return power to the people and that is the only issue of critical importance, I would suggest. Education, healthcare, transport and social care cannot be addressed satisfactorily whilst austerity neuters democratic political power. People must have the confidence and motivation to apply their votes and energy in the certain knowledge that they will be not only be listened to but that their demands will be acted upon.

For power to be returned to the people they must have an independent banking service that no longer neuters their power by enslaving them and government in debt. They must have access to independent news services that do not support the propaganda of the current establishment and truthfully report on the outcomes of people’s demands and actions – that they really know what is going on! Finally they must have an authentic and effective medium through which they can be heard and cause change to happen. This can only be achieved by people driven referendums.

Until such time as this ‘trinity of democracy’ is established people remain unempowered and incapable of working with their elected governments to create lasting change. The line has been drawn with the Troika’s actions in Greece, making it plain to see that they do not want people empowerment in any shape or form. The genie is out of the bottle and the task of any new political initiative is to step up to that line and confront it with people empowering visions and actions.

In Uruguay the notorious TTIP trade agreement has been unceremoniously thrown out, thus preserving the people’s democracy from corporate challenge. This action sets the benchmark by which we must judge all political intention now. Only when real power has been restored to the people can Society confidently remedy the problems of healthcare, education and everything else, creating a more meaningful future for all.

 

Until the next time

 

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