Tag Archives: Parliament

Theresa ‘more of the same’ May

And so the Tory power machine roles relentlessly onward, as it schemes, maligns and back stabs its hold on government. The lust for power by career politicians is becoming increasingly immoral, as they sound bite to the tune of constant research of public mood and attitude.

To endorse this, I am indebted to T J Green @greentak for making me aware of this insight from Jo Maugham QC on the electoral procedure from the 1922 committee. It suggests that a second candidate should have been found to replace Leadstrom. His interpretation of this issue has stimulated more debate than that which surrounded the leadership election!

Further controversy comes from the media highlighting the morality of our next Prime Minister and her stand over the Hillsborough cover up, support of gay marriage and confrontations with the police. Something strangely at odds with her condemnation of the handover of power in 2007, by Blair to Brown, without an election.

Gordon Brown “doesn’t have the mandate (and) wasn’t elected prime minister” rang the battle cry, with May contributing that he was “running scared of the people’s verdict.” How ironic that she now finds herself in an identical position and with an opposition in disarray, yet has vetoed going to the country.

For me, this repeat of 2007 takes politics to new depths. It sneers at the democratic process and involvement of the people, which was one of the reasons for our recent referendum and to which the people made their feelings known.

We are facing the most challenging time since the last world war, as we stand alone against overwhelming odds. To have a leader taking on this awesome situation with only the backing of 200 ‘friends’ smacks of arrogance and renewed contempt for the majority. We need to unite behind our government more so now than at any other time in decades. Surely she would be in a much stronger position with Brussels if she had the backing of the whole country?

Whilst seen as a tough operator she is, apparently, also a control freak, a luxury that cannot be indulged if her leadership is to be in anyway effective over such mighty challenges. There is no doubt she is charismatic in a way Corbyn could never be but so was Tony Blair and his single mindedness was his undoing.

(Isn’t it interesting how the Labour Party are looking to unseat their leader because of his limited support of the ‘Remain’ campaign, whilst the Tories have just elected their new leader and our Prime Minister, with the same credentials!)

In making her pitch, she said: “We need a government that will deliver serious social reform – and make ours a country that truly works for everyone. Because right now, if you’re born poor, you will die on average nine years earlier than others. If you’re black, you’re treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you’re white.

“If you’re a white working-class boy, you’re less likely than anybody else to go to university. If you’re at a state school, you’re less likely to reach the top professions than if you’re educated privately. If you’re a woman, you still earn less than a man.”

Hard hitting words that somehow seem at odds with the world of Tory reality. All political parties have need of their corporate sponsors to attain and retain their power. Her attacks on these vested interests may ring a bell with voters but are they ‘soundbite electioneering’ that will lose momentum with the passing of time? How much will the manipulated fears around Brexit control the degree of reform of existing corporate abuse and vast pay packets?

It also has to be said that she is not afraid of confrontation, as the police know full well. However, her vile immigrant campaign, with “Go Home” posters, places her somewhat at odds with the very serious challenges now facing us, with the growing resentment and persecution of immigrants.

Her words on education and the working class are obviously seeking to further disturb Labours current problems but very much at odds with the growing stranglehold of student debt and AI induced loss of jobs at all levels of employment.

These are soundbites we could do without. The situation is now far too serious for the can to be once again kicked down the road. What she lacks in vision will have to be more than made up for in tough negotiating. Apparently, she is admirably gifted to achieve these ends and like Cameron with his inauguration, she is making all the right noises.

However, we need leadership now more than ever before. Will an unelected transfer of power, which is only supported by a minority of the country, lead to more of the same at No 10 and the furtherance of ‘Austerity’, Privatisation, Fracking and TTIP? Only time will tell.

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 Nature of Power

power photo

I recently watched the film Cromwell, starring Richard Harris and Alec Guinness, whose mighty screen presence aptly portrayed Oliver Cromwell and King Charles 1st respectively. What interested me about this piece of English history was the nature of the source of the power used by both in their in dire opposition to each other.

On the one hand you had a monarch who shared the same beliefs as his father, who once described kings as “little Gods on Earth” chosen by God to rule in accordance with the long held belief in the ‘Divine Right of Kings’ making them only accountable to God for their actions. Here religion was being used as a means to power, something many have practiced over the centuries with great success, including the church.

Cromwell on the other hand was a deeply religious man who reacted against the unregulated power used by Charles, driven by a compassion for the common man (and woman) who were on the receiving end of this abuse. The sheer arrogance of the King incensed Cromwell and other members in the contempt with which he held parliament, because of his belief in his ‘divine right’ to rule.

Indeed, he twice sacked parliament and ruled uncontested on the second occasion for 10 years. This belief in his ability to exercise absolute power saw him further antagonise the country by taking a Catholic wife, thereby constantly threatening the power of the Church of England.

We all know the outcome. Cromwell fought relentlessly to uphold the rights of the common man and a democratically elected parliament, taking the country into two civil wars and Charles was eventually beheaded.

From this we can draw similarities with a despotic King John 300 years earlier, who’s abusive intolerance of his people led to rebellion and the introduction of the now world famous Magna Carta bill of rights to protect the common man from oppression. (Cromwell referred to it as Magna Farta!)

In spite of this, Magna Carta has become the rallying cry for all efforts to manage the misuse of power. It was an influencing factor in the American Constitution and during the Cold War between America and Russia we saw the birth of “This Universal Declaration of Human Rights” pushed through the United Nations in 1948 by Eleanor Roosevelt to champion the common man (and woman), extolling amongst other things that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile”. (Edward Snowden and Julian Assange ring a bell!)

What all of these solid charters identify is the ongoing problem we, as a species, have with power. Human fallibility succumbs to the trappings and status of power and from this abuse quickly follows.

Often power stems from traditions that are not encapsulated in the written word. They are simply beliefs and their vagueness allows and encourages abuse. That a King (or Government) may collect taxes for the upkeep of their country is a given but how that money is applied is the stuff of countless rebellions across the centuries.

Hence Magna Carta. Here what the King could and couldn’t do was put down on paper to identify and contain his powers. The American Constitution and many others followed suit, all of which have failed to be maintained and abided by. Writing it down is one thing but putting into practice is something we, as a species, have not yet mastered.

In this 21st century we are experiencing a new phenomenon as the abuse of power is now coming, not from religious belief in the divine right of kings but a belief in the divine right of profit. No longer is the abuse contained within a realm, it is manifesting internationally.

Its growth has been fuelled by the decline of traditional religious institutions who have lost credibility in their outmoded teachings, resulting in their subsequent loss of power. These traditional beliefs have been replaced by financial values and beliefs, which although more tangible for us to see touch and understand, lack any depth or compassion in valuing and respecting human life and this planet.

Capitalism preaches that the only merit is in PROFIT and this narrow yardstick is now used in how we handle and manage our lives. The abuse comes from the current unassailable right of corporations and banks to mismanage their own money with impunity, taking our money to subsidise their own misdemeanours, whilst penalising and controlling us financially and morally with odious debt and personal discredit through dubious credit ratings.

The raw power of Capitalism does not deal in morality and therefore allows, indeed encourages unmitigated abuse, including the abolition of democracy. With no constitution that can be meaningfully applied to constrain this growing abuse we are being driven to our own destruction, taking the perpetrators as well!

It was our ignorance in the past that fuelled our apathy at the constant mistreatment of the many by the few. We are now beginning to wake up and are no longer the ignorant serfs of just a century ago.

By looking beyond what is actually happening to us and becoming aware of the nature of what we are dealing with we are achieving understanding and with that understanding will come change.

 

Until the next time

 

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

Election 2015 . . . The First 30 Days

In just over 30 days, as the dust settles from a General Election like no other, a huge spotlight shines upon our nation’s wrecked political and democratic system.

We now have a ‘majority’ government put in power by just 24% of the voters. This means our country is being run by a party that does not have the support of three quarters of the electorate, a third of which could not be bothered to vote!

Unperturbed by this haemorrhaging of support the new government is already using its miniscule majority to push through its agenda whilst it still has unassailable power. The abuse contained within this agenda is truly staggering and shows a contempt for even the minority that voted them into power.

Let’s start with the EU referendum, a political selling point in the Tory campaign to win re-election, which worked very nicely for them and the reality of which is now hitting home. Cameron is bending the whole stunt out of any semblance of an effort to empower the people by dropping the established ‘purdah’ period, thus allowing his party to shape public opinion into the ‘Yes’ vote he needs. To add insult to injury WE will be paying for this propaganda exercise!

To muddy the waters even further he is now seeking to have the referendum held on the same day as elections for the Scottish parliament, Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies and the London Mayor, flying in the face of the Electoral Commission who believe such an important decision should only be conducted on a separate voting day.

I remember the first speech Cameron made after his appointment as leader of the party when he looked across the despatch box at Tony Blair and said “I am a younger version of you”. My God how profound were those words. He has yet to begin an illegal war but is certainly pulling many loathsome political tricks I am sure Blair would be envious of.

Then there’s our Chancellor, who bragged how he was pulling down National Debt and would make further inroads if re-elected. What he didn’t mention at the time was selling off the governments (our) shareholding in Royal Mail, as well as our stake in RBS at a loss that is blessed by Rothschild’s. All of this whilst reneging on an election promise not to reduce tax credits. An indication perhaps, to the 24%, as to what they have voted in . . . and where his true loyalties lie with ‘austerity’?!

(In the US it has been revealed that it is now mathematically impossible to pay off all of their debt and I have no reason to believe we are not headed in the same direction, as part of the terms of our ‘special relationship’ with their government!)

Political abuse is now rampant, (a 10% pay increase . . . for what!!!!), with a democratic process so skewered out of shape that it is difficult to see how we can return to some semblance of control over it. Morality has long been absent from the mind-set of the political leadership and why should it when so few of the population are needed to produce a government that is untouchable?

In Tony Blair’s favour was his ability to recognise that the political landscape has change out of all recognition to what it was 50 years ago. Gone are the Dockers, Sheet metal workers and Mineworkers, along with many other ‘blue collar’ workers that formed the backbone of the labour party. Today all workers, be they blue or white collar and I include the middle class as well, are facing a common enemy that is the 1%.

In distancing the Labour party from the trade unions he identified this change in potential supporters, which Milliband ignored to his cost. No longer is the traditional battleground of left and right relevant and as long as it is given credibility by the electorate the 1% will continue to strengthen their hold on power and its subsequent abuse.

Within every problem lies its solution and this is the case for the people of this country now. We need a new political party that can unite the ‘middle’ and ‘working’ classes (I HATE those phrases), in returning power to the people through a form of Socialism that recognises the need for effectively managing and promoting the profit motive.

It could have been possible under Blair and Co, if they had played with a straight bat but sadly the lure of untold wealth and power finally took its toll. A repackaged Labour party under a visionary leadership could be our country’s salvation, or a party with similar values, if the old Labour mould cannot be broken.

In the meantime I look at the political carnage of the last 30 days and weep for this country and its people.

 

Until the next time.

 

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

The United States of Britain

UK photo

. . . “Looking after the working people” . . . “A united country” . . .

As these words stream off the lips of the new government, something not uttered before Election Day, we return to the world of government policy by soundbite, (if we ever left it!). Once they get their act together, hopefully, Labour will make mincemeat of the first and I would offer the following observations on the second.

Yes, we do need a ‘united’ country but one no longer united by Westminster. If this election has demonstrated one thing, people across the country have reached the end of their tether with successive governments eroding democracy by putting the needs of ‘Club Westminster’ before the rest of the country, from North Sea Oil to Fracking.

The earth scorching endorsement of this by the SNP in Scotland has been followed by news that the most popularly supported parties elsewhere are: Ireland – DUP, Wales – Labour and England – Tory.

Cameron’s is a knee jerk reaction to fighting the cause of a ‘united’ country. People have moved on, as Labour found to their cost and trying to glue the UK back together again under Westminster has also been seriously misdiagnosed.

At its heart is our political and corporate response to globalisation, by going ‘large’. The rise of global monopolies – ‘too big to fail’ – are now increasingly holding Society to ransom if governments try in any way to regulate them. TTIP will be the final nail in the coffin of democracy as their power is made absolute (and something only the SNP is fighting!).

What started out as a Common Market for trade in Europe has evolved into a European (political) Union that is now so remote from the people, who pay for it and elect its representatives into office, that democracy has become meaningless. The growing demand to take powers back from Brussels is evidence of this frustration.

BIG is forcing ever greater distance between the rich and the poor. With that distance comes impotence over how our daily lives are run. We have been reduced to bits of data and our wishes and frustrations no longer register on political or corporate spreadsheets.

‘Unity’ comes from recognising that village communities are better managed for the benefit of their members than towns or cities. Using this benchmark, we can create more actively managed democracies by bringing people closer to government.

Reaction to the election is an indication of the desire by people to become a ‘mini’ EU. This contribution to a debate is a thumbnail. The devil is in the detail and would not in any way dilute my excitement at such a development.

Uniting us as four self-ruling entities would invoke healthy competition through the freedom to develop our cultural differences. (A free education policy in Scotland demonstrates care and an investment in their young).

We are an Island race with a phenomenal history of successful innovation, something desperately needed in this new global world of technology and crying need for sustainability. Freed from the bureaucracy of Westminster and its suffocating corporate dominance, innovation would reign supreme.

Of course there has to be a central ‘Unifying’ force to replace Westminster. In this 800th year of Magna Carta, A Charter of Values, (constructed and ratified with the full involvement of the people), defining the common purpose of the four and holding them accountable, seems all that is needed . . . Why complicate it?!

Such values might include a debt free money supply for social infrastructure and small business development, people driven referendums, the development of sustainability programmes creating further new jobs, equality of gender and religious belief, independence of the internet and a curb on surveillance and personal freedoms, as a starter!

Matters of common interest, such as defence, immigration, fishing and sustainability of natural resources could be centralised in an equally represented and non-governmental ‘Council of Albion’, to maximise cost efficiencies on common issues. It would provide the ability to react collectively where necessary and offer a flexible infrastructure of ‘independent cooperation’ to meet global competition in chosen areas of trade.

We are at a crossroads now, where the UN would have us moving ever closer to Global Governance with its Global Sustainability Initiative for the entire Planet. What we have learned is that BIG produces wholesale abuse and makes people impotent to demanding accountability.

In the same way that small innovative businesses are the mainstay of a thriving corporate environment, so small democracies, like a United States of Britain, would breathe new life into a global democracy that is now on life support.

Until the next time.

 

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

Election 2015 . . . Manipulative and Broken!

election photo

Whilst the dust continues to hover over last Thursdays totally unanticipated results I am reminded of the wisdom of 2000 years ago:

“Nothing is more fickle than people in a crowd, nothing harder to discover than how men intend to vote, nothing trickier that the whole way in which elections work!” Cicero

Days later and I am still unsure about the serious implications upon our democracy of what has happened.

To begin with the opinion polls have had a vast impact upon the electoral proceedings although they are completely unregulated! This has allowed a former Deputy Chairman of the Tory Party, who is not a pollster or member of the British Polling Council, to buy in polling information from other companies, who he is unprepared to disclose and put it out into the mainstream. The fact that all of this information was seriously flawed and used as propaganda is neither questioned nor any responsibility taken.

“There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics” is a phrase attributed to several authors but its underlying wisdom is pertinent today. With all of the popular pollsters keeping each other company in their poorly analysed data it was the website Number Cruncher Politics that proved to be in contact with reality, predicting correctly that there would be a Tory majority, even before the voting began.

There accuracy was the result of simple hard work in analysing the statistics and patterns of the electoral data over the last 50 years. They were able to substantiate their claims to such an extent that it is possible they delayed the other companies from publishing their latest findings at 7pm on the day, although they came out several hours later and maintained their, now hopelessly inaccurate, stories of a neck and neck race.

These opinion polls almost put our media in the shade but undaunted the Tory press went after Miliband and co with a tenacity that demonstrated just how much hatred he had stoked up in Rupert Murdoch. (And let’s not forget the political strategist responsible for the huge Tory success, another Australian Lynton Crosby, coincidence . . . you decide!)

Again we are letting ourselves down as an electorate by allowing such powerful influence to be wielded over our democracy by someone who in not resident in, nor has a loyalty to our country. His credibility has already been destroyed by the hacking scandal but still he is able to influence how we must live our lives, because of the strength of his global business activities.

When will government grasp the nettle and legislate that if an entity, be it an individual or corporation does not commit to residing or meeting its full tax bill in this country for a prior 5 years, it has no entitlement to influence our democratic process!

We now come to the most emotive of aspects of our broken system as we look at the seats acquired by the voters. I shall simply quote the two obvious examples. The Tories achieved their stunning victory with 11,334,520 votes that gave them 331 seats in Parliament – a government ‘majority’ produced by the majority NOT voting for them!

The Greens on the other hand secured nearly 10% of the Tory vote (1,157,613) and just 1 seat in Parliament! 1.1 million people represented by just one elected representative and each Tory representing 34,243 people is not, by the widest stretches of the imagination, a healthy democracy at work. (Source BBC News)

Not content with these distortions The Sunday Times reported that Cameron is already looking to ‘rearrange’ the boundaries to give the Tories an extra 20 seats at the 2020 election. He knows the only time he can get away with this, which was previously censored by the Lib Dems, is whilst he has a majority and also whilst our attention is being diverted by the EU referendum.

He also knows that after 10 years voters become restless and seek change. He has declared he will be leaving by then and can say he gave the new incumbent every support when this time arrives.

As an electorate, with a growing awareness of what is really going on with our democratic process, we can never become the master of our national destiny until such time as we mend a system that is now only fit for the knacker’s yard. ‘Club’ Westminster is running hopelessly out of control and I shudder to think what abuses we will be subjected to in the next 5 years, with a government now unfettered by coalition.

Scotland and the Scottish people are shinning a light in this direction by producing a true majority government. Perhaps it is now time to get our own house in order . . . and then sort out the EU.

 

Until the next time

 

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

A British ‘EU’

britain photo

We are just 3 years from the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome and I question what has been learned, be it political, financial or social. Politicians have certainly birthed a bureaucratic monster that devours whole countries and spews out endless rules and regulations from their ingestion. It demands uniformity instead of integration and offers little in return.

Like the banks, the EU has become ‘too big to work’, with its growing detachment from the very people who vote it with power and whom it is supposed to serve. Instead we are now seeing a monolith, controlled by the banks, exercising a style of power normally associated with dictatorships, if Greece is anything to go by.

If this is it after nearly six decades of European ‘Unity’ I, for one, really don’t want to continue. Business would disagree, I know but current research by independent bodies such as Open Europe suggest that in event of a Brexit we could survive in the big wide world of free trade, with little difference to GDP if we work our talents.  http://tinyurl.com/mexwzez

If we now know that ‘too big’ doesn’t work, we also know that ‘small is beautiful’. After all, look at Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand and many more who are all doing quite nicely thank you!

Following the Scottish Referendum last year and the groundswell of popular sentiment across the whole of the UK for greater independence, the response from Club Westminster has been a string of platitudes to Wales, Ireland, Scotland and the larger cities in England, with the usual lack of substance or political will.

I would like to offer here an argument for us, in some ways, mimicking the structure of the EU on these islands. Creating independent governments for Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England would have many benefits, not least in bringing new motivation and thinking to how we run our lives.

Club Westminster has gained too much control and increasingly abuses its power as it divorces itself from the electorate and aligns with the corporate world. ‘Localising’ government brings the whole democratic process back to the people. The closer to the people the more accountable government becomes, something Brussels practices in reverse!

By encouraging the potential for national development in this manner, each nation can realise the true potential of its people and natural resources without fearing the need to subsidise the other players. Instead of subsidy we open up profitable trade and barter with each other and a far healthier underlying support system in the early days of this fledgling union.

Like any new venture, the better and longer you have known your partners the greater the chances of success. We could not ask for a better relationship than that which lies within the strength of our history, thereby providing a strong foundation for each nation to go out into the big wide world.

Leadership is critical, as four governments led by career politicians without vision would have political point scoring outweigh the development of each country’s potential. It is here that some common direction and values are necessary and I am drawn to a constitution that would hold all four accountable to democratically agreed common values.

It would certainly address protection of the Earth and its inhabitants, debt free money supply, gender equality, unsullied education of the young and true democracy, with freedom of the internet and more. With such a ‘Magna Carta’ drawing and holding the union together, in the early days at least, it might be watched over by the only institution that has solely focussed upon our national values and has no political or corporate affiliations . . . Our present monarchy.

I know this could be a bone of contention for some but think about it. Our royal family has a unique background in simply caring about this country and its people through a true understanding and experience of ALL the four components of this new union. Who is more trusted and better able to call each government to account to its people for breaches of the constitution?

Of course there would be a central council of the WISE (Wales Ireland Scotland England) to run joint responsibilities such as defence. This would form a meeting point for joint ventures and new directions, as well as resolving union problems and abuses. Thereafter we would have autonomous countries free to earn their keep and pay their way under the umbrella of a British Union.

I accept this is a scant overview of a vast subject that will take considerable debate but the thrust of my argument is twofold. Firstly we would not go under if we left the EU, because we are free of crippling regulation and second, for the common good of the people who make up the majority, ‘small’ works over ‘big’ every time!

Until the next time

 

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

Election 2015 . . . DUH!!

I watched a lovely drama last night about Noah building the Ark, his hardship in doing this as well as bringing up a family left me with a satisfying feel good experience, although I am not religious.

This nourishing programme was then followed by the reality of 21st century life, dominated by the start of ‘Election 2015’ and our leaders telling us how their next term in office will ensure our return to prosperity after such a difficult recession. As the intro music to the News died I switched off!

Our leaders declare a return to prosperity whilst omitting that it was their actions that created the hell in the first place! Was it not them who helped carry out the biggest heist in the history of our species, with tax payer money we thought was ring fenced for public services blithely handed over to the banks?

To add insult to injury that money was then lent back to us to keep us going and on which we then had to pay those same banks interest! Not only that but we were also made to sell off our public utilities at huge discounts as a condition of the loan agreement.

Unlike Noah and his family our kids can’t provide for their own homes. There are few good jobs to help them pay off their debts and which their expensive education was designed for, let alone buy a house at todays inflated prices. This has a knock on effect because renting is just as toxic, with landlords upping their prices every six months because they can and stuff the poor tenants.

This is the reality I mentioned earlier, along with having oil and gas companies drilling under the homes of those lucky enough to have been able to afford to buy, without their permission. If we add to this the pointlessness of voting, as elector power is now being undermined by TTIP that has been negotiated in huge secrecy, plus growing Surveillance, we have reached a democratic tipping point.

There are just three critical issues this election, which all parties are ignoring and I can see no way forward for Society until they are resolved, namely:

  1. Democracy: Cameron, in offering a referendum on such an important subject as the EU if he is re-elected, epitomises the career politician at his or her worst. A complete lack of any vision or direction is compensated for by outright bribery and a further total lack of respect for the voter on something which, in any healthy democracy, would be seen as an automatic right of the people. Society requires the re-establishment of meaningful democracy with People Driven Referendums on any subject that has enough public interest and at any time. It happens in Switzerland and they are one of the most stable countries on the Planet.
  2. Banking: Our global financial system is paralysed by bad debt from the 2008 debacle. Further debt that now permeates every area of Society, including the sick and our children’s education, has been encouraged to resolve the problem. When this credit bubble finally bursts the horrors of 2008 will pale into insignificance. If parliament exercised its right to produce and control our own currency, as other countries have done when confronting the bullying financial tactics of the IMF and World Bank we could, at a stroke, free ourselves from debt that is rendering us impotent to the theft of our public services by privatisation, unemployment and endless corporate abuse.
  3. Government: Over the centuries Westminster has turned from a place of debate and democracy to a ‘Club of Two Parties’, cosy, comfortable and corrupt! It no longer serves the people as the party system suffocates any worthy politicians who do not tow the party line. Modern technology can open government up to the people for greater direct involvement in effectively influencing how we are governed. Nothing short of total transparency can restore the public’s confidence in a flawed and outdated process that has robbed them of their power and caused deeply entrenched distrust and cynicism.

Tackling these three core issues can return power to the people, by taking it away from the Banks and corporations, to then resolve all of Society’s current problems. This must be the crux of this year’s election, I would suggest, if we are to become masters of our destiny.

It’s not rocket science but the simple application of our democratic and human rights. Hopefully the aftermath of a hung Parliament will provide the breeding ground for such initiatives, both here and abroad.

Until the next time.

 

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

Hung Parliament? . . . Of Course!

Nathan Rothschild

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time.

 

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

Nobody Listens . . . Nobody Cares!

banking photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time.

 

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

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