Tag Archives: Taxpayer abuse

Will Grenfell take 28 Years?

As the years pass by and my Life experience grows, I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as coincidence. Often it may take a while, sometimes years, but explanations always appear for events that have a certain ‘synchronicity’.

The news that criminal prosecutions will now take place over the Hillsborough disaster could not have come at a more propitious time, as we still reel from the tragedy of Grenfell Tower. The two situations have much in common, in the negligence and cover up that has, and is, taking place and to my mind their synchronistic appearance demands a change in the way Society is managed and run.

In the case of Hillsborough, those who should have been held accountable hid behind a bureaucratic screen, put in place for decades in the hope the tragedy would be forgotten about. It was only the tenacity of those grieving that eventually broke down that wall of silence and lies to get at the truth.

If we look more closely at the history, we can see evidence of insult and contempt towards the relatives and friends of the victims, in simply seeking the truth from those in power.

Not only did they have to keep pushing for answers but also finance their efforts from their own pockets, whilst those defending themselves had access to a wealth of public money with which to hire the best lawyers to hide behind.

It’s a double whammy of monumental proportions, as those seeking justice had to pay twice. Once for their own legal support and a second time as taxpayers funding the defence of those seeking to hide the truth from them!

What it demonstrates is a system unfit for purpose, when it becomes necessary to take legal action to break a wall of silence, and then find that the financial implications of such action are stacked against democratic justice being obtained.

To add further insult, the ‘judicial reviews’ that have taken place over the years were obviously tainted, given the criminal charges now being brought against those who have remained hidden for so long.

In my opinion the relatives and friends of the victims of Hillsborough deserve an OBE apiece and the wrongdoers put behind bars and the keys thrown away. Their inefficiencies at the time and subsequent cover-up, over so many years, is a disgrace to the institutions they represent, who employ a majority of good and honest people.

We now hear that our government is launching a Public Enquiry and already doubts are being cast over Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who will lead the enquiry, because of reported dubious rulings in the past. His experience, as I understand it, lies with complicated shipping law. The relevance of his experience to Grenfell defies me.

It would appear that our political institutions are once again preparing the groundwork for another war of attrition against those who are grieving and seeking answers.

At a tangent but related in my view, is the breaking news that Cardinal George Pell, the third highest ranking official in the Vatican, is now facing multiple charges of sexual abuse from multiple complainants. Yet again the Catholic church is rocked by scandal, from those in senior positions who appear to have abused their power, instead of keeping Society on an even moral keel.

I find it obscene to see this collective arrogance and contempt again rearing its ugly head and the ‘synchronicity’ of these events is too meaningful to be ignored. Where does Society now turn to clean up its act and institute new moral standards that will be respected and re-introduce trust and belief in those who choose to rule over us?

Those grieving need all the help and support they can get now and into the future, if the callousness of Hillsborough and Grenfell Tower are not to be repeated.

 

Until the next time.

Brexit . . . and No World Ending!

Brexit photo

I am an eternal optimist but recently the news has been so negatively contrived as to deprive me of any inspiration whatsoever. However, a ray of light is at last shining through.

Two months have elapsed since Brexit and it would appear that the ‘End of the World’ heralded by the ‘experts’ as ‘Financial Armageddon’ and ‘The Economic Meltdown of Britain’, just hasn’t happened.

Here we are today and very little has changed. By that I mean that the corrupt global financial system is still functioning, after a fashion and the stock markets leaps to new highs that are underpinned by the nirvana of Neoliberalism – unlimited debt – instead of a more solid reality of economic growth through increased production and jobs.

“Have the ‘experts’ got it wrong againis now the cry? These people were as much ‘experts’ as you and I on the subject of the EU and Brexit, because neither have ever been tried before and so where is the learning and experience to make such facile judgements.

These ‘experts’ are people who have studied their specialist subjects and then sold that knowledge to the highest bidder, to support the propaganda of vested interest intent upon pursuing their agenda of a controlled unification of Europe.

This was the tactic used in 2008 to dupe us into being robbed of the money we have invested in providing Society with its essential support infrastructure for healthcare, education, benefits and pensions etc. We were not as aware then as we are now of the manipulative agenda of ‘Austerity’ and debt that has consumed us.

The fact that nothing changed after the bailout, indeed the banks have become more brazen in their abusive money lending and gambling, is now leading to another collapse that not only includes subprime mortgages but subprime car loans, to further feed the disaster.

Unsustainable debt is bringing large corporations to bankruptcy in ever growing numbers and political credibility, or lack of it, is demanding new leaders who care about people and Society in general, rather than profit and greed.

We are certainly seeing this across Europe, with new populist parties growing evermore popular and the likes of Bernie Saunders maintaining a strong voice in America, in spite of no longer being in the running for the Presidency.

What is so blatantly obvious, with Brussels move to try and become a ‘champion’ of social mobility and reduced inequality in its latest moves, is that they are not motivated by a care of the people but simply to try and counter the credibility of increasing numbers of populist movements that they may hold onto power.

Now we have the notorious TPP trade deal possibly ending, as France and Germany voice opposition to its implementation. I would argue that Brexit has made a serious contribution to this radical change of heart from the EU establishment, who previously just ignored the mass protest of the people. THAT IS TRUE DEMOCRACY AT WORK!

Not only that but Hollande and Merkel need desperately to win back favour with their electors if they are to stand any chance of being re-elected next year. (Isn’t it funny how we hear little of ‘clown Junckers’ at present. What a low profile he has adopted!)

If we then add to this the fact that Britain is bouncing back from the over reactions to Brexit, with manufacturing at a 10 month high in August  and UK business in general regaining its confidence after the post Brexit panic the pre-Referendum threats have been laid to waste.

Unlike Greece, who were easily cowered by vested interest, which has now reduced them to almost 21st century serfdom, the UK is the 5th largest economy in the world and in far greater demand by other trading nations. Although we have a way to go, it is obvious now that Brussels has had its wings clipped by Brexit and the arrogance that was inherent in their actions has now all but disappeared.

It is for this reason that I voted for Brexit. Not to break up the EU but to break the power of Brussels and return democracy to European affairs. Whilst France and Germany seek dominance over Europe, they have now scored so many own goals that we shall see how much longer the other members tolerate devastating mistakes such as immigration and negative interest rates.

We are in testing times, where the agenda of the few has taken a severe knock from which it may not recover, given public sentiment towards growing democratic abuses. Brexit could well be the catalyst that ignites a greater desire for freedom from autocratic rule, as it is seen across the world that we continue to maintain confidence in our future. A future we will have so much more control over and one that more nations may want to emulate.

Until the next time.

 

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

Capitalism . . . Creator of Poverty

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.” – JFK

According to one of my financial heroes, Bill Bonner, money is not wealth. It simply measures wealth like a clock measures time. Wealth is what has been produced, is made available and that which you can buy with money.

When banks print money out of thin air it is like adding an extra hour to a clock. It doesn’t make time any bigger, it simply distorts it and disorients the observer. What counts with money is that it is honestly made available to purchase goods and services. Honest money cannot be separated from the real economy where those goods and services are produced.

Say’s Law offers the wisdom that “You buy products with products . . . not pieces of paper.”

QE in the US, Europe and Japan is following Zimbabwe in separating money from the real economy. Trillions of dollars have been printed that mislead everyone into thinking they are wealthy, until they see the need for a wheelbarrow full of this pseudo wealth to buy real wealth – a carton of milk. We aren’t there yet but that is where we are headed!

Similarly, profit is not wealth but merely a measurement of overall business efficiency. When you combine these two illusions you arrive at the curse of the 21st century . . . debt. Debt offers the most efficient means of producing profit, by producing unreal money with few overheads.

With all of this in mind let me give you my perspective on what is going on and remember I’m no economist, but even to my simple mind we are now heading to an almighty financial catastrophe. I will use the car industry to make my point but the principles can be applied across today’s financial world. Continue reading

Are We Approaching ‘1984’

Throughout our history there have been people who have been publicly credited for their intuitive skills, of which Nostradamus and Leonardo da Vinci are probably the most famous. The formers quatrains, many agree, successfully pointed to the French Revolution, the Rise of Adolf Hitler, both world wars and the first two nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Leonardo da Vinci, one of our most iconic geniuses, is credited with the foresight to see the potential of the parachute, helicopter, tank, submarine and hot air balloon. A foresight which saw inventions that would transform our lives four or five centuries after they were originally conceived.

I don’t for one minute believe these ‘seers’ were predicting the future per se but rather that they had some intuitive abilities, of which we are all endowed, to recognise what humanity is capable of. With da Vinci this is very much the case as, once the technology had evolved, his foresight became reality.

For me this begs the question, “what comes first, the chicken or the egg?” Did they actually see the future, as it appears Nostradamus might have done, or did they give us the idea of how to apply our latest evolved technology, when it arrives, as was the case with the submarine and helicopter?

I ask this to bring focus upon another famous ‘seer’, George Orwell and his thinking about world domination in his book ‘1984’,   published in 1949 and often compared to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. At the time his writing was stimulated by the growing domination of Russia on world affairs.

His depiction was of a world order that controlled life on Earth by perpetual war, deception, secret surveillance and manipulation of past and present events. All achieved by a carefully controlled propaganda machine, directed by a totalitarian and authoritarian state that now bears a striking resemblance to authoritarian Neoliberalism today.

The Obama administration have certainly achieved perpetual warfare during the two terms and we now have the technology capable of invading our privacy. Worryingly this type of surveillance is being expanded, rather than controlled.

Like Winston Smith, the character in Orwell’s book, we are now manipulated by distortions of the truth from political and corporate leaders, of which the present UK Referendum and American Presidential election are evidence to and more so now than ever before in our history.

There are those who call this thinking, ‘conspiracy theory’. Here I am reminded of the definition that: “Conspiracy Theorist is someone who questions the statements of known liars”. Conversely, if we look again at da Vinci, it could be argued that our current world leaders have taken Orwell’s work as a political ‘manual’, from which to create and shape their desired vision of the future.

To this end, last week we had the latest Bilderberg Group meeting in Dresden Germany. Founded in 1954, the Bilderberg conference is an annual meeting ‘designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America’. This meeting is not called by the EU or any government or democratic global body but a substantial contribution to costs is met each year by us taxpayers – what isn’t these days?!

(In 2013 the policing costs in the UK were put at £1.3 million of which Bilderberg offered £500,000. Given the size of our contribution it was bizarre that David Cameron attended in a private capacity, without attendant civil servants, as is the norm when he meets business leaders!)

This year there were a total of around 130 participants from 20 countries, made up of a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media.

(The credibility of the official list of attendees has my doubts as some people were conspicuous by the absence – The Rothschild’s and Rockefellers, to name but a few and George Osborne’s name appeared and then disappeared from the list!)

‘Key topics’ for discussion were:

  1. Current events
  2. China
  3. Europe: migration, growth, reform, vision, unity
  4. Middle East
  5. Russia
  6. US political landscape, economy: growth, debt, reform
  7. Cyber security
  8. Geo-politics of energy and commodity prices
  9. Precariat and middle class
  10. Technological innovation

Each topic is a mystery in itself – China, Russia, Middle East but what intrigued me was the word ‘reform’ in 3 & 6, as well as ‘middle class’ in 9.

On last year’s agenda was the topic of a ‘cashless Society’ and we have seen during the course of this year an increasing emphasis upon this subject by the media to get us used to the idea, as well as moves by the banks to begin restricting the use of cash.

Do we read from this that the destruction of the middle classes will continue, as is now happening in America and the UK? Its destruction, along with the increase in the ‘precariat’ (those with unstable employment), is certainly contributing to the increasing gap between the rich and the poor.

China, Russia and the Middle East are all targets of increasing US aggression that is becoming more evident as the year progresses. ‘Reform’ of the US and Europe is no less intriguing as it suggests changes to Society and how it is run that do not/will not involve the people concerned through the democratic process.

As I said earlier, we are again paying for something we have no say about. Indeed, the concrete barriers, iron railing and armed security guards inside, as well as outside the hotel, demand no interference in this event, as well as helping to provide the all-important veil of secrecy so critical to the organisers and participants.

Our taxes are increasingly being diverted from providing a supportive infrastructure for Society to supporting the commercial activities of the powerful and in so doing are returning us to a type of serfdom we have not experienced for several centuries now.

I am an optimist by nature but the manner in which world events are now being conducted points to an accuracy of prediction by Orwell that is extremely unsettling.

It also makes me think that it is quite irrelevant how we vote next week on the EU. It is simply a diversion that has us temporarily focussed upon something we have absolutely no control over in the grand scheme of things . . . unless we wake up!

Until the next time

 

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

‘Austerity’ . . . This Will Kill it!

Are we now seeing the beginnings of the destruction of the financial and corporate world as we know it? If this month’s Finance and Development report from the IMF, no less, is anything to go by, with its headline “Neoliberalism: Oversold”, the writing is certainly on the wall.

Before I go any further let me just offer a couple of official definitions of Neoliberalism so that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet.

  1. A modern politico-economic theory favouring free trade, privatisation, minimal government intervention in business, reduced public expenditure on social services etc. Collins Dictionary
  2. Neoliberalism is a policy model of social studies and economics that transfers control of economic factors to the private sector from the public sector. Investopedia.com

Over the last 30 years or so it has become very noticeable how there has been a gradual erosion of democracy, countered by an escalation in corporate power and unregulated abuse which caused the financial collapse of 2008 and continues unchanged to this day.

Interspersed with this we have been assaulted by ‘Austerity’ measures across the globe and which, it has become increasingly clear, are a device to sell off public assets at a discount to the private sector.

In addition, there has been an escalation in debt originated money supply that has placed governments in varying positions of obligation to financiers. Because of this ‘obligation’, lenders have not only demanded ‘Austerity’ but also increasingly violated the democratic process by ‘quietly demanding that governments go against, or ignore, the wishes of the people.

Both of these abuses were particularly evident in the case of Greek debt. Here a (newly elected) government referendum against continued ‘Austerity’ measures was not only ignored but harsher terms were inflicted, in what appears to be a punishment and to deter any repeat of such action in other debtor countries in the EU and elsewhere.

We have also seen public outrage and demonstration against the odious TTIP agreement, Fracking and in the UK the gradual destruction/privatisation of the NHS. These actions have been equally rigorously ignored/defended by governments and the non-elected technocrats in Brussels, showing a complete contempt for the people who actually pay their wages and expenses.

All of the above, plus a whole lot more, can be laid fair and square at the feet of the application of Neoliberal doctrines, as time is now showing. What time is also demonstrating is that they don’t work and are simply benefitting the already rich, by increasing their wealth exponentially at the expense of the many.

The bombshell this week is that the IMF experts, in the shape of Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani and Davide Furceri, are actually confirming what we already know. I quote from the heading of their report

“Instead of delivering growth,

some neoliberal policies have increased inequality,

in turn jeopardizing durable expansion”

The paper goes on to say:

“Austerity policies not only generate substantial welfare costs due to supply-side channels, they also hurt demand—and thus worsen employment and unemployment.”

These findings suggest a need for a more nuanced view of what the neoliberal agenda is likely to be able to achieve. The IMF, which oversees the international monetary system, has been at the forefront of this reconsideration. ­

OR, to you and me . . . they got it badly wrong!

It explains why the IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, is at loggerheads with German banks over Greek debt. The banks want blood from Greece and the IMF are now recognising this will not work and will jeopardise the standing of themselves and Brussels. It could also be another nail in the coffin of this currently disintegrating project that is the EU.

(Even President Obama is now backing Social Security programmes he was previously against for the American people.)

And if that wasn’t enough, according to Zero Hedge Euro-Area manufacturing is near stagnation, damping confidence in the strength of the regions recovery.

The cracks are beginning to appear in the established and very abusive order of things, if the perpetrators are now publicly admitting there is a problem of their own making. We are talking here of fundamental beliefs that have dictated how governments rule and what place, if any, democracy plays in the process.

Millions of people are homeless and struggling to feed themselves, some so overwhelmed by what they have been made to face that they have committed the tragedy of suicide. That the civilised world has been taken to this place is a lesson for us all.

The values demanded by ‘the people’ are the correct moral values for Society because it is the majority who are expounding them. The minority view can only ever be the view of vested interest, as this paper has identified and the IMF are to be respected for allowing it to be published. If it were Brussels it would have been sat on!

So my friends, where do we go from here? As you know my mantra is “Awareness breeds understanding and understanding breeds change”. There can be no way forward with ‘Austerity’ after this damning report.

Any government who continues to pursue these measures should be ousted from power as totally lacking in credibility and care for the people who have placed their trust in its leadership. And that goes for Brussels as well!

Until the next time

 

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

Panama . . . Manipulative Genius

Panama photo

In my last piece on this subject I postulated that this particular leak seemed different to other major leaks, like the Snowden revelations, because it somehow lacked focus.

Since the leak hit the global media we have been treated to a wide ranging variety of stories as to its purpose. These include the desire to blackmail world leaders and corporations, with the seeming exception of those from the US. Credible, if the almost immediate resignation of the Icelandic Prime Minister was anything to go by.

Then there was the assault on both Russia and China by the Guardian, along with revelations which have also affected the remaining members of the BRICS group – India, Brazil and South Africa – seen by the US as a serious threat to its global dominance, particularly now they are launching their own banking system.

It was then suggested that these leaks are part of a long term strategy to assist the Rothschild’s and the US to implement a single world currency. Only a few short years ago this would have been labelled ‘conspiracy theory’ but today less so, as more comes into the open about how the world is being run.

A new revelation has since come from Ellen Brown, someone who has fought the corner for Public Banking for years and for whom I have enormous respect. The Panama Papers, she argues, are another front in the move to eradicate cash and turn all currencies and money digital.

This will then give the Neoliberal cause complete control over a Society no longer able to preserve its financial independence and privacy and therefore subjected to absolute control over access to personal finance.

Ellen’s suggestion has a ring of truth to it. By leaking the dastardly tax havens and the people using them there is now a political momentum to score much needed brownie points by closing them down and taking us one step closer to the abolition of cash.

That is, all of them except those now operating in Nevada in the US, to which the Rothschild’s are but one financial manager secretly moving their clients’ money from elsewhere in the world to this new tax haven!

Given the trillions of dollars involved, this vast influx of funds would certainly boost the dollar’s value and concentrate the single biggest hoard of cash in one place . . . the US. It would then be an easy job to trap and eradicate a sizeable chunk of cash in one simple enactment of legislation.

However, we must not overlook the reason these tax havens came into being. It was John D Rockefeller who first used Panama, in the 1920’s, specifically to benefit his vast oil business. It had nothing to do with money laundering per se but rather to do with ‘profit laundering’.

He would buy oil from Saudi Arabia or elsewhere and sell it to his own tanker company, (whose fleet was registered in Panama), at a very low price.  With such a low price, little profit is made on this first transaction and therefore little or no tax is payable to government.

The tanker company then sell the oil (out of their tankers) to distributors in the US or Europe at a very very high price. With the ships being registered in Panama no tax is payable on the vast profit realised from this financial jiggery pokery.

So in essence, Panama was set up to register oil tankers and mineral ships in order to make the ships themselves ‘tax free profit centres’ for the oil and minerals they transported from third world countries and the like, to the US and Europe.

(That the IMF have just come out and stated “the world’s financial regulators had long been “alarmed” about Panama’s lax approach to taxation and corruption but failed to take action” I think we can all take with a HUGE pinch of salt!)

Closing this loophole would upset a very powerful lobby indeed and so one wonders, in amongst all of the seeming contradictory stories, what the hell is going on and who is telling the truth?

For me THEY ALL ARE!

It is a stroke of sheer genius by the CIA (who are credited with the leak, according to another report). In one fell swoop they have achieved several mighty objectives for the Neoliberal cause.

Firstly, they have scared the hell out of the wealthy and powerful around the world by attacking the heart of their wealth. Secondly, they have created the need for those wealthy to move their money to the US.

Third, they have diverted global attention with propaganda at its most sophisticated which, like Terrorism, holds our attention for a while by the sheer enormity of its outrageous behaviour.

In the meantime, the Neoliberal cause is furthered by slipping in legislation (TTIP) and ‘Austerity’ measures that can only benefit the rich, whilst tightening control over Society by constantly removing their democratic rights.

I cannot for one minute believe the end result of this attack on tax evasion will come to any good. Once our attention has been again diverted by some equally headline grabbing disclosure, the tanker companies, in particular, will remain ‘profit centres’ and the dismantling of cash will continue.

The only fly in the ointment at present is our own Prime Minister, ‘Dodgy’ Dave Cameron, who has become embroiled in the tax avoidance scandal and this could harm his efforts to coerce us to remaining in the EU, with his equally dodgy referendum.

That his mate, Barak Obama, is coming to his aid with a personal appearance in the UK to make an impassioned plea for us to ‘Remain’, speaks volumes about just how worried the financiers are.

Let us not forget, this is the same Barak Obama who, for the whole of his two terms in office, has been negotiating and pushing through, in secret, the most evil of trade agreements that will take the unprecedented step of handing the democratic rights of the people over to the corporate world.

The sheer manipulative genius with which our attention is being diverted and confusion manifested, whilst the Neoliberal agenda is furthered demands respect, if it were not so loathsome in its attack upon the hard working people of the world.

They are already paying more than their fair share towards Society’s infrastructures of Health and Education etc., something the rich are able to constantly avoid.

The 99% don’t have any options when it comes to paying their taxes. It is stolen out of their pay packets and then used to subsidise the rich, supported by an eroding democracy which gives them less and less say in the matter.

Awareness breeds understanding and understanding breeds 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

An Alternative to Brussels

In an earlier career I had the privilege to be responsible for officially sponsoring the Royal National Lifeboat Institution over a period of 3 years. This inspiring institution was formed in 1824 and since then has saved over 140,000 lives, at a cost of 600 lives lost in service.

It is funded by legacies and donations as well as being paid by local authorities to train and equip the RNLI lifeguards who operate on more than 200 beaches. Most lifeboat crews are volunteers. In addition to work in national waters the Institution operates Flood Rescue Teams both nationally and internationally.

This essential service, whilst a charity, could be construed as that of a ‘MultiStakeholder Network’ (MSN), because of its interactions with other bodies. Nowhere in any of its work does government hold sway and this independence has assured the Institution full control over how it (successfully) goes about its business. Distress at sea is its sole calling and has functioned for nearly 200 hundred years without political or financial controversy or scandal.

What MSN’s clearly demonstrate is the inclusion of like-minded people and bodies to focus and apply their joint resources and skills to a common aim. Here it is saving lives at sea through unified democratic action.

If we then compare this to our current political environment we can see a diametric opposition of values and aims, as globally they now pursue a policy of exclusion from their activities.

Across the Planet democracy is under threat as our liberties and personal initiatives are constantly restricted or threatened. The surveillance state and the increasing difficulties of peoples voices getting heard is causing growing anger and frustration.

Nowhere is this more evident than with our young (18 – 34 year olds), who increasingly face a future devoid of worthwhile employment and inclusion in the running of a Society they are very much a part of.

Modern Party Policy increasingly brooks no argument, as an ever more muted Civil Service is overridden, in its remit to seek ‘value for taxpayer money’ with government spending, through greater ministerial dominance and control.

However, the young are fighting back on several fronts, including their involvement in and development of the proliferation of Multi Stakeholder Networks now springing up across the Planet. They take the shape of Advocacy, Platforms, Operational & Delivery, Watchdog, Policy, Governance Knowledge, Global Standards and so much more, that is now making a significant contribution to our global Society.

Global Network Initiative – From the Americas to Europe to the Middle East to Africa and Asia – companies in the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) sector face increasing government pressure to comply with domestic laws and policies in ways that may conflict with the internationally recognized human rights of freedom of expression and privacy.

In response, a multi-stakeholder group of companies, civil society organizations (including human rights and press freedom groups), investors and academics spent two years negotiating and creating a collaborative approach to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector, and have formed an Initiative to take this work forward.

Kiva.org carries out the work that should be done by our global banking system, by allowing us to lend our money, via the internet, to low income entrepreneurs and student in over 82 countries. Profit is not the dominating criteria here but a desire to help people grow their way out of poverty by developing their own businesses, many of which are now incredibly successful and something moneylenders modern banking would not go anywhere near.

The VOST movement (Virtual Operations Support Team) provides successful ‘network’ management of emergencies and disasters across the globe. It has evolved from a few small groups of volunteers into this huge network, whose common aim is to navigate through the cascade of crisis information and prioritize and send it to the front lines of that crisis.

VOST members share a passion for understanding how social media can facilitate disaster relief efforts, making life easier for both emergency personnel and the victims of the disaster.

In Canada for example, CodeSearch partner’s employees with smartphone apps that can notify if a child goes missing. It works closely with law enforcement and the Missing Child Society of Canada to send out geo-targeted alerts to any of their agents in an area where a child has been reported as missing.

The Right2Debate campaign, initiated by the Quilliam Foundation, is only in its infancy but attracted 2500 young members on its first day. It is a platform which enables students to organise if they feel a ‘hate’ preacher in university may be undermining the principles of mutual tolerance and respect.

Students are of the opinion that they cannot rely on censorship to counter intolerant views that do not break the law but undermine the human rights of others.

Quilliam University Outreach Officer and King’s College London Postgraduate Student Haydar Zaki said. “#Right2Debate campaigns for the protection of free speech by contesting these views using opposing speakers and other opinions, undermining the indoctrination that is based on divisive and intolerant narratives.” 

Demonstration is one form of revolt but as we have seen with the TTIP petition, no matter how many millions sign, the establishment can simply ignore/exclude it. Doing something about it is not only so much more achievable, in our new technological and ‘joined up’ world but also immensely rewarding and far more beneficial.

The EU is now falling apart through outdated methods of control, which it is obvious can no longer function in the burgeoning open new world order. It should be allowed to collapse, for a more democratic multi-stakeholder network to take its place and represent the hopes, aspirations and investment of the people and businesses it represents in this new era.

Let’s not make the same mistake we made with the banks and keep a decadent and abusive infrastructure in place because it is supposedly “too big to fail”. The banks are more abusive now than when we bailed them out because we were suckered by media propaganda.

Let the EU fail, in the certain knowledge that an alternative form of collaboration will replace it and benefit us all in the learning we have gained from the disasters of this monolith. Other European countries will quickly support an initiative that is finally expressing what so many millions across Europe are feeling.

An alternative to Brussels is possible by the decree of the people . . . Ending the ‘exclusion’ policies run by the old establishment. What have we possibly got to lose?

Until the next time

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

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

The Bank of Taxpayers . . . Why Not!!

Banking photo

In my last piece I postulated that when you get underneath the superficiality of our global financial systems it is the taxpayer who is the ‘lender of last resort’.  http://www.globalmagnacarta.org/2016/taxpayers-are-the-global-bankers/

When country’s get into difficulties it is the IMF who comes to the (expensive) rescue, with suffocating ‘Austerity’ conditions as a part of the lending terms for that desperately needed money. And when it comes to global power plays, the new layer of governance the EU represents was brought into being with taxpayer money.

Both of these examples illustrate one thing . . . they have considerable risk attached to them. In the former case it is the questionability of whether a country can actually pay back, given its fragile state.

In the latter, who could say with any certainty that this ‘instant monolith’ would actually succeed. Indeed, time is now showing that it is failing miserably, both as a democracy and a viable trading area, given the bloated bureaucracy that has birthed from outset to create this new layer of global governance. Billions of taxpayer money have been irresponsibly wasted with no accountability in evidence.

No bank in its right mind would venture anywhere near such deals with their own money. The IMF however, gets its money from the 188 countries who contribute to being members and they use this (taxpayer) money to conduct their business.

It’s a sort of elephantine hedge fund, using other people’s money to finance its deals but unlike a hedge fund those ‘investors’ – the international taxpayer – have no say and get no rewards for the risk their money is put to, only constantly lowering living standards and employment opportunities.

At least with the ever reducing ‘legitimate uses’ their taxes are put to a good deal of the money is used to run public services for the benefit of Society, although gradually now being swallowed by private corporations who reduce services to provide necessary profits.

If the taxpayer is to be ‘lender of last resort’, I don’t necessarily have a problem with that provided there is something in it for them for the risks they are taking. Provide them with the same ‘risk and reward’ philosophy that is an intrinsic part of business and you have a complete micro Capitalist system!

Our own ‘Taxpayer Bank’ would have endless positive effects upon Society. It would provide the finance for public infrastructures such as a state of the art Health Service, superb travel infrastructures like roads and rail as well as caring support systems for young mothers and the elderly. All because there is no ‘middleman’ concerned only with profit.

If you look more closely at this concept, what we are talking about is virtually replacing our current (very unpopular) tax system with a means to raise funds in a much more acceptable fashion, from the interest earned on loans to finance Society’s needs.

A Taxpayer Bank would only be accountable to its shareholders and customers . . . the taxpayers . . . who taxes would be dramatically reduced through the workings of a public bank.

The fundamental significance of this type of public banking is that it circulates its profits back into the economy, rather than taking them out, as is the case with private banks. It is a fundamental law of ALL Life. . . that everything is recycled and not hoarded or taken away!

Nature is the most powerful and perfect example of this law. Trees shed their leaves, which then rot down and provide the nourishment for those trees and so much else. Birds circulate pollen to bring to life the plants that feed us, as well as the flowers that calm us. Even squirrels, who ‘hoard’ nuts for the winter, eat those nuts later. If left, they will rot down to nurture future growth or become new young trees. Nothing is taken away or hoarded.

Our current financial system is the ringing evidence of the need to recycle, as it hoards vast amounts of money that should be put to good use back in Society again. This hoarding is a part of the control mechanism that represses the majority. Our global money supply is never adequate for Society’s needs, deliberately so to restrain us.

What manages this supply is the needs of the bankers, not Society. It is here that we get to the very fundamentals of money issue by private banks. QE has cast a spotlight on this controlling practice as the trillions printed have been aimed at the already wealthy, deliberately widening the gap between rich and poor.

On the other hand, a Taxpayer Bank for the people working alongside private banks, as is the case in Switzerland, will be good for the whole economy. The private banks can service the needs of the global corporate world and public banking the private individual and small businesses . . . with the taxpayer earning into the bargain! It will also provide the essential competition so important to a healthy economy and Society.

In the US the Bank of North Dakota is run on such lines, funding local businesses and the community. Its financial structure is reassuringly sound, because it circulates its income back into the economy. When the global banks went bankrupt in 2008 and stole from the taxpayer to stay in business, this bank thrived with sound banking practices and continues to thrive today, whilst those same global banks remain bankrupt.

Why aren’t there more banks like this in the US . . . Ask the private banks!

There is not a single aspect of a properly accountable Taxpayer Bank that I can find detrimental to Society. The financial rewards are unquestionable. The psychological benefits of a tax system such as this would not only be positive and motivational to people but also bring a nation together.

I believe there would be a sense of a shared responsibility, through this type of open banking, as they watch their investment translate into their very own world beating social services, financed by a commercial operation. The perfect welding together of Socialism and Capitalism!

We just need a new breed of people going into politics with this sort of collective vision.

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 IMF . . . Uncloaked!

You must stick to your conviction but be

ready to abandon your assumptions. – Denis Waitley

In my quest to urge we all grow Society’s awareness of the current world order, I am indebted to the vlogger Lisa Haven for making me aware of the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This provides the perfect example for my case.

Through the secrecy of the current world order we are controlled by our ignorance . . . no more, no less . . . and so the following is a lengthy piece. It covers some frightening facts about the immunity from accountability the IMF have awarded themselves in order to exercise that control.

I hope it explains why they were able to impose unelected regulation upon the Greek people last year with such ferocity and without any come back whatsoever from any government. The Troika comprising the European Commission, The European Central Bank and the IMF are one and the same club!

As background the IMF was formed out of the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 and its objectives are quoted in Wikipedia as follows (Remember this bit, it’s important later):

“The organization’s objectives stated in the Articles of Agreement are to promote international monetary cooperation, international trade, high employment, exchange-rate stability, sustainable economic growth, and making resources available to member countries in financial difficulty.”

188 countries are currently members and contribute funds into a pool which individual members can draw upon if they get into financial difficulties. That this organisation came into being at the end of World War II is, to my mind, very significant.

International financiers had funded ALL sides during this global warfare, as they have done for centuries. Global levels of indebtedness were at a peak and so, therefore, they could exert pressure to consolidate their position at the pinnacle of world power. (The morality of financing and therefore encouraging all aspects of violent conflict across our species, irrespective of race, colour or creed is for you to decide.)

I give full credit (no sarcasm intended here) to the IMF for making their Articles of Agreement so publicly available. I can only surmise that they could see their only application would be for the medical profession, who might apply them as a non-addictive cure for insomnia!

I have therefore restricted myself to what I think the reader will be most interested in . . . their unassailable power!

Under Article IX we find Status, Immunities and Privileges which place it above global laws and accountable to no one (the following I paraphrase where verbose):

Section 1 Purposes of Articles (Boring!!)

Section 2 The Fund shall have the capacity to make contracts, acquire and dispose of immovable and movable property and institute legal proceedings – nobody is immune!

Section 3 The Fund however, is immune

Its property and its assets, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of judicial process except to the extent that it expressly waives its immunity for the purpose of any proceedings or by the terms of any contract.

Section 4 More Immunity

Property and assets of the Fund, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation, or any other form of seizure by executive or legislative action.

Section 5 Even more Immunity

The archives of the Fund shall be inviolable

Section 6 Unaccountable freedoms

All properties and assets of the Fund are free from restrictions, regulations, controls and moratoria of any nature.

Section 7 (Boring!)

Section 8 Immunities and privileges of officers and employees

Anyone associated with the fund, it seems, is immune from legal process when doing the work of the Fund. They also appear to enjoy ambassadorial status (immunity) insofar as immigration and alien restrictions are concerned, as well as the same travel privileges of (more immunity).

Section 9 Immunities from taxation.

All moneys, property and financial transactions are immune from taxation and custom duties. Nor is the fund liable to collect or pay any tax or duty.

Employees, no matter what rank, are exempt from personal taxation – All 2400 of them!!!!!!

(And they berate the Greek people for not paying their taxes . . . DUH!!!!!!!)

Section 10 demands that each member state institute whatever legal procedures are necessary, in their own country, to ensure the terms of this Article may be adhered to and advise the Fund of the detailed action it has taken.

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The above is extracted from just 3 pages out of the 89 contained in the full document, which you can read at your leisure here https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/aa/pdf/aa.pdf. As you will gather from my simple resume, it is quite mind numbing in the extent of the powers the financiers have awarded themselves and to which 188 governments have signed up to and keep in force.

The issues this raises for me are numerous. What first jumps off the page, to my simple mind is . . . If they cannot be prosecuted, because they have paced themselves beyond all global legal process, how is this document itself legally enforceable? After all it is governments who make their paper money legal tender!

If it is beyond the law then presumably it is ‘outlawed’ and with only limited rights, as is every other entity that is ‘beyond the law’? I am no lawyer and I am sure this has all been legalised, somehow or the other but it is a frightening precedent that has been kept in force and out of the media spotlight for 7 decades.

This causes another worry, as they do not convene with elected governments but only with the country’s financial institutions, such as the Fed in US and Bank of England in UK. Here I come back to Greece again. It now becomes clear how they were able to insert, without any resistance, unelected technocrats into the very heart of the country’s democratic process, something they appear to treat with contempt.

When I boil it all down, it seems as though the only loyalty and accountability this Fund recognises is to the application and maintenance of debt. It is the obligation to debt that gives it this unreachable power. Yet the funds it manages and which it uses to apply debt, to gather and exert this power, are provided by the 188 country members . . . from our taxes, as governments don’t have any money of their own!

If this is the case we have a situation where we, the taxpayers, are funding an unelected and unaccountable global body that declares its intention (and I quote here just one of the 6 purposes):

(ii). To facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade, and to contribute thereby to the promotion and maintenance of high levels of employment and real income and to the development of the productive resources of all members as primary objectives of economic policy.

The current state of world economics and employment can best be summed up by the Funds Managing Director Christine Lagarde (on over half a million “tax free” dollars remember!), in a speech about the then problems within Europe and given in Brussels on 10th December 2013:

“First and perhaps most important, growth rates and output levels still remain well below where they should be. With unemployment rates as high as they are, this gap between actual and potential growth rates is likely to remain large for the foreseeable future.”

Well, with all due respect lady and without your grasp of global finances, this humble taxpayer would like his money back please, together with an end to a body who seems to have successfully made themselves immune to the chaos and pain they are now inflicting upon the 99%.

Awareness breeds understanding and understanding breeds 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