Tag Archives: Troika

Banks & IMF Are Out of Control

As a species we are fallible and we recognise this in our attempts to construct laws and regulations which address human weaknesses and flaws. They are by no means complete and human fallibility continues to wreak havoc, more so when those same laws and regulations are removed or neutered by vested interest.

My regular readers will know that one of my hobby horses is the continued abuse of Greece by the Troika, something that is killing innocent Greek people through deprivation and despair. At the heart of this destruction is the IMF and its policy of ‘austerity’ that obligates countries indebted to it to cut social support programmes and hand over sovereign assets at discounted values.

“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.”

Further on from this, the frightening scope of its powers are clearly laid out.

Whilst the Fund can “make contracts, acquire and dispose of immovable and movable property and institute legal proceedings” from which nobody is immune, the Fund and its employees “are immune from every form of judicial process” and its assets “free from restrictions, controls and moratoria of any nature.” This includes freedom from any form of personal taxation for all 2400 employees!

With this unprecedented level of unaccountability, the Fund can do whatever it likes. In the case of Greece, it has done precisely this without seeming care or concern, in what has now been described as the ‘immolation’ of Greece. (Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines immolation as “to kill as a sacrificial victim”, which is the stand I have personally taken over the whole violation of this country.)

This lack of accountability has now been firmly placed in the spotlight, (with similar brutality), after its own internal watchdog, the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) submitted a report  to the board, (to whom they are solely accountable), which has roundly condemned how the Fund is being run.

Its top level staff have misled and misinformed their own board into becoming the champions of the euro project and which has led to catastrophic misjudgements on Greece. They have also failed to grasp the basic concepts of money theory that ensured they completely ignored the warning signs of an impending crisis within the EU, a ‘serious scientific and professional failure’.

EU insiders have used the fund to rescue their own pet project, with an unprecedented 80% of all available funding being used to bail out Greece, Portugal and Ireland. An ethos of misleading seniors was also extended to the IEO, in its investigations of the activities of “ad-hoc task forces”, where decisions and provision of information remained elusive.

Heads have turned to its managing director Christine Lagarde, who is now to stand trial in France over corruption charges and who has responded to this report with a statement that offers ‘qualified’ acceptance of its contents. Something I interpret as “I hear you” and no more.

This arrogance, by the boss and her organisation, has led to an era of negative interest rates that is devastating savings and the future of pension schemes, whilst ruining the banking system in its wake. Their policies continue without any recovery, or hint of recovery in sight. Here lies the true cancer created by the inbuilt lack of accountability written into the Fund’s Articles of Agreement.

It goes to the very heart of why we need regulations and accountability to guard against the horrific abuses that can occur when human fallibility is not held in check. Millions of people’s lives have been ruined by the mismanagement of this powerful organisation and its independence must surely now be put in question.

And all of this at a time when the European Banking Authority has just conducted a ‘stress test’ across the European banking sector and nobody has failed, nor has anyone passed, as there are no criteria for such assessments.

Instead a rescue package has been put together to stop Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena collapsing and Deutsche Bank, defined by the IMF as “the world’s most systemically risky bank” is being ‘scrutinised’.

Of the 123 lenders covered in the last stress test in 2014 less than half have been covered this time and none of Portugal or Greek banks have been included. Neither will the results of 56 other banks that have taken the tests be published.

Like the IMF, lack of accountability and secrecy reign and beg two questions. Firstly, what was the point of these tests, other than giving the appearance that some form of regulation is being carried out. Secondly, what is the true extent of the fragility of these banks, given the millions of people are dependent upon them for running their personal and business finances.

This last point is even more significant when you consider that the world banking system is a carefully controlled cartel that is not open to competition. Cartels and monopolies offer the very worst of attributes of human fallibility in the unaccountable power and control they provide and a complete immunisation from healthy regulation and governance.

Thatcher and Reagan opened up the financial markets to unlimited growth and power, which has accelerated exponentially in the last 40 years and is now bringing the world to its knees, with an impending financial collapse that will make 1929 and 2008 seem but hiccups.

Only today the man convicted of the UBS £1.4 billion fraud, the biggest in British history, said that “major banks have done little to tackle the culture which allowed him to carry out his crimes”.

Indeed, the Financial Conduct Authority dropped a long-running enquiry into the culture of banking at the beginning of the year, with suggestions that former chancellor George Osborne had exercised pressure on the industry following last year’s surprise election win.

Never has there been the need for the re-emergence of democratically supported political power to bring these financial monoliths back under control. We need regulations that have teeth and can break the conglomerates up and return us to a banking sector that supports the needs of Society and not the needs of the few.

I worry that we hear nothing about the regulation of the financial sector from those seeking political office, either at home or abroad. It was strong leadership that gave them their power and it is that self-same strong leadership that can take it away again now.

Until the next time

 

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

Is Our Referendum Rigged!

Well the great day is nearly upon us and 36 hours later we will know what decision the British people have arrived at . . . or will we?

Whilst the democratic track record of the EU was good in the early days of the Common Market, some would say, it has since become increasingly questionable. I would venture that 40 years on and it has now deteriorated to a point where it is virtually non-existent!

In 1973 the then Prime Minister, Ted Heath, signed us up to membership of the Common Market on the message that ‘closer ties with Europe could only benefit trade’. The year before, Ireland and Denmark had joined but Norway decided not to. Then, there was no fuss but a simple acceptance of the democratic decision of the people.

During those days, support for the Common Market was good, with good connectivity by voters demonstrated in high turnouts ranging from 65% to 87.6% (The latter was Sweden against the Euro). The exception was Greenland who, having joined in 1973, 6 years later rejected membership and in 1984 the country left the communities.

Since those days, we now know that Heath was ‘economical with the truth’ in what he told us about the simple “trading association” with the other members, in the certain knowledge that much wider control was on the agenda with Brussels.

Voter turnout has declined over the years, substantially with some countries like Italy which in 1979 stood at 86.5% and in 2014 managed just 57.2%. All members, new and old have followed a similar pattern of falling turnouts, with the exception of the UK whose (already low) numbers grew slightly from 32.35% to 35.60% over the same timeframe. (Source UK Political Info)

It was not in Europe but in America that the whole process by which democracy functions in this 21st century has been brought into question. We are talking here the re-election of George W Bush in 2004, by a very narrow margin over his opponent John Kerry.

Whilst at the time Kerry played with a straight bat and conceded the election to Bush, a year later the powerful and non-partisan Government Accountability Office confirmed the then ‘conspiracy theories’ that Bush had no right to be in the White House.

Voter fraud had occurred in a number of areas of the process and included mal-functioning voting machines, individual votes were altered to support another candidate and the falsification of election results by uncertified voting system software. The whole event received no mainstream media coverage whatsoever.

What is particularly worrying for me is that the same team that manipulated Bush into power have since been used by our Tory party and may well be behind the dubious results of last year’s election, where just 24% of the electorate provided a majority government which, on those numbers, is not representative of the people over whom they hold sway.

If we now move into Europe, we have had wholesale abuse of the referendum aspects of the EU treaties by Brussels, initially demonstrated by two ‘no’ votes by Ireland to (2002) Nice and (2009) Lisbon Treaty ratification.

These negative votes threatened their required unanimous membership adoptions and went to second referendums to get the results Brussels was seeking. Whilst not fraud in the true sense of the word, after 30 years, pressure was now being put on member states to comply with Brussels dictates.

If we now move on to 2011 we have the first Greek referendum, which asked the Greek people to accept the terms of the Troika for a haircut of debt. This was in direct opposition to what the Troika wanted and Prime Minister George Papandreou acceded to their request by withdrawing the referendum and subsequently resigned.

Just 4 years later and the newly elected Syriza government flew in the face of Troika demands and actually held a referendum for the people to decide on accepting, or not, the bailout terms requiring more ‘austerity’ measures. The people overwhelmingly chose not to accept the terms and this wholly legitimate act of democracy was simply ignored by the lenders, as well as the European Commission.

That all three members of the Troika were themselves unelected, points to their contempt for this democratic process and their application of even more onerous terms upon the new government and its people as a punishment.

In 2016 an unelected European Commission announced it was ignoring the two thirds Dutch majority vote and would be railroading through visa free travel to 45 million Ukrainians.

Brussels has also recently ignored another respected democratic process, when over a million people signed a petition to halt the odious TTIP trade agreement. With the pending referendum, Brussels has not sought favour with the electorate over this issue, by discussing it or even mooting possible amendments. Rather it has simply gone very quiet, suggesting that once the referendum is over negotiations will be resumed with added vigour and continued contempt for the wishes of the people.

More and more political commentators are voicing the opinion that the EU is teetering on the brink of both financial and political collapse because of incompetence and arrogance. America has much to lose if the EU fails, in both trading terms but more importantly as a strategic base for its growing stance against Russia and China.

I also think it significant that Switzerland has, this week, withdrawn its dormant 1992 EU application as, according to one headline, ‘only a “few lunatics” now want to be involved in the bloc’!

Hannes Germann of the Swiss People’s Party compared the symbolic nature of the vote to Iceland’s decision to drop its own application in 2015. “Iceland had the courage to withdraw their application for membership and no volcano erupted,” he joked. Was this directed at the British people . . . who knows but the timing must be significant, in my opinion.

Given the considerable pressure now being placed upon the British people to vote ‘Remain’ by no less than the US President, the Governor of the Bank of England and the Managing Director of the IMF, none of whom have been elected by us and none of whom are British citizens, it is does not take rocket science to work out that a lot is at stake for their particular vested interests.

Given also the narrowness of the vote between ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’, just like that of the Bush re-election, let us hope that, in the event of a win for ‘Remain’ we do not hear in a years’ time from our own Electoral Commission that it did not represent the will of the people. Let us also hope that we are not too taken into an illegal war by people we have not elected to power.

We have already given away a lot of our sovereign power to Brussels as an act of trust and I question tonight whether that trust has been honestly repaid over the last four decades.

Whatever the outcome, we will have to take responsibility for our individual actions and therefore can only vote with our conscience, whether it be to ‘Remain’ or ‘Leave’ and I offer you my respect for what we are all facing at this 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

‘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

Brussels Bans Referendums!

Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.

— John F. Kennedy

Whilst this is not currently fact, what is now going on in Britain until 23rd June has so frightened Brussels and their financial lords and masters that, empowered by a vote to ‘Remain’, they will seek to make the banning of Referendums a reality.

This is not scaremongering but simply based on the evidence presented to us within this whole manipulative Referendum process. Stick with me for a minute and I will quickly make a case I think you will find it hard to refute.

All of the arguments and threats put so far, for remaining, have revolved around financial and business considerations and the damage ‘Exit’ could inflict upon trade.

Let’s be honest, have you seen or heard from your MEP, OR ANY MEP, (as our elected representatives), about the merits and demerits of the EU and their case for voting either way. No, neither have I and I am on between 2 and 300 newsletters!

If you accept for a moment that business and trade are the single most important issues surrounding this Referendum, as far as Brussels in concerned, then it is a forgone conclusion that if we vote to ‘Remain’, TTIP will immediately be implemented to support those interests.

We know from the recent leaks that within this odious trade agreement is the ability for corporations to sue governments if any of their legislation affects profits.

Ipso facto, if a Referendum is seen as being threatening to business interests, as we are told this one is, then Brussels will have no alternative, under the terms of the trade agreement, than to ban them. QED! (Don’t forget Greece where, because it was such a small player, the Troika simply ignored their Referendum on ‘Austerity’!)

Yes, it will be bound up in all sorts of political and diplomatic jargon like, “Greater unification of Europe cannot be achieved with issues that only reflect national interests against the general consensus of unity”. The bottom line however, will be to rid the system of any risk to the achievement of the current, corporate dominated, Neoliberal agenda to govern Europe.

What makes me even more certain of this course of action is how quiet Brussels has become over the TTIP leaks. No words of comfort, such as “In the light of public concern we will return to these negotiations at a later date”.

Everything has gone VERY quiet. In fact, Brussels seems to have shut down as we approach the 23rd June, with only good news about the cutting of phone tariffs (and God knows how much that will cost us in tax subsidies to the phone companies).

Talking of quiet, let’s go back to our MEP’s – the silence here is deafening! As I see it and correct me if I am alone here but this Referendum is about voting, one way or the other. We had a similar process earlier this year, with our local elections and you couldn’t move for elected and potential candidates vying for our vote.

According to The Telegraph each MEP costs three times as much as our Westminster MP’s, at a staggering price tag of £1.79 million . . . EACH YEAR! We pay for them to represent us and yet when it comes to getting something back for our money they are nowhere to be seen.

As our elected representatives, they are the (expensive) conduit between the people and the lawmakers in Brussels. Here again they remain silent, because they have no effective power to institute legislation, amend legislation or take legislation off the books. Forgive me but isn’t legislation the nuts and bolts of democracy and the effective management tool of the needs of Society?

As an integral part of the democratic process they are not only horrendously expensive but also totally ineffective. I would go further and call it a democratic ‘crime’, as various polls tell us between 12% and 13% of people are undecided because the lack sufficient information (that’s approximately 5 ½ million people), a shocking indictment of disservice by our MEP’s in their commitment to liaise, advise and inform.

Their silence, one can only assume, is because the ‘fix’ is in and they have been told to leave the arguments up to the big boys, like the IMF, Bank of England and US President, none of whom have been elected by any of us!

The best we can expect from our elected officials is a dubious leaflet from our even more dubious Prime Minister, (costing taxpayers £9 million) and 73 UK MEP’s, costing us a total of £130.67 million, who have been told to keep their mouths shut.

What the hell Boris and Gove are doing in the argument is beyond me. One is a ‘chancer’ and the other is a failed ‘reformer’. As far as Jeremy Corbyn is concerned, whilst being the most honest out of all of them in Westminster, his lack of enthusiasm for ‘Remain’ and a belief he can negotiate with Brussels does not inspire me.

Brussels are a sniff away from absolute power over Europe and once they have it dynamite won’t shift them.

If anything makes my blood boil it is this flagrant waste of our hard earned tax money on their pursuit of a Neoliberal Europe, where all that awaits us is debt, unemployment and little or no public services to support Society.

Instead the money we previously paid for those services will go into the corporate coffers of privatised services, as well as coming in handy to fund escalating sovereign debt, which lines the pockets of already obscenely wealthy bankers and which has cost them nothing to implement.

We are being taken for a ride of monumental proportions my friends and I weep at the abuse of the trust we have placed in a wholly corrupt system that is Brussels.

Our entitlement to fight for our rights is absolute, because we pay for it all in the first place and because we deserve so much better than our intended return to feudalism.

Until the next time.

 

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

‘Brexit’ . . . The World is Watching

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time

 

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

Brussels is Massing ‘The Army’!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time

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

Obama Visit . . . Some Afterthoughts

obama photo

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

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

So much for modern leadership and government!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time

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

23rd June 2016: ‘OUT’ . . . and ‘IN’! (3 of 3)

EU TWEET 2

Part 1 covered the growth and power of the EU by stealth, to implement neoliberal doctrines which can be seen as Crimes against Democracy, of which five were described in Part 2.

In this final piece I would argue that because the EU has been created and developed by technocrats, it can never be a true democracy that takes into account the needs and wishes of the people who pay for it all.

Brussels is run by these unelected and therefore unaccountable technocrats, many of whom are installed in the two main decision making bodies of the European Commission and European Council, described by one former Prime Minister as the “European Government”.

This form of rule was tried in the US in the 1930’s and failed. More recently it has been used by Brussels in Italy, Tunisia, Greece and the Czech Republic, all of which have failed or are failing.

The problem is that although technocrats are very capable people, they are specialists who give little concern for the democratic process . . . a process that is essential to governing a country full of human beings and even more essential with a continent full of diverse cultures.

For this reason, they have been used extensively to make the governing ‘common denominator’ of the EU one of financial control, in line with neoliberal doctrines. Sadly, these parameters are way too narrow, as we have seen in the cases of Greece, Italy Spain and Cyprus, where the cultural climate is dramatically different to say Germany, France or the UK.

For technocrats to govern there is little scope for democratic discussion. This narrow authoritarian approach, which brooks no opposition or deviation from declared policy, is the reason technocracy eventually fails. I believe we are now reaching this point with the EU, as Brussels demands more powers to allow technocratic dictate to run things.

The very contrived nature of the UK Referendum is a case in point, as Brussels seeks to frighten the British people into giving it a vote of confidence, by postulating that the world will come to an end if they vote ‘Out’.

We saw tactics like this in 2008, when governments used a similarly divisive slogan ‘Too Big to Fail’ to allow banks to rob our taxpayer money. Threats then, that “the end of the world was nigh”, have subsequently been shown to be one big lie. The banks have grown bigger, more powerful and certainly more arrogant since then, whilst remaining bankrupt through continuing their same irresponsible banking practices without any form of promised controls put in place.

Indeed, Brussels has now instituted legislation (the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive) which further protects the banks by allowing them to steal our savings when they go bust again, as they surely will. To add insult to injury, in 2015 they took legal action against six countries who failed to implement these rules . . . Technocratic neoliberalism at its most flagrant!

Have we also not learned from last year’s election in the UK, when just 24% of voters put the Tories in power? They too manipulated a vague mandate about ‘Austerity’, which has since allowed them to wreak unopposed havoc with neoliberal policies that support Fracking, TTIP, Privatisation of the NHS, Destruction of the Benefits system and so much more.

As you well know, dear reader, this is not spin but what we have actually experienced, as are all of my claims across all these 3 pieces. We can vote the Tories out but such is not the case with Brussels . . . who know it!

What possible credibility can any governing body have that stole taxpayer money and then went straight on to negotiate in secrecy for eight years a ‘democracy crippling’ trade agreement, which only came to light through the actions of whistle-blowers and is still unavailable for public scrutiny? These are just two of the frightening examples Part 2 of what technocratic neoliberalism is capable of and what the future holds for all of us, if allowed to continue.

In this coming Referendum we should be demanding ‘The Return of Democracy’. We were suckered in by the banks, we were suckered in by the Tories and we are in danger of being suckered in again by Brussels with this ‘In/Out’ vote, which, I repeat, is a contrived device to frighten the British electorate into ratifying the power of Brussels.

By voting ‘IN’ on the 23rd of June we give Brussels the irrevocable power to continue implementing these neoliberal policies, with no moral boundaries or care for the majority. It also belies the real question on most Europeans lips: “Given their track record, do we wish this unelected and unaccountable body to be running our lives into the future?”

More than half of the French electorate have now voted in favour of holding a UK-style referendum on the country’s membership of the EU (FREXIT). Both the Netherlands and Czech Republic want to follow our lead with an ‘In/Out’ referendum. Indeed, there are now calls from the most powerful player, Germany, to have their own EU referendum in the aftermath of the migrant crisis

Given Cameron’s recent feeble results in returning some of our powers it is blatantly obvious that Brussels is not intent upon relinquishing any of its powers . . . Therefore they have to be taken away by voting ‘OUT’ on 23rd June. It will not be the end of the world but rather the beginning of the fight back against global neoliberalism – which has to start somewhere – by restructuring a more democratic and viable Europe.

(It was something Nelson Mandela showed was possible in South Africa when the tyrannical 1% (who had misruled for centuries) were replaced by the 99%.)

There are plenty of talented and committed people and politicians out there who could make Europe a United functioning democracy. Brussels are not the only ones capable of rule, in spite of what they (and their media) might think and say!

It is certainly a daunting task facing us now, as it was 70 years ago – Part 1. We won then and we can win now . . . with the help of our European friends (again!).

 

Until the next time

 

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

23rd June 2016: ‘OUT’ . . . and ‘IN’! (2 of 3)

EU TWEET 2

Reference to ‘Brussels’ is directed at the resident political establishment and not the people of Brussels, who are dealing with so much at the moment, to whom I extend my deepest sympathies and support. J T Coombes

In Part 1 I traced the development of Brussels to its present all powerful position in Europe, as part of the growing financial might of neoliberalism.

During the last 70 years, through the democratic process, Brussels has gained its power and is now using that power to dismantle that very same democratic process, contravening its very essence – “The involvement and will of the people”.

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” – 1st Baron of Acton

Whilst neoliberalism is increasing its hold upon a global Society I will keep my focus on Brussels with the following examples of what I can only describe as ‘Crimes against Democracy’:

Debt and Austerity – Greece is by far the most unpleasant example of how abusive these two financial tools have been allowed to become.

When we overextend ourselves financially it is prudent to cut back until the books are balanced. ‘Austerity’ was introduced and is not only ‘cutting our cloth’ but selling off valuable state assets at discount prices to pay down debt and benefit the already rich. We should be looking to get the highest price for those assets, not the lowest!

It is here we see the iron fist in the iron glove, as the Troika – the ECB, Brussels and the IMF – brought Greece to its knees by piling yet more debt upon the Greek people specifically to meet the interest payments on the corrupt loans originally foisted upon them.

The Greeks threw out the offending government and elected a new one, intent upon resolving the countries problems. The Troika simply ignored this democratic process and inflicted unelected technocrats upon the people to override the power of their recently elected government.

Who could argue that these actions are not Crimes against Democracy and something practiced on other member states?

TTIP – After its global success in gaining a financial grip upon Society with the ‘taxpayer heist’ of 2008 (itself a Crime against Democracy), neoliberalism immediately sought to consolidate its position politically with odious trade agreements. Eight years later, secret discussions, that have been going on between the US and Brussels to install these agreements, have only now come to light through the moral integrity of whistle-blowers.

Public outrage across Europe is evidenced by regular (large) demonstrations in major towns and cities, as well as the largest petition in history with over 3 million signatures and growing.

With the years of secrecy, designed to hide the intention to allow corporations to sue elected governments for any legislation that might harm profits, along with ignoring vast public outrage, this certainly ranks as a heinous Crime against Democracy.

Technocrats – Unelected and unaccountable representatives who, in spite of holding immense sway over European Society, are not responsible to nor can be removed by the electorate. Italy had technocrats imposed upon them by the Troika in 2011 and the unelected government lasted until 2013 when it ran out of steam, as technocracies always do. Italy’s economy (the 4th largest in the world), now looks more like Greece’s (the 44th largest!).

There are parallels here with the EU, which has been created by technocrats with the occasional intervention of democratically elected politicians. On rare occasions their work is exposed to the test of public opinion, by way of referendum or election and it is then that they receive a rude awakening.

Technocrats cannot live within a democracy, as is now being demonstrated by the British referendum. The message is “We’re not changing, so leave or stay”. This demonstrates another unworkable Crime against Democracy.

Immigration – Since the problems that began in Calais in the early 1990’s endless meetings and summits have not found a solution to aiding these desperate people, so much so that it is now “pushing Europe to breaking point”, the Dutch prime minister is quoted as saying. This suggests that the Schengen agreement on free movement of people, a foundation stone of the EU, is close to collapse.

The demands from Brussels that member countries take specific quotas irrespective of whether each country is capable, or suitably prepared for the proper and responsible integration of so many strangers into their Society, is simply being ignored.

It is the foreign policy of US, UK and France in particular that has created the problem and this dominant thinking (which influences EU policy) is incapable of therefore solving it. Unless and until this autocratic thinking changes, to garner the willing support of the people of Europe, this type of authoritarianism constitutes yet another Crime against Democracy

European Central Bank – As this bureaucracy plunges the Eurozone into negative interest rates it demonstrates a level of panic that lacks all credibility. The technocrats here are blindly following a Japanese model that has panicked banks and the people into hiding their cash to such an extent that it has now become impossible to buy a security safe anywhere, whilst doing nothing to remedy the country’s financial problems!

With this in mind, an unofficial war against cash is now being waged to make us spend rather than save. Brussels is already looking to decommission the €500 note “in the interests of fighting crime”. (Crime has been around since we lived in caves . . . So why did they introduce this large denomination in the first place?!!) With that precedent created the smaller denominations will follow!

If their war on cash succeeds they will have total control over how we use our money, (possibly the object of this entire exercise), representing a serious financial Crime against Democracy.

Just these five abuses would, I suggest, demonstrate how undemocratic Brussels has become in its arrogant use of power. I am convinced these tactics are constantly testing their power to gauge what they can get away with, in the same manner that the banks successfully did with “Too Big to Fail” in 2008.

In the third and final part I offer my worries that these Crimes against Democracy will not decrease but in fact become the norm, if Brussels is allowed to continue running the EU into the future, because of an increasingly restricted democratic process.

Until the next time

 

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

23rd June 2016: ‘OUT’. . . and ‘IN’! (1 of 3)

EU TWEET 2

Reference to ‘Brussels’ is directed at the resident political establishment and not the people of Brussels, who are dealing with so much at the moment and to whom I extend my deepest sympathies and support. J T Coombes

 

As the 23rd June hurtles towards us I become increasingly convinced that the people of Britain now face a similar challenge to that which they faced at the outbreak of World War II.

Once again Britain stands against an invasion from Europe. Not this time the armed might of Nazism but rather the financial might of Neoliberalism. Something significantly more powerful that is seeking to rob us of our freedoms and democracies by breaking down all of the moral rules that have previously held Society in place.

I have heard many people say that they don’t have enough information with which to make such an important decision as to whether we leave or stay in the EU. In these three pieces therefore, I am writing, not about the many (spurious) issues being bandied about by each side to divert our attention from the real issue but simply the facts.

They are what I consider to be the most important aspects of our experience during our membership of this constantly changing union, starting with its evolution and up to the present day.

It was in 1944 that the groundwork for the EU was laid, when the Allies convened the Bretton Woods conference to decide how the world would be run in future.

The British Empire relinquished its position to America, as the global super power, which heralded the birth of Neoliberalism. (Privatisation, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy – Wikipedia.)

The foundations of this ‘new world order’ were laid with the introduction of the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development, which morphed into the World Bank and then, within a few years, the birthing of the United Nations and NATO.

We have since come to realise that all of these supposed ‘international’ bodies were simply tools for the development and implementation of American foreign policy across the globe. (Indeed NATO’s credibility came into question just 6 years after its inauguration!)

To this end we have seen the stealthy pursuit of a United’ Europe, which can be controlled by a central government and single currency.

It began with the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, which provided the platform for the European Economic Community, comprising just six countries in 1958 with which to begin the ‘economic integration’ of Europe.

As new member states joined, 1993 saw the establishment of a ‘single internal’ market renamed the European Union. Underwritten by the Maastricht Treaty, it expanded the original remit beyond ‘economic integration’ by introducing European citizenship.

This neoliberal ‘stealth attack’ was stalled when attempts to institute a Constitution for Europe, viewed as “an enhancement to the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union”, were defeated in 2005 by French and Dutch voters who feared a weakening of national democracies.

Undeterred by this setback further expansion took place in 2009 when the agreement was amended yet again by the Treaty of Lisbon. Fundamental changes were made to the previous agreements by including ‘qualified majority voting’ to replace unanimity voting on a wide number of policy areas and a more powerful European Parliament.

By 2014 this ‘growth by stealth’ from Brussels resulted in the EU covering 7.3% of the world population, generating a nominal gross domestic product $18.5 trillion representing approximately 24% of similar global GDP. A powerful global player indeed!

To cope with such a vast expansion, the infrastructure of the EU has become a ‘mare’s nest’ of 7 institutions:

The European Parliament, The European Council, The Council of European Union, The European Commission, The Court of Justice of the European Union, The European Court of Auditors and the European Central Bank.

Of all of this bewildering array of bureaucracies the most significant, by far, are the European Commission and European Council. Such is their power that former Belgium Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt suggested they be called the “European Government”.

An insightful claim, as they are responsible for developing medium-term strategies, drafting legislation, making rules and regulations, drawing up the EU budget and scrutinising the implementation of treaties and legislation it comes up with.

They do all of this whilst remaining independent from the influences of the governments that appoint their councils of members. It is also the only “government”, in a supposed democracy, that is not accountable to the people! Here we get to the heart of the unelected power of the EU and reason for its growing unaccountability.

It is the unelected technocrats within these bodies who have come up with the diversionary tactic of an ‘In/Out’ vote for Britain to counter the growing unrest of the people. Instead of a more democratic vote e.g. “on whether we have confidence in Brussels to continue running things”, this says, without any ambiguity whatsoever: “We’re not going anywhere – either you stay or go!”

This autocratic stance, I believe, has been adopted by Brussels to test the vast unaccountable power it has amassed and now wields, which is gradually deconstructing the democratic process across Europe to accommodate neoliberalism.

In the following two pieces I will try to cover how this is being achieved, with what I can only describe as Crimes against Democracy, to further the aims of a largely unelected bureaucracy.

Until the next time

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