Tag Archives: TTIP

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

‘Remain’ . . . ‘Leave’ . . . And?

Banking photo

As I survey the aftermath of our historic referendum I feel a huge sadness at the state of a country I love and have now lived in for the proverbial three score years and ten. Never before in my life have I felt I am in a helpless and rudderless ship as I do now.

Our political system is in total disarray, with back stabbing, political connivance and a complete lacking in any vision of the future by all concerned. As I see it the ‘Leave’ campaign made the right decision but for the wrong reasons and the ‘Remain’ campaign made the wrong decision for the right reasons.

After the vote, when I heard that Boris Johnson was working on his manifesto I was appalled but suspect all the other contestants were doing the same thing. That all concerned had taken us into a fight, arguing with lies and very dubious statistics, about something so critical to our future and with not the slightest vision of what that future might be, speaks of only of the agenda of debt and profit driven Neoliberalism.

We are bereft of serious leadership because our politicians no longer have any power to direct our Society. There has been much talk about the ‘1%’ and the ‘corporate masters of political power’ and now we are witnessing the stark reality of this abomination.

We hear of Theresa May making her play for the top power job, without any idea of her thinking as to a direction forward, other than the bog standard and vague rhetoric about “Strong Proven Leadership” “No reneging on Brexit” and “No activating Article 50 until the end of the year”.

OK, that’s the short term but what’s her vision of the future. Surely to God she must have one, or is she just ‘more of the same’ with austerity and democratic erosion, now that Cameron has been kicked out by the financiers for messing up their plans for a more controllable ‘one state Europe’.

If we look at her political style on surveillance, for example, she certainly supports it but in a rather worrying way, with an again vague Internet Spying Powers Bill that has left parliament very confused. To quote from a recent piece in the Spectator:

The new bill makes pitifully little effort to define when heavy surveillance powers may or may not be used. It merely stipulates that they can be used in the investigation of ‘serious crimes’, without attempting to define what that means. The bill specifically allows surveillance to be undertaken in order to safeguard the ‘economic wellbeing’ of the country — a power which could all too easily be interpreted by tax authorities as justifying the use of heavy-handed surveillance of people who pay their cleaner in cash or involve themselves in other trivial forms of tax-dodging.

Labour are in an even worse mess, as Blair’s ‘team disgrace’ are actually given media space to mount their attack on the only honest and decent political leader parliament has seen in years. That twice disgraced cabinet minister Mandelson is still given media space shows just how corrupt the establishment have now become:

“Peter Mandelson: Corbyn’s leadership could turn U.K. into a one-party state”

Wasn’t he part of the team that sought Murdoch’s support in 1997, at a cost of taking Labour so far to the centre that it became indistinguishable from the Tories. If ever there was a ‘one party state’ it was that which emerged under his strategic supervision and something Corbyn is now trying to repair.

Whether it is May or the Blairites, we are suffering the consequences of the takeover of our state by stealth from the Neoliberal forces that have crept up on all of us. The financiers have taken control and their threats are still ringing in our ears from their bullyboy tactics to protect dominant financial agendas during the referendum. They have become even more confident in exerting their will over political power and the democratic process by the strategic application of debt and monetary control.

The unrest in the world is because people sense their loss of power, of which the current Brussels run EU is very much a part. The President, Jean Paul Juncker, has said quite emphatically that “There can be no democratic choice against European Treaties”

It doesn’t get much clearer than that and in the end it leaves me in no uncertain terms I will have little or no say over how my life is run in future. Do the clowns in Brussels honestly believe that they, for the first time in our history as a species, can institute a framework of rules and regulations that meet the needs of 27 different countries and 500 million people without changes or adaptation?

Their arrogance suggests this is the case. I suspect however, that what is closer to the truth is that they are blindly implementing the dictates of their corporate lords and masters. That agenda includes not only political and financial control over Europe but also the introduction of military might that will then mirror the military/industrial complex money making machine that dominates America.

The Euro is a disaster, failing hopelessly to meet the needs of the differing financial requirements of those member states who opted in and is now crippling them one by one. Greece was the first victim of this incompetence and all the warning signs now point to Italy to bring the whole financial edifice to its knees.

‘Remain’ were right in their claims for closer ties with Europe but they cannot be achieved by trying to change Brussels. Renegotiation is not in their vocabulary. ‘Leave’ are wrong to distance themselves from Europe but the only way to change Brussels and its Neoliberal agenda, including TTIP, is to totally discredit the whole political establishment and rebuild a more democratic structure out of the ashes.

We must now re-empower Society by re-empowering political leaders who care about the people and will get their full support in bringing about meaningful change of the sort I outlined in my last piece, which sadly went down like a lead balloon but won’t shut me up!

Indira Ghandi best summed it up: “You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.”

Until the next time

 

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

Referendum . . . Blah! Blah! Blah!

We had my partner’s grandchildren over at the weekend and like any 8 and 14 year olds they played together and squabbled. At one point I overheard them jousting for the dominant position by calling each other liars repeatedly and giggling whilst they did it.

How different this picture of kids doing what healthy kids do the world over and the same actions coming from people a lot older and supposedly more mature, who are responsible for running our country . . . and some for running the world.

If you Google ‘Cameron lies’ you will produce some 558,000 results, something even the cynic inside me was not expecting. Lies about his father’s offshore funds, lies from last year’s electioneering, lies about the current EU Referendum campaign . . . the list just goes on and on. He’s not alone in this BUT he is our ‘Prime’ Minister.

Then we hear from that august body The Institute of Fiscal Studies that, among other claims about Brexit, the figure of £350 million, which the EU costs Britain each week, is in fact a whole lot lower . . . at just £150 million, when all factors and rebates are taken into account. It also claims that leaving the EU could result in a budget deficit of between £20 and £40 billion higher than if we remain.

Whilst this body is held in great respect and its findings focus on the effects on the Public Purse if we leave, it must also be taken into account that it receives the vast majority of its funding from the UK government, although the EU’s contribution has doubled since 2009 up to 2014.

Given the manner in which our very own Treasury has weighed into battle on behalf of the government, the credibility, timing and content of prognostications by our Civil Service and related bodies become questionable.

I am not arguing here for either side, or the merits of one set of statistics over another. What gives me far greater cause for concern is the obvious contempt with which the public at large are held by those whose salaries we pay.

Not only is there lack of integrity and respect but a serious naivety, by those in power, who seem to be applying outmoded techniques of propaganda in an age where understanding by the public (their target) is undergoing a thorough re-education.

The internet has opened up the Pandora’s box of operational techniques by which the establishment have controlled us over the eons and it is now being shown up to be crude and incapable of withstanding our new technological environment.

In spite of this, over the years, the global rich and powerful continue to blindly try and hoodwink us. Nowhere was this more blatant than with the re-election of George W Bush in 2004 when, upon a recount, he was re-elected to office by a narrow majority. We now hear that the UK Referendum could also produce a similar narrow majority, in the same vein as the Tory’s election win last year.

Time ratified the accusations of rigging in the case of the Bush re-election and no doubt time will also pronounce on the current uncertainty in the UK, as the same people who helped Bush have also been helping the Tories for a while now.

Modern technology is constantly lifting the veil and raises a far bigger question in my mind which, similar to climate change, could be devastating for all of us and will certainly not go away.

It is the mind-set of our leaders, who either have not caught up with our growing awareness of their crude skulduggery or, worse still don’t care, as they have the armed forces, the police and riot squads to call on if they come unstuck.

Whatever is going on in their collective heads, they certainly have not taken on board the fact that our eyes are being opened and life can never be the same again. Before, we would blindly accept what were told but now new resources are opening up to ‘fact check’ whatever is reported or said.

Armed with the truth about lies and deceit, credibility and support go out the window. As the late Robert Maxwell was reported to have said “The truth is like virginity. Once lost it can never be recovered”. Something Tony Blair has first-hand experience of.

What I am aware of now are the early rumblings for an entirely new leadership that has integrity and honesty. As a species we need to believe in something, it is how we live our lives and the powerful know this. In the past they have manipulated this human characteristic for their own benefit but the ball game is changing.

I, for one, am not convinced by any of the current leaders that they actually have the vision and determination to confront the destructive values of Neoliberalism, the destructive forces of Climate Change, or the self-destructive creed of Consumerism. But my mind remains open.

My cynicism comes with the EU Referendum. I find it symptomatic of a cancerous culture at work that has no compunction about distorting the truth, with no apparent boundaries, in its lust for power and greed. At the heart of this culture is the ‘Career’ politician, who cares little for what he or she is voting for and who, it is reported, spends 80% of their working day seeking financial and other support to retain their power.

They are a part of the present party system, which they have evolved to maintain power. It is this visionless and comfortable mind-set that has created all of the problems we face today and is now supporting the transfer of power from the people to the corporate world, with odious trade agreements such as TTIP.

Whether it is the US, EU, UK, Australia or elsewhere, distrust of politicians is endemic.

It therefore follows that people of integrity will quickly be recognised and stand out from the crowd. I would also venture that it is only with people like this that our trust can be rebuilt into a powerful democracy, through the transparency of their honesty and a vision of a future that is at odds with current short termism and only supports profit.

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

TTIP – Time to Rebel!

“Never be afraid to try, remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.” ~Anonymous

At last, by sheer dogged persistence, (what other way is there), the infamous TTIP trade deal negotiations have finally come into the light  in all their macabre detail. The secrecy with which this agreement has been kept from public gaze is on a par with, if not exceeding, normal protocols for matters of (inter)national security when countries are at a war.

There is no doubt these latest revelations offer unquestionable evidence of an unprecedented power grab by the Pentagon, plus equally unquestionable evidence of how little respect our own European political system has for the millions of people who pay for it all.

The European Commission even went to the lengths of placing a 30-year ban on public access to any of the agreements documents at the beginning of 2013! Today their credibility lies in shreds as a body fit in any way to run, regulate or reside over the 28 member states it is currently (and occasionally) involved with.

We have all been aware for some time now that this odious trade agreement makes inroads into our democratic processes, something we have built and refined over centuries as we have become more civilised but the extent of those inroads now calls into question the morality of those in office who have been complicit in its development . . . and I include the President of the United States of America on that list!

To think that just one short week ago he was publicly saying to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and I quote:As you see other markets like China beginning to develop and Asia beginning to develop and Africa growing fast, we have to make sure our businesses can compete,”

This was then followed up by Merkel (also very much on the list). “It is good for the German economy; it is good for the European economy.”

We know Obama’s agenda, (of which TTIP is but a part), is to combat the growing power of China, which has now become a serious threat to the US current dominant global position . . .  but what the hell is Merkel about.

Is she not in enough trouble with the German electorate over immigration, without giving them another slap in the face by supporting this erosion of her people’s democratic rights? Or perhaps this is the very reason she is supporting it, as she won’t need them for much longer if it all goes well!

Obama’s words about “making sure our businesses can compete” is chilling. What the trade deal revelations show is that we are being returned to serfdom. Wages will be driven to the bottom and held there as we compete unequally with third world countries.

Whenever these differing wage levels crossover the lowest wage levels will always dominate in the cause of ‘competition’. It is for this reason and this reason alone that the Schengen border agreement was introduced to enable workers to easily move across Europe to where there is work.

Translated, this means where the wages are the lowest, thereby constantly holding down the standard of living of people everywhere. A particularly divisive aspect of Neoliberalism.

When we then look at the broader implications of what we now know, not only will wages be taken to the bottom and held there but so will the quality of our food, healthcare, social services, education and any other standards we have evolved to improve our quality of life and support Society. With this agreement and ‘Austerity’, we are being returned to the same third world conditions we will have to compete against.

Think about it. Currently, our food standards are far higher than the US (we won’t tolerate GM foods) and so this will have to end because this makes inroads into profits. Our world beating NHS will become obsolete because its very existence affects the ability of private healthcare firms to make profits.

Health and Safety, (much as we laugh at some of its absurdities), will be dismantled to alleviate costs of safety measures making inroads into corporate profits. With this protective legislation gone, compensation for injury will also disappear because companies won’t need to carry insurance, something else which affects their bottom line.

I’m sure you can think of many other values that will disappear in the course of “making sure our businesses can compete”. If I could see that lowering our standards would improve our overall quality of life I would be the first to shout about it.

However, as I look across the Atlantic I see vast unemployment, vast debt, the obliteration of a whole class structure and the gap between rich and poor widening at an alarming rate. When demonstrations against these trends occur they are put down with a brutality that often ends in death. The only beneficiaries of Neoliberalism in the US are Wall St and the corporations, certainly not the people.

This whole abhorrent episode has taken international politics and trade to a depth of depravity few of us would have thought possible. The credibility of our politicians, both here and abroad, is in tatters and rightly so.

Since 2008 they have abused our trust with corruption and a wholesale assault upon honest working people, driven by power and levels of greed unprecedented in our history. They have to be brought back under control and it can only be done by the people saying “ENOUGH”.

It is now within our control to fire the first salvo, because the British people are currently at their most powerful in confronting the Neoliberal values that drive Brussels. On 23rd June we have our ONLY opportunity to show the very people who have supported ‘Austerity’ and are now conspiring to enslave us under this outrageous trade agreement that we have had enough, by voting to no longer support their continued (mis)management of the EU.

Just ask yourself. With what we now know, do you really want them to continue on their current destructive course? We have to follow up on these credibility shattering disclosures with decisive action, or lose this golden momentum for real change for the better. The world will NOT fall apart.

It will be uncomfortable for a year or two whilst we band together with other countries who are equally enraged at what is going on but we are not starting from scratch. Think about it. We have an infrastructure in place that is Brussels. We should not disband it but rather take it over.

We have the power to do this by supporting new leaders to run it as a democratically driven institution. (Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Saunders and Yanis Varoufakis’ DiEM25 party are all evidence such people exist!)

I don’t know about you but I would sooner the short term chaos of uncertainty, by voting ‘Out’, than the certainty of being returned to modern day slavery, with low wages and poor food and healthcare, brought on by a regime that has secured its position by debt and our ratification of what they are doing, through voting to ‘Remain’ under their dictatorial power.

Surely ‘People Power’ is the only thing that can turn the tables on Neoliberalism, as can be seen with the leaking of so many damning papers inciting many millions to now rebel against political/corporate abuses, of which TTIP is just one example.

We have to believe in ourselves and our ability to create a new and worthwhile world for us and our children, or else what is there for any of us? It’s now or never.

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

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

Referendum – HONESTY AT LAST!!!

We are now told by the Electoral Commission we have the ‘official’ referendum campaigns. I don’t know about you but their final choices smell a bit to me. ‘Vote Leave’ is simple enough but ‘Britain is Stronger in Europe’ seems loaded beyond belief.

It may be the cynic in me but there is also a helping of ignorance about our being Stronger ‘In’ or Weaker ‘Out’.

It was not until Open Democracy published their new report “Where next? A liberal free-market guide to Brexit” that I realised just how little relevant information has previously been easily available and on which people can make an informed decision. (Media control is working efficiently, as always!)

It is not a lengthy tomb but crammed within its 53 pages are facts and unbiased information to assist in helping make decisions. I’m not saying it’s the be all and end all of what the referendum is about but it certainly makes it much clearer to me, including the fact that it will not be the end of the world for the UK if we vote ‘Out’.

To give you a flavour of the unbiased and to my mind truthful nature of the content of this document, here is what Open Europe’s Chairman Lord Leach of Fairford has to say:

“The referendum campaign so far has been underwhelming and voters are little better informed about what the future might look like inside or outside the EU. Brexit will not be an economic disaster and it will not be a utopia. There are tough choices involved in Brexit – nothing comes for free. Withdrawal from the EU is likely to result in an initial economic cost but Britain can prosper if it takes a liberal approach to trade, immigration and regulation post-Brexit.”

“Staking out a liberal and free-market course post-Brexit would mean taking on vested interests and making tough political choices. This referendum should be an opportunity to debate the political and economic trade-offs involved. Voters can then determine for themselves whether they are willing to take on the challenge of making Brexit an economic success.”

I found these words inspiring in their honesty, something in short supply from Westminster and Brussels. Simply stating that if we come out it will not be “a walk in the park” provides a truth, I personally, can work with.

And today 38 Degrees published their Factsheet about the governments leaflet shoved through every letterbox this week, carrying out a ‘True or False’ assessment of its contents. More honesty we desperately need now!

My regular readers will know I am no fan of Brussels and its gradual erosion of democracy, which even Jeremy Corbyn, in his constant honest political approach, has often referred to. As time passes I become more convinced that, after Greece got its ruthless mauling and TTIP is going ahead without even an acknowledgement to the biggest petition in history against it, Brussels has become a tool of financiers vested interests and has to go.

Not for one minute either, do I believe that Europe can go back to being a collection of single countries, evolution will simply not allow it. The people have come too far now and the requirements of a ‘united Europe’ are incontestable in this modern globalised world.

My constant bone of contention is not the EU but the manner in which it is being managed by Brussels and their use of unelected technocrats who have a withering contempt for the people who pay for it all.

When it comes to honesty and truth, the very Referendum itself is a device by which Brussels can consolidate its power. By adopting this ‘In/Out’ stance, we are being told in no uncertain terms that the technocrats are staying and if we don’t like it we can go!

That’s ‘democracy’ Brussels style. There is not even a hint of how they might bend to the wishes of the people. It is as though they have a predetermined course they are following, (that the rest of us are not worthy of being informed about) and nothing will deter them in their mission.

Arrogance of this nature is good Soap Opera television but in a world where people are now being abused on a global scale, by the financial and political powers they keep in place as electors and customers, the situation is becoming untenable.

I become more convinced by the day that 23rd June is so much more than a simple ‘In/Out’ vote. It is about halting the progress of the growth of Neoliberalism*, which is the purpose and intent of Brussels as it too panders to global financiers.

For Jeremy Corbyn, as the only honest and trustworthy political leader in this country, to talk about “building allies to deliver change” is the correct approach but I simply do not believe it is possible after ratifying Brussels power with an ‘In’ vote.

Once we signify we are ‘In’ we will have lost the only serious bargaining position we will ever have to challenge the growth of neoliberal power. My recurrent nightmare is that after we vote ‘In’ the reaction of Brussels will be “Whatever. Now where are we with getting TTIP on the books?”

We are not alone in our concerns and have the chance to consolidate the groundswell of public opinion across Europe, which is something Brussels, the IMF and even our own Bank of England are terrified of and something I will write more about shortly.

The new report from Open Europe is worth a read. For those challenged by time, just look at the Conclusions: what are the implications for a new UK-EU relationship on page 53. It’s honesty, in amongst all of current political rhetoric, is refreshing and empowering. The 38 Degrees factsheet too.

There will be more my friends but in the meantime have a thoughtful and enjoyable weekend. Kindest

Until the next time

*There was an excellent piece in today’s Guardian, by George Monbiot, comprehensively describing what Neoliberalism is all about. I would suggest we all owe it to ourselves to read this and understand how democracy is being dismantled in the world, along with our freedoms.

 

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