Tag Archives: Westminster

Theresa ‘more of the same’ May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time

 

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

The United States of Britain

UK photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time.

 

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

TTIP Ran Election 2015

I know there are many reading this who formed their political allegiances many years ago and have remained loyal to the present day. I respect that loyalty, I really do and don’t question it. What I do question is whether the political environment in which those allegiances were first committed is the same as that which exists today? Or is that loyalty now being abused, with the growing evidence of how the corporate world has forced itself between the voter and their chosen party?

I have never ever experienced a General Election so devoid of substance or meaning as this one. Nor have I seen such a closely run election fought out by political parties with so little to say about the real issues now facing Society.

People are not idiots. They see and are speaking out about the real challenges we now face: TTIP, Fracking, Debt, Financial instability, Technology that is allowed to steal more of their jobs and a social infrastructure that is being deliberately collapsed to increase privatisation, all in the pursuit of profit.

As the parties continue to avoid these issues that avoidance is now seen as intentional. Debate is crushed because of the fear of being held publicly accountable. The introduction of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, or to you and me “The Gagging Act”, simply verifies this.

The act was designed, we are told, to solve the problems of paid lobbyists directing our government for the benefit of vested interest. Instead of gagging lobbyist however, it has gagged civil society! NGO’s and Charities, with our wellbeing at the heart of their work, are now restricted from voicing their concerns about abuses to Society because it could be interpreted as ‘favouring or disadvantaging’ any major party. What a blatant corrosion of the democratic process and more worryingly, something that aligns closely with the ethos of TTIP!

The deep concern about this dreaded trade deal grows, as it now nears completion in continued secrecy. Not only will it sound the death knell of democracy but neuter the power of our elected representatives, thereby effectively neutering the power of the electorate . . . hence the secrecy!

All of this has created an environment in which we are no longer seeing purposeful leadership but people with deft political skills slipping, sliding and dodging all manner of popular concerns, widening the gap between the electors and the elected and increasing their pent up worry, frustration and anger.

This was made abundantly clear when people had their only chance to confront the main leaders on BBC Question Time. The audience was branded the ‘Stars’ of the show and rightly so. Their anger was palpable and directed at ALL the leaders, demonstrating a collective vehemence at the social irresponsibility and lack of future direction coming out of Westminster.

The atmosphere at the centre of this election and the level of elector frustration can, I believe, be laid squarely at the feet of TTIP, even before it has come into force, with its prioritising profit over social cohesion and wellbeing.

Political leaders are kow-towing to their corporate masters in their irresponsible support of the bailout of the banks and their lack of commitment in what they say they can achieve for the people. It demonstrates they no longer have the power that they had at the last election, just 5 short years ago, to rule this country in the best interests of the people.

People sense this, as their elected representatives consult their corporate lords and masters, the banks and Brussels before legislating, or not, on Society’s needs. Is this what ‘career politicians’ are all about? Have they willingly hobbled their power and ours, because a ‘career’ in politics is now about social networking the corridors of Westminster, in a ‘5 year CV building apprenticeship’ that will take them into lucrative jobs in the corporate world?

Our democracy has been sold down the river and the future is bleak for everyone, other than the very rich. The only way to reverse this trend must come from a government who is strong enough to make a stand, knowing it has the full support of the people and fortified by party members who know their subject and are passionate about change.

If we cannot find such people the last 5 years will pale into insignificance compared with the democratic abuse we can expect with a fully functioning TTIP.

We must break the tightening grip of Neoliberalism and bring people back to the ballot boxes by involving them. That can only be achieved by a party that speaks to them, listens to them and can demonstrate that, above all else, IT CARES ABOUT THEM!

This election and the anger it has unleashed, is a warning bell that we can no longer remain complacent, or the children now entering education will have even less of a future than those now coming out of that same corrupted process.

Whatever the results of this nebulous election, we owe them and ourselves so much more!

Until the next time.

 

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

A British ‘EU’

britain photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time

 

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

Election 2015 . . . DUH!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time.

 

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

Hung Parliament? . . . Of Course!

Nathan Rothschild

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time.

 

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

Democracy . . . Illness and Cure

As HSBC yet again hits the headlines the questions about its unpleasant business practices pale into insignificance compared with the debilitating waves its actions are sending throughout Society. The impact of the global corporations we have now created is destroying us, as the meaning of life is condensed into a single action of making profits and supporting the power structures inherent within the whole process.

What we have seen in just the last 7 days is not only the rottenness of our banking system and a political infrastructure that is equally rotten but now the church has jumped in to the fight, criticising government for a deteriorating democracy. Our traditional Establishment is increasingly fighting amongst itself as each institution seeks to disassociate itself from the others, all desperately attempting to regain a credibility each has destroyed through centuries of abuse.

Collectively it has created an environment which, like a terminal disease, will eventually result in our self-destruction as their vested interests kills the very essence of Life. For me this is vividly demonstrated by the insidious TTIP secret trade agreement now being pushed through with the minimum of democratic debate.

Here we have the power of the written word at its most menacing, as laws and agreements are put into place that will hold our governments accountable in a fashion that the people can only dream about. Any government action that works against corporate greed will result in penalties for that government (and of course its people, as they will have to pay the costs of these governmental transgressions!).

Just think about that for a moment. This deal is at the heart of the democratic process, where government is held accountable for its actions! Democracy here, however, is not for the benefit of the many but just the few. Indeed its impact upon the many (and this beautiful Planet) is like an incurable disease as our quality of life and our natural resources are abused and discarded with equal disdain.

If this is the way the game is now being played then “what is good for the goose, is also as good for the gander!” If it’s written agreements that now determine how we live, as integrity seems to have gone the way of the Dodo, then the people need their own ‘TTIP’ with which to hold government accountable.

I have argued before that Society is in exactly the same position that it was here in Britain 800 years ago, when unbridled power brought the country to its knees. Yes barons were looking after their own interests then with Magna Carta but it reflected back on the people in “no imprisonment without trial by peers”. With Terrorism we are now headed back to those dark times before Magna Carta.

It worked before and it can work again, in using the power of the written word to bring back accountability. This time the barons need to be replaced by a political party that will adopt a revised Magna Carta and legally invoke it as The Objectives of Parliament for the foreseeable future. It would be updated from time to time, to keep it in line with a changing Society and its needs, but its essence would always reflect the protection of our quality of life.

The last thing we want is a legal document that would keep lawyers in clover forever. We need a means by which the people can decide for themselves if government is doing its job. Manifestos would become simple forms which declare each new incumbents intention to support all, or some of the Charter’s aims during their term in office. People could then decide who to vote for, depending upon the popular consensus as to what needed tackling in Society at that time.

Clauses might include a ‘public’ monetary system, gender and religious equality, protection of planetary resources, a people’s democracy and so on. Empowerment of the people would come from being able to measure each government’s achievements and decide if they had done a good job or not in furthering the aims of the Charter. This decision would then influence their next vote and secure our steady progress as a Society.

How would we arrive at this new Charter? Easy! Follow Iceland’s example and give it to the people to design and agree upon. It worked there, in spite of ridicule by the opposition party and it can work here just as well!

Whilst none of this is possible by this election, if a seed is sown it will place the present party’s on warning that we are setting the political stage for the future. We are looking for a party to unite and lead us . . . and we expect it SOON!

Until the next time

 

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

Hung Parliament . . . Who Cares!

Apparently last week’s Tory fund raiser was not only squeezing the ‘chequebooks’ for the coming election war chest but also the one needed after a probable hung parliament.

This says so much about the state of modern politics, not only in this country but in the US and elsewhere. Society has been gradually brought to its knees over the last 50 years by persistent abuse and the erosion of democracy. It is, I believe, now totally exhausted.

If we go back to the Thatcher era, whilst I have so much respect for her achievement as a woman in a man’s world, her political convictions were toxic. She destroyed our manufacturing base and a healthy union movement so necessary to hold employers to account (something Blair & co consolidated when they came to power).

She sold off council housing stock, making affordable housing a thing of the past as youngsters struggle with the greed of private landlords. (Subsequent governments followed her lead and sold of the remainder of the countries public utilities and assets, including world icons such as Rolls Royce, plus our Gold supply at a rock bottom price!)

Real wealth is created by making and selling things. This basic premise was flung aside as she introduced the ‘loadsa money’ expansion of the City and financial gambling with paper wealth. With her naive belief in a ‘Free Market’ she pursued deregulation, as the market was “capable of regulating itself”.

Any regulation is only as good as the people who formulate and exercise it. 2007 gave us ample proof that a mind-set of uncontrollable greed was running rampant in global financial markets. The greatest crime in the history of our species was then perpetrated when public funds were used to bail out the bankers, instead of allowing ‘market forces’ to bankrupt them. Since then vast fines, which are just petty cash to the banks, are regularly levied to swell government coffers and not one banker has been jailed.

If we now return home, for decades succeeding governments have known about an ageing population and its effect upon the economy. As successive governments passed the Health and Pensions challenges to the next incumbent, each borrowed more money to subsidise the problem rather than face it.

Today debt has become the universal political panacea as the over 65’s are now offered a guaranteed bond whose high interest is achieved with yet more borrowing. This irresponsible electioneering is intensified as our Prime Minister declares it is time “we had a pay rise”. With what I ask myself . . . more debt? Has to be, because government is certainly incapable of stimulating the economy and creating more jobs.

So we move from the banal to the incredulous as we become aware of secret trade deals that have been going on for years and will effectively neuter democracy once and for all. Global corporations will now shape our laws and vaporise health and safety regulations in the interests of profit. TTIP is so sinister that when applied to our infant Fracking industry, if we allow it to go ahead our countryside will be wrecked and if we don’t we will be sued and bankrupted as a country!

Since Maggie Thatcher, a leader albeit with troubled beliefs, the era of the ‘career politician’ has created the current bland political landscape both here and abroad.Their equally bland manifestos a record of future lies and backtracking. These people excel at the political process but lack vision or caring leadership qualities, as our power is handed over to Europe and global corporations.

We are no longer involved in our future. We are lied to (TTIP) abused (2007 financial collapse) and left to fend for ourselves (Health and Pensions). It is no surprise we are looking at a hung parliament and don’t care anymore!

This is why the events now playing out in Greece are so important. It is irrelevant which side of the political divide the party comes from. Here, there are politicians who are forcefully speaking out for the people and standing up against powerful organisations that have brought their country to its knees.

Like Edward Snowden, they simply know that what is happening is wrong. The Greek people have responded by becoming motivated again, with 79% of them firmly backing their new government. Could we boast similar support over here? . . You decide.

I have argued before that we must engineer a hung parliament to give out politicians a punch on the snout. No engineering now appears necessary as they have done the job themselves!

What I would like to see is that we continue to repeat our first vote and cause yet more hung parliaments until a leader emerges who will unite us in fighting debt, austerity, and a failing democracy.

These, I would suggest, are the only issues for this election. By tackling them you give the people back their dignity and everything else will fall into place.

 

Until the next time

 

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

Election 2015 . . . 3 Critical Issues

Elections photo

As we move unerringly towards another General Election the contest between the main parties ramps up, as lack of achievement in past performance and weaknesses in party strategies are fiercely argued over. We have the emergence of UKIP and lately the Green party to add to the potpourri of political solutions to our growing problems . . .  but yet again I sense little enthusiasm from voters.

They have been walking away from ballot boxes for decades now and in spite of a spike in 2010 an unhealthily large percentage of the population have little desire to become involved in deciding how their country should be run. This highlights not only the lack of credibility in British politics but across the globe, as voters are increasingly shunned by the people they elect to power.

Ignoring electors takes many forms that range from proceeding with legislation in spite of large swathes of the population being against it (Fracking, NHS Privatisation and more), to outright secrecy and blatant misrepresentation of what government is up to, particularly in its support of the corporate world. This has certainly been the case over the democracy shattering trade deals, such as TTIP, TPP, Tisa and CETA, the latter of which is now close to being enacted into law after years of secret negotiations.

I believe this General Election is the most critical we have ever faced, because it is no longer about the colour of a political party but about how we are ruled. Power has shifted from the voter to the shareholder, as governments make it easier for profit to permeate every facet of Society.

It is this cancer that must be tackled at the forthcoming election before it becomes impossible to control. For me there are three critical issues that must be addressed to resolve the massive abuses now perpetrated upon us. As I write, none of the political parties seem willing to address them within their manifestos and begs if any of them are ‘Parties FOR the People’.

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

By tackling these three core issues we can return power to the people by taking it away from the Banks and corporations. This must be the crux of this year’s election, I would suggest, if we are to become masters of our destiny and begin resolving the problems now enslaving Society.

We are in times of unprecedented change as technology revolutionises the way we shop, communicate and trade with each other. That same technology can equally radically change how we govern ourselves.

This is not only true here but across the Planet where similar abuse is being experienced. May 2015 will not see any of this in place but I hope it will be the catalyst for a global precedent to begin.

 

Until the next time

 

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

 

The Party I Would Vote For . . .

As I watch, with increasing incredulity, our politicians handing their power away by supporting the proposed (and very secretive) Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), whilst also allowing greater interference in how our lives are run by Brussels, two things cross my mind.

Firstly, what the hell do they think they are doing . . . Don’t they not want the responsibility anymore? Secondly, IT’S NOT YOURS TO GIVE AWAY!!

I, for one, do not remember consciously empowering them, with my vote, to allow them to then blithely hand that power over to the boards of global corporations and distant bureaucracies – the latter apparently totally incapable of responsibly managing vast amounts of our hard earned money, whilst still coming back for more!

It is blatantly obvious that our political system is now fundamentally broken and totally unfit for purpose. The people’s needs are no longer considered and the abuse is growing. We therefore need a new set of ground rules by which parliament functions and which protect us from predatory governments and corporations.

To my mind we need a new Magna Carta, devised by the people and with global values to confront global organisations, as well as setting out the terms of reference for business in Westminster.

At the very least it should cover the ability for us to live our lives with the confidence of knowing we will be properly educated, can find gainful employment, be looked after in times of ill-health and genuine hardship, with the ability to provide a home in which to raise a family if we so choose.

After a lifetime’s contribution to Society, that Society should be both capable and willing to assist, if necessary, in supporting a stress free period until we shuffle off this mortal coil. All achieved without the need for enslaving and mind numbing debt.

(As I write this I am thinking “It’s as though we’ve returned to the 11th century. How can this be?!”)

The new Magna Carta should not be a wordy document, perhaps just 10 broad but succinct topics, including those just mentioned. It should also reference broader and no less important issues such as sustainable management of our Planet, Gender Equality, Religious Tolerance and integrity of the Internet.

Once thrashed out by the people it would be ‘nailed to the walls of Westminster’ (in similar fashion to that which has already happened in Iceland) and Parliament has its future terms of reference. Any changes, or new legislation that does not contravene the ethos of our Charter can be introduced and/or ratified, through People Driven Referendums, as is the case in Switzerland.

We have now moved from the Industrial Age into a Technological Age and political systems that were introduced when we travelled by horse or foot and communicated by bonfire have to be dragged, kicking and screaming if necessary, into this new era. We are in unprecedented times in our history, as the Internet liberates people from the yokes of power of the past.

To do this requires new visionary leadership that will guide and nurture us into this new age. Their unique credibility would come from the certain knowledge that they would gradually put themselves out of a job!

As we become more adept at using new systems of democratic communication, they have helped us introduce, the need for politicians will be dramatically reduced. People will do the debating and decide their own future needs, unbiased by vested interest. It is how the Internet is now shaping our world. What has happened to music, books and retailing will also influence the democratic process, through people having greater control in managing the process.

A Party with an agenda such as this, which shows an understanding of the unprecedented changes now going on in our world and our place in that future, would inspire much needed confidence and a return to the ballot boxes, I would suggest.

We have been conned by successive governments for too long now with biased political agendas and vested interest. The sheer fact that a party such as this is prepared to admit to, confront and deal with our broken system shows a party who cares about the people . . . and that is good enough for me!

“The thinking that created the problem is quite incapable of solving it!” Einstein (Attributed)

 Until the next time

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