When the news broke yesterday that the BBC would now have to fund free television licenses for the over-75’s the preposterous nature of ‘austerity’ suddenly hit home in all of its vile reality. I don’t know why this particular cut hit home as it did. Perhaps it just highlighted the fact that the very fabric of Society is being torn to shreds. Even more sinister is that our ability to look after each other is being eroded, insidious step by insidious step.
And all for what? To pay the interest on the loans heaped upon us, as well as paying interest on the money we use for our day to day living. Every aspect of the money we use, whether it’s for paying bills or borrowing to buy a car/holiday/contents of our homes is charged out to us by private banks. It’s not cheap either, as the interest they charge is not ‘simple’ but compound, so they earn twice, by charging interest on the interest!
This government was voted in by just 24% of voters on a policy of ‘austerity’. The reasoning behind it is all very laudable. We have borrowed beyond our means and the government tell us we need to cut back to meet our obligations through ‘austerity’ measures. What complete and utter twaddle!
The reality of ‘austerity’ is that its financial structure only benefits the lenders, gradually reducing the borrowers to penury. The glaring evidence of this is Greece, where 5 years of ‘austerity’ have reduced the country and its people to a shadow of their former selves. Banks are not lending to small and medium businesses to get the economy moving again. More debt is declared as the panacea for the already over indebted, necessitating the need to sell off national assets to meet impossible financial obligations.
It is precisely for this reason that the Greek people have now reacted in such a forceful manner. Not only electing a ‘left wing’ government into power but also continuing their strong defiance by refusing the current offers of more cuts and further social deprivation simply to pay interest to lenders.
The obscenity of all of this is the intolerable pressure heaped upon this tiny country by both politicians and bankers, who have suddenly realised that the impossible has happened and a borrower has turned round and said ENOUGH! The global financial system is now so rotten with Odious debt that a breath of resistance, such as Greece, can bring the whole edifice tumbling down like a house of cards and hence the brutal treatment being meted out.
These headlines today sum up this reality: –
Guardian – Greek citizens: “It’s like being in a war without weapons”.
The Economic Collapse – The German Siege of Greece Begins.
All for the sake of compound interest, as one country after another is brought to its knees. Cutting back on social benefits and justifying it by calling the users ‘scroungers’ is no different to calling the Greek people ‘tax dodgers’. I am not saying that there are some who are robbing the system, as there are in Greece but casting slurs is a propaganda tool to distract us from the unpleasant reality of what is actually going on.
These tactics are tearing Societies apart in many countries now, including here in the UK. Divide and conquer by setting taxpayer against supposed scrounger works, up to a point. Until the day we wake up and realise we have little or no social infrastructure with which to support any of us! This is the real cancer seeping over us now as financial values destroy human values.
The Greeks have had 5 years of an abuse designed to rob their country, whilst also robbing the people of their dignity as an inclusive part of the deal. Here in the UK we are just into a 5 year term with a government who are making my head spin with the ferocity of their cuts and the handing over of our national assets at rock bottom prices.
Are we really going to mirror the Greek experience and suffer increasing humiliation over the next 5 years to fund interest payments, or go directly to where they are now (and Iceland who is very financially healthy now) by fighting back?
The Labour party has a golden opportunity here, to regain credibility and then some with 76% of voters, by taking a leaf out of Greece’s book. Also carefully studying what is going on in Spain with the Podemos party who have ousted much of what is detested over here. With another Alex Tsipras at the helm they could halt, or end, this present government’s destructive term!
I am apolitical and love this country dearly but God knows we need anti-capitalist ideals to dominate now. We live in a Society NOT an Economy.
Until the next time.
Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes