Monthly Archives: March 2016

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

EU TWEET 2

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next time

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

Brussels . . . The Pen and The Sword

pen photo

Isn’t Life perverse? I was going to attack Brussels on Tuesday after several weeks of planning. Not with suicide bombers intent on causing fear and mayhem but with thoughts and perspectives to challenge the present status quo.

Words, directed at changing thinking and questioning the direction Society is now being dragged in. Given the vile nature of what happened I can wait and begin my assault later, out of respect for what the relatives and friends of the dead and survivors must now be dealing with.

As one atrocity follows another do the perpetrators really believe they will grab the power from those against whom they carry out these mindless attacks? Do they honestly believe they will bring us to our knees, or that we will willing submit to their brand of leadership, which rules by abject fear and without human rights?

These attempts at subjugation do not subdue but quite the reverse. The credibility of Terrorism is steadily being eroded, if it had any in the first place, with an anger and a determination to resist that is swelling out of the rubble of the latest atrocity.

There is no doubt that there is much wrong with the world today that can be laid at the feet of Western Neoliberalism. What I find incredible is that there is much these terrorists could learn from the current state of affairs and show them what true domination is all about.

What they will find is that the power they seek is not to be had by armed violence. Whilst this form of Neanderthal aggression may succeed for a while, resentment of the abused rises up and eventually overthrows the suppressors, as our history records on countless occasions.

For the longest periods of control over the masses the pen wins hands down over the sword. If we look at medieval Society it was the power of the written document, Magna Carta, which ended the abusive reign of tyrants and set standards by which, right up to today, Society is keen to maintain.

Also at around this time the pen and the sword worked hand in glove as the Crusaders offered safe passage for pilgrim’s intent upon visiting the Holy Land. Gold could be deposited at one fort in exchange for a promissory note which could then be exchanged at another fort upon arrival in the Holy Land, where the gold was then redeemed.

Over the ensuing centuries the power of this simple ‘banking practice’ grew into a worldwide business, which today holds sway of our global Society and dictates the policy of many governments through its lending terms and practices. What we know is that the bankers have done a better job than an army or any other force, no matter of what size, to subdue and control Society for a historic period of time with the simple and non-aggressive application of debt.

The real threat from terrorism now comes with the new breed of jihadis who are achieving increased funding, more sophisticated propaganda generating better recruitment and the improved use of communications encryption tools and equipment. Here the pen is coming to dominate the underlying foundations of this form of violence, making it more sophisticated in application.

If we add to this the future planning of the so-called Islamic State who, we are told, have more than 31,000 pregnant women being used to create the next generation of terrorists, the picture becomes much more worrying.

Perhaps the power of the pen is now being recognised for what it truly is, the ability to shape thinking and actions. What is often lost sight of is that, as a species, we create our reality by what we think and come to believe in. A simple example is smoking, which dominated our lives when I was young but is now scorned for the life threatening habit it truly is . . . we changed our belief and changed Society.

Terrorist leaders are realising that if they are to make any lasting headway they must already be preparing the next generation of fighters and this can only be achieved initially by the pen. Once young minds are shaped by terrorist beliefs, commitment is gained and the indoctrinated are ready to use the sword. Certainly we know that you can shape a young mind to act out any form of atrocity . . . How many 40-year-old+ bombers have been reported?

What I find frightening here is that modern terror groups are breeding future suicide bombers of such vast numbers. It is here that terrorism could get seriously out of control, as increasing numbers of fanaticised young are sent out into the world to become ‘martyrs’ by hideous waste of young lives. The sword cannot compete with this type of onslaught. What will the Pentagon do . . . bomb or ‘drone’ 31,000 pregnant women?!

We have to fight ‘like for like’ and that will finally show us whether terrorism is something we want to eradicate, or whether it is a tool of western powers to keep us separated and in conflict with each other so that the old order may continue.

I don’t know the answer to that question. If the latter is the case then we may be facing a violent future that will distract us from impending and far more serious Natural disasters, which will overtake us long before those 31,000 babies have been effectively indoctrinated.

Until the next time

 

P.S. Cartoonist from around the world respond to Brussels attack:

http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-03-22/cartoonists-around-world-respond-brussels-attack?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Scan%20PRI%20list%20-%20Wednesday%20March%2023%20-%20MASTER&utm_content=The%20Scan%20PRI%20list%20-%20Wednesday%20March%2023%20-%20MASTER+CID_35a55534694e051a30c967c929e940bd&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=Cartoonists%20from%20around%20the%20world%20respond%20to%20the%20Brussels%20attack

 

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