Tag Archives: Surveillance

‘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

Are We Approaching ‘1984’

Throughout our history there have been people who have been publicly credited for their intuitive skills, of which Nostradamus and Leonardo da Vinci are probably the most famous. The formers quatrains, many agree, successfully pointed to the French Revolution, the Rise of Adolf Hitler, both world wars and the first two nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Leonardo da Vinci, one of our most iconic geniuses, is credited with the foresight to see the potential of the parachute, helicopter, tank, submarine and hot air balloon. A foresight which saw inventions that would transform our lives four or five centuries after they were originally conceived.

I don’t for one minute believe these ‘seers’ were predicting the future per se but rather that they had some intuitive abilities, of which we are all endowed, to recognise what humanity is capable of. With da Vinci this is very much the case as, once the technology had evolved, his foresight became reality.

For me this begs the question, “what comes first, the chicken or the egg?” Did they actually see the future, as it appears Nostradamus might have done, or did they give us the idea of how to apply our latest evolved technology, when it arrives, as was the case with the submarine and helicopter?

I ask this to bring focus upon another famous ‘seer’, George Orwell and his thinking about world domination in his book ‘1984’,   published in 1949 and often compared to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. At the time his writing was stimulated by the growing domination of Russia on world affairs.

His depiction was of a world order that controlled life on Earth by perpetual war, deception, secret surveillance and manipulation of past and present events. All achieved by a carefully controlled propaganda machine, directed by a totalitarian and authoritarian state that now bears a striking resemblance to authoritarian Neoliberalism today.

The Obama administration have certainly achieved perpetual warfare during the two terms and we now have the technology capable of invading our privacy. Worryingly this type of surveillance is being expanded, rather than controlled.

Like Winston Smith, the character in Orwell’s book, we are now manipulated by distortions of the truth from political and corporate leaders, of which the present UK Referendum and American Presidential election are evidence to and more so now than ever before in our history.

There are those who call this thinking, ‘conspiracy theory’. Here I am reminded of the definition that: “Conspiracy Theorist is someone who questions the statements of known liars”. Conversely, if we look again at da Vinci, it could be argued that our current world leaders have taken Orwell’s work as a political ‘manual’, from which to create and shape their desired vision of the future.

To this end, last week we had the latest Bilderberg Group meeting in Dresden Germany. Founded in 1954, the Bilderberg conference is an annual meeting ‘designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America’. This meeting is not called by the EU or any government or democratic global body but a substantial contribution to costs is met each year by us taxpayers – what isn’t these days?!

(In 2013 the policing costs in the UK were put at £1.3 million of which Bilderberg offered £500,000. Given the size of our contribution it was bizarre that David Cameron attended in a private capacity, without attendant civil servants, as is the norm when he meets business leaders!)

This year there were a total of around 130 participants from 20 countries, made up of a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media.

(The credibility of the official list of attendees has my doubts as some people were conspicuous by the absence – The Rothschild’s and Rockefellers, to name but a few and George Osborne’s name appeared and then disappeared from the list!)

‘Key topics’ for discussion were:

  1. Current events
  2. China
  3. Europe: migration, growth, reform, vision, unity
  4. Middle East
  5. Russia
  6. US political landscape, economy: growth, debt, reform
  7. Cyber security
  8. Geo-politics of energy and commodity prices
  9. Precariat and middle class
  10. Technological innovation

Each topic is a mystery in itself – China, Russia, Middle East but what intrigued me was the word ‘reform’ in 3 & 6, as well as ‘middle class’ in 9.

On last year’s agenda was the topic of a ‘cashless Society’ and we have seen during the course of this year an increasing emphasis upon this subject by the media to get us used to the idea, as well as moves by the banks to begin restricting the use of cash.

Do we read from this that the destruction of the middle classes will continue, as is now happening in America and the UK? Its destruction, along with the increase in the ‘precariat’ (those with unstable employment), is certainly contributing to the increasing gap between the rich and the poor.

China, Russia and the Middle East are all targets of increasing US aggression that is becoming more evident as the year progresses. ‘Reform’ of the US and Europe is no less intriguing as it suggests changes to Society and how it is run that do not/will not involve the people concerned through the democratic process.

As I said earlier, we are again paying for something we have no say about. Indeed, the concrete barriers, iron railing and armed security guards inside, as well as outside the hotel, demand no interference in this event, as well as helping to provide the all-important veil of secrecy so critical to the organisers and participants.

Our taxes are increasingly being diverted from providing a supportive infrastructure for Society to supporting the commercial activities of the powerful and in so doing are returning us to a type of serfdom we have not experienced for several centuries now.

I am an optimist by nature but the manner in which world events are now being conducted points to an accuracy of prediction by Orwell that is extremely unsettling.

It also makes me think that it is quite irrelevant how we vote next week on the EU. It is simply a diversion that has us temporarily focussed upon something we have absolutely no control over in the grand scheme of things . . . unless we wake up!

Until the next time

 

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