31st December 2015

Celebrations, Christmas, democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy

2015 is coming to an end and it’s been a very interesting year in that so much of the mechanics of how the world is run has been revealed in the most challenging of circumstances, and continues to be revealed.

At present my fears that another world war was imminent are subsiding, at least for the time being which I’m very glad of. The inner workings of intercontinental governments were also revealed in those darkest moments and continue to do so. We are not yet out of the woods, but merely have a chance to draw breath before seeing how matters will play out on the world stage. This is much needed.

However financially the world remains fragile and the small corrections experienced in the Chinese market maybe a forerunner of things to come in the months ahead.   David Cameron has announced today that the inquiry into the banking culture, pay and behaviour of staff working in many of the banks that led to the meltdown we are still all paying for as a society will be shelved.

Just before the UK went to the polling booths to vote in May this year, there was a meeting between Cameron and those in the banking industry which was reported as an aside, a thrown away sentence or two.   I should imagine that this is the sort of thing that would have been discussed at such a meeting and here it is.   The banking industry have magicked money out of thin air, call themselves solvent now and its back to business as usual, make of that what you will.

I wonder how long it will be before rising interest rates and the kind of behaviour that led to the banking crisis in 2007 results in a catastrophic correction that will have many people with massive mortgages really worried.

And then of course we have the other slow, inevitable, lingering car crash of the European economy and the EU itself.   Firstly the Greek financial crisis revealed that the EU is not answerable to its citizens but is like one of those Russian dolls which just gets smaller and smaller, there is the government we all see in the Brussels chamber which meets and discusses important issues, there are other smaller committees pertaining to the various areas of governance and there is the secret inner sanctum and probably an inner, inner sanctum of government where no minutes are kept, no account is kept, there is nothing to say these inner sanctums even exist and yet the most important ideas are formulated for countries to implement. This was revealed by the former Greek Minister of Finance, Yanis Varoufakis who acted as whistleblower after his resignation and I am sure many ordinary people are grateful for a light being shone in such a dark corner of society.

While all this was being discussed the Syrian situation brought with it an influx of migrants the like of which has not been seen since WW2. But it is the manner in which the influx happened and those of us who were suspicious had these confirmed in the most horrible manner in the massacre in Paris on 13th November.

Angela Merkel was happy for these refugees to enter Germany as the birth rate is very low there. That’s entirely her business. What is not her business is for her to proscribe that other countries also take in refugees, particularly when they are neither wanted nor is there the political will to accept them.   Those who are genuine then of course they must be helped, but to accept the sheer numbers of healthy, young men coming from as far as Pakistan and Afghanistan is not.

That it took three whole months for the EU to respond to an emergency while countries were forced to take unilateral decisions about their own borders. Schengen is dead, the EU is dead.   Groups of European countries who have long held ties with each other are looking to renew those ties. Countries are voting in governments who will ensure their people are at the forefront of governance rather than the bureaucrats in Brussels, even if it upsets them in Brussels.

In the meantime many countries in Europe in the aftermath of the Paris massacre are being extra cautious and pushing through draconian laws limiting peoples rights which is why Teresa May announced beefed up online surveillance by GCHQ, MI5, et al last month.

So where does all leave us now at the end of 2015? I think we are looking at the beginning of the disintegration of many institutions that have enjoyed anonymity at taxpayers expense and use hastily considered laws and financial penalties to bully ordinary citizens into submission.   Seven years of austerity that has devastated much of Europe, a ramping up of the war machine by the US and UK government and people are sick and tired.   I have said this before people do not have a problem with each other but governments have a problem with people living peacefully and getting on with their lives. They cannot be manipulated into doing despicable things they would otherwise not do to each other.

I’m not a crystal gazer so cannot give an idea of what may come, but whatever it is, it has to be better than what we’ve gone through this year. Happy New Year.

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