Chicken Brain or Intelligent Homo Sapiens?

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

It seems that not just in Europe but across the world we are being increasingly told that in order for countries to survive those with a lower population must accept more people from abroad and not to do so labels those countries, their people and governments as backward and racist.   This is a subject that has been mired in misinformation and childish cat-calling which diverts attention from the reality of the matter.

After WW2 there was a “baby boom”, except in what are now called the Visigrad Four countries who were still under the yoke of communism.  From the 1970s onwards we in Europe have been repeatedly told there are too many people on this planet and we need to curtail the amount of babies each family have.   To this end women have enjoyed emancipation, contraception and the ability to choose if, as and when to have children.  Some women have had babies, raised their families and others have chosen to pursue a career.  We are now at a point where such choices no longer attract opinions as it is accepted women make a profound contribution to the workplace, but there is a fly in the ointment.

Women live longer than men, the majority of care still falls to women although men are also in this position.  In the interests of equality the retirement age for women was raised a few years ago so that many women now have to wait until they are 66 before being able to claim the state pension in the UK.
The Tory Party loves to paint itself as the Party of the Family and yet in the last 6 years and before that when Margaret Thatcher was PM, the Tories have torn families apart and undermined what small gains they managed to get in order to fulfil their ideological goals.

If the retirement age was reduced to 64 for both men and women then you would have proper equality.   Those OAPs (Old Age Pensioners) who felt able to work could do so, but it would free up work places for younger people and would allow grandparents to care for younger relatives if they were able to.  This would be such a saving to the government and would also bring more cohesion to family life in the UK.

The current situation in Europe regarding the Syrian immigration is also another fly  in the ointment.   Germany has a low population because the Germans aren’t interested in having children.  By contrast those former Soviet countries – Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia, but particularly Poland, have increased their populations since 1990 and continue to do so.   Angela Merkel is accepting Syrian immigrants into Germany some of whom are genuine, others are not, on the basis that Germany needs immigrant labour in order to keep their economy afloat.   At the same time she is telling the Visigrad Four countries to also accept these immigrants into their countries, all of whom have, quite rightly said “No”.

As I have explained previously here in my blog, these countries recognise this as an invasion of almost military nature.   If the current and future EU is that where “further integration” means subjecting a country to the whims of a single country, then each country has the right to say “thus far and no further”.   Each country is just that, a country in its own right.  Not a state as the USA would have us.  As such each country has the right to decide who it allows into its own borders and under what terms.

However, yet another lie has been exposed for what it is, a lie.   If we need immigrants in order to keep our economies going, then we need indigenous people to have more babies and for the infrastructure of the same to be made available.   Unless, of course, the whole plan is to ensure white Europeans become extinct in place of everybody else!

Forcing mothers to return to work after having babies instead of supporting them at home should never be allowed.  Parents need to be able to have the time to bond with their children and build a family life.   There also needs to be more respect between the genders rather than looking at them as a means to an end.

Despite the Women’s movement in the 1960s and 1970s, contraception and labour-saving devices work practices in the UK have not changed since the 1950s.  Work is still pretty much Monday to Friday 9 to 5 and if you want to get ahead you have to forget you have a family and home and put the hours in.
In order to bring some sanity to the work place I would propose that the working week is no longer than 20 hours in a week on full salary and with holiday, sickness benefits intact.  This would allow people to actually have a life, spend time with friends and family, care for younger or older relatives and more than likely ensure full employment for each country and the economy of each country would rebound.   Now if that was adopted across Europe there would most certainly be a vote to stay in.

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An End to All Wars

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

Ahead of 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when WW1 officially ended, in the UK as in other parts of the world, heads of state and political leaders commemorate those who lost their lives not just in that war, but in WW2 and subsequent wars since.

This year has seen an unprecedented amount of such “commemorations” where WW1 has been used as an excuse to ramp up the talk of war across the world with devastating effects. It is very clear that whilst heads of state and political leaders look solemnly at the various monuments dotted around the world, laying poppy wreaths, paying tribute, behind the scenes they continue to prepare for a war nobody wants.

Rhetoric from 10 Downing Street and the White House is about “the need to defend against terrorists”. Pots are stirred all over the world in the China seas currently, across Latin America and the Pacific Rim through “trade agreements” and military posturing; in the Middle East, in Europe through stirring up unrest in the ME forcing millions to flee their countries stretching the boundaries to which Europe is able to accommodate and assist these people. The pot is particularly being stirred in Poland fermenting fear towards Russia which is the big target, along with China.

The hypocrisy of these bloodthirsty bastards who have never seen conflict personally and, because of their positions, will never be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice themselves is breathtaking. Who do they think they are that they can meddle in the affairs of countries unilaterally without permission killing at will? So far as American politicians are concerned the world maybe the chess board and nations chess pieces, but many politicians are the kinds of people who should NEVER be in the positions they are in as they are mentally deficient, characterless deviants whose legacy to the world and humanity is one to be ashamed of.

Its easy to commemorate dead people, they will never demand anything from society.   They won’t grow old, won’t have families, demand healthcare or pensions but politically are very convenient.

As you look at the faces of these politicians and heads of state, don’t be fooled by their expressions. They will do what needs to be done and then go back to their warm, cosy lives of wealth and privilege safe in the knowledge they can plan the next campaign across the world wherever it might be, moving the next chess pieces along the board for their own amusement.

  1. A pot-stirrer or shit-stirrer is someone who goes around picking fights with people, or spreads lies among people with the result that people will argue about what was said rather than turning on the person fermenting the trouble. Its a cockney saying.

On the Never-Never

Economics, European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy

The US administration has agreed to double the debt of USA by the end of Obama’s term of office. The UK govt have doubled the debt in 5 years and plan to double it again. The EU has agreed to continue with QE and supporting negative interest rates officially, the consequence of which will be, if you have any money in the bank take it out or it will be stolen by government. It’s unofficially official – or rather the next logical step. This is amazing.

If you’re lucky enough to have your own home you can take out a mortgage against it, even several mortgages against it, although these days banks tend to be stricter about what you’re borrowing money for but I digress. At some point the banks will come knocking on your door asking for their money back and if you don’t have it, will take your home and throw you out.   I just wonder how long this is going to go on for before the big inevitable implosion happens? There are enough professional economists warning about the same thing, but from the ground up it doesn’t look good. Prepare for the worst and strap yourselves in for the ride, it’s going to be bumpy.

The Price of Everything is Money

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

Is it me, or has everything shot up in price over the last few months? Around April/May I was able to afford one meal out per month on my modest salary, now I can barely make one end meet the other. I have cut back to the bone and will, in all probability not be able to pay my water bill this month.   I wonder how many other people have made similar connections in the UK or even around the world?

In the UK this phenomenon can directly be attributed to the Tories getting back into government in May as there were enough gullible people who voted Tory, and are now beginning to regret this.

Public sector workers are being made to pay for the profligacy of the bankers who are still laughing all the way to their over-inflated bank accounts.   The working poor across all sectors of society are being used as a scapegoat for all the ills of society. Those people who are unable to work through ill health are being demonised for being dependent on state benefits and help with daily living and yet instead of investing further in manufacturing and industry government has a “hands-off” approach and couldn’t give a damn. The only sector the Tory government are interested in propping up is the financial sector.

The slice of cake we all have in order to be able to live is getting smaller and smaller and we are told to make do with less and are a burden to society. I note sections of the press announced that the £100 heating allowance and the £10 Christmas bonus given to pensioners is going to be scrapped as “they’ll all be dead soon anyway and won’t be voting again” around the time of the Tory party conference didn’t even draw a murmur from commentators. I wonder whether that comment was to test the waters or whether government are seriously considering going one step further and culling anyone over the age of 65 regardless of their health.   To which my reply is as long as the Royal Family are the first to be culled in such a manner I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

In the previous 5 years public sector workers have been had to take a pay cut in real terms (1% of fuck all is still fuck all), tax credits are being cut back, tax relief on pensions is seriously being considered by Osborne (the next step is stealing pensions under the guise of a tax, it will come) the housing market is so overheated the bubble is about to burst, however I have been saying the same thing for the past 15 years, but it seems saturation point has been reached, there aren’t enough millionaires, never mind billionaires willing to buy properties at present. If they do buy to rent, when the bubble finally bursts (and it will, sooner than later) they will still be unable to recoup their losses through the rental market.   This is not a good time to buy property unless you are going to live in that property and aren’t worried about house prices.

Since 2010 MPs have awarded themselves a payrise in excess of 10% save for last year when it was “only”9%, the Queen has got a handsome raise in her allowance and a new state coach (why she can’t take the bus to open parliament I don’t know) and yet this week the EU and UK politicians have fiddled the financial figures to tell us mere mortals that inflation is at 0% – REALLY???   I have had to switch to using discounters in my weekly shop, I buy food I can prep myself, my list of “treats” has rapidly diminished and I still have difficulty in making ends meet.   Osborne has had his nose bloodied by the House of Lords for trying to cut tax credits to the working poor, yet I wonder how much MPs will award themselves this year?

If it is the case that the financial sector is the only one worth government putting any effort into, then it should be taxed so as to be able to prop up the rest of the country that either has work in other industries and the rest of society. In short, everybody should have a bigger share of the cake.   Payrises should be uniform across the board.  MPs are less skilled than many workers in the public or private sectors and certainly have no greater skills that give them the right to award themselves more money than the rest of us.

Telling the working poor they must make do with less money while the rich swan around in their limousines is totally unacceptable.   The rich have systematically stolen from working people and the most vulnerable in society and should return this with interest.  I think the time has come to discuss the prospect of not just a living wage in its proper sense of firms paying people a real salary as they did before the Tories came into government, responsible capitalism I think it’s called.   There should be a guarantee that anyone who is unable to work for whatever reason, bearing in mind there are fewer jobs around and less money to be spent in society, has a guaranteed baseline income they can live on to meet their obligations for rent, bills and so on.   At present I would say that threshold is around £30,000 per annum in the UK.   Public sector workers should also be supported as there will always be a need for these services, they are essential for the fabric of society to remain viable in all its forms.

Red Team, Blue Team

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, London Life

I’ve been watching the annual Tory Party conference and just wanted to voice my thoughts on this in comparison to the annual Labour Party conference held last week.   There is a small shift in the Tory stance towards completely stripping Britain of everything that moves, or could possibly move towards a successful economy for ordinary working people in that a member of the former Labour government, Lord Adonis, is to take a look at the infrastructure needs of Britain and report back to number 10 as what should be done. This is played up as something huge, but simply talking about it doesn’t make it happen in the real world.

What is very disquieting is chancellor George Osborn is cutting back working tax credits drastically for the poorest people on the lowest minimum wage and then announcing this is going to make these people better off. Simple arithmetic shows otherwise.   In the last two weeks while the news reporters were busy reporting on the surging migrants making their way into Europe and traveling their way through the Channel Tunnel into Blighty, the Tories cut child benefit to the first two children in any family.   With the same breath he announced a cut in inheritance tax for the richest people in society. His justification? House prices have risen so much in the last 5 years it makes sense for these to be passed onto the relatives of those who have passed on so they aren’t penalised. It would also help if there was a proper social house building programme in place which would lower house prices and allow those who cannot afford to buy, rent a home from local councils as happened for many years in the UK.   While it may make sense if your family owns property worth millions of pounds, or even modest property in London one has to look at his track record so far.

The Tories have cut benefits to the sick, imposed the hated bedroom tax (it’s a bit difficult to demonstrate against these in a wheelchair or on crutches with a heavy police presence) while at the same time making sure our so-called politically neutral queen gets her share of money in the form of a shiny, brand new state coach and year-on-year pay rises of 20-30%. They have systematically cut not just the salaries of public sector workers in health, fire service, teachers, council worker, but radically altered their pensions to a position where those workers will be worse off as they will be working longer, paying in more and getting less out when they come to retire, but also compromising the safety of those same workers while at the same time awarding themselves pay awards of 10% in 2015 on top of a 9% in 2014, 14% in 2013, 11% in 2012 and 10% in 2011.

Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek Finance Minister was absolutely correct when he stated recently on BBC’s Question Time programme that this is nothing less than a class war.   The Tories have declared outright war on working people, particularly those who keep the infrastructure of society working so that more people get the support when and where they need it.

The Tories keep talking about those “hard working people, doing the right thing” what they really mean is, you keep working hard for nothing while we pick your pockets and dismantle your rights and you’ll thank us for doing so.   They are also saying “We’ll drive businesses to the wall so nobody can earn a living, even those who are self-employed who will be left on the sidelines in terms of being able to claim any kinds of benefits so our chums across the water can come in and completely asset strip this country of everything that could possibly move and you’ll be so grateful to work for nothing”.

Cameron has never looked so uncomfortable when confronted by news anchor Jon Snow about the contract to provide prison services to Saudi Arabia which would also include having to carry out brutal, barbaric sentencing such as lashing, cutting off limbs and beheading of those sentenced. When asked to justify this he squirmed and shifted in his seat, talked about “national security” and intelligence about a bomb that “could have potentially gone off”. Oh please, that old chestnut.

The other clue is also in that Cameron has appointed Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor to Margaret Thatcher to head the EU exit campaign. Nobody has yet been appointed to the “Remain in the EU campaign”. There is a lot of talk about Cameron renegotiating a deal with Brussels about the Ts & Cs (terms and conditions) of the UK remaining in the EU, but Cameron’s track record of negotiating is poor. He’s more comfortable making snide remarks from the sidelines rather than being honest and forthright, as outlined by his close friend Michael Ashcroft in his book, “Call me Dave”, and will happily go back on any promises he wants to.

I believe the real reason for wanting a Brexit is that in the next few years those people reaching retirement age will become eligible for the higher pension of £155 per week per person which is nearer the European norm.   Taking the UK out of the EU will stop all that nonsense and pensioners can look forward to being the worst off in the whole of Europe as we’ve always been.  After all, its a British tradition.

When are people going to realise that this is what we have to look forward to for the next 5 years? The UK will be completely decimated and these rich people, especially including the Royal Family who hold us in complete disdain while laughing all the way to their private bank accounts.

While I understand the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn need to get definite policies under their belts before they come into power, I very much fear there won’t be much of Britain left in 5 years’ time. The time to act must come sooner if Britain is to have any chance of real recovery and a decent society being forged.

Week of 4th Oct 2015

democracy, democratic rights, London Life

Its been a week of tawdry ups and downs. The highs were brought to us by the Labour Party Conference in Brighton where we heard the newly elected leader Jeremy Corbyn and his Shadow Cabinet speak on key issues such as communities, defence, economics and the UK envisioned by Jeremy Corbyn and his Shadow Cabinet.   Much of this was uplifting, sober and made common sense to many people.

The other high was brought by Vladimir Putin’s address to the UN where he pulled no punches and made no apologies for taking the bull by the horns to say that Russia and Iran, among others were to instigate strikes against IS, ISIS, ISIL and whatever other names they choose to call themselves as the random hits against these targets by US, UK and EU forces have systematically failed to meet their targets in the last four years.   Moreover this action has been welcomed by President Assad of Syria who has been fighting single handedly against these same factions. The reason for this is that both Iran and Russia have a better idea on the ground where such factions are located and, rather than through indiscriminate bombing of towns, villages and cities that includes civilians more often than not; Russian and Iranian actions would be more effective.

Several reports from the Middle East region have stated that they do not believe the sincerity of the USA, UK and other countries engaged in air strikes against these groups as they have compounded the difficulties faced by ordinary citizens of these countries.   Immediately it was announced such action was to be taken the media sniping started.   Accusations of civilians and other “soft” targets being bombed were screamed across the world’s new front pages – even before they had become airborne, if you please!! This is the lowest point of the stories this week.

What could possibly be the reason why there is so much carping and sniping about the incredible success rate of the Russian and Iranian assistance in such a short space of time? The cynic in me would postulate that these groups were originally trained, funded and equipped by the USA, the US is keen to protect its investment by ensuring there is as much instability in the Middle East which allows the idea that the US economy is stable and growing (covered in the blood of many millions of lives taken during these phony wars).

The hundreds of thousands of refugees coming into Europe aren’t coming over by accident, although as I have said previously there are a good many of those from other countries coming in as well who are not Syrian. They are seeking some kind of stability, societal and economic.   As a Londoner we have a saying about people who like to cause trouble and then walk away when it gets a bit too hot to handle, we call them shit-stirrers and that’s what American politicians are, shit-stirrers.

Our wonderful Paper PM David Cameron has also not escaped the news either.   Here is a man who excels in alienating himself from society and not giving a damn what anyone thinks, including former supporters and friends. Michael Ashcroft (Lord Ashcroft) who donated £8m to the Tory party, some of which bore the fruit of a peerage for him.   However Michael Ashcroft wanted a more substantive post in the new Government but Dave by-passed him for others. Ashcroft has decided to exhume the dead bodies in Cameron’s tawdry life very thoroughly in his book “Call Me Dave” which was serialised in that awful rag, the Daily Flail(Mail).

The most salacious story was that when Dave was a student at Oxford (where else?) during a dinner one evening he put his private parts in a dead pigs mouth.   I feel sorry for the pig, was the act consensual or forced, one will never know.

Where the account gets interesting is in the description of how Ashcroft was promised a job in his cabinet which was reneged on when the time came for Dave to meet his obligations, sounds familiar? There seems to be a pattern of familiarity here which was very evident during the election in May this year. Dave isn’t someone who can do face-to-face discussions, he’s more comfortable to insinuate, undermine and capitulate at a distance.

As I sit with the BBC website open writing this article, the headings read “ PM Resists Call to Ease Tax Credit Cut” and “PM Plans More Drones to Fight ISIS” – Gameboy warfare for outright cowards and bullies of the lowest calibre.   It fits the description of Dave so well.

While Dave is so busy rubbishing the pig story as sour grapes, one should bear in mind that Ashcroft speaks with some authority having been a personal friend of Cameron’s for many years. What goes around, comes around.

Late September 2015

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, London Life, trade agreement

It’s been another week where the machinations of government have revealed themselves to us mere mortals with interesting conundrums posed each day they go on.   The wave of refugees flooding into Europe in ever increasing numbers have set off a panic among Europeans not just because of their sheer numbers, but also because so many people making these treacherous journeys in are viewed with suspicion. It is very much about what kind of people will be your neighbours with who will you be building your communities.

With the first tens of thousands of refugees Angela Merkel decided she would open her arms and welcome these people thinking that would be it, there would only be a finite amount of people coming through. When it emerged that these tens of thousands of people would be joined by tens of thousands more the idea of quotas was voiced.   Now Merkel is being plainly insensitive to historical events, just over a hundred years ago the Ottoman Empire was thwarted in its efforts to dominate Europe and export Islam into Europe. Whichever it is, it is her decision alone to accept these refugees into Germany and the consequences of them.

However what happened next reveals Germany’s true nature to dominate Europe without mandate, without sovereignty.   Germany decided it would cut funds to those poorest European countries who have only recently emerged from conditions endured under WW2 by political design who are ill equipped socially or structurally and certainly have no wish to live under Islamic influence.  Before  starting to assume this means those countries who lived under Soviet rule have racist elements in them I would like to remind them that in the middle ages when much of Europe were busy kicking out the Jews, Poland offered them a safe haven.  Not only were Jews welcomed with open arms but they were allowed to have their own businesses and live with Talmudic law alongside Polish law, so such a label does not apply in this instance.  Those dues have been more than met, there is no need to prove anything to anyone anymore.

First of all, Europe cannot and should not take in whole populations of countries outside of the EU just because they happen to land on our doorstep. Would anyone take in a beggar just because he/she knocked on your door and asked for food & shelter?   Of course not. Maybe some food if you could spare it, but not shelter.

Many of those coming in under the radar are better clothed than many Europeans, have the latest smart phones and are openly aggressive towards Europeans once they reach Europe.   This does not bode well for future relations.

Europe may feel bad because it has colluded with USA actions in the Middle East and feels now it owes a debt to them. This is true, but only to those who have been affected.   To the many coming from Afghanistan, Pakistan and surrounding areas there is no such obligation and they should be processed and returned.

If it is the case that countries and the people within them have the freedom to self-determine what kind of place they wish to live in, then Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria & Poland have the right to determine they are exclusively Catholic countries without being punished by the withholding of much needed funds.   Germany, France and the EU have no sovereign mandate or authority to dictate to other countries how they should live nor how many “refugees” it should take.

This, along with the EU handling of the Greek crisis is pushing Europe to breaking point. If the reality of the EU is that we have to fit into some kind of idealised American version of a union where one-size-fits-all, as seems to be the case, the EU will be very short lived. I certainly don’t forsee this institution remaining as it is for much longer and I think the countries within it will be much better off outside of its grasp.

While there are some good things about the EU such as better workers’ rights and so on, it is becoming a straightjacket nobody wants to be in. As an aside, I watched a speech in the EU by Jean-Claude Juncker where he spoke to each country’s MEP in their own language and in English made it very clear he was in favour of TTIP.   The manner in which he said this made me think, he’s been bought off, been given a back-hander. The applause given was very muted indeed and rightly so. A piece of legislation being discussed in secret across both sides of the channel must be viewed critically as it does not benefit the inhabitants of Europe.

A Vote for Common Sense – At last

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election, London Life, trade agreement

Jeremy Corby has officially won the leadership election of the Labour Party by a whopping majority of 59.5% of the vote. Such a resounding vote puts paid to any notion of a second vote and any desperate cries of ruination of the UK firmly in the past.

Jeremy Corbyn is the right man for this time and in the Labour party.  After decades of divisive politics that have pitted one section of society against each other, men against women, rich against poor, sick against healthy, those needing the support of the state against those who can live comfortably and celebrated these divisions, Jeremy Corbyn will now show us his vision of the kind of society we can be again. The kind of society we were in the past but didn’t appreciate and I can’t wait for him to get going.

I look forward to the purge that ensues in the coming weeks & months of undercover Tories in what was the New Labour party which has now been unquestionably buried by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership election. This whole leadership campaign has shown these people for what they really are, Tories who are only interested in the Tory agenda, not the rights and protection of the working people. I’m sure they will be given a warm welcome on the tory benches but they should not be in any doubt that the real opposition has begun.   So far the Tories have had an easy ride – no longer is that the case.

I have previously written in this blog that the only kind of politics that will fire people’s bellies is one where the politicians have a vision of what the UK could really be and deliver that vision in full. What voters are utterly sick of is the double-speak.   The prose that paints one kind of picture that actually means something else entirely.

Six years ago when Cameron talked about his vision for a Britain where ordinary working people could have a share in society he meant the opposite. Those hard working people were thrown out of jobs, out of their homes, marginalised, called scroungers because they needed help. Exploited by companies who would only offer zero hours contracts on minimum wage (frequently less than minimum wage if they could get away with it). This went across occupations and trades, from a school leaver trying to get a few quid to make ends meet, to older people with families to support and also in, what have always been considered respectable professions, doctors, lawyers and so on.  This vision has been exposed for the lie it really is and yet he was voted in again because the “opposition” was nothing of the sort, Tory-lite.

Now we have a full-blooded opposition that actually means something and so many people want to see this come to fruition. I think we have turned the corner in the sick, sordid, depraved governance of our society that resides in Westminster, media and other institutions that promote the gloss and present it as reality.   I wish Jeremy Corbyn well and sincerely hope he delivers in full what he sets out to do.

I have also got to comment on the snide remarks made about Jeremy Corbyn even after such a resounding vote for him from reporters of the BBC.  It confirms that the BBC is simply the mouthpiece of the establishment and no longer deserves to be paid from licence fees.  If the BBC wants to have a future it must make its own way as other commercial stations do.  I certainly will not be adding any support to it or its employees.  The BBC promoter of child paedophiles and sordid creatures paraded as human beings.

An Interesting Week

European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, London Life

Halfway through the year and in the week ending 22nd August 2015 there has been the worst week on the Stock Exchange yet. A drop of over 8% over the total week is a hefty drop by anyone’s standards.

In the past month there have been large drops in Chinese stock markets which the Chinese government has propped up, even daring to suggest that certain companies whose price had fallen the lowest were buying back their own shares. However this last week’s drop in share prices cannot simply be explained that it is because it is the holiday season, people aren’t buying because they are on holiday, and so on. This is a much more serious symptom of an already overstretched gambling system that has simply run out of steam.

The USA is simply bankrupt beyond being bankrupt. The European Union is being dragged down financially because of a lack of demand for its goods caused by Germany’s intransigence that everyone should be as financially efficient as they are, notwithstanding other countries have their own problems, sanctions against Russia that were ordered by the USA in 2014 as part of trying to get both the Ukranian president, President Putin of Russia, Presidents Hollande & Merkel to agree a ceasefire.   That’s without the drama of the Greek Crisis whose embers still burn bright.

In the past few years we have witnessed a situation where clever capitalists have decided that if they pay the lowest price to have goods manufactured, shipped all over the globe and delivered to so-called “wealthy” Westerners, profits will still abound ad infinitum.   However what has happened is that as wages/salaries have declined, so has the spending power of individuals, meaning there is less money to be made as profit. This is an ever decreasing circle that has only one place to go …. down.

The bottom has been reached, the banks of last resort and printing fake money are about to turn off the taps and raise interest rates in the next few months and it will be interesting to see how things turn out then.

To Labour Under a Delusion

democracy, democratic rights, London Life

At the risk of boring my readers, the shenanigans of the Labour Party as it undergoes a leadership contest have come under the spotlight in the last few days (20-25 July).   That well-known international criminal Tony Blair had the audacity to attempt to steer the leadership contest towards those who served under him and shared his view of the Labour party (i.e. Tory-Lite) by suggesting that anyone wanting to veer to the left needed a brain transplant.

I think he seems to have forgotten a few fundamental truths;

  1. His policies over the Iraq war that he went into with GW Bush, despite widespread opposition not just from within his party, but also mass demonstrations which Tony Blair ignored have not been forgotten, nor will they be.
  2. The Labour party lost the last two elections precisely BECAUSE it was TOO Blair-like in its policies.
  3. The Labour Party has lost its way according to the people that matter, the electorate, not the Party hierarchy.
  4. So-called pollsters who are employed with a view to trying to work out what policies would work and who would best represent them managed to get it wrong every time, none more so that in May this year. The bookies have consistently got it right every time.  If Corbyn were leader the Labour party at least 65% of voters would vote for him.
  5. The electorate (ordinary people) consider the Labour party to be too right wing and too many Blairites in place who they don’t trust.

What the bookies have said is that the front runner for the Labour party is Jeremy Corbyn who seems to be the only socialist left in town these days.   If Corbyn is elected leader of the Labour party they stand a very good chance of getting back into power.

What I find astonishing is that, having said the party should have a broad debate over which direction the party needs to go and who should govern it, having seen the late entrant overtake the “safe” choices have suddenly decided their entire careers have been forged in the wrong party and are desperately back tracking any support for Corbyn.   This begs the question, what are the Labour party afraid of? Being too right wing or actually getting into power again?

There are large numbers of former Labour party supporters who think what needs to happen is for a purge of Blairites (which is about 90% of the entire party).   Blairites need to either cross the floor and become the Tories they really are or simply leave and yes, we know they are unemployable anywhere else, but that’s not our problem.   There needs to be a new influx of MPs from ordinary working people to come into the House of Commons to represent ordinary working people with policies that benefit the many, not a small elite. This will mean a shift to the left in terms of policies, but that is what voters need and want.

If the MPs in the Labour party who have become so comfortable in their own seats can actually accept these truths and work with them we will have a credible opposition to the austerity led Tories now in place.   If not, Labour will spend a long time out of government.   However I suspect that none of the Blairites have got what it takes to be real leaders, none of them are leadership material and certainly none of them have what it takes to admit they are in the wrong party.   Regardless of whatever laws are passed banning any form of true opposition by our dictators, the void will be filled. If not by a simple left winger like Corbyn, then by more violent means suggested by the likes of UKIP.

Austerity, Friend or Foe?

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

It strikes me that the only reason for continued austerity is because of Tory ideology rather than because there is a need for such restraint.

The Labour party under Gordon Brown was absolutely correct in stating that in order to climb out of the mess caused by the banking collapse in 2008 was by keeping people in work which would grow tax revenues for the government and would also feed into growth. For all Gordon Brown’s mismanagement, this was a sensible policy. As soon as the coalition government led by the Tories came in, they strangled any notion of keeping people in work, shutting down investment whether by government or banks, businesses closed and, despite massaging of unemployment figures and seasonal peaks and troughs, unemployment remains the greatest tragedy of human waste.

The Tory Government are busy not just killing off any industry in the UK, but making sure that it’s people never bother to look above the gutter.   In short, the Tories are only interested in returning the UK to a feudal system where the masses are easily controlled and too stupid to think for themselves.   The only institutions benefitting from this forced austerity are the banking system and the monarchy who has just been awarded a 9% pay rise on the back of 18% last year, 25% the year before, 30% the year before that.

The monarch does not deserve our money, they do nothing to earn such vast sums of money, their presence adds not one iota to the sum of human life and can only fuel questions not just whether we can afford them, but also their relevance.   These are pertinent questions and the debate should be conducted in full public view.

The banks have and continue to benefit from the enforced austerity. If it is the case that the Western world’s banking system is in danger of collapse, despite austerity, despite quantitative easing and buy-backs, then we need to ask whether it would be better to simply allow the entire banking system to collapse altogether, as would be allowed with any other industry?

I think the only reason why it doesn’t is because so much of our lives are taken up with the banking system, from getting paid for our work, paying our bills, rent and mortgages. However, if such an enforced collapse were to happen and was managed carefully so that in the short term it would be painful but that the ordinary person could be provided for in food, eviction notices could not be enforced, those gamblers, fraudsters and crooks who caused the collapse were convicted and served jail time, there is the real possibility of society coming out of this impasse stronger than before.   Industries could be realigned so that services no longer play such an overly important part of the GDP of a country, but that society is better balanced.

This certainly looks like a sensible proposal and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this way, but I don’t think our politicians have the necessary balls to do this, so the problem will get worse until the inevitable happens, the can will get kicked down the road for a while but the banks will implode and the whole sorry mess will have to be sorted out.

The Difference Between Reality & Ideology

London Life

Last week there was an announcement by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) that MPs were to be given a 10% payrise. This is on top of the 9% in 2014, 13% in 2013, 12% in 2012. I would like to know what special quality MPs have, other than to be able to lie convincingly, that justify such rises?

For the past 5 years public sector workers such as hospital staff, fire fighters, council workers, care workers, teachers, police have been subjected to a pay “rise” of 1% each year while MPs have awarded themselves such generous pay rises. I say “rise” as in fact these are PAYCUTS to public sector workers when you take tax deductions into account.

Tory ideology is that the private sector is the panacea to all the ills of society when it is nothing of the sort.   In 2010 David Cameron said that he wanted to diminish the public sector by making “efficiency cuts”, when asked who would employ people Dave said the private sector would take up the employment slack as jobs were created. The reality is that private sector jobs were the first to go, never to return.   The truth really is that once a business folds it’s gone for good. Public sector jobs are always evolving, there are always more and new demands made of them that reflect what is going on in society.

I have worked in the private sector and now work in the public sector and I can tell you the difference between them both is that public sector workers are expected to be more effective, efficient, be able to respond better to “customer needs” and have higher skills than those demanded in the private sector.

Public sector workers are more accountable by definition of the nature of their work. These are usually the kinds of jobs that put them face-to-face with those they have to deal with on a daily basis. The ability to be able to deal with people in a variety of situations means public sector workers have to be very aware of their own boundaries and those of others in various situations (i.e. people with learning difficulties, health and mental difficulties).   Yet these jobs are being downgraded through wage restraint because of Tory bigoted ideology that it is easier to rein in public sector pay than it is to restrain the overly confident gambling den that is the City of London.

Frequently public sector workers have to either be qualified or be trained into their jobs, apart from working in their local councils MPs seem to have no such qualifications or training, yet these ego maniacs are allowed to come into office, vote bloated salaries for themselves and preen their egos before all while making an almighty cock-up of whatever office they happen to be working in.

In 2010 David Cameron said the deficit would be halved by 2015. It has in fact trebled prior to the May election.   However, he was voted back in (not by me thankfully) because given the choice between him and Ed Miliband it was a case of better the devil you know, certainly not because of any special qualities the Tories have.   To read the election result as somehow being a mandate for anything is taking things a bit far as he only has a majority of 34 seats which can easily be whittled away in a backbench revolt. Regardless of the fact there has been a concerted effort in recent years to narrow the social sphere from which politicians are drawn, there is nothing in their job specification that sets MPs apart from the rest of society that justifies just overblown salaries any more than overinflated salaries of CEOs are. In fact, they are probably more inept than the average worker and should be paid no more than £40,000 per annum (£60,000 for the PM).

The whole parliamentary organisation needs to be overhauled to bring it into the 21st century and ordinary people should be encouraged to stand as MPs for their local constituencies which would enable policies to be better suited to local needs.

To Grexit or not to Grexit? A question of sovereignty over vultures

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

After a long, long weekend of hard negotiations and the brightest of finance ministers in the Greek government resigning, Alexis Tspiras was well and truly skewered.   The IMF, ECB and EC demanded draconian measures that would bring tears to the eyes of even the bravest person. The Greek people are to be sold off like baggage; 50% of all assets owned by Greece (never mind the Elgin Marbles, that’s small change by comparison) will be taken by the Troika to be held in escrow and 50% used to bail out the banks.   The other 50% used for investments. Wholesale privatisation of its public services, a rise in the age of retirement, although the agreement managed to stave off a reduction in pensions and an utter humiliation of the Greek people.

While Alexis Tspiras is busy trying to get all these laws enacted in his parliament in the space of 2 days ending at midnight 15th July 2015, the IMF concedes that Greece will need far more money than anyone could possibly imagine, need a total debt moratorium on debt payments for 30 years and subsidies.

Let’s be very clear, this is only the beginning of a financial war against the world by the bankers. The moratorium can only be considered by bankers because:

  1. The world’s banks are, by and large, bankrupt themselves,
  2. Money is worthless,
  3. Seizure of assets is more valuable than any currency, including gold,
  4. People don’t matter,
  5. Democracy doesn’t exist in any form

The sad thing is not a single politician has the balls to tell the IMF, ECB & Goldman Sachs who have instigated this whole scenario (Goldman Sachs fiddled the books to allow Greece to look more solvent than it was in the first place, which enabled Greece to join the Euro currency. They also did the same to Chicago which subsequently went bankrupt) to get out of Europe and take their trashy, worthless “money” with them, abandon the Euro which was always a bad idea as was the ERM mechanism. What is interesting is that Mario Draghi was appointed Governor of the Bank of Italy and was kicked out by the Italians as he was so unpopular.   Mark Carney, another Goldman Sachs banker is employed by the Bank of England as Governor.   At the risk of being accused of being paranoid is there a pattern here I need to be worried about?

It seems to me that the best thing the Greeks could do is to reject the plan wholesale, even if it means leaving the Euro currency.   As I said in my previous article, Greece is lucky enough to be pretty much self-sufficient in terms of food and resources, so at least in that way it would be able to feed its population. In financial terms it would find it hard for a short while, but it would have the benefit of retaining its assets and being able to put in place mechanisms that would allow it to become prosperous in a few years’ time in the same way Iceland did.

For Europe to help itself it should lift sanctions against Russia and reinstate trading relations, kick US interests out of the EU, allow Greece to exit the Euro currency, but not the EU, stop any negotiations on TTIP, TiSa and any other transatlantic trade agreement with the USA, write off banker debts within Europe and have managed public services (not privatised) and public programmes.

To quote a report from the Associated Press “Greek public debt will spiral to 200% GDP over the next 2 years compared to 177% in an earlier report. The findings are explosive. The document amounts to a warning that the IMF will not take part in any EMU-led rescue package for Greece unless Germany and the EMU creditor powers finally agree to sweeping debt relief.”

In effect the IMF is saying it expects the Eurozone to put money into a bottomless pit without relief, which will ensure real austerity Europe-wide, leading to bankruptcy for the whole continent. Having ensured that Europe severed any notion of trading partnership with Russia, our closest trading partner, now wants to ensure subjugation.

If we thought TTIP was going to be bad, this is the real thing but without an agreement. This is outright financial war from which there can only be a very few winners.   This is going to be more brutal than anything conceivable previously and we have to decide very quickly, do we want to become slaves to faceless bankers who play us like puppets with ideas of democracy, or do we want to have self-determination and the ability to achieve the things we have been told are possible and act accordingly.   Inaction is not an option.

 

Budget 2015

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

It seems my worst fears of this current Tory government is coming to pass. The Budget on Tuesday confirmed spelled out that the poor, sick, vulnerable and even children were being targeted in a bid to balance the government’s books rather than the banks and big corporations who avoid paying taxes.

The most cynical, even insulting move was to call the minimum wage a living wage. The minimum wage at present in London stands at £7.20 per hour. Next April this will rise to £7.25. Contrast this with a rise MPs have given themselves of £7,000 is enough to make me feel physically sick.

Public sector workers who do the jobs that keep this country going and maintain its infrastructure have been given a measly 1% for the next four years, having borne the brunt of the recession caused by Tory banker friends for the past 5 years and seen salaries diminish in value in real terms.   Child benefit is being cut to the first two children alone.   Total benefits for families have been cut to £23,000 per year, even for those who rely on benefits to top up meagre wages.

There is no skill to being an MP. Anyone can do this job, particularly if you are able to look someone in the eye and lie to them without flinching. And yet they are awarded the handsome salary of £67,060 which is rather more than the national average of £25,000.   They are incompetent, only interested in making a name for themselves at the expense of the misery inflicted on the rest of the country and, considering how badly the economy fared under the Tories in the last 5 years, should take a pay CUT of 25% with no perks whatsoever.

I would like to see these MPs live on £7.25 per hour they are advocating is a living wage rather than the perks and privileges they award themselves and without the benefit of dipping into their own personal fortunes. Every single one of them would soon come to the conclusion it is a pitiful amount of money and very far from a living wage.

Both the Budget details above and my previous post on the Greek situation show a familiar, continuing pattern of a financial war being waged against ordinary people the outcome of which will be genocide against the young, old, sick and vulnerable as a start.  Each of these groups are seen as “a problem” who need to be provided for in some way or other.  The rest of us will be dealt with in time.

When Yannis Varufakis said that what was being done was nothing less than terrorism I believe he was speaking not just for Greece but for the whole world.  I thank him for his frankness, something the ordinary politicians couldn’t stomach as it revealed them for the psychopaths they really are.   We need more frankness like his in the world, not less.

To Capitulate and Become Slaves to Corporate Interests, or Not?

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

I have deliberately not published anything for the last couple of weeks as world events have moved quickly and in such situations it is better to observe events as they unfold before making unwise remarks.

 

I would not wish to be in Alexis Tspiras’ shoes at the moment.   On the one hand he asked the Greek people to vote whether they want to remain in the European Union and continue to benefit from it, or whether they submit to the proposals of the Troika in return for a further bail-out.   Unfortunately for the Greek people Tspiras blinked first and had no option but to accept the tougher proposals from the Troika in return for a bail out.

The Greeks will feel angry and betrayed that he went back on his promises and they have every right to. Having been told the options they voted not to be slaves, the referendum was considered to be an inconvenience to the politicians in Brussels (which speaks volumes about the kind of “democracy” they are peddling to the rest of us), now the Greeks have no option but to be totally destroyed, have all their assets seized and to cease to exist as a people.   It is going to be an interesting few weeks this summer.

The essence of the loans by the Troika to Spain, Portugal and Italy was they were forced loans that were put in place not to help the citizens of those countries, but to help the banks.   Had the banks been allowed to fail it would have been tough for the citizens in the short term, but it would have allowed an exit from the Euro as a currency and to implement local currencies which, starting from zero, or even from the point before the Euro was instigated as a currency, would have allowed these economies to make their way back to growth in a few years.   Unlike Britain, for instance, Greece is pretty self sufficient for its day-to-day living and would be able to endure short term hardships.

The IMF, Bank of England and lately ECB have been printing money like it’s going out of fashion so that banks can stay afloat.   Surely this is a questionable practice.   If I were to set up a printing press, printing £10, £20, £50 notes and then using them to buy goods and services, if I got caught I would be charged with printing counterfeit money and money laundering, yet when financial institutions do the same with the blessing of the governments it’s perfectly ok.

In the same way that prior to the crash in 2009 banks, credit card companies bombarded people with cheap credit, almost coercing people to take out loans I see no obligation should be expected to return such loans in cash or in kind.   During the crash it became transparent that so-called “toxic debts” were bundled up and sold onto governments to bail out the banks which we, as taxpayers, are still paying for. These bonds were forced onto poor countries with the full knowledge that these “toxic debts” could never be paid off, and yet these governments are being held responsible for paying them off. This is so utterly wrong.

On the one hand it creates a “slave dependency”, it softens up those countries who will be taken over the most quickly and easily by the corporations behind TTIP. When these “slave” countries have had this normalised in their lives, the same corporations will do the same to the rest of us.   This is what is behind these so-called “trade agreements”.

This is why I say there is no obligation, moral, business justification or otherwise, for whole countries to be enslaved by banks for their own gain. It is money laundering and counterfeit printing pure and simple.

If the laws pertaining to such practices are applied to ordinary citizens, they should also be applied to institutions and the governments that allow this.

If it is the case that referenda are considered meaningless by governments and institutions such as European Parliament, then we really do need to reconsider the notion of “ever closer union”. This is purely at the behest of the USA who would find it so much easier to deal with one entity rather than 27 separate countries.   I say we remain as 27 separate countries because that’s what we really are.

The stupid thing is, the same “mistakes” are being brought to bear in the case of Ukraine which is more broke than Greece.   At the instigation of the USA Europe has implemented sanctions against Russia with whom it had a strong trading relationship and, pretty much allowed the “strong” German economy to ride out the worst of the recession, the US backed thugs in Ukraine want to join the EU who were no doubt promised financial assistance, among other things. Germany is no longer the strong economy it was pre-sanctions and the IMF has stepped in with loans it will never see returned with a view to destabilising Europe and Russia.

If EU politicians had a backbone between them they would tell the USA to pack up and get lost, drop sanctions against Russia, tell the Ukrainians to stop acting like thugs and get a grip.   Normal relations between Russia and EU countries would resume and the war industry that is the USA would have to look elsewhere for its imperialist ambitions.

Thank You

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

This morning I woke up to the news of the “No” vote of Greece to becoming lifelong slaves to the Troika of IMF, ECB and Germany.  I feel calm that the correct outcome has been voted for and there is hope yet for true democracy, not the corporatism peddled by governments worldwide that only answer the agendas of politicians at the expense of ordinary working people.

Of all the people it had to come down to the fact the only people truly interested and intelligent enough to act upon the idea of being free individuals and communities are the Greeks who gave birth to the idea of democracy 6,000 years ago.  Thank you.

However, it is with great sadness I note that Yannis Varoufakis has resigned as Finance Minister as it was felt by those in Brussels that his manner can be rather aggressive.  He brought a breath of fresh air to proceedings, his manner may have been brusque but plain speaking is sometimes needed in situation to cut through the BS, plus he was the sexiest Finance Minister I’ve ever seen.  Let’s face it, politicians are mediocrities in every sense of the word now.  I continue to wish Greece well in its further negotiations with the Troika.

In the mix

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

The deadline for Greece to make payments has yet again been delayed with a view to hammering out a new deal to keep Greece within the EU.  The IMF & ECB have made an “extraordinarily generous offer” to the Greeks which include deeper, rather than just new spending cuts, cuts to public sector salaries and pensions, a special benefit paid to low paid pensioners to be scrapped and a wider VAT base.  the IMF & ECB are against tax rises for companies and rich people.

Alexis Tspiras is very right to hold a referendum on the situation for the Greek people and calls it a humiliation of the Greek people.  It also betrays the true nature of the intentions of the banking world.   These proposals are not about relief of debt and looking after the poor and disadvantaged (the rich will always be able to take care of themselves and need no special favours), this is about bringing about the situations that have plagued the African continent for decades and continue to do so; namely division between those who have and those who do not, famine, ill health which will ultimately lead to unrest and civil war.   Or to put it another way, the decimation of the human race in Europe.

It is interesting that the Human Rights Act which is a fundamental part of the EU and how it views how citizens are treated by it’s own criteria are so blatantly flouted while EU politicians stand by shrugging their shoulders as though there is nothing they can do.

This is a foretaste of what is to come if TIPP is to be implemented.  We are being broken down so the corporates can come in and take what is left to create their nightmare of a world.    The government bonds are made up of bad debts created by bankers such as Goldman Sachs, who are running the whole show now.  These bad debts are worthless to begin with, therefore these “debts” are a figment of the imagination of the bankers who created them in the first place and do not need to be repaid by anyone.  Greece is not defaulting on a legitimate payment made by banking institutions who are solvent, but telling the broken banking system who creates these worthless bonds, it is not selling its people as slaves for the bankers to do as they wish with them and the bankers can take their “debts” with them.

I wish him luck and support his endeavours.  People like him, who have the guts to stand up and question the motives of the corporates, and so revealing their true intentions are few and far between.   I applaud his efforts and wish him every success.

The Nature of Democracy & Fairness

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, London Life

So here we are 800 years after the Magna Carta was signed and the hypocrites are out in force. The current Queen Elizabeth II along with David Cameron and assorted dignitaries made their way to Runymede, the original birthplace where the Magna Carta was signed by King John on 15th June 2015, which limited the powers of the King, how much the monarchy was paid, the right to a fair trial and protection against illegal imprisonment, among others protections.

Cameron used the occasion to bleat that he was going to do away with the Human Rights Act in favour of a British Bill of Rights. What a chump! The Human Rights Act is a direct descendent of the Magna Carta, but unlike the original which was watered down by successive monarchs (most notably by QE herself in a recent deal struck between George Osborn and herself).

Where the Magna Carta protected Parliament against the abuses of the monarch, the HRA protects ordinary people against the abuses of Parliament and those in government. It speaks volumes of the utter arrogance of our current parliamentarians that they see themselves supremely above the need to be kept in check to prevent their blind ideology being a yoke around the necks of citizens who are expected to work and pay taxes without (increasingly) any recourse to succour for the most vulnerable in our society.

Under the new Tory government schools and healthcare are being privatised, child benefit is being capped to only the first two children with payments being withdrawn.   This benefit which is universal to all families is paid to mothers to ensure that children have at least some financial assistance for food and clothing, particularly needed among poor families.   The hated “Bedroom Tax” punishes the sick and disabled for needing special care and carers while paying lip service to the much-needed work they do.

While Dave is busy trying to dismantle our ties to the EU he flies in the face of the many benefits that derive from the EU which many ordinary people are thankful for.   Employment rights, privacy, the right to live in dignity and very importantly it protects against the politicisation of judges.   In the UK there is a good, long tradition of judges being independent of Parliament and prior to the 1998 Act regularly chided governments of various colours in cases where government was clearly wrong.   The worry is this new “Bill of Rights” will actually politicize the judiciary leading to an Americanised system where judges rely on the grace and favour of parliament to keep their positions, which is an outrageous notion and will open the judiciary to corruption.

Meanwhile, back on the ground it seems our Greek cousins in Europe are safely challenging the democratic alliances of the ECB, IMF and EC.   While Germany has huffed and puffed, the IMF, EC and ECB are trying to turn the screws, it is an interesting exercise on what is democracy in the 21st Century.

The troika have asked the Greeks to stop payments of pensions, get rid of the public sector wholesale and allow full scale pillage of its assets.   The recently elected Syriza Party which was voted into power on an anti-austerity promise is, sensibly, challenging the premise of these cuts.   These cuts if implemented would ensure permanent poverty for Greece for all time. This is why it is being challenged.

The conduct of the governments of both Greece and the UK speaks volumes about the values each exhibit.   The Greeks obviously have a way of life where everyone is valued, whatever they do for a living. Public services are seen as a necessary function of the ability of citizens to be able to live in a cohesive society that has room for everyone, young, old, sick, fit and well.   In the UK governments look upon the electorate as a nuisance, there to be manipulated during elections in order to retain politicians’ jobs and pacify, but essentially a cash cow from taxes and to be milked as much as possible.   Increasingly little room is made for the young, old, sick and infirm. Unless you are working, you have no value.

Because of the position of the Greek government, voices are being raised as to why austerity is still being espoused as a solution to a crisis that should have been handled very differently over 6 years ago.   It comes to something when a senior French MEP, Pervenche Berès, questions the wisdom of adopting such severe austerity measures in so many EU countries, that they have not delivered the “recovery” promised, instead have only created more austerity and have caused many of the parties putting forward such policies to lose their seats in their national parliaments.

The rise of nationalism is a real problem for politicians as it divides politicians into two camps, those who serve the interests of corporations and those who serve the interests of the people who elected them.

Increasingly it looks as though Greece will default on the proposed payments of €1.6bn which will be painful not just for the Greeks themselves, but also for Europe and the rest of the world as it will ensure an exit from the EU monetary system and an end to the EU as a fiscal policy.   A good number of EU countries who are chafing against the rigidity of “ever closer union” with the EU and seeing that it will not work.   It isn’t working. It is causing more strife and disparity among people who have previously been on good terms with each other.

I genuinely hope the coming economic and financial negotiations in the EU will not be to convince the populace of a recovery when clearly there isn’t one.   I also think that a Grexit as it is popularly called is most likely to happen, the house of cards that is the banking system will collapse and needs to.   It has been a victim of its own failure to put its house in order, and we can write those debts off, both nationally and individually and an adoption of the Icelandic system of reverting back to individual currencies, having close control of the movement of those currencies for each country would be a step in the right direction.   However the real victims have been the 99% who have been made to suffer the lack of backbone among politicians to stand up for the rights of the citizens above the presumed rights of the corporations

In this way instead of fighting an uphill battle for survival we can make room for everyone in our societies and value the unseen work that people do as much as the work that is seen.   Parents, carers, teachers, fire fighters, health workers should be on an equal footing with those whose work attracts higher wages.   Working patterns also need to be changed in order to enhance and enrich the lives of citizens around the world.

I applaud the Greek people and their vision, unwavering knowledge of the value of their contribution to people everywhere, that they have not diluted the original versions of democracy, and in doing so, remind us of the true nature of democracy, that it is for all people, not just a few at the top of the tree.  Thank you.

 

The Fight Goes On ……….

democracy, democratic rights, European Commission, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy, General Election, trade agreement

Very pleased to be able to report that in Brussels this week we saw that democracy in its purest sense actually working.   Although elections are held regularly in the EU, how MEPs are actually grouped together in parties does not seem very straightforward; furthermore with all the directives that are issued by the EU to member countries it sometimes feels quite remote from how people live their daily lives. On Friday the vote on TTIP was postponed until over the weekend.   This is merely a pyrrhic victory as there is a long, long way to go before this particular issue has been dealt with satisfactorily.

Over 200 amendments had been tabled to a wide-ranging package of recommendation on TTIP which would feed into the EU Commission’s negotiation with US trade officials.   Few MEPs have ever seen such wholescale opposition to an agreement that would singularly wipe away all the rights and protections in health, education and employment that have been hard won by generations of Europeans.

There have been widespread anti-TTIP marches against this agreement across Europe among a people from many different backgrounds.   Unfortunately this will have to go back to the EU parliament’s trade committee for redrafting next week (June 15-19), but these drafts will need to be incorporated and discussed among MEPs at all levels. This is an issue that will not go away.

I was also very pleased to read that Obama has been roundly defeated 302 vote to 126 to fast-track the trade agreements TTIP, TTP and TiSA by the US Senate which will encourage a breathing space for those in the USA to carefully consider all the oppositions, points and amendments raised and their ramifications.

Although I understand that these trade agreements have been put forward as a counter to President Putin’s successful implementation of BRICS and other trade agreements with Russia’s Eastern Asian countries, they are also designed to undermine the countries TTIP, TTP and TiSA party to those agreements.   I have plainly stated that these supposed “benefit” to EU counties so far as TTIP is concerned is so miniscule as to be insulting. The benefit is not about trade, but about the ability to seize assets, plunder resources and enslave people for the benefit of corporations.

That EU MEPs seriously think that by stalling, holding negotiations in secret is something the EU electorate would take lightly is a serious mistake. This is not the time to take a breather, but to keep pushing, pressurising MEPs to retain our standards, our rights to good education, healthcare, environments, food and water, homes and uphold our rights with regards to the Human Rights Act.

US interests wish to water these down and our own weak, ineffectual UK government may be happy to enable this, but more than ever it is important that the foundations on which the EU was built should be upheld and the EU Parliament should grow a pair, tell the USA, IMF, WTO, and other quasi-organisations to get lost and stop interfering and undermining what is a pretty good working relationship with each other.

Solar Power – The time has come

London Life, Summer

A cheering piece of news albeit on the back of the Russian sanctions. America has announced a NASA-Style programme of promoting and utilising Solar energy so that the world becomes independent generators of their own electricity. This is a really superb initiative and one worth pursuing.

I have been an ardent supporter of solar power and have these powering my home for the past few years. They work, my energy bills are so much lower than previously and I have advocated that wherever you are in the world, there is enough sunlight to be able to power your building to keep you warm and well lit for generations.

The technology is there and has been for a few years. Many buildings are capable of generating their own electricity through solar panels. Even those skyscrapers mainly built of glass are capable of this as there are thin films capable of generating solar power which can be used on the glass to do so. Now that Tesla have come up with the technology to be able to store such power it would make so much sense for so many businesses, households and communities, especially those in rural settings to be able to generate and store electricity for those months when there isn’t so much sun around and be independent. It certainly makes the case for nuclear power less persuasive.