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Archive for the category “Capitalism”

Amazement!

You would think by my time of life it would take a lot to surprise me and it does but I am genuinely shocked how blind to truth many of you are out there.

The government is spending at least £50 Million on WW1 remembrance events not to mention local costs and of course various royals trundled around to make fine speeches prepared for them to deliver in praise of millions of soldiers sailors and airmen who died in those terrible four years. Not one of those men is still alive so why is this enormous energy being spent on publicity, media connivance and money that would be better spent on feeding our hungry who are forced into Food Banks?

So what is going on? Well let’s start with what it’s not, just briefly. If it was about remembering the dead, then we should be reminded of the terrified men ordered over the top knowing the insanity of the orders and that  they would be facing machine gun crossfire resulting in either death or if ‘lucky’ serious injury resulting in being sent back to England. Knowing too that too question the madness or to refuse the order even if suffering from what we now know to be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder would mean being shot on the spot by their own officers. We should be reminded also of the incredible bravery of conscientious objectors who through religious or moral reasons refused to fight and were also shot by firing squad or served long terms in prison with the worst of conditions. We should also be reminded that some CO’s died working in coal mines and also in particular, those who joined the Friends Ambulance Brigade (mostly Quakers) who served on the front lines collecting the injured under intense fire very many of whom were themselves killed. It’s not either, about learning the lessons of history because clearly we haven’t, repeating the same mistakes over and over again, in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Egypt, Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya …….

So what is it about? It’s about conditioning your minds, mild brain washing if you like, into nationalism, patriotism and an acceptance of waging war yet again if required. It’s about the royals and senior figures strutting the stage of history, making themselves look good bedecked in medals and rank that they have not earned but been given by their peers. It’s about politicians who have never been in the thick end of war spouting about the bravery of others long since dead about who’s lives they know nothing and care less. It’s about linking the past to the present and glorifying our vast war machine and gaining your acceptance for the massive expenditure that you have to pay for. When they spend £200 Billion on nuclear weapons that they can never use you will hardly murmur, or tens of Billions on aircraft carriers which by their very nature mean they are preparing for wars far away already, you won’t bat an eyelid. When hundreds of our soldiers die in Iraq or elsewhere and thousands lose limbs for the City of London you raise money for artificial limbs but you don’t ask why, you don’t say stop. Two million people marched before the Iraq war to say NO and they fear that next time there may be 10 million, 20 million, marching and demanding an end to war and the capitalist war mongers and arms salesmen will not add to their fortunes if we say no more. Capitalism not just thrives on war it depends on war. Fear of war allows acceptance of expenditure on the military and remembrance keeps that bit of fear in the mind, linking the past to the now.

 

Finally, they will not be remembering or reminding us of the mutinies and the strikes in the military towards the end of the 1914-18 war nor will they point out how many were shot and crushed as the uprising took hold and were put down by the government. So when you see ceremonies, hear some politician praise those poor sods in the mud with the stench of death all about, or see heroic films just ask yourself what is behind it? What thoughts are they trying to put into your mind? 

 

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Quick Dummies Guide to the UK Political Parties and How to Use Your Vote

Quick Dummies Guide to the UK Political Parties and How to Use Your Vote

Conservative. The party of and for big business and people of wealth. It’s objective is to channel as much wealth as possible from the nation as a whole to themselves which in turn means controlling the people and the systems as much as is possible. Traditionally their leaders have come from a few elite families and have bred into them the belief that they are the chosen few who know best and have closed minds to any alternatives that might detract from their prime objective which, as I said, is to increase their wealth.

Labour. Would like to be a Socialist Party and clings to the memory of what they once were. Over the last few decades they have been cleverly manipulated by the Conservatives and have now become a shadow of their former self whilst morphing into a well meaning, slightly more caring version of Conservatism. They yearn to be more socialist but fear the power of the conservative media to ridicule them and so water down their policies or even attempt to be more Tory than the Tories.

Lib/Dems. By and large made up of well meaning people with some sensible policies. Due to our voting system their chances of forming the government are virtually nil. This has lead to great and understandable frustration so when the chance came and the Tories offered them a coalition ‘partnership’ the chance of some power was too much and they supped with the Devil. The Conservatives are nothing if not clever and manipulative as the Lib/Dems found to their cost. For the time being at least, they are a spent force and will have regroup and rethink.

UKIP. Mainly a one man party, Nigel Farage. Son of a stockbroker, privately educated with wealthy Conservatives and became a City commodities trader. He makes his pitch getting out of the European Union and panders to readers of red tops in particular. A very good rabble rousing speaker of little substance. UKIP attracts idiots and buffoons as it’s candidates as well as a following from the uninformed and far right nationalists. If one looks at such other policies that they have formulated it is easy to see that they are in fact the very worst face of Conservatism and if they were ever enacted would bring this country to it’s knees.

Green Party. Used to have the reputation of being the home of lefty tree huggers and environmentalists. but over the years has grown steadily into a political party of substance with many councillors spread over the country, several MEPs and so far, one MP in Parliament, Caroline Lucas, who is arguably the most sensible member in that place of intrigue and regarded with much respect. Definitely to the left of the political spectrum but with a much more realistic understanding of how to make business work for the nation as a whole along with an understanding that policy should be made with an eye on the long term future, rather than the short termism that dogs the two main parties.

Your Vote and the General Election.

Unless you belong to the very wealthy elite or believe in paying higher taxes for less services then the Conservatives are not for you and so you must choose from the rest. To not vote at all is an abrogation of responsibility. Should your constituency be a very safe Conservative or Labour one then why not use your vote to give the Green Party a lift. Live in a marginal where it could go Tory or Labour? Well, unless you are in the small group above then Labour is the obvious choice. Or perhaps you live where it’s likely to be either Tory or Lib/Dem? Then remember the Lib/Dems supported the Tories right through this Parliament and so consider voting Green as your protest and who knows, if enough vote with you maybe some more Green MPs to back up Caroline Lucas. Whatever you do don’t vote UKIP!

UK Housing Prices & Inheritance

The Governor of The Bank of England has again warned of the risk to our faltering small recovery and of the need to build more houses or the increasing likely hood of raising interest rates to dampen down house price inflation. Also in the news is the widening gap between the rich and the relatively poor.

Political attention is likely to focus on the house price boom because for politicians this is the easy option but this is allied to increasing inequality of not just wealth but also inequality of opportunity. The main cause of inequality is inheritance and if this were tackled the housing inflation problem would largely solve itself. Many of the last generation bought homes at more or less sensible prices and have seen their value increase many times over the general inflation rates, an increase that is not earned. When they perhaps down size or die they can pass on to their children large sums which their offspring can use to buy their own homes; homes that without this unearned windfall they could not otherwise contemplate. This of course helps to both maintain and fan the fires of house inflation.

In addition to passing on their inflated homes, the wealthy also can afford to give their children the best start in life with all the advantages that money can bring and bequeath their accumulated funds that enable the offspring to acquire even more and so the cycle continues. Apart from a few exceptional individuals the poor will remain poor and indeed, become even more deprived as wealth becomes more concentrated in the hands of a small minority. The result of this imbalance is that the nation as a whole will lose out on ideas, businesses and social benefits due to the suppression of the less well off who cannot make or even recognise the best use of their talents or from lack of capital to advance their ideas.

What we need, but is at present anyway, unlikely to be done, is a strong inheritance tax which some may say is even punitive. If someone builds up huge wealth there is no reason that he/she should not enjoy a rich lifestyle for as long as they live but equally there is no reason why their children should continue to enjoy that lifestyle simply by being born into that family. Money raised from this taxation could then be used to improve the conditions of the many and provide start up funding for brilliant new ideas and enterprises.

There would be many arguments against a firm inheritance tax and it’s implementation would be difficult but not impossible. How it could be done is what we pay politicians for.

 

 

WARNING UK

WARNING! Never mind that over a million people are on zero hours contracts so don’t show up as unemployed or that thousands have their benefit suspended for spurious reasons and they too don’t show as unemployed. The official unemployment figures now show 6.8% so remember, the Governor of The Bank of England said ‘when unemployment falls below 7% he will consider raising interest rates.

You should know by now, I’ve told you often enough, that those who are really in control want you in debt, lots of debt, so watch out as your mortgages will soon rise and your credit charges go up.

Only 10% Cut So Far and still in Recession

It’s not good is it? Officially back into the recession that we’ve barely left for two years, despite the Con?Dems austerity program. A program I might add that has so far only implemented just 10% of their planned cuts to expenditure.

This government, with no real mandate from the people is the most vicious I can ever recall, yes, worse even than Margaret Thatcher and particularly bad because they are utterly incompetent, arrogant, out of touch with reality and unable to listen. They were warned, not just by me and assorted other bloggers, but by many financial experts, that their plans pointed towards disaster. Not of course, disaster for them personally as most are millionaires well cushioned with their tax havens and trust funds but disaster for countless citizens of our lands.

Unemployment and fear thereof in the millions and rising including huge numbers of our young people who now may never get a job, hospital waiting lists getting longer, home repossessions on the increase and poorer tenants being compulsory moved from London and South East to the North, leading towards a North/South divide like never before. Thatcher left little public assets untouched but now even the jewel in the crown, our NHS, is being sold off for private profit along with our schools. It didn’t take a genius to predict all this would happen so it has to be assumed that these are deliberate policies conjured up for the sole benefit of those who have manipulated themselves into power.

The current situation tends to lead the electorate into a depressed condition whereby apathy takes over along with a feeling of individual isolation which in turn leads to a sense of powerlessness. We are not though powerless if we collectively recognise that the power is ours and we can take it back from those to whom we unwittingly lent it. We can demand change and change we will get but only if we work together for the benefit of us all. We must remind those who say they can’t be bothered with politics that politics is health, employment, education, social services, the cost of fuel, pensions or whether your sons or daughters are going to war.

Osborne : Liar or Cheat?

Questioned on BBC’s Today programme George Osborne was asked if he would personally benefit from the tax changes on the wealthy he replied that he would be unaffected and implied that he gets less than the £150,000 per year.

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According to the best information I can find he has a personal fortune of £4 million. Now either he is lying to the nation or he has engaged in extensive tax evasion or tax avoidance schemes that he is supposedly against. So it would seem that we have as Chancellor of the Exchequer either a liar or a cheat running the finances of our country; surely he should be made to explain himself or better still resign.

Twenty two of the twenty nine cabinet ministers are millionaires so to expect fairness, equality and help for the less well off would be like expecting turkeys to vote for Christmas. Wake up Britain, rise up Britain, we deserve better than this. We need to pay off our debt; not the notional paper monetary debt, because almost every country in the World is in reality bankrupt but the debt of fairness and equality that we owe to ourselves, our children, our grandchildren and generations yet unborn.

Choices

Let’s face it this country is in a mess! It’s like a ship in a raging storm heading towards rocks and the captain shouts “Hold this course!” His Lieutenant who hopes one day to become captain shouts “Hold this course but slow down a bit.” The little cabin boy can see the rocks but feeling helpless crawls into  his hammock and puts his hands over his eyes and cotton wool in his ears, holding on to a blind trust in the madness of the officers because to do otherwise would require him to DO something.

The UK, along with other Western nations, owes money, a lot of money and so it was rightly decided to reduce this debt and this is where our witless leadership went wrong. They had no one with vision or moral integrity and so they set about taking money from those who had little, those without, they believe, power, attacking the sick, the pensioners, students, the lower paid workers who actually produce the wealth that makes us the 6th richest nation on Earth. They chose not to rein in the bankers and financial directors, they chose not to go after those who avoid paying their proper share of taxation amounting to tens of billions each year because they themselves belong to, or aspire to belong, to that elite band. They chose not to save up to £200billion by cancelling the Trident nuclear weapon system which will never be used and deters no one simply because this would deprive them of a seat at the top table of the United Nations. Instead of strutting they may have to walk like the rest of humankind.

They chose not to invest in a massive social housing programme that is desperately needed for millions of our citizens and would create and safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs. In it’s wake this would generate spending power for the workers thus creating more employment and in addition, tax revenues. A bi product would also be a likely reduction in ever increasing housing rental costs which (some) greedy landlords are reaping in such places as London where tenants are now to be evicted because of government cuts to housing benefit. Instead they chose borrowing even more to fund rapidly increasing unemployment which is a tried and tested method of keeping wage increases to a minimum. Not such a surprising choice either when many of those currently in power like Chris Grayling, are indeed wealthy property owners.

We too though have choices. Even in this poor democracy of ours we do not have to be like the cabin boy; the power ‘they’ hold is in reality, our power that we lend to them. They stick together but they are only a few, we are millions and if only we can stick together and demand a new way, a new vision, then we can take back our power and steer our ship away from the rocks, into calmer waters of fairness, justice, democracy, co-operation and peace.

But have we the guts?

HM Department of Loan Sharks

The Dept of Work & Pensions under Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) is today announcing a loan ‘service’ for the poor and vulnerable in our society. (Let’s ignore for a moment whether in the 21st Century there should still ‘poor & vulnerable and that an earlier Tory had said ‘there is no such thing as Society’)

This scheme called My Home Finance is supposed to protect people who are in dire straits from the clutches of loan sharks who charge exorbitant rates of interest often backed up with threats of violence.  From this perspective it’s a good idea. The scheme though, when rolled out nationwide, will be charging 49.9% interest! At a time when the Bank of England Rate is 0.5% and credit card companies are offering around 12% and Credit Unions are prohibited by law from charging more than 26.8% but usually charge less, I would call this Government scheme Loan Sharking.

If further proof were needed that this Con/Dem coalition is intent on fleecing the poor to pay for the capitalist excesses you must be very difficult to convince.

British Slaves

Tonight is the last night of the ‘Proms’ the British series of concerts held in the Albert Hall. The ‘highlight’ of the evening for most, is, for me, a sickening spectacle of nationalistic fervour  with a rendition of ‘Rule Britannia’ including the phrase ‘Britons never, never, never, shall be slaves’.

The sad truth of course, is that Britons are well and truly slaves; slaves to their capitalist masters. Britons are now working longer than our Middle Ages forebears, most are trapped with large mortgages around their necks, too afraid to offer more than token resistance to the high stress lifestyle imposed upon them.

It can be argued that they have simply allowed this to happen seduced by clever political and consumerist marketing and this would be true but let us not underestimate the powerful forces that have been at work over the past few decades. I am though hopeful that the impending full frontal attack on the hopes and dreams of Britons by this current consortium of a power hungry and greedy government will bring the people to their senses and they will demand a different and a better way to organise society. I believe or should I say, I hope, they will take back the power that has been usurped and is rightfully theirs, that they will reorganise through the Trade Unions, that they will demonstrate and rebuild a Labour Party that is truly a party of the people once again.

This is my ‘hopes and dreams’ and I will allow no government to take that from me.

Bosses Back Tories – Now There’s a Surprise!

The bosses, all of them on over a £1million salaries, of some of the UK’s big businesses back the Tory plan to cut the increase in National Insurance contributions, calling it a ‘Tax on jobs’.

Well it is a tax on jobs or rather, a tax on each person employed but let us put it in perspective for goodness sake. It amounts in most cases to less than a fiver per week per employee and if a company paying out over £20,000 per worker can’t afford an extra fiver then either that company is in deep doo doo and unlikely to survive anyway or they fear having to cut down on executives bonuses or a tiny reduction in shareholders dividends. Either way it’s no reason to cut this small increase in order to help pay off our national debt and help to maintain our public services.

By the way, these business leaders are probably made up of the same leaders who squealed in 1997 at the very mention of a National Minimum Wage, crying that it was a ‘tax on jobs’ and would bring about the downfall of the whole economy. It didn’t though, did it?

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