Fat Cat Culture

by craig on May 9, 2013 12:47 pm in Uncategorized

The Guardian today published a photo of a bit of derelict yard where kids had been playing, as evidence that because of cuts the local council – Blackburn – could not afford a proper playground.

The reason Blackburn council cannot afford a proper playground is nothing to do with cuts. It is because. like most local governments in this country, it blows far too much money on the excellent lifestyles of fatcat senior officers. In the town hall of Blackburn there are an astonishing 16 council officers on over £75,000 per year plus allowances, gold-plated pension, car and benefits.

The chief executive is paid more than the Prime Minister. A council deputy leisure centre manager in Blackburn gets £42,000. A friend of mine is deputy food and beverages manager at a famous Central London hotel – he gets £26,000.

Yesterday saw the British establishment through pomp and show, and a display of jewels looted with violence and rape from foreign cities, announcing policies to worsen the lives of the poorest on benefits, and clamp down further on the immigrants who do so much to keep this ailing economy active. But despite their willingness to attack the vulnerable poor or foreign, what the political class do not do is attack their own. The point of the state is to divert money from the taxpayer to the political class and their paymasters.

The high-ups in Blackburn Council may be bottom feeders within that system of privilege, but boy! their bottoms are certainly getting fed. Doubtless they all take the Guardian, the newspaper of those “living high off the taxpayer” classes. Maybe they could have a whip round from their inflated salaries and build a little playground?

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112 Comments

  1. Monkey see, Cllr. Stan Monkey do. The brother of my district councillor once explained: “Why did N- become a councillor? Because he was no good for anything else.” Not wholly true in all cases; I’ve known some damn good councillors, many of them Tories, and one aristocratic, but as a principle well worth bearing in mind.

  2. Yeah, sorry Craig but I don’t think you have really gotten to the bottom of this one, but feel free to keep attacking public sector pay, its not like we actually do anything in our made up new-labour pork-barrel jobs.

    This issue is so small as to be irrelevant in comparison to the mismanagement of the economy and insane behaviour of the bank/regulator/politician axis.

  3. Slowly but surely British people are losing faith in the system of which they are part Craig
    The nation is becoming a ‘people farm’ with access to justice denied & with money trumping morals every time
    I would guess this suits the western elite, they are the enemy, and they buy off local gauliters exactly as you describe

  4. There’s nothing new in the corruption of public office. Indeed it seems a natural corollary.

    It’s what can you do about it.

    Public offices are now more corrupt than they have been since prior to WWII and we’re probably coming to breaking point.

    Sadly it’s that rather than activism that creates a new beginning of the cycle.

  5. “…feel free to keep attacking public sector pay,”

    Is this an attack on public sector pay? I didn’t read it that way. It seems to me to be a justified attack on the enormous salaries given to the higher ranks of civil servants.
    My guess is that, as the pay for the managers increases, the conditions, from wages to contract status, for the lower ranks declines.
    Municipalities have become miniatures of society as a whole: the rich get richer and “those that work the hardest are the least rewarded.”
    It’s a bleeding shame.

  6. Well said, Craig, but one minor quibble: the whole history of the koh-i-noor, the most famous of the crown jewels, is of plunder by one ruler from another and mostly a lot more violently than the British. See how Nadir Shah acquired the diamond, along with the peacock throne, for example, or how Babur found himself in possession of it, or the Afghan sultans before him, or the Delhi Sultans before them, and so on and so on for many hundreds of years. It is unfair to single out the British in this regard.

  7. Guano [was: goo goo]

    9 May, 2013 - 1:47 pm

    Craig

    These Local Council execs are scared stiff that, with no money to create feel-good and with scyscraper pay packages giving the finger-up to the rest of us, we the public might turn nasty on them. They huddle together as one by one they are eased from their posts like shuttle sections into space. Market forces are upon them, don’t worry.

  8. Davrod

    “This issue is so small as to be irrelevant in comparison to the mismanagement of the economy and insane behaviour of the bank/regulator/politician axis.” Basically I agree, though I would say it is relevant as it is one of the less obvious consequences of the same thing.

    The result of this is that a great many people think they are part of the solution, genuinely un-self-aware that they are part of the problem.

  9. Ah yes and what a sight it was . An unelected unaccountable free loading fascistic feudal relic who sends her grandchildren to kill third world peoples who have never ever attacked this country.Twelve years genocide in Afghanistan and “Kill a Kid” Cameron burbles on about concluding a peace treaty! Meanwhile the utterly revolting party continues to make the lives of millions ever more heart breakingly difficult while ensuring the paranoid anal retentive 1% get to stuff even more loot up their fundaments. It was as horrible in its way as bush and his history challenged library.However at least the recent High Court ruling re:the Kenyan torture victims might just give the Fuck’em and Castrate’em Office pause for thought if it means that in future thousands will be sueing for damages,maybe illegal invasions will become too expensive? A small hope but one needs a little just now and another ray of sunshine as Stephen Hawking refuses an invite from Israel amid much gnashing of teeth !Keep blogging Craig your country needs your knowledge and insight.

  10. Yes, Jives.

    Old wise men.

    Now, I wonder who will admit to having consigned them to the scrapheap, the better to favor ignorant fresh faced youth.

  11. ‘My guess is that, as the pay for the managers increases, the conditions, from wages to contract status, for the lower ranks declines.’

    Chris2- my direct experience of the public sector supports your assertion. I’ve known one or two over the years who’ve become ‘fat cats’, most notably here-

    http://www.thisistotalessex.co.uk/Council-chief-dined-Jamie-Oliver-s-restaurant/story-17747338-detail/story.html#axzz2SncxcuVO

    and I’m always reminded of Peter Cook’s comment about David Frost, namely, his having ‘risen without trace’.

    Back when I knew this lady she struck me as competent and level headed, but nothing more. Quite what ‘skills’ she has acquired since to warrant such an exhorbitant salary, or how she has subsequently acquired such a sense of entitlement, eludes me.

    The murky processes that facilitate such a diversion of money to the fat cats at the top are central to the corruption Craig rails against. And, as far as the public sector goes, the ‘Guardian’ and its ‘public appointments’ pages are integral to that process.

  12. hello craig

    when i think back to my childhood the organised play areas were the most restrictive boring places to play. i enjoyed roaming far and wide with my friends, would walk 6-7 miles each way to go to a falconry centre or go and play in the woods, or go scrumping in the farmers orchard, and yes there were nonces in those days too but not the hysteria of today.
    i followed your link to the gaurdian article and skimmed the comments i had to stop, some of the bs spouted there is just mind numbing. why does everyone seem to expect someone else too sort them out, how is it always someones elses fault, where were all these whiners when their equity was soaring.
    ive worked in the public sector once and my take from it is most dont give a sh1t, do the least to avoid dismissal, and the rot absolutely started at the top. i live in e17 and the only people in the council that earn their wedge are the binmen and street cleaners, the rest broadly, incompetent parasites.
    an old saying those that cant do it become teachers, the fact to back that up the bottom 20% of graduates go into teaching, nuff said, these are the people ‘advancing’ future generations
    people dont have any skin in the game so they dont care, acting like money grows on trees or the gov owes me bs, all gov money comes from private endeavour too many seem to have forgotten that.
    all gov seeks to crush individuality for the ‘greater good’ i dont want gov in my life.
    people of uk you are reaping what you have sown, 30 years of self absorbtion the creation of a welfare gov reliant culture, wilful ignorance and so on, and i repeat the rot starts at the top and trickles down, that is the order of culpabilty as i see it.
    what can one do to fight back – easy money talks, stop watching tv – propaganda and opium, no tvl revenue, you can still watch it on iplayer and listen to radio live, buy secondhand, cut out vat, become self employed (and self reliant) engineer your income tax down to 10%, dont bother voting period there is no choice, bother to make complaints where due – stand up for your rights and pay attention to the world around you etc you get the gov you deserve life is not passive it is ACTIVE
    bye

  13. @Chris2

    Perhaps not as wide an attack as I may have interpreted, but I’m a little twitchy about the subject having watched my personal share of this trough shrink due to increment freezes and job-family re-organisations!

    @Craig

    Yes I agree that it is a consequence of general trend of people with the power to elect their own salaries choosing to raise them, especially under lax scrutiny. I’m just not sure the leisure center manager has this particular power.

  14. Mods
    Not ‘was’ Guano. Just modulating name by mood.

  15. Comment by Imran Patel (below the Labour council leader’s predictable outrage) supports what you say, Craig.

    http://blackburnlabour.org/2013/01/council-cuts-in-england-detailed-bwdbc-unfairly-hit/

    Blackburn’s MP is looking more than usually shifty here:

    http://news.sky.com/story/10905/straw-sued-over-libyans-rendition-claims

    As well he might.

  16. The interesting thing there is that faced with cuts they still saw fit to take a pay rise. Working in the private sector the over the period of time covered by the linked report I’ve not seen a pay rise. This is public sector pay though, they have to have a pay rise regardless.

    As with pensions and job security its one rule for the public sector and a much harsher one for the private sector.

  17. So-called public “servants” use moral blackmail, always claiming the vulnerable will suffer, to grab the dosh used for their salaries and deluxe pensions. Amongst them you will hear legendary tales of the opulence and (believe it or not) inefficiency of the private sector. They are only too happy to screw over the useful, productive, hard working private sector little guys, justifying it if need be with all all the usual hard left petty boogie bull. However, their relationship with the big players in the private sector is quite another thing. They will bend right over, give them all kinds of privilege, in the hope that when, say, Mr Tesco opens yet another megastore the **employees** will contribute to council tax (parse as salaries and pensions).
    The corporate state in this country has been constructed to no small extent by pretend socialists.

  18. April Showers

    9 May, 2013 - 5:59 pm

    A Surrey audience applauded a performance of The Pitment Painters loudly this afternoon which was pretty amazing considering it carried a strong socialist message. It is on tour – see it if you can.

    A Workers’ Educational Association pre-WW11 class of miners studying Art Appreciation become painters and receive wide recognition. There is some exploitation and the ending is poignant. They did not know that Thatcher and B.Liar lay ahead for them.

    ~~~

    Pitmen Painters get royal seal of approval – and a gallery of their own
    Seventy years on, Ashington’s proudly unprofessional artists gain respectability
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/oct/27/arts.artsnews?INTCMP=SRCH

    Would the miners have winced at that Guardian headline? Probably.

  19. Mick, Ali – I think it isn’t the right response to elevate the private sector as a model of fiscal prudence. ‘Efficiency’ here has generally been in the direction of greater opposition to worker rights and collective representation, and the outsourcing of public sector roles to private, non-unionised, demoralised and fragmented workforces. This in part explains the drop in private sector wages over the last thirty years – it has been very effective at extracting more value for less pay.

    That categorisation however doesn’t apply to the boardroom of course, which contains a small class of people skyrocketing in pay, at the expense of the dwindling salaries of ordinary people.

    It is absolutely right to excoriate the troughers who preside over parts of the public sector and extract as much value from it as they can get away with (they believe and insist, as a class, that high salaries are necessary to “attract talent” such as themselves). I’d suggest therefore the problem is not the public sector, which we should cherish; the problem is when greedy people get hold of it. Like the neoliberal occupation of the Labour party, the discussion should be about how to get it back, and to reverse some of the damage.

  20. Well, come on here and at least read a sane posting! The Guardian is driving me to distraction … and where the hell are they getting their below the line posters from? The Daily Mail or Rushbridger’s Twitter followers?

    Having said that I can’t say I feel any less depressed … each nasty little story of corruption/greed/screwing of the poor for the benefit of the rich sickens. And we’ve seen and read it all before … in mediavael history, the writings of Chaucer the paintings even of Holbein … and the rest.

    The history of humankind … from the top down.

  21. April Showers

    9 May, 2013 - 6:13 pm

    I thought the most cynical part of the Limp Ic ‘legacy’ was the closure of the athletics track where Jessica Ennis trained.

    The Star –

    SEBASTIAN Coe has defended Sheffield Council’s decision to close down Don Valley Stadium.

    The Sheffield-raised Olympian, who is chairman of the British Olympic Association, said he can understand the decision to close Don Valley – but insisted the case should not be viewed as a blow to the idea of building a positive London 2012 legacy.

    Sheffield councillors confirmed earlier this month that the 25,000-capacity venue, where Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis trains, is to be demolished to save money.

    Jess has spoken of her disappointment at the plan, while her coach Toni Minichiello said he feels ‘gutted and angry’ by the move, claiming it will be a major setback for athletics in Sheffield.

    Commenting on the proposed closure for the first time, Lord Coe said he could sympathise with Sheffield Council’s view of Don Valley Stadium as a drain on resources after it spent £700,000 subsidising it last year.

    ~~~

    Coe is one of the fattest cats, metaphorically speaking.
    http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-coe/783

    How much is Seb Coe paid?
    http://livesrunning.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/london-2012-what-its-worth-to-seb-coe/

    Coe on marks for £12m image rights deal
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0cb1b4bc-1ec9-11e2-be82-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2SogUHyMX

  22. Mediaeval, of course!

    This blog keeps telling me my UK spellings are wrong and ends up confusing!

    Grrr!

  23. April Showers

    9 May, 2013 - 6:19 pm

    The pothole kings or jobs for the boys and some girls

    County council top brass earnings over £2m
    May 07, 2013

    SURREY County Council spent more than £2m on the wages of fewer than 20 staff members in the past year.

    Bumper wage packages, funded by the public purse, were paid to top staff in the council, which came under fire for its decision to push up council tax by 1.99% against central government advice.

    The biggest salary was paid to the council’s chief executive, David McNulty, who was paid between £210,000 and £214,999 in his basic wage. On top of that he will have received expenses and pension contributions of more than £30,000.

    The resulting income is more than £30,000 higher than that of Prime Minister David Cameron, who receives a total wage of approximately £207,000.

    Below Mr McNulty on the pay scale come five strategic directors, such as adult social care’s Sarah Mitchell and head of change and efficiency Julie Fisher, all of whom are paid between £125,000 and £145,000.

    The council has increased the number of people paid top wages since the previous year, when just 13 people were paid more than £100,000, at a total cost of £1.62m.

    A total of £11,666,600 was paid in wages to the 170 members of staff who earned more than £58,200 annually for their work. More than 20 of them were paid more than £80,000. The council’s head of communications took home a pay cheque for more than £90,000.

    According to its most recently published statement of accounts, the council had a workforce of more than 38,000 employees at the start of 2012, with more than £539m budgeted for wages.

    Of those employees, 101 were paid between £75,000 and £100,000, 771 were paid between £50,000 and £75,000, 7,057 were paid less than £50,000 but more than £25,000, while 30,339 were paid less than £25,000.

    /..
    http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2133621_county_council_top_brass_earnings_over_2m

  24. April Showers

    9 May, 2013 - 6:52 pm

    Excruciating stuff.

    http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/news/blogs/chief-executives-blog/chief-executives-blogs-2013/chief-executives-blog-march-2013

    Perhaps he might be able to take time out from his chats to find out why my e-mail to Surrey CC Highways sent on April 7th has not been personally replied to or any action taken on the five matters raised. I copied it to the local county councillor but all he did was forward it to Highways. That produced nil response. Wonderful this local democracy isn’t it? Laughing in our faces.

  25. Well, you know the answer you’ll get if you ask why they’re paid such eye-watering salaries … “because to attract the best we have to compete with the private sector”.

    I honestly have difficulty envisaging many/any of these council employees earning similar sums in the private sector.

  26. @Indigo, I agree with the general sentiment, although I’d add that the private-sector board-room is also parasitic on working people in just the same way. The idea that the private sector (or the individuals within it) are “better behaved” was firmly proven wrong even before the banker bailouts, in my view.

    I think a maximum package value would be a progressive and sensible measure, probably starting at £150K per salaried appointment, and working downwards whilst measuring its redistributive effects*. And if that sounds too radical for some tastes, I’d consider that a sign that capitalism’s propaganda systems have been (sadly) rather effective.

    * This would be public-sector only to start with, and whilst it would make the wealthy classes squeal about getting the best managers (e.g. council leaders), I would be entirely confident that a less greedy form of talent can be found to fill the gap. They in turn would probably be less pro-privatisation and outsourcing, so perhaps a double-win.

    And for what it’s worth, part two of that project would be applying the same kinds of controls to union leaders too, though I am not sure how that would be achieved in practice. I’m much in favour of collectivisation, but in several cases in the UK today, a wealthy union clique has developed, and I’ve no idea why ordinary members still pay their subs.

  27. In a true Democracy, as created for modern times, the taxpayers, must benefit from undulterated information, in the first instance andf as matter of established practice.
    The article in itself brings home, to the newspaper’s readers ONLY, the very element that should command consideration by the electorate before casting any votes for any person or any political party.
    The verry newspaper was made aware, decades ago, of the blunt and arrognat abuse of the courts facilities, by the legal circles for imposing on Mr & Mrs Average fraud aplenty, as part of the organised free-for-all care of the long ongoing ‘FRAUD IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM’ (the courts, of course), which the Leader of the -opposition, Tony Blair QC and the Spokeo-Person on Legal Affairs in the House of Commons, Paul Mr Boateng, in July 1995 had no choice but to write back to me and acknowledge the very states imposed on Mrs Average by the legal circles.
    The Guardian was made aware of the very states, as many other newspapers were, of the acknowledgement. However, like other newspapers and theirespective editors elected to bury the realities, I point to at:-
    http://www.human-rights.org/confraud.htm#reports
    Sincerely CONCERNED
    Andrew Yiannides
    London – UK

  28. “what the political class do not do is attack their own.”

    And this is clearly the point here. Your average public sector worker isn’t especially well-paid. Your carers and cleaners, nurses, etc, simply not that well paid at all. So of course, when the financial crisis hit, the subject was changed to public sector fat cats, in an attempt to smear the public sector in general. There are some PSFC’s, but these are men and women at senior levels, mostly, and anyway no local councillor that I know of ever ruined the economy. On that criterion alone, maybe they deserve a pay rise? Or a Did Not Ruin Economy Due To Insane Narcisstic Greed bonus.

    In another place, I once called America a banana republic, and openly speculated as to whether there had been a silent coup. I was, I admit, being slightly mischevious, and got some online stick for it. However, the coup comment is looking far less mischevious now, isn’t it? And in the UK, I now wonder at the same thing. A dictatorship or managed democracy may have a parliament, as long as that parliament is full of corrupt empty-heads who do what they are told, push come to shove. I think this latter criterion has been met, with distinction.

    It’s bad news every day these days. I hope Assange wins in Victoria, that would be rare good news.

  29. karel (a conspiracy a day keeps idiocy away)

    9 May, 2013 - 10:36 pm

    garye17
    like you, when I was a child, I avoided these dismal places called playgrounds (it rhymes so well with paygrounds) as only sissies and morons brought in by their slightly demented parents patronised such places. Hence, I applaud the council officers for their astute decision to spend more money on themselves e.g. Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, rather than on something of dubious value that will only corrupt future generations with cheap entertainement to advance molding the childrens minds into a slave-like state.

  30. April Showers

    9 May, 2013 - 10:47 pm

    Sorry to bang on about this Surrey CC CEO, but he has been awarded a bonus of £100k, secretly it seems. It is payable in 2018 dependent on his performance. Bloody hell!

    http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2133380_council_defends_100k_chief_executive_bonus

    He landed in Surrey in 2009 from Trafford.

  31. April Showers

    9 May, 2013 - 10:59 pm

    This poor old lady was in the care of Mr McNulty and his cohort. I see that the ‘strategic’ director of adult social ‘care’ takes home between £125-£145k pa. Shame on the whole bunch of them.

    No criminal charges over woman left to starve
    By Nick Edmondson
    May 09, 2013

    NO criminal charges will be pursued in the case of a woman who was left without care in her home for more than a week.

    Gloria Foster, an 81-year-old widow from Banstead, died in Epsom Hospital on February 4 this year after being discovered abandoned, starving and dehydrated.

    Her care was being provided by Sutton-based firm Carefirst24, which was shut down following a raid by the UK Border Agency and Metropolitan Police in January.

    The responsibility to arrange replacement care at her Chipstead Road home was passed on to Surrey County Council (SCC).

    /..
    http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2133854_no_criminal_charges_over_woman_left_to_starve

  32. @Jon,

    Perhaps I put it badly but I don’t think that those in private sector boardrooms are “better behaved” … All this started in the private and not the public sector and I think that the endemic culture of greed that has developed in the private sector over the last 30 years (actively encouraged by actions of successive governments) has infected every part of our public sector also – and, you’re right, that includes Union officials – but I have a feeling that the majority of those greedy public officials are pale imitations of their private sector counterparts who don’t just say “I’m all right Jack, get your hands off the edge of the boat” but actively stamp on Jack’s fingers as well.

  33. @Jon

    I just thought of not a bad quote to illustrate what I perceive as the difference between the two … I can’t remember it exactly (or who said it!) but it want something like this:

    “Mitterand was totally corrupt … Chirac merely greedy”.

  34. Blegburnduddoo

    10 May, 2013 - 1:11 am

  35. Not sure about the pay issues but I do take issue with The Guardian using that photo to start on some hobby-horse rant.

    Looks like typical kids’ stuff to me and I have fond memories of making such “camps” with bits and pieces we found around the neighborhood when I was a kid. The Guardian would like to spend loads of money on sanitized play areas that would probably just get ripped apart by vandals? Let kids be kids and they may learn a thing or two while growing up.

  36. DavidH 2.39am,

    Good post,i agree.

  37. A few years ago, I spent a Summer working as a receptionist in a local government housing office. It’s the kind of job where you get to know everyone. There were some staff who worked incredibly hard – the folks in the homeless person’s unit coming tops in that respect. But some of the ‘middle managers’ (all middle class graduates) were massive piss takers. Late to work, 2 hour lunches, home early – every day, week on week. And what they did for their duck sauce dinners was evidently very little. As for the head of housing, he DID work hard (and was indeed well remunerated), and clearly loathed these idlers. However, said arse scratchers were quick to run to the trade union if under threat – and I am certainly not a trade union basher, by any means – it’s just that these well educated skivers were incredibly smart when it came to protecting their own interests.

  38. A conference of campaigners and academics, entitled “How Corrupt is Britain?”, will hear evidence that wrongdoing is not confined to a few corrupt officials but is systemic within leading institutions.

    The conference organiser, Dr David Whyte, of the University of Liverpool’s School of Law and Social Justice which is hosting the event, said the aim was to challenge two “long-outdated” assumptions.

    “First, that corruption is a problem that happens in far-away places, in governments that do not have our traditions. Secondly, that corruption is something that we can understand merely as a problem that stems from the actions of a minority of public officials who are ‘on the make’, rather than something that is routine in our most venerated institutions,” he said.

    (Emphasis mine – K)

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/scandal-just-how-corrupt-is-britain-8610095.html

    ‘Today’ had a brief discussion on this earlier, er, today, but I can’t find it on the BBC site.

  39. April Showers

    10 May, 2013 - 9:45 am

    There is an association of play equipment manufacturers.
    http://www.api-play.org/api-member-details/memberprofiles

    I see Hollywood has got in on the act. Get ‘em young.
    http://www.api-play.org/warner-bros-park-leisure
    There is also a Disney Interactive.

    Gove made the cuts.
    Playground plans shelved under government spending cuts
    Coalition makes cuts to £235m Playbuilder scheme intended to create 3,500 community playgrounds across England
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/aug/11/playground-plans-frozen-spending-cuts

    There is a charity called Play England. Funding:
    http://www.playengland.org.uk/about-us/how-we’re-funded.aspx
    It is newly registered on the Charity Commission website so there are no details yet.

    I could not find out the total value of the spend on play equipment by UK local authorities. It is obviously big business, or was.

  40. Craig,

    I like the cut of your gib and will be reading regularly. Good work.

  41. April Showers

    10 May, 2013 - 5:09 pm

    Woman in £1m hat speaks on austerity
    http://trotskyite.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/queen.jpg ;)

  42. @ Brendan 10.33PM – re your comment “A dictatorship or managed democracy may have a parliament, as long as that parliament is full of corrupt empty-heads who do what they are told, when push comes to shove.”

    Quite so – except they don’t have to be empty-heads. If they are a little bit corrupt (like fiddling an expense account) they can be easily blackmailed into line by those in the know. And organizations like MI5/6 can be in the know if they want to be. But it goes far beyond MPs; a managed democracy also requires a “wilfully blind” media who know when to look the other way and what not to report on.

  43. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    10 May, 2013 - 6:43 pm

    @ post at 17h09 today :

    “Woman in £1m hat speaks on austerity”

    Bearing in mind that the crown is not Her Majesty’s personal property (it belongs to the state), what point is the commenter trying to make?

  44. @Roderick Russell

    … a managed democracy also requires a “wilfully blind” media who know when to look the other way and what not to report on.

    At the risk of repeating what is oft spoken of on these threads it goes even further than wilful blindness … the popular press has become not just a spokesman for its multi-millionaire owners but also for the government … while the BBC … enough said.

    So those media outlets not only choose what they report with great care but also how they report it. They are not only full of omissions but also half-truths, value-judgements and downright lies.

    And these are the media most read and listened to by the greatest number of people.

    So the general population are conned and give their passive consent to this ‘dictatorship of managed democracy’.

  45. Sorry to see this in the UK, I actually know a few kids whose parents decided to emigrate there “for a better life” from Lithuania. I’m sure that the UK will eventually catch up with Lithuania, at least in terms of children’s playgrounds, someday.

    Until then, keep sending us your EU funds (for children’s playgrounds, hospitals, road projects, and the such).

  46. Indigo, yes to your [9 May, 2013 – 11:10 pm] comment. Brendan, I wish class analyses were discussed more frequently – very apposite.

  47. “The BBC’s Program “Bankers – Fixing The System”

    http://rowans-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-bbcs-program-bankers-fixing-system.html

  48. @Habbabkuk

    ‘Bearing in mind that the crown is not Her Majesty’s personal property (it belongs to the state), what point is the commenter trying to make?’

    Can anyone wear the crown, then? No, of course not. It’s bleeding obvious what point the commenter is making, just stop picking on her will you?

  49. April Showers

    11 May, 2013 - 7:44 am

    Twit George Osborne tweets. He is ever so excited that Star Wars No.# will be made here thanks to all the tax breaks we hand out to the Hollywood mafia. And a tea from the WI. Miss Marple lives.

    George Osborne ‏@George_Osborne 9h
    Just confirmed: the next Star Wars film will be made in UK. Great news for our creative industries. May the force be with us…..

    George Osborne ‏@George_Osborne 10h
    Constructive talks today on global economy with #G7 leaders. Formal agenda ended for the day but informal discussions continue

    George Osborne ‏@George_Osborne 17h
    Delighted the WI agreed to prepare a proper English tea for when #G7 guests arrive. Dropped in to say thanks https://twitter.com/George_Osborne/status/332855115176361984/photo/1

    George Osborne ‏@George_Osborne 20h
    Powerful #elephantintheroom campaign. Have put tax evasion & helping developing countries on agenda at #G7 this weekend

    Pathetic stuff and pathetic chancellor. Agent Cameron got the big ‘E’ from Putin on his visit to Sochi too.
    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/67535000/jpg/_67535338_67535337.jpg

  50. April Showers

    11 May, 2013 - 9:05 am

    King of Welsh Noir. LOL

    There is a Queen in Waiting. Camilla. The good and outspoken retired Bishop of Hulme has just been on the BBC reviewing the papers. He referred to her positioning herself, or her having been positioned by others, as Queen In Waiting. Even had an oblique dig at P. Charles’ adultery. He was commenting on this piece.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2322810/No-wonder-shes-smiling-As-Camilla-takes-centre-stage-husband-shes-lifted-gloomy-introspection-soon-queen-name.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    See the references to the Bishop’s stand on nationalism, racism and Caterpillar and others assisting the Israeli occupation!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Lowe_(bishop)

    He is one of us. His views on many topics this morning, for instance on the corruption within the ANC (Tutu will not be voting for them) and the position of women within the Anglican church (he thinks the new female Dean of Llandaff has been squeezed out), were refreshing.

  51. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    11 May, 2013 - 9:07 am

    @ KingOfWelshNoir :

    “@Habbabkuk

    ‘Bearing in mind that the crown is not Her Majesty’s personal property (it belongs to the state), what point is the commenter trying to make?’

    Can anyone wear the crown, then? No, of course not. It’s bleeding obvious what point the commenter is making, just stop picking on her will you?”
    ———

    I should have preferred a reply from the original poster, but still…..

    Your point is…pointless. Paintings in the national galleries also belong to the nation, but no-one would expect members of the public to come along and ask to borrow them for a while to hang in thier living rooms.

    So my question remains.

    If the answer is so “bleeding obvious”, perhaps you, acting as a surrogate for the original poster, could spell it out for us?

    Thank you.

  52. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    11 May, 2013 - 9:19 am

    @ poster at 09h05 :

    “….retired Bishop of Hulme has just been on the BBC reviewing the papers. He referred to her positioning herself, or her having been positioned by others, as Queen In Waiting.”

    ———

    But she IS the Queen in waiting, isn’t she? So I’m not sure what the poster means by this “positioning herself” business.

  53. Camilla has no automatic right under the constitution to become what is known as “Queen Consort” (and shortened to ‘Queen’.) Essentially it’s the decision of Charles but to get his parent’s agreement to the marriage it was announced at the time that she would not be Queen Consort but HRH Princess Consort when he took the throne.

    There has been speculation since that he’s backtracked on his prior agreement but the latest announcement can be found here:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/12/camilla-will-never-be-queen-prince-charles-capitulates-on-website-faq.html

  54. @Habbabkuk

    ‘I should have preferred a reply from the original poster, but still…..’

    Why? Your question wasn’t directed at the commenter, it read: ‘What point is the commenter trying to make?’

    ‘Your point is…pointless. Paintings in the national galleries also belong to the nation, but no-one would expect members of the public to come along and ask to borrow them for a while to hang in thier living rooms.’

    That’s right, no member of the public would be able to take works of art belonging to the nation and hang them on his or her living room wall, but the Queen does. She’s got loads. So your rebuttal actually seems to bolster the point.

  55. @ KingOfWelshNoir :

    “@Habbabkuk

    ‘I should have preferred a reply from the original poster, but still…..’

    Why? Your question wasn’t directed at the commenter, it read: ‘What point is the commenter trying to make?’”
    ————

    I don’t think you need to be especially smart to understand that the question was directed, in the first place, to the commenter who made the comment?
    But it’s true that since that particular commenter makes a habit of never replying to questions (after all, one doesn’t challenge the word of the Popess, does one? Frightfully bad show!), I think I can inderstand that others feel a need to step in.
    ————–

    “That’s right, no member of the public would be able to take works of art belonging to the nation and hang them on his or her living room wall, but the Queen does. She’s got loads. So your rebuttal actually seems to bolster the point.”

    ——-

    No, I don’t think so. But more importantly, could you perhaps, acting as the original poster’s surrogate, try to explain what her point was? Her post tells us that Her Majesty wore a crown which is worth a lot of money at the ceremony of opening a session of Parliament. What precisely are we supposed to deduce from that? Could it perhaps be that:

    1/ Her Majesty shouldn’t wear a crown when opening a session of Parliament.

    2/. She should wear a cheap one.

    3/. Free crowns should be distributed to all residents of the UK (includong illegal immigrants, of course.

    4/. The crown should be sold and the money raised go towards reducing the state deficit.

    I’m genuinely puzzled as to what the original commenter wanted and was getting at but I’m sure you’ll be kind enough to take the time to explain.

    Thanks in advance, King! (better change that handle!)

  56. @ Indigo :

    “Camilla has no automatic right under the constitution to become what is known as “Queen Consort” (and shortened to ‘Queen’.) Essentially it’s the decision of Charles but to get his parent’s agreement to the marriage it was announced at the time that she would not be Queen Consort but HRH Princess Consort when he took the throne.”

    ———–

    Thanks for that. But if that’s the case, why on earth was the poster at 09h05 going on about ‘Queens in waiting’ and Camilla being ‘positioned’ or ‘positioning herself’ to be Queen?

    What point was the post trying to make (were it any other poster, I should have dismissed the comment as mere spite, but given the identity of the poster, that couldn’t have been the reason, could it)?

  57. @Habbabkuk

    But if that’s the case, why on earth was the poster at 09h05 going on about ‘Queens in waiting’ and Camilla being ‘positioned’ or ‘positioning herself’ to be Queen?

    Why ask me? How would I know. Ask her.

  58. April Showers

    11 May, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    This is the representative of the power behind the throne(s).

    Christopher Geidt: the suave, shrewd and mysterious royal insider
    MPs have in the past asked in the Commons whether Geidt – now the Queen’s private secretary – was a member of MI6

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/may/07/sir-christopher-geidt-royal-insider

    Note his role in press regulation – ‘In his palace role, Geidt is now jointly responsible for setting up a charter to regulate the press. Royal charters are ultimately overseen on an ongoing basis by the Queen’s private secretary and the head of the privy council – in practice, the government.’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Geidt

    PS The RI knows very well that I will never engage in useless circular conversations which would fill up Craig’s blog to no purpose. I noticed that the usual stupid and boring lines of ****** and the vita e bella stuff are in use again.

  59. April Showers

    11 May, 2013 - 2:11 pm

    From Counterpunch today http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/10/tirado-rajapakse-corseri/

    fat cats
    .
    by GARY CORSERI

    .
    .

    fat cats
    paw
    my brain
    watch me
    with the
    intolerable
    eyes
    of fat
    cats.
    fat cats
    come
    and rub
    against me,
    breathe
    in my ear,
    lick
    my brain
    with their
    electric
    tongues.
    .
    .

    fat cats
    are not
    to be
    trusted.
    they
    eat
    canaries.

  60. @Habbabkuk

    1/ Her Majesty shouldn’t wear a crown when opening a session of Parliament.

    2/. She should wear a cheap one.

    3/. Free crowns should be distributed to all residents of the UK (includong illegal immigrants, of course.

    4/. The crown should be sold and the money raised go towards reducing the state deficit.

    All four of your guesses are wide of the mark, but still excellent ideas in their own right. Perhaps with the exception of the first which would be better expressed ‘Her Majesty shouldn’t exist, but if she did she should have no business opening a session of Parliament, but if she did, she might as well wear a silly crown.’

    Anyway, you are getting warmer, keep going.

    ‘Thanks in advance, King! (better change that handle!)’

    I’m afraid you’ll have to take that one up with my handle’s bestower: the literary reviewer of the Sunday Telegraph.

  61. @ Indigo :

    “Why ask me? How would I know. Ask her”
    ——

    Terribly sorry! It was just that since

    – the original poster never answers questions,

    and more importantly

    – you saw fit to invite yourself into the ‘conversation’

    I thought you might care to answer on her behalf.

  62. @ poster at 12h54 today :

    “MPs have in the past asked in the Commons whether Geidt – now the Queen’s private secretary – was a member of MI6″

    And what was the answer? Why is it important, what would it matter and what conclusions should be drawn from this if it’s true?

    ————

    “PS The RI knows very well that I will never engage in useless circular conversations which would fill up Craig’s blog to no purpose.”

    I think that that’s code for ‘I never answer questions about my comments nor justify them nor tell readers what I think could be inferred from them’, isn’t it?

    I would add that the poster at 12h54 certainly knows a thing or to about filling up Craig’s bandwidth (whether on-topic of off) :)

  63. Blegburnduddoo

    11 May, 2013 - 5:01 pm

    I’m usually amazed at Craig’s posts, which so often express my opinions. Uncanny. Not this time.

    I used to be a Councillor in a London borough and, for a time, Chair of Development. I was in close contact with the Director of Development and his Assistant Directors and met with the Chief Executive frequently. They had studied long and hard for their qualifications and worked tirelessly in their posts. The DD had assembled an excellent team and ensured that his department worked efficiently and effectively. There were no passengers.

    They treated all Councillors from whatever party, with respect and consideration, it was not always reciprocated. Indeed, both Chief officers were booted out after I moved on because they had too much integrity.

    I do not accept that the job of Deputy Director of Leisure is in any way comparable to any job in a hotel.

    We all think we are experts in every aspect of the work of Local Government and are implacably convinced, that any Council Officer who does not see things in quite the way we do, is blind, ignorant, incompetent and probably corrupt.

    Councillors are elected to represent the general public, with all their faults. They want Officers who, unquestioningly do their bidding, no matter how unreasonable or, sometimes, illegal. Lady Porter in Westminster showed the dangers of that.

    The more intelligent Councillors eventually discover that things are not so simple, but, in the meantime, they have probably sacked a number of perfectly good Council Officers because they were too “obstructive”.

    Thatcher’s belief that nothing had any value unless it produced a private profit, did much to damage the public service ethic.

    Public servants should have respect and be well paid. Job security should be earned by efficiency, integrity and ability. The top ranks need to attract the best from our universities and colleges; people drawn to public service rather than private profit.

    If Council officers are overpaid and underperforming, blame the Councillors. If manual workers are exploited, blame the Councillors. It is their responsibility.

  64. @ KingofWelshNoir :

    ‘Her Majesty shouldn’t exist, but if she did she should have no business opening a session of Parliament, but if she did, she might as well wear a silly crown.’

    ————-

    Thanks for that, I think we’re advancing.

    Just to tease this out a little further

    – why should Her Majesty have no business opening a session of Parliament? Is there any particular reason why she should not do so?

    – what is specifically silly about the crown worn? Do you object to it for aesthetic reasons? Or does its silliness reside in the fact that it’s worth a lot of money?

    Look forward to your considered (and always illuminating) response!

    ——-

    PS – slight correction re your use of the subjunctive, if you permit. The sentence would better read : “Her Majesty shouldn’t exist, but since she does,she should have no business opening a session of Parliamentbut sonce she does, she might as well wear a silly crown”.

    Let’s use the Quessn’s English on this blog, shall we? :)

  65. and I’ll use the Queen’s spelling :)

  66. Questionable behaviour ………..

    QUESTION what point is the commenter trying to make?
    QUESTION So my question remains. If the answer is so “bleeding obvious”, perhaps you, acting as a surrogate for the original poster, could spell it out for us?
    QUESTION But she IS the Queen in waiting, isn’t she?
    QUESTION But more importantly, could you perhaps, acting as the original poster’s surrogate, try to explain what her point was?
    QUESTIONS What precisely are we supposed to deduce from that? Could it perhaps be that:
    1/. Her Majesty shouldn’t wear a crown when opening a session of Parliament.
    2/. She should wear a cheap one.
    3/. Free crowns should be distributed to all residents of the UK (includong illegal immigrants, of course.
    4/. The crown should be sold and the money raised go towards reducing the state deficit.
    QUESTION But if that’s the case, why on earth was the poster at 09h05 going on about ‘Queens in waiting’ and Camilla being ‘positioned’ or ‘positioning herself’ to be Queen?
    QUESTION What point was the post trying to make (were it any other poster, I should have dismissed the comment as mere spite, but given the identity of the poster, that couldn’t have been the reason, could it)?
    QUESTION And what was the answer?
    QUESTION Why is it important, what would it matter and what conclusions should be drawn from this if it’s true?
    QUESTION I think that that’s code for ‘I never answer questions about my comments nor justify them nor tell readers what I think could be inferred from them’, isn’t it?
    QUESTION – why should Her Majesty have no business opening a session of Parliament?
    QUESTION Is there any particular reason why she should not do so?
    QUESTION – what is specifically silly about the crown worn?
    QUESTION Do you object to it for aesthetic reasons?
    QUESTION Or does its silliness reside in the fact that it’s worth a lot of money

  67. @Habbabkuk

    The crown is silly in the same way that epaulettes and gold braid are silly; the way swagger sticks and periwigs are silly; the way hotel doormen in buckled shoes are silly, and the way the acres of medals that periodically appear across the chest of that renowned man of arms, Prince Charles, are silly. It is silly the way bishops are silly, the ones who purport to represent a humble carpenter’s son who preached poverty, meekness and humility, and yet dress themselves in gold and finery; silly the way young men give their lives up for a piece of tin hanging from a ribbon; silly because it symbolises the pathetic pomposity and vanity of men who believe a piece of gold braid means they are special; and silly in that the crown embodies the daftest notion on the planet, namely that this family of German carpet-baggers are destined to rule over us and live in splendour at our expense by dint of some supposed genetic licence given to them by God.

  68. @ A Node :

    Thank you for listing all the legitimate questions arising from a couple of posts from some of the usual Eminences.

    And now….the answers?

  69. @ KingofWelshNoir :

    Leaving aside the fact that answering a question like “why is the crown silly” by commenting “because epaulettes and gold braid are silly”, etc, is not really a very persuasive answer, I note from your screed that you appear to have something against uniforms, decorations and gold braid.

    But why?

  70. @ KingofWelshNoir:

    ” the crown embodies the daftest notion on the planet, namely that this family of German carpet-baggers are destined to rule over us….”

    I see that you have used the superlative (“daftest”).

    This means that you think that there is no notion on this planet which is dafter than that of the British royal family.

    That,if I may say so, is itself a daft statement. And certainly the daftest one on this particular thread.

    (But of course I know you’re just trying to pull my leg, you old devil! :)

  71. Habba,

    Could it be that you are the one who wrote to Tampax complaining that you had been using their products for years, but still could not swim, ride a horse or a bicycle?

    Or, for that matter, spell, read or write?!

    So, do you usually read your own posts after the event? Why not read them before? Why not also think before you speak or write? Anything to do with toilet training? Hope not! And if so, its never too late to correct it now. Life IS beautiful, but it is also long — long enough to sort yourself out. Perhaps it is one’s main purpose?

    I once read a bumper-sticker which read “Windsurfer’s do it Standing Up!”. Wonder if all your stand-up (and be counted) crapping here is not your main problem.

    Life IS good and its good to reflect on life.

    Btw, Sophie seems to have turned out alright?

  72. When I was a youngster, my brothers and I would walk 2km to the local dump and play amongst the filth and discarded treasures from our much better off neighbours. We called it ‘having fun’. These days, mum takes an anti-depressant pill, gives Billy his tantrum-calming medication and they both go off to a sterile, govt constructed playground with all its gaudy colours and ‘child-safe’, govt-approved equipment imported from socialist Sweden. How things have changed.

  73. April Showers

    12 May, 2013 - 8:27 am

    The details of being ‘force fed’ and its effects are shocking. Note the deprivations of soap and bedding too.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/death-is-preferable-to-life-at-obamas-guantanamo/5334556

    ‘Although a few days after his first inauguration, Obama promised to shutter Guantanamo, it remains open. “I continue to believe that we’ve got to close Guantanamo,” Obama declared in his April 30 press conference. But, he added, “Congress determined that they would not let us close it.” Obama signed a bill that Congress passed which erected barriers to closure. According to a Los Angeles Times editorial, “Obama has refused to expend political capital on closing Guantanamo. Rather than veto the defense authorization bills that have limited his ability to transfer inmates, he has signed them while raising questions about whether they intruded on his constitutional authority.”

    “I don’t want these individuals to die,” Obama told reporters. In fact, Obama has the power to save the hunger strikers’ lives without torturing them. Eighty-six – more than half – of the detainees remaining at Guantanamo have been cleared for release for the past three years.’

    Obama is a hollow vessel.

  74. “Obama is a hollow vessel.”

    Maybe, but unlike the poster at 08h27 and others of her ilk he – and other public figures – actually have to act, make choices and take decisions (and therefore also run the rusk of making mistakes) rather than just bitch, whine and jeer from the sidelines.

  75. April Showers

    12 May, 2013 - 12:06 pm

    I was not aware that the CoE was a ‘business’!

    Canterbury Cathedral may ‘close for business’ after losing lottery bid
    Christchurch Gate, which acts as the cathedral’s entrance, is particularly vulnerable to erosion

    Godwine Charter to go on display
    In pictures: Archbishop enthroned
    Is the archbishop ‘for’ Canterbury?

    Canterbury Cathedral has said it may have to close to visitors after it missed out on £10m of lottery funding.

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-22500071

    ‘Around 15 per cent (over £160 million) comes from the Church Commissioners who manage assets of £4.4 billion (at the end of 2008) on behalf of the Church:

    Over the past ten years, the Church Commissioners achieved an average annual return of 5.7 per cent on their investments, substantially outperforming the comparator index of more than 200 similar funds.’
    http://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/facts-stats/funding.aspx

  76. Blegburnduddoo

    12 May, 2013 - 12:34 pm

    Has anyone noticed this;

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bedroom-tax-victim-commits-suicide-1883600

    My parents were born in 1901 and 1904 and lived through the Crash of the 20s and 30s. It was caused in the same way as the crash of 2008 i.e. banks recklessly speculating and losing other peoples’ money while paying bankers vast sums for their incompetence. The response of the Tories and most of Labour was also the same, make the poorest pay.
    Dr Simon Duffy of Birmingham University has shown that, on average the poorest 10% pay 45% of all their income in taxes, a much greater proportion than any other sector. This will increase now that more will have to pay a portion of Council Tax.

    My parents hated Tories and Toryism with a deep and bitter hatred. What we are seeing now is that leopards do not change their spots.

  77. Let them shut Canterbury Cathedral. Why should these CoE leeches, sitting on such investments, get their hands on gambling money mostly spent by poor people.

    Why can gamblers not opt for worthy causes, rather than being nannied by the Government on what to spend it?

    If churches are not sustainable and their flock not dedicated enough to pay for the upkeep of their holiest of houses, why should lottery players come up with the cash, when many of them are not connected to CoE or other religions taking cash from gambling.

    Its like the sheriff of Nottingham is running the church.

    And Obama is as hollow as his words sound these days, a man who is working to preserve war and military expenditure. He is too weak to stand up to fascists like Netanyahu or the NSA in his own country.

  78. April Showers

    12 May, 2013 - 1:59 pm

    Quite agree there Nevermind. Where is Jesus to cast out the moneylenders when you want him? A long distance away from Welby & Co.

    Blegburnduddoo I thought it was extremely sad to hear of that woman’s suicide. Sky News have been at great pains to emphasize the Samaritans’ comment that suicide is committed for more than one reason. What do the well paid reporters and presenters on Sky News know about someone’s desperation?

    It’s ‘controversial’ according to their Ms Ridge.
    http://news.sky.com/story/1089813/bedroom-tax-blamed-for-womans-suicide

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1368346374.html
    Discussion on Medialens.

  79. April Showers

    12 May, 2013 - 2:04 pm

    By the by and seen on a hoarding at Zurich railway station.

    ‘Every day Israel abuses Palestinians’ human rights

    65 years of Israel, 65 years injustice to the Palestinians

    In Great Britain there are now Jews who say:”It’s kosher to boycott Israeli goods” ‘

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/95647039@N05/8730204219/in/photostream

  80. April Showers

    12 May, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    Ref. the downplaying of the reason for that suicide –

    The Samaritans’ CEO on ITV’s Daybreak here http://www.itv.com/news/story/2013-05-02/samaritans-economic-crisis/

    According to their accounts, the highest paid employee, who I assume is the CEO, receives between £120-£130k. Their total income and expenditure is over £11m, just under £1m of which comes from HMG and other state bodies and they spend £2.5m on generating income!

    £4.1m expenditure goes on staff costs.

    My late husband was a Samaritan. He used to go off to do overnight duty on a rota. It was more of a ‘brown paper and string’ set up in those days I think compared to the present day ‘bells and whistles’ version. The local branch raised its own funding.
    http://www.samaritans.org/about-us/our-organisation

    http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Accounts/Ends32/0000219432_ac_20120331_e_c.pdf

    http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/CharityWithPartB.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=219432&SubsidiaryNumber=0

  81. Blegburnduddoo 12 May, 2013 – 12:34 pm

    ” It was caused in the same way as the crash of 2008 i.e. banks recklessly speculating and losing other peoples’ money while paying bankers vast sums for their incompetence.”

    I believe this is a fundamental misunderstanding of the true situation. Financial crashes are deliberately caused by manipulation of the money supply – they are not accidents. The bankers do not recklessly speculate – they follow a strategy designed to cause a crash. They are not rewarded despite their incompetence, they are rewarded for their competence in causing a crash.

    The bankers don’t just control the money supply, they create the money supply. All central banking uses the fractional reserve system whereby they can lend out more than they have on deposit. Usually, for every one pound/dollar they have in the bank, they can lend out ten. If you go to the bank and borrow a thousand pounds, they don’t transfer it from some account to you, they just create it out of nothing and lend it to you. This means that when the bankers make a lot of loans, there is plenty of money in the system and everybody is wealthy, but when they stop lending, the money supply dries up as people repay their previous loans. This is called boom and bust and it is the bankers’ major tool of control.

    It sounds incredible but it really is (nearly) that simple. Money is the key to understanding the world today.

    Here’s an excellent video that spells it out very clearly and easily ….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqvKjsIxT_8

    …. and if that whets your appetite for a more comprehensive analysis, I recommend:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U71-KsDArFM

    “All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.”

    John Adams , founding father of the American constitution

    “Whomsoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.”

    ― James Garfield assassinated president of the USA

    “Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talk of sovereignty of Parliament and of democracy is idle and futile… Once a nation parts with control of its credit, it matters not who makes the nation’s laws… Usury once in control will wreck any nation.”

    William Lyon Mackenzie King, former Prime Minister of Canada

    “Banking was conceived in iniquity and born in sin… Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them but leave them the power to create money, and, with a flick of the pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again… Take this great power away from them and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in… But, if you want to be the slaves of the bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit.”

    Sir Josiah Stamp (attributed) (A director of the Bank of England in the 1920s)

    “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the Government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.”

    Thomas Jefferson

  82. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    12 May, 2013 - 3:58 pm

    @ the Obsessive Poster at 13h59 today gets it wrong and/or twists the facts again in one and the same para :

    “Sky News have been at great pains to emphasize the Samaritans’ comment that suicide is committed for more than one reason. What do the well paid reporters and presenters on Sky News know about someone’s desperation?”
    ———

    Sky News is not claiming “to know” anything, it is reporting something the Samaritans said.

    Which is presumably why the Obsessive Poster’s next post is about the Samaritans.

  83. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    12 May, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    @ A Node :

    OK, so short of abolishing money (which I suppose even you wouldn’t be in favour of), what is the solution to this grave problem you point to at such length?

    Thank you.

  84. “Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talk of sovereignty of Parliament and of democracy is idle and futile… Once a nation parts with control of its credit, it matters not who makes the nation’s laws… Usury once in control will wreck any nation.”

    William Lyon Mackenzie King, former Prime Minister of Canada

  85. Banks create money and control nations. This used to be much better known than it is now. The American War of Independence was not about slavery …. it was for control of the money supply. Lincoln was fighting for the right of America to create its own currency. He was fighting against the European bankers. Lincoln won, but it was short lived. Soon after, the bankers formed the privately owned Federal Reserve, and from that moment onwards, every dollar created has been lent to the USA … with interest!

    “The bank hath benefit of interest on all moneys which it creates out of nothing.”
    William Paterson, founder of the Bank of England in 1694, then a privately owned bank.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.”
    Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), founder of the House of Rothschild.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.”
    The Rothschild brothers of London writing to associates in New York, 1863.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “I am afraid the ordinary citizen will not like to be told that the banks can and do create money. And they who control the credit of the nation direct the policy of Governments and hold in the hollow of their hand the destiny of the people.”
    Reginald McKenna, as Chairman of the Midland Bank, addressing stockholders in 1924.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Money plays the largest part in determining the course of history.”
    Karl Marx writing in the Communist Manifesto (1848).

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  86. To be clear, the first paragraph above is my words, the others are quotes.

  87. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    12 May, 2013 - 7:05 pm

    @ A Node :

    Interesting quotations, but still no answer to my question at 16h03 as far as I can see.

    Unless your answer is in the following, from your quotation at 16h48 :

    “Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government”

    If this is so, (1) what does that actually mean and, specifically, what does that mean in practice? and (2) can you nominate any UK government since WW2 to whom you would have happily entrusted this “sacred responsibility” as Mackenzie King called it?

  88. What dictates the course of history?

    It’s not politicians – the bankers appoint politicians
    It’s not the oil industry – the bankers own the oil industry
    It’s not the military – the bankers fund the wars
    It’s not scientific advancement – the bankers control the direction of research
    It’s not the ordinary people? – the bankers have made us ignorant and docile

    It’s the bankers

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “The government should create, issue and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the buying power of consumers. By adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity.”
    Abraham Lincoln, US President 1861-5. He created government issue money during the American Civil War and was assassinated.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “The death of Lincoln was a disaster for Christendom. There was no man in the United States great enough to wear his boots and the bankers went anew to grab the riches. I fear that foreign bankers with their craftiness and tortuous tricks will entirely control the exuberant riches of America and use it to systematically corrupt civilisation.”
    Otto von Bismark (1815-1898), German Chancellor, after the Lincoln assassination.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “If the American people ever allow private banks to control issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and the corporations will grow up around them, will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”
    Thomas Jefferson in the debate over The Re-charter of the Bank Bill (1809).

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”
    Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France.

  89. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    12 May, 2013 - 10:36 pm

    @ A Node :

    Oh, I get it at last. The solution is : abolish the banks and bankers.

    That’s very helpful – and practical.

    What a shame that all the great (and powerful) men you quote with such admiration didn’t get round to doing it!

    There must have been a little snag somewhere…..

  90. …. and so intelligent people ask the question :

    If so many important people in the past believed that control of the money supply was paramount to a prosperous and independent nation, why do we never hear mention of the subject today?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “That this House considers that the continued issue of all the means of exchange – be they coin, bank-notes or credit, largely passed on by cheques – by private firms as an interest-bearing debt against the public should cease forthwith; that the Sovereign power and duty of issuing money in all forms should be returned to the Crown, then to be put into circulation free of all debt and interest obligations…”
    Captain Henry Kerby MP, in an Early Day Motion tabled in 1964.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Banks lend by creating credit. They create the means of payment out of nothing. ”
    Ralph M Hawtry, former Secretary to the Treasury.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “… our whole monetary system is dishonest, as it is debt-based… We did not vote for it. It grew upon us gradually but markedly since 1971 when the commodity-based system was abandoned.”
    The Earl of Caithness, in a speech to the House of Lords, 1997.

  91. I wonder what lorry and train drivers feel about people throwing themselves in front of their vehicles, leaving a horrifying mess for a complete stranger to clean up.

  92. As an individual, if I want to borrow money, and thereby become indebted, I have to offer security.
    A bank, when it lends money (assuming that it is a fractional reserve banker rather than a mutual, which has assets to cover its undertakings), transfers what is in effect a promissory note into my account, and credits itself with the money I owe it – and which, as I have given security, it has every chance of my paying. In other words, not only has it not parted with the money it has lent – it hasn’t even got that – but it has created it out of thin air and added it to its own account as well as mine. Come payday, it disappears from mine and remains in the bank’s account. Bonuses all round!

    And what do we do about this? We make the law regarding financial transactions apply in the same way to banks as to individuals. Simples. If you haven’t got the money (fractional reserve bankers haven’t), you can’t lend it. And money lent is, for the duration of the loan, no longer the lender’s but the borrower’s, and appears on the debt side of the borrower’s account, not the credit side.

    When the loan matures, it, and the legitimate interest due, become the rightful property of the bank again.

    As a side effect, if it is necessary for the bank to hold funds to cover its accumulated loan debt, it will want to attract savers. Which means it might consider (as a totally revolutionary innovation) paying savers decent interest rates for the use of their money.

  93. S**T! The reverse of what I meant to say: should read

    “and appears on the debt side of the lender’s account, not the credit side.”

  94. Precisely, Komodo, and to get back to the point that triggered my many posts, this power of the banks to create money out of thin air not only makes them rich, it gives them complete control over the money supply. Financial depressions don’t just happen, they are deliberately created. A nation can only be prosperous if the bankers allow it.

    If the banks create lots of money out of thin air (i.e. make lots of loans), there is plenty of money swilling round the economy and the nation is prosperous. If they stop making loans, the money in the economy dwindles as people repay their previous loans until there isn’t enough money around for everyone to repay. The ones who can’t pay go bankrupt and the banks seizes their assets, often their home or business. Wham, bam, thank you Ma’am.

    After a few years, when the flow of bankrupts eases off, they start lending again and the cycle begins anew. Boom and bust in action.

    The reason businesses are finding it difficult to get a loan at present is not because we’re in a recession, it’s the other way round. We are in a recession because businesses can’t get a loan.

  95. Does anyone have to create depressions, Node? Aren’t they inherent in the system? A bust is just the vacuum left by a boom passing…but the fat cats can make an equal profit from either, and do.

  96. @ Habakkuk – Re Your comment – ““MPs have in the past asked in the Commons whether Geidt – now the Queen’s private secretary – was a member of MI6″ … Why is it important, what would it matter and what conclusions should be drawn from this if it’s true?”
    .
    Why is it important? The answer is because it goes to the very route of what a democracy is or should be. Spooks can never really retire – they are always spooks with the connections and mindset of spooks. Now MI6 is an organization that is known to work in secret outside the law. Many believe it to have a history of assassination and murder, and it has been recently revealed that its own Baroness Park has talked about their involvement in the assassination of a former leader of the Congo – Patrice Lumumba. MI6 is also known for its manipulation of the media (it even has a specialist propaganda section it calls I/Ops to do it), and many (including former MI6 officers) have reported its involvement in intimidation, harassment and threats.
    .
    Now I don’t know whether Sir Christopher Geidt is/was a member of MI6 or not. Nor does his involvement with military intelligence matter one way or the other. But MI6 is a different creature – It has a very substantial secret police component to it, and is very “establishment” political will little real democratic checks and balances on it. If Royalty were dealing directly with MI6 or MI5, rather than through government Minsters, it should, in my view, be seen as a threat to democracy.

  97. Komodo, you say “Does anyone have to create depressions, Node? Aren’t they inherent in the system?”

    Well certainly that’s what they constantly tell us but I don’t believe it. The clue is in your closing remark “…but the fat cats can make an equal profit from either, and do.” Exactly so, and what they DON’T make a profit from is a stable financial system.

    “If the American people ever allow private banks to control issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and the corporations will grow up around them, will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

    Even back in 1809, the bankers’ modus operandi were well enough known for Thomas Jefferson to warn of the dangers of bank-induced boom and bust. They’ve been doing it for centuries, Komodo.

  98. Blegburnduddoo

    13 May, 2013 - 7:28 pm

    I wasn’t intending to explain all the ramifications of the financial system and am not attempting to do so now.

    In any case, the appalling poverty and unemployment of the 20s had much to do with the obsession of the government to cut the national debt (the Geddes Axe). Mass unemployment led to cheap labour. If not the intention, it was certainly highly desirable for them. This made a bad situation worse. Much like today.

    Then it led to the General Strike and the emergence of quisling Labour politicians such as Ramsay Macdonald and Philip Snowdon.

    In 1945 Labour, with an enormous national debt, handled things very differently and laid the foundation for prosperity for 25 years. We shall see what the present crash brings and whether Labour will react as in 1945 or as in 1929.

    Of course, fractional reserve banking creates opportunities for greedy bankers. They didn’t stop at ten times reserves, some banks went up to 100 times reserves. And they didn’t use the facility for lending to businesses; they were buying junk on a massive scale.

    All they could see was the high interest rates and the AAA rating. They didn’t care to look under the high quality label to see the rubbish beneath. Nor did they understand the exotic financial instruments they were so keen to acquire. You can hardly claim they were successful in their endeavours as most of the players have been moved out although not prosecuted as they should have been.

    The Bank of England is now taking this junk off their hands to be paid for by the taxpayer, so the banks can do it all over again. Hey Ho.

  99. April Showers

    14 May, 2013 - 9:03 am

    Don’t know about the fat cats but here are some circling vultures. La Thatcher lives.

    Severn Trent receives takeover approach

    Severn Trent water cleaning plant
    Severn Trent supplies water to 7.7 million people in the UK

    A group of international investors is interested in buying UK water supplier Severn Trent, the company has said.

    The investors include a Canadian infrastructure company and the Kuwaiti government investment fund.

    Severn Trent confirmed it had received an approach, but said it was “at a very early stage” and there was no certainty that an offer would be made.

    The company’s shares jumped more than 17% in the first few minutes of trading on the London Stock Exchange.

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22521235

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severn_Trent

  100. Komodo, you say “Does anyone have to create depressions, Node? Aren’t they inherent in the system?”

    Well certainly that’s what they constantly tell us but I don’t believe it.

    Why not? If you spend a decade sucking all the real value out of the economy, and bearing in mind that all Ponzi schemes, including the legally approved ones, are necessarily finite, what’s left? A depression is what’s left. The fact that people with loadsamoney can profit from the decline as well as the rise is neither here nor there – indeed, it might be argued we would have a more stable system if bears and bulls had formally agreed to manipulate the market in competition – they’d cancel each others’ effect out, no?

    My view (and Benoit Mandelbrot’s) is that “the market” is essentially and in the mathematical sense chaotic. Coincidences of unrelated tiny events can produce enormous and completely unpredictable consequences, and the system is prone to positive iterative feedback. “Trends” and “cycles” do not in fact persist long enough to be of predictive or analytical value, and changing parameters plot unpredictably in time on a multidimensional fractal attractor. In this view, saying anything sensible about an economy is a challenge, so I make no excuses for the immediately foregoing statement. :~|

  101. That aside, this is an entertaining and extremely perceptive article (so’s the rest of the blog,for the most part) on the wrongheaded ideas of Milton Friedman, which have ensured that whatever the underlying mechanism is, the economy is structured to benefit the already rich at the expense of the increasingly poor:

    http://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/message-to-dan-hannan-in-the-tyranny-of-the-status-quo-there-is-no-difference-between-chairman-mao-and-chairman-milt/

  102. Me: Komodo, you say “Does anyone have to create depressions, Node? Aren’t they inherent in the system?”

    Well certainly that’s what they constantly tell us but I don’t believe it.

    Komodo: Why not?

    Because the banks are too powerful to allow themselves to be dependent on the natural swings of the market. Read all these quotes I’ve posted – prime ministers, presidents, chancellors and emperors, not to mention bankers themselves, all saying that bankers have the power to completely control a nation’s economy. They are not merely saying bankers have the power to exploit the vagaries of an economy, they are unambiguously declaring that whoever issues the currency controls the economy, i.e. they dictate when it booms and busts. For centuries, the movers and shakers of the world have known that it’s all about who controls the money. It is proof of how powerful the bankers are today that we no longer talk about it.

    It’s not about money, Komodo. Just think about the proportion of her/his income the average person pays annually to the banks, through mortgage, interest on car and household loans, bank and overdraft charges, about 3% of every credit card purchase, PayPal, interest on the National Debt through our taxes, our government ‘bailing out’ the banks, reclaiming bankrupted homes and businesses. I would say that 10% is a conservative average. They get this EVERY YEAR FROM EVERYBODY. They’ve been doing it all our lives. Where does all that money go? It doesn’t add up! Vast quantities go into buying up energy and the industrial and military industries which make even more huge profits. Really, think about it, it doesn’t add up, they end up with all the money and we have to keep creating inflated new currency to keep going.

    It’s about power, the power to dictate which technologies are adopted, which nations exploit which, where science researches, and of course to control the flow of information and thus the average persons very thoughts. Too conspiratorial? Too paranoid? We all have to make our own judgements on that. If you haven’t already done so, I urge you to watch the money as debt video, it’s an eye opener.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqvKjsIxT_8

    …. and if that whets your appetite for a more comprehensive analysis, I recommend:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U71-KsDArFM

    And Benoit Mandelbrot? He was undoubtedly a brilliant mathematician and I personally will always be grateful for his contribution to chaos theory that changed the way I look at the world, but maybe he wasn’t such a good historian and didn’t realise there were factors other than mathematical ones involved in the movement of financial markets.

    Here’s the ultimate tribute to him, the deepest ever journey into a fractal. (Clark, are you about?):

    http://www.fractaljourney.blogspot.co.uk/ and click on “in memory of Benoit Mandelbrot”,

  103. There’s a disconnect here, Node. The market is not the same thing as the means of exploiting it. The market is chaotic. The means of extracting, often purely notional, wealth from this amorphous cash-pump, are of course not. The market’s movements are not analyseable, and any attempt to input some bias in your favour is exactly as likely to have negative consequences as positive ones – in the bigger picture there will be no effect at all. Mandelbrot showed this with his analysis of US historical cotton prices, whose self-scaling property was immune even to major wars. And there’s more*.

    However, if you can find a channel in which the money is currently flowing,no matter whether it is flowing in or out, it is a simple matter to divert this into your personal account by buying low and selling high. Bleed off too much from the system, though, and the volume flowing in your private golden river will diminish. The market continues to behave chaotically, though at less intensity, and you can only hope that your income will be restored eventually. When sufficient real value is returned to the system, that is.

    I offer this as a thought only. I’d like to dispense with economists who think that their usually disastrous ‘solutions’ can have any effect on the problem…which they have failed to identify in the first place.

    *See, eg: http://users.math.yale.edu/~bbm3/web_pdfs/tailsAndDependence.pdf

    Pretty opaque, but you might get the drift.

  104. I’m not claiming that there are NO rules to how the markets and economies behave. In fact, my point is borne out by the fact that Mandelbrot is able to use fractal mathematics to analyse them. If the system is fractal, it will exhibit typical behaviour at whatever level you examine it. I’m suggesting that just because Mandelbrot is able to discover consistent average behaviour, and create formulae to describe and predict it doesn’t mean that he has described the entire system.

    It’s as though he analysed the behaviour of the H2O molecules in a tank of water and came up with a model which accurately described how the energy in the average collision slowly oscillates over time between two levels, but he he doesn’t need to know that there is a thermostat in the system for his model to work. His maths are fine as far as they go, but the person in charge of the thermostat is in control.

    Hmmm, crap analogy, it’s not even a fractal system, but my point is contained somewhere between those 2 paragraphs, and I have to go out now. Night night.

  105. I’m suggesting that just because Mandelbrot is able to discover consistent average behaviour, and create formulae to describe and predict it doesn’t mean that he has described the entire system.

    The point about demonstrating that the system behaves chaotically is that this means it’s impossible to analyse or predict its behaviour, no matter how much you think you know about the system. And he’s not looking at “average” behaviour, but at the fit of a time series to his algorithm at any scale.

    Total enthalpy – yes. It’s what I’m saying, in a way, except that there’s no-one in control. Suck hot money out of the system, and it cools down. And as everyone is intent on making money out of the system (whichever way the money happens to be flowing), hot money gets sucked out continuously, until diminishing returns kick in.

    Anyway…glad we both had to think about this :-)

  106. April Showers

    15 May, 2013 - 8:57 am

    Shame on Ms Simons. She, and others responsible for this betrayal of young girls in their care, should have resigned. She has been in post since 2005.

    Simons was on Newsnight last night along with Keir Starmer, Sue Berelowitz Deputy Children’s Commissioner, Mohammad Shafiq Ramadhan Foundation and Alyas Karmani STREET. Maitlis seemed to interrupt Keir Starmer unnecessarily.

    Oxford grooming case council boss to stay
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-22535440#

    Their salaries. Plus plus of course.

    Chief Executive £182,431 pa
    Director for Children, Young People and Families £137,500 pa
    Director for Environment and Economy £128,194 pa
    Director for Social and Community Services £128,194 pa
    Assistant Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer £106,282 pa

    http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/executive-salaries-and-expenses

  107. April Showers

    15 May, 2013 - 9:03 am

  108. “Anyway…glad we both had to think about this :-)”

    Agreed. I’m sure that it’ll crop up again on other threads … and again … and again …

    Be sure to check out that ‘deepest ever voyage into a Mandelbrot set’ link. It’s awsome, and I mean that literally. And while you’re there, check out the processing time that went into rendering it.
    http://www.fractaljourney.blogspot.co.uk/

  109. Well worth a watch, Node. Mathematician porn even…love the way the symmetries modulate (pant, pant). Ta.

  110. April Showers

    15 May, 2013 - 4:30 pm

    Reference the proposed takeover of Severn Trent Water.

    The legacy of privatisation: dripping with cash
    There are good reasons to be wary of the prospect of one of the UK’s biggest water companies being owned by foreign investors

    Editorial

    The Guardian, Tuesday 14 May 2013 22.16 BST

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/14/leader-the-legacy-of-privatisation

  111. Steve Paesani

    19 May, 2013 - 7:26 am

    Nice article yet, and I say this as I have been realizing this myself, the ‘fat cats’ themselves can not do it without armed personel and thus the crux: if the armed personel, who are themselves the “middle class”, use their training, the weapons they are provided, the food, the clothing, the articles in their homes etc.. to do nothing else but enforce the inequity then what does it say about humanity in general? If they, the armed personel themselves enjoy their perks regardless of what it means for others, if they enjoy the opression, the sense of power they get from it all, then really what good does it do to even talk about ‘fat cats’? For as I grow older and realize more and more I see no reason to go on not because they are not physically able to use their training, the weapons they are provided, the food, the clothing etc.. to move for the freedom of others but because they have it not in their hearts to do so for if they did they would have so moved allready and none of us, the workers that have provided for them, none of us that have built and maintained social infrastructure would need to say a single word.
    Thus is the state of the world.

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