Economic Dead End 71


We have had a “natural rate” of economic growth of around 3% for a couple of hundred years. There have of course been peaks and troughs, but the trend has been consistent. If anyone wants to quibble with the precise 3% figure, that does not affect my argument.

With the economy stagnant following a stark decline, there is much discussion how to “kick start” economic growth gain, either by tax cuts or higher public spending. The terms of so-called debate have been very limited, taking it for granted that substantial growth will resume again as soon as we get the engine turning.

But of course, that is not necessarily true. Civilisations do go into absolute economic decline. Never forget Ozymandias.

There are reasons to imagine life may never be normal again. We have lost a great deal of our manufacturing base. The presumption is that it is fine for low earning manufacturing to be carried out in the BRICs, while we get much higher margins for providing banking, insurance, design and marketing services.

But why should that last for ever? The banking crash was a result of the fact that so much of the financial services sector, on which we depend so heavily, has no more relationship to the real economy than the passing of cash inside a casino. It is a miracle of the brutality of power that taxpayers were made without violent revolution to give up much of their individual wealth to bail out rich bankers. The incredible pain of this is what we are just beginning to suffer, because our pockets are being lightened very very substantially but regularly, spread over a long period.

The banks have not really been reformed and western taxpayers actually no longer have the cash or credit to bail them out on that scale again. The house of cards could tumble any moment, and the Euro crisis and dollar deficit impasse are winds buffeting that card house.

But the Euro crisis and US deficit struggle are much more important than their immediate effects. The brinkmanship in the US will be resolved and, even if the US defaults, the immediate fallout will not be Armageddon. The real damage is already done. The BRICs nations have been reminded forcefully that they are supplying their goods in unbelievable quantities to the west, in return for bits of paper of extremely dubious value. The medium term consequences of the banking crisis and the currency crises will be drastic indeed. Do not expect the BRICs to put up with this forever. It is not going to take them long to work out they can do their own banking, trade in their own currency, finance their own research and marketing, and insure themselves. Then what will we do? Staff call centres for them?

The same is true of commodity suppliers, who are also wondering right now about the value of the bits of paper they receive in exchange. Watch gold mining shares.

Commodity supply is the other reason we cannot automatically expect to resume economic growth. We already face huge upward demand pressure on commodity prices, particularly from China. It is a truism that mineral resources are finite. There is a whole lot of mystic nonsense talked about “Peak oil”. The simple truth is that of course oil is a finite resource, and of course at some time production will go down. What is nore relevant is that, thanks largely to China, we have already passed the point when growth in supply of oil will ever exceed growth in demand. Rising commodity prices will also hamper UK economic growth in the medium term.

The little argument between Balls and Osborne over whether tax cuts, or lower or higher public spending, will make a difference, is largely irrelevant. The world has changed. Everyone seems to accept we will be in economic decline relative to emerging economies. They have to get into their heads that we could be in absolute economic decline – permanently.


71 thoughts on “Economic Dead End

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  • ingo

    Thanks Craig, now a lot of people are listening and this is very important. Its the time of realisation when we are begining to see our unsustainable financial systems that underlie our unsustainable living standardswhich drive this linear expansion of growth.

    So let me get this right Between the arms trade and Starbucks our economy is tittering on the bringk at 0.2%, does this mean these two are not only boom and bustas well as ‘futures’ merchants, they also don’t contribute that much, are not really that important?

    I sat in a moneytary working group of the Green party in 1994 and we discussed this point in time, then, as now, it is my believe that some 75% of financial institutions, interlinked as they are, will have to fail before the world starts accepting a new more sustainable economic principle, that of cycles.

    Sustainable finances that are based on realities, not futures, not speculative not gambling, Lebanon is already on the right path, but so is the Grameen bank, whose community lending approach is unique, a socially responsible bank.

    Gold will reach 2000/oz before the year is out, good I started to celebrate already over the 4 million hits, how can I say such a thing….. With war looming in the ME, coulped with reasons mentioned by others already, China’s urge to buy gold, some 6548 tons precisely, 8000 alltogether, a fair chunk of the market.

    I currently am flush with rhubarb, still, tatties, carrots, Aubergines,tomatoes, chillies, neeps, apples, lettuces cucumbers, loads of basil, parsley, squashes, cavollo Nero, broccoli,peas, runner beans, Indians black beans, a very old variety from mexico, leeks, red beetroot, shallots and some onions, red and white.
    My garden is half the size of yours Craig, have those stumps out, bring in a few tons of muck and Tom’s your uncle, your walled garden should produce beautifull vegetables.

    And NO, vegetables don’t make you gay….:)

    BTW everyone, there are massive airmovements over my head all day, somethin’s coming up very soon they are training like mad.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Good post Craig, though maybe there are certain potential growth industries we could develop – e.g wind power, wave power and tidal power – which we could become world leaders in if the government invested in supporting those industries rather than e.g subsidising arms exports, PFIs and privatised rail firms.

    That would make up for our decline in shipbuilding and some of the same skills would be transferrable from people currently employed in e.g building aircraft carriers.

    So far Conservative and Labour governments have refused to subsidise new energy technology firms until they are “economically viable”. That’s crazy, because if they gave them serious investment they’d become economically viable faster and the tax returns from growth in those industries would pay off the investment plus more.

    The Portugese government are so far the only ones benefitting from research and development by Scottish firms into wave power.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    p.s growth in all those industries would also be far more sustainable in the long term and less harmful to the environment than coal, oil, gas or nuclear.

  • Canspeccy

    Since the economy isn’t growing but the lib-left elite are still pushing mass legal immigration while tolerating mass illegal immigration, economic output per capita is bound to continue falling.

    Aside from the autogenocide-through-immigration thing, the West has only two options in the economic sphere: continue with globalization, which means wage equalization between the West and the rest, which will be achieved by depreciation of Western currencies against those of the low-wage economies (and a general reduction in standard of living); or an end to globalization and the reconstruction of a high-wage economy protected by a tariff wall or other devices.

    Since the lib-left elite will go along with the plutocracy, continued globalization it will be.

    You can read all about how it will work out here.

  • writeon

    There are lots of problems with the concept of economic growth, just one of them, but perhaps the most important is the exponential factor, or doubling factor, like the old story about the chessboard and the grains of rice; one bigins with 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256…

    In our form of society, or Capitalist Democracy, it’s hard to imagine life without substantial economic growth, that is life for capitalism. Without endless growth, capitalism as we know it cannot exist. Modern capitalism, has, I would argue, become something close to a gigantic parasite eating away our physical environment from the inside, like huge worm inside an apple, and now the worm is almost as big as the apple.

    Without growth what happens to our global financial system, as future growth is meant to finance, or repay, our current debt creation? Capitalism without the carrot of future growth which cancels our debt/investments will be a very different beast indeed!

    It’s very wrong to imagine that the more intelligent members of the “ruling class” are blissfully unaware of the future we are heading for. I was once at a party in the Hamptons in the United States. Towards the end of the evening, when everyone was very tired and very drunk, one of the guests, a rather famous ‘liberal’ Democratic senator, said “What worries me is that the wheels are going to start dropping off the whole fucking cart soon, and I worry about my kids, and the shitty world we’ve left them. We’ve had the party, they’ll be left with the scraps, the bill, and the clean-up!”

    Another guy was more sanguine, he was a banker. He thought we’d just turn the clock back towards serfdom once the great era of mass consumerism was over. The rich would simply retreat behind the walls of their castles once more, protected by their private armies… on a global scale.

    Yet another guest, a professor of economic history, didn’t believe we’d get that far… he thought capitalism would launch World War Three long before the long, post oil-age kicked in with a vengence. He saw parallels between the US and China, and Britain and Germany in the run-up to WW1. In fact he thought WW3 had already begun, only we didn’t realize it, because our perspectives were too narrow.

  • Canspeccy

    Jon,
    *
    I did make some response, but as with an earlier comment, it disappeared into the ether. That and the obnoxious raving by some other person convinced me of the futility.
    *
    As to your points, there are many of them, mostly highly tendentious, an generally suggesting a mentality beyond serious discussion. You engage in the usual liberal-left politically correct bullying that consists in making a crime, or at least an obscenity, out of the use of words in accordance with their traditional accepted meanings. For example, you object to the term mongrel race, yet the term precisely describes what I was referring to: the ultimate product of miscegenation or race-mixing, the point when multi-ethnic becomes mono-ethnic.
    *
    But perhaps you think Obama’s language should be censored also.
    *
    But I do find your comments interesting as a example of a mode of thought, and I may review them in a considered piece on my own blog. If I do so, I will let you know. Naturally you’d be welcome to respond.
    *
    Cheers

  • Andy

    Canspeccy
    .
    What is the ”lib-left elite”?
    .
    Where are they? How are they ”pushing mass legal immigration”?
    .

  • Jon

    “Beyond serious discussion” sounds like a mode of avoidance to me. Given where you are you’re clearly not here to be agreed with, so I can only presume that you want to expose your ideas to the rigours of discussion. I am happy to discuss things if you are.
    .
    As a mod, I suspect your comments are sometimes falling into the spam filter – avoid including links if you can (and always copy to clipboard before you submit, just in case). I am fishing around in the spam bin at the moment for you, but the mod tools are a bit broken and fixes are not quickly forthcoming.
    .
    Needless to say you can’t use person X’s abuse to refuse to deal with me, since my post to you was perfectly civil.

  • Canspeccy

    Andy,
    *
    The term “elite” is fuzzy, but then so is the identity of the individuals and organizations that dictate public policy and determine how it is implemented. Political leaders are part of the elite, although they are not quite so much leaders as many believe, as the hackgate incident reveals. Politicians must bow the knee before media tycoons to obtain endorsement, they must be onside with foreign powers, particularly the US, but also Israel. (There is much that is obscure about these relations. But bear this in mind, the UK is home to more than 100 US military facilities including nuke weapons storage sites, radar sites and communications interception sites. These assets must be protected at virtually any cost, so the US Government undoubtedly has means in Britain to do so? Israeli agents fund UK politicians of all parties, what concessions do they demand?) And not least, the political leaders must attend to the needs of the great financial interests.
    *
    Then there are a host of domestic agents who collectively play an important role in the government of the country and must be considered a part of the elite: the academics who dictate what is history, what is literature, what is art, what is culture, what is politically correct. Ditto journalists, ex-ambassadors, etc.
    *
    As for the lib-left, by that I refer to all those members of the elite, i.e., the majority, who are not conservative: conservatives being those opposed to imperialist wars, submersion of UK sovereignty in the EU, break-up of the UK into petty states more easily controlled by an undemocratic EU government, mass immigration, denigration of the monarchy, church and much more (These are the people known to the lib-left as far-right wing extremists).
    *
    As for pushing immigration, that is also complex. Important, obviously, is the fact that the Labor government deliberately set out to bring about an irreversible change in the racial composition of the country “to rub conservatives’ noses in multi-culturalism”, and of course to gain votes. Likewise, Cameron’s flip-flop on the issue. But there are many other forces. The care home operators who want minimum wage labor, which mass immigration provides. And the national health service contractors who supply hire minimum wage labor and sell it to the hospitals at twenty quid an hour.

  • Canspeccy

    Jon, I did not suggest you comments were uncivil, although I reiterate that they were bullying — although since it is habitual with to you presume to dictate to others what their vocabulary should be, you may be unaware how totalitarian you attitude appears.
    *
    In any case, what I said was that your comments were tendentious and that they seemed to arise from a mentality incapable of serious discussion. By that I meant an inability to contemplate the validity of your own assumptions. But to discuss that would much take more time than I have now and more space than I could expect to use here. As I said, I would think about a considered response on my own blog, where you would be welcome to comment.

  • Andy

    Canspeccy
    .
    Does that mean these conservatives are anti-capitalist? You can’t have a free market without the free movement of labour.
    .
    No business person would invest in a meat packing factory if, for example, he had to pay a living wage to his workers. He would simply use his capital some place else, perhaps eastern Europe or even the far east.
    .

    Then you say, ”the fact that the Labor government deliberately set out to bring about an irreversible change in the racial composition of the country “to rub conservatives’ noses in multi-culturalism”, and of course to gain votes.”
    .
    Obviously you never lived in or visited London any time before NL came to form a government in ’97.
    .
    Were Thatcher and Major a part of the left/lib elite?
    .
    I remember in the 90s, before NL, foreign students could get work visas by signing up – for a large fee – to a fake language school, usually a one room office in a business centre rented for a few weeks.
    .
    Job agencies would also employ 10 or 20 workers under one National Insurance number and tax code. NI numbers could be stolen, bought or simply that of a dead person of the right age.
    .
    The good old days.
    .

  • Jon

    Alfred, I think you want to have it both ways – you want to be regarded as civil, even though you dismiss me as “mentally incapable of serious discussion”. I am pondering whether you are teetering on the edge of rudeness in order to win the discussion purely by default. But I will assume not for the time being.
    .
    We’ll just have to agree to disagree on whether my opinion on language, and the need to choose it carefully, is “totalitarian”. But here’s a thought experiment: from your perspective, you maintain that certain language is used to drown out your views reflexively (such as “racist”, “inflammatory” etc). But if you would assume for a few seconds (bear with me) that your opponents objections are reasonable, then it follows that your objection could also (or instead) be reflexive. That is to say, you might be avoiding a difficult discussion by complaining that the charge of racism drowns your views out.
    .
    Since neither of us can be a fair judge in a disagreement we are ourselves involved in, of course we’ll never know. Put another way, if I accept there is a chance my response is reflexive, then you would have to do so too!
    .
    However, I have regularly with you ignored my own objections to some of your language, and tried to understand your core view. For example on the other thread, you said “[i]n fact it seems most probable that the elite aim is to create one mongrel, deracinated race of helots, without national identity, religion or culture of any meaningful kind”. Part of my response was “I don’t see why you think that is the most probable outcome” i.e. I directly engaged with your statement. So, you have something directly to reply to that is not about the language you use.
    .
    It comes down, I guess, to whether you (a) don’t care whether people hate your ideas, or (b) want to persuade people of their validity. I suspect it is the latter, in which case solid engagement with people – even if you don’t like their responses – is vital. In fact, that question goes for all of us here, I should think.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    On this thread about the economy, here are some odd excerpts of note:

    “autogenocide” (Alfred, again).
    .
    “…mongrel race, yet the term precisely describes what I was referring to: the ultimate product of miscegenation or race-mixing, the point when multi-ethnic becomes mono-ethnic.” (Alfred, again).
    .
    “…the Labor government deliberately set out to bring about an irreversible change in the racial composition of the country…”
    (Alfred, again).
    .

    Oh, btw (and no disrespect to my genuinely North American friends), let me remind everyone that if one truly is British, one prefers to spell, ‘Labour’ as ‘Labour’ and not ‘Labor’.
    .
    “…out of the use of words in accordance with their traditional accepted meanings.” (Alfred, again).
    .
    How about the word,’racist’? How about the phrase, ‘Racist blogger commits mass murder in Norway’? Traditional enough?
    .
    “In any case, what I said was that your comments were tendentious and that they seemed to arise from a mentality incapable of serious discussion. By that I meant an inability to contemplate the validity of your own assumptions.” (Alfred, again).
    .
    Intriguing projection.
    .

    “But to discuss that would much take more time than I have now and more space than I could expect to use here. As I said, I would think about a considered response on my own blog, where you would be welcome to comment.” (Alfred, again).
    .
    ‘Hit and run’ – again. See previous reference to projection. Think of Freud, Lacan, Adler… mirrors.
    .
    We’ve seen this pattern at least 50 times on this blog and it always conforms to the same, distinct and extremely boring template.
    .

    Has the poster learned anything from this massacre in Norway? No, of course not. In fact, he has used it to attempt to validate his own bogus supremacist hypotheses about race.
    .
    Now, back to the economy.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Regis sums it up accurately:-

    ” infinite growth on a finite planet is impossible”

    But – the nature of human existence is that we think maninly about us, family and ‘tribe’ first – but to get the solutions that are viable and sustainable there is a need to think globally.

  • Canspeccy

    Andy,
    “Does that mean these conservatives are anti-capitalist? You can’t have a free market without the free movement of labour.”
    *
    Certainly you can have a free market within a tariff wall, or some other barrier to restrict or prevent international trade. David Ricardo took it as self-evident that neither capital nor labor would move internationally, only goods. It was only on those assumptions that his theory of comparative advantage made any sense. Anyway capitalists are not necessarily free marketeers. At heart, they are all monopolists, as Adam Smith made clear. As for political orientation on economic policy, it has always been the liberals who were keen for laissez faire. Conservatives have been quite happy to restrict trade where it conflicted with other values.
    .
    “No business person would invest in a meat packing factory if, for example, he had to pay a living wage to his workers.”
    *
    I think even Marx recognized that workers needed a living wage, otherwise they would not go on living.
    *
    “He would simply use his capital some place else, perhaps eastern Europe or even the far east.”
    *
    Yes, that is what globalization is all about: wage arbitrage, which maximized profits and destroys jobs in the West.
    .
    “Obviously you never lived in or visited London any time before NL came to form a government in ’97.”
    *
    I’m not sure what you are saying here, but as a matter of fact I did visit somewhere in NL about ’97, and found what seemed more like a third world country with a surly population, unused to the sight of white people. Not quite what and expatriate, returning after many years might have expected in the British capital.
    .
    “Were Thatcher and Major a part of the left/lib elite?”
    *
    I defined conservatism in terms of a range of policies. On those criteria, Thatcher and Major were somewhat more conservative than New Labor, but they were not what I defined as conservative. Thatcher, one imagines, didn’t especially want to replace the English with people from the third world, but was not prepared to face the firestorm of lib-left abuse that doing anything to halt the flow of immigrants would entail (and of course she would have faced opposition from business people intent on obtaining cheap labor and undermining the unions).
    *
    It was Harold MacMillan, something of a genuine conservative, who spoke for the coal miners, when Maggie was trashing their union. For his pains, Thatcher had him labelled a war criminal.
    *
    And Thatcher was an imperialist, the catalyst for the first Gulf war. So, if she was not exactly lib-left, I would certainly not consider her a conservative. John Major, likewise supported the Gulf war effort and was rewarded by the globalist corporate elite with a cushy place on the board of the Bush-connected, Carlisle Corporation. Although by instinct, Major was probably something of a conservative, he was too weak to do much more than submit to the pressures that impinged upon him.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,
    There is a rational way forward, but there are two inhibiting factors:-
    i) The greed of the ones who hold the wealth and power. Even if you told them that they could shift with their wealth in tact and develop alternative energy – for a sustainable future – the global business ethos is ‘profit today and fuck the future – there is not future – I will be an you will be dead – so make money for the living”. I kid you not – looking at the Cheney, Bush an d PNAC lot – I do believe that that is how they see the world – money – wars – more money – more wars.
    ii) The second limb is a vision of a better world for all on planet earth. In that regard I am going to offer some thought s of a New Zealand Parliamentarian.

    As regards the first point – I have this to say:

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=1781and parliamentarian.
    As regards the second point – I offer this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDqnNy3RgU8
    ( do make sure to watch both parts – it gets better as it goes along. The ideas are important) Watch the smirks on the faces of the Conservatives behind him as he starts and watch how they respond when he finishes.

  • de Quincy's Ghost

    “I am pondering whether you are teetering on the edge of rudeness in order to win the discussion purely by default”
    .
    Way, way over the edge.
    .
    But, /win/ the discussion, no. There’s no possibility of even having one, with someone who has a mentality incapable of serious discussion and an inability to contemplate the validity of their own assumptions. Is there ? It’s ruled out already.

  • glenn

    Craig – you make interesting and relevant observations, but you’ve only mentioned some of the actual causes of this problem and not suggested (at least, in this post) how to cure it. The problems are the ‘voodoo economics’ of trying to run a supply side economy, unregulated banking exposed to deep moral hazard, a corrupted tax system and trade imbalances which can only be corrected by tariffs.
    .
    You are right to say talk about an inevitable recovery is misplaced, the way things are going we will not see one. At least not in the long term. There will be temporary reversals and more bubbles, but no long term recovery in the traditional understanding of the term. Not unless we completely change our approach.
    .
    “Kick-starts” with public spending or tax cuts will have very little effect, because most of the money spent will go on imported goods, and the investor class paying virtually no tax at all will benefit from the sale of these goods. Only massive public works projects could have an effect, but even then the fallout from such investment will leak away to foreign destinations under the current setup.
    .
    Taking ownership of failed banks, putting banksters in jail, stiff regulation of banking (separating the gambling and more straightforward aspects), and a STET tax would have an immediate effect on the country’s exposure to our banking sector. Reagan did actually put a few hundred crooked banksters in jail, and a STET (Securities Transaction Excise Tax) of even 0.2% would stop churning in the stock market and generate large sums for the exchequer.
    .
    Supply side economics, described by HW Bush as “voodoo economics”, is _still_ being promoted by True Believers. This has ruined the British and American economies in just 30-odd years, but has made for a substantial number of millionaires and billionaires. So despite the hollowing out of our manufacturing base, crippling debt and enormous wealth imbalance, this is a good result for the investor class. So it is still being promoted.
    .
    Craig – you disagreed with me about tariffs when we briefly discussed it, but I maintain it’s the only thing that can save our economy. We cannot compete with child labour, third world sweatshop labour, or prison labour in China. We can be as innovative as we like, but when the next guy outsources his manufacturing at pennies to our pounds, we are sunk. We simply have to introduce tariffs based on what the labour would have been worth here. Our tax system is ludicrous, when the investor classes and most profitable companies pay almost nothing. Basing operations just off-shore results in products not even paying VAT, let alone taxes on profits (such as with Amazon).
    .
    We emerged from the Tudor times where Britain was a poor rural backwater into the empire we once were, largely due to trade tariffs. Income tax was not necessary in America either until tariffs were whittled away.
    .
    One last point, about Peak Oil – it’s not going to suddenly run out and we’re all going to have trouble filling up. Passing peak oil means it’s going to get increasingly difficult (i.e. expensive) to extract it, and besides the environment disasters this will cause (tar sands, arctic drilling, more deep sea disasters etc.), we’ll find ourselves forced to accept alternatives as oil passes £20/gallon. The problem will become how to afford it, rather than a problem of queuing at the pumps to get it. The alternative lies in the generation through renewable sources, but then again we’re in trouble. You need ‘rare earth’ elements to generate it, and China is making jolly sure it has all those resources sewn up worldwide. They plan their economy, we pander to the investor classes. The BRIC countries are more than happy for us to carry on that way.

  • mary

    Whilst we are all worried stiff about what future lies ahead for us, this crook goes for a nice holiday accompanied by two royal protection officers. Wonderful. It is so in your face – sort of up yours.
    .
    ‘The prince paid for the trip out of his own pocket but was accompanied by +at least+ two police protection officers, who are funded by the taxpayer.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2019533/Grizzly-Andrew-Duke-grows-grand-old-beard-trek.html#ixzz1TMrDEL1x
    .
    If these relics inc Kate/Wills have such an affinity for Canada why don’t they all debunk to live there permanently?

  • Danny

    Who gave private ratings agencies such vast powers to do and undo sovereign economies? Who granted them that power.

    I sure didn’t vote them in.

    Time to reconsider and trim the “powers” of the so-called “ratings” agencies, the S&Ps, the Mooddies, the Fitches. They are nobodies in the scheme of global econo mic health. They are charlatans.

  • ingo

    I also could defend limited protectionism, thats what we are talking about re: tariffs, especially if there are ethical considerations to take into account, but its not an ideal reaction to a global collapse of the leading currency.

    To accept protectionism and apply them across the board would mean that some energy companies would think twice having to pay higher tariffs than others.

    A first point to strife for is some sort of equilibrium, an end of the Doha trade rounds would be a start, indeed repealing the Uruguay rounds would send a powerfull message to TNC’s, play fair, be socially responsible and pay your taxes.

    Camerons special treatment of these TNC’s earning loads and being taxed little in low tax countries, should face no more taxes here on these earned profits, they do not have to make it up anymore.

    It is becoming increasingly clear that companies, whether its via PFI’s or via high energy prices, gambling banks, or speculating Goldman Sachs loosing a billion, because the name of the client was Ghaddafi, they are all out to prey, like pirates negotiating the laws and seas of regualtion, only to get around it, able to strike at the next lucrative ripp off, we are the target to fleece, we bail out, we are controlled by ever increasing yochs and dare you complain and demonstrate.

    At the same time as we should focus to bring down our energy demands, the technologies to do so are available. Absolutely agree with Duncan, we are not making enough alternative energies from our coast line, Britain has the most capabilities to generate power, but we are stalling, building french nuclear and financial liabilities, becoming dependent on Russian ripp off gas.
    The word we are searching for is selfsustaining, to be able to feed ourselves, generate our energy demands, use our abilities and expertise to trade, revitalise the Hanse for all I care.

    If a dutch man would be in sole charge of our eastern sinking coastline, he would start thinking about ‘buying time’, he would think to safeguard our low lying fenlands (1/5th of our fresh food comes from the fenlands) with a Wash storm barrier,a lock system, dams with multiple wind turbines, plus the immense and constant tidal energy of such a project would cancel two of the ten nuclear power stations envisaged. We must marry sea defences with alternative energy projects, become self sustaining, burning gas and coal is not the solution, but are needed for emergency back up.

    We also have to protect our agricultural abilities, hence we have to control food retailers, introduce quotas of localy grown food. We also have to wake up the patent merchants of dome, I for one am not striving for the perfect potatoe that is GM, we have blight resistant potatoes already, bred conventionally by the Savari trust, so there is not need for John Innes to look for another TNC wheeze to control farm regimes, as well as seeds and pesticides on the back of it, relent John Innes. Supermarkets should source their food locally first.
    Our farmers know how to grow food and farming is becoming popular again, good!

    If we want to be open to some international dependencies, for a mutual benefit, belong to a greater union of sorts, then we would arrange our tariffs, trade, and we would also exchange some labour.

    Throughout history our colonial excesses, now called trade rounds, trade slavery, whaling every trade we undertook with abroad, brought with it an exchange of some labour, a few first, then more, we mingled and become more aware of a wider global humanity, we have to live with it and we can, respect each other for what we believe and strive for a self sustaining economic model.

    I have listened to a few talks by Colin Nines and we have had some exciting interchanges some years back, there is something to be said for adopting such principles for period of time, see how it would faze globally. Him and Tim Lang have done some excellent work on self sustaining economics.

    http://www.gaiafoundation.org/content/global-green-new-deal-needs-green-new-protectionism-colin-hines

  • mary

    My brother is at the Supreme Court today supporting his friend Shirley Denson who is one of the widows involved in the fight for justice for the veterans {http://www.bntva.com/} who received radiation in the UK atomic testing. Shirley’s husband who later committed suicide was in a RAF plane which was ordered to fly through the cloud.
    .
    I read up about the Supreme Court yesterday. It cost over £100 million to convert the Middlesex Guildhall and then there was the cost of relocating the existing courts on the site which was another large amount. The twelve Supreme Court Judges receive a minimum of £260,000 pa and that was in 2009. The MOD have spent £6 million so far on fighting the group.
    .
    I wish the group good luck.
    .
    http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/about/the-supreme-court.html
    and
    {http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14320465}

  • Canaspeccy

    “There’s no possibility of even having one, with someone who has a mentality incapable of serious discussion and an inability to contemplate the validity of their own assumptions.”

    You got that right Richard. LOL

  • Jon

    Alfred/Canspeccy, whilst you are presently in a jovial mood, there are some corking questions outstanding for you (quite removed from the queries about language that you find objectionable) that would be most interesting to hear your thoughts on.
    .
    I am sure you’ll be keen to disprove the ‘hit-and-run’ allegation. But, no rush.

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