Giving It All Away 169

Just a couple of quick thoughts. Firstly, the bailout funds for Greece are not going to put a single penny in the pocket of the Greek people. They are yet further transfers of taxpayers’ money from working people to rich bankers, who again are becoming rich on the basis of obviously impractical investments they made, this time in outlandish Greek government debt.

The EU now makes an evidently sensible proposal for a transaction tax on inter bank dealings – which would raise back from the bankers some tiny proportion of the money we have given them, and discourage a tiny bit multiple gambling transactions. What is truly scarey is the fact that the wealthy, who are taking our money, have the media so tied up in the UK, that the broadcast media condemned this as comprehensively and without question as a party line was reflected under Stalin. I watched many hours of news from mainstream channel to channel, and every person the BBC or Sky interviewed gave a ludicrously apocalyptic warning of the effect of this small measure. Not one supporter was brought on – even though it is a very highly supported measure among economists.

I have said it before, but democracy in the UK is now a complete charade. Our money is sucked away to the elite, and there is no media freedom to reach a mass audience with any view counter to the governing elite, even one supported by nearly every other government in Europe.

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169 thoughts on “Giving It All Away

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  • Greg Dunn

    Freedom of speeach is an illusion and has long ago ceased. Another illustration of this is the order given to kill a US citizen by the US President – as his views are not in sync with the rulling “Elite.” In effect the current “Elite” are trying to stop all social change which threatens their control of the majority of the wealth of Western countries.

    You don’t have to agree with the views held by others but, surely, they are entitled to those views?

  • craig Post author


    I think the honest answer is no, not yet. The audience is too diffuse. You just can’t get anything like the viewing/resding numbers of the mainstream media.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    I was listening to an interview with the former IMF economist Ken Rogoff and he said that what was needed was to write down the debts of Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain by about 70% or more (i.e the creditors to forgive 70% of the debt).

    Joseph Stiglitz (former World Ban economist but very critical of it) says much the same.

    From media reports Merkel has been trying to get the private creditors (including banks) to write down the debts they hold from Greece and the others but they point blank refuse to accept any significant amount of debt forgiveness.

    If they keep it up, they’ll get nothing at all when Greece and the rest are forced to repudiate all or most of their debts as unpayable.

    If they cut to the extent their creditors and the IMF and the EU governments funding the bail-out demand in return for a bail-out, they’ll go into a double dip recession for so long they’ll never be able to pay off even a fraction of their debts anyway. So they might as well say so now and avoid selling off state assets at fire sale prices when those assets could bring in revenue or provide services in the longer run if they kept them.

  • barryR38

    There is only one mainstream economic programme worth watching – the Keiser Report on RT. Without doubt, RT is the best news source on Freeview.

  • mindctrl

    The wealthy governing elite of the world don’t fall under rule of government; they created government to control the rest of the people while giving those people the illusion of the opposite. Democracy is a farce. It’s a show. We’re in the seats at the theatre and they’re putting on a show. The problem is people think the show is real.

  • Simon

    From France, things look different. Banks here didn’t or couldn’t go wild on mortgage lending, and, for years, they weren’t getting much of a premium for lending to the Greek government. (Unlike those German banks, for example, who made fat profits from wholesale lending to Irish banks, to fund mortgages that would be illegal at home)

    Euro governments on the other hand needed a wake-up. France last had a balanced budget in 1974, and Greece ! An opt-in tax system, or a train network whose receipts are a tenth of its costs, or a stay-as-long-as-you-like,-deal-dope-and-riot university system are unsustainable in this world or any other. Whatever we think of bond markets and credit rating agencies, who else was going to call time on these arrangements ? Every body else had there chance.

    Blaming the banks, bond markets or rating agencies for the crisis in Europe is every bit as barmy as blaming “the government” for the crisis in the states. In both cases, it comes naturally, however 🙂

  • Jack

    The tragedy isn’t so much that it happens – that it’s always happened – but that people so abjectly accept it. Like the Nigerian Scam it just goes on and on well beyond the point where reason should dictate there’s surely no-one left to be fooled. Fool me once, shame on you – fool me twice, shame on me – fool me for centuries, where’s the shame in that…
    And when the inevitable violence starts – mindless and without direction as it so often is when people feel they’ve nothing to lose – more expressions of shock and surprise as the establishment eagerly grabs an opportunity to demonise the victims. And a gullible population (and compliant police and judiciary) fall in line time and time again – always have, probably always will.

  • Vronsky

    Don’t know if you plan to attend SNP conference. I no longer do myself, though once a worthy and a speaker. I feel the party’s got away from me a bit, got popular in the way that a dog does when it stops biting. I so wish the dog hadn’t stopped biting. You’ll get my personal email from suhayl, or he could give it to ingo (suhayl already has my permission) – whatever. Wouldn’t mind buying you a pint, which is a bold thing for a Scotsman to say.
    * Those web acronyms are awful. Join my campaign to invent your own. That one means ‘not really on or off topic’. I’d quite like to introduce a lot that don’t mean anything at all but I suppose that would be WRRTYF.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    p.s I think it’s an exaggeration to say democracy in EU countries is a sham. It has serious faults, the biggest being that the wealthiest and big companies can buy political influence, own newspapers to influence public opinion without even being made to print headline retractions if a headline was wrong etc, but there are going to be faults with any democracy.

    We need reforms – e.g modest and equal public funding of all candidates in elections, with accepting private donations made illegal and disqualifying anyone elected who did it ; proper regulation of business, etc, but we do have democracy and free speech to some extent.

    The idea that you can get anywhere close to the maximum achievable level of democracy without both minimum and maximum pay levels (the maximum ones being e.g 7 to 10 times the minimum) is certainly wrong. There have to be limits on differences in wealth because wealth can buy influence with government and make votes irrelevant if inequality is allowed to become too great (and it’s been too high for decades now)

  • mary

    One piece of good news. Mrs May firmly sat on.
    30 September 2011 Last updated at 16:20
    Banned activist Raed Salah wins UK unlawful detention case
    A Palestinian activist is entitled to damages after being unlawfully detained by Home Secretary Theresa May, the High Court has ruled.
    The Home Office launched an investigation into how Sheikh Raed Salah entered the UK earlier this year, despite an apparent ban.
    But the activist said he had “no knowledge” of the ban and had not concealed his identity.
    Mrs May ordered the activist’s detention, but was overruled by judges.
    Sheikh Salah, an Israeli citizen, is the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel – but critics say he is anti-Semitic.

    Note how ZBC put in the boot in their last phrase.

  • mary

    We overlapped Azra. Note how ZBC use the word ‘activist’ to describe Mr Salah FOUR times in their 100 words. He is not a human, a Palestinian or a person, he is an ‘activist’ just to get the message home. Israel have ‘soldiers’ Palestinians are always ‘militants’.

  • mark_golding

    “..democracy in the UK is now a complete charade. Our money is sucked away to the elite, and there is no media freedom to reach a mass audience with any view counter to the governing elite, even one supported by nearly every other government in Europe.”
    Any attempts to reach a large UK audience via Twitter or Facebook is being countered and compiled by a top-secret world the UK government created as a legitimate response to the 2005 London bombings.

    In the last six years the number of top-secret clearances has risen dramatically and building complexes for top-secret intelligence work has increased inline, according to my sources, yet attempts to access the government defence budget set aside for this procurement now and for future programs are met with redactions and outright lies.

    Domestic spying is big business and the so called ‘war on terror’ has produced an enormous intelligence business headed up by a myriad of security, close protection and counter espionage firms. The secret nature of the business means no agency exists with the authority, responsibility or a process in place to regulate and coordinate all these complex interagency and commercial activities that are routinely gathering information.
    It is known that psychological operations including the creation of websites and the use of social media to extend U.K. influence, both overtly and covertly; and the separate clandestine and covert activities associated with influence, deception, and perception management is a real and secretly defined area where government contract bidding is available through the right channels for qualified ex service personnel who have obtained the necessary security clearance. The same explosion is known in the number of building and personal security firms and agencies that provide intelligence analysis and terror simulation and planning.
    The analysis of information, from open sources (e.g., information that appears in the news media or on the Internet) to the most sensitive information collected or gleaned from human and technical sources. Since 7/7, there has been an explosion of the amount of information obtained via technical means, particularly CCTV and mobile phone intercepts, necessitating new analytic methods of sorting and exploiting incoming information, as well as data mining to discover patterns of information and intelligence contained within huge quantities of data. Document exploitation and forensic methods are also growing areas of intelligence analysis for captured materials and site exploitation.
    Hey phone hacking is the tip of an iceburg!

  • Edwin Stratton

    The machinery of state, the institutions of law, and the means of public expression are establishment choreography, mimicking democracy and the rule of law while serving elite interests. Social networking and the internet are exposing that pretence.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Craig,
    ” I have said it before, but democracy in the UK is now a complete charade. Our money is sucked away to the elite, and there is no media freedom to reach a mass audience with any view counter to the governing elite”

    Just about sums it it – status quo theft.

  • Guest

    “What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite”
    Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)

  • nobody

    Would it then be fair to say that none may stand against the bankers?
    Okay, so follow that thought through to its logical conclusion.

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