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.


169 thoughts on “Giving It All Away

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  • Canspeccy

    “You say that wasteful government spending is systemic. OK, …suggest solutions.”
    *
    Reduce the size of government. It’s the only solution.
    *
    Governments are inherently inefficient because they provide incentives for inefficiency. Every government department in every country in the World pays people on the basis of the number of their subordinates. With, guess what, the result that government departments grow without limit whenever the opportunity arises.
    *
    One of the smartest managers I worked for in my four-year, three-government stint in the public sector had a team of people writing up project proposals for dollar amounts covering the entire spectrum from $10,000 to millions. Then, at the year end, when unspent cash had to be disposed of in great haste (otherwise next year’s budget would be cut) he’d pull out a plan of the appropriate size to soak up the spare cash (a bright lad — from Devonshire — finished up as an Assistant Deputy Minister in Canada).
    *
    Prof. Northcote Parkinson was not a profound economist, but he understood and explained the dynamics of government inefficiency. There is no cure for it other than slash and burn — as the Greeks are now compelled to do.

  • Clark

    Canspeccy, this is why I find discussion with you pointless. You’re a right-winger who’s made up his mind and deploys arguments to lead towards his foregone conclusion. You get left-wingers and liberals that do just the same.
    .
    Corporations have to maximise global absolute profit. That is not the same as maximising local percentage profit. If your assertion were true, the only country in the world that would have, say, a cellphone network would be that country that was the most profitable to operate in. Either that, or all countries, with all their varying tariffs and regulations, are precisely equally profitable.
    .
    I’m going to stop arguing with you, unless you can show that your conclusions are not already fixed, because I don’t want to be maneuvered into your “genocide by Muslims in Leicester” argument.

  • Canspeccy

    Clark, my ideas change constantly. One new notion that has just crystallized is that attempting a polite exchange of ideas with you is a waste of time. You know nothing about economics, make stuff up and in the end resort to the irrelevant and the ad hominem.

  • mary

    All very transparent Mark NOT. The Welfare Reform Bill will be taken through the Grand Committee under Lord Freud.
    .
    No names.
    ‘Grand Committees: House of Lords
    Most Bills which are not committed to a Committee of the Whole House in the Lords are instead sent to a Grand Committee. The proceedings are identical to those in a Committee of the Whole House except that voting is not allowed. This means that all decisions must be made unanimously. Any Member of the House of Lords may attend a Grand Committee.’
    .
    The dates you gave are confirmed.
    A summary of the bill here – http://www.adviceplus-bd.org.uk/docs/Welfare-Reform-Bill-2011-Summary.pdf
    .
    It is being said that it will never come to fruition, even by 2013 as proposed, as yet another large scale computer system is needed and we know what happens with those.
    {http://www.universalcredit.co.uk/universal-credit-a-brilliant-idea-guaranteed-to-fail/}

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ John Goss,
    You say : “Courtenay. It’s interesting that Russian TV is covering the Wall Street protests, but from what I hear and see there is little in the Western media.”
    My general reply and observations are:-
    1. All governments are able to make themselves look good by pointing out issues within the foreign policy sphere, where they profess to claim the moral high ground. Of course, when the analysis is done, they too find themselves as wanting as the ones they profess to have moral and/or political superiority over.
    2. By reference to 1 above, indeed Russian TV will do as you say – that is the point of 1 above.
    You then say: “Courtenay asks if we’re already there as Fascist governments. It’s hard to measure because the goalposts have moved, and the game has changed, since the thirties. The parallels are unquestionably there. Clare Short resigned in the end because of the ‘dictates’ of Tony Blair, and it has emerged since he became peace envoy to the Middle East, that he is answerable to nobody but Tony Blair (which will hopefully be his downfall). It occurs to me that certain words begin with Sodium (that is Na) a ‘highly reactive’ metallic element. One of them is Nazi, another NATO, another nasty. It has been argued that Germany built up its economy with the huge weapons’ arsenals via the Krupps’ factories and in the end there was nothing left to do but use them. It’s a simplistic view but this appears to be what has happened with NATO weapons too. Are we there yet as Fascists? We’re getting there, but while we are still allowed to make adverse comments about our “Fascist” governments on blogs and social networking sites there is a glimmer of hope. When we can’t it will be clear to me that we are indeed Fascist states. (I use the plural because in the deployment of weapons by Western countries today decisions appear no longer to be executed unilaterally).”
    Precisely my point, which your post proves. How do you argue that because we can post on blogs like Craig’s, this proves the non-existence of fascism? I am suggesting that when the “others” get bombed – call it Guernica all over again – call it what you want – but -when these things are done – then surely the elements of fascism are there being inflicted on the “others” and not “us”. Because that occurs does not make the criminal bombings non-fascist simply because you can post while NATO bombs the living daylights out of civilians in Libyans to subjugate a population for domination of its oil.
    To remain rationally focused, let’s give a definaiotn to “fascism” – and I take it from Wikepedia:-
    “Fascism ( /ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology.[1][2] Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood.[3] To achieve this, fascists purge forces, ideas, people, and systems deemed to be the cause of decadence and degeneration.[4] Fascists believe that a nation requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong”
    The part I focus on in reference to Libya is this:-

    “ … singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong”

    Press on NATO!

  • DonnyDarko

    The Greeks are the victims !! They were not ready to join the EU and they are still not ready to join the €uro,but someone let them in… They should be paying. It’s obvious that less people working and a smaller GDP will produce less tax so the debt burden will inexorably grow. Why don’t these clever ECB and IMF’s say it like it is ? Greece was always going to default.
    I don’t agree with the EU taxing anybody no matter how fair it looks ! It’s a foot in the door and only the beginning. If we allow Barrosso to get his way… they’ll be back at our doors and it wont be fair.
    As for democracy… did we ever have it ?? There has always been money and lobbyists around … guess it was easier to hide in the past from the honest politicians and the general public.
    Scotland and Wales certainly never had it with their 100 MP’s in a parliament of 600.

  • mark_golding

    Thanks for the research Mary – Talking about a lack of transparency I am researching the Portland Trust set up by Sir Ronald Cohen to promote “peace and stability between Palestinians and Israelis”. The former UBS banker Lord Freud is the trust’s chief executive.
    .
    A series of payments made by the charity to Apax Partners, the private equity group created by Sir Ronald Cohen, through which he amassed much of his £260 million fortune.
    .
    There are scant details of exactly what this charity has done.
    .
    Sir Ronald Cohen, an avid networker who has donated £1.5 million to Labour since 2001, is widely regarded as the father of Britain’s private equity industry.
    .
    In 2005, the charity, which employed an “average” of four staff, paid £470,000 in salaries. Jonathan Kestenbaum, its former chief executive, received between £150,000 and £160,000 a year.
    Mr Kestenbaum was not a trustee. Another unnamed employee was paid between £140,000 and £150,000.
    .
    http://www.portlandtrust.org/about_us.html

  • Clark

    Azra, sorry, I meant to reply sooner. Take heart. We live in a creative universe, and in the long term things always improve. This horrible situation will change for the better one day, hopefully sooner, but maybe later.
    .
    Life on this old ball of rock has suffered five major mass-extinction events, and every time it has come back with similar or greater diversity. Humanity have survived two ice ages. The current idiots-in-charge will eventually be irrelevant.
    .
    Yes, for the young people, I do worry, but I also have faith; in them, their creative abilities, and the creative power of which we are a little part.

  • Clark

    Canspeccy, sorry, I should have written “frustrating” rather than “pointless”. But you do keep writing things like “Corporations never accept lower profits” and “It’s the only solution”… Such exaggerations are obviously untrue; it seems you advance them as a means to narrow the scope of argument in your preferred direction.
    .
    You’re right that I know no economics as a subject, but I assume it to be susceptible to logic, maths and historic analysis. Yes, I make stuff up; should I not? New ideas have to start somewhere.
    .
    It’s a shame. I like many of your ideas – you seem to have overlooked my support for your negative income tax suggestion above, for instance – but to me you seem too attached to certain ideologies. I don’t know what you find “ad hominem”. You support the monarchy and respect for the monarch, low taxes, racial separation and “the good old days”, so you shouldn’t object to being called a “right-winger”.

  • mary

    Mark Acquisition, acquisition, acquisition seems to be Cohen’s mantra, whether of assets or connections.
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Cohen
    .
    His political connections seem to waver, once Liberal and then Labour (a large supporter of Bliar) and now Lord Freud of the Tories.
    .
    ‘Political career
    In 1974 Cohen stood as the parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Party in Kensington North, and in 1979 he stood as its European candidate in London West.
    .
    In 1996 he switched allegiance to the Labour Party, becoming a supporter of Tony Blair. In 2004, Cohen was the Labour Party’s fourth largest financial supporter, after Lord Sainsbury, Sir Christopher Ondaatje and Lord Hamlyn.’
    .
    Odious.

  • ingo

    Indeed odious Mary, as Labour party donors go, would he have any connections to Lord Levy, the last no Labour fixer?, hmm.

    Alisher Usmanov and Mafiosies beware, the Tories want to repatriate all those criminals, regardless of family ties…. or was that just the poor criminals? Will they swoop on restaurants that merely amble along, not making much profit at all, because they are laundering illicit monies, or the other false businesses set up as fronts? Will the Tories look into the FA money pits and its problems with ownership, drugs and too much local powers?
    What of those tax criminals who shifted our bail out loot into the Turks and Cayman’s?
    The whole idea will be their downfall, because they will now be presented with facts they’d love to keep under the carpet, unless off course, the media is still licking boots and scratching the backs of our police. What if the police all in a sudden realises that the Conservatives want to change their boys club and reform the unreformable? surely that must grind and result in some future actions on high profile Tory donors with a shady past, dare I mention the Friends of Israel here and their backers.

  • orkneylad

    Federal Reserve gives 16 Trillion of your money to their bankster buddies:
    http://www.lincolncountywatch.org/16trillion.htm

    Seems the source is:
    http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=9e2a4ea8-6e73-4be2-a753-62060dcbb3c3

    “The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

    No words would seem to be appropriate.

  • John Goss

    Clark, I signed the petition about taxpayers’ money funding the banks over Greece’s debts. Then I searched AVAAZ, which has run some worthy campaigns, for a petition to disband NATO. Unfortunately I found one supporting the imposition of a no-fly zone which paved the way for NATO bombing. Until we get rid of this abominable organisation nowhere on earth is safe.

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/16747

  • John Goss

    Quelcrime, I guess if Britain wants Mongolia’s resources now it will have to resort to the old tactic of bombing the shit out of them with NATO forces. His time in a UK prison is not good news but this is much worse, and illegal by English constitutional law.
    .
    http://www.freebabarahmad.com
    .
    Apologies if this has already been posted.

  • mary

    Copied from MediaLens
    .
    Financial Times: Heritage Oil strike $20m Libyan oil deal.
    Posted by Peter on October 4, 2011, 10:22 am

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/542da4f6-ee58-11e0-a2ed-00144feab49a.html#axzz1ZjtG04mt
    .
    The CEO of Heritage Oil is Tony Buckingham, a former partner in the mercenary outfit Executive Outcomes, and also a major donor to the Conservative Party.
    ~~~~~~~
    Heritage Oil, the FTSE 250 oil and gas explorer, has made a push into Libya in the hope of winning oil and gas licences in the wake of the ousting of Muammer Gaddafi’s regime.
    .
    The group on Tuesday announced that it had bought a 51 per cent stake in a small Libyan oilfield service provider called Sahara Oil Services Holdings.
    .
    More
    Tullow finds ‘potentially transformational’ oil
    In depth Oil
    Vallares sounds out FSA on $2.1bn Genel deal
    Wood Group banks on Gulf of Mexico bounce
    Cairn abandons another Greenland well
    .
    Heritage, which is currently exploring for oil and gas in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo, said it wanted to “play a significant role in the future development of the oil and gas industry in Libya”.
    .
    It added that it had been in discussions with senior members of the National Transitional Council, the country’s interim rulers, as well as the national oil company and it subsidiaries.
    .
    Foreign oil companies have moved back into Libya recently after the civil war brought operations in the country to a near standstill. Italy’s ENI recently ramped up production again after disruption caused by the hostilities, as has France’s Total.
    .
    Heritage, which is run by a former North Sea diver, paid $19.5m in cash for the stake in the Benghazi-based business but did not say from which individuals it was ultimately buying the shares.
    .
    The company said it was “exploring ways to assist the NTC and the state oil companies rehabilitate certain of their existing fields and recommence production”.
    .
    However, the longer-term attraction for Heritage is the fact that Sahara Oil Services has the right to bid for oil and gas exploration and production licences.
    .
    Shares in Heritage, which have fallen over 20 per cent in the last six months, were down another 2.9 per cent to 217.8p in early morning trading in London on Tuesday.

  • John E

    Hi Craig

    Remember your post last year on the Amanda Knox case? It was called the White Charger Stays in the Stable. You decided that Knox was guilty, on the basis of what you perceived to be her flawed personality.

    I made the following comment:

    The fact that she changed her story could be due to her mental state after being charged with murder, and don’t forget she alleged the police forced the confession of guilt out of her – Something which is a feature in the many miscarriages of justice which have occurred in Britain. Other key elements of miscarriages of justice are character assassination, circumstantial evidence and botched forensic evidence. Add to this the high profile of the case and the desire of the courts and the Italian state to get a result – and the whole thing looks like its been cooked up. The suggestion in The Observer on Sunday was that this verdict will be overturned on appeal in a years time.

  • angrysoba

    Clark: Comments, please, from people who do know something about economics – ie not me, according to Canspeccy.

    .
    And according to you too. But nevermind that. The only things I know about economics are from unlikely sources such as Guns, Germs and Steel, which did tell me that economics is not a zero-sum game (something that I had suspected from a thought experiment of mine that I think I invented, but that’s a digression). Anyway, I always get all my opinions on economics from the Economist.
    http://www.economist.com/node/21530986

  • mary

    Ms Knox did look like the cat that got the cream as she left Italy. I feel very sorry for the Kercher family.
    .
    I have just re-read Craig’s 2009 piece http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/12/the_white_charg/ and would be interested to know what his recent thoughts are on the outcome of the appeal and the acquittals.
    .
    There is a comment on the above post from See I’m Innocent which is a reprint of the e-mail Knox sent to the US before she was arrested. Gives food for thought.
    .
    PS Johnm Not me with the D Reed link.

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