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

    Clark,
    *
    You quote me:
    *
    “Corporations never accept lower profits”
    *
    But that is to take my words out of context.
    *
    What I said was:
    *
    “Corporations never accept lower profits — as a matter of choice.”
    *
    Which is quite different. And although it may not be absolutely true, there is no question that it is virtually always true and is consistent with the legal obligation of company directors to maximize shareholder value.
    *
    You say you don’t direct ad hominem attacks at me, but you do so repeatedly, by calling me a liar, and by lying about me. Here you smear me with this ludicrously constructed assertion:
    *
    “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.”
    *
    My response to that is first, I will not argue with you until you can prove you are not either a serial smear artist, or an idiot, and second to point out that contrary to your implication, I have never said anything whatsoever about “genocide by Muslims” anywhere, let alone in Leicester.
    *
    What I have said on this blog about the ethnic transformation of Leicester is this:
    *
    [Other Mod: passage replaced by link; tedious nth repeat about Lemkin’s definition of genocide deleted. Canspeccy, just link to your own damn blog and save me work]
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/07/who-funded-breivik/#comment-317166

    *
    Whether you are capable of assimilating this simple fact, is of no interest to me. Although it is curious that you keep bringing it up. Does it rather excite you, the way a Nazi might have been excited by the thought of the destruction of the Jews?
    *
    But to demolish the rest of your absurd claim of reasonableness and lack of malice, you have called me a “right-winger,” a label that implies many things that are false:
    *
    It implies that I would vote for political parties that would be on the alleged right of the political spectrum, something I have never in my life done.
    *
    It would suggest to most people that I am for the rich rather than for ordinary people or the poor, yet I am one of the few people commenting on this blog who seems to give a damn about the fact that something like 20% of the UK workforce is unemployed, partially unemployed or so discouraged as to have given up the search for work — a fact that I have repeatedly attributed to the processes of mass immigration and trade globalization that account together for the rapid increase in the wealth of a tiny plutocratic elite.
    *
    It would suggest that I am for the Anglo/American war for global empire, rather than a persistent critic.
    *
    Here, in case you doubt it, is the first article about the war that I posted in 2003, written for my Web site by my late school friend Postman Patel: canadianspectator.ca/stuff/beekeepers.html
    *
    But maybe you’re just a gatekeeper. In which case the crude and dishonest tactics you use in debate are entirely understandable.

    I am

  • Canspeccy

    The great thing about this pathetic blog is that is has a couple of moronic moderators who smear those who fail to toe the politically correct line and then delete any response that their victims may make.
    *
    And if you want to deny that Clark, why don’t you or “other mod” put my response to your last reference to me online.

  • John Goss

    There is something not right about this murder case in which the young student Meredith Kercher suffered a particularly nasty and prolonged death. I share concerns about the release and repatriation to the United States of Amanda Knox in the light of what was written previously and posted by Marina.
    .
    http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=504236
    .
    But nobody seems to be talking about Rudy Guede any more. And that surprises me too. He got the lightest sentence but apparently dipped his hand in Meredith’s blood and wrote on the wall. Who would do such a thing? The whole truth of this murder is not out yet. Guede was extradited from Germany to face trial. What are the bets that if Amanda Knox is linked back to the murder that the US refuses to extradite her? Pretty high I should think.

  • John Goss

    This is the comment from See, I’m Innocent that Mary refers to:Craig

    Quite telling that you think it a pastiche.

    Apparently, it’s the actual email that Knox sent to her friends and others in Seattle just before she was arrested.

    http://perugia-shock.blogspot.com/2009/02/from-amanda-knox.html

    It’s bizarre stuff, and this piece is quite telling in confessional terms:

    “i have to get this off my chest because its

    pressing down on me and it helps to know that someone besides me knows

    something, and that im not the one who knows the most out of everyone.”

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Canspeccy – What’s the difference between your plan to allow complete global free trade, levelling wages down to Chinese levels ; and mass immigration, which you condemn for pushing up unemployment and pushing down wages? – other than that your plan will have that effect to a far greater extent?
    .
    The effect of the two is the same – except that complete global free trade will transfer far more jobs to China and countries with even lower wages and do it even faster, making more people unemployed here and preventing the remainder getting jobs except at greatly reduced wages? (that’s because if there aren’t any tariff or other costs or barriers to e.g exporting from China to the EU, capital can moved far faster and on a far larger scale than immigrants or migrant workers can)
    .
    Why is transferring jobs abroad any better than the same jobs going to immigrants coming here? (other than your fears for culture as if it was destroyed by any change?)
    .
    You argue that “As this happens the cost of living will fall with wages (and hopefully wages in the low-wage economies will rise).”
    That’s only a solution if you have far, far less inequality than either China or the UK have at the moment. Without reducing inequality – e.g by higher minimum wages and higher maximum ones – it’ll just mean we end up like China or Brazil with a minority of millionaires and billionaires, the majority in poverty and a tiny middle class, if it survives at all.
    .
    You criticise Clark’s suggestion of increased corporation tax on the grounds that it would lead to companies moving to other countries with lower tax rates. In the absence of an EU deal on minimum tax rates (or – better – but harder to get – OECD one) it likely would, but the elimination of all barriers to ‘free trade’ would do it to a far greater extent, far faster.
    .
    Clark – you’re also right that as long as countries and economic blocs like the EU maintain some barriers and added costs to removing capital or jobs from them and exporting goods and services to them, many companies will not want to pay the costs of exporting into them from outside even if e.g corporation tax was raised a bit.
    .
    Shorter working hours are also a good idea to reduce unemployment. Unfortunately people in work will tend to oppose it as it would reduce their income and transfer their current extra hours to other people who are currently unemployed – i think you could still persuade them though.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    CanSpeccy – I agree with you that short of creditors forgiving the majority of it’s debts Greece will have to default. Ken Rogoff – an economist (and not a particularly liberal one) says Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland require 70 – 80% of their debts written off to have any chance of paying off the rest and will likely leave the Euro too if they don’t get that forgiveness.
    .
    The creditors include European (including British) banks, who’ve already had one massive bail-out, so many economists and politicians are saying they should now forgive some of the Greek debt as their share of a bail-out for Greece – the banks are largely refusing.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Clark wrote “From Mary’s link:
    .
    “There are around 13 million people in Britain living in poverty, which is defined as earnings of 60% of the national average. Of those, four million are suffering nutritionally related consequences. And the big new group who are really suffering are working families.”
    .
    This is stupid! There is NO shortage of wealth, just huge inequality. Go to the local recycling centre, and look at the stacks and stacks of tellys, computers, and slightly malfunctioning domestic appliances. Look at the bins full of two year old mobile ‘phones. Look outside homes in better-off areas, and see all the skips, full from refitting. Look at all the flashy high-street chain stores.”
    .
    Yes – it’s a scandal which will turn into another crisis soon if it continues. The Coalition has also both capped housing benefit and increased rents for people in social housing to 80% of market rates – that means making large numbers of people homeless.
    .
    We have two big problems – first a 1930s style one where cuts (including in welfare for the poorest and unemployed) during a recession are creating hunger, mass unemployment and growing poverty – risking a long depression and growing support for political extremists and opportunists (e.g the BNP)
    .
    Second we have an economic and social system which relies on constant production of new goods and binning of ones only a few years old to maintain growth and employment levels.
    .
    This does not take account of environmental damage which will at the least cause great rises in illnesses and could make us extinct, nor a more imminent energy crisis as our energy use per person has been rising, our population globally is rising – but the amount of energy produced for each unit of energy used to produce or extract it is falling massively – from 100 units per 1 unit used in oil extraction in the 1930s to around 15 units produced for each unit used today.
    .
    Peak oil will also be peak energy (google Mandy Meikle and Chris Martenson along with “Net Energy” on this). If we end up without surplus energy as a society we will suffer a crisis that will make even the Great Depression look less bad by comparison and the risks of World War Three or former Yugoslavia style wars will become even higher than it is due to economic crises.
    .
    To avoid it we need to bring in regulations and taxes and subsidies that reduce wasteful use of energy, reduce overall energy use and promote energy creation and extraction methods that avoid ones that are inefficient in terms of net energy (i.e energy produced vs energy input) , pollution etc , but will otherwise continue as long as their profitable in terms of money.
    .
    This is difficult and for me feels a bit like having to try to think in four dimensions, but we need to face up to it and fast.

  • Guest

    Duncan McFarlane, think about it, if its that much just for “Greece’s super-rich”, which must be peanuts in comparison to what the UK/USA/EU “super-rich” have stolen.

  • Canspeccy

    Duncan,
    *
    Unless the mods publish my response to Clark’s ridiculous smear, based on misquotation and name-calling, I am certainly not going to address his points as taken up by you or anyone else.

  • mary

    It is being reported that Dexia bank, a French/Belgian owned bank, is in trouble. It has large exposure to Greek debt.
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5cd62f0c-edad-11e0-a9a9-00144feab49a.html
    .
    ‘Dexia, the Franco-Belgian banking group, on Monday was put on a negative downgrade watch by Moody’s, which cited concerns about a further deterioration in its liquidity position.
    .
    The three main operating entities of the Brussels-based group are being targeted for a possible re-rating, which would come on top of a downgrade in early July. Shares in Dexia dropped 9 per cent in morning trading on the news.’
    .
    Moodys have also downgraded Italy’s credit rating.
    .
    Italy credit rating slashed by Moody’s from Aa2 to A2
    .
    The Italian government’s credit rating has been slashed by Moody’s from Aa2 to A2 with a negative outlook.
    .
    The ratings agency blamed a “material increase in long-term funding risks for the euro area”, due to lost confidence in eurozone government debts.
    .
    Despite Rome’s low current borrowing needs, and low private-sector debt levels in Italy, Moody’s said market sentiment had turned against the euro.
    .
    Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said the decision was expected.
    BBC website.
    .
    Anyone for a game of dominoes?

  • Duncan McFarlane

    CanSpeccy – was it deleted or did it never appear? Did it have a lot of links in it? I’ve had some of my posts that had links in them never appear in the first place – i think due to an automatic anti-spam filter that sometimes blocks non-spam posts for appearing like spam based on it’s rules from what others have said

  • Other Mod

    Canspeccy, as far as I can tell, all your comments on this thread have been published, minus your repetitions above which I’ve removed. If you think something is missing then repost it.
    .
    Duncan, yes, comments with more than one link get queued for moderation, so they have to wait until a moderator finds them. Canspeccy seems to expect us to work shifts so his pearls of wisdom can be published swiftly. Occasionally, stuff seems to just go missing without trace. I think I censored Canspeccy once when he was abusive. Despite his claims, his political views have not been censored, though I do cull endless repetition.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Mary – yes – we need some nationalised banks or government established ones now.

    Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal can’t possibly pay most of their debts and may default and even pull out of the euro if most of them aren’t forgiven.

    At the same time, as banks are among the main private creditors, them forgiving those countries’ debts could lead to banks’ share prices plummeting and possibly even their collapse as account holders withdraw their money for fear of losing it all.

  • Canspeccy

    OK, thanks Other Mod. My comment has now appeared.
    *
    Duncan,
    *
    That a a negative income tax (NIT) will have an effect on wages is not generally recognized, and I do not see that it is an issue. Wages are determined by the market, so those already earning a living wage are presumably already competitive in the global economy, i.e., they either have jobs in the non-tradeable goods and services sectors of the economy, or they outproduce workers in low-wage economies.
    *
    Immigration merely increases the number of poor people needing social assistance of some kind. That was established by unpublished reports commissioned by the Labour government.
    *
    Exactly how you make an NIT work is a complicated question. Better might be a government auction of job subsidies, the numbers and the amounts of subsidy in each region reflecting the local unemployment picture. Such a system obviates the problem of having to impose high marginal tax rates (50 to 100%) on workers whose wages only slightly exceed a living wage.

  • Quelcrime

    The protectors of the world have rediscovered their balls.

    U.N. Resolution Condemning Syria Is Blocked

    Susan Rice, the American envoy, said that the United States was “outraged” after Russia and China vetoed a measure demanding the end to violence in Syria.

  • Quelcrime

    I don’t see the point of making a fuss about the Kercher case. They were convicted on DNA evidence which was shown to be flawed on appeal, so the conviction was overturned. Like a lot of students abroad, she was a silly young girl who was scared and said silly things when she was arrested. That’s why people send their kids abroad, so they can grow up a bit.

    Imprisonment is one of the more cruel of many bizarre medieval tortures. I don’t know why that one has survived and is socially accepted while the rack and the thumbscrew and the rest of them are not.

    Even if the two who were acquitted were in fact guilty (though it couldn’t be proved) is it really helpful to subject them to twenty-odd years of torture? If the answer is yes, then the lesson to be drawn is that the Italian police need to be trained to handle evidence properly.

    It’s noteworthy that when Americans are imprisoned, in North Korea (guilty), Iran (guilty of one charge, probably not of the other), Burma (guilty), the local authorities often pardon them and let them go. Yet the President of the United States very rarely does anything comparable. What chance is there of Aafia Siddiqui getting out before the end of her 86 year sentence for standing up and drawing back a curtain after five years of imprisonment and torture and the disappearance of her children? Not very much. Home of the brave, Mr President?

  • Quelcrime

    “The resolution on Libya approved by the Council in the spring was intended to protect civilians, [the Russian ambassador] said. But he contended that it was used instead as an excuse to fuel a civil war, with NATO bombing civilian targets like television stations and oil facilities. The Chinese ambassador echoed those sentiments.”

  • mary

    ‘The protectors of the world have rediscovered their balls.

    U.N. Resolution Condemning Syria Is Blocked

    Susan Rice, the American envoy, said that the United States was “outraged” after Russia and China vetoed a measure demanding the end to violence in Syria’
    .
    Pleased about that Quelcrime. I heard Rice’s ill tempered response. The US gangsters and their minions do not like having their plans thwarted.
    .
    This is a list of recent US offensives in the Middle East from the estimable William Blum’s latest.
    .
    What, then, is the basis of all this? What has the United States actually been doing in the Middle East in the recent past?

    the shooting down of two Libyan planes in 1981
    the bombing of Lebanon in 1983 and 1984
    the bombing of Libya in 1986
    the bombing and sinking of an Iranian ship in 1987
    the shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane in 1988
    the shooting down of two more Libyan planes in 1989
    the massive bombing of the Iraqi people in 1991
    the continuing bombings and draconian sanctions against Iraq for the next 12 years
    the bombing of Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998
    the habitual support of Israel despite the routine devastation and torture it inflicts upon the Palestinian people
    the habitual condemnation of Palestinian resistance to this
    the abduction of “suspected terrorists” from Muslim countries, such as Malaysia, Pakistan, Lebanon and Albania, who were then taken to places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, where they were tortured
    the large military and hi-tech presence in Islam’s holiest land, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere in the Persian Gulf region
    the support of numerous undemocratic, authoritarian Middle East governments from the Shah of Iran to Mubarak of Egypt to the Saudi royal family
    the invasion, bombing and occupation of Afghanistan, 2001 to the present, and Iraq, 2003 to the present
    the bombings and continuous firing of missiles to assassinate individuals in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, and Libya during the period of 2006-2011
    .
    http://killinghope.org/bblum6/aer98.html

  • John E

    Come on Craig, do you still think the Italian courst got the right result in the Amanda Knox case?

  • Quelcrime

    I’m not sure he said she was guilty, John; rather that her innocence was not clear so he wasn’t going to make a thing of it. At least that’s how I read it.

  • ingo

    The quartet will never be abolished, it will fakll to pieces more likely, become obsolete. It looks like the perfect storm is brewing, to a world financial crisis and lack of trust by consumers who can’t see any change to previous policies that landed us in a recession, ad the lack of trust in the UN and its arm twisters, and then combine this with their pre determined zeal to break Iran and Syria and you have one explosive mix.

    How can we link into satelite imagery? Is there a way we can find out about troop movements and contingency planning, bar the intentional press releases, or websites by manouvre Hawks etc.?
    Is there a way to get into live geo sat linkages?

  • Clark

    Afghanistan: Brigadier General Abdul Raziq, acting chief of police in Kandahar province. Torturer, drug baron, supported by US military:
    .
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1969/12/our-man-in-kandahar/8653/?single_page=true
    ———–
    Internet companies make surveillance easy and cheap:
    .
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/30/us-internet-security-idUSTRE78T2GY20110930
    .
    “The ease and cost of surveillance are at an all-time low, Soghoian said, with Google charging an administrative fee of $25 to hand over data, Yahoo charging $20, and Microsoft and Facebook providing data for free.

    ‘Now, one police officer from the comfort of their desk can track 20, 30, 50 people all through Web interfaces provided by mobile companies and cloud computing companies,’ he said.”

  • mary

    If the situation was not so dire, this would almost be funny. We are dealing in tenths of a percentage point now.
    .
    UK economic growth slower than previously thought
    Industrial output fell less than previously thought
    The UK economy grew by 0.1% between April and June, less than the 0.2% estimated previously.
    .
    BBC website.

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