Greece, London, Scotland and Europe 277

The entire purpose of this blog is to ask you to think outside the box. It therefore cuts across the lines of dogma of any group, and is formed purely by my own independent thought. As I have frequently stated, if anybody agrees with every point I make, something is wrong.

This is going to annoy both left on Greece and right on banks, and my own party on the SNP and Labour. Here goes.

The citizens of the United Kingdom gave 45,000 pounds each, every man woman and child of them, direct to the bankers in bailouts. We will be paying off that money in taxes – with vast sums in interest to the same bankers, from whom we borrowed virtual money they did not have, to give to them as real money – for generations to come. Quantitive easing gives yet more money to the bankers, cash in place of risky bonds they wish to dump.

When you add it all together including interest, every man, woman and child in the UK will pay over 100,000 pounds each to the bankers, to bail out the bankers from the mess their own extreme greed had created. Indeed it is possible to argue rationally that the payment will be infinite, as the debt incurred will never be repaid but continually rolled over, and interest payments continue.

We did not have to do this. We could have let the bad banks go bust, started new ones, and boosted the economy by spending just 20% of the money we have given the banks on crucially needed public infrastructure works – railways, renewable energy, housing, insulation, hospitals, schools etc. But Gordon Brown and New Labour decided just to give money to the bankers instead.

In Greece, the people have actually given much less to the bankers for bailout than people in the UK. It is important to acknowledge that the causes of the Greek financial collapse are different. Greece was rather a recipient of bad lending, a country which received loans it could not possibly afford. Due to corrupt networks of elite collusion embracing both government and private sector, much of this money was simply siphoned out of the country into overseas accounts in London and Cyprus. The British people are suffering from the banking collapse through being forced to bail out the bankers. Greece is more in the position of somebody in a huge house who could not afford the mortgage – except for the vital distinction that all the people in Greece were paying the mortgage, but the large majority living in sheds behind the mansion.

I welcome Syriza’s victory as an indication that people are not content just to accept the narrative given them by the mainstream media and the parties in the pocket of corporations. I hope that they negotiate hard and force the banks to take a huge haircut on Greek sovereign debt. I acknowledge their commitment to social justice. But I do hope they will be realistic with both themselves and their people on the amount of blood, sweat and tears that is going to need to go in to building a productive Greek economy. An example of Keynesian stimulus is much needed by the rest of Europe.

Gordon Brown’s bank bailout was probably the biggest single gift any politician has ever given his corporate masters in the entire history of the world. It is worth reminding ourselves just how very right wing the Red Tories are. Not to mention the fact their front bench remains littered with war criminals. I therefore have grave reservations about Nicola Sturgeon’s weekend interview indication that the People of Scotland want a Labour Government with SNP support. I don’t. I am not going to elect somebody to represent me as chief bag carrier to a war criminal.

The SNP leadership remain infected by managerialism. It is easy to convince yourself you are doing good things while not changing anything fundamental, and at the same time building a very well paid career and a personal powerbase. I don’t want devo-max, I don’t want more powers, I don’t want something “as close to federalism as possible”. I want freedom for my country. I want independence. I want to live in a country which does not illegally invade other countries, collude in torture, carry out mass surveillance of its citizens, or possess nuclear weapons. The idea of running the Union a little bit better, making it a teeny bit more humane and competent, does not interest me. Nor does dulling the edge of austerity, when it is going to behead us anyway.

Besides which I am absolutely convinced the Tories will win the election, which will make all this jostling for position look rather foolish.

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277 thoughts on “Greece, London, Scotland and Europe

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  • Mary

    Greek finance minister delivers a masterclass on Newsnight
    Posted by the Medialens Editors on January 31, 2015, 11:56 am
    (h/t Vanessa Spedding)

    Yanis Farouvakis:

    ‘As a fan of the BBC, I must say I was appalled by the depths of inaccuracy in the reporting underpinning this interview (not to mention the presenter’s considerable rudeness). Still, and despite the cold wind on that balcony, it was fun!’


    ◦Brilliant – like this man! nm – MikeD Today, 1:10 pm
    ◦Re: Greek finance minister delivers a masterclass on Newsnight – Diderot44 Today, 2:56 pm

  • Mary

    The Greek People Have Punctured the Smugness of the “Moneymen”

    by Adnan Al-Daini / January 30th, 2015

    Congratulations to the Greek people for democratically puncturing the smugness of the “moneymen”. For far too long politicians have been paralysed by the dogma imposed by the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission, that the only way out of the economic mess we are in is austerity that hurts those most vulnerable, while the elite continue to accumulate wealth at an accelerating rate. The lack of imagination to think outside the straightjacket imposed on politicians by the “moneymen” is staggering.

    The humiliation of Greece by foreign politicians and unelected bodies, dictating what Greece must do regardless of what harm it …

    (Full article …)

  • Jemand

    Clark — “Dreoilin, I agree that Mary sometimes replies, by name, with apparent approval to other commenters, presumably as she sees them as being ‘on her side’. I regret this, and I oppose this whole tendency for “sides” to develop, which is one of the reasons I’ve been debunking various wild “conspiracy theories” recently.”

    Bullshit. You are as guilty as the next dog for taking and buttressing sides. You even go to the effort of counselling commentators about the political disposition of your target with dredged up posts as examples – all in the course of sabotaging your target’s engagement with other commentators. You know, we have a word for people who pose as having virtues while practicing the opposite – you know what it is.

    Let’s face it square on, Clark. You are providing comfort and support to a consistently rabid anti-semite who refuses to accept any criticism whatsoever. Screeds of anti-jewish noise fill this blog’s threads day in, day out ad nauseum. You clearly agree with them so that should remove any doubt about your own attitude to jews.

    No disagreement will ever be tolerated by Mary. I believe that is called bigotry. Even her plagiaristic style of cutting-and-pasting that leaves commentators confused as to what is and isn’t her own words, refuses criticism and correction. But all you can do is “regret” her faults. No sharp criticism from you for Mary as you have given to others, including the dribbling peddler of fake medicine, Scouse Billy, Habbabkuk, and yours truly.

    So kindly unhand Dreoilin and leave her defend herself against her critics as she sees fit. Some of them have falsely accused her of malice and mischief but we are long past hoping for any sign of support from you.

  • nevermind

    Just in case a lonely Scottish soul with SNP allegiances reads this, pass it on pronto, so they can fill their coffers before departing south to the big stink of Westmi/onster.

    What are the great ideas of the SNP for the devolution of more powers to the English voters? after all they made it clear that they will want to vote on our affairs, and should the English be allowed to choose an equally proportional and fair voting system as exists in Scotland, Wales and NI, as part of any coalition deal? (a really fat and juicy bone/vegan nutloaf)?

    We know that the SNP finds it opportune to woe the Welsh and agree with their demands for more powers, but what of Birmingham, Manchester, east Anglia, the South West and of all, Yorkshire? what support would/could the SNP give us down here which the other main parties currently do not want us to have? Hint, tut, hint.

    Those who says that the SNP has nothing to offer us here are politically still cracking their egg shells, off course they have, nothing to stop them speaking up for fair proportional votes for the English, they have no problems with it in Scotland…..
    or have they?
    answer on a stamp.

    And what of their noises to Europe, will they want a referendum on an exit from the EU, or steer a pro reform course together with the Green Party of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland, another hint on possible coalition talks for positive pro reform policies?

    It is time for those who claim to understand these politicians, to talk of real reform and bring this into the foreground of debate, into the MSM, the studios and then blast it into the stale air of both Parliaments, before the elections!

    How about it diplomats?

  • Mary

    A killer

    Monthly Updates on the Covert War
    Almost 2,500 now killed by covert US drone strikes since Obama inauguration six years ago: The Bureau’s report for January 2015

    and a scribbler who supports killing

    Putin must be stopped. And sometimes only guns can stop guns
    Timothy Garton Ash
    The time for diplomacy will come again, but it is not now: Ukraine urgently needs military support, and a counter to Russian propaganda

  • Mary

    It is reassuring to learn that there are decent Australians.

    Australian Airline Passengers Prevent Deportation of Asylum Seeker

    ‘More refugee rights activists protested at the Australian Open men’s tennis final the night before, delaying the match for five minutes. The protesters held up a banner saying “Australia Open for Refugees,” denouncing the “torture, abuse and horrific conditions that are being perpetrated on Manus Island,” added the collective in a statement. The conservative Australian government has a policy of “processing” refugee claims offshore – off the Australian mainland. Asylum seekers can wait years to receive a response to their request, and many find the conditions at the detention centers, or prisons, even worse than the wars and conflicts they were fleeing. Many have tried to commit suicide.

    Two men died in the Manus Island detention center last year, one during a protest, the other because of poor medical attention, casting a shameful light on the Australian system of refugee detention.’

    and Abbott is on his way out. More good news.

    Abbott ‘hasn’t considered resigning’
    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he has not considered resigning, despite a slump in popularity and growing questions about his leadership

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