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.