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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  • John Goss

    This sentence Resident Dissident was prepared to criticise in a half hearted sort of way. He could not even criticise the full sentence, which was:

    “Everybody knows that next to the Nazi-Ukraine genocide in Eastern Ukraine (supported by Resident Dissident) the Israeli genocide in Palestine is one of the great crimes of the new century.”

    Then he swore. I invited him yesterday to address a comment he made the day before but he left the building.

  • giyane

    Whatever underlies the Mary Dreoilin ding dong is surely “polemical” as Craig puts it. i.e. taking one’s valid grievances to their logical conclusions to illustrate the truth. Mary lives in Surrey and represents received English ( not like those gratuitously rude Thames estuary types who permanently use a clothes peg on their noses whine and offend former Tory art Ministers in taxis. Dreiolin has a whiff of Sinn Fein. It’s not personal is it?

    For myself, I’m a soft posh Southerner like Mary, living in Birmingham where the BBC demolished its multi-million pound Broadcasting centre at Pebble Mill because Southerners visiting the Midlands couldn’t politely stop laughing at our yammy twangs.

    I can report to you from Birmingham that our Sniaouw-drops are not out yet in our front gardens, but our Miaouw drops are flourishing. Or as a Halesowen builder once said to me:
    ‘6 miaoulliaouwn peaouwple ceaownt have a speaouwch deaouwfect, caouwn they?

    The M6 has been closed every night last week, with diversions through Walsall. Coming over the top of Barr Beacon with a panoramic view of the orange lights of the Black country and Birmingham in front of us, my wife confessed to me that she loved Birmingham.

    Niaouw niaouw niaouw, never never never. I love the lights of beautiful, Muslim Sulaymania.

    What’s wrong with a bit of stupid, stereotypic rivalry anyway? We are one big family.

    If Ian Duncan-Smith thinks work is intrinsically good for you, why don’t the bastard, thieving bankers work for niaowthing like me and you?

  • Resident Dissident

    “I invited him yesterday to address a comment he made the day before but he left the building.”

    Yet another lie – the response is there if you care to look – been drinking again I presume.

    Another racist insult or accusation of supporting genocide against me – then I shall be writing to Left Unity with a collection of your views and links to ask why they consider your views are compatible with being a member.

  • BrianFujisan


    Thanks for all that Trouble

    On Topic of sorts… Craig mentioned Trident… I keep my ears to the ground hereaboots Re them Subs… ON MY RIVER… Nothing, repeat, NOTHING Have been seen, Heard of, Mermaids jumping… regards these Lies, in Parliament – Russian Subs –

  • KingOfWelshNoir


    And how about prosecuting the perpetrators of aggressive wars? Instead of them being allowed to attend Holocaust events as if they weren’t war criminals themselves?


    So, true. Wouldn’t it be nice if politicians were banned from such events. After all, half the reason they go is in order to appear solemn and statesmanlike on TV which is a mockery of the true spirit of the occasion. If it is deemed necessary to have an official representative from every country why not send people who are unsullied like, say, school children? It would serve a better purpose too: having attended a Holocaust memorial as children they might not grow up into politicians who needlessly start wars. You never know.

  • YouKnowMyName

    Greece? No, Money?, No. Thinking outside the box/war/torture? , maybe.

    Anniversary for international holocaust day/liberation of Leningrad anniversary – one poignant mention from yesterday’s coverage was the repetition of a meme from recent years of a possible:

    11th Commandment: Thou shall not be a bystander

    In this spirit, which fits Craig’s blog quite well, lets go back to February 1955 – a decade after the war to end all wars, or was that the one 4 decades before… one loses track

    From: Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2015
    “Heavy Fighting Drains Ukraine Government’s Options and Finances” (registration needed?) (same article – possibly less metadata)

    … The U.S. also has begun providing armoured trucks to Ukrainian troops and last week announced it would send military advisers to Ukraine for the first time since the war in eastern Ukraine began.[sic erat scriptum]
    In a visit to Ukraine last week the head of the U.S. Army in Europe, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, said the advisers will be based far from the fighting at a base near the western provincial city of Lviv, where they will train four companies of Ukrainian national guard.

    did anyone else catch this weeks’ Ukrainian TV interview with US General Hodges, visiting wounded combatants in the hospital in Kiev? High definition, nice uniforms.

    a lot of the discussions (in Ukrainian) were translated into American for the General, who was handing out ‘purple-hearts’ to the maimed Ukrainian soldiers. One of the young men, minus an arm, thanked the General for his medal and made an aside (that wasn’t translated into American)

    “So I can give this medal to my young son as a toy to play with, he’ll like it. What about the money that I was promised for going to the front-line?” . . . this possibly mercenary point wasn’t taken up!

    but advisors/advisers… is this February 1955 and is UA really VN?

  • giyane

    John Goss

    “Anyway the answer is this: if Greece should be held to account so should the US and UK”

    The big mistake in life is to think that nobody will ever be able to return the injustices you do to others, to you. But just for our education and understanding that’s what often happens.

    Or as the Qur’an puts it, Mercy is written on God’s soul. By no means does He ever oppress His creation, except that by the time of the day of Judgement, we would know who is our Lord.

  • Mary

    Russell Brand has been invited to visit the workers at the Barrow in Furness submarine yard. I hope he goes and makes a good case for scrapping Trident.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    O/T, but relevant to globalised governance.

    TY Mark – my sentiments exactly.
    A couple more charges – abuse of a position of trust, and misuse of aid funding.

    Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative is never slow to publicise its presence in Rwanda, with whose deeply dodgy dictator Kagame, Blair apparently enjoys a relationship as cosy as his once was with Gaddafi. From the ground, Blair’s claimed successes are viewed with more scepticism. This piece can be taken as a case study of Blair’s modus operandi:

    The so called wealthier lives and eradication of poverty programs has benefited just a tiny population that is close or family members of the Rwandan ruler, the rest of Rwandans are in extreme poverty coupled with political suppression.

  • John Goss

    “Another racist insult or accusation of supporting genocide against me – then I shall be writing to Left Unity with a collection of your views and links to ask why they consider your views are compatible with being a member.”

    If I ever have to defend myself against you I know, and you do too, who will come off the loser.

  • BrianFujisan

    been unwell… and Node’s FIRST deleted Rang true….anyhoo..think am back…But they have Fucked my Fbook…Just n Case john… Peace..I think ( Know ) i got more peace in my heart than them cunts

  • Mary


    By e-mail today from War on Want

    Today, our fight against corporate tax dodging enters the next phase:

    Your support has helped War on Want put a spotlight on companies like Alliance Boots; which together dodge billions of pounds in tax every year.

    Add your voice in the next step to stop the tax dodgers.

    These corporate parasites suck out profits and leave the rest of society paying the price wherever they operate. They won’t be stopped until the rules are changed. Empty rhetoric won’t do the job.

    That’s why we’ve teamed up with over 15 other organisations and are launching a campaign today to call for a new law, a Tax Dodging Bill, to help make tax fair.

    Support the Tax Dodging Bill.

    We will be calling on all political parties to pledge to introduce the Bill in the first 100 days after the election, and use the funds generated to fight poverty.

    The Tax Dodging Bill could tackle the worst bits of the UK tax rules that make it easy for big companies to dodge their taxes wherever they operate. It could generate £3.6bn for the UK and could also help raise billions in developing countries.

    Please support the call now.

    With 100 days until the General election, now’s a great time to ensure politicians take a stand against tax dodging. Politicians will be more sensitive than usual, which could determine whether there’s action on tax dodging over the next five years.

    When War on Want launched the first UK campaign for a Robin Hood tax in the wake of the East Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, nobody thought a tax on foreign currency transactions to stop speculation and raise money could get so far. In 2013, with over a thousand organisations across Europe joining our call, 11 European countries agreed to introduce a financial transactions tax.

    This happened because we are stronger together.

    Take action now – together we can stop the corporate parasites.

    Owen Espley
    Economic Justice Campaigner

  • Mary

    Giyane Just because I happen to live in the SE, do not assume that I am ‘posh’ as you put it. Not all are stockbrokers. In fact I have never come across one in my many years here.

    It is an appalling fact to report but five food banks were opened in my town in the last year. There is deprivation here as in all areas of this country now.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    You can ask Tony Blair a question on the form here, and if you are very lucky he will answer it at the Investing in Mining Indaba Conference (9th Feb, Cape Town) where he is the headline act.

    “How much are you getting paid for this appearance?” is already taken, but “How do you square your appearance here with your formerly prominent Climate Change Initiative ™ ?” might work.

  • lysias

    Wikipedia estimates USSR civilian deaths in World War Two as: 4 to 9 million civilian deaths due to military activity and 6 million civilian deaths due to war-related famine and disease (It was German policy to create famine in Russia, so those latter deaths cannot be regarded as accidental). Even if we subtract something like 3 million as Soviet Jews, non-Jewish USSR civilian deaths would still number more than the 5 to six million Jews from all over Europe killed by the Holocaust. Wikipedia estimates Soviet military deaths as 8,700,000 to 13,850,000. It would appear that Russians were the nation who suffered the most from the Holocaust.

    Let us remember that the first people to die at the Auschwitz camp (before it became a death camp for Jews) were Soviet prisoners of war.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Let us remember that the first people to die at the Auschwitz camp (before it became a death camp for Jews) were Soviet prisoners of war.

    Soviet PoW’s were treated at least as badly as Jews.

    By February 1942, 2,000,000 of the 3,300,000 Soviet soldiers in German custody up to that point had died from starvation, exposure, disease, or shooting.


  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Let us remember that the first people to die at the Auschwitz camp (before it became a death camp for Jews) were Soviet prisoners of war.”

    I believe that’s correct but what is the relevance of that to anything being discussed on this thread and what exactly is the “point” Lysias is attempting to make?

    I mean, I might as well have posted that the first and last people to die at Belzec, Chelmno, Sobibor and Treblinka were Jews and not Russian POWs.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Baal informs us as follows:

    “Soviet PoW’s were treated at least as badly as Jews.

    By February 1942, 2,000,000 of the 3,300,000 Soviet soldiers in German custody up to that point had died from starvation, exposure, disease, or shooting.


    Very possibly true.

    But the Germans were enabled in their treatment of Russian POWs by the refusal of the Soviet Union to sign and ratify the 1929 Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

    Germany signed and ratified.

    As did – for example – Poland. Which explains why the treatment of Polish POWs – despite Poles also being considered as Untermenschen – in German camps was relatively correct.

  • Bradbury Pound

    Whilst you lament the obvious scam that banking is, there’s no mention in your article of any alternative, other than swapping one set of psychopath’s for another by way of a different flag. Why not ditch the parasite’s altogether and have the government print and issue its own money free of charge, instead of paying a foreign enterprise to do it ? Or is that not the kind of fundamental change you’re looking for ?

  • Mary

    ‘On a lesser example, but nevertheless an important one, we are apparently more interested in selling weapons to Saudi Arabia than we are in human rights in Saudi Arabia. That example can be multiplied in country after country across the world. If we were serious about human rights, we would not provide the Government of Bahrain with equipment to kill and injure demonstrators who oppose what they do.’

    Jeremy Corbyn MP in the debate on the Chilcot report delay. 29 Jan 2015

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