On Revolutionary Attitude 322


evil bastards

The news that Philip Green systematically asset stripped British Home Stores of hundreds of millions of pounds, and that these were paid to his wife in Monaco so there was no tax, is simply an everyday story of the society we live in. Not only will there probably be 10,000 redundancies, a much larger number will see their company pensions disappear due to the unexplained hollowing out of the company pension fund. Meantime Green is buying a new £100 million luxury yacht.

more evil bastards

yet more evil bastards

I am willing to predict that Cameron, Blair and Clinton all find their way on to Philip Green’s new yacht. I am willing to bet that no ex-employee of BHS ever does.

Green's New Yacht Lionheart - He Already Has Two Others

Green’s New Yacht Lionheart – He Already Has Two Others

Outrage is muted because we are just so used to it. Modern capitalism makes Gordon Gekko look like a philanthropist. The bankers’ bailout used the state to effect a mass transfer of wealth from us all to the super rich on an unprecedented scale. But the entire system is skewed to facilitate, every second, the sucking of wealth into the hands of the “elite”. The finance industry is deregulated and extraordinarily lightly taxed, when other areas of activity are heavily taxed. The large majority of transactions ordinary people undertake are subjected to major sales tax – VAT within the EU – while the financial juggling of Mr Green is not taxed at any stage. State activity which involves spending is now channelled through private providers, or involves totally unnecessary layers of financial intermediaries, in order to divert yet more money from the people to the rich. Concentration of capital and deregulation of labour markets have all tipped the balance of economic power decisively away from ordinary people.

The greatest growth in history of wealth inequality in has occurred these last three decades and it is not an accidental occurrence. It is a result of these policies designed to achieve that effect. When first initiated by Reagan and Thatcher, there was no attempt to deny these policies boosted the super-rich. It was rather claimed crumbs would accrue to everyone through trickledown. Nobody believes that any more.

President Obama held a meeting with young people in London last week and sold them his big lie, that change is possible within the present system. He told them not to be “pessimistic”.

The truth is that there is very little hope for young people in the UK. They are saddled with massive tuition fee debt as they leave a commoditised education system in which University Principals are paid £300,000 a year plus. They move in to a market which does not provide nearly enough graduate level jobs for the number of graduates produced. Work they do find leaves them at the mercy of their employers with very few rights or benefits. They will normally live most of their lives in private sector rental, where each will be a small part of the astonishing 9 billion pounds per year the taxpayer gives to private landlords in housing benefit – yet another direct transfer by the state from ordinary people to the rich. Indeed, for a great many tenants, every penny they pay in tax goes in effect to their landlord in housing benefit.

The value of derivatives bets in the City of London I have seen estimated at anything from 30 to 100 times the annual GDP of the United Kingdom. Real economic activity – buying and selling actual goods and visible services – has become almost irrelevant to money and its ownership.

Obama is wrong. There is no hope within the existing system. The extent of social and economic change which is needed is as revolutionary as that undertaken by the Russian and French revolutions. That does not mean to say it needs to be as bloody. The world has changed. When children were executed for stealing handkerchiefs, executing those who had battened off the poor did not seem such a big thing. We are more civilised now and I don’t advocate killing Philip Green.

But we do need a revolutionary mindset when it comes to certainty of the justice of the cause. I upset people by my urging us to disrespect Tories, including ordinary Tories, in my last article. But I fear this is necessary. Society is so obviously broken to the disadvantage of the many, that to indulge those who, from self-interest or media brainwashing or nostalgia, support the status quo is not helpful. People have to be shocked out of their complacency and made to see the ugly truth behind the mass propaganda. Unionists, Blairites, Tories, we should stop according them all respect. It is uncomfortable of course, but otherwise nothing will change.

Voltaire put it best when her wrote “it is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” I would contend that the best way is to call out in public “Look at that f***ing fool! They’re wearing a chain!”.


322 thoughts on “On Revolutionary Attitude

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  • Republicofscotland

    Latest on the BHS saga.

    Phil Green is to face a cross party committee on the handling of the sale of BHS, for a pound.

    Source Radio Scotland news.

    There’s more chance of Martinned posting a sensible comment, than Phil Green, been taken to task over BHS.

    • Habbabkuk (combat the haters)

      RoS

      The proportion of Martinned’s comments which are sensible is far higher that the proportion of yours.

      You’ve shown a slight improvement of late – please don’t spoil it by making silly comments like that.

      • Republicofscotland

        Habb.

        Oh, I do apologise old boy, I didn’t mean to upset your bum chum, by the way give my regards to boys/girls, at Denison barracks. ?

  • Geoffrey

    A very good summary,Craig. Though you fail to point out that all those countries that have adopted the Thatcher/Reagan deregulation are “Rich” now.. Many Brits who own houses are millionaires now entirely because of the deregulation of the mortgage market, on the other side of the coin the banks that have lent to them are probably all bust on a “mark to market ” basis and that probably also means that the states that effective guarantee their banks are also probably bust, as they would not have the financial resources to bail them out.
    The “Elite” has gained disproportionately,but most property owners have gained handsomely too.

    • N_

      Geoff, you don’t need to exaggerate your point. Of those whose names are on the titles of their homes, about 48% have had mortgages slapped on the titles by moneylenders and about 52% haven’t. (Source.) And 31% of those 52% of households have a resident who is aged 65 or over. I should imagine that most of the other 21% have someone aged between 55 and 64. The average price of a house in England and Wales is about £190,000, and the average in Scotland is about £170,000. Not very many people own unmortgaged houses worth a million quid. But you are absolutely right that the rise in prices (except at the very top end) is a result of banks’ increasing scope for lending, given to them by their lackeys in the state. (The top end is an exception insofar as the reason why prices of extreme-luxury houses have risen isn’t to do with debt. It’s because the filthy rich have got richer and richer.)

      If you are just a working class person who because of inheritance or whatever finds yourself owning a house worth £300,000 when you’re 50, that doesn’t make you rich. Say you sell it. Then to live in a similar house in the same area, and to remain without debt, you’d have to pay the £300,000 you just received. Such a house isn’t an asset. That is just a bullshit idea put out by estate agents and the programmes on the TV sponsored by estate agents and moneylenders.

      PS Fuck the buy-to-letters! I hope you all go bust!

      • Mike

        “… banks’ increasing scope for lending, given to them by their lackeys in the state…” For centuries the banks have had an infinite scope for lending. Its a common misconception that banks lend only money already in existence or lend a proportion of deposits subject to regulator imposed reserve requirements. The truth is the banks can lend as much as we wish to borrow.

        There is no limit to bank lending because its not really lending in the way you might lend me your lawnmower for the weekend. When banks make loans brand new money is created. The empirical proof is laid bare in this long but definitive piece by Professor Richard Werner of Southampton University

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1057521914001070

        • N_

          “”… banks’ increasing scope for lending, given to them by their lackeys in the state…” For centuries the banks have had an infinite scope for lending. Its a common misconception that banks lend only money already in existence or lend a proportion of deposits subject to regulator imposed reserve requirements. The truth is the banks can lend as much as we wish to borrow.

          Well it’s true that banks don’t only lend money that’s already in existence – as every economics student is taught, the banking system creates a lot of money – but as for “infinite scope” and reserve requirements, that’s wrong. It would be a very strange market indeed that had its size set only by demand and not by supply. Starting in the 1950s there was huge propaganda in favour of mortgage-backed loans. That’s why the huge growth in such loans came about. Since the 1990s there’s been huge propaganda in favour of student loans. Even working class students, who need to borrow lots of money to be able to go to university, are encouraged for example on programmes such as The Archers to spend a ‘gap year’ travelling – stupid and irresponsible behaviour for people who can’t afford it.

          The banks have never had “infinite scope” for lending, neither now or for centuries. In the 1970s there was an agreed reserve ratio of 1.5%; after that, until a few years ago, there were individual contracts with the Bank of England, and banks were penalised both for lending more than the agreed multiple of reserves and for lending less. But the details can obfuscate the point that here as in other areas of the economy, it’s the big business players who decide government policy. That’s true regardless of how one treats the intricacies of regulation, self-regulation, the absence of regulation, or the relations between the Bank of England and the other banks or between the Bank of England and the Treasury.

          There is no limit to bank lending because its not really lending in the way you might lend me your lawnmower for the weekend.

          Of course there is a limit. Why is the average person not in 25 times more debt than they are? It’s not because they don’t want to be.

          In a country such as Sweden, the average house-buyer borrows about half of what they could. In Britain, they borrow about 100% of what they can. That difference alone shows you the power of moneylenders over minds here.

          When banks make loans brand new money is created. The empirical proof is laid bare in this long but definitive piece by Professor Richard Werner of Southampton University

          Of course when they make loans brand new money is created. The explanation is probably on about page 20 of Lipsey.

          • Mike

            “Of course when they make loans brand new money is created. The explanation is probably on about page 20 of Lipsey” and yet much contemporary literature continue to ignore the truth and instead espouse the financial intermediation and fractional reserve theory to explain the workings of banks.

            In a survey carried out a couple of years ago it was found that 71% of MPs believed that only the government has the power to create money. I suspect this figure is even higher in the general public. In reality, the UK government now only creates coins and notes, which make up just 3% of all the money in the economy. The other 97% of money exists as bank deposits – the electronic numbers in your bank account. This type of money is created by high-street banks – not by the government.

            From the conclusions of the Werner paper cited above:

            “The empirical evidence shows that of the three theories of banking, it is the one that today has the least influence and that is being belittled in the literature that is supported by the empirical evidence. Furthermore, it is the theory which was widely held at the end of the 19th century and in the first three decades of the twentieth. It is sobering to realise that since the 1930s, economists have moved further and further away from the truth, instead of coming closer to it. This happened first via the half-truth of the fractional reserve theory and then reached the completely false and misleading financial intermediation theory that today is so dominant.

            The implications are far-reaching for bank regulation and the design of official policies. As mentioned in the Introduction, modern national and international banking regulation is predicated on the assumption that the financial intermediation theory is correct. Since in fact banks are able to create money out of nothing, imposing higher capital requirements on banks will not necessarily enable the prevention of boom–bust cycles and banking crises, since even with higher capital requirements, banks could still continue to expand the money supply, thereby fuelling asset prices, whereby some of this newly created money can be used to increase bank capital.”

            We might disagree on reserve requirements of lack thereof but what cannot be disputed is the fact that there is always more debt than money in the economy. This is due to the fact that high street banks create only principle when they extend credit but demand principle plus interest. So where does the interest come from? It can only come from more debt – more people taking out more loans. This is the real driver of the insane mantra of the need for economic growth – insane because we live on a finite planet and this imposes hard limits on exponential growth.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Is this an argument about definitions? The “money” I have in my bank current account and bank deposit account is not “money”. It is a debt, owed to me by the bank. It only becomes “money” when I demand it from the bank as notes and coins. It is only “money” if we choose to define it as such.

  • Beth

    Great article – hope it becomes available to a wide audience. At last someone rational points out Obama s lack of clothes.

    • Anon1

      Even if you are jobless and on benefits in this country, you are still in the 1%.

      We’re all 1%-ers now.

      • Cameron Brodie

        I appreciate the global income disparity between ‘north and south’. However, your attempt at diminishing the impact and significance of relative poverty, as well as your earlier comment re. limiting access to further education, suggest you are of a neoconservative outlook. As such, I suppose we should not expect you to have any concern for the negative impact on the human condition, that such rampant income inequality produces.

          • Habbabkuk (combat the haters)

            Perhaps you say that because you’re in the 1% (but not the 0,01%° ?

        • Johnstone

          Not allowed to reply to your previous thread, so continuing here instead.
          Sorry, I did not mean to sound rude. If new age then fine by me. We are a part of the ecosystem indeed and where intervention is minimal a better dynamic can not be imagined. Sadly the necessary ethical paradigm is well understood tho powerful corporations and the uber elite as you call them have wooed the academics the NGOs and probably bribed the politicians…so despite dire warnings in the form of extreme reactions to anthropocentric atmospheric pollution we appear to be shifting a bad utilitarian environmental ethic towards a disastrous one and BTW I agree with your opinion.

      • bevin

        The 1% of what?
        Do you mean the richest 1% on earth?
        And what do you mean by that?
        Using this sort of ‘fun with figures’ approach I have little doubt that you could also ‘prove’ that most people in society would be lucky to be in prison. That slavery was luxurious and well rewarded. That Concentration Camps provided better housing than most people dream of having and so on.
        “Lies, damned lies and…”

      • Rhisiart Gwilym

        To be accurate, it’s the Pampered Twenty Percent of the world’s total human population you’re talking about, Anon. And certainly most people in Britain are still in the PTP, in absolute terms – for the time being, anyway; though not for much longer.

        When enough of us find that we’re sliding into the Abused and Deprive Eighty Percent, then look for the revolutionary attitude which Craig – and I – want to see here begin to make great and very rapid strides. The hot coal bed is all ready to blow up into that fire. The big jump in support, especially from the much-shat-on younger Brits, which JC’s candidacy for Labour Party leader caused is clear evidence of that. Similarly so when enough of us decide that we don’t like the Tory/corporate plan to dismantle our entire post-WW2, Old-Labour-created social security system – particularly our public, non-commercial f-a-p-o-n health service; all of it supported by a properly-progressive income/wealth-taxation system. Not that it is properly-progressive at the moment, of course. But revolutionary attitudes amongst a critical mass of common Brits can make it so, when we choose – with no hiding places allowed, either here or overseas, for the unnecessarily over-rich. And if they want to exile themselves to ‘escape’ these revolutionary laws, well – good riddance! So long, that is, as they leave all their non-moveable/practically-seizeable assets with us here when they piss off: Ill-gotten gains from the commonweal to which they have no genuine right.

        BTW, does it really need to be pointed out that the PTP of the world are where they are precisely because of the global, systemic oppression and exploitation of the ADEP, and the resources of their countries, by the long-time financial/trade/imperial-military habits of the world’s rich states, particularly in the West – with the currently-entrenched self-perpetuating English-raj class as some of the worst historic offenders in these still-continuing global rackets? Think, for example of the longtime habits of that sink of vicious, corrupt criminality the City of London!

        That and the still-alive-and-well class-warfare within countries, carefully tended and encouraged by the one-percenters, is what maintains the PTP/ADEP split.

        Beware though! As the world accelerates into the new, >geophysically-mandated< era of the Long Descent – at the end of the brief era of economic growthforever (not!) – the much older, more traditional split of about 5% rich+plus-hangers-on/retainers versus 95% abused and deprived serfs is likely to try to reassert itself. Our stark, realistic socio-political choice in this time of the Long Decent is between neo-feudalism and scarcity-socialism.

        It's pretty obvious which way the class-warriors of the current politico-corporate rackets of the Western empire are pushing us, isn't it? As long, that is, as we still-unwisely-quiescent, soon-to-be-ex members of the PTP let them get away with it…

  • Mark Russell

    So your revolutionary mindset suggests we call them disrespectful names? I can’t see that having much of an impact, even coming from the mouth of a former diplomat. Why don’t you simply refuse to pay your income tax? Aside from the corruption and inequity your piece alludes to, there is credible evidence that the UK supports terrorism – and had foreknowledge and involvement in the events of 9/11. Money is the lifeblood of these creatures – and as long as the bloke in the street hands over his hard-earned to the revenue – he will be just as guilty for sustaining them.

    Sticks and stones….

  • Anon1

    “I upset people by my urging us to disrespect Tories, including ordinary Tories, in my last article. But I fear this is necessary.”

    Craig, the left has been doing this for years. You simply go on a march, look for someone dressed in a suit, and scream “Scum! Scum! SCUM! SCUM!” at them. I don’t think it has achieved anything so far.

  • 15C fwl

    London Review leads this month (April) with piece by John Lanchester “When Bitcoin Grows Up”, which asks what is money. He answers that:

    1 Money (fiat money) is willed into being by the state and its value rests on our belief in its value as papers underwritten by the state;

    2) Money is basically numbers moving on registers. This is so even in primitive societies. We ascribe a value to something pearl, cattle, stone, note, code and work out a way to record who is the owner and who to transfer that often without anything physical happening. Its based on trust.

    In explaining Bitcoin he explains the 51% problem whereby in theory if the bad guys get to control 51% of the computing power which validates transactions they can defraud the others, i,.e. they could validate fraudulent transactions, but so far that seems too difficult. Like robbing banks and getting away with it.

    So if you wanted to be filthy rich how would you do it? 1) get your self into a position whereby you and your chums can validate what you do; 2) say its secret; 3) spy on anyone checking you out.

    What if the bad guys have already got the 51% control not over Bitcoin computing validation but over the entire policitcal economic structure i.e. what if the bad guys have got themselves into a position where they can authenticate what they do.

    Is that a what if?

    Or

    For how long has this been going on?

    I’m always complaining that Craig’s too polemic, but his last paragraph has made me smile today.

    I had thought Bitcoin seemed difficult to imagine or to trust in, but it to control the state economic and political set up do you really need 51% of anything? In a democracy you don’t even need 51% of the vote, but going back to leverage and derivatives it is amazing what you might be able to leverage from a small position eg couple of conspirators well place over a few decades especially when you gear up with the fear factor….

  • TonyP

    Very ClassWar! What they up to?
    All those in photos, mr green Toad, bet they laughing all the way to the bank.
    Thanks for writing about next generation issues. We have the 20 years to fix things before they come along.

  • N_

    Sometimes I think Craig is much less of a chatterer than many of the more supportive commenters here. Or at least would like to be.

    Throwing pennies at David Cameron during Cameron’s coming “anti-corruption” conference is a great idea. Or at least do something. You’ve got David Cameron “hosting” an “anti-corruption” conference in one the world’s great organising centres, perhaps the greatest of all, for money-laundering and financial heists. Don’t believe me? Well have a look at the role not just of the City but also of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (personnel-wise, also known as the Supreme Court).

    Take the shine off the politicians. They’re lying crooks who cover up for much bigger crooks who own this planet, for a couple of tens of millions of quid each at most, for those with the biggest front-of-stage roles. Chucking pennies at them may achieve that. Make them pariahs. Don’t let’s make shit-arsed chattery arguments, imagining we’re about to take over their positions as managers of the team. Fuck the team and fuck management. In the event of another May 1968 that goes much further, questions of the distribution of resources will be easy to solve.

  • N_

    That picture of Philip Green and David Cameron – there’s something about it that makes me want to vomit.

  • Becky Cohen

    The capitalistic ‘elite’ will probably make an example of Green in order to disassociate themselves and the capitalist system from him as if he’s some sort of one-off evil capitalist. However, they’re hoping the public won’t see that it’s the whole system that’s not only corrupt but fundamentally flawed not just one errant individual. The whole point of capitalism is for the bosses to make as much profit as they can: and the way they do this is by paying the workers as little as they can get away with for the most amount of work they can get out of them. The aristocratic public schoolboy government will hope that by using Green as a scapegoat we’ll see in him the big bad wolf and forget about stuff like the recent tax avoidance scandal. Truth is, they’re al in it together, but luckily for them it’s so easy for them to throw someone like Green to the masses as being a Jew he was never part of their WASP club anyway and all they need do is re-awaken the anti-Semitic, medievalist stereotype of Jews and money. Please don’t allow yourselves to be manipulated by the right-wing wealthy elite’s lies, folks.

    • Old Mark

      Becky your idea that the capitalistic elite (which you seem to think is also a ‘WASP club’) will make an example of Green due to his ethnic origins is utterly far fetched. The global overclass which includes Green also includes Parsees (the Tata group, owners of what remains of the UK steel industry), Gulf Arabs, Saudis, Russians (both gentile and Jewish), Maronite Catholics (Carlos Slim, described a few years back as ‘the richest man in the world’); in fact the ‘capitalistic elite’ of the present day could be correctly described as ‘vibrantly diverse’. with WASPs only comprising a minority of their number.

      What is important about this overclass is not its ethnic origins, but the fact that governments across the world, including our own, cosset and pay homage to it, as the photos accompanying Craig’s excellent post show.

    • N_

      Green has pocketed half a billion quid and has stolen hundreds of millions of quids’ worth of working class pensioners’ money. Please don’t say that someone who recognises that fact is being hoodwinked by rightwingers into being a mediaevalist believer in big bad wolf fairy tales.

      Green is a typical filthy dirty billionaire crook with his hands in the government’s tills.

      Him and his Monaco-resident wife who owns so many of the assets through Jersey-registered vehicles.

      This was the guy who was “appointed” by the “coalition” government to investigate and report on British government “procurement strategy” – i.e. what private interests the state buys stuff from.

      He’s crooked, so are the politicians, and so are the senior civil servants. Am I making myself clear here? Here is the crooked bastard’s “efficiency review” report.

      Green will never get locked up. He won’t even get fined or get any valuable assets seized, or none that are worth more than a few bob. If by any chance he does, it’ll be because Jewish money has decided he’s a shanda fur die goyim. But he won’t.

  • Becky Cohen

    That Tory MP’s comment calling Green “Judas” was a particularly opportunistic example of anti-Semitism and a good example of Tory hypocrisy. It seems the Tories can accuse Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party of widespread anti-Semitism even if they are clearly criticising the Israeli government and have not uttered a word about Jews outside of Israel. Yet seemingly one of their own Tory MPs can utter a medievalist allusion based on the notion of Jews as ‘Christ Killers’ (a word that rolls of the tongue suspiciously sounding like ‘Juden’) and no-one even calls him out on it. Besides, although betraying your mate for cash is definitely not a very worthy thing, I’m with Howard Jacobsen in that I never really did get the Christian demonization of Judas. After all, according to Christian theology, if Judas hadn’t betrayed Jesus then he would never have been crucified and no-one would have been saved from eternal damnation! Just sayin’.

    • craig Post author

      Becky – He’s a Tory MP. He probably doesn’t realise that Judas was Jewish. I detest Tory MPs, but I think you may be overreading it here. I have to confess I did not realise Green was Jewish, assuming you are correct about that. I don’t see how it is relevant.

    • N_

      And according to the Jewish religion, Jesus was sentenced to death by the Jewish rabbinical court, the Sanhedrin, for heresy. Meanwhile the Talmud describes Jesus as being in hell, boiling in his own shit. Just sayin’.

    • N_

      I haven’t followed the medics story. (Let’s not call them “doctors”, please.) What are the basic facts? The BMA has been owned by Big Pharma for generations. I noticed this story and I thought “Ah, is this the way that Big Pharma is going to get rid of the NHS? By running the meme that oh-so-altruistic medics, who work 20 hours a day and never go to Dubai, are ‘making a courageous stand’ to help everyone?” It’d stand to reason. They won’t do it by getting an Old Etonian with a pound of plums in his mouth to tell the population “So you thought you deserved health treatment without paying for it, you dirty oiks?”

      Bevan should have sorted the fuckers out better in the 1940s.

      Nowadays, if the Brit quacks go on strike, Britain could theoretically call in the Cubans. They won’t though.

  • Michael

    Fantastic article. A few the additional point you should of made is, now there no money for the country defense (that apply to the whole of Europe and to a certain degree the USA). What you are in effect seeing, is basically an act of treason. There no reasonable defence against ISIS/ISIL/Daech. TTIP will make this matter much worse.

  • jon

    Let them have their time now because their eternity is going to suck. reaperishere.weebly top left video/ whole site

  • Resident Dissident

    Question – what has the greater ability to adapt and deal with its failures – Marxist Leninism, Capitalism and market economies combined with more effective and targeted market regulation, a reversion to the barter economy, some form of anarchist nihilism which blames every other economic system but never offers any tangible alternative or something else?

      • Resident Dissident

        Very droll Bevin, I forgot that for Marxist Leninists that everything was inevitable and predetermined including the collapse of their premature experiment in the Soviet Union and its colonies.

  • Leslie Bacon

    Your first basic comments re P Green I am in complete agreement with — and I (a USA/UK citizen living in London) find it amazing/interesting/strange that NO ONE — not the BBC nor Jeremy Corbyn seem to be outraged or even questioning P Green’s involvement/theft/scam — ok, maybe I didn’t read the papers today (just arrived from a long trip) but didn’t hear a word on the radio. This is truly vile and should be at the very least be exposed.
    I am not however, so concerned with the UK students and their debts. UK university is only 3 years — not 4 like the USA so that the MAXIMUM tuition they would pay for 3 years is £27,000 (no university is allowed to charge more than £9000 a year and this includes Oxford and Cambridge)— and I may be old and cranky, but hey — when I went to university in the USA I both borrowed money and — wait for it— WORKED — every summer, holiday and sometimes during the school year. I did not have parents that could help, but lots of UK children do, but it is like the NHS here…. parents do not feel they should have to help their children with university fees and that it should be paid for by the state. While that would be nice, perhaps the Brits should have a reality check. And excuse me, but having worked in both the UK and the USA, workers in the UK have many more rights— to vacation, to not being terminated (no fixed end contracts) fewer working hours. I think you are flat out wrong about this situation. And yes, many university students have difficulty finding work they think is equal to their abilities, this is true EVERYWHERE — in the USA too. And please clarify what you think is the situation with housing — Brits have access to housing benefits that would have USA young people drool. Yes, perhaps rent goes to private parties, and renting is not ideal, but I found it amazing how 20 year olds in the UK felt entitled to be able to buy a house and were outraged that they had to rent. Renting is not necessarily a negative thing. Many people in Germany and France rent without feeling like social outcastes.
    I do wish you or someone would investigate Phillip Green, and why no one else wants to.

    • Loony

      Why would anyone care about Philip Green – all he is done is asset strip a company, probably without needing to break any laws. There is no shortage of people around like him, Sure he is interesting today, but not so much tomorrow.

      The US is no different – look what happened to Jon Corzine (nothing) – He was of interest for a little while but people soon forgot about him.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      So, Mr Bacon, it is enormously easier in the USA for a child to receive a university education if he or she has rich parents able to bear the cost of the university fees. And you are fine with this, apparently, it is just the way of the world.

      Yes, parents pay something called tax, and what they would like to see, is their tax spent on universal health provision, and universal access to education, so that the position of their children in the world does not depend on how much money they do or do not earn and it is not dependent on parents who can “help”.

      Perhaps young people here should think themselves lucky that they do not live in the USA. God help young people in the USA, that’s all I can say. (You seem perfectly fine with what seems to me to be an utter horror story.) I do not think that that means that young people should think themselves lucky that they live in the UK, under conditions as they are at present.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      While I’m all in favour of students working to support – or help support – themselves, and even being incentivised to do so, this can exert a downward pressure on local labour rates and reduce the number of full-time jobs in their area. In some areas, there simply isn’t the work available, and not everyone is the sort of instinctive entrepreneur who can found a $billion software company, between lectures, in a shared house.

      My impression of the US system is that it is run by beancounters, and frighteningly insecure My impression of the UK system is that it’s heading the same way fast, designedly. This leads to excessive output of graduates, the devaluation of a first degree (anything not actually based on using a shovel demands this as a minimum nowadays) and an oversupply of graduates in useless disciplines. Both systems work fine as far as producing world-class academics, scientists and artists (sl) is concerned. But if a country, or corporations, wish to profit from a well-educated employment pool, they should IMO pay their share of producing it too. It’s not just down to indigent students.

      Incidentally, getting a good First shouldn’t allow a student time to do anything else. It’s a full-time job in itself. Discuss.

    • YouKnowMyName

      US/UK edu compared: In my time at Stanford, I came to appreciate the daily blue-light raids by S.W.A.T. teams of the Campus Cops (now SUDPS) “suspected bottle of beer seen in hands of a twenty year old, round the back of the Rodin garden” – always entertaining.

      In my time at St.Johns (Cambridge) after a skinful at the local dive, rather than face the wrath of the (unarmed) porter, one might sneak back over the wall where some burgher with foresight had installed covert footholds. Subtle and very useful.

      I agree that Oxbridge is amazingly good value for money for the £27K, it’s also even cheaper than many other UK unis as most colleges have all the books you’ll need, free, for the entire course + subsidised food/lodging in college. A very many other UK unis are pathetic value for money. . .thanks tony Blair with his ‘revolutionary’. . . edu. . .edu. . .edu. . . didn’t work out so well , but compare the lower rank UK unis with the lower ranked US emporia as shown by that comedy hit series “Community” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1439629/reviews?ref_=tt_ql_3 and I could quite see myself enjoying the Chevy Chase (Bard College, NY) lifestyle, being taught by John Oliver (Christ’s College, CM)

      More revolutionarily, I never shopped at BHS or Austin Reed

  • Tom

    Absolutely, Craig. There is no hope for most people, and even the education system itself is geared towards conning young people into thinking there is. As you correctly say, there will be no change in the present system, as everything is designed to prevent it. Perhaps the junior doctors are showing the way, though?

  • lwtc247

    “trickledown. Nobody believes that any more.” – Yes they do. Because state and corporate instruments like the BBC keep promoting it.

  • Daniel

    In May 2007, after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal, Green donated £250,000 as a monetary reward for any useful public information.[15] He also gave the McCanns the use of his private jet to allow them to fly to Rome for a Papal visit.[16]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Green

    • Resident Dissident

      So the man has a good side – but I somehow doubt that was what you were trying to say.

  • JonL

    “The extent of social and economic change which is needed is as revolutionary as that undertaken by the Russian and French revolutions. That does not mean to say it needs to be as bloody.”
    I’m afraid it will be Craig. When you have nothing to lose, the lives of those who have it all, mean nothing to the fury of the mob.
    And those who have it all, also have heavily armed Police and Military, to ensure they keep it all.

    • lysias

      In revolutions, the government loses the loyalty of the police and military. Currently, they do not enjoy the creature comforts of the .01 percent, or even of the 1 percent. Except maybe for the very top officers.

    • fred

      Nothing to lose?

      I grew up in a world where few had cars, few had telephones, few had ever travelled abroad on holiday, few had televisions. Things regarded as essential, mobile phones, home computers did not exist. People lived in homes without double glazing, without central heating, I knew many didn’t have indoor sanitation or running hot water, no washing machines. There were kids wearing leg irons from polio and the elderly showed signs of deficient diets in their youth, bow legs and bent spines.

      It isn’t that people have nothing, it’s that they don’t realise what they have got.

  • K Crosby

    Meanwhile in the Generalgouvernment

    http://palestine.org.nz/phrc/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3311&Itemid=44

    IOP headlines for 23 April 2016:

    Israeli Navy opens fire on

    Palestinian fishing boats – hijacking

    Israeli Army position

    opens fire on Gaza farms

    Israeli Army opens fire on protesters

    Israeli Army grabs Palestinian land

    for settlement road project

    Night peace disruption and/or

    home invasions in 8 villages

    3 attacks (2 Israeli ceasefire violations)

    11 raids including home invasions

    1 injured – 1 abducted

    4 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage

    7 taken prisoner – 8 detained –

    74 restrictions of movement

    • Habbabkuk (combat the haters)

      Firstly, congratulations to “K Crosby” for taking over the list from “Node”, retired for health reasons.

      Secondly, someone should tell the mysterious website which publishes this “information” to vary the numbers a little from time to time. The number of “acts of agricultural/economic” sabotage has been stuck at 4 for far too long. = not convincing.

      • K Crosby

        You’re most kind. I’d quite enjoy it if the statistics in the list were not always accurate; why should the self-hating zionist antisemites have all the fun?

        • Habbabkuk (combat the haters)

          Promise me, Keith, that you’ll keep those lists coming!

          And, of course, feel free to manipulate to your heart’s content. Or even fabricate – no one’s checking, are they 🙂

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Update 0800, 25 May to 0800 26 May:

      http://palestine.org.nz/phrc/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3314&Itemid=44

      Economic interference on both occasions consisted of firing on Palestinian fishing boats within the designated allowed coastal zone.

      This is absolutely routine, as other forms of harassment.

      The Israeli military enters Palestinian areas on both land and sea sides of the Gaza Strip on a near-daily basis, often putting Palestinian fishermen and farmers — and their livelihoods — at risk.

      While Israeli authorities this month expanded the fishing zone designated for Palestinian fishermen to nine nautical miles in the southern Gaza Strip, and retained the six mile zone in the north, fishermen regularly report detentions, live fire, and boat confiscation within these limits.

      The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has documented over 40 instances of Israeli incursions into the Gaza border area this month alone.

      http://maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=771303

      • Ba'al Zevul

        F*ck. /April, not May. Brainfart probably associated with stinking head cold.

  • giyane

    “The bankers’ bailout used the state to effect a mass transfer of wealth from us all to the super rich on an unprecedented scale.”

    Not only that but the elites know when they are going to bust the system and sell property or commodities in advanced. They also know when to buy and call it a ‘cycle’. The cycle is in their control and is used to throw us mortals off the scent of the fact that they are gaming the system.

  • giyane

    Craig this article reminds of the old comedy phrase ” I didn’t get where I am today…” when they are just the manager of a very small and unprofitable, old-fashioned business.

    A picture of David Cameron canoodling with Lord Green. The coup which created the present elite was not brought about by gentlemanly proposals. Mrs Thatcher attacked the roots of civilised society, marriage, workers’ rights, altruism. And then when the free-marketeers were in power , they became even more rapacious than their predecessors.

    The time to attack Thatcher was then. At that time it was as if I was living on a desert island.

    The issue for now is the coup in which Saudi Arabia is trying overthrow traditional Islam in Syria.
    Just as Bankruptcy was built into the Thatcherite philosophy and they knew the state would bail them out, the Saudis know that no self-respecting human being will tolerate being spied on , dictated to, beheaded to silence their opinion, but they also know that the Western governments, especially the European Union, wants to destroy the truth of Islam and will back the oppressors of Muslims.

    Life under the Saudi regime, of constant spying and mock trials, drives the majority to alcohol and drug dependence, and frequent divorce. My point is that when a group of people wants to achieve power, they start by making the people busy with personal problems so that they cannot resist the macro changes.

    Mrs Thatcher and Reagan were reactionaries who drove back civilisation’s clock 700 years with the absolutely vast majority of people waving and cheering them on. The Saudis, and the pissy little Zionist dictators of the Middle East, Sisi, Assad, Khamenei,Barzani, Erdogan, want to put the clock back to the absolute power of the days before Islam, of Pharaoh and Nimrud.

    Most of the Muslims are cheering them on from the touch-lines.. By talking about Thatcherism, you are distracting from the main problem, which is that if foaming at the mouth madmen take over Islam, we will all be pontificating like you that we didn’t get where we are today by…. behind our chintz BHS curtains.

  • Node

    They will normally live most of their lives in private sector rental, where each will be a small part of the astonishing 9 billion pounds per year the taxpayer gives to private landlords in housing benefit ….”

    Average house price in UK = £180,000
    Therefore build price = about £90,000
    Number of houses the state could build with £9 billion = 100,00
    Housing shortage = 974,000
    Time required to solve housing shortage = 9.74 years
    State assets after 9.74 years = £87.66 billion

    • Paul Barbara

      giyane, you’ve just filled another part of the jigsaw. I know the NWO plan for a One World Religion.
      Yes, it is a ‘Crusade’ against Islam, using the Godless Saudi and other Gulf ‘Leaders’, who in truth worship Lucifer (Satan, the Devil or whatever other moniker or ‘hat’ it adopts).

  • Mark Humphries

    I think David Cameron is saying, see, told you Phil bigger dick and even bigger balls mate.

    • Habbabkuk (combat the haters)

      Yes, let’s have a caption contest.

      How about this for the top photo : “It’s a zip, you idiot!” ?

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