P&O and the Tory Road to Serfdom 241

What has happened to P&O workers is exactly how deregulated Britain is meant to operate. With British regulations abolished or inoperative and EU regulations void, predatory international capitalists are free to treat workers like property, to be picked up or disposed of at whim, with no consideration at all other than the profit of the company.

Politicians have reacted to the public disgust at the summary sacking of 800 people (disguised as redundancy even though they are to be replaced by cheaper labour), by expressions of disgust, but with no proposals at all to do anything about the particular or the general situation. Nobody has contradicted the statement in the Commons by junior Tory transport minister Robert Courts that “P & O’s finances are a matter for them alone”.

Government ministers, most notably Kwasi Kwarteng, have noted that P&O’s actions are probably illegal, but nobody in government seems to feel the slightest urge to intervene to stop a major company deliberately acting illegally and on a major scale. P&O appears to have calculated that the paltry fines and three month extra salary compensation payouts that may result from illegality are outweighed by the savings it will make. Government fury seems to be confined to the vicious way the redundancies were announced.

DP World treats its British workforce with no more consideration than it treats its Pakistani and Bengali labourers in Dubai, and that fact appears to have rattled Tory ministers. But Tory condemnation has been entirely for the way the redundancies were handled, not for the fact of fire and rehire. The leaked fact we now know, that the government was indeed aware of the redundancies before the P&O staff, rather puts the fake indignation in perspective. That makes it even more unlikely that Johnson did not discuss it in when in Dubai the day before.

But this is all precisely how the system is meant to work. DP World are a major player in the governments Freeports initiative. These are zones where companies, with a hub physically in the Freeport zone and satellites virtually “in” the zone, will be even more exempt from regulation than they will be in the rest of the UK. Plans are already in place to build hostels in the Freeports and bring in workers from Colombia and other sources at £1.40 an hour – exactly the kind of system that operates in the Gulf states.

Employment legislation of course is not the only regulation the Tories are seeking to obliterate. Employment, environmental, child safety, food safety, building standards, there are numerous standards the UK is now ready to revoke or water down as part of the “benefits of Brexit”. The Freeports will be the cutting edge, but across the UK the Tories are planning to allow capitalists to use their muscle with minimal protection for the employee, consumer or taxpayer.

P&O is a sign of the times. That we have no political party in Westminster calling for the nationalisation of P&O reflects the collapse of political diversity in the neo-con UK. The Labour Party has returned to Blair’s policy of acquiescing in all the Tory anti-trade union legislation from Thatcher on. Starmer has come up with an empty slogan about a “new deal for workers’ rights” in response to the P&O debacle. His great new idea appears to be a right to flexible working, which is a very good thing for middle-class mums and I am all for it, but not of much practical help to a ferry worker. To be fair there are some Corbyn remnants in Labour industrial policy, but give Starmer time and there will not be.

There is no salvation to be had from the elite and their stranglehold on the political system and the mainstream media. We have to go back to the basics and build again the notion of horizontal solidarity in society. Liberal philanthropy did once assist the development of a more equal society in the UK, which reached its zenith in the 1970’s, but working class self-organisation, particularly through the union movement, was always essential to societal advance.

We now live in a society where liberal philanthropy is reserved for emoting about distant conflicts or channeled into identity, rather than class, politics. We live in a society where inequality in wealth distribution is returning to nineteenth century levels, but many of those left behind consider themselves too genteel to identify with working people and do anything about it.

I do strongly urge everybody to find out today what union you are eligible to join, and to join it. The paradox is that the unions themselves are so desperate to fit in with the new normal that I myself am excluded from joining a union as a dangerous radical. I have yet again applied to join the NUJ. Their current excuse for keeping me out is that people subscribe to my site and I am therefore not paid per article. This seems to be a rule that Michelle Stanistreet has invented unique to me – John Sweeney, Jonathan Cook, Paul Mason and many others run a subscription model. I remain however determined to join and urge you to join a union too.

The government genuinely is angry about P&O, but not because of what it is doing. Simply the startlingly abrupt way that it has acted has brought a harsh spotlight on the deregulation of the UK and what it entails. British Gas did effectively the same thing more smoothly and with far less publicity.

Jacob Rees Mogg is now tasked with pursuing with gusto a bonfire of rights and protections across the whole sphere of government. If you are a billionaire, great times are coming. If you are anybody else at all, welcome to the world your ancestors struggled out of from the 1830’s on.

With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible. This article, as with all the content of my blog, is entirely free to reproduce and publish, including in translation.


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241 thoughts on “P&O and the Tory Road to Serfdom

1 2
  • Giyane

    Russia is fighting a war against USUK fascism as we speak. Russia has been fighting a war agsinst Joint USUK + EU + ISRAELSAUDIARABIA fascism in Libya , Syria, Somalia Iraq, for the last 30 years.

    You don’t have to read a blog or a News bulletin , to discover the direction of travel in this country. All you needed to do was be present in 1979 when Mrs Thatcher was voted in. All the rest is an inexorable flow down a blocked drain.

    Control, power , 24/7 spying , money, property , banking systems, will never create wealth for the people, as Mrs Thatcher lied to you , it would drip down to you. Because the solenoid valve on wealth is closed and , like your washing machine, remains permanently closed, except for a few seconds when water is allowed to pass into your washing machine drum.

    The future is as follows: Oil will be reserved for military equipment. You and I will have mini nuclear power stations on the sites where gas power stations are now. The capacity to travel will be allocated to companies and businesses. You will be monitored 24/7 by your chip so you will not be able to leave your job, because your caste will not permit it.

    There will be nobody left to fight fascism for you, because you all voted for the lies of Thatcher, Blair, Starmer and Johnson. You all drank in their lies about there being no such thing as Fascism in Ukraine, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and in the Islamism they cherish . You all agreed with the Msm telling you its time to nuke the Russia, that is fighting against the fascism, that is controlling you.

    • Peter

      @ Giyane

      “You all drank in their lies about there being no such thing as Fascism in Ukraine … ”

      Are you sure about that Giyane?

      The unprecedented war propaganda being pumped out at the moment is so egregious that there must be a significant number of people at least question it, if not downright see right through it.

      How many? I honestly wouldn’t know and obviously wouldn’t expect the MSM to tell me, they’re much more likely to hide the extent.

      But my hunch would be that the numbers will be greater than many think – though, much as I’d like to, I’m not necessarily expecting to see a picket of the BBC anytime soon.

    • MrShigemitsu

      The rot actually began in the U.K. in 1976.

      Healey’s utterly unnecessary request to the IMF for a dollar loan facility to defend a dollar rate against Sterling resulted in conditions attached which led to a greater reduction in public spending in a single year (14.3%) that exceeded, by a whisker, anything that any Tory govt, even George Osborne’s, ever imposed.

      The resulting austerity led directly to the upheaval and discontent that ushered in Thatcher, and the rest is history.

    • Rhys Jaggar


      You really have been drinking Kool-Aid.

      Mrs Thatcher rewarded those who were prepared to found their own business. The people who lost out were those who were living in the past, expecting government subsidies to fund uncompetitive industries.

      I never voted for Mrs Thatcher, but I did analyse who did well and who did badly. You think that self-employed tradesfolk did badly under Thatcher, think again. You know, working class jobs like being a skilled electrician, gas boiler service engineer, those working in construction, those running travel agencies.

      People seem to have this idea that employment is all about the public sector vs huge corporations. The history of Britain is that the vast majority of jobs were and are in very small, small and medium sized businesses.

      I worked in a business like that in 1990. It was founded and owned by a woman, employed working mums and ensured that their work conditions were organised around picking up the children from school. It was an admirable example of women setting the rules to promote healthy motherhood. I was the sole male for four months and they quite sensibly sent me over to Switzerland so the office wasn’t contaminated with testosterone lol. That woman started her business in a shed at the bottom of her garden and gradually expanded it until she had modest but efficient working premises in Chichester. She was the best boss I ever worked for. No socialist her.

      I did business this winter with a small firm of gas fire service engineers from Woking. They were some of the most professional people I have ever interacted with and all had ‘working class’ accents. They arrived at 7.58am for an 8am appointment, did the work brilliantly and charged a fair price for superb work. I am absolutely certain they were not socialists. They were decent skilled people who charged a fair price for their skills.

      If you don’t like predatory companies, don’t do business with them. Do business with people you DO approve of. And if push comes to shove, set up an ethical business in an arena you can’t find an ethical supplier or suggest to young folk better positioned to take advantage that this is an opportunity you support.

      People really have to stop this ‘all Tories are evil’ racism. There’s absolute scum who have voted Labour the past 35 years who are millionaires, I’ve had my life ruined by them. There are no doubt absolute scum in the Tory Party too, I’ve not had my life ruined by them.

      But the kindest, most compassionate people I’ve ever dealt with were conservatives with a small c. Decent compassionate people who don’t constantly tell you what to do, aren’t control freaks and understand that helping people to help themselves is the best way to go with 90% of people down on their luck.

      What too many people in the Labour ranks don’t admit to themselves is that they are far too risk averse to ever found a business. They want risk-free existences with guaranteed earnings, pensions and benefits.

      Well, that might be a nice nirvana, but it’s never been a guarantee on this earth.

      Lots of people feel far more motivated being their own boss, building a business which serves others and retains an internal culture of mutual obligation, a sense of family and a respect for the lives that contributors wish to live.

      The discussions need to be around which kinds of economic enterprises, at which stages of their life cycles, should no longer be driven by profit. The answers come around natural monopolies, things where withdrawing from the market is not an option for customers and enterprises founded not through cut-throat competitiveness, rather through a desire to make society run better. There are enormous numbers of legal options for organisations which are not defined by the profit motive. I suggest that every member of the Labour Party learns a lot more about them and starts deciding how to encourage more organisations to use such approaches.

      You will be horrified to learn that plenty of conservatives have been doing just that for years.

      Just as you will hate the fact that the Conservative Council where I live is arguably the best in the country in providing just those services that Labour supporters here most whinge about:

      1. Efficient reliable bin services.
      2. Excellent local libraries, including large suites of computers available to Library users.
      3. Excellent and efficient maintenance of local roads, ensuring that potholes are NOT are feature of the locale.
      4. £150m capital building programme to expand school place provision as the population grew.
      5. Complete redevelopment of an old RAF base site to provide almost a new ‘town within a town’, complete with a primary school designed to be entirely self-sufficient in energy.
      6. Winning of more ‘Green Flags’ in national competitions promoting green spaces for the public than any other location in the UK.
      7. Comprehensive control of council costs so that council taxes are kept firmly under control.

      Inefficient conservatives don’t provide the basics, being obsessed with lowering charges to the floor. Incompetent Labour councillors overspend on vanities.

      I doubt you would see much difference between an efficient Conservative Council and an efficient Labour council. Neither will waste money on fripperies, PR for the councillors, free trips to the Bahamas, massive spending on new council buildings etc etc.

      • Giyane

        Rhys Jagger

        I don’t know anything about the budget of Local councils but I do know that Biden refusing to negotiate with Putin has brought war in Europe and it is unforgiveable. The Tory core value that power can deprive others of their rights and force them to obey your demands is inconsistent with human nature.

        I’m not talking about moderate conservatism, but rabid, warmongering, all destructive militarism of this Tory government , many of whom live in comfortably well financed counties in the South of England.

        I’m talking about the stupidity of sheltering under the wing of US hegemony, which sees our little country as expendable in the pursuit of world domination.

        I’m talking about the stupidity of a man who makes war solely for the purpose of saving his own skin, a man who is a property dealer selling London to Russian oligarchs and then punishing them.

        A man of such fatuous arrogance that he invoked Novichok to cover Britain losing its terrorist war in Syria and Iraq. The fatuous short sightedness of sanctions against Russia, while pretending in his own mind to be Winston Churchill.

        The Tories voted him in. So whatever the redeeming virtues of small conservatism, which I concede are real, the collective laziness of the Tories in allowing this psychopath to govern Britain far outweighs them.

        • Bruce_H

          The problem is that much of what you say applies to new New Labour; at present Starmer is more gung ho than the tories against the Russians. The sort or tories Rhys mentions do exist, but this applies to tory voters, I don’t know about militants. An old friend of mine has recently died, and I miss him to a great extent because although he voted tory he was a Heathite tory – not rich, worked all his life, not poor either – and lived in the South of England as I did. When I was younger and an enthusiastic red flag waver, often probably taking a fairly simplistic view of things and boring people with it, he always just let me go on; we were still friends. Then I suppose in many ways I calmed down, my militantism dowsed by, like for many in France where now I lived, the disappointment of helping the Union of the Left and Francois Mitterand into power in the 80s only to watch him do the same as Labour did under Wilson… it soon became clear that Mitterand’s true motive was, as he had said many years before, to destroy the French Communist party, which is what happened. Again this tory friend of mine listened, gave his opinion but didn’t rub it in.

          One of the last illustrative points: he voted for Brexit, which for me caused, and is causing still, many inconveniences for travelling between France and Britain quite apart from more important political and economic questions but in one of the last discussions we had he looked at me and said, “You know Bruce, I’m beginning to think maybe I shouldn’t have voted Brexit!”. He admitted it with a smile. Anyway, he has gone now and probably he isn’t the only honest moderate tory, Times change.

      • dgp

        I doubt you would see much difference between an efficient Conservative Council and an efficient Labour council. Neither will waste money on fripperies, PR for the councillors,free trips to the Bahamas,
        free trips to the Bahamas, massive spending on new council buildings etc etc.
        free trips to the Bahamas- I wanted to highlight the ‘free trips to the bahamas’ bit.
        What on earth would anyone want to be a councillor for if there weren’t any free trips to the bahamas although think I would prefer Barbados
        your comment sort of reveals quite a lot but maybe not what was intended

      • DevonshireDozer

        Rhys – well said. I think I have had a very similar life experience & you have described the landscape much better than I could.

        I read Craig’s output because of his excellent coverage of Assange, Salmond, the Skripal nonsense etc., but he does write as a person who spent his career cosseted in the public sector with a golden pension that money can’t buy. Good luck to the bloke, but I don’t buy into the ‘Tory Scum’ vs ‘Noble Others’ idea any more than Scottish/English/Welsh/Irish “independence” will solve all of the problems within their borders. I don’t trust any of them – they’re just various types of scum wearing different coloured rosettes spouting different mantras of bafflegab.

        I would like to vote for a manifesto based on the public sector representing no more than 25% of GDP, the Westminster Windbags
        & Whitehall Wormtoungues being paid on a basis of improving per capita prosperity & no public sector pension being any more generous than one available from an annuity purchased with the maximum lifetime limit of a SIPP. But it’ll never happen, so I’ve given up on voting. The last two years of insanity have shown that it really is pointless. They all want the same thing – power, control and privilege at any cost to the taxpayer.

  • Denise

    Hi Craig, How about, you incorporate a company with you as the sole director and call it, say “Craig Murray Publishing Ltd” and then you sell that company, your blog, for one pound. That company then publishes your stories in, now, its blog and receives the subscriptions from readers.

    That company then pays you for writing stories for it at a rate equal to the amount in subscriptions received, divided by the numbers of stories you write per year. Less the blog’s and company’s running costs.

    What could the NUJ say then about your membership application?

    • craig Post author

      Yes, have thought about it Denise. But the pretexts from the NUJ are so shallow they are hardly pretending – I suspect they would just come up with another one.

    • dgp

      Interesting idea, but it seems to me that the hostility towards Craig’s output will be targeted, if not one way, then some other way.

      The article paints a bleak picture. I don’t doubt the analysis or the suggested remedy – unionisation and solidarity but I am fearful that this country has gone too far already towards the fragmentation of social bonds that hold the corporate malice at bay. Starmer is a symptom of that loss. I also don’t doubt that the same forces (political/corporate) have the BBC and the NHS in their sights. The BBC has many flaws but it represents, however badly, the idea of the collective interests of the whole country.

      Giyane – I appreciate your views, but am sure the actions of Putin are badly misguided and he has seriously misjudged. I suspect he has brought down on his country the assembled and consolidated malice of the ‘west’. There is little evidence that Putin’s actions will reverse or even stem the process we see unfolding at the moment as described above. I don’t think he is urging another great revolt against tyranny.

      The Russian federation is nearing its end, the ensuing collapse and its aftermath will make the Yeltsin years seem like a tombola in a village fête, in comparison to the violent dissolution and disorder that is coming; I fear for its people. There is already an exodus of those who can find some other place to be.

      • Aden

        Unlimited supply of workers by mass migration is the problem. Mass importation of poor people.
        The left and the right have combined to screw the masses

          • Fred Dagg

            There’s always someone ready to pop up and claim that the law of supply and demand applies to every commodity EXCEPT labour-power, isn’t there. “Funny” thing is, though, they never explain why. So, here’s your chance: the Nobel Prize for economics and 10M Swedish Crowns await.

            Popcorn bag rustles…

      • Bayard

        Violence is always a mistake, but when you are faced with an opponent that only understands and respects violence, seeing everything else as weakness, it can be the lesser of two evils.

        • Cynicus

          “Violence is always a mistake…..”

          Not if “… it can be the lesser of two evils.”

          I think you mean “almost always.”

      • Johnny Conspiranoid

        “The BBC has many flaws but it represents, however badly, the idea of the collective interests of the whole country.”
        Thanks, I hadn’t noticed that.

      • Johnny Conspiranoid

        “The Russian federation is nearing its end, the ensuing collapse and its aftermath will make the Yeltsin years seem like a tombola in a village fête, in comparison to the violent dissolution and disorder that is coming; I fear for its people. There is already an exodus of those who can find some other place to be.”

        Dream on.

        • Wang Shui

          Yes it’s looking pretty bad, isn’t it? For the US, Europe, UK.

          World opinion outside the NATO countries and their clients – Asia, South America, Africa – backs Russia.

          Saudi Arabia and UAE have turned their backs on the USA.
          The days of the petrodollar are coming to a close.
          India will deal with Russia for oil in rupees.
          China will buy all the oil and gas Russia can supply with yuan.
          None for Europe for domestic and industrial use.
          Iran and Venezuela are sitting pretty.

          Wheat shortages outside Russia/Ukraine inevitable.

          Oil at $200, $300 /barrel predicted, fuel prices reach unheard of levels this autumn.

          And Russia is winning the war in the east, the remaining Ukrainian and Nazi battalions are surrounded and cut off from supplies. Then they move west to clean up the Nazis from the rest of the country.

          Hypersonic weapons unstoppable, now scaring the wits out of Europe and are destroying arms and mercenary detachments.

          It will all be over in April, and Russia will achieve all its objectives. Then the US will try it all again with China. We are ready for them.

          • Pears Morgaine

            ” It will all be over in April ” Not Christmas this time? Question of course is which April.

          • Rhys Jaggar

            This is what the catastrophists like Macron are of course talking about.

            Is it true?

            We heard all the ‘pandemic, pandemic’ lies for 2 years about Covid19. Complete lying hysteria most of it, causing 100 times the problems that were inevitable due to criminal malfeasance, corruption and grifting.

            That’s what the psychopaths want to do next with food. They want the masses threatened with starvation so they can still another 10 trillion off them.

            People need to get a grip and realise that people who scream ‘earthquake, earthquake!’ are the same people who one month later say: ‘You know, I think we’re doing rather well.’

            What happens to prices in that scenario? Crash then roar back.

            It’s all about creating huge volatility to make massive profits.

            People need to challenge the narratives and imprison the liars.

            Listening to a word they say uncritically is only for mentally subnormal cretins.

            Macron is a liar, an inveterate liar and a Rotschild man through and through.

            Johnson is a liar, a psychopathic and inveterate liar through and through and he prostitutes himself to any billionaire who will make him richer than Blair after office.

            The entire USA administration is full of corrupt liars and grifters, so don’t listen to them, whatever you do.

          • Laguerre


            “Macron is a liar, an inveterate liar and a Rotschild man through and through.”

            I don’t know where you get that nonsense from, other than your imagination. Macron is not a liar, any more than any other politician. Rather he is known for telling the French public things straight. Quite a different league from Johnson. And Rothschild man! He only worked for them for a couple of years. How you get to be something through and through in a couple of years, I don’t understand. We’ve all worked in jobs for that long with not the slightest effect on our character. What he is is a typical product of ENA, the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, where many French presidents were educated. So he’s got a typical French administrative attitude to government..

      • portside

        At best the BBC represents the collective interests of the wealthiest 20%. It is just as anti-union as any other British media outlet but more influential than all the others combined so therefore more pernicious. To the best of my knowledge it has never issued a peep about the jailing of Craig Murray for an invented ‘crime’.

      • Giyane


        International Law prohibits Nato expansion. The US confederation is nearing its end, solely because its elite is institutionally incapable of listening to its electorate that rhey hate war. After this war, the Democrsts will be permanently unelectable. Trump started no wars. The battleground will turn to civil war.

        The extreme right-wing politics of the US has turned a catastrophe of covid pandemic into a transportation gridlock in which the owners of transportation and infrastructure make more money out of charging for inefficiency due to their lack of investment than the country can afford. They’re fxxxed, while former communist countries have managed to solve logistical problems resulting from covid far better than them.

      • Bruce_H

        I don’t share your pessimism, if any social system is in difficulty it is that of the USA and it’s allies; Asia is growing fast and without the aggressive military thrust that characterises Western imperialism. Over half the planet in population terms is moving away from US domination, the New Silk Road is perhaps ignored in the West but less so in Asia. This could perhaps explain the extreme efforts of the USA and EU followers via NATO to destabilise the Russian Federation? People usually become violent when they feel they are losing something,
        Russia has no choice but to secure it’s Western borders, the others are safe at present, though the Caucasus are something they have to watch as US efforts are clearly at work there. From Armenia to Kazakhstan to China they can now feel safe, and after that it’s the Arctic. This is fairly recent though and shows the enormous progress made with Poutine as president. Not many people remember that a few decades ago the USA had listening posts all through N Iran, and NW China, obviously with the agreement of the governments concerned. Now they haven’t.
        I think the Russian people are aware of this and although they dislike war – the Afghan episode was a trap that the aging heads of the USSR fell into, left a very bad taste in their mouths – they are becoming aware that the “Western model” is not as good as it’s cracked up to be, and losing access to Mac Burgers and Coca Cola can only be good for their health. Our present enormous but mostly hidden economic difficulties coupled with an even more complete collapse of political certainties in many EU countries is yet to come home to roost. So if the Russian Federation has problems in the immediate future they are not the only ones.

  • Adenwellssmith

    The serfdom started with the welfare state. The welfare state has zero assets. It owns nothing. That’s what “unfunded” means.
    The welfare state however has taken trillions of pounds of money, and owes trillions for pensions. 14 trillion.

    So how’s it going to pay? Why is that debt omitted from the national debt? It’s a fraud.

    So what does the left say? What about the future tax revenues? Well, you can only book that as an asset on two conditions.

    First you own the asset. They think they own you.

    Second by the same logic you have to book your future expenses. Given there’s a deficit, you are booking a net liability.

    The serfdom comes from the pension ponzi.

    • dgp

      What unmitigated twaddle. The NHS has huge assets. If these could be sold (they can’t) they would be worth a great deal. Much of the value resides in the skills and knowledge embodied in the network. Think about how you might set up a neurology unit capable of performing brain or spine operations or administering a cocktail of medications to address thousands of conditions. The cost would be astronomical. As things stand anyone developing a neurological condition has a reasonable expectation of treatment within a reasonable distance of where they live.

      • Squeeth

        @dgp The war criminal Brown sold the freehold with the PFI fraud and the war criminal Cameron sold most of the cash flow. The NHS is a shell run for commercial gain. Look out for a “N.I. top-up charge”, coming to a private (former public) hospital near you. Better sign your assets over to your cat.

    • MrShigemitsu

      Public sector “debt” = private sector savings.

      If you disagree, simply ask yourself: who holds gilts/treasuries, and why.

      Less public sector debt = less private sector savings.

      Be careful what you wish for!

      • Bayard

        “Public sector “debt” = private sector savings.”

        True, but the converse isn’t, so that shouldn’t really be an equals sign.

        • MrShigemitsu

          The source of all net financial assets in the UK is govt spending.

          (Bank lending just creates credit, which needs to be repaid, summing to zero.)

          If the govt consistently taxes away every penny it spends, there can be no net financial assets (i.e. private sector savings.)

          Therefore, any net savings in the private sector must be balanced by an equivalent public sector deficit.

          • Bayard

            “The source of all net financial assets in the UK is govt spending.”

            Not all private sector savings are net financial assets. As you yourself point out, the majority of them net off to zero, but, from the POV of the creditor, they are still savings. Therefore not all private sector savings are public sector debt.

          • MrShigemitsu

            Dear Bayard, I do not wish to be obtuse, but from what source do private sector net financial assets (ie Sterling savings) derive, if not govt spending (ie currency creation)?

            Bank credit nets to zero, and a balanced budget requires every pound spent by govt to be returned in tax.

            So, excluding the external sector (or include it if you like, but the UK’s is in perpetual deficit, making private domestic sector surpluses even less likely), how else can the private sector net save *other* than if the govt runs a budget deficit?

            Seriously, where else could the saved currency, in aggregate, possibly come from?

          • Bayard

            Credit can and did for thousands of years, exist without currency. Therefore the fact that all currency is now created by government does not mean that all credit (savings) are created by government spending. Yes net financial assets equal government spending because for every credit there is a debit and if you net off all the domestic credits against the domestic debits, what credit is left must have a debit somewhere and that can only be government borrowing. However that does not mean that the credits that, with the debits, form part of the netting off exercise are reflected in government borrowing, because they can’t be. Thus there is a good deal of private debt that isn’t government spending and the two things are not equal.

        • MrShigemitsu

          Re: Sectoral Balances, I’m excluding the external sector for simplicity, but as the UK runs constant current account deficits (imports higher than exports), then the above is even more relevant.

          If you have an external sector (current account) deficit, and want to avoid the recessionary threat of a private sector deficit, then the UK govt *must* run a budget deficit (i.e. spend more than it taxes), in order to prevent recession, depression, or slump, let alone to allow for private sector savings (= surplus).

  • Aden

    On P&O. Where’s the analysis of their accounts?
    They claim they are losing money. If so something will give. 2019 – they lost 69 million. 2020 they made 63 million.
    The biggy is the increase in pension liabilities at 95.2 million. That’s the bit that is killing them.

    • Alf Baird

      P&O Ferries has been making losses for a number of years. Last year the loss was €118.7m. This is a bit less than the annual operating loss of CalMac, the latter only existing due to the £1 billion in operating subsidy it receives from Holyrood over each 8-year contract PLUS extra capital subsidy for ships and piers. Are you suggesting UK taxpayers should subsidise P&O Ferries?

  • nevermind

    Confiscate the ferries, crew them and send them to Libya and Syria to pick up refugees. All those people offering accommodation and benefits and work for very little in the Government’s Freeports ponzi can’t possibly just want blue-eyed blond Ukrainian immigrating refugees.
    Our past mistakes will come home to roost.

  • Peter

    “… the Tory Road to Serfdom”

    Yes indeed.

    As Giyane points out above it began in 1979 with the ascendance of “that bloody woman” and her gang.

    While (the then West) Germany was in the process of demonstrating how to build up your industrial base Thatcher, entirely deliberately, demonstrated how to let your industrial base go to the dogs. Some would say she was happy, even committed to doing so because it reduced the power of the working class.

    We’re going to be a “service economy” she trumpeted as the unemployment figures sky rocketed.

    What? A service economy that doesn’t produce anything? How will that work then?

    Less than £2 an hour is how it works and here we are, welcome to 21st century serfdom.

    It doesn’t have to be this way of course.

    Corbyn showed us another way and was ‘destroyed’ for his efforts.

    Who now will stand up to save us from this impending hell hole?

    Not (Sir) Keir Staliner, that’s for sure.

    • joel

      ‘As Giyane points out above it began in 1979 with the ascendance of “that bloody woman” and her gang’

      James Callaghan had already prepared the ground for Thatcherism with drastic cuts to the welfare state. As for Giyane, he/she recently confided that Thatcher fan boy Rishi Sunak would make the ‘perfect’ Prime Minister…


      • Peter

        @ joel

        “James Callaghan had already prepared the ground for Thatcherism … “

        Blaming the Labour Party of the 1970s for the de-industrialisation of the UK and forty years of neoliberalism is quite a stretch.

        • bevin

          He’s not blaming “the Labour party of the 1970s” he’s blaming Callaghan and the neo-liberal gang surrounding him. And they were enabled by the intellectual paralysis within Labour that became impossible to resolve because of the Cold War. After Attlee and the acceptance of the role of lieutenant in the American empire everything became pretty well inevitable.
          Thatcher was almost right about there being no alternative. There was and is an alternative but it involves a revolutionary departure from the status quo.
          In that it is not unlike Scottish Nationalism which to work requires massive popular involvement in which occasional visits to the polling booth are trivial ritualistic pauses in the permanent work of building and managing a new world.

          dgp. Your concern for Russia does you credit, as does your sincere and principled revulsion from war. But what, given the final rejection of Minsk, agreed upon back in 2015, was Russia’s alternative?
          It is obvious that Russia did not want war. There was a long and careful diplomatic offensive over the years culminating in the shuttle diplomacy of the past few months. If anyone in the Kremlin ever hoped for a more sympathetic reception from the US or any of the NATO powers- and several influential people there did- Blinken, Biden and the unrestrained propaganda onslaught disillusioned them.
          On February 24 Russia’s reluctant leadership had a clear choice to make: wait for Kiev to launch its clearly planned and long telegraphed conquest of the Donbas, and the inevitable genocidal attacks on Russian speakers, or anticipate it by striking first.
          Thank God they chose the latter course, albeit in a very conservative manner: making no attempt to attack Ukraine’s infrastructure employing a minimal number of troops- roughly the same number as the dug in defenders- and using air superiority largely defensively, to put an end to years of missile attacks on the civilian population.
          It ought to be impossible to ignore how utterly vile the Ukrainian government is. It has banned all opposition. But long before announcing this it had been campaigning, through its Secret Police and its fascist militias to kill, imprison, silence and torture any dissidents reported to it. There are plenty of images of what is being done publicly in the way of tying people to lampposts, whipping them, beating them, for the crime of speaking Russian. The complete ban on the Communist Party appears to be acceptable to Ukraine’s defenders, who cannot have been surprised when they came next for everyone else to the left of Himmler.
          The Ryssians did not choose war. It was forced on them, in the final analysis by the US government which fears nothing more than peace.

          • Pears Morgaine

            So far detached fro reality it’s almost impossible to know where to begin. Since when has 150,000 been a minimal number of troops? If the Russians really are making no attempt to attack Ukraine’s infrastructure why has so much of it been reduced to rubble? What are they firing those inaccurate thermobaric rockets at?

            I understand how difficult it must be for the Putinbots to come to terms with the slow progress of the ‘special military operation’ (don’t mention the war) but to suggest it’s because the Russians are proceeding cautiously to limit civilian casualties, whilst taking a beating themselves, is simply laughable.

          • Rhys Jaggar

            Pears Morgaine – when there are 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers located in Eastern Ukraine/the Donbass, 150,000 is pretty much a minimal force to defeat it.

            They are not going in there fighting Indians who have bows and arrows, you know.

          • Bayard

            “It’s still not a ‘minimal number’ no matter how you look at it.”

            It may not be a minimal number to you, but that is because you appear to have bunked off your English lessons and are under the impression that “minimal” means “small”.
            The word “minimal”, like “greater” or “smaller” is purely comparative, i.e. it is only descriptive of size or number in comparison with something else. The minimal budget you will need to purchase a £50M house, is somewhere in excess of £50M, once you have taken taxes and transaction costs into account. Do you really think I am suggesting that a sum in excess of £50M is a small amount of money?

            “I understand how difficult it must be for the Putinbots to come to terms with the slow progress of the ‘special military operation’ (don’t mention the war)”

            Thank you for your sympathy, but it is unnecessary. Once you accept that almost everything reported in the MSM is either biased or lies, there’s no “slow progress” to come to terms with.

          • Pears Morgaine

            Minimal:- ” of a minimum amount, quantity, or degree; negligible. ” Source:- OED.

            So where should I go for the unbiased truth. Unbiased, mind you.

          • bevin

            Pears Morgaine.
            It is generally thought in military circles that it takes an army three times larger than the defending force, with prepared defensive positions, to defeat it. You may have different views but I doubt that your experience is greater than that of military experts.

            As to Ukraine’s infrastructure, that has been left largely intact – the internet and electrical supply appear to be working. Compare this with the US/British attack on Iraq nineteen years ago. Of course those were not white people but the casualties in the “shock and awe” campaign were orders of magnitude worse even than the lies being spread by the western propaganda apparatus.

            As to the use of thermobaric rockets – all of Russia’s highly destructive ordnance has been aimed at military targets such as ammunition dumps. Where there have been civilian casualties it has almost invariably been because fascist militias – which currently dominate Ukraine, have employed them as human shields.

            The rationale behind the Russian tactics is very obvious – the Russians do not want to turn Ukrainians into their enemies. This is why they are proceeding slowly and in doing so risking their own forces’ lives.

            It would be much easier and well within their capabilities for the Russians to wipe out cities, Fallujah style.

            In the unlikely event that you read about military matters may I recommend the recent work, by a Professor at the USAF Academy, John Grenier, The First Way of War.

            And that is what a Putinbot thinks.

          • Bayard

            “Minimal:- ” of a minimum amount, quantity, or degree; negligible. ” Source:- OED.”

            Yes “a minimal number” means a small number taken out of context, which is why context is so important. In context, “a minimal number” is obviously, to everyone other than you, a comparative with another number. The other number is large, which, by the laws of grammar, makes the first “minimal” number large, too.

            “So where should I go for the unbiased truth. Unbiased, mind you.”

            To Ukraine, to see for yourself, of course. If you don’t want to do that, then you will just have to distrust all sources and use logic and probability to determine which sources are most likely to have some grain of truth in them and which are complete falsehood. It’s a lot more work that simply taking a source to be the gospel truth and believing implicitly everything they report, but life is not easy.

          • DunGroanin

            Yes there was a neoliberal gang which took the best part of the thirty years of the post war covenant in its efforts to intellectually move the Labour movements ethos from egalitarian to ‘neo’ – which actually meant regressive – back to the prewar mentality of us below and these above.
            The deep plants of establishment moles which rose to be the SDP quislings and thence to the Mandellsonian Blairites with the scions of these traitorous post war Labour secret tory grandees, now happily living it large and openly disdaining the old Labour ethos. Having brutally crucified JC as he suddenly threatened to raise that post war consensus back from being buried for ever.

            The plenty of btl commentators who are clearly working to an agenda are a clear sign of how much resource has been spent on the perception management daily of the population.

            Unfortunately for them – their Unipolar Empire is Dead.

            They are mere wraiths who are screaming as they vanish from the planet and let humanity finally rise collectively and not as their slaves.

          • Pears Morgaine

            “To Ukraine, to see for yourself, of course”

            Oh I’m sorry, so when did you get back? I could ask my mate’s youngest boy, he and his Ukrainian wife arrived back in the UK on the 17th March having left Kyiv on the 27th February. However they still haven’t fully recovered and probably have more serious things to attend to; like finding somewhere to live, employment and replacing all the stuff they had to leave behind. I’m sure they bear no animosity towards the Russians…

          • Bayard

            You’re the one pontificating here, I’m just querying your pontifications. I look forward to your exposition of what your Ukranian friends have seen and heard in Ukraine (in real life, that is, not on TV).

          • Cynicus

            Pears Morgaine
            March 22, 2022 at 21:33

            Minimal:- ” of a minimum amount, quantity, or degree; negligible. ” Source:- OED.

            Congratulations in being able to read the top line of the “look up” facility when you click on a word.
            Had you dug a bit deeper you’d have learned a bit more, for example:

            the least possible…[e.g.] “a victory won with minimal loss of life”

            This accords with what, I suspect, most of us understand by ‘minimal’ and was obviously the intention of Bevin with his reference, rightly or wrongly, to “ Minimum number of troops.”

      • Giyane


        Ha ha. I see you’re still trying to squeeze some juice from that comment of mine. But as I commented above, I have no problem with technocrats, only with Thatcher totemism, whereby laissez faire accompanied by lies , often in the same sentence produces dangerous situations.

        Johnson comparing Ukraine to Brexit, for example. The binary, bigoted mind of a headless chicken. Ukraine is one of us, or the US is one of us, against ….. Russia or the EU. There’s a hole in the back of the chicken lorry , why not jump out to freedom ? Whump! Another dinner for the crows.

        I personally do not believe that Corbyn was electable without an economic technocrat, like Gordon Brown, to fix his financial problems. What possible use to him was old Labour John MacDonald re-nationalising things? There are plenty of economists in the Labour Party. Why has Starmer been allowed to interpret Labour losing the election in terms of wrong ideology, instead of the glaring reality, absence of economic competence?

        We now have the worst of all combinations, ideological , unelectable, Starmerite Conservatism, combined with economic delusion. That’s the way uh uh uh uh they liike it. Up to them.

    • Squeeth

      @Peter No it didn’t; it began in the mid-70s courtesy of Callaghan (Thatcherite avant le lettre) and Healey (the ethnic cleanser).

  • Crispa

    “…..the Road to Serfdom”. Should it read “….the Road Back to Serfdom”? Or has serfdom ever been truly abolished? I suspect the Indian workers now manning the cruise liners are being employed effectively as serfs or bond labour bound to the company in order to get their pittance wages back home to feed their families.
    Freedom from slavery and serfdom benefited the slave owners and landowners more than ever it did the freed slaves or serfs, but under manorial and landowning serfdom there was at least a recognition that the lord or proprietor had responsibilities towards his serfs in exchange for their responsibilities to him.
    Some early capitalists, thinking say of the likes of Robert Owen, retained that sense of mutual responsibility (albeit with most as long as it did not stand in the way of making a profit), but dog eat dog modern global capitalism removes it completely. To restore it requires huge principled international not just national effort and shall we say a lot of consciousness raising.
    When we see those wonderful stadia in Qatar in November and December at the next world cup we should remember that they have been built at the expense of thousands of lives lost in their building, mainly people with backgrounds not unlike those taken on and just as easily discarded by P&O.

    • terence callachan

      Pears Morgaine and others who like to comment but block replies to their comments you are so weak

      [ Mod: It’s not clear what you’re insinuating here; but for full disclosure, here’s the only one of your comments that has not been published recently:

      terence callachan
      2022/03/04 at 5:05 pm
      Andrew H ,are you plunking ? Or is it a day off school today

      It was disallowed because it was an ad hominem insult attacking the person rather than the message. From the moderation rules for commenters:

      Address the argument, not the person. To do otherwise will be an immediate warning flag for deletion. Any reference to any commenter which is not courteous will lead to the comment being immediately deleted.

      Regards. ]

      • Clark

        *** MODS *** – terence callachan seems to think that commenters have control over whether a “Reply” button appears on their comments; goodness knows why, as obviously he can’t see such a control on the comment form he fills in himself. Some time ago I tried pointing out to him that comments nest only four replies deep, but it appears he didn’t read my reply.

  • M.J.

    20 years ago someone described America to me as a “third world country with money”. I didn’t understood this expression – surely it was money that differentiated First from Third world countries? But now I see it as toleration of desperate poverty, and the absence of provision by the state of essential services. When it comes to health services America is a Third World country – with money deciding who can pay for adequate health insurance.
    Britain seems to be going that way, allowing workers to be given salaries of the level of Third world countries. I hope that not only will lawyers will succeed in winning in fighting any case for wages in keeping with workers’ rights in the UK generally, but that the courts may mete out punishment great enough to act as a deterrent to iniquitous cost-benefit analyses by managers.
    Here is a good opportunity for the British Establishment to do some good, given that ministers have indicated the illegality of this exploitation.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      I described it 20 years ago as ‘a war machine masquerading as a Nation State’ and I still stand by that.

      However, you might like to read a bit more about various ‘Secessionist’ groups in states like Texas, Florida and the like.

      There are plenty of organisations of Americans wanting to start to break up the Union through asserting independence. Interesting to see whether they will be treated like the Donbass if they ever voted to secede, eh?

      If the USA lost California, Texas, Florida and New England (all of which have significant campaigns entirely akin to Brexit), we might finally start to neutralise the monster that is the USA.

      • Goose

        US citizens would probably be a lot better off, given the costs of feeding the MIC machine. Especially California, maybe safer too from any future North Korean threat. Impoverished North Korea seems to make vast strides in its missile delivery tech every year, aided by the sympathetic Chinese. MIRV’ed(decoys) missiles and now hypersonics are probably around the corner.

        It’d take a real crisis for the US to break-up though, because overt displays of patriotism aren’t just encouraged they’re almost demanded. A country of so many immigrants everyone is seemingly trying to out-do each other in patriotic virtue signalling flashing the stars and stripes.

      • terence callachan

        Never going to happen, capitalists around the world have no true nationality to which they serve , they use nationality to increase assets and have as many as is necessary .Anyone getting close to disrupting this arrangement and independence of Florida or Texas etc would be just that , will be disposed of.

      • Steve

        Whilst I agree with your sentiment, think you will find the California (specifically the major hubs of Los Angeles and San Francisco) are part of the problem. Texas and Florida are the most likely to succeed in secession. Of course, in Texas, the Hispanic people would be in the majority.

      • Pears Morgaine

        Texans have been on about seceding from the US since the Civil War. I remember getting stuck next to one idiot on a plane thirty years ago who kept drawling on about it for the whole flight. Sadly what he was most looking forward to was ditching civil rights laws and brining back segregation.

        Be careful what you wish for.

    • Bayard

      “Britain seems to be going that way, allowing workers to be given salaries of the level of Third world countries. I hope that not only will lawyers will succeed in winning in fighting any case for wages in keeping with workers’ rights in the UK generally,”

      British workers will never be given Third World salaries as Britain does not have a Third World cost of living. Reducing salaries reduces rents and rents are what the ruling classes live off, either directly, as landlords, or indirectly as state-funded rent-seekers. We only have minimum wage legislation because unemployment benefit has, by and large, been replaced by state subsidies to the low-paid. The lessons of history show that, if the state tops up the wages, employers can afford to pay their workers next to nothing, with the state making up the difference. In order to avoid this, the state sets a minimum wage.

      • M.J.

        Here’s the report about P&O replacements on £1.80 an hour.


        To pay that to UK workers, companies like P&O get registered in Dubai and then take advantage of loopholes in the law that allow them to do what they like at “Free ports”, one of Boris’ Bright Ideas (promoting Brexit was another).
        Perhaps this will be part of the cure for Brexit – the erosion of workers’ rights, one of the things that Union spokespersons were warning voters about during the Brexit referendum debate. Too bad that not enough listened. Maybe such exploitation will cause a turn in the tride of public opinion about Brexit, especially if Ukraine succeeds in booting out the Russian invaders and joins the EU, as I hope they will.

        • U Watt

          Ukraine being in the EU would not change even one person’s mind. The media hysteria seems to have knocked you for six.

        • Giyane


          Erosion or erasion?

          You are no doubt a Thatcher years abuse survivor, like me, so you will recognise the Tory tactic, held up briefly by covid , of destroying everything and moving fast. Tory strategy will produce a daily toxic idea, to grind us down into despair.

          But Johnson isn’t Thatcher. He is just an opportunist who has mugged up on Tory grammar, forgetting that all the other languages in the world have case endings and tenses . But the English regard fluency in Toryspeak as a miracle of esoteric knowledge.

          His valour in the Tory trenches will no doubt be mentioned on his early political grave. Dulce et decorum est pro patria Morey.

          • M.J.

            Morey? or mori? Or could it be Tory? His father was one, after all. Maybe I’ve missed an allusion to someone in Boris’ life called Morey, dunno.

          • Giyane


            I meant Tory greed and Empire 2 colonialism. Johnson passed the Freemasonry test for ability to lie for the empire with Novichok. He was rewarded with the Tory leadership and rooftop of No 10.

            The CIA normally finishes the incentive package for working for them by hanging its agents upside down and electrocuting them , not from any malice, but simply to disabuse them of any impression they might have got that their services for US hegemony would lead them to becoming world king.

        • Bruce_H

          Ukraine in the EU would cost the EU a fortune, and anyway they are a very long way off the conditions required to join. This would provide a source of cheap (white) workers which may appeal to some, but already millions are leaving anyway and would be able to provide the same service.

          As for the rest, I fear you are in for a disappointment fortunately for the majority of Ukrainians who may not share the extremist view of the present ruling clique.

        • Bayard

          MJ, did you actually read that article? £1.80/hr is a figure plucked from the air by a union rep as a totally unsubstantiated claim. No matter what anyone says, no-one can survive in the UK on £1.80/hr without some form of subsidy in the form of free board and lodging.

          • M.J.

            As I understand the article that figure came from the RMT union, and doesn’t at all surprise me, given Dubai’s treatment of foreign workers.

          • David

            Well I read it and spotted this:

            Plans are already in place to build hostels in the Freeports and bring in workers from Colombia and other sources at £1.40 an hour – exactly the kind of system that operates in the Gulf states.

            Hostels sort of imply board and lodging.

          • Bayard

            If you are getting free board and lodging, then your effective pay is going to be a lot more than £1.80 an hour.

          • Giyane


            Who says the board and lodgingvwill be free? This appears to be just a dog whistle-story for far right extremists who , according to Womans Hour have been sending hate mail to Nazira Radcliffe about Boris paying a ransom for her when she is a foreigner.

            Such msm tripe male sentric methane? diverts attention from the Ukraine porkers.

            The purpose of a dog whistle is two fold, firstly to generate fear in passers by that a dog is off its lead, and secondly, to demonstrate authority over the dog.

            If you have no democratic legitimacy , no moral authority, and no legal rights, this is what a Tory government has to do to stay in power.

          • M.J.

            They may well have been given a roof over their head, even if it’s shared space in an unheated shed and the luxury of a cold water tap in an outhouse bathroom.
            But, and this is my point, we’re talking about an illegal, egregious violation of workers’ rights that campaigners during the Brexit debate were warning about. If the government lets P&O off with a mild slap on the wrist, many an error by the same example will rush into the state, as Portia warned. The punishment will have to severe enough to be effective as a deterrent to this kind of thing.

          • Bayard

            “Who says the board and lodging will be free?”

            Logic says that board and lodging will be free. Not even imported workers can afford to work for less than it costs them to live.

            “we’re talking about an illegal, egregious violation of workers’ rights”

            The minimum wage is not a worker’s right, it is a measure brought in by the government to prevent exploitation of the system of subsidising the wages of the low paid.

          • Giyane


            The way is neither this, nor that. It’s politics

            This P&O melodrama is pure 3rd generation political warfare by drooling, recidivist, Feudal Tory, political fantasists.

            What is 3rd generation warfare? Psyops. Telling Mosul that they have already been captured long before they actually have been captured, to weaken their morale.

            Telling the electorate that the smashing
            of workers’ rights is a fait accompli , long before the Tories have managed to smash anything.

            As a Thatcher psychological abuse survivor, I can tell you that this is pure Tory psyops, Please stop listening to Tory wind-ups. Let them crack up with the weight of their own disgusting malignity, like Thatcher herself. And please don’t let them come near to cracking important you.

  • Alastair Aitken

    I have set up a monthly standing order. Is it possible to join a mailing list to share your articles more widely?


    100% agree on joining a union. There are often perks that outweigh the costs even if you don’t need the Union to help with a work issue. And we will need a strong union movement to win back the rights that have been hacked away by savage Tory crooks since Thatcher and never replaced by the ‘Labour’ Governments of Blair and Brown.

  • Jimmeh

    > I do strongly urge everybody to find out today what union you are eligible to join, and to join it.

    It matters which union you join; some trades unions have traditionally been very conservative. I’m thinking particularly of the Associated Union of Engineering Workers, but there were other unions that were mainly interested in increased pay for their members, at the expense of other workers.

  • D Russell

    I think the first paragraph in this piece is misleading.
    I read that the owners of P&O are hiding behing maritime law, meaning the UK gov are limited in their ability to prevent it. If this is the case, it is an outlier, not a good example of how Brexit Britain is meant to operate.

    • Giyane

      D Russell

      You are probably right that Pritti Patel would like to swing it that Freeports would operate under Maritime Law. Britain is a floating island is it not , and for convenience sake moored at present off France, registered in Outer Mongolia.

      In the 18th Century , privateers or Pirates operated under licence from the King, to loot and capture Dutch ships on the oceans. Tory ingenuity has deliberately chosen a Passenger Ferry company to prepare a legal precedent for separating Freeport Rules from British Law. So as to insinuate that there is no difference in status between ships and freeports, simply because ships move around and freeports are stitched to the mainland..

      As I said to the Van Insurance broker, asking where it will be parked at night, it moves.it has wheels.

      This is why the Tories need so many Thinktanks , just to dream up legal wheezes how to decouple this country from British and international Law. Mostly to keep us peeps annoyed.

      • Blissex

        «In the 18th Century , privateers or Pirates operated under licence from the King, to loot and capture Dutch ships on the oceans»

        Not just in the 18th century, and here is a very relevant story from JM Keynes himself: ”Economic possibilities for our grandchildren” (1930) about the english buccaneering spirit (celebrated by Monty Python https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crimson_Permanent_Assurance and brexiters):

        “The modern age opened; I think, with the accumulation of capital which began in the sixteenth century. I believe – for reasons with which I must not encumber the present argument – that this was initially due to the rise of prices, and the profits to which that led, which resulted from the treasure of gold and silver which Spain brought from the New World into the Old. […] For I trace the beginnings of British foreign investment to the treasure which Drake stole from Spain in 1580. In that year he returned to England bringing with him the prodigious spoils of the Golden Hind.
        Queen Elizabeth was a considerable shareholder in the syndicate which had financed the expedition. Out of her share she paid off the whole of England’s foreign debt, balanced her Budget, and found herself with about £40,000 in hand. This she invested in the Levant Company – which prospered. Out of the profits of the Levant Company, the East India Company was founded; and the profits of this great enterprise were the foundation of England’s subsequent foreign investment.
        Now it happens that £40,000 accumulating at 3½ per cent compound interest approximately corresponds to the actual volume of England’s foreign investments at various dates, and would actually amount to-day to the total of £4,000,000,000 which I have already quoted as being what our foreign investments now are. Thus, every £1 which Drake brought home in 1580 has now become £100,000. Such is the power of compound interest!”

        • Giyane


          So the stolen gold empowers us to look down our noses at the rest of the world Don’t forget to include the Gold from India and Bengal, from Africa from Libya in recent times.

          That gold insulated us Brits from feeling any remorse about enslaving the peoples of the countries from which we stole the gold.

          When you vote Tory, this is what you are voting for, pillage, rape and slavery. No wonder the Tories are so popular.

      • Jimmeh


        a) Britain is not floating; nor is it moored. It is part of the Earth’s crust.

        b) Only privateers, not pirates, operated under licence. Privateers were roughly-speaking ship-borne mercenaries, paid out of the loot. Pirates are ship-borne brigands, and are criminal everywhere.

        c) The most famous/notorious privateers operated not against the Dutch, but against the Spanish.

      • Gorse

        The English privateers were looting and capturing Scottish ships even n the Firth of Forth. I saw an updated version of this coming a mile off with Brexit.
        And years before 2022 just at a time when the Forth looked clean and supporting fish again. Oil tankers began at sea transfers just off Fife coast but right opposite the Scotgov office in Leith.
        At sea transfers avoid landing taxes. Screwed again.

    • Giyane

      D Russell

      “hanc etiam Maecenas aspire partem”
      — Virgil’s Georgics IV

      Take a look as well, my patron, at the topic of free honey from heaven.

      The Mad cow disease Tories are planning to put mini nuclear power stations in cities round the UK , located on the sites of existing seaside nuclear power stations. When Fukushima overheated its nuclear pollution affected all marine life in the ocean around the West Coast of the US.

      When these ponzi Tories decide to put a mini inuke next to my house in Birmingham, they will use the same canal for water as the existing Gas power station, right next to the new HS2 rail link for toffs from.London.

      Egypt already has no drinking water because of international dumping of toxic chemicals in the Mediterranean and Red Seas. There is no drinking water in areas of India due to Cloth dyeing.

      So the Tory calculation is simple, we hate Brummies anyway, so use them for cheap energy to get us to Gentrified Manchester, and if Birmingham blows up, get a government Commission to deny any link to Thyroid Cancer in the West Midlands.

      The Tories are so innately corrupt they are capable of

  • Ian Smith

    My wife seems to have been sacked from a contract role this evening for being Russian. Got a call this evening saying not to go in to work tomorrow and pass is cancelled. Just vague mention of difficulties, nothing in writing so far.

    This after a positive meeting with the boss yesterday, planning for the weeks ahead and organising credentials to log onto a new system.

    No complaints, no mention of difficulties yesterday, only supportive comments. Bullet today, same day memos came round saying they were banning all dealings with Russian clients and suppliers.

    As a recently starting contractor nothing that a law would protect either.

    • nevermind

      That sounds bad Ian. I know that local Government can sack someone with under 13 weeks employment, but this is very bad practice and absolutely wrong. The Conservative party has become as toxic as a pollutant, still they carry on serving their voters, friends, toads and themselves. I’m so sorry for such sensationalist bias.

      • Jimmeh

        > bad practice and absolutely wrong

        It’s a contract position; so “absolutely wrong” is absolutely wrong. It obviously depends on the terms of the contract.

    • Mist001

      I’m sorry to read this. For what it’s worth if I was in your position, I’d probably take legal advice on the grounds of discrimination or racism rather than employment. Might be difficult though with all the anti-Russian sentiment pervading rational thought.

    • Giyane

      Ian Smith

      I got sacked once, by a dodgy company that clocked rented vehicles. They called me into the office to discuss my future, and told me to think laterally.
      To which I replied that ‘ I did think laterally and it told me that I didn’t have to work for you’ .

      You seem to have married into the right side of history which is a very wise choice Don’t worry about Tory spivs and second hand , Nazi – supporting , car dealers
      The a/h who sacked me had a theory about Hitler too.. He said God wanted it to happen. Which as a prototype Muslim I agreed with. Fiat voluntas tua.

      Thinking about it, God probably wanted to destroy a few pernicious Empires in one fell swoop, French. British, German, Soviet , Turkish, etc and our present governments are all dreaming about their Empire 2s.

      Let’s bring back the sordid slavery of our ancestors’ societies, and use slogans like Salafism, Victorian values , Mughal , British Bulldog, to re-brand products that already stink and are long past expiry dates.

      Easy come, easy go. In the tory employment bureau.

  • DunGroanin

    Ah sorry – thought the comments had already moved on. Would it be better on the last Assange article? I don’t mind waiting for a more appropriate spot. interesting re what is ‘journalism’ point and our law lords political decisions – I am happy to leave it, as am sure CM will be aware now. Wasn’t sure if he knew yesterday. All best.

  • joel

    Any normal person in Rishi Sunak’s position – married to somebody wealthier than the queen – would probably enjoy a life of pure leisure. Instead, he’s chosen to spend his life harming people far less fortunate than himself. What sort of person does that? And what sort of person would identify him as the perfect politician to run the country?

    • nevermind

      He has kept a 1 p cut in NI tax in his backpocket for when he announces his candidacy for PM in 2 years time.
      For now we have the same local election actions to smooth/fool voters minds, pot holes are filled in and Towns and villages ‘refreshed’, important issues such as the polluting Westrrn link road near Norwich will face its third public consultation. before the local Conservatives waste more og our money on their mates.
      what a s..t show.

    • Giyane


      I didn’t say he was the perfect politician. We have fixed term parliaments and no choice but to wait another 2 years. Johnson has shown his willingness to take usvto the brink of nuclear destruction rather than apologise for breaking lockdown rules.

      What I said was perfect was not Sunak, but Johnson being forced to go , while a competent person worked the financial autopilot for two years. Sasta barbar. Menga ek bar. Corbyn kept trying to get elected without an economist on board to fly the plane. Labour should have invested time snd money finding an economist. Without an economist , nobody boards the plane. There are many brilliant economists in the Labour Party, but they refused hire one.

      • jake

        The Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022 has just received royal assent. The Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011 is no more.

        Do keep up!

      • joel

        “What I said was perfect was not Sunak, but Johnson being forced to go , while a competent person worked the financial autopilot for two years”

        Sunak showed again on Tuesday that his only competence lies in beggaring the poorest while shielding the richest. A competence that appears to be greatly admired by a very distinct type of performative “anti Tory”.

        • Giyane


          I don’t read the Mirror which sticks Sunak on its front page sneering at the poor, so I’m not fully up to speed with his latest crimes as you are. Would you rather I just stayed silent since you seem to dislike both Tories and those who oppose Tories. You seem to be rather hard to.please.

          • joel

            You don’t strike me as a reader at all, so maybe silence shouldn’t be as unthinkable as you seem to believe. At least on issues that require a bare minimum of knowledge/ understanding.

  • Athanasius

    Speaking as someone who grew up living off Church charities, I would once have been appalled by this. I still am, to an extent, but the idea that it’s a particularly Tory thing is now laughable to me. What has happened has happened after half a century of full spectrum socialist dominance of every aspect of society. Business people know they can get away with it because ultimately, the middle-class don’t really give a curse about anybody with a pound less than they do. Where once they led lives cheek by jowl with the poor, they’re now too far removed from the lives of the kind of people who fell under the P&O axe to be truly disturbed by it. Oh, sure, they make a pomposity out of their outrage, but they’ll find another cause to validate themselves on next week. Personally, I’m with CS Lewis on questions like these — It’s better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The cruelty of the robber baron may sometimes sleep and his cupidity may eventually be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end.

    • Blissex

      «the middle-class don’t really give a curse about anybody with a pound less than they do.»

      Those who have booming property in the south-east in particularl: they think that since their property is their security, and its booming price is guaranteed by the government, they no longer need social-democratic luxuries like social insurance.

      «Where once they led lives cheek by jowl with the poor, they’re now too far removed from the lives of the kind of people who fell under the P&O axe»

      That is also largely caused by property: developments are targeted at specific income segments, with all properties in a newly developed estate in a carefully defined range of prices. This unmixing of residences I think has been deliberate, to ensure that there are uniformly upper, middle and lower class areas, so that the local taxes raised in richer area don’t cross-subsidize services in a poorer area. Accordingly the Conservative governments since 2010 have largely abolished the central grants that reduced the difference in spending power per head among local councils.

      «The cruelty of the robber baron may sometimes sleep and his cupidity may eventually be satiated»

      As an anedoctal example When he was young and single Bill Gates attributed part of his doing better than his rivals to not having “finite greed” like them, in more recent interviews, after marrying and having children he said that much to his surprise he had changed opinion.


      «Gates once dismissed potential competitors with the withering assessment that they suffered from “finite greed”.»


      «he also asks himself a whole set of other questions about his life. “These would have been laughable to me when I was 25, but as I get older, they are much more meaningful.” […] ‘Did I devote enough time to my family?’ Money can buy you many things, but it can’t buy you an extra minute in the day. Even with a busy schedule, Gates makes time for his family.»

      • Jimmeh

        > they no longer need social-democratic luxuries like social insurance

        I own property in the south; I own the flat I live in, and I own a house that I used to live in with my family, and that I now let (it’s what passes for my pension). But I’m not like the stereotype you are perpetrating; in the past I’ve relied on unemployment benefit. I’ve always been in favour of good social provision.

        Blissex, I agree with some of the things you say, but you have a habit of launching these “workerist” rants, that make you sound like the chap on the corner selling Socialist Worker.

    • Johnny Conspiranoid

      “What has happened has happened after half a century of full spectrum socialist dominance of every aspect of society.”

      I must have missed that bit.

      • Giyane

        Johnny Conspiranoid

        Not difficult to understand at all. In the context of Athanasius’ Church connections, full spectrum socialism enabled the break up of society by funding single mums and penalising fathers . A broken society is more easy to control, and easier for government to identify rebels against laissez faire Tory liberalism.

        The 24/7 spying technology can then track the anti authoritarian rebels, leaving the adulterers, paedophiles , LBGT , political psychopaths and atheists to run the world.

        • Bayard

          “by funding single mums and penalising fathers”

          You may have noticed it takes two people to create a baby. Why is the one that attempts to bring the child up the one that is stigmatised by society and the one that abandons his child to its fate the one that expects to, and often does, get off scot-free?

      • Athanasius

        Easy to miss. The left occupies all committees, tribunals, advisory boards and civil service offices. They directly control the state while indirectly influencing business and the markets, and all the while simultaneously presenting themselves as the plucky rebels desperately battling the forces of capitalist oppression. It’s the grift of all time. Lenin pioneered the method with “The Trust”, the controlled opposition to the communist coup against the revolutionary government in Russia in 1917. It was so successful that even today, most people don’t realize the actual revolution happened in March of 1917; that government, the actual revolutionary government, was written out of history. It’s what the left do.

  • Bruce_H

    Alas, if you read the forums on the Independent, thought of as somewhat less atrocious than the Mail, Sun etc you won’t get that impression, nearly to a man (and I mean man, not many women present) have swallowed the official line, hook, line and sinker. It’s quite depressing to read and quite tiring to attempt to post… some even going back to the old anti-communist chestnuts about the Germano-Soviet pact of WW2. Just a long dirge of slime, quite depressing, no real discussion possible.

  • Sasha

    Russia Today regular Craig Murray by his silence that no the Russians are not murdering Ukrainians, he is quick when he wants you hand over money to pay for his expensive lawyers

    • Giyane


      Mr Lavrov often uses the term ’emotive language’. What about 14,000 people murdered by Azov battalion Nazis in Donbass? What about the entire population of Syria being displaced by the other proxy US thugs Islaic State and Al Qaida. When is the US and UK going to stop murdering my family in the Middle East. They retain IS in case the natives get uppity about USUKIS pinching our oil, just as they retain Azov Nazis to kill Russians in Ukraine. BTW, your grammar is fine.

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