The Saturday Essay

As a decade of depravity draws to a close, the guilty men are not being brought to justice. The only way to change things forever is to stop the flow of monied influence into politics.

It’s been a helluva week, but when you think about it, it’s been an eye-opener of a decade. The sixteen paragraphs below are a potted and somewhat over-simplified summary of life since around 2002, but even allowing for simplification, it makes for wince-inducing, head-shaking stuff.

Advised by a media mogul often referred to as “the 21st Cabinet member” to get stuck into the threat of Islamism, Prime Minister Tony Blair concocted a case for war against Iraq, lied about it to Parliament, and had his press secretary Alistair Campbell rig the dossier in favour of war. Blair also ignored the negative legal advice (with the full knowledge of Jack Straw) and went into alliance with a chimp of a President out to avenge his Dad and do the oil sector’s bidding. A civil servant who blew the whistle on this was hounded and smeared by Campbell, and wound up dead in short order.

Soon afterwards, Blair perverted the course of justice by ordering the police (an apolitical branch of the Constitution) to stop investigating Arab bungs in return for selling weapons and fighter jets to the Middle East. Tony would’ve tried to stay on in Downing Street forever, but he was blackmailed out of the job by Gordon Brown in murky circumstances that have never been fully explained. While planning an early election and denying any intention of having one, Brown heard that Northern Rock was going under. It would’ve been easy to protect the investors and dump and/or sell off the bank, but as three Labour constituencies surrounded it, Brown ordered it nationalised. The only exception to this was the plum bit of the mortgage book, which was brokered on to JP Morgan by its new consultant….Tony Blair. During his period as Chancellor under Blair, Brown mysteriously sold most of Britain’s gold very cheaply. This was to help bail out failing international banks who had made bad bets on the gold price. Britain lost its inheritance, and so Brown got into bed with the bankers, but got nothing in return for it.

While all this was unfolding, Britain’s press media were illegally tapping mobile phones, blagging into vital emails, bribing the Metropolitan Police, and getting deals from Labour in return for a good press. The Sun, the Daily Mail, the News of the World, The Mirror and umpteen others were at celebrity voice-mail on mobiles from about 2002 inwards. The practice was common knowledge, first surfaced in 2006, and became a national scandal three years later. A decade on, not one member of any newspaper’s management has gone to jail.

Just before that scandal reared its hobgoblin head, it became clear via documents obtained by the Daily Telegraph that some two-thirds of Westminster MPs were fiddling their expenses bigtime. Much hoo-haa and demands for an enquiry resulted in just three MPs being arrested, and two going to jail. Behind the scenes, meanwhile, a much bigger heist was taking place, as some 15-20,000 senior local and Whitehall mandarins bumped up their pension entitlements without any scrutiny by Parliament. MPs simply will not talk about this, although the figures are there for all to see, and dwarf the MP embezzlements 200-fold. Fully one third of the UK’s national debt obligations in 2012 relate to these completely illegally obtained Civil Service emoluments.

These same civil servants went on to choose G4S, and pay them ten times more than the original quote given by the Olympic Games security company. The commissioning shell Locog consisted of some experts, and a lot of other very odd appointments; as a whole, its commercial naivety was staggering – as was the case in the Private Finance Initiative under Brown, which cost taxpayers £55bn and left them with a heap of shoddy hospitals and a further National-Debt fuelling credit bill. (Gordon simply moved the amount off balance sheet and forgot about it: had he been the CFD of a plc, he wouldv’e gone to jail. Maybe).

In the seven years since London was chosen as the Olympics 2012 venue, the budget has almost trebled. It is now at a level only £2bn short of the entire austerity savings effected by George Osborne since he became Chancellor in May 2010. But George’s savings are dwarfed by the £103bn (and counting) that Bank of England Governor has thrown at bank liquidity – to zero effect – over the same period. This in turn is completely dwarfed by the £1.16bn of write-off and liabilities accruing from the 2008-9 Bank bailouts and unwise merger cockups.

Those bailouts were needed because of insane gambling by the banks, undertaken in the knowledge that the taxpayer would make good any losses while senior staff at the investment banks paid themselves seven and eight figure bonuses. During this period in both the US and the UK, small businesses were starved of money but costly multinational mergers were underwritten with ease. When they realised how easy it was to massage the Libor rate, multinational banks exploited it criminally to make vast profits. When it was obvious their casino-days were numbered, they lowered the rate to save themselves, with the connivance of central banks. This week Paul Tucker, the Bank of England’s Deputy Governor, denied any knowledge of it, just as the outgoing Barclays CEO had done the week before. They were lying, and yesterday the Geithner New York Fed papers proved it. These newly-released documents are now implicating most of the political classes and central banks on the planet.

To counter the banking crisis and cut debt, the political elites introduced zero interest rates (Zirp) that slashed the incomes of retired people throughout the West, doing so solely to allow the banks access to cheap money. This was also used by large multinationals along with QE (from our taxes) to create bumper paper profits for those companies, and so keep the stock markets high – that is, rig them in what should have become a massive Bear market. They also persistently capped and sold gold to defend the stock markets by heading it off as a safe haven. When they stopped doing so for a year after Obama’s election, the gold price rocketed past $1800 an oz. The gold price is now falling, despite record prices being paid for gold coins, and bullion only being sold to punters in rationed amounts. Several EU countries have passed laws to enable them quickly to make all gold purchasing illegal.

When Obama claimed “Yes we can!” in 2008, the chances are he meant that we can do WTF we like and get away with it. Two years later, David Cameron’s coalition came to power in the UK, and promised that the NHS would be safe in its hands. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley then immediately embarked on a policy of obvious hospital funding starvation in readiness for The Big Sell-off. The South London Trust went bust two weeks ago: Lansley’s plan is working rather well, and the only losers are those who are ill and old and unable to afford private care.

Before this, New Labour’s obsession with surface gloss saw them throw billions at a digital comms network for the NHS. Called Connecting for Health, it has never connected anyone to anything. The Government claimed a £12.4bn write-off, but this too is a lie: the actual amount was closer to £23 bn…I know, because I have seen the Treasury tabulations.

But the one thing enabling Lansley to quietly get on with the job of dismantling the Health Service was the explosion of Hackgate onto the scene, and the growing awareness that Camerlot had completely sold out to Murdoch. For nearly a year, every day brought new allegations and increasing mountains of evidence to show that the PM’s own press secretary had been centrally involved in it, that his security clearance had been a shambles, that Rebekah Brooks (a senior Newscorp manager) was more or less telling Cameron who to hire, that while supposedly investigating Newscorp for wrongdoing, the Met Police’s senior brass had been dining with senior Newscorp staff almost every week, that policemen were being routinely bribed in return for rival-scooping information, and that the entire Murdoch family – plus Number Ten itself – had almost certainly known about it. It had been, almost literally, a coup d’etat in which power temporarily drifted away from Parliament to Wapping-by-Scotland Yard.

In the midst of this, Business Secretary Vince Cable (a known enemy of Murdoch’s desire to buy the rest of BSkyB) was illegally recorded by journalists and then gleefully fired by David Cameron…..to be replaced by a known Newscorp fan and business associate in the educational sector, Jeremy Hunt. Hunt went on to lie to Parliament about his relationship with Newscorp, and obviously work hard to get the bid approved. A week after Cameron condemned tax-avoidance, Hunt was found to have avoided £100,000 worth the previous year. He stayed in his job. Shortly after George Osborne criticised closed-shop quangos, Hunt was revealed to have made his fortune by supplying just such a quango in very smelly circumstances. He stayed in his job. The Prime Minister declared that Hunt had shown no favour to Murdoch, but by this time public disgust with Newscorp had canned the deal anyway. Jeremy Hunt is still in his job.

As Hackgate rumbled on, however, the Labour Party predictably turned a blind-eye to the previous activities of the Mirror in general and Piers Morgan in particular. Attention was now turned by Labour leader Ed Miliband towards the Libor banking scandal. He did so because the involvement of very senior Tories and their supporters in it was quite mind-boggling – even to the extent of infecting the Treasury Select Committee, which heaped disdain upon Bob Diamond – although one of their number at leatst. Michael Fallon, is a Libor broker, and must have known about rate-rigging for years.

Miliband may regret his eagerness for this fight, because his former boss and mentor Gordon Brown was also clearly inolved at some point, as were two of his senior advisors. But even as everyone tried to call the scandal a British Barclays event, it was obvious that Euribor had also been fixed during 2009-10, that another company Iswap was rigging the interbank derivatives rate on both sides of the Pond, and that Geithner had warned the Bank of England about crooked fixes in 2008. In fact, the BoE’s senior men had known about it since 2005 at the latest. As this last week proceeded, Thomas Pascoe in the Daily Telegraph confirmed the suspicions held by many financial writers for years: that the Gold market too was a sham.

Yet all this may yet be overshadowed by events in the EU. We now know that at least three ClubMed countries did shady deals with France and Germany to get a eurozone memership they clearly didn’t deserve; that Germany traded corruptly with Greece for years; that without being strongarmed into munitions deals with Germany and France, Greece would be more solvent than they are; that at last three French and two German banks are disastrously exposed to ClubMed debt; that the US tried to get Greece amputated in order to create ‘a firewall’, but that the Germans scuttled it – seeing what the Americans really wanted: military bases in, and the raw materials of, Greece; that Goldman Sachs illegally taught the Greeks how to lie to Brussels and thus borrow more money; that Mario Draghi illegally subordinated the Greek bondholders, and created the Greek ‘bailout’ from worthless paper; that Britain will wind up having to cough up yet more to help a currency it said from the outset was doomed; that the ECB has been rigging the bond markets by buying sovereign and bank debt; and that David Cameron’s supposed veto last December was a pointless bit of showboating that backfired almost immediately.

During this three year saga of mincing incompetence, the Brussels autocrats have ignored every election result they didn’t like, made the EU Parliament more of an irrelevance with every year, created a small unelected cabal to push forward a disastrous politico-fiscal Union, and illegally tried to influence the electoral processes of three EU members – Ireland, France and Greece. But still David Cameron shows no inclination at all to move away from an EU whose membership costs us around £80bn per annum, and within which we are now doomed to be second class citizens – if it survives, which remains very doubtful. The PM in fact has spent more time trying to appease his useless and truculent Coalition partner Nick Clegg, whose Lords Reform Bill is a dog’s dinner of no constitutional use whatsoever, and in which barely a single elector is interested.

What this history represents is a cavalcade of fraud. The police, the media, every major financial market on Earth, MPs, bankers private and central, sporting organisations, security companies, senior Civil Servants, most of our media, and a large proportion of the UK Cabinet are utterly covered in the malodorous filth that results from swimming without remorse in a veritable Olympic pool of sleazy mire.

This decade of depravity has ended – as such eras always do – in what I have called elsewhere the new Decade of Denouement. Gradually, we are all – left, right, apolitical and radical – discovering that almost everyone in a position of power wants to exploit that power in a venal manner, but evade the responsibility for doing so. But a coming age of media (especially internet) revelation will achieve nothing if we cannot rely on Judicial, police and political systems to bring the guilty to book.

For many years now I have argued that the most important equality of all is Equality before the Law. In fact, all other liberties and forms of fairness stem from that.

What this last decade has shown beyond any reasonable doubt is that the Rule of Law in Britain and the US (and in most EU States) will be suspended for those of influence – unless the Establishment chooses for Machiavellian reasons to throw one of its own to the wolves. The obvious impunity of its membership is evident in the continuing apathy shown by the West’s fame-obsessed electorates, and the consequently brazen manner in which the influential simply walk away from enquiries, feeling hard done by because they have lost a bonus or been forced to resign. It never occurs to the likes of James Murdoch, Piers Morgan, Bob Diamond, Lord Mandelson, Paul Tucker, Hank Paulson, Christine Lagarde, Tony Blair, Freddie Goodwin, or Michael Spencer that they might wind up in jail. Jail – me? No mate, jail’s for rioters and welfare cheats and the like. It’s not for me. Oh no. On discovering she would be put on trial, Rebekah Brook’s outburst outside the Courtroom was a gem of shocked aggression aimed at those with the audacity to accuse her of something criminal.

Two years ago a mentor and friend suggested a website idea to me called Trial by Internet. It was a tongue-in-cheek suggestion to some extent, based on a revival of the old News of the World chestnut-headline, “We name the Guilty Men”. In 2012, you can name as many guilty folks as you like, the chances are there will be shown to be guilty, but never found guilty.

The central importance of this is lost on David Cameron (and most of Camerlot, actually). They come from the unearned privilege of an archaic class system that lauds the leg up and the funny handshake. But it is lost on the Opposition too, who would very gladly return the Trade Union movement to its former position above the law if it suited their book. Miliband’s rejection of Union funding for the long-term is a shrewd move based on the simple reality that, within a few years, the TUC will be neutered bordering on extinct. As we saw the last time they were in office, nobody apart from Clare Short gave a moment’s thought to the obscene degree of influence handed to Rupert Murdoch in return for a good press and a shedload of money.

From the start of The Slog three years ago, the same words have continued to crop up as the things we most need to get rid of: unaccountability, privilege, graft, lobbying, realism, radical reform of our Constitutional norms, Friedmanite globalism, State ownership, and unpunished Establishment crime. The last ten years have shown to anyone with two eyes and a brain that our current political system will never get rid of them. It’s why I long ago eschewed the idea of forming a political movement. The sole windows on the world of wide-boys left available to us now are the media in general, but above all those parts of the Internet still uncontrolled by politicians and moguls. And the only people we can make uncomfortable enough to ensure change takes place are those in business.

Unlike the political classes, they must sell in large quantities and avoid infamy to survive. Dissuading them from giving money to politicians is, to my mind, the best way to destabilise the major Parties and achieve real, root-and-branch reform. I recognise that most people either don’t know what I’m on about or think me completely wrong, but I really don’t care: for the foreseeable future, monied power will be the most pervasive and perverting force in our culture. Stop the flow of it towards Whitehall and Westminster, and you change the whole game overnight.

134 thoughts on “The Saturday Essay

  1. Top stuff John, more power to you! Your work is chiselling the systemic rot out of our obviously failed financial system. More and more drone bees are waking-up to what is really going on, but as the saying goes, ‘the big wheel turns slowly’.

    • Yes excellent expose. But what to do about it? All sorts of suggestions come to mind, not least the overriding priority of getting out of the EU. Step two, working towards abolishing the party political system and replacing it with direct democracy and/or something along the Swiss model.
      Incidentally supporters/bloggers of Dr Richard North’s EU Referendum Blog are at this very moment meeting in the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, to discuss first steps to radical reformation of our governance and a return to real representative government. All power to their arm.
      (See his blog under Old Swan for details)

  2. Great post. Glad you mentioned Clare Short, she used to be my MP when I lived in Handsworth and one of the few that I have any respect for, she was very kind to me and tried to help.
    Gordon Brown is a smouldering fuse and a weak link in the Brotherhood. I hope he doesn’t end up like David Kelly and Robin Cook.

    • Forgive me zoompad, but I rather hope he does.

      I realise that sounds heartless and vindictive, but it’s not really. There should be a balancing, a reckoning of some sort if you will, if only to confirm the symmetry of the universe. The misery that man has brought to innumerable families, in this country and abroad, should not go unpunished.

    • yes, john does have a bit of a thing for claire, doesn’t he? from the outset, she formed a redoubtable bullwark against newscorp, the gulf-war, and liberty-lynching anti-terrorism legislation, but tragically fell short of voting against the iraq war when tony’s cia chums put a gun to her head – nevertheless, her doubts about the invasion of iraq, whilst a member of cabinet, caused the stock-market to crash a thousand points or so, and she will always be fondly remembered as a big red boil on blair’s bum.

      • remember it well – when she went on-air and got her big gob into gear the ftse effing shat itself.

  3. JW – “but even allowing for simplification, it makes for wince-inducing, head-shaking stuff.”
    I am wincing and my head is shaking, when it isn’t nodding in agreement with you.
    Only slightly OT,(in fact a sidebar to John’s thesis) take a look in Mail on Sunday tomorrow for devastating tale of Spanish banking fraud

  4. Great post! should be recommended reading for all nitwits… one thing, being Greek I would like to advise British people to run!!! flee!!! the EU… it has become a thinly veiled legal argument for the ascendancy of German power over the continent. I am happy for England that you retained your currency and will retain your autonomy… hopefully you can break free from this web of lies.

  5. We are all drowning in sleaze, fraud and criminal incompetence and there can only be one result – anarchy. I find it impossible to even challenge, let alone disagree with one word of this splendid essay.

  6. Excellent expose of just a few of our problems, most of which emanate from the Establishment and their cronies. How true – step one: get out of the EU which has in effect captured our whole political process.
    Step two. Work for the complete removeal/destruction of our current party politcal mockery of democracy and replace with direct democracy in some form, or Swiss style model.
    Inidentally, as we speak supporters/bloggers of Dr Richard North’s EU Referendum Blog are meeting at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, to discuss first steps by way of radical reformation of our governance along the old Chartist demands for representative government. More power to their arm. (for details see his blog under The Old Swan)

  7. A very interesting article. I would like to take a different view on this.

    Everything that has been mentioned deals with money, finances and so on. Any solution to that sort of problem must not deal with money – to do so you get caught in its web. Avoiding what is commonly called the dip in the Elliot Wave, or a Kondratieff Winter will only make the situation worse. It seems that economies have their upswings and downs, and there is nothing the human can do about it without prejudicing the future.

    Any realistic business solution to money problems deals not with money. The solutions always lie in the human realm, a realm that is both illogical and impossible to predict in the formal manner. Economics is notoriously illogical, its study littered with statistics and other crude tools that cannot reflect its real brilliance. The solutions must come from elsewhere. This requires the kind of vision that JW seems to possess, but it also requires courage to enact.

    The political classes, bankers, practically anyone taught in the Mainstream Universities will be limited in their thinking to the consecutive, logical. Dissecting a problem in the academic manner will not do. The solutions lie in joining things together, not pulling them apart. JW as a former marketing man will perhaps understand just how difficult this is in practice. It marks the great copywriters from the average.

    Feeble minded politicians can but prod at the problem with their powerfully incisive intellects. Yet all they can do is – Trollwise – merely copy that which stands before them. The real genius is to dip underneath the radar and go for the bone. The bones, the structure of an economy will never respond to fiscal stimulus, and that much has been shown here at the Slog with great clarity. Printing, inventing or just buying more money is not a solution any longer, yet at the same time, nor is logical thinking that requires evidence and histories to base its ideas on.

    Remorseless logic will ever push the bottom line of profit, and Germany and China for cultural and historical reasons will ever succeed at this. It is however not the solution we need. Germany and China both need to employ people, not robots. There are no real limits to this, and as ever, the solutions lie not in the logical realm. As Edward Deming recognized, tackling profits must be dealt with from elsewhere, in his case by looking at production faults. That sort of right-angle thinking is what is needed in our modern economies. We need to pursue quality not quantity, we need pride and integrity, not cheap commodity.

    A Troll – as seen in the last essay right here at the Slog – will copy relentlessly, yet bring nothing original or useful to the argument. The thinking that lies behind Trolling is the same that leads to Murdochs, Barclays and Diamonds. They all lack the necessary human element of creativity.

    Creativity needs to find its feet in the material world, yet plant-like must grow anew from the earth it grows in.

    • While I wholeheartedly agree, there is a teeny problem with that.

      Almost no-one under the age of about 35 in this country (and it’s worse in the US, as far as I can tell) has been given an education that in any way emphasised creativity or rational thinking. Outside a minority that were lucky enough to attend schools where such things were still taught, or whose parents pushed them to learn DESPITE the educational establishment, have been equipped with the mental toolbox to actually be creative. Or to de-construct an argument / statement / fact and see whether it’s stated ‘truth’ measures up to reality. Or to take apparently unrelated concepts and disciplines and compare them in order to see whether something can be learned in system B from how system A does things.

      My other half even coined a term to describe this: Cornerism. All the interesting (not necessarily good, just interesting and often important) things happen at junctions. Whether literal junctions between two roads (how many pubs, shops, libraries, etc are on corners? How many peaceful demonstrations have gone bad when the marchers turn a corner in the road and encounter the police?) or mental convergences where two formerly unrelated techniques have come together and made something new – take, as example, the bridge over Ironbridge Gorge; the first metal bridge in the world. No-one had ever done it before, so it combined ironwork – which they could do – with the techniques used in building a timber bridge – which were well understood. The bridge cost over twice what the designers estimated… but it’s still there!

      I have 3 kids in education, and I use that term with some wry amusement, and can’t see very much in what they learn ever equipping them for a role in society beyond semi-skilled labour for a wage. Fortunately for them, their old Dad WAS lucky enough to have had an upbringing in a house with intelligent parents and literally thousands of books of all kinds (as does mine, looks like the British Library!) – and who was pushed to learn about all kinds of stuff on the assumption that it might come in handy one day. I’m attempting to continue this tradition, though my life is made significantly harder by games consoles, reality TV and the general intellectual malaise that the modern generation are seemingly happy to embrace.

      • Sigh….
        In the first paragraph, the word ‘few’ should appear between ‘establishment’ and ‘have’. Obviously need more coffee!

      • Woodie

        I just got an email from a friend in the US. The problem with things as they stand is that people are not using their innate uniqueness. In order to get a job, they must first become a commodity, with the necessary qualifications and experience. With that, they need no longer think about their work – if they are clever! They can cruise through life and take it easy – watch TV and play fast cars on a Cosole.

        If you accept yourself as a commodity, you become the banker, politician or Troll. There is nothing exceptional that lets you stand out from the crowd. The banker uses his skills to manipulate things made by other people, or the trends of the market place; the politician uses their skills to achieve what they perceive as being the right thing for their country or their fellow men. Whilst undoubtedly individual, they are not using it to its maximum effect.

        Why?

        Because that raises questions in them that strike to their core, they cannot then retain their intellectual objectivity. To be unique is to be uniquely subjective – and that requires you to face up to not only your positive side, but your negative one too. Of necessity, the negative one is the worst! When my Troll finally examines what is left of its soul, perhaps it will realize that it has left a few muddy footprints behind it.

        So, to Amersfoort for the afternoon.

      • The last cohorts in the UK to go through an education which offered logic, argument, reasoning, questioning to give to pupils to employ in their adult life was around the mid – sixties. We now have a generation and their children today few of whom who can rationalise their environment.
        My first business visits to the US in the late sixties exposed to me a population overwhelmingly of undereducated people.

        The Uk is now like this, parts of Europe are going the same way.

      • Dear Amersfoort,
        Where my heavy truck is parked over the weekend. I love to wash and polish him during my days off, and sit gazing at the barracks hoping to catch a glimpse of my dear kommandant whom I will be seeing tonight at 7.
        We will have a few drinks and take our regular bite at spud-u-like before retiring to the bunker for a night of passion together.

      • I’m printing this comment and will look at it ,remember it and learn from it……………..there is so much truth in what you say and my own very young children will benefit from it ,as will i.

    • Sir,
      I beg to differ,

      ….”A Troll – as seen in the last essay right here at the Slog – will copy relentlessly, yet bring nothing original or useful to the argument…..”
      other than expose a sham for what it is…

      …..”They all lack the necessary human element of creativity…..”
      more undiluted unthought out nonsense….

      One would expect more factual content from a leading figure (42-36-38) in the academic elite.

      • @the real Gemz
        Where have you been hiding? I’ve missed your snack suggestions, your wit, your unfailing advice on how to best handle curmudgeonly old tyrants, your nocturnal musings while preparing to tuck him in for the night, which frees you up to impart your pearls of wisdom to your fan-base. Welcome back.

      • @Zoom

        maybe you are not impressed, but to be quite honest with you, you are only unimpressed because so few people actually do anything. They just sit around nattering. All of JW’s profound words on integrity would have more meaning if he stood by them? It would show me that there is one person who does what they say.

        His whole rationale is that people are doing what they don’t say. Bankers, Politicians, Journalists? They are all of them lying to us, are they not? Yet those that tell the truth undermine themselves by not doing as they propose others should.

    • Dear Gemz the Real One,

      I notice that you have changed the colour of your Gravatar! It is very pretty, could you tell me where you got the colours as I would like to know where you came across it!

      I am assuming that most of you have seen that my Troll has used every inch of its imagination in finding a Gravatar for itself. That imagination stretched just as far as necessary to realize that I had changed the colour. Is this something to do with British education, that Trolls can copy such things with ease and pass them off as their own?

      • Madam,
        You are obsessed with Trolls – are you not.
        British education? Why would should that be? Britain leads the world in so many fields, it would not be necessary to tutor such imaginitive mischief.
        We visit The Slog to read your contribution some days. After all, you are a worldly renowned authoratitive figure (42-36-38) on Naked Derivatives and other High Finance. We are often dismayed at the unpatriotic comments you make about Great Britain, in favour of the European mainland which has kindly ( and at enormous cost ) accepted you into
        their folds.
        You must be a higher rate taxpayer, given the respect that you claim to generate, yet we are still actually waiting with anticipation to know exactly what your occupation is. In fact we wonder, even doubt whether you have any occupation other than residing in social accomodation blasting enormous and overheated toxic gases into the blogosphere.
        Please concentrate less on observing your own shadow in the gloom, and allow us to benefit from the great egotistical wisdom that you may
        posess and bathe us in the bright sunlight of some useful factual information relating to current affairs.

      • The Real Gemz

        what colour are we having next?

        Pick a colour, let me know and then you can copy it when I have changed my Gravatar.

      • @The Real Gemz

        no answers. What a pity. Perhaps you lack the imagination to think up a colour of your own? It wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Creativity needs to find its feet in the material world, yet plant-like must grow anew from the earth it grows in.

      o loverly

      so gemz, let me see now…basically what you’re saying is: when we’re all stony-broke and starving, we’re gonna have to snap-out of our delusionary economic cycle of thinking, grow-up quick, and come-up with summat sensible sharpish, or else we’re history?

      • i suppose a para-scientific summarization of what gemz is so serenely solipsisitic in propounding is, fundamentally: “fvck it”.

      • @Muther Nacher

        No, the idea is not to get to the point where we are all stony broke. That is the way we are going. To be fair to you, we are history, aren’t we? Just look at JW’s postings to see just how embedded these problems are, and we have the likes of The real Gemz to show us just how little JW actually will do in the circumstances – we need action, not words now. JW needs to show that he does what he preaches.

      • Dr Silver,
        in essence you are right, but not the last statement. Quite the opposite if you read my comment with the care with which it was written.

      • gemz@july 15, 2012 at 9:34 am

        Creativity needs to find its feet in the material world, yet plant-like must grow anew from the earth it grows in.

        sounds supiciously like slash-and-burn to me, gemz…new growth rising from the ashes and all that…or maybe you’re referring to something that starts after being instilled, or perhaps even distilled at home…

      • gemz@july 15, 2012 at 9:33 am

        i’m not exactly sure what you’re implying here – possibly that john is a closet happy-clappy tax-payer – however, i agree that the bankers are effectively laundering dodgy money and the politicians are brainwashing our kids in the universities.

      • Dr Sue

        Creativity needs to find its feet in the material world, yet plant-like must grow anew from the earth it grows in.

        sounds supiciously like slash-and-burn to me, gemz…new growth rising from the ashes and all that

        No, it is not. Indeed, very much the opposite. Let us take a little aside for a moment – you have immense creativity in the invention of names. Your ability here is your real creative strength. Yet it is largely immaterial – non material to be a little more careful with my wording. You can invent and invent until the cows come home, and yet make not the slightest difference to the way you live.

        Creating “in the manner of a plant” is to create via growth. That must needs be coupled to the “earth” if only in metaphorical terms. That means a stable and sensible foundation for your cause, business or endeavour.

        With that it matters not how small the seed is that you plant; the essence is that it can grow. My point is that it has nothing to do with “slash and burn”. That in the current circumstances is unnecessary. Any sensible business can run rings around large businesses – if but they knew how. I make my business as a marketer on precisely this premise. 95% of my competition is buying online clicks at $15 whilst I buy them at 25c. The difference is between making a loss and a profit – that is the bottom line after all. My point is that it is not the bottom line that counts, but the manner and the tactics in which I implement my marketing.

        The big businesses have the money to splash out on $15 clicks, I do not choose to do so, and frankly it is not necessary. Whilst big business – and anyone who thinks like them is content with that, I can run rings around them.

        They have aimed their gun carefully and with a great deal of skill. The weapon is loaded with a ton of explosives and the breech secured. The roar is deafening. The shot follows its path with accuracy. The onlookers are cowed by the sheer scale of the effect. They are in awe at how big everything was. There is a party to celebrate the firing. The tent is full, the waiters busy. The wine flows and everyone is happily chatting with their friends. They are telling the general that his explosion was simply the greatest thing. He is very pleased with himself.

        Somewhere far away, the shell falls into a lake like some stray golf-ball. It is twenty miles away from its intended target. Nobody hears the splash because it is over the horizon. Nobody sees the effect because there was none.

        http://thecatswhiskers.nl/14-4-12-ready-fire-aim.html

      • ahh…like when someone’s disturbed the naturally random distribution of dust on a shelf – it can’t be replaced without leaving some give-away mark or sign…or like plastic surgery…you can never make someone’s nose or skin look genuinely natural once you’ve started tampering with it…it’s like blog comments…they must contain a certain amount of screw-ups and crap or they just don’t ring right, right?

    • mmm…i think maybe she’s suggesting something far deeper than john…something rather naughty, illegal maybe…but oh yeah, i really dig it, it’s just so crazily intuitive and counter-intuitive at the same time, babes…such a wonderfully beautiful idea…burn the account books, front-up to reality, face the music…wow…

      • @Daughter of the Son,

        No, no illegal substances here. You are the kind of person who read Carlos Castaneda for the recipes. If you read the books carefully you would have read also what Castaneda had to do in order to rid himself of his addiction. Anyone with any sense will have read that sort of book with a lot of care.

        My suggestions are rather more down-to-earth and practical than shooting up or sniffing white stuff. Those are escapist ploys for the likes of The Real Gemz, our resident fool and amphibian. Burning the account books will not help either when the Inland Revenue bang on your door. Oh, and Britain is facing the music right now, or had you not noticed the economic slump??? Perhaps like me, you live in Northern Europe? Or maybe high and spaced out in pretty California (given the time of your posting).

      • nah…i was talking about about something far naughtier than that, i was talking about the naughtiest thing of all – t*x evasion – it doesn’t really have much to do with money, but comes under the general heading of “not helping thieving cvnts”. as regards the creativity of our political and financial elite, i must beg to differ, as they have all incontrovertibly proved themselves to be exceedingly creative in both the fields of accounting and of recounting fairy-tales – but i take your point, our ruling elite are confined to creativity within-the-box of the system they have nurtured, and which they continue to milk with the machinery of malice and criminal malpractice. furthermore, i agree that it’s most mysterious how our leaders have succeeded in developing this astounding creativity under the yoke of the politically censored and subverted intellectualism offered by a standard state university education, however i suspect that either they did not pay proper attention in class, or received in this respect some extra tuition at ‘prep’ and ‘boarding’ school – where no doubt they became as streetwise in evading the law as those of ‘lower’ birth whom the law persecutes by habit.

        in contradiction to your assertion, i’m sure that logic does in fact form the key to understanding our problems, and if it were taught at university, in such disciplines as economics, would help greatly our analysis of the state in which we now find ourselves – but obviously it is not taught, the establishment instead ensuring that its interns are corrupted with the illogical skills of short-term gain through immorality, and thus the scammers are over the hills and far away before the general populace have even become half-wise to the sneakery of our duplicitous toffs and the talented state-school toe-rags who act as their facilitators and personal factotums.

        the logical thinking you talk of is, i believe, in truth, lateral, and the lateral thinking of which you speak is in reality logical.

      • Box Phile

        thankyou for your long response. I will respond to it all by taking just a snippet.

        i’m sure that logic does in fact form the key to understanding our problems, and if it were taught at university, in such disciplines as economics, would help greatly our analysis of the state in which we now find ourselves

        If life were logical, economics would follow logical paths, would it not?

        Well now. One of the fundamentals of economics is counting. Simple. In any sensible tax authority they use the chi-squared test. Most observers look at this with their usual level of insight and go to describe it further as “a chi-squared test”. But please, what are Chis and why should we wish to square them? In any case what have Chis to do with accountancy or the tax authority at all?

        Imagine that you count the digits that form the numbers on a page or spreadsheet. Logically they would all be roughly the same quantity, yes? Logically there would be as many 1s or 4s used as any other digit?

        It is an answer that you can find out for yourself, indeed you can do it on any group of figures you choose. It is practically universal and practically impossible to evade.
        Benford’s Law and the Belastingdienst

        My point in saying this is that logic is a very poor tool when it comes to understanding the fundamentals of any human or natural activity. Logic is confined to your current mind-set, and if that is giving you the wrong answers, you need then to change the assumptions you make in order to apply logic. There is a manner of thinking that works within that realm of assumptions. Use that power, and you have something that needs no box to define itself. It is the thinking that needs no definitions whatsoever.

        I could go on about drugs – but again you cannot use the standard, logical or intellectual reasonings to explain their real effects as drugs, quite literally, step outside the box. That is their joy, their relaxing facility – and above all, their danger.

      • so you’re referring to reliance on a gut-feeling that something’s amiss – when the for-some-reason skewed, or cooked figures, suggest otherwise?

      • Box Phile

        No gut feelings. Simple, graphical analysis. If the tax authorities regularly use these measures, it is unlikely to be wooly minded or experiential, is it?

      • ahh…like when someone’s disturbed the naturally random distribution of dust on a shelf – it can’t be replaced without leaving some give-away mark or sign…or like plastic surgery…you can never make someone’s nose or skin look genuinely natural once you’ve started tampering with it…it’s like blog comments…they must contain a certain amount of screw-ups and crap or they just don’t ring right, right?

  8. I don’t think Theresa May will go. The reason for her not being sacked is perhaps is Cameron ‘knocking her off’?

  9. Dear John
    Time to cheer you up. You deserve it, being one who truly cares. The gloomy future you predict, will never come to pass. In about six month’s time, our world will be awash with Peace, Abundance, and Love. Truly. Nothing can stop Ascension on 21Dec, 2012, for Gaia (Mother Earth), and every Soul, and creature, upon this planet. And did you know, every Soul on this planet is immortal, and many have lived thousands of lives? That is the Truth. All you have to do is read a single paragraph, from any one of the Spritual Beings, who channel messages daily, down to us, and you will instantly realise, they truly are highly spiritual, not to menton loving, and come in God’s name. They PROMISE us that the Illuminati, NWO, et ilk, will no longer be in power. All that you wish, and billions more of us, will come to pass. And I can truly make that a promise also. Cheer up my friend. Think of the buffoons from Bullingdon getting their comeuppance. Enough to put a smile on anybody’s face! Sadly, gloating is not allowed, when those who have committed heinous crimes, are punished. We are urged to show compassion. This is how magnificently spiritual, and forgiving they are. And they are constanly showering us wih their love, because they, and there are literally thousands of civilisations, from many Universes, in our skies right now, every last one in awe of the Souls on this planet. Who chose to be here for Gaia’s, and Ours, Ascension. Our bravery, so they tell us, is beyond compare. So, cheer up John, you, and I, and many others, are manificent Souls. And the sooner you realise this, your day will brighten immensely. And you desrve some bright days. Not many left! Cheers. God bless. .

    • Dear bigbwana, there may be much in what you say. I was privileged many years ago to be shown the concept of expanding consciousness – and very liberating it was too. But the time for universal liberation is not at hand yet … and until it is, I want the elites’ bollocks on a plate and their heads on sticks outside the Tower.

      I suspect my soul’s journey has some way to go :-)

      • And I would like to help you with the impaling! Here are some truly enlightening websites. Many more. the2012scenario; aquariouschannelings, treeofthegoldenlight; ascensionearth2012. You are most welcome, my friend.

      • Mine, too!

        As an agnostic, I have doubts about the existence of an immortal soul or any kind of afterlife, reincarnation, or whatever. But what follows from that is a fundamental respect for the lives of everyone; if this is the only life they will ever get, it’s profoundly immoral to prematurely deprive them of it.

        For some of the lying, cheating, thieving, rent-seeking scumbags who glory in lording their unearned social status over us plebs, though… I’d be tempted to make an exception. I don’t enjoy the obvious fact that this makes me something of a hypocrite but I’m forced to concede that in this matter, I am one.

      • Dear Woodgome (lovely name, and more prescient that you know; but soon will!) Six months’ ago, I’m 64, I was the Grand Wizard of the Agnostics. Then I discovered the Galactic Federation. Instead of trying to pick some winners this afternoon, pick the GF. Trust me, this will be the biggest winner of all time, in this lifetime.

      • Caractacus, hear, hear! Nothing else will give satisfaction,except perhaps, bodies hanging from lamposts all the way up Whitehall!
        As for direct democracy, this might work, as any new political party seems to get infiltrated & subverted by establishment scum.

      • bigbwana,

        hearing of your indefinite love for the galactic federation, i sense that we may be sharing a journey on the same surreal celestial plane…and as it so happens, i’ve knocked-up a rocket which will soon be in readiness for escaping this rudely ravaged world, and traversing to an altogether more spiritual level of existence in the solar sanctum of the upper stratosphere…for sure, i’d be most mutually energized if you’d care to join me in this venture of irreversible revelation, because there’s been a spate of cancellations by those suffering from wavering transcendental momentum…i don’t comprehend what unhomeopathic vibe infected their souls, but it struck in exact cosmic synchronicity with the pronouncement that i would be voyaging on the maiden trip…with some citing fears of “getting stuck in-orbit”, as i do believe…so, please come for a spin in space with moi…and i can assure you that your carbon footprint will be completely re-captured, compensated-for and fully factored into the cost of the ticket: only $200000 to you, mate.

      • oh yeah dickie b, sounds way-out and into the realm beyond, man…hey, you don’t reckon you could sub me up for the seat-price, could you man? see, i don’t wanna get stung…

    • Sometimes you have to just turn off the the computer for a little while, find a bit of nice countryside that hasn’t yet been wrecked by silly greedy mankind and go for a lovely walk. Someone nice made this world, that I do know.

      • hey, we’re all cool, politically neutral guys down here in the meadow, man – feel free to come sit on my neighbour’s humble little hilltop residence – anti’s ever such a hospitable fella, and he usually gives visitors a small something to take home as a souvenir.

  10. I have no love for Karl Marx, but he called this exactly.
    Capitalism destroying itself.
    Whether 95% of the populace anywhere will tear its attention
    away from the TV and notice.Hmmm..
    That’s another question altogether.

    • We do not live in a capitalist system IMO, it’s Facist. Facism is the merger of corporations and government joined by a revolving door. It is indeed destroying itself as it creates an increasingly inhospitable environment for free market business to thrive.

      • @Free market zen: Absolutely spot on and very well articulated.

        There’s been a close relationship between government and important corporates for a very long time in Britain, historically often through nationalisation. Since privatisation we have seen the classic fascist relationship develop and the so-called regulators like Ofcom are in bed with their industries and amount to little more than government control at arms length, all busily working against the public interest.

  11. “for the foreseeable future, monied power will be the most pervasive and perverting force in our culture. Stop the flow of it towards Whitehall and Westminster, and you change the whole game overnight.”

    Very good essay John, but I’m not quite sure that you’ve hit the nail on the head here. To my way of thinking, there’s a more powerful obstacle than monied power to the return of social decency. What we have is a pathological imbalance between self-interest and reciprocity, where the cultural idée fixe has become that any thought of reciprocity is unnecessary, since the pursuit of naked self-interest is the guaranteed way to a prosperous and contented society. We don’t have any chance of becoming decent again until it becomes common practice for people, when considering courses of action, to be able to answer “yes” to the following two questions:-

    1. Will what I propose to do be good for me and for those I love?

    2. Would I accept it as fair if someone else took the action that I propose to do, and I was on the receiving end?

      • kfc1404

        Well I think so, yes. I appreciate that it’s not always possible to equate things which suit oneself with things which suit other people, but I don’t see this difficulty as a reason to discard completely the concept of reciprocity.

        Moreover, it has surely become blindingly obvious that naked self-interest, collectively, does not result in a prosperous and contented society, so isn’t it about time we confronted the lazy and convenient idée fixe that it does? Isn’t it about time that we realised that we have a choice between more than just self-interest and altruism – we can opt for actions which benefit us but for which we are prepared to give compensation so that they are no worse than neutral to anyone else. It’s time to put on the bonfire the idea that it’s socially OK for someone to benefit at the expense of someone else.

      • @simon stephenson

        we can opt for actions which benefit us but for which we are prepared to give compensation so that they are no worse than neutral to anyone else. It’s time to put on the bonfire the idea that it’s socially OK for someone to benefit at the expense of someone else.

        surely the only way to regulate that particular ideal is for everyone to engage in pure and unadulterated free-market capitalism?

  12. You may be right about attacking the power of money; I don’t know, and I remain sceptical in the face of the bland obduracy of the elites.

    Short of five million of us linking arms, defying the police to kettle us, and marching on parliament to burn the whole place down, what can be done ?

    A great pity that your excellent piece cannot be printed by the million and dropped from the air on every part of Britain.

    • @Mukoshi: If you could get 5 million to link arms you would not see a policeman anywhere.
      It is, I believe our only hope, to overwhelm the scumbags and hang them.
      It’s much too late for a ‘ballot box’ solution. We could make a start by burning down banks, start with the High st and work our way up. Most people don’t know that the banks don’t insure their buildings, they work on the premise that if, say one big branch was completely destroyed it would cheaper to rebuild the branch from scratch that pay one years premium on all their buildings, and history tells them that not many burn down. We could change that for them, it wouldn’t take many before the banks were destroyed, and destroy the banks and we will get back a government that will answer to its electorate.
      Just a thought…..

      • Touched a nerve to raw? Yes, of course, so, accept the coming storm, if you are not prepared to try and avoid it, then you must draw the blinds and pretend you can do nothing.

  13. Should have said, JW, what a beautiful piece of writing this article is. All the rot summed up so precisely & succintly. We congratulate you.

  14. John,
    Just one point of information – Brown didn’t sell MOST of Britain’s gold reserves, he sold about 60%, somewhere in the 390-odd tons. Still a hell of a lot and still not officially explained.

    I’ve only become aware of The Slog in the last few months – it’s superb stuff.
    DavidC

  15. …Brown got into bed with the bankers, but got nothing in return for it

    In the context of your long essay this is a relatively small but important point. I believe Brown & Blair did get something out of their new relationship with the banks which went right to the heart of what Blair’s New Labour project was really all about: Demonstrating to the British public that Labour had finally found a way of getting on with The City, (historically, they hated each other with Old Labour always itching to nationalise the banks), a shift away from that and towards corporatism (govt and banks in bed with each other and taxpayers’ money used as the insurer of last resort). It was a mutual corporatist arrangement which paved the way for the banks’ funding support for the unsustainable Brown credit boom. Banks were attracted by huge profits, the abolition of regulations and nothing to lose.
    When it all went south, Brown had little choice but to fulfil his obligations to his new corporatist bedmates by pouring £billions of taxpayers’ money in to save them. For him in the run up to an election, the alternative was unthinkable.

    • @kfc: I agree with Redwood’s comparison of the public’s unequal treatment between banks and drug companies but not with his solution.
      Fines for malpractices are all well and good but for me the only way to end corporate corruption is to impose serious criminal penalties on those involved. And to make it easy for the prosecuting authorities, those at the top should be held criminally liable unless they can demonstrate their innocence. After all, it is the senior management of any corporation who are paid to run the company and comply with the law. It is them who must take responsibility for any malpractice that happens. IMV without criminal sanctions, malpractice will continue.

      • @BT: We have corporate resonsibilty now, but I am not sure how far the law extends, certainly if a driver of a company vehicles kills someone then, they are (the directors) are responsible. I have yet to read about a successful prosection.

      • @kfc: OK. I was thinking about US laws on *corporate governance* which hold the top-dogs legally accountable for what their subordinates get up to …and of course enforcement of them. Exactly the same kind of laws should apply to the public sector.

  16. Stirring stuff John. So I genuinely ask:

    what can we do next?

    What business and corporate interests are vulnerable to the voices and actions of us unwashed masses? I’ve been racking my brain as to what would be a logical step, but writing emails to tescos or boycotting certain institutions etc doesnt seem like it could have too significant an effect. I’m curious to hear what you may think is a good idea. I know you have no desire to be a pied-piper of mass indignation but I know there’s a few options rolling around in your head that we as a group could develop.

    But again, great piece. When it’s all laid out in a few paragraphs like this it becomes impossible to ignore.

    • @cl every little helps. E.g

      -Move money from the big banks

      -Buy local and not from big corporations

      – Stop voting

      – spread the word, send a link to this article to two people

      Every small gesture has the opportunity to bring a a smile to ones face, and it all adds up. Do nothing and nothing will change.

      • @FMZ: already done 95% of the above. Now I’m restless for more and I’m looking for something bigger. My eyes are very much on people moving money out of banks on a large scale. Try as they might to convince the world: financial institutions still need retail deposits to act as their “blood”.

        Trouble is that mutuals in my part of the world (Ireland) have question marks over their viability (they had a lot of exposure to the property madness).

        Makes it hard to convince others to leave the bank when the alternative doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

    • for what it’s worth i think we should all streak through the city of london in our birthday suits – i don’t know if it will do any good, but i’m sure it will be lots of fun.

      • sorry love, running naked is now deemed an officially protected olympic activity – but naturally, being members of the inner olympic cartel, willy hague and i are still permitted to indulge in our early morning freikörperkultur fell-runs.

  17. Christ drove the moneylenders out of the temple for a reason.
    St. Paul: For the love of money is the root of all evil. (1 Timothy 6:10)
    Bigbwana. Our Lady of Guadalupe trumps the Aztec/Mayan civilizations. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtxJxoMqE9A&feature=related Not the Galactic Federation
    God has given the momentous events to come to her Immaculate Heart. This is Catholic teaching. There is nothing that we can do, only She can and will triumph over evil in this world.

    Yes there is a chastisement happening, then man will be brought back to God and His holy Catholic Church, and man will understand where he belongs…until he is led astray, again by the Antichrist incarnate from the tribe of Dan, the man of sin (as St. Paul calls him).

  18. O/T but had to share…
    “UK Citizenship Test. The use of which phrase is legally restricted in the UK: a) “F***ing black c**t”
    b) “London Olympic Games”?”

    • definitely b): the word “olympic” is an officially protected trademark.

      the athens bailouts were in fact compensation settlements for use of said trademarks – they’re bloody clever these greeks.

  19. Internet trolls are a classic example: they turn up, blame you for being successful, accuse you of mendacity, but take no responsibility for obeying The Slog’s house rules – viz, no obscenity….or personal attacks based on zero evidence. This is a self-completing virtuous circle of a house rule, as it preselects trolls and then enables me to ban them.

    https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/at-the-end-of-the-day-159/

    Is it not time for Mr Ward to stand by his word? Or is it in vain that he speaks?

    • The debate about Internet trolls has been put aside due to the higher importance of the judgement published by a Cologne regional court last month calling the religious rite of circumcision a criminal act. When we have considered everyone’s point of view the agenda may then be subjected to the importance or otherwise of trolling activities.

      • i’d like to congratulate the krauts on this judgement, yet somehow, as in the terry race-case, feel that the obsessive intrusion of the state into private personal and family matters is going way way too far. circumcision, male or female, is heathen.

  20. Blimey. Piers Morgan mentioned in the same breath with Bob Diamond, Peter mandelson. etc. Careful, he’s known to suffer from delusions of grandeur.

  21. We know we are entrapped by the present banking system. We cannot go about our daily lives without the use of an ATM or the ability to pay our household bills ,using cheque accounts ,standing orders, direct debits, loans and mortgages etc.
    What to do?
    We have suggestions to organise a new political organisation, but this is a long, laborious, bureaucratic, expensive, undertaking, with no guarantee of success and in my opinion not a realistic alternative. Money reform movements have been about for near a 100 years with zilch improvements in the system.
    We require direct action now. We have used up all our complaining, grousing time on the blogosphere. We need to learn lessons from the bankers operation and leach onto existing systems and influence them from inside their networks.
    We need to be involved with our local political parties at Local Councillor level and upwards. Here we can leverage influence on local and national issues.
    Which political party to adhere to, is immaterial, these days they are much alike in their incapacity to make significant change. Best to engage whichever is in the majority in any particular area. To make a difference in our democracy, one must have a majority. We are thru’ fighting lost causes from a minority angle. Of course this is a cynical and opportunist proposal, but we must fight fire with fire and this is how the real world works. One needs a strong stomach to deal with the criminally corrupt Oligopoly of our banking and political institutions, this is no time or place for the faint hearted. We do not have the time or the luxury to wallow in our political scruples.
    On the financial front we can make more use of our existing CO-OP bank system and credit unions. These are ‘up and running organisations’, we just need to give them more momentum and steer them to our requirements by investing our money with them.
    Remember ,when you open an account at a Credit Union or a Co-op bank ,you are automatically a member of the organisation, with a vote in its decisions.
    The Co-op bank is in negotiations at present to buy over 600 redundant LloydsTSB branch offices. Never before has there been such an opportunity to starve the Big Four of our deposits. Let us use this opportunity to strike them where it hurts, in their deposit base.
    There are millions of pounds channelled through our Local Council Offices, NHS, Police, Fire Brigades, Local Education Authority , etc every year. Let us lobby via our Local Council to have this money cleared via our CO-OP banks and away from the Big Four, High St. parasites.
    The Bank of North Dakota is a State bank in the USA, where all state taxes and inward Federal funds are channelled. It is one of the few solvent banks in the US and N.Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the US. Their funds are loaned out into the local economy and not used for speculation.
    One of the biggest problems in our society today is the high unemployment rate, especially among our youth. There are few jobs available and even less with a career path.
    J.M. Keynes, the eminent economist, stated ‘take care of jobs and the budget will take care of itself’. What he inferred is that when people are employed in productive work they have money to spend and also pay taxes. This becomes a virtuous cycle of high employment and prosperity for the nation.
    We badly require investment in our Industrial base. The present Big Four banks have neglected this investment since the ‘70’s, and prefer the easy ,risk free investment in property mortgages and speculation in derivatives trading. This does not create wealth, but token funny money. That particular party has proven to be Fools Gold, as witnessed by our present debt crisis and insolvency of our Big Four banks.
    We require a State sponsored Industrial Development Bank , to invest in productive, wealth creating enterprises and also create jobs. The recent suggestion by Vince Cable to convert the 83% taxpayer owned RBS bank to this purpose was derided in the main stream media, acting as mouthpieces for the banking cabal, who do not wish their cozy monopoly to be disturbed.
    Since the demise of the Gold Standard in 1971, the banks have taken advantage of the false neo-liberal orthodoxies and de-regulation to speculate in the shadow banking system. They have collapsed the world economy by blowing up the amount of credit money in circulation to unsustainable levels, using derivatives based on property mortgages and commodities.
    The debt is now way out of proportion to the underlying assets and can never be reconciled ,as it is growing exponentially, thanks to the power of compound interest.
    The only solution to this is a write-off of these debts. This day of judgement has been postponed for over 5 years and the debt money grows ,making the eventual correction all the more painful.
    For this reason the continuation of directing billions of QE money by Mervyn King at the Bank of England to the dysfunctional, corrupt banking cartel is a lesson in futility. This QE money is best directed to an Industrial Development Bank, to revive our manufacturing base,creating real wealth and employment.

    The above suggestions do not address the injustice and fraudulent system of our money creation process, but it offers a path to work around it and a first step to influencing a change.
    Those with the money control the Power. We, the People, have money, but we are allowing others to use our money to influence power. Let us reclaim the use of our money.

    • Salford Lad

      Remember ,when you open an account at a Credit Union or a Co-op bank ,you are automatically a member of the organisation, with a vote in its decisions.
      The Co-op bank is in negotiations at present to buy over 600 redundant LloydsTSB branch offices. Never before has there been such an opportunity to starve the Big Four of our deposits. Let us use this opportunity to strike them where it hurts, in their deposit base.

      Is this not what the Slog is all about? Mutuals are reciprocal and democratic – the big four banks are neither. I would be concerned at a mutual getting too big, but that is a detail.

      In a democratic society “using money to influence power” should not occur. Power should be influenced by people and their needs, yet these things are easily forgotten by those walking the tightrope of leadership.

      Putting people first has always been the way to a better economy. It does mean treating them with a degree of respect that is frequently forgotten in our computer-dominated world.

      • as far as i understand, the co-operative bank is not a mutual society but a normal commercial bank owned by the co-operative banking group whose sole shareholder is the co-operative group – which customers may choose to join as members.

      • Sir,

        ”…..yet these things are easily forgotten by those walking the tightrope of leadership….”

        The Leader is someone who people follow…
        Therefore it is the followers who walk the tightrope if you like the expression, not the leader, who has the choice of 360 degrees in which to take the next step.

        I do apologise for getting this point wrong. As a leading figure (42-36-38) in international financial management circles it is very unusual for me to make a minor mistake.

        I will be trying on my new bikini this afternoon.

      • @Fly in the Current

        the Co-operative bank is indeed a banking group, not a mutual. It is however, a step in the right direction, is it not?

      • gemz, the co-operative bank is worryingly monolithic and also claims to be ‘ethical’ – personally i rate honesty, integrity and an ability to do sums better than i can.

      • @Fly in the Current

        at least the Co-operative bank – for all the faults you mention and a heap of others – is not a monolithic institution bent on twisting truth and undermining our economy simply for the sake of profit.

    • salford lad, total political and financial abstinence is the only way achieve your goal.

      what you propose – engaging with local government and paying taxes via your friendly local debt-collector – just seems to be crawling up the arse of the establishment by another route (the pisshole).

    • @Salford Lad: There are certainly major problems with the current system, but your solutions will not work. How do I know this? Because many have been tried by the Labour Party for decades and ended in disaster. Keynesian economics is what got us into this mess, it sure won’t get us out of it. What will is free market enterprise, small govt, lower taxes, fewer socialist regulations etc etc. The idea that a state bank will know who to lend money to is laughable and would become little more than a slush-fund bank for the corrupt Labour Party to lend money to its cronies. And who would back this go-getter state bank? Why yes, the taxpayer of course. No thanks.
      Why do people look to The State to solve the problems? It is The State that got us into this mess.

      • BT

        someone has to do something, sometime. Just Trolling around will achieve nothing (see the Real Gemz, above). People in Europe need to deal with the facts of modern industrial economies – those of scale and efficiency. Modern businesses usually chase the bottom line, which is only to get caught in this trap.

        Have you some better suggestions than just telling everyone what is going wrong? Sure, the State got us into this mess, but then so did the political parties, banks, etc. etc. Stating the obvious will get us nowhere.

      • @Gemz: I thought I’d already mentioned the solutions above.

        Sure, it isn’t just the State, it’s political parties too, but in essence they are one and the same thing in this context. And between them – since communism withered away as a disaster – all the little despots and wannabe commie elites have now shifted across to fascism and created a set of policies which are fascist in nature. We now have a new 21st century fascism in our midst. The major difference is who owns the big corporates. The State still attempts to control and direct them for its own benefit (in Britain, via useless quangos like Ofcom). I’m saying that the State should get out of economic activity and leave it to free market enterprise, save acting as *facilitator* and oversight regulator. When a bank goes belly up the State should not step in with taxpayers’s money. Reduce socialist regulation (regulatory compliance shot up from £11 billion pa to £84 billion pa under Blair. That’s quite insane).
        Importantly, introduce severe penalties for abuse and dishonesty. In my little world, many banksters (and political elites) would be in the dock right now looking forward to the slammer. I want to see honest free market capitalism reintroduced, not the crony/fascist capitalism that’s taken root due to political corruption, interference and lax oversight.

  22. Stop the flow of money to Whitehall and Westminster.
    Agreed. The UK government usurped the power of the English and Scottish people by creating the union of Parliaments which is no more than an international treaty which can be dissolved by either party. It may(or may not) have worked well for 300 or so years but we live now in different times. North of the border the people of Scotland will have a say in whether the union is continued or not, South of the border they will have no say. My Scottish friends tell me the anti independence slant in the media – the BBC – (the clue is in the name) and the “Scottish editions of other MSM titles has to be read to be believed. (or not believed). The MOD is currently asset stripping on behalf of the UK and I don’t doubt that other departments they have control of are experiencing the same. Fortunately the Scottish NHS is safe meantime. For a healthy read on the Scottish position visit and read http://www.newsnetscotland.com
    If you take all the arguments made against the UK being in the EU, then try substituting Scotland for the UK and the UK for the EU, you may get a glimpse of understanding of what the Scots want. Merely to ensure that the people of Scotland have control of how the money in Scotland is raised, and how it is spent.
    Which is what the people of England would want too.
    Sorry I’m late to the Saturday Essay – been working all day.

  23. ‘The police, the media, every major financial market on Earth, MPs, bankers private and central, sporting organisations, security companies, senior Civil Servants, most of our media, and a large proportion of the UK Cabinet are utterly covered in the malodorous filth that results from swimming without remorse in a veritable Olympic pool of sleazy mire.’

    And that’s just the Olympics! John, a splendidly comprehensive sentence that deserves to be framed and hung on a virtual wall somewhere.

  24. “Two years ago a mentor and friend suggested a website idea to me called Trial by Internet.”

    Doesn’t sound so far fetched to me.
    Something along the lines of “WikiTrial”. Allowing evidence to be compiled and preserved on the net for users to view, comment on and add to. All the while bringing offences and offenders to the forefront.

  25. Wow, what a synopsis! I think I did more head nodding than head shaking, and (belligerently) shared this with 100+ Facebook friends. I really hope the message sticks with a few…

    Great stuff John! Keep being a catalyst like this and you might just succeed in making (us make a) real difference…

    Your best yet! Thanks.

  26. Bravo…..agree with your summation of the problem……its true we have lost sight of basic principles……..greed, selfishness, even theft have become acceptable.
    I am not particularly religious but somewhere along the way we have lost our religion plus, without thinking about it, all of the advantages that went with it…… actually religion and acceptable principles are not directly linked although of course closely associated……you dont have to have a religilion to have an ethical code basically……… Classic case of the baby and the bathwater getting rejected together……
    How to turn the clock back and reintroduce these things? …….firstly you would have to at least recognise that there is a shortfall and that its the cause…….

  27. An incredible eye opening and tear inducing read I salute the writer and the countless time and effort spent in research.
    Makes me feel sad for the world in which I live in ,one run by power hungry greed merchants.
    Anger and frustration can be wasted emotions as far as this lot is concerned but I live in hope that if more people werent distracted by the cynical media attempts to peddle celebrity fake isms and reality tv they may take more of an interest in their own lives than they do in the lives I people like the kardashians .

  28. Pingback: The Saturday Essay ( The Slog) | Machholz's Blog

  29. Concurring with all the above who praise your Essay, I would like to bring in a Monday morning thought.

    You don’t go far enough.

    This doesn’t have to be seen as criticism, because what you have eloquently stated is all beautifully stated and true.

    However, “strike while the iron is hot” came to mind on Sunday afternoon, as I realised that the MSM could be trapped by blatant market rigging and persuaded to acknowledge the conspiracy theorists have been right all along. Is it perhaps ripe for a slogger to attack full frontal?

    To the point: there is a Big Picture which needs some simple, cursory examination to “get”. I cannot do this as I’m not a professional wordsmith, but an approximation to my thoughts follows.

    There is a conspiracy. That should be Conspiracy. It has been lovingly formulated over decades, *or millenia, but came sharply into focus in the last decade.

    Semantic explanation here, conspiracy or secret foreign policy initiatives involving billions of dollars to maintain world power. As an ally Britain is more of a rival than any enemy, that’s the first point. The second is that, to make sure no other power can make autonomous decisions, the rival must be subverted. And Britain has seen subversion on a grand scale, hasn’t it.

    The economic collapse is a military attack performed through silent weapons, though the victims might not die instantly. The results are apparent in the commodities exchanges, the legislation around which has changed dramatically in the last decade or so. Or the subversion of mortgage markets, or capturing pension funds or savings accounts to convert digital zeros to real money. Anything and everything is being “privatised”, or nicked. Corporatism or fascism is one big Matt Taibbi squid clamped on our faces.

    The objective is a united-under-one-force Western world, or a new world coopted through subversive means. The US will fuse/merge with the EU and UK through stealth, conducted by agents in all blocks. US legislation will converge with European by 2015, as it is also fusing and merging with Mexico and Canada as we speak by way of the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

    “The top U.S. trade official effectively has said that the administration must keep TPP secret because otherwise it won’t be able to shove this deal past the public and Congress,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.”

    Well, the people certainly wouldn’t like it if they knew about the rest of the conspiracy either, hence the mountainous piles of steaming lies which everyone is vaguely conscious of or violently gagging on, in all circles and sectors of society.

    It IS a huge conspiracy but the conscious perpetrators are few whereas the majority are unconscious — stupidity, greed and vanity being all. Those of us who perceive some part of the plot stick to a miopic, one-topic view and concentrate on the minutiae.

    The New World Order is being brought in and we will have it whether we like it or not, so Rockafella said.

    There will be nothing New about the New Rulers though. The only thing New will be the Totality of the “fascist” comeback.

    It’s not just the preordained Financial Collapse, predicted in 2002 by conspiracy seers. Or just the seemingly “incompetent” corrupt political actors. It’s the corruption and destabilization of “the West” (deliberately, gradually and inexorably) in its entirety for unannounced political purposes.

    Major distractions or ploys which ensure that people don’t notice the lies too much include: the Entertainment Industry, the robbery of language (Big Brother, Free Market), the invented War on (of) Terror, the non-existence of Rule of Law truly In Your Face. Religion is old hat, so enter the New Age Movement for those who can’t live without: millions upon millions of idiots are being sucked down this rabbit hole with breaktaking success, and there they sit on mountaintops. Good. They won’t be doing any fighting in the streets then.

    This wretched Conspiracy is Biblical, both in proportions and probably in source, a radical theory to depopulate and crush the entire globe, not unusual for “cull” masters. Some say of the 9 billion planetary population, the objective is the eradiction of 6 billion. Some say more, an objective of 140,000 survivors. Shouldn’t we be looking more closely at the incubators of collapse-on-all-fronts?

    What to do? You’re doing it. Very very well, and thank you. Just think there is an all encompassing framework to the story. Our enemies are juvenile and simplistic, and once recognised could be defeated if caught with their underpants down. I feel we are inches away, but galaxies apart.
    Thank you for reading …

  30. Pingback: GREECE: More astonishing graft in senior ranks of Athens banking system… | A diary of deception and distortion

  31. Pingback: CORPORATE CRIME: Nothing to see here, move along now please… | A diary of deception and distortion

  32. Pingback: John Ward – Corporate Crime : Nothing To See Here, Move Along Now Please… – 26 July 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

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