Funny how I missed this during the summer – I was in hospital, I think.
Kaa the Snake
This video is Henry Paulson, stumbling and squirming, as he struggles to evade quite simple questions for someone in his position. (I talked about his deceit last year here and here, at the start of the “Credit Crunch”).
His performance reminds me of the terror of the aristocrats during the French Revolution, as they struggled to justify their actions and lives in order to escape Monsieur le Guillotine.
Lives of power, wealth and privilege.
Watch him panic.
Why can’t he answer, simply, the reasons for the various preferential bank collapses, bailouts and the huge sums of money gained by himself and his cronies?
It was his job as a professional, after all…?
Unfortunately, we’ll never know. The ‘rules of engagement’ for this type of investigation set a time limit on Congressman Stearns‘ questions.
But in a true court of law, there is no time limit to determine a level of satisfactory proof.
And so Paulson walked away, secure with his $200 million tax-free cushion, protectively engineered by a system and rules that he himself set up!
There’s an extra interview, with quotes, of Cliff Stearns in this YouTube clip below that explains much that the Congressman couldn’t ask directly to Paulson.
How Bad was Thatcher’s Recession compared to the Current Economic Slump?
Q. Well, how would you find out, exactly?
A. Surprisingly easily. This graph here compares historical economic slumps with the current one, on a month by month basis. It’s taken from the “National Institute of Economic and Social Research” (NIESR) website here. Notionally, it’s an academic institution, but on examining it’s staff and management you’ll see that it’s a collection of vested interest groups, supplying a “knowledge base”.
But There’s No Denying their Facts!
The current slump is in black and the fall seems to have plateaued out a bit. It’s tracking something like the red line and the green line. So what you see is the Green Line, which is Thatcher’s Slump, being nearly as bad as the depression in the 1930s (the red line)!
However, in Thatcher’s time, Britain was awash with North Sea oil wealth! Coal mines were still producing horrendous quantities of fuel and North Sea Gas had been on-stream for years.
In short, the country was sound with it’s own supplies of energy, dependant on no-one. And yet, it had the worst economic state since the great depression!
So much for Thatcher’s miracle!
The current labour government has not been blessed with such good fortune during the current slump. Britain is now a huge energy importer and is vulnerable to the vagaries of the market in oil as we saw last year.
Where Did the Money Go in Thatcher’s Time?
Thatcher Explains All
The legacy of Thatcher’s time in office was leaking schools everywhere, a crumbling rail network, hived off bus services that redefined “service”, a crumbling road system, paid-for medical treatment…. an almost endless list!
So where did the money go?
Where did the strategic national energy reserves of oil, coal and gas go?
Where did Britain’s manufacturing industry go?
Well the energy was burnt to get money to pay people on the dole.
Britain’s manufacturing (and most of the Western world’s) went to China and would have happened anyway
That leaves the money. Where did the money go?
A. Tax havens, that’s where.
Thatcher and all conservatives of that ilk whine on about making a country fit for the entrepreneurial spirit. But their actions, both now and historically, for the most part, go soundly against that spirit. (I’m thinking particularly of Ashcroft here who may be entrepreneurial but whose contributions to UK PLC as opposed to Tory Ltd have been minimal…)
It’s in their name – conservative.
Their gut reaction is to hoard wealth, and if they can’t do it at home, they’ll do it abroad (like Shirley Porter). Remember, the wealth of “The City” is not derived from the re-invested wealth of landowning Tories suddenly looking for a home for their money once local industries had gone. It comes from abroad. There’s no way they’d invest their own money in infrastructure or development. Sheesh!
Their other modus operandi is to do as little as possible for the country while maintaining the status quo. Hence, this is why all large companies and financial institutions are full of the same old people, having the same background and speaking the same language. The banks and other institutions behind the economic collapse are headed by these people, who flit from government to the military, to law, ‘business’ and finance with impunity. Anywhere that’ll keep them busy, keep them wealthy and keep them pulling strings.
True, many do ‘charitable’ activities and are on the controlling side of many charities. But that’s purely dressage. Being involved with charity does not make you a good person. You just look good. In a truly civilised society there should be no need whatsoever for charity. It’s a definition of civilised, or being civil, in my book.
Worms from Woodwork
Now, with the piss-poor Labour government and their own side’s resurgence all the old tories are all coming out of the woodwork again. The odious slimery is oozing forth like the dark stain from history that it is. The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) is one such place.
The CPS, created by… Thatcher!… in 1974, proclaims it’s freedom credentials from it’s lofty privileged position. Among it’s luminaries is Thatcher’s advertiser (Saatchi) and the European gaffer of Goldmann Sachs, one of the companies internationally bailed out with public funds and one of those businesses at the forefront of the whole current economic mess! Most of the rest seem to have had various Tory positions over the last two decades. So much for independent think tank! (By the way, the CPS is a pseudo-charity – a non-profit-making organisation which relies on the donations of individuals and companies to carry out its work!!)
Part of the CPS’s ‘current thinking’ is to roll back the surveillance culture that has developed under Labour. Personally, I can’t see it happening…
The trouble is, as has just been revealed in a book supposedly derived from recently released archive material from MI5, (The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5), like all power-grabbers, Thatcher used MI5 for her own ends. She used MI5 to discredit Red Robbo the Trades Union Leader and had tabs on Scargill. Prime Minister Wilson even had the tabs on him and ordered tabs on others…. and so it goes. (see Book tells of MI5’s secret past – the fact is that Margaret Thatcher demanded action from MI5 to deal with “wreckers” in British industry and yet it was herself that wrecked that same industry!.)
That’s why I see it as highly unlikely that Cameron, if the Tories get in, will roll back the shutters on our increasingly closeted and shuttered state apparatus. He’s there purely to re-instate the old status quo….
To keep jobs for the boys
Re-exert the dominant power structures of the state and the wealthy, bolstering their unhealthy connections to their former pre-eminence
Say that all the new hospitals and schools which have replaced all the leaking and collapsing ones, would have happened anyway…
Say that the new fast rail links would have happened anyway without government sponsorship
Ensure that money stashed abroad by the wealthy remains unreachable by the state
Bring back smoking in pubs
Tax the poor to pay for the rich’s mistakes
Kill foxes ritually
Say that they’d have fixed the credit-crunch anyway..
All these and more will come under the banner of “freedom” and I’m quite sure that MI5 will be used to ensure they happen. The media will naturally be roped in to lend a publicity hand to smooth the waters and ensure that the status quo has safe passage; A media governed by;
a non-tax paying, non-resident Australian-American,
a non-resident Briton who prefers to pay French tax
and a brotherly twosome who threaten locals who don’t vote for “their man”.
Thatcher’s Economic Legacy
The Channel Tunnel (economic disaster, multiple bankrupt)
In common with most cars like this, it’s a lovely looking machine – a style marvel; sleek and vapid, mercurial.
It’s also a waste of space and a waste of effort.
It’s two tonnes of mass for a 400kg payload is pants. An ecological disaster zone.
Money for Old Rope
New York Congestion
Not only that, with the firm reputably losing £1m per day, it’s cost of >£50k to a tad under £90k means that 10-20 will need to be sold each day just to cover that loss, without any pretence at covering their own manufacturing costs.
The irony isn’t just in the financial gloss applied to make it appear that Shangri-La is returning very soon; a bizarre hope exists of a ‘business as usual’ scenario, when we can repeat the whole cycle again.
The irony is in the design of the vehicle, it’s presentation to the public, and the public’s perception of the machine as a desirable status symbol, swooping over life’s problems like fuel shortages, the congestion of our urban sprawls and speed limits.
The slow-motion pictures at the beginning of the launch video aren’t slow at all. This is real-time speed in a traffic queue, the place where the vehicle will spend most of it’s travelling life.
And whenever the Jaguar owner feels like opening it up to it’s 155mph limited maximum, hopefully they’ll be reassured that it’s lightweight, rivetted aluminium structure is stronger than that of the similarly shiny, magnesium and aluminium Mercedes which was in this crash below, at only 125mph.
The point is that rapid transport itself is a luxury. Although we in the West have become accustomed to ever cheaper travel of all types, this has been at the expense of the future. Like the credit crunch, we are “leveraging” today’s resources against tomorrows expectations of a miracle. The pot of black gold isn’t bottomless, but the continuing production of anachronisms like this beautiful car, seeks only to deceive us that it is.
The only miracle will be if people see the truth that they’ve been living in a dream world for the past century. In the 35,000 years of human existence, these last hundred are but a plip in a pond.
Last year, the highly salaried ‘professional’ economists at the IMF, many having spent a lifetime in the field, said the cost would be $1T. Now it’s going to be $4T. Presumably next year it will be $16T? I think my guess is as good as anyone’s – and that’s all they appear to be doing for their pay – guessing.
It’s not a skill being an economist. It’s certainly not a science.
It’s actually more like the Google Treasure Chest scam than a professional approach to money management. All they’ve actually done is say the cost is small, and then whack on huge bills afterwards.
If they knew things would get this bad then they should have said so initially instead of lying.
If they didn’t know, then what are they being paid for? They should be sacked for incompetence. Can they not add up?
The worst part of it all is that the IMF can and do impose swingeing conditions on national bailouts. Ghana is the latest country to feel their whip. All Ghana is asking for is $1G, 1/4000th of the IMF’s miscalculation! Ghana will have to sell it’s soul, grow cash crops instead of food for it’s people, and be in hoc with the IMF devil for decades. If the rich countries had kept their 2005 promises, none of this would have been necessary.
Now can you see the similarity between an economist and a Scam merchant?
In a completely passive demonstration of non-government and how toothless our government’s words are, it’s now been shown that not only does former RBS gaffer, Fred Goodwin get a massive pension of ~£33k monthly take-home, but the pot from which it’s being taken is already £2 billion under-funded!!
The staggering gauze of deceit that’s been drifted across all our eyes for the last decade is now settling like the odious juices emanating from a rotting corpse.
Not content with bringing his company down by his gambling habit, Goodwin has emptied the pension pot to boot! Funnily enough, he omitted to mention any of this when he was recently questioned … And No. The bank he was boss of was not one of the world’s top five banks – it only seemed that way for a few years and was actually completely bankrupt because the continual fraudulent gambling activities at his instigation. And he doesn’t deserve any of his pay because of these actions. (e.g. profit one year, ~£20bn; profit next year, -£27bn and a reduction in assets of £325bn. If a chip shop was run like this it’s comparable to selling one portion and then losing the shop. Idiot!). He in fact deserves a big kick up the arse and chucking in the River Tyne with the tide going out. Certainly, a minimal pension is the most he should get as none of his actions from sacking staff (Fred the Shred indeed!) to bankrupting secure businesses are worthy of any recognition apart from sanction.
Royal(!) Mail & Government
In a similar process of subterfuge, the Royal Mail workers have been told that the only way to save the company (because it’s short of cash), is by ditching their pensions, flogging their cream business to leeches and flogging the rest of themselves off, making the “service” even less relevant and thus slowly to die …
The reasons for the Royal Mail money shortage are not rooted in today’s events. They are because of the actions, starting with the 90s Tory government, of having a “pensions holiday”. Because Royal Mail didn’t contribute for years at this time, the pot got smaller.
Q. So what happened to the “spare” money?
A. It was used to stoke up the general finances of the country because we were in a … ahem … recession, housing slump, deja vu …
Check out This Google Search for the term “pensions holiday”. There are >4600 results! This action is used (legally, but not morally) to allow companies to excuse themselves from their financial obligations.
Suggestions for H.M. Government:
DON’T ask Fred Goodwin for the money back. Take it! He has absolutely no right to it. If the company had collapsed as it should’ve done because of his gambling fits, he’d be entitled to a pension of ~£20k
STRIP Fred Goodwin of his knighthood. The honoured term does not apply to him. Dunce’s cap, more like.
Put the money owed to the Royal Mail Pension Fund back and then redo the calculations to see if it’s a profitable business.
Demand Royal Mail competitors charge fairly for a demonstrably comparable service to Royal Mail i.e. door-to-door, last mile, a proper network of easily accessible offices country-wide all within walking distance of 90% of the UK population. Then redo the sums as above…
Retrospectively apply all new charges and limitations to action for the financial institutions that have brought the country to it’s knees. Sanctions to be applied similarly. (e.g. Consider what the Chinese, our great business partners now, would do?)
Get anyone who was in charge during the recent meltdown and fraud debacle out. Make them sweep streets if necessary but in no way let them anywhere near a bank! (see Chinese comment above)
And now, MOST IMPORTANTLY, get all the stolen, fraudulent, sequestered, scammed money from offshore banking and put it into general circulation where it came from in the first place! As I’ve said previously, USE our military strength, VISIT Jersey, The Caymans, Bermuda, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Belize etc and GET OUR MONEY BACK!
If anyone complains – tough. Try and be a government for once. We don’t need toothless whitewashing inquiries. We don’t need words. We need action. They took it all from us – so take it back!
Don’t make Goodwin the only scapegoat. There are plenty more like him, all cosily keeping quiet until the storm blows over..
Finally, don’t expect us taxpayers, the public, to pick up the tab without a decent amount of heads on the chopping block. In the same way that Goodwin refuses to hand over his ill-gotten dosh, don’t expect me to pay for his pension and his failures. You can only push the public so far. Eventually, right will out, no matter how many weasely words and pledges for fairness are made. The people aren’t blind and they’re not as stupid as they sometimes appear. This week we’ve seen mutiny and deaths against unfairness and corruption in Pakistan. In 1979 the Shah of Iran was overthrown in a popular uprising. In 1789, the people had had enough in France. To think that in 2009 this society is in some way sacred and immune to internal strife is ignorant in the extreme.
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