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Post by Rockhopper on Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:57 pm



George Monbiot has a good blog on the way our economies are being taken. Often without our knowledge.

On Friday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, claimed that business is under political attack on a scale it has not faced since the fall of the Berlin wall(1). He was speaking at the Institute of Directors, where he was introduced with the claim that “we are in a generational struggle to defend the principles of the free market against people who want to undermine it or strip it away.”(2) A few days before, while introducing Osborne at the Conservative party conference, Digby Jones, formerly the head of the Confederation of British Industry, warned that companies are at risk of being killed by “regulation from Big Government” and of drowning “in the mire of anti-business mood music encouraged by vote-seekers.”(3) Where is that government and who are these vote-seekers? They are a figment of his imagination.

Where, with the exception of the Greens and Plaid Cymru, who have four MPs between them, are the political parties calling for greater restraints on corporate power? When David Cameron boasts that he is “rolling out the red carpet” for multinational corporations, “cutting their red tape, cutting their taxes”, promising always to set “the most competitive corporate taxes in the G20: lower than Germany, lower than Japan, lower than the United States”(4), all Labour can say is “us too”.

Its shadow business secretary, Chuka Umanna, once a fierce campaigner against tax avoidance, is now sponsored by a company which delivers “tailored tax solutions to individuals and organisations internationally”(5,6). The shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, cannot open his lips without clamping them around the big business boot. There’s no better illustration of the cross-party corporate consensus than the platform the Conservatives gave to Digby Jones to voice his paranoia. Jones was ennobled by Tony Blair and appointed as a minister in the Labour government. Now he rolls up at the Conservative conference to applaud George Osborne as the man who “did what was right for our Country. A personal pat on the back for that.”(7) A pat on the head would have been more appropriate – you can see which way power flows.

And more:

Ours is a toll-booth economy, unchallenged by any major party, in which companies which have captured essential public services – water, energy, trains – charge extraordinary fees we have no choice but to pay(14). If there is a “generational struggle to defend the principles of the free market”, it’s a struggle against the corporations, which have replaced the market with a state-endorsed oligarchy(15).

It’s because of the power of corporations that the minimum wage remains so low, while executives cream off millions. It’s because of this power that most people in poverty are in work(16), and the state must pay billions to supplement their appalling wages. It’s because of this power that, in the midst of a crisis so severe that the world has lost over 50% of its vertebrate wildlife in just 40 years(17), the government is organising a bonfire of environmental protection. It’s because of this power that instead of innovative taxation (such as a financial transactions tax and land value taxation(18)) we have permanent austerity for the poor. It’s because of this power that billions are still pumped into tax havens. It’s because of this power that Britain is becoming a tax haven in its own right(19).


References:

1. Transcript sent by email. The Institute of Directors tells me it will be on their website shortly.

2. Transcript sent by email.

3. http://www.digbylordjones.com/lord-jones-introductory-speech-conservative-party-conference-2014.html

4. http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/10/david-camerons-speech-to-the-conservative-conference-full-text/

5. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4193839.ece

6. http://www.signaturetax.co.uk/

7. http://www.digbylordjones.com/lord-jones-introductory-speech-conservative-party-conference-2014.html

8. http://www.monbiot.com/2013/11/04/a-global-ban-on-left-wing-politics/

9. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/03/australian-mining-is-poisoning-el-salvador-it-could-soon-send-it-broke-too

10. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/11/poison-pill-probation-contracts-moj-serco-g4s

11. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/feb/07/royal-mail-privatised-city-estimates-value

12. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/01/great-british-railway-rake-off-rolls-on

13. http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/10/david-camerons-speech-to-the-conservative-conference-full-text/

14. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/aug/22/sale-of-century-privatisation-scam

15. https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/colin-crouch/dealing-with-corporate-political-power

16. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25287068

17. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2014/oct/01/george-monbiot-war-on-the-living-world-wildlife

18. http://www.monbiot.com/2013/01/21/a-telling-silence/

19. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/15/how-super-rich-got-richer-10-shocking-facts-inequality

20. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/oct/03/george-osborne-charities-business-chancellor

21. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/oct/03/george-osborne-charities-business-chancellor

From Here.

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Post by Mordae on Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:03 pm

Yeah, kinda makes Cameron's speech to the Conservative party a pile of bollocks really. The whole "No wealth without work, no success without sacrifice, etc..." palaver only goes so far when it's obviously false.
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Post by Rockhopper on Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:42 pm

Yeah and it's the way our John Key wants NZ to go too.

Steve Harper in Canada is doing the same as is Tony Abbott in Aust (not the brightest candle in the chandelier!).

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Post by Rogue on Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:18 am


Toll roads... grrrrrrr.. just a little rant/
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Post by Lenzabi on Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:13 pm

Gads! Britain is following the leads of America and Russia. Shit for the regular people, only good things for the Rich classes.

Corporatocracy must be fought. Corporations need only be worried about making profits for shareholders within well regluated guidelines, NOT Making government polices.

America has been doing that since 1980, Russia since the 1990's, and look at the shambles we are both in.

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Post by Mordae on Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:49 am

It's not just Britain I'm afraid. NZ and Australia (and probably many of the "westenised" countries) are being run by people who look to the US for inspiration as to how a democracy should run. Ironic since the US isn't really a democracy Wink
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Post by Lenzabi on Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:59 am

@Mordae wrote:It's not just Britain I'm afraid.  NZ and Australia (and probably many of the "westenised" countries) are being run by people who look to the US for inspiration as to how a democracy should run.  Ironic since the US isn't really a democracy Wink

Sadly true, it is now a leading Oligarchial Corporatocracy, corporatism helped by the rich families and dismantling our democratic processes, folks are doing what they can, they do not Like this change to such a revoltingly horrid condition with vapid hollow echoes of "democracy" or how great America is,, America is falling behind in most human areas, but we do lead in highest population incarcerated, highest western nation with damaged service people, leader in worst working conditions for a western power, and lead the world in military mega-spending.

I think folks if they know that(and a lot do) would be disgusted with how far we lead in negative ares, and are so behind the positives, the world needs to stop looking at us for guidance coz America is lost, and it is leading the world to corporate despotism. German just wiped the floor with us in the tuition investment area.

Folks in NZ and Australia and Britain and other nations seeking to use America for guidelines are pure numpties, and they really should take a deep look past the glitz and lights to see what is really America. Stop them before they ruin your nations as they have mine.

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Post by Rockhopper on Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:38 pm

Not surprising really Len. Our PM is a Yank Citizen, Tony Abbott is a Yankaphile and Cameron is a coward who likes to hide behind the biggest bully in the class. Our PM John Key is part of the very group that nearly brought down the economic system. He's still on the Bank of Am board and still is part of Goldman Sachs who are doing the same all over again.

It's interesting in a peculiarly strange way, that the biggies talk about a "Consumer Society" but knock back the very Consumers that such an economy needs to work properly. That's why tax cuts (actually tax shifts) don't improve the economy at all. Rather the opposite. And "Trickle Down" doesn't work and was never meant to. It was a way that the Reagan bunch sold it to the people so they could garner more money out of the system.

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Post by Lenzabi on Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:11 am

We have been stuck here with it since Reagan, they have not removed it, all the first glass does is get fatter and bigger while little if any at all heads down to other glasses.

People have to fight, they have to stand up and say Enough!

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Post by Rockhopper on Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:38 am

Time is not right yet Len but when it is all hell will break loose!

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Post by Stargate on Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:23 am

@Lenzabi wrote:
@Mordae wrote:It's not just Britain I'm afraid.  NZ and Australia (and probably many of the "westenised" countries) are being run by people who look to the US for inspiration as to how a democracy should run.  Ironic since the US isn't really a democracy Wink

Sadly true, it is now a leading Oligarchial Corporatocracy, corporatism helped by the rich families and dismantling our democratic processes, folks are doing what they can, they do not Like this change to such a revoltingly horrid condition with vapid hollow echoes of "democracy" or how great America is,, America is falling behind in most human areas, but we do lead in highest population incarcerated, highest western nation with damaged service people, leader in worst working conditions for a western power, and lead the world in military mega-spending.

I think folks if they know that(and a lot do) would be disgusted with how far we lead in negative ares, and are so behind the positives, the world needs to stop looking at us for guidance coz America is lost, and it is leading the world to corporate despotism. German just wiped the floor with us in the tuition investment area.

Folks in NZ and Australia and Britain and other nations seeking to use America for guidelines are pure numpties, and they really should take a deep look past the glitz and lights to see what is really America. Stop them before they ruin your nations as they have mine.

Leny, you are making a lot of sense to me, however words alone cannot change anything, one must first see a need, and second you have to have something to replace whatever you want to Change Today's politics is a direct replica of the Roman Empire. We could say America is the direct example of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. When Rome fell all the followers also fell as we are observing today. There is no one to follow except the US, and we must not forget that all the so called great empires did not last more than three hundred years. Democracy has been too diluted to function the way it did when the world was not so developed or greedy. Corporations cannot stop now that would excellerate the crash. So what's the answer to our world dilemma? Open question.

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Post by Rockhopper on Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:21 am

Quite right Star. What you are saying is what I meant in my previous post. At the moment all we are getting are words but when the words run out there will be a revolution. The longer the pause the bigger and messier that revolution will be.

The problem that Occupy had was no clear leader and no clear vision of what they wanted. The two essential things that a revolution needs. Occupy's vision was to just bring down the crooks who created the problems in the first place.

When the biggies garner so much power it will reach the point where only a revolution will break them. History has shown this many times in the past. The Aristocrats get too uppity and they get a hair cut just below the chin.

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Post by Lenzabi on Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:38 am

Even some of the Upper Crusties are speaking against the disparity, and say let this go and help the situation before the torches and pitchforks come out, because by then, it will be too late to avid those really short haircuts!

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Post by Rockhopper on Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:57 pm

If you check back to our recent history you can see how easily a revolution starts, it takes a trigger to set it off.

The French Revolution started when a storm destroyed the wheat crop and the price of bread went through the roof! The Aristocrats who owned the bakeries told their staff that they would be working for nothing because of the cost of flour. The Bakers went on strike and it devolved into the revolution. The various problems had been simmering for quite some time before then and the Bakers strike set it off.

The Russian Revolution had a similar start. Just after WW I there was a temporary shortage of bread again but the issues that the people had were simmering underneath all of it. The bread shortage triggered the revolution. That revolution had three sides, the Tsarists under General Porishekov, the Bolsheviks under Lenin and the Capitalists under Trotsky. The revolution was long and very messy!

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Post by Lenzabi on Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:18 pm

And yet the rich will be able to afford to abandon ship if they do not have their assets all tied down to places but international accounts. BUT a world wide conflagration would leave very few safe havens for them.

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Post by Stargate on Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:55 pm

@Mordae wrote:It's not just Britain I'm afraid.  NZ and Australia (and probably many of the "westenised" countries) are being run by people who look to the US for inspiration as to how a democracy should run.  Ironic since the US isn't really a democracy Wink
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Mord, I found your comment interesting from the point that America is not a democracy. What country do you think is a democracy? It seems I have forgotten the real meaning. If there is one country you cold name practicing a true democracy, what country would that be?

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Post by Rockhopper on Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:24 am

It's not Star. The US is a Constitutional Republic and that's an entirely different political beast!

The UK is a Dominion Monarchy as is NZ. Canada is a Federated Monarchy and Aussie doesn't know what it is! (Actually it's also a Federated Monarchy too but don't tell the Ockers that, they'll get all big-headed over it!)

All are operated as Democracies or at least have some democratic principles.

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Post by Mordae on Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:29 am

Well summarised Tim Very Happy, although you could possible argue the point that SCOTUS runs the US like a constitutional monarchy, or by going off this, is an oligarchy until such time as money gets out of politics.

TBH Star, while there may be a fully democratic country somewhere in the world, I'm afraid I don't know where it is.
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Post by Rockhopper on Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:53 am

Aye Mordie. The problem with the US was the way it was set up politically by the Founding Fathers (Founding Mothers weren't included!). As they were mostly English at that time they simply copied the Brit system except that the King is voted in. It's a Monarchy in all but name and ruled by an aristocracy. So people with only the right connections can get to the top job.

When John Adams wrote the pre-amble to the Constitution with "We the People~", the people he was talking about was the White, Protestant Men of Property. Not the Blacks (slaves) or the Native Indians or even women! Nor was he referring to the people that a later Pressie James Madison described as "As the Great un-washed masses!". Therein lays the problem, the US is locked in time and can't move out of it.

Further they can't shake off the big money involved in their politics!

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Post by Lenzabi on Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:03 am

Once the Corporations take a nation over as they have America, we have an Oligarchial Corporatocracy, no liberties, or rights except the CEO's and uber rich

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