Tuesday, 15 December 2009

In Defence of Anonimity

As a matter of personal choice I am 100% in favour of Scotland gaining its independence.

There's nothing xenophobic in this reasoning. As an island race or as world citizens we share the same flaws and graces that gnaw and disturb the consciences of all human society. Scotland gaining its independence I see as granting five million people the opportunity to radically redefine the quality, competence, moral values and responsibilities of their democratic governance.

To this end, I often blog on related sites and occasionally on the Scottish newspapers which generally are biased beyond the tipping point of vitriol against independence. But with circulation figures below100k in total the two papers involved can no longer regard themselves as anything other than purveyors of establishment views. In a slightly different category and as a supporter of independence there is the weekly broadsheet the Scots Independent. Perhaps surprisingly it is an article in the latter that has led me to comment in the following manner.

The article in question is authored by a Mr Jamie Hepburn who I believe is a SNP member of the Scottish Parliament. It relates to recent events in the blogger sphere where some individual were 'outed' from the anonymity of their blog nom-de-plumes and, in one case at least, exposed as a peripheral employee of an SNP parliamentary minister. His critique of that case seems to be based on the exposure of inside knowledge to the free-for-all of the Internet is not the done political thing. Leastwise, while it may be done in the club, it shouldn't be aired outside it? Sounds a bit to me like Swinger Club rules - something not entirely compatible with open governance.

But, and in an even more patronising manner, he advocates that all bloggers of an independent persuasion should blog in a more circumspect manner! Why on earth should he want that when the very essence of the blogger sphere is the immediacy of the responses to whatever generates them. When a spade's called a spade, linguistically it's perfectly described with economic and pinpoint accuracy. Call it an instrument for the manual removal or redistribution of soil or loose compounds and your left with a confusion of possibilities from a spoon to an earth mover. Obfuscation is already well practiced and heavily employed in the political industry of Westminster; what possesses him to believe we want it employed in Scottish governance?

As to hiding behind anonymity. Our amateur status gives us a right to that. Mostly we seek to gain neither status, money nor celebrity but to put a shoulder to the wheel of independence. The glory we leave to you the professionals but we 're only too aware that often that professionalism sets as elitism instead of excellence and hides its failings behind the skirts of excuse.

So take us as you find us, elucidate where there's misunderstanding, remove the ache of frustration with objectives. But patronise, and you will be guilty of the same institutional hypocrisy as practiced by governments, unions and establishments throughout the life of this dysfunctional union.

Finally, while it has taken thirty years for the SNP to gain the ground it could have had with better intelligence, it has definitely earned the right to fight for Scotland's independence. As yet it has still to earn the right to govern an independent Scotland.

Democracy: Macaque Style.

The Macaque connection came to me when watching, in my usual semi somnolent state, a recent BBC 'Life' programme.

Seemingly the Japanese Macaque Monkeys are the most northerly societies of any primate species other than man. But, not only do these choose to live in the Northern latitudes they seem to add masochism to their winter misery by adopting the Japanese Alps as their natural plot, where temperatures of minus 15c have to be endured and the ravages to the young, old and unfit were simply part of natures cruel selection.

Until, that is, the camera swung on to the hot pools. There in the same vicinity you saw Macaque's languishing in luxurious warmth. Faces basked in utter contentment; smug in their meditative comfort, their aristocratic birthright. No they don't share the pool. They have developed a hierarchy, a pecking order of haves and have not's. Those that are in the pool can come and go as they please. But their miserable cousins, huddled in their icy misery face death if they attempt to dip their toe in.

Strategically the numbers outside the pool were far greater than those in it - though that wasn't down to any lack of capacity - so the result of any attack would have seen the pool with new tenants. And, whether by arrogance or ignorance, the current occupiers didn't seem to be concerned by this potential threat. Perhaps their indolence will eventually expose itself as idiocy through self imposed interbreeding restrictions of the genes in their pool. Perhaps after another couple of thousand years of evolution the Macaques will be sharing the pool. Or perhaps not. Maybe the have not's will go on casting envious eyes; knowing what could be, but denying their ability to make it happen because its never been.

Perhaps the state of Macaque society is an apposite observation on the evolution of human society under democracy, Westminster, or even Western style with its hierarchical control of its power thermal pools. Or, is the acceptance of hierarchies hard wired into our primate genealogy?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Today we call it lateral thinking. It is the ability to analyse, adjust and expand an observation beyond the matter which brought it to the observers attention and for its projection to be valued as to its purpose and possibilities.

Samuel Johnson was a lateral thinker. In his journey round Scotland he noted, 'the Scots were more frugal with their glass than were the English.' An observation more in the 'bland' than the 'eureka' category but nevertheless it was a catalyst that led to him adjusting his perspective on social progress as being truly measured by the small advances of the many.

Johnson writes,"But it must be remembered that life consists not of a series of illustrious actions, or elegant enjoyments; the greater part of our time passes in compliance with necessities, in the performance of daily duties, in the removal of small inconveniences, in the procurement of petty pleasures........ The true state of every nation is the state of common life. The manners of a people are not to be found in the schools of learning, or the palaces of greatness...... they whose aggregate constitutes the people, are found in the streets and the villages, in the shops and farms: and from them collectively considered, must the measure of general prosperity be taken. As the approach to delicacy a nation is refined, as their conveniences are multiplied, a nation, at least a commercial nation, must be denominated wealthy."

So, what is the true state of that common life today? And, if, and that's a questionable 'if', the quantity of glass has been equalised through the Union, has its quality or clarity?

We know that Gordon Browns premiership has been jinxed by failure. By choice, a political geek, he's climbed the mucous greased slopes of party politics only to fail in the two positions that held any real power. His, and the party he represents 'illustrious actions and elegant enjoyments' have had less substance or purpose than the proverbial fart in a ballroom. Unfortunately the precision of the toxicity meters have ordered the ballroom be emptied and decontaminated.

His, and his predecessors, time in office, have done nothing to raise the 'delicacies and conveniences of the common man' as Johnson put it. In fact, given that the 'common' man is considered Labour's core right to exist as a political party, it's arguable that in both their ideological role and their executive abilities they're not fit for purpose. And when you consider the resources, power, opportunities and diversities offered by helming the ship of state, that's a pretty damning indictment.

Of the Blair/ Brown era there's - the failure to radically amend the House of Free Loaders (TB) - the proliferation of stealth taxes(GB) - (The raid on pension funds, when it was already obvious few would meet their promises to the investors.(GB) An illegal war to back an idiot over a egomaniac. (TB) The removal of the 10p tax rate in a manner which increased the taxes of the lowest earners by 100%, while benefiting the better off. (GB) The Iron Chancellor who had banished Boom & Bust until the bust came back and chewed off his prudence, exposing his ignorance.(GB) You could add to that the expense scandal but on the scale of woes, that's more puke-making than terminal.

While by now we should all see Blair in his true colours - I'm a celebrity; get me into there - Brown, we thought, had a bit more going for him. Less spin and sin. More of the what you see and hear, is what you'll get idiom. But when you look back over the years from 97 and consider his record, you have to ask. Did he ever understand and command the responsibilities of the positions he held. Were the decisions his, or was he just a front man sipping from chalice's filled by his mandarins? It's a fair question, albeit without an answer favourable to Brown.

There is however one thorn Brown is desperate not to have to add to his crown of judgement. One that is cast as a minor irritant to a colossus of world politics and may yet prove to be his nemesis. That is the breakup of the dysfunctional Westminster union by Scotland declaring its independence.

To prevent that he will use every trick he and the establishment mandarins can think of irrespective of costs, legitimacy or legality, though hopefully short of war..... Here's an example.

It was soon emphasised during the meltdown crises the lame duck role's being allocated and heavily publicised to the two major banks that were unfortunate enough to have the word 'Scotland' included in their name.

While there's no doubt both of these banks were guilty as any of the others of being blinded by their own bullshit, there's no reason to believe they could be that much worse than the exposures of Barclay's, Lloyds or HSBC.

Barclay's we're told managed to refinance from sources in the far and middle east. Not only that
but Barclay's, having been refused permission to buy Lehman outright, managed to raise 1.5 bn to buy the viable part?

On the Lloyds and HBoS fiasco of cocktails over winks and nudges, we've listened to the script, but whether we find it believable time will tell.

HSBC have managed, until this Dubai wobble at least, to keep below the radar the charity offered or accepted from the public purse?

But the Scottish banks. Every billion invested in RBS and HBoS. Every problem the absorbtion of HBoS is causing Lloyds. Any outcry at bonuses are directed at RBS. We are told so desperate is the position at RBS that the new CEO is offered a £10m thank you if he can get it's share price back up around the £1?

Last week it was headlined throughout the mediocre media that RBS and HBoS got billions in secret bailouts. Turns out they were given bridging loans when the panic first set in and the loans were as much a saver to the governments position as they were to the banks, who paid dearly for them.

The pertinent question was put by the Channel 4 newsreader when he asked Lord Myners - "Were similar payments made to any other banks during this period?" Lord Myners refused to answer. Pressed several times he would neither confirm or deny; so given the usual position of government, we can take that as a yes.

So why the constraint in admitting there were funds loaned to the other banks. Is it for commercial reasons? Who were these financial angels who bailed out Barclay's? The world of finance is well practiced in fogging the maze of money sources and transfers. Could the funds enjoyed by Barclays, HSBC even Lloyds not have sourced from the same treasury pot under a false flag label?

Given that all the banks were in deep dodo and panic was the order of the day, were some allowed the luxury of options and others not?

Or was it simply the squeezing of the 'Scotland' word along with the mantra of - Now's not the time to bother with independence, we must concentrate on getting out of the recession - is the only remaining debris Labour could cling to from the wreck of the SS UK.

Today we are told by the National Audit Office the cost to date of the bank meltdown is £850bn - a figure likely to rise and it probably doesn't include the cost of welfare/benefits to the unemployed etc - how much of that £850bn went to RBS or HBoS, most, all or some of it?

Answers on a post card please. But don't put an X on any of them; Labour may use them to boost their postal ratings in order to award us with another five years of their illustrious actions and elegant enjoyments.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Heroes are cheap today -Perhaps even cheaper than yesterday?

What part does Afghanistan play in the 'democracy' of the UK?

On the day that we hear of another five soldiers paying with their lives and, possibly, five others seriously injured by Taliban partisans who had posed as 'Government' soldiers, do we deplore the tactics adopted by the killers as 'unfair, inhuman or cowardly', or do we project our anger at the politicians who expose the lives of our service people for reasons that fail to reach the level of rhetorical tripe.

Supposedly, according to the rhetoric, our troops are there to prevent the Taliban? - or is it Al Quaida - or just anybody Muslim - from visiting our green and pleasant democracy and showing their envy of our materialist idyll and god given right to patronise, by attempting to indiscriminately blow us up.

For our part, our involvement in their affairs is, of course, purely benign- with the exception of the troops that is. And their arsenal's with all the profits they bring to the suppliers.

As a coalition of UN, US and NATO we are there to drum into their thick medieval skulls the benefits of our democratic process with all the trials, tricks, troubles and tribulations that corrupt it daily, if not hourly. Those being swept to one side as euphemism's of the democracy package.

However we have set them a good example of western double standards by organising a corrupted election to elect a corrupt president in order to maintain a corrupt purpose. We call this 'pragmatism' - a step seemingly in the right direction; which means absolutely nothing when those that are doing the stepping don't know which direction they should be heading on.

A couple of weeks have passed since I started this article, and since then the death toll has risen relentlessly.

To the families and loved ones of the soldiers, I'm sorry for your loss and shamed by the lack of ability to prevent it.

But take no solace from the words of politicians, generals or the media, it's empty rhetoric that only grieves for the effect it has on their dusty statistics.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Philosophy, Practice and Purpose.

The difficulty of relating or trying to relate any one of the above with any combination of the others is down mainly to the nuances and varieties of circumstance we as individuals, communities, nations or continents find ourselves in. Sometimes the sheer confusion created by these labyrinthine neurons of cause and effects can crash the minds capability to reason by the simple expedient of its overloading with trivia, trash and truth tortured to oblivion. Caught in this situation we have to ask ourselves - is that a true and natural state for us to live our lives in this world? Or is it a condition created, either by chance or design - probably a combination of both - aimed at vastly benefiting the few at the expense of the many?

I suspect we all suspect we know the answer to that. We know the condition exists and, while we cannot isolate the prime cause or prescribe the eventual effects, we wrap our dissidence in the mufflers of frustration and limit ourselves to the cliche's of "All power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely." Or, "until the power of love overcomes the love of power, the epitaph of this world will be carved on misery." The damnable thing is, that while these cliche's may be the lazy answer, they are a refined truth. And truth of any nature is not a bad base point for any philosophy to be argued from.

Since I'm a simple bloke I would like to expand the cliche's into simple individual terms of the gut, the heart and the head and apply that to our everyday world.

At the moment my own little world is pretty evenly divided between the daily chore of keeping the banks blackmail and intrusion in my life to the absolute minimum and looking after and doing all I can to ease the osteoarthritis my five year old mutt has developed. The rest of my time, including this writing, is pretty much fun. Though the writing like the bank, but not my mutt, often - no, more like always - is unrewarding. So there we have the emotions of the gut and the heart for the dog, with the head recognising the symptoms but acting to the gut and hearts instruction, while the combination of head and gut reacts to the bank demands and rip-offs while the heart refuses even to acknowledge its existence. The writings a combination of all three. With all of equal status, but fluctuating involvement depending on the subject matter. So there you have it, a pretty average life for an average bloke living in the Western Lifestyle - I suppose you could argue the "work" routine or even the trauma of joblessness and or pending homelessness is missing from the equation. But they're both pretty routine for millions at the moment, so they can be balanced out by the lack of the few with millions and quaffing Champers that are also excluded.

Meanwhile on the national front, 1st world style, the fashionable word in our daily media rations is, we're told, the "C" word. "Cuts" is the cry of the politicians and their tame media pundits, is the answer to the profligacy awarded to the bankers who, while they were too big to fail, were unfortunately too scared to jump, too arrogant to apologise or show remorse and have then the cheek to threaten us with the denial of their expertise and presence if we curbed their pornographic greed. ( Here I've got to say, it has occurred to me their attitude offered a more legitimate use to the facilities at Guantanamo. This eventually could be used as a staging post for rendition to the Moon. But this is part of my concept for the incarceration of those psychologically addicted to the abuse of power and to disclose it in detail now may divert and distract from the present argument.) Which is, that the present cries for Cuts is no more than another diversion from the truth. The real "C" word is crises and while for the West in particular that may well be a financial one that the moderate rich or poor may feel in their pockets, the third world are going to feel that crises in their already clamouring and rumbling guts. But, in their usual blundering incompetent way our political masters want to perform their human resource function by socialising the costs while their global corporate masters, not only recoup but increase their capital base.

Unfortunately, while the grumbling guts and their consequences will be all too real, the financial pantomime has no more substance than the piece of plastic in your pocket has in real value other than for the convenience and profit to the institutions. So financial barrow boys and their worthless fringe acolytes apart, the financial crises has turned the alchemy of bluff into real gold for those who dreamt the hand and dealt it.

And not only is it a diversion from the truth but, just as it has diverted resources from the general well being of the nation and its aid to the developing nations, it has diverted resources and attention from the far more serious crises facing the world.

I would rate the first, or at least the most immediate, still to be the Middle East as the flash point for a nuclear holocaust. The situation in Afghanistan isn't helping Pakistan to maintain its own sovereignty and this won't be helped by the desperation caused by the financial crises adding to the woes of the poorer countries in the region. This combined with the arrogant aggression of Israel and the concerns of Iran to be able to defend themselves from the US/Israeli pact and the plainly stupid genocide being inflicted by the pact on the Palestinians should be enough for any government or institution truly committed to world peace to start working towards the bottom line of sense. But sense is rarely the bottom line for governments, unless the sense relates to the dubious gains of vanity, exploitation, tyranny and profit.

The second is of course, global warming. Again the financial idiocy has shoved that to the back burner. This will be denied by their political human resource departments(the governments). They will continue to give lip service to the problem, while they and their masters ways and means committees develop how they can keep the profit ratios rising by again socialising the costs.

Can we afford to rely on salvation from such a selfish group with their short term values and restricted and covert agendas?

If we take the financial meltdown as an indicator of the global conglomerates abilities on long term strategic planning and the emphasis they place on their implications on society as a whole, along with the morality they engender or advance; where and how do they factor this in or quantify their responsibilities? The answer is they don't. None, zilch, zero. A non sequitur completely missing from both above or below the line of their accounts. The sole agenda for their CEO's is to minimise costs and tax liabilities while controlling profits to a level that's balanced to keep their shareholders and the markets happy. Meanwhile their true surpluses wing their way throughout the globe in a swarm of secret financial vehicles and surreal havens of wizardry and all to suit there own purpose.

Is it wise for us to allow so much freedom to individuals, corporates and institutes whose aspirations are limited to the next quarters, six monthly or yearly results? Does it make sense for us to allow these corporations to become supra nationals capable of defining their own rules and responsibilities? Is such a limited concept a safe tack for civilisation to advance or the fast track to its end game?

How's our heads, hearts or guts feeling about that? Comfortable (employed and well remunerated by them?) Uneasy (perhaps still employed by one but less well remunerated and less of a company man?) Frightened/concerned( an inner voice believing itself to be in a wilderness when, while it might be a wilderness, it's one clamouring with millions of other concerned inner voices)

Or could it all be a game. One big confident manipulative lie that we've been fed and reared on. A lie that is often changed in its presentation but never in its purpose: namely the control, compliance and exploitation of the ordinary people. Nothing new in this process, the god concept has been used for this purpose for millenniums. In modern times we have just changed priests to reporters and churches to various forms of media. Both of which in their time have distorted and tortured truths in order to turn superstitious myths into whatever Mammon satisfies their power feasts.

Here are some of the modern examples when the lie technique has been used to shape the concerns of our daily life.

The Cold War. Almost forty years of the threat of Nuclear Armageddon, because Russia was "communist" and wanted to defeat the capitalist "freedom loving" West?

Well we know Russia wasn't really communists; that was simply a relatively civilised title for, initially anyway, a tyrannical dictatorship. However by sexing up the threats of the Reds sleeping in our beds they had the profits of the Western arms manufacturers and the Pentagons upwardly spiralling. Equally the PR fed paranoia of Americans with the concept of communism was stretched to include any government anywhere which threatened to take power from the wealthy few and give it to the people. No matter what form it took, it was interpreted by Washington as communism, and they were going to save the world from it and give us freedom through the magic carpet of capitalism. ( sometimes they use the word democracy instead of capitalism, but that's only when they're playing to a soft audience)

Then in the eighties Gorbachev comes along and has a word with Reagan. He says he'll drop communism and its crazy command economy for the panacea of the free markets and will allow Germany to re-unify, tear down the wall and dismantle its Stasi state and allow Germany to join NATO, provided Reagan agreed that no NATO force would ever be deployed in the former GDR. Bush senior confirmed this Clinton ignored it. What he wanted, and got, was a U.S. run global intervention force to expand and protect the Western model of capitalism - it was euphemistically listed as bringing peace and stability to the regions in which it was involved.

But thirty years earlier Khrushchev, approached America placing the re-unification of Germany on the table only for the offer to be ignored. Makes you wonder who the real instigators and beneficiaries were of the so called Cold War?

More recently we have had Iraq and WMD's that could wipe us out in 45 minutes?

And the war on terror which could from another standpoint be more accurately called the war of terror. After all, what is there to a manipulated name, provided it allows the "right" effect?

Could it be the necromancers and alchemists controlled by their free market capitalists who in practice have failed on every promise except in the hypnosis of most of the Western world into believing the big lie and who, irrespective of the risks, are the real harbingers of terror and the misery it brings in this world. If capitalism cannot feed the hungry, only abuse and exploit them it's stupid capitalism creating its own eventual nemesis. But here we have to remember we are dealing with short term profiteers.

These are the weird practices and some of the sad purposes that could emanate from them; philosophy's absent because it can only take form from truth.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

A Tale of Two Idiocies.

On the 20th of August 2009, Mr MacAskill the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice, made his bid to be the 21st centuries version of the hand washing Pilate.

Not that, in my opinion, he was wrong to release Mr Al-Megrahi, the terminally ill Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie atrocity by an investigation, trial, verdict and subsequent appeal that, time has proven, did nothing for the integrity or reputation of the Scottish Justice system or its Judiciary. That was the issue he failed to resolve.

Perhaps justice was never intended to be part of the process. Not real, in your face, bang to rights, hard fact evidence that can be tested, argued, disputed, proved or disproved. That sort of justice - the benchmark of judicial integrity - being smothered by the fogs of political expediency and gunboat diplomacy. To the extent that while a centimeter sliver of evidence could be found eighteen miles downwind of the crash site, the truth has proved to be more elusive. Or was that the intention: to smother truth by a blanket woven from circumstance?

So, to the toll of victims and their relatives, can we add the consciences of eight Scottish judges? The last decade of a mans life lost to freedom? And, do we finally have to accept that truth to a politician of any and all creeds has the value and lifespan of an amoeba unless expediency says different? Because if we allow the latter. If we allow these jobsworths that amount of leeway and wriggle room we become both perpetrator and victim to the griefs and tribulations they foist upon us?

And I would like to say this to the relatives of the Americans killed in the atrocity. During the Civil Rights movement in the 60's one of the slogans was 'The Truth Would Set You Free'.
It's just as relevant today. Only by changing the perceived threat and their tactics, the people who are supposedly acting on you and your loved ones behalf have, by adopting the cause of might being right, either through blind ignorance or arrogance, failed completely to bring the possible costs and repercussions of their action into the equation. And, while by so doing they may have blindsided we lesser mortals to their real purpose, time and truth will expose the failure, foolishness and duplicity of their values.

Demand the truth from your government. Ask yourself if your loss is in any way different to that of the families of an Iranian flying home to Mecca, a Palestinian cowering in a concrete ghetto or a Libyan huddled under a night time bomb run? The rituals of grief may change but to try to measure that grief on some ritualistic scale based on creed, nationality or race is an application of apartheid taken to absurdity. If its only revenge that you believe will give you closure, then so be it: but make sure you have all the information necessary to give your vengeance some basis in fact and 'official' information can never be taken as fact on face value. Anything less and your 'revenge' is a euphemism for injustice.

It's that lack of trust and the insecurity it breeds that eventually destroys the creeds who implement the practices of dominance and aggression. The power game, by definition, can only have few 'winners' and is a complete anathema to the evolution and well being of the human race.

As a specie, we accept it as self evident that were are, for now, at the top. But it is self denial and utter arrogance to believe that we have reached the pinnacle of evolutionary progress. Taken on their own our failings in our compassion for our fellow beings are a clear indication of how little we have advanced in the last three thousand years. While technically, especially in the last two three hundred years we have advanced at a rate of breathless acceleration. But as a strategy the use of technical superiority as a bases for dominance by either ideology or aggression is short on gain and long in pain type thinking. Equally, while we as a biological specimen have gained from that technology the utilisation of our brains and mind has advanced little in the same period.

We recognise our world is a village in the vast scheme of the universe, perhaps a unique village but, if it is, that only makes it all the more precious and all the more reason for us to respect, conserve and maximise its potential and the time we're allowed to be the stewards of it.

Since time immemorial, history has shown one constancy which has blighted the development of humanity. It is the sublimation of conscience by apathy or dominance - the two idiocies. Governments and tyrants have used the dominance and nurtured the apathy to the extent our communal minds are riddled by the paranoia of what our neighbours intentions are towards us, instead of making sure the neighbours are getting the message we want them to get of our hopes and aspirations towards them.

It's time for the peace of our world and the lives of our children, that we remove the 'quasi' from our democracy and take responsibility for our governments by calling and holding them to account for their acts and omissions. The apathy of blind hate or material dominance is neither an answer or viable option.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dummer

There's doesn't seem to be very much going for us at the moment.

We were promised a scorching summer, but that only lasted for a week.

Which is a pity, because having mortgaged the country for generations to raise the trillions necessary to save the banks for the 1% of the population who truly benefit from them, and possibly the other 9% who make a decent living by juggling the books to their benefit; along with the casualties and fatalities suffered by our troops hired out as mercenaries to the global conglomerates aspirations for Afghanistan. Allied to the revelation that our 'democratic' representatives were an even bigger bunch of incompetent carpet bagging free loaders than we suspected. Taken in conjunction with the Damoclean threat of swine plague. We could have done with the ten week summer break of hedonist living - deemed so necessary for our leaders - for us to recharge our batteries before the next onslaught of misconceived governance.

Considering the above pathetic concerns are only the deficits facing our current life accounts, our portfolios of investments for survival being beleaguered by concerns over nuclear Armageddon, global warming and population explosion, it maybe understandable that the pandemic of swine flue is preferable to the pandemics of cancerous lies we're living under. But the fact remains that every one of the above factors will by some magical osmosis and alchemy filter up to the benefit of the 1% Masters of the World. This is the essence - the big lie, of free market, unrestrained capitalism.

Capitalism of this sort cannot by definition serve humanity it can only enslave it. Reducing the common human herd to the level of consumer corpuscles nurturing and feeding its bloodline. This strain of capitalism, free of the tethers and concerns of morality, its limited conscience measured only by the bottom line fictions of their profit accounts and the balances of their power base, cannot fail to profit the few who benefit from it. It has no obligations, no costs to meet, other than the disbursements of corruption. Capitalism of this sort is as stupid, more destructive and a damn sight less sociable or eco friendly than the age of the dinosaurs. It is an insult to every concept of a humane society on this planet and is practiced and perpetrated by psychopathic tyrants and administered by sociopath governments, generally under the guise of democracy. Both of which may be wily and shrewd, but they're not the sharpest tools in the box when it comes to wisdom.

For any 'ism' that applies to the governance of man, to have such a narrow purpose and selfish short term profit for an elitist few as its goals, not only threatens society but places the civilization society depends on for its values and foundation on the edge of the abyss.

My understanding of the meaning of democracy is quite simple. Generally that a democratic society is one in which the public has the means - the right- perhaps the duty, to participate in a meaningful way in the management of their nations affairs, and the means of information is open and free.

Around 400 years ago when the 'Divine Right of Kings' were being questioned and the concept of a parliament was emerging into the light of enlightenment; the divine right of kings was considered diluted enough when it became the divine right of aristocrats, churchmen and merchants to govern. Little has changed. Today they still don't want their version of democracy to be polluted by the inclusion of an aspirational riff-raff. In short their version of democracy, the democracy we all struggle to understand let alone comprehend or willingly comply and identify with, is based on us being barred from exercising any meaningful contribution and the feed of information must be narrowly controlled by a tame media, malleable to obfuscation and disinformation.

We in fact pay for the doubtful privilege of being conned, confused and compliant by a sophisticated lie called democracy. Which only goes to show that, while we may be more sophisticated and worldly wise than our feudal ancestors we still haven't destroyed the myth propagated by our 'masters' to be regarded with the contempt due to riff-raff.

It's questionable whether the recent transfusion of cash and liabilities injected into the banks from our public purse was because they were too big to fail. (Or because their failure would have effected to many Mr Bigs? ) Perhaps the real reason behind the pawning of the nations future had more to do with papering over the cracks and crevices being exposed of a fatally flawed and crumbling Establishment.

As one wise commentator has commented, 'the next general election is a good one for Labour to lose.' But sadly the choice we are left with is only a mildly tweaked version of the Tweedle Dee's. Accept that limited choice and we confirm our role as contemptible Tweedle Dummers.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Lab-or-it-twa -garnia

Crinkly doesn't know it yet, but we're about to launch a new 'product' on the vanity market that will net us billions. ( I've got to be a bit careful here not to offend Crinklys' finer tastes and intellect)

The 'product' in question will be in the form of a pill which claims to reduce the outward signs of ageing in a unique and spectacular way that I'm sure will be 'recognised' by the British - indeed the Worlds Skin Foundations (whoever they are?) provided we send them a leaflet and a letter to vindicate our use of the word 'recognition' as a substitute for recommendation when the latter may be beyond the scope of the total brain cell count of all the Foundations.

Any way, SHIT-A-WRINKLE will be portrayed as having the capability of removing at least one wrinkle over a five month cycle when combined by the natural constitutional use of the lower digestive track for at least five out of every seven days of that five month period.

Of course the details; indeed the ingredients, have all to be finessed (depending on the chalk market) - there is some pressure to up the ante with a catchy ditty along the lines of, - Dump a wrinkle a month and get rid of the slump- or, the slightly upmarket when accompanied in a sexy pseudo French accent - A merde a dui etc... But we think when combined with the usual soft focus alchemy and cartoon graphics the suggestion will be enough to create the form of the promise and we will be well on our way to joining the Nought Cons bubble.

Of course it pricks the philosopher aspect of conscience to degrade its ultimate purpose - the exercise and belief in intellect. Or that the aspirations of that intellect to transform and blossom into common sense should be lost for the sake of common coin. Yet it seems self evident that while insight can appear in milliseconds it cannot now breach the defenses of a 20 second attention span so assiduously served out for our consumption by the Masters of the Conglomerate, Governance and Media Markets (the order of the last two may be swapped) who having stumbled onto the formula through washing powder ads have refined it to the extent where it's gluttonously devoured by endemic consumers satiated to the slough of apathy.

So if you believe the grief of politicians over eighteen year lifespans for a 'war' scripted, produced and marketed for the benefits of the conglomerates, or the financial alchemists regret at the misery their greedy incompetence has generated, or that justice is blind to the pressures of the executive, or that there is any truth in the spin you're kept in - then please don't forget to get SHIT -A -WRINKLE into your shopping basket.

You may be pleasantly surprised. It, at least, is halfway honest

Monday, 29 June 2009

Bankrupt, Bewildered but not Bothered.

Last week we waited with baited breath for Brown to put the thumbscrews on Hester of RBS for awarding himself a £10 million bonus if he lifts its share value on the stock exchange to 70p.

Not too aspirational a target when you consider the market's awash with funds looking for a profitable home and, as time has proved, the Banks can underwrite their risks at the taxpayers expense.

While the silence from the Government or its regulatory and treasury minions was deafening if not defining, it could be construed that the 70p share price is the price when the government sells our shares and allows RBS unhindered access to the club for free capitalists. All well, if not particularly good, in as much as while selling at 70p might show a profit against the £37 billion thrown in to the share pot it still leaves the £300bn the government has guaranteed under the asset protection scheme to fester its toxic way through all the systems except that of RBS. I'll bet that's a relief to Mr Hester - or is it possible he's got a scheme up his sleeve to get another bonus for handling the toxic trash RBS created in the first place?

Complicated business this world of high finance. Very confusing as to its values in moral, social or even the material terms it claims as its benchmark - the pursuit of profit created within a game of virtual reality.

It's this virtual reality that the UK plc has locked itself into. For governments it's the perfect product. It doesn't need huge development costs or massive filthy imports of raw materials. Research has almost instant access to investors, producers and consumers. Resource, production and marketing is global on a scale of 24 x 7 x 365. Its stock and storage requirements are minuscule and its distribution handled by the press of a keypad. For the 21st century its carbon footprint is almost as virtual as its product and, in spite of its players not having to deal with the daily buggeration factors of people producing a real product, they're paid mega-bucks for their commitment to the game and give employment to the experts in tax avoidance and the gurus of vanity products.

Yet the Telegraph tells us the cost to every family in the UK in 'real terms' for the virtual games played by these bird brained vultures and their sycophantical political followers is in the region of £203,350.00 per household. So somewhere between the stratosphere of high finance and the reality of earth this virtual world is supposed to develop substance. The Telegraph in its wisdom has even allocated costs to the various elements.
a)£144,000. to the virtual meltdown.
b) £5,600 To the Private Finance Initiative.
c) £1,000 To Network Rail?
d) £2,750 To Nuclear Decommissioning
e) £50,000 To Civil Servants Pensions.

Perhaps every household should send a 'virtual' cheque to the exchequer? However I've a feeling they would prefer us to accept a real mortgage payable for generations and that leaves a couple of questions I would like answered.

Why is it that any 'investment' by the government of our money for whatever purpose in private enterprise is so easily shed and at so little cost to the private enterprise.

And while I can understand capitalism's delight at its costs being underwritten from the public purse, why should it exclude that purse from it's equity or dividends or be removed from its moral responsibilities of and to society?

As it is now, the lack of moral fibre in Browns government to rein in and regulate the financial predators is akin to them handing responsibility for the NHS and the Social Services to the Barons of the Drug Cartels.

Not only do we have the imbeciles running the asylum, they can now prescribe their own drugs and decide their own remuneration.

Monday, 15 June 2009

For whom does Browns contrition toll.

Last Monday we were told of Browns pleas to his parliamentary cabal of how he would be more open, more considerate in his strengths, more aware of his weaknesses, more of a democrat than a despot in his dealings with them and, if only they stayed with him, he would lead them through the sloughs of well deserved despond into the promised booty of income unearned and negative governance by negligence.

Mr Brown was contrite, as only a politician can be. He swore on everything he holds dear he would change, provided he could hold on to everything he does hold dear. His cabal sheathed their cardboard swords and agreed. Which effectively meant Brown could hold on to all he holds dear, namely his power base, and nothing will change.

A situation well exemplified by the announcement that the long awaited and much delayed, by reason of obfuscation, inquiry into the Governments commitment to and handling of the Iraq war will be subject to Westminster's umpireship.

It would seem Brown is once again hellbent in proving he's the master of the most cost for least useable return dictum of dictatorship.

To quote Howard Zinn,"In circumstances such as these civil disobedience is not our problem, it's our civil obedience." Shame on you Mr Brown - but I'm forgetting; as a Westminster politician you are immune to shame, which means by definition you are incapable of contrition. Sad really but we will just have to see if a 10% poll rating is an incompetent Quislings tipping point.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

There's a Time for Everything Under Brown.

I mean you've got to hand it to them, Labour couldn't create a coup out of chaos.

But there again why should our champions of democracy commit kazeekama when they can tuck another couple of hundred Ks under their belts by attending (at their leisurely discretion of course) to our democratic representation for another twelve months.

Meanwhile, our benevolent dictator, ever conscious of his paternalistic duty and shrugging of the heavy mantle of utter rejection behind the mask of denial has decided he, his cabal of jobsworths and the magnates of Labours hegemony are the best cure for the ills they've forced upon us. Call me cynical, but that seems too much like the mugged enquiring if his mugger has got enough cash to get safely home.

And this is from a man who has vanquished the cycles of boom and bust into a permanency of bust; who has tackled the challenge of the gap between the rich and poor by adding to the ranks of the poor and widening the gap; who's concept of probity is to remove the responsibility of corporates to provide a pension to their employees. In fact to remove any responsibility from corporates (provided they're large enough) towards their fundamental duties of contributing to the societies they use and exploit. The man who has denounced spin and adopted flap, while turning a blind eye to the flipping of the golden flats and the evasion of tax on the profit gained by investments paid for by the taxpayer. But, most damning of all, this man who has achieved nothing but failures during his term as Prime Minister- and some would add exchequer- now wants to add the reform of our democratic process to his portfolio?

I mean. to use Rumfelds dictum, this must be one of the known knowns as a recipe for disaster and a time for Brown to forget.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

One Ball Too Many

On Thursday of this week we're told we have to do our civic duty and vote for the MEPs of our choice. Except it's not our choice; at least not as far as the main domestic parties are concerned, merely a list of names of candidates they have chosen. Names that for the most part have been dragged from the anonymity bucket of party activists. Seems to me that's more akin to an act of blind faith than a legitimate democratic process.

Which leads me to question what exactly we're voting for; and, is there even a shadow of democracy in the whole European charade when the Council of Ministers and the Commissioners are appointed by the elites of the political inner temples of the member States?

In the UK alone we have developed a growth industry out of politics. We already have more layers of governance than an archaeologists could imagine in their wettest dreams. From parish, town, city and county we go on to the major leagues of devolved, commons and the Lords before bringing in the battery producers of Europe; all of whom seem incapable of creating anything with any real effect other than to lighten our wallets.

Why is it not possible for constituency MPs to represent us in Europe. Perhaps selected by their parties and offered alongside the smaller or dissident candidates. Who knows we might get some work out of them; or would that be one ball too many in the juggling act of keeping legislation tight, regulation light and their expenses at there height irrespective of the blight they inflict on democracy.

So what exactly are we voting for? Is it an undemocratic executive with no responsiblity or accountability or even the sham of a pretendy democracy, becuase that's how it seems to me.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Calm Before The Repression.

A pensive peace trickles through the empty halls of Westminster. A whiff of hope emerging that time - the political cure-all - will allow the fog of apathy to hide the torrent of corrupted sewage and calm the ship of state and its demented crew. Time enough at least to let the rhetoric of 'reform' set in before it steers towards the harbour of establishment, where reform, democracy and the rights of citizens become once again euphemisms for repression.

Me! I hope the Telegraph has kept the worst till last. That the silence of a conspicuous number of the political elite is to a greater extent down to the glass house syndrome rather than a miraculous conversion to honest and competent representation. But however it turns out, I'm sure they'll be frantically working to present the miraculous version - pity they don't work so frantically and frankly on the job we pay them to do.

That apart, I've just had an election pamphlet for Labour dropped through my door.

It tells me Labour is winning the fight for Britains future. Pity it got us into the fight in the first place.

It goes on to inform me there are 8 Labour candidates for my region and lists their names. Nothing else, just their names and the fact they come under the umbrella of Labour; and I've to put my cross in the box next to Labour. Now that's just stupidly arrogant enough for Labour to lose any vote it may or may not have got from me.

I've scrawled - It's called democracy stupid - across it's 'Fair' frontage and will invest 30p to post it back to them. Who knows, there might be a future leader in the post room who hasn't been lobotomised.

Monday, 25 May 2009

A Tale of Two Apathies?

Crinkly is suffering from the resource curse. It's an honourable state of mind brought on by bewilderment fatigue at the chasms accepted as norms within societies, as opposed to those expected as acceptable norms by individuals. Basically governments have demands and decrees while individuals have wants and expectations; and, due to the imbalance of power between the two, normally it's the individual who loses out.

Perhaps it's that 'imbalance' that needs levelling out - and here I offer an observation which could be classed as verging on the optimistic. Every reference source referred to by Crinkly would be covered by a 2,ooo year time span. Not a huge wedge from the flux of civilisation let alone evolution and when you consider there's less than a hundred years since every strata of society in the UK was franchised with the 'right' to vote, is it possible that we're expecting too much too soon, or does the burden of integrity and its deficits rest with our governors for abetting but not aiding the development of the democratic process? 

If we consider the last sixty years of democracy in Britain we have in the first thirty years the consolidation of the welfare state and the NHS etc, but for the next thirty years nothing. Not one progressive move to enhance democracy, but many to limit, divert or diminish its values. In fact democracy Westminster style is slowly being suffocated into fascism, where the electorate is granted a limited right within an inequitable system to elect a dictatorship. It's the only conclusion you can come to when thirty years of governance under our governors rules has failed to improve the lot of common man. But perhaps that thirty years of spin covering inertia has developed an energy they can no longer submerge with their arrogant apathy.

Which is why the quality of democracy we enjoy in this country comes down to the stronger of two apathy's. The apathy of those who believe they wield power by some circumstance of right, or the apathy of us, the governed, to allow them the belief of that right.

Belief they say is the final doubt to dispel. And, while in the recent past belief may have been a legitimate factor in the politics of democracy it cannot be now. Now it has to be a command democracy earned by the strength of our demands.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Crinkly ponders

How is it that whatever form of governance mankind tries, however well-meaning, however butressed by philosphical thought, almost like the law of entropy the initial state gradually evolves toward a stratified condition where power is gained by the few and exercised at the cost to the many?
We are assured that our politicians went into the representation business with the purest of motives, and now we've seen the degeneration that has overtaken so many of them. That the morality expressed as "I acted within the rules" (the Nuremburg defence) seems acceptable to so many of them may perhaps be traced to the high percentage of them trained as lawyers rather than as moralists. (As Robert Burns' Tam o'Shanter perceived, "Lawyers tongues turned inside-out as black with lies as a beggar's coat.) But then, what about the Roman Catholic priests, nuns, found on such a scale to have been guilty of child abuse? Surely one ought to have been able to reckon on high moral standards from them with their vaunted Christian beliefs?
The ancient Israelites got fed up with the sons of their prophet Samual "who did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice". So they clamoured for a king like the other nations but were warned by Samuel that a king would take what he wanted and they would end up as his slaves.
From Luther's reformation, via the Cromwellian overthrow of the divine right of kings, to the French Revolution and the reign of terror, the twentieth century attempts at communism, we see the same degeneration of high principles down to overt exploitation. Perhaps the most disappointing has been the American experience that, starting from the high principles enunciated by the likes of Thomas Paine in the Rights of Man, has spiralled down to the neocons and GWB.
To quote again from Burns, in his epitaph on Lord Galloway, a grasping landowner, "Bright ran thy line O Galloway/Through many a far-famed sire/So ran the far-famed Roman Way/So ended, in a mire."
Somehow, we need to find a way of evolving social progress that does not involve these repetitions of high expectation followed by degeneration. Such an approach was suggested by Karl Popper in "The Open Society and its Enemies", spelt out further by such as A J Ayer and others, explored in "Towards an Open Society", a seminar organized by the British Humanist Association as long ago as 1971 and even more relevant today after the intervening disasterous Thatcher-Blair periods.
But where is the political will and what political entity would come forward to press this case? Like so many today, I personally feel effectively disenfranchised because there is not going to be anyone representing these views for whom I can vote.

Sadim Brown and Democracy

Today the Guardian seems to be advocating the expenses corruption as a springboard for a new system of Westminster governance. A root and branch change but in the same old pot and with the tired old soil sustaining it.

Part of that soil are the leaders of the three main parties all humming the same tune if based on slightly different hymn sheets; with Sadim Brown as usual, slightly behind the beat and glottally humming catch- up. Why?

Why in the middle of catastrophes covering just about every gambit of democratic governance should three political leaders want to throw radical constitutional change into the mix? And why should Brown believe he's in anyway qualified to preside over these changes?

Mythology tells us that everything Midas touched turned to gold - for Brown everything he's touched has turned to dross. (Hence the Sadim)

His boom turned to dross.  And, despite the ever increasing awards to education and the NHS the results of these expenditures have been lost in the dross of statistics. In effect making dross of the amounts invested.

During his term he has allowed the wealthy to increase their welfare benefits while allowing benefits and pensions to decrease in real terms and as a prime minister he's generated debt, downgraded duty and either colluded or been blind to downright dishonesty. Now what, out of that amalgam, gives him the qualifications to participate in any reforming of democratic politics
 in this country? 

As for the other two, let them go to the country on a one term ticket of a government of national unity and reform.

Lets get the financial mess with the banks properly assessed and sorted out to the public's benefit not the conglomerates. Along with the values the British people want to put on their place in the world and in the society they want to live in. After all the purpose of governance is surprisingly simple: To serve the people, and to achieve that, a government should be able to show the lives of the people it has served have improved for the majority during their governance.

 We can hardly award Labour that plaudit, they're proven to be big on spin but poor on results. But there again, when they gained power in 97 it wasn't a change of political philosophy merely a management takeover. Time has proved that.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Corruption, corruption, corruption 21st century governance.

The present crises of corruption emanating in the bowels of Westminster has all the ingredients necessary to be served up as a funereal feast. Marking as it should the end of a governance era exemplified by deceit, incompetence, the lessening of standards to suit sub-prime financiers by socialising costs to benefit privatised profits and all of it based on the pigswill of political dogma of power irrespective of social cost, party hegemony and individual gain.

In 97 we had our 'Obama' moment, when Blair promised change and to be whiter than white. In the end they've achieved neither. In twelve years of power what have they achieved that could truly be called a legacy. The Smoking Ban!!!!

Let's look at Britain's past 12 years.

G Brown told us he'd eradicated boom and bust.

We perhaps had our suspicions as to the validity of the boom - housing bubbles, monopoly money leveraged in pyramid finance schemes  etc,  accompanied by galloping personal debt while being squeezed by ever increasing stealth taxes which never seemed to generate enough income for the Treasury to allow them to lessen the gap between the rich and poor. Suspicions that were slightly bewildering when it was a Labour party claiming the poor weren't doing enough to help themselves.

Now of course we know better. Brown didn't understand the boom anymore than he could control or mitigate the bust. He's was, is and will continue to be, an empty vessel of some use to Goldman Sacs. Enough at any rate for him to acquire one of their luxury flats in Edinburgh the title of which has subsequently been transferred to Mrs Brown.

Then we have Iraq - and here we may as well throw Afghanistan into the pot. Blair told us lies - he knew he was telling us lies when he claimed Iraq had WMD, but by then he'd adopted the poodle pose for G Bush. Nobody knows why he did this. After all the whole world was against this move? Perhaps he wanted to increase his property portfolio or his pension plan- so after some discussion with JP Morgan and BP he threw his lot and our cash in, and subsequently the lives of around 180 service men and women so he could play with the neo- cons mastering the world. Not forgetting Bosnia and Afghanistan, this born again hypocrite has weighed the lives of at least 300 of our servicemen as a reasonable cost to maintain his lavish lifestyle.

Then we have a Labour Party who, with a massive majority in parliament,  relinquishing any responsibility for governance or principles, decide to chill out and leave democracy to the combined talents of a 22 brained Cabinet. So much so, that when the great leader and ex chancellor prudence decide to remove the 10% tax they, the chilled out, applauded. Why shouldn't they - at the time they were riding high in the polls and Brown was about to become their new leader. However when the 10% was about to be withdrawn they upped and screamed foul. Why? Not because of the effect it would have on the poor; good lord no, but by then they were languishing in the polls and that could mean these free loading, incompetent, lazy, jobsworths would have to struggle in the maze of the real world.

In truth, while the people of this country have little to sing about since the end of the second world war the last twelve years have seen the pinnacle of mediocrity collapse into an abyss of cynical lies and corruption that greatly benefits one percent of the population; moderately benefits another nine and does nothing but add costs to the remaining ninety.

Hardly a worthwhile model of governance, even for fascism.

Friday, 15 May 2009

In essence Crinkley's right but the monarchy thing is just a figurehead, a bit player in the theater of governance that's heavily invested in a play titled, or more accurately mis-titled as democracy.

When the chasm between 'official' (in either commercial or political terms) is so wide and deep between their rhetoric and the reality of both their purpose and the reality experienced by the world, democracy becomes no more than a title with no part in either the script or the plot.

That's exactly how the masters want it to be and they have no qualms whatsoever in charging us if their scams turn to dust as in the recent financial meltdown or screwing us when their Ponzi schemes are riding high.

Who are the 'Us'? Why we're the gullible consumers who's values are limited to our credit rating.

Bit of a bloody cheek when you consider our 'masters' have confirmed their sub-prime status in finance, government and as the electorates representatives.

We do need root and branch change and the first root to change is for sovereignty to be removed from parlaiment and rest with the people.

It's not just the current crop of MPs that are the problem, it's the whole set-up derived from the monarchy/aristocracy thing, where those at the top make their own rules and live high on the hog while those in the great majority are milked of the fruits of their labour. Root and branch change is needed to create an open society with bottom-up democracy and "the greatest among you being the servants of all" as the man said.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Ragged Arsed Musings

These are two ancient crustaceans to whom the experiences of life have imparted a deep cynicism about the powers that be, and a need to express their thoughts about all manner of current and past events - personal, social, political and you-name-it, we have an opinion or two!