Robbing The People – The Ultimate Theft

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Robbing The People

The Ultimate Theft

Growing up in the fifties it was customary to leave the back door open in many homes. Friends and neighbours would pop in and out, sharing resources and helping each other out. Material possessions were few.

Such practice is unusual today. Locks and alarms are fitted to houses, cars and even garden sheds. We live in a world of envy; we live in a materialist world where things matter, and it seems people don’t any more. Advertisers feed on greed, along the lines of “Be the Envy of your Neighbourhood, Buy Me!”.

A mobile phone is safely tucked away. Insurance companies grow ever richer by our need for Things, our need to keep Things safe, and our mistrust of one another. Front doors are firmly locked against potential thieves – that’s everyone as no one trusts anyone any more. Meanwhile, through the back door, those assets we treasure most are stolen. Theft of our most basic needs, and of our right to access them is The Ultimate Theft. It is no accident that social housing, public utilities – Water (1) and Energy (2), transport (3), Elderly Care (4), The NHS (5), Hospitals (6), Schools (7), the Post Office (8), Fire Service (9), Prisons (10), Probation Service (11) – everything is being wrenched away from us, handed over to private Bankers, at home and abroad, in order that the rich elite can accumulate riches more than they can ever need. It’s real, it’s still happening now. We can ask why and how it has happened, and what we can do to stop it, for stop it we must.

What drives the Ultimate Theft?

Why do the very rich who possess more than they can ever need crave more and more? Like a drug gives a false happiness, addiction is a replacement for some missing need.

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You may recall The Who’s lyrics from Tommy:

“The Who‘s lyrics proved so spot-on that a pleasurable dopamine hit convinced me to feature them in a second post about self-actualisation

From: The Dopamine Project (12)

“I’m free, I’m free, and freedom tastes of reality
But you’ve been told many times before
Messiahs point you to the door
No one had the guts to leave the temple.” : The Who

The glitch that keeps us from reaching our true potential can be traced to primitive ancestors who cultivated natural cravings into addictions to food, sex, safety, power, acceptance, approval, attention, esteem, and status. To complicate matters, our more recent ancestors added unnatural addictions to dopamine-triggering substances, beliefs, and behaviors, e.g. money, religion, and drugs. Then they bequeathed their addictions to newborns who were indoctrinated by societies controlled by of out-of-control money, power, status, and/or religion addicts.

Since we’re talking about the same dopamine that junkies trigger with heroin, it’s no surprise that the symptoms are the same, i.e. self-deception, denial, and the dishonesty that allows addicts to continue doing the only thing addicts care about = vigilantly protecting dopamine flow.

Freedom tastes of reality = honesty = self-actualization.
Dopamine addiction tastes of delusion = dishonesty = denial of self-actualisation.

George Monbiot observes that “The politics of Envy is keenest among the very rich. (13)” The means justifies the end. There is no pleasure in attainment and as drug addicts self control is minimal.

In order to grant the rich these pleasures, the social contract is reconfigured. The welfare state is dismantled. Essential public services are cut so that the rich may pay less tax. The public realm is privatised, the regulations restraining the ultra-wealthy and the companies they control are abandoned, and Edwardian levels of inequality are almost fetishised.

Think Left’s article “Increasing the sum of global well-being should be the ultimate and arching for every politician and party (14) ” emphasises that unregulated markets do not make people happy. Indeed, it seems very few people achieve happiness from unbridled capitalism. It is like a computer virus let loose, like a parasite which, while neglecting its host’s well-being is doomed. Parasites are what the very rich are. They make nothing. They do nothing. They just consume, and leave their toxic waste in their wake. In consuming their host which produces or modifies necessary resources, they cannot thrive. So, the driving factor of the ultimate theft is an obsession, a madness in pursuit of unattainable happiness. Such a habit has been proven to be a disaster to the world and its inhabitants which is totally out of control. Like the emperor who wears no clothes, we all know it is flawed, but no one dares say so.

How was the Ultimate Theft Achieved?

The Ultimate Theft has been premeditated and manipulated. It has been meticulously planned since Thatcher and Reagan started their Neoliberalist Experiment. There is considerable evidence that the current government, whilst claiming to protect front line services had this intent. Think Left’s “Who said the NHS will be shown No Mercy (15)”, and the Independent’s recent “Secret Memo shows Michael Gove’s plan for Privatisation of Academies (7) ” refer to this, and there are countless other examples of evidence. Lack of clarity, and vagueness in plans is typical, and since election manifestos did not make such policies clear, the Coalition have no mandate.

Clause 39 of The Magna Carta, in 1215. (16)

states: “We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right”. The Guardian reports that some privatisation of the Courts System (17) has already been planned, and there is confusion as to what will be sold off.

The justice secretary is a huge fan of outsourcing, and has a talent for ignoring troublesome evidence, however compelling. He also regards anything which smacks of rights – constitutional or human – as an irritant, an outmoded obstacle to thrusting reform, and to be dispatched as swiftly as possible. Certainly an 800-year-old prohibition on the sale of “justice or right” is not going to stand in his way. Not when there is money to be made by big business.

  • One tactic to achieve the Ultimate Theft was to divide the working class by brainwashing them into believing that it was in their interests to buy shares into something they already owned (18). Like Pyramid Selling, the politicians themselves are bought by lobbyists to adopt policies to which they themselves have a conflict of interests – and yet the reality is that everyone is doomed by the continuation of a capitalist system which cannot work.

George Monbiot: continues: Politicians justify these changes, when not reciting bogus arguments about the deficit, with the incentives for enterprise that they create.

Behind that lies the promise or the hint that we will all be happier and more satisfied as a result. But this mindless, meaningless accumulation cannot satisfy even its beneficiaries, except perhaps – and temporarily – the man wobbling on the very top of the pile.

  • The myth that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector is yet another myth which we are invited to believe. There is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Indeed, the simple fact is that the first responsibility of private companies is to their shareholders, and so the quality of service is secondary (Think Left Public Service or Private Profit (19). The attempt to justify this is to frame the argument that a service is failing, and then seek to take it over.
  • Governments cite “research” by Right Wing ‘Think Tanks’ funded by the rich, such as this recent article which justifies prison privatisation (20). The Huffington Past articles contradicts the claim. “ Privatisation will not Rehabilitate our Prisons (10)”
  • The attempts to control the means of communication of the Press and the media is not new. The BBC is in itself owned by the people of Britain, yet did not and does not present a true picture of the plans to privatise public services such as the NHS.
  • Creating distractions in the “News” is a well-used tactic, populist ideas of relive unimportance, celebrities and TV shows grab the headlines, burying bad news and hiding the Truth.
  • Alarming and frightening the public is often a deliberate tactic. “The Shock Doctrine” (21) or disaster politics (22) will have people running into line, like lemmings off a cliff. As Herman Goering (23) observed “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country”.
  • It is a natural instinct for a social animal such as mankind to feel pride in one’s family, in ones’s community. It may be 1.8 million years since some of us began to migrate out of Africa (24) , and we became divided, but today, communication and travel has brought us together again. Politicians abuse the idea of patriotism for their own ends (Remember the Falklands?), and so divide the working people, so each blames the other. I have heard UKIP supporters claim that there are too many people in this country. There is plenty of land. The truth is that there are not enough jobs, because the global capitalists just want the cheapest labour available. Oxfam states (25) that the richest 100 billionaires could put an end to global poverty four times over.
  • Then there is the argument that we cannot afford public services because we cannot afford it, because of the Deficit. They say that Gordon Grown spent all the money. This is an argument based on lies, reinforced by the media (see Osborne and Cameron’s big deficit myth(26). It is the banks who are seen to have developed such a powerful system , a plutocracy that they can bring down an entire country at will. (Gordon Brown didn’t spend all the money- the Banks did! (27)

The same applies to collective growth. Governments today have no vision but endless economic growth. They are judged not by the number of people in employment – let alone by the number of people in satisfying, pleasurable jobs – and not by the happiness of the population or the protection of the natural world. George Monbiot

One of the first actions of this parliament was to set up a fixed term parliament. Unable to achieve an overall majority, they knew it would be a one term parliament.

Nevertheless, their actions now are planning for further cuts beyond the next General Election. Signing up to US/EU trade agreements would mean that the sell off of valued services such as our NHS would be lost forever. The warning from US officials is, if Britain leaves the EU, US trade agreements would be a risk. A Europe signing such agreements will surrender But in return, Europe would have to give up existing protections on its agriculture, film industry and public services. (Guardian). (28)

Where is the democratic process? The British people did not vote for this and do not want this. It must be openly discussed by our media. Is it?

The Ultimate Solution:

The madness is unsustainable. Money, by itself has no value, or meaning. It is just a token by which we can register exchange of labour, resources or skills. We can do the same by barteringsee example (29) If I grow some cabbages for your table, will you teach my child to read? These days, money is just a figure on a computer somewhere in the world. If all the computers in the world were to crash, would we then starve? It would depend on the labour of those of us who can grow food as to whether we can eat. Bankers would be redundant. They wouldn’t be missed!

The Labour Party must make a break with the madness of neoliberalism which Blair had continued , and be truthful about the deficit, and debt. Labour must pledge to reverse the privatisation of public utilities and services. Labour must work for tax justice, put an end to tax avoidance and support country-by-country-reporting, if not go it alone. Our elected representatives must work for the interests of people, not rich bankers. Britain does not need to accept control from global banks. This is not democracy. With our own currency, it would be possible to wipe out any debts by a Modern Jubilee as suggested by Steve Keen. (30)That is the way to put this at an end.

The modern “debt jubilee” is characterised as “quantitative easing for the public”. It has been boiled down to a procedure where the central bank does not create new money by buying the sovereign debt of the government. Instead, it takes an arbitrary number, writes a check for that number, and deposits it in the bank account of every individual in the nation. Debtors must use the newly-created money to pay down or pay off debt. Those who are not in debt can use it as a free windfall to spend or “invest” as they see fit.

Modern Germany was built on a debt jubilee, this is the way to end the madness. In recovery, we should be planning for full employment, democratically owned and monitored public services, and building a just and more equal society, as Atlee’s government began in the Spirit of 1945. We need a new Spirit of 2015.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

(Dopamine Project) “The self-deceptions, denials, and dishonesty we “re-lie” on to protect dopamine flow keep us from being here now, self-actualizing, experiencing true freedom, and fully comprehending what it means to be human beings sharing an impossible, incomprehensible, mystical, unfathomable, amazing, spiritual experience.”

References and Further Reading

  1. Watered Down Morality (Water Privatisation) Think Left
  2. The Energy Trap: Think Left
  3. Renationalise the Railways: Think Left
  4. Guardian: Privatising Care will inevitably lead to lower standards
  5. Left Futures: EU Health Regulations – improving patient’s rights pr more NHS privatisation?
  6. Weston Mercury: Hospital put up for sale sparks fight to protect it
  7. Independent: Secret Memo shows Michael Gove’s plan for privatisation of Academies.
  8. Huffington Post: Post Office Privatisation
  9. Daily Mirror: Fire Service Privatisation
  10. Huffington Post: Privatisation will not Rehabilitate our Prisons
  11. Guardian Ministers accused of dismantling Probation Service
  12. When, What, Why, and How the Who knew about Self Actualisation (Dopamine Project)
  13. George Monbiot: “Why the Politics of Envy are Keenest among the very rich.
  14. Increasing the sum of global well-being should be the ultimate and arching for every politician and party
  15. Who said the NHS will be shown No Mercy
  16. Clause 39 of The Magna Carta, in 1215.
  17. Guardian: Privatising the courts system: the public are not customers, they are citizens.
  18. If you see Sid, Think Left
  19. Think Left Public Service or Private Profit
  20. BBC: Right Wing Think Tank – Private firms better at running Prisons
  21. “The Shock Doctrine”
  22. Cameron and Co Demonstrate the Art of Disaster Politics
  23. Herman Goering: Quote
  24. Man’s Migration out of Africa: (Wikipedia Early Human Migrations)
  25. Oxfam states that the richest 100 billionaires could put an end to global poverty four times over.
  26. Osborne and Cameron’s big deficit myth
  27. Gordon Brown didn’t spend all the money- the Banks did!
  28. Guardian: EU Exit would put US trade deal at risk, Britain warned.
  29. Independent: Bartering: “Go swapping, it’s good for your wallet, and health
  30. Modern Jubilee as suggested by Steve Keen
  31. Pascale Bruckner: Happiness is a moment of Grace: Guardian
  32. Think Left: Academisation and the Demolition of our Education System
  33. Think Left The Penalities of Ostrich Politics and the Demolition of Welfare State and the NHS
  34. Web4Health: Causes of addiction and Eating disorders

Beans On Toast – The American Dollar #music #glastonbury

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Beans On Toast – The American Dollar

Beans On Toast began playing in 2005, rising from the London folk scene. He opened proceedings at Glastonbury Festival in 2007 and has played each year since. He supported Kate Nash at London’s Hammersmith Apollo in 2008. Last year he temporarily “morphed into a rap/hip-hop artist and after sacking his band on New Year’s Eve he formed a full on country band for 2010”.

He now tours with the seven-piece folk band Handshake who provide backing at all live shows, becoming the ‘Beans Experience’. Both performed and recorded as part of the Communion collaborations in 2010, featuring Lissie, Angus & Julia Stone and Mumford & Sons, which was due for release in 2010. He also recently supported Frank Turner at his Wembley Arena show in April 2012 playing to over 10000 people.

Beans On Toast released his 50-track ‘Standing On A Chair’ in 2009, produced by Ben Lovett from Mumford & Sons. It features guest vocals by Emmy The Great, Frank Turner and members of The Holloways, amongst others.

http://www.beansontoastmusic.com/

Why the Left needs to back Labour

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Why the Left needs to back Labour

by Christine Clifford

“I will never vote Labour again.”

How many times have you seen this in online forums or said face to face? I know I have had it up to here!
Moral indignation about the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, the excision of Clause 4, student loans. You name it there is someone who feels betrayed, let down, abandoned by New Labour and who will take revenge by never , ever voting for Labour again. Any reformation of the Party, any new leader will make not a jot of difference. People are angry and unforgiving.

I was listening to just such a person, educated, and very self-righteous who could not and would not be swayed. We were in a reading group, talking about the book, ‘ What money can’t buy: The Moral Limits of Markets’, by Michael Sandel.

This left me thinking about the moral limits of righteous rage. Where does your moral line in the sand lie? It is about your feelings, your anger? Or do we need to set aside our own position and look at the wider social need?
If I don’t vote Labour and millions won’t, there is an increased chance that this coalition of misery on our brothers and sisters in the country will continue. If we vote Labour, if we lobby Labour, agitate, press, persuade, convince Labour of our cogent arguments about the things we care about, then I hope we will have a government that will redress the wrongs we are seeing. That may not be simply restoring the things that have been cut or repealing bills. It could involve new things, better in the long term for the future of all of us.

I am a pragmatic optimist. Am also long enough in the tooth to know there will be compromise. We can’t all have what we want. The coming together of the People’s assembly was a good step. All those splinters of protest coming together under an anti-austerity banner. It needs to go further. But we need to decide what we want in 2015 and it needs to be achievable. I believe that needs to be a Labour Government, it will not be perfect but it will not be New Labour either.

Guardian Review: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/may/25/money-cant-buy-sandel-review
The People’s Assembly http://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/

JP Morgan wants Europe to be rid of Social Rights, Democracy, Employee rights and the Right to Protest

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JP Morgan wants Europe to be rid of social rights, democracy, employee rights and the right to protest

By Richard Murphy, director of Tax Research UK

originally posted in Good Society

Hat tip Kitty S Jones

JP-Morgan

In late May J P Morgan issued a chilling review of what they saw as the state of progress on tackling the Eurozone crisis. As they put it:

“The narrative of crisis management in the Euro area has two dimensions: first, designing new institutions for the next steady state (EMU-2); and second, dealing with the national legacy problems, some of which were there at EMU’s launch and some of which arose during the first decade of the monetary union’s life.”

Their assessment of progress is:

  • Sovereign deleveraging—about halfway there.
  • Real exchange rate adjustment—almost there for a number of countries.
  • Household deleveraging in Spain—about a quarter of the way there in stock terms, but almost there in flow terms.
  •  Bank deleveraging—hard to say due to heterogeneity across countries and banks, but large banks have made a lot of progress.
  •  Structural reform—hard to say but progress is being made.
  • Political reform—hardly even begun.

I could comment on the first five issues, but it is the last that is most chilling. A view of ‘the journey of national political reform’ as they see it:

At the start of the crisis, it was generally assumed that the national legacy problems were economic in nature. But, as the crisis has evolved, it has become apparent that there are deep seated political problems in the periphery, which, in our view, need to change if EMU is going to function properly in the long run. The political systems in the periphery were established in the aftermath of dictatorship, and were defined by that experience. Constitutions tend to show a strong socialist influence, reflecting the political strength that left wing parties gained after the defeat of fascism. Political systems around the periphery typically display several of the following features: weak executives; weak central states relative to regions; constitutional protection of labor rights; consensus building systems which foster political clientalism; and the right to protest if unwelcome changes are made to the political status quo. The shortcomings of this political legacy have been revealed by the crisis. Countries around the periphery have only been partially successful in producing fiscal and economic reform agendas, with governments constrained by constitutions (Portugal), powerful regions (Spain), and the rise of populist parties (Italy and Greece).

There is a growing recognition of the extent of this problem, both in the core and in the periphery. Change is beginning to take place. Spain took steps to address some of the contradictions of the post-Franco settlement with last year’s legislation enabling closer fiscal oversight of the regions. But, outside Spain little has happened thus far. The key test in the coming year will be in Italy, where the new government clearly has an opportunity to engage in meaningful political reform. But, in terms of the idea of a journey, the process of political reform has barely begun.

What J P Morgan is making clear is that ‘socialist’ inclinations must be removed from political structures; localism must be replaced with strong, central, authority; labour rights must be removed, consensus (call it democracy if you will) must cease to be of concern and the right to protest must be curtailed.

This is an agenda for hard right, corporatist, centrist government. There’s another word for that, and it’s what the bankers seem to want.

Human Rights

You have been warned. Amazingly, they had the nerve to issue the warning.

Further Reading:

It’s a Rotten Parliament … We can’t get the staff these days…..

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It’s a Rotten Parliament

We can’t get the staff these days. – They think they’re in charge

If Call-me-Dave and his cronies shut up for long enough they’d hear the raucous laughter reverberating around the isles. Followed by outrage and sighs of deep, deep despair.

‘They’ just don’t get it, do they?

Or do they? Either way: I’m not sure which reality is the scariest.

It’s not just the economy, dire as it is; inept as politicians are. It’s not just social policy, backward and insidious as it is. It’s not just moralising, obsessive and faulty as it is. It’s neo-theocracy dressed up as concern; power and control hiding under benevolence.

That old and now rarely expressed phrase comes to mind: One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. The spying on and curbing of civil liberties is in direct proportion to a government’s lack of trust in its electorate. This government, like the one before, would seem to both fear and despise us.

When Authority has to micro-manage its environment and scrutinise the lives of its citizens like this, it has already demonstrated a loss of faith in the collective.

Protesters in other countries are freedom fighters and seekers of democracy while here, in the Dis-United Kingdom of not-so Great Britain, the dissenting voices are accused of talking and bringing the country down; of being rioters, anarchists, even. You wait – we’ll be told we’re unpatriotic next. Then they’ll really be able to define us as terrorists.

“If you’ve done nothing wrong…” What complete and utter bollocky balderdash! You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. Besides, judging by the divisive manner in which this government publicly categorises and scapegoats its own citizens, I really wouldn’t put any faith in its ability to discern the ‘good’ from the ‘enemy’, would you? Especially when you think of how most of our ‘enemies’ have been deliberately induced or even conjured from thin air in the service of imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, feudalism ism ism ism…

It’s a bit disingenuous to call all this invading, dividing and conquering of selected fashionable spots around the world ‘defending’ the UK. Nope. Rather it’s the usual suspects stirring shit, starting wars, invading governed and ‘ungoverned spaces’, enabling profiteering: having the audacity to call it ‘help’.

Do we vote and pay taxes for government to decide what is and isn’t ‘wrong’ behaviour? Do we pay the wages of those elected ‘representatives’ for it to make those definitions? Surely not?!

Whatever ‘they’ do get, they don’t get this:

We, The People – WE are the ‘Big House’; THEY are the staff.

They are just the staff…

Austerity still won’t work in 2020: Stop the madness now

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Austerity isn’t Working – and it still won’t in 2020

If austerity isn’t working, why is George Osborne setting budgets until 2020, way beyond the term of parliament, and without an overall majority. By what democratic right does he seek to do this. It is about time politicians started listening to the People. It is, after all, the people who are EMPLOYING them, not the other way around.

All around the country, people are protesting about cuts which are destroying the very structure of society. Thatcher may be now be dead, but this echoes of the ominous words “No such thing as society”. People are organising, people are actively opposing these policies, on the streets, on the internet, in print. The time is right, for the people to reclaim the agenda. How much of this is being reported by the BBC and in the mainstream media.? More and more people are standing up against this mad, reactionary, undemocratic, deceptive government.

On Wednesday 26th June, George Osborne will announce he wants to continue the failing austerity agenda, with the spending review setting budgets from 2015 – 2020. Nationally, Labour have already said they will follow these plans if they win in 2015 so change come only come from outside of parliament. Expect more cuts as Osborne desperately tries to defy economic history by trying to expand the economy through contractionary measures. Join us for a demonstration calling for an alternative economic strategy:

5pm
Wednesday 26th June

Outside Waterstones, High St/Bullring

We are currently living through the worst recovery from recession in over 100 years. The financial collapse, the recession that followed and the bailing out of the banks caused mass unemployment and the government deficit and debt to rise hugely, and giving the excuse for austerity, which is rampant neo-liberalism.

Graph comparing current recession with historical recessions, showing we are living through the worst recovery in 100 yearsSource: NIESR

Politicians will be cutting government spending, especially on benefits, whilst shifting as much as possible of what’s left into the private sector, giving ordinary taxpayers worse services at a higher cost. PFI is possibly the biggest example of the outcomes of this kind of thinking producing a far more expensive system of building public infrastructure than paying for it ourselves, closely followed by the Work Programme which actually reduces peoples chances of finding a job.

The results of austerity are pretty stark – mass unemployment and underemployment: in the West Midlands unemployment figures have consistently risen, and in the rest of the country they have started falling only because of a huge rise in part time working, self-employment and workfare. Anyone who is fortunate enough to have a steady job will have seen their wages falling in value as inflation outsrips raises. The result is that wages have fallen back to the levels they were in 2003. Anyone on benefits faces rises of just 1%, whilst inflation on essentials like food and fuel is the highest in Europe. For anyone except the richest people, CEOs (FTSE 100 CEO average payrise, 12%. FTSE 100 average fall in value, 5%. FTSE 100 average employee payrise, 1%) and millionaires, living standards are falling as the economy stagnates.

jcp-sign

Those unable to find work face an increasingly fierce regime at the job centre with sanctions being handed out for ridiculous reasons, including having found a job that started in two weeks and not doing any jobsearch in those two weeks, and being unable to be in two places at once. Targets at the job centre combine with language at the top telling people that sanctions are a useful way to help people into work, and should be used as much as possible, and of talking of claimants as shirkers, lazy scum, undeserving undesirables. Advisors at a local job centre were offered an easter egg as a prize for meeting sanctions targets. All the programmes to “help” unemployed people have failed because they do not create jobs or build real skills, too often just being CV writing courses over and over again.

Growth has stuttered, just 0.2% in 2012 with a triple dip recession avoided by moving in and out of growth each quarter. Without growth, if the richest are getting richer (and they are), then it stands to reason that everyone else must be getting poorer. Half a million people are now using foodbanks to stave off hunger, homelessness has risen by 23% in two years.

And the deficit? Well in 2012/13, Osborne managed to reduce it by just £300m, and only that because he delayed a load of payments from March into April. On finding that cutting government spending in a recession hasn’t produced a significant drop in the deficit, Osborne will decide the only possibly way to continue is to cut even more. Instead we should be talking about a change in strategy.

Every crisis is an opportunity. We are at a point in history where we need to make huge investments in infrastructure projects if we are to move past the linked problems of peak oil and climate change. We need to replace our housing stock with zero energy houses. We need to replace our energy supply with renewable, carbon free energy sources – of which we have some excellent ones available to us. We need to do all this, and doing this produces growth and creates jobs. Which is exactly what we need to do right now because of the recession. We are able to borrow at historically low rates of interest, just 0.5%, far lower than the private sector can borrow at.

The government also has lower debt than the private sector, leaving it best placed to borrow the money to build the infrastructure we need to take a huge step towards moving past our environmental and energy problems, and at the same time help our immediate economic problems.

The Tories say that you cannot borrow your way out of a debt crisis, but if you borrow and invest in profitable infrastructure then you can pay back your borrowing out of the future revenues. You also save money by stimulating the economy and the private sector. You can pay living wages to the public sector employees and put pressure on private sector wages to increase. All of this increases demand, most of which will be for private sector services and products, helping to produce more growth. This means more tax income and less spending on benefits which offsets some or all of the borrowing costs, with future income more than covering the rest.

In the case of housing this is doubly true because you would cut the cost of housing benefit hugely by increasing the supply of relatively cheap social housing, creating both a direct cut in the cost of rent and putting pressure on private rents to be cut. Council housing provides a small surplus to the taxpayer each year, imagine how much more this would be if we built millions of houses. But don’t expect Pickles to respond positively to Birmingham Labour’s call to be allowed to borrow more money to build the houses we need for a growing city.

The core of an alternative economic strategy is to make growth and jobs the short term goal, and produce that in a way that designed to reduce carbon emissions and energy use. We make reducing the deficit and debt the long term aims. It is the strategy that has worked since the great depression. It is the strategy that takes advantage of the crisis we face and uses it to help ordinary people, not impoverish them in order to make the rich richer. This is the reverse of the austerity strategy. This strategy will not come from the main parties. It can only come from outside of parliament.

Too Many People? Or Too Much Greed?

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Too Many People or Too Much Greed?

Peak oil is the Crisis we must face.

I hear UKIP supported saying, “There are too many people”.They’re taking all the jobs. No, the truth is there is plenty of room for all. there is plenty of food for all. Oxfam presented the evidence that we can feed the world four times over. But exponential population growth by any species cannot be sustained. In truth population growth, economic growth are the Earth’s resource are linked. There is no sense, little responsibility, but there is Greed The race to the bottom for the cheapest labour is driven by greed. Wars are fought for greed for oil. One day the oil will run out.

As a species, we are nothing special. We think we are so much cleverer than any other which ever evolved on Earth. We do not have super powers. Superman does not exist. Neither are we built in “God’s own image”.

Like any other species, we succumb to the cyclical powers of nature, whether it is an earthquake, volcano, tsunami or tornado, whether a freak plague of insects, or drought, flood or famine; all of these disasters were written about in ancient times.

Like any other species there are limiting factors on our population, but we can maintain a sustainable population by “living within our means” or maintaining a balanced population size (carrying capacity) which is in equilibrium, living within a world able to supply all our needs for survival.

Yet it is our own activities which increase the risk of extinction. We have knowledge, but we do not use it, share it or act on it. Why not? I’m talking about common sense. The danger is staring us in the face, while we choose to ignore it time and time again. The price of ignoring the evidence will be extinction of mankind. This can be avoided, but we must act, and we need to start now. It’s time we grew up and stopped pretending.

In an interview Professor Hawking spoke to BBC’s Radio 4 Today Programme and answered questions put to him by listeners.

He said: “It is possible that the human race could become extinct but it is not inevitable. I think it is almost certain that a disaster, such as nuclear war or global warming will befall the earth within a thousand years.”

He also said it was essential humans colonise space to allow them to spread across the universe.

Very simply, we need to consider:

  1. Population growth is unsustainable.
  2. That 95% of oil already has been discovered.
  3. It is perfectly feasible for use to energy needs without using fossil fuels or nuclear power.
  4. Why evidence presented by Scientists is not being acted upon.
  5. Why governments appear to be ignoring all of the above.

POPULATION

Warren S Thompson (1887-1973) on population change spoke of the transition from a world dominated by high mortality, autocracy and subsistence to a ‘new’ world of low mortality, democracy and an ever globalising economy. This period (DTM4) of slow but steady population growth he saw earthly paradise in which mortality, fertility were low. His prediction was that population growth would eventually lead to a slow decline in population (DTM5) due to a very low birth rate, a low death rate and a slow decrease of the total population.

There are already signs that we are rapidly moving towards a decline due to limiting factors on population. Current global problems such as water, soil and food depletion are signs that human population is growing beyond that sustainable on a planet with finite resources. To survive a species needs to be sustainable and to maintain our carrying capacity (sustainable population) such that the resources are maintained for subsequent and future generations.

“The most startling example of the exhaustion of stage 4 is Russia’s recent demographic performance. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia has lost 5.7 million people through higher death rates and lower birth rates. This is equivalent to the emptying of Scotland and the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.”

Paul Chefurka in Population: The Elephant in the Room sees things quite differently than Thompson did, primarily because of oil usage.

“At the root of all the converging crises in today’s world is the issue of human overpopulation. Each of the global problems we face today is the result of too many people using too much of our planet’s finite, non-renewable resources and filling its waste repositories of land, water and air to overflowing. The true danger posed by our exploding population is not our absolute numbers but the inability of our environment to cope with so many of us doing what we do.”

OIL

There is no doubt that the discovery of oil and the introduction of its general use is closely linked to the rapid increase in world population and industrialisation. Over the last 2000 years there has been a steady increase in world population, but a very sudden and dramatic increase in population can be seen to coincide with the introduction of oil into general use in around 1900.

The correlation between oil production and human population is very clear

Oil allowed the rapid explosion of population because of industrialisation. Farms could be ploughed by machinery rather than being pulled by the horse, so food production became more efficient. Transport across the globe became a reality. Distribution of food and medicine and other resources became possible over wide geographical areas. It might seem like a dream, like a paradise. But all this is unsustainable. OIl production has peaked, and therefore so has population, and we are set for a decline. The real test of man’s intellect will be how we deal the crisis of Peak Oil.

Peak oil does not mean that the world is about it run out of oil. It refers to the point at which the supply of oil can no longer increase. There is lots of the stuff left; it’s just getting much more difficult to find and extract, which means it is getting very hard, and perhaps impossible, to increase the overall ”flow” of oil out of the ground.

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

The good news is that it is perfectly possible to produce energy sufficient to maintain balanced population without oil and without other earth damaging fossil fuels or uranium.

HVDC Power Grids distributing power from the world’s deserts via high-voltage, direct-current cables can sustain the energy needs of the population as long as our Sun continues to shine. Add to this hydro-electric power, wind energy, geothermal energy, wave energy and tidal power.

Overshoot

In ecology, overshoot is said to have occurred when a population’s consumption exceeds the carrying capacity of its environment, as illustrated in this graphic.

The evidence for Climate Change shows the environmental damage caused by burning fossil fuels. To continue do so without any doubt will lead to disaster, a population overshoot just as yeast in a vat of wine will cease to thrive and eventually die, because of the toxic alcohol levels which the yeast itself produced, so chemicals resulting from our continued use of fossil fuels, or uranium use will take its toll on us, the planet and if we are not careful life itself. Climate Change and Peak Oil must be taken seriously. The Science is very clear. If no action is taken we look at a future without doubt with massive levels of human suffering. Starvation, disease, flooding and war can be avoided.

DENIAL OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE

The population explosion was predicted eighty years ago by Warren Thomson. The prediction has been shown to be broadly accurate. Forty years ago, Limits to Growth reported on a human population model World 3 warning that we had to curb growth or risk global meltdown.

It was highly controversial, and not what many wanted to hear. Perhaps it was fear that led to denial. Maybe they were hoping for a Superman.

As Paul Chefurka points out:

“The human cost of such an involuntary population rebalancing is, of course, horrific. Based on this model we would experience an average excess death rate of 100 million per year every year for the next 75 years to achieve our target population of one billion by 2082. The peak excess death rate would happen in about 20 years, and would be about 200 million that year. To put this in perspective, WWII caused an excess death rate of only 10 million per year for only six years. not hard to see why population control is the untouchable elephant in the room – the problem we’re in is simply too big for humane or even rational solutions. It’s also not hard to see why some people are beginning to grasp the inevitability of a human die-off.”

  • It was reported that Scientists didn’t like Limits because the authors, anxious to publicise their findings, put it out before it was peer-reviewed.
  • The political right rejected its warning about the dangers of growth.
  • The left rejected it for betraying the aspirations of workers.
  • The Catholic Church rejected its plea for birth control.
  • The economists, who claimed human technological inventions would surely solve it all.

But, ominously, as New Scientist reports on 10th January 2012

The common perception is that the work was discredited scientifically. It wasn’t.”

It wasn’t just confusion. “Misunderstanding was enhanced by a media campaign very similar to the one that has been recently directed against climate science.”

Most journalists and BBC presenters do not have a background in Science, most having alternative degrees such as history or linguistics. But it is not all about knowledge, it is about political will. Much is spoken about ignorance of Science. Much is spoken about neo-liberalism too. Margaret Thatcher must take some responsibility for the neoliberalism which has resulted in the excessive wealth of a few. But Margaret Thatcher understood Science. She held a degree in Chemistry and worked as a Research Chemist. So Thatcher should have known better.

It is not just the reporting of scientific evidence that journalists avoid. It seems that purpose of the media is not to inform at all. Articles are carefully chosen by editors. Censored newspapers print what suits the rich and powerful.

GOVERNMENTS’ LEGACIES

If globalisation means anything it should mean that we act as One World. Communication today is possible without jet travel. The time has come for our governments to work together. It is time for the truth to be heard. Governments serve the people. Their legacies will depend on how they act now. There must be an end to lies and manipulation of the media. It is time governments stopped treating the people as children and give us the facts we need to know.

Global poverty results from the plutonomy which now controls the earth. In Greece people are already abandoning their children. Can you imagine that? The human suffering which will result from population overshoot is unimaginable. We would expect starvation, poverty, and mass deaths. It is a nightmare, not the dream of paradise.

We can avert it. This world must act as One World.

Let’s spread the word.

References and Further Reading:

From Think Left: