Constituent’s Letter to Tory MP about Bombing Syria

Quote

Dear John Whittingdale,

I understand that you voted with the Government yesterday to bomb Syria.  Following our meeting two weeks ago when we presented you the petition about tax credits you mentioned amongst other things that you didn’t like John Maynard Keynes.  May I draw your attention to a few words written today by Michael Rosen.

Vote for war.
We’ve got to keep this economy going somehow.
Keynes wasn’t right.
But Keynes for killing makes sense.
Pump prime the arms economy, stimulated growth.
You see, everything connects.
When they don’t there’s trouble.
And when there’s trouble we pour oil on troubled waters.
Oil? Who mentioned oil?
Not me.
You must be thinking of someone else.
Thank you.
Bombs away!
Chin chin.

I think it says it all.  Keynes to suit a Tory agenda for war.  It seems to me that the West is nothing more than the military industrial complex.  It exists only to feed the war machine not for what is right but for money.  Arms dealers and politicians create the enemy and feed the enemy whilst we are treated to never- ending rounds of duplicity and deception and you spout sanctimonious words about freedom, democracy and keeping us secure.

All the while you threaten us by keeping us fearful for ourselves and our families.  You vote to kill innocent people in a foreign land where you won’t have to face the terror, blood and destruction which will result.  Lives of people just like you and me.  We rarely hear (apart from a few brave journalists who speak out) why terrorist attacks on the West occur – the elephant in the room is studiously ignored in a deliberate fashion.  And all the while Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are still in pieces as a result of Western interference.

When Secretary of State Kerry called Assad’s gassing of nearly 500 children a moral obscenity he had obviously forgotten Madeleine Albright’s assertion that the death of 500,000 children due to sanctions in Iraq were ‘worth it’.  Surely this shows that the so called moral compass of our politicians only applies when it suits their agenda.  The hypocrisy of our leaders is pathetic and deplorable.

So finally to remind you, last week at the Spending Review George Osborne said there was no money.  We have to tighten our belts, cut services, destroy people’s lives and all to satisfy an evil ideology not based on any sort of necessity.  This week suddenly there’s plenty of money for war equally to destroy people’s lives but in the most horrific way possible and with complete disregard for the victims.  Collateral damage I believe you politicians call it.  I can’t even bear to think about the terror that will be caused by our actions let alone the consequences for the future.  The past 14 years of spurious wars are testament to the stupidity of our leaders and an inability to learn any lessons at all.  Not that you want to learn the lesson, it would seem.

So do tell me Mr Whittingdale where is the money coming from if we didn’t have any last week?  I’m afraid I believe that these are political choices made by wicked men for the benefit of a few rich people who are determined to have it all at the expense of us all.  For someone who calls himself an economist you clearly either choose not to understand how our economy really works or you know but prefer to indulge in duplicity rather than the truth.

Yours sincerely,
Prue Plumridge

 

 

Arms manufacturers stocks soar after UK decision to join Syria bombing

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade told CommonSpace: “Unfortunately, where most of us see war and destruction the arms companies see a business opportunity. It is conflict and military intervention that fuel arms sales, and companies like BAE are only too happy to cash in from it. These companies don’t care who uses their weapons or the damage they cause, the only thing they care about is profit.”

The arms sales of the world’s four biggest corporations alone are equal to more than $100bn for 2013. 

 

State finances are not like a household or a maxed out credit card

Quote

 Prue Plumridge patiently explains to a Conservative MP the true nature of Osborneomics and their devastating impact on the UK’s economy and people.

 

Dear Mr Whittingdale

I would like to take up where we left off at Sunday’s hustings on the subject of the national debt/ deficit, since not being a quick witted politician, I was unable to reply in the way I would have liked.  Let’s start with the Tory pledge that they’d balance the books by 2015.  Clearly this has not happened and, not only is the government on course to break this promise with the deficit set to be £75 billion next year, but is also set to borrow £207 billion more than planned. George Osborne’s plans to make more cuts (whilst not saying, unsurprisingly, where these cuts will fall) will take Britain back to 1930s levels of public spending, and that’s without the planned £7 billion of unfunded tax cuts. The effect on our economy and our people don’t bear thinking about.

Now, unlike you and David Cameron, I have not studied economics.  However, I do know that people have been deceived by a lie which compares our State finances to a household budget or a maxed out credit card.  In our ignorance this is the analogy which people can most identify with, but it is simply untrue.  Furthermore Britain was neither bust nor bankrupt – this sadly was used by coalition ministers to justify their ideologically inspired cuts to public expenditure. What was a genuine private debt crisis caused by reckless banks and absolute greed became a supposed sovereign debt crisis in order to justify austerity and the sale of public assets to the private sector.

As the economist David Blanchflower commented about the oft repeated lie about maxed out credit cards ‘Cameron is an economic simpleton who shows no understanding of basic accounting’. Furthermore the idea that future generations will pay for so called Labour government profligacy is yet another of those lies which the coalition has used to deceive the people of this country.    George Osborne’s statement in 2010 that ‘we have taken our country back from the brink of bankruptcy’ and that spending cuts were vital to avoid ending up like Greece was another of those misleading statements. We have full monetary sovereignty i.e. control over our own currency (unlike Greece) and we are the sixth biggest economy in the world whilst Greece the 32nd[1].  When Chuka Umunna asked Lord Turnbull who was testifying to the Treasury Select Committee in October 2010 whether he thought that the UK had been on the brink of bankruptcy he replied quite simply ‘No I don’t.’[2]

As Johann Hari wrote in the Independent ‘If we are bust today, as George Osborne has claimed, then we have almost always been bust. We were bust when we pioneered the Industrial Revolution.  We were bust when we ruled a quarter of the world. We were bust when we beat the Nazis.  We were bust when we built the NHS.’[3]

You pointed out quite rightly that my own party is planning to reduce the deficit and balance the books, albeit more slowly.  I cannot pretend that I approve of such a move but as a member of a democratic party I am entitled to disagree with it. However, my support for Labour is given on the basis that it wants to create a fairer and more socially just society – something the Tories have been working to dismantle over the last five years. It has created myths and lies about the state of our economy in 2010 and pointed the finger at every one other than those who are the real authors of our economic collapse, in order to justify disabling the welfare state, selling off our public assets, not to mention privatising our NHS.

George Osborne in 2010 said ‘reducing the deficit is a necessary precondition for sustained economic growth’.  This is the biggest deception of all. Deficit reduction, book balancing and surpluses simply remove money from the economy and make the situation worse.  Patently you have never studied Keynes or the conditions which led to the Great Depression in the 1920s. The economists Ann Pettifor and Victoria Chick studied data from 1918 to 2009 and concluded that the evidence runs counter to conventional economic wisdom and such policies have not improved the public finances – instead they increase rather than reduce the level of public debt associated with prevailing economic conditions[4]. In terms of people they destroy lives.  Indeed Keynes wrote in 1937 that ‘The boom not the slump, is the right time for austerity at the Treasury’.  Austerity can never be a solution but then this has been an ideological choice by the Tories rather than a necessity. I should point out that on seven occasions in US history when the government balanced the budget it was followed by recession/depression.

Mr Whittingdale – it doesn’t have to be like this.  There are alternative economic models which, over decades, have been airbrushed out of the mainstream in favour of this destructive neoliberal dogma which has brought many people to their knees whilst enriching a few. We are paying now for the dominance of the ideas of Hayek and Friedman which posit that the individual can best determine his needs and that free markets will always find their equilibrium, not to mention trickle down wealth.    Keynes’ ideas obviously spring to mind along with John Kenneth Galbraith and his son James, Wynne Godley, Mary Mellor, Bill Mitchell and Warren Mosler.  The thing seems to be that we have lost sight of the idea that money should be a public resource and not for private gain. The debt based society of the past decades is crushing us, indeed enslaving us.

We should see our monetary system as a public utility which is employed to finance the production and exchange of goods and services, not an opportunity for greedy speculation. It is our monetary system and it should be used to achieve the full potential of society and improve the lives of our citizens.

To finish where I started whilst there are always limits in terms of, for example, environment and resources there can be no such thing as an economic limit due solely to our society being ‘out of money’.  Government deficits do not take away from savings; government revenues are not constrained i.e it does not need to tax or borrow in order to spend – indeed logically government must spend first before it can tax or borrow; our children will get to consume what they produce and it has nothing to do with the deficit; tax is a mechanism to balance budgets and distribute wealth more fairly; and finally as the issuer of its own currency governments cannot be forced to go bankrupt[5]. The push for privatisation of public sector services and decimation of our social security system, on the basis that we can’t afford it, has been ideological and simply a way to destroy the foundations of a fair society and generate more profits for the private sector, as you most certainly know.

The emphasis on the national debt, deficit reduction and book balancing, hides the real issues that should be of concern to all – the trillions of pounds of private debt and the worst trade balance in history. But I notice Mr Osborne says nothing of that – he is relying on debt based consumption and a housing bubble to keep the economy afloat.

Yours sincerely

 

[1] Summer of Unrest: The Debt Delusion Medhi Hasan

[2] Summer of Unrest: The Debt Delusion Medhi Hasan

[3] The Paradox of Thrift: Johann Hari

[4] The Economic Consequences of Mr Osborne: Ann Pettifor and Victoria Chick

[5] The Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds: Warren Mosler