Useless Idiots: cuts, war-crimes and quantitative easing

Hazel Blears with the other Useless Idiots in Parliament
Hazel Blears with the other Useless Idiots in Parliament

Expenses

One of the most sickening things for me, in the period after the riots, was the sight of Hazel Blears pontificating about it in parliament.

“For me, the politics of law and order… have never been about the difference between right and left,” she said; “they have always been about the difference between right and wrong.”

This from a woman who claimed expenses on three separate homes in the space of a year, who transferred the designation of them from first home to second home in order to maximise her income, and who then sold one of the properties for a profit of £45,000. She also claimed £850 for a television set from Selfridges, and £651 for a mattress from Marks & Spencer.

And she has the nerve to talk about looting.

Meanwhile investment bankers from RBS - the nationalised bank whose shady dealings and institutionalised greed were partially responsible for the financial collapse of 2008 – having made huge losses for the taxpayer this year, were also able to claim nearly £1 billion in bonuses.

Of course, none of that excuses the fury of acquisitive rioting that took place in August, but it should at least provide the context.

In an age characterised by selfishness, greed and destructive behaviour, why should we expect our children to act any differently?

Whitstable Youth Centre

While the banks are busy looting the world in what is effectively a financial protection racket, forcing the sell-off of public assets at rock bottom prices, the defence of those assets becomes a priority for all concerned citizens.

Kent County Council are in the process of consulting over the possibility of the closure of Whitstable Youth Centre, and its relocation to Canterbury.

This is part of a wholesale restructuring of youth services throughout the County. It seems that our youth will be expected to bear the brunt of the cuts. University tuition fees are going up to £9,000 a year, while Education Maintenance Allowance has already been abolished. There are no jobs, no prospects, no apprenticeships, and now Kent County Council are considering the removal of the only youth facility from the town.

There are currently 33 Youth Centres run by KCC. These will be “consolidated” into 12 main hubs, while local services will be bought in from voluntary and community groups and from the private sector.

23 full-time and 170 part time staff are in line to lose their jobs.

Whitstable Youth Centre and the Parklife Youth Centre in Herne Bay will close, while the Riverside Centre in Canterbury will remain open.

You can read the consultation documents on the KCC website. Look up Kent Youth Service on your search engine, and then follow the link to KYS Consultation Survey. There is also a questionnaire on-line so you can have your say.

All of this is taking place in the context of drastic cuts to public services being carried out throughout the UK. Called, euphemistically, “the Big Society”, what it actually means is privatisation; firstly the transfer of services from professional care-workers to “voluntary and community groups” – people who will do the work for nothing but who have not received proper training – and then on to private sector providers – people whose only purpose is to make a profit.

What we are seeing is a coup d’etat against our public services being carried out by an ideologically driven government in the name of an increasingly aggressive and acquisitive financial sector out for quick profits.

The deficit was caused by shady dealings by the banks. Let the banks pay for what they created. Cut bankers’ bonuses, not public services.

9/11

Everyone will remember exactly what they were doing on September the 11th 2001. It was the day the world changed.

You’d have to be a recluse not to know that this September saw the 10th anniversary of the atrocity. I lost count of the number of commemorative programmes there were on the TV. I managed to avoid most of them.

It’s not that I don’t respect the memory of the 2,996 people who died that day. It’s that I loath the use to which their memories have been put.

One programme I didn’t miss was Question Time featuring Richard Perle, one of the foremost advocates of regime change in Iraq. What became eminently clear during the course of the programme was that there was no justification whatsoever for the invasion of Iraq based upon the events of 9/11. Even Richard Perle couldn’t justify it. It was based on innuendo, false documentation, supposition, misdirection, misinterpretation and just plain lies. It never received a UN mandate, and was undertaken by the US and the UK, virtually alone, in order to secure access to Iraqi oil.

That makes the invasion of Iraq a war crime, a War of Aggression, defined under the terms of the Nuremburg Trials as “the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

The fact that those responsible for it, and for the carnage that followed – for torture, for imprisonment without trial, for the use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus, for the deaths of up to 600,000 Iraqi civilians and the displacement of over 4 million more – have yet to stand trial for their crimes is an indictment of the international legal system as it is currently constituted.

But to see these people on the anniversary of 9/11 on our TV screens, milking the publicity, and attempting to justify their violence to the world, was sickening beyond measure.

The day that they begin reading out the names of the Iraqi war dead alongside those of the 9/11 victims will be the day I know that sanity has returned to our world.

Idiots

So it’s official: Tony Blair has become a millionaire many times over since he left office, a very significant proportion of which came directly through his promotion of the Iraq war. He’s been a paid consultant of the South Korean oil firm, UI Energy Corporation, which has been involved in the exploitation of oil reserves in Northern Iraq, a region which would have been inaccessible to Western interests if it hadn’t been for the war.

Let’s be clear exactly what it is that Tony has done here. Aside from being responsible for the death of untold numbers of Iraqis, he has also used the British Army - paid for at our expense - as a personal enforcer to amass a private fortune. It’s no wonder he’s been working so hard to hide these facts from the public. One day, perhaps, there will be a law against this kind of systemic abuse, and we will see Tony Blair and the other war profiteers brought to justice.

Meanwhile Stephen Byers, Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt – all disciples of the Blair doctrine - have been caught bragging about their ability to exploit information given to them as government ministers, promising to sell themselves to the highest bidder.

New Labour, of course, swept to power on a wave of disgust caused by the cash-for-questions affair, when the Major government were mired in sleaze.

It’s obviously endemic. It goes to the very heart of what it means to be in government in this modern age. The New Tories under David Cameron aren’t any better, as it’s already clear they are in thrall to the private interests of the bankers and the non-domicile class.

The word “idiot” comes to mind at this point. It has it’s origins in the Greek word for private. Originally it referred to someone too busy pursuing their own personal interests to take a proper part in public life. An idiot was someone who lacked moral judgement because they were too concerned about themselves.

Remember that the next time you hear a politician talk about the benefits of privatisation. What he is really talking about is a form of idiocy.

Similar stories by CJ Stone

Quantitative easing

It seems that a new round of “quantitative easing” may be on its way.

According to the BBC, quantitative easing involves the Bank of England buying government bonds using money it has created out of thin air. “The institutions selling those assets… will then have ‘new’ money in their accounts, which then boosts the money supply.”

Got that? In other words, the government creates new money and then gives it to the banks in the hope that the banks will then lend the money to businesses.

These are the same banks that took our pensions and gambled them away on the sub-prime housing market which lead to the financial crisis in the first place. The same banks the tax payer was forced to bail out because they were considered “too big to fail”.

So what happened to the losses the banks made during 2008-2009? That’s easy. They have been shifted on to the shoulders of the taxpayer, who is now bearing the burden of the banks’ profligacy in the form of government debt.

You may wonder why, if the government can create money out of thin air, it doesn’t just lend it out to businesses itself.

Why indeed? Because the very basis of our financial system is money created as debt by the banking system, through a process known as fractional reserve banking.

When a bank lends you money, it doesn’t go down into a vault to get the money out. It creates brand new money out of thin air – just as the government does with quantitative easing - and then writes it into your account as debt. It can do this to the tune of many more times the value of the original deposit. In other words, that £200 billion of quantitative easing created by the government in 2009 – due to be added to before Christmas – was actually an interest free loan made by the tax-payer to the banks, so that the banks could create even more money and then charge you interest on it.

Have you ever heard anything so insane? And you wonder why the world is drowning in debt?

As Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England put it: "Of all the many ways of organising banking, the worst is the one we have today."

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Comments 34 comments

Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Great article Mr. CJ!

"According to the BBC, quantitative easing involves the Bank of England buying government bonds using money it has created out of thin air. “The institutions selling those assets… will then have ‘new’ money in their accounts, which then boosts the money supply.” - This is how inflation is beginning to take its toll. It is what will crash the System. (But it will take some time.)

"When a bank lends you money, it doesn’t go down into a vault to get the money out. It creates brand new money out of thin air" - If only everyone could understand this ... why is it that people don't realize the impossibility of all this: it's a game, a bubble which will sooner or later burst ...

I agree with you ... it's plain insanity rofl ... ohh well, can we blame anyone but ourselves?

Cheers for a great piece of writing and a most needed one as well!


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Right enough Mr Happy: it's a crazy system. It's a wonder we aren't all insane.


PETER LUMETTA profile image

PETER LUMETTA 5 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

Well CJ you've held a mirror to the American system and by Jove you get the British system! The only difference is the names of the conspirators. It seems the whole world is controled by the Banks. They are a trecherous lot that takes no prisoners. They have decided that they are "to big to fail" not us not the rest of the world, they decided. This must end, and can be nice and orderly or very ugly, one way or the other it will end. Thanks for showing us we're not the only suckers in the World,

Peter


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

No Peter, the whole world is in thrall to the banks right now, and there is a financial takeover of our planet taking place: or that's how I see it anyway. Our financial systems are interrelated anyway, not only the British and the American, but the whole world system, and I suspect it will end in an ugly rather than an orderly way.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

Chris. Fantastic article. Every word like the chime of a silver bell. Doesn't it all really mean there is no hope for humanity? How far away from revolution are we? All you have said and said well, has been said in other ways previously, yet nothing changes. My cave in baja sounds more attractive every day. Bless you mate...Bob


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 5 years ago from West Virginia

It is sickening to see all these people who are greedy and then they turn around and laugh at anyone else who doesn't have the money. Durn Fat Cats and they don't care...really they don't. They always say that they would never forget who got them there but once there they do forget. It's all about who has the gold rules. I read and did take the time to listen to Mark Knowles movie about the way money goes. It opened my eyes. There is no gold in the federal reserve bank and really there isn't any such tangeable business as such. Makes you wonder who really gets the money. We should all go back to bartering for food because in my opinion and the way that I am seeing things that is exactly where we are headed. Talk about the Dark Ages! Here we come!


AngelTrader profile image

AngelTrader 5 years ago from New Zealand

Great, passionate article and one which should be highlighted for all to read. Diogenes asks if there is no hope for humanity...well I would argue yes but only when the great swathe of humanity wakes up! The key to that would be to get rid of the brainwashing device 99% of homes possess...the tv. The box in the corner that fills your head with fear, the need to comply, the importance of towing the line, accept without question! But the danger is so many don't question and do accept what they are told and live on a diet of XFactor this, Apprentice that oh and not forgetting You've got bugger all talent!

Bill Hicks summed the US up 18 years ago, and this applies globally today just replace America with wherever you live, and Gladiators with the shows I mentioned above;

"Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again. Here. Here's American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed, America. Here is American Gladiators. Here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their f@#$ing skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go, America! You are free to do as we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!"


AngelTrader profile image

AngelTrader 5 years ago from New Zealand

Read the article in the Guardian, "America's barely tamed brutality" Ed Pilkington. That is the way the 'free' world is going. Before long this will be the daily norm on streets both sides of the Atlantic!


DC Gallin 5 years ago

So why doesn't the government give a bonus to every citizen to get the economy going? If they wanted the economy to recover that surely would be the way forward...Why does it have to be debt??


Stuart Jeffery 5 years ago

Excellent analysis! For people wanting to add their names to a petition against Kent's youth centre cuts there is one here: http://www.kentgreenparty.org/KCCYouthService.php


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Thanks for your comment Bob. It's always nice to read your response. You are so supportive!

Hi Lady G: yes it's sickening isn't it? But it's the system, not the individuals. The system encourages people to become selfish and greedy, and we CAN change the system. Post me the link to the Mark Knowles movie and I'll put it up here.

Thanks Angel Trader: ah, Bill Hicks. What a genius. Yes, I remember that quote. Maybe we should see more of him on our TV ;) I've put the Guardian link into the article.

Yes, Denise, why not indeed? After the collapse of 2008 that's precisely what the Australian government did, and they are not in recession now.

Thanks Stuart: I've put the link for the petition into the article. I would be on the march, but I'm working that day. Hope everyone has a great time!


Lou Purplefairy profile image

Lou Purplefairy 5 years ago from Southwest UK

Absolutely bang on, Chris :)


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Thanks Lou. Happy to have hit the nail on the head.


Blue Crow profile image

Blue Crow 5 years ago from Yorkshire

What Lou said.

Idiot is too kind a word though.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

No, but I explain its origin Blue Crow, and I think it's very apt.


Blue Crow profile image

Blue Crow 5 years ago from Yorkshire

I learnt a few new words today Chris =o) Is indeed apt


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Great article. Maybe our current politicians are idiots but I cannot recall any time in history when they weren't. The problem seems to me to be that Ideology overcomes common sense.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

No, I suspect that politicians in the past had more of a sense of public service than they do today. I can't imagine Harold MacMillan or Harold Wilson cashing in on their position like Tony Blair has. Or maybe I'm looking at the past through rose-tinted spectacles? The world just seems so degraded now.


jandee profile image

jandee 5 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

Hello Chris,

well done ! every word spot on !jandee.

ps. more please..


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

I think politicians are much as they have always been. The only difference now is that the media gives us more information about them. Ignorance -- our ignorance was bliss, at least for past politicians. About the bankers -- what more can be said? Not much. Amazing not one single criminal charge has been laid at the door of those who not only almost broke the world but profited from it by shifting the responsibilities back onto their victims -- the taxpaying public. We've just come through the greatest wealth distribution in the history of man, all of it up, and very few seem to understand what has happened. Or care. Instead we sit around arguing ideology, about as senseless as medieval monks arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Good hub.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Excellent article, Chris! Sharing at Facebook!


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I've very impressed by this. I hadn't realized to what extent that the citizens of the U.K. felt. . . .just like I do about "the whole thing." Of course I'm talking about the wars and the banks and the politicians getting filthy rich.

The riots - well, those are headed this way, I'm certain.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Thanks Jandee. Nice to be appreciated.

You're probably right about the politicians, Immartin, but absolutely spot on the mark about the bankers. "The greatest wealth distribution in the history of man." I think you're right there, and no one even knows about it yet. It's the great depression all over again.

Thanks for sharing Steve.

Yes, Wesman, it's the same all over the world. We should join with those Egyptians and have our own Arab Spring. Thanks for your comment.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

A U.S. columnist wrote a spoof about a town in Ohio that was changing its name to "Afghanistan" just so it could get money from Congress for victims of recent devastating floods. Seems there's plenty of taxpayer $$$ to spend on invading countries like Iraq, but none for the taxpayers themselves.

As for how the bailout was MIShandled, it would've made more sense to send, say, $50,000 to each taxpayer who filed a tax return for 2007 rather than hand MANY MORE BILLIONS to banks "too big to fail" (but by all rights, had). Such an infusion on the local level would've jump started the economy IMMEDIATELY. People would've used it to catch up or pay off credit cards and mortgages (money that would've gone to banks and financial institutions, but from the end that actually drives the economy), buy large ticket items like cars, big screen TVs and major home appliances, and put whatever was left into savings (meaning MORE money going into banks). And I didn't even have to go to Harvard Business School to figure this out.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

JamaGenee, see Immartin, above: "We've just come through the greatest wealth distribution in the history of man". I think that's right. I think what we are seeing is a coup d'etat against civil society and a the beginnings of a return to feudalism. That was the point of the bailout, nothing to do with the economy. In fact, as I understand it, Australia did exactly what you suggest: it created new money, not as debt, and gave it to its citizens to spend. Australia is not currently in recession. Iceland, meanwhile, let its banks fail, and then prosecuted all those bankers who were engaged in fraud. Iceland is not currently in recession. The Argentinians long ago rejected the austerities of Monetarist orthodoxy, and defaulted on its debts. Argentina is not currently in recession. There are lessons out there, its time we learnt them.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

I knew Iceland prosecuted the wrong-doers and has recovered quite nicely. In fact, if I could stand the long, dark winters I'd happily move there. I didn't know about Australia, tho, so thanks for the heads up that there's at least one country that values its citizens where English (of a sort) is the first language. I'm not holding my breath that America and the UK will learn this lesson, so perhaps I should be downloading an Aussie visa application sooner rather than later.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

But this is what we should be demanding from our own governments: national banks that issue debt-free money, given directly to its citizens, the prosecution of all those bankers engaged in fraud, and proper regulation of the financial sector. No long dark winters in Australia. It would be ok if it wasn't for the melanomas.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Your advice seems quite sound Mr. CJ - you should run for office ... or run-down the office, either way it would be better than what's around now.

Cheers!


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

I'm not sure I'd want to run for office Mr Happy. There are very few who do who survive with their integrity intact.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Haha ... you stated yet another challenge Mr. CJ.

All the best!

P.S. I linked your article on my face-book page - thank you.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 5 years ago from West Virginia

Chris, Somehow it isn't on his site anymore so I looked it up and I got it off of you tube. It has 22 parts. Here is part 1: http://youtu.be/lXb-LrVkuwM

The first half hour is boring but then it gets more interesting nas it goes along. Mark had it in all one video and it was 2 hours.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Maybe the challenge is entering office and NOT losing your integrity Mr Happy. Some politicians do manage it.

Thanks Lady G, it's added. I will watch that tomorrow.


thisisoli profile image

thisisoli 5 years ago from Austin, Texas (From York, England!)

This is a fantastic article, British politics has become about as corrupt as it gets, and I am looking forward to the day they overhaul it!


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Thanks thisisoli, yes it certainly needs a good overhaul. Glad you liked the hub.

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