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Manage your death date

Dave's Easter Sermon

TTIP 'Myths'

End 'signing on' culture

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Government of the one per cent,
by the one per cent, for the one percent:

Permanent Austerity - Smoke and Mirrors.

The new feudalism is ...

After nearly four years in office Osborne still has a £20bn 'black hole', so the welfare budget is lined up for a further hit of £12bn. [FT]

Public sector net debt as of January 2014 ...

... was £1,239.6 billion (74.6% of GDP). This compares with a PSND ex of £1,158.4 billion (72.6% of GDP) at the end of January 2013.

Furthermore, the IFS is of the opinion that the national debt will only return to pre-crisis levels in the mid-2030s. Gdn

Higher taxes on the rich are out of the question, however, because the Tories cling to the bankrupt trickle down theory of wealth, despite the fact that wealth is more likely to 'flood' out to tax havens.

Therefore, evicting the poor from their homes is the 'only' alternative. [Gdn]   [LL]

But there is a wider agenda here than simply cutting the welfare budget.

The growth of the working poor - insecure part-time work, and zero hour contracts - is symptomatic of the coalition's attack on living standards.

This is presented as an interim, short-term problem to be cured when the economy starts to grow.

However, like austerity, it may well be a longer-term trend with a different objective in mind: competing with China.

The new 'flexibility' overturns the post-war redistributionist policies - lowering inequality - returning instead to Victorian times when charity WAS welfare.

Socialising the 'free' markets

Because 'free markets' must not be subsidised by the taxpayer, the energy 'market' in the UK is expected to levy it's investment costs from the consumer.

However when it comes to building a new generation of power stations, the private sector expects the market to be rigged by a 'strike price' for the electricity produced. [SP]

It also expects the clean-up of the nuclear waste to be socialised. [SC]

(Thorium - a much safer alternative to nuclear, btw - is not considered: it does not produce weapons grade plutonium for that horrendously expensive pretence that it's still 1913, and the UK is still a world power: Trident.)

The manner in which the wealthy expect government support - no longer extended to the poor - was well illustrated by Alistair Darling who reported this interchange with the-then chairman of RBS in 2008:

‘I remember being summoned out of the meeting to talk to Tom McKillop and he said things were just terrible, that money was pouring out of the door.

‘He said, “What are you going to do about it?” Which I thought was a quite remarkable thing to say – what are YOU going to do about it! ... [AD]) MoS

Having destroyed much of Britain's industrial base in the 1980s - Gdn - in the insane belief that the City of London could replace it - a fantasy also bought into by that, er, 'socialist' chancellor who believed that boom and bust had ended.

Since 2008, however, there's been much chatter about 'rebalancing' the economy away from the chimera of banking-finance.

The problem with rebalancing is two-fold: a UK investment-led recovery would require more (short-term) government borrowing, mainly because corporate capital is sitting on it's wealth, rather than investing. [SEB]   [SEB]   [Infr]

So, where would you turn if your name was George Osborne and you wanted 'growth'?

The answer is Help to Buy. [FT]

In an era of low interest rates rising house prices provide an alternative to banks and building societies for those with savings.

This is especially the case in regard to pension annuities, which are now very poor value thanks both to low interests rates, and quantitative easing.

Enter the Buy To Let bubble - [Gdn] - which now dwarfs the rest of the housing market. [HTB].

Rebalancing the economy? Forget it. Housing IS the economy.

The reality behind the 'free market' rhetoric begins to emerge:

... demands for the rollback of government intervention in the economy have always been one sided. The government is called on to lesson regulations and intervention in the economy only when it will benefit the economic elites.

Thus labour and environmental regulations were attacked by neoliberals as distorting the price mechanisms of the free market and were seen as examples of how government intervention in the economy always leads to inefficiency.

Yet the same neoliberals were surprisingly quiet in 2001 when President Bush approved a massive bailout for the airline industry.

Surely if government intervention in the economy distorts prices and subverts the more efficient market mechanisms then they would oppose such “government overreach” as a gross violation of neoliberal theory?

Here is where we can apply Harvey’s insight about neoliberalism as more of a practical attempt to restore elite class power than as a theoretical project driven by the works of Hayek or Friedman.

Thus we end up in practice with a kind of one sided neoliberalism, where government intervention is bad if it would protect labour or the environment, but government intervention is good if it will help economic elites.’ ...

Capitalism – Neoliberalism, Plutonomy, and Neo-feudalism

Parasite Bankers

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OAPs To Get Government Death Date Estimate ...

What's the difference between a Nazi and a neoliberal?

The former believed in euthanasia for people who were 'a burden' - the old, the disabled, and non-Aryans.

The latter believe you should create the circumstances under which people will 'top' themselves.

Pensions minister suggests most people underestimate how long they will live, resulting in poor financial projections ...

Huff Post  17 Apr 2014   Unsustainable Burdens   Whitehall Stalinist

The looming pensions crisis government is ignoring

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My faith in the Church of England

Social Darwinist Dave has a message for us plebs this Easter: get faith, get a moral code.

Apparently it makes "a difference to people's lives".

Well that's certainly true, Dave, as charities like the Trussell Trust and Shelter will confirm, you and your pal Osborne have made an enormous difference to people lives.

The richer are richer and the poor, well, they are poorer. But that's Herbert Spencer for you.

They are the objects of the charity and compassion you talk about so glibly.

Will IDS and Lord Freud be buying into the new 'moral code', btw?

Or are people who use food banks still scroungers?

Some people feel that in this ever more secular age we shouldn't talk about these things. I completely disagree.

I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country, more ambitious about expanding the role of faith-based organisations, and, frankly, more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people's lives ...

Crucially, the Christian values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility, and love are shared by people of every faith and none - and we should be confident in standing up to defend them ...

Church Times  16 Apr 2014   David Cameron    

Let us praise: David Cameron acclaims his and Britain’s Christian faith

David Cameron says he is evangelical about his Christian faith

David Cameron puts God back into politics

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Dispelling Myths About EU-US Trade Deal Negotiations

We are all stakeholders, Mr Kamall

Syed Kamall's comments on the TTIP makes reference to discussions with 'stakeholders' but does not say exactly who they are.

However, the mainstream media's deafening silence on these negotiations is such that most people have no idea what's taking place, and will - as usual - be confronted by 'fait accompli'.

Demands for a referendum will come too late, just as the 'stakeholders' intend.

Our local MP made the following comments in a letter dated 6 March 2014:

" ... the TTIP is a once in a generation opportunity which ... has the potential to deliver £10 billion to the UK economy each year ... "

"You asked if there would be a referendum on the TTIP. It is relatively uncontroversial, supported by all major political parties, and would entail a minimal loss of sovereignty while increasing our trade and exports; therefore I don't think we need one ..."
If the TTIP negotiations cover issues other than trade, it becomes known as a "mixed agreement" and will have to be ratified by the British Parliament.

Even if it remains purely a trade agreement, it will still need to be ratified by UK as a Member State of the EU.

Therefore, the British Parliament will have the authority to instruct the British Government to block ratification in Brussels ...

Huff Post  15 Apr 2014
End of Democracy   EU   Night & Fog   TTIP

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Rules on unemployment benefits tightened to end 'signing on' culture

If you can't afford a laptop - go to your local library, if it's still open. Looks like a lot of folk are not going to get any more JSA. Which will be the whole point of the exercise.

Esther McVey, the employment minister, will launch a significant government push on welfare this week by saying that unemployed people must prepare for their first interview with a Jobcentre Plus adviser by preparing a CV.

They must also set up an email address and register on the government's jobs website ...

Gdn  07 Apr 2014   Arbeit Macht Frei   Reserve Army

Help to Work is a costly way of punishing the jobless

Job market instability revealed by surge in self-employment

More than two in five new jobs created since mid-2010 have been self-employed

Think welfare spending is spiralling out of control? You're wrong

Fraud investigators called in as a 'third of a million'
vacancies listed on Government's Jobmatch site are claimed to be fake

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