Government of the one per cent,
by the one per cent, for the one percent
Towards the New Feudalism
The new feudalism is ...
Because the American lunatic right - aka the Tea Party - oppose any sort of social health services for the poor, they are prepared to risk the
prospect of a new global economic collapse.
Because the bankrupt UK coalition 'needed' to give the rich a 5% income tax break, the money has to be found by evicting the poor from their homes so that the
shortage of social housing will continue to stay short.
Because 'free markets' must not be subsidised, 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 dangerous waste to be, er, 'socialised'.
(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.)
Because a UK investment-led recovery would (a) require more government borrowing, and (b) rebalance the economy away from finance capital, it's
not going to happen.
However, in order to make sure that finance capital benefits from a return to, er, 'growth' it's important to warm up the Ponzi housing market via schemes
like Help to Buy.
Former Chancellor Alistair Darling's take on the matter is worth a read.
In order for such a scheme to be successful, of course, it's essential that interest rates don't rise, thus savers have to look elsewhere if they
want a useful return on the their money.
And where better than to buy houses for the purposes of letting them out to people who cannot afford to buy their own?
Hence Buy To Let now dwarfs the rest of the housing market.
Rebalancing the economy? Forget it.
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
Going backwards: UK literacy and numeracy standards slip down international tables
The results of the 2012 PISA tests - in which more half a million 15-year-olds in 65 countries take tests in maths, English and science - show the UK has
remained stagnant despite pumping far more resources into education that the average country in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
The results show the UK fares poorest in maths - coming 26th in the league table.
In reading, it is 23rd although it has an above average ranking for science where it comes 18= ...
Ind 03 December 2013
Predictably the odious-pompous Mr M Gove - who has been in office since May 2010 - is using these figures to blame Labour. In fact there is only a
difference of degree between him and the Blair-Brown governments, who also pursued the 'academy' route to wresting control of schools from
Both governments turned down the opportunity to democratise local control of schools, opting instead for the private sector.
As for the curriculum, the International Baccalaureate is in waiting, to take control of what is taught away from here-today-and-gone-tommorrow -
empty-vessels-make-the-most-noise - air-heads like Balls and Gove.
Carry on Burning
Cameron's cynical short-termism which will abandon those in solid wall homes to buy more energy than they should need, or go without.
The bigger picture: the need to use energy more efficiently as a prime means of cutting co2 emissions - is also off
'the greenest ever government's' agenda.
Britain's damp, leaky homes among Europe's most costly to heat
Over 10m British families live in a home with a leaking roof, damp walls or rotting windows.
The expense of heating leaky homes means government plans to cut a programme that insulates properties in an attempt to trim energy bills is "unforgivably
perverse", according to the government's fuel poverty adviser, Derek Lickorish.
He condemned the intention signalled by ministers to cut the energy company obligation (ECO) in George Osborne's autumn statement next Thursday.
"ECO is a life-saving measure for some and we should be actually doing more. No one should be dying because they cannot afford to heat their home."
Andrew Warren, director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, who speaks frequently to ministers, said:
"It is absolutely disgraceful that the big energy companies have orchestrated this unscrupulous campaign, that appears to be succeeding in blackmailing the
UK government into cutting by half its established policy to help customers stop wasting money by wasting fuel." ...
Gdn 29 Nov 2013
Labour decry 'shocking' rise in hypothermia cases
Energy bills: Green levy reform plan revealed
... energy firms will not have to install so much expensive solid wall insulation in hard-to-treat homes.
Instead, they will be given greater freedom to install cheaper cavity wall and loft insulation in easy-to-treat homes.
The letter says that as a result only 100,000 solid wall insulations will have to be made over the next four years, about 25,000 per year.
That amounts to a massive reduction - there were 80,000 solid wall insulation installations in 2012 alone.
Building groups said this would severely damage the green energy industry and mean thousands of people will lose their jobs in coming weeks.
It also means much less free insulation for fuel poor households, half of whom live in solid wall properties ...
BBC News 29 Nov 2013
Ed Miliband To Copy Barack Obama's Campaign Strategy To Ensure Labour Win 2015 Election
"But in the end this election campaign isn't about changing parties. It is about changing Britain.
"Over the next 17 months, we will give Britain the chance to choose hope over fear, to work together, not divide, to succeed as One Nation not two."
HuffPost 27 Nov 2013
A Miliband government will face a formidable set of problems:
1. There's no sign of the economy 'rebalancing' away from finance-capital;
2. Unemployment, especially among the young, will not be easy to solve - see (1) above, and (8) below;
3. The 'too big to fail' banks are not getting the reform needed;
4. Rising inequalities - wages, housing - show no sign of let up;
5. Precarity at work is on the increase - getting round the Min Wage, zero hours contracts;
6. The disintegration of the NHS;
7. The growing cynicism with all mainstream politicians, enhanced by the numbers in the House of Commons who have got there by the following route:
Oxbridge - Think Tank - MP - Minister.
8. Meantime, power is steadily moving away from nation states, as the upcoming EU-US free trade negotiations confirm.
We should have let banks go to the wall
"Too big to fail"
A friend contacted me. He was outraged by the behaviour of an investment bank.
The Indie's editorial asks if RBS has learned nothing? Rabid dogs don't learn, they get put down, which, as Chris Blackhurst argues, is exactly what should
have happened. As it stands, the banks are still 'top dog' looking down with disdain on an economy they helped to wreck. An economy which the likes of
George Osborne want locked into finance capital.
He’d approached it with a proposal – I can’t go into detail but, suffice to say, he was setting up a new business and was looking to forge a lasting
relationship with a bank.
My friend and his partners are not slouches – they come with established records, of the sort that would cause anyone in finance to nod in recognition and
want them as clients.
My pal and the bank got on well. Then they quoted how much they would charge for their services.
When he gasped, and queried the price, he was told: “We’re too big to fail.”
In other words, by dealing with them, his money was safe – they were guaranteed by dint of relying on a future government bail-out not to go under – and
therefore he should pay more ...
Ind 27 Nov 2013
Has RBS learned nothing from the financial crisis?
Michael Hudson: how finance capitalism leads to debt servitude
George Osborne Has Borrowed More In 3 Years Than Labour Did In 13
George Osborne's claims to be prudent with the nation's finances have been brutally undermined by the fact he has added more to Britain's £1.2 trillion
debt pile in his three years as Chancellor than Labour did in thirteen.
The latest economic figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the coalition has borrowed £430.072 billion, whereas the last Labour
government managed to borrow just £429.975 billion ...
HuffPost 25 Nov 2013
RBS accused of pushing small businesses to the edge to boost profits
Tomlinson, appointed by Cable as "entrepreneur in residence", has compiled evidence from hundreds of businesses which have approached him after ending up
in the bank's global restructuring group (GRG), and subsequently had their properties sold to its specialist property arm, West Register.
His redacted report, which removes the names of the businesses, also calls for RBS and Lloyds Banking Group to be broken up into six banks with a 10%
market share to foster competition on the high street ...
"The profit-making nature of GRG significantly undermines its position as a turnaround division, in which good businesses should be restructured and returned
to normal banking.
"The temptation to get hold of assets and take additional profit from these businesses to boost GRG's balance sheet is clear," said Tomlinson ...
Gdn 25 Nov 2013
RBS makes £50m profit from distressed businesses
A state-owned bank that kills small firms to feed off their corpses. And still not a hint of shame!
RBS ‘drove businesses to collapse before stripping their assets’
RBS faces accusations on client treatment
Cable refers report into RBS treatment of business to watchdogs
When will banking ever change?
Hegel on Wall Street
Public sector 'net debt' = "£1.207trn" = "just over three quarters of GDP" (FT)
UK borrowing falls as housing revival boosts public finances in October
The Treasury has now borrowed £5.8bn less this financial year, compared with the equivalent period last year, and economists said Britain was on course to
undershoot the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) March borrowing projection of £120bn by around £15bn.
However, public sector net debt stood at £1.2 trillion - or 75.4pc of gross domestic product (GDP) - last month, the highest percentage for October on record ...
Tel 21 Nov 2013
The next finance-capital bubble is on its way.
UK public sector borrowing falls to £8.1bn in October