Government of the one per cent,
Funding for Lending 2
In which the outgoing Governor of the BoE trashes Osborne's only 'growth' plan.
Asked if the Bank will decide to pull the plug on the scheme, which it guarantees, the outgoing Governor was critical.
“I’m sure that there is no place in the long run for a scheme of this kind. This scheme is a little too close for comfort to a general scheme to guarantee mortgages,” Sir Mervyn said ...
Tel 18 May 2013
Taxpayer risks 'large losses' ...
Row over 'second home subsidy'
Private landlords snap up council homes
Housing policy is a mess ...
Help to Buy scheme could drive up house prices
Flaws spotted in Help to Buy scheme
Rentals: the £5tn bluff
Buy-to-let landlords' buying spree ...
Chris Giles forensic examination of Britain's economic weakness makes the following points:
FT 08 May 2013
(put it another way, London is the UK's Germany, the north is the UK's Greece/Spain);
UK's worst property loans rise to near quarter of total
Cuts hit hardest where jobs are fewest
Mr Facing Both Ways has got himself into another fiasco because he cannot focus on what matters.
If it's the case that a US-EU free trade agreement is in the UK's interest Cameron should spell it out, stand his ground, and rely on LibLab support.
But the Farage Factor means he has also got be nice to the Nadine Dorries Tendency.
Dorries, according to speculation, was on the verge of joining UKIP so Cameron quickly got the whip restored to keep her in the party.
You canNOT please both UKIP and Obama, Dave!
Can PM ride two horses?
Two concurrent reports confirm the sociopathy at the core of Tory Party. Lord Young blows the gaff on what has been the case for many years: the Tories like
unemployment it depresses wages.
Depressed wages push those on low wages, such as the egregious Minimum Wage, closer to the edge.
Those out of work, and especially the disabled, are an even easier target for those of a social Darwinist disposition.
The BMJ recently reported an unusual spike in suicides so it should not have come as a surprise to Sky News that a disabled woman hit by the so-called 'bedroom tax' killed herself.
Typically, Ed 'Tory Lite' Balls had to preface his comments by justifying cuts in benefits, but suggested attacks on the disabled were a step too far.
Even The Samaritans had to blunt the edge of the tragedy by claiming that suicide always involved more than one factor.
Expect an outpouring of - strictly short-term - crocodile tears in the corporate right-wing press, while over at the Treasury and the Department of Work and Pensions more suicides reduce pressure on the wefare budget, but dont expect a spokesperson to point that out.
The reprise of Hitler's Aktion T4 programme is currently a DIY job, hitherto below the mainstream media's radar.
Recession is a good time to exploit cheap labour
IDS ... unsupported claims on success of welfare reforms
UK recession may be to blame for over 1000 suicides in England
The country now faces exactly two years of government inaction on the big issues, while sections of the Tory Party fret and fume over the EU,
with Mr Farage on the box building up his following.
Cameron's plan to get membership of the EU transformed into an á la carte menu will be the usual smoke-and-mirrors: an over-hyped non-event.
"Firing up" the economy will include such earth shattering changes as exempting the self employed from health and safety rules.
In his interview on C4 News, Michael Gove justified the co-option of landlords, surgeries and hospitals, estate agents, and no doubt many others, expected to fill in the (massive) gaps in border control by becoming ex-officio members of the Borders Agency.
Making the BA fit for purpose would involve spending money; altering the law is cheaper. For HM Treasury.
It's going to be a painfully long, frustrating two years until the May 2015.
Labour offers David Cameron help passing laws blocked by backbench Tories
The sun is setting on the Coalition
At a glance - Queen's Speech sets out Government agenda for next year. Plus what's NOT on it
Heathrow given 80 staff – but 900 were cut across UK
Questions raised over Crosby’s UK role and business interests
According to the FT the dropping of proposed laws on alcohol pricing and cigarette packaging from the Queen's Speech might not be unconnected with Lynton Crosby's business interests back in Australia.FT 10 May 2013
Allegedly, his tax consultancy - Crosby Textor - helps alcohol and tobacco pushers to contest regulation.
Hilarious though it might seem, btw, Lord Ashcroft sent Mr Crosby a friendly warning as to the dangers of advisers 'becoming the story'!!
Dan Hand, writing in openDemocracy ...
"On March 25th the House of Commons’ Political and Constitutional Reform Committee published Do We Need A Constitutional Convention for the UK?
"Though the report acknowledged widespread opposition to the idea ... (it) concluded that a convention was necessary, in order to address the growing strains on the UK’s constitution caused by "a huge amount of incremental constitutional change over the past two decades" ...
"The economic problems we face are deeply integrated with the political system. The financial sector is a collection of private businesses that can call on a range of state and state-like agencies to promote its interests.
"The Bank of England, the Corporation of the City of London and the offshore jurisdictions are part of how the British economy operates and they are obvious objects of interest to a constitutional convention based on very widespread participation.
"A constitutional convention worth the name will ask whether it makes sense for Britain to operate as an offshore hub, given the corrupting effects it has on our public life and the costs it imposes on the rest of the economy.
"The BBC is another institution that has so far escaped the attention of the reforming imagination. But its journalistic failings derive from its nature as a creature of parliamentary opinion.
"If the executive and most of Parliament are uninterested in seeing an issue debated then the BBC remains silent ... "
It's good to see the economy integrated into the discussion since, without it, constitutional reform would be meaningless.
Clearly Dan Hind is right to emphasise that powerful political and economic forces which will oppose any discussion, as they will also oppose any proposals which might swing the governance of the UK in the direction of greater economic, as well as political democracy.
Throughout the nineteenth century, when the gradual extensioon of the franchise was taking place, a limited two-party democracy was based on the shared assumption that 'laissez faire' was the only possible economic system, and any intrusion by the state - such as public primary school education - was taken with a view to making the economy more efficient.
(Plus a healthy dose of religion, to keep the lower orders in their station! Gertrude Himmelfarb Janet Daley)
The problem - since 1979 - has been to wind down expectations of a social/welfare state, in the hope of returning to the status quo as it existed before the 1945 Labour Government, and probably as it existed before the more limited reforms introduced by the 1906 Liberal government.
Unlike laissez faire, neoliberalism needs the New Person, conditioned by governmentality not to need state support of any kind, and furthermore, not to need other people except in so far as they are - temporarily - useful.
Thus other people are seen solely though the lens of market norms, social norms are for 'wimps' and 'losers'.
Sadly - for the one per cent leading the way into market utopia - too many of us are failing to make it to become the New Person.
For us it is therefore necessary for government to act as though nothing much has changed, while gaining support for the end of the social state by using the example of Mick Philpott to encourage us to redouble our efforts.
You would not want to be called a psycho by the Daily Mail, would you?
The social cohesion - the necessary condition without which real democracy cannot flourish - and which probably exists only in a nostalgic haze surrounding the Second World War - is the very opposite of the fragmented "fuck you buddy" dystopia which is the 'ethic' of the free market consumerism.
It is for this reason that it seems vanishingly unlikely that a constitutional convention would speak directly to the condition of a fissured, angry, and sullen people encouraged by the corporate press to take-it-out on benefit 'scroungers' and that-all-purpose source of all that is dictatorial: Brussels.
Political and Constitutional Reform Committee
People’s Assembly Against Austerity
The Politics of Deception
As blogger platypus56 rightly points out, various forms of robotics are replacing a wide range of jobs, leaving more and more people unemployed,
confirming the McKinsey Global Institute's report - cited by Fred Harrison - which concluded that by 2020 there will be "at least" 90 million adults who will not find
They will be the 'deadweight people' which no future colonialism will be able to dispatch to New Worlds.
Yesterday there were some commentators who contrasted our situation – bumping along a bit above the bottom – with Spain's.
That was because it released unemployment data which it is hard to characterise as anything other than dreadful.
Spain is suffering levels of joblessness that would frighten the life out of policymakers here.
They are well aware that this country simply couldn't sustain an army of 6 million unemployed without Her Majesty's Army on the streets to counter widespread social unrest ...
Ind 26 Apr 2013
"By 2020, the US will need to create 21m jobs to achieve full employment ... "
Box E:1 - Deadweight People,
The Traumatised Society, p.211
Index of output, employment and hours since 2008
It's claimed that one sure sign of insanity is repeating the same action again and again in the hope of getting a different outcome. It seems our Chancellor is
a victim of this syndrome.
Funding for Lending is quantatative easing - printing money - in disguise. The idea is that if you give our zombie banks wheel-barrow loads of dosh they will start lending it to small businesses.
There seems to be several problems with this: (i) the banks use it to deleverage, (ii) SMEs don't want to take on more debt because there's no growth to pay it off with, (iii) it's going to the wrong people - like buy-to-let landords - and (iv) it's depressing savings rates.
It has all the failings of bog-standard QE.
BoE opens Funding for Lending door to buy-to-let landlords
Clever tweaks will not boost growth
Savings rates hit by extension of FLS
Buy-to-let at highest level in four years
Funding for Lending ‘put on steroids’
Funding for Lending failure dismays BoE
Janet Daley is the Telegraph's in-house propagandist for neoliberal free markets and the abolition of government interference - ie regulation - which
tampers with the workings of the Invisible Hand.
True to the innate dichotomies within the British right-wing press, the Telegraph - like the Daily Mail - is a big supporter of religion.
This is not the religion of the Good Samaritan or the Sermon on the Mount, but the relic of the "God bless the squire and his relations, and keep us all within our proper stations" which - with the help of Margaret Thatcher - was melded with market utopianism.
The reality - that neoliberalism is peopled by pawns and players - accounts for the logic behind this apparently dissonant marriage of feudalism and the Austrian School of Economics.
Daley's argument - part of a wider attack on Professor Richard Dawkins - highlights the dichotomy, since it could be argued that Prof Dawkins ought to be a bigger supporter of neoliberalism than Janet Daley.
One of the factors underpinning the collapse of formal religious beliefs in the West - outside the US - was Darwin's theory of Evolution.
The lion is not going to "lie down with the lamb" for the very good reason that genetics determines that lions attack lambs for food, while lambs eat grass.
Which, when you think about it, is a very good analogy for neoliberalism: the players feed on the pawns, using them as a source of profit, disposing of them when they have been used up, and motivating them to keep going by removing the social state.
Daley - like Thatcher, Blair, Reagan, and Pinochet - is a social Darwinist, and her defence of religion is actually a defence of the one per cent.
A good week for the smiting of the ungodlyAtheism has had a bad week ...
It may have marched under the banner of "secularism" but that was a deliberately misleading and, as it turned out, not very successful tactic.
As Professor Dawkins himself said in one of his broadcasting appearances, secularism and atheism are different things.
You bet they are. Secularism as understood, for example, in the United States – the most famously successful secular society in history – is no enemy of religious belief.
The separation of church and state enshrined in the American Constitution is designed to guarantee the freedom of worship: to protect the observance of all faiths from oppression or interference by the state.
It is the ultimate acknowledgement of the importance – in effect, of the sacrosanct nature – of religious belief and practice, regarding it as one of the "unalienable" human rights ...
Tel 18 Feb 2012
Since the UK was integrated into the the world of liquid modernity, governing for the one per cent has
been achieved - with the help of the Murdoch Press and Dacre's propaganda unit - by fomenting a 'war' between David Cameron's 'strivers' and 'skivers'.
The work of Robert W. Cox - cited in Paedar Kirby's Vulnerability and Violence - demonstrates the existence of "a three-part social hierarchy":
It's clear, therefore, that Camerons 'strivers' - the precarious - and his 'skivers' - the excluded - consist not of two separate groups of people, but a
shifting, interchangeable population with common interests.
Atos told incontinent woman to ‘wear nappy’ Disabled man abandoned on the second floor of building during Atos fire alarm
The coalition, building on New Labour's employment of firms like A4e and ATOS, has expanded the persecution of 'skiver's' to such an extent that the British Medical Journal has commented upon the increase in suicides amongst those who are not going to find work, but whose benefits have been withdraw on spurious, and usually vindictive grounds. [BMJ]
Atos told incontinent woman to ‘wear nappy’
Disabled man abandoned on the second floor of building during Atos fire alarm
The increasing attacks on the disabled are also confirmation of the 'success' of the coalition's flagrant social Darwinism.
The corporate press, as you would expect, concentrates on 'benefit scroungers', as The Sun's 'war on benefits' demonstrates.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation points to the campaign's success.
The fact remains, however, that the UK economy's special deficits makes it particularly unlikely that anything approaching full employment is going to return under current circumstances.
The impact of Thatcher's banking 'reforms' - made worse during the Balls-Brown bubble - were unique to the UK. [SEB] [Obs] [Gdn] [WSJ]
Since all three 'mainstream' parties support the 'one per cent' global economy; support the need to restore bank lending; and/or buy into kick-starting another housing bubble as a means of securing 'growth'; it's clear that the economic component of a constitutional convention would be forced to challenge neoliberal globalization, and - at the same time - to confront the profound need to work towards a global tier of economic governance as stressed by Zygmunt Bauman.
Note, in this context, Fred Harrison's reference to the growing plight of the low-skilled ...
In June 2012 the McKinsey Global Institute ... (estimated) ... that, by 2020, the world will have a surplus of at least 20 million low-skilled workers who face long-term unemployment ...
By 2020, the US will need to create 21m jobs to achieve full employment ...
It is not in the interests of rent-seekers to re-skill workers ... [Pages 210-211, pbk. ed.]
The circumstances in which a debate on the need for a global tier of government would take wings, therefore, could not be less promising, globalization having promoted
many manifestations of a return to 'primordial loyalties', not the least of which is the re-emergence of Neo-Nazism
as a political force in Greece, and the gathering swing to UKIP in England - the latter fed by the illusion that a Britain 'freed' from Europe would morph into a
Shangri La based on Norway, Singapore, or Switzerland.
The single most useful proposal any party/convention/divergent thinker could support would be the nef's proposal to borrow to invest in renewable energy.
(Their argument that Britain is not - by historical standards - 'broke' is, in itself worth the read, btw.)
Putting both types of solar panel on everyone's roof would (a) create work for a massive labour force, and (b) drastically cut energy imports.
Snappy comebacks to stupid questions