The Week #21 6th May, 2015

So there you go, after spending a whole weekend reading all the manifestos side by side that is what I learned from them. Realistically though I think I have showed that none of the parties really know what they’re doing. The system itself is at fault here so in this week I am going to outline what I see is wrong with the system and then put forward my own plan for our country, as if I was standing as a member of parliament, so let’s begin.

We need to look at a bit of the history revolving around the economy for the last 30 odd years, the boom and bust system and what has happened to the United Kingdom and the rest of the world, so we can understand why our political parties are so woeful now. I think the big issue is our business sector. We have one of the shabbiest in the world with the profit and bonuses over-ruling aim, rather than longevity, meaning that since the end of the Second World War, when Britain should have been one of the first to bounce back and capture dominance over certain areas, we failed. From aircraft to cars there is hardly any large scale manufacturing left in this country and what is left is owned by foreign countries or foreign individuals. Why is this? Well, since Thatcher’s rule our economic heart has been ripped apart, by her and successive governments, under the guise of privatisation being better, the belief that privatisation weeds out the weak, leaving only the strong and most competitive to survive and flourish. But that is clearly not true, just look at the U.K. –  we now have EDF, a foreign, half state owned company making several billions a year, by  charging over the odds on fuel in our own country, along with the rest of the big energy companies which are all foreign owned. Hardly competitive and does that make any sense at all for us to be fuelling foreigner state’s coffers with our money – just so we can heat and feed our family’s while our government sits on the side line, hands tied, because they have no say in the very running of our power stations. Would any other country on earth do the same? No and why, because it’s madness for two big and obvious reasons: if there is a fuel shortage (like there was a few years ago when Russia closed the pipes) then they are going to hike up our prices before their home prices, and as we have nowhere to turn we are a captive market, secondly, if this country become hostile for some reason – arguments about us still owning Gibraltar or some other issue then they can affect our fuel system as they like , it makes no sense yet the Tories and our political elite strive for the private market in everything as private investment leads the way, solves all our problems, but it doesn’t –  let’s just look to the United States for a clear picture on why it doesn’t. A  country whose obsession with capitalism is why there is such a gulf in wealth between its’ citizens –  for one of the world richest countries, and that is because big business ruins everything – so making a buck is more important than peoples’ lives. They are so obsessed with personal wealth that half of the population don’t want a national health care system for all, a thing we take for granted, a symbol of a civilised society.  Why is this, well because American companies who make a small fortune of medical insurance and the like don’t want their easy meal ticket to go away – even at the risk of a deterioration of peoples’ health in their own country?   Capitalism is an infestation of peoples’ minds, driving them just to make money, stockpile money and feeds greed – why help others?

Returning to the U.K. – the crash left no doubt in our minds who to blame (despite the media efforts to smokescreen it) the blame lies fully on the bankers – they are entirely to blame for why me, you and most people my age will now, for the first time since the war, have a lower standard of life than our parents, simply because they  were too greedy, uncontrolled speculation,  capitalism was their God and all they cared about. If we don’t recognise that, if we do nothing it, it will happen again and that is the big issue here. It is seven years since the crash and bankers have bounced back with their 47% pay rise on their pre-crash salaries, whereas most of us have had a 2% rise, if we have a job. Why do we stand for this? Because people who should know better don’t recognise that the fundamental issue is that CEO’s don’t look to grow their businesses anymore, they don’t look to build a good workforce, helping their employees to grow with the business and sustain it. Instead, over the past 30 odd years, they have become more and more obsessed with the stock market and share prices and from that getting their big fat bonuses because profits are high, but investment is low. All that matters now is the stock value, everything rides on the stock market, nothing more than a gambling den, and that is why we will have a crash again – lax regulation will only lead to a disaster one that might actually topple our country, don’t forget how close we came to having the British economy collapse entirely with the rioting in London. Next time around those riots will look like a stroll in the park as Britain volatile mix of identities, its extreme wealth and poverty, creating resentment that will explodes.

The failure to build strong, long lasting industry is because the CEO salaries and bonuses are directly linked to the share price of their company so the morally corrupt CEO, which is most of them, on the whole push and push declared ‘value’ over real  growth. 800 billion of interbank loans whirl around each day as banks try to keep there artificial high stock prices up so that their transient stock owners get their top whack of cash if they gamble right and meaning that the CEO gets his (and it is usually a ‘he’) nice big fat bonuses to spend on boats, mistresses, whatever – and as the business cut costs to maintain profits the workforce go onto zero hours, or are laid off. This world can’t be sustained – it is a system that is fuelling a pounder keg which will lead to another Northern Rock or RBS collapsing as its own debt finally catches up  with it – which in turn sees a sharp drop in the share price and creating panic, a rush on the bank and the depreciation of the pound as billions of pounds flood out – and the government then has to step in to save the economy, which means ordinary people seeing their taxes going to prop these bankers up –  how is that just, fair, a good system?

And so the bankers and the politicians are all fine – just playing with our money, where gigantic numbers roll around almost meaningless, and this culture won’t stop until we demand change, insist that some real means of checks and balances is implemented, but that won’t happen because the people who we rely on to implement them, to save the rest of us, are the ones who are making the money or advising the people who make the decisions, and they are driven by self interest. This is like having the school bullies helping the headmaster to control the school bullies – it makes no sense. It is no wonder that the ‘lords’ and ‘sirs’, who have been asked to look into this have all come back defending the status quo, with a little bit of tweaking as a token gesture. All are taking billions from it and laughing all the way to their Swiss banks!  So what is to be done? Assuming we are wishing to avoid an armed uprising and a complete restructuring of our country (which we Brits are not too fond of) then our only hope is to have a politician who can defy that truth that power corrupts, we need someone clever enough and grounded enough to  get the support and take on the business elite or, by some divine intervention,  actually have some business leaders who are themselves hugely successful and take it upon themselves to take on the banks and business by starting their own bank with new rules and decent morals going hand in hand. I know that this is   pretty unlikely – even those good on the PR as being ‘unconventional, such as Richard Branson still squirrel money from the tax man and waste money on a gimmicks such as a space ship rather than really making an impact for ordinary people here and now. Our business models, held up by the media, lack moral standing. Mr Sugar and the like would sell their Nan if it would make a buck and because of this we, as a nation, sink –  where are the companies that are well run, research and develop, grow, sustain, pay their staff well (all of them) and plan to be still doing so in a hundred years time?  There is a complete lack of moral fibre, an unregulated market and an acceptance of greed. I am not against profit and I am not looking for a socialist/communist regime – I do believe that wealth is an incentive for innovation and I welcome that but we have lost our way – we are not innovative any more, chasing the profit line is preventing our industry from chasing a better society – let’s aim for modest profits because a firm has invested in its growth, its workers, let’s measure the value of a business by how much it makes a positive contribution to the people in the country. We have allowed extremes where making money is more important than lives and that in business ‘anything goes’ –  where are the great British businesses – that provide jobs, community and security for all?    A question to ask yourself before casting your vote!

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