Posts Tagged 'Economy'

EU membership: We have to change the terms of the debate

Laura Sandys MP, we are told, is the Conservative Member of Parliament for South Thanet and the Convenor of European Mainstream. In Parliament, Laura was first appointed to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and, until recently, was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Greg Barker MP, Minister for Climate Change. She is currently focused on consumer policy, energy security, the green economy and our relationship with the European Union.

Unsurprising to find therefore that she has written a puddle of unmitigated dribble for the Telegraph, in an article that the editors have chosen not to allow comments on.  A puddle that includes gems like:

[...] ‘Better off Out-ers’ appear fearful of negotiating abroad, unable to succeed in getting their way, and instead choose to loudly ‘beat their retreat’.

[...] However, ‘Out of Europe’ as a stated policy would be the first time in modern history that the UK’s aim would be to diminish its influence in Europe – an extraordinary retreat from our national interest.

[...] For my part I am greedy for the UK, not cautious – I want EU PLUS. I want the 500 million customers that the EU offers PLUS new trading partners and new export opportunities from across the globe.

There is a world of difference between ‘negotiating abroad’ and being subject to political control from abroad.  It is the better-off-outers who want to broaden the UK’s horizons and look beyond the borders of the EU for cooperation and trade in our own name and using our own voice.

It is worth noting that we are increasingly seeing politicians attempting to justify political settlements and the erosion of democracy with some perceived economic benefit.  Almost every political matter is now being projected through an economic prism.  Sandys is doing exactly the same thing here.

This shows the extent to which the political process has been captured and is now dominated by vested corporate interests.

The Europhile side barely ever talks about any other reason for remaining under EU control than trade and wealth.  Important as these things are, people power, accountability, sovereignty and self determination are essential elements for a society.

Having these removed by stealth, without our permission, then having a meagre promise of an economic carrot tossed in our general direction as some kind of compensation when the culprits are rumbled, is not acceptable.

We have to pull the debate back on to the political pitch and demand that the politicans talk to our interests, rather than move the issue on to the economic pitch preferred by their corporate paymasters.

‘Make me the prime minister and I will get you the job’

So said Ed Miliband, to a disgruntled unemployed man in Lancashire whose frustration at the effects of Labour’s open-door immigration led him to say of politicians, ‘You’re all full of shit.’

Miliband told the man that employers undercutting wages – rather than immigration – was the cause of the problem.

This is the Ed Miliband whose supporters never tire of telling us he has a Masters degree in Economics from the LSE.  Yet with that answer he demonstrates that he fails to grasp the most basic impact on price of an increase in supply, in this case a dramatic increase in the supply of unskilled and semi skilled labour.

Businesses exist to make money for their owners in return for the supply of goods or services, and the greatest challenge for most businesses is controlling their costs.

However, the fetish of politicians and bureaucrats for creating ever more regulation, combined with the financial impacts of government policy at EU and national level, the costs associated with running a business have been continually increasing.  So when an opportunity to reduce labour costs – typically one of the biggest expenditures in small and medium businesses – presents itself, why wouldn’t a business hire the migrant worker who is prepared to work for a lower rate?

Miliband supported the influx of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who increased the supply of cheap labour.  Miliband supported the scandalous borrowing splurge that has resulted in more pressure on tax revenues to service the spirralling debt.  Miliband supported and also directly implemented policies that have increased the costs of running a business.

Yet despite all this, Miliband has the temerity to blame employers for that unemployed Lancastrian being out of work and brazenly promises that if he is made Prime Minister he will get that poor man a job – presumably by further increasing the size of the unproductive public sector, thus further adding to pressure to increase the tax revenues taken from the wealth creating private sector.

That Lancastrian man was then schmoozed and flattered by a deceitful, delusional hypocrite to the point he exchanged a handshake with him.  That man was right the first time.  Miliband and his ilk are full of shit.

Take advantage of the corrupted market

The media has made much of the news that the price of gold has just experienced its biggest fall in over 30 years.  The price of silver has experienced a similarly dramatic decline, to which we can add falls in oil, copper and other commodities.

Talking heads have been emerging from the woodwork since gold and silver started turning south in recent weeks, spouting the establishment’s nonsense that gold is finished, it isn’t a safe haven, its collapse proves the government can print money without consequences for the wider economy etc, etc.

But what we have seen in recent days is a classic bankster raid as part of a governmental war on alternatives to the dollar.  Doing the Federal Reserve’s bidding, the investment banks and big institutions took advantage of a modest decline in gold and silver prices over recent months to attack the market. The dollar must be preserved at all costs, so the US government’s financial industry puppets have stepped up to use Fantasy Commodity paper to

After Goldman Sachs last week advised clients to close their gold positions (‘paper’ gold futures), on Friday the dealing team at Merrill Lynch apparently dumped a futures sell order of around 4 million ounces or 124.4 tonnes of gold, worth approximately $6bn.  Ironically this is the same Merrill Lynch that in September last year said it could see gold soaring in price to $2400 per troy ounce by the end of 2014.

You can be sure Merrill – and Goldman Sachs – still believes gold’s price will soar, which will explain their physical gold buying.  This market manipulation through worthless paper to drive down the price serves to enable the likes of Goldman and Merrill to buy up much larger quantities of gold in anticipation of the longer term price rise, while persuading their dozy investors to part with the illusion of owning gold and pump their money where the US government wants it – into equities and US bonds.

‘The scale of the selling was massive and again underlines how one or two large banks or hedge funds can completely distort the market by aggressive, concentrated leveraged short positions,’ wrote the Got Gold Report.  It’s clear the markets have become so badly corrupted it is now common to see billions of dollars wiped off the value of a commodity by way of a paper exercise.

Thankfully there are still people who have their wits about them and have been seizing the opportunity to buy gold and silver at a lower price.  They can see the unchanged financial fundamentals that make gold a safe haven, namely:

  • spiralling national debt becoming increasingly difficult to service
  • huge inflationary pressures waiting to burst into the open as a result of reckless printing of money
  • an overpriced stock market ripe for a crash where share prices have inflated because of the increase in the money supply
  • interest rates that will eventually break out from the efforts to hold them down
  • additional tax hikes to fill the gap between receipts and ever growing public spending
  • governments that have quietly changed the law to enable confiscation of bank deposits at arbitrary levels

When one sets aside the fantasy paper trading of the banksters that has given the media and uninformed people the idea that gold and silver have lost their value, and instead looks at the real, physical market, one will see quite a different story…

When the economic effects of government policy kick in – and they will despite the lengths to which they are going to suppress the consequences of their actions – all that ‘smart money’ that is diving out of worthless paper gold and silver at the current low price following the advice of Goldman and Merrill will be looking for a safe haven.  They will want to get into physical gold and they will find the price rising, low supply, and the people who advised them to get out of gold sitting atop of a huge pile of the real stuff in high security vaults, bought cheaply by way of a grotesque manipulation of the market.

My tuppence worth of advice is don’t wait for the lumpen herd, get in now and protect some of your wealth from the economic mess that is coming over the hill and set to hit all of us head on.

An economic storm is gathering

Quite recently, and rather belatedly, I started to take a more serious interest in the economy.  In January I read an article that laid bare the real extent of this country’s debt burden and what history shows us happens when such a situation arises.  The rest of the world fares no better and compounds the parlous nature of the economy globally.

Having gone on to spend the last few months researching, then starting to invest in gold and silver, and writing an almost complete short guide about how to do that most effectively as a small investor, a piece on Bloomberg about billionaire investor, John Paulson, losing more than $300 million of his personal wealth as gold fell to its lowest price in almost two years, caught my eye.

Anyone who has an interest in precious metals will be accutely aware that their cost has fallen rapidly in recent weeks.  A lot of people are falling for the establishment propaganda that has seen comments and actions by George Soros presented as a rationale to abandon gold and silver and pour money into the dangerously inflating stock market bubble.  Goldman Sachs has joined in this week, urging its clients to sell out of gold.  That was the cue for large scale selling by individuals and organisations that has sent gold below £1000 per ounce and silver below £17 per ounce.

Yet the backdrop to this is the likes of Soros maintaining a huge position in gold, Goldman Sachs looking to buy physical metal on the cheap as their clients dump their paper options for unallocated metal which largely doesn’t exist, and governments/central banks dramatically increasing their gold reserves while telling everyone else that they need to be in equities where their monetary investments can be taxed and depositors can be given ‘haircuts’.  As always it is a matter of the establishment saying one thing and doing another.

The fact is the health of gold and silver is anything but poor.  Demand for physical metal is soaring and has even resulted in mints rationing sales of bullion coins and dealers finding it difficult to acquire stock – and with the sudden price change on Friday now taking the decision to suspend sales, knowing they would be overwhelmed by demand for the cheaper gold and silver and would not achieve the mark up over the price they paid.  For ordinary people the price of gold and silver only matters if you need to sell it to liquidise assets.  While the price may fluctuate, the physical metals still have intrinsic value that makes them more valuable than devalued currency that is being eroded by inflation.  John Reade, a partner and gold strategist at Paulson & Co, is one who is refusing to be taken in like the sheeple:

“Federal governments have been printing money at an unprecedented rate.  We expect the strengthening of the economy and stock market to cause money supply to rise more than real growth and eventually lead to inflation. It is this expectation of paper currency debasement which makes gold an attractive long-term investment for us.”

Goldman Sachs and the central banks know this all too well and are simply encouraging people to sell assets, worthless or valuable, to drive down the price so assets can be picked up on the cheap to make the long term investment even more valuable to them.  People who listen to them will be left high and dry as the investment vehicles being recommended fall apart as part of the monetary crash that will come.  ZeroHedge calls is right when in response to the Paulson story Tyler observes:

As for gold as an inflation hedge, here Paulson is certainly correct. The only question is when will the price suppression scheme of gold as an alternative currency finally end. Since various official organizations (such as the Troika) are currently doing all they can to buy the sovereign gold of insolvent nations at firesale prices, it is likely that the period of artificially suppressed prices may continue.

Which, incidentally, for all those who lament the recent price drop in gold, is a good thing: for those who see gold as an alternative currency to fiat, all the recent sell off (as well as alleged or real downward price manipulation) does is provide a lower cost basis for accumulating hard monetary assets. Which is something to be welcomed and not mourned, especially if one plans on holding on to said gold (or silver) as a currency, instead of merely converting it back into fiat at a higher price point, and thus as an asset (something all those who bought BitCoin at $260 and sold at $50 appear to have completely forgotten).

Dr Paul Craig Roberts was the US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and an associate editor of the Wall Street Journal.  He knows how the system works.  Just over a week ago on his website he put some context around what we are currently seeing in a piece that everyone should read.  He can see the writing on the wall.  The video below builds on the article (h/t Silver Doctors):

However, the establishment’s effort to prop up western currencies by encouraging people to act in a way that drives down the price of gold and silver to make these devalued currencies look more appealing, shows that the economy is in dire shape – and is a huge opportunity for ordinary people.  Pushing the price down to prop up the dollar in particular, has made it cheaper for ordinary people to acquire gold and silver before the price takes off upwards.

This week I have taken the opportunity to add another 2oz of gold bullion and 3kg of physical .999 fine silver bullion to my vaulted assets, along with some more 22ct Gold Sovereigns, and silver bullion coins in the shape of .999 1oz American Eagles, 1oz Canadian Maple Leafs, 1oz Austrian Philharmonicas and 1oz Britannias, all purchased legally without having to pay VAT and now safely stored in a secure, non-bank facility that I can access 7 days a week if I choose.  The more that government and the likes of Goldman Sachs try to get me to part with my assets, the more I am convinced to hold on to it.

When the economic storm eventually hits, the value of fiat money plummets, government raids bank account deposits a la Cyprus, at least I will have the comfort that I have no debt, bar what’s left to pay on my mortgage, and that a good proportion of my assets will not lose their value – indeed they will almost certainly be significantly more valuable than today.  Best of all, the government and their banker agents won’t be able to get their hands on it as it is kept outside of their system.

Bankster racket – The Cyprus template that wasn’t a template is now a template

Remember how Cyprus was supposed to be a special case and not a template for similar wealth confiscation elsewhere in the future?  Remember how it transpired the measures taken in Cyprus had already been written into the Banking Act 2009?  Well the Banksters are getting bolder as a piece on ZeroHedge makes clear:

The CEO of Unicredit Federico Ghizzoni said yesterday that it is “acceptable to confiscate savings to save banks.” He said that the savings which are not guaranteed by any protection or insurance could be used in the future to contribute to the rescue of banks who fail and that uninsured deposits could be used in future bank failures provided global policy makers agree on a common approach.

The organised racket is very clear.  Any money we put into bank accounts is a loan to the bank.  Given that governments don’t have the money to bail out banks, which have been run into the ground while using our money to carry out poorly considered lending to borrowers who are defaulting or declaring bankruptcy, they are now treating the money lent to them by depositors as exactly what the rules say it is – theirs.  Caveat creditor.

Note the reference to having a common approach to global policy.  Global governance is the agenda at play.  The wealthy elite makes the rules and is now applying the rules to protect their financial position at the expense of anyone who is willing to risk putting their money in one of their institutions.  If the Banksters don’t get your money, then be assured the global cooperation and harmonisation gradually being developed by governments will see to it that taxation will hoover up your wealth.  No permission sought, no approval given, just the abuse of power by the political class and their establishment cronies.

It has been clear in the way governments are exchanging supposedly confidential account information between each other, under the pretext of tackling tax evasion.  But even where there is no evasion, this exchange provides vital intelligence about the holdings of individuals that can be used to inform governments about who has what, so policy can be created to target them for specific taxes and wealth confiscation – all to satisfy the bribery and spending fetishes that politicians rely on to buy votes of the net consumers at the expense of the net producers.

While politicians like to spout off about democracy and freedom, their actions are designed for a single purpose, to enslave the people who are supposed to be their masters.  Government, both supranational and national, never shrinks.  The parasite continues to expand by feeding on the people they are supposed to serve.

The only thing it doesn’t seem to have planned for is what happens when the incentives to production have been destroyed and the wealth it plunders has run out.  What will the state’s clients do when their free handouts come to an end?  Perhaps by they the planet will be so collectivised we will be scratching the land to produce food and resorting to barter as the medium of exchange.  Progress will have been reversed and the green wet-dream of ‘sustainability’ will be realised.

At what point will the sleepwalking masses wake up and put an end to it?  There is no conspiracy theory here, just conspiracy.

If Cyprus was a one-off, special case then why…

… does the UK Banking Act (2009) contain the same provisions to confiscate the wealth of depositors in banks, in the way the EU, ECB and IMF ‘Troika’ did, if UK banks get into trouble?

The screenshot below is from a joint paper published in December last year by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (US) and the Bank of England called ‘Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions‘.  It can be found on the Bank of England website.  This section is on page ii.

Click to enlarge

It couldn’t happen anywhere else, the Eurocrats keep saying.  So why are the provisions necessary?

The reality that too many people do not understand is that putting your money in a bank makes you a creditor.  You are lending money to the bank so the bank can use that money to lend it out at a profit to others.  You get some of the profit back as interest. If the bank gets into trouble like Laiki Bank in Cyprus, you are just one of many creditors who stands to lose your money.

Cyprus did not have to restrict its confiscation of people’s deposits to those over €100,000.  The ‘insurance’ policy is worthless if the money is taken as a tax or as part of a restructuring plan.  The promises that underpin fiat currency and the treatment of your money by the state and the bankers are as worthless as the paper promisory notes people are queuing for hours in Cyprus to obtain.

The best option is to put some of your wealth out of the reach of the government, the banks and their crooked financial system.  I’ve removed a proportion of my savings and bought physical gold, and physical silver which is stored in a private, independently audited vault in Switzerland.  If you want to preserve some of your wealth I refer you to sign up and buy gold and silver securely by clicking on the BullionVault banner below:

I am publishing a short e-book on Amazon in the next few weeks for people who are interested in investing in gold and silver.  If you are interested in buying a copy from me directly in PDF format just email me at autonomousmind@hotmail.co.uk.

Britain ‘raped’ by high taxes? Almost right, Ray, almost right…

My lack of output in recent weeks is due to a combination of the long working hours a newly self employed person needs to put in to keep clients happy, and a desire to use what time is left available to me to enjoy family and friends and not spend it in misery looking at the mess this country is in.

However, spotting the EU-loving  Daily Wail’s report of the comments made on radio by the actor, Ray Winstone, has given me enough of a push to have a little rant on here while reinforcing some points every reader has taken on board or urgently needs to.  As the Wail explains:

Actor Ray Winstone says he may quit the UK because it has been ‘raped’ by high taxes.

The former boxer, 56, said:  ‘I can see myself leaving. I love this country but I’ve had enough.’

The actor added: ‘I don’t see what we are being given back. I just see the country being raped.’

Winstone told talkSPORT Radio that the taxman was ‘taking too much in exchange for too little’.

He added: ‘There are more holes in the roads than a tennis racket, we can’t build hospitals and fire stations are closing.’

Confession time. Ray Winstone is one of my favourite actors.  Yes, the remake of The Sweeney was disappointing rubbish and a waste of Blu Ray disc, but Winstone can’t be blamed for that.  However, Ray isn’t quite right in his assessment. The UK isn’t being raped by high taxes.  High taxes are but one symptom of the systematic rape of our personal freedom, individual rights, resources, self determination and laws by the political class.

The taxman is only doing what he has been instructed to do by the largely worthless collective of power obsessed hypocrites who have an uncontrollable fetish for dictating how every aspect of our lives must be run.  It is they who determine what should be taken from producers to subsidise not just the needy and vulnerable who should be supported, but also the feckless, opportunists, grabbers and the other power crazed meglomaniacs higher up the political food chain in Brussels and the UN.

Politicians cannot secure the votes of enough of the self interested lumpen masses without some kind of bribe.  For decades the bribes have come in the form of welfare handouts. Vote for us and we will give you XYZ in return.  The taxman is only the collector.  Ray Winstone should have gone the whole way and laid the responsibility for the pain so many of us experience and the door of the political parasites for whom we are just a food source.

The mismanagement of this country’s welfare system has all but broken the UK economy.  The national debt is staggeringly huge and is still growing.  Paying back the debt, even if it were a realistic proposition – which it isn’t – is not enough.  The problem is structural so it won’t go away without significant and deep changes that would have to reshape the expectations people have.  Changes our parasitic political class will never make.

Promises have been made that cannot be kept because the price of the bribery exceeds the amount the producers can pay for.  It’s not just the needy and vulnerable who are getting handouts – arguably less than they should – but every Tomislaw, Dalmar and Harbijan who alights here to be given a roof over their head and have money put in their pocket paid for from the welfare fund contributions of British taxpayers.  Working people are getting tax credits and benefits – I kid you not, to compensate for the tax burden imposed by government in the first place – via an expensive and flawed system that bleeds money to which many are not entitled even under the rules.  And across the EU, British money taken by Brussels is doled out on projects and grants that do nothing to benefit the Britons who paid them.  All at the instruction of politicians and bureaucrats, and one rarely sees a poor one of those.

That, Ray Winstone, is the reason why the hospitals, schools and roads that used to be fairly well funded and maintained are falling into disrepair and providing ever worsening services.  The politicians have built up a welfare dependent client state so large, and so open to clients from around the world who have never contributed to it, it cannot be sustained.  From being a wealthy producer Britain has been reduced to the status of debtor nation.  It’s only getting worse, even under a government that pledge to reduce debt but hasn’t the guts to take the decisions needed to shrink the welfare state, the size and scope of government itself and enable a reduction in the tax take.

British voters are still needed by the political class, so we continue to get yet more completely unfunded promises being made to those people who feel the world owes them a living and vote in just enough numbers to keep the whole ponzi scheme rolling along, deepening our problems.  The only reason the UK economy hasn’t yet collapsed is that interest rates are so low.  If interest rates rise this country will not be able to afford to pay the spiralling debts and debt interest it is just about servicing today.

If the unions and taxpayers think this supposed ‘austerity’ is bad, they should wait to see what is in store when Britain runs out of other people’s money and can’t fund the NHS, welfare budget and all the organs of state interference in our lives upon which so many people have been conditioned to be reliant.  When that happens people really will understand the true meaning of the saying attributed to Gerald Ford and Barry Goldwater:

A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

Sadly it will mean the effects and consequences will be far worse than they needed to be had action been taken sooner and the political class had put the interests of this country and its people before their own ambitions and self interest.

Common sense immigration

The Barclay Brother Beano has turned its attention to comments about immigration, in relation to the UK’s economic needs, made by the former chief executive of Autonomy, Mike Lynch.

It is one of those pieces where a journalist has given a platform to a statement of the bloody obvious. Well, obvious to intelligent people outside of our pisspoor excuse for a government in Westminster, led by our supreme government in Brussels.

Setting aside the issues Lynch’s comments raise about the state of education and training in this country, the logic in his comments is clear and unarguable, identifying what is good for our economic and competitive prospects.  However, the reality of our condition sees that the government has clamped down on the opportunities to live and work in the UK for exactly the kind of highly skilled migrants Lynch correctly identifies as being beneficial to our economy and society.

Meanwhile, unskilled labour or marginal value floods here from across the European Union.  Poorly educated – often uneducated – family members of British citizens of south Asian origin are brought here under marriage and family criteria, despite lacking English language ability and frequently having no intention of developing any or integrating into our society and culture, adding little or no value to this country due to the limited scope of what they can do.  And economic migrants posing as asylum seekers among the hundreds of thousands who have arrived here, by-passing safe havens en route, seep into the black economy in low skill, low paid work outside of tax and National Insurance, being exploited by unscrupulous gang masters while making full use of public services paid for by the rest of us, allowed to stay here after publicly funded legal support in appeals.

The government’s approach to dealing with migration is irrational and defies reason.  The tough line being taken with exactly the sort of people this country would benefit from welcoming and hosting is what should be taken with those who are currently being soft soaped and coddled, instead of being shown the door.  It is little wonder our competitiveness is declining while the welfare budget continues to expand, impoverishing this country and wasting the contribution made by the productive workers and wealth creators.

The adoption of the European-style social model is unravelling the fabric of this nation, sowing discord and discontent among the less well off who suffer most from the consequences of the state’s wrong headed approach and saddling this country with liabilities that cannot possibly be funded – eroding the services and provisions millions expected to be able to draw upon after working hard and contributing to the system all their lives.

Until a government grasps the nettle on this subject immigration will remain a devisive issue.  The unfounded resentment of those foreigners who do add value to this country will continue to grow, fuelled by behaviour of those who come here to be net recipients rather than producers.

A pearl of wisdom in the Telegraph

Naturally it’s one of the comments left by a reader rather than an article per se…  The quote below that the commenter (subwus) shared comes from a book, Saturn’s Children – How the State Devours Liberty, Prosperity and Virtue.  The authors were Tory MP Alan Duncan and Dominic Hobson:

“It was in order to avoid the attentions of intrusive, inquisitorial and self-interested bureaucracies such as the modern Inland Revenue and the Customs and Excise that voters long insisted that the State fund its activities largely through indirect rather than direct taxes.

Previous generations regarded direct taxation as utterly inconsonant with liberty.From the time of John Locke to the advent of the collectivist age, when Natural Rights were supplanted with the administrative right of the government to levy whatever taxes it judges fit or necessary, most people in Britain regarded their right not to be taxed as rooted in the Natural Law.

History had taught them that it is taxation which enables the State to crush the liberty of the individual – that infinite money is the sinews of all forms of State power, and not just of war – and that well-financed governments are even more capable of pursuing policies which are dangerous, misguided or foolish (the previous Labour administration is a good example I would say) than poorly financed ones.

Throughout history people resisted those taxes – Poll Tax, Hearth Tax, even a universal excise or an accurate wealth tax – which necessitated an unconscionable invasion of personal privacy and freedom. They knew from bitter experience that the essence of any tax is the taking of money, property or a service by the State without paying for it, and that transactions of that kind can only be sustained by a mixture of fear and punitive sanctions.

All taxation was of necessity tyrannical, and a great tax was a great tyranny, but a direct tax was potentially the most tyrannical of all. It was the point of naked confrontation between the individual and the State, where the State had the power to ask how much money each individual had, how he earned it, and how he chose to spend it.”

‘How times have changed,’ subwus goes on to say.  He continues, ‘Now the Tories are trying to justify more expansion of the tax bureaucracy to intrude into the lives of ordinary people. Then again, I gave up on the Tories meaningfully rolling back the State years ago.’

Indeed. The reason why so many people have given up on the Tories is they have sold out their principles.  They no longer believe in anything apart from power for its own sake.  They have realised that embracing the ruinous system rather than reforming it pays for them and the powerbrokers they bow to behind the scenes, regardless of the damage it does to the legion of smaller wealth creators who just need the state to get off their back.

What the extract above does is prove a rule of thumb holds, that we should judge them by their actions, not their fine, soothing words.

Having damaged our economy the politicians ramp up their cash grab extortion racket

First we had that doyenne of rank hypocrisy, Margaret Hodge, given a free ride on BBC Radio 4 Today to label companies looking to minimise their tax liabilities as ‘immoral’. She’s a fine one to talk.

Now we have Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, signalling the government’s plan to demand more than their legal share of tax money with menaces. The Lib Dem minister, who says he has been boycotting Starbucks over its low tax bill, is now promising to “get under the skin” of those who do not pay their fair share.  The  Cosa Nostra are positively benign in comparison to this lot.

Alexander said on the Today programme that “public pressure” is an important tool in getting companies to change their behaviour.  He went on to say there is evidence people are already taking their custom away from companies that do pay little or no UK tax, such as Starbucks, Amazon and Google.  That is exactly what the government’s money with menaces campaign has been striving to achieve and it’s having the desired effect.

We are witnessing an extortion racket in action aided and abetted by the media, where the envy and resentment of less well off people who are trapped in PAYE is a well being tapped to help bring about what the government wants, despite the fact the government is not legally entitled to any extra money.   The consequences of not sacrificing exemptions and deductions and handing over additional money is that the state, and its establishment lackies, will do what Hodge and Alexander are already doing and work to destroy the reputation of those businesses by encouraging consumers through example to boycott them.  And this from a government that describes itself as pro-business, in a c0untry it describes as open for business.

‘We know no spectacle so ridiculous,’ wrote Thomas Macaulay some 175 years ago, ‘as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.’  The government and parts of the media have successfully whipped up one such huge scale fit and are running a racket to pressure companies to voluntarily pay more in tax than they are legally obligated to.  It’s an outrageous campaign that too many people are too blind to see for what it is.

The result that all too few people are considering is that prices will rise to offset the increased cost of doing business in this country.  Many of the very people who are clamouring loudest for ‘fairness’ and more taxation will unwittingly be disproportionately affected by this because the higher costs will ultimately be footed by the consumer.  Who will they demonise then?

The government won’t care for it will have more money to squander on non essential spending like the hundreds of billions that have been pissed up the wall for no public benefit before it.  Perhaps people would do well to remember that a government big enough to give you what you want is a government big enough to take from you all you have.

A victory for state sanctioned and engineered bullying and intimidation

Following on from the BBC-enabled Margaret Hodge hypocrisy fest on the Today programme this morning…

American citizen Sam Bloggs, who when in Europe is resident in the Netherlands and pays tax on his earnings in full there, has told the UK government he is going to voluntarily pay more tax to the Exchequer than required by law, following a sustained campaign by his neighbours who argue that because he has a lot of money and he should pay more here.

Bloggs had followed the letter of the law enabling free movement of trade and capital in the EU after taking advice from taxation specialists.  But following his hard work and success in building up his worldwide franchise business, which indirectly employs a large number of people and contributes a substantial sum in tax and National Insurance to this country’s coffers, he was subjected to an onslaught of vilification in the media and even in Parliament.  Bloggs told AM:

My business model has helped create companies, wealth and jobs, generated substantial tax income and contributed a great deal through National Insurance in the UK. I give money and time to charity, working with the Fairtrade Foundation and supporting the Prince’s Trust through a partnership agreement even though I’m not based in Britain.

But because I’ve been fortunate enough to be successful a number of people and politicians have demanded I pay more than the rules say I am obligated to. They say it’s not fair that I’ve been successful and earned a lot of money and pay full tax in Holland instead of here.  Because I’ve earned it and got it they say fairness dictates they should have it instead.  They say they want it and they make the rules so therefore they’re entitled to it.

It means I’ll have less money to invest in creating more opportunities and supporting charity, but if I don’t make these additional payments some people are going to keep smearing me and telling people to boycott my brand.

State sanctioned and engineered bullying and intimidation has won the day for the feckless incompetents.  When will people wake up and say enough is enough?

Those who fritter away our money – not just on deserving vulnerable people in our society in need of support – on those who think they have a right to be kept in return for nothing, on those who come to this country to take advantage of the enhanced suite of benefits and services they have never contributed a penny to, and worst of all on massive handouts to the establishment’s friends who farm taxpayer subsidies for all manner of wheezes on an industrial scale to boost their already substantial wealth, are demanding even more money with menaces while hoodwinking the unthinking into applying the necessary pressure to make it possible.

The pressure to fork over ever more money to the government is not just being applied to the likes of Starbucks and Amazon.  Via the spiteful tactics of HMRC conducted outside the view of the public, it’s happening to small businessmen too, driving some out of business altogether.  And the state calls this ‘fair’.  Bollocks!

Europe isn’t working

It would be easy to take that sentiment and apply it as an observation of the Euro and the EU in general.  But that isn’t what is meant.  The reference concerns the news that for the first time ever there are more than 25 million people across the 27 member states who are unemployed.

As government has grown, both at EU and national level, and hyperactively sought to increasingly regulate and legislate in ever more spheres of business life it should come as no surprise that the jobless total has risen.  The notion that government has the duty to direct everything for the ‘good of society’ comes at a price and part of the cost is the shocking unemployment and lack of competitiveness.

Rising taxation and ever growing government budgetary needs should be a warning claxon, not as some would have it, a cause for relief that something is being done.  We need smaller government that takes less from us and borrows less and focuses on essential public services.

No doubt some tribal Tories would see that assertion and rush to claim David Cameron is championing that very approach with his theatric threat to veto the EU budget.  Deeds, not words, matter and when it comes to reality the fact is the UK with its claims of deficit busting austerity is actually taxing, borrowing and spending more than Labour did.

All the political elites talk about ‘sustainability’.  But just what is sustainable about the current disturbing approach to managing the economy?  The European approach to governance has failed.  The absence of real democracy, where the people would decide if their servants can spend and borrow money for their pet projects, is the root cause of this collapse.  Until people take back the power grabbed by the political elite and their corporate sponsors this state of affairs will continue.

Guess this makes it official

If the great Stephen Glover of the Daily Wail says so, then it must be so.  Four days after this blog highlighted a low profile and barely noticed story in the finance pages of the Failygraph that referenced the myth of public spending cuts, the Great Glover has weighed in.

Of course it would be churlish to criticise him for being only four days behind, after all he is very important and busy and highly paid and says he has been saying this for months.  So perhaps we should point to the fact this blog, in the slipstream of the excellent Richard North at EU Referendum, was exploding the myth of public spending cuts as far back as October 2010.

It’s nice someone in the media has noticed and used their powerful pulpit to preach the ‘news’.  But it would be better if they were using their time and vast resources to explode these myths first instead of trailing in the wake of the far less important and resource-free blogs.  At least Glover offers some value by reminding his readers to ignore the BBC and Labour.  That is always sound advice.

BBC takes advantage of Burwood School incident to push economic downturn meme

Hours after our previous blog post about the 10-year-old boy who hospitalised two of his teachers, in which were the only entity to provide details of the school and its circumstances, the BBC has followed our lead and updated its report to include the details covered in our post.

BBC London despatched reporter Paul Curran to report from outside an empty Burwood School on Saturday afternoon and share some of the details published on AM.  However, the BBC journalist has shamelessly taken advantage of the situation to further the corporation’s line on the economic downturn (code for cuts).  We have posted the details of this over on the Biased BBC blog, where AM is now a contributor.

Obama’s debt flip flop

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.

- Senator Barack Obama, 16 March 2006

This was the future US President speaking out against raising America’s debt ceiling to $8.965 trillion.  Perhaps he was reading the teleprompter speech for a Republican senator by mistake…  Quote hat tip: Gary North

Just hat is it about assuming governmental power that turns people into mind addled debt junkies after years of perfectly reasonable calls for reducing said debt?  It’s not just Ireland’s favourite son (after Daniel O’Donnell) Barry O’Bama, here in the UK David Cameron has spoken time and again about reducing debt and spending cuts, yet UK government borrowing is increasing.

Curiously both men are wedded to the idea of huge sums of public money being spent ‘fighting climate change’ with windmills, and increasing the cost of energy, making us poorer and subsidy hungry renewable power firms very rich indeed.  Could such waste be linked to our rising debt, perhaps?

Meanwhile away from the Osamafest

As the international media became moist with excitement about the Osama Bin Laden story yesterday, the world continued to turn and events closer to home possessing a far greater impact on millions of people continued to develop.

For while Osama Bin Laden went down fighting, AK-47 blazing away in his hand as he hid behind his wife, Ireland’s Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, was busy confirming that country’s timid capitulation to the EU and running up a fresh, crisp white flag as she announced a special Europe Day would be held in the Dail.

Incredibly this is despite the Irish economy being slowly torn to shreds from the inside by the EU and IMF’s repayment terms and austerity conditions for the Irish bailout.  Writing in the Daily Mail’s Irish edition (reproduced in the UK) Mary Ellen Synon observed how the Europhiles in Dublin’s new government plan to hold a day that:

will begin a journey towards greater co-operation between the Government, the Oireachtas and the European institutions and will mark Ireland’s arrival back in the centre of European political and cultural life.

I wasn’t aware Ireland had ever departed given its slavish adherence to all things EU.  Synon goes on to add:

How bizarre is that? As the EU institutions dismember the independence of this State, Fine Gael’s Junior Cheerleader for Europe is planning an appreciation day for the occupying forces. I’m not sure to whom she thinks she is sucking up, but from what I can see in Brussels, nobody has noticed yet that Miss Creighton is making ‘a statement of intent’ to ‘re-launch Ireland’s involvement and active participation in Europe.’

Nail, hit, head.  Synon’s piece is a must read.  While the Irish people voted for change in their recent general election they got what we get here in Britain, more of the same.  The faces and voices are different, but the hymn sheet is unchanged and the obeisance to Brussels remains.

The political class may be made up of various political parties but their direction of travel is uniform.  If you are part of a political group that seeks to restore independence then you’ve no chance.  The wagons are duly circled and all the Europhiles direct their most bitter attacks and smears at you.

In Ireland as in Britain, the political class is made up of interchangeable clones who put their career interests and the wishes of Brussels before the interests and wishes of the people who elect them to be representatives.

Perhaps now those many Irish people who voted for Fine Gael because of the empty promise to renegotiate the vast loans that the European Central Bank has forced Ireland to accept, will come to understand that no matter who they vote for while they remain part of the EU, they are stuck with their true rulers in Brussels.  Only be extracting themselves from the EU will the Irish people enjoy self determination and genuine democracy.  That is something far bigger and far more important for people than the execution of an Islamist homocidal maniac in Pakistan.

The Irish vs Their Brussels Rulers

The media loves a good yarn.  The media’s attention deficit has seen them flit between coverage of nuclear armageddon in Japan and mortal combat in Libya without getting to the heart of the matter in either case.

Take away their diagrams of nuclear reactor cooling ponds and images of fast jets and various armament options and there is precious little of value in the reporting.  Usually so fond of providing ‘analysis’ there is a notable absence of thought about the long term effects of the destruction in Japan and what this might mean for the country and its government, or consideration about the potential for a change in the regional power dynamic in north Africa should Gadaffi be brought down by the Libyan rebels.

While the media in Ireland rightly turns its attention to local issues, it also exhibits an idential failure to get to the heart of the matter.  We see today the Irish Independent the headline: ‘Our fight to survive: EU in Noonan’s line of fire‘. As an example of hype this is right up there with the most laughable. A more honest description would be Noonan like a rabbit in the EU’s headlights.  The piece opens:

The ‘mother and father’ of political and diplomatic battles is looming for Ireland as Finance Minister Michael Noonan goes into tomorrow’s eurozone ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

He will seek to form a grand alliance of smaller European countries in our colossal battle with France and Germany to stop the “torturing” of Ireland and save its low corporation tax rate.

The channelling of Saddam and embellishment of his words notwithstanding, this piece may as well have been written by the former Iraqi Information Minister, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf. It isn’t going to be much of a battle when Noonan has no weapons at his disposal, as the third paragraph makes clear:

And although taxation rates will not be on the agenda, Mr Noonan intends to use the occasion to build up a relationship with politicians from other countries in the 17 member eurozone.

And that is the problem.  The Irish people voted for Fine Gael because they are desperate for a renegotiation of the EU/IMF bailout.  Why? because the demands it makes for spending cuts and tax increases are causing the Irish a significant amount of pain.  It is ridiculous of the Irish Independent to describe the EU as being in Noonan’s line of fire when the EU is calling the shots.  As this humble blog explained back in February, Fine Gael’s win changes nothing:

Bar some tinkering around the edges nothing will change.  Ireland’s voters will still be paying higher taxes and experiencing huge cuts in spending on public services.  They voted for change but will not see any, because when all is said and done the government of Ireland is cannot be found in the Dail, it resides in Brussels.  No one was able to vote for or against it.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, but generally the menu of an establishment you are familiar with gives an idea of what is going to be put on the table.  And it was just four days ago that the menu was published.  With classic EU doublespeak the headline gave the illusion of flexibility – EU/IMF delegation gives Ireland green light for bailout changes – while the body of text confirmed the usual rigidity as it explained:

But according to the Minister for Public Sector Reform Brendan Howlin, they accept the programme for government as long as the new administration agrees to raise the same amount of money from cuts and tax hikes.

The Irish voted Fine Gael because of the promise to renegotiate the bailout.  The bottom line?  Nothing will change.

The deckchairs can be re-arranged in the grand buildings where power once resided, but now that power has been handed over to the EU by the quisling politicians who put their own interest and prospects before the people they were supposed to serve, nothing that is said elsewhere means anything any longer.

When reality finally dawns in the Free State one wonders if the people will remember the spin pumped out by the timid, establishment hangers on in the media who tried to keep the deception running.  They are every bit as much to blame as the politicians they helped to bring this situation to pass.

Do shut up Cameron you self absorbed prat

As the ‘Heir to Blair’ it comes as no surprise that David Cameron wraps himself in pathetic soundbite politics.  Like Blair, Cameron is also fundamentally dishonest. Today we are provided with another of those ‘Oh piss off’ moments.

We learn that Cameron’s speech to the What’s-left-of-the-Conservative-Party Spring Forum will see him vowing to fight the “enemies of enterprise”. It appears that:

The Prime Minister will tell the Conservatives’ spring forum he wants to make it easier for people to start their own business and will get rid of some of the rules and regulations that stand in the way.

Get rid of rules and regulations eh?  What, the ones that are dreamed up in Brussels and made law here?  You know, laws and regulations that before the election Cameron promised to repatriate from the EU, then after the election his government added to by rubber stamping a raft of EU measures and opting in to others. My bullshit-o-meter is already red lining.  Apparently:

Among his proposals is a plan to encourage government departments to award more contracts to small and medium-sized firms.

He will accuse Labour of smothering the life out of business and say he has an “almighty job to do” fighting against bureaucrats and their “ridiculous rules” and town hall officials who “take forever” making planning decisions.

Labour did what the Conservatives are doing, bowing before the altar of the EU to impose every wheeze the bureaucrats can come up with as quickly as possible.

As any small or medium size businessman will tell you, just try being considered for a government contract.  Just put yourself forward for the assault course of jumping through hoops, agreeing to abide by irrelevant compliance commitments on things such as diversity and sustainability, and having every aspect of your activity pored over by faceless officials who will determine if you are worthy enough to participate in such state generosity.  While trying to satisfy all these pre-requisities, how do they have time to run their business?

To cap off his stupidity, Cameron will say:

“There is no shortage of enterprise in this country,” he will tell delegates in Cardiff.

“I see it in the ideas and energy of all the entrepreneurs I meet – British people selling curries to India and fashion to France.

“The enterprise culture is alive and well. Now, we just need an enterprise government to go with it,” he will add.

The entrepreneurs who are doing this have done it despite the government, not because of it.  Government has made it harder for them, not easier.  What they need is government to stop meddling and stay out of their business.  What Cameron is proposing is more government activity, rather than less.  You cannot have more government activity without more bureaucracy – and you cannot have more bureacuracy without ever increasing regulation, monitoring and intrusion.

If Cameron wants to fight the ‘enemies of enterprise’ he can start by punching himself in the mouth.  If nothing else it might give us some respite from him for a while.

Tax and EU regulations make HSBC set to move HQ to Hong Kong

According to the Telegraph HSBC is preparing to relocate its HQ from London to Hong Kong due to increasing taxes and extra layers of EU regulation heaped on the City of London.  Thanks to higher taxes and the suffocating bureaucracy being imposed on businesses, the UK is becoming uncompetitive.

Warnings that bankers could desert the UK if the government interfered in their bonus schemes were dismissed with a sneer by the likes of Vince Cable. But while focusing efforts on playing the gallery on that trivial matter, the government seems to have missed the frustration of entire corporations that have the capacity to move their headquarter operations out of the country.

If HSBC decides to relocated the impact will be billions of pounds less in the UK Treasury coffers. It will be this idiotic grandstanding government and unaccountable EU bureaucrats to blame for such a move and the harmful impact on our economy.

Cleveland Police tells Officers to stop night vehicle patrols

Just over one week ago in the north east of England, it was announced that Cleveland Police, like other forces around the country, would reduce the number of its officers in an effort to meet a cut in government funding.

Cleveland Police Authority said that to meet its 20% funding cut the force’s officer establishment would reduce from 1,727 to 1,572 over the next 12 months with another reduction of 75 to follow the year after. The number of PCSOs would also reduce from 197 to 182.

The reported measures to meet the cut in funding, chosen by Cleveland’s policing authority, include savings on overtime, Bank Holiday staffing, reduction in staff posts in the police executive and authority and reduced expenditure on uniforms.  But news arriving at Mind Towers concerns a cost saving measure that has not been shared with the public and is likely to cause anger in the county.

For word reaches us that the Chief Constable has instructed rank and file police officers in Cleveland to cease night time patrolling in police cars.  We are told the instruction to officers on night shift is to stay in the station or find somewhere outdoors to park up and spend their time doing paperwork, and that Officers have been told to only respond to major emergency calls.  The reason?  To reduce police vehicle fuel costs.

Our source tells us the mood among Officers is one of incredulity given that night is the prime opportunity for the commission of crimes and removing the deterrent of night time police patrols will result in more crimes being committed and more money, time and effort being spent on detection.  Response times are expected to suffer, particularly in rural areas.

It seems that Durham Constabulary have also issued similar instructions.  FOI requests have been placed with both forces accordingly.  The question is whether this is a nationwide instruction by Chief Police Officers who are putting costs before policing.  Perhaps it would be appropriate for Cleveland to change their motto to ‘Putting Costs First’.


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