Archive for March, 2013

A happy outcome in Cyprus!

For the ‘colleagues’…  The Cyprus Mail reports that:

EU funds co-financing Cyprus-based development and growth projects will be exempt from the deposit haircut, communications minister Tasos Mitsopoulos said yesterday.

Mitsopoulos said that the 37.5 per cent haircut on deposits larger than €100,000 held in the Bank of Cyprus would not impact EU funds.

“This development secures the smooth flow of resources from EU funds to Cyprus, and the continuation of any projects underway,” Mitsopoulos said.  He said that the happy outcome was the result of coordinated efforts by the government of Cyprus.

I’m sure every Cypriot depositor, whether an individual or small business owner, who has seen a large chunk of the money they have worked hard to accumulate stolen by the decree of the Cypriot government, European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, will be delighted to see that government saw to it deposits in the banks belonging to the favoured few were exempt from confiscation.  A happy outcome indeed.

But then, why should the EU not benefit from the same shady deals that have been quietly arranged for political parties, politicians and their families, senior civil servants and corporate businessmen?  One rule for the elite, penury for the rest.

The moment you put your money in a bank it becomes theirs for the taking.  You’re only a creditor.  Now they’ve established the principle of the game, the only question is one of scale. There is nothing to stop them deciding to hoover up the deposits of those with less than €100,000 on deposit if they call it a tax and confiscate the money before a bank goes under.

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Arch Tory Timmy and the Conservative fetish for big government

It’s interesting to see that Timmy of The Times has been holding forth over on the ConservativeHome blog.  He is arguing that although David Cameron is not a great leader, he can still win the next General Election and should not be ousted by the party’s MPs.

In his assessment, Timmy references a story hidden behind the same Times paywall where he will be shrinking to greatness, talks about the way Cameron has allowed the so-called centre right vote to be split:

Most of all, I hold Cameron responsible for the splitting of the centre right vote. Successful leaders spend 50% of their time looking after their existing voters and 50% reaching out to new voters. In recent months Cameron has scrambled back to a more balanced approach but the damage is already done. UKIP is booming in the polls and today’s FT reports (£) that they are about to broaden further – adding a low tax message (which seems completely unaffordable to me) to their existing core messages on Europe and immigration. UKIP, remember, don’t need to win a single seat in order to still deny Tory candidates victory in key marginals.

As you can see from the piece I have emphasised in bold, Timmy has his eye on the fusion between electoral appeal and economics.  The piece in the Times that he refers to is summarised on ConHome’s main page as follows:

“The UK Independence party is to broaden its electoral message beyond its usual campaigns against Europe and immigration with a new tax strategy aimed squarely at swing voters in middle Britain. Godfrey Bloom, the party’s economics spokesman, wants to create a flat rate of income tax at 25 per cent with a personal allowance of £13,000, a policy which he accepts will bring particular benefits to middle earners. Meanwhile, in another attempt to chisel support away from the Conservatives, Mr Bloom also wants to allow non-working parents to transfer their tax allowance to a working spouse.”

Timmy’s big problem here is the same one that infests the Cameron Conservatives; the belief that the plans UKIP are putting forward are unaffordable because government has to spend so much money.  It is this kind of lazy thinking, and the authoritarian bent that accompanies it, which is causing so much financial misery to ordinary people.

UKIP’s economic plan is entirely affordable – as long as the government stops spending money on non-essential services and provisions.  But politicians of every stripe are in an arms race to make promises to voters that cannot be delivered without stealing ever greater sums of our money.

And when the consequences of a government’s irresponsible spending, unaffordable borrowing, increasing taxation and syphoning of our wealth to service its own ends become so serious they can no longer be hidden, we are presented with the ‘false choice’.  Brandon Smith, writing on this from an American perspective on Zero Hedge, defines it superbly when he writes:

Large and corrupt governments love to use the magic of the false choice.  For instance, “…it is better to sacrifice some of your money and your principles to the establishment than it is to live through total collapse of the nation…”  This false choice process, though, never ends.  The offending government will demand more property and more freedom from the citizenry everyday while constantly warning that if we do not submit, the alternative will be “far worse”.

The truth is, Cyprus is not the issue.  What the disaster in Cyprus reflects, however, concerns us all.  It is a moment of precedence; an action which sets the stage for the final destruction of the idea of private property.  It dissolves one of the final barriers to total government control.  Governments and elitists have always stolen from the public through misspent taxation and rampant inflation, but with Cyprus, we see a renewed feudalistic paradigm.  The EU and the banking hierarchy are sending a message to the Western world:  You are now their personal emergency fund, and nothing you own is actually yours anymore.

When an institution confiscates property and capital at will from a subdued and frightened populace without consent, they are essentially exploiting the labor of that populace.  In any culture or language, this is called “slavery”.

The Tories, for all their pontificating about personal freedom and responsibility, are following this exact path, just as Labour and the Lib Dems would if they held ‘power’ exclusively.  This is the disease that has infested the political class and will harm us all.

Where Timmy should be shouting from the rooftops that government should not be continuously expanding and over reaching and does not need to be so big or spend so much, he merely whimpers that leaving people to decide for themselves how their money is spent and how they use their resources, is unaffordable – for the government!  How is that viewpoint reconcilable with someone who professes to want limited government and individual freedom?  He clearly hasn’t got a bloody clue.

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.

The Conservatives will never return to the ‘common ground’

She often comes in for a lot of stick, but Melanie Phillips often articulates the reality of a situation with supreme clarity. Consider this rhetorical contribution directed at the conservative-in-name-only in Number 10.

“Mr Cameron does not have to enter an alliance with UKIP in order to reconnect to Conservative voters. All he has to do — revolutionary thought! — is adopt Conservative policies himself.

Since the fall of Mrs Thatcher, British Conservatism has lost its way.

Mr Cameron wrote yesterday: ‘It’s not about being Left-wing or Right-wing; it’s about being where the British people are.’

Well, the British people want to get back from the EU the power to govern themselves. They want to live in a country that does not resemble an international transit camp, but where citizenship is based on a truly common culture.

They want to end ruinous and pointless green taxes, and to conserve the countryside against urban sprawl. They want armed forces that can actually defend the country and a drastic curtailment of international aid. And they want solid, unambiguous support for traditional family life.

That’s where the British people really are, Prime Minister. The problem is that you are somewhere else.”

So, sadly, are all but a tiny handful of senior Conservatives. While I wish well the genuine conservatives who in spite of everything remain in the Conservative party, my decision to resign as a Conservative Councillor and leave the party, because of the direction Cameron and his cronies were taking, has increasingly shown itself to have been completely justified.
What Phillips is saying is in her own way is what this blog has long said – the political class’ interests are wildly different from the interests of ordinary people.
The likelihood of the Conservatives rediscovering the common ground is so remote as to be negligible. The party leadership has been infested by people like Cameron, devoid of principle or belief, who want to govern for its own sake; and who think they alone should have the monopoly on decision making and therefore refuse the electorate’s wishes on a wide range of issues.
The concept of representative democracy is just that, a concept.  Something the Philosophy, Politics and Economics graduates learn under the likes of Vernon Bogdanor, before heading off into the world to maintain elected dictatorship.  Compare and contrast with the way things are done in what increasingly appears to be the last true democracy in the western world…  Until the status quo in the UK changes the politicians will never come close to sharing the common ground with the people.  Power to the people, Citizen Cam?  Not bloody likely.

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