Posts Tagged 'Corporatism'

The tide of ignorance of EU law laps over the wall of reality

The Mail has bought and run as its own a piece from the Guardian about what its like to work for Amazon.

It focuses on the working conditions, low pay, use of agency labour and number of jobs they estimate the company’s rise has cost elsewhere.  But no such attack piece on a company like Amazon is complete without bringing up taxation:

It is taxes, of course, that pay for the roads on which Amazon’s delivery trucks drive, and the schools in which its employees are educated.

Taxes that all its workers pay, and that, it emerged in 2012, Amazon tends not to pay.

On UK sales of £4.2 billion in 2012, it paid £3.2 million in corporation tax. In 2006, it transferred its UK business to Luxembourg and reclassified its UK operation as simply an ‘order fulfilment’ business.

The Luxembourg office employs 380 people. The UK operation employs 21,000. You do the sums.

One can understand this line.  One can also sympathise with it to a degree because it underlines what is wrong with the corporatist system we have, something that too many people wrongly describe as capitalist.  But that sympathy erodes somewhat when what follows a few paragraphs further on shakes us back to our senses and reveals yet again the sheer ignorance of the people railing against this situation:

MPs like to attack Amazon and Starbucks and Google for not paying their taxes, but they’ve yet to actually create legislation compelling them to do so.

All too often these left leaning campaigning writers are pro-EU, they love the idea of knocking over nation states to create a nationless unions such as the EU.  Yet they are either too stupid to understand the reality, or too dishonest to report it, by not pointing out it is EU law and one of the four freedoms (of movement of capital) that prevent MPs creating legislation to tax profits made in the UK when that company’s UK operation is merely ‘passported’ because its base is in another EU state.

Such is the pisspoor calibre of our media, they continue to misinform, mislead and misdirect their slowly dwindling audience, ensuring the sum of knowledge is minimised yet rousing rabbles to attack MPs for inaction where in reality they have no power.

Rather than attack MPs for not applying taxes they are barred from levying, these prestigious know nothings should be attacking them for allowing power to be taken by Brussels, leaving the UK without sovereignty.  But this is what happens when we are flooded by a tide of ignorance so big the walls of reality are breached.

To hell with the little people

Just days ago, Richard Branson was again pushing the Europhile narrative, that the UK must remain firmly inside the EU in order to retain access to the single market – which he says is good for British business.

If Branson gets his way, the British population would remain bound to the intentionally anti-democratic EU, our institutions taking political instructions from Brussels while having no direct input to the formulation of global agreements, which actually shape the EU’s directives that are handed down to member states.

Yet while the British people would be stuck with such an unacceptable state of affairs, it seems Branson has seen to it that he will be free of the consequences of being governed by the EU.  For according to press reports, Branson is now a non-domiciled individual who has decided to become a resident of the British Virgin Islands, living on his holiday island of Necker.

All too often we see that many of those people who are most vocal in trying to determine how the British people should be governed, ensure they themselves are not subjected to that experience.  And we are increasingly finding that big business is trying to determine how this country is governed in order to satisfy its vested interests, setting aside the real issue of EU membership, which is politics.

Corporatism must not be allowed to complete its victory over the notional democracy that exists here.  The stakes are too great.  And if those who wish to dictate how this country should be run, but exclude themselves from our society, effectively saying ‘to hell with the little people’ and expecting us to do as they say, not as they do, then we should not listen to them, but instead say to hell with them instead.

Energy prices, energy gaps and ignoring the elephant in the room

The appearance of Paul Massara, chief executive of RWE npower, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning signalled a continuation of the slow burn of superficial media coverage about the issues of energy prices and energy gaps.

Massara was there to explain his argument that government policy is the major factor behind rising energy costs.  It is hard to disagree with when one considers the imposition of levies and charges that are being tacked on to the cost of gas and electricity.  But Massara certainly isn’t telling the whole story and is deftly attempting to play down the ways in which the energy companies – and other investors highlighted in recent stories about the Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) scandal – are cashing in at consumer expense.

However, nothing the government or the energy companies are saying is acknowledging the elephant in the room.

For at the heart of all these measures, charges, initiatives and regulations that consumers are being hit with is one simple fact – the aim of the government is to drive up prices to reduce demand.  In other words, the policy is to force people to use less energy, rather than governments seeking to provide enough energy to meet the demand of a growing population.

The cart is being put before the horse in this way to satisfy a wrongheaded and retrograde direction of travel, one that seeks to reverse decades of human progress while describing this plan, in classic doublespeak, as progress.

Behind this is the nefarious ‘sustainability agenda’, which dictates that the ever growing number of people must get by with less, and to ensure they do consume less governments will impose measures to limit supply and force prices up.

The very notion of encouraging innovation to find cleaner, more affordable and more efficient ways of meeting the growing global demand for energy, is heresy.  It must not be discussed, for no one must be given the impression there is an alternative to the vicious agenda being followed by the global political elite and the corporates that stand to make a fortune for delivering less to their customers.

While the media, government ministers, assorted talking heads and the lavishly remunerated cartel of CEOs from the big six energy firms continue to postulate, comment, argue and prattle their various offerings about our energy future, the root cause of all this remains a globally determined diktat that has never been put to the people in consultation or presented to them for their approval – yet for which the people are expected to pay vast amounts more in return for very much less.

This is the huge elephant in the room from which they are averting their eyes, in case the rest of us notice what is happening and take a stand against the political and corporatist class.

STOR scandal: Revealing the rip off to millions more people

Following the exposure of the rapidly growing use of diesel generators, to provide energy when the wind doesn’t blow to turn those intermittent and inadequate turbines, the story revealed by Richard North and Christopher Booker in being brought to a much wider audience via the Mail on Sunday today, courtesy of James Dellingpole.

Making use of Richard’s content, Dellers makes the key points that should make a lot of people sit up and take notice:

The National Grid’s eye-wateringly expensive solution to counter the instability of wind power is known as the Short Term Operational Reserve, or STOR, to generate a reserve capacity of eight gigawatts (GW) by 2020, the equivalent of about five nuclear plants.

The diesel-generators will provide immediate computer-controlled back-up for that significant period when the wind turbines are not working, but at a hefty premium.

Currently the wholesale price for electricity is around £50 per megawatt hour (MWh) but diesel-generator owners will be paid £600 per MWh.

At 12 times above the market rate, this represents a bigger cash bonanza even than that currently enjoyed by wind developers, who receive a subsidised price of between two and three times the market rate, depending on whether their turbines are on land or offshore.

With the huge reach that can be achieved by the Mail due to its millions of online readers, the STOR scandal is starting to gain some traction.  This increased attention will surely lead to more scrutiny about why the UK is decommissioning coal and nuclear power stations to be replaced with ineffective wind turbines, that in turn rely on hugely expensive, CO2 emitting diesel generators as back up when electricity demand exceeds what can be supplied.

The detail that should make people’s eyes open wide in disbelief is that in 2010, the scheme was already costing us £205 million a year, yet by 2020 this is expected to rise  to £945 million.  All this money being taken from us in addition to what was already being taken to fund our energy needs – and it is only being taken because the politicians have wantonly abandoned reason and made us increasinly dependent on the least efficient, least reliable and least affordable form of power generation, which necessitates diesel generators to be on standby to make up the shortfall when the wind drops off.

To call this a scandal doesn’t come anywhere close to underlining the scale of this corrupt rip off or the extent of the carbon con that is being used by the government to enrich corporates at our expense.

We won’t take any lessons from these self interested Europhiles

According to a claque of pro-EU corporate captains, we eurosceptics are putting ‘politics before economics’.  In other words, we are being accused of putting democracy and self determination before the money making interests of these extremely wealthy individuals.  How very dare we put the democratic rights of millions of people before the bank balances of the well connected claque.

But even that premise of ‘politics before economics’ is utterly flawed, as there is no earthly reason for us to be trapped in a political union simply to be a part of the single market.  And when they try counter this fact with their claim that in leaving the EU we would allegedly lose our ‘influence’ and have to accept all the rules without shaping them, they are talking utter bullshit.

Do we shape the rules of the Chinese market?  Or the US?  No, but that doesn’t stop us trading with them.  So where do they get the idea that being politically independent means we won’t be able to trade with the EU?

Because of our EU membership, countries like China and the US perversely have more say in shaping our rules than we do – because the EU speaks for the UK in all trade matters on global bodies, whereas China and the US speak for themselves in their own interest.  The UK’s interest, however, is diluted to accommodate the wishes of 26 other countries.  So much for influence.  Norway and Switzerland have more say in shaping the single market trading rules that affect us than we do, and they are non-EU countries with access to the single market.  This is the reality we need to spread far and wide so people with no or little interest in governance understand the contempt this country’s people are held in by the political class and corporate tycoons.  They have some other agenda because their argument does not stand up to scrutiny.

So, terrified of these facts and the reality dawning on a generally disconnected docile nation, we are once again treated to a huge dose of FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt – which is the only line of Europhile attack.  But, what is also interesting is the history of some of these great sages who presume to tell us to sod our interests, as conveniently collated by Guido…

  • Roland Rudd – corporate lobbyist for multinational firms and campaigner for Britain’s membership of the single currency which he still believes in.
  • Richard Branson – non domciled, campaigned for Britain to join the Euro and wants a single European army.
  • Martin Sorrell – Chief executive of advertising agency WPP – Roland Rudd’s boss who owns Rudd’s Finsbury PR.
  • Dame Helen Alexander – former chief executive of the Economist.
  • Lord Kerr – Foreign Office and UKREP career as a diplomat who helped draft the EU constitution.
  • Sir Andrew Cahn – career civil servant and worked for Lord Kinnock at the EU Commission, who infamously with his wife Glenys received more than £10 million in pay, allowances and pension entitlements during their time working at the European Union in Brussels.
  • Sir Nigel Sheinwald – non exec director of Shell, who brokered the ‘deal in the desert’ between Tony Blair and former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
  • Sir Roger Carr – Chairman of Centrica who criticises business for their “greed” while hiking energy costs. Outgoing President of the Euro-loving CBI.

Oh yes, these people are really representative of the man on the street who suffers the consequences of living under EU rule.  Why would anyone be bothered about what these people have to say, when they’ve spent their entire business lives servicing their interests at the expense of the rest of us?  They see us as expendable cash cows who are saying we should shut up and stay out of their way.  For heaven’s sake, some of them don’t even live here so they don’t have to put up with that they wish to have imposed on the rest of us.

We should all say no.  The spin, distortions and casual deceptions of the FUDmongers must not be allowed to con and scare the voters into staying part of this anti democratic, corrupt, wasteful club, built by and for a self selecting elite that sees us as nothing more than funding fodder for their games and personal enrichment.

So what are we going to do about it?

Perhaps the Failygraph has some uses.  On Monday it devoted space for a common sense op-ed by Fritz Vahrenholt, formerly an active supporter of the IPCC and its CO2 theory, who now declares himself ‘not convinced that humanity is causing catastrophic global warming’.

While the ground Vahrenholt covers will not be new to readers of this blog, EU Referendum, Watts Up With That, and numerous other sites, it does at least provide for some incisive comments which add some value to the debate.  Standing out among these was this contribution:

This is the challenge the world faces.

The whole climate change industry is grounded in politics, not science.  Leading sites such as Watts Up With That and Bishop Hill continue to produce some excellent content, but to no real end because they are attempting to challenge a political endeavour masquerading as science, with science.  The only way to tackle the political and corporate vested interest agenda is politically.  Engaging the opposition on its faux ground of science simply diverts attention from the real activity that needs to be stopped.

As Tayles says in his comment, ‘they aren’t about to give up the fight that easily’.  He/she is spot on.  The justification for political and corporate actions will simply morph into something else.  Global warming will make way for another imminent threat that, surprise surprise, will also just happen to require solutions necessitating centralised political control beyond democratic accountability and structures, wealth transfer, higher energy and bills, rationing of essentials such as water and power, vast sums of taxpayer money gifted in ‘subsidy’ for lucrative mitigation activities, and so on.

Given this the only question that remains is, what are we going to do about it?

Shock! Climate change laws survive ‘red tape cull’

Imagine our shock!

The Barclay Brother Beano reports that 53 environmental regulations relating to pollution, contamination and waste are being scrapped to save money, however the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey has said that the Climate Change Act is an ‘example of essential legislation’ and all its supporting regulations must remain unchanged.

Of course it must!

After all, it is a money making machine for corporations at the expense of consumers and taxpayers who are forced part with cash unnecessarily by the State  – and it is used as justification by the political and bureaucratic elite for the globalisation of government and erosion of that inconvenient and troublesome process known as democracy.  Nothing can be allowed to derail the agenda.  If every environmental law and regulation bar one was scrapped the lone survivor would be the Climate Change Act.

If this latest piece of evidence doesn’t prove the fact the political class and corporations couldn’t care less about the environment and that the climate change bandwagon is just a means to their ulterior ends, nothing will.  Climate change alarmism has nothing to do with the environment and it has nothing to do with science.  It’s about money and control.  End of.

And despite this smash and grab raid on our pockets, our democracy and our individual freedoms, the vast majority of the population continue to drift through life in a sleepwalk, leaving the politicians and corporations to empower and enrich themselves.  By doing nothing we will deserve what we get.

Forget climate change, we must focus on the real issue

Over at Bishop Hill there is a post titled A Study in Groupthink that looks at an exchange of Twitter comments between Maurizio Morabito (@Omnologos) and Bora Zivkovic (@BoraZ), the blogs editor at Scientific American.

The author of the Bishop Hill blog, Andrew Montford, explains in his post that Zivkovic is clearly very much out of the same mould as Peter Gleick, which I take to mean an unswerving true believer, a rigid in his views who sees anyone dissenting from what he chooses to believe in and argue for as ultimately evil or corrupted by vested interests.  Montford’s take is that Zivkovic perhaps views his cause as beleaguered by wicked big business, and opines that reading Zivkovic’s tweets it’s a fascinating study in groupthink.

Strictly speaking, when looking at the cabal of proponents of man-made global warming theory (AGW) and the band of sceptics lined up against them, you can see they are all in fact caught up in a groupthink.  Because both sides act as if the issue at hand is about whether mankind really is causing the planet to warm significantly and therefore endangering the earth.  Which is why I left the following comment on the blog:

Ultimately it is all meaningless. While people like Zivkovic, Gleick, Mann, Trenberth, Briffa, Jones etc try to make this into a scientific argument, because they are funded to churn out hypotheses about the climate and the ecosystem, it is nothing of the sort. It is all about politics.

Sceptics, and scientists who dissent from the ‘consensus’, could falsify, debunk and disprove every element of the AGW narrative and see off every member of the ‘team’ and make a laughing stock of the ’cause’, but we will still come under assault.  For this is all about politics and ideology, even if the prominent actors don’t realise it.

Ultimately if it is not climate change it will be some other vehicle connected to ‘sustainability’ that will be used as a means of controlling the population and redistributing wealth from the industrialised world to the developing world in a way that enriches the corporates.

From the United Nations down, every tier of governance has been tasked with executing the ‘progressive’ agenda, which in reality is regressive for all of us.  It’s not some crackpot conspiracy, it’s just the way those with power and wealth are steering the ship.

This direction of travel will not be defeated by butting heads with a small band of AGW blowhards who are lavishly funded to continue producing ‘findings’ and ‘projections’ that fit in with the actions needed to further the overarching agenda.  Until people start to tackle the root cause of the disease instead of the symptoms, we will continue to go round in circles playing ‘he said, she said’ while our democracy, liberty, wealth and individual rights ebb away.

Expose the distortions, errors, scientific flaws all you like, but don’t lose sight of what is really going on and why.

Politics has changed.  We no longer have a left-right paradigm, even if many who are politically active but unaware of what is going on around them still define themselves in such terms.  Today we have an authoritarian mix of progressive and fascist corporatism (rule by and in the interest of government and corporations) on one side, and mix of classical liberalism and libertarianism (limited government and individual liberty) on the other.

We can see the evidence of the corporatist approach.  It makes me laugh when the global warming fanatics try to undermine opposition to them by arguing the sceptics are in the pay of ‘big oil’.  One of the worst propagandists for spinning this line is Bob Ward, mouthpiece for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.  Australian Journalist Jo Nova reported that Exxon-Mobil had paid $23 million to sceptical groups over a ten-year period.  Big corporate Exxon-Mobil are therefore considered evil personified by warmists like Ward.

Ward’s employer is named after its benefactor – the uber wealthy fund manager, Jeremy Grantham.  In 2011 Grantham held 11,309,048 shares of Exxon stock.  Why would Grantham fork out to fund an institute researching climate change when he is making a fortune from the very company cited by his minions as evil big oil?  Perhaps because as a corporate animal his only interest is making money, and his hypocritical fence straddling is a means to that end.

Let’s compare Exxon’s oft cited $23m funding of sceptics to money poured into environmental interests.  How about another big corporate, BP?  They were investing $8 billion in biofuels, wind power and solar while building long term options in carbon capture and storage and clean technology. Five billion dollars of that had already been invested by 2011.  That money is funnelled into delivering exactly what the environmentalists want and also supports lobbying and activism.  But they are still considered ‘big oil’.

There are plenty more examples of these kind of inconvenient facts, where the supposed enemy is a friend and supposed ally is an opponent.  The bottom line is these companies will support whatever helps their bottom line.  They are super powerful and influential corporates, and with the subsidies on offer utterly committed to keeping the climate change gravy train on the tracks.  And we, the taxpaying consumers, foot the bill to increase the wealth of these corporations.

To believe the corporates have anything other than a vested interest in the centralisation of power and control that coordinates global action, to erode democracy and liberty which thus enables the transfer of wealth, is to reside in a realm of delusion.  No matter what the ‘science’ reveals and how much it is debunked, there will always be another line of attack from the sustainability playbook to further the political – and dare I say economic corporatist – agenda.  This is where the battle needs to be fought, not in the theatre of carbon dioxide emissions, raw and adjusted data or fractions of a degree of temperature change.

Why ‘we are the 99 percent’ has got it wrong

In the comments to a previous post, Permantexpat asked for my opinion on the burgeoning ‘we are the 99 percent‘ movement in the US.  I say the US because the UK boasts an altogether more positive 99 percent organisation with a different agenda.

In the US, ‘We are the 99 percent’ has emerged from the leftist agitprop of the Occupy Wall Street foolishness.  There are many tragic stories of misfortune among those who are now identifying with the 99 percent movement, but there are also many people who are involved for no more reason than they embody the politics of envy, the politics of entitlement, the politics of something for nothing.

There is a peculiar mindset among many on the left.  It leads them to argue that if someone has wealth the state should take a slice of it and give it to others who are less wealthy. Never mind that many of those people with wealth have earned it through hard work, long hours, risk taking, personal and emotional commitment and a determination to succeed; they have it and the Wall Street occupiers believe that without putting in the same effort they are entitled to some of it.

I am part of the 99 percent whose costs are increasing, income is falling and for whom the economic mess is proving harmful.  But I do not endorse or support the insipid, big state, authoritarian rent seekers who are leading desperate people down a dead end path.

The decent people who are suffering in the current economic situation, and through desperation are climbing aboard the leftist bandwagon, are right to protest.  However they are protesting against the wrong people.  The focus of their anger should not be Wall Street, it should be the White House and Congress. The root cause of what angers them is not those in the financial sector, regardless of the way many of them operated.  No, the root cause is a combination of themselves and the government.

  • Themselves because they allowed the politicians to con them into believing the state has all the answers and could be relied upon to throw a never ending stream of money at various agencies they could milk
  • The government because successive administrations have gradually made millions more people dependent on the state for assistance and handouts, while pursuing policies that have driven up the costs of essentials

What has been lost on too many people is the adage that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.  The consequences of allowing this to happen are now coming back a vengeance.  Now the handout tap has been turned down a large number of people are finding they have been living beyond their means.  No one denies the difficulty this causes for many decent people, but demanding the handouts continue by taking money from those who are more fortunate is not the answer.

Occupying Wall Street will change nothing.  Sleeping outside St Paul’s Cathedral will change nothing.  The first thing to do is focus a campaign on the politicians – because it is they who have encouraged and embedded this situation – and demand a change in the scandalous government spending priorities and regressive policies which are driving up the cost of food and energy, hitting the poorest hardest.

What is required is an end to the corporatism that masquerades as democratic government. It won’t happen by protesting outside the offices of bankers and financiers.  It won’t happen via movements which are steered by those who want to replace the damaging corporatist system with a damaging socialist system.

But when the decent majority wake up, stop being manipulated by the Marxists and leftists and demand action on their terms and focus on the political class, it will create the conditions for government in the people’s interest – where policies do not impoverish and the power games of the politicians are pushed out to the margins.  We might at last get proper representative democracy.

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