The time has come to ask two questions of our oligarchies: Are you being serious? And What TF is going on?
You see, the thing is, it’s all about geopolitics really. Well…and oil, too. Geoilpolitik as German academics might say. But the major problem with reducing this sauce down to one word is, it doesn’t get us anywhere: we still have no idea what on earth’s going on.
Here is a small selection of What We Don’t Get:
1. Is Mario Draghi out to create as much chaos as he can so the long-term aim of turning Europe into a Dollar Colony can be achieved, or does he simply want to get rid of everything from Switzerland to Greece that stands in the way of his desire to be Mario I of the Unholy Mammon Empire?
2. Is Geli Merkel a protector of the euro ready to beat up Hungary, Italy and Greece, or is she looking for an excuse to quit the euro and NATO in favour of joining the Antidollar axis?
3. Is Barack Obama’s overt support for Greece designed to bring Draghi and Merkel to the negotiating table, or to signal to the Greeks they can trust the US, or simply an attempt to bring on the sort of quadrophonic chaos in Europe from which only the Dollar can benefit?
4. If Nicolas Sarkozy is the cousin twice removed of Jackie O, is Rupert Murdoch Viktor Orban’s estranged uncle out to wreak revenge upon Sarko’s forebears, or is he just a nasty bit of antimatter who likes espousing policies for which he won’t have to pay?
5. Has covert American and half Russo-Turk Aryan fatty Mayor Boris Johnson created the City State of London because he doesn’t like the poor folks – or in order to turn it into the world’s largest recreation centre and theme park – to be called Zuricasablancapore – where the corrupt oligarchs and spies of the world can find a sanctuary for their fortunes once Chinese, US, Greek, Turkish, Russian, Italian, Saudi and of course UK citizens realise how they’ve been ripped off for decades?
6. Is Senator John McCain stupid, ignorant, working for the US arms industry, a secret Mormon Jihadist, or all of these things?
One of the more amusing criticisms of the internet is that it’s obsessed with conspiracies, and therefore not to be taken seriously. While I tend to agree with some of that, the regularity with which out-there conspiracy facts have turned out to be stranger than any theory (and worse than we thought) does kind of make the charge a little hollow. So much conflicting propaganda is throwing so many mud pies in so many directions in the media, the reality of it practically encourages conspiratorial speculation. If one looks at Libor, Gold, Cyprus, oil, currencies, QE, Jihadist executions and the Ukraine debacle, then the people who aren’t credible are the gargoyles supposed to be working for us who pretend this is all perfectly normal behaviour.
We have here in Britain a high-profile case blatantly demonstrating a confusion of propaganda, and attacking the credibility of a senior politician whose behaviour has been more risible than the daftest online JFK assassination theorist. Indeed, as an Englishman I find it particularly depressing…..because the man is our Prime Minister, the Rt Honorable David Cameron MP.
In order to position himself as a leader who believes in business investment, Mr Cameron has seized upon a new railway connection (originally a New Labour idea) for an upgraded service taking in London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester called High Speed Rail Transport Stage II…or ‘HS2′ as it now universally recognised.
The renowned engineering consultants Atkins have just produced a report costing the “upgrading alternative to HS2” at between £2bn and £3bn.This sum does make the £50bn-plus cost of HS2 (it started at £35bn only three years ago) look ridiculous. But even that pales into insignificance when set against evidence given to a Parliamentary enquiry last year by an outgoing senior civil servant, who told the committee that the case for HS2 “is entirely made up”.
As long ago as June 2013, the FT quoted John Cridland – head of the Tory-supporting CBI employers’ organisation – as remarking, “It is good that the government is upfront about extra funding, but the case for judging this absolutely has to be value for money.” Three months later, a damning report from the all-party Public Accounts Committee questioned whether the project represented any real value for money at all.
But Camerlot ploughed on with an idea criticised by both the Institute of Directors – who dismissed it as a “grand folly” – and the Thatcherite Institute of Economic Affairs.Then further research in mid 2014 showed conclusively that most northern business opinion leaders (for whom HS2 is supposed to be designed) would much prefer a vastly upgraded trans-Pennine line between the main Yorkshire and Lancashire centres.
So in a vain attempt to hold back the molten lava of disbelief, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin pulled this rabbit out of the hat: “High Speed Two will make Liverpool stronger. Manchester stronger. Leeds stronger. Britain stronger. A £15bn annual boost to the economy….with the north and Midlands gaining at least double the benefit of the south.” He quoted the business consultancy KPMG as his source for this conclusion – since when its report been a doorstop in some Sir Humphrey’s palatial office suite, because things then got rapidly worse.
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) right-wing think tank mentioned earlier chose this moment to be even more blunt and say “the scheme defies economic logic” – before scotching the obviously bloated ROI suggestion from KPMG by estimating the eventual cost as likely to balloon up to £80bn…as a result of legal challenges, associated regeneration costs, and forced changes to the route being proposed.
Now we need to put this into some kind of rational fiscal perspective. My best calculations from umpteen contradictory sources (and I can’t believe this is an accident) would suggest that thus far – net – the Osborne austerity programme has made savings at or around the level of £27bn. Hardship has increased, properly-paid contractual jobs have been lost by the tens of thousands – and the parallel experience in ClubMed countries has shown pretty conclusively that socially, politically and fiscally, austerity is an economic busted flush up there with the Ruhr Dams after the RAF had paid them a visit in May 1943.
But put these appallingly negative NVE thoughts to one side, and ask yourself only this: why should even these pointless savings be wiped out twice over by the egomanic desire of one Eton-educated PR twerp to have a legacy?
Expenditure of this nature as a prop for personal political gain is embezzlement, pure and simple. The Prime Minister has plundered a staggering sum of public money – at a time of enormous economic upheaval – in order to show his neoliberal mates around the world that
his legs are he is open for business…especially funny business. In doing so, he is carrying on the obscene tradition of Tony Blair – whom he admires relentlessly. And, in doing so, he mirrors the religious zeal of Blair by demonstrating a near Aspergers level of ability to screen out the mountain of evidence suggesting he is wrong, wrong, wrong.
In Blair’s time, we Brits paid for his Middle East War – and his consequent ability to make money from the US, as well as fees from brokering the after-effects of that war. We also paid for the complete write-off of £23bn expended upon the disastrous NHS software white elephant, Connecting for Health.
It seems to me that what the likes of Syriza and Pademos are trying to do in ClubMed is destroy the undeserved privilege self-awarded by their oligarchies. Anyone who thinks the British (or US) oligarchy is any different must qualify for the Smug Bastard of the Year Grand Prix.
The morals of the story are these: first, we are attracting the wrong people into politics. They are whores who will spread their legs for money regardless of the source; second, we must get all private political donation removed from our government processes; and finally, we must develop a credible Media Resistance capable of punching its weight in a way that will, one day, wake up the rape victims.
Related at The Slog: paying politicians to lie to us