Physician Heal Thyself!

wonga

So, former city banker and new Archbishop of Canterbury. The Most Rev Justin Welby has decided the Church of England should put some of its vast fortune into supporting credit unions as a way of challenging the high interest legal loan sharks of the instant cash industry.
This brings us once again to the issue of religion and politics, faith and ethics. This square never seems to be circled because, as with all human inventions, such concepts are abstract and open to interpretation.
Wonga seems to be the chief target of both political and ethical attacks yet the company is only symptomatic of a much wider industry that legally targets those who are desperate for cash before their next ‘pay day’ or ‘giro day.’ It’s the same bunch who target poor people with cheap furniture that they can pay off ‘bit by bit’ for EVER!

You know the names; QuickQuid, PoundsToPockets, KwickCash, FancyAPayDay, Cashsorted, Quickloansnocreditcheck – all internet based that allow you to chose your amount and period with little or nothing in the way of pesky bureaucracy and underwriters.

They target people like Mick, who left prison a year ago and had no money to refurbish his flat.

“I opened up a bank account but the bank wouldn’t lend me money because of my past credit rating, so my mate told to get onto Experion, who offer a free thirty day trial and point you to other loan companies. I only wanted a few grand to get my flat carpeted and buy some furniture but the only ones who Experion put me onto were like Wonga and Amigo Loans. Even the names are a joke; Amigo, it’s like they’re bandits robbing you. In the end I looked at the interest rate which something like three million % and decided to forget it. It took me another year to get the bank to loan me a thousand pounds, but on a card and I was working so fuck knows how those on benefits get on.”

Yet despite portraying itself as some beacon of ethical investment, the Church of England has enjoyed supporting some very dodgy organisations in the past.

In his 2012-2013 report, the chair of the church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) boasts about his progress with regards to some pretty nasty bedfellows. Quite apart from tutting at the likes of Murdoch’s dead schoolkid hacking News International, Palestinian occupying Veolia Environment and bauxite mining, land rapists, Vedanta Resources, the best bit is this hilarious comment on Barclays bank.
“In June 2012, it was announced that Barclays Bank had been fined approximately £290million for seeking to manipulate Libor, the London inter-bank lending rate, which underpins trillions of pounds of loans and financial contracts.

This was thje latest in a series of scandals associated with the bank, which, like many of its peers, had lost sight of its fundamental role in society and its wider obligations….however, ethical conduct can’t simply be enforced. We will know that barcalys has truly transformed when it inspires its staff to make sustainable profits through serving its customers and fulfilling its fundamental role in society. We were delighted that the new chief executive of Barclays, Anthony Jenkins, shared a platform at St Paul’s cathedral on 12th June with the Archbishop of Canterbury to discuss ‘Good Banks’.

So, in this world of moral relativism, Wonga is a wrong un but Barclays is bona fide. Just as religious texts and dogma can lead to schism, civil war and murder, so The Church of England’s ‘ethical investment’ policy can be read in many different ways.

Maybe it’s just a matter of scale. Wonga is an easy target. Barclays on the other hand has a ‘fundamental role is society to play’ that is just seems to have lost sight of. Maybe this role just fell down the back of the settee. Still, everything’s OK, the two new kids on the block have shared a platform together, old school tie Masonic hypocrisy? How cynical!

But some people are taking a stand. Newcastle player, Papiss Cisse is facing the sack for refusing to wear his Wonga sponsored club shirt on ethical grounds. Now, some say that the muslim player is himself guilty of double standards as he didn’t take the same decision when Newcastle were sponsored by Dicky Branson’s cuddly ‘Virgin Money’ but Dick’s no loan shark, he’s legit, he’s got the planes and trains to prove it.

The Church of England is every much a part of the incestuous cabal of aristocrats, financiers and industrialists who form the inner temple of the British establishment. The church itself was created in order for King Henry VIII to rob the Pope and shag Anne Boleyn. It has protected and supported thieves, murderers, torturers, enslavers and tyrants all through its 400 year history and has the blood of millions upon its virginal cassocks.

Justin Welby may like to pretend that the Anglican church stands apart from the city and the toffs who have always sought to do their ‘fundamental duty to society’ by enriching themselves and their shareholders fortunes at the expense of the common citizen but in reality, it’ll take more than tokenistic attacks on the ethical sitting duck payday loan providers to persuade us that ethics is fundamental to the church’s wider obligation to society.

One Born Every Decade

baby
It’s on days like this that I praise the dead Gods of human invention for digital television and the sanity of Russia Today (RT).

As all the world’s media focuses on the distraction of a ‘royal’ baby and the British media go hysterical, as usual, RT is the only safe haven for republicans, or even those who aren’t but fail to join in the cult of the monarchy.

‘Ah, but RT is only a Putin controlled propaganda station’ say the western politicians failing to acknowledge that the BBC is a state funded, state controlled propagandist that relentlessly spews a diet of pro-royal, pro-military, pro-capitalist programmes across its many headed hydra of digital local, national and international tv, radio, publishing and internet formats.

Harsh? Well, take the coverage of Syria for example. Despite the self-glorifying mantra of the BBC’s supposed ‘neutrality’ the narrative is dictated by editors pushing an anti-Assad policy with no attempt to see the civil war from the Ba’athist point of view. It was the same in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Northern Ireland, the miner’s strike, poll tax riots. The identified enemies without and within are demonised and dehumanised as malcontents, militants and monsters.

You don’t have to be a media expert (and I’m not) to see how the news narrative is shaped across the British media and how the BBC in particular pretends that it is simply ‘reflecting public opinion’ and is not part and parcel of the same tawdry circus it likes to feel aloof from.

So, let’s return to ‘the baby.’ Today’s RT headlines lead with a report on civilian casualties by drone attacks in . Drones based in Turkey, y’know Turkey who’s anti-government demonstrations received a fraction of the coverage on the BBC and other stations as those in Syria or Egypt. Surely a coincidence. If I want economic analysis, I don’t look to Robert Peston but Max Keiser, if I want debate I don’t tune into Question Time but Crosstalk, if I want media critique I don’t look to self-elected ‘mavericks’ like Paxman, Yentob or Snow but Breaking The Set.

RT is slick, entertaining and nails its colours firmly to the mast. It uses American and British presenters in the main and seeks out refuseniks from academia, politics, culture or economics to strike a balance between what ‘our’ news tell us and how others see it and targets a growing, young audience who are sceptical and suspicious of the in-bedded western media. Those who increasingly turn to the internet for their news and analysis free from the control of governments and the financial elite (which is really why Cameron is using the red herrring of child abuse to limit internet access.)

Look, I’m no conspiracy crank but I do believe there is one big conspiracy at work in the world, the basic self-interest of the super-rich. Everything flows from that simple act of greed. The rich want to stay rich or get even richer and so, constructs such as patriotism, religion or democracy are used to camouflage each and every act of war.

In this game, the royal family are simply sad puppets wheeled out when necessary to pimp for juicy (mostly arms) contracts with various torturers, despots and women haters. If this sounds like the typical spiteful outpourings of a rabid republican then I accuse the pro-monarchists of cruelty. It is they who keep the Windsors in their gilded cages, to be gawped at and followed and photographed and driven to insanity and death by a media that acts ‘in the public interest.’

I used to feel sorry for Kate Middleton (Cambridge) and her parents but they knew exactly what they were getting into when they joined this demented freak show. Kate had options; she could’ve settled down with some city kid and become a kept hausfrau, she could’ve worked as a trolly dolly like her mam, she could’ve even used that brain that somehow got her (and her husband) to a top university.

If it was love that drew her to William then she willingly accepted an entire life of scrutiny for herself and her children. Each and every move the royals make, each and every word they say, each anniversary, death, birth and act of succession has been carefully choreographed by faceless ‘advisors.’ The ‘modern royals’ project is going swimmingly and the ghost of Diana has been successfully exorcised.

This has all been planned with ruthless efficiency ever since the death of the ‘Princess Of Hearts’ almost did for the Windsors, a family so numbed by centuries of inbreeding and archaic rituals that they have become mere robots, doing their so-called ‘duty’ to ‘their’ people. It’s not their fault, after all, what else could this bunch of dim witted, deluded aristocrats do in the real world without the help of state subsidies, shoed in university degrees, made up jobs and acts of military posturing? They are resigned to a non-life, partly through their own apathy and stupidity and partly by the manipulation of those who need to keep the show on the road.

‘In who’s interest is all this being done then, smart arse?’ Well, the same people who have used the monarchy for their own selfish interests ever since the Norman invasion, the landed gentry and their industrialist and banking pals who require a smooth transition from one generation of royals to another. The status quo abhors a vacuum, detests power struggles and resists scrutiny. To achieve this it needs a compliant monarchy and a compliant media, luckily they have both.

The royal baby ‘story’ is a ‘happy story’ and all media outlets must report it as such. The BBC report live from outside Buckingham Palace where ‘crowds of well wishers have gathered’ and the Blairite grins of the presenters have been glued to their faces by editorial monkeys dancing to the tune of the shadowy organ grinders. Even Google is asking its customers to ‘be part of history and sign the world’s biggest congratulations card’ to the happy couple. If this is not propaganda then propaganda has no meaning. If, as the BBC’s radio and tv guests constantly state (as a fact) that ‘only 20% of the public are ‘against the monarchy’ then where is our 20% of the coverage, where is our balance, our opinion being reported?

I accuse not only the BBC and the media but also the republican movement of cowardice and naivety. The problem with our constitution, or lack of one, isn’t the fault of Liz and Chuck and Billy Boy, for they are merely the pathetic puppets of the real string pullers, who remain anonymous, who are free to plan their cruel and cynical strategies. They remain free from the scrutiny of a timid and compliant political and cultural cabal too scared of the right wing media’s demonisation tactics to do their duty and expose this sham for what it truly is.

Paedophile Complains About Shock Internet Images

Eric-Pickles-300x200

In a staged press conference of selected nonce supporters, leading paedophile David Cummalot demanded that degrading, disgusting and harmful images be removed from the internet by search engine companies.

Said Cummalot “In many ways the internet has been good for society but freedom has limits. Only this morning my young son was sat playing with his mobile phone and when I looked, he had a picture of Eric Pickles on his screen. You can imagine how outraged I was to see this revolting man’s face on my son’s phone. I asked him how he’d managed to upload this picture and he told me it was as easy as typing in terms such as ‘Tory’ and ‘Minister’ into Google and with only a few clicks he can view degrading images of Michael Gove, William Hague, Teresa May and George Osbourne.

Let’s remember every one of these terrible images is a crime scene. These people are heartlesss thieves and desperate men and women who will stop at nothing to indulge in their sick ideologies. It’s time decent people stood up to these vile Tories and said ‘enough is enough.’ I am demanding that leading internet search engines remove images of all Tory ministers and MPs and any incident where a word search such as ‘Cameron’ ‘Cabinet; and ‘Hypocrite’ are reported straight to GCHQ who can pass it onto our friends at the NSA who can then blame it on Julian Assange or Edward Snowden.”

WHO PAYS THE FERRYMAN?

Ed Miliband

As a trade union activist during the dark days of the 80s and 90s, when the Tories attempted to break the union movement via brutality and legislation, the election of Tony Blair’s ‘New Labour’ government proved to be another betrayal for those who stuck by the party in their darkest hours.

The fight now being played out by Ed Miliband and Unite’s Len McCluskey is one that has been brewing ever since the Blairites remodelled the party in their own image and went after ‘middle English’ votes at the expense of those millions of those in the traditional urban heartlands.
The disconnect between the working class masses and the party elite was symbolised by a disdainful, contemptible attitude towards ‘Old Labour’ values. John Prescott was tolerated but sneered at by the university educated elitists who made up the first New Labour cabinet. We were all middle class now weren’t we? Well, no, we weren’t actually.

So now, apart from Dennis Skinner perhaps and my old CPSA/PCS union comrade and local MP, Derek Twigg, how many of the current Labour ministers or even backbenchers have any experience of REAL work (or even civil service work?) The Miliband Brothers are themselves the product of an incestuous Inner Party cabal that promotes and nurtures ‘chosen ones’ whilst allowing the local party activists to slog away for little or no return.
In Liverpool, the youngest ever local councillor, Jake Morrison announced he is quitting the Labour Party to stand against the Party apparatchik, Luciana Berger in the 2015 election. Berger was always a controversial choice for this safest of Labour seats, another of the Miliband Tendency, she was parachuted in to win the seat at the last election and represents exactly the smart, young, professional image that Labour’s spin masters want to present to the nation.

It is this type of placement that has so angered Unite, other big union donors and local party activists who regard their remote London bosses as dismissive, middle class bureaucrats with no real gut feeling for the plight of ordinary working and non-working class Britons. Once those eager industry fat cat donors slipped away in the 00s, Labour became ever more dependent upon their old union funding arrangements.
Yet, the same attitude persisted towards union bosses and members and indeed the unions allowed themselves to be treated like naive sugar daddies, paying for their kept woman to flaunt herself at any passer by with a few million to spare. Now, the unions are quite rightly asking what they get in return for their millions.

I joined Unite’s ‘Casa’ community branch in January 2012. These community branches were exactly what I felt the trade union movement should be doing. The old concept of a ‘trade’ union was now obsolete in an era of mergers, contracted out services, low paid, minimum wage call centres, unregulated sweatshops, mass benefit ‘economic inactivity’ (as it’s dogmatically termed) and the global, digital revolution.
Unions need to be thinking ahead of the game not simply reacting to immediate pressures and sticking to archaic ‘point of order’ rituals. In the era of austerity and the mobilisation of the right via the BNP and EDL, it was the union’s duty to re-engage and motivate those left behind by the Tory/New Labour One Nation mirage.

Community branches offered low cost membership of 50p per week to the unemployed and those on benefits, students and the retired, people who still have skills and talents to offer not only to the union movement but to their own communities. Instead of wasting millions on a political party that refuses to act on behalf of its core supporters, maybe those millions would be better spent on actually building grass roots services and support for the poor and struggling families who genuinely need help to survive this despicable regime.

But let’s not pretend that most union members are interested in the power battles of party politics. Most members are so through self-interest, because the union offers them at least some form of protection from the grip of bosses and capitalists who always seek to drive down wages to maximise share dividends. In the recent re-election of Len McCluskey as Unite’s president only 13% of the total membership voted. Obviously the imposed and expensive legislative hurdles placed in their way, such as postal ballots, act as a barrier for participation. Designed as a block to alleged bullying and intimidation, hand counting and manipulation, the result has been a total disenfranchisement of millions of ordinary union members.

The entire funding system for political parties is now so riddled with bribery and backscratching that donors and sponsors demand a return for their wedge. A knighthood or an OBE, a heads up on a juicy contract or a call to someone who knows someone who knows someone. The Masonic magicians have their claws into each and every area of our society and although, as we are constantly told, the trade unions no longer have ‘political’ power, they certainly have ‘economic’ power.

Money talks, bullshit walks, as the old saying goes. Miliband’s advisers are still fighting the middle ground war of attrition. They know their man is wide open to press onslaughts due to his physical appearance and his supposedly ‘left wing’ politics. What they fear the most, is not the voters rejecting him and his ‘One Nation’ vision but the mass media’s power to present their man as someone who is unpatriotic, unphotogenic, in hock to the unions and other ‘enemies of progress.’

Yet this middle ground battle only ever produces one form of government, it varies only by degree. Cameron knows he’s handicapped by his reliance upon Lib-Dem MPs but also realises that he has one term to push through the most radical right wing agenda ever inflicted upon the British public. The cuts taking place now and the ideological ‘reforms’ being undertaken in all departments are far more extreme than anything their heroine, Maggie would’ve got away with.

These Young Bullingdon Turks have had to endure their 30s and early 40s out of office and now they’ve been handed a free hand to push through the very kind of fascistic social engineering project that most right wing cranks only ever have wet dreams about. Austerity, whether it’s blamed upon a de-regulated banking system out of control with greed or mass immigration and the collapse of old cold war certainties, there’s getting away from the fact that is was a Labour chancellor and a Labour prime minister who handed over £500 billion in order to ‘restore confidence in British banks.’ At a time when Gordon brown could’ve succeeded in pushing a genuinely socialist platform, he chose to side with the very people who have always played the economic system for their own ends. We will be paying for this betrayal long after Miliband and McCluskey have either settled their differences or gone their own separate ways.