It was one of those days where I heard more radio than is probably good for my health, my mental health that is.
Firstly the fact that the top 100 Footsie companies, 98% of who pay no Corporation Tax, have given their directors, on average, a 50% pay rise to an average (combined package) rate of £2.7 million lead me to think that the heroic (in this weather) campers outside St. Paul’s were being fed ammunition on a daily basis.
Obviously there are a few Anti-Capitalists there, but the majority are Anti-Bad-Capitalism..ists. Don’t believe all you read, they are mainly protesting social and economic inequality, corporate greed, corruption and influence over government – particularly from the financial services sector – and of lobbyists.
Only the gutter press would have you believe they are Marxist/Leninist/Trotsky/scrounger/Hippies, or as a well-known blogger would have it …”technocommunists”. They are too broad a coalision to stereotype.
Well…then there was the midday phone-in show, on the radio that is, asking (you couldn’t make it up) “Would Jesus be sleeping in one of their tents?” Now, don’t get me wrong, I like a good debate as much as anyone, but really? Jesus? Oh well, the usual round-up of bigots and fools voiced their opinions until it became too painful to listen further. It’s all quite surreal at times, Reality.
Europe was of course on the radio, well, not Europe but the whole “Europe Financial Crisis” [surely ‘European’ would be more correct] and the startling idea that it’s all been sorted, solved and everyone is happy. The Hindustan Times, writing from a more objective distance, seems to have captured the mood better than our local ‘news’. It has been called a 6 Day War.
The idea that anything has actually been solved is pure nonsense. If Greece defaults on 50% of its loan they still can’t afford the other 50%, and even if they could…who is ever going to lend them money again, ever? Italy is no better off, apparently, maybe marginally, and Spain has 20% unemployment. Putting A Trillion Euros, [thats…1,000,000,000 euros] into a “sticking plaster fund” is not going to tackle the underlying problems.
You know what its like when you go out for an office meal and the bill comes and you have to get the money in from everyone there…well Germany has the bill…Greece is saying it didn’t eat much and it’s broke anyway, the mad Italian geezer is kicking up a fuss, and the French guy is really pissed… and, it will always be so. The income-earning abilities, attitudes, growth and financial priorities are different in every country. The thing that they all have in common? .. that’s easy…politicians.
Politicians are all trying to ride out their term of office without causing too much trouble at home where the votes are. These people all have their own voters in mind, first and foremost, not the common ideal of a United Europe. It’ll never work.
The reason it is a scam is because we will never see a penny of that money, it will disappear into the banks, along with all that nice new money that we’ve been printing (QE), never to see the light of day again until it ends up in the off-shore accounts of big businesses on its way to the bonus scheme of a CEO.
America is just waking up to the fact that their banks have at least $40 billion of toxic debt in the poorest of the EU countries…but, with leverage, the contagion is likely to be a lot worse than anyone is letting on. Roll on…time for us to bail out the banks again…
We’ll all be sleeping in tents at this rate, except the CEO’s, of course.