Usury

Usury is a crimeOnce, not so long ago, the Church and most other religions., banned usury. Coinage was used, there was no paper money. Moving on there was a gold standard in which paper money was linked to gold. Harold Wilson, Prime Minsiter, in 1960s was aware of the value of gold and I helped him bring £2700 million of the stuff from USA to the Bank of England. Shortly after he was said to be senile and carted away.

Everything has untold consequences. Reliance on gold meant it had to be stored, so vaults were created guarded by those that knew. Very soon they knew how to lend paper against the value of the gold they held for other people. Immoral it was but was it usury?

The principle of modern banking was established made even easier by the creation of a private company that could control the issue of money. They didn’t have any money until they received interest payments on the money they had lent. A great system, one that has now taken over the world.

It is bizarre that governments have to pay interest on the non-existent money issued to them by private companies. That’s one effect of capitalism.

In the UK the Bank of England, the real powerhouse, is now run by a foreigner. He;s a pleasant Canadian who is ably supported by a ruling elite who no longer hide behind curtains. The simple sons of such controllers now stand as politicians and bankers, each picking up tasty crumbs. All making profits from usury.

There’s danger afoot for the incoming President of USA. He wants to destroy the Federal Reserve, (the US version of that private lending company) and for that he is to be congratulated. He must remember that three Presidents before him made similar statements. All were assassinated.

Bad Jokes

Just a little light relief.

1. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

2. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

3. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

4. A day without sunshine is like, well, night.

5. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

6. Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don’t.

7. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

8. The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there’s a 90% probability you’ll get it wrong.

9. It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end-to-end, someone from New Jersey would be stupid enough to try to pass them.

10. If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.

11. The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

12. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.

13. Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.

14. God gave you toes as a device for finding furniture in the dark.

15. When you go into court, you are putting yourself in the hands of twelve people, who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.

Local Currency

bankerIt’s an uncertain world. Very little comes with a firm guarantee. Jobs can be lost overnight, and a sleeping bag on the streets is just a short step away.

Unfortunately we live in a parallel universe. Those that have control, and those that just have to put up with whatever they are given. For some months we have been told that 100 families own half the world’s wealth. That was reduced to just 67 people and this week’s shocking news is that just eight people have all that half the world needs.

The Captain of Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace’s battle ship, is quoted as saying that ‘Greed is a primal force’. So very correct, what should we do about it?

Our present economic system is unfair and unstable. Put aside the moral case facing any of the eight rich folk. How can they sleep at night knowing they could easily solve poverty? That continues with most of our media coverage. Well done chaps, the banks made billions more profit this year than previously. Share prices in multi-national companies continue to rise. A house I bought in the 1960s has just been sold for £1 million (not by me I hasten to add). For all of youth the £GBP stood  at $2.40, now it’s $1.20. Quantitative easing continues to erode the value of y money.

Most of us are the losers. True we are thrown scraps from the tables of the rich and powerful but only because we are now considered as consumers. That may change as automation replaces humans. In itself that requires a change in approach. Now we can undercut wages by moving poor people into richer areas. That will slowly change. It;s been seen in China where globalisation now means that, in effect, China owns the USA. If the USA was a company it would be declared bankrupt, or run the risk of a takeover.

There have been attempts to change the economic system. None have achieved much so far. Glasgow, Scotland’s second city, is considering a Glasgow Pound: money that can only be spent in the Glasgow area. Other towns have tried similar ideas. Brixton, in south London. was concerned that most of its money was leaving the town, with multt-nationals creaming off the majority. Add to that the recent immigrants sending money back to maintain families in their home countries. The last few years have seen even more invidious leakages with the government encouraging inward investment. An oxymoron as inward investment must mean outward profit, so do the British people gain from that?

Selling off the family silver is largely unrecognised as a factor but must be taken into consideration. Privatisation of nationalsed industries has deprived governments of funds as they stole the investment income of state utilities to run their own projects. The result was a a lack of investment in such concerns, and a complacency within our civil service.

Local digital currency could help but we really need to consider the structure of our banking system. Who owns and controls UK banks is a question we must consider.

 

 

 

Polish Men

Just a word of warning to all those Polish lads busy working abroad, especially in England.

When I was young Eastern England was full of American GIs. As a young lad I struggled to get any girlfriends. What did I have to offer? Not a lot apart from a superb body.

The Yanks (Americans) had everything a young girl desired – money, and the chance of a new life in the USA.

Can you Polish guys compete?

Will there be a girk for you when you get back home?

Stoat Hall: Eastern Angles

Stoat Hall is an Eastern Angles Christmas show, something of an adult pantomime. Set at the start of the Tudor period it features a Plantagenet living in Suffolk who is a possible contender to Henry VII’s throne. it is written by Julian Harries and Pat Whymark. Forget history children for this is somewhat confusing. I’d urge you to read the excellent reviews, especially that of Andrew Clarke, to describe the actions.

The Eastern Angles home theatre is the Sir John Mills in Ipswich. In this converted school hall they often split the audience in half with the stage in the centre. The same set-up is used in the Seckford Theatre in Woodbridge. I’m not convinced it works. I love the Seckford and it disturbs me to see blue temporary seating instead of a stage.

Splitting the audience means the actors must project, and only Patrick Neyman , complete with gender-confusing beard, managed to reach my inadequate ears. The lovely Violet Patton-Ryder never breached my hearing, although she was always very pleasing to the eye.

The opening number suggested we would have a battle between Suffolk and Norfolk. An ever-popular story that could have made a strong play.  Sadly the plot veered away from that story line, and then rambled its way through history.

Pantomime needs a very strong plot. Stoat Hall left me confused. Five actors each played several parts and rarely stated which part they were playing. My simple brain was left confused, as did the female beard..

That said Eastern Angles do a splendid job taking live theatre out to the nether regions.. They do need to make sure their web site shows all their locations. Stoat Hall finished at Sir John MIlls on 7th January and the site has no further information.

2017 is here

It’s another year. This one will be different. That’s as true a statement as we’ve heard for some time.

During the Second World War Roosevelt (USA) and Stalin (Russia) ganged together to fight Germany. That ageing world power Great Britain had made a tremendous contribution, dragged into an European conflict because we felt sorry for the French. The USA stayed out of the fight until it seemed clear who could be the winners. Russia and the British Commonwealth were joined by the might of the USA –  never mind that the UK had to repay those war loans to the USA, right up until the end of the century.

Germany lost, and to the victors came the spoils. Here Great Britain were also the losers, being forced to give up most of its dependent territories over subsequent years. That included Palestine, which was handed over to create Israel – that’s a long story in itself.

The USA didn’t go home after the  war, occupying Germany and having over 100 military bases in the United Kingdom. There was always talk of a special relationship. US businesses began to dominate the British economy, and in many cases made no real contribution to that economy, leaving the UK to struggle on its own.

The world is changing, but the USA is not yet aware. I saw Rogue One, the latest Star Wars film last night. It is still fighting the Vietnam war, and relishing that the rebels won. The USA does not grasp the changing weaponry of power.

Now we see real changes, A new political regime will bring uncertainty. Having bankrupted themselves fighting wars – over 145 conflicts since the end of WW2 – the USA looks feeble. It has a huge standing army, but that cannot effectively fight today’s perceived enemies. It believed it could gain economic dominance through globalisation, only to find itself with huge debts payable to China and elsewhere.

Significantly it is losing the Middle East. Russia and Iran have helped to bring about a Syrian ceasefire without involving the USA. What next?

As it’s New Year perhaps some predictions are allowable. It’s likely that Russia will gain more influence in the Middle East. It is also probable that Russia will be seen  as a more comfortable ally to Turkey. It will not tolerate insurgents.

The balance of geopolitical world power will change. European elections may see the administrators lose power in Europe. Increasing automation will see fewer jobs, meaning the present slave labour system will decline. What then for the mass of people?

The time may come when we revolution, serious depopulation, plague and famine. The rich will have a choice – keep their money and power or compromise.

That will depend upon the power of the people.