A Profitable Public Deception - The "Cost"
Of Public Services
WHY A LARGE MARKET TOWN HAS NO HOSPITAL
We have been regaled for many years by problems of a shortage of public
funds to finance essential public services. Reports and threats abound
about hospital closures, hospital ward closures, shortfalls in numbers
of clinicians and nurses. On site nurses homes have been closed. Another
form of this financial salami slicing may be seen in reports of the "dumbing
down" of the training of hospital consultants and doctors. We hear
repeatedly of the closure - invariably excused by the need for rationalisation
and centralisation - of local schools, police stations and post offices.
Equally inevitably, arguments for rationalisation and centralisation have
involved the increasing costs of technology and maintenance, coupled with
associated, purported improvements in the services provided; improvements
that are all-too-often illusory. Daily travel distances and costs increase
at the expense of the public. Centralisation results in the poor, the
elderly, the incapacitated and others travelling unacceptable distances
for hospital treatment or to visit close relatives. This often involves
concomitant long waits for treatment. We were told some ten years ago
of serious shortages in National Health Service dental treatment in the
Berkshire area. This was reportedly due to the disparity between National
Health Service and private payment rates and a consequent remit for dentists
increasingly to move towards the private sector. In recent months people
have queued for several hours in the hope of registering as National Health
Service patients for dental treatment.
Oswestry & District Hospital - A Financial
Closure of the Oswestry & District Hospital,
in 1990, is just one of countless examples of enforced economies in
public services throughout the country. The largely rural county of
Shropshire borders Central and North Wales to the West. Standards of
health treatment clearly vary across the country, between towns and
cities. Peripheral problems, such as drug-related and social violence,
for example, are more likely to be prevalent in city centres. However,
under the strongly monetarist Conservative Government of Margaret Thatcher,
Shropshire was particularly hard hit by financially-driven moves to
close local community oriented district and cottage hospitals. A few
years previously the Deputy Editor of On Target had personally visited
a range of hospitals, including those for the care of the elderly, the
infirm and the mentally retarded, elsewhere in the country. The attraction
of valuable real estate for sale to the private property sector were
obvious as a corollary of centralisation. This, inter alia, resulted
in infamous and euphemistic policies for inmates to move to privately
run health care homes, and to live "in the community", even
when incapable of any meaningfully independent existence.
Oswestry is an important market town situated
in North West Shropshire, about four miles from the Welsh border. The
county town of Shrewsbury is located in the centre, about 17 miles distant.
The expanding urban and commercial concrete sprawl of Telford New Town,
blistered on to the town of Wellington, a remnant of the Industrial
Revolution, is a further 23 miles away on the eastern fringes of the
County. Oswestry is the location of the specialist Robert Jones and
Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, one of two so renowned in the country.
Until 1990 routine operations and hospital care were provided by the
Oswestry & District Hospital with the close support of local General
Practitioners. More extensive treatment was provided by the Royal Shrewsbury
Hospital, or the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, eleven miles distant. In the
1980s a growing demand for hospital facilities to service the rapidly
expanding population of Telford resulted in the construction of the
Princess Royal Hospital there. It is not easy directly to equate this
to the "balancing of the books" of compensating financial
reductions over this period, but the reality was pressure to close community
hospitals elsewhere in Shropshire. Oswestry was arguably the largest
of the candidates, with a population of 16-17,000. It also has a significant
catchment of surrounding, ever-expanding villages, which brings the
population up to a total of 37,318 according to the local 2001 Census.
Yet for some reason Oswestry became the soft target. In spite of a strong
and well-organised protest movement, and in spite of an assurance said
to have been given by Health Secretary Kenneth Clarke to then Member
of Parliament for North Shropshire, John Biffen, that he would stay
his hand, he duly reneged and sanctioned the closure during a parliamentary
recess. A palliative concession was the establishment of Maternity and
Accident and Emergency (A&E), facilities at the Orthopaedic Hospital.
One major problem of this has been that the A&E Unit only functions
during normal working hours. Countless examples have therefore accumulated,
over the intervening years, of journeys to Shrewsbury for emergency
treatment, with the attendant long delays, that could otherwise have
been handled perfectly well by a district hospital.
The present situation in Oswestry was pithily
summed up in a letter from Mr E. Humphreys, of Shrewsbury, Shropshire,
to the Shropshire Star of 24th January, 2004:
As well as not having a hospital in Oswestry
I am sorry to have to inform you that you do not have very much police
cover either. Last Tuesday, I had to take my wife at midnight to the
accident and emergency department of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
In A&E there was a man with a blanket wrapped around him with two
policemen looking after him. The police-men told me that they had brought
the man (who had been arrested for being drunk and disorderly), from
Oswestry earlier in the evening to Shrewsbury Police Station. The man
in custody needed to see a doctor so the two policemen from Oswestry
had to take him to Shrewsbury Hospital and spend their shift with him.
My wife and I left A&E, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital at 3am, the police
and the arrested drunk were still in the A&E Department. During
the three hours my wife and I were at the hospital I had a chance to
ask one of the policemen how many were on duty in Oswestry - the answer
was three, of which two had spent all this time with one drunk at Shrewsbury
Hospital. You have no hospital, you have very little police cover. What
are your councillors doing about it? Very little by the sad state of
Flying The Kite Of False Hopes And Promises
Politicians know only too well that public anger
has a limited shelf life given the occasional safety valve of demonstration
and protest. Even the estimated 3,000,000 who converged on the streets
of London to protest against the planned invasion of Iraq in February,
2003, quickly lost its momentum although the "New" Labour
Government of Prime Minister Blair has been wreathed in duplicity and
scandal ever since. Essentially, those most culpable are still there,
in office. How much, too, is now remembered, or perpetuated as a public
cause célèbre, of the Bovine Encephalopathy-Creutzfeldt-Jakob
Disease (B.S.E.-C.J.D.), episode, the scandalous Labour Government handling
and blatant manipulation of statistics during the Foot and Mouth Disease
Crisis, or the threatened uprising in the countryside against legislation
to outlaw hunting? Local protest movements inevitably lack the individual
or collective stamina, or the essential clout. The former Oswestry &
District Hospital was first converted for use as a private nursing home
and as accommodation for a play group. When this ran out of steam the
land, historically the gift of the townspeople, as had been some of
the equipment, was sequestered by the Health Authority and sold on for
housing development. Here, we may usefully take a random look into the
hall of mirrors of this power game, for which very few local authorities
or individuals are any match: The 2000 Annual Report of the Sainsbury
retailing chain shows Sir Terence Heiser as a Non-Executive Director.
Heiser served as a permanent civil servant in housing and the environment
and from 1985 to 1992, was the Permanent Secretary in the Department
of the Environment. Such company appointments are not made by accident!
Owen W. Paterson succeeded John (now Lord)
Biffen as Member of Parliament for North Shropshire in 1997, some seven
years after the closure of the Oswestry & District Hospital. The
problem appeared to rumble on but there was no obvious party-political
stimulus or concern for the debilitating absence of adequate local health
care facilities. Matters only came to a head with the announcement that
the Maternity Unit was to be closed in October, 2003, albeit temporarily.
This latest crisis precipitated a large protest meeting on the 4th September,
2003, attended by about 300 local residents. Paterson attended, together
with the Leader of the Borough Council and local Health Authority representatives.
The catalogue of errors and incidents was exposed, not least by former
councillors whose memories were fresh with machinations of the District
Hospital closure of 1990 and its consequences. Attempts were made from
the platform to paper over the cracks by dismissing past events as history.
Assurances and proposals were offered instead for an embryonic concept
of restricted health care facilities to be constructed around an existing
medical practice. Undoubtedly Paterson made the appropriate parliament-ary
representations. Then, in February, 2004, the Shropshire Star newspaper
abruptly revealed that "Ambitious plans for a £3,000,000
health care centre in Oswestry were in tatters today after the Government
rejected a bid for funding", with the comment that rejection of
this plan, "to include a minor injuries unit and a dentist surgery"
was "another nail in Oswestry's health care coffin". Owen
Paterson, M.P., declared the rejection to be a "setback" which
"changes absolutely nothing", "with his complete deter-mination
to have "substantial health facilities built in Oswestry".
We not-ice that the term "hospital" as such has now conveniently
slipped, seem-ingly irrevocably, from the vocabulary. Posturing, propositions
and prom-ises are unfortunately nothing more than punching holes in
the air. The vital questions and the obvious answers are: How long has
Oswestry been without a hospital - 13 years; does Oswestry have a district
hospital or other adequate health care cover now - NO! What is the future
projection for the establishment of such amenities in any acceptable
form - 5 years, 10 years, or anybody's guess?
Know Your Enemies - The Fate Of Public Protest
Sustained, organised, public protest places almost insuperable demands
on the protest leadership. Protest organisers will invariably face the
demands of family and employment; employment that may well con-flict
with any vested interests involved. They may well lack the necessary
organisational experience and will probably lack important technical
ex-pertise. They will certainly lack the legal and financial resources
of central government and vested business interests. Politicians are
bound to great extent by the collective of the party-political whip
system. Unless they hold ministerial office, Members of Parliament in
any case appear to have remarkably little individual power, given the
relative insularity of the Westminister "closed shop". With
notable exceptions, it is rare for a M.P. to take any individual or
public cause beyond the limits of his, or her, own party's interests,
or at risk to his, or her, political advancement. Neverthe-less, an
M.P. is honour bound to respond to a constituent, and will usually endeavour
to reply constructively within these limitations. Protest move-ments
can also be infiltrated and neutralised. A leading organiser of a protest
against a potentially hazardous landfill site between Oswestry and Wrexham
has told On Target how the protest strangely lost momentum when certain
new individuals joined the movement. In November, 1999, On Target attended
a large, well organised meeting at Buckley, near Mold in Flintshire,
North Wales, the purpose of which was to protest against a proposal
by Castle Cement, a subsidiary of Heidelberger Zement, A.G., to use
carcinogenic toxic waste as fuel instead of coke in a new kiln proposed
for Padeswood, a few miles away. Oswestry is well within the catchment
for the fall-out from this kiln. Experts who addressed the meeting included
Dr Dick van Steenis, M.B.,B.S., a retired General Practitioner and a
nationally respected authority on Toxicology. The protest organisation
was called C.A.N.K., the Campaign Against the New Kiln. Within days
of the meeting, it became suddenly and inexplicably difficult to contact
the original organisers. Soon afterwards, the Castle Cement proposal
was approved by the Welsh Office (1).
Another invited speaker at the meeting was Mary Horner, a re-doubtable
campaigner whose schoolboy son had suffered serious physical affects
from another Castle Cement installation at Clitheroe, in Lancashire.
On Target assisted Mary Horner to contact a suitable legal firm to conduct
her case for compensation, at which stage her legal aid was inexplicably
withdrawn. The national campaign for compensation for former service-men
who have suffered serious physical defects due to the Gulf War Syndrome,
and a similar case to compensate farmers who have suffered similar side
effects from Organophosphates, both lost legal aid due to a "lack"
of evidence. The Government employs medical faculties, headed by Dr
Virginia Murray(2), and Professor Wessely(3), also subsidised by powerful
vested commercial and other government agencies, including the United
States Department of Defense, to distort the evidence in favour of psychological
rather than physical damage. Margaret Hodge is currently a Minister
of State in the Department of Education and Skills. Her husband, His
Honour Judge Hodge, is Chief Immigration Adjudicator, and is associated
with the Equal Opportunities and Race relations committees. Along with
his law firm, Hodge, Jones and Allen, he has long been a Government
adviser on legal aid. One can only draw the obvious circum-stantial
conclusions from this.
Punching Holes In The Air - Hitting The Wrong
On issues of major importance or public concern,
such as the ver-itable, suicidal slaughter by cancer due to modern chemicals,
processes, and toxic industrial and waste disposal emissions, governments
are be-holden to massive corporate industrial and financial interests;
a situation that, incidentally, constitutes a major drain, like AIDS
and Sexually Trans-mitted Diseases (S.T.D.), on government finance that
would otherwise be available for hospitals and routine health care ("Explosion
of sex infections overwhelms health service", The Independent,
10th March, 2003). Due to a lack of public information, or failure to
take into account certain factors, attention is invariably diverted
from the root causes, protest inevitably focusses instead on the effects.
Politicians are therefore only too happy to allow individuals and organisations
to fire harmlessly at the wrong target; the "safety valve"
to take the heat out of the protest. There are numerous examples of
this. Behind any such scenario ultimately lies Money Power and supporting
tactics for controlling the public mind, Political Correctness (P.C.).
Political Correctness is not merely a passing irritant or absurdity,
as some may wishfully think, expressed, for example, in attempts to
imp-ose fatuous terms like "Chair" or "Chairperson"
in place of Chairman. Behind Political Correctness lie techniques designed
specifically to imp-ose the will of a certain faction upon others in
local government, education, the police, politics, general conversation
and so on. The importance for the protester is that Political Correctness
has its roots in the revolutionary aims of Marxism-Leninism, which has
always served the interests of Money Power. Formulated by the Frankfurt
Institute for Social Research in the 1920s, Political Correctness is
an element of Cultural Communism, that has systematically infused the
mores of Western society to destroy social cohesion, independence of
mind and the public will by destabilising trad-itional morality, spirituality
and the family; inter alia, organised protest such as that with which
we are concerned!(4)(5)
We may protest and make representations to M.Ps. to our heart's content,
as in the case for a district hospital in Oswestry. But unless we are
prepared to understand the fundamentals we shall founder against a rubber
wall of political obfuscation. Simplistically, the money has to be made
available. Thus we have to be aware of how funds that might otherwise
be available are being deployed, and that any Government has the right
of seigniorage, given the political will, to create that money in any
case. What are not easy to relate for ordinary people are other factors
in play. Costly health risks due to Hormone Replacement Therapy (H.R.T.),
are well known, but the medical journalist for Telegraph Newspapers,
Dr James Le Fanu, has written of reluctance to disclose the supporting
research of the high stakes involved and that "until recently the
H.R.T. market alone was worth billions of pounds a year - that is hardly
surprising. And no one would willingly spoil the party with a bit of
bad news". Appointees to medical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology
and veterinary regulatory and advisory bodies include numerous "experts"
beholden, through investment, directorships or consultancy, to the corporations
involved. Sophie Goodchild and Robert Ludgate of Independent News-papers
have written of the dangers of the drug Seroxat:
The chief executive of the mental health charity
Mind, who resigned from an expert panel in protest at a "cover-up"
over unsafe prescribing of anti-depressants, was last night dem-anding
a Government inquiry into the relationship between pharmaceutical companies
and independent drugs regulators.
We are not only not being told these truths;
the real, underlying rea-sons why funds are not being made available.
In the case of the campaign for a district hospital in Oswestry; we
find that our attention is being diverted from other truths. One more
example of how essential funds are being diverted, ipso facto, mis-employed,
is in the treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. The year 1994
was only shortly after insufficient finance had been available to maintain
the Oswestry & District Hospital. In 1994, under a Conservative
Government, the Health Education Auth-ority (H.E.A.), was being allowed
to publish so-called "advisory" material against teenage promiscuity
and S.T.Ds., that was in fact deliberately pornographic and an inducement
to promiscuity. Glossy magazines aimed at teenagers have become increasingly
pornographic. The same applies to film, video and television transmissions.
Representations have been made through, and directly by M.Ps. The United
Kingdom has the highest teenage pregnancy and S.T.D. rates in Europe.
Formal regulation has been a cosmetic farce, as was Prime Minster Blair's
teenage pregnancy "initia-tive". Instead of legislating for
the effects, what no Government has been willing do is to tackle the
causes - legislation that has progressively de-stabilised the family
and family values, severe constraints on discipline in Education, and
the hugely profitable, powerful and influential commercial interests
to a large extent responsible.
Learning The Hard Way
These are demanding and almost mind-boggling depths to be understood
and assimilated by ordinary communal protest or campaigns. But there
is a clear lesson here for this or any other public campaign on virtually
any issue of public services, in any part of the country. However well
organised, any public initiative almost inevitably tackles the effects
rather than the causes of any given problem, especially if this involves
the public purse. In other words ordinary members of the public will
continue to miss the point and so continue to miss the boat. This is
partly due to lack of information and partly due to lack of time and
proper application. Time after time one therefore comes up against a
rubber wall, a fog, of obfuscation between electorates and those they
elect to represent their interests. These interests are rarely one and
the same for both factions. Until the public are prepared and able to
take on the political establishment and the Whitehall infrastructure
on the correct ground, of their own choosing, little is going to change.
In order to do this we must first study and understand the fundamental
question of Money Power. It is from this that all else ultimately hangs.
The provision of adequate health care facilities in Oswestry is a classic
example of this requirement.
THE TREASURY AND BANKERISM - THE POWER OF
The Roots, Theory, Origins And Mechanisms
A naive schoolboy image is that all money in
existence adds up to an exact mathematical sum. The reality, of course,
is far removed. History tells us that genuine wealth, we assume gold,
was deposited for safe-keeping with a banker as we now accept the term.
By gambling that the original sum would not be called in the banker
was then able to make a profit by lending at interest ten times the
amount of the original deposit. The ten multiples which provided the
income clearly had no substance whatsoever. Today this is known as Fractional
Reserve Banking, originally controlled by an official multiple, for
understanding commonly visualised as ten, against gold as a standard.
Historically, governments were frequ-ently short of hard cash - gold
and silver - required, for example, to finance wars. But with the Tonnage
Act 1694, the privately owned Bank of England was created. The Bank
organised loans to the Government. In return interest-bearing Government
Bonds were issued and sold through the Bank. Thus the original sum was
automatically doubled. This came to constitute the National Debt, upon
which bond holders have been paid int-erest from the public purse, through
taxation, ever since.
Privately owned or nationalised, the same City
of London hierarchy populate the Court of Directors of the Bank of England,
thus control remains effectively with the City of London. In 1967 Professor
Carroll Quigley, himself an "insider", showed in a massive
1,348-page tome, how Montagu Norman, as Chair-man of the Bank of England
from 1920-1944, worked with his opposite number, Benjamin Strong of
the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, to establish the financial and
political hegemony of an International Elite(6).
The essence of "money" and the debt-usury system of its "crea-tion",
ultimately in the hands of this Elite, is that generally speaking debt
repayment can never catch up on itself, to the advantage of the banks;
as we have expressed it, debt "chases its own tail". We therefore
have a treadmill of over-production and "Growth" to satisfy
this requirement. In 1971 United States President Richard Nixon de-linked
the dollar from gold, effectively removing the relationship between
money and value. We must add to this the virtual deregulation of money
creation, such that money can be created and traded globally and instantaneously
by computer as a commodity in its own right. This has no relevance to
genuine tangibly manufactured or cultivated wealth, or property.
The flow of money can be directed and controlled
much in the fashion of an electrical power grid. Global economies are
geared to this highly complex system right down to government expenditure,
the smallest businesses, and individual mortgages and pensions. Consequently
we have an endless cycle of debt "restructuring" and "re-financing"
on the part of exploited Latin American and Third World countries, as
well as multinational corporations such as General Motors and Rupert
Murdoch's News Corporation. There is no such condi-tion as perpetual
motion. Thus when this unstable structure begins to un-ravel, the repercussions
are felt down to the lowest levels. We have seen this in the case of
Enron, Tyco and World-Com in the United States, and Equitable Life Assurance,
Standard Life Assurance and Abbey-National in the United Kingdom. In
The Grip of Death - A study of modern money, debt slavery and destructive
economics(7) and Goodbye America! Globalisation, debt and the dollar
empire(8), Michael Rowbotham has analysed this situation in detail,
with a powerful argument for governments to create their own money sufficiently
to finance public commitments. In When Corporations Rule the World David
C. Korten has explored the extent and serious dangers for the current
global economy under the progressive consolidation of corporate power(9).
In terms of health care, as in education, the safe, soft target is that
broad, amorphous band of the Middle Classes. This is the battleground
between private and state health care, between independent education
- basically the grammar not the public schools - and state education,
with no social or economic definition whatsoever. If we study the Times
"List of the 500 Most Powerful People in Britain", the "Pay
List of Britain's Top 500 Earners", and the "Rich List",
we are given a glimpse of a band of social and financial privilege that
exists securely, as it were, on another "planet". Here we
find the Monarchy, the Aristocracy and the City of London mingled with
big business, property, the entertainment industry, the media and sport.
The upper reaches of the Middle Class in the grey area between the two
tends to merge for the most part; economically and socially; for example,
the wealthier Middle Classes are able to remain independent of state
health care and education, but there the privileged super rich divide
from ordinary mortals like the waters of the Red Sea. We enter a world
of top public school education, household staff, exclusive health care
anywhere of the choosing, private aircraft, multiple homes; all protected
by wealth safely squirrelled away in trusts and off-shore investments.
Kevin Cahill takes us a step further behind the socio-economic smoke-screen
in his remarkable book Who Owns Britain(10). He lists in detail a landed
aristocracy linked to the Monarchy that has maintained control of the
wealth of the Nation for centuries above and beyond political reach,
its land registered holdings largely unrecorded since the 1870s. Confirming
our own analyses of specific cases from time to time, this comprises
a vast network of interrelations based principally on Eton College,
the Household Cavalry, the Brigade of Guards, the City of London and
Freemasonry. Cahill writes:
This seamless web of control of the country's
finances through the city by the same families who dominated the upper
house of Parliament and who were the abiding influence within the Conservative
Party gave landowners such an intimate and enduring link to, and grip
on, power. It was power which made their ancestors rich, as the Sunday
Times Richest of the Rich lists in 2000 showed, and it is power which
has kept them rich right into the first year of the new millennium.
Cahill comments favourably on the Republic of Ireland where the aristocracy
was dissolved and land redistributed to great economic benefit; not
least the absence of any community charge for householders due to the
incorporation of control of the land in the national economic model.
In fairness he does not extend this self-flagellation by comparison
with the power structures elsewhere, as in France, Germany or North
America. The important point here is the extent to which the political
line for those not already part of the network is "If you can't
beat them, join them". Connec-tions between the Conservative Party
in particular with the City of London are well known and axiomatically
place constraints on any change in the current policy for the debt-usury
creation of money. On the 15th Septem-ber, 1993, The Sunday Telegraph
listed several former Cabinet Ministers with strong links to the City,
where they had gone on to lucrative appoint-ments. If we return to the
question of providing proper hospital facilities for Oswestry, we find
Owen Paterson as the M.P. for North Shropshire sitting in the company
of fellow Conservatives who currently have strong links to the City.
Paterson is also married to the daughter of the 4th Vis-count Ridley,
brother of former Cabinet Minister, the late Lord Nicholas Ridley. This
places Paterson firmly in the same bracket. It is therefore difficult,
as we shall see, to understand how he can square the circle of his personal
affiliations with a campaign for proper health care facilities for Oswestry,
and pressure for the Government to create the funding as the obvious
resolution of the problem.
The Global Economic Model Is Beginning To
For several years expert observers like the late
Aida Parker in her APN newsletter, and Donald S. McAlvany in The McAlvany
Intelligence Adviser, have been predicting a global - and therefore
a national - econo-mic collapse. An unregulated debt-usury system of
money creation to generate a return on investment cannot go on for ever.
Markets stall and become saturated as over-production chases the debt
repayment. We have written that there is no such thing as Perpetual
Motion. We have likened the flow of money to an electric power grid.
Everything is geared to this economic scenario; from Government finance,
to property investments, pension funds and mortgage debts. When interest
returns falter or the pressure flow in our "grid" begins to
fall the entire structure starts to unravel and brings everything else
down with it. Meanwhile the super rich remain largely insulated from
the collapse, the banks manipulate the money regulators and continue
to cream off vast paper profits. But the individual, trapped by the
domestic fiscal model is squeezed to service growing debt.
David Willetts, M.P., is a Conservative Party
economics spokes-man. In November, 1993, shortly after the closure of
the Oswestry & District Hospital, Willetts was reported in The Independent
on Sunday as stating that pensioners should liquidate their assets to
finance a retirement income rather than leave an inheritance for their
children. Those familiar with the Communist Manifesto will know that
the aim was the destruction of the Bourgeoisie - the Middle Classes
- and that targets of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels included destabilisation
of the family and the elimination of inheritance and private property.
We also know that Marx and Marx-ism-Leninism have historically served
the interests of the bankers by weakening potential resistance from
these same Middle Classes. This is no idle diversion here, when one
relates this to punitive taxation rates and an inherit-ance threshold
that has remained remarkably low. On the 23rd Nov-ember, the Deputy
Editor of On Target wrote to Mr Willetts as follows:
* May I refer to a report in The Independent on Sunday of 22nd
November, that you advocated that "Pensioners should be encouraged
to sell their assets or re-finance their homes to provide an income
for their retirement rather than an inheritance for their children."
This is, of course, well in line with the Marxist
philosophy for the liquidation of private property and inheritance.
I must add, too, that, as one who served for forty years without thought
or facility for enhancing my financial position with the equivalent
of indulgent political gratuities, such as consult-ancies, directorships,
literary fees and the like, I find the views attributed to you more
than a little disturbing.
So far as the overall economic situation is concerned,
you will no doubt be aware that governments historically have been committed
to the creation of money by private banks as interest-bearing debt -
usury - that is at the heart of the national and international financial
condition. Proposals, by the Campaign for Monetary Reform [C.M.R.] and
other bodies, that this condition, the lot of ordin-ary people, would
be alleviated by government created low-interest money, have repeatedly
been evaded of ignored, not least by the present Government.
I also note that Who's Who lists you as a director
of Electra Corporate Ventures Ltd., since 1988. According to my company
records the Electra group-ing links you neatly in turn to City of London
financial circles. It is to these markets that the unfortunate mortgagee,
compelled to re-finance house and home, would be pledged, as has only
been too apparent from numerous case histories. The final irony in this
respect, is that Who's Who also places you as a director of Retirement
Securities Ltd., also since 1988; an allegiance I find incredible in
the context of the remarks attributed to you.
On 23rd December, 1993, David Willetts replied
that he had been misquoted and that he had said nothing about "compelling
pensioners to convert their assets to income". He also pointed
out that his remarks had been distorted by journalists present at the
time by implying that pensioners should "somehow . . . be forced
to dispose of their inter assets or that social security rules should
be changed". The paragraphs explaining what he actually said are
* Speaking at a conference in November, I pointed
out that there were elderly people who were asset rich but income poor.
It was a great pity that the City [of London] had failed to devise schemes
which would enable elderly people who had failed to devise schemes which
would enable elderly people who wanted to convert that asset into an
income. Home income plans are supposed to do this but they have had
a very unhappy history. I called on the City to devise better schemes
The second point I made was that politicians should not talk cavalierly
of an inheritance revolution with many middle aged children suddenly
inheriting large assets from their elderly parents. I argued that it
was reasonable for elderly people who had accumulated savings during
their lifetimes to use them in their frail years to boost their incomes
or to buy extra services. It was wrong of us, as their children, to
demand of them that they preserve those savings intact for us, when
they might need to use them for themselves.
Mr Willetts' response, in our view, was an exercise
in semantics. He had not answered the matter of his own involvement
with a City of London that axiomatically would profit from schemes to
liquidise assets to provide an income. When he was challenged again
the reply was predictably "dusty", with a statement that his
article clarifying what he had actually said had been rejected by the
We must remember that we are exploring the conventional
econ-omic philosophy behind the closure of the Oswestry & District
Hospital in 1990, which continues to prevent the restoration of this
facility. It is therefore opportune to consider an exchange that began
earlier in 2003, prior to our correspondence with David Willetts, when
Martine Harmon, of the Campaign for Monetary Reform (C.M.R.), addressed
the Conserva-tive Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. John Major, M.P., 25th
* Whilst the Government's declared economic objectives
include "keeping control of inflation and public spending"
the following option appears to have been overlooked.
Government spending regularly outstrips its revenues
and the deficiency is covered by the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement,
the P.S.B.R. This adds up to a Public Sector Debt of £190,209,000,000
as at 31st March, 1991. Source: Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin,
The amount of interest payable on the Central
Government Debt alone is £17,820,000,000 for 1991-92. This amount
exceeds the combined amounts allocated to Housing @ £7,729,000,000
and to Education @ £ £6,342,000,000. Source: the Financial
Times, 13th November, 1992.
The Government does not finance its expenditure
by printing money itself but licences banks to create credit, that is,
to "print money" which the Gov-ernment then borrows and has
to pay interest on. This is the nub of the matter.
The option is for the banks to be credit brokers,
rather than credit creators. Her Majesty's Government could then itself
print any necessary incr-ease in money supply thereby retaining to itself
the seigniorage and be free from paying interest charges.
We look forward to receiving your comments. We
are also circulating this letter as widely as possible in order to encourage
discussion and to seek active support.
The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Anthony
Nelson, M.P., replied on behalf of John Major as follows on 22nd February,
* Thank you for your letter of 25th January to
the Prime Minister, who has asked me to respond on his behalf.
The Government can and does finance itself to a small extent by the
issue of non-interest bearing money: this is the aggregate known as
MO, the stock of which is currently some £19,500,000,000. The
size of the stock of MO is limited by the demand for this form of money.
If the Government tried to increase the amount
of this type of finance beyond current demand for it, it would lose
any control of interest rates in the economy, sterling would collapse,
and inflation would take off.
The money that banks create is either interest-bearing
or renders some sort of service that costs banks money to provide.
Martine Harmon wrote again on 15th March, 1993,
addressing her letter to the Prime Minister, with copies to Treasury
Secretary Nelson and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Norman Lamont:
* Paragraph 2. C.M.R. understands and agrees
with your statement that "The Government can and does finance itself
to a small extent by the issue of non interest bearing money".
This is precisely our point. The Government could fin-ance far more
of its expenditure by issuing the media of exchange needed. The Bank
of England Quarterly, February, 1993, reports MO to be £17,032,
000,000 and M4 £518,047,000,000. Both refer to quarter 4 of 1992
and reveal the difference between Government issued media of exchange
- MO - and the total issue of media of exchange at some £500,000,000,000,
a sum of money over 25 times that of MO As to your last sentence; C.M.R.
has not suggested otherwise.
Paragraph 3. C.M.R. has not suggested what you
state. C.M.R.'s option allows the Government not to confine itself to
providing MO By so confining itself it allows others to provide media
of exchange bearing interest rates. The replacement of the bank's media
of exchange by the Government's could be gradually brought about by
the raising of the bank's cash reserves to unity. As the Government
does not directly control M4, interest rates are manipulated to directly
control it. This, economic theory makes clear is a misuse of interest
rate which is properly an index of time preference. Under C.M.R.'s option
control would be direct and interest rates could perform their proper
Paragraph 4. We agree. Under C.M.R.'s option
the Government itself creates non interest bearing money, the creation
costs of which would be trivial, as indeed it is for the banks.
Money Supply Definitions applicable to the foregoing correspondence:
MO: Symbol for the amount of money in circulation
in notes and coin, plus the banks' till money and the banks' balances
at the Bank of England.
M1: The amount of money in circulation in notes, coin, current accounts,
and the deposit accounts transferable by cheque.
M2: The amount of money in circulation in notes and coin plus non-interest-bearing
bank deposits, building society deposits and National Savings accounts.
M3: the amount of money in circulation given by M1 plus all private
sector bank deposits and certificates of deposit.
M3c: The amount of money in circulation given by M3 plus foreign currency
M4: The amount of money in circulation given by M1 plus most private-sector
bank deposits and holdings of money-market instruments.
M5: The amount of money in circulation given by M4 plus building society
What we have been witnessing in all these exchanges
is the standard government line on economic policy. In other words it
is the standard Treasury lie. No Government is prepared to discuss the
principle of even a modest relaxation of the practice of borrowing its
own money at vast expense to the ordinary taxpayer who cannot escape
from this fiscal oppression with trusts, holding companies, off-shore
investments and clever accountants as can the super rich. The proportion
of that Govern-ment money to which Anthony Nelson refers as MO, the
hard cash, has fallen from about 50 per cent in 1950, to around 20 per
cent in the 1960s to 3-4 per cent today. In effect, as MO, the hard
cash, has been superseded by cheque book finance and the credit card,
so the banking system has assumed almost complete control. The background
to this was well described by Robin Ramsay in Prawn Cocktail Party(11)
from which we have taken the following compendium:
This book is about the rise to power in this
society of the financial sector, the City, with help from their friends
over-seas, and its struggles en route with Labour and Conservative Governments.
At one level it is relatively simple: one section of society, chiefly
concerned with moving money, has cheated the other sections. It has
been one of the greatest "scams" ever pul-led. . . . It [the
book] investigates how the Labour Party has been taken over by a Thatcherite
clique - and why its policies are dictated by the City, big-business
and U.S. power-brokers in Washington.
What They Do Not Want You To Know
Interest-Free and Low Interest Government Money Can Be Created
On Monday, 4th October, 1993, an article by Walter
Stewart app-eared in The Toronto Sun under the heading "No-interest
loans may save us". It could well have been titled "What they
do not want you to know"! It has always been known that money can
be created interest-free or at nominal interest in time of war - so
why not for hospitals, education and the police in time of peace? The
British Government issued the Bradbury treasury note during the 1914-18
War. Walter Stewart writes that this was done in Canada during the 1939-45
War. Here are the relevant extracts:
* Waterloo - At risk of introducing a new idea during an election cam-paign,
two professors at the University of Waterloo want to revive the Canadian
economy by using a scheme that has worked on Guernsey. The island, not
the cow. The professors are Jack Kersell, who teaches political science,
and Robert Needham, an economist and director of the Canadian Studies
Programme at Waterloo. Their idea is that the government should direct
the Bank of Canada to issue credit at low or no interest for building
capital projects - roads, schools, hospitals, bridges, railways, airports.
Actually, this is what the Bank of Canada did during World War II, with
great success and - despite the wisdom of conventional economics - without
causing undue inflation. In addition, various levels of government could
borrow this newly created money to retire high-interest loans. At a
theoretical level, the proposal has some impressive academic backers,
including William Henry Pope, co-author of the classic Canadian text
Econo-mics, used in every university in the country, John Hotson of
Toronto, founder of C.O.M.E.R., the Committee on Monetary and Economic
Reform, and econo-mist Allan Schmid of Michigan State. There is even
a lobby group called "Sovereignty", which has headquarters
in Freeport, Illinois, and which has drawn up a piece of legislation
"To create U.S. government credit funds and direct the U.S. Treasury
to issue such funds as interest-free loans to state and local govern-ments".
The theory has been put into practice on the
isle of Guernsey since 1816 with, apparently, overwhelming success.
In 1816, Guernsey was in one hell of a mess. The sea walls were crumbling,
there was no market-place, roads were muddy and horrible, and the local
government was £19,000 in debt. Revenue came to about £3,000
annually, £2,400 of which went to pay interest on the debt. .
. . They created and lent to the government £6,000 of interest-free
money, and used it to fix up the sea walls. This worked so well that
they went on doing it - and are still doing it - to create an economy
with zero unemployment, a high standard of living, low taxes and low
inflation. . . . Canada has long since lost control of its own economic
destiny. We traded it to the U.S. for hamburgers and to the Japanese
for VCRs long ago. Just the same, the idea of looking at debt, and the
way debt is created, is a worthwhile one, if only because it will drive
our bankers crazy. (Emphasis added). The way it works today, almost
all of our money supply is created by the banks as interest-bearing
debt, with them on the receiving end. We can't solve the deficit crisis
thus created by slashing expen-ditures or raising taxes, because these
measures bring the economy crashing to a halt.
A much more recent and significant article was a breakthrough to the
truth by David Boyle in the New Statesman of 7th April, 2003. Under
the heading "The strange rebirth of a forgotten idea", the
byline was much more telling: "Why is the country so short of money
that we can't even rebuild the London tube? Because we allow the banks
a monopoly to create it, and they charge the earth". In his article
Boyle cites the Forum for Stable Currencies, which meets each month
in the House of Lords. He also makes reference to the Bromsgrove Group,
for Monetary and Econ-omic Reform, which assembles for three days in
the Autumn of each year to study and discuss financial and economic
questions. A co-founder is James Gibb Stuart, a veteran businessman,
publisher, speaker and author of several books on economics. The views
of the Group are reflected in the monthly newsletter, Sovereignty, which
is compiled and published by Alistair D. McConnachie(12). A further
major breakthrough occurred, this time directly through the "rubber
wall"of Westminster, when Early Day Motion (EDM) 854 was tabled
in the House of Commons in March, 2003, sponsored by a number of Labour
Party M.Ps., along with two M.Ps. from Plaid Cymru M.Ps. This was superseded
by EDM 323 in December, 2003 with much the same text and sponsorship.
The purpose of an Early Day Motion is outlined in Dod's Parliamentary
* In the Commons, the majority of Motions tabled
by backbenchers are put down "for an early day". This is because
the M.P. tabling the Motion realises that there is very unlikely to
be any actual day when the Motion will be debated. In any case, he or
she may not wish this to happen. A number of early day mo-tions (known
as EDMs) are nevertheless tabled in each sitting day. By this means,
M.Ps. are able to express their views on particular issues with the
protec-tion of parliamentary privilege. They can also gauge the popularity
of their views in the House by the number of signatures of other M.Ps.
which the Motion attracts.
The text of EDM 323 is as follows:
* That this House notes with concern the contrast
between the enormous expansion of private credit and the growing debt
burden that this imposes on society; further notes that public credit,
as measured by the proportion of publicly created money in circulation,
has fallen from 20 per cent of the money supply in 1964 to three per
cent today; believes that using public credit and increasing the proportion
of publicly created money should be used to cut the costs of, and to
boost the quantity of, public investment and to allow the Chancellor
to fulfil his golden rule without further borrowing; further believes
that this can be done without any impact on inflation; and, therefore,
urges the Treasury to commission an independent review of the benefits
of using the public credit and increasing the proportion of publicly
To our knowledge both EDM 854 and EDM 323 have
been ignored by M.Ps of other parties; conspicuously those of the Conservative
party. One wonders why? One wonders, too, why Owen Paterson has shown
no interest in even discussing the principle of Government-created money
if he is so dedicated to restore proper health care to Oswestry?
MONEY MELTDOWN, AND MYTHOLOGY FOR THE PEOPLE
So Much For Pensions And Public Services
In A Piratical Market
Bank created money swishing around the world as a commodity, at the
touch of a button, is an economic obscenity. Global investment, as financial
institutions migrate in search of profits, forces businesses at all
levels to salami slice operations to remain competitively and attractively
profitable. No one organisation can be big or competent enough to restrain
this suicidally centrifugal process in a system of innumerable interrelated
and interdependent variables. Only Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Moha-med,
in Malaysia, had the strength of character to expose and challenge the
power behind this plunder. Manufacture continues to leach away into
Central and Southern America and the Developing and Third Worlds, which
are being concurrently economically exploited. Many "British"
goods are being produced elsewhere. Banking and other services are out-sourcing
operations abroad. As debt continues to chase its tail public services
and property are being privatised - pawned - to raise capital that can
only remain transitory in the debt spiral. Public property is being
lea-sed back to stall the day of reckoning. Nationalised industries
theoretically operate more efficiently divested of political constraints
- effectively, bureaucracy and trades unions. The downside in the current
scenario is massive banking profits from the conversion and the continuum
of salami slicing standards to furnish bank and investor friendly profits.
The privatised railway system has already been reduced to a state of
near collapse, almost to the point of justifying the criminal indictment
of those in Westminster and Whitehall responsible. Instead, banks profit
hugely by convenient leasing arrangements with the operating companies
("Banks on the gravy train", the Daily Mail, 5th February,
2004). But when the system inevitably founders the loop is closed by
Government subsidy - in other words, the people pay directly or indirectly
with money borrowed at interest from the banks! We are now seeing the
Private Finance Initia-tive (PFI), a so-called partnership between the
Government and business in education and health care. Missing from the
equation of what Max Pemberton, writing in The Daily Telegraph, calls
"the brainchild of brain-less governments" is that over and
above the basic operation, contractors must cream off profits. To this
end individual operations are being sub-contracted in a morass of functional
confusion. The evidence is seen in headlines such as "NHS hospitals
'set for £bn debt crisis'" in The Sunday Telegraph, and "NHS
hospitals sink into debt to pay off PFI" in The Observer. Functional
chaos apart, wards are being closed to sustain pro-fits. So where are
Owen Paterson and his parliamentary colleagues in demanding that the
Government create the money, as recommended by EDM 323, that would go
a long way to resolving this crisis?
In the correspondence to which we have already
referred, David Willetts was at best being disingenuous in referring
to those who are "asset rich but income poor" and politicians
talking "cavalierly of an inheritance revolution". Where were
the supporting financial statistics, or evidence of the spread across
what could only be the broad band of the so-called Middle Classes, trapped
in the domestic, as opposed to the offshore econ-omy? Was he also being
disingenuously prescient? Even to hint at the need to liquidate assets
was to infer symptoms of progressive economic decline, or even meltdown.
Did Willetts know something we did not know in his moment of denial
when one reads in The Independent on Sunday on 15th February, 2004,
of another attack on inheritance; that "OAPs 'should pass tax bills
on to heirs" Lord Rees-Mogg wrote in The Times of 1st December,
2003, that the age of the dollar, to which other world economies are
geared, "is sinking in a sea of debt". As thousands lose pension
investments to the corporate sector we learn that the HSBC Bank announces
profits of £7,800,000,000 with £37,000,000 shared bet-ween
directors (The Daily Telegraph, 2nd March, 2004).
The centrifugal "bricks without straw"
global economy has been gradually coming apart at the seams. The complex
network of investments geared to it is unravelling in turn, dragging
down with it a wide range of personal investments such as life assurance,
mortgages, pensions and pension funds. Michael Rowbotham pointed out
the exponential rise in mortgage costs; another symptom along the way.
Not just one bread-winner, but then a secondary income that has not
only become desirable, but is now essential to service the mortgage
interest(14). The Government's drive for pensioners to work on beyond
retirement age in a surplus labour market is yet another symptom that
the sums are not adding up. The carrion of the financial services market
are assiduously importuning those who are now finding liquidation of
assets a pressing necessity. Television advertisements that offer debt
"restructuring" services importune ordinary people who have
been lured or driven into debt. Chancellor of the Exche-quer Gordon
Brown has deliberately passed on the national "overdraft"
to the electorate through manipulation of regional government funding.
In a letter to the Financial Times of 13th March, 2004, we learn that
the screw is turning even tighter; in a collapsing equity market, insurance
companies are turning to Government bonds, the interest on which is
drawn from taxation. The following two letters were published in the
Shropshire Star on the 12th February, 2004
* "Where has our cash gone to?" - Questions to be ans-wered.
Why were our services allowed to deteriorate while governments did nothing?
We have paid taxes for the health service over years and it was allowed
to decay. We have minis-ters and secretaries paid hundreds of millions
for incompetence. Blair says if you want better health services you
will have to pay for them. What does he think we have been doing? The
Tories came up with the wonderful idea of care in the community. Who
was going to provide care? Institutions closed and those needing care
were kicked out to fend for themselves. Some could not and ended up
in prisons, while others killed innocent members of the public. What
a brilliant idea! A policy poorly thought out by those who do not know.
* "Enough is enough as pensions are getting
cut" - I am a senior citizen, old age pensioner, recycled teenager,
call me what you will. As such I have served my country in the armed
forces for nigh on 30 years and have paid my taxes throughout my working
life. . . . With my two pensions I am just above the level to be able
to benefit from the pensioner's tax credit and therefore cannot get
Council Tax rebate, Income Support, or any other benefit of which I
know. Unfortunately my income is directly related to the rate of inflation
as of September as laid down by the Government. Unlike members of parliament
and local government councillors, I cannot vote myself an above-inflation
increase in my pension and therefore every time there is an increase
in council tax (which every year is way above inflation), I take a reduction
in my standard of living. If workers in any industry were told year
on year that they were to take a reduction in their take-home pay there
would be riots that would make the Poll Tax revolts look like a quiet
Sunday picnic. I fully support any action taken by people in similar
situations to mine and hope that we, the older generation, can somehow
do something to show the Government, both national and local, that enough
Readers' correspondence in the Shropshire Star is no doubt typical of
similar letters in the provincial press around the country, or views
expressed on local radio programmes. The writers are obviously ordinary
people; not those who can outflank the health care system with private
patient schemes, and certainly not the super-rich who can travel anywhere
for the best treatment. If they are lucky enough to have a National
Health Service dentist, they are probably those who have teeth extracted
because they cannot afford to have them crowned. They are the people
who will have to travel miles and wait long hours for hospital treatment,
who populate long hospital waiting lists. Dare we ask how those high
in the social spectrum cope with these problems? Dare we ask our politicians,
who refuse to contemplate the right of seigniorage, that the Government
should create its own low-interest money that would resolve these deficiencies
in health care, how they and their families cope with these problems?
The Political Gridlock On Government Created
Low Interest Money
The July issue of Prosperity enclosed a pre-printed
postcard which embodied a request for one's Member of Parliament to
support Early Day motion 854. A card was duly despatched to Owen Paterson,
the Member for North Shropshire, who forwarded it to the Treasury for
an answer. This was the reply from Treasury Minister, Ruth Kelly, M.P.,
on the 23rd September, 2003:
* We opposed the Motion [note: not ignored but
positively opposed] because it advocated increasing the supply of non-interest
bearing money as a cheap means [for whom?] of financing public investment.
Under the current arrangements the Government would have to borrow that
money from the Bank of England, so it would not be a cheap means of
finance. Furthermore, past experience has shown that printing money
to fund public expenditure is inflationary.
We wrote again on the 10th December, 2003, addressing
the letter to Owen Paterson, with the following observations. In our
letter specific reference was made to health care which, by this time,
was well known to Paterson in the context of the Oswestry & District
* Ruth Kelly makes two points:
The Government would have to "borrow"
money under "current arran-gements".
That "printing money" to fund public
expenditure would be "infla-tionary"
Ruth Kelly's reply does not indicate that the current arrangements are
based on any Law. Secondly, these arrangements c1950 meant that 50 per
cent of the Nation's money was created by the Government and 50 per
cent by the private banking system for private investment. Under current
arrangements the ratio is about 4 per cent to 96 per cent. Thus the
issue of creation - Ruth Kelly invoked the term "printing"
- of moderate amounts by the Government, for example to provide adequate
hospital facilities, would arguably not be inflationary. This should
surely be seen in the overall context relative to the almost unlimited
amount of "money" printed by the private financial sector
which is, inter alia, allowing the nation and the individual to spend
seriously ahead of true wealth into debt. Much the same position on
the issue of Government money to fund public services was taken by former
Labour M.P., Bryan Gould, a member of the Shadow Cabinet and Opposition
Spokesman on trade, the economy and industry from 1986 to 1992.
Paterson did not seek to take issue over the
creation of Government money in the context of health care, but forwarded
the letter to Ruth Kelly, from whom we received the following reply,
dated 15th January, 2004:
* The response laid out in my previous letter
remains the same. The Motion advocated increasing the supply of non-interest
bearing money as a cheap means [Then what is an "expensive"
means?] of financing public investment. Under the current arrangements
the Government would have to borrow that money from the Bank of England,
so it would not be a cheap means of finance. Besides, past experience
has shown that printing money to fund public expenditure is inflationary.
We do not wish to repeat the mistakes of our predecessors. (Emphasis
I do not have anything further that I can usefully
add to my previous letters [Only one other letter sent!] on this matter
We wrote once again on the 26th January, 2004,
this time taking the issue directly to Owen Paterson, regretting the
impasse, the "rubber wall", that appeared to exist between
Members of Parliament and their con-stituents, however well-informed
the latter on specific matters of concern. We drew his attention to
the paradox of his purported campaign for the restoration of proper
health care facilities in Oswestry and failure to recognise that Government
created money could resolve the problem. In addition we offered a detailed
exposition on the mechanisms of money creation. Again, Paterson chose
not to take issue, except to state that the Government had made its
position clear and that nothing was to be gained in going back to them.
He enclosed a copy of his much earlier letter, that had apparently followed
the protest meeting in September, 2003, but this added nothing to the
restoration of a District Hospital, or any lesser facilities.
THE YAWNING PUBLIC CREDIBILITY GAP
In the 1930s certain members of the Upper Classes,
such as the Marquis of Tavistock and the Earl of Tankerville, recognised
the appalling disparity of wealth in society, largely as a consequence
of "Bankerism", and wrote about it. Others, however misguidedly,
turned to Communism. In 1998 Michael Rowbotham wrote (Emphasis added)(15):
The Building is already there, the equipment is in place, the people
who are employed there can be good at their jobs, providing a much valued
service to local residents. Then along comes a "Grey Suit"
who tells us that the hospital, college, library, post office, coastguard
station, research laboratory, swi-mming pool or whatever has to be closed
for lack of money. But in what possible sense can we not afford what
we already have, and what is already there? A town can be in desperate
need of a school, community centre, or repairs to its roads and drains.
The raw materials may be lying idle in a builder's yard, people may
be desperate for work, but there isn't enough money . . . so we can't
do it. In what possible sense can we not afford to do what we plainly
can, in physical terms, achieve?
We may read again the letter on pages 3(235)-4(236).
Not only does Oswestry, as a large market town, with a catchment population
of 37,318, lack proper hospital facilities, in a situation common across
the country the Police Station is unmanned during silent hours, and
several village schools in the district are under threat. The Treasury
responses from Conservative Minister Anthony Nelson, in 1993, and from
New Labour Minister Ruth Kelly in 2003-2004, relay a constant theme;
no Government has the slightest intention of issuing its own low-interest
money into the economy to alleviate these situations, as it has the
legal right to do. Nel-son, a Rothschild scholar at Cambridge, was employed
by N.M. Rothschild from 1969 to 1973, and later went on to become Vice-Chairman
of Schroder Salomon Smith Barney.
Ruth Kelly was educated at Oxford and the London School of Economics
and Political Science. Along with her fellow New Labour Ministers, at
the age of 36 there is no evidence that she has ever managed an organisation
of any consequence in her life. The bot-tom line here is that the City
of London, closely linked to Government circles, is in almost complete
control of the Nation's finances. The City, in effect, enjoys a "commission"
on all but the 3-4 per cent of the money required to run the Country.
Virtually all our investments from pensions to insurance, to church
funds are geared to this economic model, which in turn is harnessed
to the Global Economy. Oswestry has been without a District Hospital
for almost 14 years with no immediate prospect of a repl-acement. This
spans several Governments of both Parties; not a cosmetic target for
relief from budgetary gymnastics. Owen Paterson cannot run with the
hare and hunt with the hounds. Otherwise his campaign is a charade,
a betrayal of the electorate, and he is merely tossing snowballs into
the fire for effect. Until the people countrywide face such situations
square on, on the correct terms, the situation is not going to change.
Web of Deceit - Britain's Real Role in the World, by Mark Curtis,
with a Foreword by John Pilger. Vintage, 2003. 512pp. Retail price £7.99.
This book is a savage indictment of British foreign
policy since World War II. Curtis labels Britain an outlaw state, totalitarian
in its for-eign policy, enshrining a single ideology fashioned by a
domestic elite, ranging from Prime Minister, across senior branches
of the Civil Service, into acadaemia with the willing assistance and
approval of captains of British industry and finance.
Curtis, according to Pilger in his foreword to
this book has reached such conclusions after mining the documentation
available to all. Yet the question still remains how successive governments,
Conservative and Labour, have managed to get away with a globally damaging
and deceitful foreign policy whilst portraying Britain as a country
whose foreign policy is based upon high moral principles and the rule
of law. Curtis explains the success of such deceit by citing the importance
of the domestic elite's control of the media in which, for example,
much that is undesirable can be conveniently dropped down the "memory
hole". Alongside this, Curtis is particularly scathing of the way
the domestic elite manages and mas-sages news and information for public
consumption. Indeed, Curtis goes further and questions the Establishment's
view of the public's right to know and in doing so quotes an off-the-record
briefing by Margaret That-cher's Press Spokesman, Bernard Ingham - "Bugger
the public's right to know, the game is the security of the state -
not the public's right to know." One wonders however, in spite
of Curtis's optimism about public reactions if it were to know the facts
of British foreign policy, whether the miserable plight of the Afghan
people (Curtis's "unpeople"), would be regarded as important
as, say, the lucrative arms contracts between Britain and Saudi Arabia.
Blair, and New Labour, for which Curtis appears
to have nothing short of loathing, since he argues here is a "socialist"
administration deep-ening and broadening the nature of the outlawry
of the British state. Curtis has particular contempt for Blair himself
for his all-too-obvious unswerv-ing and continuing adherence to America,
the number one outlaw state. He also decries the policies of both states,
resulting in the increasingly global impoverishment of the "Southern"
regions of the world including Africa, parts of South East Asia, much
of the Middle East and America's back yard - the Caribbean. Almost as
an aside, Curtis also points out another consequence of his policies,
since they have baleful effects for our own citizens in widening the
gap between the rich, often very rich and the poor.
As one would expect since Curtis has mined post-war documenta-tion so
extensively he supplies numerous accounts of areas where British foreign
policy has often had some of its worst effects. In her role as an imperial
power he cites the repressive colonial policies in Kenya and Malaya.
In Kenya, for example, it was never disclosed that the chief causes
of the Mau-Mau rebellion were socio-economic whereby the native Kenyans
were economically exploited by domiciled British farmers, who owned
nearly all of the productive land - something according to Curtis never
disclosed at the time. Similarly, in Malaya the Emergency was conducted
in the interest of Britain's dollar earnings from the sales of rubber
In post-Imperial Britain, Curtis finds himself
with a surfeit of examples where British foreign policy is caught up
in a web of deceit. In Kosovo, Curtis reveals the gap between the Blair
Government's rhetoric on its moral motives and the actual intervention,
along with America, and under the umbrella of NATO, whereby aerial bombardment,
mostly by British and American aircraft did much to precipitate the
ethnic cleansing which Blairite rhetoric deplored. Indeed, it is on
the record and quoted by Blair in April, 1999, when he said: "We
will, carry on the pounding (ie., the bombing), day after day, until
our objectives are secured."
Towards Israel, Curtis argues, Blair appears
to have adopted, more of a measured and even-handed approach, along
with the combined rhetoric of his then Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook.
Such a policy was obviously intended for public consumption, whereas,
in fact, and in con-junction with America's Israeli-Middle East policy,
Blair has always sided with Israel even to the extent of defying U.N.
resolutions. Curtis is quick to point out that we went to war in Iraq
partly because of Iraq's refusal to comply with U.N. resolutions!
Without leaving the Middle East, Curtis describes
how British foreign policy often ignored the wishes of the people of
other countries. In 1953, Britain overthrew the popular government of
Musaddeq in Iran, replacing it with an insensitive, dictatorial Shah
as ruler who quickly ended representative government, plundering his
nation's coffers before his downfall. In actual fact this was hailed
as a diplomatic coup for British foreign policy! But perhaps in terms
of sheer brutality one can only condemn British support for the unedifying
regime of President Suharto in Indonesia, and indeed in the government's
1998 annual report on human rights, there is a photograph of Robin Cook
shaking hands with Suharto himself.
It appears however as if Curtis gives, as it
were, pride of place to the hapless people of Diego Garcia, islands
under British control in the Indian Ocean. In order to meet the needs
of the American Department of Defense for a B52 bomber base in the Indian
ocean, it was decided to move its people, the Chagossians, to Mauritius.
Incidentally, the British Govern-ment paid America £5,000,000
for the privilege. Subsequent attempts by the Chagossians to return
to their land has met with lies and legal prevarication and in 1974
a ludicrous joint U.K.-U.S. memorandum even denied that there had ever
been a native population on these islands! At present, the Foreign Office
continues to spew out its memoranda of deceit.
In the end, can a conclusive judgement of this book be ventured? In
his last chapter "The Challenges Ahead", Curtis suggests solutions
but it is clear, taking the importance of the arms industry alone to
the British economy any of these solutions would take their proponents
along a long, tortuous path. There are such things as the National Interest,
and most importantly the need to get the British public properly informed,
itself an almost insurmountable hurdle.
Note: Prices are shown where available from Bloomfield
Books, and represent only a selection relevant to the theme of this
edition of On Target. Books geared to the text are listed numerically.
Books temporarily out of stock are annotated*. A wide range of reading
may be found in the Stock Price List (S.P.L.), which may be obtained
post free on request from the address on the last page. Out of print,
or older works, may be obtained through the Book Search Service, or
the Second-Hand Book Service, both of which are operated by Mr. T.G.
Turner, for which details are available as for the S.P.L.
(1) On Target, Vol. 29, Nos. 14, 15 & 16,
1st, 15th & 29th January, 2000. Government Policies For Industrial
Pollution And Acceptance Of The Dangers To Public Health.
(3) Hooper, M., E.P. Marshall & M. Williams. What is ME? What is
CFS? - Information for Clinicians and Lawyers. December, 2001. Obtainable
from: Professor M. Hooper, Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry,
School Sciences, Fleming Building, Wharncliffe Street, University of
Sunderland, Sunderland, SR2 3SD. £3.00 inclusive of postage and
(4) On Target, Vol. 33, Nos 3 & 4, 9th & 23rd August, 2003.
Political Correctness (P.C.) - Weapon Of Mass Mental And Social Destruction.
(5) Political Correctness and the Ideological Struggle: From Lenin and
Mao to Marcuse and Foucault. Dr Frank Ellis. The Journal of Social,
Political and Economic Studies, Vol. 27, No. 4, Winter 2002.
(6) Quigley, Carroll. Tragedy And Hope - A History of the World in Our
Time. 1,348pp. Originally published by the Macmillan Company, New York,
1966. Reprinted by G.S.G. Associates, Rancho Palos, Verdes, California,
United States, with permission. H/B. £47.95.
(7) Rowbotham, Michael. The Grip of Death - A study of modern money,
debt slavery and destructive economics. Jon Carpenter, 1998. £17.95.
(8) Rowbotham, Michael. Goodbye America! Globalisation, debt and the
dollar empire. Jon Carpenter, 2000. £13.25.
(9) Korten, David C. When Corporations Rule the World. Kumarian Press
and Berrett-Koehler Publisher, Inc., 1995, revised 2001. £16.75*.
(10) Cahill, Kevin. Who Owns Britain - The Hidden Facts Behind Landownership
in the U.K. and Ireland. Kannangad Books, 2001.
(11) Ramsay, Robin. Prawn Cocktail Party - The Hidden Power Behind New
Labour. VISION Paperbacks, 1998. £11.95.
(12) The subscription for 12 monthly issues of Prosperity is £15.00.
Enquiries should be made to 268 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JR; Tel: (0141)
353 6900 or E-mail; <email@example.com>
(13) Dod's Parliamentary Companion 1999. Vacher Dodd Publishing Ltd.
Although the reference is taken from the 1999 edition, Dod's is, of
course, republished annually.
(14) Rowbotham, Michael. The Grip of Death. Op. cit.