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Task Group Party Subcommittee to Hold Crucial Meeting
At the Skype conference call meeting that all members were invited to on the 13th June 2012 it was agreed that we should form a subcommittee of the main committee to formulate some general principles for the party and plan our strategy going forward.
This subcommittee, known as the Task Group, will meet at 10.30am for 11.30am on Saturday, 15th September 2012 at Conway House, Red Lion Square in London, for a day long session to hammer out the direction the party will be taking.
The Task Group consists of the following members:
Campaign Officer, Paul Bean of Ushaw Moor, County Durham
Occupation: Prison Officer
Member, Antony Rufus Isaacs of London
Occupation: Green Energy
Leader, Peter Kellow of Toulouse
Occupation: Architect and Writer
Member, Neil Rhodes of Ledbury, Herefordshire
Member, Peter Shearmur of Dorking, Surrey
Member, Richard Vernon of Archway, London
In addition members, Anthony Brown and Leon Smith, will take part
There is limited number of additional spaces. If you are a member and would like to attend please email me
The Planet-Sized Financial Casino That Rules Our Lives
Peter Kellow writes
I wrote about the Barclays Libor Scam last week in the Newsletter. I argued that any enquiry created by the government, either a select committee or a QC lead enquiry, will do nothing to address the real problems. Such an enquiry presupposes that the fault lies either with the conduct of the banks or with the regulatory system.
But the real problem lies with the entire design of the banking and financial system as we have it. That can only be addressed by understanding that the current system is not just faulty by wrongly conceived – insofar as it was ever conceived.
As I have written before, and other organizations like Positive Money argue, the means by which new money enters the system needs to be completely changed so that the banks are banned from performing this function. Money creation by the banks is as old as banking, but some new practices have appeared with the new world of banking ushered in by the Neo-Liberal orthodoxy that date only from the 1980s or later
I wrote last week about how securitisation, one of the emblems of this new world of banking, should be illegal as, just for starters, it violates principles of legal contract.
But going on from that, the practice of banks’ “selling risk” through “swaps” is only made possible with securitisation. This idea that you can “sell risk” would seem absurd outside the unreal world of banking. Imagine you run a company and, like any company, you see dangers and risks to your business through changing markets, new competitors, or whatever. The solution? Let a third party carry the risk and you pay them a regular fee for doing this. Then you need have no worries and no sleepless nights
Well, of course, that is never going to happen. And it flies against all common sense, and, I would say, even against nature. You can insure against quantifiable risks like, fire or theft, but we are talking about non-quantifiable risks here. They have to stay as your risks and no one else’s. But banking does not operate according nature law. Its structures rest ultimately on a hideously distorted model of reality – but a model that enables the directing of billions into its malign machine.
Securitisation leads to swaps but then swaps lead to an even more obscene, unnatural, degenerate invention by the “masters of the universe” – “synthetic derivatives”. Don’t you love the terminology? It is designed to be off putting. A synthetic derivative is a means whereby two parties construct a contract around an asset that neither need actually own. One party pays a regular fee to the second and the second then underwrites the risk as if the first owned the asset.
This is not investment it is pure gambling. Since the introduction of synthetics in 1997 the market for them has ballooned the total size of the financial “economy” many times over so that now it dwarfs the real economy where you and I work and live. Tony Blair tried unsuccessfully to set up “supercasinos” but meanwhile Gordon Brown and Ed Balls were participating in the creation of a planet-sized casino, sucking trillions into its coffers.
Will the government enquiry address such issues? Hmmm. Well, I think not. The problem is way outside of their world view. Worse than that, they are wholly implicated in the system as it stands.
"I Need to Live In a World of Trust"(John Lydon)
Following are some direct transcripts on the discussion of the Barclays Libor Scam enquiry on this week’s Question Time. With the noble exception of PIL lead singer and song writer, John Lydon, the panel, made up of an MP from each of the three main parties plus an ineffectual journalist, were incapable of seeing the larger catastrophic problem with banking.
The audience on the other hand had a firm grasp on reality. Read on
John Lydon. There are some real deeper problems going on here. I am just a bystander. I don’t’ know anything at all except I have a Barclays account, right. And that becomes a problem to me because I know Citibank are connected to this too. When I live in America I have a Citibank account, right, and this worries me that there are shenanigans. As you said there is crime here. Everyone seems to know there is crime here. And so how on earth is parliament going to discuss this really when both sides left and right are connected to this, right? [Applause]
This doesn’t just go back to Brown, right, this is part of the ongoing problem. Mr Diamond comes from Wall Street, right. Hello. Parties love this idea. They’re fiddling with rates. They’re affecting the world. Things we used to depend on as being dependable and accurate is now going to be discussed by these argumentative chaps [indicating the MPs on the panel].There is never going to be a conclusion in that. Listen, if I nick a motor I’m going to be up before the judge, the rozzer, right. Hello, same thing, judge, independence [extended applause].
Member of audience If you want to do something about it, I read that somebody last year got jailed for six months for stealing in the riots a £3.50 bottle of water, if you are going to apply the same proportion to the bankers, I don’t think they are going to see the light of day, are they? [Applause]
Member of audience I frankly think it is a shame that we have got to have this debate. That said, it doesn’t surprise me. Look at what the bankers have done in terms of getting us in this financial crisis in the first place. Their greed, their immoral decisions, have put the working people of this country into dire straits
Bankers and investors. They are above the law. None of us count anymore. What is the point of voting if this lot are just going to have a nice quiet debate
The most venerable people in society are paying for their mistakes. We look back to when David Cameron took control of the Conservative Party, 17 million quid he has had from the City in terms of backing his campaigns, fat bankers, sat drinking the Bollinger, he doesn’t want judges finding about the real truth about what they have been doing in London. He wants to keep it in-house and protect them. That is what he will try and continue to do. [Applause].
Member of audience It baffles me because we were here four years ago, when the banks collapsed, and they said this is what we are going to do to sort things out, and now we are being told to trust them. We need to open our eyes and realise that we can’t do anything about it. Unless we all go and take our money out of the banks now so that they don’t have any control over us, there is nothing we can do. [Applause]
There is one very good reason why the politicians should not be allowed to conduct this enquiry, because the terrible mess we’re in with banking, deregulated markets where anything goes, tax evasion with off shore bank accounts and all this sort of thing is a huge political failure because it is the politicians who allowed this to happen, not just in this country. Look at American, look at Europe. The euro, that is another classic political failure.
We need a complete reappraisal of the whole system, not just banking, because we’re not going to sort this mess out by imposing a few more regulations on banks. The whole economic mess needs to be sorted. We need to look at off shore financial centres where there is tax evasion, money laundering, fraud, and all sorts of illegal money passing through them. Corporations are dodging their tax by setting up in the Cayman Islands. Those sort of places are secret – a black hole into which people can take their money and it comes out in a totally different form and the authorities know nothing about it [Applause]
John Lydon. Bob Diamond is now throwing out red herrings left right and centre to take the blame away from himself, but the point is bankers live in culture above and beyond all of us and [Applause] governments, successive governments, have allowed that to happen. I need to live in a world of trust,
Member of audience. Please spare a thought for those people who because of fixed rates have lost their homes, they’ve lost their businesses because the rates have been fixed. We know that 20 more banks are going to be investigated, but please remember about the people who have lost out. What is their future and how are you going to compensate all those people who have lost their homes because they have had their homes repossessed and lost their businesses [Applause]
What To Do About Barclays LIBOR Scam?
Issue No 101 Sunday 20 May 2012
Hammer the Civil Service. Hammer the Public Services
Issue No 100 Monday 07 May 2012
DRP Newsletter - 100th Edition. Towards Election 2015
Issue No 99 Sunday 29 April 2012
The Coalition's Answer To The Failure of Austerity - "Austerity Plus"
The Future of Democratic Action -
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