Thursday, October 21, 2004

The Neo-Conservative Conspiracy

The Neo-Conservative conspiracy is built on the premise that it is essential to create a common enemy to ensure social adhesion and subjugation to the authority of the state. This is the lie on which American democracy and to some extent ours, is now founded. The notion that the Soviet Union was the embodiment of evil and the United States the defender of good was dreamed up by a small band of self chosen elite who saw the growth of individualism in the early 60s as a threat to the concept of an ordered society and to the authority of the state.

Like any dictator worth his or her salt, this self selected elite made up of people like Strauss, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others alledgedly created an illusion, a lie, to achieve their goal, notably that the U.S. was under threat from the USSR; something the CIA itself had no evidence to support and constantly refuted. It was not until Casey, who had been influenced by the Neo-Conservatives, took over as the CIA Chief that this doctrine apparently became perceived wisdom. The illusion that the USSR was a threat became the perceived truth and formed the central plank of American foreign policy to the end of what appears to have been a Neo-Conservative initiated Cold War.

This is the synopsis of a new thoroughly researched television documentary series launched tonight on BBC2, called "The Power Of Nightmares" which includes interviews with some of the major players supposedly responsible for initiating the Neo-Conservative agenda. I doubt it will ever be seen in America but Americans need to see it, if only to make up their own minds.

Nevertheless, the program lends support to the idea that we have long been played like puppets on strings and that democracy is gradually being whittled away by those who hold and jealously guard power. The remainder of the series will make for fascinating watching and should be compulsory viewing for anyone concerned about the future of our democracy and freedoms.

We need a sharp wake up call. We are all as brainwashed as any North Korean. Like the North Koreans, we are constantly being fed illusions. The only difference is the manner and nature of the methods used but the objective is the same, mind control. The major difference is that Western methods of brainwashing use more modern and sophisticated tools. In North Korea it is more simple. The people are starved of all information other than that which the state chooses to give. In the West we are inundated with information from politicians, the media and the marketing men, much of it spun to obtain the desired reaction from the masses. The nature of the spin differs only in degree depending on whether it is initiated by the left or right. Irrespective the messages being transmitted are for the most part a distortion of the truth. The USSR is evil. America is the beacon of goodness.

If you believe the Hollywood version of history, America won two world wars on its own and according to the marketing men junk food and fizzy drinks are desirable and harmless. I could go on and on but the fact is that very little of the information we are fed is the whole truth. We are fed illusions spun to be perceived as the truth, by those who hold the reigns of power and who will do almost anything to maintain their status quo. Self evidently, this has very little to do with democracy and everything to do with the exercise and maintenance of power, by a self elected elite. What chance does an ordinary citizen with little or no wealth have of breaking into this club. It is clear to anyone who has observes the world that money is the key to power. Those without substantial wealth have little or no hope of ever becoming President of The United States or Prime Minister of Britain.

Communists are not bad people because they are communist, anymore than Americans are good because they are democrats but this is the illusion we have been fed. America did not win World War II alone as Hollywood would have us believe. In fact America has never won a war on its own, not even the War of Independence where the French were their allies. America lost the Vietnam War and was unable to subdue a renegade war lord in Somalia. Fifty percent of the troops that landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day were British. Had Britain not held out , albeit with the logistical support of the U.S., there would never have been a D-Day landing because there would have been nowhere from which to launch the invasion. The truth is that it took the combined efforts of many nations to overcome Nazi Germany.

America has never dominated the world nor ever could. We need look no further than Germany, Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq to know that it is simply a pipe dream. It's no more possible for America than it is for Bin Laden, China or India. World domination is an illusion built up by the Neo-Conservatives. America won the Cold War, ergo we are the world's only remaining super power. It may have super power but it is no match for the rest of the world. It is not even capable of imposing its will on the Middle East let alone Europe, China and India. No, America is not a self contained planet on Earth. It is just an island amongst others and it needs the rest of the world as much as the rest of the world needs it. We are all interdependent. We all need each other. That is the real truth.

Likewise, the media no longer simply reports the news. It opines on the news and even makes the news. They dictate what we will see, what we will read and what we should think. The media no longer give us thoughtful drama or unbiased documentaries. They give us opinions. They feed the masses a constant drip of so called reality TV, that is so far removed from reality, it is pure fantasy. Newspapers bow at the altar of celebrity which they themselves have created and fill their pages with endless kiss and tell tales of drivelling tattle to occupy our dumbed down, empty little heads. More people know the name of the winner of Big Brother than the name of the Opposition party leaders. Why? What does that say about them, us and our society in general? Who is behind this drive towards intellectual bankruptcy and why? The truth is that the media is in the hands of the rich and the powerful. It is there to serve its own agenda and to make money by concentrating on the banal, the sensational, the wicked. It chooses to appeal to the baser instincts of humanity rather than serve as a tool of enlightenment. In truth we cannot trust the media and we all know it, but do they or are they the victims now of their own deceptions?

And no, junk food and fizzy drinks are not desirable or healthy. They are bad for us. They make us fat, raise our cholesterol levels and give us heart attacks. Nevertheless, somebody, lots of people actually, have made massive fortunes by selling a susceptible public an illusion of something quite different. If this is not mass brainwashing, what is? And let us not even begin to talk about the tobacco or drug industries or we will be here for ever. Suffice it to say we have been sold hogwash and more worryingly we fell for it, hook line and sinker. So how hard can it be to manipulate minds? Its easy or at least that's what the mind benders believe.

However, like all castles built on sand, lies and damn lies eventually succumb to the tide of truth. The truth cannot hide forever from the logic of reason. That is why the Neo-Conservative conspiracy is doomed to the same fate as the communist conspiracy and every other conspiracy built on deception. When will all the would be comptrollers, realise that social adhesion, respect for authority and the building of a common destiny never has and never can be built on lies, deceit and illusions. When will they realise that real good can only prevail if truth and integrity prevail and nothing worth a pittance will ever come from a philosophy, of spin, half truths and outright deceit. Or could it be that the comptrollers are not really interested in real good but only what they perceive is "good" for them?

They are deceiving themselves however. Fundamental truths are indestructible. They are written into the code of life itself and are there for all who have eyes, to see. Those of us who do see through the mirages, understand whilst we are all different, we are nevertheless all part of a single humanity. We know it is only possible to bring nations and cultures together by building bridges, not destroying them. We know that the respect of people for their governments can only be obtained by governments who behave and act with integrity and honesty. Political hypocrisy and double standards will never engender anything but a loss of respect for its practioners. Far from creating orderly societies, such policies can only fuel anger, frustration and a loss of faith in authority, thus engendering the collapse of social adhesion rather than its consolidation. A truth built on a lie will always be a lie. It is a contradiction in terms that will not stand the light of day or the test of time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Can You imagine?

Can you imagine,
The screams of a mother on a train,
Separated from her child calling her name,
Herded away and never seen again,
Her child, still screaming out her name?

Can you imagine,
Your husband shot dead,
A pool of blood by the bed,
Your brother before you slain,
A child, still screaming in pain?

Can you imagine,
The cries of a daughter’s rape,
Pleading for mercy with no escape,
Fighting for her honour in vain,
Childhood lost in lust and pain?

How can we possibly understand,
Those of us who live in this land,
Where justice reigns and men are free,
Where hunger never touches thee?
No fear have we of the dictator’s hand,
For he lives far away from England.

Pensions, Savings and Investment

Sent: 12/10/2004 16:42

It was Chancellor Brown who raided the pension funds helping the treasury to £5 billion per year of savers money! This along with other Brownite polices undermined the confidence of savers and investors alike and destroyed the credibility of pension funds. As a result British companies have been forced to double contributions to occupational pension schemes to £37 billion per year since Labour came to power.

The CBI DG, Mr. Digby Jones complains that employers have been wrongly cast as the villains of the pensions piece. He says much of the blame for the crisis lies with the decision to abolish the dividend tax credit in 1997 costing pension funds £5 billion a year, a move he describes as "a grave error".

This coupled with regulations obliging pension fund holders to sell shares to maintain a pre-determined cash reserve to investment ratio has impacted negatively on the stock market. This has led to a ludicrous catch 22 scenario where on a falling market pension fund holders are required to sell more shares to maintain the ratio between cash reserves and investments which drives the market down further; requiring fund managers to sell yet more shares which drives the market down still further, ad infinitum. This is a classic case of bureaucrats meddling in affairs of which they have little or no acumen or experience. There must be a better way of maintaining the financial integrity of pension funds than this!

It is not surprising therefore that the FTSE 100 has lagged well behind other international stock market indices since Labour came into power, largely because pension fund holders have been divesting themselves of equities. This is catastrophic for pensions, savings and investment, a disaster already well into the making.

Worse still, instead of admitting this gravest of mistakes, Mr. Brown prefers to blame us for his monumental error of judgment. Instead of righting the wrong he wants us to make up for his shortsightedness by making us work longer and forcing us to save what we do not have, thus only adding insult to injury.

Mr. Brown does not tell us, however, how much he thinks we will have to save over a lifetime to ensure a comfortable retirement. With interest rates at 3-5%, every £100,000 saved will yield a paltry income of £3000 - £5000 per year, barely enough to run a motor car let alone pay for lighting, heating, phone bills, clothing, insurance and many other essentials. Unless we have saved half a million pounds, we can forget about holidays in the sun. Perhaps Mr. Brown can explain how a middle- manager with a student loan and a mortgage can save £500,000 for retirement over his or her working life when interest on savings is so low, equities are depressed and house prices are falling? Even more to the point how do the millions on minimum wages save for their old age when they cannot even afford to rent their own accommodation let alone take on a mortgage, even with low interest rates? No Mr. Brown, the sums do not add up. This is cloud cuckoo land.

This must surely offer political hay for opposition parties and yet they have failed abysmally to expose in any meaningful way, this monumental error of judgment by Mr. Brown, one that so gravely puts at risk the futures of millions of hard working British citizens? Unless somebody comes up with policies to reverse the damage done by Mr. Brown to our savings and our stock market, we are headed for the mother of all busts. Mr. Brown's famous boast that thanks to him we have left behind the bad old days of boom and bust will look very shallow and hollow then.

However, the Chancellor's poison could and should be the Conservative's meat. They are already in the last chance saloon. If they fail to win this election and Mr. Blair delivers the long promised reforms and improvements in public services (by no means certain) as well as a stablised Iraq in his third term, it will be the end of the Conservative Party. They have to win the next election or risk facing extinction. Unlike many commentators, I believe the good news for them is that it is extremely winnable but only if they tackle the issues that matter to ordinary people with far more dynamism and imagination than they have hitherto shown.

Pensions, savings and investment is one of many areas where they could make a real impact on voters minds, provided they do their home work and convey their message in an unequivocal manner and in a way that is easily comprehensible to the general public. They must go after this government and expose the weaknesses in its policies with the same tenacity as a bulldog in pursuit of a juicy bone. If there was ever an opportunity to show the long term damage of Labour's policies, the destruction of savings and investment is as juicy a bone as any Conservative bulldog could possibly want. More to the point, we want our savings and investment opportunities back. We want our future back.