Archives for posts with tag: Royal Mail

George-Osbornb

I very much doubt that I have this buttoned up yet, but this is a start.

In striving to understand how the economy really works as against the ridiculous fairy stories we are told to dutifully swallow, I have had to give up some cherished sacred cows which are tied in with my outrage against a government which is causing so many people hideous pain and suffering and driving many to their deaths.

When Theresa May stood up in PMQs, facing Jeremy Corbyn, and brayed that he’s, ‘waiting to bankrupt our country’, knowing that the Tories have created more government debt than all of Labour throughout its history, I want to be outraged at her egregious lies and to point out that George Osborne doubled the debt whilst promising and dismally failing to pay it down.

I have written about the great puzzle of the national debt, and asked where all the money has gone and who do we owe this mountain of debt to anyway?

To discover that this is all pantomime for the public and a complete sham is incredibly difficult to grasp as is letting go of the righteous indignation I have attached to it. I want reasons to be outraged, they deserve it. I want to expose them, and beat them with my anger and outrage and call them to account.

Yet I also remember George Osborne selling off the family silver and asset stripping the nation, to help pay down the debt, and wondering, as I did with the sell off of Royal Mail which was flogged off for a dismally undervalued price of £3.3 billion, ‘How is this going to help pay down the debt, the interest charges on the national debt will swallow these piddling sums in no time?’

But once I stopped frothing at the mouth and chewing my own spleen, I realised that what the Tories are up to is far, far worse than I imagined. Osborne wasn’t even trying to pay down any debt, he was just asset stripping the UK to enrich the vultures in the private sector. The answer to the question of where the money has all gone was simple, to the private sector. Austerity wasn’t about paying down the debt, that was the smokescreen for the transfer of public wealth into private hands. People were dying merely to feed the greed of the private sector, the amount of debt didn’t matter, it had nothing to do with anything.

Jeremy Corbyn has exactly the right answers to the problem in his fully costed manifesto. Invest in the public sector, build houses, create jobs, pay people a decent wage, take our NHS back, grow GDP (Gross Domestic Product), which is what good government investment is about. The ratio between GDP and debt (investment) is that as GDP increases the debt falls (the investment pays off). Government debt is just the sum of its investments, the problem was that George Osborne wasn’t using government money for investment, he was using it to enrich his mates in the City, whilst cutting public investment to the bone. People were dying solely for greed, everything else was horse shit.

Whilst we’re trembling away or raging at the size of the national debt, coke head Osborne and the his equally coked up city boys were laughing their socks off as was every Tory MP with private interests in health care and everything else they don’t bother to mention.

Remember Theresa May telling the nurse, “there isn’t a magic money tree that we can shake that suddenly provides for everything that people want”? Damn right. This is the party that’s privatising you, your grandmother and your children, not to mention your health and the cancer that’s eating you alive. The Mirror reported that Jeremy Hunt told the government Health Select Committee, ‘Britain’s care time bomb is “one of the biggest commercial opportunities” for private firms’. Boom!

When the government bailed out the banks, we all thought that we had to pay it back, because that’s what they told us, but that isn’t what happened, all the government did was shake the magic money tree, because the government is a sovereign money supplier.

We, the people, are not the provider of money to the government, we don’t make money, we make stuff and when we make stuff we’re paid in money tokens provided by the government. Have you every wondered where your next penny is coming from? That’s because we have no control over the money supply, we are not allowed to print money or magic it up on our computer screens. We do not make money and we do not supply money to the government, they supply it to us. Before we can ever pay any taxes, the government must spend money into the economy so that we have something to pay taxes with, because they won’t accept turnips or eggs, or any of the real stuff that we can make.

So what do taxes do? At a local level taxes pay for services from local government, because local government is not a currency provider and needs an income to pay for public services, like domestic waste disposal. Taxes also help keep the economy stable, in times of growth they are increased to prevent inflation and when growth falls, reduced taxes encourage spending and investment. Another vital use of taxes is to prevent inequality and too much wealth being drawn off into too few hands. Extreme polarised wealth is a drain on the economy, because all that wealth stashed away in tax havens has to be covered by some ‘body’ and that body is ‘government’. Money only means something if is backed by trust and certainty, and it is government which is the backer and which provides the certainty that money has any value at all. If money is just stashed away, gambled on financial markets, feeding itself and no one else, and not working in the wider economy, it is a net drain on the wider economy. Tax evasion is a rich persons gain for a poor persons loss, it costs all of us.

It’s easy to see how this worked in the banking crisis, the financial markets were in a closed loop, like tax havens, a boys own club, making obscene profits on dodgy bets. No one outside of this gambling spree was benefiting from it, least of all the poor buggers scammed into buying dodgy mortgages they could never pay back. When it all fell apart around the worthless bankers necks it threatened the stability of money, they had betrayed the confidence and trust that money must have for it to work. The only thing that could save the situation was for national governments, the sovereign suppliers of money, to step in.

Austerity, to pay down the debt, was a confidence trick Cameron and Osborne pulled, using the ‘crisis’ to further the gains of the super rich. Austerity was and is the most fantastically corrupt scam ever pulled by a government on its people and people have paid for that scam with their lives.

As best as I can tell at this moment in time, what happens to our real earned money that is taken in taxes is that it disappears, it’s written off. The government has no need of tax money for its own spending. Of anything that taxation can do, paying for government spending isn’t one of them. So taxing the rich doesn’t pay for the poor, it just prevents the extreme polarisation of wealth. It is the governments job and duty to relieve poverty, no one else’s. And, no, no knife wielding dick is paying for people on benefits or disabled people, or paying a coppers wages, or for immigrants, or for your health. It’s all a gigantic lie and it is time to call time on governments, and the Tories in particular, who propagate the lie and to sort the magic money tree out and make it work for all the people, not just the few.

Exactly what Jeremy Corbyn has promised to do… to the screams of Tory outrage.

KOG. 24 July 2017

http://calumslist.org/

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-politics-40510376/pmqs-theresa-may-gives-a-warning-about-jeremy-corbyn

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34514024

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/03/01/conservatives-have-created-more-debt-than-all-labour-governments-combined-corbyn-tells-the-world/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jeremy-hunt-says-britains-care-7932080

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-nurse-magic-money-tree-bbcqt-question-time-pay-rise-eight-years-election-latest-a7770576.html

http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2014/05/taxes-mmt-approach.html

25_july_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,502

Monday 25 July 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

The privatisation of, er, well, everything, reminds me of Douglas Adams’ title of the fourth book in his ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ trilogy, ‘So long and thanks for all the fish’…

So long tax payers and thanks for all your cash.

Flogging off state assets, PFI’s, Academies, privatising our NHS, public services (water, gas, electricity, buses, ambulances, police, etc.), Royal Mail, you name it, is just a massive con, transferring the nations wealth into private hands.

I don’t think that tax payers generally have got it yet, that all their wealth transferred to the treasury as taxes is regarded by you Tories as just a gigantic corporate slush fund. Call it what you like, class warfare, economic warfare, a giant Ponzi scheme, daylight robbery… With more people now in in-work poverty than out of work poverty, in excess of 40% of their income is siphoned off as taxes to pay for privateers and fat cat salaries. That’s great, isn’t it, cuts to social welfare, money for corporate welfare, meanwhile back at the food banks…

This isn’t the politics of envy, that great get out of gaol free card for those who exploit the tax system, it’s social injustice on a massive scale.

The privatisation myth that, ‘competition promotes excellence and market forces breed efficiency’, is just that, a myth. To take just one, water, in late 2015 it was revealed that private water companies were ripping customers off to the tune of £1.2 billion, whereas Scotland,  with its entirely publicly owned water services, is the cheapest in Britain despite a £1.8 billion investment in infrastructure.

Whilst the poorest are subject to forced labour under threat of sanctions and slavery, via Workfare, the nations hard earned money is handed to the boardrooms of vulture capitalists, gathered like bears around a honey pot and these same companies will be paying minimum wages on zero hours contracts to the very people who fund them, to maximise profits, whilst their workers are striving to work their way out of poverty. Fat chance! And the icing on the cake is that many of these privateers avoid paying their taxes through tax avoidance and tax evasion schemes and stash their ill gotten gains in tax havens in British overseas territories and dependencies. Nice, if rampant greed is your thing…

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/jul/23/education-academies-funding-expenses?CMP=share_btn_tw

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/11618980/George-Osborne-to-privatise-23bn-of-taxpayer-assets.html

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/jun/16/british-public-wrong-rich-poor-tax-research

http://www.poverty.ac.uk/tags/work-poverty

https://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2014/aug/06/privatisation-ripping-nhs-from-our-hands

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/shopping-and-consumer-news/11929998/Water-rip-off-bills-are-800m-too-high-watchdog-finds.html

https://www.unison.org.uk/news/article/2014/03/efficiency-myth-of-privatisation-exploded/

09_january_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,310

Saturday 09 January 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Warning of hard times to come, George Osborne is apparently claiming that the British economy could face a sharp decline this year and that it is now mission critical. In his speech in Cardiff he said, “I worry about a creeping complacency in the national debate about our economy.”

When has George Osborne ever engaged in a national debate about Britain’s economy? The majority of economists are against your ideological austerity and have repeatedly warned of the harm Osborne has done to the UK economy. Osborne has persistently ignored everyone in his religious determination to demolish the state. Your announcement of permanent austerity at the Lord Mayor’s blowout in 2013 was really just the warning shot across the bows of the nation that you intended to shrink the state to nothing and there would be no going back.

Osborne has already sold off some £37.7 billion of state assets with another £20 billion to go this year. Doubtless all at the same knock down prices as Royal Mail was to city vultures. All Osborne is about is the transfer of the nations wealth into private pockets, not so much a leaner state as you put it, but a complete clean out. Everything must go.

Oliver Letwin apparently bragged in 2004 that it you Tories got in you would destroy our NHS within 5 years and it’s obvious to a thick brick covered in mortar that’s going really well. In 2010 you promised no top-down reorganisation of our NHS, which, of course, turned out to be one of your more egregious lies, what I didn’t quite realise at that time was that it would be a demolition derby. There is already discussion going on about an insurance based NHS albeit sneakily introduced via the Lords by Lord David Prior. You are nothing if not a back door, sneaky and dishonest kinda guy.

The Housing Bill will see the end of social housing and lifetime tenancies because you want all housing to be either privately owned or privately rented at market prices few can afford and the devil take the poor as you destroy their lives and communities.

What is for very sure, whatever state Osborne’s incompetence reduces the economy to, whilst blaming everyone else from China to the neighbours cat, it is the poor who will take the greatest hit, with the poorest being starved out of existence by Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/chancellor-on-challenges-facing-uk-economy-in-2016

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/two-thirds-of-economists-say-coalition-austerity-harmed-the-economy-10149410.html

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/11/david-cameron-policy-shift-leaner-efficient-state

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/george-osborne-selling-more-state-7077754

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/business/fury-royal-mail-sell-off-public-5867896

http://www.thecanary.co/2016/01/07/osborne-brings-us-imminent-economic-meltdown-blames-everybody-else/

http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/the-destruction-of-nhs.html

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/11/pre-election-pledges-tories-are-trying-wipe-internet

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/richard-grimes/government-moves-to-consider-nhs-user-charges

http://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2016/jan/05/expert-views-housing-bill-end-affordable-housing

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/iain-duncan-smith-should-resign-over-disability-benefit-death-figures-says-jeremy-corbyn-10475017.html

17_october_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,233

Saturday 17 October 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

There two basic types of privatisation, The first is the standard business model, for example, Royal Mail, which operates by selling a product to the public at the point of use.

The second type of privatisation is contracting out services which remain publicly funded because there is no sale of product involved. These are services which are taxpayer funded and free at the point of use, like the NHS, fire services, police, ambulances, etc.

In selling something like Royal Mail, it is advantageous to sell at a time when as a business it is showing a profit thereby making it attractive to buyers who desire to see a return on their investment. The state receives a one off payment but loses out on all future profits, a short term gain for a loss of income in the long term. Once something like the Royal Mail hits the casino of the stock market, traders can buy and sell on the long or short term, holding or selling stock in order to make a profit on their investment, either way, the state (and the public) is no longer in the game.

Contracting out a service is an altogether different proposition. Companies bid a contractual price which they will be paid by tax payers to deliver that service. That fixed price has to continue to provide the service, meet staff costs and so on, but within that price must also be factored a cut for the bidding company as a fee for running the service on behalf of the state or, more correctly, tax payers.

Both these privatisation models are economically illiterate in terms of value for money for the tax paying public who have paid to build and maintain them throughout their time in public ownership and, in the case of Royal Mail, have seen a return on that investment either to reinvest in the business or put into the general tax pot. In business terms, as with the Post Office before its privatisation, in providing a universal service such provision may never show a profit but is paid for and run as a universal public good. Applying a ‘for profit’ business model to a public service is inappropriate because the service is paid from the common purse for the common good, the cost is spread across the whole of society for everyone’s benefit. It makes sense not to have a pay meter on every street corner for street lighting at night, street lights are a universal benefit paid for by all whether there is one person walking down the street, thousands or no one.

General taxation exists for general benefit regardless that at times individuals may not be benefiting specifically. Sickness benefit or unemployment benefit is a universal insurance, some may never have need of such universal benefits but they exist just in case they do, it is a universal safety net and a mark of a civilised society.

Contracting out services does two things, it funnels the tax money of the many into the hands of the few and those few carve a chunk off, calling it profit, for personal gain. The NHS, unlike Royal Mail, is not a for profit business and its privatisation is a deceit being pulled off by destabilising it and pretending that private companies will make it better. They wont and don’t, the public and workers lose out because businesses have to force more from less. The current chaos in the NHS is entirely caused by a government who have sold out and are selling us out to the private sector whose interests are in making a profit and not serving the common good. The privatisation of the state is a monstrous, perfidious, scam!

http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2015/jun/02/dear-jeremy-hunt-heres-what-you-need-to-do-for-the-nhs

http://www.theguardian.com/business/nils-pratley-on-finance/2014/jul/11/why-royal-mail-sell-off-proved-rip-off

http://classonline.org.uk/docs/2013_-_Privatisation_-_Countering_the_Myths_pamphlets.pdf

14_october_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,230

Wednesday 14 October 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Sing a song of sixpence:

Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!
She made such a commotion that little Jenny Wren
flew down to the garden and popped it on again.

What a tale for our times of peasants, robbers, kings, queens and that robbing popinjay, Baron (to be) Osborne, and social justice activist in the shape of little Jenny Wren.

As I write today, the nations infamous robber baron, George Osborne, with a 2:1 bachelor’s degree in Modern History, has announced on Twitter:

“We’ve finished process of returning @RoyalMail to private sector. Right thing to do for Royal Mail workforce, customers and the taxpayer.”

Back in 1516 when that black-hearted wife killer Henry VIII was on the throne of merrie England, he established a Master of the Posts which later became a service available to the public in the reign of Charles I and the ‘Royal Mail’ remained a publicly owned service until 15 October 2013 when you flogged off 70% it at a bargain basement price to the avid delight of hedge fund speculators. So it is with some measure of surprise to hear our resident robber baron and student of history talking about returning Royal Mail to a private sector to which it has never belonged, ever. Or is it the case now that ‘to the robbers belong the spoils’ and a legal precedent of a robbers retroactive right of ownership of pilfered loot pre-dating the actual robbery? A significant insight into your governments behaviour methinks.

George Osborne, can’t do economics, can’t do history or chooses to ignore it for self serving purposes and lies to the public, which part of this exactly is the ‘right thing to do for (the) Royal Mail workforce, customers and the taxpayer’?

As a regular customer of the Royal Mail I guess what I have to look forward to is the usual decline in service that follows privatisation, loyal staff thrown out on their ears, rising costs and an asset stripped service descending into chaos and all for a fast buck for the greedy slime-balls in the damned ‘free’ markets.

http://politicalscrapbook.net/2015/10/back-to-history-class-george-osborne-claims-royal-mail-has-returned-to-private-sector/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Mail

06_june_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,108

Saturday 06 June 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

George Osborne’s long term economic plan is to asset strip the nation, selling off our national shares and assets leaving us with nothing for the future.

Let’s just check the national debt that the £1.5 billion that Royal Mail is worth, and “the right thing to do” to sell, will help pay off. The national debt is approximately £1.36 trillion and the interest on that debt is, according to the Telegraph, £1 billion a week. If those figures are inaccurate it’ll be because they are too low because Osborne is a bit of a lad for borrowing and not telling us. He’s a smooth talker though, coming up with this, “For as everyone knows, when it comes to living within your means, the sooner you start the smoother the ride.” Easier said than done for George who is demonstrably incapable of any such thing and our shares of Royal Mail are worth one and a half weeks of interest on the national debt assuming this won’t be another discount sale for the city.

I am not quite sure how selling off our last remaining stake in Royal Mail or the £12 billion in welfare cuts is going to pay off the national debt or even the interest on the debt, perhaps George will write to the nation and let us know.

Selling off the family jewels is a time honoured tradition for families that fall on hard times, but, as every family knows, what’s required for proper recovery is income. In national terms income to the treasury is dependent on production (GDP), wages and spending power. Production is flat lining and wages are tumbling and whilst January saw a rise in tax revenues, Osborne’s return to brutal austerity will soon see that off. Britain needs growth but that’s the last thing on Osborne’s mind.

The Council of Europe warned in January 2014 that Britain’s benefits were inadequate and that we need to raise them to meet legal requirements that Britain is signed up to in Europe, which Iain Duncan Smith predictably dismissed as “lunacy”. However, given that benefits are recycled into the economy almost in their entirety, other than what is lost to tax havens through unscrupulous landlords, then they are a rich form of revenue return, where, say, PFI, privatisation and madcap borrowing to fund privatisation are total losses.

If Osborne had a long term economic plan then the last thing he’d be doing is selling the last of our stake in Royal Mail, our housing association properties at knock down prices and certainly not selling RBS by knocking £13 billion off the asking price, thus robbing tax payers. Asset stripping is not part of any long term plan for recovery, it’s the exact opposite, it’s a scorched earth policy with the poorest and most vulnerable people the first to go.

http://www.itv.com/news/update/2015-06-04/the-government-to-sell-off-remaining-30-royal-mail-stake/

http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_national_debt_chart.html

http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/3028/economics/interest-payments-on-uk-debt/

http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/334/uk-economy/uk-national-debt/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10849333/Interest-bill-on-UKs-1.27-trillion-debt-to-hit-1bn-a-week.html

http://www.localgov.co.uk/Osborne-reveals-230m-spending-cut-for-DCLG/38793

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11566370/UK-GDP-falls-to-slowest-pace-in-three-years-with-just-nine-days-until-election.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/uk-average-salary-26500-figures-3002995

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/10799816/Britons-suffer-unprecedented-fall-in-real-wages.html

https://www.markit.com/Commentary/Get/20022015-Economics-Retail-sales-fall-but-surge-in-tax-receipts-highlights-a-healthier-UK-economy

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/29/uk-benefits-inadequate-council-of-europe

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/14/tory-election-manifesto-right-to-buy-housing-association-properties

http://action.sumofus.org/a/rbs-sell-off/?sub=tw