Wednesday 26 October 2011


When you create a society that has no sense about it at all, you can't be surprised if people behave in destructive, irrational ways.  And if you set an example of unrestrained greed and freedom to behave vilely, you can't be surprised if people follow it.

David Cameron was involved in a shop window-breaking incident in Oxford when a member of the Bullingdon Club.  "Just youthful high spirits", of course.  He didn't spend any days in prison.  And bankers and company directors grab millions in pay and pension rights "to keep the best people at the top".

"What "utterly unacceptable,. criminal behaviour" actually means is "tug you forelocks and respect our property while we exploit society entirely to our advantage".   The government's own research has found that 64% of rioters came from the most deprived neighbourhoods, 42% were entitled to free school meals, 35% were on benefits, and two-thirds had special educational needs.

Forever debt

When businesses borrow to start producing, when they do so they have to charge a price for their products that covers the interest on their borrowings.  This means they are charging more for their stuff than they are paying out to their workers.  So there is always a perpetual shortage of buying power.  So consumers also have to borrow in order to purchase what they need.  This creates a continually-growing pool of debt, which makes it necessary for the economy to keep growing more and more which produces pollution and exhaustion of materials.  It also guarantees that some industries will have to go bankrupt as the demands for their products falls.  So we are condemned, by the continual creation of debt, to work longer and longer hours, have less and less time for our families, and endanger the planet's environment.

We need a different system, where the increasing productiveness of modern industry enables us to work LESS hours and use things up less fervidly.

Wednesday 28 September 2011

save us

With land, food and water running out for the human race, we need to start working on sharing more systematically and fairly.  In housing in Britain, with a completely unregulated market, that means clubbing together to afford mortgage loans.  That doesn't just mean sharing the financial commitment: it also means becoming your own landlords and learning to work hard together to administer and maintain the property you occupy.  There is no longer a "landlord:" who will take care of a blocked drain or a slipped slate  It means getting to grips with the real cost of running a building.  (And forget that old chant about "rent being wasted money".  A lot of rent goes on maintenance; and only if the landlord is a bastard or overcharging, does he make a profit once he has serviced his debts and mended the house.

What it amounts to is learning to take responsibility - as chair, secretary, treasurer, housekeeper - like a grown-up; not always looking for a "leader" or Mummy or Daddy to see to everything.  Government from the grassroots up.

Saturday 13 August 2011

No Sense

If you construct a society with no sense in it, you can't be surprised if people behave destructively and irrationally.  And if you set an example of violent greed, you can't be surprised if people follow it.

David Cameron was involved in a shop-window-breaking incident in Oxford while a member of the Bullingdon Club.  "Just youthful exuberance", of course.  He didn't spend any nights in prison.

And if bankers and company directors grab millions in pay and pension rights, you can't be surprised if ordinary kids try to grab what they want.

What "utterly unacceptable, criminal behaviour" actually means is: "tug your forelocks and respect our property as we exploit society to our own advantage".  And "We'll throw your parents out of their homes if you don't behave," merely compounds the nonsense.

Friday 12 August 2011

When you have never been in the habit of saving, or building up capital, living co-operatively is a major mental gear-change.  You're actually taking over the capitalist system, but running it ethically.  This meams we have to get rid of the government - which useless and dishonest - and ban usury, to get land and property taken out of the speculative arena and owned on behalf of the community.  It means, ultimately, creating our own banking system, which works on permanently fixed low interest rates so you know your finance costs and those who lend to you know what they're going to get: and there's no more of this letting politicians and banker jerk rates up and down like a yoyo.

What you are doing is building up capital to purchase the house you're living in so that you become your own landlords; and you only spend on what is necessary, abolishing profiteering.  Once your borrowed funds have been repaid, you should be able to fix rents at the level that just takes care of maintenance plus Council tax and utilities.

At the 2011 Britain Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends (Quakers), the theme was "sustainability.  During the discussions, it became clear that the only way of saving our world is to learn to live like human beings are supposed to live: sharing and co-operating.  By using facilities and housing in common, we learn how to make do with less.  We are reversing the economic trend that has governed us for 200 years: dividing people into smaller and smaller competing and consuming nuclear unit to increase consumption. Continual growth is demanding more than this world's resources, and we need to find ways of living with less.  And that means trusting and relying on each other more.

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Housing in hell

A system where people bid against each other, forcing house prices up and up is no way to allocate housing.  It only conspires to keep us all loan slaves and profit the greedy bankers who lend money; and the government which refuses to regulate the housing market for its own economic motives.  These are what produced the economic crisis we are all suffering for.

We need to create a system which makes the banks and the government irrelevant: by clubbing together to help each other get homes.  Ordinary people can create wealth, and use it productively, not negatively as at present.  If land and buildings are owned on behalf of the community, the speculators can't get their hands on them.

For a start, get your local Credit Union to start a "Homes For All" savings account, and begin putting your spare shillings into it.  If you have pension funds to invest, don't buy an annuity - which only gets stolen when you die.  Buy a house that several people can share, and get them to form themselves into a co-op which can pay you a modest 3% dividend on your investment (which will provide the pension you want).  Then make a will leaving the house to the co-op when you die (when it would be otherwise sucked into a profit swamp in the City).  That way your life savings will provide perpetually affordable homes to others - a great memorial to you.

Eiter way, pooling funds and income to provide a roof is the way.  Send the usurers to hell, where they belong.