Scotland

Collapse Cafe 10/4/2015: UK Special Edition

gc2When Does the Sun Set on Britain?

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Our discussion with Norman Pagett and Jason Heppenstall on issues focused on the UK as the collapse of industrial civilization progresses

Also, don't forget to take the Energy Survey!  We are going to hold it open an extra week because links to the survey were broken when  I launched the Survey.  They have since been fixed.

The Future of Energy Survey

Misrule Britannia

Off the keyboard of Jason Heppenstall

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Pubished on 22 Billion Energy Slaves on June 1, 2015

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When I moved back to the UK two years ago after living abroad for a while, nobody could accuse me of not knowing what I was getting into. For quite some time pundits in the collapsosphere have been calling out the UK as one of the riskiest countries in which to live, right up there with Japan. Not only do we have a nation that is heavily over-populated with respect to its resource base, but one which hosts one of the world's major world financial viper pits. It's a nation where Arab playboys drive gold-plated Ferraris around the gentrified streets of London while snot-nosed urchins everywhere else go to school without eating breakfast. It's a nation where an unelected old lady in a £300 million hat recently sat on a throne and managed to keep a straight face while announcing her government's plans to slash money for the poor. Basically it's a nation engaged in a war of attrition between those with wealth and those without.
 
 
 
But something in the air has changed since the recent election in which David Cameron's Tories won a majority in the House of Commons. Within days – unshackled for their former collation with the moderating hand of the Liberal Democrats –  there were announcements of plans to walk away from human rights treaties, to impose a 'snoopers charter' of surveillance, to further slash welfare spending, push through the TTIP 'trade' agreement, ramp up fracking, bring back fox hunting with hounds. The Left have been howling in pain ever since.
 
Although all this was to be expected of the 'nasty party' the one thing that nobody seems to be talking about is how the nation itself will manage to survive as a modern state given the, ahem, challenges it faces. The three main immediate challenges, as I see it, come from the realms of finance, energy and politics. Failings in each one of them alone could prove disastrous, but it seems as if we will get to witness all three calamities occur simultaneously. 
 
Let's take finance first. 
 
I've been trying to get to the bottom of what the UK's debt/deficit position is. Mention 'the deficit' and most people emit a strangled howl of indignation. "Don't you know the deficit is a tissue of lies fabricated by the right wing who want to impose Dickensian conditions on the poor?" they ask. Granted, it doesn't seem fair to cut the benefits of society's most needy while simultaneously heaping more money up at the other end of the spectrum, but that wasn't the question. That's simply what failing states do – the more powerful grab what they can at the expense of the less powerful. It's all there in the history books. The next act usually involves pitchforks. 
 
But this time is different, they argue. Money can now be created by magic, and all we need to do is do whatever it is that those clever folks at the Bank of England (or Bitcoin) do to create more of it using their computers. And, bingo, then we can simply spend it on 'making things great again'. The country can continue to produce 'services' again, everybody will have a decent standard of living once more and we will be back on track to that future of driverless cars, space missions and living to 150.
 
 
 
 
Money might not seem important if you think it isn't important, but that doesn't alter the fact that throughout modern history there has not been a time when money is not considered important. Especially to creditors, of which the UK has a lot. So, in a kind of back of the envelope way, I decided to try and get a grip on how much debt the government owes. It seems that the total debt is about £1.5 trillion, and the annual deficit is running at about £107 billion – or over £2 billion a week. At that rate the proposed 'austerity' of £12 billion will thus be used up in six weeks. This doesn't matter, according to the economists in the mainstream media, because Britain's economy is doing so well that the annual deficit will be wiped out by rising tax receipts in a couple of years. 
Yet tax receipts from oil and gas have fallen by about 75% since 2008, and will probably drop to zero when North Sea oil and gas stops flowing completely in a couple of years' time (still no mention of this in the media…). And tax receipts are falling as a) more people are in lower-paid jobs and/or falsely counted as employed because they have been forced to declare themselves self-employed b) the larger companies have had their corporation taxes cut and can avoid paying tax entirely if they have savvy accountants.
 
 
 
VAT receipts are flat as most consumers have maxed out their credit cards and run out of spending power. The only way they can rise is if people take on EVEN MORE personal debt – which a lot have actually been doing (currently average personal debt is running at an all-time record of 172% of income, according to a PwC report). But personal debt needs to be repaid one day, and with falling real incomes and plenty of hidden stealth inflation (e.g. food items getting smaller, durable goods getting shoddier, hidden charges becoming more unavoidable etc.) that will become more difficult.
 
Moneyweek's take on the debt situation
 
Future projections of the debt/deficit all presuppose a 'healthy' and growing economy. This seems very unlikely IMO given that a financial 'accident' is likely to happen at any moment. And all the while the structural deficit grows larger as the population ages, annuities reach maturity and the bill for the NHS soars. In this context GDP figures don't really mean anything useful: the economy might be improving but it's not the economy that most people ordinarily live in. Plus, any downgrade of the economy by ratings agencies caused by – say – a fracture of the UK, or a severe credit event, will have a knock-on effect on the government's ability to borrow cheaply  and we will simply end up paying the interest on the national credit card, while the capital debts piles up. The interest on this debt alone already costs us £55 billion a year and that's with interest rates at near zero.
 
All in all, it's difficult not to conclude that the UK is insolvent. But, in any case, perhaps that doesn't matter because this brings me onto the political aspect of the crisis: perhaps there soon won't even be a UK (after all, what do you call a bunch of small countries that are not united?). Since Scotland got royally shafted in their Independence referendum they replied by booting out practically every MP from a Westminster party and instead elected Scottish National Party members to speak up for them. The upshot of this is that David Cameron wants to press ahead with swingeing austerity measures (which, looking at the dire financial figures will actually have to be FAR worse than most people imagine) – but the Scots say they won't accept it north of the border. It's difficult to imagine all of us in England and Wales living in Third World conditions while the Scots keep handing out brown envelopes of cash to their citizens, and people accepting that as fair.
 
 
 
So, sooner or later, Scotland may well get independence, which means that others might want to follow suit. All of a sudden everyone seems to be talking about breaking up. UKIP and most Tories want us to break away from the EU, Scotland, as previously mentioned, will probably go for a messy divorce (and take a large chunk of GDP with them as they leave), London may want to declare itself a 'city state', northern England might want to join Scotland in getting away from the southerners – even Cornwall is starting to get a bit itchy. 
 
Given that the UK's finances are one big Ponzi scheme (what does the country actually produce these days that has a physical presence?) any political rupture could bring down the house of cards. Parliament, in any case, is almost paralysed as the Tories actually only won by a slim majority and will have trouble passing any contentious legislation. Who knows, perhaps even faraway Greece could provide enough turmoil to shatter the status quo should its amputation from the EU cause death judders. There's a simmering tension and people are already angry enough … what happens when they get even angrier?
 
 
 
Finally, we have the energy conundrum. I've been saying now for at least two years that my guess is that we will see some kind of restriction on the sale of oil and/or petrol in the UK in 2016. I still have 18 months left to see if my prediction will come true, but at the rate things are going it seems like it has a good chance of doing so. As previously noted, North Sea oil is facing a precipitous decline. That decline is accelerating in step with the lower oil price, as new projects are not begun and old ones are mothballed due to high costs. Hundreds of oil workers have been laid off in Aberdeen (and the Scots think they can avoid austerity by using their oil money …).
 
Not to worry, old chap, says the media. Don't you know that we'll be getting LNG from America soon, and fracked gas from beneath our very own land?
 
That's the standard response, whenever energy shortages are mentioned, which is rarely. Of course, it's quite ludicrous that either of these schemes will ever happen in the real world. To unlock the British shale gas they would need to turn huge areas of the country into industrial wastelands – huge areas that currently have millions of people (many of them wealthy) living on them. This, in a country where planning and conservation laws are so tight it's a major achievement just to put up a sign lest it spoil the character of the area. And let's not forget that millions of people are implacably opposed to fracking – to the point where they would be willing to lay down their lives to halt the drillers. Heck, this must be the only country in the world to employ magical defence against frackers (it's working, so far). 
 
Let's add ISIS into the mix. At the rate things are going in the Middle East, if things carry on as they are in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, there could be a major conflagration. It's not hard to imagine oil installations set on fire and the price of crude heading up to $200. This, ironically, is one way the fracking industry and the North Sea could avoid immediate bankruptcy. Not that anyone would be able to afford to fill up their cars any more …
 
So where, exactly, will the UK get its energy from in the future? There are a lot of cars and trucks here. There are millions of shops and offices and ports and sports grounds and malls that all need lavish amounts of energy to keep functioning. It gets cold here in winter and old people are already dying from exposure inside their own homes – what will happen to them all as the inevitable energy crisis begins to bite?
 
 
 
So, as nice as it would be to get a bag of popcorn and watch this spectacle unfold from afar, I find myself up there on the stage. Still, not to worry, as we say …
 

Either you’re the Butcher or the Cattle

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

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Published on The Burning Platform on October 16, 2014

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I know many people have no interest in watching the boob tube because 99% of the programming is either mindless drivel or government sanctioned propaganda. It’s the 1% that reflects the deeper themes and moods engulfing our society. Television shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead reflect the darkening mood of this intensifying Fourth Turning. I wrote one of my more pessimistic articles called Welcome to Terminus in April regarding the season four finale of the Walking Dead series. I essentially argued we are approaching the end of the line and the world is going to get real nasty.

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In the six short months since I wrote that depressing article, we’ve seen men beheaded on Youtube videos by terrorists no one had ever heard of at the beginning of this year. Somehow a ragtag band of 30,000 Muslim terrorists, using American military equipment supplied to fight Assad in Syria and taken from the Iraqi Army when they turned tail and ran away, have been able to defeat 600,000 Iraqi and Kurd fighters with air support from the vaunted U.S. Air Force. Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan descend into never ending religious based warfare. We’ve even had passenger planes mysteriously disappear in Asia with no trace.

Crimea seceded from Ukraine and rejoined Russia, initiating a plan to punish Russia by the western powers. America supported and planned the overthrow of a democratically elected government in the Ukraine, with a predictable push back response by Russia, leading to a bloody civil war in the Eastern Ukraine. We’ve had a false flag shooting down of an airliner over the Ukraine by the Ukrainian government, blamed on Russia and Putin by Obama and his EU co-conspirators. The American corporate media mouthpieces have ignored the cover-up of missing controller transmissions, black box recordings, and physical evidence regarding the murder of hundreds of innocent people by western politicians. Israel and Hamas resumed their endless religious war in Gaza, with thousands of casualties and destruction.

UK fear mongering and financial threats barely averted the secession of Scotland from the UK. Cantalonia continues to push for a secession vote to leave Spain. Violent protests have broken out in Spain, Italy, France and even Sweden. Turmoil, protests and riots in Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Mexico have been driven by anger at political corruption, high inflation, and general economic dysfunction. Saber rattling between China and Japan has increased and young people in Hong Kong have been protesting the lack of democratic elections being permitted by China. The world economy, undergoing central bank monetary stimulus withdraw, is headed back into recession as Germany, China and the U.S. join the rest of the world in economic decline. And now the Western Africa outbreak of ebola has gone worldwide, with predictions of an epidemic potentially causing worldwide economic chaos.

What’s happening in the real world makes the dystopian zombie world of Walking Dead seem almost quaint. The writers of this show brilliant use of symbolism and imagery captures the violent, chaotic, inhumane, darkening, brutal world we inhabit as the Fourth Turning crisis period we entered in 2008 deepens on a daily basis. There is a good reason why the first episode of their fifth season drew the biggest cable TV audience in history. The show is clearly tapping into the mood of the masses. Early in the latest episode you realize Terminus has become a processing center run by cannibals. The line between victim and criminal, killer and prey, good and evil, madness and sanity, and moral and immoral is blurred. Everything is relative in the post-pandemic world of the Walking Dead.

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Seeing Wall Street cannibals walk away unscathed after devouring the worldwide economic system in 2008 with their fraudulent financial schemes, corrupt politicians enriched by throwing taxpayers under the bus, militarized police forces trampling the Fourth Amendment, the NSA spying on every American, a private central bank enriching their owners by funneling trillions into their bank vaults, a president trampling on the Constitution by issuing executive orders to bypass the other branches of government, and billions of welfare and tax fraud from the urban ghettos to the penthouse suites in NYC, has convinced a large swath of Americans that everything is relative and nothing matters in our warped dystopian world. Right and wrong no longer matter. Morality is an antiquated concept. Adhering to the Constitution is an outmoded notion. Our society celebrates and condones our dog eat dog economic paradigm. Or zombie eats anything world in the case of Walking Dead.

The Terminus complex is reminiscent of the concentration camp in Schindler’s List. It is complete with railroad cars to hold the prisoners, gates with barbed wire, armed guards, and extermination facilities to “process” the prisoners. Thick black smoke belches into the air. There is a room stacked full of booty, teddy bears, watches, clothes – everything except the gold fillings.The Nazi like precision and attention to detail is reflected in the almost business-like method in which the Terminus administrators go about gutting their prey. The bone chilling efficiency and antiseptic processing facility evoke memories of the holocaust gas chambers. The opening sequence when Rick, Daryl, Glenn and Bob are among a group of men lined up to be gutted like pigs over a trough in place to collect their spilled blood, might have been the most brutal scene ever put on non-premium cable TV.

The callous and dispassionate way in which the prisoners (cattle) are lined up in front of a stainless steel trough is disconcerting and bone chilling. The victims are hit with a baseball bat and then their throats are slit over the trough by men in protective suits. They have become nothing but cattle to be butchered and consumed by the Terminus cannibals. You see another part of the processing plant where human remains are hanging from hooks like sides of beef. Gareth, the leader of Terminus, supervises the operation like a CEO, berating the butchers for not meeting quotas and following standard operating procedures. Not much different than how our mega-corporations are run today.

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The other fascinating similarity between the dystopian “nightmare of want” setting of Terminus and our modern day dystopian “empire of excess” is the use of false advertising and propaganda to lure “customers” into their web. Their version of billboard advertising was plywood with the hand written messages of “Sanctuary for All”, “Community for All”, and “Those Who Arrive Survive”. The Terminus cannibals would have fit in well on Madison Avenue with the highly paid spin artists, propagandists, and whores for the corporate oligarchs.

The signs along train tracks and radio transmissions from a call center like facility showed the calculated business-like efficiency of the cannibals in systematically and methodically luring victims to their slaughterhouse. It is the same techniques used by the apostles of Edward Bernays to consciously and intelligently manipulate the habits, opinions, tastes, ideas and actions of the masses, in order to control and influence their buying habits, voting decisions, and support of their rulers. The unseen men who constitute the “invisible government” use these techniques to keep the cattle docile, fed, and ignorant, as they are led to slaughter.

The government and lack thereof is always lurking in the murky background of how and why the United States has devolved into an infected world of the walking dead. This episode provided some clues about government labs producing viruses as weapons to be used against some unexplained enemy. The insinuation is that the government somehow lost control of the virus and the ensuing pandemic destroyed our modern world and left the survivors to battle the biters and each other for the remaining scraps. The Federal government caused the societal collapse and is nowhere to be found in rebuilding the nation.

It is unclear how the apocalypse went down, but you can assume it began with fear, which led to panic, chaos, economic collapse, violent upheaval, war, and total breakdown of governmental authority and control. It is ironic that today fear of a worldwide ebola pandemic is coinciding with an inevitable economic implosion, wars raging in the Middle East, violent protests raging around the globe, and trust in governmental authority plunging to all-time lows. The Walking Dead has wittingly or unwittingly captured the ambiance of our turbulent times.

When you are faced with desperate circumstances you can either do whatever you need to survive or you can submissively accept your fate and die. Gareth and his cannibalistic cohorts had been in the same situation as Rick and his posse, but they had somehow turned the tables on their captors. Gareth’s survival of the fittest creed was “either you’re the butcher or you’re the cattle”. Human beings react to intense pressure and life threatening situations in different ways. Some people snap and turn into monsters, like Gareth. Some people snap and lose their minds. Others, like Rick and Carol, summon an inner strength to do whatever it takes to survive while barely maintaining their humanity. Others turn into blind followers of a strong forceful leader, not questioning the morality, legality or humanity of what they are ordered to do. The line between right and wrong, necessary versus unnecessary, vengeance versus justice, and butcher versus cattle is blurred in a world without rules, government or accepted norms.

I believe the “butcher or cattle” analogy is sadly a valid meme for the world we currently inhabit. In the Walking Dead world, individuals must choose to be butcher or cattle. It’s a Darwinian world of kill or be killed. Like minded individuals with common values and goals form communities to protect themselves, provide for themselves, and attempt to bring a semblance of order in a chaotic world. The community of Westbury, led by the governor and the community of Terminus, led by Gareth, are founded upon a foundation of evil and ultimately destroyed. Rick’s community of liberty minded freedom fighters do whatever is necessary to survive, but retain their humanity, decency and desire to create a better world.

Our present day world may not be as brutish as the Walking Dead world, though the line between reality and fiction is often indistinguishable when you turn on the news, but the distinction between butchers and cattle is clear. The elected and non-elected rulers of the deep state are the butchers, sending young men off to die for oil companies and arms dealers, impoverishing the masses through inflation and their control of the currency, and enriching themselves through their complete control of the political, financial, judicial, and economic systems. This establishment, or invisible government as Bernays described, is committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. Its scope, financial resources, and global reach put it in a predator class all by itself.

The common people are the cattle being led to slaughter. We are kept docile with incessant propaganda from the mainstream media; marketing messages to consume from Madison Avenue; filtered, adjusted, manipulated economic data fed to us by government agencies; an endless supply of iGadgets and other electronic distractions; government education designed to keep us ignorant; 24/7 reality TV on six hundred stations to keep us entertained; corporate toxic processed food to keep us obese and tame; and an endless supply of Wall Street supplied debt to keep us caged in our pens with no hope of escape. The butchers of the deep state have maintained control for decades, but we’re entering a new era.

Fourth Turnings result in the tables being turned on the butchers. Some cattle are awakening from their stupor. They can see the bloody writing on the slaughterhouse wall. Anyone who isn’t sensing a dramatic mood change in this country is either a mindless zombie or a functionary of the deep state. The financial shenanigans of the ruling class are again being revealed as nothing but a Ponzi scheme built on a foundation of debt and propped up by delusions and ignorance. When the house of cards collapses in the near future, the tables will turn. When people have nothing left to lose, they will lose it. The butchers will become the cattle. There will be no sanctuary for these evil men. Their reign of terror will be swept away in a whirlwind of retribution, death and destruction. It might even make the Walking Dead look like a walk in the park.

 

Brass Balls or Marshmallows: What’s Beneath a Scottish Kilt?

logopodcastOff the microphone of RE

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on September 17, 2014

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Don’t miss the recent popular rant on Secession:

Secession: Scotland to Texas to Alaska…and BEYOND!

Snippet:

its-showtime_zoomIt’s SHOWTIME tomorrow on the Kilty Independence Vote, so we will finally find out just what the Scots have under those Kilts, Brass Balls or Marshmallows?

John Ward of The Slog has published numerous Blogs over the last week looking at the Polls, overall determining it as “Too Close to Call”, although his latest Blog on the referendum seems to indicate he thinks the Nos will win the day unless Salmond makes a final Push on the subjects of Unemployment and Family Security to tug at the heartstrings of the Scot females.

As mentioned before in my previous Rants on this topic, it seems close to impossible that with such a close measure in the Polling, TPTB won’t rig the election to make SURE that No takes the day. One of the numerous reasons why “Democracy” doesn’t work too well on critical and divisive issues where roughly 50% of the population thinks one thing, the other 50% the other. Election Rigging is one means to get what you want in a close vote, it doesn’t take too much ballot stuffing to alter the result.

Slightly less unethical but even more prevalent is the use of Gobs of Money to sway a close election. While even the Koch Brothers can’t buy 10% of the voters in a fairly large electorate, if all they have to buy is 1% to change the result, that is well in the budget. Bombard the MSM with Fear Mongering threats, it’s quite likely 1% of Kilties will have their Brass Balls turned to Marshmallows when they pull the curtain on the Voting Booth…

For the rest, LISTEN TO THE RANT!!!

Coming Soon to Diner Podcasts: A discussion with Ugo Bardi of Resource Limits and Author Jim Laughter of “Polar City Red” on Climate Fiction

 A not to be missed chat for fans of Doomer Porn!

Scottish Independence: Neck & Neck, Down to the Wire

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog on September 14, 2014

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SCOTTISH INDYREF: ICM puts Yes vote ahead by seven points WITHOUT removing the Don’t Knows

Neck and neck, but signs that the undecided 10% are veering towards Yes

There’s another new internet-based poll on the Scottish Independence vote out today from ICM. It shows the Yes campaign on 49%, No on 42%, with 9% of don’t knows. I hate to be an anorak about this, but as consumer research used to be my metier, I feel it important to make telling comment.

Previously, there have been two critiques of such internet polling: (1) it isn’t representative; and (2) the Barker Poll of last week left out the Don’t Knows.This latest ICM study casts doubt on both those viewpoints.

As for internet polling being unrepresentative, you would be hard-pushed to find anyone under 70 these days who has never used the Web: in fact, 95% of all people aged over 65 in the UK do so. So as I said in the last Slogpost on this subject, to call such a survey unrepresentative is daft. On the other side of the coin, if pc users are near-universal, is the No campaign suggesting that it’s ‘lead’ is entirely down to Neolithics who aren’t computer literate? In which case, boy do we need to worry about those voting No in such a manner as to be decisive: some of them may well all be prototypes for Rab C Nesbitt that never quite made it off the drawing board.

More seriously, the ICM poll is among internet users, and its sample size is relatively low: at 705 respondents, the margin of error is + or – 3.8%. So the Yes/No score could be 46/45 – too close to call – or it could of course be 53/38. To be frank, as I posted last week, I think we’re looking at ‘too close to call’….with around 1 in 10 voters still not sure.

Turning now to the second bitch with the Barker poll, this new ICM survey includes Don’t Knows. Put another way, not only is this race too close to call – the Don’t Knows could easily turn it decisively one way or the other. Furthermore, the idea that ‘forced choice’ made the Barker poll worthless is given the drubbing it deserves: here is another methodology saying the same thing: neck and neck.

Meanwhile, a Survation Poll shows the No vote clearly in the lead, but with the Undecideds still at 10% and thus sufficient to wipe it out.

The ICM poll was commissioned by the Sunday Telegraph. So as it’s their poll, you’d think they’d lead with that one – not the Survation one.

Is the Telegraph leading with it today? It is not. Instead both polls are quoted – and given less space – although to be fair to the Biffo Barclay Boys, they are at least taking The Slog’s lead and using the phrase ‘too close to call’. (And the predictable demise of David Haines was more than enough to hog the front page).

I would hazard a guess that the Torygraph commissioned an internet survey including don’t knows….in the hope that it would give a different result to the Barker poll. But ‘net’, it gave exactly the same result.

What’s more, if you place all polling done so far in series, the No Vote is not winning the battle of the Don’t Knows – it’s losing it: the margin is narrowing.

There is an old adage which asserts, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics”….but I have long maintained that this is quite untrue. There are only statistics, and discernible mendacity in interpreting those statistics.

In this case, we have one ‘result’ confounding the bollocks about leaving out Don’t Knows…and then more ‘results’ showing that, as we go down to the wire, signals that the Yes bandwagon is enthusing more of the neutrals.

Let’s face it, the mendacious interpretation of statistics has another much shorter name: propaganda.

Vote YES! on Scottish Independence

Off the keyboard of Michael Snyder

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Published on The Economic Collapse on September 11, 2014

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Vote YES On Scottish Independence – Scotland Finally Has A Chance To Get Free From The British

Scottish FlagScottish voters finally have the opportunity to fulfill William Wallace’s dream of a Scotland that is free and independent of England forever.  All they have to do is vote yes next week.  Without a doubt, a divorce from the British would be quite messy, and life would probably be more comfortable in the short-term if Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom.  But hopefully the people of Scotland are looking beyond short-term concerns.  Today, the United Kingdom is a horribly repressive Big Brother police state that is dominated by bureaucratic control freaks.  You can hardly even sneeze without violating some kind of law, rule or regulation.  And the London banking establishment is at the very heart of the debt-based global financial system which is enslaving so much of the planet.  Scotland finally has a chance to get free from all of this.  All it is going to take is a yes vote on Scottish independence.

It looks like it is going to be an incredibly close vote.  Recent polls show that the result could go either way.  Needless to say, this is causing the British establishment to freak out quite a bit.

For example, a couple of large banks have attempted to sway the vote during this past week by publicly declaring that they will have to move to England if the vote for Scottish independence is successful…

The Royal Bank of Scotland announced Thursday that it is making contingency plans to move its legal incorporation to England in the event of a “yes” vote. In addition, Lloyds Banking Group said it had made arrangements to establish “new legal entities” in England should voters in Scotland decide to sever ties with Britain.

And there have been lots of other warnings of “economic disaster” for Scotland if it does not remain part of the United Kingdom

Standard Life, the pensions company, disclosed that it was planning to move part of its business to England to protect its customers, while BP and Shell backed expert predictions that North Sea oil will have all but run out by 2050. It also emerged that nearly $2-billion has flowed out of U.K. equity funds in the past two months amid heightened uncertainty over what separation would mean for the economy.

Honestly, it is probably true that there would be some short-term economic disruptions for Scotland.

But in the long run the Scottish would probably be in quite good shape considering how much of the North Sea oil they would own.  Just check out the following excerpt from a recent Bloomberg article

The discovery of North Sea riches in the 1970s planted the seed of modern-day Scottish nationalism as supporters of independence cried “It’s our oil!”

Four decades later, nothing will be more important to the economic future of Scotland than the oil industry should the country vote to end the 307-year union with the rest of the U.K.

Reserves of oil and gas would be split, possibly along the so-called median line, already used to allocate fishing rights. The division would hand the Scots about 96 percent of annual oil production and 47 percent of the gas, according to estimates for 2012 by the University of Aberdeen’s Alex Kemp and Linda Stephen cited by the Scottish government.

What most British politicians won’t tell you is that it would probably be the British that would suffer the most economically in the short-term and in the long-term.

In fact, if there is a yes vote for Scottish independence it is being projected that the value of the British pound will fall substantially and we could see a “negative shock” in British financial markets…

Adam Memon, the head of economic research at the Centre for Policy Studies, said: “The principal immediate threat would be to sterling and the stability of the financial markets. The recent selloff is a mere warning of what may come if the Scots actually do vote for independence.”

Threadneedle Investments said: “Given the constitutional and economic uncertainties attached to a potential break-up of the UK, a vote for independence would be likely to deliver a negative shock to UK financial assets and lead to meaningful currency weakness.”

And actually, the Scottish are not going nearly far enough with this vote for independence.  For example, according to Yes Scotland a newly-independent Scottish government would continue to have allegiance to the Queen…

The Scottish Government’s proposal is that the Queen remains Head of State in Scotland, in the same way as she is currently Head of State in independent nations such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

This would be the position for as long as the people of Scotland wished our country to remain a monarchy.

Speaking as an American, let me say that getting rid of the British monarchy has worked out exceptionally well for us.

Hopefully the Scottish people will make a similar decision sooner rather than later.

If Scotland does indeed end up voting for independence, it could give momentum to similar movements all over Europe.

Just this week, hundreds of thousands of Catalans took to the streets in Barcelona to demand the right to vote on independence from Spain…

Thousands of Catalans have rallied in Barcelona, Spain, demanding the right to hold a referendum on independence.

Participants, waving Catalan flags and wearing the flag’s red and yellow colours, stood in a V-shape formation, indicating their desire for a vote.

Protesters were energised by Scotland’s forthcoming independence referendum – and many also waved the Scottish flag.

The regional government has called a referendum for 9 November. The Spanish government says the vote is illegal.

Could we end up seeing a number of new nations emerging from the chaos that is about to engulf Europe?

This is clearly not what the establishment wants.  In fact, George Soros says that “this is the worst possible time” for Scottish independence.

That alone is a really good reason to vote yes.

Personally, I am rooting for the Scottish people on this one.  I truly hope that they are finally able to win their freedom.

The people of Scotland have been pushed around by the British for centuries.

Now they finally have a chance to stand up to the tyranny of London.

They finally have a chance to get free.

Let us hope that they take it.

Scottish Secession: Transition from Global to Local?

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog on September 10, 2014

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OPINION: The World is going local – and the Scots are merely a symptom of that

The reversion to nationalism is a staging post on the way back to living communities

Ed Miliband tweeted two hours ago to say ‘On the #indyref campaign trail today with the simple message: stay with us.’ He being a Suprastateist Socialist, it is highly significant that the Labour leader made a plea completely devoid of the one thing Scottish waverers would most like to know about voting No: why?

The Big State social democratic Left has always used communication in this way: pleas bordering on commands, with an enormous act of faith required to give any credence to the message. It produced slogans like ‘Keep Calm & Carry On’, ‘You know it makes sense’, and ‘I’m backing Britain’…but they all beg the same question: why?

All the Cameron/Miliband/Clegg trio can see is the need for immediate-term damage limitation. Such is the reaction of those who never grasp the payback of a longer-term view. And yet – even more depressing – there isn’t a glimmer anywhere in the UK Überbau right now of any insight asking “I wonder what’s really going on here?”

In the last 97 years, we have seen the formation of two suprastates, the collapse of a former global colonial power, and then collapse and distress in thosee suprastates. I refer time-respectively to the Soviet Union, the British Empire, the Soviet Union again – and now, the European Union.

When the British Empire dissolved itself after the Second World War, initial member delight at being free morphed rapidly into a deconstruction of the unreal entities created by the colonial power: India, Nigeria, and so on.

When the USSR collapsed, initial delight at being free morphed rapidly into a deconstruction of the unreal vassals nurtured by the Communists: Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and so on.

Now that the artificially joined United Kingdom’s collapse has spread from 1916 Eire to 2014 Caledonia, initial Scottish delight at being free will – I do not doubt – morph into the emergence of Cornwallian and Welsh claims….if the Welsh can successfully withdraw from their dependence culture.

And when the ramifications of a fascist Brussels, a crooked Frankfurt, globalist fanaticism and an egomaniacal Berlin finally sit too heavily one day on the three-legged chair called the European Union, its members too will rediscover the divisions within: Belgium, Spain, and so on.

But the trouble with short-term historical events is that (a) they don’t happen in an ordered way to neatly mirror a  long-term change, and (b) the leaders living through them – almost without exception – simply do not grasp WTF is going on. In such a context of unenvisaged change, those In Power jerk at the knee in order to protect the power they had hitherto imagined to be unassailable.

None of this has been made any easier by the emergence of an aggressive but anxious China, the post-USSR mafia-anarchy of Putin’s energy-obsessive Russia, the newly declining American energy-fixated commercial Empire, an AIDS-riddled Africa, and the rise of two religious throwbacks: one travelling chaotically under the title of Islamic Jihadism, and the other trading insidiously under the utterly false flag of capitalist neoliberalism.

But like the ill-fated Martin Luther King (albeit on a comparatively minute and obscenely privileged scale) I do have a dream. A hope that, in the fullness of time, all these tributaries of history will give way to a raging river of reaction: that is, the return of Homo sapiens to manageable pack sizes – and the realisation that family and community are respectively the building blocks and mortar of tranquil fulfilment and material progress.

I think that what we’re seeing at the moment is the second stage of an anti-globalist reaction…ironically made possible by the arrival of that very internet most people see as the secret agent of a horrible New World Order. For the internet makes it possible for a community in Hungary to seek out and give mutual satisfaction to a community in Dorset, Ohio, Queensland, Ossetia or the Yucatan peninsular.

The Bigwigs in Whitehall wish to present the #indyref in Scotland as a potential Sword of Damocles. It certainly does have two incredibly sharp edges: but it is no more than the kitchen knife inadvertantly cutting a finger in the preparation of truly sustaining (and sustainable) meals.

We have been sold political, economic, social, cultural and constitutional garbage for some 50 years. Whatever the Scots do in the end, their desire to go it alone is a symptom of change…and very probably, a catalyst for more of it.

Secession: Scotland to Texas to Alaska…and BEYOND!

Off the microphone of RE

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on September 11, 2014

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Discuss this article at the Podcast Table inside the Diner

its-showtime_zoomDon’t miss the recent Rants on the various factions all lining up now in the Battle for All the Marbles!

Friends & Enemies, Allies & Adversaries

It’s SHOWTIME!

 

Snippet:

…The UK as an entity basically tracks the course of the Industrial Revolution, and as Industry grew, you got consolidations on every level, corporate consolidations and large monopolies forming, and Nation-States consolidating their hold over various territorial possessions which were the source of raw materials and food for the growing entities. The British Empire of the period was the most successful of these, but all the Europeans were at the game, the French and Germans too. You can think of each of these Nation-States as a large corporation with a Military arm for acquiring more resources.

They all were (and still are) in competition with each other both for acquiring control over resources as well as control over the monetary system used to distribute those resources. Although in times of “peace” the Elite in control of each of these places seem to work as a single monolithic entity, the reality is that they all are struggling to be in control over the greatest swath of the earth they can at any given time. The battle is ongoing even in times of peace on the financial level, but through the whole period from 1700 onward has been punctuated by NUMEROUS wars.

A Short List here of the Wars the UK has been involved in one way or the other for the last 300 years:

War of the Spanish Succession , American Revolutionary War , Seven Years’ War, The United Kingdom in the Napoleonic Wars , War of 1812 , Crimean War , Franco-Prussian War , American Civil War , History of the United Kingdom during World War I , Military history of the United Kingdom during World War II , The Troubles , Falkland Islands War

Not gonna detail all the rationales behind these wars or their timelines, but I will drop links down for them when I air this rant…

For the rest, LISTEN TO THE RANT!!!

Scottish Secession

Off the keyboard of John Ward

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
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Published on The Slog on September 8, 2014

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Desperate times create strange bedfellows

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

Why George Osborne desperately needs a No-Vote

Having saved the World in 2008, Gordon Brown is stepping in to save the UK in 2014. He is embarking, with full Government support, on a 30-stop tub thumping tour of Scotland to try and persuade his countrymen that they’re better off staying with the Cameron Highlanders. It’s a shrewd move by Number Ten: people will think, “if it wasn’t for the Union, we’d have this clown in our politics”. There should be a clear majority for the ‘No’ campaign come next Friday.

While encouraging their near neighbours to stay under the post-Glencoe Massacre yoke, the English themselves meanwhile are increasingly keen to break away from the European Union. With the Germans running economic strategy and the Italians in charge of the money, there are plenty of grounds for secession enthusiasm. But Camerlot continues to insist that we are better staying in so we can reform the EU from top to toe. When asked by Andrew Marr at the weekend what made him think this to be even possible let alone likely, the Chancellor George Osborne was forced to fall back on the fact that one of the many new EC Presidents is Polish, and they’ve said they’ll support us.

While I have no doubt that the gallant Poles will, as ever, poke their lances into the Berlin-am-Brussels tanks and give them a damn good thrashing with gleaming swords, The Draper is stretching even British gullibility to the limit with that one. But then, he has created a virtual economic recovery based on QE, banks and bollocks, and even Marr was referring casually to the economy as “in recovery”. The question is, whether the Great Treasury Three-Card Trick can hold until next May. The threats to George here are:

1. Rising interest rates and/or a UK banking failure

2. A stock market collapse

3. Somebody noticing that the manufacturing sector is no bigger than it was in 2010

4. The collapse of the eurozone as a market for British goods

5. The collapse of the World economy as a market for British goods

6. Scotland voting Yes to secession from the UK.

As a man who relishes having his bum a millimetre above the ocean waves in a Force 9 wind, this kind of thing is nothing new for Mr Osborne. What must be concerning some of his colleagues, however, is that all of the above now seem to be on the cards sooner or later.

As the Brits long ago lost the ability or inclination to add up, we can dismiss Number 3 there are most unlikely in the medium term. But Ossie has RBS, markets pumped up by QE, flatlining Europe and Italy talking openly of leaving the euro, the stuttering Chinese slowdown, and now an opinion poll so worrying that they’ve had to Mrs Brown out of the attic in order to scare the living crap out of the kilted ones.

Of these, I suspect a Scottish Yes vote is what Little Squeaky fears most. While Scotland ‘got’ £16.5bn more in UK public spending than it contributed to total UK revenues in 2009-10, this is no longer true, and the Chancellor knows it: Scotland now pays more in tax per head than the rest of the UK. Out of just under £560 billion of public spending in 2012-13, England accounts for £456bn – with just £54bn spent on the Scots.

In short, Scottish secession would give Camerlot a bigger austerity problem than the one they already have.

In the light of this, the Two Gentlemen of Downing Street have chosen big stick and fat carrot: no sharing the Pound under any circumstances, but far more Westminster investment in Scotland. There are three problems with this panicky response: a shrinkage in the Sterling Area may well play very badly for the Pound; investment in Scotland has traditionally been, beyond oil, something of a black hole; and such promises mean more spending, which will further create pressure on the Pound.

As I keep saying, a cheap Pound gives you a head start in exports….briefly. Then, when the time comes to buy the next round of raw materials and food, it bites you in the backside. Also a steep fall in the currency could set off a panic.

Slightly off the radar but also a possibility, Mr Osborne insisted on the Marr Show that we already spend 2% of gdp on defence – a level NATO demanded from all its members last week. This is true for 2013 (it was actually 2.3%) but not going forward: defence cuts by the Government and a rise in UK gdp mean that in 2014 we will spend 1.8% of it making weapons, and equipping the armed forces with technology that occasionally works.

It would take only a worsening Ukrainian situation and/or a Jihadist atrocity inside Britain to blow that way off course. Suddenly, George Osborne is going to have to find in the region of £125bn if he is to keep his word. As he tends to keep his word locked away and out of sight, this won’t cause the Chancellor any insomnia: but it will make him a sitting duck during an election campaign.

My own money is (literally) still on stock market collapses in the short-term and rising rates longer term: these – along with falling tax revenues during a slump – will eventually reduce our gdp and increase our borrowing costs. Then Britain will be revealed for what it really is: bankrupt, and 78% dependent on meaningless paper.

But in the immediate term, watch out for the shuffling of nervous bottoms at Westminster if the next Poll shows an increase in the Yes margin.

It’s SHOWTIME!

Off the microphone of RE

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on September 8, 2014

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Discuss this article at the Podcast Table inside the Diner

its-showtime_zoom

A Rant on Ukraine, NATO, Russia, Scotch Independence and the Petrodollar

Snippet:

…Back over to the Russia-NATO Battle for all the Marbles in Ukraine, where the Saker recently reported that the Separatists were on the verge of taking Mariupol, which would be a huge strategic victory since the city sits smack dab on the land route between Mother Russia and recently annexed Crimea. Apparently something like 40,000 Ukie troops went to the Great Beyond in this battle.

The Clowns & Jokers in Brussels are not taking this lying down, Nosirree Bob! After doing some ineffectual blustering around a Golf Course in the UK surrounded by wire fencing and 9000 Halliburton Mercs, they now have whipped out the Heavy Artillery of dropping down more financial sanctions, this time on the Ruskie Energy Big Boys of Gazprom, Rosneft and Transneft. Inother words, all the Ruskie companies that supply them with 30% of their energy are now not gonna get paid.

Just how long do you think Vlad the Impaler will keep the Gas flowing through Ukraine to Krautland if the Krauts aren’t gonna pay for it? If I was Vlad, I would shut the valves tomorrow…

For the rest, LISTEN TO THE RANT!!!

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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