Returned Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to make Britain “greater still”. He plans to do that by managing the economy like his household. The country will henceforth commit to a strict and shrinking budget dictated by zero hour and minimum wage contracts.
The priority is to pay off all creditors and especially payday lenders. There will be no borrowing to fritter on luxuries – books that are not about celebrities or cooking. The opposition leader Ed Milliband pledged to do exactly the same. Both men called their plan austerity. The electorate gave the job to David and Ed fell on his sword.
In Scotland the natives remain restive and suspicious of the A word. Across the rest of the kingdom however voters have been cynically and dishonestly manipulated. The government is not a household. This is a false analogy peddled endlessly by the previous Coalition – and now the government – and condoned on the Labour opposition benches. Jeremy Smith at Policy Research in Macroeconomics notes:
A combination of government ministers, right-wing think-tanks and the media have for the last few years combined to persuade the British public that elimination of “the deficit” via austerity policies should be the single essential goal of economic policy – and that it is foolish and almost unpatriotic to deny this!
Serious criticism is blithely ignored. Professor Simon-Wren Lewis has exposed the austerity strategy as a con. Professor John Weeks has shown that the obsession with fiscal discipline and deficit reduction is a scam, propaganda dressed up as economics to advance ideology.
The reality is that for the past three years the deficit has risen unchecked. Professor Week’s most recent book Economics of the 1%: How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy was published last year. For good measure the week before the election economist Paul Krugman argued equally impeccably that ‘austerity’ is a delusion.
The Tories won the election on entirely false claims that their austerity strategy had rescued the economy and further savage cuts to welfare would bring prosperity for all bar skivers. That victory (37 percent of the vote, 24 percent of the eligible vote) was secured by the establishment media. As Media Lens observed, it would have made little difference if the Tories had lost.
Another feature of life under this corporate media occupation is that those at the top of the political system are interchangeable. It hardly matters that Ed Miliband resigned in the wake of Labour’s pitiful showing in the election. Likewise, with Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats. Other figureheads will be appointed who uphold corporate-friendly, establishment-bolstering policies, with the requisite smattering of largely empty rhetoric about ‘tackling inequality’ and ‘protecting public services’.
That an elite ‘establishment’ is able to influence policy in its interest is old news in Britain, as it is in America. But the brutal truth that governments are simply a front for a global oligarchy has yet to capture the public imagination. Project Censored included in its list of top stories ignored by the mainstream media last year the operation of the Deep State.
It is no secret that concerned citizens are condemning the United States government’s lack of transparency, accountability, and honest constituent representation. Reporting for Moyers & Company, Mike Lofgren, a congressional staff member for twenty-eight years specializing in national security, addressed the issue of the “deep state” that undemocratically orchestrates unchecked private agendas, while corporate media distract the public’s attention by focusing on traditional Washington partisan politics. Lofgren contended that, although the deep state is “neither omniscient nor invincible,” it is a “relentlessly well entrenched,” hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed.
Professor Peter Dale Scott has written extensively and credibly about the Deep State and Deep Politics. SCADS (state crimes against democracy) are now part of serious academic inquiry. For more than three decades Lobster Magazine has been courageously tracking the twilight zone in Britain. Mike Lofgren’s Anatomy of the Deep State follows his 2012 book The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted. The essay is an insiders view. Although elections have ceased to matter in Britain there is still hope.
The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street. All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council. Certain key areas of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most members of Congress. Also included are a handful of vital federal trial courts, such as the Eastern District of Virginia and the Southern District of Manhattan, where sensitive proceedings in national security cases are conducted…
That the secret and unaccountable Deep State floats freely above the gridlock between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue is the paradox of American government in the 21st century: drone strikes, data mining, secret prisons and Panopticon-like control on the one hand; and on the other, the ordinary, visible parliamentary institutions of self-government declining to the status of a banana republic amid the gradual collapse of public infrastructure…
What America lacks is a figure with the serene self-confidence to tell us that the twin idols of national security and corporate power are outworn dogmas that have nothing more to offer us. Thus disenthralled, the people themselves will unravel the Deep State with surprising speed.
The argument for limiting government spending and reducing public debt is regarded as self-evident. It cuts the cost of borrowing. Britain spends about £51 billion annually – more than the education budget – just to service the national debt. But citizens and businesses also borrow. Some £165m is paid every day in interest on personal loans alone (not including mortgages), and a total of £213bn a year in interest on all debts.
Banks are able to extract these enormous profits and leech the productive economy because they have usurped the power of nations to issue their own currency. They’ve monopolised the money creation process. The scam has a long history. But last year the Bank of England confirmed that banks do indeed create money out of thin air and there is no reason why the government cannot do likewise and cost free. Professor David Graeber noted – in a series broadcast on the BBC – that no politician has dared to admit that the nation does not have to be held to ransom by banks.
David Cameron cannot feign ignorance. This week the campaign group Positive Money delivered to Downing Street a petition signed by more than 12,000 people asking him to ensure that the power to create money is returned to the people. It is unlikely that David will take any notice. Politicians know their place in the extortion racket that allows bankers and the Deep State everywhere to rule the world to death. There is no other explanation for austerity.