The future of Britain: On a slippery slope

Saturday, Oct 23 2010 by
The future of Britain On a slippery slope

This week announced spending cuts on defence in the UK indicate the scale of the current financial crisis. Even, as a result of the previous Labour regime brought about economic disaster, at the end of 1970's the UK did not have to cut its forces that deep. In 1982 it was still able to mount a successful Falklands campaign. In the height of Conservative induced recession of the early 1990's it was able to provide a significant contribution to the First Gulf War. After the defence budget cuts just announced the British conventional military capability will be reduced to symbolic. Only our nuclear deterrent will keep the British position on the UN Security Council not reduced to a rather indefensible remains of a period when Britain was still a power.

Cuts of public spending in general on a similar scale will happen in other areas. They are also happening other countries like France where a very generous pension age is to be extended from the age of 60 to 65. So be it one might say. Maybe it all makes sense. Maybe it is not in British national interest to remain a significant military power. Maybe rising pension age is good for society. After all people who work longer (in good conditions, of course) are healthier and live longer. Besides industries and businesses propelled by the public sector are usually not the best examples of efficiency and productivity. The point is however not whether such saving and cuts make sense but why they are a financial necessity. Why such public spending cuts are not diverted through tax cuts or other spending to education, research, better pensions, health service, etc.

All the public spending is necessary because of the depth and spread of the financial crisis. This financial crisis is reshaping our social lives. It is done under propaganda of necessity and impunity for all those responsible. There is not much public debate. Having organised a pyramid scheme that pumped the cash out of the economy (and a lot of it is sitting in shadow banking and offshore financial centres), as described in "The largest heist in history", governments have kept taking money out of taxpayers pockets by making cuts and raising taxes, to sustain a pyramid of liabilities by the financial industry (that incidentally has been funding a pretty good live style of its administrators, i.e. the bankers).

In the UK the Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron, naively believes that this is "taking the Britain out of the danger zone". Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact the bankers achieved what the author of this blog warned about well over a year ago: they control, through mechanism of the financial markets, the taxpayers in the same way as loan sharks control their victims with bullies with baseball bats. It is not more sophisticated in practice. It is not a socialist view but a laissez-faire perspective. The bankers are running a creeping October Revolution of our times: killing free market-based capitalism and replacing it with a communism for the filthy rich. As the recent Irish experience indicates, they are preparing to come for more. The present improvements of the UK standing on the financial markets after making cuts promises is an encouragement to make further cuts. Once the "markets" judge them deep enough, i.e. maximising a room in the budget to transfer more money to the banks, the "markets" will go the other way. The most obvious mechanism will be through downgrading British rating giving completely free cash to the financial industry. Due to the scale of the financial pyramid the end to this is not in sight. We are on a slippery slope and any talk about a better future is fooling people. Unless it is a better future for the bankers. On the face of it, leaving political wranglings aside, whilst the last Labour administration allowed (or even colluded) the financial pyramid to grow, the current Conservative one appears to sustain it. There is a solution however. But it requires guts, competence and wisdom.

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Financial Crisis? It's a Pyramid, Stupid!

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." (Professor Albert Bartlett) My blog - Financial Crisis? It's a Pyramid, Stupid! - demonstrates that:  The financial system was turned into a pyramid scheme in a technical, legal sense (not just proverbial);  the current crisis was easily… more or visit website »


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13 Comments on this Article show/hide all

nigelpm 24th Oct '10 1 of 13

If it was as simple as you seem to portray it would have already happened thus.

FWIW, I think the recent measures are sensible and whilst not comprehensive they are an excellent starting block for further action to come.

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Fangorn 24th Oct '10 2 of 13

Quite why we are not only ring fencing the Foreign Aid budget, but aiming to increase it by 3bn per annum by 2014 beggars belief we are having to endure hefty cuts at home.

UK Taxpayers money should be used for the benefit of the UK first and foremost. Given the dire financial straits this country is in how can we afford to pay such significant sums in aid yet simultaneously suffer serious cuts to our own domestic public services. It is ludicrous, for example, that the new aircraft carriers will have no aircraft(the cost of the Harriers could be met from part of the foreign aid budget), not only that but one will be mothballed immediately upon being finished.

UK taxpayers cannot be expected to endure massive public service cuts, and tax rises, only to see more and more of their money being sent in aid overseas whilst their own standard of living suffers. Major reductions in money for the Police and Armed services, for example, is going to severely curtail their ability to protect this country's security.

Whilst some may argue that the aid is destined for countries who's hardship is far greater than ours - tough. That is not our problem. The financial hardship this country is about to endure is very real and the duty first and foremost is to the citizens of the UK. If there is any left over, then sure, provide foreign aid.But not until the demands of the taxpayers of the UK are met.

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davjo 24th Oct '10 3 of 13

In reply to Fangorn, post #2


Quite why we are not only ring fencing the Foreign Aid budget, but aiming to increase it by 3bn per annum by 2014 beggars belief we are having to endure hefty cuts at home..........

...UK taxpayers cannot be expected to endure massive public service cuts, and tax rises, only to see more and more of their money being sent in aid overseas whilst their own standard of living suffers.

What an appalling, depressing attitude. So you'd rather turn a blind eye to third world squalor and disease? In striving to increase the Foreign Aid budget by £3bn, the government is merely attempting to abide by its commitment to the UN, along with all other signatories, to dedicate 0.7% of GDP to foreign aid. Currently the UK is around 0.45%. £3bn extra should get them to the target.

Are you American by any chance? AIUI, the US contributes about 0.2% of GDP and insists that 90% of that is spent on US products and services. You know the sort of thing - bags of Midwest corn delivered into areas of famine stamped in large letters "GIFT FROM THE UNITED STATES". How sick!!

You know what, I often wonder what an alien visitor from space, circumnavigating the Earth, would make of looking down at two thirds of humans totally impoverished whilst the remaining third were effectively whooping it up in comparison. Have you no compassion, no conscience, no sense of fairness to the common good of man in your veins?

Apologies to Greg Pytel for veering O/T.


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Isaac 25th Oct '10 4 of 13

I'm with Davjo with this. Don't care about the cuts and shrinking of the public sector, that is not an excuse for not giving aid to 3rd world countries.

If anything we are actually not doing enough.

Britain shoulfd contribute ALOT more as should the rest of the Western world to help those that don't have the opportunity the rest of us have.

The 3rd world people can work incredibly hard but not be succesful as they don't have the opporiutinites we all take for granted.

Those individuals in the UK that make the effort and work their buts off will do just fine even with the cuts. Whereas even with the British Aid most of the third world will still be in poverty and the aid will never be enough!

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Fangorn 25th Oct '10 5 of 13


It's an appalling and depressing attitude that UK citizens are suffering, our public services being cut to the bone, and our armed services being depleted of necessary equipment purely so we can maintain and then increase foreign Aid.

I never said anything about turning a blind eye to third world poverty or disease - there are many ways we, in union with other countries can provide alternative aid. I certainly don't think we should be giving money,particularly when this country is so hard up.

Donating 6bn pound a year , the majority of which goes straight into the swiss bank accounts of many of these African despots, their flash cars and private jets is not what we should be doing.

And no I'm not American. I'm British. And am fed up with how the needs of the British people are continually being put second because we have to pay huge sums unnecessarily in foreign Aid, in EU contributions, and in general to the many undeserving welfare parasites who seem to think having numerous children is a way of life that will be funded by the hard working tax payer.

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Isaac 25th Oct '10 6 of 13

It's an appalling and depressing attitude that UK citizens are suffering, our public services being cut to the bone, and our armed services being depleted of necessary equipment purely so we can maintain and then increase foreign Aid.

Where are the people suffering? I still see state handouts....

The government should cut all benefits. have a much smaller government with half the mps and tell people to go and make their own way in life.

That is how it is in the 3rd world (maytbe not smaller government), we may then see what real suffering is like.

IT is ridiculous the number of benefits people have recieved the last 30 years, they got so used to it that it is now a shock to the system that we are seeing small cuts to the budget!

It is a start and I hope it continues, then we can have lower taxes and Britain can once more be GREAT!

If you want something to complain about then moan about the war in Afghanistan/Iraq - What a waste of money, troops are killing innocent people in foreign countries as revealed by wikileaks.

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Fangorn 25th Oct '10 7 of 13

You forget the ever increasing TAXATION burden being felt by those who are moderately successful or honest. we all know the parasites are getting by fine and dandy on their 26k with their Sky Tv, Flat screens.,

Oh I agree Isaac- the welfare state should be cut to the bone. It was contrived to be a safety net, not the way of life it has now become. It is absolutely amazing that there are families out there receiving more than 26k per year in welfare for doing bugger all - incredible when you also realise there are those out there who working 18 hour days for a measly 18-20k per annum and have to pay taxes to fund the former.

Sorry, I'm pro our military involvement in Afghanistan. As well as that in Iraq.

Likewise I too hope "We can have lower taxes and Britain can once more be GREAT!" but at the moment increased taxation, falling standards of living beckon and ludicrous decisions like having no aircraft for the aircraft carriers will arise.

Sort out our own financial problems first before donating foreign Aid.

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arkleseizure 25th Oct '10 8 of 13

Is it the role of the state to extort money from its citizens and then give it away to a nuclear power with a space program, a larger Navy, and a parliamentary democracy to oversee disposal of tax revenue according to popular will?.

As for the old Guardian canard that the US are mean, money grabbing and lacking a sense of social justice, here's a list of nations and their per capita charitable giving (AFAAIK real charity - individuals giving, rather than baby kissing grand standing politicians giving other peoples earnings away). I think this must be a socialist/classic liberal thing; the socialists see charity as a government role - a form of social justice, the liberal a private duty. I would guess that private giving is less likely to involve huge administrative rake offs and dodgy deals with foreign potentates - if this came to light private donations would stop, quangocrats may turn a blind eye.

some old data - (the source site is down)
COUNTRY................PER CAP. GIVING

Czech Republic..................25

(NOTE: amounts given are in Euros)
(This site appears to be down - I remember similar stats elsewhere though)

We havent actually earned the tax revenue being given away anyway. We've borrowed it on our children's behalf to pay back along with the cost of their higher education. The lender may well be the Chinese - instead of spending the returns of their industrial effort on themselves, raising the living standards in their bit of the third world by consumption- they are investing in UK guilts. But we are creating inflation with quantitative easing, so they will get less food/fuel/raw materials when they cash in the bonds, and their people with be the poorer.

It is classic Toynbee to attack the average family for being mean and unfeeling when they question the need of the state to take 500 pounds from their pockets each year and give it away oversees. The Benns and Toynbees of this world, the wealthy socialists (inherited) realy dont stand muster when they condemn the wicked capitalists of the USA, as many rich Yanks have given away vast sums of personal wealth, so that their children inherit relatively little. Bill Gates, Buffet, Huntsman, Carnegie etc come to mind. Though I dont know for certain, I doubt if Benn or Toynbee privately give proportionately as much as Gates or Huntsman. Who has the more appalling, depressing attitude, Toynbee or Gates?.

A US flag on a grain bag does not change the nature of the contents, it is doubtful if the hungry recipient would ever see the bag, (or indeed in the socialist republic of North Korea, the contents) or be able to read the writing if she did.

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Isaac 25th Oct '10 9 of 13

Sorry, I'm pro our military involvement in Afghanistan. As well as that in Iraq.

Why? We went to Iraq as the British government told us they had WMD. They did'nt. How can I be supportive of this war which kills innocent people for no damn good reason?

How would you feel if Iraq invaded the UK and started shooting at the general public on the street?

Why does it make it ok for the bullies of the western world to go to foreign 3rd world countries and kill innocent people? Don't you think these people suffer enough from poverty?

You did see the news from Wikileaks last week right? I'm sure there is lots more of this hidden low life acts that go on which the very western media chooses not to show.

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Fangorn 25th Oct '10 10 of 13

Spot on Arkleseizure on all fronts.

Re Iraq - I would've thought getting rid of that atrocious dictator who used chemical warfare on his own people was reason enough frankly.

The rest of your commentary is frankly engaging in a pointless argument.

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Fangorn 25th Oct '10 11 of 13

In reply to arkleseizure, post #8

Is it the role of the state to extort money from its citizens and then give it away to a nuclear power with a space program, a larger Navy, and a parliamentary democracy to oversee disposal of tax revenue according to popular will?.

I find this bit even more ludicrous. Why are we giving India 800m pounds aid when they've their own nuclear deterrent, a larger navy and Armed forces. Similarly we give 500m pounds a year in aid to China - the country with $1trillion dollars of reserves. Surely poverty in these countries is the responsibility of those with the wherewithal in these countries. it is not for the British taxpayer to finance! The are many others I'm sure where financial aid is being given by this government,and previous ones, whilst at the same time effecting a reduction in standards of living for UK citizens. Don't forget, many UK patients are unable to receive numerous treatments because apparently we can't afford them - if we can't afford them how can we afford to give billions away in Aid?

Given how you feel about Foriegn Aid, and how we should do even more Isaac perhaps you can be the one to speak to the next poor individual who has been told that the treatments they require are too expensive and we can't afford it.(Or have you forgotten about "Nice" rationing?)

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arkleseizure 25th Oct '10 12 of 13

Hi Fangorn, I think the case against the Americans could be made for some individuals, there is the odd rotten apple. One presidential candidate, a millionaire, had a brother who lives on less than a dollar a month in a Nairobi slum.** As a socialist millionaire, he probably thinks his brother is the states responsibilty, and is shocking that the government doesnt send more tax dollars.

Bastiat had the measure of socialists many years ago:
It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education and morality throughout the nation.
Brilliant insights that are as relevent today as when they were written.


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siriusconsultants 29th Nov '10 13 of 13

As I understood it the aid budget is being channelled through IMF and other lending banks i.e its a damn loan to 3rd world countries not a free handout. !

Some South Asian countries have laready said NO THANK YOU SIR for your so called AID!

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About Greg Pytel

Greg Pytel

Greg Pytel is a quantitative risk expert & international business development consultant. He has extensive international experience advising governments and companies within the area of hydrocarbons exploration and international telecommunication licensing. He started his career with Shell Exploration in 1990 and continued with Petroleum Geo-Services in Norway. From 2000 he has been involved with private consulting practice that also covered fraud risk assessment and investigations. more »

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