Thursday, May 21, 2015

All Monsanto’s Men: Part VIII: UK Gets Fracked, Compassionate Conservative David Cameron Slashes Pensions, Childcare and Wages

The press in America has been touting the losses of the Labour Party in the UK and the reelection of David Cameron as a lesson for Democrats.  Cameron campaigned on a platform of protecting billionaires’ largess and exacting crippling austerity for working people while slashing pensions, childcare and education.  

We in America are told, that the people in the UK have spoken loud and clear, they want more pain and less gain.  The people in the UK love unfettered capitalism, corporations raping and polluting their natural resources and depleting their treasury.

But what has been omitted from the conversation is the overwhelming rejection of those same bankrupt ideologies in the right-wing, most polluted Province in Canada, Alberta.  I guess the seismic shift that took place in Alberta, is hardly worth a mention in the press.

In the UK and US there is no free press to question dubious elections that are conducted on behalf of central banks and unregulated Wall Street capitalists.  For instance, this is the headline in America from Politico, a “news” organization founded by Wall Street after the collapse of actual news organizations following the coup.


Wall Street warns Hillary Don’t be like Ed Miliband

In British election, bashing bonuses and hedge funds didn’t work for Labour leader.

Senior financial executives say the Labour leader’s anti-bank, soak the rich rhetoric helped sink his party in the United Kingdom elections and assure a surprisingly big reelection win for Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Party last week…

Cameron embraced the role of the financial sector in growing the U.K. economy and creating jobs, never once criticizing hedge funds, banks or the wealthy,” said a top executive at one of Wall Street’s largest firms.  “Miliband ran against hedge funds and bankers, promising bonus and mansion taxes and lost big. Is that a lesson for Hillary as well?”

Just like in the reelection of George W. Bush in 2004, although all the polls showed a resounding defeat for Bush, he like Cameron managed to rack up a “huge” win.  My, my I wonder how that happened. 

Bush’s Rasputin, Karl Rove used the mail system to disenfranchise voters, especially military voters fighting abroad, ensuring a Bush victory and it  looks like Cameron is using the Rove Playbook. 

According to the Daily Mail, the fix was in before the election:


Postal voting is ‘wide open to fraud’ and should be scrapped in its current form, a top judge warned last night.  Judge Richard Mawrey, who sits in judgment on election fraud cases, said ballot-rigging was now a ‘probability’ in some parts of Britain due to the extension of postal voting.

Mr. Mawrey, a deputy high court judge, said the introduction of ‘on demand’ postal voting had failed to boost turnout. But he warned it had made Britain’s electoral system vulnerable to fraud on ‘an industrial scale’….

Mr. Mawrey presided over a notorious 2004 ballot-rigging case in Birmingham which uncovered evidence of abuse he said would ‘disgrace a banana republic’.

Oh yes, a “made in America sham election” has taken place in the U.K.  But Cameron had to call in the big guns of voting fraud, American Republicans and staffers from the Obama campaign. From CNN:


(CNN)A group of Republicans visited the UK during its recent election campaign to work for the Conservative Party….

The victory of the Conservative Party in this week's British elections came as a surprise to all of us. I was at a right-wing dinner in London just before the results came out and we found ourselves slipping into talk of what to do after the Conservatives had lost…. 

So when the results came in and showed Prime Minister David Cameron winning handsomely, we suddenly had to think about what went right rather than what went wrong.

Oooh, oooh, I know, it was the mail fraud election that was responsible for Cameron winning handsomely.  That and Obama’s henchmen sabotaging the campaign of labour.

Labour's hapless campaign was run by David Axelrod, the genius who helped bring the world President Barack Obama (Jim Messina, another Obama man, helped out the Conservatives).

Yes, the biggest of crooks in American elections ensured that working people would get the shaft in the UK election, pensions would be slashed and the UK’s natural resources opened up to exploitation.

So now, let’s look at the election that took place in Alberta, Canada during the same timeframe, without the help of election crooks from America.  According to the Guardian, the election of the New Democratic Party was a “seismic shift.” 


Canada's political landscape undergoes seismic shift with election in Alberta

Canada’s rockbound political landscape has undergone a seismic shift with the election of a leftwing government in oil-rich Alberta, the country’s wealthiest and – until now – most conservative province.

The once-marginal New Democratic Party swept to victory in the western province on Tuesday night, humiliating the Progressive Conservative party that has ruled the province since the first term of US president Richard Nixon.

The result marks the latest and most surprising setback to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s signature diplomatic effort to transport bitumen from Alberta’s tar sands to world markets through the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Huh, where’s Politico’s admonitions to Republicans and Democrats to abandon the Keystone XL Pipeline or suffer the same defeat as Harper in Canada?  Seems like the New Democratic Party in Canada rejected the polluting, filthy dirty platform shoved down America’s throat by the corrupt parties that control America’s elections.

Notley led her party from a four-seat toehold in the provincial legislature to a commanding majority of 54….

The election of the NDP is “completely devastating”, declared financier Rafi Tahmazian of Canoe Financial LP in Calgary, Canada’s oil capital….

Among other effects, Alberta’s unexpected revolution casts a shadow over the federal government’s imminent proclamation of sweeping new anti-terrorism legislation, which has provoked opposition from all corners of the political landscape.

How sweet it is.  But it doesn’t stop with the election, let’s take a look at how Cameron interprets his “sweeping election mandate” compared to Notely’s overwhelmingly seismic election mandate.  Cameron has kicked off his victory with payback for his “constituents” fox hunters and billionaire bankers.  But what do ordinary people get?  Slashed pensions and pay cuts.

So, let’s take a look at who Cameron is lining his cabinet with, according to the Guardian it’s the first Tory-only government in 18 years and they are going after the press, just like Obama has in America.


The BBC was given warning that it faced a tough fight in the negotiations over the renewal of the licence fee and its royal charter when the Thatcherite veteran MP John Whittingdale was appointed culture secretary.

Whittingdale, a former political secretary to Margaret Thatcher, and chairman of the Commons culture select committee since 2005, has described the £145.50 licence fee as “worse than poll tax” and unsustainable in the long term. He replaces Sajid Javid, who takes over as business secretary, one of five cabinet posts held by the Liberal Democrats in the coalition….

So, this Whittingdale guy has been chairman of the Commons “culture” select committee since 2005.  That’s interesting since the 2004 UK ballot-rigging in the election was called by deputy high court judge, Mr. Mawrey “fraud on an industrial scale that would disgrace a banana republic.”

The prime minister also said the Tories needed to show they were the party of compassion by pressing ahead with reforms to welfare and education….

Well that’s good, Cameron wants the Tories to show they are a party of “compassion”, like George W. Bush’s Republican party of “compassionate conservatives” that destroyed America.  So who else is in the cabinet of compassionate Tories?

George Osborne, who has been given the additional title of first secretary of state, said after the meeting: “There was a very serious message. There is an opportunity for the Conservative party now to deliver the manifesto upon we stood…

Amber Rudd, the modernising and pro-European minister for climate change, is promoted in her department to the post of secretary of state with a seat in cabinet.

Priti Patel, the Treasury minister, is promoted to replace Esther McVey as minister for employment at the Department for Work and Pensions….

My, my my.  Well we in America know what compassionate conservatives look like so let’s take a look at these British “compassionate conservatives” starting with Amber Rudd.  What’s old Amber got up her compassionate sleeve for the people of the UK?  According to DeSmogBlog:


Fracking Industry Celebrates Amber Rudd Promotion to Energy Secretary

Fracking wells will be popping like champagne corks across Britain during the next five years following the promotion of shale gas supporter Amber Rudd to secretary of state for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)….

The shale gas industry has been eagerly awaiting the post-election fracking go-ahead…

With a majority government, the Conservative party has enthusiastically embraced the prospects for shale gas to provide a domestic source of energy. Following last week’s election outcome, shares in Centrica – which has stakes in North Sea oil as well as UK shale gas exploration – jumped 9 percent.

Look at the bright side Britain, you can heat your home by lighting a match to the drinking water coming out of your faucet, how compassionate is that?  And since Cameron has been in office since 2004 what is the shape of the pension system in the UK as part of the European Union?  According to the Economic Times of India:


LONDON: The European Union's pensions and insurance watchdog aims to complete stress tests on pension funds by the end of 2015, its chairman said, in one of the world's first examinations of how the funds can cope with market dislocations…. 

The tests on the EU's 3 trillion euro ($3.4 trillion) pension fund sector follow the first stress tests on insurers… 

In the low interest rate environment of the past few years, pension funds have found it difficult to earn sufficient returns on bond investments to pay their pensioners, encouraging a move into riskier assets such as equities or real estate.

The situation has got worse this year, with some bonds posting negative yields, as the European Central Bank started a 1 trillion euro bond buying programme.

Hmmm, it sounds like the Wall Street Banks and Central Bank of Europe have unloaded their worthless mortgage backed derivatives into the $3 trillion dollar EU pensions, like a sack of worthless magic beans. 

So how does Cameron’s astounding reelection affect the $3 trillion dollar EU pensions?  According to the Guardian, the voters of the UK voted to forfeit their pensions for bank profits.  How nice of them. 


Bank of England holds interest rates at record low

First announcement from the Bank under the new Conservative government leaves interest rates at 0.5%....

The bank rate has been at a record low of 0.5% since March 2009. For the previous coalition government that meant it was the first administration in more than half a century to enjoy unchanged borrowing costs for its entire term.

Well no relief for working people there, but maybe Patel can take a page out of the “compassionate” playbook of the Obama Administration that helped vault Cameron over the finish line.  Maybe try some pension smoothing to make up for the losses.

In America Barack Obama and his Republican supporters have used “pension smoothing” to line the pockets of Wall Street.  From the Wall Street Journal:


A government accounting maneuver to pay for road repairs, subways and buses will allow many U.S. businesses to delay billions of dollars in pension contributions for retirees.

President Barack Obama on Friday signed a $10.8 billion transportation bill that extends a "pension-smoothing" provision for another 10 months. In short: companies can delay making mandatory pension contributions, but because those payments are tax-deductible some businesses will pay slightly higher tax bills, which will help pay for the legislation.

Companies with 100 of the country's largest pensions were expected to contribute $44 billion to their plans this year, but that could be slashed by 30% next year, estimated John Ehrhardt, an actuary at consulting firm Milliman.

International Paper Co., for example, had planned to set aside $1 billion by 2016 to fund its $12.5 billion U.S. defined benefit plan. The paper company says it now expects to funnel that money into other projects, including share buybacks or investments in new plants.

"It means more cash for us," says Chief Financial Officer Carol Roberts.

See, you don’t have to raise taxes on the rich billionaires to pay for roads and construction, you just steal it from the pension system through accounting gimmicks.  And don’t stop there, there’s some compassionate union busting according to the Mirror:


Strike on David Cameron's doorstep as No10 gardeners announce first walkout in 37 years

What?? Why are the British striking?  They overwhelmingly voted for more pain and no gain didn’t they?

Staff will walk out for 12 hours for the first time since 1978 over a pay wrangle - and they claim some aren't earning the London living wage…

The famous garden's maintenance contract was handed over to a private firm a year ago, and groundsmen are now angry at the company's pay plans….

And it comes shortly before the government pushes through a new crackdown on unions by making it harder to take industrial action….

All the staff are GMB union members employed by the Royal Parks, who maintain Hyde Park, St James's Park and Green Park in central London.

Regional organiser Gary Carter told Mirror Online: "I hope the Prime Minister now he's supporting 'working people' will support the strike. But that may be too much to ask."

Ha, ha ha.  They think the Prime Minister will support working people on strike, that’s a good one.  Remember, Obama said he put on a pair of comfortable shoes and stand with working people on strike, then when Scott Walker busted the unions in Wisconsin Obama was nowhere to be found. 

The union says OCS is paying two week’s pay as a 'loan' which will be 'recovered' over 12 months.

A spokesman said: "This will put staff into debt and wipe out any pay award. The two weeks' pay will only be paid when staff leave."

The GMB claims OCS won its contract a year ago by offering to run the parks for less money than competitors and is now trying to 'claw it back'.

Mr. Carter said: "The taxpayer will foot the bill if they try and get money out of the Royal Parks. It'll be the same if our members are claiming extra tax credits…

"New starters are getting £35 less a week than current staff. Some people are being paid less than the London living wage. They're earning about £7 an hour."

Meanwhile in Alberta, Canada things are looking up for the people after their election that was untainted by the stench of Obama and Republicans.  According to DeSmogBlog, it is all woe is me, in the oil industry.


While Jim Prentice and his Progressive Conservative cadre lick their wounds after last night’s landslide victory by the New Democratic Party and leader Rachel Notley, punditry about the oil industry’s place in the transformed province is in full force.

Even before the results were in, Canadians were being warned new leadership in Canada’s oilpatch will mean very scary things for the economy: fleeing investors, abandoned projects, market uncertainty….

Yet many other onlookers are saying fresh leadership in Alberta could bring long-overdue policy changes that not only benefit a broader cross-section of society, but industry itself, by remedying systemic imbalances that have granted an unhealthy amount of power to oil interests for far too long….

Notley, who has promised to review the royalty regime around oil and gas production, raise corporate taxes, ban corporate political donations and stop pushing for the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines, is poking an exposed nerve for companies already feeling on the outs after the oil economy’s dramatic downturn.

Yes and not only that, looks like the Bank of Canada may be nationalized and debt free.

Yes and not only that, looks like the Bank of Canada may be nationalized and debt free.  According to Global Research: 

There is a very interesting legal case that is playing out in Canada at the moment. William Krehm, Anne Emmett, and COMER (The Committee for Monetary and Economic Reform: filed a lawsuit on December 12th, 2011, in Federal Court to try to force a restoration of the Bank of Canada to its mandated purposes.

In essence, they want the Bank of Canada to provide interest-free loans to the federal, provincial, and municipal governments, as provided for in the Bank of Canada Act.

This money would be used to finance public expenditures whenever there is a budgetary deficit.

“Two Canadians and a Canadian economic think tank confront the global financial powers in the Canadian federal court. The Canadians plead for declarations that would restore the use of the Bank of Canada for the benefit of Canadians and remove it from the control of international private entities whose interests and directives are placed above the interest of Canadians and the primacy of the constitution of Canada…”

Well yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  So while the UK slides down the poop chute to the status of “Banana Republic” run by compassionate conservatives, Canada is becoming a modern day Democracy. 

Bravo, good for the Canadians, one giant step for mankind.

By Patricia Baeten

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