State Looting!!

Looting is universal. Every country suffers from it. It is merely a question of degree. The UK is no exception.

State looting has come to the fore with the Russian situation. Communism was intended to replace a greedy elite, who lived in unbelievable opulence while the bulk of the country starved, with a fairer society. It failed miserably.

Russia merely replaced one elite with another. The new leadership, absolutely paranoid, set about creating a totalitarian state, stifling all opposition and killing millions.

With the collapse of the USSR the elite – Putin and his oligarchs – systematically, and callously, grabbed all the wealth. While the hundreds of oligarchs became billionaires and Putin and his political henchmen stuffed their foreign bank accounts and built mansions and palaces, the average Russian lived in poverty. One-third of Russians still have outside loos.

You could argue that in places like Africa and India it is worse. All the wealth is siphoned off. Corruption is rife. Politicians (on all levels) and government officials are in cahoots with businessmen and developers to rob ordinary citizens. Huge government schemes and international aid pours in and the money is merely directed straight into the bank accounts of the elite.

These people are so selfish and callous that the levels of poverty, starvation, death and misery they create is of no concern to them. They have their penthouses, their yachts and lavish lifestyles.

It’s no different in the UK. It’s just a different scale. The elite are siphoning off the wealth of the nation they merely allow us a higher standard of living to that of Russia and the Third World countries.

The principle is the same.

All over the world, and in the West, the establishment, the royalty, the aristocracy and wealthy elite are nothing more than bloated parasites with their mouthparts firmed glued into the arteries of the nation – busy sucking us dry.

They leave us just enough to stop us rebelling against the system – and we’re the lucky ones!!

The grand old Duke of York.

The wheels are coming off the establishment.

We have a government, floundering in lies, sleaze and corruption, subject to police enquiries and parliamentary enquiries for law-breaking.

We have the monarchy imploding into scandals of paedophile rings, corruption and intrigue.

It is like a corner of the veil has been lifted. We can peek at a world where this ruling 1% live by different rules. While we are subject to law and live our quiet little lives, they indulge in a licentious secret life.

On the face of it, they present a front of conservative respectability – all very prim and proper – all grey, boring and honourable – but behind that disguise, it’s a seething cauldron of drugs, sex and wild parties. They indulge their every whim. It’s party time! Laws, morals and codes of behaviour are for the little people. Behind that curtain, it’s a different world.

No doubt they’ll plug up the holes pretty soon, paper over the cracks and replace the veneer. It’ll go back to being secret!!

Poetry – The Tactics

The Tactics

Religion,

                Politics and promises.

Deployed,

                Ensnared and baited.

To trap us in the yoke of belief.

Answers,

                Enveloped in dogma,

Tribal

                Differences exaggerated

To keep us buried underneath.

Opher 22.1.2022

The establishment is cunning. They want to hang on to their wealth and power.

They have used religion – promises of utopia – always in the future – as long as you behave, work hard, live clean.

Politics – with promises of equality, levelling up and a far better future, that never materialises.

Always the situation remains the same.

Even after a revolution, it installs a new hierarchy that rarely touches the real masters.

Poetry – Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders

There’s a game being played.

Some play by different rules,

While others are told what rules to play by.

If we dare to move

To a different tune

They create a cacophony

To drown us out.

For they have all the ladders

While we are left with snakes.

The games that I would choose to play

Have no snakes

And every square has a ladder.

But they play by different rules.

Opher 13.11.2019

My tax is calculated to the last penny but they are free to form companies and stuff their millions off-shore tax-free.

I am subject to the law but they employ lawyers to bend the rules, find loopholes and evade justice.

I, like the vast majority, use the public services, hospitals, schools and police but they pay to jump queues, get better service and enhance their privilege.

They influence the law with lobbying, bribes, promises and sweeteners. I am subject to the law.

Privilege buys a ladder to the heights.

They think this is alright.

I think it stinks.

The Establishment And How They Get Away With It.

My views:

The Establishment

The Establishment is made up of the Rich and powerful.

It used to be the King, Church and Aristocrats. They have been usurped by wealthy, powerful business people (mainly men).

The Aim Of The Establishment

The aim of the Establishment is very simple; they wish to ensure that they retain and increase their wealth and power.

The Nature Of The Establishment

They are intrinsically conservative.

They want to ensure that the ordinary people are subservient, productive and quiescent. They do not wish to be challenged.

The Tactics Of The Establishment

They control.

They control through the media. They use propaganda and psychological pressure.

They control by establishing a hierarchy. They dangle the promise of advancement in wealth and power up to various levels.

They control politicians through the propaganda machine, through donations, bribes and threats.

They deploy force.

Why I am opposed To The Establishment

The Establishment creates war, division and conflict in order to further its ends.

The Establishment creates massive environmental damage.

They create a world of massive inequality leading to mass poverty, disease, death and destruction.

They promote consumerism and shallowness.

They do not want education to create questioning, enquiring minds. It has to be limited to specific knowledge and acquisition of skills to enable productivity.

People are pawns to be deployed to do the work, create wealth and provide cannon fodder.

They want people distracted with trivia, pop music, soaps, phones, computer games…………………

How Does The Establishment Operate?

Disdain and greed.

The Establishment and Politics.

Most political parties were set up by the Establishment to safeguard the interests of the Establishment. These include the Tories, Republicans and Democrats.

The Labour Party was formed out of the Trade Unions in order to represent ordinary working people.

Socialism and communism are anti-establishment.

Communism has unfortunately created totalitarian tyrannies in both China and Russia that have not worked in the interests of ordinary people. They have replaced one hierarchy with another.

For me, Democratic Socialism is the only way to create a fairer society in which the assets are not automatically directed to the Establishment.

The Establishment works very hard to undermine socialism. They use the media and finance to undermine the concept.

It’s time the people asserted themselves.

The present wave of extreme right-wing populism plays straight into the hands of the Establishment.

Time to think.

Poetry – New Fictions

New Fictions

Our fictions are crumbling –

God, King and Country

Have lost their meaning.

People have lost their faith.

We need better fictions

To believe in;

Fictions that are better

Than the old ones.

One planet; one people,

One realm of nature;

One home for us all;

To be treated with respect.

Opher 2.12.2018

We created fictions to hold us together and give us strength. But the cohesion is wearing thin. We are becoming divided.

We no longer believe there is a god.

We’ve lost our faith in our politicians.

We do not stand for the Queen.

We know all people are one. That race, nationality and creeds are fictions.

I think it’s time to jettison the old and bring in a new set that we can believe in.

Everyone.

Nature.

The planet.

I’d put my faith into those.

Poetry – It was Fifty Years Ago Today

It was Fifty Years Ago Today

It was fifty years ago today

Revolution took to the streets

In Grosvenor Square and Paris

Students sang to different beats.

In Prague too they were coming alive

Digging the jive as establishments swayed,

Responding with an iron fist

As those rebellious songs played.

They used tanks against the Czechs

And armed guards in Ohio

Tear gas in London

And swung clubs in Chicago

Give Peace a Chance

For the Street Fighting Man

As the Unknown Soldier

Asked what was the plan in Vietnam?

Fifty years on from that protest and change

Now the psychedelic colours are muted.

What is the legacy of the great revolution

In simple terms that can’t be refuted?

Environmental movements and Women’s Lib?

Or just fashion, music and wind?

The establishment’s firmly back in control

And revolution’s been binned.

Opher 2.1.2018

Yes it’s like the sixties never happened.

All across the world there was a new vibe. The young were up in arms protesting. They turned their backs on the greediness and warmongering of their establishment thugs. They reached across oceans to unite in the building of a new world. Nations did not matter. Race and colour did not matter. Money was not the be all and end all. We wanted something more meaningful, more tolerant, more compassionate, more real and less hypocritical.

All you needed was love.

When we met up we found we could all get along. Differences melted like summer snow.

There was a vibe of peace and love. There was no need for violence and conflict. We were all people. We all felt the same. We shared, laughed, grew, talked and learnt.

We cared about the planet. We demanded equality. We demanded rights and freedoms. We demanded that we be allowed to enjoy life.

There was a sexual revolution. A drug revolution. A political revolution. A music revolution. A social revolution.

But they bought it off. They took over. They sold us out. They undermined. They misrepresented. They made their profits. They took back control. And our idealistic dream was bought and sold, betrayed and soiled. Now the fascists are in control and it’s like the sixties never happened.

Who are the Establishment and why I’m against them!

The Establishment are a loose combination of all those who have wealth, status and power.

They include the royalty, aristocracy, wealthy landowners and businessmen (plus a few women), Bishops, Generals Politicians and Top Civil Servants.

They are conservative in that they have a vested interest in maintaining the system as it stands – ie. they want the wealth and power to reside with them and not allow the rank and file to usurp them.

They use their power, influence and privilege to buy, coerce or provide them with advantage.

They form a club. To be part of that club you either have to be born into the club or buy your way in.

The badges of their club include privileged schooling (at public schools such as Eton and Harrow and on to Oxford and Cambridge) and membership of other clubs or professions – hence the Generals, Judges, Civil Servants, and CEOs of big companies. You can join the club by invitation through great success at sport, in the arts or business world – or even a rebellious Rock Star like Mick Jagger. You could become a Lord.

There is an ‘Old Boy’ network which operates to give benefits to other members – we’ve seen that in operation during Brexit and the Coronavirus – the inside knowledge and contacts, meant that lucrative contracts and huge profits were generously given out to the few. These establishment profiteers – like Rees-Mogg and Baroness Dido Harding – made a fortune. We see it with the 44 members of Cameron’s cabinet that were shuffled into lucrative jobs. We see it with the revolving door into the world of huge opportunity. We see it with the likes of Cameron and Osborne leaving politics and going on to make countless millions.

This club called the establishment controls everything. It has the money to control markets. It controls the media. It controls jobs.

If an antiestablishment political group forms – such as the original Labour Party – the media create a shitstorm of lies and scare stories. The money markets are carefully directed to create economic failure. The political figures are either worn down or bought off and the threat is removed.

The only way for a party, such as the Labour Party, to become elected is to become an establishment party – as happened with Blair.

Antiestablishment figures such as Corbyn, with their antiestablishment policies of nationalisation, are vilified and ridiculed.

 Conservative statesman Lord Salisbury told parliament in 1866, in response to plans to extend the suffrage. Giving working-class people the vote would, he stated, tempt them to pass “laws with respect to taxation and property especially favourable to them, and therefore dangerous to all other classes”.

They feared that the people might want a fairer country and take away their wealth and privilege.

When working-class people forced the establishment to give them the vote the establishment set about controlling them.

Through the media they spread propaganda, lies and scaremongering. The idea being that they could prevent the working people from electing people who would represent their interests at the expense of the establishment elite.

They set about controlling the markets to safeguard their wealth – hence we have tax loopholes that are never blocked off – and to use this control to undermine any attempt to create more equality.

The establishment regard themselves as superior. They see the rest of the country working to create wealth for the elite. They give them as little in terms of money and work conditions as they can get away with.

Hence the land, wealth and power reside with a small group of people – the establishment.

They have proved very cunning and successful.

Apart from a few blips – such as the post-war Labour Atlee government sneaking in unexpectedly and bringing in huge social change – such as the NHS and Welfare State – the establishment have ruled consistently.

The Conservative party were set up by the establishment to rule for the establishment – which they have consistently done. One only has to look at today – The Johnson government has given huge tax cuts and handouts to the wealthy while cutting public services and bringing in cuts and austerity for the poor.

The Labour Party in order to become elected effectively become watered-down Tories presenting Tory policies and supporting the establishment.

So the Tories represent the wealthy establishment.

The Labour Party ostensibly represent the working-class (but in fact are still establishment).

I’m middle-class. Nobody really represents me and never have!

The working class have been successfully conned. They have been distracted with soaps and gameshows, drink, drugs and gambling, or deceived with propaganda.

They have been controlled with poverty and threats of job losses.

The establishment have been amazingly successful.

Why I am opposed to the establishment

In actual fact it makes very little difference to me or my life anymore. Whoever gets in power (Labour or Tory) my pension is secure. Prices might go up a bit. Taxes might go up a bit. But my lot is secure.

When I worked as a teacher it did make a lot of difference. When the Tories got in there were cuts and pay was poor. When Labour got in there were pay rises and schools had more money.

So I can see a difference. But Labour never disturbed the Tories much after that Atless government. They lost their antiestablishment credentials.

So why am I opposed to the establishment?

a. I believe in fairness. I believe in equality. We live in a society where the bulk of the wealth is siphoned off into the pockets of a few. I think that is wrong.

b. I despise the class system with all its arrogance, privilege and ‘Old Boys’ Network’.

c. I despise the game of privilege.

d. I believe in a meritocracy. I believe the best people should rise to the top. We see all too clearly in this pandemic and Brexit the way that cronyism, nepotism and the establishment network has put incompetent people in charge. The result has been disastrous. Boris Johnson is a clear example of someone who is incompetent and has risen to his position, not through merit, but through privilege.

What I want

The country/world I want to see is one not ruled by a greedy, selfish, arrogant ruthless establishment – an establishment that uses repression and war in order to gain more for itself, who exploits the majority and firmly believes that it is better than everybody else. The establishment believes they deserve it.

My fears

I’ve watched this naked greed throughout my life as it destroys other cultures, starts wars, uses economic warfare to castrate opposition and is destroying nature in the process. It is relentless and immoral.

The end point of all this is too frightening to imagine. The end of the planet??

The other frightening thought is this:

The establishment have needed the workforce in order to create their wealth. They have used and exploited us in their armies, factories, mines and fields.

They no longer need a workforce. A/I and automation have removed the need for a workforce.

We are surplus to requirements.

Opher On Politics

Opher On Politics

When I was young I was pretty apolitical. As far as I was concerned politicians represented the establishment. The establishment was a bunch of extremely wealthy people who manipulated everything. Who you voted for meant very little because it was always the same people who held the power.

So I did not vote and did not involve myself in their games. I wanted out of the game.

As I became older, and had to work in the system (like most people) I began to see that it was more complex than that.

Firstly, few people were fortunately enough to have a skill/luck that enabled them to work outside the establishment.

Secondly, most people (musicians, writers, artists, actors, film stars, entrepreneurs and celebs) who were successful creatively were soon incorporated into the establishment. They thus had a vested interest in maintaining the system.

Thirdly, there was a practical difference in voting for a political party. They did make a difference to what happened on the ground – within limits.

Fourthly, it was not going to be possible to change the system.

Changing a leader in an institution, a nation or a global body makes a huge difference. In a business, a football club or a school, a leader can affect the whole ethos. They change the zeitgeist. That affects everybody.

I began to look at politics in terms of Four Levels – I called them Macro, Mega, Local and Personal.

Macro Politics

On the macro level nothing changes. A bunch of extremely wealthy people and corporation run the world.

They operate internationally.

Their focus is power and wealth (interchangeable). They use their money to manipulate markets, buy off politicians, corrupt officials, gain influence through lobbying, donations to parties and even more illegal means.

They create situations that pour the bulk of the world’s wealth into their pockets.

If an anti-establishment party comes to power they manipulate the money markets to starve them of money so their economies fail.

They use loopholes to avoid paying taxes.

They put pressure on through bribes, donations, promises and threats to achieve the legislation they want.

They want growth and more money.

They are prepared to use war, environmental devastation, mass exploitation, poverty and extreme force in order to crush opposition and maximise their profits.

They do not care about the outcomes for ordinary people or the environment.

They want tax loopholes, no workers’ rights, no environmental restrictions and no planning restrictions.

They only give ground if they are forced to.

The establishment run things, run governments and are leading the mad rush for growth that is destroying the planet.

I do not know if they act in unison, as a cabal, or in groups, or as individuals. They are the multinationals.

They control the media and thus manipulate the minds of the masses.

Mega Politics

Mega politics operates nationally. It is what we think of as political parties. The Tory and Labour Party. The Democrats and Republicans.

They all depend on donations. They all need the economy to work. They all require media backing. They all respond to bribes, promises and lobbying.

Without the donations they cannot become elected. Campaigns cost a lot of money.

Without a positive spin in the media they will not be elected.

Without an economy that works they cannot be re-elected.

Without support their policies will fail.

They are all open to bribery and corruption. It’s amazing how many politicians walk into plum jobs or sit on boards for huge sums.

The system is corrupt. The tax loopholes never get plugged. The tax is never properly paid (apart from ordinary people – then every penny is collected). The environmental and workers legislation only ever goes so far. The media is never properly controlled.

Nothing is ever fair. Everything (like the vote, workers’ rights and conditions, pay, equality) has to be fought for. Once won it is then easily eroded.

But, for all that, politics does count for something. The political parties are able to work within parameters.

In order to be elected they have to be pro-establishment (or the media rip them apart and people are manipulated – the economy is undermined in the short-term to get them out of office) so nothing fundamental changes – tax loopholes, taxation, workers’ rights, environmental laws, health and safety.

Within the parameters it is possible to finance the public services, increase workers’ pay, introduce health and safety, and introduce environmental legislation – just as long as it does not take too much wealth away from the elite.

So voting Labour or Tory, Democrat or Republican can make a big difference to the working people, those on welfare and the poorest in society.

It is worth voting even if it does not oust the real masters.

Local Politics

Local politicians can make an impact on how money is spent locally. They are open to the same bribes, corruption and lobbying as the national politicians (on a smaller scale) but they have control of large sums of money and can decide how it is spent.

This can make a huge difference to public services.

Voting for one party or another can make huge differences to what happens on the ground. These things impact on the poorest people in communities and the services they can access. They impact on the richness of the amenities that are available to the community.

Voting locally can make a huge difference.

Personal politics

How one lives one’s life is the politics of self. We can choose how we interact with others. We can choose how we interact with our society, environment or the people we meet, work with and are friends with.

We can make a pleasant environment or a frosty one. We can build or destroy.

We can influence what happens locally and even, to an extent, nationally.

How we choose to live our lives has moral/political implications.

I’m sure there’s a lot more that I can say. I might add to this later.

As Roy Harper (or Tubular Sock) might say – we can’t change the game. It’s always the same bosses. Politics is a game.

As Opher Gpoodwin says – we can still make a difference and democracy does make a difference – even if it can’t change the game.

Opher 11.12.2020