Make a Member 
Donation Pledge Online

Headline News

Archive for the ‘poverty’ tag

Harper Government’s Response to Senate Poverty criticized

leave a comment

Special to The Canadian

OTTAWA — The Green Party of Canada strongly denounces the decision by the Conservative Government to reject the Senate’s poverty report, which was unanimously approved by the Senate on April 29, 2010.  The report, entitled In from the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness provided seventy-four specific recommendations on how to reduce poverty in Canada.

The recommendations included many initiatives that are already part of the Green Party’s policy platform, such as increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors, increasing funding for the National Affordable Housing program, and making the Disability Tax Credit refundable.

“While this move was not a surprise given the Government’s track record on poverty reduction issues, I am still disappointed,” said Green Party Poverty Elimination Critic Rebecca Harrison. “This report was non-partisan and drew reference from think tanks, NGOs, as well as direct testimony from Canadians living in poverty, many of whom were homeless.”

The report states boldly, “We believe that eradicating poverty and homelessness is not only the humane and decent priority of a civilized democracy, but absolutely essential to a productive and expanding economy benefiting from the strengths and abilities of all its people.” 

“This is a huge setback for poverty elimination in Canada,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.  “Thankfully provinces like Newfoundland are forging ahead with their plans to help eliminate poverty within their borders. However, we still need action at the federal level to help lift the countless number of Canadians living below the poverty line from coast to coast.”

Written by admin

October 22nd, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Manipulative Extraterrestrial genetic experimentation against Humans result in Global Problems British researcher suggests

one comment

by Dr. John Singh

Sherlock Holmes remarked in Scottish author and physician, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective accounts, “When you eliminate all other possibilities, what remains, no matter how improbable, is the answer.” David Icke has been at the forefront of bringing together critical research insights on an apparent alien link to persisting global problems. Accordingly, consider a quote attributed to Albert Einstein when seeking to appreciate Icke’s research: “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”

Icke suggests that Manipulative Extraterrestrial genetic experimentation/modification against humans, results in the persistence of global problems on Earth. How? Understanding “how” requires seeking to appreciate humanity’s true origins based upon the insights of both ancient and indigenous peoples. These insights are at the basis of David Icke’s broader research, which include interviews with Zulu elder Credo Mutwa. If you accept what the “education” system wants you to believe of human origins, your ability to then appreciate Icke’s research will be impaired.

Humanity has been told to either believe that we are created by “Supreme God/gods” or have “evolved” from apes. However, what if both “theories” were fabrications spread by elites? That is what Icke, and scholars like Michael Cremo suggest, in his book Human Devolution.

Icke’s compiled research suggests that, humanity exists as a “duality”. On one level, humanity can trace its origins to a higher level trans-dimensional consciousness which intimately embraces a spiritual interconnectedness with each other and with Nature. That consciousness which embraces empathy, peace and love, is self-less. That is the part of us that would prompt us to endanger our own life in order to save another, or that feels passionate about protecting wildlife and saving the environment.

The origins of our higher level dimensional consciousness cannot be explained in our prevailing linear time-space perspective. That part of our consciousness, is what remains of our apparent origins as immortal beings of infinite compassion. Those origins appear to “predate” this universe. Icke suggests that “our” universe, is actually a fractal-based hollographic manifestation of a lower dimensional consciousness which entraps humanity.

Alex Collier (who Dr. Michael Salla recognized as a contactee of Ethical Extraterrestrials) in his published compilation “Defending Sacred Ground”, suggests that Earthbound humanity are actually “Prisoners of War” from an ancient conflict between our human ancestors and the Manipulative Extraterrestrials which are jealous of humanity. According to Alex Collier, Earth is acting like a planetary version of a Guantanamo Bay, and which in turn, is a manifestation of an ego-driven alien mind for war.

Humanity at another level, in our apparent “duality”, has been apparently subjected to repressive genetic modifications by Manipulative Extraterrestrials. The genetic alteration discussed further by David Icke is a ‘biological programming matrix’ constructed around DNA. Zecharia Sitchin presents the double-helix shape of DNA as the very shape of a Manipulative Extraterrestrial insignia. Sitchin thoroughly documents this context from ancient Sumerian artefacts.

Graphic reference:

Pagan Gnostics cited this serpentine shape as the insignia of lower dimensional Manipulative Extraterrestrials which they also referred to as “artificial man”, because of their mechanistic demeanour further described by Nigel Kerner. Dr. John Lash in cites Pagan Gnostics as seeking to resist the demonic energies associated with that insignia.

GRAPHIC description:  This drakonic type of Archon appears on Gnostic artefacts (above), not because the Gnostics worshipped the reptilians — far from it— but because they viewed the image as reminder of vigilance against Archontic influence (smilar to the way a skull on a label indicates a poisonous liquid).

Regressive aliens sought to “brand” humans as the possessive ego-driven entities they represent, and that has also been manifested in humans when they seek to do the similar “branding” on livestock. As humans sought to breed into modern dogs characteristics which alien affected humans would find desirable, Manipulative Extraterrestrials apparently sought to do the same against humans, toward an alien “domestication” of humans.

Global problems can also be appreciated as the spawning of an alien mind, that introduces dysfunctionalities which are inimical to the quality of human survival that has been socially engineered through a lower dimensional “biological programming matrix”.

“Adam” and “Eve” according to Sitchin’s research is basically an alien “prototype” of today’s modern humans. But, whereas Sitchin glorifies the genetic modification programme as “upgrading humans” from a primitive “ape-like stage”, Cremo’s insights, suggest that this genetic programme had actually sought to “downgrade” humans for regressive alien purposes.

“Creation myth” can therefore be viewed as an alien story and glorification of its alien ego. Religious doctrine can be appreciated as an alien contrived “counterfeit spirituality” which is part of a broader alien control and command architecture against human free will and sovereignty. In this alien myth, “God the creator” is a romanticization of genetic experimentation against humanity. “Evolution” in turn is the romanticization of successive phases of a breeding program that would seek to destroy human memory of itself, and its spiritual interconnectedness to Earth’s biosphere and higher dimensional planes.

Opening his eyes, he [the drakonic Archon] saw a vast quantity of matter without limit [spread through the galactic limbs], and he became arrogant, saying “It is I who am God [the sole deity of these regions], and there is no other apart from me.” (Hyp Arch, 94:20) LINK

Human modification breeding programmes on dogs and a variety of animal and plant species are the manifestations of the same Manipulative Extraterrestrial mind, that in turn sought to breed humanity. Icke elaborates that the ideology of this breeding program is ‘eugenics’ which in turn is utilized by human scientists against the rest of Earth’s biosphere.

When Icke refers to “reptilian genetics” he elaborates modern humans as all having varying concentrations of a “Manipulative Extraterrestrial” biological programming matrix. The result of this biological programming matrix is an often selfish, and ego-driven consciousness which is in an ongoing “battle” with our original higher level spiritual consciousness.

When Icke refers to “shapeshifters” he is referring to those “humans” who have the highest concentrations of “reptilian genetics”.

Dr. Micheal Salla elaborates that “shapeshifting” really refers to the ability of certain “humans” to act as primary interdimensional conduits for Manipulative Extraterrestrials which have sought to exploit humanity through a genetic modification process. Shapeshifters according to David Icke’s insights refer to those groups of “humans” who have been “bred” to rise to power and prevail over the most elite of Earth’s institutions. Shapeshifters, are apparently engineered as the mechanical “robotized” entities, which are human in appearance only according to Icke’s and Salla’s compiled research.

Global problems, from crime to wars, to the infliction of social injustice against one another, can be viewed to be manifestation of alien tendencies in all of us, which is the product of genetic engineering.

This genetically engineered aspect of humanity, is ego driven, in the images of the Manipulative Extraterrestrial “master geneticists”. It is able to manifest itself in humanity through the insatiable pursuit of greed of power. Its complementary manifestations include territoriality, envy, racisms, bigotry, and these are enforced through a hierarchical “pyramidal” command system.

Icke cites a verifiable “bloodline” of inter-related elites, which have sought to promote one another into power through broadly affluent cliques. These aliens are presented by Icke as seeking to manage humanity in the manner that of “shepherds” who seek to corral sheep.

In the process alien operatives seek to perpetuate Global problems by colluding with one another to “divide, rule and conquer” humanity.

Harvard University’s Dr. John Mack had done volumes of research on the alien abduction phenomenon as being the continuation of a genetic engineering programme. Alien abduction has often left physical evidence of abduction to electronically trace the same humans for subsequent abduction similar to the tags used by human scientists to abduct and tag birds and other animals in the name of “science”. Such “science” which acts without regard to the rights of animals are all manifestations of the same alien manipulative mind.

Some researchers like Nigel Kerner allege an effort to further “evolve” modern humans with further hybridized humans which can further serve an alien agenda that is directed by Manipulative Extraterrestrial “master geneticists”. As Michael Cremo elaborates, humans have been subjected to a de-evolution, rather than an “evolution”, toward lower dimensional planes that is in the image of regressive alien colonizers.

Icke suggests that humanity must overcome a Manipulative Extraterrestrial engineered “biological programming matrix” in order to save itself from a spiralling path toward self-destruction. This path toward self-destruction which has been referred to as the creation of a “New World Order” seems to have been placed on a timetable of 2012.

Humanity “biological programming matrix” can be viewed to be a genetically engineered vulnerability designed by Manipulative Extraterrestrials to enable humans to be amenable to mass hypnosis described in the article “Manipulative Extraterrestrial interests control humanity through mass hypnosis British researcher suggests.” This mass hypnosis is reinforced through the dissemination of organized religions that Pagan Gnostics as documented by Dr. John Lash, referred to as “doctrines of the aliens”. It also includes the spread of divisive political ideologies which fragment humanity into controllable camps managed by fully Manipulative Extraterrestrial controlled robotized “humans”, and that are further backed by alien military interests.

Some researchers suggest that an outbreak of a Third World War has been scripted by this Manipulative Extraterrestrial mind, as the prelude to a “New World Order”. If that is the case, humanity may have relatively little time to revert to our original higher state of mutuality and empathy that would be necessary overcome the “reptilian genetics” which Icke suggests clouds our initial perceptual capabilities to embrace our inherent high dimensional consciousness and be-ing, as humans.

Alien operatives dubbed as “shapeshifters” act as elite interdimensional conduits of oppression against humanity. It was the ancient Pagan Gnostics, researched by Dr. John Lash, which had referred to these conduits as the “archons”. Gnostics cited archons as “controllers” which represent the “bureaucratized face of regressive aliens” on Earth.

Written by admin

August 16th, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Poverty in Canada is unacceptable says Green Party

leave a comment

Edited by John Stokes

OTTAWA — The Green Party of Canada is in full support of an NDP anti-poverty bill, An Act to Eliminate Poverty, introduced in the House of Commons on Wednesday.  The bill pushes the government toward accountability by establishing a poverty elimination commissioner.

Rebecca Harrison, Green Party Poverty Elimination Critic applauded the bill.  “It is critical that Canada develop a national poverty elimination strategy and have specific monies set aside in the budget.  Poverty is a threat to human rights and the single largest determinant of ill health.  It should not be tolerated in a country as great as Canada.”

The Green Party platform advocates for increased funding for low-income housing and childcare programs as essential elements of a long term plan to eliminate poverty.  The Green Party would also remove taxes from the lowest income categories so that no taxes are paid by those below the poverty line and offer free transit passes for those on income assistance to ensure people the mobility they need to find work, shelter and other necessities.

“A poverty elimination commissioner could open the door to discussions with all parties regarding a Guaranteed Annual Income Policy, offering a more just and effective social welfare system,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May.

The National Council of Welfare has estimated that over 15% of Canadians are living in poverty — about 4.9 million people. Child poverty rates are highest among new Canadians, Aboriginals and single parent households headed by women. Canada now ranks a dismal 26th out of 29 ‘developed’ countries in terms of child poverty rates.

Written by admin

June 28th, 2010 at 8:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Rapid economic growth in India made possible from widespread poverty

leave a comment

Edited by John Stokes

Jayati Ghosh: 110 million living well, hundreds of millions in abject poverty who make growth possible.


PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome back to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay. Joining us again from Amherst, Massachusetts, from the PERI institute, is Jayati Ghosh. She’s a professor of economics at the Center for Economic Studies and Planning at the School of Social Sciences at JNU in India. Her recent book is After Crisis. Thanks for joining us again, Jayati.


JAY: So there’s a lot of talk about the growth and expansion in India and China, and especially India these days. We’re hearing again about the Indian miracle. Whose miracle is it, anyway? And is it such?

GHOSH: No, it’s not actually a miracle. In fact, I think—first of all, let me clarify. India and China are very, very different. We really can’t compare them. And all this talk about Chindia and so on, it’s nonsense, because China is a fundamentally different country. It’s not just that it has had much more rapid growth for a longer period and been more successful in poverty reduction, but it’s a whole different institutional system. It still has much more substantial state control, especially over finance. It is still able to manipulate the nature of the growth of the economy more directly through the central state than India is. And because it had a revolution and because it had land reform and egalitarian income distribution it was operating on a much more equal asset base, which then allowed economic policies to have different effects. India is different. In India we never did the hard work in terms of the major transformations, like asset redistribution, land reform, and so on. We still have a very unequal society, of course, income distribution as a distribution.

JAY: Well, before we go to India, let’s just back up to China for a second, because we’d been hearing that a lot of that income distribution, land reform, and a lot of that’s been undone over the last 10, 15 years, and this kind of rise of state-managed capitalism in China is going back the other way. Is that not the case?

GHOSH: To some extent. But remember that the base on which it was operating was still fundamentally more egalitarian. And that’s important because, you know, the major episodes of poverty reduction in China, if you look at it, are the early 1980s and the mid-1990s, and these were periods when agriculture prices rose and benefited the farmers. Now, that helped poverty reduction and income distribution, because there was egalitarian land distribution—it was the peasant households that benefited and became less poor and all of that kind of thing. So poverty reduction had been closely related to that feature of China, which is very different from India. But you’re right that the pattern of growth from the early 1990s has been in equalizing, has been one which has, you know, focused on this export-led growth paradigm in the coastal region, neglected the west and the central regions, you know, brought in migrant workers, often in terrible conditions, by suppressing growth in the countryside. All of that did happen. Again, I think the difference is that from about 2002 you find that the Chinese state is more aware of this, so there’s a shift in terms of public investment towards the central and the western regions. The latest stimulus package disproportionately they’re spending in the west and the central regions of the country. There was an attempt to give more rights to migrant workers who are normally denied all the rights that are available to urban workers. There is now the attempt to revamp the health system and make it once again something which is affordable for all Chinese citizens. So there has been a shift in the recent past in China.

JAY: So in India you’re saying there never was major reforms and it’s getting worse.

GHOSH: Absolutely. If you look at the pattern of Indian growth, it’s really more like a Latin American story. We are now this big success story of globalization, but it’s a peculiar success story, because it’s really one which has been dependent on foreign—you know, we don’t run trade surpluses. We don’t even run current account surpluses, even though a lot of our workers go abroad to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, to California, as IT workers. We still don’t really run current account surpluses. So we’ve been getting capital inflow because we are discovered as this hot destination. You know, we are on Euromoney covers. We are seen as this place to go. Some of our top businessmen are the richest men in the world. They hit the Fortune top-ten index. All of that kind of thing. This capital inflow comes in, it makes our stock market rise, it allows for new urban services to develop, and it generates this feel-good segment of the Indian economy. Banks have been lending more to this upper group, the top 10 percent of the population, let’s say. It’s a small part of the population, but it’s a lot of people, it’s about 110 million people, which is a pretty large market for most places. So that has fuelled this growth, because otherwise you cannot explain how we’ve had 8 to 10 percent growth now for a decade. Real wages are falling, nutrition indicators are down there with sub-Saharan Africa, a whole range of basic human development is still abysmal, and per capita incomes in the countryside are not growing at all.

JAY: So I guess part of that’s part of the secret of what’s happening in India is that the middle, upper-middle class, in proportion to the population of India, is relatively small, but it’s still so big compared to most other countries—you were saying 100, 150 million people living in this, benefiting from the expansion. And it’s a lot bigger. It’s like—what is it? Ten, fifteen Canadas. So it’s a very vibrant market. But you’re saying most of the people in India aren’t seeing the benefits.

GHOSH: Well, in fact it’s worse than that. It’s not just that they’re not seeing the benefits. It’s not that they’re excluded from this. They are part of this process. They are integrated into the process. And, in fact, this is a growth process that relies on keeping their incomes lower, in fact, in terms of extracting more surplus from them. Let me just give you a few examples. You know, everybody talks about the software industry and how competitive we are. And it’s true. It’s this shiny, modern sector, you know, a bit like California in the middle of sub-Saharan Africa. But when you look at it, it’s not just that our software engineers achieve, it’s that the entire supporting establishment is very cheap. The whole system which allows them to be more competitive is one where you are relying on very low-paid assistants, drivers, cooks, cleaners. You know, the whole support establishment is below subsistence wage, practically, and it’s that which effectively subsidizes this very modern industry.

JAY: What’s happening politically? Do you see a reflection of resistance as a result of all this, coming from the impoverished people?

GHOSH: Well, you know, unfortunately, I think that there is a tendency now in India for these very major income distribution shifts and this very significant increase in exploitation and destitution not to have a political voice. It’s surprising to me. Food prices have been going up by 20 percent now for two years. When this was happening in the ’70s, you had food riots all over the country. You had major social instability. You don’t have that today. You don’t have that same outcry. We’ve had a big crisis where lots of workers lost their jobs, people’s money wages are falling. You don’t find the outcry. What you do find is the increase in all kinds of unpleasant social and political forces, where people turn against other linguistic groups, they turn against other caste groups, they turn against other religions, you know, because you can’t hit at the system—it’s too big. So you pick on somebody your own size, or preferably smaller than you so you can actually bash them up.

JAY: But why is that in a country like India, which is one of the few countries that has had a kind of left political tradition that has more or less remained intact?

GHOSH: Well, I wish I could say it’s intact. I think the left also, in India, it’s still, I think, a very vibrant and very important political force, but it is under attack and it’s under attack from both the right and left. It’s under attack from imperialist forces who want to suppress a genuine left movement in India. And it’s been queried by a lot of confusion by all kinds of conflicting, you know, political groups that are based on caste or on religion or on other kinds of identity politics. I do believe, though, that the future of the left is integral to the future of India as we know it, which is to say a secular democracy. So it’s absolutely critical to keep that left voice not just alive but expanding in India.

JAY: Thanks very much for joining us, Jayati.

GHOSH: Thank you.

JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.



Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

Context: As yet there are no context links for this item. → Suggest Context Links Here


More at The Real News

Written by admin

April 29th, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Global Economy’s primary Measures of Development sabotaging Conservation efforts

leave a comment

Would you like to support this not-for-profit investigative journalistic service?  Click HERE

Free Adult Personals. Sign Up Here

Submit a proposed article or advertise:

by Dr. John Chang

Our collective efforts to conserve the quality of our natural environment is making a positive difference in helping to protect Earth’s vital ecosystems. Both the elites of governments and of various corporations, have sought to help spread information on various conservation related initiatives. However, the problem is that destruction of our planet Earth is still vastly outstripping the most optimistic environmental conservation scenarios. Why?

Western Societies have established barometers of economic development which essentially motivates humanity to seek to replace the natural world by means of the expansion of an “artificial world”. According to conventional economists, expansion of measured commercial “wealth” this is the only “growth” that counts. Conventional economics champions a mentality in which the economic success of a society is not based upon their protection of flourishing ecosystems, but on the growing commercial profits of a fewm that results from destroying flourishing forested areas and vital ecosystems.

“Conservation” exists within modern capitalist societies largely as a public relations band-aid, and facade within a worsening environmental decline as a result of exploitation by self-serving elites. According to John Lash’s research on Pagan Gnostics, the drive within societies to replace the natural world with an artificial world in being engendered by parasitic “archons” or “the rulers”. Pagan Gnostics identified these rulers as “artificial man” or an “extraterrestrial artificial intelligence”. Apparently, these are the same group of alleged Manipulative Extraterrestrials which are depicted in America’s ABC-TV science fiction show “V”, as “the Visitors” that can shapeshift into human form.

PHOTO: Shapeshifting Reptillian Manipulative Extraterrestrial character Anna on ABC’s “V”.

It is notable that Earth is being run into the ground as if it is being run by visiting “slumlords”, instead of being run by humans who have a vested interest in protecting ecosystems within the guidance of mutualistic people who are environment-focused and that aim to orchestrate quality-of-living inspired development.

Third World and other societies have accelerated the destruction of their own ecosystems in response to various Western economic measurements which include “Gross Domestic Product” (GDP).

Quantuum Economics book

The book entitled Quantuum Economics: Wage Slavery or the Quality-of-Life? Choices in the ‘New Economy’ by Horace Carby and Raymond Samuels II proposed rejuvenated economic development indices. We need to recognize that our efforts to save our planet Earth, pivot not only our conservation efforts, but also on liberating our societies from economic indices which are used by political-military-industrial complex (inclusive of large transnational corporations) to pillage and also exploit each other and our environment.

Humans depend upon basic necessities like food and clean water, for their survival.

Yet, in the name of “growth”, the current paradigm of economic development jeopardizes the global food supply, the availability of clean drinking water, and in general, the quality of human survival. This book rejuvenates the relationship between ‘economics’ and ‘the environment’, that creatively supports the quality of human survival, (rather than its undermining via so-called “Economic Globalization).

Quantuum Economics is an innovative and unique Canadian quality-of-life focused contribution to ‘economics’, that complements the tenets and principles that are associated with human rights, democracy, environmental conservation, ecology, social justice, and such policies as universal public healthcare in Canada.

‘Quantuum Economics’: What could be the most significant proposed rejuvenation of economics since the 1960’s.

Quantuum Economics not only inspires a sensitized approach to economic development concerning vital ecosystems, but is also a vitally needed context of social justice, that is absent from both capitalist and communist thinking. This book could be viewed as offering an insightful and illuminating exploration of societal considerations that have been so far overlooked, in efforts to develop and implement a truly ‘New Economy’.

Reference: ISBN: 1894839609 – LC Control No.: 2005412272

Acquire the book from Agora Publishing Consortium, with your pledge, LINK.

Street youth in Toronto driven to homelessness

leave a comment

Special to The Canadian

POVNET – Almost half of Toronto’s street youth don’t want to be homeless – getting help for them early would make a big difference, says a groundbreaking study of Toronto street-involved youth.

Changing Patterns for Street Involved Youth, released jointly by Yonge Street Mission, World Vision Canada and Public Interest, reflects interviews with 208 youth who came from all over Canada and found themselves homeless in Toronto.

“Many youth tell us they just want a home – they’re highly motivated but they need help getting there,” says Sean Meagher of Public Interest. “The more we can intervene to help youth get back into housing the less likely they’ll stay on the streets for years at a time.”


Written by admin

March 17th, 2010 at 3:16 am

Posted in capitalism

Tagged with , , , ,

Social malaise including crime plagues Britain

leave a comment

England leads Europe in illiteracy, obesity, divorce, drug use, crime and STDs. Bloody hell

by Martin Newland

PHOTO: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Make a Donation. Support more articles like this one.




MACLEANS – There used to be a time when taking on the Royal Navy was a bad idea. The force that policed the high seas through two world wars and protected the largest empire ever seen was for years the emblem of British national pride and pugnacity. Which is why it was particularly humiliating for many Britons to witness the spectacle of the navy’s finest peddling stories about their capture a couple of months ago by the Iranian Republican Guard to the newspapers. The British had already watched televised “confessions” by servicemen, in which they criticized national foreign policy and admitted to crimes and trespasses they had not committed.

But it was the paid interviews given once safely home that left the nation wondering what has happened to traditional British reserve and the notion of the stiff upper lip. Leading Seaman Faye Turney told the nation of the sheer hell of being reduced to counting carpet tiles in solitary confinement while waiting to learn of her fate(Iranian prisons, one is led to believe, are carpeted). And the diminutive Operator Mechanic Arthur Batchelor complained to the media that the Republican Guard had taken away his iPod and called him Mr. Bean.

It was not long before commentators drew parallels between the behaviour of our fighting personnel and the collapse of traditional British values. The venerable right of centre newsmagazine The Spectator, in its editorial, said the episode “demonstrated just how deeply British society has been corrupted by the twin cults of celebrity and victimhood.” These sentiments were echoed by the social commentator Theodore Dalrymple, who said the affair showed Britain “to be a country of very slight account, with a population increasingly unable to distinguish the trivial from the important and the virtual from the real, led by a man of the most frivolous earnestness who for many years has been given to gushes of cheap moral enthusiasm.”

The Shatt al-Arab affair was, he contended, a sign of a desire by British leadership to be both “policeman and lady almoner, General Patton and Gandhi, Rambo and [prison reformer] Elizabeth Fry.” Our servicemen are potential killers, and yet make good subjects for the chat-show couch. In striving to be both, they end up being neither.

This dichotomy runs through the country these servicemen are paid to defend: Britain is, for instance, a champion of free markets, but also administers some of the greatest and most unproductive state bureaucracies in the world. Britain believes in multiculturalism, but dislikes its Muslims wearing the veil. The country believes in freedom of choice by individuals and parents, but prohibits selection in schools and enacts streams of legislation restricting freedom of speech and protest.

Every year since Labour’s landslide 1997 victory, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and now prime minister, Gordon Brown had delivered budget speeches in the House of Commons trumpeting Britain’s sustained growth and its record of low unemployment and inflation. We are told of a miraculous melding of socialist philanthropism with market-force-driven capitalism. We are reminded of Labour’s war on child poverty, of its solicitude for the elderly, of its sustained investment in health care and education, but also of the positioning of Britain as the economic powerhouse of Europe, churning out dynamic, well-educated graduates who are more than capable of taking on the Asian Tiger economies.

Britain is, apparently, awash with disposable wealth, laden with opportunity, bursting with economic and social optimism. CEOs and union bosses can live happily together, either side of an agreed minimum wage. The social safety net, which guarantees world class public services for everybody, free at the point of need, have been sealed off from market forces, offering care for those unfortunates who find themselves unable, through no fault of their own, to benefit from Britain’s economic miracle.

And we don’t just care about the poor at home. Gordon Brown and now departed Prime Minister Tony Blair have been fully paid up members of the Bono / Bob Geldof African anti-poverty movement, unashamed to divert G8 agendas and overseas aid programs to issues of Third World debt relief and the scourge of AIDS and underdevelopment.

The government trumpets unique and long-standing “British values,” but has done away with some of the constitutional “anachronisms” of the past; Wales has a devolved assembly, Scotland its own parliament, and Northern Ireland took up the reins of self-government weeks ago. All members of the “union” still have full access to subsidies generated in England, however. The House of Lords is well on its way to becoming either an elected, or an appointed chamber, or a hybrid of the two.

The House of Commons is increasingly marginalized and many developments in government policy are revealed to friendly newspapers before they are announced in Parliament. Republicanism is on the rise among the ruling elites, though not yet among the masses. The Queen was forced to give up her beloved royal yacht Britannia and will soon be ferried around on a jet dubbed “Blair Force One,” to be shared with Gordon Brown.

Brown mistrusts European integration, has shunned the euro, and all are invited to shake their heads despairingly at the sclerotic economies and social models of the Continent, bound by stifling employment laws and mired in protectionism and economic nationalism. Instead, we are led to believe that Britain and the United States are natural economic bedfellows, chasing ever lower levels of regulation and ever higher levels of productivity.

To echo Dalrymple above, we are tough, but caring. We are competitive, but solicitous for the weak and the poor. We are modern, but in tune with precedent. We have, if the rhetoric is to be believed, established a utopia where the full spectrum of human endeavour and aspiration can find a home.

But consider the following statistics which, most will agree, point instead to a fractured society, to impending economic decay and the total collapse of the postwar values system:

  • UNICEF this year ranked Britain bottom in the league of industrialized nations in terms of the well-being of children. This is a startling fact, given that child welfare has been one of Gordon Brown’s chief preoccupations throughout his 10 years at the Treasury.
  • Labour has also failed to meet its own targets on the reduction of child poverty, and this despite the extra billions in welfare targeted at parents and carers.
  • Britain also has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe, the highest proportion of single mothers, and one of the highest divorce rates.
  • Britain ranks top, with France, in western Europe in terms of sexually transmitted disease. It has the highest obesity rate in Europe, with nearly a quarter of inhabitants classified as obese.
  • Britain has one of the highest rates of alcohol abuse in Europe, with a quarter of Britons indulging in the sort of binge drinking that every weekend transforms cities and market towns into Hogarthian hellholes.
  • Britain also heads Europe in terms of drug abuse. Cocaine use is highest in the United Kingdom, and use among secondary school pupils has doubled in the last year.
  • Along with Ireland and Holland, Britain has the highest crime rate in Europe. London has a higher violent crime rate than any other city in the European Union, higher than in Istanbul and New York City.

Perhaps most worrying is the alienation of large sections of the country’s young people. These are people detached from society, floating free of family, jobs, education and training. NEETs, or young people “not in education, employment or training,” now comprise one-fifth(1.2 million)of British 16- to 24-year-olds. In the 16 to 19 age bracket, 11 per cent are classed as NEETS, double the proportion in Germany and France — and this despite massive spending on “welfare to work” initiatives by Gordon Brown since he declared, on taking up the reins of power in 1997, that “staying home is not an option.” 

Commentators scratch their heads at how so many young people are able to get away with, literally, doing nothing, when there is apparently enough work for the hundreds of thousands of eastern Europeans who have entered the country since enlargement of the European Union a couple of years ago. One of the most watched shows on television employs police closed-circuit television-camera footage of drunken brawls each weekend in British towns and cities. It is normally the NEETS who are throwing the punches.

And with the challenges of globalization becoming every day more apparent, Britain’s record on education declines steadily, despite a doubling of spending from £29 billion($62 billion, using current exchange rates)in 1997 to £64 billion($138 billion)projected for 2008. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development last year claimed a quarter of the British population aged between 25 and 34 are “low skilled” in terms of educational attainment, five times the numbers in Japan.

An OECD report also said that Britain lags behind in literacy rates among developed nations, and the U.S. Institute for Education Sciences says 14-year-olds in Britain are outperformed by 17 other countries in the developed world in terms of mathematical ability. Recent statistics showed that fully one-half of state secondary schools are failing to provide pupils with a good standard of education, and 40 per cent of 11-year-olds are leaving primary school without having reached an appropriate level in reading, writing and math. Grade inflation, through which the government stands accused of covering up low achievement, is endemic. In 1989, for instance, a grade of 48 per cent was needed to get a C in GCSE math. By the year 2000 it was 18 per cent.

The government remains hostile to selection in education, and teachers remain hostile to any academic streaming within state schools. This means that in any given classroom, a Somali refugee who does not speak English can sit alongside the pupil with learning difficulties who in turn sits next to one with chronic behavioural problems who “learns” alongside the gifted pupil who would benefit from a greater challenge.

And, as part of its policy of ensuring “equal access” to higher education, universities have been told that, in future, funding will be partly dependent on the ethnic, economic and social background of undergraduates they select. It will now also be incumbent on universities to consider the education and social background of an applicant’s parents, as well as the suitability of the applicant himself, in allocating places.

The pressure on universities to accept, and then pass, undergraduates who have little aptitude for further education has the inevitable effect of devaluing Britain’s knowledge base and competitiveness. Employer and business organizations are already bemoaning the low literacy and numeric skills of graduates, and the drawbacks of government manipulation of education standards will become increasingly manifest as Britain is thrown into closer competition with the developing economies of India and China.

After the Prime Minister steps down on June 27, Gordon Brown will finally gain the keys to Number 10 and Blair will wander off, like his old friend Bill Clinton before him, into a world of multi-million-dollar book deals and lecture tours. Blair’s fury at Brown’s grip on domestic affairs has always been obvious. The latter used his support on the left of the party to block real reform of health care and education, and stifled at birth the Prime Minister’s more progressive(and market-driven)domestic plans through ruthless, centralized control of the nation’s purse strings. Blair leaves without the domestic legacy he craves.

But it is probably just as well for Blair that he is leaving. For Brown’s policies are beginning to turn sour, and Blair will be better off writing speeches on the beach at Robin Gibb’s Florida hideaway when the full scale of Brown’s legacy becomes apparent.

Interest rates in March reached a 10-year high of 3.1 per cent, one of the fastest among developed nations. House prices — one of the most inflation-sensitive factors in British household finances — are excluded from the official method of inflation measurement. If included, the real rate would be close to five per cent.

In a country where the average home costs nearly £200,000($430,000), property owning remains a pipe dream for the poor and an enormous burden for blue-collar families and the middle classes.

The homeowner is faced with a precarious financial predicament: new homebuyers are facing an average mortgage of £150,000($323,000). This means that anyone on the average wage of £23,000($49,500)would be spending 70 per cent of take-home pay on the mortgage. And this is before factors such as unsecured debt, spiralling domestic costs including a 70 per cent hike in property taxes over the last 10 years, and over 100 indirect tax increases since 1997 take their share.

If interest rates continue to remain high, increased mortgage repayments on all those highly leveraged families referred to above could mean severe hardship and, some are predicting, the bursting of the U.K. property bubble and subsequent movement by large parts of the property-owning classes into negative equity.

The International Monetary Fund is warning that public spending is too high and that public sector wage demands threaten Britain’s stability. But both show every chance of rising under a Brown premiership. The state now employs a quarter of workers in Britain, and the 900,000 hired since 1997 almost equals the fall in unemployment in the same period.

All seven million public sector workers are furnished with index-linked pensions, leaving the country with a current public sector pensions liability of, some studies contend, £700 billion($1.5 trillion)– twice the national debt. Brown’s decision upon taking power to remove tax concessions on private pension funds has, conversely, devastated their value and channelled an extra £5 billion($10.8 billion)a year to the Treasury. This has done huge damage to Britain’s savings culture and left the person holding a devalued private sector pension paying increased sums in taxation to ensure his neighbour’s public sector pension maintains its integrity.

The welfare bill is becoming unmanageable. In 1971, only eight per cent of the working population was on benefits. Today the figure is 18 per cent, and some economic think tanks estimate that one-third of British households rely on benefits for at least half their income. Catering for the demands of such a massive welfare operation and for the demands of the gigantic state workforce and public services(the National Health Service is one of the largest employers in the world)is the single biggest threat to competitiveness and, the IMF warns, will lead to rising inflation.

Gordon Brown has taken advantage of 10 years of growth to pump billions into public services, but with negligible results. In 1997, for instance, spending on the National Health Service was £33 billion($71 billion), rising to £90 billion($194 billion)last year. Although critics of the NHS would argue for negative productivity, the most generous estimates point to a productivity increase of just 9.9 per cent between 1998 and 2004 — a period during which spending doubled.

And by the end of last year, a service that has seen a funding increase of nearly 200 per cent since Labour came to power found itself, amazingly, facing a deficit of over £500 million($1.1 billion). The urge to meet government targets resulted in regional managers over-hiring and over-remunerating staff rather than relying on increasing efficiency or improving standards. General practitioners in Britain can now earn over £150,000($323,000)a year, and no longer have to make house calls. And tens of thousands of managers were hired to administer centralized targets and implement reforms.

Perhaps the greatest indictment of the NHS is the fact that thousands each year die from hospital-acquired diseases and infections. Officially, death rates stand at around 5,000 a year, but some experts, pointing to misreporting of suspicious deaths by hospitals, suggest a figure four times as high.

The answer to the problem is simple cleanliness. All those extra billions, all those extra targets and managers and doctors and nurses, and thousands are still dying each year for the lack of properly mopped floors and cleaned toilets.

And ordinary health outcomes, measured in deaths before 70 that were potentially avoidable through good medical care, put Britain near the bottom of the league among developed nations in terms of cancer, heart disease and stroke. In 2005, 41 per cent of patients waited four months or longer for elective surgery, compared with 33 per cent in Canada, 19 per cent in Australia and less than 10 per cent in Germany and America.

Taxation has risen to a 20-year high to cope with funding the state and the public services. Since 1997, the amount raised through personal taxes has risen from £175 billion($376 billion)to nearly £370 billion($796 billion). The OECD says that over the past four years, taxation of working families has risen in Britain, but fallen across Europe.

In the lead-up to the French elections, French politicians and businessmen were singing the praises of Britain — its lower tax rates, its free-market competitiveness. A BBC documentary focused on young French graduates pouring across the Channel to take up jobs in the British financial sector. But although personal taxation is higher in France, total taxation(taking into account Brown’s so-called indirect “stealth taxes”)is almost on a par, and the French public services, unlike Britain’s, are world class. London may well be a tempting place for the young French graduate, but France is a far better place if he or she gets married, seeks a good education for the children, falls ill or grows old.

And London itself, frequently mistaken by outsiders as representing Britain as a whole, has become, in the words of the British conservative commentator Charles Moore, a “city state … with a fairly unimportant country attached.” London’s role as a financial centre on its way to eclipsing New York City has provided a vision of prosperity which, it is assumed, trickles down to the population at large. But it is a city in which increasingly only those on welfare, or the super-rich, can afford to live. It has become a playground for non-domiciled billionaires and financial wizards who receive multi-million-pound bonuses to artificially inflate property prices and average earnings levels.

The IMF recently ranked Britain alongside the likes of Bermuda and the Caymans as a tax haven. Last year, accountants from Grant Thornton calculated that the U.K.’s 54 billionaires paid income tax totalling £14.7 million($32 million)on their combined £126 billion($271 billion)fortunes. There is an argument to be made for some of this wealth trickling down — perhaps to the catering and entertainment and other service industries, but the main burden of supporting Britain’s gargantuan state machinery lies with the working and middle classes — many of them unable to afford a house in London.

The central government’s policies, extending to the ballooning public sector and expanding welfare provision, have rendered large parts of the populace reliant on redistributionist state largesse. Added to this is the government’s fondness for legislation and intervention in many aspects of its citizens’ affairs.

For instance, the Home Office, which handles crime, immigration and security, has put no less than 3,000 new offences on the statute book since 1997 — on issues from detention without trial to the correct use of cellphones in cars. Myriads of new laws affecting personal liberty have been introduced, from religious hatred legislation to a national identity card scheme. Bible tracts are seized as evidence of hate literature at homosexual rights rallies, Catholic childrens’ agencies are required to place foster children with gay couples, and protests are banned in the vicinity of Parliament.

But it is Dalrymple’s identification, noted above, of a “population increasingly unable to distinguish the trivial from the important,” that is causing commentators, politicians and swaths of Middle England concern.

A few weeks ago, for instance, a mother, a grandmother and two aunts of a pair of toddlers were spared jail for filming a fight between the children in which they were goaded to viciously assault each other. On the same day, a man was sent to jail for four months for dogfighting. Similar inconsistencies are everywhere increasingly apparent. Tony Blair recently announced a plan to provide pregnant problem mothers with state “super-nannies” to teach them good child-rearing practices. At the same time, local government authorities employ nurses to provide underage girls with morning-after contraception services — the most notorious example of this was when a nurse met a girl at a McDonald’s and administered the dose in the restroom. Another girl of 14 had an abortion after counselling from school health workers. In both cases, parents were not informed because of the child’s right to privacy.

And it is young people who are causing the most concern. Recent statistics showed, for instance, that at least one child aged five and under is expelled from school every week and many more excluded for offences ranging from fighting to sexual assault to drug dealing. Increasingly, but belatedly, politicians are beginning to identify the decline of marriage and the family as the major cause of this and other social dysfunctions including ill health, crime, rampant promiscuity and welfare dependency. David Cameron, the leader of a resurgent Conservative party, finds himself able to mention this publicly without being crushed by the forces of political correctness. He points out that every government statistic garnered over the past 20 years shows that families bound together by marriage are happier, healthier and wealthier, and he is promising to alter the tax system to provide incentives for marriage, fidelity within marriage, and child nurture.

A few weeks ago, Cameron railed at the increasing lack of civility in British society. Citing the case of the women forcing their children to fight for the camera, he said “all these are signs of a culture that is becoming de-civilized — and the terrible thing is, we are getting used to it.” Government’s interventions in the realm of personal responsibility had stripped people, particularly parents, of the need to take responsibility for themselves: “My worry is that after a decade of a Labour government that said, ‘the state is always the answer, more government is the answer,’ they actually created the irresponsible society.”

Increasing numbers attribute Britain’s lapse into incivility to the misapplication of welfare and the disincentives to taking responsibility that this causes. Despite overwhelming evidence of the benefits, social and economic, of marriage to society, Gordon Brown in one of his first acts as chancellor abolished the married couples allowance, which gave tax breaks to a husband and wife who stayed together.

A Conservative party policy paper last year revealed that three-quarters of family breakdowns affecting young children now involve unmarried parents, and that cohabiting parents were more than twice as likely to break up than married couples. Government figures show that by 2031 there will be four million cohabiting couples. Over the past 20 years the proportion of children born outside marriage has risen from 12 per cent to 42 per cent.

Labour’s highly complicated tax credit system, born partly from a need to reduce child poverty, made welfare benefits for lone parents far more generous and, perversely, rendered a poor family headed by a single parent better off than a poor family headed by a couple. An out-of-work couple with children would thus be better off by between 27 and 35 per cent if they broke up, and a couple earning minimum wage with children would see their income rise by 12 per cent if the father moved out.

Britain leads Europe — and most of the world — in terms of single-mother households. Commentators and politicians are increasingly linking this to the fact that the country offers the most generous benefits in Europe to those same households. They recall former president Clinton’s success in reducing teenage pregnancy rates and lone parent households by changing welfare entitlements.

In Sweden, a single parent begins to lose state support if he or she is not in employment by the time the first child is three. In Britain, the government is only now taking soundings on the possibility of doing the same thing when a child reaches 12.

Whatever the case, those couples who do take responsibility to provide for themselves are forced to work to meet the bills, and many children rarely see their parents. Government has plowed millions into child care facilities without considering the benefits of manipulating the tax system to allow one carer to remain at home. There are now plans to keep state schools open for 50 hours a week, so educators who went into the profession to teach find themselves transformed into social workers and surrogate parents.

As a means of targeting the poor and encouraging the low-paid into employment, Gordon Brown shuns tax allowances, whereby the individual is allowed to retain more of his earnings at source, in favour of tax credits where income is taxed and returned after means testing. The message is clear: wealth cannot stay with the earner, who, arguably, is better able to make decisions about their personal financial circumstances. Wealth instead belongs first to the state, which sets itself up as the sole axis and arbiter of redistribution.

Economists and think tanks contend that it is hardly surprising that so many at the bottom end of the income scale opt for welfare instead of employment. Because Brown has increased National Insurance contributions(a levy designed to help fund the NHS)and allowed the personal income tax allowance to shrink as earnings rise, it is the poor who now pay the largest share of their income in direct taxation. A minimum wage earner in the U.K., after the first 26 hours’ work per week, pays over 30 pence in every extra pound he earns direct to the taxman.

The fiscal dynamics of marriage, home and family at the lowest end of the earning scale are thus not governed by the principle of self-betterment, experts say. “The bravest and most admirable person in Britain today is the working-class man with children who clings to self-provision when it would be far easier to get on the state teat,” said David Smith of the Institute of Economic Affairs. “If you look after your children and stay with your partner, you are poor and the kids are debits. If you leave home the state takes over your family and you, alone again, are richer.”

In France and other European nations, child-rearing is rewarded by a reduction in the tax burden. In Britain, poor families crumble, male role models are encouraged to depart, and children of broken unions soon lapse into delinquency and social ostracization.

Government is doing everything it can to keep growing numbers of Britain’s youth from becoming feckless. It has plans to force young people not in training to stay in school until they are 18, but for many, this is shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. The Conservatives say it is the decline of the family unit, the fiscal and practical challenges to good parenting, poor education and the nanny state, that is the root of so many of Britain’s social and cultural problems. It remains to be seen whether the Conservatives, when in power, will make the difficult decisions they accuse the current government of ignoring.

W.F. Deedes, at 94 a national icon who still pens a column for the London Daily Telegraph, has participated in public life for over 70 years. Said to be the inspiration behind the fictional and hapless Boot in Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop, Lord Deedes has been an MP, a minister, a newspaper editor, a soldier and privy counsellor to the Queen.

“I have never known a time when government exercised more control over every aspect of our lives,” he says, pointing to the sheer size of the state and the inroads it has made into “personal liberty, fiscal responsibility and personal responsibility.”

“We are, dear boy, on the verge of a permanent change in the national character. It is very sad.”

internet site reference: LINK

Written by thecanadianheadlines

December 28th, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Featured Advertisers