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Scottish Referendum

Saint Bob Geldorf – charlatan – saviour – Greek Tragedy or just misunderstood?

IRISH SINGER and humanitarian Bob Geldof

March 2011: Bob Geldof to receive honorary doctorate From Israeli University

Irish musician and activist Bob Geldof will receive an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Geldof’s paternal grandfather, a Belgian chef, married a Jewish woman, Amelia Falk, in London before moving to Ireland.

The honorary doctorate from BGU will be the latest in a string of honours conferred upon the musician – who has also received a lifetime achievement for outstanding contribution to the music industry, an honorary knighthood as Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II and a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.  While in Israel, Geldof will also participate in the IsraAID conference, “Israel in Africa – Past, Present and Future.”

http://www.jpost.com/Features/In-Thespotlight/Bob-Geldof-to-receive-BGU-honorary-doctorate

 

 

Bob Geldof at a business awards ceremony. He was at a Super Return International Investment conference recently asking for mega-bucks

 

 

 

 

June 2016: How Saint Bob became (in his own words) a  ‘private equity whore’ by launching £125m fund

  • Geldof is chairman of firm seeking to make large profits for its rich clients by investing in – of all places – Africa
  • ‘My name is Bob. I’m a PE [private equity] whore and I’m looking for £25million,’ he said during speech to investors
  • Geldof has sunk a substantial amount of cash from his £32m fortune into the 8 Miles fund
  • Fund’s managers are ploughing money into agriculture, financial services, health and telecommunications firms on behalf of its rich investors

 

He made his name raising charity aid for Africa. So how can Bob Geldof justify spearheading a fund that could make him massive profits from the continent?As its name would imply, the annual Super Return International investment conference is not the sort of event where little old ladies seek advice on what to do with their life savings. Instead, the invitation-only jamboree sees billionaire big beasts and corporate raiders of global finance descend on Berlin in their private jets in search of one thing — mega-bucks. At its latest meeting a few weeks ago, the keynote speaker cut a distinctly out-of-place figure.Although Bob Geldof may have looked typically unkempt as he loped on stage, within minutes he had the super-rich audience eating out of the palm of his hand. And for once, the ex-Boomtown Rats frontman’s message was not an impassioned — and expletive-strewn — plea for the well-heeled contingent to offer up some of their millions to help Africa’s poor.  Instead, this was Geldof in his new incarnation, as chairman of a £125 million private equity firm, seeking to make large profits for its rich clients by investing in — of all places — Africa.

Certainly, he appears to have taken to the role like a duck to water.  During another speech to potential investors, Geldof began in typically blunt fashion: ‘My name is Bob. I’m a PE [private equity] whore and I’m looking for £25 million.’ You could be forgiven for thinking that the Live Aid founder and tireless campaigner for Africa has morphed into Gordon Gekko, the ‘greed is good’ trader played by Michael Douglas in the film Wall Street. Geldof has sunk a substantial amount of cash from his £32 million fortune — though his spokesman refuses to say exactly how much — into the fund. It is called 8 Miles, after the shortest distance between Southern Europe and North Africa.

 

 

 

 

June 2016: Battle of the Thames: Is this what multi-millionaire –  Non-Dom Bob Geldof thinks of British fishermen’s EU protest?

Farage led a fleet of Brexit-supporting fishermen through Tower Bridge, in a colourful stunt that drew crowds to the riverside.But Geldof and an assortment of Remain activists in dinghy’s and hired craft and joined the flotilla. Boomtown Rats music blared from a deafening speaker system as Geldof taunted Brexit campaigners, infuriating onlookers and Farage.
Geldof appeared to make a rude hand gesture at Farage’s flotilla The Ukip leader said the singer’s actions were “just disgusting”. He added:  “These are communities that have been devastated. These are communities that no-one has listened to for years.  They are here today, they have taken – some of them – several days out of their working week to come and make their protest, to say ‘Look, we want to take back control of our seas, we want to get jobs back in this industry. To see multimillionaires frankly mocking them is a pretty shameful sight.”
http://thisisengland.org.uk/battle-of-the-thames-is-this-what-bob-geldof-thinks-of-british-fishermens-eu-protest/

 

 

 

Davington Priory, a mansion near Faversham, Kent. One of Geldorf’s homes

 

 

 

 

Bob Geldof – Tax avoidance – and Home ownership

“Land Registry documents show that his luxury apartment in Battersea, South London, is owned by a company called Quiet Ventures, while Davington Priory, a mansion near Faversham, Kent, is owned by Bandol Holdings. Both companies are registered in the British Virgin Islands and have London contact addresses linked to Geldof’s accountants, O.J. Kilkenny.

As Geldof is a non-domiciled taxpayer, it means the houses – together worth an estimated £4m – would avoid the normal inheritance tax of 40%, or £1.6m.”

http://taxjustice.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/melua-vs-geldof-bono.html

 

 

 

November 2014: The immorality of tax avoidance and The hypocrisy of Bob Geldof

Businesses depend on a workforce expensively trained by a state education system, and kept healthy by state healthcare. They depend on state-funded infrastructure such as roads and transport, a bailed-out financial system and a system of law and order that protects them and their property. By not paying their taxes, the workforce is forced to subsidise tax avoiders.  “Tax avoidance is robbery, regardless of what any silver-tongued outrider of the corporate world says.”

Given that tax avoidance is such an incontrovertibly bad thing then, it is difficult to understand why Bob Geldof  responded “bollocks” to a suggestion by a Sky News reporter  that fundraisers such as Band Aid 30 would perhaps be unnecessary if more of the wealthy individuals involved paid their taxes properly.

Geldof is a prominent charity campaigner and, one would be forgiven for thinking, not a free market zealot. Why then was he so hostile towards such a valid concern?

Assuming that Geldof wasn’t disagreeing with the argument’s premise. That some of the musicians involved in his fundraiser avoid tax would be a difficult point for him to contest. For one thing, he is himself a registered non-domicile, meaning he is free to avoid income and capital gains tax on international earnings.

Other than sheer denial, the only other explanation for Geldof’s response is that he considers tax avoidance defensible in some sense. Indeed, one can quite easily see how he might be tempted into thinking such a thing.

Band Aid raises millions of pounds for humanitarian aid, and – in spite of the fact that some of the artists involved avoid tax – surely this doesn’t morally forfeit the cause? Indeed, Geldof has played such a charity card before.

When questioned by a reporter about his tax affairs, Geldof responded, “I pay all my taxes, my time? Is that not a tax?” The bottom line seems to be that if you’re wealthy and doing something charitable with your money, avoiding tax is an entitled perk.

If Bob Geldof really wants to help the developing world, he should use his platform to lobby businesses to pay their corporation tax. Defending tax avoidance through his indifferent practice of it and his rubbishing of its criticism on live TV, is two steps backwards and one step forward for his campaign.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/12/eu-crack-down-tax-avoiders-jean-claude-juncker

http://www.cherwell.org/2014/11/26/the-hypocrisy-of-bob-geldof/

 

 

Geldof

 

 

 

 

 

August 2014: The Scottish Referendum and Bob Geldorf

The recent intervention by Sir Bob seeking to influence the outcome of the Scottish referendum brought back memories of Bob and his punk rock group, “Boomtown Rats”. As is the case with the vast bulk of groups they had one hit record then declined and largely disappeared. Not Bob. He met up with, Paula Yates, married her in the celebrity wedding of the year and remained in the public eye, through her. That is until the Ethiopia Famine and, “Live Aid” . Bob and the bulk of the entertainment world raised over £100million and through the provision of aid saved the nation from disaster. Or did they???

At a news conference many years after Bob launched a scathing attack on a female journalist who asked him if it was true his personal net worth exceeded £50Million. Included in his response was a claim that his newly launched African Charity, (there have been a number since, “live aid”) employed over 500 personnel, all paid for by himself.

Another correspondent spoke up and reminded Bob that every penny he had accumulated had been a charitable donation and by result all expenditure through his company, in support of African countries needed to be credited to donors.

Another correspondent inquired of Bob as to why he was registered as a, “Non-Dom” since this deprived the UK treasury of any contribution of tax from himself at a time the government had committed even more financial aid to Africa. His reply was that the time he donated free of charge to charity was more than enough.

So far as Scottish independence is concerned, his intervention, “takes the biscuit” given his nationality. A follow up might question Bob about Irish Independence. I expect he wishes Ireland had stayed with England since he was Knighted by a descendent of, “Good Queen Bess”.   http://debirhan.com/?p=676

 

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.anomalies.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Peaches-Geldof-at-Glastonbury-2013.jpg

Peaches Geldorf and husband Thomas Cohen

 

 

 

 

May 2014: BOB GELDOF’S CULT OF MYSTERIOUS DEATH

The sudden death of the British sometime-model Peaches Geldof at 25 freaked out the British press so much that there are now journalists accusing other journalists of writing excessive, weepy, hang-wringing tributes to a girl who was famous for nothing more than being a rich man’s daughter.

The daughter of Sir Bob Geldof was found dead in her home. An autopsy indicated the cause of her death was inconclusive, but, heroin was found in her system and “played a role.”
She was a new, married mother of two baby boys and had just posted baby pictures online 19 minutes before she died. No suicide note was found. Nothing.

This is the third shocking, untimely death in the Geldof family: Peaches’ mother, Geldof’s ex-wife Paula Yates, died of a heroin overdose in 2000, less than three years after her boyfriend Michael Hutchence of INXS was found dead, hanged in a Sydney hotel room.

Yates, Hutchence and Geldof were in the middle of a miserable court fight over custody of the three Geldof girls: Fifi, Peaches and Pixie, as well at Yates’ youngest, a daughter with Hutchence, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily.

Hutchence hanged himself.  Yates only lasted more three years until she was dead from drugs. Bob is indeed an unfortunate man who keeps being struck with the worst kind of luck imaginable, or ………..  Read more:  http://www.anomalies.net/bob-geldofs-cult-of-mysterious-death/

 

 

Peaches Geldof, funeral, Tom Cohen, Bob Geldof, Judaism

 

 

 

 

April 2014: Peaches Geldof will have a traditional Jewish funeral

Peaches, 25 when she died just over two weeks ago, embraced Judaism after discovering that her grandmother was Jewish a few years ago. Her Jewish husband, 23-year-old musician Thomas Cohen, bought her a Star of David from an antiques shop in Covent Garden, which she wore constantly.

Her Jewish husband, 23-year-old musician Thomas Cohen, bought her a Star of David from an antiques shop in Covent Garden, which she wore constantly. The couple married in a traditional Jewish ceremony at the Anglican church in Faverhsam, Kent, in September 2012.Peaches shone, dancing the Hora with Thomas.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/471404/Traditional-Jewish-funeral-for-Peaches

 

 

Paula Michael and Tiger-Lily

 

 

 

Michael Hutchence 22nd January 1960 – 22nd November 1997 – Paula Yates Statement to Police

  

 

http://www.michaelhutchenceinfo.com/library_section1.htm  

 

 

 

Midge Ure and Bob Geldof at Live Aid in 1985

 

 

 

 

March 2010: Sorry Bob, Band Aid millions DID pay for guns: Charity’s man in Ethiopia tells his disturbing story

Bob Geldof is furious with the BBC for reporting that his charity unwittingly funded weapons for warlords. So what’s the truth? Here Band Aid’s man in Ethiopia tells his disturbing story. The images of starving children flickered across the screen  –  youngsters hardly conscious, possessing not even the energy to bat away the flies descending on their emaciated bodies. BBC broadcaster Michael Buerk described the scene in Ethiopia 1984 as ‘the closest thing you get to hell on earth’. The famine pictures awoke the conscience of the world. A year later, Britain was host to the biggest fund-raising event of all time, Live Aid.

Who can forget it? At Wembley, and in Philadelphia, pop stars including Queen, David Bowie and George Michael were part of a dazzling line-up determined to feed the world. And Bob Geldof demanded: ‘Don’t go to the pub tonight  –  please, stay in and give us the money. There are people dying NOW, so give me the money.’  Money poured in. The 16-hour rock concert on July 13, 1985 raised around £65million and was watched by a global audience estimated at 1.5 billion. It was a moment of hope. But that was then.

 

Max Perberdy

 

Peabody  –  the cliche of the sandal-wearing foreign aid worker  –  opening a satchel full of “Christian Aid” cash, ($500,000) which is being counted by Gebremedhin Araya and Tekleweyni Assefa, director of the Relief Society of Tigray (REST)  –  a group which was, in effect, run by the rebels. Grants totalling $7,2M were provided to REST between 1985 and 1991.’

John James was Band Aid Field Director in Ethiopia from 1985-91 and was awarded an MBE for his charity work. He says: ‘I would be surprised if it were any less than 10-20 per cent of funds were diverted to the rebels. ‘Did I sympathise with the rebels? Yes. We would not have tolerated any direct assistance in the purchase of arms or condoned it, but just remember it was a highly complex situation.’ James, a farmer who is now 85 and living in Devon, adds: ‘I think it is ridiculous for anybody to claim that not one penny of aid money was diverted.

‘You couldn’t help the hungry in the rebel-held areas without helping the rebels. You have to be realistic about that. It is probable that some money was diverted to buy arms. I believe a just use was made of the money. I think it fulfilled the interests of the donors.’ He recalls travelling on a rebel convoy, which he suspected carried arms, saying: ‘I didn’t know what was in the heavily sheeted tarpaulin load of the lorry in which I travelled, and I didn’t ask. I would be surprised if it had not contained arms.’ Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1259061/Sorry-Bob-Geldof-Band-Aid-millions-DID-pay-guns.html#ixzz4Bh5nyXmZ

 

Bob Geldof

March 2010: Even Band Aid is not above criticism

Let’s get some things straight: humanitarian operations in the midst of large-scale civil wars where territory is held by rival powers are almost always politicised and misused. The idea that this never happens and that NGOs are never put in situations where, in order to get the aid delivered, they have to work with and often through the powers that control the territory where the suffering is taking place is a ridiculous fantasy.

It’s happening now, in Congo; in my own country, Somalia, where al-Qaida-affiliated groups have dictated how the World Food Programme delivers emergency food; and also in Zimbabwe, where I have just spent two weeks talking to aid workers having to work through government bodies in delivering aid to prisoners of Mugabe.

One aid worker told me: “There is a really bad outbreak of measles in townships with huge HIV infection rates, but we can’t mention or talk about it if we want to remain here.” Those are just three examples; there are many more. Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/mar/08/rageh-omaar-live-aid-geldof

 

 

Bob Geldof

 

 

 

 

March 2010: Bob Geldof: My rage at this World Service calumny

Rageh Omaar’s piece “Even Band Aid is not above criticism” is ridiculous. It is of course not about me, or Band Aid, but rather a defence of journalistic exceptionalism, and the now thoroughly discredited BBC World Service programme that “sexed up” a claim that nigh-on the entire humanitarian relief effort by all aid agencies was diverted to arms in Tigray province in 1985. Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/mar/09/bob-geldof-world-service-ethiopia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 2010: How Bob Geldof’s Live Aid funds went to Ethiopian rebels

MILLIONS of dollars raised through Bob Geldof’s worldwide Live Aid project were siphoned from the mouths of Africa’s starving into the arms of guerillas fighting the then Ethiopian government, according to a former senior Ethiopian rebel leader who has admitted taking part in the scam.

Gebremedhin Araya, the former head of finance with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, told The Australian last night he and his organisation had lied and cheated authorities who were desperate to distribute food and money as quickly as possible to Ethiopia’s starving millions in 1985 after the Live Aid concerts plucked the world’s heartstrings.

His claims support allegations made in a BBC radio report on Wednesday alleging that much of the $250 million raised to feed Africa’s starving was used to buy arms and support corrupt warlords fighting to overthrow the equally corrupt government. Geldof told the London Times it would be a “f . . king tragedy” if the reports made people think twice about giving to charity.

Mr Araya, who fell out with the rebel leadership in late 1989 and was forced to flee the country before spending a decade in African refugee programs waiting for Australia to accept him, now lives in a small flat in Perth, Australia. He said instead of the cash and food being handed out to the poor and dying, the vast majority of it went into the pockets and bellies of the warlords, who were also being supported by the CIA. Taking on the role of a Muslim merchant, he convinced the authorities that he was a pivotal man to deal with. He had access to vast amounts of cash and food.

“I was acting as a merchant, as a Muslim, and they (NGOs) don’t know me because my name was Mohammed,” he said. “The money, much of it, the leaders put it in their accounts in Western Europe . . . Some of it was used to buy weapons. The people did not get half a kilogram of maize. I received a great amount of money from the NGOs and automatically it was taken by (rebel leaders). This is a heavy trick, assigned by the top leaders. When the NGOs wanted to check on whether the food was being processed and organised to be distributed into regions, Mr Araya would show them warehouses full of sacks stacked on top of each other. “But if you go there, half of the warehouse is stacked full of sand,” he said. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/how-bob-geldofs-live-aid-funds-went-to-ethiopian-rebels/story-e6frg6nf-1225837286175

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 2010: Live Aid should not be celebrated

Every so often, the BBC reminds us that its capacity for woolly thinking is greater than that of the entire sheep population of Wales. Its decision, announced this week, to make a “warm and deeply moving” drama about Bob Geldof and Live Aid is a case in point. According to the corporation, Geldof – The Movie, on BBC2 this autumn, will “celebrate… one of the most iconic moments in 20th-century history” and “the two men who together changed the politics of international aid forever” (Harvey Goldsmith, Live Aid’s promoter, is the second saint).

It hurts to say this, but Live Aid should not be celebrated. It was a failure. Geldof’s approach exemplified the worst about Western ideas of “helping Africa”: top-down handouts which ignore, or worsen, the continent’s problems.

The real cause of the 1984 Ethiopian famine, and so many other African tragedies, was not cruel nature, but bad government: the country was torn by civil war. That is what stopped food getting through. There is substantial evidence that charitable intervention, Geldof’s included, may have prolonged and deepened the conflict, and therefore the catastrophe.

Perhaps the BBC’s new bout of halo-polishing is a way of making up for its grave error in producing a piece of actual journalism about Sir Bob earlier this year, which reported claims by two former civil-war leaders that most of the funds he raised had in fact been diverted to buy cuddly, child-saving rocket-propelled grenades, light machine guns and the like.

The Wrath of Bob promptly descended on the BBC, with the great humanitarian describing the report as a “total collapse of standards” and “calumny”, calling for all those involved to be fired, and saying: “There is not a single shred of evidence that Band Aid or Live Aid money was diverted.”

The amount diverted is a matter of dispute – the rebels’ claims of 95 per cent may well be exaggerations – but it is simply untrue that there is no evidence. John James, Band Aid’s own field director in Ethiopia at the time, has said: “I would be surprised if there were any less than 10 to 20 per cent of the funds diverted to the rebels. It is probable that some money was diverted to buy arms.” The more money we give to bad leaders, the less incentive they have to change, and the less notice they must take of their own people. That is why absolutely nobody in Africa, outside government itself, is calling for more Western handouts, and why many African activists campaign fiercely against aid.
Geldof has conspicuously failed to learn the lessons of Live Aid, staging a very similar event, Live 8, before the 2005 Gleneagles G8 summit. He was criticized by the main G8 pressure group, Make Poverty History (MPH), after describing the aid-based promises made at Gleneagles as “mission accomplished” (MPH was far more interested in trade concessions so African nations and businesses could support themselves). “At the G8, our worst nightmares came true as far as celebrity engagement was concerned,” said a senior MPH figure at the time. “Ultimately, there wasn’t anyone who didn’t think it was a big mistake to allow Geldof to have the platform in the way that he did.”

Youssou N’Dour, one of Live 8′s very few African acts, said: “I don’t want to expose [Geldof and Bono], but they have to know what Africa thinks of them. [Geldof] needs to come to Africa more, talk to people more. We don’t need pity.”

Turning the Geldof story into feel good drama is the logical culmination of the Hollywood idea of international politics, in which one eloquent individual inspires men of goodwill to get round a table and Sort it all Out.

Treating Africa as the White Pop Stars’ Burden certainly gave lots of Westerners a free concert, and a warm glow of self-satisfaction. But it’s much less clear what the Africans got from the deal.

This is the most authoritative African corruption exposure site on the web. It’s coverage is extensive and demands a careful read.  http://debirhan.com/?p=676

 

 

Live Aid: The Terrible Truth

 

 

 

 

July 2015: Live Aid: The Terrible Truth

On the 30th anniversary of Live Aid, we’re republishing SPIN’s 1986 exposé on the so-called “global jukebox”

The Live Aid concerts in Philadelphia and London directly and indirectly raised over $100 million dollars for famine relief in Ethiopia. Just 6 months after there was talk about Ethiopia being in a civil war. The news had not been covered in the press which was strange given what had happened .

There was a need to get to the truth. The assignment was simple — all this money had been raised, where was it going, was it actually doing good?

Horrifically, unimaginably, the exact opposite. The Ethiopian dictator, Mengistu, until then deadlocked in the war, was using the money the west gave him to buy sophisticated weapons from the Russians, and was now able to efficiently and viciously crush the opposition. Ethiopia, then the third poorest country in the world, suddenly had the largest, best equipped army on the African continent.
By this time we had all seen the pictures and TV footage of Bob Geldof, the figurehead of Live Aid, bear hugging and playfully punching Mengistu in the arm as he literally handed over the funding for this slaughter. It was on TV now alright, but as an endless, relentless reel of heroic Bob Geldof highlights. He drenched himself in the adulation and no one begrudged him it, until our investigation exposed the holocaust that Live Aid’s collected donations had help perpetrate on the Eritrean independence fighters. 
Most damningly, it was reported that Geldof was warned, repeatedly, from the outset by several relief agencies in the field about Mengistu, who was dismantling tribes, mercilessly conducting resettlement marches on which 100,000 people died, and butchering helpless people. According to Medicins Sans Frontiers, who begged Geldof to not release the money until there was a reliable infrastructure to get it to victims, he simply ignored them, instead famously saying: “I’ll shake hands with the Devil on my left and on my right to get to the people we are meant to help. Read more:http://www.spin.com/featured/live-aid-the-terrible-truth-ethiopia-bob-geldof-feature/
Categories
Scottish Referendum

Tax Havens Used by UK’s Top Companies

Tax Havens Used by UK’s Top Companies

UK tax laws provide a myriad of loopholes which can and are being widely used for tax avoidance. Companies that come to mind are, Google, Amazon and Starbucks who have been widely criticsed for making extensive use of a number of the legal but morally abhorrent loopholes achieving markedly reduced corporate tax charges. Taking into the survey of the UK’s largest 100 public companies there are over 8,000 linking offshoots involved in business activities, (onshore and offshore) registered in tax havens. Only 2 out of the 100 public companies had no offshoots registered in tax havens.

George Osborne, in a recent speech brought the issue to the attention of the UK public stating the matter needed to be resolved in months not years, to the satisfaction of the Treasury. The challenge would be daunting and time consuming since the bulk of the offshoot companies were registered in UK Crown dependencies such as, Bermuda, Gibraltar and Jersey. Onshore tax havens are also extensively used. Ireland, has a reputation for low taxation and a hands off business environment. Efforts are being made, through the legislation to force Ireland to harmonise their taxation policies with other european countries.

4 of the UK’ largest banks use tax havens, namely Barclays, Lloyds TSB, HSBC, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Just about all of the larger retailers, (supermarkets) and food manufacturers compete for places in the top 10 tax haven users emphasising the extent of the tax losses to the UK treasury. So there we have it. The UK is losing many £ billions of tax revenues each and every year. The loopholes need to be closed and sharpish but is the will to do it with government?

Categories
Scottish Referendum

Austerity in the EU Sometimes known as, ‘Olli’s Rehn of Terror’.

Austerity in the EU Sometimes known as, ‘Olli’s Rehn of Terror’.

Ollie Rhen was active in Finnish politics as a student achieving election in 1987 to the post of President of the Finnish Centre Youth a precursor to being fast tracked to a major post in government. He was subsequently elected to the Finnish Parliament in 1991. He soon excelled and headed the Finnish delegation to the, “Council of Europe”. In that capacity, from 1992 to 1993, he was appointed to the role of, “special adviser” to the Finnish Prime Minister, Esko Aho.

The Finnish Banking Crisis of 1990s was a deep systemic crisis of the entire Finnish financial sector that took place mainly in the years 1991–1993, after several years of debt-based economic boom in the late 1980s. Its total taxpayer cost was roughly 8% of the Finnish GNP, making it the most severe of the contemporary Nordic banking crises. The crisis has been attributed to a combination of macro-economic turbulence, weak regulation, and bank-specific problems. Governmental intervention included nationalizing banks, direct monetary assistance and temporary blanket guarantees to the banks. Unemployment reached 20%. The value of capital assets halved and real GDP dropped by 15%. The area of education was exempt the harsh cutbacks, indeed investment in the nations children equated to 1% of GDP. Benefits gained from this policy did much to assist Finland’s emergence from the period of austerity and on-going success.

He resigned from the Finnish Parliament in 1995 and became an MEP, aligned to the, “Liberal Party Group”. He was, however, not re-elected in the 1996 European election. Not out of politics for very long he was appointed by the Finnish government to serve with the European Commission, (1998-2000) managing the offices of, Erkki Liikanen, representative on the Prodi Commission. In 2002 he left European politics for the University of Helsinki, where he led the Centre for European Studies. In 2003 he again became an adviser on economic policy to the Finnish, Prime Minister, a position he held until his appointment to the European Commission the following year.

Olli Rehn was nominated to the European Commission, representing Finland and was appointed to the post of, “European Commissioner for Enterprise and Information” in July 2004, taking over the role from the previous Finnish Commissioner, Erkki Liikanen, who left his post the same day to become Governor of the Bank of Finland.

The Finnish government re-nominated Rehn for membership of the incoming, “Barroso Commission”, which took office on November 2004. Rehn was appointed to the post of, “Minister of Enlargement”. At the time a central issue for the EU in the run-up to the landmark accession of ten countries in May 2004, the role diminished in importance since that time. But he still presided over the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007, as well as maintaining membership negotiations with Croatia and establishing a contentious membership dialogue with Turkey.

In 2008 his role was extended when he was appointed, ” Vice-president of the European Commission and Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro”, (for all 27 member states of the EU). In this role, perhaps mindful of the, “Finnish austerity period” he had presided over in the 1990’s he was entirely at peace with himself dispensing tough love and hard facts whilst protected from the pressures of democratic accountability, useful for politicians wishing to maintain distance from their directives. It was a role Rehn proved to be well suited.

His appointment coincided with the financial crash of Europe’s banking system’ brought about by the excesses and greed of financial marketeers who had been operating unregulated, “Casino Banking” committing non-existent finance, funding ever increasing housing mortgage lending, and other credit lending against questionable assets.

Rehn, who, in his new role, “carried a big sword” decided that the, “Finnish model of recovery” focusing on fiscal discipline, dismantling social safety nets and reducing the size of government, was entirely suited to finding a way out of the crisis and despite opposing voices he instructed that a, “programme of fiscal austerity” would be implemented across the EU. ‘The Rehn of Terror’ had begun. Any criticism of the policy was met with the statement that the, “European Commission” was simply being pragmatic, balancing austerity measures with pro-growth policies. Financial support would only be provided to government’s that fully complied with measures issued through the offices of Rehn.

Rehn’s management decided whether cuts made by governments, including, (but not exclusively) Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Ireland met the criteria so that money could be released allowing payment of interest against the many and varied loans incurred across the Union. The thinking driving the policy was evident – public finance must honour any debt obligations before any other commitments, (even to its citizens) were even given thought. The thinking was that there was danger that, any inconsistency applying financial systems might result in another major crash due to, “systemic contagion”. and this needed to be avoided at any cost. It was this, “fear of failure” that drove governments forward implementing savage financial cuts. In time however people began to realise that austerity was directed solely against members of the public and not at those determined to keep their profitable stake in the financial system. The regime of privatization and cutbacks meant that those dependent on the public sector went to the wall in ever increasing numbers, while those with significant market power thrived and gained significantly.

For nearly 4 years, Rehn insisted that the, “light at the end of the economic tunnel was in sight”. Success awaited those countries who focused on the future. Yet the gap between the have’s and the have not’s continued to expand. Societies became ever more unequal and troubled. Economic growth remains to be poor to non existent and youth unemployment is stuck around 50% in countries like Greece and Spain. Yet the dinner party circuit continues to be well attended by politicians and their wealthy backers across the corridors of power. It now appears France is in deep trouble, (because of it’s ill advised determination to achieve fiscal discipline through tax increases).

Summary

After nearly 4 year’s of austerity measures millions of people across Europe have been driven into poverty. A recent UN report further revealed that nearly seven million more, including over 800,000 children, have fallen into poverty due to EU economic policies. The disastrous effects of the EU drive to cut budgets and slash public spending are detailed in a 357-page, “World Social Protection” report by the UN agency, “The International Labour Organization”. “The achievements of the European social model, which dramatically reduced poverty and promoted prosperity in the period following the Second World War, have been eroded by short-term adjustment reforms,” noted the report.

Disregarding the effects of his push for austerity Rehn went on to investigate the finances of 13 member states with the purpose of identifying causes of recurring, “macroeconomic imbalances” within their financial profile. At the launch of his report many of those present admitted to a lack of knowledge as to just what, “macroeconomic imbalances” were. But all was well since, “Wee Olli” knew. Addressing the UK Olli said, ” I am presenting this analysis as, “raw material” to the British government for when they draw up their next economic plan. The British, like the rest of the 27, must draw up a plan which will meet the approval in the economic policy coordination of this year’s European Semester, (Otherwise known as the economic government of the EU).

Yes indeed, the Cameron – Clegg government have colluded in the establishment of an unelected EU economic government. Rehn and his successors now have increased powers to direct the decisions of George Osborne. This particular bit of new legislation stems from the, “Alert Mechanism Report”, of November 2012, which led to Olli’s, “In-Depth Review” under the, “Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure”. It may be sleep inducing but all I can say of the, “new” legislation is, “blink and you’ll miss it”. More powers have been transferred away from the UK to Brussels.

So here are some of what is wrong in Britain: They will need to be corrected meeting the instructions of the – Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro.

a. Consumer debt is very high and is likely to remain so.
b. External competitiveness, is deteriorating, with negative trade balances mainly as the result of a chronic deficit in goods trade.
c. Government deficit, although decreasing, remains elevated.
d. Government debt is very high and increasing.
d. UK corporate debt is high and less-than-viable companies being kept in business through low interest rates and bank forbearance.
e. Structural weaknesses. Shortages in airport and seaport capacity.

Olli Rehn is no longer employed with the European Commission having stood for and been elected to the EU parliament. He has since been appointed 1 of 14 Vice Presidents of the EU. But his legacy lives on.

How,s this for a bit of mischief?

Danny Alexander, Liberal Party MP and ultra hard line, “No” to independence campaigner, (mischief maker) wrote recently, (in a personal capacity) to Finnish Liberal MEP, Olli Rehn seeking to involve him in Scottish affairs asking that he give vent to personal held opinions regarding the upcoming referendum. Olli, dear fellow has a track record of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and true to type in a long, fussy and over detailed reply he first expressed strong support of Danny Alexander’s views regarding independence. He went on to say that he CONSIDERED IT HIS DUTY to draw on his wide experience of EU business providing full and detailed responses to each of the matters raised by Alexander. All this is fair enough, if the correspondence was to remain , “private” since there was no written permission included in Olli’s letter allowing Alexander to pass copies of the letter to the UK press for publication. The press faithfully reproduced it in their early and later editions, to the delight of Alexander. But, as yet Alexander’s letter to Olii has not been published so we only have one side of the story. Naughty Naughty Mr Alexander. But, hang on a mo’, Olli has a track record of foxy behavior. A, “Freedom of Information” request,(submitted by the Corporate Europe Observatory) revealed that throughout the almost 4 year’s of the, “Financial Crisis” Rehn’s office had been met regularly with MAJOR BANKS and FINANCIAL STAKEHOLDERS, (such as the investment banker Goldman Sachs. Minutes of these important meetings were not drafted or recorded since they were held under, “Chatham House Rules”. There were no meetings with NGO’s or trades unions, which is questionable. The main points of his letter are covered below:

Rehn. An independent Scotland would not be able to keep the pound and join the European Union.

Answer. An independent Scotland, wishing to join the EU can in no way be “forced” into joining the Euro, as one of the key conditions is that a member state must have been part part of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II) for a minimum of two years. Joining ERM II is entirely optional giving Sweden a de-facto opt out and is why Sweden has never joined the Euro despite being obligated to in it’s accession treaty. Indeed the EU has accepted that Sweden is staying outside the eurozone for the foreseeable on its own decision. Olli Rehn, one of 14 vice presidents of the European Parliament has said that it is up to Swedish people to decide.

Rehn. EU membership requires countries to have access to an independent central bank.

Answer. Scotland will adopt the Scottish pound from day Independence day 1, pegging it 1:1 with rUK Sterling.(as did Ireland for many a year) In the 2 year’s before formal separation Scotland will set up it’s own Central Bank, as in the case of Sweden.

Rehn. Mr Alexander asked Mr Rehn to clarify if “a country that had recently reneged on its debt would be welcome in the EU”. Mr Rehn responded that the EU treaty “requires that all member states and candidate countries respect their commitments in public finances, including the debt and deficit targets.

Answer. The UK formally confirmed all debt held by the Bank of England to be the sole debt of the bank. As such, in the event Scotland was to be denied a formal monetary union, (effectively cut loose to fend for itself) it would do so clear of any obligation to accept any of the Bank of England’s debt. This would be in full compliance with international law, (rUK could not have it’s cake and eat it). The question of reneging on debt is a spurious red herring.

Categories
Scottish Referendum

The Royal mail & the Future

The Royal Mail and the Future

The, part-privatised, (on the cheap) Royal Mail derives about 50% of it’s annual revenue from delivery of, “snail mail.” It is contracted, “by law” to deliver such mail on a universal basis throughout the UK. Retention of a, “Universal Mail Delivery” service is more expensive to maintain in the large rural areas of Scotland. Measures, correcting matters, reducing costs are ready for early implementation after the next general election. The measures; Universal home delivery of mail is to be withdrawn, (over a period not exceeding one year), in urban areas, with a population exceeding 5000, to be replaced with Post-Box, (PO) delivery. This will require homeowners to, “collect” their mail in person, (no exceptions) from a designated PO-Box which will be located locally, supermarket, Newsagent, Garage or similar enterprise. Inconvenient!!! Tough!!! will be the response of the new Conservative government.

Read the article; “http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/royal-mail/10850281/Royal-Mail-demands-Ofcom-curbs-rivals.html.”

The above changes can only be implemented in Scotland with the authority of UK Government. Vote, “Yes” in the September referendum. Let the Scottish Parliament decide the future of mail delivery.

Categories
Scottish Referendum

Tories at War Within the Party

Tories at War, (posh boys get their comeuppance)

The economy is apparently improving, (for London & the South East of England) and another Conservative Government is increasingly likely. Just who will lead it is not clear, since Cameron seems to have lost the support of his colleagues in Westminster.

The 1921 committee might yet decide it is time for him to go, to be replaced by a hard liner who would take the Party to the, “Right of Centre” so that the Party might lead the UK to a referendum resulting in the UK leaving the EEC. Read between the lines;

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/06/16/uk-britain-politics-idUKKBN0ER15420140616”

Early warning!!! should Scotland vote, “no” in the referendum it might well be forced by a Conservative, (English) government to leave the Common Market which would bring to Scotland major job losses and a collapsed economy. Vote, “Yes” in the September Referendum so that the catastrophe can be averted.

Categories
Scottish Referendum

Hague States Scotland is not a State

Commonwealth Games-William Hague Sets the Record Straight. Paraphrasing his briefing;

William Hague, clarifying Westminster’s official view of the Commonwealth Games insisted that whilst home countries might fly their flag and wear their colours, individuals competing that are resident in the, “British Isles” will be representing, “Team GB” since it is the UK and other countries of the Commonwealth that are member states.

Scotland is not a state and Westminster simply decided to delegate the games to be held in Glasgow, a city of the UK. He went on to express his confidence, (and that of the Government) in the superpower that is Team GB will be a success in Glasgow and in the future, the world. “http://home.bt.com/news/oddnews/commonwealth-team-gb-gaffe-by-hague-11363912308295” So there it is, Scotland does not exist.

Seems to me we need to vote, “Yes” so that we will be able to join the Commonweath on an equal footing with 50+ other states, such as Nauru, population approximately 15,000.

Categories
Scottish Referendum

Brexit – Access to the Euro Millions denied to UK Residents – If You Believe the Red Tory Alliance

 

 

 

 

 

The UK National Lottery and Scottish Independence

Loss of Scotland would deprive the Lottery of approximately 30% of its weekly income rendering it unviable.

A National Lottery press release advised: “”most lottery millionaires are created in England, (London, Midlands, South East of England and the North East) which is by far the luckiest part of the UK.”

Intent on mischief and creating alarm within the minds of Scot’s who routinely purchased UK lottery tickets, the great informer, Gordon Brown, in a speech to labour loyalists and pensioners suggested that a, “Yes” vote on 18 September 2014 would result in Scot’s being denied the opportunity to purchase tickets for the UK lottery.

It was the widespread use of this form of misinformation by the “Red Tory Alliance”,  of the Scottish electorate that created doubt in the minds of voters sufficient to persuade them to vote “no” in the referendum.

Since 2014 the weekly cost to the punter participating in the UK National Lottery has doubled but jackpots have halved.

There is also growing concern in Scotland about the misplacement of distribution of financial support to charitable and other public causes

Many Scot’s have deserted the UK lottery, and are placing a small amount of their hard earned weekly income with the Euro Millions and Irish Lottery.

Getting back to the “Red Tory Alliance” and Gordon Brown. If their briefing of Scot’s in 2014 is to be believed “Brexit” will bring an end to Scot’s participation in the Euro Millions and Irish Lottery’s.

“Woe is me”, What is to be done???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Scottish Referendum

The Pope & Scotland

The Pope and the Scottish Independence Referendum

The, “No” campaign press and the BBC, are gleefully, (but incorrectly) claiming today, (http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/pope-francis-my-fears-over-national-division.1402661543) that the, Church of Rome, (through the intervention of the Pope) supports their stance. The intervention, (if is indeed to be classed as one) would be deprecated.

But wait: The 1320, “Declaration of Arbroath” fully supported by Pope John XX11 and the bishops of Scotland remains extant. Scotland, (and it’s Roman Catholic poplace) is formally recognised as an, “independent nation” by the Church of Rome.

It is also well known within Church circles that Pope Francis, (embracing the policy of all previous Pope’s) fully supports the right of Scotland and it’s people to determine their own future. Further to the foregoing, canvassing of Roman Catholic’s in Scotland indicate in excess of 65% intend to vote, “Yes” to independence.

Categories
Scottish Referendum

Charity & Scottish Independence

Devolution affords Scottish charities the opportunity to forge their own relationships with MSPs providing them with access to parliament in a way they have never had before. This freedom of access does not have the support of many UK, (London) controlled charities who are unwilling to cede power to their Scottish branches.

In 200* The Scottish ******** ******** charity management team, submitted a proposal, (to the UK umbrella organization) that the charity should be autonomous of England, including control of financial contributions made in Scotland. This was rejected leaving the Scottish management team and staff well and truly deflated. A significant number of people, (who had been volunteers actively supporting the charity) resigned and the Scottish management team were suspended. A number of key managers then left the charity.

An important patron of the charity, in Scotland, who, in addition to provision of moral and physical support, had provided significant financial donations resigned her position, citing distracting and demoralizing seemingly endless internal rows with the charity’s London office. Paraphrasing the statement of resignation the Patron said;

“I have not taken the decision to quit my position as patron lightly. In the last year the Scottish team and myself initiated and attended a mediation session, in the hope of sorting out long-standing and escalating conflicts between the Scottish management team and officers in London, driven by the imposition of changes and ever increasing control measures, from England. Unfortunately little was achieved. With mounting frustration and disappointment, I have been witness to the resignations of immensely dedicated people within the Scottish ******** ******** and the increasing demoralization of staff whom I have come to know and admire over the last ten years.”

The suspended, (shortly after ex-Chairman) of the charity in Scotland briefed staff that the patron might be persuaded to reconsider standing down if the charity cut its ties with London.

London based controllers instructed members of the charity in Scotland that a breakaway could result in a loss of £550,000 research grant finance. A postal ballot was then conducted, a majority of the 25% of the membership voted in favour of retaining the status quo, (Pity a 40% majority wasn’t written into the ballot.)

There is much to admire about the leadership of the Scottish charity and the strongly worded statement of the patron, who clearly fully supports independence from London as the best way forward for the charity.

The patron!! JK Rowling. The Charity!! The Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland. The Source!! (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rowling-quits-multiple-sclerosis-charity-over-angloscottish-feud-1666842.html)

Categories
Scottish Referendum

The Referendum Gordon Brown & JK Rowling

The Referendum Gordon Brown & JK Rowling

Recent rumours that the Labour Party, unhappy with the performance of the, “no” campaign leader, “Flipper Darling” and his team would be unleashing some, “big Guns”, (to get things moving) proved to be correct, witnessed recent botched appearances and statements of Gordon Brown and by a helpful financial, “leg up” from Rowling. Aware of her political persuasion her financial donation is not surprising.

What is unfortunate is Rowling’s bear-baiting of a miniscule minority of pro-independence campaigners intimating they would discount her views because she was born and raised in England. She likened that stance to the obsession with pure wizard blood of the villainous characters in her magical saga. “When people try to make this debate about the purity of your lineage, things start getting a little Death Eaterish for my taste,” she wrote. Evidently the inflammatory words generated the response she indicated would be the case and the Press, ever happy to rubbish the, “Yes” voters are, “riding to her rescue”. Quite how this fits with the same press hounding Rowling for year’s defeats me.

Rowling provides extensive and recurring substantial financial, moral and physical support to a number of charities and institutions in Scotland. Her statement of values, “I think you have a moral responsibility when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently” is to be applauded. In reference to her statement about support for the Union I am minded of her lapsed patronage of the Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland (MSSS) I well remember the difficulties that were manifest in that body’s relationship with London, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rowling-quits-multiple-sclerosis-charity-over-angloscottish-feud-1666842.html. It is a great shame Rowling has decided to turn her face away from independence but I am sure, at the time the, “Yes” vote is successful she will be the first in line to provide support to the newly independent, Scottish labour Party.