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April, 2019

Magical Newton

August, 2017

Not the briar patch, Brer Trump!

March, 2017

A Serious Case of the DTs

January, 2017

The American Yeltsin
Sunlight Through Troubled Times
Beyond Zealots and Cold-War Warriors

December, 2016

A Vandal at the Gates of Rome

October, 2016

Are you conscious?

September, 2016

Brave New World?

August, 2016

Stop, for a moment.

July, 2016

Rupert's Coup

March, 2016

Between a Shill and a Hard Case

July, 2015

Swimming in a sea of sugar

June, 2015

Information Rich, Attention Poor
Nerds need to get out more ...

March, 2015

There is a homunculus at the end of the garden path

October, 2014

Welcome Home
Determination, not dreams
Addicted to GDP
Irony?Karma? - take your pick

August, 2014

History? Whose story?
Marketing Ebola

July, 2014

As above, so below

December, 2013

A time for tolerance

November, 2013

Thinking out of the xBox
The old ones are the best ones ...
Welcome to the Gulag

October, 2013

A timely response to spying

September, 2013

Obedience and the Machine
Ban the bible?
Fracticide - don't do it.

July, 2013

Serfing, USUK

June, 2013

Deafened by gossip

May, 2013

Who needs words...?

April, 2013

It must be true
Why would they stop?

March, 2013

Beyond belief

February, 2013

RBS: doing Fine, not Time
Pillars tumbling down
Trouble with models
A matter of perspective

January, 2013

Royal Promo
Boiling the Lance
Boson Brains Rule

November, 2012

Burning symbols

October, 2012

Charles and Jimmy's little secret
Happy Birthday
Beach bums and Magi
A Reality Check

August, 2012

A journey through riotous times

July, 2012

Caring for life
Not everyone for Tennis?
A banker lie? Unthinkable!

June, 2012

A cynical ploy
Collateral damage for The United States of Europe
Will you walk into my parlour?
Beams and motes
From one Jubilee to another

May, 2012

A crazy idea
The course of time
Sorry, Harry

April, 2012

Cracks in the Rear-View Mirror
A keeper of sheeple
Principled Policing
Say goodbye to Betty
Lessons learned
Causality and good news
Manufactured irrelevance
Corporate responsibility

March, 2012

Poppycock - without question
Who's pushing your buttons?
Investigate the Blair-Murdoch Conspiracy

February, 2012

In Praise of The Seven Liberal Arts
The real story
When giving is taking
Giving it all away

November, 2011

Poking a hornets nest
Wealth of Nations poured away
Squeaky and the Paedophile Prince
Boiling frogs
Death of an industry
Change blindness
What a world ...

October, 2011

Pictures and words
Screeching to a halt.
Taxing noise

September, 2011

Hand over your money
Breeding psychopaths
Mr Fox, is the hen house safe?
A ludicrous Conspiracy Theory
Can you believe your eyes?
Getting eye contact
Partners in Crime

July, 2011

It was the Wettins 'wot won it'

May, 2011

Heir apparently

April, 2011

Putting Emergencies in Context
Underground networks travelling First Class

March, 2011

Be careful what you ask for
Water - a tale of two countries
Here we go again ...
Wake up!!!

February, 2011

The right stuff
Revolution! ... and yet, and yet.
Follow the money
Shh - don't tell the children
Does the MoD have a Cunning Plan?

January, 2011

Met Office caught in winter weather whitewash
Read between the lines
The new parable of Noah
Banking on People

November, 2010

Wettins don't say sorry
It's just not fair ...
Remember, remember ...

October, 2010

Kindness sees no crime
Pundits in the frame
Killer drones target the middle class
A tale of two Charlies

September, 2010

A failure to discriminate ...
Good Grief
A rent-boy's rent-boy

August, 2010

Size psycho-fancy
Baiting a Wikid Trap?

July, 2010

... at the gates of Rome
Monday musings

June, 2010

Guilty - but not charged
Psychopaths at the door

May, 2010

ConDemned to the Shock Doctor
Driven by metaphor
Guns and Banksters
Death of Old Conker

April, 2010

Bankster at bay ...
Nuke Iceland?

March, 2010

It's how you say it ...
Bullying Manner
Quelle surprise!
Iceland - showing the way.

February, 2010

Small steps to a far place
Seeds of silence

January, 2010

So who needs people?
Late and censored
Freedom for life

December, 2009


October, 2009

Fools served by Zombies
BBC dogs that didn't bark ...

September, 2009

Taken Hostage

August, 2009

Have a good weekend ...
High Frequency Trading ...
Money money money
Fit for a politician

July, 2009

Inside clouds

June, 2009

Fond thoughts of Tony Blair ...
A good day ...
Midnight musing

May, 2009

aaah diddums
Zal may ...

April, 2009

Echos of a dark past
Sharks in the Shadows
Worlds Apart

January, 2009

Money Matters
Killing History

December, 2008

Home improvements
Get the Picture?

November, 2008

Barak - the movie

October, 2008

Won't get fooled again
Bankers, all of them!

September, 2008

And The Winner is ...
Light relief
A Financial 9/11
That's Lucky!
On this day

August, 2008

Mark My Words

July, 2008

The Management Myth
Sense Making Questions

June, 2008

Beware this Griffin
42 Day Folly
A Tortured Silence

May, 2008

A new Dawn needed
Is Justin Webb A Neo-Con?
The Puppy, the Mountain and the Fascists

April, 2008

Attention Pays

March, 2008

Fat Cats and Pork Pies
Fed up Darling?
Swearing - it's just not British!
Size psycho-fancy   26 August 2010

Sycophancy in person

This morning I was listening to a BBC Today programme interview with an extra-ordinary man, Graham Miles. In 1993, at the age of 49, he suffered a brain-stem stroke which left him only able to move his eye-lids. Through sheer willpower, he has made a remarkable recovery.

Just as Mr Miles started to describe what it was like to be in limbo and not able to communicate, he was interrupted by Justin Webb to say (in effect): "We have a more important person to talk to, please stay on the line and we will get back to you".

So Mr Miles was once more left alone with his feelings, unable to communicate, while the BBC sycophantically interviewed Nasil Adir on his return to the UK. Obviously his bigger story counted for more.

Sycophancy in business

Nearly every day for the past several years I have taken a look at the BBC Market Data page. The main layout is simple, five graphs showing the days activity on the FTSE 100, the Dax, the CAC 40, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq. It is easy to get the overall picture of market activity.

For some while now it has been clear that every market is in lock-step. The daily pattern of ups and downs is identical for each market, all being gunned by the geeky PhDs who programme the high-frequency trading algorithms of the Too Big To Fail banks.

But what has caught my eye this week is the change in layout. For years the FTSE has been the main graph, two and a half times the size of the others. No longer. This week shows the Dow Jones in first place. An example of BBC deference to the size of US power?

Sycophancy in government

Size matters when it comes to welfare too, only more subtly. A current political theme is about how we can get people off state support and back to work. By the way, in this context, the use of the word 'welfare' is a relatively recent import from the USA. I grew up knowing that everybody had to pay for 'the  stamp' (their National Insurance contribution) which was administered by the DHSS (Department for Health and Social Security).

National Insurance (NI) was designed to help people by providing for a state retirement pension and an income during unemployment. NI contributions are held in the National Insurance Fund and currently account for roughly 17% of Government receipts. Each year there is a surplus of £2bn, with an accumulated total of around £50bn today, forecast to reach £114bn by 2012.

In 2009 around £24bn was spent on the major out-of-work benefits, and Mr Iain Duncan-Smith (the UK Work and Pensions Secretary) wants to reduce that. (He also has a strange notion that he wants to 'distribute unemployment more evenly ' across the country!)

So on the one hand we have an established system, designed to support the unemployed, which is in surplus and on the other hand we have headlines about getting people off welfare in order to save some percentage of £24bn.

But that £24bn is only 1.5% of the £1.5 trillion (that's $1500bn) cost of the UK bank bailout! And that £1.5tn does not include the on-going costs of the hundreds of billions of extra money printed (borrowed) by the Bank of England to give to the banks and large corporations. Nor does it include the social and financial cost of keeping the base rates close to zero, while allowing banks to charge individuals upto 35% interest on their credit cards!

All this public money has been channeled into the profits of the very corporations that created the need for austerity. Then it has been paid out as bonuses to the individuals who made the self-interested decisions about how our financial systems should work.

These are the same people who are now advising governments about how to 'rebuild' our finances!  They run corporations that declare annual profits in the billions while paying virtually no income tax.

The millions who receive some pittance as a welfare benefit are headline news, while those responsible few, whose annual bonuses alone could pay off the welfare bill, are never mentioned. But they are the real benefit cheats. These fat cats take the cream of our hard work.

Our knee-jerk sycophancy to the rich and powerful has left us on our knees, from where the view is not pretty! We are faced with either the obscene symbol of their mal-formed creativity or the sight of their backsides as they make off with their ill-gotten gains. 

It is time to stand up and get these corporate welfare crooks off the drip-feed of public money. Let's put them back to work in the service of the communities that support them and on which they depend. That would be a start.

Posted by Nicholas Moore    12:45:49 pm