Sunday, 16 December 2012


How inspired I am by Europe's single currency the Euro. As a pledge between the wealthier nations of Europe to support and nurture poorer nations with a lower GDP p.c. within the Union, the single currency signifies almost as much to me as Obama to the US or indeed the advancement of civilisation.  

Where there is currency fraud there is resistance to Europe and monetary union. It seems we prefer to quietly steal money from all of the world's nations, instead of being open regarding national productivity, instead of believing in the right to a first world standard of living and embracing the long term solution. 

With economic prowess, people ask the question: why should we carry those failing nations? Perhaps we should grant those nations more political influence and be prepared to take a page from their successful manifestos. Economic parity is not an absolute necessity. Instead simply that we are all trying equally and learning from each other. Greece may never be as economically successful as France or Germany, because of the logistical disadvantages of her geography. We might however insist that nations with low GDP per. capita within Europe are strongly encouraged, thru taxes, to buy only European goods, which surely no one should complain of?

Yet there are many advantages to currency union, perhaps the most significant of which being the necessity to trade with technologically advanced, younger economies such as China. Not charting a course toward being able to export to these nations is sheer folly. The UK in particular is struggling to let go of it's history as an economic centre, to such an extent that the finance quarter is hindering manufacturing by denying us entrance to the Euro, closing the door on high street Europe to UK manufacturing. After almost a generation of acceptance of the Euro, the situation must be further exacerbated by polarisation: the Euro is the currency of Europe's citizens, why would they spend elsewhere?

Despite the obvious convenience of unified currency, is it really possible to remain outside of the union? In recent years, the UK's pension market was hard hit, attempting to quietly inflate an economy results in overseas investments failing, proving that we are all counting each other's cards, that like it or not our economy is already globalised. 

In the wake of the cold war, the UK has benefitted by remaining outside of the EU, our connections with Russia have perhaps all come to fruition, Russian plutocrats now owning a significant stake in the UK. In this way forming a cushion for Russia's re-introduction to free market capitalism. Yet such an influx would not have been healthy for a fragmented Europe and certainly wasn't healthy for Britain. The separation of the Bank of England, the city to Canary Wharf from Parliament in W1, may be wings we can never give up.

The longterm objectives of macroeconomic policy must be to raise the standard of living for all and especially for those in developing economies, an objective more realizable thru economic union and welcoming global economic monetary authorities. With banking union we may say farewell to the unease created by quantitative balancing. Empowering the World Bank and the IMF with the right to exchange bonds for sovereign debt may help to ease nations out of debt traps. Charting a course towards fewer currencies and a less amoral capitalism, with fewer "leaks". In time it should be possible for people regardless of their place of origin to holiday in any other nation, without expecting to pay a months wages for a meal! 

Aiming for global economic parity, the poorer regions of the world's economy must be gradually inflated. Yet from where should this process occur? From renegade bands of smaller over inflated nations racing ahead on hot air? Or from those respected, economically strong, federated groups? When asked how I would vote in a referendum on Europe, it takes just a moment to contemplate her achievements: Airbus's A380, the commercial European Space Agency, world beating automobile industries, Eurotunnel or scientific endeavours such as the Large Hadron Collider. The choice is clear!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

A Century of War

A century of war is about to close.  It began with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the largest ship in the world, sunk on it's maiden voyage. On board, the UK's finest and wealthiest, a floating meeting of the Bilderberg Group.  History recorded a collision with an iceberg. Yet the only mountain in the course of history was WWI and the intolerable living and working conditions of the early 20th century, when average life expectancy for a man was just 46 years, a day at work for the poor lasted an average of 12 hours. To make matters worse, the wealthier in society depended upon household staff. Never was class disparity so held up in the face of those employed to carry out very personal, often dirty and manual labour. A wealthy household might employ staff to clean toilets, wash clothes, clean the house, maintain a garden, all tasks which starkly contrast social position, underscoring the class division between those living upstairs and those toiling at all hours downstairs. Today the coal face roles have been displaced by dishwashers, washing machines and other household appliances, whilst high quality pre-prepared food and many other labour saving technologies and modern conveniences have done away with class contrasting dependence upon man servants. Women within low income groups at that time, were practically enslaved within marital domestic servitude, the working class atomic unit depending upon such unequal social structures.

Europe's half a millennia of industrialisation created the burgeoning middle and upper classes of the early 1900s, capitalism's echelons of people and revenue mountains were highly ordered for the period. Europe was the world's hub of science, industry and commerce. Raw materials were brought here, to be processed using technologies that only existed here, before being traded locally or exported to marvelling lower-tech countries. We were rich imperial nations. Nothing was going to deter European capitalists from their vision glimpsed upon the blue Danube. In contrast with Russia's widely distributed and excessively poor land labourers, many people in Europe would be displaced from positions of power by radical change in political ideology. 

The process of redefining monarchy and the church has continued gradually since the 12th century, emerging from the dark ages with civilisation, shifting power toward the people and society's industrialists, bringing us to the position we have today where in most nations the monarchy continue only as figureheads or as a model of familial structure. Ultimately, nepotist feudal rule was no match for meritocratic industrialism, rendering the richest men in society no longer monarchs, taxes in the UK being paid directly to government since the late 17th century.

It is the source of much human suffering that capitalism and communism are mutually exclusive systems of governance, they cannot peacefully co-exist.  Since the invention of WMDs, with the volatility of political extremism, the absolute necessity of incremental revisionism over revolution is almost universally accepted. Yet it cannot be understated that the force which will emancipate mankind from hardship is technology and not any specific political doctrine. Communisms drive to bandage the lowest knee, over capitalisms potential for the amoral pursuit of profit, would seem clearly preferable to any compassionate human.  Yet paradoxically efficiency is a greater motivation for technological innovation. Innovations which today bring to the majority what a hundred years earlier were only available to the wealthy upper classes of our planet. 

The majority of us have been freed from laborious domestic chores. Whilst a night at the opera, the theatre or a musical performance may be enjoyed by all, even on a modest income. Travel to regions of the world, just a few decades earlier considered remote and exotic to most of us, is now possible for the majority. 

A hundred years of war, from which we may conclude: we must always strive to make available to the majority the life style enjoyed by the more privileged, always seeking to eradicate manual labour and suffering. Our objective must be the emancipation of humanity thru technology. 

This entry was inspired by a a three part documentary currently being screened by the BBC: "Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs"