News & Analysis
British Life Worse Than Communists'
Britain's has fallen to 25th position on a list of best places in the world to live. Our poor climate, soaring unemployment and congested roads means we are now ranked behind countries such as the Czech Republic and Lithuania. It means even former Communist countries where unemployment is still rife are considered better places to live. Quality of life in the UK is lower than former communist states The new ranking puts Britain five places lower than a year ago, when we stood in 20th position, according to The Quality of Life Index, produced by International Living Magazine. The index has ranked countries in 10 categories – Cost of Living, Culture and Leisure, Economy, Environment, Freedom, Health, Infrastructure, Safety and Risk, and Climate. For the fifth year in a row France beat 200 countries in the annual three-decades-old International Living magazine Quality of Life Index. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: More bad news.
Free-Market Analysis: We've covered this ground before, but here we have more proof of just how its leadership has let Britain down. It seems odd to recall that only two centuries ago Britain was approaching the peak of its power. It ran an empire over half the world and its civil infrastructure was Roman-like in terms of its efficiency and organization. The industrial revolution had galvanized a British middle class and set Britain off on a course that Rome had never achieved.
But even way back then, the pieces of the British puzzle didn't quite add up. Britain's coffers began to engorge not from normal trade but from the drug trade – specifically opium – which was forced on unwilling subjects abroad, especially in China. The drug trade was not only a particularly shameful aspect of the fortune the British royal family and sundry nobility accumulated, there is substantial evidence that one way or another it continues today, and that British royalty and certain sectors of the American sociopolitical elite continue to benefit from the drug trade, all the while decrying its practice. There are plenty of apocryphal reports that a good deal of international banking is drug related and a great business is made in money laundering.
When one examines the character and business practices of the British elite, one comes away unsurprised as to do what this elite has done to its own people in the past century. Frightened of a civil uprising, aware of its own moral turpitude and depravity, the British power elite, along with its larger monied classes, has launched a long-term campaign to dumb down its citizenry and bring them under the control of the undemocratic European Union.
It has stripped them of education, stuck them with a unraveling health care scheme and used socialism as a way to destroy the economy while building up the power of the banking sector. The only part of British geography that has really gained from this past century of disrule is the square-mile "City" – and that ‘s not even British, apparently.
Conclusion: The British media has been culpable in this campaign, which is only now reaching fruition. What the elite did not count on was that much of its latter machinations would be carried out under the glare of the Internet. As knowledge of what exactly has happened to the British middle and lower classes (and much of the upper class as well) in the late 20th century and early 21st century becomes more common knowledge the fissures running through British society should widen and deepen. This sort of convulsion happened long ago as a result of the Gutenberg press and the Protestant Reformation. The upcoming changes might be no less profound.
Posted by Bernie D. M.D. on 01/11/10 04:32 PM
Speaking of government/bank (which is really one big syndicate) involvement in drug trafficking,here are some interesting links:
Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by Larry Geer on 01/11/10 12:39 PM
It is by pure chance that I have come across this interview and related commentary. I am an English inventor but with a nominal, (post and phone only), office in DC. While my viewpoint is entirely from my own experience, perhaps I can make a useful addition to the debate.
Yes, it is a common perception that the US is about to descend into chaos, but I see a way forward without such disadvantages. Vieira suggests:those myopic people who are trying to figure out how they can personally profit from the coming collapse of America's economy had better start thinking instead of how they can contribute to the effort to prevent that collapse, to fend off a police state that collapse will engender, and to return this country to the rule of constitutional law-right now, before time runs out.
He then goes on to say: with a little organization pursuant to statutes enacted in the States, We the People can effectively enforce Nancy Reagan's dictum: to "just say NO!" to further economic and political incompetence, corruption, and downright oppression in this country, emanating from Washington, D.C., New York City, or anywhere else.
For what it is worth, I believe Vieira is on the right course, but taking the wrong tack, and is turning towards the problem, rather than turning away into clear water. Instead, it is my perception that the solution is to remove the majority from the existing financial system by the application of some simple rules allied to recognition that, in fact, the present Federal Reserve and Banking system is indeed mercantile, but feudal, not free market based.
That if you change the rules of finance to force a true free market in finance, you have all you need without any reference to such as the Supreme Court. Why? Because the banks would not be able to operate as now, under a true free market.
Last September, I put together a free PDF book: The Road Ahead from a Grass Roots Perspective which you may download from Click to view link when you do, you will discover that I have laid out in great detail what is wrong with the markets today and how to bring them back under free market rules.May I be so bold as to suggest that you will have all you need here to overcome the present difficulties, simply by taking the money out of the present system as deposits to the existing system; and replacing that with direct investment of equity capital, on free enterprise terms, back into new, small businesses, created in your local communities under what I describe as a Local Capital Spillway Trust.
With the new small businesses depositing the funds, as equity backed capital, under strict rules, into any new bank you might like to create for that specific purpose. - So, why not?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for the insightful post.
Posted by Dugald Barr on 01/11/10 11:01 AM
Sorry, your explanation will not wash, even by citing two of the 'literally hundreds if not thousands of articles' coming to the unaurprising conclusion that some drug money does get laundered.
You write 'Since the Royal Crown is the titular head of literally trillions of dollars-worth of Commonwealth assets, anything that benefits Commonwealth industry and high-level business interests indirectly benefits the Crown.'
The Crown (not 'the Royal Crown') is the symbolic expression of the British state, personified by the Queen. The only assets of which it is titular owner are British government assets.
The royal family is a collection of individuals related at various degrees to the Queen, some of whom take on royal duties, most of whom do not. Many are not especially rich. The idea that, even if 'Commonwealth industry and high-level business interests' benefited from laundering of drug money this would equate to British royalty benefiting from the drug trade is laughable, and almost certainly libellous.
Reply from The Daily Bell
If British banks and industry are benefitting from the drug trade, then logically so is the British Crown. This is a statement of fact. If indeed the entire British banking system was propped up during the recent crisis as a result of money laundering and drug money (as the UN official suggests), then the Crown can be held to have benefitted as well. The Crown is, after all, intricately involved - one way or another - in City finances, especially. Would not the Crown have suffered if the entire British economy collapsed? This is clear, evident on its face, and not risible in the least.
The Queen as a Monarch and the Head of State receives around 40 million pounds sterlings annualy ( $ 80 million) (which is for the whole Royal Family). That money is to pay for the official royal residences, royal train, state royal trips, royal cars, royal household staff, royal official employees, royal secretaries, representative funds, security and etc.. The queen as Elisabeth Windsor is a private owner of thousands of acres of land, great private residences. She is a holder of shares, profitable hedge funds, investment accounts and much more ,and has a private income of around 11-15 million pounds a year from the private title, that she uses for private life. As a monarch she is the richest person on the planet, estimated around 40 billion pounds sterling (all the residences, pieces of art, royal collection, the lands, the ships and the financial resources hold by the monarch)
Click to view link
'Queen Elizabeth II the largest landowner on Earth.
Queen Elizabeth II, head of state of the United Kingdom and of 31 other states and territories, is the legal owner of about 6,600 million acres of land, one sixth of the earth's non ocean surface.
She is the only person on earth who owns whole countries, and who owns countries that are not her own domestic territory. This land ownership is separate from her role as head of state and is different from other monarchies where no such claim is made " Norway, Belgium, Denmark etc.
The value of her land holding. ï¿½17,600,000,000,000 (approx).
This makes her the richest individual on earth. However, there is no way easily to value her real estate. There is no current market in the land of entire countries. At a rough estimate of $5,000 an acre, and based on the sale of Alaska to the USA by the Tsar, and of Louisiana to the USA by France, the Queen's land holding is worth a notional $33,000,000,000,000 (Thirty three trillion dollars or about ï¿½17,600,000,000,000). Her holding is based on the laws of the countries she owns and her land title is valid in all the countries she owns. Her main holdings are Canada, the 2nd largest country on earth, with 2,467 million acres, Australia, the 7th largest country on earth with 1,900 million acres, the Papua New Guinea with114 million acres, New Zealand with 66 million acres and the UK with 60 million acres.
She is the world's largest landowner by a significant margin. The next largest landowner is the Russian state, with an overall ownership of 4,219 million acres, and a direct ownership comparable with the Queen's land holding of 2,447 million acres. The 3rd largest landowner is the Chinese state, which claims all of Chinese land, about 2,365 million acres. The 4th largest landowner on earth is the Federal Government of the United States, which owns about one third of the land of the USA, 760 million acres. The fifth largest landowner on earth is the King of Saudi Arabia with 553 million acres
Largest five personal landowners on Earth
Queen Elizabeth II...6,600 million acres
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia...553 million acres
King Bhumibol of Thailand...126 million acres
King Mohammed IV of Morocco...113 million acres
Sultan Quaboos of Oman...76 million acres
Click to view link
Posted by Dugald Barr on 01/11/10 10:04 AM
'There is substantial evidence that British royalty ... continue to benefit from the drug trade ...' What evidence? This is an absurd assertion.
The 'Quality of Life Index' does make depressing reading. While I think its methodology is questionable, what does ring true for a UK resident is the sharp fall in the rankings in recent years.
But do not ascribe this to any mythical 'power elite': the responsibility is squarely that of our current government, a bunch of ideologically driven incompetents who have systematically set about dismantling the constitutional, juridical and financial freedoms which had formed the essence of our way of life.
Anything further from an 'elite' than this rabble it would be hard to find.
Reply from The Daily Bell
This is what we wrote in full ...
"The drug trade was not only a particularly shameful aspect of the fortune the British royal family and sundry nobility accumulated, there is substantial evidence that one way or another it continues today, and that British royalty and certain sectors of the American sociopolitical elite continue to benefit from the drug trade, all the while decrying its practice. There are plenty of apocryphal reports that a good deal of international banking is drug related and a great business is made in money laundering."
Since the Royal Crown is the titular head of literally trillions of dollars-worth of Commonwealth assets, anything that benefits Commonwealth industry and high-level business interests indirectly benefits the Crown.
There are literally hundreds if not thousands, of articles on the curious intertwining of the "drug war," its profits and Western complicity and profit-making at the highest levels of Western society, including Britain.
Here's one example:
Legal Business and Illicit Trade are Intertwined
There are powerful business and financial interests behind narcotics. From this standpoint, geopolitical and military control over the drug routes is as strategic as oil and oil pipelines.
Moreover, the above figures including those on money laundering, confirm that the bulk of the revenues associated with the global trade in narcotics are not appropriated by terrorist groups and warlords, as suggested by the UNODC report. In the case of Afghanistan, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that a mere 2.7 billion accrues as revenue within Afghanistan. According to the US State department "Afghanistan drug profits support the Taliban and their terrorism efforts against the United States, its allies and the Afghan government." (statement, the House Appropriations foreign operations, export financing and related programs subcommittee. September 12, 2006)
However, what distinguishes narcotics from legal commodity trade is that narcotics constitutes a major source of wealth formation not only for organized crime but also for the US intelligence apparatus, which increasingly constitutes a powerful actor in the spheres of finance and banking. This relationship has been documented by several studies including the writings of Alfred McCoy. (Drug Fallout: the CIA's Forty Year Complicity in the Narcotics Trade. The Progressive, 1 August 1997).
In other words, intelligence agencies, powerful business, drug traders and organized crime are competing for the strategic control over the heroin routes. A large share of this multi-billion dollar revenues of narcotics are deposited in the Western banking system. Most of the large international banks together with their affiliates in the offshore banking havens launder large amounts of narco-dollars.
This trade can only prosper if the main actors involved in narcotics have "political friends in high places." Legal and illegal undertakings are increasingly intertwined, the dividing line between "businesspeople" and criminals is blurred. In turn, the relationship among criminals, politicians and members of the intelligence establishment has tainted the structures of the state and the role of its institutions including the Military.
Related Article: The Spoils of War: Afghanistan's Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade, by Michel Chossudovsky, July 2005
Click to view link
Here from the Guardian newspaper ...
Sunday 13 December 2009
Drug money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor
Drugs and crime chief says $352bn in criminal proceeds was effectively laundered by financial institutions
Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations' drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.
Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were "the only liquid investment capital" available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.
This will raise questions about crime's influence on the economic system at times of crisis. It will also prompt further examination of the banking sector as world leaders, including Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, call for new International Monetary Fund regulations.
Speaking from his office in Vienna, Costa said evidence that illegal money was being absorbed into the financial system was first drawn to his attention by intelligence agencies and prosecutors around 18 months ago. "In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor," he said.
"Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities... There were signs that some banks were rescued that way." Costa declined to identify countries or banks that may have received any drugs money, saying that would be inappropriate because his office is supposed to address the problem, not apportion blame. But he said the money is now a part of the official system and had been effectively laundered.
A British Bankers' Association spokesman said: "We have not been party to any regulatory dialogue that would support a theory of this kind. There was clearly a lack of liquidity in the system and to a large degree this was filled by the intervention of central banks."
Click to view link
Posted by Rebecca Iocca on 01/11/10 03:29 AM
A very nice comparison between the English and the Americans concerning the drug trade. We colonials did learn well. Yes, it makes sense that our self-proclaimed elite are the real profiteers in the their rigged illegal drug trade. What's the tell tale sign, high prices maintained by govt. force. Amazing!
Reply from The Daily Bell
It is sad.