Posts Tagged ‘Yanis Varoufakis’

DiEM TV: Another Now with Yanis Varoufakis

December 4, 2020

Putting one of the ideas in Another Now into action, last week Black Friday, one day of action against Amazon, buy nothing from Amazon,  do not visit their website, Make Amazon Pay.

During the pandemic Jeff Bezos has increased his wealth by $85 billion. Wealth begets wealth. Jeff Bezos can afford to take risks, have a long range vison, fund loss making projects, within Amazon can leverage projects to benefit all aspects of the business, we see this with artificial intelligence, when Amazon recommends a book it will be possible worth reading.

Facebook abuses its position, as we saw with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook knows more about us than we know ourselves, we are commodities to be used and abused and sold, it can target and manipulate us.

On reading Another Now I thought when do we fight back, when do we start the guerrilla tech war against the tech giants, against the banks, against dirty industries?

We need financial engineers, software engineers, leading researchers in artificial intelligence, who know where to hit vulnerable fragile systems with coordinated attacks.

The fight has begun with Make Amazon Pay, one day of targeted action against Amazon, buy nothing on Black Friday do not even visit their website on that day.

One week on from Black Friday, over 400 parliamentarians from across the world including Yanis Varoufakis and Jeremy Corbyn join in the call to Make Amazon Pay.

A tweet by Mark Dodds suggests a target for the UK, pubcos, a day when we do not drink in any tied pub or corporate pub chains.

Pubcos are zombie companies mired in debt. When they tire of relieving fools of their money they sell off their pubs for redevelopment.

There is action we can all take.

Support local indy businesses, buy coffee from a speciality coffee shop where they care about coffee, you will quite literally taste the difference.

During the first lockdown, I visited little independent shops, the local butcher, baker, fishmonger, fruit and vegetable market stall,  not once did I visit a supermarket. And it was safer to shop in these  little shops, limited numbers, I was in and out within a couple of minutes.

We do not have to use WhatsApp or Instagram, there are alternatives, post pictures to twitter not Instagram, use Skype not WhatsApp.

Facebook must be broken up, stripped of WhatsApp and Instagram.

We should overwrite all personal information on Facebook with false information, allow a couple of days to propagate through the system then delete. Never ever quiz, game or survey on Facebook,  these are scams to harvest your data, as Cambridge Analytica used very effectively. Never tag friends.

There are alternatives to using Amazon if wish to buy books on-line. But better still, pay a visit to your local bookshop.

Amazon provides a platform for third party vendors and these account for around half the sales through Amazon. A somewhat crappy website does the same, except demands a larger discount from indie publishers than they give Amazon and for bookshops they make less on a book sale than if you walked through their door and bought a book and the sale is not fulfilled by the bookshop.

Writers can do their bit, stop directing to Amazon, support local bookshops, ask your publisher to offer Amazon discounts to local bookshops, at the very least as special offer when books are published.

Tech giants should be taxed on revenue where that revenue is generated. The same should also apply to tax dodging corporations for example Starbucks.

Our lives are controlled by algorithms, Big Tech owns the algorithms. The world of We, a world controlled by numbers.

Amazons suggests what I may wish to read, YouTube what I may wish to watch.

Big Tech has monopolised research on AI. To whose benefit, who has oversight?

Those who speak out are fired.

The treatment of employees by Big Tech who dare challenge their lack of ethics is not restricted to Amazon, as we see with the treatment of Timnit Gebru by Google.

Google fired the technical co-lead of the Ethical Artificial Intelligence Team Timnit Gebru for raising issues of ethics.

Please sign the statement in support of Timnit Gebru.

A day of action against Google in support of Timnit Gebru. What form should it take? For example a coordinated walk out by Google staff on the same day of no use of Google Chrome or YouTube.

Support and use open source software.

Download and install Brave, a faster alternative to Chrome that cuts out the crap.

Brave is a free open-source web browser.  It blocks ads and website trackers, and provides a way for users to send cryptocurrency contributions in the form of Basic Attention Tokens to websites and content creators.

Yanis Varoufakis discussing Adults in the Room

May 1, 2017

Yanis Varoufakis and Paul Mason in conversation at Union Chapel to discuss Adults in the Room, an account of the European Deep State.

Larry Summers asked Yanis Varoufakis, are you in the inside or the outside?

In other words, are you one of us?

Christine Lagarde, after hours of fighting with Yanis Varoufakis, relaxing afterwards, admitted, he was right, and what was was being done to Greece was wrong, but it had to be done to satisfy the political establishment.

In discussion with US Treasury, they admitted, what was being done by the EU to destroy Greece, they were not happy with, but Greece was Germany’s sphere of influence, and they could not interfere.

Yanis Varoufakis was then  warned, be aware, in a week, a smear campaign will be launched against you by the EU.

One week later, that was what happened, a smear campaign was run. Lazy journalists, with ties to the Deep State, were briefed, they print their lies, and the rest  of the media regurgitates. Lies become facts.

If Yanis Varoufakis attempts to correct the lies, it is then reported as Yanis Varoufakis denies he said. That was never said, not reported.

Until that is he was interviewed by the New York Times, and said it was all a  pack of lies. Who should we believe, it is your word against theirs? Ah, yes, I recorded the meetings.

Not all journalists are of the calibre or integrity of Paul Mason.

Greece was neither here nor there. Greece had to be destroyed to serve as a warning to others.

We are seeing the same with Brexit. UK cannot be seen as being better off outside the EU. It must be punished to serve as a warning to others. That this will destroy Europe is seen as irrelevant.

Yanis Varoufakis set up the Untouchables, a secret task force to deal with Oligarchs and tax dodgers. They obtained records from the banks to show where the money was flowing, then compared with tax receipts. They then offered an amnesty, declare and we will tax you at 15%, we are letting you off lightly, fail to declare and we will bring criminal prosecutions, and by the way, we know who you are.

This programme, which would have brought in billions of euros, was scrapped by the Troika.

The Troika was supported by the Oligarchs, the Troika in turn supported the Oligarchs.

When Greece held its referendum, the media campaigned against No to the Troika. The media owned by the Oligarchs. The Greeks showed courage, they voted No, even though they knew there would be a price to pay. They were betrayed by Greek politicians.

A condition of the next bailout, was to scrap the programme to claw back the tax that had been dodged.

Know who is your enemy, the enemy within. In Labour, those who sabotage the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

In Brighton, it is insanity for Labour to oppose Caroline Lucas.

Everyone urged to join DiEM25 to form progressive alliances across Europe.

We have to transfer power back to nation states, back to town halls, back to people, at the same time, network and cooperate.

When Greece needed help and support, they were betrayed by politicians across Europe, politicians who pretend to be progressive.

When someone says they want to be a politician, want power, they are the people not to vote for.

Intervento in diretta di Varoufakis

May 2, 2016

Yanis Varoufakis addressing a Mayday Rally at Taranto in Italy.

The future of the Mediterranean, of Europe, of our Society, will depend upon two things:

  1. Our capacity to combine technology, industry and the environment.
  2. A network of citizen controlled cities eg Barcelona, Valencia, that will cooperate across Europe.

The key is investment is people and green technology.

We have to instigate  a Flatpack  Democacy revolution as happened in Frome in every town hall, then network and cooperate across Europe, share ideas, support each other.

We have to recycle materials, buildings and people.  For example The Hive in Dalston.

For steel industry to survive in Europe, it has to focus on high end products.

We cannot compete with India and China producing mass production, commodity steel.

To move to high end, high quality, requires high information input, which in turns requires investment.

We are not seeing the required investment.

Left wing parties stopped being left wing a long time ago.

We only have to look to the Labour Party under Tony Blair.

Things are changing under Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, but they are being attacked and undermined on a daily basis by embittered Blairites, for whom the mainstream media provides a soapbox.

At all levels of government, must be accountable to the demos, the people.

Countries of southern Europe have been reduced to vassal states of the EU. The polices imposed on these vassal states are impoverishing the people.

Massive IMF Bailouts are “Ponzi Austerity” Scheme

April 28, 2016

Yanis Varoufakis on Democracy Now discussing the fiscal waterboarding Greece was subjected to.

Greece dared challenge the EU dictatorship. For that Greece had to be punished.

The loans to Greece did not bail out Greece, they were bailouts for French and German banks. The money flowed into Greece, and straight back out again.

A Ponzi scam: Money flows in, the scheme appears to be growing, but it is not growing, it relies upon finding fresh investors to keep pouring in money to give the illusion it is growing. Indeed, the fund is shrinking because those running the scam are creaming off from the scam. Eventually the bubble bursts.

We are seeing the same Ponzi scams with high tech scams. The value of the company is entirely dependent upon finding fresh mugs to pour in money to inflate the value of the company. The intention being to flog off the company at its inflated price before the bubble bursts.

Ponzi austerity is a variant of pretend and extend. Keep lending money to an insolvent entity, in this case a country,  to enable it to pay off the existing loans. In the meantime, strings attached, in the trade known as conditionalities, to implement austerity. The economy shrinks, making it ever less likely to be able to repay the loans.

Lame duck President Obama, visited first UK, to try and intimidate the Brits to stay in the UK. It was then visit Germany to discuss forcing through TTIP that strips us of democratic accountability, handing control to global corporations, then on to Saudia Arabia to sell weapons to the corrupt House of Saud, which when the corrupt House of Saud falls, the weapons will be in the hands of ISIS.

IMF is wishing to trigger a crisis in Greece.

62% of the Greek people in a referendum last year said No to the EU. This was in spite of the intimidation they were subjected to (similar intimidation we are seeing in the UK to force Brits to vote Yes to the EU). The Greek people showed courage and voted No. They were betrayed by Syriza who capitulated to the EU.

Greece is now ruled by diktat from the EU. The government a puppet of the EU.

At the end of the Second World War, the Americans created the Bretton Woods system. Currencies in Europe were linked to the dollar, the dollar linked to gold. US, as the surplus country, recycled its surpluses through Europe.

J M Keynes wanted to create an international body to recycle the surpluses. The Americans vetoed this as it was their money that was being recycled.

This worked fine until 1971, when US flipped from being a surplus country to a deficit country.

US then decided as a deficit country, it would recycle the surpluses through Wall Street.

Not sustainable, finally crashed in 2008.

An evening with Yanis Varoufakis

April 6, 2016
an evening with Yanis Varoufakis at Union Chapel

an evening with Yanis Varoufakis at Union Chapel

We should be clear on this, the EU sucks but there should be no alternative than to try and civilise it. — Yanis Varoufakis

An evening with Yanis Varoufakis in conversation with Owen Jones at Union Chapel in Islington.

Yanis Varoufakis was arrested several times whilst in England in the 1980s on various student protests. His father was in a concentration camp.

His father grew up in a Greek community in Egypt. On returning to Greece, he was of no political persuasion, and was seen by fellow students as a neutral figure.  When the university doubled student fees, he went to see the Vice-Chancellor to argue the case against. On leaving, he was roughed up by secret police, then asked to sign a document renouncing the Communists. He refused. For this refusal, he was tortured and placed in a concentration camp for three years.

When Syriza were elected, the people were jubilant, not only in Greece, but across Europe. Here was  a party of activists, who from 4% of the vote had taken 40% of the vote. They were prepared to take a stance against the EU. They had the support of people across Europe. For that reason Greece had to be destroyed, the political contagion could not be allowed to spread across Europe, people could not be allowed hope.

Irish and Cypriot governments had betrayed their people, were mere puppets of the EU. What could they say, what excuses offer, if the Greeks fought and they did not? Greece had to be  destroyed. There is nothing like the threat of a good example.

Within days of taking office, Yanis Varoufakis was visited by the EU and told, he could not challenge the EU, that if he did, the Greek banks would be destroyed.

At a meeting of the euro group, told that a democratic decision by the Greek people was irrelevant, counted for nothing.

Greece was told it was not acceptable for the government to consult its own people in  a referendum.

Greek people are in debt bondage. First time in history creditors do not want their money back, as the polices imposed on Greece make the debt unpayable. But they do not want their money back, it is about servitude.

Greek people last year showed courage. They voted No to the EU. They were then betrayed by their own government, that signed a surrender government.  What took place was a coup. Syriza are not running Greece, the EU is running Greece. Instead of tanks, banks were used to occupy and crush a country.

They did not have to sign. They had the backing of the Greek people not to sign.

Greece could have refused to repay part of the debt they owed. This  would have  caused the euro to collapse.

What Greece was expected to sign, was presented in unintelligible Greek. It was a Google translation.

An English version was obtained.

Two key phrases in the first page:

  • Greece had to agree to everything the EU demanded
  • Any legislation put before Greek Parliament had to have prior EU approval

Yanis Varoufakis could not agree to this as it would be a betrayal of Greece.  He resigned.

David Cameron has falsely claimed he has achieved reform of the EU. He has not. He is now squandering in excess of £9 million on EU propaganda to be delivered to every household. This is money that would be better spent on keeping libraries open.

DiEM25 argue for UK to remain part of the EU to fight for reform. They fear a breakup of the EU will return Europe to the 1930s.

Everyone is urged to sign and share the DiEM25 petition calling for transparency within the EU.

We should be under no illusion about the EU, it is a cesspit.

DiEM25 are demanding democratic reform, transparency. EU meetings should be live streamed over the internet, minutes and transcripts should be published.

The European Investment Bank should be accountable to the people of Europe. It should be investing in green technology.

Europe is stagnating. There is no investment. Even in Germany, which is sitting on a huge surplus, is not investing.

Even when we look at a  very local level we see this lack of investment, town centres collapsing, people have no money.  Where they are in employment, it is low paid, soul destroying McJobs.

Aldershot as an example. A decaying town, boarded-up shops. TechStart, the one success story, a social enterprise that recycles computers, provides help and training, a net café for the local community. It is located in a  dead shopping shopping centre. It could form a hub of local social enterprises, for example a social enterprise café turning waste food from supermarkets and farms into delicious meals. Instead, TechStart is closing at the end of the month because the local Town hall is cutting its funding.

There has to be a European Convention, where the people, not politicians, decide the future of Europe.

There are some good things that come out of the EU: minimum working conditions, environmental standards. But would it not be better if these came from our own democratic countries not via the back door of a dictatorship?

The same EU is pushing TTIP in secret. An international treaty that is less about trade than removing even the fig leaf of democracy and handing control to global corporations.

If UK leaves the EU, brexit which is likely, the EU will collapse. It is already close to collapse.

If it collapses, this could release dark forces across Europe, as we saw in the 1930s following the Wall Street Crash and Great Depression.

But would it? There certainly is that risk. If people are working across Europe to reform the EU, can they also not work across Europe to cooperate as sovereign democratic countries?

The release of The Panama Papers, has shown the extent of tax dodging and money laundering.  The Mafia surrounding Vladimir Putin has laundered $2 billion,  the Chinese elite has transferred  a trillion dollars out of China in the last year. This dirty money inflates property prices in London. One of the first casualties, the Prime Minister of Iceland.

We need  openness and transparency. Abolition of tax havens, not reform.

It should be  a criminal offence to transfer funds to a tax haven, set up off-shore shell companies, nominee directors, bearer bonds. Fine of $1 million or ten times the funds transferred. Ten years in prison for the board of directors.

John McDonnell some time ago offered to place his tax affairs in the public domain. This should be obligatory for all politicians.

In Norway, tax affairs are in the public domain. In England it is a criminal offence to publish the tax affairs of another.

When Yanis Varoufakis was criticised for profiting from the Greek crisis by going on a speaking tour, he answered his critics by publishing details of fees received.

We are entering a post-capitalist phase.

We can have a future of coops, open coops where the community has a say, which contribute to the collaborative commons, where information flows freely, where we do not require large companies, where with high information content, we can assemble locally or even print with 3D printers.

An alternative future is that of atomised individuals, serfs to apps, Uber drivers, task rabbits, transfer of wealth from the poor and exploited, where people work to the command of robots.

Who decides: the people or corrupt politicians?

Would Yanis Varoufakis wish to be Greek Prime Minister? No. But, if asked, would say yes as public service, a dirty job that needs to be done.  We should not have leaders.  Nor should the people expect to be led.

John McDonnell is showing an alternative is possible. Instead of top-down, dictating to the masses he is drawing on ideas from the grass roots

We have to move to participatory democracy, away from representative democracy, look to Frome where the people mounted a Flatpack Democracy revolution, seized control of the local Town hall, as has happened across Spain. Ordinary people need to seize control of their local Town Halls, open the meetings to public participation, then network across Europe.

We are not Europeans, we are English, French, German, Russian, Catalan, people with a proud history, our own culture, but that does not mean  we cannot cooperate with each other.

Looking to the future, we need to have a panel discussion between Paul Mason, Yanis Varoufakis and Michel Bauwens, sketching out what this post-capitalist future of open coops, collaborative commons, would look like. By no means prescriptive but a road map.

In Greece, the people are not crushed, they still have the spirit to fight the cesspit that is the EU. Their government may have surrendered, the Greek people have not surrendered.

Yanis Varoufakis can walk the streets, people stop and wish to chat, these are people from all walks of life.

And the weak suffer what they must

And the weak suffer what they must?

Yanis Varoufakis book signing at Union Chapel

Yanis Varoufakis book signing at Union Chapel

The conversation was followed by book signing of And the weak suffer what they must?

What was nice before I set off, an e-mail from Union Chapel welcoming me, and telling me what was available to eat.  A nice touch.



After book signing I retreated to the bar and had chicken. It did not look good, but was surprisingly tasty. I added a little salad. It could have done with rice.

The meeting was video recorded. This will be added when available.

Yanis Varoufakis was on Start the Week with Andrew Marr.

Union Chapel is in Islington, more or less opposite Highbury and Islington Station.  It is a stunning building, both a church and a music venue. It was here where Jeremy Corbyn held his last rally before being elected Labour Party leader. An ideal venue for singer-songwriter Jewelia to play a  concert. Work is done with the homeless. One of the projects is to help with the meals.


Yanis Varoufakis at AlpenSymposium

January 14, 2016

Yanis Varoufakis in discussion at AlpenSymposium.

Extend and pretend, grant huge loans to a  country, in this case Greece, when it is known the loans cannot be repaid, the loans then used as an excuse to destroy a country.

Last January, Syriza were elected to great hope. Six months later they betrayed the Greek people, hope replaced by despair. Greece now under occupation by the EU.

The Greek crisis in reality is not a Greek criss, it is a European crisis.

EU is a corrupt, malignant force, it is not democratic, it was established as a cartel, it still functions as a cartel. The euro was introduced to aid price fixing.

TTIP is being pushed in secret by the EU.

We have David Cameron claiming to be renegotiating UK relationship with EU. He is doing nothing of the sort. The focus is on whether or not immigrants can claim benefits. Few are in UK to claim benefits, they are there to work, high unemployment and low wages in their own countries forcing them to seek work elsewhere. The rare exception being the filthy Nepalese parasites that have poured into the UK.

Any meaningful change would require Treaty change, agreement of every single country, of the European Parliament (an expensive talking shop)  and  the European Commission (a Fascist dictatorship).

David Cameron is not arguing for any meaningful democratic reform that would make the EU accountable to the people of Europe.

It was EU meddling in Ukraine, that has created the crisis and civil war in Ukraine and brought the West to the brink of war with Russia.

There are only two ways forward for Europe, one is the democratic reform proposed by Yanis Varoufakis  (It ignores that the EU is too big an entity to ever be accountable). The other is to smash the EU, the Fourth Reich in all but name, for it to be broken up and replaced by cooperating, democratic, sovereign states.

For some perverse reason, only five minutes is available of what looks like an interesting discussion.

#ThisIsACoup Yanis Varoufakis in conservation with Paul Mason

December 24, 2015

Yanis Varoufakis in conservation with Paul Mason discussing the 20 February 2015 agreement with the EU. Bad as it was, it was not as bad as it could have been, as Yanis Varoufakis managed to obtain agreement on changing the worst aspects that had previously been imposed on Greece.

Additional film footage for the Paul Mason documentary #ThisIsACoup.

I was in contact with a Greek friend on the eve of the referendum. She was in two minds of how to vote. She had last her job a year ago, after much effort she had found two temporary jobs. She had voted for Syriza in January. She had lost one of her two jobs, had not been paid for the other. She was in despair.

After the No vote, rejecting EU austerity, I thought she would be happy. No, they will punish us.

My friend, as with many Greeks, showed great courage in voting Oxi. To only then be betrayed by  Alexis Tsipras and Syriza when they signed a surrender document.

Talking to Greeks in Athens in October, where there was hope in January, now there is despair. They have lost all confidence in politicians.

The exception is Yanis Varoufakis. He commands a great deal of respect. My Greek friends working in a coffee shop in Cyprus (there being no work in Greece) refer to him as their hero.

The way forward is for Greek people to resist, they cannot rely upon elected politicians, to establish alternative sharing economies, alternative currencies.


December 18, 2015

I felt as if the earth had imploded under my feet. I felt incredible sadness and a sense of having betrayed the 62 percent of Greeks who had shown astonishing courage—and I don’t think we had the historical right to do that. — Yanis Varoufakis

#ThisIsACoup, a four-part series telling the story of the European Union’s confrontation with the Greek Syriza party in 2015. With unprecedented access to key Greek politicians.

Directed by Theopi Skarlatos, edited by Andreas Loukakos, produced by Paul Mason

Released by Field of Vision, the filmmaker driven film journalism unit co-created by Laura Poitras, AJ Schnack, and Charlotte Cook.

Funded through crowdfunding.

In 2010, Greece was broke. More money was lent, classic pretend and extend, the money came with strings attached, Draconian conditions set, which destroyed Greece.  Austerity was used as a front for Shock Doctrine, slash and burn of public services, cuts to welfare, to pensions. As a result the Greek economy collapsed, unemployment rose, making it even less likely the loans could ever be repaid. And the money that was loaned to Greece, did not find its way into Greek pockets (except maybe that of oligarchs and corrupt politicians), it went straight back out to bailout German banks.

Syriza were elected with a democratic mandate to challenge the EU, to reject austerity that was destroying Greece.

ECB turned off finance to Greek banks. This caused a run on the banks, and the banks were forced to close. It was part of the pressure put on Greece, a delibearte attampt to bring Greece to its knees.

Fiscal waterboarding.

A referendum is called. The people vote OXI, over 60% vote No to the EU proposals.

Syriza had what they wanted, Greeks had said no to the EU. Syriza then betrayed the people, signed a surrender document with the EU.

EU was not interested is solving the Greek debt crisis. They had only one intention to crush Greece. to serve as an exam[le tp any other cuntrty that thought to challened the EU.

In January, when Syriza were elected, there was hope. Now, with what the people see as betrayal by Syriza, hope has turned to despair.

If any lessons learnt, it is that the ordinary people have to take control and drive change themselves.  The only way forward, is for Greeks to run their own affairs.

Paul Mason is Economics Editor of Channel 4 News and author of PostCapitalism.

Yanis Varoufakis Oxford Union Address

December 4, 2015

Academic freedom is something we should value and cherish. Too many universities are bums-on-seats businesses with academics on fixed-term contracts judged by the income they generate for the university, measured by the number of worthless papers they churn out, meanwhile university vice-chancellors are on obscene salaries.

Man needs models to understand the universe. With greater understanding, we refine out models.

The earth carried on the back of a turtle. The sun carried across the sky in  a chariot. The stars, the heavens rotating around the earth, the earth being the centre of the universe, Man the centre of the earth. The earth rotating around the sun a minor star in a spiral arm of an obscure galaxy.

There is a limit to our models, and we must always remember our models are not reality. Wave-particle duality. Chaos theory. The observer being part of what is happening within the sub-atomic world.

Economics likes to pretend it is an exact science. It is not.

If a scientist, makes a prediction of what the universe is like, proves to be wrong, that does not change the universe.  Newton had a model of the Laws of Motion. Einstein showed these were an approximation for the world we live in, but did not apply at relativistic speeds approaching the speed of light.

Did the Laws of Motion come into being when Newton thought of them, or were they always there waiting to be discovered? A question posed in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

The earth is not flat, no matter how hard insist that it is, any more than global warming is not Man made (though those who insist, know it is Man made, they do not like the impact the acceptance has on their dirty carbon business and pointless consumption).

When an economist provides a model, society behaves as though that is the real world, that is it changes how society behaves.

The neo-liberal world is not the real world, though we act as though it is.

Capitalism is not a Law of Nature, it is not set in stone. It occupies a very small part of human history. The pyramids were not built by capitalists.

The euro was flawed from the start. It is not possible to impose a common currency on different economies. We should have learnt that when a common currency was imposed on the re-unification of East and West Germany.

In 2010, Greece was broke. It was bankrupt. It was lent more money, with conditions set that destroyed the Greek economy and made repayment even less likely. Syriza has surrendered to the EU, accepted more money, agreed to even worse conditions. Pretend and extend.

EU is a malignant, corrupt, undemocratic body. We have a simple choice, either reform as recommended by Yanis Varoufakis or destroy and replace by cooperating, sovereign, democratic states.

The role of a Central Bank is to provide banks with liquidity. Instead ECB  turned off funding to Greek banks to bring Greece to its knees

EU was only too happy to destroy Greece to protect the status quo, to send a message to other countries, dare challenge us, and we will destroy you.

Syriza had the backing of the people to stand firm against EU, to then be betrayed by Syriza. They should have taken the advice of Yanis Varoufakis, stood firm, defaulted on 27 billion euros from ECB.

In January there was hope, now following betrayal, there is despair.

In  a just society, we help and support the weakest members whether or not they are rogues. We allow evil people like Murdoch to accumulate  vast wealth and that is seen as ok.

When in a society, as in Greece, suicide rates have risen, unemployment has risen, GDP has collapsed by 28%, when pensions have been cut, when teachers have seen their salaries halved, when children faint at school due to malnutrition,  we have to say there is something wrong with the economic system.

In Manchester, students have reacted, they have objected to the economics they are being taught, that has no bearing to the real world.

Post-WWII, we had eminent economists like J M Keynes who helped draw up a new economic system. Where are the Keynes of today?

If Greece is to move forward, ordinary citizens must seize control, non-cooperation with EU, a Flatapck Democracy revolution, ordinary citizens, reluctant politicians drawn from society, not career politicians, seize control of town councils, introduce democratic reforms, public participation, network those towns, not only across Greece, but across Europe, introduce alternative currencies outside the control of Central Banks.

Beyond Austerity

November 22, 2015
Yanis Varoufakis and John McDonnell

Yanis Varoufakis and John McDonnell

Meeting at Methodist Central Hall. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, professor of economics and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, various trade union leaders, antiwar, looking at how we move beyond austerity.  Overshadowed by the atrocities in Paris and looming war with Isis.

The meeting started with a minute silence for all the victims of terrorist violence.

With the election of Jeremy Corby and with John McDonnell as finance, Labour for the first time has an anti-austerity team. For the first time there is hope.

Austerity is an excuse for Shock Doctrine, slash and burn of public services, mass sell-off, cuts  to social services.

The worst affected are the disabled.

The probation service is being privatised, with all that means with criminals being put back into the community and if they re-offend where are the police to respond when police numbers are being cut and police stations closed?

Councils are facing serious financial cuts. They will provide what they have a statutory obligation to provide and nothing more. Social services are in crisis.

Collapse in social services, means people do not receive the care they need. They end up in hospital, which puts further strain on an already overstretched NHS, and costs more.

Lincolnshire is closing thirty out of forty-five libraries, with the remaining fifteen on reduced hours. But this has less to do with funding, than the leader of the council Martin Hill a moron and a Philistine.

Councils will offer the bare minimum they are under a statutory obligation to provide, nothing more, services will be outsourced and privatised, dependency upon charities.

In the constituency of John McDonnell, there are families living in sheds.

Go to Aldershot, there are families living in a multi-story car park, or there was.

George Osborne will announce more cuts in his Autumn Statement, be lauded in the press as a wizard, a genius. But is he?

He has increased both the deficit and the debt.  Balance of payment is at a record high. There is no investment. He wants to cut corporation tax to only 18%. As a country we earn very little, as everything has been sold off.

Companies are paying out record dividends, sitting on a cash mountain, but not investing, they see no future.

John McDonnell gives a conservative  estimate of a £400 to £500 billion cash surplus, Yanis Varoufakis put it at £750 billion.

This is idle cash. We must invest it, put it to productive use.

UK is a leader in scientific research, but lags on investment.

We should invest in green infrastructure, invest in education.

People have no future. It used to be each generation had better prospects, now it is the opposite.

People need to have creative work, where they contribute to the greater good of society.

We have to end the tax avoidance and tax evasion by global corporations.

Banks have to be split, casino banking from retail banking, they must be broken up, subject to better regulation. If they wish to gamble, do with their own money. They do not contribute to society. We reduce their stranglehold by investment in other sectors of the economy, in  skills.

Mass media has become rabid propaganda channels for the 1%, spewing a daily drip, drip, drip feed of misinformation, lies, smears and hate.  We must form our own communication channels. The media must be broken up. We cannot have people like Murdoch, Lord Rothermere, Barclay Brothers owning large chunks of the media.

Media channels that give an alternative view and help nail many of the lies.

The Tories do not have a mandate. They got 11 million out of 46 million votes.

The election of Jeremy Corbyn and the immediate aftermath has shown Labour has a problem. Members of Parliament who do not represent their constituents.

What is a good society? Think of a good family. They help to develop, look after the weakest and the sick, those who have strayed they try to bring back.

We are facing a return to the 1930s. That is where the Tories are taking us.

We must opposes austerity. This includes taking direct action. All progressive forces, anti-austerity campaigners, disability rights activists, climate activists, must all join forces to oppose austerity and map out an alternative.

On leaving the meeting, walking through Whitehall, to Piccadilly Circus, along Oxford Street, through Soho, to Covent Garden, then at night after eating at Home Slice in Covent Garden, I was shocked at the number of homeless bedding down and sleeping on the street. I have never seen this number before. It was worse than what I saw of homeless on the streets of Athens.

As with the homeless bedding down for a night on the street, my journey by train was also indicative of all that is wrong. A train of only five coaches, overcrowded, standing room only, for which we pay some of the highest fares in Europe.

Meeting was organised by Trade Union Co-ordinating Group with the support of The People’s Assembly. The meeting was filmed by Let Me Look TV.

Special thanks to Yanis Varoufakis for book signing.

Yanis Varoufakis book signing

Yanis Varoufakis book signing

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