Society’s Not Working

Over recent years we have all been led to believe that we are living under the best possible political system – Democracy – combined with the best possible economic system – Free Market Capitalism. However since the Economic Crisis seven years ago it has become increasingly clear that this is actually untrue, and that our society is riven with problems, and in particular the gulf between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots ‘ is growing ever wider. The evidence of all the things that are going so very wrong is plain for all to see, including some of the following shocking facts:

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More people than ever before are being forced to use foodbanks.
Picture © Sterling Communications

Poverty – We’re the 5th richest country in the world, capitalism is supposed to bring us untold wealth, and yet for some reason 13 million people (20% of the population) still live in poverty, including 2.3 million children.

Food Banks – Again we’re the 5th richest country in the world, and yet charities report that they are having to set up more and more food banks as in our prosperous society ever-higher numbers of people can’t afford to eat. Last year no fewer than 500,000 people visited food banks.

Unemployment – This has remained stubbornly high, and even during the ‘boom’ years before the 2008 financial crash, 1.5 million people were unable to find a job. It then rapidly rose to 2.7 million and even now, as we are being told the economy is growing again, there are still over 1.6 million people out of work.

Benefits – People know about benefits being paid to the 1.6 million unemployed. What is less well known is that almost another 1 million people who are in work are also on benefits because their wages are so low (meaning taxpayers are in effect increasing the profits of large corporates by subsidising low wages).

The Banking Crisis – How can we all forget that in 2008 the financial sector, which is supposed to be such a great generator of wealth for all, led us into the worst economic crisis for 80 years, the results of which we are all still reeling from. And now, while the City gets back into business-as-usual, with another round of huge bonuses, the rest of society still undergoes austerity, and will for at least another 5 years apparently.
City Traders – For them all traces of the recession are now gone, so it’s back to business-as-usual.
Picture © Hoshiljones

Cost of Living: Top earners continue to enjoy above-inflation pay increases, which they justify by saying that in order to get the right people you have to pay a ‘market salary’; but at the same time ordinary people are told they will have to continue to endure below inflation pay-rises (and in some cases pay freezes or even pay-cuts) because Austerity is the price we all must pay for the economic crisis. We’re supposed to be ‘all in this together’, though quite clearly we aren’t.

Tax Avoidance – Not a day goes by without us hearing about how much we are losing to tax avoidance, but the government, despite a lot of talking about it, in reality does little. It’s worth noting that while £1.2bn/year is lost to benefit fraud and £5bn is paid out as job-seekers allowance,  £95bn a year is lost to tax avoidance. Rich tax avoiders are the real financial burden on this country.

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Soaring energy prices are becoming a major political issue.
Picture © Yummifruitbat

Energy Prices – Privatisation was supposed to deliver cheaper fuel, and yet our bills are now the highest in Europe (even though oil prices have dropped very low), many people can’t afford to heat their homes properly, and last winter 43,900 people died from the cold (a 151% increase on the previous year ).

Water Bills – Again privatisation was supposed to lead to greater efficiencies and cheaper bills, but in reality our bills have climbed inexorably higher (doubling since privatisation), while the owners of the water companies become ever richer and use tax avoidance schemes to increase their wealth further.

Transport Costs – Our rail fares are now the most expensive in Europe, again a complete failure of the promises of privatisation, while on the Underground in London ever-greater cutbacks, and compromises to health and safety are threatened due to shortage of funds.

House Prices – House ownership has become the preserve of the rich, with property prices now at such astronomical levels that most ordinary people will never be able to afford a deposit, let alone buy their own home. The only winners nowadays are property investors and the profusion of buy-to-let landlords.

Homelessness – At the other end of society 79,000 families in this country are homeless, and yet at the same time there are also 200,000 empty properties in the UK.

Stafford Hospital – The site of one of several recent NHS scandals. Picture © Alistair Rose

NHS – Created after the Second World War this is one of the things that British people are most proud of, and yet it now seems to be in crisis with falling standards, hospitals closing, increased waiting times, allegations of managerial incompetence and corruption, and frequent talk of an impending financial crisis.

MP’s Expenses – Recent scandals with MP’s pay and expenses reveal that many of our leaders, far from being inspirational people who have our best intentions at heart, are simply careerists whose main objective is to line their own pockets.

Voting – The disillusionment with our political process is no more starkly demonstrated than by ever-falling numbers of people voting, as people recognise that whichever party they vote for, nothing changes, as all the main parties are virtually indistinguishable. Alternative parties with alternative views are unable to break through as the system is fixed against them.

Cronyism – Almost every day we hear in the news of the latest scandal where people in high office are given vast bonuses or pay-offs, often as a reward for being incompetent or facing dismissal. Some of the worst offenders are public services, such as the NHS, BBC and the Civil Service, where top officials give themselves vast sums of money, while at the same time telling us services must be cut due to lack of funds.

Immigration: Despite 1.6 million unemployed the country is still a magnet for jobseekers.
Picture © Wikimediacommons/Dannyman

Immigration: We are told that immigrants are essential for the economy to carry out crucial jobs and fuel economic growth, while at the same time 1.6 million people already in the country don’t seem to be able to get a job.

This is a very long list, and there’s plenty more not included here. We are now allegedly experiencing a recovery, and yet at the same time the government is telling us that  Austerity will continue for at least another 5 years. How can that be? And what is going so very wrong with society?

This website attempts to explain the flaws in our economic and political systems, how if nothing is done things will continue getting worse, and why only when ordinary people stand up and say they’ve had enough will it be possible to change things for the better.

To get started with an overview of why everything has gone so wrong, click here.


36 thoughts on “Society’s Not Working

  1. I apologise if this is wrong but I don’t want to scroll through your posts to check, anyway, you don’t seem to have mentioned 2 of the biggest drains of money from uk. 1: the parasites called royal family 2: the trident replacement waste of money.

  2. By studying your economic chart, I see that the most economically prosperous times you’ve ever had was when Margret Thatcher was in charge. Then, you took a Left turn and haven’t been the same since.

  3. You talk about immigrants coming here to work while there are 2 million unemployed. Is it not likely that the immigrants coming here to work are coming to a job, rather than coming to join the dole queue? We have doctors and businessmen and teachers and lawyers. Most of the 2 million unemployed don’t have specific qualifications to be a surgeon or a lawyer or a vet. There are immigrants coming in who save lives and pay their taxes. Immigrants can be an asset when they are bringing skills with them that we have a shortage of here. More focus should be set to the 2 million unemployed and giving them the skills to get into employment. Immigrants don’t adversely affect our skills training – that’s been the job of successive governments.

    1. I agree most immigrants come to work, not to be benefit tourists. However I think it is a travesty that the government justifies the need for immigrants on the basis they bring essential skills, while at the same time doing almost nothing to train our own huge numbers of unemployed into having those skills. It’s almost like they’ve given up on them, and are happy to write them off as having no contribution to make to society. I know some people who are long-term unemployed, and it’s not a nice place to be. Part of the problem, I think, is that immigrants are often prepared to work for lower wages, so it’s all about saving money, not looking after people, which is a disgrace. Essentially I agree with you. Peter

      1. Hmmmmm immigration. A classic case of divide and rule by the 1%? So….there you are at the bottom of our ridiculous social pyramid, struggling to make ends meet, ignored and abused in your Mc Job; patronised by the rich, condescended to by the middle, locked out of the celebrity lifestyles you’re forced to consume and…an immigrant moves in next door from the EU or some bombed out Middle Easter hell hole – an immigrant with a degree in Engineering or plumbing skills your society has forgotten how to teach! Now you’re competing with him for housing and jobs and school places – and you lose! You wonder why he arrived with nothing and now he’s got everything. You start to think of yourself as Anglo Saxon; Nigel Farage starts to make sense and all the while, the 1% watches the people at the bottom scratch each other’s eyes out for the right to the crumbs from their table and they laugh loud and long as they buy another house next to the oligarchs who robbed some other country blind

      2. Think of it this way Paul.

        You are hungry, there is no food, do you buy food from someone else, or try to wait until the food has grown?

        It’s the same concept; it takes time to train people, and sadly most of the procurement process is checking people’s skills, time, insurances etc, rather than their proven (or otherwise at this point), ability to train.

        It’s hard getting some people into work. They have no savings (because benefits are meagre), so this takes the unemployed out of all but the essential economy of food, water, shelter, utilities (many I’ve met don’t even shave).

        The only way to train that person (and I’ve had experience of training people off my own back.) Is to empower them, and enrich them. Show them what they are, or should be missing; provide a variety of experience and training to help them. Only then can they enter the work-force.

        In countries like India, and China (the developing world); they believe our unemployed are lazy; because most of the work readily available for unskilled workers is in the developing world.

        In the UK, we make burger flippers, and toilet cleaners get certificates and insist they have 5 a-c’s; it’s ludicrous! For those of us that can represent ourselves, self-educate, and empower; it might not be a barrier, but for the serial under-invested, the born-into poverty, it is a real problem.

        Immigrants, or any one person or government don’t cause problems; perhaps it’s inconvenient to deal with someone that looks different, sounds different, and I won’t pretend we are all the same, as we have had vastly different experiences, resources and environments; but these people are not to blame. The system is!

        The politicians, that are supposed to enact the will of the people, neither listen to the people, or do enough to get amongst the people. They are literally so privileged, they cannot conceive of the reality some of their constituents live in. Worse still, they go to special schools that seem to churn out the same format as we’ve had for 50 years (minus a bit of the compassion of some in the 40’s, 50’s & 60’s).

        Never close your self off to the rest of the world; the ideal government does not exist; but if we open our eyes, our ears and our minds, we might see, hear, read and experience others with valuable input to the common good.

    2. Most jobs do not require a very high level of skill, in reality. The entry level bar is set artificially high so that the HE sector, which is run as a business for profit, is kept with a steady supply of customers. In times of national emergency , people were sent up in the sky to fight with little more than basic training. In the 60s, teachers could teach at the age of 20 without a degree, now nurses have to have one. Everyone has to pay to be ‘a graduate’, and those who run the universities profit and employers dodge training expenses. Most people are versatile and can pick up most things within 6 months, but the system wants to box them into “a role” . The system needs well and truly smashing up and rebuilding so that it doesn’t just profit the profiteers .

  4. I am hoping that more and more people recognise exactly how the system is structured to keep everyone in their place so that the top 5% keep all the wealth and power.
    It seems quite subtle until the scales fall from your eyes then it is quite laughable to watch and listen to the media blatantly manipulating everyone to get the changes necessary to keep the Status Quo.
    Take the question of Fracking. There is a massive opposition to fracking so there is no way the government will allow it to happen ………yet.
    The companies who are going to extract the gas need a lot of time to organise themselves anyway so the government are not in a hurry. What happens is a drip drip effect of media coverage about the countries imminent fuel crises and the amount of jobs and fuel security Fracking will create until, on the back of this, the government will make the right decision for the country. (when the companies are ready to start drilling)
    I heard George Osborne the other day saying it would be great for our economy. The only economy it will be great for is the economies his pals and the owners of the energy companies involved. Surely we all know exactly what will happen. Whatever regulations are put in place the energy companies will manipulate the figures to take as much profit as they can leaving the cost of energy the same or rising and cutting corners on safety and environmental protection.
    This is how I think we should fight back:
    Given that FRACKING IS GOING TO HAPPEN I think there is a double opportunity here
    1. We can show clearly to people that the government are not working for the good of the country but for themselves and the corporations

    2. There is an opportunity to secure our energy needs.

    Judging by the success and volume of Gas extracted in USA then done in the correct way, Shale gas could give us cheap and secure energy for the next 50 years, during which time we can be developing the switch to 100% renewable energy. This is exactly what the country needs. A long term plan for our energy requirements. This can ONLY be done though in a coordinated way by the State and for the state where the money raised can be used to minimise environmental damage and invest in greener energy.
    It is a simple choice, if the Gas is there it belongs to us all. We can either extract it and use it wisely for the benefit of the country or we can get a multinational corporation to extract it and take the profit out of the country and pile it up with the other Billions in the Tax havens.
    Given this stark choice surely George Osborne and Elizabeth Truss have to explain why the latter is better. I have no idea how they could do this but it would be fun watching them try.
    This question needs putting to them again and again. I am sure 95% of the population would think it was a good idea to use Shale Gas to benefit the country. We need to get out the message that there could be a choice, if enough people demanded one.
    N.B. I am not pro-Fracking. I am just being practical because it WILL happen. We may as well make the best of it. There is no point diluting this effort by being anti-Fracking

  5. You mentioned privatisation and how it’s pushed prices up. Well, here’s a good comparison from down under:

    Wellington region’s water distribution network is still in public ownership. The region’s electricity distribution network was privatised in 1990. The two networks cover the same area and both distribute an essential service. In 1990 the asset value of the water network was $168million and the cost of distributing water was $22.2million; the asset value of the electricity network was $180million and the cost of electricity distribution was $36million. In 2010 the water distribution cost rose to $26.1million, a 17.5% increase. Privatised electricity distribution cost $142.5million, a 295% increase.

    Why the difference? The answer is in the capital gain, and the required return on appreciated assets.

    There’s a link to the full paper supplied.

    When you actually think about it privatisation and competition must increase costs due to uneconomic duplication especially in the bureaucracy with their inflated salaries. On top of that you also get the dead-weight loss of profit (You’ll want to read Steve Keen’s Debunking Economics) which a government service doesn’t need (In fact a government service making a profit is a rather nasty regressive tax).

    Simply, government is the most efficient means of providing many, if not most, services that a nation needs.

    1. Everyone knows that nationalised industries are more efficient and effective.

      But Privatisation was *never* about improving services, rather it was done to a) make Thatcher’s rich cronies even richer and b) put the govt at arm’s length from any fuck ups.

      If you think otherwise you’re either gullible or one of the few beneficiaries.

      1. That is not true. Take the current example of our Land Registry: it is profitable and efficiently run, yet Osborne is bent on privatising it. The East Coast mainline train services were profitable, yet the service was taken out of public hands. The major problem is that once these are privatised they belong to, and are run purely for the profit of a few private shareholders – in public hands the profits would be ploughed back to the Treasury for reinvestment in other public services, and we still have a national asset in public ownership

  6. Anyone reading my posts recently may have noticed me taking a strong interest in the Ukraine/Russia & ISIL issues.
    The reason for this is not only because they are world issues that could have serious consequences involving the UK but ultimately much of what is happening stems from within our borders and the way our governments treat us.
    Take Islamic State for instance, IS can trace its roots back to the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian who set up Tawhid wa al-Jihad in 2002. A year after the US-led invasion of Iraq, Zarqawi pledged allegiance to Osama Bin Laden and formed al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which became a major force in the insurgency.
    After Zarqawi’s death in 2006, AQI created an umbrella organisation, Islamic State in Iraq (ISI). ISI was steadily weakened by the US troop surge and the creation of Sahwa (Awakening) councils by Sunni Arab tribesmen who rejected its brutality. After becoming leader in 2010, Baghdadi rebuilt ISI’s capabilities. By 2013, it was once again carrying out dozens of attacks a month in Iraq. It had also joined the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, setting up the al-Nusra Front.

    In April 2013, Baghdadi announced the merger of his forces in Iraq and Syria and the creation of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis). The leaders of al-Nusra and al-Qaeda rejected the move, but fighters loyal to Baghdadi split from al-Nusra and helped Isis remain in Syria.
    At the end of December 2013, Isis shifted its focus back to Iraq and exploited a political stand-off between the Shia-led government and the minority Sunni Arab community. Aided by tribesmen, the group took control of the central city of Falluja.

    In June 2014, Isis overran the northern city of Mosul, and then advanced southwards towards Baghdad. At the end of the month, after consolidating its hold over dozens of cities and towns, Isis declared the creation of a caliphate and changed its name to Islamic State.
    British Muslims have been travelling to Syria to join ISIS and wage jihad for some time. In June 2014, two 20-year olds from Wales were identified in a propaganda video urging British Muslims to go to Syria and join ISIS. It is estimated that more British citizens joined the Islamic State this year than joined the British Army reserve.
    So why have these so called jihadists been travelling to Iraq & Syria from all over the world ?, well there was another issue i highlighted regarding google an American corporation that owns youtube who have been showing many islamic state propaganda videos on their site for a long time now.
    The question i keep asking myself is after 9/11 and the complete change in security and terrorist related issues why would America allow this to happen ?.
    Was the bad feeling towards our respective governments from certain factions identified and acted upon by brainwashing these factions to join this jihad and so appear in an area where they would be more easily targeted and exterminated, lets face it any islamic state activists in Iraq or Syria are now surrounded and being attacked from all sides by a force with far superior weaponry !
    Also many of the British jihadists have been trying to return with one saying “this is muslims killing muslims and not what i joined up for”.
    Another jihadist, claiming to represent 30 others who feel the same way, contacted university researchers in the past fortnight to say there is a feeling of disillusionment, as some who travelled to fight against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime are instead being forced to get involved in in-fighting among rebel groups.
    He told the researchers: “It’s not what we came for but if we go back (to Britain) we will go to jail. Right now, we are being forced to fight – what option do we have?”
    My answer was originally to detain them and i still believe that, “think of all the many thousands of people that have been displaced or died because of your actions”,when this terrorist group is extinguished as it will be send all the British detainee’s to Iraq for trial, do not waste taxpayers money on these imbeciles let the Iraqi people upon whom they have caused so much bloodshed decide their fate, problem solved.
    Now for the more delicate matter of Ukraine & Russia, i say delicate because we have a nuclear power led by an extremely loose cannon called Putin who feels the freedom & justice of the West & America getting a little to close to his corrupt regime for his liking.
    The only way this one can end well will be if the Russian people bring Putin down from his self made pedestal, Putin & his cronies although almost certainly guilty of bringing down a passenger jet and 100% guilty of incursion into the Ukraine will not admit being party to this no matter how much evidence photographic or otherwise we bring to his attention.
    Thinking back to the 2nd world war the West & America had to get involved, they knew from an early stage the intentions of Putin & his henchmen was to stop Ukraine joining NATO.
    Putin is the leader of a corrupt bunch of individuals that looks after its supporters and punishes any dissent.
    Fixed elections no freedom of expression nobody has that right to impose rules like this on anyone but as we already know when we come across regimes like this they are normally involved in high levels of corruption.
    When Putins economy begins suffering as it will from loss of trade maybe a large enough percentage of his 146 million population will rise up and depose him, one can only hope.
    In the meantime what happens in Ukraine is anyones guess, they are being supplied with better arms but that would only mean more civilian deaths should the situation escalate with Russia again, Putin thinks he has been clever here by occupying Ukraine and so stopping their joining of NATO but if the Ukrainian president signs off parts of Ukraine including Crimea they could join immediately and i have no doubt that would upset Putin big time.
    I hope everything is resolved soon as possible as it all affects our economies and no matter what individuals say or think about the West or America where would you rather live would be my question to them, our problems are minor compared to that of Russia and other countries, why do so many wish to live in the UK a multi cultural society where you can walk down the street without fear of harm.
    On the downside the UK needs new ultra tough extremist laws dealing at the root with all would troublemakers that poison the minds of the vulnerable.

  7. London Rent Rises Five Times That of Rest of UK

    Friday 7th March 2014

    By 2016 you will need to earn £80,000 a year if you want to rent an average flat in London.

    New figures released exclusively to LBC show rents in London will soar by 20% in the next two years – five times faster than the rest of the country and twice the rate of average earnings.

    Properties in Greenwich and Newham are seeing the most significant jumps. For average properties such as two and three bedroom flat rents will reach £1,800 a month by 2016.

    “For millions of Londoners buying a property is already a pipe dream and it looks like renting your own place in zones two or three may be as well,” LBC’s political editor Theo Usherwood reports.

    “The affordability of rent is calculated on the same basis of a mortgage. You go to the bank and apply for a mortgage – they will set a limit that repayments must not be more than 40% of your monthly income after tax.

    “That is to allow for enough money for household bills, food, a car perhaps.

    “On that basis, you will need an income of £4,500 a month after tax – which works out at £80,000 a year.”

    Housing used to be problem just for those on low incomes but many young 20-somethings are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet now.

    Louisa, a 27-year-old video producer, currently lives in one bedroom flat in Holloway, North London. Her £1,200 a month rent would get her a three bedroom semi-detatched house with a nice garden, a 12 minute walk away from the station, if she decided to live in her home town of Chelmsford in Essex.

    “I can’t image earning that much so I can probably never imagine renting anywhere on my own,” she told LBC about the £80,000 figure.

    “Watching prices outside of London compared to in here it’s a bit painful because obviously I’d rather stay in London, I’d rather be close to where I work and where all my friends are but the knowledge that you can get so much more outside of London for so much less – or even the same amount – is niggling.”

    The figures have come from Labour at City Hall, who have taken official figures from the Valuation Office Agency, which monitors rental prices, for 2011 and 2013. They have then forecast that if the rapid rises continue at the same rate, rents from Greenwich to Hammersmith and from Camden to Wandsworth – will hit £1,800 by 2016.

    Their housing spokesman Tom Copley has told LBC that would like to see a cap on rent increases and greater protections for tenants so they feel they can complain without the fear of being evicted.

    “It’s these people who have been dubbed ‘generation rent’ who are basically trapped by high rents. They earn a decent wage but their rents are so high that they can’t afford to save enough every month to buy a property,” Mr Copley commented.

    “There are big wider implications for the London economy as well, I believe it’s been calculated that every 1% increase in rents takes £150 million out of London’s economy. That’s money that’s not being spent in our shops, theatres, retail. It’s going straight out of people’s paypackets into the pockets of landlords.”

    Its just as i have been pointing out, for anyone wealthy enough to own property to rent its a licence to print money, seven million people or just over 12 % of the entire population in England are being taken to the cleaners to put a roof over their heads !

    Time to end this utter sham of a system that is sucking millions out our pockets.

  8. I think most that have read my posts on twitter and this site know by now how i feel regarding the rental system in the UK & its dependencies.
    Just to illustrate how corrupt our existing governments are i will explain how in 2014 many of us are no more than slaves of elaborate system designed by the rich elitists amongst us so many of us no matter how hard we work will never get anywhere in life.
    Firstly we must look at the local authority properties available for rent, many of these housing estates consisting of multi storey flats & houses were poorly constructed by way of being badly insulated and having no sound proofing.
    Put people in that type of accommodation and eventually they will want to get out and move into higher quality private sector housing especially if they have children.
    Whats happened in jersey is they now have a social housing authority called Andium which has decided to charge all new tenants 90% of the fair rent of the private sector, the government of Jersey also decided to take out a 250 million pound loan for new social housing developments and refurbishments to existing properties.
    The thing here is many of the existing tenants are middle to low earners and i would imagine new ones will be no different, obviously these tenants would not be able to pay the full rents and will be on income support.
    So with these tenants not being able to afford the social housing full rents income support will come in for another hit with the rising rents under Andium, but of course this makes little sense as the income support benefit is merely going back into the government pot but the plan here is to raise rents on poor local authority housing making the tenant think its better to pay a little more and have much better accommodation in the private sector meaning the greedy private sector landlords are seeing a huge surge in custom in a no rent control system with many new tenants from the dire local authority housing estates.
    Need more proof ?
    The popularity of the private rental market has been reflected in recent figures released as part of the English Housing Survey 2011/2012, published by the Department for Communities & Local Government. The data shows that for the first time since the 1960s, there are more people in England who are renting homes from private landlords than from local authorities and social housing landlords. The figures are almost equal, but private rents are now marginally ahead, with numbers standing at 3.84 million compared to 3.8 million for social housing rentals.
    So now its clear why the UK and Jersey having been dragging their feet building urgently needed quality housing the next move would be what do we do about it ?
    The only reason Jersey has made that loan was a quality issue with the existing hovels, human rights is catching up fast and Jersey are lagging.
    This corrupt housing system where already well off people are stealing money off society and the the benefits system is the main butt of our high cost of living and should be brought to an abrupt end.
    About time we set up a petition to refuse to pay rents, if everyone refuses to pay what will they do arrest 7 million people ?
    Lets face it these gangsters in charge of the UK & Jersey governments are not going to do anything.

  9. It is a sad indictment that everything you say on your site is in fact the harsh reality of our plight to survive.
    Private corporation executives are the curse of society out to bleed us dry to fuel their own lavish lifestyles.
    Government ministers feed us spin that our economies are struggling and impose cutbacks on the needy yet allow a no rental control system that can also benefit from income support.
    Rogue landlords soak up billions from housing benefit but leave their tenants in dirty, damp and overcrowded homes.
    The entire housing system is corrupt, the rise of landlord buyers has not provoked a fabulous new supply of property. Instead, with so little new building going on, landlords compete head-on with first-time buyers for existing properties and, as they enjoy easier access to loans and better tax breaks, outbid young adults and families time and again.
    Building a new property creates jobs and expands supply, and that is a real investment. But that’s not what many landlords do. They are “rentiers” and speculators on existing property, ADDING NOTHING TO THE ECONOMY, enriching themselves by gouging ever higher rents out of younger adults. Rent control will make this game unprofitable and cut house prices.
    The governments present and past know all this and do absolutely nothing whilst an entire nation is being taken for a ride and why do you think that is ?
    An independent transparent investigation of all government ministers would provide us the answer to the biggest scam affecting the cost of living of millions today.
    The fiddling expenses scenario is nothing compared to this bombshell, ministers with fingers in pies that do not want the housing system to change.
    Its an utter disgrace its happening and its about time someone looked into it and done something about it.

    1. I do mention Climate Change, on the ‘Environment’ page, though admittedly it’s easily missed with the list of all the other damage our economic system is causing. Peter

  10. Thanks peter your so right in so many ways, they cut the benefits of the sick an ill, but dont touch the benefits of some of the wealthest landowners in the land,which is called a farm subsidy, a benefit for owning land ;;; they remove the livestock to shoot phesant, grouse,etc, they shoot so many they dig a pit and bury them,one west coast estate up for sale,had the selling point of a farm subsidy of £12,000 a week, Frank Knight estate agents for the greedy, was the agent.We know all this but who do we vote for,Thatcher killed off the socialist wing of the labour party, they crush any movement that trys to break the system,Boris is just waiting to use his water canon. we need a new party, show us the way Peter

    1. Thanks Mike, I know, some of what goes on is shocking – but if we all pull together we can deal with this mess and make the world a much better place.

      Cheers, Peter

  11. This is a great website Peter, you have done very well in explaining in detail but yet very simply about the various issues Britain is facing. Like Christopher Judges I am no longer in the UK, left last year but while I lived there and as I grew up I have seen many worrying changes and it is simply getting worse and worse. My family live in London and I am constantly discussing with them the situation and it is very close to my heart. I am still a member of various organisations such as 38 Degrees and it has got to a point where protests and petitions are being ignored and the powers that be carry on regardless. My mother was at the Anti-austerity protest two Saturdays ago and she said 50,000 people marched and yet hardly any media coverage. Our rights and our voices are being eroded. Good luck with everything Sir I wish you all the best as you continue your noble work.

  12. My interpretation of SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

    We have come to realize how important it is for businesses and enterprises to be encouraged in order to promote growth by way of exports as well as for internal consumption, as no country or business can constantly borrow to keep itself afloat unless output and exports match or exceed consumption and imports.

    Where a business has potential but is not actually able to take full advantage of it then it should be helped by reduced taxation (and in certain circumstances government financial investment) until it has attained its full potential and then the matter should be considered again at that stage.

    When it comes to matters of taxation and benefits then the following should be considered if every man, woman and child are to be allowed the chance of a reasonable standard of living:

    There has been and still is far too much talk by the Conservative Government, by way of propaganda, intimating that the majority of people on Social Security and Sickness Benefit are scroungers. This may appear to be true but is far from true in reality and the majority of decent people on benefits hate being branded as shirkers and cheats and I believe the statistics indicate that about 3% are cheaters.

    There will always be a few who try to cheat the system but these apparently are only a small minority and as to whether or not the cost of trying to catch these frauds is worth the cost is a debatable point, but no doubt (as with the new benefit revisions) the private firms employed by the Conservative government to carry out these inspections will make a good profit.

    All men are NOT equal. Some are born with greater ability than others and I quote as examples: Elgar, Handel, Verdi, and Beethoven to name just a few with unique minds capable of composing wonderful music. Then there are others, such as John Logie Baird and Louis Pasteur who made equally marvellous scientific and medical breakthroughs for the benefit of mankind in general. These wonderful people were gifted and many were not entrepreneurs. In a similar way successful entrepreneurs are also gifted as not every man has the ability to be successful in such a manner and usually it is the Mentor who takes advantage of the skills of a craftsman and who makes the actual profits.

    Such people should be admired and congratulated on being successful and for creating employment as well as making a very good living for themselves. HOWEVER, a very successful person, be he rich through striving to succeed or though having luck or inheritance, should bear in mind that he is FORTUNATE to be in his position and not look down on nor seek to exploit those less fortunate, less clever or less gifted.

    A successful man should have a moral duty to pay taxes in order to help those less fortunate. In this day a man who keeps an annual income of say £150,000 AFTER he has paid tax at the standard rates should not mind paying 50% tax on all earnings above such figure; not a philosophy of the existing Conservative Government who seem to delight in cutting back on housing and disability benefits to those who have so little (in most cases through no fault of their own) in order to be able to enable the super rich to become even richer.

    I am all for the rich becoming richer providing they are not encouraged to do so at the expense of their moral duty to pay a higher rate of tax in order to help those less fortunate; after all an income of say £3000.00 per week after tax is a pretty good income and any additional could justifiably attract a 50% tax.

    If one looks at all the marinas that surround our coasts one will see many thousands of luxury yachts which are rich men’s TOYS. If one looks at the hugely luxurious homes and second and sometimes third homes of the super rich together with their TOYS I say good luck to them, but a responsible decent government should arrange taxation accordingly and see to it that there are no loopholes for them to escape paying a fair proportion of their good luck (and that includes those who have worked hard and succeeded for many have worked hard and not succeeded) rather than deprive those who are so very much less fortunate.

    Our current society is sick with avarice and disregard for fellow human beings and this needs to be addressed by a fair minded government which is NOT being done by the Conservative party. The current financial ills of the country are not being addressed in a fair and decent way by insisting that those who can afford to help do so, but by penalizing those who cannot afford to and thereby furthering the aspirations of the super rich.

    I realize that the above comments are likely to go down like the proverbial lead balloon with the majority of the more fortunate but I fear that unless the Labour Party moves in this direction the result will be that the potential electorate will also take a similar view and it is time to encourage decent Labour voters back into the fold rather than have a repeat performance by the Conservative Party or a hung parliament next time.

    I wish the Labour Party well and hope that it will not forget its route Aims and Policies as I should be happy to see a much greater leaning towards equalizing the fortunes of all mankind than I perceive is presently being indicated.

    1. Hi Rupert, I agree with all you say, though feel the Labour party is beyond hope and so the only chance for ordinary people must now come from elsewhere. Peter

      1. Thank you Peter for a really great website and I really haven’t found any contradiction or disagreement with your comments; and you certainly present your views far more eloquently than I am able to.

        I am frustrated by the lack of recognition on the part of any government (and in particular the current Tory Party) to take heed of public opinion and feel that this may have to eventually lead to civil disobedience if not rectified.

        My first priority is to get rid of the current incumbents who are clearly only interested in furthering the greed of the almighty rich at the expense of the underprivileged, and to do this inhibits me from voting for my preferred party at this stage. I intend to vote for the “MY next best” which has a very good chance of being elected whereas my preferred party has little chance at this stage; “He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day!”

        My only further comment, at this stage, is to ask what you mean by “elsewhere”?

        Thank you again for giving us all the opportunity to express our views and, hopefully, to expand our outlooks from other’s comments.

        Sincerely, Rupert Mitchell

        1. I mean that the two main parties both support our undemocratic ‘first-past-the-post’ constituency system of elections, and also both support free market capitalism, so if we want systemic change neither of them are going to provide it. Consequently if we want our votes to have any chance of making any difference at all, we have to put our support elsewhere, and I’ll leave that to individuals to choose whether that means voting UKIP, the Lib-Dems, the Greens or whoever. Regards, Peter

  13. dear Peter, i think your site is brilliant, simple and spot on. i have devoted my life to helping others find happiness within themselves. i had an awakening 10 years back when deep hidden childhood horrors came out in one go at 35 years of age. im one of the ones who made it, married 17 years, a master craftsman respected homeowner, with £200k equity and worth £500k on paper! i never even lived, because i was conditioned from a young age to see things differently. only when i let it out did i wake up, and see who i was , what the world was really like and what i could do with my success. scott neeson set up the cambodia childrens fund which is not unlike the model of brand new start. i created a space where absolutley no abuse was tolerated and we did creative things. i was the happiest man alive. ten years on , the struggles in freeing myself from an abusive wife, breaking my broken family further by my revelations. today i am committed to not let that ignorance continue, to help others see they have a choice, and to highlight abuse of humans has been the way of history and now we can communicate globally we can share this and rise up, to stop the system that allows this to go on in developing countries by corporates, governments, wealthy families etc while we supposedly live in civilised modern cities. i would love to do what i can to unite all those like you and many others who also have the intelligence power and belief we the 99% have the power if we take it. yours sincerely jonny rogers

  14. Great website, Peter. Really well written. I hope that everyone in the UK reads it. Don’t say it too loud but I think people are starting to take notice of what’s really going on. I’ve only really noticed this in the past few months. Maybe all the electioneering has heightened awareness of the terrible situation we (the 99%) are in. I’m liking the way that OBS simplifies things. Brilliant. Nige (greedtherockopera)

  15. Hi there, I am originally from London and ran away to LA, USA years back – I am living in Ventura California. I believe I am on the same political page as you.
    Your problems there are the same kinda problems we have here. I think there are so many problems humming along to the obliteration of the human race it is hard to know what to do or where to start. I am about to edit my book on the subject of destruction of human values, seeing corporate fascism as a psychopathic machine designed to turn us all hamburger meat.
    Subversion in all things.

    Christopher judges

    1. Glad to see this out there, so I’m just dropping a line to express solidarity. There will be up to 1.5 million people on strike on July 10th. I sincerely hope that it marks the begging of a fightback against austerity.

      In solidarity,


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