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Sunday, 25 March 2012

George Osborne shows his Tory colours by lowering taxes for the rich

By Dark Politricks

So Boy George Osborne delivered his 2012 budget mid week and as he obviously reads my blog every day LOL he decided to implement nothing that I advised him to do in my own Dark Politricks 2012 Budget Guide.

No despite his obvious distaste for diverse discourse and alternative news I doubt Boy George has ever even heard of my site unless it has crossed his desk on some kind of watch list compiled by MI5 or some other Internet Snoop brigade.

He decided to cut the top rate of tax from 50% to 45%. Deciding that the rich are obviously having a hard time at the moment and need all the help they can get.

It must be hard in your brand new Range Rover delivering little Timmy and Charlotte to their private schools, after school Cello lessons. Suffering with their private health care and living on money most of us can only dream of with the thought of gold plated pensions to retire on whilst inflation rises constantly and the public services everyone else relies on gets worse and worse by the day.

I wouldn't begrudge anyone who can afford private health care but as someone who has spent more than my fair share of time in hospitals and doctors waiting rooms lately I can attest to the utter uselessness of our national health system.

It seems that even when you have Cancer only a letter of complaint will bring about the necessary phone call to tell you what's going on with your health treatment. I dread to think of how I would be treated if I couldn't write English and had the same problems.

But Georgey Boy didn't scrap the higher 50p tax band Labour had brought in, in their dying days as a last ditch attempt to placate their core supporters. Those same supporters who they had spent the last 13 years pissing off with their "greed is good" mantra that allowed the first run on a British Bank in living memory to occur with Northern Rock.

No instead he cut it in half as if that would be enough to keep the Lib Dem's happy as well as the rich donors who, as the Sunday Times today exposed today, are promised access to David Cameron's very own dinner table in return for dosh and campaign contributions.

I suppose every party must be funded somehow. Labour sold gongs and honours, the Tories chose to sell dinner seats with their grandees. The Lib Dem's probably only hold annual raffles at Gay Pride marches which I suppose is the reason they fail so miserably at each election.

This wasn't a budget for growth, and it has been remembered for the "granny tax" which although has pushed Labour's poll ratings through the roof has probably been blown out of proportion. This is not down to any logic but more to George's attempt to hide it as a "simplification" of the tax system.

Everything else in his budget had been leaked anyway so this was the one thing the papers leaped upon once it became clear he felt the elderly hadn't paid their fair share in these times of austerity.

We are all in this together, we are all in this together - keep saying it enough and you might just believe it to be true.

If it is true then it sure doesn't seem like it when the Tories are sending out the message that the richest few percent need to pay less not more tax.

Now this might piss off class warfare warriors and those who see any progressive tax code as a way of attacking ambition but if I was on £150,000 a year I wouldn't really mind paying a few grand extra a year.

I mean if I did earn that much I can guarantee that I would already have a good lawyer and accountant  busily hunting through our overly complex tax code looking for loopholes and ways to avoid paying tax. It is the way of the world apparently to avoid tax as long as you do it legally.

If we did want to bring in the bucks and attract business to our shores we would be simplifying the tax code but not just for the OAP's but for those who have the means to use those over-complications to their advantage i.e the rich. Let Vodafone & co pay their fair dues if they want to sell their Chinese made phones & other goods on our shores.

A simple tax code equals less room for people to escape paying. Simples.

If lower taxes for everybody helps bring in more dosh then I'm all for it so sort it out George. But we should be putting money in those peoples pockets who actually spend it in shops each weekend rather than give it back to those who have already conned the system and own offshore bank accounts. A nice rebate for every tax payer would get our high streets humming in no time.

We need to stop moving allowances up and down a few percentage points here and there and think big for once.

Use all those fine brains on the Economist and Financial Times to our advantage for once instead of allowing people to pay for the privilege to persuade our government what's best for them equals best for everybody.

Lobbying is not what is needed to get us out this mess. A proper budget for everybody is.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

My Dark Politricks Budget Proposals for 2012

By Dark Politricks

Tomorrow is the 2012 Budget in the UK, which comes at a time of low growth, austerity, high jobless rates, almost zero interest rates and high inflation.

There is lots of talk about what the Chancellor might be doing today including whether or not he will cut the top rate of tax 50% for the richest people in the country. Apparently these people are deterred from coming to the UK and creating jobs due to the perception that "Britain is not open for business" and we are "anti entrepreneurial". Whether there are any facts to back this I don't know but it would be interesting to see evidence either way.

I don't really care if they reduce this tax level or not as long as an independent organisation can show that doing so will bring in more tax revenue and create jobs than by having it.

There might be some truth when people like John Redwood, the right wing Tory MP says in he wants to see rich people pay more tax and the way to do this is by reducing tax rates so that less money is spent by those rich enough to afford expensive lawyers on getting round the existing and very complicated tax laws.

Most company owners don't pay the high tax rate anyway because they just pay themselves in other ways or though dividends and capital gains which has a rate much less tax rate than the current 50% top rate of income tax.

Therefore if I had to choose a budget for tomorrow I would do the following:
1. Scrap the existing tax code which is far too complicated with too many loopholes for those rich and clever enough to exploit and make a simple code in which:
  • No one pays tax until they earn over a certain threshold like £10 or £20k. The coalition want to raise the threshold to £10k and they are on the right track by removing people out of paying tax at the lower end of the scale. These are the people who are reliant on all the bus routes, libraries and other public services that are being cut at the moment
  • If a flat tax can be proven to bring in more tax revenue than a progressive rate then I am all for what works. I have no ideological problem with a flat rate if it can bring in more revenue. We need more money from the richest in our country and if a flat tax prevents them from using offshore accounts and loopholes then I am happy to try it.
  • Close every tax loophole available. A simple and fair tax code with no loopholes to be exploited will ensure the richest cannot escape tax though their lawyers and clever avoidence schemes.
2. Make sure any company that wants to do business in this country pays tax in this country. No post boxes in the Cayman Islands as the Company HQ. A company who wants our huge market should have to set up a UK subsidiary and all revenue make in this country should be taxed at our rates and stay in our country.

3. Incentivise companies who take on any of the following people with tax breaks and other schemes.
  • Long term unemployed.
  • People with disabilities.
  • People who have just come out of prison or are on the way to spending a life in and out of prison e.g gang members.
  • Young people who have not had a job since leaving college or school for a year.
  • Older people who have not worked for a while, have no private pension and are too young for the state pension.
4. Totally nationalise the banks we own the majority stake in and run them for the good of the nation. Profits are retuned to the treasury or given out as loans to more "riskier" small business who require funding. However the key aim should be to ensure that any company wanting to expand and create jobs but cannot currently get funding can get the money they need.

5. Parts of the country heavily reliant on Public Sector jobs that are being cut should have large amounts of government investment including incentives for private companies. Companies willing to relocate or base their factories and offices in Wales, Scotland the the North should get tax breaks at the very least.

6. Any company who hires a currently unemployed British citizen should be given a 1-2 year national insurance holiday. Get British people back working and make it worth UK companies while hiring them over cheap foreign labour.

7. Keep some pre-election promises by re-balancing the fuel tax escalator so that as the price of petrol rises the amount of tax going to the treasury decreases, keeping the overall price stable for the customer. As petrol speedily heads towards£1.50 a litre with most of it going to the Treasury the amount of fuel tax as an overall percentage should be reduced as the cost of oil rises.

8. Give every tax paying worker in the country a tax rebate of £1000-£2000 in the form of a voucher that can be redeemed in any shop in the country. The previous VAT cut wasn't even noticed by shoppers, especially at Christmas time when every shop reduces their stock by over 20% anyway. Cash can be saved or used for other means but a voucher with a use by date would ensure the tax payers who have basically bailed this country out of the bankster incurred mess are repaid as well as stimulating the economy by ensuring the money is spent in shops that badly need the business.

9. Scrap Trident - a nuclear missile system we cannot even use without US say so and their GPS guidance system, so in all likelihood will never be used anyway. Instead spend the multiple billions a replacement would cost on shoring up our overstretched armed forces. If we are going to continue to ask them to fight war after war we should ensure they have the best equipment, proper housing, proper help when they return limbless and mentally distressed as well as giving a sign to other countries like Iran and Israel that responsible nations that already have nukes are prepared to give them up.

10. Invest heavily in public transport without making it so expensive to drive a car that taking a bus or train looks cheap in comparison.

There can be no proper private competition on a railway - no two trains can run the same line at the same time. Public transport should be run for the good of the nation and any taxes spare from the multiple taxes on motorists (road tax, petrol tax, vat etc) should be used to make public transport cheap and a viable option not a second choice people are forced to use for whatever reason. If other countries can do this we surely can.
Those are just 10 points I've just thought of whilst watching TV. I'm sure with another five minutes I could come up with at least another 10 more.

Will Boy George Osborne look after his core constituents and screw the poor or are we really "all in this together" like we continually get told. Only time will tell.

Lets wait and see what happens tomorrow.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Why the hell are we still fighting in Afghanistan

By Dark Politricks

Murder Spree Victims

Afghan Police and local residents stand around a mini van carrying the bodies of the victims who were killed by a US soldier

The question needs to be asked again and again and almost on a weekly if not daily basis - "why are we still fighting in Afghanistan?"

As the recent burning of the Korans and now the murderous rampage by a US solider shows, we are doing more harm than good by being there and the people of Afghanistan sure don't want us "helping them" or whatever poor excuse we are using to justify our existence there propping up the corrupt Mayor of Kabul - someone most of the Stan sees as a US puppet up to his eyes in drug dealing and corruption.

The solider who went on the latest killing spreemurdering 16 women and children in the middle of the night, was obviously suffering some form of mental illness, probably from the multiple tours of duty expected by US soliders nowadays.

Maybe it was PTSD that comes from witnessing your friends being blown to bits by IED's. Or maybe he had become so de-senitised from all the death, blood and guts that he'd have witnessed over his multiple tours that he just couldn't funtion as a compassionate human being anymore.

It could happen to anyone. Physcological studies have proved it time and again.

As the Independent said recently:
The soldier had a traumatic brain injury at one point and had problems at home after his last deployment, officials told ABC News.

After returning from his last deployment in Iraq, he had difficulty reintegrating, according to the reports, but officials said he "worked through" those issues before deploying to Afghanistan.

He is accused of walking out of the Zangabad base in Kandahar's Panjwai district early Sunday morning before going on his murderous spree. Nine children were among the dead.
What does it say about the state of mind of our troops in the Stan and all the other covert wars we are not supposed to be but are most definitley fighting around the world when they break down and go on murder sprees for fun, or kill kids and women because they have just witnessed a friend being injured?

When boys are brought up on computer games such as Call of Duty and Medal of Honour and trained from an early age to treat death and war as a game then it must come as quiet a shock to their senses when they actually enter a real war zone.

It must be a life changing experience when you have to hold your dying friend in your arms as he coughs up blood and brain matter and you know there is nothing you can do but look into his dying eyes and hold his hand wishing you hadn't joined the army in the first place. What does it feel like to see your best mates head or limbs ripped from their bodies as they step onto a hidden mine or shot from a snipers rifle through the eye exploding brain matter all over your face. How does that affect you as a human being?

How would you feel if you saw your friends, your brothers in arms, routinely killed and blown to smithereens whilst patrolling the Afghani villiages all the while believing that you are "helping" the locals by weeding out Taliban and Terrorists.

Now reverse that.

How would you feel if you saw your best friend, mother, father or son brutally slaughtered in front of you for doing nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Killed for just sleeping in their beds and hoping for a better day. One in which a bomb doesn't fall from the sky because some American drone controller things you and your donkey carrying food to your family looks like a Taliban "Terrorist" smuggling arms into Helmand Province.

Would you want revenge? Of course you would!

Would you feel the kind of rage and emotion that can turn the veil of civilitiy that we all like to assume into a more base instinct still within us after million years of evolution. An instinct that can take a person from a well mannered civil human being into a vicious animal intent on death within seconds?

I bet you would. I know I would. I have been there before.

I have seen freinds about to be hospitalised for life and gone from a still silent person into a fighting machine prepared to suffer injury to protect my mate.

When you are in that state of mind you don't feel the punches and kicks raining down on you. In fact you don't feel anything. People have said that they have been shot multiple times and not even realised it until after the combat has finished. Adrenaline does that to you.

Is that how the solider in Afghanistan felt as he moved from room to room hunting for people to kill.
"I heard a gunshot. When I came out of my room, somebody entered our house," a 26-year-old villager named Mohammad Zahir said.

"After that, I saw him moving to different areas of the house – like he was searching." Mr Nazir's father, unarmed, then took a few steps out of his bedroom. Then the soldier fired.
How do you imagine the Afghanistan citizens feel who have just suffered this outrage?

Are they not well within their rights to demand justice and vengeance for the act of barbarity inflicted on their wives and children?

Would you not expect the same if you were in their shoes?

The longer we stay in Afghanistan, the more of these incidents will occur.

We have already had torture of innocents at Bagram, the "kill squad" who killed civillians for jollies, the multiple instances of Korans being burned insulting millions of peoples religions by our callousness and carelessness.

We have had soldiers kill livestock for fun and now we have soldiers killing people for fun - is that just a logical progression or is it what our "leaders" want us to do. To de-humanise us and turn us into killing machines that can murder whole families of children and women without even a second thought?

The reason we went to war in Afghanistan is now over and has been for many years.

We killed bin-Laden - in fact he most certainly died a natual death in 2001 but whether you believe that or not is beside the point.

We are not fighting al-Qaeda in Afhanistan, they can be counted on one hand and even then they are probably all linked to black ops from various intelligence agencies. Used like Sibel Edmonds claims as a perfect excuse to cause instability in a region so that we can come in and restore "order".

How much "order" exists in Afghanistan at the moment? Not much by the looks of things.

We are killing more civillians, less al-Qaeda (due to their not being there anymore) and creating more resentment, anger and people willing to fight for the Taliban with every drone attack and murder spree we go on.

From the Guardian's report on Afghanistan Civillian Casualties.
"Anti-Government Elements increased their use of IEDs and suicide attacks against obvious civilian targets. In incidents where intended targets appeared to be military, those responsible for placing or detonating IEDs showed no regard for the presence of civilians and no evidence of distinguishing between civilian and military targets in violation of the international humanitarian law principles of distinction, precaution and proportionality. Anti-Government Elements also deliberately targeted and killed civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities, mainly individuals who supported, or were perceived as supporting the Government of Afghanistan or international military forces"
This table shows some statistics.

Year

Anti-gov forces

Pro-gov forces

Other

Total

% change

% killings by Taliban

2006 699 230 929 75.24
2007 700 629 194 1,523 63.94 45.96
2008 1,160 828 130 2,118 39.07 54.77
2009 1,630 596 186 2,412 13.88 67.58
2010 2,037 427 326 2,790 15.67 73.01
2011 2,332 410 279 3,021 8.28 77.19
TOTAL, 2007-2011 8,558 3,120 1,115 12,793 66.90
We are not fighting a "just war". We went to war in the Stan after 9.11 because the Taliban were allowing al-Qaeda to train there.

The Taliban were willing to hand over bin-Laden and the other terrorists if only the US would provide some modicom of proof that bin-Laden and co were responsible for the attacks.

Did we? Of course not - we don't need proof, not when the culprit has already been proved guilty in the court of public opinion and an expensive oil pipeline requires building.

Even without real proof and only doctored and false evidence including fake videos of bin-Laden and ones of him talking about 9.11 with his words mistranlated and taken out of context (something we have become experts at - see Iran wanting to wipe Israel off the map) we still waged war on a 7th century country.

Even with an interview with bin-Laden where he absolutley denies all involvement in the attacks of 9 .11 and actually according to Sibel Edmonds still was working closely with the CIA (I wonder what he was doing for them), we still went to war against a country that had not put one hijacker on the 9.11 planes.

They were mostly Saudi Arabian, still one of our best friends despite their awful human rights abuses, feudal system, mistreatment of women. But then they have oil and let us use their country as a base for our wars of aggression.

The war with al-Qaeda was won quite quickly and the Taliban sunk back into the shadows becoming the civillians they always were, biding their time waiting for the US to take their eye off the ball. They didn't have to wait long.

As soon as another phony war in Iraq was set in motion the Taliban began the most successful tactic when fighting large powerful armies - gureilla combat and insurgency.

Civilians that are also your enemy are hard to fight as Vietnam proved.

With every civillian the US/UK axis of war killed another two or three Taliban supporters were formed.

We have basically killed so many civillians in that country that we are no longer fighting terrorists or even the Taliban but Afghani citizens.

We will never win this battle.

Therefore it comes down to a simple thought experiment and a question that I pose to you.

If China invaded the USA or UK and bombed the hell out of us before installing a corrupt heroin dealing regime in Washington or London what would we think - would we great them with open arms, as saviours coming to remove our existing corrupt leaders only to replace them with others that served different masters.

Would we be happy with a duplicitous regime that pretended to be pliant puppets of their foreign masters but at the same time supported the insurgency fighting them. Would you see the thousands of bombs dropping from planes and drones on your families weddings and funerals as the Chinese "helping to restore democracy" or as a great recrutiment tool that made you want to fight the foreign invaders even more.

What if the Chinese kept burning bibles and going on killing sprees for fun?
Throwing grenades into houses for a laugh and shooting up whole villages because they were drunk and suffering from PTSD. Would we forgive them with open arms?

What would you do if a Chinese soldier broke down your family home's door in the middle of the night and killed your wife, kids and parents in front of you?

What if you escaped with your life from such a killing spree. Would you hand yourself over to Chinese troops or pick up a gun and fight the people who had ruined your life.

Would you still accept your new Chines overlords with open arms or would you find the nearest militia or band of rebels prepared to fight the invaders to regain their country and put your life on the line to gain revenge?

I know what I would do. What about you?

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Is the enemy of our enemy really our friend?

By Dark Politricks

As the recent desecrating of British World War II graves in Benghazi shows we are have not been thanked by all Libyans for helping them other-throw Col Gaddafi.

This is just a consequence of the Empires double dealing with both sides of the Devil.

Selling arms to Gaddafi when it suited us and then allowing our supposed mortal enemy al-Qaeda to basically take over large parts of the country and kill Gaddafi when we were tired of him.

The reasons for the desecration are not clear yet and have been linked to the recent burning of the Koran by US forces in Afghanistan. But then what do you expect from militant religious extremists who only believe in black and white and see the Empire tormenting and teasing them at every turn.

I can only imagine the rage by certain quarters of the media if a groups of Muslims did the same sort of thing to us, by burning a big stack of Bibles or maybe desecrating Christian and Jewish graves in a Benghazi cemetery...

Lest no-one think that al-Qaeda linked rebels are not in control we only need to look at the rebel commander of Tripoli, Abdelhakim Belhaj,  a confirmed ex LIFG terrorist who was actually tortured on the behest of MI6 by the Americans for his links to al-Qaeda. Something which he is now trying to sue the British Government and MI6 for.

However despite us knowing the types of people we were dealing with we still chose to go ahead and help install in power al-Qaeda linked terrorists.

Yes, we were admittedly other-throwing a despicable leader who tortured many of his own people . Yet Gaddafi was no worse or better than any of the other despots and dictators we deal with on a day to day basis. We deal with Saudi Arabia and China for heavens sake so no moral absolutism here please.

We live in a world full of moral relativism and "realpolitik" and any politician who declares otherwise is lying for your vote.

But look at Libya now. It's a mess that even mainstream media are reporting on and you know it must be bad when even the MSM start peeling back the layers of propaganda and reveal partial truths on their nightly news shows.

Like Iraq before it Libya is suffering even more than before our “interventions”. Rapes, summary executions, crackdowns on journalists, and militias roaming the streets unwilling to give up their western gifts of guns, RPG’s and other arms that they are now using to fight each other with.

All whilst the National Transitional Council (NTC) says that everything is just fine, nothing to see here they say even whilst fighters from the two towns of Zawiyah and Warshefana were shooting it out in the latter part of 2011. During the clashes which saw many deaths the NTC leader was insisting that everything was okay.

"I want to assure the Libyan people that everything is under control" said Mustapha Abdul-Jalil the supposed interim leader of Libya.

How much control does he actually have when he cannot even disarm the hundreds of rebel groups who have replaced the Libyan authorities and are now fighting along tribal and religious lines. Settling scores with weaponry paid for by Western tax payers.

So it is of little surprise that some of the more extreme rebels / terrorists we have helped install into power in Libya are now showing their displeasure at the Empires actions in other Muslim countries we have helped "liberate" by attacking World War II cemetery's.

We know how far some of these people are prepared to go to defend their religion by previous acts when we have burned Korans or even showed pictures of Mohammed in newspapers. Therefore we cannot act that surprised by reprisal actions such as those in a Benghazi cemetery.

What is surprising, to me at least, is why we continue to find ourselves on the same side as our supposed mortal enemy al-Qaeda. Twice in a year, in Libya and now Syria, we are supporting rebels who are also publicly backed by the terrorist organisation we have spent the last 10 years at war with.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend?

Really? When is it that this circular logic turns into a set of unintended consequences that have deep repercussions for current and future generations.

We only have to see how our support of the Mujaheddin in their war with the Soviet Union turned into a massive blowback and the formation of al-Qaeda. Supposedly a worldwide SPECTRE like terror group but really just the name of "the database" of disposable CIA assets that were used in that proxy war against our last mortal enemy the USSR.

What is the likelihood of blowback from our current intelligence agencies "clever" interference in Middle Eastern realpolitik?

When does the enemy of our enemy actually stay our enemy?

What number does the head count of actual real al-Qaeda terrorists as opposed to those terror acts carried out by rouge intelligence agencies and blamed on them, have to drop to before we can say the real war with terror and al-Qaeda is over?

How many times does it take it when we find ourtselves on the same side as the people we have thrown centuries worth of liberties and freedoms in the bin for, from Bosnia to Libya and now Syria, before we can safely assume that this "database" of intelligence assets is nothing more than that.

When do we come to the conclusion that al-Qaeda is not a real enemy at all but just the excuse the military industrial complex required to keep the money flowing into their pockets from the end of the cold war and into the 21st century. Peace dividend what peace dividend, we have never had so many wars in so little time.

Is it not reasonable to conclude that sometimes the conspiracy theorists just might be spot on when they claim that al-Qaeda is the perfect tool for western intelligence agencies to create just enough instability in regions of interest so that order is called for and implemented by NATO's bombs?

The conspiracy theorists are not alone here and are backed up by the "most gagged woman" in history Sibel Edmonds.

Someone who used to work as a translator for the US government and knows more secrets than she is allowed to tell. However she has often spoke of how the CIA maintained "close links" with bin Laden right up until 9.11 and used al-Qaeda as a de-stabilising tool for regions in the world the US wanted to maintain a presence.

Just the fact the US government has thrown gag order after gag order on her lends credence to her revelations and it would be very interesting to hear everything she had to say on the matter along with all the other western intelligence assets who are currently prevented from revealing information about our links to terrorist groups through official secrets acts, PATRIOT acts and security letters.

Therefore we cannot expect too much from the whistleblowers, even though we have heard plenty from people like Ray McGovern, David Shayler, Col Anthony Shaffer and many more alike who have been brave enough to stick their heads above the parapet and attacked for doing so.

One only need look at how whistleblowers are treated by supposed democratic and "free" nations to realise they are not thanked for exposing illegal activity by their own government even when they should be.

So we must look for clues in other places and there is no better a clue to how we act in the world.

Who do our nations stand next to as allies and friends?

What reasons do we go to war for and what lies do we tell to justify our actions in doing so?

Do we act with an even hand and fairly or do we hypocritically pick and chose our battles depending on other reasons such as the potential for oil or other business contracts?

Do we attack all evil or only the evil we want to?

Do we attack nations for their human rights abuses on one hand whilst allowing them to prop us up through their debt purchases and cheap imports on the other?

Is a nation only worth sacrificing our soldiers lives for if they have strong political pressure groups and lobbyists in our government or do we treat all people equally whatever the strength of their foreign spy networks and threats of exposure through blackmail?

Is it even worth asking these questions when we already know the answer to all of them and if so why do we keep electing the same kind of politician into office at every opportunity?

Is there any real alternative to our current political process or are other measures required to restore our standing in the world?

What straw or cemetery headstone has to snap before we decide to do something about it?