( Ten minute read)
This is a country that sold is nations assets to private enterprises – energy, water, rail, etc, (In the ideology of Maggie Thatcher, shop till you drop), believing that the free market would give its citizens the best deal.
The massive privatisations of public assets undertaken by Mrs Thatcher and subsequent Tory governments since the 1980s now with the help of multilabel other world problems have come home to roost.
Below are a few examples of this.
[ARM Holdings, one the key British companies for research and innovation in electronics, was sold off in 2017 for £24bn to the Japanese company Softbank.
Amazon, a US corporation, now dominates retail in the UK.
Apple has shifted its tax liability in the UK to Ireland.
The key national airports in the UK – Heathrow and Gatwick – are both in foreign ownership.
Liverpool, Glasgow and Great Yarmouth ports are owned by Deutsche Bank. Felixstowe, is owned by one of Asia’s richest men and incorporated in the Cayman Islands.
Even Associated British Ports, which manages many UK ports, is owned by the Singapore foreign reserve fund and Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund and registered offshore in Jersey.
Waterstones, the only surviving national book chain in UK, is also Russian owned.
Facebook and Twitter are now the main source of news for most British people despite its biases and its inadequate constraints on the dissemination of fake news. Both of these companies are effectively unregulated despite their critical social media roles, and both make enormous sums of money from advertising that goes untaxed.
The NHS, which is thought of as the great British innovation, is also increasingly being infiltrated by American health providers. Social care Southern Cross purchased by Blackstone, a US company.
Boots, which has 2,500 shops in the UK acquired by private equity in 2007, asset stripped and saw its HQ moved to Switzerland to avoid UK taxes. It is now wholly owned by the giant US pharmacy chain Walgreens.]
What are the common elements in the above?
With London becoming the global centre of such transactions because of weak regulatory systems, especially in respect of privatised utilities, it has been price gouging at the expense of consumers in the UK.
It is now clear that some at least of the purchasers of domestic assets have used the opportunity to launder illegally acquired money. Russian millionaires had a field day.
We are now looking at a country that recently spent nearly $8 billion building two new large, conventionally-fuelled aircraft carriers, spending between £72.1bn and £80.4bn, on a high-speed rail HS2 to save thirty minutes traveling time, while its people can’t afford their energy bills, to feed themselves, to house themselves, or afford the cost of a rail ticket.
A country that turned its back on the biggest market on its door step the EU with £25bn left to pay by 2057.
A country that in the first year of the pandemic, from April 2020 to 2021, borrowed £299bn, the highest figure since records began in 1946, to save it economy more than its people with, the cost of Government measures announced so far range from about £310 to £410 billion.
Most of this extra money was spent on public services (such as the NHS), and support for businesses.
In the space of 15 months, from March 2020, the three main Covid loan schemes – bounce back, CBILS and a scheme for larger loans, CLBILS – handed out nearly £80bn to businesses with fraud losses estimated at £4.9bn at the end of March, money the government is unlikely to ever recover.
The UK government wasted hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on poor quality and unusable personal protective equipment (PPE) while leaving frontline workers insufficiently protected from covid-19. The decision to prioritise hospitals meant that social care providers were left exposed by the lack of PPE contributing significantly to deaths in care homes in the first wave.
Among the government deals was a contract with a jeweller worth £70.5m (€80.5m; $97.6m) to buy sterile gowns. It also signed contracts for millions of face masks, which were not usable in the NHS because they had the wrong type of fixing.
The question of whether greater investments in health care in non-crisis times may have reduced the level of emergency funding needed to respond effectively to the pandemic warrants important reflection.
Now with more money going out and less coming in, the English government has only one option – to borrow.
When a government spends more than it collects, it runs an annual budget deficit. The level of the national debt in the UK equates to 108% of national output (GDP) and the average amount of debt owed per person in the UK to day is ten thousand pounds.
This is a country that sold it soul to consumerism, which is still spending millions on football with millions of lotto funds spent to win medals, with a homicide rate was 11.7 per million population, while small businesses and charities are going bust.
Like most of Europe it is in a downward spiral economically, with inflation and energy cost mounting ( due in part to the Russian invasion of the Ukraine,) and will have to borrow another £200bn by the end of the year.
Its’ no wonders it is going down the Pan.
In the back ground there are other reason for its troubles– its class system, its colonial history, its antiquated education system, its benefits system, its first past the post election system, to mention a few.
Its colonial past making it a very ethnically diverse nation,( People born outside of the UK account for 10% of the UK’s population.)
It has lost its once dominance as an empirical power in the world.
Once a rich country the crimes of your past are catching-up with you.
Britain was the world’s largest market for transportation of human lives, bowing to the new citadel whose tentacles reached out into great swathes of colonial wealth – and steadily drank it dry until the slave trade was finally banned by an act of parliament. The arrogance and greed of your masters could not go unnoticed – could not pass-by unatoned for. Nor could the pacifistic stance taken by the greater populous when confronted with such frequent acts of national and international vandalism.
Like most of us it has now become enslaved to the smart phone.
Now a country of digitalized citizens, with short term ambitions, in desperate need of a written constitution.
Despite considerable social change, and strong policy intervention, it still have some way to go to address equality of opportunity and racism.
In the next few days the Conservative party will elect a new leader to take control of the country, without a general election.
He or she is facing social, unrest, as the UK economy is now too weak for sharp spending cuts due to the recent financial crisis, and Covid pandemic, it is now currently facing serious issues in terms of cutting its unemployment rate and reducing its national debt.
Not to mention other current issues such as immigration, internal ethnic relationship, internal security, economic recovery, and Britain’s relationship with the EU all acting as major blocks to the progress of the British society.
Whatever the next British government may be, these are the issues that party has to address and solve.
Modern British society has to find ways to deal with these crucial issues in order to move towards a brighter future.
So who owns the country?
Behind this simple question lies England’s oldest and best-kept secret. It’s a secret that goes back to the Domesday Book – and an issue that goes to the heart of many of the biggest problems the country face to day.
Central government owns more than 16 million square metres of property and land across the UK – six times the area of the City of London. There are over 97,000 properties owned by foreign firms in England and Wales.
Collectively, the Royal family owns 180,550 acres of land, or roughly 282 square miles with an elite of less than 1% of the population owning half of England with a few thousand dukes, baronets and City bankers now owning far more land than all of Middle England put together.
As Mark Twain once said, “buy land: they’re not making it anymore” – and in England, its scarcity has made it so sought-after that land values have increased fivefold since 1995.
Just over 400 hectares (1,000 acres) of central London’s super-prime real estate belongs to the Crown, the Church, and four wealthy aristocratic estates.
Over 200,000 hectares (500,000 acres) of the English uplands are tied up in huge grouse-moor estates owned by around 150 people. The Duke of Northumberland, whose family lineage stretches back to Domesday, owns 40,468 hectares (100,000 acres) – a tenth of his home county.
Corporations own around 18% of England and Wales.
The Crown Estate owns London’s Regent Street, including the freehold for Apple’s flagship UK store, from which the Crown collects more rent than from all its agricultural land.
The National Trust owns around a fifth of the Lake District National Park in Cumbria.
The Duchy of Cornwall owns London’s Oval Cricket Ground, Maiden Castle in Dorset (above) and Ham Hill in Somerset.
Paternoster Square in the City of London, home of the London Stock Exchange, is owned by the Church Commissioners.
The Crown still owns the freehold OF the Houses of Parliament.
The housing crisis hasn’t been caused by a sudden rise in the price of bricks and mortar, but rather in the value of the land on which homes are built.
The vast gap in living standards between the precariat and the executive class are all to some extent the result of increased foreign ownership of almost everything that continue to call ‘British’.
There is hope, however to be fair few countries will escape the fever that’s upon this world – Climate change.
A fever for which the only cure is the unconditional metamorphosis of man himself, washed through and through, cleansed of that reckless hubris which has brought us to this tipping point of all of us having to live without the all gentle arts that nature had so diligently taught us.
The tide is turning upon mankind. Now it is our turn to be on the receiving end.
In the coming years Climate Change will make the cost of living we see to day ingenuous, compared to what is in store.
No man or woman can turn his or hers back for long upon her simmering powers.
When it comes to climate no man can lay claim to having pacified and sold her soul – because passivity was not on her agenda, and her soul was never for sale. And those who sought to profit from her bounty will soon leave empty handed; for that time, prophesied of old, has finally come. And yes, nature it is that once again rises up in defiance of all attempts to bring her under the control of those who would use and abuse her for their private wealth and make of her a platform for staging their profit driven foreign wars.
Not even the vicious technologically engineered destruction of our climate can suppress the rising winds of change that are upon this scarred and battered jewel called Earth. It can only increase their velocity.
The result is only too obvious with unstable work, often poorly paid, and increasingly inadequate to support a family. It is unsurprising therefore that there has been a sharp increase in poverty much of it in families in full-time work.
Prepare yourselves for the deluge – a great cleansing is upon the island; a cleansing that will jolt befuddled minds into memories of great stories of other eras, when lands were not swallowed by mighty acts of nature.
You were so proud to turn away from nature and forge your industrial steel into the wheels of the brave new world of mass consumerism you new face a heavy price for its blinkered, stubborn occupants, who for so long turned a blind eye on deeper truths and refused to look upon the blood encrusted pages of your colonial history.
Oh England, my England, so where is your soul today?
At this point you may well be asking what if anything can be done?
The master Conservative plan is levelling up. The big idea for post – Brexit Britain.
It identifies six capitals: physical capital (i.e. infrastructure and housing), human capital (skills and health), intangible capital (ideas and innovations), financial capital (business finance), social capital (community and public trust), and institutional capital (local leadership).
The plan comes at a defining moment but it will fail to devolve enough power and money.
Because the places that have an abundance are now in a virtuous circle, where the different capitals reinforce one another.
Because is not matched by the scale of investment or the proposed solutions. Missing are a clear set of mechanisms that break the vicious cycles in places that are lacking in the six capitals.
Because this work has to be done at the local level because places face different challenges and have different growth potential.
Because if there is going to any levelling up is going to happen centrally from Whitehall.
Because the existing system for distributing money is highly complex inequality will be aggravated and come to the forefront in the next general election.
Levelling up is a scatter gun approach for votes and it is on this feeling that the Government’s future electoral hopes hang.
IN THE END HERE IS THE BEADY EYE’S ADVICE TO WHO EVER GETS INTO POWER.
APART FROM A WRITTEN CONSTITUTION, MAKE EDUCATION FREE AND BRING BACK A YEAR OF NATIONAL SERVICE TO TEACH THE VALUES THAT ARE NECESSARY AND FUNDEMENTAL TO THE FONDATIONS OF ANY NATION. PUT THE PEOPLE FIRST NOT THE GDP.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin..