Get ‘Em Out By Friday – Nothing Changes

Get Em Out By Friday - hear it hereThere is nothing better to perk up a dull and boring morning at work than listening to some rocking music. My taste in music is pretty eclectic, but this morning I have been listening to some classic Genesis tracks.

Now I can listen to Genesis till the cows come home and I have loved them since they formed back in 1967. I wore out copies of Trespass, Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot on a tinny Dansette record player in the psychedelic bedroom of my teenage years, and today I was listening to Foxtrot once again.

I know the lyrics to all the old classic Genesis tracks, those of the Steve Hackett, Peter Gabrielle era, but one track really stood out today, Get ’em out by Friday. It’s the story of unscrupulous property developers and investment scams, of people being evicted and ripped off by crooked landlords.

The lyrics and music were recorded back in August 1972, 42 years ago, but the dialogue performed shows that nothing has really changed in all that time …

John Pebble of Styx Enterprises:
“Get ’em out by Friday!
You don’t get paid till the last one’s well on his way.
Get ’em out by Friday!
It’s important that we keep to schedule, there must be no delay.”

Mark Hall of Styx Enterprises: (otherwise known as “The Winkler”)
“I represent a firm of gentlemen who recently purchased this
House and all the others in the road,
In the interest of humanity we’ve found a better place for you
To go, go-woh, go-woh”

Mrs. Barrow: (a tenant)
“Oh no, this I can’t believe,
Oh Mary, they’re asking us to leave.”

Mr. Pebble:
“Get ’em out by Friday!
I’ve told you before, ‘s good many gone if we let them stay.
And if it isn’t easy,
You can squeeze a little grease and our troubles will soon run away.”

Mrs. Barrow:
“After all this time, they ask us to leave,
And I told them we could pay double the rent.
I don’t know why it seemed so funny,
Seeing as how they’d take more money.
The winkler called again, he came here this morning,
With four hundred pounds and a photograph of the place he has found.
A block of flats with central heating.
I think we’re going to find it hard.”

Mr. Pebble:
“Now we’ve got them!
I’ve always said that cash cash cash can do anything well.
Work can be rewarding
When a flash of intuition is a gift that helps you excel-sell-sell-sell.”

Mr. Hall:
“Here we are in Harlow New Town,
Did you recognise your block across the square, over there,
Sadly since last time we spoke,
We’ve found we’ve had to raise the rent again,
Just a bit.”

Mrs. Barrow:
“Oh no, this I can’t believe
Oh Mary, and we agreed to leave.”

(a passage of time)

18/9/2012 T.V. Flash on all Dial-A-Program Services:
This is an announcement from Genetic Control:
“It is my sad duty to inform you of a four foot restriction on
Humanoid height.”

Extract from conversation of Joe Ordinary in Local Puborama:
“I hear the directors of Genetic Control have been buying all the
Properties that have recently been sold, taking risks oh so bold.
It’s said now that people will be shorter in height,
They can fit twice as many in the same building site.
(they say it’s alright),
Beginning with the tenants of the town of Harlow,
In the interest of humanity, they’ve been told they must go,
Told they must go-go-go-go.”

Sir John De Pebble of United Blacksprings International:
“I think I’ve fixed a new deal
A dozen properties – we’ll buy at five and sell at thirty four,
Some are still inhabited,
It’s time to send the winkler to see them,
He’ll have to work some more.”

Memo from Satin Peter of Rock Development Ltd:
With land in your hand, you’ll be happy on earth
Then invest in the Church for your heaven.

So nothing changes, the have’s still have and the have-not’s still pay for the privilege. At the risk of being labelled an anarchist, I think we need a revolution. I’m already involved in trying to change the way money works in this country, maybe part of that should take the form of a more fair levelling of incomes.

In so many parts of the country, the children of current home owners have no chance to buy property in the towns in which they were born. It might almost be seen as a form of social engineering by the people who control the money supply.

Time for big changes me thinks.

The Great Money Delusion

The Great Money DelusionThe capitalist system in western society has caused many of us to become addicted to wealth and be dominated by the pursuit of money and power.

This is at the expense of fairness, sharing and compassion. We are all constantly being measured, to all intents and purposes, by what we own or what we earn, rather than who we really are as a person.

A society that has sacrificed so much to material wealth that it has forgotten the human heart and the best of human aspirations, degenerates into something compassionless, doctrinaire, ignorant and ultra-conservative. When this happens, fundamental solutions to the issues of that society become impossible. If we protect the truth and are resolute, we are capable of creating peace and prosperity, and the truth that we should be protecting has to be high and great.

The great truth of Nichiren Buddhism, the thing that we must do our utmost to protect, involves ethics and the very best of human nature. At the very heart of this lies our duty to protect the truth of life, the truth that we are all one with the universe, and that every single human thought contains the entirety of universal life.

The sooner we realise that this addiction is destroying our human nature, the sooner we can start to right the injustices in society. Failure to take steps to redress the balance of wealth will result in more of the kind of riots and protests we saw across the country in the last few years. We all knock the bankers for their greed and avarice, but we are all to blame to a greater or lesser extent for letting the system continue, and we must do better.

If you would like to help change the way money is controlled and how it dictates the structure of society, you might like to join Positive Money and find out how money really circulates. We need to change the money mechanism in order to make the world a fairer place. The sooner that process begins, the better for all (but the richest) of us.

The Broken Pound

The Broken PoundI know that I’m not the only one who is sick to the back teeth of the bankers taking liberties with their position, pocketing vast fortunes and laughing at us when we dare to complain.

The recent banking crisis is rather poorly named. As far as I can tell, the banks have all done rather well out of the whole debacle.

They have been ‘baled out’ by us, citizens of this nation, and come up smelling of roses. Would the same happen if you were to borrow irresponsibly and fail to pay it back, even for reasons beyond your own control, you can bet it wouldn’t.

There are people who want to keep us in the chains we all wear. Ok, we’re not slaves, like the African peoples who were bought, transported and sold, making places like Bristol and Liverpool vastly rich in the process. These chains are financial, and in a way, they are even more evil, because they are invisible and almost undetectable.

See the truth for yourself, take a moment to see the painful truths therein, and wonder why we are all sleepwalking into our own Airstrip One. I read 1984 in 1984, but I never thought it would become a near reality.

Then be brave, spread the message as far and fast as you can, the man really is coming to get us. In this anniversary year of The Great War, let’s just take a moment to think about just who we are really remembering, and what, if anything, has changed since then.

Back in 1914, the patriotic volunteers signed up to fight for their country, for a land fit for heroes. That land was never delivered, it was never going to be delivered, it was then, as now, all smoke and mirrors and false promises.

Come on, take those blinkers off, take a look at how money and the banks have us all in financial chains, and then pass it on, and on, and on …

Are They Effin’ Serious?

Barclays BankThe UK banks, and Barclays in particular, seem to live on another planet. On the day they announce that between 10,000 and 12,000 jobs are to be cut, 7,000 of which are in the UK, they also trumpet the fact that they have increased their investment bank’s bonus pool by 10%.

Chief executive, Antony Jenkins, who to his credit has waived his own annual bonus, said that the bank “Had to be competitive on pay and had to pay for performance”. All this coming in the light of a 37% slump in pre-tax profits from the investment banking division. It begs the question, “What exactly are they paying bonuses for?”

Whilst we are all still holding our breath and hoping that the apparent ‘green shoots of recovery’ in the economy in general continue, it beggars belief to hear that the already obscenely overpaid investment bankers are going to get yet more in the way of undeserved bonuses. If they can’t ‘make do’ with the crazy amounts they get paid already, let them go, and get someone who will earn their bonus step in and take over the role.

Credit to Robert Peston, the BBC business editor, who seems to have summed up the gobsmacking incredulity felt by the general public, saying “There is blank incomprehension from those not in the industry that the going rate remains so high for people widely seen as being more than walk-ons in the epic near-destruction of global financial capitalism just a short while ago”

I think it is high time we as citizens, demanded a higher moral code from all the public bodies with whom we have to deal. Whether it is the banks, the utility companies, the government agencies, such as environment at this time, or the police and judiciary, we must demand to be treated fairly.

Those who have seen their salaries frozen or cut and those who have lost their jobs because of the cut-backs have made the greatest sacrifices. The government keeps telling us that we are all in this economic downturn together, but it most certainly doesn’t feel like it from where I stand.

Tax cuts for the rich, increased bonuses for the very people who got us into all this mess, coupled to further draconian cuts in social welfare for the poorest, weakest and most needy, where is the togetherness in all that?

The Wrong Trousers!!!

The Wrong TrousersI think I must be getting cynical in my old age, but correct me if I am wrong here. John Hourican, the head of the Royal Bank of Scotland investment banking arm is stepping down from his post, despite having no managerial control over the people who rigged the LIBOR rate and who are costing RBS over £400 million in fines. Rather weird.

It seems that Mr Hourican, who earned £3.5m last year, is expected to lose his bonus for 2012 along with his position as head of RBS’s investment bank. He is also expected to forego £4m of bonuses from previous years. Are these guys for real?

It is true that there are on going criminal investigations into the whole LIBOR fiasco, and that the people who potentially cost every borrower in the UK money through their actions may yet be brought to book, it seems that John Hourican gets the role of scapegoat extraordinaire.

Whilst it is a little difficult to feel too sorry for a chap who is quite so well heeled, the principle behind the dismissal should not be forgotten. In my view, the people who defrauded the nation, nay the world, with their skulduggery should be held to account. Maybe the bosses of these people, maybe even the senior management who allowed the practices to go on, through their naivety or negligence, but not just some chap who happened to be passing at the time.

The current view of the banking business is that it is a corrupt world of murky practices, run by a bunch of money grabbing, socially bankrupt pseudo-criminals. Of course that view is skewed by the never-ending stream of stories about malpractice and fraudulent dealing that have gone on right under the noses of the FSA and other banking watchdogs, but judging by the evidence, it is not too far of the mark.

It is clear that there needs to be a firestorm of dismissals at the highest levels in the entire banking sector. The current sticking plaster approach will not get us back to the days when the bank manager was a revered member of the local community, or when your money was safer in the bank than under the mattress. But starting with some overpaid shmuck, with little or no connection to the problems will do no good whatsoever.

What is really needed, is a return to social values where honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and honour are held in higher esteem than the salary package or the annual bonus. While we measure people by what they earn and own, rather than the principles they hold, we will remain on this downward spiral into social turmoil.

They’ve sacked the wrong trousers Gommit, and we must not let them get away with it!!!

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