With the world headed for a double dip depression, what can the British or any government do? The answer appeared last week in a women’s magazine.
I promised myself I was going to take a break from Digital Journal, but in its own way, cacoethes scribendi is as bad an affliction as the demon drink, which I gave up on a whim in January 1986.
Household chores can wait; as Quentin Crisp said, after three years the dust doesn’t get any worse, or maybe it was four, or five, depending on which website you consult. I’ll check out his autobiography sometime, but it won’t help me, because I’ve now been here 25 years. Where was I? Oh yeah, dust I can live with, but one chore I can’t put off indefinitely is the laundry; I wash my clothes every year, whether they need cleaning or not. Isn’t that another quote?
Anyway, every ten days or so I order a service wash, then do some shopping or whatever. Today, I had plenty of time on my hands, so returned early and sat there browsing through a pile of women’s magazines until my wash was done. It’s not over till the fat lady folds, but when it was, I trundled up Venner Road carrying my laundry, some mushrooms and okra for this evening’s stir fry. And a copy of Bella, issue 38.
So what was my interest in this monthly glossy for girls? One of the stories listed on the front page was He gambled away our home AND OUR MARRIAGE. That struck a chord with me because 28 years ago I did the same thing. Okay, I gambled away our engagement, but let’s not talk about me.
The sad tale in last week’s Bella is about Michelle Shelton. She met her future husband through an on-line dating agency; no, it’s not only ugly birds who use them, she’s very attractive. She and the man of her dreams turned nightmares, Steve, took out a mortgage in October 2005; both were high earners, working at management level, apparently for large companies.
Illegitimacy is not the stigma now that it was in 1956 when I was born on the wrong side of the blanket, and in December 2006, an excited Michelle realised she was pregnant. Most savvy modern women wouldn’t have rushed into this because she had already had a foretaste of what was to come after in Steve’s own words “I got a bit carried away in the bookies”. Almost certainly he wouldn’t have owned up to this if she hadn’t opened his bank statement on a feminine hunch after their joint account had gone overdrawn.
Their son was born in August 2007, by which time Michelle had already realised Steve was still getting carried away in the bookies. Eventually, she asserted her authority and took control of their finances. They married when she was eight months pregnant with their daughter, what she called a perfect day. And after perfection comes what?
Steve carried on gambling, even logging into her Internet bank account to steal her money, then he was made redundant. It’s okay she told him, we have mortgage protection insurance. Guess what he told her next.
In addition to cancelling the insurance, he had run up debts of £50,000. She decided to give him one last chance provided he went to Gamblers Anonymous. He did, for a while, but the truth is that these mutual self-help groups can’t really help anyone; every gambler has to reach his or her own personal rock bottom. UFO recorded a song with that title; it contains the line “Where do we go from here?” For Steve and Michelle it was the bankruptcy court, then after handing their house keys to the mortgage company, they hired “a tiny cottage”, by this time of course, they had no income at all.
Alas, Steve did not reach his rock bottom, but Michelle reached the end of her tether after he ripped open a presentation box of coins she’d bought for their baby son. As she said: “It was only £4.50 worth of coins but that wasn’t the point”. It was now December 2010, and with two young children, there wasn’t enough money to heat the house. It was only at this point that she left him and filed for divorce.
Now apply that to our current malaise. The Federal Reserve was founded in 1913, and has done nothing but run up debts for the American people. In Britain, we’ve had a central bank since 1694; it may be called the Bank of England, but don’t believe the hype, it isn’t and never was. On an international scale, the IMF has been around since shortly after the Second World War; it is now sticking its proboscis into Greek affairs, ordering the Greek Government and the Greek people to make cuts, to take austerity measures, and to restructure their economy.
Have you noticed something about these international banksters? They all wear expensive suits; they have enormous, palatial headquarters, and they jet around the world staying at £600 per night hotels à la Dominique Strauss-Kahn telling governments and ordinary working people that we are the ones who have to take a drop in our standards of living, who have to make cuts, who need to apply austerity measures so that we can keep paying their fictitious debts with real money.
Wealth is derived not from credit – which has no tangible existence; not from government bonds – which can be printed on a whim; not from paper money; not even from gold. Wealth, real wealth, is derived from the goods and services the community can produce. If there are willing hands, and if there are resources – machinery, fields and orchards, domestic animals, fish, raw materials...there is absolutely no need for there to be a shortage of money, and absolutely no reason for either the people or the government to continue servicing the debts which the banks have created through their usury.
Michelle Shelton divorced her husband, but not before he had taken away her home, her money, even robbed her children’s “piggy bank”, and most importantly, her dreams. Some compulsive gamblers end up in gaol for stealing and occasionally for far worse. When the gambler or the bankster has taken everything you’ve got he will take everything your children have – which is what Steve Shelton did – and what the banksters are now doing, they are literally doing it already through student tuition fees. Finally, they will enslave your children, they will have them working from dawn to dusk for peanuts until the age of seventy, that’s if they don’t drop dead in the meantime. Your kids, not these parasites.
Greece, Britain, America, and the entire world must do what Michelle Shelton did; they, we, must divorce the banksters, we must tell them we are not paying the debts they created out of thin air, anymore. There are already the first stirrings of revolt; although for some strange reason it has not been widely reported by the liberal media, Iceland is fighting back. This is a country that has a population smaller than Leicester, the 11th largest city in the UK. If tiny Iceland can stand up to the international banking system, why can’t the mighty United States, the Great Satan?
[The above op-ed was first published September 2,2011.]
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