Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mainstream Conspiraloons™ #137 - Robert Peston

A little nugget published in the Telegraph a few days ago (found via cmain's blog) written by the BBC's business editor Robert Peston...



Don't let the fact that Peston looks, sounds, acts and smells like a spook fool you. This man is capable of producing 24 carat, 100% pure LoonTalk™. As the intro to the piece promises...

"In an extract from his provocative book Who Runs Britain?, Robert Peston looks at the roots of the current financial crisis and blames a political pact with the super-rich for impoverishing the rest of us"


Robert Peston


and Robert doesn't disappoint...


"The triumph of the super-rich has been the most striking social phenomenon of the New Labour years. The presence on British soil of a disproportionate number of immensely wealthy people, who are becoming wealthier by the minute, has been encouraged by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. On their watch, thanks to benign tax rules, Britain has become a billionaire's paradise. In a whole range of businesses and industries, the talent of individuals is rewarded in tens of million of pounds, while the relatively poor are getting poorer."

...

"To appreciate the growing gap between the very rich and the rest, you have only to look at the ratio of bosses' pay to that of employees in general. An annual review by Income Data Services showed that the median total earnings of the chief executives of the FTSE 100 companies - the UK's 100 largest quoted companies - in the financial year 2005/06 was £2m, up 20pc on the previous year.

By contrast, the gross median pay for full-time British employees in April 2006 was £23,600, up a mere 3pc on the previous year. So the typical FTSE 100 boss earned 75.2 times what the typical employee was paid - and just one year's pay rise for that typical boss was £400,000, equivalent to 17 times the total pay of the typical employee."


Read on and enjoy, and maybe take a few seconds to ponder what circumstances could possibly lead to the State Broadcasting Company's most senior business journalist putting stuff like this out via the Torygraph of all papers


.

40 comments:

paul said...

Exactly what I thought when I saw it, a prime example of mainstreamaloonery and candidate for loon order of merit.
I wonder what the reviews for the book will be like.
The biggest obstacle is the collective shrug the mass acceptance of exactly what he describes, which is class war, wealth and rapacity beyond most people's dreams and the causal opacity between the increasing crumminess of the world most folks experience.
<shakes fist at the skies/>

paul said...

ps even gorgeous george put in a reasonable piece of copy this week

Stef said...

blah!

another article from Gorgeous G. I pretty much, sort of, agree with

the cunning bugger

Stef said...

and returning to Mr P.'s article/ book he is of course forgetting that Nu Labour's policy of giving safe haven to billionaire criminal scum has been a lynchpin of the economic prosperity we have all luxuriated in over the last decade.

and judging by the fact that all things economic appear to be on the brink of going tits up I can only conclude that they all fucked off somewhere else just before Christmas

paul said...

forgetting that Nu Labour's policy of giving safe haven to billionaire criminal scum has been a lynchpin of the economic prosperity we have all luxuriated in over the last decade
Well it might be a little cynical to think it, but maybe it's part of a softener/comforter position now that the swag is safely in the bag and an age of austerity is to be imposed.
ie this is why your life is about to get shittier. Hope it makes you feel better.

Stef said...

The problem with imposing an Age of Austerity is, of course, that large numbers of ordinary people would no longer be distracted by consumerist bullshit and would become a tad more, um, pro-active about challenging the established ruling order

phew, it's just as well we don't have the framework for a fully-fledged fuck off surveillance state in place, otherwise things could start to get messy

Stef said...

hmmm, now where did I put that link..

ah yes, here it is

Stef said...

of course, none of this stuff - the looming economic 'correction', the unplanned creation of a police state infrastructure, the entirely deserved demonisation of sections of the population - could have been anticipated or even identified whilst they were taking place

otherwise Robert and his mates would have warned us about it all

paul said...

otherwise Robert and his mates would have warned us about it all
You mean, the human beings actually stepped into that shit we were all winking about?

paul said...

one of this stuff .... could have been anticipated

Well, that's because, like globalisation etc, it has been classified as inevitable.

Whenever I see this word, I realise whatever it is attached is what we are going to be given.
<start loop>
Shit happens, shit is in no way made to happen
<repeat loop/>

paul said...

Another superb blast of duckonomics

Stef said...

Hudson on Bubbles Greenspan and the mainstream media...

"...can it really be that these reporters on national television don't have a clue about what he actually did? they let him make up history before the camera and applaud him as if he were somehow other than a mouthpiece for crooks"

Stef said...

and whilst on the subject of Class War = a video of Michael Parenti in action recently

worth the admission price just for watching Parenti's body language during the intro

Stef said...

... Parenti is clearly descended from the squat, pugnacious end of the Italian gene pool

for some reason I like that

paul said...

Parenti is clearly descended from the squat, pugnacious end of the Italian gene pool

Which easily explains his anger at the world

paul said...

Good parenti quote (from memory)
People ask me if I believe these people meet in rooms to plot. I reply, no they meet while skydiving...of course they meet rooms, where else would they meet?

Stef said...

Which easily explains his anger at the world

It's not easy

um, er, I imagine...

Stef said...

I reply, no they meet while skydiving...of course they meet rooms, where else would they meet?

In the same vein a couple of mp3s of classic Parenti on the The JFK Assassination and the Gangster Nature of the State here and here

including some entertaining speculation that three or four anti-social misfits all decided to shoot JFK at the same time completely independently of each other

Stef said...

thx to Antagonist for the links btw

paul said...

Another little gem from from blip
He looks like yoda, ex CFR, describes Rupert Murdoch as an australian fascist. His books aren't half bad either.
enjoy!

The Antagonist said...

worth the admission price just for watching Parenti's body language during the intro

That and the menacing look on his face are both priceless. He also gets full marks for mentioning 'class war' inside the first five minutes of the talk.

If you can lay your mitts on a copy of another Parenti talk, "Class AND Conspiracy", you won't go far wrong. Having said that, he's been rather silent on the class and conspiracy combination since 11th September 2001 and the days of military grade anthrax turning up in the post.

lwtc247 said...

Monbiot talks minge I'm afraid.

"if...the global population will grow by roughly 50% and then stop... means it will become 50% harder to stop runaway climate change" - Utter lobbox! He assumes that the degree of EVERYTHING per head of population remains absolutely constant.

Pure unadulterated lobboxery.

Sorry, but he's symptomatic of todays world where opinions are offered instantly without (evidently) a moments reflection, or self-questioning as to whether what is going to lunge forth is lobbox or not. Monbiot understands as a MSM journo, the usefullness of 'shock'. The man gets paid for writing, not for accuracy, and boy does it show.

lwtc247 said...

Hot and cold Monbiot has his moments, but this isn't one.

paul said...

"if...the global population will grow by roughly 50% and then stop... means it will become 50% harder to stop runaway climate change"

I think he was deliberately making a naive extrapolation there. The main thrust of the article was that the western mode of growth is the problem, not more increasingly starving southerners. This is perfectly reasonable and there is no harm in saying it. Not that many do in the hated MSM.

It's right to say that trends imposed such as meat production, biofuelery and the triumph of the soya bean (amongst many others he neglects; plunder, militarism, pauperisation, informalisation of economies etc etc)are the causes of the symptoms the the Peak (oil, soil,gas,water,food, humans - take your pick) crowds wring their hands about.

It might not be the holy grail but, as you say, he is only a bourgeois journalist.

It stands fairly forthrightly against the types of Bjorn Lomborg, who say that it (western development, globalised)is the answer.

I recall the sexy swedish statistician saying on television that 'economists predict' that bangladesh will have the living standards of present day Netherlands in 50 years or so.

And he said it with a straight face

paul said...

Of course, I would be the first to admit, he's no Keith Harmon Snow

Stef said...

@lwtc247

One of the key points GM is making is that population growth will probably level off without the assistance of some centralised global eugenics program

It's no accident that the action has shifted from claiming that the world cannot feed the human population to the CO2 thing in recent years

And if we're talking about bollocks, the fact that the corporate environmental lobby is simultaneously winding people up with claims that a) we don't have enough resources, and b) massive consumption of resources will kill the Earth, is a pointer that it is churning out any old crap, even if it is inconsistent doublethink

Population is an issue but unrestrained production of consumerist junk to shore up an unsustainable and unfair system is a bigger one

As I've said in discussion with you before, I'd personally rather people had the opportunity to have a few healthy kids rather than to buy a new cellphone/ TV/ games console on credit every year.

It all boils down to what you believe life to be all about...

lwtc247 said...

Well Monbiot I feel should not dumb down the issues (intentionally or not) and instead take a more becoming approach, which I felt was not evident from that article.

On second thoughs is be being dumb or sneeky? He says the worlds population is set to go to about 10 million. He then says roughly half. Actually George, the worlds population is about 6.6 billion, so to 10bn would only be a 34% increase. Bit of a difference there Georgie boy. Why would he make such a mistake... well because it allows him to say this...

"50% and then stop. This means it will become 50% harder to stop runaway climate change, 50% harder to feed the world"

Not quite as scarey as 34% harder to feed the world. (and actually all his statements there are pretty ignorant really)

He also needs to think outside the box, but, well, he is MSM and novel thought in the MSM is as rare as an African virgin within 10 clicks of a UN base, and really, accompanying the 'journo shock' he also prints the bleedin obvious: A population could not dwell (or reach I'd say) in the realm of unsustainability which, by definition would be... Unsustainable! And naughty George does 'Shock and Awe' rather too blatently for my liking.

Is his act of redemption in correctly fingering that it's chiefly economics which is to blame? Hummm.. I dunno.

But yeah, what Paul says about Bjorn Lomborg does portray Monbiot in a far more positive light. Perhaps I'm being (once again) too irritable.


I used to hold Scandanavians in very high regards. I dunno what happened! :(
Maybe some gene-pool specific virus broke loose which, considering the chronology, could be suitably coined the 'Ulrikatization' of a once honourable group of people.

Re: Resource restrictions. I believe we do have enough resources for the current population and probably could buffer a sizeable increase in the worlds population but not without a paradigm shift in the social, ecomomic and consumerist structure. The greatest upheavel I demand the most wealthy people commit to as it is these people I contest that are holding the 2bln on the planet to less that $2 a day.

Sadly, I think it's a safe bet that if they felt too many people were starting to quizzicaly look at them, then some strange socially disrupting event like a major war would, by sheer coincidence, break out and a few less million people would eye up the masters. Or perhaps biological agents surprizingly resembling modified smallpox or SARS sourced to Tel Aviv, Britain or the US is unleashed upon the world while some people strangely enough were medically protected prior to the outbreak.

But to ignore say resource limitiation issues just because some scummy self-serving corporation or some 'corpwatch Eco group' warns of it isn't sensible, and really when talk of such things arises, what is meant is its the corporations access to that resource which faces shortage, i.e. a threat to the current and frankly disgusting, economic model.

These corporations spearhead resource drain producing cabalistic wealth concentarion. Once they've consumed it there isn't going to be any left for anyone else.

The worlds resources are being entropically consumed. Nobody's going to spend $200,000 per gram reclaiming tungsten ions from seawater becasue high concentration ores have been exhaused.

Peak oil is similiar. You can make oil from anything. But the cost will be so high and keep on rising that it will only be the super right that could access it. They ain't gonna be sitting cosy with billions of angry people looking at them.

Actually we agree Stef (I think). My view however is that shift is MUCH easier with current or even lower levels of population. True, too low a level of population make for a more relaxed attitude to elite domination and less people are easier for the elite to police, so I don't advocate population reduction to such levels that would hamper the necessary future revolution.

paul said...

Well a lower population can cut both ways, the depopulation caused by the black death is associated with the decline of feudalism in western europe and the increase in repression in czarist russia.

My feelings are that it's easier to control populations in a weakened state where they are made to compete within their class rather than between classes.

This is why I'm a bit sceptical about all this endgame stuff, all you really need to cull is thought and leaders and concentrate people on varying degrees of struggle for survival.

The radical eugenicists such as prince philip are really just the romantic dreamers of the elite. They are to the economy what prince charles architectural ideals are to the mainstream construction industry. He'd like everything to be like poundbury, but the majority is more like a new build estate along the thames corridor.

The rise in population has not in any way impeded the concentration of wealth so I don't think its a great worry to the wealthy.

As an aside, I'm sure the cosmopolitan chancer lomborg is as representative of swedes as ahmed chalabi is of iraqis.

paul said...

ps 50% of 6.6 bn is 3.3bn
6.6bn + 3.3bn =9.9bn which rounds to poor old george's figure

And he is correct.If we are running out oil it's becuse we base our entire economies on it, from food to manufacture, and we impose that use pattern on the rest of the world.
We use the south's resources not them. In fact oil is probably kept too cheap and little of the profits are returned to its rightful owners.
The insanity of the alberta shale oil industry, which seems to be degrading gas and water resources there is a perfect example of this

This process strips soil and rock from forests, boils oil out of sand with hot water and leaves behind giant cesspools of wastewater. Since the 1960s, the extraction of tar sands has damaged more than 80,000 acres of forest and wetlands, and plans call for production to triple by 2015. For every barrel produced, more than 80 kg of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere and between 2 and 4 barrels of waste water are dumped into tailing ponds that have flooded about 50 km² of forest and bogs. Moreover, the tar sands industry is extremely inefficient, necessitating huge energy inputs to produce comparatively modest yields. To supply the industry's voracious energy needs, a new infrastructure of massive natural gas pipelines and nuclear plants has been proposed.

Stef said...

Actually we agree Stef (I think).

we probably do

and Paul's reasoning is sound imho

lower population can indeed cut both ways and if I were a structural Marxist rather a Conspiraloon who believes in a Secret Ruling Coven of 13 Dark Overlords who plot whilst skydiving maybe I'd argue that the need for a large, relatively well-educated global population has died away as production has become increasingly automated. And that the ruling lasses are now instinctively moving towards some form of neo-feudalism, - with all the benefits of old feudalism but with better toys in the shops

Stef said...

... but I am Conspiraloon who believes in a Secret Ruling Coven of 13 Dark Overlords who plot whilst skydiving and I can't shake the feeling that our lives are manipulated by people who are driven by a pathology which is beyond the comprehension of ordinary people, including traditional leftie academics

paul said...

I'd rather die than agree with anyone who thinks the overlords number less than the magickal 23

The very thought!

paul said...

Info from Helsinki-based World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University: World Distribution of Household Wealth

Their (published in 2000 so unless make poverty history and live aid did the trick, things are much the same, suppose the asset price boom might change things a bit)study looked at wealth rather than just income and arrived at the comforting figure of 125 trillion for global wealth, giving an average purchasing power(on purchasing power) of USD14240 per annum per fucking capita.

More than enough for a low impact lifestyle you might think

Hang on to your hats for this one:

Wealth is heavily concentrated in North America, Europe, and high income Asia-Pacific countries.(21% of world pop) collectively holding almost 73% of total world wealth.

Course that is spread unevenly on an intra country level with the top 10% of world population owning 71% of available loot

So there seems to be enough cash around to keep everyone happy

The pesky vegan society says this

t the moment, the problem is not lack of food - it is widely agreed that enough food is produced worldwide to feed a global population of 8-10 billion people - but lack of availability. Poverty, powerlessness, war, corruption and greed all conspire to prevent equal access to food, and there are no simple solutions to the problem. However, Western lifestyles - and diet in particular - can play a large part in depriving the world's poor of much needed food.

And this tends to agree
Myth 3 Too many mouths to feed

So there's enough grub to go around

(and they say here it can be done sustainably)

Trying to find environmental comparisons defeated me but you can find crap like this easily enough

Any, given the above scenterrific fax:

The logical thing a normal person might opt for is equitable distribution of these resources.

The demented malthusian peakers should really be thinking about:
a) halving the wealthy west's population
or
b) killing the top 10% who are presumably reponsible for this situation

Wolfie said...

The demented malthusian peakers should really be thinking about:
a) halving the wealthy west's population
or
b) killing the top 10% who are presumably reponsible for this situation


Both would be replaced with 12-18 months, it would only shift the power not undo it. Personally having seen how ruthless Asian and African rulers can be I prefer the devil I know.

paul said...

Well, ideally, you would aim for non pathological structures which would wean us off our dependency on the least bad rulers we can find

Anonymous said...

Excellent discussion.

Just on the Michael Parenti talk, correct me If I'm wrong but isn't he mixing up Iraq with Iran when he goes on about us overthrowing a democratically elected prime minister?

Tom said...

Just on the Michael Parenti talk, correct me If I'm wrong but isn't he mixing up Iraq with Iran when he goes on about us overthrowing a democratically elected prime minister?

Strictly yes, he probably is, but Saddam's rise to infamy seems to have been propelled by the US/UK as well.

Iraq was a monarchy until 1958, then there were a series of coups as Saddam worked his way to dictatorship.

Stef said...

b) killing the top 10% who are presumably reponsible for this situation

now there's a radical thought the culling enthusiasts don't air very often

that would be like, what?, 100,000 times more efficient than starting at the bottom of the pyramid?

@wolfie

having seen how ruthless Asian and African rulers can be I prefer the devil I know

Need I mention that China is at the cutting edge of the kind of enlightened population control measures that some of the devils we know are keen to have a 'discussion' about?

Or that the majority of those ruthless African rulers merely operate franchises on behalf of those devils we know?

It's all the same System. The only difference is that its operations in developed countries have had to be a little less overt

I'd argue that's the unavoidable consequence of the historical need to establish a relatively well educated work force to man industry and operate empire. The kind of activities that need a lot fewer people these days. You can expect the developed West to catch up with the kind of wonderful free market economic and social reforms that have made the 3rd world so profitable real soon now

Stef said...

Just on the Michael Parenti talk, correct me If I'm wrong but isn't he mixing up Iraq with Iran when he goes on about us overthrowing a democratically elected prime minister?

Parenti is a polemicist; which is another way of saying that he'll never let a fact get in the way of a good generalisation. It also means that he dons super rosy specs when talking about ideas and movements he holds dear

He's a good speaker IMHO and his ideas are worth thinking about. However, I wouldn't rely on the factual accuracy of any data or information he quotes without checking it for myself beforehand. That's not a bad thing at all and the kind of attitude I'd advocate when listening to what anyone has to say

lwtc247 said...

Paul. Thanks for the maths lesson. Your right, so cheek blushing apologies to Georgie boy on that one. My error was taking the 10bln as the point of reference. A tempestuous and stupid error.

but he is still assuming no deviation of any quantity from the current reality per head of population. Given that race, class and economics and population growth are not even his assumption is seriously flawed. Even food consumption. Surely with growing population, a change in eating materials and so forth is likely. China has meat supply problems now never mind later. New food stuffs are likely to be realised. Disgusting Monsanto will probably try and cash in too. I also agree there is plenty of food to go around as of this moment, but again poor distribution and disposal of it simply because it hasn’t been purchased is a very big problem. I propose staple FOODS be cost free. Which Governments ultimately pay for and ensure proper availability to all.

We are only running out of easily extractable oil. The Canadian and Venezuelan tars (admittedly tricky), Central Asian, African Artic and Antartic, Pacific (1/2 the globe) and other Oceanic sources are relatively untapped (ignoring shelf extractions). Purported Russian deep well extraction technology is also quite new so that may yield some good reserves too.

And Oil can be made from so many sources, with varying, usually increasingly degrees of difficulty. It is the easily extracted, easily processed and cheap oil available the masses that were running out of. The wealthy will still be driving in their helicopters (with likely's rail gun attached) and Porsches while millions more eat grass to survive. It is simply a matter of cost. The elite don't give a toss about the environment now let alone when their livelihood is less secure with less mass-pacifying cheap oil awash.

here's a good example:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6183325813995181497


The most serious aspect of Peak oil is the falling availability to of oil to the poor. Oil based economies have their pitfalls and I’m not particularly fond of what they are right now.

I do agree that increased population growth is likely to lead to greater problems and I myself advocate a freeze or reduction in population, but it cannot be forced and must be accompanied by a radical shift in the economic model.