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article imageOp-Ed: The London riots – seeing the bigger picture Special

By Alexander Baron     Aug 9, 2011 in Politics
Behind the wanton destruction, hatred, mindless violence and unbridled criminality of the recent and ongoing outrages lay genuine grievances, but they are directed at the wrong people, says David Pidcock.
The only good thing that can be said about the Tottenham riots, and those that followed, is that so far, apparently, no one appears to have been killed, although this is obviously good luck rather than good judgment. (One man has been shot, but the connection is by no means clear).
The damage so far has unquestionably run into millions, but the damage done to the British and world economies by the banks in recent years runs into billions, even trillions, and that amount of money “lost” must surely have cost many lives. When hospitals and other necessary services are starved of funding, people die, not in the same spectacular fashion as Mark Duggan last Thursday, but just as certainly.
The police have vowed to bring to book those responsible for setting Tottenham ablaze, but what about those who have caused billions of dollars of damage to our economy? Ironically, after some initially carefully managed outrage, they have been rewarded with further unwarranted bonuses. As the saying goes:
"They hang the man and flog the woman,
Who steals the goose from off the common,
Yet let the greater villain loose,
That steals the common from the goose."
There are though those who see the bigger picture, one such person is David Pidcock. While in no way condoning or excusing the riots, he understands how this new age of austerity – which as ever is implemented from the bottom up – can and has contributed to the latest outbreak of social unrest, and how we can expect more such unrest in the future, on a larger scale, and even war, unless we act now.
A British convert to Islam, Pidcock is a director of the Institute For Rational Economics, and a long time campaigner for financial reform. In 1997, he was consulted by the Malaysian Government regarding financial reforms. What is his explanation for the unrest currently sweeping Britain’s streets?
“The Tottenham [riots were] both predictable and avoidable, being caused by the insane Dorian Gray economic policies of Cameron-Clegg & Miliband (they are all the same) which calls for money to be hidden away in the attic while the crowds turn ugly” – something he alludes to as an attempt to "save money by wasting people".
The current age of austerity “is happening...because the banks are still in charge of these policies which have blighted every British Government...and all others in contact with it who follow these same monetary policies”.
This is not a new analysis; speaking at Global Vision 2000, he said “we don’t have to accept austerity...because people are producing wealth”; here, he made the vital distinction that wealth is not money, it is the goods and services the community can and does produce. He went on to point out that on the outbreak of war in 1914, John Bradbury issued £500 million in Treasury notes to fund the war effort; Pidcock referred to this as Quantitative Easing 1914, and said if we did it then, we can do it now. Professor Quigley made the same point in Tragedy & Hope.
“The 5 point plan designed by James Gibb-Stuart that saved Malaysia in 1997/8 [can] be applied here and now in 2011 and provide the same solution. Jefferson Maddison and Lincoln all understood the problem as did Bryan Gould in 1993.”
This is probably the reason Gould quit politics in 1994 and returned to his native New Zealand.
Very briefly, the five steps alluded to by Pidcock are:
1) A measure of foreign exchange control to thwart parasitic speculators.
2) Stop the march toward globalisation.
3) Stop privatising national assets – selling off the family silver as was said of Margaret Thatcher. These can only be sold once, and when they are gone, the cycle of debt and borrowing continues.
4) Stop borrowing money, especially dollars.
5) And perhaps the most important, a clear appreciation must be made as to what constitutes money, wealth and resources, even without foreign investment.
To take this further:
“The sun still shines.
The crops still ripen.
The eager workman's hands and skills and energies are in no way diminished -- provided he can have faith in his Government to protect his earnings and ensure an adequate reward for himself and his family... Even in conditions of economic crisis, the primary priority is not to pay the bankers or reassure the stock markets, but rather to see that the people are properly fed and housed.”
Asked what he would do with the rioters, he responded: “Riots are the symptoms of a society which in the words of John Ruskin has become ‘rotten to the core’ due to the burden of debt compounded by interest. There has to be a wiping off of debt as happened in the past...The action against the rioters should be based on cause and effect - the cause has always been fractional reserve banking and governments borrowing rather than creating all the money they need. Therefore, the first hands to be cut off are those belonging to bankers and their parliamentary accomplices...”
Finally, he was asked what would you do about the unemployed and the unemployable in places like Tottenham? To which he responded:
“As mentioned, The DEBT based banking system is the root cause of unemployment - however as long as they insist in only putting purchasing power into circulation through wages and salaries, the authorities fail in their duties to serve their communities because they fail to comprehend that everyone needs money in their pockets [regardless of whether they are employed or not] so they can consume the wealth that is already being created but because of the artificial scarcity of money it remains unconsumed [except by fire due to the riots]. ”
This does not of course mean that those who have committed serious offences over the past few days must not be punished; no government, no society, can tolerate acts of arson that endanger life, however despairing or oppressed the people responsible, but at the end of the day, the real problems underlying the willingness to riot, loot and burn must be addressed, or we are simply storing up more trouble for the future. And next time they might not burn, but bomb.
Although he doesn’t mention it by name, Pidcock is alluding to Basic Income. This is a concept the likes of David Cameron cannot even begin to contemplate, after all, how can we pay people for doing nothing? Curiously, he and they never ask the same question about “repaying” our colossal national debt, which has of course been created ex nihilo by the banks, with no effort and at no cost to themselves.
"Paying them not to riot" says Pidcock "is much smarter than paying out twenty times more to repair the damage created if you don't."
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This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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