Category Archives: Factoid

Austerity Myth Busters

In reality the last Labour government raised public spending as a share of total spending in the British Economy just a little, from 38% to just under 41% by the eve of the financial crisis in 2007. The latter is is less than in any year of the Thatcher Government of the 1980’s. it was the bank bail out and the growing cost of unemployment and poverty after 2007 that drove public spending up to around 47% of GDP by the time David Cameron’s coalition took office.
Rob Griffiths. Morning Star. Saturday June 22nd. 2013.


We’re all in it together!?

The share of national income held by the top 1% reached 14.3% in 2005. It is likely to be as high as 17% today. This is more than double the share they took in the mid 1970’s, when the top 1% took 8% of total earnings.

In 2007 just before the crash, the top 0.1%, 30,000 people, took 5% of total earnings in the UK. 5% of the UK population is 3.1 million people.

Source: OECD Report Dec 2011

Since 1990 the poorest segment of the British population has seen a decline in income of about 8%, while the richest sector of the population has seen an increase in income of almost 68%. About 17% of the British population is considered to live in poverty.

Read more here:

The Last Vacation Of Christ – You couldn’t make this shit up!

Honestly, you’ve got to look at the link below. The Holy Land Experience is a bible theme park!!! The Orlando attraction features twice daily crucifictions, singing Centurions and a replica of herod’s Temple (ATM’s conveniently located nearby). Not just for the faithful, the park encourages guests to “bring an unsaved one!” The Americans can commidify ANYTHING and then flog it to each other without an iota of shame. You really couldn’t make this shit up.

We’re All In This Together!?

In 2000, average earnings for the chief executive of a top FTSE 100 company were £900,000 a year, a remarkable 47 times the average salary in Britain (£19k). By 2010 FTSE 100 executives were on a average income of £2.3m a year, a thumping 88 times the earnings of the average worker (£26k).

UK Bank Bail Out = 93.5% of UK National Debt

Confused and frustrated by much of the public discourse around debts, deficits and cuts I decided to do a bit of research of my own. This is where I got to:

Most financial commentators have come to the consensus that the bank bailout cost UK tax payers approximately £850 billion.

The UK total government debt for the end of Financial Year 2011 was £909 Billion.

So on those figures 93.5% of the UK’s National Debt is a direct result of the bank bailout.

The UK government currently runs an on-going deficit (the difference between income & expenditure) forecast to be £163 billion (11.1% of GDP) this year.

Historically, since the mid ‘70’s the UK government has run a deficit every year apart from a brief period under Margaret Thatcher in the late ‘80’s and under Gordon Browne in 2000-2001.

In 2007/8 just before the banking crisis the deficit was £7.6 billion, which was 40% less than the figure inherited by New Labour from the Conservatives in 1997.

The idea that 13 years of New Labour profligacy has got us into this mess is simply nonsense.

The jump from an annual deficit from £7.6 billion to £163 billion is a result of the collapse of tax revenues caused by the recession and the interest payments due on the £850 billion borrowed by UK tax payers that was given to private financial institutions to ensure their survival.

Clearly the UK debt & deficit crisis is almost entirely a direct result of the bank bailout.

A bail out that allowed the survival of a system in which obscenely rich people got even richer by a form of state sanctioned gambling – just like the Lottery – except that their losses were guaranteed by working tax payers on average and low pay.

This same banking system then looks at the £850 billion in UK debt, taken out to ensure it’s own survival, and says, we don’t think this level of debt is sustainable – using the same procedures, systems and values that got us into the mess in the first place – and you have to cut public spending to reduce the debt.

The ConDem government then expect the rest of us to say, “OK, fair enough, we’ll suffer a decade of unemployment and diminished public services in order to pay back that £850 billion – just so long as those poor bankers can keep their bonuses, otherwise they might all emigrate.”

It beggars belief! The UK taxpayer is not responsible for this debt; the banking system is and it is through a tax on their profits that the debt must be repaid.

There are no moral or financial justifications for these cuts and they must be resisted as the ideological opportunism that they are.

For clarity:

1 Billion = 1,000 x 1 million

1 Trillion = 1 million x 1 million i.e. 1000 Billion

Cuts and riots: they’re linked!

See this article in today’s Guardian for research linking government austerity with civil unrest.

The research paper the Guardian article was based on, Austerity & Anarchy: Budget Cuts and Social Unrest in Europe 1919-2009, can be found here.

Equality Trust Proves Link between Inequality And Violent Crime!

The Equality Trust have published a fantastic report identifying the link between inequality and violent crime. The PDF is here.