Monday, 3 August 2009
The Invasion Of The Jelly Men
On The Hill in Washington DC on 24 July, a Congressional Briefing took place in which the representatives of Global Financial Integrity, Citizens for Tax Justice, and the Tax Justice Network (TJN) (see their blog) made presentations about the effects of rampant and increasing tax avoidance and evasion both through tax havens and inadequate and corrupt tax regimes in the developed world, I name no names, but take the District Line.
In a TJN presentation (Ms. Sarah Lewis of TJN-USA) the concept of Rock Jelly was introduced. It means a bowl of jelly with a small rock. When pressure is applied the rock simply moves and the jelly is rearranged to compensate for the pressure. So when the USA decides to push at the Swiss bank, UBS, all that happens is that UBS starts dumping its American clients, and shifts its attention to other places. In the case of UBS it is the Latin states of South America.
The concept may be a derivation of the idea of Rock Soup, known as Stone Soup in its several earlier versions. It’s most famous exponent was General George Smith Patton of Second World War fame, “Old Blood and Guts”, who applied it to securing the means of initiating and forcing attacks on the enemy, when he was supposed to be holding the line. Wikipedia has the details. Perhaps the idea can be taken to another stage.
Quite simply it is that as far as the political and economic management of both the USA and Britain are concerned there has been an Invasion Of The Jelly Men. This is not a horror film or story, it is the horror of reality. Essentially, we are ruled by Jelly Men. When you try to finger them, they just spread, or slip from your grasp, and then spring back, only dirtier and nastier. If you do manage to swallow them, they block your system, putting your interior economy in a state of chronic constipation.
Who rules the USA? The President? Well he might think that, but who else does? Congress? Pass the smelling salts. The Executive? Cue canned screaming laughter. It is the Wall Street Annexe in the money departments, and they are Jelly Men. How else does Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase etc. and a few others control all that happens? Goldman Sachs even owns a major pipeline. Thumb on the artery indeed.
In the UK, however, the Slickers of the City and the Hedge Fund Financiers of inner Mayfair may hold the reins and crack the whip, and the Government may think it owns the banks, but in reality they are all in hock to the representatives of a group of international companies, largely based in tax havens, and oligarchs of one kind or another, who have only to phone one of very few numbers to get what they want and when they want it.
We have a government of Jelly Men, and a Political Class and Media of Jelly Men affiliates. Pressure them for justice, morality, or decency and they will simply bend, slip, or slide away, to retain their ability to evade, lie, and then to take all they want. The Jelly Men in the public sector are taking enormous amounts, not in declared income or expenses, but in all their other activities, all or most of salted away in tax havens with secrecy jurisdictions. The UK judiciary is creating such a jurisdiction in the UK under the civil Libel laws, one breath or hint of criticism and you are up before the beak, guilty as charged, and your innocence impossible to prove. The wealthier elements in the UK private sector have long gone offshore. Almost all the rich and well connected are paying virtually token taxes.
To pay for the fiscal deficits and huge debts created for the benefit of The Jelly Men it will not be the owners of wealth and the powerful who are the ones responsible for the mess, it is the working population who cannot avoid taxes, and most of all the poor that will be left to pick up the bill. It is already happening, pensioners in sheltered housing have been facing rises in charges of close to 10% compound for a year or two now, and it is getting worse. This is not for public services, but for a range of prestige projects and private obsessions of the powerful.
In the UK, it is clear that the twelve years of Labour government have significantly widened the gap between the rich and poor. The Jelly Men have had everything they asked for, and much more than any past Tory government would have dared to give them. Any new Tory government themselves will be in thrall to The Jelly Men.
In the USA, they have been given the keys to Fort Knox, the Federal Reserve, its allied offices, and all the currency printing presses, so they control the government in that they control the money systems, the regulation and issue of money, and the nature of the money in the markets. Through this they control the administration and by that the Presidency. Congress does not even control itself. All the voters get is a theoretical choice between the flavours of jelly, and they are synthetic. You are either with them or subject to them, make your choice.
So, either The Jelly Men will destroy the nation states, or the nation states will have to destroy The Jelly Men. Don’t miss the next episode, in fact you can’t.