Friday 29 January 2016

Who Rules The World?

Looking at global wealth, trade and work raises the question of who actually rules the world and are progenitors of, or party or crucial to the real decisions that are made and how they are implemented and by whom?

We are aware that our Parliament and Civil Service is now at best a bit player in the great scheme of things.  There is the EU but this as is the UK subject to a range of international bodies.  When the chips are down in the great poker games of power it is the world big boys who deal the cards.

Douglas Carswell says re Cameron and Europe "But what about the businesses that want Britain to stay? That's true: there's Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Bank of  America - the bankers who brought us the last financial crisis, and are now trying to buy the referendum. There's the super-rich elites David Cameron was trying so hard to impress at Davos  Are these really people who have Britain's best interests at heart?"

Who are the key players at this level?  It is not as though they are a secret cabal, it is that our main stream media does not give them much if any attention.  It notices some of our leading figures and the celebrities, the footballers, the headline grabbers and the exhibitionists but not the people who really matter.

One such person is Peter Sutherland and there is a full Wikipedia article on him making clear the extent of his interests and it is not difficult to understand his involvement and influence.  Ask Tony and Cherie Blair for example.  For more about two aspects of his current work there are links:

I recall that at the LSE there was once an Environmental group concerned with the impact of population and the implications of the degradation of many of the Earth's resources.  Whether or not it was a coincidence the group disbanded not long after his arrival.  Moreover, the LSE seems to have narrowed its perspectives in a number of ways that fit in with the Sutherland thinking.

There is his role at the top of Goldman Sachs.  Looking at his time there, who else was dealing with it at the time, what it was involved in etc. would take a very long post to cover.  So what exactly is he?

He is one of the Arch Priests of Globalisation, for him it is the inevitable future, it is necessary and resistance is useless.  As an example migration means open doors, mass movements and the means to bring to an end the narrow nationalisms of the past and the structures, cultures and ways of life of recent centuries that impede global transformation.

He attended a school run by the Society of Jesus in Dublin, one of the intellectual cutting edges of Catholicism. How far he retains that faith is not known, but I recall being told that once a Jesuit, always a Jesuit in the mental structure and thinking.

I avoided the Jesuits as a youngster, but did know the Dominicans.  There are differences between the Orders and debates in the past between them have sometimes been fiery, in the literal sense.  I have no doubt that in past centuries I would have been toast.

He went onto University College, Dublin, a decent place according to family members.  Then he made a career in politics and business and moved quickly up the ladder into an international career.

What of the Sutherland name?  Long before I knew of him I had been looking for Sutherlands of the past, the family of a forebear in the early 19th Century in Glasgow then Greenock but from Lybster, up in Caithness.

Chasing names at the Public Records Office prior to the National Archive, I studied the Highland Fencible Corps, see Wikipedia, of the late 1790's.

A number of these regiments were raised at a time of war to replace the regular army at home for internal security and to deal with the added conflict in Ireland.  Some of them were sent to Ireland to put down rebellion and had Caithness recruits.

Among the Fencibles were Catholics so Scottish Catholics were putting down rebellion in Ireland to serve their King and Country.  I have a sneaking suspicion that if by wild chance Peter's forebear was one of these; some of the Fencibles did not go home, it is not something on his CV.

Similarly, if the James Sutherland of Caithness who served on HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar was one of his that might not quite match his personal sense of identity.

But to return to globalisation and Goldman Sachs, if you wonder why some of the intractable problems and massive changes taking place arise, you need to look no further than Peter and his friends and allies.

But it is no good praying for help.


  1. You are certainly right about globalisation but it is not being driven by an elite clique it has a momentum all of it's own and is totally unstoppable. Short of WWIII breaking out. The Sutherland's of this world are profiting from it but certainly not the engines of it.

    Globalisation will break down national barriers eventually and cultures and societies will drastically change. Hopefully gradually and smoothly but on current evidence that seems unlikely. There will be winners and losers. That's life.

  2. Sorry if it seems shallow, but the photographic portrait of him in the second link tells you all you need to know at a glance. It's a type.

  3. Globalisation will an archetypical dog. After its day is done, sooner rather than later, new powers will take over. My bet is on a future Sino-Russian (common market)Union. A further matter for this "globalisation" that will deflate it is seen in the centuries old tribal feuds still raging. Ironically globalised, well before this modern age!

  4. The BBC could cover this issue but won't because if it ever tried it would be leaned on.

    Sutherland looks like a capable leaner.