Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

The present world economic and political order – A madhouse where the Arsonists are Running the Fire Brigade‏

2 december, 2013

I have written a lot about the present economic and political disorder (including foreign policy), where the common people are the ones paying the price for the gigantic folly by the political class, old media, central and investment banks, hedge funds etc.; who are pushing risk, leverage and debt to ridiculous and dangerous extremes.

This absurd Alice in Wonderland economic and political farce has been going on now for some time. And the Rabbit Hole is getting deeper and deeper because of the actions, and inactions, of the people mentioned above.

When you start analyzing these figures you get utterly horrified of the totals of the open derivatives positions in the US and European markets.

Just as an example: the four big investment banks in USA (Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and Bank Of America) ONLY “covers” 2,27 % of the Total Exposure with ALL their Assets!

To sum up – TOTAL EXPOSURE TO DERIVATES for ONLY these four banks:

207, 375, 086, 000, 000 TRILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!

TOTAL ASSETS for these four banks:  4,720,464,000,000 TRILLION DOLLARS

And remember: these figures are now over one year old. Today’s figures are worse.

If you do the math for example for Goldman Sachs, it has a total exposure to derivatives contracts that is more than 364 times greater than their total assets!

To put these GIGANTIC sums into perspective let’s compare with the GDP from USA and all of EU from 2011.

There a lot of different way to calculate GDP and the figures for each year. Add to that exchange fluctuations, conversion rates etc. So the figures below come from the same source (IMF) to make the comparison easier.  And it is their conversion.

GDP USA 2011 – 15,094,025 billion US dollars

GDP EU 2011 –  17,610,826 billion US dollars

Total GDP for EU and USA 2011: 32,704,851 billion US dollars.

Let’s compare these 32,704,851 billion US dollars with TOTAL EXPOSURE TO DERIVATES for  these four above mentioned banks:

207, 375, 086, 000, 000 TRILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        VS

32,704,851 billion US dollars in COMBINED GDP of EU and USA

Anyone see any problem???”

See among others my posts:

After Cyprus there can be NO Trust Anymore

The economic mess and structural problems in EU and US – Part 1

The economic mess and structural problems in EU and USA – Part 2

Why the Euro is doomed – the German households net wealth in not EVEN HALF of that compared to Italians

Citizens! Forgive us for not arresting those truly responsible for this crisis: bankers and politicians

This is why the Euro is doomed

EU a stupid empire on purpose

EU – an unaccountable mess created by an undemocratic treaty – Now also a crony Bankocracy

The scam that is called EU and the Euro is behind the present crisis

Below are some observations from people with very long experience in the investment and economical field. So rather than me writing again I give you these people’s views.

First from John Mauldin in his newsletter from November 30th (you have to be a subscriber). John Mauldin is a renowned long time financial expert who has written extensively and in depth about the world markets and economic situation. He has his own investment companies; he is an advisor to hedge funds, he an author of several books etc.

(Note: Most of the bold are mine and all underlining is mine. And the charts are mine)

Arsonists Running the Fire Brigade

”I led off by forming an analogy to my Thanksgiving Day experience:

I rather think the stock market is acting like we did at dinner. When the alarms go off, we note that we have heard them several times over the past few months, and there has never been a real fire. Sure, we had a credit crisis in August, but the Fed came to the rescue. Yes, the subprime market is nonexistent. And the housing market is in free-fall. But the economy is weathering the various crises quite well. Wasn’t GDP at an almost inexplicably high 4.9% last quarter, when we were in the middle of the credit crisis? And Abu Dhabi injects $7.5 billion in capital into Citigroup, setting the market’s mind at ease. All is well. So party on like it’s 1999.

However, I think when we look out the window from the lofty market heights, we see a few fire trucks starting to gather, and those sirens are telling us that more are on the way. There is smoke coming from the building. Attention must be paid.

I was wrong when I took the (decidedly contrarian) position that we were in for a mild recession. It turned out to be much worse than even I thought it would be, though I had the direction right. Sadly, it usually turns out that I have been overly optimistic.

This year we again brought my now-96-year-old mother to my new, not-quite-finished high-rise apartment to share Thanksgiving with 60 people; only this time we had to contract with a private ambulance, as she is, sadly, bedridden, although mentally still with us. And I couldn’t help pondering, do we now have an economy and a market that must be totally taken care of by an ever-watchful central bank, which can no longer move on its own?

20131129_youth

I am becoming increasingly exercised that the new direction of the US Federal Reserve, which is shaping up as ”extended forward rate guidance” of a zero-interest-rate policy (ZIRP) through 2017, is going to have significant unintended consequences. My London partner, Niels Jensen, reminded me in his November client letter that,

In his masterpiece The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, John Maynard Keynes referred to what he called the ”euthanasia of the rentier”. Keynes argued that interest rates should be lowered to the point where it secures full employment (through an increase in investments). At the same time he recognized that such a policy would probably destroy the livelihoods of those who lived off of their investment income, hence the expression. Published in 1936, little did he know that his book referred to the implications of a policy which, three quarters of a century later, would be on everybody’s lips. Welcome to QE.

It is this neo-Keynesian fetish that low interest rates can somehow spur consumer spending and increase employment and should thus be promoted even at the expense of savers and retirees that is at the heart of today’s central banking policies. The counterproductive fact that savers and retirees have less to spend and therefore less propensity to consume seems to be lost in the equation. It is financial repression of the most serious variety, done in the name of the greater good; and it is hurting those who played by the rules, working and saving all their lives, only to see the goal posts moved as the game nears its end.

Central banks around the world have engineered multiple bubbles over the last few decades, only to protest innocence and ask for further regulatory authority and more freedom to perform untested operations on our economic body without benefit of anesthesia. Their justifications are theoretical in nature, derived from limited-variable models that are supposed to somehow predict the behavior of a massively variable economy. The fact that their models have been stunningly wrong for decades seems to not diminish the vigor with which central bankers attempt to micromanage the economy.

20131129_donotlookatthischart

The destruction of future returns of pension funds is evident and will require massive restructuring by both beneficiaries and taxpayers. People who have made retirement plans based on past return assumptions will not be happy. Does anyone truly understand the implications of making the world’s reserve currency a carry-trade currency for an extended period of time? I can see how this is good for bankers and the financial industry, and any intelligent investor will try to take advantage of it; but dear gods, the distortions in the economic landscape are mind-boggling. We can only hope there will be a net benefit, but we have no true way of knowing, and the track records of those in the driver’s seats are decidedly discouraging.”

”but now let’s jump into Code Red. In this section, we deal with the topic of central banking and its failures and ponder the implications of continuing to give the same people ever more authority and responsibility. This is from Chapter 5, called:

Arsonists Running the Fire Brigade

In the old days, central banks raised or lowered interest rates if they wanted to tighten or loosen monetary policy. In a Code Red world everything is more difficult. Policies like ZIRP, QE, LSAPs, and currency wars are immensely more complicated. Knowing how much money to print and when to undo Code Red policies will require wisdom and foresight. Putting such policies into practice is easy, almost like squeezing toothpaste. But unwinding them will be like putting the toothpaste back in the tube.

20131122_buck

Promoting Failure

We’ll admit that we’re having too much fun criticizing central bankers, the Colonel Jessups of the Code Red world. But please don’t just take our word for it when we tell you that they’re clueless. Let’s look at what others have written.

In 2009 Congress created the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to uncover the causes and consequences of the financial catastrophe that almost brought down the world financial system. They roundly condemned the Federal Reserve:

We conclude this crisis was avoidable. The crisis was the result of human action and inaction…. The prime example is the Federal Reserve’s pivotal failure to stem the flow of toxic mortgages, which it could have done by setting prudent mortgage lending standards. The Federal Reserve was the one entity empowered to do so and it did not…. We conclude widespread failures in financial regulation and supervision proved devastating to the stability of the nation’s financial markets.

Not surprisingly, public confidence in the Fed has plummeted.

Italian Ind production

The Federal Reserve performed disastrously before the Great Financial Crisis, but almost all central banks were asleep at the wheel. The record of central banks around the world leading up to the Great Financial Crisis was an unmitigated disaster. All countries that had housing bubbles and large bank failures failed to spot them beforehand. In the case of England, where almost all major banks went bust (some rather spectacularly!) and required either nationalization or fire sales to foreign banks, the Bank of England never saw the crisis coming. Let’s look at what The Economist has to say about central bank failures:

In 1996 the Bank of England pioneered financial-stability reports (FSRs); over the next decade around 50 central banks and the IMF followed suit. But according to research cited by Howard Davies and David Green in ”Banking on the Future: The Fall and Rise of Central Banking,” published last year, in 2006 virtually all the reports, including Britain’s, assessed financial systems as healthy. In the basic function of identifying emerging threats, ”many central banks have been performing poorly,” they wrote.

According to published reports, the Bank of England only learned about the bankruptcy of one huge bank after another a few days before the actual public announcement. So much for staying on top of the situation. The regulators were captured by the very institutions they were supposed to regulate, with neither the banks of the regulators understanding the serious nature of the problems they were creating with their actions.

20131119_thisismadness

Housing bubbles swelled and burst everywhere: Spain, Ireland, Latvia, Cyprus, and the United Kingdom. Countries that had to recapitalize or nationalize their banks were broadsided by a disaster they did not anticipate, prepare for, or take action to prevent. In the case of Spain, even after the crisis unfolded, the Bank of Spain acted like a pimp for its own banks. It insisted nothing was wrong and proceeded to help its banks sell loads of crap to unsuspecting Spaniards in order to recapitalize the banks. (We apologize for our language, but there is no other word besides crap that properly characterizes selling worthless securities to poor pensioners – well, there are, but they are even less suitable for public consumption).

In fairness, central bankers did save the world after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. The money printing that the Federal Reserve oversaw after the failure of Lehman Brothers was entirely appropriate to avoid another Great Depression. But giving them credit for that is like praising an arsonist for putting out the fire he started.

The failure of central banks makes it all the more remarkable that they were given even more responsibility in the wake of crisis. Since 2007 central banks have expanded their remits, either at their own initiative or at governments’ behest. They have exceeded the limits of conventional monetary policy by buying massive amounts of long-dated government bonds, mortgage-backed securities, and other assets. They have also taken on more responsibility for the supervision of banks and the stability of financial systems.

Japan%20Charts%20Abenomics

The Banking Act of 1933, more popularly known as the Glass-Steagall Act, forced a separation of commercial and investment banks by preventing commercial banks from underwriting securities. Investment banks were prohibited from taking deposits. Until it was repealed in 1999, the Glass-Steagall Act worked brilliantly, helping to prevent a major financial crisis. It was replaced by the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act, which ended regulations that prevented the merger of banks, stock brokerage companies, and insurance companies. The American public’s interests were thrown to the wolves of Wall Street, and the Fed and the Clinton administration gave the middle finger to financial stability.

After the Great Financial Crisis, Congress could have simply reinstated Glass-Steagall. The act was only 37 pages long, but it had worked incredibly well. Instead, after an orgy of bank lobbying and Congressional kowtowing to the bankers who had brought the world to the brink of a global depression, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act. It is over 2,300 pages long; no one is sure what is in it or what it means; and it has added a dizzyingly complex tangle of regulations and bureaucracy to what should have been a simple, straightforward reform of the financial sector. (The act is so long and complicated that it was nicknamed the ”Lawyers’ and Consultants’ Full Employment Act of 2010.”) You will hardly be reassured to learn that the Federal Reserve’s powers were expanded through Dodd-Frank.

Please note that it was the same banks and investment firms that lobbied to repeal Glass-Steagall in 1999 that so aggressively and successfully lobbied for the Dodd-Frank Act. While there are some features contained in the plan that are good, the basic problems still remain. Industry insiders were able to assure that business as usual could continue. And to judge from their profits, it has done so remarkably well.

Figure 5.4 Major financial legislation: number of pages

Financial legislation

The Fed didn’t need more powers. In the years leading up to the Great Financial Crisis, the Fed already had almost all the tools it needed to prevent the subprime debacle. It simply failed to use them. You could call that lapse nonfeasance, dereliction of duty, going AWOL, or anything other than doing their duty. If you don’t believe you are capable of recognizing a bubble in advance, then all the additional regulations in the world won’t make any difference in preventing a bubble. Dodd-Frank merely gave them more regulations not to enforce. It is the mindset that needs changing, not simply the regulations.

According to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the Federal Reserve failed to use the tools at its disposal to regulate mortgages or bank holding companies or to prevent the abusive lending practices that contributed to the crisis. The central bank didn’t ”recognize the cataclysmic danger posed by the housing bubble to the financial system and refused to take timely action to constrain its growth,” the report said. It also ”failed to meet its statutory obligation to establish and maintain prudent mortgage lending standards and to protect against predatory lending.”

The most sordid part of the Great Financial Crisis was not the extreme failure by central banks to regulate. The most egregious violation of the public interest came in the form of the massive subsidies and aid the central banks gave to the banking system when the crisis was underway. The great journalist and essayist Walter Bagehot argued in the mid-19th century that during a financial crisis central banks should lend freely but at interest rates high enough to deter borrowers not genuinely in need, and only against good collateral. During the crisis, the Fed and other central banks lent trillions of dollars at zero cost against the shoddiest of collateral. And the Fed went out of its way to provide gifts to Wall Street banks via the back door. For example, when AIG went bust, Timothy Geithner decided that the US taxpayer should pay out credit default swaps to AIG’s counterparties at full price. Goldman Sachs was given a parting gift to $10 billion. Geithner did not even negotiate a haircut. The money went to dozens of banks, many which were not even American. It is no wonder Geithner became well-known as ”Wall Street’s lapdog.”

20131115_SpainGDP

Our good friend Dylan Grice wrote a fascinating piece on what happens when you have too many rules and too little common sense. In a Dutch town called Drachten, local government decided to take out all traffic lights and signs. They hoped people would pay more attention to the road rather than fixate on rules and regulations. They were right. In Drachten there used to be a road death every three years, but there have been none since traffic light removal started in 1999. There have been a few small collisions, but these are almost to be encouraged. A traffic planner explained, ”We want small accidents in order to prevent serious ones in which people get hurt.” Let’s see what Dylan has to say about the lessons for capital markets:

You might be thinking that traffic lights don’t have anything to do with the markets we all work in. But I think they do. Instead of traffic lights and road signs think rating agencies; think Basel risk weights for Core 1 and Core 2 bank capital; think Solvency 2; or think of the ultimate market regulators of our currencies – the central banks – and the Greenspan/Bernanke ”put” which was once imagined to exist. Haven’t these regulators provided the same illusion of safety to financial market participants as traffic safety tools do for drivers? And hasn’t this illusion of safety been even more lethal?

Wouldn’t it be nice if central bankers thought more like Drachten town planners? But central bankers and parliaments prefer extensive rules to a common-sense approach.

Central Banks and GDP growth

Unlike the planners of Drachten, the Federal Reserve and central banks around the world issue extensive sets of regulation, fail to enforce them, encourage everyone to speed, and then when crashes happen they protect as many banks as possible from the consequences of their own actions.

The Federal Reserve is in desperate need of reform. This doesn’t mean that politicians should be deciding interest rates or that banking supervision should be taken away from central banks. But central bankers should be answerable to the public for how they do their jobs. Accountability has been completely missing throughout the entire crisis. Almost all central banks failed to do even the basics of their job. The regulations they created, especially in Europe, made it possible for banks to take massive risk and make huge profits that ultimately had to be bailed out by taxpayers.

They believe the banks and other institutions they were regulating when they showed the models which they created which demonstrated conclusively there was no risk. Everyone, bankers and regulators, believed we were in a new era, for the old rules of common sense didn’t apply. Central bankers didn’t need more rules or regulations. They failed miserably at even carrying out the simple job they had. The regulatory functions of central banks should be treated like those of any other regulatory agency. It is critical that we hold central bankers accountable for their management of the banking system.

Participation%20Rate_0

No Apologies, Only Promotions

One of the most disastrous battles of World War I was the British Gallipoli campaign in Turkey in 1915. It was utterly devastating, leaving more than 50,000 British wounded and almost 100,000 dead. Winston Churchill, first lord of the Admiralty, was one of the architects of the campaign. In the wake of the outcome, he resigned his post to become a soldier in the war. Churchill was a humble man who felt he was at fault. He was honorable. But if Churchill had been a central banker, he would never have had to accept responsibility or resign. He would have kept his job and been given even more far-reaching powers and a big pay raise to boot.

For the past few years, central bankers have been living large. The same people who brought us the Great Financial Crisis are now bringing us a world of Code Red policies and financial repression. The arsonists are running the fire brigade.

Where is the central banker who has apologized for contributing to the crisis or for being asleep at the wheel? Given how disastrous their performance has been, it is extraordinary that the same cast of characters is still running the show. Central bankers are lucky that they still have jobs. As far as we are aware, no central banker was fired for incompetence or mismanagement. Many have retired and are now enjoying generous pensions and highly paid consulting careers advising investment funds as to what their former colleagues might do next.

Labor%20Force

Central bankers have had plenty of time to discuss the financial crisis since 2008, but they have provided only scholarly disquisitions as to what went wrong in the banking crisis, without accepting any responsibility at all. At no time have any central bankers admitted that they might have ignored the warning signs of excessive debt, kept interest rates too low for too long, ignored bubbles in housing markets, failed to regulate banks correctly, or proved themselves even mildly incompetent.

Not only were central bankers not fired, many were promoted instead and given pay raises. Timothy Geithner, who headed the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, not only failed to regulate a host of banks that needed massive government bailouts but was an active apologist for Wall Street banks. For his efforts he was promoted to Secretary of the Treasury under President Obama. In Europe, Spanish central bankers stand out as perhaps the most incompetent ever, having overseen dozens of banks that created the biggest housing bubble in European history and having failed to recognize problems not only before but after they happened. Bankers like Jose Viñals, Jose Caruana, and others were given plum jobs at the IMF and the ECB after being asleep at the wheel in Spain.

Japan debt

Granting extra powers to central banks without a change in the philosophy behind their management is like encouraging an irresponsible teenager. Imagine your teenage son borrowed the family car and crashed it, and instead of punishing him you bought him a new Ferrari to test drive. Conventional monetary policies are like a sturdy old family station wagon, but Code Red policies are like a modified Ferrari 288 GTO capable of hitting 275 miles per hour. Given how spectacularly central banks failed during the Great Financial Crisis, it blows the mind that they’ve been handed the keys to a faster set of wheels.

One last thought. You might get from reading this that we are against rules and regulations. Far from it. We just like very simple, workable rules. Reinstate Glass-Steagall. Limit the ability of banks to create leverage, and require even more capital as they get larger. Banks that are systemically too big to fail are too big, period. Take away the incentive to grow beyond what is prudent for the deposit insurance scheme of a nation to maintain. Allowing bankers to take the profits and then hand taxpayers the losses in a crisis is not good policy, even if it is bolstered by 1,000 pages of regulations written by lawyers and bank lobbyists who then proceed to ”massage” them in order to do what they want to anyway.

But, alas, such hopes may remain dreams deferred until there is yet another crisis and taxpayers are asked to absorb even greater losses (but we can always hope!). So, in the meantime, as prudent investors and managers, we must be aware of the realities we face. The saying in Africa is that it is not the lion you can see that is the danger, instead it is the one hidden in the grass that leaps out at you as you try to escape the one you see. Later we will talk about a few strategies that can help you handle the risks that crouch hidden in the grass.”

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Second this presentation from Grant Williams, investment and financial expert from Singapore, with 28 years of experience of world markets, to get another angle of the same problem. He is now a portfolio and strategy advisor for a hedge fund in Singapore.

“Grant Williams ”pulls no punches” in this all-encompassing presentation as the ”Things That Make You Go Hmmm” author reflects on what is behind us and looks ahead at the ugly reality that we will face when ”the impurities of QE are finally flushed from the system.” Central bankers of today have ”changed everything” he chides, ”in ways that will ultimately end in disaster.” Following extraordinarily easy monetary policies across all of the world’s central banks, Williams explains why ”we are now near the popping point of the 3rd major bubble of the last 15 years,” each bigger than the last. The only way Janet Yellen avoids being at the helm when this ship goes down is to blow an even bigger bubble than Bernanke’s government bond experiment, ”which is highly unlikely.” From how QE works, why many don’t ”feel” wealthy anymore, to the fact that ”the geniuses that gave this thing life, don’t have the guts to kill it,” Williams warns, ominously, ”the bills have come due on the blissful latest 30 years.”

20131130_TTMYGH3

Returning to a world with which we are familiar is going to require either some real magic on the parts of Draghi, Kuroda, Carney, and soon to be Yellen; or some kind of tornado that sweeps away everything in its path and allows the world to build again from more solid foundations.

20131130_TTMYGH5

Wizened In Oz: ASFA 2013 Presentation. Perth, November 2013

Third, just to remind us that it is the normal, hardworking people that are following the rules that are getting screwed, just take a look at this graph from USA below:

This is why all these welfare systems are going to crash taking the societies with them.

And ALL these SYSTEMS were put in place by politicians KNOWING FULL WELL WHAT THEY VERE DOING and THAT THESE SYSTEM COULDN’T LAST IN THE LONG RUN.

US welfare cliff

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-11-30/other-america-taxpayers-are-fools-working-stupid

“While what little remains of America’s middle class is happy and eager to put in its 9-to-5 each-and-every day, an increasing number of Americans – those record 91.5 million who are no longer part of the labor force – are perfectly happy to benefit from the ever more generous hand outs of the welfare state. Prepare yourself before listening to this… calling on her self-admitted Obamaphone, Texas welfare recipient Lucy, 32, explains why ”taxpayers are the fools”…

”…To all you workers out there preaching morality about those of us who live on welfare… can you really blame us? I get to sit around all day, visit my friends, smoke weed.. and we are still gonna get paid, on time every month…”

She intends to stay on welfare her entire life, if possible, just like her parents (and expects her kids to do the same). As we vociferously concluded previously, the tragedy of America’s welfare state is that work is punished.”

As quantitied, and explained by Alexander, ”the single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.

“We realize that this is a painful topic in a country in which the issue of welfare benefits, and cutting (or not) the spending side of the fiscal cliff, have become the two most sensitive social topics. Alas, none of that changes the matrix of incentives for most Americans who find themselves in a comparable situation: either being on the left side of minimum US wage, and relying on benefits, or move to the right side at far greater personal investment of work, and energy, and… have the same disposable income at the end of the day.”

WELFARE ABUSE: 32 years old Austin, TX welfare recipient says (October 30)

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Climate Gate round two

22 november, 2011

FOIA.org has released another batch of 5,000 additional emails from the same Poole as those released two years ago in November 2009 witch become known as Climatgate.

I first appeared as a comment in this post:

http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/ian-wilson-a-mechanism-for-amplifying-planetary-tidal-forces-in-the-suns-outer-convective-zone/#comment-9441

“foia says:

November 22, 2011at9:28 am

http://files.sinwt.ru/download.php?file=25FOIA2011.zip

I made a LOOOT of post regarding that (see the archives, Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 1 to 368)

And the reason as FOIA 2011 puts it is spot on:

Over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day. Every day nearly 16.000 children die from hunger and related causes. One dollar can save a life— the opposite must also be true.

 Poverty is a death sentence.

Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilize
greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels.”

Today’s decisions should be based on all the information we can get, not on hiding the decline.”

(See among other my posts:

Global Warming Hysterics – Get out of Africa Now! Or The curse of environmentalism

CLIMATE MODELS FOR MONKEYS

 THE ENVIRONMENTALIST CREED – Anti human, anti scientific, anti technology!

World’s Scariest Words: ‘I’m an Environmentalist and I’m Here to Help’

The Best way to reduce CO2 emissions? – Civil War, Dictators, Political oppression and TOTAL poverty for the people!

The blatant hypocrisy from the UN pack and their jet set allies

How They, the Politicians, Are Turning Off the Lights in America AND Europe

Some comments so far:

Uh oh, global warming loons: here comes Climategate II!

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100119087/uh-oh-global-warming-loons-here-comes-climategate-ii/

“Breaking news: two years after the Climategate, a further batch of emails has been leaked onto the internet by a person – or persons – unknown. And as before, they show the ”scientists” at the heart of the Man-Made Global Warming industry in a most unflattering light. Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Ben Santer, Tom Wigley, Kevin Trenberth, Keith Briffa – all your favourite Climategate characters are here, once again caught red-handed in a series of emails exaggerating the extent of Anthropogenic Global Warming, while privately admitting to one another that the evidence is nowhere near as a strong as they’d like it to be.

In other words, what these emails confirm is that the great man-made global warming scare is not about science but about political activism. This, it seems, is what motivated the whistleblower ‘FOIA 2011’ (or ”thief”, as the usual suspects at RealClimate will no doubt prefer to tar him or her) to go public.”

“FOIA 2011 is right, of course. If you’re going to bomb the global economy back to the dark ages with environmental tax and regulation, if you’re going to favour costly, landscape-blighting, inefficient renewables over real, abundant, relatively cheap energy that works like shale gas and oil, if you’re going to cause food riots and starvation in the developing world by giving over farmland (and rainforests) to biofuel production, then at the very least you it owe to the world to base your policies on sound, transparent, evidence-based science rather than on the politicised, disingenuous junk churned out by the charlatans at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”

Climategate 2.0

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/22/climategate-2-0/

Breaking news: FOIA 2011 has arrived !

http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/breaking-news-foia-2011-has-arrived/#more-3471

Climategate II?

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/11/climategate-ii.html

” Can’t see what the fuss is about, meself … just another 5,000 e-mails showing the climate science ”community” committing collective suicide – nothing a few ”independent” scientific inquiries and a BBC documentary can’t fix … hide the recline, so to speak.”

Climategate 2.0

http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/climategate-2-0/#more-12598

New Climategate Emails

http://climateaudit.org/2011/11/22/new-climategate-emails/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/22/fresh-hacked-climate-science-emails

“The emails appear to be genuine, but this has yet to be confirmed by theUniversityofEast Anglia. One of the emailers, the climate scientist Prof Michael Mann, has confirmed that he believes they are his messages.”

The file is here

http://files.sinwt.ru/download.php?file=25FOIA2011.zip

____________________________________________________

Update:

Now the new emails are searchable in a database. It took less than a day through volunteer work by independent bloggers. That’s why the political elite, politicians, the mainstream media (old media) and so called scientists; in the end don’t have a change to hide the truth. And to continue to drive their political agenda and manipulations even if they have all the money in the world.  

Which they have, it is we, the taxpayers that is forced to finance this giant scam. And it is we, the common people that have to pay two/three times for the “pleasure” of watching our politicians reducing our living standard back to the Stone Age.

They also have the backing of the big corporations, including ironically BIG Oil.

That’s why this fight for truth, real data and real science, and freedom is taking so long. They are not going to voluntarily give up all this power and money.

Here:

Climategate 2 | FOIA 2011 Searchable

http://foia2011.org/index.php?id=4

And here is a very good description of the reactions of the above mentioned elites when confronted with all these lies and manipulations from James Delingpole.

Climategate 2.0: the Warmists’ seven stages of grief

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100119271/climategate-2-0-the-warmists-seven-stages-of-grief/

”Climategate 2.0 – the gift that goes on giving. And you know how good it is from the reaction of the trolls. They’re going mental. On the one hand they’d like to insist it’s a non-story. On the other hand, the more shrilly they shriek it’s a non-story the more evident it becomes just what a great story it is.

Here’s an amusing analysis of the warmist trolls’ various lines of defence, which I picked up from the comments at Watts Up With That: (I wd give a hat tip except I’ve gone and lost the bit: if anyone can re-find it for me let me know)

Stage 1: they aren’t real emails

Stage 2: they are real emails but they aren’t in context

Stage 3: they are in context, but that’s how scientists work

Stage 4: ok, this isn’t really science, but you guys stole the emails!

Stage 5: this is old stuff

Stage 6: this is nothing

Stage 7: look everyone! Winter storm! See, we have proof of our theories now.

Repeat as needed”

_____________________________________________________

Update  Two:

You just have to love the free spirit, the dedication and ingeniousness of the bloggers. Now EcoGuy has maid the emails from Climate Gate 1 and 2 searchable in the same database.

Here:

Welcome to the ClimateGate FOIA Grepper !!!

http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php

___________________________________________

Update Three:

Buffy Minton has done some good work to extract file attachments with the emails.   This was never done for the original climate gate files.

Here’s are the decoded Mime attachments to the Climate Gate 2011 emails

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=IQEKC5SR

And the same Buffy Minton has produced a spreadsheet of Climate Gate 1 and 2 emails in chronological order.  An excellent tool to follow the conversations in the emails.

xls (Office 2000, 2003)

http://noconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/odered-emails.xls

xlsx (Office 2007 and later)

http://noconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/odered-emails.xlsx

And you have all the emails in order and in txt format here:

http://di2.nu/foia/foia2011/mail/

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EU – an unaccountable mess created by an undemocratic treaty

12 september, 2010

Above a short but very succinct description of the Lisbon Treaty and what it really means for the common people.

The EU’s president Herman Van Rompuy:

Today, people are discovering what a ‘common destiny’ in monetary matters means. They are discovering that the euro affects their pensions, savings, and jobs, their very daily life. It hurts,” he said.”

The political elite in Europe DELIBERATELY constructed the Lisbon Treaty so that the common people COULD NOT UNDERSTAND IT and comprehend what was going on.

I.E. THE  LARGEST TRANSFER OF SOVEREIGNTY AND POWER FROM the people and local governments to the EU central level.

And the people were NOT allowed to have their say and to vote on it.  With one exception, Ireland.  Its constitution made it impossible for the politicians not to have a referendum.

The result – the people of Ireland voted NO 54 to 46 %.

But of course – The political elite in Europe doesn’t accept a NO from the people.

As already have happened before in France (2005 – 55% NO) Netherland (2005- 62% NO), Ireland (2001- 54% NO) and Denmark (1992 – 51% NO)  

They started their manoeuvring, twisting, some minor concessions here some more money and transfers there etc.

At ALL COST they had to have a Yes on this one. And they got one a year later.

How many times does the voters have to vote NO before NO is really a NO? Or what part of NO! don’t you understand?

And a very INTERESTING Account of how former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, in a meeting with Gorbachev in January 1989, told Gorbachev that Europe in 15 years time is going to be a FEDERAL STATE.

How in the HELL DID HE KNOW THAT??????

Well the answer is very simple – because that’s been the plan all along from the political elite in Europe.

And surprise, surprise, he become the author of the European constitution (2002-03).

Wouldn’t you say that that was another “lucky” coincidence?

Below are just a small number of articles describing the EU mess and the consequences for the common people who have to pay the price for this elitist political project.

See also:

Den svenska utrikesförvaltningens död

See also my other post on the Lisbon Treaty:

EU: s foreign minster performance so far – lacklustre and a pushover 2

The HUGE difference between EU and USA in response to Haiti.

EU: s foreign minster performance so far – lacklustre and a pushover

The New EU foreign minister – An undemocratic appointment to an undemocratic post created by an undemocratic treaty

EU – The inner game and the Corruption that Cost £684 931,5 per hour EVERY hour EVERY day EVERY year. And is increasing

EU – The aim of this treaty is to be unreadable and unclear AND it can not be understood by ordinary citizens

The EU Auditors have, for the 15th year in a row, refused to sign off the EU’s accounts owing to Fraud and Mismanagement in the budget

‘LIVES AT RISK’ AS EU BANS CHECKS ON FOREIGN NURSES

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/195115/-Lives-at-risk-as-EU-bans-checks-on-foreign-nurses

“UKIP health spokesman David Campbell Bannerman said: “People’s health and in some cases their very lives will be put at risk at the altar of being good Europeans.” Katherine Murphy, of the Patients Association, said: “It beggars belief that patients are to be put at such obvious risk from EU legislation.”

Safety tests on EU nurses working in Britain scrapped for being ‘discriminatory’

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/7958662/Safety-tests-on-EU-nurses-working-in-Britain-scrapped-for-being-discriminatory.html

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/08/lives-at-risk.html

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/08/roll-on-day.html

European police to spy on Britons: Now ministers hand over Big Brother powers to foreign officers

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1297621/Ministers-hand-Big-Brother-powers-EU-police.html

“Ministers are ready to hand sweeping Big Brother powers to EU states so they can spy on British citizens.

Foreign police will be able to travel to the UK and take part in the arrest of Britons. They will be able to place them under surveillance, bug telephone conversations, monitor bank accounts and demand fingerprints, DNA or blood samples.

Anyone who refuses to comply with a formal request for co-operation by a foreign-based force is likely to be arrested by UK officers. “

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/07/in-europe-and-ruled-by-europe.html

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/07/conspiracy-in-plain-sight.html

Governance in the 21st Century

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/15/0/17394484.pdf

David Cameron will back down in fight with EU, say officials

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/david-cameron/7861400/David-Cameron-will-back-down-in-fight-with-EU-say-officials.html

“Belgium has acknowledged that there will be a major battle over proposals to give the EU powers to vet budgets before they are presented to national parliaments.

Formal legislative proposals on ”budget peer review” and increased ”budgetary surveillance” to prevent another euro zone debt crisis will be tabled by the Commission Wednesday.

There is a question of sovereignty if the role of the European Commission in economic government is reinforced,” admitted the Belgian source.

Belgian officials, with strong French and German support, are pushing hard to set up new EU supervisors to police financial markets, giving European authorities the power to dictate to regulators in the City of London. ”It is necessary to transfer some decisions away from national to European authorities,” said the source.

EU officials have warned British diplomats that the Lisbon Treaty means it will have to compromise on sovereignty because Britain does not have veto for either the budget scrutiny or financial market supervision measures.

Belgium is also ready to pick a fight with Britain over plans for new European-wide taxes to directly fund the EU independently of contributions from national treasuries.

We can also explore, for example, the financing of European projects via new sources of revenue,” said the government source.”

An Old Battlefront Returns in War on Euro

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,703613,00.html#ref=nlint

“explained why the euro has always been a monstrosity, and why it will and must fail. Although the current plans to ”get a living corpse to walk” are touching, he scoffed, one thing is already clear: The euro bailout package will only save the banks.”

Wilhelm Hankel, professor for currency and development policy, Ministry for Economic Cooperation, the Foreign Office, chief economist of Bank for Reconstruction, the head of the department of money and credit in the Ministry for Economic Affairs and one of the closest staff members to the German economy minister Karl Schiller. etc.

”As was once the case before the outbreak of the French Revolution, Europe‘s politicians have now lost any sense for the rights, concerns and expectations of their citizens.

Dieter Spethmann, the former CEO of the giant German industrial conglomerate Thyssen.

“He criticizes Berlin for demanding solidarity with Europe while demonstrating no solidarity whatsoever with its people. Hundreds of billions of euros are being destroyed in Germany ”because the country has taken on the role of the monetary union’s paymaster,” Nölling says. ”In violation of all laws, we are being forced to rescue a currency that cannot be saved.”

Wilhelm Nölling, former member of the Bundestag for the SPD, finance minister for the city-state of Hamburg and president of Hamburg’s state central bank.

“But he finds it undemocratic that citizens are simply being forced to be part of a community in which one country is required to bail out another. ”What is happening here is almost dictatorial,”

Karl Schachtschneider, constitutional law expert, lawyer and professor.

Galileo Satellite Needs Extra Financing of $1.85 Billion, Le Monde Reports

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-25/galileo-satellite-needs-extra-financing-of-1-85-billion-le-monde-says.html

EU takes on extra 18 MEPs for £7 million

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/7849918/EU-takes-on-extra-18-MEPs-for-7-million.html

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/06/to-barricades.html

“This was done by permanent representatives, known as ”EU ambassadors” who met behind closed doors yesterday to sign off the amendment. The amendment must now be ratified in all the Union’s 27 countries and will require primary legislation in the UK – ”potentially opening up dissent among Conservative MPs who campaigned for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.”

Actually, though, it isn’t an amendment to the Lisbon Treaty. According to the EU Council, it is a ”protocol amending the protocol on transitional provisions annexed to the treaty on European Union, to the treaty on the functioning of the European Union and to the treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community.”

Now, if you can actually work out what that is saying, we are talking about an addendum amending an addendum which sets out changes to transitional provisions. It doesn’t even change a treaty. It simply changes the speed at which a previously agreed change to the treaty comes into force.”

Ordinary people were misled over impact of the euro, says Herman Van Rompuy

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/currency/7767898/Ordinary-people-were-misled-over-impact-of-the-euro-says-Herman-Van-Rompuy.html

In the first public admission of the scale of the popular backlash, Mr Van Rompuy acknowledged that ”growing public awareness” of the euro zone’s problems was ”a major political development.”

Today, people are discovering what a ‘common destiny’ in monetary matters means. They are discovering that the euro affects their pensions, savings, and jobs, their very daily life. It hurts,” he said.”

“The President of the European Council, the body that brings together EU leaders in summits, also confessed that the euro had been flawed from the moment of its creation in 1992, a situation that had not been made clear to voters.

”We are clearly confronted with a tension within the system, the ill-famous dilemma of being a monetary union and not a full-fledged economic and political union,” he said. ”This tension has been there since the single currency was created. However, the general public was not really made aware of it.”

“Vincenzo Scarpetta, an analyst for the pressure group, said: ”The euro zone crisis is not simply about economic failure but also a breakdown in trust between the political class and European citizens. The EU elite simply got it wrong on the euro.”

The euro crisis is a judgment on the great lie of ‘Europe

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7754100/The-euro-crisis-is-a-judgment-on-the-great-lie-of-Europe.html

“What we are witnessing here is a judgment on the entire deceitful and self-deceiving way in which the ”European project” has been assembled over the past 53 years. One of the most important things to understand about that project is that it has only ever had one real agenda. Everything it has done has been directed to one ultimate goal, full political and economic integration. The headline labels put on the various stages of that process may have changed over the years, such as building first a ”common market”, then a ”single market”, finally a ”constitution”. But by far the most important project of all was locking the member states into a single currency.

This was always above all a political not an economic project, to be driven through at any cost, which was why all those ”Maastricht criteria” laid down to bring it about were repeatedly breached. But as expert voices were warning as long ago as the 1970s, when it was first put on the agenda, there was no way economic and monetary union could work unless it was run by a single all-powerful economic government, with the power to raise taxes.

As was advised by Sir Donald MacDougall’s report to Brussels in 1978, it could only work if, following the US model, between 20 and 25 per cent of Europe’s GDP was available to such a government, to enable a huge transfer of wealth from richer countries such as Germany to the poorer, more backward countries of southern Europe – and how ironically has that come about!

When the 10-year-long construction of the euro began in the 1990s, all these warnings were ignored. The cart was put before the horse. So fixated were the Eurocrats on the need to get their grand project in place that the ”rules” were treated as mere window dressing. The member states were locked together willy-nilly in a one-size-fits-all system, with a single low interest rate, enabling countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece to live on a seemingly limitless sea of borrowed money. And now, entirely predictably, judgment day has come.”

As alarming as anything, with this tsunami roaring down on us, has been the sight of our new leaders preening themselves with their list of irrelevant little ”coalition policies” and babyish boasts about the ”greatest democratic shake-up since the 1832 Reform Act”, as if none of this was happening. As one analyst put it: ”They are like children let loose in the sweet shop, seemingly oblivious to the horrendous reality unfolding before us.”

Europe’s deflation torture is a gift to the Far Left

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/7756879/Europes-deflation-torture-is-a-gift-to-the-Far-Left.html

Communist leader Jerónimo de Sousa said last week that the country was being reduced to a ”protectorate of Brussels”, cowed into submission by financial blackmail. He invoked the civil war in 1383 when the country rallied heroically to expel the foreign opressor – with English help, the ”ultimato inglês” as he calls it – from Portuguese soil.

”It is not just the Communists who are worrying about this. There are a great numbers of Portuguese who are concerned that this country built over the centuries, for better or worse, on a foundation of sovereignty and independence is endangered by accepting everything that comes from Brussels without a trace of patriotism. The EU’s claim of economic and social cohesion is just propaganda,” he told Publico. “

It was refreshing to read ”The Euro Burns” by Michael Schlecht, Die Linke’s economic guru, arguing that the primary cause of Euroland’s crisis is ”German wage-dumping”. He shows from Eurostat data that German labour costs rose 7pc between 2000 and 2008, compared to 34pc in Ireland, 30pc in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, 28pc in Greece and Holland, and 20pc in France. Again, my loose translation.

Germany ran an accumulated trade surplus of €1,261bn over the period, while Spain ran a deficit of €598bn, and Portugal €273bn. This shell game was kept afloat by recycling German capital to Club Med debt markets beyond sustainable levels until it all blew up over Greece. The Club Med victims are now trapped. “

“The North-South divide within EMU has been allowed to go so far that any solution must now be offensive to either side, and therefore will be resisted. The euro is becoming an engine of intra-European tribal hatred. Brilliant work, Monsieur Delors.”

Less influence and a slower recovery: the dangers for Britain of crisis at heart of eurozone

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7133980.ece

“The euro was a political invention not properly thought through. Its collapse would have profound consequences.”

European Union expecting £6.3bn budget increase

The European Commission has proposed a £6.3 billion increase in the EU’s budget despite its calls for governments to cut national public spending.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/7639712/European-Union-expecting-6.3bn-budget-increase.html

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/04/more-for-our-masters.html

While every one of the 27 EU member states is looking to cutting public expenditure – some more than others – the EU is demanding a £6.3 billion increase in its budget to bring its spending ”into line with its new powers under the Lisbon Treaty.”

So much for the claim that Lisbon was a mere amending treaty, but then the ”colleagues” always have lived on a diet of lies, confident that when the chips are down, they can still hold out their hands and the member state governments will come rushing to throw money at them.

In the 2010/11 financial period, British taxpayers will have to hand over £7.9 billion – that is £7,900,000,000, or more than £400 for every household – to keep the ”colleagues” in the luxury they most certainly do not deserve, while the EU enjoys a budget of £113 billion for its 2011 financial year (which coincides with the calendar year).

This situation is beyond irony as the commission has been urging on member state governments cutbacks in their own finances, and – according to Bruno Waterfield – is calling for a six percent cut in British public spending by 2013.

At the same time, we are continually assailed by EU laws and requirements which further add to the cost of governance and daily life, all promulgated by institutions where profligacy is their middle name. And to this, we append our now ritual question – and the reason we do not rise up and slaughter them all is?

The question becomes less rhetorical with each passing day – the pics are of the Résidence Palace in Brussels, that £280 million monstrosity to house the European Council, symbol of being ”in Europe but not ruled by Europe,” as that idiot Cameron would have us believe.”

The EU Is in Crisis Mode—Once Again

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304739104575154060733970280.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

“It is easy to overcook the idea of the European Union being in crisis. It is always said—by its supporters and its critics alike—to be approaching one sort of exciting denouement or another. But then it passes, the caravan moves on and in time another potential disaster that can be negotiated around swings into view.”

“Even the death of the EU constitution, which seemed like a serious impediment to the progress of the project, wasn’t much of a setback in the end. It was simply reborn as the Lisbon Treaty.

The motive force behind the EU is integration and the creation of a continent-wide power block. National governments and the Brussels-based bureaucracy have so much invested in advancing that cause that any obstacles will not be allowed to cause more than temporary interruptions. They have become expert at improvising ways to press on regardless.”

“Yes, after much wrangling a deal to support stricken Greece is in place, but only with the Germans enforcing strict conditions. This is a sticking plaster solution. What must come, logically, is something close to a form of economic government by those states that want to stay as the inner core of the euro. It might be called by another name, but that is what it will be.

And that leads to a full-blown political crisis for the EU itself. The choice for various countries then is between trying to be part of an inner core organized around the euro with coordinated fiscal policy, or standing outside it in a trading zone built on cooperation rather than coercion.

The Eurosceptics, in countries such as Britain, are just starting to realize this. The euro’s problems will force its strongest members into much closer integration than even they currently envisage. Other than breaking up the euro they can do nothing elsestanding still isn’t an option. In this way that old discussion about there being two distinct Europe’s inside the EU is coming back rapidly into fashion. Sounds like it has the makings of a proper crisis.”

EUROBAROMETER 73 – PUBLIC OPINION IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/eb/eb73/eb73_first_en.pdf

”EU popularity ratings are hitting a nine-year low.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7996747/Brussels-has-broken-our-power-to-rule.html

Brussels has broken our power to rule

The EU has become a lumbering, unaccountable mess, says Christopher Booker.

By Christopher Booker, Published: 7:00PM BST 11 Sep 2010

The latest findings of Eurobarometer, the EU’s own polling organisation, show that less than half its citizens now believe it is a “good thing”. In many countries, its popularity is at record lows, and only 19 per cent see the EU as “democratic” (in Britain, Finland and Latvia this is as low as 10 per cent).

What makes this particularly ironic is that in 2001 the EU’s leaders issued their Laeken Declaration, admitting that the EU faced a crisis through its “democratic deficit”. Their remedy was the process designed to give Europe a “constitution”. After eight years of negotiation, obfuscation, lies and referendum-reverses, they got the constitution they wanted (although they had to disguise it as the Lisbon Treaty). The upshot of this tortuous attempt to “bring Europe closer to its peoples” is that those peoples see the EU as less democratic than ever.

Meanwhile, armed with its new powers, the inflated engine of our EU government rolls on, more power-crazed than ever. It is spending £800 million on setting up its new worldwide diplomatic service, with 100 of its officials earning more than our own shrunken and virtually irrelevant Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Also now on the table are the EU’s options for imposing its own taxes, the front-runner being a tax on financial transactions to which Britain, as a world financial centre, would contribute 70 per cent, more than 300 billion euros a year. Britain and the City will also be hit hardest by the EU’s seizure of control over the regulation of financial services.

Our Chancellor, George Osborne, has just conceded the EU’s right to “supervise” the contents of national budgets, taking away much of a power Parliament has exercised for centuries. Britain also seems likely to lose what remains of the EU budget rebate won by Mrs Thatcher, putting up our yearly contributions to the EU by another £3 billion – even though, for every £1 we get back from Brussels for our farmers, we already hand over £2 to farmers in other countries.

Theresa May, our Home Secretary, weakly claims that she wants reform of the European Arrest Warrant, when half of all those affected by it are being extradited from Britain. The EU’s response, in effect, is that we agreed to this travesty of justice and we must learn to live with it.

But no current issue better illustrates the bizarre nature of the system to which we have surrendered the power to run our country than the chaos inflicted on our hospitals by the enforced application of the EU’s working time directive. Led by John Black, head of the Royal College of Surgeons, medical professionals protest that this is threatening many patients’ lives.

Even the European Commission freely admits, in a recent “communication” to the European Parliament and sundry others, that its rules are, in practice, highly “unsatisfactory” and in need of urgent reform. But it adds that attempts to amend the directives have been going on since 2004 and that any chance of getting the reforms needed will involve so many consultations and negotiations that little is likely to happen for years.

Of course, if we still had the power to run our own country, this crisis in the NHS and much else besides could be sorted out within months, But since our Government seems quite happy to continue handing over even more powers to this crazy system, there is nothing we can do about it – until eventually the whole lumbering, labyrinthine, unaccountable, undemocratic mess implodes under the weight of its own contradictions.

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