Predictably the bully-boy chorus, shouting insults and threats at the Greek people, has begun to swell. One of the UKs best known Tory Bully-boys, Ken Clark, Justice Secretary(!), recently described those Greek politicians who are opposed to the terms of the EU enforced austerity measures, as “cranky extremists”.
The object of this jibe was, of course, Alexis Tsipras, whom even The Guardian newspaper described as
…leader of the radical left Syriza party, [who] is demanding a renegotiation of Greece’s bailout package.
What is it that Syriza and Mr Tsipras have actually said they want, which qualifies them for being described as ‘radical’ and ‘cranky’?
Well Mr Tsipras is on record as saying that if given a mandate to set up a government, he would set up a Debt Commission to investigate the legality of the various debts the Greek Nation and its banking system have accumulated. Is this radical and cranky?
For those who may not know what a Debt Commission is, it is a panel drawn from a wide range of groups within society who will analyze all the country’s debts, one by one, to see if they were taken on legally and for whose benefit. Those taken on legally and for the good of those who are paying – IE the Greek people, are deemed legally binding. Those which were done fraudulently or taken on to benefit those doing the deal, to the detriment of those left with the bill are considered Odious or worse and are torn up without further discussion.
Is this so radical? The banks and the leaders of the nations whose banks might be effected by the process think so. But is it? Is it radcial and cranky to think there might have been some fraudulent loans made, some corrupt kick-backs and pocket-lining deals done? Is it cranky to think some of Greece’s political class could have lined their own pockets and the pockets of those with whom they were cosily doing business behind the curtain of ‘confidentiality’? Is it radical to think some of the Global Banks might have done deals which were never going to help the Greek people but would line the pockets of the bankers? We have a long public record of evidence that virtually all the global banks have engaged in widespread and intentional fraud.
So is it so radical to want to see the details of a bill that other people, untrustworthy people, ran up, but which you have been left to pay? A Debt Commission is no more than asking for an itemized bill.
Does it make you a dangerous radical if upon receipt of a huge bill at a restaurant, you ask for an itemized bill? Is it cranky to want to know what you are paying for?
The process of a Debt Commission has international legal standing and has been done before.
70% of the votes cast in the Greek election, though not giving a majority to any one party, were cast against austerity measures and the parties who advocated them. So there is a clear mandate from the people of Greece. Are the people themselves and the mandate they seem to have voted for, radical and cranky? Well only if you regard democracy itself as a dangerous intrusion of the Great Unwashed into realms that should be reserved for their betters. It is a small detail of Democracy that I think our present rulers overlook, that Democracy IS radical and allows for radical decisions. And most important of all, the democratic decisions of a free and sovereign people, take precedence over ALL other agreements and contracts. The people and their democratically expressed will are, and absolutely must always be, supreme. Contract law, the law governing private agreements between private entities, is NOT and MUST NOT ever become superior to the will of the People. The day it is, Democracy dies. Yet that is precisely what our leaders and the global bankers are trying to insist upon.
A free people must have the right to change their mind or Democracy is dead.
And that is our present impasse. The banks and our present rulers have agreed between them that the decisions made, not just by elected leaders, but also those collosal decisions taken by unelected ‘experts’ at central banks and financial quangos, to print or borrow money in order to bail out the private banks and their private debts – decision made without any recourse to the people-expected-to-pay (the public) and often without even a public discussion, that those decisions should be legally binding and irreversably above the will of the people.
If we allow this then we have allowed a coup, as surely as if it had been carried out with tanks and soldiers rather than computer models and ‘experts’.
The problem in Greece, is is that a Debt Commission requires time. And during the time it would take for such a Commission to do its work, Greece would need financial support .
It sounds reasonable to say – why should we – those who have been supporting you, continue to support you while you run your Debt Commission. Germany and its tax payers will balk. But is it not also quite reasonable for the Greeks to say we would like our itemized bill if you please and do not feel it is right to be told we must pay NOW, in full, and never mind the details.
The reality is our banks – those in France Germany, the UK and America, have been caught engaged in fraud and vastly stupid and greedy dealings. Our regulators knew and were largely complicit. During the time Greece was supposed to have been hiding and lying about its debts – it was also under ‘Special scrutiny’ by the European regulator Eccofin
Greece’s fiscal deficit was reduced below 3% of GDP in a “credible and sustainable manner,” the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) announced, closing the excessive deficit procedure it opened with regard to Greece in 2004.
Ecofin knew about the currency swap deals Greece had done and was doing with JP Morgan and Goldman. Deals which they later described as how Greece ‘hid’ its real level of debts. Debts were certainly hidden. But not from Ecofin. Not from the banks who now claim they are owed money. They were indeed hidden …from those who are now told they MUST PAY and without seeing what it is they are to pay for.
I would say that is what is radical and dangerous.