‘Cranky Extremists’ – The Bully-boy Chorus begins.

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

Here is a press release of the agreement between Ecofin and the Greek government in 2007.

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.

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13 Responses to ‘Cranky Extremists’ – The Bully-boy Chorus begins.

  1. Jonahsdad73 May 22, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Another cracking article, and I for one hope Greece does form a fully functioning Debt Commission as you describe. Good arguments you have put about what democracy should actually mean, especially in terms of contracts.

    It seems clear that several European politicians and their financial masters are trying to scare the Greek people back into the arms of austerity (rather outrageously trying to interfere in the elections of another country). I keep hearing that the Greek people wish the country to stay in the Eurozone, which probably helps the cause of those trying to scare them.

    It would be interesting to know (if anyone can provide such enlightenment) what the mood is among the Greek people, and whether the scare tactics are having any success.

  2. steviefinn May 22, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    I finally got round to watching the documentary last night on Argentina, I can’t remember who posted it but thanks anyway. It must be one of the scariest awful things I have ever seen & what struck me was the similarities to what has happened in Greece & if not stopped could well spread elsewhere to Spain, Portugal, Italy & Ireland. The US & UK are already showing signs of this process.

    Cranky & extremist to me would be the likes of Menem who is surely the number one poster boy for the neo-liberal tide that is now threatening Europe. Venizelos being to my mind Greece’s version of that snake in an Armani suit.

    I was totally ignorant of the Argentinian story, as I suspect the majority of people would also be. At least with Greece there is a chance that others might cop on to the fact that they could be next & something might be done to avoid it.

    The Vikings would be proud of the behaviour of the banks & corporations who set off to other countries on what basically amounts to a pillage spree, ironic that the only nation to stand up to them is a nation of Viking descendants.

    The IMF referred to rightly in the film as the International Misery Fund, the other pillagers & their politician & media puppets do not turn up in a boat & hack people to death but they have blood on their hands as in seen in the film, it is obvious from amongst other things, soaring suicide, & increased mortality rates caused by their policies in places like Greece, Chile, Sri Lanka, Indonesia etc etc etc.

    I just hope that we do not have to go so far down the road as Argentina had to before fighting back. Tspirus also wants the removal of protection for politicians from prosecution, now how cranky & extremist is that ?

    Here’s the link again to armageddon :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=FLHavDAeDMMItTuPCAqIIPUA&feature=player_detailpage&v=Zsqa-YHE36A

    • CArratiaM May 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      Great you saw it Stevie, I definitely agree that it’s a must see for creating awareness.

      And thanks Golem for this post, I think it is extremely important to shed light on the origins of the state’s debt. The example of Ecuador on this is remarkable, it is nicely explained in the documentary ‘Debtocracy’, in the following link:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHDsgUnSzts

      Go to around minute 50 for those who want to jump quickly into Ecuador’s master move on their debt.

  3. Hawkeye May 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Does anyone remember the Truman Doctrine?

    “the policy of the United States to support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.”

    I guess it only applies as long as the US (and its proxy agents such as banks and EU bureaucrats) aren’t classified as the actual armed or unarmed outside pressures, I guess.

  4. backwardsevolution May 22, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Here’s what Karl Denninger has to say about it:

    “Here’s the truth:

    It’s none of the rest of the world’s problem if and when your banks lend money to someone has no ability to pay. The lender has more information than the borrower as the lender has history across many borrowers; you have only yourself. Therefore, it’s the lender’s problem if he makes a foolish loan and he should lose his money.

    This is especially true when the lender, and other lenders, actively conspire to mislead as to the borrower’s debt load and ability to pay. We know for a fact that this happened with hinky derivative deals that made deficits look smaller than they really were. This is an active fraud and if the lenders claim they were deceived on purpose and had no part in it then they should sue the parties involved — which are other bankers!

    When, as a lender, you exploit a legal means to counterfeit, thereby lending money you don’t actually have (this would be criminal fraud for anyone else!) and get caught it is both your problem and your government’s, and nobody else’s.”

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=206295

    Another great write-up, David. Thanks!

  5. richgb May 22, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    A Debt Commission sounds like a really good idea, but whether they can judge the legality of debts whilst having limited access to the back-room deals and shenanigens that led to them in the first place seems doubtful. A detailed analysis in a time-frame that makes a real difference to the lives of the Greek people is not going to happen, and I suspect if such a panel was formed then much rough justice would be doled on the banks. Oh dear!

  6. JayD May 22, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    BANK RUN! BANK RUN! BANK RUN!……………does anybody remember when any mention of such was off limits.Yet in the last couple of days the MSM can’t get enough of it (confined to Europe of course!).Any ideas as to why this might be? If it’s to up the psychological warfare on the Greek electorate then it’s a pretty risky strategy…..or have the powers that be decided they are prepared enough to collapse the Euro as you can be sure that their money ran long,long ago!

    • Golem XIV May 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

      I think the European powers are considering letting a Greek bank or two go down as a frightener.

      BUt they are NOT going to let teh ones they own go down. The biggest bank on the brink of collapse is French but no one in the MSM is mentioning it.

  7. James E May 23, 2012 at 3:08 am #

    Great article… The scare tactics will always be tried however alot of people are starting to say; look we are already just eating bread and olives so if the drahma comes then what
    will be different… t

    The difference is we no longer import food / buy bmw’s/peugots / allow seimens to try and take over the rail system for 800 million when its worth 16billion / get involved in Derivates… and this affects who?

    The difference is we have rare earth material reserves / oil / gas, are kick starting our agriculture / trying to kick start the second largest port in EU again / … and this affects who?

    The game is up…. we have had extra time and now are settling the score via a penalty shootout… the West is finished… capitalism is bust… NEXT!!!

  8. Nelson May 23, 2012 at 4:59 am #

    Thank you for shining a clear light at the dark corruption of our banksters.

  9. DANIEL May 23, 2012 at 5:59 am #

    David,
    I think your suggestion of politicising this blogosphere movement is a sensible idea. We can pontificate forever on these blogs and nothing will be done. Apart from educating people as to the technical reasons to our present failed financial state, these discussions can go on forever. We must become politically active.
    There are many such sites out there and many movements, supporting the same idea, reform of the monetary system. Sites such as Positive Money, NatCan etc. We need to conjoin them in a single entity.
    I like your headline, A Modest Proposal. If I recall ,it is title of a Pamphlet by the that underrated and unrecognised fighter for Human Rights, Tom Paine.
    Good title for a political party. Rights of Man Party.

    • Pat May 24, 2012 at 9:19 am #

      Actually Jonathan Swift. The great satirist was suggesting that the starving Irish eat their own children. The extreme logical conclusion of austerity, I suppose.

  10. OhOh May 24, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    “Greece’s national statistical service has taken a number of measures to improve the quality of the deficit and debt data reported to the Commission, and this has led to a significant reduction in discrepancies. As a result, Eurostat in October 2006 withdrew its reservation on the quality of the figures, and although unexplained discrepancies still remain, it is unlikely that any future revision would raise the 2006 deficit above the 3% threshold.”

    The responsible EU department, ECOFIN, requested details of the Greek financial situation . They performed an audit and declared that Greece had a manageable problem. Either they, ECOFIN, saw a problem and hid, it or there was no problem.

    ECOFIN is a committee of the EU is composed of the Economics and Finance Ministers of the Member States which meets once a month. They are tasked with, amongst some others, the economic surveillance, monitoring of Member States’ budgetary policy and public finances. To believe that this body of the EU has had no knowledge of the Greek situation all the time is somewhat unbelievable.

    When will ECOFIN answer to the Greek people and the EU?

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