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Friday, 20 April 2018

Have the global corporates robbed Brexit?

Global firms, wherever headquartered, have more in common with eachother than with the country of their parent letterhead. The members of the European Round Table, and of the CBI, are their own country; they have no allegiances beyond shareholders, no mission except growth and profit and no morality beyond the gutter. They exist in an inextricably intertwined web of mutual ownerships and territorial carve-ups, and are as predatory as gonorrhoea as they infect and consume smaller market competition. They crowd out SMEs and national firms, use wealth to bully and coerce mergers and takeovers and are beyond the control of national governments. Our pensions, savings and investments are dependent upon their profitability. 

Whatever they are, they're not capitalists. 

Conventional theory has it that capitalism arose in England in the 16th century but I long ago found it thriving in the 13th century. Rowland Parker's 'Men of Dunwich', a treasure of my bookshelves for many decades, uses ancient pipe rolls and mediaeval manuscripts in our historic archives as the author turns detective. Why did Ada Ringulf, with a cottage by St Peter's, pay only ¼d rent a year when neighbours paid 1½d?* Parker thinks he knows. Anyway, Dunwich merchants, shipowners with vessels we know as 'cogs', would speculatively take cargoes of wool, barley, cloth  to Europe and the Baltic and return with iron, wine, silk and spices. Profits could be handsome - but the loss of a cog to a hostile port, pirates, minor warlords or official blackmail could ruin a man and his family overnight. So merchants offset their risk by investing in eachother's cogs and cargoes, risking only a fifth or a sixth on each voyage. Parker has the evidence. That's capitalism. And it was happening three hundred years earlier than thought. Capitalism means risk, even if it's managed risk. What the global corporates do is risk free; monopolistic, monopsonistic or oligopolistic, they have a licence to make money with virtually no risk, by virtue of their size and power. 

12th Century seal of Dunwich showing square-rigged cog with furled sail.
Facebook has yesterday, with the flick of a button, taken 1.5 billion users from the jurisdiction of the ECJ and EU data protection law to that of the US, just by shifting a paper HQ from Dublin. The new EU law imposes swinging fines for big US tech companies, so they move paper domicile. 

And so the Telegraph carries two stories today that depress even my usual optimism. The first is Jeremy Warner's belief (£) that the markets - read global corporates - have decided how Brexit is to turn out, and it won't mean change or threat, so the £ has bounced back. The second is that the EU (no doubt with the ERT members' hands up their arses) have decided that the UK cannot escape the Customs Union (£), and must remain subservient to the Brussels empire for ever more. 

The threat to Brexit isn't from weak lunatics and purblind fools in the Lords, or the little pungent dags swinging with the stride of George Soros and his chums. If push comes to shove we can always resurrect the scaffold and lop-off their noggins. The real threat is from these big corporates - and I really don't know what we can do about them. 

These rule us now. Democracy has surely died. 

Some ERT members - full list at

    * For our many North American and (astonishingly) Norwegian readers, 'd' is the old abbreviation of penny; a quarter of a penny is a farthing, whilst one pronounces one and a half pennies as 'a penny ha'penny'


Poisonedchalice said...

A friend of mine who had held high office in some well known major enterprises (none listed here by the way) was quite astonished when, the day after the referendum, I told that that the outcome won't hold; it won't be allowed to hold and there will be a second referendum.

So, ladies and gentlemen BOHICA! Bend Over Here It Comes Again!

DeeDee99 said...

@Poisonedchalice I doubt they will hold a second referendum: Project Fear failed comprehensively to get the "right" result and polls show that those who voted Leave have dug-in and won't be budged by propaganda, so they would be terrified of losing again.

Brexit will instead be negotiated away by a weak PM and an Establishment which considers the result of the first one to be irrelevant, "it was only advisory doncha know."

I am so depressed by the apparent cowardice and naivety of Theresa May and the British negotiation team. They appear to be so utterly useless, I believe it can only be deliberate and part of the campaign to effectively keep us in the EU, whilst claiming we have left.

Domo said...

If your merchants sailed to Elbonia, and the government seized the vessel, they would not send another.
The EU lunatic attempt to destroy US big data is no different to the corrupt magistrate who seizes the ships of his brothers competition.

Democracies can pass whatever law their citizens wish, but the world is free to move outside their jurisdiction.

Dave_G said...

Doesn't corporatism live and die by the hands of bankers?

True capitalism thrived on trading goods and creating real wealth - today's corporate society sustains itself on the back of 'manufactured finance' courtesy of fiat and creative accounting.

How many of those corporates have ACTUAL, realisable assets that match their stock market traded valuation?

Their current concerns over global trade don't lie with the actual goods - it lies with the value of the currencies they trade in - and those are about to head 'south' in a big way. This is why they are so concerned with creating a NWO and the global currency they can creating from such a venture.

When the banks finally collapse we'll see which corporates are genuine 'traders' as demand for real goods will always exist - the methods used to pay for them can vary.

Mr Ecks said...

Where are you getting this crap from Radders?

1-Fuck Jeremy Warner and the corporations he rode in on.

"Corporations run the world" is classic bollocks from the American left. Yes Big Business may well be up the state's arse and have too much influence. But the idea that the suits can nix Brexit is cockrot.

2- We can't leave because the EU wont let us?? Are you fucking kidding? We go with no deal and that is it. And let the chips fall where gravity dictates. We may have to suffer a while but we have done that many times before.

No--treason by the Fish Faced Cow remains the only real danger.

And she can hardly claim that staying in their fucking single market is Brexit.

The stupid bitch should know that a decent Brexit from her will still give the Tories the next election after Grandpa Death Corbin's sell-out.

May is the ultimate stupid bitch. But even stupidity has its limits.

jack ketch said...

It has never been much of a secret that the ultimate success or failure of BrexSShite will depend ,not on some mythical sort of 'Dunkirk Spirit' of plucky little Englanders now a-bed, but on those unbuckable markets and the US credit rating agencies. So it shouldn't surprise us to learn that the Globals are wanting things to 'be the same' and are working towards that goal.

Smoking Scot said...

Though I have considerable respect for you and most of your commentators, in this case I go with Mr. Ecks.

This is very similar to a classic divorce - and I've been hauled into quite a few of those, though I never took sides. Yes we'd like to leave on favourable terms, of course we do. But surely not at the expense of the 27.

They, quite naturally, would prefer that we hadn't started the process, which was akin to saying we really, really don't love them any more.

There's a whole world of emotion involved with two people and we have the same situation with politicians. IMO both sides are anxious about the money and their future.

There are of course vested interests and there's nothing wrong about people and businesses and farmers and fishermen - and talking heads of big corporations saying their bit.

I certainly don't give credence to journalists who blue sky stuff. There are stacks of them, many with conflicting views on possible outcomes. Fine, why not join in the fun.

Mrs. May can be criticised in any number of areas, with the snap election as her crowning achievement. Very badly advised and seemingly incapable of understanding who her core voters are.

I think she's learned from this and she is holding up well under pressure that'd floor most of us.

There was never going to be a result that suited everyone. It's daft to think otherwise. It'll be a nasty compromise.

My hope is this doesn't turn to outright loathing, because the ordinary people in Europe are not and never will be our problem. Just the people they voted to represent them.

And let's not forget Mr. Farage who stated as the initial results came in that if it went against him, he'd continue the fight.

That's not gone away. If we end up with something that's truly horrible, that'll bar us from making our own take deals and our own laws, then the 52% will simply seek a political solution once again. All 3 parties need to be very careful on that score because outfits like UKIP are the polite side of what will emerge.

What is very, very good about the current mess is we now know a great deal more about who our real enemies are within the political sphere.

And, to my delight, which nation states within the EU that are quietly rooting for us.

In closing, corporate are nowhere near as influential as some would make them out to be. The VW group being a perfect example; change the top tier - and if that doesn't work, then send in an audit team from the Inland Revenue.

terence patrick hewett said...

Engineering is incremental and amongst all the shenanigans the UK's first self-driving mainline train has made its maiden journey across London mostly unnoticed. Automation will make it possible to run 24 trains an hour on the Thameslink core section - click goes the ratchet.

Budgie said...

Smoking Scot said: "And let's not forget Mr. Farage who stated as the initial results came in that if it went against him, he'd continue the fight."

There's a world of difference between, on the one hand, continuing to fight for what you believe in, and on the other, attempting to invalidate a democratic vote.

I have no problem with Remains continuing to believe that the EU is democratic and the best thing since sliced bread if that floats their boat. But I will not accept Remains attempting to defeat the mandate to Leave given by the British people in the Referendum.

Anonymous said...

There will be hell to pay if we don't properly withdraw from the EU. Many, many eyes are on this historic de-coupling and the most important of these are the individuals who will take the matter to court, a la Gina Miller, if the government fails to deliver on the mandate.

The EU is what we voted to either remain in, or leave:

A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood ... A day will come when we shall see ... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas - Victor Hugo, International Peace Congress, 1849

Trust in the EU and it's institutions fell below 50 per cent in 2007 - is still below 50 per cent in 2017. Folk don't like it and it ain't getting any better. Folk like their countries the way they are and this desire alone is how Europe will hold on to it's wonderful character. Nobody had a problem with a Common Market. Folk do have a problem with lying bastards who trick you into unions run by unelected utopians.


Mr Ecks said...

Your tripe my be obvious to you Ketchie but then you are none too bright anyway.

You need to Ketch-up to reality. And sanity.

Know where we can get any bargains in Russian gas BTW--outside of the Fatherland that is.

English Pensioner said...

It's not only your American readers who need to know what a farthing is. I'd suggest few under 25s here have a clue!

jack ketch said...

I'd suggest few under 25s here have a clue!

I turned 50 this year and I'd have to google the exact worth of most of the coinage from the era before common sense and base 10 broke out in our currency. 12 pence to a shilling and 20 shillings to the £? After that things get sketchy. I recall being bemused as a child that my Ol Dad referred to 10ps as '2bobs' ...when there clearly wasn't even one Bob on the 10p piece (even to this day my Ol' Dad still works out things in 'bob', despite a science degree). Two best things to happen in my early childhood were decimalisation & the Common Market.

Anonymous said...

jack ketch said @ 16:48

'I recall being bemused as a child that my Ol Dad referred to 10ps as '2bobs' ...when there clearly wasn't even one Bob on the 10p piece..'

Your father referred to a 10p piece as '2bobs' because it was the equivalent of 2 shillings in old money. Furthermore a Base-12 (duodecimal) system for money improves ability at mental arithmetic.


Raedwald said...

Ah there were still Queen Victoria pennies in circulation in the late 1960s, rubbed smooth and browny bronze - lots of them. Little brassy chunky thrupennies, elegant tanners (essential for Christmas puds)and fat Imperial half-crowns, heavy in the hand.

My favourite was the ruddy-brown ten bob note found inside birthday cards.

And guineas of course confused foreigners - there never was a guinea note or coin, though suits in shop windows were always priced in guineas. Still, it's only ever been Sterling.

An old boy here who died last year saw five different currencies in his life; first Krona, then Schillings, Reichmarks, Schillings again and finally Euros. It's no wonder the mainland Euros want stability.

Mr Ecks said...

Heath was the worst conservative PM ever--so far (depending on what sell-out the FFC tries to get away with).

The fact Ketch that you can't do mental arithmetic is your problem. The old money needs to be returned ASAP. Today's young prats would have to up their game triple quick or be ripped of all over.

jack ketch said...

elegant tanners (essential for Christmas puds) Raed

In my childhood Xmases it was a known as a 'silver sixpence' (Mother having married below herself). Don't think I can recall her ever saying 'tanner'.

jack ketch said...

The old money needs to be returned ASAPMr X

Now that is the sort of question that we should be having a referendum on. And it might be fun to hear BrexSShiteurs grizzle about De La Rue not getting the contract to print the 10 bob notes. That said, if your friend the FFC has her way we will perhaps not have a currency to reform.

Budgie said...

Raedwald: "there never was a guinea note or coin" Google is your friend - the first Guinea coin was issued in 1663, and the Guinea ceased being legal tender in 1971. Guineas, latterly regarded as being the equivalent of 21/-, probably stopped being regularly used when the Sovereign (20/-) took over in the early C19th.

Budgie said...

Jack Ketch, The sixpence coin was silver until 1947. Plenty were in circulation up to 1980.

Budgie said...

Jack Ketch apparently has a typical non-technical urban trousered-ape reaction to anything not measured in tens. But actually much of his daily life revolves around time and position, both using base 60 (sexagesimal) to measure in. There's nothing magic, or even "modern" about units being divided by 10, 100, or even 10**5 (Pascals to a Bar).

jack ketch said...

But actually much of his daily life revolves around time and position, both using base 60 (sexagesimal) to measure in-Budgie

Correct this 'urban trousered-ape' (I am so nicking that!) if he is wrong but surely the measurement of time etc is pretty much dictated by the movement of the celestial bodies and would be almost impossible to convert into a practical metric system (didn't the French try after the revolution?)?

Cascadian said...

Calm down fellas, it should be obvious by now that your wishes expressed at the polls count for NOTHING, there is not going to be a Brexit, just an ever-continuing extension of existing laws, trading agreements and membership remittances to the EU whilst yUK gets its shit together (hint-it will never happen, the Davis/May clown show are incapable of logical action). As I previously stated, jack ketch will never in his remaining lifetime see any difference that will require changes to his cigarette importing manoeuvres. You are slaves to the whims of morons.

As to "If push comes to shove we can always resurrect the scaffold and lop-off their noggins." Well, I seem to remember dire threats that the day the lords voted against Brexit would be the day the crowds rise up and burn it to the ground, with lots of lamp-post swinging lords for added effect-I await with interest when this will occur, though I have a strong suspicion that it was over-heated rhetoric, mild grumbling as witnessed here , will suffice.

I recognize my views are not always popular, so in an attempt to amuse you, I report from the colonies that the supreme court in Canaduh has just ruled that it is unlawful to transport beer from one province (think English county) to another and re-sell it. Further it is proving impossible to build an oil pipeline from one province to another due to various socialist gyrations of logic. Canaduh is proving to be a larger scale yUK, incapable of logical thinking or action.

jack ketch said...

jack ketch will never in his remaining lifetime see any difference that will require changes to his cigarette importing manoeuvres. -cas

"Your word in God's ear" as The Bestes Frau In The World's people say.

Fred Z said...

"Facebook has yesterday, with the flick of a button, taken 1.5 billion users from the jurisdiction of the ECJ and EU data protection law to that of the US, just by shifting a paper HQ from Dublin. The new EU law imposes swinging fines for big US tech companies, so they move paper domicile."

You write that as if it were a bad thing, which it is not. The EU laws are pure horse shit designed only to steal from those US techs. Facebook is a US firm, like it or not, and if EU citizens choose to deal with any US firm, including Facebook, that is none of the EU's business.

Anonymous said...

Apropos the old coinage... my old dad was on HMS Renown in the war. Berthed in Alexandria harbour there used to be fun with the lads on the bumboats. Members of the ships company would throw farthings and ha’pennies into the water & the young local boys would swim down to the harbour bottom and get them, Egyptian poverty being what it was. One cruel soul took a farthing, wrapped it in silver foil, and chucked it in. A huge crows of bumboat boys practically drowned each other in their haste to grab it. The victor swarmed back up to the surface, soon realised what he had, and shouted out “you throw fucking Glasgow tanner* you c**t!!”

Truly the Empire was a powerful force for the spread of British culture.

* a sixpence, for the benefit of foreigners and ignorant youngsters.

Budgie said...

Jack Ketch, I'm a softie so I'll help you out.

We are pretty much fixed with the solar year and sidereal year (difference 20 minutes 23 seconds). And we are fixed with the length of a day at "24" "hours" (give or take the odd millisecond).

But we can divide up those fixed (ie repeating) periods in any way we choose. So we could have days of 10 newhours (1 newhour = 2.4 old fashioned pre-decimalisation hours); and hours of 100 newminutes etc.

Almost everything we measure is in units that are entirely arbitrary. Our base units of length, mass and time, are just sizes we have whimsically decided upon, and have no more import than any other quantities. Lengths are now be defined in wavelengths of a particular light which is physically fixed (as far as we know) but the meter, the foot, etc, as units, are chosen by us.

The only real issue is how ergonomic the units are. Whether the sub-divisions are 360, 60, 24, 20, 16, 12, or 10 is almost completely irrelevant.

Budgie said...

Jack Ketch said: "this 'urban trousered-ape' (I am so nicking that!)". If you do, please be aware of where it came from.

In 1943 C S Lewis published "The Abolition of Man". In it he derides the man who conceives of the Atlantic as no more than so many million tons of cold salt water as a "mere trousered ape".

Later Lewis describes the man who considers horses to be only an old-fashioned means of transport as an "irredeemable urban blockhead".

In the circumstances of your reactionary defences of decimalisation and the "Common Market" (whatever that is), it seemed appropriate to combine the two.

RAC said...

I tend to calculate inflation in terms of a pint of Guiness. When I first started visiting the pub it cost half a crown / two an six / arf a doller / two an a kick, or in the fake money that made us more like europe twelve and a half pence. The same price as ten Players navy cut, don't think they make those any more, though I stopped smoking a while back so not sure about that.

Smoking Scot said...


Can't buy packs of 10 fags any longer, 20's only.

Nor Players Navy Cut. Only fags with filters.

As I recall they were a budget brand and the least expensive one can buy now are £7.65. Not correct to just divide that because the tobacco firms always placed a heavier margin on 10's.

So that'll work out at about £3.89. On the ciggie side.

TrT said...

To decimalise time would require 1000 hours in a day, each made of 1,000 minute and 1,000 seconds.

1000x1000x1000= 1,000,000,000

24x60x60 = 86,400

10 or 100 hours/minutes/seconds would replicate the hectare being 10,000sqms farce.
10 hours, 100 minutes, 100 seconds gets you 100,000, close enough to 86400
But then you lose the roughly 8hours working, 8 hours playing, 8 houses sleeping split

13x28 day months with 1 day out of the months, two in a leap yer, would seem a reasonable way to square the 365 circle, but again, its not "decimal"

Decimalisation was 1971, you're pushing 50 if you remember that.
The Metrication of 1995 and 2000 might be what most people younger than that remember, I remember signs at the cheese counter for that.

RAC said...

@ Smoking Scot 21:31
Can't agree with you there SS, Players navy cut were a top brand on a par with Capstan medium. The budget brands for untipped were Woodbines and Park Drive.

Raedwald said...

In 1976 you got 4 pints of Tolly for a quid and 20 Embassy were 27.1/2p ....