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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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30 Responses to 991

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention 991 | ASBO Jesus -- Topsy.com

  2. Carole says:

    Oh yes…I’ve had it with politician double talk.

  3. Richard says:

    It is a shame that Labour left the country bankrupt and so the Conservatives are having to sort it out again. I cannot understand how anyone can ever trust Labour when all they ever do is spend more than we have in order to buy votes, happens every time they come to power. Now we have to suffer cuts, inevitable and painful cuts.

  4. jonbirch says:

    i’m afraid i have to disagree with most of what you’ve just expressed richard. you mean ‘sort it out’ like they did last time? the country is still messed up from that last lot of ‘sorting out’. the cuts are not inevitable, not in the way it’s happening certainly. so, in order for the rich to lose nothing everyone else must suffer?.. hmmm… sounds like the inevitability of a right wing party who have no inkling of what poverty or even ordinary life is. tory sorting out is like the bully in the playground who says ‘i’m going to sort you out’, then proceeds to beat hell out you. no, the rich and super rich are untouched, the real culprits, the banks and particular individuals within those institutions, (not labour… and re. the banks the tories would have behaved the same) are getting even richer as a result of the countries pain. if you think that is right, fair and a good way of dealing with things i have to disagree. it is the governments job to protect the citizens (or that’s what they tell us), so paying off debt with a less damaging 12 year plan would obviously be a wiser approach. but this has nothing to do with wisdom, or indeed paying off the debt. more and more it becomes very clear that this is no less ideologically driven than the horrendous and damaging thatcher years. ideology first, people second. it is despicable in every way.

  5. Ben says:

    Richard: did you miss the stories about a ‘banking crisis’? That’s what has caused the vast majority of the debt.

    I love the fact that Osbourne says its time to stop talking about how bad the banks were but the gov’t blames the deficit on labour in every Commons exchange – seems woefully unbalanced.

  6. jonbirch says:

    hey jf… it has a mandate (just) to be in government, but not to put through the changes, given the manifestos upon which both parties got where they are. re. tuition fees for example, i can see how there might be a mandate to not increase them, because i was told that was a choice i would be making if i voted lib dem… i can’t for the life of me see how we’ve gone from that to something which nobody voted for in terms of increases… that’s what i mean by no mandate.

  7. Ogg says:

    Richard #2 It’s beyond me how anyone can ever trust the Conservatives after thiere last stint in office and there avowed intents in this one, not to mention all there broken election promises. They should be doubly wary of the Lib Dems as well seeing how politically niave they’ve been by joining with the Tories and obvious subsequent exploitation by them. I’ll be interested to see if they really do get there way on PR as the Tory back benches are already throwing wobblies about it but that is a side issue.
    I’m not saying Labour were perfect but at least there heart seemed in the right place most of the time. I think you need to start seeing the world as it is, not as you’d like to think it is.

  8. Carole says:

    I don’t know much about politics…but I know a lot from bitter experience about its net effects. Having lived through the Thatcher years, feared constantly for my livelihood, experienced redundancy twice (myself, and my husband on another occasion) and also my husband’s loss of employment due to the voluntary liquidation of his employer’s company, I shudder at what is happening to our country at the moment. Once again I feel the cold spectre of mass unemployment that I have only ever felt under the Iron Lady. This time, it feels worse, though, as we have nothing to fall back on in the way of a manufacturing base. The proposed sale of the forests leads me to think that they won’t be happy until all our lands are in the hands of a new ‘landed gentry’. The phrase, ‘we are all in it together’ has never had such a hollow ring – when attempts to protect the very rich are so very blatant at the cost of the average person’s needs. I have a daughter about to enter the workforce…well if she can find a job, anyway. I have been looking on websites, in newspapers, the job centre…nothing. And hundreds chasing any mediocre post that does crop up and more redundancies every day. What is to become of our young people? Their hopes are dashed before they have even started! DON’T tell me this is a necessary evil! I have never in my life felt so much a peasant – my life and needs and those of my children feels very, very cheap.

  9. linus says:

    Jon. The govt is not paying off debt. Its reducing deficit. Big difference. The deficit is (as i understand it – ie in very simple terms) the difference between how much money the govt spends and how much it recoups in taxes etc. We currently spend more as a country than we raise in taxes. We have been doing this for a long time, certainly way before the banking crisis. That’s why we have a lot of debt.

    For as long as we continue to spend more than we can recoup, our debt (and therefore the vast sums of interest we pay on it) won’t just stay the same, it will actually increase. That’s why the govt wants to clear the deficit quickly – so that the debt doesn’t get bigger exponentially and the taxpayer’s money that gets spent on interest doesn’t increase in the same way.

    Labour, LDs and Tories all had big cuts to reduce the deficit in their manifesto – they all agree its very important and needs to be done as quickly as possible. They disagree over how quickly it is safe (for the economy) to make cuts/raise taxes and where the cuts should be. But there is definitely a mandate for cuts because the three biggest parties all said they would introduce big cuts if they won.

    The coalition want to get us to the point where we spend the same as what we raise in tax by the end of this parliament. So their aim is to put the breaks on the increase in debt by the next election. The plan to do it in twelve years would mean much more debt at the end and therefore much more taxpayer’s money being spent on interest payments. Labour say that we need to go slower because if the cuts damage the economy and make lots of people redundant, the amount of money the govt can get from tax goes down and so even with less spending you still have a big shortfall between what’s coming in and what’s going out. There are also a lot of arguments about whether the cuts are fair or are affecting poor people/deprived areas disproportionately.

    Most other western countries have been running a deficit too (and therefore running up debts. Which begs the question, who do we all actually all owe? i don’t know.) I’m no economist, but i think this is at least part of why the banking collapse has affected national economies/governments so badly.

    I’m no expert on this so if ppl know more than me please add to or amend what i’m saying.

  10. jonbirch says:

    i think what carole is saying overrides any other argument. the people who caused nothing to go wrong are the people paying. when people are reduced to feeling expendable it stinks, plain and simple. the idea of cannon fodder is alive and well… not for years has this country felt so class divided… and it is brought about by very affluent people running the show and not having a jot of experience when it comes to leading a regular life.
    i don’t think for one second it’s good to run a deficit, but it is not the fault of those who work and pay their taxes and that’s a fact. it is also not the fault of those who can’t get work.
    i am not saying that the government doesn’t have a mandate to make cuts, i am saying that it doesn’t have a mandate to make the cuts it is making in the way it is making them. the choices about where to make cuts really has very little to do with the deficit… the deficit is a very handy shield behind which they can make those changes they have always believed in, regardless of what was in their manifestos. i’m sure we can all think of a raft of things that could be cut and a raft of things that could be improved and changed to make them more effective… and they should be. but this is very different to the approach this government is taking. once things are gone, they’re gone. babies and bathwater etc. etc. what is being done now is astonishing, shocking, uncalled for, unethical, unjust, unnecessary, scary and pretty typical of this type of people in power.
    the worldview seems to be that it is only the rich owners who are the wealth creators and so therefore they should be protected at all costs… when in reality it is the hard working taxpayer who does it all and then gets dumped on when things are tough. damn them, damn their ideology and for not caring… damn their values. they make me sick.

  11. goodfield says:

    Don’t worry Downing Streets got a new cat. He’ll get rid of the rats. :-)

  12. Ogg says:

    I think if memory serves the ‘Deficit’ pre the banking crisis was running at about £35 Billion. After bailing out the RBL and LLoyds/TSB it had risen to something like £187 Billion last I heard and was likely to grow because of reduced tax income from firms going bust for lack of credit and with others making people redundant to reduce costs..
    It’s a bit like you me borrowing say a £100 on our credit card thinking we will pay it off in a month or two’s time when we think we will have more money coming in. Then we wake up one morning to find our credit cards been cloned and we are now liable for £3000 worth of debt we had nothing to do with and that the expected extra money has evaporated.

  13. JF says:

    Jon – unfortunately that isn’t how our version of ‘democracy’ works. We don’t vote for policies, we vote for individual politicians. Looking at it another way, you are way better represented than about 60% of the electorate nationally whose preferred candidate didn’t even get in. So if your preferred candidate not only got elected but is also in government and YOU don’t feel represented, then spare a thought for the rest of us! :-) / :-(

  14. jonbirch says:

    yes jf, that is the flaw in our system. it is ridiculous. i got the man i wanted (i say ‘wanted’… what i really mean is i kept out the man i didn’t want) and then found out he belonged to a party who weren’t what they said they were, who went in to alliance with a party who i’d not trust with my or anyone elses pocket money. crazy. but that aside… i’m not right now concerned for me and i’m not concerned for you… we’re okay right now… it’s the people who are being completely shafted that concerns me. :-(

  15. jonbirch says:

    btw… does ‘protecting frontline services’ mean that the government are promising that at least our pets will be kept safe from fleas? :-)

  16. Carole says:

    Will, I’ve just read that and wish I hadn’t. I feel enraged and will have trouble sleeping.

  17. subo says:

    hiya everyone, we are living in strange times, I’ve watched the job adds shrinking dramatically over the last 4 yrs., currently there’s nothing to apply for in Bristol. however, for me, this is the result of capitalism, of which labour and conservatism are both just as hooked into, my only hope is that we find a new way of thinking about community, and review our current values. thus am still voting Green, since at least they have less emphasis on protecting the fat cats (from whichever side,) and more on global justice

    we are told money, sex and power are everything, and given endless glamorous photos of the same few people to aspire to, while our elderly loved one’s are barely fed in a hospital stay

  18. Ben says:

    I think you’ll find the $187bn figure doesn’t include the bail out – thats kept in a separate accounts stream (there is a UK Ltd Company that owns shares in the banks which is technically removed from the Exchequer). The figure rose dramatically for 2 reasons – the tax take dropped suddenly and to create jobs the gov’t spent lots and lots of money (remember most of the money they spent they then took back as taxes!)

    The UK’s deficit was low compared to other comparable countries before the crisis. And although it was a deficit it does make economic sense to have a deficit at times (the whole comparing the economy to a family budget or credit cards skews the perspectives somewhat). Remember Gordon Brown used to be derided for being too prudent!

    As to the question of who we borrow money from. The vast majority of it now comes from China. Which is interesting. They hold almost as much cash (through bonds etc.) as the rest of world added together.

    Part of our problem is the labour gov’t started on one plan and the conservatives have switched half way through.

  19. dadube says:

    Shamelessly asking for prayer which has nothing to do with jon’s cartoon…..
    We live a 5 minute walk away from the pearl roundabout – which has become the centrepoint of Bahrain’s protesting. Any prayers will be gratefully received (yeah, I know I only lurk these days but 2 kids is hard work!). Thanks guys. C xxx

  20. Carole says:

    Interesting, Ben …so China has a surplus, then? So where did the money used to bail out Ireland come from? Is that included in the 187 billion? Must have a cuppa, this high finance talk hurts my brain!

  21. rebecca says:

    “the worldview seems to be that it is only the rich owners who are the wealth creators and so therefore they should be protected at all costs…” That’s a great quote. I must remember it.

    If you (I’m particularly addressing this to Jon, but it may well apply to other people as well) feel that you were cheated in the election, are you supporting the Alternative Vote campaign? See http://www.yestofairervotes.org/ . They really need outspoken people like you to support them (I was going to write “big mouths”, but I thought you might not recognise that as a compliment :-) ).

    Something else which I’ve been campaigning on, but off my own bat because I can’t find an organised campaign to support, is an international reform of tax laws. Currently anyone can take advantage of the difference between tax laws in different countries to reduce the tax they pay (Philip Green is an excellent example) — provided they have enough money for it to be worth it. The net result is that the very rich end up paying less of their fair share in tax than the rest of us.

  22. Ben says:

    Carole: to clarify it comes from Chinese banks. From memory (I can’t find the article online) 4 out of the 5 most cash rich companies are chinese.

    It’s cash rich companies that buy British bonds which create the credit. (which we only give a small amount of interest on)

    Not sure where the Irish Loan comes from accounting wise – but we are charging 5.8% interest on it and will make £400million pounds out of it. The morals of this aren’t as simple as it looks. The Gov’t/Bank of England borrow money from cash rich companies at a low interest rate then lend it to Ireland at a higher interest rate. The same thing with the banking bailout – it wasn’t free money we got shares. If the gov’t holds onto them till the right time the country could (easily) make money.

    The reason we are in trouble is more a function of the speed the money moves round not how much we have in the bank…

  23. Carole says:

    It all sounds horribly like a pyramid selling scam. I dread to think what would happen if one day everyone did have to settle up. :-(

  24. rebecca says:

    A pyramid selling scam… or a house built on sand.

  25. Will says:

    Dadube:will do.

    Rebecca: or A pyramid selling scam built on sand.

  26. Ben says:

    One way of thinking about it is that money is worthless. It’s only the movement of money that creates any worth. The economy isn’t pyramid shaped it’s cyclical.

    You get paid money, the gov’t taxes what you earn (and the rest of it though what you buy), they use that money to pay other people to do stuff, they tax that money and use that money to pay other ppl….

    Only falls apart if people stop spending as then the cycle slows down.

    It’s why the whole comparison to a family budget is just plain wrong.

  27. Hazel says:

    “The people who caused nothing to go wrong are the people paying”. Not necessarily. SOME people. I’m no financial expert by any means but the country is bankrupt as people spent and spent and spent – granted the banks were happy to lend – but people were not sensible enough not to borrow beyond their means – you can blame the banks handing out all the huge mortgages and money like there was no tomorrow. People have to take responsibility.

  28. Ros says:

    The way they’re cutting the deficit – closing libraries/museums, cutting jobs with nothing else opening up (unless you’re a manager. They seem to want plenty of chiefs and not many Indians at the moment), and cutting grants to education. And when I look at Labour, I can’t see any difference. I think Caroline Lucas might be the only opposition at the moment.

  29. Jon

    I really like this image. A few of us have been reading the book of James recently and it seems to sum up stuff nicely – ‘…and I will show you my faith by my deeds’
    I think it also ties in with the previous image, the more we remove ourselves from the things that are going on the more we end up just talking, blogging, complaining and hoping for change and the less we actually do to create change…

    Talk is easy.

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