Monday, 16 April 2012

Something 'down to Earth' which I think nationalist parties should be talking about


By pure chance, I stumbled over a series of articles in the Daily Mail regarding the sell off of British companies and sectors. They are there to inform and to promote a new book by the author of the articles.

I think they are worth reading because - unless I am going completely bonkers - this is the kind of thing which once used to be nationalist territory and something we used to stand for as part of our whole message and political standpoint. 

I have not seen any mention of these articles on my regular (albeit) small network of Nationalist sites, and I do wonder why not. 

Perhaps some are too busy falling out in bible study - or fine tuning (complete with fire and brimstone) a micro niche of an entity that suggests it will somehow manage to 'rise up' the masses of sleepy Britons (of all backgrounds) and take the country back via some kind of armed force against the bearded jihadist hordes (whilst ironically informing people that it is the others who don't support their ridiculous strawman arguments, strange rhetoric and distorted directions who are the 'dreamers').  

Perhaps some others are babbling on about some 800 year long Hindu genocide - in what I can only suspect to be some kind of back-handed sop to woo ethnic minority voters, to soften nationalism up for multi-racialism (civic nationalism) or to just generally push the increasingly single minded 'anti-Islamic' ticket vitriol to fresh levels of mass hysteria.

Who knows?

In the meantime, back on planet Earth, where some might wish to try and sound somewhat plausible and seek to try and garner some wider appeal on other traditional national policies, we are leaving the door wide open for the so called "left" (or indeed "right" in some circumstances) to waltz in, yet again, right under our noses and snatch our kind of territory for their own gain in the public domain.

I have not browsed all the comments, but what are currently there and immediately presentable are very revealing. 

Even the short ones like: "For some time now I have had this illogical thought, it goes completely against all our perceived political thinking, it is a Conservative administration nationalising our utilities and transport systems to get back control of our country, glad to see I am not on my own in this" show that this kind of issue spans both the 'traditional' Labour and some elements of the Conservatives. I believe, a chunk of our space.

These are the links: (right click and 'open in new tab' or window)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/news/article-2129523/How-Britain-sold-half-companies-foreigners.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2130221/Britain-sale-How-long-foreign-power-turns-Britains-lights.html

a different link to one of the same articles, with different comments:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/news/article-2130380/Consequences-selling-Britains-public-service-companies-calamitous.html


They are too long to fully extract here, but here are some snippets from the article series:

Various bits from Part 1

For the past three decades, the UK has had a completely relaxed attitude about selling off its assets to companies based abroad. Indeed, most of the time, the swallowing up of yet another great British institution barely makes a headline.

We may be a nation of homeowners, but we’ve lost our taste for ownership of our own economy and public services — from once-great manufacturers such as ICI to most of the companies that deliver our electricity, water and gas.

Even this week, it became clear that the Government is happy to consider letting a Russian firm, the one behind the Chernobyl accident, run some of Britain’s next generation of nuclear power stations. In fact, to date, we’ve sold off more than half our assets to foreign owners.

And the pace is escalating. In the face of political indifference, foreign companies acquired £30billion worth of British enterprises in 2009. In 2010, that rose to a value of £54.5 billion.

Foreign corporations also currently control 39 per cent of UK patents. This is far more than the percentage of foreign-owned patents in the U.S. (11.8), Japan (3.7) or even the European Union as a whole (13.7).

At this rate, it’s been said, it won’t be long before we’re all working for foreign companies.

It didn’t matter whether the buyer was a foreign company or a private-equity fund. If the price was good enough, shareholders and directors took the money and ran.

As firms fell like ninepins around them, canny chief executives demanded new clauses in their contracts that guaranteed the equivalent of lottery wins if their firms were taken over.

But no one was thinking any further ahead. No one had bothered to work out that if it was hard enough to collect taxes from a UK-based multinational, it might be even harder to do so from one based in Munich, Lucerne or Washington DC.

If that sounds highly theoretical, then consider what happened after Boots the chemist (Alliance Boots) was sold to the Italian pharmacy king Stefano Pessina and private-equity barons KKR in 2007 for £12 billion.

Soon after the takeover, Boots — which had been based in Nottingham for 161 years — moved its headquarters to Zug in Switzerland. Why Zug? Well, certainly not for its climate.

Before the takeover, Boots had paid £89 million in British tax in its final year as a quoted company on the London stock market. Now that it pays its tax in Zug, that figure has shrunk to just £9 million.

So the financial rewards from all these foreign takeovers rarely swell government coffers for long. Hence, as more and more British companies vanish overseas, it’s the ordinary taxpayer who has to make up the difference — through higher VAT and other taxes.

As well as tax revenue, what is even more worrying is that we’re rapidly losing the crucial skills we need to compete with the rest of the world.

The real tragedy is that no one seems to care when a company like ICI, the great chemicals giant, disappears into the jaws of a foreign power — taking with it scientific and industrial expertise built up over many decades.

The ICI integration into Holland’s AkzoNobel was far from painless. Within days of the merger, they were jettisoning some of ICI’s assets — such as its adhesives and electronic materials activities, which were sold to a German competitor. Some 29 factories, including several in the UK, were closed, eliminating 3,500 jobs.

For decades, ICI’s reputation — and its profits — was founded on its ability to develop new products. But once ownership moved abroad, all bets as to the future of such research facilities was off.

Indeed, if AkzoNobel sells off further parts of the company, the remaining research laboratories in Slough and Newcastle could well move abroad.

After all, no foreign company owes any particular allegiance to Britain.

Yet the Labour government made little effort to block this unpopular takeover. As for the Tories, David Cameron said at the time: ‘We are an open, global economy. We cannot start creating ownership barriers, trade barriers and protectionist barriers.’

Is this the price that all nations have to pay for an increasingly globalised world? Not at all — in fact, Britain is unique in having such a supine attitude to selling off its crown jewels.

Other countries adopt what’s come to be known as ‘economic patriotism,’ which involves putting tremendous obstacles in the path of foreign bids. Take France, for example, which argues that it’s in the national interest to prevent key technologies falling into foreign hands. Key technologies that extend all the way from nuclear power to yoghurt-making.

Why, then, isn’t the Government considering any of this? Why do we cheerfully continue to auction off everything from nuclear power generators (to the French — and now possibly the Russians) to our most popular chocolate brand?

As matters stand, trying to protect UK companies is like attempting to guard chickens in a coop to which foxes have been invited.

In the real world, away from the gilded environs of the City, the tragedy is that tens of thousands of jobs have gone. Crucial skills have been lost — probably for good. And the strategic heart of British manufacturing has been ripped out, which affects our ability to climb out of recession.

Still, the outlook isn’t all bleak: bankers and foreign shareholders are doing just fine.

Various bits from Part 2

On Saturday in the Mail, our City Editor Alex Brummer revealed the price we’re all paying in higher bills for having sold off half our companies to foreign owners. Here, in the second extract from his devastating new book, he warns that with so much of our vital utility companies in foreign hands, we are now at the mercy of conglomerates that could bring Britain Plc to a shuddering halt .

What happens when most of Britain’s essential public services are no longer run by the British? It’s a crucial question that politicians dodge, as one company after another is sold off to foreign masters.

Roughly half of all our essential services — from water to bridges and ports — now have overseas owners. And in many cases, there’s disturbing evidence to suggest the public is losing out — and will continue to do so.

Why? Because not only are foreign companies out to make fat profits as speedily as possible, but they’re not as concerned as a British company would be about public opinion. They owe no particular allegiance to this country, and their foreign fortresses shield them from our bitter complaints.

Take Scottish Power, now owned by Spanish firm Iberdrola. Last year, after a series of price increases, it announced its customers would have to pay yet more for their gas. Scottish consumers were furious: in five years, their energy bills had risen by an average of 40 per cent.

So you can imagine the reaction when, just weeks after the latest hike, it emerged that Scottish Power had piled up vast profits. So much so, that it had made an £800 million loan to a sister company in the U.S.

A utility company with an international reach can transfer profits from one part of the world to another rather than reinvest them in infrastructure, service and lower prices in the host country.

In the UK, we’ve ended up with the worst of all worlds: overseas ownership and no real accountability or constraint on price rises. Increases are frequent and apparently arbitrary —and push up overall levels of inflation.

Another concern is that our power bills are likely to soar even higher when old plant and equipment come to the end of their effective life. Foreign owners tend to have more compelling uses for their cash than building up investments for our future.

Yet, ironically, it was the urgent need for investment that helped make such a good case for privatising Britain’s water companies in 1995. Far better, thought the Government then, to get our Victorian pipes and sewage systems replaced by private companies.

One of the jewels in the crown was Thames Water, with 8.5 million water customers, 100 water treatment plants, 290 pumping stations and 235 reservoirs. In 2001, it was snapped up by Germany’s RWE, one of Europe’s largest power utilities.

By 2005, Thames profits had soared by 30 per cent to £346 million — helped by a 21 per cent price rise for customers approved by the notoriously useless regulator, Ofwat. Yet that same year, the company’s pipes were in such a bad state of repair they were leaking 196 million gallons a day.

The German owners did little to address the problem. This became a scandal in the serious drought of 2006, when customers were banned from watering lawns and washing cars.

Taken aback, the German owners bailed out and sold the company. They did not leave empty-handed: over their five years of ownership, the company paid £1 billion in dividends to its mainly German shareholders, including a final payment of £216 million.

The new, foreign, owner, was Kemble Water, controlled by Australian infrastructure fund Macquarie. Immediately, it started selling off some of Thames’s assets — including South East Water.

Today, as Thames imposes yet another hosepipe ban, it claims to be improving pipes, sewers and other facilities. But it’s still making a handsome profit for its overseas owners: as the Mail revealed, its directors were paid £179.5 million in bonuses in the last financial year — including £3 million for three of its executives. That money came from British pockets.

And there are other grounds for alarm. By a strange quirk, several of the latest foreign owners of British utilities are state-controlled. So nationalised companies privatised only a few years ago are effectively in state hands again — though the state is no longer Britain.

Now, as old plants are mothballed and oil grows more expensive, we’re faced with having to build new nuclear power plants to avoid major power crises. But the only company we have with the expertise to construct them is French — and likely to give other French companies the lion’s share of the work.

And who’ll be paying? We will, through a charge on energy bills.

If an energy crisis occurred like that of the Seventies, Britain would be in real trouble. Firms such as RWE and E.ON would doubtless feel more of an obligation to keep the Ruhr supplied rather than, say, Tyneside.

If that seems like scaremongering, bear in mind that during the Arctic winter of 2010–2011, gas supplies through the Langeled UK–Norway pipeline were substantially reduced because the Norwegians prioritised themselves and their closest trading partners.

Britain’s energy supplies are also vulnerable to global political rows, particularly since Russia started piping oil and gas across the Ukraine and Europe to UK consumers.

Six years ago, it even looked for a while as if the state-owned Russian gas conglomerate Gazprom might be taking over British Gas’s parent company Centrica, gaining access to its 15.7 million UK customers.

At the time, the Kremlin was using its huge energy resources as a political weapon by turning off gas taps supplying the Ukraine. If they could do it to the Ukraine, some feared, there was nothing to prevent them doing it to us one day.

The ease with which a foreign power could disrupt the nation’s energy supplies, bringing the economy to a shuddering halt, is frightening. To date, however, there’s no restriction in place to stop Gazprom buying British Gas — or any other public service company.

Without a thought to the future, we’ve sold four of our big six energy firms to foreigners who view us as little more than a useful profit centre.

In fact, the day may well come when we no longer own any of our vital public services at all.
I have left the excerpts at that, as the articles themselves go into a bit more depth and fills in a few gaps.

I know I am being a bit pithy and mocking of things just lately, my tongue is a bit in cheek, but it is not through malice it is through a hope that by highlighting some of the discourse, language, directions and attitudes in this now scattered movement of ours, we can try and build up something a bit more 'rooted' as a foundation on which to build our other more notorious and complimentary nationalist positions, yes, including islamisation and ethnicity. 

The above article series taken from the book, in some ways, is railing against the excesses of globalism. I will have to read the full thing to see how it truly fits into the picture though. I have taken it at face value, as a nationalist.

Nationalists are by definition opponents of globalism and the kind of baseless greed which destroys our nations and people, whether that be by foreign ownership of virtually everything we have, import of cheap labour to maximise profits of companies owned by other nations (who don't care about our race surviving in Britain).

And of course, if you dig deeper into some of the names behind what is going on, the "usual suspects" are surely to be found.

Eg, Blackstone group (Stephen A. Schwarzman, Peter G. Peterson (Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations), who had both previously worked together at Lehman Brothers, Kuhn, Loeb Inc, with names in the mix like Ralph Schlosstein, Roger C. Altman (Bilderberger Steering Committee member), etc.

or, in the case of Kraft Foods, whose CEO is Irene Rosenfeld. Coincidence, perhaps......

I am not "into" the 'usual suspects' enough to know about wider companies and their movers and shakers, but something leads me to suspect they may be disproportionately involved when compared to their global demographic percentage.

When it is not those 'usual suspects' it is the others.......business in Qatar and other middle eastern interests, some of which may (or may not) be influencing the spread and increase of Islam here in Britain in return for their 'investment', as sweeteners. That would have to be investigated, like with the other 'usual suspects' I am merely making assertions. 

However, by sticking with a traditional nationalist viewpoint and policy position that seems popular with the British public both right and left, we potentially fend off  BOTH of these suspected groups. 

To me, at the moment, it therefore seems a bit more of a realistic way to try and deal with the "JQ" oriented structures of globalism (and their making of vast profits off our backs as they destroy national identities), whilst also fending off middle eastern influence in British life, helping to secure jobs and employment, making our nation less vulnerable to blackmail on vital energy and food supplies, reducing taxes and welfare etc.

In the meantime, like I wrote about here http://independent-british-nationalist.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/mind-your-language-problem-of.html we are going off on a bit of a tangent that removes us from capturing serious and considered wider support. 

We need to capture these things, in my opinion, and sell our other issues as part of our message - ie, that of self survival and of facing off a problem of long-term Islamisation and all the other issues we normally discuss as being the most vital. It just so happens that I feel things like this help do that too, albeit in a longer way which we may not have time for.

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