Thursday, 29 January 2009


Time to roll out the old Goebbels quote:

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

The lie we're being told now is the biggest in our lifetimes. It's the biggest crime Manuscripts Don't Burn has seen in the UK in all our lives. It's so big, so brazen, and so obvious, most people would rather not see it at all.

We've said it before in these pages and elsewhere, and doubtless we'll say it again: the rich bastards are re-appropriating all the country's wealth. They're stealing your assets from you. It's the biggest redistribution of wealth in the UK since the Second World War. It reverses the post-war redistribution of wealth from rich to poor - since 1980 with Maggie's "reforms" we've been seeing a gradual retrenchment, a transfer of wealth *backwards*, from poor to rich. Via cheap mortgages, plentiful debt, and now this manufactured economic crisis, we are being returned to an economic status quo of roughly pre-WW1 proportions. Vast numbers of us are being reduced to poverty; to miserable indentured tenancy in cramped slums; to precariousness, illiteracy, malnourishment, and ill-health.

And it is DELIBERATE. Make no mistake. This is not the government going "oops! we accidentally screwed up the entire economy beyond all recognition, ah well you'll have to pay for it for the next couple of generations whilst we give all your money to these nice banking chaps". No - this is no "whoops, missus" moment - this is clear, damning evidence that the British corporate government is NOT ACTING IN THE INTERESTS OF ITS POPULATION.

We'll stop now. It's as clear as day. But well-meaning folk keep trying to give those Nice Mr Government people advice on how they can make it all better. THEY DON'T WANT TO. THEY'RE GIVING YOUR FUTURE EARNINGS TO THE RICH.

It's like turkeys voting for Christmas.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Ask Not What Your Banks Can Do For You...

People keep assuming that this disastrous situation is some kind of accident. That our political leaders have somehow been terrible silly-billies and - oops! - accidentally impoverished most of the population of the UK for a generation to come and given all the money to a bunch of cut-throat rich bastards. Whoops! Golly - how silly of them! Can't think what came over them...

This situation is deliberate, and unfolding correctly. Thirty years ago Maggie commenced a great redistribution of wealth in the UK, from the poor to the rich, reversing the more egalitarian redistributions which had taken place since the Second World War. This "great redistribution" has continued steadily since, with each successive government simply being clerks and spokespeople for the big business and landed interests who pushed onwards with this redistribution at all costs. This so-called "collapse" is simply another stage in this process.

We now face a return to the pre-war status quo - possibly even pre-WW1 status quo - of a vastly impoverished majority living lives of indebted indenture in squalid tenements whilst a minority corporacy pull the strings of government and economy. And, to recap, none of this is accidental - it's been happening gradually, over the past generation.

The problem is of course that most people are trying to resolve this situation as if it is some big, silly mistake, some oops-missus accident that just accidentally happens to land BILLIONS of taxpayer pounds in the pockets of the super-rich, at the head of an unprecendented massive transfer of assets (property, etc) from poor to rich.

Let's be clear: we will achieve no solution whilst we treat this situation as an accident. The government, the banks, the corporacy, are managing this so-called collapse in their own interests, and simply foster talk of fixes as a distraction whilst sequential bailouts transfer ever-increasing amounts of wealth into their pockets at our expense.

We will only resolve this situation once we recognise that the "system" is ACTIVELY BEING MANAGED AGAINST OUR OWN INTERESTS. Tony Benn, bless his cotton socks, once said that the best thing about democracy was that it was possible to change government without bloodshed.

Not this time, Tony. This time, they're even making us pay for our own handcuffs...

Manuscripts Don't Burn is afraid civil disobedience or abject submission are the only "choices" here. Knowing the mindset of the British, we (along with hundreds of thousands of others) have provisionally liquidated our assets and left the country... We see no need to starve in an open prison and be forced to pay for the privilege.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Economic Collapse: Golem XIV summarises the situation again

On this historic day, Manuscripts Don't Burn would like to present Guardian commentator GolemXIV's excellent summary of the UK government's latest bailout plan. Thank you GolemXIV! The lunatics are indeed running the asylum; we see dark days of protest and bloodshed ahead.


This could be the most expensive suicide note in history!

This plan is exchanging a possible run on the banks with a possible run on the whole country, its tax base, and its currency.

Let's be clear about what we are insuring. We are going to insure stuff that the insurance world refuses to insure. How great is that. Insurers such as AIG did insure this stuff. Only problem is AIG itself is bankrupt. Bailed out three times already for over $100B and still dropping like a stone.

We are going to insure securities and derivatives based on Mortgage and corporate debts. Very many, if not most, originated in the US. By definition all these debts are close to worthless. And yet we are going to guarantee to pay the morons who bought the assets - or derivatives based on the value of those assets - either the full price tey paid or something near to it.

Which raises the question - To what level are we insuring them? If it's up to the full face value then as a nation this is a suicide note. I can only hope the insurance is based on a much lower valuation of but shares. But my guess is that even if there is a lower valuation it will still be suicidally high. Only the higher value will please the 'markets'. AKA the people who created the mess in the first place.

Why are they doing this? The reasoning is that the banks are going to continue to take massive losses. They all know this. The governments don't want to have to pay huge lumps of cash to cover these losses before they have to. Cash injections are large lumps. Insurance is only paid as and when each 'asset' has to come to the market and be declare formally dead. So insuring means we don't have to make one vast lump payment.

The down side however, is that our potential losses are potentially unlimited.

I know Darling says they will look at the assets and declare a limit. Yeah fine. But in practical terms the insurance plan will only 'restore confidence' if it is seen to work over the long term going forward. Which means even if they declare a limit, when we reach that limit they will be force do t extend it. For if they don't then all the money spent up to that point will have been wasted. SO the government will tell us we can't waste all the money spent so far, we must 'see it through'.

I know they banks will 'pay' us a premium. But that premium will be paid with the cash we gave them 6 months ago. So they won't be paying anything.

We don't have any of the money we are pledging. And what is more we are not going to be able to borrow it. So we are going to print.


The Great Depression Phase 2 - The Crash Quickens Pace

This morning, the British government announced its plans to insure all the crap debt the UK banking system has taken upon itself, effectively bankrupting the country. This is a historic moment: rather than a rapid, precipitous collapse, and a possible rebuilding in a 2-5 year timeframe, resulting in a new economic status quo where the reckless fat cats have gone to the wall in accordance with their beloved "market forces", our supine government has once again shown its loyalty is to big business, and not to the British electorate. It has elected to give unlimited guarantees to the debt-ridden financial sector, thereby turning a 2-5 recession into a Depression which will last a minimum of 10 years. The last time the UK took on a debt liability of this size was the Second World War: it took 50 years to pay that off. This at least is what we are looking at again.

Manuscripts Don't Burn has said this again and again: the biggest wealth transfer in history, from poor to rich, continues apace, reversing all the social egalitarian successes of the post-war era. When the dust settles, we will be back in 1910, with most of the population living as impoverished tenants working off indenture and grateful for the crumbs thrown from the tables of the rich.

But first - the collapse of sterling, hyperinflation, and national bankruptcy. Only now does the tip of the CDS iceberg begin to heave into view.

The fat cats are stuffing their pockets with what little is left of taxpayers' assets, and presumably leaving these shores like rats deserting a sinking ship. Manuscripts Don't Burn took its "assets" and left the UK years ago for saner climes - mene mene tekel upharsin being scrawled everywhere we looked.

And then, of course, the ship sinks. Sauve qui peut, because NOBODY else will.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Life on Mars

Quite a remarkable event is transpiring in the British media today. Yesterday evening, a NASA press conference announced they had "probably" found life on Mars. In typical NASA speak, they refused to give qualitative confirmations, banging on about the need for verification, confirmation, more research, more evidence, but as everyone knows, the only way NASA will ever confirm life on Mars is if they actually have a little green guy in a bottle they can shake at the cameras of the world.

So, everyone with an ounce of sense and perception - and a knowledge of how the scientific process actively mitigates against definitive statements - understood yesterday's press conference to be saying: "We think we've found signs of life. We're not absolutely sure, but we're really excited, and we think all other Mars missions should now be dedicated to confirming our findings".

Epochal. World-changing. And completely ignored in the UK (and, indeed, global) media with the exception of The Sun. Not wanting to be a conspiracy theorist, Manuscripts Don't Burn would like to ask: what the hell are the rest of you guys on? We've more than likely just found life on Mars, and you're banging on about Liverpool footballers and Foxy Knoxy's trial?

Congratulations, UK media. You have now achieved a state of permanent irrelevance. Life goes on elsewhere, apace, but not on your pages!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

An Alternative New Year Message...

The media is awash with prognostication today, most drawing on some pre-war "all pull together" subtext either suggesting that everything's about to collapse and go to hell in a handcart, or that somehow, magically, a solution will appear if we all just knuckle under and do as we're told.

Manuscripts Don't Burn doesn't think any of this is anywhere near good enough. We have an emergent global civilization, enough technology and sophistication to resolve world poverty, hunger, destitution, and homelessness at a fraction of the cost of the cynical jobs-for-the-boys of the War on Turr, and instead we piss it all up against the wall and congratulate ourselves for being so liberal with our irrigational generosity.

We need a slap in the face, now more than ever. Just as our economic miracle is about to catapult us into poverty, civil unrest, and the danger of yet-another artificially instigated war (to wipe out the old surpluses and generate some REAL demand...), Manuscripts Don't Burn would just like to offer a lone voice, crying out amidst the censorship of cacophony that the modern world has become. In Kafka's The Trial, Josef K happens by "chance" into a cathedral, where a preacher is waiting for him in the pulpit. Josef K approaches, passive-aggressive, "what are you looking at", "I'm doing everything I can". The preacher leans over from the pulpit, his face an appalling picture of horror as though seeing a man walking blindly over a precipice, and cries "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?"

Manuscripts Don't Burn would like to offer this post in the same spirit.

The time is overdue for us to realise that all of us in Western Civilization are guilty of a singular failure of imagination. The levels of technology and sophistication we have achieved could - TODAY - be being used to ensure that basic food, shelter, utilities, education, and healthcare for the whole globe should be unconditionally free and a basic human right. To ensure that once these rudimentary basics of life are finally given free, gratis, for granted, we could all get on with the real business of life - personal development, societal improvement, evolving into what we believe we should be, rather than floundering in the muck.

We should be disgusted with ourselves, that instead of embracing this bright new future, we have voluntarily opted to remain in a stagnant late Capitalism where a bunch of cynical criminals are allowed to manipulate our societies with artificial war, conflict, and scarcity, so that all of our wealth- and livelihood-creation is syphoned off into their bottomless fat cat pockets, and the rest of us have to keep buggering about spending all of our pointless days scrabbling around for a roof over our heads and enough food for eat - when in reality there is of course already plenty to go round.

The time is long past for a collective decision that this IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH, and we finally have to pull our fingers out, take responsibility for our civilization, and do something about this absurd situation of self-imprisonment and self-impoverishment in the name of some dodgy outdated ideology.

Our civilization has the power to GET BRAVE AND CREATIVE AGAIN; the strength to say no to crapness and cynicism, to dare to dream to aim for something better.

Sometimes in history we reach turning points, when a brave hand and a willing imagination could take our civilization a quantum leap forward. We had one after the Second World War; the history of the past 30 years have been one of the retrenchment of the old guard to try and tear down those hard-won social and cultural achievements in the name of a divisive inequality. Here we are again; this time, the odds are stacked against us, and the reactionaries have their pockets wide open to receive the last few drops of blood they can squeeze out of us. Hands up who's prepared to keep assuming the position?