39 3 mins 13 yrs

A MOST SPLENDID IDEA from Brian Micklethwait:

It needs to be said that under certain circumstances easily now imaginable, many Western citizens would argue, strongly and vocally, that those idiot foreigners who are now lending money to Western governments should in due course be told: sorry sunshine, you ain’t ever going to get it back. Our governments are bankrupt. Why the hell should we and our descendants in perpetuity be paying tribute to you? You knew that the money to pay you back would have to be stolen from us. You assumed we’d just cough up indefinitely. Well, we damn well won’t. You are now a definite part of our problem, and telling you to take a hike is going to be part of our solution. Our thieving class is now “borrowing” money from your thieving class like there is no tomorrow, and we are not responsible for the actions of either gang. A plague on both your houses.

We want you foreign thieves to stop lending to our thieves, now. And the best way for us to convince you that you should indeed stop lending, is to tell you that you are extremely liable never to see most of your money back.

Which has the added virtue of probably, approximately, being true, already.

 “But Pete” I hear you say, “we consented to the government borrowing on our behalf”, to which I say, who is ‘we’?

 

The burdened masses of bankrupt western states consented to no such thing. If Gordon Brown wants to pay back his debt, he can start when he likes and solicit voluntary contributions, but it’s not my debt and I will not labour for a minute to discharge it.

 

“But Pete”, I hear you say, “if our states default on these debts, their credit ratings will crash, foreigners won’t buy their bonds and no longer will they be able to incur debt this way.”

 

Possibly so, and that would be a problem?

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39 thoughts on “The Default Option

  1. >> You are now a definite part of our problem, and telling you to take a hike is going to be part of our solution<<

    Is that not also what Iceland said to Britain?

  2. So Pete despite his claims to be a believer in traditional conservative standards of respecting agreements and contracts is really just a nihilistic anarchist at heart.

  3. Pete:

    There’s a precedent, from 2006:

    "WASHINGTON, DC, April 25, 2006 (ENS) – The World Bank has approved the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, clearing the path for cancellation of International Development Association (IDA) debt to some of the world’s poorest countries.

    "Starting on July 1, IDA is expected to provide more than US$37 billion in debt relief over 40 years.

    “We have secured the total votes necessary to enact the Multilateral Debt Relief initiative,” said World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz. “Countries will now be able to put more resources into programs that directly help those who need it most – the poor who need better education, better health services and greater access to clean water, for example.”

    "At the July 2005 G8 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, G8 leaders pledged to cancel the debt of the world’s most indebted countries, most of which are located in Africa."

  4. If you produce my debt contract I’ll pay it.

    Colm, the point is that a tiny thieving class racked up unpayable debts and dumped them onto us – where does morality and contacts come into it?

    No, default away I say.

  5. ‘Is that not also what Iceland said to Britain?’

    And – in the not so distant past, – various South American countries, Russia, and many others, too numerous to mention….

    Surely a validation of ‘Do unto others as they do unto you!’…

  6. Pete:

    No, Colm’s right. You’re British and therefore legally obliged to respect your government’s laws and help honour commitments entered into. The "thieving" class includes the banks you and I use because life would be awkward without them. If you don’t wish to honour a contract you can always fuck off someplace else.

  7. Pete

    If you believe in the sovereignty of the nation state and the rule of law then however unpalatable you may find it, the decisions and debts of a democratically elected government have to be honoured by that state in the future.

  8. Irish Barry –

    Language.

    Now where is this contract by which I must abide?

    And how was it made legally? There hasn’t been a single debate in Parliament on these debts incurred to foreigners.

    Colm

    If you believe in the sovereignty of the nation state and the rule of law …

    I believe in the sovereignty of the British people and our lawful constitution, of which the Petition of Right forms a part.

    Article 10 of the Petition of Right:

    They do therefore humbly pray your most excellent Majesty, that no man hereafter be compelled to make or yield any gift, loan, benevolence, tax, or such like charge, without common consent by act of parliament; and that none be called to make answer, or take such oath, or to give attendance, or be confined, or otherwise molested or disquieted concerning the same or for refusal thereof;

    There we have one of the Fundamental Laws of England. If the government wishes to make me liable for its debts, let Parliament say so. Without the express authority of Parliament, the government has no authority to do so.

  9. What?

    I’m questioning the legality of the whole thing for goodness sake. When did Parliament authorise all this debt? How did it sanction the Treasury to put it onto us?

    Stuff it – default. This is not my debt, this is not the debt of the British people. Along with Parliament, we were not asked, we did not authorise it.

    Each Briton stoops beneath the state’s debt at £33,000 each. Turn the taps off, let the state default, string up the criminals who attempted to enslave us to foreign creditors.

  10. Pete

    Parliament authorised all this debt by passing the relevent financial and Treasury laws by which ministers operate. Simple. Until Parliament actually brings in new Acts to specifically curtail such financial agreements, then those Treasury decisions are perfectly lawful.

  11. PS – The UK eectorate have the power to stop this by electing politicians who won’t enter into such agreements. So long as the electorate continue to give voting legitimacy to the governments that behave like this, then those debts are genuinely owed by this country.

  12. Pete is like a British Leona Helmsley (bet he thought he’d never be compared to her) . Others can pay their lawful dues. He is above all that. He always boasts about not paying the TV licence, which means of course honest pensioners and others less well off than him are subsidising his TV viewing.

  13. Phantom

    I think most reasonably aware people over here would be aware of her infamous "only little people pay taxes" comment.

  14. She always claimed that it was a misquote

    But I know people who knew her. She really was nasty, horrible in almost every way.

  15. There wouldn’t have been enough gold in Fort Knox or in all the banks in Geneva to make me consider that.

    Now mahons was not known to have such scruples….and they both worked in the same part of town….

  16. I think it will all pan out differently. European states with crippling debt burdens will lose their young talented people and proceed faster along the road to social welfare bankruptcy, demographic catastrophe, unrest and ultimately Islamic backwardness.

    I don’t think the establishment could have done a better job in destroying western civilization if they had tried.

    Only for the fact that I don’t believe they are that clever I would suspect mendacity.

  17. Colm –

    Until Parliament actually brings in new Acts to specifically curtail such financial agreements, then those Treasury decisions are perfectly lawful.

    Rubbish. We are a constitutional monarchy limited by law. The state may not do as it pleases at all. I very much suspect that the Parliament and the government has acted unlawfully in this, English Law and the constitution are specifically founded in liberty and restrict government power.

    Now you may believe that the government acted lawfully in putting you into debt for £33,000. If so you must accept that you live, therefore, under an elected tyranny.

    There is no way around this. If the government can do this to you, the government is tyrannical.

    As for the BBC – you miss the point. The licence represents the state’s permission to own a TV. This is too absurd for me to comply. It would be no less absurd to have to ask the state’s permission to own a toaster and kettle.

    So I have my TV and if the BBC insists on transmitting to it, I will oblige myself in my own home.

  18. Oh Mr Moore, you really are a cheeky chap aren’t you? Pretending not to know how government works.
    Every year the man called the "Chancellor of the Exchequer" stands up in a very special place called "The House of Commons" and tells all the other people in that big hall how the government is going to spend its money.
    He calls this "his budget". It’s a bit like when your mum and dad decide how much they can spend every week in the shops.
    Sometimes the government needs to spend a bit more than it takes in – and this is called by a very long name – the "public sector net cash requirement".
    It does this by going out and selling promises (these are called "Gilts") to people. A lot of these people don’t live in this country. They are called "foreigners". The money they owe us is called "foreign debt".
    All the "Members of Parliament" have also given the "Chancellor of the Exchequer" the very special power to borrow more money if he needs to without telling them every single time. Just imagine how hard it would be if he had to ask all of those people every time!
    This is done because the "Members of Parliament" have passed "enabling legislation" to allow him to do this.

    The "Chancellor of the Exchequer" is allowed to do this because all of the people in the big hall are elected. Everyone in the country – except mad people (can you think of anyone like that?) and criminals – is allowed to say who they will send to the big hall. This gives all these people – called "Members of Parliament" – the right to make decisions on our behalf.
    If we don’t like the decisions they make, then at the next election we won’t vote for them.

  19. Jaz:

    You left out this part:

    A little old lady called the "Queen" (even though she isn’t gay) gets driven to the Big House in a toy coach together with a whole bunch of boys dressed in panto costumes, and waves to people whom she calls "Common Muck". At the Big House she’s met by a man called "Nigger Rod", who opens the door for her. Then she tells all the boys and girls that they have her permission to play.

  20. Good comment Henry!

    Much of the comment on this thread would seem to highlight how very divisive the current implementation of UK style ‘democracy’ has become.

    Where many of the ‘middle class’, feel alienated by much of the legislation passed, usually ‘in camera’, by committees that most ordinary folk have never heard of, and the detail is only revealed by close reading of Hansard.

    Small wonder that many feel that ‘Government’ as an entity, is not looking after the nation’s best interests, and are implementing change, for change’s sake.

    The prime example is – of course, – on most matters ÉU’ where smoke and mirrors and generally deviant ethics seem to be considered as normal.

    No surprise that many feel so little or no loyalty to our ‘Leaders’, or any of their harebrained ideas…

  21. And unfortunately Ernest and Henry, that seems to be taking shape in the US. If you remember the debate of going to war with Iraq, the USA had a full throated debate. Set aside the faulty intell for a moment. It was a national debate, speeches, protests, marches, more speeches, 2 votes.

    But now, a trillion $$ spending plan, and a rubber stamp vote. end of.

  22. Jaz –

    Every year the man called the "Chancellor of the Exchequer" stands up in a very special place called "The House of Commons" and tells all the other people in that big hall how the government is going to spend its money.

    Actually, he doesn’t. He announces Crown policy and accounts for it to Parliament. Certain taxes, such as income taxes, are annual, and the Crown’s right to levy them must be renewed annually.

    I hope you’re taking notes.

    It does this by going out and selling promises (these are called "Gilts") to people. A lot of these people don’t live in this country. They are called "foreigners". The money they owe us is called "foreign debt".

    Erm, no. Once these foreigners have bought gilts, we owe money to them.

    The "Chancellor of the Exchequer" is allowed to do this because all of the people in the big hall are elected.

    Ahh, no. Parliament is merely a part of Her Majesty’s Realm, is subservient to the Law and Constitution and may not do as it likes. The Chancellor has authority only because he is a Minister of the Crown and holds prerogative powers from the Crown in Parliament. Being elected is irrelevent.

    If you’d like to know anything about the British Constitution, feel free to ask.

  23. But Pete, as you have lamented, Her Majesty has dropped her Orb, and it has rolled to Belgium.

  24. Charles:

    There was a slight difference between the spending plan and the decision to go to war. Lives were committed with the latter plan; in the former it’s only money.

  25. Pete: RE: The TV license & the BBC.

    A friend of mine decided to stop paying for a license and informed them that his family only used the TV to watch cassette/CD films etc. (He’d got a TV engineer to take out the signal circuit board, plus ariel).
    About a year later an inspector suddenly called by, and after much argument had to admit that it was no longer a ‘receiver’ and left empty handed.

    You don’t need a ‘TV’ license, only a BBC license, but the BBC likes the ‘plurality’ of the former term.
    My own feeling is that the Govt intends to drop the the BBC license in favour of an enforced, catch-all, General Communications License for everyone with a computer, out of which the BBC will be paid.
    The EU is certainly keen to go in this direction.

  26. Irish Barry, I take your point, but if it’s only money, why rush it through? In fact money is power for countries or individuals to do either good or evil.

  27. ‘it’s only money." – Which people have spent lifetimes earning. Either way it’s people’s lives they are playing with.

    Which is best, – a lifetime of, which for most people is a lifetime of drudgery, or the short quick option which is the choice for the military?

    It is yet another sop to the liberal’s grasshopper attitude to money. You wont hear anyone who has had to work hard to make an honest living uttering such rubbish!

  28. Pete’s position seems to be that it is illegal for an elected UK government to borrow from abroad. Following that logic, we should have had to surrender in 1940 instead of borrowing from Uncle Sam to stay in the war.

    What total crap.

  29. Oh Mr Moore, there you go again. You are such dreamy idealist aren’t you? Always worrying about how things should be. It nice so see that there are some things on which one can always rely.

  30. Jaz –

    Describe it how you like, I demand our lawful constitution be upheld.

    Do feel free to ask about it.

  31. Jaz –

    Why keep it to ourselves?

    This week I’ll post a couple of links so we can all devour the splendour that is the lawful constition of the once-free people of these islands.

  32. I am absolutely serious when I say please do. I remain hugely sceptical but one should always be prepared to have one’s prejudices challenged.

  33. Pete and Jaz:

    I do find your debate hugely enjoyable, and educational too. Seriously.

    Ernest:

    I hear what you’re saying and largely agree. But hey, all those wasted lives? All those young US boys and girls coming home to their parents in body bags? Not to mention the countless Iraqi families left bereft. It really is no contest. Money is nothing; human lives are all we have.

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