Dear Yvonne

Since your election in 2010, I have been impressed by how promptly you respond to my letters on various topics.

You have made me feel I have some input into our parliamentary process. Thank you.

Recently I wrote to you regarding the fact that 97% of our entire money supply is created out of thin air by commercial banks making loans (extending credit in their language). This statement is not open for debate. The Bank of England has publicly stated that this is fact.

To quote a monetary expert who has a far greater in-depth grasp of these issues than I, Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times:

The essence of the contemporary monetary system is creation of money, out of nothing, by private banks’ often foolish lending.

When this money is paid back, with interest, it disappears from the economy. As commercial banks decide who gets first use of money created when they make loans, and for what reason, the unelected board members of the big five commercial banks have a massively inappropriate influence on our entire economy.

Moreover, banks make loans predominantly for property and financial speculation. Only about 10% goes into the real economy – jobs, schools, social services, public infrastructure etc.

This situation exists because legislators allow it to exist.

I was one of around 1600 Positive Money supporters who wrote to about 500 MPs on this issue.

By comparing the various responses we now realise that letters to our MPs are often answered by their party’s central office and not by the MPs themselves.

Could you please view Positive Money’s analysis of the your party’s response to my letter here: and clarify which points of Positive Money’s analysis and proposal you personally agree with and which you don’t?

See the Liberal Democrats response here:

And the Conservatives response here:


As an administrator for the National Community Activists Network  interactive website (NatCAN) I am generally kept aware of the day to day concerns of active, politically-conscious people.

I realise that MPs have a pressing and extremely busy schedule to keep and that it impossible for you speak to all of your constituents in real time.

I would therefore like to give you the opportunity to comment on two other matters, presently of great public concern, via this online blog post, in which your response will available for viewing and comment for a year or so.

1). Almost without exception, the most common remark regarding our major political parties in the run-up to the election is, ‘they are all the same’.

The political scientist and professor of comparative politics, Peter Mair, began his book ‘Ruling The Void’ with these words:

“The age of party democracy has passed. Although the parties themselves remain, they have become so disconnected from the wider society, and pursue a form of competition that is so lacking in meaning, that they no longer seem capable of sustaining democracy in its present form.”

He went on to say,

“Parties are failing because the zone of engagement – the traditional world of party democracy where citizens interacted with and felt a sense of attachment to their political leaders – is being evacuated.”

“Though the levels of party membership in absolute numbers now appear to be bottoming out – indeed, they have often fallen so low as to make it almost impossible to imagine further decline in absolute numbers without this signalling the wholesale collapse of the party organizations concerned – the scale of the decline since the high point reached in the late 1970s is unmistakable.”

As Britain’s two-party system gave way to alternating periods of predominance, so too adversarial politics gave way to a new centrist consensus. The parties might still compete with one another for votes, sometimes even intensively, but they came to find themselves sharing the same broad commitments in government and confining themselves to the same ever-narrowing repertoire of policy-making.”

“In the absence of a left-right plane of competition, in other words, the entire foundation of the party government/responsible parties model is undermined.”

(More quotes from this book here

If our major parties are wedded to austerity logic, support the privatization of the public sphere, the deregulation of the corporate sector, and the lowering of corporate taxes, paid for with cuts to public spending (an extreme, pro-corporate ideology that benefits only the rich and is diametrically opposed to the welfare of the general public), who should we vote for at the upcoming election and why?

2). Concerning the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

At our recent meeting you kindly provided me with an outline of the Coalition Government’s position on the matter, signed off by Vince Cable and mentioned that you would like my comments – here they are.

Prior to reading this letter I had a grudging admiration for Vince Cable. If he actually penned this document and isn’t signing-off one that was constructed by his department’s bureaucracy, I have lost that grudging admiration.

Several thousands of 38 Degrees supporters have on two occasions handed out leaflets concerning TTIP in town centres all across the UK, including Wigan.

TTIP is a mechanism to make the already rich richer. It will be a disaster for the rest of society because:

It is a direct assault on democracy through the introduction of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which allow companies to sue governments if those governments’ policies cause a loss of profits; all public services, especially the NHS, are in the firing line; it will impose US standards on the environment and food safety; it will remove what little is left of workers’ rights and it will cause massive loss of jobs, as did its predecessor NAFTA.

See more detail here and please listen to John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, here

What is your own position on TTIP please Yvonne?

For information on Money Supply, TTIP  and more, go to Frequently Asked Questions

Best Regards, Joe Taylor.

Tory disdain for democracy reduces Parliament to a talking shop

Ramblings of an Ordinary Man

Older heads than mine may be able to remember a more shambolic and inept government than that of Theresa May. I can’t. However, if that were the only problem, we’d have seen the back of them by now.

Their naked cruelty and obvious disdain for the majority in society marks them out as a clear and present danger to the well-being and prosperity of millions. Can anyone now doubt the basic truth of this statement? However, the handling of the opposition debate on Universal Credit suggests they may be a threat to democracy its self.

This is a party so wedded to austerity, that they are willing to ignore the will of the people, parliament and members of their own party, in order to implement a roll out of Universal Credit. Despite dire warnings that the system will lead to real hardship for some of the most vulnerable people in…

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‘How should cities deal with legacies of guilt?’ – a response to the Bristol Festival of Ideas event

This bloke is worth following – a very thoughtful person indeed.

Agent of History


Dear reader,

I haven’t been blogging in recent months. I don’t feel I have much to say.

I have now moved to Bristol and I and my family are gradually settling in. The legacy of slavery looms large here and has loomed larger in recent years. The controversy of street and building names and, of course, monuments to slave-owners – most notably to Edward Coulston – has arisen here, not with the overt violence seen in the US, but still with anger, passion, and division.


This morning, I attended an event entitled ‘How should cities deal with legacies of guilt? at the Watershed in Bristol. The event was of the Festival of the Future City itself presented by the Bristol Festival of Ideas. It was hosted by historian David Olusoga who facilitated a discussion between Tim Cole, a historian of the politics of memory of…

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Dousing the Fires, Part Five – only love can overcome

Thanks Joel

Agent of History

Dousing the fires: On the crisis of hegemony, the forthcoming war of manoeuvre, and how only love can win this war

Part Five: Only love shall overcome

As usual, you can listen to this blogpost here…

In the previous article (part four of five), I predicted that, on the election of a progressive government, the combined factions of the state and capitalist class (financial, corporate, and media) would orchestrate a full-blown attack on the government and the social movements behind it. They would instigate a total war of manoeuvre, in Gramscian parlance. In this face of this onslaught, what is to be done?

I will answer this age-old question in four ways. It is a four-fold interconnected framework for the democratisation of power and the empowerment of democracy from the level of the state down to the smallest community. Each element of the framework is underpinned by the…

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Dousing the Fires, Part Four – a war of manoeuvre

Agent of History

Dousing the fires: On the crisis of hegemony, the forthcoming war of manoeuvre, and how only love can win this war

Part Four: Predicting the next 12-24 months: an outright war of manoeuvre begins

As usual, you can listen to this blogpost here…

In the previous article (three of five), I offered evidence for how neo-liberalism is dead as a functioning ideology able to construct a hegemonic order and for how dramatic the leftward shift in the ideological landscape in the UK has been in recent months and even weeks. I am now going to do something possibly bold, probably foolish. I will offer a prediction of what I think will happen in the next 12 to 24 months. This prediction is based on my understanding of the history of capitalist crises and of hegemony.

Conservative collapse

I now see very little chance of the Conservative Party surviving the next…

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Dousing the fires: Part Three

Agent of History

Dousing the fires: On the crisis of hegemony, the forthcoming war of manoeuvre, and how only love can win this war

Part Three: The ideological crisis – a crisis of hegemony

As usual, if you prefer to listen to a recording of this blog, you can do so here…

In the previous article (the second of this five-part series), I offered an overview of the profound economic, social, and political crises gripping the UK right now in order to set out the underlying material context provoking the current ideological crisis. In this article (the third of five), I will offer evidence for this ideological crisis, this crisis of hegemony, and how the ideological landscape has been dramatically dragged leftwards in the last two years, decisively and transformatively so by our recent general election.

The ideological crisis – a crisis of hegemony

We are experiencing a profound ideological crisis. What I…

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Dousing the fires, Part Two: The UK’s economic, social, and political crises

Keep them coming Joel

Agent of History

Dousing the fires: On the crisis of hegemony, the forthcoming war of manoeuvre, and how only love can win this war

Part Two: The UK’s economic, social, and political crises

As usual, if you prefer to listen to the blogpost, you can do so below here.

In the first article of this five-part series, I set out my overall argument and presented a brief summary of Antonio Gramsci’s theory of hegemony and how economic crisis (a crisis of capital) destabilises hegemonic orders. In part three, I will offer evidence to show how we’re in deep in a hegemonic crisis and how the ideological landscape has been dragged dramatically leftwards in recent months and weeks. However, first, I need to demonstrate the depth of the economic, social, and political crises provoking this ideological, hegemonic crisis. This is what I do in this second article.

Economic crisis

Let’s start with the UK…

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Dousing the fires: On the crisis of hegemony, the forthcoming war of manoeuvre, and how only love can win this war – Part One: introduction and understanding ‘hegemony’

Looking forward to the next instalment Joel

Agent of History

Dear readers,

If you prefer to listen to this blogpost, you can do so right here…

Part One: Introduction and understanding ‘hegemony’

The world is ablaze!! In Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Portugal, Pakistan, London, fires burn, destroying lives and fuelling the fires of righteous rage spreading across our entire planet.

The fire that burned down the high rise Grenfell Tower in West London two weeks ago killed dozens (hundreds?) of (overwhelming Muslim and non-white, immigrant) working class people. All people with love in their hearts feel grief and, yes, a burning anger.

In the glare of these fires, why would anyone call for social theory?! Why the hell should we think about theorising about the state of the world when we are called by the most excruciating anguish to act in it right now?! It sounds crazy, but I want to argue that we need theory right now to make…

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For the many, not the few

Today’s the day…

Ramblings of an Ordinary Man

Vote to end war, for peace and for justice. Vote for schools and hospitals, the poor and the homeless.

Vote for your children, their health and their future. And vote to say you want this world to be better.

Say no to poverty, to hate and austerity. Vote for what’s yours by right, not for handouts and charity.

Vote to help me, to save us and a better life for you. Vote Labour today, for the many, not the few.

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