Roger Bara

My first thought was that maybe it’s giant private companies who benefit from the British government’s cavalier approach to outsourcing. Firms like G4S, Serco, Capita and many others, are tasked to provide public services to the good folk of Britain. 

The trouble, and it’s big, big trouble, is there is not an ounce of definitive transparency in sight. These companies get away with economic murder at great cost to the taxpayer. Poorly conceived contracts create cost increases that rise way above that of in-house services, and it goes without saying that if the oversight of the contracts is so poor, the government is vulnerable to both corruption and profiteering. Don’t believe that things are so bad? Just one example – both G4S and Serco, tasked with looking after the prison system, ended up charging the U.K. Ministry of Justice for tagging offenders who were already dead!! Examples like that explodes into smithereens the myth that the private sector is better at delivering public service.

Every single year the government gives huge private companies some £80 billion of taxpayers’ money to handle some of the most sensitive and important services we have. I know how much my two co-bloggers would appreciate our beloved National Health Service in their respective countries, but even the NHS now has the black clouds of privatisation looming over it, with no provision whatsoever of holding any company to account. Effectively, we have cartels of corporations running the country; it’s a murky world, affecting everyone.

My second thought was maybe it’s the chap I have lambasted in great detail in so many of my previous blogs. Boris Johnson continually oversees the demise of public standards as he endeavours to ensure his own advancement. Just this past week, he tried to get his party to change the rules on MP’s standards to spare one of his colleagues from suspension. Corrupt? You bet.

But this is typical behaviour from someone who, as a child, said his ambition was to become “world king.” Later on in life he explained that, having been born in America, he could indeed become President………..; but don’t worry, my American pals, that won’t happen. He renounced his U.S. citizenship after being hounded by the IRS for a tax bill on the sale of a London property.

In conclusion, I reckon the rulers of my country are a conglomeration of big businesses and a charlatan who allows them to profit at the expense of the poor folk of Britain. 

Who actually runs my country? 

Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

Putin. Vlad Putin. 

This is not a secret at all. He is the man who runs Russia. Well, back in 2000 there was a question in the Western media: Who is Mr. Putin? 

The answer is also pretty clear now: Mr. Putin is a Russian imperialist. Not Boris Yeltsin’s young reformist re-incarnation as I mistakenly thought back in 2000 when voting for him – once and only. Not even the KGB guy: true, he uses spy techniques in his job but he obviously has left it behind. 

Now Putin thinks of himself as of some new Emperor with the mission to restore the Great Mother Russia. Yep, he stubbornly implements this thing. 

The economy stumbling for a decade in a row with ever-decreasing personal income? No big deal. 

No investments or technology from the West – after the Crimea adventure in 2014? Who cares? 

Putin on Populist book cover

The Russian debacle in the Ukraine the same year – when Putin’s plan to invade half of the country and establish the Novorossiya went down in flames? Fine, even our failures will make us stronger; we’ll do it later; patience, just patience. In the meantime, we’ll get Belarus very soon. 

Political repressions at home with new dissidents under law suits and Alexey Navalny almost killed and then jailed because of a shameless court decision? These people are Western spies. Period. 

The secret of his, I must admit, successful rule is the slavish mindset inside most of the Russian people’s brains. This is sad but true. I personally know people ten years younger than me who refer to Putin as ‘Czar’. They’re sincere in this shit. Most Russians love the idea of being great even if you earn less or can barely buy even the necessities. Well, you can still have pretty good choice of foods so this is far from being a Soviet-era legendary food deficit. This was the reason why the Soviet Union broke-up: nobody wanted to live under a regime that couldn’t provide basic food or clothes to its people. 

Vladimir Putin knows too well of this slavery mentality and knows that until the shelves are empty, he might keep on selling the greatness. 

P.S. It is very well-known in Russia that Vlad Putin never calls Alexey Navalny by his name. He uses the word ‘he’ instead. Some think there’s an ancient mystical explanation: never call your enemy by the name or this enemy would appear in front of you… 

Who, actually, is running my country?

Photograph of Dean Lewis

Being elected a President of the United States is something of a piratic victory. Congratulations, overnight you become commander of the most powerful military on Earth, you are in charge of a huge, sprawling organization with assets spanning from Portland to Pluto. 

But with all that, you ain’t squat! No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you will be regarded as evil… not just unqualified or someone we may disagree with but evil. You can’t do anything. Elected politicians will work against you, to hell with what’s good for America. Lies and doctored photos will come from as far away as St. Petersburg and Hungary.

Almost no one thinks Sleepy Joe runs the US. That’s not a political statement, simply a reflection of the current state of the country. It’s one of the few things Democrats and Republicans agree on. 

In the last few decades, the US has transformed from Liberal Democracy to Netocracy. A form of government where a well-connected global rich control the levers of power. If you are still laboring under the false idea that America is a Representative Democracy, may I introduce you to Senator Joe Manchin III. The voters in his state, of all political viewpoints, support certain elements of Biden’s Build Back Better plan by 90%. But he will personally kill that bill in its entirety. He works for the well-connected rich, not the poor and has little interest in that We the People bullshit. He is most certainly not alone.

Sleepy Joe
Sleepy Joe

This is not to say that the President has no power. But the person who holds that office can only nibble around the edges; mostly by Executive Order. He cannot push bills through Congress or change the course of the nation without the support of the Oligarchy and their representatives.

The upshot? Billionaires who resent having to pay any taxes at all. Their corporations change the laws to lower taxes, get corporate welfare, and kill pollution regulations. The rich call themselves job creators, and part of that is true; but only if you live in China.

So who actually runs America? I can’t answer that, and perhaps that’s the most frightening thing of all: we don’t even know who these people are.

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