Reflections 2

Reflections 2 create space image

In Reflections 2, RC Clermont explores further themes visited in Reflections – the first anthology-such as family dysfunction economic malaise, the gross inequalities of the neo-liberal model and the post-Thatcher economic legacy in Britain which still exist today (Economics II).  The vulgar materialism of suburban England (Moonscape II) and consumption are exposed for the worthlessness they are (Wasteland II).

 

New themes explored include the destructive economic, geopolitical and social climate of modern America (Atlantic).

Jerusalem critiques the darker side of Englishness, xenophobia and the sense of ‘entitlement’ to possess one’s own little piece of England.

Commuting reflects on topics that anyone who has ever commuted into a city to work, and wondered whether their way of life is worthwhile.

Tangibility sees culture, art, literature and learning as a signs of a civilised, enlightened society, increasingly under threat from the forces of consumerism, global capitalism and religion.

 

Society II comments on the social vanity of the London rich. The Sporting Life II explores themes of bigotry and misguided assertions about sporting prowess. Once again, in Home and Abroad II, embarrassing Britons are targeted. The vanity and the lifestyles of the rich are re-visited in Images II.

 

Proverbs II explores attitudes to success.

 

RC Clermont uses the English haiku 5-7-5 format and the intention is say what is needed in as few words as possible.

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Reflections 2

Reflections 2 create space image

CONTENTS

 Moonscape II : KT 13, Incarnate, Ephemera, Weybridge II

 Society II : Chelsea II, Chelsea III

 Jerusalem : Boundaries, Neighbours, Englander

 Wasteland II : Obscura, Prosperity, Consumption, Tiger

Commuting : Terminal, Anon, Embankment, Carriage

Blood II : Stopover, Advice II, Correspondent, Shackles

Atlantic : Myth, Red I, Red II, Florida I, 43, Florida II

Economics II : Points, Wealth, Equity, Structures, Insignificance, MHT I, MHT II, Bridges I, Bridges II, Vocation II

Tangibility : Formation, St Germain, Barbarism, Greatness, Impressionists, Post-Armageddon

Proverbs II : Autonomy, Mentality, Ambition, Dreamers

Images II : Interior, Kudos

Home and Abroad II : Europa, Ambassadors I, Ambassadors II

 The Sporting Life II : Misguided, Wimbledon 2013, Ancient

“The poor clear the mess”*

If ever there was the case for having a ‘real’ economy in the way that exists, in, say, Germany, the Great Crash of 2008 is the modern day example. As has been established in the English criminal courts in 2015, when various bankers were convicted for their part in the LIBOR-rigging scandal, there can be little doubt that great crimes were committed in the bourses of the world, especially in the neo-liberal Anglo-American economies which place dangerous faith in finance, credit and housing markets to fuel their economies.

Whereas bankers pocketed astronomical bonuses which would take most people on a salary 100 to a thousand years to earn, the securitised financial instruments they sold as AAA-rated were not worth a sheet of photocopied paper. Those instruments were the consolidated debts of the working, struggling, poor (indeed, many of those actually in work are in poverty too), who had no realistic prospect of redeeming them in their working or living lifetime. When the inevitable crunch came, it was those very people who were the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that followed.

Rather than punitive taxes on bankers and financial institutions, as a form of taxes de consolidation (as occurred in France after WW2 when the industrial bourgeoisie who had made fortunes manufacturing weapons and other goods for the occupying Nazi régime) as retribution for their crimes, it was the people who paid, and are paying still, for these deeds via austerity – cuts in public services, healthcare, social benefits – and redundancies.  Other cuts followed, such as in defence and the emergency services, so that not only were the public affected, but those whose jobs were to protect them in emergencies. In the light of the current security situation, especially the threat from globalised terrorism, this mass retrenchment is also dangerous as well as inequitable.

Meanwhile, ‘super salaries’ and bonuses are still being paid, and taxes on earned and unearned income for the rich are still proportionately low in many Western economies. Homelessness is rising, public subsidised healthcare is at breaking point and people cannot afford to live near their place of work, especially, say, London (UK), where the average cost of a home is now £500,000. Not only, then, are the poor (whether they have a job or not) paying for the mess made by the Gatsbyesque debauchery and the chaos that followed, they are also being ghettoised (on which latter point your poet- blogger-writer will comment in more detail in a future article).

Most of the financial crimes committed before the Crash (indeed, all crimes committed in the bourses and banks of the world) have gone and will go undiscovered because they are unseen and more difficult to detect, whereas the crimes of the poor, the indigent, are committed in open air, the street and can be captured on CCTV.

*From: Wasteland, 2008  (Reflections)

“…kudos for crime-sourced money…” *

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It’s an old cliché, but it is still the case that ‘Money Talks’. People –  the social pages, the press pack, the rubber-neckers, the wannabes, the high-earners living on the edge of the abyss ­– attach attributions of all that is good, glamorous and glorious to anyone who accumulates vast wealth and likes to flaunt it. There they are, grinning and schmoozing at the after parties with a glass of wine in their hand; the charity do, the fashion shows, the awards for this-that-and-the-other (oblivious of the travails endured in attaining artistic achievement), photographed for the latest glossy magazines, or the weekly magazine for the London freebies, or in the ‘celeb’ sections between the news and the property section  of the free paper to be read by tired commuters on the evening train (featuring apartments in London for which prices could buy an entire block in many European cities). The readers  of the sections in which the snaps of these garish folk appear, and their ‘mwah-mwah’ associates only see the glitz and fail to see, or smell, the taint, the dirt; they fail to consider the processes  from the first rinse to the spin-and-bleach cycle, the hand in the till, the political connections  to enable the kleptocratic activity, which in turn allow these types to buy respectability and live the high life. The new age of Vanity Fair fuels the tacky boutiques of London, and drives up property prices. Smile, then, for the cameras, you crooks, you scoundrels. You’ve bought respectability.

*From:  Society: Chelsea (Reflections)

“Hundred years’ work for us”*

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We are arguably in the worst period of economic inequality since La Belle Époque. The share of income, wealth and ownership has barely moved for the bottom 10 to 40 percent, whereas the richest 1 to 5 percent take a disproportionate share. In 2014, in the USA, the bonuses paid in Wall Street exceeded the income earned by those on the minimum wage. Super salaries, neo-liberalism, proprietorial and corporate capitalism and ‘les privileges des princes’ means it could  take 100 to 400 years for most people to earn the amount that the highest earners take in earned and unearned income in one year. Most people are working to make the lives of the CEOs, the shareholders, les bourges more comfortable, while achieving nothing for themselves, and are one payslip away from plunging into the workless underclass.

*from:  Profit: Work (Reflections)

Capital

‘Reflections’ by RC Clermont *

Reflections 1 create space image

Contents:

 Windows : Nighthawks, Train

 Geopolitics : Propaganda, PRNK, Democracy, Liberty

 Profit: AGM, Work, 99 : 1, Pariah

 Moonscape: Subtopia, Nouves I, Weybridge I, Nouves II, Friends, lovers and other relationships

Purity: Credibility, Tu

 Society: Manners, Opera, Tattle, Welcome, Clubland, Chelsea

Wasteland: City I, City II, Vocation, Schadenfreude, 2008

Blood: West, Sunday, Matriarch, Righteousness, Correspondence, Advice I

Economics: England (2013)

Proverbs: Serenity I

Images: Façades, Perception, Victoriana, Retirement

Home and Abroad: August, Patrimonie, Expat

The Sporting Life: International, Idiots I, Idiots II, Wimbledon I, Club I

Epilogues: Nuages, Stateswoman

*Available on Amazon