Friday, 10 February 2012

The Grey Gentlemen (2)

The Grey Gentlemen (2)

Today we work for, and consume through, a financial system from which real money has been eliminated. Nobody has any time any more, because nobody has any money. All money comes from officially recorded sources. Wages and salaries come from an officially registered employer, while pensions and benefits are paid into registered accounts. Sums of ‘money’ which appear to be registered in cash terms – a pound, euro or dollar – can be paid into savings accounts, and the results withdrawn through a bank. But it is becoming exceptionally difficult for a citizen - as a citizen, not as an employee or ‘owner’ of an officially registered organization – to acquire money from trading or casual work, and to pay that money into a bank account or building society as cash.

As citizens, we no longer control money/legal tender/that which must by law be accepted in settlement of debt. Of course, we can still go to a hole-in-the-wall and take out cash. But where else can cash be obtained? A quibble? The NS&I has just announced out of the blue that it is closing the Easy Access Savings Account on 27 July 2012. In answer to the question, “What if I still want to use an account at a branch or with a cash card?” with the bald statement: “We’re sorry, but from 27 July 2012 NS&I will no longer have any savings accounts that you can use at Post Office branches or with a cash card, so you may want to consider …”

What the options boil down to is that ‘money’ can ONLY be paid in to an account from which you can draw CASH, if it comes from an official source, i.e., some other bank account. It is being made increasingly difficult to put in or take out cash. Our ‘money’ is reduced to blips on computer screens. Yes, we can manoeuver those blips. But only according to the rules of a pre-determined game. We are selling our TIME, our land, our heritage, to the ‘Grey Gentlemen’, to the Machine, to Big Brother. How long before it becomes impossible to accept cash for garden produce, second-hand items, a little cleaning, baby-minding or gardening? Who is making the rules?  

Stories like Michael Ende’s Momo (also translated as The Grey Gentlement) may lead us out of the spellbinding maze of the present social order, if enough of us read them, and share them with others.

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