UK Government Pushes Women Away From the Home

UK Government Pushes Women Away From the Home

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The number of stay-at-home mothers hits record-low level.

The number of stay-at-home mothers in Britain has hit its lowest level on record as government policies make the tax system even harder on single-earner families, according to figures published on April 17.

For years, the British tax system has made the country one of the worst places in the developed world to be a family with a single earner. It is one of the few developed countries to offer no tax breaks to married couples.

Every other country in Europe, as well as many others, like the United States, taxes married couples with children as a unit. Britain instead treats them as two separate individuals. This means that in most of the rest of the world, a family with a single earner who earns $30,000 is taxed at the same rate as a family where two earn $15,000. But in the UK, the single-earning family pays a lot more tax.

Last month, the government announced that families where both parents worked would receive £1,200 a year toward child-care costs. But mothers who choose to look after their children themselves get nothing. Laura Perrins, spokeswoman for the group Mothers at Home Matter, pointed out that the government is “willing to support all care given to a child, other than that given by its mother.”

The number of women ages 25 to 34 who are “economically active” increased by 101,000 over the past year. A statistician with the Office for National Statistics, Richard Clegg, said this could be due to the government’s reforms driving women back to work.

“Forget ‘sad,’ it’s stupid,” wrote Cristina Odone, research fellow at the Center for Policy Studies, on her Telegraph blog. “Treating motherhood as a pastime ignores the importance of the family …. Family breakdown is more expensive and its consequences more far-reaching than the closure of mines or manufacturing.”

The British government may not value stay-at-home mothers, but they are vital for the nation’s families, and therefore the nation as whole. These reforms will hurt the whole country. For more on the importance of mothers, see our article “No Place Like Home.”

Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?

Who or what is the “beast” of the book of Revelation? What does biblical prophecy reveal about world events now leading to Armageddon and the end of this age?

Web Exclusive: The Cause of Evil

This week’s headlines have been alarming. Terrorists maim and murder innocent victims with two bombings at the Boston Marathon. The horror of an abortion clinic comes to light in the heart-wrenching trial of an abortion doctor. Meanwhile, parents grope for answers after their 6- and 7-year olds were killed by a mass murderer. North Korea continues to threaten nuclear war. Iran pursues nuclear terrorism.

What is causing all this evil?

Some blame certain ideologies. Some blame certain groups of people. Some blame simple misunderstandings. But they continue to overlook the actual cause of these horrific events. In his recent Key of David program, Gerald Flurry uncovers the original source of this evil—and why it is accelerating.

Is the EU Out to Get Britain?

Is the EU Out to Get Britain?

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The European Union seems determined to destroy London as a global financial center.

London is the world’s greatest financial center. The financial services it houses are vital to Britain’s economy, no matter how unpopular its bankers may be. More than one tenth of the government’s income comes from taxes on the financial sector. It is just about the only industry in Britain which sells more to the rest of the world than it imports. Britain is uniquely dependent on its finance industry—more so than any other major power.

Without London’s financial services, Britain’s tax revenues, exports, and the economy would collapse.

Yet Britain’s “friends” in Europe seem determined to destroy, or at least cripple, London.

On Tuesday, the European Parliament voted to impose a cap on the amount of money bankers can receive in bonuses. This is socialist legislation that will do the opposite of its intended task and will damage the EU as a whole.

This cap has been in the works for several months. Britain has opposed it at every turn and at every turn been defeated. Its approval marks a watershed moment in Britain’s relationship with Europe.

“Whether or not you think there is a concerted assault on Britain, the fact is that for the first time in EU history a major country has been overridden in a field where it is the dominant player and has a vital interest,” writes the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. “The rules of the game are that Germany is never threatened on the car industry, nor France on agriculture. This principle has been breached. It is a declaration of economic war.”

And don’t forget, this is an economic war on an industry vital to Britain’s economy. The EU is attacking the financial health of the nation.

The bonus cap interferes with pay in private companies in a way that most thought ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall. A banker’s bonus is not allowed to be any more than his salary, though this limit can be raised to twice his salary with the explicit approval of shareholders.

This may still seem like a huge amount. But surely it is for individual companies to decide what they pay their staff, not the government and least of all the European Union.

The reason why bankers receive so much of their money in a bonus is that it’s related to performance. If they do well, they get a lot of money. If they don’t, they lose out. And if they appeared to be doing well at the time, but were later found out to be engaging in some dodgy practices, there are ways for banks to get the bonus money back. Salaries are much harder to raise and lower and much harder to recover in cases of malpractice.

Under EU caps, bankers will receive higher salaries instead of the bonuses, and be rewarded whether the bank does well or not. Star performers who are capable of earning a lot of money—and therefore large bonuses—will go elsewhere.

“Not to put too fine a point on it, the bonus cap is a piece of economic lunacy that reflects tellingly on why it was a huge mistake giving the pointless hybrid parliament in Brussels any legislative powers at all,” wrote Britain’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “This is a vengeful and self-defeating attempt to pick on London. We don’t try to cap the pay of oil executives or football players. I can see why people rage about what happened with the banks, but this is an attempt to knock London off its perch, and we’re not going to let it happen.”

The trouble is, within the EU, there’s not much Britain can do to stop it.

And this isn’t Europe’s only attack on London. Eleven EU nations plan to introduce a financial transaction tax. This means specific trade industries must pay whenever they buy or sell shares, bonds and other financial instruments. Here, Britain succeeded in blocking this at the EU level. But Europe still found a way to make it hurt.

If shares in a company that has signed up to the transaction tax, like France or Germany, are sold in London, Britain would be required to collect the tax and pass it on. The same would be true for trades in New York. But the EU can legally force Britain to hand over the taxes. If America refused to hand the money over, there’s little the EU can do, bar sending gunboats up the Hudson. Some parts of the world will refuse to cooperate with Europe, and business will leave Britain.

How the EU will collect this tax is unclear. But it is already obvious that the EU would be cutting off its nose to spite Britain. France introduced a financial transaction tax last August. Its finance industry is now dying, and the tax has raised only a third of the amount the government predicted it would. The director of the French debt agency Maya Atig said that any extra revenue raised by the tax would be lost, because the government has been forced to pay more to borrow money as a result. French newspaper Les Echos quoted an anonymous banker saying the tax was “a weapon of mass destruction that is going to ruin our financial sector.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron called the tax to be adopted by 11 EU states next year “sheer madness.” The European Commission’s original analysis is that the tax would slow the EU’s economic growth by 1.75 percent, and cause half a million people to lose their jobs.

The tax forces traders to hand over a huge amount of money. Terry Smith, chief executive of Tullett Prebon, the world’s largest broker of European government bonds, stated at a recent meeting of the Bruges Group that his firm earned around £50 million (us$76 million) a year in fees for brokering those bonds. The amount of tax its clients would have to pay under the new system is €600 million ($783 million). It increases the cost of trading in these bonds tenfold.

That tax, as France has found, will have a huge effect on bond markets. Traders won’t actually pay €600 million—they’ll simply trade in something else, trade somewhere else, or not trade at all.

Members of Britain’s House of Lords Sub-Committee on Economic and Financial Affairs said that they were “astonished by the paucity of thinking exhibited by the [European] Commission.” They warned that there could be “far-reaching adverse consequences for UK resident financial institutions.”

“Some in London appear to hope that by closing their eyes to the proposal it will go away,” they said.

Typical of the EU, these proposals are chaotic. Some provisions of the financial transaction tax may be illegal. And the European Commission has not given many details on how it will force other countries to collect the tax.

Bankers also seem confident that they can get around the bonus cap. The Telegraph’s cartoonist paints a picture: “We can’t give you a huge bonus,” he shows a banker saying, “but the bank would like to buy your tie for £3 million.” It is doubtless banks will have less entertaining—but more practical—ways of getting around the cap.

Still, bankers in Britain will know they’re not welcome. The EU has shown it’s out to get them. Business will begin to seep away to freer countries. And now the EU has set the precedent of interfering in Britain’s financial industry, its laws will only get worse.

Britain bears some of the blame for this situation for becoming so dependent on financial services. It created a strategic weakness that Europe is now exploiting.

The government’s solution appears to be to court Germany for help. That may work for a time. German politicians are starting to wave olive branches in Britain’s direction.

But Europe’s attack on London shows it is not Britain’s friend. Britain’s EU membership has steadily weakened it.

“Britain is going to look back on Monday, January 1, 1973, in all probability, as a most tragically historic date—a date fraught with ominous potentialities! For that date marked the United Kingdom’s entry into the European Community,” wrote Herbert W. Armstrong at the time (Plain Truth, March 1973).

Already, many in Britain are looking back at that date with regret. By going after Britain’s finance industry, the EU threatens to wreak havoc on Britain’s whole economy. Bring down London and you bring down the UK.

Mr. Armstrong was right, and soon the whole country will look back on its EU membership as a tragic mistake. The European Union is not really Britain’s ally, and this attack on London proves it.

Merkel-Cameron Talks Foreshadow Britain-EU Split

Merkel-Cameron Talks Foreshadow Britain-EU Split

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In a foretaste of things to come, a real divide issues from German-British talks.

Reports emanating from weekend talks between Germany’s Chancellor Merkel and Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron reveal the increasingly irreconcilable differences in the separate visions that these leaders have for the future of the European Union.

It has been rather agonizing at times watching the inevitable unfold in relations between these two nations. Ultimately, Britain was always destined to either leave or be thrust out of the European Union. It’s just taken a painfully long time for the inevitable to occur. Yet, last weekend’s talks between these two leaders only served to emphasize the deepening rift between the two. It’s just a matter of time before the bust-up occurs.

The differences between the German vision for the EU and that of Britain run to the core objectives that German elites have had for Europe since the closing stages of World War ii. Germany’s view of the EU has been as a means to a clearly identified end—the imperial dominance of the Continent by Teutonic power—this time by economic means rather than, at least initially, by military aggression.

A review of this issue in the Trumpet archive will reveal that we have consistently publicized its reality, supported by the views of some of the most articulate secular observers of Germany’s objectives. Indeed, as our mentor, Herbert Armstrong, preached, published and broadcast for over half a century—from the latter years of World War ii to his death on Jan. 16, 1986—the biblical prophecies have declared this for over three millennia. And it is not possible to break any Bible prophecy (John 10:35; 2 Peter 1:19). They are guaranteed to happen, underwritten by the eternal Word of God!

But just as the prophecies demonstrate that Germany is destined to head one final resurrection of the old Holy Roman Empire, so the same source declares that far from being part of that entity—revealed under its present cloak of European union—Britain and its fellow Israelitish nations are destined to be enslaved by it.

Following the recent meeting between Angela Merkel and David Cameron, think tank Stratfor mused that “in the long term, the countries’ conflicting goals for Europe will cause them to push in opposite directions” (April 17).

This is simply a situation where “east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet.” Whereas the Holy Roman approach is universalist and collectivist, the Anglo-Saxon approach is embedded in the sanctity of national sovereignty.

“London wants to restore some power to national governments in the European Union. The British government believes the European project has moved too far from its original purpose of creating a European common market and is now threatening the sovereignty of its member states” (ibid).

Of course the late Margaret Thatcher saw this coming decades ago. As the Berlin Wall was breached on Nov. 9, 1989, Helmut Kohl, the German chancellor at the time, recalls her saying: “We beat the Germans twice, and now they’re back.” She later declared, in the wake of the formation of the EU, “Well, you have not anchored Germany to Europe, but Europe to a newly dominant Germany. That is why I call it a German Europe.”

Given the current scenario in Europe, only the ignorant would deny that reality.

One interesting aspect of Stratfor’s analysis of the Merkel/Cameron meeting relates to the western democracies of Europe that have a close affiliation with Britain—ethnically, politically and culturally, and in particular with respect to their individual monarchies.

Of these EU member nations, Stratfor observes: “Were the United Kingdom to leave the bloc, other countries—particularly the Nordic countries, which have a close political relationship with London—could follow” (op. cit.).

That is a pertinent observation and it is directly in line with the vision of the EU that Herbert Armstrong held.

As we have pointed out in the past, if the prophecy that the nations of Israel will be enslaved by this northern power in the future (Daniel 11) is all-embracing—that is, if it includes the Israelite nations of northwestern Europe in addition to Judah and the Anglo-Saxon nations—then, as Mr. Armstrong showed, the final 10 nations which dominate Europe must be drawn from the Gentile nations of east and west Europe!

In a co-worker letter dated Sept. 20, 1979, Mr. Armstrong stated: “[I]nstead of the coming ‘resurrected’ Holy Roman Empire including such nations of Israelitish ancestry as Holland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the 10 nations to compose it may include such nations—now Russian satellites—as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia. … It does seem that the nations of Israelitish ancestry, in western and northwestern Europe, would likely be excluded from the coming 10-nation ‘Roman Empire’” (emphasis added).

To see an observation from a respected think tank deduce the prospect that “Were the United Kingdom to leave the bloc, other countries—particularly the Nordic countries, which have a close political relationship with London—could follow,” is very interesting indeed.

Herbert Armstrong gained this understanding from the biblically revealed identity of the Israelite nations combined with the prophecies for those nations’ future in the days just ahead. Stratfor gained it from a simple understanding of geopolitics. As usual, Herbert Armstrong was way ahead of his time.

As Stratfor concludes, the real point is—and it’s one that underlines the biblical prophecies for these times portrayed by Herbert Armstrong—“in the long run, the United Kingdom’s and Germany’s strategies are irreconcilable. As a result, London and Berlin will continue pursuing opposing goals, even if some agreements are reached in the short term” (op. cit.).

Those opposing goals have a ring of history about them. Since Count Otto von Bismarck accomplished the unification of Germany in 1871, those opposing goals have led to one inevitable result—WAR!

To hide one’s head in the sand, as do most foreign-policy exponents, and deny that this will be yet again the inevitable result of the “irreconcilable strategies” of London and Berlin, is simply a major denial of reality.

I first heard Herbert Armstrong prophesy this result over 50 years ago. I heard our editor in chief reiterate it 23 years ago. For half a century I have studied this phenomenon and written multiple thousands of words reporting on the trend. My bookshelves are replete with the very best of published analyses on the phenomenon. Now it is becoming a reality, day by day. Yet still it’s hard to break through the blinding stupor which seems to prevent the masses, and in particular the leaders of the masses, from seeing it.

I simply have no truck with those who are willingly ignorant of the obvious, and continue to state a contrary case based on an overwhelming absence of knowledge on the subject.

The sad fact is that most will feel its terrible effects before their blindness is removed—the effects of the rule of an enslaving tyrant, one more time, before a merciful God intervenes to cut short those inevitable effects (Matthew 24:22).

Then will follow a miraculous time. A time when the nations of Israel will be joined in peace by their old and ancient enemies—enemies that enslaved them both in ancient times and modern—old Assyria in its modern garb as the German peoples, and Israel’s ancient nemesis, Egypt. Any previous “irreconcilable differences” will simply be eliminated! (Isaiah 19:23-25).

What a time that shall be!

To learn more about the prophecies of that great time of coming universal peace, read our booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like.

SocietyWatch

From the May 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

The lawyer who ruled a city

In March, Detroit became the largest city in American history to be placed under the supervision of an emergency manager. On March 14, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Kevyn Orr as the city’s financial manager. Governor Snyder told the media the state was intervening in Detroit because the city’s finances had reached “a true crisis point.” Orr is a bankruptcy lawyer who helped one of Detroit’s automakers, Chrysler, restructure its finances after it went bankrupt in 2009. In his new role, Orr has the power to control all city spending.

Detroit was once synonymous with wealth and prosperity. About a century ago, it boasted the fourth-largest population of any city in America. That figure has dropped from the millions to only 700,000—40 percent of whom live in poverty. Automakers and other manufacturers have left the city, along with jobs and citizens. Over the past decade, 25 percent of the city’s population has fled. But Detroit’s crises have not just been economic; its families have been obliterated. By some estimates, three out of every four Detroit families have only one parent. This social wreckage has contributed to an unbelievable state of affairs in the city. Nearly half of all Detroit adults are functionally illiterate. In about one in three households, no one has worked a job in the last 12 months.

Detroit is an indication of what is ahead for cities across the country. American families are already disintegrating, and social structures are crumbling. The Bible prophesied this would happen due to rampant sin. It also forecast the next step: American cities experiencing financial collapse, social upheaval, violence, riots and burning.

Farrakhan to gangs: Protect us

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan stated on February 24 that Chicago’s gang members could serve a better purpose by training to become soldiers to protect his group’s assets. “[W]e know you love to shoot, but you’re killing yourselves,” the controversial leader said. “All your weapons are illegal, and you’re using them like savages.” Instead of fighting other gangs, Farrakhan suggested that gang members are “natural soldiers” who could be instructed in “the science of war” to protect the Nation of Islam’s property and assets. Such violent rhetoric is pushing the nation toward a period of violence and intense racial strife.

Unclaimed corpses online

For the first time, the Cook County medical examiner’s office in Chicago has posted photos of unclaimed bodies on its website in an effort to identify them. As drug cartels and street gangs spread throughout the city, the death toll has risen to a point where it is becoming hard to identify all the dead. The program is generating controversy because of the graphic images, but for the sake of people whose loved ones are missing and have been murdered, officials believe the ends justify the means. It is a chilling picture of the sad state to which one of America’s great cities has descended.

Food stamps for everyone!

Thanks to the Obama administration’s drive to get more citizens enrolled in the food stamps program, more Americans are now receiving this aid than ever. On March 8, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released new statistics showing that throughout 2012, the program averaged 46,609,072 people enrolled each month, with a record-breaking 47,791,996 drawing benefits in December.

At the end of the Clinton administration, only 1 in 16 Americans needed food stamps; now the number is almost 1 in 6. U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady and others insist that the growing number of recipients are “forced to subsist” on the handouts. That claim is undermined by the fact that the Obama administration is actively encouraging more Americans to sign on to the program—even paying for advertising to boost participation. It makes no economic sense, especially for a cash-strapped government, but this administration is doing its part to increase government dependency.

That’s one way to cut the budget

In anticipation of looming budget cuts, the Department of Homeland Security has started releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants held in local detention centers. In Pinal County, Arizona, Sheriff Paul Babeu said on February 26 that Immigration and Customs Enforcement had released more than 500 detainees in his county alone. Though numbers have been disputed, a spokesman for Babeu claimed that immigration officials plan to release nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants. This unexpected influx of illegal immigrants will likely fuel a rise in crime. The biblical book of Isaiah foretells a time when foreigners burn the cities of end-time Israel.