Monday, 28 March 2022

War on Woke

In the middle of the twentieth century the word ‘woke’ was synonymous with ‘getting it’; being aware of the ways of the world, especially in relation to black Americans being ‘woke’ to the prevalence of racial prejudice. This form appears to have first been inspired by Marcus Garvey when he exhorted “Wake up, Africa!” and went on to influence movements like Black Power. Typically, today, the word has been taken up by the usual white saviours – they just can’t leave things alone, can they?

To the woke, woke means: 'aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues, especially issues of racial and social justice'. How could anybody be against that? How? Well because the fields of racial and social justice are rotten through with theorists who cling to the doctrine of Critical Race Theory, a politically motivated attempt to make white westerners ashamed of their own existence. To the woke, anybody coming under the catch-all title of ‘anti-woke’ is a thuggish racist and extreme far-right bigot, and there they end their intellectual inquiry. Ain’t nobody woke don’t know dat.

The assumption that anybody who rejects the political reframing of our history, the replacement of actual events with confected accounts of the malign intent behind every single event, is an uneducated blackshirt would be risible, were it not soaked up so readily by the impressionable minds it is deliberately intended to influence. The young, the different, those who have no comprehension of or engagement with the realpolitik. Anybody confused with or at odds with the world can embrace this almost religious fervour, declare themselves woke and thus give themselves a moral boost without engaging in any of the problematic process of thinking it through

Once converted, these self-declared intellectual superiors are quite the worst at recognising the cognitive bias of their own thesis. They are immune to reason and paint over everything with a varnish of racial disinformation; lapping up every morsel of indignation, every sleight, every raised eyebrow, and in the process of digesting all this, churn out ever more atomised ways of perceiving injustice. And any attempt to counter their arguments is seen as ‘reactionary’ and backward. They see nothing wrong in their smug self-righteousness.

Whereas, what we see is the world we live in portrayed very differently on screen – the overwhelmingly mixed race couples in adverts, the white male as neanderthal throwback, the endless ranks of BAME commentators, listened to in reverence. Every aspect of our lives is now judged on ‘diversity’, which almost always means no safe space for white people, especially those with English as a first language. We are the white oppressor, and we must accept this without question.

Maybe this is all deliberate, to give us supposedly privileged white folk a taste of our own medicine; to make it impossible for us to rationally question the narrative. And whenever the more outspoken, the more intellectually rigorous among us dares to speak out, they are portrayed as rabble rousing, club wielding Nazis. So, not only are we to accept all the blame and make obeisance to the new black princes, we have no right to reply, or to point out how possibly noble objectives have been appropriated to cause harm.

Some of the more vociferous spokespeople for various black lives organisations seriously call for the total eradication of ‘the white race’ and expect no censure for doing so. Yet any protest is loudly shouted down and the regular cancelling of sports people, comedians, writers, scientists, politicians and anybody who dares to speak out with reason and fairness is testament to which side is really the oppressor. It seems to me that any neutral observer must see that the anti-woke reaction is an entirely rational response to a dogma which is out of control.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Fertile Ground

 It surely cannot be right, can it, that the solution to falling fertility rates in the west can only be solved by bringing in enormous numbers of uneducated young men and giving them a free living off the state? Similarly, how is an employment crisis among the indigenous young fixed by displacing them with largely illegal workers who toil under the radar in exploitative industries? And why is it that somebody who has led a healthy, long life and paid taxes for over fifty years is expected to live on a subsistence pension worth somewhat less than half the supposed ‘living wage’?

If your entire economic model is propped up by consumption of unnecessary goods by people who cannot afford them, then there is something fundamentally wrong with your economic model. Furthermore, the associated costs to society – fragmentation, violence, fear and actual existential threat – are many times more than your army of the undeserving will ever bring to the coffers. The whole damn thing is broken and no politician in the land has the balls to even recognise the issues out loud, let alone propose effective means to tackle them.

In the Britain I grew up in – admittedly a somewhat dull, grey place at times – we were thrifty and saved for those rainy days. We saved to put down a deposit on an affordable house in which to establish our dynasties. Communities largely stayed together, with multi-generational family gatherings the rule rather than the exception. We believed in fixing the roof while the sun was shining and deferring gratification until we felt it was deserved and would be appreciated. Spoiling children, except on high days and holidays, was something only frivolous people did.

But today’s young don’t save – what’s the point? They can’t afford to buy a house, possibly ever, so the nesting instinct is somewhat dulled. And sod waiting when the whole of media, social or otherwise, tells them they deserve everything right here, right now. Just do it, they are instructed, so out goes the traditional rusty old banger we saved for and in comes the brand spanking new lease-plan Merc. (Forget the crusty old burghers of the WEF; ‘you will own nothing and be happy’ could have been coined by this generation.)

They have been told their future depends on immigration when in fact that future is being lost to a form of uncontrolled immigration which will cost us all our futures. They have been told that diversity is strength when diversity will rob them of their identity and make them ashamed of being born white. Once that was the winning ticket in the lottery of life. Today it is a ticket to the train of shame and a lifetime of self-flagellation for their ‘privileged’ skin colour.

Why, being berated daily for ancestors who did no wrong but are blamed for all the ills on Earth, would you want to bring children into the world? What incentive is there for somebody who can never afford a secure place to live to start a family? Instead of a naturally reproducing, productive and thriving home-grown society we are plunging headlong into a world where every city will be like Johannesburg. Those who can afford it will live inside heavily armed fortresses. Those who can’t afford it will have to fight for survival on the streets.

Somebody must have gamed all this. Think tanks must, surely, have posited the notion that all is not well. Somewhere there must be people who can both recognise the danger and act to counter it. Yet all we see, every day, is more and more blame being heaped upon the indigenous. Whether it is race, class, gender, foreign wars, wealth distribution, taxation, housing, justice… you name it, Whitey is to blame, and Whitey must pay.

If there is ever to be a future as good as the past once promised – and I very much doubt this is possible – we really do need to turn the clock back. For all the politicians’ pledges of jam tomorrow we are back in a time of great need. There will be hunger and homelessness ahead and yet still our western governments cling to the damaging doctrine of ever more immigration from the third world. For years we have been telling them ‘import the third world, get the third world’, but now we need tell them no longer. If they open their eyes and unblock their ears, they will see it and hear it everywhere they look.

Friday, 18 March 2022

News of the World

The last half  century has been pretty much downhill for democracy. As a child I was regularly made aware that we were living in a ‘free country’ with little notion of what that meant, having never known any other. English born we knew we were part of a great tradition of fighting against despotism and tyranny and throwing off first our own yokes and then those of the oppressed people of Europe. Twice. We had the vote, it was the swinging sixties and nothing was going to stop us; we were backing Britain, the greatest nation on what we knew of Earth.

The seventies brought their own tribulations, but a sense of indignation at the power-drunk unions drove us to exercise our democratic rights to vote against such over-arching control. And by the end of that troublesome decade the optimism had returned, at least for those of us who were educated, agile and mobile. Sure the mill towns and pit towns were in decline and the stench of de-industrialisation hung in the northern city air, but we were encouraged by the future that beckoned.

Closing our dark, satanic mills would benefit us all, we were told; let the free market reign and move all that toil and sweat and smoke and lung disease elsewhere. This way we could buy our precious ‘consumer goods’ for increasingly low prices and enjoy the leisure time freed up for us by clever politicians and clever business leaders. Relax, buy property, invest, let the money make money. In time, nobody would need to graft because the good times were just around the corner. The global economy was a force of nature, and a force for good, we were told. And so what if you didn’t, or couldn’t work? The system had the capacity to provide

But there was something wrong, something indecent about importing brown people to drive the buses and staff the corner shops, while the industrious little yellow people from far away made our toys and TVs and our takeaways. We stopped making things and instead let others make them in distant, sunny lands, which is where our money also went. There was no longer a feeling of proud nationhood, of belonging, but instead a note of desperation began to creep in as we moved into the new century increasingly detached from how our country worked.

Because globalisation, just like any other system, might work if it was part of a mix, if it was controlled and ordered by those who depend on it. Except it is not controlled at all and it is ordered, or rather ordained, by people who think they know far better than we how our lives should be lived. This is how we live now, unsure of who controls what, who owns what and from whom we should take direction. The globalists are not in control but are instead the acolytes of forces they have unleashed over which nobody has true dominion.

But it is fine, they say, the rule of law will ensure fairness. Oh, really? Did you see what P&O just did? In a move which has astonished and rightly enraged even free-marketeers, they have torn up contracts and made staff redundant. Redundant? Only by redefining that very word can you sack somebody and immediately replace them with cheap agency staff in those allegedly ‘redundant’ roles. You would think there would be some international law being broken here – I mean the Human Rights lot object even to people being misgendered these days – but the lawyers appear eerily silent. P&O did it simply because they can.

The influencers, the clever finance people, the globalists have created a storm they think they can weather, but for how long? Opening the Pandora’s box of blameless money, of guilt-free exploitation of resources and people, is an act that simply cannot go without consequences. The world of imaginary wealth, where somebody can almost literally think themselves rich, has to end somewhere. When all the little people propping up the pyramid have no option but to leave, where does that leave the globalists?

What happened to all this?
Some say restorative justice is the way; let perpetrator and victim meet and talk it out. But others, will settle for nothing less than revenge. The stolen, squandered wealth may not be able to be restored, but this doesn’t mean that reparation is impossible. Let the oligarchs, the mandarins, the money-grubbing industrialists and the exploiters of the workers tremble in fear for the rest of their days. Because when people without any power get angry – and they are as mad as hell right now – they have no other recourse than to violence. It’s coming; you just know it is.

Sunday, 13 March 2022

Only Fools and Politics

In a time when nothing you hear is necessarily true, when all of what you see is suspect and eye-witness accounts depend so much on the ideology of the witness, how do you tell fact from fiction. (I just accidentally typed ‘fuction’; I think it’s a better word.) I mean, did you ever read a newspaper article which was wholly accurate? Or to be more specific, have you ever read a news item written about something on which you are something of an authority and realised that the writer hasn’t the first clue about the subject?

Our media world is full to the gunwales with reporters, wannabe reporters, commentators and so-called ‘influencers’ who care not one jot about accuracy, just so long as they can get their name out there. The report that the US government is (and who can say if this is true or not?) briefing TikTok ‘stars’ on the situation in Ukraine is just one more step along the way to the Orwellian singularity in which the truth is whatever people say it is.

The propaganda wars waged between east and west is just an upscale version of the information wars that have been pressed by governments and oppositions on their populations for many years. The future is bright, the future is shiny. “Jam tomorrow!” cries the party of government. “Lies, all lies!” say the opposition. And then, they swap places, leaving the scripts in place for their opposite numbers.

Given the unknowability of the future, this pantomime is a safe charade, for who can say that had the current opposition been in charge things would have been different? And a catastrophic decision made today is in no way an impediment to ennoblement tomorrow. In this rarefied world our actors in leadership find themselves sucked up by the undertow and swept along into the maelstrom of misinformation. I genuinely believe that those ‘in the know’ are simply in the thrall of different ‘facts’.

How else can you explain how the deafening roar of the usurped electorate goes unheard against the quiet whisper of the Mandelsons, the poison drip of the Grieves, the persistent murmur of the Westminster echo chambers? “British jobs for British workers!” pipes the election clarion, yet in government this becomes permission to open up the floodgates to all who wish to gorge on our largesse. And it matters not which party because as you look from Labour to Tory, from Tory to Labour, you could be forgiven for imagining they are all from the same porcine species.

It is little wonder, then, that so many have turned away from the news, regarding papers, podcasts, panel discussions and the like as mere entertainment. The truth matters little when the prospect of one commentator ‘owning’ another is so much more amusing. Even words like ‘owning’ have become the stuff of headline writers, hyperbole to sell a dreary exchange which results in no outcome of note.

In fact, the news has become little more than a sitcom. An episodic series of pratfalls, mishaps and misadventures in which Del Boy learns nothing, Rodney is still a plonker and Trigger hasn’t a clue what just happened. The news has no real effect on us any more, it is just the wallpaper, the background to our dreary lives, scrawled with the pattern of the day, and it only exists to give us a moment’s vicarious glee at the misfortune of others. When nothing is real it doesn’t matter how daft the plot, and if one punchline fails to land don’t worry, there’s one born every minute.


Friday, 11 March 2022

Nothing?

You will own nothing and you will be happy? This World Economic Forum ‘threat’ sounds at first take alarming but think about it for a moment. Were it actually possible it sounds like quite a good idea. No, really; everybody has a place to live, in which they are happy. The heat stays on, there is plenty of food and the roof gets fixed when it needs to be fixed. And although it doesn’t belong to them, neither do the headaches associated with ownership. And they will be happy. What’s not to like?

I’m assuming that in return we all put in a fair day’s work at which travail we are suited and content, thus being occupied in work which we if not enjoy at least endure reasonably well. And presumably, if we are going to be happy, maybe the more mundane duties are filled by the young and fit, but not arduously so. Bin men and ditch diggers maybe only have to put in half the hours of labour that a solicitor or an accountant need perform. And those of an artistic bent are free to indulge their passion for as many waking hours as they feel the urge.

In order to be happy, of course, one has to feel that life is worthwhile, so presumably universal, cradle-to-grave healthcare is free to all, as is unlimited opportunity to indulge in suitable leisure activities. Also, I would expect, life-enhancing ventures such as travel and sport, music and theatre… and picnics, I guess? But even as I write this I am wondering about how horribly uniform we would have to become for any of this to function.

A contentedness with our lot is something vouchsafed to relatively few of us, and a feeling that others are getting more than they deserve seems to be woven into the very thread of our DNA. Those with children will take more out of the system than those with none, or will we all be compelled to breed to a certain minimum? And there will always be slackers, of course. How do we incentivise everybody to give equally of their time and talents?

And also, in order to provide for all this, your local leisure centre is going to have to be utilitarian – more council gym than David Lloyd.  Your theatres more school hall than West End. Your restaurants more Wimpy than Ivy. Your cars more Trabant than Tesla, perhaps. The holiday resorts would necessarily be more Benidorm than the Algarve, but it would be free, see? And you will be happy. Now I come to think of it, it sounds terrible. In fact it sounds a lot like Communism in its strictest forms.

Klaus Schwab’s grand dream is just that. And yes, he has influence and yes, he has acolytes and yes indeed he may even, as Common Purpose and other left-thinking organisations have, inserted his ‘young leaders’ into governing institutions. But they have been doing this sort of thing for a great many years. The royal courts, and religion before that, all have sought to impose their grand vision on mankind and few have resulted in glorious redemption. And it’s all because of you.

Come over to the dark side, Luke...

Yes, you, you ungrateful animals who would bite the hand that feeds you. Of course, if having a belief in a grand conspiracy to enslave us all is important to your life view, who am I to deny you? Some people need a bit of doom to cling to, even in the best of times, so why not indulge in some exciting domination fantasy while times are grim? But as things stand I’m not holding my breath for Schwabby and his Dr Evil chums. Humanity is a work in progress and I don’t fear a new world order… I’d just like to see the old one sorted first.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Huge Rant

With the impossible to prove but almost certain collusion of the postal vote Labour held on comfortably to Erdington in last week’s by-election, installing a muslim activist, black-first MP in Westminster. With crime and corruption rife among its back benchers, it is only a matter of time, some have surmised, before the wearing of an ankle tag in the Commons becomes de rigueur for Labour members. And the vote machine of the left will continue to ensure a steady supply of unsavoury characters to its ranks.

But how do we solve politics? Wealthy parties like the Conservatives hardly cover themselves in glory, with a legion of investigative reporters uncovering scandals such as links to party donations, cash for questions and honours for sale, etc. It is hardly surprising that representatives of the party of individual responsibility, small state and enterprise should have associations with the successful, but how hard is it, for goodness’ sake, to keep a lid on it? The least we should expect from the Tories is competence in covering one’s tracks.

The institutionalising of governance, the very notion of a career politician should be anathema, but amateurs have little chance of breaking through. For a start, there is the no small matter of raising funds to campaign. And then there is the cost of a media team to rid history of your less savoury interactions on social media. Somebody has to scour your records for hints of Nazism or Communism, such as that march you went on one time as a student. Others have to vet every last member of your family and all your acquaintances to grub up and eradicate the merest whiff of unsavoury thought crime.

Who would even want to stand, given that even the cleanest and most honourable inevitably have skeletons in the family cupboard which will be paraded by the tabloids for the nation to see? Why, you would have to be as shameless as the lurid Keith Vaz. Or as apparently unselfconscious as Chris - Captain Underpants – Bryant. In plain, you would really not have to give a shit what people think of you… or be so stupid as to not realise, naming no names though many spring to mind.

Proportional Representation, some cry, that will fix it. How? I mean, really, how? When you really stop to think about it I can’t imagine anything much worse. You would have an endless string of vainglorious misfits with the most bizarre sets of beliefs, being thrust onto the national stage via social media popularity contests, only to be toppled in days as reality dawns. You would have card-carrying, blood-red Stalins strutting their poisonous stuff alongside neo-Nazis in lederhosen while the grown-ups are trying to get the business done.

And even those grown ups will desperately water down otherwise sound policies in order to find a consensus among the unwilling. If governance by proportional representation had a colour it would be beige. No, worse, it would be a colour that even fans of beige thought dull and lifeless. If it’s PR you want you may as well join the ranks of the LimpDems and attend their next national conference at some village hall in the back of beyond.

And as for government by celebrity, people are actually suggesting that Hugh Grant would make an excellent Prime Minister. See, this is why so many people relay ought not to vote. When they are swayed by the clumsy and na├»ve political punditry of people like Gary Lineker or want other rich, ex-kickball players like Gary Neville, or ‘comedians’ like Eddie Izzard to enter politics you realise that they simply don’t take the world of Westminster seriously. Given the clown palace it has become there is little wonder.

Maybe we should restrict further who can vote; but who would decide? The left would allow babes in arms to scrawl their ‘X’, the right would want only people carrying British flags. Even the apparently intelligent would restrict the vote to their own cortege, and then we would end up with a sombre resurrection of British communism, in the grand old academic tradition. Let the wealth makers decide and we really would end up with the new world order so many are afraid of.

Nope, on reflection, we have, as Churchill once observed, the worst form of government except for everything else that has been tried. So instead of trying to bring down the system maybe we need to get smart and do what the lefties have done, reasonably successfully, for generations and insert our own activists into the system. Reform Parliament from the ground up and rebuild it not in their image, but in ours.

Friday, 4 March 2022

Angry

I’ve long regarded hatred as a pointless emotion; wasteful of time and energy and blinding its practitioners to reason and negotiation. I see its progenitor, anger, as little better; a brief flaring of antipathy is a normal reaction to unwanted provocation, but full-blown anger seems to me to be a somewhat juvenile way of approaching the world. President Putin appears to be an angry man, lashing out at people who could be his allies and attracting all the wrong sort of reaction from others.

Sadly, anger is in no short supply and as fuses shorten, the sparks that threaten to ignite those fuses are flashing as if to a beat. Flash! There goes the apartment block. Flash! There goes the nuclear power plant. These acts of aggression appear to be fuelled not by any grand strategic plan, as Putin has just claimed, but by simple rage. Meanwhile, we in the west have little to be smug about. The world appears, more and more, to run on a heady mixture of anger, propagated from a growing list of grievances. Race, class, gender, you name it, somebody is very angry about it.

None more so than the EU Remain camp, still smarting seven years on from a referendum result they still cannot comprehend. Impervious to rational thought, every setback, every bump in the road, every perceived hiccough is directly attributable to the hated Brexit. The Brexit that is now directly attributable in their analysis to Bad Vlad. Even the fact that we could act more decisively and quicker than it took the EU to assemble some agreement is now, somehow, making them angry.

Give us one tangible benefit, they insist, and then, when event after event shows that the regaining of our sovereignty (albeit incomplete, as yet) has indeed restored a level of autonomy, they get angry. Angry about Brexit itself, angry about every supply chain let down, angry that we no longer get to have a purely cosmetic vote on EU matters. But even angrier when we manage to do something laudable outside the bloc. There really can be no pleasing these people.

And by these people, you know who I mean. Angry old deadbeats such as Anna Soubry, Dominic Grieve, Gina Miller, Andrew Adonis, Michael Heseltine, Femi-fucking-Mr-Potato-Head-Oluwole, Ken Clarke, Alistair Campbell and the laughable self-parody that is James O’Brien. All they ever do is ball their fists and stamp their feet, like small children denied treats. Like teenagers grounded, they thrash about, red in the face, pointing and pontificating and allowing their anger to boil over into true hatred.

These are not rational actors. And as post-Brexit Britain gets on with business, calmly calculating the best responses, engaging with the enemy and embracing friends across the world, all the Angry Brigade can do is spit and spout and vilify. Some of them flash up and lash out at the mere thought of Boris Johnson; the man could single-handedly bring about a ceasefire in Ukraine and they would still loathe him for doing it outside the EU.

And what this means for the rest of us, the normal majority who sit back and listen when we are not simply going about our business, is that instead of getting news and balanced views, instead of getting rational analysis of world affairs, we get invective. It is little wonder that people turn to social media for their news when the very people charged with doing it professionally are so fuelled by anger that they can’t see straight.

Don’t you just hate that? 

Thursday, 3 March 2022

Net Nowhere

 The media is positively luxuriating in its bunker mentality. Tweeting from the trenches on the frozen streets of where they are now calling ‘Keev’ and pontificating like drunken football fans arguing about the refereeing, they have conveniently overlooked the war being waged not only on our doorsteps but right inside our houses. The conflict between heating and eating, a miserable pair of mutually exclusive options formerly only inflicted on ‘the poor’ is now pushing ahead on all fronts.

Fuel for driving has increased by over 50% in the last year. Fuel for heating and cooking is right behind it, with gas being the more obvious contender but electricity – already the most costly energy - ready to double, maybe triple in price. We put up with it, cutting back on ‘luxury’ treats such as medication and so forth, up to a point. But soon the cost of even getting to work may make work itself uneconomic for a very large number of people. And all the while the headlines lie to us about how very much cheaper so-called renewables are.

It all depends on who you read and where you go to listen to your news, but it is surely undeniable that the push for the impossibility of Net Zero is coming from those who do not have to face the economic realities. Smug accounts of ‘well, I have a solar array and a power wall and my bills have come down enormously’ and ‘with my eco set-up, I am virtually off-grid’ totally ignore the plain truth that most of us, even had we the roofs or the land to install such glittery, new-age tech, simply can’t afford it.

The true cost of Net Zero

You can probably install a quite decent 5 kW array and a basic battery storage system for under £20k these days. But who has £20k to spend, especially if your monthly fuel bill lands you in the red? And what are you really getting? Those doing the bragging quite often got in on the now defunct government feed-in tariff which actually paid you three times the retail price for every unit you generated (no wonder they stopped it so abruptly) and have reason to be smug. But if you are not so compensated, how do the numbers stack up?

According to Ofgem, the average household in the UK has 2.4 people living in it, and uses 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas respectively. That’s around 15,000 kWh of energy a year, or around 40 kWh per day. Your 5 kW (peak) system is only at best around 20% of that, which is 1 kW (not enough to boil a standard kettle, used directly). Multiply that by 8 hours of good light in a day (not winter, obviously) and you could produce 8 kWh, or a fifth of your needs.

So, if your combined electricity and gas bill is around £200 a month, you could save around £40 a month if you invest £20k now, which investment will pay for itself in in a mere 500 months, or a bit over 40 years… which is twice as long as such a system is designed to last. Of course, other figures are available and this is a fag-packet estimate for an all-electric future. And there absolutely will be low energy users who could benefit hugely. But few of them are you or me.  

So the recent news that the government has admitted it has no idea what Net Zero will cost will come as no surprise to many. (Links here and here) We knew, all along, that we had no coherent energy policy, and the war in Ukraine has shown how fragile is the reliance on Russian gas (itself a policy to make the EU appear greener by offshoring their emissions). We are sheep, led by other fleecier sheep, themselves fleeced by the special interest lobbies and acting against our joint interests. For those who insist on believing in deep state collision, the most apt phrase which springs to mind involves a piss up in a brewery.

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Putin on the Blitz

If the first victim of war is the truth, the Ukraine adventure must surely stand as an exemplar of that pithy maxim. Suddenly, all the Covid experts, the 5G conspiracists, the media and the general commentariat have become authorities on warfare, espionage, logistics and the inner workings of Vladimir Putin’s mind. I know we are hungry for information but are we so desperate that we consume the packaging rather than the comestibles and can’t discern the difference?

The last couple of years have really given me food for thought, especially about thought itself. Rather than the rich nourishment of haute cuisine I have learned that the teeming herds of data-grazing humans would rather ruminate on a constant diet of nutrient-free tabloid pap, highly processed and filled with fizzing sugars, than savour the more subtle, protein-rich steak which is expensive to buy and takes a little more effort to digest.

Enough of the lazy metaphor, let’s get down to business. Within minutes of the Russian advance the usual suspects were trotting out their pet theories about Brexit. So far I have seen articles and comments linking Putin to the overthrow of the EU since the day he came into power. Apparently, he ‘owns’ the Tory Party, pulls Tony Blair’s strings and was entirely responsible for Nigel Farage’s spectacular feat of bringing about our departure from that sclerotic Brussels cabal. Why, even the Prime Minister’s own name – Boris – betrays a sinister, subliminal Russophilia.

Give people like Carole Cadwalladr the tiniest opportunity and she can link everything back to Cambridge Analytica. Global warming, global cooling, oligarchy, autocracy, the subversion of democracy... whatever the current consensus, for her it all connects. Gender dysphoria, cancel culture, anything you like, there is nothing she can’t shoehorn into the plot. Me, I can’t wait for the movie; a summer blockbuster of brave, mild-mannered Clark Kents fighting globalist superpowers.

But we’re not in a movie, we are in the mundane. For every phenomenon that may have been deliberately constructed there are a thousand far more ordinary happenstances. In the same way that planned economies tend to fail, grand societal experiments are doomed to fall against the combined might of everyday people making everyday decisions. Sure, you bought the sugary cereal because your kids saw the commercial, but you wouldn’t keep buying it if the kids didn’t like it.

The demand for prurience seems coded into the DNA of humans. Don’t tell us the boring story of how we lurch indecisively from one fad to another. Instead tell us how we were manipulated, against our will to act against our own interests. Whenever I hear tales of great cunning, I try to remember that humans are ultimately motivated by the primal urges which ensured our species' survival: eat, fight, flight or fuck.

I have seen a couple of stage hypnotists. I’m not convinced at all. In the more scrutinised world of clinical psychology, hypnosis is recognised as a pretty much hit and miss affair and you can’t be hypnotised if you don’t want to be. But in the heat of battle – and the world of information is a constant battle for your attention – it is easy to get caught up in it all and be seduced by shiny, contrived plots instead of the dull action and reaction of boring reality.

Balls!

I have no idea what is going on in Ukraine. I certainly have no idea what Putin is thinking and I’m not sure I even care about that detail. What exercises me far more is the sudden hike in energy prices, the plethora of competing theories on the way the world works, and the absence of any unifying thesis regarding how we get back on track, if indeed there is a track. You can bang on about the World Economic Forum and the New World Order all you like; all I see are the normal human tendencies to seek profit where one can, and to see collusion where there is really only chaos.