Monday, 31 October 2022

The Oilers are Wrong

 The Just Stop Oilers have been at it again, this time spraying orange paint on a number of government buildings. Blind to the negative attention this attracts, they inconvenience people just trying to go to work, create an unsightly mess, almost certainly incur fossil fuel costs in the clean up and security reactions… and do absolutely nothing to further their aims.

But what are their aims? It doesn’t seem very joined-up to simply demand an end to all new oil and gas contracts without proposing alternatives. Ceasing to use fossil fuel is an impossibility for any civilisation which doesn’t want to return, very quickly, to a scavenging, hand-to-mouth existence. We can’t support a population of our size without energy dense solutions and the capacity and intermittency of so-called green paradigms renders them at best a partial assist.

The Oilers appear to believe we can instantly switch to a low-carbon lifestyle. Maybe the many apparent pensioners involved in their movement have already feathered their nests with solar photovoltaic panels, heat pumps, super-dooper insulation, heat recovery systems and the like, and can boast of excellent climate-healing credentials. But at what cost?

And when I say cost I don’t just mean that they can afford it after a lifetime in the petrochemical age of relative affluence, while others still in work can barely pay their monthly bills, which hypocrisy bodes ill for their ultimate redemption. I also mean at what cost to the environment? Because those technologies built in the East, using coal-fire electricity and shipped here burning millions of barrels of oil, represent a massive carbon footprint which their deployment will almost certainly not offset in their lifetime.

The people who install much of this technology are poorly equipped to explain the benefits, or do the holistic calculus, but they don’t need to. The media – equally ignorant of the full facts – merrily trots out the green is good mantra, oblivious to the harm they may be doing. I would absolutely love to live off-grid, sustainably, self-sufficiently, with a minimal carbon footprint, but I will never be able to afford it. And likely, neither can you.

So, once again I ask, what do they really want? Most rational people, when bumping against reality, learn to adapt their ambitions. Only fools keep on doing the same wrong thing over and over again, rolling the dice, in the hope that this time the house doesn’t win. But the house always wins, no matter how much orange paint you spray.

What does he think he's achieving?

For what it’s worth I think we need a massive education programme. Not ‘re-education’, instilling doctrinal soundbites, but actual education. If people understood the physics, the nature of energy itself they may be able to make better, more informed choices about how they manage their lives. The same could apply to financial decisions, health, and voting in elections. Education, education, education? Dream on.

Friday, 28 October 2022

I should be so lucky

 Much doom and gloom about the economy runs through every news outlet, even in the wake of the new governance under ‘Rashid Sanook’. In fact, it may even be because of the new governance. Notwithstanding the left’s hatred of anybody other than themselves trying to fix the things they believe are wrong, the simple truth is that, socially, intellectually and economically Britain is fucked.

We no longer make anything in any volume, we no longer trust our own people to be competent in any kind of work and we are beholden to the money markets to funnel their illicit gains through the greedy hands of a tiny few in the City of London. So, should we ever try to stand up against the trafficking of finance, the national income is stifled and we are left with the impossible task of begging for yet more borrowing.

We have mortgaged the family home to the hilt and are facing redundancy, and just like the PFI-financed NHS we may soon owe more in rent that we can possibly earn. Imagine it; Britain, the country which practically invented the modern world, including its financial institutions and all that makes it work, failing to make it work for ourselves. It’s like selling the blueprints to China in the expectation that they won’t use them to out-compete and undersell us.

The former colonies can kiss goodbye to any thought of reparation – soon we will need to go cap in hand to them just to sustain ourselves for another year, another month… another day. And nobody knows – literally nobody knows – what can be done about any of it. The machinery is too complex to be able to decommission any part of it without causing collapse in other parts. Every action has consequences, but we can’t predict what they might be.

Every man and his dog has quick-fix solutions based on little more than ignorance and prejudice. In the case of idiots like the Labour MP Richard ‘Benny’ Burgon it is wealth tax, windfall tax and generally 'eat the rich'. Same tired, old, discredited soundbite policy on the hoof without a thought for what happens next. Then the luvvies, the minted soap stars, sports stars and models, come out with their ‘be kind’ claptrap, as if they alone possess empathy for their fellow man, insulated as they are from the fallout of inequitable sharing.

Benny: same old, same old...

Even the ‘experts’, the economists, have the luxury of never really having to see their projects through, and never having to say sorry. As government advisors, when they fail it is put down with a shrug to eternal forces and off they go to come up with another new pet theory. But, whatever that theory there can be little doubt that what passes for capitalism, at least in the UK, is pretty largely broken.

There is hope, however: being an economist is easy, as is making your first million, as is becoming the richest man in the world. All you have to do is have a great idea, a keen work ethic, the balls of steel which come with absolute self-belief… and a shit-tonne of pure, unadulterated luck. Without good fortune, all that hard work will often yield nothing. So, the solution is plain enough - stay lucky.

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Tories

Who would be a Conservative MP right now? I mean, in government, but powerless against the antipathy of the establishment and generally reviled by the wider public. The most honest, faithful, dedicated, hard-working constituency MP is lumped into the same category as the most mendacious, mercenary, lazy accepter of back-handers and honours for favours. Damned whatever you do, what’s the point?

As a permanently suspended Twitter account I can still browse, but I only get whatever the almighty algorithms decide to serve up. Bereft of the guiding tastes of mutual followers, I can now only read tweets about kitties, puppers and how much people hate the Tories. Formerly my Twitter economy would regulate my environment with a healthy mix of sceptics, scoundrels and people on my wavelength, protecting me from the worst excesses of the liberal online world.

But now the filters are well and truly clogged and I just get an endless round of righteous lefty hatred. Not toward me – I’m a Twitter non-person, they don’t even know I’m there – but towards anything remotely to the right of Saint Jeremy of Corbyn and his Marxist comrades. The tee-shirts declaring “I’ve never fucked a Tory” were mildness incarnate in comparison.

In his song, Russians, Sting sang: “Mister Krushchev said, ‘We will bury you’ I don't subscribe to this point of view. It'd be such an ignorant thing to do, if the Russians love their children too”. Quite. He went on to warble “There is no monopoly on common sense on either side of the political fence”. Astute. Yet here we are, with the side of truth and social justice, the ‘be kind’ set falling into the same trap the cold war sprang. Are the Tories really so very different from the Labours?

We share the same biology, regardless of ideology.” And with that biology we share the same needs; shelter, warmth, food, safety, and all the trappings of civilisation. Nobody, whatever political gods they serve, wants to end their days as heads on pikes on the railings of Westminster as revenge for the bloody war they waged on their own people. Even Putin, no doubt, believes in his mission.

So, instead of wishing the new “Rashi Sanuk*” government well in its mission and looking to influence its choices the opposition in all its forms immediately goes on the attack. Mr Sunak is, of course, a coconut, say the brown racists of the left who genuinely believe they cannot be racists. And every member of his cabinet is a baby-eating, granny-starving tool of the evil global capitalist machine.

We never really got beyond this, did we?

It’s not so very long ago that the evil international machine was the communist one, so maybe globalism is just a convenient way to label whoever you consider the current ‘Russians’ to be. Well, according to everybody with a platform, the real global threat is climate change, so why does it seem like just another way for each side to beat each other up? Why can’t the eternally opposing ideologies of left and right put aside their differences and work for this common cause? I suspect the answer is that the ideology which engineers the divide is too strong. Maybe we just have to hope the Tories love their children too.

*Sleepy Joe Biden’s hilarious and total mispronunciation on hearing the news.


Tuesday, 25 October 2022

It’s the Brexit, Stoopid!

I note with interest the growing EU fervour in the air. On the media, on social platforms, and no doubt in the usual talking shops, Brexit is back in vogue, or rather blaming everything on Brexit has become, once again, the cause du jour. It’s the catch-all to cover every ill. No doubt it is Brexit which caused your central heating to fail or made you slip on that wet floor. It is Brexit that created the storms because, muh, global warming, right? And we all know climate change was as a direct result of Brexit, so…

If you voted to remain and remain convinced that leaving was an enormous folly it is likely that your cognitive bias will happily let you nod along to every assertion of its evil. Project Fear, they said? Well just looky here now. When people point to the no-small matters of Covid and Ukraine… and incompetent UK governance such affairs are disregarded as mere deflections. The conspiracy theorists are having an absolute ball.

Andrew Adonis famously said “If Boris goes, Brexit goes” and he has made no secret of doing his damnedest to bring about a bid to rejoin, at any cost. Pretending to care about the little people, Lords like him have no interest in the fact that it was mostly those same people who voted to leave. Yes, they voted in their ignorance, cry the ardent remainers, who alone are vouchsafed the intelligence to make such a decision. But it’s the little people who felt they got nothing from the EU anyway and the smug middle-class remain rump who got the most.

As anybody with a few grey hairs and an observant eye will notice, everything else we could have voted for brought no change. For decades Britain has languished in a low-productivity, high aspiration, low talent, low wage world where second-rate politicians ascend to astonishing heights by the patronage of equally second-rate also-rans who seem to hold the levers of power. The leaders of powerful blocks are all Wizards of Oz; the tiny, feeble, uninspiring man behind the megaphone. What else was left but to vote for a game-changer?

The levels of bile out there for Brexiteers is quite alarming. Well beyond merely bordering on hatred, these pro-EU people viscerally detest and despise those who broke their precious thing. You just know that, given the power, they would cancel out all voting rights for anybody who disagreed with them. Which would be interesting because while they agree with each other that Brexit is very, very bad, they have no unified theory of just why Brexit is bad.

It’s a Tory plot. Cameron was played by the Kremlin. It’s the bankers and the hedge fund managers. (the only thing the Euro-intelligentsia seem to ‘know’ about hedge funds is that they positively thrive on economic downturns and do their best to bring them about) It’s the Nazis in the Tory Party, obviously. It’s, it’s, it’s…  a very, very ,very bad thing, and there’s an end to it.

There is no recognition that many have done their very best to throw spanners in the works, have encouraged the EU to negotiate in bad faith, have visited Brussels and promised we will return if only Brexit can be seen not to have worked. They never had a plan for Brexit, they cry, they believed the lies on a bus! It is relentless. Can they not entertain the possibility that the intransigence of Parliament itself has played no small part in our current chaos, that Covid brought to a halt all efforts to deal with anything but Covid, that the Boris Johnson witch hunt and subsequent Tory shitstorm may all have contributed?

Nope, because everything bad is because of Brexit. And despite their voice being the only bloody voice we ever hear about it, day in, day out, they think they are being silenced and censored in the press. They also still fervently believe that they alone have the answers; all of them different answers, obviously. But at the bottom of all of this is this deep, deep loathing for anybody they feel they can blame for ‘taking away their rights’, rights that few of them appreciated or understood, or even exploited. And yet they’re supposedly the good guys.

Got Brexit done? Hardly.

Maybe it will all blow over. Maybe the Sunak administration will stabilise things a tad and maybe the country will get back on its feet again. Whatever does happen I predict that few will be satisfied and after four decades of blaming the EU and its forebears for all our problems, we will probably spend the next four decades blaming our departure. I’m just pissed off that instead of actually getting on with the job, we seem to need all of our failures to be somebody else’s fault.

Sunday, 23 October 2022

Is that a fact?

 As attention turns to the PM electoral circus, there are some who still have it in for Liz Truss. The mischief continues as she is out of office but far from finished as far as the vengeful public are concerned. If you doubt the ability of the great unwashed to be happily ill-informed the responses to this tweet by Dragon Deborah Meaden would be a useful primer.


"Can anyone who knows clarify the two-month threshold for PM to receive salary for life?"

For a start, the tweet itself is disingenuous. Surely somebody like Meaden isn’t incapable of doing a bit of research for herself, but if she is so tied-up busy why ask Twitter, of all places? For those who are not in the know this is about the Public Duty Costs Allowance against which Former Prime Ministers can retrospectively claim – backed up by vetted receipts - up to £115,000 a year for expenses associated with continuing public duties. It is neither a pension, nor a salary and it is not granted.

But this is the internet, where the truth falls into a poor also-ran place against speculation, ignorance and blind prejudice. A good number of respondents took Meaden’s query as a statement of fact that yes, any ex PM automatically receives a pension/salary of £115k for the rest of his or her days. As. A. Fact. I quote some of the responses below:

·       “I think as long as you have been appointed by His Majesty the King Prime Minister. Even if that lasted for a few minutes before resigning.”

·       “It will be right. Jobs for the boys and girls Westminster. She will probably get promoted to the Lords. Where she will be able to collect £332 per day attendance allowance.”

·       “It is true and even Keir Starmer has called for Thick Lizzie not to get that money of £115 thousand a year for life around that figure I think”

·       “I've heard she's 100% getting it but is being urged to decline it. She hasn't yet declined.”

·       “I worked it out and if she lives 30 years she will get over 3.4 million. Works out at £78,000 a day for 44 days and that’s paying her for the weekend.”

A small number of respondents sought to correct the assumptions but quickly segued into wondering how well it is policed. Another few used the opportunity to speculate over whether Boris Johnson was funding his holiday from this supposed slush fund and a few came up with such kite flying illiteracy as “How many free school meals would the ministers' pensions actually fund? Think about it. Likely the whole nation. Not likely they actually need and depend on said pensions, what with all those hedge funds and private investments they vote on to protect.”[sic]

Still more piled in to suggest that people like Deborah Meaden herself ought to be running the country, oblivious to the reality that she had begun this mendacious thread out of either malice or ignorance, neither quality being one you would seek in a leader. Or maybe it was just naivety and laziness and she tweeted without a though as to its effect. Again, not something you would look for in a figurehead.

Which brings us back to Starmer who once again demonstrated his lack of guile in handling the media when he was effectively pushed into calling for Ms Truss to reject an offer which was not even being made. Somebody really needs to get forensic over this stuff, I mean, it’s embarrassing when people get things so wrong.

Instead of looking to how we get the country back on its tracks, people are fixated by somebody they don’t know, not being given something they don’t deserve… and using the opportunity to add their two penn’orth on financial affairs about which they also nothing. And we give these people a vote? But maybe it is all just harmless bloviation. As the saying goes “I’m sorry dear, I can’t come to bed. Somebody on the internet is wrong.”

Tuesday, 18 October 2022

Just Stop Protesting

The South-East of this country was brought to a standstill by Just Stop Oil protesters climbing the Queen Elizabeth Bridge at Dartford yesterday. The business where I work was disrupted enormously; I imagine the wider economic chaos is incalculable. But the one thing which will not have been achieved is any increase in support for this renegade band of idiots, determined to damage the world in which they live.

But who will have suffered the most? Not the government, not the establishment, not the millionaires and billionaires, not the local authorities, not the schools, not the judiciary, not the policy advisors, not the very oil companies they seek to destroy … in fact none of the people who have any input whatsoever into decision-making around our energy policy.

The people who were harmed would almost certainly be on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder, those who have no power at all. Those casual workers in the gig economy who will not have been paid. Those waiting for urgent deliveries which arrived late or not at all. Those reliant on care by people stuck for hours in traffic. Those small business owners whose productivity and profits were dented but whose costs were not. Some people may even have died as a direct result of the disruption.

The first instinct for many would have been that the bridge climbers should have been shot – snipers being an excellent first resort in the frustration of the moment. But why close the bridge? Seriously, why not just leave them up there? Ready the police and maybe a standby ambulance, but just observe and let them sit out their vigil for as long as their reserves of strength hold out. Starvation, hypothermia, who cares? We do not have unlimited reserves of sympathy for those who have, in their hysteria, taken such stupid risks.

And why not treat all such protesters in the same way? Glue yourself to the road? Why don’t the police immobilise them with builder’s expanding foam filler and let the traffic take its toll? Throwing soup at a Van Gogh? Make soup out of them. Throwing paint on a car dealership? Strip the fuckers and paint them in creosote. Vandalise property? Vandalise their property. As long as we react to these protests in the soft way they know we will, they will never stop.

Never mind that the general public despise them, their intention is to be despised. They want our outrage and our impotence. But their further aim, to stop all new oil and gas projects, will not be achieved by these means. If anything, the efforts to limit the damage they cause is likely to involve a higher carbon cost, much like the jet-setting CoP circus which achieves little beyond making headlines.

Each year the gross amount of carbon dioxide emitted increases, even as western governments commit to the accounting fraud they call net zero. As with so many areas of national life, being seen to act is far more important to governments than to actually do anything effective. In this the protesters are no better than those they protest against. Sure, they may get a warm, fuzzy glow in the heat of their vandalism, but in the cold light of day they have achieved nothing.

Monday, 17 October 2022

It's Brexit, stoopid!

Brexiteers were accused of looking back with rose-coloured spectacles at an imaginary perfect Britain before the EU. The generations which came after the second world war rebuilt the country and cooperated with our neighbours in trade and regulation long before the EU came about. It was hard, but we did it largely by ourselves. By the time John Major signed the Maastricht Treaty the anti-integration movement was already blooming, because the overt interference with national governance had become obvious.

Today, I notice, it is the Remainers who are looking back through those rosy-specs at the halcyon days of free school milk and council houses, and full employment and growing prosperity and somehow in their weird dissonance accrediting all that to the Glorious Make Freedom Socialist Friends European Union Sovietska! In their view everything bad is the fault of Brexit: the climate, the value of the pound sterling, Donald Trump, Haiti… everything.

Ah, ‘twas ever thus. While, undoubtedly, decoupling ourselves from our lawmakers and rulers over the last forty years was always going to have its downsides, the saboteurs have done their utmost to turn a bump in the road into an insurmountable climb. Just when we needed all hands to the wheel, to rediscover how to manage our own affairs, meddling hands were busy throwing spanners into the works. The same old miserable quisling faces.

Having steered Theresa May into fumbling Brexit, they harassed Johnson over the most trivial of issues until he, too was ousted. Now, with Liz Truss within days of picking up her P45 they can see the next cabinet becoming a council of Europhiles with every sympathy for returning, cap in hand, to our masters. What a despicable trade politics is. Just watch people like Andrew Adonis sneering at the ignorant masses and saying, “We told you so!”

They insist that Brexit was because of inherent racism, fascism, insular, inward-thinking among the backward peasants, who were whipped up to a spitting fury by F├╝hrer Farage and his brownshirts. Yet it was the forces of remain who were deployed, time and again, to mob Brexit gatherings and hurl foul-mouthed abuse. What a way to win hearts and minds, eh? Those voting to leave the EU were the objects of hatred, not the spreaders.

I saw Matthew Syed putting forward the theory that Brexit was the product of a cult, whose unthinking acolytes had no ability to draw their own conclusions and would double down on their beliefs in the face of all the contrary evidence. Yet again I was intrigued at how those who so readily sling around accusations of cognitive bias seem unable to recognise it in themselves. No leavers were expecting an immediate upturn in our fortunes, yet everybody voting remain seems to believe they were.

Angel or devil?

Our current tribulations are the result of many things, and many of those things are out of our direct control. And yes, admittedly, we seem unable, currently to even control those things over which we most certainly do have jurisdiction. But I can’t see how more than a small portion of the blame attaches to Brexit. I can, however, see how pretending it does plays right into the hands of those who would wish us to embark on the biggest u-turn of all.

Sunday, 16 October 2022

The Gargoyles are coming!

In certain quarters, notably the luvvie set, people are fetishising Miriam Margolyes for her ignorant, expletive-loaded reaction to the appointment of Jeremy Hunt as the latest Chancellor of the Exchequer. In other news Ed Byrne, using the phrase 'Tory cunts' on Mock the Week, also demonstrated why the opinion of entertainers ought to be taken with a pinch of salt. Why, with the wealth of evidence otherwise, would people imagine for one second that a valid and considered political stance would be “I hate Tories”?

“I’ve never fucked a Tory”, “Punch a Tory today” and other such tee-shirt slogans raise cheers among the unthinking herd who just love a bogeyman to blame. If they reflected for a moment that we haven’t had anything even close to a Conservative government for over three decades they might realise that their true target should be those who thrust themselves into the limelight in pursuit of power and influence.

Further reflection might also reveal that this includes not only politicians but also long-in-the-tooth sportspeople, broadcasters and, er, entertainers. How often do we turn on media to be berated by yet another braying donkey with a cause, using their fame and familiarity to appeal to something within us which says, “Oh, I like her; I bet she knows all about this subject on which she has, hitherto, remained silent"?

Admittedly some media stars do have valid credentials for promulgating their beliefs, but so often they really, really don’t. But all you need, it seems, is a strong conviction that whichever snake oil you are peddling it is the real deal and millions will follow. Yesterday, ‘general public UK’ were spreading the word that Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis should be the new Chancellor. Oh yes, they were, without any hint of irony.

I happen to believe that we need far fewer professional politicians in the political system, but a wholesale switch to amateur politicians would be immeasurably dire. Most of us – and this includes the luvvies and the sportspeople and the podcasters and the pub bores – know practically nothing about anything. But that little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing and people like Margoyles are nothing more than rent-a-gob motormouths blowing off steam.

The people in power have seldom been universally admired by the electorate and their mandates are rarely more than marginal, which means that at any one time the governing party tends to mirror significantly less than half of the population. But at least they have gone through a lengthy process to get there, a process which admittedly is flawed but one which has proved functional for many decades. To throw it all away and install leaders just because they have appeared in Harry Potter seems somewhat rash.

Seriously, this?

So you’ll perhaps excuse me if I easily dismiss those who gain favour because they wear their prejudices on their sleeves. To found your campaign for popularity, for power even, on the fact that you actually hate a sector of society just makes you sound like… well, like Liverpool. We might like a splash of colour, a hint of rebellion and a tinge of controversy, but we still need sober minds to do the heavy lifting. Cheer the Gargoyles all you like, but be really careful what you wish for. 

Saturday, 15 October 2022

Second Guess?

If anybody needed proof that astrology only exists to give a veneer of credibility to economic forecasting, the last few weeks have provided it in abundance. No two economists (although ‘economist’ is as ill-definable as is ‘libertarian’) appear to agree, in the same way that no two humans ever seem to witness any event in the exact, same way. The truth, as is so often the case and in so many walks of life, is that nobody knows.

Sure, in retrospect we can analyse what went wrong, or right, and draw conclusions, but those conclusions are just as much coloured by what we wanted to see as what we actually saw. And those conclusions inevitably lack the unfortunate dearth of information confronting the person in the here and now, deciding what would be best for the hereafter. 

We all harbour longings to return to past events with the knowledge of hindsight, believing we would make better choices… but I bet we wouldn’t. For a start, if we could go back and re-run elections, personal choices, fashion faux-pas and the like, so too, could others. And given that we each have a slightly different agenda, the outcomes would likely be no more predictable than they are now.

Which is why elections are so fraught with uncertainty. For sure, a Conservative government going into a general election right now would likely be annihilated. People are pissed off enough to vote for the charisma-void of Starmer’s Labour, but would it really be ‘better’? I think we could probably come to a reasonable consensus on what better means: happier, more stable, debt-free, anxiety-free. That stuff is easy, but how to get there is not.

Free markets rely on the agglomeration of many independent choices, so if enough people opt for one particular course of action – buying decisions, for instance – the overall outcome will look like the ‘invisible hand’ has been hard at work. But the devil makes work for idle invisible hands to do, so without regulation free markets become enslavers of the many to the whim of the few. But who regulates the regulators? In theory we, the electorate do. But, in practice?

In the aftermath of the last week's political car crash everybody seems to want to proffer an opinion as to what went wrong. From lofty positions of superior education and supposed insider knowledge right down to the bile-spitting, snarling Tory haters, driven by nothing but their revulsion for something they know nothing about, nevertheless they all feel the need to be heard.

Literally nobody knows whether the defenestration of Truss would instantly buoy-up the markets, or whether it would take a full-scale Tory Apocalypse to achieve that. There is too much going on, too much turmoil, too much distrust, and too little in the way of hard facts. The future will only be known once it is in the past, and the most honest seers should admit to luck playing a large part should their prognosis come about.

But every now and then, all those different observers, from their partisan viewpoints do happen to see at least something on which they can all agree. Whether the eventual outcome is equally transparent is another matter entirely, but I’m pretty sure we can all get behind the notion that Truss’s time in power is done.


Friday, 14 October 2022

The Party's Over

And now, the end is near and Liz Truss faces her final curtain. The wolves are at the door, salivating like crazy, and nobody gives the Truss/Kwarteng axis a cat in hell’s chance of making to the end of next week, let alone Christmas. Simply staying in office for two whole months now seems unlikely - even Andrew Bona Law managed from October to May – and with the collapse of the Truss interlude goes also the credibility of the Tories staying in power.

Party unity, never a strong feature of the Conservatives in recent decades, is in tatters; whoever assumed the throne would face their own baying pack of detractors, rendering their leadership impotent. A general election now would almost certainly put Labour in power with an overwhelming majority, the power to do whatever they want.

And what Labour have always wanted is the total destruction of the only party to have ever really been committed to genuinely improving everybody's lot. Forget any future for an independent, proud, British Britain. Forget fair wages and efficient public services – not that the recent Tory governments have won any medals in this regard – and say hello to open-door Britain. Say hi to sweated labour and fat-cat unionised, nationalised monoliths.

I really see no future for the country I grew up in. With Labour the national flag will become a hate symbol, the monarchy will be dismantled and we will become the Afro-Indian satellite of the European Union at best. Our history, displayed on every plinth and in every museum, will be rewritten as a triumph of multiculturalism. I read today that people are calling for more foreign accents at the Royal Shakespeare Company, to better reflect modern Britain. Sod representing the bard, appeasement comes first.

Line up here for your reparation payments will say the ad campaigns throughout the third world. Whoever you are, whatever your people have done, all the bad things in your life are the fault of those hideous dead white men of the slave trade – only whites ever kept slaves, you know – so now their ancestors will be wrung out to dry to pay for those sins.

You think Kwarteng and Truss’s magic money tree is fanciful? Stand by for plantations of the things. You think the care system and the NHS is creaking at the seams now? Watch what it’s like when the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel moves to Peckham and enterprising imported new GPs find ever ingenious ways to screw the system. Transport, education, the law, public works… I dread to think how they will function when the last of the Smiths, the Browns, the Wrights and the Tuckers leave the building.

They did it... their way

The Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men could be rewritten as No Country for White Men, but of course there would be no backing for such a project. I don’t believe Truss can live out the year and I don’t believe the Conservative party can last the parliamentary term. With them dies Brexit, independence, opportunity, hope and pride. With them, probably goes Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. RIP United Kingdom, may you find the tranquility you deserve.


Addendum

This was written a few hours before Mr Kwarteng was unceremoniously dismissed. I see no reason to row back on any of my comments. And Phil Hammond has quite the nerve to come on air and criticise when he was among those who did their level best to split the country over Brexit, before and after the public vote. The Tory Party is over - they now need to decide which two, or three parties they wish to split into.

Thursday, 6 October 2022

Growth, Growth, Growth

 Sadly, politicians and all of their advisers, are rubbish when it comes to mantras. And in choosing to mimic Blair’s 'education' trifecta, which policy resulted in ever-dumbed down, largely worthless McQualifications, Truss has gifted the opposition with open goals galore. Growth in poverty, foodbanks, waste, exploitation, illegal immigration and anxiety are merely the first six examples that sprang to mind.

In trying to encourage business to grow, a plentiful supply of cheap labour will be needed, and we all know where that is coming from. As mortgage rates grow, people formerly in merely dire straits will have to tighten the belt still further and consumption will be affected. Consumption – there’s another one; all these undocumented incomers have brought tuberculosis back into the national medical frame where it is and will continue to be a growing problem.

As queues for medical attention grow, so too will the gaping maw of the NHS budget. Graduates of soft courses in the social arena will continue to stuff the unemployable categories of grievance mongers, critical race theory advocates and the enemies of common sense everywhere. Our ‘not-zero’ climate policy will grow the output of CO2 into the atmosphere as outfits like Drax use the ‘burning biomass isn’t counted’ loophole, spending £billions in the bargain to assist in the deforestation of primary forests in British Columbia. 

As anybody studying the effects of bureaucracy over the centuries will know, growth does not automatically translate into wealth. Grow the government tax-take, grow the civil service, grow the NGOs funded by the devious diversion of funding into the money-pits they represent. Trickle-down economics? The problem is where it all trickles to. In every area of government intervention the markets find a way of sucking up potential and turning it into waste.

But what’s the alternative? Astute parents should advise those of their offspring unsuited to the rigours of engineering and science to opt for one of the more nebulous of disciplines which, while having no useful purpose n the world nevertheless increases one’s opportunity to acquire personal wealth. The growth in anxiety and its drop-of-a-hat diagnosis will surely lead to a demand for more therapists. And the growth in the number of things you can supposedly be treated for will expand the field still further.

The real inspiration?

Growth in manufacturing? No way – we need to export all these real jobs to developing nations. What we need is growth in spending. Get out to the shops, splash the cash, acquire like there’s no tomorrow (There probably isn’t, economically). Perhaps I was wrong and Liz Truss didn’t borrow from Blair. Maybe she took her cue from Viv Nicholson and is really exhorting us all to “spend, spend, spend”.


Sunday, 2 October 2022

All for one?

The protesting classes have been out in force and emboldened by Labour’s current massive poll lead, are doing what they do best, encouraging impotent hope. People who have never before marched are taking to the streets to ‘do their bit’ and swell the ranks, and presumably the word ‘solidarity’ is doing a lot of heavy lifting. But look who is leading the charge and you’ll see it is the same old union stalwarts and diehard class warriors.

Starmer is probably right to urge his MPs not to stand on picket lines because the rise of the left and their supposed championing of the common man is as bad for moderate Labour as it is for the Tories. The blues are, of course, the eternal enemy, so to the extent that such protests turn people against what they imagine the Conservatives actually stand for plays Labour’s way. And the terrible optics of the first skirmishes of the new Truss administration must surely push voters still further to the left.

But the danger here is that with a taste for socialist rhetoric and with the scent of blood in their nostrils, formerly moderate types may be persuaded to go full-Momentum and make the same mistakes that socialist agitators usually make. The assumption that this common man is more biddable from a socialist standpoint than from a small ‘c’ conservative position needs a critical second look. Because the ultimate aims of the left are a long way out of line with the aspirations of the average worker.

Positions on immigration, social justice, education, the role of the state, national sovereignty, defence, energy security, policing and the ever-widening identitarian movements reveal complex challenges, challenges which defeat thinkers across the political spectrum in terms of simple solutions. To take just one, immigration; why if immigration is supposed to be so good for us, has no government managed to convince the population of this beneficence?

Back in June this year ordinary, decent people found it frankly incredible that an unwashed mob could prevent police from carrying out their duties to detain and deport. But in the heads of the Peckham Peaceniks, they were doing god’s work, with the backing of certain members of the legal profession. Once, parents would proudly declare that their son or daughter was a lawyer. Today they could be excused for feeling let down and even ashamed.

The same sense of entitlement to action is seen with other extreme protest groups who willingly engage in disruptive campaigns which cause real harm to the ability of our common man to go about his business and earn a living. Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil, the statue topplers… You may ask, in what world can their actions be right just because they believe it is? You have to wonder who gives such people the authority to carry out their sabotage when the police effectively stand down in their presence.

The left is intellectually lazy. In assuming without question a morally superior basis for their beliefs, they promulgate their simplistic portrayals of cruel Conservatism, of government against the people, of graft and corruption at the top, as if they would be above such human frailties. Moribund tropes about inequality wash up hard on the rocky shores of legions of underprivileged white workers who see not only no reward for their efforts but opprobrium for their skin colour. White privilege? Do us all a favour.

So, support the strikers, march through our city centres, protest all you like. But what are you achieving, other than a day out and a sense of camaraderie? Maybe this is enough, maybe you can convince yourself that you did your bit, that you are a part of the solution. Or, rather, have you just fallen for the fictions of a failed ideology, risen to the rabble-rousing rhetoric of the union blowhards?

What are you rebelling against?
What have you got?

Revolution is just not the British way; there is a reason that the Conservatives are the natural party of UK government, and while they may appear to have lost their way recently, I’m pretty certain that the perpetually enraged and warring factions of the alternatives have little to offer. The organised events of Enough is Enough are impressive in their reach, but will, I believe, achieve little as tomorrow we all go back to work and look after number one.