Wednesday 21 December 2022

Wokery explored: is it our fault for allowing thousands of years of experience-based common sense to be replaced by a decade of fanatics promoting extremism?

Wokery analysed: 

21 Dec 2022

it's a self-inflicted cultural disaster - but we don't seem willing or able to stop it...

The  Spectator's ever perspicacious Rod Liddle has been thinking a lot about Wokeness lately, and has managed to make a decent fist of nailing this quivering blob of cultural jelly to the ceiling at last. If you are not already a Spectator subscriber, then you should be... here's a sample...

"...We going through a phase in the United Kingdom where unless the Spectator is willing to freely cast its pearls of wisdom beyond its subscriber base for a while, the country may be sufficiently diminished that no one will be able to afford a subscription after the next general election. Indeed the extreme regime in place will probably send the entire Spectator staff for re-education on collective farms in the Orkneys.

And again, I remind you to familiarise yourself with Yuri Bezmanov's analysis of how the west has been slowly but certainly destroying itself from within for the past 70 years. Then this all makes perfect sense, although it does not offer a solution to put our society back on the rails.

Two very brief excerpts from Radio 4 last week. First, my wife turned on her radio in time to hear an actor in the afternoon play utter the words: ‘But Bob, you’ve been helping young disadvantaged black kids all your life!’ At which point, she turned off. Two days later I switched on my car radio and the display announced a ‘radical updating of Oliver Twist’ and I had just enough time to hear an actor say something like: ‘Quick, come quick! Babatunde has been shot in de leg by de gangs!’ before I too turned off. 

They are nothing if not psychotically obsessive at Radio 4, I think. It is worth tuning in for three seconds every few hours at random just to see what gratuitous wokery they are spraying in our direction – before switching over to something else, anything else.

People wonder where wokery has come from and those on the alt-right are often inclined to put it down to some ectoplasmic thing called ‘Cultural Marxism’. I have my grave doubts. Marx was both empirical and famously collectivist, while progressive politics is individualistic and post-rational. In the late autumn of this year I was asked by the New Culture Forum to deliver the Smith Lecture in front of a few hundred people in London and took as my topic the origins of this asinine creed, wokery. (I don’t know who Smith is, by the way. It wasn’t Adam, nor Jacqui, nor W.H. Perhaps it was named in honour of George Smith, a combative midfielder who played for Middlesbrough at the turn of the 1970s and a little later for Birmingham City.)

My conclusion was not a particularly happy or useful one. What we call wokery does not have a proper ideological base because it is incoherent and often contradictory: you would need to be on very good-quality acid to unite its various strands into a semblance of semantic order – and it still wouldn’t make sense. Instead, we have created it unwittingly, without thinking, over the past 50 or 60 years and as such only have ourselves to blame. It is, beyond all else, a creature of affluence, comfort and security: nobody in Somalia or Chad gets terribly worked up if you misgender them. The consequence, then, of cosseting.

The young generation which has taken progressive politics to its heart is the most affluent the world has ever seen, the most mollycoddled and the least at risk from warfare. Even within our society, just as in the USA, wokery has little or no purchase among the poor or the working class and instead thrives in areas populated by the wealthiest – our university cities, for example. 

Further, it is the most affluent of universities which most gladly embrace every and any woke idiocy which hoves into view: Oxford, Cambridge, Durham – not Teesside Poly. It is all a means by which the middle class can differentiate themselves from the working class and look down upon them (much as with Brexit, of course).

The rapid rise of Health and Safety is a contributory factor, its language utilised by social justice warriors on the campuses and beyond. They insist that they merely wish to be ‘safe’ by not reading Macbeth or listening to Douglas Murray give a speech. 

We might add into the mix that other growth industry, Human Resources, where the focus is always on the individual at the expense of the majority and the response to whining complainants of ‘Can’t you just get on with it?’ is no longer acceptable. Increasingly, these days, industry seems to exist to nurture individuals and cater to their whims, rather than to actually, y’know, make things

In our schools we have seen a shift away from the acquisition of knowledge towards how one feels about stuff, how one might interpret it.
This is crucial, I would suggest. It is not merely that the acquisition of knowledge is tiresome and difficult – it is that the knowledge acquired is itself part of the problem, an agency which enables white supremacy and the straight hegemony (as critical race theory has argued about maths, for example).

Further, if facts are not important – only your own truth and your lived experience – then the woke project is immune to rational analysis and empirical objections can be dismissed with an effete wave of the hand. I might add that the enormous number of pastoral care staff in schools (in my old comprehensive of 1,900 kids we had one nurse) reinforces the unfortunate notion among young people that their petty worries matter – when in fact they do not matter at all, and it would be far more instructive to let the kids know that.

There is so much more, so much that we have done to enable wokery. Our retreat from the church, for example. Where once Christianity (and particularly Protestantism) fostered a sense of self-reliance, communitarianism and the adherence to a bunch of simple and very clear strictures, that has all gone. We are now pretty much a secular society and yet we have put nothing in the place of God, be he fictional or real, that might inculcate societal norms and mores – and so everything is up for grabs and we are left with a bland moral relativism and a ‘Don’t judge me!’ mentality.

The generation which has taken these progressive politics to its heart is the most affluent ever seen.

Allied to this is the constant injunction, these days, not to stigmatise sections of society or individuals for behaviour which is both injurious to themselves and incivistic. The problem is that stigma is society’s way of regulating antisocial behaviour. 

If you remove the stigma of being, say, obese, more people will be overweight, the diminution of marriage and the reform of divorce laws, the lack of an external threat to this country and the rise of a post-rational feminism – they’re all in the mix. Truth is, we should have seen woke coming..."

Friday 9 December 2022

"Let's kill all the lawyers" - top advice from WiIliam Shakespeare:

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" 

William Shakespeare Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2

08DEC22 0v2

Internet pioneer and all-round Cassandra, Peter Dawe, has made some more observations that are just too sensible - and so will never get past the vested interests of "the system" to be able to benefit us all. But here goes anyway. . But to make anything happen, we will need to take Shakespeare's advice from Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2. "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers"

"...The UK justice system is an excellent example of how a system becomes self-toxic.

  1. The system is defined by lawyers, and the same interests run it.
  2. It is in the interest of lawyers to make the requirement for lawyer expertise in effect essential to access the system
  3. It is in the interest of lawyers to make the system ever more onerous, thus requiring ever more legal advice
  4. They make it illegal to do stuff without the advice of lawyers
  5. They make it the norm that lawyers do not give "advice", merely answer whether a particular course of action is likely to be legal or not. Thus absolving themselves of any risk or being liable
  6. They ensure that the system is not symmetrical between litigants. This ensures that the wealthy and the criminal are better represented than the poor or the victim.
  7. They demand the ability to challenge every decision through ever more tiers of justice, to keep the £ flowing.

Eventually, the system collapses. In this case, the cost of prosecution in criminal courts has become too much for the public purse to bear. However, rather than change the system, they campaign for more money to go into the court system.

And what consumer in their right mind would seek justice against a corporate? They just keep the case going until the opponent runs out of money, patience or just simply dies!

So here is an idea; a voluntary parallel justice system, where the litigants are restricted to a fraction of the value of the harm. The papers are presented to a random jury, who determine the JUSTICE of the case. (Note, not the "law"). If one of the litigants refuses to accept the judgement, they are refused the future use of the system.

Litigants can always use the legacy law system if they want...."

Far too sensible to make it past the vested interested of the "system", but well worth discussion and further development.

Recent legislation like the EU's all-encompassing GDPR law has careered out of control and created a labyrinthine set of rules and enforcement procedures that have pretty much created its own entire industry for the benefit of lawyers and paralegal rent seekers.

The Online Safety bill is another classic example of a vague idea that has been allowed to career totally out of control by activist lawyers that infest the "civil service". It sets out to address issues that are basically already covered by existing "off-line" legislation. Alex Belfield was convicted of stalking using all extant laws and process - despite no question of any physical intimidation being involved - Belfield got 5.5 years porridge as the result of a most astonishing case that is subject to appeal. Alex made no secret of anti-woke views, and this almost certainly was used against him as he foolishly conducted his own defence, in the fond belief that British Justice was all he needed. Silly boy...

And there is also now a serious attempt to legislate rude and irreverent jokes out of existence... you can probably imagine the activist ranks that have been triggered into being outraged and motivated to demand action and
establish a specific criminal offence of public sexual harassment. Hold tight...

"Consultation outcome...  The government’s response to the targeted consultation on whether there should be a criminal offence of public sexual harassment ...

How can this madness happen? Simple This government has been systematically perverted and destroyed by a determinedly subversive civil service, determined to make mischief and make governing impossible... you will recall that Dominic Cummings tried to clear out the politicized civil service that infested Whitehall and Westminster? Well, of course the "blob" quickly managed to close ranks and arrange for his entrapment and removal.

Tony Blair's regime established the "Supreme Court" - Blair and his missus were both lawyers you will recall - the Blob takes its orders from the cabal of left wing lawyers who have spent their lives gaming the system. If I was inclined to conspiracy theories

Monday 21 November 2022

The Sunak and Hunt Show: the WEF has won! 

The Sunak and Hunt Show: the WEF has won! 

WORK IN PROGRESS Draft 0.0 November 21st

I have waited for the dust to settle and the revolving doors in Downing Street to slow down. And for the markets to stabilise to show the angry Gods of the Markets have accepted the appeasement sacrifice of the UK Middle classes. And the ritual suicide of the Conservative Party.

The ugly and unwanted imposition of Sunak and Hunt has managed to alienate the heartland voters. There is deep and unreconciled fury for the hijack of the Conservative Party by Sunak/Hunt and what is widely perceived to be their WEF "influencers". The desire to find and support an alternative voice for the silenced majority is growing and will become overwhelming.

The sight of a smug remainer dishing out a punishment beating on middle England and telling us immigration is an economic necessity is borderline incendiary.

Let's open up this post by exhuming the ghost of National Fiscal Disasters Past: who remembers War Loan?

So how about this..?

What if HMG sold UK residents (only) 100m government bonds of £5k each - backed by frackable energy assets with a yield of up to 5% - in return for paying reduced rates of tax? The £500bn would be handy, and it would give a lot of people a stake in the success of fracking.

Monday 24 October 2022

Torkies vote to postone Christmas!

Torkies vote to postpone Christmas! 


First draft 12oct22 16:30

Pragmatism is the only sane option for the Conservative Party at this point. Like so much else in UK business, the job of PM has been outsourced to talent from the Sub Continent. 

The hideously white Labour Party is in a curious place, where it is absurd amounts ahead in the opinion polls, yet the Party leader and his shadow cabinet are regarded with very little enthusiasm. Indeed, they seem to be regarded as at least as much of a clown show as the Tories have been recently!

Boris has probably achieved all he could have hoped for at this point. He stepped aside in the interests of stability and unity - and avoid the privileges hassle and the inevitable market convulsions. 

He will have the satisfaction that the world will know he would have won the members' vote had he wanted to. And he will be able to charge even more on the rubber chicken speaker circuit.

Let us not forget that Boris is basically still too woke and lefty, with an unnervingly mad wife promoting  irrational green nonsense; and by now we expect that whatever happens, Boris will always have the chutzpah to be a very naughty boy. He got away with it magnificently as Mayor of "melting pot" London - but failed to realize that the job of PM was a rather more challenging one - especially where the silent majority that is the backbone of Tory support has become the silenced majority at the behest of woke media and activist millennials twittering in the marketing industry.

BUT... Somewhat ironically, the simple pragmatic reality (financial jitters) of the situation has reunified the majority of the turkey lobby fodder behind the Sunak snake. A different story in the country and with the members, of course. 

So the task now is to get the Sunak government moving forward with some engaging and thoughtful policies, so that Boris has a shot when he returns in glory for the 2024 GE. Sunak can be eased out and undone at any time by a Richie Rishi themed campaign. Since he has no need of the money, he might even be persuaded to go quietly at the perfect time - having prepared the way for Boris to come back and campaign in 2024...

The sheer indifference towards Starmer displayed in all the Vox pops we saw last week, was very surprising. Starmer is still balanced on a knife-edge in terms of KormaGate and the all round poor quality of his troops. Not to mention his knee-taking fiasco alongside the ginger growler...

However depressed Conservative MPs might be when looking at opinion polling results, they can take great comfort by recalling that their enemy may have an even bigger death wish... 

Labour leader Keir Starmer 'takes a knee' in solidarity with Black Lives  Matter protesters | Daily Mail Online 

And this is the Labour chairman of the Parliamentary Privileges committee that is due to "try" BJ for misleading the Commons ...

Duncr on Twitter: "@Nick_F3D Labour MP Chris Bryant and #expenses # underpants" / Twitter


Saturday 22 October 2022

The Great Reset is here

Surely the problem we all need to recognise is the subversion of all public servants - and their cohorts in globalist markets - that are operating the rejoin agenda? It has simply not been possible to get anything "conservative" done in the UK for over 20 years: anything from Brexit to stopping illegal migration to curtailing woke social engineering and sedition by the BBC and MSM. 

The cancel culture first explored back in the 70s by the violent animal rights movement showed social justice warriors how to intimidate. And our woefully inept (and thoroughly infiltrated) police are encouraging and supporting the demonstrators and the overall wokewashing of public service.

Somehow the Tory Party leadership was reprogrammed to believe that it was necessary to abandon the traditional silent majority of centre right opinion, in order to appease the upcoming generations of indoctrinated kids. Ironically, many aspirational immigrants come from a realistic and pragmatic world, where they are natural conservatives.

The BBC is now shameless and unfettered in its efforts to undermine absolutely anything and everything the government has tried to do. 

Look at the absurd situation in the US where a "questionably" elected geriatric has been barely coherent, but doing the bidding of the military industrial power brokers. The manipulation of pandemic measures - lockdown and fairy money - has predictably triggered global inflation which is hollowing out the middle class and devaluing its savings. 

And then there is Ukraine, Russia and China to contemplate. The subversion of the United Nations by China and WEF has left the moderate centre ground without any viable global forum and representation.

Russia and China have strong leaders who know that the UK and US are being hmstrung by corrupted media and politics that have been subverted by years of infiltration and manipulation.

Thursday 29 September 2022

Liz's Great Reset!

Strap in and hold on tight. 

 September 29th 2022 v1.2

First... a reminder of the WEF preferred version... a determined woman who annoyingly wants to get in Klaus Schwab's way...

Fingers crossed, but Liz Truss could be about to begin to fix the mess that was left unsolved in 2008 when the Great Caledonian Calamity, Gordon Brown, claimed he had saved the global economy from reckless US banking practices, moments before he resigned as PM ...and saddled the Royal Navy with £12bn  worth of aircraft carriers, aka "sitting ducks" in the age of pound-shop drones, that anyone with an AliExpress account and a soldering iron can now make. Nevertheless, they provided gainful employment for Brown's Kirkcaldy shipyard constituents for many years.

Whereas all he had done was delay the inevitable "adjustment", and do the foundation work for the WEF (Davos/Bilderberg/Schwab) to manoeuvre into position and exploit the opportunity created by the wreckless behaviour of US politicians and banks - which became referred to as "the Great Reset".  Russell Brand got fully on board with his brand of irreverent (if not completely fearless) analysis at this time...


This reset has since been talked about by all manner of easily duped, including King Charlie , endowed with wholly delusional remedial qualities that would be "good for us" - although they were always going to be far better for the globalist agenda.

The long period of ultra low interest rates has suited the major financial institutions and big companies like BlackRock and Vanguard - all the fanboys of the WEF. Rates like 0.2% are an aberration, when all traditional economics suggested an inflation rate of 2-3 percent is required to keep markets honest.

It has penalized smaller savers and driven investment in volatile stock markets and companies whose values have been pumped up way beyond traditional and rational analysis. GBNews' Liam Hannigan is one of the few financial journalists that can be relied on to talk sense and not immediately contradict himself when the wind changes.

This piece in Telegraph is the best analysis we have seen. Allister Heath begins.

"For the past 25 years, and especially since the financial crisis, the global economy has taken a disastrous wrong turn for which we are about to pay a hideous price. In one of the gravest intellectual errors since communism, many of the world’s cleverest people thought they had discovered the secret to perpetual prosperity. Forget about hard work, deferred gratification, tackling post-industrial wastelands or actually earning one’s keep by creating, building and exporting: there was an easier way.

Cheered on by politicians, central banks kept interest rates low, favoured borrowers over savers, printed money with abandon and engineered an artificial boom in house prices, tech firm stocks, crypto-currencies, bond markets, art and more. This ersatz “wealth” was meant to encourage spending and investment, the tax receipts would fund a generous welfare state, low rates would allow rising government debt, and there would be no need for difficult conversations on ageing, science, tax, competitiveness, incentives or productivity.

Yet it was a Potemkin economy, a facade, a con. Much of the “growth” and wealth weren’t real. The UK was stagnating, not booming. House prices “enriched” the haves while infuriating the have-nots. It was a bubble at best, and a Ponzi scheme at worst, keeping zombie projects alive and fuelling obscene malinvestment. Edward Chancellor’s The Price of Time is a brilliant primer on this tragedy.

This madcap experiment is now ending, killed off by a money printing overdose from Covid, the supply-side dislocation that accompanied the virus and the attempt to put the economy into a coma, and Putin’s war, all of which sent consumer prices rocketing. The necessary transition from cheap to rational money will be traumatic and could trigger a vicious global recession, higher unemployment and bankruptcies. Long-term mortgages are already at 7.1 per cent in America as the old order crumbles, and financial markets are in turmoil worldwide.

This is the context for the punishment beating meted out to Britain. The readjustment that every other country will also undertake – especially much higher borrowing costs – has taken place in accelerated form in the UK, triggered by the financial markets’ ridiculous reaction to the Budget. The pound has fallen disproportionately. Some pension funds were caught out, forcing the Bank of England to intervene."

Heath manages to put the febrile situation into a perspective that is not being discussed by the BBC and other mainstream media, whose agenda since Brexit has been to bring the government down and replace it with one that will re-apply for EU membership. But poor Allister has been mauled by the usual Twitter sheep with reduced attention spans, who are incapable of analysis beyond a handful of trigger words. Although "casting pearls before swine" also works.

Now check out this Redacted YouTube posting. These folks can be a bit excitable, but it is covering what Russia is doing in the Ukraine while the rest of our media appears to be too desperate to bring down the government to pay attention. Their analysis suggesting that Russia was not responsible for Nord Stream destruction makes a change from the EU presumption that it was Russia wot did it. But for the EU to contemplate that anyone but Russia might have done it would raise so many other questions about this turf war between mafia families that would need to be addressed.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party has been quiet about rejoining the EU, but it is going to be back on the agenda once its many closet Europhiles feel they are unassailable, and the opinion polls suggesting popular support amongst voters panicking and seeking safety in numbers. Discreet discussions between Labour and Brussels are gathering pace - they never stopped...

The IMF is the provisional wing of the Klaus Schwab WEF, and will do its best to destabilize the Truss government, which has basically declared war on the WEF ethos and narrative - including a move to question the validity of the headlong pursuit of "Net Zero".  Jacob Rees Mogg has confirmed that it makes sense for the UK to develop and exploit its own fossil fuel energy as part of the overall drive for energy independence.  Those who have seen through the WEF as it has become progressively more unhinged with its declaration that "you'll own nothing, and be happy" are hoping Liz will keep her nerve.  

The plunge into EV world also needs to be rethought as owners suffer range anxiety with poor charger support, and find out that makers are taking big brother liberties with the ability to remotely control vehicles. BMW and Porsche (at least) are charging owners to reinstate features controlled by software that get removed during software upgrades. Plus the realisation that every move they make (including speed) is being logged and reported to High Command.

Will Liz Truss have the nerve to call out the subversive influence of WEF illuminati with their pandemic and climate misdirections?  These are undeniably at the root of the present financial crisis... coupled to the arrival of an easily manipulated geriatric at the Whitehouse?  Is Net Zero the result of Russian funded useful fools?

As an increasing number of people become awakened to the inconsistencies of this situation, with "awake" commentators like Russell Brand and Joe Rogan observing and challenging the contradictions... is there hope that Liz might double down and announce that the climate debate has been hijacked by well-intentioned but misguided folks who have been programmed with a "carbon" obsession, when it is difficult to sustain an argument that the UK should freeze in poverty because it contributes 1% pa of the CO2 that makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere. Yes, that's 1% of 0.04%.

(Chief Secretary to the Treasury) Chris Philp's touching ingénue honesty is endearing and apparent. He might be in the right job at last. In the wake of JRM, he actually said the UK would be increasing oil and gas exploration and production, at last. 

It seems that BBC has been told to bring down the government as fast as possible, as there is a danger that Liz & Co will be able to explain their cunning plan and and in the process, undermine and expose the indoctrinated WEF countries who will inevitably suffer even worse consequences for not acting. Germans are becoming aware...

' Germany's future looks bleak due to war-based sanctions and an energy crisis. Germans continue to protest  - but will it do any good? We ask academic researcher Ralph Schoelhammer what we can expect from Germany and what he calls "incompetent politicians." '


Meanwhile, I have a friend who has been trapped near Kiev in Ukraine since the start of the war, with a severe neck injury that means he can't travel long distances - and this is his latest update...

"Making progress albeit slow thanks.  Left leg is working better but left hand is still pretty much get muscle exhaustion.  Anyway, at least I can see a consultant on the same day and if I need tests or to see another consultant, that happens there and a country that is at war.  The NHS could learn a lot..."

Sunday 28 August 2022

Peter Dawe: Globally Distributed Misery

The Globalised Hunger of 2022

28AUG22 0v1 A Guest Post from Peter Dawe

Peter is someone who has always put his money where his mouth is. He made his bone as an internet pioneer with Unipalm Pipex back in the day, and has then done his best to read the crystal ball of the future that the internet he enabled - and spell out the consequences and dangers. He accurately predicted the food crisis (from long before the Ukraine invasion)

"Globalisation means that resources can move easily across the world. While supply exceeded demand, the “rising tide” lifted all boats. Poverty was in retreat, in spite of the increasing population. This free movement, also allowed the “Just-in Time” method of minimising short term costs. However from around 2019, the balance of supply and demand shifted due to: climate change, unsustainable exploitation of resources, population growth and their appetite for a better life. This caused a global chronic slow-burn crisis. The “Ebbing Tide” is rapidly stranding many “boats”. Layered on to this chronic crisis, we then had two further crises (“tsunamis” if you will ), Covid and the Ukraine war.

Historically, a local food crisis, was local, and neighbours, and the world beyond, would eventually respond with aid, offer refuge and seek to mitigate the crisis. The Globalised Hunger of 2022, is very different! Globalisation is distributing the crisis across the world. The poor in every country across the world are suffering.

How will governments respond to this new situation?

Across the media in every country, there is the demand that “The government should do something”. However, as a global crisis, they are powerless. A government cannot magic non-existent resources into being. All government can do are :-

  • “Beggar their neighbours“ in seeking to get their countries share of resources at the expense of others
  • Allocate these resources within their jurisdiction.
  • Ignore the deprivations of other countries

Beggar their neighbours

The typical first response is to restrict the export of any food and energy resources. We have seen this over the last few years, with bans on the export of palm oil, wheat, and many other staples across the world.

Another response is, if you have the currency, to buy up whatever resources are available on the international market. E.g. Germany is buying all the LNG it can lay its hands on.

A third, again if you have the currency, is to build strategic stocks, which of course increases the scarcity of that resource for everyone else!

Fourth, is to use political and military power to divert resources to your country. Arguably the reason for a number of recent wars.

Resource allocation

So far, the “Market Democracies” have allowed the market to continue operating, with only limited government intervention. In the UK, the Energy Regulator has simply caused many small energy companies to go to the wall, and then subsidised the larger companies who are “too big to fail”. The exchequer has been pumping money into the economy, apparently in the hope it will some how magic more resources.

With rapidly rising inflation, the economy also becomes a market where the strongest enjoy maintaining their share, with the consequence that the weakest suffer more. It was no surprise that the early strikers were in the essential logistics sector. - Trains, Post, Ports, Refuse.

During the similar global crises of the two World Wars, the UK government rapidly implemented central control of resource allocation and used rationing to ensure everyone “suffered” the deprivations equally. (Or at least as far as they could)

Perverse policies

The “Market” is a good mechanism for incrementally finding a local maximum for productivity. However, it is useless at resource allocation when the parameters change dramatically.

  • With energy prices going up faster than food prices, the use of food-for-fuel, converting cereals to alcohol, veg oil to diesel and other crops to methane in anaerobic digesters, becomes MORE attractive.
  • One of the biggest uses for Natural Gas is the manufacture of Nitrogenous fertiliser. Governments in Europe are failing to prioritise fertiliser over other uses, (particularly consumer energy use). While this will improve the situation in the winter of 2022, the consequence on global food productivity in the 2022/2023 will be catastrophic. The UN’s World Food Programme, is already warning that the 2022/2023 yields will be significantly down.
  • Food production has time delays. Arable crops are typically annual, as are dairy, lamb and pigs. Chickens are 12 weeks but beef takes 30 months. While one can rapidly reduce production through slaughter, rebuilding breeding stocks can take years. In the UK, and many other countries, the meat, dairy and egg sectors have massively contracted in 2022. Mainly due to the uncertainty of selling prices, when their input costs have in most cases doubled or trebled. And the vegetable sector is not immune either, heated greenhouses that supplied year-round salads etc. have all been mothballed, as the heating costs make their use uneconomic. As we found after the Covid lock-downs, rebooting mothballed sectors is neither easy or fast!

The inevitable policy

The consumption of the population needs to match the resources available. With a massive lowering of global productivity, this means everyone's living standard has to drop. Eventually, governments will have to centralize resource allocation, and implement rationing. This will be the only way to ensure everyone gets enough.

If the situation is allowed to get out of hand, extremist “Social Entrepreneurs” will rise, through scapegoating of some unfortunate group.

Note: I’ve tried to make this paper apply to any country, however I am aware that I only have experience of the UK, and have used UK and EU examples. Not all countries fit this model, the US, Russia and China in particular.

Here we go: four meals away from anarchy...

4 missed meals... then anarchy...

update 28aug22 v0.4

The energy/food/inflation crisis is MUCH more serious than the dubious diversions of Covid or climate. There WILL be civil disorder!  As MI5 once so poignantly observed, Britain is just four square meals away from anarchy. And the realization of savings being devalued (a euphemism for theft by government) by inflation will dawn rather more gradually.

We must mobilize effort on solutions in the same way a vaccine was conjured in a fraction of the usual time? Frack/ coal/nuke/ fusion/hydrogen... and also "control" internet access with transparency and common-sense. 

Let people understand when they are being ghosted and why. The present situation where idiot social media employees try to invoke arcane and misguided policies with opaque inconsistency is only going to continue to foment trouble, and we WILL have to sell the need for genuine old-fashioned "greater good" wartime censorship.

It could be that Covid and climate change have been dress rehearsals with social and mainstream media to refine the process by which the government can muzzle the dissent and debate, when the sh1t really hits the fan.

Boris and Trump have both been hounded out by media manipulation because they represent exactly the type of charismatic popular leadership that the WEF wants to be silenced and replaced with compliant protégés like Trudeau and Mark Rutte (Netherlands) before we are plunged ever deeper into the absurd contradictions coming to try and justify the great reset ahead. Look at the huge effort to spin up trivia in a concerted effort to justify the towering hypocrisy of Pelosi and Starmer. Meanwhile, in China...

Sleight of media: what is going on in China?

"China just experienced its first wave of bank runs, triggered by frozen deposits in online accounts worth 40 billion yuan ($6 billion) and affecting 400,000 depositors. The scattered runs on small banks in central Chinese towns are not singular events but the precursor of a nationwide reshuffle of small and medium-sized banks (SMBs). Social media virality and dramatic stories of losses and protests are shaking savers’ trust in SMBs, presenting an urgent challenge to China’s banking regulators. China is fighting a war on multiple fronts against financial insecurity right now, from dubious online investment schemes to an ongoing property crisis. Preventing potential financial contagion and social unrest triggered by runs on small banks is a battle that Chinese regulators and policymakers have to win.

The recent bank runs started from three rural village and town banks (VTBs) in Henan province. Three more runs on VTBs happened within a month, including two in neighboring Anhui province. Five of the six troubled VTBs have the same major shareholder bank, Xuchang Rural Commercial Bank. Not being able to withdraw their life savings has led to protests by depositors, triggered panic over the solvency of small banks, and increased the nationwide risk of runs on small banks. 

More ..

I struggle to understand the endless news coverage and surprise being expressed that Salman Rushdie has been attacked after years and years of venal threats from the mad mullahs of Iran. The usual WEF friendly world leaders have been queueing up to praise Rushdie for refusing to be intimidated in his pursuit of freedom of expression. 

The same world leaders that stand idly by and watch countries like Canada,France, Italy and Holland abusing their citizens over rather less contentious issues, such as a desire to stay in the business of farming, and not be stamped out, on the basis of an increasingly dubious climate hypothesis. And at a time when shortages of basic food are in the headlines, as war and drought ravages the fields of Europe.

China's heat and drought has led to shutdowns of manufacturing, and possibly helps explain the continuation of the zero covid policy although the rest of the world seem to have decided it's been something of a disaster. But it means the government can effectively close down large areas of the country by strategically planting a few covid cases, and then blame those for locking diwn the population.

But why is the liberal elite mainstream media deflecting attention from what's going on in China? The alternative news on telegram (always take with a pinch of salt) is saying the Chinese economy is in freefall... 

"China's entire economy is about to collapse. But the thing is, this banking crash and financial crisis going on in China right now is hardly being talked about at all. And the story is just plain weird, in so many ways.

"...Slaughtering one sacred cow after another, Xi has destroyed profitable industries with a word, shut down major cities for months at a time, and sought to cut China off from international markets. Analysts have often portrayed these moves as blunders that open Xi up to challenges from within the party. Yet it is time to embrace the reality that Xi prefers it this way. His vision for maintaining stability calls for extreme political and ideological control, and he is more than willing to sacrifice economic progress to achieve it....

China’s potential banking system bankruptcies and inability to pay funds to customers has already started spilling out into the West. And if China’s economy falls, things could get much worse for us all."

And this story is also edging into more mainstream publications but not the TV news. What was the point of sending the increasingly unstable Nancy Pelosi to poke the Chinese dragon in the eye, and instigate a considerable military response, ended intimidating Taiwan and the rest of the world?

There's nothing like an offshore military adventure to take the minds of the disgruntled folks back home off an awkward economy (rewind to 1982, and ask the blessed Margaret Hilda).

However you look at China, you must conclude that it is a big problem that is not going to go away. Not least because of all the money owed to it by the United States and others and, the fact that it controls manufacturing and has probably intercepted and warehoused detailed data on just about every user on the internet, anywhere.

China's "soft" invasion of Commonwealth countries and threats to Australia also need to be taken seriously!

Elon Musk should be tasked with using his is astonishingly effectivy skilled manufacturing organisation to build semiconductor fabrication plants in the US. After all the evidence of many centuries, brought into sharp relief over just the past year, that foreign governments (understandably) cannot be trusted to look after any but their own interests, it must be an obvious precaution to eliminate all critical dependency on anyone beyond the borders you own and control.

So is manufacturing now at a level of automation that the robots can be reprogrammed overnight to turn out just about anything? 

// Work in progress //

Saturday 30 July 2022

the cellphone tyranny

0v6 10aug22

It's 1984 in 2022.

We are sleep-walking into another unimaginable "end of times" disaster.  There is a full scale 1984 cellphone dystopia in 2022!

The unchallenged spread of Bluetooth monitoring in applications like health tracking and integrated transport is promoted by BBC Click (Genoa example) as some sort of wonderfully aspirational future. 

But what happens when the phone - now the indispensable fulcrum for any lifestyle - does not work? For any reason, and boy there are plenty of reasons. Including some less obvious reasons such as a solar flare (nature's own EMP) that destroys sensitive electronic equipment in space, and on the earth's surface.

In fact, that phones appear to work as well as they do when you consider the chain of consequences and complexity involved, is nothing short of a miracle.

We have created a society with a single point of failure and the means of absolute remote control coupled to a complete invasion of privacy would impress the most brutal communist dictatorship. If you think the quietly accumulated energy dependency on Russia has leapt out of the shadows and bitten us on the arse, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Phone networks are notoriously awful to deal with when there is a problem - when everything is working. Any battle with the online and call centre interface to your account is going to leave you drained and suffering from palpitations at the very least. Your phone will have accumulated many applications including identification and financial that can take a long time to arrange and configure in perfect circumstances. And even if you think you have some form of backup available, it is only at the behest of many factors far beyond your control and ability to influence.

Incredibly, the replacement of cash by all forms of electronic money is assumed to be a good thing, without any mention of the dystopian downsides. Good for who? Not you...

Have we all been taken in and gone mad, and been swept along? Emphatically yes!

Who (apart from Donald Trump!) was watching the ease with which an almost entirely unquestioned hypothesis had become the basis of a 1984-like imposition of attitudes and controls on all society, that led directly to Russia's overnight control of the World economy.

And now we are told to expect the very real possibility that electricity shortage will lead to brownouts and power cuts.

At least in this country is it still just possible to exist without a cell phone, but not for much longer.

Is there anyone in government that has a clue? The pace of technology development is so far in advance of the ability of any legislative process to keep up, that most politicians gave up some time ago, and struck backroom deals with the new power brokers. Is the best we can now hope for a benevolent dictatorship, as the Great Reset, designed and delivered by Klaus Schwab and the Marxist WEF becomes ever more inevitable?

But it’s far too late to break free from the tyranny of the cellphone. We’ve gone too far down on our path towards self-destruction. And we knew very well what we were doing. And we still keep doing it because it is so perversely enjoyable. Addiction doesn't begin to describe the state of the relationship between smartphone and humanity.

We want to be the slaves of the cellphone because we can watch TikTok and YouTube on it. And we can dump and share our thoughts in posts like this one, to titillate our egos and amuse our ever shortening attention span, enjoying our journey to hell while clutching our iPhones in our dying hands, trying to protect till the last moment their LCD screens from scratching... and desperately trying to find the last working USB port for just one more charge. 

No doubt, the first and last nukes of WW3 shall be launched by typing a code on someone’s cellphone. And following that, a direction to the nearest fall-out shelter will automatically pop up on the screen as your location, accurate to the nearest 5m, is dutifully fed back to a data silo somewhere in Russia, Israel, and China.  The luckiest of us will no longer see it.

All hail Klaus Schwab and the WEF...

But is there a tiny ray of hope emerging? An anti smartphone revolution appears to be gathering pace, as phone slaves rebel against the tyranny of the smartphone and embrace a simpler lifestyle.

Another video describing the worst cell phone mistakes in history from the same source, makes very entertaining viewing...

Friday 29 July 2022

Commonwealth Games 2022

30jul22 0v9 work in progress

WORK IN PROGRESS  - this will be continuously updated and links added . When I am happy I have reached basecamp, I will declare version 1.0. I will be using external links in the way Tim Berners Lee intended at the start of the web, but that has now become much less popular with site creators who want to cling jealously to their visitors, and not risk sending them away down a "competitive" rabbit hole.

I'm not sure what was more excruciating about the BBC coverage of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony - the contrived storyline - or the enthusiasm of the BBC commentary to explain the obtuse and embarrassing symbolism. 

It was bigoted, racist, presumptive, intolerant. It was a carefully assembled barrage of biased propaganda. An insulting celebration of discrimination, delusion, and dysfunction. But an appropriate swansong for Nadine Dorries' time as Culture Secretary at DCMS and her boss - who has tolerated and protected rampant incompetence and the steady erosion of British culture at the hands of the liberal elite "blob" that drives the BBC and other mainstream media, Whitehall and Westminster.

How many times have we been told that there are more medals for women's events than men this time? I don't think we have heard anyone explain which events these represent. Did the organizing committee sneak in flower arranging and embroidery? OK, OK ... I can hear the howls of indignation! Unlike the BBC, I am eager to make fun of this ludicrous carnival of the absurd ... and read the room.
Knitting is of course now famously the province of Tom Daley, whose absence from competition was explained by his decision to spend a year out with his husband and son. But Tom was still given a platform to promote LGBT activism, to shame the half of the Commonwealth that is still to decriminalise homosexuality. 

Of course, no representatives of any country - mostly elected democracies - were given an opportunity to explain why they choose to support their traditional family and religious values. 

And what's to stop the winner of an event declaring a sudden gender change as they step up to the podium, in diverse, inclusive, liberated and enlightened Birmingham?

The fact that shooting sports were dropped from these games was not mentioned, although of course Birmingham was the centre of British arms manufacturer for centuries and the BSA company is an acronym of Birmingham Small Arms.

But guns are nasty, violent noisy things. Not the sort of things sensitive woke warriors would want to be associated with. So in defiance of tradition since introduction in1966 - when they were not segregated by gender (!) - they should not now be allowed as sporting events, but reserved for the streets outside, where Birmingham gang and gun culture is alive and well....

The  takeover of British culture by unelected liberal elites that have comprehensively taken control of the BBC, C4, advertising, marketing and the Arts and education establishments to brainwash generations of kids and replace all critical functions with programmed submission to the "narrative|", is complete. 

The BBC's determination to promote and perpetuate the fear of fossil-based climate change featured during the process, the fact it remains a disputed hypothesis was  of course not mentioned; a folly that has handed control of the global economy to despot dictators that control essential fossil energy.

And there is now no one left that is willing and able to step back and question just what dangerous nonsense that the BBC is eager to propagate. Nadine Dorries has been an inept disaster in charge at DCMS.

Adding financial injury to cultural insult, these games are allocated £800m of public money - that's around £80 million a day.

The failure of Boris to arrange a government that could get any sort of grip on this corrosive process, means he has allowed the cabal of vociferous minorities to take charge of the UK through a process of subversion carried out in plain sight.

The net result is we are now engaged in an energy crisis that affects absolutely every aspect of life, and that can only be resolved by equipping the Ukraine army to defeat Russia and pray that Putin is replaced by a more reasonable leader that might allow Europe to survive the coming winter, before he nukes us.

The very ultimate irony appears to be that a significant proportion of the people would prefer the dilettante who has presided over this shocking state of affairs for the last few years should remain as leader, since the alternatives are looking so unimpressive.

You could not make it up.

You don't have to watch, but it's a good way to recharge your outrage and indignation at the way the "blob" and BBC in particular has taken charge of the social agenda, and driven us all off a cliff into the abyss of mediocrity. There must surely soon be a big effort to create an alternative political party in this country now that the "common sense conservative silent majority" has no representation.

Thursday 28 July 2022

Ukraine - the Inconvenient Truths...

It's better to be lucky than good... (contd)

Updates July 30th 2022  V010 WORK IN PROGRESS - Please submit edits and suggestions at any time

This is NOT a Russian bot or propganda post, but an effort to wind back this misinformation and presumpotion and balance the reporting of Putin's psychotic folly in Ukraine ... and the reality of Zelensky's brilliant PR and imagery. Nothing is ever quite what it seems.

This analysis is from "our own correspondant" - a Czech expat with extensive connections with and experience of "cold war" Europe. Everything is based on verifiable facts; some dots are joined with extrapolation triggered by numerous flashing red controls of inbuilt BS detectors, finely tuned by years of practical experience living under a wide range of political regimes. 

There is uneasiness about the situation in Ukraine - it has never seemed quite as clear cut as many wanted to make it seem - which was based on the demonisation of Putin and Russia and barely questioned beatification of Zelensky & Co. So then...

Zelensky was elected based on his promise of:
1 fixing up the Ukrainian economy by getting rid of corruption;
2 sorting out the disputes with Russians;
3 popularity as a TV comedian and a star of a show where he plays a good guy, a brave reformist president.

Rivers | Copyright 2022 Cagle Cartoons

His approval rating when elected was over 70%. This soon dropped to over 20% as disillusion set in, when it became obvious that none of the promises were kept. The nation started to realize that instead of one corrupt oligarch, it now had an inept corrupt would-be oligarch in place, especially when Zelensky’s name appeared in the Pandora Papers. It became public knowledge that Zelensky owns (via offshore trusts) three significant luxury properties in London, which he absolutely would not be able to afford given his income as a comedian and a president.

But the clock was ticking for Zelensky. The opposition party was starting to give him a hard time. From the other side, the hardline nationalists did not take him seriously when he travelled to Mariupol to try to persuade them to stop shelling Donbas. In fact, they laughed at him as being “gay”, referring to some of his earlier comedic shows where he was dressed up in leather garb and high-heel shoes. 


At the same time, the Russians grew increasingly upset about Ukraine not adhering to the Minsk Accords, a set of agreements brokered by France and Germany, designed to sort out the unrest between the ethnic Russian minority in the east and south and ethnic Ukrainians in the west and north. He might in fact have earnestly tried to ease the tensions, but the nationalist leaders consisted mostly of hardcore football fans with swastikas tattooed on their arms who had no time for a Jewish boy in high heels.

As if this was not enough, he had the CIA on his hands, those nice lads who organized the Orange Revolution in 2014 when a democratically elected government (but, sadly, pro-Russian) was deposed with a little help from snipers provocateurs from nationalist militias. The president of Ukraine at that time was Viktor Yanukovich, who was a successor to Victor Yushchenko, famous for having had an attempt at his life by poisoning with the same chemical that was used in Agent Orange.

Interesting, he was also a governor of the Donbass region. He was replaced by an oligarch by the name of Poroshenko (Zelensky’s predecessor) who was in bed with the nationalists. One of his noble deeds was to proclaim a guy by the name of Stefan Bandera a national hero of Ukraine. Bandera was leader of a terrorist organization who fought on the German side in WW2 and even after the war terrorized the local population of Poland, eastern Czechoslovakia and the western parts of the Soviet Union, killing about 50,000 civilians for no other purpose but to cause civil unrest in order to destabilize the postwar order. BTW, my late father, who was drafted to the Czechoslovak military in the early 50s told me some stories from the times they were sweeping the forests in search for the Banderilleros. They were renown for their cruelty. But I digress…

CIA continued operations in Ukraine after the coup, training the nationalists under various banners, most famously the Azov Batallion, whose insignia contain unmistakable German Nazi symbols (which, btw, were removed only recently, approx 3 weeks ago). 

The existing bio labs from the Soviet era have been repurposed for military purpose of NATO. Under CIA oversight, NATO became openly involved in supplying the Ukrainian army with weapons and training, with an openly stated aim of eastward expansion.

The so-called Azov Batallion is the largest of nationalist militias and used to operate independently, although openly armed and trained in the west, most famously by Canada, where Ukrainian operatives with Nazi symbols of the Azov Batallion on their camo uniforms have been photographed alongside regular Canadian special forces. It was absorbed into a regular Ukrainian army prior to Russian invasion. Interestingly, there was a “retired” Canadian general who was amongst the captured fighters from the Azov steel factory in Mariupol. He is now in jail in Russia, probably awaiting a Putin’s show trial after his victory.

Azov made little effort to play nice ... a video from 2018 that cannot be embedded:-

 And the youth camps...

Against this backdrop, Zelensky started to feel rather cornered. With Nazis at his throat at home, Russians getting increasingly frantic (over 15,000 Donbass Russians killed by Azov Batallion’s shelling) and CIA’s arm-twisting, he was facing a growing unrest by his own population, the very people who voted him in.

But Ukraine still had some good assets: plenty of gas, some oil, solid industrial base from Soviet times (including a factory making the world’s largest transport aircraft - originally designed to transport the Soviet space shuttle, a project abruptly discontinued after the collapse of the Soviet Union), and of course enormous, sprawling, fertile fields capable of feeding the world with quality grain.

A perfect base for prosperity of the largest country in Europe, populated by mere 40 mil people. But, sadly, also a perfect base for high-flying international scoundrels. In the absence of solid governance, made possible by the population’s zero historical experience with democracy and lack of quality leaders, the country has become a haven for all that is wrong and evil of contemporary western elite. The news that all the country riches are up to grabs have spread like a wildfire.

The vultures started circling in, high-flying thieves taking working holidays in Kiev, departing with lucrative “deals” involving selling favours. Sex tourists taking advantage of impoverished, unhappy population and beautiful Slavic girls. For example, Hunter Biden who had no prior experience in running companies, nor any education in the energy field, nor any knowledge or association with Ukraine, was appointed a director of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas producing company, with a salary of $1mil a year. The sole reason was the fact that his father was then vice-president in the Obama administration. The reason for his employment was obviously in order for this company to have access to the US policy making. It is difficult to determine what kind of effect this access could have been and how it might have affected US energy self-sufficiency - that’s beside the main point.

In addition to becoming an Eldorado for white-collar shady deals, Ukraine has also become Europe’s largest black market for weapons, many of which ending up in the world’s hotspots and arming terrorists everywhere with modern weapons courtesy old Soviet stockpiles in combination with modern NATO armaments.

The pressure on Zelensky was enormous.

With time running out before being deposed and possibly tried for corruption, Zelensky had to act to save himself. As an interim measure, he had the leader of the opposition party arrested, and the last independent media closed down, including two television stations.

This did not stop the widening divisions in the nation, exacerbated by a law discriminating against the use of Russian language, the vast majority language of Donbass and Crimea, and spoken by 30% of Ukrainians, including Zelensky himself. The law was enacted by parliament still controlled by adherents of Zelensky’s predecessor, Poroshenko. Zelensky was against this, but did not have enough power to overturn it. (He’d probably get killed if he tried, anyway; the Ukrainian neo-Nazis don’t muck around.)

Zalensky found himself alone, cornered, likely to be either deposed by force or in the next election. If that happened, he would be facing jail, and he could kiss goodbye his luxury real estate in London and all the trappings of high-class living, including shopping at Harrods, having suits made at Saville Row and rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous. He knew he was about to lose all that if he did not act soon.

Meanwhile, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has been having different kinds of problems, a result of numerous personal scandals and substandard governance, alienating him from the UK population, worn out by the covid epidemics and its aftermath. He, too, was looking for a miracle solution to save his political career and moral standing as a person. That would be unacceptable for Boris and any other self-respecting narcissist. Having written a book about the life of Winston Churchill, Boris dreamt about being just like his personal hero: the celebrated saviour of the free world! But instead, he was facing ignominy. Time was running out and the Partygate affair brought this to light.

So what did he do? What did *they* do? I am sure you know where this is heading.

The ultimate mutual admiration society 

Marking each other's homework?

There could hardly have been a better example of alignment of personal interests than that of Volodomyr Zelensky and Boris Johnson. How exactly they managed to find each other is unclear; but when they did, they moved fast and solved all their problems in one major sweep. A plan so daring, yet so simple and so unassailable. And while it involved playing with fire, it was actually safer than doing nothing, provided it was carefully managed. 
So here was the plan:

1 Zelensky’s role (after all, he was a skilled and experienced actor famous for his impersonation of a heroic president) was to provide a war that would provide sufficient distraction from domestic problems, for both partners.

2 Johnson’s role was to provide quality PR and material support for the operation, as well as British passports for Zelensky and his family so he could go to London to enjoy the lifestyle of a war hero and champion of democracy, Churchill style.

The war was triggered by pushing the Russians over a tolerance limit. They were almost there by a fine margin, watching the domestic situation in Ukraine evolving beyond control. Zelensky knew exactly where the red line was. He started to grow a beard in preparation, amassed a large army at Donbass border and spoke loudly about the need of Ukraine joining NATO, including placement of nuclear weapons in Ukraine territory, a sacred right of an independent country.

This was a major red flag for the Russians. Remember what Kennedy did when the Russians wanted to place missiles in Cuba. Would the US tolerate their adversary having nukes in Mexico?

Predictably, Russians invaded Ukraine. Overnight, Zelensky changed into sexy camouflage outfit and showed the world his new persona of a heroic wartime president, his best lifetime role, this time on the world stage.

Having gullible western politicians, the useful idiots du jour, giving him standing ovations in all western parliaments must have been an exhilarating experience by for Zelensky. But how about the pesky opposition at home? The opposition party, the second largest in parliament, demanded negotiations with the Russians. This, by the way, was the same party that demanded that the Minsk peace accords that Ukraine signed under the patronage of the Germans and the French be honoured - obviously this must have been a treasonous act by Ukrainian standards.) The leader of the party was already arrested, now the party itself was banned and all their assets confiscated.

(Interestingly, in her recent speech, Ursula van Leyen waxed lyrical about the Ukrainian heroic fight for democracy and the need to support it. That really should come as no surprise, given that Ursula herself was not democratically elected by the people of EU. Obviously, that’s not how democracy is supposed to work).

The plan worked perfectly. There is no chance of an enquiry to Zelensky’s financial affairs. His popularity at home is surging. They might yet erect some statues for him and name some streets or towns after him.

Johnson has survived his Partygate scandal and shaped himself into a Churchill-style wartime prime minister, saviour of the free world. (Somewhat less persuasively than Zelensky, but not a bad act for a budding actor.) And never mind that the free world was never really threatened. The gullible population of the UK and EU, looking for an outlet for their pent-up anger for Covid and economic mismanagement, got their whipping boy: Putin and the Russkies. And immediately started to experience the uplifting warm glow of belonging to the masses, suddenly re-united by a shared hatred. This will be especially useful to prevent or deflect social unrest in winter when the energy crisis properly kicks in.

Meanwhile, Putin was paying attention, and has managed to manipulate the sanction-spanking, to wage economic war on Europe and the whole world. The West's own goal? As a result, the price of energy has skyrocketed and Russian exporters are facing a windfall in revenue. He had cut off Russia from western banking system, so that the west is now facing unprecedented inflation while the rouble is surging to an all-time high, backed by gold holdings that he has so patiently amassed over the years and that he now can’t export even if he wanted to, because of recent western ban on gold imports from Russia. The sanctions must be really hard on Russia, considering that Argentina and Iran now want to join Russia, China and India dominated BRICS, and India is laughing all the way to the bank, basking in the warm glow of burning cheap Russian oil and gas, as well as reselling it to the stupid EU at a great margin.

And meanwhile, Ukrainians (and Russians) are being killed in a useless, unnecessary war, and the country is being destroyed. The country shall be eventually rebuilt, with much fanfare, with your taxes. Numerous monuments and memorials shall be built to the many thousands of people who had to die to save the careers of two politicians with hugely questionable motives and morality.

PS and oh, I forgot to mention the windfall profits of the mostly US defence industry, which had been looking for a good war to fix up their dwindling profits, a hangover of Trump’s irritating peace-making era. With half of the US congress owning stocks in defence companies, waging a nice proxy war in a distant land, is a win-win situation.

So where does this go from here..?

None of this excuses Putin's army's crude beligerence and cold war mentality that betrays a lack of training and skill as much as murderous intent. The low quality of leadership that clearly misled Putin into thinking it would all be over by tea time with an innings and days to spare is one of the key reasons it all got out of hand.

But the stupidity of everyone that piled in without doing even the most basic background checks will become legendary in history books. In the early days when Zelensky paraded a thunderflash "attack" on a nuclear plant as an artillery bombardment and thereby an urgent reason for NATO's immediate involvement, the Pentagon (watching from satellites) discreetly warned us not to beleive everything we were being told in the fog of war.

Given the stakes and the enormity of the propaganda efforts, we are now struggling to believe anything anyone says. At times, the whole affair seems awkwardly like a mafia turf war... is anyone going to make an offer that can't be refused?

As of July 8th, the immediate consequences of the departure of Boris Johnson as PM are not apparent. But Germany is having an outbreak of pragmatism as various green taboos are being revisited. The attacks on ammunition and fual dumps on Russian border territiory are intensifying and very accurate - and with Boris gone, as Zelensky's most vocal and determiend supporter, the way is clearing for a compromise that ends up with Russian oil and gas again keeping the EU economy afloat. Maybe Macron will resume his cosy phone chats with Putin?

July 30th  and Sky News update

 Sky News host Cory Bernardi says “everything we are told” about the Russia-Ukraine conflict should be taken “with a huge dose of salt”. Bernardi sticks his neck out and risks trial by media and various forms of "cancellation" (- as do I!)

But the West has been compromised by its own foolish reliance on Russian energy, and there is no rapid way out of the economic crisis other than giving Ukraine the weapons and suppoort to defeat Russia an humiliate Putin out of office = and pray that we don't get nuked -  and that Putin's successor has pleanty of property and financial interests in London, and the blast zone. in progress

Wednesday 27 July 2022

Online safety: it's very complicated

Online safety 28jul22. Ov1
Work in progress!

The UK government has been struggling with this concept for some time now, and continues to struggle with the original draft bill being parked amidst the shambles and aftermath of partygate.

The support for responisible freedom of speech and expression of opinion ought to be a fundamental objective and function of this awkwardly conceived and evolved legislation.

The definition of responsible is one of several crucial keys  The right to offend and be offended is necessary and fundamental. The range of language that people consider to be normal, necessary and acceptable is almost infinite. Suggesting to an infuriated individual that their choice of profanity is a reflection of impaired intellectual capability and a limited ability to express themselves within in the constraints of the mores of the the relevant conventions of polite society, is likely to result in a punch in the face in the real world, and an explosion of further profanity online.

The question of the measurement of the scale of the degree of offence ranges from delicate woke snowflake, to hardened unshockable adult; and crashes into the variations of the many ways that different societies invoke and involve traditions that maybe be thousands of years deep in their complexity and nuance.

Even the very fundamental protection of children by shielding them from exploitation by those who are not guided by the child's best interests, is complicated by the suggestion that kids are part of the enlightened new world of "fluid gender politics" that appears to be the ultimate expression of the "free love" revolution from the 60s, that was the ultimate antithesis of a Victorian morality that once covered up piano legs for reasons of modesty.

Many will regard this a perversion traditional adult responsibility to shield children from those areas of exploitative social interaction that are accessed through the traditional rites of passage.

Identifying behaviour that is offensive, lewd, gratuitous requires an understanding of continuously viable context. It is not simple in an industry controlled by sociopath asperger-limited geeks, that is desperate to reduce all interaction to rule-based procedures to remove the costly and potentially inconsistent human element.

But how to evaluate such a nearly impossibly ambitious scheme? Devising the full panaply of test cases and scenarios is a life's work covering experience of the entire human condition as it is manifested in hundreds of societies, each evolved with its own set of moral (religious) references and datums derived from thousands of years of experience and adjustment. Phew ...

Yes, it is impossible. The history of online has been defined by "special interest groups" (sigs) that exploited the opportunity to find others of a similar outlook and disposition to share and exchange experiences.

And that is as innocent and as deeply controversial as it sounds. Humanity has been fascinated by and absorbed by all aspects of sexuality since the dawn of civilization, has a trip around the museums of any ancient society will reveal. 

The issue is where robust and healthy interests become "pervy" and uncomfortable, and here, the age difference between the participants has generally been regarded as a key factor, with the age of consent being the traditional low tide mark.

Protection of the innocent from exploitation is an essential function of any civilized society ... without exception? Definitions of innocent? How does this vary with context?

A recent innovation is the world of online gaming, which has introduced a range of risks that were previously unimagined. It is in the nature of gaming and entertainment that the discovery of these risks may well be deeply buried within complex gameplay, adding considerably to the challenges of any attempted regulation.

Anyone who has been active online for any length of time will have experienced the unnerving moment when they realise that Google knows as much about them as a mother does. The result of those innocent browser cookies continuously gathering personal information and then becoming part of an ever-expanding profile, is impossible to eradicate or even control to any meaningful extent.

The only practical way through the process of tidying up online behaviour and interaction is to start simple and obvious. Securely identify all participants involved! Which then creates its own set of problems, including the opportunity for the biggest problem of them all: the infinite memory of the internet. Anything recorded online from the earliest age will be attached to the identity and follow the "perpetrator" from logon to logoff.

The option for users to exclude interaction with any other user they want to "ban" is a basic protection against stalking and general unpleasantness, for want of a better description of hateful and/or bullying behaviour.

Attempts to regulate the unintended consequences of the exploitation of online identify with legislation, such as GDPR have had mixed success. They have largely tended to suggest and then prove that the only safe way of dealing with personal data manipulation online, is to completely detach it from all possible identification traceable to the individual owner. Various methods of proxy identification have been proposed but new acceptable global standards have yet to emerge.

There is no safe compromise. Otherwise, it will be exploited by whoever is able to gather and process it - be it state spying institutions - lawful or clandestine - or commercial marketing companies looking to sell potential customers to advertisers - who want to sell anything from consumer goods to political objectives via the internet's spectrum of "personal services", that were defined by those original special interest groups back at the dawn of online.

This is a work in progress