At the End of the Day

A bit of a furore is brewing about who’s going to be sitting where in the dignitaries’ box at the 2012 Olympic Games. There is no place to be found, for instance, for Gordon Brown. Apparently Lord Coe’s worried he might sell all the gold medals.

Oh how we laughed. Laughter is indeed the best medicine: but when it comes to weapons, it’s the only one left to us in trying to avoid the global economic disaster. The folks in charge, having tried to convince the rest of us for three years that there’d be no Crash 2, are now reduced to working hard at convincing each other. Chinese inflation is completely under control says Beijing, and concerted action is on the way the G20 told the EU yesterday. I’d be very afraid about that if I was them, given that Bernanke’s bag full of secret weapons turned out (as The Slog predicted) to be a change in long term interest rates. He’s something of an anti-conjuror is Ben: when he pulls a rabbit out of the hat, it is quickly diagnosed as having myxomatosis.

None of us can avoid what’s coming entirely – but most of us in the West will be able to soften the blow in some way or another. It’s the older and younger folks – the wrinklies and the thirty-somethings – who will bear the brunt.

The old will be primarily affected by the shrinking value of money in the short term. Those with plenty of investment cash will do well, because interest  rates must and will sky-rocket into 2013 – whatever the Canutes running the Fed and the ECB think. But this will be accompanied by short-term hyper-inflation until the slump takes full effect. Then we will see deflation on a hitherto unimagined scale. The best way to envisage this is to go back to the Titanic analogy: the prow rears up crazily into the air – and then shoots vertically down to the unknown depths. You have to feel sorry for the Titanic; it will never be allowed to rest in peace. Every year somebody else comes along and says, “In many ways, it’s just like the Titanic”. If we thought more about the human God-complex that lay behind that disaster, and less about the mechanics of how it happened, the world might be a better place.

But I digress. Worklessness and deflation bring in their wake massive cuts in Government expenditure – and then (when there is an outcry about this) more printing of money in order to afford stimulation. As we’re dealing with politicians here, I very much doubt whether anyone will have a longer-term thought beyond throwing money at the problem. But the real long-term outlook is that all those old people, kept alive over the decades by surgery and Health & Safety nagging, will be living in squalid care-homes at vast cost to their kids. Those kids will be struggling to bring up a family…in a household where at least one provider has been out of a job for months or even years, and the mortgage pressure is becoming unbearable.

The ‘carers’ are the higher age-range of the young today – 28-35. Very few of them are in productive, export-earnings occupations, and what they will be able to claim in benefits will get smaller with every year as Government income shrinks. In a deflationary economic environment that needn’t matter: in a socio-cultural context it will be a disaster. A form of institutionalisation will be fighting with a raw anger to see which one can pull apart the fabric of society first.

The best thing we can hope for is a radical but democratic mass movement before that stage is reached. I increasingly doubt its chances of emerging peacefully (or indeed at all) for two overriding reasons. First, the Establishment will do everything in its power to rubbish such a movement in the mainstream media, while legally blocking its path at every opportunity. And second, the British remain politically neuter – either because X-Factor has smashed their left cranial hemispheres irreversibly, or because they are fundamentally law-abiding people who find the whole business of demonstrations and ‘movements’ somehow vulgar and generally distasteful. (One must also add to this analysis the fact that, after a youth of rebellion, most of we wrinklies are far too knackered to start all that nonsense all over again).

I’ve written about this endlessly, but the truth remains that there is no need to put on a  duffle coat and carry placards asking people to smash this or fight that. When the eventual Big Change comes to England (or Britain, if Salmond doesn’t get his way), the best and quickest way will be via the internet media available. As Channel Four remarked pointedly three years ago, the internet is for opposition. For once they’re right, because it is still by far the least controlled.

But the control has started, and is well under way. Predictably, the main Establishment hysteria about the recent riots concerned looters using Facebook and Twitter to organise either SWP attacks on the police, or Underclass locust-charges into the sports shoe and technology outlets. And as we saw, the ISPs were falling over their knickers to give the control freaks everything – indeed, anything – they wanted. Given that this vastly exaggerated phenomenon first took root in the Dacre Mail, I leave those with some discernment left to judge the veracity or otherwise of the bollocks masquerading as news that emerged from the British tabloids during that week.

More generally, total eavesdropping of the net is now in place – certainly in the UK, because under pressure both GCHQ and the Home Office have admitted as such. As much-inconvenienced sloggers will know only too well, step too far out of line with anyone from Ed Balls to Google, and you’ll be gagged and in the sin-bin before you can say personal liberty. These people are Fat Controllers: if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be doing the jobs they do. Ugly little trolls sitting in voluntary moderation centres, measuring the gap between words like ‘Obama’ and ’empty-headed jerk’ in every blog and thread. Winston Smith, eat your heart out.

As for those of us approaching the tape or already through it – the biggest demographic group in British history – the advice I’m allowed to give is pretty limited. Above all, for the time being, reduce debt, don’t borrow and don’t lend. Sell a property if you can, and don’t trade up if you can avoid it. However, if you have a durable that needs replacing and you have the cash, get it now or before the middle of 2012.

The rest of the advice must come with the usual health warning that this is just what I’m doing – and doesn’t constitute advice. Yes, I know that’s contradictory, but it’s an Orwellian world. I sold my gold at $1785 and have now bought into the Black Rock Gold mining fund instead. I’m well clear of anything in the stock market, and I don’t own any Government debt….which may sound silly, but I don’t want low-yield stuff tied up when within 12 months interest rates will start to rise – at first slowly, and then much more quickly.

If you have a property in the eurozone and want to get out, forget it and hunker down for a bit. Anyone with a pension in Sterling could well be sitting pretty by Christmas, once the euro hits its proper value with a painful bump. By which time, you might find you don’t want to leave after all. But do beware of the French-to-Lation States when the solids hit the fan: they will react without warning and in a draconian manner. Never cross the latins – especially a French nation allowed for so long to believe it truly deserves the quite astonishing standard of living, infrastructure and services it enjoys.

And on that happy note, I bid you a goodnight. Enjoy Sunday.