At the End of the Day

Where once there was hope, there is now only hype.

I’m a big fan of Jay Leno. In France you can pick up his Tonight show online, and these days the man from Burbank is a big hitter. Last night he had the Black Dude on, and this is what the first black President of the United States of America had to say about the NSA scandal:

“A lot of these programmes were put in place before I came in. I had some scepticism and I think we should have healthy scepticism about what government is doing. I had the programmes reviewed. We put in some additional safeguards to make sure there’s federal oversight in addition to congressional oversight. There is no spying on Americans. We don’t have a domestic spying program. What we do have are some mechanisms where we can track a phone number or an email address that we know is connected to some sort of terrorist threat.”

How did the USA wind up with a bloke this mendacious and facile? Just to deconstruct that preceding quote, (a) it wasn’t my fault (b) I had it in mind to can the whole thing, (c) if you’re innocent there’s nothing to worry about and (d) we know who the terrorists are anyway, so those are the only folks we spy on. HTF do you know Mr Prezdeyant?

But with every day, the attempts to feed us a steady diet of horsesh*t get steadily more risible. The hopelessly bankrupt Italian government promises to provide more funny-money and guarantees to the hopelessly bankrupt Monte Paschi, and as a quid pro quo, the skint Monte Paschi bank keeps buying the bonds sold by the equally skint Italian government. From Mario Draghi to Mrs Drongle-Schmutter of 39 Ilebe Avenue, there cannot be many left in a position of influence on this Earth who don’t know this is going on.

Here’s another belter: the Serious Fraud Office has been dealt a fresh blow after admitting it lost 32,000 pages of documents related to its now closed investigation in BAE Systems’ £43bn al-Yamamah arms deal. Lost 32,000 pages? Yeh, right.

And another: a top global think tank has given the UK another vote of confidence after the Bank of England’s upbeat outlook by claiming growth in the economy is “firming”. How can this be given that:

* Greek youth unemployment has soared to a record 64.9% as the country’s downward spiral continues almost unchecked. The eurozone, our biggest trading partner, is flatlining.

* The UK remains a net importer (imports are greater than exports).

* We still remain massively overdependent on services exports.

* Our manufacturing base is still tiny.

* Trade prices have also risen in recent months, reflecting the lower level of sterling since early 2013. That is, our import costs are rising as the Pound devalues.

What was “upbeat” about the Bank of England’s outlook? Carney said Zirp would continue until the unemployment rate gets down to 7%. Does the Cool Canuck know what inflation will be by then? Of course not: nobody does.

Hype is running the word now. Spin has gone – with all its hidden and subtle nature – to be replaced by naked, brazen, we-know-you’re-dumb hype. It can only get worse.