Some years back on UK telly, there was a programme (screened by LWT as it then was) called Whoops Apocalypse! depicting a senile President setting off atom bombs all over the place. Shown during 1982 on ITV1 (not yet recurring) it was obviously based on Ronald Reagan and his seeming inability to remember where, who, or indeed what species he was.
Ronnie’s excuse of course was that he did indeed have Alzheimers. Our excuse for thinking it funny was because the enemy facing President Raygun was an equally prehistoric relic called the Soviet Union, and there wasn’t much else on earth to worry about….unless you were an African kid trying to find some uninfected water to drink, or an Opposition leader in Zimbabwe, or a Chinese farmer wondering how to manage on a bowl of rice, or a Falkland Islander…..but that’s enough of that.
Were that these were our only problems today. If a sequel were to be put together, I suspect it would be called Race you for the Apocalypse – the hilarious Armageddon skit on five different endings vying for first place. In no particular order, the runners and riders might be:
1. Collapse of French debt, with Paris defaulting, Germans getting antsy, and that ending up where Franco-German relations always wind up.
2. War between Greece and Turkey, with stalemate (along with Brexit) producing implosion of EU.
3. Contagion to the US banking system with (resultant) increasingly desperate attempts by US to inflate debt, causing China to demand repayment, and bombing American ally Japan to make the point doubly clear.
4. Japan responding with hitherto unnoticed chemical and nerve gas weapons, figuring it has nothing to lose given that….
5. Fukushima’s irradiation has now more or less guaranteed the end of fish (and the Japanese).
While Planet Earth (and it’s still the only one we’ve got) abounds with cheerful types saying all this is bonkers alarmism, I would ask them these entirely pertinent questions:
1. How many of you five years ago thought even the euro could possibly fail, let alone the French and Germans be swapping 1930s insults?
2. How many of you imagined the Cypriot economy could be raped (ex cathedra to any legal reasoning) by an odd combination of Belgians and Germans? Did you even imagine Draghi could subordinate holders of billions in Greek bonds?
3. Who in 2008 thought the bankers could fight back and, five years on, still be gyrating around like monkeys in a barrel? Did any of you foresee potential hostilities breaking out between Tokyo and Beijing? Who in 1985 saw Tokyo heading for a decade of stagnation – with China becoming the richest creditor in the world over the same period?
4. If you don’t believe Japan has WOMD, then WTF did you believe that Saddam Hussein had them…or Bashar Assad has them?
5. When 3 engineers resigned from the Fukushima installation by GE in 1975, did you notice? (I didn’t). Did you believe that the Tokyo/Washington version of events there was a pack of lies from start to finish? (I didn’t).
But these are merely the main runners in a massive field: as as many poor punters learned to their cost in 2010, anyone can win the Grand National’s suicidal equine race to madness. Some riders not included in the above would include:
Did you ever imagine the US backing Islamists after 9/11?
Did you think any British PM would be barmy enough to tie up in a war alongside Washington again after Iraq?
Did you think, in 2007, that Nick Clegg and three other LibDems would be in government by 2010?
Did you think America’s poor would get poorer, and its liberties more diluted, under Barack Obama?
Hands up all those who thought Murdoch and Newscorp would get off Scotfree after Hackgate.
How many of you thought Jeremy Hunt would be promoted to Health Secretary in the 2012 reshuffle?
Give me a yell all those who thought bailing out Greece would cost twice what it owed by 2013.
Who had heard of Beppo Grillo in 2011? Do you know what his share of the Italian vote is now?
Let’s hear it for all those folks, even in Spring 2012, who foresaw a Chinese slowdown alongside a regional banking crisis.
Did you know that 968,000 Russians died as a direct result of Chernobyl?
I’d like to see sealed envelope evidence from all those who, in 1985, foresaw the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Last Saturday morning here in France, every French newspaper front page – national, regional, local, left, right, or centre – led with rising taxation, and condemned it in varying degrees for at times totally opposed reasons. Does this strike you as a nation likely to take Brussels-am-Berlin bullying bollocks lying down?
An old and dear American friend of mine opined seven years ago that “Armageddon simply doesn’t happen, and history proves it”.
But her logic was (and is) flawed on two bases. First, it happened to the folks at Pompeii. And to those who lived on the banks of the Hwang Ho river. Or were in the path of the 2005 Tsunami. Or who lived in Hiroshima in 1945. Or were Jews in Vienna in 1936.
And second, history lacked (until very recently) the following deadly capabilities: nuclear missiles, nerve gas, chemical weapons, cyber-destruction of infrastructure, globalist mercantilism, insane sovereign debt, planetary media control, and billions of desperate human trying to escape everything from unemployment poverty to endemic starvation.
I have always agreed with the viewpoint that suggests perpetual wolf-crying leads, in the end, to the wolf being free to devour unsuspecting chickens. But what far too many slipshod thinkers forget in 2013 is that the wolf didn’t have a spin doctor explaining away every foiled (but genuine) attempt to devour the chickens as blogosphere bollocks. The current shower running the world towards self-destruction have regiments of amorally lying buggers doing just that.
They tell us that Wall Street banks leveraged at over 78 to 1 are routine, that capital flight from the eurozone going unreported is no big deal, that Karlsruhe Court decisions are irrelevant, stealing from bank depositors was always a likelihood, everyone ignoring the Coop default does so because there’s nothing worth ignoring, 868 days worth of radioactive leakage into the Pacific (at the rate of 300 tons a day) is peanuts, bankers committing crimes and paying only with money is nothing to make a fuss about, manipulation is freedom, taxpayer bailouts are natural selection, up is down, red is green, nationalisation is capitalism, Murdoch is innocent, derivatives are good for business, debt can be repaid with more debt, Greeks are like Germans, Italians resemble little more than the Dutch, defrauding SMEs is a vital step towards recovery, we’re all in this together, and two beans make ten if you own a bazooka.
Let me tell you something I find ineluctably logical: if suggesting all this makes me a tooth-sucking Jeremiah, ignoring all of it makes the goforits something far more dangerous……the same deranged robots who introduced Prohibition, saw no end to the 1920s stock markets, said in 1938 there would be no war, let British troops watch nuclear explosions from 100 miles away, approved thalidomide, prescribed billions of Valium tablets, saw antibiotics as the ultimate panacea, thought the fall of the Berlin Wall was a “peace dividend”, dismissed critics of the 2003 credit boom as Keynsian dinosaurs, supported the Iraq War, saw Tony Blair as a safe pair of hands, and still see Newscorp as a preferable alternative to the BBC.
Don’t be so f**king arrogant: you don’t have the track record to stand it up.