Why, I wonder, do we call a vital resource in such short supply, common sense? I watched last night (on various news channels in order to protect my brain) as the EU’s foreign ministers (not including us of course, because we’re no longer worth it) beamed smiles and shook hands between two sets of rivals, both of whom left the session despising the other side every bit as much as they had beforehand. Afterwards, the Polish foreign minister came out to tell the throng of news idiots that everyone had compromised but Ukraine was now moving closer to Europe again.
You can imagine how that went down in the Kremlin. You’d thus not say such a thing. But this bloke did….quite happy to forget that the only chap with any real power to change this situation wasn’t invited: your friend and mine, Vlad Rasputin.
What we have here is a truce, which has left behind a pissed-off autocrat close to Moscow, and triumphalist rebels close to the EU. But neither side is fighting to be with those alma maters: they are fighting because they have a different culture, language and history. They just happen to be stuck in the same country. As in Ireland, or 1946 India, or 1955 Cyprus, or any other shining example of the glittering past inspiring the multicultural ideals of Ed Miliband and Hattie Harperson.
The man who should have been there – “at the centre of Europe” as his plum-faced boss is fond of repeating – was of course facing towards Washington. In Washington, they like Mr Hague. I suppose if you’re that way inclined, a willy up your bum is most enjoyable: they had a Dick up our bum for many years…you know, Nixon – the man who abolished Glass Steagall and paved the way for the serial criminality that followed. Hammering home the Special Friedmanite relationship later came Purple Ronnie with his todger up no, let’s not go there.
Were sound sense a common commodity, we would’ve stopped giving the US a blowjob in 1997 at the very latest; but no, there was Moral Tone at ease with another Born Again chimp, fighting religious extremism by killing people. It is, after all, a longstanding Catholic tradition. When our own multiculturally friendly and integrative Islamic bomb murdered 55 people in 2005 London, the Special Relationship forces busy torturing folks on our territory took time out to run the f**k out of London and sod the women and children.
But he’s still there is Willy, the thinking man’s Eddie Waring: lying about Syria, ignored by Obama, and lusted after by Hillary Clinton, God help him. “The answer’s yes, now what’s the question?” seems to be Hague’s MO. And here too, another example just bubbled up to the surface of The Pit that is American Corporatocracy.
As Peter Oborne pointed out in another fine column this week:
‘Without protest, Britain has given away control over its trade with Iran to a department inside the US Treasury called the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). This body monitors US sanctions by pursuing foreign companies involved in trade with Iran. It has already persecuted major British banks, including RBS, HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds. In total, these banks have paid out more than a billion dollars in penalties, even though they have done nothing wrong under British or international law.’
Now granted, there’s a fair supply of banksters in there who have coming to them whatever we all wind up wanting to throw, exploding anthrax bullets included; but do not be fooled for a second into thinking that there is a single Eliot Ness-style good intention in this rapacious dimension of US foreign policy. The aim is to bring “enemies” of the US to heel, or at the very least a negotiating table. It is to ensure the continuing hegemony of Dollar munneeee.
This was how (and why) America buggered the Iranian Rial during 2012 – hiking up the Dollar auction price and then demanding that all States trading with Iran desist immediately…or face ejection from the global reserve currency system. We may be back full circle to another nuclear negotiating table: but if you think this did anything other than make the Mullahs hate America even more, then you must be Con Coughlin.
Anyway, we’re auditing common sense here, and trying to prove that, on two continents involving three separate super-powers, the result tends to be the same: everyone puts off the day of reckoning between the warring factions, while pushing the enemy into a tighter and tighter corner. Apply this to Syria or Greece, and the exact same result can be observed. Oh…and the other commonality is that the same little baldy lapdog f**kwit is poodling around the periphery, all the while emitting principled pomposity of no interest to any other Power.
Now obviously, this pattern is going to echo loud and clear to those who study the econo-fiscal and financial worlds. There’s a reason for this: it’s a continuum now. 1960s radicals used to refer almost robotically to the Military-Industrial Complex, but back then quite a lot of this was baccy-fuelled fantasy. In 2014, the fantasy has been made flesh – albeit in a radically different form.
It has, for some years, become impossible for the Americans to conduct foreign policy without the detailed cooperation of Wall Street, the ISPs, and the mainstream media. This has not only brought US manufacturing innovation to a laurels-rested stop, it is also becoming less and less effective over time as the cyber warfare techniques developed by the Russians and Chinese open up a technology gap. This gap, as we’ve seen, is rendering the West as a whole powerless to stop security interception and market manipulation.
Faced with that reality, the US autocracy places an increasing emphasis on Wall Street and ISPs. This in turn enables both sectors to blackmail Washington, and render the White House impotent. In the UK, finance and webmasters occupy the same role. The result on both sides of the Pond – rapidly spreading throughout the Eunatic bureacratic class – is the effective privatisation of governance.
In tackling this, the British Liberal-Left shows all the common sense of a Chinese-made house brick. Unable as ever to even perceive the process taking place (let alone identify a common enemy and unite against it) most of the Labour Party can be summed up by Ed Balls: he positively collaborates with the enemy, but rebuffs anyone even half a millimetre ideologically offside in his astonishingly mediocre thinking system. Thus he insults the LibDems at the 2010 negotiations, and lets in the Tories – while ringing up a couple of Hedge Funds to save his arse from the ramifications of CoOp stupidity. The bloke is an idiot.
As for anything further out there than the Ed Miller Band, don’t make me laugh. The risibly branded Liberal Conspiracy site seems to me largely run and enjoyed by deranged Nazis, and Left Foot Forward is exactly that: Ken Leninspart still drivelling on forty years later, with just the one leg – refusing any help in crossing the road from people who wish only to be thought ‘decent’. Decent, you see, is a bourgeois value – allegedly: decent people trim their hedges and play golf, and so naturally we don’t want any truck with the likes of them. Good grief no: better to go down in a burst of
flame slavery than alter my termite-riddled brain in any way.
The search for common sense continues dear reader, but so far (as I’m trying to establish) we should really be calling it Rare Earth Sense. Or perhaps, being healthy sceptics, you’re still not convinced. If so, try this one on for size.
There is a chap called Myles Power whose website is what you might call ‘edgy’….but stunningly bright and entertaining in its own way. Although based in Middlesbrough UK, he was given a major leg up the YouTube rankings after accepting an invite to visit Google’s video center to become something called an “EDU guru” – viz, a source of intelligent wisdom on the Web. Given the paucity of such has been obvious throughout this post, what could be a better idea? Are Google finally walking the walk, we ask ourselves?
Mr Power does, on a somewhat grander scale, what The Slog attempts…the deconstruction of bollocks. Among many other terrific things, he creates ‘Bad-Science’ videos debunking inaccurate science beliefs. His most recent has focused on an AIDS-denying documentary. This has attracted the attention of the looney-tunes behind the film.
As a result, Myles Power has been the unlucky recipient of several DMCA takedown notices requesting that the content be removed from YouTube — which Google has obediently done, well just fancy that. And because he’s had so many complaints, the rest of Power’s content — unrelated to that documentary — is also at risk of being pulled.
DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It’s a US law supposedly giving websites a safe haven from copyright claims if they act quickly to take down infringing content. I’ve blogged about the Trojan Horse called Copyright on several previous occasions. Basically, once multinational business, zealots, mad government agencies or bankers see someone with a good idea that blows apart their business model, the affronted start to bring brown envelopes of munneeee into play in order to squash any and all ingenuity. Even worse, once a convention has been established, lovely people like Newscorp use it to create a monopoly. (Most of the Murdoch press now carries obnoxious little notices saying “Our lawyers are watching You”. Something of a hostage to fortune that one).
In a piece called ‘censorship by copyright’, techie site PcPro details the nature of Powers’ prison. It concludes as follows:
‘The simple fact remains that an educational blogger — one who has been flown around the world by YouTube itself in recognition of the value of his uploads — is being forced to fight paperwork battles and PR skirmishes thanks to misuse of the DMCA, when he should be teaching children how to (safely) explode things in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and it surely won’t be the last….what’s really needed is a better system for stopping harassment via DMCA.’
That, and Eric Schmidt to display a tad more spine. Because here we have a case of not just lacking common sense: this is an example of suppressing common sense.
At other times, it is those lacking common sense who display this defect by trying to cover up evidence of it. Harriet Harman and her husband the unpleasant Jack Dromey are constantly engaged in trying to airbrush a past riddled with unwise beliefs. So too is Mark Williams-Thomas, a man who routinely bigs up his qualifications, and always refers to himself as a criminologist – despite the lack of credible evidence that he is any such thing. But again, here we have a bloke who is a serial self-publicist, who makes money from his crusade, whose advised prosecutions invariably fail, and who appears not to know the difference between libel and slander. A man who libelled DLT on Twitter immediately after his acquittal, but then took it down when advised it was highly actionable. A man who describes himself as professional (which he spells ‘progressional’) but then tweets hugely libellous crap like this:
If this super-criminologist puts a fearless legal brain like Raccoon into that category – and emblazons it across a public medium – than he is indeed a chap with no sense – common or otherwise. The only thing that saved him from a law suit about this is the fact that Anna has been very unwell. But observe how many in the blogosphere ignore the man’s obvious displays of ignorance, and continue to see him as a Messiah.
Wherever you look in whatever the medium, walk of life, social class, age group or gender, there is virtually no evidence at all that sense is common. The best term I’ve come up with is Leopard sense. Before too long, it’s going to be Dodo sense.
Now there is more to this post than a bit of harmless wordplay. I’m coming to believe that there is a very real correlation between the open mind, the tough spine, a sense of decency, and common sense. The only way neoliberals, frontally-challenged bankers, failed ex coppers, time-warped Lefties and ISPs can justify their behaviour is by talking sh*t 24/7 – with a reasonable degree of certainty that most ordinary citizens and media commentators can’t tell sh*t from putty. They are, all of them, self-trained glaziers who leave a trail of windows falling out behind them.
The old saying asserts that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. But this isn’t halfway to the full truth: the key thing necessary for the triumph of evil is erosion: of ethics, journalistic standards, the rule of Law, and an independent political class wise enough to apply common sense where necessary.
The British and American political classes today are highly intelligent whores whose naivety and power mania stops them from killing the pimps.
But come what may, the vicious circle remains. The entire shambles could be stopped tomorrow by banning any form of lobbying for either commercial or political gain, and funding political Parties from the State coffers. Suggest this, however, and the all-too common lack of any sense at all forces the Right to say they won’t pay these reptiles a penny out of their taxes, and the Left to grumble about giving the People a voice via the Trade Union movement.
So there we have it: Dodos of the World unite – you have nothing to lose but your Liberty.