The tribal denialism of Left and Right (and their kneejerk trashing of all other false Gods but theirs) continues unabated. The Slog picks out the best of the day’s crop.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, says that “the Government’s migration target is in tatters”. I suppose it makes a change from ‘disarray’ and the pwime minister juss dushnt gettit, but the hypocrisy is mind-blowing, given that Labour must shoulder at least half the blame for a 40-year campaign of ignoring all warnings about immigration and overpopulation.
In turn, the Tories have set a target for paving over yet more land to house these folks we can’t support…and pay their mates in the building industry back; Labour’s response? They’ll beat it. So they’ll build even more houses than the other idiots, but the Coalition migration targets are in tatters.
Meanwhile, the Wimmin have been at me again. Read the Twitter exchange below from the Turkish front:
My tweet: Erdogan is mad but what’s wrong with motherhood? Alev’s response: why do you support a patronising President who wants to tell me what to do with my ovaries? To which the answer is “I don’t”, and “far be it from me to mention your ovaries”. Also note Stalinist liberal so-right-on kneejerk from Michael Clemens. At times I wonder if liberals are selectively dyslexic.
When it comes to neoliberals, however, there is no dyslexia explanation, just neck brass-implant syndrome. Despite source after source – from the Bank of England via the FT to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation – proving conclusively that poor, casual workers are getting poorer and wealth inequality is getting wider while a tiny elite at the top is getting richer, the Cabinet Office continues with its farcical spin about everyone being better off.
Comment in the right-wing press this morning managed to almost completely ignore the latest frightening figures about the UK housing market. They were – literally – unique: never before have we seen mortgage applications falling and house prices dropping with interest rates on loans at the lowest sustained level in British history. Not only has this never happened before, it is impossible for that situation to pertain during an economic recovery. That, my fellow Camelotians, is Page 1 economics.
Freed at last from the confines of his political masters in the Republican Party, the architect of this sad mess Alan Greenspan has at last come out and admitted that QE is, um, a con. He told the ever-smart Gillian Tett of the US FT Edition that he ‘harbours considerable doubts about whether recent western monetary policy experiments have actually helped economic growth’. More shocking still, he says gold remains the ultimate safe haven…otherwise, why would Central Bankers be piling it into their balance sheets like so many King Midases? Exactly.
greedy bastard neoliberal tendency has been quick to rubbish his remarks, pouring excrement onto his poor track record as Top Gun at the Fed. Funny thing is, when he was actually in the job and ignoring every dayglo sign about debt being out of control, they all averred – to the last Brooks Brothers suit and padded shoulder – that he walked on water. You see, as Einstein remarked, Time is a relative thing: that was then, and this is now. And all things must pass, as the Buddhist with IBS remarked.
Anyway, given this marginally unnerving context of overcrowding, lousy economic performance, unbalanced economy, rising debt, dangerously broad wealth gaps and Labour leadership ineptitude, it’s good to see the fanatical end of the Neoliberally infected with Aspergers spectrum piling on the Good News. Allistair Heath is the only Telegraph journalist on its finance pages to enjoy 100% consistency: he is always wrong about everything.
Whereas Android Evan-Elpus has multiple personality disorder, you always know where you are with Polemical Ally: despite the Russians pouring through the inner Berlin suburbs, Herr Heath is the doggedly loyal SS Oberstürmbannfüher who can always be relied upon to single-handedly charge the Red Army armed with a dysfunctional peashooter while yelling “Gott mit uns!”
So it was that his piece today trumpeted the truth that must surely bury the naysayers:
‘…a far higher proportion of the UK’s ultra net wealth residents are self-made than in other European countries. In Britain, 75pc of ultra net wealth individuals are entirely self-made, with just 13pc deriving all of their wealth from inheritance. This is only 1pc less than America’s 76pc, suggesting that the UK has now become as meritocratic on this measure than the United States…’
Yes, with the American Deep South burning brighter than at any time since before the Wind was Gone, Allistair Heath chose this moment to talk about US meritocracy as measured by how the rich folks are getting by on $5bn a year. “Wealth is good – and the UK has lots of it,” he dribbled, “The UK is home to many top entrepreneurs and long may that continue”.
I may be forced in the light of that unutterable nonsense to switch my analogy about Allistair: perhaps he is Gordon Gecko grown older and dimmer: the man who no doubt thought Michael Douglas was the hero of Stone’s seminal movie now sees the mercifully dead Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan as sure signs that, with just one more heave, all will be well. They may have been responsible for more disastrous economic experiments than the Soviet Union, but by God could they churn out billionaires.
Excuse me while I take a short break for just one more heave into the lavatory.
How on Earth did we arrive at this nightmare we all experience day by day? Well, as I hinted (with my clubfoot on the hint pedal) at the outset of this post, I believe we are in the grip of two equally antediluvian belief systems: one saying that wealth is everything that matters, and the other insisting that wishful unthinking policies with Socialism-lite are the answer. Further, I feel sure – talking as I do most days to Americans of every hue – that the GOP/Democrat divide over there is exactly the same syndrome: two apparently opposed forces with no respect for each other….but nevertheless beholden to common monied interests inside a concentric circle between the Bourses on one side and the liberal end of labour on the other.
As it happens, yesterday I was cc’d on an email linking to an interesting piece about this syndrome applied to the UK. This was my response to it:
And so back to rural, natural life and the real world that is alien to the bubble-dwellers. Today has been one of those weather events that feels like a car on its last legs. It tried ever so hard to get going, but never really sped beyond second gear. We had thick fog in the morning, and then dark grey cloud in the afternoon. By the time 5 pm arrived, the unseen setting sun took over the toil from the fog and cloud, and now it’s pitch black and drizzling in that miserable way the south west of both France and England share.
Much of the morning was spent trying to look brave in the dentist’s chair, an attempt that quickly fell apart after I writhed on the floor yelling “Please don’t hurt me again, I promise I’ll be good”. I’m exaggerating: but not by that much. Having got the implanted bridge into place six weeks ago, I now have to have the crumbling tooth at one end of it crowned. It is proving to be a crown of thorns.
To dull the horror of this, I am treated to injections that hurt infinitely more than any drill ever could, but the drill does go on interminably, whereas your average sadistic needle merely gets to the central core of the soul of unbearable mind-shattering pain for a second or two. One then walks around for the rest of the day with a face which, in terms of size and temperature, feels like the north face of the Matterhorn.
I get a degree of chair-bound respite from this every now and then, when my dentist takes some radiography of what’s going on. I am assured every time that there is nothing to fear from the process, but the way in which the entire building is evacuated before they press the button from a safe distance of five miles somehow renders the promise incredible. Also the way I can read purely using the light emanating from my nose in bed later is a bad sign.
While waiting my turn in the salle d’attente two months ago, I happened upon a startling new idea in the Villeneuve Council’s information newspaper. Believe it or not, the proposal was for all local taxpayers to have free chickens ‘on the rates’ – as we used to say in England before the Mad Handbag did away with a perfectly sensible local tax system. The belief that resides in the minds of these deranged functionaries is that such will enable the citizens to get rid of their food waste (by feeding it to the chickens) and thereafter enjoy free eggs for life.
Upon noting the fact that most people living in Villeneuve don’t have a garden, I am merely scratching the surface of Planet Madness – that stark satellite of Zog – where the inventors of this concept presumably live. It is the equivalent of an old bloke with prostate enlargement pissing into the Pacific in a bid to counteract the imagined effects of global cooling.
The plan is a fluffy and feeble attempt to ameliorate the stupid national law passed forbidding all garden fires at all times (courtesy of the farming lobby) and the quixotic way in which recycling centres flatly refuse to accept the additional garden waste thus generated. The outcome from that is normal communal dustbin sites being swamped by forbidden waste.
And the answer from the Council is….free chickens.