THE SATURDAY ESSAY: Do not look to electoral politics to provide the Giant Killers we need



There’s a bloke on trial in the US at the moment, charged with deliberate directionalising and insider trading on the various stock and commodities markets. He’s not your usual BSD in some corporate conglomerate, but rather just an individual who had inside information and used his skills to maximise the return on it.

At first sight, his defence is very much in the Jeremy Hunt alien ET mode: he told the jury that he had “no idea” it was illegal to mislead the markets. But on second glance, he has a point. The defendant, not Hunt: Hunt never has any useful point to make about anything; in fact, there is no point to Jeremy Hunt.

Gold price suppression, Libor rate manipulation, QE, Zirp, Nirp….what are these but thinly disguised attempts to persuade investors that up is green and left is down? This was the lone defendant’s observation….and although the judge (I submit) is extremely unlikely to commend his version of events to the jury, I must confess to seeing the accused as a bit of a Robin Hood. He may not have given to the poor, but he seems to have been pretty good at stinging the greedy rich.

We have reached an important but tediously predictable point in history at which all guilt is relative depending on position, power, influence, and money: such and such a bank is too big to fail; this or that major Minister or minor Royal must be let off otherwise people will lose faith in our vital institutions; a footballer must be given a lenient punishment that allows him to compete in our World Cup bid. As always, self-assigned exceptional people insist on being  the exception to the Rule of Law.

If this engagingly ordinary investor I’m writing about gets off, then I’ll report for duty as a serial muncher of headgear. The inevitability of his conviction is depressing, because we know perfectly well that, had Lloyd Bankfine or Black Bob the Diamond Geezer done the same, his company would “set aside money”, and everyone would get away with it.

More than anything else at the moment we lack – but urgently need – Giant Killers. People from outside the system who aren’t beholden to the system, and would be difficult to bump off. Two months ago, I would’ve included Jeremy Corbyn in that group; a year ago, Alexis Tsipras would’ve been its leader. But not any more. They’ve failed the test for me.

Sanders will only get the Democratic nomination if the Panama Papers show conclusively that Hillary Clinton secretly bought a refugee transport company and then started bombing Syria to drum up business. Bernie would get my vote as the best of a pretty rancid bunch, but even with him you sense the pressure would get too much…and if it didn’t, a lone maverick would blow him away. He’s a Jew for God’s sake, how difficult a recruitment job could it be?

That leaves Trump. He has a giant bank account and is ruthless enough to be a killer, but no way is he a ‘Giant Killer’: the beanstalk would collapse the minute he started climbing it. Also, I don’t want pre-pubescent short trousers leaving an imprssion on the Oval Office chair.

Because of all the foregoing and more, I’ve been saying for three years that taking the political route to power is a waste of time, money and energy. I don’t advocate violent revolution, because I am a card-carrying pacifist NVE: but I do advocate a judicious mixture of consumption strikes, boycotts and general awkwardness until such time as the legislators are starved of the cash they need to get reelected and feed their munnneeee habit. I would advocate a tax strike, but They who Must be Obeyed have that one covered: even suggesting such a thing is now a criminal offence. And you may have spotted that Theresa Whiplash is out to make boycotts illegal too.

Saying we can reform the British political model from within is as daft as saying we can reform the European Union by staying in. The people at the top are drunk with power and suffused with a sense of their own importance: even if they do waddle around all day going “globalglobalglobalglobal”, they’d make Christmas illegal before they’d let themselves be eaten.

Giant killers always come from the outside – that’s why they usually lose in the end. Spartacus was a slave, Jesus a carpenter, Watt Tyler a labourer from peasant stock, Wilkes a radical journalist, Kropotkin a geographer, Mussolini a journalist, Napoleon a Corsican, and Hitler a tramp painter with no talent.

Winning giant killers – by winning, I mean ‘they stay alive’ – all have these things in common: they trust nobody, their power derives from cross-class support, and their philosophy strikes a chord among the majority. Mussolini and Hitler would’ve died old and in their beds had the latter not been a magalomaniac, and the former silly enough to align himself with the latter: but even then, it took foreign invasion to break their grip. Napoleon was in the same league, but his siblings were second rate: he too was outnumbered, and eventually poisoned. Spartacus and Jesus appealed to a tiny minority, and while Kropotkin survived, his philosophy was self-denying. Watt Tyler had only serf support, and trusted Richard II’s word – a very bad idea at the best of times.

The winner by a country mile was John Wilkes, because he was well connected with the City merchants and brokers, and as a born tabloid hack knew how to wind up the mob. Hitler had the same advantages, and Napoleon his military genius: but Wilkes did not entertain silly ideas about invading Russia, so he succeeded and survived. The present Government is busily engaged trying to unpick everything he achieved, but his ideas led to three Reform Acts….and the survival of Great Britain as a relatively homogenous unit.

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What the British People are living through at the moment is a vicious struggle between various vacuous ideologies. The main runners are these:

  1. Neoliberalism’s open economics are vital, because only from 2-3% of citizens who are obscenely rich can wealth wealth trickle down without millions of bureaucrats…and thus provide for everyone.
  2. Socialism is the answer, because it forces everyone to be equal.
  3. Globalism is the only way forward, and corporate governance of it is the only option – otherwise lots of silly regulators get in the way and spoil it for everyone else.
  4. Islamism worships the one True God, Allah; and as servants of his prophet Mohammed, we must prove this by killing everyone who suggests otherwise.

The continuum is not hard to spot: it is vital, the answer, the only way, the one True God. For it is an ‘ism’. And with isms, thing is – if you don’t Beeeleeeve – then you’re a heretic. So at best, we won’t engage with you…and at worst, we’ll kill you.

In an odd sort of way, this would be fine if all four were mutually exclusive. But they aren’t…because of two further stupidities:

i. The other ‘ism’ that is the bain of contemporary life, multiculturalism. As a result of this and globalism, all four ideologies at various times collide with each other;

ii. The geopolitics of energy, which insist that the beeeleevers meet those who care only about the munnneeee, the latter nursing the mistaken idea that the two can exist as equally cynical ‘thinkers’.

Most of you reading it will not be either surprised or repulsed by that analysis: it’s ground we’ve all trodden across in our various minds before. My point in presenting it again is to reaffirm the obvious: the Giant Killer must be, by definition, a free thinker.

He or she may well emerge from an upbringing in which inculcation in one or more of the four ideologies was a given. So much the better: a fine mind that is also open and has rejected attempts at brainwashing is the most precious thing the World has today. Orwell said the future would be “a jackboot stamping on a human face”. Well, you can stamp on a face, but without resorting to murder you can’t flush out the way that person thinks.

Ergo sum, the group of people most likely to create lasting reform of our culture, ethics, norms, mores, morality and governance are those who refuse to join any existing ideology, religion or ‘school’ that demands obedience.

So don’t look to any of our political, economic or religious leaders to help re this one. And above all, don’t back fluffy do-gooders who assume scruples among the élite with whom they are forced to deal in order to….well, get any kind of deal at all, to be honest.

I do think the Dark Knights of Camerlot have scruples: they screw the Citizens who are supposed to be their clients, and then pull the wool over their eyes in order to hide the unforgiveable perfidy. But then, this is equally true of Soviet Communists, defence contractors, black US Presidents, wannabe female Democrat US presidential candidates, Establishment UK socialists, psychopathic media moguls, all Sovereign security services, the main internet ISPs, the Beijing politburo, multiple retailers, multinational manufacturers, central banks, supra-Nationalists, Zionists, Hamas, and everyone else with a fixed view – garnered by a deadly combination of having one answer and no moral compass.

My perceptions (and subsequent research) in the case of the UK’s WASPI women, for example, have led me to conclude that there are somewhere between 3-400,000 1950s born female State pensioners either on the verge of (or already falling from) the cliff marked ‘No Money, No Income, No Family’. A further 0.8 million are going to face the same fate by 2020. And beyond that, around 1.27 million will – over the same time period – face between  30-70% less retirement income than they had been led to expect.

I emphasise those last seven words there because no amount of apologism for welching on promises made (with the use of weasel nonsense like “a generic problem in the West”, “People must accept that times have changed”, and “there is an age-demographic time-bomb”) can change the facts.

In a UK context, the facts are that 1.2 million innocent women are being given an average of 4.5 years to think about footing the bill for 64.2 years of can-kicking by vote-centric politicians – and 600,000 civil servants who (a) “carried out” the wishes of those pols by wasting £2 in every five spent; and then (b) when Armageddon beckoned during 2006, illegally awarded themselves a doubling of pension emoluments.

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Justice never comes easy. It’s on the same scale of diligent investigation as the search for the reincarnated Dalai Lama. It can’t be undertaken by a few happy-clappy middle class wives, vicars, charity shop owners and other assorted well meaning people looking for a way to fulfil their lives by filling their day.

The quest to establish Justice is only successful when undertaken by the obsessive, the wise, and above all the hungry. People who know that the other side despises them and – given half a chance – would put them to the sword.

These are the people we call The Giant Killers. I firmly believe that they do not need to indulge in the “Attishoo, Attishoo we all fall down” plague of day to day politics. They need only join hands and engage with those of a similar philosophical mindset in order to set an example.

One astounding example can override every daft ideology yet constructed by human Earthlings. Kate Hoey sets a mind-concentrating example when she says, “This is not about European Union quit or stay – it’s about The People versus The Establishment”.

Some examples of Brits who have set an example in their lives: Bobby Charlton, Ronnie Barker, Pele, Brian Statham, Terry Wogan, George Handel, Robert Burns, Tracey Ullman, John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham, John Oliver, Emmeline Pankhurst, Gertrude Bell, Ernest Shackleton, David Bowie, George VI, Peter Cook and Maggie Smith.

The bottom-line need is to reject the obvious con saying that political philosophy still holds sway in the West. That is bunkum: it is the giant feet of fundamentalist religion and Mammonesque economics that stamp upon our freedoms in 2016.

Only those with the bravery and accuracy of David’s slingshot can bring down the Goliaths we face. David was a shepherd. We need exceptional King Davids now: the last thing we need is the David Camerons who want always to be exception to the painful rules.

Yesterday at The Slog: We could be the next Greece…if we let ourselves be