Holding general elections that ignore the real problems facing the eletorate are likely to be boring, with minimal engagement. This is a lesson that the Governing Class will never learn.
Let’s just briefly get some poll stuff out of the way, and then move on to issues of more interest and relevance – that is, yet another social cancer this election isn’t going to either address or change. This is, I think you’ll agree, an interesting chart:
It’s a page capture, so don’t bother clicking on it: the point is really terribly simple: there are seven days to go, and analysed across all ten studies, this has been the ‘Labour surge’ over the last seven days. The aggregate sample is 14,000, and thus (although there are differences in methodology across the piece) the margin of error is quite small. The final two health warnings are the large numbers of undecideds (possibly good for Labour) and also the local and regional factors covered in previous Slogposts (probably good for the Conservatives).
At this point in 2017 (1st June) Labour was consistently shown as already on at least 36%, and often on 39%. The real “surge” took place from 32-38% from 25th -31st May. So again, in good old-fashioned pollspeak, Labour are staring at a roughly 4-6% swing against them.
By the way, it is a myth that Boris Johnson is ‘more popular than Theresa May’. The truth is that what he’s done is drag the Tories back from the disaster she left behind: the Blue share of votes was 43.5% in 2017, almost exactly what it is today.
Labour. Is. Not. Going. To. Win. This. Election.
Interpreting consumer opinion data is really only Artificial Intelligence (AI) unless it is overlain with knowledge about human behaviour – itself informed by social anthropology. Government getting to grips with AI is another crucial problem – indeed, it is a central consideration for the future – totally ignored by the players in this election. Although there are many AI apologists, I have yet to find one without a neoliberal and/or globalist agenda.
The default approach of AI supporters is to dismiss those of us with grave doubts about it as “Luddites”. The analogy is a false one: whereas the Spinning Jenny could do the work of twenty women over the same time frame, almost everyone I know sees a simple request turn into an anarchic drama every time AI gets involved…my own experiences with applying for a passport renewal, ordering energy, making an insurance claim, booking flights, downloading browsers and interbank currency trading are an object lesson in themselves.
For the majority of important functions, it remains far simpler to pick up a phone, have a conversation with the owner of real, human, compassionate and emotional intelligence, and give them one’s need plus a preferred time schedule, than go to a ‘client space’ on a corporate website that hasn’t been updated for months, and was designed in the first place by a binary Nerd.
Secondly, the arguments used give away the agenda. “Yes,” they admit, “of course there will be job losses….but neoliberal reform and the expansion of internet service – plus a degree of retraining – is more than replacing those losses”.
This is claptrap on the same fanciful plane as ‘trickle-down wealth’. There is no government training to speak of any more – and tons of damning evidence to show that skilled checkout staff (to take but one example) will get a job at half the hours, half the pay rate and zero employee protection or benefits. For five years after 2010, David Cameron persistently lied through his teeth in comparing 2003 ’employment’ data with “new” figures that included prostitution and teenage child-minding, and involved a net reduction in hours of 28%. Today in Britain, a staggering 44% of those in active employment want more hours made available at higher rates…..hardly surprising given that, since 1995, the real spending power of their disposable income has shrunk by 30%.
AI is being introduced for the sole, narrow purpose of making costs fall, showing productivity rises, and thus inflating share prices for the 3%. The price for this is more and more useful human minds caught in Western society’s welfare trap with every year. The longterm outlook is nothing less than slavery.
The problem for those trying to judge world economies is obfuscation, and the constant need for analysts to look beyond bizarre column headings in the Annual Report. These tend to show static sales offset by reduced headcounts and declining pay rates.
Such of course is a vicious circle only likely at best to wind up with every shopper on Earth maxed out on credit…..and the corporate entities themselves having to borrow at Zirp rates in orer to pay a shareholder bonus. Both these realities have now come to pass, and the blowback from that is what really awaits after BoJo’s Brino has been signed off.
Everything, as the Buddhists say, is connected. But more pointedly, everything about bourse-funded, globalist monopolism – with anti-libertarian blocs fighting tooth and nail to maintain share of trade – is a gigantic crock wrapped in pretty but flimsy tissue paper and then spun out of all recognition by the mainstream media keen to do their duty for the gigarich oligarchs like them.
Yet you and I can’t get income off our savings, so this is not capitalism. And nothing and nobody can ever convince me that Big State socialism is the answer. It’s had 17 goes around the world and never shown the slightest sign of producing anything other than poverty, perversion of power, contrived contentment and hypocrisy.
In this somewhat dire environment, both the Corbynite Left and Blairite Labour seem to concern themselves entirely with dated syntax and virtue signalling on the subjects of CO2 (fresh water is a far bigger concern) the ‘civilising power’ of the EU, race, appeasement of mysoginy, looking away on multiculturalism, and the largely metro concerns of tiny minority sexuality.
Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear.
“What is to be done?” asked Keynes in the 1930s. We’re almost a century on, the world is improving human standards, but the distribution of fulfilment among the quadrupled population of this our only planet is worse than ever. (I prefer the word fufilment to Bentham’s ‘happiness’: Jeremy had the right idea, but the wrong end of the stick when it comes to the important human criterion).
I was, for the first time in many months, reduced to rage on Twitter yesterday by a flibberty-gibbet who accused me of only ever having ‘whinges’ without ever presenting solutions to these macro problems. I suggested she use the search engine on the Slog’s Home Page (the clue’s in the name) and very nearly expressed a fear that she too is armed with a vote. But I thought better of it.
But to repeat for her benefit: no two longstanding Establishment Parties are ever going to tackle the problems I raise, because they are part of it….and above all, their risibly puerile ideologies get in the way.
Only ground-up reform is going to work. It won’t originate in Westminster and Whitehall, because there is not a scintilla of positive social creativity in either sink of robotic corruption.
AI is another ‘gift’ from the globalists, the consequences of which have not been thought through. Attempts to hide those consequences become more juvenile with every year.
The future is not global, it is communitarian….but digital, not horny-handed soil tilling.
The unelected or ‘Alt’ States have far too much power to ignore us, spy on us, pervert the Constitution, lie to us, bomb innocent people and create fake emergencies as a means to the suspension of freedom and democracy. Brussels will be the future for everyone until it is no more.
National power needs to be devolved down from national to regional and local levels.
The Rule of Law no longer applies to legislators, bureaucrats, banks, stock markets, corporations, intelligence agencies, the military or indeed the judiciary.
A drastic reduction in our dependence on bourses for pensions, capital growth and the expansion of creative entrepreneural capitalism is absolutely essential. Mutuality has barely scratched the surface of socio-civic change yet.
Ending the parlous situation we have now will not produce perfection, for we are only human. Nor will it be realised by religious belief, decrepit ideology or violence. They will only add to the death and division.
The only mix of activities likely to succeed are those of Christ, Gandhi and Mandela: radical creativity, widespread social disobedience, ignoring catechisms in favour of pragmatism, and cutting off the money-flow to the ruling classes – yes, I’m afraid that is once more what they are.
I believe widespread economic disaster will both lubricate the engine of change and produce a following wind. The equally bone-headed forces of revolution and repression will gain ground unless their cro-magnon solutions are faced and neutered by the decency spectrum.
Remaining nothing more than twitterati couch potatoes is not going to cut it.
Evil will triumph if decent people do nothing.