Top-down dictatorship in the UK plunged to an all-time low of spendthrift inefficacy this morning, with the news that Lockdown has produced the biggest YOY drop in UK gdp since 1709. This cancerous totalitarian governance tendency began with arrogant internet marketing and awful after-sales service. The political class has learned the lesson from it: scare them enough, dangle a false carrot, and you’ll quickly realise that most people don’t complain.
Our bought political minnows are pompously empty-headed at the best of times, but even they can learn by rote. Jeremy Hunt was the first chancer-politician in 2013 to grasp that web-style censorship plus repetition of lies could keep his paymaster Murdoch out of jail – and get him promoted to Health Secretary. His cardboard cut-out successor Matt Hancock is nevertheless the archtypal 3D Minister in that he has mastered Deception, Distortion and Distraction as practised by ISPs: he lied to the House about the certificate that “vaccines” had been given, he has distorted and conflated the real threat from Covid19, and yesterday in the Commons he did his level best to distract from the predictable economic consequences of virus policy with a tub-thumping speech suffused with strangulated Newspeak. His NHS policy was, he declared….
“…..to free up, to empower, to harness the mission-driven capability of Team Health and Care, infilling the historic silo between provision of mental health and physical health services. The population health approach that is embedded within these integrated care systems will be at the fulcrum of delivery of health improvement…..”
If you can see anything tangible in that lexicon of empty promises, you are a better man than I, Gunga Din. It seems that Halfcock will drive and harness to empower population health by starting from the assumption that we’re all dim, bonkers and just gagging for all that to be integrated. There shall be fewer silos, bigger fulcrums, more delivery and, therefore, improvement. Above all, there will will massive investment in complete bollocks – a surreal marriage of the artificial and unintelligible.
The man’s a useful idiot, which is disturbing given that his popularity rating within the Tory Party is now five times that of Boris Johnson. Perhaps Conservative backbenchers need to avail themselves of Manflu’s empoweringly holistic delivery of mental health. In promising everything and saying nothing, he sounded uncannily like the promises made by every tedious app online.
Like many stupid people however, the Secretary of State for Health is cunning – and the distraction worked extremely well, relegating the appalling gdp costs to smaller headlines on inside pages. In a nutshell, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced the biggest gdp slump for 312 years. At twice the level of Crash1, the UK gdp fell by 10 per cent. Significantly, by far the highest drop was in manufacturing: thanks to Covid lockdown policy, our dependence on City funny-money services is even worse than it was before Brexit.
‘There’s our way, and there’s the wrong way’
At no point in the process of dealing with Big Tech does one feel like a sovereign consumer with multiple choices based on user needs. There are usually, in fact, two choices: our way, or fuck you – because this is our system…..so live with it. Crony capitalism has mutated into force-fed Sovyet monopolism….and the State is following that lead.
Top-Down single choice originated on the internet, and then became the model for contemporary Western State governance in this, our mendacious and secretive banker-snoop society.
I made an appeal earlier this week for Slog readers to overcome social media shadow-banning by signing up at the daily preview facility provided by WordPress – with whom I have a premium account. A staggering 70 per cent of signees found that the link went nowhere. I’m now providing daily emails manually.
Even this in turn became a job for me (as the client) to do things their way – or else. I spent much of yesterday morning trying to get Protonmail to let me send out an email to multiple recipients. On pressing the send button, I was told that the e-addresses I’d entered were ‘invalid’. The “Help” icon explained how I needed to shell out €50 per annum to make them valid. Having overcome that hurdle, it became apparent that I’d have to “introduce” each address individually to import it in the correct manner. All 126 of them. I could of course download the import App, but this would only all mass import from…..you guessed it, Google, Microsoft and one or two other compliant systems.
Earlier this year, I went with a paid-for site platform beyond the EU. “Sites from €45” it said. At every stage of being reeled in, however, the price mounted until the total cost reached €560. Thanks to the generosity of Sloggers, I was able to stump up the money from cash flow. The software design was two stations further up the line from Barking, and almost immediately after the launch it became clear that those lovely search engines had universally applied pop-up blocks to smear the site as “untrustworthy”. Ah yes, said the platform, to change that you’ll need our site-cleaning partner (another €150).
The site was a failure because it turned out that the interest sector involved was already massively overcrowded. So I went to ‘Help’, and asked to wipe my domain and rename it. “No problem” they said – by which they meant ‘no problem for them’ because they just weren’t going to get involved at all. They gave me a link that outlined what I would have to do. It involved contacting four ISPs, all the search engines – and, in the meantime, conducting a process with seventeen stages to it.
I suggested that, as a paying customer, they might do it for me. A three-para email came back full of throat-clearing syntax gargle that added up to “No”.
The suppliers of my fixed-line service are unable to connect to my Lenovo tablet. Eventually, they gave me a “dedicated emergency phone number” which never offered less than a 20-minute waiting time with The Four Seasons playing in the background. In the end, I did it myself; but then WhatsApp decided my date and time were wrong (they weren’t) and locked me out. I went into Chrome (much quicker than WhatsApp help) and was given four ways to solve it. All of them failed. I went into the WhatsApp forum, where I found almost 3,000 user comments telling WA they had an insoluble date/time glitch in the software. Some of these went back to late 2016. Wa-Wa’s in the silo have done nothing about it: they have installed AI, so that’s it. It must be OK, it’s the customers’ user error as always, God – customers, eh? Who’d have ’em?
The top-down internet marketing default tactic is fourfold: lie about the real price, suggest your head will explode if you don’t download the App, the customer is always wrong, and never take no for an answer.
It’s hard to see any difference between that outlook in either the Brexit saga and – latterly – the Covidscamdemic: vaccination is the only way, it’s that or die, Lockdown failed because you people all behaved badly, and if you refuse to be vaccinated, we will smear you as “nuts” (thank you Boris) and stop your holidays/screw your job prospects in perpetuity.
What the Banker>Snooper>political classes have learned from the web is that the overwhelming majority of citizens will do anything if the carrot looks attractive and the result is a quiet life for them.
But it’s hardly a coincidence, is it, that the most objectionable billionaires with default dictatorial tendences are Gates, Zuckerberg, Schmidt and Bezos….all of whom made their money from the internet, and all of whom variously exploit the workforce, lie to Congress, dissemble about data they pass on, and – in terms of customer-friendly services – have something of an anti-Midas effect on quality. Skype is an execrable product, Microsoft is an abysmal operating system, all social media censor conservative views and suspend users who persist in expressing them, Amazon deplatforms anyone it doesn’t like, Google screws around with your emails, and all of them demand obedience via emails that bluntly advise “no reply”.
A strong parallel with Virusecrecy and blinkered Number 10 edicts, don’t you think?