Explaining the Stoopid Impossibility of Brexit to Children

Brexit is nothing but a great big fat lesson for our children. It plays out like the tale of “The Emperor who had no Clothes”. What would such a modern morality tale look like? Well, something like this:

  • Once upon a time there was a Great Nation
  • The people of that Nation worked hard 5 days a week and enjoyed their hard earned weekends.
  • Every weekend the people headed to the beach, swam and bought ice creams
  • The Ice Cream and Swim Suit industries got together and agitated to make the weekend longer Continue reading

The Church of Brexit – Come Praise Thee

At the Battles of Asculum (279 BC) & Heraclea (280 BC) king Pyrrhus of Epirus suffered such appalling casualties that he would eventually be overwhelmed by the Romans he was fighting. He won the battles but lost the war. This episode in ancient history gives us the concept, still in common use today, of the “Pyrrhic victory”. Never has the phrase been more apt today than in when it is used to describe the Leave victory in the British EU Referendum of 2016. A year later, as we enter negotiations with the EU to leave the single market, we are reminded of how much we have to lose. Thus it is that Remainers never tire of telling victorious Leavers that they too have lost. They just don’t realise it yet. Continue reading

Ending Politics to Restart Democracy

Ask yourself: what is democracy? You would think that would be a simple one. For most of us “democracy” is voting, but dig deeper. Voting itself is meaningless if you do not have genuine choice. Cuba is a vibrant, healthy, democracy with lots of choices of candidates to vote for. It remains a one party state. You could also vote for different Communist Party candidates in the old Soviet Union. It was not CHOICE between different ideas. it was a choice of candidates. We like to believe that Western Democracies have pluralism because we have more than one Political party. Yet these organisations require wealthy sponsors. Thus it is that your choices are carefully edited down to only those that are deemed acceptable. Politics remains, at best, a “pretend choice”. It is faux-democracy. Continue reading

Class war & the precariat – what ever happened to Thatcherism?

What fate awaited Thatcherism? In my teenage years I believed that Thatcherism represented a reboot the British economy needed; an essential modernisation that would re-align our economy with that of the real world. Old certainties and securities would change and, to replace them, we would all become capitalists – a nation of small businessmen & women with responsibilities for our own fates. This would unleash new wave of wealth-creation. These new-found riches would allow the nation to invest in its necessary infrastructure. Markets served society and Government should not interfere unnecessarily. That was the dream that was sold to us. Thirty years later I don’t believe this was naive or wrong – a market-led utopia still has un-tapped potential. But everything is now upside-down. These new “free markets” were captured only by the powerful to the exclusion of everybody else. They would not serve society. Markets worked only for the 1% and became code for whatever rent-seekers could profit from. Continue reading

Bakuninism – utopia out of bounds

Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin [1814 – 1876] was, for want of better terminology, a Russian revolutionary. A contemporary of Karl Marx he was born into Russian nobility and started out with a brief career in the Tsar’s army before moving into philosophy. Unlike Marx his ideas on social revolution have largely been forgotten despite his infamous battles with the author of “Das Kapital”. The world we live in is a consequence of a moment in history when Marx manoeuvred Bakunin out of the First International at the 1872 Hague Convention. It could have all been so different for us all if Bakunin had outfoxed his somewhat more Machiavellian opponent. Bakunin was no Communist, he was an Anarchist. Convention has it today that the term “anarchism” is only used in purely pejorative terms. That outcome is a result not only of early terrorist acts (conducted by people who called themselves “anarchists”), but also because both Communism & Capitalism has so tried so hard quash this third option. Yet Anarchism is not necessarily the terrible thing we think it is. It is a utopian philosophy that means “rule by no one”. Continue reading

Public Broadcasting as a Tool of British State Propaganda

The British Broadcasting Corporation came into life in October 1922 at the same time as a young Eric Blair [George Orwell] departed for Burma to join the imperial Police Force. That same year Benito Mussolini took power in his infamous “March on Rome” which inspired the Hitler’s 1923 Bavarian Beer Hall Putsch. Hitler was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment at Landsberg Prison where he set about writing Mein Kampf. Hitler wrote glowingly of England and dreamt of a great Germanic anti-Communist alliance with the British Empire. Not only that but he knew our cultures were aligned for he saw British propaganda as a shining example to his young NSDAP disciples. He claimed that Germany lost World War One because the British had better propaganda. Some thirteen year later Orwell was to write “Fascism is coming; probably a slimy Anglicized form of Fascism, with cultured policemen instead of Nazi Gorillas and the lion and the unicorn instead of the swastika.” Continue reading