The Editor argues that cynical, scheming twits will carry on at their task with impunity unless something more effective than old media and screaming bloggers emerges.
David Cameron continues on his merry way, aimlessly grovelling and accusing. Yesterday the Turks were good (to keep Islam happy), today Pakistan is bad (to keep the Americans happy). Now he’s in Delhi, and under pressure from Vince Cable to do a cash-for-immigrants swap with India. It seems we owe them at least this, and according to most of the press I read today, the moral and commercial logic of the scheme is obvious. I’m obviously thick, because it sounds to me like blackmail of the worst kind – and odd that this newly rich nation thinks we owe its doctors a living. Haven’t their skilled people got things they could be doing over there, in the most densely populated sub-continent on the planet?
You see, if nobody’s paying attention, this is the sort of bollocks our leaders can get away with. You have to like Stephanie Flanders at the Beeb’s business pages, because she is very bright and intensely insightful – but with a delightful bluestocking amazement on finding something that doesn’t add up. She wrote an excellent post last Monday about corporate cash hoarding, and the banks not lending money. It just didn’t make sense, pleaded our Stef: if the big corporates are awash with cash and most of the tiny businesses don’t use external credit, what is Vince Cable on about?
She may well ask, but was probably disallowed by the arm-biting Mark Thompson from making the obvious point about which the Slog has been flaying extinct horses for the last year: if nobody in business wants any credit anyway, why the blithering bluebottles do we have 0% interest rates? And the answer – also revealed previously here – is so banks can rebuild their balance sheets by effortlessly investing in UK gilts at 3% clear profit.
There are tons and tons of this murky stuff slithering under a million doors unnoticed every day of the year. Regulars will know my contempt for most conspiracy theory, but this is only because the theories are about astronauts hiding in a Leeds bedsit while the moon landings were all faked in a studio down Burbank way. Life is a conspiracy these days, but because there is always a technical explanation with which to bamboozle people cheeky enough to ask the questions, they rarely if ever come to light. And as often as not, the jargonised explanation is used to cover up not evil, but stupidity.
Pakistan has been cooperating with various Islamist groups since Allah was a nipper. Secretary Geithner conspired with Bernanke to mis-sell the Congress AIG bonds. Barack Obama really has no idea what he’s doing. Hank Paulson stole $700 billion of taxpayer funds to bail out the banks, and then bought bank stock with it without asking anyone. The major German banks are so adrift on capital adequacy, finance ministers all over Europe are losing sleep about it. Tony Blair earned a six-figure sum from J P Morgan for helping to steer Northern Rock’s investment book their way. Australia’s new PM Julia Gillard and her No 2 Wayne Swan were up to no good with the mining companies – and used these contacts to topple Kevin Rudd, do a deal and then call a snap election. Margaret Thatcher knew perfectly well that the Belgrano was outside the exclusion zone and sailing away when she ordered the attack on it. The war started in the first place thanks to FCO incompetence in failing to read the obvious signals coming from the Galtieri regime.
I’ll bet you a pound to piece of Kendal mint-cake that nobody sues me for any of those accusations, and the reasons are simple: they’re true – and while perhaps impossible to defend in Court, would cause more trouble than the exposure is worth; and ‘they’ don’t care if the accounts are in circulation anyway, because nobody’s paying attention.
What’s the point I’m making here? Just this: corrupt incompetence is near-universal on Planet Earth. This used to be mainly true in war theatres (‘SNAFU’) but applies today to almost everything impacting on our lives. Thus:
* The Prime Minister is a dingbat
* The EU is an illogical four-winged concrete aeroplane without engines
* The financial system is an almost complete waste of time
* The soccer Premiership makes the Dutch Tulip boom look tentative
* Obama has not a clue what to do about debt and economic restructuring in the US
* Half of Britain is affected by alcohol after 7 pm most weekdays and all weekends
* The NHS is on the brink of collapse for no good reason
* The internet is a goldmine, but nearly every UK newspaper is in dire straits
* £2 in every £5 of income tax paid are wasted
* UK Governments have done next to nothing of any use since 1956 (The Clean Air Act)
They are therefore not worthy of our respect, and will get none from this site until they prove otherwise. Screaming foul-mouthed bloggers do us all a disservice, because they provide an easy and distracting target for the Mandelsons of this world; and deadly dull and dry social tracts may gain applause for their quiet objectivity, but serve only to encourage the Establishment that as nobody reads such things, they’re free to continue Snafuing their way through our money without the remotest chance of detection.
It will carry on into eternity unless the Slogs and Open Europes of this world become part of Bigger Things to replace the tired old men and women of the Fourth Estate. I make this plea about once a week, and I wish for crying out loud someone would take me up on it.