The global confluence of disaster: why it was bound to happen

Bullies who recognise no higher authority will always choose an inferior one to replace it

Look at the major stories covered by the media in recent months, and you could be forgiven for thinking that a lot of completely random and haphazard things are going on, which just happen to have come to a head at one and the same time. In fact, they all go back to one fundamental problem. Mad religionists and conspiracy theorists are fond of putting this down to everything from the Devil to a global Zionist plot, but the real cause is much closer to home.

One thing common to the US, UK and European mainland at the moment is the failure of any ethical and charismatic leader to emerge. Not only that, but the minnows actually running things argue, squabble and dissemble without so much as break to draw breath. I know that the world-weary are keen to say ’twas ever thus, but this simply isn’t so. In 1933, nobody played politics with US survival like senior Congressmen did the week before last. After the first UK race riots in Notting Hill during the 1950s, nobody (apart from Oswald Mosley – and that’s significant) took to the airwaves to say one thing but mean another. The Harriet Harman type of political bigot simply didn’t exist. When Adenauer and De Gaulle signed the first Coal Agreement that led to the EEC in 1954, both men were seen as giants of geopolitics. De Gaulle particularly had observed the destruction from two terrible wars: for all his obvious chauvinism, his mission was to ensure that in the future, there would be too much to lose from any European war. The ludicrous double act last Tuesday between the present day equivalents – one a sour-faced apparatchik and the other a lightweight chancer – had nothing of substance to say to anyone, but to the markets the ‘Summit’ signalled disaster, and a sell-off ensued on the markets.

The media in those same countries are dumbed distractions, be they daily papers, sites, magazines or TV stations. Although both Britain and the US have been transfixed by the sight and sound of Newscorp’s comeuppance, some French gossip titles are far worse, and of course the Berlusconi empire in Italy plumbs bathyscape depths of tasteless and lascivious sex. A seemingly important sector of Italian TV seems to me to consist entirely of enormous breasts on show in dull panel games. Elements of German telly are equally gross. In the US, Fox News shamelessly pushes an illiberal agenda, usually backed up by breathtaking misinformation; and the tabloid New York Post is like the Sun, only without the subtlety. The only UK broadcaster at one time a beacon of ‘truth’ – the BBC – is now under fire from both Left and Right for being variously a Communist cell or a powerhouse of Right wing reaction: nobody, but nobody, these days can accept the central tenet of unvarnished facts; and few in the media explain the significance of those facts

Respect for, and understanding of, vital principles of the Law are absent wherever one looks. In bailing out Greece, the eurocrats broke three separate EU legal instruments. France and Spain ignore any EU law they don’t like. Both the Greeks and the Italians have lied persistently about their fiscal situations. In the UK, at least three Cabinet members regularly consume illegal drugs; and if Hackgate showed one thing above any other, it is the blithe insouciance with which businessmen, police, politicians and journalists disobey laws, excusing their behaviour on the basis of it being “a bit of a wheeze”. The early signs emerging from the FBI are that the situation is just as bad across the Pond.  MPs fiddle expenses, Congressmen pocket ‘fees’ for helping globalist business, Lloyd Blankfein blatantly obtructs any legal process and ignores a President he despises, and Lord Mandelson clearly did favours to his many ‘friends’ in Eastern Europe while EU Business Minister.

Of course, the law springs into action – ie, repression – the minute the sociopathic, left-out bit of society decides to start stealing and torching stuff. Swift retribution is vital in such a situation: but I wonder, does anyone with a well-honed view of human beings really imagine for a second that (a) these long sentences will reform such people, and (b) David Cameron can legislate his way to a better UK culture?

Just taking the page headings at the top of The Slog, the same disappointing range of malpractice is immediately apparent. Gordon Brown unquestionably used illegal threats to expose Tony Blair as the means of becoming the leader of a mass Party – without a single member either of the Labour movement or the electorate at large having voted for him. Crash 2 has been predicted here since mid 2009, for the simple reason that its inevitable arrival was obvious – a question of when rather than if. Highly leveraged banks and poor public finances across the Western world were always a deadly potion, the taking of which turned Jekylls everywhere into appetite-fuelled Hydes.

Hackgate was a major scandal waiting to happen from the moment it kicked off, and the appointment by David Cameron of Jeremy Hunt to replace Vince Cable was the act of an opportunist making the most of a politician’s well-meaning mistake. Hunt – himself a smooth-talking chancer – had declared himself many times to be an unalloyed admirer of Rupert Murdoch: so he got the job taken away from Cable, who had expressed the much more accurate opinion that Murdoch was a bad guy. And last but most repulsive, the willingness of Piers Morgan to believe that, by simply continuing his US mendacity marathon, he can talk his way out of wrongdoing that makes him unfit to be a ‘media personality’ is at times beyond belief. (His former UK employer Mirror Group is engaged in exactly the same denial exercise over here).

There are attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that are common to most or all of these news stories; and the overlap is so enormous, the concentric circles might just as well be one thick, black, vicious circle of undisciplined self-interest.

Therein lies the key to our current situation – one in which all those chicken-sh*t ideas and values are finally coming home to roost: the triumph of multinational Me over local Community. All of these situations have been brought about because few if any of the players have any higher cause in mind. There is often low cunning to replace the higher aim, but that’s all it is. Whether you are leaving peripheral EU members out to dry, nicking Ipads, ticking the boxes on inappropriate takeovers, or blackmailing your colleague, the fact that you feel no shame in doing so demonstrates a childish ego out of control.

Childish egos produce extreme views – like infant kids demanding something they clearly can’t have. Such nascent megalomania recognises no laws, and subverts those it cannot remove. It knows no discipline beyond instant gratification, shoving enemies out of the way, and telling any lie – however damaging, bare-faced, and utterly unrelated to reality – to get the decision it wants. There is no fear and no shame: because there is no recognition of a higher authority….and because most of the time in the Twenty-First Century, there is no higher authority to recognise in the first place.

So, for example, Harriet Harman sees feminism as a higher cause, but it is based on nothing more than an extreme view about the importance of gender. Lloyd Blankfein calls his banking methods “doing God’s work”, but it is the ultimate egocentricity to see oneself as a double agent between God and the Devil. Multinational companies and banks have destroyed the potential for QE effectiveness by using it cynically for shareholder (rather than national) ends. In a world where nobody believes in the overriding values of ethics, ideals, consideration for others and the greater good of the community, the gargoyles let loose to do what they want always use a third-rate ‘objective’ as an excuse: but it never bears examination.

The reason is simple: we are a pack species, and ultimately the pack must come first. Not the State, mind you: that is another invention of those who crave power thanks to a disordered ego. But in the wild, Alpha pack leaders are judged on two bases: physical power to ward off challengers and enemies; and the wisdom to ensure the health of the whole pack. Failure in either area quickly produces insubordination, and his replacement with a better balance of brawn and brain.

Above all, most of our authority figures today are born bullies – and bullies will always take the coward’s way out, because self-preservation is the only possible motivation they think worthwhile. Trichet and Geithner, for example, display this trait over and over again. So too did DSK.

The biggest single change in public life over the last sixty years has been the steady and decisive destruction of anyone or anything who stands as the final arbiter. Be this the Head of the Household, the policeman, the Judge, ‘the Nation’, religious leaders, or a teacher’s use of discipline, everyone from satirists, Brussels and atheists to hard Left power-freaks and feminists have taken away each and every higher authority in our various countries.

Without that higher judgement of performance – the greater good of the greater number – achiever-leaders have lost out to those who deny, run away, enrich themselves, search for legacies and yet demand more and more power. As I’ve written before, we want accountable leadership – but what we get is secretive corruption of the pack.

36 thoughts on “The global confluence of disaster: why it was bound to happen

  1. In the UK, at least three Cabinet members regularly consume illegal drugs

    Wonderful, and who are these consumers of Columbian marching powder?

    • More importantly (as you know it from a non-hacked source): why
      1) are none of the media outlets reporting the fact and
      2) why are none of the law enforcement (ha ha) agencies actually doing any investigating and
      3) why are none of the other MP’s (of both colours) shouting about it

      • Why the cabinet indulgence of charlie is not exposed?
        Because while they are doing exactly what they are instructed to, while they keep toeing the line, while they continue to contribute to perpetuation of the current system of bull$hit, they are useful idiots.
        It is only once you start drifting from the line, rattling cages, raising public awareness to the bull$hit that there is a need to utilise (by making public) the blackmail material (in this instance bugle) and politically assassinate (via mainstream media) the “dissenter”.
        And then it’s business as usual.
        ============
        I am of the cynical opinion – scrub that – belief that in order to get anywhere near cabinet, let alone an elected member of parliament or positions of authority in any public organisation, you must have at one stage committed at least one transgression that can later be used against you for your own destruction/removal/silence. This theory would explain many a political demise and quite possible a motivational factor behind so much of the inaction and silence we have witnessed for far too long.

      • @Bob Marley: putting your belief another way; the people given positions are those who can be controlled by their superiors.
        I saw a similar tactic used in commercial orgs for many years. Having dirt on someone is always a good lever. Clean people with independent minds can be dangerous!

  2. “Above all, most of our authority figures today are born bullies – and bullies will always take the coward’s way out, because self-preservation is the only possible motivation they think worthwhile. Trichet and Geithner, for example, display this trait over and over again. So too did DSK.”

    Let’s not also forget Gordon Brown, the classic coward, never able to face the consequences of his own actions.

    On economics…the term I hear used most frequently in recent days to explain stock market falls is fear of a “double-dip recession”, but ISTM that implies the West was recovering from the 2007-8 Crash-I recession when really the recovery was false and was being manipulated by QE and bailouts etc. This new condition is really a continuation of the same problems that started in 2007 and is best described as Crash-II.

    On riots…the one thing that not a single commentator (most especially the politicians themselves) has the spine to admit is that the riots were carried out by people who have been subjected to watching a series of political scandals: MPs Expenses, wholescale wrecking of the UK economy followed by taxpayer-funded massive banking bailouts and cuts in public spending, Hackgate, countless anti-liberty laws, undermining of the Rule of Law and many others. IOW a political failure on a grand scale.
    They’ve had enough and are now saying “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Hence the woman asked why she looting who said: “I’m getting my taxes back.” People do not now believe that the political elites are acting in their interests.

    All that means the underlying cause of the riots are the politicians themselves and the corrupt political system they operate in the UK where no one is ever held to account for hugely incompetent running of this country’s affairs over a long period.

    • When I refreshed the screen after posting my reply, your more erudite response came up. I think we were basically saying the same thing!
      The Crash-I simply happened because clever people working in the banks worked out that they make money by taking a small percentage off all transactions. By replacing “money” based on any form of physical exchange (even printed paper) with numbers stored in a computer system, creating virtual “money” they could create huge amounts of the stuff. This had a few side effects when the virtual money interacted with the real economy (such as companies being bought with debt rather than equity) until the numbers got so large that the real economy was swamped by this virtual money. When the two collided in 2008 the banks were all insolvent but rather than trying to fix this the governments tried to sweep it under the carpet (I still wonder whether Gordon “saved” RBS and HBOS because they were Scottish banks?). Unfortunately there were just too many zeros at the end of these numbers to hide. So eventually the governments have discovered that they are all broke too… it’s just taken them until now to realise it. So Crash-II is just Crash-I continued.

      • That’s a very interesting perspective of events which rightly points to the “everybody was doing it” explanation for the looting. Too bad the political elites refuse to countenance it.
        Did Brown save RBS & HBOS because they’re Scottish based banks? Dunno, but he is known to hate the English, especially those who are successful or rich. I have few doubts it played a part in his decision to drop IRs down to zirp to send the bill for his home-grown economic disaster to those who’d never taken part in his credit bubble: ie prudent savers.

  3. Hear hear!
    What I thought was interesting was how the explanations of the looters for their behaviour echoed what the MPs said about their expenses… basically “everybody else was doing it”, “someone said it was OK so I followed them”. Also I find it amusing to hear employers complain that there’s no loyalty from employees these days after working hard to get rid of any loyalty from employers to employees. Don’t do as I do… do as I say!

    • the other relative point is that
      1) the cost and complexity of the law enforcement in these instances is getting to be more than the cost of the items
      2) even if there is a conviction (to misquote G&S) “the punishment does not fit the crime” (if there is any actual punishment at all that is

  4. Competence is no longer a qualification rather the ability to sell oneself to the ingroup, especially if you are a politician or work for government. Journalists no longer bother to establish the facts in the what-where-who-how-why-two-independent-verifiable-sources manner before launching into cut-and-paste spun pieces, so the media is part of the coverup for mainstream incompetence while periodically indulging in witchhunts of easy targets. Responsibility is grafted onto sociology-speak rather than individual choices and actions. PC has so narrowed polite discourse to the inoffensive that analysis of problems is impossible and original, radical solutions unthinkable. Culture and the structures arising from it need a good turnover to overcome this paralysis.

    • “PC has so narrowed polite discourse to the inoffensive that analysis of problems is impossible…”

      Quite so. It amazes me that high-level debates about national problems so often never get to the root of the problem that needs addressing. PC forbids that we ever look at or tackle the elephant in the room, yet by ignoring it, the problem never gets resolved and we then end up wasting £billions on the wrong solutions. It’s symptomatic of a nation in denial of reality and running away from the truth. Add to this the political agenda of turning every issue into an opportunity to expand government and spend still more taxpayers money…is it any wonder we are in a state of national collapse?

      • and even if we do tackle a problem the deemed solution only goes to solve that one, may make another one worse and mainly exists in parrallel (usually because it only invlves spending small amounts of money BUT OVER VERY MANY YEARS) currently to something that may have solved two or three issues together

  5. Childish egos, eh? Heaven forbid.

    Yet I don’t think there has ever been a time when young people have been so widely involved in voluntary social work of one kind or another, or when people have been so conscious of the need to respect nature, or when natural disaster relief campaigns have triggered such quick and generous responses.

    On the leadership issue, doesn’t it tend to be the case that in democracies, great leaders (however defined) emerge relatively rarely anyway? In Britain, since 1945 there have been arguably only two really outstanding prime ministers – Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher – and in America, when he died, FDR left a gap that no-one since has been able to fill, not even that great master of sonorous rhetoric J.F. Kennedy.

    And while it is undeniable that authority is no longer blindly obeyed, the fact is that the authority figures of my youth (in the late1940s and 1950s) tended to try and get their way by relying on their position and status rather than through persuasion and reasoned argument. Personally, I don’t want to go back to the days when the policeman pushed you around if you spoke back to him, and when teachers were prone to use the cane far too frequently and with needless ferocity, and when judges (often chaps with weird private habits) handed down decisions that were sometimes class-ridden, often arbitrary, and rarely explained (and that were drawn from a statute book that still contained laws that were gruesomely inhuman).

    Paradise that grey, constipated period may have been for you, but it wasn’t so for me, or for many others of my generation, I suspect.

    • Ronald Reagan destroyed the Soviet Union which FDR had done so much to save in the fight against Hitler. Truman was a better president than FDR.

      • I am amazed by your ability to make three enormous mistakes in two short sentences.

        Ronald Reagan destroyed the USSR? Wrong. The USSR destroyed itself. Reagan was simply a spectator.
        FDR saved the Soviet Union? Wrong. The Soviet Union saved itself and went on the crush Hitler.
        Truman was a better President than Reagan? Wrong. In almost every aspect I can think of.

      • If you believe the USSR saved itself without help from the US, you are bonkers. Without US supplies they would have folded.

  6. Unifying all your above perceptive analyses, it’s looking like no less than the death throes of western civilisation. What an utter mess to leave our descendants.
    Or maybe we’ll just blow up the entire world with nukes as the money systems fail & societies crumble into anarchy and chaos. The military groups possessing these dreadful weapons could become the only power-base (apart from gold). We’re all doomed.

    • Or as Private Fraser would have said to Captain Mainwaring “We’re doomed! we’re doomed!”. And yet the Walmington-on-Sea platoon went on in its inimitable way, though whether to greater things is of course open to question.

  7. There is a simple reason for the decline in quality of political leaders.

    Up until John Major all Prime Ministers had experience of wartime service. They had either fought themselves (Attlee, Churchill, Macmillan,Heath,Callaghan) or lived through it and experienced it (Wilson, Thatcher).

    I suspect the same goes for leaders in USA/Germany/France etc.

    When you have dealt with death and destruction on a daily basis, it provides a reference point for all other stuff being of lesser importance. It gives perspective to political fads. Can you imagine if Tony Blair had every seen what war can do he would have been so keen to start a new one, or if Harriet Harman had to tend to mutilated servicemen she would be so hell bent on destroying ‘the patriarchy’?

    • Absolutley agree, Jim. A point very well made.

      Nowadays, unless you are actually in the military or are perhaps part of a ‘military family’, your only likely experience* of pseudo-armed conflict is limited to a Playstation Game or perhaps paintballing in the woods. (* Not applicable in Northern Ireland).

      Older, Third Age friends of mine (I am mid 40s) often say in conversation as a potential cure to many of our current problems, that “…they should bring back National Service…” meaning the type of military service that they were used to, and which I belive a number of countries (Israel springs to mind) still operate.

      For many years I thought that this idea was just the work of crazy befuddled old minds, high on the vapours from their Radian B, but more and more, I do wonder if it could be made into a workable plan. My gut feeling says that the MoD would wince at the prospect of trying to co-ordinate all of the 1000s of pimply conscientious objectors into something useful for the defence of the realm, but what the heck – they’ve spent enough PFI cash over the years, so they should be used to handling big ticket deals, but perhaps the money could be better spent.

      If nothing else, it would help to engender into the yoof, some sort of self-reliance, respect for (competant) leadership and perhaps a greater sense of community and tribal well-being, the lack of which JW has opined on above.

      Might also help the University Course clearing process…

      • Derek those in the military want nothing to do with the sort of vermin who would get sent there for national service. As an aside, A New Zealand SAS soldier died today rescuing the staff of the British cultural centre in Kabul. If you want an idea of what it takes to get into the NZSAS, have a look at a youtube series called first among equals. It is significantly harder to qualify for your new hat than it is getting into the Brit SAS. RIP to that trooper. Back to my point. we have long passed the point where National Service is a viable option either in budget or ability to instil any sort of order into kids that have gone feral. People say they dont know anything but these urchins “know their rights”. Sadly until many of those rights are taken away and new rules state that there are no rights without responsibility we will stay with what we have. I dont believe in Human rights, I believe you should have to earn them, and they can be taken away. Society is soft, becuase it is soft the liberals will win. Maybe the meek really will inherit the Earth? More likely some one will just steal it.

  8. Our equilibrium has been rocked, we are meaned to be the bread givers, the soothers , wealthy, and in charge of our own destiny. We once were the great template for everything that was fair and charitable.

    We have been meddled with, our laws tampered with, our industry fiddled with and ruined, and thus made modern Britons the most self centered selfish louche nation this side of the Atlantic!

    Politians are just a reflection of the rotten society we are.

  9. Interesting writing as ever but I will pick you up on a small point – “I wonder, does anyone with a well-honed view of human beings really imagine for a second that (a) these long sentences will reform such people,”
    No. But that’s not why they are being used. Clearly they are being used as a deterrent to others. The reality is that in situations like last week deterrence is all we have.

  10. Probably one of your best this one. Any idea who could lead us out of this mess? Hague is a big disappoinment . Its even worse here in the usa. Still we are now no1 at cricket!!! Brother.

  11. “After the first UK race riots in Notting Hill during the 1950s…”

    Probably because I am a big time educational underachiever, not dissimilar to many of the rioters, I rarely let an opportunity to demonstrate my vast knowledge and extraordinary memory to my more educated superiors.

    I should have been a cab driver like my hero Fred Housego.

    Anyway, here is a list of race riots prior to Notting Hill which I guess will surprise you.

    They surprised me.

    But I did already know about the Cardiff race riot of 1919 that prompted my search for verification:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_race_riots

    South Shields (February 1919) – South Shields
    Cardiff (June 1919) – Cardiff riots 1919
    Liverpool(June 1919) – Liverpool riot 1919
    London (April 1919) – Stepney
    London (May 1919) – St Anne Street
    London (June 1919) – Cable Street
    London (June 1919) – Poplar
    Liverpool (August 1948) – Liverpool riot 1948

  12. I rarely let an opportunity to demonstrate my vast knowledge and extraordinary memory to my more educated superiors…

    go by.

    • No mention of Mosley, whose thuggish blackshirts mounted brutal attacks on the Jewish population of the East End of London in the latter half of the 1930s. And I seem to remember disturbances in various cities in the late 1940s, consequent on the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem by the Irgun movement.

  13. @ Simon
    “If you believe the USSR saved itself without help from the US, you are bonkers. Without US supplies they would have folded.

    The Red Army went from defence to attack after Stalingrad (1942-43), a battle in which the United States had no involvement whatsoever. Kursk (1943), the biggest land battle of the Second World War, was won entirely by Soviet Russian forces using Russian-made war materiel. By the time American Lend Lease supplies became available to the Red Army in useful quantity, the Wehrmacht was already in full retreat.

    By the end of the war, in 1945, the United States had sent Russia valuable supplies of army trucks, railway locomotives and rolling stock, and a number of aircraft equivalent to about 14 percent of Soviet production. American aid assisted the Russians, and without it, the war may have dragged on for longer than it did, but in all probability by only a matter of a few extra months.

    To suggest that American aid to Russia saved the Soviet Union would be ludicrous – in various ways it may have assisted the Red Army to maintain the remarkable momentum of its drive against the Germans, but the aid, though helpful, was by no means a decisive factor in Russia’s eastern front victory.

  14. I’m afraid your views are a bit simplistic sometimes Mr Ward.

    Take your naive belief in the inherent decency of ‘the final arbiter in the household’.

    Why are household arbiters right? What happens if they coerce people to submit to their poor decision making, decisions which affect their ‘underlings’ more than themselves?

    I’ll tell you what happens, when the underlings grow up and learn, the hard way, that they have been shafted, they rightly shower contempt on the arbiter who held on to power without wisdom or responsibilitiy.

    I’m sure there are many wise household arbiters, whose decisions ARE respected.

    But to say they should be respected no matter the quality of the decisions is madness………

  15. ‘The Harriet Harman type of political bogot didn’t exist’
    Spoken like a true misogynist – and stupid with it word to go out – boycott this website. Thinking of politicasl bigots, thousands of other names occur before hers.

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