The deceptive power of distraction

There’s an awful lot around in the media at the moment to take one’s eye off the ball.

The week began with David Cameron’s poke in a pig’s mouth story. Was it true? For myself, I doubt it: the Mail’s Dacre the Mad splashed it (he doesn’t like Dave) and it was part of Lord Ashcroft’s unauthorised biog of the PM (Ashcroft loathes him)….plus the ‘provenance’ of the story is at very best questionable: the original source is an anonymous Oxford graduate who went on to become a member of parliament. The source does not claim to have seen the incident or even have known Cameron, but rather says he saw a photo of the moment. Said photo, surprise surprise, has not come to light.

What intrigues me about this one is that Cammers has not done anything at all to damp it down – either laughing it off or ridiculing it as a hoax. He seems quite happy to let it run and run.

Since then we’ve had the VW emissions story, followed by BMW ending up in the same stocks, pelted by rotten vegetables. And a veritable shoal of opinion columns about Angela Merkel having ‘lost it’. The additional evidence brought to bear upon Geli’s alleged doom is that she has royally fecked up on migrants…and failed to foresee that, after the initial euphoria, the German people might not entirely agree with her largesse.

Having spent many tedious hours investigating Frau Mirakle’s political past, I have to say I doubt very much indeed that she didn’t grasp the ramifications of her policy. I suspect she knew exactly where it was leading – but like Mr Cameron, seems now quite content to have the ‘car cheats/migrants not refugees’ scandal hogging (sorry) the headlines.

Jeremy Corbyn, of course, has been Manna from Heaven when it comes to looney Leftie headlines. These dominated all the Sunday papers in Britain, and today saw the latest development – the Shadow Agriculture Minister whose Veganism will surely turn us into a nation or iron-deprived wimps and-is-she-mad-or-what?

I don’t think she’s mad at all, but I do know that forcing a 3% diet preference on the other 97% of the population isn’t a vote-winner. Worst still, it is hopelessly anti-democratic. On the other hand, I also note that – going back to the original broadcast being selectively quoted – her determination to “listen to all the views and look for consensus” was sorely missing from the Daily Torygraph’s account.

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But a lower profile was awarded to these stories – which I’m sure have much greater empirical significance:

  • The creation of robots has influenced a large number of industries, including the automation of journalism, of which some fundamental writing can be accomplished with certain algorithms
  • With the effects of the financial crisis still with the Silvers, 30 million Americans in the last 12 months tapped retirement savings to pay for an unexpected expense. 26% of those aged 50-64 say their financial situation has deteriorated, and 17% used their 401(k) plan and other retirement savings to pay for an emergency expense
  • Both the Brazilian Real and the emerging market currency index hit new record lows today
  • Trading in Monte del Paeschi bank was halted yesterday as the share price suddenly by plummeted 4.6%
  • The US Richmond Fed manufacturing index is now lower than it was in Spring 2010
  • United State workers are paying 83% more for health insurance than they were in 2005.

Most if not all of these factual stories tell us in 72 pt bold Copperplate why there is no consumption recovery in the West. The ridiculous jobless recovery is making way for the purchaseless recovery.

Its all nonsense….but a spoonful of distraction helps the medicine go down.

Tomorrow morning, The Slog will be reporting on overwhelming evidence suggesting that nothing can distract from the real story of what’s about to hit.

Don’t miss it.

Related from yesterday at The Slog: The unmistakeable intervention of reality