THE FRUITLESS SEARCH FOR CONTEMPORARY COMPETENCE

incompetent

As I stepped outside into the garden for a pee yesterday evening, I was struck by how mild it is at the moment for January, even down here. And I thought, ‘Yet again a climatology-based medium-term weather forecast is wrong’.

The idea that weather and climate are separate ‘sciences’ is one of those belief-suspension bits of bollocks that gain international acceptance but simply don’t add up: weather is a symptomatic by-product of climate, so howTF can they be mutually exclusive? And if they are oil and water, why are climate-forming elements like El Nino brought into the equation in order to formulate forecasts for a European winter 2015-16 that announce, “the El Nino  effect is going to produce one of the coldest seasons on record”?

All that was supposed to start in late November; and indeed – seemingly right on cue – we had two biting frosts here that set me to wondering whether, just this once, the forecasters might know roughly what they were at. But then a lazy, balmy and clear early December turned into a wet beyond reason turn of the year, drifting on into a January now three-quarters over with so far just the 1 (one) frost. Oh…and two days of biting easterly winds the week before last. Quick, bring me my longjohns
So if the deep-blue coloured temperature patterns offered up to me by half a dozen weather centres last August are right, then El Nino needs to speed up to El Ninety-o if it’s to drag down the average winter chill in south west France: because as our winters go down here, there are only seven weeks left.

I may of course rue the day I wrote this, but earlier I looked at the monthly forecast, and it doesn’t exactly suggest that we are about to be tossed into The Big Chest Freezer.
A lot of this longer-range forecasting suffers from ‘in’ syndrome: inadequate, inaccurate, incompetent, and thus increasingly incredible. Since getting into blogging based on issued data and predictions about everything from the price of oil to when something might be delivered to my home, I have come to realise that if the 21st century is about anything, it is about the search for competence.

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Having an arrogant superiority complex and a penchant for risible failure in the same ‘brand’ package is not the way to evoke a love of – and gain loyalty for – your brand. Imagine going into a posh Sloane Ranger hair salon, having a basin plonked on your head by a one-armed snot-dribbling hunchback, who then cuts all the hair showing around the basin with a pair of curtain scissors while telling you “I’m deaf you know – it’s the bells”. One might be temporarily convinced by the salon’s assurances that this was the new Plantaganet look, but not long afterwards the unskilled hacking job would leave the customer, if nothing else, hacked off with the removal of £140 from that gold debit card.

Oh how we laugh: but when faced with exactly this level of pompously presented unfitness for purpose by banks, software suppliers, durable retailers, lawyers, tax offices, politicians, oil companies, wealth advisers and phonecos, for some reason we seem to become infinitely deep reservoirs of forgiveness and understanding.

I don’t share this Christian tolerance. I have been doing battle royal with Orange France for eight weeks now on the subject of a very simple request: to move my incoming phone cable some 90 metres from the house to the gite. This is all they have to do. I do not need a new phone, or a new router: both are extant. I just need 30 metres of new cable from the telegraph pole to be connected to the converted barn, with a new socket. This ‘new’ socket looks like something involved in a Soyuz-Apollo docking procedure circa 1981, because since the merger with France Telecom to create an even bigger monopoly than there was in the bad old days, the level of Orange investment in landline technology has been on a par with gefillte fish purchases by ISIS since last September.

I ordered the works on December 7th. Orange lost the order. I nuisance-tweeted on the Orange site and received seven daily promises in a row that L’équipe Orange would be in touch with me. It’s going to be made into a new musical extravaganza-cum-corporate guide called Seven Lies for Seven Motherf**kers, and who knows I might get to direct the choreography. But as of now, January 23rd, I still have no phone or landline internet connection in the gite.

In the four years from 2011 to 2014, I paid a firm of wealth managers handsomely to reduce my pension by 55%. Since taking over the admin of the SIPP myself, in ten months I have avoided losses of 31% being suffered by most investors. It really was no big deal: it involved nothing more than the use of commonsense and the other five primary senses… with an emphasis on smell.

The UK’s tax gangsters aka HMRC sent me a bill in late 2014 demanding £500 for tax I didn’t owe them. They have now – in the face of registered and assertive letters from my good self – retreated so far from this position, last Thursday I received a letter from them agreeing that they owe me £693.

Having cost Sovereign governments across the world some $37 trillion since 2008 in bailouts and varietal write-offs, 23 bankers came in front of Bloomberg cameras in Davos last week to dismiss fears of a new shitstorm….with patronising observations about how the markets know nothing, Dodd Frank is a pointless crock, and their House is now in order. Do I get a warm glow of competence expectation from any of this BS? I do not. What I mainly get is a creepy feeling of déja-vu.

When I was a kid, my Dad had a collection of phrases derived from one of his favourite anthologies, Famous Last Words. These included ‘You’re alright, bags of room behind’, ‘It’ll be thrown out by the Judge on Day One’, ‘The system is fully automated and thus foolproof’, ‘There’s light at the end of the tunnel’, ‘It’s definitely the red wire we need to cut’, ‘This is the future’, ‘So far so good’, ‘That’s the All-clear siren’ and ‘Such an outcome is unthinkable’.

Having served for part of the War with Americans, Pop was fond of the acronym SNAFU. His experiences in Africa, India, Burma, and Malaya taught him that the default mode for all attack plans was finger-in-the-air hope – nothing more. He regarded all war as not so much hell as utter confusion, and learned the hard way to distrust anything said by a commissioned officer. In time, he also saw through the bromides of Catholic priests…and rejected them in favour of his own intelligence.

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As I’ve written here perhaps too many times previously, we are living through the Age of Uncertainty. Some of that bewilderment is to do with the ridiculously complicated world Homo sapiens has created for itself. But I’m becoming increasingly convinced that most of the uncertainty is manufactured by false certainties: by those with a bogus claim to professionalism determined to make us believe that inflation and debt are good, while waiting and thinking are bad.

If a person or organisation with a proven track record for honest prediction asks for my trust, on the whole I’m inclined to donate it willingly. If, however, over and over again their outlook proves to be wrong, my instinct has always been one of rejection, satire and ridicule.

Twenty-two IMF predictions in relation to Greek economic growth since 2010 have been wrong. Out of twenty-two. The US Fed has been wrong on the ability of monetary measures to rekindle real US growth in seven straight years since 2009. Around the world, we are now up to nineteen uses of QE, and all of them have been found wanting. The command-economy dictates of Communism have been tried over the last ninety-eight years in seventeen sovereign States, and all of them have produced economic regression alongside deaf government and near total loss of citizen liberty. Neoliberal experiments with Friedmanite econo-fiscal theory have led without exception to reduced equality and a disastrous paucity of infrastructural investment.

Am I the only person on this planet who thinks we need a new idea? Am I the only one certain that decrepit economic shibboleths are the equivalent of Polish cavalry charging the Nazi Wehrmacht? Am I the sole genius-Saviour who can see the Emperor’s minute willy? Of course not. But there is no link, no determination, and no solidarity among us.

Proven ability to organise a clear-up of this mess is the very lowest form of the lowest common denominator required….but we don’t even have that. All we have is mud dams holding back the waters, courtiers telling Kings that the waves can be reversed, and amateur collaborators pretending to scientific knowledge.

Competence is no longer anywhere near enough: we need insights, radical creativity, ruthless utilitarianism and a full-frontal attack on brainless privilege. And yet what we are being asked to believe in is a witches’ brew of mendacious incompetence.

The search for competence is, in the end, the enemy of the self-assured wide-boy. Everyone in Western society will benefit if we, the citizens, demand creativity from – and condemn crooked actions by – all those in public life, and all those who are suppliers to our private lives.

Consumers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your pain.

Yesterday at The Slog: Why we are staying in the EU whether we like it or not

34 thoughts on “THE FRUITLESS SEARCH FOR CONTEMPORARY COMPETENCE

  1. I haven’t forgiven the banks …………… rage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! …………… add block capitals and spitting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…… nor labour nor the tories …………..rank!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ……….. murderous scum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. competence is compromised by looting and ransacking and rubblizing. Al Capones gang appears to have won the west since nobody has discovered how to fight them. Its like some kind of anti human, anti life virus for which we use the word corruption. Hopefully a survival instinct will kick in soon. Maybe we that can see need to keep spelling it out clearer and clearer. Like they are taking everything off you. No more money of your own…. you will be slaves….

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  3. Oh, we could bring them to their knees in a matter of days, just by stopping consumption, but will it happen? Nah, there’s always something good on the telly, we can’t be bothered…
    Maybe it a long term plan by the Pols, be seen to be aloof, incompetent, and generally corrupt, then then youth will hold them in contempt and not engage? As perhaps most older folk do these days, who knows? All I know there is precious little chance of change, those with their finger on the pulse certainly know how to keep it there, and keep us where we are.
    Ironically, the best hope we would have of unseating them, is Islam, they won’t put up with their behaviour when they get strong enough, imagine no booze in Westminster? They only tolerate one kind of behaviour, and that’s theirs. Hey Ho!

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  4. @ kfc too right, especially
    [Ironically, the best hope we would have of unseating them, is Islam, they won’t put up with their behaviour when they get strong enough, imagine no booze in Westminster? They only tolerate one kind of behaviour, and that’s theirs. Hey Ho!]

    But you left out the bit about gay MP’s. MP’s who commit adultery what will the future be for them. Or will the BBC luvvies try to get the rest of us to fight their battles?

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  5. 19 Saudis did it, so we need to attack Afghanistan.
    To build up the poppy fields the Taliban had reduced to ~ zero by 2000, to facilitate the drugs industry, to build a pipeline to Caspian oil, to loot mineral wealth & provide strategic access to Russia’s soft Muslim underbelly.

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  6. The “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction” lies, “ready to use in 45 mins”.
    I’d love to see the Stony Bliar creature in the dock so bad I can taste it.

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  7. Most ‘competent’ people learn very early on in life ….if you want it done right….do it yourself. The moment you have to rely on someone else, you know that it is a f*ck up waiting to happen. Fortunately, I am in the competent person camp, and rely solely on myself to do everything. On the odd occasion that I struggle to make the grade, I decide to go without. If I have to give some reasons why incompetence prevails, there are too many to list starting with inherited gormlessness. It must be said though, that when the Victorian era teachers were educating the masses, we developed the Industrial Revolution and had the Union Jack flying under the sunshine 24 hours a day, around the world. Today, the advent of Political Correctness with the all inclusive mentality gives unwarranted authority and legitimacy to every moron of every colour and gender on the planet, and that friends is why we are where we are today.Get over it.

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  8. One mechanism of failure/incompetence is second or third raters promoted way beyond their competence & handsomely over-rewarded. This is where you get this: wattsupwiththat.com/2015/03/31/climategate-investigations-of-ipcc-and-cru-was-there-a-patterns-of-cover-up/

    By top climatologist Dr. Tim Ball, who is awake also to the politics of the IPCC bureaucracy.

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  9. Out of chaos comes …. order! That’s what ‘they’ want. Create chaos. Remove national frontiers.Eliminate cash. Incite confusion and cultural conflict. Desensitise the populus to violence via MSM news, tv. movies, internet games, etc.Dumb-down everyone via consumerism in all its guises. Wear elegant managerial suits and tell bare-faced lies. Professional incompetence plays nicely into ‘their’ plan also. And then, when the state is no longer a fully functioning society ‘they’ offer themselves to sort out the mess – but only on ‘their’ terms.

    Of course, it’s nothing new. Divide & rule. It’s an age-old formula that historically worked – for a time. Back in the day there were counter-revolutions, But now ‘they’ have an extra-ordianry arsenal of weapons (technical, physical & psychological) that give ‘them’ a very high degreee of immunity from the peasants.

    Who are ‘they’? I don’t know but they’re out there somewhere, behind you, doing all this merde.

    It’s a depressing scenario and difficult to see how it will pan out without increased mass suffering. But … shift happens! All one can do is to remain as insulated and isolated from this dystopia as possible and conspire with like-minded souls around the planet. “Be realistic – plan for a miracle” (Osho). Bonne continuation et bon dimanche!

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  10. The problem that faces the victims of the bureacratic/corporate/government behemoths is an inability to distinguish incompetence from deliberate acts of sabotage. When we live in a matrix of the controlled MSM perhaps the only clue to the difference is the subsequent career prospects of those responsible for the ‘cock ups’. Norad failed in the performance of every aspect of its mission on a certain day in September 14 odd years ago, yet those responsible were promoted to even higher office in the years that followed.

    The lies of the Deep State are legion, and almost every week I become aware of another example of the ‘accepted’ narrative being a tissue of lies. For me, it started in earnest with Syria, but recently the history of NATO involvement in the former Yugoslavia and today an alternative view of the Rwandan genocide have left me awestruck at the ability of the puppet-masters to manipulate the public perception. I no longer believe that these people are incompetent. I have to conclude that many of the West’s foreign policy ‘mistakes’ and economic ‘failures’ must be a feature, not a bug.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/01/22/they-tell-us-nothing-but-lies-paul-craig-roberts/

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  11. “All fur coat and no knickers” was one of my nan’s favourite phrases which could be used to describe the Davos crowd. Although, they’re pretty competent at stealing… it’s like a perverse PETA Principal of something…

    Maybe what you need, John, is a wizard’s staff ;)

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  12. Canexpat, Have you considered the possibility that the decision takers of Norad were promoted because of the success of the 9/11 event?

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  13. ‘There’s light at the end of the tunnel’.

    My late father was a life long steam enthusiast and his version of this was ‘IF there is light at the end of the tunnel, then it is the light of an oncoming train’.

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  14. @davidgolightly

    I think it much more than a mere possibility. I believe that the event required to active collaboration of the highest levels of NORAD and these treasonous scum were rewarded handsomely for their crime. I have no doubt they have been persuaded against any sudden bout of conscience-driven honesty by the favourite device of organised criminals everywhere; ‘We can make you rich, or we can make you dead.’

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  15. It starts at the top.
    Reward for failure.
    Members of Parliament mostly unqualified for anything , no work or life experience. (starts with prime minister/chancellor)
    Employment agencies recruit airheads based on so called qualifications, most of which were bought or are useless in real life.
    Don’t start me off. You know what I’m getting at.

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  16. Of course, Corbyn & co are laughable, but it’s not funny.
    Osborne kills pensions tomorrow because he needs the money today.
    Cameron chasing his tail around brussels, bowing to those twerps.
    They have no vision, no style, no ideas,

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  17. Climate & weather are synonymous with woods & trees… I’m not sure most are able to see that though.

    Having embodied the mantel of cog in varying Protestant machines, from the winding mechanism to just short of the bits that moved the hands, I have some perspective, Even more so from dipping in & out of the mechanism at random levels of reduction. There seems to be an inordinate number of robust idlers built in to its modern day incarnation that, as far as I can see perform no, or redundant functions. The simple gear train to the output seems to now require a secret black box called an IED (Infinite Expectation Drive) that continues to drive the hands at random speeds & direction, independent of the supporting machinery, that on the whole seems to just about work, despite a massive reduction in the size & strength & efficacy of it’s primary stage components. I digress, I always preferred being seen as an individual cog & always responded better when this was recognised. it almost made me feel like I was connect to something other than the machine.

    “Am I the sole genius-Saviour who can see the Emperor’s minute willy?” Nope. But that was the end of HCA’s story, no speculation on what happened to the lad. It addresses a problem to face, not the consequences or any perspective on the route to any form of potential resolution. Words like sedition, treason & terrorist, spring to mind. in the current setting. On the other hand he may have got lost in the laughter…. Laughter, ridicule, on mass… That’s got me thinking?

    I’m afraid you will not find a single person truly “In the Know”, who would stand to attempt to change “Things”. Change comes from a new perspective & all I see is the same rhetoric & thought processes that got us to here, being espoused as the new way “Going Forward”… The Old thoughts will be the New thoughts, & we will fool ourselves again. Time for a passive interweb sourced cognitive revaluation… Ohh look JW’s already started it.

    Here’s a joke for you, This Jewish Dyslexic gave everybody a new & simple way of seeing the universe, it was decided by those in authority, who had only Newtonian trained minds, that all social interactions must be undertaken in line with this new theory. Thus restricting social advancement to only relatives & extended family.

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  18. Does the Putney constituency have need or facilities for 3000 immigrant children?
    One might beg the question further justine greenings thoughts. Another nobody un fit for purpose in governmening the people.

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  19. May be a stupid question JW, but could you not just purchase 30 m of standard phone line and connect it yourself? Maybe the French telephone system is different, but having cut through a couple of phone lines in my time, they seemed pretty straightforward to fix. I seem to remember a colour-coded three wire system.

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  20. Anecdote: In the Spring of 1975, I took the bus from London to visit a mate studying at St Andrews. After a few pleasant, pissy days, I boarded the overnight bus in Edinburgh to return home. When we stopped at Leeds at about two in the morning, some boisterous Anderlecht football supporters alighted,waking us all up; (Leeds v Anderlecht 1/4 Finals European Cup I think) “Anderlecht! Zee greatest team! Anderlecht! We are zee champions!” etc etc. “Well who won then? Who won?” an agitated old lady kept asking. “Anderlecht of course! We are zee greatest!” Bewildered and half asleep, they seemed like petulant ghosts; unbelievable; Don Revie’s finest, beaten in the European Cup?? It was only on arrival that we learnt Leeds had won 4-0. I learnt a lesson that night that has been rammed up my nose again and again for the last 40 years: in the land of the uninformed, the balshy, bullshitting bastard is king.

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  21. There is a fine line between incompetence – think all levels government – and private sector corporation rip off.
    Someone somewhere is always making up the new rules to make trouble for YOUR LIFE.
    For example, many of us like to have a pay as you go cell phone. Now , Three and O2 offer sim cards with a genuine pay as you go. Conversely, Vodafone, Virgin and the the other highwaymen limit your top up to a period of validity. If you don’t use it you lose it.
    Do as I do – give them some MOUTH and if it SUCKS, MAKE IT RIGHT…..
    Don’t want to be cursing the fockers on our death bed. DO IT TODAY!

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  22. El nino doesnt make for a cold winter per se .. it drastically alters windflow and this leads to ‘ unusual weather’ the most common sort being highre precipitation than usual . We are having a milder winter than from say 2005 to 2013 , but its only like the winters we had in the 90 s here .

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  23. Well, Mr Ward, if you actually looked at weather patterns rather than trusted weather forecasts, you would note some similarities between this winter and that of 1989/90, although things are progressing maybe a month earlier in 2016 than they did in 1990.

    It’s a bit silly to claim ‘El Nino’ will produce mega cold winters in Europe, unless the Atlantic Oceanic indicators are also cold (they are currently warm on the AMO).

    El Niños produce more precipitation than average, in general, in the US SW, particularly California. They always produce good snow depths in BC, Washington State and Oregon.

    You might like to ask whether the ‘climatology’ you are talking about is just poorly formulated scientific hypothesis, rather than well-established theory.

    Climate is a 30 year average of weather. So you need 30 years of weather data to produce one climate data point. From then on, each year, you can start a rolling average of climate data to see how climate changes. You can run those rolling charts every year, every three years, five years, ten years etc. You see different features depending on how you do it.

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  24. For Canexpat: As politely as I can,If you really think that the guilty men at Norad were promoted for the crimes they committed, then wouldn’t it have been more courageous to have said so in the first place rather than palm it off as an example of incompetence?

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