A challenging opener as my thesis for this week: the acceptance of divisive and discredited mores and ideologies by a minority is at the core of our species problem.
Consider for a second what happened in Japan earlier this morning. New data emerged to show that consumption fell by 0.8%, while the Yen remained stubbornly strong as a currency. A BoJ spokesman admitted, “there simply was no sign of a driver in the economy”.
Gloom on the Nikkei? Not a bit of it: the index shot up by 7.2%, despite the glaringly obvious fact that Abenomics are going nowhere. Abenomics will remain in the straitjacket, in the padded cell, in the insane asylum, with no release date in sight.
The commentariat’s ‘analysis’ of this extraordinary crowd behaviour was first, that the market had been oversold last week, and second, that the Tokyo exchange needed to catch up with the rebound in Western markets from last Friday.
So to be clear about it, Nirp has so far done nothing except the opposite of what it was supposed to do, Japanese debt (at 260% of gdp) will offer the attractive carrot of paying to lend to Tokyo, deconsumption is accelerating, the biggest QE per head in history still can’t get inflation going, and all this makes Japan such a gold-plated safe haven, the currency is rising to make export trade even more difficult. So let’s have the biggest market rally since 2005, and then we’ll have the full set.
On this sort of thinking sits the fate of the world economy. And that economy faces a dire future because of the glaring disconnect that continues between the financialised capitalism of monetarist drivel, and the real global slump out there which, without QE being counted as ‘gdp’, would be even more bleedin’ obvious.
A couple of talking heads on the business channels were openly suggesting in the last hour that we should abandon monetarism in favour of – you’ll love this – “more innovative economic stimulation”.
Anchor: What do you mean by ‘innovative’?
TH: Oh you know, infrastructural investment, government schemes and so on….
Anchor: Like FDR’s New Deal then?
TH: Correct, yes.
Anchor: From 1934?
I’m on the case of inventing a more innovative method of cutting grass myself. It looks remarkably like a pair of nasal-hair scissors, but it’s very innovative.
Now think for a few moments about the state of the ‘Opposition’ Labour Party in Great Britain.
I’m sure most people who don’t know any better would agree that Labour’s role is to be the Party of the Underdog, and the opponent of all things colonial or imperial. Which probably explains why the bunch of corrupt bullies in Brussels-am-Berlin who pummelled the Greeks into submission after grabbing most of the old Soviet satellite States seem so attractive to the Party, and why the vast majority of Labour members are anti-Brexit.
Although split on almost every other issue, Labour remains rock solid in its support for a dysfunctional currency, and the creation of an EU Standing Army by an Italian. What it appears to be divided about, however, is how to oppose the destruction of legal rights, communities, police objectivity and media freedoms in the UK by a Government chiefly run by incompetent pillocks with an odd gleam in at least one eye.
Since 2010, when Ed Balls allowed Camerlot into power by alienating the Liberal Democrats, the Party has landed not a single telling blow on the corrupt liar Hunt, the featherweight Osborne, the heartless Duncan-Smith, the constitutionally braindead Theresa May or the empty superficiality of David Cameron.
Taking the main scandals and banana skins one by one, the right wing media exposed MP corruption, left wing journalists and luvvies revealed Newscorp criminality, the WASPI women with SNP help highlighted the female pensions scam, another group JENGba is leading the charge against the nakedly ‘Special Powers’ potential of Joint Enterprise law, and NHS staff themselves – with huge support from all corners of the blogosphere – have been left to defend the best thing Attlee Labour produced. Potentially the biggest scandal of all – the HSBC/BBC link – has been publicised by one man, Nick Wilson…who lost his home and his life chasing this truly foul bank to earth.
Burnhamite Labour and the previous Ed Miller Band seemed content throughout to follow the Blairite strategy of running away a lot. Burnham himself, for example, has pledged his support for JENGba, but done nothing. Faced with a vote about bombing Syria, he abstained.
Now – through their own smug idleness – Fat Labour has been thrashed by the Corbynistas of the New Honest Left. The honesty soon ran out of principles it could break and present as ‘inclusivity’. The Party billed by Ed Minigland as Your Friend in Tough Times has adandoned even more of its traditional franchise, in favour of simmering mutual detestation of the bicycle brigade on one side and the Thatcherlites on the other.
In a nutshell, Labour is torn by the choice between failing monetarism, and reversion to the old mix of TUC barons alongside those who cannot go more than 24 hours without expressing solidarity with Urugayan radical feminist collectives. As for the only solution open to post-Miliband Labour – an alliance with the SNP who are at least as Left as them and share the blind Pugh approach to Brussels….since last September, the phones have not started ringing. If you want a measure of how ecumenically useless Labour can be, you could do a lot worse than study the unravelling shambles that is the Left Out axis on the Brexit issue.
As a species, we are abandoning new frontiers in favour of fundamentalism, and eschewing cooperation in favour of catechism.
One can see it happening in social policy, politics, economics, fiscal approaches, religion, feminism.
It is confirmed through the linguistic defence mechanisms the self-appointed priests give themselves: ‘No Turning Back’ in the UK Conservative Party, and ‘Progressive’ among US Democrats being two classic examples.
There is a well-trodden Roman Road here, and the staging points are called Process, Consistency , Loyalty, Heresy, Extremists, Failure, Special Powers, Room 101, and Fascist Consensus.
Keep right on to the end of the Road
Keep right on to The End.