Drop the ideologies and dream up some new ideas
Everything political that could happen has happened in under four weeks. Nothing fiscally economic has changed in over a year. But the outcome in both theatres of life has been the same: stagnation. When “all change” and “no change” add up to the same aftermath, you know that something is seriously wrong. The Slog tries to explain why old ideas can only make things worse….and why this blog’s output must change radically in order to offer straightforward cures rather than just describe complicated symptoms.
“Everything’s happening at once, but nothing is changing” was a tweet I sent out nearly three years ago. It disappeared into a black hole of indifference, probably because there was no obscenity or madcap interpretation in it. But since Theresa Maniac became Gordon Brown II last week, it’s become hourly more obvious that the void where ideas should be – and the vapid professed promises space – remain as vacuous as ever.
Not only will Waspi be ignored, there won’t even be anyone to ignore them any more. The man whose cousin is BUPA’s booming voice in the Lords remains the man in charge of the NHS. There is much talk of Brexit, and much bisecting of the distance from here to there.
In the Labour Party, Remaindeers still demand show trials of the Leavers, people are standing up and standing down, men we’ve never heard of want to overturn Corbyn, some of the poorest people in Britain will now be asked for £25 just to vote for Smith or Corbyn, and yet those same people have clamoured to spend the money in order (one hopes) to defend the Leader’s right to stand on the landslide that put him into that office.
It has been a nonstop stream of political news since June 23rd – the day that the sheep refused for once to be bussed to the slaughterhouse. But after all those events, shocks, twists and dramas, the analysis remains very simple: nothing has changed.
Both Parties have done and are doing everything in their power to oppose the will of the ordinary citizen: it’s obvious this is true, because both the old departees and new arrivals are talking endlessly about the importance of carrying out the People’s decision. And the Establishment is as out of touch with mass opinion as ever.
Out there in the boombust bourses, however, the situation is simpler still: nothing has changed because nothing is happening.
In this alternative Universe, political changes represent nothing more than a series of excuses for things going nowhere and decisions being put off. Ukraine, Syria, French security breaches, the British General Election, Brexit, Trump and now Turkey sorry, Turkiye have determined that Forex, stocks, gold and commodities are all in stasis.
Yet somehow, the stasis is volatile uncertainty. Nasdaq has been running the same ad on Bloomberg since early February: “It’s been a bad start and uncertain volatility is the new norm and that’s why you need us”. The logic is a tortuous as ever, but the conclusion remains: the waters are calmly treacherous and volatile.
Is this because of all those events I listed above? Certainly not: a few maybe – Ukraine, Syria and Turkiye – but those three are driven by the business geopolitics of energy, not the squabbling of minnow politicians.
The politicians don’t count any more – beyond being useful idiots paying the pipers. Nothing is happening in the markets because doing something could blow the tops off worm cans and the cover off Pandora’s box.
If Yellen raises rates again, South America goes down the Swannee. If Draghi tapers off QE XXVII, the eurozone goes for a one way trip up the River Excrement. If Japan doesn’t stick with trying to lower the Yen’s value, the ramifications could make Fukushima look like a minor incident. If the oil price doesn’t stay artificially high, Texas will implode. If Beijing stops directly propping up worthless shares on the Shanghai index, other bourses could return to panic mode. If big multinationals stop borrowing money in order to pay shareholder dividends (think about that one for a second or two) the worrld’s biggest stock market could collapse. So doing nothing to upset our position in the eye of the storm is it.
Except that, er, doing nothing for much longer will bring on the mother of all twisters.
For the third day in a row, I am offering the same hypothesis: this circularity of faux-calm is yet another symptom of a killer disease.
The only ideological “solutions” hahaha on offer are (1) keep dosing and distracting the patient, until we the MoUs have reset everything in our favour; or (2) let nature take its course, and then we the Big Socialists can bring on more of those revolutions that worked so well during the 1789-1990 period.
But Dr Neal Iberal and Nurse Sushia Lism haven’t developed anything innovative to cure the patient. Dr Iberal is convinced that more hot poultices will restore the poor devil to health; while secretly, Nurse Lism is praying for the patient to die.
We don’t need “progressive” politics or a fisco-financial reset. We don’t need to chuck out the capitalist baby with the filthy neoliberal bath water. And we don’t need to be bailed in by the banks.
This is no longer about a choice between laissez-faire tinkering and State-socialist revolutionary chaos. Respectively, Bloomberg TV and Paul Mason would have you swallow that regurgitated vomit.
It’s about the death of old ideologies and the birth of new philosophies. It’s about rejecting a straightline view of the future based on the past. It’s about dumping rigid, unwieldy systems in favour of a focus on human beings and their fulfilment. But above all, it concerns the restoration of the Sovereign Citizen with more responsibilities, more powers, and fewer masters.
The focus of The Slog is going to change in a way that accepts these realities, and the need to convince the decency spectrum that a radically better future is possible. Brexit is just the beginning. The next step is to end that beginning with a definitive closure. Then it’ll be time to rebalance the insane shift in power between multinational capital and creative labour.