Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Last Handbagging

When leader of the British Government, Margaret Thatcher was famed for her handbaggings.  These were not literal handbaggings, but occasions in which she put the vain, shallow, irresolute, faithless and power thirsty in their place.

Having watched her funeral today I wonder if even in death she took a metaphorical swing at that same group (albeit much larger).  Before our very eyes we saw those sellouts of this nation who understand nothing of service, called to heel to sing praise to a to a nation they have sold out for their own lust for power.

I hope that in that house of The Lord, they felt the chill that comes with having your mendacity laid bare before your maker.

Monday, 8 April 2013


It is not news for me to report that Baroness Thatcher has passed away, nor will I be considered the person who makes the landmark comment about her life, her years as our nation's leader, nor her passing.  That will come from a lot more informed people than me (and more than a fair share of those more ignorant than me).

As someone in their early 40's I have a somewhat cloudy recognition of the time.  Like most young people I suspect, mucking around with my friends was something that took up most of my time.  That said I have recollections of Britain in the 70's and it had a jaded and stagnant feel to it.  I recall seeing the news with union leaders standing on large platforms "balloting" workers for strike action.  Even as a boy, I always questioned how those leaders could tell the majority were up for it on such a rough and ready show of hands.  It all looked a bit contrived and pre determined.  I also recall seeing the Green Goddess fire engines flying past the end of our street during that strike too and I also remember endless images of men standing around oil drums with a fire on the go in them.  Britain generally felt a bit on its knees even to my young and uninformed eyes.

So I am going to find the next few days and possibly weeks amusing as those young bucks who weren't even a twinkle in their father's eyes during her premiership, pouring forth on Margaret Thatcher as though they were right there.  They'll even probably refer to her as "Fatcher" with the accompanying flecks of spit in the corner of their mouths.

Baroness Thatcher certainly provokes a range of reactions and it is the same when assessing her legacy.  For my own view, like most politicians there was probably both good and bad policy decisions.  That said, she was a leader and probably one of the last of her kind.  Whilst not everyone got what they wanted when Margaret Thatcher came to power, they certainly got what they needed.  They got someone with enough steel to attempt to drag Britain from it's knees who was willing to get in the faces of self absorbed demagogues who took the country on strike at the drop of a hat. 

Whatever you think of him, Jeremy Clarkson was right when he suggested that during the 70's the only thing the British car industry was any good at was a fire in an oil drum.

Margaret That also provokes repeated mantras, particularly from her opponents.  They say she destroyed British manufacturing.  Maybe there where things she did and decisions she made that had a hand in it, but I can't help but think some of her most vociferous opponents, played their own significant role in such a demise. 

They also like to say she ushered in the me, me, me generation and it's here I would probably like to draw it to a close. 

Their evidence is her famous quote of "there's no such thing as society".  Next time you here someone come out with it as evidence, ask them if they can give the full quote.  I suspect many of them can't because it's been deliberately framed as being nothing more than that.  It is in fact, quite different and forms part of a wider interview she gave to Woman's Own magazine in 1987 and it goes like this:

"I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation."

Doesn't look much like someone ushering in a me, me me society.  Looks more like someone trying to put an end to a me, me, me society that was enabled by something or someone that had taken that earned by working people to give to others that thought they were owed.

Let's take another look:

It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.

All I ask is that if you hear the pared down version of the quote, you politely correct the person involved and ask them what they could find offensive in standing up for the working man as the quote so clearly does. 

You might enlighten some, but I suspect that most are so wedded to their hatred of her that it will change nothing. 

Still you will have some fun listening to them spluttering some right old cobblers as they try to prove you wrong.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Rats eating rats

In a previous (somewhat rhetorical) post I was expressing my concern about the Cyprus depositor levy and how once out of the bag the concept, would probably fester in the minds of those who think everything is theirs because they will it to be so and that's all there is to it.

Fortunately there are better writers on hand to write more informatively than me, namely Autonomous Mind and The Slog  who have been having a look at how the idea has infected the minds of others and what was once not a template, now looks like it could become a template.

The problem for me is that many of its proponents and enablers are operating under an illusion.  As well as trying to prop up a political project, what we are in reality witnessing are people trying to keep their vast amounts of wealth however gained.  To some that means shafting others in this zero sum game. They are all trying to protect their bit in what is a collapsing system.

Our money system is illusory, in that the wealth of these investments and financial instruments is only "real" whilst they are numbers on computer screens.  It's not real money.  They couldn't all call on their wealth if they tried to cash it out. The problem we have right now is that leaves them with two options - the first being to maintain the illusion.

Unfortunately  we starting to see (although no thanks to mainstream media) that the illusion is starting to crumble.  It just will not play ball for them and it has become unstable.  What we're staring to see is option two come into play.  Option two basically involves making sure in a scramble for the really small pot of wealth that actually exists, you're not the one who loses out.  This is the Cyprus template. A lot of people have facilitated this and I presume in doing so they think it will protect their place at the trough.

If that is they're thinking, I think they've made a mistake.  I think many of them will in time to come learn a very harsh lesson.  The "elite" as we think we see them, looks like a single homogeneous entity.  I think it is a mistake that many on the inside of it, facilitating games like we have seen in Cyprus, think it is also a homogeneous group.  The truth is, it is nothing of the sort.  Even within this "elite" club there will be a pecking order.

I also think the illusion still has a long way to fall.  I am no financial expert but it is no secret that I am increasingly of the opinion that the whole thing could well smash itself on the rocks where it gets really desperate as we experience a financial collapse or as the understated language likes to classify it "a significant correction".  What they're talking about is serious, serious hardship and poverty.

It is said that rats will turn to eat each other in a starvation situation.  I suspect we may well start to see that in a financial sense, amongst those who have lived in a world very different from ours.  Why it concerns me, is the illusion needs confidence, even it is crumbling.  All it will take is a few of those who think they are in the elite club to be ejected and start to share their scorn, to hasten the lack of confidence in the system, thereby accelerating its downward spiral.