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IOLO

reimaginedhistory

There are great dangers in trying to even out history, or just re-imagining history to suit audiences or mores.

My two most hated TV shows of all times are the risible Bridgerton and the even more risible Tudors.

Let me explain.

Bridgerton re-imagines Austen’s England as a world where people of all colours wafted around in a way that they wouldn’t even do in the 21st century. It is highly patronising in so many respects. Historically, morally and culturally. Kids watching this will presume that black people had equivalence in that era. How about telling it as it was ? Whitewashing at its worst.

The Tudors took the fat old king and made him a handsome young man forever. Henry VIII was one of the most risible people who ever strode the earth and to lionise him with lies is just pathetic.

So, can we please return to the Game of Thrones and fiction that is actually closer to reality than the pathetic histograms patronising TV execs and fawning critics want to foist upon us.

Or can we have a series with white slaves taken from Europe to Africa (that, at least, is historically accurate) ? Indeed, there have been so few programme about the slave trade (Roots perhaps being the only antiquated exception) that you wonder why redoing Austen is more important than showing the horrors of the slave trade ? Oh, yes, it’s more palatable.

Wishing a narrative to correct historical wrongs is just morally and intellectually incorrect. Righting moral wrongs today is what we need to do.

Not weaving fantasies.

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IOLO

disinflationism

So, because Thatcher and her bonkers economic advisor, Alan Walters, decided that inflation was a bad thing, UK economic policy ever since has been based on this thesis.

Ask a Japanese and they will tell you that some inflation is a good thing. It’s a sign of a growing and expanding economy.

It’s not inflation that Tories object. It’s wage inflation. Yes, all you Tory voters, they don’t want you to have a wag raise.

And that’s what’s come to pass. Hardly any worker in the UK has received a significant wage rise in thirty years.

The vast resource of EU workers helped with this, of course.

Let’s segue into another economic driver. The pound has collapsed, so exports are cheap (and imports are expensive). This should help British business if they are net exporters. So they can afford to pass on savings and increased margins to their workers.

But the reality is that the economic models of the past are just broken or lies. Monetarism was a mad economic theory that devalued public utility and values individual capitalism and rapaciousness.

Thatcher sold off all the assets – the oil, the gas and the nationalised industries and left us without energy security, whilst perusing a war in the South Atlantic.

Now we have a mini me Thatcher taking over from a wannabe failed Churchillian. What did we do to deserve this ?

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IOLO

howlocanyougo

Well, we seem to be awaiting a few tens of thousands of the ’chosen ones’ (or Tory party members) to decide our future PM.

This is madness. How can a small cabal decide on the leader of a democratic country ?

Given the idiots that have filled this position in the near past you’d hope for a mannequin or standing stone, but no, we have Liz Truss. The girls most unlikely to succeed.

How does the nastiest turd float to the top ? She is stupid, arrogant and nasty and is one of the only life forms in the UK that will actually make her idiotic imbecilic predecessor look good.

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IOLO

primitivism

File:Homo floresiensis cave.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

The world is becoming primitive again. Our advances in thinking and learning and understanding are collapsing.

There is little doubt that some corners of our learning (the standard model for physics, or many political models) are hugely flawed.

But all over the world, in so many contexts, we are returning to beliefs that have been proven bad, divisive or just wrong.

The main problem is Faith. That is the belief in something that cannot be proven.

If you believe in something that cannot be proven, you can believe in anything. This is the essence of cults such as religions and social media platforms.

This is not revisionism or countenance. This is the belief in polemic ideas.

You can spend a lifetime studying the cruelty of nature from the haven of ‘civilisation’ and ‘humanity’. Yet humans, by their sheer dominance and inability to realise that their massive over-production have broken the imbalance of our earth.

Once more we are tribal and filial beyond any rationality.

Animals need no excuse to tear each other apart. Humans need football, or ethnicity or any other made up pretext.

I will, from now on, label these people – those who believe in the ludicrous concept of Faith or the pretext of political belief, as primitivists. They need to be left behind. Or we can shortly count the cost.

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IOLO

lynchbanksy

My town used to be a recently decent backwater with drug problems but not a lot of crime.

Then came a Banksy on the old prison walls and lockdown and every single wall and fence in our town is now graffiti ridden.

Apparently there is a difference between taggers and stencillers.

But the well documented problem with this isbthat it results in rivalries, often violent ones, based on affiliations or gangs.

Stabbings are now weekly affairs in my town. The police are never present, having moved to a block several miles from the town centre.

So, a blank wall, an empty fence, or the excretions of a youth without consequences.

I prefer the possibilities of a blank canvas. so, Banksy need to be jailed for vandalism.


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IOLO

clickharvesting

Media has always depended on audiences and the greater the audience the greater, usually, its success.

Now many, if not most, journalists have click profiles hard coded into their contracts.

In other words, the get paid on how many clicks they generate.

Hence bizarre scenarios such as the UK’s ultra right wing Daily Express endlessly speculating about when the volcano under Yellowstone will explode. I kid you not.

Of course, in the UK it’s the weather. In the US it’s the endless lies around Hilary Clinton promoted by Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch.

The manipulation of people to sell clicks is perhaps the most insidious aspect of modern life. it has made lying mainstream and acceptable.

Why should truth get in the way of the American Dream, which is utterly predelicted by the ability of an individual to climb over the truth and the dead cold bodies of anyone to het to money.

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IOLO

immigrantanarchists

So, the Germany immigrant Pieter Thiel is funding all kinds of fascist and anarchistic organisations, whilst his erstwhile colleague from Paypal days, Elon Musk is interfering with any sector that interests him on the day.

But, together they are two of the wealthiest men on earth. The American Dream (for them).

They talk about the American dream and this is it – a German immigrant and a South African immigrant who have made it ultra big.

After all, Donald Trump’s mum was an immigrant, as were his wives, and his father’s father. He’s hardly American. Unless you define Americans as immigrants.

America has a neo Nazi and an apartheider as their most successful role models and a wannabe KKK leader as their wannabe President (again).

It just gets more and more terrifying.

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IOLO

pointlessness

All I can say today, after all that has happened recently, is that I am so glad that I don’t have children. How sad is that ? When we defeated apartheid and got rid of Thatcher I was so proud and hopeful. I guess we are animals after all.

Dogma has, literally, Trumped truth and rationality.

My wife recently stayed in the Vegas mansion of a colleague (a senior exec of one of the world’s largest conpanies) and alarmingly told me how she kept an ’escape bag’. You see, she’s black and American.

Today, I feel that every woman and child, as well as anyone from any ethnic background should have an escape bag in the USA.

That’s around 68% of Americans. So how come they can be subjugated and terrorised by a minority of entitled white men ?

Religion, gerrymandering and utter aggressiveness are the answer.

Cortez, a stupid white diego, took much of the Americas with two hundred like minded colonists.

Nothing has changed.

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IOLO

moneydoesntwork

As I write this, inflation in the UK is nearly 10% yet interest rates are 1%. It’s clear that economics are broken: they are where the Standard Model is in physics. Clever theories won Nobel Prizes but have helped little in the real world. Monetarist or Keynsian, money itself is broken.

On one hand we have ‘full’ employment and lack of manpower all around with the ’supply chain’ broken in so many places. On the other, we have food banks feeding a large proportion of the UK.

Surely this suggests just one thing ? Wages are far too low.

Worse still, the pandemic has seen many older and better off people withdraw from the job market totally. With money worth nearly nothing and its utility also fast diminishing (how many Deliveroos can you order in a day ?), there is little motivation to work or even get richer.

Ideas, free time and personal agendas are the features of the 2020s.

For decades, salaries have barely risen in the UK for most people, whereas wealth for the top 1% has exploded. There’s something viciously Victorian about this scenario, an era that our current Eton and Oxford educated Tories hanker after (as, it has to be admitted, do many of their serfish Brexiteer followers).

So, Johnny foreigner has to be kept out, the workers need to be kept in their place and Britain can be great again.

Except money is broken. The dollar is hanging on in there against competition from the ludicrous, polluting Bitcoin (which deserves a carbon tax). But money isn’t worth anything.

The last refuge for Brits was property. So many of us own second homes and ’buy-to-lets’: my property investments have consistently outstripped everything I have ever done or invested in.

So, once again, it’s more economical to sit in a home whose price is rising by 10% a year than go to work.

The real currency of the UK is our housing stock, swathes of which is unproductive since it was bought by overseas investors under the nose of the Mayor of London, who is, er, now our Prime Minister as he did nothing to alleviate housing costs for his constituents.

So, you can mine money by sitting at home or using an environment destroying rig, since mining for gold or being an investment banker is pretty difficult.

The question remains: if money isn’t worth anything, how do we measure our values ?

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IOLO

moneymockery

I spent an early part of my career working in financial marketing and saw all the shenanigans used by ’the City’ to make its ridiculous salaries. From ’arbitrage’ to ’active fund management’ and definitely in ’investment banking’ it was a joke then and is more laughable now.

Over 30 years, I paid between £300-£400 a month into a pension fund. I received forests of documents meant to protect and inform me during this time. But very little information on what the money men were earning and what return they were delivering, let alone the interest of MPs and government ministers in the funds and company I was/am invested in.

Suffice to say that my pension is worth less than the money paid in after 32 years of being passed around from Refuge to others then Royal London then Scottish Widows (who recently sacked the risible vowel-averse and profit averse abrdn as fund managers in favour of Blackrock.

The same pattern is reflected across my ISAs and in my crypto investments.

Only two things have made me money over the past 38 years – my own companies and property (arguably we’ve done well with art and gold as well).

So you really have to ask what the point of these so called ’professional’ money managers is ? abrdn should clearly have its funds sold or reallocated and be closed down since its fund managers under perform what my cat would do with an inkpad and the FT (and Tigger only requires a can of tuna as payment).

I’m sure that there are good money managers out there but I’m damned if they want to deal with those of us with under £10m.

Money, as they say, begets money and all that’s left for us relatively poor plonkers is buy-to-let and the ravages of inflation.