The British Class System is unemployed

As someeone who studied eleven centuries of international economic history in the course of my reading, I am a bit of a fan of feudalism.  Feudalism is under-rated.  On a good day, feudalism works a lot better than capitalism.

Contentious, qui moi?

It may surprise you to learn that after the Black Death, when many villages and feudal settlements were empty as a result of the deaths of the occupants, the contents of the cottages revealed, in many places, a far higher standard of living than expected.

Ask an unemployed urban dweller now whether they would feel hard done by with their own rabbit warren, space for a cow and some hens, hand me down crystal, clothing and metalware from the ‘big house’, a four day working week for the local lord, followed by a day for the church to cover education and medical treatment for the family, their wives doing cottage-based piece work for the travelling merchants, and they will admit that our marvellous capitalist system is not treating them particularly well compared with medieval peasants.  Capitalism and socialism are mutually dependent.  If you believe otherwise, you are being conned.

The difference with feudalism and the reason that it could not be sustained, was that it was based on the availability of land, which is why the British strove so hard to acquire quite so much of it.  The British class system, complete with privilege, horse skills, hunting etc was set up for exploration, not industrialisation.  Given a chunk of uncharted territory, your average toff was able to feed his workers, organise them to build shelter, reroute rivers and eventually plan out a wider agricultural and transport strategy thanks to their having been given land to manage over several generations, something I touched on in Best Scandal Ever.

Now, of course, there are far too many people for us to benefit from a feudal system with a local landowner to blame if things go wrong.  In the event that the reformation had not happened as a result of urbanisation, the catholic peasantry would have been starved and tithed out of this formerly comfortable life. The British class system, which worked so well for the Georgian and Victorian explorers and their military-imperialist tendencies, has now been reduced to a small number of corrupt individuals who, rather than believing in duty, the preservation of land, and the glory of the nation, now believe in reducing those who do not benefit from capitalism to criminal behaviour in order to survive.  Instead of national pride, we have a system which supports contempt for the poor and disabled, offering benefits to cronies in the fields of banking, weapons manufacture, construction and of course, the politicians who ensure that their instructions are carried out.

What happened then, to the idea of ‘things being better when gentlemen were in charge,’ a cry uttered by my neighbour within my lifetime.  When the gentlemen were in charge of my city, they dutifully gifted their estates on death to become parks.  Can anyone imagine George Osborne gifting his wealth to anyone? I have met some of the older members of David Cameron’s family, and whilst they would not gift their wealth, they certainly donated quite a proportion of their property for the benefit of the military during World War 2 and had a sense of humility whilst doing it.  I cannot imagine the same can be said for the Head Prefect, who spends his time whining to his local council whilst recommending that the rest of us get fracked.

So why retain faith in the Great British machine, when the Great British machine no longer works?  Clearly the answer is to remove cronies, whether they be Tories, sustaining each other’s family businesses by promoting war, forgiving banker’s errors, indulging in not-so-secret talks with corporate lobbyists before promoting policies that serve only themselves?  In the meantime, they feign caring by retaining some of the worst Labour policies.  Labour, as a party, is all but dead, they wait to be told what to think.  Consensus, as I have always said, is not a healthy or progressive state of affairs for any party, nor is attempting to centralise a country that cannot, and should not, be centralised, particularly not for the benefit of London, at the expense of the entire UK.

Honesty, in addition to duty, have gone out of fashion, unfortunately at a time when we are more aware than ever before exactly how many lies, and how many mistakes, we are at the mercy of.  Is it not time that we took some initiative to get our country back on track?  We used to be great, not a puppet sideshow, whispering in the ear of the USA to scrape a few arms sales to line the pockets of a few more fat cats, smoking in the private member’s club right next to your politicians.

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Restaurant food politics

Many years ago, I spent a decade as a chef.  I moved every five months, on average, worked up to 120 hours a week, learned what I needed to learn and explored the vast (3 million unskilled jobs lost to the smoking ban in the UK) catering industry.
I had started as a waitress, earning more between tips and excessive hours than the owner of the restaurant I worked in, and quickly figured out that whilst the chefs had the scars, they also got to go home and earned more hourly than I did.
Anyway, what I learned, from working across the industry, was a lot of unexpected stuff about food politics.
You tend to get a lot fatter eating in a cheaper restaurant, because the food in cheaper restaurants consists of a lot more filler foods, such as cereals, potatoes, flour etc.  Deep frying is an excellent way of presenting such foods, and is crunchy, hot and tasty which is all a casual visitor really wants.  In one struggling establishment, I succeeded in making a burger so addictive that people were coming back three times a day for the same meal.  I achieved this by combining piquancy with salt and sugar, an apparently irresistible and satisfying combination.
In more expensive restaurants, where foods are very high quality, often take hours for a badly paid team to prepare, with smaller portions, you tend to shed this excess weight extremely quickly due to your workload.  One of my exs was voted the best chef in Western Europe (once upon a time), and he had me working from 7am until 3am the following morning, seven days a week.  Food is a very unrewarding art form at this level, but the challenge of creating a dish incorporating sweet, savoury, bitter, digestive, levels of crunchy, colour, flavour and texture is a fun creative exercise, not to mention the knowledge and skill acquirement of getting to work with more expensive materials.
If you then transfer these skills back to a cheaper restaurant, things get a lot more interesting.  I caused quite a stir with my venison and chocolate sausages with prune chutney once upon a time.  Sadly, the ex got quite jealous at that point.
The point for you in terms of your health is the idea that potatoes, flour, deep frying, the sugar and salt combination, sweet and heavy puddings are now considered filler foods for poorer people. This means that someone, somewhere makes a good margin of profit from such foods.  Shooting for quality in your diet means avoiding such foods in favour of fresh, well prepared, non processed food.
Likewise eating in Marrakech was fascinating.  Moroccans have the benefit of a strong export trade in fruit and vegetables, meaning that the bruised seconds available make eating a lot of these very simple, as long as you have plenty of bottled water to wash them with.  Meat is not always refrigerated, hence the very well cooked tagines they are famous for, and sugary mint tea is the norm. I was curious about this very warming and very cooked diet when I was there, and found out quite quickly that eating raw is something that becomes more difficult without a reliable clean water supply.  Hence the well cooked traditional dishes and the sugary tea.  Sometimes it is all you can keep down.
Scotland has a strong export trade in quality meat and fish, meaning that we have pies, haggis and sausages to use up our own ‘bruised seconds.’  Such is the influence of commerce.  Feed the population on the bits you don’t sell, and pretty soon you have a traditional diet full of off-cuts.
In conclusion, food is as political as fashion, and your diet, like your clothing, should reflect you and not what the whims of time dictate.  Eat as well as you can afford, and avoid filler foods as much as you can, because if it has been used as something to fill the stomachs of the poor, then you can bet it shortens your life.

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Trickle down lies

My apologies to my fellow economists and economic historians, you may wish to go and do something else just now as today’s post is about the fallacy of trickle-down.


Our current economy still works on the age old principle that the sacred pyramid is still worthy of worship.  It is far better for you to be halfway up, or better still, at the top of this sacred pyramid.


The idea that in 2016, we still worship pyramids, is rather hilarious, but nobody who is busy making as much money as they can wants to hear that their efforts may not be entirely effective, or that they are making themselves unworthy through sheer ignorance or self-deception.


To clarify further, since I know many readers of my blog are currently people who have no time to actually think for themselves as they are busy filling their pockets from their very fortunate gainful employment and presumably, like my own siblings, ignoring their responsibility for looking after people other than themselves.


Here are some basic economic facts for our conservative chums:

Dead people cannot spend money
Poor people retain less money in the form of savings
Poor people spend a greater proportion of their income, with the benefit of the multiplier effect, this makes them far more active and useful economic agents than rich people.
The multiplier effect is the principle that moving money is more productive than static money – ergo people who have to spend it have a more beneficial effect on the economy than people who do not.
Centralising economic activity in one region does not benefit other regions, meaning that the creation of infrastructure becomes difficult, expensive and impractical, at the expense of areas which could easily benefit from increased mean income, property prices and in which poor people benefit in terms of standard of living by having richer people to protest about their ‘inhuman’ garbage collection etc.
Housing benefit exists to benefit property owners, not tenants. The only reason housing benefit has not been attacked under the Conservative government is because they own a lot of rental property. It is a construct designed to benefit people with money and property, not protect the rights of the people doing the renting.
Dropping public money in the forms of bombs is not cost effective, unless you are doing it to secure contracts from an ally country, or ensure a living for a friend in the defence business.
Likewise, outsourcing jobs which require no experience or education is a bad idea if you want people to claim fewer benefits. It reduces the base on your pyramid.
Attempting to replace the base of your pyramid with immigrants causes further damage to the foundations, as communities blame new arrivals for issues of poorly maintained property and services, and new cultural influences, such as mosques and outdoor fruit and vegetable suppliers, increase negative attitudes and crime amongst the inhabitants of the base of the pyramid.
Deciding that you are a knowledge economy and then providing no tangible evidence of this, leads to a lot of underemployed and unemployed graduates, who then spot that your system does not work. Indicating that these people are to have their lives effectively destroyed and feel shame over it will not help you long term.
Putting an ever increasing proportion of the population into permanent debt, means that the base of the pyramid is now extremely shaky, and if it falls down, everybody suffers and you are at risk of actual revolution.
Not everybody is a selfish economic agent, capable only of patting themselves on the back for acquiring money.  The opportunity cost of self righteous obsession with money, is compassionate and conscious care for others, and consideration of far more important issues.
Failure to address people’s more altruistic feelings leads to unstable politics
Opportunity cost – the opportunity cost of working in a biscuit factory on minimum wage when you have other irons in the fire, is that you may never get to develop your potentially lucrative creative career in app design, or whatever else floats your particular boat.  Sometimes giving people the opportunity to develop their ideas is the more lucrative option.
When the economy recedes, an intelligent Tory provides money for small to medium sized business, as this feeds the base of the pyramid, in the form of a disproportionate number of jobs provided, and encourages self motivation amongst the damned and condemned poor that you hate so much.

Trickle-down is a myth, a rumour spread by the same delusional people that think it is ok for them to have more than twice the average income in interest on their parents ‘trickle-down’ wealth, whilst other people rely on charity.  The idea was that if one economic class is given money, they would use it to make more, accidentally benefitting the bottom of the pyramid by virtue of the spending involved and potential jobs created.


I have known for some time, that the notion of scarcity in economics is belied by countries with high savings rates.  People do not have unlimited wants.  People do not have unlimited motivation.  What our current government believes, is that if you continue to feed your economic plants from above in the form of tax breaks, that the plant gets bigger.


No, if you fail to feed the plant from the roots, it will collapse.  Trickle-up economics is the only way to go.

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New Scottish Culture

After the referendum last September, the Scottish National Party became the most popular political party in Scotland.  The reasons for this may seem unclear to people who do not understand Scottish culture.

Before I go into that, here is my own position.  As a former interviewer for a research organisation that formerly worked extremely closely with national government, I was initially a no.  I just could not permit myself the space to consider whether Scotland could afford the number of disabled, long term sick, or unemployed people that we support without the ultimate insurance of the UK.  When I finally discussed it with a friend who is a lot more interested in domestic politics than I am, I made the decision to take the risky, yet positive Yes route.  Why did I change my mind? Certainly not because of oil revenue.  Oil does not really affect Glasgow, it barely affects most of Scotland.  The chattering classes on the east coast would tell you something different, but the chattering classes on the east coast are not really considered to be very pro-Scottish by most of Scotland.  There are logistical reasons for this that most Scots, never mind anyone else, do not really understand.  There is also a strong sense of rivalry between east and west, which historically far outweighs anything as mundane as the price of oil.

So, first, the east-west divide:

When you drive to Scotland from England, you have three main options – the A1, which takes you up the east coast,  the M6, which takes you up to a fairly straightforward artery to the formerly industrial zones in the west, and a wee road that we like to send the English tourists through Galloway, via Moffat.  The Moffat road allows you to delude yourself that you are seeing pretty parts of Scotland, whilst gently directing you towards Edinburgh.  It never fails to make me chuckle, this idea that we are keeping the best bits for ourselves, and directing the tourist traffic away from Scotland’s actual capital, Glasgow.

I have lived in both cities as well as a considerable number of other areas in Scotland, and contentiously, I can tell you that it is a lot easier to live as a single person in Edinburgh.  Like Kent, it has a steady through traffic of incomers, and an arguably more cosmopolitan atmosphere generally.  Like Kent, although people are generally less friendly, they are actually a bit more tolerant of strangers.  I have shocked many an Edinburgh native, when asked about the two cities, when I have said this, as they assume a natural rivalry exists.  No, we in Glasgow are quite happy for Edinburgh to accomodate all the tourists they want.  It keeps the place tidy for the extended clans that prefer to do Scottish business and shopping in Glasgow, from most of the rest of Scotland, including places that are actually nearer to Edinburgh. Glasgow is designed for mercantile and domestic business, central Edinburgh is designed for something somewhat more genteel and anglified.

So what implications does the information I have given you so far have for the new Scottish culture that has developed since the referendum?

What do Euan McColm, JK Rowling, and  ‘what about my pension?’ Historywoman, all aggressive Unionists have in common?  They are all residents of Edinburgh.  They genuinely believe that their self-hating and often ill-informed opinions reflect the views of most of Scotland, because they are assured by their positions that the masses really care what they as individuals think.  JK, as it turns out, is a titanic egotist that believes the slavish followers that hang on her every word, without any alternative information to her apparent dislike of the country she is choosing to throw her money about in. They are apparently unconcerned who they are bombing, and whose house gets fracked, as long as they are right, right, right. Euan even tried to tell me that the SNP were at fault for the activities of SEPA, an organisation that I am familiar with from my days working for the main utilities companies in Scotland.  Sorry, Euan, but SEPA have never done what they say on the tin, it is nothing to do with the SNP, a party somewhat fettered by its own democracy.

As a result, many unthinking no voters believe that the question of Scottish independence is akin to a primary school exam question.  It is multiple choice, and all they have to worry about is getting the answer right.  They do not like the couthier elements of the SNP, or the devotion shown by some supporters (particularly those who are formerly left wing activists) and they do not trust that anybody in Scotland has sufficient wit to run a country. When you consider that Scotlands upper working and lower middle class are often heavy drinkers, who work extremely hard and have limited time for information gathering, never mind thinking, it is less surprising that they take the views of these people seriously and write the entire argument off as ‘lefties dreaming about oil.’

As the Scottish voting public have demonstrated since the referendum, the question of independence for yes voters is not at all about oil.  Whether you are left or right wing, it is about your idea of what a nation is, your level of self confidence as a person as well as a nation, and your opinion of how well the UK functions for you as an individual.  I am sure that if you are a mean-spirited academic worrying about your pension, a fearful author worrying about your house getting burgled by poor people, or a minor journalist who just wants to be in with UK bricks, the idea of independence is very frightening.

If you are a cultural observer, however, it is more of a question of how one would go about making the country work for people who have been forced to accept a culture of loss,  historically, industrially and in terms of the lose-to-win social housing rules. What Scotland actually needs is a generation of factories, in order to achieve future generations of bankers, engineers and designers to move the country forward.  Are we likely to achieve that by ensuring that we are under Tory rule from the over-populated England?  Many middle class thinkers in Glasgow apparently think not, going by the referendum results.  Despite an engrained class tension, exemplified by a friend of mine from Pollokshaws, who despite a £50,000 a year job as a builder, cannot imagine owning a house ‘because he has no capital like the middle-class c****,’ Glasgow apparently has the confidence that Edinburgh appeared to lack at the time of the referendum. What my friend requires, apparently, is an injection of morale that people like Rowling and McColm cannot find in their hearts to provide in the country they choose to live in.  Good luck with that stinking self-hatred you are punting.

Meanwhile, the English media would have the snarling chavs believe that the Scots are whinging cowards, milking the teat of English supremacy whilst complaining about their lot.  They have been trained to think this by enthusiastic misinformation, and they are very good at hating whomever they are told to hate.  Hating is apparently much easier than thinking, or hoping, or building anything new.  It requires no energy at all.

What the #SNPbad crew do not understand is that the SNP are a conduit.  They are not just one party.  Many of us in the party detest the couthier elements, but it does not mean that we will cease to support the SNP for as long as it takes to rebuild our country and create a new basis for healthy discussion.  No, we do not sit over a brazier discussing the good old days of scraping a living off the croft, people working in mines or tales of shipbuilding. Yes, we are aware that there will be decades of hard work, just to persuade people that it is OK to think, OK not to hate, Ok not to rely on past wounds for guidance. What we all have in common is this dream of self determination, unchained to the desires of public schoolboys lining their pockets with backhanders, defence spending and welfare pensions which relentlessly punish people who are without hope due to a lack of strategy from the top.

My view comes from one of the most stratified cities in the country.  Nevertheless, unlike the impoverished No voters, we managed to agree on one thing – Scotland needs to be Scottish in order to progress.


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You will spend your money on….

This is the time of year when you have just slightly overspent on your family and friends, and socialising in the event that you have employment and suitable friends/colleagues.  You will now be considering diet products, as you will seek to lose weight for your forthcoming holidays, which are traditionally planned at this time of year.  In the event that you have the time and inclination, you will also be considering a New Year’s resolution, which may also cost you money.  After the debauchery season, comes the austerity season.

Your spending is highly regulated by media influence throughout the year.  This is much the same whatever your income bracket.  It is a skillfully managed machine that has become finely tuned over the last three centuries or so, since the rise of the department store and initial increase in marketing budgets that led us to where we are today.

It is alarming, when you are unused to it or know how the system of manipulation works, how smoothly you are induced to slip into a state where you are easily induced to spend with the herd.  Your diet is as relevant to this as any other part of it.  Take out the traditional food, socialising, willingness to conform and you quickly realise how often, and how fully you are lied to in the course of the year.

I used to wonder why people would want a holiday every year, because I loved work so much.  Now that I am ‘on duty’ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week I actually need a holiday once or twice a year, in line with those who chose to have children or who have been trapped in a particularly tedious job and lifestyle by circumstance.  Most things that people in the west want are actually social constructs to make someone else a living.

Once you accept this, and try swimming against the tide somewhat, you will discover just how fast the streaming goes.  In my lifetime we have gone from 20 year spending phases of life to 5 or less.  It used to be that you had the childhood phase, the disposable income phase, the young family phase, the mature family phase, the post family phase.  Now we have more individualistic phases to extract the cash from a wider range of people. Computers and gadgets have caused a proportion of the population to genuinely believe that they need the latest phone/social media/computer/game/movie, and they need it now.  To fund this, they need a ready supply of fairly meaningless and unfulfilling work, and during the course of this they need to lie, agree to say nothing about things they don’t agree with, or pretend to like someone who really is not at all admirable.  The age of the role model, and the age of integrity have gone in favour of the great Capitalist con.

The irony is that our national economies performed much better when we favoured honesty and were shown examples of heroic rebellion.  Saying yes to people we have no respect for, on the grounds that they have a nicer suit or car, is what led to the economic crash.  Banks and supersized companies alike, favour the cheating robot over the honest and devoted employee.  This is not healthy.  The Western economies fully deserve the downfall they will suffer in the next century or so as a result.  Sooner or later, command capitalism or simply a well educated, well motivated developing nation who admire progress will eat us all alive, unless we learn how to look back and learn.

As individuals, we need to learn to swim against the tide.  Every time a stupid acquaintance remarks on our old car or clothes we should learn to righteously sneer at their frivolity and congratulate ourselves at avoiding the great capitalist con that keeps them in debt.  There is no actual joy to be gained from being endlessly available or engaged in pursuits that are simply designed to drain our finances into someone else’s pocket.

It is important to remember that the multiplier effect only goes so far.  We in the West dropped the idea of real money some years ago, in favour of virtual money that moves as a number without any currency to back it up.

Be ahead of the game, rather than sorry at the end of it. Any economic growth they report now is directly at the expense of another nation, students or sectors of society that you are told to hate, for a variety of increasingly spurious reasons.  Hate the fat, hate the elderly, hate the disabled in relation to the welfare bill or the NHS.  Hate the Muslims whilst we destroy their countries for yet more gain.  Hate whoever they tell you to hate, but do not be deceived that it has anything to do with anything apart from the money.

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All that Eco fair trade bullshit

As those curious enough to bother investigating will know, I am;

pro natural health (on a civil liberty basis)

pro ethical business (even pretending is a step forward)

pro social capital (on an neo-socialist basis)

pro nationalism (on an anti USA dominated globalism basis)

pro diversity (on the basis of leaving people alone unless they attempt to interfere with your life)

pro action on climate change (this ought to be obvious unless you are demented)

 Unlike most people, my confinement at home due to my caring responsibilities means that I have some limited time to actually find out before making decisions on such things.  My vision for the future is of individuals investing in developing nations from their own pockets.  Setting up a rural business in Africa obviously requires significantly scaled down investment on setting up a business in central London, which is apparently how our delusional spoilt brat government in the UK thinks.

A chance conversation with a nice chap from Yorkshire on Twitter today alerted me to the fact that most people do not realise why they are under threat of being fracked.  It is part of the war effort and strategy for the period after conflict, when Saudi, the USA, and to a more limited extent European countries including the UK will divide the spoils in terms of contracts issued to rebuild countries such as Syria and Lybia.  To achieve this, puppet regimes will be put in place in much the same way as they have been put in place in the Ukraine, Iraq and Lybia.

Oil prices are artificially low at the moment.  There is no actual glut. Sensible countries should be withholding their reserves for the future, but the few individuals that benefit from defence spending, loans taken out by people maintaining appearances, inflicting poverty (which affects the rest of us by causing a proportion of the population to take up a life of crime eventually) on the lowest income brackets and new immigrants alike, are making sure that no reserves are held.  This is to ensure that the nation funds the biggest economic heist in history.  As I have explained in several previous posts, your only chance is to redirect your money.

I have already suggested that you move your money to ethical banks, who do not invest in fossil fuels, defence producers, GMO and chemicals.  I have suggested that you avoid chain supermarkets.  I have suggested that you feed the smaller companies to encourage competition in the fields of media, finance, food, chemicals and health.

Today’s conversation indicated that most people do not have sufficient knowledge or interest to investigate reducing their reliance on fossil fuels.  As this is rather central to our current political situation, I shall now endeavour to explain the very real conspiracy you enable when you vote either Tory or (new)Labour, both end up with the same global result, in slightly different ways.

When I was still interviewing, it became apparent over several years that gas prices continuously went up.  When I investigated why, it was said that Russia was the main supplier to Europe, with some supplies coming from the Middle East.

We all know how hysterical the USA are about Russia.  They seem very fond of Saudi, however.  My Hindu friends hypothesize that Saudi has bought some favours, meaning that we are taught endless tolerance even as people fall victim to attacks which probably would not happen if we were not incessantly helping the USA with their encirclement policy against Putin.  Now we are also being asked to tolerate armed American guards in our airports.

Fracking is supposed to be accepted without question.  If pushed, they will probably tell you that it is part of the war effort, since Canadian and American fracking is lowering the price of gas. In the UK, the Tories are keen to exploit our rather fragile country in order to produce even more.  This is not to benefit the consumer at all, since once America installs a puppet state in the countries we are currently destroying, the preferred fossil fuel suppliers will move into those countries, making fracking the UK a luxury that will no longer be necessary.  Granting permission to do it, however, means that the same people who benefit from war, benefit from fracking your country when the war is over during the rebuilding process.  Therefore relying on gas, is effectively supporting endless austerity and perpetual war.

For this reason, five years ago I installed an air to water heat pump and system in the family pile.  This has saved us 66 percent on our huge fuel bills, and means that a 14 room house costs slightly less to heat with our constant hot water than my friends 2 bedroom flat costs to heat with gas. The system paid for itself two years ago in terms of outlay, and we are not supporting the corrupt and outdated fossil fuel business.  I am not quite brave enough to switch to an electric car yet, but I will be doing this also, when I am satisfied that I will still be able to drive all over Scotland without mishap.

Not for the first time, this story has been divided into parts, to make sure you are confused, and to make sure that you can only be bothered about one bit at a time.  ‘Anti frackers, anti science’, in much the same way as they have waged war on the alternative health ‘problem’.  This is in anticipation of TTIP TIPP and TISA.  Europe and the Asean countries are expected to play along with American corporate dominance, bought with borrowed American cash. (from China, who are laughing their heads off)

Likewise, it is relatively simple in America to present the argument as ‘Anti-war, anti-Jesus.’  We in Europe are not so simple, so instead we get some nice frictional immigration to foster a shift to the political right.  Your nervousness about immigration is likely to confuse you into supporting the welfare budget being spent on bombs from the Cameron friends and family.  The media has helped by doing a marvellous job on persuading you that poor people really do deserve to starve, so it is fine that thousands of disabled people die because of the policies of the poorly educated Ian Duncan Smith.  Add to this, the cheeky Jocks wanting to take your fossil fuel supply away, and we have a perfect storm of confusion.

The consequences of you falling for this, staying in a state of ignorance, believing that as long as you are in the home counties or London, paying your way in your relatively safe job, getting the rest of the UK to fund as many bridges and roads as Boris could wish for, is that your country is being set up to be sold to the USA hook, line and sinker, with the proceeds going to a very few already rich people.

Voting labour in its former form, simply meant the proceeds would go to alternative already rich people.  Under Corbyn, there is some hope that the structure of corruption changes somewhat, but not completely.  As I have said before, socialism and capitalism are mutually dependent.  Endless liberalism is not desirable either, since it simply leads to people being confused into agreeing to a different package of corruption.

So, in addition to my entreaties to move your money, to stop supporting large lobbyists, to encourage competition from smaller and more honest players, I now ask you to consider investigating ecological, therefore moneysaving ways of reducing your personal reliance on fossil fuels.  You support war and corruption to a degree beyond that of even the most hardened junkie.  There are many reasonably priced alternatives – solar, wind, groundsource heat pumps, air to water heat pumps.  The government would have you believe that this does not matter, despite European emissions targets.  Remember the day Gordon Brown signed us up to them, simultaneously ordering two more coal fired power stations?  That is the level of stupidity and corruption we the public are up against.

You need to change your habits now.  Repeat after me,

We are not American, and we will not be conned any more.

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Problems with Motivational Speaking

So, now that I have given you a rough guide to why Wolfe is not such a bad guy after all, (see previous posts) I would now like to go into the problems of the methodology of American motivational speaking.

Strong elements from the past also render it extremely weak for the following broad reasons:

Plain English – motivational speaking is popular because of the homely tenor of delivery – speakers such as Earl Shoaff were poorly educated guys who took to network marketing to earn some extra buttons in the early part of their life.  Jim Rohn himself was basically a sales trainer for Herbalife in the latter part of his career.  I cannot imagine the level of worship that he enjoyed being replicated in Europe, for a number of very good cultural reasons. Whilst I have no problem with imaginative and non-patronising explanations for things – I once used doughnuts to explain the main theories in social philosophy, for example, sticking with a formula which worked sixty years ago is extremely limiting.  I watched Wolfe in the early part of his career becoming extremely frustrated with the apathy he was confronted with as he tried to grow various early versions of his model. (kudos to Wolfe for leaving this material online for me to gawk at)  Since then, he has found other ways around the problem. Suffice to say, the world has changed considerably since the Dale Carnegie/Earl Shoaff golden era of smartly dressed and respectful audiences writing down every word their chosen guru says. Today’s audience is more focused on education and a level of information provision that Shoaff and Rohn simply did not have to worry about. So, the answer here is to develop a more advanced methodology which includes a little tragedy with the optimism and present a more balanced and believable picture than in the past.

The rich are too rich – One of the more interesting features of Rohn, in this case, is that he does not bother to present himself as a particularly nice person, the grin that does not reach his cold dead eyes is particularly marked.  His assertion that we should wish to leave the 90/95/97 percent behind simply does not suit modern thinking – economically speaking, people are now well aware that having a tiny percentage of extremely rich people at the expense of everyone else is not a feature of a healthy society. So, rather than a ‘forget the negatives and affirm yourself to wealth’ approach, today’s speakers would be well advised to shoot for an informative way to implore the audience to collectively raise their personal bar of achievement.  I had a look at The Secret a few years back, and it was so despicable in its approach that I was unable to continue with it.  Reality check – people are starving to death and we all hate banks – social capital is the future, not leaving people behind to die whilst we roll about in our money. Interestingly, economic anthropology shows that we are thinking more consciously about others in the west as our countries are richer – third world experiments show a far more dog-eat-dog mentality.  So, unless you plan to market to a developing nation – try to show some sign of ethical values.

Plagiarism – keeping a journal of things to make you richer is a very bad idea unless you plan to reference everything extremely carefully.  It is considered to be acceptable in oratory, because obviously it is impossible to reference every line you say in the course of delivering information.  It is, however, relatively simple to paraphrase, and equally easy to mention the source of your great ideas. Rohn’s premise of journal keeping, and using anecdotal material to get your point across is just not going to cut it for the future. Instead, it is again quite easy to pepper your material with useful or otherwise stimulating information and heartfelt goodwill to your fellow humans.

The pyramid must die – This is a personal observation – it is time to kill the pyramid – the one percent sit at the top of it.  There are other formulations, from the time of the Medici, which I am able to go into, but will save this for a different post or possibly book. If you are employing or being told to employ your affirmations or motivational techniques as part of a sales scheme in which you are on the lower ranks of yet another layered network, just get out of it and find some ideas of your own.  You are not onto a winner in the vast majority of cases.

Stop hitching your wagon to other people – I have witnessed life coaches and motivational speakers alike who speak in almost religious terms about their inspiration.  I think I have demonstrated from my non-relationship with Wolfe that it is entirely unnecessary to worship your inspiration.  It is entirely possible to see people for what they are, admire them for the good bits, and kick them in the ass for the bad.  It is called, amusingly, being objective.  Objective objectification, in my case, presumably, given my ongoing project. I do this mainly because I want him to get what he wants from his life, but this does not mean that I have any responsibility for his success or failure, that is entirely up to him.  My direction is parallel, rather being on the same wagon trail. The point is that there is no answer – you should be shooting for your own path, not dragging your heels on someone else’s. Which brings me on to my final point for this evening –

Original Material – despite the many problems I would love to get my teeth into, (alas I am not a 22 year old beach bunny) Wolfe’s use of whimsy kept me listening to him for several weeks before I realised why it sounded so familiar, and yet so odd.  His timing is impeccable, just when you are thinking you have heard enough about premium spirulina, along comes some random wildness that shocks you back into your chair.  Whilst this is to be applauded, it is important to self-generate something that is completely your own.  You need to wallow happily in your own filth, to a certain extent, to be producing something that you are so comfortable with that you own your topic, whether you are writing, or speaking.  Being confident is not about following a model, it is about making use of a model for your own purposes.  It is imperative that any keen audience get some sense of acceptance. Bringing a sense of dignity to your audience whilst raising their consciousness may seem like a return to an evangelical approach, but it is perfectly possible to instill pride, and make use of it, in an audience which has been lulled into defeat by an increasingly oppressive meritocratic approach.  This does not mean that you start every speech with tales of poverty and anecdotes of failure, as used by Zig Ziglar, but it does mean that you remove the barriers from an increasingly cynical and browbeaten public.

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Economic Raw Food for the Brain

About a fortnight ago, a tearful young lady had put a message up on facebook complaining that she was tired of being disposable, that nobody had any feelings anymore and she did not feel that she could live like that.

I very quickly replied that her generation had been brought up for a transient existence because transience is good for the economy, and that if she expected to change anything, she was just going to have to rebel.  She did not reply. A good example of this symptom of the Western economic disease is one of IKEA’s campaigns, which entreated the viewer to get divorced and buy some furniture. This is a fairly advanced gag for the European market, but an important one.

I am sure this phenomenon, of personal disposability and the need to continuously upgrade yourself, started during my generation or even earlier in the USA, but in the UK even people two years younger than me show a marked difference to people of my own age. The sublimation of cultural influence is so finely tuned now, that even 20 odd months make a difference. Where I got much the same post war creative children’s programming as my older peers, I noted as far back as the 1980s that colours in newer TV shows were more akin to sales signs and children were being discouraged from actually making anything in favour of showing off another purchase. I was met with dismay in the 1990s when I made a serious complaint to the BBC about it.

It is very sad, and very bad for fulfilling personal development that we are now training people to despise menial jobs and assume that the answer to all ills is to purchase happiness.  It is equally sad to destroy the sense of commitment that, despite sacrificing a sense of day to day contentment, provided people with the stability required to move beyond Candy Crush Saga, to discuss more important things and perhaps volunteer to do something about them instead of assuming powerlessness.  Being serious is now considered to be something undesirable and unattractive. People like this poor girl feel that their emotions are somehow unacceptable, and that feeling anything renders them worthless.  Compare this with even fifty years ago, and you will see exactly how much you have been manipulated.

Post 90s babies may not even have access to people who remember when it was OK to have feelings and make lousy Valentine’s cards (or whatever else) for each other as it now seems to be desirable to throw the elderly into a care home.  Boys are now deprived of the company of their fathers, fixing broken items or inventing new ones, because the traditional skill level has been depleted for the benefit of the Political Economic Paradise we are so fortunate to live in. Now they are supposed to jump into the second car and buy something new to keep somebody somewhere (else) in work. All so that your government can show you another couple of percent growth and keep you voting for them.  You can also count yourself responsible for perpetual war and student loans, since these are also part of the economic machine that is running out of steam.

I, perversely, count myself lucky to be in a position to show you exactly how much you have been conned. Time is money – no, money is time, and time is worth a lot more than cash to you if you know how to use it effectively and have sufficient motivation to do something with it.  Nobody is powerless, and nobody is worth more than you just because they are good at extracting cash from their employer or anybody else they do business with. Don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise, stop comparing yourself to them and stop worrying about what people might say if you actually care about something.  You may well surprise yourself.

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