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Handling Setbacks

5 min read

This is a story about inevitable disappointment...

Letter to Mr Grant

Oh no! Bad news!

Time to press the FUCK IT button and self destruct. I just can't take shit like this any longer. Life is one long string of let-downs and anticlimaxes. Life is like being fucked up the arse with a red hot poker, until the day you die.

But, isn't this what separates the winners from the losers: how do you handle the bumps in the road? Do you fall to pieces, or do you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on the horse?

How much can you take before you inevitably conclude that the world's got it in for you? A life of happiness and contentment just aren't on the cards. You're consigned to your fate, which is misery, failure and then death.

You could try to be philosophical and look for a silver lining in every cloud. Maybe the reason why you didn't get that job was because it wasn't meant to be: there's a better job waiting for you just around the corner. Maybe the reason why those shitty things happened was to toughen you up for the challenges ahead.

You could try to be pragmatic; realistic. Give up and get a cat, because you're going to be single and unemployed forever. Nobody wants you. The world's trying to send you a message and that message is crystal clear: fuck off and die.

We seem determined to build an adversarial zero-sum world, where our lives are dominated by stress and rejection. Instead of cooperating, collaborating and sharing, we want to have winners and losers. Instead of everybody having what they need, we want to create a world of haves and have-nots.

I read something the other day suggesting that participation medals for coming last place in a running race were a terrible idea, because they made victory taste less sweet. Supposedly, we'll be less hungry to dominate our peers if we start doing away with the spirit of competition. Yes. Yes, that's the point.

"That's loser talk" I hear you say.

Yes, if you think you're pretty great at something, you can get a bit carried away, can't you?

Remember: there can only be one ultimate winner, in a competitive world.

Taken to its ultimate conclusion, there'll be one person who has all the money, all the sexual partners, all the power. There'll be one person who's the best at sport, music, art, acting, writing, science, adding up numbers, memorising facts, spelling. Anything that you think you're good at and you enjoy... you'll find out you're inferior. Trust me, you're not going to like it.

You might think you're a big fish in your small pond, but remember there are 7 billion people crawling all over the surface of the planet, trying to fuck each other over. Your delusions of grandeur will be shattered and you'll find out that you were simply being used by powerful people, to further their ambitions.

You might think that competition is natural. You might think that survival of the fittest means that humans are evolved to fuck each other over, but in actual fact the success of our species is cooperation not competition.

We have baked adversarial practices into our society. We have the government and the opposition in politics. We have the prosecution and the defence in law. We have legal and illegal; right and wrong; black and white. We have native and immigrant; us and them. We pay our sports stars obscene amounts of money and we have football hooliganism in support of our favourite team.

This is a mistake.

The competition is with nature, not with each other. A hurricane will flatten our houses, so we should cooperate to build stronger buildings. A drought will leave us all thirsty, so we should cooperate to dig a well. Crop failures will leave us all starving, so we should cooperate to store our grain. Lions and tigers will eat us, so we should cooperate to warn each other of approaching danger.

So far as I can see, all the misery and suffering in the world is a man-made problem, because we refuse to rein in the horrible power-hungry and greedy aspects of humanity. Why do we celebrate celebrity, wealth and status? Instead, we should punish and shun the freakishly vain and selfish people, who consume and hoard more than their fair share. Democracy has been perverted to serve the interests of a few rich people, instead of the masses who toil in the factories, fields and build the houses.

If you ever wonder why bad shit happens to you and why life is such a struggle, the answer is fairly easy. In an adversarial competitive system, everybody has to suffer so that one person can be the 'winner'.

I'm now playing a waiting game. I'm clinging on with my fingernails, just waiting for the whole house of cards to collapse and the proletariat to rise up and strike down their cruel masters. Humanity has been enslaved by capitalism for too long. It doesn't work for 99% of humanity, and that's fucked up.




Feedback Loop

9 min read

This is a story about reality checks...


When you're amplifying a signal - for example, a microphone connected to a public address loudspeaker - then you have to be careful that you don't get the microphone too close to the speakers, or else you will get horrible feedback.

My blog is read by friends who've known me for years & years, but I very rarely meet up with them. Sometimes I get an email or a Facebook message, and it's jaw-dropping that they understand me and what I've been going through so well. The usual trite platitudes (e.g. "why don't you try getting more exercise?") are certainly applicable to anybody and it does show that you care, but it's a wonderful experience when I communicate with friends and they've got all this background info on me.

Regarding my blog, only very rarely will anybody ever present an alternative opinion, or challenge me. I think I have a fairly persuasive manner of putting a point across, and I write with a great deal of certainty; forcefulness. It must be somewhat intimidating: the idea of potentially entering into debate with me.

A strange thing starts to happen when you think about things in isolation too much. Because I work with boolean algebra for a living, I start to think of everything as binary: there's a right answer and a wrong answer. I can use a lot of deductive reasoning to arrive at a set of beliefs that evolved purely from logic - a priori - as opposed to being shaped by experiences, discussions and human relationships. I labour the same points, over and over again, becoming ever more certain in my convictions and better and better at defending my position; entrenched in my stance.

It's quite satisfying to present your thesis quod erat demonstrandum.

Weirdly, if nobody calls you out on anything, then you assume that you must have made a valid unassailable point. When somebody does call you out on something, then things get a bit more fun, because you have to decide whether to dig into your trenches and defend, or whether to concede the validity of an alternative viewpoint that had not been considered.

I used to have a certain attitude that could be surmised as follows:

"Fuck you. You're wrong"

Once you have constructed a fairly infallible piece of logical reasoning, being told "no, I disagree" is the most frustrating thing in the world. You can't just disagree with something. It's point/counterpoint. You need to make your own reasoned counterargument. Contradiction is just stupidity. It's very frustrating to deal with people who don't even realise that they're complete idiots.

I deal with idiots for a job: they're called computers. If I tell a computer to jump off a cliff, it will do it. Computers just follow my instructions to the letter. Computers follow my logic with 100% precision. Being a computer programmer quickly teaches you how to logically reason things, leaving few loopholes. If you leave loopholes, these are called 'bugs'. Bugs will cause rockets to explode, trains to derail or aeroplanes to crash.

And so, a computer programmer arrives in the real world, and they're experts at spotting cognitive dissonance. "Fucking immigrants, coming over here, taking our jobs"... but, but, but you're an immigrant, stutters the programmer, incredulous that somebody could be so stupid as to not see the flaw in what they're saying.

Anyway, I'm not even part of the debate. I'm watching from the sidelines, writing my manifesto; proselytising my theology; broadcasting my dogma. Nobody is questioning the validity of anything I'm saying. Nobody is challenging my assumptions. Nobody has yet said "you're wrong, and this is why...".

Even to say the word manifesto sends a shiver down my spine. I fear that I might have gone mad. There are so many vilified people and policies, linked to a manifesto. In Britain we are not particularly terrified of communism. Being called "red", "Marxist" or "Trot" is not even pejorative, to me. However, if you were to point out that Anders Breivik also wrote a manifesto, and so did Hitler, then I start to feel a little defensive.

But, how the hell are you supposed to develop a political ideology, if you don't write it down? If you can't express a set of values and ideals for the betterment of humanity, then what? Am I only allowed to select from a menu of just a few mainstream choices? Of course, this is what party politics wants. The idea is that we should vote for party, not policy. If we voted for policies that we wanted as citizens, we'd be getting dangerously close to having a democracy.

If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it.

I worry like crazy about how isolated and weird I'm getting, honing my ideas and developing my system of values, without very often discussing what I'm thinking over a pint of beer, with a good friend in the pub. Obviously, one must be mindful that Mein Kampf was conceived while Hitler was in hospital, and started when he was incarcerated. It's mad to speak this aloud, but I'm always asking myself: "am I more like Hitler or Jesus".

Christian values are actually pretty cool. Forget the ten commandments, because, I mean, rape isn't even on there. Graven images: no frigging way! Rape: no problem.

Jesus Christ was an awesome dude. He basically founded the Occupy Wall Street movement when he turned over the tables of the money lenders in Herod's Temple. Does that make him an anti-semite though? Could that have been a hate crime, given that it was an attack on Jewish businessmen, in a holy Jewish temple. Certainly a controversy worth pondering.

Then you get to thinking that Jesus Christ, The Prophet Mohammed and Adolf Hitler, all thought that earning interest should be abolished. Hitler was a socialist, as was Stalin, but then so was Tony Blair and he started an illegal war that ended up killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. It's all so damn confusing.

To my mind, if you have a political system that's successful for the vast majority of people, the educated bourgeois can go to hell. To hell with your freedom of speech. To hell with your attempts to pervert government to better serve your own needs, at the expense of the majority. Go buy yourself a desert island if you want to run things in your own selfish interests.

Eventually, I arrive at the decision that it might be better to just write a utopian novel that merely disguises my manifesto. It should be no surprise that I've extensively read Orwell and Huxley. However, the dystopian novels seem to have become instruction manuals for our governments. Perhaps novels are powerfully influential, in all the wrong ways.

I love the Roman idea of the forum. The Internet discussion forum is a wonderful invention. The online communities are a lovely place to inhabit.

My writing and debating skils - or lack thereof - were honed in the arena of the online discussion forum. In a way, I did a lot of growing up, by reading, writing, trolling, debating and very often being shot down in flames.

Now, I have brought those writing skills, and the skill of making a reasoned argument expressed in a succinct and persuasive manner, to bear in the world of blogging.

I deliberately chose a non-Wordpress platform, because I wasn't looking for yet another blog and to connect with yet more bloggers. All the bloody comments sections are filled with other bloggers, link building back to their own blogs. It's such a ridiculous echo-chamber of people all clamouring for readers. How can you compose your thoughts and reach conclusions, when embryonic ideas are critiquéd so immediately?

I could have started to write on Medium, and I'm thrilled that my friend whose startup powers this blog, is now working for them. It might sound like intellectual snobbery, but there is a higher standard of writing and comments on Medium, than anywhere else on the 'Net right now.

But really, the biggest win for my blog has been to inform a bunch of my old friends from my discussion forum days, what the hell happened to me when I "went off the rails". It's been an opportunity to defend myself against malicious rumours. It's been an opportunity for me to ward off the shame and sense of failure, for things that happened.

Finally, the nicest thing happened the other day: I met up with a friend at the pub, and he reassured me that I'm still the same person who he knew, all those years ago, before the whole horrid mess in the middle. It's an immense relief to know your personality hasn't changed, your brain hasn't been damaged and the person that friends once knew, still lives and breathes and hasn't been replaced by some demonic creature.

Life is pretty hard without feedback, but equally, it's been useful to write at length without the debate that so ground me down and made me unwell before. It's a horrible thing, to be so misunderstood, and to feel like the people who are supposed to care about you are working against you. It's so hard to argue with multiple people at once. It's so hard to defend yourself against a mob.

Publishing is super powerful. Publishing is like a megaphone, to shout down the bullies.

However, the occasional reality check has very high value.




The Definition of a Hero

8 min read

This is a story about warfare...

3D Printed Gun

What you're looking at is a 3D printed gun. The gun can only be fired once, but it only takes one bullet to kill another human being. I could decide that my life is more important than yours, and murder you.

We often forget that decisive weapons are the reason we sit in idle luxury, while another half of the world don't have enough to eat or clean drinking water. We have essentially already built the walls that protect the wealth that we have plundered. The world has been divided into 'haves' and 'have-nots'. Lucky you for being born into the group of 'haves'.

Try to remember that: what you have is down to pure blind luck, not divine right, not the glory of your ancestors, not hard work and not personal sacrifice.

Anybody who glorifies war is an idiot.

Wars are not won.

There are no winners in war. There is no such thing as 'victory'. The only thing that comes close to a 'victory' of sorts, is when both sides willingly lay down their weapons and stop fighting. The only heroes are those who bravely disobey orders, and those who resist the urge to kill, maim, torture, rape, pillage and otherwise exercise dominion over their fellow humans.

There are painfully obvious psychological tricks that are being used by power-hungry megalomaniacs, who are intoxicated - drunk - with a kind of nostalgia for national glory, victory on the battlefield, defeat of an 'evil invader'.

As an animal, I wish for people who share little of my genetic material, to perish so that more of my genes will be propagated. My 'selfish' genes quite literally code for murderous intent towards people who don't look like me.

Race is an obvious way to divide into tribes of genetic similarity. White Europeans, and all those black-skinned Africans. White Europeans, and all those bearded Arabs. White Europeans and those dusky-toned Indians. White Europeans, and all those slanty-eyed Asians. White Europeans and those plains-dwelling Red Indians. White Europeans and those rainforest-dwelling tribespeople.

Now, because we're living in a post-slavery, post-apartheid, post-colonial, post-imperial age - supposedly - we are now indoctrinated into the belief that we have a national identity. We salute flags. We stand for national anthems. We dress up in uniform. Our heads of state are rammed down our throat around the clock: their faces are on every coin, every banknote, every postage stamp. Our schools teach no history except "victory" against some imagined enemy. Our media tell no story, except how badly the human rights are violated in countries that do not follow the doctrine of 'democracy' and capitalism.

"I'm not a racist, but Britain is full" say the racists. "We're just a small island and our infrastructure can't cope" say the racists. "I'm not a racist. I just want to protect the British way of life" say the racists.

What do you think would happen if a migrant ate fish & chips or a roast dinner? Do you think a migrant couldn't be kept warm and dry in a thatched cottage? Do you think that a migrant couldn't enjoy a game of cricket? Do you think migrants can't drink cups of tea, or eat a scone with cream and jam on it?

All the things that you think of as British are actually just things that can be enjoyed by any human being. We all have the same needs. Just how British are you, anyway?

I don't even know who my biological grandparents on my mum's side were. For all I know, I might be genetically descended from immigrants. In fact, the Brits are a mongrel race anyway: Romans, Vikings, Normans, Saxons, Celts.

So, borders, flags, passports, nationalities... these are just bullshit made-up things.

"Defence" is a synonym for "guarding the wealth that we have plundered". If you are guarding your wealth, you are refusing to share. As Ghandi said:

"The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for anyone's greed"

The panic over the migrant crisis is easy to explain: the ruling elites didn't share enough of their wealth domestically. Even though a "poor" person in the UK is not poor by global standards, they still feel very poor indeed. Asking the poor to share, when they're already hard-pressed and feeling insecure, is not fair and it doesn't seem possible. We already have a housing crisis, a pensions crisis, a financial crisis. We already have problems with underemployment, unemployment and feel like our wages barely stretch to meet our cost of living.

Ostensibly though, there is a racism problem.

Having well-educated French, German, Italian and Spanish people coming to the UK to make your coffee and wait your tables, was not a problem for you, because it was white faces with cute accents.

However, seeing groups of young Arab men does trigger a whole host of fears that have been created by jingoistic faux-nostalgic nationalistic scaremongers, who want you to buy their right-wing newspapers, or vote for their right-wing political party.

The whole "war on terror" has done a remarkably efficient job of convincing people that their 'way of life' is under attack. People who are fleeing persecution, or migrating for economic reasons, are seen as a comparable enemy to Nazi Germany, with the same kind of "we will fight them on the beaches" kind of nationalistic bullshit being peddled.

In actual fact, what is happening is that the inequality is simply too great, in a world that's hyperconnected by the Internet. I mean, damn, if you lived in a mud hut with a straw roof, and you saw an episode of MTV's Cribs, wouldn't you be convinced that every man in the West lives like a prince in a palace?

Whose way of life are you actually defending, anyway?

Do you live in a palace? Do you have a basement full of gold bullion and vintage wine? Do you have priceless artworks hanging on your walls? Do you have supercars? Do you have superyachts? Do you have private jets?

No, of course you don't.

Pyramid scheme

You're being used you fucking dumbasses. You're being told that your way of life is under threat, but really you're just being used as a human shield to allow the plutocrats to defend the vast wealth that they could never even spend in a million lifetimes.

There's a choice: you can arm yourself to the teeth, and try to hold onto the vast riches that are far more than you need, or you can move to a model of equality; sharing. If we have a culture of sharing and equality, then there isn't going to be a horde of migrants at the gates clamouring for a few bones from the dinner table, a few crumbs from the cake.

The UK's highest paid CEO is paid 2,500 times more than the average salary.

It's a pyramid scheme, and the ordinary people of the UK are upset about having to share the crumbs, because the crumbs are all we get at the bottom of the pyramid. What we're saying, when we say "Britain is full" is that we can't share any of our crumbs from the cake, because all we have to eat are a few crumbs anyway.

It's easy to point at how wealthy Britain appears to be in global terms, but an average salary is not the same as a typical salary. In a normal distribution, most people would earn the average salary. However, most people earn less than the average salary. The average is skewed by the high earners. The reality is that even an average salary can't afford to pay for an average price house, but a typical salary can't buy a house and barely meets the cost of living.

Looking at the typical example is a lot more important than looking at the average.

It's because the typical person is experiencing very real hardship, that we have arrived at the point of multiple crises hitting all at once: the day has finally come where the plutocrats will have to convince us to fight to defend their wealth, because the world's poor are becoming more informed via the Internet, and are quite rightly demanding that they have a more fair share of the common wealth, that we are all equally entitled to.

So, don't get all sentimental and caught up in the propaganda: the flag-waving and the talk of 'heroes' and attempts to stoke up nostalgia for wartime. War is awful. War is unnecessary.

The fight we need to have is with the plutocrats, to smash open their bank vaults and share out their wealth.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Period.




What Have the Nazis Ever Done for Us?

10 min read

This is a story about invasions...

Nazi salute

Are you worried about your culture being wiped out? Are you concerned that we could all end up speaking German, Japanese, Chinese or Arabic? Are you concerned that you will no longer be able to worship your favourite imaginary friend? Are you concerned that you'll have to salute a different combination of colours, stitched into fabric and raised on a flagpole?

When you look at nationalism, you'll see that it's pretty insane. While some people willingly learn another language and enthusiastically adopt the culture of another country, and go and live amongst those people, others believe that "our" way of life is worth dying for. In fact, they believe "our" way of life is worth killing for.

Why would somebody learn German and go and live in Germany? Surely that would be like surrendering to the enemy. Surely that would be a slap in the face to our brave grandfathers and great grandfathers, who fought in two world wars so that we never had to learn another foreign language or eat a bratwürst. Our dead relatives laid down their lives so that we should never have to suffer an Oktoberfest and drink large steins of cold beer brought to us by buxom wenches in lederhosen.

When we study history and people's attitudes, it was nationalism that was the main reason we went to war, not the protection of the Jews. The genocide that was being committed is what we are mainly taught about today in schools, but the strongly held belief in British hearts, was that we needed to protect our country.

Only when our European allies had been completely overwhelmed by German forces, and they had reached the northern beaches of France, did we decide to put some boots on the ground.

If you examine the rhetoric of Donald Trump and the Brexit movement, you will hear similar attempts to stoke up nationalistic fever and paranoia over an 'invasion'. Apparently, a "swarm" of brown people are on their way to our shores, intent on fucking up our national identity. We are told to live in fear and mistrust of our Muslim neighbours, who wear strange clothes and congregate in strange buildings. Islamic culture is so different from ours, and we are being trained to treat what is different with suspicion of an ulterior motive, of overwhelming everything we hold dear.

Talk of walls and pulling up the drawbridge. Shut down the borders. Send "them" home. Look after "are" (sic.) own. Britain First. Make America great. Blah blah blah.

But, if we ignore the social problems that are driving suport for far-right jingoistic nationalists, like Trump, Farage, Le Pen, then we fail to defeat them. By continuing to bury our head in the sand and repeatedly just cry "racist" and "bigot" then we continue to drive a wedge between enlightened liberals, and the vast numbers of poorly educated people who feel economically disenfranchised.

Why would I talk about economics? Surely ordinary British people just want an integrated society, full of fellow British people, not all these damn foreign types with their weird food and strange customs? Well, no not really. The reason why people have rounded on immigrants, as has been stated ad nauseum, is that people feel poor and insecure in their jobs. Ordinary people are economically disadvantaged, and there is a popular belief that immigrants are fuelling excessive competition for a finite number of jobs and resources.

I'm about to suggest another, more controversial reason, why we have been taught that the West has 'won' and our way of life is the correct one.

Let's leave all discussions about anti-Semitism and the holocaust aside. Of course, any discrimination based on colour or creed is wrong. Of course, any act of genocide is deplorable. These things are not the topic of my thesis. Let's set those points to one side, because they're discussed at length elsewhere.

Now, let's think about how the Nazis swept to power. Do you think Hitler said "let's kill all the Jews" and all the Germans went "Yeah! Brilliant idea! Let's vote for this guy!". Nope. Even if the Nazi policies of getting rid of gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill, Jews and other minority groups was central to their meteoric rise to power, something else was driving it.

Think about the economic situation in Nazi Germany. The country was saddled with debt. The war bonds were a crippling millstone around the neck of the ordinary German people. For every Deutsche Mark that was produced by hard working ordinary Germans, 17 more Marks had to be found for the repayment of national debt. The German people felt enslaved to the money lenders, and the money lenders were perceived as Shylocks (Jewish money lenders, Jewish bankers).

In the twenty year period in-between the world wars, ordinary Germans had been massively economically disadvantaged by the national debt, in the form of war bonds and reparations, that their own government and nation had taken on. Do you think the ordinary Germans felt that they owed this debt? Do you think that, given the choice, they would have borrowed so much?

The German people wished to free themselves from the slavery of interest payments and the tyranny of capitalism. The Nazi movement was essentially an anti-capitalist movement, with the ideas of Gottfried Feder at its roots. The Nazi movement was more akin to communism than the neoliberal capitalist democracy that we assume was the basis for all Western economies in the 20th century.

How were the Nazis able to motivate so many people to work hard to produce vast quantities weapons of war that are hard to not admire, for their sheer feat of engineering prowess? Germany took a great leap forward in putting the instruments of industry to productive use. From a position of being economically depressed, and with massive financial problems, how was it able to build airships, planes, tanks, bombs, guns, and massive amounts of infrastructure to support itself? How did Germany go from depressed doldrums, to becoming a world superpower, so quickly?

The answer is that they abandoned capitalism.

What, in essence, is capitalism anyway? Well, it's putting capital to work, through interest bearing financial instruments. Instead of having labour exchanged for food or goods or services, instead, debt is exchanged for factories and machinery, and people work because they don't own any of the factories or farms anymore. Where does the capital come from? The capitalists. Where does money flow to? Back to the capitalists.

Gottfried Feder figured out the pyramid scheme of capitalism. In his Manifesto for the Abolition of Interest Slavery, Feder explains how the owner of a factory does not benefit from the productive output, and neither do the workers either. Instead, the bonds that paid to purchase the factory bear effortless interest, meaning the profits of the factory flow back to the capitalist. The people who work in the factories need to buy the goods that the factory produces, so, their money again flows back to the capitalists. And through the exponentially multiplative effect of compound interest, the capitalists will grow ever richer, while never having to do a single day's labour. Infinite endless effortless capital.

It was an economic idea that brought the Nazis to power and kept them there. The Nazis brought a sense of prosperity and wellbeing to a nation that had felt depressed and enslaved to the capitalists. The Nazis brought about pride, not in the nation, nor the flag, nor the Nazi party, but in their productive contribution. People feel proud to have done a good day's work and to have produced something. Economic depressions rob people of their feeling of self worth. Economic depressions rob people of their self esteem.

Now, if we look at Islam, we can see that a core teaching of the Muslim faith is that earning interest is a sin.

In fact, do you think of yourself as Christian? Yes? Did you know that Christian supposedly means that you're Christian. That is to say, you follow the teachings of Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour. Do you believe in Christ?

Well, Christ is documented as saying "build no store of wealth on this Earth". Christ is documented as smashing the tables of the money lenders in Herod's temple. Think about that for a second.

Had time to digest that? Yes, that's right. Jesus Christ was anti-capitalist.

So, if we look at the successful religions from the past 2,000 years, and the most recently succesful attempts at world domination, you will see that anti-capitalism is the secret to their success.

Look at the Chinese. In 58 years, the Chinese have brought a nation of 1.3 billion people into economic prosperity. China has become a world superpower. China is one of the largest economies on the planet. How did they achieve that? By rejecting capitalism.

Islam counts 1.6 billion souls following the Muslim faith, and enshrined in law in Arab countries is the illegality of charging interest on loans. Imagine that! Imagine every bank in Europe and America being no longer allowed to charge any interest!

So, if you're looking for a reason why we should all fear the 'invasion' of these conquering hordes, and the demise of our precious culture, you might find that you're empathising with the likes of Rothschild and Goldman Sachs, cowering in terror because their plutocracy is about to be overthrown by the people that they have economically enslaved.

Why do we have a nation of bankers, lawyers and accountants, when those professions are only needed by the very wealthiest 0.1%? We are shaped in the image of what our rulers think is important. When we are governed by billionaires and millionaires, our whole nation and the priorities of our laws are shifted towards supporting their needs, not ours. We are producing trillions of dollars worth of useless derivatives, rather than useful goods & services.

Imagine if we took our best & brightest out of UBS, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, and instead deployed them to work in science and engineering. Imagine if we took our hardworking poor in McJobs, and instead allowed them to build wonderful things for the betterment of humanity. Imagine how much happier and productive everybody would be if they were working towards something, rather than against everything.

Our world is so adversarial, with us & them, the haves and the have-nots, the rich and the poor, the wealthy white Westerners and those pesky brown people who want a few crumbs from the table.

In actual fact, there's plenty of everything to go around, but we are so intent on playing by the existing rules of the game, that we fail to wake up and realise that we are propping up a status quo that only makes us poor, disadvantaged and divided.

What have the Nazis ever done for us? They've shown us that economic ideas can create prosperity, optimism and productivity. They've shown us that there's a better way than neoliberal capitalist democracy.

It's distasteful to revere the successes of the Nazis, because I might be seen as also endorsing their genocide and ethnic cleansing. However, what could be more ethnically cleansing than building a massive wall, deporting all the Latinos and banning people of a certain religious faith from entering your country? Trump epitomises everything that is bad about the Nazis, whilst offering nothing that was good about them.

We need to cherry pick the best ideas, and we need to get rid of the ideas that enslave us and hurt the vast majority of ordinary people.




War and Peace

6 min read

This is a story about the last word...

Spam can

Is this a time for levity? Should we go back to our normal everyday lives, as if nothing important is happening in the world, apart from funny videos of cats and the banality of our everyday existence?

What is Facebook for? Is it a soapbox for those without a voice in the corridors of power? Is it somewhere to spam your friends, with your thoughts, ideas and political agenda?

I have no idea what the answers are to these questions, so I look to people that I like and respect, and try to imitate their behaviour. I have a friend who is a vociferous Conservative party member, who shares many opinions on Facebook, so this encourages me to set myself up, in opposition somewhat. I have another friend who is an admirable humanist and eloquent writer on the topic of social injustices, who keeps me informed of many things that are unpleasant in the world, and how compassionate individuals are seeking to drive back those evil forces. This encourages me to share messages of hope and support in this cause.

You don't have to read my blog, and you probably don't. You've seen it pop up on your Facebook wall enough times, and been confronted with somewhat of a wall of words, or some kind of shame-spiral and deeply personal things that should perhaps never be shared.

Just ignore it. It will probably go away. Just one blog post a day is pretty easy to ignore.

But what about when it becomes a raging torrent of social media sharing? What about when your Facebook wall or Twitter feed is filled with a person with a bad case of verbal diarrhea? Time to unfriend them? Time to unfollow them?

The reason why I won't shut up at the moment is summed up neatly by this famous quote:

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing

The far-right have been encouraged to go on the rampage, and I can't see what's going to curtail the rise and rise of racism. What will cause the bigotry, xenophobia and outright fascism, to be stopped in its tracks?

I was going to spend the evening watching light entertainment television shows, or perhaps a couple of films, but I have been provoked into breaking my one-a-day blog post rule, by the fact that a couple of people I like and respect think that their work is done. They voted, made their protest, and now it's time to crack open the champagne.

In actual fact, whatever the political outcomes, I really don't give a shit whether I have a British flavour of democracy or a European flavour... I just don't want racists to think that it's OK to abuse people in the street.

I don't want people laminating little cards and shoving them through the letter boxes of Eastern European people, telling them they're "vermin".

I don't want racists on a bus telling anybody with a darker skin tone, or speaking in a foreign language, that they are not welcome here in the UK.

I don't want people shouting racial abuse in the street.

Perhaps these things would have occurred, whichever way the vote went, but my intuition tells me that it somehow seems more acceptable in society to be racist, when you feel like you're in the majority.

Does it seem like I'm being a patronising patriarchal London effeminate City banker-boy ponce to you, if I remind you that immigrant bashing propaganda was how the Nazis swept to power. Of course, it seems like I'm an over-earnest teenager, in making such an obvious observation, but somebody's got to call it out, haven't they?

You can't just say "I'm bored of hearing about your anti-racist sentiment now. I want to see a dancing cat on stilts playing a piano. HA HA HA!". You were either part of the group that ushered in this dark era of mistrusting Johnny Foreigner and bashing the darkies, or you were part of the group who said "hey! let's be inclusive and tolerant!".

I really couldn't give two hoots about which group of elitists rule my life with an iron fist, if we're going to be overrun with skinhead neo-nazis and suffer the resurrection of fascism in Europe.

Does it not concern you more that we need to shut down detestable entities like the BNP, UKIP, France's Front National etc. etc. as a priority?

There is no victory to celebrate in the 'majority' vote. There is no "the people have spoken and it's time to move on" when huge numbers of those people are FUCKING RACISTS. Priority #1 for the country has to be shutting down the far-right, not shutting each other up so we can all go and live in la-la land where we all have milk and honey because we're politically governed slightly differently.

Don't you get it? There is no "move on, let's be positive" when groups of disaffected people are out looking for a mosque to torch, or a person with different skin colour to them to abuse.

Will I shut the hell up? Will I fuck, when the ugly face of fascism is showing itself again.

There's perhaps an important lesson to be learned about whether people like myself - the London Guardian reader - have helped or hindered, but I certainly predicted this result and its consequences, and I certainly understand all the concerns of the underclass.

Will I stop spamming my Facebook friends? Yes, I'll probably retreat into blog-land, where I can write at length without taking up a disproportionate amount of space on a wall that should be filled with grinning infants, prowling pussycats and raucous nights out.

What will you say though, to your grandkids, when they ask you what you did after the UK voted to leave the EU?




5 Predicitons for the #EURef

6 min read

This is a story about destiny...


Do you trust exit polls? What do you think about the predictions made by political commentators, newspapers, TV stations? Why is the UK's vote on membership of the European Union different?

Well, let's dig into my predictions, and why I think what I do:


1. Brexit is going to win

What the heck? All the polls say that Brexit is behind. All the bets seem to be backing a vote to remain in the EU. The currency markets seem to be predicting that Britain will vote to stay a member of the European Union.

However, the vociferous liberal press has shouted down the ordinary person with loud cries of "BIGOT!" every time  somebody suggests that the UK should go it alone. Brexit has become synonymous with closet racism... and that's exactly where the average voter has retreated to... the closet.

There's a fear of sharing your far-right views, because people know it's wrong to bash immigrants and brown people in general, but with the anonymity of the ballot box, things are going to be a different story. The fact of the matter is that there has been a massive upswell of racist sentiment since the economy went belly-up, and the patronising voices of the liberal elite have only further angered the general public.

The people who are going to vote Brexit are the ones who have gone quiet. They are biding their time, just waiting for the time when they can put their little 'X' in the box, and stick two fingers up at Johnny Foreigner. They've given up arguing that "I'm not racist, but...".

Racists will never win a battle of wits, but they will win when they're allowed a free vote, anonymously.

2. We can't escape our destiny

Did you forget about the crippling debt in Greece, Italy, Spain? People have short memories and attention spans, but we are still suffering the consequences of the credit crunch, which is in turn a result of runaway borrowing. Not borrowing by individuals, but borrowing by governments with spending deficits, and by corporations that are trying to manipulate their tax burden.

The problems have not been fixed, and debt continues to balloon. Austerity and deep cuts have done nothing to plug the holes in an economic rescue plan that is deeply flawed. All that Quantitative Easing has done is to further line the pockets of a handful of wealthy people. There's no inflation, so the problem is just as bad, if not worse than it was 8 years ago.

Defaults and debt haircuts, write-offs... these are the only options, and distancing ourselves from Greece, Italy, Spain and other European neighbours, is not going to protect us. We're going down the shitter with them, whether we like it or not.

3. Cameron is ceding control to Bojo

How do you step down, when you have won two general elections back-to-back, and still save face? Well, how's about having a referendum to placate your predominantly eurosceptic party members, and then you can hand over control to a more popular and likeable leader, in readiness for the campaign for a 3rd term in power.

The macro plan is so painfully obvious.

4. The anticlimax is going to be so depressing

There is real optimism in the Brexit camp, as if destroying unions ever solved problems. There is a kind of delusional belief, that the woes of the country can be solved at a stroke.

Brexit is just the beginning of rebuilding everything that gets smashed, as we cut off our nose to spite our face.

It's not like we can drive immigrants out of our country with pitchforks on Friday, although I fear violent reprisals, whichever way the vote goes. The country is a tinderbox, just waiting for a single spark.

A vote to leave gives the green-light to yet more immigrant bashing. A vote to remain will result in disappointed bigots taking out their frustration in mob violence, rioting. Do you think Brexiters are just going to say "oh well, back to normal" if the vote doesn't go their way? In actual fact, it could be terrible, if they feel even more than ever that their voice isn't heard.

5. Political activation is destabilising

Even though I believe the status quo should not be maintained, having this referendum has brought people into the political process who were otherwise disengaged, disillusioned. However, there isn't the maturity there to accept that part of democracy is compromise, and with democracy also comes the responsibility to be mature, measured, calm, patient.

I see a kind of national hysteria everywhere I look. The language, the rhetoric, the aggression... it's appalling. The world looks up to us - to follow our example - as an advanced nation, and as a symbol of democracy. However, we bicker like children, we sulk, we tantrum and call each other names. We descent to the level of the playground. We are not making a fine account of ourselves on the world stage.

By pandering to the ill-educated, ill-informed concerns of the much abused general public, we have turned a serious question about how to lead our world out of economic danger, and sustain prosperity, into a silly game of finger-pointing and tit-for-tat measures, cronyism, cliqueness.


Whatever result is declared on Friday, I expect that a genie is out of the bottle. There is no finality, no real result. Instead, either I will be living in fear of reprisals by a bitter disaffected group who have been dealt a disappointing blow, if we stay in the EU, or we will accelerate the dissatisfaction that people have in their every day lives, as they realise that voting to leave the EU has made precisely fuck all difference to their prospects and quality of life, and they look for further opportunities to express their frustration.

The world seems a more dangerous place, more filled with hate, less reasonable, less progressive and idealistic, thanks to this stupid debate, and pointless vote.

I pray that the vote is to remain, so at least we are not a laughing stock internationally, and as a nation we look terribly right-wing and bigoted. English football hooligans are already a national disgrace, but a vote to Brexit tars the whole country with that brush.

However, I totally get that the rhetoric of the Brexit camp has tried to leverage a kind of class revolt. I fear that it has been a little too successful at doing that.