Blimey, where did all these cobwebs and silverfish come from?
As the reader - long-abandoned by the humble scribe - will know both the land of my birth and my adopted homeland went temporarily insane, and in a fit of inattentive wet-baby disposal not seen since the Romans decided that there were a few problems with having a Republic the one stormed off vowing never to have anything to do with those terrible French, Germans, Spaniards and especially the Belgians and Dutch, while the other elected perhaps the one man on the face of the Earth least fitted to run the country.
Britain now faces rebellion in the Cheviots1 for the second time in recent memory, and the press is telling me that stout-hearted Englishpersons are madly signing up to be Dutch, French and even, I hear, Belgian to escape the chaos this bewilderingly daft decision will precipitate. It is notable that the major political figures who were singing the praises of this monumentally stupid move have suddenly found more important things to do with their lives. No doubt merely a coincidence, and not a desperate leap to be in a chair when the music stops.
As it soon will, what with the EC grant money drying up faster than a sub-Saharan waterhole in July.
America is in the unenviable position of wishing that it's political hacks had bolted instead of stepping up and "taking power". Our president seems blissfully unaware of certain things we all assumed were prerequisites of being the Head Cheese, things like how the constitution says that the government must work. He has a habit of telling the world too, then getting upset when people laugh at his ignorance, though to be honest it stopped being funny almost immediately.
Not only that, but once again, a Republican president is making public all the little holes in the laws and procedures that reasonable men before him have simply assumed were good manners and ethics to adhere to, and is busy making himself a yardstick for cronyism and nepotism. Lets Make America Great again like it was 1920.
And infuriatingly, no-one will fix said holes with laws because the man in power at the time never knows when he might need to use one of these loopholes for himself. Disgraceful.
There are many simplistic analyses on why this state of affairs has come about. One that has particular resonance with the public is that it is a reaction to decades of increasingly less self-aware political correctness, and there is some evidence that this might be the case, at least for some. But I think what has happened in both cases is that charismatic demagogues have managed to unify small groups of disaffected people under their banner and get them marching in lockstep.
I know that's what happened in the USA. Those who felt that not being able to tell Polish jokes or make fun of women drivers are supporting The Man with The Tan alongside desperate people whose towns were all-but shut down when the one industry it had closed down or relocated. That latter group I can sympathize with. I've seen first-hand what the innocuously-named "inflection-point" and "paradigm-shift" can do to people, and it's only the youngest who can survive it relatively unscathed as they have the freedom to move with least cost and to retrain in some other means of earning.
What this slow collapse of the country's workforce implies in big, red, shouty caps is that no-one with the power to do so has been laying out any long-term strategy for the country as a whole, nor has that been done at the state level in all too many cases.
This is part of the role of government, and the leaders of the country-spanning industries (we are, after all, an oligarchy with the word "republic" painted on it) but we've had a generation of industry captains and politicos growing up in a relatively benign atmosphere of sixties-era-and-before regulation switch-off. Huge financial gains were made, and lost of course, as the economy, freed from governors that had become onerous, slewed from boom to bust. The same is happening as these same people work to deregulate the clean water industry even as terribly damaging pollution scandals break over the country.
And the worst part is the disconnect between the obvious correlation of the events and the people responsible for sorting it out.
Alan Greenspan professed himself profoundly shocked that his policy of "enlightened self-interest" failed to prevent the recent banking crisis usually labeled "the sub-prime mortgage fiasco", but of course, he was equating the banks themselves as organic entities (which by law they almost are) when all the decision making was done by banking officers - who assuredly were working according to self-interest. Since the "enlightened" bit wasn't actually required, nobody bothered to do it, each assuming someone else would pick up the pieces and mop the floor when it all went to Hellena-Handbasket.
Politicians, particularly those pandering to the rabid right "republican base", like to froth at the mouth and bellow about entitlements, but the sense of entitlement that runs through the three-letter ranks of the banks of the USA could be cut only with an expensive Japanese ceremonial sword swung with malice aforethought™.
Now the energy companies are demanding the relaxing of "onerous" restrictions that prevent them operating freely, while at the same time fending off the lawsuits their corner-cutting already causes. Coal mine collapses, oil-rig disasters, tanker collisions, all come with a hefty taxpayer bill attached. Republican are fond of making funding available to public services dependent on following onerous limitations on how they operate. Why can't the subsidies paid from the taxes to these companies (entitlement, anyone?) be tied to adhering to the law of the land?
Silly me. It's because the politicians making the law
are paid-off by have received substantial campaign contributions from those same companies. But no-one is asking: "If we do this now, what do we do in fifty years to clean up the aftermath of all this selfishness?"
Hence the lack of posts; with so much surrealism loose in the world, why bother trying to document small outbreaks of it in this blithering blog?