The archive is catalogued by 'Politics', 'Economics', 'Mockery', 'In other news' and 'On other things' 


"Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world" - Henry Kissinger

and yet...

"Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences" – Robert Louis Stevenson

Spinning plates vs. Seeing patterns

A couple of folks have asked me why this blog has been so quiet recently – good question.

Anyone who has ever run a business or managed a complex organisation, large or small, will know the constant tension that exists between grasping the detail and understanding the bigger picture. We’re all better at one than the other, but even that misses the point somewhat – the trick is being able to switch, and knowing when to do so.

My recent ‘love affair’ with Twitter has brought this home to me again. I say ‘love affair’ with tongue in cheek because after a brief honeymoon of six months it has begun to feel like a case of 'mild' domestic abuse, with me as the bombarded spouse trying to stay sane amidst a constant stream of melodramatic drivel from my partner…but cancel that…as in most dysfunctional relationships it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other. I’ve been hooked on the detail and have lost sight of the big picture. Twitter is just doing its thing.

It came to a head last week when I realised that I had not written a long-form piece for ‘ages’. There’s only so much you can do in 140 characters, and 280 is not twice as good, it’s twice as tempting. Given the constant stream of contemptible bullshit that sprays from the mouths & keyboards of the ‘great and the good’, it is impossible to write an effective counter to every piece of misdirection and ignorance that is dished up by conmen, or to engage with all the issues that are raised to my attention by the people I follow - many of whom are as cynical about the established order as I am, and God bless them for that.

So…last week I found myself bogged down, spinning plates, chewing worms…and seemingly incapable of writing anything more than a long sentence…incapable of walking away from the detail…hooked like a crazy 'word addict'…

Fortunately for me I have a wife who sees things very clearly, a dog who showers me with affectation, a number of grown-up kids who are always doing something fascinating or annoying…and just to make sure that I was ‘forced’ to get my head out of the detail…my computer died…and left me alone with an old MacBook Air…it’s amazing how less hypnotic Twitter is without all the pictures and whizzy bits. In short the universe has intervened on my behalf and I have returned to the world of paragraphs.

Why am I telling you this? Apart from the feeling of guilt towards new subscribers who might be wondering if they would ever receive anything from me?

Well, I’ve gone to the other extreme – I’ve written a 2500 word ‘big picture’ piece that goes to the heart of the world’s troubles…at least it does so in my never humble opinion. It’s called ‘Government vs. The People’. It will be published next week at Renegade Inc., republished here 3 days later – I’ll send out a note and a synopsis when it goes out with Renegade. Please read it – the way things are going, in six months time it may be considered seditious…which is why it needs to be said.

In the meantime, you’ll be hearing reports in the media about why the US is not withdrawing from Syria – ‘to guard against the return of ISIS’. This is utter bullshit.

The US is responsible for the presence of ISIS/al-Qaeda/al-Nusra in Syria in the first place. This is about preventing the unification of Syria, holding on to oil reserves, and pursuing the Neocon/Likud/Saudi agenda against Iran.

The only way that the duplicity of the US will cease is through public opinion. Such a shift, when it happens, is like the process of going bankrupt – it happens very slowly, then all at once. ‘Government vs. The People’ is a pebble in the pond in that process.

Speak to you next week.

Krugman's advice - never touch the monetary system

The FT's sickening hypocrisy on Yemen