"Love of power, operating through greed and through personal ambition, was the cause of all these evils"
(Corcyran Civil War, in Peloponnesian War, 3:82)
Thucydides believed in evidence based decisions to achieve an outcome.Greatly missing in recent PM's.Could be worse though. Only 2 more years.
Anyone who thinks a Starmer-led government would be better is suffering from pathological optimism.Don Cox
Oh, the irony of it:Rees-Mogg is reportedly negotiating deals with two gas exporting countries, Qatar and Norway, over long-term supply contracts that would commit the UK to buying gas in large quantities at an agreed price for more than a decade.Russia-style long-term supply contracts at an agreed price, because we don't want to use Russian gas.https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/oct/05/uk-prepares-for-winter-blackouts-as-energy-rationing-campaign-discussed
Has either of the following happened yet?1) Repeal of the Climate Change Act.2) Fracking.Because, until they do, UK Gov is still not serious about the engery problems the country faces.
"Qatar has been ruled as a hereditary monarchy by the House of Thani since Mohammed bin Thani signed a treaty with the British in 1868 that recognised its separate status. Following Ottoman rule, Qatar became a British protectorate in the early 20th century until gaining independence in 1971. The current emir is Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who holds nearly all executive and legislative authority under the Constitution of Qatar, as well as controlling the judiciary."Thank heavens we're not getting any gas from those nasty Russians. Though I believe they do hold elections, and they're probably as straight as the 2020 US election. I just can't believe Biden, who couldn't get 30 people to his rallies when Trump was filling stadia, possibly got so many more votes than Hillary.In other news, looks like this Russian oil price cap is going ahead. Anyone work in marine insurance? Looks like an invite to China to take the business and buy the Greek tankers."More than half of the tankers now shipping Russia’s oil are Greek-owned. And the financial services that underpin that trade — including insurance, reinsurance and letters of credit — are overwhelmingly based in the European Union and Britain."So Europe and UK deliberately wreck their economies in order to boost the US economy. Madness. China must be saying with Cromwell "the Lord has delivered them into our hands".May not matter to the UK, which proved incapable of making masks or covid tests. But Germany is - or was - a real economy.
"Love of power, operating through greed and through personal ambition, was the cause of all these evils"And this applies solely to Liz Truss does it? Or just about every politician to ever set foot in the House of Commons in the last 30 years? And certainly the ones that manage to clamber their way to the top of the greasy pole?
Difficulty is someone has to run the show - the country won't run itself. Personally I could not do the job - it looks boring and tiresome having to argue fake arguments against fake opponents with equally fake arguments. Who but a few could be bothered.Then there is the notion that 'if only we had a genius leader'. That seems pretty dumb, if a system requires geniuses to run it then it is a pretty dumb system. Then objecting to having to use self interested, ambitious, greedy people seems pretty silly too - most people who are any good are self interested, ambitious and a bit greedy. Those features have to be channeled and constrained but not completely suppressed. Without any constraint it all looks a bit disgusting.My feeling is that we have a pretty successful country but that success is a bit unstable. We notice any deviation from optimal management pretty quickly. I feel our Parliament is far too slow and cumbersome to keep up and its control systems far too unstable and uncertain. Shouting and fake argumentation seems no way to run a delicate and dangerous control system - a major mismatch.
@Jim I'm not sure we need a genius, just someone competent, canny and well advised.Someone who understands there are times and places to do things, that perception matters, and surrounding yourself with other competent people with differing voices.We've not had that, we've had poor managers instead. Some of this comes from years of the EU, where politics has had an air of managing the local branch of Brussels Inc, some from the internet, where social media has made dissent into a toxic game, and some just from people who are unable to support anyone not 100% welded to their narrow view.We miss the big beasts, even the ones we may vehemently disagree with, as it takes other big beasts, or big game hunters, to do battle with them.And so we've traded Godzilla vs Mothra for a scene from The Office.And so achieving the rank of PM today is the apotheosis of the middle manager - a mid range person, with a mid range suit and mid range model car from a mid range brand, elevated into the top job.Of course they're going to be shit at it.
And so achieving the rank of PM today is the apotheosis of the middle manager - a mid range person, with a mid range suit and mid range model car from a mid range brand, elevated into the top job.Of course they're going to be shit at it.Lol!
"I just can't believe Biden, who couldn't get 30 people to his rallies when Trump was filling stadia, possibly got so many more votes than Hillary."The votes were probably more anti-Trump than pro-Biden, just as many votes here were more anti-Corbyn than pro-Boris.What the USA needs is an election with a clear majority.Don
There are 'two' Americas, the difference between rural and urban USA is hugely wider than in the UK.I passed through a town in the Texan panhandle a few years back, houses were in rack and ruin, businesses struggling, best looking building was the church which was in *very* good condition.Did the same in Virginia a few months back, only difference was the temperature and drawl.Rural America is screaming out for a saviour, so yes, they'll go fill stadia to drink in the kind of hope and change they desperately want. Trump has a lot in common in Sadiq Khan - transactional, amorphous, able to sell himself to different groups in different ways, and to rural USA he held out hope of someone actually giving a toss about them.The last US election was about two primal forces, rural America desperate for representation going out to vote in droves, and the loathing of Trump.Fear of Trump worked. Only reason Biden won was that the Dems managed to get the slackers away from Netflix long enough to actually vote.The Dems *always* had the numbers, even in 2020, what they didn't have was the desire.Biden didn't win the election for the Democrats, Trump's charming personality did. A less obnoxious Republican would have walked it.And that's the Dems problem, rural USA may be dying, and they've calculated the most votes are in the cities, but the rural areas have more reason to vote and the right candidate can ensure that having less potential voters isn't an issue. Potential voters don't win elections, actual ones do.
@Jim,You make a good point about not needing an exceptional leader to run things.This was mostly the case throughout our history when the centralised state was mostly wishful thinking rather than actuality.The biggest problem that we face today, is that the state/government directly runs 50% of our economy, with the other 50% indirectly controlled by the minions of the bureaucracy.As Tim constantly points out, it simply isn't possible in a command economy for the Mandarins to know everything and to direct everything, at least not successfully. Hence the shit state of affairs that we find ourselves in.In this situation, competence really matters. Sadly, the way in which our adversarial political environment works actively selects against competent, selfless people rising to the top.TLDR, the parasites have wormed their way in to power, vastly outnumber the productive now, and won't give up without a (possibly terminal) fight.
"a mid range person, with a mid range suit and mid range model car from a mid range brand, elevated into the top job."Toni Blair didn't even reach those standards and yet was in office for bloody years.
@dearieme - Tony Blair didn't need to be good. He inherited a great hand. Economy was efficient and growing. Foreign affairs all good. A squirrel could have run the UK back in '97.Didn't stop him squandering a great legacy though.
In agreement at last.
Some interesting comments by Faisal Islam on the MOU on Energy during the North Sea Energy Cooperation meeting. The MOU's could provide the basis for further MOU's for other areas of common interest for Europe e.g. Transport, Food, Finance (?)Perhaps a weak PM and a divided ruling party will allow economic geography to do it's work and the "Canute's" (Cnuts) will see the light and step aside.
Interesting clip from Adam Posen, who IIRC was on the BOE monetary policy committee until very recently.https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1578130142655905816a focus on domestic manufacturing is simply a “fetish for keeping white males with low education in the powerful positions they are in.”It's good to know that the people controlling our economy care so deeply for the welfare of British people!
Nice to know that all the Formula One teams based in GB as well as people likeTokamak Energy are considered to be run by lowly educated pale stale males.To think, Britain used to have its own domestic electronics industry, nuclear industry,oil industry etc.Slightly related-https://www.gov.uk/government/news/site-of-uks-first-fusion-energy-plant-selectedI work in slightly less high-tech domestic manufacturing and my loathing for these highly educated and credentialed fools burns with the brightness of a thousand suns...
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