White, working-class and excluded in Britain


I still think of myself as working-class.  I’ve been more middle-class in terms of salary, housing and work than most of my fellow Britons most of my life – but I know I’m not middle-class because so few people really are.  To be really middle-class you need some element of financial independence and I’m a mortgage-serf.  Most people are deluded into believing they are middle-class.

No political group represents my interests and these really amount (in political terms) to wanting an ample supply of jobs, wages that allow basic living (house, utilities, eating, not being cold, transport, education) without personal debt and being able to borrow reasonable amounts I can repay.  The rest would be about establishing world peace and sustainable ways of living in such.  I believe such matters require democratic military and policing, so these are important to me too, along with freedom under reasonable, non-religious law.  Government, such as I accept it, must be genuinely free of corruption and under the wide control of all people.

I was a grammar school lad, so most of my mates went off to other schools when I was eleven.  They were nearly all in employment when I continued in 6th form, where I was in another minority doing science subjects.  I went to university, the biggest educational disappointment of my life, until doctoral study (which was worse).

Nearly all my peers at primary school were white and English by birth.  They were nearly all working in their late teenage years or in further and higher education.  I’m 60 and have seen the situation decline for 40 years – which is more or less (as economist) the point at which the economy went from ‘real’ to ‘financial-fictitious’.  I’m not particularly concerned that our population has become substantially foreign, other than in the extent this has destroyed full employment for our own, and in the ugly re-appearance of religion.

My grandson is now 14 and his peer group, in much the same part of the country I grew up in is very different.  Unemployment and the likelihood of it is prevalent and the chances of long-term jobs other than in professions like teaching are very poor.  The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have produced a report revealing some of this today.  I haven’t found the report itself yet, but media reporting suggests it takes the form of a polite statement of the bleedin’ obvious that middle-class researchers can’t avoid.

We were able to employ nearly all my childhood peer group – most of those who went off to secondary moderns were able to do quite well jobwise.  This has not been the case for nearly thirty years and is a disgrace.  What’s been on offer to them is more and more useless education – an education not worthy of the name.  Many kids are getting six years more “education” than was generally available in my day – and much of the really productive job-based training has gone.

Not a single political party is interested in any of this and its why I don’t vote.  In the meantime the ‘Bell-curve’ remains much the same yet “educational attainment” forever rises and employers complain ever more strongly that our people lack job skills and basic educational standards.  These are flat contradictions and the underlying truth is that our education system is lying in concert with our politicians – much as police statistics are gamed.

We need radical change and are currently not even able to get this talked about.  Descriptions on Gadget and other blogs need to be taken seriously and without the usual blame game on welfare scroungers and the plentiful availability of jobs they could get,



Are we on the brink of a genuine revolution?

There’s a big set of photos like these posted by my friend Chris Jenkins at – http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150334273466494.348470.722681493&type=3

The venue is Occupy Tampa, part of protest across the USA – we have the beginnings of our own versions.  Chris’ theme is now ordinary the protesters are.  Most street protest has only made me yawn or reach in despair for my cricket box – we has-beens had no protective equipment.  I hope we are going to see big protests this time.  I’m so fed up with politics as we have it that I could barely be bothered to register to vote – like many more gauging from the Council guy who has just been round with the registration forms.  I want a government of ‘white suits’ across the US and Europe and a structured debt jubilee and international service.  I’m not actually a democrat, but want to see a system in which votes matter to the people, not the loons making up political speeches and the same old promises to garner them.  There are clearly some things that most of us can’t vote on using considered argument – but these can still be open to public scrutiny are generally are not.

What I’d like to see is such a weight of public protest that politicians, banksters and our poodle media could not ignore.  I suspect something much worse is coming because our apathy is unbounded.  I see no left and right in any of this – the call is freedom and substantial change.to put us nearer 1970 than 1900 (which is where wealth distribution is).

The private sector as it has been for the last 40 years can’t help us get what we want, which is mostly simple enough – reasonable security and reward through work.  We just won’t be honest about this and research shows most of us don’t know the real state of play, do want more equality and imagine there is much more than there is.

Not exactly a bunch of ‘caped anarchists’ this lot, are they?  Chris has posted hundreds and I’m sure we have to do something.  Most people hope they can ignore what’s going on and that somehow decent jobs will return.  Some are so barking they still hope for a crisis in capitalism – not realising capitalism has almost disappeared and is something we need back.

Johnny Marbles – Waste of Oxygen Or Valid Protest


Marbles tells his own story at the Groan above.  He’s served some purpose in bringing security at Parliament into some relief bit otherwise served little purpose other than to highlight problems with eye-witness observation.  Unlike all the others involved in the hacking nonsense, Marbles has at least told the truth without massive and costly processes needed to drag it out.  Wendi Deng, on the evidence of the eye, did not leap in to protect her husband, yet this quickly became the media account.  What is scandalous about this is that she did not get the same treatment someone in a similar ‘street incident’ might well get – an assault charge.  I wouldn’t wish this, but it seems to sharpen my feeling that the ‘new toffs’ are not living under the same law as the rest of us.

It’s hard to judge Marbles.  We need a strong protest movement because politics is dead and it’s clear we aren’t forming one.  The underlying problems concern the difficulty with getting a modern form of public dialogue and even a public interested in such.  This has been a problem since the Greeks issued slaves with whips covered in purple dye to shame citizens into democracy events.  In the absence of sensible public dialogue I find it hard to condemn Marbles and ‘direct action’.  I’m afraid I now think our society isn’t worth being bothered about.  The problems will unfold into war and to a considerable extent already have.

The people in the hacking scandal telling us they didn’t know what was going on are all clearly lying.  We knew, even as serfs, that the media, law and politics were bent long before any of this, and yet people at the heart of it all are laying claim to no knowledge.  Marbles at least spares us this.  In the end, I would rather share the planet with him than these other gassers.  Maybe the only language worth a spit these days is the custard pie and Wendi Deng’s right hand?

Immigration Does Not Play A Vital Role In Our Economy

Most jobs are not complex enough to require high skill or knowledge articulation.  Migrant labour has always had the effect of pushing wages down.  The small number of people with high-level skills and knowledge are generally a tiny minority of actual labour flow.

I haven’t noticed any of the wonderful customer service skills either.  Just barmen and taxi drivers with no sense of ‘crack’ and worse.  If this really existed, you’d expect our cops to be brought in from abroad.  For that matter, I notice  far better qualified and decent lecturers abroad who work for less than half my rate.

None of this justifies racism, but I suspect that was never the real issue.  We have done almost nothing to address proper education for those not suited to school – probably 50% of our population.

I know of no country happy with its ‘guest workers’.  The general model has been to export manufacturing, organisational and physical labour requirements – to avoid more difficult routes in competition – or to deskill like McDonalds or import skills as in the Poliish plumber and NHS staff.  Our more bureaucratised jobs have largely been spared this, or at least the pace has been slower and barriers to entry, often fictional, higher.

Human populations around the world are more or less devoid of differences other than those formed in culture.  So racism is baloney.  The big question is governance – the social contract involving legitimate authority – or too often crass authority.  This is what we are suffering from.

Essentially we have no democracy to trust in.


Anything new in politics?

Nothing turns out to be simple (even nothing itself in physics).  People still lust after simplicity because they can’t cope with the ambiguity of what goes on around them.  Our public debates play on this , whether in courtrooms or what pass as current affairs programmes.  Whodunits are usually very simple matters, aimed at what we might categorise as the unbright 12 year old mind set.

It is more or less impossible to find intelligent dialogue.  For me, even science programmes are usually annoying re-hashes of O level – and it’s 45 years since I did mine.

What I’ve been looking fir recently is sign that we are governed at this semi-literate-hardly-numerate level and my guess is we are.  I’d just ask this question – ‘when did you last catch even a glimmer of anything new in politics’?  My answer is I can’t spot anything other than the emphasis on television politics.  This is strange, set against all the change I can otherwise see around me, or in the labs I used to work in against those around now.

Anyone else bemused by this?

I’m listening to the clown Robert Peston (who should be a villain in Wallace and Grommet) and his voice reeks patronisation.  He’s using glib phrases one after the other with a very strange intonation.  He’s even suggesting it would be a good idea to borrow a few bob from the Chinese.

What we need to do has nothing to do with any of our current politics.  It is now part of some dire bureaucracy we don’t know how to control.  I now believe the answer lies in ridding ourselves of this bureaucracy and the people in it.  We have to do this by ignoring it.  In the same way that I would like to finish my time in a small village by the sea in ex-patriot style, I believe we should be making this form of shunning ADMASS a reality for all.

The shunning is only stage one, but we need to find ways to do this first.  I see this as a replacement for voting and space in which we might develop viable business models that are very different from today’s.

There has to be something better than dumping war criminal Bliar on the Middle East Crisis.  Something Blair says is relevant – that we can’t just go on imbued with pessimism – but the key pessimism has long been about our inability to form a decent society.  I’m just wondering if there are enough of us to create some enjoyable space that could lead to something new as politics and pay its way without the usual planet-burning or condescension to those who would even fail today’s GCSEs (really – take a look – they keep kids in school 12 years for these hapless certificates) and who are growing by modelling themselves on soap opera.  The answer isn’t high culture but a new one that might let us collapse the separation of work and entertainment, whilst making school obsolete.

Why I’m Not ‘Democratic’

A root question for democracy concerns who is fit to be a democrat.  Many avenues of possibility spring from pondering this.  Are we pathetic wankers who need a Fuhrer, are we such docile donkeys that we can’t make the right choices because we have grown up spoiled brats or in some sectarian religion?  Once one reaches a position on this, one can’t really take the position of deciding who takes part easily.  This can’t be the position like that of the mad religious zealot making decisions on who is pure, or part of the chosen race.

I used to think that new needed a new form of democracy, or that what we had was an imperfect system that could self-correct.  I no longer think this is a good core to any research programme for freedom.  I would still fight and die for what we have in the West, against tyranny – but one has to note the worst tyranny of modern times arose in the Germany of old.  In the Lakotosian sense, democracy is a decadent paradigm.

Postmodernism, before it slipped in its own bullshit, was a challenge of open deep questions on the legitimation of authority.  It has failed entirely, other than in supporting a few academics.  My own inclination is to view it as an inevitable end state of that wordiness that cannot contemplate fact.  It’s just noise, like the political use of statistics – variations on nothing original.  Learning is harder than words and playing tunes with them.

Free ‘thinking’ is a problem for consensus in the animal kingdom we are part of.  The ‘hygiene’ meted out against the non-consensual is total.  Argument really has little to do with what is decided, from cockroach dances on where to live, to human economic posturing.  Originality, other than in puffed-up claims, is a rare as rocking horse shit, disinterestedness at a further remove.  Einstein may eventually prove wrong (though is standing up to modern experimental scrutiny), and as he said, it will only take one.  A key problem for democracy concerns originality and means to cherish it.

Jurgen Hanermas churned out vast tracks on consensual society, communicative action and a lot I agree with – yet there is something glaringly overdone.  Human being is not based in any Reason we have invented, but in the evolution in which we are borne.  The good bits may not be in man-made Reason at all.  Extirpating ideology ain’t it and would be ideological anyway.  I believe we are brought up to be deluded and the time has come to stop this; yet part of the delusion is Reason.  The voting rituals in democracy merely elide this, however import it is to have both them, and power that will stand down.

What if the BNP would crawl back under its rock?

A poll that will be hyped later today has discovered that many of us are pretty right wing really, and would vote or consider voting for am anti-immigration party, a matter not just of typical indigenous whites here, but also many of our more recent ethnicities.  It seems the far right parties ally themselves too much to fascist thuggery for most of us.  I noticed long ago that politics in Britain offered no one I wanted to vote for.  I really hate people being treated unfairly for any reasons, know racism is rubbish (but also that it is practiced everywhere by most), and doubt much that goes on in our societies is fair.  I believe we are dominated by the interests of  a small number of very rich people ( an ‘establishment’) and that economics is as much a confidence trick as that practiced by elites who claimed to control the water supply by contact with the water gods in ancient Peru.  I believe sports stars should burn brightly, briefly and become green grocers or teachers after they have played a few games too many.  I’d like to see an end to retailing and celebrity circuits – why not junk the lot into one large, hard-labour based, compulsory sitcom?

I’ve often wondered what it is that turned international politics fascist, nationalist-socialist and clown-marxist a century ago.  We have no politics now.  There’s a spreadsheet they are allowed to play with by whatever and whoever constitutes power.  We now have Tory Twaddle Tossers instead of ZanuPFNulabour, and they will shit more on the poor – but the poor are just pawns no one cares about other than in terms of the rhetoric that turns people out to vote.  I suspect many of us would rally to a peaceful ‘enough is enough’ focus on immigration and religionisation, if only the worst elements of politics 100 years too old were not connected with it.  I am not sure the BNP are so indecent, but perhaps we could have a sensible totem around which to rally without them?  Do we really have to be racists to protect our own ground?

Work Ethic

In memory, a Goon Show starts with the sound of matches being lit and tossed into water.  Neddy Seagoon is trying to set fire to the English Channel, in order to cash in on the insurance policy Moriarty has ‘foolishly’ sold him to protect against this contingency.  I forget how it all turned out.  Neddy is, of course, tossing lighted matches into rocket fuel, which is what water is before electrolysis to hydrogen and oxygen.

These were my confused thoughts listening to El Cameroon’s podcast on turning Britain into an entrepreneurial nightmare of spivs selling aircraft carriers with no planes on them to India.  I had to make something up to tolerate the ghastly dross he was speaking.  He is as crazy as Blair poncing on about frog-marching drunks to cash machines, or pretending he was capable of making more sensible decisions on foreign wars.  I’m fairly convinced our politics is run by the CIA.  There is nothing for me to vote for.  What I believe in is never on the agenda beyond the blogosphere.

Satellite view of the English Channel

Image via Wikipedia

My view is a bit like Gadget’s in that I see a welfare dependency, ghastly moral corruption and farce.  I just can’t pin it on a brainless evil poor, or even a vile and corrupt nexus of politics and management – though I see these in action daily.  We have to see our own roles in the decadence too.  Policing is just one place to  focus on the wider demise.  We are all part of the decadence and the welfare dependency.  This is not to say, as Dr. Heinz Kiosk was apt in ‘Way of the World’, ‘we are all guilty’.

‘Money’ (whatever it is now) is detached from labour value, and its useful purpose in exchange.  This argument dates back at least to Aristotle, as does ‘retailing’ as a contempt word in Plato.  I have no doubt we need fairness, spirits of adventure, cops who protect the peace, invention and some way of being together creatively – a positive response to our plight.  Yet we seem to want to manage this without staring the world in the face to get a grip on what is going on so we can fix it.

Napoleon once derided us as a ‘Nation of shopkeepers‘, though we were, in fact, the nation of ‘balance of power’ foreign policy.  Sometime after the failure of the Corsican’s own military ventures, successful only in reducing the average height of Frenchmen, imperial powers met in Berlin (1861) to arrange to cut up the world’s resources.  The French, British and Russians intended to invade the USA on the pretext of supporting The Confederacy.  A little more determination there might have saved the world from canned laughter and the US foreign policy that out-imperialised us all.  Instead, more important matters such as Belgian dominance in the unspeakable rubber trade were sorted.  Britain now resembles the gruesome Athenian Democracy at its end, unable to build ships, organise its armies, and perhaps hoping those we have been fighting in long wars will take pity and remember some of the good we have done.

The radical change that might help us now, would be to really go down the freedom route and stop the production of docile bodies as wage and mortgage slaves scared to lose livelihoods (the microcosm here is IG‘s ‘I can’t come forward, I’d not be able to pay my mortgage’ – though it’s more complex than this).  Cameron is suggesting ‘entrepreneurial millennialism’ – a very old and dull cry.  We need a much deeper change in employment and wealth sharing relations than this.  I take some comfort from the failure of vapid Sino-Soviet terror-communism, but we should remember both these massive countries have been successful in military ventures, space technology and so on, as well as abject bastards to their own people.  At least our thinking can be free of marxist thought-licensing.

My own preferred places to start thinking involve humour.  Douglas Adams‘ notion of a planet ridding itself of its middlemen only to die out because there was no one to clean the phones is the classic.  Revolted as we should be to discover via Gadget or the Daily Mail of ‘evil poor rich bastards’ living it up on dole they never contributed for, the real welfare dependency in the UK is the vast horde of those with acquired wealth or paying themselves fortunes for abilities to prod leather-wrapped pigs’ bladders in the right direction with their meta-tarsals  or to suck on chocolate dipped strawberries whilst planning to fuck the typing pool.

No communist fantasy need ensue from such thinking on reality.  We just need work and fair pay back along with some idea that the old work ethics are not appropriate now.  You need an image of workers breathing cyanide, tossing bars of sodium as skilfully into a furnace pot as Bond was with his trilby to hat-stand, and one of a modern factory with robots singing opera top get some idea we are half-way to Robot Heaven and should not return to worker hell.  We need a new work ethic.  More than 30 years ago the notion of Quality of Work Life was suggested and abandoned.  This would do.

Without Robot Heaven, we can’t all sit  around on our arses all day but sweet sod all.  This doesn’t mean we need a system in which some turd gets rich off the backs of Pakistani kids sewing soccer balls for a pittance either.  Nor does it mean the public should have to put up with some untrained newbie just out of training school as a response officer because cops with more sense got themselves onto 9 – 5 squads or into chocolate-strawberry eating training – in other words onto benefits while some poor sod does the real work.

We need to take some real risks in the belief we can organise a country worth having.  We have brave people, mostly boys to someone of my age, dying and being traumatised for memories as unimportant as mine of a Goon Show.  We should recognise our history and build a better future.  Cameron is talking populist crap only fit only for the toilet.  Is it surprising a Cabinet stuff with millionaires is talking up their own interests and doing nothing about offshore tax havens and money laundering centres?  We’ve been conned.

The problem with our politics and society is our inability to think in argument.  We just take sides, without thinking that all the arguments may be piss.  I am not likely to care whether anyone is Tory, Labour or Liberal.  I just want to know, in principle, whether they would help to keep the street clean, the neighbourhood free of crime and help to kids with crap parents.  Hopefully, I’ll never need to know, but in practice I know we can’t even rely on most people to do their jobs, let alone muck in.  Strong positions on free markets and socialism are frankly barmy.  Neither get anywhere near being theories that might help us live better together, or get on with lives that might be radically different.

Entrepreneurs mostly get their business ideas from the employers they rip off when they form their own businesses.  Often, the only reason workers can’t do this is either finance or restricted practice.  Other entrepreneurs hang around waiting for the next fad like coffee shops.  Yet more reverse-engineer their entrepreneurial, self-made images, having been left only a few houses by an aunt.  Cameron is hardly entrepreneur material is he?  Can’t see him down the market selling the silver spoons his mouth was full of at birth.

What we need to know is how much work we should have to do as our fair proportion of what needs doing, before we get into political argument.  In full Robot Heaven, the answer to this would be ‘none at all’, at least in terms of what we now term work.  Bastards in the past have come to this conclusion by making people robots (slaves), and I suspect we still live under this govern-mentality.  We need new ideas that are free from millennia of idiot history in which groups kill each other and we piss such a vital resource as helium off into space via children’s balloons, most not even knowing why it is vital and irreplaceable.  The market trader is fine, but not writ large as society.

Political debate and the alleged consultation of changing policing share much in common.  There is no essential deconstruction to see if differences between interests are real or just rhetorical, and no scenario building to see what we would need, working back from what we hope to have.  There is nothing new in any of it all.  Magic solutions like making us all work longer whilst raising unemployment, should really make us worry.  We would probably lose a war with the French now.  Thank goodness they are too civilised and educated to be bothered.

So Vince Cable Is A Pinko After All?

Vince Cable, the man more of us would have wanted as Prime Minister than any other current public figure before the ConDemned Alliance now supposedly running the country crept into government while we were sleeping, is announcing ‘capitalism is bad for us’.  Well done Vince.  I’ve just switched off some rabid clown on Sky News claiming this is the politics of the 6th Form. ‘What do we get that isn’t?’, I thought.

Vince will probably tell his LibDem audience that massive bonuses are wrong, drop the ‘b’ from bwankers and say a number of platitudinous stuff about unfairness, the need for regulation and the creation of a stimulating business environment not based on greed.  All fair and all useless.  He is already being called a Marxist and no doubt knows a base from a superstructure.

We are so dumb as a public we don’t know what Marxism is, probably thinking someone wearing M & S underpants who laughs at Groucho’s jokes qualifies.  I expect we could find what Vince will say in Adam Smith.  Capitalism has never had free markets since its modern invention by the Dutch around 1300.  The basic idea has always been about monopoly, or variations on that tune in terms of market share and stealing commodities using forced or dismally paid workers.  Wars have usually been about trade.

If Vince is a modern Pinko (like Zizek) he will talk about the way we are being taxed by Microsoft, and discuss high salaries and bonuses as taxation without representation.  He won’t.  We’d be too stupid to know what he was on about. Instead, he will talk about the need for a new business culture and morality (we like morality).  Vince Cable will prove today that he is a likeable old codger on the make, with an eye on his memoir sales.  Better than Blair or Adair Turner, he is constrained by our ignorance and the lack of interest we have in politics and knowledge generally.  We should look at him today thinking this is the best of English politics, knowing like our soccer team that any outfit permed from the supposedly lower divisions has as good a chance of beating Germany.

Capitalism is both the problem and not the problem.  It is the problem because it is what we have, and not the problem because it has never had any opposition.  Everything beyond Stone Age economics is capitalism.  We are just so dumb we can’t see the capitalist-communist ‘argument’ is a fiction.  All regimes are capitalist, the questions we need answers to hidden in their propaganda which commodifies our lives and governs our souls.  Our lives and souls are so worthless they are bought with trinkets and the fine words of idiots ‘leading’ us on cavalry charges into the centre of volcanoes on their day off.

What we need is a radical change in employment relationships away from employer domination and forced need to work.  The problems are about getting us to work in such a new relationship and preventing people stealing a living, whether as ‘evil poor’ or ‘evil rich’.  Part of understanding this requires us to know how much work has to be done and what a fair share of it is. Instead of something we can understand, we have ‘economics’.  That this doesn’t work is plain.  Sports and film stars make fortunes along with bwankers, we are always at war, the spread of wealth is in the same ratio in China as the USA, IQ correlates with endemic diseases and your chances in a legal system depend on wealth.  Our education systems are so unfair, people pay to get their children out of any placement by lot and into the most favourable schools and universities.  Everywhere, ‘standards’ are rising as nothing works.

What we need is true alternatives to international money.  Vince may touch on this, though probably not on his government’s sly and unheralded part-removal of mortgage interest payments to the unemployed, a measure that will save nothing and force some poor people into rented accommodation to get housing benefit in full.  Pinko?  Nah!  Stinko!

I offer no solutions here.  We need around 5 million new jobs in my country – more we if admitted the full extent of under-employment.  Plenty needs doing, but we can afford none of it under economics, a religion as vile as any other.  The Swedes have elected anti-immigration people to their parliament.  We would have double or triple the number in a fairer election system, or at least one more proportional to public opinion.  I don’t see such stuff as a solution, just writing on the wall.  At some level we know there are no real jobs for around half our working-age population, but don’t know why.  Old ‘faiths’ crop up as answers, including a ‘thrusting private sector’, charities and not-for-profits and protectionism.  It is only because we are uneducated through ‘education, education, education’ that we put up with the dross we get.  Only a couple of a million of us watch Newsnight, my last excuse as an oldie being to do with fancying upper crust, fading crumpet who would stereotype my belly as beer moulded.  I suspect the vapid self-interest of this programme is a microcosm of the country’s practical problems, fiddling while Rome burns to an audience that is its mirror image.  Vince will be no different at party conference, worming into the cosy souls of aspirant councillors on the make.  Good job you’re a married man Vince.  I found knickers came down rather easily at the last one I attended, and I’m nowhere near as smooth a criminal as you.  You could change your name to Pinko Redthunder and still be to the right of Blair.

ConDem Honeymoon Over?

ZanuPFNulabour had to go,but they may well have been the best option at our last election.   Scary, but this is my economic guess.  The Japs have been through the kind of economic mess we have now, and the best guess there is they made things worse for themselves by cutting public deficits and that kind of jive too soon.  Cameroon (for it is his intent to reduce us to similar penury) and his cronies are relying on a private sector many economists believe stopped working a couple of decades back, if it ever did as the myth has it.  Thatcher delivered us into the toilet and then war and class war of industrial decline in favour of bank smurfing.  This may be his plan.

Whatever the truth, it looks as though CoDem now only appeals to a few anti-redtape diehards and that core of many of us hoping for action on immigration, overpaid, ineffective managers and for the spin to stop.  US unemployment ias twice the prediction and the media haven’t worked out how to report ours yet.  Cops cheer the removal of this or that ZPFL lunacy, but will soon be cheering themselves by strike braziers, if they have the guts.  Anyone able to report a plan to change anywhere, rather than the standard budget preparations for cuts?  ConDem look like very old history to me.  The economics is well right of Adam Smith and I doubt he’d approve.

Smith’s first book, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments”, argued that society taught man to be good. This tuition started from man’s capacity for “sympathy”: his ability to feel what another man feels. It continued with his capacity for sympathy squared: his ability to sense what other men feel about him, putting himself in the shoes of other men putting themselves in his shoes (Rawls bored on this 50 years ago). The moral education was complete when a person chose the perfect shoes in which to put himself: those of an “impartial Spectator”, who “considers our conduct with the same indifference with which we regard that of other people”.

Smith’s greatest work, “The Wealth of Nations”, was a “very violent attack” on Britain’s commercial policies, which misdirected the nation’s energies, weakened its colonies and plunged it into deep rivalries with its neighbours, all in the mistaken belief that a nation’s wealth lay in the gold and silver it hoarded. We still have trouble thinking of the economy as a system of interacting parts, to be judged by the necessities and conveniences it produces, not the bullion it amasses (today GDP tables). Back then, merchants, artisans and manufacturers added nothing to labour and capital they diverted from the land. For Smith, who had lived in a Glasgow transformed by trade and industry, this was implausible. The wealth of nations lay not in land, but in labour, deployed to its best advantage and divided as finely as demand would allow.

Simples!  Where’s this lot’s plan on this – or are they looking for a meerkat to ask?  A few factories would help.