Negative Alpha and the Giant Peach

We slipped into the hands of organised crime some while back.  Remember ‘The Untouchables’, the brilliant anti-mob series in which ‘actors’ auditioned for parts in ‘Stingray’ and ‘Thunderbirds’?  The mobsters variously ran stuff like numbers rackets (lotteries) and other activities now sources of government revenue.  Now fuckwits like Brown sell off our gold reserves discounted at 10% of real value and plan the resurgence of the East Manchester economy through slot machine ventures glossed-up as super casinos.  Like there isn’t enough real need in the world for capital other than gambling?

This lunatic fairy story is justified by the production of Alpha by sharp-suited (I’ll let Brown off on this one) versions of ‘The Count’ from ‘Sesame Street’ who puke numbers and economic abracadabra like priests wafting incense.  The story holds as much water as a sea-going Giant Peach.  The question is whether we can wake from the trance of the story.  I doubt our ability to do this.

Language is now Orwellian.  Gambling losses are now termed negative Alpha, the gambles themselves having been no more than a perm on all the horses in every race, the whizz kids no more than Horace Batchelor able to take a share only from winnings.  Money, in vast quantities, is not stolen but “vapourised” in hectic trading.  Our authorities, like corrupt US police forces, change the law for the new mob by simply not applying basic justice in their case.  We can get done for picking up a fiver from the street floor, yet they can disappear the odd billion or three.

Everyone in this system is bought and paid for.  What would crime statistics look like if all this activity was publicly accounted?



Bill The Burglar

I’d just finished fiddling with the replacement power supply unit for my computer and fired the thing up again when my attention was drawn to noise across the street.  I’d had a hard time with the beast and lost track of time.  It was 2 a.m.  Bill the Burglar seems to be active around this time, with a newly cultivated mate who has a small car.  The mate turns up fairly regularly, leaving the engine running, making enough noise to wake me up. Tonight, they arrived together and unloaded fairly heavy material from the boot, carrying it round the back of the house.  Noisy jerks, for burglars, and tonight the chum was ‘knackered’ and clunked off after the drop.

Bill is in and out of prison and has lived round here for 40 years – he used to burgle dwellings – most round here had a visit – and these days has a penchant for whatever ASDA leaves near the door.  There’s a ‘wife’ and three kids, probably another on the way. He’s on police bail and likely to go down again soon.  They are living in the house while it’s up for sale.  Pity, in a way, we didn’t have riots here, as it’s hard to imagine he could have resisted and thus attracted the firm action his persistent criminal activities don’t.

Local police are onto him but I wonder how widespread the ‘Bill the Burglar phenomenon’ is and what we could learn from a detailed elaboration of it.  In this particular case there is Bill and his long-term recidivism, the woman, a druggie, the kids and a network that includes her decent mother and a range of criminal and agency involvement.  I suspect the wider story stands in contrast to the success stories of police statistics and crime fighting conferences.