Time To Junk Economics

Africa, that well known collection of basket-cases, has long been a net exporter of money even after aid is taken into account.  This is known as capital flight.  These externally held assets are held by a small minority and the countries’ public debt is paid for by everyone else.  A number of university studies have shown this and the sums are in hundreds of billions.

The majority of the world’s wealth is held by very few people and we now regularly hear of the ‘one percent’, but I meet few people who understand much, if anything about how this wealth is amassed inn so few hands and what this form of capital actually does, other than making a few incredibly rich.

I think we can safely assume the wealth of the one percent has little good effect on raising living standards for the many.  It’s been around and getting worse for centuries.  It may be possible to argue that all improvement in this sense may be done to massive improvements in productivity due to increased knowledge and technological innovation, though these may have some link to the focus of wealth (we wouldn’t have science without people otherwise idle enough to do it).

As a scientist, rather than someone who teaches low-level university economics to make a crust, I find economics an intolerable discipline in that it fails to address itself as a history of mistakes and is predicated on ‘world-views’ rather than more modest research programmes.  It is not possible, as a scientist, to think that such issues as capital flight, offshore tax-dodging and other obvious cheating, or such matters as a small number of people needing the motivation of great riches while others starve, can form the core of a research programme.

Sociologists generally don’t like explanations of capitalism as only existing because people are incredibly dumb, but frankly, when one looks at what we are expected to swallow on the needs for mass austerity and to let the rich get even richer, the levels most people can achieve in universal education, widespread scientific illiteracy and global competition really being about depressing wages and conditions of employment, and getting people who aren’t smart to worker smarter (as we import smarter people because this doesn’t work), along with what passes as mass entertainment and research on just how dumb human communities have been in various ecocides and wars … then evading questions about how human dumbness comes about hardly seems scientific.

My thesis is that we are almost chronically dumb and can’t face up to this (none of us is exempt).  In one of my favourite Voyager episodes, Janeway not only refuses to drop her pants to get technology that would get her crew home, but tries to trade the sum total of human literature for it – essentially trying to trade what you’d be stuck with on a desert  island (of the radio show) for technology that shrinks space.  We live with fantasy like this in a world in which women and children are traded to much worse fates and in which we are all traded in an economic system beyond democratic sanction.

My guess is we could know about economics if we studied the issues from a fractal perspective.  I don’t mean the creation of a new set of mathematical wangles that mean ‘there’s nowt down for you Son, ‘cos you can’t do this kind of counting’.  There are structures that seem to repeat themselves in human affairs, including repeated numbskull behaviour by majorities and minorities.

My start is in the non-human and the way bacteria, plants and animals behave.  Much we see as human can be found in this.  Ants ‘take slaves’ by stealing the eggs of other ants, many insects are involved in ‘complex gardening’ using anti-biotics and there is much ‘chemical warfare’ practised – none presumably needing the kind of rational mind we attribute to ourselves.  Chimpanzees act to ‘police’ their societies (so no change there then!).  Many species are now extinct and it’s clear our own almost was.  We need some understanding in economics of how we are borne in evolution and are not in mastery of it.

Human history as it is taught around the world has structures in it.  My guess on these is that the first is that it is taught everywhere inaccurately.  What’s the difference between Jihad and Crusade or the various empires that have hardly graced the Earth?  What’s the difference between the ancient tribe in Peru who ‘mastered’ water supply and died horribly when their claims to deal with ‘water-gods’ was exposed in drought and the current Mob of banksters and their claim we can’t do without them?

Some way into an examination of such structures, come questions on whether competitive advantage is actually ever used in any way we can consider moral?  What other structures might be similar and/or at work – one can think of the bee hive, termite mound and social mice (where Bossmouse keeps his order through the enforced poverty of others).

There is much more to say on structures we might expect to find at different scales in our society.  The fraud we are encouraging in capital flight and investment banking may well just be a structure as surely as that of a set of genes turning on encouraged by the environment (exercise immediately causes gene activity).

Competitions really only work through rules and refereeing.  What one can compete on is restricted or we might say, structured.  We could choose to structure such matters as salary caps across work places from sport to banking.  It’s also possible to see much of the notion of motivation to great wealth as giving up to libidinal structures.

In longer term looks at structures we get laughable stuff like Elliot Waves (his other book was on running a tea-shop), but we rarely look at what has always been promised to society as a whole by putting up with economics and what has actually been delivered (a lot – not much?).  My own country (UK) has failed to produce even all its own medical doctors and steals them from countries that cannot  afford to lose them.  What does this say about working smarter and the role of training and education?    Surely if we could do so much better by getting higher skills we’d not only be producing all our own doctors but also making money hand over fist training those of other countries in our splendid and efficient medical education?  We ain’t.  And now we have kids taking on huge debts to get the “advantage” of a degree to work in a coffee shop.

If education is about employability (it ain’t – but no matter) why do we divorce it so much from the world of work?  Some dork brandishing a business degree from the places I’ve taught in, is no more employable or knowledgeable on business for real than anyone else with a non-numerate degree in anything else, and less employable than someone who sensibly left school at 16 and went to work for Sainsburys (where I know management juniors get a better education than I can offer).  So where are the economists saying we should junk much of higher education and get on with a job-based expansion because you’re only going to learn about work at work and only learn work-skills by using tools and machines?

The economics we have is such junk we have a Chancellor telling us his coming budget will be for growth and work – when it will offer more money to the rich and continue to cut the public sector.  Osbourne is crap – yet if economics is so bad we can’t even see through his jive it needs to be junked.

Towards The Ending Of The Economic Undead (part two)

So let’s imagine ourselves as detectives with lots of reports of toil-earned jewels being stolen and the rich being found with bulging bags of them.  If these were real jewels we might be able to rely on forensics to establish these were the same jewels.  If they were nicking cash we might have the serial numbers or have marked the stuff with Smart Water.

Now possession of stolen goods isn’t per se a crime and certainly doesn’t mean the people found with them actually nicked them.  You have to knowingly be in possession of stolen goods for the crime of ‘handling’ and something has to fit you to the theft, burglary or robbery for a conviction on those particular grounds.. English law requires an illegal act (actus reus) and guilty knowledge (mens rea).  This is not as simple as it sounds, but is enough for these purposes.

The possession of great wealth or large numbers of toil-jewels is not an offence, but in our metaphor stealing other people’s wealth or toil jewels would be, as would being in possession of stolen wealth or toil-jewels even if you bought them at such a price a reasonable person would have thought them stolen (‘handling’ is more complicated, but again this will suffice).

Now we could imagine our rich, vestigial virgins of our society that they are, would just cough to the stealing or unlawful possession. We’d more likely be drowned in a flood of lawyers.  Toil-jewels are as untraceable as Bitcoin or boxes of cash in Kabul.  This kind of near dead end even happens in pedal cycle theft.  This rich might fob us off with a story that they produced the toil-jewels through a toil-jewel engine or their superior skills, knowledge and productivity.  This is, if you think about it, pretty much what they say about their bulging wealth.

The ‘New Untouchables’ (us as detectives) don’t give up that easily.  ‘Show us the toil-jewel engine, let is measure your toil jewel output’, we’d say.  What’s the chance the rich could show and tell?  It’s possible they might amaze us by producing something as efficient as a tractor when all we’d known was a man-drawn plough.  Years ago, as a fit rugby player and young man, I went peat digging.  My new mates were 40 to 50 years of age and were still drinking ling after I went to bed in the pub I stayed in.  The following day I was working at half their production rate and knackered after an hour.  I was used to digging footings and other construction site work.  They were great blokes and passed on their skills and I almost got to stand at the end of a finished line sharing a tab by the end of my 6 weeks.  They wouldn’t hear of me being paid less, but I never got up to their output. They reckoned it took nearly a year, not that anyone had been brought on for a decade.  Some people can produce more toil-jewels than others.

So we have found these rich people with shed loads of toil-jewels.  If you check up on wealth you cannot be find that most of the world’s wealth is in the hands of very few. Really, only carrots and turnips should need to be told where to look.  It’s a good idea to write down what you think the score is before visiting ONS on even the on-line CIA world-facts book.  I’d recommend looking through posts at Leftbanker, because I don’t keep facts like this in my head.  We know where the toil-jewels are, but we can’t lift any bodies for the ‘crime’ or establish, yet, there has been one.

I’m reminded a bit of the old jokes my elder brother used to tell me.  There’s this bloke who works in Customs and everyday he sees a guy wheel a wheelbarrow-load of straw through his post.  He pulls apart the straw everyday, and everyday for years he finds nothing.  He knows this bastard is up to something, and pulls his hair out trying to work out what.  After 40 years he starts to pull his pension.  He meets the guy outside the post on his first day off, explains he no longer works for customs, and ask him, for pity’s sake, to tell him what he’s been smuggling all these years.  “Wheelbarrows”, says the bloke.

Most of us would regard people who do twice as much real work as us as entitled to twice the reward for their efforts.  There are examples where this won’t be true as in the ‘Tragedy of the Commons‘ – where their extra effort might deplete our share (look it up – we are doing this with the planet).  Even this thinking is probably flawed.  But let’s not get too complicated – we’re cops not piss poor human rights lawyers getting unsupervised access for a paedophile to his kids.

What can we do to make toil-jewels identifiable so they can remain with rightful owners and allow us to bang up bastards stealing them or otherwise coming by them illegally and being able to hang on to them? We generally expect our cops to catch the scum who nick our stuff, get it back and bang up the perpetrators.  If this idea is a bit mythical, we understand what it’s about and why we have law.  The amounts at stake in this kind of crime are very small compared with those in the general ‘distribution of wealth’.

The rich are almost ‘bang to rights’ in that we have caught them in possession of nearly all the wealth or toil-jewels.  At today’s rates my peat digging was minimum wage – about £5 an hour; an hour’s lecturing is about £35.  This looks like a 1:7 ratio but in income terms it’s nearer 1:2 (dig 40 hrs/week for 48 weeks – lecture 10hrs/week for 40 weeks).  Back in peat digging times, winning rugby pay was £37.50 and losing pay £8.00.  We were so bad in the first quarter of the season I’d have had to play three times a week to make my digging money!  Won the league the next year and I made three times my income as a cop.  I digress – must be all the digging!

Most of us know why we have law in the general sense, but why are we so non-curious and knowledgeable on the ‘mechanisms of toil-jewel distribution’?  We are very pissed when the products we buy with our toil-jewels are nicked; yet seem no so moved by another form of the removal of our toil-jewels.

The Scottish diggers came to see me play; apparently a reward from my distant uncle who ran the operation.  Winning pay didn’t cover the bar bill.  I was, as is the case in Stone Age economists like me, returning what I could of their gift, given without obligation and inevitably honoured.  I had no pigs and only a sister to offer for marriage!  She would smile, knowing I’d rather die.

If you look at the total wealth and earnings of the bottom decile in Britain and then at what we standardly regard as ‘crime’ you won’t find many of the toil-jewels.  These are in the province of the top 20%.  What if they are amassing them through theft and fraud?  Or even something less criminal we still would regard as something we would not authorise?

What we do know is that they legitimate their holdings of toil-jewels.  Those of us who have heard scum legitimating their crimes are not generally impressed.  We do not, at least technically, allow the rich special excuses on either crime or wider morality.  We seem to have few problems regarding benefit recipients with disgust, and they get a tiny fraction of our toil-jewels.  This seems strange when we don’t have the same regard for those taking nearly all of them.

The rich tell us that toil-jewels are traded in a legitimate market and that’s how they get hold of so many of them.  This is more or less the real-world argument on wealth.  But we’re in metaphor-world.  Toil-jewels are a direct product of real toil and represent labour-value that can only be added to human beings starting equal.  Note this can’t happen in the real-world as some people start out with wealth.

In areas near the ‘peat farm’, Scots had once been tenant farmers on the better land for 500 years before they were evicted by the land-owners and forced into new industries like going to sea in open boats to fish. They were replaced by sheep.  This economic reasoning was defeated by ‘Australia’.  Keep this in mind for later.

Toil-jewels are produced all over the world.  Let’s say in sum that they represent all work done that needs doing.  If this sum amount is divided by all the people who do this work on a reasonable equitable basis and could not be accumulated beyond a limit of ten times a year’s average production by a particular toiler (otherwise reverting to common holding), anyone in possession of shed loads would hold them illegally.  This is clearly not the case with real-world wealth. .

We have, of course, long given up on labour-value theories and practice in economics. But remember, the rich often say they work hard for their wealth or are so smart what they work at is so much more valuable than what the rest of us shit.  They only say this for the consumption of us plebs or maybe in some conscience salving.  The peat diggers were good enough to tell me I was a better rugby league hooker (winger then) than any of them and I marked myself at half a peat digger.  You don;t get chance to try your hand as a rich bastard or Queen.  I’d be the best King ever, simply by abolishing the monarchy.  The point here, if you’re thinking about the oxygen rights of this windbag, is that as detectives in this metaphor-world, we are going to be denied a lot of practical tests that scientists devise as experiments.

In the real-world there is a kind of toil-jewel.  If all the money in the world disappeared overnight we could still be productive.  We would do the toil necessary to survive – we don’t eat money, shelter under it or (with exceptions) engage in sex because of it.  The toil jewel is directly related to this.

The rich say they have either bought the toil jewels we’ve caught them with or somehow produced them through superior toil-jewel making properties they possess.  Sadly, we have not been able to Smart Water the jewels as the stuff doesn’t take on them.  There is no way to identify them for identification purposes.

Real-world detectives deal with a lot of unidentified stolen property.  Finding the 90 inch plasma on the wall in some munter’s flat, visited after nicking him for burglary, the excuse that she bought it from a friend for twenty quid or a door-to-door salesman without a receipt isn’t going to wash.  Are the words of the rich concerning their possession of the toil-jewels worth any more consideration?  Whatever the munter tells us we will put to the test.  Her sister gave it her – so we go to the sister (if there is one) and she says no or has to explain where she got it.  The ’20 quid excuse’ just gets her nicked and perhaps even the chummy who sold it to her.  She’s screwed, though one hopes not literally as in Terry Sneed cases!

I’ll leave the toil-jewel case now – but we can gather from it the questions we should be asking about the wealth of the rich.  In the US, people who have riches they can’t account for and haven’t paid due tax on can go to jail.  That’s how Al Capone was nicked.  I haven’t made much clear, but detectives need to work in uncertainty.  We need to loosen up in metaphor to get into interrogation not stacked with the mundane.

I’m fairly smart though occasionally so dumb it’s embarrassing.  I can manipulate equations and do most sums I come across if I’m bothered, which is rare these days.  The answers don’t lie in ‘intercoursing Gaussian copulas’.  Outside of a few fields in real science this is all ‘Sooty’s Magic Wand’ (Sooty was a UK yellow glove puppet with a brilliantly dumb mate called Sweep who was the only one who really knew what was going on – an old mate and I used to teach industrial relations using them).

If we could produce toil-jewels we wouldn’t need economics and might well be a lot happier.  There are academic ideas around now we should be turning into a new economics.  To do this means pulling down the existing system in which the rich get nearly everything and this ‘nearly everything’ itself is largely a crock of what we don’t need.  Some of this is utterly disgusting, like getting rich in order to be able to afford to be on a beach in Kenya so you can shag the children of someone so poor the kid does it to support them – and some of us can tell real tales of this happening much closer to home.

We can’t even (generally – I know some detectives who have had limited success with fraud gangs) trace crime money in the simple sense of drugs, rackets and major blags – the estimate is about a trillion.  Or capital flight from poor countries where some despot or set of kleptocruds get hold of aid and loan money and send it to “Switzerland”.  My own detective suspicion is much of this never reaches Mugabe (whomever) and is trousered by the banksters – how could they be so dumb as to keep up this kind of ‘lending’ over decades of the same old criminal-business-as-usual.  Even my own institutions have trousered (admittedly to central university funds) cash from my hard-won research and project bids.  I would have to buy my project equipment at double and thrice the market price from approved suppliers.  I once thought this must be direct trousering in the form of bribes to corrupt vice-chancellors, but actually what happens is the suppliers send an end of year discount back to the university central fund.  Hardly simple accounting.  And you end up asking academics to do extra work in this process for book-tokens  You end up keeping a few people employed but never really being able to use the money to stimulate anything, let alone economic growth,

Economics is now a matter of legalising stealing by the rich.  I say this like a burned out cop trying to pin down the villains fueled by booze.and hatred of bureaucracy who has let his personal life go to hell.  In the mainstream we get Harvard professors of very little morality and over-conservatised brains discussing whether Wayne Rooney and other lottery winners deserve their “pay”.  The discussion is as self-absorbed as anything ‘Greek’ – gas that passes from good food and living based on slavery.  The question itself is morally corrupt.  What would Rooney be ‘worth’ if he played for an average wage and was devoted to changing lives in poverty with the rest?  Maybe the poor sods being kept as slaves by travelers in Merrie Olde England?

Economics makes one in six Americans poor.  Education has been no answer.  I cringe when politicians bloat out crap on highly skilled jobs and the knowledge society.  I’ve tried beyond anything that could be expected for some students, found ESN-branded kids in projects and turned the odd one to university level – but I know I’ll struggle even with my grandson – there’s usually not much you can do.  The peat diggers were men stout and true and out of school as soon as they could.  What ‘education’ (considerable) went into to producing them?  Or Irish, English and Chinese navvies who could outwork three men?

What we do today is make up loads of unnecessary work and urge people to be self-sufficient, hard-working and loads of other stuff where there is no field of endeavour that can educate them -schools and university are only of use in this sense for those equipped for the learning on offer in schools and universities.

There is work to be done and education to be had from doing it.  To get to this we need to stop the rich and the system of indenture to them that is economics.  A young woman came into my office when I was teaching in a third-rate English university, threw her arms around me and gave me a kiss.  I asked why?  She said she’d come to the place expecting a business degree to get her a BMW.  I had apparently taught her that was stupid, she wasn’t and she was joining the police force.  The majority (despite the university’s claims) end up in dull jobs they don’t like and could have done on leaving school.  They are now paying for this privilege, indentured to the tune of around £50K and much more if you count the loss of three year’s earnings and a job record I would find more impressive than a degree as an employer.

When we get into the detective investigation of the rich in part three, I believe we will find evidence the rich are ‘stealing souls’.

 

 

Towards The Ending Of The Economic Undead (part one)

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/09/david-graeber-on-the-invention-of-money-%E2%80%93-notes-on-sex-adventure-monomaniacal-sociopathy-and-the-true-function-of-economics.html

I know you guys don’t do economics.  I found it miserable at school, taught by a bastard called ‘Happy’ who spent his time preening pretty girls, before running off with one.  What put me off was it was so evidently a crock with numbers.  I switched to another real science subject.  Finding myself remaindered to teaching and researching management baloney , I got interested in why it was all so dire.  The link above is to a fairly short piece of ‘economic deconstruction’ by the admirable Yves Smith (who could run away with me at 17 anytime).

Economics is actually religious rather than scientific.  It’s run by priests who describe their work in ‘Latin’ to the god only they can communicate with, and its scriptures start with Adam Smith,  Yves Smith is just one of many commentators challenging some of the principle tenets of the subject.  The particular one around at the moment is the emergence of money from barter systems.  There is no evidence of this, rather the contrary.  Given economics is religious, it’s heresy to believe the evidence.

I don’t know how ‘non-economic’ any particular person is.  I don’t do the religion myself,other than as a vampire hunter might learn about vampires.  That a rich-political-economic class exists and sucks our blood, seems to follow from the evidence. Most people I meet can’t do economic argument, including most I’ve played some role in graduating.  Intercourse the elasticity of supply and demand does justice to this particular penguin.  Real masters of the subject, like Growling-balls Brown and Sniffer Osbourne sell gold just as the price is about to go exponential or cut public spending just when we need it most.

Trying to get a realistic public dialogue on economics is impossible,  It’s like trying to develop chemistry from alchemy.  It doesn’t even merit its sobriquet as ‘the dismal science’.  It works by boring you to death and exploiting your ignorance.

Imagine you play cards for money and find the same bunch of people always win.  I’d recommend you stop playing cards as a first rule (if I didn’t whip out a pack and rip you off myself).  But let’s say you don’t feel you’ve been playing the people better at cards than you and this is true.  We do an investigation and find marked cards and spot some of the players secretly swapping cards.  We all know what this is.

Economics needs a similar police-detective style unmasking.  I’d prefer to make the enquiry scientific, but I’m sure not enough people understand science and how it treats evidence.  More than this, science can’t kick down the necessary doors to get at the fraud. What’s going on is organised crime, as those posing as ‘cops’ in the system are bent.

The first evidence in front of us is the rich, the people supposedly playing the same game as the rest of us who end up with nearly all the winnings.  Just like card-sharps, they claim just to be better players than us or blessed with luck.  I play bridge for money, I don’t cheat and rarely lose -some of us do play better than others.  When I play in rubbers with only expert players i barely hold my own.  Some are much better than me – though these players still screw up playing with novice partners, assuming competence that isn’t there.

The presence of these regular winners in our society needs investigation.  A big block to such investigation is the ideology of meritocracy, though this has to be understood in our general state of ignorance.  If we think of the world’s wealth as ‘jewels’ that arise from human toil, we’d find hoards of these jewels amongst the rich.  If we’d been receiving, as cops, complaints about jewel thieving, we’d suspect the rich because they have the hoards of jewels.  This is the actual economic situation.  You can check this out at ONS, Wikkipedia or any source.

The rich may claim to have their own secret ‘jewel making machines’ or to have come across their wealth by fair means – just as the looter will tell you the plasma televisions stacked in a spare bedroom ‘fell off the back of a lorry’.  I’m not trying to get you to think of all the rich as thieves – just to apply ‘police suspicion’.  If you are family, friend or neighbour of a murder victim, you are a suspect on statistical grounds  I did this to many people.  It’s fraught with dangers, not least in skewing evidence to fit your suspicion.  One reason we should treat miscarriages of justice much more openly is that they could teach us a great deal about our general incompetence and lack of understanding of evidence in all circles.

To follow my argument you need to know more about the rich and their wealth to understand the ‘jewel’ metaphor, but also what you take for granted about life so that this doesn’t cloud your thinking.  This latter is very difficult.  More on the ‘jewel thieving’ in part two – the dog is pining for a walk.

I should point out David Graeber has just commented that Yves Smith didn’t write the post at the link (her blog), so we can presume he did.  I managed to miss David when I was a university academic swamped with teaching.  His books are well worth a read and you can get a good glimpse at Amazon.  The latest, ‘Debt: the first 5000 years’, is not only superb on its topic, but gets at the issues of thinking ‘history in the present’.

Police Pay in the Light of Rioting

There is no special attack on police pay.  Wages have been shafted for everyone else other than an elite for more than 30 years.  This is clear in GDP figures.  The rich and well-paid have been getting vastly better off as the rest of us have had our wages cut in real terms.  Police and public sector pay and conditions fared better than the private sector.  The police and public sector did not stand up and be counted when this started and, indeed, police enforced much of the deterioration in the Miner’s Strike and other attempts to prevent the collapse of manufacturing.  We should note that the anti-union propaganda and similar are never aimed at those groups in our society using ‘guild’ techniques to maintain their earnings like lawyers (including judges), accountants, bankers and the rich.  The idea that we have a “meritocracy” is farcical – tossers like Blair used to go around quoting books with the term in the title that were highly critical of the notion as though they were arguments for it.

Cops are not generally well qualified, trained or skilled and the work could be done by any reasonably fit people.  In the past police wages were severely cut in times like this and the blue line still did what it was told.  There is no special case now and to make one is only likely to further inflame those who are really suffering poverty thanks to the rich and their toady-politicians.  None of this is to say .I don’t think cops should be paid less than lawyers, judges and bankers – I value police more than these parasites.

The reason there is no money is that the rich have had it – through investing abroad to take advantage of near slave conditions of employment and tax evasion (it is evasion because they use threats to leave with all their money to prevent fair rates).  The only investment in anything real (almost) has been through the public sector or highly subsidised by our taxes – the rich have formed a vast Ponzi scheme to get unrealistic rates of return and have stolen vast sums we needed to invest in meaningful jobs.

Most have not understood the extent and nature of the criminality of the rich – which is as bad as any of the evil poor’s doings – worse when land grabs involve forced evictions and killings.  If the reality sinks in, our police are going to be a thin line between a vengeful poor and their masters.  This is likely to be done by decimated ranks that will be protecting the bankster-terrorists and their smug political lackeys.  They are likely to find themselves between ‘white racists’, ‘disaffected immigrants’ and other factions – and with no political solutions offered because we have no real politics.

We are so dumb as a populace we haven’t spotted that the rich have been keeping more and more of the world’s wealth as debt and deficits rise – this is almost like your neighbour always having potatoes just after your crop has been raided and not making the connection.

There’s some chance this government may re-think on police numbers and pay.  As Gadget points out the amounts involved are nothing in comparison with banking thefts.  No doubt this would be a red rag to the rest of the public sector bull – but the Tories might risk it under some crime and disorder propaganda.  Policing as we’ve known it in the UK would disappear, and cops turn to a semi-military militia.

I won’t be here, having decided to up sticks long ago.  The IPCC make a statement later tonight.  I expect bullshit – hard to imagine what they could say now they couldn’t have managed yesterday when whatever they didn’t do played some role in making people angry and setting off the angry.