rashbre central: October 2022

Wednesday 26 October 2022

gyre and gimbal

Oh well. A few weeks ago I was away in Greece and we changed Monarch.This time, away for a few days and we seem to have changed Prime Minister...again.

It seems that there is a limited talent pool, because I gather that the contenders included the has-been slug from the Premiership-minus-one and the runner-up from the recent selection, voted upon by the finest brains of the membership.

This time, a panic to prevent a further vote, after the frabjous and blatant lies from the slug who pretended to have enough Parliamentarian votes. Vorpal sword time. Snicker snack. Ironically, if his bluff had worked and he had got through to the next round, we'd have probably had him back in power.

Rishi Sunak has his work cut out. I still blame Johnson the most. He was partying hard at the pole wheel, in between his copious vacations, including during term-time. There are no words. 

Truss was the unconsciously incompetent replacement and now we have Sunak as the consciously competent one, although perhaps about to be dragged into the mire by some of his so-called associates. 

Hasta la próxima.

Thursday 6 October 2022

Movin' on down

Johnson didn't set the controls on the plane so that it would crash into a cliff face. He was much too busy squandering political capital to think about steering. 

Truss picks up the plane when its front view is all of that rapidly approaching cliff face. A new leader so new political capital? Not this time. Walking on stage to Heather Small singing the M People anthem - "Moving on up" - shame no one vetted the lyrics.

"You’ve done me wrong, your time is up

You took a sip from the devil’s cup

You broke my heart, there’s no way back

Move right out of here, baby, go on pack your bags"

Insta-squander. She lives in a bubble of unselfawareness. Her attempt to unite her party has become, instead, one to ignite her party. Crash, Crash, Crash.

She talks about growth yet is now 38 points behind Labour in national polls. A highlight of her speech was the interruption by Greenpeace, which gave her a chance to adlib over the perfectly valid point raised by Greenpeace that nobody voted for her ideas. 

t was telling that she chose to aim at an “anti-growth coalition” whose members include a nameless elite who “taxi from North London town houses to the BBC studio". She looked pleased with herself to pull this off although it's all London-speak, no doubt been prepped by a speech writer. It also sailed clumsily close to the 'elite from North London' - a phrase usually eschewed nowadays.

The subverters are lining up: 'worst (conference) since the 1970s', 'It feels like we've already lost', (accusations of) 'organising a coup', 'get a grip', no mandate to reverse the 2019 manifesto (Gove), 'if we don't want to deliver on the deal, we need a fresh mandate' (Dorries). And I have;t even got around to Mordant, Shapps or the dislikable Rees-Mogg.

Still, she can recover discipline wth hard line tactics, credit piracy and blame avoidance. 50 MPs of the 357 Conservative MPs backed her in the first round. She can tell the rest they must back her or they are sacked, or at least tarnished with reputation damaging innuendo. Some would call it cutting her way to glory. Some one should tell her it doesn't work. 

Let us consider:

  • a cost of living crisis
  • stretched public services
  • interest rate rises
  • a big jump in mortgage payments
  • escalating cost of fuel
  • the market's fiscal uncertainty
  • decline of the GBP
  • losses on the stock market

These are not the traditional signs of growth. Although maybe she wants to start from a low place?

Wednesday 5 October 2022

a different kind of arm waving

I can't see this Growth, Growth, Growth thing that Truss is talking about. 

She copied the Blair 'Education, Education, Education' triplet of 1996, but having just seen that TV show about 'Would you like to be a Prime Minister', it all came across as, well, a bit like something from The Apprentice.

I checked a number. The FTSE. Share prices aggregation, from when Truss took over to now. Its about a 3.39% drop, drop, drop. We're scraping along just over 7,000. No wonder there's a new tranche of US Funds being launched.
Then I tried the GBP to USD. Without the forceful intervention of the Bank of England the GBP would be tanking now. Tank, Tank, Tank. The problem that it creates is that interest rates have moved up and thus the price or mortgages, which has caused almost 1,000 products to be pulled.  Fall, Fall, Fall. The one thing that is growing is the cost of mortgages. Fail, Fail, Fail.

Then there's the trashing of the environmental pledges. The levelling down of the cabinet. The threats to her own party if they don't stay loyal.
Truss can still remember the chants and how to read the autocue. Shame she can't read the numbers.

Tuesday 4 October 2022

competence is a long road

I remember that management thing about 'consciously incompetent' and 'unconsciously incompetent' etc. I think I worked out the prior Prime Minister on the scale, and I think I've a clue about the current one. 

The thing is, I thought that the previous mendacious buffoon would only last a short time, but I was wrong. Three years to steer the plane towards the solid rock face and then to abandon the controls. Whoever haplessly picks up the stick after this was probably on a hiding to nothing. I want a large proportion of the blame to stay with the last person though. 

But a new pilot who imagines she is great and wakes up every morning thinking, 'what would a Prime Minister do today?' could be significantly dangerous. Ten year gilts up 4.3%. Emergency bond buy-back totalling £65 billion. Sinking pound until bale outs. Mortgaging tomorrow. Sorry kids, you'll have to pay for it. 

I suppose the 81,326 shamelessly unaccountable party members who made the unconsciously incompetent decision that we get the current leadership can dig in and say its for the best. 

We have an unmandated leader who hasn't even noticed the manifesto. Her answers to questions are like Thatcher's. A broken record of 'select track and play'. I know they are trying to backpedal now, but the situation illustrates how they have no depth at all in the hollowed-out remains of the Conservative Party. 

If that oh-so-loyal Rees-Mogg and his cronies have their way then there is much elite hay to be made at the expense of everyone else. The encouragement to champagne-fuelled hedge-fund managers to bet against the GBP shows how we are being manipulated by the people who are building the UK Freeport and Casino.

And what's the point of giving anyone else a say in any of it? Not colleagues, not the cabinet, not even the press. Just bankers shorting the pound. Let's add in threats to dissenters with their removal from the Party. Loyalty or bust.

Levelling up? I don't think so when seven times as much of the revised funding goes to London as to the north. Rees-Moggs' levelling up is to flatten large swathes of the north and make it into fracking sites.

I can already hear the slithering into position of others who believe themselves to be heir or heiress apparent. Trouble is, they are as unconsciously incompetent as the ones in power.