Wealth Not Identity

The only one smiling is the suntanned boss*


I don’t do the social media thingy so I apologise if this is hopelessly out of date. One of those silly media/internet rows has blown up over an equalities conference organised by Young Labour. Apparently attendance is restricted to people who…

“Self-identify into one or more of the following groups: BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic); Disabled; LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi & Trans); Women.”

Apparently, an idiot Conservative MP called Andrew Bridgen has written to the Equality and Human Rights Commission to ask them to investigate whether the entry rules added up to ‘discrimination’.

It is good to see that as the world changes, some things stay the same. The same sort of people who were in charge of the students’ union when I was at university thirty years ago are still in charge of politics at a youth level -the same sort of people who expelled me from the university’s Anti-Apartheid Society when I asked for my free Nelson Mandela. These folks appear to have watched an episode of 1980s sitcom The Young Ones called ‘Bambi‘ and taken it as an instruction manual rather than as satire. Continue reading “Wealth Not Identity”

It’s A Rich Man’s World

The Establishment only care about money

I’d like to start my first post of 2018 by quoting those well-known Swedish philosophers, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson…

“I work all night, I work all day
To pay the bills I have to pay
Ain’t it sad
And still there never seems to be
A single penny left for me”

Full lyrics here and video here for those of you who want to relive the 1970s (that’s for you Jeremy if you are reading this).

It has long been my belief that the Establishment in the UK only care about money. Since at least 1976, neoliberalism has dominated the economic ‘debate’ in Britain. Governments of all types – Labour, Conservative and Coalition – have bowed down before the demands of the stock markets, selling public assets at a fraction of their value, allowing social housing to be transferred from council ownership to rapacious private landlords and bailing out banks with billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money when, in their arrogance and hubris, they (deliberately?) crashed the world economy. The fact that the entire Establishment – left, right and centre – is doing everything it can to stop the UK leaving the European Union suggests to me that a lot of very rich people stand to lose a lot of money when (and if) the UK leaves the EU. Continue reading “It’s A Rich Man’s World”

We Cannot Afford The Super Rich

The economic system is broken

A couple of recent events have inspired this post. On another blog that I read and occasionally contribute to, a poster was writing about Rylan Clark-Neal, a person of whom I have scant knowledge. I recall seeing a cutout of Clark-Ryan when I was in a bookshop in the UK last year. When I asked the lady behind the counter who he was, she started talking about X-Factor and I stopped listening. Apparently, Clark-Ryan finished fifth in X-Factor and he has since appeared in such delights as Celebrity Big Brother, Big Brother’s Bit on the Side, This Morning, The Xtra Factor and Up Late with Rylan and Babushka. He played the part of an air steward in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and has also been on BBC Celebrity Masterchef. For all this he has amassed a fortune in the region of £4.5 million!

The second event happened when shopping in my local supermarket. On the past two or three occasions I have been shopping for groceries I have been accosted by a member of staff asking if I wanted to make a donation to cancer research. Whilst nonentities like Clark-Ryan can gain huge fortunes for doing zero work, vital medical research has to be funded by turning minimum wage supermarket employees into chuggers.

There is something fundamentally wrong with the economic system in 2017. Continue reading “We Cannot Afford The Super Rich”

Education In The Twenty-First Century

University is not for everyone

I saw this on Pinterest and it made me laugh.

Teaching Maths over 50 years

Teaching Maths in the 1950s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching Maths in the 1970s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching Maths in the 1980s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit? Yes or No.

Teaching Maths in the 1990s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: underline the number 20.

Teaching Maths in the 2000s: A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living?

Topic for class participation after answering the question: “How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers. Feel free to express your feelings eg, anger, anxiety, inadequacy, helplessness, etc).

Should you require debriefing at conclusion of exam there are counselors available to assist you to adjust back to the real world. Continue reading “Education In The Twenty-First Century”

The Capitalism Delusion

Time to end the plutonomy in the West

Item #1: A CEO, a worker and an immigrant go into a pub. On the bar is a tray of twenty pints. The CEO removes one pint and places it on the bar and takes the rest of the tray. He turns to the worker and says “You’d better be careful that immigrant doesn’t steal your drink.”

Item #2: I was slumped on the sofa after work yesterday vaguely watching an ancient episode of The Simpsons when an advert for the TENTH anniversary special of Keeping Up With The Kardashians came on the television. This family of talentless nobodies are multimillionaires and have done nothing of any merit in a decade of relentless exposure.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the delusion of hypercapitalism in all its 21st century glory. Continue reading “The Capitalism Delusion”

Another Mouth To Feed

Why do the BBC love these freeloaders?

It has been a difficult few weeks for those of us who believe in democracy and equality. The media have gone completely overboard covering the 20th anniversary of the death of the proto-Kardashian, Diana Spencer. And just yesterday, Kensington Palace announced that Kate Middleton is pregnant again. The BBC is in full sycophancy mode and has wheeled out its “Royal Correspondent” to give us the latest “breaking news.” The question begged by the coverage both these non-events is simply “why?” Continue reading “Another Mouth To Feed”

The $22,000 Fidget Spinner

The wastefulness of the obscenely rich

There are few things guaranteed to upset me more than the arrogance, vulgarity and sheer sense of entitlement displayed by the global super rich. Ipswich’s repeated failure to return to the Premier League and the existence of Victoria Beckham are the only things I can think of that give me similar attacks of rage. So, you can imagine the spike in my blood pressure when I heard about a fidget spinner for sale at $22,000 (£13,000). It reminded me of the time back in the 1980s when Mike Tyson paid £650,000 for a watch. It demonstrates clearly that the obscene wealth enjoyed by some of the global rich is also obscenely wasteful  – as well as being economically illiterate and environmentally unsustainable. Continue reading “The $22,000 Fidget Spinner”