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Tag Archives: Margaret Thatcher

“Jesus Got It Wrong”, Tony Abbott’s Thatcher Memorial Lecture.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, obviously you don’t mean foreigners trying to enter our country illegally just because they’re fleeing from persecution?”

Jesus replied, “Did I f*cking stutter?”

So our Tony has graced the international stage with his presence, delivering the Thatcher Memorial Lecture. Maggie Thatcher has always been a polarising figure within society. With some pleased that there is a memorial lecture for her, while others just wish it had happened sooner – many decades sooner! Abbott has merely divided his own party.

Abbott’s lecture was most instructive because it was almost an allegory of his time as leader of the Liberal Party. Full of strong rhetoric, with plenty of evidence to back up the very opposite of what he’s saying.

Although, I did find myself agreeing with Abbott when he said:

“In this audience, some may be disappointed that my own prime ministership in Australia lasted two years after removing Labor from office…”

Actually, I think that it’s more those here in Australia are disappointed that your prime ministership lasted two years. I suspect that your British audience couldn’t care less about your sudden end. And you did suggest to them that

“Implicitly or explicitly, the imperative to “love your neighbour as you love yourself” is at the heart of every Western polity. It expresses itself in laws protecting workers, in strong social security safety nets, and in the readiness to take in refugees. It’s what makes us decent and humane countries as well as prosperous ones, but – right now – this wholesome instinct is leading much of Europe into catastrophic error.”

See, it’s not just Pope Francis who’s been getting it wrong. Jesus, himself, didn’t fully understand how much trouble this loving thy neighbour stuff could get you into. Probably why Abbott had to leave the priesthood: The realisation that Jesus’ feeding the multitudes with the loaves and fishes had led to the entitlement expectations which caused the budget emergency that Australia was still paying off.

He went on tell us that countries would be better to slam the door shut on refugees, as he had done. I mean he wasn’t there to tell people how great he was. After all, earlier in his speech, he’d humbly told the gathered throng:

“It’s usually presumptuous to invoke the glorious dead in support of current policy – but your invitation to give this lecture suggests there was at least a hint of Thatcher about my government in Australia: stopping the flow of illegal immigrant boats because a country that can’t control its borders starts to lose control of itself; the repeal of the carbon tax that was socialism masquerading as environmentalism; budget repair so that within five years, the Australian government will once again be living within its means; the free trade agreements with our biggest markets to increase competition and make it fairer; the royal commission into corrupt union bosses; an even stronger alliance with the United States and a readiness to call out Russia for the shooting down of a civilian airliner.”

Conveniently overlooking that Europe is not “girt by sea” and that it’s not just a question of stopping a relatively minor number of boats, he went on to tell them to send back those illegal immigrants, before reminding everyone that ISIS was a “death cult”, barbaric and dangerous, but, hey, if people want to flee that, well, it shouldn’t be your problem. In other words, not only should we ignore the founder of his faith, but let’s just trash the UN convention on refugees, and say every man for himself.

After all, isn’t that what Thatcher would have wanted.

All this is just typical Tony. It was some of his comments on Thatcher that gave me a new lack of respect for Abbott’s mental faculties. For example:

“On Soviet missiles aimed at Europe, she didn’t see nuclear annihilation to be averted at all cost but an evil empire to be shown that aggression would not pay.”

Yep, we don’t need to avoid “nuclear annihilation”, we need to stand up to that “evil empire” (I think he still means the Soviets, although he may be suggesting that Maggie thought she was Luke Skywalker), even if means being annihilated. At least we’d be able to say that we showed those Soviets that aggression didn’t pay. Or we would if we all weren’t annihilated. But it was this little throwaway line that should send a shudder down the collective spine of the Liberal Party . . .

Actually, they wouldn’t have a “collective” spine, would they? Far too socialist.

“That was the essence of her greatness: on the things that mattered, she refused to believe that nothing could be done and would work relentlessly to set things right.”

Do I detect a whiff of his personal circumstances in that one?

Abbott’s recent speech makes good comic reading now that he’s no longer PM, and makes me think that a crowdfunding project where we book him to speak at a function where all the latte-sipping lefties can turn up to laugh at him and heckle might be a goer. Although, there is a chance that we’ll be competing with Turnbull millions, with Malcolm rumoured to be booking him for as many overseas appearances as possible for the next twelve months including Syria and Antarctica.

As I said yesterday, while I disagree with much that Turnbull is still doing – and yes there are still a number of people in his Cabinet that are only there for comic relief – there seems to be a more civilised tone returning to the conversations about how we deny people human rights, screw the poor and disadvantaged and destroy our natural resources. Less shrill screaming about how dare people use the law courts, and more attempts to persuade people that selling our coal is just part of our overall foreign aid program.

If I attempted to engage Turnbull by suggesting that renewables are the way of the future, I suspect that he’d reply by saying that coal will still be a part of the mix for a long time to come. If I suggested that he read up on disruptive innovation, he would undoubtedly tell me that he has, and that coal isn’t going to disappear overnight to which I’d reply that’s Kodak before they went broke and he’d say that Kodak had nothing to with coal and I’d say that he was just trying to change the subject and he’d point out that I was the one who brought up Kodak and then start talking about Kodak and his theory on why it went broke before I interrupted and…

Anyway, it’s a far cry from debating it with Abbott which would go something like this.

“Renewables will replace coal as the number one power source in the next few years.”

“Coal provides jobs. Doesn’t Rossleigh care about jobs? Or does he just care about his own?”
“I do care about jobs. There won’t be any jobs when the coal industry collapses because it’s not economical to mine it.”
“Rossleigh professes to care about jobs, yet he was part of the Labor government that run up a Budget deficit that we’ll never be able to repay.”

“No I wasn’t, but haven’t you run up an even bigger deficit?”

“We have the Budget back on the path to a sustainable surplus in 2050. Unlike you who’s never produced a surplus in your life.”

“I’ve never bean Treasurer.”

“And thank God for that, because with your policies we’d all be living in caves without electricity. It’s coal that’s given us progress and without coal, humanity would still be swinging in the trees…”

“Hang on, is it caves or trees?”

‘”It’s both. You’d have us all homeless and it’s only the Liberal Party who can deliver jobs and growth because we’re the ones who stopped the boats. There hasn’t been a single boat arrive in the last eighteen months.”
“Didn’t one land on Christmas Island earlier this year?”
“We never comment on operational matters!”

Well, I’ll leave Abbott with the last word. Summing up, he concluded his Maggie speech with the following:

“All of us, then, must ponder Margaret Thatcher’s example while we wait to see who might claim her mantle. Good values, clear analysis, and a do-able plan, in our day as in hers, are the essentials of the strong leadership the world needs.”

Mm, I wonder if he has anyone in mind … David Cameron? Rupert Murdoch? Donald Trump? Himself?

Well, you can bet he doesn’t mean Pope Francis!


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People ‘cost too much’: the Abbott Government and Neoliberalism

Image from

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Where will our Conservative government take this country, if allowed to do so? Dr Strobe Driver turns to America for an insight – and possibly the answer.

What to do, what to do . . .

The current non-acceptance of the 2014 Budget by the Australian population—which in turn has been reinforced by the majority of state government premiers—does not bode well for the future of the Coalition as a unified force in politics. Perhaps what is worse for the Abbott Government is it comes on the back of the debacle by Attorney-General Brandis and the proposed changes to racial vilification laws. The seeding of dissent in a party is usually political death as the Australian population witnessed under the Rudd-Gillard years, and Brandis’s byproxy non-acceptance that Australia in now a multicultural country, (some of whom these ‘other’ cultures live in the seats of Liberal Party members) may be a bitter political truth for many a person wanting the ‘good old days’ of ‘Anglo-only’ Imperialism back. Nevertheless, wanting those days back does not reshape the reality that multiculturalism is here to stay. Moreover, the same blithe attitude that was exhibited to those objecting to the changing of the law, now appears to be exhibited towards those that expect honesty from their politicians with equally dismissive statements. The treatment of dismissing people out of hand in terms of delivering a ‘this is what you get, take it or leave it’ attitude smacks of a ‘born-to-rule’ attitude, one which has as its undertone that ‘we’ (the Conservatives) will not be questioned by those that know less. This is a dangerous though not unexpected path for Abbott’s Conservatives to do down. A broader perspective than the decisions of the 2014 Budget need to be addressed in order to find out how this attitude has become manifest.

Free education and healthcare are the cornerstones of Western liberal-democracies, at least those that follow the Western European style of democracy (a style of democracy that the United States of America willfully abandoned many years ago), and it was essentially borne out of many historical precepts. For the purpose of this article however, two instances to articulate where welfare ‘came from’ are the Industrial Revolution and the subsequent demands from the population—this is where unionism also sprang from—to be cared for so they could work for the industrialists; and the wage-earning individual could pay taxes which equaled mutual prosperity. The aftermath of the horrors of the Second World War also placed demands on Western liberal-democratic governments as those returning home insisted the State—which they had sacrificed so much for—help re-join their shattered lives. From this there was a maturity of populations, as populaces realised that the State in fact had demanded (and continued to demand) so much from them in terms of taxes, labour, loyalty, citizenship and even death in defence of the system (through the wholesale drafting of the population in world wars), is to mention only a few demands the State placed on its citizenry. We can now turn to what has happened to America and the way in which it has gone on to influence the world and in doing so influenced Australian politics, in particular the Liberal Party in Australia. Whilst the US has in general a shocking and despicable system of healthcare, one which can only be held up and praised by the most wealthy and hardened industrial capitalists and/or people whose judgement is deeply affected by lobby groups, as the poor are simply disregarded. A cursory Google search of Wisconsin’s history of medical care toward there citizenry is a shocking read to anyone wanting to be informed about adequate healthcare for the poor, particularly under the current governor. America, however, does have free education for some as it does healthcare: those that have served in the military. The benefits one gets during and after service are life-long and generous and what’s more this has the offshoot of building an ongoing military–never having a shortage of recruits. Starving the general population of generous benefits and giving them to the military will always draw in a stream of new recruits as it is seamlessly coupled to an assumption that a posting to a war zone is unlikely; and if that happens the war is eminently survivable. Of course there are other ways of ensuring a vibrant military and having a well-cared for population (examples being Switzerland and Finland) however, this is not the neo-liberal way.

Back to the point of free education and excellent healthcare, Prime Minister Abbott seems to not understand that after WWII those that fought demanded a high standard of free healthcare, not dissimilar to what he expressed would happen under a Coalition Government prior to the last election. And there is the other issue of those baby-boomers that were the children of those who fought and died for their country, they too were inculcated by their (sometimes widowed) parents about what to expect from the government in terms of benefits and moreover, the State should do the ‘heavy lifting’ on their part. More to the point the baby-boomers have grandchildren now and this is perhaps the point which seems to be fundamentally lost on a Conservative and intellectually stultified Front Bench. Telling a baby-boomer (even if he/she was faithful enough to vote for the Coalition in the first place) that their grandchildren will not be able to see a doctor for free is, and will be, a very dangerous political move. However dangerous it is, it is shaping up to be trumped by Abbott’s commitment to the US-style neo-liberal system. Including but not restricted to the cutting of all welfare; a disdain for those that cannot work; the Howard-style belief that private enterprise is able to deliver and care for the public much more efficiently than a dedicated public service; and the commitment to create a two-tier Australia along the lines of the American model. An assured outcome is that of having a working-poor that underpin the wealth of the elite. How does this work? One need not look far to see the system which the Abbott Government wants in action with regard to how a two-tier Australia will ‘work.’ Whilst this is moving away from healthcare it nevertheless offers evidence. A good example of the two-tier system is that of Walmart employees in the US having to have their wages topped-up (read: a welfare payment from the government to move their wage into the category of a ‘living’ one), and this is due to their minimum wage being so pitifully low that although they work five-plus days a week, their wage remains so abjectly moribund that the government has to contribute to their well-being through a top-up—the two-tier system in action. The advantage, however, for companies who use this model is that they are able to claim that people have a job and therefore ‘dignity’; and a ‘better’ place in society. Regardless of the disdain a company such as Walmart shows to their workers and of the executive being resentful about paying any sort of respectable wage—as has been the case shown in recent times by some mining entrepreneurs and other industrialists in Australia—the true ‘worth’ for companies in having employees is the political leverage they obtain; and the power that it brings. Threats of a future offshore location of a business is enough for governments to be panicked—especially Conservatives—into adopting the ‘too-high minimum wage’ mantra. The truth of having a minimum wage so low, as per the American model, is that it in turn needs to be topped-up by government (read: taxpayer) funds. A further insight this offers is it displays the near-absolute contempt a company such as Walmart has for not just their own employees but all American taxpayers–further highlighting their slavish dedication to the Industrial Capitalist system. One could also go on to question where the morality is in taking money from other taxpayers in order to sustain a billion-dollar company’s network of employees, but that is beyond the remit of this article and has been exposed in the aforementioned. The American model comes into stark relief as the Conservative Abbott Government begins to push harder and harder on welfare recipients and works toward bringing in a neo-liberal agenda. What is also of interest here, however, is what if Australians reject the Liberal Party’s neo-liberal agenda; and in doing so see the American model for what it truly represents? What to do, what to do?

Assuming the Abbott Government keeps taking negative hits from their neo-liberal policy, not unlike those that led to the systemic decline and then decimation at the polls for the Thatcher Government in Britain during the very beginning of the 1990s—the Poll Tax being the ‘bridge too far’ to save the Tories, the Abbott Government too will be faced, if the polls continue on a downward trend, with the dilemma of either replacing or politically resuscitating their leader. Of course, they will not be able to depose Abbott due to the ramifications it would have in the political sphere of their unrelenting criticism of Labor; and the unseating of an elected member of parliament, and leader of the country. Therefore, resuscitation will be their only real answer. The other problem for the government will be the Coalition as a political entity will be faced with what it represents to the public: the domain of aging, elitist, out-of-touch (mostly) white males. A point one could argue that was symbolically driven home by the punitive treatment of under-30s in the election. High profile senators—and a possible leader of the future amongst them—Abetz, Andrews, Hockey, Truss, Dutton, Robb, Pyne, Brandis, will be pushed to do something as Abbott’s credibility declines and this will bring about an inconvenient realisation which will need to be considered: the under-30s are the grandchildren of the baby-boomers. Thus, giving credence to the argument that the Coalition-the Thatcherism-aspects of simply not understand inter-connectivity elements within society. Thatcherism reigns supreme. The Coalition’s belief in the neo-liberal mantra that Thatcher instilled (or at least attempted to) that ‘there is no such thing as society, only individuals’ ultimately means they do not understand, or deliberately ignore that there is an inter-reliance within society and this attitude is rusted-on. Within this paradigm fail the Conservative Abbott government also fails to understand that grandparents’ actually love their grandchildren and are committed to what’s best for them. Neoliberalism has blinded the Abbott government to their Western European-societal roots, in which it is the actual duty of the State to care for its citizens. Once again what to do, what to do? The Coalition has two choices, to ride out the punitive measures of the Budget and hope that the Australian people—come the next election—will forgive them for their dalliance into the Americanisation of Australian society, or they will continue to push hard and eventually tell the Australian people it’s time they gave up on Western European societal norms because they ‘cost too much’. If the ‘costs too much’ scenario is successfully implemented and the shift toward the individualistic Americanisation of Australian society is successful, there will be no turning back.

To be sure, the ethics and morality of how a person and/or people have come to ‘cost too much’ is far beyond the template of this essay, suffice to say that Abbott who is highly-educated in theology should be at the forefront when it comes to care and wellbeing of the Australian people. Notwithstanding, convincing pensioners however, who will be in need of the most care that they should fend for themselves and that hospitals, (of which most are an arm of the State), will be reticent for them to attend their emergency wards because they’ll be too crowded by people using them as substitute for their General Practitioner will be a game-changer for pensioners. Yet again, this offers the premise that the Coalition is addicted to the neoliberal ‘American model’ of society utterly and completely. This said however, one does need to ask how a Front Bench which has such an array of deeply-religious God-fearing people on it could possibly resort to such Dickensian treatment of the poor and underprivileged. It must be that they do believe and it is present in their rhetoric, that they know best and that they have the highest moral/ethical values but in turn have a low application of these principles when delivery of care to their populace is required. Everything about health (and education) is ‘too costly’ even if the Federal government is the eventual beneficiary of an intellectually robust and healthy nation.

Should the American (insurance-industry driven) model is embraced it will mean a two-tier health system which will eventually exclude the poor, low-class and the elderly, and if the new education principles are adopted it will also be a two-tiered system. Eventually being only for the ‘deserving’ (read: wealthy) people, essentially those that have a lesser chance of going to prison. This amounts to both education and health being reserved for privileged, upper-middle class (mostly) white people. There is a distinct correlation to the Abbott Front Bench and inter-connectivity in this scenario too.

This article was first published on Geo-Strategic Orbit and has been reproduced with permission.


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Wapping: what can we learn from it?

While reading yesterday’s article Rupert Murdoch and the Liberal Party I was struck by the following:

Rupert Murdoch has shown a total disdain for governments and government regulation. They are an impediment to him shaping the world in the way he wants it to be. He believes in a conservative, business dominated world. You only have to go back to the days of Margaret Thatcher who helped Murdoch break the unions in the Wapping dispute to see what he wants. Murdoch wants to see another Thatcher run Australia.

I believe this was spot-on, as you will see.

Not many people would know about the Wapping dispute and how the Thatcher Government lent a helping hand to ensure that Murdoch got his way. The Wapping dispute started on 24 January 1986 when some 6,000 newspaper workers went on strike after protracted negotiation with their employer, News International (chaired by Murdoch). News International had built and clandestinely equipped a new printing plant for all its titles in the London district of Wapping, and when the print unions announced a strike it activated this new plant with the assistance of rogue union members.

The Wapping dispute was a story of betrayal, of connivance, and a bitter blow for workers.

The war broke out when nearly 6,000 newspaper workers went on strike after the collapse of talks with Murdoch’s News International. Murdoch had wanted to move his British newspapers from their traditional home in Fleet Street to a new purpose built printery in London’s East End. When the workers refused to move Murdoch issued dismissal notices against all. What happened was a lockout that sparked a bitter and doomed year long strike.

And the Thatcher Government bent over backwards to ensure nothing would stand in the way of the media baron’s ambitions.

The story hit the British and later world’s press like a bomb going off. It was the story of the day if one were to believe the stories, Murdoch was as shocked as everyone else. The dispute was the last thing he expected or wanted (apparently). The back story was, however, very different. The 24th of January may well have been the day open hostilities broke out but the war had been a long time in the planning. Neither the battle or the war were the spontaneous eruption that the British Murdoch press portrayed it to be; Rupert Murdoch was not the surprised and innocent person he claimed to be at the time. Even until very recently Murdoch maintained his innocence.

A clear understanding of what happened before and at Wapping are essential if one is to understand how the Murdoch empire grew and its relationships with subsequent British and to a lesser extent American and Australian governments.

Wapping was about profits and power and how both could be exploited to their fullest to the benefit of the Murdoch, his shareholders and successive British Governments. Before Wapping, Murdoch was making a reasonable return on investments. After Wapping, profits soared.

Murdoch had bought the Wapping site in 1978 and by the time of the strike it was truly a fortress ringed by steel fences monitored by close circuit television cameras. The razor wire came later, as did the mounted riot police and dogs.

At least one union played right into Murdoch’s hands, secretly recruiting scab labour to work at Wapping and it was this labour that allowed Murdoch to produce his papers throughout the year long strike.

Central to Murdoch’s plans was his relationship with the then Thatcher Government. Just how close this relationship was has recently become clear. Speaking shortly after Mrs Thatcher’s death Rupert Murdoch said that she was an “inspired leader” and that her “Government had made it possible for News International to survive a year of industrial action (at) Wapping”.

Rupert Murdoch never forgot his debt of gratitude to Mrs Thatcher and her Government as hundreds of headlines from The Sunday Times, Times, Sun and News of the World clearly attest.

The 2012 Leveson Inquiry into the News of the World scandal heard evidence from Murdoch’s once trusted Australian ally and former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil that Murdoch had made it clear to him that almost a year before the strike began he (Murdoch) “had gone to Mrs Thatcher to square it with {her}”. Neil had been Murdoch’s go-between in 1985 between the unions and News Limited and was central to what happened at Wapping. O’Neil has also said “that enough police would be made available to allow him to get his papers past the massed pickets at Wapping once the dispute was underway”.

The BBC, in an interview with Mr O’Neil subsequently reported that the relationship between Mrs Thatcher and his boss was “seminal”. As Neil said in in his Leveson evidence, “Thatcher’s battles were our battles”. Clearly the relationships Rupert Murdoch developed at the time of the War at Wapping were enhanced as time went by and were pivotal to Murdoch’s political power plays in the years then ahead. These relationships were also pivotal to Murdoch’s power over every British government and many leading politicians for the next two decades. This was never more so than his personal and professional relationship with Tony Blair’s New Labour movement. Blair had seen at first hand Murdoch’s merciless attacks on Labour leader Neil Kinnock throughout the late 1980’s and 90’s. The Sun headline on the day of the 1992 general election said it all “If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights”.

However, Rupert Murdoch ever the political chameleon was always willing to swap sides just so long as his power increased and News Limited profits continued to flow as happened when this famous headline appeared in 1997 Murdoch’s tabloid The Sun, “The Sun Backs Blair”.

It is also possible that if Wapping had never occurred the history of every subsequent British election and Government may have been very different, at the very least the headlines in the News Limited British newspapers most certainly would have been different.

As a friend commented to me: “Wapping warped the Murdoch media”.

Returning to the article Rupert Murdoch and the Liberal Party, I find this comment of concern:

Murdoch wants to see another Thatcher run Australia. In his mind, someone who supports business 100% is the only viable leader. Does he see Tony Abbott as another Margaret Thatcher?

This is what makes that statement frightening …

How the media business was transformed by her time in office:

  • Baroness Thatcher helped Rupert Murdoch break the power of the print unions at Wapping, paving the way for new titles such as the Independent and bigger, multi-section newspapers.
  • She broke the TV duopoly of ITV and the BBC – through the launch of Channel 4, independent producers and the breakfast station TV-am.
  • She privatised the TV transmitter networks and allowed ITV licences to be awarded to the highest bidder.
  • She unleashed the UK’s advertising sector, assisted by Saatchi & Saatchi – which helped her into Downing Street with its Labour Isn’t Working poster – and grew to become the world’s largest advertising group. The ad business also reaped a multi-million-pound bonanza from the privatisation campaigns for British Telecom, British Gas and the TSB.
  • And she crossed swords many times with the BBC, though it survived her attempts to break it up and scrap the licence fee.

It’s easy to see why Murdoch might just favour a Thatcher-lite.


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An Open Letter to the Economy

Dear Economy

I have cause to write this week because I wanted to remind you that I am still here. And I am still angry. I know there’s been a bit of talk since the passing of Margaret Thatcher about her famous line denying my existence. History has shown time and time again how wrong Thatcher was about most things. However there still seem to be some people in positions of considerable power who would like to perpetuate the lie that you are more important than me. It’s true, people watch you much more closely than they watch me. We get a stock market report on the TV news every night, even though most of my constituents wouldn’t even know what a stock was, let alone own any. This obviously gives you delusions of grandeur. But what’s become really apparent over the last couple of decades is that you think you own us all. And you don’t. You might own the greedy and the very rich. The likes of Rupert Murdoch and Gina Rinehart bow down to you like a god. In your eyes, these two are probably favourite pupils. However, if you use my very different measures of what constitutes a successful life, both these lowlifes are complete and utter failures of the highest magnitude.

Speaking of failures, this is another reason for my letter. It’s not good manners to reject me completely when you’re having a good time, and then to call me when you’ve got a problem or when things go wrong. This ‘too big to fail’ argument is just silly. If you fck up badly enough, sure, I’ll always have to pick up the pieces. That’s just who I am. But you can at least work with me a little to make sure I have the resources I need to build the safety net that you expect me to have whenever you do fck up, which is pretty frequent of late. You see, I’m not just some doormat you can walk all over and treat like a ‘get out of jail free’ card when you’ve stuffed up. If you want me to look after you, you need to better look after me. If everything I own gets privatized, by the way, I don’t own it anymore. That might not make sense to you, but think about it for a second. You want me to take responsibility for things that I need, to make sure that my people have a good chance to be happy and effective members of my club, but then you steal these things off me and try to sell them in your market. How am I meant to make sure everything is working and available to everyone who needs them if you suddenly own them! There’s no middle ground with you either, it’s all or nothing. Dog eat dog. You really should stop being so selfish and think about everyone, like I do, and not just your rich buddies who get richer by buddying up to you. If you had your way, there would be no minimum wage and your best buddies, the very rich, would happily see those invisible people who I look after die in the gutter from starvation and exposure to the elements.

Speaking of the elements, isn’t it time you had a think about the climate? I know you don’t believe anything matters if it doesn’t have a price tag, which is obviously why you think I’m so inconsequential. But seriously, haven’t you noticed that the climate is costing you? It shouldn’t be up to me to remind you of this. You’re meant to be good with numbers and I’m no accountant. But I’ve seen the insurance pay outs that go to victims of natural disasters. Surely you can’t be blind to these. You might be blind to the human tragedies of drought and flood: the deaths, the loss, the upheaval of people’s lives. These are all my problems. But the money cost? It’s going up and it’s going to affect you more and more as the temperature keeps rising. You never were quick on the uptake and I really can’t help but think you’ve become quite lazy in your old age. Sure, the old energy sources of coal and gas have helped you to chug along without a care in the world for the side effects but the profit isn’t going to last. Why you might ask? Because this stuff is going to run out you buffoon! And you expect me to have all these people ready to solve this problem, ready to find some way to keep you running using sustainable energy sources, yet you won’t invest in research and development. So no, I don’t have anything or anyone ready to solve this problem. I’m barely able to keep some of my lot alive in the wreckage you have left behind from your greedy pursuits, let alone having them ready to build a car that runs without petrol. Stop being so stingy and go to work to solve this problem yourself. For once in your life, think of something in the future that will happen more than a day down the line.

Speaking of looking to the future, I hope you know that all my poor friends are eventually going to come and bite your rich friends on the arse. I’m not talking about a revolution, so don’t go organising private security armies and building more gated communities yet. I wouldn’t mind if an uprising happened, by the way. I think it would be a good way to shock you awake. But unfortunately my guys don’t have time to mobilise to that extent, when they are working long hours just to feed their families and keep themselves from being evicted. No, the way they are going to ruin your rich people’s lives is by collapsing you in on yourself when their wages are crushed, and their spending becomes so minimal that you can no longer flog your shit to them. You see, if they are barley earning to survive, they can’t afford your shit. Makes sense doesn’t it? When I say ‘shit’, I mean all the useless stuff you produce to make a profit. Nothing that benefits me. In fact, most of this shit is completely useless to me and if anything, it is to my detriment. Especially when they all try to get rid of it and find they can’t because it won’t wash down the drain. Somehow you’ve managed to convince my people that your shit will make them happy, that somehow they’ll find satisfaction from buying it and looking at it. That the more shit they have, the more successful they are. But this is all part of your con and one day this fraud of yours will be exposed. As will the lie that you need to keep growing to survive. It’s time you went on a diet! You don’t need to keep growing. You’re fat enough already.

The more I write, the more I realise just how unhappy I am with you. You promise the world, and all you deliver is mess for me to fix up. You were meant to solve all your own problems. That’s what you promised when I first met you. But you don’t solve problems, you just make them. I think it’s time we met up to discuss this problem further.

Yours sincerely

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