Actively  Missing direction?

The daily star is giving us (at http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/politics/618722/Who-should-I-vote-for-in-the-General-Election-quiz-Conservative-Labour-Lib-Dem) a nice little questionnaire on who to vote for. I tend to have mixed feelings on these polls, but curious as I am, I took the list and behold, my choice was known and it was my direction. Yet, there are still issues on the questionnaire. You see, it’s fun, and perhaps those who do not know who to vote for should take it to get a general direction, but still there are issues. So let’s take a look at these 15 questions. Yet, this is as you will see the beginning of a much larger issue. What is beneath the surface is a combination of inaction, denial and delay. We are all plagued by the inactions of politicians and we have to pay for their ‘non-choices’. Let me take you on a tour explaining that.

  1. There should be a second Brexit referendum on the terms of the deal.
    Really? There was a referendum and the brits decided to move out. So let’s get on with it! Politicians, especially the sore losers want to turn this all around. I would state because they are sore losers. The last year has been about fearmongering on several levels and even my own party is not innocent here.
  2. Immigration to Britain should be reduced over the next five years.
    Why? Well, I went with never mind, because some might like a reduction on several fronts, yet in the end, we need to think long term, keeping immigration stable seems like a good thing, reducing it? Perhaps it is, perhaps not. What is clearly evident is that as Australia closed immigration and hindered it to some extent, Australia avoided the infrastructure collapse after the 2008 financial crises, if Australia had allowed for the boosted Silicon Valley growth option, the Australian infrastructure would have been in deep trouble and their version of the NHS (Medicare) would not be around today, that part is pretty much a given.
  3. There should be a Bank Holiday on each patron saints’ day.
    I think we have enough bank holidays at present. We could go to the old days (before 1950) when a bank holiday also implied a mandatory visit to the church; you still game at that point?
  4. More selective grammar schools should be opened in the UK.
    I have never ever seen ‘selective’ schooling to amount to anything but excessive pressure on students, that is just a really bad idea. Also, selective schooling tends to imply that certain elements are removed from schools. I believe that the wider and more generalist grammar school is, the wider the development of the student. That has always been a good idea, especially as today’s children in a grammar school will enter the workplace with technologies that we at present haven’t designed yet. So whatever selectivity they now face, the harder some adjustments tend to be.
  5. Key industries such as railways, water and energy should be nationalised, funded by higher taxes.
    This is a real Labour question. This is one of those dangerous questions as the element missing here is that this step alone will drive the UK into deeper debt, a cost that will exceed a quarter of a trillion pound. That is not a good idea at present. The option to nationalise part is not a bad thing, but the UK coffers are empty, a blatant fact Jeremy Corbyn ignores as his promises are all based on the need to drive debts up. Which will be an issue the next two generations will have to pay for, how irresponsible is that?
  6. Britain must help defeat ISIS militarily in Syria and Iraq to tackle the threat of terrorism.
    I believe we should commit to that, we were part of the start, the UK way of life is in danger within the UK. So stomping out those dangers is a clear need. No matter where we need to go to fight it and as it stands at present, with ISIS growing on the Philippines, Opening a large UK base in Darwin, where the ladies are underdressed, the man are overdressed, the sand is warm and the animals are deadly is not out of the question at present.
  7. Older people with more than £100,000 to their name should help pay for social care
    I am not certain here. I would state don’t mind, but we need to see how fair it is. Older people who worked their entire life, saved up, and now get to retire, but because they did well they get additional bills is not really that fair is it? The question is dangerous as the term ‘should help pay’ could be higher premiums, less options or loss of certain pension rights, might be in play and none of these are fair on those people. There are options to barter on certain parts, but in the end, £100,000 is not that much anymore. Look at your annual food bills to realise that impact. I see that there are issue here.
  8. Wealthier pensioners should not automatically receive the winter fuel allowance.
    Impacts on the previous question and here I agree. I see the winter fuel allowance for those in the lowest income groups, there is no validity on them having to live in the cold, decimating their health. This is where I saw the ‘option to barter’ in the previous question. In this case the winter Fuel allowance is for those in the lowest and no income groups, we have a duty to shield them.
  9. Businesses should pay more in taxation to help fund public services.
    A sound ‘yes!’ is clearly reverberating on the grassy hill. The bulk of large businesses are ‘blessed’ with too low taxation. Having all corporations see an increase of 1% with a clear maximum to fund infrastructures is not the worst idea. There should be a clear max as it is equally unsound to have places like Apple, Acorn, Amazon et al pay an additional 1% of their total revenue, we would like that, but we also must acknowledge that this is not fair either.
  10. Britain should have up to date nuclear weapons.
    Are you flipping kidding me? They work, they go mushroom-boom, and it will be the end of it all. Having them updated is merely wasting money to me. Replacing them if they are obsolete is another question. I remain committed to lower the nuclear arsenals over all. Wasting money on up to date nuclear weapons gets zero consideration from my side.
  11. Income tax should be increased for everyone to free up money for the NHS.
    Again, I agree, but it is a dangerous question, because people are pretty much taxed to the max. In my view that would be an option, only if the 0% group goes up by £1200-£2000 per annum. I would have done the offset by increasing layer 2 by 2% and layer 3 by 1%, giving us a little more whilst leaving the lowest group with more. Changing that to layer2 a 3% increase and a layer3 a 2% increase is fine with me. That would require that all the added taxation goes straight to the NHS.
  12. Britain should borrow more money to invest in the economy and abandon the aim of cutting the budget deficit.
    This is another Labour question. Absolutely not! Investing in the economy is a farce from certain people with diminished mind capacity. There is evidence all over the place that this does not work and abandoning the deficit cutting is an even louder no. I am all in favour of imposing mandatory jail sentencing for any politician who is not keeping the deficit in check, which pretty much adds to the fuel of dumping Corbyn in jail for the rest of his life if he is elected and starts nationalising anything.
  13. Students should be able to attend university for free.
    Not merely for the superstitious. I don’t mind, yet the reality is that this is no longer a feasible solution. In some nations this still happens (Germany and Sweden), but they have a very different social and income structure. Germany has a massive manufacturing side, the industrial area that is the envy of entire Europe and Sweden has a social structure and super taxation. Also Sweden is a mere 10 million people. When a nation surpasses a certain size, the solution of free education and certain infrastructures are no longer a solution, it will be a millstone hanging around the neck of the treasurer. It is lovely to offer it when it is a clear option, for the UK that is no longer the case and might never be an option again.
  14. Cannabis should be legalised and taxed.
    The one Lib Dem side that I can live with, legalising it, taxing it could be a solution, especially as the war on drugs is a complete waste of resources as there is no solution and that war cannot be won. There is the option that it could lower the amount of people into hard drugs. This is an option, yet the opposition claiming that once into soft drugs, the jump to hard drugs is massively lower and more easily walked into. That view is equally valid as I personally see it. There is not enough data to prove or disprove any of the paths. The willingness to consider it is perhaps not a bad idea. Yet in equal measure, as binge drinking cannot be controlled, offering legal cannabis in the field remains a controversial option. The fact that this would be taxed is good for the coffers, yet in equal measure, making the NHS pay for it might be another side that should be barred. Setting the field of healthcare regarding narcotics to private insured or paid up front is not the worst idea to have.
  15. More police officers should be recruited to make Britain’s streets safer.
    Yes, the final question is a dangerous one. Who pays for it? Labour offering it as a promise whilst the budget cannot pay for it remains an issue. In addition, in light of the size of increase, there is no evidence that this would make the streets safer. The fact to guarantee that change is the amount of police increase that is just slightly short of absolutely bonkers. Nice to have, but not realistic.

So, these are the 15 questions and they are good ones, yet in a few cases, the changes we want or do not want also have a cause and effect beneath the waterline. The Titanic made that mistake once (well actually the person at the wheel), so we need to take mind of what lies beneath and that part is not always clear to the persons basing their decision on merely this quiz. Still it could be path to take and then look deeper at the party that came out on top. Just be aware of the issues we see and the issues that we cannot see. That is not an attack or criticism of whoever made the quiz. It is merely the consequence of a world that is slightly more complex than we think it is.

And as we see the international impact, when we hear Mario Draghi state: “still requires substantial stimulus” (source Hong Kong Standard), when we see how much deeper in debt the UK is set because no one has the ability to muzzle Mario Draghi, when we get additional noises from other sources that change of this policy is needed, we should question the validity of the Eurozone and the ECB. This fuels now the issues in the elections of Italy as the Central Bank of Italy is now stating loudly: “leaving the euro zone would not solve the country’s economic problems“, which is actually quite true, yet the Italian woes are so intense that staying in might not be preferable to Italy. It might be better off trying to float itself back into business. That is my own unrealistic view. Yet in all this, those before have made the entire mess just too large. The dangers I warned France about are now becoming the one issue that three players are dreading. The quote “The right-wing Northern League wants to pull Italy out of the euro zone, and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which some opinion polls say is now the country’s most popular party, wants to hold a referendum on the issue” is giving us two things. The unrealistic growth of Northern League, headed by Matteo Salvini remained unrealistic, yet Beppe Grillo and his Five Star Movement is another matter, him growing to the extent he did, was not foreseen by me and ignored by too many others. If these two could strike a deal of cooperation, especially if the Italeave referendum result is not one France wanted to face. Because in the previous scenario it left the Euro to Germany and Italy, with the bag in the hands of Germany and France (if Italeave prevails) becomes another matter, it would become an actual fight between those two nations on how to proceed and that would be disastrous for France. The initial downturn of Frexit would be noticeable, yet the downturn when Italy leaves and France gets hit by the swells would show a severity in excess of 250%, it would become a game changer. So as Emmanuel Macron wanted a Eurozone in an age of dangers, whilst Brexit is proceeding, Italy might force the issue under a timeline that neither France nor the UK wanted. That is the consequence of dragging your heels!

Now, as the election must be before 20th May 2018, the later this happens the better for the other players, but their intent of remaining in denial is a bit of an issue for all the players. So those who hid behind ‘What if we play it in such a way so that we don’t have to decide?‘ are now optionally placed in the mortal dangers of getting pointed at as the vile dangerous beasts they forever were. So as the Italian elections are likely to be within the next 5 months, we will see a new scenario unfold. Italy is now becoming much stronger in its ‘reduce deficit’ messages, yet as I see it, that delay is about 5 years too late. In addition, when we realise the intentional misrepresentation of “Visco said Italy must focus its energies on bringing down its huge public debt, the highest in the euro zone after Greece’s at around 132 percent of gross domestic product” is pretty hilarious when you consider that the Greek debt is 336 billion, whilst the Italian one is 2.2 trillion. So the Italian debt is 700% larger than the Greek one. Yet the Italian population is merely 560% larger giving a much larger debt per person. We do recognise that the economy of Italy is vastly better as roughly 99.9945% of the financial world executives wants a Ferrari, a Lamborghini or a Maserati. That is some, most want one of each, and at least these people have actual money to spend. In all this the larger issue is partially avoided if Grillo denies any actions with Salvini. No matter how the Northern League grows, they are nowhere near the size that they need to be to become the major player and lucky for those disliking the far right, Salvini lacks the charisma Farage has, so there is that working against Northern League too. A reality is that as Renzi and Grillo are close to one another, the dangers of a hung government is actually not that far stretched, which gives options to alignment with people like Speranza and Alfano. So as we continue to cater to the ‘next elections’ we need to consider that UK inaction will also act against them down the road (as well as the UK itself). In all this, some players behind the screens have been hoping for that scenario to come, yet I predicted that in the worst case scenario Italy will force the hand of the others, which is now an actual reality. With the public debts to be too large, with the government is massive deficit and with Italy trailing in the economy, being pushed into deeper debt by Mario Draghi is an option most are rejecting. This is now an issue as the talking duo Draghi & Visco would go straight out of the window the moment Grillo wins. That does not mean that the game is over at that point, the official referendum in Italy would still need to be held, but that is at that point only a mere timeline to adhere too. In all this the UK needs to step up its game, because when Italy forces the issue, the UK will lose too much and they would have to give in in several other fields. In this, that would be the good side in all this.

You might wonder how this reflects on the UK election quiz. You see, questions 1, 2, 9, 12 and 13 all influence international links. Q9 could drive some business out of the UK, whilst Q2 and Q13 are an optional source of influx into the UK. A changed European field would also impact all the issues in the UK and as that field changes having clear trade deals would be essential. Yet as my pun intended comment was set at, the Italian car industry will agree to any deal that gives them trade space, so there we see recognition. Also as the job market sees shifts, international workers see changed places of interest. None of this is news, but as we hear the non-relenting cries of Brexit, Bremain and new referendums demanded on setting another chance to Bremain. Yet now there will be a price, these people laughed as a former investment banker became president in France and is now advocating a stronger Eurozone and his ‘proclamation’ of demanding reforms of the European zone has been thrown into a drawer and might never return. Yet Italy is another matter, is it not? The Italians have two parties where one is anti-Europe and the largest one now states that a referendum will happen, that whilst the Italian quality of life has been stagnant for a decade. Overall there is no way to see how that goes, because there is not too much data on the size of these groups. The largest issue is the refugee stream into Italy. That danger is fuelled as we see that Italy is the closest destination for anyone from Tunisia and Libya. With 300,000 refugees in dire desperation, their attempt to get out has only Italy on the menu. In addition the massive shift of African refugees from several places as they all head for Libya, hoping to get to Europe from that beachfront. So as Italy gets a larger and larger stream of refugees, the Italian infrastructure is collapsing more and more (read: under severe stress). Those losing out on essential infrastructure needs will blame whomever they can. The UN has no contingency plan, Italy is buckling under the stress in a few fields and this drives right wing support more and more. If Salvini was a more charismatic person, the drama would be massively larger. So thank the heavens for small favours in all this, one could state. All this also impacts on the UK front, you see, the dangers of deeper debts (like nationalising services) will leave the UK with less and less options. That tends to be the issue with draining towards debts, a lesson Jeremy Corbyn seemingly never learned. The UK should remain business friendly, yet the level of tax avoidance that is currently an option needs to be removed. Corporations need to realise that the party is over; they need to pay their fair share. Nobody denies their valid need for profits, I am merely curious as to what some define as ‘fair’. I remain in opposition of Corbyn who wants to tax them to the age of the Flintstones; I prefer a little more subtle approach where they must pay an honest share. Tax reform is essential here, whilst the people need to realise that Return of Investment is the large equaliser, if the ROI drops too much, they will find other shores and over that thought, the loss of jobs would quickly vastly increase. We might not care too much over financial services, but when it affects manufacturing, the drain will be a lot larger and much wider for longer.

So as we consider the moves that were offered by banks, by mergers and above all the adaptation of Dr Seuss to adapt the readability of what the Bank of England offers, I will take their advice, yet the question becomes, will the voter get this message clearer? Well, the bank with the Cat (Credit Assured Termination) might see it to as a way to flam the flim and get us ‘a story’ in a way, more digestible, yet will it be comprehensible? So as we consider “Romer told staff of the Development Economics Group to write more clearly and succinctly, limiting the use of the word “and.”“, we would want to consider that ‘and’ is the form of inclusion, it seems that it is about clarity of the services and deals offered.

Just like the quiz with 15 questions, it might be fun and it might give us an idea, yet the danger is that anything linked and underlying is now not clearly seen so we tend to trivialise the matters at hand. We forget why it is too dangerous to nationalise services that have been ‘vultured’ in the private sector. We forget that we would love to have all the social perks for every yet that requires the Treasury to have filled coffers, something that stopped to be a reality a decade ago and the politicians of today are vastly in denial of all the wasteful spending, promising all kinds of hires, but they cannot account for the costs of it.

So let’s take a little sidestep using Dr Seuss before the final part is shown. (apologies, WordPress sucks when it comes to table elements).

Jeremy Cobyn Tim Farron Theresa May
I am Voter
Voter I amThat Voter-I-am
That Voter-I-am!
I do not like
That Voter-I-am

Do you like
Corbyn with SPAM

I do not like him,
Voter-I-am.
I do not like
Corbyn with SPAM.

Would you like Corbyn
Here or there?

I would not like Corbyn
Here or there.
I would not like Corbyn
Anywhere.

I do not like
Corbyn with SPAM.

I do not like Corbyn,
Voter I-am

I am Voter
Voter I amThat Voter-I-am
That Voter-I-am!
I do not like
That Voter-I-am

Do you like
Farron with Jam

I do not like him,
Voter-I-am.
I do not like
Farron with Jam.

Would you like Farron
Here or there?

I would not like Farron
Here or there.
I would not like Farron
Anywhere.

I do not like
Farron with Jam.

I do not like Farron,
Voter I-am

 

I am Voter
Voter I amThat Voter-I-am
That Voter-I-am!
I do not like
That Voter-I-am

Do you like
May with Lamb

I do not like her,
Voter-I-am.
I do not like
May with Lamb.

Would you like May
Here or there?

I would not like May
Here or there.
I would not like May
Anywhere.

I do not like
May with Lamb.

I do not like May,
Voter I-am

 

This now gets us to the final part in all this. The ISIS escalations as Russia launches an attack, as we see the issues in the Philippines, we read “Teenage ISIS fighters are said to be shooting people dead for failing to quote the Koran“. In addition we see one source give us “Islamic State has issued a chilling call to its followers to use online classified websites such as Gumtree and E-bay to lure unsuspecting people to their deaths” In all this I remember the movie Eye in the Sky, a gem with no one less than Colin Firth as one of three producers, and a movie that is another Alan Rickman gem, as well as stellar performances from all the other cast involved. You might think, that because it involves Kenya and Somalia, you feel removed, but the movie achieves quite the opposite. In addition, it shows the players in a really bad light. Some hiding behind the collateral damages option. Yet the direct impact is seen early, the dangers that two suicide vests give, the three top players in terrorism and the delays we see. Some would think of Manchester, yet when we see these vests with the amount of C-4, we see hesitation of a pilot for one small girl, yet the two suicide bombers would be able to kill hundreds. In addition we see a political delay. The one issue we are confronted with today in real life is shown with: “James, the legal argument is that we could wait but that we need not wait. The military argument is that we should not wait”.

So even as we see the unfolding of ‘need not wait‘ and ‘should not wait‘ hundreds of lives are basically endangered. Now, this is a movie setting, yet the reality of ISIS, now a clear issue in Philippines, we see the effect of pushing issues forward. The acts on Brexit, on debts and on how the effect becomes when inaction forces us down a very different path. France had every right to make its choices, yet when Italy makes another path by actively choosing to leave, France will not be allowed to cry, they only have themselves to blame, that same issue plays in the UK, as some are trying to undo, trying to push forward and to remain in denial, we see that the push from other players will remove options the UK has down the road, yet the politicians decided to play their version of Eye in the Sky by claiming ‘we need not decide’ whilst the other player will decide leaving no options to choose from. As ISIS is changing the game on several fronts, some out of desperation, the end result is the same; we are all left with fewer options. Soon we could face ourselves in a mandatory ‘boots on the ground’ in several ‘theatres of action’. Nobody wanted any of them to actually happen, but that would have required actions to have been taken long ago. Now that we see reports that ISIS attacked a resort in Manila, the game changes further, because with every non Philippine death, those governments will speak out, yet they are unlikely to act. There is the game changer, the non-acting. It will give rise to more extreme parties growing faster. So as some with political and social studies go into denial, consider the actions in Italy when several Italians get killed. How will the Salvini shift go at that moment? There is no way to predict the shift. As we see many try to appease people with talks and presentations, finding new ways to spread a message, the way that they want to spread the instilling of comprehension. A bank with Dr Seuss, others with WannaCry and violence, the UK is now facing an election where it is not merely about a message, but who will act against those willing to blow up the Manchester Arena with as many casualties as possible? In this Eye in the Sky showed a groups of decent people, yet as some found ways to not act, we see that the need to act was clear, it is that delay that aggravates more and more voters. The USA had ‘no boots on the ground’ which was made worse with the Benghazi incident. As a result the USA now has President Trump, which according some is now a place of ‘action without wisdom’. In the Philippines we now see actions without remorse or restraint. If this stops junkies and addicts, what do you think will happen in Italy later this year? Social values are only valued in places with actual wealth. That is a lesson many learned for decades as Europe waltzed into WW1 and WW2, lessons forgotten as free reign to greed was given, now we see similar issues unfold as we do not take notice of underlying issues. There are already increased actions by the Indonesian navy to stop ISIS from crossing their borders. The question is will it work and how will we all react the moment ISIS has any success in Jakarta. So as we saw “Terror attacks in the UK due to military intervention overseas, says Jeremy Corbyn“, how can his willingness to not act and not act overseas be seen as anything but disastrously dangerous?

When we see all these elements, not all linked, yet all still part of the greater whole, are we all (including me) to some degree in denial on what needs to be done? We can all agree that no body actually wants to act, but when we are forced between the options ‘act now’ or ‘react too late’. Who wants to be in the ‘too late’ team and what damage is brought whilst we all only have ourselves to blame for that?

 

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