“It’ll be alright”

And yes, I mean Brexit.

I heard this yet again the other night from a street interview on TV: we might have a bit of short term economic disruption, but it’ll be alright after that.

I mean, where does the come from? Since when did the the future of me, my children and grandchild(ren) depend on some vague conviction that “it’ll be alright”, without any decent study of the processes, and attempt to understand?

Being an old fart, I see this as part of the decline of society, and it isn’t just Brexit, of course. I have a sense that Trumpism is the same. People can’t be bothered (or don’t want to) think about and try to work out what will happen. They want something to change, and vote for something to change, and just do, confident in the ‘knowledge’ that “it’ll be alright”.

I suspect that the same is true of many of the credit bills being run up – I don’t have the money now, and I don’t know where it will come from in the future, but “it’ll be alright”. Although I have no evidence for that.

So what is going on?

Is it anti-intellectualism – we can’t trust those experts? I’m not so sure.

I have a feeling it is just that the world feels so complicated, that any attempt to actually analyse and predict just feels so hard, that it feels like it isn’t worth trying. It is much easier to believe that “it’ll be alright”, and just go with the flow.

Only, of course, the future won’t be like you want it to be just because that’s what you want.

I am reminded of when I used to play chess as a 12 year old, and why I stopped playing. It would get to the complex middle game, an hour or two in, and I would make a big mistake. I worked out that what happened was that I had been sitting looking at some difficult combination for a while, and it just got so hard, that I would just say to myself “Yeah, I think this move is OK – what could go wrong? Anyway, it’s only a game.” A few moves later I would have discovered what could go wrong, when I lost a piece, or whatever. This meant that I had to grind on for another two or three hours trying to rescue a draw, when what should have happened is that I won.

This is, I think, what is happening with Brexit and many other decisions being made – and, unfortunately it isn’t just a game.

And here’s some more from later:

In technology, the government is pathetic with this.
1. Let’s ban end-to-end encryption. But e-Commerce will die. Oh, it’ll be alright, someone will solve the problem.
2. Let’s have a backdoor in mobile devices. But it will put everyone’s data at risk. Oh, it’ll be alright, someone will solve the problem.
3. Let’s require ISPs etc. to log everything. But that puts peoples privacy and human rights at risk. Oh, it’ll be alright, someone will solve the problem.
4. Let’s require all porn sites to verify the age of uses. But all sorts of things might go wrong and are unpredictable. Oh, it’ll be alright.

And, as Steve Harris said, what about climate change, population growth, the end of high levels of employment.

I think what really pisses me off about it is the utter and outrageous irresponsibility of it all. The population elects people to spend their time understanding the consequences of actions. That is what they have to do. And so many just completely renege on the deal.

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More rich kids going to university

So they have noticed that the average income of the parents of graduating lawyers, medics, etc has risen sharply over the last 25 years. And they (BBC) interview two parents who say it is too expensive, the second of which says he sent his first daughter but can’t afford to send his second.

So what is the initiative to address the imbalance?

Let’s have lots of career advisors, outreach from universities, role models, etc. to change the expectations that kids from poorer homes have.

Excuse me, what is the main thing that has happened in the last 15 years? Tuition fees. What were the parents saying? The problem is money.

Were tuition fees or financial issues even mentioned in the subsequent discussion? No.

So lets have an army of people changing the expectations of kids from poor families that their parents can’t possibly match financially – that’s a nice recipe for familial harmony.

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The usual lie about privatisation

“It will give the Royal Mail greater commercial freedom and enable it to open talks with continental rivals” (Mandelson in Sunday Times, 2008-12-14)

Er, excuse me, this is not the only way. Simply changing the treasury rules, etc would allow this to happen. Any lack of commercial freedom is simply because the government imposed rules say that state-owned companies should not have commercial freedom.

Exactly the same could be achieved by running an organisation such that the government is the sole shareholder. In fact, I think the newly-nationalised banks are being run like this, and apart from the tendency of the government/shareholder to interfere, are not losing out on commercial freedom.

The usual canard.

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