Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Time to go away now

Once upon a time if you wanted to bomb the crap out of someone you used to have to use something like this...

The Avro Lancaster. An iconic aircraft viewed with respect and affection by the British people who lived through World War 2. Which, given the huge number of people who died in them and were killed by them, is a pretty strong endorsement for the effectiveness of wartime propaganada

Britain built 7,500 Lancasters at a cost of something like £50,000 each (£1,600,000
in today's money).

About 3,300 of these planes and their crews of seven highly trained men were shot down during the war. Total RAF Bomber Command losses of all types of aircraft was 8,500 planes and 57,000 crew

Which was fab news for the industrialists who sold the aircraft and the bankers who created the money to
buy them but, still, not as profitable as it could have been.

Back in those days, building and
operating fleets of bombers required masses of skilled labour that needed training and paying

All of which reduced the bottom line severely

Nowadays, thanks to improved technology, if you want to bomb the crap out of someone you can use
something like this...

and one of these...

...coming in at a higher unit cost than an Avro Lancaster, a much lower labour component and the operators pay to train themselves whilst they're still children

It would be lovely to think that all those labour savings mean that people who would otherwise be fabricating and operating machinery of mass death would consequently be employed fabricating and operating other, less unpleasant things

Unfortunately, our current System does not require their skills anywhere else either

For something like 100-150 years that System required an educated, skilled workforce to tend
machinery and manage empire. Thanks to advances in technology, most of that educated, skilled workforce is now surplus to requirements and the System would like Us to, thanks for everything, go away now

And before We go away, that System would like to hoover up whatever crumbs of capital We managed to
collectively accumulate over those last 100-150 years

All of which should be bleeding obvious but a lot of people just don't seem to get it and insist on
believing that news like this... somehow an unfortunate consequence of the harsh economic times we live in and not part of
a Systematic eradication of a class of people that is now surplus to requirements

It would seem that, by some completely unguided, stochastic process, our colleges and universities are being transformed
from institutions which produce educated people capable of productive work and critical thinking into factories which produce dumbed-down debt bitches primed for a lifetime of shitty, service sector jobs and neo-serfdom

Which is just what our establishment needs and wants

What a marvelous coincidence

At which point one could argue till the cows come home whether this marvelous coincidence is...

a) the result of deliberate planning by a shadowy cabal of finance capitalists conspiring away on a
little island somewhere


b) the natural consequence of finance capitalists acting in their class interest without much in the way of deliberate collusion

But to be honest, as with most of these debates about whether or not a conspiracy is at work, when
you are on the receiving end the motivations of the people fucking you are largely academic

Your first priority should be to relieve your tormentors of the means by which they are fucking you



paul said...

Someones been at the Carlin again.

Stef said...


at least a six pack

Stef said...

Recently, I've had to endure a couple of people pouring forth about Mickey Mouse degrees in aromatherapy and the unsustainable (sic.) costs of state-funded higher education

My response went something along the lines of

1. What fraction of the amount used to support the banking system do you think is spent on HE every year?

2. If all those kids doing Mickey Mouse degrees decided to switch to engineering who exactly would they go and work for after they graduated?

Carlin was actually wrong/ out of date in his pitch. The System doesn't even need people smart enough to work the machines.

Bar the colour-coded, monkey-operable jobbies in McDonalds, there ain't no machines. Not in the US/ UK anyway

What the System needs now is debtors and that's what HE is being configured to produce

Obvious enough to conspiraloons but a PoV that is not being articulated outside of Loondom

Stef said...

and you've got to love the way that student loans are now going to be charged at 'more commercial' rates

The last time I looked the British government was either giving the commercial institutions money for nothing or charging 0.25%

Ant said...

Your first priority should be to relieve your tormentors of the means by which they are fucking you

Amen to that!

Expropriate the expropriators!

Stef said...

and whilst I'm raving on about interest rates

The UK government is currently paying £20bn a year on housing benefit which essentially goes into the pockets of private landlords and the banks and helps sustain house prices at usurious levels

with that £20bn at an interest rate of 0.25% the UK government could service...


of borrowing which it could use to build and service housing stock

which works out at something like £135,000 for every man, woman and child in the country

and, unlike the current system, that government spend/ debt would be matched with tangible assets

there are, of course, flaws in that argument but it does help illustrate the kind of bonkers maths that the current state of the UK's finances is now subject to

A few billion on HE here and there doesn't count for dick

Stef said...

...I'm old enough to remember when people used to joke about the Italians needing calculators with special extra wide displays because their money was so shit

Nowadays, whenever I slot UK debt figures into a spreadsheet they're automatically converted into scientific notation - up there with the distance to Alpha Centauri in metres, or the age of the Earth in minutes

Stef said...

=3.16 * 10^9 according to Archbishop Ussher

gyges said...

Stef said, "And before We go away, that System would like to hoover up whatever crumbs of capital We managed to collectively accumulate over those last 100-150 years"

One of the mechanisms for doing this is illustrated in the recently reported case of Tate & Lyle Industries Ltd & Anor, R. (On the application of) v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change & Anor [2010] EWHC 2752.

A straight reading of the case will tell you that it is a public law spat between Tate & Lyle (T & L) and the Gov.

T & L modified their plant so that they were cooking on biomass fuel generators with a combined heat and power plant. For this the gov allocated them 1.0 ROC/MWh whereas they wanted 1.5 ROC/MWh. To see what happened read the case ... but that misses the point.

The point is that it is illustrative of the mechanism of environmentalism being co-opted in order to be used as a wealth transfer mechanism.

Fossil fuel energy generators have to buy Renewal Obligation Certificates (ROCs), these certificates are bought from green electricity producers.

Of course, the fossil fuel generators get the money to buy the ROCs from the price they charge the electricity consumer: you and I.

The people who are doing the renewable energy schemes are land owners / off shore owners (there's only one, the Queen) and large corporations (eg Tate & Lyle, plus a myriad of other corporations you can crappy windturbines in all sorts of places).

It's a transparent wealth transfer from poor people to those who have land and/or capital.

The legal mechanisms are found in the case cited above.

Stef said...

seen the price of sugar lately?

Stef said...

and the price of wind farms...

Queen set to reel in £38m a year from offshore windfarms.. because Crown owns the seabed

Stef said...

thanks for the Tates story

I spent a few years in the Sugar business. A wonderful industry stacked full of the most humble, altruistic individuals you'd ever care to meet

Stef said...

and you've got to take your hat off to the enviromenalists

with all that new technology and progress they've still found a way to make being a landless peasant as relevant as it was in 1381

Stef said...

Of course, if you were to seek to eradicate all 'unsustainable' means of energy producion, such as hydrocarbon and nuclear, it would be a relatively simple calculation to figure out...

- how much energy someone requires to sustain a typical western lifestyle

- how much acreage would be required per person to capture that energy from natural sources

whilst I haven't crunched the numbers myself I'm sure that people who work for the land-owning class have and if you own less than the required acreage then, I'm afraid, you're shit out of luck

Anonymous said...

"This is not to say Parliamentary politics is meaningless. They have one meaning now: the replacement of democracy by a business plan for every human activity, every dream, every decency, every hope, every child born..."

Wolfie said...

So it’s the machines wot done it!?

Too funny Stef.

Stef said...

Anectdotal but...

I recently spent a couple of hours trying to explain how to use a film-based, manual exposure, 35mm SLR to a couple of 18 year olds

They're both decent, intelligent kids

The entire exercise was like drawing teeth. Deep down they had no interest whatsover in learning any of the stuff they needed to know how to use their cameras because, basically, they'd grown up with point and click camera phones

Their photographs are shit

Stef said...

So it’s the machines wot done it!? Too funny Stef.

I picked the example of RAF Lancasters because, down to the RAF being a relatively new branch of the armed servies and quite technically demanding, a lot of the aircrew who flew and died in them were non-commissioned Flight Sergeants with a lower middle-class/ working class Grammar School education

Pop Quiz

If the State still needed technically educated cannon fodder do you think Grammar schools would still be widespread?

It's not the machines that did it. It's the fuckers who own them. Or rather, lent the money to buy them

gyg3s said...

Just been thinking about Tate & Lyle's case.

They were whinging 'cos everyone else had been over subsidised due to a gov error in doing its calculations.

Their whinge was that they were being treated unfairly by the gov 'cos they weren't over subsidised too.

This raises the questions, who was over subsidised and by how much?

FoI Request or question for MP?

gyg3s said...

and as for your contention in your title, "Time to go away now"

I live in a rural community. Due to mechanisation in agriculture there are very few people around here, where once there were thousands.

Mmmmmm .....Thinks of the Highlands being cleared for sheep and imagines people saying, prior to it happening,

"That could never happen. Only a conspiracy nut would suggest such a thing."

Stef said...

My next FOI is going to be directed at those fuckers at TFL who taunt their passengers will periodic accouncements on the London Underground that a 'Good Service' is operating

This is one of the finest examples of Blair Era 'Spin rather than delivery' bullshit and needs a stake driven through its heart

My questions will be along the lines of

1. How often does TFL announce that a 'Normal Service' or 'Poor Service' is operating on the London Underground?

2. What criteria must be met before a 'Good Service' is announced?

3. How much did you pay the cunt who came up with this insulting attempt at mass brainswashing and where does he live?

Stef said...

Mmmmmm .....Thinks of the Highlands being cleared for sheep and imagines people saying, prior to it happening

I'm a big John Prebble fan

and the analogy with The Clearances is a good one and one that had never occurred to me before

Stef said...

"It's the Sheep wot' did it!"

paul said...

The people whose fate prebble described had a clear understanding of what was happening and by whom.
Which is why they were dealt with using an extreme brutality unnecessary where people have been convinced of their own guilt and the justness of their fate.

Stef said...

From Prebble's Eraserpedia entry...

"Prebble makes a strong case that there was a conscious effort to remove Highlanders and Islanders from Scotland. Others argue that it was purely economic and social factors which led to the population decline in rural Scotland. The Historiographer Royal in Scotland Gordon Donaldson was particularly cutting in his criticism and declared Prebble's books to be "utter rubbish"

Those would be the economic and social factors who beat people onto the waiting ships and set fire to their homes in case they ever found a way to return from their imposed diaspora

Stef said...

So many dead villages

Of course, there are those, such as the Historiographer Royal, who argue that the climate and landscape of the Highlands and Islands couldn't support the indigenous population

That's why they had to be moved to the lush, temperate pastures of Newfoundland

craggy said...

Brilliant stuff, stef. You have a great way with words.