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Sunday, 15 March 2020

Dan Hannan is confused

Dan Hannan is an odd cove. His habit of buttoning up all three buttons on his suit earned him the nickname 'cockvirgin' on Twitter, and indeed there is something of the prissy schoolboy about him that limits the human warmth necessary for political success. Still, he was on the right side over Brexit and has been loyal to the party. It's just a shame his piece in the Telegraph today is so confused between globalism and globalisation. I suspect he knows. I suspect his piece is the first of many we will see in the coming months defending the interests of the global corporates as Covid-19 casts them as villains. It's not a good time for the CBI.

For any newcomers, globalisation is the neutral and unmanaged process through which trade, travel and technology makes the world a smaller place. Cheap airline travel, capitalism, electricity and the internet have brought 4G phones to the favelas of Rio and South African townships, primary health care and the polio vaccine to equatorial Africa and the Hindu Kush. Even the floods of young male migrants from Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and Bangladesh heading for the Greek border are followed by mobile phone charging vans equipped with adaptors for everything from a Nokia to an iPhone, selling juice for a few Turkish lire.

Globalism is the process under which capital seeks those places with the lowest factor costs - labour, power, land, raw materials, transport, regulation, penalties for environmental degradation and pollution - in which to invest. Globalists love supranational government, the globalisation of commercial law and standards, open borders, free movement of people, capital and goods and everything else that facilitates friction-free profitability across the globe. Internationalists, in contrast to globalists, want wealth-making trade between sovereign nations, not for the world to become a single technocracy.

Globalism has lifted billions of the world's people out of absolute poverty. It has also hollowed-out the middle and working classes in the UK, Europe and North America. Median incomes have remained completely flat from 2008 until this year, whilst the 1% have grown hugely more wealthy. Globalism has destroyed our post war social mobility, globalism means our children will never be as wealthy as their parents and it has created a bitterly divided and unequal society. When Hannan's Telegraph piece claims 'Globalisation brought us unprecedented riches' it is false on two counts. First, it was not globalisation but globalism that so altered the world's economies. Secondly, it was not us to whom globalism brought unprecedented riches but 'them'.

The fact is that globalism has left the UK in a position in which we have not a single manufacturer of the type of ventilator we will need in the tens of thousands. The PM has mobilised British industry and we will put our taxes into British businesses to remedy this; sorry, Dyson, you get nothing. You've gone to Singapore. The irony is that the 1% here who have so enjoyed the material benefits of globalism will be no more exempt from ending their lives with their lungs flooded with Covid-19 than will the elderly working classes whose families they have robbed of futures.


EU/EEA and the UK Cases    Deaths  
Italy 17660 1268
Spain 4231 121
France 3661 79
Germany 3062 5
Denmark 804 0
Netherlands 804 5
Sweden 775 1
United Kingdom 707 10
Norway 621 1
Belgium 559 3
Austria 504 1
Greece 190 1
Finland 155 0
Czech Republic 150 0
Slovenia 141 0
Iceland 117 0
Portugal 112 0
Ireland 91 1
Romania 89 0
Estonia 79 0
Poland 68 2
Luxembourg 38 1
Bulgaria 31 1
Croatia 31 0
Slovakia 30 0
Hungary 25 0
Latvia 19 0
Cyprus 14 0
Malta 12 0
Lithuania 6 0
Liechtenstein 4 0
Total 34790 1500


DeeDee99 said...

Virgin Airline begging for a bailout takes the biscuit. Branson, who opposed Brexit and tried to get it overturned; who is a tax exile and owns and lives on a Caribbean Island and is worth squillions, now wants ordinary British taxpayers to bail-out his airline.

I do hope the answer is FO.

JPM said...

If you substituted throughout "anti-socialism" for "globalism" then that would be a damned good piece, Raedwald.

jim said...

All very fine and large, but what are we going to do about it?

Perhaps we can pull up the ladder (Jack) and following Mao we build 'the people's iron foundries', 'the people's silicon factory' and 'the people's apothecary'. A good way to convert money, coal, iron etc etc into dross.

The difficulty is that we can find well paid work for about 30% of the workforce but not the rest. No use blaming them for being 'thick' or 'lazy' or 'untrained', there just isn't the well paid work. Sure we can find low paid work and McJobs and the Gig, but nice stable jobs that build up families - no. We could spend more on training but the effect is likely marginal.

One approach might be to attract big investors with work more of our 70% could do. Manufacture is a favourite, good leverage on ordinary people. But who? and we are putting up tariff barriers with the closest market. So anyone with any sense will go where the balance between costs and tariffs is optimal. The link between our best off 30% and the world is a data link. The only link our poorer 70% has is with Universal Credit.

Brexit is not helping here but some say it delivers some magic called sovereignty. Phooey, worth nothing. We get to dwell in freedom's hall all right, with cold damp floor and mouldering wall whilst Parliament lives on £80K + £200K spending money nice and snug. What counts is doing something with those 70% and Brexit has no answer.

The whole developed West is in the same boat. We could of course take all the money and investment decisions from the top 1% and spread it around a bit. Not easy and who gets to decide. I think we have to learn to live with the uber-rich and learn to pluck them regularly without them hissing to much.

My view is that the West is going to get poorer slowly. Science is producing profitable new ideas very slowly, we might try harder but I think the low hanging fruit are gone. Look forward to a caste sytem rather like India.

Stephen J said...

Have we "brexited" then?

I thought we were still tied to the EU, and will probably remain so, the excuses are still being formulated.

Whereas, in Trump's USA, the imposition of tariff is the key to encouraging the producers to look more closely at their own, before they sell them down the Swanee.

JPM said...

Jim, it depends on whether you allow people to conceive of "society" as an entity capable of having a collective will and intelligence, and endow that entity with the right to do stuff.

Like, oh, I don't know, maybe setting up a Civil Protection Authority, with staff and resources to cope with, say an epidemic of a new virus?

If people want things then they generally are willing to pay for them.

Perhaps they'll want things like that now?

Since Thatcher, the Establishment have denied people those powers. But times change, and maybe they won't be denied much longer?

Raedwald said...

Jim - but I'm pretty sure my narrative is the one that engages with voters, rather than yours.

Sobers said...

" globalism means our children will never be as wealthy as their parents"

Nonsense. We are richer today than we have ever been. We can afford more stuff, of a nature one couldn't even have dreamed of 40 years ago. I know, I was there. Stuff is so cheap now people literally give perfectly usable things away because they are no longer wanted/needed/they've bought a new one in a different colour. Go on Freecycle (or to your local tip) and see what people are giving away. Thats how wealthy we have become - second hand items are virtually worthless. Everyone drives cars, that are infinitely more reliable than they were 40 years ago. Everyone eats out, on a regular basis (indeed some people never cook nowadays), a concept that was unknown 40 years ago. Holidays are taken at a rate of 4-5 per year. Travel to the other side of the world is bog standard and within the grasp of the majority of the population, again something that would have seemed fantastical a generation or two ago. Electronic gadgetry that would have only graced the homes of the ultra-wealthy is now found in the homes of those on benefits. The poorest person in the West today has access to goods and services that only the top 10% of society would have had 40 years ago.

Why do you fall into this modern day trap of moaning 'Oh we're so hard done by!!'?

Raedwald said...

Sobers .... yes, we're drowning in cheap Chinese consumer goods

But home ownership, which should be an ever-increasing security?

Pension security? Savings? Diversity of land ownership? Smallholders and young farmers?

All much, much worse.

Anonymous said...

Globalism also robs people of their root identity - without which a cohered society cannot be maintained. Churning the world's population for profit has put Chinese textile workers (>200,000) in Northern Italy, making goods going back to China with Made in Milan labels on them. The Chinese also own the textile factories, hence the rush to send medical supplies from China to Lombardy. Globalism is a cancer on us all.


Sobers said...

"home ownership, which should be an ever-increasing security?"

Stop importing millions of people from all over the globe and suddenly houses will be cheaper. Supply and demand works.

Pension security: its no different than it was before. Except the lies we were told 40/50/60 years ago are now coming home to roost. No everyone can't work for 30-40 years and then retire for a similar period on the back of someone else's work. Especially in an ageing population.

Savings: entirely down to individual choice. Spend your extra income on cheap tat, foreign holidays and a Range Rover Evoque on PCP, or save it. If you lived a life of similar living standards to 40 years ago you'd have savings coming out of your ears.

Diversity of land ownership/smallholders etc: I'm a farmer. I know to my cost that one of the reasons we are all wealthier is that the real cost of food is vastly lower than it used to be. Nominal prices for ex-farm food products (grain/milk/meat/veg basically) are roughly the same today as they were 30 years ago. Thats why farms get larger, the only way to make a living is to farm larger areas and more animals. If smallholders could make a profit on little areas food prices would have to be 3 or 4 times what they are today, and everyone would be a LOT poorer.

JPM said...

Sobers, no matter what it takes, house prices will not be allowed to be *much* cheaper.

The reason is quite simple, if prices fell heavily, then all those mortgages, which borrowers gave to their lenders would be devalued, and the banks would become insolvent.

In any case, if demand were the main determinant of prices, then why did they fall rather between 2008-2011?

Population wasn't declining then, was it?

Dave_G said...

Might not the reasoning FOR Globalism now be:

"...if there were no borders and a single Government then we could bypass all these bottlenecks of supply/demand even IF a virus was widespread"?

I'm awaiting the first implication by the vested interests with bated breath (not).

Span Ows said...

Sobers, both comments: APPLAUSE

JPM, you are right re the house price thing, why the snide digs afterwards?

Jim, humans are not ants, when will lefties understand this? The need to force people to be ants by those that clearly know better always ends in lots of death.

Wessexboy said...

Very much agree with Sobers.

JPM said...

What "snide digs"?

Sobers said...

"In any case, if demand were the main determinant of prices, then why did they fall rather between 2008-2011?"

Because the fall in domestic demand created by the lack of credit/ability to pay for said credit (ie the fallout of the financial crash) outweighed the increase in demand from immigration, for a few years. Once domestic demand reverted to something approaching normality the continued additional demand from a net increase in population of 200-300k/yr meant house prices continued their upward trajectory. We have not built more houses than net immigration for any year pretty much since Blair turned the immigration taps on post 1997.

Net immigration since 1997 is a tad under 5m people. Do you really think that finding accommodation for that many people when we haven't built that many houses in the same period is going to have zero effect on the price of housing?

Span Ows said...

JPM: snide dig: "Population wasn't declining then, was it?"

Sobers has already answered.

JPM said...

Still can't see it, Span.

Anonymous said...

We couldn't afford Dyson ventilators anyway!

Dave_G said...

They'd suck anyway.....

Mr Ecks said...

Your piece has some value Radders --despite the fact that lying sack of shite Cheese likes it--with a few of his lies thrown in of course.

But stop talking shite about mass lung-drownings. The coro is a non-event. 80% infection--the fucking Black Death failed to infect 2/3 of Europe in ages of filth and poverty. It is no accident that socialist shithole China has given rise to the virus but understand that Wuhan has
1--like all China a large number already suffering Pnuemonia
2- a TB epidemic
3-the worlds worst air pollution --literally lethal in some cases and bad enough to cause mass street demos ( in a socialist shithole where they use "convicts" for bodyparts) in protest
4-mass chain smoking

Those are the hot spot causes.

North Italy has 100 thou illegal Chinese migrants brought in with the connivance of Italy's EU owned scum govt--and the EU itself turning a blind eye--surprise.

Italy signed up to this Chicom "Belt and train" new Silk Road cockrot. But then it turned out the Chicom colonisers have much nastier plans afoot. Such as stealing the "Made in Italy" label. By making their cheap trash in Italy and thus giving it a bogus legitimacy.

Well at least some Italians got jobs out of it you say. No --100 thou Chinese illegals were brought in to work under Chicom conditions/wages. And the virus with them.

And North Italy already is struggling against a TB outbreak. Brought up there by swarming ME young military age male invaders. Who go to N Italy because there is far more money up there and it is western and urban unlike the poorer south. In the south local clan groups survive and aren't keen on newcomers and even the local coppers etc won't go against their own. And the Mafia makes it very difficult for the imports to set up their own criminal gangs/networks. The Mafia is weaker in the North.

That is the cause of Italy's north being a coro "hotspot".