Bobby says …

Bobby says …
You can run a land with armies
You can rule a sea with boats
But I prefer democracy
Where you run a land with votes.

You can run a land with bullets
You can crush dissent with sticks
But I prefer democracy
Where you run a land with ticks.

You can run a land with slogans
You can dominate with voice
But I prefer democracy
Where you run a land with choice.

You can run a land with torture
You can keep control with fights
But I prefer democracy
Where you run a land with rights.

You can run a land with freedom
You can find a people’s heart
But if this is democracy
You have to play your part.

You can run a land that dances
You can run a land that rocks
By voting for democracy
With your condom inside a box.

Bobby Nitro after Steve Turner 2015

Bobby Nitro's photo.

 

Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – Investment Chapter

WikiLeaks releases today the “Investment Chapter” from the secret negotiations of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement. The document adds to the previous WikiLeaks publications of the chapters for Intellectual Property Rights (November 2013) and the Environment (January 2014).

The TPP Investment Chapter, published today, is dated 20 January 2015. The document is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor said: “The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states. This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies.”

Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei. The TPP is the largest economic treaty in history, including countries that represent more than 40 per cent of the world´s GDP.

Reminding the world that 1984 is a User Manual and not a novel.

https://wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/

All rights reserved © 2015 Andrew Hutchinson

 

The Chocolate Budget

Budget day approaches and MPs continue to line their own pockets by increasing per capita expenditure on mental health issues, not to give Prime Mentalist Cameron an unfair advantage, a spokesperson insists.  The real story though continues to be the increasing likelihood of a return to the Chocolate Standard. A wide range of lenders from the big boys at the worlds’ favourite money launderers, Ping Pong Banking Corporation, through to giro day loan companies are raging at the prospect that negative inflation will mean them paying interest to people who have borrowed from them.

A RosesGovernor of the Bank of England, Mark Carnage, acted swifty to allay fears, bringing the wisdom of a foreign education to explain that since 1694 when God’s appointed financial adviser on earth, the English monarch, begat the Bank of England, we have been worshipping at the altar of year on year growth. The new negative interest payments were simply two sides of the same coin and the Royal Mint are actively considering a two-faced coin, the double-header, made from recycled chocolate. Before you rush down to your local Wonka’s Outlet Store issuance will be dependent on the introduction of the Chocolate Standard.

Barrat Holmes, of We Flog Any Garage, notes, “A meagre £1,000,000 mortgage based on 3.5% APR could mean payments of £5,000 a month. But if the APR becomes -3.5% the bank has to pay £5,000 a month to you. So the more you borrow from them, the more they have to pay you.” Straightforward? Well, no not until there is a universal Chocolate Standard, as no-one wants worthless fiat currency – remember the Curly Wurly?. The Swiss Toblerone continues to be the choice of both the Chinese and the Russians. Both produce inferior chocolate bars and until recently were heavily leveraged in Herpes Bars.

Indeed, one cheerful debtor told us, “I’m quids in, I’m going to take out as many pay day loans as I can. And if I don’t pay back the capital then they have to pay me penalties. If there’s no chocolate, I’ll take pre-decimalisaion Toffos.”

Within London’s square mile many financial institutions are thought to be keeping a stiff upper lip. “Brown lips tell no lies”, said a spokespersonfor PPBC, assuring us that the bank had plenty of reserves to cover the unexpected payments but the Herpes Bar wrappers strewn around Canary Warf told a different story.

“Don’t worry. We’ll just take it out of old people’s savings accounts. They can suck but they can’t chew” He explained. Can we really expect a return to 2008 when pensioners queued day and night to suck on a length of Northern Rock? Will our denture less pensioners really find chocolate easier to swallow? We will find out on Wednesday or will we? Despite threats of criminal action against against lickers and hoarders we hear that Minstrels are flying off the shelves. Like an ISA they have a worthless outer shell but the same goods are on the inside, allbeit at a premium. Their practicality, mobility and ease of storage make them the preferred under the radar purchase.

Known as ‘little bitches’ or sovereigns, Minstrels are the choice of bankers around the world, who are known to swap hands at ninety-nine when indulging. “Wall’s have ears, I found one in my ninety nine once but my tip to the plebs is to do the opposite to the crowd, no cream eggs for me, what’s Easter?”, said Baron Redshield.

cucumberA case of suck it and see. Meanwhile Britains premier parasitic pensioner has no such financial woes as the family firm, founded in 1066, is guaranteed to endorse your choccy bars soon with a brand new effigy.

“With a succession of new Chairmen lined up through until the turn of the century only an oubreak of common sense will halt this Greco-German brand,” said Russel Bland.

 

All rights reserved © 2015 Andrew Hutchinson

Politics is a Changing …

Since the 2005 election, Westminster has changed. The traditions, the green benches, and the antiquated language remain, but politics is now digital, fast-moving, and relentless. The new reality still includes a few certainties, as demonstrated by the Government’s recent announcement on cigarette packaging. Here are 12 things to think about when you’re following an issue:

  1. A big development may be slipped in under the radar… For example at 8pm, during a Wednesday evening Adjournment Debate
  2. News will be broken on Twitter – after all, everything happens on Twitter first now
  3. The opposition’s first response will be tweeted, long before they manage to put out a press statement (47 minutes, in this case)
  4. In the rush to report breaking news first, not every outlet will get their facts straight
  5. The debate will be cross-media, with comments made on the radio ending up on TV and online
  6. Politicians will take the argument out of the chamber… and even away from party politics (sometimes)
  7. Stakeholders will have their say, even if the press ignores them
  8. The media will get excited about whatever Nigel Farage says
  9. Social media makes it easier to turn armchair opposition into action
  10. An announcement of Government intent is rarely the end of the story, thanks to troublesome backbenchers
  11. In the meantime, parliamentarians will not wait patiently. Instead, they will table written or oral questions and bring it up in debates
  12. And while everyone waits for the Government to act, recalcitrant backbenchers will keep up the opposition.

All rights reserved © 2015 Source: WikiGuido

Politics, Philosophy and Mashed Potatoes

On a philosophical point, I have issues with left-right spectrums because they are one-dimensional.  They can be seen to represent either a purely economic scale (state planning v free enterprise) or a measure of individual freedom. Of course the far left and the far right are equally totalitarian, with only Camp Anarchy (not to be mistaken with Camp GTMO) inbetween, as the spectrum bends into a rainbow shape and then a circle.  Moving to two-dimensions with an ‘x’ axis that measures economic intervention (central planning on the left, free market on the right) and a ‘y’ axis that measures personal liberty (totalitarianism at the top, naked policemen running around smoking pot at the bottom), I am slap bang in the middle, three quarters of the way down.  A position I share with Gandhi apparently. Perhaps not a surprise as my humour has been observed to be as dry as his flip flops (more on flip flops later).  All of the current mainstream parties presently sit in the upper right quadrant which does go some way to explaining my feelings of isolation.

I found studying political philosophy at university very unsettling. One week I would be studying Hegel and the dialectic of materialism and nodding my head in agreement.  The following week Hobbes’ Leviathan would get my vote.  Edmund Burke made sense, as did Rousseau, equally so.  Utilitarians and Levellers seemed appealing.  Curling up with a naked fresher, reading from Camus’ L’Etranger with a Gitanes on the go even more so.  I have at times prostituted myself to each of the three main parties and on a glorious weekend in May 1997 while the rest of the country celebrated a Blair victory, a Eurovision win and a Bank Holiday during which the sun shone I had new found wealth.  I had seconded the Referendum Party candidate in the Hertford and Stortford constituency, much to the horror of my employers, who on being met by my name in the polling booth, gave me a pay rise, making my post politically restricted and supposedly ending any illusions of greatness.

I like to think that my politics haven’t flip-flopped (call-back to Gandhi noted) but that the mainstream parties have taken various changing orbits around me.  “I haven’t changed, the parties have”, of course not Mr Hutchinson and your money is safe in the bank (yes as safe as Mr Papadopoulos’ of Cyprus is).  It was while dining in a Paris restaurant that I had my Eureka moment.  I am not sure about French cuisine, they play about with their food far  too much for my liking and if you ask for vegetables they treat you like one.  I like a shank of lamb, a rich gravy, mashed potatoes and peas.  I like chicken, roast potatoes, carrots and cabbage.  I like egg and chips (beans or peas optional).  I like shepherd’s pie.  “What do you want for your tea?” my mother used to ask.  I’d ponder, lamb, chicken, egg ‘n chips, shepherd’s pie.  All good, all different, all with something to offer.  And that is how it was with politics but you know what? I realised I like bloody potatoes, potatoes were the constant in every dish.  In fact give me a baked potato on its own and I’m happy.  Yes potatoes, baked, roasted, chipped or mashed.  A bit like people, I like them in all of their varieties too.  And that is when it struck me.  It is the part of each of those political philosophies which deals with the individual which appeals to me.  The parts that deal with the hopes, the dreams, the aspirations, the needs, the wants of the individual and the rights and responsibilities that they bear in return.  Yes the individual is at the heart of my thinking.  Not the state, not even the community.  In fact I would go so far as to say that what is good for the individual is not necessarily good for the state and that what is good for the state is rarely good for the individual.

A Potatoes2012-06-25 21.34.19

Each of us has our own unique journey.  Each of us faces our own unique challenges.  We cannot walk a step, let alone a mile in another’s shoes.  Striver or shirker, pacifist or militarist, libertarian or socialist, straight or gay, atheist or convert, commentator or psychiatrist, each story a different individual, a different journey.  Workers, soldiers, drones, queens, whether we’re talking about ants, bees or humans we each have a role to play. Mine as criticalfriend, as agent provocateur.  Yes politicians and economists may be the subject of my scrutiny and the butt of my jokes but if he or she is just a man or woman whose intentions are good, then as the song says, “Please Lord don’t let him be misunderstood”.  And continuing our musical references, “Hats off to Larry” whichever party he leads for I have never had the responsibility of power fall upon my shoulders and never had those difficult choices to make.

AAAAAThe problem for me is that both socialism and capitalism are forms of collectivism. I am an individualist who travels light (not to be confused with an internationalist who has a lot of the baggage of the left) and a member of the new precariat, though often mistaken for a member of the elite, who finds himself much happier in the presence of a punk rocker than a banker. Bohemian Anarchist?  Well maybe. I value friends, family and community but I am not a fan of the nation state. I tolerate it as it has the potential to protect against corporatism and globalisation with its steady march to neo-serfdom and a new world order but that’s about it.  I go along with the monarchy, I don’t loathe it, I don’t cheer it. I’m certainly not apathetic to it though, for I realise that I’d no longer be able to take the moral high ground and lampoon America, as the prospect of a President Blair, a President Boris or President Branson makes me blush.  It certainly wouldn’t be a beauty contest.  There is a reason why politics is 18 rated.

After a recent presentation on post-war American foreign policy I was asked if I was anti-America.  In short, no but let me shed more light by defining my own version of GAP analysis.  I always think of a country as a stool (no pun intended) with three legs: Its Government; Its Aesthetic; and Its People.

So when I am asked, “Do you not like America?” I am happy to point to the GAP:

  • Its aesthetic, its landscape and its contribution to culture, I admire;
  • Its people, I respect
  • Its Government, I suspect

The same holds true of my own country and any other. We come into the world alone and we leave it alone. It is the voyage of self-discovery that gives our lives meaning as we slay dragons and tilt at windmills.  I’m just not a fan of my slaying and tilting being caught on CCTV.  Left and right, will someone please tell our politicians that George Orwell’s 1984 is a novel, not a user manual.

All rights reserved © 2015 Andrew Hutchinson

Youthful Politics

In a week when Dennis Skinner, the authentic voice of Labour at a time when authenticity is sorely missed among the limp-wristed, intellectual leftie elite, was voted off the NEC how cruel was Tony Baldry? He told the House about the 1983 election and Labour’s anti-Europe commitments of the time. I remember the election of 9th June. I was a Labour footsoldier for Jim Dobbin, the now Labour MP for Middleton and Heywood in his unsuccessful attempt at being elected councillor for Castleton. I also remember my near fatal motorcycle accident three days later and my three months in hospital without a solitary enquiry as to my health from my comrades. I was at the time the youngest ever branch secretary of AUEW-TASS and to his credit the regional organiser did drop me off four cans of Guinness and some porn mags. “To keep you regular”, he said. To what was he referring I wonder.

Well in a parallel universe Tony Baldry tells us how a 13-year-old boy had delivered a leaflet through his letterbox on behalf of Michael Foot. “That boy, now leader of the Labour party,” he said in his large, deep, fat-uncle manner.

“That boy, now leader of the Labour party.”

Little Ed’s pain was visible. And for those who have an appetite for that sort of thing, palpable.

There he was on the front bench, shoulders down, smiling wanly, slightly angling his smooth, young face towards the big bruiser next to him. He had grown up by four or five years since 1983 but was clearly the junior partner as Big Ed joined in the joshing and rollicking that Cameron was dishing out.

“Not my idea of fun,” Cameron laughed about delivering leaflets at the age of 14. “What was your idea of fun?” Big Ed kept jabbing. “Not hanging out with the shadow chancellor,” Cameron said. “I feel sorry for the Leader of the Opposition who has to hang out with him all the time!”

Tories were entering a stage of pre-climactic pleasure, Big Ed was pointing, pouting, heckling, laughing back.

Little Ed sat shyly, too young to join in the game.

Well there you have it, I was a socialist at twenty. For the record, I was a tory at thirty, a libertarian at forty and an anarchist at fifty. Don’t be surprised to hear me classed as a terrorist at sixty but fear not at seventy they’ll call me a freedom fighter. Who knows I may even end up as president of South Africa.

All rights reserved © 2014 Andrew Hutchinson

Bonfire of Vanity – Or how to burn all of your bridges in one blog post

Is it a statement of oxymoronic proportions to say that while I’m not a conspiracy theorist, conspiracy is everywhere?  Any intelligent person, I should pre-qualify this statement by saying that the only troubling thing about common sense is that it’s not very common, knows that agendas are commonplace, be they personal, professional or corporate.  This only problem is the fact that we need to remind ourselves of it.

If, and for many people thist is a big if, you are interested in taking responsibility for at the very least seeking out the elusive truth I would recommend taking the time to visit the websites listed below, caveated as appropriate.  By all means continue to patronise the mainstream media outlets too, for without our daily dose of reality television, antiques shows and property renovation programmes Jack would indeed be a dull boy.  Public opinion does count (an article will follow reporting on how with only five percent of a population engaged in non-violent protest governments can be destabilised) but it would be refreshing to think that it extended beyond Prince George’s favourite toy or the fate of Manchester United and included reminding governments that George Orwell’s 1984 was a novel and not a user manual.

Cryptome

http://Cryptome.org

This is the daddy of all leaked, secret and or ‘embarrassing to Authority’ archives

Deep Politics Forum

http://DeepPoliticsForum.com

A deep politics discussion group with a large archive of related documents and video

MediaLens

http://MediaLens.org

A site dedicated to exposing the propagandist nature of the mainstream media

SourceWatch

http://SourceWatch.org

A US based wiki-encyclopaedia of people, organizations, and issues shaping the public agenda.

SpinProfiles

http://SpinProfiles.org

A UK based wiki project that seeks to expose the reality behind ‘official narrative’ spin

Wikileaks

http://WikiLeaks.org

A site to protect and assist whistle-blowers sharing  sensitive material.

Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org

Lots of information on almost any topic, but fatally flawed in certain areas.

Wikipedia is good at what it does but if we’re honest its editorial policies give it a blind spot around matters of deep politics meaning that the information retrieved is likely superficial and fragmented at best and more often than not a smokescreen. To quote a friend:

“Wikipedia’s adherence to the official narrative as promulgated by the ‘reliable sources’ of the commercially-controlled media effectively mean that, to use an astrological metaphor – the sun must always be represented as revolving around the earth.”

The reporting of the “Gunpowder Plot” of 1605 is a good example of how ‘undisputed facts’ can be presented with little reference to more likely interpretations of the episode, giving birth to the “official narrative”. Popular perceptions are drawn from the “official narrative” of the establishment caught off-guard by wicked Popish conspirators set on blowing up parliament, saved in the nick of time by a sequence of events more suited to a Boy’s Own storyline. If this all sounds familiar it’s because you’ve probably read it in Wikipedia, where accusations of ‘state conspiracy’ are relegated to a single paragraph and agent-provocateuring doesn’t get a look in.  Then again I am biased, I have an agenda for as part of my stand-up comedy routine I ask whether Guy Fawkes was the last man to enter parliament with the right idea?

Problems arise when the official narrative becomes the consensus narrative. Richard Heinberg refers to The Consensus Trance which is instinctively understood by the ambitious and in Britain at least, remains absolutely central to success in business, public affairs, academia and the mainstream media, trumping all other considerations, including intelligence and ability. Why?

Because, proportionate to one’s approach and proximity to the thresholds of REAL power, to EFFECTIVELY question it is to threaten and therefore become toxic to the Arbiters of your advancement, whose rank position and place depend upon it.

Of course you’re pretty handicapped to start with if you run around telling everyone that you are a critical friend from day one. Who is the laugh on though when it turns out that the narrative is a lie? It is as honest as the statement on a twenty pound note which states that the Bank of England promises to pay the bearer on demand the sum of twenty pounds. There isn’t any real money anymore, no gold standard, just fiat, just digits on a screen, so twenty pounds of what exactly? To put it another way, as said by a source known to yours truly:

“It is all a clever ego-stroking Orwellian illusion designed, developed and molded by self-perpetuating Power Elites to serve purposes far and away removed from those of fond and credulous popular belief.”

How my own adherence to the consensus narrative came to be shaken shall remain private for now but over the last twenty years I have at various times worked with Government ministers, had considerable experience of local government and involvement with the intelligence community and more than one police force.  I only lack experience with the judiciary but avoiding cross-dressers has been the way it’s been, pure coincidence I assure you.

blue-pill-red-pillSo we got to the Red Pill/Blue Pill moment and the shattering of some cherished and long-held beliefs, neigh illusions. Where we are now is where we are. Understandably my public sector client list has diminished and I can confidently predict its exstinction. So we are left with me satirising and dabbling in stand-up comedy through my alter-ego Bobby Nitro. To be honest life in polite orthodox company can be difficult when your contributions to discussions on politics, philosophy and world affairs in general are likely to be considered, in varying degree, unwelcome, threatening, scary, treasonable or simply mad. It doesn’t help when I suggest that I’ve never ‘unknowingly’ offended anyone.

Some of the other consequences of taking the Red Pill are, in no particular order:

  1. Deep and abiding distrust of ‘The State’, its apologists, its spokesmen and its enforcers.
  2. A clear understanding that the central operating principle of the state is deception, compounded by obsessive secrecy and a fear of the general population.
  3. A realisation that ALL political parties are pissing into the same pot, differentiated only by the force of the flow and the shade of the urine. There is a lot of heat but little light as they all seek perpetual ‘growth’ on a finite planet.
  4. Recognition that the war on terror is the waging of war on an abstraction which lines a lot of pockets.
  5. Sleeping like a baby, for power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and I have none whatsoever, other than that to make genuine, relaxed, honest, open-minded, sceptical, illusion-less enquiry.

In the 1999 film The Matrix, set in a dystopian future, Morpheus, played by Laurence Fishburne explains to Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, what the Matrix is and Neo realises the truth, that he is just a small part and one of the Matrix’s “slaves”.  Morpheus then tells Neo that he can become free, and explains the choice:

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I’m offering is the truth – nothing more.”

To be continued…. Maybe…. ;)

All rights reserved © 2014 Andrew Hutchinson

Gold and PSYOPS

Those looking for an informative and refreshingly honest take on the recent assault on the price of gold could do a lot worse than check out this article by Hugo Salinas Price, entitled 4-12 PSYOPS.

He believes that the purpose of the 4-12 Psyops was to instill fear in the minds of the “target audience” – investors in gold. If you shoot a crow, and hang it up in your field, the crows – your “target audience” – will avoid the field. The same principle applies to investors in gold.  Of course the identity of the target audience of the Psyops War on Gold is clearly revealed in the front-page article of the “Financial Times”, American edition, on Tuesday April 16, 2013.  Under the main headline, “Investors in rush to dump gold” is a graph of the performance of the gold price from January 3, 2011 to date, showing essentially no gain at all.  Notice the wording: Investorsrush -  dump gold”.  Of course this is nothing new, lest we forget,

“Through the use of terror, man can be reduced to a childlike and submissive state, in which his powers of reason are clouded, and in which his emotional response to various situations and stimuli can become predictable” L. Wolfe, “Brainwashing: How The British Use The Media for Mass Psychological Warfare”. The American Almanac, May 5, 1997

To paraphrase Churchill, most men stumble over the truth from time to time but most manage to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and manage to carry on as if nothing happened. It is amazing (or not) that most of us have managed to stumble upon the truth when our entire educational system is against us. To quote one wiser than me:

“The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don’t know how to be submissive, and so on –because they’re dysfunctional to the institutions.” Noam Chomsky

All rights reserved © 2013 Andrew Hutchinson

Reflections on Leadership

As a child passing through the education system of the seventies I was introduced to magical characters such as Clive of India; General Wolfe; Cecil Rhodes; Captain Cooke; Horatio Nelson and Robert the Bruce. I cannot remember if I was told, if I believed that I instinctively knew, or if I somehow worked it out for myself, but these individuals were leaders of men, of that I was sure. It was not just the tales of do and dare but the contrasts and the contradictions that characterised their lives that held a draw for me.  Clive may well have been the first of the modern-era soldier-politicians who helped the British gain ascendency in India, whose fame and notoriety lay in his political and military conquest of Bengal but I was just as fascinated to learn how as a boy he climbed his local church tower and perched on a gargoyle to frighten those below, or attempted to set up a protection racket and vandalise the premises of local merchants who would not pay. Wolfe is remembered for his heroics in defeating the French in Canada and establishing British rule there but I remember sitting transfixed and hearing of how at Culloden he had refused to carry out an order of the Duke of Cumberland to shoot a wounded Highlander, saying that his honour was worth more than his commission. Tales of how a sickly, asthmatic teenager was sent to South Africa in the hope that the climate would improve his health and how he grew up to found De Beers diamond company and have the country of Rhodesia named after him had a classroom enthralled. Captain Cooke was remembered not just as an explorer, navigator and cartographer but for the violent and bloody nature of his demise and the fact that after his death his body was held by the Hawaiians and the flesh cut and roasted from his bones in a ritual reserved for the chiefs and highest elders of their society. Nelson was remembered as much for his seasickness as his strategic prowess and Robert the Bruce for inspiring us to never give up and try, try and try again in the face of adversity, after witnessing the efforts of a spider to spin a web in a cave.

The characters may no longer be popular, seen by some as cameos of empire and a best-forgotten past and the teaching methods which allowed young minds to ferment with such colourful imagery may be an affront to political correctness but it is in such tales that a lifelong interest in leaders and leadership was grounded. Perhaps a child fascinated by such textbook leaders is destined for a life that somehow seems unfulfilled. Witnessing the demise of industry, influence and confidence it should be of no surprise to learn that the child of the sixties, who had grown into the young man of the eighties, on scanning the horizon found leadership noticeable only by its absence. I did not recognise the leadership of my textbook heroes in the politicians or activists of left or right, in the bosses I met in the workplace, in the academics encountered at university or the sportsmen seen on the pitch or playing field. Like most childish things it was felt that an interest in leaders was best put away.

It was only while watching the 1990 BBC television series, Troubleshooter, hosted by Sir John Harvey-Jones that there was a reconnect. His character, his wisdom and his mission held an appeal and on further investigation it seemed that he too, like my childhood heroes had a complex past. Bullied unmercifully at school, naval college at thirteen, sunk twice during the Second World War and a post-war career in intelligence before joining ICI and rising to the position of Chairman. He was a man who maintained that his mission was to concentrate on putting more power into fewer hands so as to reduce the number of those who can say ‘no’ and increase the motivation of those who can say ‘yes‘. He is also a man who insisted that there are no bad troops, only bad leaders. So leaders did exist. Or at least my sort of leader existed, and had existed when I had thought that there were none. He had been busying himself in the boardroom of ICI while I had been busy looking elsewhere.  erhaps other sorts of leader existed too?

I increasingly became aware of this possibility as my career progressed, as I too became a management consultant, working in the private and public sectors and with politicians at a local and national level. It was only when I found myself working regularly with people whose job title was simply the word ‘Leader‘, as in they were the leader of a local authority, that I began to realise that I no longer had that childlike certainty that I knew what a leader was.  Increasingly I found that I was not alone but I also found that my expectations all too often differed from those around me. There seemed to be an agreement on an absence of leadership, a void, there was an expectation that something must be done but there was no consensus about what should fill the void, no shared understanding of what a leader was.

I’ve written extensively on the subject and no doubt the quest to define leadership will continue but the writer is also fearful that the search for leaders will seemingly bear less fruit. After all if you don‘t know what you are looking for how will you ever know if you have found it?

All rights reserved © 2013 Andrew Hutchinson

Be Outraged

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Drummer Lee Rigby, of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, from Middleton, Rochdale, victim of the cowardly and barbaric attack in Woolwich.

Rigby

What happened on the streets of London yesterday was savage, barbaric and indefensible.  Footage emerged afterwards on the ITV website, of a man wielding a bloodied meat cleaver speaking to the camera, making political statements, saying: “We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

I share the sense of outrage. I share the anger and revulsion and I expect that the darkest depths of hell are reserved for those who perpetrate cowardly acts of savagery such as this, attempting to decapitate a man, after running him down with a car and subjecting him to a disembowelling in a frenzied machette attack.  Humanity has every right to feel a little less human.

It was Stalin who said, “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”  It is on a single act of savagery that we can reflect because a single act, directed at a single soul echoes the thought that there but for the grace of God goes each of us.  It is identifiable, recognisable and relatable to each of us.  The tragedy of the lives lost in all acts of terror, be they the victims of IEDs, suicide bombings or drone strikes is just as great but somehow they get lost, sanitised in the daily diet of death and destruction that invades the comfort of our living rooms, that desensitises and eats away at the humanity of each of us on a daily basis.

I understand the desire for revenge, I know the demons that make the blood boil, the venting of anger on social media that gives way to a vicious circle of anger and despair.  Let none of us lose the opportunity to reflect.  Do not let hate destroy us.  Redirect your energy into your own personal journey of self-discovery, which in turn advances the journey of humanity.

Do not let our Government hijack this tragedy to advance its own agenda.  Terrorism is the act of instilling a sense of terror.  Successive Western governments have post 911, used a climate of fear to advance an ever more sinister agenda in the name of freedom.  George Orwell’s 1984 has been seen not so much as a novel but a user manual.  In the words of Benjamin Franklin those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.

Our entire system is politically, morally and intellectually bankrupt.  According to the National Audit Office, the UK National Debt rose by £850bn as a result of the Bank Bailout. This is a figure which is nearly two times the country’s total annual budget.  That’s funding the NHS for eight years; the education system for twenty years or Job Seekers allowance for two hundred years.

Forget the service sector, financial terrorism is our growth industry, whether it is rigging LIBOR, mis-selling PPI, breaking trade sanctions or laundering money for drug cartels.  HSBC which now owns three NHS hospitals in Barnet, Middlesex and West Middlesex was recently found guilty of creating a whole subsidiary bank in order to launder money for Mexican drug cartels, whose victims have been decapitated by the roadsides.  Over ninety pieces of tax payer funded public infrastructure, mostly schools and hospitals, have been transferred into the ownership of banks who set up shell companies, registered in offshore tax havens to complete the deals and avoid paying taxes.

I was once given some wonderful advice:  If you don’t know what to write about, write about what makes you angry, what pisses you off.  Well this angry ‘young’ man is pissed off.  I am no ‘clean skin’.  I was a socialist at twenty, a conservative at thirty, a libertarian at forty and I can see the merits of anarchy at fifty.  I will not be a terrorist at sixty and I do not wish to see any more martyrs or terrorists.  Be outraged but redirect your anger.  Give to Help for Heroes, give to your local mosque, support your church, close your HSBC account.  For God’s sake do something and advance the cause of humanity for we are all its children.

Postscript

Should the family of Drummer Lee Rigby, of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, be in agreement I for one would like to see his funeral marked by a national two minutes of silence to commemorate his sacrifice and that of all of the fallen.

All rights reserved © 2013 Andrew Hutchinson