• Pyramid Politics.

      0 comments

    In Tuesday’s post I mentioned how I trek down the memory lane of DVD box sets of old TV series. Of old TV series, one of my favourites was the 1988 TV mini-series “A Very British Coup” based on Chris Mullin’s 1982 novel of the same, starring Ray McAnally as Harry Perkins MP, Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Much of the attraction of these old shows is due to the opiate of nostalgia. Yet cutting through this, when Chris Mullin wrote his novel back in 1982 it was very much based on a “feet on the ground” reality and not the “pie in the sky” fantasy. Fantasy there was however:

    In the early 1980s, I was thumbing through the “sits-vac” pages of the Yorkshire Evening Post when I spotted an ad that offered very high earnings potential, no experience needed. Curious, I telephoned the number given – in those days ALWAYS a land-line – and after a brief conversation was told that a presentation would be delivered at the Queen’s Hotel on a Friday evening. As a result, I drove into Leeds, leaving the car in a free parking spot near the registry office and walked along Wade Lane, cutting through the Merrion Centre to Merrion Street and crossing the road at the pelican crossing, down Albion Street, crossing the Headrow at the junction where the Panning Dept. had it’s offices continuing down Albion Street to Boar Lane and along Boar Lane to City Square and the Queens Hotel.

    Entering the foyer I went to reception and asked for the long forgotten name of the man I was to meet. I was told to go to one of the function rooms – I’ve forgotten which except it was on the ground floor – and entered the room which had the seats set out “theatre style” with a table, a chair and a flip chart and easel to the side of it. The room filled up largely of people between the ages of twenty and forty with a gender balance around two thirds male one third female. Some were dressed casually in jeans and such like others, including myself, wore business suits. After about ten minutes when there appeared to be enough bodies to fill just over half the seats, a man moved towards the table to begin the presentation.

    I don’t remember the man’s name. He had circulated beforehand and had introduced himself. As I said, I’ve long forgotten the name. However I can describe him. He was white, around 40 of medium build with dark almost black hair and a Mediterranean complexion. I remember doing what I normally do when meeting potential business associates, assess them as to whether they are genuine. Not only do I assess the clothes, I pay particular attention to the shoes, any watch (if a man) they are wearing and also are their hands manicured. This fellow appeared to have money. When he spoke he revealed himself to be North American which he confirmed when he describing himself as being from the USA but was living in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England. I took as evidence that he was telling the truth; his correct pronunciation of the county. That he felt the need to state “England” confirmed his later admission of US citizenship.

    What really caused this meeting to remain lodged in my memory was the product he was selling: Perfume.

    As soon as he said the word “perfume” he immediately set about explaining why all us males present should not just get up and walk out. He explained that the principal method of selling the perfume was through a method known as “party plan”. This is where a woman will contact other women in her social circle to arrange a meeting at one of the women’s homes at which she will bring along perfumes which the women will buy. He then lost no time explaining how we men could make an income; persuade all women in our acquaintance to become associates and introduce them to the splendid opportunity that awaited them! We would gain as we would receive commission on the sales these women made. The man’s presentation showed – with the use of a flip chart and getting members of the audience to suggest “realistic” and “conservative” figures – how we could all earn a fantastic income in a very short space of time!
    He described “the revolutionary method” as “multi-level-marketing”. I had not heard the term before but it reminded me of pyramid selling schemes of the 1950s and 1960s when many innocent British housewives thought they could make their fortunes selling washing up liquid!

    At the end of the presentation the man sought people to become “associates” by paying him £25 for a starter back of samples. I think he might have got a dozen suitably impressed dupes to hand him £25. I was not one of them!

    Another reason why I remember this event particularly well was that I gave a lift home to a young lady. She lived in the Lamberts (I’ve forgotten which) off Gledhow Lane – the precise road long forgotten. As we left we had a brief conversation about the event and we were both minded not to take up this invitation to get rich quick. As we left the hotel I told her I lived fairly near Roundhay Park and asked if she wanted a lift if she lived roundabouts. She accepted saying that she lived off Gledhow Lane.
    The reason why I really remember this lady was a remark she made:
    “What that bloke wants is to take a rake off of other people’s work and money invested. Does he take us for fools?”
    The answer to the lady’s question is of course, “yes”!
    In this world there are a lot of charlatans offering instant wealth for very little either in terms of risk, work or amount of money invested. Examples of these “get rich quick” schemes are the adverts to make one’s fortune in “bitcoin”. The difference between 2020s and 1980s is that in the 1980s it was person to person. In the 2020s it is mainly online.

    Sadly, these charlatans are not only the world of business, they are also to be found in the world of politics. The recent December General Election was a splendid example of this with both main parties (Conservatives and Labour) offered fantasy manifestos promising impossible things.
    The dreadful irony of this was that the only party offering a manifesto based on reality and not fantasy were those dreadful Euromaniacs, the Lib-Dems!
    Of course, Labour did not get the opportunity to try and enact their fantasy. The Buffoon has however.

    A splendid example is the Buffoon’s latest policy announcement that proposes banning the sale of new cars using the internal combustion engine.
    GOTO: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51366123
    To try and understand the logic behind this policy announcement one must of course bear in mind the calendar. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (Repeal) Bill, the Buffoon will have to seek another mandate by Thursday 12th December 2024 ~ some 11 years before 2035.
    The other thing to bear in mind that those young people who will be 18 in 2024 are now 13 and will have received 5 years more climate change propaganda.
    Another thing to bear in mind is that the only youngsters who can afford to pay the enormous car insurance premiums required to put an 18 year old on the road are those with very wealthy parents ~ and therefore will not be averse to doing away with something which they cannot possess.
    In other words, the Buffoon knows that the policy will never be put into effect in 2035: it will be postponed.
    However, what is more germane is the effects this policy announcement will have on the current state of British industry. Taken at his word (always an incautious action) the Buffoon intends to ban NEW passenger cars from being driven on British roads if they have internal combustion engines in 15 years time.

    Readers will note that the word “new” is capitalised. What this would mean is that ANY internal combustion passenger car made before 2035 in ANY nation state could be driven on British roads if it complies with the DVLA regulations pertaining to same at the time.

    The cue that motor manufacturers will take from this announcement is that the Buffoon has accepted the reality that should the UK not remain in the EEA after 31st December 2020, then this marks the beginning of the end of the manufacture and assembling of internal combustion engined passenger cars in the UK.

    Readers will note the use of the words “passenger cars”. This because even the Buffoon realises that the internal combustion engine is required to power commercial vehicles!

    What this announcement amounts to is akin to the newspaper a schoolboy in the 1960s and before will have placed down the back of his trousers to mitigate the pain he was shortly to receive in the headmaster’s office! Thus, as the British motor manufacturing industry is largely dismantled, the Buffoon will be able to point to the new Shangri-La of electric vehicles on the horizon!

    In other words, this announcement is the confirmation of the bare-bones “Australia style” trade deal that awaits the Buffoon’s signature in December!

    This situation is of course beyond parody as there IS no Australia style trade deal!

    There will of course be something in this trade deal which is not a trade deal. For a start there NEEDS to be agreement of the operation of the Single European Sky.
    GOTO: https://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/ses_en
    There is also the need to have an agreement governing existing arrangements in relation to aerospace, defence and security co-operation. Expect a degree of co-operation governing the operation and collection of tariffs at the borders. All this will be dressed up as the “Australia type trade deal” – you know; the trade deal that is not a trade deal!

    So…….

    Wither the British car industry?

    The British car industry will do what every other industry anywhere in the world will do: Adapt!

    Jobs – metal basing ones (so loved by politicians [for others than themselves to do!]) based in Britain WILL exist!

    Something my late father told me has come to mind. He was born in 1906 and his father was born in 1865. I never knew my grandfather as he died three years before I was born. My grandfather lived through the time when the horse (as a vehicular traction device [Yes ~ I know vegans will say referring to a horse as a “device” constitutes a “hate crime” ~ Do I care? Err... No!]) gave way to the internal combustion engine. My father told me that when it appeared that motor cars would become more than just the playthings of the aristocracy (probably the 1920s) my grandfather remarked that the horse dealers will become second hand car dealers. Grandfather it turned out was correct.

    IF – and it is a VERY big “if” – the Buffoon actually implements an internal combustion ban – what is likely to happen is that a healthy car restoration industry will spring up. It already exists for what are called “classic cars”. These are generally cars of the 1980s and earlier which are kept on the road either through the DIY expertise of their owners OR for the wealthy non DIY skilled owners, professional restorers.

    This industry would in the circumstances of a ban expand rapidly as car users desperate to maintain a method of self drive transport that is practical will keep old cars on the road. Wealthy persons will be able to indulge their expensive “up market” tastes by keeping large expensive “up market” cars on the road.

    There is of course a nation that currently has such an industry: Cuba!

    The 1950s US cars on the streets and roads of Cuba have themselves become a tourist attraction!
    So, far from being the “Singapore off the coast of Europe”, the Buffoon will turn the UK into the “Cuba off the coast of Europe”!
    At this point, spare a sympathetic thought for dear old Comrade Corbyn. The man who always thought that turning the UK into the “Cuba off the coast of Europe” was to be his job!