Thursday 29 November 2018

An alarming increase


The Institute of Experts has produced a new report about the alarming increase in the number of alarming increases.

“Many key problems in social and economic life are increasing at an alarming rate,” says the report. The report goes on to suggest that there is an alarming increase in the rate of alarming increases on top of an already alarming number of alarming increases.

“In addition to the alarming increase in alarming increases, there is an alarming increase in the number of alarming numbers.” The report adds. It goes into some detail about the rate of increase in the number of alarming numbers which it says represents a truly alarming increase in the number of alarming numbers.

Not only that but alarming projections suggest we are headed for an alarming future at an unprecedentedly alarming rate. Even the number of projections shows an alarming increase when extrapolated over the next thirty years.

Meanwhile the Institute of Experts seeks an alarming increase in funding in order to expand its research.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Not much to relish

From the BBC

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have agreed to take part in a live TV debate on Brexit before MPs vote on the deal.
The prime minister said she was the only one with a plan for the UK's future - Labour said Mr Corbyn would "relish" the chance to challenge that.

I don't suppose Mr Corbyn's minders relish it. Maybe Mrs May is assuming that Mr Corbyn hasn't read the Brexit document and wouldn't understand much of it anyway. Maybe she's right and he'll flounder, but she isn't a star performer either. Meanwhile Boris calls it a false choice.

But former foreign secretary Boris Johnson said Mrs May should be holding a debate with "someone who believes in Brexit", saying there was "no point" in the head-to-head with the Labour leader and that it offered a "false choice".

Of course it isn't really a false choice - Boris knows that. A Corbyn government brought about by Conservative disarray may well be worse than anything Mrs May can bungle. She may as well push that angle as hard as she can because she doesn't have many others

Monday 26 November 2018

Call the puddle squad

The other day we encountered some resurfacing work on the High Peak Trail, apparently intended to reduce puddles. Puddles in the countryside eh? Whatever next. 

Sunday 25 November 2018

The ritual apology

Political correctness has its entertaining aspects. For example Quillette has a piece on the ritual apology phenomenon when absurdly sensitive political cages have supposedly been rattled.

For instance, on Oct. 8 at Scripps College, there was an anti-Kavanaugh protest scheduled for noon. But then the organizers realized that the same day was Indigenous People’s Day at Scripps. They promptly rescheduled the protest and apologized: “We want to deeply apologize for scheduling this event on the same day as the 2nd annual Indigenous People’s Day. Monday is a day for indigenous and non-indigenous allies to stand in solidarity and acknowledge the genocidal mission system that enslaved and killed 80% of Natives living on this land.”

The first comment might raise a wry smile. Too often ridicule is the most constructive response.

A New Radical Centrism (@a_centrism)
November 19, 2018

I’m sorry that I read this article.

I also regret that I laughed out loud when I read in the article that some college students had apologized for scheduling an event on the same day as Indigenous People’s Day, one of the holiest days on the calendar.

Allow me to also apologize for not knowing there was such a thing as Indigenous People’s Day, and for not particularly caring that a virtue-signaling festival such as Indigenous People’s Day actually exists.

I must be a terrible person. So, I apologize for that, as well.

Thursday 22 November 2018

Cycling awareness plan

The BBC, home of Top Gear, shoves out a typically sanctimonious piece on road accidents involving cyclists.

Motorists should be offered cheaper insurance if they take a course to make them more aware of cyclists on the roads, the government says.

The Department for Transport also wants to give councils more powers to tackle parking in cycling lanes.

It is proposing a series of 50 measures in a bid to reduce the number of cyclists and pedestrians killed.

According to ROSPA

In collisions involving a bicycle and another vehicle, the most common key contributory factor recorded by the police is ‘failed to look properly’ by either the driver or rider, especially at junctions. ‘Failed to look properly’ was attributed to the car driver in 57% of serious collisions and to the cyclist in 43% of serious collisions at junctions.

In which case cyclists should attend such courses too - make them vehicle awareness courses. But that isn't the political point being made here.

Naturally enough we would like to see far fewer deaths on our roads but it is obvious enough that motorists are well aware of cyclists. A queue of traffic behind one or more cyclists is a common enough sight. Motorists clearly do understand the possible consequences of reckless overtaking.

Unfortunately roads are crowded and momentary inattention by cyclist or motorist is bound to happen. Sometimes that momentary inattention has tragic consequences. Modern roads are dangerous and all adult cyclists are personally responsible for their decision to travel on them by bicycle. They know the dangers.

Yet we are building a social ethos where cyclists have a right to use busy and dangerous roads and are officially encouraged to exercise that right. Yes they do have a right, but awareness courses for motorists will probably do little to mitigate the risks of cycling. As things stand, "don't cycle" is good advice but officially we try to pretend it isn't. We do a lot of official pretending.

Cycling and Walking Minister Jesse Norman said: "Greater road safety - and especially the protection of vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders - is essential.

Strewth - we have a Cycling and Walking Minister. In a wider sense that's the problem. Sooner or later personal responsibility has to make a comeback.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Death to the soul

The historical background of life is a part of its substance and the ideal can never grow independently of its spreading roots. A sanctity hangs about the sources of our being, whether physical, social, or imaginative. The ancients who kissed the earth on returning to their native country expressed nobly and passionately what every man feels for those regions and those traditions whence the sap of his own life has been sucked in.

There is a profound friendliness in whatever revives primordial habits, however they may have been overlaid with later sophistications. For this reason the homelier words of a mother tongue, the more familiar assurances of an ancestral religion, and the very savour of childhood’s dishes, remain always a potent means to awaken emotion. Such ingrained influences, in their vague totality, make a man’s true nationality.

A government, in order to represent the general interests of its subjects, must move in sympathy with their habits and memories; it must respect their idiosyncrasy for the same reason that it protects their lives. If parting from a single object of love be, as it is, true dying, how much more would a shifting of all the affections be death to the soul.

George Santayana - The Life of Reason  (1905-1906)

Santayana’s view seems old-fashioned in a modern world of mass transport, shifting global populations and cosmopolitan assurance. In our world a sanctity cannot hang about the sources of our being because those sources are being melted down and politically recast. In part this profound change is deliberate, in part a matter of sheer carelessness.

We need anchors, reference points without which we cannot think clearly because nothing tells us what clarity might look like. To acquire that clarity we need some extremely basic reference points such as good and bad, harmful and benign, weird and wonderful but most important and most basic are familiar and unfamiliar.

Familiar - Noun
Middle English (in the sense ‘intimate’, ‘on a family footing’): from Old French familier, from Latin familiaris, from familia ‘household servants, family’, from famulus ‘servant’.

This is what we are losing. The familiar is not as intimate as it was, not part of the family, not as easily known, not as thoroughly known, not as easily trusted. The familiar is no longer well rooted in the practical realities of daily life. This matters but ironically we have become less familiar with what matters as opposed to what doesn’t.

We have unwittingly become familiar with Facebook, the EU, feminism, multiculturalism, Amazon, celebrities, human rights, hate speech, racism, islamophobia, homophobia, sustainability, recycling, multiculturalism, social justice and so on and so on.

Unfortunately these things tend to nudge aside closer and more intimate realities such as important and unimportant, honest and dishonest, good and bad, harmful and benign, weird and wonderful. They do not supplant these older realities but they shout much more loudly and their shrill familiarity gives them a secure place in our personal reality. Perhaps unwelcome in many cases but still secure. There is no practical way to become unfamiliar with them.

Political and commercial manipulation of what is familiar and what is unfamiliar has created a strange world which still seems familiar but in a different, more political and more remote and much less personal sense than before.

As we grew up and learned the ways of the world it was once possible to be familiar with our own limitations and even our own ignorance. Now we are becoming less familiar with our ignorance in a world of sassy pseudo-certainties. Unfortunately so are our leaders.

Monday 19 November 2018

One pinnacle of credulity to another

All her life she had always been persuaded that she saw what people meant; and the conviction had borne her triumphantly from one pinnacle of credulity to another.

Edith Wharton - Hudson River Bracketed (1929)

May or may not apply, but I sometimes wonder if those inside the political bubble understand those outside. So often bubble dwellers behave as if they have become far too familiar with imposing their own meaning on everything, as if they have mislaid the ability to see what people mean beyond the bubble. 

Sunday 18 November 2018

Is it worth it?

Every man has somewhere in the back of his head the wreck of a thing which he calls his education.

Stephen Leacock - Literary Lapses (1910)

Saturday 17 November 2018


I’ve had a busy few days, so no time for Brexit posts. However, from an early stage in the game it has been obvious that Mrs May and her advisers never wished to make a political success of it.

Had they aimed to do so the project would have a less ambiguous and politically problematic name than Brexit. The Norway Approach or the EFTA Option for example.

If we focus on the politics rather than the technicalities of leaving the EU, then it is easy enough to see that a name such as the Norway Approach would be much more difficult to attack that the name Brexit. Whatever the technical difficulties and complexities it would have added an aura of political solidity and achievability. In addition to that it would have provided criteria for success or failure.

Unfortunately the media debate immediately degenerated into numerous stories around supposed difficulties in preventing bureaucrats from fouling up international trade. Apparently Brexit will make it difficult for them to do today what they did yesterday.

Yet getting the narrative right was so simple. It is easy enough to understand why the EU would foul up the narrative but Mrs May and co could have corrected that had she chosen to. But she didn’t and we may as well assume it was deliberate.

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Scruton on the beauty of belonging

Last month EPPC published a fascinating essay by Roger Scruton. In a typically insightful manner, Scruton outlines the deep and intimate role of aesthetic understanding in daily life. Certainly not as dry as perhaps it sounds, the whole essay is well worth reading as an antidote the the carelessly functional ugliness we see around us.

Artists in the Christian tradition have been inspired by the New Testament stories, and one story in particular has prompted them to reflect on the nature of beauty and its place in our lives: the story of the Annunciation. In this story we encounter a moment of interaction between the human and the divine, when an angel appears in the most private and protected part of a woman’s home. The light that radiates from the angel falls not only on Mary but on all the objects that surround her, showing the fitness of the woman for her holy task in the order and beauty of her room. The Annunciation by the Dutch master Joos van Cleve (1485–1540) illustrates the point. None of the objects among which Mary sits is purely functional: everything has an edge, an embellishment, a kind of gentle excess. The furnishings are not just accidentally there: they are there because they are also owned, shaped, and cherished. Mary has arranged the room with beauty in mind, so as to be a fit welcome for an angel.

We find the same cherishing of objects in later Dutch interiors, when the secular vision had begun to replace the religious. In an interior by Vermeer we see people set among objects that shine with the light of ownership. They have been brought into the house, so to speak, polished like mirrors, so as to reflect the lives and loves surrounding them. A kind of tenderness radiates from the objects in such paintings, to embrace the viewers and to tell them that they, too, are at home, among these things rubbed smooth by human affection.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Blue jeans

A mother holding her baby and an older woman walk into a cafe. Clearly they are grandmother, mother and baby – three generations taking a coffee break although baby has a bottle of milk from Grandma’s shopping bag. This much is obvious.

Baby’s mother wears blue jeans with fashionable knee rips. Not quite the thing for a young mother but she just about carries it off. Grandma wears blue jeans too, also with fashionable knee rips. A somewhat bony knee peeps out when she sits down. On Grandma they don’t work. Someone gave Grandma a dubious fashion tip - maybe the culprit was Daughter.

To my jaundiced eye it isn’t easy to wear blue jeans unless one is young and tolerably shapely. Convenient and cheap they may be, and that’s why I wore them for years, but on older folk even brand new faded jeans soon look like gardening trousers. Unfaded blue jeans look cheap even if they aren’t. After a certain age they rarely work.

Monday 12 November 2018

Good old-fashioned ingredients

From the box

Our Classic Recipes are made using traditionally authentic recipes and good old-fashioned ingredients.

From the list of ingredients printed on the box

Palm oil
Palm Kernel
Rapeseed oil
Soya Lecithin
Citric Acid
Glucose Syrup
Rice Flour
Sulphur Dioxide
Ammonium Bicarbonate
Disodium Diphosphate

Blimey - was my mother cutting corners when she made her traditionally authentic ginger biscuits? They were really good and were soon gobbled up, but I'm pretty sure she missed out the soya lecithin and sulphur dioxide at least. Was it because we were poor and couldn't afford these good old-fashioned ingredients?

Macron is a tripehound

Only the other day I suddenly realised that I had never used the word tripehound in this blog, an omission I instantly resolved to rectify. My father often referred to prominent people as tripehounds and luckily French President Emmanuel Macron has offered up an opportunity to give the word a long-delayed airing.

This BBC piece about a recent Macron emission seems to fit the tripehound bill rather well.

French President Emmanuel Macron has urged world leaders marking the centenary of the World War One Armistice to reject nationalism.

Addressing leaders in Paris - including US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin - he described it as a "betrayal of patriotism".

"By saying 'our interests first and never mind the others' you stamp out the most precious thing a nation has - its moral values," he said.

Of course M Macron had prepared the tripehound ground a little earlier with his speculation about the EU having to defend itself against the US.

The Trump-Macron show of unity came despite earlier tensions, triggered when the French leader said the EU needed a joint army now that the US was pulling out of a key disarmament treaty with Russia.

"I want to build a real security dialogue with Russia, which is a country I respect, a European country - but we must have a Europe that can defend itself on its own without relying only on the United States."

In the interview with French radio station Europe 1 on Tuesday, Mr Macron mentioned "re-emerging authoritarian powers" that were well-armed on Europe's borders, "attempted attacks in cyberspace and interference in our democratic lives", concluding: "We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America."

Sunday 11 November 2018

One hundred years ago

A World War One National Kitchen

This is a copy of an earlier post from my aunt's memoirs where she describes Armistice Day as she saw it from the back streets of Derby in 1918 when she was ten years old.

November 11th 1918
It was a raw November morning, just like any other day. Little did we think as we scrambled out of bed, hurtled downstairs to wash and dress in front of the kitchen fire, that it was going to be one of the most important days of our lives.

Dressed, we sat down to a dish of porridge followed by dry toast. The porridge was sweetened with treacle which we held above the bowl on a spoon, and dribbling it made patterns on the creamy surface.

The treacle was different from both the Golden Syrup we buy today and the tinned thick black stuff. It was, being neither one nor the other, an in-between of the two. Golden brown, runny, certainly not sickly. We’d take an empty jam jar to our corner grocer’s shop and a pound jar was filled from a barrel for fourpence halfpenny.

I loved to watch the treacle sluggishly flow when the tap was turned on. Mr Scott the grocer always caught the last little drop on his finger as he turned off the tap, and licking it would smack his lips. How lucky he was, I wished I were a shop lady!

Off to school and at mid-morning out as usual into the playground. We were puzzled as to why the teacher hadn’t come outside to ring the bell signalling the end of our break when a girl said to me,

‘Look, Sir Thomas Roe’s flag is flying.’

I looked up and there on the big house across the way, the Union Jack fluttered high on its pole. There wasn’t much breeze but enough to move it gently.

We became aware just then that all the teachers had trooped outside, headed by the headmistress. We all stood and stared and though there was hardly any need, she put her hand up for silence. In a voice which trembled slightly she announced,

‘Children, I have to tell you the good, the wonderful news. The war is over. An armistice has been signed. You can all go home and tell your mothers and you need not come back to school this afternoon.’

An excited buzz started. She raised her hand again, telling us that we must first say the Lord’s Prayer and then sing the National Anthem. So we stood, first humbly with heads bent, then poured our hearts out in ‘God Save the King’.

We scampered into school for hats and coats and our feet barely touched the ground on our way home. Mam was in the scullery stirring a large pan of soup when my sisters and I burst in.

‘Well,’ she said after the news had sunk in, ‘as it’s a special day I will treat you to a dinner at the National Kitchen.’

We could hardly believe our ears! Lizzie, one of the girls from next door joined us and we set off, feeling as if we were on our way to Buckingham Palace. The National Kitchen was attached to a factory not far away and I should imagine served also as a canteen for the workers, though I didn’t know that then. It was a big, bare place and we must have been early as very few people were inside.

We had to go to a counter to collect our dinner, the cost of the meal with pudding to follow being sixpence each. There was beef, potatoes and peas, spotted dick and thin custard. The beef was eatable but it was a good thing we had strong teeth. The potatoes, plain boiled, were a bit watery, the gravy thin and anaemic, the peas like bullets, practically uneatable. There was a sudden burst of laughter from my elder sister and Lizzie.

‘What are they laughing at?’ I whispered to my younger sister. I was overawed at eating in a public place.

‘I don’t know,’ she whispered back, ‘but I heard Lizzie say something about the peas and a good blow-off would almost certainly shoot the cat.’

It took a few minutes to sink in and when it did, my face went scarlet. Furtively I looked over my shoulder. Was anyone near enough to have heard?

The spotted dick was nowhere near as good as Mam’s and after getting a jug of celery soup for her (we’d taken a large jug as Mam suffered with her stomach, but they only half filled it for sixpence) we walked back home. It was the first time I had ever eaten ‘out’ and I have never forgotten such a momentous occasion but I certainly didn’t think much of it at the time.

As the days passed, the lamplighter came back – the biggest joy of all. One night in bed my sister suddenly burst out laughing and when I asked her to tell the joke, she spluttered,

‘I was just remembering Lizzie and those peas.’

‘Oh yes,’ I answered innocently, ‘how did the poor cat get on?’ With that we both guffawed and Mam put her head round the bedroom door with a stern warning about being fit for school in the morning.

Saturday 10 November 2018

Suck it up

In Brexitcentral Matt Ridley has an interesting piece about Dyson vacuum cleaners. 

My biggest beef with the European Union has always been the way it stifles consumer-friendly innovation in the interests of incumbent businesses and organisations. Today’s victory for Sir James Dyson at the European General Court lays bare an especially shocking example.

Dyson’s case, which has taken five years in the courts, reveals just how corrupt and crony-capitalist the European Union has become. It is no surprise that Sir James was and is a big supporter of Britain leaving the EU. Essentially, the rules have been bent to allow German manufacturers to deceive customers about the performance of their vacuum cleaners, in a manner uncannily similar to – but even worse than — the way mostly German car manufacturers deceived customers about the emissions from diesel vehicles.

Worth reading if only as another example of how technical regulations can be bypassed by lobbying and by technical subterfuge. 

However it may be worth adding that we moved away from Dyson vacuum cleaners in favour of a Miele machine which uses bags. We've owned a number of Dysons but whatever Dyson may claim, we have found that in actual use the Miele machine deals with dust more effectively and more cleanly especially when it comes to dust disposal and keeping the machine clean. 

Although we still have a lightweight battery-powered Dyson for quick jobs, compared to the Miele the Dysons have been messy. We have to keep buying bags for the Miele but the dust stays in the bag.  

Thursday 8 November 2018

The slow demise of Marks and Spencer

We were chatting about M&S today, remarking on how M&S food seems to be going the way of its clothing - increasingly uninteresting and not much better than cheap and cheerful because cheap and cheerful keep catching up. 

Marks & Spencer has reported falling clothing and food sales and warned that it sees little improvement in sales this year.

Like-for-like sales, which strip out the impact of new stores, were down 2.2% for the six months to the end of September.

Food sales were down 2.9% and clothing and home sales slid 1.1%.

M&S warned trading conditions for the remainder of the financial year will remain "challenging".

"We are expecting little improvement in sales trajectory," the firm said.

It's years since I bought clothes from M&S because even supermarkets do clothing just as well. 

M&S food seems to have had a good start but times change rapidly. Now it lacks imagination and is not as well presented as many of the larger farm shops. I'm surprised M&S has lasted so long, it seems perennially unable to find a way of staying ahead of the game. Tough game though.

Wednesday 7 November 2018

And so we watch

A curlew probes the Wells mud in search of something tasty

Like peasant children, we passed our days and nights in the fields and the woods, looked after horses, stripped the bark off the trees, fished, and so on.... And, you know, whoever has once in his life caught perch or has seen the migrating of the thrushes in autumn, watched how they float in flocks over the village on bright, cool days, he will never be a real townsman, and will have a yearning for freedom to the day of his death.

Anton Chekhov – Gooseberries (1898)

While on holiday in Norfolk we took the opportunity for a spot of bird watching. We are definitely not bird-watchers in anything resembling a knowledgeable sense but these days it is something we enjoy. However –

There is a however. A faint shadow lurks in a corner of my mind as I sit there in the hide contentedly gazing through my binoculars while listening to the conversation of other bird watchers. I listen to what they say in case a little of their expertise permeates in my direction. It’s a pleasant way to pass an hour or so but that shadow doesn’t go away, so what is it?

It is something to do with the way we isolate ourselves from the natural world even when taking an interest in it, even when sitting in a cold hide surrounded by marsh peering through binoculars. Somehow modern interest in the natural world as endlessly presented by the BBC misses the point. Of course it would miss the point because it’s the BBC but to acknowledge that isn’t the point either. However assiduously pursued, an interest in the natural world is not a particularly deep involvement. It can’t be – we have isolated ourselves too well.

As Chekhov wrote, the natural world induces a yearning for freedoms we cannot possibly attain in the modern world. If ever we did it would not be the modern world. We can’t live as the birds live – we just can’t. We can’t even want to live as the birds live because we’d hate life away from our comforts, our health, our multifarious protections, our cup of coffee afterwards. And a cake.

Modern life is vastly better than having to stick your beak in the mud all day, but there is a price. Fortunately we are so far removed from the natural world that we don’t often see the price. But sometimes, in the peripheral vision of life, sometimes we catch the shadow of what cannot be.

Tuesday 6 November 2018


We were chatting about funerals today, Mrs H and I. Not that we were feeling gloomy, but we have been to many funerals over the years and in just over a week we have another to attend. At our age this is no great surprise, funerals occur fairly regularly now but our memory of them is surprisingly hazy. Many funeral details we can’t recall at all even when we organised them.

It is as if we drift through them from a sense of duty and a kind of sombre inattentiveness. A diminished inclination to observe and remember the day, an underlying inclination to have done with it and move on.

Sunday 4 November 2018

The caravan rolls on

From the BBC - it seems the caravan migrants have missed their bus.

Thousands of migrants from Central America heading for the US-Mexico border have had an offer of free bus transport to Mexico City withdrawn.

The governor of the Mexican state of Veracruz, Miguel Angel Yunes, said on Friday buses would be provided to carry migrants to the nation's capital.

However, Mr Yunes cancelled the offer just hours later, blaming a water shortage in the city for his decision.

The caravan, now some 5,000 people, set off from Honduras several weeks ago.

They say they are fleeing persecution, poverty and violence in their home countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

It has been obvious from the beginning that this caravan is likely to be a stunt timed to have a political impact on the US mid-term elections. The logistical problems of moving 5,000 people over that distance on foot suggest considerable sums of money and and a considerable degree of foresight and planning would be essential. Food, water, navigation, footwear - the logistical list is a long one.

It is all too transparent and even the BBC has spotted that whatever its underlying purpose or dynamic, the caravan stunt may in the end favour Trump and the Republicans.

The mid-term elections are now just days away and critics have said that Mr Trump has used the threat of illegal immigration to fire up his supporters.

At a campaign rally in Miami on Friday, former President Barack Obama accused Mr Trump of cynical politics and a political stunt over his plans to send troops to the Mexican border.

If it does favour Trump and the Republicans, what conclusion do we draw from that? A complex Democrat stunt which seems likely to backfire or something more subtle engineered by Trump supporters? It's a guess but I'll go for the former.

Saturday 3 November 2018

Stage six

From Wikipedia.
Rostow's Stages of Economic Growth model is one of the major historical models of economic growth. It was published by American economist Walt Whitman Rostow in 1960. The model postulates that economic growth occurs in five basic stages, of varying length:

1. Traditional society
2. Transitional society
3. Take-off
4. Drive to technological maturity
5. High mass consumption

Although we are familiar with these five stages we seem to lack economic gurus who are prepared to elucidate the sixth – not publicly anyhow. This one has been with us forever but has always lacked what one might call textbook prominence in the field of economics. Current thinking suggests that the six stages of economic development are –

1. Traditional society
2. Transitional society
3. Take-off
4. Drive to technological maturity
5. High mass consumption
6. High mass fantasy

Although fantasy has been around for a considerable time, it is only in recent decades that its early promise has gained distinction as the final engine of economic growth. I am no economist and can barely begin to analyse the vast ramifications of fantasy economics, but surely there are a number of important fields would-be fantasy gurus might explore.

The European Union
As a fantasist construct the EU is at the forefront of fantasy economics. A bureaucratic structure built to insert bureaucratic hands into national pockets? A rather obvious product of fantasy economics I’d say. Hard to miss that one even though many do but skipping the obvious - that’s the nature of fantasy.

In which case one might assume that such as vast structure with no real purpose apart from weaving bureaucratic fantasies would attract academic interest. One might expect academia to swarm all over it, aiming to harvest new and academically lucrative areas of expertise. Yet we have not seen the overt development of fantasy economics based on the EU as its key paradigm.

This then gives us our first clue as to the nature of fantasy economics. Fantasist thought tends to be covert in that fantasy always masquerades as some kind of reality rather than pure fantasy. In this way, major fantasist paradigms are hidden from view simply because camouflage is a structural aspect of the fantasy.

Climate Change
An important and obvious aspect of the fantasy economy has been handed to us on a plate by climate change fantasists. This development in fantasist thinking is part of a wider drive by the UN to promote fantasy economics on a global scale. However, with climate change we have a similar problem to the EU - camouflage. Climate change is a good example of the phenomenon.

With climate change, fantasist thinking is presented in what now passes for science - such as a sciency death gas emerging scientifically from vehicle exhausts into an atmosphere of sciency drama. Yet although camouflage is essential to fantasy economics, it does present certain difficulties when it comes to academic analysis.

One of the great triumphs of fantasist thinking has been the invention of parliamentary democracy. Here we see people elected to do something in government yet as soon as they are elected they go off and do something else. Although the phenomenon is well known its prominence as a product of fantasist thought is perhaps less familiar.

This rather neatly explains the Donald Trump experience. As a non-fantasist candidate Trump was not supposed to be elected as US President. His election represents a clear and unambiguous breakdown in fantasist thinking and the ramifications are still working themselves out.

It is most unlikely that Trump’s election signals the collapse of fantasy economics itself. It is far too well entrenched for that. Much more likely is that it is anomaly which will be analysed and corrected with some new variations on fantasist thought and methodology. Anything else would upset an enormous number of influential people who have bet their futures on fantasist thinking.

A major weakness of fantasist thinking is the lack of units by which the amount of fantasy can be measured over time. One suggestion for a basic unit might be the Dork which would represent one person infected with one fantasy. Obviously a single person may be infected with more than one fantasy so a more useful unit for populations numbered in millions could be the megadork (MD) or even the gigadork (GD). Clearly an undeveloped area of research which may repay deeper investigation.

The end game
The future is impossible to foresee unless one is a committed fantasist, but an obvious possibility is that the sixth stage of economic development will eventually cycle back to what is really the first – hunter gatherer.

All good things –