18 Nov 2013

So a Japanese bloke, a Frenchman, and an ISP boss all walk into a bar….

…and the barman asks what they want. The Jap says “A gin and toxic”. The Frenchman says “A double entendre please” so the barman gives him one. And the ISP boss says “I’ll have what you sold Dave Smith last night after closing time”.

By John Ward: If you tot up the inexplicable political, fiscal and economic events covered here and elsewhere over the last three years, it’s amazing the consistency with which (a) they were all suspected conspiracies/manipulations and (b) such conspiracy theory turned into conspiracy fact. The best examples I suppose are the Gold market, the Libor rate, the misuse of QE, Hackgate, Fukushima, bent statistics in ClubMed, ISPs and the security services in collusion, French government spending incompetence, Obama’s pernicious use of professional trolls, and the mind-boggling dishonesty of the Metropolitan Police.

Some remain largely unknown to the public, others have surfaced but been denied, and others still are the subject of gumshoe work. In these latter categories I would put Borisconi corruption, systemic paedophilia, the Leveson Enquiry, Piers Morgan fibs, the DSK frame-up, Grant Shapps deception, Jeremy Hunt’s murky career, and the mass fit-up of BBC staff in preparation for Newscorp pre-eminence. In my heart of hearts I still think there is a good to excellent chance that these too will be proven and result in the disgrace of many of those involved in them. But today, it’s time to shiver just a little more at how the now proven canards are coming home to roost.

Fukushima is a good starting point. News has broken in the last few days about the near 100% lack of diligence by suppliers General Electric and regulators Tepco in repairing damage done to the reaction LONG BEFORE the Tsunami hit two years ago.  On November 12, TEPCO disclosed that there were three fuel assemblies in the Spent Fuel Pool of Reactor 4 [...] that were deformed and would be difficult to remove. A day later, TEPCO admitted that one of the damaged fuel assemblies is bent at a 90-degree angle: It was bent 25 years ago when a mistake occurred in handling the fuel. The other two were found to be damaged 10 years ago.
The Japan Times confirmed the stories on Nov. 14, as did Reuters. Later the same day, Tepco spokesman Yoshikazu Nagai told Reuters, “Having to deal with the damaged assemblies is likely to make [removing the other fuel] more difficult “. A female Tepco top manager Mayumi Yoshida  further added, “The three fuel assemblies … cannot be transported by cask [...] We are currently reviewing how to transport these fuel assemblies to the common spent fuel pool”.
Corners were cut in manufacturing and maintenance because that’s what private-sector Bourse-hounded businesses do to keep margins high and shareholders happy. Clearly, regulation of arseholes by the incompetent doesn’t work either. The Dan Hannan solution, of course, would be no regulation at all. I think we should all club together to buy Dan an apartment in the planned new Chinese reactor for the UK, and then put him in charge of rebuffing all regulation of its use.

Another long-posted obsession of The Slog has been the degree to which the French simply never stopped infrastructural spending….and they’re still at it. IMF Head honchette Frou-Frou Lagarde having got her sums wrong during 2007-8, the ENAs sort of got used to overspending, which they’ve managed to do (given the fall in tax income this year so far) by €11 billion. This was on a budget that had already seen a YOY increase of €3 billion anyway. Thus the deficit has increased to 2.6% (a rise of 36%), and the budgets for the next two years are 2.8% and 3.5% respectively.

The French don’t take budgets seriously, but mainly the bureaucrats know that Gotterdamnbigdebt is coming anyway, so they simply carry on. This is what former President Narkozy once called “France feeling the pain”. The ENAs call it “using your common sense” and I’m inclined to agree with them.

At one time, the ISP/GCHQ line was all Slog and ifpi, rumour and innuendo, and conspiracy bollocks. Now, thanks to Philip Snowden, every last bit of has come to light in the form of documentary truth. The Slog in fact got just one thing wrong: it was far, far worse than even I’d imagined. As Zero Hedge pointed out yesterday, ‘every bit of information sent out into the wired or wireless ether is scanned, probed, intercepted and ultimately recorded by the NSA and subsequently all such information is and can be used against any US citizen without a court of law’. GCHQ has also been shown to be up to similar stuff. When he was in Opposition and I told him all this stuff, Oliver Letwin laughed out loud. Hmm.

Despite this, I would still maintain that most conspiracy theories don’t hold water when poked, and that most that  are real represent nothing more than trying to get out of SNAFU. The Boris/Rupert/Rebekah relationship is based on this, as is most Met Police behaviour. What these people do is very, very bad. But it’s mainly done to disguise the stupidity that comes with greed. Even Hackgate is simply about a circulation war with an insatiable appetite for the personally salacious.

Fukushima is about shareholder and Olympic profit, and French overspending is about a determination to squeeze the most money out of a mad system. Only the ISP/NSA/GCHQ scandal is about power and control. So too are the Bills that Camerlot keeps trying to slip under the radar.

But in the end, all the lies are to prop up something that is internally, logically flawed in the first place. For example: you create bailins so the citizens get bankrupted, not the State. The only problem is, who then does the consuming that keeps the economic system going.

It’s all bollocks – and that’s official.

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