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••• The International Writers Magazine - Our 20th Year: The Future is Blocked

You Can’t Get Here From There
• Sam North


January ends with political chaos both here and in the USA.  All of it is self-inflicted and there are probably easy solutions, but unpalatable ones, whether we are talking about Brexit or Trumps shutdown.  For the moment the consequences of US shutdown is the more painful, but at least it has ended for now and government workers will be paid.  Trump has caved for the moment and ordered a re-opening of Government until Feb 15th. Whether he will dare to shut it again if he gets the 'wrong kind of wall' I don't know but I believe he'd be a political fool to do so. This shut-down cost the US economy $3 Billion dollars in lost business and shows how quickly government employees live can be shattered. If you aren't paid well - you aren't saving for a rainy day. But I guess Republicans don't care much about 'ordinary' people. Trump’s petulance forced reliable, honest government employees to default on mortgages, car payments and or moonlight to stay alive. 

This was not about the border wall.  This was about a president testing his raw power to the limit without any thought for the ‘little’ people who keep us safe in our neighborhoods or airports – the ones who pay their taxes and put the C in Civilization.  Take it too far and anarchy will prevail – but now it’s over – I sincerely hope they know who is to blame and it rests on only one person’s head – a fat head at that. A little reading of history might inform Trump that despots end up like his idol Mussolini.  Aiming to be the worst president in American history is quite an achievement.  Don’t tell me the stock markets up and the economy is booming.  Look at the national debt piling up.  Where’s the infrastructure spending?  Oh yeah, it probably needs a few government workers to approve the plans – whoops.

Brexit is somewhat more intractable and nebulous.  It will affect everyone in the UK and by association everyone in Europe.  At the moment ‘No Deal’ is the direction of travel and that means from March 29th we need trade deals with over a hundred countries immediately and at the moment the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has none (save a tentative one with Switzerland for Cuckoo Clocks).  If you aren’t nervous you should be.

You or I might think hard about this, think twice at least and change direction, but we have a Prime Minister who is channeling the Captain of the Titanic and we know how that ended. 

Happiness and satisfaction with your lot depends of the general belief in law, food security and police to keep the streets safe and a public sense of a future with all these things in place ‘forever’.  You can’t guarantee that right now.  If you want a vision of where we're headed seven years from now take a glance at Venezuela. They say every country gets the government they deserve but today there is a terrible empty space where government (or opposition) should be. Every politician knows what they don't want but none seem to have an alternate place that could work or appeal to the mass, never mind the 27 sulking brides awaiting divorce terms.

The thing is - everyone I ask is planning their summer holidays in Europe as if nothing is going to happen. How can they not see that everything will change? Or that airlines can't guarantee to get you there after March 29th , or that you'll need an international driving licence which haven't even been printed yet. Now they are saying we'll run out of food in the first week. So don't bother stockpiling unless you have a shotgun to defend your stash. Anarchy is the flip side of civil society and civil society has only a very thin veneer on top.

It’s the Year of the Pig looming in China this February – 'May you live in uncertain times' is not something we want to hear at all, but what we are getting.  China might say they are ticking along at 6.6% but the reality is companies are going bust, banks are probably bankrupt feeding off zombie Government loans and the rich are trying to find ways of getting their money out before the crackdown begins in earnest. We have been living off China's growth spurt for 20 years and it's all juddering to a stop. Trump's tarrif wars were probably the straw that broke the camel's back but not the symptom.

Is there a safe place to go right now?  I see Dyson is decamping to Singapore.  But then again they are welcome to them.  Everyone I know who has owned one has had to replace them.  My 'Henry' vacuum is 20 years old and still sucks fine.  I guess in the UK every company is looking for that safe haven but before you go, there’s still 65 million people in the UK who might need a new vacuum or car, fridge, home. Just not right now whilst our elite bicker and play games with our livelihoods. Jan23rd we reached the highest employment figures in the UK for decades. Note it as the high-water mark - a terrible reckoning is coming unless....

There used to be a better future than this.

© Sam North - Editor Jan 28th 2019
author of 'Another Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles'

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