Can you manage?

Am I right in thinking that bad management is epidemic in this country? From what I can tell, the people who rise into management are primarily power-hungry narcissists who have NO IDEA how to manage. They can bully, they can smarm their way around people with power, they can bullshit and lie, but they cannot do the one thing they are supposed to do – help the people below them to do their jobs. Even the managers who are not narcissists only got there because they served their time at a lower level – e.g. teachers becoming headmasters – but have no management training or experience.

The largest single category of sick note issued by GPs is “mental health” and most of them are for people whose working lives have been made unbearable by nasty and/or incompetent managers.

It’s time we started some kind of rebellion against the management class and refuse to obey them until they become worthy of our respect.


When people get a virus, not all of them develop symptoms. Some of them are just carriers, maybe passing the virus on to others. Some viruses and parasites cause the infected host to behave differently. For example, Toxoplasma Gondii infects cats. If a rat gets infected, it will stop being afraid of cats, thus making it more likely that it will be eaten by, and thus infect, a cat. There’s nothing magic about this, it’s just evolution.

If we want to be healthier, we would do well to reduce infections by viruses and parasites. It is not usually necessary to take action against the individuals who are infected, although in extreme cases like ebola, they do have to be kept in isolation. We can try to reduce transmission by reducing exposure and by increased hygiene. We can also use science to help develop vaccines and medicine to attack the virus directly.

Let me put it another way.

When people become religious, not all of them become homicidal or even just nasty. Some religions cause the infected individual to change their behaviour, for example Mormons become more likely to knock on your door, looking for vulnerable people to convince, thus spreading the infection.

If we want to be healthier, we would do well to reduce infection by the religion virus. It is not usually necessary to take action against the individuals who are infected, although in extreme cases they do have to be kept in prison or asylums to try and stop them killing others. We can reduce transmission by reducing exposure (e.g. we could close all faith schools). We can also use science to prove that the claims made by religions are false.

In this way we can try to protect ourselves against the awful consequences of faith.


My Facebook page is spammed by people I know who actually seem to believe that this time Labour will be champions of all that is fair and just. I find it incredible.

This is the party that took £1 million from Bernie Ecclestone so that he could carry on advertising tobacco in Formula 1. This is the party whose MPs were knee-deep in the expenses scandal. This is the party who lied to the country, and despite over 90% of the people being opposed, took us to war in 2003. And then when their lies were exposed, they tried to rebrand the war as, ironically, restoring democracy in Iraq.

The News of the World had the decency to disband after they were publicly shamed. But Labour know no shame, they are sociopathic liars and cheats with no remorse. It saddens me to see how many people that I know are being fooled yet again.

General Election

So they trigger Article 50 and then call an election to try wash their hands of Brexit.

The worst thing is, millions of people in Britain DO NOT WANT BREXIT and yet, unless you live in Scotland, you will not have a single candidate to vote for who is standing on a “stop Brexit” ticket. Even the Greens are in on it. And they call this a democracy?!?

So, yet again, I’ll be reduced to spoiling my ballot paper.

Antinatalism 1

It seems that most people regard having children as a topic that should never be questioned and can get rather touchy when it is.

This is because they know, deep down, that they have no good reason for having children and are probably ill-equipped for the task.

Their real reasons are selfishness and a craving for narcissistic supply and their preparation for the job of rearing a fragile, psychologically vulnerable person is generally nil.

The arrogance is breathtaking.

Bad Santa

Lots of people tell kids that Santa brings them gifts. This is a BAD thing. Lying is bad, and lying to children just adds to the disgrace of it. But there’s another reason that I think it’s bad. Teaching children that Santa exists is an evil psychological ploy designed to create a template in a child’s brain that can later be used to easily print christianity right into that brain. Individual parents may not think that’s what they’re doing, I’m arguing that they are unwitting dupes.

Santa is just a junior jesus, designed to prepare a child’s mind to fit jesus in the way that a shoe-stretcher is designed to mould a shoe to fit a bigger foot. It’s a way to get them into believing in something that doesn’t exist and to buy into the whole idea of believing in something that doesn’t exist, to get rewarded for it and to belong to those in the know.

Santa is evil.

I, Daniel Blake

The message of this film is, if you are an honest working person who finds themselves out of work, you will find yourself in a battle with a bureaucracy that will set out to make it so frustrating and degrading for you to claim any benefit that you will give up. And if you don’t give up, they will crush you anyway.

What irritated me about this film is that this is not a new message, this is 30 or 40 years too late. Where has Ken Loach been all this time? There’s nothing new here that ordinary people don’t already know. And the worst thing is, the film does a very good job of informing us how hopeless our position is, thereby helping to achieve exactly the same thing that the bureaucracy is trying to achieve: deterring us from claiming.

There is one moment of rebellion in the film, which sadly comes to nothing. If Ken Loach had really wanted to rattle the establishment, he might have considered making a film in which rebellion is not doomed, in which rebels are heroes and which leaves us feeling inspired to fight this dictatorship of the bureaucracy.

Christmas is rubbish

Why do people like Christmas?

That’s a rhetorical question. I don’t expect I’ll ever understand and I’m not sure anyone else does.

The music. Not only is it horrible, it starts two months before the event and is poisoning the air in every shop you go in. It’s unbearable.

Sentimentality. There are versions of “a christmas carol” on every tv channel, endless xmas movies about santa, magic and the so-called xmas spirit. Why? And if it’s so good to believe in all that, why are we not extolling its virtues all year round?

Family. One of the things that people seem to both like and hate about xmas is seeing family members. I know there’s a genetic explanation for why we feel some obligation to our blood relatives, but I don’t find that sufficient to explain why people choose to spend hours with people who just annoy them.

Shopping, traffic. If I just want to get a loaf of bread I have to fight my way through an army of greed-zombies. It can take hours.

Religion. The likelihood is that Jesus never existed, and if he did it’s very unlikely that he was born on December 25th. And even if he was, most of the people ‘celebrating’ xmas have no interest in christianity whatsoever. So… what are they doing, exactly?

Gifts. We all know people who pre-arrange what gifts will be exchanged. It can’t just be me that sees the utter pointlessness of that. If I want some aftershave, I can just go buy it – and I don’t need it wrapped up. Preferably at a time when the orgy of consumerism is not in full swing.

Cards. If I wanted a list of people that I’m unlikely to see again but felt like regularly sending a token of pseudo-contact, I’d invent Facebook.

Hypocrisy. I don’t celebrate xmas. People who do often confide in me that they don’t like any of this crap either.

The death of democracy

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. (Winston Churchill)

First Brexit, now Trump. Proof, if any were needed, that “democracy” as we know it does not serve the best interests of life on Earth.
We have all been told over and over and over again throughout our lives that democracy is to be highly prized. Consequently the belief in democracy in the west goes largely unquestioned. I think it’s time to take a critical look.
The democracy we are urged to believe in generally consists in voting every four years to appoint or remove a leader. So the first question is, are our leaders actually our leaders? If they are truly in power, then we could reasonably say that our version of democracy is really just a choice of two dictators. If, as many believe, our leaders are merely the puppets of a hidden power elite, then our version of democracy is a cynical sham and voting is merely the mechanism by which the political system fools people into supporting it. The reality probably lies somewhere between the two positions: politicians do have some power, but there are other loci of power – the so called “checks and balances” system. The judiciary, the press, the aristocracy, the wealthy, the military and so on all act to create a kind of political equilibrium. So, at best, voting for political leaders can replace personnel in only one part of the system.
As far back as I can remember, politicians have proven again and again to be corrupt and dishonest – or worse, megalomaniacal, genocidal ideologues. It surprises me that some people still have hope that politicians, usually the Democrats or Labour, can lead us on to better things, despite all the evidence to the contrary. This hope, this faith, beautiful though it may be, looks to me like a weakness that politicians cynically exploit by making promises they have no intention of keeping simply in order to fool us into voting for them. They don’t want our votes so that they can make the world a better place, they want them so that they can get their snouts in the trough. Politicians are sociopathic, ruthless, self-serving liars.
Personally, I don’t want sociopathic people in positions of power. I think the old saying “if you didn’t vote, you can’t complain” is dead wrong. If you DID vote you can’t complain – it was YOU who put these sociopaths into power.
One of the best changes I think we could make to our political system is to require all candidates in elections to be qualified for the job they’re applying for. I’d suggest a combined course in history, economics and philosophy plus a psychometric test to make sure they don’t have a personality disorder.
Now I’d like to turn my attention to voters. As Bertrand Russell said, “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widely spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.” The fact that a majority hold a view does not tell us whether that view is correct or wise. Even if politicians, once elected, represented the views of the majority who elected them (which they don’t – think of Blair’s invasion of Iraq), a two-party system leads to a dictatorship by the majority. The establishment control the media, the media tells voters what the issues are and what to think about them and does so in the most manipulative and dishonest way. We all like to think we can make our own minds up and maybe we could, if we had the truth. Sadly, we’ll never get that.
I don’t want to be subject to dictatorship by the majority, especially when that majority is the victim of a deliberate campaign of thought control and misinformation. We already prevent children from voting because they don’t know enough to make an informed decision. I’d like to change the criteria from “over 18” to “adequately informed”. Thus, the second best change I think we could make to our political system is to introduce a voting license. In order to vote, you have to have a license. In order to have a license, you have to pass a test. Like driving, we don’t want just anyone let loose when the consequences are potentially dangerous. To qualify as a voter, we might expect people to have a knowledge of history, economics and philosophy and some proven ability to see through propaganda.
In the end we might finally have some justifiable hope that politicians, with some idea what they are doing, are elected by people, who have some idea what to vote for, to take some of the positions of power within a system of checks and balances.

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