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Arsenal, the Apprentice, and the Rioters

September 16, 2011

I got involved in bit of a twitter debate (twit-bate?) with a fellow Arsenal fan recently about what the causes of the riots were.

My main twittering subject (twit-subj?) is Arsenal and this is mainly, as you might expect if you were bothered about these things, about the porous nature of the Arsenal defence; the perdu nature of the Arsenal midfield and the piss-poor Arsenal attack. Apart from these minor details Arsenal are of course number 1!

Anyway the twit-subj on this occasion was my twit-chums assertion that the riots had been caused by the liberal media,the Guardian, the Independent and the BBC who have pandered to scum and that this has been the way society had evolved since 60s. My view was that the cause is rampant materialism and the me-culture and the monetarist greed is good , no such thing as society, everyone’s in it for themselves and that’s ok philosophy bestowed by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

We did agree (twit-gree?)  that the rioters needed a slap.  Me because they were anti-social louts who need a lesson in being good members of the community and my twit-chum cos they are scum.  I did feel righteously socialist about being angry but was irritated by various lefty commentators going on about it all being about poverty and unemployment. To me burning down next doors house or work place isn’t what Che had in mind.

Anyway around about the same time The Apprentice Tv show had reached its end. The series was as ever very entertaining but I did get worried about whether the contestants were representative of  young entrepreneurs these days. Because they all had a mean streak as long as the Nile. A lot of them professed this  ruthless, ambitious, focussed, gonna get what i want, screw everyone else in Business, philosophy, and would turn on each other under the slightest pressure and especially in the Boardroom. Sir Alan loved it of course, he even saw it as positive seeing lauding one of the contestants as “a tiger, she fighting to win”.

It’s all very Thatcherite to my mind, just like the rioters.

More recently we had the economist Bridget Rosewell, and others telling us that the 50p income tax rate was hitting Britain’s tax competitiveness.

“This is a damaging tax which will deter investment and deter growth”, she said.

“This actually hits, and has an effect on the incentives to, people who can create jobs and who can make the kind of investments that we need.”

At the same time of course we have pay cuts, pay freezes, benefits cuts and cuts to services which the poor rely on.

The message being you incentivise those who have a lot by giving them more. You incentivise those who have little by giving them less.

It is of course the super rich, the bankers and investors who have crippled the world economic system. it wasn’t the public sector or the Guardian. It is those people who Bridget thinks need to be given more money, who’ve taken already billions of euros, dollars, pounds, yen and any other currency going, in bailouts, and yet haven’t created much growth that I can see anywhere.

No doubt the nasty little business people who feature on the Apprentice want to be just like the super rich who wrecked the economy and who Bridget wants to give some more cash to. They have that ruthless ambition, that tigerish win at all costs mentality, compete or die.  Unrestrained greed.

Just like the rioters.

None of which will help Arsenal tomorrow against Blackburn….

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