Tag Archives: grifters

Diary Blog, 7 February 2023

Afternoon music

[painting by Roman Bozhkov]

On this day a year ago

Tweets seen

…and the main reason that “Jack Monroe” is not “poor” is because (as of today) 498 utter mugs are still each sending her between £3.50 and £44 a month in cash; tens of thousands of pounds per month in toto.

This is an idea I have discussed in the past on the blog: Russia to absorb the part of Ukraine (about or nearly half, ignoring Crimea) which lies east of the Dnieper river; the present regime in Kiev to move to Lvov and rule from there the west and southwest of Ukraine.

Kiev is a problem, lying as it does on the Dnieper. It is historically bound to Russia (after all, Ukraine as a state only goes back to 1991), but its status is unlikely to be agreed upon. Its (pre-war) population of 3M is about 8% or more of the whole population of the Ukraine.; it is the 7th-biggest city in Europe.

More music

More tweets

If you have not worked out yet that Paul Mason (part-Jew, and part of the System propaganda output) is not anything other than a fake “revolutionary” or “radical”, then look again. Yes, he wants Labour to increase defence spending, now that the NWO project in Ukraine is ongoing

Not that I oppose defence spending, in principle, but it matters what it is for…

Late tweets seen

I may be wrong but suspect that tweeter “@FauxArmz” is one of the many “Jack Monroe” “sock accounts”.

Quite. I have blogged about that case previously, and more than once. Katie Hopkins was very silly and (like quite a few people) think that money spent on (good) legal advice is wasted…

As for “Jack Monroe” and her self-publicizing solicitor, see (eg) https://ianrobertmillard.org/2019/01/11/update-re-mark-lewis-lawyer-questions-are-raised/.

The mere fact that someone as stupid, uncultured, and (in any real sense) uneducated as Liz Truss could hold the status, first as Foreign Secretary (under “Boris”-idiot), then actually as (or posing as) Prime Minister, should tell us very directly how broken the whole political and governmental system of the UK has become. The same is true when you look at her Chancellor of the Exchequer, Woollyhead Trussbanger (Kwasi Kwarteng).

Late music

[Stalingrad 1943]

Diary Blog, 22 January 2023

Morning music

[Rome: the ruins of the Forum]

On this day a year ago

On the blog five years ago

Though my prediction for the next general election (2019) was wrong (I thought hung Parliament or small-majority Labour win), in my defence I can say that that election did not, in the event, happen until almost 2 years after the blog was posted (blog— January 2018, but General Election— December 2019). I think that the rest of the assessment has held up quite well.

Peter Hitchens

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-11661589/PETER-HITCHENS-Sending-Ukraine-tanks-turn-Europe-one-big-radioactive-graveyard.html.

This was the moment at which we began the unstoppable descent into terrible danger which so many of us will bitterly regret in times to come.

I won’t waste time here going over the question of who started the Ukraine war, or even why. Most people don’t want to know and refuse to think about it, or to look up the facts. They defame and abuse anyone who tries to tell them. So to hell with that.

When the Defence Secretary announced that British tanks were going to Ukraine, not one MP raised any doubts or opposed the move. Not one. To read the record of the non-debate is like reading the proceedings of some Communist fake parliament, supine and brain-dead.

The country where political freedom was born has decided not to bother being free any more.

So it is left to me to tell you that it is an act of grave stupidity for the West to supply Ukraine with modern tanks. Unlike everyone else in the media and politics, I am not a military expert. But I know what tanks are for, and it is not defence.

What we have just decided to do is to prolong and deepen the war. Maybe Ukraine’s new tanks will sweep all before them. Maybe they will bog down. Maybe they will try to take Crimea. Maybe they will soon be taking part in a Victory Parade in Red Square. I don’t know. But if they cross into what Russia regards as its own territory, then do not be surprised by anything which happens.

...there is the real possibility that a large chunk of Europe might be turned into a radioactive graveyard and that American conventional retaliation for this (which will be furious and powerful) will take us a stage further into the world of horror, loss, flight, pestilence and poverty which always follows war.”

[Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday].

Exactly.

The Cold War was frozen, formalized, mutual aggression. The world came close to disaster more than once, but the situation was at least stable. That was hard on the peoples of occupied Central and Eastern Europe, caged by the “Big Three” agreements of the WW2 period (Casablanca, Teheran, Yalta, Potsdam), but actually life there was not always and everywhere terrible— just worse (usually, mostly) and —overall— less free than in the (better parts of) Western Europe and North America.

That was better than nuclear war across Europe, the Soviet Union, and the USA.

The gradual collapse of socialism in the 1956-1989 period of 33 years meant that one of the two main pillars of that stasis collapsed, meaning that outside socio-economic and other forces could start to flow into what had been Soviet territory..

Without Soviet power in place, the whole Soviet system fell apart quite quickly. By 1991, the Soviet Union was history. Western goods and ideas flooded Russia and the newly-liberated or created states. Ukraine was, for the first time in history, an independent state (a simplification, but basically correct).

Instead of a genuine attempt to help Russia and other former components of Sovietism transition to a better society, there was a scramble to rule over Russia, and to exploit its people, taken part in not only by Jewish (yes, and other) interests in the West but also by Jews inside Russia, the so-called “oligarchs”. Some, such as Boris Berezovsky, have died (probably murdered, despite living in the UK), others have increased their security and moved permanently to the UK, USA, Israel etc.

I myself saw elements of that scramble, not only when I first visited Moscow in 1993, and not only in my year in Kazakhstan (1996-97) but also in other ways, e.g. by my sitting (1995-1996) on the Committee of the Central Asia and Transcaucasia Law Association [CATLA], a body set up by large law firms with interests in the post-Soviet states, with UK Government assistance.

Also later, when back in London, in the Caribbean, and elsewhere.

On the foreign policy side, the “New World Order” [“NWO”] tried to take over Russia, and nearly did so when Yeltsin was President. What prevented it was a combination of circumstances: Russian pushback fuelled by wounded pride, Putin taking over as President, the collapse of the dotcom bubble in the West, and the focus of the NWO shifting to its other major interest, i.e. destroying the states hostile to Israel; that was after the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001.

The military aid being given has gone from small items of defensive “kit” (in the British military term) to large items of offensive armament, as Hitchens writes. There are few weapons more aggressive in offence than a tank.

I recall being at a CATLA meeting in London in late 1995 or early 1996 when an account was given of a report that day by telephone from Dushanbe, Tadzhikistan, then the epicentre of a civil war. The report had had to be curtailed because the person on the end of the line had suddenly said “I’m going— a tank has just come round the corner.” End of conversation.

As I recently blogged, 14 British tanks may not be much, but the Zelensky regime is all but demanding that other European states provide 300. Still a small number compared with those in action in 1943 at Kursk (over 8,000 tanks in total); however, in Egypt, Rommel’s initial advance on Alexandria involved about 300 German tanks.

The point is that the war is now getting to the point where, in the absence of a ceasefire or negotiated settlement, the Russians either have to recruit, train and deploy an army vast enough and powerful enough to overwhelm the forces of the Kiev regime in 2023, or go nuclear (whether tactical or even strategic).

The USA and UK (etc) are getting to the point where they might be seen as actual participants in the war.

Leaving the huge forces (mainly American) of NATO aside, there is no way for the Kiev regime to win this. Ukraine is becoming a country without electricity, it has little functioning industry now, 20% of its population has fled to other states, and its population is anyway a fraction of the size of that of Russia.

If the West (NWO/ZOG) does not stop supporting the Kiev regime, we are on and sliding down a slope which might well devastate all of Europe.

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kursk.

Jack Monroe scandal

I shall believe that when she stops taking people’s money, particularly from those who have little to start with, and/or those who are vulnerable (even if they are utter mugs to send “Jack Monroe” anything at all).

Seems that the tweets referred to have been deleted (another habit of the “Bootstrap Cook”).

Another poor and/or financially-struggling “Jack Monroe” fan? Oh, no, wait…a dim-seeming librarian from the University of Bedfordshire (is there such a university? Maybe there is). She has obviously not seen any of the voluminous evidence against her idol.

A good description. Worthy of a social anthropologist, perhaps a bit —in manner— like David Attenborough, but specializing in Essex “grifters”.

Quite funny seeing all these terribly “concerned” and virtue-signalling women (mostly women), who are, unwittingly, simply advertizing their lack of nous.

…so tweets a total loony (another “not quite all there” “Jack Monroe” fanatic).

Yes. I recall “Jack Monroe” doing the same or similar about 4 months ago, around the time when I published my (entirely fair, but far too kind, as it turned out) assessment of her: see https://ianrobertmillard.org/2022/09/30/diary-blog-30-september-2022-including-an-assessment-of-jack-monroe-aka-the-bootstrap-cook/.

There is no incentive for “Jack Monroe” to pause or stop her Patreon “grift”. After months of criticism and evidence presented, there are, as of today, still 635 utter mugs sending her money, between about £2,500 a month and about £30,000 a month (probably about £6,000 pcm). Why would she stop taking it? Certainly not because a few have threatened a small claim in the County Court. Those few can be paid off easily enough.

If other mugs donate via other channels, then “Jack Monroe” can simply say (or not even bother to say) “thank you very much” and keep the cash, using it for her own purposes, as she has done.

More music

More tweets seen

[“Revenge— get down there where you wanted to send me, you unclean spirit!“]

Ha ha! The presumption of the girl there is incredible. Trying to grift a living as an “online influencer” or something, like thousands of others, from “Jack Monroe” and Owen Jones, through Julia Grace Patterson and others of that type, and right down to “who she?” types like the one in that tweet. She should get a job in a bottling plant or something (at least until robots take over completely).

Britain used to be a country that did things, real things, and had people at all levels who, many of them, were solid, even in the House of Commons etc. Now look…

Men (and women) of straw are now around in huge numbers and, if they were just to “disappear”, not only would I not care but in fact would actually applaud their removal.

Ha. Well put.

More tweets

It is truly incredible to see just how gullible so many of these “concerned” women are, the “Jack Monroe” partisans. She has been repeating those behaviours for years— angrily snarling and threatening, then pretending to stomp off from Twitter and/or pretending to have one of a whole host of physical and/or mental conditions, then claiming to have been “bullied” or “forced off Twitter”, after which she returns within a day or two (and counts up her new donations).

Yes, many rather unstable people who somehow imagine that by at least tweeting in support of “Bootstrap Cook”, they are striking a blow against the hated “Tories”. No so. The “Jack Monroe” assertion “I can feed someone on about 61p a day” (literally what she claims, feeding a family of four for £20 a week), plays into the idea that “welfare” (social security) benefits are perfectly adequate, or even too generous.

“Jack Monroe” now knows that, however outlandish her tall tales are, hundreds if not thousands of utter mugs will believe them all, and will think her a kind of saintly warrior against poverty and injustice, no matter what obvious lies she posts.

She has claimed, ludicrously, to have been involved with fighting the fire at Grenfell Tower, to have been in high-level discussions about Government inflation statistics, to have been so poor that she had to unscrew lightbulbs to save on electricity, and that she boiled down soap to make shower gel (!). All surely, plainly, lies, obviously so to any but the totally deluded, yet her often-mentally afflicted fans lap it up, either believing the lies, or believing that they somehow do not matter.

I agree with tweeter “Littlegiteshob”. It is absolutely incredible how stupid and guillible many are.

Look at that “@tomcheater”. Does not know what day it is.

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The French love massive demonstrations, but such events rarely change anything, not on their own.

When did huge marches in the UK change anything? A million marched against war in Iraq. Result— nothing. A couple of hundred thousand marched against “austerity”. Result— nothing.

So long as “Jack Monroe” has 635 utter mugs sending her a total of anywhere between £2,500 and £30,000 a month, I doubt whether she will feel any pressure to get a job. In any case, it is hard to imagine the kind of job for which she might be qualified, even leaving aside her alleged drug and drink problems, and her peculiar mentality.

Some tweeters are enraged that “Jack Monroe” has (for the umpteenth time) used by faked (probably faked, allegedly faked) physical illness or feared illness, and also mental illness including suicide hints, to garner sympathy, deflect from her fraudulent or near-fraulent “grifting”, and collect even more money from naive people on Twitter etc: see below

Why tweeter “@Calderpeople” thinks that “Jack Monroe” has no money any more, I have no idea. After all, the 635 Patreon mugs are still presumably paying up, and the Thrifty Kitchen book is out, though I suspect not selling well; I believe around 400 copies, including Kindle, per week. I may be slightly out, but think that each sale gets the authoress about £1, though possibly less, possibly more. See https://www.societyofauthors.org/Where-We-Stand/buying-choices/How-do-authors-get-paid.

That is on a price of £9.99 for the hardback, the original cover price of £19.99 having been abandoned, in effect.

I do think that the msm has almost dropped “Jack Monroe” now. I notice that, apart from the Independent, the newspapers have not much covered the release of the book; a few fairly low-circulation magazines have.

This, from 2020, made me laugh: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7925127/This-Morning-viewers-slam-food-writer-Jack-Monroes-three-meals-5.html.

I was surprised to see how small she is, even up against the TV people, who are not giants:

Was someone that tiny really trained (for a while), and as she claims, as a firefighter? To me, that seems very doubtful.

“Anthea Rogers” (possibly “Jack Monroe” in disguise) weighs in:

“Jack Monroe” and cocaine

A word about the alleged cocaine abuse by the “Bootstrap Cook”: I find it interesting that (until recently) she was being supported publicly by the Jewish TV cook, Nigella Lawson, and by the (also Jewish) food critic Jay Rayner, as well as by Tom Parker Bowles (food writer, and son of Queen Camilla).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigella_Lawson; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Rayner; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Parker_Bowles.

I have never seen any suggestion that Jay Rayner is a cocaine abuser, despite his playing jazz piano with his own Rayner Quartet.

Having said that, I now see:

Also, he was expelled from school over cannabis use: see https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/news/jay-rayner-pilloried-in-public-over-school-suspension-for-drug-use-39222774.html.

As for Nigella Lawson, she has admitted that she has (“in the past”) abused cocaine and other drugs on a number of occasions (read “regularly“?).

Then we have Tom Parker Bowles. God knows what Brigadier Parker-Bowles, his father (who was Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry and Silver-Stick-in-Waiting to the late Queen Elizabeth), thinks of his son’s choice of career. Not that it is inherently bad, and it must be lucrative, but I wonder all the same whether there is parental disappointment.

Tom Parker Bowles has admitted being a cocaine abuser: see https://www.theguardian.com/drugs/Story/0,2763,207412,00.html; and also (“in the past”), a drug supplier or dealer: see https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/6635934.camillas-son-drugs-supplier/.

With these blots on humanity, it is always “occasionally” or “in the past“, nicht wahr?

So all three? Or just two? Still, “two out of three ain’t bad” [Meatloaf].

Interesting co-incidence, though, even in this decadent and degenerate society.

Late music

Diary Blog, 9 January 2023

Morning music

[Akademgorodok in winter]

On this day a year ago

The Harry Formerly Known as Prince

Caught a few minutes of the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme. Some talk about “Harry” and Meghan Mulatta etc. The programme played a short part of an interview with the self-exiled former “royal”. His self-delusion is patent, saying that “the whole world” is waiting to hear from “the Palace” in reply to his accusations.

The idiot obviously thinks that the tawdry soap opera involving him and Meghan Mulatta is centre-stage in the world, whereas in reality it is just a side issue, a kind of entertainment for the masses in the UK and USA etc.

I really think that he has burned his boats now. He has become more or less a ventriliquist’s dummy; when he speaks, 90% of what is said is what the Mulatta wants to have said. Pathetic over-privileged idiot.

Tweets seen

Hardly anything is working properly in the UK. That has in fact been the case for years, but now more people are noticing. The System is determined to destroy everything worthwhile, so that a kind of semi-dictatorship (ruling over a mixed-race population) can be instituted. The Coudenhove-Kalergi Plan.

“They” must be worming their way back in. (((they))).

“Jack Monroe”

She worked in the NHS for about a year or so as a junior doctor, but now just makes money online by selling stuff and getting donations, tapping into the public concern about the NHS really not working properly. A crazed facemask fanatic too (she made money selling facemasks, and forced her young son to wear one even when walking in the park). Rather unpleasant.

As I have often said previously, never trust a medical doctor who is primarily a socio-political activist.

Keywords? “Swill“, “dog’s dinner“, “inedible”, “horrible-looking“; “unhealthy” etc. My keywords, more direct than those actually used in the above-mentioned review.

More tweets seen

I rarely mention my family or living relatives on the blog, but I shall make an exception, pro bono publico.

Both my younger brothers, one in the London area, one in Sydney, Australia, had themselves “vaccinated”, and I think one at least may have been “boosted” at least once if not twice. Neither had previously had heart problems. Both have now had to have heart bypass operations, one being a triple bypass. Both were suddenly afflicted, both had to be taken into hospital urgently (last year).

Both are now OK, but, in my opinion, the events cannot be mere co-incidence, i.e. that they both developed serious heart probems after having been “vaccinated”.

Incidentally, their ways of life and diet are very divergent, one (in the UK) eating a healthy diet, the other an unregenerate old-time Australian one consisting largely of steak and booze, with scarcely a vegetable in sight.

As for me, I refused the “vaccine” several times in 2020-2021, thank God, and have no heart problems; neither (as far as I know) have I had “Covid”, though there was a period of a few weeks last year when I had a terrible flu-type ailment, and difficulty breathing at times. Maybe that was it. I rarely get anything like that, and when I do, it usually goes within a day or two. My only medication, BTW, was the odd Lemsip, with top-grade Manuka honey.

More music

More tweets

I was just looking at the latest “Jack Monroe” supporters on Twitter:

Much the same as previously: retired or near-retired minor academics, a soft-headed C. of E. vicar, marketing bods, IT bods (mostly retired), “retired HR marketing lady“, “artist“, “retired maths teacher“, “interdisciplinary researcher…lecturer, University of Kent“, “Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing Strategist“, “retired lab technician“, “widower and drum nut“, “Anti-racism. Anti-fascism. Pro LBGTQi. Pro-Choice. He/His. #BLM Fuck TERFs.“, “Francophile“, “Founder + CEO :@CareersWeek |@NCWUganda |@NCWGhana |@NCW_Foundation |@Green__Careers“, “makes films/writes things/proudly dyspraxic“, “Full prof./cis white woman“, “craft, nature, 90s music, musicals, books, chocolate, coffee, mushrooms, proud child/dog mum, mediocre business analyst“, “writer who loves to cook and travel“, “CEO Western Biological Labs in Monterey, but a citizen of the world with a base in UK [probable parody account]”, “Arts reviews, views, and opinions“, “golfer and retired maths teacher“, “Retired Chartered Engineer. ‘Citizen of nowhere’. Probably woke“, “retired company director” [etc].

In other words, mostly people over 50, with many over 60; quite a few rather loony-sounding types as well, but what leaps out is, as far as one can see, a complete absence of anyone young (under 30), an almost-complete absence of anyone under 40, a complete absence of anyone likely to be “poor” or “working class”, and a complete absence, it seems, of anyone from any recognizable ethnic minority.

The conclusion —as when blogged before re. this— is that the “Jack Monroe” supporters are basically “middle-class” virtue-signallers, most of whom probably read the Guardian and/or Observer, most of whom at least think of themselves as well-meaning, and socially conscious, most of whom seriously think that “Labour”-label would be very different from “Conservative”-label.

If I had to guess, I should imagine that most if not all the pro “Jack Monroe” crowd support the UK rejoining the EU, support the Kiev regime of the Jew Zelensky, support the facemask-wearing nonsense, support the toxic “vaccines”, support the “refugees welcome” migration-invasion (and of course they cannot see —or will not see— how mass immigration impacts pay, benefits, NHS, social services, transport, schools, and housing); they no doubt support the “LGBTQXYZ” and “trans” stuff too.

More tweets

I think that those claiming that they were cheated by “Jack Monroe” should take legal action in the Small Claims Track of the County Court. Limited (or no) liability for costs if not successful, but every chance of success (on the facts as put out on Twitter anyway). Perhaps with damages expressly limited to £1,000. No need to pay out for solicitors and/or Counsel.

It would also ensure much Press coverage, quite likely not very favourable to the so-called “Bootstrap Cook”…

[me, 30+ years ago, in 1992]

Caveat: now that I am no longer a barrister (see https://ianrobertmillard.org/2017/07/09/the-slide-of-the-english-bar-and-uk-society-continues-and-accelerates/), and it having been some 15 years since I was last in court, any “advice” I give (meaning mere opinions and/or observations) must come with a “non-governmental health warning”. Naturally I do not keep up with law and procedure as would a barrister still practising.

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In fact, if anyone wants to give a little cheer to someone genuinely poor/struggling, that lady “@frugally_minded” has a crowdfunder: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/heather-booth-3?utm_term=Gde7678Nq

Only when the MPs who are enabling the migration-invasion face consequences themselves will anything even start to be done to stop and reverse the invasion.

They are not “Romanians“, though, but backward “Roma” Gypsies; something completely different. Non-Europeans, albeit with Romanian or other passports.

Late music

Diary Blog, 8 January 2023

Morning music

On this day a year ago

Jack Monroe

There does not seem much else to say, but the backwash from the storm continues.

“Jack Monroe” herself has gone for the main chance, meaning a general “I’m sort-of sorry but will not/cannot refund anyone“, combined with a plea consisting of “I’m not really guilty of anything, because I am sort-of mentally-disturbed, ex-alcoholic, maybe ex-cocaine abuser, with a huge number of physical and mental problems (self-diagnosed autistic, ADHD, arthritic etc), as well as sort-of lesbian, sort-of ‘trans’, sort-of single mother, as well as a ‘shopaholic’, and anyway have spent all the money I took from people [cheated out of well-meaning mugs]”.

I suppose that the hard-core “Jack Monroe” fans will buy all or some of that, and that the 600+ utter mugs funding her lifestyle via the Patreon website will very likely continue to do that, even as she openly mocks them.

Damage to the septum?

Tweeter “@cashandcarrots” is another one who seems to believe that “Jack Monroe” has done things that “help the poorest and most disadvantaged in society” rather than nothing except help herself (literally).

What? What exactly has she done, when you strip away the virtue-signalling on social media and in the msm? Nothing.

“@cashandcarrots””Michelle” really cannot accept that she and others have been conned by a cunning and manipulative woman entirely out for herself. Even has to pretend that one of the staunchest critics of “Jack Monroe”, “@TruthSignalUK” is somehow part of a [non-existent] “trolling” conspiracy (why would he be, though?).

“@WivFunnyFarm” has evidently bought the “I’m unwellexculpa.

That Bleasdale person tweets all sorts of rubbish. His tweet about the “Bootstrap Cook” is a good example of entirely false logic, i.e. presenting a false choice.

Relentless advocacy for people on the breadline“? Not really. She mostly tweets and sends other online messages about herself, mixed with a bit of typical Twitter “I hate the Tories” stuff (I feel similarly about the “Conservatives”, to put it simplistically; but I also “hate” the “Labour” hypocrites). “Jack Monroe” also constantly messages or tweets with a subtext of “please send me money“.

I wonder whether the loonies and mugs sending money regularly to “Jack Monroe” will ever wake up to the fact that she despises them and mocks them?

As for the “Bootstrap Cook” herself, what are her talents? Not cooking, that’s for sure, looking at the swill that seems to be the bulk of her cuisine.

There is nothing wrong with being well-meaning, as tweeter “@PaulOnBooks” seems to be, but that has to go in tandem with an objective outlook. We are enjoined to be “as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves“. Both.

Good advice is never, or only very rarely, to trust a medical doctor who is primarily a socio-political activist.

More “Jack Monroe” lies, it appears.

“Jack Monroe” has a number, perhaps a large number, of Twitter “sock accounts”, many of which tweet “supportive” messages to her main account. Her level of dishonesty is incredible.

Whatever her problems are, they never get in the way of taking people for as much money as possible.

More music

The heavy brigade

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11610889/A-quarter-Britains-soldiers-classed-dangerously-overweight-past-five-years.html

More tweets seen

[“Don’t damage my necklace, Wills!”]

Whatever one may think of Peron and his wives, the fact is that political leadership is only one factor, albeit perhaps the most important, in whether a country is rich or poor (either overall as a country and notionally per capita, or in terms of how much that wealth is actually spread among the population).

Argentina was once a very wealthy country, certainly. Uruguay too. In fact, right up to the 1950s, Uruguay was one of the most prosperous countries in the world. A number of factors changed that.

There again, between 1918 and 1939, Estonia, Latvia and Czechoslovakia were very prosperous, and the citizens were, per head, much better off than the average of those in, say, the UK, France, or most other states. That changed mainly though not solely because of political changes and invasions, notably the Second World War and Soviet invasion (1940, and later 1944, in the case of the Pribaltika states; 1945 in the case of Czechoslovakia), Germany having also effectively occupied them during most of the war years.

Cuba was, economically, once a vibrant economy, albeit suffused with corruption and inequality. Castro’s socialist regime killed the economy. His decision to replace mixed farming with, mostly, a sugar monoculture (in the 1960s) worked up to a point, so long as the Soviet Union paid over the odds for sugar (and whatever else Cuba could export) but resulted in total collapse when the hidden subsidy was removed in the early 1990s.

Likewise, Cuba’s socialist experiment resulted in an end to development in the residential housing sector. Today, Havana and much of Cuba is falling to pieces, and people try to grow their own food if they can.

Some people say that the Cuban system is good re. medicine and education. “Education” in the basic sense perhaps, though obviously rigid in terms of what can and cannot be taught. As to medicine, perhaps so, again in a basic way, though.

The question is whether the supposed advantages of such a system are enough to compensate, both for the poor economy largely the result of that system and also for the harshness of the system politically and in terms of civil rights.

Russia before 1914 was arguably the fastest-growing economy in the world. War (lost war) and then civil war and political upheavals, followed by the socialist system —especially under Stalin from about 1928— weakened, and also distorted the economy. Collectivization, prioritization of heavy industry etc.

I recall reading the memoirs of the self-publicizing Jew Armand Hammer [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armand_Hammer]; Hammer— Witness to History. He operated businesses in agreement with the Soviet Government during the 1920s, including a concession to produce pencils.

Hammer discovered that the best pencils were produced in Bavaria. He imported to Moscow both machines and German technicians.

On returning to the Soviet Union in the 1970s or 1980s (I forget; 1970s, I think), Hammer was taken to the pencil factory, still operating. He discovered that nothing had changed: the machines were still working, a few of the original workers, now in their sixties, were still there; even his own old desk was standing unchanged in the same place.

An example of the lack of dynamic change in a socialist system.

Having said that, that same system put the first satellite into space, and created some products and programmes not seen even in the finance-capitalist West. Priorities? As Goering said in the 1930s, “Guns before butter“. That is, of course, a political choice.

Political direction is the single most important factor governing the prosperity of a country, but there are others. Where would the oil states of the Middle East be without demand for oil (and gas)? Back riding camels, almost certainly.

In their case, they have money in vast amounts despite their political and religious backwardness. There again, Europeans (and Americans, who are basically European in origin) discovered the oil and gas, extracted it, knew how to refine it, and also exported it to European and other markets. The Arabs only profited because they were there, and because they were on the cusp of the two contending Cold War cultures, neither part of the Soviet world nor the Western world.

Perhaps the best way to put it is that political leadership can assist an economy but cannot create it, whereas the wrong political direction can certainly ruin an economy, especially if that direction is too rigid. See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_threefolding.

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Damning…

[https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/author/andylynes]

Peak Twitter? Some “IT bod” from darkest Northamptonshire, one James Drury, tries to trash food blogger Andy Lynes, who is, inter alia, a Masterchef semi-finalist…

Ha. Very good.

From the newspapers

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2023/jan/08/meet-the-people-who-took-an-evening-class-and-changed-their-life.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/jan/08/tory-right-warns-sunak-calm-before-storm-small-boats-brexit

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2023/jan/08/what-the-love-of-cats-taught-me-about-myself

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So “Jack Monroe” cannot, by her own admission (or claim) “manage money”, she cannot cook (as far as I can see), certainly not to any kind of professional standard, and she has cheated hundreds, probably thousands, of people out of money that many can ill-afford to lose, yet the msm is still promoting her! As someone who can advise “the poor”, at that! Why?

If someone like Al Capone can pull themselves up out of difficult times…why would anyone attack that?

Some people really do not know what day it is…

Incidentally, if any reader is interested in seeing how my opinion of “Jack Monroe” has hardened in the past 3-4 months, take a look at my blog assessment posted on 30 September 2022: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2022/09/30/diary-blog-30-september-2022-including-an-assessment-of-jack-monroe-aka-the-bootstrap-cook/.

If the facts change, so does my opinion“.

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…and I mistrust anyone who is referred to as “a national treasure“…

Late music