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Life at № 42

The Magic(al thinking) Word of 2016/2017: Deal

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Bold, ambitious, Global Britain- those were some of the terms Theresa May repeated ad nauseum in today’s speech on Brexit. The most used word, however, was deal. That is undoubtedly the magic(al thinking) word of 2016/2017. Donald Trump has always been fond of it, and his very particular usage has now made its way across the Atlantic. The seed that’s been planted in the minds of people is that to make a deal means to win. Trump style- which means somebody gets screwed, and if they’re lucky a diploma from a fake university to prove it. The Tories are using deal in a quasi religious way. They’re going to sit down and do deals. Do so many deals that Britain will once again rule the world. Theresa May is even going to pursue a bold and ambitious trade deal with the European Union! Fascinating, as free trade deals with the EU mean accepting the jurisdiction of ***wait for it*** A European Court. Which is amusing as one of Mrs. May’s first goals is to remove the UK from the jurisdiction of the EU courts. The evil EU courts, well known for their many abuses, like worker’s rights and safety regulations.

 

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50 comments on “The Magic(al thinking) Word of 2016/2017: Deal

  1. Hariod Brawn
    January 17, 2017

    But you used to be such a fan of hers! So what’s changed?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was a fan of her not making a fool of herself- and hopeful she would take a reasonable approach. I certainly didn’t imagine she was going to descend into Farage-like demagoguery.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        January 17, 2017

        “It would be a very good thing for the party and for Britain. She is a fundamentally decent human being. Competent, serious and pragmatic. If I voted in Britain, my vote would go to her.”

        I suppose the old adage holds good – power corrupts? And democracy is a dangerous thing? 😉

        Like

      • You do recall the alternatives, right?

        Like

      • Hariod Brawn
        January 17, 2017

        Yes, but none were acceptable to me. 😛

        Like

      • None wasn’t an option 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      • P.S. none wasn’t an option yet. I foresee great disasters ahead. The *elitist* factory workers, junior doctors, GP’s, railway workers et al will be voting in the next elections.

        Like

      • Hariod Brawn
        January 17, 2017

        . . . and there’s not nuffink wrong wiv a double negative. 😛

        Like

      • Hariod Brawn
        January 17, 2017

        “Factory workers”, factory workers? My dear old thing, we don’t have factories over here any more, that’s so 1970s! We’re all financiers or cocaine importers nowadays. Quite often both, actually.

        Liked by 3 people

      • belasbrightideas
        January 17, 2017

        UGH. I am so dreading the 20th. The only bright hope on the horizon is that some fool has enough pluck to set himself up on a grassy knoll somewhere and use some mad skills. This morning the headlines read, ‘Trump revokes Washington Post credentials.’ And the shitshow has begun, folks. How can people be so effing blind? ‘Awww, give him a chance!’ There is no expletive that even approximates my inner response to that.

        Liked by 4 people

      • belasbrightideas
        January 17, 2017

        Oh, hi there, Pink 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      • The UK is the 11th top country in manufacture in the world.

        Like

      • Hariod Brawn
        January 17, 2017

        The UK has fallen down the world rank of manufacturing nations in the last decade or so. Having been the 5th. or 6th. biggest manufacturer in terms of total output between 1970 and 2004, the UK has, as you say, since dropped several places and now stands significantly below France and Italy. Its manufacturing sector accounted for just 11% of national output.

        Like

      • Be-Cause of which party?

        Like

      • Hariod Brawn
        January 17, 2017

        Hi Bela! At the risk of depressing you even further, then check out Emma’s piece on Trump: https://goodmarriagecentral.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/see-no-evil/ It’s lengthy, but wonderfully written, and cutting like a scalpel. Personally, I give Trump 8 months. He’s got to go, and a blind man walking past can see it. 8 months.

        Like

      • Hariod Brawn
        January 17, 2017

        Because of both parties, Pink; there’s been no significant difference twixt the two on economic policy. Global labour arbitrage, deindustrialization, deregulation and the suppression of union power was promoted under Thatcherism and Reaganomics, and has continued ever since in Britain under New Labour, the Tories, and under the Tory-LibDem coalition.

        Liked by 1 person

      • True, but the breakdown was a Thatcher ploy.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. john zande
    January 17, 2017

    And we’ve all taken another happy step into WTFland

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Steve Ruis
    January 17, 2017

    At some point, if people do not … deal … with these assholes, our misery will become perpetual. Instead of totalitarian states built ion personalities, we are allowing totalitarian states to be institutionalized so that even leaderless, the plutocrats will be in power. The US presidential election shows it does not matter who we vote for, such votes are there to legitimize the ongoing corruption. We have choices but whichever we make, the plutocrats win.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kjennings952
    January 17, 2017

    Oh Pink this is just too complicated for my little Ginger brain. Can’t you dumb it down for me? Politicians = bad. Is that right?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. appletonavenue
    January 17, 2017

    So pleased that our next (ack! I can’t type the word) ‘leader’ has had such great influence in others. Is it me, or have all the world governments/leaders gone totally bonkers? Is that what years in ‘public service’ does to people? And it’s always us little guys getting the short end.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. foolsmusings
    January 17, 2017

    If only they could have made some sort of trade deal with the EU before now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. acflory
    January 17, 2017

    @ Hariod. Reading that article about Trump made me realise something about human nature: we prefer inertia to action and ‘adapt’ to changing, negative circumstances with varying degrees of success.

    For example, we won’t do anything to stop climate change, but we will applaud those that come up with neat, technological solutions for keeping our feet from getting wet. Similarly, those who could have stopped Trump, didn’t. Now they’re either staging showy protests, or convincing themselves that he ‘won’t be that bad’.

    I know adaptation is a survival mechanism, but it depresses me that we’re so good at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hariod Brawn
      January 18, 2017

      You mean Emma’s article, I take it Meeks? We’ve all read a million analyses as to what caused the catastrophic U.S. election result, but when you say “those who could have stopped Trump, didn’t”, then given the two-party system over there their only option was to vote for Hillary. And as we all know, Hillary was ubiquitously deplored, and the DNC were arrogant and stupidly complacent, hence the electorate responded (adapted) in kind, believing the polls and media and echoing the DNC’s and establishment’s complacency. If they want to get rid of Trump now, then Bela has a proven idea, or the people currently “staging showy protests” can get themselves organised. Here’s how folks: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/ Yes, the point you make (echoing Emma in part) about adaption is very true. Bring on a sufficiently charismatic, psychopathic leader, and a good many of the people will conform; they’ll adapt to his or her mindset in groupthink. That’s why Europe’s in such a precarious position right now, along with the States. The whole thing could fall apart very quickly.

      Like

      • acflory
        January 18, 2017

        I’ve read many times that Hilary was very unpopular, but I’ve never really understood why, or perhaps the reasons given simply didn’t make sense to me. At the back of my mind I’ve always suspected that the real reason she was disliked was because she tried to do something in her own right instead of being hubby’s obedient shadow. Even progressive societies have real trouble with the idea of a woman who ‘acts’ like a man. We learned that here during Julia Gillard’s stint as PM. Attractive, warm-hearted, ‘motherly’ women are okay – e.g. Michelle Obama – but super smart, ambitious women raise hackles.

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        January 18, 2017

        Doh…and to actually answer your comment, the dislike of Hilary allowed them to overlook the real elephant in the election – i.e. Trump. He is definitely a narcissist, and also quite possibly a sociopath, but those are labels best applied by a qualified psychiatrist.
        Actually, there’s a thought. Once the US finally get rid of Trump, perhaps they could make it mandatory for the president elect to receive a proper psychiatric evaluation. Those with clinical conditiions cannot become president. Those with borderline conditions have to go back to the electoral college or something.

        Liked by 1 person

      • metan
        January 18, 2017

        The question there would be how do you develop an acceptable set of psychological rules for a leader? I doubt anyone who would fit into the most socially acceptable personality type would have the necessary traits to successfully manage a country, and if you psychoanalysed any of the great leaders of history I doubt any of those reports would have a ‘plays well with others’ conclusion.

        Alternatively, if he was the complete dick he is, but had been a democrat (as he has in the past) and was supporting acceptance and inclusivity within his country would people hate him in the same way? It’s just that we hate both his personality /and/ his policies at the moment. Imagine if he turned this win at all costs attitude towards things like making sure everyone had access to free healthcare and ending social disadvantage? If that was the case we would care a lot less about his horrible, horrible, personality.

        Of course, if being a narcissistic asshole kept you from being successful I believe the world would be a very different place!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        January 18, 2017

        Meeks, in the U.K., then up until 2012 there existed the 1983 Mental Health Act which forced MPs (and members of the devolved assemblies) to stand down if they had been sectioned (ordered to be detained in an institution) for more than six months. It was repealed in 2012, and reasonably so, as of course a great many mental health conditions are curable. Maybe something similar existed in Oz? But that act was retrospectively applied in any case, so such a statute wouldn’t be helpful in the case of Trump or his like — there are others, one can well imagine.

        I think your idea about mandatory mental health screening for any president elect (and all candidates for presidency?) is a very good idea in the U.S. That’s because “in the days after 11 September 2001, the ambiguously worded Authorisation for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) greatly expanded the war powers of the executive branch, granting US presidents the choice to bomb, raid, detain and monitor nation states and organisations around the world as they see fit.”

        Source: https://aeon.co/videos/how-60-ambiguous-words-gave-the-united-states-president-unprecedented-war-power? [Nice little video – 7 minutes.]

        On Hillary, then I suppose she was so ubiquitously disliked for a variety of reasons, among them misogyny of some hue, and her hawkish militarism, although I suspect that to put it simply, she was seen as being far too close to the money — not in a Trumpian way, but in being at the beck and call of the corporates. That’s an issue which infects the DNC as a whole, of course, and which has resulted in its fake progressiveness.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        January 18, 2017

        Metan, great point, following which you said that if Trump “turned this win at all costs attitude towards things like making sure everyone had access to free healthcare and ending social disadvantage . . . If that was the case we would care a lot less about his horrible, horrible, personality.”

        That’s just it, his big play in the campaign was bringing jobs to America, and he was forgiven everything else, including his own odious nature, on the basis of this one declared objective. I think that played bigger than his anti-immigration stance, couched as it was in the vague platitude of making America great again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Read through the comments- Metan has responded to you but clicked to respond to someone else.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. acflory
    January 18, 2017

    @ Metan. Drat you play Devil’s Advocate far too well. 😀 Honestly, if Trump were a champion of social equality we would all sleep better at night…until we woke up to discover that all his ‘nice’ promises were lies designed to trick us into voting for him. And don’t that sound familiar?
    Bottom line though is that Trump makes Dubya sound positively benign. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  9. metan
    January 18, 2017

    I agree. People in areas where industry has slowly disappeared are desperate to change their situations and he just pushed all the right buttons, for them the chance of employment cancelled out every other negative about him.

    I find it sad that so many never really questioned exactly how he would magic those jobs back into their worlds (during the election that was the cause of much shouting at the tv in my house).

    Liked by 1 person

    • metan
      January 18, 2017

      Argh… I’m replying to hariod, my comment ended in the wrong spot!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hariod reads *everything* 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        January 18, 2017

        Gotcha Metan. We could always send Bela over there with her rifle?

        Like

      • metan
        January 18, 2017

        The highest pressure job in the world at the moment? Secret Service. 😦
        Gotta feel for them, I’m sure it’s a stressful enough job as it is, but to guard a president so loathed by his own people would be completely unprecedented.

        Now I’m thinking that his beloved second amendment-ers might find that people with guns aren’t welcome at all to his inauguration. If it’s OK to take them everywhere else why not there? It’s almost like guns aren’t safe…

        Liked by 2 people

  10. acflory
    January 18, 2017

    I’ve lost track of who I’m replying to here but…a question re leadership: could we make the case that /all/ leaders or those with leadership potential are in fact degrees of sociopath?

    There’s been a lot of talk bandied about that the CEOs of corporations exhibit many of the characterists of sociopathy. If that’s true, then why not other achievement oriented/obsessed individuals such as politicians?

    Is a lack of empathy a necessary pre-requisite to high ambition?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hariod Brawn
      January 18, 2017

      Do you mean sociopathy or psychopathy Meeks? I used to know a psychopath who’s now extremely successful in the media, and is supremely good at risk calculation. I tend to think of psychopaths as having more control over their manipulative capacities – even when they’re violent, as this man I knew is. If a politician is prepared to kill civilians and children – one thinks of the attacks on Palestinian territory amongst others – then I regard that as a psychopathic action. Lots of politicians go along with it, of course, or are happy to be silently complicit. Crucially, though, they only do so with plausible deniability or under some assumed protection of or by the state – so it’s not actually reckless from their perspective, it’s calculated. That, it seems marks the difference between the two conditions.

      “Psychopathy and sociopathy are different cultural labels applied to the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. Up to 3 percent of the population may qualify for a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. This disorder is more common among males and mostly seen in people with an alcohol or substance abuse problem, or in forensic settings such as prisons. Psychopaths tend to be more manipulative, can be seen by others as more charming, lead a semblance of a normal life, and minimize risk in criminal activities. Sociopaths tend to be more erratic, rage-prone, and unable to lead as much of a normal life. When sociopaths engage in criminal activity, they tend to do so in a reckless manner without regard to consequences.”

      Source: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/02/12/differences-between-a-psychopath-vs-sociopath/

      Like

      • I’m hardly violent, liar 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        January 18, 2017

        You missed out the word ‘ever’. 😛

        Liked by 2 people

      • Or did I?

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        January 19, 2017

        Um…I only have a lay person’s interest in psychiatry but I was under the impression that the term ‘psychopathy’ was no longer in use and that they were now all classified on a spectrum of sociopathy. But labels aside, I think we’re both making a distinction between the Ted Bundy’s of the world and -cough- those like DumpTy who are risk takers, but know when to stop.

        I suspect that there must be some kind of tipping point at which too much ‘lack of empathy’ becomes a liability and the individual ‘fails’, however that is definied – bankruptcy, insider trading, white collar crime etc.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hariod Brawn
      January 19, 2017

      Yes Meeks, as the quote I left states, they’re cultural rather than clinical terms. In clinical terms they’re listed under one of either Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) or Dissocial Personality Disorder (DPD) – those two being diagnoses being broadly similar and both include the common labels of Psychopathy and Sociopathy.

      They key point, regardless of labels’ clinical usage, is the distinction between the recklessness (which the Sociopath exhibits), and the calculated manipulativeness of the Psychopath. A politician or businessperson with ASPD/DPD isn’t going to have a very long career if they’re reckless, of course. Rather, they are highly calculating and manipulatively cunning.

      A very wealthy psychopath may, one imagines, calculate that they can cause great harm to another – for example, sexually abusing them – on the calculated balance of likelihoods that the case would not stand up in court, or that the victim (via the victim’s lawyer offering a recommendation) can be bought off. The psychopathic politician will always frame their egregious moral transgressions within a context of plausible deniability, ensuring there are scapegoats lined up too, and which, for the politician, there nearly always are, of course. A final layer of protection might be the execution of the perceived opponent, something the British Secret Services deployed in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, even upon their own kind – the PIRA would be tipped off as to the agent’s whereabouts. All these layers protect the psychopath in chief, who *of course* has no knowledge of such matters.

      Like

      • acflory
        January 19, 2017

        Thanks for the info, Hariod. That was what I was trying to remember. It’s been a while.
        I can’t help wondering about the definitions though. Aren’t we all capable of recklessness and manipulation, at least to a degree?
        I know I’ve done a couple of crazy things in my life, and as a writer, I try to persuade readers with every word I write. That’s a form of manipulation too.
        So are sociopathy and psychopathy merely a more extreme manifestation of something we all possess, or is there more to it?
        I believe empathy is the missing ingredient, and without knowing how much empathy DumpTy does or does not feel, I don’t feel comfortable using the labels.
        Of course that doesn’t stop me from thinking he’s a million times worse than Dubya. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  11. metan
    January 19, 2017

    I think we can’t classify them purely as psychopathic (or sociopathic), it depends on why they make those decisions, and what they hope to achieve by taking such drastic action. If your options are to end a conflict but kill some people in the process, or do nothing but stand by and watch those same people die, and more, which decision is worse?

    The mental health of a countries leader is a kind of psychological arms race! If a leader is seen as someone who will be willing to make those kinds of decisions other countries are less willing to push them into it. Being nice will just encourage bullying.

    The Logical Insanity podcast episode by Dan Carlin talks about why the extreme actions during conflict, like deciding to bomb civilian populations, can seem like the lesser evil. As always his analysis is fascinating, and it makes me glad I don’t have to make those kind of decisions myself as I rule over my small household empire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hariod Brawn
      January 19, 2017

      Sure, Sophie’s Choice, and all that. Nonetheless, there do exist clinically identifiable mental disorders with correlative neurological states, some being genetically inherited predispositions.

      Like

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