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Thoughts for the coming year

Posted by Thersites on UTC 2018-12-14 14:38.

Old Thersites' Almanack is here to help your prepare for the coming years of civilisational collapse.

The USA

President Trump will spend the next six months bogged down in the legal swamp that is the (Dis-)United States. Then it will be time for the still bogged-down Trump to start campaigning for re-election in 2020.

See… that's cheered you up already, hasn't it? More to come in this vein.

More than two years ago, before his election, we on this website said that he could be a good, possibly great President if he surrounded himself with good people and managed that team well. We repeated this proposition just after his election. Ironically, for a man who achieved 'reality' TV fame by hiring and firing incompetents, his own ineptitude in this area has doomed him.

Of the ten-day sojourn of Anthony Scaramucci the least said the better. Trump's first Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is now, according to the man who picked him, 'dumb as a rock' and 'lazy as hell'. The personal lawyer he picked, Michael Cohen, is a sleazeball fixer who is now about to start a three year jail sentence, over which fact Trump himself is now crowing. We remember with distaste all the unpleasant things about his own serving Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, that Trump tweeted to an embarrassed world in the months before he finally fired him. This personality defect is not one that will ever be fixed.

Management by hire-try-and-fire is bad enough in an industrial setting. As Dilbert told us all those years ago, the value of the employee in the average American company is ranked at number nine, just behind carbon paper. But in a political setting, hire-and-fire just creates enemies. With the notable exceptions of Sessions and Sean Spicer (and possibly Nikki Haley), a number of fired former employees have turned against Trump and are currently doing their best to damage him in some way.

Nor will the political system ever be healed which throws up two such unpalatable figures as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as the choice for selection as president. There really is no hope left for that country, no alternative at all.

Trump's Democrat opponents demonstrate with each new day that the pit of idiocy really seems to be bottomless. They make Trump look rational. His republican 'allies' are unreliable and ineffective. On the horizon of the next few years no silver lining or any glimmer at all is visible.

The country is ungovernable, riven by irreconcilables, lawyers and corruption. Every town, county, city and state has its own elected and unelected officials, administration and paper-intensive bureaucracy. Over all this there is an immense federal bureaucracy that duplicates every piece of paperwork beneath it. Without the artificial asset bubble of the last decade the country would be showing its true economic vulnerabilities.

The Founders' dream of an Enlightenment republic has turned into a nightmare. Even if some saviour were to arise, it is difficult to see how the process of collapse could ever be stopped.

The United Kingdom

Our recent guess about the future progress of the Brexit shambles is still holding up.

Dim Theresa May, whose lack of all intellectual ability we have discussed in the past, now with more than a third of her party wanting shut of her, has gained a shield of invincibility for a year as a result of the recent failed challenge to her leadership. Once more she has been saved. Once more Parliament has demonstrated what an idiotic institution it really is.

The Fury currently tasked with the destruction of Britain has arranged Theresa May's passage through history from 1997 when she entered Parliament in such a way that at every turn she has been protected and promoted for no rational reason at all. In 1997, too, that same Fury organized the start of the rise to prominence of UKIP, meaning that the two trajectories now collide in the political firmament with a blaze of sparks. Just when the British people, against all expectations, chose Brexit, Theresa May ended up in personal charge of it.

Parliament will now do the rest. It looks as though the Remainer parliament – left and right – will, after much posturing and harrumphing, fall into line behind her non-Brexit plan. Our forecast of the ultimate fate of Brexit, made a year ago to this day, was, in contrast with our usually dismal prophetic standards, remarkably accurate.

If the 200 Tory MPs who supported her also support the plan with which she is personally so closely identified, then achieving a parliamentary majority with Remainer opposition MPs should be straightforward. We are not surprised to learn that a large number of these 200 are in fact suckling on the teat of a Government job.

But, anyway, it doesn't matter what her party thinks. It doesn't matter what the DUP thinks, either – the Irish republican tendency of the Labour party will be glad to see them skewered. They know she is doomed at the next election anyway – an election which she may or may not contest, depending on your source. Labour can then put through its socialist agenda without distractions such as Brexit. What happens after that is utterly unclear.

Germany

Angela Merkel is still head of a left-wing coalition government and will remain so for at least two more years. Vinaigrette Ramp-Trumptower, her clone, is party Chair and her designated successor. Paul Ziemiak, the new General Secretary of the CDU, is a thirty-three year old nonentity with no discernable education or career outside politics.

Despite all these horrors, as we repeatedly point out, nothing in German politics will change. For those with a high boredom threshold and plenty of time on their hands, copious evidence for this proposition can be found here: 2017-11-20, 2017-11-22, 2018-01-21, 2018-02-10, 2018-04-21, 2018-06-20, 2018-10-15, 2018-10-30.

However, perhaps only in 20 years time, when demography has taken its inevitable course, will things be different. The seeds of this have already been sown and can no longer be restrained. But then it won't be Germany any more, will it? – so our First Law of German Politics will still not be invalidated.

Switzerland

Switzerland, still considered by many to be shining light of democracy and public administration, has a number of serious constitutional defects which make its continued survival in the modern world questionable. The details are outside Old Thersites' scope for the moment, but the consequences are easy to see.

Next year, for as long as she chooses, a socialist pianist will now be in charge of the Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication. This is the same person who, during her time as Justice Minister, championed the dangerously idiotic Swiss Digital-ID. Her ministerial car is a Tesla, inherited from her equally vapid predecessor.

Immense amounts of money are currently being thrown at pixie-dust projects for solar, wind and storage. This will undoubtedly continue and get ever more egregious. The price of fossil fuels is being artificially increased on a continual basis, both indirectly via carbon offsets on fuel importers and directly by escalating charges to the consumer. A clique of academic activists in Switzerland now owns the carbon dioxide issue and no contrarian opinions are ever heard.

With one marginal exception, not a single member of the current 2018 or the future 2019 Federal Council has the slightest background in a scientific or technical subject. The exception is Johann Schneider-Ammann (FDP), who is departing the Council this year. He trained as an electrical engineer and managed his family mechanical engineering company. The other soft-hearted doers of good works on the Council are scientific simpletons, powerless against the influence of the hysterical green Svengalis of Swiss Science Troughers United. The technocratic issues of the day are quite beyond their grasp.

The red and the green parties are delighted that from 2019 onwards, two of their members, Simonetta Sommaruga and Alain Berset, will sit at the controls of the Environment and the Interior Ministries. Job done! These ministries will now remain firmly in socialist hands until the unlikely event that they choose to relinquish them. Over the last three decades they have been progressively staffed with like-minded activists – a process that will now continue with even greater urgency.

Switzerland is also attempting to join the EU via a new framework treaty, which, sooner or later will be accepted, if only because the current treaty situation is untenable.

The EU does not care what Switzerland thinks. In cases where Switzerland begs to differ from the EU, its de facto master, it is soon brought to heel by the threat of appropriate sanctions. Short of closing the alpine transit routes, plucky little Switzerland, once so sturdily self-reliant, is now defenceless – politically, economically and morally.

Not only is the country on the verge of signing up to the UN Migration Pact, its representative at the UN was one of the pact's prime movers.

Thus in a few years, Switzerland, which spent the last century defending its neutrality and independence, will be a member of the EU in everything but name, will be utterly dependent for a large part of its base electricity supply on international connectors, and will have no say over who lives in the country. Its army is a joke going through the motions of defence. It may still require a bit of effort to become a full Swiss citizen, but that status is being devalued daily. The country is currently circling the drain.

The European Union – whole and parts

The EU will stagger on. One only has to consider the travails of extracting a single country from this monstrosity to realise that those who predict its imminent demise are indulging in wishful thinking. However, in many of the EU countries demography will change everything. Who knows what our children and grandchildren will think of when they hear the word 'Europe'?

The rest of the world

China? Japan? Russia? India? Latin America? Australasia? No idea. We may know nothing, but at least we're honest about it.

It only remains for Old Thersites to wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Look on the bright side – the current situation in the world has made death an attractive proposition!