The first presidential debate between Obama and Romney only showed that neither of them should occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on that performance: neither said anything
Obama, who doesn’t do economics, was lacklustre to the point of being insipid, whereas Romney, who does, spoke grandiloquently about sweet sod-all. Example: 'I will introduce a perfect tax regime.' What the hell does that mean? Answer: a 4-point rise in the polls for Romney.
The vice-presidential debate between Biden and Ryan at least got people laughing at their pedagogical gaffes, especially as Ryan’s absurd hair-styling made him look like Mr. Bean, but without the humour. The only interest came as these two Catholics argued ferociously about abortion, but what they had to say went in one ear and out the same ear.
I heard this debate at the bar of the Union Club, where I had much a more serious debate with the charming members, and I was particularly interested in Mr Beverley Deur’s descriptive analysis on the nature of bureaucracy...
This is what he said: bureaucrats are like an army of ants who operate a neural network, where the nodes of the network are ants who send out pheromones to each other to encourage them to advance and expand. The idea is that the problems that this network can solve are much greater than a single ant can resolve.
These ants then advance as if they were going along the spokes of a wheel, laying a chemical trail, which becomes their food-chain, but by the half-way mark they have eaten all the food, and like as if there was a forest fire, they panic, and so they just pick up their marbles and head back to where they came from, having achieved nothing! It was Plato, wasn’t it?, who said that politicians are ants, whereas philosophers are akin to bees.
Now I found his description applied precisely to the miserable EU, where faceless unelected bureaucrats are contriving with their damnably stupid single currency One-Size-Fits-All, a one-size-Boratkini of a currency, which cannot possibly work across seventeen different economies, to destroy the wealth of nations and render the youth permanently unemployed and on welfare for life, all in the name of economic efficiency, while these euro-ants live on their tax-free salaries and pensions.
At this point I return you to the said good Mr Deur’s description. Halfway along this bureaucratic path to hell paved with good intentions but terrible consequences, suddenly there is something like a forest fire – as when the Bond Vigilante’s wake up for instance – and there is panic and these wretched bureaucratic ants are the first to rush off clutching their tax-free morsels.
But, you say, you’re meant to be writing about the US elections! Quite, but as the candidates haven’t said anything yet, I mention the EU as there is no hope of any economic salvation coming from Europe, which makes these US elections of supreme importance to prevent the global economy from collapse, which makes it all the more astonishing that these two wannabes have said nothing yet to indicate that their brains are still attached to their spinal columns.
Otherwise the ants could soon be in retreat everywhere, as this ex-growth world collapses into financial and social disaster. Stay tuned in the run-up to 6 November...