Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Springtime for Hitler or Choices for Change?

So it's spring and I've been doing some cleaning.
I've just thrown out a skip-load of news papers. Since the financial crash of 2006 I have been collecting copies of the Financial Times. My plan was to use them as the basis of my research for my next book an updated version of New Rules for the New World but instead of using fictional characters, to use real people and stories to illustrate how breaking the rules of our World After Midnight leads to surprising grief. And most important of all, how to avoid it in the future. That project is now cancelled, abandoned. You might ask why. Well the answer is very simple. For me Brexit was my "Bobby Ewins in the shower" moment. If you don't know what than means I've provided a link. In my youth I had dedicated countless hours to following the exciting twists and turns of the Ewing family in the soap opera Dallas. In the same way, for most of my adult life I have paid attention to the news, current affairs and done my bit as a citizen to remember things so we can hold the powerful to account and not have them fool us.
Then one day on Dallas, Bobby, who had long since been written out of the story line, re-appeared in a shower which he had been taking many many episodes before! In a flash several years of story-line were snipped out. As if time had been bent by gravity and snipped off a loop. For me Brexit has simply snipped of every single plan and goal and achievement and challenge of the past forty or so years. All norms are gone, assumptions evaporated and capabilities undermined. All of it is now completely irrelevant!
I understand why many people voted Leave. Each had their own reasons. Many valid some less so. I also understand the role of Big Data analysis in helping the Leave campaign target and campaign so effectively. I also have studied the persuasion techniques used which I must admit were first class! Perhaps even better than the persuasion techniques used in the US elections. But without an understanding of the downside you know it is impossible to do a business case. The downsides were far too complex and unknowable to make headway without really deep study. They were unknowable because of the large number of self-interested parties involved. Plus the fact as time passed in the divorce, as it does in any divorce, the balance of power would likely shift.  And without an understanding of both benefits and downsides, a business case, any choice or any vote, however good the rhetoric, is simply a random act of faith.
And there are many things I don't understand. I would never have believed that such learned people would treat an irreversible choice so lightly but somehow ALL MPs and ALL the Lords voted exactly the same way. I have never seen that in my life except at times of war. Why did they all roll on their backs allowing their tummies to be tickled? Was it fear of the three-line whip? Was it a fear of being pilloried by the media? I can't believe that with all that wisdom, our high quality politicians would have thrown in the towel so easily. And yet they have but have given us no clear idea of the future, benefits, and the downsides which we now seem to keep tripping over and discovering one after another. Customs union, Gibraltar, two major EU Agencies, Banking & Medicine to leave London taking thousands of jobs and so on. Totally baffling to me. How it is we have swapped to a regime made up of people who no more than nine months ago we referred to as "swivel-eyed loons"?
So I have completely stopped following UK current affairs. I see no point. It's obviously far too complex and for a simple man like me to make any sense of.
My choices are to get behind the new regime; I have a wealth of knowledge of three things the new regime needs - I know how to get success in projects and change really, really, really well. I can accelerate innovation in any organisation by an order of magnitude and I have a deep, deep understanding of the World After Midnight, that is how to use all the levers, digital, human etc., etc., to create the outcomes you want rather than the surprises described in the FT articles I have just chucked out.
But should I? I don't want to be Hugo Boss, the talented designer of SS stylish uniforms. He encouraged people to join one of the vilest and most criminal regimes ever seen. And if the UK does fail it could easily become the new North Korea. A nuclear-armed, belligerent neighbour with bad relations propped up by the USA. Sounds far fetched? So was Brexit and I didn't see that coming. I don't want to be the person who helped it innovate in order to make the world a terrible place. 
I intend to be a 'citizen of the world instead focusing my efforts on people and organisations who wish to collaborate and work together on our small blue planet. I also want to put my effort into the non-human parts of the world. I'm certain that if we took whales dying of hunger because their stomachs were full of plastic and other real phenomena as seriously as we take what is really simple to achieve, economic growth, we would have better lives and more for those intent on power to be able to bask in it all.

No comments: