|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
26 January 2019
|A Clean Break
Time for a few statistics. I know, I know, coma inducing, but nevertheless. 1.6m
have broken up over Brexit according to a survey conducted for the online
dating service eHarmony. The study concluded that 2.7m relationships have
broken up, while 2.5m families have fallen out as well. And 813,000 completely
cutting off contact with a family member. 12 percent, aged 25 to 34 said they
would break up with a partner over the issue. Makes perfect sense.
The service said the company's research found that traits such as
conscientiousness, good conflict resolution and adaptability help create and
sustain happy, long-lasting relationships. Hahahahah. Over Brexit? Not a chance!
If you didn’t think January was depressing, pointless, too cold here’s the latest
statistic that should cheer you up. Wellll, not quite. More a moment of utter
exasperation. The world’s richest 26 people now own as much as the poorest
Over the past twelve months, collectively they have seen their wealth grow by
$2.5 billion a day – stop here – 26 people at $2.5 billion a day! - an increase of
12%, while the poorest half of the world’s population has seen its net worth fall
by 11% over the same period. The word you are looking for is: f***!
Let’s count. There are currently 2,208 billionaires in the world, twice the number
since the global financial crisis of 2007-08. And where do they live – oh silly
question as they surely have at least seven homes, or possibly 12 as that would
be a home a month. Most are from North America and Europe. Combined they
have US$1.4 trillion. Ttttttrillllionnnn!
Holding the top position until his divorce comes through, Jeff Bezos (Amazon).
and naturally, Bill Gates (Microsoft), Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway),
Bernard Arnault (LVMH), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Amancio Ortega (Zara),
Carlos Slim Helu (America Movil), the Koch Brothers (Koch Industries) and
Larry Ellison (Oracle).
Outside the inner circle we have Carlos Slim Helu, a Mexican, one from India
Mukesh Ambani and several from China, Ma Huateng, Jack Ma, Li Ka-shing,
Hui Ka Yan, Lee Shau-kee and Wang Jianlin.
If you need a reality check, if you aren’t too depressed, Forbes reports that Jeff
Bezos alone has a $140 billion fortune making him the world’s wealthiest man.
OK. You need to know just 1% of his total wealth is roughly equivalent to the
health budget of Ethiopia, a country with a population of 105 million people. I’m
sensing annoyance here. Oh let’s increase it to rage.
So finally, a collective “oh stop!” A system very much built on exploitation with
most of them having inherited their wealth, with others managing to get their
cash-in-hands on public assets at fire-sale prices during the time of privatization
despite lawsuits – oh right, those anti-trust lawsuits that were overturned. Lest we
forget, Microsoft exploit their subcontracted workers. 40,000 workers are
employed in Seattle. See. Rage; so much more appropriate.
The global wealth divide growing? Really? But what do they do with all those
billions exactly? If they have that much money, clearly not enough!
Ah Fiona Bruce. New attack dog. Fiona, whispery, perpetually smiling, pleasant,
ever so subtly condescending, Fiona, on every BBC channel they can find to
Yes we know what occurred at her second Question Time as the new host.
Evidently she and the odious right-wing columnist Isabelle Oakeshott joined
together in attacking the shadow home secretary Diane Abbott’s’ polling data.
Bad enough playing playground antics, but the BBC literally lowered the volume
on what DA said. This reported by an expert by the way…not someone sitting on
their sofa. Then we have the Question Time team who deliberately “whipped up”
the audience against Abbott before the show aired. How much lower can the
BBC go? Ha. Rhetorical question clearly.
Since then, tens of thousands of people have called for the BBC to issue an
apology as a Tory Government's mouthpiece. Surely a daily occurrence.
Oakeshott denies all including that Fiona made an off-the-cuff remark about
DA's fling with Jeremy decades ago – oh dear me - and accuses DA of being
rude and talking sooo slowly.
IO: “The truth is much simpler. She talks agonisingly slowly, opening up plenty of
opportunities for intervention. And once she starts, she never stops. If we all
waited politely for her to finish, nobody else would ever speak.”
Interesting that Oakeshott interrupts constantly! every liberal whom she has been
in the same room with. And to be fair, DA is actually unwatchable and never has
any facts to hand. All three are interminably irritating.
And if you wanted to see more of soft-spoken, sycophantic Fiona, on BBC4 the
BBC aired Fake or Fortune 2011. Do you get that? 2011! It beggar’s belief!