#FT

Go woke, go broke

Yet another example of why CM has cancelled his FT subscription. Where is the critical reporting? This article by Pilita Clark doesn’t critique the ridiculous movement by corporates to virtue signal but falls in line with the stupidity.

Maybe the best metaphor for the woke corporation is parsley. It often looks nice as a garnish but 99.9% of us push it to the side of the plate and leave it to be thrown away.

Corporate hypocrisy is everywhere.

Take Josh Bayliss, CEO of Virgin Group. He says,

“It’s definitely true that right now every one of us should think hard about whether or not we need to take a flight.”

Why doesn’t he close down the airlines in the portfolio? Instead of waiting for his customers to grow a conscience and do the right thing why not force their choice? The obvious answer is that it’s hypocritical.

Airlines operate on about 70% capacity load factor break even so if Virgin flights end up being half full he’ll only end up spewing more or less the same CO2 per flight and go out of business. British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair will welcome Virgin’s virtue signaling. Go woke, go broke.

Qantas has the world’s largest carbon offset program yet only 2% of passengers elect to pay. That’s the extent of the belief in global warming.

Blackrock’s chief Larry Fink said his asset manager needs to do more than just make money yet it only backed 10% of the climate related shareholder proposals. Why? Supposedly because they would crush profits. All talk, little walk.

BP surprisingly helped prevent a carbon tax it openly launched support for. A fossil fuel company trying to undermine a carbon tax? Wow. Who’d a thunk?

UK shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said Labour would seek to delist companies from the London Stock Exchange that didn’t meet their climate change commitments. In order to meet that, will that mean a child daycare company will be burnt at the stake for not brainwashing kindergarten kids? Will there be a minimum pot plant to child ratio?

How would regulations impact the myriad of different businesses that would trigger being dumped from the LSE? What standard would be applied? CM is betting corporates jus need to “file” a governance statement on climate change which no one will read. As long as 100% of companies file, nothing will happen.

Pretty easy to avoid too. Companies could list on Nasdaq or the Singapore exchange to avoid the regulations and still raise capital. Did you think of that Mr McDonnell? No because it is all about being woke and there are plenty of alternatives to dodge stupid policy. Capital is global.

Pilita Clark closes her article by saying,

“Yet the climate debate is shifting and I am willing to bet that companies failing to match their green claims with solid action face far greater risks than they ever have before.”

Like much of the climate religion, few hard facts are ever presented except the date we are all supposed to die. Even then that is an ever-shifting goal post. We can be assured that when 2028 arrives all of a sudden we’ll have another 12 years to do something. A bit like the joke where a patient asks his doctor how long he has to live and is given an extension so he can pay his bill.

The ever-growing tide of the “woke” corporation is going to thwart ingenuity and entrepreneurship. It is corporate suicide to pander to this nonsense. It is not for companies to bang on about their wonderful commitments. Customers and shareholders can decide for themselves. Maybe if companies listened to both groups they would find profits go up. People are growing sick and tired of being told what to do. How to think.

The world is littered with corporate wokeness backfiring. The irony is much of it is self-inflicted. By trying to create false images of virtue, the results have been disastrous.

P&G had to write off billions from its Gillette brand for the toxic masculinity campaign. Before the campaign Gillette was ranked 7th out of 45 health and grooming brands. After, rock bottom.

There is almost a wave of corporate fear twisted by a minority of social activists like Sleeping Giants which create false narratives about public perceptions of evil companies. There is a flip side.

Chick-fil-A was established by Southern Baptists. They don’t ram their Christian beliefs at all in the restaurants. Activists tried to boycott the fast food outlet because one of the directors personally didn’t support same-sex marriage. Guess what, store numbers have doubled and revenues tripled over the last decade.

Chick-fil-A states it’s mission is, “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

Chick-fil-A is notable by its closure on Sundays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. So people are well aware ofthis corporate backing its religious beliefs.

There is a difference between founding a company on certain beliefs and concocting them to ride a wave of hijacking social movements. Customers are aware of the difference.

Virgin Group can wax lyrical about its concerns in trying to save the planet but the only woke thing would be to shut down. Pushing the guilt back on its customers shows how hypocritical the airline is.

To be honest it gets tiring waiting in corporate lobbies watching flat panel TVs advertising all of the wonderful community things they do. 99% of the transaction with any corporate will be driven by the ability to deliver goods and services, not supporting tree planting. It is not to diminish charity or good intentions, rather to cut back on acting as though they’re angels to avoid being put on an imaginary naughty step that doesn’t exist.

Perhaps CM should recommend a portfolio of non-compliant ESG companies. When the market sells off, all the passive money in ESG compliant names should well underperform those that don’t. Perhaps an asset manager should establish an ETF with a basket of companies that just provide product or service rather than garnish it with lashings of corporate virtue. Here is betting it would be a contrarian winner.

Extinction Rebellion – instinctive revulsion

The lunacy is incredible. Carbon neutrality in the UK by 2025. Good luck with that. The Extinction Rebellion (ER) is the next radical left protest movement that seeks widespread civil disobedience, because in the words of one of the founders, “getting arrested can be quite fun.” Some have goals to see inside of a prison cell. CM suggests doing such protests in China where most of the “environmental” problem they fear lies. No doubt President Xi will warmly oblige requests for long stays in one of his many jails.

ER’s manifesto is a collection of web links to climate alarmist sites and comments. Pretty much every maximum alarmist reference has been uploaded. No balance in there.

Sadly they haven’t done much proof checking of the website contents. That’s what happens when one is foaming at the mouth kneeling at the altar of climate alarmism.

Note the following 3 examples

1) under pollution ER notes,

All forms of pollution were responsible in 2015 for an estimated 9 million premature deaths“.

Yet only one paragraph later it follows up with:

the very air we breathe is growing dangerously polluted: nine out of ten people now breathe polluted air, which kills 7 million people every year.

So deaths have gone down? Which is it?

2) The Great Barrier Reef

Corals reefs are suffering mass die-offs from heat stress.  These events are becoming much more common with back to back die-offs on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in 2016 and 2017.

Wrong again. The reef has been seen to be flourishing. Scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Sep 2017 surveyed 14 coral reefs between Cairns and Townsville to see how they fared after being bleached and were surprised to find the coral had already started to reproduce.

3) Rising sea levels

2°C warming  would threaten to inundate areas now occupied by 130 million people while increase to 4°C could lock in enough eventual sea level rise to submerge land currently home to 470 to 760 million people globally

Analysis using tide gauges and satellites showed 30 Pacific and Indian Ocean atolls including 709 islands, revealed that no atoll lost land area and that 88.6% of islands were either stable or increased in area, while only 11.4% contracted. What sea level rise? The most experienced is around. 1mm pa.

Maybe we should feel safer in the knowledge that ER co-founder, Gail Bradbrook, flew to Costa Rica to have a high dose of a psychedelic substance (iboga) which induced visions according to the FT. Should we put her eR movement down to the hallucinations and anxiety caused by the drug?

Two certainties.

We can be sure ER will not be a peaceful conscientious objector (charges for property damage already reported) and CM was right to cancel his FT subscription given they thought giving these loonies any airtime was warranted.

Staring at the dictator

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I read an FT article today and questioned why I paid $300 for a subscription. The author, most certainly Jewish, wrote about how we should remember our recent history when it comes to Trump. As someone descending from the same faith I find the moral equivalence irrational and irresponsible. It all stems back to the victimhood culture which is at the very root of what divides. When President Trump simply enacted the identical policy of vetting seven countries selected by President Obama the outrage showed the height of double standards. Is it a pleasant topic? No. Still had Obama done it how they would have cheered his bravery and leadership. Almost 60% of Americans polled by Rasmussen approved of Trump’s vetting process. Period.Yet media reports nothing but tired narrative.

During the election campaign, the majority of group thinkers totally dismissed Trump as a credible candidate. He was very open about his policies and made no politically correct overtones. He was crass, brutal and direct. No mincing of words. In the three debates he made exactly the same statements. The public was well forewarned. Had people who were gravely concerned of a Hitler-esque dictator potentially ruining their lives taken their own constitutional rights responsibly they could have easily got to a polling booth and voted to guarantee Hillary Clinton romped home. They didn’t. They have themselves to blame. Instead they ranted about the popular vote which is irrelevant because everybody knows it is decided by the electoral college system. Then they tried to force a recount and when that failed they tried to coerce those in charge of the voting in the electoral college to see reason and vote against their constituents wishes. However not once did they accept that they were 100% responsible for their own fate. What arrogance to try to force some sort of intellectual superiority over these bigoted white fools. However these supposed white bigoted fools were not swayed by propaganda. At the very least they were getting sick and tired of the liberal left constantly throwing barbs at them. If you call someone an idiot to their face long enough they will shut down and reply to your inability to listen at the ballot box. You are still not listening though.

To turn the argument on its head, had these same people not fallen for the type of propaganda concocted by their own biased mainstream media and understood the underlying issues really affecting heartland America they may have paid attention to Trump’s spot on the money analysis. Instead they stuck to the narrative churned out by the White House echo chamber that the great chief Obama helped put 15 million ( a dubious figure) back to work post the ‘Great Recession’ ignoring the fact that he also added 10 million (+33%) more Americans to the poverty lines. Was it all his fault? No. Did he have obstruction in Congress? To a degree. However we must not forget that Obama was responsible for passing more pieces and pages of regulation than any president in history. Obama also used executive orders with regularity. Suffice to say had his ‘legacy’ been so pitch perfect, the same bigoted white voters that twice put him in power had the opportunity of continuing it in the form of Hillary Clinton who offered the status quo. However among the 48 million Americans now on food stamps a growing number realized Obama was a failed experiment. He highlighted that career politicians were no different regardless of partisan politics. That under his leadership, America became even more divided. Even the hard line Farrakhan launched an explosive speech about how Obama had totally let down his people. Yet there was Obama at an African-American black tie dinner reprimanding the audience that if they didn’t vote for Hillary they’d insult his legacy. When I heard that the first thing that came to mind was the fact he was insulting them for it was indeed they in large part who supported him in the first place. A debt of gratitude might have been far more appropriate.

I’ll be the first to admit that President Trump is unconventional which at the same time can be unsettling for many. However he has done nothing but enact upon very publicly announced election promises in very short order. Yet, the victimology goes on. The irresponsible mainstream media that has learnt nothing went out of their way to paint an ‘anti-Muslim’ narrative which was not written in the executive order had many even bothered to properly read the document. Trump the Nazi they protested. However if people actually knew their history, the Nazis made best efforts to stop Jews, Gypsies and Roma from ‘exiting’ not ‘entering’. Think of the Warsaw ghetto in the1940s. The Final Solution was much to do with concentrating these populations in order to commit mass genocide. I have visited Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Bergen Belsen, Theresienstadt, Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor, Auschwitz-Birkenau and I’ve read extensively on that period because my own family escaped Poland in 1931 to flee anti-Semitic sentiment. I have wept at the photo of 5yo Renia Kohn (pictured below) who was exterminated at Birkenau. I have tried for over a decade to trace the genealogy of my great grand-mother whose surname, Immergluck, is the same as two of the survivors of Schindler’s List. They came from the same town in Poland. So many records were destroyed given 90% of Polish Jews were murdered so it is personal, make no mistake. Making links to dictatorship and oppression is something that I take great interest in refuting without proper evidence.

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It is a deep sense of wanting to understand my own history. I have even read Mein Kampf cover to cover to get inside what drove Hitler’s megalomania. Trump has nothing of the mindset although the disrespectful media is now running a narrative that his hair growth tonic has mental disorder as a side effect. Seriously, people wish to read such ridiculous click bait? How can people put any faith in anything published by WaPo, NY Times and CNN with any level of authority especially given the abysmal track record in the lead up to the election.

Here is the bigger problem. The ones complaining of a dictatorship are the ones creating this toxic environment. For publicly beating up people who wear Trump hats. Even if these people are on the fringe. Why do these people wear masks? Own your protest because hiding behind a mask means you actually know you are doing wrong. Burning flags? Why do they destroy Starbucks stores when the CEO is on their side of victim based identity politics? Isn’t that an own goal? The problem with the liberal regressive left is that they have no capacity to listen. If you do not fit their narrative you are a bigot, racist or white trash. They seldom if ever open themselves up to alternative views.

To make that point, Nancy Pelosi exposed the pathetic level of the agenda at the time of the immigration executive order. She was caught on a hot-mic saying to a Democrat congressman Andre Carson “tell them you are a Muslim. Tell them you are a Muslim.” Had Carson thought personally as a Muslim that it was relevant to the discussion and his personal grief, surely he would have raised it unsolicited. That Pelosi had to goad him proves how hard regressives have to push an agenda which is the reason why Trump is in office. A growing number of Americans have got tired of identity politics. They want jobs and a sustainable future not spend countless hours debating transgender bathrooms, non-gender military titles and being forced to surrender their culture to somehow attain some sense of state-sponsored acceptance. If we keep pushing the “poor me” line on every issue we’ll get nowhere.

It is the growing numbers of impoverished that want their country turned around. They fear that open borders and boundless refugee intakes cut those odds. It is NOT racist or bigoted. The responsibility of any sovereign nation is to look after its citizens first. Period. If Canada wants to talk about “diversity is our strength” then all power to them. Yet the day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’d take anyone rejected in the US into Canada, a lone-wolf shot up a mosque in Quebec. The media’s first hook – Trump supporter, the insinuation that he was a fair representation of the majority not the minority. Disgusting. What a smear. He isn’t even American so he is not legally allowed to vote (are you listening sanctuary cities?) so whether he likes Trump or Le Pen is completely irrelevant. I think Trudeau is the epitome of identity politics but he was democratically voted in by Canadians and I am happy to accept that fact. My opinion of Trudeau is irrelevant.

However when Trump berated my Prime Minister Turnbull, my opinion does matter. I believe Trump was correct. When our Obama fawning selfie obsessed Turnbull decided to cut a deal on refugees with him a week after Trump won the election that was plain stupid. He knew full well that Trump would never have allowed it under normal circumstances so undermining a future leader with the self belief he’d carry the weight of world opinion was poor judgement.

Additionally Obama’s last months in office highlighted his true colours. Things he could have easily achieved in his 8 years in office were rushed through in some kind of bucket list to stifle Trump. How unpatriotic. I doubt George W Bush tried in his last days to stuff Obama. What did Obama do? Did the deal with Turnbull, threw Israel under a bus and signed a check for $211mn dollars for Palestine. While you can argue he still was the president at the time, there is no excuse for laying landmines in the White House lawn to humiliate your successor. I was always taught that how you leave a job is far more important than how you join. I believe his legacy is a mere fraction of what he is praised for but his last days were built on spite, Watching him on comedy TV programs during the election campaign showed his total arrogance, patting himself on the back at every turn. His loss was not just because Clinton had been selected by the DNC as the chosen one, it was a repudiation of his failures to restore America.

Some people are complaining at Trump’s heavy handed treatment of Attorney General Sally Yates. What she did was insubordination. It is irrelevant what her political views were. Trump was not breaking laws. Her job is to follow the boss says on a legal basis not inject her personal feelings. Sacking her was 100% correct. If he’d broken the law then I’d be sympathetic. As he wasn’t she got served. Had she defied Obama we wouldn’t have heard the end of it. Such is the nature of identity politics that the side matters more than the principle.

The same goes for public websites and Twitter feeds sponsored by the tax-payer. The employees of these government agencies may hold personal opinions that conflict with the President but it is not a violation of free-speech for him to ban them venting on taxpayer funded media. If you think it is then I implore you to send a company wide email telling your boss that his policies are stupid and see how long your last. Insubordination and free speech are different,

Back to the immigration ban. Celebrities and protesters ganged up on Uber for offering a freeze on surge pricing to help their customers alleviate the stress of delays at JFK. Instead of allowing a company to exercise sensible commercial business practice, protesters and celebrities (who most likely ride in private limos) launched a #deleteuber campaign. For what? A company chooses not to get involved in your affairs and you choose to punish them. How regressive is that. Such is the level of hatred and bloody-mindedness, Uber’s CEO has stepped down from Trump’s business council. Even evangelical Elon Musk who is on the same board has had a wave of customers cancel Tesla Model 3 orders because they object to him serving his country. Instead of regressives looking at such an appointment as a way to perhaps bring Trump to a more even keel, they put so much pressure on Uber’s CEO that he resigned for the sake of his stakeholders. How conditional are liberals for love of country? Ask yourself who is causing division?  Companies can’t act commercially for fear of being attacked? Sorry who is behaving in a fascist fashion? What about 1st in SEO CEO’s brash statement of asking his staff divulge whether they voted for Trump and to resign if they did, not to mention demanding the same from their customers. What has voting preference have to do with ability? Nothing yet the regressive left prove their intolerance.

Then the same type of people light fires and beat people unconscious for wanting to listen to a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, They call an outwardly gay white man with a black boyfriend a white supremacist, Get real. He is a provocateur for sure but he does often make lucid points worth making albeit done in a poison tongue fashion. Yet because he doesn’t tow the victimology playbook he is vilified as a hate-preacher. Hello?

So while I read reams of social media posts about Trump and co’s Nazism I say take a long deep look at reality and stop the over-dramatization. It isn’t just Trump. Brits got tired of the incompetence of the EU and feared a future of having to kowtow to a supranational body of unelected officials. Brits weren’t racist or bigoted. They sent a message that politicians need to wake up and take care of problems at home before searching for noble misguided causes to cover up domestic issues.The guy and girl on Main St aren’t stupid. They’re hurting and tired of having rosy stats thrown in their face when they’re living harsh reality all the while those who espouse stats are chewing on $100 steaks.

The regressives must wake up and understand the very people they proclaim to protect aren’t listening anymore. They are tired of hand outs and freebies. They are sick of protests and the inconveniences caused by it. They want a future again. They want to live in a manner which doesn’t cause panic at the end of the month when the overdraft arrives. Make America Great Again wasn’t a catchy slogan but a deep down desire for a growing number of Americans to feel proud of their nation once again. So grow up and stop your victim culture at every turn. Judge Trump on his merits. Stop dividing your country and actually see what Trump is trying to do. The guy is a billionaire. Saying he is just pandering to his billionaire mates is a lame attack. Look at Clinton or Obama and their advisories had stacks of Wall Streeters. Look how many Dems voted against cheaper drugs coming from Canada because they had their snouts in Big Pharma’s trough.

I honestly think for all the bravado and noise behind Trump the biggest flattery to his ego would be to succeed in turning his country around. Nothing would give his Twitter fingers more joy than to succeed legitimately and have his fellow country men and women actually credit him with it, You’ll never get that from the mainstream media but be prepared for a second term if his health holds out. Of course the media will tell you its impossible but why put stock in their predictions when they have such a terrible track record on understanding voters. By the way your protests and demonstrations are actually pissing off the very people you think you’re representing and your dictatorial style is exactly what you accuse Trump of. On second thoughts don’t look at yourselves in the mirror. Your inability to change is exactly why he’ll win a second term. Keep up the good work! You’ve earned it!