The tale of the wayward advisor

In the times of the dread disease known as Covid the SARS too, when fear did stalk the land, the Kingdom Lost at Sea was ruled by the main man Boris the Hearty. It was a terrible time, one of much tragedy when many did die both in their homes and in the places laid out for them, two metres apart. The doctors and carers of that land did struggle to confine the disease and to salve the physic of the people. Its effects were sorely felt and truly terrible, many thousands dying because there was no help that could cure them.

With nothing to be done, Boris showed much wisdom. Knowing that no one would listen to what he said, in those days he did seek to build some credibility with the people by standing amidst wise men and women, surrounding himself with what was true and who was trusted.

He made sure that the people around him did pass on their wisdom to the people who asked of him. To his left stood the Knight Sir Patrick Vallance, who spoke truth about science. To his right stood the Upright Christopher Whitty, the chief medical man, much trusted because of his lifetime in public health. Afore the scribes stood Jenny Harris too, who did also speak truth on medicine matters. Thus Boris the Hearty, as he held court afore the waiting crowds of scribes, did surround himself with truthful and trusted advisers to answer the people in those terrible times.

So, it was in those days the order went out across the Kingdom Completely Adrift that the people should be confined to their homes whilst the great pestilence did sweep over their homes. “Do not venture out, or Covid the SARs too will strike you down.” And so the people were thus confined for forty days and forty nights. Not even a child did venture forth to school, nor a son to visit his mother on her own day, or the people to their place of work. The country all about became silent and not a soul did stir apart from the birds that did sing joyfully in the quietude.

Every last person did as was asked by Boris the Hearty because each one believed what was said to them by his advisors and all knew that they were subject to the same rule and all prey to the same plague.

All bar one. This man was the wayward son who had fallen to earth sometime before. He had been left adrift of any party and did not subscribe to the rules of the court or the beliefs of the Kingdom Sinking Slowly. This man did tempt the forces arraigned against him, taunting them by saying that he was above all, even the main man Boris. Nothing that was true of the remainder of the court of Boris was true of him. Even the disease that stalked that land would not dare to challenge his power which was mathematical and algorithmical in nature.

It was thus in the days whilst all were confined to their homes and the plague stalked the land that he did venture forth, both he and his wife. And his child. For lo, his wife was recently of child and he was a new father and a man responsible who did see what was before them all. (Or was that Boris, I forget.) So he did flee from the confines of the court of Boris most rapidly, where the pestilence did lay waste, bringing even Boris low, to the northern lands, from whence he did first come.

There he drove his kin afore him, testing his sight, proving that he was not subject to those who did seek to confine him, not even Boris. Those that saw him there were told to avert their eyes lest he did speak against them and confine them further. When challenged by the enforcers of the law, he did ignore them, telling them that he was not subject to their jurisdiction but only to his own. He showed in thus so doing that he was above all, even those that believed they spoke the truth in the law.

There was thus much consternation among the people and among the scribes of the Kingdom Waving not Drowning. “Who is this man? What does he say of us?” they didst say. “But surely there is but one law, before which we are all equal?” And some were heard to mutter beneath their breath, “Didst thou not say that we are all in this together?” Thus came the Great Disillusionment.

It was thus in the Rose Garden, the setting for previous Great Betrayal, that he did disabuse them all of the notion of equality and equity. “No,” he thundered, “I did what I did because I am a rule to myself and obey none but my own will.” There was a gasp or two among those who looked on. One did fall down as if dead. Scribes did brandish pencils to challenge such heresy but to no avail.

It was thus that it began to unravel. In the latter days of the Kingdom Completely Waterlogged, people did slowly begin to drift even further apart one from another. The wayward advisor had sown seeds of doubt and mistrust in the Rose Garden. “If not him, why me?” they asked of each other. “Am I not also of that same people which does not need to be so confined and to obey what is inconvenient and asked of me?” “I shall do as he has led.”

And so it was, whereas once the people of the Kingdom Lost at Sea held together following the advice of the advisors of the court of Boris, now following the Great Disillusionment, they did begin to question the truth and wisdom of what had been told to them. Slowly but surely, little by little, pernicious weeds did up spring in fertile soil of disease and unease, turning brother against brother, sister against sister, one against another. It was thus, in one small act of selfishness building upon another, that the Kingdom drifted further from what was known to be wise and true into the outer regions of the Ocean. Many feared the disease would regain its hold over the people and many more would die than had been foretold.

And all because this one man, a mere advisor, followed his own advice and not that which had been given unto all.


21 reasons why it’s better that the rich don’t help the poor

The Cover-19 pandemic has made it clear how our newly discovered “essential workers” (aka working poor) are not so essential that they are not put at constant and often avoidable risk. It’s almost as if we don’t want to give them proper PPE if the camera is not turned on.

The fact that “we are all in this together” hasn’t meant that government help has been spread to all equally. Nearly every pandemic financial relief package has been disproportionately oriented to helping out large businesses and, by implication, shareholders and the rich.

In the light of this, I thought it might help out worried fellow would-be philanthropists by reminding them of a few familiar reasons why we should hold onto our money and not share it more widely:

  • We are so much better at handling money than others (that is why we have so much of it and you don’t)
  • We know how to make money work for us (whereas you have to work for money)
  • We got our money through sheer genius (it was nothing to do with Dad, connections, tax breaks, or the fact that some of those capital gains were slightly dodgy)
  • It is our just reward for the hard work and the value of our creativity (ok, and Dad’s work, and some employees, and the creativity of a few others who weren’t smart enough to cash in . . .)
  • Taxing us would deprive people of jobs (even when those poor so-and-so’s have to work for pay well below the living wage, they still need jobs)
  • Higher taxes would handicap business, depriving it of vital investment (even though most of my money is hidden away in the Cayman Islands, some of it gets invested in business for sure – heck, I will check with my accountant . . .)
  • Be patient, money will trickle down to the deserving poor, eventually, maybe (though not if Mother has anything to do with it; she’s always blocking those little leaks as if her life depends on it)
  • Taxing us more would reduce consumption where it’s most needed (it would wreck the luxury yacht business for sure, top-end real estate would suffer real bad, and how would those private jet guys survive?)
  • Shit, its our money that keeps the economy going! (it’s only fair that we get the odd state subsidy here and there and the occasional handout when the economy goes belly-up)
  • Making money is in our genes (that’s what my great granddaddy told my Dad just after he had made his second million at twenty-two)
  • It’s our right to be rich (the constitution says so – and if it doesn’t, it sure as heck should)
  • The fact that I only look good in Givenchy and Armani says all you need to know about me – I’m born to wealth and it shows (sure my sophistication is more than one-buck deep, ask any woman)
  • The poor don’t know how to make good use of money (that’s why they deserve to be poor, ask anyone)
  • And they are feckless and spend every penny they have on gambling and drinking (which, QED, is why they never have a dime)
  • Wealth is like class, you need to be born into it to get it (which is why it always follows suit, like in cards)
  • One of the world’s great truths is that the poor wouldn’t know what to do with money if they had any (it stands to reason, they don’t have the right experience, nor the right connections)
  • My ma told me don’t ever give money to the poor, it just encourages laziness (they will never get anywhere if they don’t work hard)
  • Nope, giving money to the poor just encourages them all round (and we don’t want them encouraged, there’s already enough of them)
  • This whole idea of redistribution of wealth through taxation is just pure Communism (What! It can’t have been invented in the USA! – are you sure? No way!)
  • No I haven’t heard of the parable of the Good Samaritan (damn Communism again!)
  • If this dude said the rich are as likely to get into heaven as a camel going through an eye of a needle, I sure hope he did a good line in needles . . .