For the emergent George Osborne

George Osborne, who has been the real prime minister of this country in the last six years, is probably deciding to go for the job officially this morning at the Conservative Party Conference. He will declare that he’ll shake Britain out of inertia.

No, he won’t be able to do that.  Cultures only change voluntarily from within and they take a long tom in doing so even then.

I like George Osborne.  At least he reads a bit and thinks a bit, unlike the present incumbent. But as David Cameron has already said he want to retire from the job, what if we gave Osborne the only longer term strategy that would be successful?

This is to point out that a massive amount of intellectual firepower is being smothered in the earliest years of children’s lives. Inadequate parenting, poor parenting, childhoods that are informationally trivial — all these lead to a closing down of children minds.  As any neuroscientists or educationalists would tell Osborne, the die is already cast at the time of pubescence, and even in the years before that.

A 20- or 30-year programme is needed. State universities should be closed own from year to year and money deflected to nursery and early school training.  Every child should experience the best education that is available.  You and you successor, Mr Osborne, could transform the country if you really wanted to.

Welcome to the Sharing Economy

The Sharing Economy is a new term for the economic text books. Not only is this the latest growth sector of the present economy but it’s probably going to be a primary characteristic of the next one into which the advanced countries are now steadily moving.  Share your house drive, share your car, share your spare room for B&B, share your time, share your expertise, share your investing for old age, share your medical treatment, share your experience, share your genes.  Now we have the internet, all this peer-to-peer activity had to come about.

Even our Chancellor, George Osborne, is recommending it and wants to help.  Conventional businesses are losing their profit margins, governments are losing their ability to tax further, there are no more unique consumer goods on the horizon — it’s a new post-industrial world, pro-personal services world into which we are moving and which, as yet has no name — although there’s a trade body with a name already in this country catering to the 72 sharing economy start-ups, Sharing Economy UK.

We don’t need to kowtow to the Chinese

George Osborne, the real prime minister of this country, is spending a week in China.  Osborne, being an intellectual, is highly impressionable — as all intellectuals are — is already being bowled over by the wonders that he’s seeing over there.  He’s  already saying, even before he gets back, that the “our two great nations ought to be trading more together”.

I bet the Chinese are chuckling over that!  This country a great nation?  We had our day 100 years ago.  We still have many rich people among us.  But we’re an ordinary country now, and the quicker we get used to it the better.  What we still have, fortunately, as a residue from the industrial revolution is a good science research base.  But the fact is that almost half of our leading scientists were originally educated in private schools — which serve 7% of the population.  It’s their services that we’ll need to trade with China in the coming years.

There’s no need to kowtow to the Chinese in such an obsequious way, Osborne.  Just get on with helping the education minister to steer Free Schools and Academies away from the state system as soon as you can.

But Cameron is not a nasty man

The unauthorized biography of David Cameron by Michael Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott, Call me Dave, is one of the two big news items this morning in this country.  It’s being serialised in the Daily Mail, which is about halfway house in the gutter press league. As one might expect, the first instalment yesterday tells us that Cameron was a typical silly young rich man’s son while at Oxford University — perhaps more imaginative in sexual larks among his pals than most — one apparently involving a pig (a dead one it must be said) — but little more than that.

One has seen plenty of our Prime Minister on television in the last few years to be able to come to a fairly accurate idea of him.  He’s not, one might say, statesman material, but he’s exceptionally good at public relations — the front man for the political Svengali behind the scene, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.  One thing Cameron isn’t is nasty.  That must be reserved for Lord Ashcroft, one of the authors of the book, who is piqued that he was not offered a senior ministerial job in exchange for donating huge sums to the Tory party.  As for Isabel Oakeshott, beautiful and beautifully articulate though she is will, I think, come to regret taking part in this unnecessary book.  There’ll be other unauthorized biographies coming along in due course which historians in the future will pay much more attention to.