Trump

Trump to Kim:

Let’s just make this a flash in the pan, not a flash in the sky.

 

Trump to the media:

Fake news – it’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

This drama about statues is a hiding in plain sight!

I had a word to my Whitehouse maintenance crew. All my doors are revolving doors now.

When it comes to meetings with heads of state, I keep my trusted advisors close and my junior family closer.

 

Trump to women:

Comb over and see me sometime!

First-past-the-post party?

Brexit is a nice distraction from the real UK politicial reform needed – replacing first past the post with proportional representation. Even with a Brexit result that is broadly acceptable to all parties, the real issue is still unfinished business.

Qu: should someone start a single-issue political party to simply campaign for proportional representation, every time there is a general election?

UK austerity

In the very topical current debate about UK austerity, what’s was missing from the choice (not the fake ‘choice’ between austerity and no austerity, but the hard choice between social and economic austerity) are two important other options (Productivity improvements and Philanthropy).

To elaborate, the current debate about austerity should be about the mix of four things (1) social austerity (realisable tax rises for some or all current UK tax payers), (2) economic austerity (alleviating current austerity through borrowing to burden future citizens with greater austerity (3) productivity improvements – workers choosing (thru self study to up-skill and thru after hours volunteering to develop new skills) to raise their productivity to ultimately alleviate austerity. And (4) Philanthropy – particularly high net worth individuals forming consortiums to alleviate UK social deprivation thru charitable foundation activity.

The best solution will probably come from an optimal combination of all four things.

One great opportunity with Philanthropy is developing ‘hospital charities’ to build city hospitals that are entirely charity-funded and can take some ongoing pressure off the NHS, care homes and private hospitals. Such hospitals could offer a more selective range of treatments (target elective surgeries with long waiting lists?) than the NHS. Essentially this is a volume supply-solution, not a government funding solution.

Food for thought?

UK Politics

Why are journalists (TV or press) so poor at asking UK politicians the right questions? Sometimes it takes a forum like ‘Question Time’ on TV, for voters themselves to ask the right questions to the politicians on the panel. Even then, the politician has to represent all the views and ministerial portfolios of their party, in a quick two minute answer.

General Election Result

From the General Election result in the UK on Friday 9th June, two things were very clear if you look past the spin. Firstly, the country is incredibly divided – witness the 2 main parties respective vote shares. And the resulting number of marginal seats all over Britain.

And secondly, a 7 week electoral campaign period was worse than no campaign at all. Clearly, no party had enough time to deeply communicate its ideas, policies and vision for the UK to the voters.  Following a 7 week campaign and the carrot of free tuition fees (under Labour), British youth turned out in record numbers to vote – the record turn-out being a victory for democracy. But did the youth really understand what they were voting for, being novices on; the election process, the party policies and the globally inter-dependent World we now find ourselves in.  The same could be said about many veteran voters.

First-past-the-post 

The basic electoral system in the UK needs to switch to a proportional representation system, instead of the first-past-the-post. After all, if it’s good enough for a Brexit referendum and local government elections, it ought to be good enough for general elections too. Some examples of the problem: (1) The SNP at the 2015 general election polled roughly 50% of the vote, but gained 56 of 59 seats! Equally UKIP gained about 4M votes (80% of the population of Scotland) but only 1 seat in the UK parliament.

More generally, people’s vote in a safe seat with a huge margin, is essentially worthless. However, their vote, if it happens to be in a highly marginal seat, is massively influential.

U-turns in office

Politicians need to formulate clever and effective policies that fix big problems and are easy to communicate to voters. Once formulated, the party in office shouldn’t then be doing U-turns on those promises.

If any kind of coalition government is formed, U turns are inevitable, in order for coalition compromises to be reached. The best chance of avoiding coalition outcomes (policy U turns) is to have proportional representation.

Where’s the honesty in the debate?

The level of honest debate in UK politics needs to massively increase, if we are to heal the social divisions and cure people’s cynicism of politicians. In life outside politics, you can’t make sensible decisions based on lies. So why do voters tolerate so much spin from politicians, on something as important as running the country?

Politicians don’t create jobs, except indirectly in state-owned enterprises and government departments. Even then, they take no enterprise risk and put no personal investment into those enterprises. Politicians lie in taking the credit for job creation and what’s worse, take the public’s appreciation away from business start ups, large businesses and not for profit employers – the ones creating tax receipts, jobs & futures for the citizens. Maybe we need a series of fines that politicians have to pay personally (to charities or food banks) when they are caught out in a lie?

Honest debate isn’t just about avoiding lies. It’s also about making realistic assumptions. Can any party realistically govern in a hung parliament situation, let alone negotiate Brexit? How much tax can really be collected from the super rich? How much can social services be cut, before the social fabric is lost forever? Are some benefits better provided by charities. rather than by central government (charities are apolitical and experts at grant making)? Is trying to create a balanced annual budget by trimming public spending (often labelled as austerity) inherently evil and uncaring, or is the problem more about the taxes collected not getting through to the people who need it most? Can nationalised utilities and local bodies really run things like companies and schools better for the voters? Can a free health system with massive staff shortages cope without some kind of rationing of its services? Can a home country really become independent and still expect to side-step their share of the national debt/keep the Barnet formula subsidy/keep using the old currency? Will massive public borrowing for big infrastructure projects really pay off tenfold? How likely is it that workers ,will move to other parts of the country where the job vacancies are?

A final thought. The World is growing more complex and more inter-connected far faster than political systems and career politicians can adjust to those changes. As the complexity rises, voters go to the polls armed with less and less understanding of what they are really voting for – they focus on party values rather than manifesto implications.

The only real solution to that trend is voters choosing to educate themselves on; economics, global trade, technology, law and international trade.

The times they are a changin’

If the pace of technological advancement is speeding up, the pace of human consensus-building cannot afford to slow down.

At some point, AI decision-making will have to intervene. AI concerned with countering the ‘natural’ tendencies towards wealth concentration, human corruption and human greed (greedy because we can be).

Will religion, which used to counter these things, cope with an AI world?

Cry freedom

_MG_6660-Perseverance-Place-for-WebIs freedom now a zero-sum game? 

In the distant past, there were new lands to explore and colonise. Phase one – human freedom was on the rise.

Then came space constraints, leading to wars over resources, nationhood, human conquest and slavery. Some problems like global warming, wealth distribution inequality and global pollution grew to become almost unsolvable.  Phase two – overall human freedom grew, but much was offset.

Now, as the Internet of Things grows in prominence, will its freedom to operate, come at the expense of human freedom per se (Phase three)?

If we continue to obsess about Phase two shortcomings, then by the time we collectively think about Phase three, Phase four will be upon us…

The evolution of political representation:

  • Working people gain their own representation.
  • Women gain their own representation.
  • Children gain their own representation.
  • Gay people gain their own representation.
  • Trans-gender people gain their own representation.
  • Cyborg people gain their own representation.
  • AI systems gain their own representation.

Design

_MG_2207

Design-carefully crafting a set of stepping stones, to create the road to perfection.

Visualisation-the art of standing in dark cellars and seeing rainbows. Interpretation– letting a simple message rise up out of the starting blocks, run a controlled race and on the home straight, smile for a photo finish. Execution-making forward travel along the arc of the rainbow, but taking time out to write postcards from the edge.

Can you design a human relationship?

Perhaps the best you can do is identify some key values that you both share, appreciate the overlap in those values and share a dream.

Can you design a professional working relationship?

Companies set the ground rules, but can’t design in human ingenuity. Companies might set out to design end products and services. But it’s the values, courage and persistence that take the team from start to roll-out.