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The Slog was founded just over three years ago. The name is an abbreviation of ‘bollocks log’. It is primarily concerned with the deconstruction of bollocks in contemporary life. During late 2011 going into 2012 – depending on the volume of bollocks around at any given time – The Slog was getting 7-9000 hits a day.
In the Total Politics awards 2011, John Ward was voted 5th most popular unaligned blog author in the UK.
I became a retired adman in 2000, and then consulted for three years. The conclusion I took from not being a protected corporate Master of the Universe any more was that every bank, insurance company, multiple retailer, investment house, car dealer, local government official, politician and minority group was trying to screw the system. This was a shock, as until then I’d thought the practice was restricted to marketing clients and Whitehall Sir Humphreys.
I decided there were acres and acres of bollocks being employed in order to disguise the pong of bullshit. Not a pleasant thought.
Being anyway part of the problem, politicians are mostly too self-obsessed, dense or corrupt to do anything about the situation. But also – as the years passed and I engaged in more research – it became clear that, the way the world is constructed now, the political Establishment is powerless in the face of far more significant – and ruthless – interest groups.
Far too many of those in positions of power are strangers to the moral compass, and commercial ethics have virtually disappeared. But the problem for anyone opposing this state of affairs is that the raw material available is not that good….and far too many of them are too recently arrived to realise that it used to be much better.
There are far too many of us on this island: far too many of us are educated to a low standard that fails to teach people to think for themselves; and our economy is woefully unbalanced. These are big problems, but there is no need for anything unpleasant to occur between the various ages, cultures and ethnicities present in the British Isles. The only need is for everyone to sign up to a single Rule of Law – and accept genuine equality before that law. Multiculturalism and forced pc equality are the insane ideas of folks who don’t get out enough, don’t read any history, and know nothing of social anthropology.
Independence of thought, self respect, and respect for others is at the core of what I write about most of the time. I believe in personal liberty, but I am not a libertarian, and I am not a liberal. I am not a Socialist and I am not a Conservative. I am a radical realist. This means I am convinced that those working the current political and constitutional forms will continue to deny reality. Only by doing so can they stay in power. They must be removed from power – but legally, and without violence.
I believe above all that what Britain needs is accountable leadership. I want leaders we can look up to, not creatively empty suits who look down on us. I want to get out of the EU (although the way things are going, it may well implode anyway) and restore our manufacturing/marketing skills with a focus on exports. I want us to grow more of our own food. I would like us to replace globalist mercantilism with a judicious mixture of self-sufficiency and logical trade.
I believe passionately in the revival of mutual concerns and organisations as a far better complement to the ‘profit economy’ than the public sector….something which, at last, has begun to gain ground as an idea. We need an economy of mixed motives, not mixed ownership. Much of the justification for my use of the word ‘radical’ is a desire to slim down State-controlled activities of all kinds, and to spin off most of its work into mutualised organisations – free from takeover, but made to compete in the real world. I include in ‘activities’ almost everything that the Civil Service does. Most people don’t get this, but this is my cross to bear, not yours.
Over time, The Slog has been a melange of investigative journalism, philosophy, use of hard data, and humour as a means of chipping away at the current Establishment. While I do not see it as a ‘news’ medium, I do see it as adding value in order to interpret the news. 24/7 TV and online news has become a hiding place for yet more bollocks: I try to point it out when I see it.
The track record isn’t that bad for such a small site. The Slog broke the Gordon Brown on anti-depressants/going blind story in 2008. Three months later it revealed the identity of Tommy McAvoy as the Labour whip encouraging MPs to fiddle expenses. It began tracking Nicolas Sarkozy before most of the media. It was the first to show that Gordon Brown lied to Chilcot, and the first to develop a credible theory about how Brown deposed Blair. I identified Christine Lagarde as an idiot before most people, and predicted Barack Obama would make a disastrous President.I spotted Recep Erdogan as a bad guy, said Cameron would regret his Ankara speech, predicted the Arab Spring would turn sour, and revealed that Libya’s Moussa Koussa is an MI6 double agent. Last but not least, The Slog said on Day One that Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest was a farce, and the charges wouldn’t stick. I had a world exclusive on the DA Cyrus Vance’s decision to move for dismissal of all charges against the former IMF boss. More recently, I have been ahead of the curve on most bondholder/debtor EU State situations and negotiations, and predicted more or less to the letter why Andrew Lansley’s NHS reforms would turn into a morass of bitterness, confusion and indecision.
The Slog’s most satisfying success has been in attacking Newscorp villainy, and predicting at the outset that the Hackgate scandal would turn into a true British Watergate. I have said, and still believe, that in the end David Cameron will be forced to resign as a result of it. I was also early into the case against hackers on other papers, and broke two damaging stories about Piers Morgan’s obvious personal use of hacking in the past.I continue to be convinced that he and others will pay a much higher price for this than they have to date.
The site’s other main focus has been the dysfunctionality of global investment banking, the inevitability of sovereign debt forgiveness, the impossibility of a proper UK recovery without drastic rebalancing of the economy, and the dire need for root and branch banking reform both here and elsewhere.We are witnessing a transfer of power not just from West to East, but also from democratically elected politicians to controlling, bullying, monopolistic money.
The Slog has been ahead of the pack on EU meltdown from the start, and its analyses of the push and pull between the banks, Greece, the Bundestag, the ECB, Merkel, Brussels, Italy, Sarkozy and Drgahi have been proved consistently correct. Recent Berlin rigidity in the face of bad ClubMed behaviour and infinite market greed can only lead to disaster. More and more financial, business and political leaders now accept this.
The Slog doesn’t ban any comment that is reasonably put without abuse. It will allow one use of obscenity in the comment threads, after which any recurrence will attract a permanent ban. I believe in free thinking, but I find it hard to deal with superior Charlies who turn up foul-mouthed with the sole objective of belittling everyone. That sort of arrogance based on ignorance is a big part of what I’d like to stop.
Valid 10 years unless revoked
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