“He’s that most dangerous of animals, a clever sheep”
That Paul Mason, eh? All those years on the BBC, spent stolidly parsing economics within Auntie’s default framework of ‘our leaders (“our mummies”) know best’.
Now he’s unleashed on a willing world courtesy of Channel Four and guest spots in the Guardian. Today he’s saying what a load of old cobblers the OECD has come out with in its projections for the world economy to 2060.
‘If born in 2014, then by 2060 you are either a 45-year-old barrister or a 45-year-old barista,’ is Mason’s condensation of the report for a Guardian comment piece.
Now that he’s sidestepped the stifling atmosphere of Beeb message management, Mason doesn’t have to find some wee timorous beastie of an economist to say the OECD is right, then quote another saying the opposite. He can come right out and question the elites’ fundamental assumptions.
He doesn’t think they will get away with withdrawing into heavily-armed enclaves, surrounded by slums populated by millions of immigrants: those migrants imported to hold down labour costs as the subsidy from cheap fossil fuels dries up.
The ultimate lesson from the report is that, sooner or later, an alternative programme to “more of the same” will emerge. Because populations armed with smartphones, and an increased sense of their human rights, will not accept a future of high inequality and low growth.
I take your point, Paul. But I tell you what. I’ll nip along to my nearest Norman castle and attack it with a smartphone and let you know how I get along.