Regular Speech Topics

THEMES I OFTEN RETURN TO WHEN DELIVERING A SPEECH (OR PRODUCE ARTICLES OR A BOOK)

ClearThinking
  1. Today’s key political and economic trends. Why today’s upset political equilibrium can be explained by six development trends relating to socio-economic, commercial and technological changes. Why these changes have triggered influential power shifts even though these shifts have not been deliberately orchestrated by anyone. Why the political impact has nevertheless been so massive that the shifts have caused the first establishment-vs-the-people divide since the democratic breakthrough. Why so many politicians of all sorts fail to properly grasp – or at least properly acknowledge – the link between cause and effect. Why highly flawed narratives – both sensationalist and self-serving – dominate the political landscape during the confused phase of the transition period currently playing out. Why there is plenty of opportunity for those who understand why and how much mainstream thought will continue to be reliably wrong.

  2. Why realism works better but idealism tends to be more popular. Why the populist counterreaction has been inevitable given the Centrist (globalist) move into overshoot terrain. Why the Centrists are the last to notice and acknowledge that things have been taken too far. Why the vested interests backing a political camp, it does not matter which one, will always demand a little bit more in the same direction as before. Why eventually – when more of the same is increasingly hard to defend rationally – the same vested interests will shift their allegiance from the “realists” to the “idealists”. Why the idealists, almost per definition, will care little about practical realities on the ground. Why idealists will often instead master the art of producing emotional moralistic alibis which proactively knock down critics by portraying them as “evil”, “subversive” and as “enemies of peace and prosperity”. Why the scene will then be set for a fierce political backlash, perhaps equally dogmatic anti-establishment rivals and an acrimonious “culture war”. Why the status quo gatekeepers will be subtly instructed to scrutinise critics as well as the power players of the past – like colonialists long dead – in order to make it possible for the power players of today to duck scrutiny. Meaning it will not be the finest hour of the human race. Why authentic moderates might not feel truly comfortable anywhere. Why this is the phase country after country is going through in real time. Why all this is following an often repeated pattern in history. Why Centrist realism and Centrist idealism should be considered two completely different beasts, one adding vast amounts of value whereas the other is always highly detrimental. 

  3. Why and how the EU, despite all the good intentions, really cannot survive following its transgression into overshoot terrain. Why the Brussels project served Europe remarkably well before the political overcoat was added to the original economic project – meaning before the European Economic Community (EEC) was transformed into the European Union (EU). Why the problems started when the European project gained such a critical power mass that it could also start expanding way beyond the democratic mandate. Why from then on expansionism – rather than serving Europe – turned into the prime priority of the EU movers and shakers. Why not only the EU democratic deficit is still massively underestimated (outside the UK) but also the economic EU membership disadvantages. Why the EU has no positive future and partly because of rather than despite the powerful EU web of vested interests. Including a magnificent line-up of so called pillars of society paid to shake their heads solemnly and say things like “nonsense” and “outrageous”. Just as when insisting that staying outside the euro project would lead to economic disaster and when also predicting that Brexit would never happen. Why the initial objectives of the European project – free trade but democracy left intact – can now, ironically, only be achieved by dismantling the EU and starting afresh in a much limited form. Why the EU break-up really is a question of when, not if. Why it is also only a question of time before many of today’s most passionate EU apologists – also those outside the UK – will pretend they were always more EU sceptic than most others. 

  4. The Brexit story cleansed from both Brussels and London PR-spin. Why the Brexit twists and turns have played out much differently than you might have been led to believe. Especially if you are based outside the UK where the EU PR-machine – possibly the most influential PR-machine in the world – has been instructed to systematically misrepresent the Brexit story. Why, luckily, the end game is decided by actual results rather than doctored narratives. 

  5. Why the UK is now set to outpace the member countries of the organisation it just left. Both politically and economically. Despite most establishment bien pensants having for years insisted that the UK is destined to lag behind. The economic advantages of leaving the UK the EU power players ensure you rarely hear. 

  6. Why Scotland will not leave the UK. Why the Scottish independence threat does help to concentrate minds in London but also why Scotland is nevertheless, when push comes to shove, highly unlikely to actually leave the UK. Regardless of current opinion polls. Why transferring political powers from London to Edinburgh – only to transfer most of the same powers to Brussels where Scottish voters have no clout at all – would be far more schizophrenic than Braveheart. Why the Scottish independence case therefore rests on the mistaken Remainer claim that the Brexit effect on the UK economy will be devastating. Why it is likely that SNP is currently swinging its swan song as the dominant player north of the England-Scotland border. Yes, a formidable swan song in all its waning might and misguided passion – but still a swan song.

  7. Why the sensational US development provides yet another textbook example of how (Centrist) overshoot has triggered an anti-thesis counter-reaction (Trumpism). This certainly would not have been possible without many voters sensing a need to push back against Centrist (globalist) establishment overshoot. Why Republicans and Democrats are locked into a vicious circle characterised by both sides feeding on each other’s worst failings. Why the Centrists have drifted so far into overshoot terrain they need blunt belligerents such as Donald Trump in order to come across as more balanced. Why the “populist” camp needs polished establishment royalties such as Hillary Clinton, those with deep connections in every establishment sphere of influence (not least within the donor community), in order to come across as the camp representing folksy common sense. Why this has left the much misunderstood silent majority without a champion. Why the 2020 election, as a result, failed to produce a strong majority for either side (and too many voters seemingly voting against rather than for a candidate). Why voters thereby, wisely, are incentivising politicians on both sides to finally start listening to what they have been saying all along: we do not want overshoot of any variety – including Centrist overshoot.

  8. Why Sweden can be seen as both a role model for Centrist realism and a cautionary tale for Centrist idealism. Why Sweden has got it spectacularly wrong during both the migration crisis and the coronavirus crisis. How the pretend moderation – today offered by official Sweden – betrays Sweden’s long history of real moderation. Why and how official Sweden exerts professional and social pressure to instinctively close rank even to defend also astonishingly poor policy choices. Why such rank closing is not always without merit but also why it presently endangers society while stifling vital debate. Why the intimate – corporativist – links between public servants and the Labour market bigwigs adds massively to the low public debate standards. Why the Nordic neighbours – Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland – have managed not to abandon the traditional Nordic ways now abandoned by Sweden. What today’s “unSwedish Sweden” must do to return to its immensely successful past form. 

  9. A British-Swedish comparison of key differences and similarities. Why it is not a co-incidence that parties such as the UK Labour Party and the Swedish Social Democratic Party – once parties widely recognised even among its opponents as the parties of solidarity, working class respect and grassroots oriented practical skill – have transformed into parties of too many soundbites and too much pretend grassroots orientation. Why and how the UK Conservative Party has managed to take advantage of the power vacuum left following the flagging fortunes of the UK Labour Party. Why the Swedish opposition parties have failed to do the same thing despite a highly similar situation. Why these opposition parties still to this day tend to offer less independent thought than anxious reactions to Social Democratic policies. 

  10. Why the Nordic co-operation model is far superior to the EU co-operation model. The pros and cons of a hopelessly anxious (consensus) climate of debate – a hallmark of the debate in most small(ish) countries such as the Nordic countries. Why consensus – including a degree of social anxiety – can be a great asset during an implementation phase. However, this is true only as long as democracy is left intact so that the voice of the people is respected when decisions are made. Why the Nordic co-operation model is much superior to the EU co-operation model: close co-operation in every area but, crucially, without eroding democracy.

  11. Why academics are more influential than ever – and the intellectual debate yet so shallow. Why academics are more politically influential than ever – and why the intellectual debate is still more one-eyed, more politicised and more “woke” than at any point since the era of royal despotism. Why the symbiotic relationship between the academic sphere and its political paymasters has always been too close for comfort.

  12. How political history repeats itself in many ways but also offers fascinating novelty. The key political trends today that offer little more than repetition in the history of politics and economics (including today’s political overshoot coupled with a (neo)paternalist attitude towards those raising concerns). The key trends that are truly unique (for example the fact that the overshoot is for the first time orchestrated by Centrists). Why the capitals in the developed world are more important than ever as centres of economic entrepreneurship – but the movers and shakers in the capital also the last to grasp the general political shift in voter sentiment.

  13. The functional purpose – and immorality – of idealism and virtue signalling. Why many major lobbyists are embracing political virtue signalling so strongly. Why many “woke” students are unknowingly playing into the hands of big business. Why economic power, for the first time during the democratic breakthrough, is turning more rather than less concentrated.

  14. The link between DDR, Borat and the Swedish coronavirus fiasco. Why it really does not require a Sherlock to understand the link between cause and effect when Sweden is the only Nordic country to avoid a lockdown even during the most critical early weeks of a new deadly virus – and 4 out of 5 dead in the Nordics end up Swedish. How the Swedish government has still managed to muddle through by lining up experts claiming “it is impossible to tell why the Swedish numbers deviate”. Why the Swedish economy has not performed better than the other Nordic economies despite its more “liberal” coronavirus approach. Why some libertarians across the world have nevertheless insisted on supporting the Swedish approach. Despite normally the archenemies of a Swedish government led by Social Democrats. Why other libertarians, including all those who truly get Sweden, wisely refrained from offering such support. Why and how Sweden could still save its traditionally strong brand name.

  15. Why goal-setting also matters to countries. Why, in the lottery of life, it was a great win to be born in Sweden as long as Sweden compared itself with the best – and thereby consistently performed like the best. Why it should not be too surprising that even naturally advantaged Sweden has done so poorly, during the coronavirus crisis, while official Sweden has systematically compared itself with the, yes, most poorly performing countries (including the most naturally disadvantaged countries). Why the official argument that Sweden has done rather well – while death rates and infection rates have been even higher in a handful countries – should in fact be seen as remarkably “unSwedish”. And certainly not a reflection of the tough love urgently needed to return Sweden to its highly successful traditional form.

  16. The universal key to yet again revitalising society – and why we keep forgetting this key. As well as why it is no coincidence the traditionally most genuinely democratic and grassroots oriented societies – the Nordics, the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand – have for centuries belonged to the most successful countries on the planet. How to arrive at a society which is truly inclusive while not only empowering groups automatically empowered in a Centrist/metropolitan/globalist society (women, sexual minorities and ethnic minorities) but also those who in relative terms have lost out during recent decades (the native working class).

  17. Society happiness and why we keep doing things we know we should not do. The political and economic cycles we keep repeating over and over again. What to do to avoid the traps of repetition that do not serve society.

  18. Why we really need not be so gloomy about the future. Why political power resting on simplistic good-versus-bad PR-fluff has its limits even when peddled masterfully. Why the present political transition period really is much more predictable and the prospects much brighter – beyond inevitable short term hiccups – than the career peddlers of doom and division are claiming.