Over the weekend I listened to the James Delingpole podcast featuring Irish journalist Kevin Myers as his “very special guest”. I’d not heard of Myers before, but the first twenty minutes or so was dedicated to his spectacular fall from grace in the eyes of his employers.
To cut a long story short, Myers is a journalist of considerable experience having written for the Daily Telegraph, the Irish version of the Sunday Times, and the Irish Times. In July 2017 he wrote an article for the Sunday Times regarding the gender pay gap at the BBC in which he included the following line in relation to Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz who were paid more than their counterparts:
Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity.
Myers is a right-wing journalist who expresses views which upset progressives, but he has been solid enough on the subject of Jews and Israel that painting him as a rabid anti-semite is ludicrous. Nevertheless, in the early hours of the morning the piece went online and before it was even printed, a coordinated and determined effort had been made by peoples unknown to do just that, and when Myers woke up the next day he found social media littered with excerpts from articles and memoirs he’d written up to a decade earlier all carefully selected to portray him as an anti-semite. He says he has no idea who was behind it or how they managed to mobilise themselves so quickly, but he dismisses the suggestion that it was offended Jews and presumes it was SJWs who don’t like his right-wing views.
Anyway, his employers took serious issue with the piece, even though it had passed through an editorial process consisting of no less than seven people (all of whom kept their jobs), and fired him. He is now blacklisted from every major publication he used to write for. What distressed him the most is the people who fired him seemed to take an almost perverse delight in doing so, gleefully seizing on the opportunity to virtue-signal. Up until that point he had considered some of these people to be his friends. The Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar – the one who Theresa May seemingly reports to – also got in on the act, denouncing Myers in public as being misogynistic and anti-semitic. In other words, Myers is pretty much fucked.
Shifting the subject a little, I am aware of the existence of a bunch of people that Americans call “preppers“. These are people who are convinced that a complete breakdown of society is highly likely if not inevitable, and they want to be prepared when the day comes. This involves copious volumes of online discussion on what food and equipment to store and in what quantities, and the decision of when and how to “bug out” and where you’d go and what you’d take with you. I’ve seen TV shows of fat bearded men who’ve built underground bunkers in their back yards filled with ration packs and ammunition saying things like “These tinned peaches will be currency when the world breaks down, man!” I suspect in most cases these guys would be overrun by a mob as soon as word got around they had food, but the discussions are useful and there are enough anecdotes from people who fled hurricane Katrina or survived the siege of Sarajevo to provide some handy advice. (Anyone who is interested in reading about this should visit Bayou Renaissance Man and scroll down his sidebar to the links under “Articles on Emergency Preparation”)
I thought of these prepper guys when I listened to the situation Kevin Myers now finds himself in. Much of the prepper talk is about self-sufficiency, how you must learn to be absolutely self-reliant and not count on assistance from absolutely anybody except for family and perhaps a few like-minded close friends. When a situation goes south, relationships turn sour instantly and the people you thought were your friends are now threatening your whole existence. For all their paranoia, the preppers have at least got that bit right.
The more I read about the behaviour of managers in large organisations, the more I think employees should start adopting the mindset of a prepper and plan accordingly. I can well imagine there are millions of people whose entire livelihoods, and those of their families, are entirely dependent on the whims of one or two people who have a solid track record of looking after their own interests, principles and ethics be damned. This is not a good situation for anyone to be in.
There are a few ways one can prepare. The first is to learn a trade or skill that is in short supply, enabling you to pick up work across as many companies, industries, and locations as possible. Another is to work primarily for yourself as much as possible, or with one or two trusted individuals. If Myers ran a blog and charged people a subscription, it wouldn’t matter what his boss thought because he wouldn’t have one. This might not be possible or bring in enough money to support a person let alone a family, but combined with something else it might be. One could work part-time as a tradesman, part-time as a blogger, and collect rent from a property or two. That way, if one income source falls over you have another one or two which you can use to pay the bills. Sure, you might need to work as a corporate drone for a decade or two before you can diversify like this, but I’ve noticed the preppers in America aren’t exactly youngsters either.
Another option is to form a union, which is why they exist of course. I’m no fan of unions in their modern form but I can understand why people feel the need to join one, even if they often seem more interested in extorting the taxpayer and playing politics than shielding their employees from bad managers. The UK’s experience with unions is appallingly bad, but I suspect this is simply a reflection of equally appalling management. By contrast, German unions don’t appear to be as militant and self-destructive which is probably because German managers are more willing to have a productive discussion with the employees in the first place. Should I mention France? Perhaps not, eh?
With large organisations and employers fast heading down the route of political correctness and social justice pandering, people are going to have to start realising that loyalty doesn’t exist, nobody can be trusted, and they must become self-reliant as soon as they can. If possible, they should also look to diversify their income sources at the earliest opportunity, even if overall it means they earn much less. At this point in my life I think I’d rather earn £60k per year from two or three independent sources than £80k per year from one which can be pulled from under me at any moment.
All of this is leading to what I have written about before on here: smart young men are going to start forming their own small businesses either alone or with one or two trusted individuals, and avoiding corporate management and large organisations altogether.