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For all the middle age punks out there, me and Kirk Brandon, spear of Destiny legend

Still more hits

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I want to thank you all for taking the time to visit my blog,

My views have just passed 1250, which is fantastic, and I appreciated you all taking the time to read my blog.

At the moment my audience grows by 45 people a day, I think that is amazing, I only took to using this blog properly a couple of months ago, before that I had put up 3 posts in 18 months, so it was a choice on my part to get more involved and use my blog to it's full potential.

I am enjoying the experience very much, I have partnered this blog with my blog site and set up a partnership page on Facebook to try and pull it all together.

So once again thank you all for taking the time to read my blog, and thank you very much to all the people who have taken the time to comment and challenge some of the things I have written.

Here are my other links, they have less posts than this blog, but some are a little different and contain a different set of comments....

Thank you

www.thespecialistgeneralist.net

and

https://www.facebook.com/thespecialistgeneralist/

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Interconnectedness

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Interconnectedness, is not a made up word, it appears in my module, it alludes to the collectivist perception of international relations.

so I thought I would try a little interconnectedness, so as well as my blog website:

www.thespecialistgeneralist.net

I also created a Facebook page to run along side it for extra digital presence and enhanced interconnectedness.

https://www.facebook.com/thespecialistgeneralist/

I urge you all to like my page on Facebook, please.

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Scottish Independance

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 26 Mar 2017, 11:36


From the www.thespecialistgeneralist.net


The Second Scottish referendum.


Or


You can supranational away our sovereignty, but you’ll never take our ‘freedom’.


 


So the Scottish had a independence referendum, 3 years ago. The result was a NO to independence by a wide 10% majority. Job done, message sent, VHS copies of Braveheart put away and a continuation of the continuum by the UK.


Described at the time by the lead Yes to independence campaigner and head of the Scottish nationalist party, Alex Salmond, as a ‘once in a generation’ vote. Well generations move very quickly in Scotland, 3 years later the generations who voted to remain in the union (baby boomers, generation X and millennials) look set to vote again. This time we might have a second ‘once in a generation’ vote in a second generation (baby boomers+3,  Generation X+3, millennials+3 and generation Y-those born in the first 18 months of generation Y only though, these 3 year generation gaps really do stop a real divergence of generational voting demographics!).


Perhaps Mr Salmond, meant something different when he spoke of generations. Perhaps it was a threat, do it now or you will never get to do it again. Perhaps that was the motivation behind his evaluating the referendum as a generational defining moment. This is a historic vote everyone, best do your best, and bring home the result us nationalists have been longing for. The hopes of the nationalist Salmond were dashed, but his replacement, Mrs Sturgeon (that fishy surname confluence might come back to haunt these two, later in this article-when I am looking at the economic claims made by them both and the SNP).


So what changed?


We had a Uk wide referendum about our membership of the European Union. In which we voted, by a 4% margin, to leave. Scotland voted by a 24% margin to remain- now that is a big margin-if the population of your slice of the Uk was bigger than 8.5%. This disparity of a 24% margin of 8.5 million Scottish voters is the basis for the calls for a second referendum. If the entire population of Scotland had voted remain, 100%, the result would have been the same, Leave, instead of a 4% margin, it would have been a 1% margin for the Leave campaign. So Scotland might not liked the result, but they could not have changed it, even with 100% return. So was that demographics over democracy or just the social contract in operation? Either way it is enough to warrant the new SNP calls for a second-once in a generation-independence referendum, because Scotland does not want the result of the EU referendum to stand for them.


 


So the whole UK voted to leave the EU, if you consider the whole UK to be a democratic union. Scotland does not seem to feel this way, they are unhappy with the democratic result of the union they are in, so wish to leave the union to restore their democratic membership of the E.U. So rather than leave the EU as part of the world’s 5th largest economy ( and forecasted to become 4th, over taking Germany, in the next 10 years) the Scottish would aim to leave the Union and re-join the E.U as an independent economy, an economy that is 43rd largest in the world and 12th largest in the E.U. and about the same size as Chile in a global perspective or Ireland in an E.U perspective.


 


Lots of claims were made by Nationalist’s in the first, once-in-a-generation independence referendum. Three years having passed some of the claims made the firs- time round can be viewed with better perspective if a second referendum comes about. Mr Salmond had claimed that the revenue from oil production would be, in the first year of independence, £ 8 billion pounds (UK pounds), where as the actual figure as audited by the national Audit office was £ 600 million (still in UK pounds). Mr Salmond was wrong by a factor of 1300%, or to put it another way 3% of the total Scottish GDP!. This is staggering, but then if you are going to tell a lie, try to make it a whooper. If a second referendum goes around then Ms Sturgeon will not be able to be quite so ‘liberal’ with the projected oil revenue’s. So if granted a second referendum, the SNP will not be asking to leave the union so it can be an independent country, it will need to leave the union so it can join the E.U asap because it will need the euro, the European central Bank and the subsidies that the E.U provides to survive as an independent economy, I do appreciate the this is an oxymoron, to be an independent economy whilst being locked to a currency union, central bank loans and a group wide economic policy, does not sound very independent at all. It all sounds a bit fishy really, not that Mr Salmond or Ms Sturgeon would recognise the pun.


So we will see, Mrs May has already refused a second referendum, the Scottish parliament is still discussing if they should even ask for one, and the SNP are still curtailing generations to 3 year spans and declaring everything that is not to their liking as ‘undemocratic’. So while the world turns, liberalism in western societies continues to spin, the SNP are sounding like a broken record (we have to presume a Rod Stewart record).


 


‘you will never take our freedom’ *


* Terms + Condition’s apply, the word freedom may be substituted for currency union, economic union, ECB debt and IMF influence over internal political policy or supranational influence of a state’s sovereignty by the E.U at any given time.


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the end of history.

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i am coming to the end of the module now.

one more week of study planner, one final tma to write, one online quiz and the exam.

I have been looking very closely at fukuyama's concept of the end of history, that we are in a stable neo-liberal stasis, that no further events will be extreme because we have liberally stabilised. I am not sure I agree with that, especially as that principle seems to condemn the poor nations to remain behind forever.

Well now to stop procrastinating and polish off the final week of study and get the TMA 5 done. 

Permalink 5 comments (latest comment by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 26 Mar 2017, 19:06)
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simulated human rights

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as part of my module we have to conduct a role play, to do with international law and human rights, interventionism, the UN and the sovereignty of the state. It is available on open learn and the link to the simulation is here.

http://www2.open.ac.uk/openlearn/savingsetrus/

It is interesting and disturbing at the same time, I have role played it twice and scored 78 % both times, taking different stances with both the UN and military action. I had 100% scores for both legal and political actions, but my humanitarian score was low.

It seems to be making the point that if you act or don't act, the humanitarian side of the scores is always lowest, if you go straight in with troops and aid you will score a high humanitarian score but fail on legal and political scores.

I invite you all to try the role play, please comment your scores here, I would like to know if there is a optimal path through the role play.

Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Michael Gumbrell, Friday, 24 Mar 2017, 18:48)
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Specialist satire

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Here is my latest offering for the micro news site in Portsmouth.

I have squeezed Portsmouth city councils year into the news that monopoly has been updated.

I hope you enjoy it, even if you are not local to Portsmouth

I quite like this one, I might get accused of having idea's above my station (Fratton)

For any one who reads this and has ever been in the Navy, then you know what

'getting off at Fratton' means !

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satire published

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Here is the link for the starandcrescent.org where some more of my satire has been published.

as ever I am grateful to my editor, Sarah, for her wise words and patience.

http://www.starandcrescent.org.uk/2017/03/22/pompey-satire-trumps-cards-cronies-and-cat/


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TMA 5

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Just trying to get my head around TMA 5. Globalisation and political practice is hard.

Fukuyama has much to ssy about the end of history on thst subject.

I am just sweating the end of this block and tma 5.

Oh look, another level 2 is hard post from me. Well it has been a couple of weeks since i mentioned it.

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Hitting a mile stone

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The views counter is now at 1066.

Which made me chickle. For those of you who have worked in buildings with digi locks on doors to staff only areas, hands up how many had the button code,  1066?

Next mile stone will be 1648.

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more hits.

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That is a lovely surprise, only a week ago i was thanking everyone for getting my blog views up to 750.

Here i am a week later and it is on 1000.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. i know it can be a bit generalist in content, but that is part of the fun, right?

I feel very blessed now.

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a new style of self reflection.

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Well level 2 continues to surprise me.

for our TMA 5 we have to post our essay plan in a online forum. This is quite a challenge for me, as I do not tend to write an essay plan out, I do a simple spider diagram of what I want to say in sections, why I want to say it and then sit and write the essay in one sitting, then save and revisit twice over a couple of days, making revisions at each sitting.

So to produce a plan was new to me, but I made an infographic of my spider diagram, so hopefully this is a correct submission. We then have to write a self reflection about how looking at other students essay plans made us realise the strengths and weaknesses in our own essay's. It carries a 15% chunk of the final mark. So it is quite an important element to get right.

Hopefully my essay plan infographic is strong enough to help other make the strength and weaknesses cases in their own self-reflections, otherwise I might let the side down.

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Tutorial 5

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So i enjoyed the tma5 tutorial. It was interesting and really made me think.

I am personally an international realist and so my tma will be in that context.

Nearly at the end of this module now.

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weddings and tutorials

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so i have a tutorial this Saturday, all booked are ready to go,

I might be hanging at the tutorial,because my sister in law is getting married on Friday, so that is a busy day and evening for me.

Not sure I will have time free to write a blog this Sunday, which is a shame because we have the SNP demands for a second referendum and the Dutch elections this week, plus we might see article 50 triggered in the next 7 days.

I will try and find time to cover the Dutch election, I mentioned it in my 'summer of brexit' article, so it will be interesting to see the results.

For the SNP independence blog, I fancied having  look at that from an economic perspective, did you know that the IMF has predicted that the UK economy will grow to larger than Germany's  in the next 10 years, so Scotland might have to think very carefully from an economic perspective, after all, when isolated, Scotland's GDP is the same as Slovakia or Estonia. Is Scotland's economy big enough to survive in a globalised world? In the first independence referendum, the SNP made much of the income from oil, they estimated in to be 12 billion in the first 3 years, where as the actual figure was 800,000 million! Can the new predictions from the SNP be taken seriously when they got it wrong last time by 1400% ?, also it is very interesting because if there is a second referendum, Scotland and the SNP will be talking a lot about 'freedom' and from a philosophical perspective, is seeking independence from England and staying on board with the super international aspirations of the E.U more 'Free' than remaining in a union with the U.K that is removed from the E.U? something to write about there, for sure.

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Mark arrived

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My feedback for tma 4 came in this evening.

I scored 82% so not bad, i think this module is coming in at a pass grade 2. 

I would need to find 3 extra percent and scored 89% on my final tma plus 85% on my exam to get a distinction. Thanks a stretch, so a grade 2 pass is more likely for me.

I will have to make sure i really stick the exam to be sure.

 

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errors upon errors

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I do have a question about how many errors or miss-prints are considered reasonable in module text books and the study planner?

For my module DD211, we have had the following:

TMA 2 guidance notes were incorrect

TMA 3 guidance notes were incorrect

TMA 4 guidance notes were incorrect

TMA 5 guidance notes were incorrect

Week 14 had dead links in it

Week 19 had incorrect information in it

Wee 21 had dead links and missing information in it.

Plus the whole online tutorial event on the 5th of October failed to work, despite us all wanting to do it because we had missed our first lecture because the tutorial booking system was a mess.

all this came after a update to the module books in June 2016, which i include here because some of the typo's are funny.

  • Book 2, Block 4, chapter 14, page 41. Tony Blair was elected in 1997 and left office in 2007
  • Book 2, Block 4, chapter 14, page 42. Jimmy Carter left office in 1981, not 1991
  • Week 26 audio transcript for “Political concepts revisited” should read “serfs” and not “surfs”
  • Week 26 section 4.2 the audio interview with Richard Heffernan indicates that in the US decisions on smoking in public places are covered by federal law. This should be 'state' law rather than 'federal' law.

Serfs not surfs!


Does anyone else have this kind of level of errors in the course materials?

Or have DD211 this year just been extra lucky?



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Formula 1 a new season

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Here is another post from my personal wordpress blog

www.thespecialistgeneralsit.net



The new F1 season

Or

‘oh lord won’t you buy me a Ferrari’

I may not have mentioned this before, but I do really like formula 1. When I say really like I actually mean, I love it and have an insatiable desire for all the technical details and little tweaks that the engineers spent hundreds of millions of pounds, euro’s or dollars in developing.

Last season was a bit of a frustration for the scarlet Ferrari’s. They really under performed, Vettell had his car treated like a bumper car at the fair by some of the other drivers, and results did not go the way of the team.

But that is behind them now, a new season is dawning and rule changes and technical rule changes have served to bring hope back that the new season will not be another season of Scalextric style ‘follow the Mercedes’ races.

Pre-season testing has gone well for the Ferrari team, hundreds of laps under their, presumably Gucci, belts and both drivers producing the fastest laps of the session. So before a wheel gets turned in anger at Melbourne in the opening race of the season, I took a little look at how each team has developed the aero package on their cars in the face of technical changes.

One of the biggest changes of the new season, the biggest technical change, has brought about the smallest rear wings ever seen on F1 cars. The rear wings this year a tiny, low slung and will produce much less down force than in previous years. Couple this with the huge increase in the permitted size of rear tyre’s, it is going to be harder to stick the back end of the cars down onto the track. Traction provided by the larger tyre’s is traded off by the tiny little rear wings. That is a big problem when you have 900 horse power to transmit through the rear wheels.

I noticed with all the new cars, the aero package through the centre point of the car has changed a great deal, side pods and air intakes have changed shape dramatically and the air flow is managed to a much greater degree around the cockpit of the car. Getting the air into the correct shape now seems to be crucial, getting the air into the right flow, before it flows over the engine cover and hits the tiny rear wing is key. I had a look at all the new designs, from all the teams, and I noticed Ferrari has a tweak that no-one else has.

So does the Ferrari speed in testing involve their difference in design to the other teams? Both Vettell and Kimi are well known for wanting cars with stiff and very direct performing front ends. Both drivers like to be able to hurl their cars into the apex of a corner and the last possible moment, neither driver is going to be ever accused of a smooth style, of flattening out bends and coaxing the car through a difficult apex. Both drivers love to spring the shift in momentum in at the last possible moment, to hurl the front end into the apex. I wondered if the new Ferrari design has been done to enable it’s drivers to do this, and has the extra benefit of producing better air flow around the side pods and cockpit surfaces.

So rather than tease, I should go public with my observations, if you have followed this article to this point, then you must be interested in Formula 1 and all the tiny little changes that can make such an impact.

So I noticed the front end wish bones:

Here is the new Mercedes and if you look you can see the back-raking body after the snub drop enforced by crash regulations. But you can still see the bulbous protrusions where the front suspension springs are bolted to the monocot containing the driver. It is shaped like a wave, from the tip of the nose, raking-up sharply to the bulbous spring mounting points and then gently curving back to the tiny bit of plastic the drivers consider a wind shield.

merc

 

Plus lots of barge boards and wings to sculpt the air around the side of the car. Very pretty and very much like last year.

Ferrari on the other hand as clearly gone down a different path. The cockpit in front of the car is like a slab, flat enough to play cards on. A complete ironing board look. Some the suspension spring mounting points have been moved, shifted into the crash structure of the nose, producing a flat plane of body work in front of the driver. We also see that Ferrari have produced a double entrance to the air pods on the side of the car. The air flow directly in front and around the driver is managed in a very different way to the Mercedes.

Ferrari.jpg

 

So does this very different new design offer the Ferrari drivers a better front end experience? And is this why both the Ferrari drivers topped the lap times in the test sessions in Barcelona? We will have to wait and see, only the first few races of the season will reveal if Ferrari have beaten their rivals to the aerodynamic punch and produced a car that can break the dominance of Mercedes for the last three years.

I am a Mclaren fan by the way, but for the obvious reasons they did not leave me much to talk about in pre-season testing, again……


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all about the hits

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I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all of you.

This blog has received 750 views now, I think I am very happy with that. When you considered I posted 3 times in 18 months, and then decided to use the blog space more in the last 3 months.

So thank you all who have taken the time to view my ramblings, and thank you to the people who left comments, your input is really appreciated.

I think I am pleased with how 'blogging' has gone for me so far, I even committed to owning a word press blog,

www.thespecialistgeneralist.net

and I am enjoying sharing my thoughts and articles with people.

So thank you all for your support, with 3 years still left to go with the OU, I am hopeful that lots more material will make its way up here.

Mike

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last block

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Here I am, still waiting for the TMA 4 mark, and 2 weeks in to the 4 week module 5.

All down hill from here, block 5 is the last learning block of the module, block 6 is set aside for revision for the final exam.

So I am getting closer to wrapping up the taught blocks, then to consolidate and do the Exam.

DD211 was alright I suppose, level 2 is hard and this module was okay.

I thought this last block, with its theme of international relations was going to be more interesting, but it seems to be quite dull.

I thought I really hated block 3, ideology, however looking back I am starting to feel the love for it a lot more, it might even turn out to be my favourite block of this module. I never thought I would be saying that 2 months ago.

you live and learn, that's the whole point of this really.

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cultural short fall

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This is a short blog to celebrate the governance in my home town of Portsmouth.


Just a little story that I would commend to some satire.


 


Portsmouth used to have a community hub arts centre in a local park.


Run by volunteers it was a hub for people to learn and enjoy creating art in a peaceful environment.


The hub got a little bit behind with its rent, so they decided to have a fundraising fair on a Saturday afternoon to raise the funds required to continue their 10 year tenure.


Portsmouth City Council approved and gave a license for the fundraising fair for the Saturday afternoon.


All well and good so far, very heart warming, except for the fact that,


Despite giving a license for the Saturday fundraising fair, the council decided to foreclose and evict the Arts Centre on the Monday before hand. Portsmouth City Council were wary of the trouble this might cause so, rather than use their own officers to foreclose the building, they decided to send the police in to do the job. Which the police did, with great effect, arrests were made and the building shut down, locks changed and the community arts hub discontinued.


 


4 short weeks later, Portsmouth City Council have decided to bid to be the 2018 European City of Culture.


Very cultured indeed of the Council, or is that too soon?


I might encourage Portsmouth city Council to ‘stay classy’ but that would assume they had any class to retain.


So I made this satirical infographic, it is too late for the community arts hub in Portsmouth now, but hopefully the officers of Portsmouth City Council will feel a little twinge of guilt at their own actions.


Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Michael Gumbrell, Friday, 10 Mar 2017, 22:05)
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how to get ahead and alienate people

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from my blog:

The specialistgeneralist.net


Trump: the international realist


Or


How to get ahead and alienate people.


 


Things seem to settle down somewhat in the White House for the last 5 days or so. I wonder if they have a board up in the White house staff break room that reads,


3 Days


 ‘Days since we had a total whirlwind of controversy’


So I thought I would have a little look and consideration of what Mr Trump’s fall back catch phrase of ‘make America great again’ means.


Mr Trump appears to be an international realist. Very much a fan of the state, The sovereignty of US territory. This must be the case because so much of what he has said, and unconstitutionally tried to do, reinforces a nationalist ideal. To be an international realist you must consider the power of your state on the world stage and in relation to the other states around you as primary. You must believe that all states exist in a balance of power and that winning this anarchy of power balance is to be the strongest player. To the victor the rewards, even if the reward appear to be playing the same game of power balance for ever.


To feed this ‘make America great again’ habit and reassert Americas position as number one, Mr Trump feels it is very important to, repel boarders-or let’s have a travel ban.


Remind the geographers and international partners that America has a non-porous border that is a fixed boundary and definable- or let’s build a wall.


Next Mr Trump turned his attention to the Liberal economic concerns of the interconnectedness of economic globalisation, again as an international realist, Mr trump will naturally resent the very transnational economic model of development. So playing his trump card (my apologies, but that cannot get old) he lays out his ‘art of the deal’ slick and pressures manufactures and companies into refocusing production on U.S soil. He also pulled the classic nationalist trick of going for government funded infrastructure development to fuel wages and living standards.


So far so good (if you’re an international realist) or not so good if you are of a collectivist persuasion.


If you are a collectivist, they you are going to consider that globalisation is inevitable, and the merging of cultural bonds progresses that process. Now it might get interesting. Is Mr Trumps persona, his public face, pre-planned to try and halt cultural collectivism? All of his tirades about the fake news, the unfair media, his opponents being evil, serve to alienate people outside of his core support. Are they aimed at a higher goal? Now if Mr Trump is planning his persona to offset and repulse global collectivism, then it is surely working. He is playing a role, after all politicians are ‘actors’ on a stage. Is he being deliberately outrageous, miss-leading, belligerent and vile to further his own agenda of international realism?


That would be fun, as long as he does not go so far that it threatens his position, then he will always use this tool of being unlikeable to repress the collectivist agenda towards globalisation. This is even more fun, because the media, Stephen Colbert on the late show, John Oliver, Trevor Noah and all the other liberal collectivist stars are helping Trump achieve his ultimate goal of steering the US into a more realist international position. The more they complain, the more people protest, the stronger Trump’s steer becomes. This is even more ironic when you consider the protests have popped up all over the world, we even had anti-trump protests here in Portsmouth, UK. They might all be playing even further into his hands, making the globalist trait of cultural interconnectedness even harder to achieve and providing Trump with internationalist realist fuel to thrown onto the fire.


There is a fly in the ointment of Trumps 110% commitment (it’s going to be great, let me tell you) to international realism. If you believe in the International realist perspective of international anarchy, then a mistrust of large states is a major part of your position. So you have threats to your states number one status. This makes Trump’s love in with the Russians and Putin a little harder to understand. Although the idea that Putin and Russia are really not fans of globalisation is easy to believe, so Russia herself is an international realist, then if you are in that game of one-up-man-ship, then you need a big heavy hitter to go up against. Since the cold war went the way of the neo-liberal globalist, Russia has been at a bit of a loose end, she could not win because she was playing a different game to everyone else. Rather like taking a cricket bat to a tennis match, you might get a game, but you will lose to the person with the racquet. So is the new Trump-Putin love in an attempt by the Russians to help Trump get his realist way with America, so that the newly wedded realists can have a good old game of superpowers?


Globalisation does raise many heckles, in fact it was the main bug bear of the Occupy movement, so does that mean for his very denouement, will Mr trump re-position America as a 100 % international realist state, destroy global collectivism with his own unique public persona, restore a nationalist economic agenda to American workers and then take up residence in a tent outside the Wall street to protest the remaining liberal economic elements of globalisation? Now that would really get the liberal media going, Stephen Colbert’s head might explode with the joy of that situation.


Who knows, here in the UK we voted to Brexit after all, so we clearly have eyes on a westphalian shift away from transnational organisations. The thing that interests me is the American belief that they are the best. They are god’s chosen country, the free country, the home of the brave individual. That mantra really supports an international realist perspective, right up to the point when things start to not go your way. America is the spiritual home of the liberal individualist, with their distain of big government and mistrust of governmental interference, lovers of their rights and freedoms.


So will Trump be able to roll back the clock, roll back globalisation and position America in a 100% international realist perspective, all in 4 years, whilst building a wall, rebuilding roads and bridges, making people happy with extra dollars in their pockets and being as vile as possible to the media? Well he got himself into the White House, so these things might well come to pass…. And if it all does not go his way, he can always go to his fall back position of ‘billionaire former president of the united states’


 


Mike Gumbrell


thespecialistgeneralist


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