The advice sounds like it comes from a prepper or a goldbug, but it is coming from a bona fide political establishment member in Britain.
If you frequent conservative and libertarian blogs that analyze the state of our economy, you probably have read this kind of advice before. You could easily see it on an alternative media twitter feed:
- “Advice on the looming crash, No.1: get hard cash in a safe place now; don’t assume banks & cashpoints will be open, or bank cards will work.”
- “Crash advice No.2: do you have enough bottled water, tinned goods & other essentials at home to live a month indoors? If not, get shopping.”
- “Crash advice No.3: agree on a rally point with your loved ones in case transport and communication gets cut off; somewhere you can all head to.”
The problem with this kind of advice is not that it isn’t warranted but that it always seems warranted. The fact that our paper, house-of-cards economy remains functional as long as it does seems impossible. Yet it often keeps going even though many naysayers are expecting it to crash. And eventually it does crash, but how to know when to expect it is a difficult question.
But what if this advice doesn’t come from a notorious “doom and gloom” financial observer, but from a genuine political establishment member?
Business Insider reports, “One of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s advisers is in full-blown panic mode over China’s Black Monday.”
Damian McBride, a former special adviser to Gordon Brown, is not at all happy with the news that stocks are falling around the world this morning.
McBride resigned in 2009 after a scandal involving emails that suggested smearing senior members of the Conservative party. He was formerly head of communications at the British Treasury, and was one of the Prime Minister’s inner circle at the time of the 2008 financial crisis.
He’s seriously worried about China’s stock market crash, and has some bizarre prepper-style advice for people to protect themselves.
The three quotations above are from Damian McBride’s twitter feed, not some wild-eyed prepper.
Saying McBride is “in full-blown panic mode” and calling his advice “bizarre” are ways of communicating to the reader that he is being irrational and they should look down on him for offering the advice.
But why would McBride “panic” if there was no reason to fear? As an establishment member, McBride’s advice has been sought by the most powerful people in Britain. If now suddenly McBride believes that people are in real danger from an economic crisis, why shouldn’t that advice be taken seriously?
We have here an extreme bias. As long as McBride doesn’t tweet “prepper-style advice” then his opinions on the financial system are considered weighty. But the minute his conclusions sound wrong, they are marginalized as worthless.
Does that reaction give you any confidence that our media would give us any real warning if our economy was on the brink of ruin?
What are you going to do about it?