Hype as the Baited Hook

‘UK creative industries are a tremendous contributor to economic growth, adding £8.8m per hour to the UK economy. The onset of the knowledge era has given way to what has been coined ‘The Creative Economy’, and this new economy is quickly beginning to outpace the once gargantuan industrial dependent economies of the West. According to John Howkins “America exports more value in terms of copyright, than food, soft drinks, cars, computers and planes, and Britain’s fashion industry employs more people and makes more money than do its steel or car industries.”

Click the download button to get your copy of: The Rise Of The Creative Economy Report’

Here we have what might be called a synthesis of strands of hype, neatly packaged up into a parcel; just like the dud bonds Bankers passed between themselves so as to ‘create value’ and which led straight to the 2008 crash

This is a blurb for a report on the creative economy. The blurb bigs up the report; but it does not say:

What makes John Howkins relevant and worth citing?

What is the authority behind this report?

The name of the author of the report

Any caveats about the large claims made

There is a scenario where the wife or husband snatches a repair job from a spouse’s fumbling hands whilst shouting: ‘Here! Let me do it!’  This is a familiar illustration of the results of mounting frustration. There are implicit assumptions behind such frustrations boiling within the snatcher’s temper, which risen to boiling point, then proceeds to boil over. The illustration of ‘Here! Let me do it!’ is interestingly relevant to the kind of assumption of authority made by organisations and by persons who feel blithely that they have a right to offer others advice and information.  As, lordly, they offer this information and advice from on high above, they inevitably feel free to colour it in the ways they see fit.

It is possible to train oneself to restrain oneself so as not to feed the demons of  this itch of ‘knowing best’ which is the fuel for ending-up boiling over with frustration.

The novelist Sir Walter Scott memorably said to a friend who asked him to endorse a book the friend has written; ‘Every herring should hang by its own head’. I think Sir Walter meant that he believed people should try to support their own ventures, make their own calls and judgements, bear with their own mistakes and approve their own successes.  And I might add – people should do this so as to learn from the experience of facing head-on the consequences of our life decisions in this way?  This is my take on life; I make no bones, although for anyone of us to keep to it is the great difficulty

With children mothers and fathers are there to shelter them and to nurture them and to be their guides as they are growing up. Classically parents can have difficulty ‘letting go’ when their children reach majority.  In part this is because it gives parents a sense of purpose to continue to tie their children to the apron strings even though the time has come when most parental purpose has in fact edged away. In part also it is because parents refuse to see that their babies are no longer in need of protective parental assistance.

Of course no parent would or should stand by and watch their grown children make horrendous mess-ups because of their lack of life experience. But ‘letting go’ is for parents an essential in the main, so that grown children are enabled to become fit to function as adults and able to look after themselves. And also it is important for them themselves to become responsible parents. Otherwise a person gets to thirty-something and turned into a couch potato who is unable to boil an egg.

These lines of consequence go very far towards justifying Sir Walter Scott in his opinion.

The central concern in these cases of ‘letting go’ is to do with freedom.  Freedom is always blank page, and is always going to be a blank page.  And for persons unused to writing down their thoughts, a blank page is often a very scary item, almost a brick wall, when they are being asked and expected to fill the page with words.

The blank page is a horror show; it is the future as an inexperienced person is unable to see it. Most young persons have a mountain of learning to cope with and to climb to the summit of.  Their futures as blank pages are like vast drops seen from cliff edges and themselves standing on the verge of the drop and staring into it. Vertigo is a commonplace response.

So, freedom for a person is not so much a God-given right, as it is something to be earned and maintained by their own efforts.  Freedom in the main is freedom to do things; and so it follows that not knowing how to do things is a restriction; a form of enslavement. Hence you hear people speak the ugly and grossly misused phrase: Knowledge (and experience) is Power.  It might be better said that: Knowledge and experience releases, frees from Enslavement.

The terrible need that we are born with to tussle amongst the crowd and so promote ourselves; for our security and for our safety, so that we might control as much scope and as many things and persons as we are able to; so that in our supremacy we might lord-it over whomsoever will allow us to push them aside and around. Once in such a position we soon learn to value ourselves above those we can push around, and to base our identity and our sense of our due place and rights, on this assumption of superiority; we learn soon to denigrate those who seem resigned only to serve;  we even view with an awe and respect the expansive guy with the big expensive limousine who cruises down the street; and contrariwise, we disparage in our hearts the little guy with the beat up run-around wreck because he accepts his apparent lack of status.  All these presumptuous airs and graces arise in us out of our sense of the primacy of the ego, and it is our sense of ourselves as contenders, and the pressures of our fears and anxieties about the possibility of coming well-behind in the race of life – which control us and the ways in which we see our lives.

This composite package of fears, hopes and perceptions create in us a complex of delusion. This complex of delusion is writ large and perceptible in the above-cited preamble to The Rise of the Creative Economy.  Now read it again, in the light of what you have absorbed from my words. Consider now whether you see in it its insane self-appointed auto-aggrandised preposterousness. The place that this preamble is coming from; the place whereabouts it is at; and whereabouts it is heading; are places all constrained and confronted by this anxiety complex to be somebody and not to be left behind trodden upon by the foremost madmen in the crowd. It is a misplaced bid for freedom, sought after by way of attempting assertion of dominion over others etc.

All of this hectic folly is why the God of Love, Jesus Christ, so potently hits the nail on the head when he talks of our need for ‘being reborn of the spirit’; of us needing to be ‘as a little child so as to be able to enter the Kingdom of God’; of us needing to realise that we are being ‘provided for in our every everyday need by our Father in Heaven’; of our coming to see that we need not be ‘asking for fine raiment and possessions as the gentiles seek for’; but that we can find real peace and truth by our modestly ‘trusting to God and leaving completely our desires, our safety, our security in his hands’. And by us merely trusting in him that ‘asking in prayer anything that is the will of Love, it shall be given liberally’.

To be able to handle the very frightening blank pages of life; and to an outsider one such blank page is often perceived to be Jesus’ unconditional offer of love and care to us; a person really only has to pledge to take a single giant leap for a woman or man; or as the poet TS Eliot put it:

….. to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint—
No occupation either, but something given
And taken, in a lifetime’s death in love,
Ardour and selflessness and self-surrender.


A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Jesus’ simple truths hold within them ample answers to everything: ‘whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it ‘- ‘I am come to give life; and to give life in abundance’

Crucially, it is the will to lose oneself, to forgo one’s ego and one’s pride, to surrender all completely and with full trust and commitment up to The Lord Jesus; and thereafter to honour his teachings, which are the keys to life, through a door of renunciation



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