After years of supine acceptance of the woke lunatics taking over the asylum, there are the first green shoots of a fight back gathering momentum.  You see, while we’ve been busy building our businesses and our investment portfolios, the world has gone mad. I’m not just talking about the lunatics in the White House or Westminster. I’m talking about the goings-on at a grass roots level. For example, the boards of school governors who think it’s OK to teach our kids that there are 73 different genders. I was in London recently and our Uber driver told us that his eleven year old daughter’s class received a visit from some kind of diversity and inclusion imbecile who told them it was OK to be a lesbian or trans-sexual. Did that happen to you when you were eleven years old? This is nothing less than child abuse and needs to be named and shamed as such. What makes it even worse is that this happened at a Church of England School, though with the wokest and worst Archbishop of Canterbury in history I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

They’ve also infiltrated local government – did you know that local councils can now throw up special exclusion zones around any building of their choosing? And that once they’ve done so you cannot assemble in that area? Nor can you peacefully protest. It is even against the law to stand on the pavement and pray silently to yourself. Three people were arrested for doing that in 2022 and there is video evidence to prove it. PC Plod jumped out of their rainbow coloured squad car, danced a quick macarena then approached a middle aged woman standing silently in the street. After several minutes of questioning one of the policemen asks her in an accusing voice ‘were you praying?’ She confesses to this heinous crime and is promptly arrested. Meanwhile, I’ve no doubt that just around the corner a woman was being raped and a teenage boy stabbed to death. But hey we got that Christian bang to rights!

The main challenge in the business and investing world comes from the ESG agenda and the octopus-like tentacles of its evil cousin, stakeholder capitalism. When I tell you this term was invented by Klaus Schwab that should be all you need to know. A concept that should have been sent straight to the shredder has gained traction with investment firms looking to virtue signal their green credentials. The problem is, these guys make investment allocation decisions in the billions that have a massive impact on the viability of some of the biggest companies in our economy. A classic example is the oil majors, starved of capital and cutting back on exploration for new fossil fuels. In recent years they haven’t even discovered enough to replenish what we’re using each year so at some point we can expect oil prices to go through the roof.

Have you ever tried building or running a business? Have you seen the statistics on corporate failure? Just 4% of all companies even reach a million in revenue. In the UK, that means 200,000 out of five million. As well as hiking their corporation tax by 30% and their business rates by 66%, we now expect them to take care of global warming, unemployment, homelessness and all the rest of society’s wants and needs. Err, isn’t this what we elect governments to take care of? Who is going to pay to support the 36 million people in the UK already taking more out of the system in government handouts than they pay in taxes? Or the six million people of working age choosing to sit at home watching daytime TV?  Along with the suicidal rush to Net Zero, stakeholder capitalism risks killing the goose that has given us the prosperity we all take for granted. Right now the only two growth areas in the UK economy are taxes and regulation. Looking for a well-paid career for your children? Tell them to go into compliance. Whatever you tell them, don’t advise them to become entrepreneurs unless they want to paint a big target on their chest and wear a T shirt saying ‘don’t worry, I’ll pay for everything’.

So what has given me cause for hope in this mad, mad world? There’s a relatively new fund manager in America called Strive that is determinedly anti-woke.  Their founder, Vivek Ramaswamy, has just stepped back from the business to focus on a presidential bid. I doubt he will win but hopefully he can wake up America to the harm being perpetrated by the likes of Blackrock, State Street and their advisers. Strive provides ETFs for investors who want their companies to focus on profit rather than virtue signaling, on the P&L and balance sheet rather than critical race theory and global warming.  Given the libertarian undertones of such a venture, it’s not too surprising to see Peter Thiel among the financial backers of Strive. Interestingly, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, normally a donor to the democrats, is also a Strive backer and is supporting Ramaswamy’s presidential run.

Strive is clearly pushing against an open door, already having $600 million under management across its range of funds. It also reached a key milestone recently when it took in $100 million from its first institutional investor. Its largest fund tracks energy stocks and will mandate them to focus on profits rather than politics. They’ve also set up an emerging markets ex-China fund which is the vehicle that attracted the institution. What does this anti-woke agenda look like in reality? It means targeting companies like Chevron which, in a supreme example of the pot calling the kettle black, is trying to get its suppliers to reduce their emissions if they want to carry on doing business with Chevron. Another example is pushing back against DIY giant Home Depot who want to conduct a racial equality audit.

I’m convinced that the vast majority of people have no idea where the woke agenda is heading and just how much it is going to limit and impact their way of life. When you combine stakeholder capitalism and net zero with twenty first century monitoring and control technology such as central bank digital currencies, power mad politicians and the giant corporations in cahoots with them have all the tools they need to enslave us.  You want to book a last minute weekend in Paris? An error message comes up on the screen – ‘Sorry, your carbon footprint allowance has already been reached so your attempted payment to Easyjet has been declined’.  You’re at the checkout in Laithwaite’s buying some of their best Malbec? The assistant quietly takes you to one side and says ‘I’m sorry sir, your payment has been rejected on health grounds. Apparently you’ve already consumed 21 units of alcohol this week. The government tells me I am authorised to offer you this exciting range of soft drinks’.

Remember, we all voluntarily carry a tracking device in our pockets these days so our movements and our purchases are easily traced. It is almost impossible to go off-grid. One of the reasons I am excited by the capabilities of the Glint card is that it supports the concept of private money. By holding liquid funds in gold rather than fiat currency I can not only opt out of inflation and currency debasement but can make purchases that don’t have to pass the Britcoin algorithm before being authorised.

It’s easy to develop a sense of helplessness when it comes to fighting back against the woke warriors. Take heart. Politicians are like playground bullies – they act tough until someone stands up` to them, then they melt like butter in a frying pan. Look at China. After years of tolerating the most extreme lockdown measures on the planet, even the compliant citizens of Beijing and Shanghai had enough. There were impromptu protests in every major Chinese city and even the mighty Xi had to back down. Within days lockdown was over. Look at how a handful of people in Big Brother Watch have overturned some Orwellian legislation that the lunatics in Westminster were dreaming up. Get involved, either as a donor or a participant. Go and see your MP in his or her constituency and make your feelings known. Hell, make a placard and demonstrate in front of some TV cameras.

The direction of travel is as clear as it is frightening. The freedoms we’ve enjoyed for nearly eighty years were bought at a heavy price in blood. Let’s not lose them without putting up some kind of a fight.