The Politics of ...

The Politics of ...

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

I Have Better Things to Do

A little thing with wider implications.

I appreciate that, because of our politicians, we live in a less safe world and security is now a big business defending our heads of government from errant joggers; but has anyone else noticed the almost unreal stance taken by the media over 'Joggergate'?

Let's put this into perspective. There's a hipster guy running to his gym; he's decked out like a runner, he has an ipod playing and he, like many runners, is having his own tunnel vision moment. He accidentally happens upon a prime ministerial visit and bumps into the entourage. It was an accident, it could have been anyone.

Right, let's put some different perspective on it. Whether you like Cameron or not, he's the prime minister and he's got to be protected. What his security team did was no more than you would expect and the safety of our #1 has to be guaranteed. Except...

What happened after? We had a couple of hours of 'terrorist attack' on the news, then as the real story came to light there was a definite hardening of the media, the government and all the security advisors Sky, the BBC and Al Jazeera could rope in at short notice. Even though this was an accident, a mistake, a bit of mistimed fortune, suddenly it's all about ensuring our politicians are protected better; about enhanced security and yet there was nothing at all about the poor sod who got bundled to the floor, arrested on terrorism charges and had to spend two hours trying to explain to, I'd hazard a guess, rather unsympathetic or unrepentant MI5 and Special Branch officers, while trying to come to terms with how his life had suddenly taken an 'Enemy of the State' turn for the worst.

I can't understand why no one has bothered to even offer an apology to the guy. The police issued a statement saying he had been 'dearrested' [sic] and when it was suggested to a junior Home Office minister that this may well have been an over reaction and perhaps someone should seek out the hipster and offer some solace, this was dismissed with a subtle dig at the guy's appearance. He's a hipster and a young person, he won't vote for the Tories, why bother trying to make things right with him?

Yet this is endemic of our press and media at the moment. Do you know what the funniest thing I hear trundled out year after year by Tories? That the BBC is left biased and doesn't like the Conservatives. Take this EU budget debacle. All it needed was for Sky news and the BBC to donate 15 seconds of air time to the fact the 1.7bn euros it has to pay extra is something that happens every year and sometimes we've got a rebate. This has never been mentioned once; instead what we have is Cameron posturing and becoming more and more resigned to the fact that if he wants to hold onto power he's got to start sounding like Farage on European issues, so this is reflected in the media. All because he's crap scared of losing the next by election to the sweepingly popular Adolf Farage.

How come none of the news suppliers - TV or print - have bothered to spell out the real pros and cons of pulling out of Europe. The simple fact is economic analysts have said if we pull out of Europe it could take us 5 to 10 years to get to a situation where we can compete and negotiate with the rest of Europe without it penalising us in some way - in other words, we pull out, it takes 10 years to get back to where we are currently in terms of negotiating powers.

Also, why has UKIP suddenly become as important as the major parties? The media bias towards these halfwits wouldn't be so bad if they were being portrayed for what they are, but there's almost a sense of glorification. People with consciences will post things on Facebook and other social media highlighting the true nature of this new party; the fact they court fascism; have no real policies, have MEPs who do nothing and sound like they're making things up as they go along and yet citizens of this country dismiss this as fear, of people like me running scared of this steamroller. Because the media seems to think of Farage and co as media darlings now, the average idiot who will vote UKIP is obviously being lied to and mislead, but no one is actually questioning UKIP like a proper party - where is the discussion of their non-existent policies outside of pulling out of the EU? Surely that should be the purpose of the BBC if nothing else; to explain to the plebs how things work rather than having loads of time donated to what some bloke in Hemel Hempstead thinks about 'Joggergate'.

UKIP has got where it is because no one took them seriously. Now, no one is still taking them seriously yet their rise is just like the Nazis in the 1930s - fuelled by the middle aged and the middle class. The militants, the shipbuilders, the young never embraced Hitler, so he targeted national pride and stirred up passions in those who survived the First World War; those who believed Germany should be great and free from the shackles of the rest of Europe. Sound familiar?

Where have Labour been? There's barely a peep out of Millidee and co., and that's frightening because a real opposition leader would be chomping at every bit possible, but Labour are acting more and more like a party that doesn't want power because there are dark days ahead and I'm beginning to think the power behind Labour knows that if it gets in it won't be able to do what has needs to do to restore some balance to society because it costs too much money and they can't be seen to be frivolous again, what with all that infrastructure rebuilding to stop the country from decaying from the inside out.

The frightening thing is the Scottish referendum was supposed to encourage debate and reinvigorate the people to talk about and understand politics more, the problem is everyone has better things to do, in a lot of cases struggling to exist and when politicians come on the TV, most want to switch off because none of them ever say what we really want to hear. I said years ago we need a new politics, something that appeals to the people; maybe even a new way of electing our officials - some kind of scrutiny test. We need to stop corporate lobbying; tax fairly and evenly; support and look after the people who run the country on a daily basis not keep them in a constant fear. Fear doesn't help productivity in the long run - workers should be happy because happiness is key to productivity. Yet we live in this unwavering climate of fear (and loathing), stoked by a media that is almost isolated from the real world and is run the same way as every other cohort is run.

The world is getting better! The world is getting worse!

Franklin D. Roosevelt said, immortally, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" - he meant it in a different way, but his words ring so true today. we live in a world where you are scared into doing things, accepting things, obliging things because you're being told we have much to fear.

We do. We're just mistaking the thing we need to be fearful of.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Battle No One Wants to Win

It’s October 3rd and the last day of one of the better (best) summers of the 21st century so far. The last vestiges of warmth are there, but the breeze is picking up and despite the 21 degrees, there’s that familiar old friend, autumn, biting at the edges. The temperature is often deceiving because of the air; if you get 21 degrees in March (less likely than October, but not uncommon), it never feels the same as 21 degrees in July; it’s because - during mid summer - the higher air and land temperatures keep everything at a slightly elevated ambient temperature. It’s why you’re more likely to take a thicker top out with you in October than you would in midsummer. 

It is a perfect example of how appearances can be deceiving.

While all this relatively unseasonal weather has been going on, there has been the political convention season; the last one before the next general election. 


There is going to be a general election next year, whether we like it or not, because the expiry date will have run out on this one. 

You might have noticed that none of the two likely parties want it.

The Tories have gone public and said ‘if you’re poor or didn’t vote for us, we’re going to punish you and your families, oh and we’re going to take your civil liberties away and convince you its for your own good.’ Labour have said, “Meh meh meh meh, we don’t have a clue; look we’ve got Ed and Ed so you’ll be sure to try and find an alternative to vote for on the list, look out for us when we get a leader and more of a clue.’

Both party conferences had an undercurrent of fear – not the usual ‘what if they get in’ more of a ‘what if we get in?’ It might have something to do with the fact that most MPs, who are clueless, should be representing their constituents and not their political parties. 

Everyone seems eager to get involved in another Arab (crisis), mainly problem because it detracts attention from what is happening at home, which is the slow erosion of our country, by the establishment, who are trying to get as much as they can before it all goes tits up when the Chinese start reneging on their debts.

The only party that senses they might benefit at the next election, apart from UKIP who probably think they’ll win by a landslide, are the Tories because whoever is left when the dust settles will have carte blanche to make as much money at as many peoples expense as possible. No one seems to notice that companies like Wonga only ever appear when there is a Tory government in power and no one today really seems to care enough that every time the Tories get a sniff of power we end up with higher poverty than ever before (in real terms), less social justice and arguably more of a nanny state than Labour could ever be accused of creating. But, you know, the Tories really do look after the working man, honest guv. I mean, just how many poor people aren't poor now because of them?

Labour seem convinced they’re going to screw up so have avoided doing anything that resembles pointing out that Osborne hasn’t actually done anything to cut the budget deficit, but has done wonders in reducing the living standards of their core voters. Everything about Labour at the moment smacks of Neil Kinnock on the beach falling flat on his arse.

No one really wants power because it means having to make tough decisions, penalising the people who aren’t responsible for the mess we’re in and attempting to keep the money in the country and not scare it away by Draconian tax measures. We’re screwed because governments don’t run countries, corporations do and without the money generated by these corporations everything starts to become unstable and it falls apart. That’s why we can rage against the machine that so-and-so is getting away with billions in tax, but the HMRC is actively pursuing someone who owes £50 with everything from threats of court to, I’m sure, debtor’s prison if the right wing gets one of its secret wishes. 

Not paying your TV license became a criminal offence rather than a civil one recently; that snuck in there quietly without any real attention from the press – one of the corporations that run the country – and the Tories are now talking about abolishing the Human Rights Act, because it prevents them from dealing with terrorism properly and allows them to disagree with Europe; it also allows them to gag anyone they feel could be detrimental to them. 

When examined properly, this alone is reason #1 for never voting Tory again; it impinges on everyone and in such a way that the excuse ‘well if I haven’t got anything to hide’ becomes irrelevant; if you are happy with the government having access to everything you own, everything you say and everything anyone you’ve ever loved is, has, and will be saying, doing and thinking, then welcome to the real 1984 and Maggie must be jumping for joy on/in her grave.

So surely none of the political parties must want power because they are not even hinting that it might get better; no one is even bothered about saying, ‘we’re sorry you’re paying for our mistakes, again’ or maybe they are. Maybe they’re saying subliminally – DON’T VOTE FOR US; we don’t care about you, you will get nothing from us but pain and misery, let one of these nut job parties run the place for a while and you’ll be begging for our unique brand of poverty and misery all over again!

Democracy is dead. Unless there’s a lot of money in your family it’s probably best not to think about having children, unless you want a lot of heartache. The future is bleak. It isn't bright, it's dark, with a cold uncaring heart and it will laugh and piss on your grave, for ever and ever...