Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Calm Before The Repression.

A pensive peace trickles through the empty halls of Westminster. A whiff of hope emerging that time - the political cure-all - will allow the fog of apathy to hide the torrent of corrupted sewage and calm the ship of state and its demented crew. Time enough at least to let the rhetoric of 'reform' set in before it steers towards the harbour of establishment, where reform, democracy and the rights of citizens become once again euphemisms for repression.

Me! I hope the Telegraph has kept the worst till last. That the silence of a conspicuous number of the political elite is to a greater extent down to the glass house syndrome rather than a miraculous conversion to honest and competent representation. But however it turns out, I'm sure they'll be frantically working to present the miraculous version - pity they don't work so frantically and frankly on the job we pay them to do.

That apart, I've just had an election pamphlet for Labour dropped through my door.

It tells me Labour is winning the fight for Britains future. Pity it got us into the fight in the first place.

It goes on to inform me there are 8 Labour candidates for my region and lists their names. Nothing else, just their names and the fact they come under the umbrella of Labour; and I've to put my cross in the box next to Labour. Now that's just stupidly arrogant enough for Labour to lose any vote it may or may not have got from me.

I've scrawled - It's called democracy stupid - across it's 'Fair' frontage and will invest 30p to post it back to them. Who knows, there might be a future leader in the post room who hasn't been lobotomised.

Monday, 25 May 2009

A Tale of Two Apathies?

Crinkly is suffering from the resource curse. It's an honourable state of mind brought on by bewilderment fatigue at the chasms accepted as norms within societies, as opposed to those expected as acceptable norms by individuals. Basically governments have demands and decrees while individuals have wants and expectations; and, due to the imbalance of power between the two, normally it's the individual who loses out.

Perhaps it's that 'imbalance' that needs levelling out - and here I offer an observation which could be classed as verging on the optimistic. Every reference source referred to by Crinkly would be covered by a 2,ooo year time span. Not a huge wedge from the flux of civilisation let alone evolution and when you consider there's less than a hundred years since every strata of society in the UK was franchised with the 'right' to vote, is it possible that we're expecting too much too soon, or does the burden of integrity and its deficits rest with our governors for abetting but not aiding the development of the democratic process? 

If we consider the last sixty years of democracy in Britain we have in the first thirty years the consolidation of the welfare state and the NHS etc, but for the next thirty years nothing. Not one progressive move to enhance democracy, but many to limit, divert or diminish its values. In fact democracy Westminster style is slowly being suffocated into fascism, where the electorate is granted a limited right within an inequitable system to elect a dictatorship. It's the only conclusion you can come to when thirty years of governance under our governors rules has failed to improve the lot of common man. But perhaps that thirty years of spin covering inertia has developed an energy they can no longer submerge with their arrogant apathy.

Which is why the quality of democracy we enjoy in this country comes down to the stronger of two apathy's. The apathy of those who believe they wield power by some circumstance of right, or the apathy of us, the governed, to allow them the belief of that right.

Belief they say is the final doubt to dispel. And, while in the recent past belief may have been a legitimate factor in the politics of democracy it cannot be now. Now it has to be a command democracy earned by the strength of our demands.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Crinkly ponders

How is it that whatever form of governance mankind tries, however well-meaning, however butressed by philosphical thought, almost like the law of entropy the initial state gradually evolves toward a stratified condition where power is gained by the few and exercised at the cost to the many?
We are assured that our politicians went into the representation business with the purest of motives, and now we've seen the degeneration that has overtaken so many of them. That the morality expressed as "I acted within the rules" (the Nuremburg defence) seems acceptable to so many of them may perhaps be traced to the high percentage of them trained as lawyers rather than as moralists. (As Robert Burns' Tam o'Shanter perceived, "Lawyers tongues turned inside-out as black with lies as a beggar's coat.) But then, what about the Roman Catholic priests, nuns, found on such a scale to have been guilty of child abuse? Surely one ought to have been able to reckon on high moral standards from them with their vaunted Christian beliefs?
The ancient Israelites got fed up with the sons of their prophet Samual "who did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice". So they clamoured for a king like the other nations but were warned by Samuel that a king would take what he wanted and they would end up as his slaves.
From Luther's reformation, via the Cromwellian overthrow of the divine right of kings, to the French Revolution and the reign of terror, the twentieth century attempts at communism, we see the same degeneration of high principles down to overt exploitation. Perhaps the most disappointing has been the American experience that, starting from the high principles enunciated by the likes of Thomas Paine in the Rights of Man, has spiralled down to the neocons and GWB.
To quote again from Burns, in his epitaph on Lord Galloway, a grasping landowner, "Bright ran thy line O Galloway/Through many a far-famed sire/So ran the far-famed Roman Way/So ended, in a mire."
Somehow, we need to find a way of evolving social progress that does not involve these repetitions of high expectation followed by degeneration. Such an approach was suggested by Karl Popper in "The Open Society and its Enemies", spelt out further by such as A J Ayer and others, explored in "Towards an Open Society", a seminar organized by the British Humanist Association as long ago as 1971 and even more relevant today after the intervening disasterous Thatcher-Blair periods.
But where is the political will and what political entity would come forward to press this case? Like so many today, I personally feel effectively disenfranchised because there is not going to be anyone representing these views for whom I can vote.

Sadim Brown and Democracy

Today the Guardian seems to be advocating the expenses corruption as a springboard for a new system of Westminster governance. A root and branch change but in the same old pot and with the tired old soil sustaining it.

Part of that soil are the leaders of the three main parties all humming the same tune if based on slightly different hymn sheets; with Sadim Brown as usual, slightly behind the beat and glottally humming catch- up. Why?

Why in the middle of catastrophes covering just about every gambit of democratic governance should three political leaders want to throw radical constitutional change into the mix? And why should Brown believe he's in anyway qualified to preside over these changes?

Mythology tells us that everything Midas touched turned to gold - for Brown everything he's touched has turned to dross. (Hence the Sadim)

His boom turned to dross.  And, despite the ever increasing awards to education and the NHS the results of these expenditures have been lost in the dross of statistics. In effect making dross of the amounts invested.

During his term he has allowed the wealthy to increase their welfare benefits while allowing benefits and pensions to decrease in real terms and as a prime minister he's generated debt, downgraded duty and either colluded or been blind to downright dishonesty. Now what, out of that amalgam, gives him the qualifications to participate in any reforming of democratic politics
 in this country? 

As for the other two, let them go to the country on a one term ticket of a government of national unity and reform.

Lets get the financial mess with the banks properly assessed and sorted out to the public's benefit not the conglomerates. Along with the values the British people want to put on their place in the world and in the society they want to live in. After all the purpose of governance is surprisingly simple: To serve the people, and to achieve that, a government should be able to show the lives of the people it has served have improved for the majority during their governance.

 We can hardly award Labour that plaudit, they're proven to be big on spin but poor on results. But there again, when they gained power in 97 it wasn't a change of political philosophy merely a management takeover. Time has proved that.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Corruption, corruption, corruption 21st century governance.

The present crises of corruption emanating in the bowels of Westminster has all the ingredients necessary to be served up as a funereal feast. Marking as it should the end of a governance era exemplified by deceit, incompetence, the lessening of standards to suit sub-prime financiers by socialising costs to benefit privatised profits and all of it based on the pigswill of political dogma of power irrespective of social cost, party hegemony and individual gain.

In 97 we had our 'Obama' moment, when Blair promised change and to be whiter than white. In the end they've achieved neither. In twelve years of power what have they achieved that could truly be called a legacy. The Smoking Ban!!!!

Let's look at Britain's past 12 years.

G Brown told us he'd eradicated boom and bust.

We perhaps had our suspicions as to the validity of the boom - housing bubbles, monopoly money leveraged in pyramid finance schemes  etc,  accompanied by galloping personal debt while being squeezed by ever increasing stealth taxes which never seemed to generate enough income for the Treasury to allow them to lessen the gap between the rich and poor. Suspicions that were slightly bewildering when it was a Labour party claiming the poor weren't doing enough to help themselves.

Now of course we know better. Brown didn't understand the boom anymore than he could control or mitigate the bust. He's was, is and will continue to be, an empty vessel of some use to Goldman Sacs. Enough at any rate for him to acquire one of their luxury flats in Edinburgh the title of which has subsequently been transferred to Mrs Brown.

Then we have Iraq - and here we may as well throw Afghanistan into the pot. Blair told us lies - he knew he was telling us lies when he claimed Iraq had WMD, but by then he'd adopted the poodle pose for G Bush. Nobody knows why he did this. After all the whole world was against this move? Perhaps he wanted to increase his property portfolio or his pension plan- so after some discussion with JP Morgan and BP he threw his lot and our cash in, and subsequently the lives of around 180 service men and women so he could play with the neo- cons mastering the world. Not forgetting Bosnia and Afghanistan, this born again hypocrite has weighed the lives of at least 300 of our servicemen as a reasonable cost to maintain his lavish lifestyle.

Then we have a Labour Party who, with a massive majority in parliament,  relinquishing any responsibility for governance or principles, decide to chill out and leave democracy to the combined talents of a 22 brained Cabinet. So much so, that when the great leader and ex chancellor prudence decide to remove the 10% tax they, the chilled out, applauded. Why shouldn't they - at the time they were riding high in the polls and Brown was about to become their new leader. However when the 10% was about to be withdrawn they upped and screamed foul. Why? Not because of the effect it would have on the poor; good lord no, but by then they were languishing in the polls and that could mean these free loading, incompetent, lazy, jobsworths would have to struggle in the maze of the real world.

In truth, while the people of this country have little to sing about since the end of the second world war the last twelve years have seen the pinnacle of mediocrity collapse into an abyss of cynical lies and corruption that greatly benefits one percent of the population; moderately benefits another nine and does nothing but add costs to the remaining ninety.

Hardly a worthwhile model of governance, even for fascism.

Friday, 15 May 2009

In essence Crinkley's right but the monarchy thing is just a figurehead, a bit player in the theater of governance that's heavily invested in a play titled, or more accurately mis-titled as democracy.

When the chasm between 'official' (in either commercial or political terms) is so wide and deep between their rhetoric and the reality of both their purpose and the reality experienced by the world, democracy becomes no more than a title with no part in either the script or the plot.

That's exactly how the masters want it to be and they have no qualms whatsoever in charging us if their scams turn to dust as in the recent financial meltdown or screwing us when their Ponzi schemes are riding high.

Who are the 'Us'? Why we're the gullible consumers who's values are limited to our credit rating.

Bit of a bloody cheek when you consider our 'masters' have confirmed their sub-prime status in finance, government and as the electorates representatives.

We do need root and branch change and the first root to change is for sovereignty to be removed from parlaiment and rest with the people.

It's not just the current crop of MPs that are the problem, it's the whole set-up derived from the monarchy/aristocracy thing, where those at the top make their own rules and live high on the hog while those in the great majority are milked of the fruits of their labour. Root and branch change is needed to create an open society with bottom-up democracy and "the greatest among you being the servants of all" as the man said.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Ragged Arsed Musings

These are two ancient crustaceans to whom the experiences of life have imparted a deep cynicism about the powers that be, and a need to express their thoughts about all manner of current and past events - personal, social, political and you-name-it, we have an opinion or two!