Thursday, 10 October 2013

Even the Kremlin wears Prada now. But can't we be better than that?


I don't know about you, but I don't want to live in a neo-liberal market economy which tolerates grotesque inequalities, despoils the planet and debases standards everywhere in the pursuit of shareholder value whilst ALSO mass spying on, controlling and harassing its citizens and its journalists like it's the Soviet Union on acid.

Not that anyone is asking. It used to be called 'elections' and you voted for the side whose programme you liked better but it turns out none of the real policies are publicly stated in advance (and the 'secret ones', of course, not even afterwards).

It was bad enough under the last Labour government,  with its obsession with curtailing basic freedoms and rights in an Orwellian perma-war against unknown terrorists under the bed and its expensive tab-keeping  and mass data gathering follies, (ID cards, NHS database etc ).

But the current coalition Government manages to be in supine agreement to secret US mass spying, engage in more than a dollop of its own indiscriminate eavesdropping, persecute newspapers and individual journalists who dare expose it and ask questions, set its media lapdogs against them while ALSO libeling the unemployed as scroungers, the immigrants as illegal scroungers, dragging the dying from their beds to sign up for non-existent, sub-minimum wage jobs and outsourcing the feeding of the already working poor to food banks.

I mean, really???

It seems to me that all power generates its own form of ideology - one that requires more and more power to be amassed for reasons too secret for the mere mortals to be entrusted with. 

Once power has tooled up with even more power (for our benefit, remember, so it can serve us better, save us from harm, protect our way of life), it turns out, wouldn't you know it, that the definition of our way of life has been brutally and unilaterally updated.

All efforts towards maintaining a civilised polis, where citizens have rights as well as responsibilities towards each other, is now something on the spectrum from unaffordable to blasphemous - via hopelessly naive/unpatriotic /Marxist-Stalinist, according to which newspaper is reprinting the press release on its front page today. 

In fact power is a lot like the wolf in Little Red Ridinghood - the wig changes occasionally, the lacy nightgown gets the odd fashion makeover but it's still not grandma and it still just wants to eat you! Be afraid, very afraid.

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