Crime and Politics…The Situation is Always Fluid.

Our once great nation is sick. It’s not been healthy for some time, but we’ve been able to kid ourselves that the situation was temporary, just a glitch, things would get better.

But it’s not.

There is a serious problem in Britain today, and it is only getting worse. The chancellor, George Osbourne, on behalf of the ConDem government, has recently revealed a budget that relieves tax burdens on the rich, while increasing tax burdens on the poor, disabled and elderly. The ConDem government has just passed a bill in which the NHS, the greatest health institution ever created, is being broken up and privatised with £5 billion worth of savings targeted for 2015 (paid for by selling bits and laying off staff, thus creating a less efficient system).  Cameron is currently trying to deflect blame for a scandal in which the co-treasurer of his Conservative Party, Peter Cruddas, was caught on camera offering access to the Prime Minister in return for donations to the party of £250,000.

In May 2011, a referendum was held on changes to the electoral system. The current system, known as First Past The Post or the plurality system, is inherently flawed and yet nearly 68% of voters chose not to change to the AV (Alternative Vote). Well, 68% of the 42% of voters that bothered to vote. This suggests that the general public are just as at fault as the politicians. After all, we live in a democracy, right?

Right?

Well, not quite. A democracy, from the Greek demokratia – ‘rule by the people’, implies that the ‘rulers’ should be selected from the population rather than putting themselves forward for election. Douglas Adams, in his Hitch-Hikers Guide series, stated that anyone who wanted to be in charge should automatically be eliminated from the running. This was meant as a wittily derogatory remark about politicians and their motivations, but there is some sense in what he says. A system whereby individuals are chosen from the voting register at random to fulfil government posts for a set time is one possibility, but is obviously deeply problematic. Members of the public are not necessarily capable of fulfilling the duties of political office, nor should they be expected to. The running of government should be in the hands of people who are trained to do it. Unfortunately, politicians aren’t trained to do it. David Cameron was educated at Eton, school of choice for the moneyed classes, and won a scholarship to Oxford University (ditto). Eton almost guarantees a place in a prestigious university as it is, undeniably, a very good school.  And so it should be, as it charges over £30,000 per year (not including additional fees for music lessons and so on). That pays for a lot of good grades.

You can almost smell the smug, self-satisfied bastards sweating money, can't you?

With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that the Conservatives see everything in terms of money. The NHS being privatised isn’t about providing a better service, it’s about making money. We know that privatisation doesn’t improve services. The Tories tried it in the 80s and it didn’t work too well then either. The banks and the big businesses (easy targets, I know) are making money hand over bastard fist, and yet they escape having to pay too much tax because they are in bed with the government (hopefully only metaphorically).

Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats (the other party in the current coalition government), has betrayed his party and his supporters. The Liberal Democrats are the opposite of the Conservatives. They should be progressive, socially responsible, instead Clegg has turned into Cameron’s lapdog, constantly agreeing with his boss’s ideas, regardless of their impact on the country. He saw the chance for a little bit of reflected glory and a whiff of power and went for it, damning the consequences and binning his principles (assuming he actually had some to begin with). He needs to do the right thing and dissolve the coalition, forcing a general election.

I should pause at this point and admit something. I don’t often talk in detail about politics, because I don’t really know that much about it (as anyone who does will no doubt have noticed). I know enough to bluff my way in pub conversations, but not enough to go on Newsnight, which is only one of many reasons that I’ve never been invited on. I am in no way the ‘voice of the average man on the street’ either, because I am fairly representative of the liberal middle-England (raised in Hampshire, father was an officer in the Royal Engineers, I’ve worked mainly in white-collar industries, I have a degree and I’m a teacher – you don’t get much more middle-class). I am a liberal and proud of it. I believe firmly in all of the good things that progressive governments have done for this country. Our education system used to be second to none, our healthcare was superlative, our benefits system was fair and genuinely helped some of the neediest people in our society. We used to have industries in this country, men and women working hard (albeit not always in the safest or healthiest environments) and making world class products: steel, ships, cars. What do we have now? Call centres. And even those are being outsourced.

Britain has become a nation of consumers, not producers. Creativity is not valued. Passion is not valued. Only money is valued. Success is measured by the clothes you wear, the car you drive, the house you own. We have no say in the running of our own country. Cameron’s government suppressed a report into the risks of the NHS bill, preventing it from being read by the very people who were supposed to be making an informed choice about it. If politicians in the Houses of bloody Parliament don’t have a fair say in the political arena of Britain, what chance do the rest of us have? Even when protesters take to the streets of our nation’s capital, they are almost invariably ignored.

"Go back to sleep, Britain! Your government is in control!"

Well, you could always become a religious spokesperson. That way you’ll be able to have your views listened to by government all the time. It was revealed today that three MPs have decided to try to force the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) to reverse its decision to ban a religious advert that suggests that prayer can heal illnesses. A Christian cult…sorry, Christian GROUP in Bath were banned from using advertising leaflets featuring these words:

NEED HEALING? GOD CAN HEAL TODAY!… We believe that God loves you and can heal you from any sickness.

Apparently, those knee-jerk liberals at the ASA decided that this was misleading, and could potentially stop some people from seeking medical advice. I know, crazy fools! The clever and insightful MPs (Conservative Gary Streeter, Labour’s Gavin Shuker and Liberal Democrat Tim Farron – see? All three major parties represented These guys must represent the majority, right?) ask a very serious question of those facists at the ASA:

On what scientific research or empirical evidence have you based this decision?

Excuse me, I just need some air. You may have noticed the slightest hint of sarcasm about that previous paragraph, but I swear that quote is genuine. These three fucking lunatics have genuinely asked for ‘scientific research’ and ’empirical evidence’ to prove that prayer doesn’t heal people. My initial response would be ‘oh, do fuck off’, but, on reflection, I think we can do better. How about the fact that we need medicine? Or doctors? Or the fact that people still die from illness? Or the fact that prayer DOESN’T FUCKING CURE SICKNESS?! The burden of proof in this case is quite clearly on those who claim that it has an effect, rather than on the people who claim it doesn’t. If you want prayer included in the list of acceptable and effective medical treatments, then you have to prove that it does work in a statistically significant number of cases.

The letter to the ASA also includes some anecdotal evidence. Sorry. Not good enough. You were the ones that mentioned ‘scientific research’ so you can go away and perform clinical trials with control groups and placebos and all the rest, to try and prove that prayer can heal. At the very least, it will shut you up long enough for doctors to actually heal some more people, rather than mumbling in Latin at them before demanding their cash to pay for more shiny hats.

Now THAT'S a shiny fucking hat!

These so-called Christians In Parliament should not be bringing religion into politics. There needs to be a complete divide between the church and the state. We are not a Christian nation. It is difficult to accurately measure the number of religious people in the UK, as was proven by the Humanist Society. When people were asked “What is your religion?” over 53% responded ‘Christian’. Fairly easy to measure, I hear you say. Well, hold on, because when those SAME people were asked “Are you religious?” 65% said no. More interestingly, it was found that less than 10% of the population attend a place of worship regularly. And that 10% includes all religions in the UK, not just Christians.

From this we can deduce that Christian churches represent the views of about 6% of the population of the country, or about half the population of Greater London. From that, we can further deduce that they have ABSOLUTELY NO SAY IN THE RUNNING OF THE COUNTRY! They do not get to dictate morals or laws any more.

But who does? We have already seen that Cameron’s government is morally bankrupt, willing to take under-the-table ‘donations’ in order to gain access to the Prime Minister. Why would someone want to do that? Well, access to the PM allows an individual, or a representative of a ‘group of concerned citizens’, or a pressure group, to make suggestions to the leader of our country. These suggestions will come from someone who is clearly a supporter of what Cameron stands for, right? Otherwise they wouldn’t have such privileged access… You see? It is clearly an unacceptable and corrupt way of doing things, which is why Cameron was so quick to damn his treasurer when the news came out, quick to condemn his actions, quick to distance himself from a situation that he, in all probability, was entirely aware of.

We need to take the power back.

We need to refuse to have our voices ignored any longer.

We need to demand transparency and involvement in the politics of our country.

Maybe then we can make Britain great once again.

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8 responses to “Crime and Politics…The Situation is Always Fluid.

  1. Argh! I’m incensed, why are they all such douche nozzles?

    I just want to bury my head in the sand and hope, hope, hope they all just go away and stop raping the country of every last scrap of money they can get their hands on.

    Although if prayer really does cure illness, maybe they’ve already disappeared? 🙂

  2. I guess that makes you a Tory voting Christian Evangelist? 😉

    I don’t agree with you about the past, we have always been fucked, just in different ways. Henry VIII broke with Rome and at the same time destroyed the existing poor relief. We had kids working in mines and up chimneys and in fields until 19th century. We had World Wars, we had enclosure acts, women and men only equal voting rights in the last 100 years. Its always been hateful. Politicians have always lied to us, Profomu did it, Jeremy Thorpe did it, Churchill did it. They lie, they cheat and they trample the working class to do it.

    Our culpability? I dunno about you, but some times it is hard enough to keep body and soul together that I am unable to get up and protest. Weber’s iron cage of bureaucracy is alive and living in the benefit system. It can take days to fill in a benefit form, and months on the phone trying to work out what the fuck they want to know.

    Those who have money and power should be magnanimous enough to realise they got there on the backs of others, whether it was slavery, feudalism or ruthlessness, they should pay back what they owe.

    Revolt! I would love to, but I have to get to school to see a selection of my kids work, then I need to work, could we do it a week next Tuesday? I have a free hour then.

    • I have to admit, I was using a touch of hyperbole when I talked about the past. I was trying to make the point (obviously not very effectively) that we have been, as a country, slowly moving towards a better system over the years. Things have been put into place that improve the lot of people in general. Yes, politicians have always lied. Of course they have. We all know this! But it seems that the lies are becoming more blatant and more self-serving than they used to be. One of Cameron’s election promises was “I’ll cut the deficit, not the NHS” and as soon as he gets into power…well, we know the rest. It’s as if they don’t care if they are caught lying any more, because they know the British people are so apathetic that nothing will be done.

      We’ll have to pencil in a date for the revolution then. I’m free some time in August…

      • It’s especially enraging when they talk about dishonest journalists and ‘broken britain’ – meaning bad behaviour by disadvantaged teenagers. The example of our so called best and brightest is corruption, bribery, lies and cruelty.

        Nadine Dorries made a self righteous comment calling Ann Furedi of BPAS a liar. I almost burst a blood vessel.

    • I am now so bloody apathetic towards all politics. Its a shame cos i am kinda interested in it. But for those who know me know i would last about 10 minutes in parliment before i offered someone a dry slap. Then problem is in my opioion we just let the swine carry on. when the whole expenses thing kicked off they were giving it the beans about how its in the rules even though they knew they were taking the fucking piss out of the proletariat (as we are generally thought of now). something has to change with politicians to make the system fairer. And tbh its not this generation who will force the change. its the one after us (the so called generation y). cos its engrained inus to not care. But the next generation can make a change because they will ne the nextgeneration of politicians. or more likely politicians as a breed will die out. Because no one wants to take thirr place

  3. Just throwing my cap into the ring…

    The problem faced is in two parts, understandable politics and the essence of politics itself.

    Politics is confusing. Politics is out of reach of the majority of people. If young, old, busy or lazy actually felt that they could do something they would. But how to go about it?

    The essence of politics itself is compromise. In order to get something you want, you have to give up something you want. A slippery slope that leads to a great deal of blurring of lines.

    The world of politics is removed from what is happening. There is little accountability out there, viewed as a career rather than a vocation. The press were once our one true defence against the locked doors of politics… but even this has been questioned recently.

    Oh and as a person of faith I COMPLETELY agree with the separation of church and state.

    • I agree, the lack of responsibility and accountability is the worst issue. Politicians routinely break election promises, take bribes and fail to represent their electorate.

    • I agree (for once!). The problem we face is that politics is confusing, but politicians go out of their way to keep things that way. It’s as if they believe that politics is some mystic art that only they have the arcane knowledge to understand, giving them dominion over us mere mortals. This is, of course, utter bollocks! And of course we must compromise. That’s a given. Unfortunately, the poor/working class are being made to compromise their money while the rich compromise their moral obligation to society!

      As for the press/media… Well! The BBCs blackout on the NHS protests is shocking. I always trusted them to be reasonably objective (possibly being a bit too much of the government’s mouthpiece on occasion) and never suspected them of being a pure propaganda machine, but this has completely demolished any residual respect I may have had for them as a news source.

      And I have been surprised (and a little pleased) to hear how many religious folk out there are in favour of the separation of church and state. It’s almost enough to renew my faith in humanity.

      Almost.

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