Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Now go and tidy your room
What short memories people have and what propensity to believe soothing lies. People will still tend to select their supposed local representative based on tribal loyalty to those lies rather than on any firm factual or observational basis and some will abstain altogether from the democratic process, further entrenching the stale, safe-seat stasis which means the lies will keep on coming. Lies such as the Living Wage campaign.
If you’re going to lie to people you might as well go for big ones. And one of the biggest category of lie available to politicians and individuals alike is the fantasy that you know how the economy works or will work. For instance, Cameron and Co have stuck with Plan A throughout all the time the Eds urged more of the borrowing that has cumulatively resulted in a national debt which will never be repaid. Now that growth is suddenly, conveniently, being seen, both sides are claiming victory; one that we got there in the end, the other that we could have got there quicker.
The living wage – it sounds such a noble idea, doesn’t it? – is just another way to draw the battle lines. On the one hand increasing wages will cause a spiral of inflatory prices rises, force businesses to close or employ more illegals, putting more people out of work and adding to the welfare bill. On the other hand people will be gloriously lifted out of poverty, making ends meet for the first time in years, creating magical prosperity which will fuel higher individual spending, thus creating more jobs and reducing the welfare bill.
Neither side knows what would really happen and both sides will claim evidence, whether or not living wage proposals go ahead, that they were right and more importantly, that the other side was wrong. Who you support, no matter what you like to think, will depend on your beliefs more than your unique insight into the mysterious workings of man and money. Thus the fiscally thrifty will align themselves with the worthies on the right and the profligate will join the queues for more pocket money on the left. The net result will be, as it always is, that those who can adapt to circumstances will get by and those who can’t will fall by the wayside; no amount of manipulation of the figures will disguise the reality that we will never all thrive. It’s never happened yet.
So, no wonder the kids are confused. Some adopt the tribal loyalty of their parents’ clan while others utterly reject it and make a dash to join the enemy. Some are so confused they end up in the LibDem camp, forever wondering what they stand for and still more will flock to join the incoherent ranks of Russell Brand and his Million Mask March cronies, peddling a rambling narrative of emotive, fluffy bullshit.
Hilariously contradictory, this rag-taggle army of evangelical, revolutionary, hippy, libertarian anarchists demand the government does something to make it all better, just so long as they don’t have to vote for it. I suppose when you’ve done as many pharmaceuticals as Brand it really is as simple as dragons and unicorns, pirates and princesses and oh look – a squirrel!
He's not the Messiah - he's a very naughty boy!
The trouble is, they don’t know what it is they really want; just, like children everywhere, that it’s not what they’ve got. So having made a bit of noise - stick it to the man, power to the people, blah, blah, blah - and kicked up a fuss they will shuffle off home to mummy and daddy when it gets cold or they’ve run out of booze. Meantime the majority of their peers are busy making themselves employable and bothering with neither the manipulative lies of politicians nor the naïve rabble-rousing, incontinent fictions of a nob in tight trousers. The winner, as ever, the status quo. Politics is no place for kids.