Thursday, 17 April 2014
Long live the King!
Have a look up at the top of the page. Right at the top; go on, I’ll hold your place while you mouth out the words. What does it say? It says “When I’m King” not “When I’m Prime Minister” or “When I’m President/Commissioner/Chancellor or whatever other fancy pants democratically elected position you can think of.” And the reason? Well, it’s my blog and I write what takes my fancy. It started life with this declaration of intent which I judge harsh but fair. But what made me, you are no doubt asking yourselves, refer today to the very *first post?
As so often it began with a twitter exchange regarding the nature of politics and political lies and spin and the frenzied courting of popularity, increasing in ridiculousness the closer we get to an election. The riff went thus:
Me: I don't WANT a government that 'connects'. I want one that does its job and stays out of the way.
Twitter: If a party doesn't connect with people it's not gonna get their vote. Or maybe you want a dictatorship?
Me: Well democracy is a ridiculous idea, given the venal nature of humanity.
Twitter: Then so is government of any kind surely, maybe anarchy would be better?
Me: Not really. The impossible to achieve 'benign dictatorship' would be better. Democracy is always a sham.
Twitter: We already have a benign dictatorship, neither party leader has carried out major election promises on NHS or HE.
Me: Neither would Labour. But courting popularity from ANY party is piss-poor governance.
That’s not bad for Twitter. Normally it descends pretty rapidly into name-calling and me laughing at how quickly the left-leaning tend to wish physical harm on any non-socialists who don’t agree with a massive, sickly state. I had a couple on yesterday and it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, or poking a cow pat with a stick; easy, strangely satisfying and it always end up in a mess. But the question still hangs there; what use democracy and do we ever really get it?
Under the present system of faux-democracy the selection of a government is reduced to whose lies you believe. I tend towards the simpler lies of the so-called ‘right’ - named after those who, during the French Revolution, supported the King - rather than the ‘left’, the revolutionaries. And if we must elect leaders based on falsehoods, I’d rather have the duplicity of the right who make few bones about where their allegiances lie, than the tortuous self-harming contortions the left must go through as they yearn for equality yet always, every time, create structures which enrich the few at the expense of the many.
Last night Channel 4 aired one of their shock-docs called ‘How to get a council house’. I didn’t watch it – I didn’t even know it was on – but I didn’t need to watch… I had Twitter and, regular as clockwork, the handles lined up to the crack of the circus-master’s whip. It is a clever feat of doublethink to simultaneously hold the view that everybody is equally deserving of a chance while watching the pond life justify their effectively and consciously stealing resources, mostly from the lower paid. Meanwhile the state officials who bring this about are far behind the front lines, on good salaries and plenty of perks.
On the other hand, let the Conservatives hold sway and there is a general fear it’s going to end up with every man for himself. It wouldn’t. The weak and the sick would still be looked after no matter how much the more stridently lefty shriekers insist that Iain Duncan Smith has personally decreed they must die, but there’s no doubt there would be pressure for individuals to be much more self-reliant. That’s a preferable model for people like me, who have little time for the bleating of those who are not incapable, but just prefer not to take the strain themselves.
Vote for the King! What could possibly go wrong?
The truth is that no matter which side wins the next election most of you will see little change because, really, the election is not about you; it’s about which marginal groups slightly increase or decrease their chances. But the political game is about exploiting your beliefs regardless of the truth or your ability to judge. Wouldn’t it be so much better if you didn’t have to worry about all that; if you knew where you stood and could just get on with your lives? The old Frenchie right wing understood a thing or two; better the devil you know. So, on the whole you would be so much happier and better off with a benign dictator. I’ll be here when you need me.
*If you missed any editions of this magnificent blog along the way, don’t fret - all the best bits are available HERE: )