The loss of faith in the political class.
We in the developed world are constantly told that we’re increasingly living in a globalised world, and it’s true but not just in the usually accepted economic sense. More importantly, the cheap communication facilities it’s built on have increased immeasurably the speed and ease with which ideas can spread across the globe. Ideas, when they take hold, will of course effect people’s sentiments about the world.
A sentiment that has taken hold in the last decade in the Americas, Europe and the Antipodes is a growing and by now firmly entrenched disenchantment with the political class. By the political class, I’m primarily referring to elected mainstream politicians of whatever leanings, and to a smaller extent what might be referred to as their auxiliaries in the mass media.
The perception and the bald fact, is that they only listen to each other rather than the ordinary person who actually votes for them. They all come from the same rich class, go to the same expensive preparatory schools and finish up reading soft subjects such as politics, economics or history while attending the same kind of prestige university somewhere. It’s not that they’re the brightest and best of their generation, far from it, but that they’re naturally very good at feeding people what they’ll like in tasteful, easily digestible mouthfuls – what’ll stroke them if you will.
Election times are the best to see it in action. Turn off the audio and watch them mixing with the great unwashed clip again, but in silence. It’s brutal.
You can see the sheer effort in their eyes as they try to feign a modicum of interest in this particular irrelevant prole’s politely offered ideas about anything, before a perceptive aide pulls down the shutters under the guise of hurrying them on to their next appointment in a very busy prime ministerial day. Of course, the nobody understands. It’s great to be in a bit of limelight for the one time in their life and the whole media charade moves on in an explosion of flash bulbs, jostling and overhanging furry microphone booms to the next nonentity.
Poor Fred or Fanny wearing the stupid white hairnet go back to their dull lives on the production line, and that’s what’s termed interaction with the voter. It may not be the most “challenging” or “career fulfilling” jobs, but it’s keeping a family afloat. Everyone knows the big man is keeping their powder dry and their best carefully rehearsed lines for the big TV debates before specially selected balanced audiences. Noddie events with less conscious life forms, while obviously a necessary chore in any election, are at end of day a very tedious business.
They are acutely aware of criticism by their peers or the media, but woefully ignorant not only of the lives but opinions of the ordinary person. They live in a comfy shell floating along atop a sea of us poor benighted people whose atavistic attitudes they’re determined to correct.
Just two minutes of watching and listening to them doing the noddies interacting with some minimum wage worker for the news bite and you can see it – they’ve never once walked around a supermarket and done a budget shop, being forced by necessity to pick out the economy brand rather than name one, and being careful to check out the really cheap bargains available on the out of life shelf, everything on which if unsold today, will get thrown in a skip this very night. The people foraging for the food banks will skip dive for it.
You turn the corner of the aisle and see a gaggle of pensioners picking over the end of life shelf and in all decency have to walk away. Welcome to the bigger brighter and much fucking nicer twenty-first century.
It’s not so much that they can’t be made to understand, but that they don’t reflexively know why bread is a better bang per buck than cake when you’ve got a few mouths to feed on a tight budget. They were born, raised and still somehow manage to live on an entirely different planet.
Their ignorance of how the vast majority of people feel on certain subjects is only exceeded by the patronising arrogance of their response to any attempt to voice a different opinion which would be unwelcome inside their clique. As a class, they all share the same basic opinions about most controversial issues, irrespective of which side of the political divide they nominally represent.
They all sit along the fence in the middle like a row of smug plump alternatively facing crows doing nothing more than squabbling away between themselves while they unthinkingly excrete droppings on all below.
On a periodic basis, the number of crows on the fence facing one way rather than the other changes, and that’s called a change of government, but actually nothing much changes – especially if you’re underneath the fence, which is why tragically the really poor long ago gave up any faith in voting.
There is no real choice on offer by either left or right-wing politicians. It’s all pre-masticated, media-friendly, centrist pap that has absolutely no relevance to the people in their own country.
They organise staged pledges in a blaze of publicity to give more food aid to poorer countries while ignoring the geometric growth in food banks in their own. They agonise on television about people in far away places who’ve lost everything in some disaster while studiously ignoring their own citizens living on scraps like invisible crustaceans in what’s called tent cities on the edges of major conurbations in the richest country on the face of the Earth.
Everybody outside their own border gets money to fight climate change while laughably small local flood defence funds result in disgraces like thousands being flooded out in Cumbria. They worry about how global warming might effect the world’s poor while their own poor and vulnerable are now suffering and dying in increasing numbers with each passing winter and the impossibility of paying heating bills that have in a few years more than doubled because of green taxes heaped on them to save the Earth from something nobody gives a shit about.
All that stuff is just pavement level politics, people stuff and consequently well below their radar. They don’t know it exists and wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway. They’re more interested in grand initiatives and inspirational sound bites. By way of some concrete examples, let’s run through what the ordinary reasonable person thought of some of those grand initiatives with which the political class became enamoured.
Multiculturalism said we must embrace and somehow preserve the culture of foreigners coming to live in our country, while at the same time presenting our own culture and heritage as something we should be ashamed of. This policy of essentially not encouraging immigrants to assimilate resulted in nothing but ghettos and no go areas and when this uncomfortable fact was fed back to the ruling class, the reaction was you were being racist.
When home-grown terrorists started appearing out of these opaque enclaves and killing people indiscriminately, any reaction was pitifully slow because it takes reality a certain lead time to overcome well-entrenched politically correct opinions. People in Paris got murdered by terrorists at the start of this year and the reaction? Effectively not much except some righteous admonitions not to suspect Muslims in particular of terrorism. In other words – rien, mon vieux. Nothing, old bean.
Another five hundred Parisians killed or wounded by terrorists in the same year, and the measures that should have been taken earlier are finally happening. Never mind the media spin, a lot of people in France are very angry with the incumbent political class who are deaf.
Germany and Sweden, because they have far and away the most generous and easily accessible welfare schemes in Europe, get flooded against the reservations of their own people by over a million of the most well dressed war refugees I’ve ever seen. In my opinion most of them are not war refugees, but economic migrants and not all from Syria either according to border guards who’ve been ordered to wave them in.
Angela Merkel, who appears to be labouring under the misapprehension that Germany’s dominance of the EU, gives her more influence over Western Europe than the Third Reich ever had, is finding resistance in not only her own Reich but every other country in the EU as well. Of course we agree with you whole heartedly Angela, but we’re closing our borders anyway. Sorry Liebling, but we all know the cathedral is on the other side of zeh square.
America has three thousand people killed by Islamic terrorists on 9/11, numerous small-scale slaughters of people by crazed individuals (never Muslim terrorists by the way) and all president Obama is fixated on is how global warming is the biggest threat to the world. What will it need to plug him back into some sort of reality. God forbid, another Twin Towers?
To get an idea of how far he’s embedded into the incestuous political class and outside blue-collar opinion, he lectured the American people in his Thanksgiving speech to consider the merits of gun control. They thought it over carefully in the holiday break and in the light of the latest Paris attack, went out and bought enough guns to equip the entire Marine Corps as well as four Army Divisions.
Coincidentally, firearm sales in Sweden have rocketed as well. In the land of the Niebelungen, Gott knows what’s happening. They’re probably out there digging up long-buried caches of Mauser rifles, Schmeissers and Panzerfausts. As it happens, I’ve got a really good contact if you need a shed load of parabellum ammo. If I were western Europe, I’d be keeping a wary eye on the narrow passes through the Ardennes, to be frank.
All jokes aside, the first imperative for any leader of a country is the security of his people. Once those people feel that’s been totally forgotten in some rush to political virtue, they know they’re on their own and get tooled up accordingly. It’s called voting with your wallet by buying as much gun as possible to protect your loved ones. No amount of media spin or presentation will dent that ground zero instinct in people.
Forbid them guns, they’ll start sharpening bamboo sticks and hardening the points over open fires. No parents put their family in the danger zone just to comply with a politician they think is nothing more than some out of touch chinless wanker.
The politics have failed us because of our own indifference to the indifferent representatives of the process. They’re indifferent nobodies of a system nobody cares about any longer. We allowed them, we created them, and must now live with the consequences of that decision.
It’s like that story of a kid in class being asked by a teacher what apathy meant, to which he replied I don’t know and I really don’t give a flying fuck about knowing what it means anyway. That’s not a bad answer, by the way.
Have a laugh, but I think there’s some very hard stuff heading in our direction.
When I was young with not a dependant or responsibility in the world and thinking about things in a fine but generous way, I used to camp on beaches, if only to watch the breakers, the sunsets and the sun rises of the next morning. I was looking for something and they always seemed to whisper to me. I’ve seen beaches which I knew had terrible histories but also ones from which you could watch as the only person in the world as dolphins looped and curled out of the water in the moonlight for no other reason that I could gather but sheer joy.
Lordy, did I envy them, and in fond remembrance still do. That silly memory among others got me through some very bad places.
Sitting there, I knew there was nothing I could do about what happened years ago and more tellingly what I knew was coming at us. People are going to have to take that bullet until they learn different. Sometimes you just simply have to sit down and watch the irresistible forces of the tides playing out as they will, and hope against all hope that we all might muddle through it all in some reasonable fashion.
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