……but I hope you will read this;
When one gets into bed with government, one must expect the diseases it spreads.
—Ron Paul, R-TX, US Congress.
whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
1611, King James Version of the Bible, Epistle to the Galatians, 6:7
Those of us who follow politics have long felt that the media per se are ‘in bed’ with our politicians, tamely repeating that which they are told and not questioning in any depth said content; and then presenting what they are told as ‘news’. Not that the ‘commentariat’ are any better, their views usually based on a lack of knowledge of the problem about which they spout, compounded by a lack of research. In contrast this blogger has devoted his entire output, since the pandemic of Covid-19 began, to that problem – but I digress slightly.
But a question: are we, the people, not ‘in bed’ with politicians in that we also tamely accept that which we are told; again without question? When we vote, exactly what is the outcome for which we hope? When we vote, what recourse do we have if the government of the day does not follow that which they propose/promise in their manifesto? What do we have if politicians, presented with a problem ‘out of the blue’ then appear to have no idea of how to solve it – and in attempting to solve it, ‘go off half cock’; and in the course of their actions could be held to be doing no more than ‘grand-standing’?
Leaving aside for one minute the Covid-19 pandemic, for which the following examples are similar where the basic question is concerned in respect of where was the voice of the people, consider past history:
The Salmonnella Scare, Listeria Hysteria, Mad Cow Disease, Meat Cheese and E.coli, Speed Kills, the confusion over lead which cost billions, how Passive Smoking was turned into a ‘Killer’, the Asbestos Scam, saving the planet: Global Warming, the Iraq war, our entry into the EEC followed years later by the Lisbon Treaty; to name but a few. Were we told the truth? Apparently not where the first nine points are concerned; and in this context I can but refer you to ‘Scared to Death’ by Christopher Booker and Richard North. We most certainly were not told the truth where our entry to the EEC was concerned as subsequent documents, released under the ’30 year rule’, are concerned. Were we not assured by Peter Hain that the Lisbon Treaty was but a ‘tidying-up’ exercise – when it was but something far more sinister?
I am at a loss to understand the apathy of people where their personal lives are concerned. We are very quick to complain about minutae imposed on us by our political masters, yet tend to accept major changes to our society and thus our lives with what might be termed a ‘shrug of the shoulders’ and the attitude: ‘what can I do about it’? How many of these ‘apathists’ heard, or read, David Cameron’s speech on the steps of Downing Street on 11th May 2010; from which I quote:
……..and, yes it is about making sure people are in control – and that the politicians are always their servant and never their masters……..
If we, the people, are in control, why do we not have recourse to exert our ‘mastership’ over our politicians? A.V. Dicey was a British jurist and constitutional theorist, someone who politicians most often quote where our current system of representative democracy is concerned; yet he wrote:
the possibility….which no-one can dispute of a fundamental change passing into law which the mass of the nation do not desire.
Yet, under the existing system of representative democracy, just how do we go about effecting the change imposed on us? In effect what Dicey was alluding to was the fact that the foundation of representational democracy was, to use the vernacular, shot to hell; and by inference that it was not Parliament, but the people, who were sovereign.
Let us consider another ‘imposition’ imposed on what David Cameron called the ‘Masters’ by their ‘Servants’: namely taxation, A matter which the ‘Servants’ insist their ‘Masters’ pay under penalty of imprisonment for non-compliance. Just why do we acquiesce like sheep? Has no-one heard of ‘Referism‘? If not, pray tell just what is wrong with this idea? Whose money is it?
On that subject; and to revert to Covid-19, just how much money has the lock-down cost this nation in non-productivity, the cost which taxpayers will be contributing to for decades to come while our ‘Servants’ will no doubt still be receiving their ‘freebies’ – when compared with the cost of ‘test and trace’; a system which could well have been carried out by local authorities far cheaper and more effective. I would suggest?
At whatever area of ‘government action’ you look, we, the people, are being ‘fleeced’ like the sheep, we have become, consequently being consigned to an abattoir of our own making, especially where Covid-19 is concerned. Surely the time has come to reclaim our position of ‘Master’ of our own life and destiny; and to be presented with a fair cost analysis of the actions which our ‘Servants’ propose?
It is all very well to complain day after day about the debacle of Covid-19, or the state of play with Brexit, as some bloggers and the public in general have done when those so doing have ignored the answer to all the afore mentioned problems, namely direct democracy. Neither, I have to say, is it worthwhile complaining when those whose voice is at the forefront of complaint have ensured that the virtues of direct democracy have been ignored by their own actions – which encapsulated taking over the idea and promotion of direct democracy; and then promptly burying it by their own inaction.
There will, no doubt, be a state ‘inquiry’ about the handling of Covid-19 – likewise Brexit – in the years to come, with blame apportioned anywhere but at the government’s doorstep. Perhaps the ‘people’ should insist on an inquiry, not state sponsored, about the burial of a system of government whereby their voice was ‘silenced’ by the inaction of a few of the people?
Just saying – much, no doubt – to the views of those about whom I complain.