UK Politics: Appearances And Decline
Politicians are the salesmen of insurance policies and statutes; of measures and of government.
Although the maxim ‘The buyer is always right’ isn’t conducive to ‘good politics’.
‘Good politics’ itself as an idea is a misnomer and an oxymoron. A misnomer because bad behaviour is essential to do ‘good’ politics; and an oxymoron because actually ‘bad’ politics are ‘good ‘politics, when taken from the view of any person who makes an attempt a righteous life.
Quite fortuitously for my arguments henceforward, commerce and politics these days are twin sisters, and so they share in widespread nowadays a great deal more than I can remember having been shared by them in my lifetime.
The politicians here in the UK have made it a commonplace for them to proclaim that they ‘have much to be taught from private industry’ or from ‘the non-public sector’ about how you can run a nation. They converse endlessly on the subjects of how ‘we have to pay our way in the world’ and so ‘make public finance ends meet’. They insist again and again that like Mr Micawber’s miserable man ‘we cannot dwell beyond our means’ and also that there are particular things ‘we, or the country, or the nation, can not afford’.
This form of discuss began to be casually habitual within the 1980s when Mrs Margaret Thatcher presided as Prime Minister in Britain and over her ‘shopping bag’ economics. Previous to this time there were indeed ‘balance of payment deficits’ we had been all fearful about; and ‘inflation rates’ we had been all apprehensive about; but this earlier time was a time when Nationalised (or State Run) industries were widespread within the UK; notably with regard to Utilities, Steel and Heavy Business, Energy and Postage.
Nationalised industries weren’t in those days constrained to make profits; although they were considered albatrosses round a nation’s neck after they confirmed massive losses on their steadiness sheets.
And in the main a different and now it seems antiquated political climate held ascendancy before the cultural and political shifts which have been introduced by Mrs Thatcher and her government upon their coming into office in 1979.
Upon being elected Mrs Thatcher’s government of 1979 quickly tag teamed the UK with the USA; and this occurred suddenly and upon the rise of a Regan/Thatcher accord come into being. Milton Friedman (of ‘no free lunch’ fame) was the guru of the day for cash and spending, economics and theory. The emphasis of economic policy on each aspect of the Atlantic shifted quickly, suddenly, onto controlling the cash supply, and onto engaging to chop government to a minimum; which entailed disbursing nearly all the Nationalised Industries into the Private Sector.
Town Halls had been sold off and rented back on long leases by Local Authorities Boroughs; Faculty taking part in fields had been bought off for fast profits and housing sweater stone island or such constructed on them. Council Public Housing stocks were severely depleted by the introduction of a Proper-to-Purchase Policy. Overnight, it seemed, the onetime clear borderline between what had been financially dubious, even to the point typically of being criminal, was pushed back and new area was abruptly created for top level financial transactions to occur in. These began to develop muddied as to whether they were moral or non-moral; generally mulching up the question whether or not they had been criminal or non-criminal transactions. Particularly in Town.
The guys to the far proper had it; and the middle floor politicians were dubbed ‘wets’ and trivialised. The Labour movement of the left was roughly solid out of the orthodox political fold as personae non grata. Great clashes whereby segments of society who beforehand had enjoyed some degree of political energy and sway were pitted to the demise in opposition to a brand new Right orthodoxy shook the land; and one by one the outdated time demi-powers, labelled once more by the ascendants derogatively as ‘dinosaurs’, had been destroyed.
A brand new outlook and nation was born, created. It is our heritage in the present day. It’s a nation which has embraced High Capitalism; hedge funds and enterprise capital, non-public lending and private spending; all carrying a ruthless calling in of debts when things get too edgy. Other traits of this time were small authorities, and deregulation of staff protections and employer preventions, whose removals made and proceed to make companies capable of revenue from reductions in overheads. Stone Island Online But with this deregulation got here an accompanying job insecurity, and hiring and firing became much more fluid as a consequence.
As a substitute of Europe being appeared by the UK to as one’s financial and cultural homeland; the United States became immediately and really a lot so the de facto roots of our present tradition (except maybe for our High Tradition, which has nose-dived in recognition the UK). We now watch US Television reveals and films; we consume US music and musical styles; we put on US clothing fashions and embrace US attitudes to sport, to our neighbours and neighbourhoods, and to cash and to consumption of products and companies. I’d say with some reserve that extra of our lives come from the USA in origin as of late than stay British or European, or even Colonial. Even had been one so as to add collectively all different influences on the British approach of life I would say that now our lives are more American than all these other influences are capable of muster as a contradistinction.
We now devour extra, much more, ‘homeland propaganda’ in our Tv reveals, on Radio, and in Print. There exists no indigenous counter-culture of any strength or dimension in Britain proper now which is posed against The Triumph of Capitalism which the media propaganda hypes. Our latest farce, our apostasy from the European Union has only underwritten that call of the 1980s UK governments to throw our lot in with the USA and never with Europe.
Briefly, we are presently a charity-close-to-house contented-to-the-level-of-smugness little church of islands, blissful to laze drowsily under the shadow of a sweater stone island United States which itself is experiencing unusual and convulsive political turmoils, similarly to the UK.
Just like the United States whom we sit at the feet of, we too are past our best as a nation and in decline, and just like the US we are publicly seen to be in decline.
So what does all this preamble above result in concerning Appearances
In the year 1997 and following, a new political phrase was coined. The ‘spin doctor’ was born. A spin doctor is a political person of some power and standing who is able to package up and to current coverage and governmental ideas in such a approach as to put the very best face on them in order that they go down properly with the individuals being governed. Or not less than they go down one of the best they’ll go down with the general public.
A method had thus been given to presentation; to the acts of colouring appearances and of slanting data in such a approach as to make them palatable. In fact slanting information and colouring phrases just isn’t new. The schools of Rhetoric return to Classical Athens and before; and the Roman and Medieval colleges appointed their Trivium of colleges topics; certainly one of which was rhetoric. Plato himself talks of the disservice of certain audio system who would purpose to make ‘the weaker argument defeat the stronger’. These fancy audio system were recognized to historical past as ‘Sophists’, from which we get our word ‘sophisticated’.
(Apparently enough the word ‘sophisticated’ had until the 20
century a pejorative facet about it; it was thought of a foul factor to be and to champion, as a result of it made much out of little and gave a person affected airs and so on. As soon as the clothing vogue trade and cosmetics and smart set industries took up the word it became one thing to achieve, and to attain and to have a good time being. Perhaps this little anecdote tells much of my story for me )
But once more; again in the nineties here in UK a method was given as soon as again to rhetorical sophistication; which was recognized once more right now a ‘spin’ and was being applied by ‘spin doctors’. ‘Doctors’ is a curious phrase too. Here in the UK a pet is ‘doctored’ when it is spayed or castrated; and a drink is ‘doctored’ when a potion is added to it clandestinely – ‘spiked’ is the present terminology I feel. ‘Doctored’ then in these senses entails adulterating something – like a drink – and once more it entails – destroying the potency of something – like a pet.
Each these implied meanings are embedded (one other interesting word ‘embedded’ – but not for our subject right now) within the ‘spin doctor’ concept. She or he is a one who adulterates the plain unvarnished item of news or data; and/or who ‘draws the sting’ of ‘bad news’, making it less sturdy to digest – lessening its potency.
There was a Briton on trial in Australia in the 1980s (1987) who had published a ebook (‘Spycatcher’) and who had allegedly breached an Official Secrets and techniques Act. He, (or was it another – a witness Sir Nigel Havers ) coined a phrase which went into the folklore right here in Britain when he responded to a direct query from the prosecution asking whether or not he had lied or not. He had replied by saying that he had been ‘economical with the truth’.
This reply prompted him some superstar right here in Britain and his phrase was used topically for some years afterwards right here. This topicality of the phrase indicates to me that our strange individuals right here within the 1980s were not but used to or comfortable with such legerdemain being utilized to phrases and their meanings. This in turn means to me that at the moment we as a nation weren’t yet at our current state, far from it the truth is, and that had we been in our present state again then, we might have hardly been stirred perhaps by such a flamboyant euphemism as being ‘economical with the truth’.
One in every of the largest travesties of ‘spin’ and of its ‘doctors’; and it is one which perhaps paved the way for the now ubiquitous use of refined disguises and distortions in political use of language and presentation of life which we’re suffering at present; there was the notorious ‘dodgy dossier’ which ‘justified’ the Iraq Battle (Mark 2) which Britain’s then authorities foisted by sleights on its individuals, and in tandem with Bush junior of the may of the US of A, that dossier was the merchandise which had allowed us to go forward and ‘bomb Iraq again into the Stone Age’.
These occasions have been instances of abundance for Britain and the British – seven fat cows – however a number of years passed and then seven skinny cows got here to eat the seven fat cows – and lo, ‘austerity’ was born, as a blazon and political rallying call to the peoples of Britain. We were earlier than ‘austerity’ very properly off, and our guilt in these years was that we have been enjoying a lot our oversupply of prosperity, like we had never identified before or since, yet we helped bomb Iraq and its national infrastructure, which ensured its prosperity, into oblivion. How good is that
However to our theme again. The on a regular basis political observe these days is to make use of duplicity, outright lies, and to bend statistics, to cowl up, and to accentuate the constructive and get rid of the unfavorable, regardless of the weather, at any time when the occasion. It’s the norm. It’s what British folks expect now from their politicians and governments.
These days in the UK a political celebration is ready to make and has made recently a set of manifesto guarantees to its electorate, which, upon that celebration gaining an election majority and so a return to authorities, was the entire set completely damaged and discarded; and inside six months. Furthermore, this same political get together has won victories since, has been elected successfully by the same foolish of us whom it rode roughshod over in its ditching its earlier and wholly phoney manifesto. That is where we are actually, right here in Britain.
Recurrently, as weapons of their ‘spin’ armoury, politicians ‘bury dangerous news’ by making necessary announcements on days big reside sporting occasion matches are watched by the nation; the politicians marshal so-known as ‘impartial’ or ’neutral’ observers deliberately to proclaim on the side of their coverage; they glibly supply bogus reasons, turning arguments inside out, they then current the sufferers of their insurance policies as the villains of the piece. They pick and proclaim atypical and outrageous examples which they claim as proof which supports their causes; and they use with out blench all method of low and dirty ruses and tips, at all times with an goal to get their approach with the least public resistance, and naturally with the least real public understanding, of their policies and plans.
All this hereabove acknowledged I name right here unambiguously and definitively as CORRUPTION in British public life. The British kid themselves that their nation and their governors will not be corrupt, and that they’re absolutely not like ‘Johnny Foreigner’ whose affairs and officials reek of each form of backhander and rabid falsehood. Hypocrisy is what we British do best, of all nations, because we imagine, even at excessive places we imagine our personal propaganda. All this arises out of our lazy and comfortable self-love and out of its coddling capability to idiot our reasoning powers.
Of late, and together with the political occasions here in UK of this momentous year, which has seen us and our nation blatantly vote to do direct harm to ourselves, and possibly these spoilt brat selections we’ve got made will effectually destroy us; I do know that we’ve got reached a degree the place we have now sifted and divided, skewed and contorted, language and ideas, phrases and deeds, policy and argument so much and so badly, that the majority individuals in our nation are in difficultly when asked to type fiction from truth.
Partly it is the people’s own faults. They have not paid due honour to their very own consciences; nor have they listened to their better natures; they’ve sold out their integrities in return for services and products in abundance; a lot, too many products and services. Spoiled and undermined. They have allowed themselves to be removed by the use of their complacent ignorant simple nonchalance from that arena of life where subsistence suffering and difficulty happen as everyday problems to be handled. They have relinquished historical past and embraced a lot unhealthy Tv and trash motion pictures.
They’ve chosen to disconnect from a lot of the actuality of circumstances.
They don’t listen to arguments any extra; they go where their nostril leads them – selling themselves and their votes to the best bidders, probably the most outrageous personalities.
As a result no official, no government or governing individual is now being held to account. The overall dictum for all-comers on a wining side has been to pillage and share the spoils ‘Everyone has received and all will need to have prizes’.
The day is near, until some Providential turnaround or fortunate occasion occurs to head such a disaster off on the pass, when our British democracy, with its super-long pedigree and time-hallowed however now little-heeded standing, will presumably go beneath. What a wreck is perhaps there ! We shall see.