To detail exactly why Britain is so horrendous in a blog post could take a long time so I will stay focused on a few key issues and then maybe blog about them in more detail individually. In the last few years I’ve had the sense that Britain is one massive cover-up, hiding corruptions on a large scale with no one getting to grips with any of them effectively. To a certain extent this has always been the British way but there have been so many examples of corruption over the last few years it’s just become even more obvious. It’s almost laughable or it would be if it didn’t cause so much damage.
When I say cover-up I’m not referring to a conspiracy. This needs no conspiracy. This isn’t about unknown powerful entities sitting in smoke-filled rooms discussing how to pull the wool over the eyes of the public. This is about the natural state of the British establishment to keep as much secret as possible. It is about how secrecy is being clung onto in a world where news travels fast and goes far. It is about a country unable to cope with the terrible things done in the name of the people.
Just think about some of things that have happened in recent years:
We’ve had the war in Iraq where the establishment lied in order to convince people that military action was just. This resulted in an astonishing loss of life for Iraqis but throughout the deployment of British troops the establishment and the media focused purely on the British dead.
We’ve had the Parliamentary expenses scandal where MPs took public money to pay for household items despite getting a massive salary. Very few of these individuals ever faced justice and many are still political figures.
We’ve had the so-called Hacking Scandal. Of course phone hacking was only really part of the story. What was really going on was wholesale collusion between the press, prominent politicians and the police. Money was changing hands, people were being given horses and the press were being given stories in a beautiful three-way relationship. This has been totally resolved by the Leveson enquiry obviously. What Leveson really did was place the entire onus onto the press because it focused purely on the hacking of mobile phones by newspapers looking for stories. The fact that this action is already illegal is the key to the whole affair; if the cosy relationships hadn’t existed the police would have already been investigating this sordid practice. Many on the left applauded Leveson because it was seen as an attack on media moguls and the right wing press. This is woolly minded for several reasons but chief among them is the fact that attacking press freedom doesn’t resolve the issue of the relationships that had been developed. The politicians and the police have got away incredibly lightly (although the police may get tackled in round 2 of Leveson).
Then we have the emerging sex scandal, although sex scandal doesn’t really detail the full horror of what has been going on over a period of decades and probably a lot longer. What we’re really talking about here is a massive scale of rape and sexual assault by people in positions of power and influence and celebrity. The fact that so many people have considered they have a right and privilege to rape and sexually assault whoever they choose without impunity is breath-taking. The much loved BBC is right at the centre of many of the allegations. This organisation that we call Auntie seems to have been a place where sexual predators felt at ease and safe to carry out their activity. At every opportunity Auntie Beeb resists the calls for further investigation and inquiry.
When we add to this list of corruption Britain’s crimes against humanity during its imperial days, many of which we still have much to learn about, the situation is much worse. Britain stole and plundered many countries destroying the lives of millions. I can’t do justice to many of these issues: slavery, the partitions of Ireland and of India, the creation of Israel, the scramble for resources in Africa, the displacement of the Chagos Islanders for an American airbase and the brutal torture of the Mau Mau in Kenya. If anyone is proud of the British Empire they need to explain the fuck why.
Then we have the banking crisis which started in 2008 and continues. The corruption of capitalism is a driving force that seems to have the ultimate power. The abuses of inequality caused by the greed of the wealthy created a crisis which the establishment is using to advance neoliberalism and prevent economic justice. The very people who caused the crisis are getting ever more wealth at the expense of the rest of us. Britain over the last few years has had a flat lining economy and yet most of us are getting poorer while some are still getting very rich. Britain is still producing new millionaires and billionaires.
Every section of the public sector seems to be at risk of privatisation. Wholesale attack on trade unions is underway. We often hear of threats of legislation to interfere further with union democracy for example by making strikes illegal if they have not been backed in a ballot by more than 50% of the membership. Attacks on trade union facility time and health and safety rules contribute to the feeling of fear in this country. And of course, we see the attack on trade union reps themselves purely because they exist to help others. The Thatcherite vision of no society is being forced upon us.
I haven’t even mentioned the fact that Britain is a monarchy with a large section of wealth taken from the people to provide a family with riches very few can imagine. Wealth is also taken to fund a chamber of parliament which is made up of Appointees. The government is unelected in as much as it is made up of ministers appointed to positions of power by the leader of whichever party has a majority in the House of Commons. In electing an MP once every five years the people as a whole have very little power in terms of changing their government. The power, such as it is, rests with a few thousand people in key constituencies and the parties naturally vie for the attention of those people rather than the majority, believing their core vote will always come out for them.
As we’ve seen from the example of press regulation via the Hacking Scandal the establishment often decides to split issues up and deal with them each in turn and individually. This results in us never getting to grips with the real issue. In Britain corruption is rife, little is done about it and everything is painted like a pretty picture. They say that history is written by the victors. If we lose then all of the appalling things I mentioned will be airbrushed out of history to a certain extent. People in the future will carry on reading about English gentlemen standing up for what is right. The focus will be on the British quality of fair play, human rights and an empire that civilised the world. It doesn’t matter that this is all bullshit because we will have lost. We need to win.
We need to force the issue because no one else will. We need to make the links that show this corruption is widespread and we need to ensure that all the necessary changes are made. We need to make sure that these things never happen again once they are stopped. Terrible things have been covered up far too long; it’s time we sorted it out.