Sometimes the horror of the abuse of power in the world just seems to close in, and I want to run away from the toil of blogging against it. To rage against the dying of the light is indeed noble; but also energy-sapping, and the light dies anyway.
Where do I begin? Not content with giving over the entire NHS budget to be plundered for private profit, the police service is now being privatised. The use of coercive force against its citizenry is the ultimate sanction of the state and must in a civilised society only be exercised with utmost restraint and control. Of course, in the last twenty years the British and US states have moved fast towards the use of fatal force against foreigners for profit, in their wild embrace of companies of mercenary killers. So while shocking, it is hardly surprising that politicians seek to find profit for their paymasters in use of state force against their own citizens. It makes you wonder whether anything the government can do would be so shocking as to wake the public from the lull of Simon Cowell or the Sun on Sunday. I fear in truth they could shoot asylum seeker children on the streets without the bulk of the population lifting a finger.
Then we have Obama on his knees before AIPAC, accepting his marching orders and promising that the US will participate if Israel decides to attempt to launch Armageddon. Are there no US taxpayers out there, unbesotted by religous fanatacism, who find it humiliating to have their national leader so obviously powerless and crawling before the Israeli lobby? Given that it is the US which funds Israel, and not vice versa, it is all very peculiar. Or is it simply that the US taxpayer funds Israel, but Israel funds US politicians, thus Israel is simply a de facto pimp in the diversion of taxpayers money into politicians’ pockets?
We then have the very largely state owned Natwest Bank increasing mortgage rates on households whose real incomes were already falling, with all the media politely reporting that this is due to higher rates Natwest is having to pay for inter-bank borrowing. Which is to ignore the tens of billions free cash Natwest has received through first bailout then quantitative easing, and their recent access to effectively as much as they wanted from the European Central Bank at just 1%.
I am not a fan of Putin; the real democratic deficit in Russia comes not from the bussing and vote-rigging, without which Putin would have probably scraped over 50% anyway, but in the lack of media access for the opposition and the use of state resources effectively to campaign for Putin. But how different is that from what happens in the UK anyway? How much airtime do voices against the war in Afghanistan get? Or against the bank bailouts?
One cheerful moment, on last night’s Newsnight. Jeremy Paxman actually challenged the Israeli Ambassador, who seemed keen to attack Iran, over Israel’s nuclear weapons. First time in years I heard such a thing on the BBC.
Then when the Israeli Ambassador replied “Israel is not the one threatening to attack other countries” Paxman replied “You just discussed attacking Iran”.
All of which is entirely obvious, but almost totally absent from broadcast media.