Welcome to RuskinBlog where I present my perceptions of and ruminations on how we are governed; or perhaps “administered” is a better word? My views are reasonably common amongst educated people of roughly my own age who have a perspective that younger people just cannot have, even if they have read widely.
I am atheist. That is, I do not need to believe in anything any more.
However, I am a cultural Christian and embrace the music and language, created by mankind, that their non-existent god has inspired.
My journey from agnosticism to atheism was as a result of a slow self education in Socrates, Plato and then a jump to the European philosophers such as Immanuel Kant, Thomas Paine, Rene Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and many more. The light of the Age of Reason was beautiful to behold and I would love these humans’ thoughts to be taught in all schools from age 5 onwards. Just lose the “believe” word and replace it with the “think” word.
The world would be a better place if humanity could grow out of its primitive need for faith.
The main reason for this blog is that the opinions I have formed over the years, which now seem so blitheringly and obviously correct to me, are not reflected by the main media sources; I speak of the BBC television and radio broadcasts plus their monumental web presence and the main daily newspapers. Try an English Al Jazeera news program, Channel 4 News @ 7pm and compare them with BBC news broadcasts – the difference is quite illuminating!
The true essence of politics (“of, belonging to, or pertaining to the state or its body of citizens”(OED)), has been hijacked by a strange class of ‘micro-intelligent(**)’ people (party politicians – if you were wondering) who seem to blunder about making daft and sometimes criminally incompetent policy decisions based on no sound reason, philosophical basis and / or, in the case of the 2010 coalition, no mandate; the May 2011 referendum on the AV voting system is an excellent example.
Opposition MPs seem to be completely ineffective in rebuffing them, so, we blunder on from election to election changing one lot of egotists for another bunch of equally direction-less power mad twits!
It is clear to me that modern party politicians do NOT serve the citizens of this country in any useful or thoughtful way. They have become (and perhaps always were) a separate class of self congratulatory, self serving individuals whose sole purpose is to maintain or regain power.
Professional journalists, for the most part, have become part of this weird parallel universe and mainly talk about politics(*) instead of the issues that actually should be the business of government.
Surely it follows that recycling party politicians just does not work?
Recycling may be good for glass and newspaper but not for politicians. Our deformed version of ‘democracy’, happiness well-being are at stake.
By which I mean, the constant replacement of one ‘lot’ for the other ‘lot’ when the last ‘lot’ proved that they are no better “at it” than the other ‘lot’ were?
We just keep forgetting how bad the last but one ‘lot’ was and we repeat our mistake, again and again and again.
That’s a lot of ‘lots’, but I hope it makes the simple point that our so-called ‘democracy’ is not doing ‘we the people’ any good. Each ‘lot’ has its own party political agenda and it seems, to me at least, that the long term benefit to the British people is not being considered by each “lot’s” self serving short term needs and desire for power.
At best, I think it is fair to say that the current system provides a fair degree of incompetent stability but even that is now being threatened by the failure of any “lot” to actually face up to the errors that all “lots” continue to perpetuate.
In my view the 2010 election was a wake up call for all of us, voters, non-voters, & politicians.
- The Labour party was finally exposed as criminally, economically inept (and are still so); Miliband / Balls learned nothing from Blair/Brown’s disastrous 13 years of debt driven “prudent” prosperity.
- The Conservative party were pathetic in opposition and voted in a PR man as leader to make them look all shiny and electable again after their previous 18 years of sleaze, deregulation and privatisation disasters.
- The Liberal democrats still cling on to the idea that the EU is worth saving, god knows why (and she probably doesn’t exist!). The European Economic Community ‘construct’ was understandable as essential for promoting a peaceful Europe after WW2 – But the EU?; The Euro?; Absolute merit-less, idealistic tosh & piffle, as I easily demonstrate in my book.
In 2010, the Lib Dems, for me and many others, were our last best hope for a civilised democracy. With “seers” like Vince Cable, a few us thought we might have a way forward in switching to them, but we see, sadly, that after 2 years of coalition we have the same problems there too. Millionaire Chris Huhne corrupted into being above the law by his naked desire for power. Millionaire David Laws disgraced by his “cleverness” into claiming outrageous rental expenses from his partner. Even dear old Vince “the” Cable has been defused and demoralised by the Westminster power games that persist even after the Daily Telegraph’s wonderful work in the 2009 expenses scandal.
He was right about “going for Murdoch” of course, as the phone hacking scandal proved, but was demoted (for telling the truth about Murdoch’s news empire) and lost 70 staff to the department of Cheeriness & Crap (“Dept. of Art & Sport & Loveliness)” at colossal cost and no benefit to anybody!
By the way, what on earth is the government doing with a department and a minister for the arts and sport? What a colossal waste of our money.
You think the MPs expenses scandal is over..?
Our MPs now claim more than they ever did before their exposure a few years ago. I use the government’s own figures to prove my point.
Too much time at the top of the Power Pyramid corrupts even the most idealistic politician; the perks, expenses, pension and prospect of a gong from the honours system does the job so well.
The 2010 election results can be interpreted in several ways, but my chosen, and of course correct, interpretation is a “chaotic” one.
My chaos theory is now explained.
Most voters, me included, could not find anyone worth voting for (other than possibly the Lib Dems) and ended up voting, if they did at all, in despair.
A few of us ”punished” the Labour Party; a few more failed to vote for the ineffectual Cameraman and his Eton millionaire crew and the rest of us voted half heartedly for the Lib Dems. I am convinced that the Lib Dems lost the election because potential voters heard and believed the well marketed “perceived wisdom” that they “weren’t ready for power”. Therefore, we voted like chaotic headless chickens because there was nobody worth voting for and our system does not do “None of the Above”.
I have to mention UKIP were the closest we had to a “None of the above” vote, and while I agree with their analysis of the EU, I’m afraid that Nigel Farage was just too frightening with his shiny blazers to reach most of us despite the fact that he spoke more far sense than the other 3 “lots” put together! Since his departure from UKIP he has been carefully losing any credibility he once had, he still shines occasionally but I fear the light will be out soon.
The Labour Party quietly lost the “New” bit and the fact that Ed Milliband won the leadership election supports my chaos theory beautifully. David Milliband was the obvious and correct choice (right for the Labour Party I mean, not for the British People of course), but the Unions didn’t want a Blairite (i.e. shiny David), and since they pay the bills, that was that. I’m sure Ed is a lovely chap and all that BUT he ain’t a leader. (Do you dare me to say why? Challenge accepted in meBook).
The Greens are just a bit too clever for most of us and just a bit too shrill. They are completely right about most things of course – it’s just that their marketing ain’t up to much and we ain’t used to thinking for ourselves so we get the Lab Con flip flop over and over and over again.
* politics: (defined as it appears to be currently) the pointless discussion of how what ‘someone’ said might be perceived by ‘others’ and whether or not this will damage their ‘credibility’.
** micro intelligence: the ability to create unnecessary complexity where wisdom is sadly absent (requires a high IQ but no “sense”) OK I’m talking about Gordon Brown …
Derek Ruskin – a retired grumpy old git with the wisdom that only age and perspective brings <ahem>