14 August 2011

David Cameron, Ruffian Britain and the loss of the moral compass

It seems that people in Britain are not safe.  The people in general are not safe from a ruffian government in the pocked of corporate ruffians.  Ruffian rebels are not safe from a ruffian police and a ruffian judiciary.  The general citizens as well as private and public property are not safe from the ruffian rebels as well as a ruffian insurance sector.  And no one’s safe from a ruffian media that paints rebel as ruffian and a ‘surprised’ ruffian government as saintly benefactors of a citizenry that has suffered so many shocks it is not surprised by anything any longer. 

Failed state, did I hear someone say?  Did someone invoke the Articles of Association of the ruffians who talk of R2P (Responsibility to Protect)?  Maybe I heard wrong, but I didn’t read wrong an email query I received from a friend: ‘Can we send arms to London rebel fighters and provide air cover with fighter jets  as they are fighting for good cause - as the UK government is the most corrupt government on Planet Earth?’ 

Well, that’s a bit unfair.  Britain is certainly better than Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, I am sure all sensible people will agree.  My friend, however, had a strong case:

'Phone hacking, cash for favors, legislators taking bribes from newspapers, police taking bribes from the media,  media and TV channels in the pay of terrorist outfits, legislators harnessing votes and funds from terrorist for elections, police taking bribes from terrorist not to give protection for head of states who visit on invitation from reputed universities, legislators telling barefaced lies to go to war and affect regime change, crimes against humanity in Iraq, Libya and other countries, all a quiescent media and public!’

The call was for regime change for the safety of the decent folk in that country and for the immediate formation of a ‘Rebels’ Council’ which would be funded and armed.  Now some might call it over-reacting, but considering the kinds of ‘reactions’ we’ve seen from places like London, Paris and Washington, I must confess that there is an element of ‘appropriateness’ in these proposals.

The Metropolitan Police were not taken by surprise, William Bowles (‘Things Fall Apart’) informs us, quoting a Ministry of Defence report (‘The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036): ‘The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx. The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’ attachment to particular states. The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite. Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.’ 

Bowles describes the ‘ruffians’ in more eloquent terms.  ‘Underclass,’ the preferred media term and that of the regime, he says, is that segment ‘the state has buried away, out of sight–out of mind on ‘sink estates’ or trapped and invisible in the poorest neighborhoods of our cities’.   He points out that the ‘ruffians’ are the kids of a third of the population that makes up ‘surplus to capitalist requirement’ and notes ‘big chunks of the middle class are being forced back whence they came from, the working class’. 

What is Britain 2011 if not bad policing, racism, persecution of minorities and immigrants, mass unemployment, rampant deprivation, austerity for the ‘surplus’ and perpetuation and consolidation of wealth and power (as David Harvey puts it in ‘Feral Capitalism hits the street’) for the only real minority, the bourgeoisie?  It is a country where politicians cheat on expenses, bankers plunder the public, and hedge fund operators and private equity operators loot shamelessly, he points out. 

If indeed, Britian is ‘[the] political economy of mass dispossession, of predatory practices to the point of daylight robbery, particularly of the poor and the vulnerable, the unsophisticated and the legally unprotected, has become the order of the day’ that Harvey claims it is (and there’s no reason to believe that this distinguished professor of the City University of New York is fibbing), then R2P makes sense.  Arming rebels makes sense. Regime change makes sense.  

Nathaniel Tapley in an open letter to Cameron’s parents, humourous and at the same time deadly in accusation, lays it out without frills.  He lists Cameron’s corrupt friends and the kind of rioting they’ve engaged in (white collar of course).  Without justifying or playing down the violence of the looters, Tapley expresses shock at how the guardians of morality behave.  Speaking of the legislators, he mentions cash-for-questions, cash-for-access, insider trading and other hanky-panky that happens out of Parliament and which self-righteous media outfits like BBC and Channel 4 shove in the not-see files.   He asks Cameron’s parents, ‘Can they really, as 650 people who have shown themselves to be venal pygmies, moral dwarves at every opportunity over the last 20 years, bleat at others about ‘criminality’; [that is] those who decided that when they broke the rules (the rules they themselves set) they, on the whole wouldn’t face the consequences of their actions?’
I am not sure if Cameron’s parents are to blame, but I can’t blame the man for asking, Why did you never take the time to teach your child basic morality?’ 

This is why it is funny that David Cameron, Prime Minister (honourable) has actually lamented about the loss of moral compass, the decline of civility and the sad deterioration of family values and discipline among errant youths.  A short while ago someone re-posting a poem written in honour of the late Lakshman Kadirgamar on the 6th anniversary of his death, noted, ‘It is ironic that the 'international community'(sic) that was mute when he was killed, is calling incessantly for 'independent' inquiries when his killer was killed!’

It was not the rebels (‘ruffians’ if you prefer, David) who have problems with morality, civility and values.  They may err, but then again, those who make a living out of erring can’t really point fingers. 

It is not that David Cameron lost his moral compass. He could not, for he never had one to begin with, or in the case of Britain, it lost that piece of technology several centuries ago. 



Patta Pal said...

It is simply a case of the pot calling the kettle black. It is worth a little bit of introspection before casting our sights outwards. Shame is relative, and question which is the least bad of the two.