I was watching this mini documentary the other day:
For those of you who don’t have time to watch the whole thing, the upshot is that there’s a guy who’s kept Putin in power for fifteen years by supporting his friends, enemies and random parties who don’t have much to do with anything. He’s let it be known that he’s doing this and the result is that no one who wants to oppose him has the first clue what the hell is going on. It’s a constantly moving target that can’t be grasped, let alone attacked. The doc then goes on to say that the same thing is happening in the UK: we’ve pulled out of Afghanistan, but did we win or lose?; we practice quantitative easing at the same time as austerity; we prosecuted DJs who felt up a fifteen-year-old on Top Of The Pops forty years ago but not the bankers who brought the country to its knees.
I often find myself scratching my head and wondering why people who commit such obvious crimes get away with it. Sure, they are powerful and in that amorphous bracket we refer to with the phrase, ‘those kind of people always get away with it’. But it happens again and again without consequence. A prime example is what’s happening with the Chilcot Inquiry, which has now taken five years to properly explain what happened in the illegal, hated and disastrous Iraq War of 2003. We hear of messages between Tony Blair and George Bush that can’t be published, so now we’ll only bet getting the ‘gist’ of them. Clearly, every intelligent person who hears that then thinks, ‘Bloody hell, there must be some incredibly dodgy stuff in those letters. I wonder what it could be…?’. My guess is the financial divvying up of Iraq’s oil reserves, along with allocation of arms contacts that enriched the US and UK to a massive extent, and still do.
But what can we do about it? I’m not sure I agree with Adam, who says we tend to greet our impotence in these situations with the words, ‘Oh dear’. Instead I think we tend to come at it from the angle of ‘Fucking hell’, where we know lots and lots of terrible things are happening behind the scenes to exploit the less well-off and powerful so that they/we might benefit those who are pulling the strings, but we feel entirely unable to do anything about it.
–It’s obvious the NHS is not being supported so it can be called a failure and placed in private hands for people to make money from, leaving the care of the unwell as a lower priority than the generation of cash.
–No one can rationally agree with the ridiculous proliferation of gun ownership in America, but the ‘powerful’ gun lobby prevents all calls for reduction. How? And why do supposedly intelligent people happily go along with extending this terrible situation?
–£80bn in bankers’ bonuses and £80bn in austerity measures. WHAT THE FUCK? People have to go without food and education so incredibly rich people can become even more incredibly rich? No one is stopping that? No one capped the bankers’ bonuses after the crash they created? And no one was jailed for that crash?
–The newspapers vilify supposed benefit ‘cheats’, who cost the country £2bn, while doing nothing about the giant corporations (Starbucks, Amazon, Vodaphone etc.) dodging tax worth £25bn. We can’t change the law to make them pay that tax? Why the fuck not?
–HSBC laundered drug money for Mexican cartels. Did anyone get in trouble for that beyond a fine which represented a tiny percentage of the bank’s income?
And EVERYONE KNOWS THIS IS GOING ON. It’s in massive newspapers like The Guardian and the New York Times, in hugely popular magazines such as Rolling Stone, on millions of Tweets and Facebook posts. None of it is hidden and yet it still happens all over the world, every single day.