Friday, 16 April 2010

Transatlantic calls

"How are things in that poor country?" I asked my Mother today when I phoned her. She laughed with me and gave me the local news from my old stamping ground. She's well provisioned in case this Icelandic eruption results in food shortages in the UK. Full freezer and larder, but then Ma always was one with her priorities right, bless her. I warned her about the possibility of serious acid rain, and we had a chuckle about that. "Maybe it'll catch Gordon Brown out in the open." She said, and the vision of old Jonah Brown screaming "I'm melting! I'M MELTEEEEENG!" like the Wicked Witch of the West while dissolving in a sudden downpour raised a belly laugh.

The word is that everyone she knows are bored to tears with the anodyne politics spewed out by the main three parties, and she's voting for an Independent who speaks his mind. Siblings will probably vote similarly, although in a different constituency. Not that it will make any difference unless the political mould is well and truly shattered, and politicians start taking their orders from constituents once more. Not supra national bodies like the EU and well paid lobbyists like at present.

From the infamous "We are the masters now" (mis?)quotation heard from the Labour side of the House I've always understood that at that moment the balance between voter and politician underwent a paradigm shift. The politicians think that they are masters when they are actually elected to serve. If they truly think that then we are backsliding to a Feudal system with Lords and Peasantry, which the current political elite seem to want. FFS! We're supposed to be in the go-ahead progressive enlightened 21st century where the sky is no longer the limit and humans can go anywhere they damn well please, or am I dreadfully out of touch here? Perhaps this is so. Comfortable complacency has done for active democracy, which only a few crusty old die-hards really believed in anyway. The rest would cheerfully trade in their birthright for the proverbial 'mess of pottage'.

I'd be one of the voices shouting "Wake up you dozy buggers!" at the UK electorate if I thought it would do any good. Regrettably my eyes have been opened to the laziness and avarice of a society that has never really known true hardship. No-one starves unless they're on an extreme diet or hunger strike. The 'elf 'n safety culture robs people of decision making abilities and the choice of taking real risks. I often wonder why I waste my time mentioning it.

"Enough now, Bill. Enough." Says my inner voice. "Take a day off me old chum."

Good idea. I have a new life. Time to get on with it.

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