Friday, May 22, 2009

Something for the Weekend

The recent revelations about the extent of rules-bending and outright fraud by our representatives at Westminster has been interesting for a number of reasons. Many of them are insufferably arrogant, believing themselves superior to others in that way that many people who regularly appear on television seem to fall into, and to see their carefully honed presentational skills reach breaking strain is something of a pleasure.

They are not our masters. Their job is to represent our interests and to hold the government to account. We send them to Westminster for that purpose. They are not there to experiment with their own ideas or to try to tell us what to do. If they do not do fully, diligently and competently carry out that function then they are worthless and we owe them neither loyalty, nor respect, nor, of course, a single penny of our money.

The media, who also tend to have a hugely inflated sense of their own importance, are far more interested in anecdote, gossip and derivative material which will easily catch the attention of the public. (And they always have been; despite endless protestations about defending the public interest, speaking truth to power and being the only thing which protects us from tyranny, the origins of non-government publications were in the tattle-sheets circulated by court hangers-on.)

Politics, even local politics, seems to be almost entirely about money and power. Actual government, as in organization of necessary public functions, creating and preserving the conditions for a peaceful and prosperous society to exist, is not what motivates people, and probably never has been. The idea that they are servants of the people is so far beyond their comprehension that they would not even laugh at it.

Anyhow, all this and much more has been said by others, and the world is not going to change because I happen to have pointed out a couple of its faults, so enough of this. I rarely read the papers and never watch the television news, there are long periods when I have little idea what the people who want to tell me how to live are saying and doing, and I don't miss it. It means I can think more freely because I don't have to argue with them, and it becomes clear that they really don't matter very much.

So I'm off to the country for the weekend. Expect bucolic ramblings and photos of flora and fauna in the next few days.

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