The News From Sick Britannia

Deserving What You Get

An Actress recently donated £10 000 to charity this has provoked interest on both twitter and the media. The majority of comments both by public and media are balanced. The charity in question helps the children of families where the parents are currently in prison.

The picture a minority of the comments present is of a Britain as a disturbed, troubled and dysfunctional land, filled to bursting with asylum seekers and terrorists in which the children of convicted felons own numerous cars (narrative here needs to be striped to bare functional essentials, relies on action, moving forward at speed and not reflection or the contradictions become somewhat clear) and have a plasma t.v in every room. Why would they need charity when they are clearly already living off the benefit system? It is important to remember that these people are put in prison for a reason…. etc. etc. etc….Perhaps it is a deeply unfortunate mistake that the legal system does not incarcerate whole families making no distinction between adult and child when one member is guilty of a crime? We are a society that has given up on its culture and lost its values apparently and so on and so forth.

Distinction between child and adult in law is a very old one indeed. Generally the law seeks to identify the perpetrator of a crime and charge according to involvement and guilt. But for some a brave new world clearly awaits.

We are certainly a Nation facing like many others a range of deep seated problems and issues that seek debate, discussion and hopefully consensus and long term solutions.

It is interesting to see how these issues will play out in Scotland in light of the ongoing debate on independence. Scotland has been since the 80’s virtually a Conservative free zone. The self styled ‘Unionist party, One Nation’ Conservative party have distinct track record in creating a vibrant diverse democracy and inclusive identity that is somewhat windswept and barren. The legacy of its shift from traditional One Nation position and values in the 80’s to a more hardline stance. Other major change this shift and new found taste for blood and human flesh has brought about is that it now seems more intent on self destruction and indulges regularly in very particular form of political cannibalism, watching the Tories these days is like watching Hannibal Lector attempting to eat himself.  As one Comic rather neatly observed we have more Panda’s than we have Conservative M.P’s. The S.N.P certainly seems to be trying to flag up the political gulf, a constitution in which each member of society has the right to a home looks like a possible example. But the hardline rhetoric is also noticeable on the streets here despite the differences in voting patterns and cultural differences with regard to class.

We should really be in a moment where we can take a long hard look at how this island functions and where exactly we want it to head. Debate is almost utterly absent in the red in both tooth and claw, business as usual politics. When the parties all present variations of more or less the same policies (consensus would not be an issue if they were not such short term populist fixes), disguises and difference must be maintained somehow. This is not a political landscape in which politicians work for the people or as a public duty, it is the politics of holding power, sliver and land. I am not suggesting this is the only motivating factor but it seems too often an overriding concern of the political system and its players.

Remember watching the negotiations underway in that extraordinary moment in Northern Ireland when violence became more settled and the sides began to talk. The possibility of grants, official expense accounts, being whisked to meetings in large black cars, it did look like a deliberate strategy used by New Labour to attract the politically divided political classes of N.I. to the high table. The place where very important people meet, with all the trappings that very important people require to demonstrate why they are very important. Such things are worth fighting for it would seem above all else.

References

Daily Mail “There Are More Deserving Charities

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Top of the Pops with an as wished for clean, cut and cleansed audience.

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