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The State of Greed

The arrogance of politicians goes on.

Is this ever going to change? Both sides of the house are at it if Channel 4 are to be believed and the camera, as they say, never lies.

Some people say this is about their pay implying that they don't get enough. I don't actually care what they get paid, but it's relative. They have no right to complain when they vote for pay rises that are ten times what they begrudgingly offer people in jobs like nursing. What is it that has bred this culture; this notion that being a politician, which should be an honourable role, isn't enough or that it's a means to a lucrative end?

Serving the community and society should be a privilege. But in this country it seems that it has ever been the sole refuge of the privileged. We have career politicians who place themselves in line for a peerage so they can see out their time in the Lords, unaccountable and unelected. They claim that being a Member of Parliament demands a lot of their time, which is quite likely, and then find the time to take up positions on boards 'advising'. This means they use their position and the connections made to gain advantage in return for cash. 

This is only going to change if we do away with a financial system that breeds this kind of thinking; that creates the career of politician that erodes the position of public service. We could start by shutting down the Lords including all the vastly subsidised services within (the wine cellars and fine dining). We don't need a second chamber and to claim it holds the Commons in check is a nonsense given that government stuffs the Lords full of supporters anyway. If a bill needs proper scrutiny then give it scrutiny. But that would require politicians to attend and anyone looking at a picture of the disgustingly dismal government turnout during the WOW petition debate will realise how corrupt it is. What is more important a discussion than that? When even the minister responsible can't be arsed to attend something is deeply wrong.

We would also need to dismantle the systems of privilege throughout society. This is not just about the abused expenses system which is something that's easily fixed really. It's about the private institutions that cover our legislators in money in return for whatever. It's about the schools that the elite and only the elite attend that are breeding grounds for subsequent candidates for the high ranking positions in our society. We might have a few 'commoners' that make it into Parliament but few of them are ever likely to become PM compared to the Eton Mess that rule our society.

We must break the back of this system. Britain seems unique in mixing capitalism with aristocracy. This is a toxic mix that leads to this bizarre worship of big business and the veneration of the 'entrepreneur' class. This in turn gives us such phenomena as Dragons Den wherein a number of wealthy people sit in a warehouse surrounded by their money lauding their success and fighting over the hopes and dreams of the bedraggled and be-suited wannabes that apply in the hopes they will receive the blessing of at least one of these 'dragons'. Why do we worship these people when we do nothing to support creativity or art or culture?

The modern world has become the playground of the rich to the point of absurdity. We have powerful institutions that exist to protect the interests of big business who routinely whine that schools should exist solely to train people in shelf stacking or till operation (rather than train people themselves). Where is the institution calling for schools to provide knowledge for the sake of learning, art appreciation, understanding of music, philosophy, etc. Public services are a football to be used to generate disdain in the public mind as a precursor to inevitable privatisation: a highly short termist approach benefiting the few at the expense of everyone else. Like the privatisation of the Royal Mail.

Sooner or later this house of cards will crash. Ultimately it will be technology that forces a change. Maybe we will actually create nanotechnology and move into a post scarcity economy. Or maybe cheap energy will take the burden. Or maybe we will all have Star Trek replicators. Or maybe financial systems that gamble on food and resources will plunge their owners and those who play them into darkness, crashing into society like an asteroid into the planet. Who knows when that kind of change will happen.

Or it could be sooner: ultimately I believe 'we the people' still have the power. The problem is there isn't the will for the masses to come together. That's why we need the unions to call a general strike. Unfortunately I don't see that happening any time soon. 

Somehow the frustration in society will find an exit; pressure will force it to explode and when it does it will be ugly. Ukip supporters may not like the protrayal of race riots in the 100 Days fiction, but that is where we are most realistically headed. Someone will snap, something will give, and again the politicians will have blood on their hands.


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