Friday, 27 December 2013

Culture & politics attacked by plutocrats and oligarchs nicking our stuff

This, Gideon, is how to do it.

Wake up. Take the red pill.

Government spinners appear to be borrowing from Dr Who's The Silence. As soon as you look away, you forget them and what they're doing. For everyone looking away from the main action in the current catastrophic reshaping of our society, I'd like you to know that we're being attacked on a cultural front as well as economic and political.

Greg Dyke, former Director General of the BBC and one of the few bosses with any sort of old fashioned integrity left, warns that BBC "Trust" Chairman Lord Patten is a busted flush:
"The BBC is very good at regrouping and sustaining itself. In the end it has the support of the country and it always has had. That's why Thatcher never took on the BBC – because it has the support of middle England."
Tory Lord Chris Patten has presided over the Savile scandal; allowed Mark Thompson a destructive free-hand, manipulating a lurch to the right (enough of the militarised drama and content, already); turned a blind eye to unearned pay-offs to BBC management including a million to outgoing deputy Director General Mark Byford to which he wasn't entitled; and blocked publication of documents relating to the corporation's £100m Digital Media Initiative (DMI) fiasco. Excellent facilities including the iconic TV Centre with its rich history and state-of-the-art studios are lost while workers are crammed into inferior facilitates at the new Broadcasting House and transport-guzzling Salford (thanks to New Labour for initiating that move).

It's as if the malign forces now in the ascendent wish to decapitate us and separate us from our memories of the long post-war period in Britain when the mass of society enjoyed unprecedentd access to education, health, housing and jobs, when pride and confidence was standard. It wasn't perfect: there was racism, sexism and all sorts of phobias but it was something British society was building on. There's an intensifying agenda at work attacking our cultural memory in order to ease the take-over by the Super Rich. One tactic has been to pick off the weak men who used their star power to abuse children but strip the events of context that might shed light on the power nexus (Margaret Thatcher, health minister Edwina Currie and so on) that created the opportunities. Who next — our rock gods?

While sex offenders and expense cheat politicians should certainly be held to account, one wonders why household names from showbiz and Labour politicians dominate the lists of shame. Where are the swinish Tory grandees? What about the seriously rich and their little perversions? Money can buy anything and insane amounts purchase insane fantasies. Did the horrors of the Jersey boys' home and Elm Guest House move to superyachts and private islands — decadent settings for degenerate lifestyles made possible by taking our assets? It's a logical link that if the class at the top has no conscience when it comes to cutting us loose and destroying lives in order to acquire even more wealth, that they'd exhibit no qualms of conscience when it comes to gratifying other needs as well.

Does the system really care about Stuart Hall and Jimmy Savile abusing children? It didn't during their reign. How many knew about the abuse at the Haut de la Garenne home on Jersey? Who gave Savile a free run in Broadmoor? Justice for the abused victims never seems to touch those holding the keys and hosting the dinner parties.

Like the NHS — privatised by MPs, ministers and Lords with financial interests in its destruction — the BBC is another one of our institutions established in kinder, more democratic times, whose days seem numbered. Just watch the looting and pillaging taking place at the top. It's everywhere. To have rail companies who already make 147 per cent PROFIT each year demanding even more from working people is a vivid illustration of the dynamic at work.

Unfortunately, while Greg Dyke may be one of the few remaining good men running things, Marx was right and the capitalist system is a juggernaut whose inbuilt dynamic swallows everything by brute force.

I'm not surprised the Centre For Economic And Business Research (CEBR) and their media shills are supporting George Osborne's austerity for the masses, tax cuts for the very rich. The economy would indeed look wonderful, a perspective dependent on an exalted position, if you suddenly ditched the civilians and nicked all their stuff. Where's Labour's instinctive rebuttal of this garbage? Is this yet another Tory narrative they're allowing to set like concrete?

Here's a nuanced and intriguing warning from Michael White (not someone I'd nornally quote) that we dump our politicians — our last defence against the feral elite — at our peril:
"For all their (much exaggerated) faults, elected politicians in a country like the UK are still a barrier that protects us from the rising power of unaccountable oligarchy and rampant plutocracy which clearly threatens the democratic gains of the last 200 years. Who do you think whips up much of the voter anger against MPs? Why, the oligarch-owned press whose owners and their lapdogs rail against wasteful use of taxpayers' money without paying too much themselves – even as they seek to persuade us that plutocracy is good for us all. Check out Priyamvada Gopal's excellent piece about the cult of the super-rich."
Michael White was a New Labour enthusiast who often facilitated them in the pages of the Guardian but a thing can be true even if the freshly awakened White says it is true.

Listen to the lively discussion on Madam Miaow's Culture Lounge Resonance FM radio programme about the Super Rich with Aditya Chakrabortty and Kate Belgrave for more on the self-indulgence of our masters.

We should keep our eyes on the Super Rich and watch out for the smoke and mirrors used to divert our attention from the all-out frenzied thieving of everything that was publicly owned. After criminal activities and staggering incompetence by A4E, Serco, G4S; aggressive tax avoidance strategies employed by some of our biggest companies; the emergence of forced free labour and zero-hours contracts; the explosion in food banks, how can any intelligent person with any ethics, integrity and basic fellow humanity, continue to champion the upward suck of our assets, wellbeing, our culture and our planet?

Stay awake. Happy new year.

Aditya Chakrabortty's Guardian article on how champagne-swilling councils are selling off our housing to developers.

John Kampfner on the history of the super rich.

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