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The whole system is 'morally wrong'

Following the official announcement by a Tory minister that it is “morally wrong” to pay people like plumbers, carpenters and other socially useful citizens cash as a way of reducing household bills, we present a number of other dilemmas to discuss during the Olympics.

First of all, we should say that the minister in question, David Gauke, himself claimed over £10,000 in expenses back from taxpayers to avoid paying stamp duty and fees on a property transaction. We should also note the fact that his wife works at a firm advising tax lawyers who specialise in tax avoidance schemes.

Leaving the issue of total moral hypocrisy aside for a moment, because it’s far too easy to put the boot in, let’s examine some real quandaries society needs to take a stand on. For example, is it “morally wrong” that:

This abbreviated list neatly exposes the very real state of Britain, where social class defines power, privilege and wealth and not abstract morality which aims to disguise growing inequality. Contrary to what the ConDems say, we are not “all in it together”.

Older people, for example, struggle to find the money to pay for care while a minority live it up at our expense. The solution lies in our hands.

Paul Feldman
Communications editor
24 July 2012

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FirstName says:

And so it goes, on and on – whoever coined the expression “Talk to the hand” could not have more succinctly describe the street-level experience of any attempt at critical engagement with Government, voluntary or coerced. I have all but given up with my MP however, found myself helplessly drawn to the quill again today after he sought some recognition for his activities in pursuit of ‘benefit cheats’, poor buggers most and that is not to excuse real crooks. The flip-top file no doubt awaits ….

Dear MP,

You introduce the matter of (your part in) the pursuit of benefit cheats but my chagrin has essentially to do with the conduct of Government not the populace. Truthfully, I find it difficult not to feel sympathy for the small cheats. If people were treated fairly there would be far less thieving and in all, the piffling total of what these little folk are able to purloin simply pales against the grand larceny of Corporate connivance. I can imagine a surreality where, in a Westminster ante-room, Government accepts from the Banking Industry, a standing-order direct to the exchequer for the full, petty extent of the ONS estimate of annual benefit fraud, in exchange for getting HMRC off its back for unethical tax avoidance, a return on investment of probably 100 to 1.

Let’s be real, the existing world condition of things, exemplified as vividly in The UK as anywhere, evidences the appropriation of wealth and concomitant power, of a scale and centralisation as by now to have secured the influence to perpetuate itself through the God-like manipulation of human affairs.

In every direction, thanks to the flow of information afforded by The Internet, responsible individuals, professional and lay alike - I count myself amongst the latter - are shining the shrill light of exposure on abuses of power by the advantaged against the vulnerable (think 'care' homes if you dare). An irrefutable indictment now subsists, of a wicked scheme of things whereby Greed-is-God and the State-assisted purloining of ridiculous and devastating wealth, is the idiots’ notion of salvation. Its fundamental effect is to so limit the benefit available to the neediest, that even in the richest nations of the world of which we are one, there are shortages significant enough to cruelly truncate lives, never mind opportunity. In the US, whose socio-economic model we relentlessly pursue, 50 million are on food stamps – the richest country in the world with also the greatest inequality, the wealthiest 1% of which alone, deprive their own countrymen of 50% of the 10s of $trillions of that country’s wealth, looking down their noses at ‘welfare bums’ whose misfortune they traumatise with insult for simply having had less luck. It makes facetious the notion of ‘thy brother’s keeper’ in this nation of bible-bashers of whom 80% claim to be Christians and a full one-third are ‘born again’ with fundamentalist belief. Well ‘there, but for the Grace-of-God’ go we save for the religious element, on all other measurable, socio-economic parameters, as alike as a little brother.

You can take the man out of the jungle but you will not take the jungle out of man and that is (theoretically) why we elect Governments, to be the insuperable civilising constraint on human behaviour without which, we would certainly revert to nature where physical “Might is Right”. Instead, these invested bodies of Democratic hope have become a part of the power monolith, not only failing at all Regulatory level to reign in excess but with full-throated holler, singing crude descant to what is a wail-for-war against all who cannot defend themselves, an expression of modern savagery as oblivious and incidental as a feral kill, now so practiced as to be as unconscious an act in The City as on The Savannah. Poverty is a trap not because no-one can escape from it – like being President, anyone might …but everyone cannot. There can only be so much money removed from the system in order to make idiots ridiculously rich, without it determining that most are kept pitifully poor. The cake is finite – in fact the model requires that the many are poor (starving) for the few to be rich (multi-billionaires) and the notion of ‘trickle down’ is a valueless and disgusting hoax whose very terminology cries disdain, snot off the nose of the super-rich for whom no amount is ever enough and the notion of weakening their position in the Forbes list through frivolous charity, anathema. And all the while their propaganda is exercised to sophistic heights, achieving in recent times the dubious victory of so disfiguring the truth, as to make modern slavery appear as liberation from poverty.

The impasse and it is truly formidable, is that The Power Elite, to include Governments, diffuse and inaccessible have long-since put in place and refined, Legal Systems whose systemic reach is as much a tether to the desperate bidding of the impoverished as it is vulgar licence to those few of its wealthy manipulators, ensuring that while these exercise a dominating authority over the majority, they remain in all practical terms, untouchable - never truer one rule for them, another for us.

Consider the following from street level up –

1. Politicians are contracted without mandate. No matter to what extent they might on occasion be reasonably considered to have failed their constituents, because they have no standard of formal responsibility to meet, the very worst stricture they might endure is that of public embarrassment. Bah-humbug. My only conduit to government is a temporary member of staff, indemnified against all challenge by his employers.

2. Local Authorities (and all their associate Bodies) are not constrained to even the consideration of compensation for members of the public who suffer injury due to their mal-conduct in Office. They have impunity.

3. Government along with its Regulators is similarly protected, such defence under Statute achieving the level of impregnability at ministerial level where the dispatching of lives is as tired-script to a shredder, for a Prime Minister with a personal itch for war.

4. The Party Manifesto, that flimsy, pre-nuptual-esque document pretending to be a contract between aspiring incumbents salivating for Office and the Public, is as worthless as the paper it is written on. Like the averted gaze of a guilty moment, this gains-taking scribble of faux-warranty called pledges, is morally evacuated, as hollow as the promise still to be loved in the morning which, for any who have sought joy in the dubious liaison of even a single election leg-over have dared to trust, turns out to be just another casual, Party-shafting. I have correspondence both defending as the stuff of contract, politically self-serving offences against the public, on the basis that they were ‘pledged’ somewhere in the small-print - and at total variance, delivering the short-shrift of dismissal to my rightful outrage at a flagrant default with the justification that pledges are just ‘notional intent’.

5. “Who judges The Judges” headed an article of yours – and of course the answer is no-one, these unimpeachable dispensers of Justice. It was evidenced in a Panorama documentary while you were still in junior school, that no matter the level of incompetence (2/3 of decisions consistently over-turned on Appeal), a Judge even of the highest Office can only be ‘encouraged away’ by a sufficient body of his peers of which of course, there are never enough to empty a bottle of Krug who are not so inextricably sticky with the hubris and affectations of their trade as to be unable to prise an independent notion from the back-patting group-think.

We are considering here not a few, but that vast body of government employees generically know as ‘public servants’ but who have not a clue (or restraint) as to their real responsibilities. Prescribed an impunity rising with seniority, a recipe for the kind of condescending complacency rife throughout bureaucracy, it is as predictable as the sunrise that they exercise a ‘you can’t touch me so sod off’ kind of conduct. It is all around you, though Governments and their acolytes rarely see it, the Westminster ‘bubble’ a disturbingly astute euphemism. Add the commonality of individual ‘enclosures’ of awareness, the means by which so many of those whose petit-arrogance persuades them to scrabble for Office, and there is an oh-so-easy merging of realities.

Being called to account – I wish!

I have claimed and I will repeat and on, that ACCOUNTABILTY IS A MYTH and until such time as all who would poke a stick at the disadvantaged, have been educated to recognise their impulses and to know beyond doubt that if they do, the inescapable sanction will fearfully harsh, all of you in Office will be riding blind tandem on a careering machine over which you have absolutely no control. Any who do not realise the integrity to stand on their own feet will have their energies claimed and depleted in the service of Established Power and be wholly responsible for it. Beware.

Politics needs visionaries Mr MP, not maintenance clerks, those whose inescapable outrage at the soul-less predation that has given rise to the present Order, is a debilitating malaise for which the only relief is the pursuit of change. What then is your view - along a clear axis to new and vital horizons, or through a myopic greyness to the backside of the apparatchik in front of you on the Firm’s bike?

David Payne

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