We are living through an age without shame, when corruption is endemic throughout society from the highest elected officials down through the guardians of our laws to those who want a little more of the desirable possessions of life, whether they have much or little. The Murdoch scandal has exposed the lies and cover-ups, the bribes to keep quiet, police attempts to stop the Guardian’s investigations, Cameron’s weak brushing over Coulson’s reassurances that he had known nothing, which even a loyal dog would not believe, while offering no “second chance” to misguided but deprived youth that finally revolted against a society that offered it nothing while removing whatever hope had been there when we had a welfare state.
The accepted hospitality of Murdoch, whose press had been in a position to decide elections, here, in the U.S. and elsewhere, as well as the direct bribes to shut-up victims who had discovered they were targeted and to the police up to the highest level, should have been enough to bring about the end of the careers of Cameron and those other politicians who have been adding illegal expenses to their overblown but undeserved salaries, while allowing the schools to teach nothing, offering neither hope, opportunity or any activity to the youth of a neglected underclass, while allowing the bankers and others who have gambled stupidly with public money to reward themselves with bonuses and generally to go on as if the deepening depression were not taking place.
The riots could have been predicted and I did. The reaction, including the imprisonment for on occasion the most trivial shoplifting, contrasts oddly with the lack of charges against the Murdochs, Coulson, the hacking journalists, and corrupt police. It is too late now to stop the disclosures. More important events are on the way. Let me look ahead and not very far.
There is another revolt coming and it will be a middle-class and middle-aged one. It will start as peaceful demonstrations, marches and rallies to protest against the cuts, the unaffordable and rising cost of living, lost homes and cuts in social services, as well as spreading unemployment. And like all protests it can turn violent, very easily, especially as the police learn to become more “robust”, to use the word that the politicians have been urging. This can of course set angry youth off again; The recent sentencing injustices will soon produce consequences. Except for the worst cases there should be a moratorium and a caution. And action should be seen to be taking place where the Murdoch scandal is concerned.
In the meantime the Murdoch influence on Fox News and American affairs is becoming ominous. If Obama hesitates any longer he is lost. He has only one course of action that might succeed. That is to attack the whole Tea-Party movement as a menace to good government., a sane society and civic peace. There must be laws against spreading hatred and urging violence and they should be enforced. A large enough section of American opinion will support him if he abandons his present supine position and shows more spirit. Otherwise there will be rabble-roused violence, and remember: guns are everywhere in the U.S. and frequently used.
Politicians have got to start facing facts. We are in a depression that will go on for years and deepen. The only solution is high taxation of those who have money with no tax-avoidance, austerity based on equality with debt increased to pay for the most essential services, and priority to train competent people to run things. History shows that people rise to a challenge providing it is fair and involves everyone. What is needed is leadership, not brain-dead and corrupt politicians. Let’s find them. We can take the truth if it is clearly stated and if the Rule of Law is made to apply to everyone.
– John Calder 17/8/11