I’ve had an incredible week since I spoke from the heart, some would say via my arse, on Paxman. I’ve had slaps on the back, fist bumps, cheers and hugs while out and about, cock-eyed offers of political power from well intentioned chancers and some good ol’ fashioned character assassinations in the papers.
The people who liked the interview said it was because I’d articulated what they were thinking. I recognise this. God knows I’d love to think the attention was about me but I said nothing new or original, it was the expression of the knowledge that democracy is irrelevant that resonated. As long as the priorities of those in government remain the interests of big business, rather than the people they were elected to serve, the impact of voting is negligible and it is our responsibility to be more active if we want real change.
Turns out that among the disenchanted is Paxman himself who spends most of his time at the meek heart of the political establishment and can’t summons up the self-delusion to drag his nib across the ballot box. He, more than any of us is aware that politicians are frauds. I’ve not spent too much time around them, only on the telly, it’s not pleasant; once you’ve been on Question Time and seen Boris simpering under a make-up brush it’s difficult to be enthusiastic about politics.
The only reason to vote is if the vote represents power or change. I don’t think it does. I fervently believe that we deserve more from our democratic system than the few derisory tit-bits tossed from the carousel of the mighty, when they hop a few inches left or right. The lazily duplicitous servants of The City expect us to gratefully participate in what amounts to little more than a political hokey cokey where every four years we get to choose what colour tie the liar who leads us wears.
I remember the election and Cameron didn’t even get properly voted in, he became prime minister by default when he teamed up with Clegg. Clegg who immediately reneged (Renegy-Cleggy?) on his flagship pledge to end tuition fees at the first whiff of power.
When students, perhaps students who had voted for him, rioted they were condemned. People riot when dialogue fails, when they feel unrepresented and bored by the illusion, bilious with the piped in toxic belch wafted into their homes by the media.
The reason these coalitions are so easily achieved is that the distinctions between the parties are insignificant. My friend went to a posh “do” in the country where David Cameron, a man whose face resembles a little painted egg, was in attendance. Also present were members of the opposition and former prime minister Tony Blair. Whatever party they claim to represent in the day, at night they show their true colours and all go to the same party.
Obviously there has been some criticism of my outburst, I’ve not been universally applauded as a cross between Jack Sparrow and Spartacus (which is what I’m going for) but they’ve been oddly personal and I think irrelevant to the argument.
I try not to read about myself as the mean stuff is hurtful and the good stuff hard to believe, but my mates always give me the gist of what’s going on, the bastards. Some people say I’m a hypocrite because I’ve got money now.
When I was poor and I complained about inequality people said I was bitter, now I’m rich and I complain about inequality they say I’m a hypocrite. I’m beginning to think they just don’t want inequality on the agenda because it is a real problem that needs to be addressed.
It’s easy to attack me, I’m a right twerp, I’m a junkie and a cheeky monkey, I accept it, but that doesn’t detract from the incontrovertible fact that we are living in a time of huge economic disparity and confronting ecological disaster. This disparity has always been, in cultures since expired, a warning sign of end of days. In Rome, Egypt and Easter Island the incubated ruling elites, who had forgotten that we are one interconnected people, destroyed their societies by not sharing.
That is what’s happening now, regardless of what you think of my hair or me using long words, the facts are the facts and the problem is the problem. Don’t be distracted. I think these columnist fellas who give me aggro for not devising a solution or for using long words are just being territorial. When they say “long words” they mean “their words” like I’m a monkey who got in their Mum’s dressing up box or a hooligan in policeman’s helmet.
As I said to Paxman at the time “I can’t conjure up a global Utopia right now in this hotel room”. Obviously that’s not my job and it doesn’t need to be, we have brilliant thinkers and organisations and no one needs to cook up an egalitarian Shangri-La on their todd; we can all do it together.
I like Jeremy Paxman, incidentally. I think he’s a decent bloke but like a lot of people who work deep within the system it’s hard for him to countenance ideas from outside the narrowly prescribed trench of contemporary democracy. Most of the people who criticized me have a vested interest in the maintenance of the system. They say the system works. What they mean is “the system works for me”.
The less privileged among us are already living in the apocalypse, the thousands of street sleepers in our country, the refugees and the exploited underclass across our planet daily confront what we would regard as the end of the world. No money, no home, no friends, no support, no hand of friendship reaching out, just acculturated and inculcated condemnation.
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