Sunday, 5 April 2009

Grow Up, Grownups

I'm interested to know how many people out there can still reason for themselves, rather than be driven by their 'feelings'. A lot of people have been arrested over the last twelve years because of 'feelings': because someone may be doing or saying or wearing something that might cause upset or hurt. This includes arresting a man wearing a 'Bollocks to Blair' t-shirt, an elderly campaigner because he heckled Jack Straw, and a be-placarded doomsayer being removed from his Westminster beat because his 'end of the world is nigh' message might offend someone. Ditto telling the truth about the 'global' financial crisis: the Conservatives were given a sharp slap on the wrist for stating that the collapse of banks and markets would have unpleasant implications for families on the grounds that it might cause people 'concern'.
All of which means a) people are doing our thinking for us because b) we're not motivated by reason, but emotion. Marching for Gaza when one doesn't know the name of the Fatah PM - or of Hamas, for that matter, let alone what the conflict is about - is an action born purely out of emotion. Lining the streets to say 'goodbye' to Jade Goody, a woman characterised by her foul mouth, complete lack of breeding, feral habits, bigotry, racism and extraordinary stupidity, she who was booed roundly when she exited the Big Bruvver house, is illogical. What are people celebrating? The fact that they've been so adeptedly manipulated by the media that they've elevated a guttersnipe to sainthood? Or that in twelve years social inversion has been achieved to the extent that Goody is viewed with the same misty-eyed nostalgia as Princess Diana? The same goes for MPs' expenses: that sense of outrage, the 'snout in the trough' knee-jerk response. Abusing one's expenses a la Mr and Mrs J. Smith, Hoon, McNulty et al is clearly reprehensible. But MPs receive an expenses entitlement because they work long hours running the country, representing millions of people and - in many cases, the Labour Front Bench notwithstanding - trying to act in the best interests of both the many and the few. It's a devilishly hard and often unrewarding job. The 'it's not fair' whine from an envious populace is a purely emotional one. What they're saying is that they don't get extra money for the jobs they do, so why should MPs? Simple. Invite the populace to run the damn' country and see what happens: 99% of people simply aren't anywhere near up to it, and a proportion of that 99% would be hard-pressed to run a bloody bath (though they might be able to whip up a bloodbath to order during the 'summer of rage'). People aren't equal in terms of intellect or capability. Labour's social engineering has pushed the myth that they are; that all jobs require the same level of intelligence and capability. Rubbish. Poppycock. All this has achieved is unnecessary hatred for those who receive higher salaries, a hatred that persists regardless of whether someone is - forgive the pun - doing a sterling job or not.
'But these MPS have ruined the country', I hear you say. Yes, indeed, some of them have: through the mechanism of 'democracy' to which everyone kowtows reverently. There's another bit of Blairite nonsense: socialist democracy, the idea that everyone's point of view counts. It doesn't, particularly to Labour. And they were voted in, after all. Twice. Whilst people are rubbing the wounds of mega-taxation, ruined education, binge-drinking, knife crime, terrorist plots, dirty hospitals, illegal wars, bad transport infrastructures, ruinous train fares, ID cards, data losses, 24/7 surveillance, control orders, the removal of habeas corpus, out-of-control immigration and further financial meltdown, all of which are occurring in the too-big, too-impersonal and too frightening mesh of globalisation, they've overlooked the erosion of one of the inherent attributes of humanity: reason. Without it, one is a mere infant. We need to stop being so precious about our 'feelings' and toughen up.

5 comments:

  1. Speaking of St. Jade, I was in WH Smiths at the weekend (you remember, used to be a stationers)and saw her 'autobiography' proudly displayed front and centre.

    Now that's what I call ghost-written!

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  2. A boring cupboard?Strange concept.

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  3. This lens of intellectual snobbery through which you perceive the world must be very depressing for you. You really should try and get out more, mix with the common folk; distressing for you, I know, but you might actually learn something useful for a change.

    MP's don't work long hours, they don't run the country, they rarely represent the views of their constituents and they never put the best interests of the Country before their own political self-interest.

    The outrage at MP's "expenses" is not feigned or knee-jerk, it is entirely justifiable anger at being ripped-off, treated like fools and stolen from by our own employees.

    Your elitist claims that "99% of people simply aren't anywhere near up to it, and a proportion of that 99% would be hard-pressed to run a bloody bath" plainly includes 99% of those presently so uselessly occupying a seat in Parliament, and in taking a random selection of 646 off the streets, or even out of our prisons, we could hardly end up with a bunch less competent or more dishonest.

    Your god of reason needs an acolyte - common sense.

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  4. Mara!
    You're back - good, you were sorely missed.

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  5. I never did rate reason: it’s just the mechanism we use to justify our intentions to ourselves.

    As Shakespeare punned:

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

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Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat -Ralph Ellison