Hauling ourselves out of the Quagmire

Bryan Appleyard has been running a series of posts on what I suppose you can call the Downing Street filth machine.
Money quote

Shaking hands with McBride should be followed by a quick alcohol rub. So WTF was he doing in Downing Street? And why is this Draper still around? I dimly remember he once tried to have dinner with me. I just laughed. The answer is, of course, that they are both products of the dance of death between politicians and the press that began in the mid-nineties. So-called sleaze (I say ‘so-called’ because it wasn’t really worthy of the title, what we have now is much much worse) brought down John Major and Blair launched a control the press project using Mandelson and Campbell. It worked, the press acquiesced by allowing themselves to be convinced that the proper subject of political coverage was the Westminster soap opera and so, for almost fifteen years, we have had crap politics and crapper political journalism. We arrive at the point where a Brown strategist’s idea of strategy is to pump out dirty lies about the opposition, apparently safe in the knowledge that the mere fact that they are lies will not compromise their effectiveness one jot.’There’s no smoke without fire,’ people would say, but, these days, smoke is very seldom accompanied by fire. About Westminster, it is safe to assume nothing you read, see or hear is true. The Brown regime is decadent and depraved. It does Blair but badly. As a result , the idea of political wisdom or dignity is now laughable. It will take British politics a generation to haul itself out of this quagmire.

Read the whole thing here

This strikes me as exactly right. There is a dreadful tendency in Westminster journalism to pretend that the world twas ever thus and there is nothing new under the sun. In fact the spectacle of aides to a Prime Minister plotting to spread lies about the mental health of the wife of a political opponent IS a disgusting novelty – the end of a cumulative process of degradation. I say “the end”, but of course unless people make a stand it won’t be the end and we will carry on downwards.
Tom Paine said in Common Sense

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.

The key is to break the habit before it forms, think it wrong right away and say so loudly.

13 thoughts on “Hauling ourselves out of the Quagmire

  1. Gordon Brown doesn’t do apologises. I didn’t like opening reject packets on the custard creams line. But I was paid to do it. And Gordon Brown is paid to apologise. He’s the boss. Want rid of political apathy? Want more numbers at the next general election? I’m sure he should have these questions somewhere in his head. His little talk to the nation when he came into the post, about doing his utmost, his moral compass and other bits leading to a conclusion for the people that he’s a pretty…straight…sort of. Oh dear.
    Whatever is blocking what would surely have quickly come from a boss elsewhere, needs kicked through. When someone from his own office, clique, does something like this an apology is the only way to show a clear break and distance from it, and at the same time showing some consideration for the rest of the labour party too. If the right-hand man of the boss of M&S replicated this trash with the upperlevels at their nearest competitor, there is no way the rhm’s sacking would be it. An apology would be issued from the CEO and probably his own position considered, and soon given up. I’d say David Cameron would have apologised.

  2. Many thanks for the Clint Smoker tip Ross am stealing it — ahem, I mean borrowing it — for Standpoint

  3. Classic new labour non-apology apology.

    Appleyard’s conclusion that ‘it will take British politics a generation to haul itself out of this quagmire’ assumes that the Tories are a high minded bunch who will steer politics back to the high ground and away from the swamp. Sadly, there is no evidence for this. Indeed, the current leadership is largely former special advisers who have done nothing but ‘play the game’ all their adult lives. That is part of the problem because both left and right are made up of machine politicians who have done nothing else and lack a sense of perspective and a hinterland. It will not be long before they too develop the bunker mentality.

    Compare Obama: Community organiser, author and professor before he went into politics. Hard to imagine him slinging slurry isn’t it?

  4. Just that being hailed as the second coming of Christ is a big bloody weight to bear, and thus when the inevitable fall comes, it will be horrible to watch.

    eg.“Compare Obama: Community organiser, author and professor before he went into politics. Hard to imagine him slinging slurry isn’t it?”

    (Unless Rich was being sarcastic (in which case we have to remember that the internet is where sarcasm goes to die).)

  5. I can see Rich Edwards’ point. Indeed it was heartening to see B. Obama rein in Deputy President Joe Biden when he made a joke about the inaugural ceremony. But Obama’s unfortunate slip about the Special Olympics shows the life behind the image between advisors and other colleagues, humour no doubt being the drink they’ve all got a straw in; however, it can be dangerous when it comes out. I haven’t seen a laughing portrait of a President or any head of state yet.* I have a good feeling about the course ahead for Obama’s first term, regarding his character, and I see it unlikely he will not have a second one, Brit, (the Republicans are having a mad turn at the moment) but it’s down to events, all the time.

    *But that might change with The Berlosconi.

  6. “Shaking hands with Mr McBride should be followed by a quick alcohol rub”.
    Shaking hands with Damien WAS a quick alcohol rub.

  7. There is a bigger picture that we are all missing here,

    No matter which governmental department is in power the same outcome will out, when parties change, the general infrastructure stays the same
    civil departments carry on who ever runs number 10.
    Governmental parties tend to do what ever they can to be-little the opposition in order of getting the upper hand, single minded oneupmanship is a destructive passtime.
    When times like these arrise the controlling factor have to keep things running regardless of how things are today, the opposition will then try to undermine these normal workings thus halting certain progresses, in order to bring about their downfall and all at the cost to the tax payer, sleeze, second homes etc, are being used in the latest attacks, yet all party member from all walks get the same hand outs so who is calling the pot black.

    When times are plentyfull people will take advantage of the situation, its called greed, when times are hard the oppositions know their own faults and use them against others to feather their nest,dog eat dog come to mind.

    If we continue down our present path we are going to undo everthing that the lord has given us, boom and bust are fuelled by the black stuff and money which has become more important than life itself, what we have here on earth belongs to us all, if we continue to fight each other for what is left, what kind of future are we going to leave our future generations, we are not seting a good example.

    Never before has the gap between those who have and those who have not been so wide, the world’s population is growing too fast, and the resources we have will be depleted far too soon, in the name of control, its childish and unfair,

    What we need to do is look forward, we are all headed towards an uncertain future, we are all in the same sealed globe, what we all do effects everyone, yet we all strive to have more, when a little can most definately be more.

  8. Another way of putting it

    Any country is like that of a pyramid with its training and skills at its base and the public echonomy and daily life above it.

    Since leaving school with no education in the form of exams etc, I did a modern appretiship in engineering and have worked for many different types of workshops and skills in order to survive, of course a lot of what I managed to learn and convert to since is down to my own abilities,
    but I can say that I seaked out the information from those willing to share it to learn what I needed to know, in order of doing that job, today this is not so easy as most of the old school are now dead or at the age where they are unable to do anything.

    My Grandfather told me all those years ago that, making someone work for nothing and giving someone something for nothing does not work and in the long run will come around on itself, then fail, this is like those many boom and bust decades, where we build up and then bailled us out, for profit, where money has become more important than skills education and life itself

    This is what has been happening since the British Empire branched out around the world and has slowly but surely taken away all of our manufacturing base, together with it our apprentice program, and we have needed to import doctors and other skilled personell in order of getting things done.

    Every day we see some kind of trade or business leaving our shores for foreign climbs in the name of profit, together with over 50,000 of our most lucratively aged persons (working tax payers) who do have that trade, these are the very people we really need to keep at home, the ones who could train others,
    Of course your going to say that we can train new pupils but that takes years not months, and if you try to get someone to run before they can walk we are going to become a coutry full of managers and office workers who are watching over those doing nothing, but hold out their hands for doing something for nothing.

    Next time you buy that bargain that you paid next to nothing for, then remember someone somewhere else has had to work for next to nothing, as long as this happens we will loose out every time and the only one who benefits is the share holder of the company you used to work for that has taken your factory abroad to make them richer.

    As the world’s echonomies and population grows so will the competition for trade and we will all be competing for the ever decreasing world resorces, as those natural resorces come to an end then the whole process starts again, our own people will need each other to survive, the education program will then kick back into line to train the people we need to make the things we need.

    How on earth can we haul ourselves out of the mire with policies like these in place ?

    We must work with each other and nature, not against it, only then can we pull up our socks.

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