Thursday, 14 May 2009

Spitting into the Sea

Problem/Solution marketing is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Convince people that there is a problem, and then sell them the solution. The seller then comes out as a hero, a saviour. Religions do it (sell the idea of sin, and then the idea of salvation); Hitler did it (Jews are the problem, he is the solution); Burger King do it (not being able to have a burger your way is the problem... you just, you know, eat something else...)

This MP expenses is a perfect example. Whip up a storm of anger and resentment among the general public, act shocked and repentant, reform the system*. Sell us the problem, and then come along and solve it. We’re all grateful and have a bit of confidence restored in our leaders. Hey, they’re human and, under it all, descent after all, right?

It’s a smoke-screen, a distraction, and everyone’s falling for it like trout at a fish farm. Can’t fix the economy. Won’t stop abusing human rights in the name of security. Dead soldiers still coming home from the foreign countries with no chance to claim victory--can’t or won’t change that.

Am I pissed off about tens of thousands of pounds of tax payers’ money being used to buy televisions and fund property deals? Sure. I’m more pissed off about the millions and billions being used to sustain our nuclear arsenal; I’m more upset by the millions being used to fund wars; I feel more betrayed by the unwillingness to help the oppressed in Africa and the continuing drive to shift our manufacturing base to oppressive factories in China. Global warming, ID cards, billions in national debt that we and our children are going to be paying off our whole lives, CCTV culture and RFID tags, unsustainable population growth, eduction being used to train children for the workforce...

I’m so angry. If I wasn’t so sure of my reasons for voting, I’d skip the European elections in June. And so I join the other insignificant crustaceans in shouting my futile fury in my tiny voice into the vastness of the ocean; another minnow spitting into the sea. Balls to it. Balls to it all.

I’m going down the pub.

Only I don’t drink and it’s half-six in the morning.

I’m going to have a cookie.

Mmmm... cookie.

*Having MP expenses authorised and audited by an external body sounds like a good idea, right? You know, the people who are asking for the money can’t give it out. Thing is, you move it to the private sector, we lose the right to see what’s happening under the Freedom of Information Act. Convenient, eh?

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