The Plastic Hippo

August 29, 2015


Filed under: History,Politics,Rights — theplastichippo @ 3:30 am
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There are marginally fewer books and films depicting the future breakdown of civilisation than there are infinite possibilities in a multiverse that can only be explained using string theory via the voice box of Stephen Hawking. It was Thomas More who coined the word “Utopia” way back in 1516 and was subsequently separated from his head by an unhappy Henry VIII. A mere 350 years later, no less than John Stuart Mill came up with the antonym “Dystopia” to describe a very bad government.

Ironically, Mill championed the freedom of the individual in thought and action against an overbearing state and in so doing inadvertently invented the concept of “libertarianism” which has now given rise to a very, very bad government. You have to feel sorry for poor old John Stuart Mill. His best intentions has led to a meritocracy where a cabal intent on shrinking the state resulting in all but the wealthy and advantaged being left to sink or swim for their lives.

Mill died in 1873 and would, no doubt, consider the present day as a dystopian future. Consider George W Bush deciding to grace New Orleans with his presence on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Having done nothing to help the people of The Big Easy when the levees broke, he offered no apology for the appalling lack of basic humanity and danced in a street that was once under nine feet of flood water. There are people there still without homes and it is to their credit that they refrained from lynching the former POTUS.

Think also of Rebekah Brooks, former CEO of Rupert Murdoch`s News International, who after a year or so of garden leave returns as CEO of Rupert Murdoch`s News International. Phone hacking, Leveson, Millie Dowler never happened so let`s just carry on as normal.

Iain Duncan Smith has wasted millions on a useless IT system at the DWP, made up preposterous propaganda quotes and has ensured that his big idea of Universal Credit does not work and never will work. He has refused to release data regarding the absolute shambles of the Work Capability Assessment until forced to do so and then quite cleverly released data that is meaningless. The arguments about the actual number of people who died after being considered “fit for work” and therefore sanctioned are irrelevant. If only one person died, from either suicide or starvation, it remains outrageous. Iain Duncan Smith is still in his job so let`s just carry on as normal.

Politicians rejected by the electorate return to parliament as unelected Lords and donors with deep pockets also now wear the ermine. A bloke who claimed money to clean his bloody moat is rewarded with a peerage and another bloke who sold off the NHS is similarly ennobled. A woman who designs and sells a fetching line in brassieres, endorsed and worn by some of the noble Lords, becomes a Dame due to her ability to make money through zero hours contracts. These are our law makers. Even the gardener at number 10 received a gong.

Having failed to win wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and having intervened in Libya causing chaos, the UK government refuses to acknowledge responsibility for the “swarms” of refugees fleeing certain death in Syria. Thankfully, the solution is to rename them as “economic migrants” greedy for state benefits. In the same way that poverty is redefined as laziness, fear for your life is redefined as greed. In a free market economy where supply and demand are the motivators, it seems odd that the current UK government should be so averse to people wishing to find a better life through aspiration and ambition. It is unlikely that David Cameron would place his own children in a leaking boat or in the back of a lorry to either drown or suffocate in a desperate bid for liberty and a future. Authors and film makers need not go to all the bother of constructing dystopian futures.

We are already living in one.

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