The Plastic Hippo

December 18, 2016

Ministry of Magic

Filed under: Faith,Health,Law,Media,Music,Politics,Society,Transport,World — theplastichippo @ 11:59 pm
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Silly Abbey Road

Silly Abbey Road

Of all the government departments labouring away in the dark recesses of Whitehall, none is more expert at artifice, trickery and prestidigitation than the secretive Ministry of Magic. Employing sleight of hand and illusion, its job is to conjure up enough distraction to deceive a gullible public into thinking that everything is going to be alright and that government is kind and is not stealing money from tax payers.

The latest piece of trickery is to announce a complete non-story via the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government that an oath of allegiance to “British values” might be introduced. Elected officials, including MPs and local authority councillors, civil servants, council workers, teachers and employees of the NHS and BBC will be expected to verbally pledge their loyalty to the crown. Smoke and mirrors are again being cleverly deployed to shift attention away from the ludicrous farce and ongoing train wreck that is our government`s stance on leaving the European Union.

The Ministry of Magic have played a blinder by diverting the news agenda – even for one day – away from a privatised prison system in complete meltdown, a privatised railway network on the brink of collapse and privatised social care allowing people to die even though the victims have paid to be cared for. Ignored for a few precious hours, the National Health Service currently being carved up for profit is simultaneously ordered to cease elective care for a month due to a lack of adequate resources. Education funding is being redirected away from deprived inner cities to Conservative voting shires and grammar schools are back for the well off who cannot afford to give to charity in the form of Eton College. No affordable housing is being built, homeless people are dying of hunger and cold on the streets even as the people are told to pay for the restoration of the monarch`s palace. Ministers claim for pensions, expenses and even £39 breakfasts as they knock people off bikes as they exit their chauffeur driven limos. Meanwhile, working families see state pensions reduced and can only survive by being referred to a food bank.

Sajid Javid is usually described as the Muslim son of an immigrant Bradford bus driver that made good and hardly ever described as a former merchant banker with a creative attitude to the “manipulation” of exchange rates. His take on British values and how they can be upheld is interesting to say the least. Based on a report on social cohesion presented by Dame Louise Casey which made some rather colourful and spurious claims regarding integration or a lack of it, Sajid Javid now calls for the “British values” of tolerance, democracy, respect and observance of the law to be confirmed by a chanted mantra. Mr Javid offers a first draft of what the loyal oath might articulate. In a Murdoch broadsheet, he suggested that “tolerating the views of others even if you disagree with them” is a British value. He goes on to suggest that “believing in freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from abuse…a belief in equality, democracy and the democratic process” are British values as is a “respect for the law, even if you think the law is an ass.”

What Mr Javid fails to recognise is that this attempt to create headlines that will further divide the nation rather than unite it might result in people breaking up paving stones, hoarding empty bottles, collecting rags and buying an extra gallon of four star in a jerry can whenever they visit the discount supermarket petrol station. The values of tolerance, democracy and respect for the rule of law are not exclusively British values but are universal values unless you happen to be a British Conservative minister or back bench MP. Tory ministers will not tolerate human or trade union rights; Tory back benchers will not tolerate immigrants unless they are awash with money or are willing to cook, clean and look after their children. Democracy is not best served by Conservative plan to gerrymander constituency boundaries and reduce the number of opposition MPs whilst increasing the number of Tory peers in the Lords. The rule of law has become a joke when Tories simply change the law when they have been found guilty in a court of, you know, law.

We must also consider how Sajid Javid intends to make any oath of allegiance binding and effective. He told the Sunday Times that he did not want a “government-approved, one-size-fits-all identity” where every British citizen “drinks tea, watches cricket and bobs up and down at the Last Night of the Proms”. So as we queue at the food bank or step over homeless people or wait for an appointment at a GP or hospital or nearly faint on an overcrowded train or watch helplessly as our children`s education is ruined, how should we affirm our loyalty to British values?

When appointed as Culture Secretary in 2014, Javid said in his first speech that “what we do in this country is great because, far from being ruled by central diktats, our culture is based on freedom and self-determination.”

Intending to impose rule by central diktat, perhaps Sajid Javid wishes us to place our hand on our heart as we recite our intention to uphold British values that do not apply to government ministers. Perhaps we should hold up the holy Bible or the scared Koran or the wise Talmud or Das Kapital or Mein Kampf in our assertion that British values trump the common values of the rest of humanity?

The many departments of the Ministry of Magic are working hard for the nation to make sure we have no idea what is actually going on. Corrupt and incompetent in equal measure, we now have a government that is bringing us ever closer to an unmitigated disaster. As John Lennon, dead these 36 years once observed:
“He bad production
He got walrus gumboot
He got Ono sideboard
He one spinal cracker
He got feet down below his knees
Hold you in his armchair
You can feel his disease
Come together”

1 Comment »

  1. I’m afraid that the old ‘hand on heart’ routine won’t work. On the simple premise that one needs a heart in order to swear allegiance, the present Government would be exiled ‘en masse’.

    Hang on, maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all.

    Comment by The Realist — December 19, 2016 @ 10:31 am | Reply

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