When I created this blog I thought long and hard about the strap line ‘Political and social comment – a critical eye on what is being said and done in our name’. In ‘About SoR’ I list many of the things that I am unhappy about, but the one thing above all that motivated me to start my humble scribble was the corruption and the incompetence of powerful elites whose common interest is self-enrichment, the maintenance of their power and to keep us ignorant of what they are saying and doing in our name.
As Henry Porter points out in his article in today’s Observer, those in power like to operate a parent child relationship. Why? Because it’s easy to manage and they can control what they want us to know: they have a monopoly of information, and information is power. Our political class works in exactly this way. We are supposed to suffer the consequences of their lack of proper attention and their gross incompetence: to take the medicine and not to complain. When we do object we are slapped down like naughty children and made to feel guilty for having the temerity to question.
A deeply divided ‘them and us’ society has been the consequence of what has become an institutionalised moral and financial corruption. The addiction of self-interest blinding these so-called elites to the social effects of their malevolent behaviour. They could care less…until the advent of Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Powerful elites whose self-assured arrogance obscured the fact that they were travelling very much behind the information curve, have had a very rude awakening.
All of a sudden their world has changed. The days of concealment and of keeping us in blissful ignorance are over. We are aware of what is being said and done in our name as never before. In future we are going to accept what is being fed to us with suspicion and a great deal of scepticism. Having been enlightened, there is going to be a demand for clarity, honesty and openness from now on. The consequences of not delivering on this could be severe. There is no going back.
We have also been alerted to the cosy infatuation the lickspittle media has with the powerful elites. Many are guilty of unquestioningly pedalling the lies and disinformation that are fed to them. They have been knowingly party to the distortion of fact and the withholding and manipulation of information. The need for plurality in our media has never been stronger. Not only should Rupert Murdoch be prevented from obtaining total control of BSkyB, the number of titles he controls should be halved and there should be a ban on cross media ownership.
I’m not sure if the equivalent of History GCSE in Australia would have made Julian Assange aware of John Wilkes, probably not. In 1771 John Wilkes successfully challenged the law that prevented the reporting of what went on in Parliament. He was pilloried and attacked by the establishment who were as keen to conceal then as they are today. They did everything including sexual entrapment to get him banged up, but they failed. Wilkes was saved by ‘the people’ who demonstrated in his favour. Julian Assange and Wikileaks has pulled back the curtain on what is really being said and done in our name. Far from doing harm, his revelations have done nothing but good. Unfortunately, the powers that be have seemingly given in to unseen external pressure which has resulted in Julian Assange being banged up. Perhaps it’s time for the people to demonstrate their displeasure at the treatment of Julian Assange as they did for John Wilkes?