Tag Archives: Integrity

‘In-Out’ Truce . . . Says It All

Parliament photo

When I was young, if a felon was imprisoned for a crime that included carrying or using a gun the other inmates would ostracize him for the duration of his internment. Such were the values in Society in the 1950’s.

It is true that whatever the group, be they criminals, politicians, students or club members, the atmosphere of that group is directly affected by the person or people running it. What a diametric change we have seen in Society’s values since I was a child growing up in South London.

Whilst I believe the majority of people who go into politics do so, like Jo Cox, to try and make change for the better, somehow these values get eroded as they make their way up the slippery pole to positions of power.

Maybe it is human fallibility that seduces them and that the original integrity that bought them into politics is subsumed by power. Nowhere is this more apparent today than in the abysmal conduct of our leadership, as we are bullied with lies and dubious statistics, designed to subvert the will of the people into blindly following the current political agenda of both sides.

So obvious is the lack of political integrity over the Referendum ‘debate’ that vast swathes of the electorate have switched off and many remain ignorant of what the real issues are about. That is a failing that can only be placed at the feet of those who run our country.

They are responsible for setting Society’s standards and the lack of respect they are showing to those who pay their wages can only come from a total lack of their own self-respect and self-worth.

Did it take the tragic death of a young woman, who was dedicated to improving the lot of her fellow man and woman, to call a halt to the verbal depravity we have been assaulted with? Will those responsible reflect upon this moment and question their current contribution to Society and the shallow values they are inputting from their places of high office.

Will they take the time to try and find and resurrect those early values, I’m sure they too held when they first came into office . . . care, concern and an overriding desire to improve the lot of the rest of us. There was a time when politicians held our trust and now perhaps it is time to look to their laurels and use this special moment to find ways and means to re-engage with the electorate and win back that trust.

The media are also accountable for what has happened, as they too shape our Society and its values. All I have seen in the last 24 hours is the usual frenzy of sensationalism, with attacks against the minority on Social Media who bring the majority into disrepute. From the BBC to Murdoch’s ‘redtops’, we need honest and robust reporting of the events that affect our lives and not the odious propaganda we are now constantly fed.

It would be a fitting tribute and memorial by all concerned if integrity were to reappear in these public arenas, instigated by a dedicated MP whose life was cut short. It would also be an insult of monumental proportions to that life if business continued as usual.

Have a thoughtful weekend my friends. Next week is a big week for all of us.

Until the next time.

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Referendum . . . Blah! Blah! Blah!

We had my partner’s grandchildren over at the weekend and like any 8 and 14 year olds they played together and squabbled. At one point I overheard them jousting for the dominant position by calling each other liars repeatedly and giggling whilst they did it.

How different this picture of kids doing what healthy kids do the world over and the same actions coming from people a lot older and supposedly more mature, who are responsible for running our country . . . and some for running the world.

If you Google ‘Cameron lies’ you will produce some 558,000 results, something even the cynic inside me was not expecting. Lies about his father’s offshore funds, lies from last year’s electioneering, lies about the current EU Referendum campaign . . . the list just goes on and on. He’s not alone in this BUT he is our ‘Prime’ Minister.

Then we hear from that august body The Institute of Fiscal Studies that, among other claims about Brexit, the figure of £350 million, which the EU costs Britain each week, is in fact a whole lot lower . . . at just £150 million, when all factors and rebates are taken into account. It also claims that leaving the EU could result in a budget deficit of between £20 and £40 billion higher than if we remain.

Whilst this body is held in great respect and its findings focus on the effects on the Public Purse if we leave, it must also be taken into account that it receives the vast majority of its funding from the UK government, although the EU’s contribution has doubled since 2009 up to 2014.

Given the manner in which our very own Treasury has weighed into battle on behalf of the government, the credibility, timing and content of prognostications by our Civil Service and related bodies become questionable.

I am not arguing here for either side, or the merits of one set of statistics over another. What gives me far greater cause for concern is the obvious contempt with which the public at large are held by those whose salaries we pay.

Not only is there lack of integrity and respect but a serious naivety, by those in power, who seem to be applying outmoded techniques of propaganda in an age where understanding by the public (their target) is undergoing a thorough re-education.

The internet has opened up the Pandora’s box of operational techniques by which the establishment have controlled us over the eons and it is now being shown up to be crude and incapable of withstanding our new technological environment.

In spite of this, over the years, the global rich and powerful continue to blindly try and hoodwink us. Nowhere was this more blatant than with the re-election of George W Bush in 2004 when, upon a recount, he was re-elected to office by a narrow majority. We now hear that the UK Referendum could also produce a similar narrow majority, in the same vein as the Tory’s election win last year.

Time ratified the accusations of rigging in the case of the Bush re-election and no doubt time will also pronounce on the current uncertainty in the UK, as the same people who helped Bush have also been helping the Tories for a while now.

Modern technology is constantly lifting the veil and raises a far bigger question in my mind which, similar to climate change, could be devastating for all of us and will certainly not go away.

It is the mind-set of our leaders, who either have not caught up with our growing awareness of their crude skulduggery or, worse still don’t care, as they have the armed forces, the police and riot squads to call on if they come unstuck.

Whatever is going on in their collective heads, they certainly have not taken on board the fact that our eyes are being opened and life can never be the same again. Before, we would blindly accept what were told but now new resources are opening up to ‘fact check’ whatever is reported or said.

Armed with the truth about lies and deceit, credibility and support go out the window. As the late Robert Maxwell was reported to have said “The truth is like virginity. Once lost it can never be recovered”. Something Tony Blair has first-hand experience of.

What I am aware of now are the early rumblings for an entirely new leadership that has integrity and honesty. As a species we need to believe in something, it is how we live our lives and the powerful know this. In the past they have manipulated this human characteristic for their own benefit but the ball game is changing.

I, for one, am not convinced by any of the current leaders that they actually have the vision and determination to confront the destructive values of Neoliberalism, the destructive forces of Climate Change, or the self-destructive creed of Consumerism. But my mind remains open.

My cynicism comes with the EU Referendum. I find it symptomatic of a cancerous culture at work that has no compunction about distorting the truth, with no apparent boundaries, in its lust for power and greed. At the heart of this culture is the ‘Career’ politician, who cares little for what he or she is voting for and who, it is reported, spends 80% of their working day seeking financial and other support to retain their power.

They are a part of the present party system, which they have evolved to maintain power. It is this visionless and comfortable mind-set that has created all of the problems we face today and is now supporting the transfer of power from the people to the corporate world, with odious trade agreements such as TTIP.

Whether it is the US, EU, UK, Australia or elsewhere, distrust of politicians is endemic.

It therefore follows that people of integrity will quickly be recognised and stand out from the crowd. I would also venture that it is only with people like this that our trust can be rebuilt into a powerful democracy, through the transparency of their honesty and a vision of a future that is at odds with current short termism and only supports profit.

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes