Historians delight in calling this or that epoch ‘The age of enlightenment’ or ‘The industrial revolution’. But for those in charge, every age is one where inherent contradictions have to be denied. Change is one of the few inevitable occurrences in the Universe, but the hubris of humans will always wish to control it.
From the Reformation onwards, there has been at least one elephant in the Elite’s room: protestant Christians who must be heathens, unhealthy slum-workers propping up capitalism, non-Communist States doing better than the Soviet Union, and Nixon in the Oval Office.
But the current era’s Nellie collection is so enormous, one thinks of those old gags about ‘How do you get ten elephants in a Mini?’ – to which the answer is ‘Five in the front and five in the back’. This sums up the surreal denial in which our leaders (and many of our neighbours) constantly indulge. Life in 2009 is the Black Elephant Hole of Cool Britannia.
The two people running Britain are unelected. (Three if you count the other Queen). The new EU President will be unelected – as will its Constitution. Yet we present our systems to the world as ineluctably democratic.
The Establishment in Britain remains dead-set on a multi-cultural model. The main group likely to gain from this – Islamics – don’t want it; rather, they want their own laws to prevail.
We’ve just bailed out 44,000 UK banking employees to the tune of £1.5 million per head. Yet there is still no sign of serious commentators holding up a hand to point out that the system is socially and economically dysfunctional. Herein sits perhaps the biggest, noisiest Jumbo of the lot: while globalists and politicians want us all to start spending again, socially and familially the obvious course of action for us as citizens is to save for coming monsoon months.
There is a public clamour for more democracy and more accountability in our major institutions. But the interest in voting is falling.
The inverse correlation between gender correctness and female equality is clear every day of the week, be it in advertising or job reward. The same anti-effect is apparent with disability correctness, where cruelty and silence about all matters to do with mental health is undiminished.
The ludicrous wages of professional footballers sit alongside a stated dedication to investing more in young English players, and ensuring the future financial stability of the Premiership.
The existence of a growing Underclass producing 100,000 children in Care today shows the need for a radical reform of what ‘education’ is for. The DfE, however, is busy lowering the bar a little every year in order to send everyone to Universities neither they nor it can afford – and raising the age at which socialisation starts.
Our living standards continue to sky-rocket in real terms. But Alcohol and drug abuse are at levels never before envisaged, celebrity obsession is culturally dominant, and utterly misplaced ideas of showbiz talent near-universal.
To protect our liberties, GCHQ will from here onwards be watching over and listening to our every move with the sort of technology East Germany’s Stasi could only have dreamt about. As a result of this, our liberties are threatened as never before.
‘Crime is down’ say the apologists. But the prisons are overflowing.
Fiscal policy is impoverishing the old, cutting every form of social care, and doing nothing for the ‘real’ economy – which has lost (at the very least) 30% of its output potential since the banking crisis. Yet the FTSE is almost at 65% of the levels it enjoyed just a year ago – and rising. In that stock market, some P/E ratios are coming in at an insane 145…while trade on the ground (and exports from the UK) are both on their knees.
So the elephants, then, are (in no particular order, and minus any claim to have counted all of them) withering democracy, Islamic intolerance, a broken financial system, an anti-social economic form, electoral apathy, ineffectual pc, soccer bankruptcy, familial meltdown, the failure of materialism to produce happiness, the erosion of liberty, zero respect for authority, national bankruptcy and accelerating economic decline.
It has often been the role of the bigoted blogosphere to lay down ‘generalisations’, but the above are nothing of the kind: a book evidencing these obvious trends could fill 1500 pages or more. It’s the average reader’s falling attention span and reading levels that exacerbate the shift away from carefully explained empiricism and towards soundbite bigotry – be the propagator of such prejudice Nick Griffin or Harriet Harman.
When New Labour came to power, a major elephant in our social room was traffic congestion and pollution. They’re still there, but John Prescott’s first (and only) act against it was bus lanes on motorways. This was, without doubt, a case of ’start as you mean to go on’.
However, it’s not fair to lay this solely at the centre-left’s door: the Cameroonian desire to stick with a failed educational system, and phase out the greatest social catalyst in history (grammar schools) is no different. The fundamental syndrome I am identifying here is the species unwillingness to acknowledge contradiction and unsustainability.
In the past, that species failure has been controlled by culture. But as nby repeats over and over, ‘It’s the Culture, stupid’. Our culture in 2009 is indeed controlling – but the things it allegedly seeks to control are, well, out of control.
In order to change that culture, we need to think of our elephants in another way: as real things to be addressed, points in a Manifesto, and promised changes to be fulfilled as the basis for an alternative UK future. My feeling is that a Party guaranteeing to halt the approaching herd would, with credible leadership, win an overwhelming majority in Parliament.
So perhaps, after all, this is what we should be trying to form.