Something very interesting has happened in the past few months. Johnny may have come lately, but heâs here at last. Beyond the bunkers that have sheltered common sense from an incessant shower of bile fired by obsessive insomniacs for three years, the merciless grip of fear is beginning to slip. An agenda that has precluded the democratic right to question, enforced by three PsÂ eager to extricate themselves from scandals that exposed their skewed morality to those they purport to serve, is finally being brought to task. Less than a year ago, to voice an opinion contrary to this agenda would leave that lone voice vulnerable to accusation, suspicion and potential reprisals. Dissent had been suppressed by tactics lifted straight from the Stasi manual, and the brave and the bold were faced with little option but to air their opinions in outposts dismissed as refuges for the apologist and the unhinged. Recognition that the truth was being spoken in the cyber shadows came from those too fearful to speak it in public, but only off the record and via channels reminiscent of Watergate â nobodyâs name could be quoted and nothing could be printed when this clandestine network received a thumbs-up from figures faced with too much to lose to commit themselves wholly.
When the first wave of wild allegations was brought to the attention of these three Ps, it quickly became evident that here was the ultimate deflection mechanism to induce collective amnesia regarding their own misdemeanours. Their considerable clout in enforcing a climate conducive to their self-preservation was aided and abetted by an experienced exploiter of accusations, one that had set up shop in the mother country and was already engaged in corporate cannibalism to establish a sphere of avaricious influence. In tandem with a supposedly impartial public service falling into the hands of a crusading zealot, not to mention online attack-dogs rounding on anyone daring to dispute the agenda as well as provincial vigilantes seeking a TV career and a self-styled expert-cum-congenital liar extending the mantra into the intellectual vacuum of daytime television, the intimidating weight of the interested parties presented any opposition with a formidable challenge.
Many looked on at the law-man beating up the wrong guy, unwilling to intervene for fear of the wolves being summoned to their doors; they saw veteran residents of the food chainâs lowest regions dragged to the stake in the Court of Public Opinion and passively condoned the extinguishing of stars in a fantasistâs constellation, their silence supporting the groundless vengeance of those-who-must-be believed. Even the tentative criticisms that gradually dared to be aired by the few were obliged to include a cautious caveat, desperate to emphasise any minor questioning of perceived wisdom wasnât necessarily questioning the in absentia verdict bestowed upon the deceased dispenser of medals to those whose dreams he had enabled to come true. Despite this, they were still shouted down with such vociferous fury that they scurried away and said no more.
Some refused to be subdued by the contents of bladders being jettisoned onto headstones and paid the price for their bravery. A barrister sharing the surname of an Irish Saint in shades was virtually the only one prepared to stand up and be counted in the mainstream media and was crucified as a consequence, her career threatened by the cardinal sin of saying what many were thinking and staying true to the actual principles of the profession she practiced rather than the corrupt perversion of it that was branding the innocent as war criminals without the evidence. And closer to home, the tireless research of an individual who was present at more than one scene of imaginary crimes was effectively blacklisted and denied the widespread awareness her exhaustive endeavours deserved whilst simultaneously subjected to a level of assault unprecedented in the anal annals of poison pen letters.
But as the loved as well as the loathed were slowly sucked into the orbit of the inquisition, the sanity and morality of the crusade was something that started to preoccupy polite conversation held on broadsheet pages. The extended bail with no end in sight, the aggressive advertising that encouraged the sinister subversion of unfulfilled teenage fantasies, the presumption of guilt by tabloid juries, the collusion between broadcasters and the old bill, the promise of inquiries to appease lobbies employing emotional blackmail to achieve their aim, and then the exhumation of public servants to support the casting of the net into the grandiose galleries of Westminster â the camelâs back was beginning to break.
Suddenly, heads that had become accustomed to the sand were now stretching their necks to the line. Every development was finally openly questioned in print, and though the scaremongersÂ were still afforded airtime to prevent the releasing of the remaining hounds, their justification for their actions was sounding flimsy to more pairs of ears than ever before. And at last, the persecuted added their voices to the chorus. One stated his case in a remarkable press conference that pulled no punches and explicitly described the accusations levelled against him in the kind of graphic detail the media prefer to obliquely hint at. The gauntlet was thrown down to the long-term stirrers of shit who had been forced to stir in the absence of intelligence or ideology, and their failure to pick up that gauntlet spoke volumes.
Amidst rumours that respected dissectersÂ of falsehoods are preparing their own exposÃ©s, the belated awakening of the ability to question by a body of scribes who have cowardly shirked their responsibilities and allowed others to do their job for them for the best part of three years is welcome indeed; but where were they when they were really needed, when the toil of the unsung heroes and heroines digging for the truth made them easy prey for every plague of locusts nobody saw fit to aim pesticides at? Whether doing their bit with words or pictures, they/we were left to our own devices with only each other to depend upon. Yes, Johnny-come-lately, you are the cavalry. But you should have been here a long time ago. We told you so, even though you wouldnât listen.
TRACK CAPTAIN RACCOON DAY 3: http://jst.org.uk/track-our-ships/