If I have been quiet for so long during the last few weeks, it is because events have been moving at such a pace that it is almost impossible to keep up. With so many pundits, so many opinions, what are the chances anyone is going to bother with my contribution. But the elections are now finished and Brexit is approaching a critical juncture, and the news both in the USA and in the UK is starting to worry me more and more.
Specifically, what is worrying me is the number of scandals appearing in the press, and their apparent origins. These scandals, many of them financial in nature, appear to be impacting democracy itself.
For example, the question arises, were the results of 2016, that is Trump's election in the USA and Brexit over here truly democratic results or were they bought. Before we go on I want to make one thing clear. I am not talking about the classic way of buying a vote, that is "here'a fiver vote for me!" On the other hand, I have to question the new method of "vote for me and I will give you this and this, and even where it is not specifically spelled out, they still leave the electorate with that impression. Is that ethical, and even is that legal?
Take America for example. Trump got himself elected on the promise, among others, to clean out the swamp (corruption) that is Washington, and yet scandal after scandal is rising up to the surface. From the resignation of Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator over feathering his nest, with no subsequent follow up; to the election now of Republican Reps. Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter, who are both facing federal indictments, and were re-elected to Congress Tuesday. Bear in mind this is a country that can deprive its citizens of the right to vote if found and convicted of crimes.
In the UK, Aaron Banks, biggest contributor towards Brexit, is now being investigated criminally for his contributions. Not only that, but in documents given by him to Newsnight in his own defense, he even implicates himself as having lied to a parliamentary committee last summer. When asked if his employees were supplying clerical support from his own paid staff he denied it, and yet there appear to be invoices in the accounts he himself provided to newsnight for services to Leave.EU Which is it?
But all this raises far more critical questions. Is it true to say that the posters of millions of Turks marching on Europe, destination UK had no influence on the result? Is it true that the message of £350mn/week to the NMS didn't influence anybody? Conversely, did the scare tactics of the remainers influence anybody?
At this time, the are election rules and laws governing sponsorship of political parties, both in the UK and the USA. Investigation into people breaking electoral law is always seen as somewhat of an excuse for the losers, to question the result. But is this the case? For example, just what would it take to have an election result overturned? Would conclusive proof that Aaron Banks was a Russian spy be enough for example?
Since every such investigation, by definition will always be hypothetical in its analysis of the results, it would not be an exaggeration to say we will never really know.Therefore the question arises, why are we doing it?
But there is more to the implications of this story. The Conservatives, almost everywhere in the world are the party that believes that society as a whole should be laissez-faire! They believe there should be as little government oversight and regulations as possible. We are told that they are in fact the party of law and order. Many still believe in the death penalty for murder. They believe drugs and theft should be punished as a deterrent. Yet look at the number of white collar crimes being committed. Look at how in some cases the victim (a large corporation) will not prosecute because loopholes in their security would be more damaging than any punishment handed out to the perpetrator. Look at the use of non-disclosure agreements made to protect the possible criminal. If many of these agreements are paid for by companies, many of which are public; isn't this the same as saying the public is now subsididing criminals? Why is a criminal convicted of stealing a bottle of whiskey from a store worse than a bank employee who steals a million $ from his employer and when caught ends up simply as retiring on full benefits and with a severance package? And there is even more to question! If the mafia were to petition parliament that, for example, in order to allow our hard-working policemen to rest we should close down policing during the hours of darkness, we would rightly be questioning their motives. Yet when millions £ are made by private companies we hardly ever take measures to protect the public or question their motives, and yet when things go wrong it is the tax payer that is asked to foot the bill.
And finally dear read, I have reserved some serious criticism for you and me, the voter! What is the point of even having a vote if you are simply going to blindly give it to the party that blows the most smoke up our arses? Are we so stupid we can't tell, or are we so corrupt that nothing, no morally wrong behavior must stand in the way of us achieving our goal? Is it really OK to support the Speaker of the House because we are in the middle of Brexit? Is it really OK to support a corrupt regime that murders its citizens (ex-citizen perhaps!) in our country because our job at the arms factory depends on it? Why are we allowing the government to invite people like Trump and submitting our monarch to the embarrassment of walking behind him?
The Man In The Glass
Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr.
When you get what you want in your struggle for self And the world makes you king for a day Just go to the mirror and look at yourself And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife Whose judgment upon you must pass The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life Is the one staring back from the glass.
He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest For he’s with you, clear to the end And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years And get pats on the back as you pass But your final reward will be heartache and tears If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
For all of you who believe in God, whichever one you have chosen, remember ... one day you're going to have to justify yourself to a higher order!