We need a new medium to ask awkward questions
There are many idiotic fantasies we are asked by neoliberal economists to accept: that there is no alternative, that wealth trickles down, that Milt Friedman was right about everything and so on. As their world falls apart at a snail’s pace (the deceleration having been paid for by taxpayer-funded nationalisation and subsidy – the two things these numpties claim are the root of all evil) the arguments in favour of a failing system become ever more desperate and mendacious.
The funniest was, without doubt, the bollocks about “There is a recovery, but it’s jobless”. Hilarious: rather like saying, “We’ve found some gold, very special gold – it’s made from lead”. Having been found out on that one, the latest ruse is the invented evidence of rising employment, and the risibly persistent attempt by the likes of Dan Hannan to tweet “Britain is employing more people now than it was under Labour”. Omitted from this tripe is the obvious reality: Labour employed too many people contributing nothing: these and others have become people with nowhere near enough money to live on, because they can only find part-time employment. Also, of course, the workforce as a whole is earning 30% less in real terms than it was ten years ago….whereas the top 1% are getting roughly three times as much. This is trickle-down wealth?
Safely reelected, Barack Obama has now stopped playing games with the US payroll data. The broad U6 measure of US unemployment jumped in June from 13.8% to 14.3%. That’s the biggest increase since 2009. The number working part-time – by compulsion, not choice – rose by 322,000 in a single month.
Have you seen anyone in the US media directly asking the President about this? I haven’t. The British Prime Minister repeats the same lie week in, week out. Have you seen any interviewers tackling him directly – for example, asking him if he wouldn’t mind not doing it any more? No, neither have I.
The BBC is a fascinating case history in relation to this. Beaten to a pulp by bullies in both Parties over the years, the gutless Governors have chosen the quiet life. Now they get criticised by bloggers for being anodyne. Sadly, the prospect of certain death by following one course tends to evoke in most people the decision to follow another, more flexible one.
Part of it is the McAlpine effect – which is of course why the crafty old bugger leapt into the water with glee in the first place. He didn’t GAF that David Icke had been falsely accusing him for over fifteen years; but when the Beeb did it, he was in like Flynn. I should like to make it clear at this point to Alistair McScalpine’s solicitors Aqueuse, Extaught & Hammer that I am in no waysuggesting he is in like Flynn up small people’s bottoms, as I have always maintained that, to the best of my knowledge, he is not guilty of such crimes. His second cousin Jimmie was, but that’s another question…which once again, the MSM refuses to ask.
It’s got to the stage now where any rumour being remarked upon scares pretty much everyone off. In a Smoke Signals earlier this week, I commented on the rumours circulating widely about an alleged affair between David Cameron and Louise Mensch. Not one threader would go near it. That too is ‘the McAlpine Effect’.
Spin-doctors and other Machiavellian media manipulators love to create a climate of fear. Campbell did it over Iraq, and now McAlpine has done it in relation to Establishment paedophilia. But sometimes, the questions aren’t asked because the answers they might get would conflict with the ‘settled science’ of their socio-economic thinking.
For at least fifteen years now, The Guardian has been by far the worst culprit of this East German toe-the-line attitude. The same pathetic argument – “We must not let the Tories destabilise This Great Movement of Ours” – is used over and over again. It stopped Rusbridger nailing Blair until it was too late, it held back an adult discussion about immigration (smearing every opposing argument as ‘racist’) and it backed Mandelson 100% when Brown was caught having eyesight and mental problems. The BBC’s Andrew Marr is a similar case in point, later letting Brown off the hook by asking him if he took prescription painkillers. Um, MAOIs are heavy-duty anti-depressants Andy luvvie.
Most of the right-wing press titles have made a complete Horlicks of asking searching questions about Zirp, QE, Cameron’s lies about Murdoch, and the obvious failure of Osborne’s cuts in the context of money squandered on bank-sandbagging….because they too are tribal: they loathe Camerlot, but they loathe Ed Miliband even more. ‘My tribe right or wrong’ applies almost universally now in the British media.
Nor can we look for searching questions from the Ed Miller Band, because they have no idea what to do beyond trying to discern what Joe Public thinks, and then offering to do that. Because of this, Cameron has been able to pull the ‘rising employment’ stunt unmolested for three months: is this an Opposition I see before me, or a bunch of Focus Groupies?
All of which really brings me to the main reason I think nobody out there is asking the awkward questions: neither the Opposition nor the media want to accept that their entire belief systems are now seriously endangered. They will therefore evade any information that provides clear evidence of one thing: the system they adore is dead in the water.
Friedmanite neoliberalist and Socialist Keynesian thinking is hopelessly outmoded and – in this new and highly unpredictable future we’re about to enter – totally unfit for purpose. Everyone out there meant to be opposing the important stuff about decency and ethics is now trapped in a cesspit of defending the indefensible….because to do otherwise might bring the whole tower of worms tumbling down. It’s why Boris Johnson blindly defends the psychopath Murdoch, and Tom Watson blindly ignores the long history of phone-hacking at Trinity Mirror.
As I’ve been trying to get across for some time now, this model of globalist capitalism is incapable of employing enough citizens to keep society content and stable. And the Left offers no fresh ideas. It daren’t oppose half the time because it fears the public reaction too much: the fulcrum has shifted, and the old-fashioned North London chique socialism typified by Ed Miliband has nowhere to go.
What is the point of a political and media opposition axis that doesn’t ask the questions the Establishment is terrified of answering? The answer is, “None whatsoever”: like the Jobless Recovery, it is devoid of a raison d’etre.
We don’t need this sort of Opposition: what we need now is a more organised, online guerrilla group of the Good Folks refusing to take banal or evasive answers, and not avoiding asking the key questions in the first place. Exaro News is setting both the pace and an example at the moment. We should build more sites like that. It is the only way left to stop the Dark Forces.