By Stanley Collymore
Democracy, or at least what is often cynically, disingenuously and even dishonestly called such, comes in many guises, oftentimes in ways that are diametrically opposed to what any genuine meaning of the word signifies let alone what is actually put into practice, yet for all that is nevertheless a deep yearning in the souls of most people that the ways in which they are ultimately governed deals with and epitomizes at least some of the consensual concerns that do matter to them with the overarching desire of improving not only their personal and deep-seated hopes and ambitions but crucially their standard of living as well. Unfortunately however this is generally a forlorn hope as with mindboggling deceitfulness they watch in total dismay such aspirations being trashed by the very people who they elected to represent them.
Given those circumstances therefore it is quite understandable why so many people, and the electorate in those countries where ostensibly transparently free and open elections are held, are intensely sceptical of the so-called democratic processes that they labour under and even more so the politicians that they are obliged to elect and who profess to represent them, when in effect they know deep down inside that they only persons that these representatives are really interested in or concern themselves about are themselves, their own vested interests and crucially those in whose financial pockets they embed themselves.
So what then is democracy bearing in mind that like all concepts it means different things to different people bearing in mind the circumstances at the time that they find themselves in. The people of Germany overwhelmingly elected Adolf Hitler as their Chancellor and one can rationally argue that the collective will of the German people was publicly expressed in a free and democratic way through the ballot box. Benito Mussolini was also a very popular choice of the Italian people and even enthusiastically so, but as we know both the governments of Germany and Italy rapidly morphed into undemocratic nightmares for many people resulting in the deaths of millions of innocent people in the European war world that eventually spilled over into the remainder of the world with equally drastic consequences for others who played no part or had any interest come to that in those initial and even populist political sentiments that were vociferously and hugely emotionally expressed by those that boldly voted for Adolf Hitler or just as fervently willingly chose Benito Mussolini as their Roman champion only to at their leisure and with the heat of the rest of the world heavily upon them profoundly regret their actions in having done so.
So what then should one’s take on democracy actually be? Assuming that it’s the consensual will of the people who’re involved, and expressed freely by them, to be properly governed by those whom they’ve elected and entrusted to do so on their behalf, there shouldn’t on the face of it be any problems at all with that; but it’s not so simple as it looks, since there are always imponderables to be considered when one is dealing with human nature, and as I’ve already demonstrated earlier the elected governments of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were the choice decisions of the vast majority of the German and Italian peoples respectively, in brief unsullied democracy in action yet not without its dire catastrophic consequences. So beware allegorically of Greeks bearing gifts, or, more to the point, politicians of any stripe promising to be your urbane and noble, white knight on a charger as he or she intrepidly and unselfishly delivers to you the finest pedigree of authentic democracy that practised political rhetoric can muster. Candidly, I think you’ll be deluding yourself if you fall for that load of baloney since in all probability you’ll wake up from your personal nightmare and discover that at best it’s a Trojan horse you’ve been landed with or even worst you’ve been taken for a ride.
This isn’t to signify that politicians or even perspective ones can’t be honest or don’t have the real interests or concerns of their constituents at heart. Far from it, since there are some who begin that way but either quickly discover that in order to progressively or even rapidly climb the greasy pole of career politics or not fall foul of their party’s hierarchy or its parliamentary political whips by honestly sticking to their moral principles; concomitant with which might well be the cruel and ironic deselection by their local constituency party’s puppets, expressly engineered at the behest of their party’s higher ups, of the seat they were elected to for being the honest constituency MP they are and which during their election campaign, prior to being elected to parliament, they faithfully promised their constituents to be. However, put in such invidious positions and virtually powerless because of the intensive stranglehold that political parties actually have, for example, on the entire political process in Britain to adopt divergent measures to effectively foil the callously induced predicament they’re faced with it’s perhaps clear although in no way condonable why so many British MPs that begin their parliamentary careers with commendable aspirations frequently end up being vile traitors to the very people who trustworthily elected them with high hopes in the first place.
The great irony in all this is that in the British parliamentary system, unlike that of many of our fellow EU member states, political parties don’t have any official standing or recognition in law and certainly not where the House of Commons is concerned, since every elected MP is explicitly elected as an individual per se, and not as a party representative in the eyes of the law to represent the designated constituency that he or she by dint of free and fair elections was chosen to serve. That is why an MP even if he or she publicly stood on a particular party ticket during the elections and won can freely and without any detrimental effects whatsoever to his or her continued membership of the House of Commons, as regards to being kicked out of that body for example for doing so, cross the parliamentary aisle and join another political party of his or her choice, or opt to become an independent member of parliament instead; a situation that isn’t possible to consider let alone enact in those EU countries or several others where parliamentary representatives acquire their seats in their legislative chambers by being on party lists and not directly elected to a constituency as happens in the UK.
All the more reason then why British MPs, if they really had any guts, ought to be exercising the independence that they undoubtedly have, since the worst case scenario option they could possibly face from the political party which they belong to is to have the parliamentary whip removed from them, or else find themselves threatened with deselection by their constituency party, acting as the blood hounds for the party’s bigwigs, as the party’s official parliamentary candidate at the next general elections. Not the worst calamity imaginable that could possibly befall a conscientious MP I would say, especially if the constituents represented by that MP know that he or she is an outstanding member of parliament who genuinely looks after their needs and has their interests at heart; furthermore it’s not uncommon that despite the virtually monopolistic manipulation of constituencies exercised by conventional so-called mainstream political parties, a number of independent MPs with gravitas and good hearts do occasionally get elected to the House of Commons. Therefore the sinister problem as I see it that seriously plagues almost all of our embedded, party political MPs is the basic one of them falling into two categories of individuals to start with: spineless cowards on the one hand and acquisitive snout foragers on the other that in time decidedly morph into one gargantuan mafia of cynical thieves who become diametrically opposed in every conceivable way to everything that their hoodwinked constituents are genuinely about or for that matter decency, integrity and probity dictate. Little wonder then that they are universally held in such utter contempt.
However, as the old saying goes we get the members of parliament that we deserve and our prized bunch of charlatans know that all too well, and sensing the vast majority of you for the gullible fools you are who’re quite ready and willing to believe what they tell you and know you want to hear, even though as it customarily is it’s well off the radar of truthfulness, they not only persistently try it on but actually get away with it.
The latest of these scams and coming hard on the heels of the recent riots in England that our racist government and its right wing media allies have conveniently scapegoated on British Blacks and gangsterism even though all empirical data to hand show this not to be the case. But hey, why let something like the truth get in the way of a good racist story and attendant banner media headlines that expediently and effectively deflect the ignorant and ill-informed plebs in our midst with their own endemic racist mindset away from the real causes of these riots that we recently witnessed, simple things like the persistent marginalization of sections of our community, random and racially motivated stop and search profiling, a premeditated shoot to kill policy by the Metropolitan police of those they’ve profiled and itself an unlawful policy since as far as I know it hasn’t been sanctioned by any parliamentary legislation. But with over 2000 such murders committed by the police to date and not a single police officer ever having been charged let alone prosecuted for these racist massacres it therefore logically goes without saying that the blanket immunity the police evidently enjoy to cold-bloodily kill with impunity their victims on the streets of Britain is one that the Cameron government and the Home Secretary Theresa May are undoubtedly comfortable with. And why not, for if they can casually authorize multiple massacres in Libya of people that don’t look like them why the hell should they lose any sleep over a few Niggers, as they see them, in Britain?
But that’s not the whole of it; for the economic crunch which the country is labouring under, the bailouts of banks and financial institutions that we’re told are too big to fail but in spite of their massive criminality and gross incompetence nevertheless continue to reward themselves at our expense with enormous salaries and bonuses, courtesy of our elected lawmakers, is yet another element of the duplicity that this government and others in the western world would much rather that we didn’t think about and accordingly do their best to ensure that we don’t. So any suitable scam that can fruitfully divert minds and attentions away from their austerity measures designed to satisfy the wants and demands of into thinking it’s for the public good.
I’m referring here specifically to the risible scam of our government encouraging us, taking it at face value, to become pro-active in shaping government policy by organising petitions that the House of Commons will presumably be obliged to debate if these petitions should carry in excess 150,000 signatures. Sounds too good to be true? You bet your life it is! For not only are the MPs not legally bound to reach any concrete conclusions after this elaborate exercise of parliamentary hoodwinking of the public there is similarly no compulsion on their part or that of the coalition Con-Dem government either to support or authorize any legislation that might properly come from the aforesaid discourse; a rather glorified and time wasting talking shop exercise in other words, brazenly giving the appearance of doing something while doing absolutely nothing beneficial at all!
Even more worrying for me is that 150,000 people in a population of 60 million residents in Britain is hardly a representative sample of our overall population and if our MPs genuinely wanted to find out what we the British thought or wanted done how about them keeping their eyes peeled and their ears to the ground as it were by giving up on a more frequent basis the cosy comfort of Westminster they’re so addicted to and instead come into the constituencies that elected them and find out from the people there. But oh no; that’s too much to undertake as one Labour MP who hasn’t held a constituency surgery for over 14 years in succession has disdainfully decided, but who notwithstanding all that will most certainly be foremost among those going through all the motions associated with this latest political scam.
And what is this specific scam that I’m referring to? Well it’s to do with depriving those that were involved with the riots of their social security benefits. How very asinine! Britain prides itself on being a developed industrialized country, although there’s precious little of the latter to be seen anywhere in the UK these days but lets give that a pass, and consequently the kind of poverty that one associates with so-called Third World countries our empire regularly bled of their resources and still continues to doesn’t plague our green and pleasant land; but that’s not to say poverty doesn’t exist here, it does and moreover is prevalent and continues to grow as the austerity measures we’re being subjected to bite. So for a coterie of highly privileged jackasses like the 24 multi-millionaires in our British Cabinet whose inherited wealth has all their decidedly pampered lives completely shielded them from what the average Briton has to cope with on a daily basis, to be self-righteously lecturing the rest of us about fiscal propriety and furthermore set about doing so in a particularly malevolent and vindictive way to socially and racially disadvantage even further those they look down upon is contemptible conduct of the highest order, and there are no words in the English language that can adequately sum up what they really are when they perfidiously embark with the rest of the House of Commons lawmakers on a nauseating scam like this one that shows nothing but utter contempt for their constituents generally and the people of Britain in particular.
Apart from everything else there is no scientific way, as this scam is being organized and run, of anyone discovering let alone verifying who precisely these 150,000 people are; how many multiple petitioners they are passing themselves of as different individuals when it’s just one or two of them or more sinisterly a group of activists with their own personal hidden agendas that are involved and allegedly supporting this parliamentary measure; where precisely do the petitioners come from geographically in terms of the UK never mind the bogus addresses that they provide on their petition and can be easily faked? How truly spontaneous is the petition; and what part, if any, do the media, the government and the plethora of crooked MPs seizing a golden opportunity to divert attention away from their own enormous pilfering of the public purse and at the same time curry favour with some sections of the public perceived by them as influential and whose good books they want to get into, have in whipping up certain racist and social sentiments to their advantage?
And what about those whose benefits will be taken away from them in this parliamentary and undignified lynching by our political representatives? In Britain no one is legally allowed to starve and the local council and social security department have a statutory responsibility to ensure that doesn’t happen, in the same way that that there is a legal obligation for those that don’t have any place to live or are evicted from their homes by the discriminatory or reckless actions of the government, MPs or judges have to be found somewhere to live. And it smacks very much of cutting one’s nose off to spite one’s face when it will undoubtedly cost the state a great deal more to provide for these people in those circumstances than would otherwise be the case if they were left alone as they were. It’s the same with handing out swingeing prison sentences to someone like a teenager, for instance, that picked up a bottle of water that cost a Pound Sterling off the street during the riots while his incarceration costs a whopping £2,000 Pounds Sterling a week to keep him in jail. Only those imbued with the arrogance that they were born through privilege and wealth to rule the rest of us and who have no real concept of what it’s actually like to earn the money they come by instead of being routinely parachuted into well paid positions not by any dint of meritocracy or ability, frankly they have none, but by class and who they are actually are could think up something as brainless as this knowing that we have enough acquisitive mongrels in parliament and thoroughbred morons outside in the public generally to pull it off.
My question is what if a majority or even substantial numbers of people in the UK did submit a number of genuine petitions to parliament suggesting for instance that Tony Blair together with his accomplices then, and regardless of who they were, were arrested and prosecuted for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity; that the same thing was similarly done to David Cameron and his lot in respect of Libya; or that we instantly and unilaterally got rid of the one sided, arse-licking, extradition treaty which we have with the United States where all they have to do is say they want someone in Britain, have no requirement to say why or even offer any evidence whatsoever to our authorities for why they’re doing this, and like France’s Vichy regime vis-à-vis Germany’s Nazi Third Reich the British government is in essence and deplorably so the disposed quislings of the United States own Fascist Reich.
This is no more plainly exemplified than in these two examples that I’m now about to give you. The first relates to our economic plight and the perception held by many influential and highly respected, international financial analysts among them the renowned broadcaster Max Keisler that David Cameron and George Osborne are financial terrorists who while vilifying and demonizing looters in England that snatch a bottle of water from some store or other end and end up in jail, nevertheless have no problem at all in effusively backing criminal entities like JP Morgan who are gross financial looters on a monumental scale. The second deals with the one-sided extradition treaty that we have with the United States, which when they were in opposition the Tory party said they would scrap but have done nothing of the kind on having assumed political power along with the Lib-Dems as the government of the UK. The treaty is not only blatantly one-sided since we are expressly prohibited from having anyone extradited from the US in similar circumstances as all such requests from us must first be substantiated by prima face evidence that an alleged crime has been committed by the accused person and only then can any extradition be proceeded with, and as always only through the US courts.
Currently there are a number of Britons awaiting extradition to the United States with a quite eager Britain willing to ship them off there even though none of the accused has ever set foot in the United States; but even in this black hole of uncertainty in which they find themselves race and racial attitudes still play a key role in the decision making process. Gary McKinnon is accused of hacking into the Pentagon’s computer files, something he has admitted to, and logically the US authorities want to prosecute him for doing so; however, there are those who say he should be tried in the UK, but even so he’s out on bail. Meanwhile, there are a number of British Muslims also wanted by the United States but for alleged terrorist activities which they’ve all denied being involved in but which the US has repeatedly refused to provide any evidence; prima face or concrete, that what it claims in relation to these Muslim suspects has any substance to it and what so-called evidence that has leaked out as invariably happens in such cases is frankly pathetically thin and highly unconvincing.
Nevertheless and unlike Gary McKinnon these Muslim men are behind British bars and have been continuously so for several years without charge or trial; one of them, Tahla Ahsan who has been there for five years on the trot has the same condition, Asperger Syndrome that was successfully used and readily accepted by the British courts to keep Gary McKinnon out of jail but not Tahla Ashan who poses no threat to anyone or isn’t a flight risk having been born, was raised and until his imprisonment lived with his middle class family in England. Besides, if Tahla Ashan and these other Muslim men who are accused of crimes that even the United States does not pretend occurred in that country were to be extradited there, and bearing in mind the towering level of virulent Islamophobia that exists and furthermore is aggressively encouraged and promoted in the United States, they will undoubtedly not get a fair trial, will be found guilty and incarcerated in a supermax high security prison under a vicious regime of solitary confinement for life with no chance of being paroled. In his British jail Tahla Ashan who spends his time writing poetry and teaching English is allowed to see his parents once a week, once extradited to the United States however all that will promptly cease. So why then do we have this patently blatant racist approach by the British courts and authorities, as if we didn’t already know, to Tahla Ashan and his fellow Muslim suspects in visible contrast to the position that these same British courts have taken with Gary McKinnon?
A related question was put to Victoria Brittain, journalist and anti-extradition campaigner, in and interview conducted with her by Ivor Bennet of RT Television, and this is what she had to say. It’s worth checking this interview out but not so much for the words used by Victoria Brittain but the way in which they were employed, and if I were Tahla Ahsan or any Muslim fighting the real prospect of extradition to the US and solitary incarceration for the rest of my natural life under the present treaty that Britain has with the United States without any hope of parole I would be deeply worried indeed; for with friends like Victoria Brittain who really needs enemies? Here are her words:
“Gary McKinnon is a white middle class English boy and Baba and Talha are very highly educated British middle class boys and they’re both Asians and they’re Muslims; and what that tells you is that there’s something very awful about our society.”
There’s an old English saying that actions, or in Victoria Bittain’s case body language, speak far more eloquently than words themselves. How very true!