Monday, 24 August 2009

Paint it black



A little touch of Harry in the night.


I’m in debt once more to
Cherry Pie who sent me to this site where I could quiz myself about politics and see if I scored any better on the conservatism front than I’d done here.
At the danger of seeming like an ungrateful Right-wing bastard rather than an appreciative Right-wing bastard, I’m going to comment about this new questionnaire which tells us much of what we need to know about how we are actually governed.
There’s a funny bit at the end, sort of.

This quiz too had lots of questions: the first few of which were ambivalent or misleading or worse; limiting.
That’s what worried me: the narrowness of vision and scope that the questions imply, and how similar they are to what our rulers present us with. I’ve not done the test yet, and plan to do so only after finishing this post.

Look at question number one.
“If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.”
Now, a definition of economic globalisation might have helped here – is it freer trade thanks to low or no-tariff treaties and the economic liberalisation of a number of Asian countries, for example, or is it merely a name for ever-growing international economies of scale and productivity and capital movements, transportation and communications? The difference to the definition might make a difference to the answer.
Also the idea of inevitability begs questions; what are the supposed forces that make it inevitable? Surely not the inevitable consequences of human society being obliged to change according to the relationships between individuals and the means of production and exchange in a capitalist society? That’s just pure Marxism. There’s a world of difference between believing that attractive business or employment opportunities will receive private and some measure of public support in most countries – and believing that it is somehow inescapable and that no amount of political control can prevent investment, production, and sales across international borders. North Korea and Syria and Hamas’ Gaza seem to be pretty good at preventing the free flow of labour, capital and goods and there’s no reason by other similarly worthless governments couldn’t do the same or worse.
Or does international trade not somehow ‘serve humanity?’ Who else trades than human beings? There’s a wealth of supposition about globalisation being bad for humanity in there – too much for me to go into now, and why bother? You’ve probably done it already, dear reader…
And as for trans-national corporations...

So there’s all that up-front ideological baggage. But look at what the answer ‘choices’ are that might lead you to an ideological assessment of yourself.
So to the have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife-yet question:
‘I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong’ what answering options do we have?
Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, Strongly Agree.
Oh dear.
Let’s try Option One, shall we?
‘I would strongly disagree that I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong.’
Now, does this mean that I’d never support my country, or that I disagree with the notion of my country ever being right (or wrong), or that I’d only agree with it if it was right, or that I disagree with the whole stupid question because it contains false opposites or because I might distinguish between supporting the constitution, institutions, morals and the welfare of the people of Britain from any actions its government might follow? Are we talking about foreign policy here or domestic matters such as taxation, spending and law and order? And would my support consist of unspoken acceptance, or of publishing angry posts and sending furious emails to the editor of The Telegraph if they criticised flash Gordon (King of the Impossible )? or running out into the street waving my six-foot Union Flag in joy at the signature of some other fatuous EU ‘agreement’? And what is my country? England? The UK? Yurrup? Is it my country’s troops abroad or only its sports teams or trade treaty negotiators? And if I don’t approve of a particular party in power and it does something I don’t like, do I let the paid officials who carry out that policy die for want of, say, my taxes and my support for their lawful if mis-led actions?

I think that, taken with the suppositions within the questions, ultimately most answers to this question if you think about it a will leave you pretty much the choice of coming across as a uber-chauvinist or as an internationalist hippy. Some choice.

Okay, okay; so the multiple choice format is inherently simplistic and can be misleading compared with interviews or writing essays – it goes with this particular research technique’s territory. But that’s how we vote and answer opinion polls and ultimately come down to deciding whom to marry, for example; by winnowing down many complex knowns and unknowns and balancing pros and cons and finally making a decision. But we are also allowed to think of celibacy, and just shaking up, or polymory or casual relationships.

And this is precisely how we are governed and how we are likely to be governed in the near future: through an expertly-chosen and narrow range of ‘alternatives’ that don’t differ from each other very much, and whose presentation to us voters leave whole realms and dimensions of consideration and policies ignored and never offered.

So comparing along the totally bogus ‘Left to Right’ order that’s the only one the political class ever allows to be used on for example BBC election night programmes, let’s look if we must at the three ‘nationwide’ parties’ policies, shall we?
Just for laughs.

Defence.

Labour.
We don’t have any particular enemy in mind, but Labour really, really believes that soldiers are super and we’ve made great strides in providing them with really, really thick body armour that stops most munitions - and soon, we plan them to buy another set - so that when they are blown into mincemeat or blinded or something then our very generous compensation scheme will kick in and make them all better for a consequently rather smaller number of survivors..

Liberal Democrats.
Actually we’re very, very different in tone and emphasis from all the others as we’re pretty sure that all the lousy weather we’ve been having lately and Britain’s possession of nuclear submarines are making all kinds of foreigners grumpy, so instead of squandering money on armour and such we want to make sure our money goes to the peace-loving Gazan government and that all the returning soldiers have somewhere nice to sit and listen to the radio reports of our peace negotiations (or the negotiations of whichever international body we decide to put in charge of our country’s defence and international relations decision-making) whilst they draw their dole. There’s no real enemy worth mentioning; except possibly Russia last year. And Tony Blair apparently.

Conservatives.
We don’t have any particular enemy in mind either, but unlike Labour we really, really believe that soldiers are super and we’ve made truly great strides in providing them with really, really long lists of key factors to introduce as adjectives in any weapons procurement procedures that we might very differently institute, but it’s a safe bet that thickness is probably going to be involved somewhere along the line, and also somewhere nicer to live whilst they’re waiting for us to buy, send, re-equip, test, repair, refurbish with the right size holes and electricity for British use more of the Eurofighters, Royal Navy destroyers and actually brown-coloured rucksacks which are so essential for use in, er, some dusty places. Actually, we consider ourselves to be rather a lot like Tony Blair and so we’re going to leave him out of things thank you so very much, okay?


The Economy.


Labour.
Labour intends to go on presiding over a huge public sector delivering services, and supporting businesses through a website with advice, some targetted taxes that are lower than North Korea’s and, obviously staying inside the European Union which has proved so good for our economy all along.


Liberal Democrats.
We plan to support a huge public sector delivering services, and supporting businesses through being greener fairer and cleaner (those being what business needs to much), and some targetted taxes lower than those of at least one of our Scandinavian partner’s tax rates, and obviously staying inside the European Union without which universal cannibalism would ensue within weeks if not days.



Conservatives.
We plan to go on presiding over a huge public sector delivering services, supporting businesses through tiny targeted tax cuts and supporting families with likewise tiny targeted tax cuts; some of which might compensate for a tiny part of the massive loss of purchasing power that all the inflation we’re expecting (but not talking about) tsunamis down on Britain. Plus obviously staying inside the European Union which has kept the Goths, Vandals and Gepids away since we signed the Treaty of Rome to the great benefit of our agriculture and manufacturing, to name but two, or something.


Immigration.

Labour.
Some immigration is good, and some immigration is bad and we’re going to make sure that only the good sort gets done: especially for the possibly bad ones from outside, you know, Europe.


Liberal Democrats.
Immigration? What kind of cake is ‘immigration?’
My auntie made me a fruitcake one. It was nice.


Conservatives.
Some immigration is good, and some immigration is bad and we’re going to make jolly well sure that only the good sort gets done: especially for the possibly bad ones from outside, you know, Europe.


Say, is there a pattern developing here?

Europe.

Labour.
Is the European Union good or what? I mean is it merely utterly, utterly essential to the continued existence of multicellular life on this planet and also so lovely to feed us and clothe us and house us and cure the old folks’ illnesses and protect the poor little match girls, or is it the sure and certain proof of the existence of a Divine and Benevolent Being in the universe?



Liberal Democrats.
Now it just so happened that I was skateboarding backwards in the showers and adopting a bent-backed stance when quite by chance I passed through a cloud of randomly-flung globules of Kilo Yankee that someone was tossing about and who should I bump into but the equally-naked but erect President of the European Commission himself - José Manuel Durão Barroso!


Conservatives.
Senor Barroso, I just want you to know that I breathe through a blow-hole and possess a non-functioning gag reflex.



So there you have it, dear reader: any high-spending, high-taxing maximal state you like which approaches immigration as being right up there as important as animal welfare and subsidizing sports, and whose defence policy seems not to recognize an organized, well-funded, and determined series of wars against this country and it allies on many fronts. And all pretty much circumscribed by the famously efficient, flexible, democratic European Union. All you have to do is choose whether it's in raspberry, butterscotch or blueberry flavour.

Henry Ford would be delighted.

And we’re having
a go at the Jews.
Go, Henry.

7 comments:

13th Spitfire said...

Very good post, very good.

James Higham said...

Cantankerous bugger - can't you just mindlessly accept their definitions like everyone else in Brown's Britain? Why do you have to go rocking the boat and showing up the anomalies? :)

Goodnight Vienna said...

Nicely taken apart there NNW.

North Northwester said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you - I'm here till Thursday. Nice to have an old-fashioned whine without having to think up something new.

But tomorrow, who knows - nanobots?

WomanHonorThyself said...

incredible piece my friend..the last link u left says it all!

CherryPie said...

LOL

& please don't get me started on Labours dubious defence policies!!!

James Higham said...

Nanobots - ooo, I'm going all weak at the knees.

 

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