Our Crack Snapper
One morning in September when slapped by the latest ‘news’ about Trump, Brexit and speculation about the next Premier League manager for the chop (add name as appropriate) I wondered whether this supposed news and comment was essentially meaningless and offered by various news outlets to induce feelings of depression - proffered up as the kind of thing we could get angry and preoccupied by but do nothing about. A form of bread and circuses, especially in a week when three men were jailed for peacefully protesting about fracking.
As reported in The Guardian (6October 2018): “They were charged after taking part in a four-day protest that blocked a convoy of lorries carrying drilling equipment from entering the Preston New Road fracking site near Blackpool.” When they were finally sentenced the judge, one assumes working with the full backing of the British Government (and secret state), said that they were likely to re-offend and sentenced them to jail for periods of fifteen to sixteen months. A senior consultant who works for the law firm, Bindmans, who has represented Greenpeace for more than twenty years said the sentences were “excessive and extraordinary.”
I can hear some of you saying, we’ve been here before, where normal citizens have decided to question and protest and have suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of what this country has decided is right. When that decision has been made the results are quite often terrifying, and made more terrifying when one learnt a week after the sentences dished out above, that MI5 agents are, in Alex Thomson’s words, “authorised to commit serious crimes on British soil without informing prosecutors” – a policy which had been in place since the early 1990s and operated without any oversight until 2012. The courts, government, establishment, police, secret state on one side, us mugs on the other protesting against wars, government incompetence, establishment cover ups, fracking, etc.
But it’s okay – we’re free. Free to consume and buy, free to exercise our democratic right until the government of the day decides that our democratic rights need limiting based on the current political situation.
Which is why Brexit has been very useful. You can practically feel democracy creaking under the weight of the Brexit negotiations. Under threat: the NHS as originally conceived; freedom of movement; council funding; food standards; peaceful protest; environmental standards. Cynically you could see Brexit as the Tory Party doing what they always do but attaching blame to those pesky Europeans rather than the Mosleyites and Lord Haw Haws in their own party who would have welcomed Adolf Hitler into this country during World War Two. The kind of nasty party gauleiters who love Europe but only in their own perverted and very circumscribed way.
Still, when fracking leads to earth tremors and eventually the kind of earthquakes not seen in England in modern times, at least Europe can be blamed, as, I suspect, it will be for just about everything else post Brexit.