The Judge RANTS!
This Was The Plan All Along
I have often had cause to remark - because it is something which should be obvious to anyone capable of some independence of thought and a degree of reflection - that what those with power over us, be they political catamites, corporate deceivers or client hacks, want us to know (or think we know) is either not the full story or not even reality itself.
It follows, therefore, that what is left out of a story in the blats or on your television screens (provided by celebrity 'presenters' of the sort so memorably and accurately described by the late Dennis Potter as "glorified bus conductors") may often be more significant than what is included; that the omissions may be more revealing than the actual contents; and that what one might reasonably consider to be relevant may be eschewed altogether.
(I've linked to the archived version in case the apparatchiki in the King's Kross Kremlin decide to change it.)(*)
It's a harrowing tale by any definition of the word, but one thing about it other than the story itself leapt out at me (because that's the way my mind works). Although Patrick Butler has provided quotes from the unfortunate child's parents, from Scope, from the hospice where he is having to stay, from the chief executive of the umbrella organisations for such refuges and from the health board for the area, there was one absence amongst the views sought which I found baffling viewed at face value.
If this had been a story of a similar situation in England or Scotland, then Butler would almost certainly have sought a statement or reaction from the relevant government minister or ministry; anything to embarrass the Tories or the SNP. But the health service in Cymru is run by the British Nationalist Labour Party which has, in the twenty-odd years it has been continuously in power, reduced the whole NHS to a catastrophic shambles; the GP service has collapsed in most areas, the hospitals are more actively dangerous to patients and staff alike than your average church hall, and the management comprises in roughly equal parts incompetents given their positions by dint of chumminess with the Party and bullying and vindictive sociopaths.
I strongly suspect that it was reluctance to make the culpability of the Wales Branch of the Party evident that no comment was requested of Milady Baroness Eluned Morgan of Ely or her department. For the Wales Branch is far more in the Blairite-Starmerite mould than its adherents would wish to recognise, and given that the Guardian is now ramping up its campaign of puff pieces for the Great Forensic Moderate (thus finally ensuring that the spectrum of acceptible opinion in the London press - and thereby at the BBC - runs all the way from Der Stürmer to Dear Starmer), they would not wish even to hint at the attestable fact that, in the one element of the self-identified 'United Kingdom' where it has governed at any time since 2011, it has shown itself to be utterly incapable of protecting or running health services. Or, indeed, much else. It would give too much away about the likely consequences for the NHS - and public services in general - should the natural heirs of Lord Mandelbrot the Infinitely Recurring (© Philip Challinor) take control in London. And if even the more perceptive tend strongly only to believe what someone has told them, rather than trying to find out for themselves from a variety of sources, then that deception will succeed.
Because it always has.
Which is why we are where we are now.
A remarkably under-reported element of the process of destroying the public realm which has been in full force for over forty years now has been how the gradual dismantling of all that we genuinely valued was a deliberate policy rather than a result of short-term incompetence or of attention-seeking behaviour by politicians desperate to stay on the right side of tax-dodging psychopathic newspaper proprietors and their eager hyenas. Although so much has been made in the same period of the alleged attempts by the 'far left' (i.e., Northern European-style social democrats) to take over the Labour Party, almost nothing has been said about the actual seizure of the Conservative Party by ideological extremists fuelled by sociopathic zeal. The conquest of the Tories by these fanatics - fuelled by a combination of Randian Social Darwinism and quack economics - took place in 1975 with the election of Margaret Thatcher, and by 1983 had been consolidated into a movement of True Believers which would brook no opposition, internal or external. As far back as 1977, the odious and odiferous Nicholas Ridley was writing foam-flecked memos setting out the process by which the NHS - and other public goods - could be undermined to the point where their increasing incapability would persuade the Great British Public™ (or, at least, a sufficiently large proportion of it which votes) that only the taking over of such elements of the economy by the dynamic, thrusting private sector - where those services and industries were not to be destroyed outright - would solve all problems.
Despite the obviousness of the plan of attack - obvious at the time, not merely in convenient and self-absolving retrospect now - it has been paid little attention even in those parts of the news media which pride themselves on their analytical prowess.
Which is why this piece (again, this is the archived version, for the same reasons as before (*)) by Phil McDuff in today's abuindependentski is such a pleasant surprise.
(One is tempted to say, "Lead on, McDuff!" at this point, but it would be terribly Senior Common Room of me to do so, and in any case that's not what Shakespeare wrote anyway.)
Where he is even more spot on than in his general point is where he states that, "Propaganda doesn't work instantly". It needs years - perhaps decades on the really big issues - of persistent messaging and massaging to produce the desired result. The Right know this, have known it for over half a century, and - along with their control of the means of seduction via State and corporate media - had the means of bringing it about. Their success was also due in no small measure to the trembling cowardice of what - if only in its own mind - is regarded as 'the Left' in either failing to put up any resistance to the process worthy of the name, or in 'triangulating' towards it, preferring to cozy up to the prejudices of the terminally misled rather than seeking to lead them out of their ignorance.
(Which of course brings us back to the Guardian's extraordinary omission as described at the beginning of this piece.)
The Right - rather than indulging in the fissiparousness of factional and ideological purity which has damned all progressive movements to ultimate failure since the dawn of time - have always had that near-military sense of regimented, united purpose. They have always had their eyes on the prize and kept their eyes on it, whether it be the destruction of public services, the eradicating of women's reproductive rights or the grabbing of the whole world's mineral resources for the benefit of its political, military and corporate empires. They also know that the rock-face of the Left has so many cracks and crevices in it that it is easy to insert a piton or two of identity politics to distract the comrades or - in their best case scenarios - set them at each other's throats.
It works every time. Which is why they keep on doing it.
Which - to reiterate - is why we are where we are now.
Update: I realised last night when trying to access these links on my phone that my provider has a block on the Wayback Machine, one which I could only remove if I gave them details of my credit card...the one I don't have anymore. If my provider is doing that, chances are yours is as well, which is a proper pest. In which case, the Guardian piece is here, and the indy one here.