British society has been warped for a very long time by an ‘establishment’ system that is legitimised by institutions shaped to protect the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the privileged few. Money has corrupted Britain’s political system and more recently completely corrupted democracy itself.
This much we have seen with the 2016 EU referendum and the emergence of the scandal involving the likes of; Cambridge Analytica/Facebook/Vote Leave/LeaveEU/Arron Banks et al – who have proven that democracy is to be decided by the highest bidder, not the democratic will of the electorate.
In truth, power only works if the same institutions that support the established mechanisms of the status quo are working in some degree of harmony. Corporations are the source of money that drives just half a dozen media barons to shape the political narrative, that politicians then legislate for and law enforcement administers.
Take fracking for one simple example. The electorate of Britain is fundamentally against fracking. To be precise 84 per cent of the electorate would ban fracking.
Britain’s wealthiest individual Jim Ratcliffe, the owner of INEOS was caught lobbying the Chancellor to push his preferred policies. He was given, according to an Independent report, much more access to the Chancellor of the Exchequer than trade unions get.
Ratcliffe has lobbied against Britain’s tax system and is an ardent supporter of Brexit. In 2017, documents released by Friends of the Earth found Ineos had been lobbying the government.
The government over-ruled local authorities and the wishes of local people to allow fracking. It then created licences and had the police arrest local people protesting – who were only trying to save their communities from the known damage that fracking causes.
Last summer, fracking protestors then found out after their police arrests, to expect jail sentences – the first time non-violent protestors have been threatened with imprisonment since 1926. It was a public outcry that changed the course of that judgement. Additionally, the judge in that case also found to have had a conflict of interest by being connected to the profits of the fracking industry.
It should also be noted that 15 people went to court facing terrorism charges for a peaceful protest that grounded a chartered deportation flight recently – again a serious escalation of the law for political purposes.
For all that – Ratcliffe was Knighted by the Queen last summer and has since moved to Monaco to halt payments of due tax to the country from which he extracts his wealth.
That is how power works.
Two other people, well known for their views on how power works, whether you like them or not, make very good points.
Owen Jones – commenting on how the establishment and power works:
Today’s establishment is made up – as it has always been – of powerful groups that need to protect their position in a democracy in which almost the entire adult population has the right to vote. The establishment represents an attempt on behalf of these groups to “manage” democracy, to make sure that it does not threaten their own interests. In this respect, it might be seen as a firewall that insulates them from the wider population. As the well-connected rightwing blogger and columnist Paul Staines puts it approvingly: “We’ve had nearly a century of universal suffrage now, and what happens is capital finds ways to protect itself from, you know, the voters.”
Jonathan Cook – commenting on how power works:
What the left wants to talk about:
How we change our societies to make them fairer, more transparent and more caring.
How we tackle impending climate catastrophe through some kind of Green New Deal.
How we conduct a truly ethical foreign policy that doesn’t give powerful western states the right to invade weaker states, or steal their resources.
How we end the influence of the military-industrial complex in fuelling endless wars in which millions are killed or made homeless.
What the left ends up talking about:
Whether the UK’s Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn is a secret anti-semite.
Whether Julian Assange of Wikileaks is a rapist or a bail fugitive.
Whether Bernie Sanders is a misogynist.
Whether Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro is an evil dictator trying to starve his people to keep himself in power.
Whether Vladimir Putin of Russia is a fiendish puppet-master controlling the west.
That is how power works. These simple examples only demonstrate that Britain needs not just a new political party but it needs to completely overhaul its entire political system to allow the country to thrive in a fast-changing 21st Century.
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