As I was pondering this conundrum last week the answer came to me via the armchair drone of Andrew Rawnsley. On a mid-week radio filler programme the topic was the abuse if migrants in Middlesbrough where the landlord (a subsidiary of G4S) had painted their doors a nice stand-out, uniform red.
Rawnsley stated with bizarre conviction that it was not the case that the landlord had deliberately made targets of these tenants. He was so sure. The only thing that mystified him, he said, was why they re-painted a white door red. Why was he so sure? Ironically it’s a conviction rooted in the most basic kind of one-dimensional ignorance. He has never been/will never be in that position, cannot conceive of being at the mercy of such an intolerable situation, has never been so powerless and cannot make the socio-cultural leap to put himself there.
Is the expensively educated Rawnsley unaware that if an action so obviously leads to injury as to be entirely foreseeable, the law treats it as intentional? The landlord knew beyond a shadow of a doubt the effect of their red door policy (it had been reported to them from numerous sources). Neither is it in dispute that they altered that policy only when the problem was brought to public attention by journalists.
It really is obvious why things keep getting so wrong. But even with the wealth of information at our fingertips and the obvious lessons from history (if we read history without an agenda) it keeps going pear shaped. From the economy to the pointless wars, to the constant mix ups over whether we are friends or enemies with Sadam / Assad / Putin yada yada yada. China is the new economic power house – oops no it isn’t.
The ruling elite are homogeneous, we know that, but they are also now more removed from everyday life than at almost any time in modern history. In the brief socially fluid era after WWII and before Thatcher there was a time when Tim bright-but-dim was counterbalanced by Trevor-poor-but-clever. Somehow Tim and his pals put a stop to Trevor (Leroy [see blog 117] and Lucy never had much of a look in). Add one more ingredient to the mix, which is the speed at which the world now turns due to technology, and there has never been a more unfortunate time to be ruled by entrenched privilege rather than merit.
The level of control is exquisite. It wasn’t long after greedy (predominantly PWM) bankers wrecked the global economy that somehow it became a bit distasteful even to refer to that little hiccup. Ill-mannered types who continued to ask why so few money men were ever brought to justice were told to stop ‘bashing the bankers’. Here here – jolly poor show etc.
Yes, the reason Privileged White Men keep on keeping getting it wrong is because they are Privileged White Men. Their rarefied upbringings and the fact that they only give credence to other people like them means that when the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes ( and he’s been naked for quite a while now) there is no one with clout to point it out. (See archive blog 21. Save the Emperor’s Genitals).
What is less easy to explain is why the rest of us – the majority – keep letting them piss on our lives.
This is the breed that employed members of the police to have sex with left wing women. Sure, tofu eating lefties who believe in natural child birth are possibly a threat to the planet but you know what – they don’t make a big secret of what they do or think. So these guys living out sordid 007 fantasies at tax payers’ expense really could have been doing something more useful.
Who kicked off the illegal invasion of Iraq? Oh yeah – two really privileged white men (something else we aren’t really supposed to talk about much. Chilcot anyone?).
Who gives contracts to G4S and BT and other incompetents? Oh yeah – a government/administration of predominantly PWM.
Who decided we could bail out bankers with public money but not protect the steel industry? Same. Why? Because bankers are like them and steel workers are not.
Which bright spark introduced early draw down pension laws BEFORE sufficient safeguards were in place? Oh yeah – Osborne. A privileged white man. Someone who will never be reliant on a modest company pension. And so on and so forth.
Come on people
Time to grow up
Blog 35. Eton Mess, Pudding or state of the nation?
Blog 97. Viagra, Yes – effective cure for Malaria, No!