The Judge RANTS!
Do you ever read something about our contemporary world which leads you to an immediate response of, "That's fucking stupid!"
So, we have a car, which of course took a fair bit of time, effort and part of the planet's diminishing resources to manufacture. Just over a decade old, with probably a good five to ten years more use in it.
And it gets destroyed. Deliberately, calculatingly, and by agents of the State.
And it didn't even belong to the miscreant himself, but to his mother.
And why was this done? Especially bearing in mind that the offender had already been hauled off to the jug for three months?
To 'send a message', that handy-dandy, go-to excuse for the vindictive, gloating over-reach of those in power.
We have been here before so many times in recent years, with the infamous cases of disproportionate sentences following the so-called 'riots' of August 2011 prominent amongst them. It's happening still, with another case this past week being a clear example of the way in which vengeance has become the Great British National Sport. There can be no reason other than crowd-pleasing viciousness for putting a weak-minded and impressionable teenager in prison until he is in at least his mid-thirties (and thereby ensuring that he can never have much of a life thereafter - hurrah for forward thinking!) for having actually done little more than being an impressionable groomed gull of extreme Islamists. The extreme Islamists themselves, of course, seem to - as the Americans say - skate.
(There was no actual need for the be-wigged poltroon in this case to specify that the youth had to serve two-thirds of the sentence before release rather than the standard one-half; he quite clearly did so because he could).
But it's to be found even more widely than this. Witness the sheer grit and determination on the part of the 'powers' - I refuse to call them 'authorities' for the reason outlined here (the first footnote) - to drag through the courts minor celebrities from a bygone age and other extremely elderly individuals and give them sentences of such severity that many of them will die in prison. Whilst, of course, being dilatory in the extreme - or even downright obstructive - with regards to bringing anyone to book for criminal acts of even greater severity committed by people who were rather better connected with the power structure, no doubt in the hope that - like Peter Morrison and Leon Brittan - the perpetrators and their enablers will have died before any action has to be taken.
(In this, it reminds me of the behaviour of the Wiesenthals of the world who will stop at nothing in their obsession in getting hold of men in their nineties, schlepping them halfway across the planet and putting them on trial for being minor functionaries of the Nazi régime - whilst seemingly having nothing to say about how far more senior (and therefore more culpable) figures from that horror were shamelessly fêted and utilised by The Great Democracies in the decades after the war; Tom Lehrer's famous serenade to Wernher von Braun is a key study text in this wise).
When you add into this mix of poisons such incidents as this, then it is impossible not to conclude that our 'society' - that which we were told there was no such thing as, remember? - has not merely gone to the damnation bow-wows, but that the pooches have long since got fed up of waiting and have gone off to do something more elevating instead, like sniffing each other's ring-pieces.
But then, this is what the last thirty-five years have all been about, isn't it? The ruling élites - having been terrified by the rise of equality and equity in the decades immediately after 1945 - set out with a will in the early seventies to reverse the progressive tide. And they knew that the very best way of doing that was to reconfigure the economic system to set neighbour against neighbour, community against community, knowing that the members of The Great British Public™ are never happier than when fighting against one another like rats in a sack, or having someone very definitely not 'their class' to kick against, especially if that means that nearly all parts of that Public can be hoodwinked, distracted and generally fucked-over by those who have set that programme in motion. That, as they say, was the bleeding point, wunnit?
Which is why we find ourselves where we are today: where tens of thousands - perhaps hundreds of thousands - of otherwise superficially sane people intend voting in a few weeks time for a party of xenophobic, homophobic, misogynist bigots who want to turn the clock back to the fifties - the eighteen-fifties, that is - on the grounds that said party is 'not one of the Establishment', seemingly oblivious to the hard fact that a party led by a privately-educated ex-City wide boy and populated with the offcuts that not even the Monday Club wanted around is in its very essence part of that self-same Establishment; where over a million people sign a petition to re-instate The Nation's Greatest Living Boor after an alleged 'incident' which would have left Der Clarkson out of a job immediately had he not been the pin-up boy for reactionaries everywhere; and where the people of Scotland's reward for giving the abusive spouse of The Union (by appointment to god, Rupert and any passing Saudi prince) one last chance is to find themselves sneered at, cordially insulted and subjected to abuse by those glorified cab-drivers called 'columnists' in terms which would never pass into print in any London-based media outlet today were it to be aimed at any other nation.
And this prospect - and this prospect alone - is what faces us. Those within the 'mainstream' (that is to say, 'what is permitted to be expressed in official media') who self-identify as 'progressive' without apparently being aware of the existence of something called 'irony' have sold the pass to a mélange of regressives, be they political or religious, and are of no further use to us except as warnings, and so complacent, complaisant Reaction is the only game in town. For the relationships between political, judicial, mercantile and media power are incestuous to such a near-Appalachian degree (the more fingers they have, the more pies they can stick them in), that nothing less than an invasion is likely to change things for the better. And there's absolutely no guarantee that any such change would be for the better, for nothing is more proficient at protecting itself than the Establishment, and nothing more effective at removing an existing Establishment than another, incipient, Establishment.
And so, whatever happens on May 7, the only truth likely to emerge from it was enunciated nearly fifty years ago by that great political thinker Pete Townshend:
"Meet the new boss; same as the old boss"