The penalty of inattention

I do find it kind of depressing that while everything good this country has ever stood for is being dismantled in the twin names of ‘modernisation‘ and ‘terrorism‘ that so many politicians and political activists, as well as the vast bulk of the general public are still obsessed with the small change of political life. It’s like people living in a house by the sea arguing over the right colour for the paintwork and the pattern on the wallpaper while the sea has undermined the cliff on which the house stands*.

I know these smaller issues are important, especially to the individuals involved, but by their concentrating on those sorts of issues the government is being given a free ride with yet more illiberal legislation. It’s the other side of spin really. The shiny side is where stuff which isn’t new, or hasn’t achieved what was intended is ‘bigged up’ to be much more than it really is; the dark side is where bad, ill-thought-out, illiberal measure are presented as if they were just some dull administrative correction or actually a liberalisation.

Well ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’ (as Jefferson probably didn’t say – it was Wendell Phillips apparently). Hell, at the moment I’d settle for a couple of weeks vigilance.

*Note how I cunningly avoided mentioning ‘re-arranging the deckchairs on the Ttanic’.

I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
James Madison, speech, Virginia Convention, 1788

Comments are closed.

Bad Behavior has blocked 8 access attempts in the last 7 days.