I have decided that we in England live in a Nanny State.
Nanny State Definition
patronizing government: a government that brings in legislation that it considers is in the people’s best interests but that is regarded by some as interfering and patronizing
(From http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_561505575/nanny_state.html, Last Accessed: 28th November 09)
I say England because I am aware that Scotland and Wales have their own parliment and I can’t really comment as I have only lived in England.
I’ve thought this for a while, but it’s become more apparent to me after digesting the recent Queen’s Speech a few weeks ago. The government decides what is acceptable and not acceptable in society by legislation, which is ever increasing. This legislation is usually around capitalism and helping capitalists make money.
If we look at the Banks as a recent example following the capitalism model. They’ve become vast money-making machines making billions of pounds doing dodgy deals. When they messed up, individual bankers who’ve made millions of pounds in bonuses aren’t bothered. They simply came cap-in-hand to government, knowing they’d have to bail them out. And somehow they’ve got away with it, how did that happen? If you or I as individuals had messed up our own finances, would the government of bailed us out? Probably not, we’ve have had to go to court and potentially prision.
While we are on this topic – does anybody remember bailing out National Rail a few years back? The private train companies had been making millions of pounds in profit and then all of a sudden didn’t have the money to pay for maintance to the rail network. We the tax payers bailed them out too, but I’ve never heard that they paid any of the money back? But I have heard that they are making millions of pounds of profit again recently in the news. Everybody just seems to have forgotton about that.
The common denominator seems to be that the few people in power politicians (who usually have stakes in big businesses, if not own them) can bend, change or ignore legislation to suit them. Giving them the power to do what they like with no accountability. Indeed they’ve set up systems and processes that work for them. The regularatory bodies (such as the Financial Services Authority for banks) have no power. And in the political system in order for an MP to advance their career they have to vote for legislation that may not be in the best interests of the people they supposedly work for (the tax payer). They have these “chief whips” people who state that they will let MP’s sit on certain committee’s (to advance their carrer) if they vote for certain legislation. These systems and processes need to be changed, but this isn’t going to happen when it suits the capitalists and the pro nanny state politicans.
All these systems and processes seem to disempower the average person from making a difference and making changes for the better to their local community. They also seem to have created a culture of as long as I’m ok. The legislation also helps to supress freedom of speech and our option to voice our honest thoughts about things. We are less likely than ever to stand up and say: Hey I think that’s wrong.
Of course we can’t blame it all on the government and legislation. The mainstream media plays it’s part too. Always negative and with it’s own slant. How come we never see anything positive in the media? Is it perhaps another way of trying to control or suppress expression of our opinions? Over the last few years several people have been branded racists, homophobic, etc. for using a politically incorrect term. I often feel sorry for these people. Usually they have used the wrong words to make their point (a thing we can all be guilty of at times?), but their intention was not in anyway to be racist, homophobic, etc. Surely we need to look at their intention rather than the word they have used that might of offended a minority?
In summary two phrases come to mind:
“Devide and Conquer” and “Power to the few”
Is it just me who feels this way? Perhaps if we all get together we can make a positive change?