Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Will the centre hold? Will the right rule? Tim Veater. [-] Tim Veater

Will the centre hold? Will the right rule?
To state that we are living in momentous times, with some very strange events
taking place around the world, would probably win the prize for the least
controversial “Observation of the Century Award”.
Those of us with absolutely no power to influence what is happening, can only
look on amazed at the stupidity of the human race and the duplicity and
mendacity of those in government or elsewhere who do have it.
Meanwhile in the best traditions of “the pen is mightier than sword”, all we can
do is use the power of words to highlight and question – an honourable objective
to which this site is dedicated.
Britain has a long developmental history, in which for a brief period during the
19th Century it achieved a global hegemony quite out of proportion to either its
population or land mass.
That era, not even able to maintain a domestic unity, is unquestionably come to
an end, although the trappings of power are retained. Effectively the only power
is now one of influence based on reason and morality. In the absence of these,
what remains?
Two 19th Century World Wars effectively bankrupted the nation and ensured its
global role would be replaced by the United States of America. It also ensured
that financially, technologically and militarily for the remainder of the
century Britain would be in hock to America. Suez in 1956 was the final proof
that the baton had been passed.
The Second Elizabethan Age has been one of economic, political, military and
some might say moral decline. The national debt has never been greater,
industrial output lower, the balance of payments higher, reputations of
institutions at a lower ebb. Links with the historic empire have never been
weaker, to the point of breakdown and irrelevance, whilst sovereignty has been
undermined and exported to the essentially bureaucratic and unrepresentative
European Union. Meanwhile Scotland is on the brink of departure.
You don’t have to be a Schama or Starkey to realise British crises have occurred
at least once every century. The accession of the Tudors; the Spanish Armada;
the Glorious Revolution; the loss of America and defeat of Napoleon; the First
World War all are critical points of change and development. The Second World
was both zenith and nadir in British evolution from which we find it impossible
to escape or recover.
As a result of these changes, America for at least the last sixty plus years has
assumed the mantle of the most powerful nation in the world. Now even this
ostensibly unassailable position is being challenged by principally a resurgent
China, with the support of Russia and the so called BRIC countries. Never has
America been so indebted and economically vulnerable, ironically to the very
power it sees as its primary competitor.
Nor has its moral position ever been so subject to profound question as a result
of the shameful acts of 9/11, subsequent cover-up and the incorrigible actions
flowing from it. America has in recent history been responsible for some
horrendous and inexcusable actions, but in the “annals of infamy” it is doubtful
the 9/11 conspiracy will ever be exceeded.
It is these “political/economic plate tectonics” that provide the context for
the extraordinary events that have taken place in the last fifteen years or so,
which have had the effect of undermining any claim to western moral superiority.
There can be no moral comparison between fraudulent shocking videos purporting
to represent men being murdered and literally hundreds of thousands killed by
western military action. At the very least western governments stand accused of
blatant manipulation of the truth in support of its questionable policy
Sadly the role of Britain has been supine and shameful. A leading elite has
sacrificed an ethical position for temporary and illusionary baubles of wealth,
fame and adulation. It has colluded in illegal acts and been party to high
crimes and misdemeanors. At the very least it has helped to perpetuate an
explanation of 9/11 that it must have known was a lie and supported the illegal
wars predicated on them. This deeply reprehensible position of support for the
US government come what may, can be explained by the dependent relationship, but
cannot be excused. It may even lead to total global disaster.
It is epitomised by our government’s position as regards the Middle East; the
emergence of Al Qaeda and now ISIS; occupying Afghanistan and Iraq and other
conflicts; Gaza; the disappearance of MH370 and downing of MH17; plans to bomb
Syria; supporting Israel; arming Ukraine. In Shakespearean terms it is a Comedy
of Errors except it is devoid of humour. In short Britain is guilty of saying “I
concur” to everything the US opines, even if blatantly flawed.
Both domestically and internationally, the US and Britain with it, have proved
they are morally bankrupt whilst claiming other quite the opposite. It is
difficult to see how they can effectively extricate themselves from the errors
of the past. Obama promised to do so but has been defeated by the power of the
paradigm and deception.
British governments have decimated all the main levers of economic power. Having
closed coal-mining; not replaced nuclear; losing “Scottish” oil and gas; the
City dependant on “dirty” money, Chinese and French technology; sold off to
foreigners essential utilities and state assets; negating Parliament’s
sovereignty to a corporate European entity without the people’s approval.
It is hard to see “Great Britain” as other than an hollowed out entity, unable
to guarantee its own security or cohesion. I am reminded of William Butler Yates
poem “the Second Coming” in which he famously says, “Things fall apart; the
centre cannot hold.”
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”
Perhaps it is yet not too late to implement the meaning of “Dieu et mon droit “
– not merely the right to govern but the divine imperative to govern right by
admitting to the mistakes of the past and resolving to change its ways.

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