The media and democracy

The media this week has provided a very good example of how we have “managed consent” in the UK.

The media – across the spectrum – has had article after article about Boris Johnson having broken the lockdown laws which his government had just made by having parties in Downing Street. It is a dramatic and salacious story. Of course it matters that the Prime Minister of the country is not a cynical liar who makes laws for the people and breaks them himself. But, ultimately, this is a story about one man. He can go and be replaced with another (or a woman). It will make no difference to policy.

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Anyone who knows anything about Britain’s local authorities will know that they are ruled by incompetence and cover-ups.

Cover-ups flow through their blood. The policy is relatively simple. They will lie and dissemble for as long as possible. If and when, and only ever as the result of absolutely determined and assiduous work by a member of the public, they are exposed in an unsustainable lie then – nothing happens. At most “lessons will be learned” and someone will be sent for re-training. (In how to be a better liar no doubt).

The same rule applies to the Inland Revenue.

This is case in point:

Official cover-up concerning death of a black man in police custody. The referenced WikiPedia article confirms the main facts. [1]

In a “dictatorship” or a “police state” you would not be able to ask the authorities questions. You would not be able to bring a civil case against the authorities. You would not be able to take your case to an international tribunal. The fact that in the UK people can do all these things is cited as evidence that we live in a “free” society. Indeed this “freedom” is flaunted and used as an excuse to justify invading and bombing the “police states” and “dictatorships”.

But what is the point of all this if at the end of the day it makes no difference?

The political and civil “freedom” people enjoy in the West is a carefully-crafted illusion. Power in the West has just learned that it is more effective to pretend that people have freedom while covertly denying it than to deny it outright and openly. In the West you can ask a question of authority. If the answer is inconvenient for them they will cover it up. If (rarely) the cover-up breaks down some platitudes will be issued about “lessons learned” and we will all move on. Power is more developed in the West than in “dictatorships” and “police states”.