I'm not going to carry out an analysis of the causes or implications of the latest Global Financial Crisis to hit. Don'tcha hate that when people who know eff all about eff all writing as if they are experts and have done some research?
I'm inclined to conclude that we're all doomed. But we were all doomed previously. And the easy availability of cheap credit was just a smokescreen to delude us that we're not doomed.
Coming so swiftly after the tidal wave of revelations and resignations from News International, it only serves to confirm what I knew instinctively as a young activist but conveniently forgot in the years of comfort - democracy is an illusion.
We go through the motions of participatory and representative democracy, discussing subjects that matter enormously to people's lives locally and internationally. But now we know, what we really should have known all along - the power lies with the unelected unaccountable elites, such as Murdoch and other press owners, who themselves are only following the dictates of 'the markets'
The supine state of some parts of the news media is just depressing. I ignore ITV news, and regard Sky News as unreliable, even though it has moments of brilliance. Channel 4 News seems consistently ahead of the curve with good, deep and reflective coverage of these stories, and more. For example they have sent a British-Somalian journalist into a remote region controlled by Al Shabaab, whereas the BBC had a white public-school-educated reporter based in Mogadishu reduced to interviewing African Union peacekeepers.
Al Jazeera was the station of choice for the Arab Spring and for the Japanese Tsunami. The BBC's main Japanese correspondent (presumably appointed on account of having achieved being the son of a long-standing BBC newsreader) was clearly unable to speak Japanese and had to interview UK and US expats barely affected or reporting what AFP were reporting NHK were saying. Al Jazeera are said to have more reporters in Latin America than BBC and CNN combined, many of them from or connected to the countries they report upon.
Nothing in the main BBC news coverage of the Global Financial Crisis is designed to shed any light. Newsnight would be worth watching except that the reliable and thought-provoking Paul Mason is currently on holiday. So, the other night, in place of reasoned debate, we had a rude shouty American from deep within Wall Street effectively trying to argue that all of civil society should kow-tow to the infinite greed of 'the markets'.
Yet again the stock markets have caused calamity, and the BBC reports on them with the same unquestioning deference as they report on the Royal Family and the Church of England. Seen as supreme and benign, no suggestion that there could be an alternative, or that these are inimical to the decent lives that most ordinary people want to live.
I will never be a revolutionary socialist because I do actually support capitalism, if capitalism be the trading of goods and services for profit. And I suspect that most people would prefer to hang onto the little they still have rather than risk losing everything, even if it means long-term gain for their descendants. I hate the huge parasitical bottom-feeding panoply that has grown up around trade, most of all the banks, hedge funds etc that have become the tail that wags the dog. 'Buying shares' is seen as 'investing'. Constantly trading shares in one big gambling game is seen as 'adding value'. Neither is true. (And yes, I do understand that the big investors are pension funds and insurance companies, and how that flows back to ordinary individuals).
Most people, when they give it some thought, have at least some attachment to and belief in democracy, some kind of sense that ultimately the will of the people will prevail, even when they appear to have evidence of the opposite occurring in certain cases. Even though it came as no surprise to me, I still found it shocking to learn how so many politicians of all political parties were so submissive to Murdoch. And now we are being told that entire democratic structures should be dismantled in order to pacify 'the markets'.
The cost of borrowing for the US government, and thus the cost of providing government services will increase, because some unelected, unaccountable, set of commentators, called Standard & Poor have decreed that the US Government is a bad risk to lend to. Their opinion, their judgement, the consequences of which I can only guess. They are effectively dictating to a Government elected on broadly democratic principles, and, almost on a whim, dictating the course of human history for perhaps the next fifty years.
There are some complex philosophical points that I don't pretend to understand, but I am angry that the mainstream news is reporting this as if it's the betting for the Grand National or something as much beyond human understanding as the latest tweet from CERN
Thanks to recent fine tuning, the LHC has delivered 2 inverse femtobarns of data already this year; peak luminosity is now over 2x10^33.
I don't know what the answer is, I certainly don't think taking to the streets in public show of impotence will help. But I would like the publicly funded BBC main TV news service, for once in their miserable lives, to remember it's the public who actually pays their salaries, and stop singing the tune of the Murdochs and others who have demonstrably bribed them into compliance.