Political coverage is never more trivial or evanescent than during an election. Where we might hope for enlightenment about the issues on which we will vote, we find gossip about the habits and style of political leaders, an obsession with statistically meaningless shifts in opinion polls and empty speculation about outcomes. (All this is now compounded by the birth of a royal baby, which means that our heads must simultaneously be dunked in a vat of sycophantic slobber.) Anyone would think that the media didn’t want us to understand the real choices confronting us.
I think Monbiot left out the trade treaties, mostly negotiated in secret and supported by all mainstream parties. Other than that, his list is stop on.
One of the topics that must also be added to his list is “Basic Income” (google it if you never heard of it). Not long ago The Guardian had a good article on it, and Huffingtonpost also had an excellent review of the concept sometime in 2014. It is a subject that mainstream politicians are likely to be thoroughly uninterested in, so we-the-people have to force it into the national conversation (and this is true regardless of what country you live in).
The Green Party are running a campaign offering the Basic Income. It’s in their manifesto. They also mention TTIP in the electoral debates. Their support is growing but it’s still small. Generally, their idea of a Basic Income is mocked by much of the Press, pundits on TV programmes and other politicians during debates.
I think the issues that are not discussed are brilliantly mentioned by Mr. Monbiot. American readers and Canadian readers can easily identify with the same absence of content across their own captured media channels.
I don’t think using Christian evangelicalism is a good example since like the military, it’s not difficult lining people up if all are taught to salute obedience and show rabid prejudice towards anyone who’s not part of “their tribe.” Patriarchal orders are hardly any recipe for progress or a way out of the world-systems that were built on their logic (in compliance with a lot of armed muscle to ensure conformity and obedience).
Sorry to say this but I was distincly underwhelmed by George’s essay. He used to be quite competent on his main field - environmental issues. But in his own list of issues left out in this oh-so- boring traincrash of an election campaign - he forgot to mention the very controversial fracking issue. Yet up and down the country there are a large number of local campaigns against fracking - from the South Coast to Scotland, from Wales to Humberside.and the North East. The Green Party’s leaflet didn’t mention fracking either. Why not?
Like those he criticized, Monbiot seems to be rather near-sighted, only aware of domestic issues. Yet the world - outside the UK and its oh-so parochial parliamentary pillow-fight - is one where thousands of refugees and others are desparate to escape intolerable and very frightening conditions, fleeing their shattered villages and towns and the terrors of war and ethnic cleansing (awful euphemism), so desparate that they are daily losing their lives, drowning as they try to cross the Mediterranean. And as the number of wars ongoing has grown and is growing, the British government’s foreign policy should surely have been challenged. That seat at the Security Council of the UN is a plaform and allows a British Prime Minister and his colleages to have some influence. Yet the only concern expressed about foreign affairs seems to be the purely negative one of “keep 'em out!” UKIP gets most of its support by pandering to this barely disguised racism.and appeals to the Little Englander’s inbuilt xenophobia and fear of all things foreign.
Sad to say, but Socialist views like mine are beyond the fringe. The mass media, including the paper that Monbiot writes for, make sure that most people never get to hear anything of the case for Socialism… Yet, for those who would like to see a world without class - the division between rach and poor, the haves and the have-nots - and without these perpetual wars: that is the only solution. That is really a matter of urgency.
Meeanwhile this crazy, anti-social, production for profit system continues to strip Mother Earth of increasingly scarce natural resources, and pollutes ad nauseam - it’s litter bugging on a giant scale!Let’s think abbout the sort of world wee want to leave for future generations - the present seems more like a living nightmare, a ghastly dystopia - but real!
Time for a hange surely?