Word-siphoning

Posted on October 14, 2011

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Today marks the 29th day of writing this blog.  Not every day has gone smoothly and there have been some days where writing has been like siphoning water through a very long and thin tube – lots of effort to suck the first taste out, but then once flowing, it doesnt stop until the blog is complete.  If I’m honest, tonight is one of those nights.  But hey!  It’s Friday.  A new washing machine has arrived and the mound of clothing that has been gradually building can finally be submitted to automated magic. Sometimes the mundanity of life is just beautiful!

Yesterday, I suggested that the Press in Britain might have been in some way sitting on the stories of protesters around the globe who are joining in the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  Well, today it seems they could no longer ignore it, particularly as demonstrators began arriving in central London with their tents, ready for a similar sit-in.  Still, a casual audit of the BBC website and the Guardian Newspaper website this morning revealed scant coverage of the growing protest movement over the past two weeks, nor any reference to its international connectedness.  One suspects a D Notice has been issued or at least considerable pressure brought to bear….

The British Govenment today also learnt a lesson.  With most Tory Ministers having gone to very posh private schools, the art of a good apology is well known to most.  Yet today Liam Fox the now former Defence Minister discovered that just saying sorry, however politely, does not always get you want you want.  Especially when what you are saying sorry for is giving a close friend unparralelled access to Government business.  The implication is that Liam’s mate was profiting from passing himself off as an advisor to his good friend Liam, when in fact he was nothing of the sort.  In fact, he was running his own defence consultancy business and was using his privelaged position by the Minister’s side to plunder government contacts in the Defence industry for his own purposes.

The underlying lesson though, that access to wealth, power and privelege is not simply something that can be commanded, but is occasionally, if only occassionally, subject to scrutiny.  The last six months has shown that those who have been comfortable with wielding power of this nature are coming in for a good deal of scrutiny.  Who would have thought that a significant piece in Rupert Murdoch’s empire would be the cost of a necrotic practice of phone hacking?  Now we see the Government cannot just say sorry for buying yet more access for rich mates.  What next?  We shall have to see what the next few days and weeks brings, but one thing is for sure: if the British public are expected to mend and make do, it wont be long before they enforce similar standards on their political masters.

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