I wasn’t going to blog anything today, because I’ve got packing to do and have to take the dug to stay with friends in Glenboig before I go away first thing tomorrow morning. But the fact that we live in a country where not only is it deemed acceptable for a politician to lie to the electorate, but that same politician plays hard done by for being called out for his lies. It’s not the betrayed who are the wronged, it’s the betrayer. It’s not the deceived who are the victims, it’s the deceiver. It’s not the cheated who are the casualties, it’s the cheater. British democracy lies bruised and bleeding, kicked in the teeth by elected politicians who cry like weans when the punters dare to want to hold them to account. Don’t get above your station little people, here are some shiny lies.
Alistair Carmichael is a liar. There’s no dispute about that fact. Alistair Carmichael lied to the public about an untrue smear in order to secure his own election and that of his sorry fellow travellers. But because he didn’t tell a lie about another individual candidate then it was ruled that in law his lie is acceptable. Alistair Carmichael may be crowing in the press about how he was cleared, but he wasn’t cleared of lying, he wasn’t cleared of misleading the electorate, he wasn’t cleared of deception. What we discovered today is that in Britain we have no defence against the mendacity of politicians, that sophistry counts for more than truth. Alistair Carmichael lied in order to keep his job, he deceived us all in order to be able to influence our laws and to continue to tell us what to do. We’re being bossed about by a liar, we’re being told what to do by a man who cheated and lied his way to the moral high ground. That’s just fine with our political masters, that’s just fine with our unionist media.
And what’s worst of all is that we’re disgusted, we’re appalled, we’re repulsed. But we’re not surprised. We live in the UK where being a member of the establishment means getting a free pass, a free expense account, a job for life, and never ever being held to account. Don’t imagine you can insist on higher standards for those who set themselves above you. We’re just the peasants and the punters who must show respect. Tug your forelock and go and watch Strictly. The message from above is that there is nothing you or I can do to change anything. Accept your lot, accept the lies, accept the deceit. Truth and honesty is only demanded of the poor and powerless. This is the UK, where the marginalised march to the foodbanks but we feast on a diet of lies and the road to ruin is illuminated by Alistair Carmichael and his amazing incendiary underpants.
This is a country where it’s not wrong for politicians to lie. It’s not wrong for journalists to mislead. It’s not wrong for the establishment to deceive. It’s only wrong when ordinary people demand that the powerful be held to the standards that the powerful rule for the rest of us. Then it’s bullying, then it’s abuse when ordinary people from Orkney have the audacity to demand that their political representatives abide by the same standards of common decency that the rest of us are obliged to uphold. And that’s what provokes the outrage of the powerful, not the lies or the deceit, but the nerve of the little people who think big.
This is Britain where the only dreams you’re allowed are dreams of lottery wins or celebrity game shows. This is Britain where the best you can hope for is a lower interest rate on the loans and debt that will burden you throughout your life. This is Britain where the rich buy indulgences for their sins from a pre-Reformation media and the poor are visited by the inquisition. Poor Alistair, his pants light up our lives and we have the cheek to complain.
It wasn’t just Alistair Carmichael whose career was under scrutiny during this court case. It was the entire British political class. Carmichael’s survival was no vindication, no proof of moral rectitude, no certificate of robust health. It is proof that the rules are pauchled, that the gemme is a bogey, that the playing field is skewed. The judges ruled that he did lie in order to affect the outcome of the election in Orkney and Shetland, Carmichael and the British establishment escaped the consequences only because that same establishment has drawn the rules so narrowly. It’s not a vindication of Carmichael, it’s not a vindication of the law. It’s proof that we live in a corrupt and rotten system which has not got the slightest intention of ever reforming itself. There is no light at the end on the tunnel. It’s just Alistair’s underpants.
In the land of the lie the truth is dangerous. In the land of deceit honesty is a crime. It must be clear by now to even the most obtuse that the United Kingdom is incapable of change. The safer faster change promised by Gordie Broon during the independence referendum was a lie just like Carmichael’s lies. The respect that was promised by David Cameron was a lie just like Carmichael’s lies. The most devolved parliament in the world that they told us we’d get if we voted no was a lie, just like Carmichael’s lies. Britain lies in the gutter, but we’re not looking at the stars. All we see is the twinkling fire of a hundred thousand underpants.
There is no hope that things will ever be any different in Britain, no chance of change. The only way out is to leave this bankrupt state and start afresh. We face nothing but anger and disappointment, insults and offence until we leave the land that belongs to the incendiary underpants and go live in a Scotland that belongs to its people.
The brave Orkney Four deserve our support. They now face the cost of the legal action for daring to believe that Carmichael should be held to the standards of common decency and truth. Donate generously.
I’m off for a few days visiting first thing on Thursday morning, so there will be no updates to the blog until Wednesday of next week.
BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE Barking Up the Right Tree has now been published and is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper. You can submit an advance order for the book on the Vagabond Voices website at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993
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