Having read the very many blogs by such as The Penguin, Guthrum, Corrugated Soundbite, Ranty (in no particular order and with many missing), and commented on same, it occurred to me that it could (probably) do no harm to knock up some sort of blogrant myself. It would certainly upset the "journalist" who thinks that he has the monopoly on blogs, because he's properly trained and won't upset anyone, so that's a bonus.
I would relish comments. I would particularly relish comments by anyone who thinks that the way forward for "society" is more control or legislation.
Here are my thoughts for today.
A certain B. Bragg has said that he is fed up with the Bank Bonuses and therefore, if nothing is done by Jan 31 2010, will withhold his taxes.
Well done, Billy. I don't agree with most of what you say, especially the limit of £25K, but what I do agree with is the degree of pressure you're willing to apply. I suspect when it comes to the crunch you won't be prepared to go to jail (which is the prescribed penalty for refusing to pay), but at least you're making a stand.
I heard some blithering idiot on the radio yesterday who called in to say that he disagreed with the Bank Bonuses too, but that what Billy was offering was against the law. And that would never do.
There's the rub. We live in a free country [falls about laughing] and we have the tools to put forward our views, those views to which we are entitled.
Here are the ways in which we can legitimately do this. I think this is all of them, and I would be extremely grateful if someone could point out any others which might be more effective, yet legitimate and legal.
We are controlled by them, the government machine. They were elected (some of them, anyway) to do what we require of them. Their mandate is NOT to do what they feel to be right without any reference to us, the people.
1. We can demonstrate, as long as we tell them we are going to, and where, and when, so they can muster enough of their enforcement officials to make sure we don't inconvenience them.
2. We can petition them, either by delivering a list of signatures on paper, or now by filing a petition online.
3. We can ask for information from them under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).
They expect these things to happen. In most cases, the Great Unwashed do not even notice, for they are concerned greatly about the winner of "Strictly" whatever it is this week, "Britain's got Talent", and the six numbers which will secure their rosy future on the Lotto.
The standard responses to these tools are predictable.
1. Stay indoors until it goes away. Usually a demo will be on Saturday so they will be at the tennis club anyway.
2. Write a reply, saying nothing of importance, and post it on the petition website. If it's a really silly petition, make a YouTube video in reply.
3. Fob the enquirer off with some inane statistics, usually stating that the maximum amount of money they're allowed to spend on a reply is just under the amount it would cost to produce such a reply.
Therefore, they love us to use these tools. They are completely ineffective.
Statutes (these are the instruments that they use to control us) are put in place to ensure that any other action is "against the law", such that if we try to protest in a way which will hurt them in any way, the Great Unwashed will cry "anarchy".
The only things which bother them, so far as I can see, are money and power. They are effectively an oligarchy (a system run by the "chosen few"). They need the money to keep that power. And once someone has power, he would rather give up his right hand than relinquish the power. It's a drug.
We can affect the power by the judicious use of our votes. So the prefect becomes the head boy, and vice versa, until the next time.
We can cut off the power by cutting off the money. That is the real answer. But the oligarchs, the people who are at the top of the power tree, are not stupid - not all of them, anyway. They would be so if they didn't make the greatest effort to ensure that the flow of money, and therefore power, can't be stopped.
There are broadly four types of people in the Great Unwashed.
1. PAYE taxpayers with real jobs, ones who service customers, who provide something that somebody wants.
2. PAYE taxpayers who work for the oligarchy.
3. Beneficiaries. These are net recipients of some of the money.
4. The oligarchy themselves.
5. Self-employed types.
Type 1 people are shafted before they start. That's why PAYE is there. They plod along, some of them might have an opinion but there is nothing they can do to change things.
Type 2 people have a vested interest in the system being the way it is. And God knows, there are one heck of a lot of them. And the reason for this is that the more of them there are, the stronger the oligarchy becomes.
Type 3 and 4 people need the system as it is.
Type 5 people are the danger. These are the only ones who could, were they so inclined, to do any significant damage to the structure. And I suspect that most of the bloggers I read are of type 5.
There are so few of these type 5's, comparatively, that I now despair of anything ever being done about the way things are.
I hope someone can put me right.