Thursday, 20 March 2014

Are people now wiser than their governments?

Yesterday's critique of Coughlin's nonsense in the Telegraph was penned at dawn. I need not have bothered. Some 2,400 comments on the piece that appeared during the day comprehensively demolished the poor man and his silly delusions and no doubt gave the editor something to think about. At the other end of Europe, comments on Ukraine made to Kleine Zeitung are pretty much the same. Not all of the public have an opinion on these things, but of those that have - an important, possibly key cohort - there is a clear and significant gulf between the rhetoric of Europe's governments and the opinions of its citizens. Our involvement or otherwise in the various Shia-Sunni bloodfests of the Islamic civil war, or in the US/Russian proxy war in Syria, show the same divergence. 

The BBC, whose expertise in broadcast technical standards has spearheaded quality video via ADSL thereby endangering its own TV tax, is feeling vulnerable and nervous of losing public support. As it dithers between being an organ of the Big State and the Voice of the People it's in no position to establish a clear editorial line. All of which is frustrating the generals both of the armchair and scarlet-gorgetted varieties, some of whom have taken to instructing the nation to be more supportive of war, in a deeply silly and counter-productive way. Cameron is missing a major military deployment from his brief premiership - something all PMs seem to feel a requirement to support their post Number Ten candidatures as 'Statesmen'- and is lusting to let slip his gorgetted dogs somewhere, anywhere, before May 2015. 

People now have greater access to information on world events than at any time in human history; the gap between what governments know and what the people know is now not very great. People are confident in their own opinions, and in their right to have opinions. All of which poses the question as to whether people are now collectively wiser than their governments - and if so, isn't it time governments switched from lecturing mode to listening mode?

9 comments:

Sackerson said...

I'm sure governments are well aware of the issue, which is why they are legislating the einternet and on all sides colluded to block the introduction of the Alternative Vote. They have learned how to game modern populist democracy; I think the 1832 Reform Act and the Anti-Slavery Bill would not pass in today's whipped, suborned and conscienceless Parliament.

DeeDee99 said...

As far as the EU is concerned, this is another "beneficial" crisis (deliberately engineered by the West) to enlarge its sphere of influence onto Russia's backyard.

I doubt there will be any actual fighting: this will be a sanctions war ... trying to isolate Putin from the international community and weaken his support at home.

The section of the electorate which takes an interest in the real world and what our "leaders" are up to haven't been fooled by the propaganda: the EU and the USA deliberately poked the bear with a stick. It is largely due to the EU/USA's actions that a Referendum was held in Crimea.

They will bring the Internet under control before much longer. It's a danger to them.

Anonymous said...

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

The EU and Nato promised much and did nothing for Georgia but Vlad duly delivered and S Ossetia and Abkazia were back in the fold and Georgia was back in line.

Georgia, an egregious example of EU meddling and interference in what Russia has always regarded as its 'sphere of influence'.

Then, Ashton, Von Rompuy without a minutes comtemplation thought they could move east into the Ukraine and sang their siren songs into the ears of one of the most corrupt governments on the planet.
Mother of Mercy - in the Ukraine! Oft' seen the spiritual homeland of mama Russia and of the Eastern Church.

Yes, it do defies belief!

Forthwith and the Russky bear duly obliged by [rightfully?] protecting its assets in the Crimea - again, as with Georgia and history repeats itself.

Dave's claque would like to go to war but thanks to his and in large part to his Tory and Labour predecesors - 'thanks to the peace dividend' [remember that old canard? and more money to spend on the EU projet and welfare for the new intake from Africa and all points east].
Now, the army has gone and the Navy is a joke - he [Dave] has no means of 'replying' in kind - but will that stop him?
Though rather fortunately, the Chicago Kid resides in the White House and a military response [to protect the Ukraine] is about as likely as the a Saudi government granting permission for a Catholic cathedral to be built in Medina.

Sabres out chaps and rattle but into the valley of death - will we not go.

Putin knew it.

hovis said...

Excellent comments all, I couldn't have put it better myself, so wont :-)

The "free" [as in speech] internet will be brought under control look how its culture has changed from when it became widely available to the masses with a slightly hippy tinge in the early 90's to it's increasingly corporate culture now.

Anonymous said...

Through a glass darkly:

"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power." - Under Secretary for Defence Policy, Paul Wolfowitz, 1992.

Steve

Elby the Beserk said...

@Anon 14:11

So, nothing's changed then. Thanks's for that clip from history.

Cuffleyburgers said...

Yes

Always were but now it seems to count for a bit more.

Anonymous said...

It's not only Cameron's quest for future Maggiedom - it's the EU's belief that if they whip up a crisis like this it will result in that elusive collective demos.

I think that the EU clowns do really believe the people are going to fall for this esprit de corps stuff.

It's the exact opposite - we're terrified of having an EU foreign office, backed by an EU army, throwing its weight around and possibly dragging us into a war.

Russia this year, China next - and then, who knows, the USA.

Anonymous said...

Intersting to see just how much longer we'll be allowed to hear the Russia Today point of view on the situation.

"Technical errors" may just cut them off.