Disinterest…passivity..indifference. Beware! Big Brother relies on inertia.

23 Oct

Disinterest can imply impartiality; not being influenced by personal involvement. It can imply indifference, a ‘can’t be arsed’ passivity which, when big decisions are being made near and far, becomes a dangerous state of inertia.

In my little Kentish village someone wants to punch a road through the golf course so that heavy goods vehicles can get from A to B more quickly… and they also want to build 400hundred new homes. The locals are punch-drunk with planning application upon planning application from profiteering property companies and greedy landowners. The villagers are losing heart because raging against the machine seems to get nowhere. The ‘local plan’ which was widely consulted upon seems to be a similar piece of paper to the one that Chamberlain brandished after his cosy meeting with Herr Hitler.

The Parish Council are shell-shocked from the many developments which have already pockmarked this beleaguered village. The local council with spurious targets to meet don’t appear, quite frankly my dear, to give a damn.

Today I noticed that the number of objections on tunbridgewells.gov.uk was significantly down on those of previous planning applications. Clearly the buggeritthey’lldoitanyway attitude has kicked in. Protest-fatigue, like Brexit fatigue is, however, a dangerous thing.

Greed and profit lie at the heart of many local developments. I favour reasonable development for the good of the community – that which encourages improved economic activity, supplies affordable (my God what does that mean?) housing and housing association/council accommodation and is sensibly in proportion to the community already there. I detect little nimbyism round here but plenty of battle fatigue.

There was little of this about at the extraordinary march in London last Saturday and yet there remained the feeling that the 700,000 were weak combatants; an army fighting opponents whose troops are on a different battleground. The ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ stickers that were worn with cheeky pride are a slogan for our times. But the machine ignores our name-calling and we have no sticks and stones.

The media coverage in the run up to this extraordinary show of popular sentiment was muted, embarrassed and rather undemocratic. The response during and afterwards was underwhelming. I’m talking BBC here; the organ of the nation.

The evening news gave similar amounts of time to Farage in a pub with twenty mates in Harrogate and a UKIP demo of about six people in London, complaining about the 700,000 who were marching past them. That’s BBC balance for you.

I didn’t see any Ukippers as I was in the midst of the mighty throng of young and old, all shapes and sizes, colours and creeds and ethnicities – and from all over the UK. Chris Mason, the Auntie political hack of the raised eyebrow and boyish intensity, was wandering about seeking to massage this peaceful explosion of public opinion into an edgy confrontation- hence the discovery of a UKIP flag and an argument between a middle-aged Remainer fighting for her children and grandchildren and a purple Farage follower with Little Englander stamped on his forehead.

Robert Peston, freed from his toadying role at the BEEB tweeted his wonder at the show of people-power. He didn’t go overboard but in the spirit of proportionality chose to give no time or space to Nigel making his plans in Harrogate.

Sunday’s papers were underwhelming in their coverage. The Times was more concerned with the internecine dramas of the Tory party. The headline ‘PM enters Killing Zone’ tells us all we need to know about selling newspapers. Creating news is more important than reporting it. Ask Laura Kuenssberg.

If we stop raging against the machine the machines will swarm all over us. Machines don’t have a sense of proportion, only profit. They are indifferent to truth. They worship self-interest and short term gain. They are not concerned with the really big and profound things of life. If we, the great British public, allow our battle-fatigue to spiral downwards to indifference, we will be stuffed.


3 Responses to “Disinterest…passivity..indifference. Beware! Big Brother relies on inertia.”

  1. ENSEMBLE DIANA-RIDDICK October 23, 2018 at 7:22 pm #

    Thank you Paul, give us all strength

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Roger and Alison Harrop October 24, 2018 at 8:52 am #

    Well done Paul. We share your concern deeply. We were on the March in spirit, but the bank wouldn’t lend us the money to join! We are on the brink of finishing building our new house which is draining us, as is Brexit.

    • simplysorro October 24, 2018 at 7:59 pm #

      Thanks R and A … and look forward to coming up and seeing your project come to fruition. Very enterprising and gutsy! Hope things are good with you… we need a catch up!

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