Friday, 14 November 2014

The cat is out of the bag!

Knowledge is power and everybody knows power is supposed to be knowledge. We live in enlightened times as generally eduction has improved. More people go on to further education that at any other time in our history. The better the educational system is the better the country prospers. A population in a democratic country that has a good standard of education makes that country stronger. We are a very inquisitive species, that quest for knowledge has made our rapid climb to the top. We are now powerful enough to destroy the world. We also have another charming trait we want to be the ones in power. Politicians offer every kind of inducement - lower personal taxes and improved family benefits are used to win our votes. Promises are cheap and political speak might mean the tax cut - if it does ever happen - will be balanced by other increases. Its a long list, including fuel duty, duty on spirits and value added tax.

I have always wondered why an understanding of the political system is not on the school curriculum. However, it's because the less a population knows, the less power real power we have. If our interest in politics is not kindled early enough - then there is no wonder that we have political apathy later. Throughout the ages and through almost all civilisations. Those wielding power will do anything to stay in power. Governments and businesses try to limit knowledge of their activities usually cloaked either as national security or as being business privileged. Throw into the arena a few other methods of obfuscation such as data protection and need to know. The deal is done.

The power and influence of newspaper proprietors at one time, would editorially set the political agenda. Their influence through setting political opinion gathered the sycophant politicians all seeking their favours. Phone hacking and expenses fiddling has brought about change. Its called people power. Ultimately the people still have electoral control if only by sheer weight of numbers. Groups like 38 degrees where people set the agenda are coordinating the electorate. Issues that might at one time, been given the nod and a wink by newspaper proprietors. Which would have gone unreported are now subject to ever closer scrutiny.

Print media has been replaced by the new kid on the block, public media. Political opinion is now being set by campaigning groups. Business now purchase influence with political parties through the simple expedient of donations. But even businesses are subject to the opinion of campaigning groups. So once more secrecy, lobbying and tickets to Wimbledon - a bung by any other name.

The political elite now feel the need to control the knowledge of what they are doing. As they try to prevent knowledge from filtering down. Yet, time and again word still gets around despite the governments best efforts at suppression. The most disturbing problem for the government is that people are now getting organised. Through the use of Twitter, FaceBook and YouTube directly from the instrument in every pocket the smart-phone. Now the savvy man or woman in the street is recording and passing opinion in real time. The speed of information passing through the nation is breathtaking. 
No matter how the government try and suppress the flow of information. It will always fail. The new kid on the block this time is the whistle blower. Through the use of modern technology there is now no way that knowledge can be suppressed. The ten o-clock news which was once the bastion of the media. Is now like watching a rerun on Dave!

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