January 7th – Democracy…

My intention with this blog is not to preach, it was supposed to be a bit of fun, a bit of a challenge and a chance to help me to become a better person by logging my failures openly, and maybe even to see if I can learn to string a sentence together. Yesterday’s events are consuming my thoughts today though. The actions of Trump’s clone army were appalling, but they were not surprising, which in itself shows how far the US has fallen. The culmination of 4 years of lies, misinformation and fake fake news. The pitiful death throes of an illegitimate President and his mindless cult. Make no mistake, this is a wake up call for democracies around the world, it cannot be taken for granted. The “leaders” of rogue states will revel in this though, the likes of North Korea, China and Iran will all jump on this like vultures feasting on the carcass of fresh carrion gloating at the scenes and lambasting US democracy to justify or mask their own regime’s failings.

Jamiroquai takes control of Congress…

Although yesterday was a sad day for democracy and humanity as a whole, this cannot be conflated with the behaviour of the likes of China, Iran and North Korea. Although the US clearly has questions to answer over the inequality that still exists today, had such events been seen in Beijing, Pyongyang or Tehran you can be sure that the outcome would have been very different. There would have been a massacre, people would have probably been gunned down without hesitation and those that were not gunned down would have ended up brutalised and in prison, never to see a fair trial or even the light of day again. Unsurprisingly, China have already pounced on the carcass as I type this to justify their despicable behaviour in Hong Kong.

1989 Tiananmen Square protests – Wikipedia

Human rights in Iran – Wikipedia

Human rights in North Korea – Wikipedia

The good news that comes out of yesterday’s events is that democracy in the US held firm, Congress reconvened and certified the 2020 election result. Despite Trump’s flailing, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take over on 20th January and order will be restored. Not only will order be restored, but Biden’s control over the Senate will ensure that America will re-join the Paris Climate Accord, and environmental policies that the US and the world as a whole desperately need will be pushed through. They may not go as far as some would like, but they’ll go further than anything Trump would have overseen had he triumphed in November, just the thought of that is chilling.

What happens next? hopefully the Republicans that remain in Congress will come to their senses, disown Trump, ask America to forgive their complicity and work with Biden’s administration to try to repair the damage they have caused. We may, if we’re lucky get to watch Trump spiral into a world of pain and humiliation as his crimes catch up with him, the orange man, in an orange suit? We may even get to watch it all over again when Netflix release the box set, something to look forward to in Lockdown 6.5?

I couldn’t let this defence of democracy pass without a nod to the state of democracy in reality. It is indeed precious, and many would say it is at risk. What is democracy in the UK for instance, is it real? When elections are won and lost based on the output of corrupt media moguls who have too much influence and often print misleading narratives that suit their agenda and paid for mass targeting of similarly dubious content on social media (Cambridge Analytica – Wikipedia) platforms deployed to twist the worldview to suit the deepest wallets, do we really have a democracy? When politicians can simply say what they like regardless of the veracity of their words, knowing that tomorrow it will be swept under the carpet and a new scandal or meme will avert our attention, how can we possibly have faith in democracy? Why is it not illegal for a politician to lie? A C Grayling is better placed to comment on this than me – Should it be illegal to tell lies in parliament? – Prospect Magazine

Coincidentally, or perhaps not given the trying times we live in, I’m half way through this Isabel Hardman book right now, and the insights into Westminster are fascinating and go a long way to explaining why a dysfunctional Westminster produces dysfunctional politicians… A US version would make for interesting reading no doubt!

That was exhausting… Personally this has been another day of very little happening outside the world of work, with one exception. I booked a trip to my local recycling centre tomorrow to offload various items from the garden, so today I began moving them to the front garden in preparation for the trip. One of the items was a 3 piece fold up spongy gym matt. My office overlooks the front garden, and I was surprised to see some guy reach into my garden and take the gym matt without bothering to ask if it was ok to do so, or to give me the chance to tell him how many times the cat had pissed on it before we threw it out.

One final thought for the day (and I’m going to allow myself to be slightly unkind under the circumstances) before I head off to Tesco to stock up on Pizza and pretentious over-priced hipster IPA… In years to come, hopefully, a fart will still be a fart, but a trump will be a “person who is deranged, speaks nonsense and shouldn’t be sold fake tan”… We’ll utter things such as “oh look, Boris has gone a bit trumpy, call the nurse!”

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