Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Once popular farces were a staple of West End Theatre, either three act or two act they made audiences happy and were great fun to watch. The world has moved on now and they have become rare events. TV and other media comedy has different ideas. But I wonder if the British tradition of farce has now taken over politics?
Almost everywhere you look in our systems of government, law and administration you see not simply the basic elements of farce but situations where it is the way our leaders and power brokers run their own affairs and those of the nation.
But this is not fun. Certainly it may be satisfying to laugh at weeping members of the House of Commons being carted off to prison for expenses and other fiddles for which there is no rational explanation only greed, stupidity and arrogance but these are the people who have been passing all these laws.
Yesterday I saw a report in which a peer under the cosh for House of Lords expenses was saying that the second chamber of our Parliament was really a cash machine for passing peers and their friends. There are alleged to be 792 of these people all in the queue. There have been some odd people, very odd in some cases pleading that from time to time it is rumoured they do something useful, but this has escaped me.
If they are so good and so experienced in high affairs how come we have had in the last decade or more a tidal wave of badly flawed legislation that has all but ruined the economy, any community, much of family life and a great deal more?
How come that in the last months of the Labour government the House of Lords permitted a deliberate wrecking policy to ensure that the country would become almost ungovernable and what attempts were made to put things right would be obstructed at every turn by organisations filled and run by Labour placepersons.
Human Rights ideals were turned into the farce of judges attempting to end free speech and for that matter any academic debate that any corporation disliked as well as ensuring that fraudsters, criminals, dealers in drugs and death were freed from criticism or questioning, even by Parliament or the police.
The funding of capital projects in the public sector had saddled major areas of vital provision in health, education, social care and the rest with huge debts that will impact the budgets in such a way that only major cuts will solve.
In addition, so many more crimes, duties and regulations have been created that few people know what they are about or why or what to do. And that is those who are running things let alone the poor ordinary citizen who no longer knows who governs, why or what they are doing.
Whilst all this is going on the world economy still looks too prone to any adverse event or development. The stresses in Europe are increasing. Many more people are on the move. There are wars still being fought and in the making. So what do we see on the TV?
The President and the Prime Minister playing ping pong as a break from the party re-election games. But which of them will lose their trousers?