Monday, 1 December 2008

Accountability; The age of.


Another month passes and we stand just 24 days from Christmas. All the pleasant stories continue to do the rounds and in particular I would like to consider the notion of "accountability". What does it mean? Definitions vary between particular fields, public health, law, military. The "standard" definition, if there is such a thing in the English language, is considered to be: "the obligation to bear the consequences for failure to perform as expected; accountableness."

It is not so much my annoyance of people being brought to account for their actions, it is the manner with which, in Britain at least, we go about this farce.

Let me first bring up a case of "Baby P". If you have followed the case, there were systematic failures, errors of judgement and clearly inaction. What follows is a sliver of genuine compassion from the media for this poor child. It is easy to include column inches full of emotive text to appease the housewife or grandmother reading over the shoulder of their husband. What sells papers is not this. As we all know, we want scandal, embarrassment for those responsible. I will not drag on about this, but think about what you know of those who inflicted the injuries upon the child. Very little really. Then consider how much you have read about who did not act in the council or positions of "responsibility". Yet they are in the media defending themselves, their names. Perhaps impeccable careers to date. And there is nothing more brilliant to a news agency than collective resignations. It is farcical, what does this achieve? You have ousted those responsible. Err, well, actually you have not. You have witch hunted some people from a dusty council office who took their eyes off the ball. The finger could be pointed quite easily back to the media and ask, "well, what exactly are you doing here?". The truth is, the death was maybe preventable, but maybe it was not. This child could have been killed much sooner, or much later. The fact is that the only people responsible were those who commit the crime, not the body which tried but unfortunately failed miserably to step in. It is of no surprise therefore, that "Mr. Balls" is running the investigation. [LINK]

Which brings me to briefly raise an eyebrow in the direction of the Russell Brand & Jonathan Ross debate. Not that it should ever have escalated. Even Sach's the moderately offended party appeared uninterested as he was pursued by press day and night asking him if he accepted apologies from everyone at the BBC, government and the worlds major powers. Lunacy of the highest order. The broadcast was in poor taste, but it was far from even the border line of what is available to see and hear both on terrestrial television and the internet at large. Two final points. Brand was stating fact that he had bedded Sach's grand-daughter. And how can people lodge complaints for shows they did not hear at the time, and were subsequently offended by the media shower that followed? Charlie Brooker's 'Screenwipe' show, episode 1 I believe, made far more cutting points than I have and is well worth a watch on iPlayer etc. In summation, the whole thing stunk of the craze of accountability. Is this not meaningless? Why were people sacked/suspended/resigning & apologising like they had denied the holocaust? Illogical LUNACY.

And finally, a good bit of Orwellian scaremongering. It fascinates me how we have stumbled blindly in Britain further and further into a police state. We spent the best part of fifty years fighting the Nazi's and their ideals, only to gradually instill some of the worst bits into our day to day operations. This week Damian Green was arrested under anti-terrorism laws for leaking information about the government. He did not reveal our most impressive secrets, just a few largely dull facts and figures which should be publicly available anyway. Regardless he was locked up for 9 hours. Calling the governement to account, as an opposition party member and being locked up - which was as far as David Cameron went (who I do not particularly like). What he did not go onto say, was how bloody Gestapo-like is that! I wonder, in my lifetime whether I will be able to write so openly.

Things are changing and I despise it, and I cannot do anything about it. Let us just hope that Barack Obama, facebook whore, and bankrolled president of America is not as big a fraud as no one dares say he looks. Judging by the propaganda, he will have solved the worlds problems by his second term. Great. Excuse my cynicism but in the US they have no democracy - how was McCain going to beat Obama? I just cannot trust a system where the more money you have, the more likely you are to win. It is completely flawed. Compounded by the fact that Bush was so bad it was unreal, it is easy to sell unrealistic ideals to young people who have never voted before and who assume they count in the long run. Let me be clear, I want there to be change, but the balance of power shifted long ago. A country with some of the worst homicide rates, highest imprisonment rates per head of population and who execute more people per head than either China or Russia. I am not even a campaigner or protester of such topics, but America needs to address the basics before they even consider the pish and nonsense that the Obama machine has turned out. I just find it thoroughly depressing, everyone wants change, but we are seeking to change the things that appease the proles. I need to be careful though, or I could find myself subject to a secret night flight to Poland/Cuba for interrogation.

On a lighter note.

This months album to kill yourself to is: The Killers - "Day & Age". Abysmal, and made for people who enjoy being utterly miserable is all I can fathom. This album has classic "let's milk our existing fanbase with our new age confusing sound that makes no sense to anyone but should be considered brilliant anyway" written all over it.

Film to watch is undoubtedly Quantum of Solace. Entertaining and a little different to classic Bond's but I enjoyed it.

If it is comedy you are after, Frankie Boyle's new dvd is hilarious but un-suitable for anyone offended by anything. You will find yourself questioning whether there is anything you will not laugh at. Closely followed by relative unknown Michael McIntyre, a cleverer brand of comedy that is considerably more family friendly. Both can be obtained by lsoing money or by downloading illegally from the internet. Think carefully, it is a recession people.

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