Saturday, 23 June 2012

The view from Boris's backside

Yesterday, the vast majority of London's bus drivers went on strike.  From the hysterical hand-wringing of the commuter Andrex doled out by the self-styled "Evening Standard" the average citizen could have been panicked into thinking that the entire basis of human development was challenged by an industrial dispute.  Invoking the Blitz spirit, and the language of Trotskyite wreckers that typified the Thatcher decade, the pathetic pseudo-newspaper demonstrates the extent to which the London press is corrupt.

Notwithstanding the links between Boris Johnson and Rupert Murdoch, the "Standard" has taken on the mantle of mouthpiece to the Mayor - translating Cro-Magnon rightist bullshit into a Kensington-focused, middle-class pyramid paranoia that ignores the reality of much of the city it purports to report on.  Social problems, deprivation and poverty are threats to its worldview, rather than manifestations of a bizarre economic apartheid that Labour wrung its hands over and Johnson and his cronies are exacerbating.

The bus strike is another manifestation of capitalism and the free market.  The profit motive in public services has resulted in staffing levels, even in normal times, being reduced to the absolute minimum.  Therefore when something as asinine but labour-intensive as Coe the Cretin's Olympiad comes along, keeping the services running requires more staff than would normally be available.  The only language that employers understand is cash - and therefore incentivising staff to turn up more often, less flexibly and with less rest requires them to dole it out.  Incentives are funny things - the banking sector sucks out bonuses while denying account holders access to their money (pace NatWest) but if employees demand something in return they are holding society to ransom.

Not that the "Standard" could spell paradox and hypocrisy, let alone recognise their stench amongst the other consumerist, rightist ordure they peddle.  They probably regard being a less erudite and literate version of "Pravda" as having fulfilled some kind of destiny, especially since the biased lies and misrepresentations probably had some impact on allowing Boris back into power.  There are mildly amusing asides on the "Standard" message boards about whether the facile platitudiniser, Sarah Sands, who now claims to "edit" the garbage, had a little more than just a political interest in the blond philanderous incompetent, but these are hearsay and probably no more than wishful thinking.

For those of us who pick the rag up out of force of habit, now that it is recognised that its content is worthless and therefore has to be given away, the daily diatribes are numbing.  Yet as a catalogue of why society is breaking down, even within an allegedly prosperous city, it will be of immense value for historians and anthropologists. 

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