Saturday, 8 January 2011

“The season of the witch”.

Guest post from Dr. Haroon Saad.

One of the songs I have been listening to on and off this year is an oldie by Donovan, called “The season of the witch”. It’s a great number but it also echoed with some of my thinking. It is as we are in the season of “witchcraft”, infact in the season of a lot of “bad witchcraft”. There is a kind of bewitched charade being played out on issues that are at the root of why we are living in an “age of crisis”. Infact what I’m saying is nothing new.

Its important to remember that for the last decade we have lived in periods of “ mini-crisis” and one ongoing crises of the “war against terror”. Infact the word “crisis” has become endemic in classifying a series of issues-obesity, mental health, eating disorders,diabetes,aids,political, military, and financial .

I say bewitched, because everywhere there is infact a healthy assessment of the shit we are in, BUT reaction/response/struggle are somewhat muted.

Take the big crash, that’s what we’ve had, its not just another “crises” as our leaders would have us believe , what we have had is a crash that leaves the model fundamentally broken, even on its own terms. No amount of patch work remedial repair work will put it back together again. A lot of people know this and yet we buy the policy of our respective governments. We are in effect “bewitched” into accepting solutions that will impact badly on our own children as well as ourselves. At EU level we have the EU 2020 strategy as our guiding light when its predecessor the “Lisbon strategy” so spectacularly failed. We are accepting coca cola light when in actual fact its not coca cola we need.

If you are interested in my thought on the issues of why we can be bewitched and why it’s a broken model then check out my blog : Paradigm shift.

It also seems that we have been bewitched by solutions that we are offered to solve poverty .

In 2000 global GDP was assessed to be some 30 trillion dollars. By 2006 global GDP was 67 trillion dollars. Surely in the fight against poverty this should have been great news. Loads more money to go around and therefore at least some “trickle down” should have taken place.Its infact the exact opposite. Median income levels have not increased since the 1970 and yet the income of the top 10% has grown by 15% and for the top 1% by over 60%. This was the European Year against poverty and social exclusion and yet it’s the year in which levels of poverty and exclusion have risen throughout Europe. Infact our working model has created a new large group of people in work but poor.

If you are interested in my thought on how not to solve poverty then check out my blog : Mission Impossible.

Wikileaks has also in effect highlighted our bewitched state. I have really been struck by how many times I have read or heard the words “Its nothing new, we’ve heard it all before”.

Sure it may come as no surprise to followers of politics that Sarkozy and Putin have negative images. However, Wikileaks was not just about political gossip.

America was directly involved in the “civil war” in the Yemen. It was doing the bombing and yet it denied this. Wikileaks also revealed that the “coalition of the willing” locked up 180,000 Iraqi men.It toutured (directly and indirectly) nearly 109,000 people. It allowed the assassination of over 15,000 others. No wonder there was such a great resistance, its simply too facile to blame the ongoing civil war as simply fundamentalist led.

Wikileaks for me highlights the real problem we have with our current form of parliamentary democracy.We are simply lied to and the lies are simply justified on the basis of “security” and “informal diplomacy”. Our parliamentary model is fast actually eroding our rights to be properly informed and consulted. We are governed that by a “clubtocracy” that is destroying the environment and making us pay through austerity measures for things that we had nothing to do with. We have a business model that is based on fraud. Just one small example. In the year before Lehman brothers went bust, Ernst and Young helped to cook their books by removing bad debt from their balance sheet. How did they do this you might ask. Simple , they simply transferred it to friendly banks in Europe just before their balance sheets had to be made public and then these debts came back to Lehman. Its “peek-a-boo” accounting” , its fraud. The only ones who suffered were those who carried on buying the crap that Lehman were peddling on the basis that their balance sheet was good.

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