For those of you who don’t live in England, you might be familiar with our Prime Minister, David Cameron, mainly due to his wonderful starring role in Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror.
But what you should also know is that he and his Chancellor, George Osborne (not an alleged literal pig fucker like his boss, but still a pig fucker in the metaphorical sense), are not just a disgusting punchline that deserve a stifled laugh and a rueful shake of the head with an accompanying mutter of, ‘politicians.’ They are horrible, mercenary, and predatory people who have maneuvered themselves into positions of power despite only 24 percent of the eligible voters in the country casting their lot in with the Conservative party at the last election.
Cameron and Osborne lead a party that has broken election promises; that is hell-bent on destroying and selling off one of the greatest things this country has ever achieved — the National Health Service; that lectures others about — and would
wage war murder people abroad in the name of — ‘human rights’ while kowtowing to some of the worst human rights abusers in the world; that seems to take actual relish in putting an ever-increasing squeeze on the civil liberties of the citizens of this country; that responds to the biggest refugee crisis since WWII with a shrug and a willful ignorance of the hand that its own foreign policy has had in causing it; and that tenaciously practices an illiterate and discredited economic doctrine as a means of enacting a devastating and unprecedented transferal of wealth from the poorest to the richest.
These aren’t nice people, is what I’m saying.
One of the most brutal and callous moves in Cameron’s wealth transferal orgy is a sweeping and destructive series of cuts to local council services.
Libraries; children’s services; housing; pensioners’ services; social care; road sweeping; disabled people’s services; and many, many more — all face a squeeze roughly equivalent to having Andre the Giant tripping up on top of you while you’re having a lie down. And as always, the poorest get the worst of it.
I’ll let Philip Pullman tell it. He tells it best:
And it always results in victory for one side and defeat for the other. It’s set up to do that. It’s imported the worst excesses of market fundamentalism into the one arena that used to be safe from them, the one part of our public and social life that used to be free of the commercial pressure to win or to lose, to survive or to die, which is the very essence of the religion of the market. Like all fundamentalists who get their clammy hands on the levers of political power, the market fanatics are going to kill off every humane, life-enhancing, generous, imaginative and decent corner of our public life. I think that little by little we’re waking up to the truth about the market fanatics and their creed. We’re coming to see that old Karl Marx had his finger on the heart of the matter when he pointed out that the market in the end will destroy everything we know, everything we thought was safe and solid. It is the most powerful solvent known to history. “Everything solid melts into air,” he said. “All that is holy is profaned.”
So when a person of conscience sees this happening — when a citizen who didn’t vote for the suffering of blameless people sees this unfolding before their disbelieving eyes, they must ask themselves: ‘How the fuck can someone be so cruel?’ We know that the rich and powerful have trouble with empathy, but still.
Those of us well-versed in pop culture know. We’d spot this shit a mile off: This is movie villain behaviour.
Heinous scheming, nefarious plotting, cartoonish supper-villainy? Yeah, we know this.
Except! Except, as it apparently turns out, it might just be plain, old-fashioned, dumbfuck stupidity. Because, you see, a letter has emerged. A letter from David Cameron to the Conservative leader of Oxfordshire county council, wherein our suited movie-villain leader expresses horror at what he sees has happened to the local council services there.
You can almost hear his pudgy jaws flapping as he expresses his shock at the cuts to ‘elderly day centres, to libraries, to museums […] in addition to the unwelcome and counter-productive proposals to close children’s centres across the county.’
And a dawning realisation cracks the sky: What if… What if he genuinely has no idea of the actual effects of the policies that he is enacting with the full power of the state behind him.
And you have to ponder the possible, terrible truth — has this been the case with others? Have the great movie villains of our time just had the wrong end of the stick? Have they been misinformed?
Where are the letters from these guys:
‘Dear Human President,
I have to say that I am bitterly disappointed by the information given to us by your species’ ambassador.
I was told with utmost confidence that a light game of Evisceration Tag — a children’s favourite on our home planet as you know — would be welcomed by your people. Instead, within hours of my arrival, every spike to the torso and every laser blast to the arm has resulted not in harmless fun and — as I was informed would be the case — members of your species regenerating painlessly; but instead by screams of terror, horrifying deaths, and insults to my appearance. And naked Austrians.
Needless to say I shan’t be playing with you again.
‘Dear President of the Federated Territories,
I am writing to you in the hope that you will be able to lay some of my fears to rest.
I have been making my way across the vastness of space for some time now, approaching inhabited planets with nothing but love in my cold, black core, just wanting a hug. Unfortunately and unbelievably, every single planet that I have attempted to show my affection to has spontaneously combusted and withered out of existence.
I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment at this development, and I do hope that your planet, ‘Earth’, will not react in such a strange and uninviting way when I reach out to it.
See you soon,
Giant Ball of Evil from The Fifth Element’
I’ve been eating what?!
Yours in terror,
‘To Whom It May Concern,
I am not sure exactly of the name of the species that you represent, but judging by the information I have managed to glean from the crew of the Nostromo before they so tragically passed away, I thought I was safe in assuming that your kind would make perfect incubators and playmates for my brood. Their warm and fleshy interiors, combined with a clearly playful and empathetic nature, seemed the perfect combination of attributes to help care for my species’ extremely vulnerable, and loving, young.
Alas this did not appear to be the case, and I am sorry for the loss of your fellow species-mates. Nevertheless, I feel the need to stress that I am convinced that this may have not been a large enough sample size to fully test whether or not they were fit for purpose, and perhaps could have actually survived with a different approach.
Please send more.
Image sources (in order of posting): Orion Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Orion Pictures, 20th Century Fox