My slow starting habit may be the reason why this particular issue has really only started to worry me recently (in my 52nd year, for Christ's sake). I have, you see, never been a fan of broad conspiracy theories. I have no problems understanding that people do conspire with one another in order to achieve their aims (whether for good or for not-so-good) - it goes on all the time - but I've never bought into the big ideas about who is running the world, whether aliens are secretly stealing the fluoride from my drinking water, or that 'Snickers' bars are 16% smaller than when they were called 'Marathon' bars in my childhood. However, something has changed.
Just lately, I've become more and more uncomfortable with what seems to be a blatant disregard for the general public on the part of the rich and powerful (usually one and the same thing) as well as the media. Donald Trump, of course is an open book: he clearly despises everyone not called Trump, and holds anyone not called Donald Trump in contempt. His only virtue is that he's transparent. Unintentionally transparent, but then he's a truly talentless liar. He couldn't lie his way out of a lying contest if he was given five free lies to use up. As a result he's an obvious egotistical, maniacal, attention-seeking narcissist with a badly adjusted tanning bed.
Events in Britain, however, have me, for the first time, genuinely worried. It's not as if the political system there has ever been free from inappropriate influence, corruption or lies; it has always been thus. What disturbs me now more than ever before is the blatant nature of these stains on the nation's governance. Assisted by the various mainstream media outlets, the politicians and business people (i.e. the rich fat cats) seem to no longer care that their behaviour is being uncovered. They seem to be utterly unworried that the people can see the wheeler-dealing or the network of old school ties and class bigotry which underlines the corridors of power in London in particular. It's business as usual, no matter what the great unwashed may think or feel about it. Only the conversations on the largely unedited internet seem to offer genuine opposition to the establishment steamroller.
This scares me. Establishment arrogance of this kind will push society one way or the other; either further along the road of resigned and unhappy acquiescence, or - and I'm not sure if this is worse or not - into a revolutionary mode, where meaningful government breaks down and anarchy begins to creep in. It seems impossible, but I don't envisage an attempted coup d'etat, n, what's more likely is a steady erosion of law and order - especially after the government has all but decimated the police service with its 'reforms'. Society's boundaries may begin to crumble and blur, making life very uncomfortable for the more vulnerable or merely powerless. The lack of caring is palpable, and the apparent absence of a neutral, critical, but most of all watchful press is as disturbing as any other feature of the current situation.
There are so many wonderful things to say about my home country, but I fear that some dark times lie ahead.