The Revelation Period

From Sue Marsh, Blogger at Diary of a Benefit Scrounger, published here

*Caution : This article contains language some readers may find offensive. However, language evolves for a reason. Believe me, I find the issues it raises more offensive* Also : TRIGGER for some

The Revelation Period

You must excuse my history. Most of it comes through the prism of Shakespeare and my literature degree. So, for me, history is : The Middle Ages, The Renaissance, The Romantics and The Restoration.Lately, I very often find myself wondering how history will remember and reflect on Britain – and of course the wider world – at the turn of this 3rd millennium.Every generation thinks themselves the best, the most modern, the most advanced or enlightened. As human beings, unable to comprehend what we have yet to discover, we believe we’ve reached the pinnacle of what humans may achieve. Of course each generation, dripping with arrogance and youth are wrong, we know almost nothing.

There seems to be little doubt that we are on the brink of – probably already living through – one of the greatest periods of flux the world has ever known.

From the “Arab Spring” to the global crisis of capitalism. From crippling austerity regimes to the erosion of civil rights -of democracy itself -we feel as though we are on the very brink of disaster or epiphany. Certainly I feel as though we are blinking into a new light that is shining on every corrupt corner of the modern lives we thought so advanced, so progressive.
How did we miss so much? When did we stop caring about our own futures, about our country and how it reflects us back onto the world? When did we give up, roll over? When did we decide we could never win and it didn’t much matter either way?
If historians name this period at all, surely it will be “The Revelation”?
Oh, we all knew deep down. We all knew we were discreetly looking away, taking care of our own. We knew there was greed and corruption, but those sofas on the never-never and cheap cardboard “food” made it all so easy.
Just 13 years into this new millennium, so plated in gold and hopeful opportunity, and the cheap patina has all but worn away.
For most of those 13 short years – barely a drop in the ocean of time – day after day, month after month, it seems a light has finally started to shine into the darker corners of modern life, exposing almost certainly just the tip of the iceberg of the full extent of the problems we face. For most of us, it’s just too much to comprehend. Perhaps that’s why so many switched off altogether.
What can “ordinary” people, like us, do to feed all those poor crying babies we see in the NSPCC and Oxfam ads? To love them and give them a little of the abundance we take for granted? How can we alone stop wars or expose corporate corruption? We feel powerless, overwhelmed, and so we focus on making our own little lives as good as they can be. It’s just too painful to dwell on all the pain and injustice in the world. We feel ashamed if we try.
The thing that shocks me most is the sheer scale of our decay.
You see, it turns out a group of overpaid, over privileged bankers and traders and business people had been playing poker with everyone’s money. Also, they were really, really bad at it. No matter though, the FSA set up to regulate them was a toothless, corrupt, lapdog anyway, so it didn’t matter. And they didn’t go to prison of course. Nope, they’re still sipping a nice crisp glass of Cristal on the terraces of the poor.
  • Anyone working in TV or radio, or politics or the catholic church (and probably any other institutions in which the powerful may harm the weak) could fuck children at will if they chose, seemingly with no fear of punishment or exposure. As though they were choosing from a puberty-menu, we now seem to be witnessing the unravelling of schemes so established, so common-place, they had been causing harm, unchecked, for decades
  • How about the media? They were deleting messages from a dead girl’s phone to get their “scoop”. Accused of paying off the police, attempting to influence politicians through bribery and blackmail. Lying in endless cruel stories in an attempt to feed the vulnerable to the middle classes.
  • Priests raping little boys in the vestry.
  • MPs, greedy and grasping, abusing their expenses so spectacularly and almost universally, that few of us will ever forget the “duck moat” or the claim for a husband’s porn viewing.
  • Energy companies charging more & more for fuel, to pad the pockets of shareholders who must, of course, always see a profit. Preferably billions of it. Why waste all those precious 50ps crammed frugally into slots?
  • Mobile phone companies charging hundreds or even thousands of pounds to make exactly the same phonecalls abroad as you would at home.
  • Payday loan companies breezily charging up to 4000% interest on loans only the most disadvantaged would ever consider.
  • Food that is so toxic from processing and additives, padded out with a little horse or insect or offal, we begin to wonder if eating might do us more harm than the starvation it exists to avoid.
  • Sick and disabled people sent back a generation on nothing more than the assumptions of the hale, healthy and more able. Juggled by corporate giants, their fate so much less important than the truth.
  • Politicians, who were never at the top of the honesty tree to begin with, lying daily and with ever growing confidence that “nothing will be done” or assuring us that “something must be done” when we all know clearly that nothing ever will be done. At least not by them.
  • Global businesses paying their taxes in pennies that should be pounds. Billions and billions “avoided” perfectly legally by corporate giants while smaller businesses close daily in a futile attempt to compete.
  • A housing market grown so bloated that rent now siphons off 40% of what we earn. Landlords who leave properties to crumble, confident they won’t be ordered to improve. No cap on what they can charge, an assumption that you will never get your deposit back however you leave the property. A buyers market that can no longer sustain itself, so overpriced, that in many areas you need to earn £80k to get a mortgage on an average family home. Not enough homes and even if there were, nowhere near enough money to pay for them
  • Hospitals and care homes allowed to abuse the vulnerable or elderly unchecked, often bullying, cruel and inadequate. But that’s OK, because the health watchdog was corrupt too and almost never stepped in.
  • Poor so much poorer, rich so much richer.
  • Wages consistently falling and falling and falling again, eroding the parts of life we workfor. Unless you’re a CEO. Or a banker. Or a director. Or a….. you get the idea. The great and the good “invited” to police stations where the rest of us are dragged in chains.
  • Crops grown & destroyed for nothing but subsidies while most of the world starve.
  • Wars with ever more dubious justifications.
  • Whistle-blowers damned, justice-seekers gagged.
  • A protest slogan sweeping Europe “Bread, education, freedom” that surely popped up mistakenly from a Victor Hugo novel?
  • Pension funds raided, entitlements that no longer entitle.
And we KNEW. Really, deep down we did, didn’t we? We knew the homes we were buying were overpriced, but you have to have a roof over you head. We knew the food we were eating was probably crap, but they made the crap taste so goooood, we couldn’t resist! We knew landlords were ripping us off, but what could be done? We knew MPs were lying and bankers were cooking the books, but impotence is overwhelming when faced with so much to fix. So we carry on, we turn a blind eye, we walk by on the other side.
Most of these stories rumbled on for years – sometimes even decades – before anyone took notice or seemed to care. For instance, Tom Watson and others tried to expose the phone hacking scandal for nearly a decade, but only when journalists hacked a young, dead, girl’s mobile did the country really hear anything but the constant everyday white noise of misery.
So here we are, at the birth of The Revelation period. I can only hope historians report it more faithfully than any of our here-and-now media.

5 thoughts on “The Revelation Period

  1. A Good list of everything that is wrong & bad. O.K. Sue that makes me more determined to put it right. it’s quite easy, there is nothing fundamentally damaged. Pick yrself up & lets go.

  2. Spot on, totally agree with every individual fact as well as the overall sad but passionate message. We are a nation of apathy kept just above the breadline by the rich so that we will not revolt and they can milk us like the stupid apathetic, disconnected society we have become. Where has honesty, trust, compassion, fairness gone? It has been sucked out of us by government, corporations and media who are one and the same beast. What hope and example do we set our children. It may be a time of awareness but also a time for sadness as we reglect on the natire of mans greed and willingness to step on and over fellow man. Sorry if this seems doom and gloom, but I want to be part of something that changes this and will do what I can as an individual to do for that I am responsible. I hope to meet you on that path too. 🙂

  3. I’d describe this as prophetic in the true sense of the word. A denunciation of the very real evils in our land and our world. As promethius1938 said, now let’s put it right.

  4. Pingback: The Revelation Period

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