At the End of the Day

The road to slavery is strewn with smug acceptors

One of the beauties of having moved to an effectively ex-directory satellite telephone number is that I no longer get calls from Bombay asking how I am today and would I be interested in some elk meat for Christmas. Now, I only answer the callers that have left messages, because corporate phone sales staff never leave messages.

As with most things techno these days, moving to a ‘better’ format is a mixed blessing. Yes, the download is faster on satellite and I no longer have to grind my teeth listening to Orange folks telling whoppers about my router being faulty. However, the computer has now got Alzheimers and doesn’t remember any of my wifi peripherals like mobiles, cameras and so forth. But, wading through this mire had identified a glitch in my Windows 10 software on the computer (imagine that) so perhaps as always some good comes from bad.

Hitech hardware/software marriages refusing to talk to other similar couples is a long-standing bugbear of mine. The chief objection I have is this desire to blame 100% of the others involved while accepting 0% of responsibility themselves. During an online chat to a WordPress geek called Zach the other night, I was given his definitive opinion that my download speed was poor, which was why (he claimed) I couldn’t get to my posting page. Subsequent comparisons on ookla speed-test proved this to be complete bollocks: the speeds achieved via Nordnet were among the highest in Europe. Equally, my new Epson printer blamed router error and internet server collapse for an ability to set itself up. Ironically, it missed the main culprit – my own Window 10 software.

Laying the blame elsewhere is a particularly unpleasant form of lying, because the perpetrator is obviously attempting to gain by so doing. Politicians are the leading exponents of this technique, but I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that, in 2015, they are hated not so much for breaking promises, but for passing off an unwritten immunity from prosecution for suppliers of consumer goods and services as ‘deregulation’. The current UK Conservative administration has little idea how much it is loathed for this mendacity, but the same is true of America under a supposedly Democrat President. Neither the British nor US media deign to interview Mr & Mrs Mainstreet, but if they did a great deal could be learned about the average voter’s frustration at not being able to exercise real control over the Zil laners.

One striking element of this is the UK’s NOTA campaign from the Electoral Reform Society – that is, the desire to enshrine, as a voter right, the ability to write ‘None of the Above’ on the voting slip, without this being ludicrously recorded as a ‘spoilt ballot paper’.

If it were up to me, I’d take this right further, and give voters the right to rate each of the candidates in terms of relative unacceptability. One is reminded of the Tony Hancock episode The Blood Donor, in which he is asked – before giving blood – to tell the nurse if he has ever had any of the diseases on the clipboard she gives him.

“No,” Hancock replies, his feathers ruffled, “and especially not that one”.

The word deregulation has come, in contemporary Britain, to mean the bestowal of the right of the powerful to flagrantly disobey the law. Once this happens, the legally privileged get richer, and the impotent poor get poorer.

To get the privacy-invading rich globalists off my back, I have to pay money. To stop ISPs from lying to me about their screw-ups, I have to pay a premium price in order to enlist the assistance of an independent retail supplier. I wonder what price one will have to pay by 2020 for the right to switch off Big Brother’s cameras – purely there of course to protect us – while taking a dump.

Listen closely to what Theresa May and David Cameron are proposing about action against ‘extremists’. They are asking, in effect, for your permission to give them carte blanche to define what an extremist is. Judging by the Prime Minister’s Conference speech of earlier this week, before too long that definition is going to include the Leader of the constitutional Opposition.

It is a very small step from spelling Opposition with a capital or small ‘o’. And once that happens, there will be no defence at all against the invasion of your intimate privacy by the Corporate State.

Recently at The Slog: a knowingly useless product is marketed worldwide, and nobody gives AF