"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Friday, 20 August 2010

We, The Forgetful

I don't know if the subject of collective amnesia has been addressed before, so, with your indulgence, I thought I'd have a crack at it.

For a change, this post isn't inspired by an epiphany or a litre of merlot. It is more a unification of my thoughts and deeds over the last 12-16 months.

First, a wee tale. As regular afficianados of this blog will know, I recently visited my old pater in Manchester. What I didn't mention was "The Exchange". This event takes place, usually at the beginning of each visit, (sometimes at the end), but we both acknowledge that the visit isn't official until the ceremony has taken place. At a certain point either he will get up from his chair and head upstairs and struggle back down again with a couple of cardboard boxes. Or, I will nip out to the car and re-enter the house with a couple of cardboard boxes. These boxes, a source of great irritation to both my old ma, and my good lady wife significant other, are full of books. We each end up with fifty or sixty books. Of the four of us, at least two people are happy with the trade. Anyhoo, in this years selection was a book I would never have bought but on reflection, would have if I had seen it. It is called "An Utterly Exasperated History Of Modern Britain or 60 Years Of Making The Same Stupid Mistakes As Always" and it was written by John O'Farrell. Catchy title, eh? The point of this pointless wee tale was just to say that this book contains some serious cock-ups and its' only saving grace is that Mr O'Farrell wrote the book with comedy in mind. It also serves as a reminder of just how much we got wrong.

We got it wrong only because we did nothing when we had the opportunity. We got it wrong because we allowed the "great and the good" to make decisions that weren't theirs to make.

And I got to thinking that we have the wherewithal to stop these idiots. We have the power, and we don't need Lord Greyskull to allow us access to this power. Like the Tinman, we had the brains all along. Like the Lion, we had the courage all along. And, like the Scarecrow, we have never lacked heart.

We just forgot.

Yes, we were encouraged to forget. We were watching the magician instead of the top-hat. What is worse is that many of knew that we should not let the magician distract or misdirect us, but we did anyway. Right after the trick was done, we were routed elsewhere. We were given yet another distraction. The "magicians"-and it matters not who they are, or what name we give them-are skillful. They are adept at this sort of thing. They have been weaving this magic for centuries. And it worked. We were misdirected. We were distracted. We were led astray.

Of late, it has all gone a bit Pete Tong. Some of us started watching the top-hat and stopped eyeballing Mysto the Marvellous instead. Turns out he is a devious bastard. Him, and all his stage-hands. They collude, they conspire, they plot and they plan, hoping against hope that they will fool us all again. They rely on our collective amnesia. They depend on our forgetfulness. We rarely let them down.

Notwithstanding all the trickery, we also forget because it is convenient to do so. It is easy to forget our inalienable rights, which are mostly buried in the annals of history and were the culmination of centuries of very real battles, and reach instead for some very tangible, very touchable and very obtainable benefits.

Rights are a Rolls-Royce. Benefits are a 30 year old rusty Lada.

My choice is clear and unequivocal. I'll take the Roller. Every single time.

Just lately I have been remembering. I remember now that they work for us. I remember now that we cannot give them any more power than we possess ourselves. I remember that I do not need a license for perfectly lawful activities. I remember that statutes are not laws. I remember that statutes need my consent. I also remember that laws do not. I remember that constables are there to protect me, and that they are there to uphold the law, not statutes. I remember that we own everything. I remember that they, the five year custodians, own nothing. I remember that I am sovereign. I remember that I lent my sovereignty to the monarch. I remember that she is in power because I allow it.

Mostly, I remember that I am human. That makes me special. That makes me unique. That makes me powerful. This terrifies them. And rightly so.

All around the world the forgetful are remembering.

Millions of people are curing their own amnesia.

Is it not time that we, the forgetful here in the dis-United Kingdom, started remembering too?



  1. As I posted on CR, GV (and you shud like this) to paraphrase the words of Leonard Cohen: "When do we take Westminster" because that is the only way I can see us getting our country back!

  2. Great post. Spencer W. Kimball once said: "The most important word in the English language is remember."


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