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Conspiratorial Theorem

The other day on the local bus I overheard a young pensioner discussing the awful state that the country, and particularly society, now found itself in. The pensioner could not understand how, with the development of societal advances such as universal education, electoral franchisement, the welfare state and human rights legislation the standards of living and opportunity were, for so many citizens, so bad. The pensioner’s co-dialogist suggested that whilst these and other advances had improved the lot of most of the formally disenfranchised classes that the power structures governing society had not really changed in the last century or so. Further, those in power had such a stranglehold upon the instruments of power (academia, justice, policy, media, fiscal) that the disenfranchised, short of revolting against the power structures, really had no means of effecting real change.

The pensioner, struggling with both the realisation and language, fell silent. The co-dialogist continued to explain that in every area of political and social policy making there existed groups of self-referential individuals (cliques or clubs) who by dint of their connections (either by birth or background, e.g. aristocratic, Eton or Oxbridge) controlled practically every facet of the citizen’s life and opportunity. A closer look at those within the powered classes revealed a clear pattern. The power cliques were self-determined (unchallenged in their strategies), self-propagating (drawing recruits from their own groups), self-regulating (being unanswerable for their actions) and untouched by meritocracy (in that regardless of their competence, vision, experience, track record or integrity they enjoyed continued support). Look at the media, the speech continued. The print media is owned by a small clique of individuals and corporations pretending to be independent scrutinizers and commentators who are in opposition with each other. A look at the movement of various editors between rival publications and further into broadcasting and political office reveals the homogeneity of the media class.

Moving onto broadcasting, how is the appointment, of individuals from the governing bodies (through management and down to the so-called creative talent) made from such prejudicially narrow academic and genetic pools such as Cambridge and Oxford and Judaism? The pensioner remonstrated that certain races were vocationally better suited in some professions than others. This was countered by a question of where the evidence lay for this superior suitability in a system that had never been open to other groups or races. More silence followed, The co-dialogist looked at the pensioners puzzled expression before pointing out that in a democratic and meritocratic society or state one would expect plurality and equity in the ruling power structures and that, especially in state funded administration, public and not private or personal enrichment should surely be the ultimate goal.

The pensioner sighed that there were many conspiratorial theories about how Britain’s greatness had been reduced to its’ current state. The co-dialogist smiled and concluded that if MPs were convicted for fiscal impropriety, government agencies investigated for illegal activities, priests accused of abuse and prime ministers photographed embracing genocidal dictators that the only conspiracies were amongst those in and abusing their power. The pensioner stood and hurrying slowly to the front of the bus muttered that this was where they had to get off. And so they did.

About the author

Erich Squatt
Erich Squatt is a Belgian writer and bête noir.