September 24, 2011

In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between problems large and small – Albert Einstein.

Are any of our elected officials truly interested in justice?

It appears that it is now more expedient to exchange silence for a seat at the top table. The trappings of power, the money, the TV interviews and the glory have become the aim. The fight for justice becomes a few forgotten words on the eve of polling day, and in the end we are left with poor leadership, and those who would benefit most from the effective use of power are unceremoniously abandoned in the posturing of high office.

Those who look good in the media, have charisma and charm, are heavily marketed. Those who know their stuff, but do not produce the right kind of sound bites are left trailing. In the end we are left with a few well-connected, well educated buffoons who can talk the talk, but under closer scrutiny cannot walk the talk, or even walk the walk. Career politicians are a global curse. They soak up money and maintain the preferred status quo of their sponsors. They clearly do not know what they are doing, or we would not be facing economic collapse, high level fraud and unjustifiable banksters bonuses for which the struggling poor and middle classes are expected to pay.

The rich use our transport systems and our communications systems. They benefit from advances in government sponsored healthcare and subsidised technological achievements, yet they do not like to pay taxes. It seems that some feel they are above it, and often they are encouraged to think this way, yet it should be a pleasure to pay tax, to contribute to the economy and to help the less fortunate.

The only reason we send people to occupy those seats at the top is to leverage the power of the community to enhance national prospects and to work on behalf of those who need help the most.

But we fall for the same old tricks every time. We do not recognise good people when they come before us. We are more inclined to be tricked by the hype, for the election leaflet which looks like a pizza menu – but with even less nourishment on offer.

Occupying these seats at the top table is important. Engaging in the struggle for justice is important, leadership is important. Yet the leaders of conscience are marginalized – maybe their hair is not trendy or their suit a little crumpled – and the result is that we do not have authentic representatives of our values to occupy those seats.
Therefore, we must pay attention and hone the skill of discernment. We must not give our vote to just anybody to occupy these positions of power. We must not allow fakes to represent us. Fakes are those who wear the jackets of pseudo-authority, but who do not engage in the artful use of power on our behalf. Discerning who is genuine and who is fake has been difficult, but, take a closer look. The arrogance of those who do not have the interests of the people at heart is getting easier to see by the day. Their actions are a clue that they are not interested in our values.

It is long past time to wake up. Few stand up and fight for truth and justice in this world of desperate need. When we look beyond the smoke and mirrors of politics and power, it hurts. We have to re-evaluate everything, our past, our present, our future - so mostly we turn away in denial, preferring the comforting surreal, disneyland media trance which is presented to us on a plate. But once awake, we have the choice of fooling ourselves indefinitely, or facing up to what needs to be done and acting. The transition takes time, but once our eyes are open, they can only see. And we find we are not alone.
The UN speeches from Palestine and Israel last Friday apparently meant little to Americans, where media coverage of any kind has been scanty. Nevertheless a recent opinion poll from the Pew Research Centre shows that 42% favour the US recognizing Palestine as an independent nation, with 26% against. Nearly a third (32%) expressed no opinion. The US veto obviously does not represent he American people, only the American elite.
Had they been able to see the numbers in the table below, it would have been impossible for Americans to have no opinion.

5.5 million Jewish
11 million (7M refugees)
Overall Land Controlled
Military Personnel
1,500 large
Combat aeroplanes
Nuclear weapons
$195 billion
$4 billion
Military expenditure
$10 billion
Killed (over 63 years)
Homes demolished
Refugees created

Obama has been vacillating between his own conscience, and the wishes of those pulling the strings. he, like so many others, has traded his own sense of justice for a seat at the top table – the outward show of power, the trappings, the posh dinner parties. It may be an uncomfortable presidency for him, but it is a good deal more uncomfortable for those who most needed the justice he promised.

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