We want our government to be honest. Or do we? The theory is, we have a body elected by the people, of the people, that will work for the people with no interest whatsoever in making a personal gain. But that is not what happens, and - if we're honest - we know this is not the case, and we like it like that.
Integrity and honesty are not at the helm of the good ship Britannica. We know this to be so, but there is a perverse peace of mind that emerges from this inexorable truth.
The recent torturous rending of principals, ethics and morals in the name of personal advancement has heralded a false dichotomy for those few idealists staunch enough to clasp those tenets of humanity resolutely to their heart.
I, for one, am such an individual. I enjoy the equanimity experienced when exercising right from wrong, although I do recognise the fallibility of the human spirit and the struggle with which any man has to contend, achieving such spiritual nirvana on a regular basis. I cannot pretend to have ever attained such status, but my aspirations and my dedication to the seeking of such a claim are great – as one would, and should, expect of one’s fellow man.
On reflection then, one might think the adhesion to a set of any such defined convictions is an aspiration far, far too great for an ordinary soul elected to the seat of power: a triumvirate for a creed too onerous by which to govern.
Arguably then, it should not be so – or so these people tell us, on our doorsteps and in their campaign posters. Irrespective of their colour, their creed or their campaign, they are the chosen ones; the democratically soon-to-be (re)elected. They profess to be able, competent and capable of setting aside their prejudices so that they may canvas opinion before the decision, research before taking action, and defence for our declared common interests at the expense of all personal advantage.
Oh, come off it. Let’s be realists.
The truth is, these individuals have a commission to do just the opposite: to transgress these assurances with neither hope for leniency nor an appeal for clemency when their imperfections are – inevitably – disclosed … because in our eyes, as well as their own, they need expect no mercy, having committed no crime.
With minor modifications, they are simply elected – by us – to a position in which they must redefine their principals as a somewhat fuzzy line that's drawn between right and wrong; their ethics must become the extent to which they cross that line, back and forth, and their morals must be the speed with which they wish to be seen, returning to the other side.
Honesty, in government, is pious martyrdom: all rise, the congregation.
Irony has it, that the much-denigrated disappearance of those pillars of civilisation – the submersion of those foundations under our modern-day volume of impotent politics and cultural decline – has, in more recent years, not been an opportunity for a reprieve of conscience for the individuals concerned. In its place, in fact, rare has the interpretation been of these circumstances, as the dilemma of inordinate propensity it is for these parliamentarians: “Should I be honest, or should I keep my job? If I am honest, if I hold true to those statements of belief by which I attained this position, then – by default – I will be forced to exercise policies more akin to sedition than to salvation for the populus.”
No, this veracity of the philosophia moralis in absentia has, instead, become a seal by which the very concept of Great, British government should be defined.
It is not the profession of great principals, staunch ethics and high morals that are the characteristics we elect. It is our unswerving reliance on the immediate disappearance of such characteristics that leads us, blindfolded, to the ballot box.
In truth? We do not want honest politicians. Rather, we prefer a government that will do what is necessary on our behalves. At any cost, even unto their own sense of morality.
We desire a government comprising politicians – men and women, as flawed in their characters as we are in our own – who will steer the good ship Britannica through the turbulent seas of a recessive climate that stretches to an invisible horizon; amidst waves of social injustice and against the tide of moral decline; down the rivers of industrial, economic and educational evolution that have meandered across a landscape scarred, scarred violently by the influx of external factors such as immigration, devolution, poverty and a rise in criminality among the lower, the middle and the upper classes; across oceans of uncertainty borne of lost faith in our nation’s place among the empirical forces and military powers with whom we have forged alliances, based upon our historical strength …
Yes, what we want is a government run by people willing to don a mantle of bombastic breast-beating as they cling to the reins of power; a clique of people who will dispense with their own principals, forgo their own moral stance, and give up the pursuit of ethics as they seek resolution of the days’ arguments in interest of the greater good. Unfortunately, that's not what we get. And it is we, who choose to ignore the fact that most of the buggers are simply doing the job well (even if they're putting their own interests first sometimes).
Crede quod habes, et habes.