Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Mike Hitchen Unleashed: We've got a brand new exercise book, who's got a brand new pen?

When I was a kid in school I used to love starting new exercise books. I'd open the book and facing me would be a virgin white page sitting on a plump bed of even more clean sheets. "This is it" I'd say to myself, (which was a dangerous thing to do as, think-inside-the-box-and don't-stray, teachers classed such things as talking in class) "this exercise book is the start of better things - everything I put in it will be better than in the last exercise book"

Of course it never was as most of the things I was told to put in it were either a load of crap or of little or no value. Before long the pages would be blotted with ink, defaced by alterations and sarcastic remarks written in red by would be comedian teachers who would have been well advised to quit their day job. Only a few pages old, all promise had disappeared as fast as a tabloid journalist's integrity.

Why am I talking about school exercise books? Because new years tend to be very much like that.

We have said goodbye to 2010 and opened the 2011 exercise book. We are full of hope for change and better things to come. We get teary eyed as the clock strikes 12, hug and kiss total strangers, deluding ourselves that the world will score 10/10 in every subject and the new exercise book will be full of gold stars.

Serious faced analysts who have more letters after their names than some actual words, sit glowing with self importance as they tell current affairs hosts what we can expect for 2011. Personally I don't need an "expert" to tell me what will change in 2011 as I already know what will change - bugger all.

It could change of course, the technology is available, and judging by the trillions spent on creating and maintaining conflict, the money is available to alleviate many of the world's problems. What is missing however, is the vital component that neither money nor technology can provide - the Desire.

The world is in the hands of the few who sit in the driver's seat while we crowd behind them like back seat drivers trying to tell the driver they are going the wrong way.There is money to be made out of conflict, out of other people's grief, poverty and hunger and The Few will do all they can to keep straight on down the highway to their own El Dorado. If the world gets rid of one tyrant, another will take their place. If we give the poor land on which to grow food, someone will come along and take it from them. If we ban one country from providing arms to another - someone else will instead.

And so it goes.

If this is the case, should we sit back and accept that this will always be the case? We could, but then we would have to live with ourselves and if you are follow this blog and the main blog, then you are not the type to do that. We may be banging our heads against a brick wall, but the thing about brick walls is that they are man-made and therefore subject to cracks. Perhaps if we bang hard enough we can expose a tiny, itsy bitsy crack that if worked on, will eventually weaken the whole structure of greed and corruption.

To pinch a line from Melanie Safka - we've got a brand new exercise book, whose got a brand new pen?
Wherever you may be - be safe
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