Friday, 6 December 2013

no bitterness no peace

The BBC was at its cultic drip-drip mind-wearing worst over its repetitive Mandela obituaries, which all other news was simply abolished to make way for. On radios Scotland, 4, and 5 last night, all of them alike, the so-called news consisted of only this one event and lofty top folks' remarks on it. Even when they paused to say, now the headlines, so you thought you were going to get something else, even the headlines consisted only of this one single item repeated again.

Yet the same day, we had had our strongest wind storm for years, with a startling total closure of our rail network, and the major bridges, stuff falling through the roof of Glasgow Central station, and a lorry blown over. You would think we wante to know about the immdeicate local situation of our own lives?

A dissenting blog here:, and Medialens who linked to it, shows that the reson why Mandela is getting so deified now is because during his government South Africa was bogged down into the neocon world economy and totally failed to solve the racially disparate poverty inherited from apartheid. Can well remember the serious papers, at the time, reporting about continuing ill-treatment of white employed black farm workers. John Pilger on interviewing him in 1996 on breaking his word on privatisation: .

As Pilger mentions, Mandela portrayed expedient deals with the old white economic elite as part of "reconciliation". And this totally illuminates why the BBC line has been all about how wonderful he was for choosing against "bitternesss" and "revenge". One BBC headline report, which is supposed to be fact not opinion, stated as a fact the opinion that Mandela saved South africa's peaceful outcome this way. All the while, because he is in such media favour, they choose to make no mention of Winnie Mandela and the necklace atrocities in 1986, and how though the Mandelas divorced it was ambiguous whether Nelson ceased to be aligned with her on that and certainly his death announcements treated her as a linked and a perfectly fine figure in the face of that savage history. Same as with Churchill, which this selective deification is similar to, they chose to forget that he had believed in forced sterilisation of the poor and in a lower grading of the races ousted by colonial white societies worldwide.

The fad for talk of reconciliation processes and anti-bitterness propaganda, and the age-old anti-revenge line by the major religions, are about taking away fairness and even its expectation. Their purpose is to acculturate ordinary people into a state of passive fatalism with whatever an unjust course of events has given them, away from expecting feeling any entitlement or claim to redress and the writing of wrongs. It is a way for political elites to avoid bothering with any outstanding injustices at ordinary people level, whenever they dispose of a difficult situation is the quietest life way for themselves that presents.

It is an agenda that threatens us in the Scottish referendum process too. It is the way any anomalies about citizenship, anyone unfairly left out of it, could be ever so gently hushed away by the BBC. It has already started in the media consensus that we should just treat the White Paper as a sketch of ideal wishes none of whose detailed contents are actually committal to anything. Suffer from this? Oh but that's bitterness you see, no no no, gotta have reconciliation, innit? or it will be the same with any deflated hopes felt after a No vote, and when the system clams up to give us no further political reform and reminds us it had always been noncommittal that it would. Oh no don't keep on about this at us, that's bitterness you see, innit, no no no, you had your vote, gotta have reconciliation, now.

That's how the trick will work. Be on guard not to accept it.

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