Far From the Madding Crowds Sat, 29 Aug 2009
By: Kian Mokhtari
A flustered looking pet dog runs to its “bestest friend in the whole wide world,” as she, emerges from Sainsbury's super market. Outside Maple tree tops catch the sunlight and sway gently in the breeze. The weather is so pleasant for the time of year in England and at around 24 degrees centigrade shiny new cars are out with their owners visibly cherishing the chance to wear their latest style sunglasses. The convertibles have their tops down as the occupants let their hair down. London's red buses run as they always have through the garden suburbs and there are no hints of anything unusual going on in Britain's capital.
Even the annoying world recession does not appear -on the face of it- to have done much lasting damage. People are out eating in the restaurants and soaking in the precious sunlight. There is peace all around.
The Brits are known for sweeping all unpleasantness under the carpet and possess a pedigree called the stiff upper lip. However something is on the British public's mind and it preoccupies the people as they grin and bear it. You'd have had to have been brought up in Britain to sense and understand it.
All is not what it seems in London.
If one were to make a rough guess about it he would have to say perhaps the war Afghanistan is beginning to bear down on the British public's conscience.
This isn't because Afghans are getting killed or because Afghanistan is in a total new mess created by the US-led coalition's occupation of the country. There has never been any sense of guilt about empire-building in Britain.
In the last few sunny days of August 2009, the British public goes about its business with a sense of collective guilt about the British troops dying in a far flung region of the world in which the enterprise of “great pitch and moment” of war against terrorism has lost the name of action.
So how does the Gordon Brown government justify it all?
The publicity undercurrent to keep the British taxpayer at bay, something that is ever so delicately transferred through the media -and yet the method in it reeks of vulgarity- is to portray all the rest of the world as a whirlpool of uncertainty, chaos and disorder.
Britain's state controlled TV, the BBC, and the so-called privately owned channels' reports from even the most peaceful places in the world quickly rush to find faults with them and magnify their shortcomings.
Good old England can never sink as low as that horrid Godforsaken geographic mishap the programs shout out. The reports communicate the message to the people of Britain that they are indeed blessed by God to be living in the tranquility of a lone Island that is too full of “goodness gracious me” to even consider itself part of Europe.
So the message is, in order to preserve the status quo sacrifices have to be made; and the young gentlemen in England who have grown up to love their land, history and heritage are most often the lot who feel obliged to pay the price with their lives; if they must!
The British public is so skillfully detached from it all with an instilled sense of social superiority over the rest of the world that it will never sway from the path set out for it by a few devil's advocates with unlimited tools of control within -funnily enough- a Democracy.
The war in Afghanistan will most likely be lost, but will be declared a victory in line with the age old habit of the Western world in such situations. However this time, the stigma attached to such senseless loss of lives all-round is showing signs of remaining to impede Britain in the future. It appears to be chipping away at the very core of the British society's cohesion: that artificially generated sense of moral ascent that has kept the scam running for centuries.