When your politics and perspective lean towards the capitalist right, you become resigned to the fact that, in between all the stuff you side with, you will occasionally hear some things that sound like thinly-veiled dingbattery at its worst.
So there has been some stuff these last ten years or so that I have read or heard from libertarians and economists alike, which I have mentally filed away in a drawer marked ‘overreaction’.
Western nations running out of fuel, setting up glorified police states and forcing me to arm myself to the teeth to defend a house stocked to the rafters with tinned food and the fragment of bullion bar that represents my hurriedly-withdrawn life savings – I just thought that we would somehow manage to be better than this; that the First World, for all its flaws, would be rational enough to hold back most varieties of man-made apocalypse.
Reading about the travesty unfolding in Cyprus, however, I am not as sure as I was. At the very least, the spectre of politicians ransacking people’s savings to shore up holes in the national economy is an almighty blow to idealists who still like to think of State and citizenry working together towards some common good.
While the people who got the planet into this economic mess are allowed to go their own sweet way with barely a sanction worthy of the name placed in front of them, the ordinary citizen finds his savings plundered to levels as high as 60%. The Cypriot government reminds me of those comedians who endlessly lampoon Christianity while skirting around Islam as if it wasn’t even there: go for the soft target, the ones without lobbyists, PR armies or financial clout. The ones who won’t fight back. How very brave.
And is there a Cypriot politician out there, I wonder, who feels a scrap of shame that, on his or her watch, the people of Cyprus are told with despotic arrogance exactly how slowly and minutely they may retrieve their own money. It is as if King John has popped up in exile on a Mediterranean island. It is a 21st century scandal.
And what should worry the rest of us is the prospect that politicians across Europe are watching this wretched episode unfold and seeing not so much a disgrace as a useful precedent. I hope I’m wrong but I am starting to believe that in one respect at least, the fear mongers of the right are spot-on. There is no partnership with government, no common goal. We are simply useful idiots whom politicians use to cover their lame behinds.
Dingbattery? Let’s just see if this nonsense stops with Cyprus, shall we?
- Cyprus President’s Family Transferred TENS OF MILLIONS To London Days Before Deposit Haircuts (infiniteunknown.net)
- Cyprus has finally killed myth that EMU is benign (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Cyprus just got worse (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- Cyprus eases some bank restrictions (bbc.co.uk)
- Cypriot Politicians’ Loans Written Off (greece.greekreporter.com)
- “We did not have loans written off” (Cyprus Mail)