Beyond parody

Two cracking, unbeatable stories this week. First off, the Govt has announced that it is moving the powerhouse of the Northern Powerhouse out of the north and to little old London. Clearly there’s not enough actual power in the North for it to kickoff the mighty explosion of power that the scheme will eventually release. It’s like nuclear fusion in that respect.

Secondly, Osborne has stated in the Commons that now we have the recipe for curry, we don’t need any more immigrants coming here with the recipe. Somehow the Tories are parodying the parodies of them from 1980’s. What happens when they start getting ahead of current day satire, I’m not sure, but I think it’ll be like more like nuclear fission, Chernobyl-style.

It’s easy to point at these things and say, “Good grief, they really are a bunch of idiots. Messing everything up”. I mean, it’s understandable. By most standards of rational behaviour, the actions of the Govt are utterly irrational. But, as Weber made clear, there’s no such thing as irrational behaviour, only behaviour you cannot understand the rationality of. Like Dawkins and religion, Trump and human beings, and myself and crossfitters, you have to think as the supposedly irrational person does to understand their thought and decision making processes.

We are all victims of it. We buy from Amazon when we decry their tax-status, we drink Coke when we know it’s awful for our health (though not as bad as for the health of trade unionists in Latin America) and so forth. Irrationality is human behaviour in a nutshell.

We know that Osborne and the rest of them are not stupid (bar Andrew Lansley, of course). So why does their behaviour seem so irrational? It’s because their actions conflict utterly with their words. From the “greenest Government ever” to Osborne saying he wants everyone to have a “fair share” of the economy, their words suggest one thing, but their actions another. Rising inequality, harsh attacks on the vulnerable and some no limits, hardcore fracking action suggest another.

We have reached a place where politicians know that their words count for almost nothing. Where Osborne can stand in Parliament and perform a Rowan Atkinson sketch with a self-satisfied smirk on his face, and yet mean it. When politicians are beyond parody and virtually unchallenged, what do we have left to stop them with?

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