Puppet Masters Play Terror

April is NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) and I have just signed up for it. (Yes, I’m a day late; I might go on a day longer; I might be utterly reckless and say “Hah! Who cares!” I may or may not keep up with every day posting – it’s a busy month with day job overtime galore, Easter school hols and visitors, too.)

Here’s a poem fragment-in-creation for today:

If the Puppet Masters Tell Us to Goose-Step Will We Flip the Bird?

Accountability may mean many things –
transparency, responsibility, strings
attached and the need to see who pulls
them or are we sold as all too willing fools?


The next question is, “Will Myfanwy have a rant-less, cheery, fluffy poem, maybe a haiku, tomorrow?” Place your bets now – then read on for today’s mega-rant:

Blogger Jack of Kent (David Allen Green) has a clear-sighted consideration of our UK laws and where they may lead. He asks precise questions and, in Quaker parlance, speaks Truth to Power. I don’t always agree with him on every point but I always appreciate the intelligent care he gives to his commentaries.

A recent blog post concerns how, irrespective of which political party runs Britain, certain ideologies hold sway, perpetuated in non-elected bodies. The They are Coming to Get us: Fight Them! Terror! ideology – or, as Green voices it, without tabloid hysteria, ‘the national security and anti-terrorism party’. This is a global hysteria – we share it with the Americans and others (but particularly the Americans). Paranoia, power, “if you’re not with us, you’re against us”, “not one of us” and so on. It has spawned non-existent WMD, wars, drone strikes over non-combatant countries, “collateral damage” and more sick newspeak, torture, rendition, Guantanamo, etc, and, yes, TERROR.

Whenever the government – or the parties behind the government – want to bring in something we won’t like they beat us with the terror and/or law-and-order big stick and we still buy it because They Know Best. And once we’ve gone down that route, it’s a slippery slope – going back is much harder.

The riposte to those who complain of Big Brother watching, or infringement of civil liberties is “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.”

My response is, at the moment.

Let’s consider some “what if?s”

America is harking back to the dark ages as it wobbles on its super-power podium. Amongst other craziness, much recent mumbo jumbo harks back to a religious fundamentalism treating women’s bodies as property of a patriarchal state. (The kind of legal framework those same Tea Party mad hatters shout about in the context of Islamic reactionary states. Go figure.)

So, extrapolating: what if paternity out of wedlock is to be inferred from mobile phone messages? what if affairs – punishable by death – are to be inferred from frequency of proximity from satellite data on phones or vehicles? what if ID chips are to be inserted into each of us to track our movements?
And so on – talking of terror ….

WE are the people.

The “war on terror” is, all too often, an excuse for divisiveness – fear of specific groups that spills into generalised fear of any “difference”; an excuse to denigrate, despise, hate.

How can we build trust? Lessen terror? Draw communities together? (Save millions on “defence”? – fear is big business, with lobbyists to back it; the world spends more on defence in one month than it would cost to feed the world for a year. Go figure – again). Make a solid foundation to survive the coming decades? Make the world a safer place?


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