Saturday, October 25, 2008

A consensus

Effectively fisking Jackart's rather muddled review of V For Vendetta, Amused Cynicism finishes up with this rather splendid summary.
It’s now time for people to coalesce upon a consensus that:
  1. if the present political climate continues, Britain in 20 years time will be somewhere where the state monitors everyone’s activities and punishes every infraction. Millions of ordinary people will be in justifiable fear of walking a step out of line, saying a word out of place, or even thinking a forbidden thought.

  2. this would be a very bad thing. As the DPP puts it "something we can’t bear."

  3. therefore the erosion of civil liberties is the most important issue facing our society.

  4. neither the Labour nor the Conservative Party can be relied upon to do the right thing.

If a sufficient number of people can agree to this, then the Orwellian nightmare that you and I dread can be avoided.

Unfortunately, gaining that consensus—and finding people willing to act upon it—is the problem. And for all of Jackart's nit-picking—especially as to who the real Guido Fawkes was and what he was fighting for—this is what V manages to do: he not only makes people understand what has been done to them (one of the hardest tasks) but he unites people in indignation and gives them the inspiration to do something about it. It is for that reason that I find V For Vendetta so very uplifting.

And then, of course, the film ends and I am back in a depressing world where people barely comprehend the state control being stealthily imposed upon them, where no one can be bothered to do anything about it, and where alien-voters and their fucking Party tribalism effectively neuter protest and keep the same gaggle of corrupt rulers in power.

Fuck this, I'm off to watch V again, and dream of a world where people give a shit about their liberties and mine...


Anonymous said...

Jackart, God love him, is a fucking cretin. His heart is in the right place but his head is empty; he tries too, too hard and he's hampered by the competing problems of an ego the size of Waziristan and a chronic inferiority complex.

His tendency to fabricate epic quantities of shite in a somewhat pathetic attempt to impress his readership doesn't help much either. Poor lad.

Anonymous said...

What a great manual for political change - a Warner Bros movie based on a comic written by a beardy weardy socialist nutjob. Sorry, I didn't mean to say 'comic', we are meant to call them Graphic Novels nowadays, aren't we ?

I'll look forward to the next installment of your manifesto, based no doubt on a fusion of Warhammer 40K and the Cures latest album.

Fucking public schoolboys, will you ever grow up ?

Anonymous said...


You do have a point you know, but it's not the one you think.

V was a story. 1984 was a story. Animal Farm was a story. They were not reality, and indeed, their authors hoped that the world they depicted would not come to be.

And yet those worlds are coming together now. The fictions, the warnings, are bleeding into reality all around us.

I take it you don't see that. Well, good luck in your world because yours will soon be the fiction, and Orwell's the reality.

Like Orwell, and like those who drew the comic you mention, I hope to be wrong even though evidence demands I take the other view.

I very much doubt DK sees 'V' as a manifesto item. I suspect he sees it as a warning of what might be. Of what is happening now. The only difference is that there is no caped crusader in real life. If we want change, we have to do it ourselves.

Batman, Superman, V, all of them, are distractions. They play into the hands of the State that wants us all to believe that someone else will deal with it. That we need only sit back and wait. If we do, it will be a very long wait.

Nobody is coming to the rescue. We stand alone, our only weapon the ballot box, our only option the spot where we mark our 'X'. That is all we can do to stop the lunacy.

Place your 'X' where you think best. I'm not promoting any party but I won't be voting for any of the Three Pigs now at the trough. A vote for another party is not a wasted vote. A vote for any of those three is a vote for the same as we have now. That's the real waste.

For myself, I have never been within sight of a public school, only within the gates of a State grammar/comprehensive. In those das, they taught real knowledge without editing to fit a Party line.

When I left, I grew up. Not many do that any more.

Guthrum said...

I am Grammar school educated when they still had real 'teachers' rather than social engineers reinforcing a state agenda. If you do not believe me go and have a look at what six formers are forced to endure under the guise of 'general studies' which not an option

Anonymous said...

I largely agree with Jackart. I didn't notice the American uniform thing but I couldn't help but get annoyed at:
1) The obvious influence of Stephen Fucking vexFry from the minute he started wanking off about "very volatile vexatious" etc etc.
2) The story seemed to cash in on the Iraq war fretting, while blaming it, and the civil liberties restrictions etc, on a Tory, rather than Labour, government.
3) Stephen Fucking Fry again, as whatever his character was, whining on about being 'different'.
4) Possibly other reasons which I've since forgotton.
Having said that, I did enjoy it in parts, and some of the aspects of what a dictatorship might look like (except for the silly black/red colour scheme).

Unknown said...

This all sounds slightly hysterical. Are we really on the brink of a totalitarian state? Do we not need a state to regulate things? I mean I'm not saying the state gets it right - not at all. But are you really arguing that there should be no state at all?

I am willing to accept that maybe I'm just brainwashed. It is true that I find it hard to conceive of Britain without a state. I can't even imagine what it would look like.

But I argue against various policies because I see the harm that they do. You seem to argue against anything that comes from the state simply because it comes from the state. And then you and your followers talk in this victimhood manner of 'oh woe is me', the people in power are out to get us...

Are they? Aren't they generally just a bit dim?

I want to know what you want. You want the state to disappear? Is everything and anything the state does, bad, simply because it is the state?

pagar said...

We are not approaching an Orwellian world. We are there.

Yesterday, my 18 year old son was approached in a shop by two Community Police Officers who took him outside and accused him of stubbing out his cigarette on the pavement prior to entering (which he had done). He offered to pick up the offending piece of 'litter' but was told the matter could only be dealt with by a formal caution.

He was then read his rights followed by "have you anything to say in your defence?"

Son- "No"

Piglet- "Can I write down that you're sorry?"

Son- "Oh all right then"

Fucking authoritarian scum. Where's V when you need him?

Longrider said...

But are you really arguing that there should be no state at all?

Miss S - DK has never argued for no state; that would be anarchy. What he and others of us who think similarly is that the state should be massively reduced, that its encroachment into areas of our lives that are none of its business should be turned back.

If, as some commneters seem to think, this is sixth form ideology, then all those Britons who died for the liberties we hold dear were also sixth formers.

Anonymous said...

Miss S: The state is about violence. Violence is the raison d'etre of the state. Everything the state does arises from violence. The only reason why the state can work is because, ultimately, it will kill you if you refuse to submit to it. (Every penny it spends is taken with the threat of imprisonment. That you pay up and don't go to jail does not negate that the money was taken with menances, in the same way that a business which pays Mafia protection and thus is never punished is still suffering from violence (because a credible threat is all that was required). If you are sentenced to imprisonment for non-payment of taxes and yet refuse to yeild your liberty, the reality of the state's violence will sink in very quickly and will no longer seem so hysterical. Ultimately, if you defend your liberty with enough force, ultimately the state will execute you. And rightly so, or who would ever pay taxes?)

We need the state because without someone to impose his will on others then there will be conflict. So vesting overwhelming power of violence in a single actor, a monopoly of the means of violence, is necessary for arbitration and a system of conflict resolution that is based on something better than might is right. Ie, the rule of law. It is upon this threat of violence that law, and the peace and order which arises from it, is built.

A liberal, therefore, will advocate a state which extends itself to activities for which the consequences if not carried out would be so calamitous to the liberty of its citizens that the liberty sacrificed (every additional penny of taxation can be thought of as an additional liberty sacrificed) was outweighed by liberty lost by that calamity.

Personally, on this measure alone we're already in a pretty totalitarian state. Little of what the state does at the moment can be justified. And that's before the police national computer, DNA database, 28 days summary imprisonment, driving licence tracking database etc etc.

It is true that we're not torturing political dissenters yet, but how long before we're shipping off 'climate change deniers' to some EU jurisdiction whose writ extends to UK blogs, for example?

Anonymous said...

Oh - I forgot to mention that I am currently threatened with the full majesty of the state's violence should I wish to smoke a cigarette on the private property of business who choses to permit me to do so, likewise I am for permitting fully-grown adults to smoke cigarettes on my premises, if they are commercial. And that is to say nothing of the consequences of me smoking, say, cannabis or consuming a pill of ecstasy. Or swapping those items for something else (by means of money) with another fully grown adult. Oh - and the police can confiscate property of mine which it believes was acquired through such a swap thanks to the Proceeds of Crime Act. In fact, merely carrying £3000 in cash (not 100% sure of the exact amount) can be grounds for suspicion.

Not a totalitarian state yet. But we seem to have laid most of the groundwork.

Old Holborn said...

My East German friends lived their lives very normally.

They really didn't notice too much that they had no rights. It was only when they wanted to go on holiday, change jobs, get married or buy a car that they were confronted by the State. Most of the time they were actually very happy under Communism.

It's becoming exactly the same here. Most of the time, the State is invisible to the common man, so when we remind him that he no longer has free speech, each school now has a political officer or his vote is now registered with his name and address, unless it actually adversly affects him directly, he couldn't give a toss.

That, I believe, is the message of V.

Most people are not Libertarians. They aren't interested in rights, they are interested in money. As long as they can play golf, drive a nice car and wear a Tag Heuer, they aren't bothered.

(You'd be surprised what the East Germans bought the minute they were liberated. Nice cars, golf clubs and Tag Heuers)

Anonymous said...

V is just more left wing propaganda.

Pro-immigration, pro-Islamic and pro-homosexual.

The implicit assumption is that the state is right wing and one of the main messages of the film is that if you are opposed to
immigration or the islamisation of the country you are a nasty right winger who would support a dictatorship.

History has shown us that it is the left that always moves towards more and more oppresion.

Anonymous said...

"The New World Order (I don't believe in that as something planned BTW it is just where the scummy states US/UK/EU find themselves heading) was to be East Germany with credit cards to keep the average idiot quiet in the manner Old Holborn's post above details. It seems increasingly likely that the future will now be just East Germany and no credit cards. How that will change things if at all--who knows. Hopefully even the dumb masses won't be to happy about povety and tyranny.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Compare hsld's comment...

"I'll look forward to the next installment of your manifesto, based no doubt on a fusion of Warhammer 40K and the Cures latest album."

... with my post...

"And then, of course, the film ends and I am back in a depressing world..."

I think that I am making it pretty obvious that what I am watching is a fantasy, no?

I am well aware that the majority of the British people are too stupid, lazy and ignorant to understand what is going on and to do anything about it and that, for this reason alone, V For Vendetta is a fantasy.

"Fucking public schoolboys, will you ever grow up ?"

It's very strange, you know, this bitter attitude. My brother is immensely cautious of who he reveals his public school roots to, for fear of reprisals before people have got to know him.

Your humble Devil has never had a problem reasoning that not only can I not deny who I am (and that is partly my upbringing) but that people were, generally speaking, too intelligent to indulge in mindless bigotry.

Thank you for setting me straight, hsld.


Anonymous said...

You know, I'm heartily sick and tired of this despicable inverse snobbery directed at people who went to public school.

I did not go to school in this country, yet I have been accused of having exploited blck people for the benefit of my education (well fuck you terry kelly).

Personally, I don't care where a person went to school. If a person's parents had the wherewithall to pay for him/her to go to a school to receive a better quality education, then good for them. Truth be told, if we had the means to do it ourselves, we would. Just look at how many Labour MPs send their children to public schools and avoid the state indocrination system they have created for the less fortunate.

As far as creeping totalitarianism is concerned. Never underestimate a riled up Englishman. Most totalitarian states have been dismantled most violently from within.

Anonymous said...

V isn't a vision of what the UK is turning into, it's just the same old right bashing, as a commentator pointed out earlier.

And as for public schoolboys, I'm unrepentant. I should know what they are like, I spent some years at a minor public school thanks to my fathers employer offering a bursary every year for two employees kids.
I have never met such a bunch of horrible little wankers in my life.
It was a happy day when I finally managed to get myself thrown out.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"V isn't a vision of what the UK is turning into, it's just the same old right bashing, as a commentator pointed out earlier."

No, it is state-bashing.

"I should know what they are like, I spent some years at a minor public school... I have never met such a bunch of horrible little wankers in my life."

Because, of course, you were not, at the age of 16 or whatever, a horrible little wanker at all, were you?

Oh, like most of us, you were: you were just a different type of horrible little wanker.

I am not the same person that I was half of my life ago, and I doubt that you are.

After all, now you are older, you can add "bigoted" to "horrible little wanker" when describing yourself, eh?


Old Holborn said...

Bottom line

Did V live his life on his terms or did he live his life on Chancellor Sutlers terms?

Will you live your life on your terms or will you live your life on Chancellor Browns terms?

Remember. Just like everyone else, you get ONE life. Which would Chancellor Brown prefer you do?

Anonymous said...

Forgive me if I doubt your credentials as an outlaw, Mr Holborn.

I know you are planning to wear fancy dress and get the shit kicked out of you by the cops on the 5th, but what is that going to accomplish ?
Do you think it'll be reported in the media ?

Do you pay your TV license ? I haven't for the last 18 years.
Do you resist unfair taxation to the point where bailiffs are trying to break into your house ( Yes I know that's currently illegal, but it doesn't stop them trying ) and you have to hide your vehicle a couple of streets away to stop it being seized at 6am ?
Have you had a CCTV camera erected outside your house due to a campaign of non-compliance with the local council Stazi ?

You don't know what being an outlaw is, or what it entails, so don't presume to lecture me on the basis of a stupid film. I have lived that way for years. It isn't glamorous and it fucking grinds you down.

It's not possible in the real world to blow the wankers up with C4 or stab them in the spine, so grow fucking up will you.

I do think your heart is in the right place, although your head certainly isn't. With that, I hope you and the rest of your idealistic chums don't get too badly hurt on the 5th.

Anonymous said...

DK - reference MY attitude problem - the last year of my schooling was at a Catholic comprehensive, where I was the only protestant kid. On paper that was a recipe for me getting my head kicked in, but I had the time of my life there.
Calling me a bigot is water off a ducks back, being a bigot is just calling things how they really are.

Anonymous said...

Dk and OH are a couple of popmpous pricks.

hsld tells it like it is.

pagar said...


DK and OH are generally stimulating and amusing which is why people read their comments- unlike Hissing Sid who in his own words convinces you that he is the sort of arsehole you would cross the street to avoid.

Oh yes. And they can spell.

Anonymous said...

Jackart is good, but his blog has been going downhill ever since he got that fuckwit Travelgall to make guest posts all the time.

I'll go back to reading his blog regularly when he realises it's all very well & good to play rugby & have a beer with someone, but don't let him post on your website if he hasn't got the intelligence to do it properly.

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