The Freudian slip that entertained the world for two digital seconds seconds felt like a shock to the system.
It was one of the rare moments in our modern society where a white wealthy male acknowledged the hypocrisy of his actions – all be it accidentality.
Although Dubya’s mind may have gone to his illegal invasion of Iraq, it’s hard to ignore the toxic parallels between Russia’s invasion and the Israeli State’s illegal occupation of Palestine. And while one aggressor is condemned in the press and given international sanctions, the other aggressor ignores international human rights, laws and receives billions in trade, aid and international cooperation. The mental gymnastics needed to justify one whilst condemning the other is exhausting.
And on the home front we are swimming in hypocrisy. No we are drowning. A Government that gave billions in Covid contracts to cronies enforce new austerity measures that cripple public services and push people further into poverty. Whilst nightly Government public service broadcasts told us we must stay home to save lives they themselves joyfully and repeatedly held parties and visited Castles.
A Government that insists people clap on their doorsteps for NHS but freezes wages across the public sector (whilst voting to raise theirs), erodes trade union and employment rights and refuses to implement laws that would force corporations to pay their taxes (let alone proportionate taxes).
The cost of living has pushed millions into poverty whilst MPs and Lords enjoy “daily allowances’ of £323 and six figure “staffing” expenses. MPs that have a subsidised bar at work and a starting salary of £84,444 insist that people who use food banks are too lazy to cook from scratch (remember that six figure MP staffing costs) and need to learn how to budget better so that they can survive on 30p a day.
It sounds like an Orwellian tale. But it’s just greed. A greed that finds it absolutely acceptable that in a time when there are more billionaires then ever before that people should live on 30p a day.
A greed that feeds and thrives on inequality and the belief that “some are better than others and deserve more (and are above the law.)”
And I haven’t even touched on the hypocrisy of our foreign or environmental policies. (or housing, NHS, security, economic. Etc)
Perhaps the behaviour wouldn’t be so damaging to our mental health if the hypocrisy was at least acknowledged or if scrutinising conversations weren’t being suppressed. Yet aided by a “free press” (that the Government paid millions in tax payer money to “buy off”) and upheld by politicised and institutionally corrupt police forces we continue to be gas lit into submission.
What crazy times we live in.