Via Facebook, I’ve just seen a photo of a notable cleric and an infamous DJ. I don’t know if it’s been retouched (the photo I mean). I’m not really interested either – at least for the purposes of this post – in whether the story is true or not.
For the moment, all I would like you to focus on is the game that’s being played.
All of a sudden, from politicians to celebrities, from the clergy to singers, from the high-and-mighty to the lowly of caste, skeletons are being violently forced and levered out of closets and coffins. There seems to exist a particularly Anglo-Saxon delight in pursuing those who have allegedly committed sins of the flesh. Now I’m not suggesting for one moment that they shouldn’t be pursued. As I’ve already said on these pages, we should all bear witness to the lives we have chosen to live. What I am trying to make patent is that there is a certain excess on display – a definite inaccuracy too – with respect to what we’re accusing all these people of having committed.
Above all, when we lick our proverbial journalistic lips and use distancing techniques to protect ourselves from all awful association, or slyly juxtapose old and recent news, the inaccuracies – and perhaps also the bad faith thus contained – become all too apparent.
These matters are being sold as a righteous society cleaning up after sexual perverts. Two reactions on my part:
- The sexual abuse committed (or not) by those currently in the limelight is not principally a matter of sorry individuals abusing others sexually – but, rather, a question of the powerful abusing the powerless. It is not sex which matters most here but, instead, the abuse by those at the top of our societal trees over those who find themselves almost inevitably at the bottom.
- Inasmuch as we are talking not about sex but – in truth – about power, the lesson we should draw is that any abuse of any power by absolutely anyone – and not just tabloidy abuse of a lascivious nature in a sexually couched transaction – is, frankly, as bad as absolutely any other.
What, as a consequence, is our society ignoring – even deliberately and self-interestedly as might be the case? Well, I would suggest the following: the fact that the Anglo-Saxon Inquisition is now pursuing the “perverts” we perceive with grand vigour – when, at the time, the all-powerful establishment got away with almost everything it cared to, as phone-hacking, the altering of police evidence and the fucking and deceiving of young and impressionable activists in the name of state security all got their shabby green lights – doesn’t half make one wonder whom this sudden inquisitorial bent should suddenly serve to benefit.
For the abuse of power continues apace. The abuse by the powerful over the essentially powerless is as prevalent now as it is now appearing to have been then. And whilst sexual abuse still plagues our societies – and still finds itself the object of rightful condemnation – the kind of abuse I would like our police to pursue with equal enthusiasm is the kind of abuse I see exerted by elected representatives over the people they supposedly serve.
This hullabaloo over sexual abuse is right and appropriate – but only if we inscribe it in a wider campaign to eliminate the cruelty of the rich and connected over the poor and disadvantaged.
Time, then, for us to fight for an Atos for political professionals?
Time to seriously wonder if our politicians are fit for work?
Time to decide if MPs, and other political movers and shakers, are suitable for the jobs they carry out?
Time, in essence, to propose an Inquisition to investigate and interrogate the workings not of Anglo-Saxon sex but – rather – of Anglo-Saxon power?