Headline in the UK’s ‘The Mirror’ newspaper:
“THOUSANDS OF TURKEY COUP PRISONERS ‘RAPED. STARVED AND HOGTIED'”
I ‘shared’ the ‘report’ on Facebook with the following accompanying comment:
“If this is true, Britain, Europe, the US et al have to stop it – it can’t be allowed to carry on for another day. An hour of this is too terrible to contemplate. I know that the UN is a hopeless, racist organisation but the question must be asked, what is the point of it if they can’t – won’t – stop this sort of barbarity? Let’s see the strength and power of the big boys, the US, UK etc put to good use!”
A friend responded thus:
“Besides for the fact that the UN has always been turning a blind eye to gross human rights abuses, they won’t say a word about Turkey because they need the Turks too much strategically in order to fight Islamic State”
and back I came with:
“because politics gets in the way of altruism, politics is almost incompatible with doing good and helping people, politics and Government stand in the way of doing good and helping people, politics is about self-survival (of the politicians), politics prioritises and it usually puts people at the bottom of the list of priorities (of course, some people are at the top of the list of priorities, namely the politicians themselves). In the eyes of politicians, the vast majority of politicians, the worth of people is measured in power, influence, money and votes.
Politics requires compromises – people, ‘ordinary people’, people who are suffering, are caught up in the crossfire – ‘ordinary people’, the people who the politicians are supposed to be helping, they are the victims of the futility of altruistic, selfless politics. Altruistic, selfless politics doesn’t work. If you want to help people, DON’T go into politics – the forces of the reality of politics will push you back, you’ll be no more able to push back that tide of reality than was King Canute able to hold back the sea’s tide.
Remember, Lord Palmerston’s words: “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual” which were ‘adapted’, I guess, by Henry Kissinger thus: “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests” (the quote appears in Kissinger’s book “The White House Years”, quoted in Dinesh D’Souza’s “What’s So Great About America”).”
I’m probably being too cynical, there have been great women and men who have gone into politics, who’ve becomes genuinely great politicians, genuinely great leaders who have served the common good, whose lives have touched the lives of others in good ways, who have added value to the lives of ‘ordinary’ people, who have contributed to the quality of ‘ordinary’ people’s lives – tragically, a lot of them end up being assassinated!
Is politics, the life of a politician, her or his social/political dreams, is it all futile without power? Is there any point being bound by political convention, any point being limited by associated restrictions, if you haven’t got power? Bound by political convention, stifled by the restriction, silenced by the politicians with the power….if you haven’t got power, is your voice unheard?
If you haven’t got political power, are you impotent? My guess is that, relative to being outside politics, the answer is yes. The only people who seem to benefit from politics are the politicians themselves, the ones in power that is, and those with power, money and influence.