At the Feast of Passover two thousand years ago it was customary for the Roman occupiers to pardon one condemned prisoner, selected by the people. All four Gospels have it that on one very special year the crowds insisted on the release of a chap named Barabbas.
Matthew 27:16 has this man as “a notorious prisoner”, Mark 15:7 and Luke 23:19 as a party to murder, and John 18:40 as a bandit. This was the man who, legend has it, went free as Pontius Pilate washed his hands. Some other dude went to Calvary instead.
Now leap forward two millennia and consider how ‘our’ media have treated the two prime contenders in another zero sum game, one to be decided tomorrow. Of which a Facebook poster today, name unknown to me, says this:
The British press is engaged in a form of psychological warfare against the British public. In our archaic and fundamentally undemocratic electoral system, there are effectively only two people who can become Prime Minister on Friday morning.
One is an Old Etonian, Bullingdon-bully with a history of making nakedly racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic remarks and who is the living embodiment of elitist privilege …
… a man only too happy to send other people’s children to be killed in wars waged on behalf of the big corporate interests who profit from them and a man who sees genocide as a real estate opportunity. …
… a man who believes working class people are layabouts and considers a second income of £250,00pa “chicken feed”. A man who has such lust for power and high office that he will literally say, or do, anything if the price is right. A man of the old, dying world.
And then there’s a man with conviction – a man who believes in everything he says with unwavering fortitude …
… a man who has spent his life opposing the bloodlust of Britain’s warmongering elites and who has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with oppressed peoples throughout the world – irrespective of whether it made him popular politically …
… a man who has railed against the establishment and opposed policies injurious to his constituents regardless of whether it was his own party implementing them; a man who refuses to engage in ad hominem attacks and identity politics and instead focuses on issues; a man who in his spare time makes jam, tends to vegetables on his allotment and visits homeless people on Christmas Day.
And guess which one of these two men the British press, in its obsession with personality politics and utter commitment to destroying anything remotely resembling social democracy, has worked overtime trying to portray as a menace to society?
But politics is not about personalities. It is about issues and it is about compromise. The media and political establishment understand that the public is a threat that must be countered. That is why general election cycles have become pantomime – those who wield power aim to keep the public distracted; they do not want an engaged electorate making rational, informed decisions. They want a disengaged electorate making irrational, uninformed decisions, often against their own interests.
This is how the Tories maintain a stranglehold on British politics and why so much of policy-making is at odds with the expressed wishes of the electorate.
There is a clear choice to be made in this election. Vote Tory and prop up the old, dying world with a party that believes the road to serfdom can be circumnavigated by filling in a few potholes and by making hospital parking free – for those visiting terminally ill patients; or vote for the party most likely to beat the Tory standing in your constituency and allow a new world to be born: a world in which the gross economic disparity at home is somewhat re-balanced and a world in which foreign policy is based on mutual co-operation and diplomacy rather than economic imperialism and military aggression.
Everything else is just noise.
Do I agree with all the above? Nope, not all. But on the central thrust, vilification by rightwing and ‘liberal’ media alike of the one who by any sane standards is demonstrably and vastly the better man?
On that I agree a thousand percent. And no, I’m not confusing one JC with another – don’t be so bloody literal! There’s only so far you can push an analogy, innit?
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