And the people saw that it was good…

It must have been centuries ago, many hundreds of years ago, when King Prius of Leftus to Litmus de Lexus and yonder Alset was King of Caranoland. Prius was lazy. He didn’t believe in learning or working. He believed in pilfering and war so instead of investing in schools and healthcare and universities and housing, he kitted his people out with guns and knives and armor and sent them all over the world to conquer and pilfer and bring the loot home.

Oh, how vast his kingdom became. It stretched all around the globe with countries happily being robbed of their people and goods just so that they could support King Prius (or so he may really actually have thought in his boundless arrogance).

And the people saw that it was good.

They took and received all the treasures from the foreign lands and lived in splendor and squalor – which both sounded equally good to them – and if anyone happened to get into the way, well, too bad.

And the people continued to live in Squalor and continued to see that it was good as King Prius who lived in Splendor kept reassuring them that they had no need for education and healthcare and all that stuff because they were naturally superior, in no need of education and healthcare and all that stuff, and there were plenty of countries left to plunder so that they could live happily ever after.

And the people agreed that it was good.

And that’s how an entire nation ended up collectively kidding themselves into believing that they were a superior, healthier and brainier race than all the folks in foreign lands and so they never even noticed it when the foreign lands raced by them because they didn’t possess the knowledge to recognize it. After all, they had no need for education and healthcare and decent housing and all that stuff and they firmly believed that this was so because after all, King Prius of Leftus to Litmus de Lexus and yonder Alset had said so.

So they knew that it was right and it was good.

King Prius, of course, never told them about it when he’d had to stop plundering those foreign lands when his soldiers were getting their butts kicked and successfully continued to convince them to live in Squalor while he continued to live in Splendor.

And the people knew that it was good.

Because King Prius of Leftus to Litmus de Lexus and yonder Alset and Lamborghini had also ordered high walls to be built around the country so that nobody who wanted to come live in Squalor too could get in.

Keir Starmer, values, the pandemic and the British. Are they in sync?

In a live webinar that took place on 24 June 2020, Keir Starmer said that there was a feeling among many in the UK that “we haven’t got our values right”. You know, that brought tears to my eyes, mostly of relief and also a little bit of gratitude.

Because I too feel that many in the UK haven’t got their values right and that is certainly reflected by the UK government.

It goes for many people in various other countries too, of course.

People who have no problem with cold-hearted callousness. People who see no problem with keeping other humans as slaves. Modern slavery shackles between 20 to 50 million people around the world, depending on how you define it.

People can be kept almost like cattle in stable-like conditions or be in a slightly better situation, trapped and for example sent to apply for housing benefits or other benefits that will go to their keepers. Who cares.

This parallel with how humans exploit non-human animals reveals the connection between how we treat each other and how we treat other species and vice versa.

Only a few days later, Keir Starmer badly messed up during BBC Breakfast on 29 June. Gone was the human rights lawyer with the emphasis on the importance of treating each other humanely, having worked in all sorts of countries all around the world suggesting that he had seen and learned so much. In his place, we saw someone much harsher and quite callous, someone keen on sending thousands to jail and someone who dismissed “Black Lives Matter” as a moment, as something that happened in faraway daft America, had nothing to do with the UK, thereby dismissing everyone in the UK who is not lily-white.

The slithery slippery slope of politics exemplified. Two sharply contrasting faces. The same man. One addressing young people in Britain, including non-indigenous Brits, the other addressing the typical BBC Breakfast audience.

So I guess that Keir Starmer does not have his values right either because “values”, that’s just whatever you present that you think will gain you most votes in his view. In the webinar, he spoke appreciatingly of “Becky” several times. The next day, he fired her. It does not matter whether she had her values right or not. If she did not, then it would have been clear long before that day and she should not have been part of Starmer’s team and if she did, then Loyalty 101 should have applied. Enough about that.

The COVID-19 lockdowns made many people more compassionate in the UK. More considerate. We started noticing each other more now, without judging. The social distancing rules forced us to look at each other and estimate the distance first instead of instantly assessing and judging each other on appearances or not even noticing those others and just walking by them.

On the same day when Starmer emulated Priti Patel on BBC Breakfast, I also read this.

Great UK headline 29 June 2020. This appears to confirm that there is indeed a feeling throughout the UK of “we haven’t got our values right”.

Apparently, lots of Brits want the country to be fairer. But for whom? And how long will that sentiment last? Fingers crossed!