For decades they got away with it. By the time we finally woke up to what they were doing – and what we’d been doing – it was too late.In years to come if/when we look back on our last failed chance to save the planet, on democracies that swooned in the arms of fascists & demagogues, historians may conclude that this was partly due to decades in which we glorified greedy sleazy little men like PhilipGreen.
We knighted them. Gave them tv shows and limitless power. Our politicians courted them. We made them president.
We ignored their shallowness, their lies, their bullying, their petty relentless greed. We were fascinated by them. Some of us practically worshipped them.
When they bought newspapers and tv channels, we lapped up everything they said. We blamed the poor – a parasitic burden, we were told. We blamed foreigners and migrants – usurpers and intruders.
Whatever the Greens, Trumps, Murdochs and Bransons wanted, we wanted that too.
If they didn’t want to pay taxes, we bent over ourselves to let them get away with it. If they wanted to take control of our hospitals, our schools, our railways, our water, we let them. If they decided that ‘austerity’ was necessary- for us not them – we accepted it.
If they didn’t want to do anything about climate change & decided they wanted to cancel any attempts to prevent it & hack down some more rain forest, we let them. They knew best.
If they lied & fleeced people we didn’t care. It showed that they were tough predators
If they bullied and abused the women they worked with we didn’t care about that either. It showed that they were real men. The kind of alpha males that we wanted to be. If they were racist, what of it? They enabled us to be racist too. They were our fantasy friends.
When we looked for role models or sources of inspiration, we didn’t look for scientists, writers, nurses, doctors & all the millions of people who quietly and unselfishly perform little acts of kindness everyday, we looked for the Greens and Trumps – the men with the Midas touch.
Our politicians grovelled before them. We dreamed of becoming their apprentices. We watched them soar.
For decades they got away with it. By the time we finally woke up to what they were doing – and what we’d been doing – it was too fucking late.