Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday, 2 August 2009

V for Vendetta - future documentary or fiction?

I had not seen (or indeed heard of) the wonderful film V for Vendetta until yesterday evening when it was shown on BBC3 - I have recorded it and am watching it now whilst recording it onto DVD for my film library. Here's a video-clip of the speech made by 'V' over the hijacked 'British Television Network' near the beginning of the film, where he reveals to the whole nation, and its infuriated dictatorial rulers, what his plans are to bring to an end the dictatorship the country labours (*) under:



It is scarily like what Britain, after 12 years of an increasingly authoritarian Labour government, is in process of becoming. Of course the old canard (i.e. nakedly propagandistic lie) runs through the movie that the authoritarian regime portrayed in it is somehow extreme 'right-wing' (even going so far as to portray the instigator of it as a former member of the Conservative Party), when in fact it has much more in common with real-life extreme 'left-wing' authoritarian regimes of the past - notably the former Soviet Union and even more the National Socialist regime that seventy years years ago ruled Germany. I do not say, or believe, that we in Britain are currently anywhere near reaching the level of authoritarianism portrayed in this film, but the building-blocks to take us there are indeed being put into place by our current Labour government - to mention just a few these include a number of 'enhancements' such as an ever-growing DNA database, a national population database register, ID Cards and massive use of CCTV surveillance (the most extensive of any country in the world). Getting rid of Labour at the next general election is only the first step necessary to put the country back onto a better path - a lot of legislation put in place since 1997 needs to be repealed and we must ensure than whoever forms the incoming government (most likely, on current trends, to be from the Conservative Party) does this and we must use any opportunity between now and the election to cajole and badger them into committing themselves to do so and to fulfill commitments already made in this regard.

(*) - and I use that particular verb quite deliberately.

3 comments:

  1. 1) How on Earth have you missed that wonderful movie? I'm so glad you found it. I love it so much and agree with you that it is increasingly looking more like a prophecy than a warning.

    2) Are you prepared to accept the idea they is such a thing as a right wing dictatorship? I find it annoying that so many people I read (so this not a rant against you in particular! It seems to be a very common thing) spend time pointing out the historical leftist dictatorships, and commenting on the fact they weren't right wing, when surely these awful regimes should serve as an example of why authoritarian Governments of all stripes are wrong (left, right, religious, or just plain crazy) and not used as back door political point scoring devices? That a dictatorship is wrong is something I'm sure everyone can agree on, and surely the whole point of being interested in politics is trying to reach some form of agreement not create discord? I suppose I'm just as bad with my whole "British not English" thing but still...

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  2. Hi Jae,

    And thanks for commenting :)

    Are you prepared to accept the idea the(y)[re] is such a thing as a right wing dictatorship?

    Yes - examples include Saudi Arabia (where I lived for a couple of years), plus several other middle eastern autocracies. The rulers do not pretend that they are running those countries on behalf of anyone but themselves or those from a very narrow group of tribal allies.

    It seems to be a very common thing) spend time pointing out the historical leftist dictatorships, and commenting on the fact they weren't right wing, when surely these awful regimes should serve as an example of why authoritarian Governments of all stripes are wrong (left, right, religious, or just plain crazy) and not used as back door political point scoring devices?

    I agree entirely with the final point you make. However, it is the common currency amongst many people (and not just amongst 'left-leaning' people, but many 'right-leaning' people too, regrettably) to accept the lazy, (and excuse me for pointing it out) woolly thinking behind the othodoxy that certain notorious former dictatorships were 'extreme right' when a cursory glance at their policies and their actions reveals their extreme left-wing socialist nature. The most notorious example of the lot is Nazi Germany and I will continue to emphasise historical reality and not accept meekly the downright propaganda (from some) and the woolly thinking (from others) which seeks to perpetuate the myth that is was an extreme right-wing regime.

    Another myth conveniently peddled by many people is that our 'friends' in the British National Party are 'right-wing' when their constitution and their policy statements reek of socialist ideas! It is no accident that it is the Labour Party which is most worried by the rise of the BNP because it is Labour voters who are most susceptible to BNP ideas and it is the Labour vote which suffers when the BNP does well in particular council and more recently European Parliament elections. UKIP is the problem so far as right-leaning Conservatives are concerned; UKIP may be wacky (and in my view are decidedly wacky), but I don't think they can be accused of having authoritarian ideas.

    Interestingly, and to round this 'comment on your comment' off, it is probably true that the terms 'National Socialism' and 'Fascism' are regarded as interchangeable and effectively equivalent one to the other, but it is not really so. Probably the corporatist fascistic nature of some dictatorships was genuinely 'right-wing' (i.e. wartime Italy or pre-war and wartime Japan, or Chile under Pinochet), but not Nazi Germany.

    That a dictatorship is wrong is something I'm sure everyone can agree on, and surely the whole point of being interested in politics is trying to reach some form of agreement not create discord?

    Agreed - most would view this as uncontroversial. But as Wilfred Owen almost wrote, the 'naming of parts' is vitally important - I have no intention of surrendering to the 'Newspeak' propaganda of [mainly] left-leaning people when analysing historic events from a political perspective.

    I any case, I readily agree that it is great that I have now become aware of V for Vendetta.

    Cheers!
    Bill

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  3. That's a good take and it was an excellent movie.

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