And so it is with the litany of MPs expenses revelations this week. This is huge, it goes to the heart of our civilisation, our heritage and our sense of what we are as a society. As Daniel Hannan puts it:
This affair has now gone beyond sleaze or election results or individual resignations. Nothing less than the legitimacy of our way of government is at stake.
This affair has been a bombshell revelation to me. Not that some MPs are bent as nine-bob notes, but that they nearly all are and they have milked the system beyond the limit, into the realms of fraud, then theft, then treason. The latter being the despicable and mendacious way that the Government moved heaven and earth to prevent publication of the facts about how our money is spent.
They have forgotten that society is a de facto social construct. We all have to agree to go along with it. But for how much longer? When will the Sans Culottes take to the streets? When will ordinary people simply cease to believe in the chimera that is now Democracy?
The beginning of the Twenty First Century has not been auspicious. We appear to be on course for top-down fragmentation of trust and, more importantly, honesty. The way to deal with the expenses problem is simple, to institute a system of payments that is transparent and unequivocal. Unfortunately it has gone beyond this scandal into bursting the bubble of public propriety and order, whilst at the same time, those who are stealing from us have introduced draconian powers of command and control. The most telling response to the debacle has been for the Government to call in the police to hound the whistleblower. If they go down that route, be afraid. It is merely another act, of hundreds, meted out to those who simply, and without danger to national security, dare to dissent.
Sadly, there will be no riots. There will be no heads rolling in Westminster. The BBC will not suddenly take on the mantle of public advocate. The mainstream media will not exhort the masses to rise up. And the reason is, ourselves. We are, at heart, content with our lot. Yes, we sigh and we curse, but we also watch, struck dumb and paralyzed by our own complacency. Where are the student campuses ablaze with youthful ardour for change? Where are the radical speakers? Where are the movements, the rallies, the sense of there being an unstoppable force for change? Where are the ordinary people who can make the changes?
They are sitting at home, watching television, and hoping to catch the revolution on the Ten o'clock News.