(ZNet, May 13, 2009)
“The roots of violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principles.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Rather like the state of the world today. We see violence in many forms, of which the latest is the scandal revealed of the ‘expenses bonanza’ of British MPs using public money to maintain their own lifestyle. This at a time when millions of their fellow citizens struggle to cope with the economic meltdown.
Ordinary people lose jobs, their homes, their possessions; children go to bed hungry, their education suffers. After a long period of posturing by the rulers and their clamor to punish ‘benefit cheats’, the day of reckoning has arrived. Britain’s political parties are on the defensive not seen in living memory.
Recent disclosures in the Daily Telegraph newspaper make clear that the ‘benefit regime’ for British MPs, under the rules which they themselves made, had been evolving for almost thirty years. Under the regime, large amounts of state money were claimed for gardening and for food; private homes were frequently bought and sold, in one case three times in a single year, pocketing the money gained and avoiding the capital gains tax; lavish furniture, clothes, pet food, bought at taxpayers’ expense. More