How did our country become “Rip off Britain?”

The Big Con by Mariana Mazzucato and Rosie Collington

Distractions, distractions

Paper plane made of a dollar

We’re so good at distractions. Somehow, there’s always something to stop us thinking about what we need to deal with. Where was our attention, when Jimmy Savile waggled the old eyebrows and said “I’m hiding in plain sight”? Where was our attention when Johnny Rotten warned everyone about him?

Where was our attention when the media used everything from serious news programmes to Yes Minister to poke fun at stupid MPs, to demonstrate their cluelessness, their powerlessness? Was anyone even asking back then, who runs things? Yes Minister decided it was civil servants – but the grey fog that runs things has more or less gutted the civil service now, so who is it?

Where was our attention when our Labour Party was stolen from us? Where was our attention when our government was stolen from us? Why do so many people still sit and obediently watch this and that MP on the telly, and decide which one seems nice, when we already know, and regularly tell each other, that MPs are just useless puppets who know nothing?

Paper plane made of a dollar

Why don’t we sit down and seriously ask ourselves who’s running this country, since we see around us every day that what passes for ‘running the country’ ranges from chaos to grand theft, and those supposedly in charge so very obviously know nothing? No, I’m not exaggerating. Haven’t you noticed, whenever an MP’s on the telly, talking about something you don’t know much about, they sound sort of okay but whenever they talk about something you do know about, your mouth drops open because you can hear their ignorance.


Mariana Mazzucato

Click here to listen to Mariana Mazzucato explaining the Big Con

If you listen to just the first few minutes of that video, you will recognize what Mazzucato is talking about – the decapacitation of government, or as Tory Lord Agnew put it (talking about his own party, remember) the infantilization of government. There’s also the small matter of the draining of the finances that are supposed to be for our services.

Of course, if politicians are incapable, and we can see that they are, they will need consultants to organize the difficult stuff. Organizations like Deloitte, who managed Brexit, Test and Trace, and… Yes? Those kind of experts?

Paper plane made of a dollar


What are MPs to do? They get elected by having good PR, slick campaigns. They get elected because they know how to put on a show. They land in a Seat, they get a Cabinet role, they have to pretend to know stuff. They might eye those consultants suspiciously, thinking some of their previous work was pretty disastrous but, if they don’t use them – more specifically, if they don’t use the ones the companies who are funding them provide, they’ll be stuck on their own, won’t they, being Minister for This or That, and not having a clue what to do. 

They are captured. They rely on industry donors and consultants. And so government policy is captured. And so polices, and laws, that no-one likes, keep getting passed, by whom…?

It’s quite a long interview, that Mazzucato one but it’s worth the time – or if you really hate watching long videos, consider buying a Mazzucato book and reading it, and then please join those of us who are trying to decide what the **** to do about it, and how.

Or just forget about the total destruction of everything we need to live, and enjoy the distractions on the telly that they insist on calling “politics”. It’s great fun arguing about which puppets you like, and which you don’t.


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