Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The Cat's Unanswered Question

I've given a lot of thought to the business of the Witangemot here in Northumbria. For a start, I'm very suspicious about it, because my feline intuition tells me that all isn't quite what it appears. Although there are 3 main factions who supposedly represent the people, I have a sneaking suspicion that they're all controlled by the same hidden rulers. When I overheard those 2 wealthy nobles in the wood talking about '..divide and rule', that confirmed my suspicions.

I realise that I don't have the intellect of a human, but we cats are shrewd, and we like to weigh things up. So - I ask myself: what exactly is government for?

As far as I can see, it exists to serve the interests of those who really run the show - which is the wealthy nobility. They handsomely pay for all kinds of perks that the Witangemot rulers seem to enjoy.

It also appears to exist to spread alarm and panic whenever appropriate, by means of the many soothsayers who seem to enjoy similar favours and prosperity to the rulers. This has the effect of keeping the ordinary Anglo-Saxons in a continual state of anxiety about their livelihood, money - and those terrible Viking infidels, who pose a clear threat to our way of life if they invade our shores in great numbers.

It also loves to control the people and order them about by means of petty rules it imposes on the people in the Kingdom. Since they're already anxious, they readily comply with and accept whatever the Witangemot and the soothsayers tell them.

It loves to extract money from the people through excessive taxation - which it then uses to spend on lavish entertainments and employment for its friends and hangers-on and pointless projects and committees.

What benefit is the Witangemot to the people? Caedmon says that it exists to restrain evil, maintain order and ensure that evildoers are appropriately punished. But I don't like to tell him that from my own perspective, they seem to make it their business to do the exact opposite. They seem to reward the scoundrels, and make life burdensome and unpredictable for the law-abiding.

Perhaps I'm missing something. But then... am I?

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