LET TYRANTS FEAR: By Mijas Councilor, Bill Anderson

On 9th August, 1588,Elizabeth I addressed her troops before the battle of Tilbury with the Spanish Armada threatening to land on the shores of the Thames. It is described as a defining moment in British history. An extract from her supposed speech goes as follows:

“Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust.”

I do wonder what, since that time, has happened to the political world. Politicians these days, regardless of their country, seem more resolved to live above their people than amongst them. The decisions made appear more often to be about popularity, ego, and maintenance of power than the benefit of the people. They make promises to get into power and then choose to ignore them and do what best suits their agenda regardless of what the people want or need.

We are now in an election year and the promises will be floating in the ether like smoke and ash after a wildfire. I have already heard promises made that even I know cannot be met within the legal framework of Spanish local authority regulations, and I am no expert in these things. Half truths become facts and the pursuit of power hangs in the air like a bad smell.

I see more sacrifice among the volunteers working in assorted associations, but not least in the animal charities where they get up early, make their way to the refuge, and cheerfully scoop poop and clean floors with real altruism.  Why is it that we never see the words politician and altruism in the same sentence? Correct me if I am wrong.

We are fortunate that we live in a relatively free and somewhat democratic society and are generally only exposed to political tyranny from a distance, but the “Petty Tyrant” described by Carlos Castaneda in “The Fire From Within”  exists in abundance all around us: the bullies who use insults and aggression to assert their self identified superior status.

How do we deal with these petty tyrants? First of all, we wait and observe rather than overly react out of our own sense of self-importance. Secondly, endurance. Let them go about their work and map their strong points and weaknesses. Finally, timing is of the essence. Overreacting too soon means we lose the advantage.

The petty tyrants are all around us in the political world and the moment to strike is when the elections come. People have told me that they don’t understand Spanish politics. You don’t have to. All you need to do is to observe with a  critical eye and decide who is in it for themselves and who works for their communities; who answers your messages and who ignores them.

Let tyrants fear, even the pretty ones.

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