So what are we for?

I’ve been struggling for years now to get my head around a good way of focusing my anger, my sense of impotent outrage and my need to lash out against this government, its supporters and everything they stand for.

I guess it really started for me with the whole EU referendum nonsense, which I still regard as a totally unnecessary confection, spun by a half-witted Tory PM that went badly wrong.

Things have simply gone from bad to worse from that point as far as I’m concerned and there seems to be bugger all I can do about it.

Now, rather than dwell on the negatives which threatened to overwhelm me, I’ve decided to try to work through what has cheered me, what has given me hope, what moves society towards the kind of world I want to see.

Firstly, the fiery enthusiasm of youth, their willingness to embrace radical ideas, and their sporadic willingness to get out and do something about it is a real cause for cheer. This new political force must be nurtured and spread.

Secondly, the explosion of movements like “Black Lives Matter”, various women’s rights groups, climate disaster groups, anti-police bill protestors, refugee rights groups, anti G7 groups, The Citizens Assembly, other anti-establishment groups and so on give me hope. The sudden muscular flexing of the Trades Union movement has also brought light into my darkness.

Thirdly, the numbers of ordinary people involved in “unlawful” actions such as pulling down statues, obstructing deportation vans, attending Clapham Common vigils, The March of the Mummies, bringing city centres to a standstill by driving slowly, closing roads and bridges, along with the more seasoned campaigners tunneling under proposed developments or fixing themselves to bulldozers and concrete blocks, are all signs that we are not yet the supine society our government would wish for.

The dogged determination of groups and individuals like Jolyon Maugham and his Good Law Project, Foxglove and associated groups, to bring the government before the courts, also gives me cause for hope.

When the Government lie, cheat, cover-up, steal our resources for personal gain, and generally tell the rest of us to lump it; when Parliament bleats a little but won’t let itself actually do anything for fear of rocking its members’ personal boats; when the opposition is Chamberlainian in its attempts at vote chasing appeasement; when the speaker of the house has borrowed the backbone of a passing jellyfish; and the constitutional monarch has all the value of a cardboard cutout; what is left but the streets?

The courts declare that the government has acted unlawfully and what happens? Nothing! The ministers concerned remain in post, even saying they would do it again, the state-supporting press cheer from the sidelines and we all move on.

The police frequently exceed their powers in the public order space, enforce laws that aren’t actually laws at the behest of the government, and the authoritarian state machine rolls on.

The so-called independent news media outlets continue to toe the establishment line, reporting with skewed language, as journalists too often bow to pressure to follow the line of least resistance or kowtow to the overtly political control exerted by their politically appointed chiefs.

All attempts at independent scrutiny of have been dogged by repeated, and successful attempts, to shut them down or destroy their credibility.

Now, where was I?

Following the ignominious and tearful departure of The Maybot, a woman I profoundly disagreed with, but one who with hindsight strikes me as being decent enough, a plainly corrupt Prime Minister was parachuted in to replace her.

Boris The Bad

This bad egg was eventually jettisoned by his party in the hope of heading off scrutiny of his own personal and his government’s maladministration, and of providing a clean sheet for more of the same with an even poorer cast. When the parliamentary opposition leaders (at least some of them) wrote to The Speaker of the House complaining that the Prime Minister persistently misled the house and did not even acknowledge his transgressions let alone apologise for them or correct the public record, The Speaker sat on his hands. That case still has to be heard by the way along with a number of other enquiries into his misdemeanors.

Et tu, Shifty!

Yes, eventually it all became too much, even for the Tories (they had a string of by-election disasters which may have been significant in their machinations) and, led by Shifty Sunak, they brought him down. “Unfair!” he cried, “I’ll be back!” But he stayed in post until a successor was anointed, living at the public expense, drawing his salary and using his dressing-up box to its fullest possible extent. (Look at me I’m a Tank Commander, fighter pilot, JCB Driver, Policeman, Bricklayer, and so on). When he wasn’t doing this, he was away on holiday sponging off party donors and other super rich pals.

Enter Dim Lizzy

After an interminable period of internal wrangling, less than 200,000 party members decided to appoint a raving loony to become the nation’s leader. This woman set off on a course to crash the economy, to give a huge boost to inequality, to slash taxes (particularly for the well-off) and basically to ignore the manifesto that the previous crooked incumbent was elected on. When forced to resign by the markets that she so firmly believed in, she blamed it all on the short-sightedness of the rest of the world. All this was achieved without a hint of a public vote.

After even the dimmest of Tories (Cleverly) worked out that they were toast, they dumped her and in a desperate attempt to avoid an electoral annihilation, cooked up an even less representative method of imposing a leader on the rest of us. They solved the conundrum by conniving to restrict the selection process even more. After all they did not want their own membership upsetting the applecart again.

Safe Pair of Hands My Foot!

So, Shifty Sunak returned, like a Phoney rising from the ashes. This was so well staged managed that they even conned the original “I was robbed” narcissist to fly back from holiday to reapply. Needless to say, in spite of his blustering protestations, he never had a prayer. Still, it did make Good Old Shifty look like a safe pair of hands

In order to stitch up his deal and make sure that nobody except the few hundred Tory MPs had any say in who became PM, he had to sell what was left of his threadbare soul. This is apparent from the cabinet he has found himself appointing.

Still, it did the job for him and his self-servers: anything to avoid electoral disaster at the polls.

So, No Election, No Accountability, No Conscience, No Nothing – So What do We do?

It has been said many times but all that was needed for the horrors of the Nazi state to succeed was for good people to do nothing.

I make no apology for repeating it here.

So for me, now has to be the time to at least be able to look myself in the mirror and convince myself that I was on the good side.

Like anyone who strays into social media, I have been bombarded with pleas for help, requests to donate, petitions to sign, protests to join, articles to share, and so on, from a whole range of groups and individuals.

I feel very strongly about some of these and less strongly about others, but the point I have reached is that I should offer some support to any and all that I feel are pushing in the same general direction as me. I don’t have to engage deeply, or to fully support every particular plan of action or campaign, but it takes little effort to make some minimal indication of encouragement, to sign a petition, to share a posting, to offer a supportive comment, and to cut out whenever I see fit. Any such effort makes a small difference, it helps to build a groundswell, helps to keep people going, helps to build a climate where these views become more mainstream. At very least they help to slow the closing down of public debate and the drip, drip, drip of increasing central control.

No ordinary Joe is likely to make much of a splash on their own but it all adds up. I can afford to support some groups and publications financially because I particularly value them but there are many more that deserve such assistance. Others would have different priorities. These are not better or worse, they are just different. Often they are things that the rest of us feel warmly towards too. Take the time to encourage, to pass the word on, to help those who want to make a greater effort feel that they are not alone.

Personally, I am becoming increasing keen to back groups that are taking direct action because I believe that we have reached a state where our needs and desires are willfully disregarded and it is only by confronting power with power that things may change.

I am inspired by the courage of the people of Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Myanmar, the Kurds, and far too numerous South American states as they battle against brutal and dictatorial regimes. I am overwhelmed by respect for Palestinians in Gaza as they continue to struggle under the yoke of Israeli military force, occupation and aggression. Are these people and many others just voices in the wilderness to be swept under some carpet of convenience or do we actually have responsibility for the fate of humanity?

I guess I’m with Voltaire when he said that

“Every man is guilty for all the good he didn’t do”.

I want a safer, fairer, more equal world where the values of truth, honesty, justice and equality stand for something but clearly those in power are not going to give it up without a struggle. I’ve also come to the sad conclusion that democracy is an illusion deliberately spun by those with power to enable them to stay in that position.

Fundamental change is our only hope.

As a 75-year-old, I am trying to consider my own personal moral compass, my own personal set of priorities and measure what I see against it, and then try to live by it. I can’t fit the rules and mores of any party or formal group, they are for the fudgers and compromisers. I can only be my own person and try to keep the fires of idealism flickering for those still to come.

The young have to be humanity’s salvation, so lets do all we can to support them. Encourage them. Help them to think for themselves. Don’t be put off by the manner in which they express themselves, concentrate on what they are trying to achieve, it will be their world soon enough after all.

What’s left of it….

One thought on “So what are we for?

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