aneurin_bevana

Whilst the right wing media still has daily fits over the rise of Labour and Jeremy Corbyn, the Conservatives fall ever further into the abyss where they rightly belong.

At 66 years of age I remember the post war era, of moving from an ageing prefab to a brand new 3 bedroom house with a garden front and back, of visits to the doctor when needed and the dentist as a matter of course for regular check ups and treatment. I vividly recall a life saving operation as a child in London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, writ large because of the agony I was in and of being cared for at home afterwards by a district nurse. In the new, post war, world I grew up in we learnt to take such care for granted, available to us even though we were dirt poor.

So it is with some authority that I can say that what Jeremy Corbyn is offering us is not new, it has been done before in a time of immense upheaval in this country which had suffered what today in Britain is unimaginable destruction, save in the memories of those older than I am, and bravely survived.

In those days Britain had to draw on skills from across the world to realise the vision of a National Health Service and to run Transport for London. Without that influx of immigrant Labour the dreams would never have become reality and the NHS would have collapsed. Then, as now, immigration was a thorny issue, Britain has never shied away from hypocrisy and bigotry to serve its own ends.

Age provides a longer memory and a longer perspective, so imagine my rage when Theresa May was told by nursing staff on the election special of BBC Question Time, “My wage slips from 2009 reflect exactly what I’m earning today. How can that be fair, in the light of the job that we do?” and another telling her, ‘the 1 per cent cap on annual public sector pay rises had meant a real-terms decrease in his salary of 14 per cent since 2010, adding: “So don’t tell us we’re getting a pay rise”,’ to which Theresa May responded, “there isn’t a magic money tree that we can shake that suddenly provides for everything that people want.”

First and foremost my fury was directed at the sheer arrogance and patronising contempt of Theresa May with which she insulted the intelligence of not just nurses but the entire nation, on prime time television, and then the fact that what May had said was an ideologically driven bare faced lie. There is more than enough money to do whatever her party wants to do, including MPs pay rises. Cut price, tax payer funded, sell offs to vulture privateers of national assets and public services across the board, tax breaks for the rich and for corporations, vanity infrastructure projects like High Speed Rail, with its tidal wave of unnecessary destruction on our tiny island nation which has no need of any such thing.

What Jeremy Corbyn is experiencing from the Conservatives and the right wing media is something about which, were he alive, Aneurin Bevan could share a tale or two about the bloody Tories of his time which led him to declare in bitterness and rage, in 1948 at a Manchester rally:

“… no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party that inflicted those bitter experiences on me. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin. They condemned millions of first-class people to semi-starvation. Now the Tories are pouring out money in propaganda of all sorts and are hoping by this organised sustained mass suggestion to eradicate from our minds all memory of what we went through. But, I warn you young men and women, do not listen to what they are saying now. Do not listen to the seductions of Lord Woolton. He is a very good salesman. If you are selling shoddy stuff you have to be a good salesman. But I warn you they have not changed, or if they have they are slightly worse than they were.”

If Jeremy Corbyn had said the same at Glastonbury, Manchester, Liverpool, Gateshead or London, not a word of it would have been out of place other than ‘Lord Woolton’ who could be replaced by any Tory propagandist of our time.

It is a hatred that burns inside me today at the suffering and destruction the Tories have inflicted upon us.

The united voices of people chorusing, “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn,” is more than a cry of sentiment from the ignorant masses, it is a cry of protest that we’ve had enough of Tories lies and destruction. It is a cry of hope, aspiration and yearning the like of which has never been seen in Britain before.

Millions of people have had enough of Tory eugenics (what else can I call it?) which have cost tens of thousands of lives and “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” means ‘enough is enough’. The Conservatives do not serve the nation, they serve the interests of a tiny few, those interests of polarised wealth and greed, betraying the hopes and dreams of millions who just want to get on in reasonable prosperity and comfort, with the right to a roof over our heads and a decent meal on the table.

At 66 years old I do not aspire, nor ever have, to becoming a millionaire, what use would that be to me? I would like to end my days in peace, with enough to survive and thrive on and for any rainy days which inevitably fall, to attend my local hospital for vital treatments in the knowledge that such health care will outlast me for the future. That is no great ask, it is a modest demand and expectation.

Do not tell me it can’t be done. It has been done before and it can be done again. All it requires is the people’s will to make it so, to drive the Tories and austerity off the awaiting cliff and rebuild a better Britain for the many, not just the grasping few.

KOG. 25 June 2017

http://www.historyandpolicy.org/policy-papers/papers/immigration-and-the-national-health-service-putting-history-to-the-forefron

https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/assets/downloads/Generations.pdf

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-nurse-magic-money-tree-bbcqt-question-time-pay-rise-eight-years-election-latest-a7770576.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10249815/High-speed-rail-scheme-cost-to-double-to-80bn-economists-warn.html

https://www.sochealth.co.uk/national-health-service/the-sma-and-the-foundation-of-the-national-health-service-dr-leslie-hilliard-1980/aneurin-bevan-and-the-foundation-of-the-nhs/bevans-speech-to-the-manchester-labour-rally-4-july-1948/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/social-care-scandal-tory-cuts-9836261

article-7644-herob

This is an incredible time to be living in, but what’s truly extraordinary is that there is nothing new here, nothing that hasn’t been going on for time immemorial. As the Band, Show of Hands, sang of ‘Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed’, the attitude of the ruling classes against ordinary people has been with us forever as has protest against it.

What was Wat Tyler facing in the Peasants Revolt in 1381 other than what we are still facing today?

Theresa May is nothing new, in fact she is just today’s poster girl for the historic abuse of the ruling classes. Grenfell Tower is the latest incarnation of the contempt and casual indifference that the ruling elites have for the lives of ordinary people.

At 66 years old I’ve been racking my brains and Grenfell Tower is the worst disaster in the UK since WWII, it is utterly horrific and yet, like the inferno and the circumstances leading up to it, the handling of it is a testament to the governments monumental indifference to the lives and well being and suffering and deaths of ordinary people.

This callous indifference was summed up by someone who chose to pick up her phone and call LBC radio to talk about how she felt if survivors of Grenfell Tower were moved into the block of flats were she lives, “I feel sorry for those people but my husband and I work very hard to be able to afford this. And for someone to get it for free, I would move.”

‘Those people’, Britain’s untermensch, those regarded and treated as racially or socially inferior, like rats, vermin, unwanted, their suffering a matter of complete indifference and, in fact, every effort made to sweep them under the carpet.

There is a reason that no one knows what’s happening in North Kensington, least of all the victims of the inferno, it’s because the lives of poor people don’t matter. As David Lammy MP wrote, “Grenfell Tower was a crime. Rich, powerful people often get away with crimes. We need answers, and we need justice.” The response to the disaster is itself a continuous, rolling crime in real time, a crime of arrogance, ignorance, greed and indifference.

The escalation of state murder has been going on since 2010, every provision of anything that provides for the well being of ordinary people in the UK has been and continues to be stripped to the bone and the poorest and most vulnerable people are being brutally punished and driven to their graves for simply being poor and vulnerable.

In 2015 David Cameron said, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’.” And oh how true those words ring today. Not one of us is safe from these Tory murderers, to whom the law offers not the least obstacle in their inhuman attacks on our lives and which provides no protection for us.

They sneer at our protests and love to tell us how ineffectual and pointless protest is. I am very sure they would like us to shut up, how very convenient for them that would be. And if we did, if we obeyed these masters of arrogance, avarice and greed, what would be our reward?

To die in silence. To die for their arrogance, their ignorance and their greed.

Fuck that and fuck them. Think about this, someone signed off the flammable cladding for Grenfell Tower, signing the death warrants of all the victims of that act of obscene arrogance, cowardice and indifference. No one will step forward and take responsibility and they will for certain be working right now to cover it up. Theresa May has refused to commit to retro fitting sprinklers in all high rise residential accommodation despite the Fire Brigade Union stating that ‘there has never been a multiple death in a building fitted with sprinklers’, yet the government can find £1.3 million to fit sprinklers in the houses of Parliament. The government can use £370 million our money to refurbish Buckingham Palace, £7.6 million for Wentworth Woodhouse, but for poor tax payers, nothing, not even an honest death count for the survivors of Grenfell Tower.

And what can we do? Keep fighting and never stop. Never, ever, give up against these callously indifferent, bastard state murderers.

KOG. 23 June 2017

http://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/shelagh-fogarty/if-grenfell-residents-move-into-my-flats-ill-move/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/britain-is-too-tolerant-and-should-interfere-more-in-peoples-lives-says-david-cameron-10246517.html

May refuses to confirm she’ll fit #sprinklers to tower blocks #Grenfell

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/17/grenfell-tower-government-councils-fire-safety

https://tompride.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/government-to-spend-1-3-million-on-sprinkler-system-in-parliament-but-claim-not-enough-money-for-tower-blocks/

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/nov/18/buckingham-palace-to-undergo-370m-refurbishment

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/nov/24/inside-wentworth-woodhouse-a-key-piece-of-northern-heritage

Government should be there to manage things for the common good of the people, be it law, infrastructure and public provision or the economic well being of the nation as a whole. Government, in essence, is about managing the collective needs of society as a whole, so that we are spared a chaotic piecemeal approach which would give rise to an uncoordinated mess differing from hamlet to hamlet, town to town and city to city. To put it in the most simplistic terms, this management process ensures that a spanner that does a job in a small rural house, will do the same job in the biggest city skyscraper, all other circumstances being relatively the same. Government is about coordination and a system wide approach to collective living for the benefit of all.

Above all, government should be accountable to the people it ‘serves’.

There can be no question that managing the collective needs of a nation is huge and complex process which also requires delegated local government to manage at the local level.

Are we not up to the job? Vast resources go into studying the processes of government, it requires oversight and checks and balances, it requires the best and brightest minds (one would hope) to ensure it works and it needs to be both proactive and reactive, capable of being sensitive to the needs of society at every level.

How hard can it be? At times it is likely to be incredibly hard, perhaps even pushed to it limits, as in the case of a disaster. But if we are not up to it, then it will fail, because there are no other creatures alive to stand in for us to take over the job. If we, the people, are not up to the task, then one has to wonder how we got this far in the first place?

However…

If any government places the interests of one section of society over another, then it is an illegitimate government and corrupt. It has failed the basic precepts of good governance.

If a government falsifies its intent or disguises its true intent or betrays the manifesto promises on which it was elected, it renders itself illegitimate by its own actions.

If the process of government becomes corrupt for whatever reason, then the effects will inevitably be wide spread and toxic for the country as a whole, affecting millions of lives. And if corruption is tolerated, it will, inevitably, cut ever deeper, threatening the entire structure of society. If there is no accountability then despots and tyrants can, and do, rise, to the detriment of the many. History is littered with examples and as learning creatures we should pay critical attention to the histories we have amassed on our journey to today.

Right now, in Britain, we are undergoing a dramatic and traumatic period of change. Britain is one of the richest nations in the world, the City of London is still regarded as the financial capital of the world, and, as journalist, Roberto Saviano, observed, it is also the most corrupt place on Earth and we have a government, with its ‘free market’ ideology, which is in bed with that corruption.

But there is another force at play in Britain which is increasingly being called to account by the people. The media. In measured tones of reasonableness, or not, lies and spin and corruption are given a voice which is rarely honestly and bluntly challenged, and some parts of the media, controlled by unaccountable oligarchs, are fully complicit in the most sordid, corrupt, practices imaginable.

Britain is currently still on the descent into ever greater corruption by self serving elites who have abandoned even the basic precepts of good governance for despotism.

The tipping point for this recent wholesale corruption was the global financial crash which saw the greatest heist in history of the wealth of nations and since then the UK government has pursued that agenda brutally and relentlessly (via its vile and deceitful austerity pogrom) to extract and transfer the wealth of the people into the hands of the corrupt financial markets and corporations and the right wing media does everything in its power to further that agenda, demonising and vilifying anyone who speaks out against it.

The problem for the government and the media is that they are losing their comfortable hegemony, in their arrogance and greed they assumed our continued passive participation in their self serving status quo. They are being forced to eat their own words and actions. Increasingly, people have had enough, try as they might to dismiss us as yobs and mobs, scroungers and leftist agitators (add any other derogatory names which emblazon their headlines), and are demanding a reckoning. They accuse us of politicising catastrophe, as if these things happen in a political vacuum, as if somehow these are mere accidents of nature in the general course of events. There is always a price to be paid for corruption, there are perpetrators and victims, and when their targeted victims decide they have had enough, the price transfers to the perpetrators and the simple fact is, they don’t like it up ’em. They are great at dishing it out, but when the tide turns they are the ones who immediately scream like stuck pigs and cry foul play.

I am pretty sure that the vast majority of people want a ‘strong and stable’ Britain with a ‘strong and stable’ government, but that is never going to come from those who put the interests of money over the well being of people. And that’s a fact.

KOG. 19 June 2017

https://number10duckworthstreet.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/frank-fields-arrogantly-admits-his-constituents-views-count-for-nothing-and-its-not-his-job-to-speak-up-for-them/

http://www.cityam.com/261819/london-holds-off-new-york-keep-its-top-spot-worlds-number

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/roberto-saviano-britain-corrupt-mafia-hay-festival-a7054851.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/analysis-of-britains-9-trillion-of-wealth-reveals-a-deeply-divided-nation-10251573.html

corbynbb

Since the days of Margaret Thatcher what has become abundantly clear is that at the very heart of neoliberalism, the financial markets, the ‘free market’ ideology and right wing ideologues like the Tories, they know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

The cause of the Grenfell Tower tragedy is not just a lack of human values, but absolute scorn for them and arrogant contempt for the lives of ordinary people.

Right now it looks as though the human tragedy in north Kensington might have the power to galvanise people to bring to an end a contempt for common people which stretches at least as far back as the Norman conquest of England which saw England carved up for the benefit of the invaders and home grown sycophants. Time passed and the Industrial Revolution saw the rise of another brand of brutal elites, the Industrialists who amassed enormous wealth on the backs of common people. Britain became the richest country in the world and amassed an empire, yet, then as now, that wealth was concentrated in the hands of the elite few, whilst the many lived as paupers, struggling for a daily crust.

In the last half of the previous century ordinary people saw many advances and improvements in life on the back of WWII which led Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to say in 1957, “most of our people have never had it so good.” There was much talk of the growth of technology, shorter working weeks, shared wealth from the machines which would do the work for our universal benefit. It never happened in the way it was imagined and fast forward to today, Tory policy is that ‘work makes you well’ and if you are not working you will not have support for even the basic necessities of life whether you are just unemployed for whatever reason, sick, disabled, young, middle aged or old and sanctions are routine and rife, depriving people of the means of survival. Whilst Britain is said to be in the top ten of the richest nations, ordinary people have no access to that wealth, it is exclusively in the hands of a very small elite from whom nothing trickles down to ease the age old burdens of ordinary people no matter how ‘hard working’ we are.

Grenfell Tower wasn’t a tragedy waiting to happen, Grenfell Tower was a killing field brought about by policy and wilful neglect and official malfeasance, by people who should have had a duty to make it fit for human habitation, to ensure that all reasonable safety measures were in place, to make provision for front line services which were fit for purpose and adequately manned, to legislate for health and safety, instead of tearing up the rule book for profit and private gain.

This is not, as they say, rocket science, it is ‘common’ sense.

So what do we want?

In the words of Jeremy Corbyn, ‘a fair, more equal and just society’. These are not difficult words to understand, they are kindergarten concepts made complex by adults. They are not weasel words uttered with malicious intent to deceive and anyone who does speak them with intent to deceive is a criminal, because that is what gave rise to the killing fields of Grenfell.

Grenfell carries the sympathy and the love of anyone with a heart for lives shattered by tragedy. The response has been overwhelming, donations are already in million of pounds, the community is overwhelmed with aid. That is what ordinary people do in times of trouble when they are free to do so and not beaten down by politics and a media more intent on spreading lies, hate and division than caring, mutual trust and support.

It can surely be no great mystery that people just want to live and get on with their lives in peace, security and in reasonable prosperity so that they have enough to live on and enough for a rainy day and a holiday, if they so choose. How hard is that to understand, and yet how hard it is to achieve in a country run by those who do not mean us well and who legislate against us?

We are standing on the doorstep of change, a change we must demand and keep on demanding until we, the people, get our way. We need a government that is on our side, with policies that can rebuild our beleaguered nation after years of right wing neoliberal oppression, neglect and destruction.

The time for that is now, the country is in disarray, the Conservatives are a failed party, this must be the end of their world and the start of ours. Nothing else will suffice and nothing else will work. We must have a country for the well being of the many and not just the elite few.

KOG. 16 June 2017

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/05/jeremy-corbyn-launches-labours-election-campaign-full-text/#

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/over-2m-raised-by-evening-standard-appeal-for-grenfell-tower-victims-a3566571.html

https://www.gofundme.com/GRENFELL-BLOCK-LATIMER-FIRE-APPEAL

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/14/community-centres-churches-overwhelmed-donations-grenfell-tower/

chomsky

Since 2010 we have witnessed and experienced seven long years of bitter Conservative betrayals, from David Cameron’s pledge that there would be no top down reorganisation of the NHS to the horrific fire in Grenfell Tower which follows the Conservatives voting down in 2016 a Labour amendment to the government’s housing and planning bill to ensure rented homes are fit for human habitation.

The depth of crisis in the NHS is so catastrophic that it should be on life support, except there is no life support and it has been driven to what the Red Cross has called a humanitarian crisis by government policy.

In 2014 London firemen wept as Boris Johnson closed down ten fire stations which was preceded by selling off London’s fleet of fire engines for £2 to a newly formed company with one sole director, Sir Aubrey Thomas Brocklebank, an old Etonian with a dubious business history.

These are just the tip of a despicable iceberg of Tory corruption and betrayals since 2010 and the worst of it is that they have lied and lied and lied their way through their misanthropic neoliberal betrayal of Britain.

Cartoonists across the world are mocking Theresa May for her posturing over Brexit and a BBC reporter laughed in the face of Conservative MP Alan Mak when he spouted May’s meaningless trope, ‘strong and stable’.

Whatever the outcome of the General Election, the election is not the issue and the result is not the problem, the problem is that the Tories are not fit to hold office. That and only that is the problem and the Tories are determined to continue driving the UK into the ground.

It is frequently and casually reported (I’ve done it myself) that Britain is one of the richest countries in the world. In March this year the New World Wealth’s Global Wealth Review placed Britain in fourth place in terms of private wealth in 2016. It may seem impressive but it fails to acknowledge that Britain is one of the most unequal countries in the world where the richest 1% (634,000 people) own more than 20 times the total wealth of the poorest fifth (13 million people). Yes that does read ‘twenty times’ the combined wealth of 13 million people. The reality is that in food bank Britain the vast majority of people are completely excluded from any share in the nations wealth and Tory policies ensure and drive this vast wealth division.

Conservative policies are killing people in their thousands, excess deaths by cuts were reported to be 27,000 in 2015 alone.

Whatever secret deals Theresa May is conducting behind closed doors with the DUP to secure a fragile majority in order to continue her betrayal of Britain the only significant and relevant fact for the lives of millions of people in Britain is that she and her party are not fit to hold office. Forget election results and look at the results of seven years of austerity and the suffering they have presided over and the deaths which they are so comfortable with causing, yet deny their existence. That is not democracy that is genocide. That is not a ballot box issue, it is a humanitarian issue of crimes against life. Britain does not merely need a change of political party in government, it needs an end to the most brutal regime in our history which has rightly been compared to the rise of Hitler and the Nazis.

KOG. 15 June 2017

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tories-deleted-past-broken-promises-from-party-website-8937435.html

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/live/2017/jun/14/grenfell-tower-major-fire-london-apartment-block-white-city-latimer-road

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/12/tories-reject-move-to-ensure-rented-homes-fit-for-human-habitation

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/06/nhs-faces-humanitarian-crisis-rising-demand-british-red-cross

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/firefighters-cry-as-10-london-stations-including-clerkenwell-close-due-to-cuts-9050079.html

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/aug/17/sale-london-fire-engine-safety

Revealed: The Old Etonian Baronet who snapped up London’s fire engines for £2

https://tompride.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/londons-fire-engines-are-now-owned-by-one-man-an-old-etonian/

https://www.indy100.com/article/cartoonists-around-the-world-react-to-article-50-and-brexit-day-theresa-may-donald-tusk-7655851

https://creatorsnotconsumers.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/oh-dear-you-naughty-naughty-people/

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/adnan-aldaini/globalisation-and-freemar_b_13281784.html

http://economia.icaew.com/en/news/march-2017/uk-named-one-of-the-richest-countries-by-private-wealth

Britain is now one of the most unequal countries in the world

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/01/huge-tax-giveaway-for-rich-as-poor-are-hit-george-osborne-tax-benefit-budget-changes

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/remember-those-killed-tory-austerity-5642530

http://evolvepolitics.com/tory-cuts-are-killing-people-and-labour-councils-still-refuse-to-fight-back/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/nhs-cuts-excess-deaths-30000-study-research-royal-society-medicine-london-school-hygiene-martin-a7585001.html

https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/what-will-the-tories-suggest-next-compassionate-eugenics/

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/04/03/new-plans-show-tory-genocide-against-the-sick-and-disabled-is-set-to-accelerate/

meerkata

In an interview on BBC news on 12th June, Conservative MP Alan Mak dribbled out a tawdry series of platitudes and nonsense, including, “Well our job is to make sure that we form a strong and stable government…” At which point he was interrupted by the interviewer, “Are you really still saying strong and stable?” Mak replied, “Our job is to provide certainty,” at which the interviewer laughed, saying, “I am sorry to laugh but we’re in a country where if you talked to anybody at the weekend, people are quite worried. Three words you would not have heard were, strong, stable and certainty. Those three things that we don’t have.”

I’ll leave it there, the link’s below, but Mak continued for several minutes, never once going off message that wouldn’t have even passed the Turing test (for whether a human being would be able to identify an artificial intelligence in a conversation).

Across the nation it seems a sea change is occurring. The right wing media, and much of the middle and left, and, of course, television presenters, see themselves as makers of news, controlling the dialogue, talking heads to a supine nation soaking up the received ‘wisdom’ relentlessly thrown at them by ‘those who know best’ or who are paid to shape the minds of the masses, and this is no longer ok and nor will it be tolerated. It is not ok for politicians to sit and spout gobbledygook. It is not ok for the media to spin lies and distortions and spread hate and division, and nor is it ok that media moguls get away with subverting democracy for their own self serving ends and gain.

It would be easy to put all this at the door of Jeremy Corbyn who has been so successful at energising voters across the nation, encouraging people to engage and get involved. Although he clearly has done this, he’s a plain speaking, straight talking man, emerging like a breath of fresh air in a political arena that is full of smog. But he has not done it alone. Preceding him has been the rise of social media in all its many forms and a determined and growing number of bloggers, vloggers, citizen journalists, independent media sites, entirely independent of corporate money, determined by self motivated dedication, willing to meet their own costs, helped by donations as people see fit, to speak plainly about issues relevant to ordinary people – the great ignored.

In short, what’s happened is democracy. We all know the word, but how many people know what it means? The most commonly held idea of democracy is a system of government of the people, elected by the people. It’s called representative democracy. We go and vote every few years, based on very little understanding of what the different parties are all about apart from what we’re told by the media and whatever bits and pieces are posted through our doors, and then go home, have a nice cup of tea and get on with our lives, till the next time we’re inconvenienced to go and put another X in a box at a polling station. This has quietly been largely accepted for generations, and those in power expect us to go back to sleep and not bother our little heads about them as they go about governing the country and our lives.

But there is another democracy which has traditionally been understood and exercised by a vocal and active few, painted as suspicious and dangerous by both the media and government as neither respectable nor respectful of the status quo. The most obvious example of this participative democracy is workers Unions. You know, those united workers who mess up our lives by making unreasonable demands for better pay and working conditions and don’t care how much they inconvenience the rest of us by having the temerity to go on strike when their demands are either ignored or outright refused. Yes the bloody unions, without whom we’d have no weekends, no paid holidays, no restriction on working hours, no employment laws, no retirement age, no maternity leave, no minimum wage and no restrictions on child labour. Yes, them with their gold plated pensions and earning more than all the rest of us, the bastards, or so the media would have it. I cannot count the number of times I have heard ordinary working people curse the unions. I even got a ten minute lecture from a furious woman at a printers who printed a ‘Save our NHS’ leaflet for me who was clearly triggered into an anti union rant by the democratic activist nature of the leaflet, a lecture which almost word for word came off the pages of the Daily Express (owned by tax avoiding billionaire pornographer Richard Desmond who thinks people are mostly stupid).

All might have been well and the nation might have just got on with business as usual if David Cameron and his coalition government hadn’t got into ‘power’, in the very worst possible sense, in 2010. He quite blithely set about taking the nation apart, selling off everything that stood still for longer than ten minutes and destroying the welfare state and the NHS and the lives of ordinary people and lying about it every inch of the way. The right wing billionaire owned media got right on board sewing division and setting ordinary people against each other and immigrants (swarms and cockroaches) in particular. Ah, those heady days of poverty porn and Iain Duncan Smith killing off disabled people. It seems like a long time ago now, since when they decided they could happily get on with destroying public services, attacking junior doctors, teachers, social care, pensioners, young people, job security, ruin the economy with their great austerity lie, and pour riches into the hands of corporations and the already exceedingly wealthy.

It was slow, but steadily more and more people began to take notice, more and more people were reporting what was really going on, and then Brexit happened. Cameron lost his silly game and reckless gamble and pissed off, and Theresa May took over with a working majority in government. The NHS was driven into crisis by Jeremy Hunt, children were starving, disabled people lost their support, people were sanctioned to death, too many and too much to be ignored any longer.

Then, out of nowhere, to the immeasurable dismay of everyone on the accustomed gravy train of power, came the rise and rise of one Jeremy Corbyn. For ordinary people, a breath of fresh air, to the those who enjoyed all the trappings of wealth and power, horror personified. Jeremy Corbyn who said let’s have a fair and more equal society, let’s do something about these Tories and greed and corruption, Jeremy Corbyn who said let’s build houses for people, let’s feed our children, let’s save our NHS, let’s have social justice and a people’s democracy. Jeremy Corbyn who said, ‘Get involved’.

Those in power didn’t know what had hit them, they had no idea what to do, least of all Prime Minister Theresa May and her party of the privileged. The entire corporate media, including the BBC, like surprised Meerkats, did a collective, “What the fuck!”

It is a measure of how completely taken by surprise and clueless all those with power and influence are to anything remotely resembling a people’s democratic movement, that Theresa May decided, in an act of madness and desperation, in order to secure her position and get shot of the Corbyn threat once and for all, to call a snap election.

She took on the people, with all the power and influence of a vengeful corporate media behind her, and lost, she lost her majority, she lost her mandate and she lost every ounce of credibility. And what is amazing, truly and wonderfully amazing, is that neither she, nor the media nor all the talking heads and so called experts have a single clue what to do or how to get the people to get back in the box of supine political ignorance where they belong and just to do as they are told.

Those who see themselves as the masters of the universe don’t like it, they are utterly lost and clueless and I can’t stop smiling. It is a thing of beauty to behold. Do, let’s, keep it up, for all our sakes.

KOG. 14 June 2017

http://www.fleetstreetfox.com/2011/11/what-have-unions-ever-done-for-us.html

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/jun/19/richard-desmond-interview-hate-to-admit-never-hit-anyone

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2000/dec/24/pressandpublishing.dailyexpress

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-33716501

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/apr/24/katie-hopkins-cockroach-migrants-denounced-united-nations-human-rights-commissioner

blunt

I’m sorry I didn’t vote right
to please the great and good
though they gave me a ballot paper
and I thought I understood

I had five little boxes to choose from
and all I had to do
was choose one to put an X in
not three or four or two

I knew I was voting Labour
before I even went in
so that’s exactly what I did
then put it in the tin

They say this is a democracy
that it is my vote to make
but now I’m told by Crispen Blunt
I’ve made a bloody mistake

The country’s in a fucking mess
and I’m the one to blame
I should have voted something else
what a crying shame

I really shouldn’t think at all
that’s not for the likes of me
I should listen to a Tory
with whom I must agree

They keep you straight, these Tories
and properly in your place
but once they get a sniff of power
they smack you in the face

What’s to do, I do not know
but here’s a little thought
he should have bunged me a thousand quid
cos that’s how they are bought

So what he’s really telling me
is I should be like him
and sell my soul for a cup of gold
with a heart as black as sin

Well fuck you Mr Tory man
I’ll tell you what I’ll do
I’ll do exactly what I did
and never vote for you.

KOG. 11 June 2017

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/election-results-hung-parliament-tory-mp-voters-got-it-wrong-crispin-blunt-conservatives-exit-poll-a7781216.html

DV2066381

After the 2015 General Election, I sat watching the results come in and as it became clear the Conservatives had gained a majority I physically and mentally collapsed. I was completely devastated and it took a week or more to begin to claw my way back out of the pit of despair.

This time around I knew that if the Conservatives gained another majority my reaction would be much, much worse. We’ve had seven years to work out what their agenda is, back when I began a Letter a Day to Number 10 it was mostly speculation and striving to gain an understanding of their agenda, now it’s as plain as the nose on my face.

This is the false austerity party, telling us they can cut Britain back to growth, with murderous intent towards poor, sick and disabled people, privatise everything by deceitfully strangling and destabilising the public sector with catastrophic results. It doesn’t matter who you are, young, middle aged or old, they think it is their god given right to steal from our lives to benefit vultures who want to pocket the wealth of the nation. This is the party that will steal nutritious food from children for a 7p breakfast, the party of the privileged pouring scorn and contempt on our lives.

As I sat following the election results overnight the most wonderful thing happened, Labour were taking ground. Against all the predictions of polls, talking heads and so called experts, Labour defied them all as the popular will of the people exerted itself in this election. There was no hint of the despair I had dreaded, this was amazing, we’d done it against overwhelming odds, against the media barons full of spite, filth and bile, against the dark ads placed by the Conservatives on social media targeting millions of voters with disinformation and smears, the front page cover wraps on local papers, money no object as hedge funds, bankers, and magnates poured in millions to the Tories. And millions of voters defied them all.

I didn’t wait for the final results, it was a hung parliament, time for some sleep. To wake up to… chaos. Theresa May was going to the Queen to form a government in coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party, and social and the independent and citizen media had erupted. In her arrogance and her vanity Theresa May was prepared to trifle with the bitterly struggled for and hard won peace in Ireland for power and to satisfy her own vanity.

On return from the palace her car parked in Downing street and she stepped out to walk to the lectern in front of number 10 Downing Street with her husband. It must have felt like a million miles as she made her obviously nervous way in dead silence before the ranks of the media, gathered like vultures. Not a single voice greeted her, just the empty stares of blank lenses. She spoke cold words with darting, dead eyes, turned and walked to the door of number ten where she posed briefly, her face like death, with the look of someone who had announced her own funeral.

What was in my mind was how very different it would have been had it been Jeremy Corbyn.

Since then the mood of the country has been feral, Theresa May’s vanity general election has been a dismal failure but that has not stopped the hubris from the likes of Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, telling us with predictable arrogance “the electorate plainly have got it wrong.” Others in her party have been brutal in condemnation of May, as Tory MP Nigel Evans said, the “Only thing missing from our manifesto was compulsory euthanasia for over 70s!” The atmosphere is chaotic and, personally, tiresome. Theresa May, who accused Corbyn of wanting to form a coalition of chaos, is the one responsible for the chaos, she is playing personal vanity against the interests of the whole of Britain, and we wait.

Jeremy Corbyn is energised and ready to lead as Theresa May’s election charade unfolds and unravels. Behind Corbyn is a nation hungry for change, for an end to the dismal ideology of austerity and hateful division and to get the country moving and growing again. There is a feeling in me that the nation is holding its breath, it’s hard to see what cards Theresa May has left to play. The Conservatives are not known for their compassion and right now it looks as though Theresa May is about to find out just how brutal defeat can be when clearly her gamble has failed and her own party know it as her gamble and no one else’s.

May’s fall is certain, not least because she has not a shred of humility and no love for the lives of ordinary people who she seeks only to dominate and control. Jeremy Corbyn is her polar opposite and her nemesis, he does not fear us, he enjoys being one of us and with us, and to serve a country he clearly loves, giving hope, not hate. Right now he’s standing in the wings, but not for long.

KOG. 11 June 2017

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/june2017/2017/06/forget-labour-twitter-bots-tory-facebook-ads-are-far-more-sinister

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/local-elections-2017-conservative-tory-advert-newspapers-front-page-polling-day-mansfield-chad-bury-a7718041.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tory-donations-money-raised-hedge-funds-bankers-analysis-general-election-2017-a7771346.html

http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/10/dup-and-conservatives-agree-principles-of-confidence-and-supply-deal-to-form-government-6700539/

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/theresa-mays-statement-full-after-13163404

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/election-results-hung-parliament-tory-mp-voters-got-it-wrong-crispin-blunt-conservatives-exit-poll-a7781216.html

DSC_6707b

I have today spent a session with my therapist (H) talking politics and by that I mean real up front and dirty politics.

On Thursday this country will hit a fork in the road the like of which it has never seen before and for many of us that fork will revolve around life or death issues. Our votes will either save our nation or it will mean the end of it as we know it. As I said to H, if the Tories (Conservatives) get back in I have no expectation of surviving the next five years.

I am not an old man, but I am getting on, I have incurable cancer and live an isolated life due to a lifelong battle with depression and acute social phobia. I am now reliant on my pension and DLA which pays for my therapy and a small vehicle which is a life line for someone with both cancer and social phobia. If the Tories win the General Election, I will at some point be transferred to PIP (Personal Independence Payments), for which I will doubtless be awarded zero points on assessment and the loss of the extra support will mean the end of therapy and my vehicle without which getting to hospital for cancer treatment will become extremely difficult. The Tories have also refused any promise to protect pensions and the triple lock which guarantees that the basic state pension will rise by a minimum of either 2.5%, the rate of inflation or average earnings growth, whichever is largest.

But enough about me for a moment. If the Tories get in, their plans to privatise our NHS and to bring in health insurance will be assured. They will continue to cut public services, schools, social care and they will bring in the ‘dementia’ tax. The costs of a University education will rise even higher than they are now and young people will continue to be denied housing due to escalating unrestrained housing costs. The DWP sanctions regime will become even more draconian and disabled people will see their support slashed even further. The privatisation of the state and state assets will carry on and our taxes will become nothing more than a slush fund for privateers and vulture capitalists. Britain will become the first nation to declare nuclear weapons as a first strike option. We will finally see the end of the human rights act. Thousands more will die and become just another statistic that the Tories will ignore in their Orwellian pursuit of genocide and an end to useless eaters.

That is one fork in the road ahead. The other fork will see all of the above addressed and restored, a National Investment Bank, a living wage rise to £10 by 2020, our rail system brought back into public ownership, the restoration of Nurses’ training bursaries, 100,000 council/association houses built per annum, energy price caps, the re-nationalisation of water companies, scrapping the bedroom tax, abolition of tuition fees, restoring public services and a very great deal more.

A Britain that will literally work for the people of Britain and not just the corporations and already exceedingly wealthy.

Because of the appalling reputation politicians have in this country, justifiably earned since Thatcher rose to power, it needs to be said that if Jeremy Corbyn and Labour do not hold to the promises they have made, then heaven help them. Personally I do not think they will renege on the promises for a country that works for the many and not just the few, but given the parlous state of Britain right now, Corbyn and Labour certainly have a tough job on their hands and the corporations, the right wing press, the Tories and the super wealthy will fight them and us every inch of the way. Given that Britain has the most right wing press in Europe, it is to be hoped that some efforts can be made to reign them in and to be held accountable for the propaganda and lies they so routinely deal in.

The fork in the road is either the road to ever greater division, poverty, hardship and death or the road to restoration, social justice, hope and a country that works for us, not against us.

I am old enough to remember better times and to have gained my step up from a poor working class background to a free place at university which changed my life forever. I want better times for every young person growing up now and the option to achieve their best in life.

As an elderly bloke I want to remain a contributor, I am notionally retired, but that does not mean I have nothing left to do or contribute. What I have no desire for is to wither away in destitution to meet a lonely death caused by want, denied any dignity in my advancing years.

All of this hinges on the 8th of June, a mere 24 hours away as I write. Choose well my friends, this is a nation that belongs to all of us, let’s, please, take it back for all our sakes. I shall be including you in my vote, please include me in yours. Love and peace and hope for a much better country than we’ve had for the last seven years.

KOG. 07 June 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/apr/27/pensions-triple-lock-questions-answered

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-media-is-the-most-right-wing-in-europe-yougov-finds-a6859266.html