Archives for posts with tag: civil obedience

Theresa_Mayb

The system is broken, and by that I do not mean accidentally, oops how careless of me, broken, I mean wilfully and deliberately broken.

I have lived my life with mental ill health and what I described as ‘social phobia’ years before any such description existed. Doctors told me I was agoraphobic, which then and now I refuse to accept, I am not afraid of open spaces, of the great outdoors, I am afraid of our system of inhuman society. What my mind and body has been telling me from a very young age was that there was and is something wrong with human society. I am not sick, or mentally deficient, my mind and body were accurately responding to a system that was and is exploitative and broken.

It is broken for many, if not most, ordinary people by design.

We are dangled a carrot of work for rewards which are inadequate to our needs. No matter how hard I worked, I had no control over the system that ‘rewards’ that work and so have spent most of my life living hand to mouth, and if something went wrong which required more money than I had available to fix it, I had no way to generate the necessary income to meet the need, other than by going into debt.

In the systems terms that is quite reasonable, and yet it is indisputably true that each of us is capable of creating more than we need to meet our own requirements, how else do companies profit from us? If the planet Earth were not capable of meeting all our needs, we simply would not be here. Forget evolution, if the abundance of resources are not there to sustain life then life does not survive. Had we husbanded the Earth well and wisely we would not now be facing the human made crises which threaten our future and life on planet Earth.

In Britain, one of the most fertile land areas on Earth, wealthy landowners are paid fortunes in subsidies not to produce anything of common usefulness from the land they own and the government will do everything it can to ensure that such subsidies continue after Brexit, as a matter of priority.

If you believe the world is overcrowded and we cannot feed the world, ask yourself how you know that? Where did you learn that from? If all the world’s population was gathered side by side, each taking up a square metre of land, we would occupy a space of 7,200 square kilometres, that’s over ten times smaller than Ireland at 84,421 square kilometres. It is estimated that it would take less than 10,000,000 square kilometres to feed the lot of us, roughly the size of the USA. It is, of course, a bit more complicated than that, but it gives something of a perspective on what we are told and many unquestioningly believe as written in stone. Remember David Cameron and his swarms of immigrants? It generates plenty of hate and very little sense or reason.

In January this year (2017) Oxfam reported that just 8 men own the same wealth as half the world. The report ‘details how big business and the super-rich are fuelling the inequality crisis by dodging taxes, driving down wages and using their power to influence politics’.

That is a system that is irretrievably broken with no political will to change it in the current government or amongst the super wealthy who milk it for personal gain. They are very comfortable with starving people to death to increase their wealth even more. Every time a million children die, by war or famine, it really doesn’t matter how, a rich man yawns, safe in the knowledge that he’s a few billion quid richer.

Theresa May said there is no magic money tree, well yes there is, it’s us and most especially the poorest. Harvesting the poor is very lucrative indeed, it’s been going on for centuries and it is something that pretty much everyone regards as normal, especially the harvested poor who are so successfully deceived they even vote for it thinking, ‘that’s democracy’.

By way of example, there is nothing wrong with our NHS, not with the concept, the founding, nor the enormous task of running it over almost 7 decades, what is wrong with it is the Tories and the corporations who want to suck on its teats and drain it for profit. Richard Branson, who has recently taken over much of the NHS in Bath, is a parasite, nothing more, a parasite who hides his wealth and lives in a tax haven. Branson has been given, or ‘won’ as the Guardian put it, £700 million to run 200 privatised NHS and social care services in Bath. Whatever motivates Richard Branson, it isn’t an overwhelming, altruistic, sense of philanthropy. He isn’t some kind of popular hero or man of the people, he’s a corporate blood sucker.

If you are reading this it won’t be on the mainstream media or reported on television, those billionaire owned, tax evading, corporate bastions of the status quo, which includes our publicly funded BBC, you’ll be reading it on Facebook or on my blog or the citizen media outlet, The Dorset Eye. And that is the proper place to be reading it, far from the corporate lobbyists and the dark influences of the likes of Rupert Murdoch and his evil media empire.

But for me, if we want to understand just how all this works and what we can do about it, than we can do no better than watch and engage with the banquet of corporate carnage and murder that is Grenfell Tower. We need to pay attention to what the priests of power are saying, certainly, but we should be bolted and riveted to what the survivors are saying, who refuse to be silenced. Grenfell Tower was state murder and the state is the last thing which should be trusted to investigate the murders they have committed. If the survivors want an inquest or investigation then the chair of those inquiries should be found in the angriest and most horrified residents, who should also be committee members, who will never fear to ask the most brutal questions, no matter how many times they must be repeated, nor rest until they have the answers, no matter how many times they must be demanded.

The system will never fix itself and if anyone who is not at least a millionaire thinks that Theresa May and her government has their back, then they are at the very least deluded and at worst complicit in a system that doesn’t give a flying fuck for the lives of ordinary people.

If Grenfell teaches us anything it is that the system is stacked against us and the only way to deal with that is to speak out and keep speaking out and not wait in an orderly queue for permission to do so. As the late Howard Zinn put it, “Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”

The question then becomes, can we change? And then, dare we change or are too many of us suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and siding with our oppressors? Because it will be a cold day in hell before there is any justice being volunteered for the people of Grenfell Tower from those in power. That’s why they and we must demand and keep on demanding until the system is so rattled and shaken it bloody well falls over.

KOG. 20 July 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/11/virgin-care-700m-contract-200-nhs-social-care-services-bath-somerset

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/29/the-queen-aristocrats-and-saudi-prince-among-recipients-of-eu-farm-subsidies

https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2017-01-16/just-8-men-own-same-wealth-half-world

https://snapzu.com/geoleo/how-much-room-the-entire-world-population-would-take-up-if-standing-side-by-side

https://www.quora.com/How-much-land-is-sufficient-to-produce-enough-food-for-10-billion-people-or-reduce-world%E2%80%99s-population

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/30/david-cameron-migrant-swarm-language-condemned

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11_february_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,339

Thursday 11 February 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

This is an issue that’s been bothering me for some time – What happened to protest that it is no longer effective in demanding and driving change?

Thankfully a wiser head than mine has been looking at this and Naomi Wolf nailed the issue to the wall in 2010 for all to see in an excellent YouTube video – “When Protest is Effective and When it is Not.” Had I any inkling at that time what you were about to do to the nation I would have been paying more attention.

Protest and civil disobedience go hand in hand and governments have been at great pains to legislate to break that vital bond.

If protesters want to march the organisers must now – ‘tell the police in writing 6 days before a public march’. Such legislation is designed to prevent disruption to people going about their business and the daily doings of civil society.

To be honest I am not sure why anyone would notify the police of a march, protesters don’t march, they walk, so it seems to me that the things a nonsense anyway. However, let’s not get distracted.

For a protest to have any teeth it should be disruptive and, of course, one of the most effective means of disruption is to block roads and traffic because roads are the arteries of the nation. It would be extreme, but effective, in a general strike to simply shut the nations roads down as they are the blood supply of every supermarket and businesses reliant on goods.

But we need not go so far because it is not our fellow citizens who are our enemy, it’s you Tories, and it is entirely pleasing to think of MPs discovering that their restaurants and bars are empty of food and drink due to a rather disobedient disruption in supply. The idea of you and George without your deliveries of Moet and Bollinger is also a very satisfying thought.

I wonder what the local food bank at Westminster Chapel would make of MPs wandering in begging for a free snack because the Gressingham duck with sweet potato fondant and crisoy kale was off the menu in the House of Commons Members’ Dining Room because the cupboard was bare? Bless, we’d probably hear the screams and tantrums here in Somerset unless, like you, we weren’t bothering to listen or remotely care. If we want democracy then civil obedience just won’t cut it.

https://www.gov.uk/protests-and-marches-letting-the-police-know

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/champagne-delivered-number-10-david-5678705

http://www.westminsterchapel.org.uk/ministries/foodbank/

http://www.bookatable.co.uk/house-of-commons-the-members-dining-room-westminster-london

26_december_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,297

Saturday 26 December 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The words of Howard Zinn – “Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders… and millions have been killed because of this obedience… Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”

We are living in interesting times as the famous curse goes, they have arrived in Britain and I was certainly caught unaware. The coalition years were a foretaste of things to come if you Tories ever got in again with even a small majority. The shock of the general election was extreme, it knocked me for six, knowing for sure that the worst was yet to come. I was not wrong.

There is now an enormous chasm between the spin and the reality from the worst government in UK history. You’ve abandoned any semblance of honesty, just spinning whatever nonsense you dream up whilst people are living in despair as a result of your policies.

Zinn was exactly right, our country is being run by grand thieves and the problem is that you are regarded and treated in any other way. We do not live in a democracy, the people’s voices are treated with utter contempt and ignored. Everything is geared to the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich and the relentless demonisation and hounding of ordinary people.

Your attack on trade unions is as unwarranted as it is malicious, but what we face is quite another battle which is much bigger than workers issues and rights. You have brought the attack into the homes and lives of ordinary people, undermining the very foundations of living and being in any security in our homes, undermining, through cuts and taxes and sanctions, even the right to life through economic warfare in a country in which money is the means of survival. We’ve been caught unaware, taken by surprise. Few expected such government extremism and brutality. It has taken time to absorb the enormity of the malicious intent of your government. 2015 has seen a rise in opposition and a firming up of attitudes and actions, 2016 can only improve on that. Civil obedience only exists as long as we consent, it is time the consent of the governed was withdrawn and you must learn that such consent must be earned and not given blindly or presumed. You have no right to such presumption.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/why-want-tories-out-ordinary-5645209

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/nov/15/coalition-helped-rich-hitting-poor-george-osborne

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/davis-camerons-war-trade-unions-fundamental-attack-democracy-1511023

08_october_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,224

Thursday 08 October 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

War is the sole province of governments. The people don’t make war, ever, we don’t have the resources, the ability or the power. The ability to commit mass murder on a global scale is exclusive to governments. In Britain we do not have the right to bear arms as in America, we are an unarmed nation, unless we sign up to the state controlled military and serve under oath.

“I (name), swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, her heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me.”

In the UK the armed forces swear to protect the Queen, not the nation, not the government, not the people. The Queen (and her heirs and successors). Who, though, protects us from war? It certainly isn’t government and it is definitely not the Queen. It’s crusty peaceniks like me (who protest), and like Jeremy Corbyn, Howard Zinn and a million UK marchers protesting in vain against the Iraq war, sneered at, derided and ignored.

Jeremy Corbyn has been reviled and mocked and accused by you and your party of being a threat to national security and (my) family for saying that he would not give the ok to precipitate, or participate in, a nuclear holocaust, which you blithely assure us you would.

During WWII the dreadful decision was made to blanket bomb civilian cities and areas on both sides as a way of conducting war to weaken and demoralise our nations. The killing of civilians has become routine in the wars that have continued without break across the globe ever since. In Iraq the civilian body count is between 143,875 – 165,766 and we are inundated with images of civilians wounded, dead or fleeing areas of conflict. Civilian deaths are conveniently rendered irrelevant by dismissing them as ‘collateral damage’. In 2005 Donald Rumsfeld even joked, ‘death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war’. Sadly, only in our eyes, not in the eyes of those who prosecute them, smoke cigars, drink champagne, smile and banquet and never put a foot in harms way as ordinary people do, and die. I suppose for Rumsfeld, wars are a great big jamboree, a national spending spree like no other for private banks and corporations to make vast profits.

One of your more famous expressions regarding the permanent austerity you have imposed upon us is that ‘we are all in it together’. Well , yes, in your war against the poor, I suppose we are, those who profit from it and pay no price, reaping only the rewards, and those who must pay the price, including the ultimate sacrifice. And we who protest, who raise our voices and act to challenge the heinous crimes being perpetrated against us in this economic war, are dismissed by the profiteering establishment. As Boris Johnson so aptly sneered, we’re ‘hard-left agitators – preposterously supported by Jeremy Corbyn – who believe in these tactics and who want to divide this society’. The pot calling the kettle black, in the most unequal, divided, nation in Europe. As Howard Zinn so aptly put it, ‘our problem isn’t civil disobedience, our problem is civil obedience’ to the whores of war.

http://www.whodareswins.com/british-army-oath-of-allegiance.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-claims-jeremy-corbyn-is-a-threat-to-national-security-10498651.html

http://www.buzzfeed.com/emilyashton/crusty-the-clown#.joj6lXonvO

https://www.iraqbodycount.org/

http://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/01/world/iraq-sanctions-kill-children-un-reports.html

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/jul/04/afghanistan-body-count-civilian-deaths

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/jul/22/usa.politics

http://www.buzzfeed.com/emilyashton/crusty-the-clown#.joj6lXonvO

https://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/scale-economic-inequality-uk

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36950.htm