Archives for posts with tag: Howard Zinn

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

07_august_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,515

Sunday 07 August 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

Yesterday was Hiroshima Day, the 71st anniversary of the first of the two nuclear bomb attacks on Japan. The death toll was between 90,000 and 146,000 people and the cry across the world to this day is “Never again!”

In writing about terrorism the late Howard Zinn wrote, “war is itself the most extreme form of terrorism.” War contains within it all the brutality of what you call terrorism but with the added might of the full weight of industrial (for profit) armed power and the armed forces of nation states. For all the jingoistic patriotism drummed up through propaganda, in both world wars Britain had to impose conscription on the people. War is glorified and treated as the ultimate form of patriotism, but there is nothing glorious in its reality and no sane person wants it.

War is the province of the aristocracy and despots, whether religious or secular, people with too much time on their hands and dreams of glory and/or conquest. You’ll find no farmers, nurses, secretaries or production line workers plotting war, they are too busy getting on with living, the very idea is utterly absurd, yet it is they who are called upon in time of war and whose lives are sacrificed, whilst the perpetrators take a back seat.

Modern warfare is horrific, not least in the overwhelming escalation of civilian deaths over the last century, from 5% at the turn of the century to 90% at its end and still the deaths roll on.

Nuclear weapons are currently the ultimate weapon and their destructiveness indiscriminate, they represent a threat to all life on Earth. When asked if you would be personally prepared to authorise a nuclear strike that could kill 100,000 men, women and children, you said, ‘Yes!’ Let’s be clear about this, the question was a conservative question, the conditions under which you would use nuclear weapons would be far more horrific. Just one nuclear bomb would take out 100,000.

Why have we not got a government department for nuclear disarmament whose sole purpose would be to work internationally to end this menace to life? It is the people’s money you are spending, the same people who would be wiped out in a nuclear war, do you not think you have a responsibility to us to constantly work to remove the threat of nuclear war forever?

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/hiroshima-day-71st-anniversary-world-says-never-again-photos-689102#b4mLspJEJHw1plp1.97

http://www.progressive.org/nov04/zinn1104.html

http://www.unicef.org/graca/patterns.htm

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jul/18/theresa-may-takes-aim-at-jeremy-corbyn-over-trident-renewal

01_june_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,451

Wednesday 01 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

In an article entitled ‘Election Madness’ in the USA, the late Howard Zinn wrote, “Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.”

This is by no means restricted to the USA, the idea that the expression of democracy is in voting every few years is the prevailing orthodoxy here in the UK. I wonder what children are taught in schools these days? Are they taught and do they discuss human rights such as the right to peaceful protest which is one of the foundations of a democratic society?

In 2014 we saw exactly what the state thinks of peaceful protest when the police were sent in to clear Parliament Square and forced protesters off a tarpaulin and where pizza boxes and umbrellas were confiscated as ‘structures’ which might be used to sleep on or provide shelter.

Arrested protesters were cleared in court where the judge ruled that a tarpaulin was not ‘a structure designed or adapted for sleeping’. The farcical heavy handed police operation cost nearly £2 million and saw fencing erected round what has become known as ‘Tarpaulin Square’ on the fatuous grounds of protecting the grass. Boris Johnson was reported calling the protesters “Crusties” engaged in a “thoroughly maddening protest against capitalism” and repeatedly called for them to be removed.

The protesters were exercising their democratic and human right to protest peacefully and it was Johnson himself who was abusing protesters rights and proving himself to be the enemy of democracy. So much for the establishments attitude to protest.

The fact is that democracy is the last thing that you want in this country and the idea that you are answerable to the people is anathema to you. You ignore the will of the people as if it does not exist or have any place in the policies you inflict upon us. Disabled people and Disability groups have been visible and vocal in opposing your treatment of them and yet still they have been hit by 19 times more cuts than the able bodied.

Protest remains at the heart of democracy as a human right. It is our inalienable right to speak up and take action against oppression and victimisation by the state. Every sanction, every cut in care and support for those most in need, every act of forced labour by the DWP is a violation of human rights and democracy. We are right to fight, we are right to protest and what this nation needs is a whole lot more peaceful direct action of any and every kind and if that is socially and politically inconvenient, well so it should be. That’s entirely the point.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/24/occupy-protesters-forced-to-hand-over-pizza-boxes-and-tarpaulin

https://occupydemocracy.org.uk/2015/07/21/occupy-democracy-cases-dismissed-in-court/

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/30/devastating-impact-of-cuts-on-disabled-people

http://www.boycottworkfare.org/

30_may_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,449

Monday 30 May 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I have always wanted to believe in something outside of my own conviction. A spiritual, social, political conviction that was so compelling I had no desire but to follow to it.

There have been few contenders in my life for such a surrender, the four greatest being, My long time therapist, Del, Howard Zinn, Tony Benn and Jeremy Corbyn. Yet all of these, ironically, did not ask that of me, they gave it right back to me as choice, as my human right to decide and to engage. Informed personal conviction is worth living and dying for.

I am an apostate against the religion of abuse, a child of an abusive past which demanded my most intimate obedience, such that nothing was left to me. Abuse, like the worst of religion and politics, requires only obedience, never acknowledging the intimacy of my own soul, my life and being. Such niceties of being are anathema to those who require only blind obedience.

Growing up in a world of monsters, prey has no voice. The lion does not seek the permission of its prey to feed and nor does the human predator, but where the lion obeys its nature, human predators who seek power over others for their own gratification are an abomination against nature. A government which preys on the people is just such an abomination.

Human kind have advanced through co-operation and that has required an effort to overcome the baser aspects of our nature. We all need to be selfish to a degree, we all need to be self serving to a degree, we all need to look out for ourselves to a degree, but not to the exclusion of all else. Maturity of character means finding the balance, to participate with others for our mutual progress and development.

I think this can be best seen in the creative arts where the outflow of creativity is a sustaining force which engages with others in an inspiring way. That does not necessarily mean it’s all sweetness and light. Sometimes it is gritty and dark, expressing depths of life and humanity that echo in all of us, which too need airing and exploring. But the uplifting power of creativity is not exclusive to the arts; science, technology, social planning, education all depend on creative co-operative endeavour.

Governments like yours are time limited because you offend against human decency and the effort to keep a tight reign on power must be constantly exerted because it is fundamentally flawed and foul. You will have your day, but we are better than this, capable of so much more that you are not even aware of. You are the real losers in today’s Britain because you will never know what it means to be fully human and fully alive. I reserve no pity for you and your kind, without redress you deserve none.

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_december_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,279

Tuesday 08 December 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The late great Howard Zinn wrote in ‘Our War on Terrorism’: “Let us begin by recognizing that terrorist acts – the killing of innocent people to achieve some desired goal – are morally unacceptable and must be repudiated and opposed by anyone claiming to care about human rights.”

He makes it clear at the beginning of the piece that he was ‘calling it “our” war on terrorism because I (Zinn) want to distinguish it from Bush’s war on terrorism, and from Sharon’s, and from Putin’s.’ In other words, the people’s war on terrorism. That’s a fairly novel idea, that the people have a war on terrorism quite distinct from that pursued my political figures and the media and it is an incredibly important distinction to make. It is a distinction that lies at the heart of protest and activism, the right to peaceful protest, free speech and freedom of expression, those precise rights you are seeking to suppress.

In September this year a coroner demanded that the government take action to ‘prevent future deaths of disability benefit claimants, after concluding in a “ground-breaking” inquest verdict that a disabled man killed himself as a direct result of being found “fit for work”.’

In your ideological war on the poor, the imposition of permanent austerity and the cuts aimed at poor, disabled and vulnerable people, like the bedroom tax and ending the Independent Living Fund, you  and your government have wreaked havoc in vulnerable lives and have terrorised them. People talk about the fear of the brown envelope, a fear I am intimately acquainted with, wondering what kind of hideous DWP imposed nightmare they might contain. Worse still is that you pursue these policies without regard for the views, experiences and suffering of ordinary people. We are denied any voice in your pursuit of dismantling all state provision in favour of privatisation. As Polly Toynbee and David Walker put it, “Cameron seized the 2010 “crisis” to realise his ideological ends. By exaggerating the parlous state of national finances, he was able to pursue his longstanding ambition to diminish the public realm. Margaret Thatcher privatised state-run industries; Cameron’s ambition was no less than to abolish the postwar welfare state itself. The Office of Budget Responsibility recently announced Cameron’s victory – by 2018, it forecast, we would have a state the size it was in the 1930s.”

In pursuit of such an ideological goal, the cares and considerations of those affected do not matter, that people are terrorised in the process is entirely predictable and, of course, must be routinely and ideologically ignored, just as they are. Your latest move to ban peers from overturning legislation is entirely necessary because in dismantling the state by deceit (never honestly declared), you must silence all opposition including the second house. That people are driven into poverty, homelessness, despair and death, is just collateral damage and exactly what Zinn was talking about: ‘the killing of innocent people to achieve some desired goal’. That is ‘our’ war on terror.

http://progressive.org/nov04/zinn1104.html

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/coroners-ground-breaking-verdict-suicide-was-triggered-by-fit-for-work-test/

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/11/david-cameron-policy-shift-leaner-efficient-state

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/scrapping-the-independent-living-fund-would-devastate-thousands-9992591.html

http://www.newstatesman.com/economics-blog/2012/11/fearing-brown-envelope-sickness-benefits-and-welfare-reform

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jan/28/-sp-david-camerons-five-year-legacy-has-he-finished-what-margaret-thatcher-started

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/breadline-britain-20million-now-living-5123323

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/27/thousands-died-after-fit-for-work-assessment-dwp-figures

02_november_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,247

Monday 02 November 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Many people who work in Public Relations (PR) are really just in the business of promoting companies, products, issues, basically advertising in a product/public friendly way, but the real dark arts are practised by spin doctors and propagandists whose job it is to change public perception and consciousness. This was the territory that Edward Bernays inhabited and who is known as the Father of PR; a manipulator of public perception and, indeed, behaviour. Like his Uncle, Sigmund Freud, Bernays believed that people were driven by dark and dangerous animal drives, a herd or mob instinct, which must be controlled and manipulated. There can be no question that being part of a crowd can influence our behaviour, but neither Freud or Bernays seemed able to dignify us with sense and reason and like you and your party they were authoritarian paternalists who considered themselves superior, presuming to know what was best for everyone else.

I can put this attitude no better than to quote one such elitist paternalist from an article written by Howard Zinn – ‘To Disagree Is to Be Put on the Enemies List’. Zinn quotes the President of Boston University, John Silber, who wrote the following, “As Jefferson recognized, there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talent. . . . Democracy freed from a counterfeit and ultimately destructive egalitarianism provides a society in which the wisest, the best, and the most dedicated assume positions of leadership. . . . As long as intelligence is better than stupidity, knowledge than ignorance, and virtue than vice, no university can be run except on an elitist basis.” Needless to say, neither Zinn nor Silber made it on to each others Christmas card lists.

The problem with such elitism is that it is by its nature duplicitous, hiding its real intent, and contempt for ordinary people, behind a fabrication of lies and manipulation. So it is that you say of your party, ‘We are the party of working people’ and that you are ‘For Hardworking People’ when nothing could be further from the truth. Tax Credits and junior doctors are but two amongst the many lies and betrayals that you continue to heap upon the lives of ordinary people. You began with the poor and vulnerable, with whom you are far from done, but are now spreading your attacks with reckless abandon, undermining jobs and security in what is an economic war against all the people of this nation other than those who consider themselves to be at the top of the social hierarchy.

It’s a grand sell out to the highest grubbers for wealth. The people who you pretend, and may even believe, are the movers and shakers are nothing more than the grabbers and takers. Playing mind games with a nation is high risk and I very much hope the people are at last getting the message.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32297199

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/david-cameron-accused-lying-over-6711567

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/please-jeremy-hunt-stop-your-unthinkable-attack-on-junior-doctors-a6675501.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/david-cameron-launch-devastating-25billion-1795655

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/general-election-2015-uk-will-be-run-for-the-wealthy-and-powerful-if-tories-retain-power-ed-miliband-10219855.html

16_october_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,232

Friday 16 October 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Jeremy Hunt wants us to work harder and die younger just like the Americans and Chinese. The World Health Organisation life expectancy rankings has Britain at 19th, the US at 34 and China at 67. Just who in hell does Hunt think he is?

Iain Duncan Smith believes that people are incentivised to work through state imposed poverty, deprivation and starvation. He also believes that work helps cure ill health, disability and life threatening diseases. 200 disabled people a week are losing their Motability Allowance as they are moved from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) on to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) thereby losing their independent means of mobility. Are they now meant to get around on the seat of their pants, dragging themselves on bare knuckles to the healing sanctuary of work?

The SSI steelworks in Redcar is to close for good with the loss of some 1,700 jobs and affecting 9,000 other local jobs that rely on the steel works for their livelihood. I very much hope the good people of Redcar and Teeside will keep us posted on whether Jobcentres impose any sanctions on those seeking the support of Jobseekers Allowance to incentivise them to find jobs in an area with its heart torn out.

Odd, wouldn’t you say, that we can bail out the banks which can hardly be described as national assets as we struggle to recover from their profligate self serving greed and malfeasance and yet we cannot save one of Britain’s major industrial assets and the livelihoods of those who work there? So much for ‘hard working people’ and the Tories being ‘the party for working people’ offering ‘a brighter more secure future’. The bank bail out cost us hundreds of billions, not to mention the £375 billion of money from fresh air given to the banks in quantitative easing, yet we cannot afford a hundred or so million quid to save Redcar.

It is to Britain’s shame that 25% of the electorate could vote for a party of liars, a party that leaves no stone unturned in betraying the lives of ordinary people, a party, as we heard in parliament just yesterday, that laughs and jeers at the suffering they cause.

Howard Zinn lamented the obsequious servants of the overbearing state. How are people not affronted by your patronising language of ownership, or standing up to you Tory advocates of the top down abuses of the Victorian factory owners who used and abused people, including children, so extravagantly? We are not vassals of the state, Mr Cameron, nor are we your servants or slaves. The days of doffed caps and obsequious grovelling are over, whatever mandate you think you have is not yours to abuse as you see fit, nor is it written in stone or bound with iron, you only have it on sufferance, with the consent of the people.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/09/jeremy-hunt-wants-us-work-harder-die-younger-have-some-self-respect

http://home.bt.com/news/uk-news/work-like-health-treatment-says-iain-duncan-smith-over-benefits-shake-up-11363999775498

http://www.welfareweekly.com/welfare-cuts-two-hundred-disabled-people-lose-motability-car-each-week/

http://news.sky.com/story/1568234/redcar-steelworks-ovens-to-close-for-good

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/redcar-steelworks-owners-ssi-pause-production-putting-3000-jobs-at-risk-10514781.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32297199

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/163850bn-official-cost-of-the-bank-bailout-1833830.html

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/bank-england-keeps-interest-rate-0-5-375bn-quantitative-easing-programme-unchanged-1510096

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

22_september_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,208

Tuesday 22 September 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

As a chronicler of the last three and a half years it is truly shocking to witness the appalling rate of decline in the quality of life in Britain. Who could have imagined such a thing, or how much worse it would have been if you hadn’t been somewhat held back by having spent the first five years in parliament in a coalition? Whilst the compromises that the Liberal Democrats chose to make cost them dearly there can be no doubt that they did exert a modest restraint on your party and the policies you were able to pursue.

It has also given me an opportunity to reflect on what a modest venture the introduction of the Welfare State was, although that in no way undermines the achievement when compared to the brutal conditions that existed for so many before its introduction. It was certainly something the establishment of aristocracy and wealth would never have even considered and who fought like fury to prevent it, especially the NHS which led to Anuren Bevin’s furiously angry speech in which he said, ‘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’.

The late Howard Zinn had much to say about compromise in the struggle for social justice and believed it was not for the people to compromise; that is for legislators – ‘he starts out with a compromise, and when you start out with a compromise, you end with a compromise of a compromise’. Yet if we the people make demands we are already compromised by our historic expectations. If I demanded a £20/hr minimum wage my own neighbours would likely turn on me for making such a ridiculous demand, yet it is a demand so paltry I doubt you would consider getting out of bed for five minutes to make a cup of tea for such an amount.

Now, here we are today, counting our dead and, as Frances Ryan recently wrote in the Guardian, ‘Death has become a part of Britain’s benefits system’, and yet you accuse us of having a culture of entitlement as you slash away at a benefits system paid for by the people for the people and Tory MPs jeered and sneered in parliament at tales of hardship in a debate on food banks.  Only three days ago we heard from a chap whose mother had lost her benefits for missing a JSA appointment because she was in hospital, she received no money for five weeks and her carer noted, ‘Ruby is worried about money, still waiting for benefits to be sorted’. Less than 48 hours later she was dead. At the time of writing that post has received 35,866 shares on Facebook alone.

How we respond to such barbarity I do not know, nearly 36,000 people could probably tear down the Palace of Westminster with our bare hands, perhaps people are constrained by fear of the response from those who inhabit it. I have little doubt you would justify the massacre of the outraged as restoring proper order after politically motivated extremists attacked parliament, because you care nothing for our lives or well being. It has ever been thus and that is precisely the problem, beating the poor is the historic role of the privileged and that is what the vitriolic outrage at the fair and democratic election of Jeremy Corbyn is all about.

http://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://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/01/27/howard.zinn/

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/27/death-britains-benefits-system-fit-for-work-safety-net?CMP=share_btn_fb

http://news.sky.com/story/952248/pm-we-must-end-culture-of-entitlement

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/food-banks-debate-video-iain-2941100