Archives for posts with tag: social justice


The bible is a remarkable book, it has influenced and shaped world history for nearly 2000 years. It is an apocryphal tale which many believe is literally the word of God, yet even if taken literally, those who do so interpret it wildly to suit any agenda they wish to pursue, hence the many and diverse Christian factions and churches.

Whilst it is a very difficult book to wade through, it is a book I recommend highly to critical and wary readers (treat it with all the respect you might a stick of dynamite on which the fuse is lit) because we are all, to a greater or lesser extent, affected by its outworking in history to the present day.

Put very simply the bible is a book of Law and Grace and a tale of the abject failure of human kind to work out their affairs justly under the rule of law without the necessary application of grace, consideration and loving kindness. To this day it is easy to see that the world is dominated by biblical Pharisees, those who adhere to the rigid dogma of law and claim moral and spiritual superiority, against those of a more common and gentle nature who live by the virtues of loving kindness and social justice to whom moral and spiritual superiority hold no interest.

Today, then, I give you, the Tories and those who they consider to be ‘stock’ (especially those unable to work), the common herd, ordinary people. It is no small thing that Theresa May is the daughter of a Church of England Vicar, the Rev. Hubert Brasier, yet she exhibits all the traits of a brutal dictator and none of the virtues of Christ. Her religion is the religion of money, the unrestrained free markets, the destruction of public services, the robbing of the wealth of the nation and the deprivation, penalisation and hounding of the poor and most vulnerable people in society to death.

Recent events have shown that Theresa May is a horrific grasper after power at any price to pursue her dogma of social destruction and regression, the pursuit of the transfer of public wealth into private hands and the wanton destruction of our public services including our NHS.

It is into this social crisis that Jeremy Corbyn has emerged, against all the odds and political (including those in his own party) and media machinations and forces raised against him. A champion of the underdogs, defender of the rights of ordinary people, a fierce campaigner for social justice, a straight talking, plain speaking man of the people who has been accused of inciting religious fervour and even casting an ‘Orphic spell’ (by Boris Johnson) over the minds of the dumb masses and who ironically and coincidentally shares the same initials as the beardie chap of the biblical New Testament.

It is a modern epic of good versus evil and the stuff of every fairy tale since time began, except this time we are living it and the price for ordinary people is monstrous. On the one hand we have a conniving, lying, cheating, stealing party of the rich and powerful against Jeremy Corbyn and all those who champion social justice, in which I happily include myself, the cares and concerns of ordinary people and the well being and interests of the many and not just the privileged few.

For all those who see themselves small in their own eyes, who face the vast forces of modern day oppression, not knowing what to do, how to express their fears and who feel they have no voice and still less anyone to listen, a glimmer, and for many, a beacon, of hope has emerged. It is not down to one man and yet that one man has become, rightly, the political focus of millions. Everything that Theresa May aspires to in her wickedness and manipulation, and yet fails utterly, Corbyn achieves through plain speaking and shared humanity.

Every step of social progress we have ever made against rich and powerful interests has come through struggle, from the bottom up, through the engagement of ordinary people against the enormous power of the privileged few. That struggle is, I hope, reaching an historic climax, one that is long overdue. A climax that will not be the end, but promises to be a new beginning if we hold true to our vision. It is a struggle that needs every voice and the concerted action of all those who see themselves small who together can bring about the social change which millions of people in Britain and the wider world are crying out for.

This piece is entitled, ‘Who dares despise the day of small things?’ I have unashamedly ripped it out of any biblical context quite deliberately, and I apply it to my own faltering footsteps in life, and to every life struggling to take one step at a time in these unbelievably difficult times against the vicious forces which oppose us. I offer it as a compliment and a celebration of modest lives and modest aspirations, which collectively can make a difference. Those with power, through wealth, status and influence (by which I mean the mogul owned and driven media) will do anything and everything to crush us, as they have always done in times past.

Theresa May and the Tories know what they are up against and they are desperate, afraid and in complete chaos, even buying a few extra votes for a billion pounds. It is within our power to keep them in disarray and to oust them, let’s do just that, for all our sakes. The power grubbers hate Jeremy Corbyn with a raging passion, there is no shame in loving him and looking forward to him being Prime Minister.

KOG. 28 June 2017


IDS Calls Those Unable To Work ‘Stock’



What makes Ken Loach’s ‘I, Daniel Blake’ so powerful is where the plot impacts on life. Most films and documentaries take for granted certain elements of life, like eating and shelter. Such things are assumed, a meal – at ‘home’, in a cafe or restaurant, and access to a home, cafe or restaurant which means having the wherewithal to afford and be in those places. These are assumed cultural and societal rights or norms which the ‘plot’ does not need to establish, they are taken for granted.

‘I’ Daniel Blake’ blows that right open (as much as I have as yet seen), these foundational norms can no longer be assumed. They are stripped bare, revealed as fragile and vulnerable.

The means, the wherewithal, is no longer anything that can be taken for granted, the door to that security is slammed in our faces by a DWP ‘Decision Maker’, an ‘other’, and that is terrifying, stupefying, an assault on our lives.

That loss of power over our basic securities has been weaponised against us and we get no say in the matter.

Money is the token of access, our ticket to belonging, our legitimacy, without which the door to life closes and we realise that we have been excluded. There is no handle on our side. The government, the DWP, the Decision Maker, have rendered us persona non grata, a non-person, leaving us staring into the void.

Homeless people gravitate to human habitation where all the social structure exists for modern life and scrabble for scraps from society’s table, but the right of access has been removed. We become unwelcome strangers, unwanted, shamed and humiliated. We may even be fined and criminalised for being there, the exclusion is complete. No money, no membership, no entry.

Exclusion means even scratching through litter bins is shunned, it is a misuse use of society’s system of waste and rubbish facilities, looking for a morsel in the waste of others. It may have been a burger 10 minutes ago, but once discarded it is no longer food, it’s rubbish, and picking it up and eating it is offensive, disgusting and embarrassing to those who ‘belong’. It is not because people are reminded of the fragility of life, it is that they are offended and ‘turn their noses up’ to such aberrant, distasteful, behaviour.

The ‘fragile life’ idea has a romantic appeal which is not borne out in practice, the notion of ‘there but for the grace of god go I’ is clear to some but not most people. But it is not the grace of god which arbitrarily imposes, condones and supports social exclusion, endorsing the righteous, it is a structural exclusion, the will of ‘man’.

Were it the grace of god then activism would be unnecessary, it would be merely precarious divine fate over which we have no control. And who are we to presume otherwise? Under such grace, poverty is fine, homelessness is fine, starvation of children is fine, every social injustice is divine in origin. It isn’t.

If I plead with god for the poor and do no more, then I am essentially giving in to futility, sacrificing my innate power to act to divine caprice. It’s entirely self defeating because I am self evidently equipped to act. I might just as well ask god to look after and brush my teeth for me when I am fully equipped to do it myself.

I may be less clear about what I can do about social injustice, what effective steps I can take, but it behoves me to grapple with the complexities of life, inequality, social justice, social exclusion, not abdicate my will and abilities and choice to an ‘other’.

Rising injustice has seen a rise in the use of the term ‘Karma’. This is a lot more than merely actions having consequences, which is self evidently true. This use of Karma assumes some kind of universal power of justice beyond our control. It’s god thinking in disguise without the religious overtones. But it is essentially disempowering because it is an excuse to do nothing, because something else will sort it out. It is fateful thinking which in human terms is not helpful in the slightest other than in the comfort it gives in invoking it. It’s essentially a cop out at a time of obscene human made attacks on social justice. The war on the poor is flourishing and karmic reprisals (or even just some kind of balance of power) are conspicuous by their absence.

In fact what we are experiencing is the unaccountable power of the few over the many, holding the poor to account by robbing them blind as wealth inequality is driven through the roof. And it’s brutal. As Ken Loach said, “The present system is one of conscious cruelty. It bears down on those least able to bear it. The bureaucratic inefficiency is vindictive and hunger is being used as a weapon. People are being forced to look for work that doesn’t exist.” More than that, people are being knowingly deprived of the means of survival and, as current head of the DWP, Damian Green, said, “We are building on the record of Iain Duncan Smith, who over six years poured his heart into welfare reform – as did his successor Stephen Crabb… We should be proud of that record.”

The man is a bloody monster! Proud of causing children to starve? Proud of depriving disabled people of the means to even walk let alone live an independent life? Proud of stealing the means of survival from people as a punishment. Proud of the return of Victorian poverty related diseases and others, malnutrition, gout, rickets, tuberculosis, scurvy, mumps, scarlet fever, cholera, diphtheria and typhoid? Proud of tens of thousands of deaths? Proud of the millions of emergency food parcels handed out by an ever increasing number of food banks. Perhaps we should be campaigning for the return of public floggings.

The proud record of Tory brutality since 2010 is an outrage and yet I am utterly convinced of Green’s sincerity as far as this is concerned. He is an abject failure as a human being and certainly unfit to hold office, yet in July this year the Tories had a 16 point lead over Labour. How is this possible or even credible?

The elevation of Donald Trump to president has revived the old ‘dumb Americans’ trope, I’ll just hold their beer as they laugh and point. If life was a car, millions of people in the UK, it seems, are asleep at the wheel because we’ve already driven off the cliff. Of course the Tories will fall eventually, but how many more lives will be ruined and snuffed out before they do?

To every single person speaking out and acting for change in whatever way time and ability allows, my utmost thanks, we are the light in the wilderness, no matter what they do and no matter what they throw at us. The Tories and all neoliberal right wing leaning people and apologists are a terminal wrong and a stain on the world.

Find whatever peace and souls ease that you can to give you strength to carry on fighting. You are not alone even though isolation and division are things that the Tories work hard to force upon us. Life is not a competition, yet cooperation, care and support are now revolutionary acts in Tory Britain.

KOG 10 November 2016


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,498

Wednesday 20 July 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

Yesterday’s letter was met with a remarkable response on Twitter, “Keith Ordinary Guy – Member of the Labour Party – says it all – how pathetic.” At such times I do feel that for some people the act of procreation was a waste of time. It’s not the same as the more general contempt that many MPs have for the lives of ordinary people, who use and abuse us so extravagantly and treat us as a cash cow even whilst despising us, lying to us and robbing us.

Someone having a meaningless pop on Twitter is such a display of futility, it is by definition pathetic and it is notable if no other reason than it is uncommon. In a general sense I enjoy Twitter as a social media site on which most of the Tweets I see are worthwhile whether I agree with them or not, or share them or not.

In six years of Tory misrule we have witnessed the appalling contempt your party has for the electorate, in recent weeks in both the referendum and the Labour leadership challenge such contempt has reached white heat and the central issue is that democracy is under attack as never before.

There is nothing banal about Jeremy Hunt’s attacks on our NHS or our junior doctors, underlying all his machinations is the determination to privatise our NHS. That’s the bottom line. No government would dare declare its intention to privatise the NHS, so it is being done by stealth and deception because politicians rightly fear democracy and an informed electorate.

I can’t say I am proud to be a member of the Labour party, it isn’t about pride, it’s about standing up for social democracy, which accounts for the ever growing popularity of Jeremy Corbyn and explains the vitriolic attacks upon him by politicians and the media. It is impossible to insult me as a member of the Labour party because that is my informed personal choice which anyone is free to dismiss as pathetic, but that only says something about them and nothing about me.

The Police have apparently said that the scale of your party’s election fraud is of ‘staggering proportions’ and have accused your party of trying to cover it up by silencing the media, which, I have to say, is an extraordinary move on their part. What we are seeing is an unprecedented attack on democracy, but what we are also seeing is an extraordinary response and all those who oppose democracy should rightfully be trembling with fear because democracy is the foundation of social justice and social responsibility. Democracy is too often touted without consideration and without any meaningful context, yet behind its glib misuse lies the very bedrock of civilisation.

UK Police: Tory Election Fraud Scandal Is Being Covered-up


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,490

Monday 11 July 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The big question for me right now is what are people who are of no earthly use to man nor beast doing posing as MP’s, and why are they so terrified of a politician who is actually and demonstrably working for the well being of others?

Speaking at the Durham Miners Gala Jeremy Corbyn said the following, “There’s a lot of debate about what’s happening in the Labour party at the present time. And I am inundated with questions, questions, questions all the time. And I have patience that is infinite to answer questions, questions, questions.

“But one I got today really did puzzle me. They said: are you coping with the pressure that’s on you? I said: ‘There’s no pressure on me. None whatsoever.’ The real pressure, the real pressure – real pressure – is when you don’t have enough money to feed your kids, when you don’t have a roof over your head, when you are wondering if you are going to be cared for.”

The Canary reported Assem Allam, owner of Hull City football club and one of Labours biggest private donors, as saying, “People think I donate to the Labour party because I like Labour policy. That’s not the reason at all. I would like to start the process of reducing the Labour party’s reliance on trade union money. For the Labour party to rely too heavily on the unions worries me. It’s undemocratic for one party to rely on one category of the community.” I think he’s got a couple of wires crossed as the party he should be supporting is funded exclusively by private interests and he’d be right at home there.

It is simply incredible that it is no longer considered tenable for a political leader to stand on a platform of social justice. Even more incredible is the absolute horror and outcry that Corbyn has had the audacity to do just that. And even more incredible is the extent of political and media spin and manipulation, including the BBC, in trying to discredit him.

Politics has descended into farce and chaos, those who should be running the country are ruining it, and Corbyn talking about social justice, decent homes for all, fully funded universal health care, ending austerity, protection at work and so on, has got the ‘establishment’ running around in abject terror screaming that the end of the world is nigh. It is long overdue that such people started acted their age and not their shoe size and if they cannot or will not we should get rid.

A super-rich Labour donor is offering the coup plotters millions to quit the party

BBC admit intentionally damaging Corbyn leadership with contrived live resignation


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,453

Friday 03 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Speaking at the premier of his documentary of his life and work, ‘Versus’, Ken Loach said, ‘there was no point in “Cameron and co” watching the film “because that is their project, that is what they believe in … It is part of what they want to happen. It is not an accident that the poor are punished for their unemployment. That’s their project, that’s the point… There’s no point in showing the film to them.”

I have been asked many times why I bother writing to you, why waste my time on a man who will not listen and does not care?

The questioners are missing the point, which is to highlight injustice, state brutality and malicious and punitive policies that oppress and cause wide spread suffering.

Unlike Loach’s film, the most appropriate person to direct and focus my letters at is the head honcho of the organisation which has perpetrated this war on the poor.

In letter form, they are a publicly shared record of the most shameful and despicable government in our history. They are a catalogue of the misdeeds of you and your government which rightly belong in the public sphere.

Given also that the mainstream media is broadly complicit in your oppression of ordinary people, then it falls to us ordinary people to speak out because who else has our backs if not each other?

That’s what democracy is, the voices of the people and the power of the people. Democracy is government by rule of the people who elect representatives accountable to the people. As such the people are the power, which government should serve but which you do not. If a government fails in its responsibility to the people then it falls to the people to protect, preserve and protest their rights.

Ken Loach and I have this in common, serving the interests of the people and I am proud to be a small part of that finest of traditions of fighting for social justice. I can think of no higher purpose in life, or better free choice to make. Comparing you and Ken Loach, which do I admire and respect doesn’t even enter the world of choice.

10_april_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,398

Sunday 10 April 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The Tory mind set is remarkable and one I shall never understand. The post-war consensus was a revolutionary movement which gave rise to the NHS and the welfare state. Those who oppose it dismiss it as socialism, wrapping it up in an ideology they can attack by deceit and ignore the real issue which was social justice. Nothing has changed, I see people railing against Jeremy Corbyn as a hard left socialist, with sneering disdain, a convenient cover for them, when what Corbyn is about is social justice.

Tony Blair said that Corbyn supporters were living in a “parallel reality” and just in case we were unclear what that meant he called on party members to reject his “Alice in Wonderland” politics. The curious thing is that Blair was right with his “parallel reality”, just not in the sneering and mocking way he meant it. Blair, child of Thatcher that he is, and you Tories don’t give a damn about social justice, the very idea is repugnant and offensive to you and that is a parallel reality to the one in which I live.

The Panama papers, called by one observer, ‘the icing on the cake’, have exposed a system built by the wealthy and privileged, for the wealthy and privileged, and you’ve been pursuing that agenda since 2010 to the exclusion of all else. What has nailed you now is your own towering hypocrisy. We are not now, nor ever were, all in this together. The problem has been that most people are so inured to a system that is rigged and stacked against them, they have been hobbled by their own disbelief and I put it to you that you have depended on that from the very start of your crusade to dismantle Britain.

You have bleated that your father has been “unfairly written about” over the tax furore that has arisen around your own tax affairs, if your father wasn’t engaged in tax avoidance he wouldn’t have founded Blairmore Investment Inc, in a tax haven which its own prospectus states was to avoid paying UK tax. Where was your sense of fairness when you publicly named and shamed Jimmy Carr? With his usual style Carr hit back using your own hypocrisy against you, “I’m going to keep it classy,” he posted on Twitter. “It would be ‘morally wrong’ and ‘hypocritical’ to comment on another individual’s tax affairs”.

So what is the metaphorical cake that now has an iced topping? It is the devastating harm you have caused and the misery you have brought to millions of people across the UK, including tens of thousands of deaths which you have utterly ignored in pursuit of your ideological austerity agenda, whilst rewarding the rich and asset stripping the nation for private gain.

We the people want justice and that means not only your resignation but an end to Tory misrule and a new consensus with social justice as its beating heart. That will never come from your party, indeed it is anathema to you and that is why you must go.

Fastest Asset Stripping Of The UK Ever As Economic Policies Fail To Deliver

20_january_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,321

Wednesday 20 January 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Work, the great Tory magic mantra. It doesn’t matter how sick or disabled people are, Iain Duncan Smith insists that everyone can and must work. It doesn’t even matter whether we’re paid or not, as Smith put it,  ‘work actually helps free people’, mimicking the Nazis, ‘Arbeit macht frei’. According to Smith it’s about delivering social justice, “Getting people into work is more than just earning a salary and certainly more than balancing the public purse. For culturally and socially, work is the spine that runs through a stable society. I want those who remain trapped and isolated on welfare to move from dependence to independence.” Really?

Whatever dignity might have existed in labour, you and your government and Smith in particular are stripping people of any vestige of dignity whilst presiding over the greatest transfer of wealth in history.

Oxfam reports that in 2010 the 388 richest people owned wealth equal to the poorest half of the world, that figure today has reduced to just 62 people and the report also finds that the richest 1% now own as much wealth as everyone else on the planet.

Work is the greatest con trick on Earth, and yet so successful is the propaganda many working people defend it to the hilt. Workers are merely human resources and companies no longer even try to wrap it up in any fancy way and in fact have reduced it to a mere acronym, HR and our entire education system is the supply chain to produce those useful human resources fit for work.

Work under capitalism is the ever increasing transfer of wealth upwards. The Walton family of Walmart fame is one of the worlds richest families, billionaires who pay poverty wages. Gina Rinehart, mining billionaire and one of the worlds richest women, infamously called for a lowering of the minimum wage (not even the living wage) in Australia. Fewer and fewer people in work can even hold their own, they are being driven backwards into poverty, many thousands now reliant on Food Banks to help them even eat.

You claim you are the party of equality but the reality is that you are grinding people literally into the ground and driving inequality through the roof. Work is the magic river of wealth that defies gravity, pouring upwards. There is, without question, vital work that must be done for the country to function and there will always be a work force, but for vast numbers of people work means poverty in a world of wealth that they help create. Iain Duncan Smith’s attacks on the poor and sick and disabled people to drive them into work is just naked brutality and your celebration of increasing numbers in work is just a con trick. Until there is economic justice there will never be justice on Earth. Wealth equality is a pipe dream, some disparity in wealth is always going to exist, but economic justice is something everyone should be fighting for and demanding. Until we have economic justice millions of people will remain in dismal wage slavery, barely making it one week to the next in the worlds greatest con trick.

IDS Calls For Another Major ESA Shakeup 4:19 “work actually helps free people.” – IDS

28_october_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,243

Wednesday 28 October 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

You may enjoy your brief day in the sun, but history will remember your infamy and treachery.

Refusing to back the fight against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) leaving our NHS unprotected from being invaded by corporations will mean the death knell for our world famous health service and of its being free at the point of use for rich and poor alike. Healthcare corporations and Insurance companies alike will sue for loss of profits against any tax payer funded service as being a threat to their interests. The vultures are circling and you’ve nailed your colours to the mast, let’s hope you go down with the ship, though I am sure you expect those same corporate vultures to throw you a life raft.

Yesterday you suffered a defeat in the House of Lords over Tax Credits, who called you out for lying to the nation. George Osborne, looking like a man whose nose had been seriously pushed out of joint, reiterated his usual mantra that he was determined that the poor must pay to secure our economy, saying nothing about his tax breaks to the rich and to corporations. In bullish form (he really looked pleasingly pissed off) Osborne made clear that you and he intend to punish the Lords for protecting the poor. You have accused the Lords of ‘breaking a constitutional convention’, the small matter of lying to the electorate remains to be dealt with, which you are clearly not going to do. All you want, it seems, is power absolute. All the people want is social justice and we will continue the fight against the worst and most corrupt government in our history.

The speech from Baroness Hollis to the upper chamber should have been instructive to you and your claim to make work pay and about working people who do everything they can to keep their heads above water. Osborne said he had listened and I am sure he had as the pair of you set about a ‘rapid review’ to secure your supremacy. Clearly you don’t give a fig for social justice and it is down to us to oppose you and continue the fight for social justice which you so avidly oppose.

In the struggle for social justice those who fight the battle are always enemies of the state, reviled in word and deed by those who hold fast the reins of power, mocked, derided, penalised, arrested and even imprisoned.

They are not the ones who cry, ‘It’s hopeless!’ They are the ones who with utmost determination, even in their worst moments of disheartenment, strike the match that rekindles the candles’ flame. Tired, exhausted even, perhaps hearing deaths call at last, they do not surrender to that tyrant, but in defiance strike that vital match one last time even as their final breath sighs out. And win.

11_october_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,227

Sunday 11 October 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Who are ISIL/ISIS/IS and what more real and present danger are they to this country than you and your government? As heads of state posture and rival with each other for the deceit of the moral high ground in the escalating war of aggression in Syria, marching us ever closer to Armageddon and mutually assured destruction, there is another unseen and barely remarked war going on, unremarked by you, of course, as its prosecutor, and of little interest to a corporate media who prefer shock and awe news, rather than anything resembling journalism.

The two fields of war at home and abroad have one certain thing in common, the politics of self interest and corporate greed, which is the ruling brute fist driving policy at home and abroad. You care nothing for the victims of war, the thousands of lives lost, the poverty, the homeless, the starving, the abandoned, the betrayed, and the children who must suffer the consequences of your austerity and your war on the poor, mere collateral damage in the corporate take over of Britain.

Our growing homeless, are they any less refugees in this war, with nowhere to go, no hope of relief, hounded without mercy, even threatened with fines of £1,000, and those who care enough to offer the homeless food threatened with prosecution? These are the refugees of austerity and the corporatocracy imposed on Britain today.

Britain is not short of a bob or two when it comes to corporate relief and welfare, £93 billion in corporate subsidies and tax breaks, £375 billion in quantitative easing pumped into the financial markets. We’re not short of handouts to the rich either as Osborne provides inheritance tax relief for wealthy families.

In Britain it is a war without guns, but it is just as brutal as Iain Duncan Smith deprives the poorest and most vulnerable of the means of survival. And like any war, it is fuelled by propaganda, demonising the enemy, blaming the enemy for the brutality which is the sole prerogative of those who conduct wars, those with the might and self given right to mercilessly crush their enemies.

The corporate propaganda machine is out in force, demonising and calling the champions of peace and social justice, unpatriotic and a threat to security and conducting the most virulent, hateful, attacks upon them – Jeremy Corbyn, Charlotte Church, DPAC, Russell Brand and many more. Priti Patel even had the audacity to describe disabled and elderly campaigners as a ‘thuggish gang’. And just as in any war, you sit far from harms way protected from the consequences of your vile actions, buffered by the front line obedient troops you care nothing for either.

Not in my name, Mr Cameron. You do not represent me and I will not lend my silence to your smug, self assured, couldn’t care less brutality. Someone told me yesterday that I should tell you I am ashamed to share the same surname as you, I am not ashamed to bear my fathers name, the shame is all yours.

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.