What are we up against? A three-part bricolage

Posted: May 5, 2015 in Bricolage
Tags: , , , ,

Sometimes it’s good to realise your own words are insufficient for a situation, and take inspiration from others. With the most important election for a generation just a couple of days away, I thought I’d blog a bricolage of comments I’ve gleaned from political discussions over the course of this coalition’s term in office, which sum up my feelings better than I could myself. I take no credit for the wit and succinctness gathered below, rather I doff my cap and feel glad there are people who feel the same despair as I:

“Both Germany and France have more generous welfare provision, and better pension settlements than we have in this country. They also have much better transport infrastructure. (state owned), better housing and less unemployment. All this, despite having no natural energy resources of their own. Now we have to import energy from both France and Germany, after Thatcher sold off our strategic resources to them. We used to be on a par with them, but 30 years of neo-liberal economic policies have reduced us to mere slaves of corporations. We have pissed away huge oil revenues on supporting ideological high unemployment. We tore up the worlds finest railway infrastructure. We sold or closed down our manufacturing to the very countries that are now steaming ahead of us. What now does our latest bunch of morons do? Of course, they carry on the very same policies (with bells on) that have denuded us and left us as mere vassals to these nations. Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron and Clegg have destroyed everything good about this nation, and left us dependent on corrupt spivs in the City of London.”

“Germany and France have real, substantial economies. The UK has staked all on the the ‘financial services’ economy – which is not a real economy at all but an institutionalised ponzi scheme run by a bunch of fraudsters who jumble numbers to create a smoke screen over fraud. That ‘industry’ will also go the way of the industries British previously had and be replaced by countries and banks which offer solid, well engineered, reliable value at a reasonable price for what is a very simple ancillary service.” “One in the eye for the free marketers – the French and German unionised economies that support failing state industries have been out performing our debt ridden joke of an economy for years, both are now light years ahead of us in terms of their technical know how and ability to create high-end revenue generating manufacturing employment, we were not so long ago their equal, but Thatcher then New Labour decided “the market” was everything and here we are working longer hours in low end service jobs for lower pay than our neighbours – pathetic.”

“Our manufacturing base being shipped offshore with the associated massive loss in skills while at the same time allowing the input of cheap labour to drive down wages even further that much easier, just so that Oiks in the City could make even more money. I’m sure that totally ruining the entire country outside of the M25 and fucking up the economy in such a way that an entire generation of youth in the 80s had no choice but to end up on the dole was sanity. As someone has pointed out above as well, the Unions in Germany and France ONLY got Government and business approval because they were willing to be a shitload more militant than any British Union ever would be. We would need a year long general strike now and we could bring in German and French working practices and push the UK Economy in the direction it should go because British bosses and the tories would never agree to anything that would resemble fair wages and conditions for workers in this country. I honestly can’t believe how stupid business leaders in this country are. Cutting wages, driving down living conditions, forcing people to use credit to buy their products. At least in other countries people are paid enough and have enough disposable income to spend their OWN money on food, unlike this pathetic hierarchical ass kissing society where the people are willing to bend over and be fucked by “those better than us” and even give up their jobs so that CEO’s can get even richer…..”

“…this woman (Thatcher) is a vile representation of all that it is rancid and morally despicable about modern Britain. Apparently its okay to waste billions on an obviously flawed poll tax scheme then replace it with something just as crap. Plunge millions of people into unemployment, increase interest rates, lead the country into a recession and yet be heralded as an economic visionary. To inadvertendly promote the IRA through being such an obstinate twat and yet be procalimed an heroic no-nonsense diplomat. Finally and this is what really gets me, entrenches the idea that nothing matters but your own back yard. Whatever persuasion you are, is it not fucking obvious how stupid and short-sighted that is, on so many levels. But apparently she was the unifying ballsy leader that made Britain the ‘great’ country it now is. Bullshit.”

“Can someone kindly remind the Labour Party that it does not have to be like the Tory Party and never has done. Beyond its hard core of sociopathic Thatcherites and blue rinse geriatrics, the Tory Party is incredibly unpopular. It is kept afloat only by the multimillion support it gets from every corrupt robber baron the UK has to offer. Since Blair came to power, the actual aggregate Labour vote has received has dropped, election, after election, after election. Yet it still believes that aping the Tories is the way to go. Why? Because it is utterly terrified of that other great plinth of Conservative support, the press. Sensible, popular measures are never even mentioned for fear of enticing that lot.

Stuff like:-
liberalising the drugs laws, keeping the NHS in public hands, actually going on record and asking why some things were put in public hands in the first place – maybe even acting on said words and taking back some of the family silver. getting a handle (and perhaps even renationalising) on the privatisation of public utilities and the rail network. talking about immigration in a grown up way rather than the current, never ending, sabre rattling from rabble-rousing hypocrites on one side (that decry all these foreigners coming into our country but will never do anything about it because they enjoy the cheap labour) and naive wets on the other (that go all lovey dovey on foreign cultures – not a bad thing per-say – but have absolutely no understanding on the unintentional damage done to the British population by these immigrants). perhaps using all that oil money as a way of investing in creating new manufacturing jobs, rather than the proverbial bread and circuses that it has been for these past 30 years. These things could prove generally popular with the voters, but not on planet Wapping. The Tories received 10,703,754 Votes in 2010. That’s a 25% drop from the 14,093,007 that they won in 1992 – their last victory in a General Election. All this despite the Tories in 2010 having many advantages that Major’s Tories lacked. Namely that it was the middle of a recession and this time it wasn’t they that were responsible. I could go into Labour’s statistics, but they make grim reading too. As for the Lib Dems, up until May last year, they were the big winner out of all this. Alas their support has now plummeted for predictably depressing reasons. Now, there doesn’t seem to be anyone in England. AV could have allowed in a daring outsider or two, but that got knocked on the head too. Which leaves us with the only winner out of all your dithering Labour, the SNP. Right now there are only two things that prevent Scotland getting greater (or even total independence), foul play by Westminster (be it a coup, pictures of Salmond doing stuff he shouldn’t, economic subversion etc), or some genuine olive branch that offers practical, constructive, realistic ways to preserve the Union. To be honest, unless this book offers something spectacular (and by that I mean something more than fine words), this is far too little, far too late from all concerned.”

“Entrepreneurs are becoming extinct; those talented people with ideas that created jobs and actually made things taking huge personal financial risks. Today what is the point. The wealthiest people sit in boardrooms of public companies, the only risk they take is getting out of bed. They belong to a private club of elite managers – not entrepreneurs – who thanks to political friends, award themselves huge salaries, bonuses, stock options and pensions that have nothing to do with performance and are, more often than not, rewarded for abject failure – dare I mention the name, Goodwin. It began with asset stripping when clever people realized they could make more money from the real estate than running a business, so they shut down the factories, goodbye staff and either sold off, redeveloped or rented out the buildings. Then came the financial services industry which has become a monster; it is supposed to look after our money but everyone takes a cut along the way for advice, setting up and managing funds, mortgage, credit etc. Still no sign of actually making anything. More recently young people have become wealthy by running fast, kicking a ball around, driving fast, swinging a golf club or hitting a small ball across a net. And finally anybody clever enough to be able to sit in front of a tiny screen and create ways to connect have made fortunes overnight thanks to the global casinos called stock markets.
It all reminds me of the old Indian proverb: Only after the last tree has been cut down Only after the last river has been poisoned Only after the last fish has been caught Only then will you find money cannot be eaten”

“We need to decide now whether we believe in society and the state. The intellectual debate has been dominated for too long by loud-mouthed neoliberal zealots who spout about freedom as the highest ideal, who hate the state because taxation is an imposition on their economic freedom, and yet use the state to further their economic interests. The neoliberals have captured the state in the US and the UK in the last 30 years, using the state to crush the freedoms of the unions and forcing councils to privatise public housing. They have robbed the taxpayer to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on behalf of the oil companies, Lockheed Martin and BAe. They have privatised the public utilities whose infrastructure was paid for by the ordinary taxpayer. The neoliberals have destroyed the lives and hopes of millions of working class people in the West because it was more profitable to sack them and employ slave labour in Korea, India and China. Having done all this, the neoliberals claim that the state is a hateful thing because it taxes the rich and powerful to provide subsistence living to the victims of neoliberal policies. I believe in society and I believe that the state is the only vehicle by which society can be maintained. The neoliberals don’t believe in either. They are anti-social sociopathic scum.”

To be continued…

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