Hopes and D’Reams

2012: the year the world broke free from the tyranny of greed for the sake of greed. 2011 gave us the Arab Spring, Occupy worldwide; in Britain a dawning awareness that The City is not London, not the people, and that if we stand together we hold the power, not the financiers, not the career politicians, not the media moguls or lobbyists.

Watching police violence in Tahrir Square – or Oakland, or UC Berkley – hearing the almost desperate fear-fuelling rhetoric of the GOP or the ConDems (“Scroungers! Immigrants! Terrorists!”) one could imagine a new era of human decency, honesty and integrity building – new movements based on true democracy, not the façade of representation sold to hidden highest bidders.

Obviously, Labour, representing our salt-of-the-earth-every-day-people, would support freedom, representation and fairness.

Not a bit of it.

New Labour were old politics even as they took the limelight – uplifting song, though, at the time.

And now Miliband (in the Daily Mail – I won’t add to their ratings by linking) has shown himself to be no evolution by denouncing benefit “cheats”. What of The City’s minimal taxes? What of deals behind closed doors allowing corporations to walk away without paying? What of off-shore havens? Instead he’s playing the divide and conquer card: make the poor fear and hate the even poorer. “There But for the grace of God …”

Shame on Labour.

Who or what will fill the void?

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8 Responses to Hopes and D’Reams

  1. J Oxenholme says:

    I just watched a TOTP2 I had saved via BBC iplayer. The final track was John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas – War Is Over (if we want it). I doubt the human race could survive Utopia. Even Thomas Moore wrote it as a warning, rather than a suggestion, it is claimed. Darwinism would end and Eloi would rule. That would doom humans very quickly. No, we all need to hate each other to keep us on our toes. And that is what sunk Karl Marx’s ideas. So Happy Christmas, ideals are over. But humanity trudges onwards.

    • Myfanwy Fox says:

      Indeed, JO. But surely life – and politics, in particular – is about balance? The balance has swung too far toward individual, materialistic greed and away from social interaction, responsibility and co-operation. We can measure civilization in terms of things built or accomplished but also in how we care for those who cannot cope alone. It is caring for other members of our society – interconnectedness – that makes us so powerful in the first place. I buy a place to sleep and feed safe (via our mortgage), buy food, buy heat, buy water, even – basics of life – because we are so efficient it works for a few to produce those things while the rest of us do other things (I sell second hand clothes). If people are denied even the basics of shelter, food, warmth and water (and we no longer have any way of doing them “naturally” – un-bought) while others frolic (untaxed!) in million pound mansions we’re in a sick society.

      “There but for the grace of god go I.” The converse of “I’m all right, Jack.”

  2. Alison says:

    I don’t want Utopia. I do want a society that cares. I don’t want greed to be good. I do want co-operation. I hate the dividers and conquerors, because they spread hatred.
    Perhaps we need a new political party? But even Labour were not as bad as this government. Though they seem to be doing their best to be like them just now – what with Miliband and Liam Byrne’s recent pronouncements.

    Rant over.

    • Myfanwy Fox says:

      Hi, Alison. Sorry – I somehow missed the notification to your comment until this afternoon. Rant away – it helps. And maybe it’ll catch the attention of those with power.
      I think Labour have lost their way. We need a party with integrity and vision.

  3. J Oxenholme says:

    Hi MF, I did start a reply but it sounded as if I was advocating Nazi-ism. If I manage to re-draft I’ll post; in the meantime thank you for your reply.

    Hi Alison. No rant but I think you are profoundly wrong. New Labour had laudable aspirations. But they are the very party who destroyed our economy. We are not immune from global problems – especially those in the Euro-Zone – but what NewL did was to fail to save in the good times; indeed they mortgaged us to the hilt then. They may have uttered sweet words but it was whilst dragging us down the well-paved road to Hell.

    One can always see how HMG might do better but, at present, with a few tweaks, I cannot see an improved course. Simple problem is that UK PLC is broke and, if our loans were called-in, we’d be bankrupt. E Miliband, L Byrne and E Balls say a lot but it is all tosh, given they threw all our monies away.

    NB Balls was a major architect of our present difficulties, given his closeness to Brown and his time at HMT.

    (I have voted for all three parties at (different) various general elections and am a member of none).

  4. Myfanwy Fox says:

    The three main parties are as bad as each other – all beholden to The City, all from the same old boys network.

  5. J Oxenholme says:

    Whilst nepotism (and neo-nepotism) does exist, there are other reasons the City is regarded as vital. It is this country’s largest industry, largest wealth-generator and, despite the banking catastrophe, remains vital to the UK’s national interests. This is the reason why the PM, the Leader of HM Opposition and even the euro-phile Deputy PM, are all determined that the EU won’t do even more damage by emasculating the City with its grubby paws. Look what the EU is doing to UK auction houses and weep. We need to nurture and cherish the city – whilst not being afraid of sensible, measured, reforms and modifications. Think of it this way – we are not beholden to it; it is our multi-billion £ cash-cow.

    • Myfanwy Fox says:

      The UK’s interests should surely reflect its constituents? How many of us are actually content that “our” interests include destroying the very world that we depend on? Deforestation, climate change, rising sea levels, child labour, oil wars, polution, arms sales to despots – all things that “pure” capitalism condones or even encourages.

      Reforms are desperately needed. Yes, they must be measured and sensible but they must happen, and soon.

      We will be better off long-term if we break the reliance on amoral money worship. If we don’t, our greed will haunt us.

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