Citizen solidarity in the West: moving from stale ideas to fresh initiatives

For the second year running – for some unfortunates, the second week running – their homes in North West England have been devastated by flood waters. For the second year running, David Cameron has donned his green wellies and wandered about looking concerned.  But whichever way you cut it, the vast majority of the rescue and remedial work is being done by the locals…not the Government or its agencies.  Cumbria and the surrounding areas are in this mess because of a silly idea saying that there is no such thing as society. We are getting perilously close now to a situation where there is no such thing as government….let alone government for the People by the People.

A devastating report on the NHS by the Nuffield Trust shows clearly that The Slog’s prediction after the Autumn Statement was correct: despite his purring reassurances, Jeremy Hunt hijacked emergency funds off Osborne because the NHS is in crisis. Most important measures were down, most failures were up. It is in this mess because of silly ideas propagated by Dan Hannan and Hunt himself about private insurance and an expansion of the private sector being the answer….in an environment where over 70% of middle-middle Brits couldn’t afford the policy costs, and nobody on a State pension could get anywhere near even dreaming of such a luxury.

Daft ideas that survive in the face of contrary science are something in which we British excel – the CBI, the TUC, paedomania, foreign-owned media, first past the post voting, closed shops, the race relations industry, joint enterprise, Harriet Harman, gender politics, uncontrolled immigration….we invented all of it – but they’re not restricted to our shores.

The ignorant, one-size-fits-all oil obsessed foreign policy of the US is another, as is the pretence that a slimeball like Recep Erdogan can be trusted and should remain in NATO….or that NATO itself any longer benefits anyone beyond the Pentagon. All have produced thousands of stateless and dead people during 2015. In the EU we have negative interest rates, multivariate unelected Presidents, a 100% unaccountable Central Bank mafiosa, economic recovery  based on austerity, and solutions to Greek unaffordable debt built entirely on more unaffordable debt.

It all comes back again to ideology….the stultifying econo-political magnet that sucks the herd into blind belief in a discredited coda of ideas.

Such vile human experiments (and yes, I would put some of them alongside Nazi medical lunacy for sheer cruelty) nearly always fail, but must not be seen to fail – until such time as something or somebody snaps, and then they are no more….after a few million more dead.
They produce societies where almost everything is out of wack.

Instead of the BBC bravely analysing what dumb policies led to a Syrian bloke losing his wife and seven children in the Med, the crew take the poor bastard and ask him how he feels – on camera. They don’t even have the right to ask him in camera. But nothing – no sense of limits – stops them:
“Alright love, very good on the grief, but we need to be ECU on the tears this time, yes? And let’s have a second rig on his hands…. zoom on the wringing hands love. OK, lighting, are we on Tarquin? Sound? Right let’s go again”. It’s like something out of Drop the Dead Donkey.
They produce crimes like those where four scammers literally ruin the lives of dozens of old couples, but all the tabloids can think about is the length of sentence: what about investigating where that sort of sociopathic goggle-eyed SS mentality came from in the parenting, education, peer examples and general desocialisation of the scammers? What about wondering whether there is a snowball in Hell’s chance of the scammers finding the road to a more caring life during their prison term?
Very few politicians think like that. In relation to a 2007 case  of manslaughter that somehow (under tabloid pressure) turned into a tragic murder case, David Cameron thought only of the leg-up this would give him to the power he thinks is his right as a member of the Upper Crust. He callously used the incident as an example of his mindless ‘Broken Britain’ mantra before the 2010 General Election. He marshalled the Digger’s forces to vilify the kids involved…..and disgracefully misrepresent the facts of the case.

As a direct result of this, 21 year old Jordan Cunliffe – almost completely blind – languishes in prison, where he has been since the age of 16….convicted of Joint Enterprise in a murder he couldn’t even see, from which he was never less than five metres away….and which – given the health history of the victim – should never have been classed as murder in the first place.
The diluted legal aid system let Jordan down. The lawyers he was given for his defence let him down. The CSA let him down. A grubby deal in Court about non-disclosure let him down. The Judge’s summing up let him down. David Cameron – who could’ve helped – used Newscorp lowlife to help himself. Only Jordan’s mum, his open-hearted stepdad and real fighters for justice were there for him. But Jordan Cunliffe is still there, in prison, a wasted youth wrongly convicted because of a daft – and dangerous – law.
I have said many times that ‘join up the dots’ is a sloppy way to investigate any injustice. But the dots leading to the truly guilty in this case point directly to the rise and rise of Chancers in Downing Street. With role ‘models’ like Cameron, Hunt, Osborne, Burnham, Hilary Benn, Shapps, May, Trump, Draghi, Venizelos, Clinton, Schäuble, Obama, Balls, Miliband, Cowell, Murdoch, Brooks and 10,000 other misanthropes to ‘guide’ them, how can any kid anywhere these days look up to those in charge?
My view remains the same: nobody can look up to people who look down on them.

And that’s the core of the problem. At this particular juncture in the terrible history of democracy handing power to plutocrats, the most urgent need is to clear out the self-aggrandising and arse-covering elements in government and politics…regardless of their self-assigned ‘allegiance’.  But as I posted a few days ago, the control-freaks are very careful to only alienate one small group at a time.

For those seriously interested in socio-constitutional resistance and reform in the UK, the task is abundantly clear: to be more organised in how they go about doing that. If Corbyn wants to survive the fatcat bounce inside the UK Labour Party – and go on to win in 2020 – he must work more on the sourcing of many crowds of commonality at home, and talk less about  disparate minorities abroad. He must break one piece of bread at a time, not choke on the complete baguette. This is one of  those times when the defence of genuine, direct democracy in the UK should be a higher priority than the arguably dubious rights of Hamas in Palestine.

I don’t mind Mr Corbyn giving straight answers – I find all that uplifting, and long-overdue eye-poking stuff. But there is a real cultural opportunity in 2015 Britain that is the diametric opposite of political opportunism. This is to leverage a positive wave of dissatisfaction in order to turf out the anti-socially self-satisfied: to recruit the many minorities suffering at the hands of greedy neoliberal materialism, and turn them into one majority.
Nurses, the aged, the chronically ill, the decent intelligent, the alienated poor, the junior police officers, the ethical civil servants, the charities, the SNP, the unjustly pauperised, those who fume at above-the-law privilege, the unsung poorly paid lawyers uninterested in ambulances, the ecumenically campaigning journalists, the accountable ethnic community leaders, the moderately apolitical religious opinion leaders and the desperate young: these people add up to the majority.

But far too often in the past, when Labour talked about being ‘socially inclusive’, it was Orwellian Newspeak  meaning ‘excluding all those who don’t buy into our ideological inclusivity’.

That tribalism handed the last Election to the Conservative Party, and the numerical analyses prove it: had Labour not alienated the working class UKip voter and – five years earlier – failed to engage with the LibDems, nothing could’ve stopped a Labour victory. Speaking in a personal capacity, I’m relieved that we are not now being ruled by Two Eds Muddle. But the irony here is that Corbynism has a greater and more egalitarian appeal than Muddleband MetroLabour.

Caught on the back foot, the Corbynistas find themselves pilloried by the Establishment media. While that should concern them, it shouldn’t ensnare them in the Blairite bear trap of pretending they’re nice and fluffy and benign sweet little bearcubs.  There is a sick society, a deranged economic model, and a depraved political class that must be faced out, and then faded out. The genuine majority of those entitled to vote need to be enthused, inspired and encouraged to kick out the past and get real about the future.

Only by ruthlessly interrogating knackered ideology (and having the bravery to change the fulcrum of politics in a post-Thatcher world) is any Opposition going to return power to the direct majority….and then change the discredited models of education, public ethics, aspiration and  healthcare to which the current Blairite/Camerlot axis cleave. It’s a big ask; but as an American once remarked, “If you don’t aim for the stars, sure as hell your ass will remain in the ditch”.

Related at The Slog: New lessons from Oldham