I was shocked and now, a week since the vote, feel as if I have awakened from a dream. I was one of those who bought the New Labour idea of ‘a Third Way’, a classless society where opportunity was evenly distributed and social justice a moral imperative.
I now realize, after the referendum, that I have been asleep, covered by my own comfort blanket, drugged by my own venality, acquisitiveness and egomania into a lack of concern for my countrymen and women. “I’m alright Jack – just about anyway” has been my mantra. I relied upon politicians to take care of justice and the distribution of chances; even though had I attended outside of my circle of self-interest, I would have seen long ago that things were awry and getting worse. It was 2009 when I first encountered Richard Wilkinson’s brilliant analysis of the disastrous effects of inequality on societies. But I turned over and went back to sleep. You can see and hear it here: https://www.langmaidpractice.com/ask-silly-question/
Over the next weeks, a political party that does not have the interests of the disenfranchised and dispossessed at heart is about to do something dodgy to stay in power for the next four years – even though its leaders got us into this mess. While harping on about the ‘unelected’ politicians of the EU, the Tories are about to allow 150,000 Conservative Party members, mostly over 60 and in the Shires, to choose our next Prime Minister.
We are about to be led by someone none of us voted for. And as Frankie Boyle suggests, someone with an almost permanent expression of surprised disgust on her face at that!
Meanwhile, Labour Party membership surges, there are more than 500,000 members presently, the largest number ever. This is surely a recognition that grass-roots concern is waking up too, that more and more of us are recognizing that we have abandoned our social responsibilities in the quest for new cars & ‘experiences’, tempered by the odd bit of volunteering.
There is no way that hand-outs or even hands-ups are going to restore pride, prosperity and a feeling that they matter to those in towns or cities that have been stripped of their industries by successive governments and their support for free-market economics and the survival of the fittest. It is absolutely proven that privilege and wealth create unequal starting lines for life’s race and that our prestigious institutions still favour the products of privilege over those of endeavour. In this way the Universities have contributed to the maintenance of the status quo, and can’t really whinge that their research funding is in danger. When did you last see any loud, coherent, educational words from any university on the value of the European community, social justice or equal opportunity?
More detail on this issue here: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jul/07/brexit-is-also-a-vote-against-the-elitism-in-science?CMP=share_btn_link
We have been done-over and are about to be so again. Do you really think the Tories will do anything to restore our society to ethical and moral balance? They will simply find new rationales for privatisation and tax advantages for the wealthy, while flogging off more of our social goods to their mates. For that matter, do you think Blairism, or selfishness with a warm heart will do any better?
We must find a way to change this. Jeremy Corbyn offers one path to rebuilding our society and to repairing the effects of our greedy sleep! I implore you to join the Labour Party now.
The Greens or Lib Dems also have many good ideas and proposals and offer alternatives if you are disinclined to brave the turmoil in Labour.
Don’t push this aside in your rush to acquire the next project or lose the anxiety in busy-ness.
Join one of these alternatives to the dreadful Tories now!