When JFK once said that the US must keep moving forward just to stay still, one can only imagine how he would be viewing the quagmire that we find ourselves in. The Tory led Brexit swamp we are all permanently bogged down in. Yet despite the chaos and carnage that a no deal Brexit will cause there are still desperate times regardless of whether we remain in the EU or not.
With child poverty and homelessness rising sharply, costs of living rising while living standards diminish. Wages except for one month in the last 10 years, failing to keep up with inflation, leading to the rise of foodbank use in the main by working families no longer supported by the state. All the while millionaires, like Richard Branson cheery pick vital public services in the NHS.
Our very way of life and state are quite literally being sold off with no benefit to the public or the greater good. So, my question is, when are we going to do something about it?
Often, I have stood in amazement at the complete laissez faire attitude of us in the UK, one which allows these private investors to make millions by overcharging the public for public transport, energy and potentially soon health services. All the while using every loophole in the book ably supported by a Conservative Government whose ideology is to punish those who need the most support in our society. You can only imagine what other countries think of the UK.
In France they adorned yellow vests at the introduction of additional taxes and unite together to actively attack the system that was attempting to invade their way of life. In other countries there are revolutions, in the UK? Well we tut, gurn then we read the Sun who tells us its really Corbyn’s fault or that he’s a terrorist sympathiser and we have a new outlet for our rage.
Even the news that Theresa May intends to scrap the Human Rights Act following Brexit has led to… well nothing. Switch over to Netflix, have a cuppa and ignore. It’s not affecting me right now so it doesn’t matter, or its starting to pinch but it will all be alright once we kick out immigrants/get independence/vote Tory again.
This is not a call to arms or revolution, in fact on some occasions this is an admirable trait. In 2014 the campaign for Scottish Independence was perhaps the first constitutional battle to be fought with the pen without a drop of blood spilled. But the general apathy and division of the people in this country has now reached its zenith. In Scotland there is an almost moralistic belief that we are better than this, that this is an English problem, sadly this is not the case. It is also not solely limited to no voters as we would like to believe in the Yes camp.
In the last year, the teaching unions have campaigned on a pay rise of 10%, this in response to the fall in wages to inflation by almost 25% in the last ten years. Some of the most vocal protests have been from other public service workers, up in arms about teachers expecting more of a rise than other services. Completely ignoring the fact that any significant rise in one public sector would allow for a much easier campaigns to improve pay and conditions in other services.
Has the individualism of Thatcher left a legacy of apathy and self-centred politics? How can we hope to have a great society when we are so divided in what we define as priority services? The division created by individualism and promoted by our media has ensured that we have an atmosphere of infighting, be it Yes and No voters, remain or leavers, immigrants, teachers or other public services.
We’ve allowed those who hold the power and finance to do as they please. We have convinced ourselves that its perfectly reasonable for celebrities to defraud the country by hiding their money abroad in offshore accounts but if you are on benefits you can’t have a tele. That Theresa May’s husband and Reese Mogg can all be stakeholders in companies that will benefit from a Brexit that ends new EU tax avoidance powers as long as Britain can be made great again!
The apathy and indifference of the many in this country is soul destroying, the outrage of so many in vegan sausage rolls and public service pay rises only serves to highlight how far of track we really are.
If we are going to have a society we can be proud of we have to take some responsibility in ourselves to achieve that. We must refuse to accept blindly the mainstream medias version of events without questioning their own agenda. We must stop fighting in ourselves for the scraps of the table of the feast we prepared.
Change can only occur from unity… or else we will continue to be part of society which only serves those who take advantage of it.
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