Wakey, wakey!

Wakey wakey!

Rise and shine

Your light and heat

Upon the crimes

Your government

Is most content

To mete.

Rise up

And beat those feet

Upon the streets.

Raise up your voice

In chorus,

For, the more of us

Who make a noise,

The quicker rid we’ll be

Of bully boys

In wanton need –

No more their feed!

They lie,

They spy,

They steal,

They mould –

How many reasons

Do you need?

Come on!

Be Bold!

The future’s dawning:

Bright or drab,

It’s up for grabs

[More than you know]

Remember how that

Poem goes? That

“Ye are many,

They are few”?

Well it is true.

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Spoons

When I wake to the day
And straight away
Feel bereft for the theft
Of my spoons in the night,
I must reset my pace
For the hours I face
And the fact I don’t keep
All my spoons in one place,
Is what lessens my plight
Though the day’s still a fight
And I grieve at the waste
Unless I stop pretending,
Surrender to fate and
Just focus on mending
And wait.

When I wake up renewed,
With all spoons am imbued,
I feel hope that I’ll cope
With the basics, at least –
Unless there’s a treat
Or appointment to keep.
I will try for an even keel
Mostly, unless I feel
Daring – spoons sparing.
And, if I succeed –
Which means no extra need –
I retire to bed with
A positive head.

My spoons are my wealth
For my life is defined
By the soundness of health
In my body and mind.
It is measured and treasured by
One simple goal:
That of having control
Just as much as I’m able,
But, oh! For a ladle
To hold in reserve that
Makes up for how much
I rely on my nerves.

What exactly do our Dear Leaders think they’re playing at?

Have the Rightists not noticed the irony in their professed disdain for the ‘Big State’ when the Right-winged Coalition is constantly and increasingly nannying the minutiae of our daily lives? They can claim all the love they please for ‘the market’ but this does not entitle them to outsource and corporatise the responsibilities we pay them to hold. Mussolini would applaud. They seek to make our sources of public accountability elusive and faceless entities while making us account daily for our individual worth. The irony is so stark that only a fool, a tyrant or a religious fanatic would overlook it. What will actually become of Government? Is it to be shared among the likes of G4S, Virgin, Atos, Eddie Stobart, Centrica, etc…? And who’s getting the Treasury? Yeah, silly question…

There’s a fine line between pragmatism and cruelty and it is my belief that this government has crossed it with gusto. There’s no need here, for a list of everything that’s wrong: you know what bothers you, I’ve detailed my grievances in other posts and the government is patronising enough for all of us. To me, the lack of trust in and love for the very countrymen and women this collective purports to serve and its individuals’ unseemly delight in their own pomposity is markedly apparent.

What exactly do our Dear Leaders think they are playing at? I’m not referring to the present details but to the bigger, medium- to long-term picture. The final destination, so to speak. Have they not worked out where they’re taking us all with these moralising attitudes and neoliberal policies? They don’t even have a mandate! It’s easy to infer some grand plan but I’m not sure they are that intelligent – I don’t think they’ve properly translated their vision from ideological abstract to ground-level reality. Iain Dontcare Smith, Gove, That Hunt, Grayling, et al seem to think that if they just ‘clean up’ Society; make everyone obedient to their faith in a crumbling world view, that all will be well again. Hmm… Has it ever been that well for the masses? Has civic life ever been weighted in our favour?

But, really: what does this Coalition envisage are going to be the consequences as the years roll on for, even if/when they are kicked out, the government that will replace it will be hamstrung by, not just the accumulated sham of decades, but by the instinctive enthusiasm in the present to build on every hitherto mistake. And anyway, how much do we trust them to be that much of an improvement, irrespective of your belief in Labour’s good intent? It took a long time to get into this mess and the changes occurring right now are set to cement all that I have come to detest. This won’t be over any year soon.

Either the current political vision will fully come to pass and we will be a Stepford Nation – goodbye soul – or the government will have to become ever more forceful and enforcing. I wonder: how far is the present administration prepared and willing to go to see the fruition of their flawed vision. Keeping a regimented poor will require more than forced labour, punitive policies and food banks. What if resistance becomes the matched force, already overdue, I think, considering how the disadvantaged are growing into the majority and how lives are becoming ever more untenable. ID cards, checkpoints, segregation, armed forces? How authoritarian are they ready to be and to what lengths will they go to justify their actions? Will they even care to justify them?

Fascism is an accusation readily and even casually flung and so easily dismissed as melodramatic labelling but, you know what? I don’t think we can afford to take chances and neither do I buy the counter that our direction of travel can’t be deemed fascistic because it doesn’t perfectly match that which has gone before. The signs are all there, in every area and at all levels, from the House of Commons to the televised sound bite, albeit newly spun, but hey – that’s what the ‘neo’ prefix is for. Nationalistic, yes – in the sense that our rulers are seeking to preserve the sovereign interests and culture of their own realm. The supremacy aspect has morphed but it’s there in the emotive and divisory tactics; in the collusion of type and its subsequent sense of superiority and entitlement that so demonstrates a detachment from ‘other’ – the rest of us, that is. The expectation of dutiful obedience and the attempts to quash resistance are not just atmospheric but manifest in policy, revealing complete disrespect for real human dignity and an utter contempt for democratic process. Even the charge of demagogy can be laid when I think of how we are micro-managed in the least necessary and/or least reasonable areas of our personal lives with all the petty hubris of Greek gods.

That so many in political power (including the media) have only scorn and denial for such fears and perceptions is insulting and short-sighted and does nothing whatsoever to diminish my concerns. They should be mortified. Are we supposed to wait until we have either a neo-totalitarian state or possibly no state at all before we say it is something we saw coming and could have stopped? History is supposed to inform our present, not predict or command the future.

*~*

From the OED ~ “Fascism: 1 – An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organisation. 1.1 – (In general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practices.

The term ‘Fascism’ was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43); the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also Fascist.

Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach

Fascism: from the Latin noun, ‘Fascis’ (s) / ‘Fasces’ (pl) – ‘A bundle of rods with a projecting axe blade.” ~ I think that’s as apt a metaphor as its symbolic image ever was.

If wishes were dishes…

If wishes were dishes
The breadth of the feast
Would encompass enough
For the whole world to eat.

What a banquet we’d have!
What a smörgås of food,
Quenching palates a-plenty –
Chacun à son goût!

 

😉 Ho, hum…

The airy-scary, lofty mist on which floats Iain Duncan Smith

“La, la, la, la,”
Thus spake the minister,
His fingers in his ears,

[He sneers]

Is deaf to all
The tears and fears,
He does administer.

“Faith,” he said “is what I have
And you must place
All yours in me.

Use scrutiny
And you will find
The evidence is
In my mind.
No! I insist! You shan’t resist!”

And everybody laughed.
And paused…
Then gasped,
For, every victim knows:

The faithiness of I. D. S.
Perpetuates a Right old mess
As everywhere he grows distress –
[Yes! Even in the South, it shows!]

This moralising creature seeks
To preach and tweak
To keep us meek
And grateful
For the woes imposed with
Bile-whipped froth and servile
Lies.

See how he plies his puerile views,
Ill-challenged by the mainstream news.

Look on his wonders and despair
At action spawned by evidence
That simply, really isn’t there.

There is no cap
On this man’s duplicity.
The tap won’t close
On his cold stupidity.
He doesn’t give a crap for compassion –
His proclivity
Is more towards insuring
That the gap he values highly
Is prised wider –
Keeps the poor
Slapped down and trapped
In pens of punishment for
Spiteful ‘governmental’ ends that
Clearly benefit the selfish shits who
Praise the Great Divide that funds
Their ways and thrives,

All thanks to the hypocrisy
And airy-scary, lofty mist
On which floats Iain Duncan Smith.

I thought I was a shareholder in Britain…

The funding, running and maintaining of our essential services has become such a complete and utter farce that, like a growing number of people, I despair at and hold in contempt, those private companies and successive governments who are responsible. Energy, the Emergency Services, Health and Social Care, Education, Water, Transport, Law, Order and Justice – and now the Royal Mail: how dare they! How very, very dare they…

I would re-nationalise our essential services in a heartbeat. I don’t believe that the private sector should be offered public contracts which are of national common interest, import and necessity. And I’m tired of hearing that state ownership is bureaucratic and unwieldy. It doesn’t have to be and anyway, we, the people: we are the State! Or at least we’re bloody well supposed to be and it’s flamin’ well time we were. This point actually bothers me the most because I vote, pay taxes and pay the wages of politicians as my consent for them to act on my best behalf. We pay them to know – or find out – to negotiate, advocate and to oversee. We pay them to work for us and they increasingly don’t – won’t or can’t. Which is worse?

Why can’t the taxpayers own the services? It’s much better than some detached profiteer owning us! Government just has to press the magic money button. Better to invest etheric capital on the preservation and renewal of national infrastructure than give it to the banks to squander. In fact, why can’t a public body borrow in its own right like the private sector? It’s being suggested that councils should be able to borrow for the purpose of investment in housing. Why should ‘speculate to accumulate’ belong only to the private sphere and so-called ‘capitalists’? What inhibits a public body from using the vehicles available to the private sector is government policy.

I don’t know how feasible it really is to re-nationalise in its previously understood sense; if it’s as possible as I would like it to be, given the tangled knot, but I do know it’s possible to redress the wrongs and reconfigure the balance of power in these relationships. And I sure as hell know that privatisation was never necessary in the first place and that to do it again to any other service would be grossly ignorant and negligent.

If we step away from the politicising and just focus on the why of our wanting public ownership, the how might stand an ethical and sustainable chance of becoming.

I want my country’s interests represented by and reflected through respect for the needs and wishes of the people who live in it. I want the taxable revenue to stay in the country; the profit to be reinvested in service and workers rather than boosting the CEO’s coffers. I want the State to work in my/our favour. I want the externalities such as the long-term costs of environmental and social impact to be properly factored into decisions. I want everyone to have the same high quality and ease of access to each service regardless of who they are or where they live. (Actually that’s a global aspiration, too…)

I want those services and resources upon which everyone depends for their common and basic needs to be in the control and interests of the people who use them. I don’t want some foreign-based and sometimes actual other sovereign interest owning such essential assets – owning us. I want the government to ensure, as far as is possible, that only those whose motives are the well-being, prosperity and sustainable sustenance of the land and people first should be allowed to invest in our country: to invest in us.

I don’t want some multi-national corporation owning and exploiting the heart out of our domestic and wider planetary resources. I don’t want profiteers exploiting the government – colluding with it even, to suck dry our country’s security, prosperity, or conscience. Selling us cheaply and selling us out: now that is cheap.

Hanging back

We humans have so many preconceptions about everything that we have all too easily come to assume that past experience is inevitable future fact. As much as this is a measure of prescribed or automatic reality, it is also indicative of a resignation to seeming impotence – a conditioned helplessness at both collective and individual level. Panic, paranoia, denial, second-guessing, rushing to control an outcome: all ensue until we have ignorantly engineered and so reap prefabricated consequences. Thus, through laziness and fear, we tend to stay in place and stagnate.

Obviously I’m not suggesting that experience counts for nothing, or that the past has nothing to teach us – far, far from it. Rather, I’m suggesting that it doesn’t count for everything; that it’s not the only source or type of wisdom we have and that it can even be a hindrance to movement and potential progress. Besides, it’s not always right or even complete. History should be seen as a supportive old friend, not an overbearing governess who inhibits new ideas, thoughts and questions. If we only ever imagine the future in black and white inevitabilities, so often based on the descriptions of long-dead people and the prescriptions of living but dubious vested interests, then we are truly arguing to limit our capacity for common sense and creative vision.

But we seem to have default reactions to everything. Where the line is between the agents of influence – the old do we make society or does society make us kind of question is pertinent but unhelpful, being as it is symbiotic, dynamic and eternal. We still have Free Will, or at least the access to it, in spite of how easily the climate can make that seem false and despite what some theorists would have us believe.

Sometimes we have to be more philosophical in our approach; more pragmatic. We need to accept that it’s possible to have myriad conflicting emotions and thoughts about an issue; that it is good to wear them, one at a time and in combinations until we know what best suits us. We have to accept the polarisation within our own selves as well as country and allow for the likelihood of movement in our emotional reactions but not be so prey to them in the forming of opinions that facts and reason are constrained or dismissed altogether.

The gap between identifying the problem and finding its solution is where we always mess up and, because of our capacity to be herded by our peers, the media and that toxic blend of political cowardice and hubris, we always miss the point and squander our opportunity. That is why we keep coming back to the same, desperately similar place. We cannot be grown up and awake and actually consent to this. To know it and carry on anyway is unconscionable collusion.

I may be wrong, but I’m quite sure that space in which to absorb information and concepts would produce a higher standard of questioning and that the depth of the question indicates the depth of belief and concern (and one of the reasons I despair at political interviews). Perhaps we are not so different from the child that deserves an honest answer to her difficult question because the question is sound and she is clearly conscious and curious enough to have asked it. We need to ask better questions. I think that if the problem or objective is identified clearly and honestly, unfettered by all agenda other than that which aspires to true altruism, then the solutions become apparent – they reveal themselves.

We can be in too great a hurry to know the answer; to find solutions which serve only as costly quick fixes or the narrow and therefore distorted agenda of powerful but unrepresentative groups. We constantly focus on some small detail which would have been solved naturally if we had just given ourselves the space in which to find ideological consensus on a larger principle and then confronted it head on.