You are right: we’ve failed you. We have been letting you down for decades. We got so sucked into the machinery of modern establishment that we came to represent its interests first and always more than yours. We got so swept up in the glamour and excitement of Business, markets and competition that we didn’t notice how our obsession with outsourcing expansion to profiteers was shrinking your choices, your opportunities, your own standards of living. We became so dependent on the good will and approval of the televisual and printed press that we lost our heads to the purpose of self-preservation. We put our egos first and disregarded how Media was positioning both us and you. We realise, now, how you have been subjugated through a feedback loop of perpetual spin and hypocrisy; how your intelligence, wisdom and common sense have been treated with contempt; how we’ve made you feel you are not trusted with unadulterated facts and complex problems because it meant ceding our desire to engineer ideological direction and to control expedient outcomes if we did.
We understand, now, why you have so little faith in our abilities and even less in our motives. We realise that, although so much of what New Labour did under Tony Blair was seen and sold as progressive, we did, in fact, end up building on Margaret Thatcher’s neoliberal dreams. We recognise how this contributed, in turn, to the emboldening of the present Conservative-led Coalition to the worst of that end, to libertarian values that produce fragmentary, patronising policies of false economy that serve the few at the expense of everyone else. We recognise how our failure to examine and oppose David Cameron’s policies with the scrutiny and logic available – that you all knew they warranted – and, up until now, our own future intentions, justifies the common accusation that we are all the same.
Call it déjà vu; call it Labour’s dark night of the soul, dear citizens but our lightbulb moment has come. We understand, at last, that you are cynical and sensitive because we became cynical and defensive; that because we stopped believing in you, you stopped believing in us.
We have remembered that you, You, the People: you are the State, the backbone, the soul of these lands; that your needs are what we first serve; that without you, there is no nation. We’ve realised that we need not fear Democracy nor Justice. We have remembered that you are all of equal human worth, regardless of your ‘status’ in society and that you deserve to be treated with decency and respect and equally under Law, whatever your orientations, be they given, real or apparent.
We have remembered that a good economy fits Society, not the other way around; that life must work for us, not that work is what life is for; how essential it is to have space to just be; that having time and space to be creative and productive comes at least as much through freedom and leisure as through scheduled ‘paid’ employment; that you and your children are not malleable commodities to be herded and nudged from cradle to grave; that contribution to a society comes in more forms than being forced into the dead-end of poorly paid work merely to placate ideological cliques. We have remembered that it is the responsibility of a government to facilitate an economy that provides a decent standard of living for all abilities and/or ambitions; that if a government cannot or won’t, it has no right to say who is ‘deserving’ of compensatory assistance; that to punish the young for our failings is petty, misguided and soul-destroying. We’ve remembered that pushing the sick and disabled to constantly justify entitlement to what are pretty modest benefits and into further vulnerability and distress on pain of penury is cruelly uncivilised.
We’ve remembered that we should be discerning about what and how we make and grow for the future because we want an ethical, viable and sustainable environment on all levels and our relationships to be built on integrity, both at home and around the world. We recognise that this starts with honourably serving you.
We’re finally getting it.”
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” ~ Dr. Seuss