The “Compassionate” Con

Why do the Tories have to insist, so profusely, that they are “compassionate”? They’ve recently started slipping it in and tacking it on again, at every opportunity. It’s as though they suddenly think we might need reminding. Or they are doing that positive affirmation thing in order to convince themselves. As though conservatism and compassion were not natural bedfellows…

OED: “Compassionate: Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or        misfortunes of others.Middle English: via Old French from ecclesiastical Latin compassio(n-), from compati ‘suffer with’.

Passion from Old English:
The word passion comes via Old French from Latin pati ‘to suffer’. The Passion refers to the suffering of Jesus Christ. The sexual sense dates from the late 16th century. Passionate in late Middle English included the senses ‘easily moved to passion’ and ‘enraged’. Passive (Late Middle English) comes from the same root, from the sense of ‘being acted upon’, and compassion (Middle English) is literally ‘suffering with’ someone, while compatible (Late Middle English) comes from the Latin for ‘fit to suffer with’.”

Fancy a political ‘One Nation‘ party actually having to qualify ‘Conservative’ with ‘Compassionate’ just to reassure and soften its image! How ridiculous is that! And how sad. They’ll be telling us it’s a ‘British value‘ next.

And how insultingly patronising is the term “Compassionate Conservatism”? What is it saying? “Oh, we feel really sorry for you”? – “There, there, Daddy will take of you”? – “We feel your pain and anger and we understand”? – “We suffer with you”? – “We’re all in it together”?

By the way: “The root of suffer, is Latin sufferre, from sub- ‘from below, under’ and ferre ‘to bear’. As well as ‘to undergo or endure’, it can mean ‘to tolerate’, and this is the sense you are using when you say that someone does not suffer fools gladly. The expression is biblical, from the second Epistle to the Corinthians: ‘For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.’” – OED

“We suffer you” – that’s the one, isn’t it? They believe We, the People, are the fools that they, being better than us, can afford to – are fit to – accommodate. We are tolerated. Just about.

Of course, there are individual Conservatives who demonstrate sincere compassion; empathy, even but, as a collective; as a political party, they certainly do not. The Cons aren’t compassionate towards us beyond the expedient lip service of self-preservation. And, as for suffering with us: well, that’s almost funny.

mother tongue

Pardon me
but,
could you speak more slowly, Dave?
Your right-wing propaganda conjugations
aren’t my mother tongue –
I think my ears have integration accent.
I hear
that hate and fear, in the infinitive,
is clearly meant
but wonder at the double-Dutch translation.
See, the doing in your flow
sows predication on imperative,
as though you did construct
a comprehensively deliberate conflation.

No room at the inn

Outcast; silenced ones:
Society’s sacrifice
wished invisible.

[“It is because they face danger that we have peace.” ~ David Cameron]

🎄 🎆  🎄

[December 2014]

May you be bathed in light and love
May you be where you are at home
And not feel lonely if alone.

May you feel warm and dry and full
May you find inner strength and joy
And take time to enjoy it all.

May you laugh loud and longer than you row
May you be blessed with gifts of kindness
May you know the wealth and health
Of a peace of mind within our Now
And please you, have a Merry Christmas! 💫

 

blaze and glory

Talk is cheap
but more than Life:
that, we trade
at half the price.

Fools rush in
all blaze and glory;
first night curtain
– same old story.

Speak to Virtue;
play with Vice
and say it’s worth
the sacrifice.

But what remains
and who survives
cannot be willed
by who decides

for golem is
as golem does
and time and luck
are now the judge.

gloss and glue

The gloss:
The glee and glint in cheapest print;
The swash of military bish-bash-bosh;
The ministerial sprint for derring-do.

The glue:
Each heavy splash of whitewash;
The supple shadows minting déjà vu;
So many, owned so much, by so few.

Thy Kingdom Come

Opportunity mocks.
On Rapture’s banner
Told you so and jerking knees fly hot and high.
Horizon of Humanity, a chasm, yawning –
Hands are wrung
Bring out your dread
As anthems sung –
A roaring cottage industry.
Some cynical spark remarks upon the latest data:
Productivity is soaring!
And the binaries are rounding; calling
Seed and salt, the reaping spun.
A side: decide.
Choose one
Or one will be assigned.
The long-term economic plan is drawing.
In its end, we are begun
The sum of sums.
Thy kingdom come.