This week’s news is more depressing than is usual. But it’s at the same time of vital importance that we remember all the good reasons to be cheerful if we are to avoid cynicism or a feeling of hopelessness to overwhelm us, especially regarding our young people.
Here ARE ten reasons to be hopeful if you’re a Lefty today! https://dermotrathbone.wordpress.com/2015/06/28/ten-reasons-to-be-hopeful-if-youre-a-socialist-in-2015/
But, back to this week. Where to begin?
Abroad we have the prospect of a conflagration in Europe as Russia intervened in Syria, ostensibly to join the fight against the IS Death Cult whose proto medieval barbarism seems to be spreading across the region. Not that the West can talk. 21,000 people perish every single day across the Globe due to causes directly attributable to extreme poverty according to the United Nations.
Why? Because in January 2015 OXFAM produced figures that show the richest 1% in world own more than the other 99% put together. I would challenge even the most ardent capitalist to justify this. But Russia’s intervention is to shore up the Assad regime and, in a sign of how dire things have got, there are even people on the Left arguing that we should prop his murderous regime. Cameron and his boggle eyed Defence Secretary Michael Fallon are now saying the regime need not fall before an interim Government is installed in Damascus.
Fallon is a warmonger. Speaking about Putin’s intervention in Syria and in defence of the Neo Nazi backed Government in Kiev he said, ” Now we will have a more regular drumbeat of troops deploying in the Baltics and Poland, and will step up our training effort in Ukraine.” This in diplomatic language is the equivalent of Ronnie Pickering offering someone outside for, “a bare knuckle fight”. “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough” in Whitehall speak. This confrontation style is unprecedented in the modern era. But Fallon isn’t shooting from the hip. These remarks will have been passed by Number Ten.
NATO backed this up by issuing this guarantee to Russia’s neighbours, including the despotic regime in the Ukraine, ” “Nato will defend you, Nato is on the ground, Nato is ready,” This is reminiscent of Kennedy’s sabre rattling during the Cuban Missile Crisis. An economic downturn in Russia means Putin is looking for a distraction and the West is desperate to close its borders so the chances of a NATO/ Russia flare up appear to be closer. As conditions in Syria and the Ukraine show it is the ordinary people who pay the price.
History teaches us that because Capitalism is unscientific and a chaos theory that war becomes the only way to reboot it. This is because a control, planned economy has to be introduced. Demand is stimulated via the armaments and war industries. Remember the 45 Labour Government did not nationalise industry, it didn’t de nationalise as had happened in 1918.
In UK news we had the almost unbelievable speech from Home Secretary Theresa May to the Tory Conference in Manchester. Here’s the thing. In 2002, as Tory Chair May said, “Our base is too narrow and so, occasionally, are our sympathies, You know what some people call us: the nasty party….making political capital out of demonising minorities”. This would actually be full on hilarious if the subject matter of Monday’s speech were not so serious.
May’s speech was so badly judged that even the Daily Telegraph called it, “awful, ugly, misleading, cynical and irresponsible”
We should be very worried when a Home Secretary of some five years standing gets up and makes a speech that echoes Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood effort in it’s sentiments, if not it’s actual content. If this sort of bile is acceptable in mainstream politics then it sure as night follows day, the far right will capitalise.
I would defy May to go to Calais and front up the refugees there by calling them, ““rich and fit”. A delegation went from Hull to deliver relief to these people caught up in a humanitarian disaster. The report and pictures they came back with cast May’s conclusions in a very poor light. Her deliberate attempt to whip up ill feeling is at best misguided and at worst what the Telegraph said rings true.
May went on to outline a, “tough new plan for asylum”. This at a time when the numbers seeking refuge are at an all time low of just 25,000 last year compared to 100,000 a decade ago. The scapegoating could not be more obvious. Anyone’s fault but Capital with it’s dysfunctional and illogical economic non plan which sees vast polarisation of wealth and sends an ax crashing through the life chances of the majority in the UK. May has pulled the ladder up by saying we will not take anybody, not one single person who has been in another EU country. “We must work to control immigration and put Britain first,” said May. She chose her words with care. “Britain First“. Google it.
Britain under the Tories has closed it’s borders to refugees whom Cameron described as a, “swarm”. This despite tens of thousands of people taking to the streets to support refugees and 31% of Britons making a financial donation and 1.8 million declaring their own homes open to refugees.
The whole horrible business was summed up by Maurice Wren, chief executive of the Refugee Council, who said:” The home secretary’s clear intention to close Britain’s border to refugees fleeing for their lives is thoroughly chilling, as is her bitter attack on the fundamental principle enshrined in international law that people fleeing persecution should be able to claim asylum in Britain”.
Just as you imagined a Government Minister could go no lower then enter our old mukka Iain Duncan Smith. IDS must have some serious psychological issues around self loathing as there can be no other excuse for his myriad of seriously twisted actions against the poor and disabled.
This week he said that Tax Credit cuts would, “teach people that having children costs money”. And Jeremy Hunt joined in the fun by saying that denying tax credits would make our people, “work as hard as the Chinese”. Expect suicide nets around call centres then.
A report published today in the Independent says, “Taking into account the tax and benefit measures announced at the Summer Budget, as well as the introduction of the national living wage, we estimate that a further 200,000 children – predominantly from working households – will fall into poverty in 2016,”.
But IDS doesn’t think that’s important at the moment.
Here it comes. IDS thinks the 9/11 cost him politically. Never mind the thousands killed on the day or in subsequent wars… “The day before I got elected the twin towers were struck,” he told a fringe meeting of Tories this week. “So first of all we got no lift on my announcement. It had to be buried the following day, hardly anybody was paying attention. Blair, of course milked (9/11) for all that was worth.”
This is the level of discourse we are at….