Saturday, 5 February 2011
A Hellish Epiphany
I've been suffering some computer problems lately so I apologise to those people who read my page that I've gone a week without blogging.
I was going to do a humourous comedy piece today to cleverly juxtapose the serious political issues that I discuss but I was in the newsagents an hour ago buying a Mars Bar and had an epiphany that I realised I needed to share.
Standing and waiting to pay for my chocolatey goodness, I scanned the newspapers at the counter in the idle way that I do. The Daily Mirror defied everything we know about mathematics to suggest that there is "a chance" that Posh Spice may give birth to a daughter, and the Sunday Sport was running a piece called "Kimberly Walsh in boob shock!" In short, it's a typical tabloid Saturday in Britain and all seemed well with the world.
I then reached the bottom of the rack to see a small column on the front of the Independent entitled, "My War on Multiculturalism". It is David Cameron's personal take on how Britain's ethnic minorities are failing the decent, God-fearing, Daily Mail readers of our country.
Now, I don't want this entry to descend into comment on a specific policy. The story itself will undoubtedly be unfair to minorities, contain conjecture stated as fact and to top it off, it will probably be entirely unrepresentative of how Cameron actually feels. This entry is not about minorities. Instead, it's about a moment of realisation that made me almost choke in shock.
With every single cut that this government makes and every socially-divisive piece that is written in its stead, I, my fellow union stewards and my politically-aware friends and coleagues have yelled, 'ideology!' but I confess until this moment, I didn't fully realise the implications of what I was saying. As part of this government's slash-and-burn policy, we have seen the NHS, local government and social care decimated, to mention just a few of the coalition changes. I have braced myself to oppose whatever the government suggests as an alternative to the current state of affairs - and here's the horror - they aren't suggesting an alternative. They are simply cutting in the belief that it is the only way to change our society.
David Cameron is not a tinkerman, simply looking to keep the system and replace one face with another. It is not even that he is looking to change the system. Instead, he has decided that the only way to change Britain for the better is to tear down everything that has been built and start again completely from scratch. Like God looking down before the Great Flood, he has seen, judged and deemed us all unworthy.
As I staggered, bleary-eyed, from the shop, I wondered frantically if everyone else sees this already. I wondered if I was the only blind one, or the only one who can see. It is simply this. If you are elderly, there will be no care. If you are disabled, there will be no support. You will accept the reduced terms of your pension scheme, or you will get no pension. If you are attacked in the street and the police are unable to direct resources to you, you will get no justice. Most tellingly of all, if you are sick, you will get better on your own, or you will die.
Even as I am writing this, I feel like the lowest of the conspiracy-theorists you see sometimes on American TV. I am miserable and cannot even look at my Mars Bar. But most of all, I understand now why I'm really involved in a campaign to derail this government's policies. I cannot stand and do nothing as Cameron pushes more people into poverty, promotes inequality, induces misery and adds to the suffering of millions of people around me. We all deserve better.