Posted by Di_Hard on Tue, 10 Dec 2019
My son came into the kitchen while I as washing up and complained about me listening to politics again. "It's pointless. The Conservatives are going to win!" and went back to his computer game where winning and losing depends on your skill, not your school.
History is not his favourite subject, he doesn't understand why people do stuff, like vote in Hitler. On the program I was listening to they were wondering if anyone realised Thatcherism was forming in the 70's?
He doesn't understand why people want Brexit. I can't help him because neither do I. To begin with, I did, because I thought we would have control of our fisheries, but that is not the case - we could have had control of them now, only we traded them off to other European countries because they thought our fish were worth more than we did. As will happen again after Brexit.
And there was the stuff about Europe being run by huge corporations so not a democracy. But Europe has banned the pesticides made by powerfrul Bayer that are killing bees. France has unilaterally stood up to America and asked for some of the tax money being syphoned out of their public services by American tech companies. Europe is the only part of the world even close to achieving its Paris Climate pledges.
When people say they want to get back control, what do they mean? Control of what? It sounds like they want us to be head of an empire again, but the empire was about keeping other peoples down so we could steal their resources to make our country rich. It wasn't all cricket.
Just as happened in the Middle Ages after the plague, it was the reduced workforce after the First World War that brought workers rights. I have heard it argued that was the reason for the NHS and free education.
It is not in the interests of business to pay high wages. Some business leaders who backed Brexit want Britain to be more like Singapore, where wages and taxes are low, but people have to pay for Health, Education, Pensions etc themselves. There is not the sharing of resources we have grown used to.
I remember a little what it was like before Mrs Thatcher. Like everything was in freefall, some people were out to get all they could from the system and the system was breaking. It feels like that now, but on the other end of the spectrum. There is huge change coming, not just from the weather, but from unemployment caused by computerisation. Not everyone can be a techie, but so many jobs with wages you could live on are going to go. If we paid people for being kind, care work would be a good carreer, but we would rather try to invent robots to look after our parents. After us.
Countries are going to become uninhabitable, billions of people will be refugees, yet Climate Change is not our priority. A hundred years from now historians will not be wondering what the trends are that shaped the future, they will be trying to understand why we are choosing to ignore the future. We are lying to ourselves. We are accepting that the Prime Minister lies and laughing. An election is not a show you can switch off when the credits roll, it's the start of a shift in the balance of power, changing how we live.
We don't have an Empire, we don't even have a Commonwealth, as these countries have grown independent of us now. Britain is not the energetic head of the family but the tottering grandparent happier reminiscing about the good old days. We are a small country and our only value to the rest of the world is as a market.
Capitalism is all about selling stuff. And the centre of Capitalism is America. And here we are leaving the "control" of European regulations (animal wellfare, workers' rights, pesticides etc) and looking for a friend. America will be our friend if we buy its stuff, stuff made without those European regulations, therefore cheaper than what we can produce. So to compete with cheap American imports our farmers will have to drop animal wellfare and pesticide and gm control. And if we do that, Europe won't buy our stuff. On a recent program the only reason a Conservative candidate could give for Brexit was that we could make our animal wellfare standards higher than in Europe. But the European standards are a minimum, not a maximum we need to be free of Europe to change.
There are other things which have been said by the Conservatives which are not true - Conservatives have not reduced homelessness. A Labour protester outside a hospital did not beat up the Health Secretary's assistant. Fact Check UK was not a Fact Check. I don't understand all the money stuff but as these things are lies I believe Fact Checkers (at least those who are not Conservative Head Office pretending to be impartial by creating a website called Fact Check Uk with the purpose of misleading people trying to understand what is going on) when they say claims about increased spending are also untrue.
Everyone aspires to be the best. But should being the Best Liars be why a party gets elected?
Is it because the Truth is too hard for us to face? Is this like the time before the First World War when so many things reached tipping point? Do we want Boris Johnson sending us over the top?
We do need change, we need to change our children's future and give them hope