The Choice, or the illusion of one? General Election 2015

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I was invited today to attend a Labour speech featuring the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, who was there to discuss ‘the choice’ facing UK voters in next years general election, a Labour future versus the Tory threat.

 

Surrounded by banners reaffirming the Labour position of One Nation ahead of Scotland’s bid for freedom and independence, the gallery of Labour supporters took their seats and awaited the Shadow Chancellor’s arrival. His speech (which can be found in full here) focused heavily on debunking Tory claims on their recovery plan. In his speech he states: “Last Friday we learned that our economy has, at long last, got back to the size it was before the global financial crisis. The fact that Conservative strategists are desperate to persuade us all that this is a significant moment for celebration is revealing. Not only is it two years later than the Chancellor’s original plan said, and three years after the US reached the same point, it’s also the case that, as our population has grown, GDP per head won’t recover to where it was for around another three years – in other words, a lost decade for living standards.” Quite why or how any politician can be crowing about an economic recovery when we have; food banks, 1 in 4 now described as working poor, 1 million children in poverty, zero hour contracts, low pay or no pay workfare slave labour camps in Tesco and all in the sixth largest economy in the world? Balls made the startling claim that wealth trickles down. It doesn’t, it bubbles up. This is reinforced later in the speech when he states: “And new analysis today from the House of Commons Library shows that under David Cameron working people will have seen the biggest fall in wages of any Parliament since 1874. It’s set to be the first time since the 1920s that people are worse off at the end of the Parliament than they were at the beginning.” This comes at a time not long after the UK received the largest orders of private jets anywhere in Europe. The recession has not been bad for everyone, for some it has been an opportunity to makes significant financial gains, not least those private firms circling around the NHS for a slice of the billion pound industry that is the sickness and health of the very people who built it in the first place.

The biggest thing to come out of today’s talk was a commitment to abolish the bedroom tax during hastily finished question and answer (cut short on purpose for his obvious delay), though my particular question was reserved for closed doors and off the record. The Shadow Chancellor kindly reminded us at this point (as if we did not already know) that it was not the fault of teachers, doctors, nurses or police for the economic recession (like most politicians omitting the fire and rescue service), but due to the poor regulation of the banks. He didn’t, however, go so far as to apologise for the Labour party bailing out the banks in 2008 whilst crying out ‘too big to fail’ and condemning the children he spoke of aiding in the future this morning, to a life time of austerity and cuts to pay for it, nor did he say that the problems the NHS are suffering are nothing to do with immigration.  No, I guess that may have been too much to ask for but then we should always be mindful that whilst the largest transference of wealth from the poor to the rich took place on Labours watch with the banking bailouts, Ed Balls was busy the morning 1 million people marched against austerity in 2011, telling us all on the BBC that the cuts were too quick and too deep. He did not call for a position of no cuts. This rhetoric was backed up by Ed Milliband on the stage at Hyde Park when he repeated the same tired message. You couldn’t make it up. 

The problem with Labour is best summed up by John Pilger, who wrote after Thatcher’s death that her greatest achievement was not in changing the philosophy of one party but of two, meaning that on Labours return in 1997, her political ideology was accepted as the way things had to be; PFI’s, academies, NHS privatisation, Fire service privatisation – NPA 60 – cuts, ambulance service decimation, ATOS and a whole list of other stuff all started or took place on Labours watch last time around. What is their position now? More austerity, more cuts and likely more bailouts when this mini bubble bursts. Where is this choice and what is it exactly? How can anyone be expected to re-affiliate or support a party that left half the world burning on a 21st century crusade led by war criminal Tony Blair, a party that gave our NHS away to vultures in the private sector, a party that gave our children’s future away to the banking cartels, a party that says: “Don’t look at me, let’s talk about immigration, the EU and anything else other than what we’ve done and will do!” Even though these things are as irrelevant to the issues society has as the public services he commended today (minus the fire and rescue service of course) This is not the Labour Party of the people, like the Conservatives, it is one that is mired by big business and corporations, it’s biggest backer not the unions that formed it, but the media moguls and military interests that shape our world.

To say we have #TheChoice would actually be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. We have greater choice of coffee than in our political spectrum. Firefighters in Spain and the UK say ‘Rescue people, not banks.’ Can or will the Labour party say the same come 2015?

Are we all living under a type of Stockholm Syndrome?

This week the news was buzzing with headlines that the UK was back to the pre-recession levels of financial prosperity and that our recovery was outstripping the world. Yes really.

The BBC newspapers gushed as they talked over the newspapers for the day, even smirking as Murdoch chip paper The Sun claimed it was its army of readers that helped save the UK and that we had all suffered along the way to ensure economic recovery, working longer hours for less pay in the process. When I look around however, I do not see a recovery, I see people struggling between pay checks, increased levels of homeless people, food banks and shutters down on a previously busy high street.

Do we really believe this to be true? If so, we must all be suffering some form of Stockholm Syndrome.

The term Stockholm Syndrome is most associated with Patty Hearst, a Californian newspaper heiress kidnapped by revolutionary militants in 1974. She appeared to develop sympathy with her captors and joined them in a robbery. She was eventually caught and received a prison sentence. Today it may well be used to describe the pacification with which the public seem to be accepting the austerity measures which have left 1 in 5 people in the UK being described as below the official poverty line and experiencing life as a daily struggle. We supposedly have the sixth largest economy and yet people in the UK are going to bed hungry, unable to break the cycle, now labelled the ‘working poor’. Now somehow in these times of Orwellian double think we have been patted on the back and congratulated for turning the country around and are expected to be grateful. How is it that we have become so conditioned that we adore our oppressors, so much so we are prepared to sit back and vote all over again for it in 2015?

The only people who have seen their fortunes changed for the better are the economic terrorists that created this recession in the first place, the bankers and their corrupt friends in politics.

Whilst we have lost swathes of public services to privatisation, had pay cuts & freezes, experienced pension robbery, lost homes, taken on zero hour contract work and rely on food banks – privates jets sales have increased… You couldn’t make it up! So next time the media thanks you for working longer hours for less pay, sacrificing your pensions, suffering pay freezes, inflation, gas price hikes etc – remember that the people who caused it are having a fracking jolly. Wealth bubbles up, it doesn’t trickle down.

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We mostly seem to accept austerity as a necessity, with few really challenging it in any way. 50,000 people marched through London on June 21st to stand up against austerity but after the event there were more than double that using credit cards on Oxford Street, artificially stimulating the economy, moving from one shopping experience to the next. So long as we continue to shop and pay our taxes it must be assumed that they are happy for a minority to march. We need to cultivate and nurture a lifestyle of civil disobedience and resistance to the ongoing ideological austerity we are being torn apart with and break free from this Stockholm Syndrome. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

 

Of course I have high blood pressure, there’s people like Tony Blair walking free in the world!

Common questions such as ‘don’t you have high blood pressure’ usually make me laugh but this mornings well-earned lay-in has been interrupted after deciding to look into what the Middle East Peace envoy and war criminal Tony Blair has been up to as the death toll in Palestine passes 1,000.

SKY BREAKING NEWS...
SKY BREAKING NEWS…

Blair’s wife, Cherie, celebrated her 60th birthday this week and so he hosted a £50k birthday party for her with special guests such as Bobby Davro providing the entertainment. Whilst I am still fresh off the back of my Richard Feynman rant earlier this week I do not know if I particularly begrudge ben this war criminal spending a birthday with his wife, especially one as significant as 60 (it may be his last before he ends up in the Hague?) but I do question why this megalomaniac is busy making speeches in London about progress and leadership, 20 years on from taking the New Labour hot seat whilst Gaza burns and children die? He was allegedly crowned Middle East Peace envoy due to his exemplification of peace during his tenure as UK Prime Minister which is lamentable considering his religious doctrine is responsible for the destabilisation of the world that we are seeing today, his modern-day crusade with George W. Bush.

Many would call in to question his validity of such a position, some have called for his sacking after finding his work in the are negligible to date. We should also remind ourselves that this peace envoy is the same man crying out for intervention recently in Syria and who continues to state that the massacre that is unfolding in Gaza is justified as Israel has the right to defend itself. A closer look at Blair’s relationships makes for sickening reading. He has long been a support of people that we now call despots, such as Gaddafi and Assad but evidently at those times they were bastards but they were ‘our’ bastards so that was okay.

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It also appears that Blair, during his time as peace envoy, has been instrumental in brokering deals in Palestine for large corporations. According to Channel 4’s Despatches, Blair helped persuade the Israeli government to open up radio frequencies so that cell phone company Wataniya Mobile could operate in the West Bank, as well as a large development for a gas field off the coast of Gaza which is run by the British Gas Group. Both these contracts are  for British Gas Group and Wataniya Mobile are major clients of Blair’s financiers, JP Morgan. It just goes to show that their saying is right, the right relationship is everything, you couldn’t make it up!

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Tony Blair’s only interest in the Middle East is what he can squeeze out of it financially for both himself and his pay masters, that’s all his crusades have ever been about. In the meantime children continue to pay the ultimate price as the Israeli Defence Force bombs rain down on the open air prison that is Gaza and the West sits by idly watching.