Let freedom ring

My blogging has been a little hit and miss of late but there are big changes going on all the time.

Russian war planes. Is Putin the Anti-Christ? Syriza – will they won’t they?? Who’ll win what at the Oscars? Who killed that girl last year on that BBC show?

The big issues that drive us just keep on coming, so where do I start?

I guess Syriza, as I took a bit of a verbal beating around Christmas for daring to suggest that you can’t vote your way out of political system designed to serve and protect itself. The argument laid at my laptop screen was that the Greeks had a chance to vote out austerity by electing a socialist party, a vote made more important by the presence of far right elements such as the Golden Dawn. “You say there is no difference between Syriza and Golden Dawn? Then you are lost!”was their Obi-Wan Kenobi cry.

That is not quite what I said. I said that I did not believe that Syriza would have the ability to deliver what they promised, a reverse of the bailout programme, which has seen 25% youth unemployment and over 50% unemployment on the whole. Syriza were voted in on the belief that they would deliver the promises they made when they started the course 4 years ago. I believed this because ultimately, the men and women in suits that we vote on are not the ones who hold the cards, it is the faceless ones in corporations that do.

What we have witnessed in the build up to the recent Greek elections were a watering down of Syriza’s position. Instead of promising to tear up the austerity programme, they promised to renegotiate the bailout. One month on and the newly elected Greek Government have dipped their toes into the piranha tank by suggesting they could exit the agreement and the Euro but as the deadline loomed, they settled for an extension, with their home work to follow like a naughty school child late with an assignment. The early signs are this new, negotiated programme is full of measures that any self-respecting government would expect, such as dealing with tax evasion.

How can a victim negotiate with their assailant?

The Greeks rallied for real change. Thousands took to the streets to see this change take place, now Tsipras and Syriza have a duty to deliver, by any means necessary, what the people asked for. If they don’t get it, do not be surprised to see them back on the streets demanding another election.

Which was the crux of my point about the values of voting in our current political system. Voting is always held up as the pinnacle of democracy, what people have fought and died for generations and that by not voting, we discredit their struggle. I disagree.

Much of the mainstream media is pushing, like never before, to ensure people vote this May in the General Election 2015. Why? Sky are running their campaign for kids to stand up and be counted, movies flicker on our cinema screens debating this very topic, using historical and visceral images of men and women being beaten on bridges for daring to try to vote, all designed to shame us into voting this May. Where I disagree is that it is not the vote that changes things, but the struggle that comes before it. People taking direct and indirect actions to influence an issue, using civil disobedience, economic withdrawal and a variety of other techniques to achieve their goal but crucially by acting together. These are tactics that have proved successful throughout our history but lessons we have perhaps forgotten. The vote then comes as a way of placating us, to end the uprising and this is what the establishment fears the most; not our vote, but our strength, as a collective. This is why they work so hard to divide and rule us using the politics and language of fear and hatred.

Of the movie Selma, which I refer to in respect of movies raising the importance of voting, the movie touches on a bigger issue of what the point is in having the vote if you are unable to use it or make it count? The way our current democracy (and I would like a proper definition of what democracy really is?) works is that we have a popularity contest, we pick someone we like better (or hate less than the others) based on the image portrayed of them by our media and then wait to be told for 5 years what we may or may not be entitled to vote on. The rest of the time, the part-timers sit in one of their 9 bars or 13 restaurants, drinking tea, whilst the House of Commons sits largely empty as a debate on one of a thousand different issues that may or may not affect you directly rages on until a bell rings. Then they scurry around like cockroaches on a landfill when the lights come on, voting how their party whip tells them to. If they don’t, they are ejected from the party and end up facing discipline. No mandate. No accountability, not at least until the next popularity contest is called and what’s worse is that the majority of them LIKE it this way.

How can that be democracy? They get voted in and decide for you without clear mandates? Sounds like dictatorship to me. You can lobby and speak to them until you are blue in the face (I have done so) but it is all for nothing as they will do their own thing, or what their party whip tells them to, unless they have a conscience. They can lie, cheat, defraud and mislead with impunity and like victims of domestic abuse, we keep going back for more, hoping that things will get better because they want what’s best for us. By voting in the current political system we are only legitimising what they do to us because we have no real say on any of the decisions made.

But I digress, quite badly in fact but it’s late, I’m tired and wondering how long it will be until the pot shots start raining in because I hold a different view-point on how we achieve the same goals.

The point is that Syriza have a duty to the people who believed in them to do the things that they said they would and create a better world for them than the one being forced upon them by the economic terrorists at the ECB and IMF and at the moment they are failing to realise those ideals. Don’t take my word for it, read it from the horses lips as this 92-year-old on the front line of the battle against austerity says.

As a wise man once said, it’s not who they are underneath but what they DO that defines them. We are watching, we are waiting. Now let freedom ring.



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