We are here because of the path that lies behind us

Conference season is all but over and the battle lines have been drawn for the run-in to the 2015 General Election. The papers today say too that the election campaign begins, but where are we?

David Cameron made a rousing speech fit for a Nuremberg rally as he followed on from Theresa May, outlining his intentions to dismantle the Human Rights Act, save the NHS and be the ‘trade union’ for hardworking people. This would be funny if it was not so serious and frankly disgusting. This is the man whose party smashed hardworking, trade union families in the 1980’s and who want to all but revoke a workers right to withdraw their labour and raise the threshold for ballots so high, that neither Boris Johnson, nor the Coalition government would have taken office with the same stipulations. This is the man who has seen thousands of people die after their benefits were cut by the cut throat, unqualified and inept assassins at ATOS and has overseen a cost in living crisis leaving 1 in 4 families described as ‘working poor’, over 1 million children in poverty and the resurgence of Victorian diseases such as rickets. It is quite literally banquets for the rich and food banks for the poor.

I think he meant what he said when he said we were the people that he and his party resented.

Further to this, the Tory party have continued unabated in the mass sell off of our NHS, built and paid for by us, our parents and grandparents, after first Labour opened the gateway with PFI contracts in their previous disastrous term in office. The NHS is safe in no ones hands but our own. If we leave it to these vultures we will face yearly prices hikes the same as we already do with the rail and energy firms. Families would soon be priced out of basic health care, a fundamental human right for all. Do not be persuaded or convinced that charging immigrants for use of the NHS is anything other than to get us used to the idea of getting our plastic friends out to pay for care. It is a classic tale of divide and rule.

Which brings me to the threat posed to human rights.

Time and again Theresa May, Cameron, Hague, whomever, tell us it is because of the threat posed to us by terrorists, hate preachers and other so-called undesirables that they wish to extradite but by whose definition will be determining the terrorists? In May’s speech she has outlined a vision of such Orwellian proportions, it left many aghast at how it could even be implemented. May’s vision is one of national censorship of extremists who use social media, yet when they have over 9000 domestic extremists on their list, people who make it their civic and moral duty to stand up to police and political corruption, fracking, TTIP, arms fairs, illegal Israeli state expansion, many without a criminal record. You can only begin to imagine just how dangerous things are getting for people who speak truth. The establishment at all levels have a very genuine fear of the social media, it used to be that we saw something on the social media and went to the mainstream news networks to confirm it, now we see something on the mainstream news and take to social media to disprove it. It is instant, live and connects us, for better or worse, in a way that they cannot abide. It is for these reasons that we are seeing clumsy and draconian attempts to break people’s faith in using it, for fear of ending up on the scrap heap or worse, in some form of censorship or detention. In the future only outlaws will be free.

The Sun manifesto Cameron

In the meantime The Sun takes credit for the potential abolishment of our human rights act and generally people don’t even bat an eyelid. A mate said to me yesterday (I am sure he won’t mind) that we could all already do what the Human Rights Act is supposed to guarantee for us long before they existed (such as the right to assembly, marry, practice religion, freedom of speech etc), but were we?

One example could be gay people’s right to marry the person they love, until recently it was still debated only getting as far as civil partnership, only with ‘gay marriage’ coming in the last 12 months. It is called ‘gay marriage’ or ‘same-sex marriage’, rather than as I call it – ‘marriage’, because to many it is still taboo. And they still face serious issues regards access to equal pension rights for their partners in the event something happens to one of them, parity with a ‘normal’ married couple is still beyond the law and that is just one example of how our so-called ‘civilised’ society doesn’t get it right even with a Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a foundation. What chance justice with a watered down bill of rights drafted by this inept bunch because they convinced us terrorists are on every street corner?

Taken from an article featured in The Telegraph, Tory plans will involve some of the following ideas:

  • Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives.
  • They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to “the functioning of democracy”, under the new Extremist Disruption Orders.
  • Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will lay out plans to allow judges to ban people from broadcasting or protesting in certain places, as well as associating with specific people.
  • The plans — to be brought in if the Conservatives win the election in May — are part of a wide-ranging set of rules to strengthen the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy.

Universal…That word, universal, for all, because after two world wars in 30 years they realised the need for something resolute to hold tyranny to account and at bay, if 100 years more global war has taught us anything, is that human rights needs reinforcing, not disbanding. 

Remember nothing was given to us because we deserved it, it was given to us because we fought for it for generations. Ask yourself why they would really want to take something as precious as this away from us? Remember that we are not here because of the path that lies before us, but because of the path that lies behind us. 

‘Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people’ – Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1984 George Orwell

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Banking terrorists go from strength to strength

The wolf is certainly wearing sheeps clothing and he is stalking his prey with blood drenched lips. RBS have this week recorded a further loss of £8bn which now means they have lost every penny of the £46bn of tax payer money given to them by the government after their bailout in 2008. How has this been met? They have rewarded themselves with over £500m in bonuses.

Of course RBS are not the only bank to play ‘catch us with our pants down if you can’ as Barclays Bank have played a similar hand with respect to their 10% increase in bonuses worth over £2bn and announcing cuts to over 7000 jobs, presumably due to technological unemployment. This the same Barclays Bank who were complicit in the libor scandal, the fixing of interest rates, and also recipient of tax payer money to soften the blow of the economic meltdown of 2008.
The mainstream media are playing tacit dismay at these announcements, with only opinion pieces by people such as Owen Jones offering any real insight into the daylight robbery and daily economic terrorism being waged on we the people. The social media of course is full of it but that is information that you have to actively search for and not receive as part of your regular, daily spoon fed government message. Who really has the time or energy for that after 10-11 hours of being a debt slave?

Whilst these banks and politicians continue to bleed us dry, everyday people are being assessed by Atos, the SS arm of the DWP at the behest of Iain Duncan-Smith, and having their social security slashed and/or withdrawn. These actions have resulted in many people who are sick and dying being told they are fit to work. You literally couldn’t make it up. Why is all this happening? Because in 2008 the world found out that major banking corporations had played a dodgy game of roulette with public money and when it came up black and not red, they lost it all. Instead of cutting them adrift as any one of us would have been if we gambled our savings at the casino, or as Iceland did with their banking ‘elites’, Gordon Brown bailed them out with our money leaving us to pay for it. David Cameron and his side man Nick Clegg continue to make us pay for it, with some of us paying the ultimate price for this ideological austerity with their very lives.

What can we do to challenge and change what is happening?

Well firstly we have to become informed; this means not relying on the prescribed daily dose of hate given at specific daily intervals from the mainstream media, it means using the wonderful tool that is the Internet to find out more about the world immediately around us and the wider world too. We are all connected.

We have to question what we find; just as we should not blithely listen to and believe what the mainstream media tells us, we should be mindful of the information we find on the Internet. Cross referencing sources and claims is a must in a world full of disinformation, don’t believe me, look for yourself.

We have to share information – knowledge is power; but power to do what? The success of life and the evolution of species is hinges on co-operation, by communities working together to adapt, improvise and overcome. It is not about the survival of the fittest. That is not to say I am calling for a Tory-esque ‘big society’ but for us to use the tools at our disposal, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc to share information and not just cute pictures of cats and dogs (that’s not to say you shouldn’t as without enjoying life what is the point in fighting for a better one?) Oh and don’t forget the power of the old-fashioned word of mouth.

Get out there; as in once you have taken the first steps in finding and sharing information, you need to act on it. That might mean taking an hour or two out of your weekend to go to a rally, march or candle light vigil but it is an essential part of the process in making change, to get people together peacefully on the streets at events. You can and will meet some of the most varied and interesting people you will ever come across at events like this and it is where ideas start to grow.

Connect the dots – we’re in this together; as in once you have taken the steps to attend an event for something close to your heart look for the next one on a different topic. Joining each others causes is important, we have to build networks across the different campaigns being run from stop the war to save the NHS.

Take stock of your history; we are all standing on the shoulders of giants, nothing has ever been given to us, it has all been fought for over the centuries by people collectively and not won by individuals. The Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s was not Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, it was the collective will and actions of the people who helped to bring about change and gave these individuals a platform from which to speak and act.

Finally, believe in yourself; Collective and peaceful civil disobedience is a powerful tool when used in conjunction with mass economic withdrawal. None of these ideas are new and have been suggested in the past by the likes of Martin Luther King and Ghandi. What we have to do is believe that we can make change and we have to be daring enough to do so.

For more inspiration see:

Scriptonite Daily
The Artist Taxi Driver
Dominoes Falling Productions