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by Atos, the SS arm of the DWP at the behest of Iain Duncan-Smith, and having their social security slashed and/or withdrawn.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:
The Artist Taxi Driver
Dominoes Falling Productions