A letter a day to number 10. No 1,267
Thursday 26 November 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
I grew up in the Hippie era. Despite what some may think hippies were not just a bunch of loose moraled, loose brained, hedonists, although hedonism was very much a necessary and vital part it, but it was also intelligent, engaged and profoundly political. Many older activists today have their roots precisely in the great awakening that was such a vital part of what being a hippie was all about.
Flower power came about as a direct response and challenge to guns and bombs and the military industrial complex. Today ‘CND’ and ‘ban the bomb’ may sound like cliches, but they never were and nor are they now. CND stood for ‘Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’ and ‘ban the bomb’ meant very specifically the ‘nuclear bomb’. Hippie opposition to and protest against the Vietnam war was profoundly influential in changing attitudes to war and a direct challenge to the hype of patriotic fervour.
Everything about the hippie movement was experimental, sex, drugs, music, politics, culture, dress, attitude, psychology, personal perception, mind itself. It was a great melting pot of cultural shift and change and that change was and always has been for the better. It wasn’t all sweetness and light, nothing that big can ever be easy and there were many casualties along the way which really just adds to the profoundness of that time and subsequent events.
It may seem odd then to turn to the subject of tax credit cuts in this letter, but Osborne’s seeming U-turn on tax credits needs some grounding because another issue that came out of the hippie era was people who play mind games; those who take pleasure in twisting people’s minds, especially whilst on drugs. There is a great deal of triumphalism over Osborne’s U-turn, but he announced he’d ‘used a £27 billion windfall from higher tax receipts and lower interest payments to dump the cuts’ as if they had magically appeared that morning through the Play School Round Window.
He could have backed off any time in the preceding weeks, stepping in and relieving the fear and distress of those who were terrified of the future under his economic mismanagement, but he played it to the end to his immense shame. My response to his announcement was to walk away from the broadcast because in that moment, old hippie peacenik that I am, I wanted to rip his and your complacent faces off and I have better things to do than listen to a liar and a manipulating propagandist playing with peoples heads for cheap political gain. In all my life I have never met lower creatures than Tories, Aneurin Bevan got it dead right.