Cities are incredibly vulnerable places and I am not sure that the Tories and neoliberals across the world have thought this through.
London is becoming increasingly gentrified as a matter of policy, big money is enforcing social cleansing, it’s getting rid of the poor and creating a haven for wealth, and wealth in and of itself is essentially useless, relying on others to make the stuff that sustains life and having it imported, hence the super port called ‘London Gateway’ in Thurrock, Essex.
The culture of greed of the global 1% enshrines competitiveness as if it is holy writ, whilst denigrating cooperation as weak, leftist, bleeding heart, socialism.
We are in the midst of a global economic apocalypse, driven by greed at the cost of everyone and everything else on the planet and the poor in particular. Those who are amassing global wealth know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Right now our NHS is in crisis, this has been caused wilfully and with intent to privatise the nations health service and introduce an insurance payment system which, because such a system is predicated on profit, not health, will deny comprehensive health care to millions of people. People will be abandoned to die for want of care because their needs are a profit loss and therefore of no value.
The staggering stupidity of this is that they seem not to realise that they are driving people out of health care professions, which makes health care precarious for everyone, including them. The junior doctors dispute caused by Jeremy Hunt, has alienated an entire national group, a labour force, of real, actual, people, personally, politically and professionally.
Biting the hands that heal us has to be the very pinnacle of stupid.
Living in cities has, at its very core, dependence, there is not a city on Earth that is capable of providing its needs without a vast infrastructure to provide for those who live there by road, rail, sea and air. Supermarkets are contingent on daily deliveries of stock, Millions of people live one pay day away from starvation whilst entire cities and towns are just a few days away from starvation reliant, as they are, on ‘just in time’ deliveries.
I well recall going to a local supermarket for a loaf of bread after an overnight snow fall to discover that the bread shelves were empty, along with eggs and milk, I drove out of town to a bigger supermarket to find their shelves empty as well. The very fact that I could drive there says everything about panic buying for no reason and the fragility of supply.
Whilst governments hold us to ransom to sustain the competitive thirst of big business for profit, big business also holds us for ransom for overpriced goods to sustain their profits.
Cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle are consumer monsters, resource hungry, not least in fossil fuels, for their daily survival.
Prior to the 2008 banker driven crisis this may well have seemed an irrelevant issue to raise, but with the imposition of austerity on ordinary people, increasing poverty, inequality and global unrest, the cooperative endeavour that maintains modern life is not just being denigrated, it’s being attacked by those whose only motivation is greed, which includes the government which is hell bent on finishing what Thatcher started.
The so called ‘free markets’ are anything but free for the vast majority of ordinary people who are merely food ‘stock’ for corporate greed and the wealthy few. The richest 1% own more wealth than the rest of the entire world and a mere 62 people own half of all global wealth.
We no longer have a ‘salt of the Earth’ working class but a denigrated, demoralised, demonised and penalised working class who are being killed off at a terrifying rate and whose only function is to serve greed or be abandoned to manage, somehow, or die. Homelessness is on the rise and homeless people are being criminalized in a country in which the government makes no attempt to address the housing crisis. If the government really cared about jobs and housing the answer would be to build social housing! That they don’t and won’t is the measure of the hostility and contempt they have for our lives.
Those who live the most precarious lives are being targeted by government and if the consequences of that are of society rotting under the insanity of neoliberalism, it has only one direction to go and we’re already seeing the results. Student debt, shrinking the welfare state, the destruction of front line services, including our NHS and those who staff it, asset stripping the nation and selling off everything that we, tax payers, have paid for and maintained, if all that isn’t creeping rot from the bottom up I do not know what is.
On 17th January 2017, the Guardian reported that the government is failing to deal with corruption at home and in Britain’s overseas territories, David Cameron said at last years anti-corruption summit which he hosted, corruption is “the cancer at the heart of so many of the problems we need to tackle in our world.” He was in prime position to know, but there are consequences to state corruption which I am not sure he’s really thought through any more than Theresa May or the rest of the right wing ideologues.
Servicing cities and, indeed, an entire nation is a mind buggering undertaking and yet it goes largely unremarked, it’s tempting to call it a logistical nightmare, except that it carries on day and night, a gigantic cooperative operation organised by countless people in countless ways. In human terms roads and railways are the nations arteries, then there are great ships and planes traversing the world and all the technology to make it all work, including all the communications networks and who makes it all work? Not the government. There is nothing coordinating the entire system, it’s an astonishing collective effort run and operated by millions of ordinary people in which we are all players, reliant on one another and yet almost all complete strangers to each other.
If one person ceases to be able to function, however that may be at home or at work, it’s no big societal deal, but as life becomes more precarious and unstable for increasing numbers of people then the system will become affected, in ways great and small, and the more that is pushed by government policy and corporate greed, the more complex the problems become and the more chaotic.
All of this is being caused by a neoliberal agenda of unrestrained vulture capitalism and greed which, according to right wing doctrine, left to its own devices will privatise everything and sort the world out and do it more efficiently and offer better value for money and choice than public ownership and collective action. That is the same as saying that in order to sort out the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, what we need is another tsunami, bigger and more destructive than the first one that caused it.
I look forward to the day when the whole thing unravels for only one reason, when a banker comes to rural Peasedown St John, where I live, with a bar of gold, begging for food because he and his kind have turned London into a wasteland, I want be in the front line to tell him that having done it all for what’s sitting in his hand, he can now “Fuck off and eat it!” Bear in mind that David Cameron and George Osborne, the two arch criminals and architects of austerity for the poor in Britain, are currently (Jan 2017) reported to be earning five figure sums for 20 minute speeches to bankers, the architects of the global economic meltdown in 2008, at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos. The solution to greed is yet more greed (economics for the terminally stupid).
Our day will come although it’ll get worse before it gets better, but sooner (probably) rather than later, we will either wrest the world from their grasp, or it will unravel through their senseless greed, and we will have to restore sharing, cooperation and collective action for all our sakes, but never forgive those who caused it and have treated us with such brutality and contempt.
There are two certainties in life, they say, death and taxes, now there is a third, the absolute greed of the few at the expense of the entire planet. The world is drowning in their arrogance and stupidity.
This is global economic warfare, and there is no possible excuse for it, nor is there a way out unless we resist and fight back in whatever way we are capable of. Our essential instincts of flight or fight won’t help us here, there is nowhere to run that can ever be anything but a temporary shelter from greed. The world is our birthplace and our birthright, it is a closed system, but it is also now a prison being run by criminals who are destroying it. Our only choices are to do nothing or fight. It is as hard and as simple as that, but above all, never, ever, vote for them, that’s not democracy, that’s suicide.
KOG. 19 January 2017