For time out of mind and in the words of the old song:
‘It’s the same the whole world over
It’s the poor wot gets the blame
It’s the rich wot gets the pleasure
Ain’t it all a bleedin’ shame.’
Were Robert Tressell, who wrote ‘The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists’, alive today, despite all the technological advances over the century since his book was published, he would look at the world and realise, to his dismay, that the philanthropy of the common people, ordinary people, towards the corrupt ruling elites has not changed one bit and, if anything, it is now even worse.
Even the most cursory glance at history reveals a world dominated by ruling elites, if it wasn’t the church it was those hell bent on conquest, usually both, having their evil way with the lives of ordinary people.
You can trace the likes of Cameron, Trump, May and Hunt as far back in history as you care to roam. No matter where you look, at church or state, it’s the same old sordid story dictating the lives, and deaths, of peaceable folks who just want to get by without war, rape or pillage by people who think far too much of themselves and who regard us and treat us as ‘stock’.
And it comes down to this, they have harvested the world for themselves, stolen the shirts off our backs to fund their profligate life styles, even whilst exhorting us to work hard for a pittance as they steal the profits from our labour.
That mad bastard Trump is glibly talking about nuclear war, yet everything with which he will unleash Armageddon has been stolen from the people, the people even built that nuclear capability and put the power to use it in his hands. I don’t think Tressell would regard that as philanthropy any more, but madness.
Cameron, in his arrogance and sneering disdain for our lives, demanded our obedience and ‘good’ citizenship, by force, telling us, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.”
Forced labour and forced obedience under the curse of sanctions, depriving us of the means of even the most basic, abject, survival, is not only an everyday reality, it is now enshrined in law. Over 50,000 disabled people have had their motability stolen from them, more than 500 people a week, not because there is not enough money to go round, but because the greedy bastards at the top want even more.
They always want more and scream blue murder at the mere hint of increasing taxes on their worthless, gutless, lives and who block every attempt to shut down their filthy tax havens.
I am 66 and was raised to be a good, obedient boy. My poverty stricken mother was a royalist and deferential Tory voter to her bones, who never, as far as I know, questioned her daily struggles to put food on the table for us, and going without herself to do it, in any meaningful, contextual way, apart from blaming herself. If there is one thing I can point to in my memory of her which defined her existence, it is as a worrier. Fear and worry were her daily diet of life, even when my sister took over the house, bought it, and made her secure for the rest of her life, it was too late, she was a pathological worrier and latterly an alcoholic, all of which led to a heart attack and a, relatively, early grave.
She was shamed by my becoming a socialist and horrified that I voted Labour. She lived her life a slave to power, shamed by her own drinking, a secret, shamed, drinker who would call me in desperation to get her another bottle. Some part of her knew that somehow I’d got it, if only very partially, that it was ok to ask me, that I wouldn’t condemn her or lecture her. She would doubtless have blamed herself for my later becoming an alcoholic, just as abject as her, but for many different reasons as I struggled to understand the world and ran from it in equal measure.
As a community and youth worker I lived through Thatcher’s wanton destruction of youth and community services across Britain, she was so much more than a milk snatcher. The roots of Cameron’s and now May’s onslaught against or lives began with Thatcher, yet it’s roots lie far back in the history of the world. These grubbers and graspers after the wealth of nations are relentless, caring nothing for the lives they destroy in their millions. History is littered with the deaths of the victims of the greed of the mighty, who take the bread of Christ in their hypocrisy, and who are righteous and noble in their own eyes.
I am so glad that life kitted me out well enough to do a Letter a Day to Number 10, that I have learnt to question and grow in rebelliousness and indignation against those who wield power without responsibility, who are morally and ethically bankrupt human beings, dispensing death on a daily basis. These are dark, desperate times and the world is groaning under the weight of the crimes of power and too many remain in thrall to their lies and deceit.
We are coming to a climax in world history, the planet is crying out every day because it cannot sustain life under the weight of the greedy power mad bastards who run it and who can destroy life at the press of a button. They are a stain and a corruption on life, all life. The future lies with us, the oppressed, the down trodden, the weak and the weary, the disabled and the sick. It lies in our very ordinariness and our exclusion from the corrupt, hate filled, corridors and halls of power. We did not crash the global economy through reckless gambling and greed or destitute nations to pay off our debts. We did not prostitute our souls to corporate bungs to frack the land we live on. We did not lust after the nations taxes to pocket them as profits and bonuses and obscene pay packets. We are innocent of the crimes of power and greed.
We, my friends, are hope, in fact the only hope. And if, ultimately, we fail, bear this in mind, the failure was none of our doing, but of the state and corporate system of corruption itself, in which corporations can buy the law makers and the law and use all the forces of state against us, including the media. These are people who sacrifice life for greed and gloat as they do it. They are so captivated by greed and their own pig ignorance they piss on the greatest gift the universe has given all of us, life. You have to be a very special kind of stupid to do that.