I’m mad as hell…

I can already feel as I write that this is going to be a rather long post but that’s partly the point because of the perpetual state of worsening political affairs. As you may or may not know I’ve been a political activist and socialist for a good two years and in that time things have gotten so much worse in terms of socio-economics and politics.

The next paragraph is just a list of the changes which I can recall and though I hope you would read through it and get as angry reading it as I did writing and recalling it, in summary it highlights the madness that we’re descending into…

In such a short time we have seen: the ushering in of a harsh programme of austerity to pay for banks which are now too big to fail; this has included cuts to all manner of public services, ruthless slashing of jobs in the public sector; the closing down of libraries and community centres; “no top-down reorganisation of the NHS” a wonderful tory lie which couldn’t be further from the truth as the NHS is being carved up to be used as a privatised cash cow for the likes of Serco and Virgin; “the scrapping of tuition fees” a lib dem lie leading to the tripling of fees; the New Labour “alternative” which gives the working classes the chance to hope for “real changes” in the next general election with a political standpoint which is essentially doing everything the tories will do but slower, a general disaffection for politics which has led to the lowest voter turnout in a long time; an antipathy which has led to isolated riots and the likes of the Occupy movement which had a promising beginning but failed to stir the majority of people out of their apathy; cuts to the military; renewal of the Trident programme; cuts to the police and their partial privatisation; the death of 10,600 disabled people thanks to the unreal Atos fitness for work measures with many more falling into poverty daily; a bedroom tax; obligatory council tax contributions; abolition of mandatory teaching exams and the rise of profit seeking academies; a triple-dip recession with a lavish Olympic games and Jubilee to garner national spirit, which is also a chance to forget about all the economic woes and give “scroungers” a day off; scandal after scandal, plebgate, “traingate”, libor, Chris Huhne and the Leveson inquiry to name but a few; the rise of food banks and their subsequent overrunning by families left behind in “the big society”; intervention in Middle Eastern conflicts for “humanitarian” (imperialist) reasons; threats to ignore international laws and storm the Ecuadorian Embassy; the rise of UKIP who I see as essentially a more middle-class and thus more dangerous version of the BNP; horsemeat in our beef; tax breaks for millionaires and worse still tax avoidance by countless large corporations; eroding of worker’s rights; this list though labouring my point is in no way exhaustive and I’m sure there’s just as many things left off this list, so feel free to add to it.

The trouble is, despite all this and more going on the British public seem determined to keep their stiff upper lip and have allowed all of this to take place. There have been some great shows of resistance in places but in general people seem too downtrodden, apathetic or nihilistic to want to really put a stop to this Capitalist machine. The trade unions have mobilised here and there but calls for general strikes have gone unheeded and their allegiance to the Labour party seems baffling when the Labour leadership would be pursuing the same cuts which currently leaves the trade unions without real teeth.

The student movement which exploded back onto the scene in 2010 with a big demonstration has all but fizzled out with 2012 seeing a demonstration with a confused slogan and a political implosion as the general student body attacked the NUS for their inactivity on the march.

I’m sure this all comes across as very negative and to a certain extent it is but what I find most frustrating of all is that I know we are all capable of much more. Many people I talk to seem to be waiting for a romanticised leader to give the go-ahead for change, mass civil-disobedience or revolution but I say what are you waiting for?

It’s up to all of us to educate, organise and mobilise. I miss the camaraderie of Occupy and would love to see more movements, fresh faces and more than anything I want to see people passionate and hopeful about the future not pessimistic, deterministic and defeatist!

These problems may be big but they’re not unbeatable by any means and I have every faith that as things continue to spiral downwards more people will gather and cry out for change, but it’s no good waiting for someone else to take action first! As Ghandi once said “Be the change you want to see in the world”

Finally, I shall leave you with an edited excerpt of a speech by Peter Finch’s character from the 1976 film Network “I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. There’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do and there’s no end to it. You’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say I’m a human being goddamn it! My life has value. I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

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2 Comments

  1. Awesome read Ryan…and so very, sadly, true.

    • Thanks Karis I’m glad you enjoyed it though it need not be true so start getting as mad as hell 😉


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