I recently posted the above picture (courtesy of The People’s Assembly Against Austerity) to my Facebook page and to no surprise I was quick to receive some negative attention from those who, I can only assume, consider themselves to be more “pragmatic”, all be it sardonically so.
It was suggested that the tag lines should read:
“Never live within your means, never control your own borders. Common sense must go.”
Well I would say, no… I’m pretty sure it’s fine the way it is! But you could do some Right Wing propaganda with those tag lines if you wished. Who knows, with such callous indifference and misdirected wit, you could end up working for the Sun.
However, what I find more pertinent than buzz words and tag lines is Theresa May’s voting history. Could it read differently? No. It is all fact.
Huge numbers of Americans are in untold debt due to the lack of a free-at-the-point-of-use healthcare system which forces them to live beyond their means. Once privatisation has consumed all public assets, e.g. the NHS, would it be considered living beyond our means by getting into debt to pay for healthcare? Maybe those unlucky enough should just succumb to an untimely death? Cutting tax credits and lowering people’s incomes will also diminish the means by which they have to exist. The crux is, when it is suggested that we have to live within our means, it is always the poorest whose means are most vulnerable. Austerity does not affect the more affluent (at least not yet) but that is no reason to be unsympathetic or matter-of-fact towards those it does. By countering anti-austerity rhetoric by suggesting that it is just a case of putting up with what we are given, then there is no end to how far austerity could be taken. In our system, means are created by money, and there is lots of it to go around, but the few that have it are so good at keeping it that they even have large amounts of the public defending them.
The monumental disparity between the rich and the poor is factual and indisputable and the redistribution of global wealth would be one of the most beneficial socio-economic events that could occur, for the vast majority of the population. Yet many revel in this overbearing tone that defends the totalitarian, over-privileged, deceitful, acquisitive ruling class of which they are not and will never be a member. Instead they are happier to gnash their teeth at the Have Nots whilst sitting at the foot of the Have Yatchs like some obedient guard dog.
Controlling our borders (which is a slogan that makes me want to gnash my own teeth) is not the same as racism, at least one would hope. However, Theresa May’s actions are discriminatory against non-EU immigrants wanting to live in the UK permanently by ruling that they must earn above £35,000 (a lot more than the average Brit earns) and by making it much harder for British Nationals to move their foreign family members over here. This can cause long, painful separations between parent and children (estimated at 15,000), which for me, is the most disturbing outcome. In terms of controlling our borders, as long as we stay part of the single market, the net migration of immigrants from Europe will be unchanged. So there is little control but much discrimination. This is what the post means by “FOR discriminating against immigrants”.
Furthermore, voting against a Banker’s bonus tax and repealing the Human Rights Act are not the application of common sense but of two insidiously self-interested, potentially very damaging and regressive ideologies.
So once again I find myself having a debate where the details may have changed but the ideologies are still very much grounded as they are opposed.
The ruling class have so many people believing virulently that the way things are, is the way it has to be, that whether it is under the banner of sovereignty, pride, tribalism, being self-made, being shrewd, being pragmatic, being sensible, being strong etc. that they defend, if not advocate a system that continues to serve the vast majority of us less and less. Ironically, their attack is reserved for the vulnerable, the less privileged, just about anybody who has no real power and yet this is dressed up as “Common Sense”, madness.