An anonymous piece by a trade unionist and socialist.
“Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty, consent of the governed and equality before the law.”
This is not a liberal country. I do not consent. I am not at liberty. And there is no equality before the law.
The Mask is On.
In our NHS; in shops, hairdressers, pubs and cafes; at football matches and recorded live concerts; on the international news channels reporting on the BLM movement and the Beiru blast; on children in newly opened schools; on Biden and Harris; undertakers in black suits and top hats, driving hearses and wearing black masks. But the virus seeps.
Where is Bain when you need him?
“Common sense and a bit of pragmatism is that we need to get people back to work, to stimulate the economy; otherwise they’ll lose their jobs!” “Get out, eat out, stimulate stimulate stimulate. And lose weight. Lend a hand to your neighbour. But not that immigrant family. Old people want to work, they don’t want pensions! Make them wear a visor though, just in case. And don’t complain when they’re slow. Be contenting with tutting and looking impatient. Stimulate the economy!”
Stimulate the economy. Get back to work! It’s good for the economy.
As if this economy is nature. As if there is not a person, people, an organisation, a company, a government, many governments…behind these decisions.
They could make different decisions.
They could be pressured into making different decisions.
Violent crime increases in young people.
Young people, working class, black people – they don’t like the police? Why? Something must be done about it. Why, Why, Why? Commission a report. Kick it in to the long grass whilst we get Andrew’s law passed.
Pay rises? No chance.
Thank you to the Arts for keeping us entertained in the dark days with new culture. But the lights are off now.
Stimulate the economy. “We need to save the jobs!”
We see you. We see you at home – trying to give people support and advice from your bedroom. We see you walking the streets in all weather, delivering mail, not knowing what you’ll find. We see you driving the ambulance, scared there’s no PPE and you’re taking the virus home to your loved ones. We see you stocking the shelves over and over -“there’s no flour today.” We see you, nurses and doctors, forsaking your own families for weeks…months, to save others. We see you trying to teach online, trying to figure out this new technology as you go. We see you in care homes, scared of not being tested. We see you pub workers breathing heavily in your new PPE. How has time passed you by? Isolated. We see you. And we see what’s coming next.
We see the fear.
We are inept, inert, ineffective?
Fire fight and scrabble to defend. We should have fought, at least, for the quid pro quo. But not enough are prepared to confront the system. Our boys need jobs. Even when they remain low paid, too many hours, not enough hours, on your feet all the time, too long sitting down, unsafe, no tips, harassed, bullied, victimised, long commutes, hot desking, more isolation, and for the detriment of our neighbour.
“Stimulate the economy!”
For the City, for the profit, for the elite, for the establishment, for the status quo, for someone else to have power of you.
Stimulate the economy.
We see you Boris Johnson. Hiding in the fridge. “But let’s pray that Johnson survives. His girlfriend is pregnant after all…” Hiding behind the decades upon decades of sleaze and scandal and cash and entitlement. This is a Tory country after all.
And we see you Sturgeon. So competent. Tell that to the thousands who have died and the children who have had to fight from birth to be seen. Tell that to our schemes and our post-industrial villages where time.stands.still.
Whilst the profits soar and Scotland is sold off once more.
We see you journalists, trying to make sense of it all. But not you, those who shine in the light of Marmaduke Hussey, as you vilify one plot holder- casting around so as not to illuminate the murky depths of this State; as you sneer and bully migrants from your own boat. There but by the grace of God go I.
Whilst the Big Society rages on in the veneer of Social enterprise and third sector. And the stock brokers laugh all the way to the bank. Private enterprise. Entrepreneurial spirit.
Stimulate the economy!
And who are we?
We are not scroungers but why should we return to your work; return to normal? Repetitious hell. Our old normal was not yours and we don’t want your new one.
Whilst poverty amongst the self-employed rises. Rises, rises, rises…so, too, do private jets.
The job losses mount. The Recession starts again – heating, eating, housing? The market. The short and the long waves, the boom and the bust, the supply and demand, monopolies and corruption.
Stimulate the economy.
How do traders in New York City short sell on the US’ housing market which causes an engineering firm to go bust in Ayrshire? The loss of jobs, the loss of homes, he loss of lives, the loss of hope and fight back.
All for a few more bottles of Dom. Freeeeee market economics.
And the traders advise the government what to do next. Over a barrel. Because they are the system. They are us. They are our new homes and hospitals and roads and pensions. They are our croupiers. Our credit cards. Our gamblers. And our old drunken sods.
Stimulate the economy.