So what exactly do our Dear Leaders think they are playing at?
Have the Rightists not noticed the irony in their professed disdain for the ‘Big State’ when the Right-winged Coalition is constantly and increasingly nannying the minutiae of our daily lives? They can claim all the love they please for ‘the market’ but this does not entitle them to outsource and corporatise the responsibilities we pay them to hold. Mussolini would applaud. They seek to make our sources of public accountability elusive and faceless entities while making us account daily for our individual worth. The irony is so stark that only a fool, a tyrant or a religious fanatic would overlook it. What will actually become of Government? Is it to be shared among the likes of G4S, Virgin, Atos, Eddie Stobart, Centrica, etc…? And who’s getting the Treasury? Yeah, silly question…
There’s a fine line between pragmatism and cruelty and it is my belief that this government has crossed it with gusto. There’s no need here, for a list of everything that’s wrong: you know what bothers you, I’ve detailed my grievances in other posts and the government is patronising enough for all of us. To me, the lack of trust in and love for the very countrymen and women this collective purports to serve and its individuals’ unseemly delight in their own pomposity is markedly apparent.
What exactly do our Dear Leaders think they are playing at? I’m not referring to the present details but to the bigger, medium- to long-term picture. The final destination, so to speak. Have they not worked out where they’re taking us all with these attitudes and policies? They don’t even have a mandate! It’s easy to infer some grand plan but I’m not sure they are that intelligent – I don’t think they’ve properly translated their vision from ideological abstract to ground-level reality. Iain Dontcare Smith, Gove, That Hunt, Grayling, et al seem to think that if they just ‘clean up’ Society; make everyone obedient to their faith in a crumbling world view, that all will be well again. Hmm… Has it ever been that well for the masses? Has civic life ever been weighted in our favour?
But, really: what does this Coalition envisage are going to be the consequences as the years roll on for, even if/when they are kicked out in a couple of years, the government that will replace it will be hamstrung by, not just the accumulated sham of decades, but by the instinctive enthusiasm in the present to build on every hitherto mistake. And anyway, how much do we trust them to be that much of an improvement, irrespective of your belief in Labour’s good intent? It took a long time to get into this mess and the changes occurring right now are set to cement all that I have come to detest. This won’t be over any year soon.
Either the current political vision will fully come to pass and we will be a Stepford Nation – goodbye soul – or the government will have to become ever more forceful and enforcing. I wonder: how far is the present administration prepared and willing to go to see the fruition of their flawed vision. Keeping a regimented poor will require more than forced labour, punitive policies and food banks. What if resistance becomes the matched force, already overdue, I think, considering how the disadvantaged are growing into the majority and how lives are becoming ever more untenable. ID cards, checkpoints, segregation, armed forces? How authoritarian are they ready to be and to what lengths will they go to justify their actions? Will they even care to justify them?
Fascism is an accusation readily and even casually flung and so easily dismissed as melodramatic labelling but, you know what? I don’t think we can afford to take chances and neither do I buy the counter that our direction of travel can’t be deemed fascistic because it doesn’t perfectly match that which has gone before. The signs are all there, in every area and at all levels, from the House of Commons to the televised sound bite, albeit newly spun, but hey – that’s what the ‘neo’ prefix is for. Nationalistic, yes – in the sense that our rulers are seeking to preserve the sovereign interests and culture of their own realm. The supremacy aspect has morphed but it’s there in the emotive and divisory tactics; in the collusion of type and its subsequent sense of superiority and entitlement that so demonstrates a detachment from ‘other’ – the rest of us, that is. The expectation of dutiful obedience and the attempts to quash resistance are not just atmospheric but manifest in policy, revealing complete disrespect for real human dignity and an utter contempt for democratic process. Even the charge of demagogy can be laid when I think of how we are micro-managed in the least necessary and/or least reasonable areas of our personal lives with all the petty hubris of Greek gods.
That so many in political power (including the media) have only scorn and denial for such fears and perceptions is insulting and short-sighted and does nothing whatsoever to diminish my concerns. They should be mortified. Are we supposed to wait until we have either a neo-totalitarian state or possibly no state at all before we say it is something we saw coming and could have stopped? History is supposed to inform our present, not predict or command the future.
Fascism: from the Latin noun, ‘Fascis’ (s) / ‘Fasces’ (pl) – ‘A bundle of rods with a projecting axe blade. I think it’s as apt a metaphor as its symbolic image ever was.