I apologise in advance that my blog’s become a bit political. It might last, or not, it will depend on how angry I am and how long it takes for this extraction to heal. Both are fuelling unhappiness, only one can be cured with salt water gargles and time. For the other, therefore, controlled venting will release some pain.
Corbyn has written a piece in the Guardian that frankly I don’t want to read, simply on the strength of the headline. In this world where engagement is key, and the first fifteen seconds of words in your face define much, this headline’s a joke:
No, Jezza, you didn’t. If you had ‘won the argument’ I’d have woken up on Friday to red everywhere and the rich bailing out of this country en mass. In a straight race between stupidity and you, tens of thousands of people undoubtedly changed the habits of a lifetime before voting to become sacrificial lambs. The fact you’re able to write this stuff and believe you won is a lot to do with why the Labour Party has finally imploded.
The reaction of people such as Mr Galloway up there is, undoubtedly, the means by which grief will be dealt with going forward. I may know squat about political history, but really… ‘Blue’ Labour or a Workers Party is not the way you fix this. It’s not about thinking that somehow, class is the problem. It really isn’t. You know what all the issues are, and if you don’t over the last month you’ve not been paying attention.
I’ve seen the polling: nobody likes Corbyn. Rachel Riley achieved her objective, as did everybody else who made this election about divisive, dangerous labels. Antisemitism, nuclear weapons, devolution, nationalisation… ‘broadband communism’ was the tip of an iceberg that nobody thought was going to sway voters in places where they can afford broadband, and a night out a week, plus a decent holiday if the travel company don’t go bust.
If you want a label to work on, use ‘wealth’ as your baseline. You’re taught from birth to dream big, aspire, be whatever you want to be… and so you try, and then if you succeed you become the aspirational benchmark for others. Then comes the day when you have enough money to eat and live well, and as more people reach that point, business invents more ways to take that money back and keep a chosen few in gold plated toilets.
It is not enough to tax billionaires, or regulate pharmaceutical companies, or fine petrochemical companies for driving humanity to extinction. Until you stop telling children that wealth equals success, nothing changes. Until society, as one, is prepared to abandon consumerism, the planet will disintegrate. Doesn’t matter how many cows you don’t breed, or vegans you create. Except no-one would dare stifle an individual’s right to free speech or aspiration, or choice.
Except, at some point in the future, it has to happen.
I read a piece on Medium yesterday which suggests we’re seeing the ultimate demise of Western Society: starting with the US and the UK. There’s a lot of truth in the concept, I think, based on how arrogance and greed have begun to alter the very fabric of societal interaction. It’s all well and good if you’re able to escape the gravity of poverty, but increasing numbers of people can’t and won’t. This is fundamentally wrong.
The answer is not a political party that represents the diversity of the ‘working class’, it is a political party that doesn’t use labels, or need to say it represents a certain ‘type’ of people. We need politics to challenge those who feel they are above the law, who manipulate information for their own ends, who destroy natural resources in the name of progress. People who want to help fuel real change can be rich too. Many are.
It is not your accumulation of wealth that ever matters where money still cannot buy you the ability to live forever. That irony, that the rich will survive as the planet burns, or be the ones who become the space-faring pioneers is an irony that in generations might result in humanity ceasing to exist. Without diversity in nature, extinction is inevitable.
Embracing all of humanity in your political party should really be a given.