This morning somebody said that it seemed ok to him.
So why did UK ‘Independence Day’ feel more like 9/11?
17 million previously largely ignored Britons said last Thursday that they preferred the abyss to the status quo: to put two fingers up at unification with our European friends. 16 million Britons voted, many of us very ambivalently, for a union born not just out of a desire for peace, co-operation and cross-cultural exchange, but also born of a desire to help transnational commerce wrest power from state governments (vis TTIP, particularly).
Facebook has erupted with both intelligent debate and bigoted anger. So many feel unheard. Some streets have seen heartfelt, positive protest; more have seen abuse and violence. A good woman politician has been assassinated. A party leader has received a murder incitement. No-one in the spotlight can agree. Our parliament and our system of democracy are failing us. Our nearest neighbours are uncomfortable in alliance with us.
Money, like everything and everyone else, is a commodity. Our rich are getting richer, whilst our poor are getting poorer (sound like a cliché? I wonder why).
Our country is unwilling and/or unable to give jobs to talented, hardworking economic migrants. Our country is unwilling and/or unable to give shelter to refugees whose countries we’ve bombed. Our health service is running on goodwill and getting worn out. Our benefits system assumes that you are a criminal. Our manufacturing is all but gone. Our small businesses are struggling. Our big businesses are rank. Our soldiers are cannon fodder. Our teachers are operatives. Our schools and universities are running like factory farms. Our factory farms are running like concentration camps. Our roads are belching with traffic. Our homes are flooding. Our wild places are diminishing.
Does this seem ok to you?
Extreme right parties in Europe are the only bodies there that celebrate our choice to Leave. How many of us gave a thought to peace on the border between Eire and Northern Ireland if it regressed to being a policed border?
Istanbul just suffered a major terror attack, which, whilst almost unnoticed, will stoke ever-growing fear and fortification.
Yes, if the hole in the ozone over the Antarctic is healing (nice word, Torygraph), that’s a good sign. Yes, employment levels are high. Yes, Britain’s economy is *relatively* strong. Yes, there are good people and good politicians and good businesses making real change at grass roots and treetop levels. Yes, we, like all humans, are survivors.
Our achievements are incredible, but the collateral damage is profound.
There is hope that from destruction may arise a phoenix. And if destruction is what we need, we seem to be going about it in the right way.
But there is also real possibility that we will *ride* this one ‘thanks’ to a ‘strong’ new neoliberal Tory leader, and continue on the same blind, bloody, greedy trajectory with the same old struggle between the same old oppositional forces.
In a vicious fight led by right wing haves who’ve seduced the unheard have-nots, the failures of neoliberlism and everything else are stark: everything is to-the-death competition, to-the-death debt, or to-the-death subsidy…
…Neoliberalism — unbridled capitalism at its most aggressive — would have it that if in business you are prepared to elbow others out of the way, anyone* can do well (*to give it the benefit of the doubt).
…The monetary system, in which a few huge private corporations have the special privileges of money creation via lending mechanisms that siphon our wealth upwards, would have it that the banks ‘balance’ the economy (to put it optimistically).
…The welfare state, with its reduction to the lowest common denominator and its bureaucratic nannyism that undermines and disempowers by fostering dependency, would have it that everyone needs *help* (control by a different, if inadvertent, means).
…First past the post ‘democracy’ means that the same old voices carve the same old divisions.
All probably mean well: self-sustainment doesn’t have to be selfish; altruism doesn’t have to be protectionist. But all are at odds, and all — together or separately — systematically undermine the kind, the conscientious, the hardworking, the freethinking, the artistic, the underprivileged, the unwell, the other and the common good. All is way, way out of balance.
I don’t know what the answers are, but had things been “ok” in little England, things would not now be like this.