|THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME, PERHAPS?|
The problem I have with those who have contributed to this investigation of poverty in Furness is they seem to regard it as an unavoidable consequence of some natural disaster such as an earthquake, a tsunami or an volcanic eruption. They are apparently eager to mount a relief effort to assist the unfortunate victims. However, this lot don't come with pain relief, tents, blankets, fresh water and food - they just talk, hold meetings, publish reports and launch appeals to anyone, anywhere, who might be able to help somehow, sometime, and if they do, they'll receive a thankyou card and a pamphlet describing the different forms of poverty.
The local paper will feature a banquet and ball to celebrate the best flower arrangement in aid of local poverty relief and everyone will be so pleased with themselves then move on to produce a Commission report on Earnse Bay caravan park residents' thoughts on coastal erosion whilst contemplating the next banquet and ball. (Well, I did mention that I was a cynic, didn't I? - Muddz)
Poverty is never an accident. Poverty is an integral part of capitalism. Under capitalism you get 'boom' times and 'bust' times (Those things Gordon Brown, Labour government Prime Minister, said he had abolished! - Muddz) There are productive times when workers are able to afford the things they make but then comes over-productivity, a glut on the market, too many things for sale and not enough being purchased so workers get laid off, factories close, there is mass unemployment, poverty and destitution and an international scrabble for markets and resources and, of course, wars. 'Free marketeers' of all the major political parties in Britain accept this cycle as a consequence of the 'market economy' because they are all pro-capitalist.
The parliamentary Labour Party (the elite club in parliament) needs the constituency party members (members of local Labour Parties) to do the donkey work at election time. It needs the Trades unions to cough up substantial funds and it needs the masses of workers to provide the votes to enable it to achieve power. Once in power, the parliamentary Labour Party has no interest in the views of the constituency parties, proposals by the unions or the expectations of working people - it is only interested inexercising power to pet and groom the ultra rich and big business at home and abroad.
The parliamentary Labour Party does not have a single, uniting, political philosophy. It is composed of (mainly) rightwing social democrats, some 'centre' and some leftwing elements so the Party ends up politically confused. This goes some way to explain why Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party (And John Woodcock's boss - Muddz) can spout about things such as 'responsible capitalism'. Why does he not also include 'compassionate' capitalism, 'kind' capitalism, and 'cuddly' capitalism? It is all a pipe dream, of course.
Trying to create responsible capitalism would meet with the same success as trying to rear a vegetarian tiger. The very idea defies common sense and is utterly ridiculous. Capitalism is naturally predatory. A philanthropic capitalist enterprise would be swiftly devoured by rivals - that's the name of the game and to pretend otherwise is self-delusional. Yet here we have the leader of the Parliamentary Opposition (Excuse me whilst I laugh up my left sleeve - Muddz) sounding off about responsible capitalism!
Well, all I can say to the electorate of Britain is this: you cast your vote and you take the consequences - and the best of British luck because believe me, after the next General Election, you're going to need it by the bucket load.
Either socialism or barbarism - and I think you've left it too late for socialism so maybe you ought to consider arming yourself. (Me? At my age I think I'll more than likely have croaked before the Big Crunch arrives - at least, I hope so! - Muddz)
In the meantime, if you'd like to get a picture of how things might develop, you might wish to read the book (Gosh - that's an unusual occupation these days! - Muddz) by Jack London entitled 'The Iron Heel" (pictured with a photo of a beggar running alongside the carriage of Edward VII at Ascot race course) Jack London also wrote the classics 'White Fang' and 'Call of the Wild' and a lesser known ' People of the Abyss'.
Sweet dreams, folks. And remember, pull your socks up, tighten your belt, grin and bear it and the sun will come shining through......