Angry Birds, BBC, bookmanwales, boss, brainwash, car, chief executive, Coalition, conditioned helplessness, Conservative, corrupt, Cybermen, David Cameron, decline, despotism, dictatorship, Doctor Who, economy, employer, fall, FTSE 100, government, greece, iPhone, Media, member, Michael Meacher, Mike Sivier, mikesivier, mobile phone, MP, national average, Netherlands, official, Oscar Wilde, Parliament, pay, people, pleasure, politics, Portugal, purchasing power, status symbol, TV, tyranny, Vox Political, wage, work
A few years ago, an entertaining TV drama presented an image of a Britain very similar to ours – but with a few significant differences.
The rich no longer lived in the cities, but swanned around overhead, flaunting their wealth in giant dirigibles. Working people seemed perfectly happy to put up with a military presence on every street and a curfew in the evening, because their mobile phone technology had developed into ear-‘pods’ that downloaded the latest (and undoubtedly pre-approved) ‘news’ directly into their heads.
It was both amusing and chilling when the day’s ‘joke’ came down the wire and everybody laughed at once. Good little robots.
Of course, the Doctor saved the day – but not before thousands of these characters were turned into Cybermen (let’s face it, they were halfway there already) and many more had been killed.
Good thing it’s just fantasy, isn’t it?
Isn’t this exactly what ‘bookmanwales’ was telling us in his comment on the recent Vox Political article about David Cameron’s intentions?
“Whilst you can make the information available for people to see what is happening they are not interested,” he wrote.
“’Can I afford the latest iPhone?’ ‘Can I get totally p**sed at the weekend?’… and ‘How cool does my new car look?’ are at the forefront of most people’s minds.
“The pursuit of personal pleasure has overtaken simple reason. It matters not that you have to work 8 or 16 hours a day as long as you possess these luxuries.
“It doesn’t matter if you see no family or friends, doesn’t matter if you sleep all day when you are off. You have the things that matter because TV tells you having those things matter.”
It’s only a small step from that to “It doesn’t matter if your employers take more and more for themselves and give you less and less, literally looking down on you from a great height; doesn’t matter that it costs more and more to buy the status symbols you want and they give you less and less purchasing power; you are doing what matters in the best possible way because that is what they tell you”.
So we come to the announcement over the weekend that wages, here in the UK, have declined faster and further than almost anywhere else in Europe – and the fact that nobody batted an eyelid.
Adjusted for inflation, our hourly wages have fallen by a massive 5.5 per cent since mid-2010 – that’s the fourth-worst decline among all of the 27 EU nations, recorded in the country with the sixth-largest economy in the world (some say seventh).
Only Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands had a steeper decline – and their economies stand at 36-40th, 49th and 17th in world rankings.
Meanwhile, according to Michael Meacher MP, chief executives of the FTSE-100 – the top British companies – have increased their own pay to 133 times the diminishing national average.
They’re laughing at you. They think you’re beaten; that you’ve been brainwashed into conditioned helplessness and into believing that your status-symbol phone or car or television actually means something. Meanwhile, they have been taking everything.
And, as long as you carry on playing their game, their way, they’re right.
The rot starts with the government and it is with the government that you must start to change it. Nobody else will do this for you; you must stand up for yourself or your bosses and corrupt officials will walk right over you. Government sets the conditions in which populations either flourish or are repressed. We describe repressive governments as tyrannies, despotisms, dictatorships.
How would you describe the government of the UK?
Take a good, hard look at your own MP. Have they represented your interests? Are you better-off, now, than you were when they were elected in 2010? Don’t try to excuse them by saying times have been hard – that’s clearly nonsense, otherwise those FTSE-100 executives wouldn’t be enjoying such monumental pay hikes. If they are members of the Coalition parties, have they done anything to safeguard your interests against the crippling damage done by government policies? Anything at all? If there are members of the Opposition, have they vowed to redress the balance by restoring the rights and powers that have been stripped away from you – not just in the last three years but the previous 30 as well?
Then get rid of them and put someone in their place who will. It’s not rocket science!
Join the political party of your choice, link up with like-minded people and make a difference. Stop believing you are free, just because a politician tells you so. Freedom can never be taken for granted. People have had to fight for it down the generations and these times are no different.
Or would you rather go back to sleep and play Angry Birds (or whatever is the new fashion) until they come to euthanase you?
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: Our hard work has put some people up among the stars; isn’t it time to ask why we are still in the gutter?
(The first Vox Political book, Strong Words and Hard Times, is available now in paperback or as an eBook, including a large ‘footnotes’ section in which you can actually connect to internet links containing supporting evidence – if you’re reading on a device that supports this kind of activity.)
Anyone got the income inequality info 1997 -2010 and wage decline from when it began to dive 2007-2010 ?
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Paul Smyth said:
Reblogged this on The Greater Fool.
The worst of it is since 2010, with the sharp increase in the basic cost of living (25%) and the Conservative Victorian styled “reforms” adversely affecting those in work, as well as those who are jobless: http://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/quantitative-data-on-poverty-from-the-joseph-rowntree-foundation/
Guy Ropes said:
Excuse my scepticism but there is a political party in this country, funded by workers, which allegedly speaks and acts for those workers i.e. their supporters. That party patently has no desire or inclination to, currently, do anything whatsoever to realistically help those supporters. Only this morning Polly Toynbee penned an article in The Guardian which actually defended the BBC in it’s current state as being a national treasure. It’s an article that is beyond parody. This is the national broadcaster who could not find time nor space to report on a 50,000 strong march of said supporters demanding that their local hospital remain intact. Wonder which little newshound failed to spot that one? Meanwhile someone will produce more figures and trends about something and people will report on them with gusto whilst the dirigibles fuel up for the next flight, a flight on which the passengers will laugh themselves senseless at the ‘validity’ of the speech delivered yesterday by some political party which attempted to point up their ‘policy’ on employment in Britain in 2013 and who should (make that ‘might’) benefit from it. Unless it has passed him (them) by, it is the duty of those who are elected to the English Parliament to create and encourage employment for those who elected them. If it’s not, when did that duty/responsibility change? And if they don’t recognise that duty,then they should resign en-masse because that is the primary need of those that FUND them.
Mike Sivier said:
Not sure I agree with you on any level, Guy. The Guardian isn’t the Labour Party, and nor is the BBC. Political parties should stick to their manifesto commitments (although they don’t, more often than not), but – if you’re referring to a Labour member’s speech – that is not the party in office and therefore its members can only say what they hope to do if allowed back in. And don’t forget, neither of the parties currently in office was elected into that position – they got there via a dirty little backroom deal.
Thomas M said:
There is the TUSC but it never seems to get above 3% of the vote, so voting for it is a waste of time. There is UKIP but UKIP is fascist. And the other parties/independents have no chance of getting into office unless an MP really angers the voters.
Graeme Beard said:
They want people to be like those in Plato’s cave – chained to the walls and only seeing shadows of reality. And they are very good at keeping them there. Bombarded with propaganda and distractions the majority have no idea of what’s going on outside the cave and never will.
Patricia Sharp said:
My husband being one of them, no matter how often I tell him he does not want to know, and he will not find out for himself, we live in different worlds now him and me, I know exactly what is going on, he hasn’t a clue and never will unless it hits him in the face.
My dream is that someday i would go live in a simple place, where i cand fiind my peace and quiet, and none of this things can affect me. But i fear it’s just a dream..
Could tell me the name of the political drama as mentioned in your article? Would like to download if possible, Many thanks…
Mike Sivier said:
It was a Doctor Who, which is not a political drama in the normal sense of the term. As with many science fictions, DW makes points about today’s society in the context of its fantastic (in terms of plot) stories.
Whats the solution to changing the system, here in the UK? We need to stop relying on financial institutions to prop up the economy, invest in infrastructure, housing, education, labour market, fairer redistribution fo wealth and working conditions, etc… no political party is willing.
Mike Sivier said:
You’ve got it in a nutshell there – especially the last part. That’s the bit that has to be cracked, and it is with the people that the responsibility lies. Politicians will do what keeps them in power; convince them that these policies will do that, and they’ll go that way.
Fiona Prothero said:
Thank you for all the work and writings you do.My mind gets muddles with all the hoops I keep having to jump through with benefits, medical issues and trying to keep up and educate those around me to how corrupt this country had become. While also being bedridden maybe 80% of the time.I appreciate your writings more than I can express and pray that before too many years we can look upon these horrific days as a fading memory. God bless Fiona
Sometime ago the BBC screened a documentary examining whether or not the decaying futures depicted in Cyberpunk Science Fiction has actually come true. They came to the reassuring conclusion that it had not, except in the case of Brazil. My guess is that they will only have to wait a couple of decades, and it will. Private Eye is forecasting that there will be power cuts in two years’ time, thanks to successive governments’ failures to either build new, especially nuclear power stations. If this does occur, and policies such as the Coalition’s continue, then we will see the violent dystopias of extreme poverty, urban decay and horrific violence depicted in the novels of Alfred Bester and Jack Womack.
Reblogged this on HUMAN RIGHTS & POLITICAL JOURNAL.
Reblogged this on HUMAN RIGHTS & POLITICAL JOURNAL.
Jon No said:
Good article. I am with you all the way, right up to the bit about joining a political party. Sadly, I have to agree with Guy’s comment. Truth is that we live in a sham democracy and that our political system is inherently corrupt…just like over the pond. Blair, then Brown, and now Cameron have continued the Thatcherite project. Recessions just allow governments and their corporate masters to accelerate matters. It seems to me that ordinary people will have no alternative but rebel in any way that they can and that ultimately, this will have to be through direct action.
Mike Sivier said:
Sorry you disagree about joining a political party. To my way of thinking, if you want to get rid of corruption you have to get involved.