A new blog. The reason? The old one was a waste.
I started my last blog at the beginning of the ‘anti-cuts movement’. The politics of dissent has established pathways. Unfortunately they are designed to be walked by people from a white, male dominated, middle class ‘sub culture’ of ‘activism'(aside: which, in an orwellian turn means ‘circle -jerk of similarly inactive narcissists, achieving little but occasional disruption. Convincing each other of what they already know, with occasional bouts of accusing interlopers of being an undercover police officers).
Mainly mingling in fashionable areas of the our great capital or in colonised enclaves of sufficiently deprived yet fashionable areas. You may find them in spots of environmental significance. The left. Wannabe journalists, politicos, and posh kids. This exogenous body have to be sought out.
A working class awakening is desirable, their plot demands the proles wake up so they can get on with utilising the ensuing political capital. Elitism and misogyny an unquestionable long held tradition, as is the neo-liberalism at it’s ‘moderate’ heart. To smash the state on the backs of the cause of public sector workers trying to preserve it and the things they built within it. Not the awakening I was looking for. Luckily they’re mainly harmless and come with their own echochamber.
What was happening while I was fannying about with the left?
While I was wasting my time, a more important but disturbing picture became crystal clear. The word ‘cuts’ faded. We are in a democratic crisis, most of the received wisdom which has distorted our political debate for decades just crumbled, our institutions of power globally and nationally are in crisis, and in the midst of internal power struggles. Power has to be maintained without the comfort of people’s disbelief being suspended. There is no glorious post-capitalist alternative on the horizon, the flow of global capital is just shifting, and our time is up. We now see globalisation from a new perspective. Geographically the prize Atlantic spot we occupy was just devalued. Australia, with it’s proximity to Asia is becoming Obama and Hilary’s ‘special’ geo-political spot du jour.
Swathes of the country are fully aware they have no political representation, welfare is being used as a weapon on a unnecessarily dependent working class, and we are heading off a cliff economically, into decline. The days of welfare and social housing being anything other than a tool for punishment and control, gone. We need a knowledge based productive economy, but starved and fractured our education system, and dismantled our industry. We are attached to the US as they enter their latest steps into decline, and we are apparently keen to use our foreign policy to protect their economic interests. Especially if that is at the expense of Europe. Equality for women has been rolled back, unless that woman ‘fails’ to procreate or is independently wealthy. Some political dealing means attacks on disabled people may slow, but that is unlikely and even if the politicians stop being mean, their housing benefiit was already slashed, and so was their care. There are no functioning means available for people to access democracy, and access to the legal system has been shut down. The tribal screeching that is left of mainstream political discourse, little more than expensive trolling and gaslighting. A summer of riots show that social cohesion is not holding up that well.
What triggered all this?
The inevitable consequence of globalisation was governance devolving down and federalising up. Power devolved down organically, but the financial crisis which should have triggered the checks and balances our democratic institutions offer, didn’t. It turns out they got turned off sometime in 1986, when Wall Street and the City of London merged and were set free. Now patriotism is allegiance to the City. In Europe, the federalisation of power occured, but it doesn’t appear to be very democratic. Nothing is going to stop what is about to happen. Whatever is coming is going to play out on it’s own, And a world full of ‘neoliberalismfuckedmeover’s’ are waiting to deliver a smackdown. The pre-recorded war drums sounding are as familiar as that first brilliant Amy Winehouse album, and capitalism doesn’t appear to be in crisis, it appears to be evolving.
Last year the majority of people around me had a job, and I was the only one who didn’t. Now, I work at home and there is no shortage of daytime visitors, as work everywhere dries up. I remember this point vaguely when I was a kid. All the protections that existed then have been rolled back, and we haven’t seen the worst of this crisis yet. I can tell you those who may never work again, and those who probably will. Our kids prepare to work for free at Tesco and Poundland. Neo liberalism has stripped our economy of productivity and unsuccessfully tried to shatter our communities for my entire lifetime, to serve the sector that is about to blow. We are seeing the final push as everything is shovelled into it in the hope that it will magically be 1986, and not 2012. Thatchers children grew up watching this happen all over the North. We know it’s protracted, we know which bits you don’t notice, and we know where it ends. It was apparently called ‘managed decline’, but has more often been seen as urban degeneration and blamed on ‘chavs’.
2012 will be known as the year of the enormous ginormous neo-liberal global clusterfuck. So I need to starting off by defying the economy. I have already failed at one business, and I don’t have a career any more, not much to lose and might as well keep trying, there are many around me who can’t. This one is a goer. And there isn’t really much of an alternative. You can’t respond to an economic attack by hanging around with Oxford students offended more bye the heels than the holes in your shoes. Hoping to change a debate where the centrist position is ‘you should have kept your legs shut’, when you have to repeatedly start from there without repeating the word cunt too often. Watching politicos argue vocally over ideological differences fostered so they can differentiate themselves from their peers and their families. Becoming a party tribalist willing to repeat whatever lie your chosen party tells ad infinitum for the greater good, not my bag. Writing is fun, but the pittance it brings alongside copywriting doesn’t make it a long term financial future, and shouting from the source of manufactured dysfunction that you would like it to change seems a frustrating exercise.
Our political system
There is no mysterious disconnect between politicians, the media, and the population. The disconnect is one that is carefully cultivated. Now that the internet is threatening to pierce it, there is considerable unease among those making their livings from it. Our mainstream media has limited allocated spots for the Oxford and Cambridge left to represent the chavs, wimmin and token ethnic minorities. It can only accept special interest group competing against special interest group or the poor proving they are deserving. Tokens are welcome if they can be polite and don’t expect the debate to move on, but party supporters are preferable.
Occupy has crystallised the unease that no-one could quantify, and embryonic as it is it cannot be undone. Globally, the idea will evolve and grow, and exists way beyond the tents. The Arab Spring did not start in Egypt, and was not confined to the Arab region. There is no need for an artificially constructed debate to give what is happening meaning, we all share the same problem, are able to name it, and we are beginning to understand it.
What I’m going to do
Once I have finished setting up what am doing at the moment, I plan to write. A lot. Knowing full well I can’t change anything at all. So this is a new blog. It isn’t the eighties, this time we can all write. Even if it is only to say we can’t stop you, but we know damn well what you are doing.
I apologise for a year of writing bogged down in left wing politics. Had I realised that that was, is, and always has been the sole purpose of it, I would have just stuck with what I was doing in the first place.
So now we get down to business…
Look forward to talking to you.