Although the newspapers are not short of pundits, everyone is looking at the present, while the politicians and their friends who own the media, the bans and the big commercial and industrial enterprises, while looking to the past with nostalgia, and against all the evidence predicting that the recession is nearly over and the good timers about to return, are still refusing to recognise their past follies and face reality. But the general election is looming ever closer and now is the time to look at what will follow it. I shall certainly be wrong in much of the detail, but not think in the general picture of what we will see in six months time.
What matters more than anything else is the extent of unemployment. The general lack of confidence in elected authority will evidence itself at the general election where a poll that may be less than 30% may put in a government, probably Tory with perhaps only half that figure of MPs. There will certainly be a number of far right M.Ps and some individuals running on a non-party platform of issues. The unemployed come from those redundant at all ages, both from private and public enterprises; while a large number of school leavers have nothing in front of them; another large number of them who wanted a university education are being refused entry. Our educational system after years of down-grading by ignorant ministers has become one of the worst in the northern hemisphere. The economy is bankrupt, but they will not admit it. Some of our most basic public services are about to close, others will be so threadbare that they will serve little purpose. We are about to face a great hunger, a great homelessness and great despair out of which will emerge a great anger that can only lead to revolution. Yes, REVOLUTION!
The alternative is a return to 1945, the Attlee era, one of total austerity, but with a general sharing of the basic necessities of life. It was anathema to those who once ruled the country, the remnants of the upper-classes, but it at least it enabled us to survive over a fifteen year period until the sixties brought in a new era where youth took over, life could be enjoyed again, until the grim spectre of greed and class-separation came back with Margaret Thatcher.
We are told that socialism is a dirty word and that it can never return. The alternative, and what will follow violent revolution, is likely to be fascism, a socialism of the right that will bring with it scapegoats, first perhaps the bankers and those who became rich through speculation in the City, but then the racial and national and religious minorities, especially the Asians and Africans. A new ruling class will take over that will banish elections and rule through fear and regimentation. If you want a picture of it, read the history of 1930s Germany. What leads up to it is a situation very close to that which we are entering now.
Why is there no visible party of the humane, thinking and competently active left? The Liberal Democrats are not bad and have some good people, but they are too blinkered and held back by their historical philosophy with its narrow Puritanism, economic obscurantism and prejudice against communities as against individualism. Attlee, the best Prime Minister of the twentieth century, had the fibre to be tough and to ensure that the pain was evenly spread, and that what mattered, like education, high culture and enough food and shelter to make life possible for all, was the principal priority. That meant the nationalisation of what people needed most. Why are politicians as blind as not to know their recent history and so cowardly as not to propose measures that are the only alternative to revolution, which always leads to the shedding of blood and dictatorship? Most of them will soon be swept away. When the next election comes, if you have a candidate you like and respect, then vote for that candidate. Otherwise, write on your ballot paper just one word: NO. Those who do so may in effect be forming a new party.
John Calder 9/2/10