Trigger Warning for politics and fucking swearing.
Good comedy has a way of holding a warped mirror up to reality in order to expose the utter absurdities of our lives. Satire is especially good for this and so comics like Frankie Boyle and websites like The Onion in the USA and The Daily Mash here in the UK can at times hit the nail right on the head. This morning I came across this article from The Daily Mash entitled ‘March all you f***ing like, says Osborne’.
GEORGE Osborne has told anti-austerity protestors to knock themselves out when it comes to marching.
The chancellor said: “I was in my office on Saturday, putting the finishing touches to my £12bn welfare cuts Excel spreadsheet, when I looked up to see 250,000 people stomping about outside.
“Call me old fashioned, but I can’t see the point of walking around in the rain to try and stop someone – in this case, me – doing something they’re definitely going to do anyway. However, if people are into it, then who am I to stand in their way?
Osborne added: “For future reference, the one thing about marching that I am bang into is the humourous placards. I’m an absolute sod for a funny sign, so I specifically waited till Sunday to announce the cuts, just in case I spotted a cracker on Saturday, and decided to change my mind.
“Unfortunately, the best on offer was one of me as Leonardo DiCaprio with the slogan, ‘The Wolf of Downing Street’. That’s just shit.
“But the main reason I’m doing this is to make Charlotte Church unhappy. She knows why.”
Which pretty much sums up the attitude of the powers that be towards protest marches and demonstrations. A bunch of people going for a walk around central London, or anywhere else for that matter, on a Saturday afternoon before spending a couple of hours in Hyde Park listening to the great and good of the ostensible left wittering on from a stage is something that gives the ruling class little pause. Protest marches pose no real threat to that which truly matters -the economy- and so they will be allowed and facilitated. They also act as a social pressure valve; allowing people to feel that they have ‘done their part’ by partaking in an activity that has all the trappings of political action despite not contributing towards effecting actual social change. Going on a march or demo is, realistically speaking, not that far removed from clicking ‘like’ on Facebook or retweeting some angry looking picture on Twitter.
The only way to force change, and it has to be forced, is for workers to flex our collective muscle and hit the ruling class where it hurts -metaphorically speaking but I wouldn’t be against kicking Iain Duncan Smith in the bollocks- by collectively withdrawing our labour -by striking.
When I say striking I don’t mean the sort of strikes that are occasionally called by the toothless trade unions but an all out general strike. Such a thing can’t be facilitated by the current trade unions as they are bound by decades of anti-union legislation and are often snug in their role as facilitators of the relationship between employer and employee. They may be able to help with grievances at work and struggling for better pay and conditions but they are ill suited to effecting meaningful change. We need a different way of approaching the struggle to both resist the attacks of the ruling class and to improve our lives.
For fucks sake, I live in Great Britain -one of the wealthiest countries on the planet- where one in seven children are going to school hungry, where people are killing themselves in ever increasing numbers due to poverty inflicted upon them by the wealthy, and where the ruling class guffaw and cheer as they strip more and more away from what little we have. There are 90,000 homeless children in England alone -this is an intolerable situation and it is just going to be getting worse and worse as the ruling class sink their parasitic maw into the carcass of the welfare state and drain us of every last drop of blood until we no more than cowed and servile peasants once more.
Some people may think that talk of a general strike, of forcing the rich to hand over what is rightfully ours, is extreme. I personally think that this is a rather measured and restrained proposal. For every hungry child and for every poverty fuelled suicide there should be a fucking politician or member of the ruling class hanging from a fucking lamp post. Now that would be something that would effect change pretty fucking sharpish. Not that I’m suggesting that people go out and start stringing up politicians… but they totally should.
The future is going to be really fucking bleak unless we can collectively get our shit together and break with mere expressions of anger or discontent and take meaningful action towards building a future that will make our kids proud of us.
God damn, I’m fucking angry today. I’ll probably still be angry tomorrow.