This is not a business as usual post, but then these are not business as usual times. I don’t like to get involved in politics. I prefer to write about positive energy, people who do things to make the world better and not give the idiots the attention they don’t deserve. I wrote about this recently at http://wendypillar.co.uk/blog18.html. Politics attracts sociopaths, self-interested, self-important, power-hungry egotists. It’s a profoundly unpleasant environment. However, there are also hard-working MPs motivated only by public service. And there are a few principled, heroic MPs, who stand up for what is right against all odds and interests, like Jeremy Corbyn, Caroline Lucas, Mhairi Black – and of course Jo Cox.
There are times, though, when politics becomes the most important thing, because it has the power to fuck up all of our lives, and those of the coming generations too. Like in the 1930s, when the German populace enthusiastically elected to power the Nazi Party on a platform of ‘make Germany great again’, and blame of an ethnic minority and immigrants for economic woes that they had nothing to do with creating. Sound familiar? Freakishly familiar, down to the Daily Mail running cartoons the same as those it ran in the 1930s of immigrants as rats, with Jews changed to Muslims. Like the Jews then, Muslim people are having a truly crap time of it. Between oppressive governments, war, extremists in their own ranks and endemic poverty reinforced by Western business, they have no safe refuge it seems.
In the 1930s, everyone got on with their lives, while feeling uneasy about what was unfolding in Germany. Maybe they couldn’t have stopped it anyway, maybe if there had been an overwhelming outcry across Europe by everyone who wanted freedom and tolerance, it might have been different, who can tell? For some time I have been getting the feeling that we are living in one of those periods, a fork in the road, where we still have options. Future generations might look back at us and wonder why we allowed the far right to take control, destroy our planet, wipe out half of Earth’s species, take our liberty and enslave us to corporations – or they might look back at it as a brief and embarrassing period when idiots like Trump, Farage and Johnson were momentarily taken seriously.
A few years ago UKIP were a joke – nasty, racist, corrupt buffoons who couldn’t organize a piss-up in a brewery. Yet next week we are voting on whether to leave the EU, and there’s a real chance we could leave. How did we end up dancing to the tune of a party with one MP? What is happening to our democracy when a community elects someone to represent their desire for a liberal, inclusive society, and she is shot dead outside a library by a far right nutter? When football fans – always a good marker of the basest instinct of society – are throwing missiles and abuse at refugee children in the street in France? How have we allowed the media and sections of the elite to groom the most easily-led section of society to act out their fear and prejudice? Who exactly is pulling the strings behind all this and why?
I want my country back, not from the EU, but from the far right. I want a country where people are not afraid of becoming victims of violence because of their race, religion or ideology, where everyone with talent has an opportunity to use it, where the planet is treated in such as a way that it will sustain future generations and diverse other species, where people without much money can live a dignified life with decent housing, healthcare, education and food on the table. Not the world my grandparents lived in, where poor kids like them went hungry and without medical care, in fear of the workhouse, while having to doff their cap to the local aristocracy, where they were sent off to die in a war that none of them had any hand in creating. This is the world the right want back; they are looking with admiring eyes at Indian society, with no expensive social provision, with billionaires, and kids scavenging landfill sites for a bowl of rice a day. When they talk about ‘our’ country, ask them who they are including in ‘we’. It is not you or me. And they will not hesitate to stoop to stirring up hate against a minority to achieve it, taking people’s eyes away from what they are up to, even if it means bloodshed on the streets, something which Farage is on record as saying he would welcome.
I want my country back, and everyone who wants this country to be a liberal and tolerant place should probably start taking action to achieve it, because the far right have been very busy indeed, and what we are seeing are the results of their handiwork. The death of Jo Cox must not in the end be for nothing.