Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Visual Metaphors for a Speechless Nation

So many satirists, political commentators and Joe Publics compare Gordon Brown to Hitler, Stalin et al, so I'm not going to bother going down that road; this image from the 1930s speaks for itself. It is a perfect visual metaphor for the appalling abuse being perpetrated by the State against the people: the population of the UK handing over their money without any end in sight. Excepting, of course, the fact that this money is being handed over willingly, a nice little 'backhander' to grease the wheels of government, whereas the UK has no choice about handing over its money, be it in the form of taxes or bank bailouts. 
The irony of our current situation seems to have escaped the majority thus far. In simple terms, imagine you lent someone a quid. They gave this money to someone else who really needed you to help them out (so, in effect, the bloke who borrowed the quid's acting as an intermediary), who then gave bits of your quid to all his mates and told you to bugger off. No-one paid you back; far from being grateful, they charged you interest on the quid that you'd lent them. An incredible scenario. Now compound it: you didn't lend them the quid, they took it. They told you that it was for your own good. And, having taken it without your consent ('stealing'), they then told you that you would not only have to pay the aforementioned interest on it, you'd have to keep paying. And keep paying, and keep paying, and keep paying, as long as 'they' said so. For at least the span of your lifetime. Your children would be required to pick up the shortfall.
If you consider that the majority of taxes go, not as is commonly (and naively) assumed into the public coffers to do Good Works such as maintaining hospitals, roads, the police and armed forces, but to paying the interest on loans to our government, which in turn then borrows more money (usually from next year's Budget allocation) you can see what kind of a pickle we're in. There's nothing left. Kaput. Nada. Zero. Brown's blank cheque is not the 'right thing to do', as he parrots, over and over again. Let me repeat: there's nothing left. And the mountain of personal debt under which the population is buried is only going to increase exponentially as the public debt mounts.
There aren't many ways around the current situation, apart from creating jobs through massive building schemes or declaring another war, thus creating jobs in munitions factories and the armed forces. And, excepting perhaps the owners of Raytheon, it's pretty unlikely that the people want another lengthy war. What we need is urgent action now. Systematic plans to regenerate industries at home. Making British manufacturing happen on British soil. Removing, with a single slash of a pen, all those non-jobs for amateur civil servants to snoop into the private lives of citizens and using the freed up capital to create jobs that actually have a purpose. Lowering taxes for low income jobs to unexceptionable, if not non-existent levels. Paying the best educated BEd/PGCE graduates the best salaries for going into the worst schools and employing their own methods to transform mini-Borstals into grammar school equivalents. Ceasing the attempt to bully the people into to buying, buying, buying to 'get the economy moving again' but rather to encourage them to save for a rainy day; to attribute value to money, dignity to home ownership, temperance and fortitude. Demand our politicians be accountable. They owe us not only their positions but their entire futures; they are there by virtue of our grace and goodwill and, should they err, must be removed from office. In the coming days and weeks, the country will want to turn to the polls: Labour's days of stonewalling are over. And let their successors inspire our nation to restore pride and to face the coming days with resolution and courage and, above all, unity.

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Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat -Ralph Ellison