The country is in a mess, but I find it hard to believe UKIP will get us out of it. Most of them are disenchanted Tories, in itself a shameful endorsement.
In the history that’s not written by her followers, Thatcher will turn out to be the true architect of our destruction. She ran down manufacturing and willingly relinquished the real running of the economy to financiers and bankers. Yet many praised her for it, even those now forced into two jobs to make ends meet.
When the global financial crash came in 2008, few political commentators blamed the fact that she had created ideal grounds for that crisis, and instead, scapegoated the pitiful, Tory-lite ‘New Labour’ – which had played its part well in promoting and developing her ‘legacy’ of greed and selfishness.
Thirty years after the mining and steel industries were flattened in favour of buying from other countries, devastating whole British communities in the process, the victims of Thatcher’s cruelty are suffering once more. But in order to divert attention from the true cause, Osborne is directing people’s ire towards the disabled and destitute, whose pitiful welfare payments have been slashed in one mean spirited edict after another.
Instead of uniting against their real enemy, though, too many people actually believe the Tories when they say welfare is the cause of our ills and hitting the poor is the only recourse - as if slashing social and welfare aid somehow boosts international trade. Some voters even find it hard to see the contradiction between austerity and the expenditure of £100 billion on a high speed rail route, or the awards of millions in bonuses to failed bankers.
Whatever people want from government, however, surely it is not war. But despite the cost in human misery, death and money, we’ve had it in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, leaving decades of misery fermenting in the guts of those countries.
Not one conflict had the support of the country but the troops went in anyway. Why? To what peaceful purpose? Thanks to these and other insurgencies, nobody is safer, here nor there, and every day more conflict is stirred up between those on both sides of the great religious debate, to no end but further discord and violence.
And I mean, ‘stirred up’. So many people readily swallow opinions handed them on a plate by selective press and TV coverage, as though they’d never heard of propaganda being used to create public opinion. Where’s their scepticism?
Hardline Islamists and hypocritical ‘Christian’ leaders from the West argue and contend in the exact same way that Russia and the West did during the Cold War, with much the same result - nobody’s benefit but that of weapons manufacturers and petrol companies, two arms of the great global surge towards having all the power in the hands of an unelected elite. When all the power is finally in their hands, nobody will be safe. And you will not be able to unelect them.
In the meantime, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is conducting policies that amount to nothing more sophisticated than a child pulling the wings off insects just to see how they get on. That’s Osborne with his viciousness towards the poor and vulnerable, who remain the most powerless and put-upon in this country.
This country has become nastier. Not enough seem to notice that, as some were predicting when Ted Heath took the country into what was then a free trade market, we are heading towards a federal Europe.
In a situation completely disowned by irony, many see the only hope in UKIP, a political party hiding seriously deranged policies under a deluge of ‘common man’ rhetoric in the same way arch-Tory Boris Johnson parades his buffoonery as a smokescreen for his right wing beliefs. You may want out of Europe – and ‘out’ is our only chance – but in supporting Farage, what are you letting in alongside him?
Be careful what you ask for. In 1997, I celebrated the election of ‘New’ Labour in hope that a more caring, compassionate society would soon emerge to replace the devastation of Tory rule. How wrong I was to put any trust in Blair. For the sake of clarity and openness Labour should change its name, for it does not represent the working man, if ever it did.
In fact, when you look at all the main parties now, who does?