Unrobing the Emperors and other matters of concern. An author's blog - begun in January 2016 - revealing political deception in the UK - paving the way to The Road to Corbyn (2016, Matador) and Dying to Know - Running through a Pandemic (2022, Matador). Also updates on my work in progress: 'Mine to Die', an unusual work of local history with global ethical importance.
Sunday 30 October 2022
I AM 74; MATT GALLAGHER OF OPEN DEMOCRACY IS 24 - INTERGENERATIONAL SOLIDARITY - I'M IN TOTAL AGREEMENT
THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE - 'Io rescues Odysseus' (2016) - oil on canvas - by Claire Healey
For a sizable chunk of my 24 years, I’ve
been witnessing Britain’s political decline. I’ve watched as our institutions
faltered, our social safety nets were systematically dismantled, and our
leaders grew ever more obsessed with their own power instead of their
responsibility to the public. The worst part is that I’ve always known it
doesn’t have to be this way.
My choice of an image to illustrate Matt Gallagher's statement that it doesn't have to be this way - there was an alternative - there was a socialist vision fit for the 21st century and I heard it in person outlined by Jeremy Corbyn at Heartlands in Cornwall in 2017 and 2019.
Not unlike millions of my peers, I want
to build a positive future for myself and those I care about. I can speak
for many in my cohort when I say that the optimism is draining, and the
dread is setting in. We’re facing down environmental calamity, a broken and
unequal economy, rising authoritarianism, and a political system
ill-equipped to do anything at all about it. It
would be nice if the people in charge were looking out for us, but they’re
nowhere to be found.
also like to live in a country with values I can get behind. Kids
really shouldn’t be going hungry, we shouldn’t be price gouged by energy
companies making record profits, people shouldn’t need to work multiple
jobs to survive, we should probably do something about the destruction of
the natural world, migrants shouldn’t be treated as sub-humans – I could go on.
I know it could never be a straightforward task, but I’d do my bit to
support a government if I trusted that they cared at all about any of those
things. It’s quite clear at the moment that they don’t.
last year in particular has been particularly eye-opening. Boris
Johnson finally resigned after an insane amount of scandals and a record of
lies longer than the Bible. Liz Truss barged-in unelected and did decades
worth of damage to this country (and my generation’s livelihoods) in just
44 days. Now, we’ve been blessed with the supposed “return to normalcy”
that is Rishi Sunak. As you might have guessed, I’m not exactly
vision is not a hopeful one for me, nor I suspect for many others. For
one thing, Sunak’s attitude towards environmental issues seems absolutely ballistic.
As someone who studied climate science at university, I’m astounded that
he’d opt out of even attending
the COP27 climate summit, which is pretty much the bare minimum a leader
can do anyway. Considering three quarters (75%) of adults in this country express
concern about climate change according to the ONS, his
complete indifference is insulting not just to me, but to most of the
Wake up and smell the collapse of the world we once knew.
we’ve got the cabinet from hell. These are not the
kind of people I’d trust to have my back, or even the kind of people I’d
grab a pint with. People like Therese Coffey, who said
Sunak can take a raincheck on COP27 because it’s “just a gathering in
Egypt”. People like Dominic Raab, who is back in
action and keen to remove our human rights. People like Michael
Gove, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Boris Johnson
through every lie and scandal.
What about Kemi
Badenoch, who fought valiantly to make it harder for people
to vote, or Gavin Williamson, who was
previously dismissed for leaking confidential information as Defence
Secretary? Even ignoring Leaky Sue, it’s not exactly a
super team of principled leaders.
What these appointments show me is that
Rishi Sunak is completely unserious about actually solving any of the
massive problems affecting people my age. These people only
think about themselves. No matter how many times the
revolving door spins, all this group can produce is a bunch of
self-indulgent narcissists that care far more about their careers, titles,
and promotions than the state of the country.
learned that if I want to live in a better world, I’m going to have to
fight for it. These are not problems that can be
fixed by asking politely.
Another fighter - Greta Thunberg - August 2018
that reason, I’m glad to be working with Open Britain to defend,
strengthen, and renew our political system. I’ll
never give up on the idea that we can build a system where people like me
have an actual voice, and can elect leaders who fight for what we believe
in. We know how to start: let’s get proportional representation, get the
money out of politics, get our rights back, and begin the construction of
something that actually works for all of us.