Sunday, 1 February 2015
Love your work, vote loony!
They say if you do a job you love you’ll never work a day in your life. To be fair, a good proportion of those who hate their jobs do pretty much the same thing. Of course, how much you love or hate your job is in part determined by salary and a recent survey widely promulgated by the malcontents in the Labour party tells us that 51% of teachers, nurses and others in the public sector are dissatisfied with their pay and conditions. Naturally we all weep for the poor, abused public sector workers, but wait! It turns out that of the rest of us 52% are similarly dissatisfied. In a prime example of statistics being used to blind, far from being cruelly used, public sector workers are marginally happier than the rest of us. Take THAT Karl Marx!
But while our home-grown revolutionaries are slow to act, across Europe something is definitely happening among the sluggish proletariat. Greece lurched left and elected a statist party to demand of the massively statist EU that they have more gruel on their plates. Spain is on course to do the same as tens of thousands march in support of Podemos and their own anti-austerity agenda. Podemos is already the 2nd largest party in Spain, having more than 300,000 members and is still not a year old. With a population of a mere 48 million to have almost as many members as the UK’s Tories and Labour combined is remarkable. Ukip can only dream but it does seem that their own lurch to the left may yet have mileage if people in the UK develop the balls of the Spanish.
Equality is the rallying cry and despite my instincts to let the market find its level it is hard to disagree with their contempt for the ‘more equal than others’ political leaders who earn relatively huge salaries by grafters’ standards for ignoring, even holding in contempt, those who put them in office. The EU manages to rub salt further into the wounds by paying its officials even more handsomely and removing them from the tiresome burden of seeking popular electoral support. But maybe the jig is up and the price of our insulated, isolated politicians is simply too much. Maybe it is time for new leaders, leaders with no vested interests to placate and ready to lead not for the money, but for a belief and commitment in more fundamental democratic principles.
Lest you think I’ve gone soft in the head and taken a dose of socialist salts have no fear, I think this is but a passing phase. Once the bread and circuses are restored the restive beast will lie down once more, but if ever there was a time for tactical voting this may be that time. Small state advocates have been successfully tarred with the bigot brush after years of state-led political correctness, but it seems that the instrument to break the über-state may ironically be the new insurgent statist parties untainted by stark reality and carrying little baggage. Bring it on, I say.
Podemos - Spanish for "Fuck you, Merkel!"
Of course, once in power and once the EU’s stranglehold is loosened or even broken, those same parties will steadily fuck over their respective economies – already the new Greek government seems determined to cut its nose off to spite its face by banning all-inclusive holidays (They bring in money but keep the riff-raff away from the good stuff, see?) But maybe a few years of chaos outwith the EU may bring the voters back to their senses and we can see a return to good old national sovereignties under sensible centre-right administrations. We may never be satisfied with our jobs but instead of being forever moribund at least we could all look back with some pride on the time our collective worm turned. Viva la revolución!