Thursday, 28 May 2015
I must protest!
The holiday island of Kos has become a refugee ghetto with penniless Syrian asylum seekers sleeping in the streets and generally bringing down the vacation vibe. Southern Italy has been swamped by wave after wave of migrants fleeing Africa and seeking to suckle at the generous nipple of an alien continent. In Nepal, we have largely forgotten about the plight of the thousands put out of their homes by the recent earthquakes. And even without exceptional circumstances millions in India and China live in conditions that truly define poverty. It is business as usual for Planet Earth and it’s not pretty.
From our heated homes, watching enormous televisions, our shiny cars parked outside as we go about our relatively stress-free existences it is hard to imagine lives spent in merely subsisting. Where would we be without our phones, news on the go, entertainment at our fingertips and instant communication for the sheer hell of it? Our world is full of things we just don’t need; hipster coffee shops, fashions, toys for grown-up children, designer-this and designer-that, fripperies to amuse and keep us from thinking beyond the next fabricated social event.
We tweet about it, we snapchat it, we blog and share and generally immerse ourselves in a world so rich with possibility we don’t even see what we have and take our immense good fortune for granted. And yesterday the Queen opened Parliament with a package of measures that are intended to take our progress still further. Casting off the shackles of the LibDems the Tories at last have a chance to get on and finish the job. The promise is jobs and training and help for businesses and further advances for our truly first-world nation. Unlike most of the world’s population we are fortunate indeed.
Yet all of this appears to have escaped the notice of the rag-taggle band of ‘anti-austerity’ warriors determined to protest the right of the legitimately elected government to govern. Democracy, with all its flaws, is probably still the least-worst way of organising society, so the rights of these privileged but short-sighted and ultimately pointless people to stamp and scream and hate their useless parents in public is a price we willingly pay. If Labour had won we would be back to rule by minorities such as this; no vision, no overarching strategy, just lots and lots of ‘initiatives’ and a hotch-potch of competing ideologies, interests and hobby-horses for the idle.
It's just not fair!
Watching the coverage of the ambush of Douglas Carswell, snarling irony-free faces contorted with hatred as they spat ‘fascist’ at him and threatened violence, I saw nothing but privileged children kicking out. As they filmed their little piece of distorted history on their ubiquitous smart technology and waved their mass-produced banners no doubt they thought they were fighters for some nebulous notion of social justice and not the spoiled brats they truly are. Austerity? What austerity?