Tuesday, 16 April 2019
In the advanced world, in the enlightened west, poverty should be a thing of the past. Nobody should want for shelter, food and warmth and nobody should suffer the relative privations of denial of access to education and the opportunity for advancement. The old Labour Party used to fight on this hill and made great strides... long ago. But rights can be tricky things; once granted, removal is seen as punishment; if ‘he’ gets something why shouldn’t I? And the bar on what is considered essential is continually being raised.
But where does the wealth come from and who deserves what share? And possibly more importantly, who gets to decide? That is, if I make a little bit more than it takes to lift me off the breadline should I surrender my comfort for another’s, or do I deserve some greater reward for my efforts? And at the other end, whose needs are greater, more pressing? Even were we of one mind in this regard – good little socialists, all – the task of providing for all would still prove monumental, but we are human and it is therefore insoluble.
Instead of being pragmatic – cancer trumps gender dysphoria, hunger trumps nicotine craving, etc – we are stubborn in clinging to our illogicalities. We each have our own set of priorities which don’t necessarily chime well with others. White supremacy, climate change, the third world, pollution, potholes and the eternally impossible bloody ‘equality’ are all crusades which clamour for resources. It’s a far cry from the old ‘mustn’t grumble’ attitude which got us through two world wars and many national crises.
But today it is different. Certainly I have never known a time when so many of my countrymen are at each other’s throats over a matter which should have been settled three years ago. In an earlier age Britain would have accepted the result and most would have worked together, grumbles aside, to shape the future. Instead we are stuck in a politically constructed situation whereby the fractured loyalties driving a thousand different self-centred agendas prevents us from holding common cause.
This is what loss of nationhood means. In fact the EU model of a Europe-wide identity means we are further from being one people than ever before; paradoxically the socialist model brings not “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” but incarceration, inequality and antipathy. Over such confusion the detached, supra-national governance of technocrats need not exercise order but simply watch as we tear our own society down. It was a cunning plan and it damn near worked.
We didn't start the fire
But why does it take the devastating conflagration of Notre Dame Cathedral for the French to become French again, at least for a short while? And what will it take for the English – British is already lost as a uniting identity – to become English again? Our whole society is burning, the social contract torn up, the wolves at the door. And nobody – especially not the special interest lobbyists, especially not government – knows how to fix it. Well, here’s an idea; put aside your banners and your slogans, shut up for a moment and think, for once, about what you can do to save yourself.