Wednesday, 26 April 2017
The Bell Jar
Trapped inside a self-imposed prison from which you can see only what of the world is immediately outside can give you the illusion that you know what is going on. And if all you hear is your own words, your own suspicions, bouncing back to you it would be hardly surprising if you began to believe your own theories. Political movements thrive on this echo-chamber effect as their acolytes hear and see only what they want to see and hear. This is how cults operate.
Labour’s supposed ‘grass roots’ campaigning group, Momentum (Surely ‘Inertia’ would be more apt?) is currently trying to whip up a groundswell of opinion that defies logic. In this strange world, instead of seeing the vast majority of the population getting on with things and looking out for themselves, as they surely must, the see a forbidden forest of darkness and squalor and unbearable cruelty. And because they each tell themselves the same story it is reinforced with every hearing.
The other day somebody tweeted, in outrage, a photograph of a poster advertising a private GP service. Look, they said, proof! Proof that the Tories are selling off the NHS! When challenged and when it was pointed out that this as actually of some benefit to the NHS, allowing those who had already paid for the NHS through their taxes to pay again for consultation and treatment, the tweeter simply didn’t hear it. The only thing they heard was their own echoed voice, yes, here is the evidence.
The same happens with schools, transport and many other publicly funded services; the higher earners not only pay for all of it (nobody on UK median wage contributes even close to the monetary benefit they gain) but they then pay again to go private. And then they are castigated by the left for not paying their ‘fair share’. This, of course, is absolutely true, higher rate taxpayers pay far more than their fair share and if they truly held any power they could easily choose not to. But no sayeth the glass-house incumbents, the Tories only work for the ‘rich’, recently defined by John McDonnell as anybody on over £75k.
But any logic is ignored by Momentum and their camp followers as they continue to bang the drum for class war against the Conservatives and drive that red wedge through society. A series of nested tweets has been doing the rounds:
· As a teacher it is my duty to inform the public that after 7 Tory years schools are on their knees. Your child's education is at stake.
· As a nurse it is my duty to inform the public that after 7 Tory years the NHS has been decimated. You and your children's health is at risk
· As a firefighter, it is my duty to inform the public that after 7 Tory years, the UK fire service has been decimated. You are now less safe.
Etc, etc and on and on and some people are too dim to actually look around them.
Profile of a Labour voter in 2017...
Outside that bell jar not a single baby’s head has been stamped on by a Tory jackboot. Not one person in possession of their sanity has been forced to eat their young to survive. No gassing, no police state, no disappearances... The world goes on, doing what it does and government - any flavour - does its best against the odds to facilitate it. Those who thrive are those who try, not those who sit and wail and wait for somebody else to fix their poor choices. You want a future for your children? Break the glass.