State of Mind or State of the Nation?
I’m not entirely sure how come its taken this long to get around to writing a post for my blog. It might be for any one of a number of reasons, though I suspect a sense of dull horror mixed with bouts of extreme rage and periods of just wanting to go and hide from the Tory government’s policies have been to blame. Its not exactly because I’ve been hard at work trying to fend off those policies, or because I’ve been busy with other more useful things*.
It should perhaps be noted that I’m procrastinating from a couple of major tasks whilst writing this, though one requires writing, so “getting my hand back in” would be a good idea. Also, I think I’ve gotten to a point where my brain has just about managed to balance out the immediacy of the horrors of the Tory proposals with some sense of the need to preserve myself for what could easily be a life-time of dealing with the inequality being created.
I don’t really want to call them ‘cuts’, because actually many of them will cost more than they will save, especially during a period when apparently we should be rushing to cut the deficit. The deliberate rotting of the NHS and the policies which will see a two-tier health care system, likely run in the same hospitals but with very different services on offer for the privately covered and personally
Some of this has been a sense of despair at the lack of action around (i.e. against) the cuts, or indeed from many quarters the lack of discussion of how we might see off the cuts. Those I assume will want to talk about the ideology behind them are often not interested, and those who I have come to expect will rush in with actions are being unusually stand-off-ish, with the exception of a few friends and some usual suspects. Anyone who wonders why I’m working more closely with the SWP than I have since 2005 should maybe stop wondering and do something. I’m not so much angry, just frustrated.
Biblically (yes, that still matters) I’m finding myself re-reading materials and texts just to get myself in a position from which, when people actually start to do something about these policies, I can respond on my usual multiple levels. If the Church is going to have any effect in this area, which it can and must for reasons I can leave to another post, then knowing what I’m on about could be a real help. Currently I’m re-reading Walter Wink’s “The Powers that Be”, and hope to re-read “Say to this Mountain” at some point, too.
On the more practical side, its proving quite a challenge to really explain to people what these cuts are about. By comparison, New Labour had no ideology. The Conservatives, backed by their most Tea-Party-esque Lib Dem friends (and to be honest, some of the Tories are pretty big backers of the American “Tea Party”). It is perhaps the fact that we don’t understand this mindset that will make this more difficult to see off, particularly if anyone plans of lobbying individual Lib-Con MP’s to vote against party line: how do you talk to someone who’s rationale is pretty much “the poor should just stop being poor”.
Thus far, about the best I can do is the allegory that what is happening with the NHS White Paper can be represented by a game of Jenga. For now, the Coalition aims to pull a few critical blocks out near the bottom without toppling the whole thing, but eventually the whole thing will be weakened to the extent that it shall simply topple over.
If I manage to hammer them out, I’m pretty sure anyone of the themes in this rather jumbled post will make a blog post for the future, along with discussions of how best to build a movement that can stop these policies. For now, this will do.
* We shall not mention FarmVille, because, to be honest, I could have written a blog post between harvesting one lot of crops and the next, and instead have often ended up playing on Facebook. Perhaps this just means I should blame facebook.