Image by David Mark from Pixabay

It’s the last edition of the Sunday Socialist for 2022 so I’m taking this opportunity to have a bit of a rant.

As some of you will know, I was living in Spain until the end of June. I was about to lose my job and become homeless and, as I have permanent residency in Spain, I could of course have chosen to remain there and face tough times, but decided to come home. Some think I’m mad for doing so at this time, with the worst possible government in place, but that is in fact part of the reason I wanted to return.

I knew about energy prices going up, the cost of living crisis, the homelessness epidemic and so on, and I truly thought this would be our time – a time when people would get off their sofas, leave their television sets, and rise up. Say “no more” – and I wanted to be here for it. But while some are prepared to do this – often those who desperately need help – others are quite content to moan to their neighbours and on social media. And I do not understand this. Not one bit.

While I know a revolution is out of the question – would just never happen here – what about a general strike? Even if 40% of the workforce downed tools and took to the streets, that’s about 12 million people. 12 million people refusing to work! And more on the streets when joined by those unable to work for various reasons. Even 30% is nine million. Does anybody really believe the government would not take notice of us? They would use the police and probably the army against us if we stayed out long enough, but there are more of us than there are of them.

Repeat that sentence. There are more of us than there are of them. So why are we continuing to just take what they dish out to us? They don’t do it all at once of course, they’re clever like that. Prices increase a bit, people moan and then accept it and then they increase some more. Just as energy costs are increasing again in January. Or they say they will do something we know will be dire for us, then they do a U-turn and say no, we won’t raise such and such by £100 as we had said, we’ll only raise it by £50 – and half the nation breathes a sigh of relief and thinks how good that is, while the other half (at least I hope it’s half but I fear I’m overly optimistic) say “hang on, you’re still increasing it by £50”.  

The twentieth century brought many changes, great changes, in education, healthcare, social housing, the benefits system, but what has the twenty first century brought us?  Food banks, a healthcare service crumbling, millions living in real poverty, a demonisation of those on benefits and a society more divided than ever. Truly, we are almost in Dickensian times.

Don’t be apathetic. Be angry. You should be angry. We all should be.

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