7 barriers to revolution in the UK (and how we might overcome them)

Monday, 2 December 2013



Russell Brand's interview with Jeremy Paxman has been watched, as of today, by around 10 million youtube users. UK facebook and twitter feeds are abuzz with dissenting alternative media articles and demonstrate a thousand creative ways of calling David Cameron a smug, elitist wank stain. Talk of revolution is on English lips for perhaps the first time since the self-styled 'Puritan Moses' lopped off the noggin of King Charles I and dissolved the Rump Parliament in 1653. Almost all Britons - young and old, rich and poor - seem to have accepted the fact that our political system as a whole no longer represents the will of the average citizen, but the interests of big business and the religion of money. The conditions for revolution are ripe, and yet ... nothing is happening. Why are Britons, outside of their culinary practices, so reluctant to revolt?




No gay Marxists please, we're British
1. Nay-saying and apathy

Anyone familiar with Karl Pilkington will know that moaning is a traditional British pastime. There's something comforting about being in a constant state of mild dissatisfaction. Another British pastime is shooting down people who dare to stick their head over the parapet. Oh, you've bought a brand-new Hybrid car have you? Well it's a woman's car, mate. BANG! Get back down to our level.
Facebook was full of Britons sharing Russell Brand's New Statesman article, but it was also full of Britons feeling a sudden need to criticise his right to have an opinion, instead of actually engaging with his argument. "Who's he to talk about revolution?" we asked. "That's rich, coming from a moneybags Hollywood film star/ ex drug-addict/ workshy comedian/ long-haired bastard etc."
Apparently, nobody whom currently has money is allowed to have an opinion about what's best for us. So let's ignore the fact that almost all British politicians were born into a large circle of money and educational privilege, and concentrate on what type of person would make the ideal revolutionary.
Someone brave, heroic and educated, but who rejected money and personal wealth... someone who lived, fought and died for their principles in harsh conditions. Che Guevara, perhaps?
"Guevara, the squalid killer and totalitarian tyrant..." writes Nigel Jones in the Daily Telegraph, "... remains, more than 40 years after his death, the iconic emblem of ignorant idealists the world over. After helping to ruin the island's economy as minister of industry, he flounced off to bring revolution to Bolivia's peasantry...."
He flounced off to Bolivia to fight for his principles. There's just no pleasing the British. If you speak out without having lived an exemplary life, we'll ask you who the fuck you think you are. If you do live an exemplary life, we'll accuse you of thinking that you're better than us and shoot you down in a hail of demeaning verbs and adverbs.

Armchair critic
2. Cognitive dissonance - I don't like the government but I can't be arsed to do anything about it. 

Cognitive dissonance is described as the discomfort experienced when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions. 
This idea might explain the habit of Britons to be quite happy grumbling about politicians, but also feeling affronted when somebody suggests that the entire system needs to change. Real change is upheaval, upheaval is hassle, and the prospect of hassle is an uncomfortable one. Thus, the common response to a suggestion that things need to change is to ask 'well how would you run the country then?' - deflecting that uncomfortable feeling of not being able to imagine an alternative onto your agitator, who is then put on the spot and must quickly propose a new and exhaustive system for running a nation of 63 million people. And woe betide that person if they can't rapidly come up with a perfect answer, because we'll be standing there with our arms crossed, ready to shit on any flimsy idea that escapes their lips.
The same theory applies to climate change denial. To accept the prospect of man-made climate change is to accept that something needs to be done about it, and open ourselves to cutting our energy usage (more hassle). So it's easier to find reasons to deny it, instead. If you have trouble finding reasons to refute the research backed by 99% of the global scientific community then shitrags like the Daily Express, who want to give you the 'facts' that you want to hear, will always be on hand to help you out.
We like politicians who talk about change but actual change is a scary prospect. Although once changes have been made, they don't seem that scary. You don't hear anyone pining for the return of smoking on airplanes and buses, nor do you hear anyone bemoaning the end of the feudal system, but I'm sure that the transition of Britain to a capitalist state in 1660 was seen as a massive pain in the arse at the time.

Remember this headline in 50 years' time
3. Where's the squeeze?

I worked at the Amnesty International AGM 2012 in San Francisco. During one of the lunch breaks, I got chatting to an Egyptian human rights activist who had played a role in the revolution of 2011. He reminded me that it had taken 30 years for the Egyptians to oust President Mubarak, and that in that time Mubarak and his family had managed to amass around 70 billion dollars' worth of assets and personal wealth.
"For decades everybody knew that he was corrupt, that we had to pay a bribe if we wanted to do anything in our own society, but we kept saying that we could change things once the emergency law ended. It never ended, and people couldn't afford to live anymore. That's when people go crazy, when they feel the injustice in their own wallet."
Financial injustice is happening in the UK right now - the government is bailing out banks with one hand and cutting public services, the backbone of a fair society, with the other. Old people need to work an extra 5 years for a smaller pension. We're paying for the mistakes of multinational banks, whilst the money that they make from selling us debt is channeled into offshore tax havens. Everyone in the UK knows this by now, but our upper-working and middle classes aren't feeling the squeeze quite enough to get angry about it. Sure, some people are having their homes repossessed and young people now have to fight retired pensioners for entry-level jobs, but those moaning old gits and feckless dole scroungers get what they deserve, right? And in the meantime, we have Strictly Come Dancing, Match of the Day and a never-ending supply of fuckery cookery shows to keep us happy.
4. Hippies / anarchism as a fashion statement

The Houses of Parliament. 1653. Oliver Cromwell, dressed entirely in black, stomps into the chamber followed by a troop of dour-faced soldiers, wielding muskets. 'You are no Parliament!', he bellows, before his army surrounds the assembled politicians...

The Houses of Parliament. 2013. Russell Brand, dressed entirely in black, stomps into the chamber followed by a troop of sniggering, pink-haired hippies, wielding hula hoops. "Hula hoopin' for change!", they bellow, before surrounding the assembled politicians in a drum circle...

For the purpose of this point, I would define hippies (labels man, labelssssss!) as - 'Someone who channels their anti-establishment ideas by beginning to dress, think and speak in a uniformly anti-establishment way'. It might seem a little unfair to classify hippies as a barrier to revolution... from what I saw in the Occupy movement, the people with the most know-how of occupy/ squatting law were hippy-types, and the movement probably couldn't have come about without them.
But - I assume that the core aim of any anti-establishment movement is to unite all civilians against the establishment, and if you show up representing the movement on TV, with your 18-foot dreadlocks and your Amazing Technicolor Dreamshawl, I can guarantee you that 80% of your average citizenry will immediately say "I'm out". Just like that. Like an episode of Dragon's Den in which the contestant has unravelled his schlong into a burger bun and said 'so... what do you think?'. Their arms are crossed, their chairs move backwards, and they're out. My parents, my auntie, my great uncle, the plumber, the guy down the road who owns the garage, Mary next door who teaches at the primary school, they're all out.
It's a harsh and fickle world we live in. And in that harsh and fickle world, dressing in a fuck the pigs hoody and having sheep hair has become visual shorthand for 'I don't understand what it's like to have a full-time job and I don't have any responsibilities.' There's a reason why Cameron et al try so hard to act like 'family men' - because people want to be represented by leaders who understand the reality of their lives, rather than people that waffle vaguely about Illuminati and the new world order whilst clutching a tiny, blackened joint in between their thumb and forefinger.

Ideally, a revolution in the UK would bring a revolution of consciousness, incorporating the idea that we shouldn't judge people solely on the way that they look or they dress.  But perhaps that focus on substance over style could work both ways - it could mean that you can act on your anti-establishment ideas without having to prescribe to them as a fashion statement, too.

5. Disorganisation.

This is my guess as to the lifestyle of the average British citizen:
Work hard Monday - Friday, come home tired on the evenings, microwave some dinner and eat it in front of the telly with your family / housemates. Slope away from the dirty dishes and lock yourselves in your respective rooms where you watch videos of cats doing funny stuff on youtube and then an episode of Breaking Bad before sleeping. At the weekend, take the train to visit your friend in Barnstaple and go out on the piss Friday and Saturday night. Watch the Antiques Roadshow on Sunday evening and jealously slag off the contestants for wanting to sell off their family heirlooms. Shower, marmite on toast, bed.
With this kind of lifestyle, it seems like an impossible task to get a large amount of the populace mobilised for revolution.

But let's say we're all suitably riled up. Cameron is ordering riot police to shell groups of old ladies from the safety of his Westminster bunker, and Osborne has amassed 70 billion from peddling dodgy loft insulation. We've all agreed that it's just not on.
How do we mobilise ourselves? What are our aims? Who decides? Which media, if any, can we trust? Who's going to give orders and spearhead the movement, considering that we can't stand anyone who sticks their neck out and tells us what to do? Who's going to make the first move, and how will they be heard over the clamouring inanity of X Factor and Celebrity Get Me Out of Here? What will we do once we've ripped Cameron to pieces and discovered the alien creature inside him? How will we form our new society, and who decides? How will we decide anything without a house of crusty old Lords to enforce the status quo?  What will we do with the royals?

I only know the answer to one of these questions. (The royals would have a large amount of their assets frozen but would be able to earn money by taking part in 120 concurrent episodes of Cash in the Attic).

6. The Media

I had a housemate in Carlisle who read the Daily Mail every morning. Once, when he found out that I was organising a stand-up comedy night in aid of Amnesty International, he told me that, in his educated opinion, human rights were a load of fucking shit.
I asked him which one of his human rights he'd be happy to forsake, and in reply, he called me a 'Muslim-loving smart arse'. He then pointed out that I was half his age, and that I needed to spend a few more years in The University of Life.

The strange thing was, my old housemate was a hard-working man, who wasn't rich by any sense of the word. Almost all British newspapers that claim to support working-class values seditiously promote ideas that don't benefit working people at all. A working man's paper that goes out of their way to discredit the working man's unions? A paper that supports the rights of the working man but demonises the right to protest? A paper that 'supports our troops' but prints the lies that get our troops sent out to war and killed in the first place? Cheap tabloids, aimed at people who don't have enough money to pay for the privilege of properly-sourced news, are consistently anti-welfare, anti-NHS, anti-reform, anti-education, anti-anything-that-can't-be-capitalized-on-by-big-business. In fact, I'd go so far to say that they do a good job of opposing the idea of education by slyly chipping away at the IQ (and happiness) of anyone that reads them.
But then... after a hard days work, is it easier to sit and read Chomsky or to skim through a tabloid newspaper? Chomsky's books, though informative and meticulously researched, have been criticised for their glaring lack of tits and funnies. And, primitive, fear-responding mammals that we are, which one holds our attention the most? The low-key, archival rigour of a Richard Curtis documentary, or the ding-donging dooming and glooming of ITN News? It's been almost two decades since Chris Morris's satire shows first began to ridicule the mainstream media, and yet, they're still pulling the same old tricks. Literally - only one year after the bilge-esque News of the World was forced to close down in the phone hacking scandal, the same company released the Sun on Sunday - the same paper but with an even more unimaginative title. In a few years News Corporation titles will probably be able to write whatever they want, so long as they begin their articles with an illegibly small introduction that states wouldn't it be facking mad if...
For democracy to function properly, the media need to be regulated just as much as the banks do. Right now, the job of the UK media is to help their international business buddies by playing down the environmental impact of fracking (something which has proven to be environmentally dangerous to other countries) in the UK, ahead of our 'commitment' to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, and ahead our own self interest in... not destroying the world that we live in. But why? It's easy to throw words like 'conspiracy' and 'they' around, but what incentive do newspaper owners have to cynically lie to their readership, in favour of promoting the agenda of big business?
Again, I'm not an expert, but Noam Chomsky is. The media and big business are consistent bed friends - the media rely on corporate advertising to make money, and corporations rely on the media to sell their distorted world view as fact.


7. Internationalism of financial/ political interests

The UK government is considering a 'free trade' deal that would allow international corporations to circumvent our laws and mine money out of our country through fracking, selling GMO foods and poorly-regulated pharmaceutical products. Governments swap illegally obtained information about citizens free from any wrongdoing or crime. The United States can legally break the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by holding their prisoners, without trial, in a military limbo off the coast of Cuba. International banks answer to no single government and can avoid their tax repayment to the societies that they plunder by rinsing their billions through Swiss banks or paying out more in bonuses. National newspapers sell millions of pounds in advertising space and have 'cordial' relations with multinational companies, in exchange for silence about the environmental devastation that these companies bring to communities all over the world.
Outside of strictly communist nations, money (and greed) have no national boundaries. And yet it's strange that the people pulling the strings also seem quite keen to promote a sense of national identity... a better tomorrow for a better Britain! British jobs for British people! A group of the world's richest people continue to become individually richer, whilst promoting collective nationalist values within the countries that they exploit the most. Which leads me onto the final part of this article...


Evolution of consciousness - International cooperation for an international problem.

I don't think it's necessarily a violent, physical revolution that we need - it's an evolution of consciousness. It's an evolution that is happening, but is being opposed and battered and astroturfed and pepper sprayed and shot down at every opportunity.
The people with the most to lose from this evolution don't have the manpower to suppress the evolution themselves, and so need to sow the seeds of doubt, hatred and misinformation amongst the oiks and the poor.
We still live and participate in a world that is dictated by the imperialist reality of our two world wars. A reality of 'looking after our own' and wanting the space within our own red squiggly border lines to prosper more than the other squiggly confines. But the people who are exploiting our resources for their own personal wealth don't play by these rules anymore, and permanent growth for all countries is environmentally and financially impossible.
Of course, we have pride in Great Britain because of all the cultural and technological worth that we've brought to the world, especially in the last 200 years. Our media fondly reminds us of 'The Great Wars' whilst brushing our history of imperialism and slavery under the carpet. But I've seen from my own travels that most nations are made up in the same way. Many beautiful/ simple people and achievements, but even more people who have an inflated sense of pride about their own greatness on the world stage.
The proudest nation I've lived in is Peru. I once asked a flag-waving Peruvian friend of mine why she was proud to be Peruvian, and she simply answered 'because I'm from Peru.'
The country's independence from the Spanish Conquistadors is celebrated wildly, although the unfair system of wealth and senseless religious rituals brought by their genocidal oppressors are still followed without question. Peru still has booming trades in human trafficking and baby organs, and many people live in abject, hopeless poverty. So why the national pride? Not only in Peru, but in any country where injustice and unfair wealth distribution rule. What do we really have to be proud of, and who are we really helping to prosper?

I don't have any bulletproof answers. But if I don't suggest anything here then I run the risk of being dismissed because I 'point out the problems without suggesting any solutions'. Of course, if I do suggest changes, I run the risk of  being called an arrogant, deluded smart arse, and having my ideas ripped to shreds out of principle. So it goes, so it goes.

Disclaimer: this advice is mostly aimed at Generation X, whose buying power and lack of media savvy still enables politicians and businesses to get away with shit that seems ridiculous to younger generations. To any British baby boomers reading this - I don't think that I'm it nor do I fancy myself. I'm not a hippy and I do have a job. I am content to be British and also aware of the freedoms and privileges that this affords me. I do know that I'm born and I continuously strive to know my arse from my elbow. I won't attempt to describe exactly how our political and financial systems are fucking us over because smarter people than me have already done that.

A) Open your home - an Englishman's home is his castle, but there's no reason to pour boiling tar on everybody that crosses the threshold. Meet and greet students, tourists, neighbours, visitors from other countries. Talk to, and learn from, living breathing people, rather than the TV. Websites such as BeWelcome and Couchsurfing are great tools for being able to meet and greet foreign visitors, and to be met and hosted when travelling abroad yourself. Don't believe scare stories about immigration (what happened to that deluge of Romanian criminals that were going to flood our streets in 2008?) or misleading 'news' stories about Chinese people eating babies. The media don't want you to like foreign people (unless they're trying to sell you a holiday) because they want to continue being your special friend, the only friend who can give you a true scope of what a dangerous place the world is. A global solution is required for a global problem, and we can't work towards that until we're in touch with people/ groups from other countries. The recent Anonymous Million Mask March protest, although largely ignored / ludicrously demonised by the mainstream media and derided by cynics as having achieved nothing, did show that people all over the world can use social media to communicate effectively and come together under a single cause. And that's a start.
In a note to his young children, Che Guevara once said “Always be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed against anyone, anywhere in the world.” 

B) Get involved - campaigning for things that matter to you is often as easy as clicking the 'sign' button. For example, if you've ever used, worked for or benefited from the NHS, the NHS should matter to you. Right now it's being attacked and dismantled by people who are rich enough not to need it. Campaign groups like Avaaz and 38 degrees run campaigns that pressure politicians to actually listen to the will of the general population before acting in parliament. If you attend a protest/ march in person, dress up like you would if you were going to attend an interview. Then, armchair detractors would be forced to try and find flaws in your argument rather than just your wardrobe.

C) Stop watching and reading the mainstream news media. Ninety percent of mainstream news is either political spin, made-up celebrity tittle tattle or stories taken out of context to provoke fear, anger and hatred. Also, the people who own newspapers think that you're stupid, and pay copy writers (not journalists) to print a daily barrage of shit that they would never read themselves, nor give to their privately educated children to read. They laugh at you whilst sitting legs akimbo in a Jacuzzi, greedily savouring the stench of their own rancid fart bubbles. Probably.
If you have a news habit ('I just flick it on for background noise, I don't listen to it') then try signing up to a free Vipassana meditation course and living in monastic silence for 10 days. It's amazing how clear your head becomes when it isn't full of misinformation and verbal diarrhea.

D) Don't vote in political elections unless you know what you're voting for. Reading the papers doesn't help inform your opinion, in fact, it misinforms you, which is even worse. We live in a de-mock-racy where the papers bring validation to the idea that the three leading parties actually represent a choice. My old Gran once told me that she'd always voted Conservative 'because my Dad always did'. And yet her principles actually go against everything that the Conservatives stand for. Understanding what you're voting for is a dull, dry and time-consuming process of looking at things like the policies, voting history and private donors held by your candidate. Mainstream media won't help you with that, and yet, voting without knowing these things is like driving before having a single driving lesson, or performing brain surgery with your fists. If you really want to exercise your hard-earned right to vote but don't know who to vote for, just turn up on the day and draw an incredibly detailed cock and balls on the ballot paper. Then no-one can say that you didn't make an effort.

E) Allow politicians & public figures to be honest. It doesn't matter if they had an affair or smoked weed when they were at university. It does matter if they're a cynical, media-whoring toff who laughs in the face of humanity every time they privately 'dine' with a party donor.

F) Teach 'bullshit awareness' to your children. Or better still, campaign for 'media awareness' or 'political spin' to become obligatory subjects of the GCSE curriculum. For example improving public services actually means selling public services to companies who will slowly and relentlessly raise the price of using them. A politician inviting opinions of supermarket workers is actually formulating a photo opportunity for the rags that scum like to read. 

The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey are beautiful, historic buildings that represent historic ideas. But today, they operate as leather-panelled symbols of old money, old thinking and resistance to change. Things will change once this ruling generation dies out, but that will take decades, and in that time, they will continue to stockpile wealth, rape our national resources and enforce misery on the marginal parts of our society.

But I'm ready to march on Westminster whenever you are. Because, as people are slowly coming to realise all over the country, it's high time that we turned Westminster into a museum of the way that things used to be done.

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For more satire, travel articles and micro-fiction, like Sam's facebook page, The Daily Guttersnipe.

28 comments:

Craig Smith said...

Excellent article Sam with many worthy points. I think at the end of the day, we need to engage with the average man / woman in the street and educate, educate, educate. Many people come to the truth in different ways. Some through the realisation on banking scams, others through environmental to humanitarian issues, suppressed technology or the nature of reality itself (that's me!).

I've reposted this article on a number of FB sites including David Icke and TPV amongst others.

Craig, Derbyshire

Sam said...

Thanks for engaging, Craig.

Jon Mac said...

Personally, I think you covered everything clearly and succinctly.
Enjoyed your article...
Keep chipping away.
J.

Sam said...

Thanks Jon.

my heart said...

clearly laid out- but I think you missed ot the most defining feature of UK society- it's atomised. You nearly touched on it in the 'Disorganisation' section- but I think it needs it's own chapter. Atomisation- the feeling and belief that it's you (or your family at best) against the world- is both the result of capitalism and the necessary condition for its ongoing entrenchment. It's a vicious circle- the more alone and thus unsafe we feel the more we try to mitigate this through material means- consumerism, drinking, buying a bigger house/ car etc. Yet these things make us feel more alone. The pre-condition of revolution is a sense of solidarity... community. What these words mean is not only sharing good things but also be willing to lose something on the personal level for the greater good. Think of the people in Tahrir Square- they were willing to lose their time, their physical well being and even their lives for what they regarded as a greater good. This is much easier if you feel it has a chance of success- and it has a greater chance of success if people rise up together. But atomisation stops this process from happening, stops the flame from catching- instead you have 2 million people all sitting in their rooms blogging about how they feel the same way- but if asked to share their room for a night with another activist would probably baulk at it. Bismarck said the way to stop socialist revolution was to give the poor just enough comfort- and thus he invented the welfare state. The people in England have been born into atomisation, and feel more at home in the stark cold lighting of a supermarket aisle than sharing the fire of revolution. Like a baby that has been left to cry itself out annd now fears intimacy more than loneliness, the English are pyschologically afraid of reality. The industrial revolution started here and we've had this shit for 300 years now- longer than any race of earth. In the 17th and 18th century an internal colonisation took place in which the landed gentry privatised (enclosed) over 8 million acres of common land used by the poor for growing food, collecting fuel and grazing their livestock. These people were driven from the land, creating a rootless and landless peasantry who ended up becoming the proletariat. This was the first step in atomisation, a severing of bonds of communities, ancestral lands and memory. It also led to the creation of the sitautioj wehave today- the majority of people crammed into cities, whilst the rich own huge country estates. The results are plain to see: a culture that has lost touch with the greater holding of God, of nature, of community... and has forgotten that we are born free, not vassals of the state.

Jon Hughes said...

my heart - really good post.

Sam said...

Thanks for adding a new point, my heart. I wasn't aware of the term 'atomisation', but it does a succinct job of describing why I have an unconscious sense of frustration each time I see my family shut in their house watching Strictly Come Dancing. I noticed that people were very easily mobilised in Madrid during the 'Indignants' protests, and that's probably because there are always people out on the streets at night, socialising around the Puerta del Sol area.

pema said...

I am grateful to the Facebook friend who posted a link to this item. And I'm grateful to Sam for articulating at length what I have been saying in short, lazy paragraphs on FB for some time. Often I refer to The Great Poll Tax Riot when trying to raise the rabble to come together en masse and let the 1% know beyond a scintilla of doubt that We Have Had Enough -- erm correction -- We Have Had Too Much of your greed and corruption and too little caring for all sentient beings and sharing of the abundant resources of our magnificent planet. The Poll Tax Riot was Thatcher's nemesis. A mass occupation of Parliament Square would send a similar signal to the Cameron cabal and its corporate paymasters.

Sam said...

Thanks for your message! Another mass occupation of Parliament Square anyone? I'd love to see you all, it's been too long.

pema said...

It would have to be an ongoing mass occupation....Tahrir Sq style.Regardless of political/media propaganda and/or police brutality it would have to carry on for a long time. En masse. And every time there was an eviction another wave of occupiers would have to move in -- and probably things would get rough. It would not be an easy option.

mark turnbull said...

Great piece

Sam said...

Thanks Mark. Yeah pema - it wouldn't be easy. I think the most difficult thing is in realising why you should do it, and that it is possible to make a difference.

Louis said...

I think it's important to acknowledge that certain things that were seen as off the wall, hippy, unrealistically idealistic etc are now becoming common threads of consciousness, not commonplace because that's tabloids/x factor/ Get me out of here or just work get pissed get laid or beaten up. Those who are grown/ growing in consciousness have a responsibility which is also dare I say a joy to lead from the front by being becoming thinking expressing doing in a mutually conscious supportive way... Paul Hawken has shown us that we are part of a movement off maybe 500,000 of more unconnected movements/ groups and as such an inevitable immune response by the most powerful consciousnesses on the planet at Elliot in harmony with each other under the banner of righting wrongs... we are all Chomsky, Buckminster fuller Ghandi Buddha... let's keep on and enjoy the journey. I'm a 67 year old baby boomer who never really succeeded and is living on a state pension in a council flat, yet I am also rich in ideas that spring from a powerful under life and constantly expanding consciousness... do becoming an old miserable cunt is no longer an inevitable destination... actually for some it never was.

Louis said...

sorry smartphone typos... various minor typos plus:
at Elliott= don't know just cut out, still makes sense
under life= inner life

Sam said...

Thanks for your comments, Louis. Nice to see that you feel a positive change in the air... Stay rich!

wheatchaff said...

absolutely brilliant piece, full of humour and truth, thank you.

one disagreement - manmade climate change is another big con, same as 'we must bomb syria because syrians are killing syrians so we must help syrians die,' and 'fracking will solve our energy needs and not ruin the water supply and environment forever.'

co2 makes up 0.00038% of the atmosphere. the earth's climate changes naturally - there used to be no ice at the north pole. the earth has actually cooled slightly sicne 1996 - 17 years ago. they confuse the pollution issue with the mmgw con so peoiple still defend it.

peace & love & freedom.
oh, and next time someone wants you to be a smartarse and reel off 25 policies that would make a far better world and that we could implement today, send them here:

www.freebritain.org

Allen Lane said...

I am a 62 year old (retired on a good pension and not poor) My greatest desire is to see parliament surrounded by the people which if their were enough would persuade a need for a change. It happened with the poll tax and kinda of happened over the murder of Mark Duggan. It needs a catalyst Russell Brand might work, but it needs a 10 point plan that we all agree

Allen Lane said...

1. Abolish the bedroom tax, zero hour contracts, workfare and unpaid internships
2. Reinstate free Legal Aid for those who cannot afford to pay
3. Increase taxes for those who can afford to pay
4. Cancel Trident and destroy all nuclear and chemical weapons
5. Stop contributing to war
6. Bring back into Public ownership energy, water, transport and postal services
7. Insure all new buildings have solar panel and are built to German energy standards and Upgrade existing property to make them energy efficient
8. Stop pay day loans, bankers bonuses, cap property rentals
9. Introduce a living wage
10. Make political manifestos legally binding unless circumstances force change

Sam said...

Thanks for your feedback, Wheatchaff. I read a lot of George Monbiot's articles and have been persuaded about the threat of climate change through him, although I'm not a research scientist and can't say with certainty 'I've seen the data first hand and it all adds up.' Whatever the situation, I don't think that reducing Co2 emissions and environmental waste can be a bad thing.

Allen - thanks for your comments, a great core of demands that I'd happily call my own.

I'd also add

11. Regulate the mainstream media and make media corporations legally accountable for what they print. Add obligatory Media Awareness & Politics classes to the GCSE curriculum.
12. Develop a political system that focuses on ideals, and takes money interests out of politics.

Mr Spinoza said...

I agree with much of what you said except for the part where you advise people to protest at the polling station by spunking the vote up the wall with a silly drawing. Its much better to help us at NOTA get NONE OF THE ABOVE on the ballot papers and support those of us willing to stand in the 2015 election.
There is no doubt that people now realise that the political elites don't serve the people they serve the banksters, the hand above them and we the people need to change that.
The first thing to do is really Nationalise the Banks and stop allowing individuals to create and control the money. Instruct HM Treasury to create it and distribute it interest free then we can abolish all Taxation or just Tax the corporations who are currently exploiting the system and evading billions in taxes. We need to fix the system its not broken it works for the few to the detriment of the many.

http://notavote.co.uk/regional-admin/

“The hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency: their sole object is gain.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Sam said...

Thanks for your comment and your constructive solution, NOTAvote.
If somebody signs up to stand for you in the election, where do they get the money for leaflets and promotional material from? Do you have a plan for eliciting positive press from the mainstream media? I imagine it would be very difficult to get a fraction of the publicity that connected MPs (or celebrities) get in the run up to an election, and I suspect that most people in the UK simply vote for the most recognisable face come election day. Good luck with your campaign, though. Sam

Gemma Peter said...

Right to recall MPs.

Chay Gevaragh said...

@Sam - an excellent articulate piece, and I do believe the biggest task is the 'evolution of consciousness' as you put it. The sad truth is that our species is barely sapient, despite our label Homo sapiens. Living mostly below the level of consciousness, we are all too easily oppressed by sly overlords who have the necessary psychopathy to hoodwink us into servility and apathy.

In the absence of a great awakening of consciousness, which may take centuries if we manage to survive the maiming of the biosphere, we can only take short-term measures - and the 'None Of The Above' movement seems a highly sensible step forward - no matter how arduous it may be to get enough people to tick the NOTA box on the ballot paper. A journey of a thousand miles... etc etc.

Sam said...

Eh? What did you say, Chay, I can't quite hear you over this exciting new hat I bought today.
:-)

Ren Delf said...

Thanks, Sam and Co.

I succinct and humble piece that resonates with me. Shared.

There is a change afoot... but people do tend to surround themselves with like-minded friends. When I look around, I see an England ripe for it... but then, if I foray out into the world, I'm often horrified by the things that people say.

As someone upstream said: educate. Raising conciousness by an ocean of communication that floods out the media blanket.

Peas and Fluff!

Sam said...

Thanks for your comment, Ren. My time in the UK is usually spent in complete isolation from like-minded people, and I quite often get into trouble for attempting to 'educate' (being an opinionated smartarse). I've learnt to do it very slyly and subtly! Sam

Drew Ashworth-Clements said...

Good list, id add one more though...

*revise national curriculum & make all eduaction free

Sam said...

A good sentiment Drew, thanks for the suggestion.