Ok. Enough is enough. I’ve listened to your thoughts for quite a while now. I’ve watched you on Newsnight. I’ve heard you on the Today program and read about your views in the Independent. Now I want you to stop. Partly because you’re sounding ridiculous. But mostly because I’m right and you’re wrong.
I’m talking about this mass media burble of a mix of the political /student/activist/opportunist/columnist/ twitter-chatter and disconnected opinion. It’s all pervading. Whatever the subject there is this incoherent babble of argument that could be punctured in a moment if the whole thing was a proper discussion instead of a fight, purporting to be a serious discussion show.
Whether its on Workfare. On ‘The Cuts’. On Human rights. Salaries. Tax rates. Spending. Foreign aid. Interventions in other lands. Unions. Health Provision or ‘capitalism’. Please…Be quiet. Shhh…Just STFU for a minute.
Because I keep hearing the most ill informed, ill thought through, politically motivated, hysterical garbage pouring from the radio and TV speakers. So – just zip it, Ok?
Because there’s no point to it all unless someone finally says A is right and B is wrong.
Since the BBC can’t by charter and Sky seem unwilling and no one trusts newspaper columnists anymore, it will have to be me.
So – firstly. #Mr Occupy. Lets do capitalism. Seems only fair as its the title of the blog. Capitalists and work. Not something very much in evidence down at Finsbury Park.
Capitalism and all that. It’s a terrible thing and is doing its evil to society. Some people have more than other people and some people didn’t do much to get a lot more than others. Some were given money and some got a bailout and yada, yada, yada.
But if I can just point out this:
That awful,uncaring, heartless society. What does it actually ask from you as an individual? Not very much. And what does it do for you? Quite a lot.
The callous capitalist west is happy to house you if you want to be housed. It will educate for free from 3 -18 years. It will attend to your medical needs, cradle to grave, regardless of what you do to your own body. It agrees to protect you from hostile countries with a military and from hostile fellow citizens with a police force, whether or not you yourself are a criminal. If you catch on fire it will send someone round to put you out. It will have a justice system to ensure you are fairly treated and will provide a lawyer for you if you need one. The state doesn’t care what religion you are. What you call yourself. What you wear or where you travel. The state will provide infrastructure every citizen may use regardless of how much taxation that individual has contributed to its development. Anyone may use terminal 5 or New Street station or the M25. . It will give you money every week and ask only that you sign for it once every month. More money if you’re ill. Or if its cold. When you’re sixty five or sixty eight it will give you more money if you have never saved or earned any any of your own.
It won’t even ask you what you’re doing with the cash. It will let you spend it on cigarettes, booze, Cheesy Whatsits, gambling or an E Harmony subscription. The state doesn’t care.
It won’t demand you serve in the military or a national service labour scheme. It doesn’t even ask you to give blood or take part in medical experiments. Or sweep up the streets or even just sign an agreement that you promise only to say nice things about the government.
And that’s just a democratic government. Capitalism adds choice. Technology. Medical advances. Communications. Longevity. Energy. Transportation. Travel. Comfort.
The whole of civilisation has been a struggle to secure enough food to eat and enough shelter to survive. Once mankind has those then life expectancy and general health and happiness increase. China, even after all their recent advances and wealth, is currently only at our 1948 standard of living levels in a direct comparison with the UK. Africa is not even in the 20th century.
That puts YOU, my camping friends, way ahead of 925 million Africans. Ahead of many of the 1 billion Indians. 143 million Russians and 81 million Egyptians might think that’s a sweet deal.
1.5 billion Chinese might ask if you have to have a child, as they do, to give you an income in old age. They might be amazed to learn that the state will pay you a sum for eighteen years if you have a child. It will provide birth facilities and free healthcare at any cost and pay for nursery care from 3 years of age. And the evil money grabbing employers will pay the mother a salary for 39 weeks and will keep their job open for her all that time in case she wants to have it back. The mum isn’t even required to say whether she plans to return to work.
The 112 million Mexicans might wonder if you HAVE to promise to vote for the president of the party to get all those benefits. They might be surprised to learn that you don’t even have to vote at all.
46 million Colombians might wonder how long a person could stay on unemployment benefit, in a state paid for house. With their children educated and their council tax and national insurance paid for. They might be surprised to learn that there is no time limit.
76 million Iranians might wonder how restrictive all the state and religious laws are? Be a shock to find out that any sex, race, religion or dress code goes. And everyone, regardless of gender, is treated equally.
So, Occupy and fellow travellers. Give it a rest. It isn’t that bad. Even when the cuts really do take hold your cheque will still come. Your home or alternative bedsit accommodation will be available. Your milk vouchers will still be accepted. You won’t be asked to do anything or even to justify your lifestyle. And of all the thousands of laws in the land probably only ‘no smoking inside public places’ and ‘no camping in the street’ really effect you at all. Oh, and maybe the one about our borders.
Because if you really can’t take this western, capitalist, neoclassical, oppressive Hell hole any more it’s going to cost you £77.50, plus £4 for photos and 58p for a stamp for a passport to escape.
Bill Quango MP