Sunday, 30 October 2011

UK 1066 (and all that!) - 2012 (and all this!)


Christina came for tea. We spoke of the conditions in this country. The rich. The poor. The wars. The national bankruptcy. She told me that a teacher friend of hers suddenly found that his local authority was stopping all teachers' holiday pay, so that he would get paid for only 10 months of the year, and no longer for the whole year of 12 months. So his pay was being cut by 1/6th. She spoke of the preparations for the new scholastic year that teachers had to make during the holidays. I spoke of a teacher's need for a holiday, after a year’s psychically demanding and responsible work. Additionally, I thought that, as the local authority wanted a teacher to be available again for the following scholastic year, he should, contractually, legally, be getting a retainer fee, i e his paid holiday!

Then Christina asked me what I thought the future held for this country. I said I had no idea; I had no picture at all in my mind of the future. But of the present, and of the past, I said I deeply resented the governments – note my plural! – for always pursuing polices of favouring the rich versus the poor; of favouring the owners versus the rent payers; for pursuing policies that involved hugely expensive wars all over the world, instead of minding the country's own business; and I deeply resented the government for now acting with the grossest indelicacy, and most indecent haste, in instituting violent cuts indiscriminately, so that the cure for the entirely man-made economic problem turns out to be far worse than the disease itself. That augurs ill for the future fo this country, so I suppose that means that I DO have a picture in my mind of what the future holds for this country, and that picture is that, without a drastic change of policy, things will certainly go from bad to worse. And that drastic change of policy can come about only if the people of this country stopped being so bloody tolerant, if they stopped tolerating the evil and the folly perpetrated by the politicians, and by the bankers, and by those in power generally. Dont blame only the rioters. Blame those who create the conditions that cause us to HAVE rioters, that cause us to BE rioters... Please dub this my blog, admittedly concocted alone, and in the warm comfort of my home, politically riotous!!!

I did a Brecht play in ’68, the Exception and the Rule. Its theme was that we can change things, that they don’t need to automatically go on in the same old deadly way, that they dont need to go from bad to worse, that they can be steered into altogether happier waters. But that would require action. By us all. But the momentum that keeps things in this country going in the same relentless direction arises from the fact that there hasnt been any significant changes of power since 1066. My friends: It’s nearly 2012!!!

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