|Warning: Fantasists and Deceivers at Work!||Ian Buckley looks at some of the recent effusions from the New Labour Spin-Factory|
During recent months, Britain has seen mass protest by Vauxhall car workers in Luton and Ellesmere Port. These demonstrations weren't about pay or working conditions, but rather were concerned with security and continued existence of jobs at those plants. Insecurity and de-industrialisation caused by globalisation and privatisation are the overwhelming worries now, and the prime causes of any alleged industrial militancy, especially among car and steel workers, air-traffic controllers and postal employees.
But David Blunkett, head man for Education and Employment, writes that:-
Reassured that there is much more of this appalling guff but I'll spare readers from it. But why then, if this is so, are all the Vauxhall car-builders so terrified about loosing their employment, granted, that the work they do is often heavy, tedious and relatively poorly-paid. After all Blunkett has said that there are all these multitudes of easy well-paid jobs around.
It seems surprising that the Vauxhall workers haven't departed en masse to fill all these abundant well-paid vacancies that apparently exist all over the place. Six thousand redundant Welsh steel workers have no reason to feel depressed, or to mutter darkly about the destruction of entire communities. We should believe Blunkett in that, he is confident that hundreds of successful internet companies are waiting to offer work to these jobless unfortunates. As in other cases that also come to mind, we may ask New Labour what Mr Blunkett says is really true, why does he find it necessary to shout about it so often and so loudly?
Blunket's insistence on compulsion to force the recalcitrant into bogus cheap-labour schemes is ridiculous, given his own arguments. Such matters weren't necessary in the 'fifties and 'sixties when there really were all those jobs available, so why should they be needed now? All sheer rotten fantasy and pretence and the counterfeit politicians make reassuring noises about prosperity while the financial vultures rip the carcass of British industry apart.
In fact, as is the case with Blair, Blunkett doesn't even write his own purported words; that honour belongs to his party's press secretary Alistair Campbell, former Mirror hack and major contributor to Forum porn magazine [he made up the letters]. The day dreams he records have certainly changed over the years, but rest assured they are still pretty weird. Didn't these people also try to tell us that the dismal Millennium Dome would be a fantastic success - the self-same Dome that's now a semi-derelict embarrassment and is being sold off piecemeal for a fraction of its true value.
Fiasco of the Dome
Mr Blair [or is it Mr Campbell?], I fling your own words back at you: "... it [the Millennium Dome] embodies the spirit of confidence and adventure in Britain and the spirit of the future in the world." But auctioneers Henry Butcher are presently in charge of selling off the exhibits and equipment from the Dome - including some parts of the Body Zone, which is too big to dismantle completely. John Cowing, director of the auctioneers has said: "We will be selling the heart, the brains, and the pubic lice from the Body Zone." Something oddly symbolic about that last sentence, I feel... Nearly a billion pounds spent on a disaster, while pensioners freeze. Were not the brains and heart sold off years ago?
Fewer jobs in industry
At least Campbell/Blunkett do concede there are fewer jobs in the traditional industries. Normal folk know that such phrases are euphemistic code for acres of crumbled brickwork in Stoke-on-Trent, or for largish trees growing out of the side of former Merseyside factories. Blunkett doesn't note that bogus self-employment has been forced upon huge numbers of workers, who are now deprived of sick pay, holidays, bonuses or overtime, as they're turned into one-man bands selling off their contract labour to the highest bidder. But why should the bigwigs worry when they can feather their own nests? As well as scraping by on £96,500 salary plus expenses, socialist Blunkett also makes £700 a month by renting out his former home, while he enjoys free accommodation in a luxury flat paid by the taxpayer. Not bad for someone who reached his mid fifties without having had a proper job. Nor is he the only firebrand socialist to discover the delights of unfettered capitalism, his fellow Minister Michael Meacher owning at least eight(!) homes.
You know, once we had Tories constructing a fantasy castle of a proud and prosperous Britain, while the real country continued to dissolve into a welter of crime, drug and industrial decline. Now New Labour behave exactly the same, while the Tories are permitted to make a few sensible comments. The two main parties are irrelevant. The real government stays in power all the time, and the nominal ruling party just assists in pushing the destruction agenda that's stayed the same for years.
Would that those words could knock all of these people out of their accustomed state of dazed and weary dreaming, albeit accompanied by occasional grumbles as they drift along. Why did this generation sleep on when low politicians and businessmen destroyed so much of the society that our ancestors spent centuries building, all just for an inconsequential handful of gold?
Like Government ministers - the so-called quality newspapers have also largely retreated into a world of low-grade fantasy, while perhaps maintaining a couple of interesting old-style columnists apiece. Slick and empty material, it's language drawn from the world of advertising and public relations, forms the noxious padding occupying 90 per cent of the pages. A new sort of non-journalism has become dominant, with scarcely anyone much caring or even noticing.
Influence of television
Television is even worse in this regard, with its emphasis on prurience, morbid spectacles and wall-to-wall sport. Mind you, repeats of old football matches from twenty on thirty years ago do have certain points of interest. In those days footballers tended to look like normal people and didn't have that disconcerting resemblance to mutants from another planet that they so often do today. One such clean-cut player was Liverpool's Steve Heighway, whom a commentator was keen to point out as a very sensible chap. This was because Heighway didn't just have to rely on insecure football but had a career as a teacher to fall back upon. But now a complete social reversal has occurred in quite a short span of time: the football players make millions, while the poorly-paid teachers are harassed, demoralised or even driven to suicide by a crumbling educational system.
Those who have a sense of history and are able to see the bigger picture will be reminded of the final days of the Roman Empire, when the ignorant plebs worked themselves into a frenzy over some fashionable charioteer or gladiator (Bread and Circuses), while corruption flourished within and the barbarians approached the gates outside. The most venal, corrupt and incompetent government in our history - a title which every successive government of recent years seems to merit - is quite satisfied with this prevailing state of illusion and self-deception. So it is our great task to begin the awakening of Britain, thus halting and reversing the drift to destruction and setting the nation on the road to recovery.