Party Game Is Over. Stand And fight.
By John Pilger
In his latest column
for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the
disenchantment with parliamentary politics as the British
"coalition" government pursues its devotion to 'an extreme
political cult of money worship'. He suggests there is
only one course of action now.
Rise like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number.
Shake your chains to earth like dew.
Which in sleep has fallen on you.
Ye are many Ė they are few.
days, the stirring lines of Percy Shelley's The Mask of Anarchy
may seem unattainable. I donít think so. Shelley was both a
Romantic and political truth-teller. His words resonate now
because only one political course is left to those who are
disenfranchised and whose ruin is announced on a government
Born of the "never again" spirit of 1945, social democracy in
Britain has surrendered to an extreme political cult of money
worship. This reached its apogee when £1 trillion of public
money was handed unconditionally to corrupt banks by a Labour
government whose leader, Gordon Brown, had previously described
"financiers" as the nation's "great example" and his personal
This is not to say Parliamentary politics is meaningless.
They have one meaning now: the replacement of democracy by a
business plan for every human activity, every dream, every
decency, every hope, every child born. The old myths of
British rectitude, imperial in origin, provided false comfort
while the Blair gang, assisted by venal MPs, finished Thatcherís
work and built the foundation of the present "coalition". This
is led by a former PR man for an asset stripper and by a bagman
who will inherit his knighthood and the tax-avoided fortune of
his father, the 17th Baronet of Ballentaylor. David Cameron and
George Osborne are essentially fossilised spivs who, in colonial
times, would have been sent by their daddies to claim foreign
terrain and plunder.
Today, they are claiming 21st century Britain and imposing their
vicious, antique ideology, albeit served as economic snake oil.
Their designs have nothing to do with a "deficit crisis". A
deficit of 10 per cent is not remotely a crisis. When Britain
was officially bankrupt at the end of the second world war, the
government built its greatest public institutions, such as the
National Health Service and the great arts edifices of London's
There is no economic rationale for the assault described
cravenly by the BBC as a "public spending review". The debt is
exclusively the responsibility of those who incurred it, the
super-rich and the gamblers. However, that's beside the point.
What is happening in Britain is the seizure of an opportunity to
destroy the tenuous humanity of the modern state. It is a coup,
a "shock doctrine" as applied to Pinochet's Chile and Yeltsin's
In Britain, there is no need for tanks in the streets. In its
managerial indifference to the freedoms it is said to hold dear,
bourgeois Britain has allowed parliament to create a
surveillance state with 3,000 new criminal offences and laws:
more than for the whole of the previous century. Powers of
arrest and detention have never been greater. The police have
the impunity to kill; asylum seekers can be "restrained" to
death on commercial flights and should fellow passengers object,
anti-terrorism laws will deal with them. Abroad, British
militarism colludes with torturers and death squads.
The playwright Athol Fugard is right. With Harold Pinter gone,
no acclaimed writer or artist dare depart from their well
remunerated vanity. With so much in need of saying, they have
nothing to say. Liberalism, the vainest ideology, has hauled up
its ladder. The chief opportunist, Nick Clegg, leader of the
minority Liberal Democrats, gave no electoral hint of his odious
faction's compliance with the dismantling of much of British
post-war society. The theft of £83bn in jobs and services
matches almost exactly the amount of tax legally avoided by
piratical corporations like Rupert Murdoch's. Without
fanfare, the super-rich have been assured they can dodge £40bn
in tax payments in the secrecy of Swiss banks. The day this was
sewn up, Osborne attacked those who "cheat" the welfare system.
He omitted the real amount lost, a minuscule £0.5bn, and that
£10.5bn in benefit payments were not claimed at all. The
Labour Party is his silent partner.
The propaganda arm in the press and broadcasting dutifully
presents this as unfortunate but necessary. Mark how the
fire-fighters' action is "covered". On Channel 4 News, following
an item that portrayed modest, courageous public servants as
basically reckless, the presenter Jon Snow demanded that the
leaders of the London Fire Authority and the Fire Brigades Union
go straight from the studio and "mediate" now, this minute.
"I'll get the taxis!" he declared. Forget the thousands of jobs
that are to be eliminated from the fire service and the public
danger beyond Bonfire Night. Knock their jolly heads together.
"Good stuff!" said the presenter.
Ken Loach's 1980s documentary series, Questions of Leadership,
opens with a sequence of earnest young trade unionists on
platforms, exhorting the masses. They are then shown older,
florid, self-satisfied and finally adorned in the ermine of the
House of Lords. Once, at a Durham Miners' Gala, I asked Tony
Woodley, now the joint general secretary of Unite, "Isnít the
problem the clockwork collaboration of the union leadership?" He
almost agreed, implying that the rise of bloods like himself
would change that. The British Airways' cabin crew strike, over
which Woodley presides, is said to have made gains. Has it?
And why haven't the British unions risen as one against
totalitarian laws that place free trade unionism in a vice?
The BA workers, the fire-fighters, the council workers, the post
office workers, the NHS workers, the London Underground staff,
the teachers, the lecturers, the students can more than match
the French if they are resolute and imaginative, forging, with
the wider social justice movement, potentially the greatest
popular resistance ever. Look at the web; and listen to the
public's support at fire stations. There is no other way now.
Direct action. Civil disobedience. Unerring. Read Shelley and do
article is at:
Also by John Pilger at WGFT website:
A Postal Strike In Britain Is
The War At Home
BABBLING BULLSHIT (Politicians-Media)
Fake Faith And Epic Crimes - By
Politics of Bollocks - By John Pilger
Irving - editor of WGFT News - I
this BBC News graphic about Gordon
Brown... I changed the
words a little. Mad Gordon Brown was
very New World Order-ish:
Gathering and the 100th Monkey
and Introduction to World Gathering