After decades of a Labour Party that subordinates human need to “gaining the nation’s trust” – read: “gaining a mild toning down of Murdoch and Rothermere vitriol so we can get our responsible arses back into number ten“ – on stewardship of “the economy”, all progressives woke this morning with a spring in their step and joy in their heart. This morning a friend emailed: “I take your point about class struggle … But after witnessing the last few years of neoliberalism, I would rather have social democracy. So I feel full of joy and optimism.”
No quarrel with me, brother. All I’d add is that the two aren’t separable. The decline of social democracy was aided immeasurably by the fall of the Soviet Union. The social contract has been incrementally torn up and tossed aside – by the so far winning side of class struggle – ever since.
So what? So this: the fightback for decency has just begun. For evil to prevail, the saying goes, it’s only necessary that good people do nothing. If all we do is pour a large scotch, slap one another on the back and wait for Jezza to make things better, we can expect the shafting Greece has just had. In my somewhat pessimistic post of August 19 I went through options for change – leftwing government … marx-leninism … radical movements like Occupy – and concluded all were flawed. But another friend responded: “not so despairing as you about parl. democ: I think it can sometimes deliver if there is very strong extra-parliamentary pressure put on it.”
She just might be right, and we have to give it a shot. It’s the only game in town. Did you feel a surge of joy on Saturday? Then take Sunday off, like the good book says. Come Monday there’s work to do: TTIP protest … union involvement … mobilising against ‘austerity’, bombs and casualisation … pestering friend, colleague and casual acquaintance by email, blog and carrier pigeon to counter a deafening chorus that would scare, bully and cajole us into accepting, in the name of prudence and moderation, the flat out unacceptable from the flat out unacceptable.
Jezza can’t do it alone – not even if he does get his arse into number ten.