From the mid-1990s until last year we apparently lived through a period of prosperity, an economic boom. Apparently the economy was growing, lots of people were getting incredibly rich and average incomes were going up.
But how the hell could anyone tell? For most of us, prosperity meant stagnating real wages, and in the last few years a gentle decline in spending power as inflation accelerated with oil prices. Normal people couldn´t buy houses, couldn´t rent good ones either, they racked up massive debts, their pensions collapsed, they worked harder and longer for the same rewards. Their kids were getting a worse education, their public services were getting cut, packaged, sold-off, then jumping in price. They could see the state of their society deteriorating around them, as whole parts of the country were abandoned to antisocialism.
Meanwhile a small class of super wealthy arseholes systematically enriched themselves. They got the spoils of the ´boom´ and got absurdly, disgustingly rich. And we were told: leave them. Leave them or they´ll leave you. These people are financial heroes, they keep the whole thing from collapsing. If you challenge them, even for a fraction of their enormous wealth, they will give their marvellous bounty to someone else. They will pack up their ball and go home.
Don´t ask them for your wage increases, don´t ask them to pay taxes, don´t demand that their pay packets be within the bounds of basic human decency. For they are the geese that lay the golden egg, and they will take no questions, they will take no interference. Learn to love them, for their are your God.
And we obeyed. We took the paltry pay rises, we let them off their taxes, we stopped our mouths from uttering foul words that might offend the mighty beast.
And now? And now the great God has failed, his world is collapsing around him, and he comes to us to pay the bill. You: on the dole. You: take a pay cut. You: take this cut to health services and that cut to schools. You: slave labour for your dole check. Him: billions of pounds from the Chancellor of the Exchequer so his Empire doesn´t fall flat on its arse.
See, he can´t magic money out of nowhere, he doesn´t create anything. We made all the stuff he´s got, we made it in factories, offices and hospitals. And when it stops working he can only demand that we make it work again. All he does is sit at the top of the pile and accumulate whatever he can.
He had no right to it in the first place, and he´s got no right to it now. If the law says he does, then the law is fucked-up. And if we, the real law of the land, come along and destroy it, fine.
Better yet. While destruction might satisfy our need for revenge, surely taking it back will satisfy more?
Red Riding 1980 (2009)
23 hours ago