The older I become, the richer in experience, for the good or the bad; it’s life’s general accumulation of what we all go through I do suppose and in our many different ways; on a winding road, over a hill, down in a valley even sometimes dampened and washed out to sea our dreams may appear to float away like drifting discarded wood tangled-up in the green sea grass, a confused mass and mess to a great many.
The trouble is for most of my own political life I have run into more foes than friends as a socialist; even had a fight with someone who called me a communist in a uncomplimentary manner which is something I’m not really proud of even today all these many years latter. But I have become accustom to the cat calls; he’s a communist, and as it used to be in the 70s ‘why don’t you just fuck off to Russia’ (Soviet Union as it then was), but glad to say not so much now following the demise of the latter. It made things hard work explaining that I really didn’t support the Soviet model as a blueprint and plan for others to follow. Those of you that were around in the 70s may well recall the vilification of people like Tony Benn, Eric Heffer and many others at the hands of the
Feet Street paper barons.
Do you remember how the trade unions were supposedly holding the country to ransom the capitalist press wrote about it all the time, like the winter of discontent? The ingredients that provoked the widespread stoppage of work by thousands of British workers in the winter of 1978-79 began with the Labour government of James Callaghan's attempt to enforce limits on pay rises to curb inflation. Inflation had reached a height of nearly 26.9% in August 1975. In the same year Harold Wilson's Labour government, wanting to avoid increasingly large levels of unemployment agreed a voluntary incomes policy with the TUC that would cap pay increases for workers at limits set by the government. We all do well to remember that the government of that time and Labour announced a limit on wage rises of £6 per week for all workers earning under £8,500 a year on July 11 and the TUC general council voted in favour of the proposals. Further limits on pay increases were proposed by the government through 1976 and in July of 1977 it was announced that free collective bargaining between employers and unions would be slowly phased back in. I have to laugh when I hear people go on about ‘Old Labour’ but the truth is that they were no different in some respects to ‘New Labour’.
Now this post is not really about knocking New or Old Labour about in the political ring, after all they do a good enough job themselves and without my help.
My last post a guest post that I felt I had to simply put up in regard to the preparations being made to nail down to the floor the most venerable in our society, and along with those many more possibly tens of thousands who through no fault of their own have fallen onto the propellers of hard times, and what an indictment of the class war now being waged, that the government anticipates a wave of possible and potential suicides because of mass unemployment and austerity.
But what I really want to talk about, or rather write about is the impact of the hardship that is now coming down on people that I move and live amongst here in
Canning Town, which for those that don’t know is in Newham, East London. I have sat here behind my desk and in front of my computer frequently and regularly for the last four years writing, blogging, tweeting and trying to propagate the Socialist case which is not by any means a waste of time, but it’s not the same as the physical contact, the engagement to be had with those on the receiving end, and of course the gathering of information, understanding and hearing from the downtrodden, abused and oppressed. Science and Socialism have always gone together, how can we start to build a movement or advocate a better world without first understanding how the modern inequalities of capitalism affect those around us? To build a case we must first research our project the world of capitalism in our community or wherever we are, at work, school or college, all part of the great design and scheme of things, and then plan with others a strategy the aim to make an effect that will bring about action for change that hopefully wins over many more to our side and Socialism. This of course is no easy route, time consuming and much patience along with good-natured tolerance is required. What I am talking about is reaching-out to those whom may not normally get involved or put it another way have been dissuaded and deterred.
There is a class war going on and being waged against those that have nothing in comparison to those that have everything the best homes, food, medication, education and the material wealth at the expense of the majority, and further more they intend to hold on to it, and we the majority will pay a very high price unless we fight back, we must organise we must come together like never before.
We live in a class society. We can't wish that away or pretend like small children that if we can't see it that it can't affect us. Class politics remains the key to uniting the overwhelming majority of the world's people in the fight for a new and classless society.
To be continued…