While the race to see which nation can drop more bombs to “degrade” and eradicate the elusive and brutal ISIL gang continue to dazzle us across our media screens and the deadly Ebola virus seems to only now make news and touch our consciousness when there are western victims involved, here in the UK the Tory Party at its recently concluded Convention in Birmingham has launched their agenda to win our hearts and votes with their strapline of “securing a better future”. One can be excused for being cynical about any suggestion from governments about securing anything given, our track record for creating more insecurity, fear and for selfish motivations. The ordinary punters on the streets in Britain forced-fed with a staple diet of fear be it about Europe, muslims, terrorists, migrants, deadly diseases from geographical corners of the dead continue to grumble but largely looking on zombie-like having so internalised the “keep calm mantra” and “don’t panic” mantra.
So what about the Tory’s promise of securing a better future? Well readers can make up their own minds but in a nutshell (with a warning that you should read the speeches and presentations yourself), here are just a few of the promises:
- that rulings by the European Court of Human Rights would be ignored with the pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act – to be replaced by a new British bill of rights (re-crafted in the image of the Tories).
- that there would restrictions on the freedom of movement within the EU at any renegotiation plans before a suggested referendum in 2017.
- dealing with “fiscal drag” by announcing the threshold at which the 40% tax rate is paid would be raised, bringing fairness to tax (yes, this is no joke!)
- that there will be more cuts (a further 3% amounting to £7bn) most likely to affect the public sector (one wonders whether the notion of fairness would be deployed here!)
- that of more anti-terror laws – for instance to ban non-violent extremists from television and protests which raises a bundle of questions on the freedom of speech and democracy
Are you starting to feel more secure, if you are British and living in the UK?
Welcome to our new world of fear, fences and fibs. In the meantime, you may or may not have noticed that the soundtrack (not the political sound-bites!!) accompanying the Tory Party’s autumn conference was from a band called the killers. This, of course, is intended to make us all feel secure, especially the chorus “I’ve got soul” probably intended to whip up our enthusiasm.
The reality is that it takes a lot of searching among the rubble and rubbish to find any soul. And speaking of rubble, rubbish and soul, I was delighted to read George Monbiot’s observation on how “the humanitarian argument” advanced in our recent parliamentary debate raises serious questions as to the limit of where next governmenst would consider dropping their deadly and expensive bombs. As he noted: “the humanitarian argument…if consistently applied, could be used to flatten the entire Middle East and west Asia. By this means you could end all human suffering, liberating the people of these regions from the vale of tears in which they live”. Evil will be wiped out “by the destroying angels of the west”.
It is strange what our ‘air-shows by ‘boys with destructive toys’ are doing, not the least to galvanise and bring together rival and disparate groups of ‘marauding terror agents’ (also boys with toys). What are we actually perpetuating in the name of peace? When will the next ‘so called moderate group’ which we arm turn the weapons we have provided them upon us? What lessons have we learned? It seems that we have either lost the ability to learn and/or are unteachable. Whatever has become of our moral conscience in this never ending theatre of errors and tragedy?
Jagessar October 3rd, 2014