Partnership – a poem

Partnership

 

Partnership is the only way out of this zero hours’ gulag.

Where those in charge have all the power in this time lag.

It is no longer good enough for a small elite to dictate

While a majority have absolutely no say in their fate.

No fringe benefits, holiday pay, sickness or pensions.

Work when you’re told – loyalty is never mentioned.

But quality of life counts for something!

Welfare of the common folk is not nothing!

We need a better way of doing business.

Clearing up this exploitative mess!

Partnership and shared power!

Cometheth the need, cometh the hour!

 

Opher 29.4.2019

 

 

I wrote this in response to the mess I see in the workplace. Thatcher and the Tories emasculated the Unions and now the bosses hold all the cards.

Yes – the unions had gone too far – protective practices and protected jobs were really insupportable. But the unions were responsible for fighting for fair pay and benefits. Without them we would be really in the mire.

Since the castration of the unions we have seen pay and conditions greatly eroded while profits for the wealthy owners soar.

I fear this would only get worse with increasing AI and automation.

It is time this is addressed.

If it isn’t we are doomed to a world of huge inequality with most of us on low pay with no benefits and a small elite raking in the dosh. That’s no life.

I wouldn’t want to go back to the days of too powerful unions. I prefer the German model. I think workers need to be in partnership with bosses in running the business and sharing the profits. I think that having a say and a share would be motivating and increase productivity.

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What is happening to America???

My times living in America were all good. Most of the people I had the pleasure of meeting, working with or interacting with were friendly, generous and pleasant. 

Times appear to have changed.

America does feel to me like a rampant capitalist experiment that is going badly wrong. It is run and controlled by a tiny elite of super-rich who bribe, control and run the place for their own benefit. The wealth is hence concentrated in a small elite who control the media and minds.

It is similar but not as bad in the UK. We have a more benevolent society with less extremes. We take care of our poor and needy a bit better and have less extremes of wealth and less violence. Though we do appear, under these capitalist Tories, to be heading the same way.

What is quite clear is that things appear to have become more divided since I was last there in America – more tribal and much more extreme. Nobody is listening to anyone outside their box and abuse is rife. It feels heated.
Any talk about addressing the gaping wound of inequality is seen as unAmerican or socialist – and socialism is immediately equated with totalitarianism and communism. McCarthy did a good job!

The Roots of American Problems were there from its inception.

The problems in American culture have their roots in its origins. I think it was intrinsic to the culture right from the start and has festered ever since.

The first pilgrims were religious fanatics and their fanaticism was instilled into the culture. It has permeated the culture and created guilt and hypocrisy.

The racism towards native Americans and then Africans through slavery and segregation was there from the start. It has caused these social divisions, prejudice and gross inequality.

The violence and hedonism of the frontiers culture had no bounds, law or control and has created this idea of a selfish individualism and misguided idea of freedom (society is about compromise). It creates a macho, gung-ho culture that accentuates misogyny, racism, patriotism, arrogance and nationalism. Couple it with the gun culture and you have a divided, hate-filled violent culture.

The gun culture came out of the war of Independence, this intrinsic distrust of government and the crazy idea that you arm to overthrow the democratic government you elect – instead of just voting them out of office – it’s madness.

The extreme capitalism, resulting in gross inequality, mass poverty and worker exploitation, comes straight out of the absurd American Dream. People still believe that anyone can become a billionaire through their own efforts – even though the evidence demonstrates that the wealthy and powerful control all avenues and channel the wealth straight into their own pockets, the dice are loaded, the odds are stacked, the systems are corrupt – yet people still believe and tell you that the wealthy accumulated their fortunes by fair means and deserve it all, and the poor are poor because of their indolence and attitude. It’s stupid.

The establishment war against socialism – exemplified by McCarthy, which sought to sell the idea to the people that socialists who wanted fairness and justice were an evil people who wanted to bring in totalitarianism and take away freedom. The very opposite was true. People are being controlled by the capitalists in a system they set up to promote themselves and keep them rich and powerful. Socialism threatens the establishment and they control the media – and hence the minds of the populace. McCarthy did a good job of brainwashing the public. People were told that Trade unions and the red peril are the biggest threat to the American people – when it’s really the establishment.

It created an American culture, based on a WASP puritan, conformist mentality that was racist, hypocritical, psuedoreligious and based on a lie.

It’s prosperity depended on slavery and wielding economic empires abroad through war, corruption, overthrow, economic castration and threat. The family values were a con. People worked themselves silly, drank, fornicated, practiced racism and went to church on Sunday.

The joyless puritanical hypocrisy had to crumble. When it did it released the pent-up underlying, festering problems – racism, violence, hypocrisy, inequality – and it all came out in the sixties.

People wanted a more meaningful, more honest, less destructive way of life – not based on warmongering abroad and the futile chasing of wealth. They wanted more fun and fulfilment.

Unfortunately the establishment won and reinstated the rat-race with all its inherent problems.

The vision of the pleasant family values of the fifties was based on a festering lie. The tensions and hypocrisy of the fifties is exemplified in Rock ‘n’ Roll stars like Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard – both of whom vacillated between obsessive religion and drugs, orgies and guns. The crew-cutted conformity did not sit easy with the idea of freedom. The WASP culture hid a thousand lynchings and slavery. The joyless work ethic belied the prostitution and drinking culture. The wealthy elite lived a life of drugs, alcohol and sexual excess with a thin veneer of civilised pretension. Under the surface there was a big lie.

It’s coming home to roost.

A dose of Affluenza – a poem

A dose of Affluenza

 

We got a dose of affluenza.

We’re sick to the core.

Every time I see the stockmarket

It makes me feel quite sore.

 

The country’s getting richer

But nothing comes our way.

It all ends up at the top,

But never in my pay.

 

I pay my taxes

While they stuff it all off-shore.

We’re giving to the rich

And taking from the poor!

 

This bloody affluenza

Is making us all ill.

We’ve lost all our compassion

Like pigs guzzling swill.

 

I need a vaccination

To cure me of this disease.

This lack of trickle down

Has brought me to my knees.

 

It seems that no-one matters

Unless they’re stinking rich.

We just make up the numbers

Ain’t life a stinking bitch?

 

We need a panacea

To cure us from this schism.

I have just the remedy –

A good dose of socialism!

 

Opher – 19.4.2019

 

 

I don’t envy the rich. I despise them. I don’t aspire to their lifestyles. I just want something fairer.

Long ago, when I was a very young man, I realised that the dream of chasing wealth and status was a phony game. It was empty. I wanted to chase knowledge, fulfilment, experience and pleasure. I wanted my life full of a richness that money cannot buy.

I’m glad I made that choice.

But now, as I look at what is happening, I despair.

My life is good. I have largely achieved what I set out to do. But the society I live in has become much worse. The affluent have set us down a road of continual growth resulting in huge destruction of nature. They have greedily grabbed everything they can regardless of the consequences for people or nature.

The affluent are causing huge poverty, inequality and damage.

We need to put it right. We need to find a better way of living. Money and status are phony principles to base a life on. Give me knowledge, experience, fulfilment and fun any day. Money can’t buy love and it can’t buy back time.

How Socialism is undermined.

The establishment is capitalist.

The wealthy and powerful own the media.

A fairer system of socialism is not in their interests and so they actively undermine it.

In Scandinavia and the UK democratic socialism has worked very successfully. Our wonderful NHS is the result of it.

What happens when a socialist government gets in power is that the capitalists withdraw investment and actively undermine the economy. They engineer it failing.

The establishment is made up of wealthy, powerful individuals. They want a system that favours them and pours wealth into their pockets. They do not want a fairer system that looks after ordinary people or the poor. As they own the media they pour out a stream of propaganda to say that fairer systems do not operate.

It is extremely hard for Socialism to flourish when the money markets and media undermine it.

Time it changed!! When will we ever learn??

We are getting the American system over here now.

It is a system of debt.

Education was always free over here. We had socialised education and health. Didn’t cost us a penny. I even received a grant to go to uni.
Unfortunately the Tories are privatising health right as I speak so that it will cost us a fortune like it does in America. They’ve already brought in fees for universities so that students are saddled with debt.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There is enough money to pay for it. It is just being siphoned into the wrong hands.

Socialised health and education is so much cheaper and efficient. It’s a tragedy what they Tories are doing to it.

In the last forty years the wealthy elite have siphoned up the wealth and decimated the working class and middle class. The inequality has blossomed. That is what is fuelling this discontent. We’re all forced into debt.

It’s going to get a lot worse with AI increasingly taking jobs. The profits will be greater but it’ll go to the top.

I reckon that the only way of dealing with this is socialised power, health, education, infrastructure and transport. Take the profits out of the hands of the wealthy and into paying off the debt and improving services.

A graduated tax scheme is necessary for corporations and the wealthy and blocking all those tax loopholes. Aren’t you just sick of all those wealthy bankers saying ‘Tax is optional’ and ‘Tax is for the little people’ while employing canny accountants to fiddle taxes and scooping the loot off-shore into tax havens? All the increased wealth for decades has gone into their pockets.

Sure – they’ll kick up a stink if their gravy train is messed with. They’ll try withdrawing all their investments and hiking up prices. But a government investment bank will sort their shit out, and if they try hiking prices then consumer choice should sort that and the higher prices – the more taxes they pay. With free education and health everyone, apart from the wealthy, would be quids in!

At the end of the day a society that caters for everyone and has less inequality is a healthier society.

I’m sick to death with being screwed over by a wealthy elite, supported by politicians and using the media they own to spread their propaganda. Aren’t you?

While we’ve all had a decade of austerity the wealthy have been creaming it in! It’s simply wrong!

Time it changed.

And putting billionaires in charge is like putting crooks in charge of the banks. Hey – wait a minute – that’s what we did!

And voting for a party that was formed to represent the wealthy bastards who are busy shafting us is tantamount to putting your head in the guillotine and hoping it’s going to end all your worries.

That’s why we’ve had a decade of austerity!

When will we ever learn?

The Dilemma for Socialism.

Presently the wealthy establishment run the show. They have created a system that channels all the wealth into their pockets and gives the Middle classes and Working classes as little as they get away with.

It has created gross inequality that is just short of huge social unrest.

During the decade of austerity the wealthy have continued to harvest their vast incomes while the poor (particularly the public servants and those in extreme poverty) have been scapegoated and pick up the bill for the mistakes made by wealthy bankers (who, instead of being locked up for their misdemeanours still received their huge bonuses).

The Tory Party represent these people and the media are owned by them. This is how they control the populace.

If a Socialist Government becomes elected they threaten to withdraw their capital and bankrupt the country. It is a form of blackmail. It proves very effective. By taking their wealth abroad and starving the country of investment they can then use their media to say to everyone that Socialism doesn’t work. They hold it up as an illustration.

In fact Socialism would work fine if they hadn’t sabotaged it.

The wealthy simply do not want to share their loot. They want to keep it just like it is. They don’t want a fairer system.

I believe this blackmail is immoral.

The dilemma for the Labour Party is how to bring in a fairer system which cannot be undermined by the wealthy and their greed and selfishness.

The Irony of Unbridled Capitalism

The huge problem with capitalism is unbridled greed. The capitalists run the show and have skewed it completely to their own interests. The top 1% get all the cash. It has been getting worse and worse. As the economy grows a larger and larger amount has been siphoned off into the pockets of these superwealthy, all the increased growth, while everyone else’s income stagnates.

Inequality has gotten out of control.

This is likely to get much worse as AI kicks in. It will enable the wealthy to become even wealthier and everyone else much poorer.

They have done a real job on everyone in telling them that there is no alternative, anything that smacks of fairness is leftist socialism that would lead to tyranny, and that austerity is due to other factors.

While most people are suffering austerity and stagnation the wealthy have never had it so good. But still the schmucks support the wealthy being superrich. It’s like sheep advocating slaughter houses.

The social unrest that has resulted from this long stagnation and austerity, with its low wages, loss of benefits and loss of jobs, has manifested itself in the election of Trump and the advent of Brexit. Somehow the people suffering from the effects of runaway capitalism are putting their faith in a multibillionaire, fully paid up member of the capitalist club or blaming Europe for their problems.

Trump serves his own interests and those of his cronies. He uses division and hate of minorities to deflect from what he is really doing. It’s a con.

Europe is not to blame for the austerity. That is the result of the superwealthy and the Tory Party who represent them.

The superrich have successfully deflected blame away from where it really belongs – unbridled capitalism and the superwealthy, the politicians and media who support them. Instead they have placed it on the EU and immigrants and world recession.  The truth is that the richest nation in the world and the fifth richest nation in the world have more than enough cash. It is a question of where that cash is going – most of it is going straight to the top!

The irony is that the people who are most strident, and suffering most, still support the extreme capitalism that is busy screwing them into the ground.
Such is the power of propaganda.

Tom Robinson Band – “Ain’t Gonna Take It”

I know that if I could play any kind of music I’d be in a Punk Band. It reflects the power and anger necessary in these times.

Tom Robinson came out of the Thatcher years of extreme Right-wing anti-gay and anti-abortion.  Right-wing intolerance and hatred is to the fore once more. There’s a lot to stand up against.

If you value freedom, tolerance and compassion then Tom Robinson’s your man. He took the intensity of Punk and made it into a political weapon. Words have power.

Right now our freedoms are under attack from the Right and religious extremists. They want minorities crushed. They want women supressed, contraception and abortion outlawed and sex education stopped. They want religion stuffed down our kids throats. They want an unfair system that takes from the poor and gives to the rich. They want conformity and violence towards supposed dangers.

As Mark E Smith asked – ‘Who makes the fascists?’

The answer is – the right-wing does.

We have fascists marching on the streets, homophobia, racism, violence, sexism, misogyny and hatred. It is being fuelled by Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism and exaggerated fear of terrorism.

We have Islamophobes like Tommy Robinson spreading propaganda. The antidote to Tommy Robinson is Tom Robinson!

We have right-wing sites pouring out misinformation.

But we ain’t gonna take it! Time to unite and fight back. We need to spread the truth.

“Ain’t Gonna Take It”

Prejudice poison
Polluting this land
I’m a middle-class kiddie
But I know where I stand
We got brothers in Brixton
Backs to the wall
Bigots on the backlash
Divided we fall

But we ain’t gonna take it
Ain’t gonna take it
They’re keeping us under
But we ain’t gonna take it no more

Women with children
Have to carry the can
Till they lose them in divorce courts
To some pig of a man
We got Benyon and Whitehouse
Trying to get us stitched
‘Cause abortion and a gay scene
Only meant for the rich

But we ain’t gonna take it
Ain’t gonna take it
They’re keeping us under
But we ain’t gonna take it no more

Sisters and brothers
What have we done
We’re fighting each other
Instead of the Front
Better get it together
Big trouble to come
And the odds are against us
About twenty to one

But we ain’t gonna take it
Ain’t gonna take it
They’re keeping us under
But we ain’t gonna take it no more

BETRAYAL!!!

We have been betrayed and we’re fed up with it!

Right from the start we have been ignored, abused, gloated over and ridiculed. They call us REMOANERS. They tell us to stop whinging. They tell us we lost. Our views are inconsequential.

At no time was any attempt made to consider us, to include us, to find a compromise.

We were discarded and told to shut up.

What started as 16 million is now more like 20 million plus!

The polling is now 54% in favour of Remain and only 46% in favour of leave. Not the less than 2% majority – now an 8% majority in favour of staying!

We are not the minority. WE ARE THE MAJORITY!!! And by a whacking 8-10% majority

We will not be abused and ignored!!

The government have completely ignored the 16 million people who voted to remain in the EU.

Nearly half the population voted to Remain – 16 million people. But those 16 million have been brushed aside and ignored. Our views have not been taken into account. It is as if we don’t exist, are of no importance.

The extremists have taken over and are leading this country to the cliff edge!! They don’t care what happens to ordinary people just as long as they get their way and get power. The madmen have taken over the asylum!!

May chose right at the beginning to side with the ERG. She put them in charge of negotiations with the hapless David Davies in charge. They drew up red lines, said stupidly that Brexit means Brexit, made no attempt to reach across the house or the country, and pushed the most extreme form of Brexit for two and a half years.

WE WERE IGNORED!!!!

These extremists claimed to know exactly why every single one of the 17.5 million people voted. They discounted that any of them might have voted as a protest against austerity, or in response to Johnson’s lies on his bus, or the scaremongering of the press over the 5 million Turks supposedly heading our way, or all the ones who might have preferred a soft Brexit – no – in their eyes all the 17.5 million voted for a hard, extreme Brexit.

BOLLOCKS!!!!

No compromise was sought. We were shoved aside, ignored and abused with contemptuous disregard.

While people like Rees-Mogg moved his assets out of Britain to keep them safe while he sought to impose his extreme nationalistic, old-fashioned, patriotic nonsense version of Brexit on the rest of us – regardless of the cost to the country!

The government dismisses the million people who took to the streets of the capital last weekend.

While the whinging ex-banker Farage, with his pompous arrogance, led his pathetic 200 on a march in favour of Brexit, 1 million people took to the streets. Whole families who were scared for the future of the country and their children. People who cared. People who were intelligent and knew that this deal was going to ruin the future for their children.

Were they listened too? Were they taken into account? Were there voices not important enough to even acknowledge?

How many times in the past has that number of people ever taken to the streets?

It is almost unprecedented.

The government is contemptuous of the 6 million people who signed the petition to revoke Article 50, who want a peoples’ vote.

The biggest petition in history!! IGNORED!!!

Yet these people are concerned for their future. They love their country and don’t want to see it wrecked by a bunch of extremists who have been causing trouble all down the years, toppling PMs and governments and holding the country back.

There’s 6 million who do not want to be ruled by xenophobic extremism, by fear and petty nationalism.

There’s 6 million who want an outward looking country with good relationships and trading with our neighbours, who don’t want to bring substandard goods in from the other side of the world when we can have quality from next door.

There’s 6 million who don’t want to be a minion of the USA and Trump!!

BRUSHED ASIDE!!!!

Our fears are called PROJECT FEAR. We are told we’ve got it wrong. We believe lies. But that is not right. We have looked at the projections. We have studied the outcomes. We are told that all the experts get it wrong and are talking rubbish. BUT WE KNOW THAT LEAVING WILL HAVE A DEVASTATING EFFECT ON OUR ECONOMY AND THAT ISN’T PROJECT FEAR!

We’re not stupid. We see all the companies already fleeing into Europe! We were the sensible gateway into the EU and Common Market. We’re not now. We’ve become the untrustworthy loonies outside the gates.They won’t come back. We’re not shooting ourselves in the foot. We’re shooting ourselves in the head.

For all those voices in deprived areas, who have suffered from 10 years of Tory austerity (while the top 10% have never had it so good), who bleated that things couldn’t get much worse – OPEN YOUR EYES!! You need to get out more. We are the fifth largest economy (for the moment). The rest of the world would think the level you’ve got is heaven. We’ve got a long way to fall.

The reason why you are having hard times is because the Tories have been funnelling the money to the top end and hammering the poor.

The government brushes aside the majority of MPs who, knowing the facts about the disaster leaving will be, are staunch remainers.

The MPs know the truth! They know the effect this will have on the country. That’s is why they are Remainers. It is only the wealthy extremists and nationalist fools who are prepared to sell us down the river just so they can get their hands on power!!

WELL THIS REMAINER HAS HAD ABOUT ENOUGH!!!!