Tuesday, September 15, 2020


In my head, I've re-branded 'Brexit' as 'Toxit'. The whole idea of it seems specifically designed to divide people and sow seeds of hatred amongst us. Originally a ploy by the odious David Cameron (remember him?) to keep his ailing political party in power, it became weaponised by protesting people who felt left behind and who wanted to stop immigration (ironically, in the areas of the UK with the least immigrants), and now has made Britain a grim place to live in. Everyone hates everyone else, and thinks they are stupid. It has become trendy to be extremely angry about something: it almost doesn't matter what. 

Reasonable requests like those made by the Black Lives Matter campaign get lost in a nasty morass of snarling righteousness from people at both extremities of politics. Polarising people is an excellent way of preventing social and cultural progress. Back in the day we called it 'divide and rule'. You're so busy shouting at your neighbour for an imagined slight, that you pay no attention to your rights being taken away by the 'up-theres' who want to reduce you to a servile beggar.

I have been reading Wild Swans (when I can bear it) and the current drifts into thought control by both sides of the political divide that are echoed by the strictures of communism are really alarming. It sometimes appears that lived experience is starting to be of less value than doctrine.

It's probably stupid to be misty-eyed about Rock Against Racism, but the ability of punks (including some feminist ones) and the Rastafarian community to stand together on stage and play gigs for a common cause that they both believed in, despite some really fundamental differences in beliefs and behaviour, was  a hugely effective political movement. It was a statement of values by a generation of young people, a belief in an equal society that I felt for many years made a massive difference to policy.

Now all that seems to have been pulled to pieces. Where anger once translated into positive activity, it now fizzes through people like sulphuric acid, destroying them as it goes.

1 comment:

Wilky of St Albans said...

Totally agree. Is the internet to blame - a place where like-minded sociopaths can group together to stifle debate? Where the 'Leader of the Free World' can call people stupid, and of low IQ rather than discuss anything? It's quite scary really. Society is dividing. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and worse than that their voices are extinguished.

As the man who tried to teach me electrical engineering would say - "nobody cares who's running the country as long as they don't get a fuzzy picture on their TV during Coronation Street". So true