Apocalypse July 2022
The regularity of shootings in the US is absurd, it would be comic if it were not so macabre. Multiple incidents at Fourth of July celebrations. A deep, sick fetish for death — the right using fear as a weapon to drive the vote. Putin dares the west to defeat Russia on the battlefield. Germany’s economic minister says we are in a gas crisis, even if you don’t feel it yet. Moscow is accused of engaging in power play over energy exports, like duh. Seemed like a good idea at the time I guess. Starving Africa and the Middle East, to flood Europe with refugees. UK and French services left rescue of more than 30 drowning migrants in Channel to each other, report claims. The RAF halts flights in and out of Brize Norton, its largest air base in the UK, because the runway has melted in the hot weather.
Let’s humanise this. Starmer’s the guy travelling up the flagpole at this moment. He sounds like Theresa May, wooden, rehearsed efforts at relaxed, personable anecdotes. Once people think you’re all the same, they lose heart in the idea that politics is a force for good. Starmer believes in an active state. You’re entitled to say what the mission is. Ah, okay. He’s a Scholz. He’s got to be Smith, Kinnock and Blair in one. Good luck, it’s not possible to do it in one term. He won’t be making a deal with the SNP, because he wants a Labour government for the whole of the United Kingdom. He’s so partisan — his name is Keir. Ultimately he’s too constrained by traditional Britishness — because what is that worth, in the grand scheme, in 2022? He makes an earnest effort to connect to real people, to do this thing legitimately. The trouble is that every normal person that he comes into contact with, at least in an official capacity, is preselected, that is predetermined, because of the person he is, the role that he is playing. Express your values — values come across first, policy and detail are temporary. That’s his problem, he’s triangulating off that. Growing the economy… what are you on about mate? I’m not seeing the economics. The problem is that… the second attempt so often doesn’t match up.
They’ll face whoever wins this awful contest, but, look at the state of them. Mad sock puppet of Mrs. Thatcher — Privatise it! Privatise it again! She obviously loves being very high-profile. Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak squaring up in televised heads to head in what is, when you think about it for a tiny moment and go oh yeah, a completely, nakedly pointless debate, because the public gets no vote on it. Is their excuse to say it’s just for our passive entertainment? These could have been newsletters to the membership. Keep Brexit Safe! Forcing focus — pay attention to this, I think the public are more interested in that. Like they know, and like the public can only focus on one thing at a time. What is the actual point of it, blanket national media promotion for the Tory party? As it torpedoes itself, as widespread economic and climate crises hit, the rest of the world can’t be too concerned with it.
This was a criminal offence. Now it’s an option for business. Look how quickly they can take the people’s hard-won rights away. Rightwingers fetishise hard work and careful saving to bolster their belief that the state should not support those who cannot work hard or save because, well, it’s their own fault. The British folktales about class mobility — of the types Sunak and Truss are peddling — become then not a call to marshal attention and capital towards mitigating the difficult conditions that made rising upwards such hard work for others, but a glorification of the individual who made it out, and then, a stick with which to beat those who didn’t (1). Easily excluded, but not so easily obstructed.
Stagflation — what’s responsible for price rises is the accumulation of profit in our economy. We need lower pay transformed into reasonable pay. Mick Lynch makes an unlikely poster boy for the new union power movement, representing the class interest of the many, our people, fighting the necessity of warm banks (heated public buildings that people can sit in over winter), statutory minimum, keeping property safe from people, collectively conditioned to settle for less. After a while, some people can’t get a start. Individual consumers are pressured to account for 100% of their carbon footprint, rather than the corporate power and industrial production that create the problem, the wealth, the yawning gap. It confuses people just meeting their needs with entities seeking profits in ownership, the hidden abode of production behind the circus of the market. Gilded age-level inequality, a frothing pool of wage workers with nothing to sell, separated from the means of life, subject to the volatility of markets and rising commodity prices. Economical anxiety is mental assault. Break apart the dualism of society and nature and we are ecological beings. We are insecure.
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(1) Nesrine Malik