November 27, 2020
From Alternative Bristol (UK)

Politicians & business leaders, national and local, have made it abundantly clear in the last week – economic growth is their priority above everything else. They want only to return to the way things were before last March, with an economy dominated by a few large corporations and very rich people whose raison d’etre is profit. To achieve that they are not only taking the Government’s finances into record levels of debt. But more importantly the vast majority of that money is being pumped into contracts given, with very little transparency or oversight, to either existing corporations, or in some adsurd cases of cronyism, to people/newer business with little experience or track record, but crucially having personal contacts with Tory MP’s and their networks.

In prioritising the economy, and an urgent return to economic growth, the Tory Govt is quite prepared to risk, again, increasing infection rates of covid-19, more deaths of the weakest & most vulnerable & frontline health/key workers…and therefore impossible levels of stress on the NHS. At the same time, issues such as: the physical & mental well being of working class people (the majority of the population – and this includes many small business owners & self-employed people!); increasing levels of poverty & personal debt; the housing crisis; the climate crisis; rising unemployment; and more…are essentially ignored and seen as a price worth paying for the ruling class to continue to accumulate more wealth & profit. That is the new normal, just like the old normal, and the chaos of Brexit will merely accentuate these issues.

Once again of course, the Tories seek to make working class people pay for the present crisis, creating a situation where wealth continues to be diverted upwards towards the very few – we are told we must pay for this crisis with pay cuts, service cuts, increased taxes, greater precarity, more unemployment, less freedoms. Nowhere do we see any sign of the corporations & individually rich & powerful members of the ruling class being asked to contribute an extra penny. We can all see this, and for many the sense of hopelessness is all pervading. Many of us can see no way out of the current situation – after 10 years of austerity, we have been coerced & socialised into accepting that this is the way things must be. That is not true!

So what is to be done? The official Opposition, the Labour Party, is at best Tory-lite, and provides little or no opposition. The Green Party, whilst offering some decent initiatives & policies around greening the economy & wealth redistribution, remains small and essentially sidelined. The LibDems cannot be trusted, ever again. We’ve relied on politicians before, for many decades, and look where it’s brought us too.

The solution, for our own futures & those of our children, for our future on this planet, has to be in our own hands, and only in our hands. Great theoreticians have written volumes on how this might be done. But really it’s actually quite simple. We need to embrace, and trust in, some pretty simple basic concepts. If we do, we can have hope, and a chance.

Try these: co-operation, mutual aid, solidarity, self-organisation, creativity, trust, class unity across genders & ethnicities, direct action, wealth redistribution, economic degrowth, sustainable food production across the regions, permaculture, and above all anger at the way things are & a desire for change.
If we put these into practice in our workplaces, neighbourhoods & communities, towns & cities, we do have a chance, and hope of a future worth fighting for.