Or – ‘Let Me Hear Your Body Talk!’ 😉

Today is 8th July 2010.  Yesterday I was watching a recording of the day’s House of Commons Broadcast.  I’d really like to treat it  with a light hand, but it’s going to get heavy.  I’m pretty traumatised, and I can’t maintain the humour.  I’m pretty good at self-pity though, as you know by now, but anyway, here we go…

Have I got this right?  Did the lady represent it properly?  No, she can’t have done, if she had, it would be unthinkable and monstrous.  It must have been an exaggeration of the government’s policy, of course it must.  She is now shadow cabinet.  You know what these guys are like.

But she said the government’s policy was that people in expensive homes should move to cheaper ones or lose housing benefit, and also people should move to find jobs, or lose housing benefit.  Her comment was that they could wave at each other as they passed each other in the ‘Great Exchange’.

Mein Gott!  (that is the full extent of my German).  Blow it, here comes a full-scale essay.  I’m going to do it.

That is an act of violence on the people who are or who are expected to be the workforce.  No, no, I’m wrong – it’s not an essay, it’s a rant.  Here we go.

I do not view myself as a socialist, or a political radical or activist.  Indeed I am not, and any vanity of mine which wants to pretend that I am is utterly pathetic.  I have not yet developed the practice of being unselfish enough for such labeling.

Here come some buzz words though – divide and conquer, social displacement (I’m doing my best under trauma, there are more than that).

I think here I need to acknowledge my indebtedness to something I think I heard while I was at Bible College.  Forgive me if my knowledge of place names and political process is inadequate or out of date.

In what Christians call the Old Testament, there are accounts of places like Babylon and Assyria, which used to invade other nations and make them submit to their rule.  Part of their strategy was to insist on people’s geographic displacement and relocation.

Without going any deeper, these are my first thoughts.

We, the UK, apparently have a massive deficit/debt.  Why we can’t just change our model for living I’m not sure, but anyway.

I admit this is uneducated of me and I’m embarrassed already, but why are the poorest people also about to be socially dislocated in order to make up what can only be a microscopic sliver of this deficit?  Why isn’t the fat cat culture being realistically challenged and attacked?  It’s OK to have ideas, and the ability to make them work, but without the people prepared to put in the time and physical energy to make them work for you, ideas and latent ability is all they will ever be.

That’s a good perception, isn’t it?  Unfortunately, it is usually employed to appeal to the consciences of those who are required to do the work, rather than to the consciences of those who require the work to be done.  And those who require the work to be done are flattered as job providers, rather than being called what everyone is, basically, which is people who are just trying to use their abilities to make the best living they can for themselves. Or is that too cynical of me?

Yet the ideas people live in unforgivable luxury while the people who do the work they rely on don’t even have a secure knowledge that they will be adequately covered in old age.  Threats to cut housing benefit are disgusting, while this is the situation which is allowed to exist.  Many working people, let alone unemployed people, need these benefits in order to exist at a standard even minimally acceptable in society.

‘Privilege’ is a very versatile word.  People say someone hasn’t had someone else’s ‘privileges’, which usually means a comfortable upbringing and a good education.  It is understood, usually, in materialistic terms.

What is a privilege?  People like politicians use the word to mean it is an honour to serve the population.  Yet they seem to need more than just the honour and privilege of serving.  They also need the honour and privilege of huge pay.  My argument is breaking down in my head already, because I was going to say ‘grace and favour’ mansions, but maybe if they are owned by the state anyway it doesn’t cost us very much to provide them, because they are always there.

But if the role of the ideas people was not seen as of greater monetary value than that of those who give flesh to those ideas, would there be the need for the security and privacy of such a physical separation anyway?  If everyone really was treated as an equal in value, would anyone be undesirable?

But instead the ideas people bully the putting into practice people by threatening to make their lives unworkable if they don’t do what is being required of them to make the next idea work (they hope) and to make up for the mess left either by the inadequate level of responsibility taken for the previous ideas to make sure they were properly implemented, or for the results of the inadequacy and impracticability of the ideas themselves.

I thought we didn’t practise or condone slave-making in this country anymore?

Ya know what?  (I was going to swear, but then my computer froze for 15 minutes, so back to charitable reason.  How unfortunate that one on one decisions don’t normally have such a grace period, and after the decision is made, people are either too proud or afraid not to carry it through, even if wrong).

If our leaders are saying they believe that slave-making is no longer an acceptable goal or outcome of political policy, they are either lying or deluded, and so are we if we accept it. If they believed it was wrong they wouldn’t be doing it, and they are.  The honour of privilege depends on its honourable handling, and happily embracing and justifying an extremely rich and greedy lifestyle and expecting others to be prepared to move house or lose basic necessary benefits, which are necessary only because of both our model and the justifications for maintaining the comforts of this greedy lifestyle at the financially richest end of society, is not handling privilege honourably.