Saturday, 19 November 2016

Politics, Despair and Earthquakes


How shaky is the ground we stand on - how fragile the rock we call security?  One moment we pretend we’re masters of the universe - the next we’re vulnerable animals caught between the forces of destruction and creation.
One of the victims of the Kaikoura Earthquake NZ (photo Stuffnz)
The last couple of weeks have all been too much - the uncertainties of Brexit;  then the swingeing welfare changes which will affect all of us - particularly those of us of a certain age becoming dependent on pensions;  the destructive NHS cuts which, in our remote rural area, will close hospitals, and reduce GPs and social services, - this in a region where the ambulance service is short of 29 paramedics and achieves none of its NHS target times - not even Code Red.  It can take over an hour for an ambulance to reach you and more than that to get you to a hospital.
A demonstration against closure of one of our local hospitals.
On Thursday I visited a university where mature student intake is down nearly 90% since the fees hike, and where care assistants, who once came to get a degree and upgrade to nursing staff, are no longer doing so because of the removal of the training bursary. The lack of investment in education, re-education, and training for a twenty first century workforce is clear for everyone to see.  Except, it seems, the government.

Jeremy Hunt - Much of the NHS has already been privatised, we just haven't been told.
Then add into that the devastating result of the US election, where - let’s not mince words - a proven liar, morally flawed, predatory, apparently ignorant, misogynistic, racist, white male was elected to one of the world’s highest offices - and I almost gave up then and there.


The sense of despair was acute.  I’m not in favour of voting for a woman simply because she’s a woman (I certainly wouldn’t vote for Theresa May!) And I’m no fan of Hillary Clinton. And before I get savaged by my Sisters - not because she got her emails in a twist, but because she is a (passionate) advocate of the neo-liberal political ideology that has (frankly) f****d the world.  We’ve had it with Big Oil, Big Pharma, and the Corporate agenda.  It’s got us where we are now and that’s not a good place.
Hillary Clinton - dignified even in defeat

But Hillary was a far, far, more qualified, experienced and deserving candidate for the job than her rival.  And it was misogyny, vindictiveness, anger and frustration that brought her down, rather than logical political argument about ideology. That's tragic.

What we seem to be witnessing is a revolution  - the politics of nihilism, where an old, corrupt and self-serving political society is torn down by the struggling masses underneath without any regard for the consequence. We don’t take to the barricades with guns these days (at least not yet) but the result is the same.  Chaos.

And then to round off my week, a massive earthquake has struck New Zealand where my daughter lives with her family and where I have many friends affected by it.  Phone lines, down, power out, tsunami warnings and hours of anxious waiting and watching the news feed on the internet.
Lorry trapped on the road.  Parts of  South Island rose by between 2 and 4 metres.
These are a couple of weeks I don’t want to live twice.  I wish I could say ‘Beam me up Scottie!’ but the only Star Ship Enterprise that’s around is one dedicated to turning the world into a giant consumer-driven Corporation.  And its CEO has a name beginning with T.

3 comments:

  1. Young people taking the American government to court for not heeding global warming is a hopeful sign, and as you said hope it is all that's left in the bottom of Pandoras box. The young are going to have to fight for their future if thyey are to have one.

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  3. It's not just the young - I believe passionately that we need to fight for their future too (considers chaining self to railings).

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