DAY 215: More

June 19th, 2017 § 0 comments

Which could mean all sorts of things, of course (one thinks of Oliver Twist); I’m today, on the anniversary of her death, thinking of Jo Cox: ‘we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us’. How much more time do I have left to think these thoughts? Why don’t I have more friends to collaborate with me and stop me writing so much nonsense, as I so often do?

Indeed, we’re even more divided than before, as is shown by the reactions to the Grenfell Tower fire: between those who are angry and appalledScreen Shot 2017-06-19 at 08.38.19 and those who are – for whatever reason – indifferent. Between those who understand that deregulation and corporate capitalism have created a culture in which is’s legitimate for the writers on the  Mail and the Sun to attack safety regulations and support cutbacks in fire services routinely - and that this culture is potentially lethal – and those who go along with the attacks and cutbacks.

I’ve seen half a dozen clips on twitter, and I’m sure it’s a fraction of the total, many distressed, angry, even breaking down; I think of Akala, of David Lammy (both friends of fire victims, and it’s not a coincidence). On any statistical test, the majority of dead are black, immigrants, marginalised; the owners and their spokesmen are white and well-off. The election gave us a chance to overcome this division, by putting a reasonably diversified bunch of people into government. But the rulers are determined to cling on to power, by making deals with far-right Irish racists; it’s how the system works, particularly when the signs are that an election tomorrow would bring in a thumping Labour majority.

We have still to be patient; it’s the tactic of the poor; angry,2C26A6E000000578-3232004-image-m-18_1442072742837 not submissive, but patient, believing that we are capable of victory. The rulers, the one percent, are much more defensive than they were a year ago even.

I was at a Momentum meeting in Wood Green this evening (that’s more than usually irrelevant). The mood was not uniformly optimistic, as one might have expected: ‘We are young, we have Jeremy, we won the election, who can stop us?’ As you might indeed expect in these days when disasters seem daily to pile on one another, it was a coupling of recent victory with a more sober assessment of the dangers ahead. It seems right. Have I posted ‘Komm, Hoffnung‘? I think I have, even recently. It bears repeating.

LOOK BACK IN ANGER, a poem by Les Nicholls

Timber plastic concrete and steel

Burned with a fury that hardly seems real

Taking with it the old the young of varying races

Scenes etched on our minds of their terrified faces

Babies mothers husbands and friends

The names of the missing on a list without end

Look back in anger now with total disgust

Betrayed by those people in whom they should trust

This was no act of god this was utter neglect

This was a lack of compassion and social respect

Look back in anger at the warnings ignored

Shunned by their landlord to whom they implored

We are shocked as a nation as this horror unfolds

And full of emotion as the stories are told

We have seen religion and culture all put aside

United in anger for all those that died

A public inquiry will not bring back the dead

it will not help those people who need to be sheltered and fed

Look back in anger as they talk and debate

While anger and despair haunt those left to wait

Look back in anger at the political spin

But the anger now rises as our patience grows thin

This tragedy occurred in a land of prosperity

In a home for the poor besieged by austerity

This suffering was caused by ignorance and conceit

It was an avoidable  horror we must never repeat

 

 

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