Dave's Progress. Chapter 88: History, it seems, is Written by the Winners.

In response to the recent Tory conference, I would just like to say that it appears to me that history is being somewhat rewritten. Like other Tory governments (oh, I forgot, this is a coalition, but who can blame me as the Liberals seem to have retracted every bloody meaningful policy they had in pursuit of power) propaganda does not seem beneath them, and it seems to me that we are being fed an historical narrative by Cameron and his ilk that is simply untrue, particularly in terms of our recent economic hardships.
The line being fed to us by Cameron and his sickly side-kick George Osbourne (indeed, every time my Mum sees Osbourne on the telly it has an almost physical, emetic effect on her) is that "the state we're in" has been caused by an over-spending and capricious Labour Party, who did little to curb the extravagances of the bankers who seem to have been at the root of all this mess. The Conservative Party, in some quarters, have even gone to the lengths of bringing back old memories of things like the "Winter of discontent" to bang home their point.
However, if truth be told, it was really the Thatcher/Reagan era that brought about all the deregulation of the market that was eventually responsible for our economic downfall in the West. Surely you remember? It was an era when "greed was good", to quote the character Gordon Gecko in the film "Wall Street". OK , so fair enough, "New Labour" did little to stem this rampant inequity, or should I say, iniquity. But the root of it, and where it all started, was most definitely not with the Labour Party, but with the Tories. And now, it seems, we are being sold the lemon that it was all Labour's fault. Just look, and you will see history being re-written before your very eyes. We all have such short memory spans, after all- we can, it seems, only concentrate for fifteen minutes at a time, just about the same time we think we'll be famous for. But might I just remind you of a quote from Milan Kundera, the novelist who lived through Communist rule in his native Czechoslovakia: "The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting".
Now, the Tories have said they will be stopping child benefit for those earning above £44,000 in the year 2013. For once, I capitulate. For once, I concur. But, what a huge hue and cry this has caused. Middle-class mothers and some of the press have stated what an unfair move this is to make, and Cameron even appeared to have to justify why this new policy was being made. God forbid, after all, that the more well-off in society should do their bit in the face of our economic crisis. I did not notice the same outcry when Cameron announced that he was going to re-test everyone on Incapacity Benefit. After all, we're all just losers, scroungers and downright good-for-nothings that are getting something we don't deserve.
Indeed, Cameron and his party have reignited the division made between the "deserving" and "undeserving" poor, first made in the Victorian era and then later by Margaret Thacher. In all this, though, Cameron's watchword has been "fairness". But just how do you delineate between who is deserving and who not, and if "fairness" is key to your policy, just how far are you willing to take it? Are the Tory Party, for example, willing to increase taxes on the very rich, perhaps by increasing inheritance tax? No, I didn't think so.
Anyway, all this invective aside, one prominent intellectual figure, Slavov Zizek, has announced in his latest book, "Living in the End Times", that the overall Capitalist system may be about to implode.
Well, I don't know about you, but if it means a fairer and more equitable society, then I'm with you brother. Even if it means destroying our present system, then I'm all for it. After all, it's either that, or dissolve in to some form of middle-class entropy, where the only votes that count are the votes of Middle England. Which kind of reminds me, I once wrote a poem about this kind of stuff, and as I have not printed one in these pages for quite some time, I thought I would do so here. So, here goes, and the poem is called "The Death of History":

Got my house,
Got my car,
I like to drive,
But I don't drive far.

Well I call it a house but it's really a home,
Wife and two point four kids,
A dog with a bone,
A cellular 'phone.

I work hard but I like to have fun,
And it's easy out here in the sticks,
Away from the scum,
My money separates me from them.

But most of all I have no politics,
Don't believe in dialectics,
Don't believe there's any ideology,
And this might be the death of history.

Can't believe that what I'm living has been arrived at,
That the past informs all our lives,
All I know is things are as they are,
I think I can see but I can't see far.

Can't see that knowledge might eat way the mysteries of the ellipses of night,
I like my apolitical bubble,
And even when I watch the news and the world gives me a fright,
It just reminds me I don't want no trouble.

So no alarms and no surprises please,
Having a barbie with the wife and kids next week,
I'll stay here in my capitalist entropy,
Not realising I've become the new enemy.

The enemy of principle,
The enemy of meaning,
The enemy of history,
Me and my middle-class dreaming.

So I've got my house,
And I've got my car,
As I said I like to drive,
But I don't drive far.

So, that's me. You might just start calling me "Red Dave". But I have my opinions. I think I'm allowed that. And, this paranoid and delusional man, despite the fact that history may well be written by the winners, in the words of Margaret Thatcher, is certainly not for turning.

Comments

klahanie said…
Dear David,
I'm not going to leave a lengthy comment. You have more than covered a lot of what I've been thinking.
You have brought back some vivid memories of the advent of the 'me' generation, orchestrated by good old Ronnie and his British buddy, our former ('Marmite', you love her or hate her) leader, Maggie.
Glad to note you have put up one of your poems. You might like to display some of your other talents a bit more often.
In kindness, Gary.
David said…
Dear Gary,
Thank you for your comment.
I think I may have scared people away with this post, such is the unpopularity of left-leaning opinion these days.
However, like you, I'm afraid that I do see the roots of all our woes begiining way back with Margaret and dear old Ron, who, as you say, seemed actively to encourage greed and selfishness. To my mind, it is they who not only instigated our economic downfall, but also an altogether less equal and nastier society.
This is my opinion. I can't help it!
As for my "other talents", you have me wondering exactly what they might be!
Thanks Gary.
Yours with Very Best Wishes,
David.
klahanie said…
Hi Dave,
I think what maybe happening here is that a number of folks who are reading your blog are from outside the UK.
They might not understand what the implications of your blog alluded too. Just a guess, you left wing loonie! lol
Your other talents. Well besides your poetry and your ability to make a mean curry, whilst dressed as 'Robin Hood', I'm not sure...
Have a good weekend.
bazza said…
David, I agree with Gary that this poem suggests you might be too modest and that you should give us more of this!
As for the post in general I think a blog is the one place where you can state your own honest views without scaring people away; it's a bit like Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park.
I have always felt that all new governments express shock that the outgoing party left things "much worse than we had feared".
It may be cynical but I take the Grouch Marx view - I wouldn't want anyone who wanted to be an MP, in parliament.
David said…
Dear Gary,
Thanks for commenting again and thus bolstering my meagre comment count.
Well, in the end it seems that I have not scared every one away, as you and bazza, at least, have left comments, my idealistic, hippy, hairy, lunatic-fringe friend.
With Very Best Wishes,
David.
David said…
Dear bazza,
Thanks for your reassuring remarks, and I like your paraphrasing of the Groucho Marx (an appropriate name for this post- well, the poem at least- perhaps) saying. I think it originally went, "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member". I feel like that sometimes too!
Thanks for your continued interest bazza, and I'll try to be less modest in the future.
Very Best Wishes to you,
David.

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