This post is more of a rant than any of the others I have written. I am absolutely livid.
Yesterday, MPs voted to start the steady, barely perceptible dismantling of the most precious of British institutions: the NHS. In a bill which is worded so bafflingly, with so many amendments, many of the MPs barely knew what they voted for. They voted for the beginning of the end, a means to sneak in privatisation of the biggest employer in the UK, and one of the best healthcare systems in the world. If it’s not broken, why fix it? Because, of course, our ruling class want to give their rich mates a slice of the fucking pie.
And what was done to prevent this travesty? Fuck all, that’s what.
Part of the problem was that it was hard to explain exactly what was going on. Our rulers have been smart enough to obfuscate their evil scheme in language which is thoroughly inaccessible. We say that they are bringing in privatisation, and they can deny it: they opened a back door so the vultures can get in.
At any rate, there were months of notice. Fucking months. I wrote to my useless shit of an MP twice. I marched. I did street theatre. I did all I could to raise awareness of what the Tories were plotting. My useless shit of an MP never replied. The marching and street theatre happened too early. Everything calmed down before the third reading of the bill. I still agitated. I talked whenever I could.
On the day of the vote, the TUC pulled out the big guns. They had been planning something for months. They had a fantastic idea for activism. They were going to save the NHS with a brave move as courageous as this paragraph is sarcastic. They held a fucking candlelit vigil.
On the day the government voted to start to destroy the best thing about Britain, all our fucking trade unions–our means for organisation–could pull out of the bag was a funeral before the vote had even taken place. A funeral attended by less than 200 people, because it was not publicised. The TUC are useless, toothless bastards. They had the power to do so much. They could have organised industrial action. They could have put thousands on the streets. Instead, they mourned.
In the Commons, probably unaware of the pointless vigil outside, Parliament signed the death warrant for our NHS. Nye Bevan span in his grave. The slow destruction of the welfare state shifted gear, speeding up imperceptibly. Few people gave a shit.
This is the thing. They are cutting the means of support for vulnerable people: the sick, the disabled, single parents, the homeless, the poor. They are taking away homes, vital financial support, basic fucking healthcare. They sell lies to the media and the majority swallow these fibs. There should be rioting on the streets over this. There will be rioting on the streets when people find out how much they have been fooled.
I have a theory–somewhat facetious–that perhaps our government does not really hate the abjected. Perhaps they have discovered that the force generated by Nye Bevan spinning in his grave turns out to be a brilliant power source! A clean, green energy that could end world hunger! An energy source that could revolutionise the way the world works, the end of scarcity!
The thing is, even if that turned out to be true, the repulsive swinging dicks in Westminster would sell of NyePower to the highest bidder. Instead of humanitarian uses, that power would be used for profit. They are greedy: profit is king.
And so we feel powerless. Those of us who care feel betrayed by our government, betrayed by those who are supposedly on our side. We did what we could, but it was not enough.
Imagine if we had tried. Imagine if the message had got out and the people had mobilised. Rioting in the streets, and every single person whose life has ever been touched by the NHS standing outside Parliament, daring the fuckers to vote the wrong way. Imagine if the fuckers voted the wrong way, then.
Imagine if we did without the fuckers entirely. Democracy is rule of the people. Democracy is power. Democracy is not trusting some crooked bastard who throws your letters into the shredder to somehow represent your interests. We could have saved the NHS. There’s a remote possibility we still can.
The power is ours. We just need to use it.