Sunday, December 1, 2013

John Pilger and the deafening silence about class warfare

In  a recent article Discovering the power of people's history  and why it is feared today Australia's finest journalist John Pilger reminds us of the deafening silence about class in the UK and about the harm and devastation caused by the class warfare unleashed by the political (and corporate) classes under the guise of policies of austerity, privatization and marketization.

Pilger points out that the experience of everyday people under policies of austerity (or what he calls enforced poverty) are not just deliberately hidden and suppressed. In the world of the political, corporate and media class, the experience and history of ordinary people under austerity simply does not matter, or even exist.
When I read recently that 600,000 Greater Manchester residents were "experiencing the effects of extreme poverty" and that 1.6 million were slipping into penury, I was reminded how the political consensus was unchanged. Now led by the southern squirearchy of David Cameron, George Osborne and their fellow Etonians, the only change is the rise of Labour's corporate management class, exemplified by Ed Miliband's support for "austerity" - the new jargon for imposed poverty.

In Clara Street in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in the wintry dark of early morning, I walked down the hill with people who worked more than sixty hours a week for a pittance. They described their "gains" as the Health Service. They had seen only one politician in the street, a Liberal who came and put up posters and said something inaudible from his Land Rover and sped away. The Westminster mantra then was "paying our way as a nation" and "productivity". Today, their places of work, and their trade union protection, always tenuous, have gone. "What's wrong," a Clara Street man told me, "is the thing the politicians don't want to talk about any more. It's governments not caring how we live, because we're not part of their country."

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