Hope

Greece has now got a fresh government and I hope that the new found optimism for the future doesn’t get crushed under the weight of pro-capitalist stuff and nonsense coming from the big wigs in the European money markets, their poodles in the press and the champions of austerity policy in various governments (Germany and the UK for example). The surge of hope that this has generated has thunderous echoes in Spain and it may well be that before too long, we’ll have a Spanish leader with a pony tail… something I never thought I’d see.

Meanwhile the UK election campaign rattles on and it’s a depressing spectacle. The Labour party (which I support, despite its faults) has lots of grassroots support but no money, the Tories have heaps of cash for shiny media and a largely supine press and TV on its side. “Supine” at best,as mostly the TV seems to rattle out straightforward establishment propaganda. And if you think I’m biased have a look at the work of the Glasgow Media Group – I am biased but it’s not my job to be otherwise, unlike say, the BBC.

The Tories seem to have decided that ridiculing Ed Miliband is their main tactic and any fluff that he or Ed Balls makes is analysed in the press as symptomatic of well, something far more significant than a simple mistake. Even the once proud Liberal newspaper – the Guardian, seems to be no more than a forum for one section of the establishment talking to the others. The costs of another Tory government to the vast majority of the population seems to have escaped their attention.

I pay too much attention to below the line comments: there you see that the level of debate has descended into insults and bluster… again, at best, because often they don’t even aspire to that majestic level of discussion. Pity a man called Balls this close to an election, with the internet-erati assuming that it’s ok to have a ‘go’ at someone in the foulest possible terms, just because you have the ability to remain anonymous.

Hope is needed – instead of threatening dire consequences of another Tory government, perhaps the Labour party needs to ask us to get involved in a project that will benefit the majority: living wages, re-nationalising utilities, wealth taxes, social housing building, respect for the NHS and its achievements, freedom from student fees, public sector cash (for the local services that people need but don’t tend to notice) and devolution of power to the regions. It might be pie in the sky, but at least it’s a message of aspiration. Not a dreary trudge to an uncertain finishing line.

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