Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Joker to the Right

To commemorate the victims in the first year of the Coalition Government’s cuts, there should be wall-to-wall screening of the scene in ‘Reservoir Dogs’ when Mr. Blonde was about to display his own fondness for cuts. Cue the music:

“Well I don't know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain't right,
I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.”

Much has been already said about those Lib Dem clowns who volunteered themselves as human shields for the Tories. They are not so much left of centre as left behind, on every major policy issue, on every cut inflicted on the vulnerable, their antics merely deflecting attention from the real villains.

And it is the villains we need to focus on – those jokers to the right. Chief amongst them is of course THE JOKER himself: Cameron with his deceptive grin, his superficial charm, and his cold determination to make a mockery of everything a decent society should stand for.

Whereas Thatcher assumed, and the American Right still believes, that the best way for the wealthy elite to trample on the rest is to trumpet their attack on social justice with aggressive verbal onslaught at every turn, Cameron’s more devious and potent strategy is to pour nice words onto everything with a social value as a prelude to his minions slashing it with their sugarcoated butcher knife.

Cameron talks of fairness for everyone – so he lessens the burden for the rich and piles on the pressures for the poor. He pledges his support for the NHS – while he plans to tear it apart and replace it with a profit-orientated service. He says he cares about vulnerable people – but he decimates benefit support for people with disabilities. He claims to value family – yet for families on low income, he hacks away their housing benefit so they cannot even afford to stay at their home and have a stable family life. He praises the work of voluntary organisations – and he cuts their funding so they end up with less capacity to help those in need. He speaks warmly of education for all – in reality he cuts billions of pounds off state schools’ budgets while spending billions more on optional extras for aircraft carriers which may not even have aircrafts to carry.

In many ways, Cameron has perfected the very opposite of the ‘dog whistle’ approach. The Right was accustomed to saying things to stir up the emotions of their supporters even if in practice they did not intend to do anything quite so extreme. But the Joker has shown how by saying things to soothe potential opponents, he could get away with doing even more extreme things than Thatcher ever thought of.

Concerted opposition is what we need to stop the Joker getting away with hurting so many innocent people. His real agenda is to help the rich and powerful – defence contractors, media moguls, private healthcare providers, the wealthy who are not the least bothered about tuition fees, bankers who can keep their bonuses, etc. Until he’s seen for what he really is, the last laugh would be on us.

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