Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Can you smell 1979?

Well in 1979, a newly-elected Tory Government inundated us with propaganda about how young people, particularly young miners, had become disinterested and apolitical. Within two years the young miners responded with the miners' strike of 1981 and then the 1984 strike.

This time we are told that only older people are interested in politics and that half of voters under 25 didn't even vote in the last general election. They too are 'apolitical'.

Well young people (like everyone else) are interested in their own future. They've seen only too clearly whose interests Cameron and Clegg and their ilk represent.

The press deluge us with lies and propaganda. Gordon Brown has eliminated 'boom and bust', the Irish Government has promoted the boom of the 'Celtic Tiger'. Where are these prophecies now? In the dustbin with Magaret Thatcher's 'I will bring unity where there is disunity' of 1979.

The majority of young people at University and in Colleges are the sons and daughters of ordinary people, but they too are now being told that they have to pay for what the bankers have done.

All trade union branches should be inviting students to a branch meeting and trade union activists should visit University demonstrations and 'sit-ins'. We should show mutual support.

Now, more than ever, the "right of recall" should be at the top of our agenda.

If Phil Woolas can be removed from his MP's position by an unelected judge, why can't Nick Clegg be removed by the electorate he lied to? If Nick Clegg wants to remain in Parliament after the next election he will have to either join the Tory Party and get a safe Tory seat or go into the House of Lords. There will be no hiding place for him in his current seat. What started with the expenses scandal has moved onto MP's lying in their election pledges and onto students discussing the nature of democracy. It doesn't take long.

We who are socialists and trade unionists should be at the forefront of the democracy debate. At the centre of this debate should be the accountability of elected officials and how money is spent. Sons of the millionaire bankers, like Cameron and Clegg, won't want that debate but we need to ensure that the lights shine brightly on the skeletons in the cupboards of those who purport to represent us. The students have shown us what every ordinary persons' response should be to the lying politicians who represent the interests of the rich.

'It did not take me long, after arriving in England, to find out that people were paid in inverse proportion to their usefulness!' Oscar Wilde.

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