The extreme social divisions in today’s Britain are not just a case of unfair distribution. They are the consequence of a brutal class war conducted by the superrich on the working class.
The rhetoric since 2010 has been about Austerity – the need to cut public spending to balance the national budget after the financial crash. The reality has been a process of robbing the poor while the rich get richer. A glaring example is that the 1000 richest people – those on the Sunday Times ‘rich list’ – doubled their wealth in just five years.
Meanwhile the Health Service has been brought to its knees, and local councils have been unable to sustain the most basic levels of care. The only ‘growth industry’ since 2010 has been food banks.
As we pointed out in an earlier post, this is having a devastating impact on children’s welfare and education.
None of this is accidental. Conservative government since 2010 has been driven by representatives of the superrich, many of them Eton educated. Etonian families do not tighten their belts: the fees are now £42,501 a year. The pupil-teacher ratio is 8:1 and the facilities are amazing. Above all else, it instils the habits of Britain’s ruling elite: a third of Britain’s prime ministers attended this one school !
The Bullingdon Club epitomises the culture of Old Etonians at Oxford, and aspiring to political power. Founded in 1780 as a hunting and cricket club, its name has always been synonymous with excessive drinking and a competitive destructiveness. (And that according to the Daily Mail!) Both David Cameron and Boris Johnson were active members. It must have been a home from home for Johnson, whose nickname at Eton was ‘the Berserker’.
The brutal politics of Conservative rule are summed up in a brilliant new song from Madness. The Bullingdon Boys video (with the tagline ‘Don’t get bullied by the Bully Boys’) captures their selfish ambition and casual destructiveness in images from Clockwork Orange, pirate ships and slave galleys alternating with Eton boys, evening dress and caning.
The lyrics sharply capture the viciousness of this gang:
We are the chancers’ brigade
We’ll have you flogged and flayed
Move along back to your sweatshops
and their imperialist delusions:
We’re making England great again
Make way for the bag-men
And when everything’s been sold and bought
We’ll soon be off the life support.
Share it far and wide. Put Johnson in the dustbin of history.