Extreme Measures

Having just finished watching a programme on the effects of austerity on some of the most vulnerable people in my country I have come to a new understanding of why people resort to extreme measures to counter injustice.

While corporate tax evaders, banks and corrupt politicians elude justice, the penalties and sanctions imposed for minor infractions of the benefits system – being late for an appointment! – hit to the stomachs of children, leave households without electricity or gas and force the sale of personal possessions to survive. Decisions on appeal drag on for months while poverty is compounded with mounting debt at the hands of franchises lending at exorbitant interest rates.

The divide is growing. It does not surprise me in the least that the people of Scotland are supporting in droves a political party that promises to do everything in its power to counter austerity measures imposed by policies this government and previous ones have forced on its citizens while doing nothing to address the real criminals in the crisis that has plagued the UK. A party that represents the only real social party left to offer any effective resistance to the suits that look out for each other.

The haves do what they like while the have-nots have ever less under a regime that would make any dictator proud.

Fuck austerity. I teach children whose lives ARE this programme.

Some will go to Jamaica and Tenerife for their Easter holidays. Some will wonder if they eat. The divide is in my classroom. The evidence of the divide is on my TV, in my newspapers, on blogs I read, in the untruths perpetuated in news and programmes that make criminals of victims while allowing the real criminals to continue on their course of profit at any cost.

I am not a member of any political party at the moment. I am a member of the human race and the day I can’t empathise with my fellow man – most specifically, the children – is the day I will vote for Tories or the now recognised Red Tories, hitherto known as the Labour Party.

If there is anyone who reads this who may ‘fear the onslaught of the SNP’, ‘the tartan terrors’ or whatever other name is being used to denigrate that party, if anyone believes that all who vote for them are only interested in ‘splitting the union’ think again.

The real reason SNP are gaining in popularity is because they are the main party in Scotland to represent what Labour have abandoned.

They actually give a shit which is more than can be said for many in the previous duopoly. They have my vote. Not for being extreme- they’re not extreme enough for me. But right at this moment they are the best option the whole of the UK has to redress the balance by at least offering some resistance to what is currently a crime being allowed to run rampage.

Austerity is a crime against children and families. And I will not stand for it.

Extreme doesn’t begin to describe what I feel after watching this programme.

Yes, I understand better why people take drastic actions to counter injustice.

Mine will be within the letter of the law. But some laws need changing. Soon. Very, very soon.

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11 thoughts on “Extreme Measures”

  1. Go momus. And you are right, this system is setup by the rich, for the rich…and manipulated accordingly. Democracy my ass. In the beginning it ‘seemed’ fairer, but these days they have become so greedy they blatently thumb their noses at one and all.
    And one day that have-nots will crack (as it slowly is now), and the have will fight tooth and nail to not lose that snout in the trough.

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    1. Mark, I’m heartbroken after watching this programme. Justice and equality is a travesty here. A sub-class of humanity is being created, people who have no route out of the trap, vilified at every turn and at their wits’ end to supply the most basic needs for their families. A late appointment to a benefits meeting – no excuses – and support is suspended. I know these people in my life. They are near to breakdown and the only real opposition here is being parodied and misrepresented as an evil Scottish bogeyman, set on holding the power brokers to ransom. They will, I hope. But not for the reasons they are being portrayed. I sincerely hope that Scotland will yet have its independence but this fight is about opposing a one party system that is currently dismantling the fabric of society by hitting families. And cursing them in the process.
      The divide is massive. SNP are putting forward genuinely appraised economic alternatives but truth doesn’t count in the face of the threat to the powerbase. Every conceivable means – from lies to downright racism – is being broadcast nationwide because they’re terrified of losing what has always been theirs to have and hold.
      We were begged to stay in the union, promised all sorts and now told that our vote is seen as terror. It’s a fucking laugh, frankly. Except I’m in awe at their audacity and stupidity. Watch this space. The Scots are set to hold the two main powers to ransom for the sake of ALL of the UK in the face of austerity. And they are kacking it! Big time.
      I seriously hope that there are enough people with more going on in their hearts and heads to realise where the real threat to democracy lies. And it ain’t us.

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      1. It’s certainly workable, Mark. Many of the schools here operate a system of ‘assertive discipline’ whereby the children are shown to understand that school is a microcosm of the community and that all communities have rights and responsibilities. The children then have to own their own behaviour and reflect on consequences arising from it. It works pretty well where it is adhered to but can break down if not followed from top to bottom within the school. In other words, I’ve seen and been involved in instances where the head doesn’t follow through on naturally occurring consequences and the children (and teachers) then disbelieve the efficacy of the policy.
        Wouldn’t it be quite something if consensus could be the way forward instead of party politics and point scoring? If kids can be taught it so can adults, you’d think. Thanks for the link, Mark.

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      2. It would be fantastic to see it in action. A whole new generation of children who would grow up to deal from that space. Politics would take on a whole new meaning. (If we survived until they come through, that is).
        From my time in school their was only the cane 🙂

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  2. A fully justified rant, Anne-Marie, and one with which I whole-heartedly agree. Do spare a wee thought for those of us south of the border for whom there is no viable alternative on the horizon! I, like yourself, see this ever widening divide on a daily basis, but, in what has always been an harmonious multi-ethni community, am seeing growing tensions here ( a recent large EDL rally just up the road from where I teach), fuelled, I suspect, by those who have trying to create a scapegoat to deflect from the genuine issue. Let us see what lies await us.
    Take care.
    Chris

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    1. You do have my sympathies, Chris, that there is no viable alternative down south. We actually have a few here, some more left-wing than others. Scotland has invariably been a country of the left, favouring social politics and that is where Labour has burned their bridges – becoming every bit as right-wing as the Tories and others.
      Green looks about your only option to make your voice heard unless there are other independents or small parties that might help change the rhetoric.
      Something has to give, Chris, before there is any more of a crisis than current. People just can’t take much more. And you’re right about the creation of scapegoats. Blame, divide and conquer is their game but I sincerely hope that others, like yourself, can see through that.

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  3. Anne-Marie, I thought for a moment you had moved to the US. This describes the situation here exactly, only it is far worse. We have a vocal minority of about 38% that blocks any attempt to help alleviate suffering of any kind. They are callous voters at the populist level and wily, greedy politicians at the governing level who are in the pockets of billionaires and giant corporations. They simply do not care. Frustration and anger are the least of my sentiments about these hard-hearted people. And, Americans keep handing them the reins, over and over again. It is sickening.

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    1. It’s everywhere, Beth. The lunatics have taken over the asylum. Economic policies are crippling people and those dishing out the austerity are walking around with their eyes wide shut – knowing full well the effects but not giving a damn as long as their own personal bank balance is in the black. There are advertisements here for people to clipe on anyone they suspect of benefit fraud, programmes portraying recipients as scroungers and those chosen being the least representative of the norm. There are, however, no advertisements to highlight the loss of revenue to the country via corporate tax evaders. People are serving time for far lesser offences – the real criminals just walk off laughing. It’s some state of affairs when the government colludes with crime while creating scapegoats, as Chris has said, out of the most vulnerable.
      You know things are bad when ordinary folk are choosing to have their say in a much more vocal way than previously. That’s what’s happening here. Folk have had it up to the neck and beyond. There’s the same sort of fervour arising as did during the lead up to the Scottish Referendum. I just hope, for everyone’s sake, that more people make their voices heard on the day and vote with some conscience.

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