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Combating hopelessness

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
You obviously either didn't read or didn't understand my post :

"I believe that those who are really in need are suffering because much of our welfare budget is wasted on those who can support themselves but, due to their sense of entitlement and socialist mentality, prefer to live off the taxpayer."

It is the old and sick that are suffering because much of our Welfare Budget is spent on those who could get by without government aid.
As I said I think you are mislead and should stop reading the Mail.
Our govt is ruthlessly trying the force people off sickness/disability benefits by a cruel system of reassessments - at a profit to private companies ATOS and Maximus and at much cost to the tax payer. Our 'welfare' budget overwhelmingly goes into proping up proftable companies who pay minimum wage and into the pockets of private landlords .
 
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friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
There are two huge obstacles to overcome - one is the media peddling lies (e.g. about benefit claimants) and the other is the lack of a unified left wing party to get behind. The latter was a problem in the 80s when I was more active than I am now.

With the first, we can challenge lies.

[snip]
Glad I've found this thread. I was thinking last night how absolutely depressing it looked outside at the moment. Tory government, the EU technocrats destroying greece, disabled friends finding it hard to eat. I personally am OK. I have the trappings of a good life. Job, flat, food on my plate etc but I know these are of no use when society is being tormented. I think I'm more up for a fight than ever before. I just don't know who to punch.

I have registered as union supporter to vote for Jeremy Corbin.
And watch the greek story unfold the speeches of EU commission president are making me think about of voting no at the referendum because I think I've seen enough of the EU as a capitalist club to know it will never be fixed. I like the idea of our common european home but it can not be one set up to allow the rich to abuse us all with their corporations.
It seems like a lot has changed in the last 2 years. I was just reading back to the beginning of this thread and I was wondering what do you both think about how things are now?

anyone feeling hopeful yet?
 

oryx

Sitting on the bock of the day
So much has happened since then.

Who would have thought, back in July 2015, there would be a left-wing backbencher leading the Labour Party and being seen as a possible future PM?

A maverick business tycoon (that's the politest and least contentious way I can describe Trump) would be the US president?

The UK voting to leave the EU?

The Grenfell Tower tragedy blowing the lid off the establishment's lack of care for social housing tenants and working class people generally?

Cameron's resignation, Mayhem and the loss of her majority in an election gamble which didn't pay off?

I do feel more hopeful on one level as the last election proved there is an appetite for change from 'austerity' and in two years the Tories have gone from being jubilant to looking like they may well be fucked - deeply divided, handling Brexit badly, and looking like a spent force. There have been some victories for what you might call the 99%, such as the reversal of the need to pay for employment tribunals and the climbdown recently on the plans to cap housing benefit for social tenants at local housing allowance levels. Those are the two that come to mind immediately but I'm sure there are others.

At a deeper level I have more concern. Brexit is huge, and hugely divisive. I don't think the reasons so many people voted Leave have been examined, and why it was seen as a force for change, and what is driving that desire for change.

Really interested to know what you, FoD, and others on this thread think & how hopeless/hopeful people feel in the light of a tumultuous two years.
 

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
Genuinely suprised about Corbyn - for so long now the 'centre ground' has been firmly on the right, and at last he has restablished the Labour party as socialist. Corbyn has managed to reframe and change the debate. Shame the media dismissed him and the fucking parliamentary LP didn't get behind him - I feel they could have won the last election if labour had shown more unity and stood more firmly with Corbyn. Its the first time I've voted labour since 1997. Not sure what chance he has of changing anything while in opposition though. I've still no idea what labours Brexit plans are either.

I think Brexit has been the most socially and politically divisive thing that has happened in my lifetime. I live in fear of what will happen. Its all so unclear, fuck know what will happen in the next few years.

Re: Trump, Cameron, May etc I feel the whole situation would be comical if these people weren't ruling our world, and mucking it all up.
 

oryx

Sitting on the bock of the day
I think Brexit has been the most socially and politically divisive thing that has happened in my lifetime. I live in fear of what will happen. Its all so unclear, fuck know what will happen in the next few years.
I agree fully.

Another thing I was thinking recently is that the cuts in public services are really showing now to everyone (or just about everyone), unlike until recently when the main effects of austerity were seen on benefit claimants and less well-off people.

Policing cuts, streets not being cleaned as often as they used to be, council staff cuts, unacceptable waiting times for GPs and hospital appointments, etc. etc.

This is only going to get worse. The (I think) m/class people on my local websites complaint about moped crime, NHS cuts and closures, streets looking unkempt etc. but don't seem to relate it to the wider political situation, unlike on here. This annoys me. They are either Tories, apathetic, 'apolitical' or sticking their fingers in their ears.
 

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
This is only going to get worse. The (I think) m/class people on my local websites complaint about moped crime, NHS cuts and closures, streets looking unkempt etc. but don't seem to relate it to the wider political situation, unlike on here. This annoys me. They are either Tories, apathetic, 'apolitical' or sticking their fingers in their ears.
There seems to be more agreement among my co workers in the care home that they under pressure like never before. There is a shortage of workers, difficulty in recruiting new staff and we're all overworked and underpaid.
 

Yuwipi Woman

Whack-A-Mole Queen
I took a bit of an attitude hit this weekend. Went to Omaha and decided to take the back roads back home. I drove past what used to be a public ski area. (Yes, I know. skiing here?) It was a great natural place to tramp around, even if the skiing wasn't so great. There were lots of trees and a limestone cave, if you knew where to look.

Drove by and saw mile after mile of some iron fencing with spikes on top. After looking closer, I saw that it was not only a nasty looking fence, it was electrified. "No trespassing" and "trespassers will be prosecuted" signs were posted every few feet, and a guard shack along the border of the property. It looked like some sort of survivalist's compound.

When I got home I checked to see what had happened to the place. It was bought by a billionaire named Joe Ricketts (Ameritrade) for $13.5 million.

And yes, I know this is a silly thing to get upset about, but there you go. It's frustrating because I can visibly see the wealth going out of the hands of us average people to people higher on the scale. :(
 
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krink

I'll do it this afternoon
Things are definitely worse for me personally. I worry that the energy needed for change has been taken up by the Corbyn phenomenon and I honestly think that will be a dead end.
 

mojo pixy

unquantifiable hazards
Last week I found myself hesitating over buying a £22 pair of boots to replace mine that are leaking, because I also wanted to buy my son a christmas gift that was on sale, before they sold out.

In the end I went for the go-kart, and I'll have to put up with soggy feet till December.

For the record, I do two jobs; one for 30 hours a week.
 

Yuwipi Woman

Whack-A-Mole Queen
Last week I found myself hesitating over buying a £22 pair of boots to replace mine that are leaking, because I also wanted to buy my son a christmas gift that was on sale, before they sold out.

In the end I went for the go-kart, and I'll have to put up with soggy feet till December.

For the record, I do two jobs; one for 30 hours a week.
Your son will love the go-kart. I think that's every boy's dream.

It does seem that things are getting tighter and tighter for the average person. I lost 30% of my income a few years ago when they cut back on overtime. Since then, we haven't gotten pay raises. And since I'm in the US, the cost of healthcare has gone up and up. So my paycheck is substantially smaller than it was 10 years ago. Even so, I see lots of people who are worse off than me.
 

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
Last week I found myself hesitating over buying a £22 pair of boots to replace mine that are leaking, because I also wanted to buy my son a christmas gift that was on sale, before they sold out.

In the end I went for the go-kart, and I'll have to put up with soggy feet till December.

For the record, I do two jobs; one for 30 hours a week.
liked in solidarity. and for getting the present for your son in a sale.
Sorry things are so tight for you

Is this what 'making work pay' that tories love to talk about eh? shame they don't talk about making employers pay decent wages.
 

krink

I'll do it this afternoon
Last week I found myself hesitating over buying a £22 pair of boots to replace mine that are leaking, because I also wanted to buy my son a christmas gift that was on sale, before they sold out.

In the end I went for the go-kart, and I'll have to put up with soggy feet till December.

For the record, I do two jobs; one for 30 hours a week.
I know exactly how you feel. I do the same thing - spent five minutes deliberating if I could afford to spend 3 quid in CEX on a 2nd hand DVD. I don't put the heating on unless the kids are here (shared custody) and just been told in April 19 getting a two grand pay cut (and pay freeze until then) which means I won't be able to afford bills AND food.
I put the dvd back.
 

mojo pixy

unquantifiable hazards
Working hard and living responsibly certainly does pay off :thumbs:
No wonder shoplifting and various forms of fraud are on the rise, living completely above board is becoming impossible if you're below a certain income.
 

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
I know exactly how you feel. I do the same thing - spent five minutes deliberating if I could afford to spend 3 quid in CEX on a 2nd hand DVD. I don't put the heating on unless the kids are here (shared custody) and just been told in April 19 getting a two grand pay cut (and pay freeze until then) which means I won't be able to afford bills AND food.
I put the dvd back.
that sounds really shit. Pay cut sounds unbearable.
 

Ralph Llama

ERROR 23 : DEFAULT MODE NETWORK COMPROMISED
Banned
I wasn't sure where to post this.

I realised recently that I'd been on more demos, marches and written more letters/signed petitions in the last 2 years or so than in the previous two decades. (I used to do a lot of activist stuff back in the reign of Thatcher.)

So here we are again - the Torys, more austerity, more attacks on the NHS, the unemployed, the poor, the ill and the disabled. They are creating a deeply divisive society with ever increasing inequality between the 'haves and have nots' which sets everyone againgst each other. Its like being back in the gloom of 1980s - but much worse, with even less hope of any reprieve or change of govt policy.

I keep hearing people say what the point of protest, it won't change anything - how do we combat that defeatism?

Is anyone hopeful that this country can actually turn the tide and change for the better? What can we actually do? what orgasations, protests, stategies or philosophies offer any hope of a fightback?

I realise that back the 80s I coped because:
  • I thought there was every chance the Tory govt would fall, or be voted out next time
  • There was a lot of organised opposition to Thatcherism - from trade unions, political parties, terrorist groups and lots of single issue groups.
  • There was some idealised idea of rainbow coalition - that united the minorities could be the majority and win through to change things
  • I was young - I had the energy to fight and hadn't had all the hope worn out of me.
  • I beleived that you could win people over to your way of thinking by educating them one at a time.
None of those things apply now except the last one - which would suggest a long slog indeed.
I need ideas on how to face the struggle against the Torys and avoid depression and burnout.
Ok this happens to everyone to much(wont go into the depressing reasons why) When it happens to me i read, watch or listen to undiniably credible media sources that feed back to me the statistics and observations that the movment is working. Example : Goverments are now scrutinised about all aspects of war, which makes them have to cover their tracks / do it on the sly which limits their scope for action.
Inedpandant media needs to establish itself further in UK. I mean the yanks have got democracynow.org FFS . We need a European model of DN! i rekon. Anyone up for getting the ball rolling?
 
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