I have just been reminded of exactly how cynical our politicians can be by the annual parade of double standards in Central London this morning.
Thousands of men and women have just marched past the cenotaph with their heads respectfully bowed after royalty, politicians and other Commonwealth heads of State have laid their wreaths of Remembrance. TV commentators have spoken eloquently about duty and sacrifice. Wounded ex-service personnel have talked about the horrors they had seen and the friends they have lost. Patriotic music has been played by military marching bands as the masses filed slowly along Whitehall. People on social media have argued about what colour poppy should be worn and where the leaf should be.
When all the men and women who took up arms and fought in the two World Wars and all the subsequent wars they did so, as they euphemistically said at the time, in the hope of a better tomorrow. But is the tomorrow we are giving them better? Or is it worse.
What has really happened?
Can it all be summed up in a simple sentence?
I think it can.
Mr Cameron and his Tory Government have just been telling us, with heads bowed and due solemnity, to remember the people who fought in Wars for this country and honour their memories, less than a week after cutting the benefits, pensions and Tax Credits those very same people rely on to live. We are told to ‘never forget our fallen heroes’ and by the same men and women who bayed and laughed and cheered at Prime Minister’s Questions at the idea of condemning many of those injured in war to and old age of penury and misery.
How dare they.
How dare they think they can get away with telling us to respect our older and disabled people when they are doing the exact opposite themselves. How cynical can they get. And how are we letting them get away with it?
Why did we vote these people into power in May? Hadn’t we learnt what we could expect by their actions over the previous five years? When are we going to put our collective feet down and say ‘Enough. You have gone too far, this has to stop.’
Our politicians are turning us into a nation of people who care only for ourselves. As long as number one is alright then it’s fine and to hell with everyone else. Well, it isn’t fine.
Sure, some of us are trying to change things, trying to make things better, protesting and writing and fighting as best we can but it’s not enough.
We need to do something to stop them in their tracks.
Am I calling for a general strike?
I don’t know. Maybe I am.
Maybe now is the time to down tools and stop doing what they want.
We need to find a way of getting everyone to say no because, until we do, our politicians will continue to trot out the same old platitudes whilst feathering their own nests at our expense.
We need to make them listen.
Let’s be bold and heroic ourselves.
Let’s all really honour those heroes from the past by looking after our own the way they deserve to be looked after.
Let’s stop sitting back and expecting our politicians to do it all for us because they are failing. Now is our time. Let’s use it to make things better for everyone and let’s do it now, lest we forget.