It has been a strange eight months or so. It is almost as if the May election and all its fake promises of political delivery and indeed over-hyped political engagement, has somehow drawn a line between the tumultuous time of polarities now, and a bygone era of indifference then.
It hasn’t of course, and there is no suggestion here that party politics is suddenly offering the electorate credible alternatives, but rather the Coalition is opening up old wounds that the succession of neo-liberal Labour governments had tried to cover up with an ideology made up of those transparent cosmetic sticking plasters you can buy.
Still smarting from the painful shock of having those plasters ripped off without so much as a gentle parental warning, Uncivil Partners Cameron and Clegg are discovering that the flesh is as sore and infected as when they’d been first applied. “Daddies would kiss it better but we don’t want puss on our lips, and we don’t actually want you to get better anyway” is what they’ve been telling us, and that really hurts, guys.
Julian Assange has caught the imagination of an entourage of Hollywood sympathisers, but I’m still waiting for a would-be protagonist to ruffle their feathers, and proclaim disgust at what the government is now doing to our public services and people’s lives – Wikileaks has stolen the march on cool patronage, and there isn’t even a hint of a Julie Walters or Ray Winstone likely to give the nod towards our cause. I have been alarmed by the lack of imagination and sense of opportunity that has prevailed from the world of celebrity; maybe it has always been nothing more than token, or did Tony Blair kill it off with his Bono Gun in the Cool Britannia years?
I’m not talking about the ordinary demonstrators of course, who have been magnificentl creative in their defiance of such an elitist attack on society. They have rallied to the cause in the most resourceful manner, whilst constantly surrounded by media that refuse to ask the right questions; instead choosing to point the finger at the methods the demonstrators use to defend themselves. Why is it so hard for the toothless hacks to accept that students dressed in headscarves and snoods are perfectly justified in defending themselves by throwing snooker balls at riot police when their enemy turn up dressed as Robocop, licensed to kill?
I have long believed that when the youth lose faith in their politicians for ever being able to deliver, they can look to art for some kind of saviour, or at the very least provide some kind of hope that they are not alone and that unity exists somewhere, even if it only exists within that elusive concept that modern politicians like to flirt with called ‘pop-culture’.
I was excited then, to see that Morrissey had come out and spoken ill of David Cameron and I eagerly followed the link that appeared on my Facebook page. Was Morrissey going to ignite his famously penned spirit of the underdog, the frail, and the excluded, and rally against a government so out of touch with society that his legacy of supporters who hang on his every word would come out the other end fighting against these cuts?
Morrissey was ‘backing up’ his well-documented in-fighting nemesis and ex-band member Johnny Marr, who had not long previously tweeted about the fact that he wasn’t happy about David Cameron’s declaration of love for the Smiths. That’s fine, I thought, we can forgive Marr his personal displeasure and the disturbing mental images that lead him to object in such a contextless and insubstantial manner; it’s Morrissey that has the social conscience, who is the dead-pan orator and the wonderful lyricist – he’s the guy who can reduce this Etonian fascist to the status he deserves.
What I read almost had me burning my Smiths LPs on a whimpering indie funeral pyre. Not one word from Mozzer about the cuts, not one word about the poor, and not one word about the value of education – and this from a man who so confidently elevates his intellect above the station of his peers. He talks of Shelley and Keats, of Oscar Wilde, and flirts with the imagery of the Angry Young Man era, but here, he says nothing about the right to a free education. So what’s his ‘beef’ with Cameron?
He shoots deer.
You could have got your point across and still been inclusive of all the students and trade unions who have been overtly criticised for doing the same thing, but with justification this time round. You didn’t and you’re a prick because you have more in common with Timothy Treadwell than you do with Oscar Wilde.
From start to finish, Mozzer spearheads an attack on the Premier not for his shameless attack on the poor but for his shameful attack on wildlife. The point is Mozzer, we know they’re all toffs, and toffs shoot things for fun. Yes it’s hideous, and cruel and barbaric but then so is dog and cock fighting and if you get caught doing that you go to prison. It is not a question of how cruel or barbaric a bloodsport is that determines its legality, but who gets to participate in it that ultimately decides if it’s ‘ok’ or not. It is precisely why Tony Blair has since regretted his policy of banning fox hunting whilst he was in power, because he upset a class of people whose power and patronage no government can do without, and exactly why Cameron thinks he’ll have no trouble repealing those laws.
And this is now what is happening to our education system – allowing some to participate, and others not. Governments can do without the poor being educated, but need people like BBC Journalist Ben Brown to come through the education system so they can ask people like demonstrator Jody McIntyre stupid questions, and insult them at the same time – and they get away with it because the BBC is full of Ben Browns and void of Jody McIntyres. Some will get to ask the questions, the rest of us end up with mouths gaping. Ben Brown was educated at an ‘independent’ school before winning a scholarship at Oxford, and then post-graduated from a media and journalism course in Cardiff, and won’t have paid a penny for his higher education – but he would still have come through the education system under the current regime because his family would have been able to afford it. This is the system that governments want, so they know they can give a press briefing to a bunch of clueless ruling class idiots who have never experienced hardship in their lives and will never rock the boat. Of course they’re going to ask stupid questions. That’s the beauty of the system. What this government wants is the likes of Ben Brown being educated unchallenged by those who will have gained a more realistic perspective of life from poorer backgrounds.
Mozzer, you could have cited the Countryside Alliance’s marches on parliament during the Blair government and highlighted how a particular brand of violence carried out by the country-folk wasn’t reported with such sensationalism because the establishment saw the hunting ban as ‘an attack on people’s lifestyles’ – you could have got your point across and still been inclusive of all the students and trade unions who have been overtly criticised for doing the same thing, but with justification this time round. You didn’t and you’re a prick because you have more in common with Timothy Treadwell than you do with Oscar Wilde.
I should hardly be surprised that the voices of reason and those that have challenged the public spending review have come from much more humble minds than Mozzer and his bloated, palatial, self-indulgent head-space. They haven’t needed formal leadership or the patronage of a Pink Floyd baby to gain momentum or to have credibility. Jody McIntyre, confined to a wheelchair and limited in ease of communication through disability (Mozzer will champion animal rights before those who live with disabilities) got ripped from his chair by police yet still delivered a damning, and incisive response to a wholly prejudiced and government-reigned interview.
Another notable objector, was the 15-year-old protestor Barnaby Reign, who talked of the students as young as thirteen learning ‘a lot about the Metropolitan Police’ during the demonstrations and spoke of a heart-warming affiliation with a trade union towards the greater good. These people, (and I suspect there are many more aside that have not made the news due to the informal nature of the demonstrations’ organisation) have given me hope that it has direction without needing some kind of God-Head as the voice of the people. I don‘t know what music fifteen year olds listen to nowadays but it is roundly abused by my peers as being vapid and irrelevant. I’m happy to dismiss that criticism now without bothering to research it. All I know is that it hasn’t turned its generation of young people into a bunch of weeping apolitical sloths like Morrissey.
Mozzer. You claim to be ‘well-read’, so if you haven’t already, please read The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. If you can get past the descriptions of pigs’ blood, and general necessary cruelty towards animals that is quite characteristic of the Middle Ages you’ll find a wonderful epistemological examination of those in power who try to prevent the likes of Jody McIntyre from seeking an enlightened education to which they deserve.
Morrissey, it really was nothing, wasn’t it?
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