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A Growing Pain

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Apparently I am a "woke leftie, spouting a redundant Marxist narrative" - an accusation laid at my door recently by someone who not only believes both 'woke' and 'leftie' are forms of abuse, but also clearly doesn't understand there's a difference between democratic socialism and communism.
And there was me thinking I was simply advocating a world in which everybody has a secure roof over their head, isn't in danger of being gassed, bombed, ethnically cleansed or otherwise physically and mentally abused, has enough to eat and drink, is offered education while young and work at a reasonable remuneration in a world where being a good, caring and responsible citizen is the pre-eminent goal, where any form of discrimination is unacceptable, where exploitation (whether by 'greedy fat cats' or 'lazy scroungers') is simply not tolerated, but where the truly needy are supported and restored to equilibrium and a sense of worth. Isn't that what a decent society ought to be about?
Is it naïve idealism? I was told when I was a young man that I would grow up and out of such illusions when I got older, with a wife and kids, a career and a mortgage to worry about. But I still hold to those ideals, that social conscience and aspiration for the greater good. To me, that's what being 'woke' and a 'leftie' is all about. Far better than dozing into the nightmare of this creeping right-wing 'laissez-faire (i.e. rampant and unchecked) capitalist-oligarch domination that we're currently heading for. Maybe I just never grew up.
I take the view that we all start off with enormous potential as little human beings, with the latent ability to learn to be open, positive, kind, generous, co-operative, adventurous, creative as we grow, providing we're given the right milieu and role models.

A Growing Pain

How disappointing that what starts like this....

If we're shown love, care, kindness, tolerance, the importance of honesty and fairness, most of us  will end up internalising and exhibiting those qualities in life (and pass them on in turn).
It doesn't always go according to plan. There are vast inequalities in this country where 5% of the population (just over 1 million people) own 90% of the wealth, a gap that's widening, by the way, and in which millions of people are living below the poverty line. Without political and social change enshrined in law (i.e.a leftie agenda) those inequalities are never going to be "levelled up" (to use the current buzzword). Instead, the power-brokers - the have-a-lots who mean to have even more - will always deflect away any criticism of their own privilege and motives by encouraging a sense of dissatisfaction with something or someone else: like the nasty EU (which has actually done more good for the average citizen in this country than any Tory government of the last 50 years), welfare scroungers, or those dirty immigrants. So it goes, shameful and disdainful.

A Growing Pain often ends up like this!

"Boris is my PM", "No more immigrants here", "Our own rules", "Fuck off EU", "Oven ready, go!", "Tough shit, remoaners" - just a few of the placards endorsing and celebrating a democratic vote to leave the European Union thanks to a Brexit campaign founded on outright lies and misinformation peddled by right-wing pressure groups and part funded by Russian roubles, playing on the xenophobic bigotry and narrow-mindedness of a nation disaffected ironically by years of Tory austerity, supposedly necessitated in the wake of a financial crisis caused by the cynical greed of a bunch of exploitative free-market capitalists.
It's a growing pain (as far as I'm concerned), this groundswell of baying right-wing venom against the best of our social and democratic constructs as a tolerant and caring society. We have the best state health service in the world (the NHS) and yet the Tories are planning to decimate it as part of a trade deal with the USA. We have the best public service broadcasting organisation in the world (the BBC - and we should be as proud of it as we are of the NHS), but it is under attack for proposing to charge the license fee (means tested) to over 75s because the Tories have decided to pull the government subsidy that has funded the pensioners' free license for decades. It's this government which should be receiving pelters of abuse, not the BBC. And then most recently there has been the ugly campaign against migrants and "illegals living off Britian's generosity".
Well here's a financial argument to put it all in perspective: if the business-men and companies that are illegally avoiding paying tax in this country stumped up the hundreds of billion a year of which they are defrauding the exchequer, that would more than cover every penny that's paid out in social benefits and universal credits (and those are the government's own estimates). Earlier on I  mentioned exploitation and it is abundantly clear that 'fat cat' illegalities far outweigh 'lazy scrounger' illegalities - but the Tory press and the right-wing pressure groups make sure your average Joe - or Doris - will vent their spleen on the lazy scroungers and the pitiable immigrants rather than the cynical captains of industry and financial makers and shakers who are the real culprits taking us all for a ride.
Okay, rant over. Let's cut to some poetry - and this week a piece heaped with satire, plus not a little irony and (in its tail) the sting of existential retribution. Don't be like Doris!
A Growing Pain

Lust And Loathing In Suburbia
Doris Motion, matronly and decorous,
is nonetheless a slave to patriotic lust.
It's discreet, like the ancient vibrator
in her dressing-table drawer, this secret
she shares with the blue-rinse ladies
with whom she plays fours; their mantra,
"In Boris We Trust", the only outward
token of such deeply felt devotion.
In another age, a picture of Our Lord
might have graced her bedroom wall,
but since her husband passed away
a framed photograph of Boris Johnson
and the sympathetic note he wrote her
are on proud display. If they made
a bust of her hero, she'd have one too,
for that extra touch of patrician gravitas.
In this chamber fashioned as a shrine,
every night she lights red, white and
blue candles, the better to contemplate
the man she adores as she peels off lashes,
cleanses her pores and, in deshabille,
pulls the brush a hundred times through
a once lush gilded mane. It captivated
Father; she imagines Boris is the same.
Sometimes she gets a hot flush
just gazing into his Labrador eyes,
would happily mother the sweet boy
for his brave sacrifice,
could fling her arms around
his stout form in mute gratitude
for making Britain great again -
and rues the fact that both her sons
have moved away, turned their backs
on this neat suburban nest, the elder lad
to France, the younger fled to Italy.
Kneeling nightgowned by her bed at length
to pray, beseeching: "Give Boris strength
and keep those dirty migrants at bay",
Doris doesn't see the dark stain of shame
spreading across her expensive pink rose paper,
nor sense that pervasive whiff of distain
like bad drains which has been hanging
around the gated cul-de-sac for some days now...
Thanks for reading my "woke leftie spoutings", S ;-) Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook


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