Franklin D. Roosevelt is best remembered, well by me anyway, for rescuing America from the devastating, crippling, financial depression that followed the crash of the stock market in 1929. His plan, his New Deal, was summed up by three 'Rs' - Relief, Recovery and Reform. He built new roads, new homes, new hospitals, he invested in science and education and he brought in social security. He took America from the dustbowl days of mass unemployment and food queues, to a new golden age of growth and prosperity. In a nutshell, he invested in the Nation and he invested in the people, he spent taxpayer money to improve the lives of everyone. And it worked. Not only did American citizens live well, the rest of us around the world, could see how well they lived on the Silver Screen. We all aspired to be just like them.
What Roosevelt did in the USA, Jeremy Corbyn wants to do here in the UK. We have had 9 years of Depression, 9 years of Tory inflicted Austerity. All to pay back some imaginary debt that we all owe yet did not benefit from. So has this debt been paid back? No it's tripled, so too the number of billionaires, ha ha millionaires, you are now the poor relations. The tories, to be fair are still stinging from the fact that poor people, who don't do an honest day's work, breaking stones for the sake of it will do, receive any cash at all. Even those lying prostrate on a hospital bed could use their free hand to paint portions of a wall. Putting every benefit claimant on trial was a stroke of genius, I mean, who doesn't moan about their job, drink gin and complain about scroungers having large screen TVs? At one time the TV networks churned out nothing but 'benefits' programmes. And just for anyone's information. I was one of the kids who had to queue up for 'free' dinner tickets. I'll just leave that there, because I know there will many other '60s' kids out there who know how that felt.
For 9 years we have all been indoctrinated to believe that we are still suffering the effects of the world bankers' greed that kicked off the last depression. I don't even know when that was, because Depression is now the dominant ideology. We can't get a GP appointment, we have to wait hours in A&E, our kids are in classes that are way too big, all our services and communities are decimated. My heart goes out to those good and kind souls who keep all our emergency services going so smoothly, but more and more is being put on their good and kind natures, it's like the mistreatment of poor old Boxer in Animal Farm, who's remedy was 'I must work harder'. They are too noble to withhold their treatment and services, we must fight for them.
Great Britain is desperately in need of refurbishment - it looks tired, worn and run down. If the UK were a house for a sale on a street with a house representing each of our European neighbours, the UK would be the one with an overgrown lawn, chipped window frames, and a plumbing and electrical system held together with gaffa tape and poor quality glue. Johnson like his predecessor has no shame at foreign leaders seeing on English streets the tragic human consequences of his heartless, greedy, grasping policies that have for 9 years been targeting society's most vulnerable. Gandhi said it better 'A Nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members'. Right now, the UK is looking pretty shoddy.
How sad that we have become a nation so terrified of change that a kind, decent, non racist, non anti-Semitic, genuinely nice guy creates more fear than a proven liar/ self serving, racist, misogynist, bloated elitist, who has never hidden the fact that he prefers bankers and billionaires to ordinary people with whom he has absolutely zilch in common. Boris Johnson, let's just call him Johnson, has been part of a government that continually cuts vital services that keep communities going. Literally, lifelines to those who need them most. Now, after all these years, weeks from an election, he promises to restore that which he took away.
In Jeremy Corbyn I see hope for the future, hope especially for the up and coming new generations. Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor, are not taking a leap in the dark. They have done their homework, they have done their sums. Economists will have recognised the Keynsian economics of Jeremy Corbyn's New Deal. His policies are not too dissimilar to Relief, Recovery and Reform. All over the country there are people, agencies and community projects that are in need of Relief. So many people's lives have been devastated by the cruelty of the Tories cuts and the Tories manufactured spectacle of putting the most vulnerable on trial to justify their need for assistance. How shameful that in a civilised country, in the 21st century, people are having to queue at foodbanks. That the United Nations are calling Britain's sanctions policies inhumane. Of course they are inhumane, they are resulting in actual deaths.
Recovery. We are evolving so quickly with technology etc, that the lives of future generations will be totally different to those of us over a certain age. We went from school straight into jobs, secretary, hairdresser, builder, plumber. Retail, a major employer. Traditional jobs are disappearing fast. Newspapers for example, the print industry is under major threat. Nothing we can do, say the Conservatives, that's life, tighten our belts. But they are Conservatives, they dislike change, they also dislike philanthropic ideas designed to make the lives of the plebs, easier/more comfortable. Their philosophy is, make the blighters work for it!
The reality is, we have evolved, and are constantly evolving. If we had the same spirit of adventure of the great Britains of the 1900s (I have the book), we would be investing in exploration, science and technology. A more luxurious life for all, not just a few. And, it is often the case, that being philanthropic, can also be profitable. It is not necessary to screw or hold hostage to cash, those who need the products most.
We have more leisure time. There are some among us who like to proclaim that their diaries are full and they don't have a free moment. Actually, I would say the majority. Maybe it's because we learn at a very young age never to volunteer our free time, you never know what kind of situation it will get you into. Instead of celebrating this free time by dossing on the couch binge watching 'The Crown' and eating Ferrero Rocher (I only buy them in months that end in 'er'), we feel we should justify those lost hours by proclaiming we got a good job done, as in 100 sit ups, repainted the bathroom, served a meal with 15 vegetables, scrubbed the doorstep. Leisure time is an industry that has not yet been tapped, mostly because we still feel guilty about it. But in saying that, I should specify, it could be just be me and my accursed catholic upbringing.
So we don't have many of the traditional working class jobs anymore. A good thing because they were mostly boring repetitive and soul destroying. This is where we need an imaginative government who can create the jobs for the future. A government who will invest in education, science, technology, the Arts - what good is woodwork is 2019? How about 'Green' issues, ways in which to save the planet?
Reform. Everything needs updating. From building facilities that keep up with the demands of the population, to fine tuning existing public services and ensuring they have enough staff to cope with the growing needs of every school, hospital and public service. People are ready, willing and able to fill these desperately needed posts, it is shameful that the tories are unwilling to pay for them.
The 'need' is there, and it is growing. We are living longer, those of us who should have popped our clogs are still here. The care industry must grow in order to keep up with the increase of those in need. Employing more people by the way, doesn't lead to a drain on our resources. It means more people have an income and spending power and are thus able to boost other industries, luxury goods for example. That is the gift of the New Deal, it has a knock on effect. If you spend on the youth of today (I'm hoping all kids will get free meals), you will reap the rewards in the future. In the sense that they will be healthier, happier and fully enlightened.
And here is what should be deal breaker, especially for those of us who grew up in our allotted place in society. Working class kids are indoctrinated to accept mediocrity, they are not taught to aspire to greatness, that is the domain of the public schools, like Eton. They are educated to be leaders, regular kids are educated to accept their menial roles in life. We may not have an overt class system, but it is still alive and well.
The thing about Jeremy Corbyn's New Deal, is that we finally have a government ready, willing and able to make life better for everyone, even potential millionaires who have had few opportunities during all these years of austerity. The England of Harold Wilson saw the rise of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, working class heroes and rebels. John Lennon especially, who had the audacity to talk about Peace as if it were a good thing. 'Imagine' is the most subversive song ever written!
Jeremy Corbyn is a man of peace. I am sure John Lennon would have heartily approved. A Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn would take us onto the next 'huge leap' for mankind, the choice of the majority to make things better. Young people get it, it's their future, they like the freedom to travel, the friendship and camaraderie of their European friends and neighbours. Where Johnson is a blubbering heap of upper class noises when dealing with our friends and allies, Jeremy Corbyn is crystal clear and erudite, he offers the hand of friendship and reasonable statesman like talks. Johnson is incapable of agreeing anything acceptable to the vast majority of British voters including Northern Ireland who he is about to ditch, with the European negotiators. First hurdle, he can't be trusted. And that should be reason enough not to vote for him.
There is nothing confusing, duplicitous or unclear about Labour's intentions. They are offering the country another chance to vote on leaving Europe now they are fully aware of what it entails. And they are the only party to offer this. The Conservatives, Johnson, if he will wins the General Election will take the UK out of the European Union of January 31st. That's it. The Defcon 1 situation where the military guard vital resources and the body bags come out.
Jeremy Corbyn wants, first and foremost, Defcon 1, No Deal, off the table, basically because it is insane. He wants to take the referendum back to the people - the only logical thing to do where parliament have failed to reach an agreement. People can and do change their minds, especially when new information comes to light. Not only is JC offering hope for the future, he is also offering everyone another chance to vote on the most important issue of our lives, this time around with all the information in front of us.