Things are getting really screwed up. In Northamptonshire, the county council is contemplating slashing its services to the bone in a desperate bid to avoid insolvency: Northamptonshire council plans cuts to all services and workforce. East Sussex County Council look set to follow suit: East Sussex council set to cut services to bare legal minimum.
The impact of climate change is making itself felt with the prolonged heatwave and drought impacting the harvest, particularly for fruit and vegetables: Heatwave pushes up UK fruit and vegetable prices as yields fall. Food prices are going to go up and that will hurt a lot of people who are already struggling. We’ve already seen instances of food poverty on the estates we operate on and have had to intervene to ensure people have enough to eat. This is before the consequences of an increasingly likely no deal, hard Brexit disrupt food supplies, leading to even more price rises and the possibility of shortages.
Let’s face it, at a national and international level, the combination of a divided government and an intransigent European Union means a no deal, hard Brexit is becoming more likely by the day. This is something that would be welcome to a cabal of hard line Tory Brexiteers who relish the opportunity to use the ensuing chaos to impose a form of shock doctrine, disaster capitalism. Basically, this means the tattered remains of austerity ravaged public services being flogged off and run as private enterprises. So, if you can’t afford the fees, you won’t get the service. This is not what the majority of working class Leave voters wanted in any way, shape or form.
We’re heading for a crisis situation on a number of fronts. What we’re desperately trying to do is convince people that when the shite does hit the fan, they are not going to be able to rely on the government of the day to fix things so everything gets back to normal. A government being manipulated by free market zealots who want to impose shock doctrine disaster capitalism is not going to help those of us getting screwed by the crisis in any way, shape or form. All the government will be interested in is keeping the lid on the situation as best they can.
Part of their strategy will be divide and rule. That’s where the alt-right are coming in handy as they spread their divisive, reactionary crap. This starts with the fulminations from the likes of the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, goes through the likes of Michael Gove, Boris Johson and Jacob Rees-Mogg talking to leading alt-right figures such as Steve Bannon and goes onto a UKIP MEP, Gerard Batten speaking at a rally in support of the now freed Stephen Yaxley-Lennon a.k.a. Tommy Robinson. This lot are very well funded. As we’ve written before, follow the money and start to ask some hard questions about what exactly that money is buying and whose interests are really being served by it. Then tell the next recruiting sergeant who comes into your pub or football ground trying to recruit foot soldiers for this shower to f**k right off out of it.
At the end of the day, all we have is each other. We have to start building resilience in our neighbourhoods now to deal with the crisis that is coming. That means looking out for each other because increasingly, we cannot rely on a failing state to do it. Even in extreme disaster conditions it can be done. In the aftermath of the horror of the Grenfell Tower fire last year, it was the local community who pulled together in the immediate aftermath to do what they could for the survivors. When pushed to extremes, if the divide and rule merchants can be kept at bay, people will pull together to get through whatever is being thrown at them.
If we can build and maintain the neighbourhood resilience and solidarity to get us through the shite that’s coming, that will stand us in good stead for the future. Because, once we’ve got through the crisis, we’re not going to tolerate living under a system that has thrown us under the bus are we? Of course we’re not. That’s when the bonds that have been formed and the lessons that have been learned getting through the crisis can be put to use to fight for and build the just, compassionate, sane and sustainable society we rightly deserve.