The other week I shared a few pints and an intense discussion on the decline and demise of ‘great’ Britain with my friend Ron Clayton, the bard of Loxley Bottom.
The event took place in the New Barrack Tavern and as the beer flowed we got ever more emotional about the plight of our world and vented our frustrations at being powerless to stop the rot.
What happened to the principles and social values we took for granted in our youth?
Where is the respect for people and property that engendered social well-being and community spirit?
More importantly, can anything be retrieved from this greed-ridden state of wealth slavery and self interest politicians have created and continue to feed and benefit from, along with their fat-cat friends and sponsors?
As we neared the gallon mark and second pork pie, we cogitated upon the symptoms of our rotting politico-economic system: greedy bankers who continue to award themselves seven figure bonuses; fat-cat executives who awarded themselves 50% pay rises; foreign- owned utility companies who rip customers off, consigning pensioners to an early grave and low income families to the soup kitchens; voracious MPs who avoided paying the penalty for their abuses of expenses; obscene salaries of premiership footballers; rising unemployment, especially of the young.
By the end of the night we had cursed the Tories, we had cursed the Lib-Dems, we had cursed Labour and we concluded that whoever was in power nothing would change.
But change is afoot. Throughout history change has occurred through insurrection; most of the social benefits we covet followed social unrest of one kind or another. But this time the target is capitalism itself. With the use of the internet the protest is international.
Has the bubble burst? Are we witnessing the beginning of the end of capitalism? What will replace it?
Time for another night out, Ron!
Mick Drewry, Dunford Bridge