There’s a very real silence in our society about matters of injustice, and when there are voices, they’re stifled by establishment media with its own agenda in accordance with the interests of those who own and control the networks.
Today, in Britain, we have the most right-wing government since the Second World War, immediately after which, our government set about listening to the country’s communities and – despite the enormous debts from the conflict – still invested money into giving us the gift of universal health care, education, and a strong social security safety net. They got the nation back on its feet.
In today’s Britain, though, TV and newspapers have made a form of fascism fashionable; palatable; acceptable.
There are politicians talking about immigrants as though they’re sub-human, and government departments sparing no expense to run publicity campaigns about welfare benefit fraud despite the fact this accounts for only 0.7% of all benefits claimed.
The dialogue about Muslims is dominated by Islamophobia.
We’re linking the Christian church and the state when it suits us, with our supposedly blue-blooded head of state delivering Christmas speeches before a row of tanks at a time our government is initiating an illegal invasion of a country that posed no threat to us whatsoever, and two of our three houses remain completely unelected, the third – the House of Commons – desperate for an electoral reform cleverly quashed by a ConDem coalition.
It’s an all-out assault on the weak and vulnerable, and we’re getting used to it.
The voices of reason have been subjected to a PR campaign with a slogan of “political correctness,” which means people can spout vile racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic abuse and if you dare to challenge it, you’re part of the “political correctness brigade.” Clever.
After Margaret Thatcher claimed “there is no such thing as society,” and influenced a culture where citizens were replaced by consumers, we have been at risk of becoming a country of “survival of the fittest,” every one for themselves, swallowing the misinformation of the media to the point where two of the biggest concerns for the population are immigration and welfare spending – two utter non-issues that barely affect any of us at all, while a nationalist flag-waving culture of militarisation is being nurtured in front of dodgy deals, corporate lobbying, oil wars, environmental destruction, the sell-off of the state, mass privatisation, and an increase in wealth for the richest elites benefiting from it all.
The attack on the disadvantaged – on the poor, on ethnic minorities, on those of a certain faith group – all took place in Germany after their economic struggles exacerbated by the humiliating Treaty of Versailles. Berlin, once a thriving, diverse city full of cultural richness and social tolerance, instead became a place where to speak up for those minorities became dangerous; the new narrative was one of prejudice and demonisation.
We stand at a point in our history where we are approaching a sort of social destruction – of all the things we were supposed to have fought for against fascist Germany, before promising to never again put our troops into harm’s way unless it was absolutely necessary.
Instead, we have begun to accept the rhetoric of the right-wing sociopaths, fed to us through the same newspapers that supported the fascists in the run-up to the war.
We embrace the false concern for our brave soldiers through charity to appease our guilt while our government uses and abuses them, and refuses to care for them after chewing them up and spitting them out.
We witness racism, sexism, homophobia and Islamophobia on our screens, and on the radio, and the networks present us with panels dominated by this vile vitriol while claiming to be “unbiased.”
It’s more important now than ever to refuse to be silenced; to keep challenging prejudice even in a room full of it, even in a minority of one “the truth is still the truth,” Gandhi said.
What else is there to fight for?
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.– Dr Martin Luther King Jr