Many thanks Ruth (her message below). And huge thanks to all of you out there who have sent fantastic
messages of encouragement to me and to Anne Brummer, asking that we keep on fighting on with Common Decency. Well, of course we will, but I want to use this opportunity to take a breath, to learn from defeat, and rebuild with a long-term view.
In the Dutch newspaper Trouw today: What if the Brits would have the Dutch electoral system (no districts, the party gets every vote). See attachment, second column.
Wishing you success with your fight against animal cruelty.
This is interesting information, showing how a Proportional Representation system might have changed yesterday’s results in the British election. It reminds me that just fixing the electoral system is not enough to secure justice. But it IS a necessary part of the fix.
I now think the greater part of the fix, if there is one, is dealing with the enormous power of the Tory propaganda/misinformation machine - fuelled by the power of the Rich, and various more-or-less hidden affiliations, which has worked non-stop on the minds of Britons for the last five years, and even back beyond that, so persuade them that a particular bunch of Old Etonians actually has their interests at heart. It’s an astonishing story.
Of course people like us think that the people of Britain have just made a terrible mistake, but I’m sure at this point all those who voted Cameron back into a position of even more power with no brake, think they did the right thing. The monstrous propaganda machine - recognisable on the front pages of The Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Times, and the Evening Standard - will now thunder on to reinforce that view in the coming months. And even if Cameron leads us all into a chasm that he’s opened up in the middle of Britain, that machine will be on hand to persuade everyone either that it was Labour’s fault, or that it wasn’t happening, or that it was actually good for Britain. And meanwhile, the smoothly suited and booted dictatorship that is Cameron and Osborne will go about their agenda of making the unfairly rich more and more secure, so that the whole edifice can be more securely underpinned.
Maybe this isn’t clear. Maybe my words are too formal. What I’m saying is that Cameron, leader of the Party of the Unfairly Rich, supports the Rich, so that they can continue to be Rich, so that they can continue to support Cameron’s regime. And the whole thing is covered up in an amazingly clever cloak of respectability … bearing the slogan "The Party of the Working Man”. Right now, a large percentage of Britons actually believe that slogan.
As an aside, I’ve noticed that a word I’ve long been fond of using has crept into Cameron’s vocabulary recently. It’s ‘Compassion’. I wonder if his script-writers deliberately pinched it from me, along with the Queen-based “Party of One Nation” (His campaign office apparently frequently played our One Vision song to inspire the troops). Of course it will now be no surprise if soon Cameron starts saying “We are the Party of Compassion”. It would be no more outrageous than calling the Tory Party “ The Party of the Common Man”. Watch out … the propaganda machine will have us all believing it soon !
Depressing ? Well, yes, the ugly mountain of selfishness has just got much higher and more frightening in Britain, but we cannot roll over and give up trying to chop it down. So what, then ? What the election result clearly tells us is that, despite all the efforts of many sincere and dedicated people, we have not yet begun to win the war of Decency and Compassion. Remember the wise old riddle: “What's the definition of an idiot ? Someone who keeps doing the same thing and expecting a different result” ? Well, are we idiots? I believe we now have to be brave enough to admit that our methods have failed, and it’s time to have a radical rethink. We need new spades to dig with. The ones we’ve been using have been shown to be ineffective against the massive mountain we are trying to move. We need new tools to start building a mountain of our own. So wee need time to find those tools.
That’s why I haven’t been springing into action with a heroic video saying “We fight on, regardless” … and some glib words about nailing our colours to the mast. It’s also why I haven’t ‘resigned’ - like the leaders of the defeated political parties. I think it’s time for us to go quiet, observe how the landscape is changing, and evolve a new strategy for working towards equality of opportunity for people, and the end of cruelty to those whose voices cannot be heard – children and animals.
COMMON DECENCY will continue, and we hope you will stay with us. I believe that by 2020, if – as my Mum used to say – if I am spared to be here, I will see a CD community which will be strong enough to fight the fearsome power of Privilege, and transform Britain into a place where the Sun shines, and the birds sing, for ALL of us in equal measure.
And how strange would it be if David Cameron actually DID turn out to have Compassion in him ?
I hope we would not be blind to that, if it happened.
Congratulations on your appointment, Mr Cameron. And may you be blessed with wisdom on your new journey.
Thanks for your good wishes, folks.